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Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton == Obama 2.0, a Manchurian candidate fully controlled by financial oligarchy

"Being  a neoconservative should receive at least as much vitriolic societal rejection as being a Ku Klux Klan member or a child molester" ~Caitlin Johnstone

Hillary Clinton is "a shifty, corrupt, lying shill,  who cared nothing for real progressive values… (Kevin Drum). The only area in which she is highly qualified in selling out the American people to globalists. This despicable Wahhabism appleaser (who pretends to be a fighter for women and minorities rights) voted for Iraq war, was the butcher of Libya and Syria and was instrumental in killing thousands of women and children in those two countries. She accepted millions in "donations," from despotic Middle Eastern regimes that stone women for adultery.

Her addiction to Wall Street money and Saudi money like Bill addiction to sex is impossible to break.  With the exception of a few social issues, Hillary Clinton is a right wing Republican.

Hillary Clinton can change her views in an instant on trade, guns, gay marriage, and all sorts of issues, but she's consistent in this: she wants war. Washington Examiner

  "Hillary Clinton will say anything to get elected, and nothing will change." -- Barack Obama, 2008

Version 5.2, May 1, 2017

News US Presidential Elections of 2016 Recommended Links Hillary Clinton email scandal Hillary health issues Hillary role in Libya disaster Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Is Hillary Clinton a war criminal?
Clinton Cash and Hillary Clinton links to financial industry DNC emails leak Hillary the warmonger Is Hillary Clinton a toxic manager? Hillary as a pathological liar Conversion of Democratic Party into War Party and Hillary Clinton policy toward Russia Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Bill  sexapades became Hillary campaign issue
Strzok-gate Steele dossier Brennan elections machinations Andrew McCabe and his close circle of "fighters with organized crime" James "We are not weasels" Comey Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections Demexit: Abandonment of Democratic party by working class and middle class
Hillary Clinton's faux feminism and cruelty toward women and children Hillary health issues Madeleine Albright as a model for Hillary Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Hillary wet kiss with neocons Female Sociopaths Hillary Clinton defense of the middle aged rapist of a 12 years old girl Pro-War Neoliberal Democrats as Vichy Left
Superdelegates fraud at Democratic National Convention Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga Bernie Sanders as sheepdog for Hillary Understanding Hillary Clinton email scandal Perjury Investigation of Hillary Clinton Questions about Huma Abedin email forwarding Israel lobby
Media-Military-Industrial Complex The Deep State Nation under attack meme "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place New American Militarism  Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Obama: a yet another Neocon Neocons Credibility Scam
Presidential debate trap staged by neoliberal media Blowback against neoliberal globalization Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime American Exceptionalism Noble Lie Deception as an art form Lock her up movement  
Clinton Cash The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich Crisis of Character A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They O Hillary the Other Woman Dolly Kyle Amazon.com Books The Clintons' War on Women Roger Stone, Robert Morrow Amazon.com Books Bill Clinton New Gilded Age President Patrick J. Maney 9780700621941 Amazon.com Books The Secret Life of Bill Clinton The Unreported Stories Ambrose Evans-Pritchard  Amazon.com Books Partners in Crime The Clintons' Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit Jerome Corsi  Amazon  
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Diplomacy by deception Cold War II Lawrence Summers Sandy Weill: the banker who bought Bill Clinton Robert Rubin, the man who helped to convert the USA into banana republic Lesser evil trick of legitimizing a disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections
Predator state The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Inverted Totalitarism == Managed Democracy == Neoliberalism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich   Politically Incorrect Humor  Etc

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Hillary Clinton as neocon warmonger

Summary

Clintonism is about playing the "identity politics" as a bulwark against any class or populist upheaval that might threaten neoliberalism.
"Clintonism's core identity is not, in other words, as a crusade for groups suffering from the legacy and future threat of oppression by Trump's white male followers. It is a full-court press to keep the wheels on the neoliberal sh*twagon as it careens down the road of globalization, and it recognizes the importance in American democracy of slicing and dicing the electorate by identity politics and co-opting useful demographics as the key to maintaining power... There is more to Clintonism, I think, than simply playing the “identity politics” card to screw Bernie Sanders or discombobulate the Trump campaign. “Identity politics” is near the core of the Clintonian agenda as a bulwark against any class/populist upheaval that might threaten her brand of billionaire-friendly liberalism. China Matters

The key points

  1. The whole Democratic Party is in trouble as it lost its key constituency. Probably for long time. My feeling is that Dems already lost working class and large part of lower middle. They became the party of professionals and Wall Street speculators. They systematically betrayed union members since Bill Clinton and now the train probably left the station. By estimate of union brass, probably three out of four union members will vote against Hillary this election even if the union endorsed Hillary.
  2. The way Hillary plays identity politics is viewed by many people, especially women as completely dishonest. How she can a champion for woman and minorities right is she was instrumental in killing so many women and children in Iraq, Libya and Syria? What about her defense of 40yars old rapist of 12 years old girl? Those fact this alone our shadows  Trump "transgressions"?  Looks like she overplayed her "identify politics" hand.
  3. The fact that she is a neocon, warmonger, hell-bent on Russophobia (making it the cornerstone of her election strategy) might backfire. She essentially converted Democratic Party into War Party with Russophobia as a banner. Is this that different from neofascism, if we replace Jews with Russians  ?  People do not want yet another war, especially with Russia. Her (and Democratic Party) demonization of Putin is a very dirty election play. Three wars for expansion of neoliberal empire seems to be way too much. Enough is enough.  Her idea of no fly zone in Syria is just a code word for full invasion.  And she is a staunch advocate of "humanizing bombing" of brown people. That might not help her with minorities.
  4. Her important weakness that people view her of compulsive, pathological liar. Few people believe anything that she is promising. Most understand that she is lying and will "bait and switch" them at first opportunity after assuming the office, much like Barack Obama did.
  5. Her "identity politics" and her fake feminism are completely insincere. She is completely numb to human suffering and interests of females and minorities. Looks like she has a total lack of empathy for other people.
  6. For most Sanders supporters she is a right wing Republican -- a wolf in sheep clothing. Some might just prefer to vote for a real wolf, other for Jill Stein. 
  7. In case of election victory her win might well be a Pyrrhic victory. And the unknown neurological disease that she has (Parkinson?) makes her even more vulnerable after the election. The role of POTUS involves a lot of stress and requires substantial physical stamina as POTUS is the center of intersection of all important government conflicts. She is a natural center of all commutations within the government. That's a killing environment for anyone with Parkinson. Possible impeachment and continued leaks might add to the stress too.  And remember she was not able to survive the pressure of the role of the Secretary of State when she was younger, in much better physical and mental health and has an earlier stage of the disease.

Here is one exchange from naked capitalism blog that can extend this  summary brings several other interesting points (nakedcapitalism.com, Oct 05, 2016)

Oct 05, 2016 | www.James Kroeger October 5, 2016 at 8:02 am

So what's a voter to do?

Well, I would hope that informed voters who have a healthy fear of the military-industrial-political complex will vote to keep the scariest of the two re: nuclear war out of office. This particular concern is the reason why I will in all likelihood be voting for the man I've been ridiculing for most of the past year, simply because I am terrified of the prospect of Hillary Clinton as Commander-in-Chief.

Trump is a bad choice for a long list of reasons, but the most outrageous things he has proposed require legislation and I think it will be possible to defeat his essential sociopathy on that level, since he will face not only the opposition of the Dem Party, but also MSM and a significant number of people from his own party.

But when it comes to the President's ability to put American 'boots on the ground' vs. some theoretical enemy, no such approval from Congress is necessary. Hillary Clinton will be in a position to get us into a costly war without having to overcome any domestic opposition to pull it off.

What scares me is my knowledge of her career-long investment in trying to convince the generals and the admirals that she is a 'tough bitch', ala Margaret Thatcher, who will not hesitate to pull the trigger. An illuminating article in the NY Times revealed that she always advocates the most muscular and reckless dispositions of U.S. military forces whenever her opinion is solicited.

All of her experience re: foreign policy that she's been touting is actually the scariest thing about her, when you look at what her historical dispositions have been. The "No Fly Zone" she's been pushing since last year is just the latest example of her instinct to act recklessly, as it directly invites a military confrontation with Russia.

Her willingness to roll the dice, to gamble with other people's lives, is ingrained within her political personality, of which she is so proud.

Her greatest political fear-that she might one day be accused by Republicans of being "weak on America's enemies"-is what we have to fear. That fear is what drives her to the most extreme of war hawk positions, since her foundational strategy is to get out in front of the criticism she anticipates.

It is what we can count on. She will most assuredly get America into a war within the first 6-9 months of her Presidency, since she will be looking forward to the muscular response she will order when she is 'tested', as she expects.

How reckless is Trump likely to be? Well, like Clinton-and all other civilian Commanders-in-Chief, Trump be utterly dependent upon the advice of military professionals in deciding what kind of responses to order. But in the position of The Decider, there is one significant difference between Trump and Clinton. Trump is at least willing and able to 1) view Putin as someone who is not a threat to the United States and 2) is able/willing to question the rationality of America's continued participation in NATO.

These differences alone are enough to move me to actually vote for someone I find politically detestable, simply because I fear that the alternative is a high probability of war, and a greatly enhanced risk of nuclear annihilation-through miscalculation-under a Hillary Clinton Presidency.

Quite simply, she scares the hell out of me.

likbez October 5, 2016 at 9:17 pm
James,

Excellent, really excellent summary. Thank you. Especially this observation:

"Her greatest political fear-that she might one day be accused by Republicans of being "weak on America's enemies"-is what we have to fear. That fear is what drives her to the most extreme of war hawk positions, since her foundational strategy is to get out in front of the criticism she anticipates."

I would like to add a few minor points:

1. Clinton might not have the intellectual capacity to discern critically important distinctions ( http://angrybearblog.com/2015/06/what-worries-me-most-about-clinton-that-she-may-not-have-the-intellectual-capacity-to-discern-even-critically-important-distinctions-even-glaring-ones.html ). From comments: "Hillary is phony as a 3-dollar bill. And I just watched FDR doing his thing on NPR's " The Roosevelts " , reminding me that in universes other than the one I occupy , it's possible to have an outstanding progressive , an outstanding candidate , and an outstanding human being , all in one."

2. She (like most sociopaths, although it is unclear whether she is one or not) is not able to apologize for mistakes. New York Times:

In the end, she settled on language that was similar to Senator John Kerry's when he was the Democratic nominee in 2004: that if she had known in 2002 what she knows now about Iraqi weaponry, she would never have voted for the Senate resolution authorizing force.

Yet antiwar anger has festered, and yesterday morning Mrs. Clinton rolled out a new response to those demanding contrition: She said she was willing to lose support from voters rather than make an apology she did not believe in.

"If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or has said his vote was a mistake, then there are others to choose from," Mrs. Clinton told an audience in Dover, N.H., in a veiled reference to two rivals for the nomination, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina.

Her decision not to apologize is regarded so seriously within her campaign that some advisers believe it will be remembered as a turning point in the race: either ultimately galvanizing voters against her (if she loses the nomination), or highlighting her resolve and her willingness to buck Democratic conventional wisdom (if she wins).

At the same time, the level of Democratic anger has surprised some of her allies and advisers, and her campaign is worried about how long it will last and how much damage it might cause her.

3. Due to her greed she and her close entourage represent a huge security risk. Emailgate had shown that as for computer security she is an absolute zero. Absolutely, horribly incompetent and absolutely, horribly greedy (the key idea of private server was to hide her "pay for play" deals related to Clinton foundation). The same level of computer security incompetence is prevalent in her close circle (Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, etc) .

4. She strongly believe in the neoconservative foreign-policy agenda by re-casting the neoconservatives' goals in liberal-interventionist terms. In reality the difference between "liberal interventionism" and Neoconservatism are pretty superficial (Kagan already calls himself liberal interventionalist) and Hillary's willingness to infest a foreign-policy establishment with neocons is beyond any doubt and comparable with Bush II.

As the recent Republican primary contest had shown neoconservatives have virtually no support among the US voters. Their base is exclusively military-industrial complex. So the reason she is reaching out to those shady figures is a deceptively simple: she shares common views, respects their supposed expertise, and wants them in her governing coalition. That means that "… today's Democrats have become the Party of War: a home for arms merchants, mercenaries, academic war planners, lobbyists for every foreign intervention, promoters of color revolutions, failed generals, exploiters of the natural resources of corrupt governments. …" ( http://crookedtimber.org/2016/09/27/donald-trump-the-michael-dukakis-of-the-republican-party/#comment-693421 )

5. She is completely numb to human suffering. She has a total lack of empathy for other people.


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Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary

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"Clinton Cash" Scandal: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry

[Apr 02, 2020] We have two discredited old parties, incapable of dealing with the crises facing them, attempting to revive the only ideas that have ever galvanised the US public in their lifetimes: opposition to communism and the racism which underlay just about every US military adventure since 1945

Highly recommended!
Apr 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Apr 1 2020 20:48 utc | 38

US Politicians never forget that for the past seventy years russophobia and sinophobic racism- both of which have deep roots in the culture- formed the bases of the ideology of anti-communism.

The Democrats, totally discredited by the 2016 Election campaign and decades of Clinton/Obama swings towards the right and away from the old New Deal constituencies, began by accusing Trump of colluding with the Russians- who most of the DNC deliberately suggested, and probably genuinely thought, were Communists.

Trump's response is now to revive the anti-Peoples Republic witch-hunts of the past to use against the Democrats.

We have two discredited old parties, incapable of dealing with the crises facing them, attempting to revive the only ideas that have ever galvanised the US public in their lifetimes: opposition to communism and the racism which underlay just about every US military adventure since 1945 - the all purpose anti-gook racism that saw them through the wars against Japan, Korea, IndoChina and the People's Republic.

It is going to make the spectacle of two monkeys throwing shit at each other seem positively restrained - the Democrats howling about Russia and the Republicans, reverting to type, starting up lynch mobs against China.

[Apr 02, 2020] Pelosi now looks completely idiotic with her impeachment trial

In this case Trump is right: they really take the attention of Wuhan events. Pelosi should resign of be removed.
Apr 02, 2020 | thehill.com

Abron olepi 10 hours ago

Trump is planning the blame game already. He's blaming Governors, stating that this is really a state and local issue.

And he's blaming the impeachment trials, saying they took the focus off the virus, etc. etc.

Always has to blame someone else. Oh, and Obama! Don't forget Obama!

[Mar 26, 2020] An interesting hypothesis about why Biden won Super Thusday by John O'Kane

Highly recommended!
Will Sanders supporters vote for Biden? I think the answer is NO.
Notable quotes:
"... His campaign is awash in cash from the interests that Sanders is challenging as the very source of the blockage to progress. Are we going to get a re-treading of the policies that helped vault Trump to the White House in 2016? ..."
"... The Black vote saved his campaign in South Carolina and strengthened his Super Tuesday and subsequent performances. ..."
"... The new Democratic party that has over the past forty years or so become more like the Republican party has done little for Blacks. So how do we explain the apparent love affair they have for the Democratic party establishment? They went for Hilary at this same juncture in 2016, neutralizing Sanders' momentum and effectively ending his run. ..."
"... It's the power of the Black leaders to represent their constituents in ways that counter their core concerns ..."
"... Clyburn, who endorsed Biden in the recent primary, made his denouncement of Medicare for All and especially the Sanders progressive agenda quite clear in this support. This is no great surprise since between 2008 and 2018 he took more than $1 million from the pharmaceutical industry ("Mystique of the 'Black Vote'," Common Dreams ..."
"... Of course, the culture of these Southern states, mostly Republican, has been dominated by the Wall Street neoliberal consensus ever since the Democrats lost their hold on the region. ..."
"... Sanders' progressive restructuring has been rejected for policies that mesh with the neoliberal consensus, like the racial programs for the educated and upwardly mobile that stress entrepreneurship and business development. ..."
"... These brokers' support of the neoliberal consensus has been secured through framing the larger issue as the preservation of rights. Mara Gay explains James Clyburn's strong support of Biden as someone he knows personally who will fight for the basic rights that are eroding under a Trump administration that has brought back the "same hostility and zeal for authoritarianism that marked life under Jim Crow." ..."
"... For Chris Hedges the power elite is always eager to keep discussions within the confines of special discourses like race, gender, religion, immigration, gun control, freedom, etc., because these issues are "used to divide the public, to turn neighbor against neighbor, to fuel virulent hatreds and antagonisms," and they divert attention from class, the concept they fear the most ("Class: The Little Word the Elites Want You to Forget," Truthdig ..."
"... The opinion-shaping machine is strong enough to encourage Blacks to overwhelmingly support Biden who pushes virtually nothing related to class or structural change. ..."
"... It's about strategy and pragmatism. He believes Biden can win, and Sanders can't, and this is all important given the dire situation in the Black community. ..."
"... The rift would seem too wide to bridge. Trusting elites to change the system from the top down, persuading members of their power bloc to do the right thing, is a gamble given all the betrayals from the Democratic party over the past few generations. ..."
Mar 25, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

Originally from: Joe Biden's Opinion-Shaping Machine And Race

Wall Street broke out its checkbooks for Joe Biden in the wake of Super Tuesday, no surprise since his campaign is already its major recipient. Plus, he was the VP for an administration greatly indebted to it. Transparency. His campaign is awash in cash from the interests that Sanders is challenging as the very source of the blockage to progress. Are we going to get a re-treading of the policies that helped vault Trump to the White House in 2016?

Biden is the last moderate standing, having positioned himself clearly against the Sanders "revolution" in the debates, though it's difficult to conjure a theme or concept that shapes his campaign besides beating Trump, the perception he can giving him an edge. We can thank the Democratic party establishment for pressuring the other moderates out of the race to prop Biden up (Matthew Stevenson, "The Super Tuesday Sting," 3/6/20, CounterPunch ).

But race played a curious role. The Black vote saved his campaign in South Carolina and strengthened his Super Tuesday and subsequent performances. He trumpeted his record on race in the debates which Kamala Harris -- who has now endorsed him -- exposed as checkered at best. Though avoiding any direct discussion of Obama's policies, he has at least been mentioning him more often. This surely gave him a bump as well since the former president is still popular among Blacks. Though selective amnesia likely rules here since the Congressional Black Caucus separated itself from him early in his administration. The new Democratic party that has over the past forty years or so become more like the Republican party has done little for Blacks. So how do we explain the apparent love affair they have for the Democratic party establishment? They went for Hilary at this same juncture in 2016, neutralizing Sanders' momentum and effectively ending his run.

Black voters make up 56% of the Democratic electorate in South Carolina and Biden got an estimated 61-64% of it. Sanders received 17%. These proportions generally hold nationally through the latest series of primaries. But Blacks have the largest support of any group for the signature progressive issue endorsed by Sanders, single payer health insurance. The national percentage is 74%. Since it's hard to believe such deep-seeded beliefs could be countered, what intervened? The all-out media assault from sundry front groups doing the bidding of the private insurance industry to dissuade voters from choosing any candidate spouting Medicare For All was surely influential but hardly determining.

It's the power of the Black leaders to represent their constituents in ways that counter their core concerns , like their decreasing standard of living and their increasing economic insecurity, according to Adolph Reed Jr. and Willie Legette. In the run-up to the 2016 South Carolina primary, for example, Congressmen James Clyburn (D-SC), John Lewis (D-GA), and Cedric Richmond (D-LA) denounced calls for free public higher education as "irresponsible" because "there are no free lunches." Clyburn, who endorsed Biden in the recent primary, made his denouncement of Medicare for All and especially the Sanders progressive agenda quite clear in this support. This is no great surprise since between 2008 and 2018 he took more than $1 million from the pharmaceutical industry ("Mystique of the 'Black Vote'," Common Dreams , 3/7/20).

Of course, the culture of these Southern states, mostly Republican, has been dominated by the Wall Street neoliberal consensus ever since the Democrats lost their hold on the region. The expectation has been that the post-Civil Rights semblance of movements would coalesce around a resistance to this bloc, but the Black brokers and opinion shapers have mostly relished their roles in the dominant power structure. Since 2016, according to Reed and Legette, it has converged around a narrative that Sanders has difficulty appealing to Black voters, even as polls have shown repeatedly that his program is more popular among Black Americans than any other group. It has graded Sanders down for his critique of Obama and especially for mounting a primary challenge against him. Sanders' progressive restructuring has been rejected for policies that mesh with the neoliberal consensus, like the racial programs for the educated and upwardly mobile that stress entrepreneurship and business development. Its main objective is to "undermine Black Americans' participation in a broad movement for social transformation along economically egalitarian lines. "

These brokers' support of the neoliberal consensus has been secured through framing the larger issue as the preservation of rights. Mara Gay explains James Clyburn's strong support of Biden as someone he knows personally who will fight for the basic rights that are eroding under a Trump administration that has brought back the "same hostility and zeal for authoritarianism that marked life under Jim Crow." She finds that voters concur, believing that Biden will fight for those rights since, as one representative interviewee claims, he was "with Obama all those years." The clincher is that he is also the best bet to beat Trump. They're "deeply skeptical that a democratic socialist like Mr. Sanders could unseat Mr. Trump" ("Why Southern Democrats Saved Biden," New York Times , 3/6/20).

Is this an elite-fed discourse that stuck, or possibly some toxic populism like what circulates among Trump supporters? An investment in the good ole days when the Civil Rights Movement was ascendant is a worthy sentiment for sure. Where would racial relations be without the historic transformation that produced the pivotal "rights" legislation in the 1960s? And many who passed through those moments might have a romantic attraction to Biden's image even though his support of Blacks before Obama hitched him was feeble.

But consider what's happened since. The turn to the right in the 1970s brought on a mild "Reconstruction"-era backlash whose signal legal event was the Bakke case in 1977 which weakened Affirmative Action and banned quotas that were now deemed proof of "reverse discrimination." The down-turning economy during this decade was the start of a structural change that revealed the widening wealth and income gap between the lower and upper classes, and Blacks were hit disproportionately hard. The rights legislation that helped to narrow the gap in the prior decade offered less protection.

The Reagan administration attempted to turn the clock back to the pre-Civil Rights era and partially succeeded in wiping away the gains Blacks had made. Toward the end of the decade protections, especially Affirmative Action, were further weakened legally, and culturally as "reverse discrimination" claims from intellectuals like Charles Murray and others compounded, supporting the rollback of social policy initiatives. These sympathies were also evident in Black communities where leaders pondered how to do the right thing and reverse the loss of ground. Many began to view Affirmative Action, for example, as a fetter, a burden that tainted performance by suggesting it was undeserved. The 1990s went far in dismantling all regulatory regimes, discrediting social policy initiatives, heeding the suggestions of Murray and passing the burden of improvement onto responsible individuals. The 1996 welfare "reform" law crystalized these changes, reversing AFDC and its underlying concept, no-fault entitlement, and the impact on Blacks was devastating. The Clintons were staunch advocates but somehow this association didn't erode Hilary's huge support in the Black community in 2016. Any gains for those who got the point and took personal responsibility after this change and tried to work the market to their advantage were wiped out by the effects of the 2008 Great Recession. As recent studies show, this event severely impacted Blacks, deflating their capital assets -- mainly property values through the housing market crash -- to a level not seen for many since the pre-Movement years, widening the wealth gap with whites.

Mara Gay claims that "despite enormous progress," referring to South Carolina, "poverty in this still largely rural region, for Southerners of every race, remains crushing." Enormous progress for what strata of society? Is every race being crushed equally? Progress and regress exist here in a kind of murky relationship. Who are the winners? If there is only a generalized, abstract poverty, then perhaps Blacks just see themselves as part of one big unfortunate swatch of misery and there's no need for a special candidate to articulate their issues. Biden will do just fine!

Do the Blacks who voted for Biden really believe that rights, and possibly a stronger Affirmative Action, will get them better jobs and health care and education and housing, what polls say they want? The Supreme Court certainly weakened provisions of the rights legislation, ironically during the Obama years, and that needs to be redressed. But rights for individuals or a group need to be expressed with the potential of producing results. They could be in the 1960s when the kind of liberal Democrats Sanders espouses controlled Congress and our society was an ascendant, center-left one, mostly sympathetic with improving the plight of the underprivileged. Now structural change needs to accompany the expression of rights and compensate for this loss of sympathy in a society that is much more unequal generally, and especially within racial and ethnic groups.

A romantic attachment to the legacy and concept of civil rights in a vacuum allows the discourse of identity politics to capture the critical energy of race. The times demand the opposite, the link between rights and social justice; the gathering of all identities, affiliations, and dispositions together to discuss the common structure that can overcome division and artificial barriers. Class is such a structure. The delink of rights and social justice converts to the denial of the realities of class.

For Chris Hedges the power elite is always eager to keep discussions within the confines of special discourses like race, gender, religion, immigration, gun control, freedom, etc., because these issues are "used to divide the public, to turn neighbor against neighbor, to fuel virulent hatreds and antagonisms," and they divert attention from class, the concept they fear the most ("Class: The Little Word the Elites Want You to Forget," Truthdig , 3/3/20).

There's a striking inequality gap within the Black community that's been widening for some time, as William Julius Wilson's research has amply documented for nearly half a century. The failure of rights activism has left many in the lower and working classes behind as the educated professional class has separated itself from them and achieved significant success. It's interesting that nearly 9% of Blacks voted for Trump in 2016. Why have so few of the Black masses been absorbed a half century after Martin Luther King's death? The inclusion of more from the lower strata will need to break down the not-very-visible structural barriers to mobility that divide and exclude. Something like the pro-active re-structuring pushed by the Rainbow Coalition, Jesse Jackson's multi-racial, structural response to the widening of the inequality gap in his 1980s run for the presidency, which was clearly the revival of MLK's late expression of the link between race and class. The distance between King's social justice vision and activism and the rights-rhetoric infused activity of today is remarkable. It's interesting that Jackson recently endorsed Sanders.

The opinion-shaping machine is strong enough to encourage Blacks to overwhelmingly support Biden who pushes virtually nothing related to class or structural change. Further evidence of this strength came recently in an interchange between Michael Eric Dyson, a persistent critic of the Obama legacy, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, a staunch Sanders supporter (DemocracyNow. 3/16/20). Dyson has endorsed Biden, a surprise to many progressives given his critical history of mainstream liberalism. His reasoning is curious.

It's not that he feels Biden is or has become a progressive. It's about strategy and pragmatism. He believes Biden can win, and Sanders can't, and this is all important given the dire situation in the Black community. There's a hint it seems that Biden could be in the early stages of conversion to progressive ideas, or at least perhaps is a latently aggressive liberal and spirited supporter of the Black cause who can make change if elected because he -- and the Democratic Party? -- have been pushed to the left by the Sanders "revolution" begun in 2016. Biden has the best "methodology" and will be able to "deploy" it.

A staunch advocate of structural change, Dyson now seems to be saying that it can be accomplished through Biden who will have the authority and desire to marshal the necessary forces and interests together to build alliances, forge a consensus. It's true that Biden's public relations gestures -- considered separate from his debate focus -- have passed the desire test. He's come out liberal and even progressive-sounding on most issues, pushed there perhaps by Sanders' momentum as Dyson suggests ("Joe Biden's Positions on the Issues," Politico , 3/5/20).

But what will he forge a consensus about? In the process of marshaling forces together will he become a converted progressive, pumped up by his successes as an alliance builder? Will he support Medicare for All from having witnessed the effects of our health care system straining under pressure from the coronavirus? Will he be able to convince Sanders' supporters to come along and bide their time as this -- utopian -- process evolves?

The rift would seem too wide to bridge. Trusting elites to change the system from the top down, persuading members of their power bloc to do the right thing, is a gamble given all the betrayals from the Democratic party over the past few generations.

... ... ...

John O'Kane teaches writing at Chapman University. His next book, From Hyperion to Erebus, is due out this year from Wapshott Press.

[Mar 21, 2020] Democrats AWOL during the economic crisis caucus99percent

Mar 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

snoopydawg on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 2:20pm

Raggedy Ann on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 3:10pm
The dimwits are MIA again.

Not surprising. They only want the kickbacks not any actual work. Here's a good lesson for that squad - now they can witness how the dimwits work for the people! Tlaib is stepping up. Who will be next? Anyone? Anyone?

entrepreneur on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 3:26pm
Not that they'll ever let him debate Trump, but if he did Trump

should just spend every minute of his time saying "where was Joe hiding during the pandemic? How are you going to lead a country by hiding during an emergency, Joe?".

[Mar 13, 2020] Extraordinary Democratic Delusions and the Madness of the Crowd by M. G. Piety

Notable quotes:
"... New York Review of Books ..."
"... Encyclopedia Britannica ..."
"... Tomasky points out that Sanders, even if he were elected, would be unable to implement many of the programs that are part of his platform, that the best he'd get in terms of healthcare, for example, would be "a Bidenesque public option," meaning, I presume, and option such as Biden is advocating for now ..."
"... New York Review of Books ..."
"... The Daily Beast, ..."
"... The American Prospect, ..."
"... New York Review of Books ..."
"... New York Review of Books ..."
"... Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism ..."
"... The Corporate Coup d'Etat ..."
"... M.G. Piety teaches philosophy at Drexel University. She is the editor and translator of Soren Kierkegaard's Repetition and Philosophical Crumbs . Her latest book is: Ways of Knowing: Kierkegaard's Pluralist Epistemology . She can be reached at: mgpiety@drexel.edu ..."
Mar 13, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

Just when I am starting to think that the New York Review of Books is not irredeemably idiotic on political issues, they publish an article that is so conspicuously incoherent and outrageously out of touch with the political climate in the U.S. that it is destined to be anthologized in perpetuity in collections with "Clueless" in the title. The article, " The Party Cannot Hold ," by Michael Tomasky is about the current state of the Democratic party.

The current divide in the Democratic party, writes Tomasky, "is about capitalism -- whether it can be reformed and remade to create the kind of broad prosperity the country once knew, but without the sexism and racism of the postwar period, as liberals hope; or whether corporate power is now so great that we are simply beyond that, as the younger socialists would argue, and more radical surgery is called for."

Hmm, he's right, of course, that there is a faction of the Democratic party that wants to reform capitalism, to remake it to create the kind of broad prosperity the country once knew. The thing is, that faction is the "younger" one. The older, "liberal," Democrats have concentrated almost all their efforts on getting rid of sexism and racism, laudable goals to be sure, but oddly disconnected in the "liberal" imagination from economic issues.

Tomasky is also correct, of course, that a growing number of people in this country think Capitalism in any form is simply morally bankrupt and that we need a new socioeconomic system entirely. Few of these people, however, are registered Democrats. Most of them aren't even Social Democrats since the overthrow of capitalism hasn't been a part of the Social Democratic platform since the middle of the last century, at least according to Encyclopedia Britannica . Indeed, Wikipedia defines " Social democracy " as "a political, social and economic philosophy that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and a capitalist- oriented economy" (emphasis added). That Social Democrats are planning the overthrow of capitalism would be disturbing news to the many capitalists countries in Europe where they are an important political force.

Tomasky points out that Sanders, even if he were elected, would be unable to implement many of the programs that are part of his platform, that the best he'd get in terms of healthcare, for example, would be "a Bidenesque public option," meaning, I presume, and option such as Biden is advocating for now , because as Americans know too well, politicians almost never deliver on campaign promises. The electorate is nearly always forced to accept some watered-down version of what they've been promised, if indeed, they get any version of it at all. That's clearly part of the reason so many people support Sanders.

Few of Sanders supporters are so politically naïve that they think once he was in office we'd have universal healthcare. They assume they'd get something less than that. They also assume, however, and history suggests, correctly, that if Biden were elected, they'd get something less than he is promising, which means they'd get -- nothing at all! It's either disingenuous or idiotic of Tomasky to suggest that there's essentially no difference between Sanders' and Biden's healthcare plans, since even a child will tell you that something is clearly better than nothing.

Tomasky assumes that only if someone other than Sanders gets the nomination would the left "try to increase its leverage by, for example, running left-wing candidates against a large number of mainstream Democratic House incumbents." I kid you not, he actually said that. See, that's what happens when you don't pay sufficient attention to what is going on around you. Or perhaps Tomasky is simply being disingenuous again and hoping that the average reader of the New York Review of Books hasn't been following the Sanders campaign and the calls of both Sanders and his supporters for bringing about sweeping political change by running left-wing candidates against a large number of mainstream Democratic House incumbents.

"If Sanders wins the nomination," writes Tomasky, "it becomes absolutely incumbent upon Democratic establishment figures to get behind him, because a second Trump term is unthinkable. But the reality is," he continues, "that a number of them won't."

Hmm. Why is it that a number of "Democratic establishment figures" would rather have a second term of Trump than even one term of Sanders? That's not my charge, I feel compelled to remind readers here. It's Tomasky who came right out and admitted that! Yes, the Democratic establishment, despite it protestations to the contrary, would rather have a second term of Trump than even one term of Sanders according to Michael Tomasky, editor-in-chief of Democracy, a special correspondent for Newsweek and The Daily Beast, and a contributing editor for The American Prospect, as well as a contributor to the New York Review of Books .

Why is that? Well, because as Tomasky observes himself earlier in the article, "Democrats have, since the 1990s, gotten themselves far too indebted to certain donor groups, notably Wall Street and the tech industry." Yes, this is the same Tomasky who began the article in question by characterizing these very same Democrats, now in the pocket of Wall Street and the tech industry, as wanting to reform capitalism, to remake it to create the kind of broad prosperity the country once knew.

Biden is apparently not the only prominent Democrat who appears to be suffering from some kind of dementia.

That's not the only dotty thing Tomasky says in the article. "In a parliamentary system," he says, "Biden would be in the main center-left party." Okay, yeah, maybe, if we suddenly had a parliamentary system in the U.S. In any other country that presently has a parliamentary system Biden would be in the center-right party, if not actually the far-right party.

