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Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2016

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[Mar 14, 2019] The Fog of Politics

Nov 19, 2016 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared with that of the rich."

John Kenneth Galbraith

The sugar high of the Trump election seems to be wearing a bit thin on Wall Street. I had said at the time that I thought they would just execute the trading plans they had in place in their supposition that Hillary was going to win. And this is what I think they did, and have been doing.

And so when the thrill is gone, and dull reality starts sinking in, I suspect we are going to be in for quite a correction.

However, I am tuning out the hysteria from the Wall Street Democrats, especially the pitiful whining emanating from organizations like MSNBC, CNN, and the NY Times, because they have discredited themselves as reliable, unbiased sources. They really have.

They may just be joining their right-leaning peers in this, but they still do not realize it, and think of themselves as exceptional, and morally superior. And the same can be said of many pundits, and insiders, and very serious people with important podiums in the academy and the press.

Hillary was to be their meal ticket. And their anguish at being denied a payday for their faithful service is remarkable.

We are being treated to rumours that Trump is going to appoint this or that despicable person to some key position. I am waiting for him to show his hand with some actual decisions and appointments.

This is not to say that I am optimistic, not in the least. I am not, and I most certainly did not vote for him (or her for that matter). But the silliness of the courtiers in the media is just too much, too much whining from those who had their candy of power and money by association expectations taken away.

I am therefore very interested in seeing who the DNC will choose as chairperson. Liz Warren came out today and endorsed Ellison, which I believe Bernie Sanders has done as well. He is no insider like Wasserman-Schulz, Brazile, or Dean.

The Democratic party is at a crossroads, in a split between taking policy positions along lines of 'class' or 'identity.'

By class is meant working class of the broader public versus the moneyed interests of financiers and tech monopolists. Identity implies the working with various minority groups who certainly may deserve redress for real suppression of their rights and other financial abuses, but in a 'splintering' manner that breaks them down into special interest groups rather than a broader movement of the disadvantaged.

Why has this been the establishment approach of the heart of the Democratic power circles?

I think the reason for this Democratic strategy has been purely practical. There was no way the Wall Street wing of the Democratic party could make policy along lines of the middle class and the poor, and keep a straight face, while gorging themselves in a frenzy of massive soft corruption and enormous donations from the wealthiest few who they were thereby expected to represent and to serve.

And so they lost politically, and badly.

The average American, of whatever identity, finally became sick of them, and rejected the balkanization of their interests into special identity groups that could be more easily managed and messaged, and controlled.

This was a huge difference that we saw in the Sanders campaign, almost to a fault. Not because he was wrong necessarily, but because it was so unaccustomed, and insufficiently articulated. Sanders had his heart in the right place, perhaps, but he lacked the charisma and outspokenness of an FDR. Not to mention that his own party powers were dead set against him, because they wanted to keep the status quo that had rewarded them so well in place.

It is not at all obvious that the Democrats can find themselves again. Perhaps Mr. Trump, while doing some things well, will take economic policy matters to an excess, and like the Democrats ignore the insecurity and discontent of the working class. And the people will find a voice, eventually, in either the Democratic party, or something entirely new.

This is not just an American phenomenon. This has happened with Labour and Brexit in the UK, and is happening in the rest of the developed nations in Europe. One thing that the ruling elite of the West have had in common is a devotion to corporate globalisation and inequality.

And that system is not going to 'cohere' as economist Robert Johnson had put it so well.

With all this change and volatility and insecurity, it appears that people will be reaching for some sort of safe haven for themselves and their resources. So far the Dollar index has benefited from this, not because of its virtues, but from the weakness and foundering of the others.

I am afraid that the confidence in the Dollar as a safe haven is misplaced, especially if things go as I expect that they will with the US economy under a Trump administration. But that is still largely in his hand,s to be decided and written. We have yet to see if he has the will and mind to oppose the vested interests of his own party and the corporate, moneyed interests.

That is an enormous, history-making task, requiring an almost historic moral compass. And so I am not optimistic.

Have a pleasant evening.

[Mar 14, 2019] The Fog of Politics

Nov 19, 2016 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared with that of the rich."

John Kenneth Galbraith

The sugar high of the Trump election seems to be wearing a bit thin on Wall Street. I had said at the time that I thought they would just execute the trading plans they had in place in their supposition that Hillary was going to win. And this is what I think they did, and have been doing.

And so when the thrill is gone, and dull reality starts sinking in, I suspect we are going to be in for quite a correction.

However, I am tuning out the hysteria from the Wall Street Democrats, especially the pitiful whining emanating from organizations like MSNBC, CNN, and the NY Times, because they have discredited themselves as reliable, unbiased sources. They really have.

They may just be joining their right-leaning peers in this, but they still do not realize it, and think of themselves as exceptional, and morally superior. And the same can be said of many pundits, and insiders, and very serious people with important podiums in the academy and the press.

Hillary was to be their meal ticket. And their anguish at being denied a payday for their faithful service is remarkable.

We are being treated to rumours that Trump is going to appoint this or that despicable person to some key position. I am waiting for him to show his hand with some actual decisions and appointments.

This is not to say that I am optimistic, not in the least. I am not, and I most certainly did not vote for him (or her for that matter). But the silliness of the courtiers in the media is just too much, too much whining from those who had their candy of power and money by association expectations taken away.

I am therefore very interested in seeing who the DNC will choose as chairperson. Liz Warren came out today and endorsed Ellison, which I believe Bernie Sanders has done as well. He is no insider like Wasserman-Schulz, Brazile, or Dean.

The Democratic party is at a crossroads, in a split between taking policy positions along lines of 'class' or 'identity.'

By class is meant working class of the broader public versus the moneyed interests of financiers and tech monopolists. Identity implies the working with various minority groups who certainly may deserve redress for real suppression of their rights and other financial abuses, but in a 'splintering' manner that breaks them down into special interest groups rather than a broader movement of the disadvantaged.

Why has this been the establishment approach of the heart of the Democratic power circles?

I think the reason for this Democratic strategy has been purely practical. There was no way the Wall Street wing of the Democratic party could make policy along lines of the middle class and the poor, and keep a straight face, while gorging themselves in a frenzy of massive soft corruption and enormous donations from the wealthiest few who they were thereby expected to represent and to serve.

And so they lost politically, and badly.

The average American, of whatever identity, finally became sick of them, and rejected the balkanization of their interests into special identity groups that could be more easily managed and messaged, and controlled.

This was a huge difference that we saw in the Sanders campaign, almost to a fault. Not because he was wrong necessarily, but because it was so unaccustomed, and insufficiently articulated. Sanders had his heart in the right place, perhaps, but he lacked the charisma and outspokenness of an FDR. Not to mention that his own party powers were dead set against him, because they wanted to keep the status quo that had rewarded them so well in place.

It is not at all obvious that the Democrats can find themselves again. Perhaps Mr. Trump, while doing some things well, will take economic policy matters to an excess, and like the Democrats ignore the insecurity and discontent of the working class. And the people will find a voice, eventually, in either the Democratic party, or something entirely new.

This is not just an American phenomenon. This has happened with Labour and Brexit in the UK, and is happening in the rest of the developed nations in Europe. One thing that the ruling elite of the West have had in common is a devotion to corporate globalisation and inequality.

And that system is not going to 'cohere' as economist Robert Johnson had put it so well.

With all this change and volatility and insecurity, it appears that people will be reaching for some sort of safe haven for themselves and their resources. So far the Dollar index has benefited from this, not because of its virtues, but from the weakness and foundering of the others.

I am afraid that the confidence in the Dollar as a safe haven is misplaced, especially if things go as I expect that they will with the US economy under a Trump administration. But that is still largely in his hand,s to be decided and written. We have yet to see if he has the will and mind to oppose the vested interests of his own party and the corporate, moneyed interests.

That is an enormous, history-making task, requiring an almost historic moral compass. And so I am not optimistic.

Have a pleasant evening.

[Mar 02, 2019] Ron Paul to Trump: Dont Listen to Neocons! by Adam Dick

Ron Paul was right in 2016 to express reservations about Trump forign policy.
Notable quotes:
"... Paul started off the interview saying that he is keeping his "fingers crossed" regarding Trump's potential foreign policy actions. ..."
"... Trump has presented "vague" foreign policy positions overall. Paul also comments that a good indication of how Trump will act on foreign policy issues will be provided by looking at who Trump appoints to positions in the executive branch and from whom Trump receives advice. ..."
"... Regarding Trump's foreign policy advisors and potential appointees, Paul expresses in the interview reason for concern. Paul states: "Unfortunately, there have been several neoconservatives that are getting closer to Trump, and, if he gets his advice from them, then I don't think that is a good sign." ..."
"... Even if Trump wants to pursue a significantly more noninterventionist course than his recent predecessors in the presidency, Paul warns that the entrenched "deep state" that favors foreign intervention and war, special interests that have "sinister motivation for these wars," and media propaganda that "builds up the war fever" can ..."
Nov 11, 2016 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Ron Paul, known for his promotion of the United States following a noninterventionist foreign policy, presented Thursday his take on the prospects of Donald Trump's foreign policy as president. Paul set out his analysis in an extensive interview with host Peter Lavelle at RT.

Paul started off the interview saying that he is keeping his "fingers crossed" regarding Trump's potential foreign policy actions. Paul says he views favorably Trump's comments in the presidential election about "being less confrontational with Russia" and criticizing some of the US wars in the Middle East. Paul, though, notes that Trump has presented "vague" foreign policy positions overall. Paul also comments that a good indication of how Trump will act on foreign policy issues will be provided by looking at who Trump appoints to positions in the executive branch and from whom Trump receives advice.

Regarding Trump's foreign policy advisors and potential appointees, Paul expresses in the interview reason for concern. Paul states: "Unfortunately, there have been several neoconservatives that are getting closer to Trump, and, if he gets his advice from them, then I don't think that is a good sign."

Even if Trump wants to pursue a significantly more noninterventionist course than his recent predecessors in the presidency, Paul warns that the entrenched "deep state" that favors foreign intervention and war, special interests that have "sinister motivation for these wars," and media propaganda that "builds up the war fever" can

[Mar 02, 2019] Ron Paul to Trump: Dont Listen to Neocons! by Adam Dick

Ron Paul was right in 2016 to express reservations about Trump forign policy.
Notable quotes:
"... Paul started off the interview saying that he is keeping his "fingers crossed" regarding Trump's potential foreign policy actions. ..."
"... Trump has presented "vague" foreign policy positions overall. Paul also comments that a good indication of how Trump will act on foreign policy issues will be provided by looking at who Trump appoints to positions in the executive branch and from whom Trump receives advice. ..."
"... Regarding Trump's foreign policy advisors and potential appointees, Paul expresses in the interview reason for concern. Paul states: "Unfortunately, there have been several neoconservatives that are getting closer to Trump, and, if he gets his advice from them, then I don't think that is a good sign." ..."
"... Even if Trump wants to pursue a significantly more noninterventionist course than his recent predecessors in the presidency, Paul warns that the entrenched "deep state" that favors foreign intervention and war, special interests that have "sinister motivation for these wars," and media propaganda that "builds up the war fever" can ..."
Nov 11, 2016 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Ron Paul, known for his promotion of the United States following a noninterventionist foreign policy, presented Thursday his take on the prospects of Donald Trump's foreign policy as president. Paul set out his analysis in an extensive interview with host Peter Lavelle at RT.

Paul started off the interview saying that he is keeping his "fingers crossed" regarding Trump's potential foreign policy actions. Paul says he views favorably Trump's comments in the presidential election about "being less confrontational with Russia" and criticizing some of the US wars in the Middle East. Paul, though, notes that Trump has presented "vague" foreign policy positions overall. Paul also comments that a good indication of how Trump will act on foreign policy issues will be provided by looking at who Trump appoints to positions in the executive branch and from whom Trump receives advice.

Regarding Trump's foreign policy advisors and potential appointees, Paul expresses in the interview reason for concern. Paul states: "Unfortunately, there have been several neoconservatives that are getting closer to Trump, and, if he gets his advice from them, then I don't think that is a good sign."

Even if Trump wants to pursue a significantly more noninterventionist course than his recent predecessors in the presidency, Paul warns that the entrenched "deep state" that favors foreign intervention and war, special interests that have "sinister motivation for these wars," and media propaganda that "builds up the war fever" can

[Feb 02, 2019] Pope Francis has some sensible things to say

Notable quotes:
"... Politics must not be subject to the economy, nor should the economy be subject to the dictates of an efficiency-driven paradigm of technocracy. Today, in view of the common good, there is urgent need for politics and economics to enter into a frank dialogue in the service of life, especially human life. ..."
"... Production is not always rational, and is usually tied to economic variables which assign to products a value that does not necessarily correspond to their real worth. This frequently leads to an overproduction of some commodities, with unnecessary impact on the environment and with negative results on regional economies.[133] The financial bubble also tends to be a productive bubble. The problem of the real economy is not confronted with vigour, yet it is the real economy which makes diversification and improvement in production possible, helps companies to function well, and enables small and medium businesses to develop and create employment. ..."
"... Whenever these questions are raised, some react by accusing others of irrationally attempting to stand in the way of progress and human development. But we need to grow in the conviction that a decrease in the pace of production and consumption can at times give rise to another form of progress and development. ..."
"... The principle of the maximization of profits, frequently isolated from other considerations, reflects a misunderstanding of the very concept of the economy. As long as production is increased, little concern is given to whether it is at the cost of future resources or the health of the environment; as long as the clearing of a forest increases production, no one calculates the losses entailed in the desertification of the land, the harm done to biodiversity or the increased pollution. In a word, businesses profit by calculating and paying only a fraction of the costs involved. Yet only when "the economic and social costs of using up shared environmental resources are recognized with transparency and fully borne by those who incur them, not by other peoples or future generations",[138] can those actions be considered ethical. An instrumental way of reasoning, which provides a purely static analysis of realities in the service of present needs, is at work whether resources are allocated by the market or by state central planning. ..."
Dec 16, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
December 16, 2016 at 07:48 AM
I'm an environmental scientist, not an economist, but it seems to me that Pope Francis has some sensible things to say, as in the following from Laudato si:

IV. POLITICS AND ECONOMY IN DIALOGUE FOR HUMAN FULFILMENT

189. Politics must not be subject to the economy, nor should the economy be subject to the dictates of an efficiency-driven paradigm of technocracy. Today, in view of the common good, there is urgent need for politics and economics to enter into a frank dialogue in the service of life, especially human life. Saving banks at any cost, making the public pay the price, foregoing a firm commitment to reviewing and reforming the entire system, only reaffirms the absolute power of a financial system, a power which has no future and will only give rise to new crises after a slow, costly and only apparent recovery. The financial crisis of 2007-08 provided an opportunity to develop a new economy, more attentive to ethical principles, and new ways of regulating speculative financial practices and virtual wealth. But the response to the crisis did not include rethinking the outdated criteria which continue to rule the world. Production is not always rational, and is usually tied to economic variables which assign to products a value that does not necessarily correspond to their real worth. This frequently leads to an overproduction of some commodities, with unnecessary impact on the environment and with negative results on regional economies.[133] The financial bubble also tends to be a productive bubble. The problem of the real economy is not confronted with vigour, yet it is the real economy which makes diversification and improvement in production possible, helps companies to function well, and enables small and medium businesses to develop and create employment.

190. Here too, it should always be kept in mind that "environmental protection cannot be assured solely on the basis of financial calculations of costs and benefits. The environment is one of those goods that cannot be adequately safeguarded or promoted by market forces".[134] Once more, we need to reject a magical conception of the market, which would suggest that problems can be solved simply by an increase in the profits of companies or individuals. Is it realistic to hope that those who are obsessed with maximizing profits will stop to reflect on the environmental damage which they will leave behind for future generations? Where profits alone count, there can be no thinking about the rhythms of nature, its phases of decay and regeneration, or the complexity of ecosystems which may be gravely upset by human intervention. Moreover, biodiversity is considered at most a deposit of economic resources available for exploitation, with no serious thought for the real value of things, their significance for persons and cultures, or the concerns and needs of the poor.

191. Whenever these questions are raised, some react by accusing others of irrationally attempting to stand in the way of progress and human development. But we need to grow in the conviction that a decrease in the pace of production and consumption can at times give rise to another form of progress and development. Efforts to promote a sustainable use of natural resources are not a waste of money, but rather an investment capable of providing other economic benefits in the medium term. If we look at the larger picture, we can see that more diversified and innovative forms of production which impact less on the environment can prove very profitable. It is a matter of openness to different possibilities which do not involve stifling human creativity and its ideals of progress, but rather directing that energy along new channels.

192. For example, a path of productive development, which is more creative and better directed, could correct the present disparity between excessive technological investment in consumption and insufficient investment in resolving urgent problems facing the human family. It could generate intelligent and profitable ways of reusing, revamping and recycling, and it could also improve the energy efficiency of cities. Productive diversification offers the fullest possibilities to human ingenuity to create and innovate, while at the same time protecting the environment and creating more sources of employment. Such creativity would be a worthy expression of our most noble human qualities, for we would be striving intelligently, boldly and responsibly to promote a sustainable and equitable development within the context of a broader concept of quality of life. On the other hand, to find ever new ways of despoiling nature, purely for the sake of new consumer items and quick profit, would be, in human terms, less worthy and creative, and more superficial.

