Smith briskly takes a sledgehammer to any number of plaster saints
cluttering up the edifice of modern economics:
"assumptions that are patently ridiculous: that individuals are rational and
utility-maximizing (which has become such a slippery notion as to be meaningless), that buyers
and sellers have perfect information, that there are no transaction costs, that capital flows
And then...papers with cooked figures, economists oblivious to speculative factors
driving oil prices, travesty versions of Keynes's ideas that airbrush out its most characteristic
features in the name of mathematical tractability.
And then...any number of grand-sounding theoretical constructs: the Arrow-Debreu
theorem, the Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium model, the Black-Scholes option model, Value
at Risk, CAPM, the Gaussian copula, that only work under blatantly unrealistic assumptions that
go by high falutin' names - equilibrium, ergodicity, and so on.
The outcome of this pseudo-scientific botching is an imposing corpus of pretentious
quackery that somehow elevates unregulated "free markets" into the sole mechanism for distribution
of the spoils of economic activity. We are supposed to believe that by some alchemical process,
maximum indulgence of human greed results in maximum prosperity for all. That's unfair to alchemy:
compared with the threadbare scientific underpinnings of this economic dogma, alchemy is a model
How many others are being paid for punditry? Or has the culture of corruption
spread so far that the question is, Who isn't?
PAUL KRUGMAN, NYT, December 19, 2005
"MIT and Wharton and University of Chicago created the financial engineering instruments
which, like Samson and Delilah, blinded every CEO. They didn't realize the kind of leverage they
were doing and they didn't understand when they were really creating a real profit or a fictitious
Neoclassical economics as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy
There are many
good reviews of the book published already and I don't want to repeat them. But I think there
is one aspect of the book that was not well covered in the published reviews and which I think
is tremendously important and makes the book a class of its own: the use of neoclassical economics
as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy. I hope that the term "econned" will became
a new word in English language.
Neoclassical economics has become the modern religion with its own priests, sacred texts and
a scheme of salvation. It was a successful attempt to legitimize the unlimited rule of financial
oligarchy by using quasi-mathematical, oversimplified and detached for reality models. The net
result is a new brand of theology, which proved to be pretty powerful in influencing people and
capturing governments("cognitive regulatory capture"). Like Marxism, neoclassical economics is
a triumph of ideology over science. It was much more profitable though: those who were the most
successful in driving this Trojan horse into the gates were remunerated on the level of Wall Street
Economics is essentially a political science. And politics is about perception. Neo-classical
economics is all about manipulating the perception in such a way as to untie hands of banking
elite to plunder the country (and get some cramps from the table for themselves). Yves contributed
to our understanding how "These F#@king Guys" as Jon Steward defined them, economics professors
from Chicago, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton and some other places warmed by flow of money from
banks for specific services provided managed to serve as a fifth column helping Wall Street to
plunder the country. The rhetorical question that a special counsel to the U.S. Army, Joseph Welch,
asked Senator McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency?" applies.
The main effect of neoclassical economics is elevating unregulated ( "free" in neoclassic economics
speak) markets into the key mechanism for distribution of the results of economic activity with
banks as all-powerful middlemen and sedating any opposition with pseudo-mathematical mumbo-jumbo.
Complexity was used as a powerful smoke screen to conceal greed and incompetence. As a result
financial giants were able to loot almost all sectors of economics with impunity and without any
remorse, not unlike the brutal conquerors in Middle Ages.
The key to the success of this nationwide looting is that people should be brainwashed/indoctrinated
to believe that by some alchemical process, maximum level of greed results in maximum prosperity
for all. Collapse of the USSR helped in this respect driving the message home: look how the alternative
ended, when in reality the USSR was a neo-feudal society. But the exquisite irony here is that
Bolsheviks-style ideological brainwashing was applied very successfully to the large part of the
US population (especially student population) using neo-classical economics instead of Marxism
(which by-and-large was also a pseudo-religious economic theory with slightly different priests
and the plan of salvation ;-). The application of badly constructed mathematical models proved
to be a powerful tool for distorting reality in a certain, desirable for financial elite direction.
One of the many definitions of Ponzi Scheme is "transfer liabilities to unwilling others." The
use of detached from reality mathematical models fits this definition pretty well.
The key idea here is that neoclassical economists are not and never have been scientists: much
like Marxist economists they always were just high priests of a dangerous cult -- neoliberalism
-- and they are more then eager to stretch the truth for the benefit of the sect (and indirectly
to their own benefit). All-in-all this is not unlike Lysenkoism: state support was and still is
here, it is just working more subtly via ostracism, without open repressions. Look at Shiller
story on p.9.
I think that one of lasting insights provided by Econned is the demonstration how the US society
was taken hostage by the ideological views of the neoclassical economic school that has dominated
the field at least for 30 or may be even 50 years. And that this ideological coup d'état was initiated
and financed by banking establishment who was a puppeteer behind the curtain. This is not unlike
the capture of Russia by Bolsheviks supported by German intelligence services (and Bolshevics
rule lasted slightly longer -- 65 years). Bolsheviks were just adherents of similar wrapped in
the mantle of economic theory religious cult, abeit more dangerous and destructive for the people
of Russia then neoclassical economics is for the people of the USA. Quoting Marx we can say "History
repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce".
That also means that there is no easy way out of the current situation. Ideologies are sticky
and can lead to the collapse of society rather then peaceful evolution.
So it's no surprise that there is a strong evidence that neo-classical economics is not a science,
it's a political ideology of financial oligarchy masquerading as science. Or a religious cult,
if you wish.
So it's no surprise that there is a strong evidence that neo-classical economics is not
a science, it's a political ideology of financial oligarchy masquerading as science.
Or a religious cult, if you wish.
The cult which served as a Trojan horse for bankers to grab power and wealth by robbing fellow Americans.
In a way this is a classic story of a parasite killing the host. The powers that be in academia put
their imprimatur on economic ‘theory,’ select and indoctrinate its high priests to teach it, and with
a host of media players grinding out arguments pro and con this and that, provide legitimacy sufficient
for cover of bankers objectives. Which control the disposition and annuity streams of pension fund assets
and related financial services. In his new documentary
Inside Job, filmmaker
Charles Ferguson provides strong evidence of a systematic mass corruption of economic profession
Ferguson points to 20 years of deregulation, rampant greed (a
la Gordon Gekko) and cronyism. This cronyism is in large part due to a revolving door between
not only Wall Street and Washington, but also the incestuous relationship
between Wall Street, Washington and academia.
The conflicts of interest that arise when academics take on roles outside of education are largely
unspoken, but a very big problem. “The academic economics discipline has been very heavily penetrated
by the financial services industry,” Ferguson tells Aaron in the accompanying clip. “Many prominent
academics now actually make the majority of their money from the financial services industry, not
from teaching or research. [This fact] has definitely compromised the research work and the policy
advice that we get from academia.”
... ... ...
Feguson is astonished by the lack of regulation demanding financial disclosure of all academics
and is now pushing for it. “At a minimum, federal law should require
public disclosure of all outside income that is in any way related to professors’ publishing and
policy advocacy,” he writes. “It may be desirable to go
even further, and to limit the total size of outside income that potentially generates conflicts
The dismantling of economic schools that favor financial oligarchy interests over real research (and
prosecuting academic criminals -- many prominent professors in Chicago, Harvard, Columbia and other
prominent members of neo-classical economic church) require a new funding model. As neoliberalism itself,
the neoclassical economy is very sticky. Chances for success of any reform in the current environment
are slim to non existent.
Just like Mishkin analyzed Iceland for $120k? a huge proportion in US [are] on Fed payroll, or
beneficiaries of corporate thinktank cash; they are coverup lipstick and makeup;
hacks for hire.
Like truth-trashing mortgage pushers, credit raters, CDO CDS market manipulators and bribe-fueled
fraud enablers of all stripes -- they do it for the dough -- and because everybody else is doing
It's now a common understanding that "These F#@king Guys" as Jon Steward defined them, professors
of neoclassical economics from Chicago, Harvard and some other places are warmed by flow of money from
financial services industries for specific services provided managed to serve as a fifth column helping financial
oligarchy to destroy the country. This role of neo-classical economists as the fifth column of financial
oligarchy is an interesting research topic. Just don't expect any grants for it ;-).
As Reinhold Niebuhraptly noted in his classic Moral Man and Immoral Society
Since inequalities of privilege are greater than could possibly be defended rationally, the intelligence
of privileged groups is usually applied to the task of inventing specious proofs for the theory that
universal values spring from, and that general interests are served by, the special privileges which
I would like to stress it again: they are not and never have been scientists: they are just high
priests of dangerous cult -- neoliberalism -- and they are more then eager to stretch the truth for
the sect (and that means their own) benefits. Fifth column of financial oligarchy. All-in-all this is
not unlike Lysenkoism: at some point state support became obvious as financial oligarchy gained significant
share of government power (as Glass-Steagall
repealsignified). It is just more subtle working via ostracism and flow of funding, without
open repressions. See also
Politicization of science
and The Republican
War on Science
Like Russia with Bolsheviks, the US society was taken hostage by the ideological views of the Chicago
economic school that has dominated the field for approximately 50 years ( as minimum over 30 years).
Actually the situation not unlike the situation with Lysenkoism is the USSR. It's pretty notable that
the USA suffered 30 years of this farce, actually approximately the same amount of time the USSR scientific
community suffered from Lysenkoism (1934-1965)
"Over the past 30 years, the economics profession—in economics departments, and in business,
public policy, and law schools—has become so compromised by conflicts of interest that it now
functions almost as a support group for financial services and other industries whose profits
depend heavily on government policy.
The route to the 2008 financial crisis, and the economic problems that still plague us, runs
straight through the economics discipline. And it's due not just to ideology; it's also about
straightforward, old-fashioned money."
Peter Dormat noticed amazing similarity between
medical researchers taking money from drug companies and economists. In case of medical researchers
widespread corruption can at least be partially kept in check by rules of disclosure. Universities are
being called out for their failure to disclose to public agencies the other, private grants researchers
are pulling in. This is not perfect policing as the universities themselves get a cut of the proceeds,
so that the conflict of interest exists but at least this is theirs too.
But there is no corresponding policy for economics. So for them there are not even rules to be broken.
And this is not a bug, this is feature. In a sense corruption is officially institualized
and expected in economics. Being a paid shill is the typical career of many professional economists.
Some foundations require an acknowledgment in the published research they support, but that's all about
“thank you”, not disclaimer about the level of influence of those who pay for the music exert on the
selection of the tune. Any disclosure of other, privately-interested funding sources by economists is
strictly voluntary, and in practice seldom occurs. Trade researchers can be funded by foreign governments
or business associations and so on and so forth.
In this atmosphere pseudo-theories have currency and are attractive to economists who want to enrich
themselves. That situation is rarely reflected in mainstream press. For example, there some superficial
critiques of neo-classical economics as a new form of Lysenkoism (it enjoyed the support of the state)
but MSM usually frame the meltdown of neo-classical economic theory something like "To all you corrupt
jerks out there: shake off the old camouflage as it became too visible and find a new way misleading
the masses...". At the same time it's a real shocker, what a bunch of toxic theories and ideologies
starting from Reagan have done to the US economy.
That suggests that neo-economics such as Milton Friedman (and lower level patsies like
Fama ) were just paid propagandists of a superficial, uninformed, and simplistic view of the world
that was convenient to the ruling elite. While this is somewhat simplistic explanation, it's by-and-large
true and that was one of the factors led the USA very close to the cliff... Most of their theories is
not only just nonsense for any trained Ph.D level mathematician or computer scientist, they look like
nonsense to any person with a college degree, who looks at them with a fresh, unprejudiced mind. There
are several economic myths, popularized by well paid propagandists over the last thirty years, that
are falling hard in the recent series of financial crises: the efficient market hypothesis, the inherent
benefits of globalization from the natural equilibrium of national competitive advantages, and the infallibility
of unfettered greed as a ideal method of managing and organizing human social behavior and maximizing
I would suggest that and economic theory has a strong political-economic
dimension. The cult of markets, ideological subservience and manipulation, etc. certainly
are part of neo-classical economics that was influenced by underling political agenda this pseudo-theory
promotes. As pdavidsonutk
wrote: July 16, 2009 16:14
Keynes noted that "classical theorists resemble Euclidean geometers in a non Euclidean world who,
discovering that in experience straight lines apparently parallel often meet, rebuke the lines for
not keeping straight --as the only remedy for the unfortunate collisions. Yet in truth there is no
remedy except to throw over the axiom of parallels to work out a non-Euclidean geometry. SOMETHING
SIMILAR IS REQUIRED IN ECONOMICS TODAY. " [Emphasis added]
As I pointed out in my 2007 book JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES (Mentioned in this ECONOMIST article as a
biography "of the master") Keynes threw over three classical axioms: (1) the neutral money axiom
(2) the gross substitution axiom, and (3) the ergodic axiom.