The view that Sanders supporters are mostly young socialists is delusional. The very same issue of the New York Review of Books includes an excellent article about our current health-care crisis entitled " Left Behind " by Helen Epstein. Epstein explains that substantial numbers of the working poor support Sanders and that "117,000 Pennsylvanians who voted for Sanders in the [2016] primary cast their general election ballots for Trump." Hmm, it seems unlikely that those 117,000 Pennsylvanians were all young socialists.

Tomasky's world doesn't even cohere with the world as represented by other contributors to the publication in which his article appears, let alone to the real, concrete world. It exists only in his fevered imagination and the similarly fevered imaginations of other Democrats who delude themselves that they are "centrists" rather than right-wing neoliberals. There are bits and pieces of the truth in Tomasky's vision of the disunity in the Democratic party but he puts those bits together like a child forcing pieces of a puzzle where they don't belong.

What Tomasky fails to appreciate is just how mad, in the sense of angry, the average American voter is. Epstein writes that "[i]f you include those who have left the workforce altogether, the U.S. employment rate is almost as high as it was in 1931." She cites Anne Case and Angus Deaton as observing in Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism that "[t]he amount American spend unnecessarily on health care weighs more heavily on our economy than the Versailles Treaty reparations did on Germans in the 1920s."

Oh yeah, people are angry. Few people are blaming capitalism as such, but nearly everyone who's suffering economically appears to be blaming the political establishment, and blaming the Democrats just as much as the Republicans. This is clear from the people interviewed in the 2019 documentary The Corporate Coup d'Etat . These are people who voted for Sanders in the 2016 primary, but who then voted for Trump in the general election. They're not socialists. They're just angry. Really angry, and they're angry at both sides of the political establishment.

Tomasky is worried about the Democratic party, with its two fictional factions, breaking apart because he concludes "our [political] system militates against a schism." No third party, he thinks, could be a significant political force.

Oh yeah? Think again, Tomasky.

Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: M. G. Piety

M.G. Piety teaches philosophy at Drexel University. She is the editor and translator of Soren Kierkegaard's Repetition and Philosophical Crumbs . Her latest book is: Ways of Knowing: Kierkegaard's Pluralist Epistemology . She can be reached at: mgpiety@drexel.edu

[Mar 12, 2020] How 'Bernie Bros' Were Invented, Then Smeared as Sexist, Racist and unAmerican as Borscht by Jonathan Cook

Looks like DNC run a pretty sophisticated smear campaign against Sanders ...
Notable quotes:
"... It really isn't about who the candidates are – hurtful as that may sound to some in our identity-saturated times. It is about what the candidate might try to do once in office. In truth, the very fact that nowadays we are allowed to focus on identity to our heart's content should be warning enough that the establishment is only too keen for us to exhaust our energies in promoting divisions based on those identities ..."
"... The Republican and Democratic leaderships are there to ensure that, before a candidate gets selected to compete in the parties' name, he or she has proven they are power-friendly. Two candidates, each vetted for obedience to power. ..."
Mar 12, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

The Democratic presidential nomination race is a fascinating case study in how power works – not least, because the Democratic party leaders are visibly contriving to impose one candidate, Joe Biden, as the party's nominee, even as it becomes clear that he is no longer mentally equipped to run a local table tennis club let alone the world's most powerful nation.

Biden's campaign is a reminder that power is indivisible. Donald Trump or Joe Biden for president – it doesn't matter to the power-establishment. An egomaniacal man-child (Trump), representing the billionaires, or an elder suffering rapid neurological degeneration (Biden), representing the billionaires, are equally useful to power. A woman will do too, or a person of colour. The establishment is no longer worried about who stands on stage – so long as that person is not a Bernie Sanders in the US, or a Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.

It really isn't about who the candidates are – hurtful as that may sound to some in our identity-saturated times. It is about what the candidate might try to do once in office. In truth, the very fact that nowadays we are allowed to focus on identity to our heart's content should be warning enough that the establishment is only too keen for us to exhaust our energies in promoting divisions based on those identities. What concerns it far more is that we might overcome those divisions and unify against it, withdrawing our consent from an establishment committed to endless asset-stripping of our societies and the planet.

Neither Biden nor Trump will obstruct the establishment, because they are at its very heart. The Republican and Democratic leaderships are there to ensure that, before a candidate gets selected to compete in the parties' name, he or she has proven they are power-friendly. Two candidates, each vetted for obedience to power.

Although a pretty face or a way with words are desirable, incapacity and incompetence are no barrier to qualifying, as the two white men groomed by their respective parties demonstrate. Both have proved they will favour the establishment, both will pursue near-enough the same policies , both are committed to the status quo, both have demonstrated their indifference to the future of life on Earth. What separates the candidates is not real substance, but presentation styles – the creation of the appearance of difference, of choice.

Policing the debate

The subtle dynamics of how the Democratic nomination race is being rigged are interesting. Especially revealing are the ways the Democratic leadership protects establishment power by policing the terms of debate: what can be said, and what can be thought; who gets to speak and whose voices are misrepresented or demonised. Manipulation of language is key.

As I pointed out in my previous post , the establishment's power derives from its invisibility. Scrutiny is kryptonite to power.

The only way we can interrogate power is through language, and the only way we can communicate our conclusions to others is through words – as I am doing right now. And therefore our strength – our ability to awaken ourselves from the trance of power – must be subverted by the establishment, transformed into our Achilles' heel, a weakness.

The treatment of Bernie Sanders and his supporters by the Democratic establishment – and those who eagerly repeat its talking points – neatly illustrates how this can be done in manifold ways.

Remember this all started back in 2016, when Sanders committed the unforgivable sin of challenging the Democratic leadership's right simply to anoint Hillary Clinton as the party's presidential candidate. In those days, the fault line was obvious and neat: Bernie was a man, Clinton a woman. She would be the first woman president. The only party members who might wish to deny her that historic moment, and back Sanders instead, had to be misogynist men. They were supposedly venting their anti-women grudge against Clinton, who in turn was presented to women as a symbol of their oppression by men.

And so was born a meme: the "Bernie Bros". It rapidly became shorthand for suggesting – contrary to all evidence – that Sanders' candidacy appealed chiefly to angry, entitled white men. In fact, as Sanders' 2020 run has amply demonstrated, support for him has been more diverse than for the many other Democratic candidates who sought the nomination.

So important what @ewarren is saying to @maddow about the dangerous, threatening, ugly faction among the Bernie supporters. Sanders either cannot or will not control them. pic.twitter.com/LYDXlLJ7bi

-- Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) March 6, 2020

How contrived the 2016 identity-fuelled contest was should have been clear, had anyone been allowed to point that fact out. This wasn't really about the Democratic leadership respecting Clinton's identity as a woman. It was about them paying lip service to her identity as a woman, while actually promoting her because she was a reliable warmonger and Wall Street functionary . She was useful to power.

If the debate had really been driven by identity politics, Sanders had a winning card too: he is Jewish. That meant he could be the United States' first Jewish president. In a fair identity fight, it would have been a draw between the two. The decision about who should represent the Democratic party would then have had to be decided based on policies, not identity. But party leaders did not want Clinton's actual policies, or her political history, being put under the microscope for very obvious reasons.

Weaponisation of identity

The weaponisation of identity politics is even more transparent in 2020. Sanders is still Jewish, but his main opponent, Joe Biden, really is simply a privileged white man. Were the Clinton format to be followed again by Democratic officials, Sanders would enjoy an identity politics trump card. And yet Sanders is still being presented as just another white male candidate , no different from Biden.

(We could take this argument even further and note that the other candidate who no one, least of all the Democratic leadership, ever mentions as still in the race is Tulsi Gabbard, a woman of colour. The Democratic party has worked hard to make her as invisible as possible in the primaries because, of all the candidates, she is the most vocal and articulate opponent of foreign wars. That has deprived her of the chance to raise funds and win delegates.)

. @DanaPerino I'm not quite sure why you're telling FOX viewers that Elizabeth Warren is the last female candidate in the Dem primary. Is it because you believe a fake indigenous woman of color is "real" and the real indigenous woman of color in this race is fake? pic.twitter.com/VKCxy2JzFe

-- Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 3, 2020

Sanders' Jewish identity isn't celebrated because he isn't useful to the power-establishment. What's far more important to them – and should be to us too – are his policies, which might limit their power to wage war, exploit workers and trash the planet.

But it is not just that Democratic Party leaders are ignoring Sanders' Jewish identity. They are also again actively using identity politics against him, and in many different ways.

The 'black' establishment?

Bernie Sanders' supporters have been complaining for some time – based on mounting evidence – that the Democratic leadership is far from neutral between Sanders and Biden. Because it has a vested interest in the outcome, and because it is the part of the power-establishment, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is exercising its influence in favour of Biden. And because power prefers darkness, the DNC is doing its best to exercise that power behind the scenes, out of sight – at least, unseen by those who still rely on the "mainstream" corporate media, which is also part of the power-establishment. As should be clear to anyone watching, the nomination proceedings are being controlled to give Biden every advantage and to obstruct Sanders.

But the Democratic leadership is not only dismissing out of hand these very justified complaints from Bernie Sanders' supporters but also turning these complaints against them, as further evidence of their – and his – illegitimacy. A new way of doing this emerged in the immediate wake of Biden winning South Carolina on the back of strong support from older black voters – Biden's first state win and a launchpad for his Super Tuesday bid a few days later.

It was given perfect expression from Symone Sanders, who despite her surname is actually a senior adviser to Biden's campaign. She is also black. This is what she wrote: "People who keep referring to Black voters as 'the establishment' are tone deaf and have obviously learned nothing."

People who keep referring to Black voters as "the establishment" are tone deaf and have obviously learned nothing.

-- Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) March 3, 2020

Her reference to generic "people" was understood precisely by both sides of the debate as code for those "Bernie Bros". Now, it seems, Bernie Sanders' supporters are not simply misogynists, they are potential recruits to the Ku Klux Klan.

The tweet went viral, even though in the fiercely contested back-and-forth below her tweet no one could produce a single example of anyone actually saying anything like the sentiment ascribed by Symone Sanders to "Bernie Bros". But then, tackling bigotry was not her real goal. This wasn't meant to be a reflection on a real-world talking-point by Bernie supporters. It was high-level gaslighting by a senior Democratic party official of the party's own voters.

Survival of the fittest smear

What Symone Sanders was really trying to do was conceal power – the fact that the DNC is seeking to impose its chosen candidate on party members. As occurred during the confected women-men, Clinton vs "Bernie Bros" confrontation, Symone Sanders was field-testing a similar narrative management tool as part of the establishment's efforts to hone it for improved effect. The establishment has learnt – through a kind of survival of the fittest smear – that divide-and-rule identity politics is the perfect way to shield its influence as it favours a status-quo candidate (Biden or Clinton) over a candidate seen as a threat to its power (Sanders).

In her tweet, Symone Sanders showed exactly how the power elite seeks to obscure its toxic role in our societies. She neatly conflated "the establishment" – of which she is a very small, but well-paid component – with ordinary "black voters". Her message is this: should you try to criticise the establishment (which has inordinate power to damage lives and destroy the planet) we will demonise you, making it seem that you are really attacking black people (who in the vast majority of cases – though Symone Sanders is a notable exception – wield no power at all).

Symone Sanders has recruited her own blackness and South Carolina's "black voters" as a ring of steel to protect the establishment. Cynically, she has turned poor black people, as well as the tens of thousands of people (presumably black and white) who liked her tweet, into human shields for the establishment.

It sounds a lot uglier put like that. But it has rapidly become a Biden talking-point, as we can see here:

NEW: @JoeBiden responds to @berniesanders saying the "establishment" is trying to defeat him.

"The establishment are all those hardworking, middle class people, those African Americans they are the establishment!" @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/43Q2Nci5sS

-- Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) March 4, 2020

The DNC's wider strategy is to confer on Biden exclusive rights to speak for black voters (despite his inglorious record on civil rights issues) and, further, to strip Sanders and his senior black advisers of any right to do so. When Sanders protests about this, or about racist behaviour from the Biden camp, Biden's supporters come out in force and often abusively, though of course no one is upbraiding them for their ugly, violent language. Here is the famous former tennis player Martina Navratilova showing that maybe we should be talking about "Biden Bros":

Sanders is starting to really piss me off. Just shut this kind of crap down and debate the issues. This is not it.

-- Martina Navratilova (@Martina) March 6, 2020

Being unkind to billionaires

This kind of special pleading by the establishment for the establishment – using those sections of it, such as Symone Sanders, that can tap into the identity politics zeitgeist – is far more common than you might imagine. The approach is being constantly refined, often using social media as the ultimate focus group. Symone Sanders' successful conflation of the establishment with "black voters" follows earlier, clumsier efforts by the establishment to protect its interests against Sanders that proved far less effective.

Billionaires should not exist. https://t.co/hgR6CeFvLa

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 24, 2019

Remember how last autumn the billionaire-owned corporate media tried to tell us that it was unkind to criticise billionaires – that they had feelings too and that speaking harshly about them was "dehumanising". Again it was aimed at Sanders, who had just commented that in a properly ordered world billionaires simply wouldn't exist. It was an obvious point: allowing a handful of people to control almost all the planet's wealth was not only depriving the rest of us of that wealth (and harming the planet) but it gave those few billionaires way too much power. They could buy all the media, our channels of communication, and most of the politicians to ringfence their financial interests, gradually eroding even the most minimal democratic protections.

That campaign died a quick death because few of us are actually brainwashed enough to accept the idea that a handful of billionaires share an identity that needs protecting – from us! Most of us are still connected enough to the real world to understand that billionaires are more than capable of looking out for their own interests, without our helping them by imposing on ourselves a vow of silence.

But one cannot fault the power-establishment for being constantly inventive in the search for new ways to stifle our criticisms of the way it unilaterally exercises its power. The Democratic nomination race is testing such ingenuity to the limits. Here's a new rule against "hateful conduct" on Twitter, where Biden's neurological deficit is being subjected to much critical scrutiny through the sharing of dozens of videos of embarrassing Biden "senior moments".

Twitter expanding its hateful conduct rules "to include language that dehumanizes on the basis of age, disability or disease." https://t.co/KmWGaNAG9Z

-- Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) March 5, 2020

Yes, disability and age are identities too. And so, on the pretext of protecting and respecting those identities, social media can now be scrubbed of anything and anyone trying to highlight the mental deficiencies of an old man who might soon be given the nuclear codes and would be responsible for waging wars in the name of Americans. Twitter is full of comments denouncing as "ableist" anyone who tries to highlight how the Democratic leadership is foisting a cognitively challenged Biden on to the party.

Maybe the Dem insiders are all wrong, but it's true that they are saying it. Some are saying it out loud, including Castro at the debate and Booker here: https://t.co/0lbi7RFRqG

-- Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) March 6, 2020

Russian 'agents' and 'assets'

None of this is to overlook the fact that another variation of identity politics has been weaponised against Sanders: that of failing to be an "American" patriot. Again illustrating how closely the Democratic and Republican leaderships' interests align, the question of who is a patriot – and who is really working for the "Russians" – has been at the heart of both parties' campaigns, though for different reasons.

Trump has been subjected to endless, evidence-free claims that he is a secret "Russian agent" in a concerted effort to control his original isolationist foreign policy impulses that might have stripped the establishment – and its military-industrial wing – of the right to wage wars of aggression, and revive the Cold War, wherever it believes a profit can be made under cover of "humanitarian intervention". Trump partly inoculated himself against these criticisms, at least among supporters, with his "Make America Great Again" slogan, and partly by learning – painfully for such an egotist – that his presidential role was to rubber-stamp decisions made elsewhere about waging wars and projecting US power.

I'm just amazed by this tweet, which has been tweeted plenty. Did @_nalexander and all the people liking this not know that Mueller laid out in the indictments of a number of Russians and in his report their help on social media to Sanders and Trump. Help Sanders has acknowledged https://t.co/vuc0lmvvKP

-- Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) December 8, 2019

Bernie Sanders has faced similar smear efforts by the establishment, including by the DNC's last failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton – in his case, painting him as a "Russian asset". ("Asset" is a way to suggest collusion with the Kremlin based on even more flimsy evidence than is needed to accuse someone of being an agent.) In fact, in a world where identity politics wasn't simply a tool to be weaponised by the establishment, there would be real trepidation about engaging in this kind of invective against a Jewish socialist.

One of the far-right's favourite antisemitic tropes – promoted ever since the publication of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion more than 100 years ago – is that Jewish "Bolsheviks" are involved in an international conspiracy to subvert the countries they live in. We have reached the point now that the corporate media are happy to recycle evidence-free claims, cited by the Washington Post, from anonymous "US officials" and US intelligence agencies reinventing a US version of the Protocols against Sanders. And these smears have elicited not a word of criticism from the Democratic leadership nor from the usual antisemitism watchdogs that are so ready to let rip over the slightest signs of what they claim to be antisemitism on the left.

But the urgency of dealing with Sanders may be the reason normal conventions have been discarded. Sanders isn't a loud-mouth egotist like Trump. A vote for Trump is a vote for the establishment, if for one of its number who pretends to be against the establishment. Trump has been largely tamed in time for a second term. By contrast, Sanders, like Corbyn in the UK, is more dangerous because he may resist the efforts to domesticate him, and because if he is allowed any significant measure of political success – such as becoming a candidate for president – it may inspire others to follow in his footsteps. The system might start to throw up more anomalies, more AOCs and more Ilhan Omars.

So Sanders is now being cast, like Trump, as a puppet of the Kremlin, not a true American. And because he made the serious mistake of indulging the "Russiagate" smears when they were used against Trump, Sanders now has little defence against their redeployment against him. And given that, by the impoverished standards of US political culture, he is considered an extreme leftist, it has been easy to conflate his democratic socialism with Communism, and then conflate his supposed Communism with acting on behalf of the Kremlin (which, of course, ignores the fact that Russia long ago abandoned Communism).

Sen. Bernie Sanders: "Let me tell this to Putin -- the American people, whether Republicans, Democrats, independents are sick and tired of seeing Russia and other countries interfering in our elections." pic.twitter.com/ejcP7YVFlt

-- The Hill (@thehill) February 21, 2020

Antisemitism smear at the ready

There is a final use of weaponised identity politics that the Democratic establishment would dearly love to use against Sanders, if they need to and can get away with it. It is the most toxic brand – and therefore the most effective – of the identity-based smears, and it has been extensively field-tested in the UK against Jeremy Corbyn to great success. The DNC would like to denounce Sanders as an antisemite.

In fact, only one thing has held them back till now: the fact that Sanders is Jewish. That may not prove an insuperable obstacle, but it does make it much harder to make the accusation look credible. The other identity-based smears had been a second-best, a make-do until a way could be found to unleash the antisemitism smear.

The establishment has been testing the waters with implied accusations of antisemitism against Sanders for a while, but their chances were given a fillip recently when Sanders refused to participate in the annual jamboree of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a prominent lobby group whose primary mission is to ringfence Israel from criticism in the US. Both the Republican and Democratic establishments turn out in force to the AIPAC conference, and in the past the event has attracted keynote speeches from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

But Sanders has refused to attend for decades and maintained that stance this month, even though he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination. In the last primaries debate, Sanders justified his decision by rightly calling Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "racist" and by describing AIPAC as providing a platform "for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights".

Trump's Vice-President, Mike Pence, responded that Sanders supported "Israel's enemies" and, if elected, would be the "most anti-Israel president in the history of this nation" – all coded suggestions that Sanders is antisemitic.

But that's Mike Pence. More useful criticism came from billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who is himself Jewish and was until last week posing as a Democrat to try to win the party's nomination. Bloomberg accused Sanders of using dehumanising language against a bunch of inclusive identities that, he improbably suggested, AIPAC represents. He claimed :

"This is a gathering of 20,000 Israel supporters of every religious denomination, ethnicity, faith, color, sexual identity and political party. Calling it a racist platform is an attempt to discredit those voices, intimidate people from coming here, and weaken the US-Israel relationship."

Where might this head? At the AIPAC conference last week we were given a foretaste. Ephraim Mirvis, the chief rabbi of the UK and a friend to Conservative government leader Boris Johnson, was warmly greeted by delegates, including leading members of the Democratic establishment. He boasted that he and other Jewish leaders in the UK had managed to damage Jeremy Corbyn's electoral chances by suggesting that he was an antisemite over his support, like Sanders, for Palestinian rights.

His own treatment of Corbyn, he argued, offered a model for US Jewish organisations to replicate against any leadership contender who might pose similar trouble for Israel, leaving it for his audience to pick up the not-so-subtle hint about who needed to be subjected to character assassination.

WATCH: "Today I issue a call to the Jews of America, please take a leaf out of our book and please speak with one voice."

The Chief Rabbi speaking to the 18,000 delegates gathered at the @AIPAC General Session at their Policy Conference in Washington DC pic.twitter.com/BOkan9RA2O

-- Chief Rabbi Mirvis (@chiefrabbi) March 3, 2020

Establishment playbook

For anyone who isn't wilfully blind, the last few months have exposed the establishment playbook: it will use identity politics to divide those who might otherwise find a united voice and a common cause.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating one's identity, especially if it is under threat, maligned or marginalised. But having an attachment to an identity is no excuse for allowing it to be coopted by billionaires, by the powerful, by nuclear-armed states oppressing other people, by political parties or by the corporate media, so that they can weaponise it to prevent the weak, the poor, the marginalised from being represented.

It is time for us to wake up to the tricks, the deceptions, the manipulations of the strong that exploit our weaknesses – and make us yet weaker still. It's time to stop being a patsy for the establishment. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are " Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and " Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair " (Zed Books). His website is http://www.jonathan-cook.net/

[Mar 12, 2020] Did Joe Biden's Former IT Guy Masquerade as Guccifer 2.0 by Larry C Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The computer used to create the original Warren Document (dated 2008) was a US Government computer issued to the Obama Presidential Transition Team by the General Services Administration. ..."
"... The Warren Document and the 1.DOC were created in the United States using Microsoft Word software (2007) that is registered to the GSA. ..."
"... The author of both 1.doc and the PDF version is identified as "WARREN FLOOD." ..."
"... "Russian" fingerprints were deliberately inserted into the text and the meta data of "1.doc." ..."
"... This begs a very important question. Did Warren Flood actually create these documents or was someone masquerading as Warren Flood? Unfortunately, neither the Intelligence Community nor the Mueller Special Counsel investigators provided any evidence to show they examined this forensic data. More troubling is the fact that the Microsoft Word processing software being used is listed as a GSA product. ..."
"... If this was truly a Russian GRU operation (as claimed by Mueller), why was the cyber spy tradecraft so sloppy? ..."
"... The name of Warren Flood, an Obama Democrat activist and Joe Biden's former Director of Information Technology, appears in at least three iterations of these documents. Did he actually masquerade as Guccifer 2.0? If so, did he do it on his own or was he hired by someone else? These remain open questions that deserve to be investigated by John Durham, the prosecutor investigating the attempted coup against Donald Trump, and/or relevant committees of the Congress. ..."
"... There are other critical unanswered questions. Obama's Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, sent a letter to James come on July 26, 2016 about the the DNC hack. Lynch wrote concerning press reports that Russia attacked the DNC: ..."
"... A genuine investigation of the DNC hack/leak should have included interviews with all DNC staff, John Podesta, Warren Flood and Ellen Nakashima, The Washington Post reporter who broke the story of the DNC hack. Based on what is now in the public record, the FBI failed to do a proper investigation. ..."
"... Resolving who was behind Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks seems to me to be a rather simple investigative exercise. That is, somebody registered and bought the names of G2 and DCL. One can't have a Wordpress blog without purchasing a url. So, there is a record of this registration, right? Simply subpoena the company who sold/rented the url. ..."
"... It's now obvious that we don't have a functioning intel/justice apparatus in the U.S. This is the message sent and received by the intel/justice shops over and again. They no longer work for Americans rather they work against us. ..."
Mar 12, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Why does the name of Joe Biden's former Internet Technology guru, Warren Flood, appear in the meta data of documents posted on the internet by Guccifer 2.0? In case you do not recall, Guccifer 2.0 was identified as someone tied to Russian intelligence who played a direct role in stealing emails from John Podesta. The meta data in question indicates the name of the person who actually copied the original document. We have this irrefutable fact in the documents unveiled by Guccifer 2.0--Warren Flood's name appears prominently in the meta data of several documents attributed to "Guccifer 2.0." When this transpired, Flood was working as the CEO of his own company, BRIGHT BLUE DATA. (brightbluedata.com). Was Flood tasked to masquerade as a Russian operative?

Give Flood some props if that is true--he fooled our Intelligence Community and the entire team of Mueller prosecutors into believing that Guccifer was part of a Russian military intelligence cyber attack. But a careful examination of the documents shows that it is highly unlikely that this was an official Russian cyber operation. Here's what the U.S. Intelligence Community wrote about Guccifer 2.0 in their very flawed January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment:

We assess with high confidence that the GRU used the Guccifer 2.0 persona, DCLeaks.com, and WikiLeaks to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets.

The laxity of the Intelligence Community in dealing with empirical evidence was matched by a disturbing lack of curiosity on the part of the Mueller investigators and prosecutors. Here's the tall tale they spun about Guccifer 2.0:

On June 14, 2016, the DNC and its cyber-response team announced the breach of the DNC network and suspected theft of DNC documents. In the statements, the cyber-response team alleged that Russian state-sponsored actors (which they referred to as "Fancy Bear") were responsible for the breach. Apparently in response to that announcement, on June 15, 2016, GRU officers using the persona Guccifer 2.0 created a WordPress blog. In the hours leading up to the launch of that WordPress blog, GRU officers logged into a Moscow-based server used and managed by Unit 74455 and searched for a number of specific words and phrases in English, including "some hundred sheets," "illuminati," and "worldwide known." Approximately two hours after the last of those searches, Guccifer 2.0 published its first post, attributing the DNC server hack to a lone Romanian hacker and using several of the unique English words and phrases that the GRU officers had searched for that day.

[Apelbaum note--According to Crowdstrike and Special Counsel Mueller, both were present, APT28 AKA "Fancy Bear" and APT29 AKA "Cozy Bear".]

The claims by both the Intelligence Community and the Mueller team about Guccifer 2.0 are an astounding, incredible denial of critical evidence pointing to a U.S. actor, not a Russian or Romanian. No one in this "august" group took the time to examine the metadata on the documents posted by "Guccifer 2.0" to his website on June 15, 2016.

I wish I could claim credit for the following forensic analysis, but the honors are due to Yaacov Apelbaum. While there are many documents in the Podesta haul that match the following pattern, this analysis focuses only on a document originally created by the DNC's Director of Research, Lauren Dillon. This document is the Trump Opposition Report document.

According to Apelbaum , the Trump Opposition Report document, which was "published" by Guccifer 2.0, shows clear evidence of digital manipulation:

  1. A US based user (hereafter referred to as G2 ) operating initially from the West coast and then, subsequently, from the East coast, changes the MS Word 2007 and Operating System language settings to Russian.
  2. G2 opens and saves a document with the file name, "12192015 Trump Report - for dist-4.docx". The document bears the title, "Donald Trump Report" (which was originally composed by Lauren Dillon aka DILLON REPORT) as an RTF file and opens it again.
  3. G2 opens a second document that was attached to an email sent on December 21, 2008 to John Podesta from Sara.Latham@ptt.gov. This WORD document lists prospective nominees for posts in the Department of Agriculture for the upcoming Obama Administration. It was generated by User--Warren Flood--on a computer registered to the General Services Administration (aka GSA) named "Slate_-_Domestic_-_USDA_-_2008-12-20-3.doc", which was kept by Podesta on his private Gmail account. (I refer to this as the "WARREN DOCUMENT" in this analysis.)
  4. G2 deletes the content of the 2008 Warren Document and saves the empty file as a RTF, and opens it again.
  5. G2 copies the content of the 'Dillon Report' (which is an RTF document) and pastes it into the 2008 Warren Document template, i.e. the empty RTF document.
  6. G2 user makes several modifications to the content of this document. For example, the Warren Document contained the watermark--"CONFIDENTIAL DRAFT". G2 deleted the word "DRAFT" but kept the "CONFIDENTIAL" watermark.
  7. G2 saves this document into a file called "1.doc". This document now contains the text of the original Lauren Dillon "Donald Trump Report" document, but also contains Russian language URL links that generate error messages.
  8. G2's 1.DOC (the Word version of the document) shows the following meta data authors:
    • Created at 6/15/2016 at 1:38pm by "WARREN FLOOD"
    • Last Modified at 6/15/2016 at 1:45pm by "Феликс Эдмундович" (Felix Edmundovich, the first and middle name of Dzerzhinsky, the creator of the predecessor of the KGB. It is assumed the Felix Edmundovich refers to Dzerzhinsky.)
  9. G2 also produces a pdf version of this document almost four hours later. It is created at 6/15/201`6 at 5:54:15pm by "WARREN FLOOD."
  10. G2 first publishes "1.doc" to various media outlets and then uploads a copy to the Guccifer 2.0 WordPress website (which is hosted in the United States).

There are several critical facts from the metadata that destroy the claim that Guccifer 2.0 was a Romanian or a Russian.

This begs a very important question. Did Warren Flood actually create these documents or was someone masquerading as Warren Flood? Unfortunately, neither the Intelligence Community nor the Mueller Special Counsel investigators provided any evidence to show they examined this forensic data. More troubling is the fact that the Microsoft Word processing software being used is listed as a GSA product.

If this was truly a Russian GRU operation (as claimed by Mueller), why was the cyber spy tradecraft so sloppy? A covert cyber operation is no different from a conventional human covert operation, which means the first and guiding principle is to not leave any fingerprints that would point to the origin of the operation. In other words, you do not mistakenly leave flagrant Russian fingerprints in the document text or metadata. A good cyber spy also will not use computers and servers based in the United States and then claim it is the work of a hacker ostensibly in Romania.

None of the Russians indicted by Mueller in his case stand accused of doing the Russian hacking while physically in the United States. No intelligence or evidence has been cited to indicate that the Russians stole a U.S. Government computer or used a GSA supplied copy of Microsoft Word to produce the G2 documents.

The name of Warren Flood, an Obama Democrat activist and Joe Biden's former Director of Information Technology, appears in at least three iterations of these documents. Did he actually masquerade as Guccifer 2.0? If so, did he do it on his own or was he hired by someone else? These remain open questions that deserve to be investigated by John Durham, the prosecutor investigating the attempted coup against Donald Trump, and/or relevant committees of the Congress.

There are other critical unanswered questions. Obama's Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, sent a letter to James come on July 26, 2016 about the the DNC hack. Lynch wrote concerning press reports that Russia attacked the DNC:

If foreign intelligence agencies are attempting to undermine that process, the U.S. government should treat such efforts even more seriously than standard espionage. These types ofcyberattacks are significant and pernicious crimes. Our government must do all that it can to stop such attacks and to seek justice for the attacks that have already occurred.

We are writing to request more information on this cyberattack in particular and more information in general on how the Justice Department, FBI, and NCIJTF attempt to prevent and punish these types ofcyberattacks. Accordingly, please respond to the following by August 9, 2016:

  1. When did the Department of Justice, FBI, and NCIJTF first learn of the DNC hack? Was the government aware ofthe intrusion prior to the media reporting it?
  2. Has the FBI deployed its Cyber Action Team to determine who hacked the DNC?
  3. Has the FBI determined whether the Russian government, or any other foreign
    government, was involved in the hack?
  4. In general, what actions, if any, do the Justice Department, FBI, and NCIJTF take to prevent cyberattacks on non-governmental political organizations in the U.S., such as campaigns and political parties? Does the government consult or otherwise communicate with the organizations to inform them ofpotential threats, relay best practices, or inform them ofdetected cyber intrusions.
  5. Does the Justice Department believe that existing statutes provide an adequate basis for addressing hacking crimes of this nature, in which foreign governments hack seemingly in order to affect our electoral processes?

So far no document from Comey to Lynch has been made available to the public detailing the FBI's response to Lynch's questions. Why was the Cyber Action Team not deployed to determine who hacked the DNC? A genuine investigation of the DNC hack/leak should have included interviews with all DNC staff, John Podesta, Warren Flood and Ellen Nakashima, The Washington Post reporter who broke the story of the DNC hack. Based on what is now in the public record, the FBI failed to do a proper investigation.

Recent Comments

h | 12 March 2020 at 12:08 PM

Of course sleepy Joe was in on the overall RussiaGate operation. And now another reasonable question by sleuth extraordinaire will fall into the memory hole b/c no one who has the authority and the power in DC is ever going to address, let alone, clean up and hold accountable any who created this awful mess.

Resolving who was behind Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks seems to me to be a rather simple investigative exercise. That is, somebody registered and bought the names of G2 and DCL. One can't have a Wordpress blog without purchasing a url. So, there is a record of this registration, right? Simply subpoena the company who sold/rented the url.

What's troubling to me is that even the most simplest investigative acts to find answers never seems to happen. Instead, more than three years later we're playing 'Whodunit.'

It's been over 3 years now and if we had a truly functioning intel/justice apparatus this simple act would have been done long ago and then made public. Yet, here we are more than three years later trying to unravel, figure out or resolve the trail of clues via metadata the pranksters left behind.

It's now obvious that we don't have a functioning intel/justice apparatus in the U.S. This is the message sent and received by the intel/justice shops over and again. They no longer work for Americans rather they work against us.

[Mar 10, 2020] Front group is very simply an organization that pretends to have a certain program while at the same time using that identity as cover to promote a hidden agenda that is something quite different

In a way Democratic Party fits the definition of the front group
Mar 10, 2020 | www.unz.com

Numerous so-called "front groups" operate in the United States. A front group is very simply an organization that pretends to have a certain program while at the same time using that identity as cover to promote a hidden agenda that is something quite different, often opposed to what is being said publicly. The Global Climate Coalition is, for example, an organization funded by fossil fuel providers that works to deny climate change and other related issues. The Groundwater Protection Council does not protect water resources at all and instead receives its money from the fracking industry, which resists any regulation of water pollution it causes. The Partnership for a New American Economy has nothing to do with protecting the U.S. economy and instead seeks to replace American workers with H1B immigrant laborers. Even the benign sounding National Sleep Foundation, is in reality a Big Pharma creation intended to convince Americans that they need to regularly use sleep inducing drugs.