193. In any event, if in some cases sustainable development were to involve new forms of growth, then in other cases, given the insatiable and irresponsible growth produced over many decades, we need also to think of containing growth by setting some reasonable limits and even retracing our steps before it is too late. We know how unsustainable is the behaviour of those who constantly consume and destroy, while others are not yet able to live in a way worthy of their human dignity. That is why the time has come to accept decreased growth in some parts of the world, in order to provide resources for other places to experience healthy growth. Benedict XVI has said that "technologically advanced societies must be prepared to encourage more sober lifestyles, while reducing their energy consumption and improving its efficiency".[135]
194. For new models of progress to arise, there is a need to change "models of global development";[136] this will entail a responsible reflection on "the meaning of the economy and its goals with an eye to correcting its malfunctions and misapplications".[137] It is not enough to balance, in the medium term, the protection of nature with financial gain, or the preservation of the environment with progress. Halfway measures simply delay the inevitable disaster. Put simply, it is a matter of redefining our notion of progress. A technological and economic development which does not leave in its wake a better world and an integrally higher quality of life cannot be considered progress. Frequently, in fact, people's quality of life actually diminishes – by the deterioration of the environment, the low quality of food or the depletion of resources – in the midst of economic growth. In this context, talk of sustainable growth usually becomes a way of distracting attention and offering excuses. It absorbs the language and values of ecology into the categories of finance and technocracy, and the social and environmental responsibility of businesses often gets reduced to a series of marketing and image-enhancing measures.

195. The principle of the maximization of profits, frequently isolated from other considerations, reflects a misunderstanding of the very concept of the economy. As long as production is increased, little concern is given to whether it is at the cost of future resources or the health of the environment; as long as the clearing of a forest increases production, no one calculates the losses entailed in the desertification of the land, the harm done to biodiversity or the increased pollution. In a word, businesses profit by calculating and paying only a fraction of the costs involved. Yet only when "the economic and social costs of using up shared environmental resources are recognized with transparency and fully borne by those who incur them, not by other peoples or future generations",[138] can those actions be considered ethical. An instrumental way of reasoning, which provides a purely static analysis of realities in the service of present needs, is at work whether resources are allocated by the market or by state central planning.

196. What happens with politics? Let us keep in mind the principle of subsidiarity, which grants freedom to develop the capabilities present at every level of society, while also demanding a greater sense of responsibility for the common good from those who wield greater power. Today, it is the case that some economic sectors exercise more power than states themselves. But economics without politics cannot be justified, since this would make it impossible to favour other ways of handling the various aspects of the present crisis. The mindset which leaves no room for sincere concern for the environment is the same mindset which lacks concern for the inclusion of the most vulnerable members of society. For "the current model, with its emphasis on success and self-reliance, does not appear to favour an investment in efforts to help the slow, the weak or the less talented to find opportunities in life".[139]

197. What is needed is a politics which is far-sighted and capable of a new, integral and interdisciplinary approach to handling the different aspects of the crisis. Often, politics itself is responsible for the disrepute in which it is held, on account of corruption and the failure to enact sound public policies. If in a given region the state does not carry out its responsibilities, some business groups can come forward in the guise of benefactors, wield real power, and consider themselves exempt from certain rules, to the point of tolerating different forms of organized crime, human trafficking, the drug trade and violence, all of which become very difficult to eradicate. If politics shows itself incapable of breaking such a perverse logic, and remains caught up in inconsequential discussions, we will continue to avoid facing the major problems of humanity. A strategy for real change calls for rethinking processes in their entirety, for it is not enough to include a few superficial ecological considerations while failing to question the logic which underlies present-day culture. A healthy politics needs to be able to take up this challenge.

198. Politics and the economy tend to blame each other when it comes to poverty and environmental degradation. It is to be hoped that they can acknowledge their own mistakes and find forms of interaction directed to the common good. While some are concerned only with financial gain, and others with holding on to or increasing their power, what we are left with are conflicts or spurious agreements where the last thing either party is concerned about is caring for the environment and protecting those who are most vulnerable. Here too, we see how true it is that "unity is greater than conflict".[140]

[Apr 02, 2018] Why the Elite hate Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Although Russia simply is just a country in the wrong place at the wrong time (which, throughout Russian history, seems to be a theme for them) - there really is a reason the Elite hate Russia. It's not because they're Xenophobic, although there's that too - it's because of several key factors that make Russia a unique power in the world, compared to similar countries. ..."
"... Russia has banned a pro-democracy charity founded by hedge fund billionaire George Soros, saying the organization posed a threat to both state security and the Russian constitution. ..."
"... Plain and simple, the [western] Elite do not control Russia. While there are backchannels of Russian oligarchs that work directly with Western Rothschild interests, for example, they simply don't have the same level of control as they do European countries, like Germany for instance. Or another good example is China, there's this fanatical talk that China can dump US Treasuries blah blah blah the fact is that China is completely dependent on USA and US Dollars, and will be for the rest of our lives. Maybe in 1000 years in the Dong Dynasty still to come they will rule the world but it's not going to happen anytime soon. ..."
Oct 27, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
In our previous article The Secret Truth about Russia Exposed, we elaborated on how Russia is a convenient enemy for politicians and specifically the Democratic party, to create an enemy that really, well - doesn't exist to distract and confuse voters.

But like with any 'enemy' if you bomb a village, you may have some pissed off villagers. As we explain in our best selling book Splitting Pennies - the world doesn't work the way you see on TV - in fact, it works more closely as seen on Zero Hedge.

Although Russia simply is just a country in the wrong place at the wrong time (which, throughout Russian history, seems to be a theme for them) - there really is a reason the Elite hate Russia. It's not because they're Xenophobic, although there's that too - it's because of several key factors that make Russia a unique power in the world, compared to similar countries.

1. Russia is an independent country. It's not possible to manipulate Russia via external remote control, like it is most countries. The Elite don't like that! Russia kicked out Soros "Open Society":

Russia has banned a pro-democracy charity founded by hedge fund billionaire George Soros, saying the organization posed a threat to both state security and the Russian constitution. In a statement released Monday morning, Russia's General Prosecutor's Office said two branches of Soros' charity network - the Open Society Foundations (OSF) and the Open Society Institute (OSI) - would be placed on a "stop list" of foreign non-governmental organizations whose activities have been deemed "undesirable" by the Russian state.

2. Russia is not easy to cripple via clandestine means, whether it be CIA, MI6, or outright military conflict. Some other BRICs however, that's not the case. Say what you will about Russia's military - it's on par and in many cases, advanced, compared to the US military. And that's not AN opinion, that's in the opinion of top US military commanders:

Late in September, we brought you " US Readies Battle Plans For Baltic War With Russia " in which we described a series of thought experiments undertaken by The Pentagon in an effort to determine what the likely outcome would be should something go horribly "wrong" on the way to landing the US in a shooting war with Russia in the Balkans.

The results of those thought experiments were not encouraging. As a reminder, here's how Foreign Policy summed up the exercises:

3. Russian culture, and language, is too complex for the average "Elite" who pretends to be internationally well versed because they had a few semesters of French. For example, when the diplomat Clinton was Secretary of State, she presented a reset button translating the opposite meaning... ooops.

"I would like to present you with a little gift that represents what President Obama and Vice President Biden and I have been saying and that is: 'We want to reset our relationship, and so we will do it together.' ...

"We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?" she asked Lavrov, laughing. "You got it wrong," said Lavrov, as both diplomats laughed.

"It should be "perezagruzka" [the Russian word for reset]," said Lavrov."This says 'peregruzka,' which means 'overcharged.'"

Yes, it's almost a certainty that if Clinton by some horrible fate is President there will be Nuclear war. Wars have been started over much more subtle mistakes. One would think, that Clinton would have had an advisor CHECK THIS before presenting it in a public ceremony, in front of reporters? How much more blatantly unprofessional can one be? If politicians worked in the private sector, they wouldn't last a day! How do these people advance so far in politics?

4. Plain and simple, the [western] Elite do not control Russia. While there are backchannels of Russian oligarchs that work directly with Western Rothschild interests, for example, they simply don't have the same level of control as they do European countries, like Germany for instance. Or another good example is China, there's this fanatical talk that China can dump US Treasuries blah blah blah the fact is that China is completely dependent on USA and US Dollars, and will be for the rest of our lives. Maybe in 1000 years in the Dong Dynasty still to come they will rule the world but it's not going to happen anytime soon.

Russia is one of the most highly misunderstood cultures in the West. Which is strange, because Russia is more like America than any European country:

There have been numerous interesting situations where Russia helped America and America helped Russia on a number of levels, to learn more about it checkout the following books:

Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution . Armand Hammer: The Untold Story

Most interestingly, during the Nixon administration Kissinger was prodding Nixon to partner with Russia that would, in Kissinger's view would create an unstoppable alliance, that no one could compete with such a superpower axis. But, it didn't happen, as there were 'neo-cons' who were against it, mostly Polish Catholics who have some deep genetic fear of any culture using the Cyrillic alphabet.

Nixon instead chose China (what a mistake!) and created Forex. But the point being that, through a small slip of fate, "China" may have been in this alternative Kissinger reality the 'Great Evil Enemy' hacking our elections, as we drive across the Alaskan-Siberian highway without any speed limit, oil would be ten cents a gallon, and we wouldn't need to war with the Middle East.

To learn more about how the world really works, checkout Splitting Pennies the book , or checkout Fortress Capital Trading Academy.

[Feb 25, 2018] Why Republican Elites are Threatened

This is almost two year old discussion. Still relevant...
Notable quotes:
"... Republicans have fooled people into thinking budget deficits can be reduced substantially by eliminating waste and fraud in government, cutting foreign aid, or that it is the fault of lazy, undeserving "others" who sponge off of government programs. ... ..."
"... I am very happy that the Republican con is starting to come to light. Members of the working class who support Trump are beginning to see that the elites in the Republican Party do not have their best interests at heart. I am not pleased at all, however, that people are still being led to believe that there are simple answers to budget problems that do not require raising taxes, or, alternatively, reducing their hard-earned benefits from programs such as Social Security or Medicare. ... ..."
"... And the next GOP President will immediately give away those hard earned surpluses generated by President Clinton or Sanders to their plutocratic donors - just as W did. ..."
"... The collapse and subsequent economic rape of the USSR region in 1991-1998 was a huge stimulus for the US economy. Something like 300 millions of new customers overnight for many products and huge expansion of the dollar zone, which partially compensates for the loss of EU to euro. ..."
"... Actually, Bill Clinton put a solid fundament for subsequent deterioration relations with Russia. His semi-successful attempt to colonize Russia (under Yeltsin Russia was a semi-colony and definitely a vassal state of the USA) backfired. ..."
"... Now the teeth of dragon planted by Slick Bill (of Kosovo war fame) are visible in full glory. Russian elite no longer trusts the US elite and feels threatened. ..."
"... Series of female sociopath (or borderline personalities) in the role of Secretaries of State did not help either. The last one, "We came, we saw, he died" Hillary and her protégé Victoria Nuland (which actually was a close associate of Dick Cheney http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2005/11/president_cheney.html ) are actually replay of unforgettable Madeleine Albright with her famous a 60 Minutes segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" and Albright replied "we think the price is worth it."[ ..."
"... "Republicans have fooled people into thinking budget deficits can be reduced substantially by eliminating waste and fraud in government, cutting foreign aid, or that it is the fault of lazy, undeserving "others" who sponge off of government programs. ..." ..."
"... I think you have identified the potential roots of a movement. The unwrapping and critical analysis of the demagoguery that has defined the lives of the baby boom generation. The quote below from Dan Baum's Harper's article, Legalize It All", seems particularly poignant: ..."
"... Much Republican elites would love to raise sales taxes, payroll taxes, or any tax that the "little people" pay. This would allow them to cut taxes for rich people even more. This is their game. Take from the poor and give to the rich. DOOH NIBOR economics! ..."
"... Excellent piece, but I would point out that the GOP would likely sacrifice their own mothers for upper class tax cuts. ..."
"... Rachel Maddow pointed out last night that the GOP *leadership* is vehemently opposed to Trump, because he threatens their authority, but the rank-and-file seem to be pretty happy with him. ..."
"... The idea seems to be that Trump, if elected, will obviously 'reconstitute' the GOP, re-making it totally, casting out old people, bringing in New Blood. ..."
"... This would be 'yuuugely' more cataclysmic than what happened between Teddy Roosevelt and the anti-progressives of the GOP back in 1912. ..."
"... [I am very happy that the Republican con is starting to come to light. Members of the working class who support Trump are beginning to see that the elites in the Republican Party do not have their best interests at heart.] ..."
Mar 22, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
New Column:
Why Republican Elites are Threatened, by Mark Thoma : ... Donald Trump's tax plan will result in a fall in revenue of 9.5 trillion dollars over the next ten years, yet somehow he will fulfill his promise to protect Social Security and Medicare and balance the budget? When push comes to shove (or worse – this is Trump after all), who do you think he will protect, social insurance programs the working class relies upon for economic security or his own and his party's wealthy interests? Ted Cruz has proposed an 8.6 trillion dollar tax cut. How, exactly, will that be financed without large cuts to social insurance programs or huge increases in the budget deficit?

Republicans have fooled people into thinking budget deficits can be reduced substantially by eliminating waste and fraud in government, cutting foreign aid, or that it is the fault of lazy, undeserving "others" who sponge off of government programs. ...

I am very happy that the Republican con is starting to come to light. Members of the working class who support Trump are beginning to see that the elites in the Republican Party do not have their best interests at heart. I am not pleased at all, however, that people are still being led to believe that there are simple answers to budget problems that do not require raising taxes, or, alternatively, reducing their hard-earned benefits from programs such as Social Security or Medicare. ...

Posted by Mark Thoma on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 05:24 AM in Economics , Politics , Social Insurance | Permalink Comments (41)

New Deal democrat -> pgl...
And the next GOP President will immediately give away those hard earned surpluses generated by President Clinton or Sanders to their plutocratic donors - just as W did.

Hence my support for a *countercyclical* Balanced Budget Amendment.

Peter K. -> New Deal democrat...
My point was that Sanders or Clinton would be getting the surprise surpluses as W. did.

My hope is that Clinton would do the right thing, but I wouldn't bet money on it. I could see her do tax cuts for corporations and finance. Summers recently had a piece arguing for tax cuts as incentives for private investment.

sanjait -> Peter K....
If we consider that there is probably some pent up business investment demand that could drive above average productivity growth for a few years ... then it plausibly is possible for the country to achieve late 90s style growth.
likbez -> Peter K....

The collapse and subsequent economic rape of the USSR region in 1991-1998 was a huge stimulus for the US economy. Something like 300 millions of new customers overnight for many products and huge expansion of the dollar zone, which partially compensates for the loss of EU to euro.

Even if we count just the cash absorbed by the region, it will be a major economic stimulus. All-it-all it was Bernanke size if we add buying assets for pennies on the dollar.

Actually, Bill Clinton put a solid fundament for subsequent deterioration relations with Russia. His semi-successful attempt to colonize Russia (under Yeltsin Russia was a semi-colony and definitely a vassal state of the USA) backfired.

Now the teeth of dragon planted by Slick Bill (of Kosovo war fame) are visible in full glory. Russian elite no longer trusts the US elite and feels threatened.

Series of female sociopath (or borderline personalities) in the role of Secretaries of State did not help either. The last one, "We came, we saw, he died" Hillary and her protégé Victoria Nuland (which actually was a close associate of Dick Cheney http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2005/11/president_cheney.html ) are actually replay of unforgettable Madeleine Albright with her famous a 60 Minutes segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" and Albright replied "we think the price is worth it."[

pgl :
All well said! The notion that Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump lie a lot is as established as the fact that the earth is not flat.
Jerry Brown -> pgl...
True that!
Paul Mathis :
"[T]here are simple answers to budget problems that do not require raising taxes, or, alternatively, reducing their hard-earned benefits from programs such as Social Security or Medicare."

As every legitimate economist knows, stimulus spending to increase the GDP growth rate would raise tax revenues without raising tax rates. This phenomenon is well-known to Keynesians and has been demonstrated many times.

Thanks to the disinformation campaign run by Republicans, however, stimulus spending has been taken off the table of economic choices except in China where minimum GDP growth is 6.5%. China is "killing us" economically because we are stupid.

Jerry Brown -> Paul Mathis...
Instead, the Trumps and Cruzes and Ryans believe in giant tax cuts for the very wealthy. This might provide a weak stimulus for the economy, but it is a very poor way to go about it. More likely in my mind is that it would lead to increased pressure to cut government spending on things that actually do help the economy.
Paul Mathis -> Jerry Brown...
Tax cuts for the wealthy do not increase demand. Trickle down is a false economic doctrine that exacerbates inequality and therefore reduces demand. Keynes established this principle decades ago but his wisdom has been ignored.
pgl -> Paul Mathis...
You'll love this bit of honesty from right wing Joe Scarborough:

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2016/03/08/joe-scarborough-admits-that-trickle-down-economics-is-a-total-republican-lie-video/

But the 1981 tax cuts did increase shopping on Rodeo Drive.

mulp -> pgl...
Job losses began the month Reagan signed the tax cuts. Job creation began the month Reagan hiked taxes to pay workers to fix the roads and bridges. Reagan and his job killing tax cuts caused the recession, not the Fed and monetary policy. Monetary policy was steady from 1980 to 1983.

