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Casino Capitalism: Neoliberalism in Western countries

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[Jan 21, 2020] Warren is a political novice, and while she has sharp elbows she's extremely naive and makes blunder after blunder

Notable quotes:
"... I have no confidence in Elizabeth Warren "doing the right thing"; she might be susceptible to the pressure and to the ignominy attached to doing the disastrously wrong thing. ..."
"... *Donald Trump, for his part, is reportedly " privately obsessed " with Sanders, not, it seems, with Biden. ..."
"... From a recent episode of the Jimmy Dore Show, it's the cringe-worthy Warren "Selfie" Gimmick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5JWIiVMj6g If this doesn't scream "political novice," I don't know what will. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Jeff W , January 21, 2020 at 1:41 am

" if she does anything less than help elect the last and only progressive with a chance, she damages them both to Biden's benefit "

If Elizabeth Warren's candidacy becomes unviable, the pressure on her to combine her delegates with those of Sanders -- from those supporting Bernie Sanders and those legitimately concerned with Joe Biden's chances against Trump* -- will be enormous . And, if , instead, Warren helps nominate Biden and Biden then goes on to lose to Donald Trump -- as I'm all but certain he will -- it will be all too clear just who played a pivotal role in helping to make that match-up even possible.

I have no confidence in Elizabeth Warren "doing the right thing"; she might be susceptible to the pressure and to the ignominy attached to doing the disastrously wrong thing.

*Donald Trump, for his part, is reportedly " privately obsessed " with Sanders, not, it seems, with Biden.

rusti , January 21, 2020 at 2:07 am

In Sanders' case, his surge in the polls coincided with his emergence as the chief apologist for the Iranian regime. We needed to point out that he would be dangerous as president since he made clear he would appease terrorists and terror-sponsoring nations.

If this is really representative of a line of attack that the Trump campaign plans to use on him, that would be great. I can't imagine anything that would resonate less with voters. But I was a bit surprised to see this in a Bernie fundraising mail:

The wise course would have been to stick with that nuclear agreement, enforce its provisions, and use that diplomatic channel with Iran to address our other concerns with Iran, including their support of terrorism.

What groups are they referring to when they say this? Hezbollah, which is part of Parliament in Lebanon? Iraqi PMF that are loosely integrated with the Iraqi army?

Bill Carson , January 21, 2020 at 2:15 am

Yep, Warren is a political novice, and she's extremely naive. That Massachusetts senate seat was practically handed to her on a silver platter. She has no idea that she was played in '16 and she's being played now.

Arizona Slim , January 21, 2020 at 8:22 am

From a recent episode of the Jimmy Dore Show, it's the cringe-worthy Warren "Selfie" Gimmick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5JWIiVMj6g If this doesn't scream "political novice," I don't know what will.

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren "Willingness to compromise" = willingness to give obeisance to most of exploitative corporate capitalism

She endorced Hillary in 2016. That tells a lot about her... Now she backstabbed Bernie. What's next?
Notable quotes:
"... Warren has a track record of lying: lied about her dad being a janitor, hers kids going to public school, getting fired for being pregnant, and obviously the Native American heritage. ..."
"... My gut is she is going to endorse Joe Biden and prob got a tease of VP or some other role and all she had to do was kamikaze into Bernie with this. It's backfiring but at this rate and given she's too deep into it now when she drops out she'll prob back Biden as she hasn't shown the integrity to back a guy like Berni. ..."
"... She's toxic now. No one will want her has VP. Sanders supporters despise her, she comes from a small, Democratic state and she's loaded with baggage. She brings nothing to a ticket. She torpedoed any hopes or plans she might have had in that regard. ..."
"... Bernie is labeled as a socialist. Actually he is a real Roosevelt democrat. ..."
"... The most impressive thing I have witnessed about Bernie is that he can extemporaneously recall and explain exactly why he voted as he did on every piece of legislation that he has cast a vote on. in. his. life. It is a remarkable talent. ..."
"... The outcome of the upcoming Iowa Caucus is too hard to predict. All the candidates are very close. Sanders needs to turnout young and working class voters to win. ..."
"... My impression is her supporters are mostly older, mostly female, and mostly centrist. Many want to elect a female pres before they die. Prior to the she said event her supporters second choice were split fairly evenly between Bernie and Biden but the latest fracas is driving her most progressive supporters to Bernie. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Massinissa , January 21, 2020 at 12:49 pm

"Willingness to compromise" = willingness to give obeisance to most of exploitative corporate capitalism.

Amit Chokshi , January 21, 2020 at 5:52 am

Warren has a track record of lying: lied about her dad being a janitor, hers kids going to public school, getting fired for being pregnant, and obviously the Native American heritage.

As pointed here on NC she's great at grandstanding when bank CEOs are in front of her and doing nothing following that.

My gut is she is going to endorse Joe Biden and prob got a tease of VP or some other role and all she had to do was kamikaze into Bernie with this. It's backfiring but at this rate and given she's too deep into it now when she drops out she'll prob back Biden as she hasn't shown the integrity to back a guy like Berni.

Yves Smith Post author , January 21, 2020 at 5:57 am

I don't see how she is anyone's VP. She is too old. You want someone under 60, better 50, particularly for an old presidential candidate. Treasury Secretary is a more powerful position. The big appeal of being VP is maybe it positions you later to be President but that last worked out for Bush the Senior.

Arizona Slim , January 21, 2020 at 8:24 am

And Bush the Senior lost his re-election bid.

pebird , January 21, 2020 at 9:41 am

Because he asked us to read his lips. And he didn't think we were lip readers.

Oh , January 21, 2020 at 10:57 am

She may be looking to be the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture. /s

Sue E Greenwald , January 21, 2020 at 8:19 am

She's toxic now. No one will want her has VP. Sanders supporters despise her, she comes from a small, Democratic state and she's loaded with baggage. She brings nothing to a ticket. She torpedoed any hopes or plans she might have had in that regard.

jackiebass , January 21, 2020 at 6:40 am

I've watched Bernie for years. Even long before he decided to run for president. He is the same today as he was then. Bernie isn't afraid to advocate for something , even though he will get a lot of backlash. I also believe he is sincere in his convictions. If he says something he believes in it.Something you can't say for the other candidates. Bernie is by far my first choice.

After that it would be Warren. Bernie is labeled as a socialist. Actually he is a real Roosevelt democrat. As a life long democrat, I can't support or vote for a Wall Street candidate. Unlike one of the other commenters, I will never vote for Trump but instead wold vote for a third party candidate. Unfortunate the DNC will do anything to prevent Bernie from being candidate. Progressive democrats need to get out and support a progressive or the nomination will again be stolen by a what I call a light republican.

Robert Hahl , January 21, 2020 at 7:26 am

What is great about Bernie is that he is so sure-footed. It was visible in the hot-mic trap Warren set for him where she got nothing, it actually hurt her.

Anonymous Coward , January 21, 2020 at 3:05 pm

The most impressive thing I have witnessed about Bernie is that he can extemporaneously recall and explain exactly why he voted as he did on every piece of legislation that he has cast a vote on. in. his. life. It is a remarkable talent.

Howard , January 21, 2020 at 6:48 am

The outcome of the upcoming Iowa Caucus is too hard to predict. All the candidates are very close. Sanders needs to turnout young and working class voters to win. By many reports, Warren has an excellent ground game in IA and The NY Times endorsement has given a path for her to pick up Klobuchar voters after round one of the caucus.

Biden is a mystery to me. How the heck is he even running. Obama pleaded with him not to. That being said, it wouldn't surprise me if he finishes in the top two. Buttigieg is the wild card. I think the "electability" argument will hurt him as he can't win after NH.

ALM , January 21, 2020 at 7:51 am

According to a recent poll, Elizabeth Warren is one of the most unpopular senators with voters in her own state as measured against approval rates of all other senators in their states. I find this very surprising for someone with a national profile. What do voters in Massachusetts not like about her?

As for me, I find it more and more difficult to trust Warren because she takes the bait and yields to pressure during a primary when the pressure to back down, moderate, and abandon once championed policy positions and principles is a great deal less than it is during the general election. Warren has gone from Medicare4All to a public option to, in the recent debate, tweaks to the ACA. Despite her roll-out of an ambitious $10 trillion Green New Deal plan, Warren is now to the right of Chuck "Wall Street" Schumer as evidenced by her support of NAFTA 2.0 which utterly fails to address climate change. WTF! Where will she be during a general election?

And her political instincts are awful as recently demonstrated by her woke, badly executed girl power attack against a candidate who has been a committed feminist for his entire political career.

Another Scott , January 21, 2020 at 9:18 am

She also has horrible constituent service. I had an issue with a federal student loan a few years ago (I believe it was the servicer depositing money but not crediting my account and charging me interest and late fees). After getting nowhere with the company, I tried calling her office, figuring that as this was one of her core issues, I would get some response, either help or at least someone who would want to record what happened to her actual constituent. I didn't hear back for about a month, by which time I had resolved the issue – no fees or additional interest through multiple phone calls and emails.

In other words, Elizabeth Warren's constituent service is worse than Sallie Mae's.

T , January 21, 2020 at 9:31 am

The stupid Ponds cold cream lie is the worst. Unless she teed up the "how do you look so young!" question , the corrected answer is to point out the nonsense of talking about a candidates looks and addressing actual sexism.

Instead she has a goofball answer about only using Ponds cold cream which lead to Derm pointing out her alleged method was not good advice and also pointing out that she appears to have used botex and fillers, which I don't think people were talking about before then, in public.

The most generous explanation is she was caught flat-footed and, once again, showed she has terrible instincts.

Just a dumb dumb move.

Stefan , January 21, 2020 at 8:43 am

If Bernie Sanders can get it through the thick noggin of the nation that he stands for and will implement the principles, policies, and values of the New Deal–the attitude that got us through the Great Depression and Wotld War II–he has every chance of being elected the next President of the United States.

Stefan , January 21, 2020 at 8:47 am

Btw, is Inauguration Day just a year away?

The Rev Kev , January 21, 2020 at 9:02 am

Google says Wednesday Jan 20, 2021: Swearing-In Ceremony. And here is a countdown page-

https://days.to/when-is/us-presidential-inauguration/2021

Trust me. By the time it comes around you won't care who gets sworn in as you will just be glad that all the vicious, wretched skullduggery of this year's elections will finally be over.

Pat , January 21, 2020 at 11:11 am

And hoping you get one day of rest before the vicious, wretched skullduggery of undermining the desires of the American people gets started. Obviously Sanders will make the Trump years look a cake walk. Anyone else (Democrat or Trump) we will see lots of 'working for' and 'resistance' type memes while largely doing nothing of the sort, but a whole lot of 'bipartisan' passage of terrible things.

Samuel Conner , January 21, 2020 at 10:25 am

It sounds like Sanders, in the famous 2018 conversation, may have been trying to politely encourage EW to not run in 2020. Her moment was 2016 and she declined to run then when a Progressive candidate was needed. Her run in 2020 to some extent divides the Progressive vote. EW interpreted, perhaps intentionally, Sanders' words to imply that he thinks "no woman can win in 2020", and then weaponized them against him.

The very fact that she is running at all suggests to me that she is not at heart a Progressive and in fact does not want a Progressive candidate to win. If she had run in 2016, Sanders would not have run in order to not divide the Progressive vote. EW knew that Sanders would run in 2020 and planned to run anyway. It is hard for me to not interpret this to be an intentional bid for some of the Progressive vote, in order to hold Sanders down.

Anon , January 21, 2020 at 11:59 am

I agree. She decides to do things based on her own self-interest, and uses progressives as pawns to work her way up in DC. My guess is that Warren chickened out in 2016 and didn't run because maybe she didn't think she had a chance against the Clintons. When Warren saw how well Sanders did against Clinton, how close he was at winning, I think only then she decided that 2020 was a good chance for a progressive, or someone running as a progressive candidate, to win the nomination.

She saw how Sanders had fired up loyal progressive support in the Democratic Party. She chickened out back then when she could have endorsed Bernie in '16, but chose not to, probably hoping not to burn bridges with Clinton in order to get a plum role in her administration. Her non-endorsement in '16 worries me because it shows once again that Warren makes decisions largely based on what is good for her career, not what she thinks is better for the country (if she really is the progressive she claims to be).

Knowing that there was now a strong progressive base ready to vote for a candidate left of Democratic candidates like Biden and Clinton, Warren saw her entry into having a good chance at winning the presidency. Rather than thinking about the implications for Bernie and the possibility of dividing left-wing voters, her desire to become president was more important. Remember, this is exactly what Bernie did not do in 2016 when he urged Warren to run, and was willing to step aside, if she had agreed to do so.

If I had been in Sanders position, I probably would have sat down and talked to Warren about the serious implications of the both of them running in 2020. How he had hoped to build on the momentum from his last campaign and the sexism that was used against Clinton in 2016. Hey, if I had been Sanders, I probably would have told Warren not to run. Not because she's a woman, but because it would have been obvious to Bernie that with Warren running alongside him, they would both end up splitting the progressive vote.

What is happening now between the two of them should have been no surprise to either Bernie or Warren. They are both popular among Democrats who identify as progressive or left-of-center. Democrats will always find a way to shoot themselves in the foot. And I agree that when it becomes evident that one of them cannot win, either Bernie or Warren must step aside for the good of the country and fully back the other. There is no other option if either of them truly wants the other to win the nomination rather than Biden. I'm hoping that Warren will do so since it is becoming more clear that Sanders is the stronger progressive and the stronger candidate who has a better chance at beating both Biden and Trump.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:37 pm

> "no woman can win in 2020"

The claim was "no woman can win." It was not qualified in any way.

landline , January 21, 2020 at 10:34 am

If sheepdog St. Bernard Sanders begins to look like the presumptive nominee, look for a new candidate to throw her hat into the ring. Her name: Michelle Obama.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:42 pm

> sheepdog St. Bernard Sanders

I'm so sick of that sheepdog meme (originated by, much as a respect BAR, by a GP activist bitter, I would say, over many years of GP ineffectuality). The elites seem to be pretty nervous about a sheepdog.

pretzelattack , January 21, 2020 at 3:52 pm

if he were a sheepdog, why would the shepherds have to intervene? they wouldn't.

Lee , January 21, 2020 at 10:51 am

And now we have Sanders apologizing for an op-ed in the Guardian by Zephyr Teachout accusing Biden of corruption.

The op-ed simply says what Sanders has said all along, the system is corrupted by big donors. Then she explicitly states the obvious, which Sanders won't at this point say but that Trump certainly will: Biden is a prime example of serving his donors' interests to the detriment of most of the rest of us. Sanders subsequently apologizes for Teachout's baldly true assertion, stating that he doesn't believe that Biden is corrupt.

I guess we're meant to draw a clear distinction between legalized and illegal corruption. I don't know. They both look like ducks to me.

Oh , January 21, 2020 at 11:05 am

Sometimes it's better for Bernie to keep his mouth shut.

Samuel Conner , January 21, 2020 at 11:07 am

I have read that Sanders is the #2 choice of many Iowans who favor JB; it makes a lot of sense for him to not "go negative" on JB in the run-up to the caucuses.

There will be time for plainer speaking. Sanders has been clear about his views on the corrupting influence of corporate money in politics. JB is exhibit #1 within the D primary field and there will be plenty of opportunity to note that.

I suspect that there is a great deal of "method" in what may look to us like "madness" in the Senator's civility.

Samuel Conner , January 21, 2020 at 11:18 am

To put it another way, I doubt very much that Sanders believes that JB's legislative agendas were not significantly influenced by the sources of his campaign funds. And I'm sure that attention will be drawn to this at the right time.

One can charitably affirm that one believes that JB is not a consciously corrupt , pay-for-play, kind of person, while also affirming that of course he has been influenced by the powerful interests that have funded his career, and that this has not served the interests of the American people. All in due course.

jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:37 pm

The thing is Warren would make the right argument here: that it's the system that is corrupted, and make it well. Too bad she has shown so completely that can't be trusted as a person, because she often looks good on paper

inode_buddha , January 21, 2020 at 1:37 pm

I think Warren misses the key point that the reason why the system is corrupted is because the players in it are corrupted. They can be bought and sold. That is why they have no shame.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:43 pm

> The thing is Warren would make the right argument here: that it's the system that is corrupted

That's not the right answer at all. The climate crisis, for example, is not caused by a lack of transparency in the oil industry. It is caused by capital allocation decisions by the billionaire class and their servicers in subaltern classes.

urblintz , January 21, 2020 at 11:12 am

"The real game changer around here, though, might be Iowa State University's decision, after years of pressure, to issue new student IDs, enabling 35,000 students to vote, even under Iowa's restrictive new voter-ID law. That's a progressive victory, and in a different media universe, it would be a story even juicier than a handshake." Iowa is not the Twittersphere – Laura Flanders

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/21/iowa-is-not-the-twitterverse/

ptb , January 21, 2020 at 11:23 am

Thanks for giving this the attention it needs, analysis of the primary has been too light on estimation of delegate numbers and strategy.

Prior to Warren's apparent turn to some new direction, the setup for a 3way DNC with a progressive "coalition" was not only conceivable, but actually expected from the polls.

We are on pace for Sanders+Warren's combined delegate total to exceed Biden by a healthy amount (say 4:3) with all others falling below 15% state by state and getting few or no delegates. Obviously subject to snowballing in either direction, but that's the polls now and for most of the past year.

Warren's attack on Sanders, and NYT endorsement, say the national party doesn't expect any such coalition. Therefore Warren has made her choice. That's that.

The path to winning the Dem primary is a little narrower for Sanders, and also for Biden, since he seems to lack the confidence of his the top strata. The DNC screws a lot up but they know how to read polls. I'm pretty sure that running Warren in the General is not their plan A.

Voters in Iowa and the early states (incl. TX and CA) look like they will be deciding it all this year. The tremendous enthusiasm of Sanders followers gives him, IMO, the best ground game of the three. Will be an interesting 6 weeks.

jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Running Warren in the general might be their plan A. They may not want to win. Of course they might rather have Klobuchar but

Hepativore , January 21, 2020 at 12:52 pm

I do not even trust Warren to hand any delegates she gets to Sanders at this point. Because her campaign staff is so full of Clintonites and neoliberals, she might give them to Biden instead.

She seems to have gone full establishment at this point.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:39 pm

> I do not even trust Warren to hand any delegates she gets to Sanders at this point. Because her campaign staff is so full of Clintonites and neoliberals, she might give them to Biden instead.

Correct.

ambrit , January 21, 2020 at 1:10 pm

The youngish rehab therapist, a woman, said this morning that of the women running, she likes Klobuchar. "If only her voice wasn't so screechy. And I'm saying this as a woman." She was seriously disturbed by Clinton's attack on Sanders.
Several neighbors are leaning towards Yang.

John k , January 21, 2020 at 1:14 pm

The value of her endorsement

My impression is her supporters are mostly older, mostly female, and mostly centrist. Many want to elect a female pres before they die. Prior to the she said event her supporters second choice were split fairly evenly between Bernie and Biden but the latest fracas is driving her most progressive supporters to Bernie.

This means most of those remaining will probably migrate to Biden if when she drops out even if she recommends Bernie. (If 1/3 of her supporters that had Bernie as their second choice switch to Bernie, then 60% of her remaining supporters have Biden as their second choice.)

2016 was different, Clinton already had the older females. But there was a period where just a little support might have tipped the scale in what was a very tight race.

Anyway, I see going forward she will be mostly holding supporters whose second choice is Biden even as she maybe doesn't reach the 15% barrier
and same with Amy. So I hope they both stay in at least until super tue.

And While I previously thought she was a reasonable choice for veep, I now realize she'd be an awful choice. Maybe treasury if she does endorse which she will do if Bernie looks a winner.

worldblee , January 21, 2020 at 1:35 pm

How can anyone be surprised at the lack of trustworthiness from a politician who chose to endorse Clinton in 2016 rather than Bernie? Warren has been playing the DNC game for a long time now, which ideologically is in line with her lifelong Republican stance before changing to the more demographically favorable party when she was 47. She's not progressive now, and never has been or will be.

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren is a "damaged goods" now: the corporate press has gone all-in on Warren. She simply MUST be a political whore, like Obama, or Hilary/Bill Clinton.

Notable quotes:
"... Bottom line: the corporate press has gone all-in on Warren. ..."
"... I deprecate the comparison, as insulting to wh0res. See at NC here. ..."
"... "She simply MUST be a mercenary, like Obama; might be more apt. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Both campaigns are backing away from greater public conflict. Whether that holds true in the long run is anyone's guess, but my guess is that it will. Still, the following is clear:

So far, in other words, most of the damage has been borne by Warren as a result of the incident. She may recover, but this could also end her candidacy by accelerating a decline that started with public reaction to her recent stand on Medicare For All. None of this is certain to continue, but these are the trends.

... ... ...

But if Warren's candidacy becomes unviable, as it seems it might -- and if the goal of both camps is truly to defeat Joe Biden -- it's incumbent on Warren to drop out and endorse her "friend and ally" Bernie Sanders as soon as it's clear she can no longer win . (The same is true if Sanders becomes unviable, though that seems much less likely.)

Ms. Warren can do whatever she wants, certainly. But if she does anything less than help elect the last and only progressive with a chance, she damages them both to Biden's benefit, and frankly, helps nominate Biden. She has the right to do that, but not to claim at the same time that she's working to further the progressive movement.


TG , January 21, 2020 at 12:19 am

Bottom line: the corporate press has gone all-in on Warren. She simply MUST be a whore, like Obama, or Hilary/Bill Clinton. If Warren were a real progressive, the big money would never go for her like this.

I will vote for Bernie Sanders. But I will vote for Trump over Warren. Better the moron and agent of chaos that you know, than the calculating vicious backstabber that you don't.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:26 am

> She simply MUST be a wh0re,

I deprecate the comparison, as insulting to wh0res. See at NC here.

Phillip Allen , January 21, 2020 at 6:48 am

"She simply MUST be a mercenary, like Obama; might be more apt.

Lee , January 21, 2020 at 8:26 am

I favor the term "corporate lickspittle".

russell1200 , January 21, 2020 at 8:47 am

She's got the Clinton's and now Obama folks behind her.

I doubt they are thrilled with her, but probably view as someone they can work with and the other options are worse or too low in the poll numbers. I assume Buttigieg is fine with them, but his numbers are stuck.

doug , January 21, 2020 at 11:28 am

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/21/politics/hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-documentary/index.html

You are so right. Hillary says she will not support him if the nominee. Gloves are off. I hope the Sanders campaign has some Karl Rove types .

Amfortas the hippie , January 21, 2020 at 1:54 pm

from the sidebar of that link: https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/21/politics/hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-2020/index.html

from cilizza, no less. that Hilary speaking thusly is actually good for sanders.

False Solace , January 21, 2020 at 11:17 am

Personally I cannot consider voting for a drone murderer like Trump, who cozies up to the Saudis and has tried to cut SS and Medicare. He's shown what he is, just as Warren has. We'll never get M4A from either one of them.

If it's not Bernie I'm voting Green. I live in a blue state that almost went for Trump last time – my vote potentially matters and will serve as a signal. Voting for the lesser murderous corporatist scum is what got us into this mess. I'm over it. I will not vote for evil.

HotFlash , January 21, 2020 at 3:49 pm

In 2016 I might just have voted for Trump, as a middle finger to the Dem establishment that crowned HRH HRC, since at that time he had not committed any war crimes. But now, no way. One of my unshakeable principles is that I will not vote for a war criminal. Green , write-in, or leave the Pres slot blank. But I hope and pray (and I'm an atheist!) that it doesn't come to this. We really don't have another 4 years to waste on this, the earth can't wait.

Anon , January 21, 2020 at 12:41 am

It's very unfortunate that it has come to this, but I've always been uneasy about Warren. This incident and her accusations against Bernie solidified my suspicions about her. Her being a Republican until her late 40s, her lies about sending her child to public school, her lies about her father being a janitor, her plagiarized cookbook recipes, and claiming to be Native American. It's all so bizarre to me and for a while I had believed her to have a personality disorder that caused compulsive lying. I wanted to feel good about my vote for Warren, but now? If she wins the nomination I'll hold my nose and vote for her, but I don't trust her to not sell out to the neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party. I also don't trust her to endorse Bernie if she drops out before the convention. She didn't endorse him in '16, so what makes progressives think she'll do so this time. It would not surprise me in the least if she endorsed Biden or agrees to be his running mate.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:27 am

Warren is not agreement-capable. Much as it pains me to say this, the Obama administration was correct to hold her at arm's length.

Adding, that doesn't mean that Sanders can't negotiate with her, if that must be done (to defeat Trump). But any such negotiations cannot proceed on a basis of trust.

JohnnyGL , January 21, 2020 at 8:13 am

The most generous interpretation i can come up with is that i's possible she told the story to several of her clintonite staffers in confidence. Those staffers went to CNN and forced her to stand by her story, even if she didn't want to go public, because she was threatened with staffers calling her a liar.

She might have been mad at Bernie for not bailing her out.

This version, which i don't believe, but consider it possible (not plausible) would be arguably as bad because her staffers got the upper hand and pushed her around.

John Wright , January 21, 2020 at 10:17 am

Warren could have said something to the effect that

"Bernie and I had a private conversation and I believe he suggested that electing a woman president in the USA would be difficult."

"Unfortunately, I mentioned this private conversation to some staffers, who apparently mentioned this to the press."

"This does not mean that I believe Bernie to be sexist."

"I appreciate opinions and advice from someone as experienced as Bernie."

"I want others to know that, private advice supplied to me by anyone will be treated as private information, not to be divulged to the press."

"The staffer responsible for passing this information to the press has been released from the campaign."

"I apologize to Bernie for allowing this to happen."

Reply

jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:29 pm

The problem is the country has become so irrational and susceptible to soundbites and twitter shame and etc. that you can't even say "electing a women president would be difficult" which might be true, or it becomes like Hillary's deplorable remark, we all know it's true some Trump supporters fit the description, but it gets taken way out of context and exaggerated beyond all recognition.

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Oh , January 21, 2020 at 10:26 am

The "invisible hand" of the Clinton Staffers then forced her not to shake Bernie's hand, I take it.

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jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:25 pm

She didn't even have to deny it. Should could have just been "That was a private conversation, I will not go into what was said in private. Bernie is a good friend of mine, who has supported women candidates on many occasions".

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none , January 21, 2020 at 12:46 am

Warren will never endorse Bernie. She is not a progressive and the Republican in her is back in operation. But, there is a new Jeep named after her:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EOuTYRlXsAg151I.jpg

Reply

Henry Moon Pie , January 21, 2020 at 1:41 am

But we already had the Tin Lizzie.

Reply

ambrit , January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am

I can't resist.
What we have here is an old fashioned "Lizzie-Faire Capitalist."

Reply

[Jan 21, 2020] Tucker Carlson Warns 'Mistake' To Assume Trump Victory In November

Notable quotes:
"... RealClearPolitics ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The president base is clarly more narrow then in 2016: he used anti-war repiblicansand independents aswell as "Anybody but Hillary" voters (large part of Sanders votrs). Part of military is now Tulsi supported and probalywill not vote at all, at least they will not vote for Trump.

Fox News 's Tucker Carlson on Monday warned Republicans not to get complacent, and that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) could wind up taking "many thousands " of votes from President Trump if he is able to secure the Democratic nomination, according to The Hill 's Joe Concha.

"A year from today, we'll be hosting this show from the National Mall as the next president of the United States takes the oath of office," said Carlson, adding "Will that president be Donald Trump? As of tonight, Republicans in Washington feel confident it will be."

https://youtu.be/3eR1Pm7ANLw

"The official economic numbers are strong. The Democratic primaries are a freak show -- elderly socialists accusing each other of thoughtcrimes. Republicans are starting to think victory is assured. That's a mistake ," said Carlson. "America remains as divided as it was three years ago. No matter what happens, nobody's going to win this election in a national landslide. Those don't happen anymore. Trump could lose. Will he? That depends on what he runs on. "

Carlson then showed numbers for Trump on the economy that show while the main indicators are strong, there are some other numbers that should concern the president. He pointed to a Pew Research study that shows just 31 percent of Americans say the economy is helping them and their families, and just 32 percent say they believe the current economy helps the middle class.

Carlson then pivoted to Sanders's potential appeal to certain voter groups and said Republicans need a plan to battle that appeal.

" Bernie Sanders may get the Democratic nomination ," Carlson said. " If he does, every Republican in Washington will spend the next 10 months reminding you that socialism doesn't work , and never has. They'll be right, obviously," Carlson explained. - The Hill

So what's Bernie's appeal?

Recall that a not-insignificant Sanders supporters voted for Trump out of disgust following revelations that Hillary Clinton and the DNC conspirted to rig the 2016 primary against him.

According to Carlson, however, "if Sanders pledges to forgive student loans, he'll still win many thousands of voters who went for Donald Trump last time. Debt is crushing an entire generation of Americans. Republicans need a plan to make it better, or they'll be left behind."

"They're conservative in the most basic sense: They love their families above all," the host concluded. "They distrust radical theories of anything because they know that when the world turns upside down, ordinary people get hurt. They don't want to burn it down. They just want things to get better. The candidate who promises to make them better -- incrementally, but tangibly -- will be inaugurated president a year from today."

According to a RealClearPolitics average of seven (oh so reliable) polls, Sanders would take Trump if he gets the nomination. Tags Politics


MANvsMACHINE , 3 minutes ago link

Bernie doesn't have a ******* chance once he has to debate Trump. Trump will pull every straggly hair from Bernie's nearly bald head.

Mustafa Kemal , 2 minutes ago link

I disagree. Trump hasnt had to debate someone with character and intelligence before.

Boogity , 6 minutes ago link

Carlson is right. The overwhelming majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck with many working two jobs to make ends meet. The economy sucks for the working and middle class. Facts are stubborn things.

[Jan 21, 2020] Trump Is Pulling the Wool Over Voters' Eyes About What Is in the China Deal

Return to quote-based trade means total bankruptcy of neoliberalism ideology and practice. Another nail in the coffin so to speak.
Jan 21, 2020 | www.anti-empire.com

The Chinese, for now, are not contradicting the Trump administration on the promise of Chinese mega-purchases, because when Trump is more amicable their interests align. If an empty promise that wasn't even made means the trade war de-escalation goes on, that is fine with them. They would like to calm the markets as much as Trump would, and in this way they have added leverage on Trump. Should they change their minds they can always explode the fiction later on and injure Trump, perhaps strategically right around October.


Now that the dust has settled on the US-China trade deal and analysts have had some time to pore over its 90+ pages, various chapters and (non-binding) terms that comprise the body of the agreement, one high-level observation noted by Rabobank, is that the agreement foresees the total amount of goods exports from the US to China to reach above $ 290BN by end-2021.

The implication of this is that the chart for US exports to China should basically look like this for the next two years:

As Rabobank's senior economist Bjorn Giesbergen writes, t here are probably very few economists that would deem such a trajectory feasible (except for the perpetually cheerful economics team at Goldman , of course), seeing that it took the US more than 15 years to raise exports from around USD16bn in 2000 to USD 130bn in 2017.

Moreover, the Chinese purchases of goods are beneficial to US companies, but at the cost of other countries, and the agreement is only for two years. If China will buy more aircraft from the US, that could be to the detriment of the EU.

According to the document "the parties project that the trajectory of increases will continue in calendar years 2020 through 2025." But "to project" does not sound as firm as "shall ensure." So, as the Rabo economist asks, "are we going to see a repetition of the 2019 turmoil caused by the phase 1 trade negotiations after those two years? Or is this supposed to be solved in the phase 2 deal that is very unlikely to be made? What's more, while the remaining tariffs provide leverage for US trade negotiators, they are still a tax on US importers and US consumers of Chinese goods."

But before we even get there, going back to the chart shown above, Bloomberg today points out something we have pointed out in the past, namely that China's $200 billion, two-year spending spree negotiated with the Trump administration appears increasingly difficult to deliver, and now a $50 billion "hole" appears to have opened up : that is the amount of U.S. exports annually left out and many American businesses still uncertain about just what the expectations are.

Some background: while Trump officials stressed the reforms aimed at curbing intellectual-property theft and currency manipulation that China has agreed to in the "phase one" trade deal signed Wednesday, the Chinese pledge to buy more American exports has become an emblem of the deal to critics and supporters alike.

The administration has said those new exports in manufactured goods, energy, farm shipments and services will come over two years on top of the $130 billion in goods and $57.6 billion in services that the U.S. sent to China in 2017 -- the year before the trade war started and exports were hit by Beijing's retaliatory measures to President Donald Trump's tariffs.

And while Goldman said it is certainly feasible that China can ramp up its purchases of US goods , going so far as providing a matrix "scenario" of what such purchases could look like

that now appears virtually impossible, because as Bloomberg notes, the list of goods categories in the agreement covers a narrower group of exports to China that added up to $78.8 billion in 2017, or $51.6 billion less than the overall goods exports to the Asian nation that year. The goods trade commitment makes up $162.1 billion of the $200 billion total, with $37.9 billion to come from a boost in services trade such as travel and insurance.

Here, the math gets even more ridiculous:

The target for the first year that the deal takes effect is to add $63.9 billion in manufactured goods, agriculture and energy exports. According to Bloomberg economist Maeva Cousin's analysis, that would be an increase of 81% over the 2017 baseline. In year two, the agreement calls for $98.2 billion surge in Chinese imports, which would require a 125% increase over 2017.

Importantly for China, the deal requires those purchases to be "made at market prices based on commercial considerations," a caveat which spooked commodities traders, and led to a sharp drop in ags in the day following the deal's announcement.

Can China pull this off? Yes, if Beijing tears up existing trade deals and supply chains and imposes explicit procurement targets and demands on China's local business. As Bloomberg notes, "critics argue that such pre-ordained demand amounts to a slide into the sort of government-managed trade that U.S. presidents abandoned decades ago" and the very sort of act of central planning that U.S. officials have , paradoxically, spent years trying to convince China to walk away from.

This may also explain why a key part of the trade deal will remain secret: the purchase plan is based on what the administration insists is a specific – if classified – annex of Chinese commitments. "The 20-page public version of that annex lists hundreds of products and services from nuclear reactors to aircraft, printed circuits, pig iron, soybeans, crude oil and computer services but no figures for purchases."

Going back to the critics, it is this convoluted mechanism that has them arguing that China's stated targets will likely never be met: "This is ambitious and it will create some stresses within the supply system," said Craig Allen, the president of the U.S.-China Business Council.

That's not all: as Allen said, among the outstanding questions was whether China would lift its retaliatory duties on American products as the US keeps its tariffs on some $360 billion in imports from China as Trump seeks to maintain leverage for the second phase of negotiations.

Allen also made clear the overall purchase schedule left many U.S. companies uncomfortable even as they saw benefits in other parts of the deal. "The vast majority of our members are looking for no more than a level playing field in China," Allen said. "We are not looking for quotas or special treatment."

As a result, for many manufacturers what is actually changing -- and what China has committed to instead of given a "best efforts" promise to achieve -- remains unclear.

Major exporters such as Boeing Co., whose CEO Dave Calhoun attended Wednesday's signing ceremony, have stayed mum about what exactly the deal will mean for their business with China. In an attempt to "clarify", Trump tweeted that the deal includes a Chinese commitment to buy $16 billion to $20 billion in Boeing planes. It was unclear if he meant 737 MAX planes which nobody in the world will ever voluntarily fly inside again.

Finally, prompting the latest round of cronyism allegations, Trump's new China pact also includes plans for exports of American iron and steel , "a potential gain for an industry close to the president that has benefited from his tariffs and complained about Chinese production and overcapacity for years." As Bloomberg adds, the text of the agreement lists iron and steel products ranging from pig iron to stainless steel wire and railway tracks, but steel industry sources said they had been caught by surprise and not been given any additional details on China's purchase commitments.

It is unclear why Beijing would need US product s: after all, in its scramble to erect ghost cities and hit a goalseeked GDP print, China produces more than 50% of the world's steel, drawning criticism from around the world – if not Greta Thunberg – for the massive coal-derived pollution that comes from flooding global markets with cheap steel.

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren as Lizzie-Faire Capitalist.

Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

none , January 21, 2020 at 12:46 am

Warren will never endorse Bernie. She is not a progressive and the Republican in her is back in operation. But, there is a new Jeep named after her:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EOuTYRlXsAg151I.jpg

Henry Moon Pie , January 21, 2020 at 1:41 am

But we already had the Tin Lizzie.

ambrit , January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am

I can't resist. What we have here is an old fashioned "Lizzie-Faire Capitalist."

John Zelnicker , January 21, 2020 at 10:28 am

@ambrit
January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am
-- -- -

"Strike three! A sizzling fast ball over the middle of the plate, while the batter just looked dumbfounded"

[Jan 21, 2020] Now with Warren blunder Trump might be able to wipe the floor with her but not only called her "Pocahontas" but also "Bernie backstabber": betrayl of her "friend" Bernie is unforgivable

She made a blunder. That's for sure. but still Warren is a better candidate then Trump.
The shell game between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders has transmogrified. The brutal, post-debate exchange between the duo has the progressive left fearing repeat business from '04: it happened at just the wrong time, only weeks ahead of the first primaries.
Jan 21, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
sounds very much like it, in a kind of ham-fisted, virtue-signaling way -- "Sometimes I fear the American people are still too bigoted to vote for a woman," or something like that. Yet every Clinton staffer was muttering the same thing under her breath at 3 a.m. on November 9, 2016.

What's more, Mrs. Warren never denied that Mr. Sanders only ran in the last election cycle because she declined to do so. Nor can anyone forget how vigorously he campaigned for Mrs. Clinton, even after she and the DNC rigged the primary against him. If Mrs. Warren and her surrogates at CNN are claiming that Bernie meant that a person with two X chromosomes is biologically incapable of serving as president, they're lying through their teeth.

This is how Liz treats her "friend" Bernie -- and when he denies that absurd smear, she refuses to shake his hand and accuses him of calling her a liar on national television. Then, of course, the #MeToo brigades line up to castigate him for having the temerity to defend himself -- further evidence, of course, of his sexism. I mean, like, Bernie is, like, literally Weinstein.

Then there's the "Latinx" thing, which is the absolute summit of progressive elites' disconnect with ordinary Americans. In case you didn't know, Mrs. Warren has been roundly panned for referring to Hispanics by this weird neologism, which was invented by her comrades in the ivory tower as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina . The thing is, Spanish is a gendered language. What's more, a poll by the left-wing market research group Think Now found that just 2 percent of Hispanics call themselves "Latinx." (In fact, most prefer the conventional "Hispanic," which is now verboten on the Left because it hearkens back to Christopher Columbus's discovery of La Española .)

So here comes Professor Warren -- white as Wonder Bread, the mattress in her Cambridge townhouse stuffed with 12 million big ones -- trying to rewrite the Spanish language because she thinks it's sexist. How she's made it this far in the primary is absolutely mind-boggling. She doesn't care about Hispanics, much less their culture. Like every employee of the modern education system, she's only interested in processing American citizens into gluten-free offal tubes of political correctness.

Of course, if one of her primary opponents or a cable news "Democratic strategist" (whatever that is) dared to say as much, they'd be hung, drawn, and quartered. Partisan Democrats have trained themselves not to think in such terms. That might not matter much if Mrs. Warren was facing Mitt Romney or John McCain in the general. But she's not. If she wins the primary, she'll be up against Donald Trump. And if you don't think he'll say all of this -- and a whole lot more -- you should apply for a job at CNN.


Very Funny Mr. President a day ago

... running against Mrs. Warren would be a walk in the park

Your imaginary Trump anti-Warren schtick might have worked in 2016, but boy does it come off as unfunny and stale in 2020. He's done too much damage. Not funny anymore. I voted for Trump. After all his betrayals, Warren could rip him to pieces just by standing next to him without saying a word. Her WASP reserve and Okie roots might even seem refreshing after our four-year long cesspool shower with this New York City creep.

Up North Very Funny Mr. President 11 hours ago • edited
Didn't vote for Trump, or Clinton for that matter, cast a protest Libertarian vote. In my red state it hardly matters, but the electoral college is another story. But observed long ago that indeed Warren is just what the author says, a too politically correct north east liberal who would be demolished in the presidential election against Trump. Only Biden or Klobuchar has a chance to unseat the orange man, or maybe better yet a Biden - Klobuchar ticket.
Great CoB Up North 6 hours ago
I've sometimes voted red and sometimes blue, but a Trump Vs Biden contest might well make me bored and disappointed enough to join you going libertarian.
cka2nd Up North 4 hours ago
If the Dems want to lose, Biden and Klobuchar would be a quick ticket to doing so. Warren would get the job done not much slower, unless she pivoted away from social issues.

To quote Phyllis Schlafly's advice to conservatives and the GOP, what the Dems need is "A choice, not an echo." Sanders is the closest the Dems have of offering the voters a real choice, and is the best option to defeat Trump. The D establishment will still pull out all the stops to try to block him, of course, because even they and their big donors would prefer a second Trump term over a New Deal liberal with a socialist gloss, but they may not succeed this time.

Lloyd Conway cka2nd 3 hours ago
Bernie and Tulsi are the most honest and interesting of the Democratic field, even though their politics generally aren't mine. Nonetheless, I wish them well, because they appear to say what they actually think, as opposed to whatever their operatives have focus-group tested.
Mediaistheenemy Up North 4 hours ago
Biden's corruption will come out in the general. We could write up articles of impeachment now. After all, Biden, did actually bribe the Ukraine. He said so himself. On video.
Great CoB Very Funny Mr. President 6 hours ago
I think Trump's unfortunately stronger now than he was in 2016. Clinton's attacks on him were painting him as an apocalyptic candidate who would bring America crashing down. By serving as president for 4 years with a mostly booming economy, Trump's proven them wrong. The corporate media will continue their hysterical attacks on him though, and that will boost his support. I think Hillary Clinton was more dislikeable back then than Warren is now, but Warren is probably even more out of touch. The others might also lose, but she really as a terrible candidate.
Mediaistheenemy Very Funny Mr. President 4 hours ago
What damage has Trump done, as opposed to the damage the media/Dems/deepstate's RESPONSE to Trump has done?
Trump has reduced illegal immigration with the expected subsequent increases in employment and wages, saved taxpayer 1 TRILLION dollars by withdrawing from the Paris accord, killed 2 leading terrorists (finally showing Iran that we aren't their bakshi boys), cut taxes, stood up for gun rights, reduced harmful governmental regulation, and appointed judges that will follow the law instead of feelings and popular culture.
He is also exposing the deep underbelly of the corrupt government in Washington, especially the coup organized between Obama, Hillary, the DNC, Brennan, Comey, Clapper and the hyperpartisan acts of the FBI, CIA, DOJ, IRS and now the GAO (unless you believe that the "non-partisan" GAO released their report which claimed Trump violated the law by holding up Ukranian funds for a few months within the same fiscal year on the same day Nancy forwarded the articles of impeachment by some amazing coincidence).
The problem isn't Trump. The problem is the liars opposing the existential threat Trump poses to the elitists who despise America.
John D 21 hours ago
Three years of Trump has made "academic elitist" look pretty appealing.
Mediaistheenemy John D 4 hours ago
To whom?
New Pres Please 19 hours ago
"For all my reservations about Mr. Trump -- his lagging commitment to
protectionism, his shafting of Amy Coney Barrett, his deportation of
Iraqi Christians, his burgeoning hawkishness, his total lack of
decorum -- he's infinitely preferable to anyone the Democrats could
nominate."

You gloss over a few dozen other failures, most of them bigger than anything you mention here (immigration, infrastructure, more mass surveillance and privacy violations by govt and corporations than even Obama).

Mediaistheenemy New Pres Please 4 hours ago
You realize that the progress Trump has made on immigration is why unemployment is down and wages are up, right?
Most Americans think that's a good thing.
Democrats, not so much.
Ray Woodcock 17 hours ago
I think I disliked the last thing I saw by Davis. Whatever. This one is better. Not perfect -- some of it is out of touch -- but he makes a case. And, sad to say, I concur with his prediction for the election, with or without Warren.
Maybe 14 hours ago
I'm starting to like her. I thought she handled herself well at the last debate. "Presidential". It's been quite a while since we had a real president. Too long.
cka2nd Maybe 4 hours ago
Forgive me, but Democratic voters put way too much store in presidents being Presidential. And they spent way too much time talking about Bush's verbal gaffes and Trump's disgusting personality to get Gore, Kerry or H. Clinton elected.
Angelo Bonilla 11 hours ago • edited
I am Hispanic and don't know anybody that call himself by that silly term "Latinx".
Connecticut Farmer Angelo Bonilla 9 hours ago
As the author wrote, it was invented by academics. One problem with the Democrat Party is that it is teeming with Professor Kingsfield types who are as much connected with the rest of the population as I am with aborigines.
Kevin Burke 10 hours ago
Finally someone said what most people think. Love the imagined Trump comments to Warren..."Relax. Put on a nice sweater, have a cup of tea, grade some papers." As i read those I heard Trump's unique way of speech and was laughing out loud. BTW...Tulsi Gabbard is such an attractive candidate...heard her interviewed on Tucker Carlson and I think could present a real challenge to Trump if she ever rose up to face him in a debate. It's curious someone like Warren shoots to the top, while she remains in the back of the line.
Mediaistheenemy Kevin Burke 3 hours ago
The media deliberately shut her down, just like they are shutting down Bernie. The DNC also doesn't like her (possibly because she resigned as cochair and is critical of Hillary) and seems to have chosen their debate criteria -which surveys they accept-in order to shut her out. I liked her up until she objected to taking out Soleimani-a known terrorist in the middle of a war zone planning attacks on US assets.
Sorry, Trump was spot on in this attack. Tulsi was completely wrong. However, she is honest, experienced, knowledgeable and not psychotic, a refreshing change from the other Dem Presidential candidates. If you haven't figured out yet that CNN is basically the media arm of Warren's campaign, you haven't been paying attention. That is how Warren continues to poll reasonably well.
wakeupmorons 10 hours ago • edited
These arguments amaze me. "Since your candidate is too school marmy, or elitist, or (insert usual democrat insult here), you're giving the electorate no choice but to vote for the most corrupt, openly racist, sexist, psychologically lying, dangerously mentally deranged imbecile in the country".

Because rather than an educated person who maybe comes off as an elitist, we'd rather have a disgusting deplorable who no sane parent would allow in the same room with their daughter.

Lol, and yet writers like this don't even realize the insanity of what they're saying, which is basically "that bagel is 2 days old, so I have choice but to eat this steaming pile of dog crap instead".

Connecticut Farmer wakeupmorons 8 hours ago
"Because rather than an educated person who maybe comes off as an elitist, we'd rather have a disgusting deplorable who no sane parent would allow in the same room with their daughter."

No need for the ad hominem, you are overstating your case. Remember, Trump is "educated" too. And a card-carrying member of the elite. Leave us not kid ourselves, they're all "elites" of one stripe or another. It only matters which stripe we prefer, meaning of course whether they are saying what we want to hear. Of all of the candidates, the only one who does not come off as an "elite" is Tulsi Gabbard, an intelligent woman who is arguably the most interesting of all the candidates--in part because of her active military service. I'd even throw in Andrew Yang, a friendly, engaging person who didn't seem to have an ax to grind. It matters not. Yang is out of the picture and Gabbard has as much of a crack at the Democratic nomination in 2020 as Rand Paul had at the Republican nomination in 2016--essentially zero.

wakeupmorons Connecticut Farmer 8 hours ago
Lol trump is educated too? You've lose all credibility with such comical false equivalencies.

Trump is an absolute imbecile who has failed up his entire life thanks to daddy's endless fortune. If he we born Donald Smith he'd be pumping gas in Jersey, or in jail as a low life con man.

David Naas wakeupmorons 7 hours ago
While I find myself shocked to be found defending anything Trumpean, in all fairness, he is a college grad-u-ate (shades of Lily Tomlin). The value, depth, or scope of his degree may be in question, but he does possess a sheep-skin, and hence must be considered "educated". If one wants to demean his "education" because of his personality, one must also demean a rather broad segment of college grad-u-ates as well.
Connecticut Farmer wakeupmorons 7 hours ago
He graduated from Penn's Wharton School of Business, ergo he is educated. Because a person doesn't hold the same political beliefs as another doesn't mean they can't be "educated." Liz Warren may not hold the same political beliefs as I, but I cannot argue that she isn't educated.
wakeupmorons Connecticut Farmer 6 hours ago
Lol wow, well I'd say it's hilarious that anyone can be so naive to actually think a compete imbecile like trump, who so clearly has never read a book in his life, actually earned his way into college; let alone actually studied and earned a degree.....but then I remember this country is obviously filled with people this remarkable gullible and stupid, as this walking SNL sketch is actually President.
cka2nd wakeupmorons 4 hours ago
I actually think you are spot on in your assessment of what Trump would have become if he wasn't born to money, but you really are behaving like exactly that kind of Democratic voter who gets more exorcised by Trump's personal faults than by his policy ones, the kind of Democrats who couldn't get Al Gore, John Kerry and Hilary Clinton elected.
Mediaistheenemy cka2nd 3 hours ago
Really. You think someone that managed to become President of the United States with no political or military experience would have failed at life if he hadn't had a wealthy father. You really believe that. You don't think any of Trump's success and accomplishments are due to his ambition, drive, energy, determination, executive skills, ruthlessness or media savvy. It was all due to his having a rich father.
Fascinating.
wakeupmorons Mediaistheenemy 3 hours ago • edited
Trump has had no success. He's failed at everything he's ever done. You obviously just know nothing about his actual life, and believe the made up reality TV bullshit.

The only thing he's good at is playing a rich successful man on TV to really, really, stupid, unread, unworldly, naive people....well that and giving racists white nationalists, the billionaire owner class, sexists, bigots, and deplorables, a political home.

cka2nd Mediaistheenemy 2 hours ago
I think Trump is and would have been, sans his father's wealth, one hell of a con man. And I hope to God that he would have ended up in jail for it rather than running a private equity fund, but the latter would have been just as likely.

However, I should have made that distinction in my original comment. No, I do not think that Trump would have ended up a gas station attendant.

wakeupmorons cka2nd 2 hours ago • edited
It's very hard for me to understand how anyone could be so, shall we say sheltered, that they couldn't see him coming a mile away and laugh their ass off.

He's so bad, so transparent with his obvious lies and self aggrandizing, so clearly ignorant and unread and trying to fake it, he's literally like a cartoon's funny over the top version of an idiot con man. I'll never understand how anyone could ever be fooled by it.

In fact sometimes I think 90% of his base isn't fooled, they know he's a joke, but they just don't care. He gives them the white nationalist hate and rhetoric they want, makes "liberals cry", and that all they care about.

It's a lot easier for me to believe THAT then so many people can actually be so stupid and gullible.

wakeupmorons cka2nd 2 hours ago
Say what? What policies? The trillion dollar hand out to the richest corporations in the world, double the deficit? His mind blowing disastrous foreign policy decisions that have done nothing but empowered Russia, Iran and North Korea while destabilizing western alliances? The trade wars that have cost fairness and others billions (forcing taxpayers to bail them out with tens of millions of dollars)? The xenophobia, separating and caging children? Stoking violence and hate and anger among his white nationalist base? His attacks on women reproductive rights? His attacks on all of our democratic institutions, from our free press to our intelligence agencies and congressional oversights?

A pathologically lying racist sexist self serving criminal is enough to disqualify this miscreant from being dog catcher, let alone president. But his policies are even worse.

CrossTieWalker wakeupmorons 2 hours ago
You don't seem to know that the University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League school, or what the Wharton School of Business actually is. Imbeciles do not graduate from the Wharton School.
Mediaistheenemy wakeupmorons 3 hours ago
You think Trump won the US Presidency as his first elected office by being an imbecile?
Interesting "analysis".
wakeupmorons Mediaistheenemy 3 hours ago
Lol, trump is an imbecile, that's not even debatable. What amazes the rest of the entire civilized world outside of the batshit fringe 20% of Americans who make up the Republican voting base is how anyone could possible be conned by such a cartoonish idiot wanna be con man.

It's truly something sane people can't even begin to wrap their heads around.

Tony55398 9 hours ago
Pocahontas speak with forked tongue.
Lloyd Conway 9 hours ago
The Dowager Countess (Downton Abbey, for the un-initiated) nailed her type. In referring to her do-gooder cousin Mrs. Isobel Crawley, she said: "Some people run on greed, lust, even love. She runs on indignation." That sums up Warren perfectly.
I'll take it one step further. I bought one of her books, on the 'two-income trap' and how middle-class families go to the wall to get into good school districts for their children. She and her co-author make some valid points, but the book is replete with cliches about men abandoning their families and similar leftist tropes. If that's the best Harvard Law Warren has to offer, she's not as sharp as she thinks she is, and a bully like Trump will school her fast.
David Naas Lloyd Conway 7 hours ago
Perhaps he would use "Harvard Law Liz" as an epithet?
Lloyd Conway David Naas 3 hours ago • edited
Maybe. Perhaps she'll coin 'Wharton Hog' for the POTUS - or try correcting his English during one of the debates.
Stephen Gould 8 hours ago
Evidently Mr Davis dislikes Warren because of her personal style - but all of Trump's substantive (or even, substance...) issues are acceptable. How shallow of him.
Mediaistheenemy Stephen Gould 3 hours ago
I think he also dislikes her fundamental dishonesty and completely unworkable policies, but I may be projecting.
Stephen Gould Mediaistheenemy 2 hours ago
But those he did not mention in his article. And surely nobody thinks that Warren is more dishonest than Trump?
Tim 7 hours ago
I can't say the two of us exactly line up on everything. But, like Wow: "gluten-free offal tubes of political correctness." Now that's funny! Wish I'd thought of it.
Osse 7 hours ago • edited
I liked Warren until this attempt to stab Bernie in the back plus that childish refusal to shake his hand on national TV. I still don't dislike her, but that was embarrassing. She definitely has character flaws.

But this piece goes over the top. It's Trumpian. Warren certainly has flaws but if you are going to judge a politician by their character, in what universe would Trump come out on top?

Mediaistheenemy Osse 3 hours ago
Better than Warren.
The problem with affirmative action is when you abuse it, as Warren did, you actually rob a genuine minority from a genuine disadvantaged background of their chance.
Warren deliberately misrepresented herself as a Native American, solely for career advancement, and then abandoned her fake identity once she got tenure at Harvard. There was another woman who was an actual minority that had a teaching appointment at Harvard, but Warren beat her out, using her false claims of minority heritage to overcome her competition's actual minority status.
Trump competes on his own.
wakeupmorons Osse 2 hours ago
There what's funny about these arguments. They're basically saying, "your candidate has some flaws, she's very school marmy, and thinks she knows everything."

"Therefore, OBVIOUSLY people have no choice but to instead vote for the raging imbecile, the pathologically lying, corrupt to his core, racist, morally bankrupt, sexist imbecile with the literal temperament of of an emotionally troubled 10 year old."