Front groups in a political context can be particularly dangerous as they deceive the voter into supporting candidates or promoting policies that have a hidden agenda. The Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, is, for example, uninterested in preserving democracies unless that democracy is Israel, which many observers would prefer to describe as an apartheid state. It is funded by Zionists billionaires and its leadership meets regularly with Israeli officials. The American Enterprise Institute is likewise a neocon mouthpiece for economic imperialism and regime change disguising itself as a free market advocate and the Brookings Institution is its liberal interventionist counterpart.

Front groups are sometimes largely fictional, on occasion creations of an intelligence agency to give the impression that there exists in a country a formidable opposition to policies pursued by the governing regime. Recent developments in Venezuela and Bolivia rather suggest the CIA creation of front groups in both countries while the Ukrainian regime change that took place in 2014 also benefited greatly from a U.S. created and supported opposition to the legitimate Viktor Yanukovych government.

[Mar 10, 2020] Once sheep dog, always sheep dog

9 March 2020
Notable quotes:
"... The consolidation of the Democratic Party behind Biden is a damning exposure, not merely of the politically reactionary character of this organization, but of the contemptible falsification on which the Sanders campaign has been based: that it is possible to transform the Democratic Party, the oldest American capitalist party, into the spearhead of a "political revolution" that will bring about fundamental social change. ..."
"... It is evident that the Democratic Party leadership in Congress, as well as the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee, aims to run the 2020 campaign on the exact model of Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016: portraying Trump as personally unqualified to be president and as a Russian stooge, while opposing any significant social reform and delivering constant reassurances to the ruling financial aristocracy that a restored Democratic administration will follow in the footsteps of Obama, showering trillions on Wall Street and doing the bidding of the military-intelligence apparatus. ..."
"... One could ask of the nine ex-candidates who have now endorsed Biden, why they were candidates in the first place? Why did they bother to run against the former vice president, clearly the preferred candidate of the party establishment? None of them voices any significant political differences with Biden. All of them hail the right-wing political record of the Obama-Biden administration, even though that administration produced the social and economic devastation that made possible the election of Donald Trump. ..."
"... African American Democratic Party leaders, including Representative James Clyburn in South Carolina and hundreds of others, represent one of the most right-wing and politically corrupt sections of the party. ..."
"... The thinking of this layer was summed up in a column Saturday in the Washington Post ..."
"... What the Washington Post ..."
"... the entire black Democratic Party establishment has lined up behind Biden -- including, most recently, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Senator Kamala Harris. ..."
"... Sanders seeks to counter this all-out Democratic Party campaign for Biden by seeking to woo sections of the trade union bureaucracy with appeals to economic nationalism. ..."
"... More than 13 million people, mainly workers and youth, voted for Sanders in 2016 in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. Millions more continue to support him this year, with the same result. Sanders will wrap up his campaign by embracing the right-wing nominee of the Democratic Party and telling his supporters that this is the only alternative to the election, and now re-election of Trump. ..."
Mar 10, 2020 | www.wsws.org

The campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is making a last-ditch stand in the Michigan primary Tuesday, amid mounting indications that the Democratic Party as a whole has moved decisively into the camp of his main rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. Sanders cancelled rallies in Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois -- all states where he trails Biden in the polls -- in order to concentrate all his efforts in Michigan, where he won an upset victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

On Sunday, Senator Kamala Harris endorsed Biden, the latest of nine former presidential contenders to announce their support for their one-time rival, joining Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Michael Bloomberg, Beto O'Rourke, John Delaney, Seth Moulton, Tim Ryan, and Deval Patrick. Harris is to join Biden for a campaign rally in Detroit Monday.

The consolidation of the Democratic Party behind Biden is a damning exposure, not merely of the politically reactionary character of this organization, but of the contemptible falsification on which the Sanders campaign has been based: that it is possible to transform the Democratic Party, the oldest American capitalist party, into the spearhead of a "political revolution" that will bring about fundamental social change.

Former Vice President Biden is the personification of the decrepit and right-wing character of the Democratic Party. In the past 10 days alone, Biden has declared himself a candidate for the US Senate, rather than president, confused his wife and his sister as they stood on either side of him, called himself an "Obiden Bama Democrat," and declared that 150 million Americans died in gun violence over the past decade. This is not just a matter of Biden's declining mental state: it is the Democratic Party, not just its presidential frontrunner, that is verging on political senility.

It is evident that the Democratic Party leadership in Congress, as well as the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee, aims to run the 2020 campaign on the exact model of Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016: portraying Trump as personally unqualified to be president and as a Russian stooge, while opposing any significant social reform and delivering constant reassurances to the ruling financial aristocracy that a restored Democratic administration will follow in the footsteps of Obama, showering trillions on Wall Street and doing the bidding of the military-intelligence apparatus.

One could ask of the nine ex-candidates who have now endorsed Biden, why they were candidates in the first place? Why did they bother to run against the former vice president, clearly the preferred candidate of the party establishment? None of them voices any significant political differences with Biden. All of them hail the right-wing political record of the Obama-Biden administration, even though that administration produced the social and economic devastation that made possible the election of Donald Trump.

Even more revolting, if that is possible, is the embrace of Biden by the black Democratic politicians. The former senator from Delaware is identified with some of the most repugnant episodes in the history of race relations in America: the abusive treatment of Anita Hill, when she testified against the nomination of Clarence Thomas, before Biden's Judiciary Committee; an alliance with segregationist James Eastland on school integration in the early 1970s, highlighted at a debate by Kamala Harris, eight months before she endorsed Biden; and the passage of a series of "law-and-order" bills that disproportionately jailed hundreds of thousands of African Americans, all of them pushed through the Senate by Biden.

How did a politician who boasted of his close relationships with Eastland and Strom Thurmond become the beneficiary of a virtual racial bloc vote by African Americans in the Southern states? Because African American Democratic Party leaders, including Representative James Clyburn in South Carolina and hundreds of others, represent one of the most right-wing and politically corrupt sections of the party.

The thinking of this layer was summed up in a column Saturday in the Washington Post by Colbert King, a former State Department official and local banker, a prominent member of the African American elite in the nation's capital, who wrote in outrage, "America's black billionaires have no place in a Bernie Sanders world."

King denounced the suggestion that black CEOs and billionaires are "greedy, corrupt threats to America's working families or the cause of economic disparities and human misery." Voicing the fears of his class, he continued, "I know there are those out there who buy the notion that America consists of a small class of privileged, rapacious super-rich lording over throngs of oppressed, capitalist-exploited workers. You can see it in poll numbers showing the share of Americans who prefer socialism to capitalism inching upward."

What the Washington Post columnist reveals is what Bernie Sanders has done his best to cover up: the Democratic Party is a party of the capitalist class. It can no more be converted to socialism than the CIA can become an instrument of the struggle against American imperialism.

True, Sanders can dredge up Jesse Jackson for a last-minute endorsement, proof that demagogues engaged in diverting mass left-wing sentiment into the graveyard of the Democratic Party recognize and embrace each other across the decades. But with that exception, the entire black Democratic Party establishment has lined up behind Biden -- including, most recently, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Senator Kamala Harris.

Harris's statement is worth quoting. "I have decided that I am with great enthusiasm going to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States," she said. "I believe in Joe. I really believe in him, and I have known him for a long time." The senator was no doubt responding to the incentives dangled in front of her by Biden after she left the race last December, when he gushed, "She is solid. She can be president someday herself. She can be the vice president. She can go on to be a Supreme Court justice. She can be an attorney general."

Sanders seeks to counter this all-out Democratic Party campaign for Biden by seeking to woo sections of the trade union bureaucracy with appeals to economic nationalism. New Sanders television ads in Michigan feature a United Auto Workers member declaring that his state "has been decimated by trade deals," while Sanders declares that Biden backed NAFTA, drawing the conclusion, "With a record like that, we can't trust him to protect American jobs or defeat Donald Trump." The Vermont senator will find that very few auto workers follow the political lead of the corrupt gangsters who head the UAW.

More than 13 million people, mainly workers and youth, voted for Sanders in 2016 in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. Millions more continue to support him this year, with the same result. Sanders will wrap up his campaign by embracing the right-wing nominee of the Democratic Party and telling his supporters that this is the only alternative to the election, and now re-election of Trump.

Indeed, in appearances on several Sunday television interview programs, Sanders went out of his way to repeat, as he said on Fox News, "Joe Biden is a friend of mine. Joe Biden is a decent guy. What Joe has said is if I win the nomination, he'll be there for me, and I have said if he wins the nomination, I'll be there for him "

[Mar 09, 2020] The One-Choice Election by Chris Hedges

Highly recommended!
Sanders is not a panacea. He is a sheep dog. But neoliberal oligarchs and the Deep State are afraid of sheep dog too. They need puppets.
Bernie Sanders is actually trying to save the Democratic Party from irrelevance. But irrelevance does not bother party bureaucracy and Clintons who still rule the party that much: all they want is money and plush positions.
Notable quotes:
"... Only one thing matters to the oligarchs. It is not democracy. It is not truth. It is not the consent of the governed. It is not income inequality. It is not the surveillance state. It is not endless war. It is not jobs. It is not the climate. It is the primacy of corporate power -- which has extinguished our democracy and left most of the working class in misery -- and the continued increase and consolidation of their wealth. ..."
"... Sanders was a dutiful sheepdog, attempting to herd his disgruntled supporters into the embrace of the Clinton campaign. At his moment of apostasy, when he introduced a motion to nominate Clinton, his delegates had left hundreds of convention seats empty. ..."
"... Sanders refused to support the lawsuit brought against the Democratic National Committee for rigging the primaries against him. ..."
"... Sanders misread the Democratic Party leadership, swamp creatures of the corporate state. He misread the Democratic Party, which is a corporate mirage. Its base can, at best, select preapproved candidates and act as props at rallies and in choreographed party conventions. The Democratic Party voters have zero influence on party politics or party policies. Sanders' naivete, and perhaps his lack of political courage, drove away his most committed young supporters. These followers have not forgiven him for his betrayal. They chose not to turn out to vote in the numbers he needs in the primaries. They are right. He is wrong. We need to overthrow the system, not placate it. ..."
"... Trump and Biden are repugnant figures, doddering into old age with cognitive lapses and no moral cores. Is Trump more dangerous than Biden? Yes. Is Trump more inept and more dishonest? Yes. Is Trump more of a threat to the open society? Yes. Is Biden the solution? No. ..."
"... Biden represents the old neoliberal order . He personifies the betrayal by the Democratic Party of working men and women that sparked the deep hatred of the ruling elites across the political spectrum. He is a gift to a demagogue and con artist like Trump, who at least understands that these elites are detested. Biden cannot plausibly offer change. He can only offer more of the same. And most Americans do not want more of the same. The country's largest voting-age bloc, the 100 million-plus citizens who out of apathy or disgust do not vote, will once again stay home. This demoralization of the electorate is by design. It will, I expect, give Trump another term in office. ..."
Mar 09, 2020 | www.truthdig.com

There is only one choice in this election. The consolidation of oligarchic power under Donald Trump or the consolidation of oligarchic power under Joe Biden. The oligarchs, with Trump or Biden, will win again. We will lose. The oligarchs made it abundantly clear, should Bernie Sanders miraculously become the Democratic Party nominee, they would join forces with the Republicans to crush him. Trump would, if Sanders was the nominee, instantly be shorn by the Democratic Party elites of his demons and his propensity for tyranny. Sanders would be red-baited -- as he was viciously Friday in The New York Times' " As Bernie Sanders Pushed for Closer Ties, Soviet Union Spotted Opportunity " -- and turned into a figure of derision and ridicule.

The oligarchs preach the sermon of the least-worst to us when they attempt to ram a Hillary Clinton or a Biden down our throats but ignore it for themselves. They prefer Biden over Trump, but they can live with either.

Only one thing matters to the oligarchs. It is not democracy. It is not truth. It is not the consent of the governed. It is not income inequality. It is not the surveillance state. It is not endless war. It is not jobs. It is not the climate. It is the primacy of corporate power -- which has extinguished our democracy and left most of the working class in misery -- and the continued increase and consolidation of their wealth. It is impossible working within the system to shatter the hegemony of oligarchic power or institute meaningful reform. Change, real change, will only come by sustained acts of civil disobedience and mass mobilization, as with the yellow vests movement in France and the British-based Extinction Rebellion . The longer we are fooled by the electoral burlesque, the more disempowered we will become.

I was on the streets with protesters in Philadelphia outside the appropriately named Wells Fargo Center during the 2016 Democratic Convention when hundreds of Sanders delegates walked out of the hall. "Show me what democracy looks like!" they chanted, holding Bernie signs above their heads as they poured out of the exits. "This is what democracy looks like!"

Sanders' greatest tactical mistake was not joining them. He bowed before the mighty altar of the corporate state. He had desperately tried to stave off a revolt by his supporters and delegates on the eve of the convention by sending out repeated messages in his name -- most of them authored by members of the Clinton campaign -- to be respectful, not disrupt the nominating process and support Clinton. Sanders was a dutiful sheepdog, attempting to herd his disgruntled supporters into the embrace of the Clinton campaign. At his moment of apostasy, when he introduced a motion to nominate Clinton, his delegates had left hundreds of convention seats empty.

After the 2016 convention, Sanders held rallies -- the crowds pitifully small compared to what he had drawn when he ran as an insurgent -- on Clinton's behalf. He returned to the Senate to loyally line up behind Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, whose power comes from his ability to funnel tens of millions of dollars in corporate and Wall Street money to anointed Democratic candidates. Sanders refused to support the lawsuit brought against the Democratic National Committee for rigging the primaries against him. He endorsed Democratic candidates who espoused the neoliberal economic and political positions he claims to oppose. Sanders, who calls himself an independent, caucused as a Democrat. The Democratic Party determined his assignments in the Senate. Schumer offered to make Sanders the head of the Senate Budget Committee if the Democrats won control of the Senate. Sanders became a party apparatchik.

Sanders apparently believed that if he was obsequious enough to the Democratic Party elite, they would give him a chance in 2020 , a chance they denied him in 2016. Politics, I suspect he would argue, is about compromise and the practical. This is true. But playing politics in a system that is not democratic is about being complicit in the charade. Sanders misread the Democratic Party leadership, swamp creatures of the corporate state. He misread the Democratic Party, which is a corporate mirage. Its base can, at best, select preapproved candidates and act as props at rallies and in choreographed party conventions. The Democratic Party voters have zero influence on party politics or party policies. Sanders' naivete, and perhaps his lack of political courage, drove away his most committed young supporters. These followers have not forgiven him for his betrayal. They chose not to turn out to vote in the numbers he needs in the primaries. They are right. He is wrong. We need to overthrow the system, not placate it.

Sanders is wounded. The oligarchs will go in for the kill. They will subject him to the same character assassination, aided by the courtiers in the corporate press, that was directed at Henry Wallace in 1948 and George McGovern in 1972, the only two progressive presidential candidates who managed to seriously threaten the ruling elites since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The feckless liberal class, easily frightened, is already abandoning Sanders, castigating his supporters with their nauseating self-righteousness and championing Biden as a political savior.

Trump and Biden are repugnant figures, doddering into old age with cognitive lapses and no moral cores. Is Trump more dangerous than Biden? Yes. Is Trump more inept and more dishonest? Yes. Is Trump more of a threat to the open society? Yes. Is Biden the solution? No.

Biden represents the old neoliberal order . He personifies the betrayal by the Democratic Party of working men and women that sparked the deep hatred of the ruling elites across the political spectrum. He is a gift to a demagogue and con artist like Trump, who at least understands that these elites are detested. Biden cannot plausibly offer change. He can only offer more of the same. And most Americans do not want more of the same. The country's largest voting-age bloc, the 100 million-plus citizens who out of apathy or disgust do not vote, will once again stay home. This demoralization of the electorate is by design. It will, I expect, give Trump another term in office.

By voting for Biden , you endorse the humiliation of courageous women such as Anita Hill who confronted their abusers. You vote for the architects of the endless wars in the Middle East. You vote for the apartheid state in Israel. You vote for wholesale surveillance of the public by government intelligence agencies and the abolition of due process and habeas corpus. You vote for austerity programs, including the destruction of welfare and cuts to Social Security . You vote for NAFTA, free trade deals, de-industrialization, a decline in wages, the loss of hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs and the offshoring of jobs to underpaid workers who toil in sweatshops in China or Vietnam. You vote for the assault on public education and the transfer of federal funds to for-profit and Christian charter schools. You vote for the doubling of our prison population, the tripling and quadrupling of sentences and huge expansion of crimes meriting the death penalty. You vote for militarized police who gun down poor people of color with impunity. You vote against the Green New Deal and immigration reform. You vote for limiting a woman's right to abortion and reproductive rights. You vote for a segregated public-school system in which the wealthy receive educational opportunities and poor people of color are denied a chance. You vote for punitive levels of student debt and the inability to free yourself of debt obligations through bankruptcy . You vote for deregulating the banking industry and the abolition of Glass-Steagall. You vote for the for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical corporations and against universal health care. You vote for bloated defense budgets. You vote for the use of unlimited oligarchic and corporate money to buy our elections. You vote for a politician who during his time in the Senate abjectly served the interests of MBNA , the largest independent credit card company headquartered in Delaware, which also employed Biden's son Hunter.

There are no substantial political differences between the Democrats and Republicans. We have only the illusion of participatory democracy. The Democrats and their liberal apologists adopt tolerant positions on issues regarding race, religion, immigration, women's rights and sexual identity and pretend this is politics. The right wing uses those on the margins of society as scapegoats. The culture wars mask the reality. Both parties are full partners in the reconfiguration of American society into a form of neofeudalism. It only depends on how you want it dressed up.

"By fostering an illusion among the powerless classes" that it can make their interests a priority, the Democratic Party "pacifies and thereby defines the style of an opposition party in an inverted totalitarian system," political philosopher Sheldon Wolin writes.

The Democrats will once again offer up a least-worst alternative while, in fact, doing little or nothing to thwart the march toward corporate totalitarianism. What the public wants and deserves will again be ignored for what the corporate lobbyists demand. If we do not respond soon to the social and economic catastrophe that has been visited on most of the population, we will be unable to thwart the rise of corporate tyranny and a Christian fascism.

We need to reintegrate those who have been pushed aside back into the society, to heal the ruptured social bonds, to give workers dignity, empowerment and protection. We need a universal health care system, especially as we barrel toward a global pandemic. We need programs that provide employment with sustainable wages, job protection and pensions. We need quality public education for all Americans. We need to rebuild our infrastructure and end the squandering of our resources on war. We need to halt corporate pillage and regulate Wall Street and corporations. We need to respond with radical and immediate measures to curb carbon emissions and save ourselves from ecocide and extinction. We don't need a "Punch and Judy" show between Trump and Biden. But that, along with corporate tyranny, is what we seem fated to get, unless we take to the streets and tear the house down.

[Mar 09, 2020] David Bromwich On Super Tuesday

Notable quotes:
"... There have been notorious permitted acts of collusion, as with the exchange in the Iowa debate between a moderator and two candidates: ..."
"... So the answer to Trump's divide and conquer comes in the form of these college-certified categories that self-divide and surrender. ..."
Mar 05, 2020 | lrb.co.uk

On Monday, two 'moderate' candidates with a modicum of vote-getting ability, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, dropped out of the race and endorsed Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination. It seemed likely that the Democratic National Committee had been at work, consulting with such behind-the-scenes operators as Terry McAuliffe (a heavy-hitting Clinton donor and ex-governor of Virginia) and Rahm Emanuel (Obama's chief of staff and ex-mayor of Chicago). In the days after Bernie Sanders's victory in the Nevada primary, they would have put through many phone calls and sealed many promises, and not only to Buttigieg and Klobuchar. The order of the day had become Stop Sanders By Any Means Necessary. The lukewarm interest in Biden had to be screwed up to a pitch of enthusiasm overnight.

It worked. Late on Tuesday evening, everything changed. Of the 14 states in the Super Tuesday primaries, Sanders won California, Colorado, Utah and Vermont. Biden took Alabama, Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. In total votes, Biden now leads Sanders by a proportion of five to four; in the delegate count, his margin is similar. The remaining candidates add up to less than a third of the Sanders haul. As I was revising this paragraph, Bloomberg dropped out of the race, and he too endorsed Biden, leaving only Biden, Sanders and (lagging far behind) Elizabeth Warren to fight it out.

In the space of a week, the Democratic Party went from the strong possibility of a Sanders nomination to the extreme likelihood that Biden will lead the ticket. Both men have done consistently well in conjectural polling against Trump (both leading by 5 per cent or so). The case against Sanders is that he could never survive a full-blown propaganda storm by Republicans that would portray his democratic socialism as identical with support for totalitarian communism. With Biden, the strategy is simpler but untested. Trump will go after his son Hunter's involvement in the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings. Never mind that in the matter of nepotism, the Trump Organisation is multiple pots calling the kettle black. Biden's weakness on this point resembles Hillary Clinton's weakness in 2016. The pay-to-play shadow over the Clinton Foundation and her decision to give expensive talks to Wall Street firms diminished the contrast with Trump. The same will be true of Biden: besides Hunter and Ukraine, there are his career-long relationships with the Delaware-based credit industry and his conservative position in major legislative battles over civil rights. Biden helped to write the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, whose consequences became a deep embarrassment to the Clintons. Still, the numbers of African Americans voting for him on Super Tuesday in the Deep South, in Texas and elsewhere, have put some of these apprehensions to rest.

Sanders won't be quitting. A possibility remains, therefore, that the Democrats will conduct a 'brokered convention'. Secondary candidates like Buttigieg and Warren had lately put themselves in the anti-popular posture of endorsing such a proceeding (though there's been nothing like it since the 1950s): at a brokered convention, a candidate with a solid plurality can be denied the nomination on the first ballot and defeated later by a coalition. If Biden now runs far ahead of Sanders, he may sew it up in advance. On the other hand, his verbal gaffes (announcing himself a candidate for the Senate rather than the presidency; saying 'I was a Democratic caucus') and his fabricated or false memories (a non-existent arrest in South Africa for demonstrating against the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela) have exposed a cognitive fragility that some people fear could make him ridiculous by November.

A Biden-Trump contest in 2020 would resemble Clinton-Trump in at least one respect. It would be a case, yet again, of the right wing of the Democratic Party making the conventional choice against the party's own insurgent energy. But the difference of personalities may matter. Though many (perhaps most) people have felt superior to Biden at some point, he is hard to dislike. 'One thing he has going for him,' said a voter who supported Warren but has resigned herself to Biden, 'is that he is not an angry man. He may lose his temper but anger is not his core motivating force.' That makes a contrast with Trump, all right.

Could Sanders find a second wind? He has yet to explain with the requisite patience what he means by democratic socialism; and the liberal-corporate media have so relentlessly caricatured him as a person that a second speech may be in order just to tell people who he is. Take a trip to Vermont and you find that no one has a bad word about Bernie. The affection has nothing to do with politics. On the bulletin board of a grocery store in 2016, I saw this sign: 'Senator Sanders will march in annual cow parade.' He was arrested once – he didn't have to imagine it – in a protest for civil rights. He took part in Martin Luther King's 1963 March on Washington.

This is nothing like the picture one gets from grinning CNN presenters and their pundits, or from the incapable Democratic National Committee. The DNC ruled out a separate debate on climate change – the single issue that most moves thinking persons to regard the Trump presidency as a catastrophe. They likewise excluded Fox News from any role in any of the debates; but why? Fox was going to report on the debates anyway. Why not give their audience the full context? There have been notorious permitted acts of collusion, as with the exchange in the Iowa debate between a moderator and two candidates:

Mod: In 2018, [Senator Sanders], you told [Senator Warren] that you did not believe that a woman could win the election. Why did you say that?

Sanders: Well, as a matter of fact, I didn't say it ...

Mod: So Senator Sanders, I do want to be clear here. You're saying, that you never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election.

Sanders: That is correct.

Mod: Senator Warren, what did you think when Senator Sanders told you that a woman could not win the election?

The political diet of the debates so far has been largely confined to the pros and (mostly) cons of Medicare for All, the menace of Vladimir Putin, and general attitudes toward women and persons of colour. They have contained very few questions about America's wars in the Greater Middle East, close to nothing about climate change, and nothing (outside the narrow ground of the impeachment) about Trump's corruption of the federal departments and agencies. For both the party and the media, treatment of US politics has been channelled into a familiar cultural 'theming' of race and gender. The National Public Radio Guide to Super Tuesday dealt entirely with demographic reminders such as 'A wild card [in California] is black voters' or 'Maine is the whitest state to vote on Super Tuesday.' The Democrats and their media outworks are treating Latinos, African Americans and whites as separate nations. Women are a nation, too – parsed (where useful) as Latino, African American or white.

So the answer to Trump's divide and conquer comes in the form of these college-certified categories that self-divide and surrender. The only other weapon of note has been an attempted revival of the Cold War. On 23 February, the New York Times led with two anti-Sanders hatchet jobs, targeting him as both a destroyer of the Democratic Party and a possible Russian agent. The paper has even called him the 'Teflon' candidate – an epithet originally applied to Ronald Reagan. But the mainstream media and their captive party, the party and its captive media, show no sign of letting up the pressure. A recent leak from a misinterpreted fragment of a report by the Director of National Intelligence became a two-day Red Scare. Was Putin once more gearing up to steal an election? Was Sanders complicit, or was he merely duped? All this while the planet burns.

The truth is that the corporate-liberal media are comfortable with the Trump presidency. They have prospered wonderfully from his entertainment value, even as they staked out a high ground in the anti-Trump 'resistance'. It will be hard to deny the plausibility of the charge likely to issue soon from the Sanders campaign, namely that 'the fix is in'; and that, once more, the people are being denied their proper voice – at first through an organised propaganda campaign that was fed into debates as well as news coverage, and at last through public co-ordination by the party establishment to guide Democrats into the one acceptable box. us presidential election 2020


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[Mar 09, 2020] There are no options left for neoliberal Dems. This is a typical political Zugzwang. The only hope is Coronavirus (as an act of God). Otherwise it looks like they already surrendered elections to Trump.

Mar 09, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

coberly , March 9, 2020 11:11 am

Eric

I agree that West seems to contradict himself. But you must realize that "what people think" is largely determined by what people with money tell them to think.

I don't think we can fault Bernie for being too moralistic. Morals are what determine ultimately our quality of life. We have to chose, at present, between our morals, and the morals of money, and the morals of hate.

and, being human, the way they all get mixed up and contradictory even in the same sentence.

My answer for now is try like hell to get Bernie elected. Be ready to switch to Biden if necessary to keep Trumpism from getting elected-entrenched, And in either case keep working to get the Bernie-type morals into policy whether Bernie gets elected or not.

I think that last will involve some serious re-thinking by Progressives about politics as well as policy. My opinion is that some Progressives have themselves bought too much into the morality of money and of hate, but that is a much longer discussion than anyone here would put up with.

likbez , March 9, 2020 12:11 pm

> Listen to Cornel West for a real understanding of what has happened and what are our options.

There are no options left for neoliberal Dems. This is a typical political Zugzwang. The only hope is Coronavirus (as an act of God). Otherwise it looks like they already surrendered elections to Trump.

Biden is a dead end into which neoliberal Dems drove themselves. See, for example

https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2020/march/on-super-Tuesday

A possibility remains, therefore, that the Democrats will conduct a 'brokered convention'. Secondary candidates like Buttigieg and Warren had lately put themselves in the anti-popular posture of endorsing such a proceeding (though there's been nothing like it since the 1950s): at a brokered convention, a candidate with a solid plurality can be denied the nomination on the first ballot and defeated later by a coalition.

If Biden now runs far ahead of Sanders, he may sew it up in advance.

On the other hand, his verbal gaffes (announcing himself a candidate for the Senate rather than the presidency; saying 'I was a Democratic caucus') and his fabricated or false memories (a non-existent arrest in South Africa for demonstrating against the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela) have exposed a cognitive fragility that some people fear could make him ridiculous by November.

A Biden-Trump contest in 2020 would resemble Clinton-Trump in at least one respect. It would be a case, yet again, of the right wing of the Democratic Party making the conventional choice against the party's own insurgent energy.

The Democrats and their media outworks are treating Latinos, African Americans and whites as separate nations. Women are a nation, too – parsed (where useful) as Latino, African American or white.

So the answer to Trump's divide and conquer comes in the form of these college-certified categories that self-divide and surrender.

The only other weapon of note has been an attempted revival of the Cold War. On 23 February, the New York Times led with two anti-Sanders hatchet jobs, targeting him as both a destroyer of the Democratic Party and a possible Russian agent

But the mainstream media and their captive party, the party and its captive media, show no sign of letting up the pressure. A recent leak from a misinterpreted fragment of a report by the Director of National Intelligence became a two-day Red Scare

The truth is that the corporate-liberal media are comfortable with the Trump presidency. They have prospered wonderfully from his entertainment value, even as they staked out a high ground in the anti-Trump 'resistance'. It will be hard to deny the plausibility of the charge likely to issue soon from the Sanders campaign, namely that 'the fix is in'; and that, once more, the people are being denied their proper voice – at first through an organised propaganda campaign that was fed into debates as well as news coverage, and at last through public co-ordination by the party establishment to guide Democrats into the one acceptable box.

[Mar 08, 2020] How is it that Biden won so many states based on endorsements alone? No field offices, no real money, he barely visited some states, if at all and yet he won

Notable quotes:
"... How is it that Biden won so many states based on endorsements alone? No field offices, no real money, he barely visited some states, if at all and yet he won. ..."
"... Hillary had tons of endorsements everywhere, a field office in every state and major city, lots of cash, and she didn't win as many. This does not compute. ..."
"... The only difference is Biden is personally more appealing and approachable than Hillary. But still. Something fishy here. I'm wondering how many of those states had audit trails like hand-marked paper ballots and how many did not? ..."
"... The wide discrepancy between exit poll numbers and vote total percentages in some states seems a little fishy, too. Electronic voting machines: progress! (removing my foil bonnet now) ..."
Mar 08, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

David Carl Grimes , March 6, 2020 at 4:39 pm

How is it that Biden won so many states based on endorsements alone? No field offices, no real money, he barely visited some states, if at all and yet he won.

Hillary had tons of endorsements everywhere, a field office in every state and major city, lots of cash, and she didn't win as many. This does not compute.

The only difference is Biden is personally more appealing and approachable than Hillary. But still. Something fishy here. I'm wondering how many of those states had audit trails like hand-marked paper ballots and how many did not?

flora , March 6, 2020 at 4:50 pm

The wide discrepancy between exit poll numbers and vote total percentages in some states seems a little fishy, too. Electronic voting machines: progress! (removing my foil bonnet now)

Tvc15 , March 6, 2020 at 5:14 pm

I'll put the foil bonnet on Flora. DCG, the fishy smell is election fraud courtesy of the DNC. Unless we have paper ballots hand counted in public, I don't buy the miraculous Biden resurgence narrative from his supposed silent majority. Give me a family blogging break.

Cuibono , March 6, 2020 at 6:42 pm

I absolutely fail to understand why anyone would consider this idea tin foil. Who do we think we're dealing with here? These folks are playing to win and they will do anything and everything in their power to do so. The system is set up perfectly to support psychopaths

lyman alpha blob , March 6, 2020 at 10:01 pm

Me neither. That fact that the Democrat party has never even tried to address the problems with election integrity, even when they've had the presidency stolen from them, speaks volumes.

They allow a phony riot to stop the count in FL, then hardly make a peep when the Supremes anoint Bush in 2000 in a decision not meant to set precedent, and their response is the Help America Vote Act which foisted these easily hackable machines on us as a solution? The only reason you do that is if you want to be able to rig elections yourself.

After the debacle of the Iowa caucus this year and the unheard of swing to Biden this week, it sure looks like the fix is in.

Carolinian , March 6, 2020 at 6:31 pm

Please educate me–no seriously!–as to how hand marked paper ballots are so very different from machine marked paper ballots. If you assume that machine marked ballots–marked with the candidate's name (written in human readable English) and securely stored for a potential hand recount–are crooked then aren't you assuming that the entire election machinery is crooked and not just a vote tabulating machine? After all long before computers were invented there was that thing called ballot box stuffing.

Reply

flora , March 6, 2020 at 7:45 pm

Machine marked ballots have a middleman. Said machines 'phone home' to a central server, which may well be running a program that fractionally 'shifts' votes as needed to edge out a win for the estab preferred candidate (of either party). The 'red shift' in vote results after electronic voting has been noted by statisticians.

One interesting coincidence here is that I was going to link to some statisticians' work I know of, work that was easily available online as late as early January this year. When I search for the links now they are either gone or the links are warned off as 'suspect'.

flora , March 6, 2020 at 7:53 pm

Info easily found online. Here's one very recent story's take away:

"Some of the most popular ballot-marking machines, made by industry leaders Election Systems & Software and Dominion Voting Systems, register votes in bar codes that the human eye cannot decipher. That's a problem, researchers say: Voters could end up with printouts that accurately spell out the names of the candidates they picked, but, because of a hack, the bar codes do not reflect those choices. Because the bar codes are what's tabulated, voters would never know that their ballots benefited another candidate.

"Even on machines that do not use bar codes, voters may not notice if a hack or programming error mangled their choices. A University of Michigan study determined that only 7 percent of participants in a mock election notified poll workers when the names on their printed receipts did not match the candidates they voted for."

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/vendors-push-risky-new-voting-machines-over-safe-paper-ballots/

Read the whole story.