Reagan's tax cuts struck fear into would be lenders. How much debt was the government going to need if it intentionally cuts it's incomes? On the other hand, if the government stops spending, that's millions of workers who will be forced to stop spending.

For Nixon, the Fed monetized the smaller deficits from repealling the war tax surcharge that balanced the budget in 1969. Just as the Fed monetized all government debt once FDR and his bankers took over, especially Eccles at the Fed.

But Volcker was not going to monetize the debt caused by Reagan's adoption of intentional deficit spending.

But even Reagan eventually understood what FDR did: gdp growth requires workers getting paid more, and government can take the money from people who have it but won't spend it paying workers, but tax and spend, and create jobs.

If only economists today understood it, and called for tax and spend to create jobs to grow gdp.

anne :
Really nice essay.
Mr. Bill :
"Republicans have fooled people into thinking budget deficits can be reduced substantially by eliminating waste and fraud in government, cutting foreign aid, or that it is the fault of lazy, undeserving "others" who sponge off of government programs. ..."

I think you have identified the potential roots of a movement. The unwrapping and critical analysis of the demagoguery that has defined the lives of the baby boom generation. The quote below from Dan Baum's Harper's article, Legalize It All", seems particularly poignant:

"At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. "You want to know what this was really all about?" he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. "The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."

BobZ :
I'm pretty sure that the Trumpists would be thrilled to raise taxes...on someone else. It's only the elites that are interested in lowering taxes on the rich. Trump's followers don't care.

I'm also pretty sure that Trump will turn on the donor class rather than reduce anything for his own base - but I could be wrong.

pgl -> BobZ ...
Much Republican elites would love to raise sales taxes, payroll taxes, or any tax that the "little people" pay. This would allow them to cut taxes for rich people even more. This is their game. Take from the poor and give to the rich. DOOH NIBOR economics!
pgl -> BobZ ...
Krugman for almost 12 years ago:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/01/opinion/dooh-nibor-economics.html?_r=0

JohnH :
All this liberal hand wringing about Trump's tax plan. Yet when Bernie introduces a major tax plan, it doesn't get noticed!!! Not a single 'attaboy' from these supposedly liberal economists.

"With the most progressive tax policy of any candidate, Sanders would dramatically increase taxes for the very wealthy and high-income earners (as well as moderate increases for the middle- and upper-middle classes) in order to pay for key planks of his social agenda including tuition-free public college, a Medicare for All healthcare program, massive infrastructure spending, and paid family leave for all workers."
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/03/21/tax-plan-sanders-beats-both-clinton-and-trump-double-digits


"Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders proposes significant increases in federal income, payroll, business, and estate taxes, and new excise taxes on financial transactions and carbon. New revenues would pay for universal health care, education, family leave, rebuilding the nation's infrastructure, and more. TPC estimates the tax proposals would raise $15.3 trillion over the next decade. All income groups would pay some additional tax, but most would come from high-income households, particularly those with the very highest income. His proposals would raise taxes on work, saving, and investment, in some cases to rates well beyond recent historical experience in the US."
http://taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/2000639-an-analysis-of-senator-bernie-sanderss-tax-proposals.pdf

As I've said many times, most 'liberal' economists simply to not want increased taxes to be put on the table as a viable alternative for funding stimulus. Else, why would they go silent when a major candidate makes such an economically significant proposal? Why is it that they are eager to promote ever more debt but refuse to support more taxes?

pgl -> JohnH...
You are pushing this which is fine. But

"Yet when Bernie introduces a major tax plan, it doesn't get noticed!!"

I noticed this a long time ago. And I applauded Bernie's proposal. I guess I have to resign as a "liberal economist".

JohnH -> pgl...
Now pgl claims to have supported Bernie's tax plan...when all he said did was to acknowledge that I cited a credible source!
http://ctj.org/ctjreports/2016/02/bernie_sanders_health_care_tax_plan_would_raise_13_trillion_yet_increase_after-tax_incomes_for_all_i.php#.VvFotY-cHcs

Question is, why are all those 'liberal' economists running from Bernie's progressive tax plan like the plague?

pgl -> JohnH...
I have supported tax increases on the rich many times. Pay attention. Also - read the latest column from Mark Thoma which is what this thread is supposed to be about. I guess Mark must not be a liberal economists either. DUH!
Eric377 -> JohnH...
Because they can always run back to something like it if a Democrat is elected, but not so if Trump or Cruz are and they have convinced themselves that supporting Sanders is a big risk of getting a Republican. And they are right about that.
JohnH -> Eric377...
LOL!!! Democrats will NOT endorse support anything like Bernie's tax pan EVER! Just like 'liberal" economists will never endorse it either...in fact, they have every opportunity to endorse it now but refuse to even talk about it, apparently hoping it will just go away.
mulp -> JohnH...
But the real benefit of high tax rates on people with lots of money is they will work really hard to not pay taxes by investing in new capital assets even if the bean counters think building more assets will only slash returns on capital.

The result is no increase in tax revenue, but lots of jobs created if the tax dodges are designed to create jobs.

The best example is a carbon tax. The correct carbon tax schedule of increases will raise virtually no tax revenue, but will result in trillions of dollars in labor costs building productive capital, which will ironically make the rich far wealthier.

But if millions of people are employed for a lifetime and the burning of fossil fuels ends, only Bernie will be angry that those responsible end up worth hundreds of billions, or maybe become trillionaires. Their businesses will not be profitable, just like Amazon, Tesla, SpaceX are worth tens of billions but are unprofitable.

pgl :
GOP elite Peter Schiff babbling even worse lies than our excellent host has documented:

http://realcrash2016.com/peter-schiff-social-security-could-implode-in-2016/?code=466832/&utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=referral

pgl -> pgl...
Schiff is saying Soc. Sec. will go bankrupt this year. He also predicted hyperinflation and gold at $5000 an ounce:

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2013/02/13/gold-at-5000-and-beyond-peter-schiff-sticks-to-his-call/

Benedict@Large -> pgl...
Every year Schiff predicts a recession. Once every 6-8 years, he's right. Schiff then claims he's predicted every recession for the last three dozen years. Everyone is amazed. "How does he do it?" the crowd gasps.

Why does anyone even mention Schiff? He's a grifter with an angle to part rich people from their money. Nothing more.

pgl :
From the day job - filed under fun with Microsoft Excel. Math nerds will get this right away. I'm reading a report from some expert witness that claims some loan guarantee is worth only 22 basis points when my client has charged 55 basis points. Think of x = 1.005 and take the natural log. Yes, the right answer is 50 basis points. This clown uses Excel and types in log(x).

OK - I hate Microsoft Excel as it took me a while. But the log function assumes base 10. The correct syntax is ln(x).

Somehow I think the right wing elite will start doing similar things in their Soc. Sec. analyzes.

William -> pgl...
Somehow, I think the right wing elite don't know the difference between a basis point and a percentage point, let alone between a base 10 or a base e logarithm.
pgl -> William...
I know Stephen Moore certainly does not know the difference!
DrDick :
Excellent piece, but I would point out that the GOP would likely sacrifice their own mothers for upper class tax cuts.
pgl :
Politics down under (New Zealand). The Green Party is campaigning on transfer pricing enforcement in order to make the multinationals pay their fair share of taxes:

https://www.greens.org.nz/news/press-release/govt-warned-multinational-tax-rort-2013

We need more of this in the US!

Fred C. Dobbs :
Rachel Maddow pointed out last night that the GOP *leadership* is vehemently opposed to Trump, because he threatens their authority, but the rank-and-file seem to be pretty happy with him.
pgl -> Fred C. Dobbs...
I was tired and fell asleep by 9PM missing Rachel's show. Thanks for filling me in. She's awesome!
Fred C. Dobbs -> pgl...
The idea seems to be that Trump, if elected, will obviously 'reconstitute' the GOP, re-making it totally, casting out old people, bringing in New Blood.

This would be 'yuuugely' more cataclysmic than what happened between Teddy Roosevelt and the anti-progressives of the GOP back in 1912.

eudaimonia :
[I am very happy that the Republican con is starting to come to light. Members of the working class who support Trump are beginning to see that the elites in the Republican Party do not have their best interests at heart.]

I disagree here. I don't see Trump as exposing the Republican economic agenda to be a fraud. Instead, Trump is exposing that the main driver in conservatism is not policy, but racism.

The Republican base is not "waking up" per say, but Trump rather erased away the policy veneer and has shown the heart of the conservative base.

For decades, the RW economic and social agenda was based off of racism and bigotry - fictional Cadillac mothers, how blacks just vote Democrat since they are lazy, increased voting restrictions for a non-problem, Willie Horton, opposing the CRA in the name of "freedom" and states' rights, etc.

The argument now has simply shifted away from slashing taxes on white rich males since it creates an underclass of dependent minorities, to blaming Mexicans, immigrants, Muslims, etc.

If you look at the heart of Trump supporters, they are high school dropouts who have also dropped out of the labor force since they were dependent on the old economy, live in mobile houses and have not moved around much, with a history of voting for segregationists.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/13/upshot/the-geography-of-Trump_vs_deep_state.html?_r=0

As their economy breaks down around them, like it has in various parts of the country, we are seeing the same social ills emerge - suicide, drug use, depression, rise of divorce, etc.

What Trump has shown them is that it is not their fault. It is not the fault of policy. It is not the fault of globalization. It is not the fault of technological change. It is the fault of the Mexicans, immigrants, Muslims, etc.

The core of conservatism is still there: racism, and Trump has simply shown this. Conservatism is not about policy, but an emotional reactionary ideology based on fear and ignorance that looks for minorities to be scapegoats.

pgl :
US Supreme Court splits 4-4 in Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore:

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-03-22/u-s-supreme-court-splits-4-4-for-first-time-since-scalia-death?cmpid=yhoo.headline

Appeals Court had ruled in favor of the bank so the bank prevails. OK - we know Scalia would have voted in favor of the bank but now the standard is how would have Garland ruled. The Senate needs to act on his nomination.

sanjait :
Maybe the simplest way to dissect it is to note that the GOP has been running multiple overlapping cons. They tell the base that tax cuts will improve their lives, and then passes tax cuts that go mostly to the rich.

They tell the base that regulations are killing jobs, and then block or remove any government protection or program that makes the country livable so some industrialist can avoid having to deal with externalities. They tell the base that "those people" are taking their stuff, and then shred the safety net that helps almost everyone except the rich.

What Trump has done is expose how these cons don't really fit together logically, but he hasn't really gone strongly against any of them. He's been on both sides of the first two, and tripled down on the third.

[Feb 25, 2018] The State of American Politics

Notable quotes:
"... We don't lock ourselves in an echo chamber, where we take comfort in the dogmas and opinions we already hold. ..."
"... Republicans like to say that massive growth followed the Reagan tax cut. But average real GDP growth during Reagan's eight years in the White House was only slightly above the rate of the previous eight years: 3.4 percent per year vs. 2.9 percent. The average unemployment rate was actually higher under Reagan than it was during the previous eight years: 7.5 percent vs. 6.6 percent. ... ..."
"... In his first economic text Greg Mankiw (pre Bush Kool Aid) laid this out nicely. Inward shift of the national savings schedule, higher real interest rates, and the crowding-out of investment. Which lowers long-term growth in the standard Solow model. QED! ..."
"... Responding to the increasingly inane behavior of the two parties, Robert Reich envisions a third party win in 2020: http://robertreich.org/post/141437490885 ..."
"... Bratton is the best police commissioner in the nation! My only regret is that the NYPD did not arrest Cruz and toss him in jail for a few days. ..."
"... (i) It implies that high taxation was responsible for the stagnant economy. Therefore, reducing taxes would unleash growth. The early 80's recessions was not caused by high taxation and growth was just as strong before. ..."
"... (ii) Reagan actually passed a significant tax increase in 1982; TERFA. Some have actually called it the largest peacetime tax increase in history. ..."
"... (iii) Supply-siders completely ignore interest rates. The federal funds rate fell from 19% in July 1981 to 8.5% in February 1983. That looks like good ol' fashion Keynesianism at work. ..."
Mar 23, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
Paul Ryan, in a speech on the state of American politics, says :
We don't lock ourselves in an echo chamber, where we take comfort in the dogmas and opinions we already hold.

Followed by:

... in 1981 the Kemp-Roth bill was signed into law, lowering tax rates, spurring growth, and putting millions of Americans back to work.

Bruce Bartlett :

... I was the staff economist for Rep. Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.) in 1977, and it was my job to draft what came to be the Kemp-Roth tax bill, which Reagan endorsed in 1980 and enacted the following year. ...

Republicans like to say that massive growth followed the Reagan tax cut. But average real GDP growth during Reagan's eight years in the White House was only slightly above the rate of the previous eight years: 3.4 percent per year vs. 2.9 percent. The average unemployment rate was actually higher under Reagan than it was during the previous eight years: 7.5 percent vs. 6.6 percent. ...

PAUL MATHIS :
Lyin' Ryan

"In 1981 the Kemp-Roth bill was signed into law, lowering tax rates, spurring growth, and putting millions of Americans back to work."

In 1981 real GDP increased 2.6%, but in 1982 it was NEGATIVE 1.9%.
https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/A191RL1A225NBEA

In 1981 the unemployment rate was 7.6% but by 1982 it was 9.7%.
https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UNRATE

So the tax cuts reduced growth and increased unemployment. Those are FACTS

PAUL MATHIS -> pgl...

The Question Was the Effect of the 1981 Tax Cuts

Ryan says they were positive for growth and jobs. They were not based on the ensuing facts.

Obviously many other things were happening but Ryan made a clear statement that was a lie and that needs to be called out.

pgl -> PAUL MATHIS...
In his first economic text Greg Mankiw (pre Bush Kool Aid) laid this out nicely. Inward shift of the national savings schedule, higher real interest rates, and the crowding-out of investment. Which lowers long-term growth in the standard Solow model. QED!

JohnH :

Responding to the increasingly inane behavior of the two parties, Robert Reich envisions a third party win in 2020: http://robertreich.org/post/141437490885

"Politics abhors a vacuum. In 2019, the People's Party filled it.

Its platform called for getting big money out of politics, ending "crony capitalism," abolishing corporate welfare, stopping the revolving door between government and the private sector, and busting up the big Wall Street banks and corporate monopolies.

The People's Party also pledged to revoke the Trans Pacific Partnership, hike taxes on the rich to pay for a wage subsidy (a vastly expanded Earned Income Tax Credit) for everyone earning below the median, and raise taxes on corporations that outsource jobs abroad or pay their executives more than 100 times the pay of typical Americans.

Americans rallied to the cause. Millions who called themselves conservatives and Tea Partiers joined with millions who called themselves liberals and progressives against a political establishment that had shown itself incapable of hearing what they had been demanding for years."

Will Democrats and Republicans becoming out of touch with voters and illegitimate representatives of the will of the people, it's time to register your disgust--vote third party!
[Not voting only communicates apathy, which is fine with the elites.]

Ben Groves :

Boomers were driving up the labor force, driving up unemployment.

If you want to be clear, this happened to Jimmy Carter in the late 70's when that expansion was peaking.

The bigger the growth rate of total population, the faster GDP must grow.........and vice versa. Why do you think the classical liberals hated Malthus so much?

pgl :
Bruce may be right here but this includes business cycle effects:

"Republicans like to say that massive growth followed the Reagan tax cut. But average real GDP growth during Reagan's eight years in the White House was only slightly above the rate of the previous eight years: 3.4 percent per year vs. 2.9 percent."

Using the typical measure of potential output, we can do this on the terms that supply-siders preach. Long-term growth. This growth was around 3.5% before 1981. It was also 3.5% after 1992. But during the Reagan-Bush41 years, it was only 3%. You see - this tax cut raised real interest rates and crowded out investment.

Paul Ryan wants to pretend he's a smart guy. If he is - then he knows this. Which means he is lying to us.

pgl :

Oh goodie! Ted Cruz attacks my mayor!

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ted-cruz-slams-de-blasio-reaction-muslim-monitoring-idea-article-1.2574540

Yesterday when Brussels was attacked – my police department went into action to insure my subway rides were safe. My mayor took a subway ride to Times Square which showed courage. So what does the slime ball Cruz do?

'Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz swooped into Manhattan Wednesday and promptly hit Mayor de Blasio below the belt when he said cops who turned their backs on him were speaking for all Americans." When heroes of NYPD stood up and turned their backs on Mayor de Blasio, they spoke not just for the men and women of New York, but for Americans all across this nation," said Cruz at the GOP Party & Women's National Republican Club in Midtown.'