Lol, and they're serious!

David Naas 7 hours ago
What unpleasant memories Mister Davis has elicited - - - i once had a schoolmarm like that. (Shudder)

It is, however, disturbing that Davis has almost captured the style of Trumptweets. The give-away is a shade more literacy and better grammar in Davis' offerings.

But what of the possibility, as suggested above, that Trump loses to Biden or (Generic Democratic candidate)?

As I tell my liberal friends, the country survived eight years of Priapic Bill, eight years of Dubya and Dubyaer, eight years of BHO, and after four years of Trump is yet standing, however drunkenly.

I think, contra many alarmists, the Republic is much stronger than the average pundit or combox warrior gives it credit.

And, who knows? Maybe the outrage pornography we get from Tweeting birdies will grow stale and passe, and people will yearn for more civil discourse? (Not likely, but one never knows.)

Night King 7 hours ago
I think she's already died and been reincarnated as Greta Thunberg.
Liam781 7 hours ago • edited
Someone hasn't lived that long in Massachusetts, it would seem. "Massachusettsian" is not the word the writer is looking for. It's "Bay Stater".

Likewise, for Connecticut residents, use "Nutmegger" rather than some (always wrong) derivative of the state name.

Michael Warren Davis Liam781 6 hours ago
I refuse to use "Bay Stater" for the same reason I dislike being called "Mike": nicknames are irritating, unless they're outlandish, like "Beanie" or "Boko" or "Buttigieg."

Massachusetts is a beautiful name -- slow and smooth, like the Merrimack. "Massachusettsian" adds a little skip at the end, as the river crashes into the Atlantic at Newburyport. It's the perfect demonym.

Speaking of, I was born and spent the first 18 years of my life in Massachusetts -- about 10 minutes outside Newburyport, where my great-great-something grandparents lived when the Revolution broke out. I don't know how much further back the family tree goes in Mass., but probably further than yours.

Liam781 Michael Warren Davis 5 hours ago • edited
Good luck with that utter nonsense word, then. Bay Stater is not a nickname - it's the longstanding term (and, for some reason, the Massachusetts General Court also blessed it legislatively), from long before my folk lived in New England since the mid-19th century (Connecticut and Massachusetts - hence my reference to Nutmeggers, as my parents made quite clear to us that there were no such things as Connecticutters or Massachusetters or the like and not to go around sounding like fools using the like.)

https://malegislature.gov/L...

Of course, I'd like to recover the old usage of the Eastern States to refer to New England. Right now, its sole prominent residue is the Big E in Springfield....

[Jan 21, 2020] Iran, Trump, and the neoliberal/neoconservative compact by Bill Martin

Notable quotes:
"... In the larger global picture, if the U.S. is to find its own balance in the contemporary world, Friedman argues that the seemingly-endless instability in the Middle East is the first and foremost problem that must be solved. Iran is a major problem here, but so is Israel, and Friedman argues that the US must find the path toward "quietly distanc[ing] itself from Israel" (p.6). ..."
"... This course of action regarding Iran and Israel (and other actors in the Muslim world, including Pakistan and Turkey) is, in Friedman's geopolitical perspective, not so much a matter of supporting U.S. global hegemony as it is recognizing the larger course that the U.S. will be compelled to take. ..."
"... So, it's back to Plan A for the Democrats and the "Left" that would be laughably absurd if it wasn't so reactionary, to get the neoliberal/ neoconservative endless-war agenda back on track, so that the march toward Iran can continue sooner rather than later. For now, the more spectacular the failure of this impeachment nonsense, the better! ..."
Jan 19, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Let's be clear, there is a difference between substituting geopolitical power calculations for a universal perspective on the good of humanity, and, on the other hand, recognizing that the existing layout of the world has to be taken into account in attempts to open up a true politics. (My larger perspective on the problem of "opening" is presented in the long essay, "The Fourth Hypothesis," at counterpunch.org.)

Personally, I find the geopolitical analyses of George Friedman very much worthwhile to consider, especially when he is looking at things long-range, as in his books The Next 100 Years and The Next Decade. The latter was published at the beginning of 2012, and so we are coming to the close of the ten-year period that Friedman discusses.

One of the major arguments that Friedman makes in The Next Decade is that the United States will have to reach some sort of accommodation with Iran and its regional ambitions. The key to this, Friedman argues, is to bring about some kind of balance of power again, such as existed before Iraq was torn apart.

This is the key in general to continued U.S. hegemony in the world, in Friedman's view -- regional balances that keep regional powers tied up and unable to rise on the world stage. (An especially interesting example here is that Friedman says that Poland will be built up as a bulwark between Russia and Germany.)

In the larger global picture, if the U.S. is to find its own balance in the contemporary world, Friedman argues that the seemingly-endless instability in the Middle East is the first and foremost problem that must be solved. Iran is a major problem here, but so is Israel, and Friedman argues that the US must find the path toward "quietly distanc[ing] itself from Israel" (p.6).

This course of action regarding Iran and Israel (and other actors in the Muslim world, including Pakistan and Turkey) is, in Friedman's geopolitical perspective, not so much a matter of supporting U.S. global hegemony as it is recognizing the larger course that the U.S. will be compelled to take.

(As the founder, CEO, and "Chief Intelligence Officer" of Stratfor, Friedman aimed to provide "non-ideological" strategic intelligence. My understanding of "non-ideological" is that the analysis was not formulated to suit the agendas of the two mainstream political parties in the U.S. However, my sense is that Friedman does believe that U.S. global hegemony is on the whole good for the world.)

In his book that came out before The Next Decade (2011), The Next 100 Years (2009), Friedman makes the case that the U.S. will not be seriously challenged globally for decades to come -- in fact, all the way until about 2080!

Just to give a different spin to something I said earlier, and that I've tried to emphasize in my articles since March 2016: questions of mere power are not questions of politics. Geopolitics is not politics, either -- in my terminology, it is "anti-politics."

For my part, I am not interested in supporting U.S. hegemony, not in the present and not in the future, and for the most part not in the past, either.

For the moment, let us simply say that the historical periods of the U.S. that are more supportable -- because they make some contribution, however flawed, to the greater, universal, human project -- are either from before the U.S. entered the road of seeking to compete with other "great powers" on the world stage, or quite apart from this road.

In my view, the end of U.S. global hegemony and, for that matter, the end of any "great nation-state" global hegemony, is a condition sine qua non of a human future that is just and sustainable. So, again, the brilliance that George Friedman often brings to geopolitical analysis is to be understood in terms of a coldly-realistic perspective, not a warmly-normative one.)

Of course, this continued U.S. hegemony depends on certain "wise" courses of action being taken by U.S. leaders (Friedman doesn't really get into the question of what might be behind these leaders), including a "subtle" approach to the aforementioned questions of Israel and Iran.

Obviously, anything associated with Donald Trump is not going to be overly subtle! On the other hand, here we are almost at the end of Friedman's decade, so perhaps the time for subtlety has passed, and the U.S. is compelled to be a bit heavy-handed if there is to be any chance of extricating itself from the endless quagmire.

However, there's a certain fly, a rather large one, in the ointment that seems to have eluded Friedman's calculations: "the rise of China."

It isn't that Friedman avoids the China question, not at all; Friedman argues, however, that by 2020 China will not only not be contending with the United States to have the largest economy in the world, but instead that China will fragment, perhaps even devolve into civil war, because of deep inequalities between the relatively prosperous coastal urban areas, and the rural interior.

Certainly I know from study, and many conversations with people in China, this was a real concern going into the 2010s and in the first half of the decade.

The chapter dealing with all this in The Next 100 Years (Ch. 5) is titled, "China 2020: Paper Tiger," the latter term being one that Chairman Mao used regarding U.S. imperialism. Friedman writes of another "figure like Mao emerg[ing] to close the country off from the outside, [to] equalize the wealth -- or poverty " (p.7).

Being an anti-necessitarian in philosophy, I certainly believe anything can happen in social matters, but it seems as though President Xi Jinping and the current leadership of the Communist Party of China have, at least for the time being, managed to head off fragmentation at the pass, so to speak.

Friedman argued that the "pass" that China especially had to deal with is unsustainable growth rates; but it appears that China has accomplished this, by purposely slowing its economy down.

One of the things that Friedman is especially helpful with, in his larger geopolitical analysis, is understanding the role that naval power plays in sustaining U.S. hegemony. (In global terms, such power is what keeps the neoliberal "free market" running, and this power is far from free.)

*

... ... ...

Two of the best supporters of Trump's stated agenda are Tucker Carlson and Steve Hilton. Neither of them pull any punches on this issue when it comes to Republicans, and both of them go some distance beyond Trump in stating an explicitly anti-war agenda.

They perhaps do not entirely fit the mold of leftist anti-imperialism as it existed from the 1890s through the Sixties (as in the political decade, perhaps 1964-1974 or so) and 1970s, but they do in fact fit this mold vastly better than almost any major figure of the Democratic Party, with the possible exceptions of Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and Andrew Yang. (But none of them has gone as far as Trump on this question!)

Certainly Elizabeth Warren is no exception, and at the moment of this writing she has made the crucial turn toward sticking the knife back into Bernie's back. That is her job, in my view, and part of it is to seem close to Bernie's positions (whatever their defects, which I'll discuss elsewhere), at least the ones that are more directly "economic," while winking at the ruling class.

There are a few things Carlson and Hilton say on the Iran situation and the Middle East in general that I don't agree with. But in the main I think both are right on where these issues are concerned.

As I've quoted Carlson a number of times previously, and as I also want to put forward Hilton as an important voice for a politics subservient to neither the liberal nor the conservative establishments, here let me quote what Hilton said in the midst of the Iran crisis, on January 5, 2020:

The best thing America can do to put the Middle East on a path that leads to more democracy, less terrorism, human rights and economic growth is to get the hell out of there while showing an absolute crystal clear determination to defend American interests with force whenever they are threatened.

That doesn't mean not doing anything, it means intervening only in ways that help America.

It means responding only to attacks on Americans disproportionately as a deterrent, just as we saw this week and it means finally accepting that it's not our job to fix the Middle East from afar.

The only part of this I take exception to is the "intervening only in ways that help America"-bit -- that opens the door to exactly the kinds of problems that Hilton wants the U.S. to avoid, besides the (to me, more important) fact that it is just morally wrong to think it is acceptable to intervene if it is in one's "interests."

My guess is that Hilton thinks that there is some built-in utilitarian or pragmatic calculus that means the morally-problematic interventions will not occur. I do not see where this has ever worked, but more importantly, this is where philosophy is important, theoretical work and abstract thinking are important.

It used to be that the Left was pretty good at this sort of thing, and there were some thoughtful conservatives who weren't bad, either. (A decent number of the latter, significantly, come from the Catholic intellectual tradition.) Now there are still a few of the latter, and there are ordinary people who are "thoughtful conservatives" in their "unschooled way" -- which is often better! -- but the Left has sold its intellectual soul along with its political soul.

That's a story for elsewhere (I have told parts of it in previous articles in this series); the point here is that the utilitarianism and "pragmatism" of merely calculating interests is not nearly going to cut it. (I have partly gone into this here because Hilton also advocates "pragmatism" in his very worthwhile book, Positive Populism -- it is the "affirmative" other side to Tucker Carlson's critical, "negative" expose, Ship of Fools.)

The wonderful philosophical pragmatism of William James is another matter; this is important because James, along with his friend Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), were leading figures of the Anti-Imperialist League back in the 1890s, when the U.S. establishment was beating the drums loudly to get into the race with Europeans for colonies.

They were for never getting "in" -- and of course they were not successful, which is why "get the hell out" is as important as anything people can say today.

What an insane world when the U.S. president says this and the political establishment opposes him, and "progressives" and "the Left" join in with the denunciations!

It has often been argued that the major utilitarian philosophers, from Bentham and Mill to Peter Singer, have implicit principles that go beyond the utilitarian calculus; I agree with this, and I think this is true of Steve Hilton as well.

In this light, allow me to quote a little more from the important statement he made on his Fox News Channel program, "The Next Revolution," on January 5; all of this is stuff I entirely agree with, and that expresses some very good principles:

The West's involvement in the Middle East has been a disaster from the start and finally, with President Trump, America is in a position to bring it to an end. We don't need their oil and we don't need their problems.

Finally, we have a U.S. president who gets that and wants to get out. There are no prospects for Middle East peace as long as we are there.

We're never going to defeat the ideology of Islamist terror as long as these countries are basket cases and one of the reasons they are basket cases is that our preposterous foreign policy establishment with monumental arrogance have treated the middle east like some chess game played out in the board rooms in Washington and London.

– [foxnews.com, transcribed by Yael Halon]

So then there is the usual tittering about this and that regarding Carlson and Hilton from liberal and progressive Democrats and leftists who support the Democrats, and it seems to me that there is one major reason why there is this foolish tittering: It is because these liberals and leftists really don't care about, for example, the destruction of Libya, or the murder of Berta Caceres.

Or, maybe they do care, but they have convinced themselves that these things have to swept under the rug in the name of defeating the pure evil of Trump. What this amounts to, in the "nationalist" discourse, is that Trump is some kind of nationalist (as he has said numerous times), perhaps of an "isolationist" sort, while the Democrats are in fact what can be called "nationalists of the neoliberal/neoconservative compact."

My liberal and leftist friends (some of them Maoists and post-Maoists and Trotskyists or some other kinds of Marxists or purported radicals -- feminists or antifa or whatever) just cannot see, it simply appears to be completely beyond the realm of their imaginations, that the latter kind of nationalism is much worse and qualitatively worse than what Trump represents, and it completely lacks the substantial good elements of Trump's agenda.

But hey, don't worry my liberal and leftist friends, it is hard to imagine that Joe Biden's "return to normalcy" won't happen at some point -- it will take not only an immense movement to even have a chance of things working out otherwise, but a movement that likes of which is beyond everyone's imagination at this point -- a movement of a revolutionary politics that remains to be invented, as all real politics are, by the masses.

Liberals and leftists have little to worry about here, they're okay with a Deep State society with a bullshit-democratic veneer and a neoliberal world order; this set-up doesn't really affect them all that much, not negatively at any rate, and the deplorables can just go to hell.

*

The Left I grew up with was the Sixties Left, and they used to be a great source of historical memory, and of anti-imperialism, civil rights, and ordinary working-people empowerment.

The current Left, and whatever array of Democratic-Party supporters, have received their marching orders, finally, from commander Pelosi (in reality, something more like a lieutenant), so the two weeks or so of "immense concern" about Iran has given way again to the extraordinarily-important and solemn work of impeachment.

But then, impeachment is about derailing the three main aspects of Trump's agenda, so you see how that works. Indeed, perhaps the way this is working is that Trump did in fact head off, whatever one thinks of the methods, a war with Iran (at this time! – and I do think this is but a temporary respite), or more accurately, a war between Iran and Israel that the U.S. would almost certainly be sucked into immediately.

So, it's back to Plan A for the Democrats and the "Left" that would be laughably absurd if it wasn't so reactionary, to get the neoliberal/ neoconservative endless-war agenda back on track, so that the march toward Iran can continue sooner rather than later. For now, the more spectacular the failure of this impeachment nonsense, the better!

Bill Martin is a philosopher and musician, retired from DePaul University. He is completing a book with the title, "The Trump Clarification: Disruption at the Edge of the System (toward a theory)." His most recent albums are "Raga Chaturanga" (Bill Martin + Zugzwang; Avant-Bass 3) and "Emptiness, Garden: String Quartets nos. 1 and 2 (Ryokucha Bass Guitar Quartet; Avant-Bass 4). He lives in Salina, Kansas, and plays bass guitar with The Radicles.


Dungroanin ,

I have read through finally. And comments too.

My opinion is Bill Martin is on the ball except for one personage- Hilton. If he is Camerons Hilton and architect of the Brexit referendum – for which he is rewarded with a 'seat at the table' of the crumbling Empire. The Strafor man too is just as complicit in the Empires wickedness.

But I'll let Bill off with that because he mentioned the Anti-Imperialist Mark Twain – always a joy to be reminded of Americas Dickens.

On Trump – he didn't use the Nuclear codes 10 minutes after getting them as warned by EVERYONE. Nor start a war with RocketMan, or Russia in Syria, or in Ukraine or with the Chinese using the proxy Uighars, or push through with attempted Bay of Pigs in Venezuela or just now Hong Kong. The Wall is not built and the ineffectual ripoff Obamacare version of a NHS is still there.
Judge by deeds not words.

Soleimani aside – He may have stopped the drive for war. Trumps direct contact with fellow world leaders HAS largely bypassed the war mongering State Department and also the Trillion dollar tax free Foundations set up last century to deliver the world Empire, that has so abused the American peoples and environment. He probably wasn't able to stop Bolivia.
The appointments of various players were not necessarily in his hands as Assad identified- the modern potus is merely a CEO/Chair of a board of directors who are put into place by the special interests who pour billions, 10's of billions into getting their politicians elected. They determine 'National Interests'. All he can do is accept their appointment and give them enough rope to hang themselves – which most have done!
These are that fight clubs rules.

On the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation – after 20 full years of working towards cohesion- they have succeeded. Iran is due to become a full member – once it is free of UN sanctions, which is why Trump was forced into pulling the treaty with them, so that technicality could stop that membership. China is not having it nor is Russia – Putins clear statement re the 'international rules' not being mandatory for them dovetails with the US position of Exceptionality. Checkmate.

As for the Old Robber Baron Banker Pirates idea that they should be allowed a Maritime Empire as consolation- ha ha ha, pull the other one.

The ancient sea trading routes from Africa to China were active for thousands of years before the Europeans turned up and used unequal power to disrupt and pillage at their hearts content.

What made that possible was of course explained in the brilliant Guns, Germs and Steel.

These ancients have ALL these and are equal or advanced in all else including Space, Comms and AI. A navy is not so vital when even nuclear subs are visible from low orbit satellites except in the deepest trenches – not a safe place to hide for months and also pretty crowded with all the other subs trying to hide there. As for Aircraft carrier groups – just build an island! Diego Garcia has a rival.

Double Checkmate.

The Empire is Dead. Long live the Empire.

Dungroanin ,

And this is hilarious about potus turning the tables on the brass who tried to drag him into the 'tank'.

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/01/the-betrayal-of-trump-by-larry-c-johnson.html

'Grab the damn fainting couch. Trump told the assembled military leaders who had presided over a military stalemate in Afghanistan and the rise of ISIS as "losers." Not a one of them had the balls to stand up, tell him to his face he was wrong and offer their resignation. Nope. They preferred to endure such abuse in order to keep their jobs. Pathetic.

This excerpt in the Washington Post tells the reader more about the corruption of the Deep State and their mindset than it does about Trump's so-called mental state. Trump acted no differently in front of these senior officers and diplomats than he did on the campaign trail. He was honest. That is something the liars in Washington cannot stomach. '

Rhys Jaggar ,

I am not an expert on US Constitutional Law, but is there any legal mechanism for a US President to hold a Referendum in the way that the UK held a 'Brexit Referendum' and Scotland held an 'Independence Referendum'?

How would a US Referendum in 'Getting the hell out of the Middle East, bringing our boys and girls home before the year is out' play out, I wonder?

That takes the argument away from arch hawks like Bolton et al and puts it firmly in the ambit of Joe Schmo of Main Street, Oshkosh

wardropper ,

Great idea.
Main problem is that most Americans are brought up to think their government is separate from themselves, and should not be seriously criticized.
By "criticized", I mean, taken to task in a way which actually puts them on a playing field where they are confronted by real people.
Shouting insults at the government from the rooftops is simply greeted with indulgent smiles from the guilty elite.

Richard Le Sarc ,

George Friedman is a bog standard Zionist, therefore, out of fear, a virulent Sinophobe, because the Zionists will never control China as they do the Western slave regimes. China surpassed the USA as the world' s largest economy in 2014, on the PPP calculus that the CIA,IMF and just about everyone uses. It' s growing three times as fast as the USA, too. The chance of China fragmenting by 2020 is minuscule, certainly far less than that of the USA. The Chinese have almost totally eliminated poverty, and will raise the living standard of all to a ' middle income' by 2049. It is, however, the genocidal policy of the USA, on which it expend billions EVERY year, to do its diabolical worst to attempt to foment and foster such a hideous fate inside China, by supporting vermin like the Hong Kong fascist thugs, the Uighur salafist terrorist butchers, the medieval theocrats of the Dalai clique and separatist movements in Inner Mongolia, ' Manchuria', Taiwan, even Guandong and Guangxi. It takes a real Western thug to look forward to the ghastly suffering that these villainous ambitions would unleash.

Antonym ,

In RlS's nut shell: China can annex area but Israel: no way!

Dungroanin ,

Which area is China looking to annex?

Richard Le Sarc ,

Ant is a pathological Zionist liar, but you can see his loyalty to ' Eretz Yisrael' , ' ..from the Nile to the Euphrates', and ' cleansed' of non-Jews, can' t you.

alsdkjf ,

I'm surprised that this author can even remember the counter culture of the 60s given his Trump love.

Yet more Trumpism from Off Guardian. One doesn't have to buy into the politics of post DLC corporate owned DNC to know Trump for what he is. A fascist.

It's just amazing this Trump "left". Pathetic.

Antonym ,

Trump .. better than HRC but the guy is totally hypnotized by the level of the New York stock exchanges: even his foreign policy is improvised around that. He simply thinks higher is a proof of better forgetting that 90% of Americans don't own serious quantity of stock and that levels are manipulated by big players and the FED. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/08/business/economy/stocks-economy.html

Look at his dealing with China: tough as much as the US stock market stays benign in the short term. Same for Iran etc.

Sure, he is crippled by Pelosi & the FBI / CIA, but he is also by his own stock dependent mind. Might be the reason he is still alive ???

alsdkjf ,

Trump crippled by the CIA? Trump?

I mean the fascist jerk appointed ex CIA torture loving Pompeo to replace swamp creature oil tycoon as Secretary of State, no?

He appointed torture queen within the CIA to become CIA Director, no?

He went to the CIA headquarters on day one of his Administration to lavish praise, no?

He took on ex CIA Director Woolsey as advisor on foreign policy during his campaign, no?

I tell ya that Trump is a real adversary of the CIA!

Gall ,

Roger that. Trump appoints a dominatrix as DCI. Only a masochist or a sadist would Dream of Gina..you know the head of the torture squad under Bush. Otherwise nice girl. PompAss is a total clown but a dangerous one who even makes John Bolton look sane. Now that's scary!

This guy is Hilary Clinton in drag. The only thing missing is the evil triumphalist cackle after whacking Soleimani. Maybe it wasn't recorded.

So much for "draining the swamp". The Whitehouse has become an even bigger swamp.

Antonym ,

Forgot about John Brennan ex- CIA head or James Clapper ex-DNI honcho?
John Brennan On 'All Roads With Trump Lead To Putin' | The Last Word | MSNBC
They practically too Trump hostage in his first year.

one ,

my take from this article:
There are, among the murderers and assassins in Washington, a couple of characters who appear to have 2% of human DNA.
They author may confirm.

two ,

"israel is right in the cen "
sorry, the muderous regime israel has repeatedly proven, it's never never right . please avoid this usage.

three ,

There are 53 or 54 'I's in the article, including his partner's Is. The author may confirm.

Dungroanin ,

Phew!

That is a lot of words mate. Fingers must be sore. I won't comment more until trying to re-read again except quote this:

"Being an anti-necessitarian in philosophy,.."

I must say i had a wtf moment at that point see ya later.

paul ,

The idea that Trump's recent actions in the Middle East were part of some incredibly cunning plan to avoid war with Iran, strikes me as somewhat implausible, to put it (very) charitably.

Even Hitler didn't want war. He wanted to achieve his objectives without fighting. When that didn't work, war was Plan B. Trump probably has very little actual control over foreign policy. He is surrounded by people who have been plotting and scheming against him from long before he was elected. He heads a chaotic and dysfunctional administration of billionaires, chancers, grifters, conmen, superannuated generals, religious nut jobs, swamp creatures, halfwits and outright criminals, lurching from one crisis and one fiasco to the next. Some of these people like Bolton were foisted upon him by Adelson and various other backers and wire pullers, but that is not to absolve Trump of personal responsibility.

Competing agencies which are a law unto themselves have been free to pursue their own turf wars at the expense of anything remotely resembling a rational and coherent strategy. So have quite low level bureaucrats, formulating and implementing their own policies with little regard for the White House. In Syria, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the State Department went their own way, each supporting competing and mutually antagonistic factions and terrorist groups. Agreements that were reached with Russia over Syria, for example, were deliberately sabotaged by Ashton Carter in 24 hours. Likewise, Bolton did everything he could to wreck Trump's delicate negotiations with N. Korea.

paul ,

Seen in this light, US policy (or the absence of any coherent policy) is more understandable. What passes for US leadership is the worst in its history, even given a very low bar. Arrogant, venal, corrupt, delusional, irredeemably ignorant, and ideologically driven. The only positive thing that can be said is that the alternative (Clinton) would probably have been even worse, if that is possible.

That may also be the key to understanding the current situation. For all his pandering to Israel, Trump is more of a self serving unprincipled opportunist than a true Neocon/ Zionist believer in the mould of Pence, Bolton and Pompeo. For that reason he is not trusted by the Zionist Power Elite. He is too much of a loose cannon. They will take all his Gives, like Jerusalem and the JCPOA, but without any gratitude.

It has taken them a century of plotting, scheming and manoeuvring to achieve their political, financial, and media stranglehold over the US. but America is a wasting asset and they are under time pressure. It is visibly declining and losing its influence. And the parasite will find it difficult to find a similar host. Who else is going to give Israel billions a year in tribute, unlimited free weaponry and diplomatic cover? Russia? Are Chinese troops "happy to die for Israel" asUS ones are (according to their general)?

paul ,

And they are way behind schedule. Assad was supposed to be dead by now, and Syria another defenceless failed state, broken up into feuding little cantons, with Israel expanding into the south of the country. The main event, the war with Iran, should have started lond ago.

That is the reason for the impeachment circus. This is not intended to be resolved one way or the other. It is intended to drag on indefinitely, for months and years, to distract and weaken Trump and make it possible to extract what they want. One of the reasons Trump agreed to the murder of Soleimani and his Iraqi opposite number was to appease some Republican senators like Graham whose support is essential to survive impeachment. They were the ones who wanted it, along with Bolton and Netanyahu.

paul ,

It is instructive that all the main players in the impeachment circus are Jews, under Sanhedrin Chief Priests Schiff and Nadler, apart from a few token goys thrown in to make up the numbers. That even goes for those defending Trump.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Don' t forget that Lebanon up to the Litani is the patrimony of the Jewish tribes of Asher and Naphtali, and, as Smotrich, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, said on Israeli TV a few years ago, ' Damascus belongs to the Jews'.

bevin ,

" China will fragment, perhaps even devolve into civil war, because of deep inequalities between the relatively prosperous coastal urban areas, and the rural interior."

This is not Bill, but Bill's mate the Stratcor geopolitical theorist for hire.

What is happening in the world is that the only empire the globe, as a whole, has ever seen- the pirate kingdom that the Dutch, then the British and finally the US, leveraged out of the plunder and conquest of America -the maritime empire, of sea routes and navies is under challenge by a revival of the Eurasian proto-empires that preceded it and drove its merchants and princes on the Atlantic coast, to sea.

We know who the neo-liberals are the current iteration of the gloomy philosophies of the Scots Enlightenment, (Cobbett's 'Scotch Feelosophy') utilitarianism in its crudest form and the principles of necessary inequalities, from the Austrian School back to the various crude racisms which became characteristic of the C19th.
The neo-cons are the latest expression of the maritime powers' fear of Eurasia and its interior lines of communication. Besides which the importance of navies and of maritime agility crumble.
Bill mentions that China has not got much of a navy. I'm not so sure about that, but isn't it becoming clear that navies-except to shipyards, prostitutes and arms contractors- are no longer of sovereign importance? There must be missile commanders in China drooling over the prospect of catching a US Fleet in all its glory within 500 miles of the mainland. Not to mention on the east coast of the Persian Gulf.
The neo-cons are the last in a long line of strategists, ideologists and, for the most part, mercenary publicists defying the logic of Halford Mackinder's geo-strategy for a lot more than a penny a line. And what they urge, is all that they can without crossing the line from deceitfulness to complete dishonesty: chaos and destabilisation within Eurasia, surrounding Russia, subverting Sinkiang and Tibet, employing sectarian guerrillas, fabricating nationalists and nationalisms.. recreate the land piracy, the raiding and the ethnic explosions that drove trade from the land to the sea and crippled the Qing empire.
The clash is between war, necessary to the Maritime Empire and Peace, vital to the consolidation and flowering of Eurasia.

As to Israel, and perhaps we can go into this later: it looms much larger in the US imagination (and the imaginations the 'west' borrows from the US) than anywhere else. It is a tiny sliver of a country. Far from being an elephant in any room, it is simply a highly perfumed lapdog which also serves as its master's ventriloquist's dummy. Its danger lies in the fact that after decades of neglect by its idiotic self indulgent masters, it has become an openly fascist regime, which was definitely not meant to happen, and, misled by its own exotic theories of race, has come to believe that it can do what it wants. It can't-and this is one reason why Bill misjudges the reasoning behind the Soleimani killing- but it likes to act, or rather threaten to act, as if it could.

(By the way-note to morons across the web-Bill's partner quotes Adorno and writes about him too: cue rants about Cultural Marxism.)

Hugh O'Neill ,

Thanks, Bevin. The article was so long, I had quite forgotten that he laid too much emphasis on the Stratcor Unspeakable. Clever he may be, but not much use without a moral compass. Talking of geo-strategists, you will doubtless be aware of the work of A.T. Mahan whose blueprint for acquisition of inspired Teddy Roosevelt and leaders throughout Europe, Russia, Japan.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Friedman is a snake oil peddler. He tells the ruling psychopaths what they want to hear, like ' China crumbling', their favourite wet-dream.

bevin ,

I agree about Mahan's importance. He understood what lay behind the Empire on which the sun never set but he had enough brains to have been able to realise that current conditions make those fleets obsolete. In fact the Germans in the last War realised that too- their strategy was Eurasian, it broke down over the small matter of devouring the USSR. The expiry date on the tin of Empire has been obvious for a long time- there is simply too much money to be made by ignoring it.
Russia has always been the problem, either real (very occasionally) or latent for the Dutch/British/US Empire because it is just so clear that the quickest and most efficient communications between Shanghai and Lisbon do not go through the Straits of Malacca, the Suez Canal, or round the cape . Russia never had to do a thing to earn the enmity of the Empire, simply existing was a challenge. And that remains the case- for centuries the Empire denounced the Russians because of the Autocracy, then it was the anarchism of the Bolsheviks, then it was the autocracy again, this time featuring Stalin, then it was the chaos of the oligarchs and now we are back with the Tsar/Stalin Putin.

Hugh O'Neill ,

Phenomenal diagnosis, Bevin. However, one suspects that there is still too much profit to be made by the MIC in pursuing useless strategies. I imagine Mahan turning in his grave in his final geo-strategic twist.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Yes-Zionist hubris will get Israel into a whole world of sorrow.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

More USA Deep State conspiracy theorizing which makes the author American paternalism posing as authorship that is revenue neutral when it ain't.

Any article with mention of mother-'Tucker' Carlson is one that is pure propagandistic tripe in the extreme. Off-G is a UK blog yet this Americanism & worn out aged propaganda still prevails in the minds of US centric myopics writ large across all states in the disunity equally divided from cities to rural towns all.

MOU

johny conspiranoid ,

"More USA Deep State conspiracy theorizing which makes the author American paternalism posing as authorship that is revenue neutral when it ain'"
Is this even a sentence?

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

It was a sentence when I was smoking marijuana yesterday, Johnny C. Today it is still a sentence IMHO, but you transcribed it incorrectly, and forgot the end of the sentence.

NOTE: When I smoke marijuana I am allowed to write uncoordinated sentences. These are the rules in CANADA. If you don't like it write to your local politician and complain bitterly.

MOU

Charlotte Russe ,

Bush, Obama, and Clinton are despicable. In fact, they're particularly disgusting, inasmuch, as they were much more "cognizant" than Trump of how their actions would lead to very specific insidious consequences. In addition, they were more able to cleverly conceal their malevolent deeds from the public. And that's why Trump is now sitting in the Oval Office–he won because of public disgust for lying politicians.

However, Trump is "dangerous" because he's a "misinformed idiot," and as such is extremely malleable. Of course, ignorance is no excuse when the future of humanity is on the line

In any event, Trump is often not aware of the outcome of his actions. And when you're surrounded and misinformed by warmongering neoconservative nutcases, especially ones who donated to your campaign chances are you'll do stupid things. And that's what they're counting on.

alsdkfj ,

Trump is some virtuous example of a truth teller? Trump?

The biggest liar to every occupy the White House and that is saying a lot.

Swamp Monster fascist Trump. So much to love, right?

He could murder one of your friends and you'd still apologize for him, is my guess.

Hugh O'Neill ,

It was a long read, but I got there. In essence, I agreed with 99%, but I hesitate to share too much praise for Trump's qualities as a Human Being – though he may be marginally more Human than the entire US body politic. I was walking our new puppy yesterday when he did his usual attempt to leap all over other walkers. I pleaded their forgiveness and explained that his big heart was in inverse proportion to his small brain. It occurred to me later that the opposite would be pure evil i.e. a small heart but big brain. Capitalism as is now infects the Human Experiment, has reduced both brains and hearts: propagandists believe their own lies, and too few trust their own instincts and innate compassion, ground down by the relentless distractions of lies and 'entertainment' (at least the Romas gave you free bread!).
I get the impression that Trump's world view hasn't altered much since he was about 11 years old. I do not intend to insult all eleven-year-olds, but his naivety is not a redeeming feature of his spoilt brat bully personality. He has swallowed hook, line and sinker every John Wayne cowboy movie and thinks the world can be divided into good guys and bad guys depending on what colour hat they wear. In the days of Black & White TV, it was either black or white. The world seemed so much simpler aged 11 .(1966).

Dungroanin ,

Yet I have yet to see one photo of Trump with a gun or in uniform.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

The Duck learned to dress appropriately for business, I'll give him that. As a New York Real Estate scion you will never see him dress otherwise. Protocol in business is a contemporary business suit. No other manner of dress is allowed for the executive class in North America or UK.

[Jan 21, 2020] At the start of a new decade, Merkel seems to be on the wrong side of history

Neoliberals are mostly neocons and neocons are mostly neoliberals. They can't understand the importance of Brexit and the first real crack in neoliberal globalization facade.
She really was on the wrong side of history: a tragedy for a politician. EU crumles with the end of her political career which was devoted to straightening EU and neoliberalism, as well as serving as the USA vassal. While she was sucessful in extracting benefits for Germany multinationals she increased Germany dependency (and subservience) on the USA. She also will be remembered for her handing of Greece crisis.
Notable quotes:
"... The UK's departure will continue to hang over Brussels and Berlin -- the countdown for a trade deal will coincide with Germany's presidency of the EU in the second half of this year. ..."
"... Brexit is a "wake-up call" for the EU. Europe must, she says, respond by upping its game, becoming "attractive, innovative, creative, a good place for research and education . . . Competition can then be very productive." This is why the EU must continue to reform, completing the digital single market, progressing with banking union -- a plan to centralise the supervision and crisis management of European banks -- and advancing capital markets union to integrate Europe's fragmented equity and debt markets. ..."
"... its defence budget has increased by 40 per cent since 2015, which is "a huge step from Germany's perspective". ..."
"... Ms Merkel will doubtless be remembered for two bold moves that changed Germany -- ordering the closure of its nuclear power stations after the Fukushima disaster of 2011, and keeping the country's borders open at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis. That decision was her most controversial, and there are some in Germany who still won't forgive her for it. But officials say Germany survived the influx, and has integrated the more than 1m migrants who arrived in 2015-16. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.ft.com

It's a grim winter's day in Berlin, and the political climate matches the weather. Everywhere Angela Merkel looks there are storm clouds, as the values she has upheld all her career come under sustained attack. At the start of a new decade, Europe's premier stateswoman suddenly seems to be on the wrong side of history.Shortly, the UK will leave the EU. A volatile US president is snubbing allies and going it alone in the Middle East. Vladimir Putin is changing the Russian constitution and meddling in Libya and sub-Saharan Africa. Trade tensions continue, threatening the open borders and globalised value chains that are the cornerstones of Germany's prosperity.

Ms Merkel, a former physicist renowned for her imperturbable, rational manner is a politician programmed for compromise. But today she faces an uncompromising world where liberal principles have been shoved aside by the law of the jungle.

Her solution is to double down on Europe, Germany's anchor. "I see the European Union as our life insurance," she says. "Germany is far too small to exert geopolitical influence on its own, and that's why we need to make use of all the benefits of the single market."

Speaking in the chancellery's Small Cabinet Room, an imposing wood-panelled hall overlooking Berlin's Tiergarten park, Ms Merkel does not come across as under pressure. She is calm, if somewhat cagey, weighing every word and seldom displaying emotion.

But the message she conveys in a rare interview is nonetheless urgent. In the twilight of her career -- her fourth and final term ends in 2021 -- Ms Merkel is determined to preserve and defend multilateralism, a concept that in the age of Trump, Brexit and a resurgent Russia has never seemed so embattled. This is the "firm conviction" that guides her: the pursuit of "the best win-win situations . . . when partnerships of benefit to both sides are put into practice worldwide". She admits that this idea is coming "under increasing pressure". The system of supranational institutions like the EU and United Nations were, she says, "essentially a lesson learnt from the second world war, and the preceding decades". Now, with so few witnesses of the war still alive, the importance of that lesson is fading.

Of course President Donald Trump is right that bodies like the World Trade Organization and the UN require reform. "There is no doubt whatsoever about any of that," she says. "But I do not call the world's multilateral structure into question. "Germany has been the great beneficiary of Nato, an enlarged EU and globalisation. Free trade has opened up vast new markets for its world-class cars, machines and chemicals. Sheltered under the US nuclear umbrella, Germany has barely spared a thought for its own security. But the rise of "Me First" nationalism threatens to leave it economically and politically unmoored. In this sense, Europe is existential for German interests, as well as its identity.

Ms Merkel therefore wants to strengthen the EU -- an institution that she, perhaps more than any other living politician, has come to personify. She steered Europe through the eurozone debt crisis, albeit somewhat tardily: she held Europe together as it imposed sanctions on Russia over the annexation of Crimea; she maintained unity in response to the trauma of Brexit.

The UK's departure will continue to hang over Brussels and Berlin -- the countdown for a trade deal will coincide with Germany's presidency of the EU in the second half of this year. Berlin worries a post-Brexit UK that reserves the right to diverge from EU rules on goods, workers' rights, taxes and environmental standards could create a serious economic competitor on its doorstep. But Ms Merkel remains a cautious optimist. Brexit is a "wake-up call" for the EU. Europe must, she says, respond by upping its game, becoming "attractive, innovative, creative, a good place for research and education . . . Competition can then be very productive." This is why the EU must continue to reform, completing the digital single market, progressing with banking union -- a plan to centralise the supervision and crisis management of European banks -- and advancing capital markets union to integrate Europe's fragmented equity and debt markets.

In what sounds like a new European industrial policy, Ms Merkel also says the EU should identify the technological capabilities it lacks and move fast to fill in the gaps. "I believe that chips should be manufactured in the European Union, that Europe should have its own hyperscalers and that it should be possible to produce battery cells," she says. It must also have the confidence to set the new global digital standards. She cites the example of the General Data Protection Regulation, which supporters see as a gold standard for privacy and proof that the EU can become a rulemaker, rather than a rule taker, when it comes to the digital economy. Europe can offer an alternative to the US and Chinese approach to data. "I firmly believe that personal data does not belong to the state or to companies," she says. "It must be ensured that the individual has sovereignty over their own data and can decide with whom and for what purpose they share it."

The continent's scale and diversity also make it hard to reach a consensus on reform. Europe is deeply split: the migration crisis of 2015 opened up a chasm between the liberal west and countries like Viktor Orban's Hungary which has not healed. Even close allies like Germany and France have occasionally locked horns: Berlin's cool response to Emmanuel Macron's reform initiatives back in 2017 triggered anger in Paris, while the French president's unilateral overture to Mr Putin last year provoked irritation in Berlin. And when it comes to reform of the eurozone, divisions still exist between fiscally challenged southern Europeans and the fiscally orthodox new Hanseatic League of northern countries.

Ms Merkel remains to a degree hostage to German public opinion. Germany, she admits, is still "slightly hesitant" on banking union, "because our principle is that everyone first needs to reduce the risks in their own country today before we can mutualise the risks". And capital markets union might require member states to seek closer alignment on things like insolvency law. These divisions pale in comparison to the gulf between Europe and the US under president Donald Trump. Germany has become the administration's favourite punching bag, lambasted for its relatively low defence spending, big current account surplus and imports of Russian gas. German business dreads Mr Trump making good on his threat to impose tariffs on European cars.

It is painful for Ms Merkel, whose career took off after unification. In an interview last year she described how, while coming of age in communist East Germany, she yearned to make a classic American road trip: "See the Rocky Mountains, drive around and listen to Bruce Springsteen -- that was my dream," she told Der Spiegel.

The poor chemistry between Ms Merkel and Mr Trump has been widely reported. But are the latest tensions in the German-US relationship just personal -- or is there more to it? "I think it has structural causes," she says. For years now, Europe and Germany have been slipping down the US's list of priorities.

"There's been a shift," she says. "President Obama already spoke about the Asian century, as seen from the US perspective. This also means that Europe is no longer, so to say, at the centre of world events."She adds: "The United States' focus on Europe is declining -- that will be the case under any president."The answer? "We in Europe, and especially in Germany, need to take on more responsibility."

Germany has vowed to meet the Nato target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence by the start of the 2030s. Ms Merkel admits that for those alliance members which have already reached the 2 per cent goal, "naturally this is not enough". But there's no denying Germany has made substantial progress on the issue: its defence budget has increased by 40 per cent since 2015, which is "a huge step from Germany's perspective".

Ms Merkel insists the transatlantic relationship "remains crucial for me, particularly as regards fundamental questions concerning values and interests in the world". Yet Europe should also develop its own military capability. There may be regions outside Nato's primary focus where "Europe must -- if necessary -- be prepared to get involved. I see Africa as one example," she says.

Defence is hardly the sole bone of contention with the US. Trade is a constant irritation. Berlin watched with alarm as the US and China descended into a bitter trade war in 2018: it still fears becoming collateral damage.

"Can the European Union come under pressure between America and China? That can happen, but we can also try to prevent it. "Germany has few illusions about China. German officials and businesspeople are just as incensed as their US counterparts by China's theft of intellectual property, its unfair investment practices, state-sponsored cyber-hacking and human rights abuses in regions like Xinjiang.

Once seen as a strategic partner, China is increasingly viewed in Berlin as a systemic rival. But Berlin has no intention of emulating the US policy of "decoupling" -- cutting its diplomatic, commercial and financial ties with China. Instead, Ms Merkel has staunchly defended Berlin's close relationship with Beijing. She says she would "advise against regarding China as a threat simply because it is economically successful".

"As was the case in Germany, [China's] rise is largely based on hard work, creativity and technical skills," she says. Of course there is a need to "ensure that trade relations are fair". China's economic strength and geopolitical ambitions mean it is a rival to the US and Europe. But the question is: "Do we in Germany and Europe want to dismantle all interconnected global supply chains . . . because of this economic competition?" She adds: "In my opinion, complete isolation from China cannot be the answer."Her plea for dialogue and co-operation has set her on a collision course with some in her own party.

China hawks in her Christian Democratic Union share US mistrust of Huawei, the Chinese telecoms equipment group, fearing it could be used by Beijing to conduct cyber espionage or sabotage. Ms Merkel has pursued a more conciliatory line. Germany should tighten its security requirements towards all telecoms providers and diversify suppliers "so that we never make ourselves dependent on one firm" in 5G. But "I think it is wrong to simply exclude someone per se," she says.

The rise of China has triggered concern over Germany's future competitiveness. And that economic "angst" finds echoes in the febrile politics of Ms Merkel's fourth term. Her "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats is wracked by squabbling. The populist Alternative for Germany is now established in all 16 of the country's regional parliaments. A battle has broken out for the post-Merkel succession, with a crop of CDU heavy-hitters auditioning for the top job.

Many in the political elite worry about waning international influence in the final months of the Merkel era.While she remains one of the country's most popular politicians, Germans are asking what her legacy will be. For many of her predecessors, that question is easy to answer: Konrad Adenauer anchored postwar Germany in the west; Willy Brandt ushered in detente with the Soviet Union; Helmut Kohl was the architect of German reunification. So how will Ms Merkel be remembered?

Vladimir Putin: liberalism has 'outlived its purpose'

She brushes away the question. "I don't think about my role in history -- I do my job." But what about critics who say the Merkel era was mere durchwurschteln -- muddling through? That word, she says, in a rare flash of irritation, "isn't part of my vocabulary". Despite her reputation for gradualism and caution, Ms Merkel will doubtless be remembered for two bold moves that changed Germany -- ordering the closure of its nuclear power stations after the Fukushima disaster of 2011, and keeping the country's borders open at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis. That decision was her most controversial, and there are some in Germany who still won't forgive her for it. But officials say Germany survived the influx, and has integrated the more than 1m migrants who arrived in 2015-16.

She prefers to single out less visible changes. Germany is much more engaged in the world: just look, she says, at the Bundeswehr missions in Africa and Afghanistan. During the Kohl era, even the idea of dispatching a ship to the Adriatic to observe the war in Yugoslavia was controversial. She also mentions efforts to end the war in Ukraine, its role in the Iran nuclear deal, its assumption of ever more "diplomatic, and increasingly also military responsibility". "It may become more in future, but we are certainly on the right path," she says.

The Merkel era has been defined by crisis but thanks to her stewardship most Germans have rarely had it so good. The problem is the world expects even more of a powerful, prosperous Germany and its next chancellor.Letter in response to this article:At last, I understand Brexit's real purpose / From John Beadsmoore, Great Wilbraham, Cambs, UK

[Jan 21, 2020] WaPo columnist endorses all twelve candidates

Highly recommended!
Are WaPo and NYT both encouraging their readerships to split the 'Anybody But Bernie' vote six ways from Super Tuesday? Fantastic!
Jan 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Cassiodorus on Mon, 01/20/2020 - 11:44am Alexandra Petri tells us:

In a break from tradition, I am endorsing all 12 Democratic candidates.

Of course, this is a parody of the NYT's endorsement of Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren , trying to encourage the "who cares about policy we want an identity-politics win" vote. Petri's funniest moment is:

One of two things is wrong with America: Either the entire system is broken or is on the verge of breaking, and we need someone to bring about radical, structural change, or -- we don't need that at all! Which is it? Who can say? Certainly not me, and that is why I am telling you now which candidate to vote for.

[Jan 20, 2020] NYT Editors Hedge Their Bets, Endorse Warren Klobuchar

Fake news are consistent: Klobuchar and not Tulsi ?
Jan 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

...

in what the paper described as a "significant break with convention", the members of its editorial board have selected not one, but two candidates - both of them women.

Its chosen candidates are: Elizabeth Warren, the Republican-turned-progressive who for years posed as a Native American to game America's system of affirmative action - and Amy Klobuchar, the midwestern senator from the great state of Minneapolis with a reputation for being an unhinged dragon-lady boss.

That the NYT selected the two remaining women among the top tier of contenders is hardly a surprise: This is, after all, the same newspaper that kicked off #MeToo by dropping the first expose about Harvey Weinstein's history of abusing, harassing and assaulting women just days before the New Yorker followed up with the first piece from Ronan Farrow.

...After all, if the editors went ahead with their true No. 1 choice, Klobuchar, a candidate who has very little chance of actually capturing the nomination, they would look foolish.


DeePeePDX , 2 hours ago link

NYT is like that ex you dumped that won't stop trying to get your attention with increasingly desperate and pathetic acts.

Griffin , 2 hours ago link

Warren is a much better candidate than Biden is in my view.

Warren seems to get into trouble sometimes for all kinds of reasons like most people do, but the problems are usually trivial, more silly than dangerous. There is tendency in her to stick to her guns even when she does not know what she is doing.

When i run into something unexpected or something that seems to be something i don't understand, i usually backtrack and look at the problem from some distance to see what happened and why before trying to correct or fix the problem, rather than just doing something.

Its not a perfect plan, but it seems to work most of the time.

https://9gag.com/gag/ap5AO19

Someone Else , 2 hours ago link

The tennis shoe I threw away last week is a better candidate than Biden. So that's not saying much.

TheManj , 3 hours ago link

NYT remains a joke. Their endorsement is straight up virtue-signalling.

Here's some reality: Warren's latest antics have cemented her image as dishonest and high-strung. Knoblocker has no charisma and remains practically unknown.

John Hansen , 3 hours ago link

Why are foreign ownedNew York Times allowed to meddle in the election?

Where is the investigation?

pitz , 4 hours ago link

I've personally sat down and talked with Klobuchar. Not a lot of depth of intelligence in her, that's for sure, easily manipulated by lobbyists. Warren, at least, knows what the problem is, although she might have swallowed the proverbial Democratic party "kool aid".

spam filter , 4 hours ago link

Warren is the deep state establishment pick. If you must vote Dem, pick someone that isn't, or one the establishment seems to work against. Better yet, vote Trump, safe bet on gun rights, freedoms.

SheHunter , 5 hours ago link

Here's the link. It is a gd editorial.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/01/19/opinion/amy-klobuchar-elizabeth-warren-nytimes-endorsement.html

[Jan 19, 2020] Stand up for what you believe, even if you are standing alone.

Jan 19, 2020 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com


"...we had come to the stage where for our people what was needed was a real democracy; and of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of a plutocracy."

Theodore Roosevelt, Autobiography

"Stand up for what you believe, even if you are standing alone."

Sophie Scholl

[Jan 19, 2020] The neoliberal hopes -- and that is the mark of him, that he can have his cake and eat it too

Jan 19, 2020 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory."

J.R.R. Tolkien

"We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, 'Blessed are they that mourn,' and I accept it. I've got nothing that I hadn't bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination."

C.S. Lewis

"If the devil tells you something is too fearful to look at, look at it. If he says something is too terrible to hear, hear it. If you think some truth unbearable, bear it."

G.K. Chesterton

"The barbarian hopes -- and that is the mark of him, that he can have his cake and eat it too. He will consume what civilization has slowly produced after generations of selection and effort, but he will not be at pains to replace such goods, nor indeed has he a comprehension of the virtue that has brought them into being.

We sit by and watch the barbarian. We tolerate him in the long stretches of peace, we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond, and on these faces there are no smiles."

Hilaire Belloc

"In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true. The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists."

Hannah Arendt

[Jan 19, 2020] The anti-China conservative faction which Trump represents is screwing up the Pax Americana and petrodollar recycling into Treasury Bonds, by destroying the monetary scam they set up to control the world

Notable quotes:
"... The "movement conservatives" leader was Barry Goldwater who Trump's dad was a big supporter of, and Trump was raised in and among AND represents that faction of elite power. ..."
"... The LIEO or Rules Based Order is based on being closely allied with European elites against Russia to contain the Middle East and Central Asia (Iran and Afghanistan) based on Zbigniew Brzezinski's Grand Chessboard theory. ..."
"... The 1950's triangle of power was superseded by the oligarch's counter revolution that led to supranational trade institutions. Democracies were relegated to a secondary status and run by technocrats for the benefit of oligarchs until Donald Trump. He is a nationalist plutocrat; admittedly a lower level one, a NY casino owner who went bankrupt. Mike Bloomberg represents the other side, a globalist billionaire. Elizabeth Warren is a top level technocrat but no politician. ..."
"... The endless wars are fought to make a profit for the plutocracy and destabilize nations to make foreign corporate exploitation possible. That was why Hunter Biden was in Ukraine. The conflicts are not meant to be won. ..."
"... He makes stupid mistakes. Through the barrage of propaganda, reports of shell shocked troops, destroyed buildings and 11 concussion causalities from Iran's missile attack made it into the news. The military must be pissed. The aura of invincibility is gone. ..."
"... Donald Trump should be removed by the 25th amendment before he mistakenly triggers the Apocalypse. Except the 1% politician VP, Mike Pence, believes that the End of Time is God's Will and necessary for his Ascension. ..."
"... The power triangle theory is less in line with the facts than a simple duality: Wall Street & the MIC, you have to advance interests of both or you're out. ..."
"... Second, the 'meeting in the Tank' sounds like complete b.s. designed to sell books ..."
"... And the 'rules-based international order' rings very false as something that would be said with a straight face by real MIC insiders, which those generals are. ..."
"... Not only sick of wars, his mobster approach to foreign policy and allies is an embarrassment to RINO and Independents. ..."
"... Humanity is in a civilization war about public/private finance being fought by proxies and character actors like Trump. Maybe after this war is over, and if we survive, we can all communicate about the social contract directly instead of through proxy fronts. Do you want to live in a sharing/caring world or a selfish/competitive one?....socialism or barbarism? ..."
Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kali , Jan 17 2020 19:26 utc | 7

That Power Elite theory which was written in the 50s by C.W. Mills is incomplete for today because in the 60s there was a split among the power elite between the new "movement conservatives" and the old eastern bank establishment. The conservatives were more focused on the pacific region and containing China, and the liberal establishment were more focused on Europe and containing Russia.

The "movement conservatives" leader was Barry Goldwater who Trump's dad was a big supporter of, and Trump was raised in and among AND represents that faction of elite power. In fact he is the 1st president from that faction of the elites to hold the oval office, many people thought Reagan was, but he was brought under the control of George Bush and the liberal elites after taking office after he was injured by a Bush related person. The different agendas of the the two factions are out in the open today with one being focused on anti-Russia and the other being focused on anti-China. It has been like that since the 1960s.

The anti-China conservative faction which Trump represents (and which unleashed the VietNam War) is screwing up the "rules based order" aka "Liberal International Economic Order" aka Pax Americana which was set up after WWII at Bretton Woods and then altered in the 1970s with the creation of the petrodollar and petrodollar recycling into Treasury Bonds, by destroying the monetary scam they set up to control the world

It needed the cooperation of the elites of Europe and elsewhere, which Trump and his faction doesn't care about -- they only care about short term profits on Wall St.

The LIEO or Rules Based Order is based on being closely allied with European elites against Russia to contain the Middle East and Central Asia (Iran and Afghanistan) based on Zbigniew Brzezinski's Grand Chessboard theory. China trade is important for them, Russia is their main enemy. ( War of the Worlds: The New Class ). Trump and his movement conservative faction is ruining their world order for their own short term gain on Wall St.