The latter is most important for understanding why modern macroeconomics is dwelling in an Euclidean
economics world rather than the non-Euclidean economics Keynes set forth.
The Ergodic axiom asserts that the future is merely the statistical shadow of the past so that
if one develops a probability distribution using historical data, the same probability distribution
will govern all future events till the end of time!! Thus in this Euclidean economics there is no
uncertainty about the future only probabilistic risk that can reduce the future to actuarial certainty!
In such a world rational people and firms know (with actuarial certainty) their intertemporal budget
constrains and optimize -- so that there can never be an loan defaults, insolvencies, or bankruptcies.
Keynes argued that important economic decisions involved nonergodic processes, so
that the future could NOT be forecasted on the basis of past statistical
probability results -- and therefore certain human institutions had to be develop0ed
as part of the law of contracts to permit people to make crucial decisions regarding a future that
they "knew" they could not know and still sleep at night. When the future seems very uncertain, then
rational people in a nonergodic world would decide not to make any decisions to commit their real
resources -- but instead save via liquid assets so they could make decisions another day when the
future seemed to them less uncertain.
All this is developed and the policy implications derived in my JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES (2007) book.
Furthermore this nonergodic model is applied to the current financial and economic crisis and its
solution in my 2009 book THE KEYNES SOLUTION: THE PATH TO GLOBAL PROSPERITY (Palgrave/Macmillan)
where I tell the reader what Keynes would have written regarding today's domestic crisis in each
nation and its international aspects.
I think you could have written a shorter article to make your point about
the dismal state of economics theory and practice, and saved space to think more imaginatively
about ways to reform.
A bit like biology, economics must become econology - a study of real economic systems. It
must give up its physics-envy. This on its own will lead its practitioners closer to the truth.
Like biological systems, economic systems are complex, and often
exhibit emergent properties that cannot be predicted from the analysis of component parts.
The best way to deal with this is (as in biology) to start with the basic organizational unit
of analysis - the individual, and then study how the individual makes economic decisions in larger
and larger groups (family/community), and how groups take economic decisions within larger and
larger forms of economic organization. From this, econologists should determine whether there
are any enduring patterns in how aggregate economic decisions are taken. If there are no easily
discernable patterns, and aggregate decisions cannot be predicted from a knowledge of individual
decision-making preferences, then the theory must rely (as it does in biology) on computer simulations
with the economy replicated in as much detail as possible to limit the scope for modeling error.
This path will illuminate the "physiology" of different economies.
A second area of development must look into "anatomy" - the connections between actors within
the financial system, the connections between economic actors within the real economy, and the
connections between the real and financial economies. What are the precise links demand and supply
links between these groups, and how does money really flow through the economic system? A finer
knowledge of economic anatomy will make it easier to produce better computer simulations of the
economy, which will make it a bit easier to study economic physiology.
In her interview
What Exactly Is Neoliberalism Wendy Brown advanced some Professor Wolin ideas to a new level
and provide explanation why "neoclassical crooks" like Professor
Frederic Mishkin (of Financial Stability
in Iceland fame) still rule the economics departments of the USA. They are instrumental in
giving legitimacy to the neoliberal rule favoured by the financial oligarchy:
"... I treat neoliberalism as a governing rationality through which everything is "economized"
and in a very specific way: human beings become market actors and nothing but, every field of activity
is seen as a market, and every entity (whether public or private, whether person, business, or state)
is governed as a firm. Importantly, this is not simply a matter of extending commodification
and monetization everywhere-that's the old Marxist depiction of capital's transformation of everyday
life. Neoliberalism construes even non-wealth generating spheres-such as learning, dating, or exercising-in
market terms, submits them to market metrics, and governs them with market techniques and practices.
Above all, it casts people as human capital who must constantly tend to their own present and future
"... The most common criticisms of neoliberalism, regarded solely as economic policy rather than
as the broader phenomenon of a governing rationality, are that it generates and legitimates extreme
inequalities of wealth and life conditions; that it leads to increasingly precarious and disposable
populations; that it produces an unprecedented intimacy between capital (especially finance capital)
and states, and thus permits domination of political life by capital; that it generates crass and
even unethical commercialization of things rightly protected from markets, for example, babies, human
organs, or endangered species or wilderness; that it privatizes public goods and thus eliminates
shared and egalitarian access to them; and that it subjects states, societies, and individuals to
the volatility and havoc of unregulated financial markets. ..."
"... with the neoliberal revolution that homo politicus is finally vanquished as a fundamental
feature of being human and of democracy. Democracy requires that citizens be modestly oriented toward
self-rule, not simply value enhancement, and that we understand our freedom as resting in such self-rule,
not simply in market conduct. When this dimension of being human is extinguished, it takes with it
the necessary energies, practices, and culture of democracy, as well as its very intelligibility.
"... For most Marxists, neoliberalism emerges in the 1970s in response to capitalism's falling
rate of profit; the shift of global economic gravity to OPEC, Asia, and other sites outside the West;
and the dilution of class power generated by unions, redistributive welfare states, large and lazy
corporations, and the expectations generated by educated democracies. From this perspective, neoliberalism
is simply capitalism on steroids: a state and IMF-backed consolidation of class power aimed at releasing
capital from regulatory and national constraints, and defanging all forms of popular solidarities,
especially labor. ..."
"... The grains of truth in this analysis don't get at the fundamental transformation of social,
cultural, and individual life brought about by neoliberal reason. They don't get at the ways that
public institutions and services have not merely been outsourced but thoroughly recast as private
goods for individual investment or consumption. And they don't get at the wholesale remaking of workplaces,
schools, social life, and individuals. For that story, one has to track the dissemination of
neoliberal economization through neoliberalism as a governing form of reason, not just a power grab
by capital. There are many vehicles of this dissemination -- law, culture, and above all, the novel
political-administrative form we have come to call governance. It is through governance practices
that business models and metrics come to irrigate every crevice of society, circulating from investment
banks to schools, from corporations to universities, from public agencies to the individual. It is
through the replacement of democratic terms of law, participation, and justice with idioms of benchmarks,
objectives, and buy-ins that governance dismantles democratic life while appearing only to instill
it with "best practices." ..."
"... Progressives generally disparage Citizens United for having flooded the American electoral
process with corporate money on the basis of tortured First Amendment reasoning that treats corporations
as persons. However, a careful reading of the majority decision also reveals precisely the thoroughgoing
economization of the terms and practices of democracy we have been talking about. In the majority
opinion, electoral campaigns are cast as "political marketplaces," just as ideas are cast as freely
circulating in a market where the only potential interference arises from restrictions on producers
and consumers of ideas-who may speak and who may listen or judge. Thus, Justice Kennedy's insistence
on the fundamental neoliberal principle that these marketplaces should be unregulated paves the way
for overturning a century of campaign finance law aimed at modestly restricting the power of money
in politics. Moreover, in the decision, political speech itself is rendered as a kind of capital
right, functioning largely to advance the position of its bearer, whether that bearer is human capital,
corporate capital, or finance capital. This understanding of political speech replaces the idea of
democratic political speech as a vital (if potentially monopolizable and corruptible) medium for
public deliberation and persuasion. ..."
"... My point was that democracy is really reduced to a whisper in the Euro-Atlantic nations today.
Even Alan Greenspan says that elections don't much matter much because, "thanks to globalization
. . . the world is governed by market forces," not elected representatives. ..."
I find an attempt to elevate academic finance and economics to sciences by using
the word "scientism" to be bizarre. Finance models like CAPM, Black-Scholes and VAR all
rest on assumptions that are demonstrably false, such as rational investors and continuous
Economic analysis often uses the term ceteris paribus -- all other things being equal -- but all other
things are not equal. The worker Tesla employed might have found employment elsewhere; it may have
even been more stable, safer employment that did not entail payment in Tesla equity, that is
subject to some uncertainty as to its ultimate value.
To highlight this point, it may be helpful
to consider the economic activity generated by Tesla's competitors in California. These
competitors' operations are being impaired by Tesla's sale of deeply subsidized cars in the state.
While Tesla's competitors do not manufacture cars in the state, they account for
employing 140,596 jobs (that pay cash),
accounting for $8.56 billion in wages,
paying $9.38 billion in taxes, and
making $50 million of charitable contributions per year.
On a more minor point, the IHS Markit report assumes that the $2.1 billion in "wages" paid to
Tesla workers is spent in the California economy. As discussed above, the report includes in these
"wages" Tesla equity granted to employees without quantifying what percentage of wages this equity
represented. We are skeptical as to how many employees spent their Tesla stock to boost local
In reply to several commenters, who have questioned why "neoliberalism" is not simply
another name for the political expression/ambitions of the greed of the rich-and-powerful,
Although it serves the purposes of the rich-and-powerful rather well, I think
"neoliberalism" as a rhetorical engine and set of ideas is the ideology of the 9.9%, the
chattering classes of professionals and bureaucrats who need a cover story for their own
participation in running the world for the benefit of the 0.1% These are the people who need
to rationalize what they do and cooperate and coordinate among themselves and that's a
challenge because of their sheer numbers.
If you try to examine neoliberalism as a set of aims or values or interests, I think you
miss the great accomplishment of neoliberalism as a mechanism of social cooperation.
Neoliberalism says it aims at freedom and social welfare and innovation and other good
things. If neoliberalism said it aimed to make the richest 0.1% richer at the expense of
everyone else, it would provoke political opposition from the 99% for obvious reasons.
Including opposition from the 9.9% whom they need to run things, to run the state, run the
Not being clear on what your true objectives are tends to be an obstacle to organizing
large groups to accomplish those objectives. Being clear on the mission objective is a
prerequisite for organizational effectiveness in most circumstances. The genius of
neoliberalism is such that it is able to achieve a high degree of coordination in detail
across large numbers of people, institutions, even countries while still professing aims and
values to which few object. A high degree of coordination on implementing a political policy
agenda that is variously parasitical or predatory on the 90%.
You can say this is just hypocrisy of a type the rich have always engaged in, and that
would be true. The predatory rich have always had to disguise their predatory or parasitical
activity, and have often done so by embracing, for example, shows of piety or philanthropy.
So, neoliberalism falls into a familiar albeit broad category.
What distinguishes neoliberalism is how good it is at coordinating the activities of the
9.9% in delivering the goods for the 0.1%. For a post-industrial economy, neoliberalism is
better for the mega-rich than Catholicism was for the feudalism of the High Middle Ages. I do
not think most practicing neoliberals among the 9.9% even think of themselves as
"Free markets" has been the key move, the fulcrum where anodyne aims and values to which
no one can object meet the actual detailed policy implementation by the state. Creating a
"market" removes power and authority from the state and transfers it to private actors able
to apply financial wealth to managing things, and then, because an actual market cannot
really do the job that's been assigned, a state bureaucracy has to be created to manage the
administrative details and financial flows -- work for the 9.9%
As a special bonus, the insistence on treating a political economy organized in fact by
large public and private bureaucracies as if it is organized by and around "markets"
introduces a high degree of economic agnatology into the conventional political rhetoric.
[This comment sounded much clearer when I conceived of it in the shower this morning. I am
sorry if the actual comment is too abstract or tone deaf. I will probably have to try again
at a later date.]
Thanks to Friday's carefully crafted deep-state disclosures by WaPo and the Times , along
with actual reporting by the Daily Caller 's Chuck
Ross, we now know it wasn't a mole at all - but 73-year-old University of Cambridge professor
Stefan Halper, a US citizen, political veteran and longtime US Intelligence asset enlisted by
the FBI to befriend and spy on three members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 US election
I think Rudy's flipped seeking redemption for his role in 911.
The deep state is not going down quietly or without a fight and they are in full attack
mode. Multiple questionable instances yesterday to change news cycle, plus a week worths of
leaks by major media mouthpieces justifying their crimes.
What's great is they are so caught up in their nest of lies, each new lie just contradicts
previous ones and exposes more of the truth.
Now the question is: How do you bring these people to justice without starting a violent
backlash / Civil War?
The cognitive dissonance is very strong on the left and they've fallen victim to hive
mentality, simply regurgitating talking points they hear through pop culture and media. We
are so afraid of not fitting in (as a society) that we will willingly accept completely
contradicting "facts", defend them, and deride those who disagree. Further, there is no room
for disagreement, for they are the party of tolerance, and if you disagree with them, you are
intolerant, which cannot be tolerated in an open and free society (see how that works?).