There has been tension as our police have to patrol as we march against how the police that murdered Eric Garner got off from prosecution. And then the horror of two of them murdered in cold blood by some crazed person from Baltimore. A few cops did turn their backs as the mayor honored these two brave cops. Most of the NYPD, however, was appalled at this garbage. Had I known Cruz was coming here to insult my city – I would have been there protesting. But my mayor handled this the right way:

'De Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton were two of the most vocal critics, with Bratton saying it was so out of line it showed why he'd never win the White House race. He doesn't know the hell what he is talking about, to be frank with you," Bratton said. "While he's running around here, he probably has some Muslim officers guarding him." Later, during an radio interview, Bratton went after the Texas senator again on the monitoring." He is maligning a whole population group. A religion. That's not the American way," Bratton said on "The John Gambling Show" on AM970. "Mr. Cruz showed his naivete of the police department. I don't recall Mr. Cruz in uniform at any time fighting for his country. This election campaign is painting everyone with the broad brush. We focus on people committing the crime the disorder, not the population."'

Bratton is the best police commissioner in the nation! My only regret is that the NYPD did not arrest Cruz and toss him in jail for a few days.

eudaimonia :
Except the tax cut story does not hold up for a couple of reason.

(i) It implies that high taxation was responsible for the stagnant economy. Therefore, reducing taxes would unleash growth. The early 80's recessions was not caused by high taxation and growth was just as strong before.

(ii) Reagan actually passed a significant tax increase in 1982; TERFA. Some have actually called it the largest peacetime tax increase in history.

(iii) Supply-siders completely ignore interest rates. The federal funds rate fell from 19% in July 1981 to 8.5% in February 1983. That looks like good ol' fashion Keynesianism at work.

It is simply a comfortable story that conservatives tell themselves in order to validate slashing taxes on the rich, cut discretionary non-military spending, and explode military spending and our deficits.

However, like in an echo-chamber for 3-4 decades, they will not come to terms with this.

[Dec 27, 2017] In my opinion, this is a typical color revolution. The US has so often used the mechanism of "color revolutions" in other countries that they were unable to remove this cup from their lips

Nov 11, 2016 | www.mkd.mk

In my opinion, this is a typical colour revolution. The US has so often used the mechanism of "colour revolutions" in other countries that they were unable to remove this cup from their lips.

On the Internet there have been discovered vacancies for special jobs and groups, for which protesters have been paid. Clinton is making use of such "love of the people" that she has to buy support. I am curious about when the protesters are going to start building barricades and setting up tents. Stocks of Victoria Nuland biscuits will certainly come in useful.

As with the Ukrainian events, the driving force of the protest consists of a minority. However, the threats issuing from them should hardly be ignored. Experience of colour revolutions has repeatedly proven that an active minority is able to win over a passive majority.

Meanwhile, the majority of Americans are looking on with bewilderment and humour. Most Americans say that media lies have been involved in causing the protests. As you know, until the last moment the media and sociologists in the US preferred that Clinton win, which has caused this dissonance on the part of the people after the announcement of the election results. Press propaganda was so strong that a fortnight before the election an Irish bookmaker lost any belief that Trump could win and began to pay out to those who had put money on Clinton.

Dissonance has served as an additional catalyst in conjunction with bribery. Many Americans in the social media have been wondering why the protesters have so much free time. The very possibility of protesting has surprised US citizens, because the protest is against the legitimately elected President. Republicans noted that in 2008 and 2012 there were no protests, although they, too, were not satisfied that Obama had become President.

A split has been planned in American society, which many have heralded regardless of the outcome of the election. However, the elite group standing behind Clinton intends to extend this split. Truly, these crazy people are willing to do anything for the sake of having power over everything.

Trump's elite group is also not sitting by idly, for the police are on their side in that they are preventing riots and arresting provocateurs. In addition, they have shown that if police measures fail to suppress the protests, then it will come to using unidentified snipers. Events in Seattle, where unknown persons shot five Clinton supporters, have served as a kind of warning. Reply

  • Northern Star says: November 10, 2016 at 1:30 pm http://nypost.com/2016/11/09/the-one-scenario-that-could-still-get-hillary-into-the-white-house/
  • Moscow Exile says: November 10, 2016 at 1:47 pm Reply
  • Northern Star says: November 10, 2016 at 4:00 pm Accordng to this..5 anti Trump people were shot and killed in Seattle..

    http://www.newsx.com/world/45968-anti-trump-protests-5-dead-many-injured-in-mass-shooting-in-seattle-washington Reply

  • Cortes says: November 10, 2016 at 4:37 pm Comedy platinum as the Donald a new acronym: PEOTUS….

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/10/barack-obama-donald-trump-white-house-meeting-transition Reply

  • Cortes says: November 10, 2016 at 5:47 pm My aching sides:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 Reply

  • Moscow Exile says: November 10, 2016 at 10:27 pm
    "Downfall" (2004) vs."Downfall" (2016)

    "Der Untergang" was a 2004 award winning film depicting Hitler's last days in the Berlin Führerbunker as the victorious Red Army was drawing ever closer.

    There is a memorable scene in the film where Hitler goes into a magnificent rant against some generals whilst outside in a corridor his entourage, secretaries, servants and lackeys listen on dismayed. This scene has been dubbed many times and gone viral with subtitles showing that Hitler is ranting against more mundane, present-day events.

    I am sure there will soon be another "Der Untergang" clip done showing Hitler ranting on about Trump's victory/Clinton's defeat.

    Here is a typical example of such a mischievously subtitled rant that shows Hitler going lulu about the UK Brexit vote:

    The 2016 picture (above) was allegedly taken yesterday, Thursday,10th November, and claims to show White House staffers witnessing Donald Trump's visit to Obama on Thursday.

    It went viral after having first appeared thus:

    However, the photo was actually taken when President Obama spoke from the Rose Garden the day before,on Wednesday, 9th November, congratulating Trump on winning the election.

    Trump was not there.

    Nevertheless, the gang looks glum.

    Bear in mind, that sad-sack in the middle always has a face that looks like a slapped arse. Reply

  • Moscow Exile says: November 10, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    What you gonna do now, Porky? Reply

  • Moscow Exile says: November 11, 2016 at 12:30 am Over 2 million make on-line petition to electoral college to vote for Clinton:

    Petitions Ask Electoral College to Make Hillary Clinton President Reply

  • Moscow Exile says: November 11, 2016 at 6:25 am

    So whose president have those folks in the counties that appear red below?

    These California kreakles know full well that the system of an electoral college was put into place in order to prevent the opinions of voters in the populous centres overwhelming those in the backwoods, that on the popular vote count Clinton won by a margin of about 300,000 in fewer states but more populous states, whereas Trump, though having won fewer votes than Clinton, won far more states than did his opponent. They know that the president is chosen according to the number of electors' votes, i../ the votes of states, that are cast for a presidential candidate.

    They know that. They know the rules, the system. They just do not like the result.

    And if the boot were on the other foot, would thy howl "Unfair"? Reply

  • J.T. says: November 11, 2016 at 8:31 am I've aggregated and summarized several expert opinions on what the Trump presidency might mean for U.S.-Russian relations in my latest post .

    Also, if anyone's interested, here are some recent, new and upcoming Russia books . Reply

  • et Al says: November 11, 2016 at 8:35 am Daily Fail: Democrats at war: Staffer screams at pro-Clinton DNC leader Donna Brazile for helping Trump take the White House while her DNC pals 'plotted against Bernie for their own gain'
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3925682/DNC-leader-Donna-Brazile-screamed-staffer-helping-Donald-Trump-White-House-plotting-against-Bernie-Sanders.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&google_editors_picks=true

    The staffer, named 'Zach,' showed her up in front of 150 DNC employees He called her 'part of the problem' and Hillary Clinton 'a flawed candidate' Zach also blamed the DNC for 'plotting' against Bernie Sanders Sanders could have taken Trump due to anti-status-quo attitude, fans say Democrats are divided into Clinton elites and Sanders progressives The party must now embrace Sanders' vision, insiders say

    ####
    By the rivers of Klintonshire, where the shock sets in, Ye-eah we cried, for we stiffed dear Bernie…

    I wonder if the British Labor party is taking any note over what was done to Bernie and the self-inflicted consequences? Jez we can! Reply

  • [Dec 18, 2017] Can The Deep State Be Cured

    Notable quotes:
    "... The "Obama Doctrine" a continuation of the previous false government doctrines in my lifetime, is less doctrine than the disease, as David Swanson points out . But in the article he critiques, the neoconservative warmongering global planning freak perspective (truly, we must recognize this view as freakish, sociopathic, death-cultish, control-obsessed, narcissist, take your pick or get a combo, it's all good). Disease, as a way of understanding the deep state action on the body politic, is abnormal. It can and should be cured. ..."
    "... The deep state seems to have grown, strengthened and tightened its grip. Can a lack of real money restrain or starve it? I once thought so, and maybe I still do. But it doesn't use real money, but rather debt and creative financing to get that next new car, er, war and intervention and domestic spending program. Ultimately it's not sustainable, and just as unaffordable cars are junked, stripped, repossessed, and crunched up, so will go the way of the physical assets of the warfare–welfare state. ..."
    "... Because inflated salaries , inflated stock prices and inflated ruling-class personalities are month to month, these should evaporate more quickly, over a debris field once known as some of richest counties in the United States. Can I imagine the shabbiest of trailer parks in the dismal swamp, where high rises and government basilicas and abbeys once stood? I'd certainly like to. But I'll settle for well-kept, privately owned house trailers, filled with people actually producing some small value for society, and minding their own business. ..."
    "... Finally, what of those pinpricks of light, the honest assessments of the real death trail and consumption pit that the deep state has delivered? Well, it is growing and broadening. Wikileaks and Snowden are considered assets now to any and all competitors to the US deep state, from within and from abroad – the Pandora's box, assisted by technology, can't be closed now. The independent media has matured to the point of criticizing and debating itself/each other, as well as focusing harsh light on the establishment media. Instead of left and right mainstream media, we increasingly recognize state media, and delightedly observe its own struggle to survive in the face of a growing nervousness of the deep state it assists on command. ..."
    "... Watch an old program like"Yes, Minister" to understand how it works. Politicians come and go, but the permanent state apparatchiks doesn't. ..."
    "... The "deep state" programs, whether conceived and directed by Soros' handlers, or others, risks unintended consequences. The social division intended by BLM, for example could easily morph beyond the goals. The lack of law due to corruption is equally susceptible to a spontaneous reaction of "the mob," not under the control of the Tavistock handlers. There's an old saying on Wall St; pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. ..."
    www.zerohedge.com

    Submitted by Karen Kwiatkowski via LewRockwell.com,

    So, after getting up late, groggy, and feeling overworked even before I started, I read this article . Just after, I had to feed a dozen cats and dogs, each dog in a separate room out of respect for their territorialism and aggressive desire to consume more than they should (hmm, where have I seen this before), and in the process, forgot where I put my coffee cup. Retracing steps, I finally find it and sit back down to my 19-inch window on the ugly (and perhaps remote) world of the state, and the endless pinpricks of the independent media on its vast overwhelmingly evil existence. I suspect I share this distractibility and daily estrangement from the actions of our government with most Americans .

    We are newly bombing Libya and still messing with the Middle East? I thought that the wars the deep state wanted and started were now limited and constrained! What happened to lack of funds, lack of popular support, public transparency that revealed the stupidity and abject failure of these wars?

    Deep state. Something systemic, difficult to detect, hard to remove, hidden. It is a spirit as much as nerves and organ. How do your starve it, excise it, or just make it go away? We want to know. I think this explains the popularity of infotainment about haunted houses, ghosts and alien beings among us. They live and we are curious and scared.

    The "Obama Doctrine" a continuation of the previous false government doctrines in my lifetime, is less doctrine than the disease, as David Swanson points out . But in the article he critiques, the neoconservative warmongering global planning freak perspective (truly, we must recognize this view as freakish, sociopathic, death-cultish, control-obsessed, narcissist, take your pick or get a combo, it's all good). Disease, as a way of understanding the deep state action on the body politic, is abnormal. It can and should be cured.

    My summary of the long Jeffrey Goldberg piece is basically that Obama has become more fatalistic (did he mean to say fatal?) since he won that Nobel Peace Prize back in 2009 . By the way, the "Nobel prize" article contains this gem, sure to get a chuckle:

    "Obama's drone program is regularly criticized for a lack of transparency and accountability, especially considering incomplete intelligence means officials are often unsure about who will die. "

    [M]ost individuals killed are not on a kill list, and the government does not know their names," Micah Zenko, a scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations told the New York Times."

    This is about all the fun I can handle in one day. But back to what I was trying to say.

    The deep state seems to have grown, strengthened and tightened its grip. Can a lack of real money restrain or starve it? I once thought so, and maybe I still do. But it doesn't use real money, but rather debt and creative financing to get that next new car, er, war and intervention and domestic spending program. Ultimately it's not sustainable, and just as unaffordable cars are junked, stripped, repossessed, and crunched up, so will go the way of the physical assets of the warfare–welfare state.

    Because inflated salaries , inflated stock prices and inflated ruling-class personalities are month to month, these should evaporate more quickly, over a debris field once known as some of richest counties in the United States. Can I imagine the shabbiest of trailer parks in the dismal swamp, where high rises and government basilicas and abbeys once stood? I'd certainly like to. But I'll settle for well-kept, privately owned house trailers, filled with people actually producing some small value for society, and minding their own business.

    Can a lack of public support reduce the deep state, or impact it? Well, it would seem that this is a non-factor, except for the strange history we have had and are witnessing again today, with the odd successful popular and populist-leaning politician and their related movements. In my lifetime, only popular figures and their movements get assassinated mysteriously, with odd polka dot dresses, MKULTRA suggestions, threats against their family by their competitors (I'm thinking Perot, but one mustn't be limited to that case), and always with concordant pressures on the sociopolitical seams in the country, i.e riots and police/military activations. The bad dealings toward, and genuine fear of, Bernie Sanders within the Democratic Party's wing of the deep state is matched or exceeded only by the genuine terror of Trump among the Republican deep state wing. This reaction to something or some person that so many in the country find engaging and appealing - an outsider who speaks to the growing political and economic dissatisfaction of a poorer, more indebted, and more regulated population – is heart-warming, to be sure. It is a sign that whether or not we do, the deep state thinks things might change. Thank you, Bernie and especially Donald, for revealing this much! And the "republicanization" of the Libertarian Party is also a bright indicator blinking out the potential of deep state movement and compromise in the pursuit of "stability."

    Finally, what of those pinpricks of light, the honest assessments of the real death trail and consumption pit that the deep state has delivered? Well, it is growing and broadening. Wikileaks and Snowden are considered assets now to any and all competitors to the US deep state, from within and from abroad – the Pandora's box, assisted by technology, can't be closed now. The independent media has matured to the point of criticizing and debating itself/each other, as well as focusing harsh light on the establishment media. Instead of left and right mainstream media, we increasingly recognize state media, and delightedly observe its own struggle to survive in the face of a growing nervousness of the deep state it assists on command.

    Maybe we will one day soon be able to debate how deep the deep state really is, or whether it was all just a dressed up, meth'ed up, and eff'ed up a sector of society that deserves a bit of jail time, some counseling, and a new start . Maybe some job training that goes beyond the printing of license plates. But given the destruction and mass murder committed daily in the name of this state, and the environmental disasters it has created around the world for the future generations, perhaps we will be no more merciful to these proprietors of the American empire as they have been to their victims. The ruling class deeply fears our judgment, and in this dynamic lies the cure.

    Jim in MN Tallest Skil Aug 20, 2016 8:22 PM

    I made a list of steps that could be taken to disrupt the Beast. It's all I can offer but I offer it freely.

    https://www.scribd.com/document/67758041/List-of-Demands-October-6-2011

    4:00 AM October 6, 2011

    Kitchen Table, USA

    LIST OF DEMANDS TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FROM FINANCIAL CATASTROPHE

    I.CURB CORRUPTION AND EXCESSIVE POWER IN THE FINANCIAL ARMS OF THE US GOVERNMENT

    A. FEDERAL RESERVE

    1. Benjaman Bernanke to be removed as Chairman immediately

    2. New York Federal Reserve Bank and all New York City offices of the Federal Reserve system will be closed for at least 3 years

    3. Salaries will be reduced and capped at $150,000/year, adjusted for official inflation

    4. Staffing count to be reduced to 1980 levels

    5. Interest rate manipulation to be prohibited for at least five years

    6. Balance sheet manipulation to be prohibited for at least five years

    7. Financial asset purchases prohibited for at least five years

    B. TREASURY DEPARTMENT

    1. Timothy Geithner to be removed as Secretary immediately

    2. All New York City offices of the Department will be closed for at least 3 years

    3. Salaries will be reduced and capped at $150,000/year, adjusted for official inflation

    4. Staffing count to be reduced to 1980 levels

    5. Market manipulation/intervention to be prohibited for at least five years

    7. Financial asset purchases prohibited for at least five years

    II. END THE CORRUPTING INFLUENCE OF GIANT BANKS AND PROTECT AMERICANS FROM FURTHER EXPOSURE TO THEIR COLLAPSE

    A. END CORRUPT INFLUENCE

    1. Lifetime ban on government employment for TARP recipient employees and corporate officers, specifically including Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase

    2. Ten year ban on government work for consulting firms, law firms, and individual consultants and lawyers who have accepted cash from these entities

    3. All contacts by any method with federal agencies and employees prohibited for at least five years, with civil and criminal penalties for violation

    B. PROTECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FROM FURTHER HARM AT THE HANDS OF GIANT BANKS

    1. No financial institution with assets of more than $10billion will receive federal assistance or any 'arm's-length' bailouts

    2. TARP recipients are prohibited from purchasing other TARP recipient corporate units, or merging with other TARP recipients

    3. No foreign interest shall be allowed to acquire any portion of TARP recipients in the US or abroad

    III. PREVENT CORPORATE ACCOUNTING AND PENSION FUND ABUSES RELATED TO THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS

    A. CORPORATE ACCOUNTING

    1. Immediately implement mark-to-market accounting rules which were improperly suspended, allowing six months for implementation.