VietnamVet , Jan 17 2020 22:34 utc | 44
The 1950's triangle of power was superseded by the oligarch's counter revolution that led to supranational trade institutions. Democracies were relegated to a secondary status and run by technocrats for the benefit of oligarchs until Donald Trump. He is a nationalist plutocrat; admittedly a lower level one, a NY casino owner who went bankrupt. Mike Bloomberg represents the other side, a globalist billionaire. Elizabeth Warren is a top level technocrat but no politician.

The endless wars are fought to make a profit for the plutocracy and destabilize nations to make foreign corporate exploitation possible. That was why Hunter Biden was in Ukraine. The conflicts are not meant to be won.

Donald Trump is way for over his head and getting old. His competent staff are in jail or fired. Apparently no one told him about the thousands of ballistic missiles that can destroy the Gulf States' oil facilities at will and make the buildup for the invasion of Iran impossible. He makes stupid mistakes. Through the barrage of propaganda, reports of shell shocked troops, destroyed buildings and 11 concussion causalities from Iran's missile attack made it into the news. The military must be pissed. The aura of invincibility is gone.

Donald Trump should be removed by the 25th amendment before he mistakenly triggers the Apocalypse. Except the 1% politician VP, Mike Pence, believes that the End of Time is God's Will and necessary for his Ascension.

fairleft , Jan 18 2020 1:21 utc | 81
The power triangle theory is less in line with the facts than a simple duality: Wall Street & the MIC, you have to advance interests of both or you're out.

Second, the 'meeting in the Tank' sounds like complete b.s. designed to sell books, with an obvious sales strategy, as b said, of pleasuring both the pro/anti Trump sides of the book-buying bourgeoisie.

And the 'rules-based international order' rings very false as something that would be said with a straight face by real MIC insiders, which those generals are.

Finally, whether Trump ridiculed the generals or not, that's a sideshow to entertain the rubes. Trump's always been on side with the big picture Neocon approach essential to the MIC. Their global dominance or chaos approach is essential to keeping military budgets gigantic until 'forever'. True that Trump whined about endless wars as a 2016 campaign strategy, but he was either b.s.-ing or at the time didn't get that they are part of the overall Neocon approach he backs.

Passer by , Jan 17 2020 22:04 utc | 35

Not a very good analysis by b because this does not explain why 90 % of US corporate media is hostile to Trump. This does not happen without significant elite support.

That Trump is backed by the military faction is something i have been saying often. But there are forces within the government faction that dislike him, for example the CIA.

As for the corporate faction, it is not true that free money made them supportive of Trump. Rather the faction is divided - between the globalist corporate faction, relying on globalisation, including most tech companies, and US nationalist faction, such as local US businesses, big oil, shale gas, etc.

Another point - jews have large influence within the US, and 80 % voted against Trump regardless of his Israeli support. They again voted 80 % Dem in 2018. Having 80 % of US jews against you means encountering significant resistance.

Demographically speaking, most women, jews, muslims, latinos, asians, afroamericans, lgbt people, young people, etc. are strongly against him so i think that he will lose. Unless for some reason they do not vote.

Even if he somehow wins again, this will lead to civil war like situation and extreme polarisation in the US.

A P , Jan 17 2020 19:33 utc | 9

The US military, the various factions within the Deep State, political and corporate cabals has the attitude of a spoiled 3-year-old: If I can't have it, I'll break it so it is of little use to others.

Unfortunately, breaking other countries is just fine for the MIC... arms sales all around and chaos to impede non-military commerce with other major power centers like Russia or China.

Trump is the product of a dysfunctional family, a "greed is good" trust-fund social circle and a sociopathic US bully/gun culture.

The fact "bone spurs" Trump weaseled out of the draft will also not play well with the generals, let alone the grunts who suffer most from endless POTUS idiocy (not limited to Trump, see Prince Bush/Bandar the 2nd)

All the more proof that most Western "democracies" would be better served with a lottery to choose their Congressional and POTUS chair-warmers. Joe Sixpack could do a better job. A 200-lb sack of flour would do better than any POTUS since Kennedy.

Walter , Jan 17 2020 23:25 utc | 56

@ wagelaborer | Jan 17 2020 19:04 utc | 3

your: "Trump can't start a war without ruling class backing any more than he can end the wars if the rulers veto it."

May be, I think is, true in one sense. But Trump is far from the sole agent capable of starting a war. War, as opposed to simple murder, involve 2 or more parties. Whatever the intentions, the recent murders by drone in Baghdad hav,e it seems, brought Iran to consider war exists now...and they have a nifty MAGA policy. On Press TV today they hosted an expert who called for the execution of several exceptional American leaders...sounds like war to me.

(Make America Go Away)

The system is so screwy and peopled by such uneducated and delusional people that it's quite simple that they would do some stupid that that caused a war. Looks like war to me. I await the horrors.

Decaying empires usually start wars that bring about their rapid ruin. Does it matter how they do this?

............

The thesis of the triangle of elite factions is fascinating.

Walter recalls that JFK got the reports from Vietnam that said we were winning, while at the same time Johnson got the true story. And also what happened then with the "correction" of 1963 (their words) and the immediate change of war policy. Can't help an old guy from remembering old folly. And noting that history repeats as farce.

The Iran affair is liable to coordinate with NATO. Lavrov spoke to the NATO preparations today @ TASS...

Some say Trumpie screwed up the schedule, which goes hot in April as a showdown with the Roooskies. I take that with a grain of salt. But I think the sources I've seen might be right. They say that if Barbarossa had not been delayed, the nazis woulda won in Russia. Screwups can be very important.

I can't see any way the US won't use atomic bangers. But maybe...

Likklemore , Jan 17 2020 21:50 utc | 29

@ wagelaborer 3

Good points. I endorse. However the USD have been weaponized, is being sidelined and will be shunned U.S. dollar: Russia, China, EU are motivated to shift from

@ juiliana 22

I posted an article by Shedlock essentially saying all it will take is 3 states to flip and Trump loses: Trump will be easily defeated in 2020 perhaps by a landslide.

Not only sick of wars, his mobster approach to foreign policy and allies is an embarrassment to RINO and Independents.

psychohistorian , Jan 17 2020 19:52 utc | 11

I agree with wagelaborer in comment #3 and worth a repeat of most of it

"Trump can't start a war without ruling class backing any more than he can end the wars if the rulers veto it.

US foreign policy is not run by White House puppets.

The US trash-talked Saddam Hussein and starved Iraqis for 14 years, but didn't actually invade until he started trading oil in Euros.

The US trash-talked Ghaddafi for decades, and even launched missiles which killed his child in the 80s, but didn't destroy Libya until Ghaddafi decided to sell oil in dinars.

The US has trash-talked and sanctioned Iran for decades, but it was the threat of Iran and Saudi Arabia making peace that pushed them to assassinate General Soleimani, as he arrived at the airport on that diplomatic mission.

If Iran and Saudi Arabia make peace, and the Saudis drop the petro-dollar, the US Empire crumbles. It doesn't matter at all who is in the White House at the time, the Empire will never allow that."

Humanity is in a civilization war about public/private finance being fought by proxies and character actors like Trump. Maybe after this war is over, and if we survive, we can all communicate about the social contract directly instead of through proxy fronts. Do you want to live in a sharing/caring world or a selfish/competitive one?....socialism or barbarism?

[Jan 19, 2020] At the lower level, there's the division of the American people about how the spoils that come from the imperial conquests should be better shared

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jan 18 2020 2:37 utc | 90

I think the "triangle of power" theory walks towards the truth, but is not the truth.

For starters, the USA is a very large and complex society. There are a lot of classes and a lot of groups which clash and prop up each other all the time. The only consensus is that it is and must remain a capitalist society, i.e. that capitalism must be preserved at any cost.

That said, I see many interests involved, but a hierarchy, in layered form. Here's my opinion on the state of the art of the USA right now:

1) at the highest level, there's the division between the most powerful members of the capitalist class between what should be the American foreign policy strategy for the rest of this century. It is divided between two different ideologies: russophobes (i.e. the "establishment") and the believers of the "clash of civilizations" (i.e. the far-right, sinophobes). The only thing that unites both groups is the conviction Eurasia should remain divided, i.e. that Russia and China should not consolidate their newborn alliance. If that alliance consolidates a century from now, then this contradiction will disappear, but America's new enemy will be stronger than ever - possibly more powerful than the USA.

2) at the lower level, there's the division of the American people about how the spoils that come from the imperial conquests should be better shared. This division manifests itself in the battle between social-democracy and fascism. Neoliberalism is basically a rotten corpse after 2008, but it is important to state it is not an ideology per se, but a political doctrine, from which both American social-democracy and American fascism lend some aspects.

3) at the vestigial level, you have many micro battles which shock with each other. For example, the good part of the American middle class imploded Elizabeth Warren's support for universal healthcare because they wanted to keep their class distinction as the class which has access to healthcare through expensive health insurances (which are often directly linked to distinct jobs they probably have) - but they still will vote Democrat, and probably will support Warren as long as she's viable. In the far-right camp, there are those who want to emphasize the fight against China must happen because China represents modern socialism, while another part wants to fight China for the simple fact they want some jobs back. In the deep state, there's the usual Pentagon vs CIA clash of philosophies about how to better operate overseas. In the lobby industry, each one is fending for themselves.

In conclusion, my take is all of these conflicts have one ultimate cause: the exhaustion of the American imperial system installed in 1945 . Capitalism doesn't know national barriers; in 1945, the USA was both the industrial and financial superpower, but capital must spread and expand or it dies. The Marshall Plan soon begun and, in two decades, Germany and Japan - both spawns of the American post-war doctrine - directly threatened the USA as the industrial superpower. It still managed to fend off these two nations with the Plaza Accord (1985), but at a huge cost: outsourcing its own industrial capacity to China. In 2011, China definitely overcame the USA and now holds the belt of the industrial superpower. It is now trying to be also the financial superpower, with the "opening up" reforms.

This generated a structural contradiction: the loss of the industrial superpower title left the USA only with the financial superpower title. But the financial superpower title can only be maintained, in a nation-State architecture, with increased submission of the rest of the world - naturally, through violent means and financial sanctions.

However, that was not the way the USA was able to build its overwhelming post-war alliance: it did so with nation building , i.e. the proverbial "carrot", the massive investments in infrastructure and better living standards for Western Europe, Japan, Asian Tigers and Australia. But without the industrial superpower title, the USA cannot maintain its "alliance" (i.e. the empire), which reinforces its condition as the financial superpower - which, in turn, increases its necessity to maintain the alliance (empire) which, in turn, weakens more and more said alliance, which, in turn, increases even more its necessity to maintain said alliance, and so on, in a downward spiral movement.

The result of this dialectical contradiction is that the USA will, over time, resort to ever more violent methods to keep the corners of its empire whole, which will drive it ever closer to an epic war against its ultimate enemy: socialism (China/Eurasia).


Duncan Idaho , Jan 18 2020 2:41 utc | 91

Well-----

"And many of them may actually be as mind-blowingly stupid as he is as well and they don't see what a problem it is to have such an arrogant moron running the world's only superpower. If there's one thing right-wingers take as an article of faith it's that expertise is nothing but a scam and the guy at the end of the bar can run the world better than the pointy-headed elites. They got what they wanted."

Trump might be appropriate. The survivors, if any, will have more resources, as the ditch he is heading into.
A slow death by Dims would be worse.

Patroklos , Jan 18 2020 4:52 utc | 100
@ vk 90

Your analysis nicely maps onto the Braudelian model of the phases of capitalism, especially as articulated in the chapter by Arrighi and Moore in Phases of Capitalist Development . They argue that the historical signal that the US had begun to lose its hegemony in commodity production (M-C-M') was the Nixon shock/Oil Shock (1970-73). They further argue that the inevitable shift to financial hegemony (M-M'), which has occurred in every other phase (Genovese, Dutch, British), has taken place more quickly than the one before it. As a result, they predicted (in 2001) very broadly that the terminal point of this financial (self-)vampirism -- when the system reaches a point of complete contradiction -- would take place around 2020. One key difference they note between the US global regime with all prior hegemonic orders is the reach and power of the military. The British Empire was able to deploy its navy to support its hegemony only up to a point -- and then became a paper tiger overnight. But the US military has not been deployed to any extent comparable to 1941-45. If it saw a real existential threat to dollar hegemony their military capacity would postpone any collapse indefinitely -- and throw the world into utter chaos.

My question to you and all is this: where are we in the timeline between their loss of industrial hegemony and the real crisis of their financial hegemony? Is this the decade of hegemonic challenge and change -- and therefore war? And to what extent will Iran be the trigger? Or will it be another GFC and de-dollarization?

[Jan 19, 2020] The Quiet Crisis Deaths Caused By Alcoholism Have More Than Doubled

Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The Quiet Crisis: Deaths Caused By Alcoholism Have More Than Doubled by Tyler Durden Sat, 01/18/2020 - 21:15 0 SHARES

Opioid overdoses may have leveled off last year after soaring over the last ten, but Americans are still dying in droves from another, far more popular substance: alcohol.

According to a series of studies cited by MarketWatch , the number of Americans drinking themselves to death has more than doubled over the last two decades, according to a sobering new report. That far outpaces the rate of population growth during the same period.

Researchers from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism studied the cause of death for Americans aged 16 and up between 1999 and 2017. They determined that while 35,914 deaths were tied to alcohol in 1999, it doubled to 72,558 in 2017. The rate of deaths per 100,000 soared by 50.9% from 16.9 to 25.5.

Over that 20-year period, the study determined that alcohol was involved in more than 1 million deaths. Half of these deaths resulted from liver disease, or a person drinking themselves to death, or a drug overdose that involved alcohol.

For more context: In 2017 alone, 2.6% of roughly 2.8 million deaths in the US were alcohol-related.

One doesn't need to be a chronic alcoholic to suffer from alcohol: Nine states - Maine, Indiana, Idaho, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio and Virginia - saw a "significant" increase in adults who binge drink, a dangerous activity that can lead to deadly car crashes and other fatal accidents, according to a report released Thursday by the CDC.

And across the country, Americans who binge drink are consuming more drinks per person: That number spiked from 472 in 2011 to 529 in 2017, a 12% increase.

Historically, men have been more predisposed to "deaths of despair" than women: But a study published in "Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research" found that the largest increase in recent years in these types of deaths occurred among non-hispanic white women.

Public health crises tied to substance abuse have been plaguing American for decades. So, what is it about our contemporary society that's causing deaths to skyrocket?

There's some food for thought.


VodkaInKrakow , 1 hour ago link

This happens in poor economies. Happened in Russia from 1992 on. Not every area is affected in The US. Just those with the functional equivalent of a 3rd world or developing world economy.

Add in a Japanese-style lost-growth decade.

Double-whammy for parts of The US.

sekhars , 1 hour ago link

about 2000 die each year in NYC due to alcohol directly. 4 to 5 times more than opioids and more than all the drugs related death combined.

Ms No , 2 hours ago link

I'm watching somebody kill themselves with alcohol as we speak. People have catered to her alcaholism for 15 years. Her original ezcuse was a family death. Her husband has died now. Alcaholics always have an excuse though. Alcaholism always seeks excuse.

I am a callous bitch and just cut right to the point. "All of us have to decide to live or die. Life is a choice. If you decide to die, you will. I hope you havent already aubconsciously made that decision (can tell by dreams). You should search for a reason to live. Whatever you choose I will respect that."

TerryThomas , 2 hours ago link

Liver deaths? You mean Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease caused by sugary drinks laced with HFCS has made a spike in liver disease death, so naturally the lazy investigator blames it on alcohol.

sirpo , 4 hours ago link

adults who binge drink, a dangerous activity that can lead to deadly car crashes and other fatal accidents, according to a report released Thursday by the CDC.

a dangerous activity CORRECTION STUPIDITY or CHEAP CHARLIE for not willing to take a UBER or YELLOW CAB home

What are we talking here $50 at most

Any idea what a DWI will set you back cause I know for a fact in stupidity and 1980's USD and it taught me

Don't do the crime if you can't spend the dime for a taxi

Erwin643 , 1 hour ago link

Just thinning the herd, Baby!

pods , 4 hours ago link

Some people have a hard time living in crazy town.

I mean, constant war, dollar value sinking, inflation sucking the life outta you, **** food and a fake society. All the while everywhere you look people are pretending they're killing it while up to their eyeballs in debt.

I'm actually pretty happy these numbers are this low.

PersonalResponsibility , 4 hours ago link

Spot on pods. It's nice I have a dream and a good job while following the dream but the pressure is huge explained by what you wrote.

Pull , 1 hour ago link

Absolutely DEAD NUTS ON!

[Jan 19, 2020] What separates the winners from the losers in America?

Don't take this too seriously ;-)
Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Nature_Boy_Wooooo , 23 minutes ago link

What separates the winners from the losers in America?

Government contracts....... you're either getting them or you're a ******* loser who pays for them.

[Jan 19, 2020] IMF Chief Warns Global Economy Faces New Great Depression

Notable quotes:
"... While the inequality gap between countries has closed over the last two decades, the gap within most developed countries has widened, leaving millions more vulnerable to a global downturn than they otherwise would have been. ..."
"... "In the UK, for example, the top 10% now control nearly as much wealth as the bottom 50%. This situation is mirrored across much of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), where income and wealth inequality have reached, or are near, record highs." ..."
"... Having considered all of this, we'd like to present another scenario: if Trump loses in November, and the Fed regains the courage to raise interest rates now that President Trump isn't around to publicly browbeat and humiliate them, that might be enough to send markets into a tailspin, even if the Dems take the 'market friendly' road and nominate Joe Biden. ..."
Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

How's this for some New Years optimism?

The new head of the IMF, who took over from Christine Lagarde in November, warned that the global economy could soon find itself mired in a great depression.

During a speech at the Peterson Institute, IMF Chairwoman Kristalina Georgieva compared the contemporary global to the "roaring 20s" of the 20th century, a decade of cultural and financial excess that culminated in the great market crash of 1929. According to the Guardian, this research suggests that a similar trend is already under way , and though the collapse might not be around the corner, when it comes, it will be impossible to avoid.

While the inequality gap between countries has closed over the last two decades, the gap within most developed countries has widened, leaving millions more vulnerable to a global downturn than they otherwise would have been.

In particular, she singled out the UK for criticism: "In the UK, for example, the top 10% now control nearly as much wealth as the bottom 50%. This situation is mirrored across much of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), where income and wealth inequality have reached, or are near, record highs."

... ... ...

This is further evidenced by the fact that, every time the Fed has tried to wean the American economy off of rock-bottom interest rates or the central bank's ever-expanding balance sheet, markets have reacted with fury.

Having considered all of this, we'd like to present another scenario: if Trump loses in November, and the Fed regains the courage to raise interest rates now that President Trump isn't around to publicly browbeat and humiliate them, that might be enough to send markets into a tailspin, even if the Dems take the 'market friendly' road and nominate Joe Biden.


Joyo Bliss , 33 minutes ago link

As soon as she said climate change was a threat, my ******** detector peaked and flashed.

IvannaHumpalot , 24 minutes ago link

yes that's where i stopped reading and came to the comments instead

kbohip , 57 minutes ago link

I stopped reading when I read "climate emergency" coming from someone that's supposed to be talking about economics.

onwisconsinbadger , 58 minutes ago link

More QE, more printing and zirp till infinity. Nothing has changed since 2008. Casino opens again on Tuesday, buy Stawks.

ReturnOfDaMac , 4 minutes ago link

Now 'ya talkin'. BTFD!

radical-extremist , 59 minutes ago link

Climate Change Theory will be looked back on as a rather frivolous and eccentric belief system within 10 years

captain noob , 1 hour ago link

There is a deeper problem in this modern capitalist earth. Human relations are deteriorating. Because of competitiveness, showing off, jealousy, materialism and consumerism.

Modern humans are alienated human zombies who have no purpose in life except to compete.

Compete for what anyway?

radical-extremist , 1 hour ago link

Women no longer like men and babies. In so doing, they've become a combination of both.

IvannaHumpalot , 19 minutes ago link

liar. Men no longer like women they only want teens, **** and casual sex

they detest actual women, don't want to settle down and make a family in their 20s with a woman their own age - and wonder why at age 55 they are sitting on a bar stool alone with the other men drinking too much

then they go to thailand and find some desperately poor 20yo who will marry them for a passport

and then they wonder why as soon as citizenship comes through, the thai divorces their sorry old arse and goes to make a new life for herself

then they're sitting alone and bitter age 60 hating all women

captain noob , 17 minutes ago link

Women don't like women either

Farmer Tink , 32 minutes ago link

Prof. Robert Putnam is a sociologist from Harvard. He completed a massive study of immigration in the 2000s which showed that immigration destroys societal trust and social capital. Very little has been written about it, and the results of the study were summarized in a Swedish English-language scholarly journal only--Putnam usually writes books that can be comprehended by the intelligent lay reader. Someone who posts here wrote that the study was available on Tor. Many studies with similar findings have been done since. If we ended immigration, we might lessen the alienation in society today.

captain noob , 28 minutes ago link

Then how will the cheap workers get in?

Enraged , 1 hour ago link

A representative of a globalist banking institution who "warned that fresh issues such as the climate emergency and increased trade protectionism meant the next 10 years were likely to be characterized by social unrest and financial market volatility."

But she does not mention the real causes of the problems, the bankster ponzi scheme creating massive inflation or globalist corporations lowering wages by outsourcing jobs and increasing immigration, while using debt to buyback stocks instead of capital investment.

Place another conniving spokesperson on the ignore list, along with the current and past Fed Reserve representatives.

Salsasas , 1 hour ago link

I hope y'all are ready for green communism after the engineered collapse.

"Kristalina Georgieva was born in Sofia into a family of bureaucrats.[15] Her father was a civil engineer who supervised state road-building projects,[16] and her grandfather was a prominent Bulgarian revolutionary Ivan Karshovski.[17]"

"Georgieva holds a PhD in Economics and an MA in Political Economy and Sociology from the Karl Marx Higher Institute of Economics (now called University of National and World Economy) in Sofia.[18][19] Her thesis was on "Environmental Protection Policy and Economic Growth in the USA". She also did post-graduate research and studies in natural resource economics and environmental policy at the London School of Economics in the late 1980s and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[20]"

"Georgieva started her career at the World Bank Group in 1993 as an environmental economist for Europe and Central Asia. Following this, she served in various positions in the bank ultimately rising to become director of the Environment Department in charge of World Bank's environmental strategy, policies, and lending. In this role she oversaw around 60% of lending operations of the World Bank Group. From 2004 to 2007 she was the institution's director and resident representative in the Russian Federation, based in Moscow.

She returned to Washington, D.C., to become director of Strategy and Operations, Sustainable Development."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristalina_Georgieva

crypt007 , 1 hour ago link

The US elite super rich benefits tremendously from their slave economies in Europe and Japan. ECB Draghi a former Goldman Sachs always had a huge stimulus plan and staggering amounts of asset purchases --the last was 2.9 Trillion Euros-- that at the end of the day benefited the most the US and the US elite super-rich and Japan's BoJ Kuroda does the same-thing.

johnberesfordtiptonjr , 8 minutes ago link

The US elite super rich is delighted, the highly corrupt Trump administration made the US elite super-rich richer and richer while the middle class gets poorer and poorer and disappears.


This plan actually began with Reagan. Trump is just continuing (and accelerating) the process.

[Jan 19, 2020] 'Buffett Indicator' Warns Stocks Doomed for Worse Crash Than 2008 by W. E. Messamore

Jan 19, 2020 | www.ccn.com

January 6, 2020

US stock market

The so-called 'Buffett Indicator' is flashing an ominous warning sign for Wall Street. | Image: Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

The U.S. stock market kicked off the new decade at record highs. There are plenty of good reasons for the bulls' optimism. The cooling trade war, sliding recession risk, rising employment, and blue chip tech leadership are positive macro tailwinds.

But for those wondering how much longer the record-long bull market can last , the so-called Buffett indicator has a dreadful answer.

Buffett Indicator Flashes Red for Stocks

Named after the widely-venerated "Oracle of Omaha," the Buffett indicator reflects Warren Buffett's characteristically simple thinking about stock values. It's the total stock market capitalization of the United States relative to U.S. GDP.

If the indicator gets too top heavy, with the total market value of stocks significantly exceeding the productivity of the underlying companies, Buffett would say stock prices are due for a correction. The historical returns of the stock market back him up on that.

Today the indicator is soaring at a harrowing record high.

buffett indicator stock market capitalization to gdp st louis federal reserve
The Buffett Indicator is at a horrific historic high. | Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Just before the Dot Com Bubble collapsed, total U.S. market cap stood at 146% of GDP , according to the Federal Reserve's books. Right before the Great Recession that began at the end of 2007, the U.S. market cap was 137% of GDP.

On the first day of trading in 2020, the Buffett indicator charted an ominous high of 153% , according to Wilshire data. As the stock market set records in the final quarter last year, the indicator rose 14% in one quarter. And corporate earnings growth is flat .

That's why this Nov 2019 headline from CNBC is silly :

Warren Buffett has $128 billion in cash to burn and analysts can't figure out why he isn't spending it.

Buffett already explained why two decades and two recessions ago.

'Mr. Buffett On The Stock Market'
stocks buffett indicator
Warren Buffett has seen it all. Judging by Berkshire Hathaway's balance sheet, he's not excited about stock prices today. | Source: AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Fortune ran an article in 1999 reporting Warren Buffett's rare remarks on the overall stock market. In the speech, given ahead of the Dot Com crash that would take the Nasdaq Composite years to recover from, Buffett predicted a market correction ahead.

He argued that traders can profit from a bubble in the short term by selling equities to each other. But in the final reckoning, stock values will average out to the ability of the underlying businesses to deliver profits.

Or as Buffett once told shareholders at an annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting, investors aren't investing in "lines that wiggle up and down on a graph."

His 1999 remarks spell doom after the stock market's bull run in 2019:

The fact is that markets behave in ways, sometimes for a very long stretch, that are not linked to value. Sooner or later, though, value counts.

He summarized the nature of equities bubbles:

Bear in mind–this is a critical fact often ignored–that investors as a whole cannot get anything out of their businesses except what the businesses earn. Sure, you and I can sell each other stocks at higher and higher prices.

And described the hard limit on stock returns:

The absolute most that the owners of a business, in aggregate, can get out of it in the end–between now and Judgment Day–is what that business earns over time.

If you go by the Buffett indicator, Wall Street is partying like it's 1999.

[Jan 19, 2020] How Central Banks Turned Hedge Funds into A New Recession Risk

Jan 19, 2020 | www.ccn.com

That's an unintended consequence of the flood of central bank liquidity. Systemic financial regulations designed to recession-proof the economy are tailored for banks. The $3.2 trillion hedge fund sector could be the weak point where the dam finally bursts.

The IMF warns in its semi-annual Global Financial Stability Report that:

the low-yield environment promotes an increase in portfolio similarities among investment funds that could amplify any market sell-off..

All-time low bond yields have sent investors in search of higher returns in riskier assets. A selloff of riskier securities in the asset management sector now poses a spillover threat to the broader economy. That's terrifying given the amount of leverage in hedge funds.

Low-interest rates direct the glut of liquidity in a monetary expansion to risky corners of the economy . So instead of fueling production as capital, the money is lost.

When this happens on a massive scale, you have the subprime lending crisis. And the resulting fallout in the mortgage-backed securities market. Then the subsequent credit crunch. And a loss of investor confidence. And a Great Recession.

Regulation Spurred Hedge Fund Risk

Taxpayers had to bail out banks that were "too big to fail." So regulations were passed to keep banks upright in the future. But that's like squeezing a balloon. There's still the same amount of air in the balloon. It just moves around.

Likewise, there's still the same amount of excess liquidity chasing risky assets in this low-interest rate balloon . The bank regulations just moved it around. Now the bad behavior lives in non-banking finance sectors like insurance and hedge funds .

The Wall Street Journal recently gave some troubling examples . Here's some of the bad behavior in the asset management industry today:

Funds are dabbling in riskier asset classes, including private markets, real-estate projects, infrastructure financing and direct lending. Some are making riskier fixed-income bets, buying volatile assets such as 100-year Argentine government bonds. Others are going farther afield, investing in greenhouses and waste management.

It used to be fine for wealthy investors to put their own finances at risk. So long as they're the only ones to take a hit if they lose their investment, that's part of the game.

But now they could be putting the rest of the economy at risk. And a central bank says that central banks caused it. There are a lot of policymakers today proposing to raise taxes on the wealthy to shore up the rest of the economy. Maybe just not handing them so much money in the first place would be a good start.

Disclaimer: The opinions in this article do not represent investment or trading advice from CCN.com.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das .

[Jan 19, 2020] Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations

Jan 19, 2020 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that "the market" delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning.

We internalise and reproduce its creeds. The rich persuade themselves that they acquired their wealth through merit, ignoring the advantages – such as education, inheritance and class – that may have helped to secure it. The poor begin to blame themselves for their failures, even when they can do little to change their circumstances.

It has played a major role in a remarkable variety of crises: the financial meltdown of 2007‑8, the offshoring of wealth and power, of which the Panama Papers offer us merely a glimpse, the slow collapse of public health and education, resurgent child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness, the collapse of ecosystems, the rise of Donald Trump. But we respond to these crises as if they emerge in isolation, apparently unaware that they have all been either catalysed or exacerbated by the same coherent philosophy; a philosophy that has – or had – a name. What greater power can there be than to operate namelessly?"

George Monbiot

"Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies."

Robert F. Kennedy

"`But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,' faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

`Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. `Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!'

It held up its chain at arm's length, as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief, and flung it heavily upon the ground again.

`At this time of the rolling year,' the spectre said `I suffer most. Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode! Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!'

Scrooge was very much dismayed to hear the spectre going on at this rate, and began to quake exceedingly.

`Hear me!' cried the Ghost. `My time is nearly gone.'"

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

"I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organisations, specifically banks and others, were such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms."

Alan Greenspan, apologising for his disastrous, ideologically-biased policies promoting financial deregulation , 23 October 2008

"Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast,
And each will wrestle for the mastery there...

To speak the truth, as truth to me appeared,
Caused noisy protest, I was hooted down.
Such unpleasant incidents occurred
I ran off, to be on my own,
into a wilderness. Utterly forsaken,
I fell into that devil's grip, and was taken."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust

"Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been [or could be] passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun."

Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater

"Isn't it a riddle and awe-inspiring that things can be so beautiful, despite the horrors? I've seen something wondrous peering through my joy in the beautiful, a sense of its creator.

Only people can be truly ugly, because they have free will to separate themselves from this song of praise. It often seems they may drown out this hymn with cannon thunder, curses, and blasphemy. But I have realized they will not succeed. And so I want to throw myself on the side of the victor."

Sophie Scholl

"Four sorrows are certain to be visited on the United States.

"Do not be fooled into thinking that you will never suffer because you say that I dwell among you. It is your delusion and lying words. Do you really believe you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and worship the gods of the world and those other new gods of yours, and then come here and stand before me in my own house and say, 'We are safe', only to go right back to all your lawlessness again? Do you not see that this house of yours, which you mark with my name, has become a den of thieves?"

Jeremiah 7:5-7

[Jan 19, 2020] Foreign Policy Is Domestic Policy The National Interest

Jan 19, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

September 18, 2012 Topic: Domestic Politics Elections Global Governance Region: United States Foreign Policy Is Domestic Policy

The hubris that the external behavior of the United States has no impact on the domestic condition of the country can no longer be indulged.

by Nikolas K. Gvosdev ,

[Jan 19, 2020] The history of neoliberalism's rise to power and massive take-off thanks to Clinton, Bush and Obama is important to understand so it can be undone and the power of both Neoliberals and Neocons can be diminished.

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jan 17 2020 21:44 utc | 26

I just finished the lengthy Dr. Hudson interview/discussion "Democratizing Money" I was sharing excepts from on the open thread which has great bearing on the foundational issues of this thread's topic and subtopics, and provides information that help inform an answer to Rose-Marie Larsson @21, for example.

The history of neoliberalism's rise to power and massive take-off thanks to Clinton, Bush and Obama is important to understand so it can be undone and the power of both Neoliberals and Neocons can be diminished.

That Daniel thinks anyone here is trying to argue trump's "some sort of anti-establishment hero" is grossly incorrect as all the evidence points to him as being an extension of Clinton, Bush, Obama; although Trump denied any such connection during his campaign, his actions speak otherwise, the evidence being well presented in Hudson's talk.

Want to learn why the NYSE is going to crack 30,000 by the end of January; read the discussion. Why 911? To insulate Wall Street from having the set of laws it wanted established so it could expand its crime spree from being undone or even discussed as it turned out. (That's my take, not Hudson's.) Finally, what're the main weapons Trump's used in his foreign policy? Weaponized Financialization and its kin Lawfare.

As Hudson admits, he's radical for the political solution he proposes:

"If you're going to do something so radical as to wipe out the financial class's claims on the rest of society, you have to go and finish the revolution that Adam Smith, Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, Alfred Marshall, Marx, and almost every 19th century classical economist advocated.

"You have to change the tax system so that you avoid having a financial system that makes its money by taking unearned income and monopoly income or land rent that should be basis of the tax base, for itself....

"So Steve [Keen] has an elegant mathematical solution that would work, but I'm more radical when it comes to the political solution.

"[Edgar] You want the creditors to lose in the Jubilee.

"Yes, it's one great advantage. It's just as important to wipe out the wealth of creditors as it is to wipe out the debt. If you leave the post-1980 gains with the creditors, you're going to have a ruling class much like the feudal landlords. You're going to have financial feudalism. If you leave all of this financial wealth intact, while the rest of the economy has so little wealth

"[Edgar] Well, we already have that.

"Yes, and I want to reverse it by wiping out the financial wealth. It's really overhead, because it's owed by the bottom 99%, siphoning off their income and ultimately depriving them of property."

Essentially, Hudson proposes we demonetize the 1% such that they lose their power to buy government while reregulating banks so they must return to a legitimate business model instead of their current pursuit of fraud as their business model. Once those two legs of the triangle are severed, the MIC having lost its allies will be easy to downsize to that of a "normal country."

[Jan 19, 2020] Russiagate was to hide Clinton's corruption. Ukrainegate is to hide Biden's corruption

Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Dank fur Kopf , 2 hours ago link

You can all go and ignore the whole Trump impeachment, because it's just smoke to try and hide the real fire.

Joe Biden's actual blackmail of the Ukrainian government, when he threatened to withhold $1 billion if the Prosecutor investigating his son, Hunter Biden, wasn't immediately fired.

Russiagate was to hide Clinton's corruption.
Ukrainegate is to hide Biden's corruption.

And because Biden is such an arrogant piece of ..., here's him admitting to it on camera:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3115&v=Q0_AqpdwqK4&feature=emb_logo

Dank fur Kopf , 2 hours ago link

You can all go and ignore the whole Trump impeachment, because it's just smoke to try and hide the real fire.

Joe Biden's actual blackmail of the Ukrainian government, when he threatened to withhold $1 billion if the Prosecutor investigating his son, Hunter Biden, wasn't immediately fired.

Russiagate was to hide Clinton's corruption.
Ukrainegate is to hide Biden's corruption.

And because Biden is such an arrogant piece of ..., here's him admitting to it on camera:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3115&v=Q0_AqpdwqK4&feature=emb_logo

[Jan 19, 2020] The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters

Jan 19, 2020 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"The Marxist political parties, including the Social Democrats and their followers, had fourteen years to prove their abilities. The result is a heap of ruins. All around us are symptoms portending this breakdown. With an unparalleled effort of will and of brute force the Communist method of madness is trying as a last resort to poison and undermine an inwardly shaken and uprooted nation.

In fourteen years the November parties have ruined the German farmer. In fourteen years they created an army of millions of unemployed. The National Government will carry out the following plan with iron resolution and dogged perseverance. Within four years the German farmer must be saved from pauperism. Within four years unemployment must be completely overcome.

Our concern to provide daily bread will be equally a concern for the fulfillment of the responsibilities of society to those who are old and sick. The best safeguard against any experiment which might endanger the currency lies in economical administration, the promotion of work, and the preservation of agriculture, as well as in the use of individual initiative."

Adolf Hitler, Radio Appeal to the German People, February 1, 1933

"Both religion and socialism thus glorify weakness and need. Both recoil from the world as it is: tough, unequal, harsh. Both flee to an imaginary future realm where they can feel safe. Both say to you. Be a nice boy. Be a good little girl. Share. Feel sorry for the little people. And both desperately seek someone to look after them -- whether it be God or the State.

A thriving upper class accepts with a good conscience the sacrifice of untold human beings, who, for its sake, must be reduced and lowered to incomplete human beings,to slaves, to instruments... One cannot fail to see in all these noble races the beast of prey, the splendid blond beast, prowling about avidly in search of spoil and victory; this hidden core needs to erupt from time to time, the animal has to get out again and go back to the wilderness."

Friedrich Nietzsche

"At a certain point in their historical cycles, social classes become detached from their traditional parties. In other words, the traditional parties, in their particular organisational bias, with the particular men who constitute, represent and lead them, are no longer recognised by their class as their own, and representing their interests. When such crises occur, the immediate situation becomes delicate and dangerous, because the field is open for violent solutions, for the activities of unknown forces, represented by charismatic 'men of destiny' [demagogues].

The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters."

Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks, 1930-35

"Be human in this most inhuman of ages; guard the image of man for it is the image of God. You agree? Good. Then go with my blessing. But I warn you, do not expect to make many friends. One of the awful facts of our age is the evidence that it is stricken indeed, stricken to the very core of its being by the presence of the Unspeakable."

Thomas Merton, Raids on the Unspeakable

"The more power a government has the more it can act arbitrarily according to the whims and desires of the elite, and the more it will make war on others and murder its foreign and domestic subjects."

R. J. Rummel, Death by Government: A History of Mass Murder and Genocide Since 1900

"This is as old as Babylon, and evil as sin. It is the power of the darkness of the world, and of spiritual wickedness in high places. The only difference is that it is not happening in the past, or in a book, or in some vaguely frightening prophecy -- it is happening here and now."

Jesse

"The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power as well. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Plunder, rape, and murder they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace."

Tacitus

"Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage.

And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun."

Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

"Day by day the money-masters of America become more aware of their danger, they draw together, they grow more class-conscious, more aggressive. The [first world] war has taught them the possibilities of propaganda; it has accustomed them to the idea of enormous campaigns which sway the minds of millions and make them pliable to any purpose.

American political corruption was the buying up of legislatures and assemblies to keep them from doing the people's will and protecting the people's interests; it was the exploiter entrenching himself in power, it was financial autocracy undermining and destroying political democracy. By the blindness and greed of ruling classes the people have been plunged into infinite misery."

Upton Sinclair, The Brass Check

"Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction."

Erich Fromm

"We must alter our lives in order to alter our hearts, for it is impossible to live one way and pray another.

If you have not chosen the kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead."

William Law

[Jan 19, 2020] IMF boss says global economy risks return of Great Depression

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jan 17 2020 23:56 utc | 67

Now even Bulgarian neoliberal stooge Georgieva is feeling the heat:

IMF boss says global economy risks return of Great Depression

[Jan 19, 2020] It has been the longest bull market in modern history, enabled by massive Central Bank intervention. But with trade wars raging, Brexit, Presidential impeachment over something, etc., there remains a significant risk of a recession over the next 12 months.

Jan 19, 2020 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"It has been the longest bull market in modern history, enabled by massive Central Bank intervention. But with trade wars raging, Brexit, Presidential impeachment over something, etc., there remains a significant risk of a recession over the next 12 months.

If we look at the normalized change in the 10Y-3M curve minus normalized change in 10Y yields, we can see a heightened recession risk. Lower yields and steeper curves are not a good recipe. And then we have the decline in S&P 500 earnings estimates. Recession coming?"

Anthony Sanders, Confounded Interest

"Day by day the money-masters of America become more aware of their danger, they draw together, they grow more class-conscious, more aggressive. The [first world] war has taught them the possibilities of propaganda; it has accustomed them to the idea of enormous campaigns which sway the minds of millions and make them pliable to any purpose.

American political corruption was the buying up of legislatures and assemblies to keep them from doing the people's will and protecting the people's interests; it was the exploiter entrenching himself in power, it was financial autocracy undermining and destroying political democracy. By the blindness and greed of ruling classes the people have been plunged into infinite misery."

Upton Sinclair, The Brass Check

"There is no clean way to make a hundred million bucks. Somewhere along the line guys got pushed to the wall, nice little businesses got the ground cut out from under them. Decent people lost their jobs. Big money is big power, and big power gets used wrong."

Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

"The very banality and innocence of the first act only allowed the blow to fall afterwards with more awful effect."

Robert W. Chambers, The King In Yellow

"There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself."

Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

"Whoever commits a fraud is guilty not only of the particular injury to him who he deceives, but of the diminution of that confidence which constitutes not only the ease but the existence of society."

Samuel Johnson

"The world of finance hails the invention of the wheel over and over again, often in a slightly more unstable version."

John Kenneth Galbraith

"Make no mistake about it, just as Lehman Brothers was set up to take the fall for triggering the 2008 collapse, China is being groomed as the new scapegoat for the coming crisis. But China's economic slump is only a symptom, not the disease.

The reality is that the repeal of Glass-Steagall ushered in the greatest wealth transfer scheme in the history of America, allowing six mega banks in America to control the vast majority of insured deposits, use those taxpayer-backed deposits to gamble for the house, loot the bank from the inside by paying billions of dollars to select employees and customers and then hand the gambling tab to the taxpayer when the casino burns down. This model is a staggering headwind on both U.S. and global growth because it has created the greatest wealth and income inequality since the Great Depression."

Pam and Russ Martens

"Each day we are becoming a creature of splendid glory, or one of unthinkable horror."

C. S. Lewis

"Congratulations to the Federal Reserve. You've successfully created the most extreme, pre-collapse yield-seeking bubble in U.S. history! With lower return prospects than Aug 1929. While encouraging a debt bubble where half of all 'investment grade' debt is one step above junk."

John P. Hussman

"All the world marveled at this, and gave their allegiance to the Beast. And they worshiped the dragon for giving such power to him. as they also worshiped the Beast. 'Who is as great as the Beast?' they exclaimed. 'And who is able to resist him?' The Beast was allowed to commit great blasphemies against God. And he was given the authority to do as he willed, but only for forty-two months."

Revelation 13:3-5

"Democratic leaders must learn to talk about class issues again. But they won't on their own. So pressure must come from traditional liberal constituencies and the grass roots, like the much-vilified bloggers...

The more comfortable option for Democrats is to maintain their present course, gaming out each election with political science and a little triangulation magic, their relevance slowly ebbing as memories of the middle-class republic fade."

Thomas Frank, Rendezvous With Oblivion, NYT 2006

[Jan 19, 2020] US External Balance Sheet: Big Borrower and Giant Corporate Tax Dodge

Jan 19, 2020 | www.cfr.org

"At the end of the day, perhaps, the equity side of the U.S. external balance sheet should be understood not by thinking of the U.S. as a giant and very successful private equity fund that borrows to buy equity -- but rather as one giant corporate tax dodge for U.S. based multinationals

If you think I am exaggerating, I would encourage you to take a look at the IRS data on the location of U.S. corporate profits -- and the location of the taxes that American firms pay abroad. U.S. firms are earning big profits in jurisdictions where they don't pay tax, and small profits in jurisdictions where they do and in the process, reducing their U.S. tax bill as well. That's real exorbitant privilege."

Brad Setser, US External Balance Sheet: Big Borrower and Giant Corporate Tax Dodge

[Jan 19, 2020] US strategy and what the gas pipeline war is costing us by Manlio Dinucci

Jan 19, 2020 | www.voltairenet.org

30 December 2019

After having forbidden the Chinese company Huawei to compete in the calls for tender for the 5G network, the United States are now forbidding the Europeans to increase their supplies of Russian gas. While the first decision was aimed at maintaining the coherence of NATO, the second is not a result of Russophobia, but of the 1992 " Wolfowitz doctrine " - preventing the EU from becoming a competitor of the " American Empire ". In both cases, the point is to infantilise the EU and keep it in a situation of dependence.

Although they were locked in a convoluted struggle concerning the impeachment of President Trump, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate laid down their arms in order to vote, in quasi-unanimity, for the imposition of heavy sanctions on the companies participating in the construction of North Stream 2, the doubling of the gas pipeline which delivers Russian gas to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The main victims were the European companies which had helped finance the 11 billion dollar project with the Russian company Gazprom. The project is now 80 % finished. The Austrian company Omy, British/Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, French Engie, German companies Uniper and Wintershall, Italian Saipem and Swiss Allseas are also taking part in the laying of the pipeline.

The doubling of North Stream increases Europe's dependence on Russian gas, warn the United States. Above all, they are preoccupied by the fact that the gas pipeline – by crossing the Baltic in waters belonging to Russia, Finland, Sweden and Germany – thus avoids the Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary), the Baltic States and Ukraine. In other words, the European countries which have the closest ties to Washington through NATO (to which we must add Italy).

Rather than being economic, the goal for the USA is strategic. This is confirmed by the fact that the sanctions on North Stream 2 are included in the National Defense Authorization Act , the legislative act which, for fiscal year 2020, hands the Pentagon the colossal sum of 738 billion dollars for new wars and new weapons (including space weapons), to which must be added other posts which bring the US military expenditure to approximately 1,000 billion dollars. The economic sanctions on North Stream 2 are part of a politico-military escalation against Russia.

An ulterior confirmation can be found in the fact that the US Congress has established sanctions not only against North Stream 2, but also against the Turk-Stream, which, in its final phase of realisation, will bring Russian gas across the Black Sea to Eastern Thrace,the small European area of Turkey. From there, by another pipeline, Russian gas should be delivered to Bulgaria, Serbia and other European countries. This is the Russian riposte to the US action which managed to block the South Stream pipeline in 2014. South Stream was intended to link Russia to Italy across the Black Sea and by land to Tarvisio (Udine). Italy would therefore have become a switch platform for gas in the EU, with notable economic advantages. The Obama administration was able to scuttle the project, with the collaboration of the European Union.

The company Saipem (Italian Eni Group), once again affected by the US sanctions against North Stream 2, was severely hit by the blockage of South Stream – in 2014, it lost contracts to the value of 2.4 billion Euros, to which other contracts would have been added if the project had continued. But at the time, no-one in Italy or in the EU protested against the burial of the project which was being organised by the USA. Now German interests are in play, and critical voices are being raised in Germany and in the EU against US sanctions against North Stream 2.

Nothing is being said about the fact that the European Union has agreed to import liquified natural gas (LNG) from the USA, an extract from bituminous shale by the destructive technique of hydraulic fracturation (fracking). In order to damage Russia, Washington is attempting to reduce its gas exports to the EU, obliging European consumers to foot the bill. Since President Donald Trump and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, signed in Washington in July 2018 the Joint Statement of 25 July: European Union imports of U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) , the EU has doubled its importation of LNG from the USA, co-financing the infrastructures via an initial expenditure of 656 million Euros. However, this did not save European companies from US sanctions. Manlio Dinucci

Translation
Pete Kimberley

Source
Il Manifesto (Italy)

[Jan 18, 2020] Importance of Cyprus is gas wars

Jan 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jon_in_AU , Jan 18 2020 15:35 utc | 140

Hausmeiseter@121

I can't say that I've dug into that in detail, although I do recall reading the post.

What I would like to say, however, is that the Cyprus question is one of the pivotal pieces in the current geopolitical situation.

A few points warranting further investigation to try and tie into a coherent whole:

1) The Cyprus banking crisis c. 2012-2013. This includes Russian oligarch/mafia money, and whether it was squirreled out of there before the buy-in orchestrated collapse of Laiki Bank of Cyprus as well as who was behind this push (IMF/NATO/GER/etc)

2) The Turkstream (1 & 2) gas projects (from which Turkey will extract considerable transit fees for decades to come). This also supports one of the main pillars of the Russian Federations' economy. Links also to US hegemon trying to kill off Nordstream 2.

3) The plans/MOU for Israel, Cyprus and Greece to build an undersea gas pipe network. This will effectively by-pass Turkstream, and is probably behind the push to have Israeli claims over the Golan Heights crystallise (along with the US staying put in Syria and Iraq). I also recall reading about ISIS shipments of stolen Syrian oil taking a cross-country route through Turkey to end up being refined in Israel, and on-sold to Greece (and others). This points at another whole behind-the-scenes dynamic.

4) Recent attempts by Turkey to get involved in Libya, create a new exclusive maritime zone, develop gas of the coast of Cyprus, and now military involvement. This is drawing rebuke from Israel, as it will scupper their planned pipe network. Greece likewise is now trying to send in troops (as observers/peace-keepers, LOL).
Cyprus is also rallying around to try and stop the Turkish plan from going ahead.

5) Recent arrests of Israeli intel assets in Cyprus of late also adds further heat to the situation.

I would really need to dedicate months of my life to try and untangle all of this, and by the time I did the situation would have moved on. (reminds me of the quote from Wagelaborers' blog: "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Karl Rove)

[Jan 18, 2020] Germany behaviour in Naftogas-Gasprom conflict makes zero sense unless you believe that Germany was acting as a proxy on behalf of a greater power

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

,

Thulean Friend , says: Show Comment December 23, 2019 at 5:34 am GMT
About this whole Ukraine-Russia gas transit thing that Felix is panicking about. It seems Germany had a key role in facilitating the deal.

However, that risk receded this week after Moscow and Kyiv concluded a landmark agreement that will ensure Russian gas continues to transit through Ukraine even after Nord Stream 2 is completed. Germany played a critical role in brokering the agreement and pressuring Russia to maintain Ukraine's transit status.

Why would Germany spend all this time and resources to construct these pipelines and then suddenly pressure Russia to maintain the transit fees? That makes zero sense unless you believe that Germany was acting as a proxy on behalf of a greater power. My pet theory: Germany most likely caved to US pressure and tried to triangulate at the last minute in a bid to stave off a larger German-US conflict.

Thulean Friend , says: Show Comment December 24, 2019 at 4:43 am GMT
@Swedish Family

What Germany wants, it seems to me, is (1) cheap energy for German industry, (2) a maximally weak Russian hand visavi Ukraine (which is now in effect a NATO/EU dependency), and (3) good enough relations with the Kremlin for Russia not to go rogue. Goals (1) and (3) obviously sit uneasily with goal (2), which is why we see so much back and forth.

I agree with (1) and (3) but I'd disagree over (2). I am not convinced Germany cares much about Ukraine's well-being. It is a very small economy (barely over 100 billion USD) and Germany's trade exposure to Ukraine is minimal. It isn't part of NATO, EU or any other major Western framework.

If Ukraine collapsed it would create significant refugee streams but Ukrainians are very easily assimilated into Western European countries, unlike Syrians or Turks, so even in a worse-case scenario the fallout would not be a major problem. If Croats or Serbs can mix into Germany easily, I don't see why Ukrainians would be a problem. Germany's shrinking work force would in fact even need such an influx. The only kink would be Russia's expanding borders if both Belarus+Ukraine was swallowed up but Germany probably would calculate that Russia wouldn't attack a NATO ally (and they wouldn't be wrong). I'm not saying Germany would want such an outcome, only that the worst-case scenario wouldn't be a big problem for them.

I think this has the fingerprints of the US all over it. Trump personally hates Ukraine, which has been documented in leaked documents during the impeachment process and major personalities of the Trumpist movement like Tucker Carlson openly cheers for Russia. So it wasn't Trump or his people who pushed for this but rather the permanent national-security state that was behind it and they are obsessed with keeping Russia down, or inventing fake Russiagate hoaxes to justify their paranoia. Germany made a 180 and suddenly pressured Russia to do something which Germany itself had no interest in keeping for the longest time. That suggests Germany caved to US pressure and tried to do a compromise. The US interest would be for NS2 to be scrapped completely. This was a German attempt at triangulating.

Either way, Ukraine got a big win purely because of Great Power politics over which they had no direct control.

[Jan 16, 2020] RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 16 JANUARY 2020 by Patrick Armstrong - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Jan 16, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 16 JANUARY 2020 by Patrick Armstrong

Russian flag

THE GREAT RESHUFFLE . I do expect Putin to retire and assume him to be working on a succession plan to keep the team's aims in operation. He's due to go in about four years. I would not be surprised if we see something à la Kazakhstan where Nazarbayev still has a significant advisory authority.

1. NEW PM. Mikhail Mishustin, head of Tax Service . Is he the chosen one? (Would be a blow to the Hirsute Analytical Tool , though.) ( Мишустин bio on Russian Wikipedia.)

2. CONSTITUTION. Putin suggested constitutional tweaks. A ban on any form of dual citizenship for certain positions: they must "inseparably connect their lives with Russia and the Russian people without any assumptions and allowances". The Duma should appoint the PM and the PM the government although little was said about exactly how responsibilities were to be divvied up. (Did he support removing the two consecutive term rule? Don't know – depends on what you think " этим " refers to.)

3. PRECEDENCE. Back when the world was simpler and happier and Russians naïve, the Constitution (Art 15.4) said "If an international treaty of the Russian Federation establishes rules other than those stipulated by the law, the rules of the international treaty apply." Brutal reality has taught Moscow the true nature of the " Rules-Based International Order" and Putin has proposed to reverse the authority.

4. MEDVEDEV. Deputy Chairman of the Security Council . I think it's a real job and not a sinecure.

WHAT'S IT MEAN? My take . Doctorow . MacDonald . We are broadly in step. Robinson discusses possibilities. Those who see Russia as one man and many robots of course see this as Putin hanging onto power forever . But their predictive track record is pretty pathetic, isn't it?

FEDERAL ASSEMBLY ADDRESS. In addition to the constitutional matters above, Putin's address ( Rus ) ( Eng ), touched on other subjects. He began with population – the births per woman were 1.5 and he wants to raise that to 1.7 and proposes more day care places and greatly extending existing financial support programs as well as spending to improve healthcare. All this is possible because "The federal budget has had a surplus again" and inflation is low. ( Robinson points out, quite correctly, that there's a gap between what The Boss decrees and what actually happens . Nonetheless I'd say Putin has been much more successful than most leaders.) Foreign matters received the barest mention: situation in MENA threatening, Russia ready to cooperate, "defence capability is ensured for decades to come".

RUSSIA INC. Awara does a study of Russian and American earnings and demonstrates that, in purchasing power, they're a lot closer than you would think. It's not just money: health, housing and education – big expenses in the USA – are negligible in Russia.

CORRUPTION. After an investigation, the Russian Academy of Sciences has forced the retraction of hundreds of scientific articles for plagiarism and other forms of fraudulent behaviour.

RUSSIA, SPORTS AND DRUGS. It's all fakery – Mark Chapman takes the trouble to put it all together .

USN ALWAYS HAS RoW. Again the US accuses the Russian Navy of dangerous behaviour, again it was the USN ship that should have given way . ( Give way to starboard vessel .) Speaking of rules-based.

IRAQ. It is reported that that Baghdad is in talks with Moscow on buying S-300 SAM systems . Baghdad orders Americans out; they refuse; Baghdad might need air defence that's independent of US backdoor programming.