The real hope is people are able to break the spell and think for themselves again. But I
worry it's too late. A generation of children assaulted with excessive vaccination are now
adults and it shows...
People in the USA better get a grip real fast and realize that it's not Russia, China or
Iran that is the real enemy of Americans, it's the British . . . the money gnomes in London
and the "Queens men". They've caused more problems for the USA in the last 100+ years than
the other three combined many times over.
Let's see. Money was exchanged, foreign govt agents and contractors hired. The FBI knew
about Hillary's criminal enterprises and illegal dissemination of classified documents and
apparently has been complicit in helping or protecting her. The NYT and WaPo along with the
network media regurgitated much of the anti-Trump rhetoric together in sync with the tsunami
of fake news, either in creating it or knowingly participating in it. No wonder the news
media in a sudden shift have been trying to paint themselves as now being on the other side
of this Russkie Fubar after they promoted it 24/7 for two years without let-up. What's the
penalty for trying to overthrow the President of the United States? Lots of folks here are
sitting on potential indictments for treason. Enough talk. With all they got from the
Congressional hearings, and now this, it's time!!!... for Trump to start draining.
Lemmings get what they deserve.
Almost always as the iron law of oligarchy implies. Period of
revolution and social upheaval are probably the only exceptions.
In 2018 there is no doubt that Trump is an agent of Deep State, and
probably the most militant part of neocons. What he the
agent from the beginning or not is not so important. He managed to
fool electorate with false promises like Obama before him and get
Ask yourself why Sessions ordered Rosenstein to resign and Trump
declined his resignation? Likely because Sessions was recused from
Russia investigation and could not be told Rosenstein was working for
Trump from day 1.
(Mueller also met with Trump the day before Rosenstein appointed him
Also relevant, Rosenstein is Republican and in 2007/8 was blocked
from getting a seat on appeals court by Dems. Doesn't seem he would be
loyal to the Obama crowd and trying to take down Trump with a phony
believe it. What's happened to the NYC detectives who viewed
the "insurance policy" on Weiner's laptop? The kiddie stuff is
the real hot potato here. The power "elite" are pure
Yes....when you start to add up various facts coming from this
investigation it is easy to argue that the prime beneficiary has
been Trump. Why would Trump even consider firing this guy? The
more Mueller digs the more crap surfaces about the Dems, and they
are in full support of it without any seeming awareness of the
results. They are so blinded by their hatred they cannot see
The info from Weiner's computer is really going to make for
major popcorn sales. All Hitlery's "lost" emails are in there. All
the names in his address book will also make for some interesting
reading. Just a guess but there are a lot of very nervous NYC
elected officials and pedos making sure their passports are up to
date. The Lolita Express to Gitmo....
You guys see everything through Trump colored glasses. Trump is dirty and just
because the evidence hasn't been shown to you doesn't mean it isn't there.
Mueller has the dirt on Trump. It will show. Does everyone here forget that
Watergate took 2 1/2 years to play out?
Being in the business he is in, there is little doubt that Trump has paid
out millions of dollars over the years in bribes and payoffs to greedy
politicians, regulators, and zoning commissioners given to filthy lucre in
return for building permits, zoning variances, and law changes.
I know he
is but what are they? This could be one reason the politicians, regulators,
and zoning commissioners hate him so much. He knows what they know.
Trump is no dirtier than other politicians and much less than some.
He is just dirty in a way (he was usually the payer, they were the payees)
that bothers the other ones.
Obama has a history of taking out his opponents in their personal life, so
that he doesnt have to meet them in the political arena, just look at his
state campaigns, and then his senate campaign. Look at how he used the
bureaucracy during his admin to preempt opposition, not allowing opposition
groups to get tax exempt status and sending osha/fbi/treasury etc to harrass
people that were more than marginally effective.
With that context set I would like to know the following.
1. Did the brennan/comey/clapper cabal have investigations running on all
the gop primary front runners?
2. Did they promote Trump to win the GOP primary, to eliminate those
rivals from consideration, just to attempt to destroy him in the general with
the russian collusion narrative and his own words.
3. Was Comey's failure to ensure Hillary's victory due to incompetence or
arrogance? I say arrogance, because his little late day announcement of the
new emails was obviously ass covering so that he could pass whatever senate
hearing that would be required for his new post in the hillary administration.
The illegitimate liberal MSM is sucking all the oxygen out of the room for
legitimate criticism of Trump. This Russian Collusion stormy daniels stuff is
a bunch of bologna, and it's making a smokescreen for Trump to carry out his
Hegelian dialectic, Divide and conquer, kabuki
For the most part I like Peter Schiff. I don't think he talks
enough about the criminal manipulation of commodities by the
banksters and the seemingly endless reluctance by our glorious
leaders to prosecute them.
On this topic: The lawlessness of
the 17 agencies is beyond the pale. They have set themselves
apart and for this they will have to pay eventually. I have no
doubt that in the minds of the Bureau principals there was motive
and there was opportunity. I don't believe anything that comes
out of their mouths. Robert Mueller is a three letter word for a
donkey. He is a criminal and a totally owned puppet of the deep
and dark state. Last I heard, the FBI planted a mole in the Trump
campaign. Iff true, that speaks volumes...
"although I am disappointed in some of his failings."...
Yeah I know
just what ya mean...
The treason of war crimes he's committed exceeding all of his
predecessor(s) in his short assed existence as President and threatening
war on two nuclear superpowers that could easily wipe his office and 4
thousand square miles of CONUS "
off the map
Endorsing a torturer murder to head the CIA condoning her efforts in
public "thumbing his nose" at Article 3 Geneva the U.S. Constitution and
for his military to tacitly continue disobeying the UCMJ as a response
to that "selection"!...
Telling the parasitic partner that owns him through blackmail that
Jerusalem is the Capital of IsraHell as over 200 Palestinians are
murdered and 3 thousand others injured in joyous celebration of that
violation of international law which is the equivalent of pouring
"gasoline" on a building that has already been reduced to "ash"...
They didn't really think things through when they plotted against Trump and
figured Hillary would win and they could sweep this under the rug and then she
lost. Funnier is that many expected her to lose as she never won an election
in her life despite her being "The Most Qualified" candidate as her parrots in
the media lovingly called her. Now Trump and his team will stomp them all into
the ground. My guess is that he'll pinch others in her gang who have big egos
so that they'll talk and drop a dime which they will. The libtards are turning
on themselves in every area now. Look at Hollywood and the sexual harassment
cases in the pipeline.
It's just so pleasurable watching your enemy fall on their sword while you
sit back and enjoy life and smile....
Was the Trump campaign "Set-up"? It's just another way the oligarchy
is deflecting what the real problem is. Americans are fed up with the
political status quo in this country, and wanted a change. Neither political
party offers any change for the better. It is also why Bernie Sanders had a
huge following, but no one is calling his campaign a "set-up", and he would
have been the more likely choice the Russians would have helped.
It really doesn't make any sense why the Russians would have selected
Trump, but it makes a lot of sense why the oligarchy would want to discredit
Trump any means availble to them. And since they have always hated Russia so
much, that is the big tip-off of who comes up with these stupid stories about
Russians meddling in our elections.
there needs to be a schedule drawn up of charges against individuals. it's
all very well talking and talking anf talking around the water cooler, but
until the charges are drawn up and a grand jury empowered, it is all
pissing into the wind.
the individuals range from obama through clinton,
through the loathsome slimebags in the alphabet soup, through foundations,
through DNC leaders/politicians, through Weiner, Abedin, Rice and the
witches cabal (Wasserstein Schulz etc), UK intel agencies, awan brothers,
pakistan intel supplying Iran with classified documents and so on.
there are charges (of treason, sedition, wilful mishandling of classifed
documents, bribery, corruption, murder, child trafficking, election
rigging, spying for/collusion with foreign powers, funding terrorism, child
abuse, election rigging/tampering, misappropriation of federal funds, theft
etc as well as general malfeasance, failure to perform duties and so on)
that are not being brought that are so obvious, only a snowflake would miss
what charges can be brought against the MSM for propaganda,
misdirection, lying, fabrication and attempting to ovetthrow a legitimately
elected president using these techniques to further their own ends? there
is no freedom of the press to lie and further civil unrest.
a list of charges against individuals in the DNC/alphabet soup is what
is needed. if the DoJ is so incompetent or corrupt that it is unable to do
its job, private law suits need to be brought to get all the facts out in
someone needs to write the book and make it butt hole shaped to shove up
all those that try to make a living out of making up gossip in the NYT,
WaPo, CNN, BBC, Economist, Madcow, SNL, Oliver and so on.
these people are guilty of being assholes and need their assholes
(mouths) plugged with a very think fifteen inch book.
I hope someone writes a book on this with all of the timing and all of the
"little" things that happened on the way to the coronation of Hillary.
Comey "interviews" Hillary on 4th of July weekend. Wraps up case by 9am
Tuesday after 4th of July. By noon, Hillary and Obama are on Air Force 1
to begin campaign. Within a few weeks Seth Rich is dead and DWS avoids
being "killed in an armed robbery gone bad" when she steps down as head of
DNC. Above article forgets to mention that GPS also hired the wife of
someone in the government as part of the "fact gathering" team.
"... On July 27, 2017 the House Judiciary Committee called on the DOJ to appoint a Special Counsel, detailing their concerns in 14 questions pertaining to "actions taken by previously public figures like Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton." ..."
"... On September 26, 2017 , The House Judiciary Committee repeated their call to the DOJ for a special counsel, pointing out that former FBI Director James Comey lied to Congress when he said that he decided not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton until after she was interviewed, when in fact Comey had drafted her exoneration before said interview. ..."
"... And now, the OIG report can tie all of this together - as it will solidify requests by Congressional committees, while also satisfying a legal requirement for the Department of Justice to impartially appoint a Special Counsel. ..."
"... Who cares how many task forces, special prosecutors, grand juries, commissions, or other crap they throw at this black hole of corruption? We all know the score. The best we can hope for is that the liberals and neo-cons are embarrassed enough to crawl under a rock for awhile, and it slows down implementation of their Orwellian agenda for a few years. ..."
As we reported on
Thursday , a long-awaited report by the Department of Justice's internal watchdog into the Hillary Clinton email investigation
has moved into its final phase, as the DOJ notified multiple subjects mentioned in the document that they can privately review it
by week's end, and will have a "few days" to craft any response to criticism contained within the report, according to the
Wall Street Journal .
Those invited to review the report were told they would have to sign nondisclosure agreements in order to read it , people
familiar with the matter said. They are expected to have a few days to craft a response to any criticism in the report, which
will then be incorporated in the final version to be released in coming weeks . -
Now, journalist Paul Sperry reports that " IG Horowitz has found "reasonable grounds" for believing there has been a violation
of federal criminal law in the FBI/DOJ's handling of the Clinton investigation/s and has referred his findings of potential criminal
misconduct to Huber for possible criminal prosecution ."
Who is Huber?
in March , Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed John Huber - Utah's top federal prosecutor, to be paired with IG Horowitz
to investigate the multitude of accusations of FBI misconduct surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The announcement came
one day after Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed that he will also be investigating allegations of FBI FISA abuse .
While Huber's appointment fell short of the second special counsel demanded by Congressional investigators and concerned citizens
alike, his appointment and subsequent pairing with Horowitz is notable - as many have pointed out that the Inspector General is significantly
limited in his abilities to investigate. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) noted in March " the IG's office does not have authority to compel
witness interviews, including from past employees, so its investigation will be limited in scope in comparison to a Special Counsel
Sessions' pairing of Horowitz with Huber keeps the investigation under the DOJ's roof and out of the hands of an independent investigator
Who is Horowitz?
In January, we profiled Michael Horowitz based on thorough research assembled by independent investigators. For those who think
the upcoming OIG report is just going to be "all part of the show" - take pause; there's a good chance this is an actual happening,
so you may want to read up on the man whose year-long investigation may lead to criminal charges against those involved.
Horowitz was appointed head of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in April, 2012 - after the Obama administration hobbled
the OIG's investigative powers in 2011 during the "Fast and Furious" scandal. The changes forced the various Inspectors General for
all government agencies to request information while conducting investigations, as opposed to the authority to demand it. This allowed
Holder (and other agency heads) to bog down OIG requests in bureaucratic red tape, and in some cases, deny them outright.
What did Horowitz do? As one twitter commentators puts it,
he went to war ...
In March of 2015, Horowitz's office
a report for Congress titled Open and Unimplemented IG Recommendations . It laid the Obama Admin bare before Congress - illustrating
among other things how the administration was wasting tens-of-billions of dollars by ignoring the recommendations made by the OIG.