    2. Companies must reserve against impaired assets under mark-to-market rules

    3. Any health or life insurance company with more than$100 million in assets must report on their holdings and risk factors, specifically including exposure to real estate, mortgage-backed securities, derivatives, and other exotic financial instruments. These reports will be to state insurance commissions and the federal government, and will also be made available to the public on the Internet.

    B. PENSION FUNDS

    1. All private and public pension funds must disclose their funding status and establish a plan to fully fund accounts under the assumption that net real returns across all asset classes remain at zero for at least ten years.

    Winston Churchill -> Sam Clemons Aug 20, 2016 7:26 PM

    Watch an old program like"Yes, Minister" to understand how it works. Politicians come and go, but the permanent state apparatchiks doesn't.

    sinbad2 -> Winston Churchill Aug 20, 2016 7:58 PM

    Sir Humphrey Appleby: You know what happens when politicians get into Number 10; they want to take their place on the world stage.

    Sir Richard Wharton: People on stages are called actors. All they are required to do is look plausible, stay sober, and say the lines they're given in the right order.

    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Some of them try to make up their own lines.

    Sir Richard Wharton: They don't last long.

    rlouis Aug 20, 2016 7:47 PM

    The "deep state" programs, whether conceived and directed by Soros' handlers, or others, risks unintended consequences. The social division intended by BLM, for example could easily morph beyond the goals. The lack of law due to corruption is equally susceptible to a spontaneous reaction of "the mob," not under the control of the Tavistock handlers. There's an old saying on Wall St; pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.

    The failed coup in Turkey is a significant indication of institutional weakness and also vulnerability. The inability to exercise force of will in Syria is another. The list of failures is getting too long.

    [Dec 18, 2017] Can The Deep State Be Cured

    Notable quotes:
    "... The "Obama Doctrine" a continuation of the previous false government doctrines in my lifetime, is less doctrine than the disease, as David Swanson points out . But in the article he critiques, the neoconservative warmongering global planning freak perspective (truly, we must recognize this view as freakish, sociopathic, death-cultish, control-obsessed, narcissist, take your pick or get a combo, it's all good). Disease, as a way of understanding the deep state action on the body politic, is abnormal. It can and should be cured. ..."
    "... The deep state seems to have grown, strengthened and tightened its grip. Can a lack of real money restrain or starve it? I once thought so, and maybe I still do. But it doesn't use real money, but rather debt and creative financing to get that next new car, er, war and intervention and domestic spending program. Ultimately it's not sustainable, and just as unaffordable cars are junked, stripped, repossessed, and crunched up, so will go the way of the physical assets of the warfare–welfare state. ..."
    "... Because inflated salaries , inflated stock prices and inflated ruling-class personalities are month to month, these should evaporate more quickly, over a debris field once known as some of richest counties in the United States. Can I imagine the shabbiest of trailer parks in the dismal swamp, where high rises and government basilicas and abbeys once stood? I'd certainly like to. But I'll settle for well-kept, privately owned house trailers, filled with people actually producing some small value for society, and minding their own business. ..."
    "... Finally, what of those pinpricks of light, the honest assessments of the real death trail and consumption pit that the deep state has delivered? Well, it is growing and broadening. Wikileaks and Snowden are considered assets now to any and all competitors to the US deep state, from within and from abroad – the Pandora's box, assisted by technology, can't be closed now. The independent media has matured to the point of criticizing and debating itself/each other, as well as focusing harsh light on the establishment media. Instead of left and right mainstream media, we increasingly recognize state media, and delightedly observe its own struggle to survive in the face of a growing nervousness of the deep state it assists on command. ..."
    "... Watch an old program like"Yes, Minister" to understand how it works. Politicians come and go, but the permanent state apparatchiks doesn't. ..."
    "... The "deep state" programs, whether conceived and directed by Soros' handlers, or others, risks unintended consequences. The social division intended by BLM, for example could easily morph beyond the goals. The lack of law due to corruption is equally susceptible to a spontaneous reaction of "the mob," not under the control of the Tavistock handlers. There's an old saying on Wall St; pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. ..."
    www.zerohedge.com

    Submitted by Karen Kwiatkowski via LewRockwell.com,

    So, after getting up late, groggy, and feeling overworked even before I started, I read this article . Just after, I had to feed a dozen cats and dogs, each dog in a separate room out of respect for their territorialism and aggressive desire to consume more than they should (hmm, where have I seen this before), and in the process, forgot where I put my coffee cup. Retracing steps, I finally find it and sit back down to my 19-inch window on the ugly (and perhaps remote) world of the state, and the endless pinpricks of the independent media on its vast overwhelmingly evil existence. I suspect I share this distractibility and daily estrangement from the actions of our government with most Americans .

    We are newly bombing Libya and still messing with the Middle East? I thought that the wars the deep state wanted and started were now limited and constrained! What happened to lack of funds, lack of popular support, public transparency that revealed the stupidity and abject failure of these wars?

    Deep state. Something systemic, difficult to detect, hard to remove, hidden. It is a spirit as much as nerves and organ. How do your starve it, excise it, or just make it go away? We want to know. I think this explains the popularity of infotainment about haunted houses, ghosts and alien beings among us. They live and we are curious and scared.

    The "Obama Doctrine" a continuation of the previous false government doctrines in my lifetime, is less doctrine than the disease, as David Swanson points out . But in the article he critiques, the neoconservative warmongering global planning freak perspective (truly, we must recognize this view as freakish, sociopathic, death-cultish, control-obsessed, narcissist, take your pick or get a combo, it's all good). Disease, as a way of understanding the deep state action on the body politic, is abnormal. It can and should be cured.

    My summary of the long Jeffrey Goldberg piece is basically that Obama has become more fatalistic (did he mean to say fatal?) since he won that Nobel Peace Prize back in 2009 . By the way, the "Nobel prize" article contains this gem, sure to get a chuckle:

    "Obama's drone program is regularly criticized for a lack of transparency and accountability, especially considering incomplete intelligence means officials are often unsure about who will die. "

    [M]ost individuals killed are not on a kill list, and the government does not know their names," Micah Zenko, a scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations told the New York Times."

    This is about all the fun I can handle in one day. But back to what I was trying to say.

    The deep state seems to have grown, strengthened and tightened its grip. Can a lack of real money restrain or starve it? I once thought so, and maybe I still do. But it doesn't use real money, but rather debt and creative financing to get that next new car, er, war and intervention and domestic spending program. Ultimately it's not sustainable, and just as unaffordable cars are junked, stripped, repossessed, and crunched up, so will go the way of the physical assets of the warfare–welfare state.

    Because inflated salaries , inflated stock prices and inflated ruling-class personalities are month to month, these should evaporate more quickly, over a debris field once known as some of richest counties in the United States. Can I imagine the shabbiest of trailer parks in the dismal swamp, where high rises and government basilicas and abbeys once stood? I'd certainly like to. But I'll settle for well-kept, privately owned house trailers, filled with people actually producing some small value for society, and minding their own business.

    Can a lack of public support reduce the deep state, or impact it? Well, it would seem that this is a non-factor, except for the strange history we have had and are witnessing again today, with the odd successful popular and populist-leaning politician and their related movements. In my lifetime, only popular figures and their movements get assassinated mysteriously, with odd polka dot dresses, MKULTRA suggestions, threats against their family by their competitors (I'm thinking Perot, but one mustn't be limited to that case), and always with concordant pressures on the sociopolitical seams in the country, i.e riots and police/military activations. The bad dealings toward, and genuine fear of, Bernie Sanders within the Democratic Party's wing of the deep state is matched or exceeded only by the genuine terror of Trump among the Republican deep state wing. This reaction to something or some person that so many in the country find engaging and appealing - an outsider who speaks to the growing political and economic dissatisfaction of a poorer, more indebted, and more regulated population – is heart-warming, to be sure. It is a sign that whether or not we do, the deep state thinks things might change. Thank you, Bernie and especially Donald, for revealing this much! And the "republicanization" of the Libertarian Party is also a bright indicator blinking out the potential of deep state movement and compromise in the pursuit of "stability."

    Finally, what of those pinpricks of light, the honest assessments of the real death trail and consumption pit that the deep state has delivered? Well, it is growing and broadening. Wikileaks and Snowden are considered assets now to any and all competitors to the US deep state, from within and from abroad – the Pandora's box, assisted by technology, can't be closed now. The independent media has matured to the point of criticizing and debating itself/each other, as well as focusing harsh light on the establishment media. Instead of left and right mainstream media, we increasingly recognize state media, and delightedly observe its own struggle to survive in the face of a growing nervousness of the deep state it assists on command.

    Maybe we will one day soon be able to debate how deep the deep state really is, or whether it was all just a dressed up, meth'ed up, and eff'ed up a sector of society that deserves a bit of jail time, some counseling, and a new start . Maybe some job training that goes beyond the printing of license plates. But given the destruction and mass murder committed daily in the name of this state, and the environmental disasters it has created around the world for the future generations, perhaps we will be no more merciful to these proprietors of the American empire as they have been to their victims. The ruling class deeply fears our judgment, and in this dynamic lies the cure.

    Jim in MN Tallest Skil Aug 20, 2016 8:22 PM

    I made a list of steps that could be taken to disrupt the Beast. It's all I can offer but I offer it freely.

    https://www.scribd.com/document/67758041/List-of-Demands-October-6-2011

    4:00 AM October 6, 2011

    Kitchen Table, USA

    LIST OF DEMANDS TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FROM FINANCIAL CATASTROPHE

    I.CURB CORRUPTION AND EXCESSIVE POWER IN THE FINANCIAL ARMS OF THE US GOVERNMENT

    A. FEDERAL RESERVE

    1. Benjaman Bernanke to be removed as Chairman immediately

    2. New York Federal Reserve Bank and all New York City offices of the Federal Reserve system will be closed for at least 3 years

    3. Salaries will be reduced and capped at $150,000/year, adjusted for official inflation

    4. Staffing count to be reduced to 1980 levels

    5. Interest rate manipulation to be prohibited for at least five years

    6. Balance sheet manipulation to be prohibited for at least five years

    7. Financial asset purchases prohibited for at least five years

    B. TREASURY DEPARTMENT

    1. Timothy Geithner to be removed as Secretary immediately

    2. All New York City offices of the Department will be closed for at least 3 years

    3. Salaries will be reduced and capped at $150,000/year, adjusted for official inflation

    4. Staffing count to be reduced to 1980 levels

    5. Market manipulation/intervention to be prohibited for at least five years

    7. Financial asset purchases prohibited for at least five years

    II. END THE CORRUPTING INFLUENCE OF GIANT BANKS AND PROTECT AMERICANS FROM FURTHER EXPOSURE TO THEIR COLLAPSE

    A. END CORRUPT INFLUENCE

    1. Lifetime ban on government employment for TARP recipient employees and corporate officers, specifically including Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase

    2. Ten year ban on government work for consulting firms, law firms, and individual consultants and lawyers who have accepted cash from these entities

    3. All contacts by any method with federal agencies and employees prohibited for at least five years, with civil and criminal penalties for violation

    B. PROTECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FROM FURTHER HARM AT THE HANDS OF GIANT BANKS

    1. No financial institution with assets of more than $10billion will receive federal assistance or any 'arm's-length' bailouts

    2. TARP recipients are prohibited from purchasing other TARP recipient corporate units, or merging with other TARP recipients

    3. No foreign interest shall be allowed to acquire any portion of TARP recipients in the US or abroad

    III. PREVENT CORPORATE ACCOUNTING AND PENSION FUND ABUSES RELATED TO THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS

    A. CORPORATE ACCOUNTING

    1. Immediately implement mark-to-market accounting rules which were improperly suspended, allowing six months for implementation.

    2. Companies must reserve against impaired assets under mark-to-market rules

    3. Any health or life insurance company with more than$100 million in assets must report on their holdings and risk factors, specifically including exposure to real estate, mortgage-backed securities, derivatives, and other exotic financial instruments. These reports will be to state insurance commissions and the federal government, and will also be made available to the public on the Internet.

    B. PENSION FUNDS

    1. All private and public pension funds must disclose their funding status and establish a plan to fully fund accounts under the assumption that net real returns across all asset classes remain at zero for at least ten years.

    Winston Churchill -> Sam Clemons Aug 20, 2016 7:26 PM

    Watch an old program like"Yes, Minister" to understand how it works. Politicians come and go, but the permanent state apparatchiks doesn't.

    sinbad2 -> Winston Churchill Aug 20, 2016 7:58 PM

    Sir Humphrey Appleby: You know what happens when politicians get into Number 10; they want to take their place on the world stage.

    Sir Richard Wharton: People on stages are called actors. All they are required to do is look plausible, stay sober, and say the lines they're given in the right order.

    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Some of them try to make up their own lines.

    Sir Richard Wharton: They don't last long.

    rlouis Aug 20, 2016 7:47 PM

    The "deep state" programs, whether conceived and directed by Soros' handlers, or others, risks unintended consequences. The social division intended by BLM, for example could easily morph beyond the goals. The lack of law due to corruption is equally susceptible to a spontaneous reaction of "the mob," not under the control of the Tavistock handlers. There's an old saying on Wall St; pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.

    The failed coup in Turkey is a significant indication of institutional weakness and also vulnerability. The inability to exercise force of will in Syria is another. The list of failures is getting too long.

    [Dec 01, 2017] Elite needs a kill switch for their front men and women

    marknesop.wordpress.com
    Patient Observer , July 23, 2016 at 7:07 pm
    An interesting article on John McCain. I disagree with the contention that McCain hid knowledge that many American POWs were left behind (undoubtedly some voluntarily choose to remain behind but not hundreds ). However, the article touched on some ideas that rang true:

    Today when we consider the major countries of the world we see that in many cases the official leaders are also the leaders in actuality: Vladimir Putin calls the shots in Russia, Xi Jinping and his top Politburo colleagues do the same in China, and so forth. However, in America and in some other Western countries, this seems to be less and less the case, with top national figures merely being attractive front-men selected for their popular appeal and their political malleability, a development that may eventually have dire consequences for the nations they lead. As an extreme example, a drunken Boris Yeltsin freely allowed the looting of Russia's entire national wealth by the handful of oligarchs who pulled his strings, and the result was the total impoverishment of the Russian people and a demographic collapse almost unprecedented in modern peacetime history.

    An obvious problem with installing puppet rulers is the risk that they will attempt to cut their strings, much like Putin soon outmaneuvered and exiled his oligarch patron Boris Berezovsky.

    One means of minimizing such risk is to select puppets who are so deeply compromised that they can never break free, knowing that the political self-destruct charges buried deep within their pasts could easily be triggered if they sought independence. I have sometimes joked with my friends that perhaps the best career move for an ambitious young politician would be to secretly commit some monstrous crime and then make sure that the hard evidence of his guilt ended up in the hands of certain powerful people, thereby assuring his rapid political rise.

    The gist is that elite need a kill switch on their front men (and women).

    http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-when-tokyo-rose-ran-for-president/

    Cortes , July 24, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Seems to be a series of pieces dealing with Vietnam POWs: the following linked item was interesting and provided a plausible explanation: that the US failed to pay up agreed on reparations…

    http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-relying-upon-maoist-professors-of-cultural-studies/

    marknesop , July 24, 2016 at 12:29 pm
    Remarkable and shocking. Wheels within wheels – this is the first time I have ever seen McCain's father connected with the infamous Board of Inquiry which cleared Israel in that state's attack on USS LIBERTY during Israel's seizure of the Golan Heights.
    Cortes , July 25, 2016 at 9:08 am
    Another stunning article in which the author makes reference to his recent acquisition of what he considers to be a reliably authentic audio file of POW McCain's broadcasts from captivity. Dynamite stuff. The conclusion regarding aspiring untenured historians is quite downbeat:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-will-there-be-a-spotlight-sequel-to-the-killing-fields/

    marknesop , July 25, 2016 at 10:40 am
    Also remarkable; fantastic. It's hard to believe, and a testament to the boldness of Washington dog-and-pony shows, because this must have been well-known in insider circles in Washington – anything so damning which was not ruthlessly and professionally suppressed and simply never allowed to become part of a national discussion would surely have been stumbled upon before now. Land of the Cover-Up.

    yalensis , July 25, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    So, McCain was Hanoi Jack broadcasting from the Hanoi Hilton?