TURKSTREAM . Formally launched by the two presidents in Turkey .

NOT IN YOUR "NEWS" OUTLET. Helmer discusses a German parliamentary report that shows that there really isn't any evidence that Russia "invaded" Ukraine or controls the rebels: "few reliable facts and analyses aside from the numerous speculations". It calls it a "civil war" (bürgerkriegs). Which is what it actually is (with assistance from NATO and Russia, to be sure). ( Report, German only ).

TROUBLE IN PARADISE. A contested presidential election led to pretty strong protests with the Supreme Court changing its ruling. The long and the short is that Raul Khajimba , an important player and President for six years, resigned on Monday . New elections will be held in March. Independent Abkhazia has not been very stable and I don't have any good sources to guide me on what's happening. Although I have been told it is determined on real independence, joining neither Russia nor Georgia.

NEW NWO. Iran has just demonstrated it belongs to the rather small club of countries which can precisely strike a target from far away . At least somebody got the message .

[Jan 16, 2020] The Plateau of Shale Production the Biggest Story of 2020

Notable quotes:
"... Such is the extent of the shakeout in the U.S. shale industry that Permian Basin oil production is closer to peaking than many forecasts suggest, according to one energy investor. ..."
"... Adam Waterous, who runs Waterous Energy Fund, regards the sector's financial position as unsustainable after years of disappointing returns for investors and negative free cash flow. With capital markets now largely shunning shale producers, the impact will begin to show in oil and natural gas output from the largest U.S. oil patch, he said. ..."
Jan 16, 2020 | peakoilbarrel.com

X says: 01/13/2020 at 6:45 pm The Plateau of Shale Production the Biggest Story of 2020?

https://www.financialsense.com/podcast/19463/slowing-shale-production-be-story-2020-says-adam-rozencwajg Reply

TonyEriksen says: 01/14/2020 at 1:48 am

Production from these selected top 9 US shale oil companies might be about to fall as shown by decreasing quarterly crude oil production changes in chart. ExxonMobil (XOM) shale oil is growing fast about 11% per quarter but probably not enough to offset declines from other operators.

EOG
Pioneer
Concho
ConocoPhillips
Marathon
Occidental incl Anadarko acquisition
Diamondback
Devon
ExxonMobil

XOM data is taken from shaleprofile.com, averaging three months into a quarter, then multiplying by 75% to get crude oil. 75% is used because Pioneer Natural Resources crude to total shale oil is 75% and Pioneer operates in the Permian which is also XOM main basin.

Dennis Coyne says: 01/14/2020 at 9:57 am
Pretty sure shale profile reports crude plus condensate, for "oil" production. As the data matches pretty closely with the EIA's tight oil estimates by play when Oklahoma output is excluded (shaleprofile only reports Oklahoma output on the subscription service.)

In short, one should not assume 75% of what is reported at shale profile is the "crude" portion of output. In fact all US output is reported as crude plus condensate, all the way back to 1860.

There is also Chevron, BP, and Shell operating in US tight oil, all have deep pockets and will be unaffected by the tightening up of the credit markets. In the past 2 years these 5 have doubled their tight oil output, though most of the increase occurred in 2018 when oil prices were higher.

Output may drop, that in turn will lead to higher oil prices and higher tight oil output, also the majors will be able to pick up cheap assets as smaller oil companies that have not been financially prudent go bankrupt, that may accelerate the growth of tight oil output from the majors as oil prices rise.

Dennis Coyne says: 01/14/2020 at 10:55 am
Here is output from 5 oil majors for US tight oil from

https://shaleprofile.com/blog/us-monthly-update/us-update-through-september-2019/

Output was 839 kb/d in Sept 2019, 402 kb/d in Sept 2017, and 686 kb/d in Sept 2018.

Output from Shell, Exxon/Mobil, Conoco-Philips, Chevron, and BP.

Synapsid says: 01/14/2020 at 7:18 pm
DC,

Liquids produced at natural-gas processing plants are excluded. Those are the NGPLs if memory serves and are not NGLs which I think of as coming from NG at the well head.

In other words liquid from NG is listed two ways: The stuff obtained at the well head (NGL) and the stuff obtained farther down the line at NG processing plants (NGPL), and the latter is not included as oil. This is from my failing memory but so is my ability to find my way home most of the time.

Hmm it's been a while since Port.

Dennis Coyne says: 01/15/2020 at 7:49 am
What some do not realize is that the natural gasoline (which condenses from the natural gas stream at standard temperature and pressure of 1 ATM, 25 C) has always been included in the crude plus condensate data in the US since 1860. The lower carbon chain products (C2, C3, C4) are not liquids at STP, they are gases and remain in the natural gas stream until they are separated at the natural gas processing plant. The definition given by the EIA is quite clear on this point.
TonyEriksen says: 01/14/2020 at 6:46 pm
In the Permian basin, the ratio of crude to total oil (incl NGL) produced by Pioneer has fallen from 81% at beginning of 2016 to 75% at the end of 2019. If this fall is similar for other Permian producers then it may be harder to continue increasing Permian crude production.

TonyEriksen says: 01/14/2020 at 6:50 pm
The comparison between oil production from shaleprofile.com and from Pioneer is very close, as shown by the two green lines. For 2019Q3, shaleprofile production was 286 kbd compared to 290 kbd from Pioneer quarterly report. Note that both these numbers include crude, lease condensate and NGLs.
http://www.pxd.com/

Freddy Gulestø says: 01/14/2020 at 9:35 pm
I read an very interested report here on this forum where US geological Institute had estimated break even prices for Thiere 6 to 1. Thiere 6 was categorizized as sweet spots with more than 800 kbpd. As I remember this had break even cost 18 usd each barrel and to next class you could aproximately multiplay it with 3. I believe this is much of the core knowledge the Pioneer Mark Papa is estimated US future shale production at wich again is related to change in rock quality. What we know is in 2014 -2015 I believe US could earn money at least with some borrowings at 30 usd WTI , 5 years after tjey cant earn money at 60 usd WTI even with huge improvement in drilling efficiency that it is a reason to believe will go much slower in future. Labour cost and all other will continue to increase. It might be break even price in 2025 will be above 120 usd WTI iff Thiere 5 runs out as same as Tiere 6 the sweet spots. This mean we will be back to the situation before 2014 when the main source off oil was offshore, and investment was there. It simply means US need to cut more cost in shale oil, develop more oil from wells drilled in less quality rock but this challange might be very hard to solve even for Exxon that is ramping up, the question will be if their barrels are profittable at 42 usd WTI as they predict. Perhaps Mr. President could give tax release, or simply start buy up the 1500 billion in depth that need to be payed next 4 years.
Dennis Coyne says: 01/15/2020 at 10:58 am
Tony,

Some people may consider natural gasoline (which condenses from Natural gas in the lease separators) as "NGL", I consider this this to be lease condensate and generally is is mixed with the crude and sold with the crude. Perhaps Pioneer keeps a separate account of "crude" and "condensate", in the US these are usually lumped together as C+C, most of the NGPL produced in the US is Ethane (C2), Propane (C3), and Butane (C4), about 12% of the NGPL is natural gasoline (C5), roughly 600 kb/d of a 5000 kb/d total output of NGPL. Note that the US does not count the pentanes plus from NGPL plants as part of C+C output even though it is chemically very similar to lease condensate. In Canada, for example the pentanes plus from NGPL is added to C+C from the field, not sure why the US does things this way, Canada's approach seems more sensible.

See https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_pnp_gp_dc_nus_mbblpd_m.htm

Jack says: 01/14/2020 at 11:20 pm
what are they smoking at the EIA they expect production to keep on increasing through dec/jan while rigs and frac spreads have cratered ..

Great comments on twitter re the data and EIA response to questioning how they get to their numbers

https://twitter.com/ZmansEnrgyBrain?lang=en

TonyEriksen says: 01/15/2020 at 12:41 am
Such is the extent of the shakeout in the U.S. shale industry that Permian Basin oil production is closer to peaking than many forecasts suggest, according to one energy investor.

Adam Waterous, who runs Waterous Energy Fund, regards the sector's financial position as unsustainable after years of disappointing returns for investors and negative free cash flow. With capital markets now largely shunning shale producers, the impact will begin to show in oil and natural gas output from the largest U.S. oil patch, he said.

"We think we are at or near peak Permian" production, Waterous said last week in an interview. "The North American oil market has been grossly overcapitalized, which is not sustainable."

Predicting peak Permian output for 2020 isn't a mainstream view. There's plenty of debate about how much production growth in the West Texas and New Mexico patch may slow this year as shale drillers slash capital spending, but the consensus is that supplies will rise, albeit at a slower pace. Tai Liu, an analyst at BloombergNEF, said in a report Tuesday that the pessimism may be overdone.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-14/peak-permian-oil-output-is-closer-than-you-think-investor-says

Watcher says: 01/15/2020 at 2:57 am
Just because there are newcomers I will re offer up a consideration.

If you have to have it, and you do have to have it, you are not going to let a substance created from nothingness on a whim by the local Central Bank get in the way.

This is a peak oil blog, and that means scarcity. When something that you have to have is scarce, then you are going to go get it. The concept of price is a parameter of value -- value that exists only in the imagination of counterparties. Oil moves food and your stomach doesn't care about the imagination of counterparties. So don't be so sure that price determines production. Or consumption.

Anybody notice that the price is rather a lot less than it was five or six years ago? How does production compare to then?

HuntingtonBeach says: 01/15/2020 at 11:38 am
"'There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know."

Economics is the study of how people allocate scarce resources for production, distribution, and consumption, both individually and collectively.

Supply and demand is the amount of a commodity, product, or service available and the desire of buyers for it, considered as factors regulating its price.

Watcher, we don't live in a perfect world of instant information and production.

" Over the past five years, the industry and its investors "mistook a massive structural change for a simple cyclical event," he said. "It's impossible to continue to have uneconomic production and capex.""

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-14/peak-permian-oil-output-is-closer-than-you-think-investor-says

Watcher, maybe some day you will figure out you need to apologize to Dennis for your ignorance and demeanor. Until than your the loser.

Watcher says: 01/15/2020 at 10:46 pm
It is basic stuff. I can show you many time periods of increasing price that aligned with increasing consumption.

And again, worst of all, you know I can show those time periods.

The theory fails. If you find even one instance where it is wrong, it fails. That's the scientific method. The hypothesis is proposed. Experiments are observed. If even one fails to support it, that's failure. That's how it's always worked.

There is no oh, but. Price is lower than 6 years ago and production is higher. 2010 to 2014 price rose from $95/b to $112/b. Consumption 2010 89 bpd to 2014 93 mbpd. I found that without breaking a sweat.

The theory fails. Embrace a new one. And why be surprised? It's a substance whose value derives from whimsy and counterparty imagination

Lightsout says: 01/15/2020 at 4:17 am
US gas production in decline.
https://amp.ft.com/content/6a39af48-3719-11ea-a6d3-9a26f8c3cba4?segmentid=acee4131-99c2-09d3-a635-873e61754ec6&__twitter_impression=true
Dave P says: 01/15/2020 at 1:43 pm
Search the article name in google and open it from there, this gets around the paywall for me.

[Jan 16, 2020] The average price for 2019 was $56.72 WTI for 2019 doesn't seem to be exciting anyone.

Jan 16, 2020 | peakoilbarrel.com

shallow sand x Ignored says: 01/10/2020 at 1:53 pm

$56.72 WTI for 2019 doesn't seem to be exciting anyone.

That was the average price for 2019.

I think the major agencies see US C + C topping 20 million BOPD by 2030.

Along with the slow but steady increase in renewables, just not much of a reason to get excited about oil. Reminds me a lot of the 1990s.

Jack x Ignored says: 01/10/2020 at 3:59 pm
So rigs and frac spreads continue to fall yet almost all experts predict continued LTO growth . it would appear the day of reckoning is coming and the majors in the Permian will not save the day .. wasn't everyone hoping for a pick up in rigs and spreads as budgets were meant to be renewed in the new year
Jack x Ignored says: 01/10/2020 at 7:53 pm
I think independents are finally getting it that they can't simply look to increase production as soon as the POO goes up.

I think the change has solely been bought about by investors requiring a return on investment, I'm not sure we can surmise that LTO producers will act as they have in the past, I suspect it will take a sustained period of high POO before LTO producers open the spigots it will create even more of a boom/bust scenario going forward ..

Stephen Hren x Ignored says: 01/11/2020 at 7:36 am
I agree with you Jack, a large increase in oil prices seems unlikely to have much boost in LTO production for several years because banks will want significant loan payback before increasing drilling budgets. Dennis' model is an excellent BAU projection, but we live in more dynamic times than that imho. Banks will need a consistent high oil price to lend like they did in the past. That seems unlikely given possibility for recession, war, EV adoption, increased regulation from Democratic prez, etc.

Wall Street is obsessed with the shiny new thing and that is not FF production. Tesla's share price now more than GM and Ford combined.

Stephen Hren x Ignored says: 01/11/2020 at 9:35 am
Debt mountain for shale producers 2020-2023. Maybe once they get past this mountain banks will be ready to loan again and rig counts and frac spreads will increase. But only if there's a consistently high oil price during this period so banks have confidence to lend and debt is substantially reduced.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/US-Oil-Companies-Face-240-Billion-Debt-Mountain.html

shallow sand x Ignored says: 01/11/2020 at 8:01 am
It's all about the Permian and has been for quite some time.

None of the other shale basins have enough rigs running to grow production significantly.

The Bakken is probably the most economic besides the Permian, and it seems the operators there are in maintenance mode with regard to production.

There are still 397 rigs running in the PB. That is still a large number. I suspect there are more locations left there than in the remaining shale basins combined (not counting the ones which produce mostly natural gas).

Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 01/11/2020 at 8:49 am
It takes rigs to drill wells and frak spreads to complete them. No, rigs and frak spreads have not improved their efficiency that much in such a short time. And drillers and frakers are not working that much faster.

What you are seeing, or are about to see, is a slowdown in completions. The frak spreads that are being retired have obviously just finished completing a well. But they will not be completing another one. That's why you see a lag between falling rig and frak spread count and completions.

Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 01/11/2020 at 11:59 am
Hell, that's all we need Dennis. If the total number of national frac spreads fall then the total completions, nationwide, will fall. If production falls everywhere except the Permian, then that decline will offset any increase in the Permian.

Okay, we know that the lions share of frac spreads are for oil therefore???

I think you are way overplaying your hand with this efficiency stuff. Last time when rigs and frac spreads declined, then production declined. Why should it be any different this time?

The simple fact of the matter is: "The total number of frac spreads are falling". Therefore completions will fall because retired frac spreads frac no new wells. Yes, it is as simple as that. Saying the remaining frac spreads will be more efficient therefore completions will not fall, is just wishful thinking at best, and total nonsense at worst.

The Primary Vision Frac Spread Count is 275 for the week ending January 10th, 2020.

Jack x Ignored says: 01/11/2020 at 2:57 pm
Well said Ron losing frac spreads means that the maximum number of completions able to be completed has decreased – the concept of increased efficiency is a red herring when spreads have fallen 40%!in the past 6 months – spreads efficiency sure hasn't risen 65% in the same time ..

I think we all agree once the worm turns in the Permian LTO production will decrease, I am not sure producers will increase production as the POO rises they do have to pay back a lot of debt and have shareholders to answer to who want a return ..

Freddy Gulestø x Ignored says: 01/11/2020 at 3:55 pm
From what I have read there is always improvement of efficiency in operation regarding new Buisinesses such as shale. This improvement is normaly linked to exsperiance, increased volumes i.e. but typical it will slow down during time as much of the easy potential will be taken out. I see this as drilling padds, skidding systems as same rig could drill more wells without be dismantled and mounting again. Dere have also been improvements in latheral lenghts, propant, and fluid . But as Slumberger wrote in 2019, they believed max latheral lenght already is reach as if increased cost off equipment will be much higher and also risk increase when operating atbthe limit, more tear i.e. There might still be improvements but more slow than it have been. According to reports the break even price increase 4-5 times each Tiere class, and I believe rock quality will be a main challange in years to come as shale will need higher oil price to earn money, pay back ballons and dividends.
Jack x Ignored says: 01/11/2020 at 8:09 pm
Let's see the next quarterlies from LTO producers noting the continued comments about being profitable under $50. If Permian centric producers cannot profit on maintaining production output we know Houston we have a problem going forward .. will the companies be able to stick to using cash flows from continued operations only or will we see more excuses carted out again .
Stephen Hren x Ignored says: 01/12/2020 at 7:28 am
Gail makes the case for an oil peak for 2018, predicting production down 1% in 2020 in a low-price environment. Her take is worth a read even though she likes to go far out on a limb with little support sometimes

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Recession-Fears-Cap-Oil-Prices-In-2020.html

TonyEriksen x Ignored says: 01/13/2020 at 1:57 am
Production from these selected top 8 US shale oil companies might be about to fall as shown by decreasing quarterly crude oil production changes as in chart below.

EOG
Pioneer
Concho
ConocoPhillips
Marathon
Occidental incl Anadarko acquisition
Diamondback
Devon

Jack x Ignored says: 01/13/2020 at 2:32 am
very interesting graph it shows what is evident that independents are being forced into financial discipline at last. I cannot see the majors picking up the slack regardless of what the MSM say, why would they continue with the growth at all costs strategy which has caused noting but carnage for the above 8 producers.
TonyEriksen x Ignored says: 01/13/2020 at 7:34 am
Majors won't be picking up the slack according to the top 5 from https://shaleprofile.com/2020/01/07/us-update-through-september-2019/

Dennis Coyne x Ignored says: 01/13/2020 at 12:10 pm
Looks like XOM grew quite strongly. Their pockets are deep, they can buy up assets on cheap as smaller companies fail, fairly standard in capitalism.
Jack x Ignored says: 01/13/2020 at 4:10 pm
Can XOM do all the heavy lifting itself once the independent growth plateaus then falls is the million $ question. My bet XOM will grow but in a sustainable way, the impact of the Permian increase will be interesting to note in their quarterly how much has that growth cost them is the question ..
Dennis Coyne x Ignored says: 01/13/2020 at 4:54 pm
Jack,

If we look at Exxon/Mobil, Chevron, Conoco-Philips, Shell, and Total combined, they have increased combined tight oil output from 400 kb/d to 840 kb/d in the past 2 years (Sept 2017 to Sept 2019). Most of this increase occurred from Sept 2017 to Sept 2018 when oil prices were a bit higher, in the past 12 months output grew by only 155 kb/d. Oil prices matter, low oil prices may kill tight oil output growth, if so, oil prices are likely to rise.

shallow sand x Ignored says: 01/13/2020 at 9:44 pm
Dennis.

I read some of your models some of the time, so forgive me if this question you have already answered.

When you model the Permian, how many wells are you assuming?

It seems the EFS and Bakken likely do not have years of locations left, at least on a large scale. Likely why there aren't a lot of rigs.

If there are a decade of locations for 400 rigs in the PB, I suspect oil prices will remain range bound.

Dennis Coyne x Ignored says: 01/14/2020 at 9:47 am
Shallow sand,

For my "medium oil price scenario" (maximum WTI price of $83/b in 2018$ reached in 2027), we get about 195,000 total wells drilled, about 110,000 total horizontal tight oil wells get completed from 2010 to 2030 (about 26,000 have been completed through November 2019) so roughly 80k wells completed from Sept 2019 to Sept 2029 in scenario below.

Also link below has spreadsheet you can play with.

Changing row 4 changes completion rate to any rate that seems reasonable. Scenario ends in 2030 for this particular spreadsheet, you can use excel, google sheets, or some other spreadsheet program, it is saved in microsoft excel format.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fyAD5-CngWdgq_kaZ7ow1k7O_dNr8xaW/view?usp=sharing

On prices remaining range bound, that depends in part of how quickly oil consumption grows. From 1982 to 2018 the average rate of growth in annual oil consumption has been about 800 kb/d. My $83/bo model has US tight oil growing by about 385 kb/d over the next 7 years, it is not clear that the rest of the World will be able to fill the 415 kb/d gap each year (assuming the 800 kb/d C+C consumption growth continues for the next 7 years). That is why I expect oil prices to rise.

There has been relatively low offshore oil investment over the past 5 years and this is likely to start affecting World oil output soon, the bumps in output from Brazil and Norway are likely to be offset by declines in other producing nations (Mexico, China, and UK) and it is far from clear that we will see higher output from Iran, Venezuela, Libya, or Nigeria.

As always the future is difficult to predict and I am often wrong, so perhaps oil prices will remain "range bound" in your preferred $55 to $65/bo range. If that is correct Permian output will grow far more slowly, perhaps growing from 4 Mb/d to about 6 Mb/d. The low oil price scenario has about 72,000 wells completed from Sept 2019 to May 2030 in the Permian, about 52,000 wells in all other US tight oil basins for a total of about 124,000 wells for the low oil price scenario over that period. The completion rate falls from 850 in 2030 to zero in 2035 for the low oil price scenario and output falls from 8200 kb/d at the start of 2030 to 2600 kb/d at the end of 2035.

I think it unlikely oil prices will remain range bound when World oil output peaks in 2026, that is only 6 years away, growth in oil output will slow significantly starting in 2024 and oil prices are likely to rise (at the latest) by June 2023.

shallow sand x Ignored says: 01/14/2020 at 11:36 am
Thanks.

That is a lot of locations. Of course, not all locations are the same productivity wise.

Incredible how much oil the Permian Basin has produced and will produce in the next decade.

Interesting how many companies sold out most of their acreage in the PB in the late 1980s and 1990s, thinking it was past its prime.

I know of a small operator that bought leases in the PB and drilled some good vertical wells. Martin Co. I don't know what they paid, but I am sure it was a tiny fraction of the $600 million they sold out for a three years ago.

QEP bought about 9,500 acres from them for $600 million. There was 1,400 BOPD of production from vertical wells at the time of the sale.

I have been looking at the wells QEP has drilled on this acreage. I don't think $600 million for 450 hz locations was a good deal for QEP. There are some good wells, but not enough of them.

Dennis Coyne x Ignored says: 01/14/2020 at 1:13 pm
Shallow sand,

Yes I agree, all locations will not have the same productivity, I use the average for all wells drilled for any given month as I am interested in the entire industry, some operators will have better wells than others, some of this is skill and some of it is luck, I simply assume generic company X will have a well productivity distribution that will be similar to the industry average, in practice this is not likely to be true, but if we think of the entire Permian basin as being run by a single large oil producer (Big Permian Oil Company) it would be approximately correct, if my economic assumptions are correct.

I also find it amazing how much tight oil has been produced (5.6 Gb so for for Permian since Jan 2000) and will be produced ( a total of 29 Gb for my model from Jan 2000 to May 2030, and for longer scenarios out to Dec 2079, about 60 Gb URR for Permian basin alone.) Mike Shellman thinks that is completely wrong, but if the USGS mean estimate is roughly correct and my medium oil price scenario and other economic assumptions are correct, that is what the model suggests might happen. Mike is not a fan of the USGS TRR estimates, their F95 estimate is 43 Gb for Permian Basin URR, my low oil price scenario is in line with that F95 TRR estimate, with a URR of about 37 Gb.

If the TRR is low, oil prices are likely to be higher and a higher percentage of the TRR is likely to be profitable to produce. (For a low TRR scenario the EUR would decrease more rapidly than my "medium" TRR assumption (the basis for my best guess estimates).

I assume new well EUR starts to decrease starting in Jan 2019. In Dec 2018, my model has the average Permian well with an EUR of 378 kbo. Chart below shows how the model assumes the EUR will change from Sept 2019 to May 2030 (end of model scenario) for the Permian scenario I presented above.

Again this is a guess for how future EUR will change based on a TRR scenario (no economics) with 255,000 wells and a TRR matching the USGS mean estimate of 75 Gb for the Permian basin. The rate that the EUR decreases depends on the number of wells completed each month. Chart is small, click on chart for larger chart.

So they paid 1.33 million per well, I agree the wells do not look very good, for a 2017 average well, QEP has cumulative output of 145 kbo, my basin wide average well has about 190 kbo at 24 months, so the QEP wells about 24% lower than average, yikes.

shallow sand x Ignored says: 01/14/2020 at 5:44 pm
QEP was $18/share when they bought the acreage. $4/share now.
Ovi x Ignored says: 01/13/2020 at 8:31 am
Tony

Great chart. 👍👍👍👍

Watcher x Ignored says: 01/13/2020 at 11:58 am
No evidence of any of that in chart.

[Jan 16, 2020] PolitiFact Wrongly Lets Biden Off the Hook The Truth About Social Security Cuts by Alex Lawson

Social Security cuts is the essence of political platform of neoliberal democrats like Biden.
Obomber and Biden were more than willing to cut Social Security
Jan 15, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Yves here. It is striking how much Biden is able to misrepresent his record. Uncritical media coverage will do that.

By Alex Lawson, the executive director of Social Security Works , a non-profit advocacy group that supports expanding benefits to address America's growing retirement security crisis. Lawson has appeared on numerous TV and radio outlets and is a frequent guest host of The Thom Hartmann Program , one of the top progressive radio shows in the country. Produced by Economy for All , a project of the Independent Media Institute

Recently, a newsletter from the Bernie Sanders campaign laid out Joe Biden's long record of supporting cuts to Social Security. The website PolitiFact weighed in on one part of that record, a speech Biden gave in 2018 in which he expressed enthusiasm for former House Speaker Paul Ryan's plans to cut Social Security.

PolitiFact wrongly ranked the statement from the Sanders newsletter as "false" because they willfully refused to understand what Biden said in the speech -- and how it represents decades of Washington establishment consensus on cutting the American people's earned Social Security and Medicare benefits.

In the speech, Biden says, "we need to do something about Social Security and Medicare" and that Social Security "needs adjustments." Biden did not elaborate on what these "adjustments" were, but a look at his long history on Social Security is telling.

In the 1980s, Biden sponsored a plan to freeze all federal spending , including Social Security. In the 1990s, Biden was a leading supporter of a balanced budget amendment , a policy that the Center for American Progress and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (two center-left think tanks who are hardly in the tank for Bernie Sanders) agree would be a catastrophe for Social Security.

More recently, Biden led "grand bargain" negotiations with Republicans during his time as vice president. This "grand bargain" would have given Republicans structural, permanent cuts to Social Security in return for tax increases on the wealthy that would be rolled back as soon as a Republican president got elected to office.

Time and time again, Biden kept coming back to the negotiating table, insisting that Republicans were dealing in good faith. Ultimately, the grand bargain fell through only because of hardline House Republicans refusing to make even an incredibly lopsided deal. Biden was fully prepared to make a deal that included Social Security cuts, including reducing future cost-of-living increases by implementing a chained CPI .

When Washington politicians talk about Social Security cuts, they almost always use coded language, saying that they want to "change," "adjust," or even "save" the program. That's because cutting Social Security is incredibly unpopular with voters of all political stripes. When corporate-friendly politicians like Biden use those words, they are trying to signal to elite media and billionaire donors that they are "very serious people" who are open to cutting Social Security benefits, without giving away the game to voters.

One of those billionaires, Pete Peterson, spent almost half a billion dollars on a decades-long crusade to destroy Social Security and Medicare. Peterson died in 2018, but his money lives on in the form of think tanks like the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), which relentlessly advocate for benefit cuts while insisting that they are neutral arbiters because they are "non-partisan."

Non-partisan and non-ideological are two very different things, but the media has an unfortunate tendency to treat them as one and the same. The CRFB and similar groups are zealously committed to an ideology of cutting the American people's earned benefits. PolitiFact quotes a CRFB staffer to back up their article, without providing readers with any context about CRFB's ideology or speaking to an expert opposed to Social Security cuts.

It's easy for people in a D.C. elite bubble, working for think tanks or newspaper editorial boards, to support cutting Social Security. Cushioned by billionaire money, they have no idea what it's like to live on the average Social Security benefit of less than $18,000 a year.

But in the rest of the country, it's a very different story. People love Social Security, the only thing keeping their grandparents, their friend with a disability , and their young neighbors who recently lost a parent out of poverty. Grassroots activists across the country, working with congressional champions like Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, put pressure on Democratic politicians and changed the conversation on Social Security.

After years of hard work, Democrats are united in support of expanding, not cutting, Social Security. Ninety percent of House Democrats are co-sponsors of the Social Security 2100 Act , and every major Democratic presidential candidate has a plan to expand Social Security.

That includes Biden, who has disavowed benefit cuts and is running on a plan to modestly expand Social Security benefits. Politicians responding to activist pressure is a good thing, and people have the capacity to evolve and change. But Biden continually sows doubt that his change of heart is genuine by continuing to talk about the merits of " sharing power " with Republicans. He says that " there's an awful lot of really good Republicans ," and has even stated that he'd consider making a Republican his vice president .

Biden doesn't seem to have changed much from his time as vice president, when he offered Republicans "grand bargains" that included Social Security cuts again and again. At this point, it's self-evident that the only agenda Republican politicians care about is cutting taxes for their billionaire donors and stealing earned benefits from the American people. When Biden says that he wants to work with them, it suggests that he remains open to that agenda. That's very concerning for everyone who cares about the future of Social Security and Medicare.

Additionally, Biden's past support for Social Security cuts is a major vulnerability should he become the Democratic nominee. In the 2016 election, Donald Trump continually promised to protect Social Security and Medicare. That was a lie . But lying has never bothered Trump, and he'll be happy to use the same playbook in 2020.

There are numerous videos of Joe Biden calling for Social Security cuts. We can expect Trump to blanket Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania with ads containing that footage.

Democrats win when they can draw a clear contrast with Republicans on protecting and expanding our most popular government program, Social Security. Nominating Joe Biden would make that far more difficult than it needs to be.


shinola , January 15, 2020 at 11:27 am

'The Intercept' article link is well worth a read. Good roundup of Biden's history of attempts to cut SS, Medicare & Medicaid.

https://theintercept.com/2020/01/13/biden-cuts-social-security/

Ignacio , January 15, 2020 at 12:28 pm

By Spanish political standards Biden would be considered a hard-core conservative, not that far from ultraliberal types. He has nothing to offer except business as usual. He would be a puppet on Trump's hands.

Paul Hirschman , January 15, 2020 at 1:08 pm

Hard to believe any of this recent, very recent, history is still unknown.

It was the Tea Party that saved Social Security because of its intransigence. Bama/Biden would've sold SS down the river had the Tea Party been "reasonable."

Strange and uninteresting times these. Boring attacks on truth and common sense social policy. The only fun part of the story is that England is about to throw itself off the American cliff too.

smoker , January 15, 2020 at 3:00 pm

Thanks.

I don't at all understand why Obama's name is missing from this piece, he's the one that validated Pete Peterson's Catfood Commission , I'm sure with the full support of VP Biden.

NotTimothyGeithner , January 15, 2020 at 8:33 pm

I believe it wasn't even the commission which couldn't get that many people to be so openly evil but just Pete Peterson and Alan Simpsons' personal wish list.

smoker , January 15, 2020 at 9:01 pm

Yeah, which Obomber and Biden were more than willing to honor as a valid discussion, as if it wasn't stunningly cruel and vicious. The word evil, which would have been my first choice of adjectives, appears to have been banned by neoliberals – who now openly adore George Walker Bush – as fundyism ™, since George Walker Bush/ Dick Cheney Days; as has moral outrage been banned.

smoker , January 15, 2020 at 10:26 pm

Shorter version of my comment in moderation:

Yep, which Obomber and Biden were more than willing to honor as a valid discussion.

WestcoastDeplorable , January 15, 2020 at 1:59 pm

I made a decent income during my prime working years, nevertheless I can testify it's just not possible to live any kind of a comparable lifestyle solely depending on social security. The fedgov has already trimmed back the COLAs to the point where if hamburger gets pricey, they substitute it with dog food. I'm serious. If any adjustments are made to social security, they need to be double-digit increases, not decreases, and not more of this "chained cpi" crap!

DHG , January 15, 2020 at 6:34 pm

I transfer the problem to the bankers, they pay the difference as the cards never will be repaid, I am judgment proof and there are no assets for them to attach legally when I kick off. Salute.

JBird4049 , January 15, 2020 at 6:55 pm

What COLAs are we talking about? Gas, rent, food, insurance all rise faster than the official rate of inflation and therefore the cost of living increases. It's an insulting joke and stealth benefit cutting.
I would think that the mismatch between the COLA and the real rate of inflation is a reason for the mistrust of the government. If the Feds are lying on something that you can easily check either by your experience or by going online, just what else is bull manure?

Also, just what is it with some people on reforming cutting social security as it really does not pay much. It is also very difficult to get disability even when everything is well documented. I assume that they care about orphans, the disabled, and the old? Almost everyone but the orphans have worked for years and any serious cuts would bring the wrath that would destroy the careers of politicians who voted for them.

This is almost a rhetorical question, but am I crazy or are the supporters of these "adjustments?"

teacup , January 15, 2020 at 3:00 pm

This is precisely why this country is so screwed up. When a so called leader of the left advocates austerity for seniors the end is near. A currency war against your own people. Thanks Joe!

DHG , January 15, 2020 at 6:35 pm

The end of this system of things is indeed very very near. I welcome its complete destruction and the installation of Gods rulership on this planet forever.

JBird4049 , January 15, 2020 at 7:00 pm

Let's try to forestall the End Times and Armageddon, shall we? I really rather wish that the selfish SOBs ruining things any help, even passively, unless it's sending them to prison, The Hague, or even just bankruptcy court.

Oh , January 15, 2020 at 3:13 pm

Our news media is so much in bed with the neo-liberals that their propaganda is sickening!

JTMcPhee , January 15, 2020 at 9:22 pm

Does any significant fraction of the working class believe anything that comes out of that nether orifice that dares to style itself "Politifacts?" Every piece I have ever read from that hole reeks of the worst kind of Jesuitical subterfuge, happily selecting and shading things until they come up with a pronouncement that serves the PTB.

Politi-crap.

run75441 , January 15, 2020 at 9:26 pm

I guess we can add social security to the other issues Biden has been on the wrong side of such as healthcare.

Having come to Michigan to give praise to Freddie Upton for pushing the 21st Century Cures Act during Congressional elections and probably pushed him across the finish line bay a small margin of votes over the Democratic candidate Matt Longjohn. Fred suffered from that hard work as Commerce Chair taking in $millions in contributions from the healthcare supply and pharma industry. Fewer NIH clinical trials and real world testing.

Then there are student loans and Biden's inflexibility on bankruptcy for students since the mid nineties. Of course Biden will tell you how hard he worked and others such as millennials should do so also. Except we have so burdened a segment of the population we have stymie the growth one might expect from graduates entering the consumer market and being successful enough to buy and pay taxes.

I am sorry Yves, Biden is an a**. This boomer would love to talk to him as I did with Stabenow publicly on the same issue and why she voted for such nonsense.

Dirk77 , January 16, 2020 at 12:17 am

Tell me more about Biden and student loans

[Jan 16, 2020] While it might work in domestic politics, this mad man negotiating tactic erodes trust in international affairs and it will take decades for the US to recover from the harm done by Trump's school yard bully approach.

Jan 16, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Thuto , , January 14, 2020 at 11:48 am

While it might work in domestic politics, this mad man negotiating tactic erodes trust in international affairs and it will take decades for the US to recover from the harm done by Trump's school yard bully approach.

Even the docile Europeans are beginning to tire of this and once they get their balls stitched back on after being castrated for so long, America will have its work cut out crossing the chasm from unreliable and untrustworthy partner to being seen as dependable and worthy of entering into agreements with.

[Jan 12, 2020] Class Warfare: The restaurant industry has one of the highest rates of mental health issues in the country.

Jan 12, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"Increasing the minimum wage can reduce suicide rates, study finds" [ Global News ]. "A study published Tuesday in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health examined the link between minimum wage increases and suicide rates among various groups across the U.S., between 1990 and 2015. For every dollar added to the minimum wage, suicide rates among people with a high school education or less dropped by 3.4 to 5.9 per cent, the authors found. The effects were more pronounced during periods of high unemployment."

"When 140 million Americans are poor, why has poverty disappeared from public discourse?" [ Des Moines Register ]. "'It's hard work being poor,' said John Campbell of Des Moines, a black man of 63 who works at Bridgestone Firestone and is active in the steel workers' union. Raised in poverty by a single mother of four who died of lung cancer in her 40s, Campbell enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves and later in the Army from 1973 to '78 to escape his battles with drugs and alcohol. He went on to have sustained employment and an education through union programs. But recently, he's been out on disability, living on $300 a week. He had to refinance his house to pay the $3,000 deductible for the first of two knee replacement surgeries ." • We are ruled by House Harkonnen.

"Working in the restaurant industry will haunt your dreams" [ The Outline ]. "The restaurant industry has one of the highest rates of mental health issues in the country. As restaurant owners begin to address that crisis, they need to include trauma-induced chronic nightmares along with depression and addiction. The haunting might end, long after the aprons are hung up." • Servers have "waitmares" -- nightmares about waiting on tables.

[Jan 11, 2020] Given shale oil dependence on debt / financialisation for "sustainability". I find Denningers analysis that the financial system is about to blow up based on basic exponential algebra relevant

Dec 21, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Ignored says: 12/15/2019 at 11:05 am https://www.market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=237637

Given shale oil dependence on debt / financialisation for "sustainability".

I find Denningers analysis that the financial system is about to blow up based on basic exponential algebra relevant.

His opinion is there is only one escape, and that is to blow up the entire medical industry (20% of GDP) in USA and end deficit spending.

Ironically, Mr. D is a peak oil denier because he thinks we can convert coal and kerogen to liquid fuel. Reply

Spider Man x Ignored says: 12/15/2019 at 4:58 pm

If you live is USA, (I moved a decade ago) and you have a medical procedure you need done. I would recommend not procrastinating and getting it done soon.

8% expense growth (faster than GDP) is unsustainable.

alimbiquated x Ignored says: 12/16/2019 at 11:31 am
The real problem with american health care is bad management. Hospitals have no idea how much it takes to cure a patient, and they sell treatments instead of cures. They don't know how much the treatments cost either, so they just make up numbers. Pharmaceutical companies charge whatever they can get away with, as the price of insulin shows.

Patients need more protection and better coverage so that insurers are forced to keep the healthcare providers honest. That is why insurers need to be forced to provide coverage. Markets economics works because the guy who pays applies pressure to the guy who delivers the goods. This idea needs to be applied to health care, and prices would get back in line with other rich countries.

[Jan 11, 2020] Blackstone Group , CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman Buys Houses in Bulk to Profit from Mortgage Crisis

Notable quotes:
"... These anecdotal stories about Invitation Homes being quick to evict tenants may prove to be the trend rather than the exception, given Blackstone's underlying business model. Securitizing rental payments creates an intense pressure on the company to ensure that the monthly checks keep flowing. For renters, that may mean you either pay on the first of the month every month, or you're out. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

renfro December 19, 2019 at 6:23 am GMT 2,600 Words

Tucker could have done a number on Trump friend Schwarzman too.Mark my words you're gonna have another melt down now that all the people who lost their home and ended up in rentals stop paying their rent that is now 2 1/2 times what their mortgage was.
This is another fake bubble being securitized and sold off. Just like putting people into houses with ARMs who couldnt afford them when the rates went up, Scharzman will fill up his rentals to 99% occupancy with special deals to sell them to investors, when the special deal period runs out and the rent goes up people will move out looking for cheaper housing and the securities wont be worth shit.

Blackstone Group , CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman Buys Houses in Bulk to Profit from Mortgage Crisis

https://corpwatch.org/article/blackstone-group-buys-houses-bulk-profit-mortgage-crisis

You can hardly turn on the television or open a newspaper without hearing about the nation's impressive, much celebrated housing recovery. Home prices are rising! New construction has started! The crisis is over! Yet beneath the fanfare, a whole new get-rich-quick scheme is brewing.
Over the last year and a half, Wall Street hedge funds and private equity firms have quietly amassed an unprecedented rental empire, snapping up Queen Anne Victorians in Atlanta, brick-faced bungalows in Chicago, Spanish revivals in Phoenix. In total, these deep-pocketed investors have bought more than 200,000 cheap, mostly foreclosed houses in cities hardest hit by the economic meltdown.
Wall Street's foreclosure crisis, which began in late 2007 and forced more than 10 million people from their homes, has created a paradoxical problem. Millions of evicted Americans need a safe place to live, even as millions of vacant, bank-owned houses are blighting neighborhoods and spurring a rise in crime. Lucky for us, Wall Street has devised a solution: It's going to rent these foreclosed houses back to us. In the process, it's devised a new form of securitization that could cause this whole plan to blow up -- again.

Since the buying frenzy began, no company has picked up more houses than the Blackstone Group, a major private equity firm. Using a subsidiary company, Invitation Homes, Blackstone has grabbed houses at foreclosure auctions, through local brokers, and in bulk purchases directly from banks the same way a regular person might stock up on toilet paper from Costco.

In one move, it bought 1,400 houses in Atlanta in a single day. As of November, Blackstone had spent $7.5 billion to buy 40,000 mostly foreclosed houses across the country. That's a spending rate of $100 million a week since October 2012. It recently announced plans to take the business international, beginning in foreclosure-ravaged Spain.

Few outside the finance industry have heard of Blackstone. Yet today, it's the largest owner of single-family rental homes in the nation -- and of a whole lot of other things, too. It owns part or all of the Hilton Hotel chain, Southern Cross Healthcare, Houghton Mifflin publishing house, the Weather Channel, Sea World, the arts and crafts chain Michael's, Orangina, and dozens of other companies.

Blackstone manages more than $210 billion in assets, according to its 2012 Securities and Exchange Commission annual filing. It's also a public company with a list of institutional owners that reads like a who's who of companies recently implicated in lawsuits over the mortgage crisis, including Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and of course JP Morgan Chase, which just settled a lawsuit with the Department of Justice over its risky and often illegal mortgage practices, agreeing to pay an unprecedented $13 billion fine.

In other words, if Blackstone makes money by capitalizing on the housing crisis, all these other Wall Street banks -- generally regarded as the main culprits in creating the conditions that led to the foreclosure crisis in the first place -- make money too.

An All-Cash Goliath

In neighborhoods across the country, many residents didn't have to know what Blackstone was to realize that things were going seriously wrong.

Last year, Mark Alston, a real estate broker in Los Angeles, began noticing something strange happening. Home prices were rising. And they were rising fast -- up 20 percent between October 2012 and the same month this year. In a normal market, rising home prices would mean increased demand from homebuyers. But here was the unnerving thing: the homeownership rate was dropping, the first sign for Alston that the market was somehow out of whack.

The second sign was the buyers themselves.

"I went two years without selling to a black family, and that wasn't for lack of trying," says Alston, whose business is concentrated in inner-city neighborhoods where the majority of residents are African American and Hispanic. Instead, all his buyers -- every last one of them -- were besuited businessmen. And weirder yet, they were all paying in cash.

Between 2005 and 2009, the mortgage crisis, fueled by racially discriminatory lending practices, destroyed 53 percent of African American wealth and 66 percent of Hispanic wealth, figures that stagger the imagination. As a result, it's safe to say that few blacks or Hispanics today are buying homes outright, in cash. Blackstone, on the other hand, doesn't have a problem fronting the money, given its $3.6 billion credit line arranged by Deutsche Bank. This money has allowed it to outbid families who have to secure traditional financing. It's also paved the way for the company to purchase a lot of homes very quickly, shocking local markets and driving prices up in a way that pushes even more families out of the game.

"You can't compete with a company that's betting on speculative future value when they're playing with cash," says Alston. "It's almost like they planned this."

In hindsight, it's clear that the Great Recession fueled a terrific wealth and asset transfer away from ordinary Americans and to financial institutions. During that crisis, Americans lost trillions of dollars of household wealth when housing prices crashed, while banks seized about five million homes. But what's just beginning to emerge is how, as in the recession years, the recovery itself continues to drive the process of transferring wealth and power from the bottom to the top.

From 2009-2012, the top 1 percent of Americans captured 95 percent of income gains. Now, as the housing market rebounds, billions of dollars in recovered housing wealth are flowing straight to Wall Street instead of to families and communities. Since spring 2012, just at the time when Blackstone began buying foreclosed homes in bulk, an estimated $88 billion of housing wealth accumulation has gone straight to banks or institutional investors as a result of their residential property holdings, according to an analysis by TomDispatch. And it's a number that's likely to just keep growing.

"Institutional investors are siphoning the wealth and the ability for wealth accumulation out of underserved communities," says Henry Wade, founder of the Arizona Association of Real Estate Brokers.

But buying homes cheap and then waiting for them to appreciate in value isn't the only way Blackstone is making money on this deal. It wants your rental payment, too.

Securitizing Rentals

Wall Street's rental empire is entirely new. The single-family rental industry used to be the bailiwick of small-time mom-and-pop operations. But what makes this moment unprecedented is the financial alchemy that Blackstone added. In November, after many months of hype, Blackstone released history's first rated bond backed by securitized rental payments. And once investors tripped over themselves in a rush to get it, Blackstone's competitors announced that they, too, would develop similar securities as soon as possible.

Depending on whom you ask, the idea of bundling rental payments and selling them off to investors is either a natural evolution of the finance industry or a fire-breathing chimera.

"This is a new frontier," comments Ted Weinstein, a consultant in the real-estate-owned homes industry for 30 years. "It's something I never really would have dreamt of."

However, to anyone who went through the 2008 mortgage-backed-security crisis, this new territory will sound strangely familiar.

"It's just like a residential mortgage-backed security," said one hedge-fund investor whose company does business with Blackstone. When asked why the public should expect these securities to be safe, given the fact that risky mortgage-backed securities caused the 2008 collapse, he responded, "Trust me."

For Blackstone, at least, the logic is simple. The company wants money upfront to purchase more cheap, foreclosed homes before prices rise. So it's joined forces with JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank to bundle the rental payments of 3,207 single-family houses and sell this bond to investors with mortgages on the underlying houses offered as collateral. This is, of course, just a test case for what could become a whole new industry of rental-backed securities.

Many major Wall Street banks are involved in the deal, according to a copy of the private pitch documents Blackstone sent to potential investors on October 31st, which was reviewed by TomDispatch. Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, and Credit Suisse are helping market the bond. Wells Fargo is the certificate administrator. Midland Loan Services, a subsidiary of PNC Bank, is the loan servicer. (By the way, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and PNC Bank are all members of another clique: the list of banks foreclosing on the most families in 2013.)

According to interviews with economists, industry insiders, and housing activists, people are more or less holding their collective breath, hoping that what looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck won't crash the economy the same way the last flock of ducks did.

"You kind of just hope they know what they're doing," says Dean Baker, an economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research. "That they have provisions for turnover and vacancies. But have they done that? Have they taken the appropriate care? I certainly wouldn't count on it." The cash flow analysis in the documents sent to investors assumes that 95 percent of these homes will be rented at all times, at an average monthly rent of $1,312. It's an occupancy rate that real estate professionals describe as ambitious.

There's one significant way, however, in which this kind of security differs from its mortgage-backed counterpart. When banks repossess mortgaged homes as collateral, there is at least the assumption (often incorrect due to botched or falsified paperwork from the banks) that the homeowner has, indeed, defaulted on her mortgage. In this case, however, if a single home-rental bond blows up, thousands of families could be evicted, whether or not they ever missed a single rental payment.

"We could well end up in that situation where you get a lot of people getting evicted not because the tenants have fallen behind but because the landlords have fallen behind," says Baker.

Bugs in Blackstone's Housing Dreams

Whether these new securities are safe may boil down to the simple question of whether Blackstone proves to be a good property manager. Decent management practices will ensure high occupancy rates, predictable turnover, and increased investor confidence. Bad management will create complaints, investigations, and vacancies, all of which will increase the likelihood that Blackstone won't have the cash flow to pay investors back.

If you ask CaDonna Porter, a tenant in one of Blackstone's Invitation Homes properties in a suburb outside Atlanta, property management is exactly the skill that Blackstone lacks. "If I could shorten my lease -- I signed a two-year lease -- I definitely would," says Porter.

The cockroaches and fat water bugs were the first problem in the Invitation Homes rental that she and her children moved into in September. Porter repeatedly filed online maintenance requests that were canceled without anyone coming to investigate the infestation. She called the company's repairs hotline. No one answered.

The second problem arrived in an email with the subject line marked "URGENT." Invitation Homes had failed to withdraw part of Porter's November payment from her bank account, prompting the company to demand that she deliver the remaining payment in person, via certified funds, by five p.m. the following day or incur "the additional legal fee of $200 and dispossessory," according to email correspondences reviewed by TomDispatch.

Porter took off from work to deliver the money order in person, only to receive an email saying that the payment had been rejected because it didn't include the $200 late fee and an additional $75 insufficient funds fee. What followed were a maddening string of emails that recall the fraught and often fraudulent interactions between homeowners and mortgage-servicing companies. Invitation Homes repeatedly threatened to file for eviction unless Porter paid various penalty fees. She repeatedly asked the company to simply accept her month's payment and leave her alone.

"I felt really harassed. I felt it was very unjust," says Porter. She ultimately wrote that she would seek legal counsel, which caused Invitation Homes to immediately agree to accept the payment as "a one-time courtesy."

Porter is still frustrated by the experience -- and by the continued presence of the cockroaches. ("I put in another request today about the bugs, which will probably be canceled again.")

A recent Huffington Post investigation and dozens of online reviews written by Invitation Homes tenants echo Porter's frustrations. Many said maintenance requests went unanswered, while others complained that their spiffed-up houses actually had underlying structural issues.

There's also at least one documented case of Blackstone moving into murkier legal territory. This fall, the Orlando, Florida, branch of Invitation Homes appeared to mail forged eviction notices to a homeowner named Francisco Molina, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Delivered in letter-sized manila envelopes, the fake notices claimed that an eviction had been filed against Molina in court, although the city confirmed otherwise. The kicker is that Invitation Homes didn't even have the right to evict Molina, legally or otherwise. Blackstone's purchase of the house had been reversed months earlier, but the company had lost track of that information.

The Great Recession of 2016?

These anecdotal stories about Invitation Homes being quick to evict tenants may prove to be the trend rather than the exception, given Blackstone's underlying business model. Securitizing rental payments creates an intense pressure on the company to ensure that the monthly checks keep flowing. For renters, that may mean you either pay on the first of the month every month, or you're out.

Although Blackstone has issued only one rental-payment security so far, it already seems to be putting this strict protocol into place. In Charlotte, North Carolina, for example, the company has filed eviction proceedings against a full 10 percent of its renters, according to a report by the Charlotte Observer.

About 9 percent of Blackstone's properties, approximately 3,600 houses, are located in the Phoenix metro area. Most are in low- to middle-income neighborhoods.

Forty thousand homes add up to only a small percentage of the total national housing stock. Yet in the cities Blackstone has targeted most aggressively, the concentration of its properties is staggering. In Phoenix, Arizona, some neighborhoods have at least one, if not two or three, Blackstone-owned homes on just about every block.

This inundation has some concerned that the private equity giant, perhaps in conjunction with other institutional investors, will exercise undue influence over regional markets, pushing up rental prices because of a lack of competition. The biggest concern among many ordinary Americans, however, should be that, not too many years from now, this whole rental empire and its hot new class of securities might fail, sending the economy into an all-too-familiar tailspin.

"You're allowing Wall Street to control a significant sector of single-family housing," said Michael Donley, a resident of Chicago who has been investigating Blackstone's rapidly expanding presence in his neighborhood. "But is it sustainable?" he wondered. "It could all collapse in 2016, and you'll be worse off than in 2008."


Rebel0007 , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:39 am GMT

This is not surprising that this has happened. All of the de-regulation on Wall Street, lobbied for by Wall Street has allowed this to transpire.

Congress does not even read the bills that they sign into law, let alone write them! Many are written by ALEC American Legislative Exchange Council, the Chamber of Commerce, the Realtor's assosiation, the Medical Industrial Complex, public employee unions, and various other special interest groups!

Why is it a pressing issue to actively promote homosexuality? What is the point? That is really strange! There is a difference between not actively discriminating and actively promoting!

Are they trying to worsen the AIDS epidemic or lower the birth rate? It does not make sense to be actively promoting and encouraging homosexuality.

sally , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:18 am GMT
@Colin Wright There are many venture capitalist that are not Jewish.. Venture Capitalist don't always advertise their wealth. Not everybody in Wall Street or the City of London is Jewish.

I think it is important to separate the Jews from the Zionist , many in that small group (Zionist) are Jewish and Christian but most Jews and most Christians are neither Venture Capitalist nor Zionist. Time after time I have asked my Jewish friends are you are Zionist, and most say they do not really know what Zionism is? Zionism hosts many races among its members; in the states, Christian Zionism is big, maybe bigger even than Jewish Zionism.. see Christian Zionism : The Tragedy and the Turning: the cause of our Conflicts (on DVD) by http://www.Whit.org. .

Zionism is an economic system. Zionism is a winner take all system of Economics . Zionism is like an adult version of the game called King of the Mountain. In such a game, no one is allowed to play unless they first have sufficient resources to be counted, and are then willing to and believe they are personally capable of defeating the then residing well armed king (Oligarch). IMO, all Jews everywhere, would be well advised to avoid being labelled a Zionist<=hence the reason ?

Zionism is not the same as Judaism, its not a race, its not a religion, its not even a culture, it is an economic system with virus like attributes.

mark green , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:23 am GMT
@Lot You are quibbling. You are prevaricating. You are obfuscating.

Joyce has assembled a powerful case against a known cast of financial parasites. This phenomena is hardly new. It brings to mind another financial scandal of a generation ago that was chronicled in James B. Stewart's book 'Den of Thieves'.

The mega-wealthy swindlers of that era were also all Jews: Boesky, Siegel, Levine, Milken, among others. Some twenty years later, another Wall Street Jew, Bernie Madoff, succeeds in pulling off the biggest fraud in US history. There's a pattern here.

Yet all you can do, Lot, is deflect, denigrate, and deny.

Joyce is giving us more actual names. These are the actual perps as well as institutions they hide behind. These ruthless predators collude with one another as they exploit the labor of millions of gentiles worldwide, then shower Jewish causes and philanthropies with their loot. Their tribal avarice is revolting. And insatiable.

Do you deny this phenomena?

Is it all just another 'anti-Semitic canard'?

You even claim [Joyce] is

"retarded and highly uninformed".

Retarded?

He's brilliant and persuasive.

Uninformed?

He's erudite and scholarly.

You, Lot, are demonstrating again devious tribal dishonesty. It's glaring, it's shameful, and it's obvious. This is a trait I've observed in virtually all of your writings. You invariably deflect and deny. But Jewish criminality is real.

Joyce aptly concludes:

[T]he prosperity and influence of Zionist globalism rests to an overwhelming degree on the predations of the most successful and ruthless Jewish financial parasites.

So true. So tragically true.

Rebel0007 , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:28 am GMT
This is a Jewish conspiracy to make Jews look terrible. Congress should slam the breaks here. The de-regulation of the powerful combined with the over-regulation of the powerless is criminally wreckless. Kind of like the friends don't let friends drive drunk approach.