Carolinian , March 6, 2020 at 8:10 pm

In the just past election are there any reports of ballots being printed out that had a different name than the one the voter selected to be printed? And if that did happen would it be anything other than accidentally pressing the wrong button? Surely if this "voters didn't look at the ballot" (which personally I greatly doubt) idea was really the cheating scheme then it would be highly likely to be exposed.

flora , March 6, 2020 at 8:14 pm

Re-read the part about the 'computer reads and tabulates the barcode information, not the english text printout'. A hack or middleman could fiddle the barcode printout/information (unrecognized by the human eye) , not the text printout.

flora , March 6, 2020 at 8:24 pm

Also consider that the fiddle works best if it's only a few percentage points different than expected, one way or the other. People then say of unexpected results, 'oh, it was really close, but that's how it goes, elections can be unpredictable', and accept the election results as 'the will of the people.' It's called "electronic fractional vote shifting". Really. It's called that. Fractional vote shifting.

Carolinian , March 6, 2020 at 8:35 pm

Right–without a doubt. But the reason it prints that piece of paper is for a later human audit by eye should a recount be demanded. In that case the barcode would become irrelevant. There is a paper trail.

That said, I would agree there could be secret ballot concerns about the way I voted. You feed the ballot into the counter right side up and unfolded with an election "helper" standing nearby.

Reply

flora , March 6, 2020 at 9:00 pm

One reason both parties prefer 'close elections'. A few points either way won't raise eyebrows. Won't raise a demand for a recount. (And, like compound interest, a 'few points' one way or the other in various elections, over time, can add up to large effects in political direction. imo.)

lyman alpha blob , March 6, 2020 at 10:12 pm

The problem is getting to the recount. My state does not allow recounts unless the machine tally is extremely close. So if you want to rig an election, just make sure your candidate wins by enough and there will never be a recount of those machine counted paper ballots.

I asked city officials for a few years to do recounts just to audit the machines, and was told it was not allowed under state law unless there was a close enough race – I believe the threshhold is in the low single digits. My wife later ran for office and lost by about 1% and I was finally able to get a recount. We counted all the ballots by hand and while the final outcome didn't change, what we found was that the hand recount tallied about 1-2% more votes than the machines had.

flora is right about the close elections. I find it very odd that in my younger days we had landslides fairly often and now every presidential election goes right down to the wire.

Tom Bradford , March 6, 2020 at 8:04 pm

OK. This is my experience as a counter in a UK General Election, where hand-marked ballot-papers are counted in public.

Each voting station has a sealed tin box. Arriving to vote your name is checked against the electoral role and you are handed a ballot paper. You go into a curtained booth with a stand-up desk and a pencil in a string and put a X in a box opposite the candidate you vote for. Outside the booth you fold your ballot paper and post it into the box through a narrow slot. When the election closes the box is delivered to – in our case – the town-hall – where the counters sit at tables three to a side with a team-leader at the head. One of the boxes is brought to each table, unsealed and the contents dumped into the middle of it. Each counter then snags a pile of marked votes and sorts them into piles as voted. Any uncertainties – where the vote isn't obvious – is passed up to the team leader for assessment. When all the votes are tallied – including the uncertainties – the total is compared with the note from the polling station stating the number of votes cast there, and if they don't agree the count for that box is done again.

All this is done under the eyes of representatives of the candidates who are free to move around the tables at will, and who in particular can watch over the team-leaders dealing with the uncertain ballot papers, but who are free to challenge any counter's tally.

Ballot boxes could be 'switched' between the voting station and the count, but that would only work if you knew how many papers were in the box per the count or could also substitute the tally signed off by the polling-station superintendent. Ballot-box stuffing wouldn't work as again the votes cast and counted for that box/station would not align.

Could it be gamed? I suppose, but it would take a massive effort and conspiracy – mostly at the polling-station/transit stage, tho' again the candidates can have observers there. The whole system is run by the local authority and most of those involved in the polling-station/count are local authority workers with their own political preferences so finding enough to suborn to fix the count would be a difficult, and politically dangerous operation. Even if one polling-station's box was corrupted in some way it would have little effect on the overall result, and if it stood out as atypical could invite investigation.

So no, it's not perfect, but I can't think of a better way of doing it.

Tom Bradford , March 6, 2020 at 8:15 pm

Ps. Each voting paper is numbered and taken from a book leaving a stub with the same number. So to 'stuff' or otherwise tamper with the voting papers in the box you'd also need to swap the actual voting paper book with a substitute bearing the same number system and I think, tho' don't quote me on this, books of ballot papers for the various polling stations are only issued on election day and at random.

Reply

flora , March 6, 2020 at 9:24 pm

Could it be gamed? I suppose, but it would take a massive effort

The 'massive effort' part is where computer voting can eliminate so much effort (when properly coded or uplinked), if you take my meaning.

Watt4Bob , March 6, 2020 at 8:40 pm

IIRC, in a nut-shell, some of the systems used have a bar code printed on the ballot at the time they are scanned into the system.

That bar code ' marks ', the ballot, and supposedly communicates the voter's intentions to the tabulating software that counts the votes.

The rest of the ballot looks proper to the voter, but the voter has no way of telling what the bar code means.

And from any IT professional's point of view, who cares what the ballot looks like, if the mark on your ballot, (the one that is counted) was not made by your hand (say, a bar code printed by a scanner), and/or, if there is a computer used to count the votes, that system is intended to allow falsification of election results.

Due to the lack of legal action on the part of either of our political parties, to refute the results of elections stolen by wholesale electronic election fraud, I can only conclude that election fraud is a wholly acceptable tool in their bi-partisan toolbox?

And yes, you're right, they've always stuffed the ballot box, think of electronic vote tabulation as the newest twist on an old trick.

The invention of electronic voting was intended to insure that voters can never vote their way to freedom.

Carolinian , March 7, 2020 at 8:45 am

So your argument is that we must have hand counted ballots because the machine marked version won't work because the recounters would have to hand count the ballots. Just to repeat, yet again, when I voted a ballot shaped piece of plain paper was printed with my candidate choice clearly printed along with a bar code, not qr. This then becomes the vote itself and it can be read by a scanner or by a human. If done by a human then it is utterly no different than if I had checked a box on a pre printed ballot.

And for all the objections cited by those above there are valid reasons for states to want such a system. Obviously an all manual system is very labor intensive and also subject to human error unless double checked by still more labor. You'd also have to print lots of ballots before every election while not knowing exactly how many will be needed.

If there are suspicions of vote machine companies–and there should be–a more logical approach might be to insist that all software is open source and that no machines are connected directly to the internet or have usb ports. Signs in the precincts should advise voters to check their paper ballot to make sure the correct choice is printed.

[Mar 08, 2020] Welcome to the Democratic Party Civil War

Neoliberal (Clinton wing) of Dems is still much stronger then "New Deal" wing (Berniebro wing)
Mar 04, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

As with the Russia collusion hoax and impeachment fiasco, it would be hard to craft a sequence of events that is turning out worse for Democrats than this year's nominating process.

Establishment Democrats are likely to breathe a sigh of relief after Super Tuesday's results , which revived former Vice President Joe Biden as a viable option to stop socialist Bernie Sanders .

But further analysis should mortify Democrats of all stripes. In effect, a broad Democrat field has been narrowed to two of its least appealing candidates, and disillusionment in the party could become permanent.

Biden swept southern states and Texas, most of which will vote Republican this November. Sanders won western states including California. Among minorities who play a big role in Democrat primaries, Sanders did well with Latinos and Biden did well with blacks.

That means that the divisions within the Democrat Party aren't just along well-known ideological lines or between age groups: they also stem from regional and racial fissures in the identity-obsessed, grievance-trafficking party. And it is impossible to imagine whichever groups and factions lose doing so gracefully.

Then there is the grim reality of the two Democrat semifinalists.

If Biden is their nominee, they will be going to market with a 77-year-old lout, who recently has racked up more gaffes than any national politician in recent memory, and is who is famous for such oddities as publicly smelling women's hair uninvited.

Biden has always been a junior varsity player. His 1988 campaign ended after he was caught plagiarizing mediocre material. His career was all but over when Barack Obama tapped him to be vice president in the 2008 campaign, owing largely to Obama's lack of foreign policy experience. Biden chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but warranted nothing more than a participation trophy: Obama's holdover secretary of Defense, Bob Gates, wrote that Biden was wrong on nearly every major foreign policy issue in his career. He even opposed the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

On This Day 10 seconds Do You Know What Happened On This Day? Mar 7 1876

Alexander Graham Bell is granted a patent for an invention he calls the "telephone".

Biden dispensed with any notion he would or could play the moderate in the general election this fall in promising to put Beto O'Rourke, the failed Texas candidate for Senate, in charge of gun control, which O'Rouke has vowed will consist of forcible confiscation of arms from the law-abiding.

The alternative is Sanders, a 78-year-old socialist who will be 79 before the election, and who survived a heart attack last year. Sanders's recent reiteration of support for some actions of communist governments like Cuba's wasn't a gaffe; it was a carefully crafted position.

Aside from Obama, Democrats have won the White House by nominating moderate-seeming administrators. Sanders has refused even to consider himself a Democrat for much of his career, considering the party to be insufficiently progressive.

Furthermore, the contest between Biden and Sanders won't be resolved anytime soon and could go to the convention unless one candidate runs the board in states that have yet to vote.

Imagine an outcome in which Biden is the nominee. Supporters of Sanders, who won the most votes in the first two contests and led national polls until establishment candidates conspired to dethrone him, will be furious. And then Biden will likely lose to Trump in November.

This would lead to a continuous state within the Democrat Party where progressives believe they are dominated and taken for granted by a feckless, globalist establishment that cannot win elections. It would be as if Jeb Bush beat Trump for the GOP nomination in 2016 and then lost to Hillary Clinton.

It would be better for Democrats to nominate Sanders and have him lose to Trump. Neoliberals could say that the progressives had their chance but lost big, and must henceforth defer to the corporate wing of the party. Progressives could relish their defeat the same way conservatives did when Barry Goldwater was annihilated in 1964: a moral stand that might bear fruit in the distant future.

Sanders's Super Tuesday loss to Biden in Minnesota is a particularly bad sign for Democrats this fall. Their only hope in winning to the White House is to recover rust belt manufacturing states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania that Trump won. If Sanders's plan for "free" healthcare and radical economic change didn't find an audience even among liberals in Minnesota, it implies that Democrat efforts to paint the economy as lousy are failing. The Trump economy is evidently delivering and is easy to contrast with the lost decade of economic malaise that preceded it.

A bright point of the evening was the complete failure of former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg to gain any real support. Bloomberg poured hundreds of millions of dollars into conventional TV, radio, and digital ads, and the overpaid consultants who produced them along with lackluster if well-catered events. His failure, like Hillary Clinton's in 2016, shows the limits of money and digital wizardry.

But the silver lining ends there for Democrats. As with the Russia collusion hoax and impeachment fiasco, it would be hard to craft a sequence of events that is turning out worse for Democrats than this year's nominating process. It is a slow-moving disaster that is dividing the party and defaulting to an unappealing gerontocracy that reminds one of how party leaders were chosen in the final decade of the Soviet Union.

Christian Whiton , a senior fellow at the Center for the National Interest, is the author of Smart Power: Between Diplomacy and War . He was a State Department senior advisor during the George W. Bush and Trump administrations.

[Mar 07, 2020] Democrat Establishment deliberatly hands control over the nomination to the political establisment in states they will never win in the general elections

So sellout by Clinton of the Democratic Party to Wall Street proved to be durable and sustainable...
Bernie again behaves like a sheep dog with no intention to win... "Let's be friends" is not a viable strategy...
Notable quotes:
"... the same character traits that make him an honorable politician also make him fundamentally unsuited for the difficult task of waging a successful outsider campaign for the nomination of a major political party. ..."
"... Why hasn't Sara Nelson, head of the Flight Attendants' Union, endorsed Bernie? (Personally I have always thought she'd be a good VP.) ..."
"... Robinson is dreaming if he thinks Non-Profit Industrial Complex entities like EMILY's List and Planned Parenthood will lift a finger to help Sanders, or busines unionists like Randi Weingarten. To his credit, though, Ady Barkan switched immediately. External support, though is correct: IIRC, there are plenty of union locals to be had; the Culinary Workers should be only the first. ..."
"... "Corporate Lobbyists Control the Rules at the DNC" [ ReadSludge ]. "Among the 447 total voting DNC members, who make up the majority of 771 superdelegates, there are scores of corporate lobbyists and consultants -- including many of the 75 at-large DNC members, who were not individually elected . ..."
"... The 32-member DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee contains the following 20 individuals: a health insurance board member co-chair, three surrogates for presidential campaigns (two for Bloomberg, one for Biden), four current corporate lobbyists, two former corporate lobbyists, six corporate consultants, and four corporate lawyers." ..."
"... "Joe Biden is a friend of mine" is the 2020-updated version of "enough about the damn e-mails, already". No amount of ground-level organizing can make up for a candidate willing to publicly overlook what should be high-office-disqualifying fundamental character traits in his opponents out of "niceness". ..."
"... It's easy to do a post Super Tuesday defeat analysis of Sanders but remember, everything seems to work before SC where I think the Democrats fixed the election and the same holds for Super Tuesday. ..."
"... post-dial-up-modem ..."
Mar 07, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Sanders (D)(1): "Bernie Sanders needs to find the killer instinct" [Matthew Walther, The Week ]. I've heard Useful Idiots, Dead Pundits, and the inimitable Jimmy Dore all make the same point, but Walther's prose makes the point most forcefully (as prose often does). The situation:

There is no greater contrast imaginable than the one between the popular (and frequently exaggerated) image of so-called "Bernie bros" and the almost painfully conciliatory instincts of the man they support.

This was fully in evidence on Wednesday afternoon when Sanders responded to arguably the worst defeat of his political career by chatting with journalists about how " disgusted " he is at unspecified online comments directed at Elizabeth Warren and her supporters and what a " decent guy " Joe Biden is.

He did this despite the fact that Warren, with the connivance of debate moderators, recently called him a sexist in front of an audience of millions, effectively announcing that she had no interest in making even a tacit alliance with the only other progressive candidate in the race and, one imagines, despite thinking that the former vice president's record on virtually everything -- finance, health care, race relations, the environment, foreign policy -- should render him ineligible for office.

It should go without saying that offering these pleasantries will do Sanders few if any favors.

Lambert here: This is a Presidential primary, not the Senate floor. There is no comity. Walther then gives a list of possible scorched earth tactics to use against Biden; we could all make such a list. But then:

Sanders's benevolent disposition does him credit. But the same character traits that make him an honorable politician also make him fundamentally unsuited for the difficult task of waging a successful outsider campaign for the nomination of a major political party.

Corbyn had the same problem...

Sanders really must not let Biden and the Democrat Establishment off the hook. He seems to have poor judgment about his friends. Warren was no "friend." And neither is Joe Biden.

If Sanders wants friends, he can buy a dog .

He should forget those false friends, go into the next debate, and slice Joe Biden off at the knees. Trump would. And will, if Sander loses.

His canvassers and more importantly his millions of small donors deserve no less. The race and the debate is now between two people, and only one can emerge the winner. Sanders needs to decide if he wants to be that person, and then do what it takes . (If the outcome of the Sanders campaign is a left that is a permanently institutionalized force, distinct from liberal Democrats, I would regard that as a net positive. If that is Sanders' ultimate goal, then fine. He's not going to achieve that goal by being nice to Joe Biden. Quite the reverse.)

UPDATE Sanders (D)(2): "Time To Fight Harder Than We've Ever Fought Before" [Nathan J. Robinson, Current Affairs ].

"Biden now has some formidable advantages going forward: Democrats who no longer see him as a failed or risky bet will finally endorse and campaign for him. He will find it easier to raise money. He will have "momentum." Bloomberg's exit will bring him new voters.

Sanders may find upcoming states even harder to win than the Super Tuesday contests. But the one thing that would guarantee a Sanders loss is giving up and going home, which is exactly what Joe Biden hopes we will now do."

Here follows a laundry list of tactics. Then: "The real thing Bernie needs in order to win, though, is external support. Labor unions, activists, lawmakers, anyone with a public platform: We need to be pressuring them to endorse Bernie.

Why hasn't Sara Nelson, head of the Flight Attendants' Union, endorsed Bernie? (Personally I have always thought she'd be a good VP.)

Now that Elizabeth Warren is clearly not going to win, will organizations like the Working Families Party and EMILY's List and people like AFT president Randi Weingarten and Medicare For All advocate Ady Barkan switch and endorse Sanders?

Where is the Sierra Club, SEIU (Bernie, after all, was one of the first national figures to push Fight for $15), the UAW, Planned Parenthood? Many progressive organizations have been sitting out the race because Warren was in it."

Good ideas in general, but Robinson is dreaming if he thinks Non-Profit Industrial Complex entities like EMILY's List and Planned Parenthood will lift a finger to help Sanders, or busines unionists like Randi Weingarten. To his credit, though, Ady Barkan switched immediately. External support, though is correct: IIRC, there are plenty of union locals to be had; the Culinary Workers should be only the first.

Warren (D)(1): "Why Elizabeth Warren lost" [Ryan Cooper, The Week ]. "Starting in November, however, she started a long decline that continued through January, when she started losing primaries . So what happened in November?

It is hard to pin down exactly what is happening in such a chaotic race, but Warren's campaign certainly made a number of strategic errors. One important factor was surely that Warren started backing away from Medicare-for-all, selling instead a bizarre two-step plan.

The idea supposedly was to pass universal Medicare with two different bills, one in her first year as president and one in the third year. Given how difficult it is to pass anything through Congress, and that there could easily be fewer Democrats in 2023 than in 2021, it was a baffling decision. Worse, Warren then released a plan for financing Medicare-for-all that was simply terrible.

Rather than levying a new progressive tax, she would turn existing employer contributions to private health insurance plans into a tax on employers, which would gradually converge to an average for all businesses but the smallest. The clear objective here was to claim that she would pay for it without levying any new taxes on the middle or working classes. But because those employer payments are still part of labor compensation, it is ultimately workers who pay them -- making Warren's plan a horribly regressive head tax (that is, an equal dollar tax on almost all workers regardless of income).

All that infuriated the left, and struck directly at Warren's branding as the candidate of technical competence. It suggested her commitment to universal Medicare was not as strong as she claimed, and that she would push classic centrist-style Rube Goldberg policies rather than clean, fair ones. (Her child care plan, with its complicated means-testing system, had a similar defect).

Claiming her plan was the only one not to raise taxes on the middle class was simply dishonest. In sum, this was a classic failed straddle that alienated the left but gained no support among anti-universal health care voters. More speculatively, this kind of hesitation and backtracking may have turned off many voters." • On #MedicareForAll, called it here on "pay for" ; and here on "transition." Warren's plans should not have been well-received, and they were not. I'm only amazed that these really technical arguments penetrated the media (let along the voters).

Warren (D)(2): "Warren Urged by National Organization for Women Not to Endorse Sanders: He Has 'Done Next to Nothing for Women'" [ Newsweek ]. • Establishment really pulling out all the stops.

* * *

"Why Southern Democrats Saved Biden" [Mara Gay, New York Times ]. (Gay was the lone member of the Times Editorial Board to endorse Sanders .) "Through Southern eyes, this election is not about policy or personality. It's about something much darker. Not long ago, these Americans lived under violent, anti-democratic governments. Now, many there say they see in President Trump and his supporters the same hostility and zeal for authoritarianism that marked life under Jim Crow .

They were deeply skeptical that a democratic socialist like Mr. Sanders could unseat Mr. Trump. They liked Ms. Warren, but, burned by Hillary Clinton's loss, were worried that too many of their fellow Americans wouldn't vote for a woman."

Well worth a read. At the same time, it's not clear why the Democrat Establishment hands control over the nomination to the political establishment in states they will never win in the general; the "firewall" in 2016 didn't work out all that well, after all. As for Jim Crow, we might do well to remember that Obama destroyed a generation of Black wealth his miserably inadequate response to the foreclosure crisis, and his pathetic stimulus package kept Black unemployment high for years longer than it should have been. And sowed the dragon's teeth of authoritarian reaction as well.

"Corporate Lobbyists Control the Rules at the DNC" [ ReadSludge ]. "Among the 447 total voting DNC members, who make up the majority of 771 superdelegates, there are scores of corporate lobbyists and consultants -- including many of the 75 at-large DNC members, who were not individually elected .

The 32-member DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee contains the following 20 individuals: a health insurance board member co-chair, three surrogates for presidential campaigns (two for Bloomberg, one for Biden), four current corporate lobbyists, two former corporate lobbyists, six corporate consultants, and four corporate lawyers."


ewmayer , March 6, 2020 at 6:03 pm

"Joe Biden is a friend of mine" is the 2020-updated version of "enough about the damn e-mails, already". No amount of ground-level organizing can make up for a candidate willing to publicly overlook what should be high-office-disqualifying fundamental character traits in his opponents out of "niceness".

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2020 at 1:57 am

> Bernie is thinking like an organizer

That's fine, but if his organization is then put at the disposal of Joe Biden, I don't see how the organization survives. (That's why the DNC cheating meme* is important; it provides the moral cover to get out of that loyalty oath (which the Sanders campaign certainly should have had its lawyers take a look at)).

NOTE * Iowa, Texas, and California have all had major voting screw-ups, all of which impacted Sanders voters disproportionately. The campaign should sue. They have the money.)

dcblogger , March 6, 2020 at 2:15 pm

I once met an union organizer and he said he could go back to any site he had worked and be on friendly terms with everyone. Bernie is thinking like an organizer. I think that making this about Social Security is his best bet. It demolishes Biden in a way that makes the election about the American people.

pretzelattack , March 6, 2020 at 2:25 pm

he needs to go after biden on the issues in a much more forceful manner than he typically does, with lots and lots of specifics. did i mention lots of specifics? and lots of pointed references to biden's past positions, and a focus on pinning him down on his position now. he needs to ask questions biden will not be prepared for with easy scripted responses.

JohnnyGL , March 6, 2020 at 2:59 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hcEljDeFEI

Well, he's baited Biden into a spat about SS for now, so that's a positive sign.

drumlin woodchuckles , March 6, 2020 at 7:10 pm

Perhaps if Sanders can keep successfully baiting Biden with hooks baited with Biden's own past statements over and over and over again, that Sanders can then go on to practice some very well disguised passive-aggressive pointing/not-pointing to Biden's mental condition by asking Biden at every opportunity: " don't you remember that, Joe? You remember saying that, don't you Joe? Don't you remember when you said that, Joe?"

Titus , March 6, 2020 at 3:31 pm

Except 70% of Women according to Stanford finding these kind of confrontations distressing to very distressing. Tricky. One changes emotions by using emotions so the trick here is "allowing" Biden to act deranged and expressing sorrow over it. For 70% of guys they won't get the emotional content, but will understand the logic of the questions and lack of answers. It can be done, Bill Clinton and Obama were very good at this. Look you want to be president you got to play the game at the highest level. Good practice for dealing with trump.

Oh , March 6, 2020 at 3:51 pm

Timing was right for both Obama and Clinton. After the GFC voters would have gone for any Democrat because Republicans were toxic. Similarly, it was fortuitous for Clinton because Perot was running and he quit the race a couple of months before the election.

Obama got loads and loads of money from Wall Street. Neither of these guys would stand a chance in an election year when the economy was doing well.

It's easy to do a post Super Tuesday defeat analysis of Sanders but remember, everything seems to work before SC where I think the Democrats fixed the election and the same holds for Super Tuesday.

I didn't see anyone pointing out that Bernie had to be confrontational when he seems to be winning.

Mo's Bike Shop , March 6, 2020 at 8:59 pm

Wait. How many days ago was the field of candidates wide open?

If Bernard does not roast Biden on Social Security I will be disappointed. If Smokin' Joe doesn't lash out with his typical aplomb, I'll be disappointed. I'm saving myself up for bigger disappointments.

I'll be happy with the Vermont interpretation of Huey Long. I'm glad that people are finally noticing we have one Socialist Senator.

Idea for an 'own the slur' bumper sticker: "I'm tickled pink by Bernie" -- Although I don't know how the post-dial-up-modem crowd might misinterpret that?

foghorn longhorn , March 6, 2020 at 2:56 pm

This is such bs.
Trump insulted the f*ck out of mccain, mittens, jeb, cruz, pelosi, schumer and the rest of the clown posse and what did they do?

Passed every gd thing he sent to them.

Are we gonna fight or dance, it's past time to get it on.

Zagonostra , March 6, 2020 at 6:01 pm

"I admittedly don't even know what to call Pelosi and Schumer at this point, besides a simple "past their sell date".

How about corrupt, immoral dishonest, greedy, sociopaths for starters (for more accurate adjectives I recommend viewing Jimmy Dore)

Glen , March 6, 2020 at 5:22 pm

Bernie cannot say it, but I can.

I support Bernie because Bernie supports the polices I think we need to save the country: M4A, GND,$15/hr min, free college, etc. To me, being an FDR Dem like Bernie is the moderate position, we've done it before, we know it works. Biden's support of neoliberal polices that have wrecked America is the extreme position.

But the DNC does not support FDR's Democracy. They have ended up to the right of Ronald Reagan. Pelosi could have pushed a M4A bill but did not. Pelosi could have pushed any number of polices to show how Trump is failing the working and middle class, but she did not.

So if Bernie is not picked for the general, I no longer have a reason to support the Dems, and will stay home. Actually, I will probably not stay home, I will work to get Dems out of office, and in general, work to burn the party to the ground. Why? Because it is in the way, and does not support the working class or the middle class.

The Dem party has to decide – do they really support the working and middle class or not. Because only Bernie supports those polices, and the rest of the Dems running for President do not.

[Mar 07, 2020] The Democrat party is a party of fiefdoms and each small king wants their cut. Or wants control over their own optics.

Mar 07, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

L , March 6, 2020 at 3:17 pm

Democrats who no longer see him as a failed or risky bet will finally endorse and campaign for him.

One of the themes that also seems to ring through these endorsements is Sanders' unwillingness to kiss the local rings. Lori Lightfoot, for example, just endorsed Biden. She had previously complained that when Sanders came to town for a union event he did not consult with her. see here. Of course she also criticized Biden for that too: see here.

I have heard the same theme from one of my local house members as well "he never called me."

The Democrat party is a party of fiefdoms and each small king wants their cut. Or wants control over their own optics.

[Mar 05, 2020] The real threats to our democracy are our unaccountable surveillance state and the neoliberal politicians in Washington

Notable quotes:
"... the parties are two arguing heads on the same rapacious beast. or in the case of the primaries, a multi-headed beast. ..."
Mar 05, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Jeff Harrison , February 22, 2020 at 12:36

The real threats to our democracy are our unaccountable surveillance state and the craven politicians in Washington, DC.

And, no, Ben, we can't keep our republic because we don't have a sufficient mass of critical thinkers to run it. If we did, this kind of BS, having been shot full of holes once, wouldn't get any air.

Ground Owl Eats Fox , February 22, 2020 at 21:49

I don't think the Democrats have been very coordinated, and they (the establishment in general) is growing more desperate. They're acting less and less rationally.

My hunch is that Sanders is going to be assassinated. Even if a low chance per industry (5% for MIC; 5% for Wall Street; 5% for Hillary Clinton, etc ) the sheer number of powerful enemies and tens of trillions of dollars (and power) potentially at stake IMO makes it likely that this'll happen, whether coordinated or not. I'm guessing before the convention, if his lead is looking formidable.

He needs to pick a safety VP to make killing him less attractive, and also needs to wear a vest, ride around in a Popemobile-style vehicle, and have trustworthy chemists and doctors to check his food and umbrellas and everything else. And lots of documenters with cameras so if they do kill him in a violent hit maybe they won't get away with it.

tim ashby , February 22, 2020 at 10:38

how on earth could any entity, foreign or domestic, create any outcome in our burlesque electoral process that's worse than any other? the parties are two arguing heads on the same rapacious beast. or in the case of the primaries, a multi-headed beast.

the political circus can be likened to condi rice's concept of "constructive chaos" in the middle east. instead of nonfunctional endless war to render malleable a target for exploitation, we have endless functionless nitpicking blather to render popular leadership impossible.

[Mar 05, 2020] Having all dropped out, including Bloomberg, excepting Warren, as of today, they all have endorsed Biden, completely verifying our essayist's hypothesis that meritocracy is dead in politics.

Notable quotes:
"... Nothing changed about Biden's sketchy past, e.g. war enabler, bigot and bank henchman, and his questionable competency to serve as president, but these politicians of great self-esteem are now instructing us to vote for a most flawed candidate. ..."
"... If Biden gets the nomination, it will be a pyrrhic victory. Trump will eat him alive. ..."
"... Biden is Obama 2.0 lite, and no one likes Obama anymore except for the Dem party faithful. We saw the Dems do this over and over again in Massachusetts with Martha Coakley. Hey, how about Coakley as Biden's running mate? ..."
Mar 05, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

The gang of would-be presidential candidates ran because each perceived that Biden was not the best person to run for the office or to govern. Having all dropped out, including Bloomberg, excepting Warren, as of today, they all have endorsed Biden, completely verifying our essayist's hypothesis that meritocracy is dead in politics. Nothing changed about Biden's sketchy past, e.g. war enabler, bigot and bank henchman, and his questionable competency to serve as president, but these politicians of great self-esteem are now instructing us to vote for a most flawed candidate.

If Biden gets the nomination, it will be a pyrrhic victory. Trump will eat him alive. Any of us could write the script to defeat Biden. Biden is Obama 2.0 lite, and no one likes Obama anymore except for the Dem party faithful. We saw the Dems do this over and over again in Massachusetts with Martha Coakley. Hey, how about Coakley as Biden's running mate?

[Mar 04, 2020] Warren is depressing but Democratic Party as a whole is even more depressing

Notable quotes:
"... The arrogance of the Democratic party has been on full display this time around with their in your face cheating and voter suppression. Even if the Russians were "interfering" enough in 2016 to make a difference, which I seriously doubt, they could not have done as much damage to the integrity of our system of elections as the Democratic party has done. ..."
"... I know one thing, I have come to hate Elizabeth Warren almost as much as the Democratic party itself. I hope she is happy with selling her soul to potentially garner a spot on a losing ticket with a racist has-been who cannot even remember Obama's name, what state he is in or even the position he is running for, all of which have happened. Trump will have a field day with a Biden/Warren ticket. ..."
Mar 04, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

gulfgal98 on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 12:24pm

That is all I can say about how the Democratic party has run the primaries. We are so screwed and there isn't a damn thing we can do about it. The establishment simply does not care about the people. The arrogance of the Democratic party has been on full display this time around with their in your face cheating and voter suppression. Even if the Russians were "interfering" enough in 2016 to make a difference, which I seriously doubt, they could not have done as much damage to the integrity of our system of elections as the Democratic party has done.

I have avoided posting much this primary season because I have become too cynical to add anything of value to these posts. I know one thing, I have come to hate Elizabeth Warren almost as much as the Democratic party itself. I hope she is happy with selling her soul to potentially garner a spot on a losing ticket with a racist has-been who cannot even remember Obama's name, what state he is in or even the position he is running for, all of which have happened. Trump will have a field day with a Biden/Warren ticket.


WoodsDweller on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 12:43pm

A few thoughts...

First, Warren. Wikipedia is showing her with 53 delegates this morning, up from 8 yesterday. So she won roughly 45 out of 1300+, or under 4% versus the roughly 5% she had won from the first 4 contests. As a campaign in decline that's almost exactly as expected.

Second, Bloomberg. Words can express how satisfied I am that he's out. Wikipedia shows him with 50 delegates, including a win in American Samoa (well done, Sir!). Both the self-funded billionaire vanity runs crashed and burned. However corrupt the system is (and it is), it isn't outright for sale to the highest bidder. There are procedures that need to be followed.

Now there's Uncle Joe. He was leading in polls for the last year and only fell short in January and February due to legitimate concerns about his electability. With those concerns temporarily removed because of the solid (and expected) win in SC together with the DINO Establishment throwing everything they had behind him let people overlook his diminished faculties and vote for the man he used to be.

A quick side note: Sanders fills venues with 10,000+ supporters. Biden can't fill a restaurant. That doesn't tell us much about overall support, it tells us something about support by age group. Young people go to big events. Old folks stay home and watch TV. But old people show up to vote.

Sanders fell apart with the 65+ voters, getting under 10%. This is a big voting block and you can't just write it off. I don't know what, if anything, can be done about it at this point. He won young voters, but didn't get the huge turnout he needed to compensate.

Going forward it's clearly a Sanders/Biden race. Is it possible that they can avoid Biden speaking in public for the rest of the race? I'm afraid that Sanders will avoid hitting Biden with concerns about his declining mental state and stick to policy as he is inclined to do. There's plenty there to address, and maybe Biden will make the case on his own in the meantime.

Much of the Southern Primary happened yesterday. There's still Florida and Georgia, both with a lot of delegates, and I would be surprised if Biden doesn't win them. The rest of the map is more competitive.

A plurality at the convention is the most Sanders can hope for at this point. We all know how that one comes out.

MrWebster on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 1:00pm
Great observations and essay.

What you describe is probably why Russiagate spread so easily to so many people. Nothing happened in previous elections? Everything you describe never happened as you point out. The American electoral system was and is pristine and virginal. Until the Russians came and destroyed American democracy through social media themes, memes, and retweets. The American electoral system was never brutally corrupted by rigged votes, voter suppression on the scale of hundreds of thousands, deliberately miscounted votes, voter fraud, etc. Americans never did to each other anything as bad as what the Russians did to Americans.

Of course, for me never worked as I worked in primaries of a democratic machine dominated city. I tried to sorta warm people on other sites that while they were looking for Russians at the front door, the gop was coming in the bad door for some rather nasty election interference.