    [Jul 28, 2017] Reply

    Jul 28, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

    cartman , July 23, 2017 at 11:38 am

    G7 Ambassadors Support Cutting of Pensions in the Ukraine
    marknesop , July 23, 2017 at 12:13 pm
    So when you cut through all the steam and the boilerplate, how do they plan to do it so it's fairer to poor Ukrainians, but the state spends less?

    Ah. They plan to raise the age at which you qualify for a pension , doubtless among other money-savers. If the state plays its cards right, the target demographic wil work all its adult life and then die before reaching pensionable age. But as usual, we must be subjected to the usual western sermonizing about how the whole initiative is all about helping people and doing good.

    This is borne out in one of the other 'critical reforms' the IMF insisted upon before releasing its next tranche of 'aid' – a land reform act which would allow Ukraine to sell off its agricultural land in the interests of 'creating a market'. Sure: as if. Land-hungry western agricultural giants like Monsanto are drooling at the thought of getting their hands on Ukraine's rich black earth plus a chink in Europe's armor against GMO crops. Another possible weapon to use against Russia would be the growing of huge volumes of GMO grain so as to weaken the market for Russian grains.

    Cortes , July 23, 2017 at 4:18 pm
    And pollution of areas of Russian soil from blown in GMO seeds. Creating facts on the ground.
    Patient Observer , July 24, 2017 at 4:18 am
    Another element of the plan to reduce pension obligations is the dismantling of whatever health care system that remain in the Ukraine. That is a twofer – save money on providing medical services and shortening the life span. This would be another optimization of wealth generation for the oligarchs and for those holding Ukraine debt.
    Jen , July 24, 2017 at 5:03 am
    I can just see Ukrainian health authorities giving away free cigarettes to patients and their families next!

    That remark was partly facetious and partly serious: life these days in the Ukraine sounds so surreal that I wouldn't put it past the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine to come up with the most hare-brained "reform" initiatives.

    yalensis , July 24, 2017 at 2:30 pm
    Nine out of ten doctors recommend Camels.
    The other one doctor is a woman, who smokes Virginia Slims.

    Patient Observer , July 24, 2017 at 6:09 pm
    I recall a news story about the adverse effects of a reduction in smoking on the US Social Security Trust Fund. Those actuaries make those calculations for a living. The trouble with shortening life spans via cancer is that end-of-life treatment tends to be very expensive unless people do not have or have very basic health insurance, then there is a likely net gain. Alcohol, murder and suicides are generally much more efficient economically. I just depressed myself.
    kirill , July 24, 2017 at 8:09 pm
    Something does not add up. Any government expenditure is an economic stimulus. The only potentially negative aspect is taxation. Since taxation is not excessive and in fact too small on key layers (e.g. companies and the rich), there is no negative aspect to government spending on pensions. So we have here narrow-definition accounting BS.
    Jen , July 25, 2017 at 4:56 am
    Agree that in a world where the people, represented by their governments, are in charge of money creation and governments ran their financial systems independently of Wall Street and Washington, any government spending would be welcomed as stimulating economic production and development. The money later recirculates back to the government when the people who have jobs created by government spending pay the money back through purchases of various other government goods and services or through their taxes.

    But in capitalist societies where increasingly banks are becoming the sole creators and suppliers of money, government spending incurs debts that have to be paid back with interest. In the past governments also raised money for major public projects by issuing treasury bonds and securities but that doesn't seem to happen much these days.

    Unfortunately also Ukraine is surviving mainly on IMF loans and the IMF certainly doesn't want the money to go towards social welfare spending.

    marknesop , July 25, 2017 at 9:18 am
    In fact, the IMF specifically intervenes to prevent spending loan money on social welfare, as a condition of extending the loan. That might have been true since time out of mind for all I know, but it certainly was true after the first Greek bailout, when leaders blew the whole wad on pensions and social spending so as to ensure their re-election. They then went sheepishly back to the IMF for a second bailout. So there are good and substantial reasons for insisting the loan money not be wasted in this fashion, as that kind of spending customarily does not generate any meaningful follow-on spending by the recipients, and is usually absorbed by the cost of living.

    But as we are all aware, such IMF interventions have a definite political agenda as well. In Ukraine's case, the IMF with all its political inveigling is matched against a crafty oligarch who will lift the whole lot if he is not watched. Alternatively, he might well blow it all on social spending to ensure his re-election, thus presenting the IMF with a dilemma in which it must either continue to support him, or cause him to fall.

    Patient Observer , July 25, 2017 at 7:07 pm
    In an economy based on looting, it makes perfect sense. Money flows only one way until its all gone.

    [Apr 04, 2017] Susan Rice requested to unmask names of Trump transition officials, sources say Fox News

    Notable quotes:
    "... This comes in the wake of Evelyn Farkas' television interview last month in which the former Obama deputy secretary of defense said in part: "I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill – it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration." ..."
    Apr 04, 2017 | www.foxnews.com
    Multiple sources tell Fox News that Susan Rice, former national security adviser under then-President Barack Obama, requested to unmask the names of Trump transition officials caught up in surveillance.

    The unmasked names, of people associated with Donald Trump, were then sent to all those at the National Security Council, some at the Defense Department, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then-CIA Director John Brennan – essentially, the officials at the top, including former Rice deputy Ben Rhodes.

    The names were part of incidental electronic surveillance of candidate and President-elect Trump and people close to him, including family members, for up to a year before he took office.

    It was not clear how Rice knew to ask for the names to be unmasked, but the question was being posed by the sources late Monday.

    ... ... ...

    This comes in the wake of Evelyn Farkas' television interview last month in which the former Obama deputy secretary of defense said in part: "I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill – it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration."

    ... ... ...

    As the Obama administration left office, it also approved new rules that gave the NSA much broader powers by relaxing the rules about sharing intercepted personal communications and the ability to share those with 16 other intelligence agencies.

    ... ... ...

    Rice is no stranger to controversy. As the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, she appeared on several Sunday news shows to defend the adminstration's later debunked claim that the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on a U.S. consulate in Libya was triggered by an Internet video.

    [Mar 11, 2017] Needed Now a Peace Movement Against the Clinton Wars to Come by Andrew Levine

    Mar 11, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org
    Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize -- for not being George W. Bush. This seemed unseemly at the time, but not outrageous. Seven years later, it seems grotesque.

    As the steward-in-chief of the American empire, Obama continued Bush's Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, and extended his "War on Terror" into Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East.

    He also became a terrorist himself and a serial killer, weaponized drones and special ops assassins being his weapons of choice.

    More

    [Dec 31, 2016] Trump praises Putin over US sanctions – a move that puts him at odds with GOP by Lauren Gambino and Ben Jacobs in Washington

    Notable quotes:
    "... Trump is exactly where he is today because he attacked that same party. He called bullshit on the Bush's claims to have made the US safer and called bullshit on the idea that Iraq was something that we should still do in hindsight. He trashed the idea of free trade and TTIP - another Republican shibboleth. He refused to go down the standard Republican route of trashing social security... ..."
    "... All he needs to do is call bullshit on this 'evidence' of Russian hacking and remind everyone that it wasn't Russians who manned the planes on 9/11. Trump is a oafish clown - but he's not a standard politician playing standard politics. He can shrug off this oh-so-clever manoeuvre by Obama with no trouble. ..."
    "... Sanctions = token gestures that will soon fade into the distance. Much like you know who. Obama is salty because of Kilary getting whupped and Putin out-playing him in Syria. Never thought I would see the day when I sided with Trump over Obama. Interesting times. ..."
    "... Yes, the so-called liberals are losing all over. They blame everyone but themselves. The problem is that they have been found out. They were not real liberals at all. They had little bits of liberal policies like "Gay rights" and "bathrooms for Transgenders" and, of course, "Anti-Anti-Semitism Laws" and a few other bits and pieces with which they constructed a sort of camoflage coat, but the core of their policies was Corporatism. Prize exhibits: Tony Blair and Barak Obama. ..."
    "... The extreme Left and extreme Right ("Populists") are benefiting by being able to say what they mean, loud and apparently clear. People are not, on the whole, politically sophisticated but they do realise that they have been lied to for a very long time and they are fed up. That is why "Populists are making such a showing in the polls. People don't believe in the centre's "Liberalism" any more. ..."
    "... Obama acting like a petulant child that has to leave the game and go home now, so he's kicking the game board and forcing everyone else to clean up his mess. Irresponsible. ..."
    "... Obama will be making to many paid speeches to be doing anything of the sort. And frankly I suspect he be silent, because Trump is soon going to know where all the bodies were buried under Obama, just like Obama knows where all the bodies are buried from the Bush area. You are a wishful thinker, if you think Obama is going anything after he leaves office. ..."
    "... So the person awarded a Nobel Peace Prize uses his last weeks in office to sour relations between the only 2 superpowers on Earth for - what ? ..."
    Dec 30, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

    The president-elect has been consistently -> skeptical about the US intelligence -> consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor – the reason for Obama's new sanctions. At one point, he suggested the culprit might have been China, another state or even a 400lb man in his bedroom .

    On taking office in January, Trump might therefore be expected to simply end the Obama sanctions. And as president, he could do so; presidential orders can simply be repealed by the executive branch.

    But the situation is not that simple. If Trump did choose to remove the sanctions, he would find himself at odds with his own party. Senior Republicans in Congress responded to the Obama sanctions by identifying Russia as a major geopolitical foe and criticizing the new measures only as a case of too little too late. Some promised a push for further measures in Congress.

    Trump may therefore choose not to reverse the new sanctions. If so, he will find himself at odds with the man he so constantly praises.

    On Friday, the Kremlin responded to the moves, including the expulsion of 35 suspected intelligence operatives and the closing of two Russian facilities in the US, with a shrug . Putin, it seems, is willing simply to wait until Trump moves into the Oval Office. Trump's tweet suggested he is too.

    But such provocative words could not distract the media and public from another domestic concern for Trump – the growing perception that his predecessor has acted to his disadvantage .

    "The sanctions were clearly an attempt by the Obama administration to throw a wrench into – or [to] box in – the next administration's relationship with Russia,"

    vgnych, 30 Dec 2016 18:56
    All Obama does with his clumsy movements is just attempting to blame Russians for Democrat's loss of elections. Also he is obscuring peaceful power transition while at it.

    All what Trump needs to do is to just call the looser a loser a move on.

    Max South , 30 Dec 2016 18:56
    White House/StateDep press release on sanctions is ORWELLIAN: corruption within the DNC/Clinton's manager Podesta undermines the democracy, not its exposure as claimed (let alone the fact that there is still no evidence that the Russian government has anything to do with the hacks).

    The press release also talks about how the security of the USA and its interests were compromised, so Obama in effects says that national security interest of the country is to have corrupt political system, which is insane.

    This argumentation means that even if Russian government has done the hacking, it was a good deed, there is nothing to sanction Russia for even in such case.

    CDNBobOrr , 30 Dec 2016 18:58
    'Fraid both Putin and Trump are a lot smarter than Barry. Putin's move in not retaliating and inviting US kids to the Kremlin New Year party was an astute judo throw. And Barry is sitting on his backside wondering how it happened.
    antobojar , 30 Dec 2016 19:00
    .. Probably Obama's "exceptionalism" made him so clumsy on international affairs stage..

    .. just recently.. snubbed by Fidel.. he refused to meet him..
    .. humiliated by Raul Castro, he declined to hug president of USA..
    .. Duterte described.. hmm.. his provenance..
    .. Bibi told him off in most vulgar way.. several times..
    .. and now this..
    ..pathetic..

    P.S.
    You may be sure that the Americans will commit all the stupidities they can think of, plus some that are beyond imagination."
    Charles de Gaulle.

    ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 19:07
    Sanctions = token gestures that will soon fade into the distance. Much like you know who.

    Obama is salty because of Kilary getting whupped and Putin out-playing him in Syria.

    Never thought I would see the day when I sided with Trump over Obama. Interesting times. Share Facebook Twitter

    foolisholdman -> ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 20:01
    Yes, the so-called liberals are losing all over. They blame everyone but themselves. The problem is that they have been found out. They were not real liberals at all. They had little bits of liberal policies like "Gay rights" and "bathrooms for Transgenders" and, of course, "Anti-Anti-Semitism Laws" and a few other bits and pieces with which they constructed a sort of camoflage coat, but the core of their policies was Corpratism. Prize exhibits: Tony Blair and Barak Obama.

    The extreme Left and extreme Right ("Populists") are benefiting by being able to say what they mean, loud and apparently clear. People are not, on the whole, politically sophisticated but they do realise that they have been lied to for a very long time and they are fed up. That is why "Populists are making such a showing in the polls. People don't believe in the centre's "Liberalism" any more.

    bready , 30 Dec 2016 19:22
    "US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor "

    Are your mentors still thinking that people will swallow that fable? The same mentors who understated Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania?

    foolisholdman -> bready , 30 Dec 2016 19:36
    bready

    "US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor "

    These people either think that an ex-British Ambassador is not an important witness or they don't want to hear anything that contradicts the narrative they have been told to spin. It has to be one or the other.

    rocjoc43rd -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:45
    Obama will be making to many paid speeches to be doing anything of the sort. And frankly I suspect he be slient, because Trump is soon going to know where all the bodies were buried under Obama, just like Obama knows where all the bodies are buried from the Bush area. You are a wishful thinker, if you think Obama is going anything after he leaves office.
    cosmith , 30 Dec 2016 19:27
    So the person awarded a Nobel Peace Prize uses his last weeks in office to sour relations between the only 2 superpowers on Earth for - what ?

    American party politics /
    Spite ?
    Ideological hatred ?

    For those of you who are too young to remember, look up "Cold War" and look for references
    to Hawks and Doves.

    Who are the Hawks now - and who are the Doves ?

    The Left/Liberal paradigm is so drastically in need of updating that it is becoming downright dangerous.

    Hell hath on fury like a self defined "liberal" scorned.

    Haigin88 , 30 Dec 2016 19:30
    R.E.M.: 'Exhuming McCarthy'
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMedTmZKo38
    gottliebvera , 30 Dec 2016 19:34
    I think Obama is behaving in a most petulant and non-presidential manner. Lack of decorum as parting shot. Good going.
    philo41z , 30 Dec 2016 19:37
    We watched trump defeat republican favourites to get the nomination. He has not really needed them as much as they have felt they need him. Then he has big oil in his transition team, tillerson if I am not mistaken, connected to exxon which has oil interests in Russia....

    rocjoc43rd , 30 Dec 2016 19:38
    I also think this is Obama's move to direct attention away from the cease fire in Syria. There the US has been supporting all these groups, flying air missions and dropping special forces in Syria for years now, and the US has no seat at the table of the cease fire negotiations. That should be very embarrassing for the US, but it apparently is not, because all the media wants to talk about are these sanctions, which seem pretty trivial to me. The Obama/media machine scores another hollow victory. Can't wait until this guy is out of office.
    stormsinteacups , 30 Dec 2016 19:38
    Still no proof of any meddling by the Russians. Only a last gasp attempt by a weak president in what is starting to look like a boys against men tussle with Putin. Add the Syria ceasefire brokered by Turkey and Putin to this to show how Obama is being outmanouvered at every turn.
    Sad to see what a far cry from Obama the candidate Obama the president has turned out to be.
    gandalfsunderpants , 30 Dec 2016 19:41
    Action makes propaganda's effect irreversible. He who acts in obedience to propaganda can never go back. He is now obliged to believe in that propaganda because of his past action. He is obliged to receive from it his justification and authority, without which his action will seem to him absurd or unjust, which would be intolerable. He is obliged to continue to advance in the direction indicated by propaganda, for action demands more action.
    Jacques Ellul:
    Friday Night Beers , 30 Dec 2016 19:43
    Obama just got dissed big time by Putin. What an inglorious end to an inglorious eight years.
    DogsLivesMatter -> Friday Night Beers , 30 Dec 2016 20:05
    The Obama administration should be thanking Russian efforts to end the war in Syria. We know the MIC wanted this civil war to go on for another decade.
    MacCosham , 30 Dec 2016 19:44
    Oh for christ's sake, once again:

    There were no hacks, the emails were LEAKED!

    Probably by Democrats disgusted by the way Bernie was treated.

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/

    PS once you are there, read everything else Craig Murray has written there. This is the ambassador HM government fired for daring to speak out against the Uzbek government's human rights abuses.

    PanopticonPlanet , 30 Dec 2016 19:45
    All Americans should be alarmed that their country is now losing its edge in terms of the manipulation of other countries' electoral processes. This is "unpresidented". Where previously we had implemented such actions ourselves without fear of reciprocation we should be concerned that we are no longer immune to such machinations by other states. These events may represent a turning point as regards our accepted global hegemony. Share
    Tribal War -> PanopticonPlanet , 30 Dec 2016 19:52
    USA hacks
    USA spies
    USA interferes with foreign regimes
    USA is number 1 bully and hypocrite

    The damn cheek of Russian hack spies interfering with US election and setting them up with an idiot

    brianboru1014 , 30 Dec 2016 19:47
    Obama has been anti-Russia long before Trump came into the picture.
    This article is more of a wish list than anything else.
    We are told by 'experts' that 'There is now a public record of what Russia did'

    Where is it? I would love to see this.
    I do know that the 2 countries that carry out most cyber attacks in the world are the US and it's main ally in the Middle East. Just ask the Iranians what they did.