After several attempts by congress to restore the OIG's investigative powers, Rep. Jason Chaffetz successfully introduced H.R.6450
- the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016 - signed by a defeated lame duck President Obama into law on
December 16th, 2016 , cementing an alliance between Horrowitz and both houses of Congress .
1) Due to the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016, the OIG has access to all of the information that the target agency
possesses. This not only includes their internal documentation and data, but also that which the agency externally collected and
See here for a complete overview of the
OIG's new and restored powers. And while the public won't get to see classified details of the OIG report, Mr. Horowitz is also big
on public disclosure:
Horowitz's efforts to roll back Eric Holder's restrictions on the OIG sealed the working relationship between Congress and the
Inspector General's ofice, and they most certainly appear to be on the same page. Moreover, FBI Director Christopher Wray seems to
be on the same page
Which brings us back to the OIG report
expected by Congress a week from Monday.
On January 12 of last year, Inspector Horowitz announced an OIG investigation based on " requests from numerous Chairmen and Ranking
Members of Congressional oversight committees, various organizations (such as Judicial Watch?), and members of the public ."
The initial focus ranged from the FBI's handling of the Clinton email investigation, to whether or not Deputy FBI Director Andrew
McCabe should have been recused from the investigation (ostensibly over
$700,000 his wife's campaign took from Clinton crony Terry McAuliffe around the time of the email investigation), to potential
collusion with the Clinton campaign and the timing of various FOIA releases. Which brings us back to the
OIG report expected by Congress a week from
On July 27, 2017 the House Judiciary Committee called on the DOJ to appoint a Special Counsel, detailing their concerns in
14 questions pertaining to "actions taken by previously public figures like Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey,
and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton."
The questions range from Loretta Lynch directing Mr. Comey to mislead the American people on the nature of the Clinton investigation,
Secretary Clinton's mishandling of classified information and the (mis)handling of her email investigation by the FBI, the DOJ's
failure to empanel a grand jury to investigate Clinton, and questions about the Clinton Foundation, Uranium One, and whether the
FBI relied on the "Trump-Russia" dossier created by Fusion GPS.
On September 26, 2017 , The House Judiciary Committee repeated their call to the DOJ for a special counsel, pointing out that
former FBI Director James Comey lied to Congress when he said that he decided not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton
until after she was interviewed, when in fact Comey had drafted her exoneration before said interview.
And now, the OIG report can tie all of this together - as it will solidify requests by Congressional committees, while also
satisfying a legal requirement for the Department of Justice to impartially appoint a Special Counsel.
As illustrated below by TrumpSoldier , the report will go from the Office of the Inspector General to both investigative committees
of Congress, along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and is expected within weeks .
Once congress has reviewed the OIG report, the House and Senate Judiciary Committees will use it to supplement their investigations
, which will result in hearings with the end goal of requesting or demanding a Special Counsel investigation. The DOJ can appoint
a Special Counsel at any point, or wait for Congress to demand one. If a request for a Special Counsel is ignored, Congress can pass
legislation to force an the appointment.
And while the DOJ could act on the OIG report and investigate / prosecute themselves without a Special Counsel, it is highly unlikely
that Congress would stand for that given the subjects of the investigation.
After the report's completion, the DOJ will weigh in on it. Their comments are key. As TrumpSoldier points out in his analysis,
the DOJ can take various actions regarding " Policy, personnel, procedures, and re-opening of investigations. In short, just about
everything (Immunity agreements can also be rescinded). "
Meanwhile, recent events appear to correspond with bullet points in both the original OIG investigation letter and the 7/27/2017
letter forwarded to the Inspector General:
... ... ...
With the wheels set in motion last week seemingly align with Congressional requests and the OIG mandate, and the upcoming OIG
report likely to serve as a foundational opinion, the DOJ will finally be empowered to move forward with an impartially appointed
"To save his presidency, Trump must expose a host of criminally cunning Deep State political operatives as enemies to the Constitution,
including John Brennan, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, James Comey and Robert Mueller - as well as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton."
Killing the Deep State , Dr Jerome Corsi, PhD., p xi
I've been more than upfront about my philosophy. I have said on more than one occasion that progs will rue the day they drove
a New Yorker like Trump even further to the right.
Now you see it in his actions from the judiciary to bureaucracy destruction to (pick any) and...as I often cite... some old
dead white guy once said ..."First they came for the ___ and I did not speak out. Then they came for..."
Now I advocate for progs to swim in their own deadly juices, without a moment's hesitation on my part, without any furtive
look back, without remorse or any compassion whatsover.
Forward! ...I think is what they said, welcome to the Death Star ;-)
There have been (and are) plenty on "our side"...Boehner, Cantor, McCain, Romney and the thinly disguised "social democrat"
Bill Kristol just to name several off the top of my head but the thing is, they always have to hide what they really are from
us until rooted out.
That's what I try to point out to "our friends" on the left all the time, for example, there was never any doubt that Chris
Dodd, Bwaney Fwank and Chuck Schumer were (and are) in Wall Streets back pocket. But for any prog to openly admit that is to sign
some sort of personal death warrant, to be ostracized, blacklisted and harassed out of "the liberal community" so, they bite their
tongue & say nothing...knowing what the truth really is.
Hell, they even named a "financial reform bill" after Dodd & Frank...LMAO!!!
It's just the dripping hypocrisy that gets me.
For another example, they knew what was going on with Weinstein, Lauer, Spacey, Rose etal but as long as the cash flowed and
they towed-the-prog-BS-line outwardly, they gladly looked the other way and in the end...The Oprah...gives a speech in front of
them (as they bark & clap like trained seals) about...Jim Crow?
Jim Crow?!...lol...one has nothing to do with the other Oprah! The perps & enablers are sitting right there in front of you!
"After the report's completion, the DOJ will weigh in on it. Their comments are key. As TrumpSoldier points out in his analysis,
the DOJ can take various actions regarding " Policy, personnel, procedures, and re-opening of investigations. In short, just about
everything (Immunity agreements can also be rescinded). "
Rescind Immunity, absolutely damn right, put them ALL under oath and on the stand! This is huge! Indeed this goes all the way
to the top, would like to see Obama and the 'career criminal' testify under oath explaining how their tribe conspired to frame
Trump and the American people.
Hell, put them on trial in a military court for Treason, what's the punishment for Treason these days???
Also would like to see Kerry get fried under the 'Logan Act'!
As are half of their fellow travelers in the GOP. Neocon liars. Talk small constitutional govt then vote for war. Those two
are direct opposites, war and small govt. The liars must be exposed and removed. The Never Trumpers have outed themselves but
many are hiding in plain sight proclaiming they support the President. It appears they have manipulated Trump into an aggressive
stance against Russia with their anti Russia hysteria. Time will tell. The bank and armament industries must be removed from any
kind of influence within our govt. Most of these are run by big govt collectivists aka communists/globalists.
Who cares how many task forces, special prosecutors, grand juries, commissions, or other crap they throw at this black
hole of corruption? We all know the score. The best we can hope for is that the liberals and neo-cons are embarrassed enough to
crawl under a rock for awhile, and it slows down implementation of their Orwellian agenda for a few years.
"... Another defect of neoliberal economics is the doctrine's denial that resources are finite and their exhaustion a heavy cost not born by those who exploit the resources. Many local and regional civilizations have collapsed from exhaustion of the surrounding resources. Entire books have been written about this, but it is not part of neoliberal economics. Supplement study of Hudson with study of ecological economists such as Herman Daly. ..."
Readers ask me how they can learn economics, what books to read, what university economics
departments to trust. I receive so many requests that it is impossible to reply individually.
Here is my answer.
There is only one way to learn economics, and that is to read Michael Hudson's books. It is
not an easy task. You will need a glossary of terms. In some of Hudson's books, if memory
serves, he provides a glossary, and his recent book "J Is for Junk Economics" defines the
classical economic terms that he uses. You will also need patience, because Hudson sometimes
forgets in his explanations that the rest of us don't know what he knows.
The economics taught today is known as neoliberal. This economics differs fundamentally from
classical economics that Hudson represents. For example, classical economics stresses taxing
economic rent instead of labor and real investment, while neo-liberal economics does the
An economic rent is unearned income that accrues to an owner from an increase in value that
he did nothing to produce. For example, a new road is built at public expense that opens land
to development and raises its value, or a transportation system is constructed in a city that
raises the value of nearby properties. These increases in values are economic rents. Classical
economists would tax away the increase in values in order to pay for the road or transportation
Neoliberal economists redefined all income as earned. This enables the financial system to
capitalize economic rents into mortgages that pay interest. The higher property values created
by the road or transportation system boost the mortgage value of the properties. The
financialization of the economy is the process of drawing income away from the purchases of
goods and services into interest and fees to financial entities such as banks. Indebtedness and
debt accumulate, drawing more income into their service until there is no purchasing power left
to drive the economy.
For example, formerly in the US lenders would provide a home mortgage whose service required
up to 25% of the family's monthly income. That left 75% of the family's income for other
purchases. Today lenders will provide mortgages that eat up half of the monthly income in
mortgage service, leaving only 50% of family income for other purchases. In other words, a
financialized economy is one that diverts purchasing power away from productive enterprise into
Hudson shows that international trade and foreign debt also comprise a financialization
process, only this time a country's entire resources are capitalized into a mortgage. The West
sells a country a development plan and a loan to pay for it. When the debt cannot be serviced,
the country is forced to impose austerity on the population by cutbacks in education, health
care, public support systems, and government employment and also to privatize public assets
such as mineral rights, land, water systems and ports in order to raise the capital with which
to pay off the loan. Effectively, the country passes into foreign ownership. This now happens
even to European Community members such as Greece and Portugal.
Another defect of neoliberal economics is the doctrine's denial that resources are
finite and their exhaustion a heavy cost not born by those who exploit the resources. Many
local and regional civilizations have collapsed from exhaustion of the surrounding resources.
Entire books have been written about this, but it is not part of neoliberal economics.
Supplement study of Hudson with study of ecological economists such as Herman Daly.
The neglect of external costs is a crippling failure of neoliberal economics. An external
cost is a cost imposed on a party that does not share in the income from the activity that
creates the cost. I recently wrote about the external costs of real estate speculators.
Fracking, mining, oil and gas exploration, pipelines, industries, manufacturing, waste
disposal, and so on have heavy external costs associated with the activities.
Neoliberal economists treat external costs as a non-problem, because they theorize that the
costs can be compensated, but they seldom are. Oil spills result in companies having to pay
cleanup costs and compensation to those who suffered economically from the oil spill, but most
external costs go unaddressed. If external costs had to be compensated, in many cases the costs
would exceed the value of the projects. How, for example, do you compensate for a polluted
river? If you think that is hard, how would the short-sighted destroyers of the Amazon rain
forest go about compensating the rest of the world for the destruction of species and for the
destructive climate changes that they are setting in motion? Herman Daly has pointed out that
as Gross Domestic Product accounting does not take account of external costs and resource
exhaustion, we have no idea if the value of output is greater than all of the costs associated
with its production. The Soviet economy collapsed, because the value of outputs was less than
the value of inputs.
Supply-side economics, with which I am associated, is not an alternative theory to
neoliberal economics. Supply-side economics is a successful correction to neoliberal
macroeconomic management. Keynesian demand management resulted in stagflation and worsening
Phillips Curve trade-offs between employment and inflation. Supply-side economics cured
stagflation by reversing the economic policy mix. I have told this story many times. You can
find a concise explanation in my short book, "The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalsim." This
book also offers insights into other failures of neoliberal economics and for that reason would
serve as a background introduction to Hudson's books.
I can make some suggestions, but the order in which you read Michael Hudson is up to you. "J
is for Junk Economics" is a way to get information in short passages that will make you
familiar with the terms of classical economic analysis. "Killing the Host" and "The Bubble and
Beyond" will explain how an economy run to maximize debt is an economy that is
self-destructing. "Super Imperialism" and "Trade, Development and Foreign Debt" will show you
how dominant countries concentrate world economic power in their hands. "Debt and Economic
Renewal in the Ancient Near East" is the story of how ancient economies dying from excessive
debt renewed their lease on life via debt forgiveness.
Once you learn Hudson, you will know real economics, not the junk economics marketed by
Nobel prize winners in economics, university economic departments, and Wall Street economists.
Neoliberal economics is a shield for financialization, resource exhaustion, external costs, and
Neoliberal economics is the world's reigning economics. Russia is suffering much more from
neoliberal economics than from Washington's economic sanctions. China herself is overrun with
US trained neoliberal economists whose policy advice is almost certain to put China on the same
path to failure as all other neoliberal economies.