Of course what we are seeing now is democrats cheating other democrats. But that reality will never be acknowledged because, hey, it never happened before. Just unintentional mistakes like in Iowa (farm folk cheating--no way) or Brooklyn.

Lily O Lady on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 1:38pm
Do the gaslight just flicker? How could it?

@MrWebster

It couldn’t have! I must be mad, mad I tell you!

Lather, rinse, repeat.

What you describe is probably why Russiagate spread so easily to so many people. Nothing happened in previous elections? Everything you describe never happened as you point out. The American electoral system was and is pristine and virginal. Until the Russians came and destroyed American democracy through social media themes, memes, and retweets. The American electoral system was never brutally corrupted by rigged votes, voter suppression on the scale of hundreds of thousands, deliberately miscounted votes, voter fraud, etc. Americans never did to each other anything as bad as what the Russians did to Americans.

Of course, for me never worked as I worked in primaries of a democratic machine dominated city. I tried to sorta warm people on other sites that while they were looking for Russians at the front door, the gop was coming in the bad door for some rather nasty election interference.

Of course what we are seeing now is democrats cheating other democrats. But that reality will never be acknowledged because, hey, it never happened before. Just unintentional mistakes like in Iowa (farm folk cheating--no way) or Brooklyn.

randtntx on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 1:10pm
Here is an article

that offers another type of solution. I know it doesn't address the problem of cheating but it has the potential (admittedly hypothetical) of garnering larger numbers of voters thereby minimizing the effect of cheating.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/03/03/if-sanders-is-robbed-of-the-nomi...

Marie on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 1:42pm
Why didn't he think of that?

Instead of that $600 million+ he spent, Bloomberg could have wired just $100k to a Russian troll farm & rode their juvenile social media posts all the way to the White House. (This is the actual logic of the establishment narrative since 2016: https://t.co/VTZTPFyT3m ) pic.twitter.com/QJTPdBl9hC

— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) March 4, 2020

Perhaps because Bloomberg isn't as dumb as the Russiagaters in both parties.

wokkamile on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 1:46pm
On the essay topic,

I'm more inclined regarding yesterday's results to look to the voters for fault, even with a heavy hand played by the establishment. And I don't see the latter effort so much corrupt as SOP for political parties, although this time the thumb on the scales worked to a remarkable degree and not necessarily for the betterment of the party long term. In previous cycles, e.g. the GOP elite trying to stop Trump in their 2016 primaries, it didn't work at all.

Yes, there was voter suppression -- intentional by the GOP in TX, probably accidental in CA with the very long lines to vote in SoCal with new voting machines and yet another attempt at high-teching what should be a low-tech, pencil-and-paper voting process. But of the voters on Election Day who managed to cast a ballot, it was clear in most places which side they picked.

Yes too, there was information suppression and distortion in the several traditional cable and print outlets, which clearly favored Joe and despised Bernie. But this is the Information Age, and for all but the destitute, there is available this thing called the Internet. It's up to voters in a democracy to inform themselves; that is their responsibility to achieve good governance. Sadly, most are too lazy or not that interested to bother, and settle for what's fed to them on teevee.

In American elections, the best person and candidate with the most meritorious ideas doesn't always prevail. That isn't always because of a corrupted system. Politics often rewards the snakes because that's the nature of the messy beast.

[Mar 04, 2020] The Quincy Institute Off to a Decent Start

Mar 04, 2020 | libertarianinstitute.org

Non-interventionists are not used to having a seat at the power table. Lacking any amount of institutional influence, believers in the anti-war cause are used to spending careers tinkering at the margins of the conversation, living from hand to mouth off of minimal fundraising. No one ever got rich towing the line for "Big Peace."

This unfortunate situation has, over decades, left a cynicism for anything located in the beltway of Washington D.C. That's where principles go to die, and good people go to sell out, don't you know?

This characterization is far from unfounded. There is an endless list of grifters, double-crossers, and Fausts who have sold their soul for a couple zeros added to their paychecks. But should past betrayals define our attitudes to the possibilities of the future?

In the past week, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft held its first event since its inaugural launch in December. Named after former secretary of state John Quincy Adams and founded through big money donations from billionaires Charles Koch and George Soros (among others), the think tank was established, in the words of Chairwoman Suzanne DiMaggio, "to bring about a fundamental reorientation in U.S. foreign policy."

The event , titled "A New Vision for America in the World," was pilloried before it even occurred. Criticism revolved around the speaker's list, which included individuals who had spent years advocating, defending, and even participating in military adventurism overseas. This is where a dose of context is important.

The event was pitched as a forum between the Quincy Institute and Foreign Policy , whose conception of its eponymous topic is decidedly status quo hegemony. Registration, the speaker's list, and the day's schedule were available exclusively on Foreign Policy 's website. Quincy was discernably the junior partner in the conversation.

Each side chose its champion. Foreign Policy originated the idea to host disgraced former Major General David Petraeus, who commanded U.S. forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Since his conviction for sharing state secrets with his mistress as Director of the CIA, Petraeus has spent years attempting to rehabilitate his image and spread the gospel of counterinsurgency that failed American forces in the Middle East.

In opposition stood Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna of California. A self-described "progressive capitalist," since his election in 2016 Khanna has made a name for himself as a voice for military restraint in Washington. He's done more legwork to stop American support for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen than any other member of congress.

The event's original conception was to have a debate between Petraeus and Khanna on stage, where the two could challenge each other directly. Petraeus refused to countenance this option, a Quincy insider revealed to the Libertarian Institute. So instead each man sat down, back-to-back, with their respective interlocutors; Petraeus with Foreign Policy Editor-In-Chief Jonathan Tepperman, and Khanna with the Charles Koch Institute's Vice President for Research and Policy Will Ruger.

Tepperman opened his segment with a joke that fell on deaf ears. "Our next guest will be immediately recognizable to all of you, I'm sure, unless you've been living under a rock for the last twenty years," he smiled. "That's 'under a rock,' not 'living in Iraq,' in which case you would definitely recognize him." Try telling that one-liner to the Iraqi teenagers who have gone their entire lives without clean drinking water, or the Iraqi men who continue to live without arms or legs, or the Iraqi mothers who gave birth to babies with abominable birth defects because of America's use of depleted uranium ammunition. Yes, I'm sure they'd definitely recognize David Petraeus.

The proceeding twenty-four minutes of dialogue was the same insipid pablum that Petraeus has used to justify his speaking fees for a decade. The United States must remain stationed in Afghanistan to keep an Al-Qaeda sanctuary from being reestablished, he argued. "There is some affinity they have for Eastern Afghanistan," the former general said, even though the reasoning "was lost on me."

Would Petraeus be open to a reassessment of U.S. strategic interests; the kind of retrenchment advocated by the Quincy Institute? "I think, to be perfectly honest, the debate here -- should we be more restrained -- of course we should be more restrained," he answered coyly. "Until we shouldn't."

When Congressman Khanna began his segment afterwards, he wasted no time in cutting Petraeus down to size. "I thought the title of this conference is 'A New Vision for American Foreign Policy,'" Khanna said, "and I was wondering when he was going to say something new that we haven't heard for the last twenty years."

"If I understood General Petraeus, he's basically saying we need to have a permanent troop presence around the world, in any place that's a failed state. I mean I thought we were a republic. I thought that was totally counter to what our founder's envisioned," explained Khanna.

While he displayed a depth of knowledge on U.S. conduct overseas far exceeding the average representative, it was Khanna's conception of America's metaphysical place in the world that stood out most prominently. When foreigners think of the United States, he hopes their first thoughts are "our culture, our art, our technology, our writings [that] reflect those values."

"I don't want the first thing when they think about the United States [to be] our military or bombs," he said resolutely. This sentiment brought to mind that cataloger of American localism, Bill Kauffman, who lambasted the "sham patriotism" of "the chickenhawk who loves little of his country beyond its military might."

Ro Khanna holds to that older notion of America, of a republic on a human scale that focuses on its own betterment, not the siren song of empire. "I think every member of congress should read John Quincy Adams. He's more eloquent than all of us put together," he counseled.

Unfortunately, Petraeus had already departed out the side door before he could be infected with anyone else's perspective. He had a better exit strategy from the conference than he ever did in Iraq or Afghanistan.

So lopsided was the "exchange" that after Khanna concluded Tepperman felt the need to defend his interviewee. "There was a big mismatch between Petraeus and Khanna. In the sense that, Ro Khanna is a politician. David Petraeus is not a politician," he said, eliciting an eyeroll from Ruger. The absurdity to claim that Petraeus, who earned the antagonism of his fellow commanders by being one of the most outwardly political generals in modern American history, obliged Tepperman to admit moments later that, "Petraeus is a better politician than most."

Outside the main attraction, the conference also included a discussion between two other House members, and three theater-focused foreign policy panels. Each panel's membership was split between people selected by Quincy and those selected by Foreign Policy, allowing a more open exchange of ideas than usually seen in the beltway. The Quincy Institute's staff, particularly Managing Director for Research and Policy Sarah Leah Whitson, ably articulated the concepts of realism and drawing back from our seemingly endless wars.

Some purists will still complain that the Quincy Institute soiled itself by cohosting its first conference with Foreign Policy , and for allowing the likes of Petraeus to speak. But the fact is, Quincy created a space where a sitting congressman could publicly clown the man who lost America's two twenty-first century invasions. It created a space where renowned Pentagon reporter Mark Perry could rile the audience into a frenzy like a Rockstar performing a set of his greatest hits. And it created a space where Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin could be cheered by a crowd for interrogating a panelist about his financial connections to Saudi Arabia.

This new, freer environment is something to be celebrated. The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft might have started the forum as the unofficial junior partner to Foreign Policy , but it closed it by punching above its weight class.

[Mar 04, 2020] The Syria Deception by Mark Taliano

Mar 04, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca

What is the Syria war about?

Contrary to the depiction in Western media, the Syria war is not a civil war. This is because the initiators, financiers and a large part of the anti-government fighters come from abroad .

Nor is the Syria war a religious war, for Syria was and still is one of the most secular countries in the region, and the Syrian army – like its direct opponents – is itself mainly composed of Sunnis.

But the Syria war is also not a pipeline war, as some critics suspected, because the allegedly competing gas pipeline projects never existed to begin with, as even the Syrian president confirmed .

Instead, the Syria war is a war of conquest and regime change , which developed into a geopolitical proxy war between NATO states on one side – especially the US, Great Britain and France – and Russia, Iran, and China on the other side.

In fact, already since the 1940s the US has repeatedly attempted to install a pro-Western government in Syria, such as in 1949, 1956, 1957, after 1980 and after 2003, but without success so far. This makes Syria – since the fall of Libya – the last Mediterranean country independent of NATO.

Thus, in the course of the „Arab Spring" of 2011, NATO and its allies, especially Israel and the Gulf States, decided to try again. To this end, politically and economically motivated protests in Syria were used and were quickly escalated into an armed conflict.

NATO's original strategy of 2011 was based on the Afghanistan war of the 1980s and aimed at conquering Syria mainly through positively portrayed Islamist militias (so-called „rebels"). This did not succeed, however, because the militias lacked an air force and anti-aircraft missiles.

Hence from 2013 onwards, various poison gas attacks were staged in order to be able to deploy the NATO air force as part of a „humanitarian intervention" similar to the earlier wars against Libya and Yugoslavia. But this did not succeed either, mainly because Russia and China blocked a UN mandate.

As of 2014, therefore, additional but negatively portrayed Islamist militias („terrorists") were covertly established in Syria and Iraq via NATO partners Turkey and Jordan, secretly supplied with weapons and vehicles and indirectly financed by oil exports via the Turkish Ceyhan terminal.

ISIS: Supply and export routes through NATO partners Turkey and Jordan (ISW / Atlantic, 2015)

Media-effective atrocity propaganda and mysterious „terrorist attacks" in Europe and the US then offered the opportunity to intervene in Syria using the NATO air force even without a UN mandate – ostensibly to fight the „terrorists", but in reality still to conquer Syria and topple its government.

This plan failed again, however, as Russia also used the presence of the „terrorists" in autumn 2015 as a justification for direct military intervention and was now able to attack both the „terrorists" and parts of NATO's „rebels" while simultaneously securing the Syrian airspace to a large extent.

By the end of 2016, the Syrian army thus succeeded in recapturing the city of Aleppo.

From 2016 onwards, NATO therefore switched back to positively portrayed but now Kurdish-led militias (the SDF) in order to still have unassailable ground forces available and to conquer the Syrian territory held by the previously established „terrorists" before Syria and Russia could do so themselves.

This led to a kind of „race" to conquer cities such as Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor in 2017 and to a temporary division of Syria along the Euphrates river into a (largely) Syrian-controlled West and a Kurdish (or rather American) controlled East (see map below).

This move, however, brought NATO into conflict with its key member Turkey, because Turkey did not accept a Kurdish-controlled territory on its southern border. As a result, the NATO alliance became increasingly divided from 2018 onwards.

Turkey now fought the Kurds in northern Syria and at the same time supported the remaining Islamists in the north-western province of Idlib against the Syrian army, while the Americans eventually withdrew to the eastern Syrian oil fields in order to retain a political bargaining chip.

While Turkey supported Islamists in northern Syria, Israel more or less covertly supplied Islamists in southern Syria and at the same time fought Iranian and Lebanese (Hezbollah) units with air strikes, though without lasting success: the militias in southern Syria had to surrender in 2018.

Ultimately, some NATO members tried to use a confrontation between the Turkish and Syrian armies in the province of Idlib as a last option to escalate the war. In addition to the situation in Idlib, the issues of the occupied territories in the north and east of Syria remain to be resolved, too.

Russia, for its part, has tried to draw Turkey out of the NATO alliance and onto its own side as far as possible. Modern Turkey, however, is pursuing a rather far-reaching geopolitical strategy of its own, which is also increasingly clashing with Russian interests in the Middle East and Central Asia.

As part of this geopolitical strategy, Turkey in 2015 and 2020 even used the so-called "weapon of mass migration" , which may serve to destabilize both Syria (so-called strategic depopulation ) and Europe, as well as to extort financial, political or military support from the European Union.

Syria: The situation in February 2020

What role did the Western media play in this war?

The task of NATO-compliant media was to portray the war against Syria as a „civil war", the Islamist „rebels" positively, the Islamist „terrorists" and the Syrian government negatively, the alleged „poison gas attacks" credibly and the NATO intervention consequently as legitimate.

An important tool for this media strategy were the numerous Western-sponsored „media centres" , „activist groups" , „Twitter girls" , „human rights observatories" and the like, which provided Western news agencies and media with the desired images and information.

Since 2019, NATO-compliant media moreover had to conceal or discredit various leaks and whistleblowers that began to prove the covert Western arms deliveries to the Islamist „rebels" and „terrorists" as well as the staged „poison gas attacks" .

But if even the „terrorists" in Syria were demonstrably established and equipped by NATO states, what role then did the mysterious „caliph of terror" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi play? He possibly played a similar role as his direct predecessor , Omar al-Baghdadi – who was a phantom .

Thanks to new communication technologies and on-site sources, the Syria war was also the first war about which independent media could report almost in real-time and thus for the first time significantly influenced the public perception of events – a potentially historic change.

*

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All images in this article are from SPR


Order Mark Taliano's Book "Voices from Syria" directly from Global Research.

Mark Taliano combines years of research with on-the-ground observations to present an informed and well-documented analysis that refutes the mainstream media narratives on Syria.

[Mar 04, 2020] May the Best Man Win

Mar 04, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Cant Stop the M... on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 8:28am We base our entire politics on the idea that we're living in a meritocracy. In other words, like the knights of old at a joust, we find out who is best through competition, a competition assumed to be both fair and honest. In the old days, the joust was assumed to be fair and honest because God was both omnipotent and just and therefore, obviously, would not allow a bad man to win. Nowadays, even most of us who believe in God don't believe that God controls the outcome of competitions in that way. Yet the assumption of a fair and honest competition persists, despite blatant evidence to the contrary.

In the case of U.S. elections, it is assumed, not that the will of God controls the outcome of competitions, but that the will of the people does. Voter suppression and election fraud are hand-waved away on the dubious grounds that any candidate strong enough could overcome such things. Or maybe the people are to blame. The supporters of the defeated candidate must not have worked hard enough, or maybe the people generally are to blame for not voting in large enough numbers. Those who challenge any of these assumptions are defeated, either by institutional inertia or by gaslighting.

Nothing happens, so nothing happened

Here's what I mean by institutional inertia.

In 2000, there was ample evidence that George W. Bush had committed fraud in the presidential election, with the help of his brother, the governor of Florida. In 2004, there was ample evidence that George W. Bush had committed fraud once again, famously in Ohio, and less famously in Florida for a second time. However, in the first case, Gore stopped fighting after an obviously partisan and corrupt Supreme Court decision, and not a single member of the U.S. Senate was willing to help the Congressional Black Caucus challenge the election. In the second case, Kerry refused to challenge the election in Congress, and the legal case he brought about election fraud, after the fact, did not even make it to the Supreme Court.

In 2016, when New Yorkers brought a case that there had been election fraud and voter suppression in the Democratic primaries, the case was thrown out on the grounds that each county in New York had to file such cases separately, and, by then, the election would be over. Pleas to delay the vote count, or to delay declaring a winner, until the voting rights of the people could be secured, were brushed aside. Much later, when a civil lawsuit was brought against the DNC, the case was once again thrown out for lack of standing, but not before the DNC lawyers had defended their client on the grounds that the DNC didn't have to provide a fair competition, or any competition at all, really, and certainly didn't have to care what the people thought.

The effect of this institutional inertia is not simply that cheaters win the day, or that the people, whose will is being suppressed, lose morale and give up. The complaint itself begins to fade from people's minds. People begin to make excuses for what happened, to justify it, to act as if there never were cheating to begin with. Even many of those who dissent find that, over time, the injustice they remember mellows: no less a person than Jimmy Dore, hardly a weak-minded hack for the establishment, talks now about Gore's "loss" in 2000 as an evil caused by the electoral college. While the electoral college is obviously a tool for elites to control American politics (and never has that been so obvious as over the past two election cycles), such a narrative ignores and erases the police checkpoints that were set up in 2000 near predominantly African American polling places in Leon county, Florida. It ignores the Republican Speaker of the House, Tom DeLay, sending Republican staffers to Dade County to break up Miami's vote count by marching into the Supervisor of Elections office and screaming at the top of their lungs so that no accurate count could take place. It ignores and erases the digital Jim Crow that purged the voter lists of African American Democrats by claiming, falsely, that they were felons. It ignores the fact that emails between the State of Florida and the company that created the Jim Crow software revealed that the company had warned that their software would draw too many false positives, and that the State of Florida had replied "That's just what we want."

Similarly, the DNC's perfidy in 2016 has been reduced to the following: 1) that they had pre-selected their candidate, and didn't provide a real or fair competition, 2) that they gave debate questions ahead of time to Hillary Clinton, 3)that they used the electoral college, most particularly superdelegates, to overwhelm the Sanders movement, and that 4) the party primaries were often closed, not allowing independents the right to vote. Left out, or forgotten, are the multiple polling places closed in states from Arizona to New York (in New York, sometimes even the open polling places had no staff or broken machines), the media calling California for Clinton before the votes were counted, the 136,000 voters purged off Brooklyn's voter rolls (no doubt because Bernie Sanders was born and grew up in Brooklyn and that might have given him an advantage there), and the much larger multi-state purge of the Democratic party through changing people's voter registration without their knowledge and consent.

I'm not bringing this up to attack Jimmy Dore, who is one of the most reliable truth-tellers in the media today, but rather to point out what people's minds do under the stress of watching the establishment normalize corruption again and again. If there is no power to challenge institutional corruption, most people, over time, make of the corruption something less unjust and outrageous. Simply smothering objections to injustice with institutional inertia, will, over time, allow the victors to erase the evidence of their crime.

Sore Loserman

Since we believe, with the faith of fanatics, that competition must be honest and fair, it's easy to gaslight the losers (or the apparent losers). The Republicans in 2000 did not need to disprove the fact that George W. Bush had committed fraud and contravened the will of the people when he climbed up a staircase of disenfranchised Black faces to become President. All the Republicans needed to do was issue tens of thousands of bumper stickers that replaced the words "Gore/Lieberman" with "Sore Loserman." The RNC was using the same argument that was bruited about in the 1980s about poverty and employment. Unemployed poor people had lost the economic competition. Therefore, there must be something wrong with them. Maybe they weren't educated enough, smart enough, clean enough, hard-working enough; maybe they were people of bad character. Bloomberg's racial profiling worked much the same way. Black people are losers in the judicial game because they commit more crimes. That's why we put more police in their neighborhoods, because there are more criminals among young Black men than anywhere else. Corruption can't bring down a meritorious man. If you're good, you'll win. If you complain about cheating or any other form of injustice, you must be a Sore Loserman, attempting to cover up your own inadequacies by whining.

It's pretty obvious that this way of thinking makes it literally impossible to stop even the most outrageous injustice, as long as the perpetrators of that injustice have enough power to spread their "Sore Loser" messaging far and wide. So if I commit identity theft today and access one of your bank accounts, I can be brought to account. But if Wall St cheats homeowners, there was probably something wrong with the homeowners, or with the government for suggesting that those homeowners should get loans. If George W. Bush cheats in an election, there was probably something wrong with the other candidate, or with the voters.

People tend to get upset when I bring this up, because they think that talking about the corruption of the system will demoralize voters, making such discussions their own form of voter suppression. But I bring this up because the worst damage that can come out of Bernie Sanders losing contests in a highly compromised electoral process is that the idea of meritocracy be preserved. There are valid reasons for voting even in a corrupted system (of the "make 'em sweat" variety). There are valid reasons for not voting in a corrupted system. But whatever a citizen chooses to do on Election Day, the idea of meritocracy must die.

Despite all the truly horrendous policies, from both the Democrats and the Republicans, that have laid our society, our people, and the world to waste, the most poisonous effect of the tyranny we live under is its fraudulence: its pretense of being a fair, accurate, and reasonable expression of the will of the people. Even the Democrats' attacks on Trump, who is supposed to be a Manchurian candidate placed in office by Russian intelligence operatives and an existential threat to our democracy, have, in the past two years, increasingly focused on the people who support Trump. It's the voters fault for supporting the bad man. So even when we are supposedly in a situation of foreign powers changing the outcome of a presidential election, it's still the people's fault. Why? Well, there was a competition, and somebody won, so the person who won must be there by the will of the people. It has to be the people's fault.

Corruption among the powerful isn't a thing.

System-wide corruption in all the various infrastructures of our country, especially the political ones, isn't a thing.

Or, if it is, you just didn't do enough lifting at the political gym to be able to fend it off.

[Mar 03, 2020] Why is Tulsi Gabbard Still In The Race by Pam Ho

Notable quotes:
"... Biden and Warren are both enthusiastic supporters of neocon foreign policy which is in line with their phony support for the working class. What happened to Warren's glittering M4A plan? It turned back into a pumpkin didn't it? It was all smoke and mirrors. No surprise if you know her history. ..."
"... Imperial Borg Assimilation ..."
"... The Foreign Policy Establishment ..."
"... Warren is an establishment social climber. She took off the mask and her true colors shone through when she viciously attacked Bernie Sanders as a misogynist. Yet still many people surrounding the Sander's campaign support Warren. Why is that? Big money on the left supports her, that's why. That big money also pays a lot of salaries in the liberal political job market. Have you heard of the The Democracy Alliance ? ..."
"... Why do so many liberals or even progressives dislike Tulsi and are so eager to see her gone? Propaganda from the media. The media for a year has relentlessly promoted Red Baiting towards Tulsi because Tulsi challenges the "Washington Consensus" (unfettered elite rule over America and the world with an iron fist). ..."
"... Everyone in the pro-Israel lobby (myself included) is already talking about how to make sure that Tulsi Gabbard's campaign is over before it even gets off the ground -- If you're going to bet on a Dem candidate, look elsewhere. ..."
"... There are many reasons behind that. The main reason though is Tulsi trying to stop war. The Neocons and Saudis have been pushing American politicians, celebrities, media owners, think tanks, foundations and so on for years -- to destroy Syria. Supposedly because Syria is close allies with Iran. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | medium.com

As I was checking the news earlier today I noticed that the coronavirus had killed another top government official in Iran, bringing the total to 3. Or at least the 3 they have released info on. There's a chance it's worse among the Iranian leadership but they don't want to cause a panic. I checked the Twitterverse after that for my daily dose of madness and surprisingly kept seeing people ask rhetorically:

Why is Tulsi Gabbard still in the primary race?

Turns out that Amy "She Hulk" Klobuchar had dropped out of the primary race apparently to suck up to Joe Biden for a VP slot. And so had Pete "Honestly I'm Not Annoying" Buttigigieididisjjd. This of course should surprise no one since the threat of Bernie Sanders to the financial criminal syndicates greasing the palms of practically all politicians and media to do their bidding have seen the writing on the wall. They realize they need candidates to drop out in order to coalesce centrist votes around one or two to stop what they perceive to be a huge problem for them in Bernie Sanders.

... ... ...

Biden and Warren are both enthusiastic supporters of neocon foreign policy which is in line with their phony support for the working class. What happened to Warren's glittering M4A plan? It turned back into a pumpkin didn't it? It was all smoke and mirrors. No surprise if you know her history. Did you see her on Pod Save America regaling us with how much she believes in crippling countries by sanctions if they dare to resist the racist Imperial Borg Assimilation Machine aka The Foreign Policy Establishment ? That doesn't sound woke to me Miss Thang .

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FC79AV_22NPg%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DC79AV_22NPg&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FC79AV_22NPg%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=a19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

Warren is an establishment social climber. She took off the mask and her true colors shone through when she viciously attacked Bernie Sanders as a misogynist. Yet still many people surrounding the Sander's campaign support Warren. Why is that? Big money on the left supports her, that's why. That big money also pays a lot of salaries in the liberal political job market. Have you heard of the The Democracy Alliance ?

The Democracy Alliance is a semi-anonymous donor network funded primarily by none other than Democratic mega-donor George Soros. Since its inception in 2005, it is estimated the Alliance has injected over $500 million to Democratic causes. While it isn't typical that they would endorse a candidate outright, they focus more on formulating a catalog of organizations and PACs that they recommend the network of about 100 or so millionaires and billionaires invest in. Democracy Alliance almost literally have their hands in every major left-leaning institution you have (and haven't) heard of -- John Podesta and Neera Tanden's Center for American Progress, David Brock's Media Matters, Center for Popular Democracy, Demos (we'll come back to this one), and the Working Families Party. All of these organizations are listed on the Alliance's website as recommended investments for it's members; and invest they do. Here's the rub: Democracy Alliance's membership isn't made entirely public -- but we know enough that alot of the people that have sat in the highest levels of that organization have an affinity for Elizabeth Warren.


... ... ...

Why do so many liberals or even progressives dislike Tulsi and are so eager to see her gone? Propaganda from the media. The media for a year has relentlessly promoted Red Baiting towards Tulsi because Tulsi challenges the "Washington Consensus" (unfettered elite rule over America and the world with an iron fist).

That is why we got this from Jacob Wohl after Tulsi declared her candidacy last year:

Everyone in the pro-Israel lobby (myself included) is already talking about how to make sure that Tulsi Gabbard's campaign is over before it even gets off the ground -- If you're going to bet on a Dem candidate, look elsewhere.

There are many reasons behind that. The main reason though is Tulsi trying to stop war. The Neocons and Saudis have been pushing American politicians, celebrities, media owners, think tanks, foundations and so on for years -- to destroy Syria. Supposedly because Syria is close allies with Iran.

But they are not the only ones who want Syria destroyed. Other reasons may have to do with massive profits at stake. A natural gas survey team from Norway some years ago discovered that Syria has the largest untapped deposits of natural gas in the world . After that secret discovery became known by various powerful people plans were drawn up to split up the profits after the destruction of the Syrian government. But after Syria asked Russia for help that changed their plans.

Tulsi meanwhile kept going on CNN to tell the American people that our government was waging a secret war in Syria by giving advanced weapons to Al-Qaeda in order to help them topple the government. America, Israel , and the Saudis weren't the only ones with a plan for Syria. Turkey and Qatar had their own plans. The UK and other leading EU nations had a plan as well . And the only politician in any of those countries telling the public the truth of what was going on -- was Tulsi.

... ... ...

She is not having our country become a plaything for rich a-holes who use the lives and limbs of service members for their greedy scams. Because of that the idle rich sociopaths ruling America with their political and media henchmen went after Tulsi with a full barrage of lies , media blackouts, and massive amounts of propaganda -- all to stop her message from getting out so they can create a false image of her in people's minds. Everything and anything they can throw at her, they do.

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FOBArkIbMybU%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DOBArkIbMybU&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FOBArkIbMybU%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=a19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

There are two politicians whom they fear. Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard. Which is why Bernie Sanders has unsurprisingly been trying to stay out of the foreign policy debate, or he even goes along with the establishment for the most part. He saw what they unleashed against Tulsi. He knows from long experience that propaganda works on a lot of people. The financial elites are not naive though, they probably believe he is going along with their ridiculous foreign policy as a political strategy -- until he gains more power. They fear that if he gains that power he will, like Tulsi, not go along with their imperial stormtrooper agenda.

[Mar 03, 2020] The Democratic Party oligarchy are the world champions at every sort of electoral malfeasance

Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Mar 3 2020 18:04 utc | 25

The thing to watch today will be the vote stealing by the Democrat oligarchy. They are the world champions at every sort of electoral malfeasance. Remember in 2016 how Bernie almost won New York until Brooklyn, his hometown, was counted and more than 20,000 voters disappeared? Then there was California where millions of votes went uncounted and Hillary was called the winner.


The Democrats are not really a political party in the sense that europeans understand the term, more like an agglomeration of electoral machines, controlled by politicians owned by vested interests, making up the rules as they go along.

With both Biden and Warren desperate for anything that can be portrayed as momentum expect the unexpected: repeats of the sort of nonsense we saw in Iowa and local precincts in which 110% of the electorate give unanimous support to the candidate most likely to take away their social security and wave 'bye-bye' as they die untreated of diseases. Or malnutrition.
A
nd the cherry on top of the electoral sundae in today's primaries will be the near unanimity with which the most glaring irregularities are ignored by the media, and anyone suggesting that 2+2= anything as predictable as 4 will be called a conspiracy theorist, working for Putin and the KGB.

[Mar 03, 2020] Let s Talk About Your Alleged #Resistance by Joe Giambrone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Clinton also lied to the country about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq and voted for that obviously illegal war. This after 8 years of her husband's genocidal sanctions killed a minimum of 500,000 innocent Iraqi children . ..."
"... What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous. Yet, he persisted and to this day attempts to help common Americans as much as he can. He does what he believes to be the right thing. His integrity and his record of fighting for working Americans are not the points of contention in this race. ..."
"... Today, however, Senator Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat who beats Trump in poll after poll . The only one. This is no small matter. Trump needs to be beaten in the tangled Electoral College, where a simple numerical victory isn't enough. ..."
"... Bernie is the best choice, but it is interesting that you brought up the genocidal sanctions on Iraq. Bernie supported those sanctions. He also supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 which reaffirmed US support for the sanctions even after 500,000 children had been killed. ..."
"... Well, the BBC is bigging up Joe Biden right now, yet another of its ridiculous pieces of propaganda utterly devoid of its duty to serve its license payors, who are the British people, not the neoconservative banking elite. ..."
"... How interesting, it's Obama who gave the "cue" for Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Beto, Rice, and the entire slippery gang to circle the wagons in support of the most reactionary warmongering candidate running. The same Obama who released drones every Tuesday morning killing brown and blacks throughout the Middle East and Africa– the majority of slaughtered were innocent women and children. ..."
"... The desperation of the national security state is reflected by The DNC's Shenanigans. The security state would rather promote a crooked, warmongering, lying, racist who barely can put together two logical thoughts then accept a candidate who represents a hopeful future for the next generation. ..."
"... The DNC's message is very clear– they're a "private party" and the working-class are NOT invited. ..."
"... But this by far is the most frightening thought, Biden, does not have all his marbles–it's obvious–we can only guess it's some type of dementia. So if Biden, slides through deploying a multitude of underhanded machinations and becomes the nominee, Trump, will make mincemeat of him during the debates. ..."
"... I'm not in the Orange Baboon's Fan Club, but I find it sad and a little bit pathetic the way people still invest their hopes and put their faith in figures like Bernie, Tulsi or Jezza. Bernie got shafted in 2016 and just saluted smartly and fell into line behind Crooked Hillary. When she lost, he started singing from the approved hymn sheet. The evil Putin stole the election for Kremlin Agent Trump. He has been parroting the same nonsense for the past 4 years. ..."
"... Jeez people get a clue. How many times do you need to fall for the "this candidate is so much better and will solve everything" ruse? Remember Obama? The exact same bullshit was going around back then. ..."
"... We have hope😁 . We have change😁 . We have hope and change you can believe in😁 . Well, yeah, we all know what happened during Obombers 8 years. The entire thing is nothing but Kabuki theatre. For all those still believing the United States is a democracy. ..."
"... 'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. Rather, they must be instilled in the public mind by more subtle means. A totalitarian state can be satisfied with lesser degrees of allegiance to required truths. It is sufficient that people obey; what they think is a secondary concern. But in a democratic political order, there is always the danger that independent thought might be translated into political action, so it is important to eliminate the threat at its root. ..."
"... Debate cannot be stilled, and indeed, in a properly functioning system of propaganda, it should not be, because it has a system-reinforcing character if constrained within proper bounds. What is essential is to set the bounds firmly. Controversy may rage as long as it adheres to the presuppositions that define the consensus of elites, and it should furthermore be encouraged within these bounds, thus helping to establish these doctrines as the very condition of thinkable thought while reinforcing the belief that freedom reigns ..."
"... Every opportunity to push back Neo liberalism should be taken. ..."
"... Once again, Mark Twain sums up my feeling: "If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it." ..."
"... Where's yours? That's impertinent. Our voting process was programmed, close to 100% by two guys, at one point not many years ago, with the same last name, the brothers Urosevich. The machine owners claim that, as it is their proprietary software, the public is excluded from the vote-counting. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Editor Joe Giambrone

In 2016, Hillary Clinton deserved to lose, and she did. Her deception, her cheating in the primary elections , was well-documented, despicable, dishonest, untrustworthy. Her money-laundering scheme at DNC should have been prosecuted under campaign finance laws.