    Leucocephalus , 30 Dec 2016 19:48
    Obama complaining about Russian influence in American elections.

    Last time I've checked it was Mr. Obama that warned British people against Brexit, wasn't? What about the deposition of an ELECTED president in Ukraine with their support of Obama and EU? Let's talk also about regime changes in Syria, Lybia and Egypt undertaken under Obama's administration? Perhaps we could also remember that Obama's agencies spied 3 million of Spanyards, Merkel, Dilma Rousseff (Brazilian President) and so on... WHAT A HIPOCRISY, OBAMA!!!!

    mtkass -> Leucocephalus , 30 Dec 2016 20:07
    You have hit the nail on the head on all your points. But America and especially the American military needs a boogy man to justify the trillions of dollars of American tax payer money they request to keep their military empire going. Imagine if there was no boogy man and the conclusion was to half the American military to a size only equal to the next 6 largest militarys instead of the present 13. Incidentally, most of the next largest militarys are allies of the United States.
    This whole kerfuffle about Russian hacking has the stink of shooting the messenger. What about concentrating on what was in the leaked e-mails. They showed a high level of deep corruption in the DNC. That is the importance of the hacked e-mails. Whoever hacked and released them to the American public has done the America public a great favor. If Wasserman Shultz in cohoots with Hillary had not swung the primaries in favor of Hillary and if Obama had remembered that the constitution says the government is for the people and by the people (the peoples choice was by a huge margin for Bernie) and come out for Bernie, we wouldn't be in the CF we are in right now. I thought Obama is a constitutional lawyer. So much for the constitution. The only statesman in this mess is Putin. Thank heaven for his level headedness. The American pronouncements have the stink of the build up to another false flag operation (the CIA revelations themselves are probably a false flag operation). I hope Putin can keep his 'cool' in the face of American provocation.
    Huddsblue , 30 Dec 2016 20:03
    Well what a spiteful, petty man this Obama has turned out to be! This is the first time his side hasn't 'won' and he can't take it so throws his toys out the pram and risks further souring relationships with the East. Thank goodness Putin rose above it.
    ID1516963 -> Huddsblue , 30 Dec 2016 20:10
    Ha! Obama has obviously nothing to lose and decided to make hay in the limited time he has. More mischief making. Love it. Let's face it the master spiteful petty man is the one about to occupy the white house.

    voice__of__reason

    , 30 Dec 2016 20:13
    This just shows the real character of Obama. Queering the pitch for Trump and the incoming administration. But well done Putin for sidestepping. Clever. Much smarter than Obama. In the end lawyers make bad Presidents and bad Prime Ministers.
    TheChillZone , 30 Dec 2016 20:15
    Bit of a pot-kettle interface going on here. America leads the way in the hacking of public servers around the world and spying on friend and enemy alike. Not long ago the CIA tapped into Angela Merkel's mobile phone and I don't remember the same level of public outcry. Seems like America is affronted that Russia and others are now doing what the US has done for years. And if it is in fact the Russians - proof not yet forthcoming - this wasn't a hack into the electoral system at all; it was a simple phishing email that the US officials were silly enough to click onto the link.
    And finally - what eventually was released was the truth. Clinton was favoured by the DNC, she did say those things to Goldman Sachs, a CNN reporter did provide her with the questions before the presidential debates. The truth is that the US elections were corrupted, but not by the Russians - the culprits lie a little closer to home.
    Kano59 , 30 Dec 2016 20:18
    With Putin declaring he'll wait to see what Trump's policies are, then it seems he has at least that in common with the US electorate.
    Harry Bhai , 30 Dec 2016 20:22
    Obama tried to corner Russia, and almost all GOP lawmakers applauded Obama's action. Called it was well overdue. But our smart president-elect comforted crying Putin right away by calling him a smart man for not taking any actions. It is becoming more and more clear that Trump and Putin are made for each other. I think Trump is keeping Putin on his side to take air out of overinflated Chinese balloon. May be he was advised by his team. No one knows his game plan.
    flabbotamus , 30 Dec 2016 20:32
    Nearly 40 years ago , at the height of the cold war when I joined up to serve my country, never did i dream the day would come when I had more respect for the leader of Russia than a president of the USA and that I would have more faith in the Russian media than our own fake media.

    That's what 40 years of liberalism does i guess. Share Facebook Twitter

    TyroneBHorneigh -> flabbotamus , 30 Dec 2016 20:38
    40 years of Neo-liberalism.
    Sparky Patriot , 30 Dec 2016 20:37
    Not content with merely stealing the silverware, BO is intent on causing as much mischief as possible before being booted out of the White House, but the Russians are not falling for it. They will be dealing with Donald Trump in a few weeks, and there is no need to respond to Barry's diaper baby antics.
    I'm sure the Russians are hacking our internet systems, but the DNC emails that went to WikiLeaks did not come from them. The content, outlining Podesta's plan to discredit Bernie supporters by falsely tying them to violent acts, would indicate that a disgruntled and disgusted DNC employee was more likely the source.
    rocjoc43rd , 30 Dec 2016 20:38
    The liberal media, I can't wait until they claim that Trump has few paths to victory from this trick bag he is in. We are living in the dying days of the Obama administration. Things will be very different January 20, 2017. Things that appear difficult or impossible now will suddenly be taken care of with the stroke of a pen. It will be exciting to see. Just a few months ago, Trumps path to victory was so small that he shouldn't even bother trying, then it was the electors will do something about Trump. It was all nonsense. This to about Obama limiting Trump is nonsense. Obama's lines in the sand are completely without effect.
    HollyOldDog -> asiancelt , 30 Dec 2016 21:37
    It is of course impossible as the USA has the most and claimed most advanced spying network on the planet. It totally surrounds both friends and foes alike - with such technical ability the only country who could spy and influence (e.g. arm twisting Merkal is a prime example) on any country at will is the 'exceptional ' US Government.

    furiouspurpose

    , 30 Dec 2016 20:54
    If there was genuine evidence that Russia had somehow swayed the election, Hilary Clinton - who desires power above all other things - would now be bringing a legal case to overturn the result and get a re-election.

    But there is no evidence - only lies and cynicism. A few weeks ago I was convinced that US politics had hit a nadir and that it couldn't smell any worse or get any more ridiculous. How wrong I was.

    ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 20:55
    The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it's done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University.

    That number doesn't include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn't like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring. [...]

    In 59% of these cases, the side that received assistance came to power, although Levin estimates the average effect of "partisan electoral interventions" to be only about a 3% increase in vote share. ( Source )

    I understand why some may find outside interference objectionable, but I reckon many of those who think so fail to recognise America's far-from-faultless behaviour. Curses are like chickens; they always come home to roost.

    Of course had the DNC leadership and the Clinton camp behaved ethically in the primary by not conspiring to tip the scale in Clinton's favour, the hack would have found nothing. What we have now is Obama forced to divert the public attention because of yet another messy scandal Hillary finds herself involved in. Clinton must be one of the most blessed people on earth; everyone bends over backwards to accommodate her ambitions.

    europeangrayling -> ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 21:23
    Also the CIA-Belgian assassination of Lamumba in 61, Congo's first democratically elected president, for the same 'geopolitical' aka 'big business' reasons as the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 53, who wanted the nationalize Iranian oil for their people, and Lumumba had similar 'socialist' ideas for all the vast Congolese resources. To cut out the western business interests. And think how well the Congo has fared since, one of the worst, saddest places, chaos, civil war, more dead than in Rwanda or anywhere I think. They have not recovered from that.

    And Iran, they were democratic, secular, elected a guy like Mossadegh, they were 'European', but the the US and Britain overthrew him on behest of British-US oil interests, installed the Shah, their puppet dictator, and the blow-back was the Iranian religious right-wing revolution and dictatorship some 20 years later. And now the Iranian people and our 'foreign policy' are suffering.

    And all these US and CIA 'activities' the government had admitted and declassified, like the Gulf of Tonkin lie and false flag in Vietnam, because it was so long ago nobody cares, so it's no 'conspiracy' here, just history. But now these Clinton Democrats they really love and trust anything the CIA says, of course, they are big patriots now, and call people unpatriotic and foreign agents if they question the so honorable CIA, because they are on Hillary's side now.
    And the CIA in cahoots with Bush and Cheney also told us how there were these big, scary WMDs in Iraq, and mushroom clouds, and how Saddam had links with Al Qaida, all obvious lies, that any amateur who knew basic world history could tell you even then.

    And speaking of 'meddling', and overthrowing democratic governments, the US did the same under Obama and Hillary in Honduras just a few years ago, backed the violent coup of a democratic leftist government there, and they still refuse to call it a coup, and have legitimized the new corrupt and violent regime, are training their army, etc. Even though the EU and the US ambassador to Honduras called it a coup at the time.

    And for the same reasons, that leftist government didn't want to play ball with big US and western 'business interests', energy companies, didn't want to sell them their rivers and resources like the new 'good' regime now. And since that coup, 100s of indigenous activists and environmentalists have been killed, like Berta Caceres, and the violence and corruption has gone up big time under the new regime, with 1000s more killed 'in general'. Yet Obama is so concerned about 'the integrity of democracy' and elections and freedom and all that, what a nice guy.

    fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 20:58
    The real question that Americans should be asking why Barack Obummer failed again to provide security in case of hacking Democrat's emails?

    Clinton did not deny that emails published by WikiLeaks were genuine.
    That is called freedom of press.
    What's wrong with public finding the truth about Clinton? Share Facebook Twitter

    RadLadd -> fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 21:00
    As soon as you post "Obummer" you show yourself to be immature. Share Facebook Twitter
    an opinion -> RadLadd , 30 Dec 2016 21:09
    He is Obummer. Share Facebook Twitter
    Paull01 -> fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 21:13
    They are private servers, why would the government have any involvement whatsoever in the servers of political parties during an election?

    The whole point is interference in the election process not who they interfered with. Share Facebook Twitter

    roman vega , 30 Dec 2016 20:59
    Send Obama to therapist ... urgent.. Share Report
    roman vega -> J.K. Stevens , 30 Dec 2016 21:07
    Haven't you noticed that whole of the West has already moved that way? I do not mean pro-Putin, I mean priority of national interests at home and some isolationism.
    HollyOldDog -> MtnClimber , 30 Dec 2016 21:30
    Obama is leaving office with the record of saving American troops lives by the process of using drones which on dodgy information mainly target wedding parties. Share Facebook Twitter
    geofffrey , 30 Dec 2016 20:42
    Appears suspiciously likely that Obama is just bitter that his legacy is about to be dumped in the nearest skip on Jan 20, and wants to make trouble for Trump during his last 3 weeks in office.

    Hard to see how Putin could have engineered Hillary Clinton's defeat, given she won the popular vote by 3 million.

    Also Obama is extremely hypocritical as the CIA has repeatedly interfered in the affairs of other countries over the past 60 years.

    I hope Trump and Putin become buddies. Share

    Burnaby1000 -> geofffrey , 30 Dec 2016 20:45
    The CIA never released emails of any country's people. It's simply bad tradecraft, meaning that it can't be used when one really needs it. Share Facebook Twitter
    geofffrey -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:51
    Didn't Wikileaks release those emails.. Share Facebook Twitter
    melodrama1 -> geofffrey , 30 Dec 2016 20:56
    The story is that they were 'leaked' to Wikileaks and that only stuff that helps Trump was leaked. There are loads of Republican/Trump mails that remain secret (presumably). Sounds plausible to me but the how the hell would I know? Share Facebook Twitter
    tomspen , 30 Dec 2016 20:42
    Putin outmaneuvers Obama, again. Share Facebook Twitter
    pragmata -> tomspen , 30 Dec 2016 20:47
    Obama outmanoevres Trump. Share Facebook Twitter
    J.K. Stevens -> tomspen , 30 Dec 2016 20:47
    Putin goes rogue. You're putin me on. Share Facebook Twitter
    tomspen -> pragmata , 30 Dec 2016 20:48
    Not really. Democrats lost the election, through their own fault, and now Putin is waiting till Trump comes in office. All will go swimmingly and we can look forward to better relations between the USA-Russia. Win win. Share Facebook Twitter
    furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:42

    On Thursday, the Arizona senator John McCain and South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham said in a joint statement: "The retaliatory measures announced by the Obama administration today are long overdue.

    That's all I needed to know. If lunatic war monger John McCain wants to ratchet up the tension with a nuclear power - then it is very wise to do the opposite. Share

    Burnaby1000 -> furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:44
    But he has 48 Dems who support him, and most Republicans. Share Facebook Twitter
    MtnClimber -> furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:45
    Sure. Let's let Putin control our democracy. He and his BFF, Trump, will keep our democracy safe /s Share Facebook Twitter
    J.K. Stevens -> furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:45
    Putin is/has been the provocateur. Keep up. Share Facebook Twitter
    Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:43
    Wouldn't it be hilarious if a revolution broke out next year in Russia, over the downward spiralling Russian economy, just when Putin thinks he has victory in sight?

    But wait--didn't that happen in 1917?

    Yep, think it did... Share Facebook Twitter

    pawsfurthought -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:51
    Parallels with the public mood in Russia leading up to 1917? Zero. Share Facebook Twitter
    Burnaby1000 -> pawsfurthought , 30 Dec 2016 20:58
    "Peace, Land, Bread!!!!!"

    Parallels -- 100% Share Facebook Twitter

    HollyOldDog -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 21:21
    Ah! The evident effects of sipping too much Death Wish Coffee 64 fl.oz - 3,472 mg of caffeine it could do serious damage to your brain. Share Facebook Twitter
    osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 20:44
    Wow, the Trump/kremlin brigade zoomed in on this comments section faster than greased lightening! Good to know that some people just love them some fascism! Share Facebook Twitter
    Burnaby1000 -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 20:50
    They HAVE been doing this for quite some time. Share Facebook Twitter
    furiouspurpose -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 21:10
    Red baiting won't close down the debate. There's still no evidence of Russian hacking of the US election.

    And fascism is shouting people down who ask for evidence and don't just follow the President because he is attacking the outsiders. Share Facebook Twitter

    TheControlLeft -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 21:12
    It's preferable to the Obama brigades sponsorship of Islamic terrorism Share Facebook Twitter
    EmperorWearsNoCloths , 30 Dec 2016 20:45
    Good move by Obama. Trump will soon have to clarify where he stands in regards to Putin. Share Facebook Twitter
    HollyOldDog -> EmperorWearsNoCloths , 30 Dec 2016 21:12
    I don't usually follow American elections but is this the usual way to hand over to a new president is to try to kick him in the teeth? Share Facebook Twitter
    Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:47
    As always, it is the US Senate that brings forth the best in the US inuncertain times.

    It was Republican senators who were very critical of Bush that eventually got him to do the surge.

    Similarly, it will be the Senate that applies pressure in the right place to keep Trump in check.

    Who knows, he may even come up with one or two good ideas. Share Facebook Twitter

    grodhagen -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 21:10
    It were GOP senators leading the huzzas for invading Iraq too. But Ted Cruz? James Inhoffe? Half of the GOP senators are just hirelings for big business. Share Facebook Twitter
    Putzik , 30 Dec 2016 20:48
    It's not too late fir Obama to cluster bomb Russian troops in Syria and Ukraine.

    Now that would certainly constipate the Golden Domed donald. Share Facebook Twitter

    HollyOldDog -> Putzik , 30 Dec 2016 21:09
    Such a move - did you manage to think this one up by yourself? Or is it just recient history repeating itself - you have only a one tracked mind, a bit like your icon. Share Facebook Twitter
    Putzik -> HollyOldDog , 30 Dec 2016 22:37
    I am not aware that the US has yet bombed the Russian fascist hordes.

    Never too late though, eh? Share Facebook Twitter

    dddxxx , 30 Dec 2016 20:49
    The fact that the Russian sanctions makes things difficult for blowhard Trump is not the issue nor the intent. President Obama was acting in response to Russia's interference with our diplomats and cyber attacks. This needed to be done. As to Trump, that's tough. Share Facebook Twitter
    furiouspurpose -> dddxxx , 30 Dec 2016 21:06
    No - he was reacting to Russia "hacking the elections". What specifically did they do? What evidence exists of this? Share Facebook Twitter
    WillKnotTell -> furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 21:16
    The lack of evidence is the evidence. Ask any Trumpeteer and believer of Peter Schweizer. Share Facebook Twitter
    monsieur_flaneur , 30 Dec 2016 20:49
    Obama, envisioning a spot on Mt Rushmore, exits a laughing stock. Ah well

    Not4TheFaintOfHeart , 30 Dec 2016 20:59
    Why would Russia be happy that Clinton lost? Why would any foreign power be happy that Clinton lost?...
    How many years did HRC, in her arrogance-fuelled denial, provide foreign intelligences with literally tonnes of free info??!
    furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 21:03

    Trump might therefore be expected to simply end the Obama sanctions. .... But if he did choose to do so, he would find himself at odds with his own party.

    Trump is exactly where he is today because he attacked that same party. He called bullshit on the Bush's claims to have made the US safer and called bullshit on the idea that Iraq was something that we should still do in hindsight. He trashed the idea of free trade and TTIP - another Republican shibboleth. He refused to go down the standard Republican route of trashing social security...