It is probably impossible to change anything for two main reasons. One is that so many
greed-driven private economic activities are protected by neoliberal economics. So many
exploitative institutions and laws are in place that to overturn them would require a more
thorough revolution than Lenin's. The other is that economists have their entire human capital
invested in neoliberal economics. There is scant chance that they are going to start over with
study of the classical economists.
Neoliberal economics is an essential part of The Matrix, the false reality in which
Americans and Europeans live. Neoliberal economics permits an endless number of economic lies.
For example, the US is said to be in a long economic recovery that began in June 2009, but the
labor force participation rate has fallen continuously throughout the period of alleged
recovery. In previous recoveries the participation rate has risen as people enter the work
force to take advantage of the new jobs.
In April the unemployment rate is claimed to have fallen to 3.9 percent, but the
participation rate fell also. Neoliberal economists explain away the contradiction by claiming
that the falling participation rate is due to the retirement of the baby boom generation, but
BLS jobs statistics indicate that those 55 and older account for a large percentage of the new
jobs during the alleged recovery. This is the age class of people forced into the part time
jobs available by the absence of interest income on their retirement savings. What is really
happening is that the unemployment rate does not include discouraged workers, who have given up
searching for jobs as there are none to be found. The true measure of the unemployment rate is
the decline in the labor force participation rate, not a 3.9 percent rate concocted by not
counting those millions of Americans who cannot find jobs. If the unemployment rate really was
3.9 percent, there would be labor shortages and rising wages, but wages are stagnant. These
anomalies pass without comment from neoliberal economists.
The long expansion since June 2009 might simply be a statistical artifact due to the
under-measurement of inflation, which inflates the GDP figure. Inflation is under-estimated,
because goods and services that rise in price are taken out of the index and less costly
substitutes are put in their place and because price increases are explained away as quality
improvements. In other words, statistical manipulation produces the favorable picture required
by The Matrix.
Since the financial collapse caused by the repeal of Glass-Steagall and by financial
deregulation, the Federal Reserve has robbed tens of millions of American savers by driving
real interest rates down to zero for the sole purpose of saving the "banks too big to fail"
that financial deregulation created. A handful of banks has been provided with free money -- in
addition to the money that the Federal Reserve created in order to take the banks' bad
derivative investments off their hands -- to put on deposit with the Fed from which to collect
interest payments and with which to speculate and to drive up stock prices.
In other words, for a decade the economic policy of the United States has been run for the
benefit of a few highly concentrated financial interests at the expense of the American people.
The economic policy of the United States has been used to create economic rents for the
Neoliberal economists point out that during the 1950s the labor force participation rate was
much lower than today and, thereby, they imply that the higher rates prior to the current
"recovery" are an anomaly. Neoliberal economists have no historical knowledge as the past is of
no interest to them. They do not even know the history of economic thought. Whether from
ignorance or intentional deception, neoliberal economists ignore that the lower labor force
participation rates of the 1950s reflect a time when married women were at home, not in the
work force. In those halcyon days, one earner was all it took to sustain a family. I remember
the days when the function of a married woman was to provide household services for the
But capitalists were not content to exploit only one member of a family. They wanted more,
and by using economic policy to suppress pay while fomenting inflation, they drove married
women into the work force, imposing huge external costs on the family, child-raising, relations
between spouses, and on the children themselves. The divorce rate has exploded to 50 percent
and single-parent households are common in America.
In effect, unleashed Capitalism has destroyed America. Privatization is now eating away
Europe. Russia is on the same track as a result of its neoliberal brainwashing by American
economists. China's love of success and money could doom this rising Asian giant as well if the
government opens China to foreign finance capital and privatizes public assets that end up in
Geologist Arthur Berman, who has been skeptical about the shale boom,
warned on Thursday that the Permian's best years are gone and that the most productive U.S.
shale play has just seven years of proven oil reserves left.
"The best years are behind us," Bloomberg quoted Berman as saying at the Texas Energy
Council's annual gathering in Dallas.
The Eagle Ford is not looking good, either, according to Berman, who is now working as an
industry consultant, and whose pessimistic outlook is based on analyses of data about reserves
and production from more than a dozen prominent U.S. shale companies.
"The growth is done," he said at the gathering.
Those who think that the U.S. shale production could add significant crude oil supply to the
global market are in for a disappointment, according to Berman.
"The reserves are respectable but they ain't great and ain't going to save the world,"
Bloomberg quoted Berman as saying.
Yet, Berman has not sold the EOG Resources stock that he has inherited from his father
"because they're a pretty good company."
The short-term drilling productivity outlook by the EIA estimates that the Permian's oil
production hit 3.110 million bpd in April, and will rise by 73,000 bpd to 3.183
million bpd in May.
Earlier this week, the EIA raised its forecast for total U.S. production
this year and next. In the latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the EIA said that it
expects U.S. crude oil production to average 10.7 million bpd in 2018, up from 9.4 million bpd
in 2017, and to average 11.9 million bpd in 2019, which is 400,000 bpd higher than forecast in
the April STEO. In the current outlook, the EIA forecasts U.S. crude oil production will end
2019 at more than 12 million bpd.
Yet, production is starting to outpace takeaway capacity in the Permian, creating
bottlenecks that could slow down the growth pace.
Drillers may soon start to test the Permian region's geological limits, Wood Mackenzie has
warned. And if E&P companies can't overcome the geological constraints with tech
breakthroughs, WoodMac has warned that Permian production could
peak in 2021 , putting more than 1.5 million bpd of future production in question, and
potentially significantly influencing oil prices.
The takeaway bottlenecks have hit WTI crude oil priced in Midland, Texas, which declined
sharply compared with Brent in April, the EIA said in the May STEO.
" As production grows beyond the capacity of existing pipeline infrastructure, producers
must use more expensive forms of transportation, including rail and trucks. As a result, WTI
Midland price spreads widened to the largest discount to Brent since 2014. The WTI Midland
differential to Brent settled at -$17.69/b on May 3, which represents a widening of $9.76/b
since April 2," the EIA said.
"... 'It is difficult to get Artificial Intelligence to understand something, when the Research and Development funding it depends upon its not understanding it' ..."
"... dēfenestrātiō, ..."
"... 'If there is such a phenomenon as absolute evil, it consists of treating another human being as a thing ..."
"... 'The Shockwave Rider ..."
"... This small article a polemic against neoliberal hegemony; in particular the emerging issue of 'surplus population' as related to technological displacement in context of a free market, an issue purposive to such hegemony which as an 'elephant growing in the panopticon' i.e. not to be mentioned? ..."
"... – 'One dimensionality in, one dimensionality out' ..."
"... 'Farewell to the Working Class' ..."
"... It is a relatively small step from ' the death of thought' to 'the death of Life' ..."
"... Under neoliberal orthodoxy the political utility of the 'Proles' and in particular the 'Lumpenproletariat', alas, is as to but fear as a 'stick'; a basis of control and manipulation same sense as Upton Sinclair explicated 'carrot' contingent by way of synonym seen: to wit; accept control and manipulation as 'rewarded' or be 'expelled' ..."
'If there is such a phenomenon as absolute evil, it consists of treating another human being as a thing '
John Brunner 'The Shockwave Rider '
This small article a polemic against neoliberal hegemony; in particular the emerging issue of 'surplus population' as related
to technological displacement in context of a free market, an issue purposive to such hegemony which as an 'elephant growing in the
panopticon' i.e. not to be mentioned?
The central premise is that Artificial Intelligence (AI) + Robotics comprise a nefarious as formulaic temptation to the elite
of the 'Technetronic era' as Zbigniew Brzezinski put it: this consistent with a determinism as stems ontologically from 'Empiricism'
form of a 'One Dimensionality'
as Marcuse phrased it over five Decades ago; and which thru being but mere simulacra, AI and Robotics represent an ontological imperative
potentially expropriated under pathology to denial of Kant's concept of 'categorical imperative'? (That Kant did not subscribe to
determinism is acknowledged). The neoliberal concepts of 'Corporatism' and 'free market' are powerful examples of this 'one dimensionality'
which is clearly pathological, a topic notably explored by
Joel Bakan concerning the pursuit of profit within a Corporatist framework.
– 'One dimensionality in, one dimensionality out' – so it goes ontologically as to some paraphrase of
GIGO as trending alas way of 'technological determinism'
towards an 'Epitaph for Biodiversity' as would be – way of 'Garbage' or 'Junk' un apperceived as much as 'retrospection' non occurrent
indeed -and where 'Farewell to the Working Class' as
André Gorz conceived to assume an entirely new meaning: -this to some denouement of 'Dystopian Nightmare' as opposed to 'Utopian
Dream', alas; such the 'Age of Leisure' as 'beckoning' to be not for the majority or ' Demos', but rather for the 'technetronic
elite' and their 'AI' and Robotics – such 'leisure' being as to a 'freedom' pathological and facilitated by the absence of conscience
as much as morality; such the 'farewell'; such the defenestration of 'surplus' , such the 'Age' we 'live' within as to 'expropriation'
and 'arrogation' to amount to 'Death by Panopticon' such the 'apotheosis'?
It is being so cheerful which keeps these small quarters going.
– It is a relatively small step from ' the death of thought' to 'the death of Life' under Neoliberal Orthodoxy as
proving to be the most toxic ideology ever known – such the hegemony as a deliberative, shift of the ' Overton Window' currently
occurring as to trend deterministic; such the mere necrotrophy as a 'defenestration' – and the 'one percent' but a deadly collective
of parasitic orifice? For what is 'Empiricism' when implemented thru AI and Robotic Technology in a Corporatist economy as but a
'selective investment' as to Research and Development by elite 'private interests', which to a determinism so evidently entailing
a whole raft of 'consequence' ; such the means, such the production, such the 'phenomenology' as 'owned' indeed? Under pathology,
selectivity is impaired to point of 'militarization'?
But foremost amongst said 'raft' of consequence – the concept of 'classification' as incorporates methodological reduction of
the particular to a composite of generalities so typical of 'Science' as expropriated; the fruition thereof replicated not least
thru 'Consumerism' – and 'Lifestyle' – as much as 'Life' reduced as much as abrogated to but correlation way of 'possession' of 'things':
this as said replication expressed as much 'thru' Linnaeus as Marx concerning 'class'- and as results in concepts' Incorporated'
such as the 'Overton Window' – as will be explored by way of 'extrapolation' below? The debasing of identity as a correlate of possessions
as a necessary 'abrogation' by way of engineered 'bio hack' is only furthered, such the loss of dimensionality as a potential, by
such as social media ? An excellent multimedia illustration
of such loss is found here.
It to be noted that for Empiricism the concept of 'good' and 'evil' entails an extra dimensionality as 'metaphysical' – and that
'Politics' so deconstructed despite abuse under orthodoxy as to 'mitigation' remains as 'Moral Economics' – this despite the mitigative
contention of neoliberal orthodoxy that there no morality in the 'synonymy'; to a pragmatic as 'Utilitarian' point of a
'Killing the Host' prevailing
at paradigmatic as much as Geopolitical level as but explicative of a 'necrotrophy'; as much as the 'defenestration' as euphemism
herein proposed this small article would explicate?
Kudos to Michael Hudson for exposing, and continuing to expose, the 'death of thought' which Neoliberalism as an
orthodoxy as but a mere 'racket' of 'transfer of resources' represents.
... ... ...
Under neoliberal orthodoxy the political utility of the 'Proles' and in particular the 'Lumpenproletariat', alas, is as to
but fear as a 'stick'; a basis of control and manipulation same sense as Upton Sinclair explicated 'carrot' contingent by way of
synonym seen: to wit; accept control and manipulation as 'rewarded' or be 'expelled' ; be but as a 'Prole' subsisting and awaiting
death, such the economic incarceration as 'CAFO' epitomises the cheapening of life under a hegemony as has corollary of alienation,
marginalization and impoverishment wielded under Dystopian imperative; this to a 'transfer of resources' from ' Eros ' to
' Thanatos ' reinforced thru contingency of profit such the 'ponerology' of 'Biodiversity' reduced by way of paradigm Geopolitical?
All of these events are CIA/Mossad/MI6. All of them.
From 9/11 to mass shootings, al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, white supremecists and even
Antifa, all funded, trained by the state, with our tax dollars.
Fighting wars: The United States has been fighting wars nonstop since its military invaded
Afghanistan in October 2001. That's almost 17 years of invasions, occupations, air campaigns,
drone strikes, special operations raids, naval air and missile attacks, and so much else,
from the Philippines to Pakistan, Afghanistan to Syria, Libya to Niger isn't fighting
unending wars across thousands of miles of the planet for almost 17 years without end, while
making the president into a global assassin, just a tad extreme?
Of course it is. But despite the title of the article, I can't help but notice that most
of it concentrates on the 16 of those 17 years that happen to have occurred before the Trump
"caliphate". But why should Tom Englehardt be expected to get such trivial details correct?