Her record of warmongering and gleefully gloating over death and destruction was also well established. On national TV she bragged about the mutilation of Moammar Qaddafi: "We came, we saw, he died!"

Clinton also lied to the country about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq and voted for that obviously illegal war. This after 8 years of her husband's genocidal sanctions killed a minimum of 500,000 innocent Iraqi children .

This person was undeserving of anyone's support.

What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous. Yet, he persisted and to this day attempts to help common Americans as much as he can. He does what he believes to be the right thing. His integrity and his record of fighting for working Americans are not the points of contention in this race.

His opponents have instead opted for every nonsensical conspiracy theory and McCarthyite smear they can concoct, including the most ridiculous of all: the Putin theory , without a single shred of evidence to support it.

Today, however, Senator Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat who beats Trump in poll after poll . The only one. This is no small matter. Trump needs to be beaten in the tangled Electoral College, where a simple numerical victory isn't enough.

Bernie wins, and he has the best overall shot of changing the course of history, steering America away from plutocracy and fascism.

That crucial race is happening right now in the primaries . If Bernie Sanders doesn't secure 50% of all delegates, then DNC insiders have already signaled that they will steal the nomination and give it to someone else -- who will lose to Trump. The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday.

It's either Trump or Bernie. That's your choice. Your only choice.

Where is your so-called "#Resistance" now?


Ben Barbour ,

Bernie is the best choice, but it is interesting that you brought up the genocidal sanctions on Iraq. Bernie supported those sanctions. He also supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 which reaffirmed US support for the sanctions even after 500,000 children had been killed.

Bernie also voted for Clinton's 1999 bombing campaign on Kosovo.

All that said, yes, Bernie is the best option.

Rhys Jaggar ,

Well, the BBC is bigging up Joe Biden right now, yet another of its ridiculous pieces of propaganda utterly devoid of its duty to serve its license payors, who are the British people, not the neoconservative banking elite.

When they spout bullshit that 20% of UK workers could miss work 'due to coronavirus', when we have had precisely 36 deaths in a population of 65 million plus, you know that like climate change, they spout the 1% probability as the mainstream narrative .

It just shows what folks are up against when media is so cravenly serving those who do not pay them.

Charlotte Russe ,

"If Bernie Sanders doesn't secure 50% of all delegates, then DNC insiders have already signaled that they will steal the nomination and give it to someone else -- who will lose to Trump. The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday."

While Bernie spent more than three decades advocating for economic social justice Biden spent those same three decades promoting social repression."

"The 1990s saw Biden take aim at civil liberties, authoring anti-terror bills that, among other things, "gutted the federal writ of habeas corpus," as one legal scholar later reflected. It was this earlier legislation that led Biden to brag to anyone listening that he was effectively the author of the Bush-era PATRIOT ACT, which, in his view, didn't go far enough. He inserted a provision into the bill that allowed for the militarization of local law enforcement and again suggested deploying the military within US borders."

How interesting, it's Obama who gave the "cue" for Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Beto, Rice, and the entire slippery gang to circle the wagons in support of the most reactionary warmongering candidate running. The same Obama who released drones every Tuesday morning killing brown and blacks throughout the Middle East and Africa– the majority of slaughtered were innocent women and children.

The desperation of the national security state is reflected by The DNC's Shenanigans. The security state would rather promote a crooked, warmongering, lying, racist who barely can put together two logical thoughts then accept a candidate who represents a hopeful future for the next generation.

The DNC's message is very clear– they're a "private party" and the working-class are NOT invited. In fact, they're saying more than that–if uninvited workers and the marginalized dare to enter they'll be tossed out on their arse

In plain sight the mainstream media news is telling millions that NO one can stop the military/security/surveillance/corporate state from their stranglehold over the corrupt political duopoly.

I say fight and don't give-up! Be prepared–organize a million people march and head to Milwaukee– the future of the next generation is on the line.

But this by far is the most frightening thought, Biden, does not have all his marbles–it's obvious–we can only guess it's some type of dementia. So if Biden, slides through deploying a multitude of underhanded machinations and becomes the nominee, Trump, will make mincemeat of him during the debates.

But if Biden, makes it to the Oval Office he'll be "less" than a figurehead. Biden, will be as mentally acute as the early bird diner in a Florida assisted living facility after a recent stroke. The national security state will seize control– handing the "taxidermied Biden" a pen to idiotically sign off on their highly insidious agenda ..

Ken Kenn ,

Pretty straightforward for me ( I don't know about Bernie? ) but if the Super delegates and the DNC hierarchy decide to hand the nomination over to Biden then Bernie should stand as an independent. At least even in defeat a left marker would be placed on the US political table away from the Corporate owners and the shills that hack for them in the media and elsewhere. At least ordinary US people would know that someone is on their side.

Corbyn in the UK was described as a ' Marxist' by the Tories and the unquestioning media. Despite all that ' Marxist ' Labour got 33% of the vote. People will vote for a ' socialist '

Charlotte Ruse ,

Unfortunately, Bernie won't abandon the Democratic Party. However, there's a ton of Bernie supporters who will vote Third Party if Bernie doesn't get the nomination.

paul ,

I'm not in the Orange Baboon's Fan Club, but I find it sad and a little bit pathetic the way people still invest their hopes and put their faith in figures like Bernie, Tulsi or Jezza. Bernie got shafted in 2016 and just saluted smartly and fell into line behind Crooked Hillary. When she lost, he started singing from the approved hymn sheet. The evil Putin stole the election for Kremlin Agent Trump. He has been parroting the same nonsense for the past 4 years.

That's when he hasn't been shilling for regime change wars in Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and elsewhere against "communist dictators."

Bernie will get shafted again shortly and fall into line behind Epstein's and Weinstein's best mate Bloomberg or Creepy Joe, or Pocahontas, or whoever.

If by some miracle they can't quite rig it this time and Bernie gets the nomination, the DNC will just fail to support him, and allow Trump to win. They would rather see Trump than Bernie in the White House.

Just like Starmer, Thornberry, Phillips and all the Blairite Backstabber Friends of Israel were more terrified of seeing Jezza in Number Ten than any Tory.
Dr. Johnson said that getting remarried represented the triumph of hope over experience.

The same applies to people expecting any positive change from people like Bernie, Tulsi, or Jezza.

The system just doesn't allow it.

pete ,

Jeez people get a clue. How many times do you need to fall for the "this candidate is so much better and will solve everything" ruse? Remember Obama? The exact same bullshit was going around back then.

Gezzah Potts ,

We have hope😁 . We have change😁 . We have hope and change you can believe in😁 . Well, yeah, we all know what happened during Obombers 8 years. The entire thing is nothing but Kabuki theatre. For all those still believing the United States is a democracy.

clickkid ,

"The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday." Sorry Joe, but where have you been for the last 50 years" Elections are irrelevant. Events change the world – not elections. The only important aspect of an election is the turnout. If you vote in an election, then at some level you still believe in the system.

Willem ,

Sometimes Chomsky can be useful

'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. Rather, they must be instilled in the public mind by more subtle means. A totalitarian state can be satisfied with lesser degrees of allegiance to required truths. It is sufficient that people obey; what they think is a secondary concern. But in a democratic political order, there is always the danger that independent thought might be translated into political action, so it is important to eliminate the threat at its root.

Debate cannot be stilled, and indeed, in a properly functioning system of propaganda, it should not be, because it has a system-reinforcing character if constrained within proper bounds. What is essential is to set the bounds firmly. Controversy may rage as long as it adheres to the presuppositions that define the consensus of elites, and it should furthermore be encouraged within these bounds, thus helping to establish these doctrines as the very condition of thinkable thought while reinforcing the belief that freedom reigns.'

If true, the question is, what are we not allowed to say? Or is Chomsky wrong, and are we allowed to say anything we like since TPTB know that words cannot, ever, change political action as for that you need power and brutal force, which we do not have and which, btw Chomsky advocates to its readers not to try to use against the nation state?

So maybe Chomsky is not so useful after all, or only useful for the status quo.

Chomsky's latest book, sold in book stores and at airports, where, apparantly, opinions of dissident writers whose opinions go beyond the bounds of the consensus of elites, are sold in large amounts to marginalize those opinions out of society, is called 'Optimism over despair', a title stolen from Gramsci who said: 'pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.'

But every time I follow Chomsky's reasoning, I end in dead end roads of which it is quite hard to find your way out. So perhaps I should change that title into 'nihilism over despair'. If you follow Chomsky's reasoning

clickkid ,

Your Chomsky Quote: "'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. .. " Tell that to the Yellow Vests.

ajbsm ,

Despite the deep state stranglehold .on the whole world there seems to be a 'wind' blowing (ref Lenin) of more and more people turning backs on the secret service candidates – not just in America. Power, money and bullying will carry on succeeding eventually the edifice is blown away – this will probably happen, it will be ugly and what emerges might not even be better(!) But the current controllers seem to have a sell by date.

Ken Kenn ,

I'm not convinced of the theory that the more poor/whipped/ spat upon people become the more likely they are to revolt. A revolution can only come about when the Bourgeoisie can no longer continue to govern in the old way. In other words it becomes more than a want – more of a necessity of change to the ordinary person.

We have to remember that in general ( it's a bit of a guess but just to illustrate a point ) that a small majority of people in any western nation are reasonably content – to an extent. They are not going to rock the boat that Kennedy tried to make the tide rise for or that Thatcher and her mates copied with home owner ship and the right to get into serious debt. This depends on whether you had/have a boat in the first place. If not you've always been drowning in the slowly rising tide.

Sanders as I've said before is not Castro. He has many faults but in a highly parameterised p Neo liberal economic loving political and media world he is the best hope. Not great stuff on offer but a significant move away from the 1% and the 3% who work for them ( including Presidents and Prime Misister ) so even that slight shift is plus for the most powerful country on planet earth.

I have in the past worked alongside various religious groups as an atheist as long as they were on the right( or should that be left?) side on an issue.

Now is not the time for the American left to play the Prolier than though card.

Every opportunity to push back Neo liberalism should be taken.

wardropper ,

I'm not convinced of the theory that the more poor/whipped/ spat upon people become the more likely they are to revolt. But didn't the Storming of the Bastille happen for that very reason? I think people are waiting for just one spark to ignite their simmering fury – just one more straw to break the patient camel's back. Understandably, the "elite" (which used to mean exalted above the general level) are in some trepidation about this, but, like all bullies their addiction to the rush of power goes all the way to the bitter end – the bitter end being the point at which their target stands up and gives them a black eye. It's almost comical how the bully then becomes the wailing victim himself, and we have all seen often enough the successfully-resisted dictatorial figure of authority resorting to the claim that he is now being bullied himself. But this is a situation of his own making, and our sympathy for him is limited by our memory of that fact.

Ken Kenn ,

Where's the simmering fury in the West. U.S. turnout is pathetically low. Even in the UK the turnout in the most important election since the First World War was 67%. I see the result of the " simmering fury " giving rise to the right not the left. Just that one phrase or paragraph of provocative words will spark the revolution?

... ... ...

wardropper ,

My point, which I thought I made clearly enough, was that the fury is simmering , and waiting for a catalyst. I also think an important reason for turnout being low is simply that people don't respond well to being treated like idiots by an utterly corrupt establishment. They just don't want to participate in the farce.

Once again, Mark Twain sums up my feeling: "If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it."

I'm not trying to be argumentative, and, like you, I am quite happy to back Sanders as by far the best of a pretty rotten bunch. Perhaps China is indeed leading in many respects right now, but becoming Chinese doesn't seem like a real option for most of us at the moment . . . Incidentally I have been to China and I found the people there as interesting as people anywhere else, although I particularly enjoyed the many things which are completely different from our western cultural roots.

Rhisiart Gwilym ,

Speaking of the Clintons' death toll, didn't Sanders too back all USAmerica's mass-murdering, armed-robbery aggressions against helpless small countries in recent times? And anyway, why are we wasting time discussing the minutiae of the shadow-boxing in this ridiculous circus of a pretend-democratic 'election'? Watching a coffin warp would be a more useful occupation.

I go with Dmitry Orlov's reckoning of the matter: It doesn't matter who becomes president of the US, since the rule of the deep state continues unbroken, enacting its own policies, which ignore the wishes of the common citizens, and only follow the requirements of the mostly hyper-rich gics (gangsters-in-charge) in the controlling positions of this spavined, failing empire. (My paraphrase of Dmitry.)

USPresidents do what their deep-state handlers want; or they get impeached, or assassinated like the Kennedy brothers. And they all know this. Bill Hick's famous joke about men in a smoke-filled room showing the newly-'elected' POTUS that piece of film of Kennedy driving by the grassy knoll in Dealy Plaza, Dallas, is almost literally true. All POTUSes understand that perfectly well before they even take office.

Voting for the policies you prefer, in a genuinely democratic republic, and actually getting them realised, will only happen for USAmericans when they've risen up and taken genuine popular control of their state-machine; at last!

Meanwhile, of what interest is this ridiculous charade to us in Britain (on another continent entirely; we never see this degree of attention given to Russian politics, though it has a much greater bearing on our future)? Our business here is to get Britain out of it's current shameful status, as one of the most grovelling of all the Anglozionist empire's provinces. We have a traitorous-comprador class of our own to turn out of power. Waste no time on the continuous three-ring distraction-circus in the US – where we in Britain don't even have a vote.

wardropper ,

The upvotes here would seem to show what thinking people appreciate most. Seeing through the advertising bezazz, the cheerleaders and the ownership of the media is obviously a top priority, and I suspect a large percentage of people who don't even know about the OffG would agree.

John Ervin ,

Where's yours? That's impertinent. Our voting process was programmed, close to 100% by two guys, at one point not many years ago, with the same last name, the brothers Urosevich. The machine owners claim that, as it is their proprietary software, the public is excluded from the vote-counting. And that much still holds true. Game. Set. Match. Any questions?

Antonym ,

What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous.

US deep state ate him for breakfast in 2016: they would love him to become string puppet POTUS in 2020. Trump is more difficult to control so they hate him.

John Ervin ,

Just one more Conspiracy Realist, eh! When will we ever learn? "The deep state ate him for breakfast in 2016 ." That gives some sense of the ease with which they pull strings, nicely put. One variation on the theme of your metaphor: "They savored him as one might consume a cocktail olive at an exclusive or entitled soirée."

It is painfully clear by any real connection of dots that he is simply one of their stalking horses for other game. And that Homeland game (still) doesn't know whether a horse has four, or six, legs.

*****

"Puppet Masters, or master puppets?"

Antonym ,

It is painfully clear that US Deep state hates Trump simply by looking at the Russiagate they cooked him up.

Fair dinkum ,

The US voters have surrounded themselves with a sewer, now they have to swim in it.

[Mar 03, 2020] Bernie Saunders will be ousted by the powers that don't want him to be successful in the bordello that is the Washington politik

Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Beibdnn , Mar 3 2020 15:50 utc | 8

Sadly I reckon Bernie Saunders will be ousted by the powers that don't want him to be successful in the bordello that is the Washington politik.
I find it amusing he's labeled as a Socialist. He's a champagne socialist at best.
I fall about laughing when he claims he's going to tell Putin anything at all.
Should the miracle of U.S. democracy pass and he's elected POTUS, meeting Vladimir Vladimirovich will be a rather large culture shock methinks.
Thanks for the laughs, those passed and if elected, those to come, Bernie.

Piotr Berman , Mar 3 2020 15:55 utc | 9

Very smart establishment tactic. A combo of long predicted Biden win in South Carolina with resignation of Klob and Butti and endorsement may give Biden plurality in some states. Strategy of picking a senile champion with "stellar" Obama credentials and a mine of paydirt for Republican to excavate is dubious. But the youngsters, starting from Beto and ending with Klob/Butti pair of mixed twins proved to be so-so campaigners at their best. BTW, Steyer dropped after spending 200 M+ with nary a comment. The same may happen to Little Mike. Direct reign of billionaires in USA seems to be a failing experiment (assuming that Little Mike is correct when he says that Donald "I will not show tax return to anyone" Trump is a fake billionaire), or a work still in progress.
peter , Mar 3 2020 16:09 utc | 11
What is there to comment on? The majority right in the DNC will be pushing Biden, the left of right under Sanders will be cheated out of the nomination and Trump will rule another 4 years.
That there is a "left" in the Democrat Party is an illusion, what counts for the left there would be the equivalent of the CDU in Germany under Merkel.

[Mar 03, 2020] Hillary Clinton regarding the primaries: "Let's follow the rules"

Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Mar 3 2020 15:06 utc | 2

Quote of the Day
or
Quote of the Millennia?

Hillary Clinton regarding the primaries:

"Let's follow the rules"

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/485646-hillary-clinton-responds-to-sanders-on-delegates-lets-follow-the-rules


Trailer Trash , Mar 3 2020 15:49 utc | 6

Is there any other nation state that has 50 separate official elections, mostly run and paid for by the public, just so a private club masquerading as a political party can select its leader? To the rest of the world, this must look completely insane, but few people anywhere even seem to notice how ridiculous it all looks.
Nathan Mulcahy , Mar 3 2020 22:54 utc | 62
Stop calling it USA. It is USO (United States of Oligarchs).

[Mar 03, 2020] The mainstream corporate Democrats may well get their way, but what happens to the party afterwards is the question.

Mar 03, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Jane , 01 March 2020 at 09:38 PM

It's about the numbers and superdelegates. The "reforms" in the DNC system following 2016 include a new rule that superdelegates, all 93 of them, cannot take part in the first round of voting. If there is no outright plurality, these 93 delegates, all of whom have stated no intention to give their votes to Bernie, will rule the day. The only candidate that might help Bernie is Warren if/if the math shows that whatever number of delegates she gets would give Bernie his plurality in the first round. Those superdelegates tell us a lot about our two-party system.

At least one wealthy delegate is a major donor to Republican candidates.

They largely represent the same corporate interests that ensure that neither party does anything dramatic to harm Wall Street or big industries. A look at the actual voting records of Democratic senators and house members reveals a lot that public posturing does not.

Democratic leaders have said that they would rather lose the election to Trump than to have the party taken over by progressives. The mainstream corporate Democrats may well get their way, but what happens to the party afterwards is the question.

[Mar 03, 2020] Whacking Rich is a reminder to Sanders what the party establishmen is capable of

Highly recommended!
Mar 03, 2020 | www.unz.com

An alternative view that has been circulating for several years suggests that it was not a hack at all, that it was a deliberate whistleblower-style leak of information carried out by an as yet unknown party, possibly Rich, that may have been provided to WikiLeaks for possible political reasons, i.e. to express disgust with the DNC manipulation of the nominating process to damage Bernie Sanders and favor Hillary Clinton.

There are, of course, still other equally non-mainstream explanations for how the bundle of information got from point A to point B, including that the intrusion into the DNC server was carried out by the CIA which then made it look like it had been the Russians as perpetrators. And then there is the hybrid point of view, which is essentially that the Russians or a surrogate did indeed intrude into the DNC computers but it was all part of normal intelligence agency probing and did not lead to anything. Meanwhile and independently, someone else who had access to the server was downloading the information, which in some fashion made its way from there to WikiLeaks.

Both the hack vs. leak viewpoints have marshaled considerable technical analysis in the media to bolster their arguments, but the analysis suffers from the decidedly strange fact that the FBI never even examined the DNC servers that may have been involved. The hack school of thought has stressed that Russia had both the ability and motive to interfere in the election by exposing the stolen material while the leakers have recently asserted that the sheer volume of material downloaded indicates that something like a higher speed thumb drive was used, meaning that it had to be done by someone with actual physical direct access to the DNC system. Someone like Seth Rich.

... ... ...

Given all of that back story, it would be odd to find Trump making an offer that focuses only on one issue and does not actually refute the broader claims of Russian interference, which are based on a number of pieces of admittedly often dubious evidence, not just the Clinton and Podesta emails.

Which brings the tale back to Seth Rich. If Rich was indeed responsible for the theft of the information and was possibly killed for his treachery, it most materially impacts on the Democratic Party as it reminds everyone of what the Clintons and their allies are capable of.

It will also serve as a warning of what might be coming at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee in July as the party establishment uses fair means or foul to stop Bernie Sanders. How this will all play out is anyone's guess, but many of those who pause to observe the process will be thinking of Seth Rich.


plantman , says: Show Comment February 29, 2020 at 9:35 pm GMT

Excellent roundup.

I don't ascribe to the idea that the intel agencies kill American citizens without a great deal of thought, but in Rich's case, they probably felt like they had no choice. Think about it: The DNC had already rigged the primary against Bernie, the Podesta emails had already been sent to Wikileaks, and if Rich's cover was blown, then he would publicly identify himself as the culprit (which would undermine the Russiagate narrative) which would split the Democratic party in two leaving Hillary with no chance to win the election.

I can imagine Hillary and her intel connections looking for an alternative to whacking Rich but eventually realizing that there was no other way to deflect responsibility for the emails while paving the way for an election victory.

If Seth Rich went public, then Hillary would certainly lose.

I imagine this is what they were thinking when they decided there was really only one option.

james charles , says: Show Comment February 29, 2020 at 11:14 pm GMT
"I have watched incredulous as the CIA's blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story – blatant because the CIA has made no attempt whatsoever to substantiate it. There is no Russian involvement in the leaks of emails showing Clinton's corruption."
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/

"The FBI Has Been Lying About Seth Rich"
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

niteranger , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 12:08 am GMT
@plantman It's more than Hillary losing. It would have been easy to connect the dots of the entire plot to get Trump. Furthermore, it would have linked Obama and his cohorts in ways that the country might have exploded. This was the beginning of a Coup De'tat that would have shown the American political process is a complete joke.

... ... ...

Carlton Meyer , says: Website Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 1:04 am GMT
To understand why the DNC mobsters and the Deep State hate him, watch this great 2016 interview where Assange calmly explains the massive corruption that patriotic FBI agents refer to as the "Clinton Crime Family." This gang is so powerful that it ordered federal agents to spy on the Trump political campaign, and indicted and imprisoned some participants in an attempt to pressure President Trump to step down. It seems Trump still fears this gang, otherwise he would order his attorney general to drop this bogus charge against Assange, then pardon him forever and invite him to speak at White House press conferences.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_sbT3_9dJY4?feature=oembed

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:18 am GMT
Well, here was my own take on the controversy a couple of years ago, and I really haven't seen anything to change my mind:

Well, DC is still a pretty dangerous city, but how many middle-class whites were randomly murdered there that year while innocently walking the streets? I wouldn't be surprised if Seth Rich was just about the only one.

Julian Assange has strongly implied that Seth Rich was the source of the DNC emails that cost Hillary Clinton the presidency. So if Seth Rich died in a totally random street killing not long afterward, isn't that just the most astonishing coincidence in all of American history?

Consider that the leaks effectively nullified the investment of the $2 billion or so that her donors had provided, and foreclosed the flood of good jobs and appointments to her camp-followers, not to mention the oceans of future graft. Seems to me that's a pretty good motive for murder.

Here's my own plausible speculation from a couple of months ago:

Incidentally, I'd guess that DC is a very easy place to arrange a killing, given that until the heavy gentrification of the last dozen years or so, it was one of America's street-murder capitals. It seems perfectly plausible that some junior DNC staffer was at dinner somewhere, endlessly cursing Seth Rich for having betrayed his party and endangered Hillary's election, when one of his friends said he knew somebody who'd be willing to "take care of the problem" for a thousand bucks

https://www.unz.com/announcement/new-software-releaseopen-thread/#comment-1959442

https://www.unz.com/isteve/was-seth-rich-murdered-by-the-russians-the-democratic-elite-or-the-democratic-base/#comment-2069185

Let's say a couple of hundred thousand middle-class whites lived in DC around then, and Seth Rich was about the only one that year who died in a random street-killing, occurring not long after the leak.

Wouldn't that seem like a pretty unlikely coincidence?

Mustapha Mond , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:45 am GMT
"If Rich was indeed responsible for the theft of the information and was possibly killed for his treachery ."

Heroism is the proper term for what Seth Rich did. He saw the real treachery, against Bernie Sanders and the democratic faithful who expect at least a modicum of integrity from their Party leaders (even if that expectation is utterly fanciful, wishful thinking), and he decided to act. He paid for it with his life. A young, noble life.

In every picture I've seen of him, he looks like a nice guy, a guy who cared. And now he's dead. And the assholes at the DNC simply gave him a small plaque over a bike rack, as I understand it.

Seth Rich: American Hero. A Truth-Teller who paid the ultimate price.

Great reporting, Phil. Another home run.

(And thanks to Ron for chiming in. Couldn't agree more. As a Truth-Teller extraordinaire, please watch your back, Bro. And Phil, too. You both know what these murderous scum are capable of.)

Biff , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:46 am GMT
When the FBI doesn't fully investigate a crime(DNC-emails/9-11/JFK-murder) the only conclusion is " coverup ".
John Chuckman , says: Website Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 7:31 am GMT
I suppose American security services could have been involved.

That would explain the poor police investigation and lack of information and questions answered.

But Hillary and her dirty associates were quite capable of hiring a hit.

That would also explain the lack of information, since DC, unlike any other city, is literally controlled by the Federal government.

This is a very vicious woman despite her clownishly made-up face.

Her words after Gaddafi's murder were chilling.

She is said to have been responsible too for pressuring for the final push to get Waco out of the headlines. 80 folks incinerated.

She also joked about Assange, "can't we just drone him or something?"

And there was the dirty business at Benghazi.

She is indeed a woman capable of anything. A contemporary Borgia.

Daniel Rich , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 9:33 am GMT
Because the {real} killers of JFK, MLK and RFK were never detained and jailed/hanged, why would one expect a lesser known, more ordinary individual's murder [Seth] to be solved?
hobo , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 10:27 am GMT
Seymour Hersh, in a taped phone conversation, claimed to have access to an FBI report on the murder. According to Hersh, the report indicated tha FBI Cyber Unit examined Rich's computer and found he had contacted Wikileaks with the intention of selling the emails.

Seymour Hersh discussing Wikileaks DNC leaks Seth Rich & FBI report ( 7 min)

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZJpQPGeUeQY?feature=oembed

Antiwar7 , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 10:33 am GMT
Another reason Assange may not want to reveal it, if Seth Rich was a source for Wikileaks, could be that Seth Rich didn't act alone, and revealing Seth's involvement would compromise the other(s).

Or it could simply be that Wikileaks has promised to never reveal a source, even after that source's death, as a promise to future potential sources, who may never want their identities revealed, to avoid the thought of embarrassment or repercussions to their associates or families.

Incidentally, they only started really going after Assange after the Vault 7 leaks of the CIA's active bag of software tricks. I think, for Assange's sake, they should instead have held on to that, and made it the payload of a dead man's switch.

Chet Roman , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 11:05 am GMT
I'm not sure how credible the source is but Ellen Ratner, the sister of Assange's former lawyer and a journalist, told Ed Butowsky that Assange told her that it was Seth Rich. She asked Butowsky to contact Rich's parents. She confirms the Assange meeting in an interview, link below. Butowsky does not seem to be a credible source but Ratner does. If it was Seth Rich then I have no doubt that his brother knows the details and the family does not want to lose another son.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_YyuWpjTbg0?feature=oembed

The story has gone nowhere.

Chet Roman , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 11:42 am GMT
"According to Assange's lawyers, Rohrabacher offered a pardon from President Trump if Assange were to provide information that would attribute the theft or hack of the Democratic National Committee emails to someone other than the Russians."

Not to quibble on semantics but Rohrabacher met with Assange to ask if he would be willing to reveal the source of the emails then Rohrabacher would contact Trump and try to make deal for Assange's freedom. Rohrabacher clarified that he never talked to Trump or that he was authorized by Trump to make any offer.

The MSM has been using the "amnesty if you say it was not the Russians" narrative to hint at a coverup by Russian agent Trump. Normal for the biased MSM.

Giraldi's link "Assange did not take the offer" has nothing to do with Rohrabacher's contact. It's just a general piece on Assange acting as a journalist should act.

https://www.rohrabacher.com/news/my-meeting-with-julian-assange

Alfred , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT
@plantman I can imagine Hillary and her intel connections looking for an alternative to whacking Rich

Have you never had to deal with a psychopath? That is not the way they reason.

She would have done it in the "national interest"

DaveE , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 2:21 pm GMT
I'm of the opinion Ron Unz seems to share, that Rich was not a particularly "big hitter" in the DNC hierarchy and that his murder was more likely the result of a very nasty inter-party squabble. I seem to recall a LOT of very nasty talk between the Jewish neocons in the Bush era and the decent, traditional "small-government" style Republicans who greatly resented the neocons' hijacking of the GOP for their demonic zionist agenda.

Common sense would suggest that the zionist types who have (obviously) hijacked the DNC are at least as nasty and ruthless as the neocons who destroyed any decency or fair-play within the GOP. It's not exactly hard to believe that these Murder, Inc. types (also lefties of their era) wouldn't hesitate to whack someone like Rich for merely uttering a criticism of Israel, for example.

Hell, Meyer Lansky ordered the hit-job on Bugsy Seigel for forgetting to bring bagels to a sit-down ! There was a great web-site by a mobster of that era, long since taken down, who described the story in detail. I forget the names .. but I'll see if I can't find a copy of some of the pieces posted at least a decade ago .

It's not exactly hard to imagine some very nasty words being exchanged between the Rahm Emmanuel types and decent Chicago citizens, for example, who genuinely cared for their city and weren't afraid of The Big Jew and his mobster cronies . to their detriment I'm sure.

We're talking about organized crime, here, folks. The zionists make the so-called (mostly fictitious) Sicilian Mafia look like newborn puppies. They wouldn't hesitate to whack a guy like Rich for taking their favorite space in the bicycle rack.

Rev. Spooner , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:27 pm GMT
@John Chuckman A long time ago I read in the London Guardian ( before it's reputation was in tatters) that the witch kept a list of all who pissed her off and updated it every night.
A quick search and here it is https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jan/14/hillary-clinton-hitlist-spreadsheet-grudge
Altai , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:33 pm GMT
My only trouble with the Seth Rich thing is, it seems a bit extreme, they seem quite callous in murdering foreigners but US citizens in the US who are their staffers? If they really were prepared to go out and kill in this way, they're be a lot more suspicious deaths.

What makes the case most compelling is the very quick investigation by police that looks like they were told by somebody concerned about how the whole thing looked to close up the case nice and quickly. That and the fact that he was shot in the back, which doesn't make sense for an attempted robbery turned murder.

However, it may also be that as in so many cities in the US, murder clearance rates for street shootings (Little forensic evidence, can only go by witness accounts or through poor alibis from usual suspects and their associates. In this case there is also no connection between Rich and any possible shooter with no witnesses.) are just so very low that DC police don't bother and Seth Rich's death just happened to be one such case that attracted some scrutiny.

But then maybe for the reasons above a place like DC is perfect to just murder somebody on the street and that's why they were so brazen about it.

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:47 pm GMT
@Altai

Seth Rich's death just happened to be one such case that attracted some scrutiny.

Well, upthread someone posted a recording of a Seymour Hersh phone call that confirmed Seth Rich was the fellow who leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks, thereby possibly swinging the presidential election to Trump and overcoming $2 billion of Democratic campaign advertising.

Shortly afterwards, he probably became about the only middle-class white in DC who died in a "random street killing" that year. If you doubt this, see if you can find any other such cases that year.

I think it is *extraordinarily* unlikely that these two elements are unconnected and merely happened together by chance.

[Mar 02, 2020] Last Ditch Effort to Stop Sanders

Mar 02, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Rick Wilson has a plan for Obama to help snatch the White House away from Trump

.. GOP strategist and avid Never Trumper Rick Wilson said ... Obama needs to throw his full weight behind Biden before Super Tuesday in a way that will shake up the race ... Obama can transform this race in a hot second. ... It's now or never ... Biden beat Sanders like a rented mule. The exit polls told the tale; it was a crushing defeat across almost every demographic group ...

Gotta love these Republicans who have our best interests at heart.

Last week in Nevada it was Sanders who beat Biden like a rented mule, inflicting a crushing defeat across almost every demographic group. But that was then, this is now, and a Republican stratigist says "It's now or never" to defeat Sanders Trump.

Super Tuesday is ... Tuesday. Biden, as I noted yesterday, hasn't visited any Super Tuesday state in a month, has almost no money, is not on the air, has little or no ground game. Early voting is already in progress in several states. What can be done in one day to turn things around?

Realistically, nothing. Yes, a big endorsement by Obama could have an impact, but how many voters would even hear about it before voting? Biden will definitely get a bounce from his win in SC, but how big will it be? How much did Sanders' win in Nevada help him in SC?

Then there's this:

Why Biden still needs Klobuchar and Warren in the race

Team Biden believes having Klobuchar in the race through Super Tuesday is incredibly helpful to them.
Why? It blocks Bernie Sanders in the Minnesota primary on Tuesday.
"If Amy gets out, that gives Minnesota to Bernie,"
...
Four years ago, Sanders crushed Hillary Clinton in Minnesota, winning 62% to 38% ...
The Biden campaign wants Warren to be in the race through Super Tuesday, when Massachusetts voters weigh in.

Not to win. Not to hoard delegates for a convention fight. But just taking every opportunity to slow Bernie down.

Finally, and I only saw one tweet about this and can't find any confirmation, that Bloomberg hasn't made any ad buys beyond Super Tuesday. Anyone know anything about this?