    All he needs to do is call bullshit on this 'evidence' of Russian hacking and remind everyone that it wasn't Russians who manned the planes on 9/11. Trump is a oafish clown - but he's not a standard politician playing standard politics. He can shrug off this oh-so-clever manoeuvre by Obama with no trouble.

    an opinion -> hawkchurch , 30 Dec 2016 21:07
    Putin is playing obama like a fiddle and make him irrelevant!
    diddoit , 30 Dec 2016 21:04
    Make America and Russia ... Great Again.

    Intelligence sharing, to tackle terror, is only the start of what's likely to become a strong partnership.

    I bet Intel agents can hardly wait ..lol

    Munchausen007
    Simple solution, publish the commenter geolocation and ban proxy, clean the comment section from putinbots. Putin like ASBO's must stop to do more harm against democracy.
    Down2dirt -> Munchausen007 , 30 Dec 2016 19:17
    What a foolish comment.
    Ilurktostudyyouall -> Munchausen007 , 30 Dec 2016 19:39
    And what happens when you begin to realise many are not putinbots?
    Not4TheFaintOfHeart -> Ilurktostudyyouall , 30 Dec 2016 19:58
    I'm sure they'll find some excuse to get around that... 'It's elephants all the way down', don't forget
    Julian Beach , 30 Dec 2016 19:06
    ...an attempt rendered utterly futile by Putin refusing to carry out tit-for-tat expulsions.

    Premier League trolling. Again.

    fivefeetfour -> Jonathan Stromberg , 30 Dec 2016 22:47
    There's still no evidence regarding the origin of the cyber attack. I've seen you posting a link to the report. The first line in it is a disclaimer: "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within". Which is very wise from them.
    ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 19:07
    Sanctions = token gestures that will soon fade into the distance. Much like you know who. Obama is salty because of Kilary getting whupped and Putin out-playing him in Syria. Never thought I would see the day when I sided with Trump over Obama. Interesting times.
    foolisholdman -> ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 20:01
    Yes, the so-called liberals are losing all over. They blame everyone but themselves. The problem is that they have been found out. They were not real liberals at all. They had little bits of liberal policies like "Gay rights" and "bathrooms for Transgenders" and, of course, "Anti-Anti-Semitism Laws" and a few other bits and pieces with which they constructed a sort of camoflage coat, but the core of their policies was Corporatism. Prize exhibits: Tony Blair and Barak Obama.

    The extreme Left and extreme Right ("Populists") are benefiting by being able to say what they mean, loud and apparently clear. People are not, on the whole, politically sophisticated but they do realise that they have been lied to for a very long time and they are fed up. That is why "Populists are making such a showing in the polls. People don't believe in the centre's "Liberalism" any more.

    Potyka Kalman , 30 Dec 2016 19:09
    Oh the War Party. Trump rally should point them out as such. So the light shines in those dark spots.

    You Russians have a strange sense of humour.

    AveAtqueCave , 30 Dec 2016 19:13
    Ben, I found Glenn Greenwald's take on you quite interesting. Have you responded? And, yes, I know, my polite and pertinent question will violate the terms here.
    Ilurktostudyyouall -> AveAtqueCave , 30 Dec 2016 19:42
    Cheers for that. False news angle now in total tatters
    furiouspurpose -> AveAtqueCave , 30 Dec 2016 21:36
    What does Glenn Greenwald know? With his crappy little "Pulitzer Prize".
    John Blenkins -> AveAtqueCave , 30 Dec 2016 23:17
    Good to see someone with the bollox to call a spade a spade.
    More importantly it helps lift the eyelids of those who think our msm tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
    AveAtqueCave -> Tercole , 30 Dec 2016 19:22
    The American system is based on open legal proceedings.

    Have you seen the evidence Russia perpetrated the leaks?

    Please provide.

    Terry Phillips , 30 Dec 2016 19:19
    You just know these people, like Johnny boy, who are pointing fingers at Russia are doing so based upon long laid plans to bind up Trump from building a healthy relationship with Russia which would put an end to terrorism and likely all of these petty little wars that are tearing the world to pieces. These people want war because division keeps them in power and war makes them lots of money. I hope that Trump and Putin can work together and build a trust and foundation as allies in that together we can stamp out terrorism and stabilize the worlds conflicts. Everything these people do in the next 20 days has a single agenda and that is to cause instability and roadblocks for Trump and his team. Hope is just around the corner people so let's help usher it in.
    Ilurktostudyyouall -> 79pentland , 30 Dec 2016 19:54
    Don't trust anyone until you know them. Been married and watched it turn to shit? You can't really trust anyone. The same can be said for any country member.
    bready , 30 Dec 2016 19:22
    "US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor "

    Are your mentors still thinking that people will swallow that fable? The same mentors who understated Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania?

    foolisholdman -> bready , 30 Dec 2016 19:36
    bready

    "US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor "

    These people either think that an ex-British Ambassador is not an important witness or they don't want to hear anything that contradicts the narrative they have been told to spin. It has to be one or the other. Share

    bready -> foolisholdman , 30 Dec 2016 19:54
    Some people don't need to hear narratives to discern the cheap tricks of politics.
    86753oh9 , 30 Dec 2016 19:24
    First... let's see some actual evidence/proof. Oh, that's right, none has been offered up.
    Second... everyone is upset that the DNC turd was exposed, but no one upset about the existence of the turd. ?

    Obama acting like a petulant child that has to leave the game and go home now, so he's kicking the game board and forcing everyone else to clean up his mess. Irresponsible.

    TheWindsOfFreedom -> 86753oh9 , 30 Dec 2016 19:33
    Hundred times repeated lie will become the truth... that's the US officials policy for decades now. In 8 years, they did nothing, so they are trying to do "something" in the last minute. For someone, who's using his own brain is all of this just laughable. United States are not united I guess. Guess, that Merkel is the next on the list...
    Fulhamred , 30 Dec 2016 19:26
    Hopefully now this will enable senate and congress republicans to prevent these crazy ideas of Russian appeasement take hold and pursue a hardline against Russia, Hamas, Iran and Cuba.
    Down2dirt -> Fulhamred , 30 Dec 2016 19:31
    They'll probably do that. Business as usual. To pursue a hard line against Isis enablers like Saudi and Qatar, now that would be a surprise.
    Individualist -> Down2dirt , 30 Dec 2016 19:35
    Actually the biggest ISIS enabler was Cheney.
    Down2dirt -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:42
    Well you're probably right about that.
    Waaarrrggghhh , 30 Dec 2016 19:27
    Not really. Obama is just making himself look like an idiot.
    rocjoc43rd -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:45
    Obama will be making to many paid speeches to be doing anything of the sort. And frankly I suspect he be silent, because Trump is soon going to know where all the bodies were buried under Obama, just like Obama knows where all the bodies are buried from the Bush area. You are a wishful thinker, if you think Obama is going anything after he leaves office.
    cosmith , 30 Dec 2016 19:27
    So the person awarded a Nobel Peace Prize uses his last weeks in office to sour relations between the only 2 superpowers on Earth for - what ?

    American party politics /
    Spite ?
    Ideological hatred ?

    For those of you who are too young to remember, look up "Cold War" and look for references
    to Hawks and Doves.

    Who are the Hawks now - and who are the Doves ?

    The Left/Liberal paradigm is so drastically in need of updating that it is becoming downright dangerous.

    Hell hath on fury like a self defined "liberal" scorned. Share

    Individualist -> cosmith , 30 Dec 2016 19:33
    So you are blaming the President (the current one) for addressing the fact that a foreign power attempted to mess with a US election?
    rocjoc43rd -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:42
    I think you can blame Obama for underestimating Putin. Remember when he told Putin before the 2012 election off mike that he would have more leeway after the election. Remember when Romney in 2012 warned us that Russia was a big threat and Obama thought that was silly. Obama has been outclassed by Putin at every turn. Whatever else you may say about Trump, he recognizes that Putin is worthy adversary not one to be marginalized. Putin has manage to marginalize the US in Syria despite all the money and effort we have dumped into it.
    Banker1 -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:48
    The foreign power did the American people a favor when it exposed the corruption within the Democratic Party; something the establishment media was apparently unable or unwilling to do. Rather than sanctioning Putin, Americans should be thanking him!
    Haigin88 , 30 Dec 2016 19:30
    R.E.M.: 'Exhuming McCarthy'
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMedTmZKo38
    Mick Readdin , 30 Dec 2016 19:31
    Whatever the outcome, the winner is.... Putin!

    His recent announcement (no tit-for-tat) was masterful politicking. Should Trump refuse to do anything, Putin knows he can wrap Trump around his finger, with the added bonus of both US houses kicking off.

    If Trump does do something, relations will sour and Putin can blame the US.

    gottliebvera , 30 Dec 2016 19:34
    I think Obama is behaving in a most petulant and non-presidential manner. Lack of decorum as parting shot. Good going.
    UnitedundertheSun -> Jonathan Stromberg , 30 Dec 2016 23:10
    Attack Russia with a wet lettuce? Oh the pain! And gives Putin the high moral ground. Brilliant politics from Obama.

    All to hamfistedly conceal what a rotten dysfunctional political organisation he heads.

    Obama plays snakes and ladders while Putin is playing chess.

    VultureTX -> Pitthewelder , 30 Dec 2016 21:50
    " and decides not to accept it he will have to make it public,"

    Solely a presumption on your part, a simple statement by the new agency heads saying that the info is inconclusive and the method of the investigation will not be revealed cancels your whole argument. Sure the press will howl, but Trumps using Twitter to talk to the people and unless someone leaks you got nothing.

    chelsea55 , 30 Dec 2016 19:35
    Seems a no brainer, reverse Obama's ridiculous posturing gesture. As if the US doesn't have a long track record of interfering in the affairs of other countries.
    chelsea55 -> LithophaneFurcifera , 30 Dec 2016 21:57
    Personally I think the US should do as it wishes but it's extremely hypocritical to act shocked when the same meddling is returned by others. Obama is acting foolishly as if the final weeks of his presidency have any genuine traction on future events.
    philo41z , 30 Dec 2016 19:37
    We watched trump defeat republican favourites to get the nomination. He has not really needed them as much as they have felt they need him. Then he has big oil in his transition team, tillerson if I am not mistaken, connected to exxon which has oil interests in Russia....if trump removed big oil from his team maybe he can get out of this without escalating the issue or appearing to be a putin puppet...

    [Dec 31, 2016] I simply dont believe the Democrats would really be worse off with voters if they committed themselves to putting people back to work, policing Wall Street, throwing their weight behind a real public option in health care, making hedge fund managers pay the same tax rates as ordinary people, ending the pointless wars abroad, etc.

    Notable quotes:
    "... Trump told a significant fraction of the population that he understood their problems and that he would fix them. He told enough people what they wanted to hear - and did so with a convincing tone - that he got himself elected. That's how you win. You sell people on your vision. If you tell a good story most people aren't going to reality-check it. Sad but true. ..."
    "... On the importance of narrative: Drew Westen, "What Happened to Obama?" http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/opinion/sunday/what-happened-to-obamas-passion.html ..."
    "... Matt Taibbi in 2011: "I simply don't believe the Democrats would really be worse off with voters if they committed themselves to putting people back to work, policing Wall Street, throwing their weight behind a real public option in health care, making hedge fund managers pay the same tax rates as ordinary people, ending the pointless wars abroad, etc." ..."
    "... Unfortunately, there are at best a handful of Democrats who've been doing that. That should have been our message 24/7/365 for the past eight years. (That and the story Westen laid out.) It was not. ..."
    "... Yup. And that is how you lose the Presidency, the House, the Senate, 30-someodd (?) governorships, and 900-someodd state legislative seats over the past eight years. ..."
    Dec 31, 2016 | www.robustanalysis.net
    Chris G said... December 29, 2016 at 05:50 PM

    And this is telling us something significant: namely, that supply-side economic theory is and always was a sham.

    Urgh. That it is and always a sham is irrelevant. It is THE NARRATIVE that matters! They had a compelling story and they stuck to it. That's how you sell politics in this country.

    Trump told a significant fraction of the population that he understood their problems and that he would fix them. He told enough people what they wanted to hear - and did so with a convincing tone - that he got himself elected. That's how you win. You sell people on your vision. If you tell a good story most people aren't going to reality-check it. Sad but true.

    On the importance of narrative: Drew Westen, "What Happened to Obama?" http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/opinion/sunday/what-happened-to-obamas-passion.html

    Chris G said in reply to Mr. Bill... Anyway, get involved. December 29, 2016 at 06:39 PM

    Manned the phone banks and held signs for my state rep again this year. (Bowed out of going door-to-door this election though.) Tough race against a right-wing jerk. My guy won - in no small part because he's incredibly engaged with the community. I'll be back out for him again in 2018. That stated, I'm not sure how to make an impact at the national level - in part I think because I live in a very blue state. Keeping the goons from a establishing a local foothold seems a good place to start. Building resilient local networks feels like it will be essential for getting through the next four years.

    Chris G said in reply to Chris G ... December 29, 2016 at 06:30 PM

    Matt Taibbi in 2011: "I simply don't believe the Democrats would really be worse off with voters if they committed themselves to putting people back to work, policing Wall Street, throwing their weight behind a real public option in health care, making hedge fund managers pay the same tax rates as ordinary people, ending the pointless wars abroad, etc."

    Unfortunately, there are at best a handful of Democrats who've been doing that. That should have been our message 24/7/365 for the past eight years. (That and the story Westen laid out.) It was not.

    Taibbi continued: "That they won't do these things because they're afraid of public criticism, and "responding to pressure," is an increasingly transparent lie. This "Please, Br'er Fox, don't throw me into dat dere briar patch" deal isn't going to work for much longer. Just about everybody knows now that they want to go into that briar patch."

    Yup. And that is how you lose the Presidency, the House, the Senate, 30-someodd (?) governorships, and 900-someodd state legislative seats over the past eight years.

    [Dec 31, 2016] What Happened to Obamas Passion

    This was written in 2011 but it summarizes Obama presidency pretty nicely, even today. Betrayer in chief, the master of bait and switch. That is the essence of Obama legacy. On "Great Democratic betrayal"... Obama always was a closet neoliberal and neocon. A stooge of neoliberal financial oligarchy, a puppet, if you want politically incorrect term. He just masked it well during hist first election campaigning as a progressive democrat... And he faced Romney in his second campaign, who was even worse, so after betraying American people once, he was reelected and did it twice. Much like Bush II. He like another former cocaine addict -- George W Bush has never any intention of helping American people, only oligarchy.
    Notable quotes:
    "... IN contrast, when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze. ..."
    "... We (yes, we) recognise that capitalism is the most efficient way to maximise overall prosperity and quality of life. But we also recognise that unfettered, it will ravage the environment, abuse labor, and expand income disparity until violence or tragedy (or both) ensues. ..."
    "... These are the lessons we've learned since the industrial revolution, and they're the ones that we should be drawing from the past decade. We recognise that we need a strong federal government to check these tendencies, and to strike a stable, sustainable balance between prosperity, community, opportunity, wealth, justice, freedom. We need a voice to fill the moral vacuum that has allowed the Koch/Tea/Fox Party to emerge and grab power. ..."
    "... Americans know this---including, of course, President Obama (see his April 13 speech at GW University). But as this article by Dr. Westen so effectively shows, Obama is incompetent to lead us back ..."
    "... he is not competent to lead us back to a state of American morality, where government is the protector of those who work hard, and the provider of opportunity to all Americans. ..."
    "... I've heard him called a mediator, a conciliator, a compromiser, etc. Those terms indicate someone who is bringing divergent views together and moving us along. That's part of what a leader does, though not all. Yet I don't think he's even lived up to his reputation as a mediator. ..."
    "... Almost three years after I voted for Obama, I still don't know what he's doing other than trying to help the financial industry: the wealthy who benefit most from it and the technocrats who run it for them. But average working people, people like myself and my daughter and my grandson, have not been helped. We are worse off than before. And millions of unemployed and underemployed are even worse off than my family is. ..."
    "... So whatever else he is (and that still remains a mystery to me), President Obama is not the leader I thought I was voting for. ..."
    "... I knew that Obama was a charade early on when giving a speech about the banking failures to the nation, instead of giving the narrative Mr. Westen accurately recommended on the origins of the orgy of greed that just crippled our economy and caused suffering for millions of Americans ..."
    "... He should have been condemning the craven, wanton, greed of nihilistic financial gangsters who hijacked our economy. Instead he seemed to be calling for all Americans not to hate rich people. That was not the point. Americans don't hate rich people, but they should hate rich people who acquire their wealth at the expense of the well being of an entire nation through irresponsible, avaricious, and in some instances illegal practices, and legally bribe politicians to enact laws which allow them to run amok over our economy without supervision or regulation. ..."
    "... I knew then that Obama was either a political lemon, in over his head, an extremely conflict averse neurotic individual with a compulsive need for some delusional ideal of neutrality in political and social relations, or a political phony beholden to the same forces that almost destroyed the country as Republicans are. ..."
    Aug 06, 2011 | nytimes.com

    When Barack Obama rose to the