After all, Tom turned out to be wrong when he ominously warned us about the dangers of Trump
getting us into another Korean war.
Tom's own words from July 9th, 2017 haven't aged well
If hostilities broke out and spiraled out of control, as they might, countless people
could die, nuclear weapons could indeed be used for the first time since 1945, and parts of
Asia could be ravaged (including possibly areas of Japan). What a second Korean War might
mean, in other words, is almost beyond imagining.
the officials he appointed went to work to transform the very refugees we had such a
hand in creating into terrifying bogeymen, potentially the most dangerous and extreme
people on the planet, and then turned to the task of ensuring that none of them would ever
arrive in this country. Doesn't that seem like an extreme set of acts and responses?
No, Tom. It seems like normal behavior from people who aren't ethnomasochists. I'm not
some kind of -phobic with an irrational fear if I want my descendants to not live in a
wartorn country they may eventually end up suffering a total genocide at the hands of these
"widows and orphans" (read: military-aged males who think European lands are up for grabs and
will be theirs in the future).
You see, the normal person who voted for Trump wanted what his surface-level politics
during the campaign trail were about. Not the stuff he's actually been doing which no one
voted for (yes, democracy is a bad system with no accountability,) but the stuff he talked
about. The end to this neoliberal insanity which you support most of. If you really cared so
much about the environment, you wouldn't be for mass migration. If you really cared about
minimizing conflict, you wouldn't be for mass migration since migration is the same as war in
its effects and eventual outcome.
It is not some arbitrary preference that I want a territory maintained for my kind and not
invaded by unending migration of alien peoples whom we are poked, prodded, pressured, coerced
and forced to miscegenate ourselves out of existence with by social engineers bent on a
European genocide, which they are beginning to get louder and louder with their intent on
with each passing year and the constant gloating that they think "in the future, there won't
BE any white people! and that's a good thing!"
The reason we care more about these terrorist attacks on our soil is that we expect them
to do as they do in their own countries, but the glaring fact is the people doing this in our
countries aren't us, and never will be us. They are interlopers we didn't invite in; they
were invited in from the top down with no consent.
Speaking of which, people own weapons in the US because they can and because they don't
trust their government. Given what that government has done for the last 50+ years, why
should they? People in other countries would do the same were they not such totalitarian
nightmare states crushing down on their native population, like in Britain. Speaking of
bogeymen by the way, you want to pin this all on Trump when the material conditions for much
of what you wring your hands about existed well before he even announced his run. Criticize
the fact that he isn't doing what he was elected to do. Don't try to concoct some lame duck
grand narrative that he caused all of these problems, because he didn't.
The reason America is becoming "extreme" is because it's no longer a real, solvent
country. No longer a nation–a coherent people with real, concrete commonalities. It is
many people vying for power and handouts and patronage, many of whom share nothing in common
at all. I share no peoplehood with Africans, Arabs, Mestizos and a host of others who've been
flooded in over the last several decades and have transformed the country into something it
manifestly as per the census data was not just decades back.
I share no peoplehood with Africans, Arabs, Mestizos and a host of others who've been
flooded in over the last several decades and have transformed the country into something it
manifestly as per the census data was not just decades back.
I'm willing to bet you share a lot more personhood with those people you listed than the
people who "own" your country. BTW, the people who "own" your country most likely hate your
guts, and consider you expendable if you ever get in their way.
" This subject came to my mind recently thanks to a story I noticed about another extreme
wedding slaughter "
Better late than never.
How long it is ago that a Malaysian president spoke to mainly western diplomats, and asked
the question 'who are the terrorists, those who, at 17 km height push buttons in
B-52′s, or those who give their lives on the ground ?', I do not remember.
The diplomats left during the speech.
UN expert on human rights De Zaya's wanted, suppose he does not live any more, Great
Britain and the USA persecuted for bombing German cities in WWII, just killing women,
children and old men.
Dresden is the best known example, alas it is not known that even small towns as Anklam were
And then, when began all this ?
Churchill saw the genocide in what is N Afghanistan as a necessary act.
And of course the Muslim religion was to blame.
Winston Churchill, 'The Story of the Malakand Field Force', 1898, 2004, New York
Ian Hernon, 'Britain's Forgotten Wars, Colonial Campaigns of the 19th Century', 2003, 2007,
Chalford – Stroud
The last book also describes this genocide, but one of the most bloody massacres described is
against the Sikh army.
I'd like to thank Unz for this brief comic relief on their site. Sometimes the affairs in the
world seem too much and a good laugh every now and then is necessary. For example Bashir
Al-Assad killing his own people on a regular basis was hysterical!! Imagine him getting Sarin
gas from ISIS depots paid for by Israel and the United States just so he could get the same
United States to bomb him! That's like saying Obama was a weak president for NOT attacking
Syria when he was merely informed as to who was REALLY not killing Syrian civilians because,
as Putin proved, Assad didn't have those weapons. What was really funny was that America does
not have extremists in charge so when we kill civilians it must be an accident!
I couldn't agree more, Your comment sums up how a lot of people are feeling. No wonder
Nationalist or Nationalist inspired parties and leaders are emerging all over the European
world, We are waking up and beginning to take our own side
I just cannot believe that you Americans descend to squabbling about who is more virtuous
– Nero or Caligula.
Mr Putin showed that he understands the system perfectly. First he said that he sees no
point in talking to European leaders, since they all take their orders from Washington. Then
he further explained that presidents come and presidents go, but the policies remain exactly
It's a shame that so few Americans understand their own political system as well as Mr
"However, one thing is, almost by definition, obvious. We are not a nation of extreme acts or
extreme killers. Quite the opposite".
The USA is admirably positioned for security: it controls most of a large isolated
continent, with only Canada and Mexico as immediate neighbours and vast oceans to the sides.
As Jules Jusserand, French Ambassador to the US, remarked in 1910:
"The United States was blessed among nations. On the north, she had a weak neighbour; on
the south, another weak neighbour; on the east, fish; and on the west, fish".
Long before that, Abraham Lincoln said more or less the same thing:
"At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify
against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush
us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the
treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a
commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge,
in a trial of a thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be
expected? I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from
abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation
of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide".
- Abraham Lincoln; The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume
I, "Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum,of Springfield, Illinois (January 27, 1838), p.
So it is surprising to find out that the USA has been at war for 93% of its existence.
That means Americans have experienced peace during only 21 years out of 239.
That's rather odd, isn't it, for a country with impregnable natural borders whom no one
has even tried to attack?
"Yes, we make mistakes. Yes, we sometimes kill. Yes, we sometimes even kill the innocent,
A very rough estimate suggests that, since 1950, the US government through its armed
forces has killed at the very least 10 million Asians alone. Three million in Korea, the same
in Vietnam and its neighbours, and the same in Iraq. That's without even considering the
dozens of other nations the USA has attacked (and with which, legally, it is still at war
since no peace treaties were ever concluded).
We here in the United States are, of course, eternally shocked by their extremism, their
willingness to kill the innocent without compunction, particularly in the case of Islamist
groups, from the 9/11 attacks to ISIS's more recent slaughters.
Tom appears to be another lackey for Zionism, ready to keep telling lies about those evil
Moozies that supposedly attacked the USA on 9/11, when anyone who still has brain cells left
knows that 9/11 was an Israeli masterminded False Flag with help from traitors in the WH,
the Pentagon, CIA, FBI and NSA. With generous assistance from the Lying MSM.
Take your CIA pres releases elsewhere Mr. Tom, we no longer wish to hear your lies in
support of endless wars for the glory of Apartheid Israel realizing its YINON plan to stretch
Israel from the brook of Egypt to the Euphrates and from Turkey to Arabia.
Oded Yinon's "A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties"
The nonsense that Assad's army deliberately poisons its own people with chemical weapons
is a well-known false-flag. How could he control his Syrian army if that went on? It is
As for 9/11, it was an inside job – with many Israeli "students" laying the
explosives in the THREE buildings at night over a period of months. The fact that no one
lived in them and that a Bush company was responsible for security is all you need to know.
Naturally, there were no Israeli victims – a statistical impossibility if they were not
"Only to those who do not know that many people live in deserts"
People do not "live in deserts" rather they live in settlements which are located in the
They do not just go out into the blazing sand and throw down blankets and buckets, and
then start "Living in the desert".
And they do not hold bonafide "wedding parties" out in the desert, under the relentless
burning sun, rather they hold their wedding parties in settlements which are located in thte
desert with a modicum of human comforts.
Look friend myself being world traveler, I have been to north africa on more than one
occasion, and I know wtf I am talking about.
AJM "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US army vet, and pro jazz artisit.
Former NSA and CIA head Michael Hayden's new book The Assault on Intelligence: American
National Security in an Age of Lies wants to be the manifesto behind an intelligence
community coup. It ends up reading like outtakes from Dr. Strangelove .
Trump cannot discern truth from falsehood, Hayden says, and is the product of too much
fact-free thinking, especially on social media ("computational propaganda" where people can
"publish without credentials") where lies are deployed by the Russians to destroy the United
States. Instead Hayden calls for artificial intelligence and a media truth-rating system to
"purify our discourse" and help "defend it against inauthentic stimulation."
Hayden believes in the "fragility of civilization" as clearly as he believes there is a
"FOX/Trump/RT" alliance in place to exploit it. Under Trump, "post-truth is pre-fascism, and to
abandon facts is to abandon freedom." Hayden claims Trump has a "glandular aversion" to even
thinking about how "Russia has been actively seeking to damage the fabric of American
Salvation, it would seem, depends on the intelligence community. Hayden makes clear,
ominously quoting conversations with anonymous IC officers, that no one else is protecting
America from these online threats to our precious bodily fluids .
He warns that "the structures we rely on to prevent civil war and societal collapse are
under stress." The IC on the other hand "pursues Enlightenment values [and] is essential
not just to American safety but to American liberty."
Hayden recalls how he reminded a lad fresh to the IC to "protect yourself. And above all
protect the institution. American still needs it." He has a bit of advice about the CIA: "We
are accustomed to relying on their truth to protect us from foreign enemies. Now we may need
their truth to save us from ourselves." The relationship between Trump and the IC, Hayden
threatens, is "contentious, divisive, and unpredictable" in these "uncharted waters for the
Simply put, Hayden's book is blowing 10 dog whistles at once. Arise ye patriots [of
neoliberalism] of Langley and Fort Meade!
Yet for all his emphasis on truth, Hayden is curiously lax in presenting actual evidence of
the apocalypse. You are left to believe because Hayden says you must: paternalism at its best.
Plus, to disbelieve is to side with Putin. The best we get are executive summary-like
statements along the lines of "There is clear evidence of what I would call convergence, the
convergence of a mutually reinforcing swirl of Presidential tweets and statements, Russian
influenced social media, alt right websites and talk radio, Russian 'white' press like RT and
even mainstream U.S. media like Fox News."
With that established, Hayden informs us that when the IC tried to warn Trump of the Russian
plot, he "rejected a fact-based intel assessment because it was inconsistent with a preexisting
world view or because it was politically inconvenient, the stuff of ideological
authoritarianism not pragmatic democracy." Comrade, er, Candidate Trump, says Hayden
matter-of-factly, "did sound a lot like Vladimir Putin." The two men, he declaims, are "Russian
Hayden figures that if you've read this far into his polemic, he might as well just splurge
the rest of his notes on you. Trump is "uninformed, lazy, dishonest, off the charts, rejects
the premise objective reality even existed." He's fueled by Russian money (no evidence of this
is presented in the book, Hayden says, because it's hidden in the tax returns, as if Line 42 on
Trump's 1040 would read "Putin Black Funds $5 mil," and the IRS, which does have the returns,
Trump is an "unwitting agent" of Putin, which Hayden tells us in Russian is polezni
durak , so you can see he knows his Cold War lingo. We hear how Wikileaks worked with the
Russkies, how Trump Jr. worked with the Russkies, how the Russkies wormed their way into Tower
so they could see the Big Board, how the whole brouhaha over #TakeAKnee was Russian meddling,
and how Jill Stein existed to "bleed off votes from Clinton" -- every Mueller fan-fiction trope
tumbling from the pages like crumbs left over from an earlier reader.
That's why The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies
reads like as a polemic. But it also fails as a book.
There are pages of filler, jumbled blog post-like chapters about substate actors and global
tectonics. Hayden writes in a recognizable style that might be called Bad Military, where
everything must eventually be tied to some Big Idea, preferably with classical references
Googled-up to add gravitas.