Congress slam the breaks, yeah right, that'll happen! Lol!

This won't end well.

HammerJack , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:30 am GMT
@Colin Wright Andrew Carnegie left behind institutions like Carnegie Hall, Carnegie-Mellon University, and over 2500 Free Libraries from coast to coast, in a time when very little was done to help what we now call the "underprivileged".

In fact, he gave away 90% of his massive fortune–about $75 Billion in current dollars. Funding, in the process, many charities, hospitals, museums, foundations and institutions of learning. He was a major benefactor of negro education.

He was a staunch anti-imperialist who believed America should concentrate its energies on peaceful endeavors rather than conquering and subduing far-off lands.

Although they are even more keen to put their names on things, today's robber barons leave behind mainly wreckage.

PetrOldSack , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:16 am GMT
@anon "Crowing on a pile of dung", global in scope, local and exclusive to thier own.
Ghali , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:46 am GMT
Jews are destroying the world. Everywhere they go, they leave behind nations in ruins. Look at Europe, Africa and the Americas, Jews have left their ugly footprints. Corruption, prostitution, drugs and human trafficking are their trade.
Just passing through , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:56 am GMT
@anon A combination of both I would say, although some would like to make it out that Anglo-Saxons were the epitome of honour, they too resorted to morallly abject tricks and swindles to acquire their wealth.

WASPs allowed Jews into their lands and both of them struck a sort of implicit contract to work together to loot the world, when the word had been sucked dry, the conflict between Jews and WASPs began and Hitler and the National Socialists were a last gasp attempt to save the WASP side from being beaten, in the end higher Jewish verbal IQ gave them the upper edge in the ability to trick people.

It is hard to feel sorry for WASPs, they struck a deal with the Jews centuries ago to work together and were backstabbed, what is happening to these Third World countries will now happen to WASP countries, it is poetic justice. Luckily the torch of civilisation will continue by way of East Asia and Eastern Europe, who were true conservatives in that all they wished was prosperity for their people in their own lands without any aggressive foreign policy moves.

Basically, WASPs thought that they could win in the end, but they were out Jew'd and now they are crying.

The one difference you will notice is that certain subsections of WASPs, notable the British, actually did build infrastructure in the countries they looted, this to me was borne out of a sense of guilt, so to be fair, WASPs were not as parasitic and ruthless as Jews.

But in the end, the more ruthless wins. To quote the Joker

You get what you fucking deserve

Sean , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:44 am GMT
@Lot Kyle Bass's fund is called 'Hayman', maybe because the MSM loathe the Bass family that fellow Texican Bass is not related to. They are not the only ones aware of the drawbacks of a name. Elliot is Singer's middle one.

The article bounces back and forth between two completely different fields: private equity and distressed debt funds

If someone owes you money and you cannot collect, you factor the account, (sell it on) and then people who are going to be a lot less pleasant about it will pay them a visit and have a 'talk' with them. While it is good to have a domestic bankruptcy regime in which innovation and entrepreneurship is encouraged– to the extent that people are not routinely gaming the system–I don't see why Argentina should benefit. Singer became notorious for what he did to Argentina after he bought their debt, and he is pretty upfront about not caring who objects. Puerto Rico is neither foreign or protected by Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code so it is a borderline case, which is probably why the people collecting that debt tried to hide who they were.

The way he took down Jonathan Bush and others led to Bloomberg dubbing Singer 'The World's Most Feared Investor'. Singer buys into companies where he sees the management as as failing to deliver maximum value to the shareholders, then applies pressure to raise the share price (in Bush's case extremely personal pressure) that often leads to the departure of the CEO and sale of the company. That immediate extra value for the shareholder Singer creates puts lots of working people out a job. Because of Singer and his imitators, CEO's are outsourcing and importing replacements for indigenous workers in those services that cannot be outsourced. All the while loath to foster innovation that could bring about long term growth, because that would interfere with squeezing out more and more shareholder value.

Singer is less like a vulture than a rogue elephant that is killing the breeding pair white rhinos on a game reserve, and they are going extinct. Well it's a good thing! Thanks to Singer et al (including Warren Buffett) Trump got elected. According to someone in jail with Epstein, he had an anecdote about Trump being asked by a French girl what 'white trash' was, and Trump replied 'It's me without the money'.

Trump is now essentially funded by three Jews -- Singer, Bernard Marcus, and Sheldon Adelson, together accounting for over $250 million in pro-Trump political money. In return, they want war with Iran.

All to the good. Iran won't leave Saudi Arabia (serious money) alone so Iran is going to have to be crushed as a threat to the Saud family like Saddam before it anyway. If the Jews think they are causing it, let 'em think so.

https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/trump-creates-a-new-nation/
When the Israelis occupy nearly all of the West Bank with Donald Trump's approval and start "relocating" the existing population, who will be around to speak up? No one, as by that time saying nay to Israel will be a full-fledged hate crime and you can go to jail for doing so

Loudspeaker goes off " All Anti–Zionist Jews to Times Square ".

silviosilver , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:48 am GMT
@Colin Wright No judeophile, but it's 90% demagogic horsehit.

God forbid anybody should ever have to pay back money they borrow! Why, that's utterly Jewish!

These so-called "vulture" funds didn't originate the debt. They simply purchased already existing debt at deeply discounted prices either because the debt was already in default or was at imminent risk of defaulting, which is why the debt sells at a heavy discount, since existing debt holders are often happy to sell cheap and get something rather than hold on and risk getting nothing.

What Joyce zeroes in on is these vulture funds' willingness to use all legal avenues to force debtors to make good on their debts, including seizing the collateral the debtors pledged when they borrowed the money. Joyce chooses to characterize this practice as "Jewish," implying that gentile creditors would instead be overcome with compassion and let the debtors off the hook and wear the loss themselves.

What Joyce regards as a defect of "vulture" funds, others might regard as an benefit. The size of these funds, their legal expertise, and their political connections mean that borrowers can more successfully be held to account. If I owned, say, Puerto Rican debt in my retirement account, the chances that I could make Puerto Rico honor its obligations are much slimmer.

None of this is to suggest that finance, as we today know it, is perfect and that it couldn't be reformed in any way to make its operation more conducive to nationalistic social values, only that anti-cap ideologues like Joyce weave lurid tales of malfeasance out of completely humdrum market economics (which is precisely the same market economics that Tucker Carlson learned about too, btw).

J Adelman , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:53 am GMT
Mr. Joyce
Your obsession with us will prove to be your downfall.
Jewish people have always stood against tyranny against the working class, the poor and other people of color.
The phrases and catch words that you used to vilify Jews are in many cases pulled from the age old tropes used to demonize Jews for centuries and are anti-Semitic through and through. They can't be overlooked nor hidden by claims of legitimate political disagreements.
We know that it is not only the Jewish community that is at risk from unchecked antisemitism, but also other communities that white nationalists target.
I find it very offensive that people like you continue to demonize us for no reason.

I dare you to hold a debate with me on this so called "Jewish Influence".
I am not even hiding my name here.

[Jan 11, 2020] Atomization of workforce as a part of atomization of society under neoliberalism

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... a friend of mine, born in Venice and a long-time resident of Rome, pointed out to me that dogs are a sign of loneliness. ..."
"... And the cafes and restaurants on weekends in Chicago–chockfull of people, each on his or her own Powerbook, surfing the WWW all by themselves. ..."
"... The preaching of self-reliance by those who have never had to practice it is galling. ..."
"... Katherine: Agreed. It is also one of the reasons why I am skeptical of various evangelical / fundi pastors, who are living at the expense of their churches, preaching about individual salvation. ..."
"... So you have the upper crust (often with inheritances and trust funds) preaching economic self-reliances, and you have divines preaching individual salvation as they go back to the house provided by the members of the church. ..."
Apr 18, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
DJG , April 17, 2017 at 11:09 am
Neoliberalism is creating loneliness. That's what's wrenching society apart George Monbiot, Guardian

George Monbiot on human loneliness and its toll. I agree with his observations. I have been cataloguing them in my head for years, especially after a friend of mine, born in Venice and a long-time resident of Rome, pointed out to me that dogs are a sign of loneliness.

A couple of recent trips to Rome have made that point ever more obvious to me: Compared to my North Side neighborhood in Chicago, where every other person seems to have a dog, and on weekends Clark Street is awash in dogs (on their way to the dog boutiques and the dog food truck), Rome has few dogs. Rome is much more densely populated, and the Italians still have each other, for good or for ill. And Americans use the dog as an odd means of making human contact, at least with other dog owners.

But Americanization advances: I was surprised to see people bring dogs into the dining room of a fairly upscale restaurant in Turin. I haven't seen that before. (Most Italian cafes and restaurants are just too small to accommodate a dog, and the owners don't have much patience for disruptions.) The dogs barked at each other for while–violating a cardinal rule in Italy that mealtime is sacred and tranquil. Loneliness rules.

And the cafes and restaurants on weekends in Chicago–chockfull of people, each on his or her own Powerbook, surfing the WWW all by themselves.

That's why the comments about March on Everywhere in Harper's, recommended by Lambert, fascinated me. Maybe, to be less lonely, you just have to attend the occasional march, no matter how disorganized (and the Chicago Women's March organizers made a few big logistical mistakes), no matter how incoherent. Safety in numbers? (And as Monbiot points out, overeating at home alone is a sign of loneliness: Another argument for a walk with a placard.)

Katharine , April 17, 2017 at 11:39 am

I particularly liked this point:

In Britain, men who have spent their entire lives in quadrangles – at school, at college, at the bar, in parliament – instruct us to stand on our own two feet.

With different imagery, the same is true in this country. The preaching of self-reliance by those who have never had to practice it is galling.

DJG , April 17, 2017 at 11:48 am

Katherine: Agreed. It is also one of the reasons why I am skeptical of various evangelical / fundi pastors, who are living at the expense of their churches, preaching about individual salvation.

So you have the upper crust (often with inheritances and trust funds) preaching economic self-reliances, and you have divines preaching individual salvation as they go back to the house provided by the members of the church.

[Jan 11, 2020] Big Money in Politics Doesn't Just Drive Inequality. It Drives War. - FPIF

Notable quotes:
"... Citizens United ..."
Jan 11, 2020 | fpif.org

Big Money in Politics Doesn't Just Drive Inequality. It Drives War.

Military contractors have shelled out over $1 million to the 2016 presidential candidates -- including over $200,000 to Hillary Clinton alone.

By Rebecca Green , April 27, 2016 . Originally published in OtherWords .

Print Friendly, PDF & EmailPrint Military-Industrial Diagnosis

Khalil Bendib / OtherWords.org

The 2016 presidential elections are proving historic, and not just because of the surprising success of self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders, the lively debate among feminists over whether to support Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump's unorthodox candidacy.

The elections are also groundbreaking because they're revealing more dramatically than ever the corrosive effect of big money on our decaying democracy.

Following the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision and related rulings, corporations and the wealthiest Americans gained the legal right to raise and spend as much money as they want on political candidates.

The 2012 elections were consequently the most expensive in U.S. history. And this year's races are predicted to cost even more. With the general election still six months away, donors have already sunk $1 billion into the presidential race -- with $619 million raised by candidates and another $412 million by super PACs.

Big money in politics drives grave inequality in our country. It also drives war.

After all, war is a profitable industry. While millions of people all over the world are being killed and traumatized by violence, a small few make a killing from the never-ending war machine.

During the Iraq War, for example, weapons manufacturers and a cadre of other corporations made billions on federal contracts.

Most notoriously this included Halliburton, a military contractor previously led by Dick Cheney. The company made huge profits from George W. Bush's decision to wage a costly, unjustified, and illegal war while Cheney served as his vice president.

Military-industrial corporations spend heavily on political campaigns. They've given over $1 million to this year's presidential candidates so far -- over $200,000 of which went to Hillary Clinton, who leads the pack in industry backing.

These corporations target House and Senate members who sit on the Armed Forces and Appropriations Committees, who control the purse strings for key defense line items. And cleverly, they've planted factories in most congressional districts. Even if they provide just a few dozen constituent jobs per district, that helps curry favor with each member of Congress.

Thanks to aggressive lobbying efforts, weapons manufacturers have secured the five largest contracts made by the federal government over the last seven years. In 2014, the U.S. government awarded over $90 billion worth of contracts to Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman.

Military spending has been one of the top three biggest federal programs every year since 2000, and it's far and away the largest discretionary portion. Year after year, elected officials spend several times more on the military than on education, energy, and the environment combined.

Lockheed Martin's problematic F-35 jet illustrates this disturbingly disproportionate use of funds. The same $1.5 trillion Washington will spend on the jet, journalist Tom Cahill calculates , could have provided tuition-free public higher education for every student in the U.S. for the next 23 years. Instead, the Pentagon ordered a fighter plane that can't even fire its own gun yet.

Given all of this, how can anyone justify war spending?

Some folks will say it's to make us safer . Yet the aggressive U.S. military response following the 9/11 attacks -- the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the NATO bombing of Libya, and drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen -- has only destabilized the region. "Regime change" foreign policies have collapsed governments and opened the doors to Islamist terrorist groups like ISIS.

Others may say they support a robust Pentagon budget because of the jobs the military creates . But dollar for dollar, education spending creates nearly three times more jobs than military spending.

We need to stop letting politicians and corporations treat violence and death as "business opportunities." Until politics become about people instead of profits, we'll remain crushed in the death grip of the war machine.

And that is the real national security threat facing the United States today. Share this:

[Jan 11, 2020] The main problem of the United States in the existing political and economic system, which began to be intensively created by the American banking layer since 1885 and was fixed in 1913.

Jan 11, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Helg Saracen , 55 minutes ago link

The main problem of the United States in the existing political and economic system, which began to be intensively created by the American banking layer since 1885 and was fixed in 1913. This became possible only thanks to the Civil War of 1861-1865. I will explain. Before the Civil War, each state had its own banking structure, its own banknotes (there were not so many states, there were still territories that did not become states yet). Before the American Civil War, there was no single banking system. Abraham Linkol was a protege of the banking houses of the cities of New York and Chicago, they rigged the election (bought the election). It may sound rude to the Americans, but Lincoln was a rogue in the eyes of some US citizens of that time. And this became the main reason for the desire of some states (not only southern, and some northern) to withdraw from the United States. Another good reason for the exit was the persistent attempts of bankers in New York and Chicago to take control of the banking system of the South. These are two main reasons, as old as the World, the struggle for control and money. The war (unfortunately) began the South. Under a federal treaty, South and North were supposed to jointly contain US forts for protection. The fighting began on April 12, 1861 with an attack by southerners on such a fort Sumter in Charleston Bay. These are the beginnings of war.

This is important - I advise everyone to read the memoirs of generals, and especially the memoirs of Ulysses Grant, the future president of the United States. The war was with varying success, but the emissaries of the banks of New York and Chicago always followed the army of the North, who, taking advantage of the disastrous situation in the battlefields, bought up real estate, land and other assets. They were called the "Carpetbagger". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpetbagger They were engaged in the purchase throughout the war and up to 1885.

To make it clear to you, in the history of the USA, the period from 1865 to 1885 is called the "Great American Depression" (this is the very first great depression and lasted 20 years). During this time, the bankers of New York and Chicago completely subjugated the US banking system to themselves and their interests, trampled the South (robbed), after which the submission of the US as a state directly to the banking mafia began. At present (since 1913) in the USA there is not capitalism, but an evil parody of capitalism.

I can call it this: American clan-corporate oligarchic "capitalism" (with the suppression of free markets, with unfair competition and the creation of barriers to the dissemination of reliable information). Since such "capitalism" cannot work (like socialism or utopian communism), constant wars are needed that bring profit to the bankers, owners of the military-industrial complex, political "service staff", make oligarchs richer, and ordinary Americans poorer. We are now observing this, since this system has come to its end and everything has become obvious.

For example, in the early 80s, the middle class of the United States was approximately 70% of the population employed in production and trade, now it is no more than 15%.

The gap between the oligarchs and ordinary Americans widened. My essay is how I see what is happening in the USA and why I do not like it. It's my personal opinion. In the end, my favorite phrase is that Americans are suckers and boobies (but we still love them). Good luck everyone.

[Jan 10, 2020] America's Hamster Wheel of 'Career Advancement' by Casey Chalk

Notable quotes:
"... Getting Work Right: Labor and Leisure in a Fragmented World ..."
"... The problem is further compounded by the fact that much of the labor Americans perform isn't actually good ..."
Jan 09, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

We're told that getting ahead at work and reorienting our lives around our jobs will make us happy. So why hasn't it? Many of those who work in the corporate world are constantly peppered with questions about their " career progression ." The Internet is saturated with articles providing tips and tricks on how to develop a never-fail game plan for professional development. Millions of Americans are engaged in a never-ending cycle of résumé-padding that mimics the accumulation of Boy Scout merit badges or A's on report cards except we never seem to get our Eagle Scout certificates or academic diplomas. We're told to just keep going until we run out of gas or reach retirement, at which point we fade into the peripheral oblivion of retirement communities, morning tee-times, and long midweek lunches at beach restaurants.

The idealistic Chris McCandless in Jon Krakauer's bestselling book Into the Wild defiantly declares, "I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don't want one." Anyone who has spent enough time in the career hamster wheel can relate to this sentiment. Is 21st-century careerism -- with its promotion cycles, yearly feedback, and little wooden plaques commemorating our accomplishments -- really the summit of human existence, the paramount paradigm of human flourishing?

Michael J. Noughton, director of the Center for Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, and board chair for Reel Precision Manufacturing, doesn't think so. In his Getting Work Right: Labor and Leisure in a Fragmented World , Noughton provides a sobering statistic: approximately two thirds of employees in the United States are "either indifferent or hostile to their work." That's not just an indicator of professional dissatisfaction; it's economically disastrous. The same survey estimates that employee disengagement is costing the U.S. economy "somewhere between 450-550 billion dollars annually."

The origin of this problem, says Naughton, is an error in how Americans conceive of work and leisure. We seem to err in one of two ways. One is to label our work as strictly a job, a nine-to-five that pays the bills. In this paradigm, leisure is an amusement, an escape from the drudgery of boring, purposeless labor. The other way is that we label our work as a career that provides the essential fulfillment in our lives. Through this lens, leisure is a utility, simply another means to serve our work. Outside of work, we exercise to maintain our health in order to work harder and longer. We read books that help maximize our utility at work and get ahead of our competitors. We "continue our education" largely to further our careers.

Whichever error we fall into, we inevitably end up dissatisfied. The more we view work as a painful, boring chore, the less effective we are at it, and the more complacent and discouraged. Our leisure activities, in turn, no matter how distracting, only compound our sadness, because no amount of games can ever satisfy our souls. Or, if we see our meaning in our work and leisure as only another means of increasing productivity, we inevitably burn out, wondering, perhaps too late in life, what exactly we were working for . As Augustine of Hippo noted, our hearts are restless for God. More recently, C.S. Lewis noted that we yearn to be fulfilled by something that nothing in this world can satisfy. We need both our work and our leisure to be oriented to the transcendent in order to give our lives meaning and purpose.

The problem is further compounded by the fact that much of the labor Americans perform isn't actually good . There are "bad goods" that are detrimental to society and human flourishing. Naughton suggests some examples: violent video games, pornography, adultery dating sites, cigarettes, high-octane alcohol, abortifacients, gambling, usury, certain types of weapons, cheat sheet websites, "gentlemen's clubs," and so on. Though not as clear-cut as the above, one might also add working for the kinds of businesses that contribute to the impoverishment or destruction of our communities, as Tucker Carlson has recently argued .

Why does this matter for professional satisfaction? Because if our work doesn't offer goods and services that contribute to our communities and the common good -- and especially if we are unable to perceive how our labor plays into that common good -- then it will fundamentally undermine our happiness. We will perceive our work primarily in a utilitarian sense, shrugging our shoulders and saying, "it's just a paycheck," ignoring or disregarding the fact that as rational animals we need to feel like our efforts matter.

Economic liberalism -- at least in its purest free-market expression -- is based on a paradigm with nominalist and utilitarian origins that promote "freedom of indifference." In rudimentary terms, this means that we need not be interested in the moral quality of our economic output. If we produce goods that satisfy people's wants, increasing their "utils," as my Econ 101 professor used to say, then we are achieving business success. In this paradigm, we desire an economy that maximizes access to free choice regardless of the content of that choice, because the more choices we have, the more we can maximize our utils, or sensory satisfaction.

The freedom of indifference paradigm is in contrast to a more ancient understanding of economic and civic engagement: a freedom for excellence. In this worldview, "we are made for something," and participation in public acts of virtue is essential both to our own well-being and that of our society. By creating goods and services that objectively benefit others and contributing to an order beyond the maximization of profit, we bless both ourselves and the polis . Alternatively, goods that increase "utils" but undermine the common good are rejected.

Returning to Naughton's distinction between work and leisure, we need to perceive the latter not as an escape from work or a means of enhancing our work, but as a true time of rest. This means uniting ourselves with the transcendent reality from which we originate and to which we will return, through prayer, meditation, and worship. By practicing this kind of true leisure, well treated in a book by Josef Pieper , we find ourselves refreshed, and discover renewed motivation and inspiration to contribute to the common good.

Americans are increasingly aware of the problems with Wall Street conservatism and globalist economics. We perceive that our post-Cold War policies are hurting our nation. Naughton's treatise on work and leisure offers the beginnings of a game plan for what might replace them.

Casey Chalk covers religion and other issues for The American Conservative and is a senior writer for Crisis Magazine. He has degrees in history and teaching from the University of Virginia, and a masters in theology from Christendom College.

[Jan 09, 2020] An increase in sales of riskier corporate debt poses a "financial stability concern"

www.moonofalabama.org
Jan 09, 2020 | www.facebook.com

This is specially interesting:

Just two companies in the US -- Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft -- still have a pristine, triple-A rating , the researchers noted. While sales of both the safest, triple-A rated bonds and the riskiest "high-yield" bonds have been declining over the past five years, there has been a dramatic rise in the amount of triple-B rated bonds that sit on the lowest rung of the investment-grade ladder, just above high-yield.

You don't need to be Warren Buffet to know J&J and Microsoft are blue chips. The problem is: how much rotten are the triple B? Financial expertise has degenerated to who know which is the not-so-rotten-papers instead of knowing which are the most promising investments for the progress of humanity, free market etc. etc. Having a guy spying for you behind the scenes became more valuable than being a rocket engineer with a suma cum laude at MIT.

Russia, Iran and China are doing well in biding their time. The whole capitalist system is ripe for another "corrective" recession somewhere between 2020-2023.

--/-

2. The giant of giants of the Asian Paper Tiger is in trouble:

One-third drop in Samsung's Q4 operating profit

This is the funny part:

Samsung was hit by a series of difficulties in 2019, with chip stockpiles bloating and prices falling

[...]

But the figures beat expectations, analysts said, with chip demand starting to improve and strong smartphone sales.

So, the Samsung's profit took a nose dive and still this was good news?

Who cares about "expectations"? In capitalism, either you're profiting enough or you aren't. You can't just move the goal posts like that.

If it happened to some SOE in China, those "experts" would've already be souding the trumpets of Apocalypse, calling for a complete privatization of the system and the mass suicide of every CCP member - you know, because "the system doesn't work".

--/-

3. Speaking of a system that doesn't work:

India facing major recession: Nobel laureate

Those two Rijksbank laureates (there's no Nobel Prize of Economics, that's a fantasy term) are two pseudo-scientists, but the numbers are too clear:

India's gross domestic product has been on a downward spiral for six consecutive quarters, finishing at 4.5% in the September 2019 quarter. Private consumption, which contributes about 60% to the gross domestic product, is growing at 5.7% in 2019-20, much below the rate for the previous financial year when it grew at 8.1%.

The National Statistical office has now forecast that India's gross domestic product growth will hit a 11-year low of 5% in 2019-20, down from 6.8% in the previous year.

People who are reading this blog for enough time know that India cooks the books, essentially doubling its own GDP growth figures. That means a 5% GDP growth in India actually means 2.5% (maybe even 2.0%).

India promised the world and its own people it would become a superpower by 2020. They have 357 days left.

--/-

4. About Australia's raging bushfires:

Raging bushfires expose multiple governance woes of Australia

Yep. The Chinese agree with me: climate change was the main factor responsible for the scale, durability and vastness of this year's epic bushfires in Australia. Drier eucalyptus forests turn even a kid with a matchstick into a deadly eco-terrorist; a lightning bolt into a massive volcanic eruption.

The Australian government itself agrees with me and the Chinese:

Australian fires: Victorians urged to leave amid fears 'heat spike' will cause bushfires to merge

Emphasis on "heat spike".

Bushfires are natural to the Australian ecosystem, and they happen every summer - what is up to debate is the scale and vastness of this years' bushfires. The Australian right-wing, backed up by the Murdoch media, should not try to pull a Nero and try to blame a random group of innefective ecologists in a shameful witchhunt.

--/-

5. Age segregation in the UK seems to be serious business:

'Age apartheid': Britain is one of world's most segregated countries – report

Britain is one of the world's most age-segregated nations, with the generational divide increasing over the last decade, according to a new report which calls for urgent action to address the "age apartheid" dividing the country. [...] According to the report, divisions have increased as a result of the housing market, with the concentration of wealth now firmly in the hands of older people. They tend to live in towns and rural areas, while the young are sucked in by city life.

Nice curiosity if you're into that sociology stuff.

--/-

6. Japanification of the USA continues:

Why Are Young Americans Killing Themselves? Suicide is now their second-leading cause of death.

Suicide in Japan already is (it is for some decades now) the main cause of death among young adults. The USA is quickly catching up.

Before blaming China for exports of Fentanyl, the Americans (and Trump) should look themselves in the mirror first.

Posted by: vk | Jan 9 2020 16:56 utc | 15

[Jan 09, 2020] Protecting the Dollar Standard is the main national security objective of the USA

Jan 09, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jan 9 2020 19:35 utc | 43

@ Posted by: Cynica | Jan 9 2020 19:20 utc | 38

I agree that, today, protecting the Dollar Standard is the main national security objective of the USA. That is so because issuing the universal fiat currency is a conditio sine qua non of keeping the financial superpower status.

I also agree that the Petrodollar is the base that sustains the Dollar Standard.

But I disagree with the rest:

1) the Cold War didn't begin in 1945, but in 1917 - right after the October Revolution. There's overwhelming documental evidence of that and, in fact, the years of 1943-1945 was the only break it had. Until Stalingrad, the Western allies were still waiting to see if the USSR and the Third Reich could still mutually anihilate themselves (yes, it is a myth the Allies were really allies from 1939, but that's not a very simple demonstration);

2) in the aftermath of WWII, the USA emerged as both the industrial and financial superpower in the capitalist world (i.e. the West). But this was an accidental - and very unlikely - alignment of events. The USA always had imperial ambitions from its foundation (the Manifest Destiny), but there's no evidence it was scheming to dominate the world before 1945. The American ascension was more a fruit of the European imperial superpowers destroying themselves than by any American (or Jewish, as the far-right likes to speculate) design;

3) the USSR had nothing to do with Bretton Woods. BW was a strictly capitalist affair. And it could not be any difference: the USSR was a socialist country, therefore, it didn't have money-capital (money in the capitalist system has three functions: reserve of value, means of exchange and means of payment). The only way it had to trade with the capitalist half of the world was to exchange essential commodities (oil) for hard currency, with which it bought what it needed for its own development (mainly, high technological machines which it could copy and later develop on). So, the USSR didn't "balk" at BW - it was literally impossible for it to pertain to the agreement.


Cynica , Jan 9 2020 19:20 utc | 39

@Kali #22

Michael Hudson is not the only one who's come to understand that maintaining the reserve-currency status of the US dollar (the "dollar hegemony") is the primary goal of US foreign policy. Indeed, it's been the primary goal of US foreign policy since the end of World War II, when the Bretton Woods agreement was put into effect. Notably, the Soviets ended up balking at that agreement, and the Cold War did not start until afterwards. This means that even the Cold War was not really about ideology - it was about money.

It's also important to note that the point of the "petrodollar" is to ensure that petroleum - one of the most globally traded commodities and a commodity that's fundamental to the global economy - is traded primarily, if not exclusively, in terms of the US dollar. Ensuring that as much global/international trade happens in US dollars helps ensure that the US dollar keeps its reserve-currency status, because it raises the foreign demand for US dollars.

vk , Jan 9 2020 19:35 utc | 43
@ Posted by: Cynica | Jan 9 2020 19:20 utc | 38

I agree that, today, protecting the Dollar Standard is the main national security objective of the USA. That is so because issuing the universal fiat currency is a conditio sine qua non of keeping the financial superpower status.

I also agree that the Petrodollar is the base that sustains the Dollar Standard.

But I disagree with the rest:

1) the Cold War didn't begin in 1945, but in 1917 - right after the October Revolution. There's overwhelming documental evidence of that and, in fact, the years of 1943-1945 was the only break it had. Until Stalingrad, the Western allies were still waiting to see if the USSR and the Third Reich could still mutually anihilate themselves (yes, it is a myth the Allies were really allies from 1939, but that's not a very simple demonstration);

2) in the aftermath of WWII, the USA emerged as both the industrial and financial superpower in the capitalist world (i.e. the West). But this was an accidental - and very unlikely - alignment of events. The USA always had imperial ambitions from its foundation (the Manifest Destiny), but there's no evidence it was scheming to dominate the world before 1945. The American ascension was more a fruit of the European imperial superpowers destroying themselves than by any American (or Jewish, as the far-right likes to speculate) design;

3) the USSR had nothing to do with Bretton Woods. BW was a strictly capitalist affair. And it could not be any difference: the USSR was a socialist country, therefore, it didn't have money-capital (money in the capitalist system has three functions: reserve of value, means of exchange and means of payment). The only way it had to trade with the capitalist half of the world was to exchange essential commodities (oil) for hard currency, with which it bought what it needed for its own development (mainly, high technological machines which it could copy and later develop on). So, the USSR didn't "balk" at BW - it was literally impossible for it to pertain to the agreement.

vk , Jan 9 2020 19:40 utc | 45
@ Posted by: vk | Jan 9 2020 19:35 utc | 42

Correction: the three functions of money in capitalism are reserve/store of value, means of exchange and unit of account . I basically wrote "means of exchange" twice in the original comment.

karlof1 , Jan 9 2020 19:45 utc | 47
Cynica @38--

Hello! Michael Hudson first set forth the methodology of the Outlaw US Empire's financial control of the world via his book Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire in 1972. In 2003, he issued an updated edition which you can download for free here .

If you're interested, here's an interview he gave while in China that's autobiographical . And here's his most recent Resume/CV/Bibliography , although it doesn't go into as much detail about his recent work as he does in and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure, and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year , which for me is fascinating.

His most recent TV appearances are here and here .

karlof1 , Jan 9 2020 19:55 utc | 48
Walter @39--

Bingo! You're the first person here to make that connection aside from myself. You'll note from Hudson's assessment of Soleimani's killing he sees the Outlaw US Empire as using the Climate Crisis as a weapon:

"America's attempt to maintain this buttress explains U.S. opposition to any foreign government steps to reverse global warming and the extreme weather caused by the world's U.S.-sponsored dependence on oil. Any such moves by Europe and other countries would reduce dependence on U.S. oil sales, and hence on the U.S's ability to control the global oil spigot as a means of control and coercion. These are viewed as hostile acts.

"Oil also explains U.S. opposition to Russian oil exports via Nordstream. U.S. strategists want to treat energy as a U.S. national monopoly. Other countries can benefit in the way that Saudi Arabia has done – by sending their surpluses to the U.S. economy – but not to support their own economic growth and diplomacy. Control of oil thus implies support for continued global warming as an inherent part of U.S. strategy....

"This strategy will continue, until foreign countries reject it. If Europe and other regions fail to do so, they will suffer the consequences of this U.S. strategy in the form of a rising U.S.-sponsored war via terrorism, the flow of refugees, and accelerated global warming (and extreme weather)."

c1ue , Jan 9 2020 19:58 utc | 49
@Cynica #38
Financially, the US dollar as reserve currency is enormously beneficial to the US government's ability to spend.
And oil has historically been both a tactical and a strategic necessity; when the US was importing half its oil, this is a lot of money. 8 million bpd @ $50/barrel = $146B. Add in secondary value add like transport, refining, downstream industries, etc and it likely triples the impact or more - but this is only tactical.
Worldwide, the impact is 10X = $1.5 trillion annually. Sure, this is a bit under 10% of the $17.7T in world trade in 2017, but it serves as an "anchor tenant" to the idea of world reserve currency. A second anchor is the overall role of US trade, which was $3.6T in 2016 (imports only).
If we treat central bank reserves as a proxy for currency used in trade, this means 60%+ of the $17.7T in trade is USD. $3.6T is direct, but the $7 trillion in trade that doesn't impact the US is the freebie. To put this in perspective, the entire monetary float of the USD domestically is about $3.6T.
USD as world reserve currency literally doubles (at least) the float - from which the US government can issue debt (money) to fund its activities. In reality, it is likely a lot more since foreigners using USD to fund trade means at least some USD in Central Banks, plus the actual USD in the transaction, plus corporate/individual USD reserves/float.
Again, nothing above is formally linked - I just wanted to convey an idea of just how advantageous the petrodollar/USD as world trade reserve currency really is.

[Jan 09, 2020] The USA geopolitical interest lie in destroying and robbing other nations and keeping their own people in fear and poverty

Jan 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

ombon , 59 minutes ago link

The credo of British politics is the words of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Henry Palmerston, uttered in his speech in the House of Commons on March 1, 1858: "We do not have eternal allies and we do not have constant enemies; our interests are eternal and permanent. Our duty is to protect these interests. " And these interests lie in destroying and robbing other nations and keeping their own people in fear.
It more accurately than ever describes the current state of the United State

has bear r us , 1 hour ago link

whitehead is clearly antisemitic and should be banned from the internet. Abandoning the only friend the usa has in the mideast will have severe consequences for the usa empire.

Let it Go , 1 hour ago link

When America put Trump in office many of us were seeking a world where the leadership in Washington would focus on bringing both jobs and money home rather than squandering it on foreign wars. Simply put, Trump did not come across as a warmonger during the presidential campaign. If David Stockman is right it could be that the power of the swamp is too strong and simply cannot be drained.

Stockman, who served as a Republican U.S. Representative from the state of Michigan and as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan, contends that President Trump has become a hostage of those occupying the very swamp he promised to drain.

http://America Did Not Vote For More Death And Destruction!html

frankthecrank , 1 hour ago link

Come Home, America: Stop Policing The Globe And Put An End To Wars-Without-End

NO--we have nowhere to park all of that stuff and nowhere to house all of those troops. It would help immensely if we just got this over with and started taxing and outright administering these places we occupy. If we're going to be an empire (which no one ever voted for) then we need to start acting like it. Rome, Byzantium, England, Spain, France, etc. Just do it and be done with it.

hoytmonger , 1 hour ago link

That's because Fox News is a subsidiary of the MIC.

GoFuqYourself , 1 hour ago link

Falling on deaf ears. America is not policing the globe; they are plundering then destroying it at the behest of the rottenchilds.

beemasters , 1 hour ago link

In fact, the United States military spends about $81 billion a year just to protect oil supplies around the world .

And there's no outcry. God forbids if that money is used to subsidize education, medical care or build infrastructures. That would be evil socialism.

uhland62 , 1 hour ago link

War spending is bankrupting America.

I wish - not happening yet. Instead they harrass NATO countries to abandon some economic projects to do more damage to them on top of sanctions. If Iraq sells oil to China it's a problem for them, even though that could reduce US costs for Iraq. US policies are cookoo.

All Presidents get turned once in the WH. Maybe it's as simple as threatening to be kennedy'd.

luffy0212 , 5 minutes ago link

Frank...Frank-Frank...IT always been about Zionist, Banksters, and the families that run your world. When will you get it through you little pea size brain you are nothing but expendable Xenophobe fodder allowed to thrive and be ripped the moment they deem it so.

gazmann , 1 hour ago link

It has nothing to do win policing. It has to do with CONTROL

Illegal , 1 hour ago link

Maybe if they took the American flag off of every military uniform, plane and embassy and replaced it with the Rothschild red shield things might become more obvious.

alexcojones , 21 minutes ago link

BTW John Whitehead, you wrote: "The 9/11 attacks were blowback . The Boston Marathon Bombing was blowback . The attempted Times Square bomber was blowback. The Fort Hood shooter, a major in the U.S. Army, was blowback ."

Most, if not ALL, of those were CIA orchestrated false flag events.

LeadPipeDreams , 7 minutes ago link

Correct - statements like those are of course huge red flags - Whitehead is likely a controlled op.

[Jan 09, 2020] And for $5 trillion spent bombing unoffending MENA countries the US has gotten what?

Jan 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Savvy , 1 hour ago link

Nordstream II cost $12 billion. Russia is selling 55 billion M3 of LNG to Europe. Add Nordstream I, another 55 billion, Power of Siberia to China and Turkstream just opened.

And for $5 trillion spent bombing unoffending MENA countries the US has gotten what? Moar war. That's it.

Russia is building infrastructure while the US destroys.

[Jan 08, 2020] Deification of questionable metrics is an objective phenomenon that we observe under neoliberalism

Jan 08, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

.

  1. likbez , January 8, 2020 4:00 am

    @run75441 January 7, 2020 5:45 pm

    In my golden days, I did manufacturing throughput analysis, cost modeled parts, and reviewed component and transportation distribution. I am curious. Forget all that neoliberal stuff . . .

    Ohh, those golden days 😉

    Measurement has its place and is the cornerstone of science, but it is not equal to pattern recognition. And when applied to social phenomena with their complexity it is more often a trap, rather then an insight.

    You need to understand that.

    Deification of questionable metrics is an objective phenomenon that we observe under neoliberalism.

    A classic example of deification of a questionable metric under neoliberalism is the "cult of GDP" ("If the GDP Is Up, Why Is America Down?") See , for example

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/24/metrics-gdp-economic-performance-social-progress

    Also see a rather interesting albeit raw take on the same ("Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ) at:

    http://casinocapitalism.info/Skeptics/Financial_skeptic/Casino_capitalism/Number_racket/gdp_is_a_questionable_measure_of_economic_growth.shtml

    For example, many people discuss stagnation of GDP growth in Japan not understanding here we are talking about the country with shrinking population. And adjusted for this factor I am not sure that it not higher then in the USA (were it is grossly distorted by the cancerous growth of FIRE sector).

    So while comparing different years for a single country might make some limited sense, those who blindly compare GDP of different countries (even with PPP adjustment) IMHO belong to a modern category of economic charlatans. Kind of Lysenkoism, if you wish

    That tells you something about primitivism and pseudo-scientific nature of neoliberal economics.

    We also need to remember the "performance reviews travesty" which is such a clear illustration of "cult of measurement" abuses that it does not it even requires commentary. Google has abolished numerical ratings in April 2014.

    Recently I come across an interesting record of early application of it in AT&T at Brian W Kernighan book UNIX: A History and a Memoir at late 60th, early as 70th.

[Jan 08, 2020] Russia has Peaked , according to the Minister of Energy.

Jan 08, 2020 | peakoilbarrel.com

Ronny Patterson

Ignored says: 01/02/2020 AT 1:49 PM

Russia has Peaked , according to the Minister of Energy.

Russia's Interest In Oil Production Cuts Is Waning

Russia is planning level production for the next 4 years.

"As far as the production cuts are concerned, I repeat once again, this is not an indefinite process. A decision on the exit should be gradually taken in order to keep up market share and so that our companies would be able to provide and implement their future projects. I think that we will consider that this year."(2020)

Meanwhile, Russia's energy ministry is assuming that the country's total output is to average around and slightly above 11.2 million barrels per day until 2024. In other words, it is not building any cut into its plan.

Russia's peak month, so far, was December 2018 at 11,408,000 barrels per day. The average daily production for 2018 was 11,115,000 bpd. Average production for 2019 was 11,211,000 bpd. This is the level they hope to hold for the next 4 years.

Russia's production increased by an average of 96,000 barrels per day in 2019. They are not expecting any further increase at all. They just hope to hold at 2019 levels for another four years. I think they will be very lucky if they manage that.

Point is, the world's largest producer, the USA, will likely peak in a few months. The world's second-largest producer, Russia, is admitting they have peaked. The world's third-largest producer, Saudi Arabia, has very likely peaked though they do not admit it. OPEC likely peaked in 2016, *Iran and Venezuela notwithstanding.

*Iran peaked in 2005 at 3,938,000 bpd. My Venezuela records only go back to 2001 when they produced 2,961,000 bpd. However, they peaked several years before that. However, neither is producing at maximum capacity today due to political problems. However both are clearly in decline regardless of political problems keeping them from producing flat out.

If we are at peak oil right now we are damn close to it.

The Russian Chart below is C+C through December 2019.

REPLY

Ron Patterson Ignored says: 01/02/2020 AT 6:00 PM

Ovi, the data in my chart above is from the official Ministry of Energy web site, converting tons to barrels at 7.33 barrels per ton:
MINISTRY OF ENERGY OF RUSSIAN FEDERATION

The site has not updated the December numbers but the Minister has released them. They can be found here:

UPDATE 1-Russian oil, condensate output surges to record-high in 2019

In December, total oil and gas condensate stood at 11.262 million bpd, up from 11.244 million bpd in November, according to the data.

Those are the exact numbers I used in my chart above. And yes, 2019 was a new high, exactly as I stated in the post above. Its yearly average beat the 2018 yearly average by 90,000 bpd.

Concerning 2020 average, it could not be stated any clearer than this:

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak expects Russian oil and condensate production of between 555 million tonnes and 565 million tonnes in 2020, or 11.12-11.32 million bpd using a conversion rate of 7.33 barrels per tonne of oil.

Or this from the link:
Russia's Interest In Oil Production Cuts Is Waning Bold mine:

Russia did not comply with the cuts in 2019.

Got an exemption for condensates at the OPEC meeting, though this was not discussed in the press conference.

Achieving another cut of 70,000 b/d in first quarter appears to be beyond its capability, given past statements.

Russia is planning level production for next 4 years.

And is prepared for oil prices to drop to $25-30 per barrel.

You wrote: I found this statement interesting, in that if they can't increase production, and are at max, why are they worried about market share.

I really don't understand that question. If they plan on producing 11.2 million barrels per day for the next four years, then they should be worried about their market share. Whether they can or cannot produce more than that is beside the point.

[Jan 08, 2020] "War Is God's Way of Teaching Us Geography" the quote that has been attributed to both Ambrose Bierce and Mark Twain

Jan 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

75% Of Registered Voters Can't Identify Iran On A Map Zero Hedge

As thousands of American service members prepare for the worst in the Middle East following an American drone strike that killed Iran's second-most powerful man, just 23% of registered voters can identify the Islamic republic on an unlabeled map of the globe, according to a Morning Consult/Politico survey.

When shown an unlabeled map of just the Middle East, the number rose to a still-abysmal 28% . Eight percent of those thought Iran was Iraq on the second map - just like Joe Biden .

Of those surveyed, men were around twice as likely as women to identify Iran on both maps...

[Jan 08, 2020] Mark Twain: "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."

Jan 08, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

turcopolier , 17 September 2019 at 09:31 PM

jonst

We have been so thoroughly indoctrinated with the idea that Iran and Russia are intrinsically and immutable evil and hostile that the thought of actual two sided diplomacy does not occur. IMO neither of these countries are what we collectively think them. So, we could actually give it a try rather than trying to beggar them and destroy their economies. If all fails than we have to be prepared to defend our forces. DOL

Matt -> turcopolier ... , 18 September 2019 at 12:54 AM
I agree with your reply 100%

these phobias are so entrenched now they're a huge obstacle to overcome,

Mark Twain: "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."

William Casey: "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false"

[Jan 08, 2020] US strategy and what the gas pipeline war is costing us by Manlio Dinucci

Jan 08, 2020 | www.voltairenet.org

After having forbidden the Chinese company Huawei to compete in the calls for tender for the 5G network, the United States are now forbidding the Europeans to increase their supplies of Russian gas. While the first decision was aimed at maintaining the coherence of NATO, the second is not a result of Russophobia, but of the 1992 " Wolfowitz doctrine " - preventing the EU from becoming a competitor of the " American Empire ". In both cases, the point is to infantilise the EU and keep it in a situation of dependence. Voltaire Network | Rome (Italy) | 30 December 2019 français italiano Español Português Türkçe română Deutsch norsk + -

JPEG - 25 kb
German chancellorAngela Merkel and her Minister of the Economy, Olaf Scholz, immediately denounced US interference.

Although they were locked in a convoluted struggle concerning the impeachment of President Trump, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate laid down their arms in order to vote, in quasi-unanimity, for the imposition of heavy sanctions on the companies participating in the construction of North Stream 2, the doubling of the gas pipeline which delivers Russian gas to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The main victims were the European companies which had helped finance the 11 billion dollar project with the Russian company Gazprom. The project is now 80 % finished. The Austrian company Omy, British/Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, French Engie, German companies Uniper and Wintershall, Italian Saipem and Swiss Allseas are also taking part in the laying of the pipeline.

The doubling of North Stream increases Europe's dependence on Russian gas, warn the United States. Above all, they are preoccupied by the fact that the gas pipeline – by crossing the Baltic in waters belonging to Russia, Finland, Sweden and Germany – thus avoids the Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary), the Baltic States and Ukraine. In other words, the European countries which have the closest ties to Washington through NATO (to which we must add Italy).

Rather than being economic, the goal for the USA is strategic. This is confirmed by the fact that the sanctions on North Stream 2 are included in the National Defense Authorization Act , the legislative act which, for fiscal year 2020, hands the Pentagon the colossal sum of 738 billion dollars for new wars and new weapons (including space weapons), to which must be added other posts which bring the US military expenditure to approximately 1,000 billion dollars. The economic sanctions on North Stream 2 are part of a politico-military escalation against Russia.

An ulterior confirmation can be found in the fact that the US Congress has established sanctions not only against North Stream 2, but also against the Turk-Stream, which, in its final phase of realisation, will bring Russian gas across the Black Sea to Eastern Thrace,the small European area of Turkey. From there, by another pipeline, Russian gas should be delivered to Bulgaria, Serbia and other European countries. This is the Russian riposte to the US action which managed to block the South Stream pipeline in 2014. South Stream was intended to link Russia to Italy across the Black Sea and by land to Tarvisio (Udine). Italy would therefore have become a switch platform for gas in the EU, with notable economic advantages. The Obama administration was able to scuttle the project, with the collaboration of the European Union.

The company Saipem (Italian Eni Group), once again affected by the US sanctions against North Stream 2, was severely hit by the blockage of South Stream – in 2014, it lost contracts to the value of 2.4 billion Euros, to which other contracts would have been added if the project had continued. But at the time, no-one in Italy or in the EU protested against the burial of the project which was being organised by the USA. Now German interests are in play, and critical voices are being raised in Germany and in the EU against US sanctions against North Stream 2.

Nothing is being said about the fact that the European Union has agreed to import liquified natural gas (LNG) from the USA, an extract from bituminous shale by the destructive technique of hydraulic fracturation (fracking). In order to damage Russia, Washington is attempting to reduce its gas exports to the EU, obliging European consumers to foot the bill. Since President Donald Trump and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, signed in Washington in July 2018 the Joint Statement of 25 July: European Union imports of U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) , the EU has doubled its importation of LNG from the USA, co-financing the infrastructures via an initial expenditure of 656 million Euros. However, this did not save European companies from US sanctions. Manlio Dinucci

Translation
Pete Kimberley

[Jan 08, 2020] Without a steady supply of gas and oil from the Saudis and Emirates it will very quickly get cold and dark in Europe this winter and they'll soon regret allowing Uncle Sammmy to put a kink in Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream.

Jan 08, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

CB on Wed, 01/08/2020 - 1:26am

Can you please explain further?

@Situational Lefty
...The world is not dependent on Iranian oil. But it is dependent on Gulf oil and gas. A few missiles fired into a Q-Max will cause a real problem - mainly in Europe. Without a steady supply of gas and oil from the Saudis and Emirates it will very quickly get cold and dark in Europe this winter and they'll soon regret allowing Uncle Sammmy to put a kink in Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream.

Speaking of TurkStream, Putin will be going to Turkey to attend the official launching with Erdogan right after his pleasant visit with Assad . I wonder what in the world Putin and Erdogan are going to do with those extra 31.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas?

Russia and China are relatively isolated. American actions in the last 2 decades have caused the two to elope and their love affair is going strong. Putin and Xi have already had 30 intimate dates discussing just this very scenario.

Of course, the extra transport costs to ship America's shoes, underwear and pots to piss in is going to be a bitch for the now burgeoning poor class.

[Jan 06, 2020] Neoliberal IMF admits neoliberalism fuels inequality and hurts growth The Grayzone

Jan 06, 2020 | thegrayzone.com

Neoliberal IMF admits neoliberalism fuels inequality and hurts growth Share Tweet Top International Monetary Fund (IMF) researchers have conceded that neoliberal policies of austerity, privatization, deregulation often hurt much more than help economies. By Ben Norton / Salon

The world's largest evangelist of neoliberalism, the International Monetary Fund, has admitted that it's not all it's cracked up to be.

Neoliberalism refers to capitalism in its purest form. It is an economic philosophy espoused by libertarians -- and repeated endlessly by many mainstream economists -- one that insists that privatization, deregulation, the opening up of domestic markets to foreign competition, the cutting of government spending, the shrinking of the state, and the "freeing of the market" are the keys to a healthy and flourishing economy.

Yet now top researchers at the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, the economic institution that has proselytized -- and often forcefully imposed -- neoliberal policies for decades, have conceded that the "benefits of some policies that are an important part of the neoliberal agenda appear to have been somewhat overplayed."

"There are aspects of the neoliberal agenda that have not delivered as expected," the economists write in " Neoliberalism: Oversold? ", a study published in the June volume of the IMF's quarterly magazine Finance & Development.

In analyzing two of neoliberalism's most fundamental policies, austerity and the removing of restrictions on the movement of capital, the IMF researchers say they reached "three disquieting conclusions."

One, neoliberal policies result in "little benefit in growth."

Two, neoliberal policies increase inequality, which produces further economic harms in a "trade-off" between growth and inequality.

And three, this "increased inequality in turn hurts the level and sustainability of growth."

The top researchers conclude noting that the "evidence of the economic damage from inequality suggests that policymakers should be more open to redistribution than they are."

In some cases, they add, the consequences "will have to be remedied after they occur by using taxes and government spending to redistribute income."

"Fortunately, the fear that such policies will themselves necessarily hurt growth is unfounded," the IMF economists stress -- that is to say, increasing taxes and boosting government spending will not necessarily hurt growth.

The collapse of neoliberalism

These statements represent an enormous reversal for the IMF. It is somewhat like the Pope declaring that there is no God; it is a volte-face on almost everything that the IMF has ever stood for.

Since the 2008 financial collapse, widespread rebellions have been waged against these failed neoliberal policies, with Occupy Wall Street in the U.S. and similar grassroots movements around the world.

Before the 1970s, neoliberalism was relegated to the obscure margins of mainstream economics, preached by free-market fundamentalists like Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek.

In the last few decades, however, it became the hegemonic ideology. The IMF has been one of the most crucial institutions, along with the World Bank, in the spread of neoliberalism.

By the end of the Cold War, socialist alternatives to capitalism had been brutally crushed in a long series of wars. By the 1980s, with the rise of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the U.K. and President Ronald Reagan in the U.S., neoliberalism had come to dominate the new world order.

Even before the Thatchers and the Reagans, however, there were the Pinochets. The policies the IMF advocated for decades were rooted in extreme violence and repression.

Chile's violent neoliberal dictatorship

Chile was the first country to implement neoliberal policies. Still today, neoliberal ideologues quote Milton Friedman, speaking of the legacy of the reign of far-right, U.S.-backed capitalist dictator Augusto Pinochet as Chile's "economic miracle." What they overlook is how Pinochet used a bloodstained iron fist to implement these neoliberal policies.

A bloody CIA-backed 1973 coup toppled Chile's popular democratically elected Marxist leader, Salvador Allende, and replaced him with Pinochet. For millions of Chileans, his "economic miracle" was a disaster.

Pinochet combined fascistic police state repression with extreme free-market policies, killing, disappearing and torturing tens of thousands of Chilean leftists, labor organizers and journalists, forcing hundreds of thousands more into exile.

"Chile's pioneering experience with neoliberalism received high praise from Nobel laureate Friedman, but many economists have now come around to" more nuanced views, the IMF researchers note in their article.

Boom and bust cycles 'are the main story'

The study was co-authored by three members of the IMF's research department -- Jonathan Ostry, the deputy director, Prakash Loungani, a division chief, and Davide Furceri, an economist.

The researchers don't throw neoliberalism out completely. "There is much to cheer in the neoliberal agenda," they write. But it fails in some crucial regards.

For one, opening emerging economies up to some types of unrestricted foreign capital inflows frequently leads to financial crises, the IMF researchers note, which in turn create large declines in economic output and "appreciably" increase inequality.

These boom and bust cycles are not merely "a sideshow they are the main story," the economists add.

"Capital controls are a viable, and sometimes the only, option," the IMF concludes. This is a huge reversal. The researchers themselves point out that "the IMF's view has also changed -- from one that considered capital controls as almost always counterproductive to greater acceptance of controls to deal with the volatility of capital flows."

Austerity can lead to an 'adverse loop' of economic decline

Moreover, the study notes that it is often better for indebted governments to allow "the debt ratio to decline organically through growth," rather than to impose austerity. This is another reversal.

The IMF has for many years ordered countries to cut spending, gutting social services in order to pay off debt. This has in turn led to a shrinking of the economy, trapping countries in a spiral of debt. Greece is a painful contemporary example , although there are many more.

"Austerity policies not only generate substantial welfare costs," the IMF researchers continue, "they also hurt demand -- and thus worsen employment and unemployment."

Austerity results in "drops rather than by expansions in output." Studies show that, when government deficits and debts are reduced with a fiscal consolidation of 1 percent of a country's GDP, the long-term unemployment rate often increases by 0.6 percentage point and income inequality grows by 1.5 percent within five years.

Taken in conjunction, these effects could lead to an "adverse loop," the IMF warns, where austerity fuels inequality, which decreases growth that neoliberals insist must be cured with more austerity.

"The increase in inequality engendered by financial openness and austerity might itself undercut growth, the very thing that the neoliberal agenda is intent on boosting," the IMF researchers write. "There is now strong evidence that inequality can significantly lower both the level and the durability of growth."

The importance of this study is hard to overstate. The IMF is essentially admitted that many of the policies that it demanded countries implement for decades only made things worse.

The International Monetary Fund appears to be inching toward a more Keynesian economic position.