Steyer has spent $200 million, got nothing for it, and has dropped out. I'm hoping that's what we see for Bloomberg as well. Is Bloomberg trying to win? Or just to stop Bernie? Super Tuesday will tell the tale.


laurel on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 2:18pm

It's interesting how each of them

@WoodsDweller -- Biden, Bloomberg, Warren, Klobuchar -- is stepping in to do his or her part for the overall goal of stopping Bernie. They are 100% loyal to the Dem establishment which is 100% loyal to the neocon, neoliberal, oligarchic, globalist Deep State. They know the Dem establishment will reward them -- and you can practically smell the certainty of that knowledge on Liz. She'll do and say whatever they ask of her.

Anja Geitz on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 10:42am
Frankly, I never believed Bernie's candidacy was going to be met

with anything but a full on assault by the DNC, the media, and their respective surrogates. What I didn't expect, especially from dubious "progressives" like Warren, was to hear non-viable candidates openly talking about blunting Bernie's momentum with their only goal being to collect delegates into the convention. Yes, most of us anticipated this was going to turn into a contested convention by design, but I don't know how many of us believed they'd tip their hand so blatantly and so soon into the process. Now that they have, it gives Bernie time to prepare his own strategy for meeting their threat at the convention. Maybe someone could refresh his memory on how effective the bus loads of people that GWB arranged were in shaping the media narrative of "civil disruption vs. accurate counting" in Florida? Taking a page out of that playbook, Bernie's people really need to start thinking about organizing an army of supporters in strength that rivals his numbers at his rallys, and descend onto Wisconsin. And maybe as an added bonus, conjure up the image of the 1968 convention Buttigieg seems to believe Bernie is so nostalgic about resurrecting. If the Establishment is going to twart the will of the people, let the will of the people be heard.

doh1304 on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 2:03pm
There are threee possible scenarios

for how the pre primary polls were so far off:

First, a wild methodological error. Bernie actually received more votes yesterday than in 2016. Perhaps only people who voted in 2016 were polled.

Second, everyone knows that Bernie is the person most likely to defeat Trump and Biden is the worst possible candidate. Perhaps thousands of Trump supporters came out pretending to be Democrats to vote for Biden. This has supposedly happened before.

Third, the quisling Democrats have given up all pretense of being honest and are blatantly stealing the nomination from Bernie. This is the most likely.

FreeSociety on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 3:18pm
2016 Deja Vu

.
In many ways, this race is now the same exact contest that was fought back in 2016. It has come down to Joe Biden -- The Establishment choice -- despite his obvious Ukraine corruption, family payoffs, obstruction of justice and abuse of office, etc. -- and despite Biden being 100% wrong on every issue from the Iraq War to NAFTA to the TPP to Syria (more Regime Change) to Libya to saying China is not an economic threat , etc. -- and despite him being a bumbling buffoon and gaffe machine who doesn't even know what State he is in, and constantly mangles sentences, and arrogantly yells at or insults prospective voters -- and despite him on multiple occasions caught sniffing the hair and fondling young girls in public.

How is this different from Hillary Clinton .. just without the Cackle ?

Bernie Sanders, as in 2016, is the only other option now that has a multi-state Campaign support structure. While Mike Bloomberg can buy million dollar Ads and saturate them everywhere across TV and the Internet .. he has no real voter base, a phony message, and no charisma.

So it is Sanders .vs. Biden , which is essentially a rematch between Sanders and Clinton -- or -- essentially a rematch between Sanders and the DNC Establishment (who also control the rules of the game).

My question is, who in earth would ever want to vote for the doddering and incoherent Joe Biden under any circumstance? Clearly, Biden just represents the anti-Sanders vote here, and The Establishment, with Bloomberg, Buttiburger, and Klobachar all failing, has closed ranks to consolidate around the one dog-faced, pony soldier left standing in the race: Quid Pro Joe.

Come on man! Get down and do some pushups Jack. I don't want your vote.

Polls and Votes and super delegates and Media narratives will all now be fixed around Biden from this point on (if they weren't already). So expect a whole lot of Malarkey upcoming, and this means that Sanders will have to win by big margins, and win a whole lot more States than he did in 2016, in order to survive.

--

[Mar 01, 2020] Hollywood Goes Full Blacklist and Fails to Grasp the Irony by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... It is especially galling to see how the Hollywood Community has embraced the era of red-baiting Joseph McCarthy as the new standard for what is acceptable. There was a time that a few brave souls in Hollywood (I am thinking Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas and Gregory Peck), spoke out against the blacklisting of actors, writers and directors for their past political ties to the Soviet Union. ..."
"... This was an ugly, awful and evil time in America. It was a period of time fed by fear and ignorance. While it is true that there were Americans who identified as Communists and embraced the politics of the Soviet Union, we scared ourselves into believing that communist subversion was everywhere and that America was teetering on the brink of being submerged in a red tide. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton's crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm. Clinton exemplifies the terrifying norm of the political and cultural elite in this country. Accusing political opponents of being controlled by foreign enemies, real or imagined, is an old political tactic. Makes me wonder what Edward R. Murrow or Dalton Trumbo would say if we could bring them back from the dead. ..."
"... "Hillary Clinton's crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm." ..."
"... Ms. President is the closest facsimile to Lady Macbeth that American politics has been able to produce. She'd have murdered her own husband if she had thought succession would have fallen to her. As it was, the only thing that kept him alive was that she needed him for the run she had in mind for herself. The debris that this woman has left in her wake boggles the mind. That she came within a whisker of the job where she would perhaps have left the country in that debris field is a sobering thought to think about what American presidential politics has become in the 21st c. Alas, what passes for her failure and the Country's good fortune, her loved ones in the Arts are still not over. And so they are left commiserating and caterwauling over the Donald this, and the Donald that, while all this good material and their celebrity goes down the tube. Good riddance to them both. ..."
"... Trump campaigned on Drain the Swamp in 2016. The Swamp attempted to take him down with the Russia Collusion hoax that included Spygate and the Mueller special counsel investigation. ..."
Feb 14, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

In the wake of the latest Hollywood buffoonery displayed at the Oscars, I think it is time for the American public to denounce in the strongest possible terms the rampant hypocrisy of sanctimonious cretins who make their living pretending to be someone other than themselves. Brad Pitt, Joaquin Phoenix and Barbara Streisand pop to mind as representative examples. All three are eager to lecture the American public on the need for equality and non-discrimination. Yet, not one of the recipients of the Oscar gift bags worth $225,000 spoke out against that extraordinary excess nor demanded that the money spent purchasing these "gifts" be used to benefit the poor and the homeless. Nope, take the money and run.

It is especially galling to see how the Hollywood Community has embraced the era of red-baiting Joseph McCarthy as the new standard for what is acceptable. There was a time that a few brave souls in Hollywood (I am thinking Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas and Gregory Peck), spoke out against the blacklisting of actors, writers and directors for their past political ties to the Soviet Union.

Now I have lived long enough to see the so-called liberals in Hollywood rail against Donald Trump and his supporters as "agents of Russia." Many in Hollywood, who weep crocodile tears over the abuses of the Hollywood Blacklist, are now doing the same damn thing without a hint of irony.

If you are a film buff (and I consider myself one) you should be familiar with these great movies that remind the viewer of the horrors visited upon actors, writers and directors during the Hollywood Blacklist:

This was an ugly, awful and evil time in America. It was a period of time fed by fear and ignorance. While it is true that there were Americans who identified as Communists and embraced the politics of the Soviet Union, we scared ourselves into believing that communist subversion was everywhere and that America was teetering on the brink of being submerged in a red tide.

Thirty years ago I reflected on this era and wondered how such mass hysteria could happen. Now I know. We have lived with the same kind of madness since Donald Trump was tagged as a Russian agent in the summer of 2016. And the irony is extraordinary. The very same Hollywood elite that heaped opprobrium on Director Elia Kazan for naming names in Hollywood in front of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, are now leading the charge in labeling anyone who dares speak out against the failed coup as "stooges" of the Kremlin or Putin.

Hillary Clinton's crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm. Clinton exemplifies the terrifying norm of the political and cultural elite in this country. Accusing political opponents of being controlled by foreign enemies, real or imagined, is an old political tactic. Makes me wonder what Edward R. Murrow or Dalton Trumbo would say if we could bring them back from the dead.


Bill H , 11 February 2020 at 10:20 AM

Very well said. And I would extend the same opprobrium to those who label as "racist" anyone who does not agree with their open border policies. Etc.
plantman , 11 February 2020 at 10:32 AM
Trump Derangement Syndrome is a vast understatement. You never could have convinced me 4 years ago that virtually all of my liberal friends would have completely lost touch with reality due to their visceral hatred of one man.

It no longer matters if you agree with people on social policy, entitlements, student loans, homelessness, drug addiction or even wealth distribution.

If you do not share their irrational hatred of Trump, you're going to be lambasted, shunned and treated like a pariah.

I've never seen anything like it. It's whacko!

Jim Henely , 11 February 2020 at 10:34 AM
Hillary Clinton has become the poster child for the corruption that has captured and paralyzed our political parties and government institutions. Why is she above prosecution? Is the corruption complete? Can we look to any individual or group to restore our Republic? Wake me when the prosecutions begin.
Flavius , 11 February 2020 at 11:35 AM
"Hillary Clinton's crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm."

Ms. President is the closest facsimile to Lady Macbeth that American politics has been able to produce. She'd have murdered her own husband if she had thought succession would have fallen to her. As it was, the only thing that kept him alive was that she needed him for the run she had in mind for herself. The debris that this woman has left in her wake boggles the mind. That she came within a whisker of the job where she would perhaps have left the country in that debris field is a sobering thought to think about what American presidential politics has become in the 21st c. Alas, what passes for her failure and the Country's good fortune, her loved ones in the Arts are still not over. And so they are left commiserating and caterwauling over the Donald this, and the Donald that, while all this good material and their celebrity goes down the tube. Good riddance to them both.

Dave Schuler , 11 February 2020 at 12:32 PM
I agree that HUAC's conduct was excessive but you really ought to show the other side of the coin as well.
  1. Communism was genuinely awful. To this day we don't know how many people died, murdered by their own governments, in Soviet Russia and Communist China.
  2. The U. S. government was infiltrated at the very pinnacle of government (as in presidential advisors) by Soviet agents. We know this from Kremlin documents.
  3. We now know (based on Kremlin documents) that the American Communist Party was run by knowing Soviet agents and was funded by the Soviet Union.
  4. The motion picture industry had been heavily infiltrated by Communists including some actual Soviet agents (while Reagan was head of SAG he rooted them out).

We resolved those issues the wrong way but they desperately needed to be resolved.

Vegetius , 11 February 2020 at 02:04 PM
>This was an ugly, awful and evil time in America

This is self-righteous baby boomer nonsense. It was a brief and slightly uncomfortable time for a handful of people in Hollywood, after which the subversion of American culture and institutions chugged along merrily along to the present day.

But this episode has been re-purposed and often reduced to caricature as part of a long ideological project aimed at convincing generations of otherwise intelligent white people that their past is a shameful parade of villains.

They don't call it 'programming' for nothing.

optimax , 11 February 2020 at 03:53 PM
Kirk Douglas bravely defied the blacklist by giving Dalton Trumbo credit on Spartacus under his real name, effectively breaking the blacklist.

I saw part of the Academy Awards and all I heard over and over again were the words race and gender, no female directors nominated.

On a side note, this being Black History month, teevee is usually filled with the appropriate programing. But because it is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Aushwitz the Jews are stealing the Blacks thunder by hogging the programming. When the oppressed collide.

Fred , 11 February 2020 at 04:02 PM
Just how big is the carbon footprint on a $225,000 swag bag? So nice to see Hollywood integrity in action. I wonder what the Bernie Tax will be on them in 2021?
bjd , 11 February 2020 at 04:16 PM
Chills run down my spine that you start your list with 'The Front'.

Woody Allen's 'The Front', a 'film noir' about the beast and about courage in trying to slay it, is an absolute masterpiece, its end is unmeasurably spectacular and encouraging, and... somehow the movie never got the acclaim it deserves, and lives as one of those quiet orphans.

But it is highly actual, and that is why you must have come to place it first.

Thank you for naming it. Extremely recommended.

blue peacock , 11 February 2020 at 07:26 PM
Trump campaigned on Drain the Swamp in 2016. The Swamp attempted to take him down with the Russia Collusion hoax that included Spygate and the Mueller special counsel investigation.

Rep. Devin Nunes uncovered many of the shenanigans while he investigated the claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election. He implored Trump to use his prerogative as POTUS to declassify many documents and communications. Trump instead took the advice of Rod Rosenstein acting as AG who initiated the Mueller investigation and did not declassify. He then passed the buck to AG Barr, who has yet to declassify.

The question that needs to be asked in light of this: Is Trump a conman who has duped the electorate with Drain the Swamp as he has not used his exclusive powers of classification to present to the voter all the documents and communications about the actions of law enforcement and intelligence agencies relating to claims about Russian influence operations during the 2016 election?

Fred , 11 February 2020 at 08:13 PM
Blue,

Maybe Trump conned the swamp into outing themselves, which hasn't proven that hard since they have even bigger ego's than he.

D , 11 February 2020 at 09:39 PM
Blue Peacock, the question that needs to be asked is do you blow your wad all at once on one play. Or do you drip, drip, drip it out strategically. I suggest the latter in this endless game of gotcha politics. Yes, Trump is a con man. That is how he made his billions - selling sizzle. One quality that does translate well into the political arena. No one is surprised - his life has been on the front pages for decades.

The only newly revealed quality that I find remarkable is his remarkable staying power - the most welcome quality of all. It takes ego maniacs to play this game. Surprised anyone still thinks politics is an avocation for normal people. It isn't. And we the people are the ones that demand this to be the case.

Sol Invictus , 11 February 2020 at 10:30 PM
I left the american sh*thole a long time ago and my choice never felt better. I look forward to seeing 50% of americans trying to slaughter the other 50% over socialism. Here we're doing just fine with socialist medecine, and social programs for just about everyting. The Commons are still viable where common sense resides... Oligarchs love cartels, socialism and piratization: it's all about privatizing the gains and socializing the losses to the hoi polloi.
james , 12 February 2020 at 12:35 AM
blue peacock... does an alligator want to drain the swamp? the answer is no... that is just a lot of hokum for the naive or illiterate...
james , 12 February 2020 at 12:36 AM
@ sol... your first sentence is pretty harsh and more of a reflection on you then anything else..
anon , 12 February 2020 at 02:26 AM
Great movie "the front". As to draining the swamp, well trump has to finish the job and here lies the problem. Once done what do you put in its place.

Bernie of course.

Diana Croissant , 12 February 2020 at 10:11 AM
I wonder if Hollywood knows how small some of the audiences in actual movie theaters are now. It's always surprising to me that I am sitting in almost empty theaters now when I decide I want actual movie theater popcorn and so will pay to watch a movie that I have read about and heard about from friends who have already seen the movie. I don't attend unless I've heard good things from my friends about the movie.


I am constantly surprised that some people even consider watching the Oscars now. I feel the same about professional sports.

You would be surprised at how good high school plays are and how good high school bands, orchestras, choirs are. The tickets are cheap, and a person actually gets to greet the performers.

I feel the same about my local university (my Alma Mater). It's Performing Arts departments are excellent. As a student long ago, my student pass allowed me to attend wonderful performances.

The Glory Days of Hollywood are no more. The actors and directors need to be humbled by having to go to towns across the country to see how sparse the audience in a movie theater is now. It's not at all as I remember as a child when there were long lines at the ticket window.

[Feb 27, 2020] The Obama Administration Wrecked Libya for a Generation by Doug Bandow

Jan 10, 2020 | The American Conservative
Foreign Affairs

'We came, we saw, he died' -- Hillary Clinton smirked when she said it. She had no idea how many people that would apply to. A fighter loyal to the Libyan internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) fires a heavy machine gun. (MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP via Getty Images)

Libya's ongoing destruction belongs to Hillary Clinton more than anyone else. It was she who pushed President Barack Obama to launch his splendid little war, backing the overthrow of Moammar Gaddafi in the name of protecting Libya's civilians. When later asked about Gaddafi's death, she cackled and exclaimed: "We came, we saw, he died."

Alas, his was not the last death in that conflict, which has flared anew, turning Libya into a real-life Game of Thrones . An artificial country already suffering from deep regional divisions, Libya has been further torn apart by political and religious differences. One commander fighting on behalf of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Salem Bin Ismail, told the BBC: "We have had chaos since 2011."

Arrayed against the weak unity government is the former Gaddafi general, U.S. citizen, and one-time CIA adjunct Khalifa Haftar. For years, the two sides have appeared to be in relative military balance, but a who's who of meddlesome outsiders has turned the conflict into an international affair. The latest playbook features Egypt, France, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia supporting Haftar, while Italy, Qatar, and Turkey are with the unity government.

In April, Haftar launched an offensive to seize Tripoli. It faltered until Russian mercenaries made an appearance in September, bringing Haftar to the gates of Tripoli. He apparently is also employing Sudanese mercenaries, though not with their nation's backing. Now Turkey plans to introduce troops to bolster the official government.

Washington's position is at best confused. It officially recognizes the GNA. When Haftar started his offensive, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement urging "the immediate halt to these military operations." However, President Donald Trump then initiated a friendly phone call to Haftar "to discuss ongoing counterterrorism efforts and the need to achieve peace and stability in Libya," according to the White House. More incongruously, "The president recognized Field Marshal Haftar's significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya's oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya's transition to a stable, democratic political system." The State Department recently urged both sides to step back. However, Haftar continues to advance, and just days ago captured the coastal city of Sirte.

In recent years, Libya had been of little concern to the U.S. It was an oil producer, but Gaddafi had as much incentive to sell the oil as did King Idris I, whom Gaddafi and other members of the "Free Officers Movement" ousted. Gaddafi carefully balanced interests in Libya's complex tribal society and kept the military weak over fears of another coup. He was a geopolitical troublemaker, supporting a variety of insurgent and terrorist groups. But he steadily lost influence, alienating virtually every African and Middle Eastern government.

Of greatest concern to Washington, Libyan agents organized terrorist attacks against the U.S. -- bombing an American airliner and a Berlin disco frequented by American soldiers -- leading to economic sanctions and military retaliation. However, those days were long over by 2011. Eight years before, in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Gaddafi repudiated terrorism and ended his missile and nuclear programs in a deal with the U.S. and Europe. He was feted in European capitals. His government served as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council from 2008 to 2009. American officials congratulated him for his assistance against terrorism and discussed possible assistance in return. All seemed forgiven.

Then in 2011, the Arab Spring engulfed Libya, as people rose against Gaddafi's rule. He responded with force to reestablish control. However, Western advocates of regime change warned that genocide was possible and pushed for intervention under United Nations auspices. In explaining his decision to intervene, Obama stated: "We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world." Russia and China went along with a resolution authorizing "all necessary measures to prevent the killing of civilians."

In fact, the fears were fraudulent. Gaddafi was no angel, but he hadn't targeted civilians, and his florid rhetoric, cited by critics, only attacked those who had taken up arms. He even promised amnesty to those who abandoned their weapons. With no civilians to protect, NATO, led by the U.S., bombed Libyan government forces and installations and backed the insurgents' offensive. It was not a humanitarian intervention, but a lengthy, costly, low-tech, regime-change war, mostly at Libyan expense. Obama claimed: "We had a unique ability to stop the violence." Instead his administration ensured that the initial civil war would drag on for months -- and the larger struggle ultimately for years.

On October 20, 2011, Gaddafi was discovered hiding in a culvert in Sirte. He was beaten, sodomized with a bayonet, shot, and killed. That essentially ended the first phase of the extended Libyan civil war. Gaddafi had done much to earn his fate, but his death led to an entirely new set of problems.

A low level insurgency continued, led by former Gaddafi followers. Proposals either to disband militia forces or integrate them into the National Transitional Council (NTC) military went unfulfilled, and this developed into the conflict's second phase. Elections delivered fragmented results, as ideological, religious, and other divisions ran deep. Militias were accused of misusing government funds, employing violence, and kidnapping and assassinating their opponents. Islamist groups increasingly attempted to impose religious rule. Violence and insecurity worsened.

In February 2014, Haftar challenged the General National Congress (GNC). Hostilities broadly evolved between the GNC/GNA, backed by several militias, which controlled Tripoli and much of the country's west, and the Tobruk-based House of Representatives, which was supported by Haftar and his Libyan National Army. Multiple domestic factions, forces, and militias also were involved. Among them was the Islamic State, which murdered Egyptian Coptic (Christian) laborers.

The African Union and the United Nations promoted various peace initiatives. However, other governments fueled hostilities. Most notable now is the potential entry of Turkish troops.

In mid-December, Turkey's parliament approved an agreement to provide equipment, military training, technical aid, and intelligence. (The Erdogan government also controversially set maritime boundaries with Libya that conflict with other claims, most notably from Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, and Israel.) Ankara introduced some members of the dwindling Syrian insurgents once aligned against the Assad regime to Libya and raised the possibility of adding its "quick reaction force" to the fight.

At the end of last month, the Erdogan government introduced, and parliament approved, legislation to authorize the deployment of combat forces. President Erdogan criticized nations that backed a "putschist general" and "warlord" and promised to support the GNA "much more effectively." While noting that Turkey doesn't "go where we are not invited" (except, apparently, Syria), Erdogan added that "since now there is an invitation [from the GNA], we will accept it."

But Haftar refused to back down. Last week, he called on "men and women, soldiers and civilians, to defend our land and our honor." He continued: "We accept the challenge and declare jihad and a call to arms."

Turkish legislator Ismet Yilmaz supported the intervention and warned that the conflict might "spread instability to Turkey." More likely the intervention is a grab for energy, since Ankara has devoted significant resources of late to exploring the Eastern Mediterranean for oil and gas. Libya has oil deposits, of course, which could be exploited under a friendly government. Perhaps most important, Ankara wants to ensure that its interests are respected in the Eastern Mediterranean.

However, direct intervention is an extraordinarily dangerous step. It puts Turkey in the line of fire, as in Syria. Ankara's forces could clash with those of Russia, which maintains the merest veneer of deniability over its role in Libya. And other powers -- Egypt, perhaps, or the UAE -- might ramp up their involvement in an effort to thwart Erdogan's plans.

In response, the U.S. attempted to warn Turkey against intervening. "External military intervention threatens prospects for resolving the conflict," said State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus with no hint of irony. Congress might go further: some of its members have already proposed sanctioning Russia for the introduction of mercenaries, and Ankara has few friends left on Capitol Hill. Nevertheless it is rather late for Washington to cry foul. Its claim to essentially a monopoly on Mideast meddling can only be seen as risible by other powers.

The Arab League has also criticized "foreign interference." In a resolution passed in late December, the group expressed "serious concern over the military escalation further aggravating the situation in Libya and which threatens the security and stability of neighboring countries and the entire region." However, Arab League is no less hypocritical. Egypt, the UAE, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, all deeply involved in the conflict, are members of the league. And no one would be surprised if some or all of them decided to expand their participation in the fighting. Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi insisted: "We will not allow anyone to control Libya. It is a matter of Egyptian national security."

Although the fighting is less intense than in, say, Syria, combat has gone high-tech. According to the Washington Post : "Eight months into Libya's worst spasm of violence in eight years, the conflict is being fought increasingly by weaponized drones." ISIS is one of the few beneficiaries of these years of fighting. GNA-allied militias that once cooperated with the U.S. and other states in counterterrorism are now focused on Haftar, allowing militants to revive, set up desert camps, and organize attacks. Washington still employs drones, but they rely on accurate intelligence, best gathered on the ground, and even then well-directed hits are no substitute for local ground operations.

The losers are the Libyan people. The fighting has resulted in thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of refugees. Divisions, even among tribes, are growing. The future looks ever dimmer. Fathi Bashagha, the GNA interior minister, lamented: "Every day we are burying young people who should be helping us build Libya." Absent a major change, many more will be buried in the future.

Yet the air of unreality surrounding the conflict remains. In late December, President Trump met with al-Sisi and, according to the White House, the two "rejected foreign exploitation and agreed that parties must take urgent steps to resolve the conflict before Libyans lose control to foreign actors." However, the latter already happened -- nine years ago when America first intervened.

The Obama administration did not plan to ruin Libya for a generation. But its decision to take on another people's fight has resulted in catastrophe. Hillary Clinton's malignant gift keeps on giving. Such is the cost of America's promiscuous war-making.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He is a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and the author of several books, including Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire .

[Feb 27, 2020] Russiagate Investigation Now Endangers Obama by Eric Zuesse

Notable quotes:
"... The Russiagate investigation, which had formerly focused against the current US President, has reversed direction and now targets the prior President. ..."
"... In order to appreciate the seriousness of that misconduct and its implications, it is useful to understand certain procedural and substantive requirements that apply to the government's conduct of electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes. Title I of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA ), codified as amended at 50 USC. 1801-1813, governs such electronic surveillance. It requires the government to apply for and receive an order from the FISC approving a proposed electronic surveillance. When deciding whether to grant such an application, a FISC judge must determine among other things, whether it provides probable cause to believe that the proposed surveillance target is a "foreign power" or an agent a foreign power. ..."
"... The government has a heightened duty of candor to the FISC in ex parte proceedings, that is, ones in which the government does not face an adverse party, such as proceedings on electronic surveillance applications. The FISC expects the government to comply with its heightened duty of candor in ex parte proceedings at all times. Candor is fundamental to this Court's effective operation. ..."
"... On December 9, 2019, the government filed, with the FISC, public and classified versions of the OIG Report. It documents troubling instances in which FBI personnel provided information to NSD ..."
"... which was unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession. It also describes several instances in which FBI personnel withheld from NSD information in their possession which was detrimental to their case for believing that Mr. ..."
"... Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power. ..."
"... MACCALLUM: Were you surprised that he ..."
"... seemed to give himself such a distance from the entire operation? ..."
"... "JAMES COMEY: As the director sitting on top of an organization of 38,000 people you can't run an investigation that's seven layers below you. You have to leave it to the career professionals to do." ..."
"... MACCALLUM: Do you believe that? ..."
"... BARR: No, I think that the -- one of the problems with what happened was precisely that they pulled the investigation up to the executive floors, and it was run and bird dogged by a very small group of very high level officials. And the idea that this was seven layers below him is simply not true. ..."
"... Allegedly, George Papadopoulos said that "Halper insinuated to him that Russia was helping the Trump campaign" , and Papadopoulos was shocked at Halper's saying this. Probably because so much money at the Pentagon is untraceable, some of the crucial documentation on this investigation might never be found. For example, the Defense Department's Inspector General's 2 July 2019 report to the US Senate said "ONA personnel could not provide us any evidence that Professor Halper visited any of these locations, established an advisory group, or met with any of the specific people listed in the statement of work." ..."
"... very profitable business ..."
"... Schultz and other members of the DNC staff had exercised bias against Bernie Sanders and in favor of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic primaries -- which favoritism had been the reason why Obama had appointed Shultz to that post to begin with. She was just doing her job for the person who had chosen her to lead the DNC. Likewise for Comey. In other words: Comey was Obama's pick to protect Clinton, and to oppose Trump (who had attacked both Clinton and Obama). ..."
"... Nowadays, Obama is telling the Party's billionaires that Elizabeth Warren would be good for them , but not that Sanders would -- he never liked Sanders. ..."
"... and, so, Trump now will be gunning against Obama ..."
"... Whatever the outcome will be, it will be historic, and unprecedented. (If Sanders becomes the nominee, it will be even more so; and, if he then wins on November 3rd, it will be a second American Revolution; but, this time, a peaceful one -- if that's even possible, in today's hyper-partisan, deeply split, USA.) ..."
"... There is no way that the outcome from this will be status-quo. Either it will be greatly increased further schism in the United States, or it will be a fundamental political realignment, more comparable to 1860 than to anything since. ..."
"... Reform is no longer an available option, given America's realities. A far bigger leap than that will be required in order for this country to avoid falling into an utter abyss, which could be led by either Party, because both Parties have brought the nation to its present precipice, the dark and lightless chasm that it now faces, and which must now become leapt, in order to avoid a free-fall into oblivion. ..."
"... The problem in America isn't either Obama or Trump; it's neither merely the Democratic Party, nor merely the Republican Party; it is instead both; it is the Deep State . ..."
Dec 29, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org
Former US President Barack Obama is now in severe legal jeopardy, because the Russiagate investigation has turned 180 degrees; and he, instead of the current President, Donald Trump, is in its cross-hairs.

The biggest crime that a US President can commit is to try to defeat American democracy (the Constitutional functioning of the US Government) itself, either by working with foreign powers to take it over, or else by working internally within America to sabotage democracy for his or her own personal reasons. Either way, it's treason (crime that is intended to, and does, endanger the continued functioning of the Constitution itself*), and Mr. Obama is now being actively investigated, as possibly having done this.

The Russiagate investigation, which had formerly focused against the current US President, has reversed direction and now targets the prior President. Although he, of course, cannot be removed from office (since he is no longer in office), he is liable under criminal laws, the same as any other American would be, if he committed any crime while he was in office.

A December 17th order by the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Court severely condemned the performance by the FBI under Obama, for having obtained, on 19 October 2016 (even prior to the US Presidential election), from that Court, under false pretenses, an authorization for the FBI to commence investigating Donald Trump's Presidential campaign, as being possibly in collusion with Russia's Government. The Court's ruling said:

In order to appreciate the seriousness of that misconduct and its implications, it is useful to understand certain procedural and substantive requirements that apply to the government's conduct of electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes. Title I of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA ), codified as amended at 50 USC. 1801-1813, governs such electronic surveillance. It requires the government to apply for and receive an order from the FISC approving a proposed electronic surveillance. When deciding whether to grant such an application, a FISC judge must determine among other things, whether it provides probable cause to believe that the proposed surveillance target is a "foreign power" or an agent a foreign power.

The government has a heightened duty of candor to the FISC in ex parte proceedings, that is, ones in which the government does not face an adverse party, such as proceedings on electronic surveillance applications. The FISC expects the government to comply with its heightened duty of candor in ex parte proceedings at all times. Candor is fundamental to this Court's effective operation.

On December 9, 2019, the government filed, with the FISC, public and classified versions of the OIG Report. It documents troubling instances in which FBI personnel provided information to NSD [National Security Division of the Department of Justice] which was unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession. It also describes several instances in which FBI personnel withheld from NSD information in their possession which was detrimental to their case for believing that Mr. [Carter] Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power.

On December 18th, Martha McCallum, of Fox News, interviewed US Attorney General Bill Barr , and asked him (at 7:00 in the video ) how high up in the FBI the blame for this (possible treason) goes:

MACCALLUM: Were you surprised that he [Obama's FBI Director James Comey] seemed to give himself such a distance from the entire operation?

"JAMES COMEY: As the director sitting on top of an organization of 38,000 people you can't run an investigation that's seven layers below you. You have to leave it to the career professionals to do."

MACCALLUM: Do you believe that?

BARR: No, I think that the -- one of the problems with what happened was precisely that they pulled the investigation up to the executive floors, and it was run and bird dogged by a very small group of very high level officials. And the idea that this was seven layers below him is simply not true.

The current (Trump) A.G. there called the former (Obama) FBI Director a liar on that.

If Comey gets heat for this possibly lie-based FBI investigation of the US Presidential nominee from the opposite Party of the sitting US President (Comey's own boss, Obama), then protecting himself could become Comey's top motivation; and, in that condition, protecting his former boss might become only a secondary concern for him.

Moreover, as was first publicly reported by Nick Falco in a tweet on 5 June 2018 (which tweet was removed by Twitter but fortunately not before someone had copied it to a web archive ), the FBI had been investigating the Trump campaign starting no later than 7 October 2015. An outside private contractor, Stefan Halper, was hired in Britain for this, perhaps in order to get around laws prohibiting the US Government from doing it. (This was 'foreign intelligence' work, after all. But was it really ? That's now being investigated.) The Office of Net Assessment (ONA) "through the Pentagon's Washington Headquarters Services, awarded him contracts from 2012 to 2016 to write four studies encompassing relations among the US, Russia, China and India" .

Though Halper actually did no such studies for the Pentagon, he instead functioned as a paid FBI informant (and it's not yet clear whether that money came from the Pentagon, which spends trillions of dollars that are off-the-books and untraceable ), and at some point Trump's campaign became a target of Halper's investigation. This investigation was nominally to examine "The Russia-China Relationship: The impact on US Security interests."

Allegedly, George Papadopoulos said that "Halper insinuated to him that Russia was helping the Trump campaign" , and Papadopoulos was shocked at Halper's saying this. Probably because so much money at the Pentagon is untraceable, some of the crucial documentation on this investigation might never be found. For example, the Defense Department's Inspector General's 2 July 2019 report to the US Senate said "ONA personnel could not provide us any evidence that Professor Halper visited any of these locations, established an advisory group, or met with any of the specific people listed in the statement of work."

It seems that the Pentagon-contracted work was a cover-story, like pizza parlors have been for some Mafia operations. But, anyway, this is how America's 'democracy' actually functions . And, of course, America's Deep State works not only through governmental agencies but also through underworld organizations . That's just reality, not at all speculative. It's been this way for decades, at least since the time of Truman's Presidency (as is documented at that link).

Furthermore, inasmuch as this operation certainly involved Obama's CIA Director John Brennan and others, and not only top officials at the FBI, there is no chance that Comey would have been the only high official who was involved in it. And if Comey was involved, then he would have been acting in his own interest, and not only in his boss's -- and here's why: Comey would be expected to have been highly motivated to oppose Mr. Trump, because Trump publicly questioned whether NATO (the main international selling-arm for America's 'defense'-contractors) should continue to exist, and also because Comey's entire career had been in the service of America's Military-Industrial Complex, which is the reason why Comey's main lifetime income has been the tens of millions of dollars he has received via the revolving door between his serving the federal Government and his serving firms such as Lockheed Martin . For these people, restoring, and intensifying, and keeping up, the Cold War , is a very profitable business . It's called by some "the Military-Industrial Complex," and by others "the Deep State," but by any name it is simply agents of the billionaires who own and control US-based international corporations, such as General Dynamics and Chevron. As a governmental official, making decisions that are in the long-term interests of those investors is the likeliest way to become wealthy.