So it is not enough for Hayden to state Trump is a liar. He has to blame Trump for usurping
the entire body of Western thought: "We are in a post-truth world, a world in which decisions
are far more based upon emotion and preference. And that's an overturning of the Western way of
thought since the Enlightenment." Bad things are Hobbesian; good things Jeffersonian,
Madisonian, or Hamiltonian. People Hayden agrees with get adjectival modifiers before their
names: the perceptive scholar ____, the iconic journalist ____, the legendary case officer
____. It makes for tiresome reading, like it's Sunday night edging 4 a.m. and you still have
nine undergrad papers on the causes of the Civil War to grade.
Hayden is openly contemptuous of the American people, seeing them as brutes who need to be
led around, either by the Russians, as he sees it now, or by the IC, as he wishes it to be.
Proof of how dumb we are? Hayden cites a poll showing 83 percent of Republicans and 27 percent
of Democrats don't believe the IC analysis that Russia meddled in the 2016 election when they
damn well should. Further proof? Russian bots at work on Twitter influencing conservative minds
by using the hashtags #God and #Benghazi.
In our odd times, Hayden is a Hero of the Resistance. Seemingly forgotten is that, as head
of the NSA, he implemented blanket surveillance of American citizens in a rape of the Fourth
Amendment, itself a product of the Enlightenment, justifying his unconstitutional actions with
a mishmash of post-truth platitudes and still-secret legal findings. Hayden also supported
torture during the War on Terror, but whatever.
This book-length swipe right for the IC leaves out the slam dunk work those agencies did on
Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Any concern about political motives inside the IC is swept
away as "baseless." Gina
Haspel , who oversaw the torture program, is an "inspired choice" to head CIA. Hayden
writes for the rubes, proclaiming that the IC produces facts when in reality even good intel
can only be assessments and ambiguous conclusions.
That people so readily overlook Hayden's sins simply because he rolls off snark against
Trump speaks to our naiveté. That men like Hayden retain their security clearances while
serving as authors and paid commentators to outlets like CNN speaks to how deep the roots of
the Deep State reach. That some troubled Jack D. Ripper squirreled inside the IC might
take this pablum seriously is frightening.
Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the
Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People and Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan. Follow him on Twitter
He's not blinded by hate. If you actually read the book, he describes his issues with Obama,
Clinton and everyone else. The fact remains he outlined the truth: Trump is a bumbling fool
who cannot distinguish truth fro fiction and is the most corrupt president ever to inhabit
the oval office, and has no idea what he's doing.
The guy sounds like a certain Senator from Wisconsin:
"The reason why we find ourselves in a position of impotency is not because the enemy has
sent men to invade our shores, but rather because of the traitorous actions of those who have
had all the benefits that the wealthiest nation on earth has had to offer – the finest
homes, the finest college educations, and the finest jobs in Government we can give."
Peter Van Buren reminds us all: "Seemingly forgotten is that, as head of the NSA, he
implemented blanket surveillance of American citizens in a rape of the Fourth Amendment "
The 4th Amendment to the US Constitution:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against
unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but
upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place
to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
"... There could be no eye witnesses to such sadism, and the very extremism sounds very much like war propaganda – Germans carving up Belgian babies. ..."
"... The notion that Assad himself infected the rebellion with Islamic fanaticism is at best a hypothesis concerning not facts but intentions, which are invisible. But it is presented as unchallengeable evidence of Assad's perverse wickedness. ..."
"... a beleaguered state very much at the mercy of a rapacious Western imperialism that was seeking to carve the country up according to the appetites of the US government and the International Monetary Fund ..."
"... In reality, a much more pertinent "framing" of Western intervention, taboo in the mainstream and even in Moscow, is that Western support for armed rebels in Syria was being carried out to help Israel destroy its regional enemies. ..."
"... The Middle East nations attacked by the West – Iraq, Libya and Syria – all just happen to be, or to have been, the last strongholds of secular Arab nationalism and support for Palestinian rights. ..."
"... There are a few alternative hypotheses as to Western motives – oil pipelines, imperialist atavism, desire to arouse Islamic extremism in order to weaken Russia (the Brzezinski gambit) – but none are as coherent as the organic alliance between Israel and the United States, and its NATO sidekicks. ..."
"... No other mention of Israel, which occupies Syrian territory (the Golan Heights) and bombs Syria whenever it wants to. ..."
"... The Trotskyists keep yearning for a new revolution, just like the Bolshevik revolution. Yes, but the Bolshevik revolution ended in Stalinism. Doesn't that tell them something? Isn't it quite possible that their much-desired "revolution" might turn out just as badly in Syria, if not much worse? ..."
"... In our era, the most successful revolutions have been in Third World countries, where national liberation from Western powers was a powerful emotional engine. Successful revolutions have a program that unifies people and leaders who personify the aspirations of broad sectors of the population. Socialism or communism was above all a rallying cry meaning independence and "modernization" – which is indeed what the Bolshevik revolution turned out to be. ..."
"... "In the context of a global neoliberalism, where governments across the board were enacting the most pronounced forms of deregulation and overseeing the carving up of state industries by private capital, the Assad government responded to the heightening contradictions in the Syrian economy by following suit -- by showing the ability to march to the tempo of foreign investment while evincing a willingness to cut subsidies for workers and farmers." The neoliberal turn impoverished people in the countryside, therefore creating a situation that justified "revolution". ..."
"... This is rather amazing, if one thinks about it. Without the alternative Soviet bloc, virtually the whole world has been obliged to conform to anti-social neoliberal policies. Syria included. Does this make Bashar al Assad so much more a villain than every other leader conforming to U.S.-led globalization? ..."
"... One could turn that around. Shouldn't such a Marxist revolutionary be saying: "if we can't defeat the oligarchs in the West, who are responsible for the neoliberal policies imposed on the rest of the world, how can we possibly begin to provide class-struggle leadership in Syria?" ..."
"... The trouble with Trotskyists is that they are always "supporting" other people's more or less imaginary revolutions. They are always telling others what to do. They know it all. The practical result of this verbal agitation is simply to align this brand of Trotskyism with U.S imperialism. The obsession with permanent revolution ends up providing an ideological alibi for permanent war. ..."
I first encountered Trotskyists in Minnesota half a century ago during the movement against the Vietnam War. I appreciated
their skill in organizing anti-war demonstrations and their courage in daring to call themselves "communists" in the United
States of America – a profession of faith that did not groom them for the successful careers enjoyed by their intellectual
counterparts in France. So I started my political activism with sympathy toward the movement. In those days it was in clear
opposition to U.S. imperialism, but that has changed.
The first thing one learns about Trotskyism is that it is split into rival tendencies. Some remain consistent critics
of imperialist war, notably those who write for the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS).
Others, however, have translated the Trotskyist slogan of "permanent revolution" into the hope that every minority uprising
in the world must be a sign of the long awaited world revolution – especially those that catch the approving eye of mainstream
media. More often than deploring U.S. intervention, they join in reproaching Washington for not intervening sooner on behalf
of the alleged revolution.
A recent article in the International Socialist Review (issue #108, March 1, 2018) entitled "Revolution and counterrevolution
in Syria" indicates so thoroughly how Trotskyism goes wrong that it is worthy of a critique. Since the author, Tony McKenna,
writes well and with evident conviction, this is a strong not a weak example of the Trotskyist mindset.
McKenna starts out with a passionate denunciation of the regime of Bashar al Assad, which, he says, responded to a group
of children who simply wrote some graffiti on a wall by "beating them, burning them, pulling their fingernails out". The
source of this grisly information is not given. There could be no eye witnesses to such sadism, and the very extremism
sounds very much like war propaganda – Germans carving up Belgian babies.
But this raises the issue of sources. It is certain that there are many sources of accusations against the Assad regime,
on which McKenna liberally draws, indicating that he is writing not from personal observation, any more than I am. Clearly,
he is strongly disposed to believe the worst, and even to embroider it somewhat. He accepts and develops without the shadow
of a doubt the theory that Assad himself is responsible for spoiling the good revolution by releasing Islamic prisoners
who went on to poison it with their extremism. The notion that Assad himself infected the rebellion with Islamic fanaticism
is at best a hypothesis concerning not facts but intentions, which are invisible. But it is presented as unchallengeable
evidence of Assad's perverse wickedness.
This interpretation of events happens to dovetail neatly with the current Western doctrine on Syria, so that it is impossible
to tell them apart. In both versions, the West is no more than a passive onlooker, whereas Assad enjoys the backing of
Iran and Russia.
"Much has been made of Western imperial support for the rebels in the early years of the revolution. This has, in fact,
been an ideological lynchpin of first the Iranian and then the Russian military interventions as they took the side of
the Assad government. Such interventions were framed in the spirit of anticolonial rhetoric in which Iran and Russia purported
to come to the aid of a beleaguered state very much at the mercy of a rapacious Western imperialism that was seeking
to carve the country up according to the appetites of the US government and the International Monetary Fund ", according
Whose "ideological lynchpin"? Not that of Russia, certainly, whose line in the early stages of its intervention was
not to denounce Western imperialism but to appeal to the West and especially to the United States to join in the fight
against Islamic extremism.
Neither Russia nor Iran "framed their interventions in the spirit of anticolonial rhetoric" but in terms of the fight
against Islamic extremism with Wahhabi roots.
In reality, a much more pertinent "framing" of Western intervention, taboo in the mainstream and even in Moscow,
is that Western support for armed rebels in Syria was being carried out to help Israel destroy its regional enemies.
The Middle East nations attacked by the West – Iraq, Libya and Syria – all just happen to be, or to have been, the
last strongholds of secular Arab nationalism and support for Palestinian rights.
There are a few alternative hypotheses as to Western motives – oil pipelines, imperialist atavism, desire to arouse
Islamic extremism in order to weaken Russia (the Brzezinski gambit) – but none are as coherent as the organic alliance
between Israel and the United States, and its NATO sidekicks.
It is remarkable that McKenna's long article (some 12 thousand words) about the war in Syria mentions Israel only once
(aside from a footnote citing Israeli national news as a source). And this mention actually equates Israelis and Palestinians
as co-victims of Assad propaganda: the Syrian government "used the mass media to slander the protestors, to present the
revolution as the chaos orchestrated by subversive international interests (the Israelis and the Palestinians were both
implicated in the role of foreign infiltrators)."
No other mention of Israel, which occupies Syrian territory (the Golan Heights) and bombs Syria whenever it wants
Only one, innocuous mention of Israel! But this article by a Trotskyist mentions Stalin, Stalinists, Stalinism no less
than twenty-two times !
And what about Saudi Arabia, Israel's de facto ally in the effort to destroy Syria in order to weaken Iran? Two mentions,
both implicitly denying that notorious fact. The only negative mention is blaming the Saudi family enterprise for investing
billions in the Syrian economy in its neoliberal phase. But far from blaming Saudi Arabia for supporting Islamic groups,
McKenna portrays the House of Saud as a victim of ISIS hostility.
Clearly, the Trotskyist delusion is to see the Russian Revolution everywhere, forever being repressed by a new Stalin.
Assad is likened to Stalin several times.
This article is more about the Trotskyist case against Stalin than it is about Syria.
This repetitive obsession does not lead to a clear grasp of events which are not the Russian revolution. And
even on this pet subject, something is wrong.
The Trotskyists keep yearning for a new revolution, just like the Bolshevik revolution. Yes, but the Bolshevik revolution
ended in Stalinism. Doesn't that tell them something? Isn't it quite possible that their much-desired "revolution" might
turn out just as badly in Syria, if not much worse?
Throughout history, revolts, uprisings, rebellions happen all the time, and usually end in repression. Revolution is
very rare. It is more a myth than a reality, especially as Trotskyists tend to imagine it: the people all rising up in
one great general strike, chasing their oppressors from power and instituting people's democracy. Has this ever
For the Trotskyists, this seem to be the natural way things should happen and is stopped only by bad guys who spoil
it out of meanness.
In our era, the most successful revolutions have been in Third World countries, where national liberation from Western
powers was a powerful emotional engine. Successful revolutions have a program that unifies people and leaders who personify
the aspirations of broad sectors of the population. Socialism or communism was above all a rallying cry meaning independence
and "modernization" – which is indeed what the Bolshevik revolution turned out to be. If the Bolshevik revolution
turned Stalinist, maybe it was in part because a strong repressive leader was the only way to save "the revolution" from
its internal and external enemies. There is no evidence that, had he defeated Stalin, Trotsky would have been more tender-hearted.
Countries that are deeply divided ideologically and ethnically, such as Syria, are not likely to be "modernized" without
a strong rule.
McKenna acknowledges that the beginning of the Assad regime somewhat redeemed its repressive nature by modernization
and social reforms. This modernization benefited from Russian aid and trade, which was lost when the Soviet Union collapsed.