To be clear, just because IMF researchers acknowledge the economic reality billions of working people in the world intimately understand does not mean the IMF as an institution will act on their research and end these policies -- just as the U.S. government does not necessarily act on the research of State Department, which has acknowledged Israel's crimes .

But the IMF's recognition that neoliberalism is not the panacea that cures all economic ills establishes an incredibly significant precedent, and is a huge victory in the fight for economic justice -- and in the class war.

Ben Norton Ben Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker. He is the assistant editor of The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast, which he co-hosts with editor Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com and he tweets at @ BenjaminNorton . bennorton.com

[Jan 06, 2020] Trump Says US Will Not Leave Iraq Unless Billions For Air Base Are Repaid, Threatens Baghdad With Very Big Sanctions

Jan 06, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Amusingly, if Trump is indeed serious that Iraq will have to reimburse the US for its countless military bases, camps and other installations, the US will be able to repay its $23 trillion in debt (and have money leftover), when all is said and done: here is a partial list of the US camps in iraq:

[Jan 04, 2020] The US shows some symptom of an empire on the brink of collapse: an irreconcilably divided and decaying citizenry, racial and cultural incoherence, a totally detached oligarchy, no overarching mission or narrative, and an over reliance on international mercenaries to fight its wars

Jan 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Adam , Jan 4 2020 19:18 utc | 43

The US shows every symptom of an empire on the brink of collapse: an irreconcilably divided and decaying citizenry, racial and cultural incoherence, a totally detached oligarchy, no overarching mission or narrative, and an over reliance on international mercenaries to fight its wars. By 2009, soldiers of fortune outnumbered US military personnel 3-1 in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Add in the war-profiteers, wide open borders, collapsing infrastructure and history-making wealth inequality, and an entire generation of healthy young white men destroyed by drugs and suicides, a despair engineered by Jews, who unlike Iranians, mock us as they do it. Let's see tranquility on the home front survive skyrocketing food and gas prices.

A war with Iran is our line in the sand as well. All white men must boycott the military, which is run by people who despise us more than any supposed international enemy ever will. The last 3 years of having our rights and civil liberties whittled away show that it is white Americans who will always be the US plutocracy's first and last enemy. If you are currently serving, you can get honorably discharged by declaring yourself a worshipper of Asatru and anonymously emailing your superior officers pretending to be a deeply concerned member of Antifa. Even if open war doesn't break out, the recent massive troop buildups in the Middle East guarantee you will be a target. Let Zion send its anarchist neo-liberal foot soldiers in your place!

We must prepare our own populist anti-war protest movement to bring the war home. We must remain steadfast in the face of a coming era of political repression nobody has seen in generations.

The people of Iran are not our enemy. They share the same abominable foe and deserve our solidarity. They must know that the citizens of America are ignorant of who rules them, and that decisions made using our flag are not made by us.

In the name of the existence of our people and the future of our children, and even broader in the name of humanity, we must ensure that this will be Judah's last war.

Only then can we all be free.

https://national-justice.com/op-ed-line-sand


james , Jan 4 2020 19:29 utc | 47

thank you b... i see you articulated a paragraph that is out of grasp of the american msm crowd, so i am going to repeat it.. it is worth repeating...see bottom of post... my main thought is that no matter what happens everything will be blamed on iran - false flag, and etc. etc. you name it... all bad is on iran and all good is on usa-israel.. that is the constant meme that the msm provides 24-7 and that us politicians and the state dept run with 24-7 as well. it is so transparent it is beyond despicable..

@ 13 old hippie.. that about sums up my impression.. thanks

@ 22 BM.. thanks.. i share your perspective, but am not as articulate..

here is the quote from b..
"The U.S. did not only murder Qassem Soleimani. On December 29 it also killed 31 Iraqi government forces. Five days later it killed Soleimani and the Deputy Commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF/PMU/Hashed al-Shabi) and leader of Kata'ib Hizbollah Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. There were also four IRGC and four Kata'ib Hizbollah men who were killed while accompanying their leaders. The PMU are under direct command of the Iraqi Prime Minister. They are official Iraqi defense forces who defeated ISIS after a bloody war. Their murder demands that their government acts against the perpetrators."

oldhippie , Jan 4 2020 18:11 utc | 13
Sitting in coffee shop in Chicago listening to Americans. The general sentiment is they had it coming and Iran should be nuked.
Glass parking lot is the desired end.

This sentiment is bottom to top in America. Measured response? No way can Iran 'measure' a response.

More generally the sentiment is that a little war in Iran, a few nukes, is not even a big thing. Football scores more important.

Isabella , Jan 4 2020 18:22 utc | 16
"Sitting in coffee shop in Chicago listening to Americans. The general sentiment is they had it coming and Iran should be nuked.
Glass parking lot is the desired end."

That's pretty much the picture i get from reading responses in UK MSM, not only from English, but many giving American addresses. They are all pretty much thoroughly brainwashed, believing as gospel the lies they've told, and still think that they are the "White hatted, good guys, who do good things for the places they bomb and invade".

it seems they will be supportive of an attack on Iran, and if their maniac "leaders", the basement crazies who got out of the basement, realise this, it increases substantially the chances of a "hot" war. In that case, should it escalate out of control, your Chicago coffee deadheads will get the Glass parking lot they want. It just wont be in the ME. Or Russia. They can have their very own, in their own back yard.

Oriental Voice , Jan 4 2020 19:40 utc | 52

@13 oldhippie; @16 Isabella:

You guys are right on money! I'm a retiree in my seventy's. My social circles are old school college graduates in late fifties to late seventies, supposedly the segment of population wise enough to decipher world affairs. But no, they care more about who's gonna win today between Titans and patriots or whether Tiger Wood will win another major in 2020. US murder of another nation's leader has no frigging importance in moral or consequential terms. Such is the general IQ status of the west today. Really, it takes someone intelligent and inquisitive enough for years and years to really get aghast and appreciative enough to ponder what the murder of Soleimani in Trump's hand in the manner it was executed would mean to world peace. MSM counts on this stupidity and thrives in lies and false-flag propaganda.

... ... ...

karlof1 , Jan 5 2020 0:03 utc | 114
Two min twitter vid :

"Mourners in Karbala welcome the bodies of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Suleimani this evening."

Many thousands; very impressive and moving!

Vid of Baghdad protests :

"Hundreds of thousands of #Iraqis attend the #martyrs last farewell in #Baghdad and protest against the US military presence in #Iraq."

And here's Zarif's tweet and photo montage :

"24 hrs ago, an arrogant clown -- masquerading as a diplomat -- claimed people were dancing in the cities of Iraq.

"Today, hundreds of thousands of our proud Iraqi brothers and sisters offered him their response across their soil.

"End of US malign presence in West Asia has begun."

The idiots at the helm of the Evil Outlaw US Empire really have absolutely no clue as their short term thinking has destroyed what mental capacities they once had and has reduced them to imbeciles.

[Jan 04, 2020] The rule of law has its uses and destroying the structure on which their world rests does have consequences.

Jan 04, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

John Merryman , 03 January 2020 at 06:23 PM

Given the real masters of the universe are the very rich, would the Iranians see them as logical targets?

Sheldon Adelson comes to mind, as he is a primary backer of both Trump and Netanyahu. As well as likely not known, or appealing to Trump's base, so avenging his death wouldn't appeal in the same way as soldiers or diplomats. Especially leading up to the election. Not only that, but if the very rich were to sense their Gulfstreams are somewhat vulnerable to someone with a Stinger at the end of the runway in quite a few tourist destinations, Davos, etc, the pressure from the People Who Really Matter might be against further conflict.

The rule of law has its uses and destroying the structure on which their world rests does have consequences.

[Jan 04, 2020] Surreal comment award

Jan 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Lucifer Dreams , 1 hour ago link

Just a wild *** guess but what if Maj. Gen. Soleimani was close to kicking the bucket anyways and wanted to poke America one last time and did so by causing an issue at the American embassy in Iraq.

If the General was such an asset why be in Iraq? Normally you would send your aide to the area. If it was really important to meet someone then they would come to Iran.

I don't think Iran is necessarily that careless. I can believe ego can play a big part in making bad decisions but if he was such an asset for so long why risk it unless you were a dead man walking already.

The other Iranian leaders could of said to the already dying general if that is the way you want to go out then by all means do so. It doesn't cost Iran anything if he does.

Just a different look at it. It may also be the reason why Iran won't do anything for awhile if at all. He might of been a good general in Iran's eyes but still replaceable. Later.

Lucifer's Chosen People , 1 hour ago link

INTERESTING ANGLE AND POSSIBLE. ONE THING IS TRUE MUZZIES AREN'T AFRAID TO DIE LIKE THIS.

IT MAKES HIM A MARTYR ...THAT WAS A MISTAKE IN MY MIND .

jm , 22 minutes ago link

Surreal comment award.

[Jan 04, 2020] Higher oil prices can be enough punishment for the US until Iran find more effective ways to punish for this violation of international norms and sovereignty of Iraq

The oil market should be worried. Iran can stop all traffic through the Straight of Hormuz at will. And that would start a war. Which would keep it closed. It may be a mistake to think Iran's leadership is more sane than ours.
Jan 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Iran might also seek to draw Israel into a conflict via Hezbollah in Lebanon. We can't rule out some sort of grand-scale attack, but an array of smaller-scale activity is our core bet.

The risk that something bigger will trigger a real war, however, likely will put a premium on oil prices for the next few months, at least.

Higher oil prices represent a tax on oil consumers and a windfall for producers. World oil consumption is about 100M barrels per day, so each five dollars on the prices is equivalent to an annualized tax of about $183B per year, or 0.1% of global GDP. The U.S., however, is both a huge oil producer and a consumer. Domestic production runs at almost 13M bpd, with consumption at 21Mbpd. That would seem to suggest that the net effect of higher prices on the U.S. would be to depress economic growth, but recent experience points in the opposite direction, because oil sector capex, in the era of shale, is acutely sensitive to prices, even in the short term. When oil prices collapsed between spring 2014 and early 2016, the ensuing plunge in capital spending in the oil sector outweighed the boost to consumers' real income from cheaper gasoline and heating oil, and overall economic growth slowed markedly. This story played out in reverse when oil prices rebounded in the three years through spring 2018, and economic growth picked up even as consumers' real incomes were hit.

... ... ...

The wild card is whether turmoil in the Middle East triggers a sustained sell-off in equities, depressing business and consumer confidence to the point where labor market and inflation concerns become secondary. We'd be surprised -- the plunge in S&P futures is just the initial knee-jerk response -- but if Iran takes more drastic action than we are expecting, it will become a real risk. In that case, the Fed might have no choice but to ease, especially if credit markets seize-up too. In the meantime, expect defensive stocks to outperform, with downward pressure on Treasury yields and gains for safe-haven currencies, until Iran's response becomes clear. To repeat: Iran will respond.


DemandSider , 24 minutes ago link

9/11 Suspects: The Dancing Israelis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XHm56O2NTI&t=425s

I still can't get any logical explanation as to why this Israeli spy ring, the largest ever on U.S. soil, was in The U.S. And, why were they dancing after the first plane impact?

Anybody?

Karl Marxist , 25 minutes ago link

News flash. The government in Washington is extremely unpopular as well. More unpopular in America than the Iranian government is with Iranians. I am saying this because anyone who spent any time with Impeachment; read how Barr let Epstein and all pedo elites walk away fully protected, his hideous Operation Guardian, Trump's complete destruction of 1st Amendment rights to free speech in the guise of "suppressing antisemitism" ... God, how I hate this tyranny complete with WalMarts and mulatto invaders and LGBT as "normal", the all tranny military, meaningless laws we are rounded up and shot to death for the slightest traffic infraction black, white but never Jewish. They get away with everything. Trump made them a protected class, Judaism a race and a nationality to have special protections at taxpayer expense. What a wonderful country I just can't get enough of....

Jung , 43 minutes ago link

No one will miss the US apart frmo the Americans themselves: the polls are clear worldwide that the world considers the Americans to be ruled by the most aggressive and psychopathic regimes. They have killed millions since WWII and the world would be a much better place without the US.

[Jan 03, 2020] Secondary sanctions are evil because they prevent minor transactions because banks don't think it is worth the severe penalties.

Jan 03, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

cartman January 2, 2020 at 4:54 pm

How Our Economic Warfare Brings the World to Heel

Nothing untrue in this article. Secondary sanctions are evil because they prevent minor transactions because banks don't think it is worth the severe penalties. So Iranian cancer patients aren't allowed to buy chemotherapy medications. Trump has gone overboard because he has learned that there is no political cost to doling these out.

I think this is how US dominance will end. No challengers will end it, although some may rise in the vacuum. The internal changes the US needs to make to come back are politically impossible. Sanctions are big government on steroids, and having the US Government sitting atop the global economy will cause it to seize up. The question is how long commerce will be able to continue under these conditions.

[Jan 02, 2020] The EU's LNG imports jumped by 102 percent on the year, with Russia accounting for 19 percent of LNG imports, second only to Qatar with 30 percent, and ahead of the U.S. with 12 percent

Jan 02, 2020 | oilprice.com

In Q2 2019, thanks to the LNG supply glut and converging prices, the EU's LNG imports jumped by 102 percent on the year, with Russia accounting for 19 percent of LNG imports, second only to Qatar with 30 percent, and ahead of the U.S. with 12 percent, the European Commission's Quarterly Report on European Gas Markets shows .

Between January and November, LNG imports into Europe including Turkey hit a record high, beating the previous record from 2011, the EIA said in its latest natural gas update. The U.S., Russia, and Qatar boosted their LNG supplies to Europe this year, and the U.S. beat Russia in volumes supplied to Europe in the latter part of the year, EIA data shows.

While Russia and the U.S. compete for gas market share in Europe, the U.S. hit Russia's Nord Stream 2 project with sanctions this month, delaying the completion of the project with at least several months.

Following the announcement of the sanctions, Switzerland-based offshore pipelay and subsea construction company Allseas immediately suspended Nord Stream 2 pipelay activities.

Also

The agreement between Gazprom and Naftogaz provides for the rejection of new claims, withdrawal of claims, payment by the decision of the Stockholm arbitration-Miller

MOSCOW, Dec 21-RIA Novosti. Gas transit through Ukraine in 2020 will be 65 billion cubic meters, and 40 billion in 2021-2024, said the Head of "Gazprom" Alexey Miller.

In turn, the Minister of energy of Ukraine Oleksiy Orzhel noted that the tariff will increase due to a decrease in pumping volumes.

The agreement provides for the rejection of new claims, the withdrawal of claims and the payment of about 2.9 billion dollars on the decisions of the Stockholm arbitration court.

In addition, Gazprom and Naftogaz will sign an agreement to settle mutual claims under existing contracts. With Kiev, the Russian company will sign a settlement agreement to withdraw the claim of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine.

The European Commission in the framework of the new agreement on gas cooperation guarantees the compliance of transit with EU standards, the Ukrainian side-the independence of the regulator, protection of the interests of the transit customer, predictability and economic feasibility of tariff formation.

MOSCOW, Dec 21-RIA Novosti. "Gazprom" and "Operator of GTS of Ukraine" on Saturday are preparing in Vienna inter-operator agreement signed on Friday between Russia and Ukraine Protocol of the contract on gas transit and settlement of mutual claims is already working, told reporters the representative of "Gazprom".

[Jan 02, 2020] The Purpose Of Life Is Not Happiness: It s Usefulness Happiness as an achievable goal is an illusion, but that doesn t mean happiness itself is not attainable by Darius Foroux

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well." ..."
"... Recently I read Not Fade Away by Laurence Shames and Peter Barton. It's about Peter Barton, the founder of Liberty Media, who shares his thoughts about dying from cancer. ..."
Aug 22, 2019 | getpocket.com

For the longest time, I believed that there's only one purpose of life: And that is to be happy. Right? Why else go through all the pain and hardship? It's to achieve happiness in some way. And I'm not the only person who believed that. In fact, if you look around you, most people are pursuing happiness in their lives.

That's why we collectively buy shit we don't need, go to bed with people we don't love, and try to work hard to get approval of people we don't like.

Why do we do these things? To be honest, I don't care what the exact reason is. I'm not a scientist. All I know is that it has something to do with history, culture, media, economy, psychology, politics, the information era, and you name it. The list is endless.

We are who are.

Let's just accept that. Most people love to analyze why people are not happy or don't live fulfilling lives. I don't necessarily care about the why .

I care more about how we can change.

Just a few short years ago, I did everything to chase happiness.

But at the end of the day, you're lying in your bed (alone or next to your spouse), and you think: "What's next in this endless pursuit of happiness?"

Well, I can tell you what's next: You, chasing something random that you believe makes you happy.

It's all a façade. A hoax. A story that's been made up.

Did Aristotle lie to us when he said:

"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence."

I think we have to look at that quote from a different angle. Because when you read it, you think that happiness is the main goal. And that's kind of what the quote says as well.

But here's the thing: How do you achieve happiness?

Happiness can't be a goal in itself. Therefore, it's not something that's achievable. I believe that happiness is merely a byproduct of usefulness. When I talk about this concept with friends, family, and colleagues, I always find it difficult to put this into words. But I'll give it a try here. Most things we do in life are just activities and experiences.

Those things should make you happy, right? But they are not useful. You're not creating anything. You're just consuming or doing something. And that's great.

Don't get me wrong. I love to go on holiday, or go shopping sometimes. But to be honest, it's not what gives meaning to life.

What really makes me happy is when I'm useful. When I create something that others can use. Or even when I create something I can use.

For the longest time I foud it difficult to explain the concept of usefulness and happiness. But when I recently ran into a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the dots connected.

Emerson says:

"The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."

And I didn't get that before I became more conscious of what I'm doing with my life. And that always sounds heavy and all. But it's actually really simple.

It comes down to this: What are you DOING that's making a difference?

Did you do useful things in your lifetime? You don't have to change the world or anything. Just make it a little bit better than you were born.

If you don't know how, here are some ideas.

That's just some stuff I like to do. You can make up your own useful activities.

You see? It's not anything big. But when you do little useful things every day, it adds up to a life that is well lived. A life that mattered.

The last thing I want is to be on my deathbed and realize there's zero evidence that I ever existed.

Recently I read Not Fade Away by Laurence Shames and Peter Barton. It's about Peter Barton, the founder of Liberty Media, who shares his thoughts about dying from cancer.

It's a very powerful book and it will definitely bring tears to your eyes. In the book, he writes about how he lived his life and how he found his calling. He also went to business school, and this is what he thought of his fellow MBA candidates:

"Bottom line: they were extremely bright people who would never really anything, would never add much to society, would leave no legacy behind. I found this terribly sad, in the way that wasted potential is always sad."

You can say that about all of us. And after he realized that in his thirties, he founded a company that turned him into a multi-millionaire.

Another person who always makes himself useful is Casey Neistat . I've been following him for a year and a half now, and every time I watch his YouTube show , he's doing something.

He also talks about how he always wants to do and create something. He even has a tattoo on his forearm that says "Do More."

Most people would say, "why would you work more?" And then they turn on Netflix and watch back to back episodes of Daredevil.

A different mindset.

Being useful is a mindset. And like with any mindset, it starts with a decision. One day I woke up and thought to myself: What am I doing for this world? The answer was nothing.

And that same day I started writing. For you it can be painting, creating a product, helping elderly, or anything you feel like doing.

Don't take it too seriously. Don't overthink it. Just DO something that's useful. Anything.

Darius Foroux writes about productivity, habits, decision making, and personal finance. His ideas and work have been featured in TIME, NBC, Fast Company, Inc., Observer, and many more publications. Join his free weekly newsletter.

More from Darius Foroux

This article was originally published on October 3, 2016, by Darius Foroux, and is republished here with permission. Darius Foroux writes about productivity, habits, decision making, and personal finance.

Join his newsletter.


[Jan 02, 2020] Since 2008, we've been witnessing a "reverse stagflation", i.e. low unemployment with low wages (a phenomenon which is impossible according to modern bourgeois economic theory).

Jan 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Dec 31 2019 18:38 utc | 32

Here's another evidence capitalism has reached a stagnant level of both technological progress and birth rates:

Over-65s to account for over half of employment growth in next 10 years

Workers aged 65 and older will be responsible for more than half of all UK employment growth over the next 10 years and almost two-thirds of employment growth by 2060, according to new figures.

Since 2008, we've been witnessing a "reverse stagflation", i.e. low unemployment with low wages (a phenomenon which is impossible according to modern bourgeois economic theory).

The reason for this is what I mentioned earlier: no more technological progress and negative birth rates. The USA is still benefitting from mass immigration from Central America, but this demographic bonus won't last for much: now even the Third World countries are barely above the minimum 2 children per woman (including most of Latin American nations). Only a bunch of African nations (which have high mortality rates either way, so it doesn't matter) and India still have the "demographic bonus" in a level such as to be capitalistically viable.

This problem is not new in cotemporary history. It happened once: in the USSR.

In the 1970s, only 6% of the Soviet population was necessary to produce everything the USSR needed, so the only solution available was to expand the economy extensively, i.e. by reproducing the same infrastructure more times over.

The problem with that is that the USSR had reached its limits demographically. Its population growth entered into stagnant to negative territory. Decades passed until the point where it didn't even matter if they came up with a revolutionary technology, since there were simply not enough children to teach and train to such new tech. Add to that the pressure from the Cold War (which drained its R&D to the military sector), and it begun to wither away.

Now we can predict the same thing is happening to capitalism. Contrary to the USSR, the capitalist nations had the advantage of having available the demographic bonuses of the Third World - specially China - to maintain their dynamism even when some countries like Japan and Germany reached negative birth rates. Now China's demographic bonus is over and also much of Latin America. To make things even worse for the capitalists, China managed to scape the "middle income trap" and go to the route of becoming a superpower, thus adding to the demographic strains of the capitalist center.

The solution, it seems, is to do pension reforms and force the old people back to work. France is going to destroy its pension system; Brazil already did that; the USA was a pioneer in forcing its old population to work to the death; Italy destroyed its pension system after 2008; the UK is preparing the terrain now that its social-democracy is definitely destroyed.

Patroklos , Jan 1 2020 2:49 utc | 65

Posted by: vk | Dec 31 2019 18:38 utc | 32

As always I find your application of Marxist critique succinct and correct. This coming decade, with its unravelling of the financialization phase of our current phase of capitalism (i.e the US consolidation phase following British imperialism, c.1914-2020s), will be its terminal decade. The signal that we had entered the financialization phase were the shocks of 1970-73, and the replacement of industrial manufacture (i.e. money>commodity>money+x, or M-C-M') with finance/speculation (i.e. money>money+x, M-M') has unfolded more or less according to Marx's analysis in Capital vol.3. This is as much a crisis of value creation as anything else. In Australia (where I am) the process is particularly transparent: we have almost no manufacturing sector left and so we exchange labour-value created in China for mineral resources and engage in the ponzi-scheme of banking and property speculation, which produces no value whatsoever. Either way the M-C-M' phase in Australia has vanished and government dedicates itself to full-spectrum protection of the finance economy and mining. All the while a veneer of productivity is created by immigration, which destroys cities (because there's no infrastructure to accomodate them), inflates prices and creates the illusion of 'growth'. This is propped up by a media who perpetuate xenophobia by creating panic about refugees (5%) while saying zip about the fact that Australia only has economic growth at all because we bring in 250K new consumers every year. This collapsing financialization phase will only accelerate this decade and we will wake to find we don't make anything and have crumbling 1980s-era infrastructure: Australia will suffer badly as the phase plays out, not least because of a colonial-settler looting mentality around the 'economy' that persists at every level of government.

What I like about the point you're making in your post (#32) is the wider expansive question of productivity -- or, how do we continue to produce value? It is often overlooked that Marx sought to liberate human beings from expropriative labour of every kind (which occurred as much under the Soviets as it does today); this means that capital's aorta connecting labour to value via money must be severed (rather than the endless attempts to reform capitalism to make it 'fairer' etc, a sell-out for which Gramsci savaged the union movement). The relation between work and value must be critiqued relentlessly. To salvage any kind of optimism about the future we need to invest all our intellectual energy in this critique and find a radically new way of construing the link between time, labour and value that does not include social domination.

In the meantime the scenario to which you have drawn our attention -- the parasitic vampirism now attacking the elderly and the retired -- is an inevitable consequence of our particular moment in late capitalism, hurtling at speed toward a social catastrophe of debt, wealth inequality, neo-feudalism and biopolitical police state, all characterized by an image of 70-year-olds trudging to work in an agony of physical suffering and mental meaninglessness which will end in a forgotten grave.

[Jan 02, 2020] Gary Shilling Why It's So Hard To Forecast The Economy

Jan 02, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Gary Shilling: Why It's So Hard To Forecast The Economy by Tyler Durden Wed, 01/01/2020 - 19:00 0 SHARES

Authored by A.Gary Shilling, op-ed via Bloomberg.com,

Normal cyclical patterns have gone missing , and may not be coming back anytime soon...

The U.S. economy has experienced its slowest recovery from a recession in the post-World War II era, and the longer it lasts the more evidence there is that normal cyclical patterns are missing. And their absence means market participants shouldn't rely on them to divine the economy's future.

Consider the myriad developments that are atypical, or even the reverse of normal economic and financial market behavior. The Federal Reserve shifted from easing credit to tightening following past downturns, with its target federal funds rate normally raised within a year or so of the recession's trough, eventually precipitating the next economic contraction. This time, the central bank kept its policy rate at the recessionary low of essentially zero until Dec. 2015, 78 months into the recovery . And then, after nine quarter-percentage point increases, it reversed course early this year with three rate cuts.

Far from the Fed's normal worries about an overheating economy and inflation, the central bank frets that low and even declining consumer prices will spawn deflationary expectations. Buyers will hold off in anticipation of lower prices. Inventories and excess capacity will mount, forcing prices down. The price cuts confirm suspicions and purchases are delayed even further, sparking a deflationary spiral. The glaring example is Japan, with deflation in most years in the past two decades and tiny real GDP annual growth of 1.1%.

Also, despite the plunge in 30-year fixed mortgage rates from 6.8% in July 2006 to the current 3.7%, rate-sensitive single-family housing starts have been muted. They fell from a 1.8 million annual rate in January 2006 to 350,000 in March 2009 as the subprime mortgage market collapsed, but have only recovered to 940,000.

Mortgage lending criteria have tightened and prime-age first-time homebuyers don't have the necessary downpayments. The net worth of households headed by 18-to-34-year-olds dropped from $120,000 in 2001 to $90,000 in 2016, a 44% decline adjusted for inflation. Also, they learned from the last recession that for the first time since the 1930s, house prices nationwide can fall.

In past business recoveries, the U.S. household saving rate fell as consumer spending grew faster than incomes. In this expansion, it's the reverse, leaping from 4.9% to 7.9% in November, retarding spending.

Past postwar recessions spawned financial problems, but nothing like the 2008 crisis. The government's reaction was equally severe with the enactment of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and other stringent regulations for financial institutions that are only now being slowly relaxed.

In earlier business upswings, a drop in the unemployment rate of anything like the plunge from 10% in October 2009 to the current 3.5% would have spawned massive wage inflation. This time, real wages are barely growing.

Globalization transported many high-paid manufacturing jobs to China. With the growing "on demand" economy -- think Uber Technologies Inc. -- many people trade flexibility in working hours for low pay. The payroll jobs that are being created are mostly in low-wage sectors such as retailing and leisure & hospitality.

For years, foreign policy was bipartisan and expanding trade was considered highly desirable. Now, globalists have been overcome by protectionists, spurred by voters upset over stagnant purchasing power and rising income and asset inequality in G-7 countries. Trump's 2016 election along with the U.K.'s "Brexit" from the European Union are among the results. Then there's also the demise of global trade deals, which are being replaced by bilateral agreements or no pacts at all.

The U.S.-China trade dispute will no doubt persist because China, with a declining labor force as a result of its earlier one child-per-couple policy, needs Western technologies to grow and achieve its worldwide leadership ambitions. But the U.S. is opposed to the technology transfers China wants.

The dollar's slide from 1985 until 2007 encouraged U.S. exports, curbed imports and gave U.S. multinationals currency-related boosts to profits. Since then, the dollar index has rallied 33% amid a global demand for haven assets. And it should continue to, given the relatively faster growth of the U.S. economy, its huge, free and open financial markets and the lack of meaningful substitutes for the greenback.

Disinflation has reigned since 1980, but real interest rates were positive until the last decade. But for 10 years now, real 10-year Treasury note yields have been flat at zero (see my Nov. 19, 2018 column, "Zero Real Yields Are Tripping Up Investors"). This and the flat yield curve have pushed state pension funds and other investors far out on the risk curve in search of real returns, bidding up stocks to vulnerable levels.

Earlier, the Fed was run by Ph.D. economists who clung to widely-held theories even though they didn't work. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is proving to be much more practical, backing away from rigid Fed policies such as the 2% inflation target and a zero-bound policy rate as well as unsuccessful forward guidance.

In this different economic climate, it's hard to time the end of the current recovery. Still, it will end, due either to Fed overtightening or a financial crisis, like the 2000 dot-com blow-off or the 2007-2009 subprime mortgage collapse. In the current excess supply-savings glut-deflationary world, it's likely a recession will unfold due to a shock before the Fed overtightens.

No financial crises are in sight, but there are possibilities such as excess debt in China and among U.S. businesses, a trade war escalation, consumer retrenchment resulting in widespread deflation, and disappointing corporate profits measured against sky-high stock prices. Watch for specific imbalances, not typical past patterns.

[Jan 01, 2020] FDA Failed to Police Opioids Makers, Thus Fueling Opioids Crisis

Jan 01, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

FDA Failed to Police Opioids Makers, Thus Fueling Opioids Crisis Posted on January 1, 2020 by Jerri-Lynn Scofield By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.

I had hoped to welcome 2020 with a optimistic post.

Alas, the current news cycle has thrown up little cause for optimism.

Instead, what has caught my eye today: 2019 closes with release of a new study showing the FDA's failure to police opioids manufacturers fueled the opioids crisis.

This is yet another example of a familiar theme: inadequate regulation kills people: e.g. think Boeing. Or, on a longer term, less immediate scale, consider the failure of the Environmental Protection Agency, in so many realms, including the failure to curb emissions so as to slow the pace of climate change.

In the opioids case, we're talking about thousands and thousands of people.

On Monday, Jama Internal Medicine published research concerning the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) program to reduce opioids abuse. The FDA launched its risk evaluation and mitigation strategy – REMS – in 2012. Researchers examined nearly 10,000 documents, released in response to a Freedom of Information ACT (FOA) request, to generate the conclusions published by JAMA.

As the Gray Lady tells the story in As Tens of Thousands Died, F.D.A. Failed to Police Opioids :

In 2011, the F.D.A. began asking the makers of OxyContin and other addictive long-acting opioids to pay for safety training for more than half the physicians prescribing the drugs, and to track the effectiveness of the training and other measures in reducing addiction, overdoses and deaths.

But the F.D.A. was never able to determine whether the program worked, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found in a new review, because the manufacturers did not gather the right kind of data. Although the agency's approval of OxyContin in 1995 has long come under fire, its efforts to ensure the safe use of opioids since then have not been scrutinized nearly as much.

The documents show that even when deficiencies in these efforts became obvious through the F.D.A.'s own review process, the agency never insisted on improvements to the program, [called a REMS]. . .

The FDA's regulatory failure had serious public health consequences, according to critics of US opioids policy, as reported by the NYT:

Dr. Andrew Kolodny, the co-director of opioid policy research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis, said the safety program was a missed opportunity. He is a leader of a group of physicians who had encouraged the F.D.A. to adopt stronger controls, and a frequent critic of the government's response to the epidemic.

Dr. Kolodny, who was not involved in the study, called the program "a really good example of the way F.D.A. has failed to regulate opioid manufacturers. If F.D.A. had really been doing its job properly, I don't believe we'd have an opioid crisis today."

Now, as readers frequently emphasize in comments: pain management is a considerable problem – one I am all too well aware of, as I watched my father succumb to cancer. He ultimately passed away at my parents' home.

That being said, as CNN tells the story in The FDA can't prove its opioid strategy actually worked, study says :

Although these drugs "can be clinically useful among appropriately selected patients, they have also been widely oversupplied, are commonly used nonmedically, and account for a disproportionate number of fatal overdoses," the authors write.

The FDA was unable, more than 5 years after it had instituted its study of the opioids program's effectiveness, to determine whether it had met its objectives, and this may have been because prior assessments were not objective, according to CNN:

Prior analyses had largely been funded by drug companies, and a 2016 FDA advisory committee "noted methodological concerns regarding these studies," according to the authors. An inspector general report also concluded in 2013 that the agency "lacks comprehensive data to determine whether risk evaluation and mitigation strategies improve drug safety."

In addition to failing to evaluate the effective of the limited steps it had taken, the FDA neglected to take more aggressive steps that were within the ambit of its regulatory authority. According to CNN:

"FDA has tools that could mitigate opioid risks more effectively if the agency would be more assertive in using its power to control opioid prescribing, manufacturing, and distribution," said retired FDA senior executive William K. Hubbard in an editorial that accompanied the study. "Instead of bold, effective action, the FDA has implemented the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy programs that do not even meet the limited criteria set out by the FDA."

One measure the FDA could have taken, according to Hubbard: putting restrictions on opioid distribution.

"Restricting opioid distribution would be a major decision for the FDA, but it is also likely to be the most effective policy for reducing the harm of opioids," said Hubbard, who spent more than three decades at the agency and oversaw initiatives in areas such as regulation, policy and economic evaluation.

The Trump administration has made cleaning up the opioids crisis – which it inherited – a policy priority. To little seeming effect so far. although to be fair, this is not a simple problem to solve. And litigation to apportion various costs of the damages various prescription drugmakers, distributors, and doctors caused it far from over – despite some settlements, and judgements (see Federal Prosecutors Initiate Criminal Probe of Six Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors ; Four Companies Settle Just Before Bellwether Opioids Trial Was to Begin Today in Ohio ; Purdue Files for Bankruptcy, Agrees to Settle Some Pending Opioids Litigation: Sacklers on Hook for Billions? and Judge Issues $572 Million Verdict Against J & J in Oklahoma Opioids Trial: Settlements to Follow? )

Perhaps the Johns Hopkins study will spark moves to reform the broken FDA, so that it can once again serve as an effective regulator. This could perhaps be something we can look forward to achieving in 2020 (although I won't hold my breath).

Or, perhaps if enacting comprehensive reform is too overwhelming, especially with a divided government, as a starting point: can we agree to stop allowing self-interested industries to finance studies meant to assess the effectiveness of programs to regulate that very same industry? Please?

This is a concern in so many areas, with such self-interested considerations shaping not only regulation, but distorting academic research (see Virginia Supreme Court Upholds Ruling that George Mason University Foundation Is Not Subject to State FOIA Statute, Leaving Koch Funding Details Undisclosed ).

What madness!

[Jan 01, 2020] Dictatorship is needed for financial oligarchy and it is the most plausible path of development due to another factor -- the collapse of neoliberal ideology and complete discrediting of neoliberal elite

Jan 01, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.31.19 at 2:25 pm 15

Tim 12.31.19 at 3:46 am @3

"If this succeeds, we'll be well on the path to dictatorship." This seems predicated on the idea that 'whites' will only be able to hold onto power by Dictatorship. Population trends suggest whites will still be the largest group [just under half] in 2055. A considerable group given their, to borrow the phrase, 'privilege'. Add conservative Asian and even Catholic Latino voters, is it that difficult to envisage a scenario where Republicans sometimes achieve power without Dictatorship? They are already benefiting from the radical left helping drive traditional working class white voters to the right [helped by Republican/Fox etc hyperbole].

Radical left is either idiots, or stooges of intelligence agencies and always has been.

IMHO the idea that " whites" are or will be the force behind the move to the dictatorship is completely naïve. Dictatorship is needed for financial oligarchy and it is the most plausible path of development due to another factor -- the collapse of neoliberal ideology and complete discrediting of neoliberal elite. At least in the USA.

Russiagate should be viewed as an attempt to stage a color revolution and remove the President by the USA intelligence agencies (in close cooperation with the "Five eyes") -- a prolog to the establishing of the dictatorship by financial oligarchy

I would view Russiagate is a kind of Beer Hall Putsch with intelligence agencies instead of national-socialist party. A couple of conspirators might be jailed after Durham investigation is finished (Hitler was jailed after the putsch), but the danger that CIA will seize the political power remains. After all KGB was in this role in the USSR for along time. Is the USA that different? I don't think so. There is no countervailing force: the number of people with security clearance in the USA exceed five million. Those five million and not "whites" like some completely naïve people propose is the critical mass needed for the dictatorship.
https://news.yahoo.com/durham-surprises-even-allies-statement-202907008.html

The potential explosiveness of Durham's mission was further underscored by the disclosure that he was examining the role of John O. Brennan, the former CIA director, in how the intelligence community assessed Russia's 2016 election interference.

BTW "whites" are not a homogeneous group. There is especially abhorrent and dangerous neoliberal strata of "whites" including members of financial oligarchy, the "professional class" and "academia" (economics department are completely infected.) as well as MIC prostitutes in MSM.

[Dec 29, 2019] The Collapse of Neoliberalism by Ganesh Sitaraman

Highly recommended!
This is a very valuable article that discusses several important aspects of neoliberalism better then its predecessors...
Notable quotes:
"... For some, and especially for those in the millennial generation, the Great Recession and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan started a process of reflection on what the neoliberal era had delivered. ..."
"... neoliberal policies had already wreaked havoc around the world ..."
"... "excessively rapid financial and capital market liberalization was probably the single most important cause of the crisis"; he also notes that after the crisis, the International Monetary Fund's policies "exacerbated the downturns." ..."
"... In study after study, political scientists have shown that the U.S. government is highly responsive to the policy preferences of the wealthiest people, corporations, and trade associations -- and that it is largely unresponsive to the views of ordinary people. The wealthiest people, corporations, and their interest groups participate more in politics, spend more on politics, and lobby governments more. Leading political scientists have declared that the U.S. is no longer best characterized as a democracy or a republic but as an oligarchy -- a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. ..."
"... Neoliberalism's war on "society," by pushing toward the privatization and marketization of everything, indirectly facilitates a retreat into tribalism. ..."
"... neoliberalism's radical individualism has increasingly raised two interlocking problems. First, when taken to an extreme, social fracturing into identity groups can be used to divide people and prevent the creation of a shared civic identity. ..."
"... Demagogues rely on this fracturing to inflame racial, nationalist, and religious antagonism, which only further fuels the divisions within society. Neoliberalism's war on "society," by pushing toward the privatization and marketization of everything, thus indirectly facilitates a retreat into tribalism that further undermines the preconditions for a free and democratic society. ..."
"... The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy. ..."
"... They thought globalization was inevitable and that ever-expanding trade liberalization was desirable even if the political system never corrected for trade's winners and losers. They were wrong. These aren't minor mistakes. ..."
"... In spite of these failures, most policymakers did not have a new ideology or different worldview through which to comprehend the problems of this time. So, by and large, the collective response was not to abandon neoliberalism. After the Great Crash of 2008, neoliberals chafed at attempts to push forward aggressive Keynesian spending programs to spark demand. President Barack Obama's advisers shrank the size of the post-crash stimulus package for fear it would seem too large to the neoliberal consensus of the era -- and on top of that, they compromised on its content. ..."
"... When it came to affirmative, forward-looking policy, the neoliberal framework also remained dominant. ..."
"... It is worth emphasizing that Obamacare's central feature is a private marketplace in which people can buy their own health care, with subsidies for individuals who are near the poverty line ..."
"... Fearful of losing their seats, centrists extracted these concessions from progressives. Little good it did them. The president's party almost always loses seats in midterm elections, and this time was no different. For their caution, centrists both lost their seats and gave Americans fewer and worse health care choices. ..."
"... The Republican Party platform in 2012, for example, called for weaker Wall Street, environmental, and worker safety regulations; lower taxes for corporations and wealthy individuals; and further liberalization of trade. It called for abolishing federal student loans, in addition to privatizing rail, western lands, airport security, and the post office. Republicans also continued their support for cutting health care and retirement security. After 40 years moving in this direction -- and with it failing at every turn -- you might think they would change their views. But Republicans didn't, and many still haven't. ..."
"... Although neoliberalism had little to offer, in the absence of a new ideological framework, it hung over the Obama presidency -- but now in a new form. Many on the center-left adopted what we might call the "technocratic ideology," a rebranded version of the policy minimalism of the 1990s that replaced minimalism's tactical and pragmatic foundations with scientific ones. The term itself is somewhat oxymoronic, as technocrats seem like the opposite of ideologues. ..."
"... The technocratic ideology preserves the status quo with a variety of tactics. We might call the first the "complexity canard." ..."
"... The most frequent uses of this tactic are in sectors that economists have come to dominate -- international trade, antitrust, and financial regulation, for example. The result of this mind-set is that bold, structural reforms are pushed aside and highly technical changes adopted instead. Financial regulation provides a particularly good case, given the 2008 crash and the Great Recession. When it came time to establish a new regulatory regime for the financial sector, there wasn't a massive restructuring, despite the biggest crash in 70 years. ..."
"... Instead, for the most part, the Dodd-Frank Act was classically technocratic. It kept the sector basically the same, with a few tweaks here and there. There was no attempt to restructure the financial sector completely. ..."
"... The Volcker Rule, for example, sought to ban banks from proprietary trading. But instead of doing that through a simple, clean breakup rule (like the one enacted under the old Glass-Steagall regime), the Volcker Rule was subject to a multitude of exceptions and carve-outs -- measures that federal regulators were then required to explain and implement with hundreds of pages of technical regulations ..."
"... Dodd-Frank also illustrates a second tenet of the technocratic ideology: The failures of technocracy can be solved by more technocracy. ..."
"... Dodd-Frank created the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a government body tasked with what is called macroprudential regulation. What this means is that government regulators are supposed to monitor the entire economy and turn the dials of regulation up and down a little bit to keep the economy from another crash. But ask yourself this: Why would we ever believe they could do such a thing? We know those very same regulators failed to identify, warn about, or act on the 2008 crisis. ..."
"... In the first stage, neoliberalism gained traction in response to the crises of the 1970s. It is easy to think of Thatcherism and Reaganism as emerging fully formed, springing from Zeus's head like the goddess Athena. ..."
"... Early leaders were not as ideologically bold as later mythmakers think. In the second stage, neoliberalism became normalized. It persisted beyond the founding personalities -- and, partly because of its longevity in power, grew so dominant that the other side adopted it. ..."
"... Eventually, however, the neoliberal ideology extended its tentacles into every area of policy and even social life, and in its third stage, overextended. The result in economic policy was the Great Crash of 2008, economic stagnation, and inequality at century-high levels. In foreign policy, it was the disastrous Iraq War and ongoing chaos and uncertainty in the Middle East. ..."
"... The fourth and final stage is collapse, irrelevance, and a wandering search for the future. With the world in crisis, neoliberalism no longer has even plausible solutions to today's problems. ..."
"... The solutions of the neoliberal era offer no serious ideas for how to restitch the fraying social fabric, in which people are increasingly tribal, divided, and disconnected from civic community ..."
Dec 23, 2019 | newrepublic.com
Welcome to the Decade From Hell , our look back at an arbitrary 10-year period that began with a great outpouring of hope and ended in a cavalcade of despair. The long-dominant ideology brought us forever wars, the Great Recession, and extreme inequality. Good riddance.

With the 2008 financial crash and the Great Recession, the ideology of neoliberalism lost its force. The approach to politics, global trade, and social philosophy that defined an era led not to never-ending prosperity but utter disaster. "Laissez-faire is finished," declared French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan admitted in testimony before Congress that his ideology was flawed. In an extraordinary statement, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd declared that the crash "called into question the prevailing neoliberal economic orthodoxy of the past 30 years -- the orthodoxy that has underpinned the national and global regulatory frameworks that have so spectacularly failed to prevent the economic mayhem which has been visited upon us."

... ... ...

[Dec 21, 2019] The ruthless neo-colonialists of 21st century

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The destruction of Syria and Libya created massive refugee flows which have proved that the European Union was totally unprepared to deal with such a major issue. On top of that, the latest years, we have witnessed a rapid rise of various terrorist attacks in Western soil, also as a result of the devastating wars in Syria and Libya. ..."
"... Whenever they wanted to blame someone for some serious terrorist attacks, they had a scapegoat ready for them, even if they had evidence that Libya was not behind these attacks. When Gaddafi falsely admitted that he had weapons of mass destruction in order to gain some relief from the Western sanctions, they presented him as a responsible leader who, was ready to cooperate. Of course, his last role was to play again the 'bad guy' who had to be removed. ..."
"... Despite the rise of Donald Trump in power, the neoliberal forces will push further for the expansion of the neoliberal doctrine in the rival field of the Sino-Russian alliance. ..."
"... We see, however, that the Western alliances are entering a period of severe crisis. The US has failed to control the situation in Middle East and Libya. The ruthless neo-colonialists will not hesitate to confront Russia and China directly, if they see that they continue to lose control in the global geopolitical arena. The accumulation of military presence of NATO next to the Russian borders, as well as, the accumulation of military presence of the US in Asia-Pacific, show that this is an undeniable fact. ..."
Apr 09, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

The start of current decade revealed the most ruthless face of a global neo-colonialism. From Syria and Libya to Europe and Latin America, the old colonial powers of the West tried to rebound against an oncoming rival bloc led by Russia and China, which starts to threaten their global domination.

Inside a multi-polar, complex terrain of geopolitical games, the big players start to abandon the old-fashioned, inefficient direct wars. They use today other, various methods like brutal proxy wars , economic wars, financial and constitutional coups, provocative operations, 'color revolutions', etc. In this highly complex and unstable situation, when even traditional allies turn against each other as the global balances change rapidly, the forces unleashed are absolutely destructive. Inevitably, the results are more than evident.

Proxy Wars - Syria/Libya

After the US invasion in Iraq, the gates of hell had opened in the Middle East. Obama continued the Bush legacy of US endless interventions, but he had to change tactics because a direct war would be inefficient, costly and extremely unpopular to the American people and the rest of the world.
The result, however, appeared to be equally (if not more) devastating with the failed US invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US had lost total control of the armed groups directly linked with the ISIS terrorists, failed to topple Assad, and, moreover, instead of eliminating the Russian and Iranian influence in the region, actually managed to increase it. As a result, the US and its allies failed to secure their geopolitical interests around the various pipeline games.

In addition, the US sees Turkey, one of its most important ally, changing direction dangerously, away from the Western bloc. Probably the strongest indication for this, is that Turkey, Iran and Russia decided very recently to proceed in an agreement on Syria without the presence of the US.

Yet, the list of US failures does not end here. The destruction of Syria and Libya created massive refugee flows which have proved that the European Union was totally unprepared to deal with such a major issue. On top of that, the latest years, we have witnessed a rapid rise of various terrorist attacks in Western soil, also as a result of the devastating wars in Syria and Libya.

Evidence from WikiLeaks has shown that the old colonial powers have started a new round of ruthless competition on Libya's resources. The usual story propagated by the Western media, about another tyrant who had to be removed, has now completely collapsed. They don't care neither to topple an 'authoritarian' regime, nor to spread Democracy. All they care about is to secure each country's resources for their big companies.
The Gaddafi case is quite interesting because it shows that the Western hypocrites were using him according to their interests .

Whenever they wanted to blame someone for some serious terrorist attacks, they had a scapegoat ready for them, even if they had evidence that Libya was not behind these attacks. When Gaddafi falsely admitted that he had weapons of mass destruction in order to gain some relief from the Western sanctions, they presented him as a responsible leader who, was ready to cooperate. Of course, his last role was to play again the 'bad guy' who had to be removed.

Economic Wars, Financial Coups – Greece/Eurozone

It would be unthinkable for the neo-colonialists to conduct proxy wars inside European soil, especially against countries which belong to Western institutions like NATO, EU, eurozone, etc. The wave of the US-made major economic crisis hit Greece and Europe at the start of the decade, almost simultaneously with the eruption of the Arab Spring revolutionary wave and the subsequent disaster in Middle East and Libya.

Greece was the easy victim for the global neoliberal dictatorship to impose catastrophic measures in favor of the plutocracy. The Greek experiment enters its seventh year and the plan is to be used as a model for the whole eurozone. Greece has become also the model for the looting of public property, as happened in the past with the East Germany and the Treuhand Operation after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

While Greece was the major victim of an economic war, Germany used its economic power and control of the European Central Bank to impose unprecedented austerity, sado-monetarism and neoliberal destruction through silent financial coups in Ireland , Italy and Cyprus . The Greek political establishment collapsed with the rise of SYRIZA in power, and the ECB was forced to proceed in an open financial coup against Greece when the current PM, Alexis Tsipras, decided to conduct a referendum on the catastrophic measures imposed by the ECB, IMF and the European Commission, through which the Greek people clearly rejected these measures, despite the propaganda of terror inside and outside Greece. Due to the direct threat from Mario Draghi and the ECB, who actually threatened to cut liquidity sinking Greece into a financial chaos, Tsipras finally forced to retreat, signing another catastrophic memorandum.

Through similar financial and political pressure, the Brussels bureaufascists and the German sado-monetarists along with the IMF economic hitmen, imposed neoliberal disaster to other eurozone countries like Portugal, Spain etc. It is remarkable that even the second eurozone economy, France, rushed to impose anti-labor measures midst terrorist attacks, succumbing to a - pre-designed by the elites - neo-Feudalism, under the 'Socialist' François Hollande, despite the intense protests in many French cities.

Germany would never let the United States to lead the neo-colonization in Europe, as it tries (again) to become a major power with its own sphere of influence, expanding throughout eurozone and beyond. As the situation in Europe becomes more and more critical with the ongoing economic and refugee crisis and the rise of the Far-Right and the nationalists, the economic war mostly between the US and the German big capital, creates an even more complicated situation.

The decline of the US-German relations has been exposed initially with the NSA interceptions scandal , yet, progressively, the big picture came on surface, revealing a transatlantic economic war between banking and corporate giants. In times of huge multilevel crises, the big capital always intensifies its efforts to eliminate competitors too. As a consequence, the US has seen another key ally, Germany, trying to gain a certain degree of independence in order to form its own agenda, separate from the US interests.

Note that, both Germany and Turkey are medium powers that, historically, always trying to expand and create their own spheres of influence, seeking independence from the traditional big powers.

Economic Wars, Constitutional Coups, Provocative Operations – Argentina/Brazil/Venezuela

A wave of neoliberal onslaught shakes currently Latin America. While in Argentina, Mauricio Macri allegedly took the power normally, the constitutional coup against Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, as well as, the usual actions of the Right opposition in Venezuela against Nicolás Maduro with the help of the US finger, are far more obvious.
The special weight of these three countries in Latin America is extremely important for the US imperialism to regain ground in the global geopolitical arena. Especially the last ten to fifteen years, each of them developed increasingly autonomous policies away from the US close custody, under Leftist governments, and this was something that alarmed the US imperialism components.

Brazil appears to be the most important among the three, not only due to its size, but also as a member of the BRICS, the team of fast growing economies who threaten the US and generally the Western global dominance. The constitutional coup against Rousseff was rather a sloppy action and reveals the anxiety of the US establishment to regain control through puppet regimes. This is a well-known situation from the past through which the establishment attempts to secure absolute dominance in the US backyard.

The importance of Venezuela due to its oil reserves is also significant. When Maduro tried to approach Russia in order to strengthen the economic cooperation between the two countries, he must had set the alarm for the neocons in the US. Venezuela could find an alternative in Russia and BRICS, in order to breathe from the multiple economic war that was set off by the US. It is characteristic that the economic war against Russia by the US and the Saudis, by keeping the oil prices in historically low levels, had significant impact on the Venezuelan economy too. It is also known that the US organizations are funding the opposition since Chávez era, in order to proceed in provocative operations that could overthrow the Leftist governments.

The case of Venezuela is really interesting. The US imperialists were fiercely trying to overthrow the Leftist governments since Chávez administration. They found now a weaker president, Nicolás Maduro - who certainly does not have the strength and personality of Hugo Chávez - to achieve their goal.

The Western media mouthpieces are doing their job, which is propaganda as usual. The recipe is known. You present the half truth, with a big overdose of exaggeration. The establishment parrots are demonizing Socialism , but they won't ever tell you about the money that the US is spending, feeding the Right-Wing groups and opposition to proceed in provocative operations, in order to create instability. They won't tell you about the financial war conducted through the oil prices, manipulated by the Saudis, the close US ally.

Regarding Argentina, former president, Cristina Kirchner, had also made some important moves towards the stronger cooperation with Russia, which was something unacceptable for Washington's hawks. Not only for geopolitical reasons, but also because Argentina could escape from the vulture funds that sucking its blood since its default. This would give the country an alternative to the neoliberal monopoly of destruction. The US big banks and corporations would never accept such a perspective because the debt-enslaved Argentina is a golden opportunity for a new round of huge profits. It's happening right now in eurozone's debt colony, Greece.

'Color Revolutions' - Ukraine

The events in Ukraine have shown that, the big capital has no hesitation to ally even with the neo-nazis, in order to impose the new world order. This is not something new of course. The connection of Hitler with the German economic oligarchs, but also with other major Western companies, before and during the WWII, is well known.

The most terrifying of all however, is not that the West has silenced in front of the decrees of the new Ukrainian leadership, through which is targeting the minorities, but the fact that the West allied with the neo-nazis, while according to some information has also funded their actions as well as other extreme nationalist groups during the riots in Kiev.

Plenty of indications show that US organizations have 'put their finger' on Ukraine. A video , for example, concerning the situation in Ukraine has been directed by Ben Moses (creator of the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam"), who is connected with American government executives and organizations like National Endowment for Democracy, funded by the US Congress. This video shows a beautiful young female Ukrainian who characterizes the government of the country as "dictatorship" and praise some protesters with the neo-nazi symbols of the fascist Ukranian party Svoboda on them.

The same organizations are behind 'color revolutions' elsewhere, as well as, provocative operations against Leftist governments in Venezuela and other countries.

Ukraine is the perfect place to provoke Putin and tight the noose around Russia. Of course the huge hypocrisy of the West can also be identified in the case of Crimea. While in other cases, the Western officials were 'screaming' for the right of self-determination (like Kosovo, for example), after they destroyed Yugoslavia in a bloodbath, they can't recognize the will of the majority of Crimeans to join Russia.

The war will become wilder

The Western neo-colonial powers are trying to counterattack against the geopolitical upgrade of Russia and the Chinese economic expansionism.

Despite the rise of Donald Trump in power, the neoliberal forces will push further for the expansion of the neoliberal doctrine in the rival field of the Sino-Russian alliance. Besides, Trump has already shown his hostile feelings against China, despite his friendly approach to Russia and Putin.

We see, however, that the Western alliances are entering a period of severe crisis. The US has failed to control the situation in Middle East and Libya. The ruthless neo-colonialists will not hesitate to confront Russia and China directly, if they see that they continue to lose control in the global geopolitical arena. The accumulation of military presence of NATO next to the Russian borders, as well as, the accumulation of military presence of the US in Asia-Pacific, show that this is an undeniable fact.

[Dec 20, 2019] Singer became notorious for what he did to Argentina after he bought their debt, and he is pretty upfront about not caring who objects by Andrew Joyce

Highly recommended!
Jewish financists are no longer Jewish, much like a socialist who became minister is no longer a socialist minister. Unregulated finance promotes a set of destructive behaviors which has nothing to do with nationality or ethnicity.
Of course that Joyce is peddling his own obsessions, but I have to admit that Singer & comp. are detestable. I know that what they're doing is not illegal, but it should be (in my opinion), and those who are involved in such affairs are somehow odious. The same goes for Icahn, Soros etc. Still Ethnic angle is evident, too: how come Singer works exclusively with his co-ethnics in this multi-ethnic USA? Non-Jewish & most Jewish entrepreneurs don't behave that way.
Dec 20, 2019 | www.unz.com

It was very gratifying to see Tucker Carlson's recent attack on the activities of Paul Singer's vulture fund, Elliot Associates, a group I first profiled four years ago. In many respects, it is truly remarkable that vulture funds like Singer's escaped major media attention prior to this, especially when one considers how extraordinarily harmful and exploitative they are. Many countries are now in very significant debt to groups like Elliot Associates and, as Tucker's segment very starkly illustrated, their reach has now extended into the very heart of small-town America. Shining a spotlight on the spread of this virus is definitely welcome. I strongly believe, however, that the problem presented by these cabals of exploitative financiers will only be solved if their true nature is fully discerned. Thus far, the descriptive terminology employed in discussing their activities has revolved only around the scavenging and parasitic nature of their activities. Elliot Associates have therefore been described as a quintessential example of a "vulture fund" practicing "vulture capitalism." But these funds aren't run by carrion birds. They are operated almost exclusively by Jews. In the following essay, I want us to examine the largest and most influential "vulture funds," to assess their leadership, ethos, financial practices, and how they disseminate their dubiously acquired wealth. I want us to set aside colorful metaphors. I want us to strike through the mask.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/IdwH066g5lQ?feature=oembed

Who Are The Vultures?

It is commonly agreed that the most significant global vulture funds are Elliot Management, Cerberus, FG Hemisphere, Autonomy Capital, Baupost Group, Canyon Capital Advisors, Monarch Alternative Capital, GoldenTree Asset Management, Aurelius Capital Management, OakTree Capital, Fundamental Advisors, and Tilden Park Investment Master Fund LP. The names of these groups are very interesting, being either blankly nondescript or evoking vague inklings of Anglo-Saxon or rural/pastoral origins (note the prevalence of oak, trees, parks, canyons, monarchs, or the use of names like Aurelius and Elliot). This is the same tactic employed by the Jew Jordan Belfort, the "Wolf of Wall Street," who operated multiple major frauds under the business name Stratton Oakmont.

These names are masks. They are designed to cultivate trust and obscure the real background of the various groupings of financiers. None of these groups have Anglo-Saxon or venerable origins. None are based in rural idylls. All of the vulture funds named above were founded by, and continue to be operated by, ethnocentric, globalist, urban-dwelling Jews. A quick review of each of their websites reveals their founders and central figures to be:

Elliot Management -- Paul Singer, Zion Shohet, Jesse Cohn, Stephen Taub, Elliot Greenberg and Richard Zabel Cerberus -- Stephen Feinberg, Lee Millstein, Jeffrey Lomasky, Seth Plattus, Joshua Weintraub, Daniel Wolf, David Teitelbaum FG Hemisphere -- Peter Grossman Autonomy Capital -- Derek Goodman Baupost Group -- Seth Klarman, Jordan Baruch, Isaac Auerbach Canyon Capital Advisors -- Joshua Friedman, Mitchell Julis Monarch Alternative Capital -- Andrew Herenstein, Michael Weinstock GoldenTree Asset Management -- Steven Tananbaum, Steven Shapiro Aurelius Capital Management -- Mark Brodsky, Samuel Rubin, Eleazer Klein, Jason Kaplan OakTree Capital -- Howard Marks, Bruce Karsh, Jay Wintrob, John Frank, Sheldon Stone Fundamental Advisors -- Laurence Gottlieb, Jonathan Stern Tilden Park Investment Master Fund LP -- Josh Birnbaum, Sam Alcoff

The fact that all of these vulture funds, widely acknowledged as the most influential and predatory, are owned and operated by Jews is remarkable in itself, especially in a contemporary context in which we are constantly bombarded with the suggestion that Jews don't have a special relationship with money or usury, and that any such idea is an example of ignorant prejudice. Equally remarkable, however, is the fact that Jewish representation saturates the board level of these companies also, suggesting that their beginnings and methods of internal promotion and operation rely heavily on ethnic-communal origins, and religious and social cohesion more generally. As such, these Jewish funds provide an excellent opportunity to examine their financial and political activities as expressions of Jewishness, and can thus be placed in the broader framework of the Jewish group evolutionary strategy and the long historical trajectory of Jewish-European relations.

How They Feed

In May 2018, Puerto Rico declared a form of municipal bankruptcy after falling into more than $74.8 billion in debt, of which more than $34 billion is interest and fees. The debt was owed to all of the Jewish capitalists named above, with the exception of Stephen Feinberg's Cerberus group. In order to commence payments, the government had instituted a policy of fiscal austerity, closing schools and raising utility bills, but when Hurricane Maria hit the island in September 2017, Puerto Rico was forced to stop transfers to their Jewish creditors. This provoked an aggressive attempt by the Jewish funds to seize assets from an island suffering from an 80% power outage, with the addition of further interest and fees. Protests broke out in several US cities calling for the debt to be forgiven. After a quick stop in Puerto Rico in late 2018, Donald Trump pandered to this sentiment when he told Fox News, "They owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street, and we're going to have to wipe that out." But Trump's statement, like all of Trump's statements, had no substance. The following day, the director of the White House budget office, Mick Mulvaney, told reporters: "I think what you heard the president say is that Puerto Rico is going to have to figure out a way to solve its debt problem." In other words, Puerto Rico is going to have to figure out a way to pay its Jews.

Trump's reversal is hardly surprising, given that the President is considered extremely friendly to Jewish financial power. When he referred to "your friends on Wall Street" he really meant his friends on Wall Street. One of his closest allies is Stephen Feinberg, founder and CEO of Cerberus, a war-profiteering vulture fund that has now accumulated more than $1.5 billion in Irish debt , leaving the country prone to a " wave of home repossessions " on a scale not seen since the Jewish mortgage traders behind Quicken Loans (Daniel Gilbert) and Ameriquest (Roland Arnall) made thousands of Americans homeless . Feinberg has also been associated with mass evictions in Spain, causing a collective of Barcelona anarchists to label him a "Jewish mega parasite" in charge of the "world's vilest vulture fund." In May 2018, Trump made Feinberg chair of his Intelligence Advisory Board , and one of the reasons for Trump's sluggish retreat from Afghanistan has been the fact Feinberg's DynCorp has enjoyed years of lucrative government defense contracts training Afghan police and providing ancillary services to the military.

But Trump's association with Jewish vultures goes far beyond Feinberg. A recent piece in the New York Post declared "Orthodox Jews are opening up their wallets for Trump in 2020." This is a predictable outcome of the period 2016 to 2020, an era that could be neatly characterised as How Jews learned to stop worrying and love the Don. Jewish financiers are opening their wallets for Trump because it is now clear he utterly failed to fulfil promises on mass immigration to White America, while pledging his commitment to Zionism and to socially destructive Jewish side projects like the promotion of homosexuality. These actions, coupled with his commuting of Hasidic meatpacking boss Sholom Rubashkin 's 27-year-sentence for bank fraud and money laundering in 2017, have sent a message to Jewish finance that Trump is someone they can do business with. Since these globalist exploiters are essentially politically amorphous, knowing no loyalty but that to their own tribe and its interests, there is significant drift of Jewish mega-money between the Democratic and Republican parties. The New York Post reports, for example, that when Trump attended a $25,000-per-couple luncheon in November at a Midtown hotel, where 400 moneyed Jews raised at least $4 million for the America First [!] SuperPAC, the luncheon organiser Kelly Sadler, told reporters, "We screened all of the people in attendance, and we were surprised to see how many have given before to Democrats, but never a Republican. People were standing up on their chairs chanting eight more years." The reality, of course, is that these people are not Democrats or Republicans, but Jews, willing to push their money in whatever direction the wind of Jewish interests is blowing.

The collapse of Puerto Rico under Jewish debt and elite courting of Jewish financial predators is certainly nothing new. Congo , Zambia , Liberia , Argentina , Peru , Panama , Ecuador , Vietnam , Poland , and Ireland are just some of the countries that have slipped fatefully into the hands of the Jews listed above, and these same people are now closely watching Greece and India . The methodology used to acquire such leverage is as simple as it is ruthless. On its most basic level, "vulture capitalism" is really just a combination of the continued intense relationship between Jews and usury and Jewish involvement in medieval tax farming. On the older practice, Salo Baron writes in Economic History of the Jews that Jewish speculators would pay a lump sum to the treasury before mercilessly turning on the peasantry to obtain "considerable surpluses if need be, by ruthless methods." [1] S. Baron (ed) Economic History of the Jews (New York, 1976), 46-7. The activities of the Jewish vulture funds are essentially the same speculation in debt, except here the trade in usury is carried out on a global scale with the feudal peasants of old now replaced with entire nations. Wealthy Jews pool resources, purchase debts, add astronomical fees and interests, and when the inevitable default occurs they engage in aggressive legal activity to seize assets, bringing waves of jobs losses and home repossessions.

This type of predation is so pernicious and morally perverse that both the Belgian and UK governments have taken steps to ban these Jewish firms from using their court systems to sue for distressed debt owed by poor nations. Tucker Carlson, commenting on Paul Singer's predation and the ruin of the town of Sidney, Nebraska, has said:

It couldn't be uglier or more destructive. So why is it still allowed in the United States? The short answer: Because people like Paul Singer have tremendous influence over our political process. Singer himself was the second largest donor to the Republican Party in 2016. He's given millions to a super-PAC that supports Republican senators. You may never have heard of Paul Singer -- which tells you a lot in itself -- but in Washington, he's rock-star famous. And that is why he is almost certainly paying a lower effective tax rate than your average fireman, just in case you were still wondering if our system is rigged. Oh yeah, it is.

Aside from direct political donations, these Jewish financiers also escape scrutiny by hiding behind a mask of simplistic anti-socialist rhetoric that is common in the American Right, especially the older, Christian, and pro-Zionist demographic. Rod Dreher, in a commentary on Carlson's piece at the American Conservative , points out that Singer gave a speech in May 2019 attacking the "rising threat of socialism within the Democratic Party." Singer continued, "They call it socialism, but it is more accurately described as left-wing statism lubricated by showers of free stuff promised by politicians who believe that money comes from a printing press rather than the productive efforts of businesspeople and workers." Dreher comments: "The productive efforts of businesspeople and workers"? The gall of that man, after what he did to the people of Sidney."

What Singer and the other Jewish vultures engage in is not productive, and isn't even any recognisable form of work or business. It is greed-motivated parasitism carried out on a perversely extravagant and highly nepotistic scale. In truth, it is Singer and his co-ethnics who believe that money can be printed on the backs of productive workers, and who ultimately believe they have a right to be "showered by free stuff promised by politicians." Singer places himself in an infantile paradigm meant to entertain the goyim, that of Free Enterprise vs Socialism, but, as Carlson points out, "this is not the free enterprise that we all learned about." That's because it's Jewish enterprise -- exploitative, inorganic, and attached to socio-political goals that have nothing to do with individual freedom and private property. This might not be the free enterprise Carlson learned about, but it's clearly the free enterprise Jews learn about -- as illustrated in their extraordinary over-representation in all forms of financial exploitation and white collar crime. The Talmud, whether actively studied or culturally absorbed, is their code of ethics and their curriculum in regards to fraud, fraudulent bankruptcy, embezzlement, usury, and financial exploitation. Vulture capitalism is Jewish capitalism.

Whom They Feed

Singer's duplicity is a perfect example of the way in which Jewish finance postures as conservative while conserving nothing. Indeed, Jewish capitalism may be regarded as the root cause of the rise of Conservative Inc., a form or shadow of right wing politics reduced solely to fiscal concerns that are ultimately, in themselves, harmful to the interests of the majority of those who stupidly support them. The spirit of Jewish capitalism, ultimately, can be discerned not in insincere bleating about socialism and business, intended merely to entertain semi-educated Zio-patriots, but in the manner in which the Jewish vulture funds disseminate the proceeds of their parasitism. Real vultures are weak, so will gorge at a carcass and regurgitate food to feed their young. So then, who sits in the nests of the vulture funds, awaiting the regurgitated remains of troubled nations?

Boston-based Seth Klarman (net worth $1.5 billion), who like Paul Singer has declared "free enterprise has been good for me," is a rapacious debt exploiter who was integral to the financial collapse of Puerto Rico, where he hid much of activities behind a series of shell companies. Investigative journalists eventually discovered that Klarman's Baupost group was behind much of the aggressive legal action intended to squeeze the decimated island for bond payments. It's clear that the Jews involved in these companies are very much aware that what they are doing is wrong, and they are careful to avoid too much reputational damage, whether to themselves individually or to their ethnic group. Puerto Rican journalists, investigating the debt trail to Klarman, recall trying to follow one of the shell companies (Decagon) to Baupost via a shell company lawyer (and yet another Jew) named Jeffrey Katz:

Returning to the Ropes & Gray thread, we identified several attorneys who had worked with the Baupost Group, and one, Jeffrey Katz, who -- in addition to having worked directly with Baupost -- seemed to describe a particularly close and longstanding relationship with a firm fitting Baupost's profile on his experience page. I called Katz and he picked up, to my surprise. I identified myself, as well as my affiliation with the Public Accountability Initiative, and asked if he was the right person to talk to about Decagon Holdings and Baupost. He paused, started to respond, and then evidently thought better of it and said that he was actually in a meeting, and that I would need to call back (apparently, this high-powered lawyer picks up calls from strange numbers when he is in important meetings). As he was telling me to call back, I asked him again if he was the right person to talk to about Decagon, and that I wouldn't call back if he wasn't, and he seemed to get even more flustered. At that point he started talking too much, about how he was a lawyer and has clients, how I must think I'm onto some kind of big scoop, and how there was a person standing right in front of him -- literally, standing right in front of him -- while I rudely insisted on keeping him on the line.

One of the reasons for such secrecy is the intensive Jewish philanthropy engaged in by Klarman under his Klarman Family Foundation . While Puerto Rican schools are being closed, and pensions and health provisions slashed, Klarman is regurgitating the proceeds of massive debt speculation to his " areas of focus " which prominently includes " Supporting the global Jewish community and Israel ." While plundering the treasuries of the crippled nations of the goyim, Klarman and his co-ethnic associates have committed themselves to "improving the quality of life and access to opportunities for all Israeli citizens so that they may benefit from the country's prosperity." Among those in Klarman's nest, their beaks agape for Puerto Rican debt interest, are the American Jewish Committee, Boston's Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Honeymoon Israel Foundation, Israel-America Academic Exchange, and the Israel Project. Klarman, like Singer, has also been an enthusiastic proponent of liberalising attitudes to homosexuality, donating $1 million to a Republican super PAC aimed at supporting pro-gay marriage GOP candidates in 2014 (Singer donated $1.75 million). Klarman, who also contributes to candidates who support immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, has said "The right to gay marriage is the largest remaining civil rights issue of our time. I work one-on-one with individual Republicans to try to get them to realize they are being Neanderthals on this issue."

Steven Tananbaum's GoldenTree Asset Management has also fed well on Puerto Rico, owning $2.5 billion of the island's debt. The Centre for Economic and Policy Research has commented :

Steven Tananbaum, GoldenTree's chief investment officer, told a business conference in September (after Hurricane Irma, but before Hurricane Maria) that he continued to view Puerto Rican bonds as an attractive investment. GoldenTree is spearheading a group of COFINA bondholders that collectively holds about $3.3 billion in bonds. But with Puerto Rico facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, and lacking enough funds to even begin to pay back its massive debt load, these vulture funds are relying on their ability to convince politicians and the courts to make them whole. The COFINA bondholder group has spent $610,000 to lobby Congress over the last two years, while GoldenTree itself made $64,000 in political contributions to federal candidates in the 2016 cycle. For vulture funds like GoldenTree, the destruction of Puerto Rico is yet another opportunity for exorbitant profits.

Whom does Tananbaum feed with these profits? A brief glance at the spending of the Lisa and Steven Tananbaum Charitable Trust reveals a relatively short list of beneficiaries including United Jewish Appeal Foundation, American Friends of Israel Museum, Jewish Community Center, to be among the most generously funded, with sizeable donations also going to museums specialising in the display of degenerate and demoralising art.

Following the collapse in Irish asset values in 2008, Jewish vulture funds including OakTree Capital swooped on mortgagee debt to seize tens of thousands of Irish homes, shopping malls, and utilities (Steve Feinberg's Cerberus took control of public waste disposal). In 2011, Ireland emerged as a hotspot for distressed property assets, after its bad banks began selling loans that had once been held by struggling financial institutions. These loans were quickly purchased at knockdown prices by Jewish fund managers, who then aggressively sought the eviction of residents in order to sell them for a fast profit. Michael Byrne, a researcher at the School of Social Policy at University College Dublin, Ireland's largest university, comments : "The aggressive strategies used by vulture funds lead to human tragedies." One homeowner, Anna Flynn recalls how her mortgage fell into the hands of Mars Capital, an affiliate of Oaktree Capital, owned and operated by the Los Angeles-based Jews Howard Marks and Bruce Karsh. They were "very, very difficult to deal with," said Flynn, a mother of four. "All [Mars] wanted was for me to leave the house; they didn't want a solution [to ensure I could retain my home]."

When Bruce Karsh isn't making Irish people homeless, whom does he feed with his profits? A brief glance at the spending of the Karsh Family Foundation reveals millions of dollars of donations to the Jewish Federation, Jewish Community Center, and the United Jewish Fund.

Paul Singer, his son Gordin, and their Elliot Associates colleagues Zion Shohet, Jesse Cohn, Stephen Taub, Elliot Greenberg and Richard Zabel, have a foothold in almost every country, and have a stake in every company you're likely to be familiar with, from book stores to dollar stores. With the profits of exploitation, they fund campaigns for homosexuality and mass migration , boost Zionist politics, invest millions in security for Jews , and promote wars for Israel. Singer is a Republican, and is on the Board of the Republican Jewish Coalition. He is a former board member of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, has funded neoconservative research groups like the Middle East Media Research Institute and the Center for Security Policy, and is among the largest funders of the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He was also connected to the pro-Iraq War advocacy group Freedom's Watch. Another key Singer project was the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group that was founded in 2009 by several high-profile Jewish neoconservative figures to promote militaristic U.S. policies in the Middle East on behalf of Israel and which received its seed money from Singer.

Although Singer was initially anti-Trump, and although Trump once attacked Singer for his pro-immigration politics ("Paul Singer represents amnesty and he represents illegal immigration pouring into the country"), Trump is now essentially funded by three Jews -- Singer, Bernard Marcus, and Sheldon Adelson, together accounting for over $250 million in pro-Trump political money . In return, they want war with Iran. Employees of Elliott Management were one of the main sources of funding for the 2014 candidacy of the Senate's most outspoken Iran hawk, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who urged Trump to conduct a "retaliatory strike" against Iran for purportedly attacking two commercial tankers. These exploitative Jewish financiers have been clear that they expect a war with Iran, and they are lobbying hard and preparing to call in their pound of flesh. As one political commentator put it, "These donors have made their policy preferences on Iran plainly known. They surely expect a return on their investment in Trump's GOP."

The same pattern is witnessed again and again, illustrating the stark reality that the prosperity and influence of Zionist globalism rests to an overwhelming degree on the predations of the most successful and ruthless Jewish financial parasites. This is not conjecture, exaggeration, or hyperbole. This is simply a matter of striking through the mask, looking at the heads of the world's most predatory financial funds, and following the direction of regurgitated profits.

Make no mistake, these cabals are everywhere and growing. They could be ignored when they preyed on distant small nations, but their intention was always to come for you too. They are now on your doorstep. The working people of Sidney, Nebraska probably had no idea what a vulture fund was until their factories closed and their homes were taken. These funds will move onto the next town. And the next. And another after that. They won't be stopped through blunt support of "free enterprise," and they won't be stopped by simply calling them "vulture capitalists."

Strike through the mask!

Notes

[1] S. Baron (ed) Economic History of the Jews (New York, 1976), 46-7.

(Republished from The Occidental Observer by permission of author or representative)


anon [631] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 2:34 am GMT

To what extent is Jewish success a product of Jewish intellect and industry versus being a result of a willingness to use low, dirty, honorless and anti-social tactics which, while maybe not in violation of the word of the law, certainly violate its spirit?

An application of "chutzpah" to business, if you will -- the gall to break social conventions to get what you want, while making other people feel uncomfortable; to wheedle your way in at the joints of social norms and conventions -- not illegal, but selfish and rude.

Krav Maga applies the same concept to the martial arts: You're taught to go after the things that every other martial art forbids you to target: the eyes, the testicles, etc. In other sports this is considered "low" and "cheap." In Krav Maga, as perhaps a metaphor for Jewish behavior in general, nothing is too low because it's all about winning .

Colin Wright , says: Website December 19, 2019 at 3:07 am GMT
On a related subject

There's a rather good article on the New Yorker discussing the Sacklers and the Oxycontin epidemic. It focusses on the dichotomy between the family's ruthless promotion of the drug and their lavish philanthropy. 'Leave the world a better place for your presence' and similar pieties and Oxycontin.

The article lightly touches on the extent of their giving to Hebrew University of Jerusalem -- but in general, treads lightly when it comes to their Judaism.

understandably. The New Yorker isn't exactly alt-right country, after all. But can Joyce or anyone else provide a more exact breakdown on the Sacklers' giving? Are they genuine philanthropists, or is it mostly for the Cause?

Colin Wright , says: Website December 19, 2019 at 3:21 am GMT
@anon 'To what extent is Jewish success a product of Jewish intellect and industry versus being a result of a willingness to use low, dirty, honorless and anti-social tactics which, while maybe not in violation of the word of the law, certainly violate its spirit? '

It's important not to get carried away with this. Figures such as Andrew Carnegie, while impeccably gentile, were hardly paragons of scrupulous ethics and disinterested virtue.

Lot , says: December 19, 2019 at 3:36 am GMT
I won't defend high finance because I don't like it either. But this is a retarded and highly uninformed attack on it.

1. The article bounces back and forth between two completely different fields: private equity and distressed debt funds. The latter is completely defensible. A lot of bondholders, probably the majority, cannot hold distressed or defaulted debt. Insurance companies often can't by law. Bond mutual funds set out in their prospectuses they don't invest in anything rated lower than A, AA, or whatever. Even those allowed to hold distressed debt don't want the extra costs involved with doing so, such as carefully following bankruptcy proceedings and dealing with delayed and irregular payments.

As a result, it is natural that normal investors sell off such debt at a discount to funds that specialize in it.

2. Joyce defends large borrowers that default on their debt. Maybe the laws protecting bankrupts and insolvents should be stronger. But you do that, and lenders become more conservative, investment declines, and worthy businesses can't get investments. I think myself the laws in the US are too favorable to lenders, but there's definitely a tradeoff, and the question is where the happy middle ground is. In Florida a creditor can't force the sale of a primary residence, even if it is worth $20 million. That's going too far in the other direction.

3. " either blankly nondescript or evoking vague inklings of Anglo-Saxon or rural/pastoral origins "

More retardation. Cerberus is a greek dog monster guarding the gates of hell. Aurelius is from the Latin word for gold. "Hemisphere" isn't an Anglosaxon word nor does in invoke rural origins.

Besides being retardedly wrong, the broader point is likewise retarded: when English-speaking Jews name their businesses they shouldn't use English words. Naming a company "Oaktree" should be limited to those of purely English blood! Jews must name their companies "Cosmopolitan Capital" or RosenMoses Chutzpah Advisors."

4. The final and most general point: it's trivially easy to attack particular excesses of capitalism. Fixing the excesses without creating bigger problem is the hard part. Two ideas I favor are usury laws and Tobin taxes.

Dutch Boy , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:09 am GMT
Jewishness aside, maximizing shareholder is the holy grail of all capitalist enterprises. The capitalist rush to abandon the American working class when tariff barriers evaporated is just another case of vulturism. Tax corporations based on the domestic content of their products and ban usury and vulturism will evaporate.
ANZ , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:26 am GMT
Someone with the username kikz posted a link to this article in the occidental observer. I read it and thought it was a great article. I'm glad it's featured here.

The article goes straight for the jugular and pulls no punches. It hits hard. I like that:

1. It shines a light on the some of the scummiest of the scummiest Wall Street players.
2. It names names. From the actual vulture funds to the rollcall of Jewish actors running each. It's astounding how ethnically uniform it is.
3. It proves Trump's ties with the most successful Vulture kingpin, Singer.
4. It shows how money flows from the fund owners to Zionist and Jewish causes.

This thing reads like a court indictment. It puts real world examples to many of the theories that are represents on this site. Excellent article.


Robjil , says: December 19, 2019 at 12:09 pm GMT

Paul Singer is a world wide terrorist. Here is what he did to Argentina.

https://qz.com/1001650/hedge-fund-billionaire-paul-singers-ruthless-strategies-include-bullying-ceos-suing-governments-and-seizing-their-navys-ships/

Elliott Management is perhaps most notorious for its 15-year battle with the government of Argentina, whose bonds were owned by the hedge fund. When Argentine president Cristina Kirchner attempted to restructure the debt, Elliott -- unlike most of the bonds' owners -- refused to accept a large loss on its investment. It successfully sued in US courts, and in pursuit of Argentine assets, convinced a court in Ghana to detain an Argentine naval training vessel, then docked outside Accra with a crew of 22o. After a change of its government, Argentina eventually settled and Singer's fund received $2.4 billion, almost four times its initial investment. Kirchner, meanwhile, has been indicted for corruption.

UncommonGround , says: December 19, 2019 at 12:28 pm GMT
@Lot You give partial information which seem misleading and use arguments which are also weak and not enlightening.

1- Even if its natural that unsafe bonds are sold, this doesn't justify the practices and methods of those vulture fonds which buy those fonds which are socially damaging. I'm not certain of the details because it's an old case and people should seek more information. Very broadly, in the case of Argentina most funds accepted to make an agreement with the country and reduce their demands. Investors have to accept risks and losses. Paul Singer bought some financial papers for nothing at that time and forced Argentina to pay the whole price. For years Argentina refused to pay, but with the help of New York courts and the new Argentinian president they were forced to pay Singer. This was not conservative capitalism but imperialism. You can only act like Singer if you have the backing of courts, of a government which you control and of an army like the US army. A fast internet search for titles of articles: "Hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer's ruthless strategies include bullying CEOs, suing governments and seizing their navy's ships". "How one hedge fund made $2 billion from Argentina's economic colapse".

Andrew Sayer, professor in an English university, says in his book "Why we can't afford the rich" that finances as they are practiced now may cost more than bring any value to a society. It's a problem if some sectors of finances make outsized profits and use methods which are more than questionable.

2- You say that if borrowers become more protected "lenders become more conservative, investment declines, and worthy businesses can't get investments." I doubt this is true. In the first place, risk investments by vulture fonds probably don't create any social value. The original lenders who sold their bonds to such vulture fonds have anyway big or near total losses in some cases and in spite of that they keep doing business. Why should we support vulture fonds, what for? What positive function they play in society? In Germany, capitalism was much more social in old days before a neoliberal wave forced Germany to change Rhine capitalism. Local banks lended money to local business which they knew and which they had an interest that they prosper. Larger banks lended money to big firms. Speculation like in neoliberal capitalism wasn't needed.

3- The point which you didn't grasp is that there is a component of those business which isn't publicly clear, the fact that they funcion along ethnic lines.

4- It would be easy to fix excesses of capitalism. The problem is that the people who profit the most from the system also have the power to prevent any change.

Robjil , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:56 pm GMT
@Robjil This is an example of what I was saying. Less Euro whites in the world is not going to be a good world for Big Js. Non-Euros believe in freedom of speech.

https://www.abeldanger.org/vulture-lord-paul-singer-postmodern/

Jewish Bigwigs can't get control of businesses in East Asia. They have been trying. Paul Singer tried and failed. In Argentina he got lots of "success". Why? Lots of descendants of Europeans there went along with "decisions" laid out by New York Jews.

Little Paulie tried to get control of Samsung. No such luck for him in Korea. In Korea there are many family monopolies, chaebols. A Korean chaebol stopped him. Jewish Daniel Loeb tried to get a board seat on Sony. He was rebuffed.

I was moved to reflect on the universality of this theme recently when surveying media coverage on Korean and Argentinian responses to the activities of Paul Singer and his co-ethnic shareholders at Elliott Associates, an arm of Singer's Elliott Management hedge fund. The Korean story has its origins in the efforts of Samsung's holding company, Cheil Industries, to buy Samsung C&T, the engineering and construction arm of the wider Samsung family of businesses. The move can be seen as part of an effort to reinforce control of the conglomerate by the founding Lee family and its heir apparent, Lee Jae-yong. Trouble emerged when Singer's company, which holds a 7.12% stake in Samsung C&T and is itself attempting to expand its influence and control over Far East tech companies, objected to the move. The story is fairly typical of Jewish difficulties in penetrating business cultures in the Far East, where impenetrable family monopolies, known in Korea as chaebols, are common. This new story reminded me very strongly of last year's efforts by Jewish financier Daniel Loeb to obtain a board seat at Sony. Loeb was repeatedly rebuffed by COO Kazuo Hirai, eventually selling his stake in Sony Corp. in frustration.

Here is how the Koreans fought off Paul Singer.

The predominantly Jewish-owned and operated Elliott Associates has a wealth of self-interest in preventing the Lee family from consolidating its control over the Samsung conglomerate. As racial outsiders, however, Singer's firm were forced into several tactical measures in their 52-day attempt to thwart the merger. First came lawsuits. When those failed, Singer and his associates then postured themselves as defending Korean interests, starting a Korean-language website and arguing that their position was really just in aid of helping domestic Korean shareholders. This variation on the familiar theme of Jewish crypsis was quite unsuccessful. The Lee family went on the offensive immediately and, unlike many Westerners, were not shy in drawing attention to the Jewish nature of Singer's interference and the sordid and intensely parasitic nature of his fund's other ventures.

Cartoons were drawn of Singer being a vulture.

Other cartoons appearing at the same time represented Elliott, literally, as humanoid vultures, with captions referring to the well-known history of the fund. In the above cartoon, the vulture offers assistance to a needy and destitute figure, but conceals an axe with which to later bludgeon the unsuspecting pauper.

ADL got all worked about this. The Koreans did not care. It is reality. Freedom of speech works on these vultures. The west should try some real freedom of speech.

After the cartoons appeared, Singer and other influential Jews, including Abraham Foxman, cried anti-Semitism. This was despite the fact the cartoons contain no reference whatsoever to Judaism – unless of course one defines savage economic predation as a Jewish trait. Samsung denied the cartoons were anti-Semitic and took them off the website, but the uproar over the cartoons only seemed to spur on even more discussion about Jewish influence in South Korea than was previously the case. In a piece published a fortnight ago, Media Pen columnist Kim Ji-ho claimed "Jewish money has long been known to be ruthless and merciless." Last week, the former South Korean ambassador to Morocco, Park Jae-seon, expressed his concern about the influence of Jews in finance when he said, "The scary thing about Jews is they are grabbing the currency markets and financial investment companies. Their network is tight-knit beyond one's imagination." The next day, cable news channel YTN aired similar comments by local journalist Park Seong-ho, who stated on air that "it is a fact that Jews use financial networks and have influence wherever they are born." It goes without saying that comments like these are unambiguously similar to complaints about Jewish economic practices in Europe over the course of centuries. The only common denominator between the context of fourteenth-century France and the context of twenty-first-century South Korea is, you guessed it, Jewish economic practices.

The Koreans won. Paulie lost. Good win for humanity. The Argentines were not so lucky. They don't have freedom speech like the Koreans and East Asians have.

In the end, the Lee strategy, based on drawing attention to the alien and exploitative nature of Elliott Associates, was overwhelmingly effective. Before a crucial shareholder vote on the Lee's planned merger, Samsung Securities CEO Yoon Yong-am said: "We should score a victory by a big margin in the first battle, in order to take the upper hand in a looming war against Elliott, and keep other speculative hedge funds from taking short-term gains in the domestic market." When the vote finally took place a few days ago, a conclusive 69.5% of Samsung shareholders voted in favor of the Lee proposal, leaving Elliott licking its wounds and complaining about the "patriotic marketing" of those behind the merger.

Mefobills , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:08 pm GMT
@steinbergfeldwitzcohen Adrian Salbuchi, an economist from Argentina, does a good job of exposing Zionist plans in Patagonia.

If you google his name along with Patagonia then it will come up with links in Spanish.

Here is a Rense translation:

https://rense.com/general95/pata.htm

What our Jewish friends have done to Argentina, through maneuvering the elections, killing dissidents, and marking territory, is a cautionary tale to anybody woke enough to see with their own eyes.

Zion had the opportunity to go to Uganda and Ugandans were willing, but NO Zion had to have Palestine, and they got it through war, deception, and murder. It was funded by usury, as stolen purchasing power from the Goyim.

The fake country of Israel, is not the biblical Israel, and it came into being by maneuverings of satanic men determined to get their way no matter what, and is supported by continuous deception. Even today's Hebrew is resurrected from a dead language, and is fake. Many fake Jews (who have no blood lineage to Abraham), a fake country, and fake language. These fakers, usurers, and thieves do indeed have their eyes set on Patagonia, what they call the practical country.

Johan , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:15 pm GMT
@Anon "If debts can simply be repudiated at will, capitalism cannot function."

Is this children's capitalist theory class time? throwing around some simple slogans for a susceptible congregation of future believers?

Should be quite obvious that people, groups of people, if not whole nations , can be forced and or seduced into depths by means of certain practices. There are a thousand ways of such trickery and thievery, these are not in the theory books though. In these books things all match and work out wonderfully rationally

Then capitalism cannot function? Unfortunately it has become already dysfunctional, if not a big rotten cancer.

MarkinLA , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:14 am GMT
@silviosilver https://qz.com/1001650/hedge-fund-billionaire-paul-singers-ruthless-strategies-include-bullying-ceos-suing-governments-and-seizing-their-navys-ships/

Yes, but the Argentine bond situation was particulary crappy and not what happens when a typical bondhoder is forced to take a hit.

anon [125] Disclaimer , says: December 20, 2019 at 3:44 am GMT
Lobelog ran some articles in Singer, Argentina, Iran Israel and the attorney from Argentina who died mysteriously . Singer is a loan shark. Argentinian paid dearly .

Google search –

NYT's Argentina Op-Ed Fails to Disclose Authors – LobeLog

https://lobelog.com/nyts-argentina-op-ed-fails-to-disclose-authors-financial-conflict-of-interest/
Dec 13, 2017 Between 2007 and 2011, hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer contributed $3.6 million to FDD. That coincided with his battle to force Argentina to

Following Paul Singer's Money, Argentina, and Iran – LobeLog

https://lobelog.com/following-paul-singers-money-argentina-and-iran-continued/
May 8, 2015 As Jim and Charles noted, linking Singer to AIPAC and FDD doesn't between Paul Singer's money and those critical of Argentina, Sen.

Paul Singer – LobeLog

https://lobelog.com/tag/paul-singer/
Paul Singer NYT's Argentina Op-Ed Fails to Disclose Authors' Financial Conflict of Interest by Eli Clifton On Tuesday, Mark Dubowitz and Toby Dershowitz, two executives at the hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), took

The Right-Wing Americans Who Made a Doc About Argentina

https://lobelog.com/the-right-wing-americans-who-made-a-doc-about-argentina/
Oct 7, 2015 One might wonder why a movie about Argentina, in Spanish and . of Nisman's and thought highly of the prosecutor's work, told LobeLog, FDD, for its part, has been an outspoken critic of Kirchner but has From 2008 to 2011, Paul Singer was the group's second-largest donor, contributing $3.6 million.

NYT Failed to Note Op-Ed Authors' Funder Has $2 Billion

https://fair.org/home/nyt-failed-to-note-op-ed-authors-funder-has-2-billion-motive-for-attacking-argentina/
Dec 16, 2017 Paul Singer FDD has been eager to promote Nisman's work. Singer embarked on a 15-year legal battle to collect on Argentina's debt payments by This alert orginally appeared as a blog post on LobeLog (12/13/17).

Digital Samizdat , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:18 pm GMT
@Mefobills

What our Jewish friends have done to Argentina, through maneuvering the elections, killing dissidents, and marking territory, is a cautionary tale to anybody woke enough to see with their own eyes.

Yup. And don't forget that ongoing Zionist psy-op known as the AMIA bombing: https://thesaker.is/hezbollah-didnt-do-argentine-bombing-updated/

[Dec 04, 2019] Trump and Trade: He s Not All Wrong by Dean Baker

Notable quotes:
"... "Employment in the United States has increased steadily over the last seven years, one of the longest periods of economic growth in American history. There are about 10 million more working Americans today than when President Obama took office. ..."
"... "David Autor, an economist at M.I.T., estimated in a famous paper that increased trade with China did eliminate roughly one million factory jobs in the United States between 2000 and 2007. However, an important implication of his findings is that such job losses largely ended almost a decade ago. ..."
"... It is also worth noting that even though our trade deficit has declined from its 2006 peak (the non-oil deficit has recently been rising again), workers are constantly being displaced by imports. The Bureau of Labor Statistic reports there have been an average of 110,000 layoffs or discharges a month in manufacturing thus far this year. If just a quarter of these are trade-related, it would imply that more than 300,000 workers a year are losing their jobs due to trade. ..."
"... The second point is the wage effect, which can go beyond the direct impact of job loss. The oil market can give us a useful way of thinking about this issue. Suppose that Saudi Arabia or some other major producer ramps up its oil production by 1 million barrels of oil a day. This will put downward pressure on world prices, which will have the effect of lowering prices in the United States as well. This could mean, for example, that instead of getting $50 for a barrel of oil, producers in North Dakota will only get $40 a barrel. This will mean less money for workers and companies in the oil industry. In the case of workers, it will mean fewer jobs and lower pay. ..."
"... This can happen even if there is very little direct impact of trade. The increased supply of Saudi oil may result in some modest reduction in U.S. exports of oil, but the impact on price will be much larger. The analogous story with trade in manufactured goods is that the potential to import low cost goods from Mexico, China, or other countries can have the effect of lowering wages in the United States, even if the goods are not actually imported. ..."
"... Finally, the balance of trade will have an impact on the overall level of employment in the economy when the economy is below its full employment level of output. Until the Great Recession, most economists did not think that trade could affect the overall level of employment, but only the composition. This meant that trade could cause us to lose manufacturing jobs in the Midwest, but these job losses would be offset by gains in Silicon Valley and other tech centers. This could still mean bad news for the manufacturing workers who lost their jobs, but the net effect for the country as a whole would still be positive. ..."
"... The Great Recession changed this view, as many economists came to believe that the United States is facing a period of secular stagnation: a sustained period in which lack of demand in the economy constrains growth and employment. In this context, the trade deficit is a major cause of the lack of demand since it is spending that is creating demand in other countries rather than the United States. If we could reduce the annual trade deficit by $100 billion then as a first approximation it will have the same impact on the economy as a stimulus of $100 billion. ..."
"... There is no generally accepted explanation as to why so many prime age workers would suddenly decide they didn't feel like working, but one often invoked candidate is the loss of manufacturing jobs. The argument in this story is that the manufacturing sector provided relatively good paying jobs for people without college degrees. With so many of these jobs now gone, these workers can't find jobs. If this argument is true, then it means that trade has cost the country a large number of jobs even if the economy is back at full employment. ..."
Oct 11, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne : October 11, 2016 at 06:46 AM , October 11, 2016 at 06:46 AM

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/trump-and-trade-he-s-not-all-wrong

October 11, 2016

Trump and Trade: He's Not All Wrong

Given his history of promoting racism, xenophobia, sexism and his recently exposed boasts about sexual assaults, not many people want to be associated with Donald Trump. However that doesn't mean everything that comes out of his mouth is wrong.

In the debate on Sunday Donald Trump made a comment to the effect that because of the North American Free Trade Agreement and other trade deals, "we lost our jobs." The New York Times was quick to say * this was wrong.

"We didn't.

"Employment in the United States has increased steadily over the last seven years, one of the longest periods of economic growth in American history. There are about 10 million more working Americans today than when President Obama took office.

"David Autor, an economist at M.I.T., estimated in a famous paper that increased trade with China did eliminate roughly one million factory jobs in the United States between 2000 and 2007. However, an important implication of his findings is that such job losses largely ended almost a decade ago.

"And there's no evidence the North American Free Trade Agreement caused similar job losses.

"The Congressional Research Service concluded in 2015 that the 'net overall effect of Nafta on the U.S. economy appears to have been relatively modest.' "

There are a few things to sort out here. First, the basic point in the first paragraph is absolutely true, although it's not clear that it's relevant to the trade debate. The United States economy typically grows and adds jobs, around 1.6 million a year for the last quarter century. So any claim that trade has kept the U.S. from creating jobs is absurd on its face. The actual issue is the rate of job creation and the quality of the jobs.

Here there are three issues to consider.

1) The direct job loss – the jobs that were displaced due to imports substituting for domestically produced goods and services;

2) The wage effects – the downward pressure on the wages of workers that retain their jobs that can result from job loss and also the threat of job loss;

3) The impact of a trade deficit on the level of demand in the economy.

Taking these in turn we now have some pretty solid evidence on some of the job loss attributable to trade. David Autor's work ** found that imports from China cost the economy more than 2 million jobs in the years from 2000-2007.

"Estimates of the net impact of aggregate demand and reallocation effects imply that import growth from China between 1999 and 2011 led to an employment reduction of 2.4 million workers" (page 29).

These are workers who are directly displaced by import competition. In addition, as the article goes on to note, there were more workers who likely lost their jobs to the multiplier effect in the local economies most directly affected by imports.

The impact of trade with China was more dramatic than trade with Mexico and other countries because of the huge growth in imports over a short period of time. However, even if the impact from trade with other countries was smaller, it still would have a substantial effect on the communities affected.

It is also worth noting that even though our trade deficit has declined from its 2006 peak (the non-oil deficit has recently been rising again), workers are constantly being displaced by imports. The Bureau of Labor Statistic reports there have been an average of 110,000 layoffs or discharges a month in manufacturing thus far this year. If just a quarter of these are trade-related, it would imply that more than 300,000 workers a year are losing their jobs due to trade.

Of course people lose jobs for other reasons also, like increased productivity. So the fact there is job loss associated with trade doesn't make it bad, but it is not wrong to see this as a serious problem.

The second point is the wage effect, which can go beyond the direct impact of job loss. The oil market can give us a useful way of thinking about this issue. Suppose that Saudi Arabia or some other major producer ramps up its oil production by 1 million barrels of oil a day. This will put downward pressure on world prices, which will have the effect of lowering prices in the United States as well. This could mean, for example, that instead of getting $50 for a barrel of oil, producers in North Dakota will only get $40 a barrel. This will mean less money for workers and companies in the oil industry. In the case of workers, it will mean fewer jobs and lower pay.

This can happen even if there is very little direct impact of trade. The increased supply of Saudi oil may result in some modest reduction in U.S. exports of oil, but the impact on price will be much larger. The analogous story with trade in manufactured goods is that the potential to import low cost goods from Mexico, China, or other countries can have the effect of lowering wages in the United States, even if the goods are not actually imported.

Kate Bronfenbrenner, a professor of industrial relations at Cornell, documented one way in which the potential to import can have the effect of lowering wages. She found *** that employers regularly used the threat of moving operations to Mexico as a way to thwart unionization drives. While most workers are not typically involved in unionization drives, it is easy to imagine this dynamic playing out in other contexts where employers use the real or imagined threat from import competition as a reason for holding down wages. The implication is the impact of trade on wages is likely to be even larger than the direct effect of the goods actually brought into the country.

Finally, the balance of trade will have an impact on the overall level of employment in the economy when the economy is below its full employment level of output. Until the Great Recession, most economists did not think that trade could affect the overall level of employment, but only the composition. This meant that trade could cause us to lose manufacturing jobs in the Midwest, but these job losses would be offset by gains in Silicon Valley and other tech centers. This could still mean bad news for the manufacturing workers who lost their jobs, but the net effect for the country as a whole would still be positive.

The Great Recession changed this view, as many economists came to believe that the United States is facing a period of secular stagnation: a sustained period in which lack of demand in the economy constrains growth and employment. In this context, the trade deficit is a major cause of the lack of demand since it is spending that is creating demand in other countries rather than the United States. If we could reduce the annual trade deficit by $100 billion then as a first approximation it will have the same impact on the economy as a stimulus of $100 billion.

From this perspective, the trade deficit is a major source of job loss. Our current trade deficit of $500 billion a year (@2.8 percent of GDP) is a major drag on demand and employment. For this reason, a politician would be absolutely right to cite trade as a big factor in the weakness of the labor market.

It is worth noting that many economists (including many at the Federal Reserve Board) now believe that the economy is close to its full employment level of output, in which case trade is not now a net cause of job loss even if it had been earlier in the recovery. There are two points to be made on this view.

First, there are many prominent economists, such as Paul Krugman and Larry Summers, who argue that the economy is still well below its full employment level of output. So this is at least a debatable position.

Second, if we accept that the economy is near full employment it implies that close to 2 million prime age workers (ages 25-54) have permanently left the labor market compared to 2007 levels of labor force participation. (The gap is close to 4 million if we use 2000 as our comparison year.)

There is no generally accepted explanation as to why so many prime age workers would suddenly decide they didn't feel like working, but one often invoked candidate is the loss of manufacturing jobs. The argument in this story is that the manufacturing sector provided relatively good paying jobs for people without college degrees. With so many of these jobs now gone, these workers can't find jobs. If this argument is true, then it means that trade has cost the country a large number of jobs even if the economy is back at full employment.

In short, there are good reasons for a politician to complain about trade as a major source of our economic problems. There is much research and economic theory that supports this position.

* http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/10/09/us/elections/fact-check-debate.html#/factcheck-25