Yes, there was a Soviet bloc which despite its failure to carry out world revolution as Trotsky advocated, did support
the progressive development of newly independent countries.
If Bashar's father Hafez al Assad had some revolutionary legitimacy in McKenna's eyes, there is no excuse for Bashar.
"In the context of a global neoliberalism, where governments across the board were enacting the most pronounced
forms of deregulation and overseeing the carving up of state industries by private capital, the Assad government responded
to the heightening contradictions in the Syrian economy by following suit -- by showing the ability to march to the tempo
of foreign investment while evincing a willingness to cut subsidies for workers and farmers." The neoliberal turn impoverished
people in the countryside, therefore creating a situation that justified "revolution".
This is rather amazing, if one thinks about it. Without the alternative Soviet bloc, virtually the whole world has
been obliged to conform to anti-social neoliberal policies. Syria included. Does this make Bashar al Assad so much more
a villain than every other leader conforming to U.S.-led globalization?
McKenna concludes by quoting Louis Proyect: "If we line up on the wrong side of the barricades in a struggle between
the rural poor and oligarchs in Syria, how can we possibly begin to provide a class-struggle leadership in the USA, Britain,
or any other advanced capitalist country?"
One could turn that around. Shouldn't such a Marxist revolutionary be saying: "if we can't defeat the oligarchs
in the West, who are responsible for the neoliberal policies imposed on the rest of the world, how can we possibly begin
to provide class-struggle leadership in Syria?"
The trouble with Trotskyists is that they are always "supporting" other people's more or less imaginary revolutions.
They are always telling others what to do. They know it all. The practical result of this verbal agitation is simply to
align this brand of Trotskyism with U.S imperialism. The obsession with permanent revolution ends up providing an ideological
alibi for permanent war.
For the sake of world peace and progress, both the United States and its inadvertent Trotskyist apologists should go
home and mind their own business.
Hookers : Special Counsel urgently needs your stories. We pay top dollar. Big tits, role-play,
and lying required. Television experience preferred. No drug screening. No background check.
Call 1-800-George-Soros or contact the Law Offices of Wray, Mueller, and Rosenstein,
"... Internet censorship is getting pretty bad, so best way to keep seeing my daily articles is to get on the mailing list for my website , so you'll get an email notification for everything I publish. My articles and podcasts are entirely reader and listener-funded, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , checking out my podcast , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , or buying my new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . ..."
"... People are not turning to the MSM, they are heading straight to: MoA, ZH, PCR, RT... this is where people now turn to find the truth! The two most frequent, each appearing in six out of seven datasets? ZeroHedge and RT. ..."
"... I have never been a Trump supporter, but IMO the one positive I saw back in the elections is that his character would bring about exactly this loss of trust. Not "He's bad and we can't trust him," so much as the fact that he's polarizing, and will fight everyone, and has inadvertently caused a lot of bad people to expose themselves. ..."
I sometimes try to get
establishment loyalists to explain to me exactly why we're all meant to be terrified of this
"Russian propaganda" thing they keep carrying on about. What is the threat, specifically?
That it makes the public less willing to go to war with Russia and its allies? That it makes us
less trusting of lying, torturing, coup-staging intelligence agencies? Does accidentally catching a
glimpse of that green RT logo turn you to stone like Medusa, or melt your face like in
of the Lost Ark
"Well, it makes us lose trust in our institutions,"
is the most common
Okay. So? Where's the threat there?
We know for a fact that we've been lied to
by those institutions. Iraq isn't just something we imagined
. We should be skeptical of
claims made by western governments, intelligence agencies and mass media. How specifically is that
When you try to get down to the brass tacks of the actual argument being made and demand
specific details about the specific threats we're meant to be worried about, there aren't any to be
found. Nobody's been able to tell me what specifically is so dangerous about westerners being
exposed to the Russian side of international debates, or of Russians giving a platform to one
of an American domestic debate. Even if every single one of the allegations about
Russian bots and disinformation are true (
), where is the actual clear and present danger? No one can say.
What if Russia suddenly announced that its Baltic Fleet had dispatched an armada towards
Britain? Would most people greet the news with steely resolve in the knowledge that their
governments would know what to do, or would constant Kremlin-influenced reports about the
incompetence of British institutions make them conclude that any resistance was pointless?
I mean, wow. Wow! Just wow. Where to even begin with this?
Back to the aforementioned excerpt. Braw claims that if Russian propaganda isn't shut down or
counteracted, Russia could send a fleet of war ships to attack Britain, and the British people
would react unenthusiastically? Wouldn't cheer loudly enough as the British Navy fought the
Russians? Would have a defeatist emotional demeanor? What exactly is the argument here?
That's seriously her only attempt to directly address the question of where the actual
danger is. Even in the most cartoonishly dramatic hypothetical scenario this Atlantic Council
member can possibly imagine, there's
no tangible threat of any kind.
if Russia was directly attacking the United Kingdom at home, and Russian propaganda had somehow
magically dominated all British airwaves and been believed by the entire country, that still
wouldn't have any impact on the British military's ability to fight a naval battle. There's
literally no extent to which you can inflate this "Russian propaganda" hysteria to turn it into a
possible threat to actual people in real life.
Such responses to disinformation are like swatting flies: time-consuming and ineffective. But
not addressing disinformation is ineffective, too. "Western media still have this thing where
they try to be completely balanced, so they'll say, 'the Russians say this, but on the other
hand the Americans say this is not true,' They end up giving a lie and the truth the same
value," noted Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the former president of Estonia.
I just have so many questions. Like, how desperate does a writer have to be for an
expert who can lend credibility to their argument that they have to reach all the way over to a
former president of Estonia?
And on what planet are these people living where Russian
narratives are given the same weight as western narratives by western mainstream media? How can I
get to this fantastical parallel dimension where western media "try to be completely balanced" and
give equal coverage to all perspectives?
Braw argues that,
because Russian propaganda is so dangerous (what with the
threat of British people having insufficient emotional exuberance during a possible naval battle
and all), what is required is a "NATO of infowar", an alliance of western state media that is
tasked with combatting Russian counter-narratives.
Because, in the strange
fantasy fairy world in which Braw penned her article, this isn't already happening.
And of course, here in the real world, it
already happening. As
, mainstream media outlets have been going out of their minds churning out attack
editorials on anyone who questions the establishment narrative about what happened in Douma. A BBC
admonished a retired British naval officer
for voicing skepticism of what we're being told
about Syria on the grounds that it might "muddy the waters" of the "information war" that is being
fought against Russia. All day, every day, western mass media are pummeling the public with stories
about how awful and scary Russians are and how everything they say is a lie.
This is because western mass media outlets are owned by western plutocrats, and those
plutocrats have built their empires upon a status quo that they have a vested interest in
often to the point where they will
alliances with defense and intelligence agencies
to do so. They hire executives and editors who
subscribe to a pro-establishment worldview, who in turn hire journalists who subscribe to a
pro-establishment worldview, and in that way they ensure that all plutocrat-owned media outlets are
advancing pro-plutocrat agendas.
The western empire is ruled by a loose transnational alliance of plutocrats and
secretive government agencies. That loose alliance is your real government, and that government has
the largest state media network in the history of civilization. The mass media propaganda machine
of the western empire makes RT look like your grandmother's Facebook wall.
In that way, we are being propagandized constantly by the people who really rule us. All this
panic about Russian propaganda doesn't exist because our dear leaders have a problem with
propaganda, it exists because they believe only
should be allowed to propagandize us.
And, unlike Russian propaganda, western establishment propaganda actually
direct threat to us. By using mass media to manipulate the ways we think and vote, our true rulers
can persuade us to consent to
austerity measures and political impotence
while the oligarchs grow richer and medicine money
is spent on bombs. When we should all be revolting against an oppressive Orwellian oligarchy, we
are instead lulled to sleep by those same oligarchs and their hired talking heads lying to us about
freedom and democracy.
Russian propaganda is not dangerous. Having access to other ways of looking at
global geopolitics is not dangerous. What absolutely is dangerous is a vast empire concerning
itself with the information and ideas that its citizenry have access to.
rapey, manipulative fingers out of our minds, please.
If our dear leaders are so worried about our losing faith in our institutions, they
shouldn't be concerning themselves with manipulating us into trusting them, they should be making
those institutions more trustworthy.
Don't manipulate better,
better. The fact that an influential think
tank is now openly advocating the former over the latter should concern us all.
* * *
Internet censorship is getting pretty bad, so best way to keep seeing my daily articles is
to get on the mailing list for my
so you'll get an email notification for everything I publish. My articles and podcasts are entirely
reader and listener-funded, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking
following my antics on
, throwing some
money into my hat on
buying my new book
A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers
People are not turning to the MSM, they are heading straight to: MoA, ZH, PCR, RT... this is where people now turn to find
the truth! The two most frequent, each appearing in six out of seven datasets? ZeroHedge and RT.
"Well, it makes us lose trust in our institutions," is the most
I have never been a Trump supporter, but IMO the
one positive I saw back in the elections is that his character would
bring about exactly this loss of trust. Not "He's bad and we can't trust
him," so much as the fact that he's polarizing, and will fight everyone,
and has inadvertently caused a lot of bad people to expose themselves.
Why should you trust people who think they have the right to take
whatever amount of your money they want, use it for any purpose they
want, and also who believe they have the right to harass, torture,
stalk, or kill whoever they want, on any pretext they feel like thinking
The Atlantic Council is just another tentacle of the Soros Squid. The man should
have been dealt with as a Nazi collaborator in the aftermath of World War 2.
Unfortunately for humanity, he evaded accountability for his crimes against
humanity during the war.
Like most motions to dismiss, Paul Manafort's was initially viewed as a long-shot bid to win
the political operative his freedom and get out from under the thumb of Special Counsel Robert
But after today's hearing on a motion to dismiss filed by Manafort's lawyers, it's looking
increasingly likely that Manafort could escape his charges - and be free of his ankle bracelets
- because in a surprising rebuke of Mueller's "overreach", Eastern District of Virginia Judge
T.S. Ellis, a Reagan appointee, said Mueller shouldn't have "unfettered power" to prosecute
over charges that have nothing to do with collusion between the Trump campaign and the
Ellis said he's concerned Mueller is only pursuing charges against Manafort (and presumably
other individuals) to pressure them into turning on Trump. The Judge added that the charges
brought against Manafort didn't appear to stem from Mueller's collusion probe. Instead, they
appeared to be the work of an older investigation into Manafort that was eventually
"I don't see how this indictment has anything to do with anything the special prosecutor is
authorized to investigate," Ellis said at a hearing in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia,
concerning a motion by Manafort to dismiss the case.
It got better: Ellis also slammed prosecutors saying it appeared they were using the
indictment of Manafort to pressure him to cooperate against Trump. Manafort, 69, has pleaded
not guilty and disputes Mueller's assertion that he violated U.S. laws when he worked for a
decade as a political consultant for pro-Russian groups in Ukraine.
"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud," Ellis said. "You really care about
what information he might give you about Mr. Trump and what might lead to his impeachment or
According to Bloomberg, Ellis is overseeing one of two indictments against Manafort.
Manafort is also charged in Washington with money laundering and failing to register as a
foreign agent of Ukraine.
* * *
Manafort's lawyers had asked the judge in the Virginia case to dismiss an indictment filed
against him in what was their third effort to beat back criminal charges by attacking Mueller's
authority. The judge also questioned why Manafort's case there could not be handled by the U.S.
attorney's office in Virginia, rather than the special counsel's office, as it is not
Russia-related . A question many others have asked, as well.
Ellis has given prosecutors two weeks to show what evidence they have that Manafort was
complicit in colluding with the Russians. If they can't come up with any, he may, presumably,
dismiss the case. Ellis also asked the special counsel's office to share privately with him a
copy of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein's August 2017 memo elaborating on the scope of
Mueller's Russia probe. He said the current version he has been heavily redacted.
At that point, should nothing change materially, Manafort may be a free man; needless to
say, a dismissal would set precedent and be nothing short of groundbreaking by potentially
making it much harder for Mueller to turn other witnesses against the president.
MSNBC host Chris Matthews recently declared,
"James Comey made his bones by standing up against torture. He was a made man before Trump came along."
Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria , in a column declaring that Americans should be "deeply grateful" to lawyers like Comey,
declared, "The Bush administration wanted to claim that its 'enhanced interrogation techniques' were lawful. Comey believed they
were not... So Comey pushed back as much as he could."
Martin Luther risked death to fight against what he considered the heresies of his time. Comey, a top Bush administration policymaker,
found a safer way to oppose the worldwide secret U.S. torture regime widely considered a heresy against American values. Comey
approved brutal practices and then wrote some memos and emails fretting about the optics.