** http://www.ddorn.net/papers/Autor-Dorn-Hanson-ChinaShock.pdf

*** http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1018&context=cbpubs

-- Dean Baker

[Oct 26, 2019] Expose The Enemy

Oct 26, 2019 | www.exposetheenemy.com

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New York-Tel Aviv-Moscow Triangle
New York - Tel Aviv - Moscow Triangle
This section contains the materials that document the background of Trump - Russia. From the banking houses of New York, to the Bolshevik Revolution. From the New School to the Neo-Cons. From the arming of Irgun to the creation of the Zionist state of Israel. From the fall of the Berlin Wall to the mafia state that rose out of the USSR. The development of international criminal networks, think tanks, governments, oligarchy and multinational corporate control of our politics, interests, technology, freedoms and even our minds. The Life of an American Jew Living in Racist Marxist Israel
Jack Bernstein The Soviets would institute a pro-Arab policy solely as a camouflage for its true intention, which was to furnish aid to the Arabs, but never enough to enable the Arabs to destroy Israel.
The Soviets would open the gates of Soviet satellite countries to Jewish immigration to Israel. Should this be insufficient, Soviet Russia then would open its own gates to immigration. <strong>The Soviets would absolutely guarantee the security of Israel.
Both the Soviet Union and Israel would share intelligence reports.
The latest scientific developments that the US provides Israel are channeled on to the Soviet Union. The main center through which this scientific information passes is Israel's Weizman Institute in the town of Rehoovot about 40 kilometers south of Tel Aviv. The Controversy Of Zion (Book)
Douglas Reed This is the text area for this paragraph. To change it, simply click here and start typing.Once you've added your content, you can customize the design using different colors, fonts, font sizes and bullets. Highlight the words you want to design and choose from the various options in the text editing bar. All Israeli Prime Ministers linked to USSR/Russian Empire
Jon Swinn This infographic details the links each Israeli Prime Minister has to the USSR/Russian Empire. TRUMP IS PUPPET OF KISSINGER, CFR AND ROTHSCHILDS, THE TRUE ARCHITECTS OF RUSSIAN COLLUSION
David Livingstone A vital read detailing the history that has led to the present day situation we face. NIXON CENTER -- KREMLIN  --  TRUMP
Zarina Zabrisky The Center for the National Interest, former Nixon Center, a hosting institution for Trump's first foreign policy speech and the adviser who helped writing the speech have multiple long-term ties to the Kremlin. Red Mafiya - How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America
Robert Friedman New York -- Moscow -- Tel Aviv Triangle
Fitzpatrick Israel and the Soviets are ideological allies – both follow the ideas of Karl Marx, so both are communist/socialist. Yet, the Soviets supplied military equipment to the Arabs -- Israel's enemies; and at the same time, the Soviet Union's enemy, the United States, was arming Israel.
To understand the treachery which Zionist/ Bolshevik Jews are capable and to understand the treachery which took place before and during the 1973 War, I must explain the New York/ Moscow/Tel Aviv Triangle. PUTIN DOSSIER
Fitzpatrick Exposing Russian president Vladimir Putin and his crypto-Soviet state for the Judeo-masonic, Chabad mafiya collaborators that they are THE AMERICAN AWAKENING - NEW YORK - TEL AVIV - MOSCOW AXIS
Michael Herzog and Brendon O'Connell Part 1 - 18 June 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3GpnUF_nwA Part 2 - 22 June 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kso1KWHXmNo&t=1688s Rare Interview with Gordon Thomas author of Robert Maxwell, Israel's Superspy
Gordon Thomas Gordon Thomas is interviewed on TruNews about his book Robert Maxwell Israel's Superspy. AT PUTIN'S SIDE, AN ARMY OF JEWISH BILLIONAIRES
Gil Stern Watching the group of mega-wealthy interact, one cannot help but wonder how so many affluent businessmen in the former Soviet Union are Jewish. On Multiple Fronts, Russian Jews Reshape Israel
Phillip Reeves "I was [politically] on the left, and I thought it was possible to reach an agreement with the Arabs. But after 20 years, I no longer think an accord is possible," he says.
Most of Israel's Russian-speaking community, including Esterman, is on the right these days. Since they now make up about 15 percent of Israel's 8 million people, they wield considerable political clout and have played a significant role in the general rightward shift of the Israeli electorate.
Russian-speaking immigrants form the base of the influential right-wing nationalist party Yisrael Beiteinu. The party has teamed up with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud to form a bloc that is leading the polls ahead of this month's elections.
Galili argues that immigrants from the former Soviet Union have made a considerable impact on the politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- not least because of their resistance to the idea of giving up territory. Russian Immigrants in Israeli Politics: The Past, the Recent Elections and the Near Future
Arkadi Mazin Since the beginning of the large-scale immigration to Israel from the former Soviet Union in the 1990s, Israel's community of Russian speakers has played an dominant role in Israeli politics. Some maintain that it has tipped the balance and decided the final outcome in all the elections since then, perhaps with the exception of the most recent ones. Nevertheless, as will be shown, the Russian-speaking community's vote played a major role in these elections, too. From this, it may be concluded that the electoral behavior of the Russian-speaking community in Israel differs from that of the majority of the Israeli population. And indeed, as has been observed in various areas of life, such as consumer behavior, media and entertainment, as well as from the political-electoral perspective, the Russian-speaking community in Israel is commonly viewed as a separate sector, alongside two other important minority sectors – the ultra-Orthodox and Arab – and the "general Israeli population." An Emerging Alliance: Russia and Israel
Robert Zapesochny The core of this growing alliance is the more than one million Israeli citizens who were born in the former Soviet Union. Between 1970 and 1988, only 291,000 Jews, and their non-Jewish relatives, were allowed to leave the Soviet Union (165,000 went to Israel, and 126,000 went to the United States).
In 1989, Mikhail Gorbachev ended restrictions on Jewish emigration, in part for better relations with the United States. From 1989 to 2006, 1.6 million Soviet Jews, and their family members, left the former Soviet Union (979,000 went to Israel, 325,000 to the U.S. and 219,000 to Germany).
Earlier this year, President Putin said, "Russia and Israel have developed a special relationship primarily because 1.5 million Israeli citizens come from the former Soviet Union, they speak the Russian language, are the bearers of Russian culture, Russian mentality. They maintain relations with their relatives and friends in Russia, and this make the interstate relations very special."
Israel also needs Russia, as well. Israel's Start-Up Nation has been fueled by one million Russian-speaking Israelis. For this economic miracle to continue, the Israelis will need more engineers from the former Soviet Union. The Russian-speaking Israelis will have plenty of talent to choose from in the former Soviet Union. According the World Economic Forum, in 2015, Russia graduated 454,000 engineers and Ukraine graduated 130,000 engineers. THE DEBILITATING BRAIN DRAIN
Shilomo Maital Israel has gained immensely from the brain gain of one million immigrants from the former Soviet Union during the years 1990-1999. According to a study by Sarit Cohen of Bar-Ilan University and Chang-Tai Hsieh from Princeton University, 60 percent of the Russian-speaking immigrants who arrived in Israel between 1989 and 1990 were college educated, twice the proportion of college-educated Israelis. From 1990 to 1993, their study notes, "57,000 [Russian immigrants] had worked as engineers and 12,000 as medical doctors; in contrast, there were only 30,000 engineers and 15,000 medical doctors in Israel in 1989."
That brain gain was a one-time stroke of luck. Many of the brain-gain Russian-speaking engineers and doctors are now retiring, and many of the educated Israelis who could replace them are going abroad. Israel's former Soviet immigrants transform adopted country
Harriet Sherwood The million-plus citizens of the former Soviet Union who migrated to Israel in the past 20 years have not only made new lives of their own but they have transformed their adopted country. They have influenced the culture, hi-tech industry, language, education and, perhaps most significantly, Israeli politics.
Jews in the former Soviet Union were largely banned from making aliya – migrating to Israel – before the collapse of the empire. But from 1990 onwards they came in their thousands, and they now constitute around 15% of Israel's 7.7 million population.
Strictly speaking not all of them are Jewish. In traditional Judaism only someone whose mother is Jewish or who has undergone a formal conversion to Judaism is a Jew. But from 1990 anyone from the former Soviet Union who had a Jewish father or grandparent, or who was married to someone meeting those criteria, was granted Israeli citizenship under the country's law of return. The Million Russians That Changed Israel to Its Core
Masha Zur Glozman The authors begin their story toward the end of the 1980s, after Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir realized that Mikhail Gorbachev was prepared to release those Jews who longed to leave the Soviet Union, because he wished to obtain American loan guarantees for the far-reaching reforms he had planned.
Bronfman and Galili describe the clandestine and open channels through which the State of Israel acted to advance this immigration, and the various interests involved, such as the desire to bolster the "demographic data" (a euphemism for increasing Israel's Jewish population ). Yitzhak Shamir, the Prime Minister Who Spied on Me
Aluf Benn According to Meridor, Shamir's most important contribution was convincing the U.S. administration under President George Bush Sr. to desist from issuing refugee visas to Soviet Jews. Up to 1989, Jews leaving the USSR could choose to immigrate either to the United States or to Israel, with many choosing the U.S. Shamir was opposed to this "defection," as it was termed at the time. He believed Jews ought to settle in Israel, whether they were from a Russian gulag or Brooklyn. He persuaded the American government and U.S. Jewish organizations that the Soviet Jews weren't refugees, that they had a homeland in Israel. Then the floodgates of the collapsing Soviet Empire opened wide, and a million Jews along with their relatives immigrated to Israel. Had Shamir not insisted, today, many of them would have been living on the shores of the Hudson River. Shamir Wants U.S. Pressure on Emigrants
The so-called "dropout" rate among Jews who leave the Soviet Union has reached as high as 80% in recent years. "Dropouts" are Jews who claim political refugee status from the United States when they reach Vienna rather than fly to Israel. How Russia's rich elite spend their billions in London
Roman Borisovich Wealthy [Jewish] oligarchs have become a fixture of the British landscape during the past 20 years. But what do they offer to the country's culture? Rich Russians: The Wealthiest Oligarchs Who Call London Home
Alisher Usmanov and Roman Abramovich are joined in the capital by a host of lesser-known wealthy compatriots Vladimir Putin told me a personal story in the Kremlin
This video includes excerpts from the speeches of Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, Attorney Alan Dershowitz, and footage of the legendary Chabad Lubavitch "Roll Call" at the 2006 International Conference of Shluchim. Putin's Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar friend of Nathaniel Rothschild.
"My call to fame is actually being Mr. Rothschild's friend and it is a pleasure to honour Mr. Rothschild and David Slager for what they have done here in Oxford for the Oxford University Chabad Society." - Chief Rabbi Lazar The KGB's Middle East Files: 'Illegals' in Israel
Ronen Bergman In 1992, Vasili Mitrokhin, a KGB archivist, defected to the West with a trove of top secret documents from the Soviet intelligence agency, which helped expose many Russian agents and assets in Israel and elsewhere. This series of articles explores these documents and brings to light the secrets they revealed. Russian Firm to Train Israelis in Hot Tech Fields
Ruti Levy Fifty Israeli students – most of them computer science graduates or veterans of army technology units – will begin a program in October to learn the ins and outs of some of the hottest fields in Israeli high-tech, such as data science and machine learning.
he classes will meet at Tel Aviv University, but no Israeli academic institution is involved. The syllabus was written and the lecturers hired and paid for by the Russian company Yandex. The Happy-Go-Lucky Jewish Group That Connects Trump and Putin
Ben Schreckinger Chabad of Port Washington, a Jewish community center on Long Island's Manhasset Bay, sits in a squat brick edifice across from a Shell gas station and a strip mall. The center is an unexceptional building on an unexceptional street, save for one thing: Some of the shortest routes between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin run straight through it. Know Your Oligarch: A Guide to the Jewish Billionaires in the Trump-Russia Probe
Ron Kampeas Of 10 billionaires with Kremlin ties who funneled political contributions to Donald Trump and a number of top Republican leaders, at least five are Jewish Russia's Chief Rabbi Reportedly Paid Secret Visit to Iran on Trip Organized by Putin
Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar secretly visited Iran almost six months ago as part of a diplomatic trip organized by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Israeli media reported over the weekend.
The Islamic Republic opposed the rabbi's arrival, but Putin himself insisted on Lazar's participation in the diplomatic mission, the website Ynetnews reported. The trip was reportedly headed by the chairman of Russia's State Duma and included talks in the Iranian parliament.
Lazar, who heads the Chabad movement in Russia, is considered close to Putin and is often accused of supporting the president unconditionally in exchange for his regime's seal of approval for Chabad.
Israel has argued for months that Iran needs to withdraw its forces from the war-torn country. In recent weeks, senior U.S. officials have stated that while both Russia and the U.S. agree with Israel that Iran needs to exit Syria, it is currently unrealistic for Russia to force Iran out of the country. DONALD TRUMP, CHABAD-LUBAVITCH AND THE OLIGARCHS
Despite his alignment with the racist right, Trump has professed ultra-right views on Israel. His connections with Israel also extend to his broad ties with the Russian mafia, many of whom hold dual citizenship in Israel. The Russian mafia is closely associated with Chabad-Lubavitch, a Hasidic movement that derived originally from Sabbateanism. Putin: 'I support the struggle of Israel'
Chaim Lev, Ari Yashar Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday met with a delegation of rabbis, led by Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar, and rabbis of the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE).
"I follow closely what's going on in Israel," said Putin during the long meeting, which was held in Moscow.
"I support the struggle of Israel as it attempts to protect its citizens. I also heard about the shocking murder of the three youths. It is an act that cannot be allowed, and I ask you to transmit my condolences to the families," added the Russian president, in referring to the abduction and murder of three teens in June by Hamas terrorists. PUTIN AND NETANYAHU TO STRIKE DEAL ON LEVIATHAN GAS FIELD
Erica Mills Israeli foreign affairs analyst, Ehud Yaari, says Russian President Vladimir Putin & Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu want to strike a deal on the Leviathan field Ronald S. Lauder: Russia's fight against anti-Semitism isn't just good for Jews – it's good for Russia as well
"At a time when global terrorism singles out Jews around the world, at a time when we see the impact of intolerance and hate on every continent, here in Russia, the Jewish community is thriving. Jewish kindergartens and Jewish schools are filled to capacity, synagogues are crowded on Shabbat. But Jews in Western Europe are seriously thinking of leaving," Lauder said.
"President [Vladimir] Putin has made Russia a country where Jews are welcome. And that's not just a good thing for Jews. It is good for Russia as well," Lauder said. "It is because of this unprecedented change that the World Jewish Congress looks to continue to work with Russia. We want to be able to count on Russia as a solid friend." PUTIN TO NETANYAHU: ISRAEL, RUSSIA 'UNCONDITIONAL ALLIES' IN WAR AGAINST TERROR
Israel and Russia agreed to strengthen their regional military cooperation, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin met face-to-face in the Kremlin on Tuesday.
The two leaders agreed to tightened their cooperation in the fight against terrorism and stressed the importance of ending regional violence such as in Syria. They also reiterated the importance of Israel ending its short-term conflict with Turkey and its long-standing one with the Palestinians.
"We discussed the continued coordination between our two militaries in the region, which already works quite well," Netanyahu told reporters at a joint press conference in the Kremlin with Putin after their meeting.
It is their fourth meeting in the last year, and their third in Moscow. The Countless Israeli Connections to Mueller's Probe of Trump and Russia
Chemi Shalev The Israeli media usually takes scant interest in Robert Mueller's investigations. It prefers to dwell on Donald Trump's supposedly pro-Israeli policies. Last week's report in the New York Times about the participation of Joel Zamel, the Australian-born "Israeli specialist in social media manipulation," in an August 3, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York was an exception to the rule. The FBI, the Times reported, had even come to Israel to search the offices of Zamel's company. Here was a direct Israeli link to the scandal that has bewitched much of America since Trump was first elected. Mueller reveals ANOTHER effort to arrange a Trump-Putin meeting – this one involving the chief Rabbi of Russia known as 'Putin's Rabbi' who visited Trump Tower in 2016
Geoff Earle Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report sketches out yet another effort to arrange a meeting between Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin – this time from a man touting a connection to the Chief Rabbi of Russia.
The Trump-Putin meeting never occurred, but Rabbi Berel Lazar, known as 'Putin's Rabbi,' did attend a Trump Tower meeting in 2016 with the man who pitched it. Here are 5 shady ways Trump, Israel and Russia are colluding on the world stage
Tana Ganeva In the latest bizarre twist in the Paul Manafort saga, the Guardian reports that Manafort may have conspired with an Israeli official to manipulate members of the Obama administration into supporting Viktor Yanukovych over Yulia Tymoshenko in Ukraine, and link the latter to anti-Semitism. Yanukovych was Russia's chosen candidate.
1. As Bashar al-Assad moves to consolidate power in Syria, the US, Russia and Israel seem united in their efforts to throw Hezbollah, a proxy of Iran, out of the conflict. In mid-August, Secretary of State John Bolton told ABC that the three countries are united in this goal.
3. During the President's much derided one-on-one talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump assured the world that the security of Israel is a priority for both Russia and the United States.
4. House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia,ť the writer Craig Unger writes about how up to 59 Russian oligarchs have been cultivating Donald Trump and his associates for years, through such means as New York's unregulated real estate industry.
As the Times of Israel has pointed out, many of these wealthy Russian business-people also have ties to Israel.
5. So far, the President has made good on his promise to prioritize the interests of the current Israeli government.
It's not a surprise when Trump flouts international norms. But his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem sparked furor around the world and led to deadly protests by Palestinians.
The administration dismissed the demonstrations, in which multiple civilians were killed, as 'unfortunate propaganda'. Paul Manafort: Trump's ex-campaign chair agrees to cooperate with Mueller
Jon Swaine Manafort may have conspired with an Israeli official to manipulate members of the Obama administration into supporting Viktor Yanukovych over Yulia Tymoshenko in Ukraine, and link the latter to anti-Semitism. Yanukovych was Russia's chosen candidate.
Manafort allegedly orchestrated a plan to smear a Yanukovych domestic rival, Yulia Tymoshenko, by disseminating "with no fingerprints" allegations that Tymoshenko had paid for the murder of a Ukrainian official. "My goal is to plant some stink on Tymo," Manafort wrote in a message.
He also allegedly schemed to have "Obama Jews" exert pressure on Barack Obama's administration to support Yanukovych and disavow Tymoshenko, and conspired with an Israeli government official to spread allegations linking Tymoshenko to antisemitism. Manafort allegedly wrote in one message to an unidentified associate: "I have someone pushing it on the NY Post. Bada bing bada boom. MATIMOP, Skolkovo deepen Israel-Russia start-up cooperation
Israeli Industry Center for R&D (MATIMOP) and Russia's Skolkovo Foundation will shortly announce a call for papers for joint R&D project by Israeli and Russian start-ups to obtain support from Office of the Chief Scientist in Israel and the Skolkovo Foundation. Skolkovo Foundation VP Stanislav Naumov said, "The difference between Russia and Israel's entrepreneurial system required thinking together to find a formula for cooperation. The formula we reached enables us to move forward to the stage of extensive collaboration by ventures of the two countries. The special call for papers that we are publishing is another important stage in developing cooperation between Russia and Israel, which began a year ago with the fostering of innovation and the commercialization of advanced technologies."
Israel-Skolkovo Center co-managing director Alexander Zinigrad said, "This is the first time that special binational collaboration for start-ups has been declared in Israel. This is an important measure, which gives a great boost to the cooperation that began in the summer of 2011 between the start-up industry in Israel and the Skolkovo Foundation. Since the establishment of the Israel-Skolkovo Center, we have received scores of inquiries from Israeli start-up companies every month. Within less than a year, we have assisted six Israeli start-up companies at Skolkovo." Putin Reveals Who Will Be the Lord of the World
"Artificial intelligence is not only the future of Russia, but the future of all mankind. It holds both tremendous opportunities and is fraught with scarcely predictable dangers. Whoever takes the lead in this sphere will become Lord of the World," President Putin told Russian schoolchildren during an open lesson on their first day of the new school year. Hillary's Secret Kremlin Connection Is Quickly Unraveling
John Schindler Exactly how Clinton profited off deals with Skolkovo is something the American public has a right to know before November 8.
Then there's the matter of what Skolkovo actually is. In truth, it's nothing like Silicon Valley except in outward appearance. It's a fully state-driven enterprise -- funded largely by the Kremlin and acting on its orders. It does the bidding of the Russian government, and President Putin has taken intense interest in his high-tech complex, understanding its value to the country's defense and security sector. Yandex Partners With Tel Aviv University to Launch AI Study Program, Scholarships

Amarella Wenkert The Russian technology company will launch the Yandex Machine Learning Initiative, offering courses in artificial intelligence and financial support to students and faculty Modeled on Yeshiva University, first Jewish university to open in Russia
Modeled after Yeshiva University in the United States, The Jewish University of Moscow is a private institution with a student body of 200 whose budget comes mostly from donors and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, dean Alexander Lebedev told JTA earlier this week.
The university -- whose faculties include economics, law, humanities and Jewish studies – comprises two existing Jewish community colleges: Institute XXI century for men and Institute Machon CHaMeSH for women. Their reconstitution as campuses of a single, state-recognized university is a first in Russian history, according to Lebedev. Russian VC shows the love to Israeli startups
Abigail Klein Leichman Titanium Investments unveils its $50 million venture capital fund geared mainly to Israeli companies such as Feedvisor, Any.do and MUV Interactive. US backs Israel's proposal for railway link to Gulf
The US has expressed support for an Israeli plan to revive a historic railroad network linking the Jewish state to Gulf countries.
Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump's peace envoy, hailed the proposal on Monday as an Israeli minister visits Oman to present the "Tracks for Regional Peace" project. How Russia Created a Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center Even Vladimir Putin Can Tolerate
Olga Gershenson The museum project was initiated by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia -- the umbrella organization for Chabad-Lubavitch in Russia -- supported by the Kremlin and financed by a handful of Russian Jewish oligarchs at a cost of $50 million. The journey to museum from garage began in 2001, when Moscow City Hall donated the dilapidated building to the Hasidic Jewish Community Center. The idea was that the building would house a cultural center, including an exhibition on Jewish culture and an art gallery. While this site is neither central nor easily accessible to tourists, it is part of an entire campus of Jewish religious and cultural organizations that sprouted in the post-Soviet era in the traditionally Jewish neighborhood (to the extent that Moscow has Jewish neighborhoods) of Maryina Roshcha. The museum building shares its territory with a Jewish day school, a yeshiva, a medical center and several Jewish charity organizations.
Several years of faltering attempts to renovate the garage building ended in 2007, when Roman Abramovich, a federation board member, restored it. In 2008 it opened its doors to the public as the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, managed by Dasha Zhukova, Abramovich's girlfriend at the time. Top Israeli officials were part of KGB spy ring -- report
Toi Staff KGB files reportedly revealed the existence of an extensive Soviet spy ring in Israel, encompassing Knesset members, senior IDF officers, engineers, members of the Israeli intelligence community, and others who worked on classified projects.
Top-secret KGB documents reported on by the Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth Wednesday detailed the extent of the network of agents run by the Soviet secret service.
The documents were copied over a period of 20 years by Vasili Mitrokhin, a senior KGB archivist who defected to the UK in 1992. His edited notes on various KGB operations were released in 2014 and are stored in Churchill College in Cambridge; his handwritten notes remain classified by MI5. Soviet documents 'show Abbas was KGB agent'; Fatah decries 'smear campaign'
Tamar Pileggi Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was a Soviet spy in Damascus in the 1980s, Israel's Channel 1 television reported Wednesday, citing information it said was included in an archive smuggled out of the USSR.
According to Channel 1's foreign news editor Oren Nahari, the famed Mitrokhin archive, kept by KGB defector Vasily Mitrokhin, revealed that Abbas was a Soviet mole in Damascus in 1983.
The documents -- obtained by Israeli researchers Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez -- purportedly show that Abbas, code-named Krotov (mole), was involved with the Soviets while Mikhail Bogdanov, today Vladimir Putin's envoy to the Middle East. was stationed in Damascus. KGB Infiltrated Highest Echelons of Israel's Army, Business, and Political Leadership
Richard Silverstein The Israeli military censor compelled Bergman to suppress the names of the most damaging of the KGB spies working in Israel in a three-part series published in recent weeks by Ynet. In part four of his series, Bergman secured the cooperation of an Israeli triple agent who worked for the CIA, KGB and Shabak. The ex-spy agreed to be interviewed and for his identity to be exposed. But the IDF censor, Col. Ariella Ben Avraham, so eviscerated the proposed article that it could not be published. As a result, it will be some time before we learn this individual's identity. Given that the former spy agreed to be identified and the incident presumably occurred decades ago, one wonders what the censor is protecting except her own power and prerogative to render secret what should be known in any other democratic society. Lieberman Appointed Israeli KGB Agent to Senior Government Role, Then He Disappeared
Richard Silverstein Bergman, who is compelled by the military censor to suppress the names of almost all of the spies, tells (Nana recounts the story at 3:05 of this news report) of a Soviet Jew born in south-central Russia in the mid-1950s. He studied engineering and was considered quite proficient in his field of study. The spy, whose code-name was Bejan, was recruited to an elite Soviet espionage school, where he was trained in the field of spycraft. He made aliyah to Israel and was inducted into the IDF shortly thereafter. He joined the officer training school and from there rose quickly in the ranks until he was appointed the chief of one of the army's most critical infrastructure ventures. He was privy to a multitude of highly secret material including the location of bases, infrastructure facilities, data on the order of battle, and preparations for future wars.
After retiring from the IDF, he turned to various jobs in private industry. Later, he was appointed by Avigdor Lieberman, who himself has often been rumored to be a Russian intelligence asset, to a senior post. Then suddenly, Bejan disappeared in 2005. He has not been heard from since.
He is not the first person in Lieberman's circle to suffer a strange, mysterious fate. News1 detailed the circumstances in which several key witnesses in the last Lieberman investigation who either committed suicide, disappeared, or "forgot" key elements of their previous testimony. Among them are Michael Falkov, a Lieberman communications advisor who disappeared in 2014. Yosef Shuldiner was found shot to death in an Israeli cemetery in 2006. Artium Borovik, a senior Russian journalist close to the Kremlin, whom Lieberman used to lobby on behalf of his business ventures, died in a mysterious plane crash in 2008. Daniella Mourtzi was the corporate accountant for five Cyprus-based Lieberman companies which were fronts. She was to testify as part of the government investigation into Lieberman's shady business dealings about his ownership of the companies. But before her time came to testify, she suddenly developed amnesia and couldn't recall a thing. Another witness in Moldova (where Lieberman was born) was interrogated and shortly afterward had a fatal stroke. Soviet spies infiltrate Mossad, sources say
Richard Sale Soviet infiltration of Israel's spy agency, Mossad, is the most serious blow to Israeli intelligence since the 1970s and U.S. intelligence also was breached as a result, U.S. sources reveal.
Mossad has been penetrated by 'highly placed' Soviet moles and a full-scale internal counterintelligence investigation is under way, the intelligence sources said.
A Justice Department source said U.S. counterintelligence agents became aware of the Israeli-Soviet espionage pipeline when data stolen by Jonathan Jay Pollard, a U.S. Navy analyst convicted of spying for Israel, was 'traced to the Eastern bloc.'
Intelligence sources said data reaching the Soviets via this route included sensitive U.S. weapons technology and strategic information about the defense forces of Turkey, Pakistan and moderate Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia.
U.S. intelligence analysts said the Pollard data was traded to the Soviets in return for promises to increase emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel.
One analyst said Israel's 'right-wing' Jews are involved with spying for the Soviets and called it 'ironic,' noting that left-wing elements were responsible for similar scandals in the past. No Love Lost
Yossi Melman "There is a paradoxical situation," says the chief rabbi of Moscow. "The Jews in Russia have power, money and influence, as never before; yet at the same time the situation of the Jewish community is at an all-time low." A guide to the wars of the Jewish oligarchs in Russia. Why Data Science is Booming in Israel
Jacob Maslow Yandex, the "Google of Russia," is going to expand into Israel. The tech firm, the largest in Russia, will be launching a few services in Israel. The firm will be launching Yandex Music in just a few weeks, and then there are additional plans for Israel.
Times of Israel broke the news that Yandex is still thinking about opening a taxi venture in Israel and also plans to offer an eight-month course in data science. Yandex plans to introduce their Y-Data initiative in Israel, a course that will be very similar to what is already running in Russia. Exploring Al Qaeda's Murky Connection To Russian Intelligence
John Schindler [Note: This is an unusually controversial piece, even for my blog, for reasons that will quickly become obvious. Linkages between Al-Qa'ida and Russian intelligence have been discussed in hushed tones among spies in many countries, for years, and this matter has been a "hobby file" of mine for some time. Here is a think-piece on it, in the hope of spurring additional discussion and research into this important yet murky matter. This is particularly necessary given rising tensions between Moscow and the West at present. 'The USSR Is Our Second Homeland,' Said One Kibbutznik When Stalin Died
Tom Segev In fact, it is of interest to recall - incredible as it may seem - that Stalin's Soviet Union was once at the center of Israeli identity. In the first Knesset, the left-wing Mapam (United Workers Party ) was the second-largest faction, with 19 seats. During the debate over the makeup of the government that was held in the Knesset on March 10, 1949, one of Mapam's two leaders, Ya'akov Hazan of Kibbutz Mishmar Ha'emek, said: "For us, the Soviet Union is the fortress of world socialism, it is our second homeland, the socialist one." That comment could go down as one of the 10 most-quoted sentences in the history of Israeli politics. Jabotinsky's Likud Was Anything but a Liberal Bastion
Ofri Ilany While Ze'ev Jabotinsky has in recent years been lionized as the picture of a faultless liberal standout, there is no justification for describing Likud as a movement that was once liberal and has deteriorated into fascism.
David Ben-Gurion visited the Soviet Union in 1923, and drew inspiration from the Leninist form of organization and use of power. He described Lenin admiringly as "an iron-willed man who would not spare human life or the blood of the innocent on behalf of the revolution." In the wake of that visit, Ben-Gurion built his political party into a power-centric revolutionary organization that was not squeamish about using whatever means possible to realize its objectives. RUSSIANS AND JEWS: THE ODD COUPLE
Jonathan Adelman Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has in the last three years gone nine times to a Russia that has promoted dozens of Russian Jews to become oligarchs in the new Russia. FROM RUSSIA WITH JEWS
Amiram Barkat and Yossi Melman Zvi Magen did what few Israelis would dare to do: He rejected a tempting, well-paying job offer from Arcadi Gaydamak, the Israeli-Russian oligarch, whom the State Prosecutor's office is considering putting on trial for money laundering, and who is wanted in France on suspicion of illegal arms trading with Angola. Gaydamak wanted Magen to head the Congress of Jewish Religious Communities and Organizations in Russia (KEROOR). This is an off-the-shelf organization that came to life about 18 months ago under the aegis of Gaydamak, who contributes money to it and acts as its president. Magen received the generous offer a few months ago, while he was still head of Nativ, but preferred to join the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya as head of a new Euro-Asia institute that will conduct "studies from the Balkans to Mongolia."
Magen, a lieutenant colonel in the Israel Defense Forces reserves and a former ambassador to Ukraine and Russia, has headed Nativ for almost seven years. He concluded his term of office at the beginning of last month, but his successor has only just been named. Last week, Naomi Ben Ami, Israel's ambassador to Ukraine, was chosen to head Nativ. This is the first time in the history of the Israeli intelligence community that a woman has been named to head one of its agencies - although Nativ in fact is no longer involved in intelligence. HOLY RUSSIA SACRED ISRAEL
Dominic Rubin Jewish‐Christian Encounters in Russian Religious Thought Russia's use of false flag terrorism facilitating the rise of Putin
'September, 1998: Kremlin Insider Predicts 'Massive Unrest' to Journalist' March 19, 1999: Bombing in Russian Market Near Chechnya Kills Fifty. June 6, 1999: Kremlin False Flag Terror Plot Rumors Surface in Swedish Newspaper July 22, 1999: Russian Journalist Alleges Destabilization Plot by Kremlin Insiders September 9, 1999: Apartment Blast in Moscow Kills 94; Chechen Rebels Blamed September 13, 1999: Second Moscow Apartment Bombing Kills 118; Chechen Rebels Blamed September 22-24, 1999: FSB Agents Plant Large Bomb in Ryazan: 'Security Exercise' or Terror Plot?
Henry Kissinger's criminal sale of nuclear weapons technology to Soviet Russia in 1972
Antony Sutton Kalmanowich affair shows KGB-Israeli mafia link
Thierry Lalevee and Joseph Brewda On Dec. 23, 1987, Israeli businessman Shabtai Kalmanowich was arrested by Israeli authorities on charges of being "a spy for the Soviet Union." Since his emigration from Lithuania in 1971, Kalmanowich had become a leading figure in the Israeli political and business establishment, directing a far-flung diamond, gold, gambling, prostitution, and armstrafficking empire, based in Africa, West Germany, and New York City. When Israeli authorities announced Kalmanowich's arrest on Jan. 10, however, they failed to mention the fact that millionaire Kalmanowich was also an officer in the Israeli foreign intelligence service, the Mossad. Kalmanowich was something of the late CIA director Bill Casey's ideal intelligence officer: He made a fortune as he carried out espionage. Kalmanowich is certainly not the first Soviet Jewish emigre caught as a spy; there have been four or five over recent years. Analyzing this phenomenon, a former head of Israeli military intelligence reported on Israeli television that there are two kinds of spies among the emigres: those who are blackmailed because their families have remained behind, and those who are ideologically committed to Soviet communism. Kalmanowich belonged to the second category. The Chicago School of Economics
Jon Swinn This infographic displays the connections and people known collectively as the 'Chicago School'. The strong links to the elites are identified. The neoconservative as well as Thatcherism and the false opposition libertarian movement find their roots in the 'Chicago School'. This is essential background information into understanding the next infographic 'Rise of the Neo-Cons / Wohlstetter Network'. The Rise of the Neo-Cons / Wohlstetter Network
Jon Swinn This infographic displays the links between some of the important players behind the creation of the neoconservative movement, 9/11 and resulting War on Terror. [Perle, Feith, Gaffney] Suspected Soviet Cell Wrote Reagan's Long-Term Strategy
Jeffrey Steinberg Jackson - Vanik amendment
Jackson organized the political movement to link trade and emigration in America's relations with the Soviet Union in concert with Jewish activists, but he soon took matters into his own hands. Jackson drafted what would become the Jackson–Vanik amendment in the summer of 1972 and introduced it to the Ninety-second Congress on October 4, 1972. Jackson's efforts, rooted in his own domestic political calculations and ideological distrust of and antipathy toward the Soviet Union, complicated the Nixon White House's pursuit of Detente, which it had worked on since 1969. However, three-quarters of the Senate co-sponsored the amendment, neutralizing opposition from President Nixon.
Jackson's staffer Richard Perle said in an interview that the idea belonged to Jackson, who believed that the right to emigrate was the most powerful among the human rights in certain respects: "if people could vote with their feet, governments would have to acknowledge that and governments would have to make for their citizens a life that would keep them there." While there was some opposition, the American Jewish establishment on the whole and Soviet Jewry activists (particularly the Washington Committee for Soviet Jewry and the National Conference on Soviet Jewry) supported the amendment...
Soviet Union
At first the Jackson–Vanik amendment did little to help free Soviet Jewry. The number of exit visas declined after the passing of the amendment. However, in the late 1980s Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to comply with the protocols of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Lazin (2005) states that scholars differ on how effective the amendment was in helping Soviet Jews. Some argue that it helped bring the plight of Soviet Jews to the world's attention, while others believe it hindered emigration and decreased America's diplomatic bargaining power.
Since 1975 more than 500,000 refugees, large numbers of whom were Jews, evangelical Christians, and Catholics from the former Soviet Union, have been resettled in the United States. An estimated one million Soviet Jews have immigrated to Israel in that time.
Jackson-Vanik also led to great changes within the Soviet Union. Other ethnic groups subsequently demanded the right to emigrate, and the ruling Communist Party had to face the fact that there was widespread dissatisfaction with its governance
Russia
In 2003, Vladimir Putin pursued an economic agenda for Russia to begin normalized trade relations with the West which included Russia joining the European Union and the repeal of the Jackson-Vannik amendment. Putin tried to use his relationships with both the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was the head of the European Union's Council in 2003, to gain Russia's membership in the European Union, and also Hank Greenberg, who was the chairman and CEO of the American International Group (AIG), to repeal the Jackson-Vannik provisions in the United States.[20] Putin wished for Greenberg to support through Greenberg's AIG greater development of the nascent Russian home-mortgage market.
On November 16, 2012 the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would repeal the Jackson–Vanik amendment for Russia and Moldova. After approval by the Senate, the law repealing the effects of the Jackson–Vanik amendment on Russia and Moldova was signed together with Magnitsky bill by President Barack Obama on December 14, 2012.
Excerpt from Robert Friedman's Red Mafiya -
America's gates were opened to Jewish mobsters by the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which withheld most-favored-nation status from Marxist countries that restricted Jewish emigration. According to Mr. Friedman, the Soviets were happy to oblige during the 1970s by "emptying their jails of thousands of hard-core criminals, dumping vast numbers of undesirables" on an unsuspecting United States. More than 40,000 Soviet Jews settled in Brighton Beach which soon became the seat of the "Organisatsiya," the new Jewish mob. Initially assisted by the Genovese crime family and the politically astute and well-connected Jewish rabbi Ronald Greenwald, the Jewish mobsters, some of whom have Ph.D.s in mathematics, physics and engineering, as well as MBAs, quickly expanded their operations to include bank fraud, money laundering, Medicare and insurance fraud, counterfeiting, drug dealing, natural gas bootlegging - scams which netted billions of dollars. The mob has even infiltrated the National Hockey League through its intimidation of Russian and Ukrainian players. The Soviet mole network running U.S. counterintelligence
At the very beginning of 1988, a purported "official CIA evaluation" of the Jonathan Jay Pollard spy case surfaced among senior French intelligence officers. The essential conclusion of the dossier, according to French officials who directly reviewed it, was that the Pollard case showed only that "one or two" KGB agents had infiltrated Israeli intelligence. No higher-level problems were shown to exist within the Mossad. The purported document went on to say, that while senior Israeli officials, including Ariel Sharon and Rafael "Dirty Rafi" Eytan, would be cut off from continued collaboration with their American counterparts, there was no evidence suggesting that the pair were either Soviet "moles" or involved in any witting perfidy with Moscow. Whether or not the document was a bona fide CIA damage assessment, the evaluation, as reported, is a fraud. Not only was Jonathan Jay Pollard merely one small fish in an extensive Soviet "false flag" espionage ring run through the highest levels of Israeli intelligence; the same ring, operating principally through Israeli and social democratic channels, has successfully penetrated the inner sanctums of the Reagan administration's counterintelligence apparatus. The "CIA document" bears mentioning, because it perhaps provides a clue to the identities of some of the "bigger fish"-American and Israeli-who are still in place, attempting to "damage control" the continuing search for "other Pollards. " The Israeli spy network that Jonathan Pollard left behind
Joseph Brewda Sanhedrin Asks Putin and Trump to Build Third Temple in Jerusalem
Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz The Nascent Sanhedrin is calling on Russian President Vladmir Putin and US president-elect Donald Trump to join forces and fulfill their Biblically-mandated roles by rebuilding the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman for the Sanhedrin, contacted Breaking Israel News to announce that the election of Trump, who has promised to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, coupled with Putin's expressed desire for the Temple to be rebuilt, prompted the Jewish court to send a letter offering the two the opportunity to act as modern-day Cyrus figures: non-Jewish kings who recognize the importance of Israel and the Temple. Alexander Solzhenitsyn: 200 years together - English audiobook
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How One Man Influenced The Republican Party's Transformation Into The Grand Old Putin Party


Grant Stern Grant Stern's 10 part series on the Grand Old Putin Party. Part 1 - Prologue Part 2- Putin's Propagandist Eerily Predicted Trump's Relationship With General Flynn and Dana Rohrabacher Last Year Part 3- Putin's Favorite Congressman Secretly Met With Paul Manafort After The FBI Warned Russian Agents Were Recruiting Him Part 4- The GOP's Favorite Russian Professor Spent Decades Building Conservative Ties To Moscow Part 5- American University In Moscow: Linked To Russian State, But Fake Like TrumpU Part 6- Here's Lozansky Introducing Republicans To The Father Of Russian Foreign Intelligence -- And Putin's Mentor Part 7- Soviet Human Rights Activists Believed Lozansky Worked With Russian Intelligence Part 8- From Orange Revolution To "Stars And Stripes Revolution" Part 9- Opinion: Edward Lozansky's Russia Lobby Compromised The Republican Party Part 10- Opinion: Without Ed Lozansky, Trump-Russia Could Not Have Happened Communism Among Jewish Children in Russia Nov 5, 1924
The Communist Child Movement, according to figures published here, includes 7,000 organized Jewish children in the Ukraine and 2,000 in White Russia. The work among the Jewish "pioneers", as they are called, is conducted exclusively in the Yiddish language. There are five detachments of Jewish "pioneers" in Witebsk, three in Homel, a Jewish "pioneer" base in Minsk, and scores of detachments in Odessa and Kiev. "Pioneer" clubs are attached to the schools, children's homes and workshops. A proposal is now made for the publication of a special Yiddish magazine for the Communist Child Movement. Freiheit Calls on Jews to Desert Zionism, Back Soviets Nov 9, 1930
Calling upon the Jewish workers to desert the Zionist cause and to fight for Soviet Russia and Communism, an editorial in Friday's Freiheit, New York Yiddish Communist organ, enumerates what it alleges to be Jewish failures in Palestine with regard to land settlement, and contrasts this with what it regards as the great success of Jewish land settlement in Russia within recent years.
"During the past five years the Soviet Union has settled three hundred thousand Jews on the land," says the editorial. "During the coming five years it will build a large new settlement in Bira-Bidjan. Wherever Jews live in compact masses the whole governmental apparatus is conducted in Yiddish. If great Jewish masses will come to Bira-Bidjan a Soviet Republic will be organized there.
"All this is being done by the Soviet Republic without noise, without trumpeting; it is part of the general work of building up the country. The Jews in the Soviet Union have equal rights together with all citizens. Jewish books and periodicals are being issued at the expense of the government. Anti-Semitism is being uprooted with an iron hand.
"In Palestine it is just the opposite. There during the past fifty years hundreds of millions of dollars have poured in, nevertheless only about twenty thousand Jews are settled upon the land. There everything is kept up by philanthropy, and there is no room for a large Jewish population. There the ruler is the British imperialistic power which has encouraged pogroms and which now declares openly that it will give the Jews no governmental power in Palestine. There Jews are being settled upon alien soil from which the peasants are being driven off by force, although they have been living there scores and hundreds of years. There a poisonous hatred on the part of the local population towards the aliens who come with the bayonet and the dollar exists, and the masses have already revolted against the alien oppressors."
"Down with Zionism! Long live the Soviet Union!" JEWS CREATED COMMUNISM
Dewey (Buddy) Tucker THE JEWS AND THE COMMUNIZATION OF RUSSIA
Elizabeth Dilling Very few people are aware of the extent to which Jews were responsible for the Communization of Russia, first through organizing of the unsuccessful revolution of 1905, and then the later and successful Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Both were heavily financed by outside Jewish financial and banking houses, and ultimately resulted in Jews assuming control of what had become the Russian Soviet Government. Concurrently, Jewish machinations in the United States, Germany and elsewhere helped set the stage for the take-over. The Three Holodomor Genocides
"You must understand. The leading Bolsheviks who took over Russia were not Russians. They hated Russians. They hated Christians. Driven by ethnic hatred they tortured and slaughtered millions of Russians without a shred of human remorse. The October Revolution was not what you call in America the "Russian Revolution." It was an invasion and conquest over the Russian people. More of my countrymen suffered horrific crimes at their bloodstained hands than any people or nation ever suffered in the entirety of human history. It cannot be understated. Bolshevism was the greatest human slaughter of all time. The fact that most of the world is ignorant of this reality is proof that the global media itself is in the hands of the perpetrators." Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), Nobel-Prize-winning novelist, historian and victim of Jewish Bolshevism (Marxism). Woodrow Wilson And The Zionist Network
Infographic highlighting the Zionist influence surrounding Woodrow Wilson, his rise to power and historical events during his presidency and the role of the Zionist powers in the creation of WW1, WW2, creation of the Federal Reserve system, Bolshevik Revolution, Great Depression etc. Geneva Versus Peace
Comte de Saint-Aulaire Comte de Saint-Aulaire, French Ambassador to Great Britain in the 1920s, discussed his meetings with Kuhn, Loeb, & Co. financiers. They had discussions regarding why they [the Kuhn, Loeb, &; Co. bankers] financed the Bolshevik Revolution. One of them said (p. 80): "You say that Marxism is the very antithesis of capitalism, which is equally sacred to us. It is precisely for this reason that they are direct opposites to one another, that they put into our hands the two poles of this planet and allow us to be its axis. These two contraries, like Bolshevism and ourselves, find their identity in the International. These opposites, which are at the antipodes to one another in society and in their doctrines meet again in the identity of their purpose and end, the remaking of the world from above by the control of riches, and from below by revolution. Our mission consists in promulgating the new law and in creating a God, that is to say in purifying the idea of God and realizing it, when the time shall come. We shall purify the idea by identifying it with the nation of Israel, which has become its own Messiah. The advent of it will be facilitated by the final triumph of Israel, which has become it's own Messiah."
This same financier also said (pp. 83-84):
"our essential dynamism makes use of the forces of destruction and forces of creation, but uses the first to nourish the second. Our organization for revolution is evidenced by destructive Bolshevism and for construction by the League of Nations which is also our work. Bolshevism is the accelerator and the League is the brake on the mechanism of which we supply both the motive force and the guiding power. What is the end? It is already determined by our mission. It is formed of elements scattered throughout the whole world, but cast in the flame of our faith in ourselves. We are a League of Nations which contains the elements of all others." Israeli support for anti-Ukrainian separatists of "Novorussia"
Sean Jobst Eurasianists and Nazbols link Ukraine with Israel, ignoring Putin's close alliance with Israel and the central involvement of hardcore Zionists like Avigdor Eskin in Dugin's networks. They rewrite this narrative to deceive Western dissidents opposed to Zionism and Jewish power, into signing off on their own anti-Ukrainian subversion. Their efforts to enlist support for separatists who openly proclaim themselves a Communist "People's Republic", include bizarre claims that have been refuted by no less a figure as Donetsk leader Denis Pushilin, who openly touts himself as "Chairman of the Soviet" while his fighters brandish Soviet flags and include many foreign Communists. Borscht Belt: Will Israel Spurn America for Russia?
Lincoln Mitchell FOR MOST OF LAST YEAR, THE WEST STRUGGLED TO find an appropriate response to Russia's incursions into Crimea and eastern and southern Ukraine. Many European and North American governments strongly condemned Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, but Israel has been noticeably silent.
In the past, Israel has been similarly mum on Russian aggression -- or worse. In 2008, when the Russia-Georgia war began, Israel cut its previously substantial military support for Georgia and withdrew its military advisors.
Why has Israel declined to slap Russia? Because the Jewish state may someday need Russia as a powerful ally if relations with the U.S. wither -- something that's not an immediate risk but not necessarily unthinkable . The Partition Plan, November 29, 1947: Soviet Support for Establishing Israel in Perspective
Alex Grobman Given the Soviet Union's avowed hostility to Zionism, the Soviet vote "came as a great surprise, as a bombshell," recounted Moshe Sharett, then head of the Jewish Agency's political department. When May Day Was a Major Event in Israel
Armin Rosen It wasn't just that Stalin's Red Army had liberated Auschwitz, or that "the Soviets had shipped Czech weapons to the IDF in 1948" and supported Jewish statehood at a crucial moment, including in the United Nations partition vote in 1947. The ties went deeper than any political alliance: For many, Zionism was an avowedly secular pro-labor movement with the same utopian aims as Communism itself. As Halevi writes, the logo of the newspaper for the Hashomer Hatzair Marxist Zionist movement translated to "For Zionism -- For Socialism -- For the Fraternity of Nations."
May Day was a major event for some Israeli communities, outranking most of the Jewish holidays in importance. Stalin's Jews
Sever Plocker We mustn't forget that some of greatest murderers of modern times were Jewish Back in the USSR?
David Horovitz Chabad's chief rabbi The Jewish leader closest to Putin is Chabad's Berel Lazar, one of Russia's two chief rabbis, a Milan-born, New York-ordained emissary, who first came here in the late 1980s on several trips to teach Judaism to refuseniks and was then appointed by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, to help revive and strengthen the Jewish community as the Soviet Union entered its death throes in 1990.
A father of 12 aged 49, with a graying beard and the trademark Chabad warmth -- he immediately invites me for Shabbat dinner when we meet -- Lazar works from a book-lined sixth-floor office in the Moscow Jewish Community Center building that houses his now-thriving Maryina Roshcha District synagogue.
When he arrived, Lazar recalls, there was "an underground" of people leading a return to Judaism. By 1989 Mikhail Gorbachev had granted "unofficial permission to open a school and a yeshiva." And when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, most everyone whose Judaism was important to them was leaving. "The place was emptying out. The Israeli embassy was sure there'd be no Jews left," says Lazar. "They laughed at us as we tried to fix up synagogues. It was a conveyor belt: come to shul, learn Hebrew, go to Israel. No one thought there'd be a future here." Putin Welcomes Kissinger: 'Old Friends' to Talk Shop
Ellen Berry Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin will meet Friday with former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger to discuss world affairs, including elections in Russia and the United States, said Mr. Putin's press secretary, Dmitri S. Peskov.
Mr. Peskov said Mr. Kissinger requested the meeting in late November or early December. The two men are "old friends" who have met 8 or 10 times over the years, once dining at Mr. Kissinger's home in New York, he said. Mr. Peskov said Mr. Putin was interested in Mr. Kissinger's counsel about domestic politics, among other subjects.
"He values everyone's point of view, and especially such a wise man as Henry Kissinger," Mr. Peskov said. Alexander Dugin - The one Russian linking Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Henry Meyer, Onur Ant Dugin, who's been described as everything from an occult fascist to a mystical imperialist, lost his prestigious job running the sociology department at Moscow State University in 2014 after activists accused him of encouraging genocide. Thousands of people signed a petition calling for his removal after a rant in support of separatists in Ukraine in which he said, "kill, kill, kill." What is Duginism and why it matters
Youtube video by Freedom Alternative. Duginist publication calls Russians and Jews "chosen peoples"
Sean Jobst The volume was part of an effort to strengthen ties between the Eurasianist movement and Chabad and far-right-wing Zionist movements, approvingly quoting one of Bromberg's contemporaries (Lev Karsavin, who greeted the Soviet regime) about the "primordial tie between the Jewish people and Russia". Dugin has praised the predominant Jewish role in Bolshevism as representing a continued "positive" Jewry, that can now contribute to "the general struggle against Western culture" and to the founding of the "Great Eurasian Empire". He extolled "messianic national-bolshevism" as "the spiritual union of Jewish and Russian eurasianists". Rise of the NazBols
MAGA OPUS Bitchute video. Holocaust Deniers in Russia Now Face Five Years in Prison
ussian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Monday making the denial of Nazi crimes and distortion of the Soviet Union's role in the World War Two a criminal offence punishable by up to five years in jail.
The law, described by critics as an attempt to curb freedom of expression to appease conservative Russians, the ex-KGB spy's main support base, also criminalises the public desecration of war memorials.
The Kremlin has used World War Two as a pillar to unite a society that Putin has said lost its moral bearings following the 1991 Soviet collapse.
It has become increasingly risky for Russians to dispute an official line that glorifies the wartime achievements of the Soviet leadership and plays down its errors.
The new law would ban "wittingly spreading false information about the activity of the USSR during the years of World War Two". LIFE AFTER PUTIN: THE JARED KUSHNER OF RUSSIA
Fiona Zublin The putative son-in-law is the son of Nikolay Shamalov, one of Putin's longtime friends and hockey buddies. "Putin made Shamalov Jr. a billionaire and effected a transfer of wealth to the next generation," Dawisha says. Nikolay is also a shareholder in Rossiya Bank -- described by the BBC as the "personal bank" of Russian oligarchs -- and was sanctioned by the U.S. and EU after tensions mounted over the annexation of Crimea in 2014, along with several other Russian banks and businessmen. Former Israeli double agent shot dead near Putin's office
Andrew Osborn in Moscow and Adrian Blomfield in Jerusalem Shabtai Kalmanovich, a former Israeli double agent who penetrated Golda Meir's government on behalf of the KGB, has been shot dead in Moscow.
Kalmanovich, who later became a prominent businessman and allegedly had links with the Russian mafia, died after an unidentified gunman fired at least 20 shots into his chauffeur-driven Mercedes Benz. Mr Kalmanovich's driver was seriously wounded in the incident.
"Kalmanovich had practically no chance of surviving," a police official was quoted as saying by Russia's Interfax news agency. "He died on the spot from numerous gun wounds." A figure with a colourful if chequered past, Kalmanovich and his Jewish family immigrated to Israel from Lithuania in 1971.
After becoming an Israeli citizen, he joined the Israeli Labour Party, was appointed to a position in the government press office and became a mole for the KGB. Robert Maxwell, Israel's Superspy: The Life and Murder of a Media Mogul
Robert Younes Was Robert Maxwell a Soviet spy? FBI files reveal US fears the media mogul was working for Russia
Rob Cooper Stalin & Secret Diaries: "Soviet Involvement in the Creation of the State of Israel"
The Maisky Diaries ed by Gabriel Gorodetsky, review: 'a spectacular find'
Nicholas Shakespeare n February 1953, two weeks before Stalin's death, Ivan Maisky, Soviet ambassador to London from 1932 to 1943, was arrested and accused of being a British spy. Interrogated 36 times in his Lubyanka cell, the stocky exdiplomat was detained for two years without books, pen or paper.
Rehabilitated in 1960 and desperate to write his memoirs, he was granted one year of limited access to his personal archive, which included the 1,500-page diary Maisky had kept while in London, when he enjoyed automatic access to the chief personalities of the day.
Published in the Sixties and written under the twin clouds of purges and censorship, his memoirs were apologetic, misleading and selective - and not terribly interesting. Then, in 1993, the historian Gabriel Gorodetsky discovered Maisky's original diary in the Russian Foreign Ministry. "Spiced with anecdotes and gossip", this differed radically from the official version. Its candid depictions of the British political and social scene reminded Gorodetsky of Samuel Pepys. Harry Hopkins, Soviet agent
But there are still many people alive who can remember when the chief confidant of President Franklin Roosevelt was a man named Harry Hopkins. And they will be understandably astonished to learn that in a message dated May 29, 1943, Iskhak Akhmerov, the chief Soviet "illegal" agent in the United States at the time, referred to an Agent 19 who had reported on discussions between Roosevelt and Winston Churchill in Washington at which the agent had been present. Only Harry Hopkins meets the requirements for this agent's identity. Small wonder that Akhmerov, in a lecture in Moscow in the early 1960s, identified Hopkins by name as "the most important of all Soviet wartime agents in the United States." It took 50 years to bludgeon Alger Hiss' defenders into admitting that this suave bureaucrat, who rose to be chief of the State Department's Office of Special Political Affairs, had actually been a Soviet agent all along. And it will probably take another 50 to force Franklin Roosevelt's admirers to concede that their hero's closest confidant and adviser was yet another Soviet agent. But the documents and the testimony are now on the public record, and they make it plain that those of us who sounded the warning about Soviet espionage and policy subversion 50 years ago didn't know the half of it. The Resumption Of Russian-"Israeli" Free Trade Talks Proves Ties Are Fantastic
Andrew Korybko No, Russian-"Israeli" ties aren't in a state of "crisis" after the latter bombed Syria earlier this month, but are actually enjoying an unprecedented flourishment that won't be offset by whatever happens in the Arab Republic, and Moscow might even tie Tel Aviv into the same multilateral free trade area that has recently expanded to include Iran.
"Israel's" bombing of Syria earlier this month predictably prompted many in the Alt-Media to declare that this time Russia will surely 'teach its ally a lesson' by openly turning into the 'anti-Zionist crusader state' that their dogma has indoctrinated them into imagining that it's been this entire time. They were, as is becoming the norm, totally wrong, and three specific events prove that ties between the two sides aren't in a state of "crisis" but are rather flourishing, with the latest milestone in their relationship being the resumption of free trade talks. Israel and Russia are NOT on the verge of war. They are allies!

Andrew Korybko The alternative media community, especially its social media iteration, is experiencing collective psychosis in hallucinating that "Israel" and Russia are on the verge of war with one another.
The prevailing narrative is that Israeli "Defense Minister" Lieberman's threat to destroy Syria's air defense systems is tantamount to a declaration of war against Russia, with the assumption being that Moscow is on a crusade against Zionism and has thus become Tel Aviv's worst enemy.
There's no diplomatic way to say this, but the presumptions on which such a crazy conclusion has been reached are absolutely and utterly wrong.
Far from being Israel's hated nemesis like many in the alternative media community wishfully pretend that it is, Moscow is one of Tel Aviv's closest allies, and this is entirely due to President Putin's deliberate policies. Not only does he enjoy a very strong personal friendship with Netanyahu, but President Putin also sees a lot of opportunity to advance his country's interests in Israel through the large Russian diaspora there. Does anyone still seriously think that Russia and Israel aren't allies
Andrew Korybko Russian Oil Giant Rosneft Expands in Middle East
Russia's state-owned oil company Rosneft has begun to expand its operations in the Middle East with deals in Libya and Iraq, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday.
Rosneft, which is run by Putin ally Igor Sechin, struck a deal to purchase an undisclosed amount of crude oil from the Libyan National Oil Corp on Monday. The deal will also allow the Russian company to invest in exploration and production in the volatile North African country.
The chairman of National Oil Corp welcomed the deal, saying it would help to stabilize the warring country's economy.
"We need the assistance and investment of major international oil companies to reach our production goals and stabilize our economy," NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement.
Rosneft announced on the same day it had struck a deal with authorities of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq to purchase oil until 2019. The deal with Kurdish authorities will also allow the Russian company to invest in exploration and production. REPORT: MAJORITY OF ISRAELI OIL IMPORTED FROM KURDISTAN
Sharon Udasin On Sunday night, The Financial Times reported that Israel had imported as much as 77 percent of its oil supply from Kurdistan in recent months, bringing in some 19 million barrels between the beginning of May and August 11. During that period, more than a third of all northern Iraqi exports, shipped through Turkey's Ceyhan port, went to Israel, with transactions amounting to almost $1b., the report said, citing "shipping data, trading sources and satellite tanker tracking."
Nonetheless, Dr. Amit Mor, CEO of the Eco Energy Financial and Strategic Consulting firm, confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that "for some time, Kurdish oil [has been arriving] to the Ashkelon petroleum port." In all likelihood, he explained, the oil was being stored at the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Company facilities for commercial reasons, by international trading firms and investors. Israel's refineries may then be purchasing the oil from the international companies, he added.
Importing Kurdish oil could be beneficial to Israel from both geostrategic and economic perspectives, according to Mor.
"Although I don't think the Kurds are having major difficulties in exporting their oil these days, it is very sensible for the Israeli refineries to purchase Kurdish oil via Turkey's Ceyhan petroleum port, as it takes only one day of sailing for oil tankers to reach the Ashkelon petroleum port. Such is also the case for [Azerbaijani] oil," he said. The Truth about Oil and the Iraq War, 15 Years Later
Gary Vogler The oil agenda I discovered and experienced was to supply Iraq oil to Israel. The players were the neoconservatives in the Bush Administration, their favorite Iraqi – Dr Ahmed Chalabi and the Israeli government. One of the motives was because Israel was paying a huge premium for its oil imports and this premium had just started in the late1990s. The agenda called for the reopening of the old Kirkuk to Haifa pipeline and its significant expansion. When this pipeline plan became unattainable in the 2nd half of 2003 then Chalabi took other actions to get inexpensive Iraqi oil to Israel.
A much more credible explanation for intentionally destroying the Syrian export pipeline than what Secretary Rumsfeld told the NY Times was found in the British press. The Guardian, a London newspaper, quoted a retired CIA agent just after the Syria pipeline attack. "It has long been a dream of a powerful section of the people now driving the Bush administration and the war in Iraq to safeguard Israel's energy supply. Russia is suspected of deploying troops to Libya, but what's Moscow's play in this muddy conflict?
"Vladimir Putin wants to make the war-torn North African country 'his new Syria.'" Citing sources in British intelligence, the tabloid claimed that Russia has already embedded "dozens" of GRU agents and Spetsnaz troops in eastern Libya, and established two military bases in the coastal towns of Tobruk and Benghazi, supposedly using the Wagner private military group as "cover." Russian Kalibr anti-ship missiles and S-300 air-defense systems are also reportedly on the ground in Libya. The tabloid's sources claimed that the Kremlin has sided with the warlord General Khalifa Haftar in an effort to "seize control of the country's coastline." This would allegedly give Russia the power to unleash a "fresh tidal wave of migrants" across the Mediterranean "like a tap."
note - Khalifa Belqasim Haftar studied in Egypt and the Soviet Union, also at the M.V. Frunze Military Academy. He is a fluent Russian speaker. In 1969, Haftar took part in the coup that brought Muammar Gaddafi to power and overthrew the monarchy. 9/11 inside job "impossible to conceal," says Vladimir Putin
"Claims that the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 were orchestrated by US intelligence agencies are "complete nonsense," Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told attendees of a youth forum" How the War on Terrorism Did Russia a Favor

Simon Shuster "Putin, who had been the first to call Bush with his sympathy after learning of the 9/11 attacks, graciously offered to help with the invasion of Afghanistan" Putin: Russia warned U.S. of Iraq terror
"Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country warned the United States several times that Saddam Hussein's regime was planning terror attacks on the United States and its overseas interests" REPORT: IRAN ACCUSES RUSSIA OF GIVING ISRAEL CODES FOR SYRIAN AIR DEFENSES
Yasser Okbi, Maariv Hashavua According to the source, Damascus and Tehran "were shocked" every time the Russian-made air defense system did not work to defend Syria's airspace, or even give notification that the air space had been penetrated in order to evacuate outposts prior to the airstrike. The systems are supposed to identify the takeoff of Israeli Air Force jets from their bases because of the small distance between the countries and is even supposed to attempt to target the planes and any missiles that are fired from them.
According to the source, three weeks ago, during Iranian military maneuvers, Iranian engineers hacked into the codes of the S-300, but when the Bavar-373 was not working in conjunction with the Russian air defense system the experiment was suspended.
The source said further that the Iranian Defense Ministry sent several engineers to Syria to change the codes of the air defense system that was under the control of the Syrian army, without Moscow's knowledge. "They succeeded in changing some of the codes last month and therefore when the Israel fighter jets took off from their bases - the air defense system succeeded in identifying them and firing interceptor missiles at them and at the missiles they had launched." Russia canceled S-300 deal with Assad, report says
Ron Friedman Despite official statements to the contrary, Russia will not transfer a shipment of advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, an unnamed senior Russian official has told London's Sunday Times.
According to Sunday's report, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin of the risk such a deal posed to regiona