Consequently, Comey would have been benefitting himself, and other high officials of the Obama Administration, by sabotaging Trump's campaign, and by weakening Trump's Presidency in the event that he would become elected. Plus, of course, Comey would have been benefitting Obama himself. Not only was Trump constantly condemning Obama, but Obama had appointed to lead the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 Presidential primaries, Debbie Wasserman Schultz , who as early as 20 February 2007 had endorsed Hillary Clinton for President in the Democratic Party primaries, so that Shultz was one of the earliest supporters of Clinton against even Obama himself. In other words, Obama had appointed Shultz in order to increase the odds that Clinton -- not Sanders -- would become the nominee in 2016 to continue on and protect his own Presidential legacy. Furthermore, on 28 July 2016, Schultz became forced to resign from her leadership of the DNC after WikiLeaks released emails indicating that Schultz and other members of the DNC staff had exercised bias against Bernie Sanders and in favor of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic primaries -- which favoritism had been the reason why Obama had appointed Shultz to that post to begin with. She was just doing her job for the person who had chosen her to lead the DNC. Likewise for Comey. In other words: Comey was Obama's pick to protect Clinton, and to oppose Trump (who had attacked both Clinton and Obama).

Nowadays, Obama is telling the Party's billionaires that Elizabeth Warren would be good for them , but not that Sanders would -- he never liked Sanders. He wants Warren to get the voters who otherwise would go for Sanders, and he wants the Party's billionaires to help her achieve this (be the Party's allegedly 'progressive' option), so that Sanders won't be able to become a ballot option in the general election to be held on 3 November 2020.

He is telling them whom not to help win the Party's nomination. In fact, on November 26th, Huffington Post headlined "Obama Said He Would Speak Up To Stop Bernie Sanders Nomination: Report" and indicated that though he won't actually say this in public (but only to the Party's billionaires), Obama is determined to do all he can to prevent Sanders from becoming the nominee. In 2016, his choice was Hillary Clinton; but, today, it's anyone other than Sanders; and, so, in a sense, it remains what it was four years ago -- anyone but Sanders.

Comey's virtually exclusive concern, at the present stage, would be to protect himself, so that he won't be imprisoned. This means that he might testify against Obama. At this stage, he's free of any personal obligation to Obama -- Comey is now on his own, up against Trump, who clearly is his enemy. Some type of back-room plea-bargain is therefore virtually inevitable -- and not only with Comey, but with other top Obama-appointees, ultimately. Obama is thus clearly in the cross-hairs, from now on. Congressional Democrats have opted to gun against Trump (by impeaching him); and, so, Trump now will be gunning against Obama -- and against the entire Democratic Party (unless Sanders becomes its nominee, in which case, Sanders will already have defeated that Democratic Party, and its adherents will then have to choose between him versus Trump; and, so, too, will independent voters).

But, regardless of what happens, Obama now is in the cross-hairs. That's not just political cross-hairs (such as an impeachment process); it is, above all, legal cross-hairs (an actual criminal investigation). Whereas Trump is up against a doomed effort by the Democratic Party to replace him by Vice President Mike Pence, Obama will be up against virtually inevitable criminal charges, by the incumbent Trump Administration. Obama played hardball against Trump, with "Russiagate," and then with "Ukrainegate"; Trump will now play hardball against Obama, with whatever his Administration and the Republican Party manage to muster against Obama; and the stakes this time will be considerably bigger than just whether to replace Trump by Pence.

Whatever the outcome will be, it will be historic, and unprecedented. (If Sanders becomes the nominee, it will be even more so; and, if he then wins on November 3rd, it will be a second American Revolution; but, this time, a peaceful one -- if that's even possible, in today's hyper-partisan, deeply split, USA.)

There is no way that the outcome from this will be status-quo. Either it will be greatly increased further schism in the United States, or it will be a fundamental political realignment, more comparable to 1860 than to anything since.

The US already has a higher percentage of its people in prison than does any other nation on this planet. Americans who choose a 'status-quo' option will produce less stability, more violence, not more stability and a more peaceful nation in a less war-ravaged world. The 2020 election-outcome for the United States will be a turning-point; there is no way that it will produce reform.

Americans who vote for reform will be only increasing the likelihood of hell-on-Earth. Reform is no longer an available option, given America's realities. A far bigger leap than that will be required in order for this country to avoid falling into an utter abyss, which could be led by either Party, because both Parties have brought the nation to its present precipice, the dark and lightless chasm that it now faces, and which must now become leapt, in order to avoid a free-fall into oblivion.

The problem in America isn't either Obama or Trump; it's neither merely the Democratic Party, nor merely the Republican Party; it is instead both; it is the Deep State .

That's the reality; and the process that got us here started on 26 July 1945 and secretly continued on the American side even after the Soviet Union ended and Russia promptly ended its side of the Cold War. The US regime's ceaseless thrust, since 26 July 1945, to rule the entire world, will climax either in a Third World War, or in a US revolution to overthrow and remove the Deep State and end its dictatorship-grip over America. Both Parties have been controlled by that Deep State , and the final stage or climax of this grip is now drawing near. America thus has been having a string of the worst Presidents -- and worst Congresses -- in US history. This is today's reality.

Unfortunately, a lot of American voters think that this extremely destabilizing reality, this longstanding trend toward war, is okay, and ought to be continued, not ended now and replaced by a new direction for this country -- the path toward world peace, which FDR had accurately envisioned but which was aborted on 26 July 1945. No matter how many Americans might vote for mere reform, they are wrong. Sometimes, only a minority are right. Being correct is not a majority or minority matter; it is a true or false matter. A misinformed public can willingly participate in its own -- or even the world's -- destruction. That could happen.

Democracy is a prerequisite to peace, but it can't exist if the public are being systematically misinformed. Lies and democracy don't mix together any more effectively than do oil and water.

[Feb 26, 2020] With Neoliberal Democrats like with Trotskyites , the only reality is power

The content was slightly edited for clarity
Notable quotes:
"... With Neoliberal Democrats like with Trotskyites , the only reality is power. For everything else, in any conflict between reality and fantasy, fantasy wins every damn time. ..."
Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

Monotonous Languor , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 3:39 am GMT

in the wake of Sanders' landslide victory in Nevada, a brokered convention would mean the end of the Democrat Party pretense to represent the 99 Percent.

as if it really mattered. Neoliberal Democrats policies are built on manufactured memes, anecdotal narratives, hyperbolic delusions, ephemeral boogeymen, sweeping generalizations, logical fallacies, and bloated definitions. In other words it's lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, all the way up and down the chain.

With Neoliberal Democrats like with Trotskyites , the only reality is power. For everything else, in any conflict between reality and fantasy, fantasy wins every damn time.

[Feb 26, 2020] What brokered convention would mean for candidates and the Dem party

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... But in the wake of Sanders' landslide victory in Nevada, a brokered convention would mean the end of the Democrat Party pretense to represent the 99 Percent. The American voting system would be seen to be as oligarchic as that of Rome on the eve of the infighting that ended with Augustus becoming Emperor in 27 BC. ..."
"... Last year I was asked to write a scenario for what might happen with a renewed DNC theft of the election's nomination process. To be technical, I realize, it's not called theft when it's legal. In the aftermath of suits over the 2016 power grab, the courts ruled that the Democrat Party is indeed controlled by the DNC members, not by the voters. When it comes to party machinations and decision-making, voters are subsidiary to the superdelegates in their proverbial smoke-filled room (now replaced by dollar-filled foundation contracts). ..."
"... I could not come up with a solution that does not involve dismantling and restructuring the existing party system. We have passed beyond the point of having a solvable "problem" with the Democratic National Committee (DNC). That is what a quandary is. A problem has a solution – by definition. A quandary does not have a solution. There is no way out. The conflict of interest between the Donor Class and the Voting Class has become too large to contain within a single party. It must split. ..."
"... A second-ballot super-delegate scenario would mean that we are once again in for a second Trump term. That option was supported by five of the six presidential contenders on stage in Nevada on Wednesday, February 20. When Chuck Todd asked whether Michael Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar would support the candidate who received the most votes in the primaries (now obviously Bernie Sanders), or throw the nomination to the super-delegates held over from the Obama-Clinton neoliberals (75 of whom already are said to have pledged their support to Bloomberg), each advocated "letting the process play out." That was a euphemism for leaving the choice to the Tony-Blair style leadership that have made the Democrats the servants' entrance to the Republican Party. Like the British Labour Party behind Blair and Gordon Brown, its role is to block any left-wing alternative to the Republican program on behalf of the One Percent. ..."
Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

To hear the candidates debate, you would think that their fight was over who could best beat Trump. But when Trump's billionaire twin Mike Bloomberg throws a quarter-billion dollars into an ad campaign to bypass the candidates actually running for votes in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, it's obvious that what really is at issue is the future of the Democrat Party. Bloomberg is banking on a brokered convention held by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in which money votes. (If "corporations are people," so is money in today's political world.)

Until Nevada, all the presidential candidates except for Bernie Sanders were playing for a brokered convention. The party's candidates seemed likely to be chosen by the Donor Class, the One Percent and its proxies, not the voting class (the 99 Percent). If, as Mayor Bloomberg has assumed, the DNC will sell the presidency to the highest bidder, this poses the great question: Can the myth that the Democrats represent the working/middle class survive? Or, will the Donor Class trump the voting class?

This could be thought of as "election interference" – not from Russia but from the DNC on behalf of its Donor Class. That scenario would make the Democrats' slogan for 2020 "No Hope or Change." That is, no change from today's economic trends that are sweeping wealth up to the One Percent.

All this sounds like Rome at the end of the Republic in the 1st century BC. The way Rome's constitution was set up, candidates for the position of consul had to pay their way through a series of offices. The process started by going deeply into debt to get elected to the position of aedile, in charge of staging public games and entertainments. Rome's neoliberal fiscal policy did not tax or spend, and there was little public administrative bureaucracy, so all such spending had to be made out of the pockets of the oligarchy. That was a way of keeping decisions about how to spend out of the hands of democratic politics. Julius Caesar and others borrowed from the richest Bloomberg of their day, Crassus, to pay for staging games that would demonstrate their public spirit to voters (and also demonstrate their financial liability to their backers among Rome's One Percent). Keeping election financing private enabled the leading oligarchs to select who would be able to run as viable candidates. That was Rome's version of Citizens United.

But in the wake of Sanders' landslide victory in Nevada, a brokered convention would mean the end of the Democrat Party pretense to represent the 99 Percent. The American voting system would be seen to be as oligarchic as that of Rome on the eve of the infighting that ended with Augustus becoming Emperor in 27 BC.

Today's pro-One Percent media – CNN, MSNBC and The New York Times have been busy spreading their venom against Sanders. On Sunday, February 23, CNN ran a slot, "Bloomberg needs to take down Sanders, immediately." Given Sanders' heavy national lead, CNN warned, the race suddenly is almost beyond the vote-fixers' ability to fiddle with the election returns. That means that challengers to Sanders should focus their attack on him; they will have a chance to deal with Bloomberg later (by which CNN means, when it is too late to stop him).

The party's Clinton-Obama recipients of Donor Class largesse pretend to believe that Sanders is not electable against Donald Trump. This tactic seeks to attack him at his strongest point. Recent polls show that he is the only candidate who actually would defeat Trump – as they showed that he would have done in 2016.

The DNC knew that, but preferred to lose to Trump than to win with Bernie. Will history repeat itself? Or to put it another way, will this year's July convention become a replay of Chicago in 1968?

A quandary, not a problem

Last year I was asked to write a scenario for what might happen with a renewed DNC theft of the election's nomination process. To be technical, I realize, it's not called theft when it's legal. In the aftermath of suits over the 2016 power grab, the courts ruled that the Democrat Party is indeed controlled by the DNC members, not by the voters. When it comes to party machinations and decision-making, voters are subsidiary to the superdelegates in their proverbial smoke-filled room (now replaced by dollar-filled foundation contracts).

I could not come up with a solution that does not involve dismantling and restructuring the existing party system. We have passed beyond the point of having a solvable "problem" with the Democratic National Committee (DNC). That is what a quandary is. A problem has a solution – by definition. A quandary does not have a solution. There is no way out. The conflict of interest between the Donor Class and the Voting Class has become too large to contain within a single party. It must split.

A second-ballot super-delegate scenario would mean that we are once again in for a second Trump term. That option was supported by five of the six presidential contenders on stage in Nevada on Wednesday, February 20. When Chuck Todd asked whether Michael Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar would support the candidate who received the most votes in the primaries (now obviously Bernie Sanders), or throw the nomination to the super-delegates held over from the Obama-Clinton neoliberals (75 of whom already are said to have pledged their support to Bloomberg), each advocated "letting the process play out." That was a euphemism for leaving the choice to the Tony-Blair style leadership that have made the Democrats the servants' entrance to the Republican Party. Like the British Labour Party behind Blair and Gordon Brown, its role is to block any left-wing alternative to the Republican program on behalf of the One Percent.

[Feb 26, 2020] Ironically the DEM party has become the Oligarchs party

Notable quotes:
"... This is the PLAN for all WHITE anglo saxon deplorables goyim Illiterate, Unemployed, violent and give them all the (tax subsidized) drugs opiods, pornography, that their subhuman hallow souls desired white genocide/ ..."
"... There is no quandary. The US democracy has long become "one dollar – one vote". Those who still believe that Dems represent working people should not take IQ test to avoid being deeply disappointed. ..."
Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

anonymous [284] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 10:19 pm GMT

Ironically the DEM party has become the Oligarchs party the DEMs debased themselves abandoning the WORKING class long time ago. The DEM recipe for WHITE conservative deplorables is something like DETROIT model a former city the cradle of the Auto/industrial manufacturing is now a desolated city bankrupt, violence, dilapidated etc.

This is the PLAN for all WHITE anglo saxon deplorables goyim Illiterate, Unemployed, violent and give them all the (tax subsidized) drugs opiods, pornography, that their subhuman hallow souls desired white genocide/

AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 11:17 pm GMT
There is no quandary. The US democracy has long become "one dollar – one vote". Those who still believe that Dems represent working people should not take IQ test to avoid being deeply disappointed.

[Feb 26, 2020] The neoliberal globalists and bankers are engaging in a massive ripoff of the "99%" (although I think the ratio is more like 80-20% rather than 99-1%). But I don't think Bernie has the solution.

Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

Dr. X , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 1:10 pm GMT

This article correctly describes how the neoliberal globalists and bankers are engaging in a massive ripoff of the "99%" (although I think the ratio is more like 80-20% rather than 99-1%). But I don't think Bernie has the solution.

Frankly, the Democratic Party had the solution -- the New Deal, which actually did create economic security for the white working class.

But they threw it out the window, and sided with the neoliberal oligarchy to finance their hedonistic post-1960s lifestyle of porn, drugs, miscegenation, integration, and recreational sex.

They've completely destroyed the culture. I don't think there is any solution at this point.

RadicalCenter , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 1:34 pm GMT
It's interesting: Hudson calls Democrat's "the servants' entrance to the Republican Party" and refers to the republican party's agenda in favor of the one percent.

Meanwhile, also on unz.com this very day, Boyd Cathey has a column "The Russians are Coming" wherein he calls Republicans "a sordid and disreputable second cousin of the advancing leftist juggernaut."

Perhaps they are both correct, and each of their own party's ruling apparatus is no better than the "other" party's ruling apparatus at all.

Jake , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 1:46 pm GMT
The motto of both Democrats and Republican Neocons and Republican Country Clubbers: Don't Think; Don't Ask; Pay Taxes; Vote for Us; Never Doubt 'Our' Filthy Rich; Blame 'Them' for Everything 'We' Call Bad.

American Democracy, WASP created democracy, is a whore's game. It is con artistry.

RadicalCenter , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 1:55 pm GMT
@Anon 123 No, there still is enough money even now to take care of the vast unemployed and underemployed class of people, WITHOUT further taxing those of us still working full-time and increasingly struggling.

1. Place natural resources -- oil, gas, and minerals -- under public ownership. Distribute the proceeds from their extraction and sale as an equal dividend to every US Citizen. (As part of the grand bargain, make it MUCH harder to gain US Citizenship, e.g. no birthright citizenship and no chain migration aka "family reunification.") This is a more thorough, more equitable national version of Alaska's resource-funded permanent fund.

How much do executives and shareholders of energy corporations profit each year off of our God-given natural resources? That becomes revenue available for all US Citizens as a universal basic income. (To minimize price/rent inflation, we can start the UBI very low and phase it in gradually over a period of, say, 8 years.)

2. Stop the us government's constant aggressive wars and occupations far from our borders, and close the majority of our bases abroad. Bring the troops home from Europe, Japan, and South Korea -- they can guard our southern border instead, and the new bases will provide a sustained boost to the hundreds of towns around the new bases here at home.

What if we reduced direct war, occupation, and foreign-base spending by $400 billion per year. Seems like a conservative figure. Here is a website that still has 2018 fed gov spending stats -- and seems to undercount military spending -- but a place to start:

https://www.nationalpriorities.org/interactive-data/trade-offs/?state=00&program=14

Of course, since we are borrowing a large chunk of the fed gov's current spending, we should not simply re-spend all of the military savings. Allocate part to other spending, but simply don't spend the rest (thereby borrowing less each year).

3. The current federal "Alternative Minimum (Income) Tax" kicks in at far too low an income level. Conversely, the AMT rate is far too low for extremely high incomes. What a coincidence. Apply the AMT only to household annual income above $2 million, amply adjusted for inflation, but tax the starch out of the oligarchs and billionaires. Yes, they can be forcibly prevented from moving their assets and themselves out of the country. Bloomberg, Zuckerberg, Buffet, Trump, the Sacklers, et al., can be confined and their property confiscated as needed to pay the AMT on their income and a wealth tax.

Even now, the money is there to directly help the American people with no increase in taxes on 99.5% of us, and with less fed gov borrowing than now.

[Feb 25, 2020] The Democrats' Quandary In a Struggle Between Oligarchy and Democracy, Something Must Give by Michael Hudson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is "and forgive them their debts": Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year ..."
"... Until Nevada, all the presidential candidates except for Bernie Sanders were playing for a brokered convention. The party's candidates seemed likely to be chosen by the Donor Class, the One Percent and its proxies, not the voting class (the 99 Percent). If, as Mayor Bloomberg has assumed, the DNC will sell the presidency to the highest bidder, this poses the great question: Can the myth that the Democrats represent the working/middle class survive? Or, will the Donor Class trump the voting class? ..."
"... This could be thought of as "election interference" – not from Russia but from the DNC on behalf of its Donor Class. That scenario would make the Democrats' slogan for 2020 "No Hope or Change." That is, no from today's economic trends that are sweeping wealth up to the One Percent. ..."
"... But in the wake of Sanders' landslide victory in Nevada, a brokered convention would mean the end of the Democrat Party pretense to represent the 99 Percent. The American voting system would be seen to be as oligarchic as that of Rome on the eve of the infighting that ended with Augustus becoming Emperor in 27 BC. ..."
"... Today's pro-One Percent media – CNN, MSNBC and The New York Times ..."
"... History of Rome ..."
"... History of Rome ..."
"... Some on Resistance Twitter claim that if Sanders is the nominee, Trump will win a 48 sweep. Possible, but very unlikely. But if it did happen, the MSM would once again dismiss his program as being completely unacceptable to the voting class, and Sanders would trudge back to Vermont never to be heard from again. ..."
"... So if his program requires a decade long follow through, what are the least bad outcomes? If the D's deprive him of the nomination at the convention, even though he has far and away more pledged delegates, the MSM cannot dismiss his program as it would in the two previous scenarios, and his program would live to fight another day. ..."
"... Trump may or may not win. But if he does, the best he can hope for is a skin-of-his-teeth victory. Seriously, he lost the popular vote by a ton to Hillary freaking Clinton. ..."
"... And stuff is beginning to crumble around him on the Right. The Dow drops. Oops Richie Rich gets uneasy. ..."
"... I was more than a little honked when Sanders appeared to roll over and support HRC in 2016 in spite of the obvious fraud perpetrated on him and his supporters, not to mention the subsequent treatment they received at the hands of the DNC and Tom Perez. ..."
"... I find myself wondering if it wouldn't be a good idea for Sanders and his supporters to make it absolutely clear their attempts to work within 'the system' are finished if they are robbed again; maybe even starting work immediately on establishing a party not controlled by Wall Street lickspittle or knuckle-dragging no-nothings? ..."
Feb 25, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is "and forgive them their debts": Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year

To hear the candidates debate, you would think that their fight was over who could best beat Trump. But when Trump's billionaire twin Mike Bloomberg throws a quarter-billion dollars into an ad campaign to bypass the candidates actually running for votes in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, it's obvious that what really is at issue is the future of the Democrat Party. Bloomberg is banking on a brokered convention held by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in which money votes. (If "corporations are people," so is money in today's political world.)

Until Nevada, all the presidential candidates except for Bernie Sanders were playing for a brokered convention. The party's candidates seemed likely to be chosen by the Donor Class, the One Percent and its proxies, not the voting class (the 99 Percent). If, as Mayor Bloomberg has assumed, the DNC will sell the presidency to the highest bidder, this poses the great question: Can the myth that the Democrats represent the working/middle class survive? Or, will the Donor Class trump the voting class?

This could be thought of as "election interference" – not from Russia but from the DNC on behalf of its Donor Class. That scenario would make the Democrats' slogan for 2020 "No Hope or Change." That is, no from today's economic trends that are sweeping wealth up to the One Percent.

All this sounds like Rome at the end of the Republic in the 1st century BC. The way Rome's constitution was set up, candidates for the position of consul had to pay their way through a series of offices. The process started by going deeply into debt to get elected to the position of aedile, in charge of staging public games and entertainments. Rome's neoliberal fiscal policy did not tax or spend, and there was little public administrative bureaucracy, so all such spending had to be made out of the pockets of the oligarchy. That was a way of keeping decisions about how to spend out of the hands of democratic politics. Julius Caesar and others borrowed from the richest Bloomberg of their day, Crassus, to pay for staging games that would demonstrate their public spirit to voters (and also demonstrate their financial liability to their backers among Rome's One Percent). Keeping election financing private enabled the leading oligarchs to select who would be able to run as viable candidates. That was Rome's version of Citizens United.

But in the wake of Sanders' landslide victory in Nevada, a brokered convention would mean the end of the Democrat Party pretense to represent the 99 Percent. The American voting system would be seen to be as oligarchic as that of Rome on the eve of the infighting that ended with Augustus becoming Emperor in 27 BC.

Today's pro-One Percent media – CNN, MSNBC and The New York Times have been busy spreading their venom against Sanders. On Sunday, February 23, CNN ran a slot, "Bloomberg needs to take down Sanders, immediately."[1]Given Sanders' heavy national lead, CNN warned, the race suddenly is almost beyond the vote-fixers' ability to fiddle with the election returns. That means that challengers to Sanders should focus their attack on him; they will have a chance to deal with Bloomberg later (by which CNN means, when it is too late to stop him).

The party's Clinton-Obama recipients of Donor Class largesse pretend to believe that Sanders is not electable against Donald Trump. This tactic seeks to attack him at his strongest point. Recent polls show that he is the only candidate who actually would defeat Trump – as they showed that he would have done in 2016.

The DNC knew that, but preferred to lose to Trump than to win with Bernie. Will history repeat itself? Or to put it another way, will this year's July convention become a replay of Chicago in 1968?

A quandary, not a problem . Last year I was asked to write a scenario for what might happen with a renewed DNC theft of the election's nomination process. To be technical, I realize, it's not called theft when it's legal. In the aftermath of suits over the 2016 power grab, the courts ruled that the Democrat Party is indeed controlled by the DNC members, not by the voters. When it comes to party machinations and decision-making, voters are subsidiary to the superdelegates in their proverbial smoke-filled room (now replaced by dollar-filled foundation contracts).

I could not come up with a solution that does not involve dismantling and restructuring the existing party system. We have passed beyond the point of having a solvable "problem" with the Democratic National Committee (DNC). That is what a quandary is. A problem has a solution – by definition. A quandary does not have a solution. There is no way out. The conflict of interest between the Donor Class and the Voting Class has become too large to contain within a single party. It must split.

A second-ballot super-delegate scenario would mean that we are once again in for a second Trump term. That option was supported by five of the six presidential contenders on stage in Nevada on Wednesday, February 20. When Chuck Todd asked whether Michael Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar would support the candidate who received the most votes in the primaries (now obviously Bernie Sanders), or throw the nomination to the super-delegates held over from the Obama-Clinton neoliberals (75 of whom already are said to have pledged their support to Bloomberg), each advocated "letting the process play out." That was a euphemism for leaving the choice to the Tony-Blair style leadership that have made the Democrats the servants' entrance to the Republican Party. Like the British Labour Party behind Blair and Gordon Brown, its role is to block any left-wing alternative to the Republican program on behalf of the One Percent.

This problem would not exist if the United States had a European-style parliamentary system that would enable a third party to obtain space on the ballots in all 50 states. If this were Europe, the new party of Bernie Sanders, AOC et al. would exceed 50 percent of the votes, leaving the Wall Street democrats with about the same 8 percent share that similar neoliberal democratic parties have in Europe ( e.g ., Germany's hapless neoliberalized Social Democrats), that is, Klobocop territory as voters moved to the left. The "voting Democrats," the 99 Percent, would win a majority leaving the Old Neoliberal Democrats in the dust.

The DNC's role is to prevent any such challenge. The United States has an effective political duopoly, as both parties have created such burdensome third-party access to the ballot box in state after state that Bernie Sanders decided long ago that he had little alternative but to run as a Democrat.

The problem is that the Democrat Party does not seem to be reformable. That means that voters still may simply abandon it – but that will simply re-elect the Democrats' de facto 2020 candidate, Donald Trump. The only hope would be to shrink the party into a shell, enabling the old guard to go way so that the party could be rebuilt from the ground up.

But the two parties have created a legal duopoly reinforced with so many technical barriers that a repeat of Ross Perot's third party (not to mention the old Socialist Party, or the Whigs in 1854) would take more than one election cycle to put in place. For the time being, we may expect another few months of dirty political tricks to rival those of 2016 as Obama appointee Tom Perez is simply the most recent version of Florida fixer Debbie Schultz-Wasserman (who gave a new meaning to the Wasserman Test).

So we are in for another four years of Donald Trump. But by 2024, how tightly will the U.S. economy find itself tied in knots?

The Democrats' Vocabulary of Deception

How I would explain Bernie's program. Every economy is a mixed economy. But to hear Michael Bloomberg and his fellow rivals to Bernie Sanders explain the coming presidential election, one would think that an economy must be either capitalist or, as Bloomberg put it, Communist. There is no middle ground, no recognition that capitalist economies have a government sector, which typically is called the "socialist" sector – Social Security, Medicare, public schooling, roads, anti-monopoly regulation, and public infrastructure as an alternative to privatized monopolies extracting economic rent.

What Mr. Bloomberg means by insisting that it's either capitalism or communism is an absence of government social spending and regulation. In practice this means oligarchic financial control, because every economy is planned by some sector. The key is, who will do the planning? If government refrains from taking the lead in shaping markets, then Wall Street takes over – or the City in London, Frankfurt in Germany, and the Bourse in France.

Most of all, the aim of the One Percent is to distract attention from the fact that the economy is polarizing – and is doing so at an accelerating rate. National income statistics are rigged to show that "the economy" is expanding. The pretense is that everyone is getting richer and living better, not more strapped. But the reality is that all the growth in GDP has accrued to the wealthiest 5 Percent since the Obama Recession began in 2008. Obama bailed out the banks instead of the 10 million victimized junk-mortgage holders. The 95 Percent's share of GDP has shrunk.

The GDP statistics do not show is that "capital gains" – the market price of stocks, bonds and real estate owned mainly by the One to Five Percent – has soared, thanks to Obama's $4.6 trillion Quantitative Easing pumped into the financial markets instead of into the "real" economy in which wage-earners produce goods and services.

How does one "stay the course" in an economy that is polarizing? Staying the course means continuing the existing trends that are concentrating more and more wealth in the hands of the One Percent, that is, the Donor Class – while loading down the 99 Percent with more debt, paid to the One Percent (euphemized as the economy's "savers"). All "saving" is at the top of the pyramid. The 99 Percent can't afford to save much after paying their monthly "nut" to the One Percent.

If this economic polarization is impoverishing most of the population while sucking wealth and income and political power up to the One Percent, then to be a centrist is to be the candidate of oligarchy. It means not challenging the economy's structure.

Language is being crafted to confuse voters into imagining that their interest is the same as that of the Donor Class of rentiers , creditors and financialized corporate businesses and rent-extracting monopolies. The aim is to divert attention from voters' their own economic interest as wage-earners, debtors and consumers. It is to confuse voters not to recognize that without structural reform, today's "business as usual" leaves the One Percent in control.

So to call oneself a "centrist" is simply a euphemism for acting as a lobbyist for siphoning up income and wealth to the One Percent. In an economy that is polarizing, the choice is either to favor them instead of the 99 Percent.

That certainly is not the same thing as stability. Centrism sustains the polarizing dynamic of financialization, private equity, and the Biden-sponsored bankruptcy "reform" written by his backers of the credit-card companies and other financial entities incorporated in his state of Delaware. He was the senator for the that state's Credit Card industry, much as former Democratic VP candidate Joe Lieberman was the senator from Connecticut's Insurance Industry.

A related centrist demand is that of Buttigieg's and Biden's aim to balance the federal budget. This turns out to be a euphemism for cutting back Social Security, Medicare and relate social spending ("socialism") to pay for America's increasing militarization, subsidies and tax cuts for the One Percent. Sanders rightly calls this "socialism for the rich." The usual word for this is oligarchy . That seems to be a missing word in today's mainstream vocabulary.

The alternative to democracy is oligarchy. As Aristotle noted already in the 4 th

Confusion over the word "socialism" may be cleared up by recognizing that every economy is mixed, and every economy is planned – by someone. If not the government in the public interest, then by Wall Street and other financial centers in their interest. They fought against an expanding government sector in every economy today, calling it socialism – without acknowledging that the alternative, as Rosa Luxemburg put it, is barbarism.

I think that Sanders is using the red-letter word "socialism" and calling himself a "democratic socialist" to throw down the ideological gauntlet and plug himself into the long and powerful tradition of socialist politics. Paul Krugman would like him to call himself a social democrat. But the European parties of this name have discredited this label as being centrist and neoliberal. Sanders wants to emphasize that a quantum leap, a phase change is in order.

If he can be criticized for waving a needlessly red flag, it is his repeated statement that his program is designed for the "working class." What he means are wage-earners and this includes the middle class. Even those who make over $100,000 a year are still wage earners, and typically are being squeezed by a predatory financial sector, a predatory medical insurance sector, drug companies and other monopolies.

The danger in this terminology is that most workers like to think of themselves as middle class, because that is what they would like to rise into. That is especially he case for workers who own their own home (even if mortgage represents most of the value, so that most of the home's rental value is paid to banks, not to themselves as part of the "landlord class"), and have an education (even if most of their added income is paid out as student debt service), and their own car to get to work (involving automobile debt).

The fact is that even $100,000 executives have difficulty living within the limits of their paycheck, after paying their monthly nut of home mortgage or rent, medical care, student loan debt, credit-card debt and automobile debt, not to mention 15% FICA paycheck withholding and state and local tax withholding.

Of course, Sanders' terminology is much more readily accepted by wage-earners as the voters whom Hillary called "Deplorables" and Obama called "the mob with pitchforks," from whom he was protecting his Wall Street donors whom he invited to the White House in 2009. But I think there is a much more appropriate term: the 99 Percent, made popular by Occupy Wall Street. That is Bernie's natural constituency. It serves to throw down the gauntlet between democracy and oligarchy, and between socialism and barbarism, by juxtaposing the 99 Percent to the One Percent.

The Democratic presidential debate on February 25 will set the stage for Super Tuesday's "beauty contest" to gauge what voters want. The degree of Sanders' win will help determine whether the byzantine Democrat party apparatus that actually will be able to decide on the Party's candidate. The expected strong Sanders win is will make the choice stark: either to accept who the voters choose – namely, Bernie Sanders – or to pick a candidate whom voters already have rejected, and is certain to lose to Donald Trump in November.

If that occurs, the Democrat Party will evaporate as its old Clinton-Obama guard is no longer able to protect its donor class on Wall Street and corporate America. Too many Sanders voters would stay home or vote for the Greens. That would enable the Republicans to maintain control of the Senate and perhaps even grab back the House of Representatives.

But it would be dangerous to assume that the DNC will be reasonable. Once again, Roman history provides a "business as usual" scenario. The liberal German politician Theodor Mommsen published his History of Rome in 1854-56, warning against letting an aristocracy block reform by controlling the upper house of government (Rome's Senate, or Britain House of Lords). The leading families who overthrew the last king in 509 BC created a Senate chronically prone to being stifled by its leaders' "narrowness of mind and short-sightedness that are the proper and inalienable privileges of all genuine patricianism."[2]

These qualities also are the distinguishing features of the DNC. Sanders had better win big!

________________

[1] https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/22/opinions/bloomberg-needs-to-take-down-sanders-lockhart/index.html . Joe Lockhart, opinion. For the MSNBC travesty see from February 23, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/02/23/msnbc-full-blown-freakout-mode-bernie-sanders-cements-status-democratic-frontrunner, by Jake Johnson.

[2]Mommsen, History of Rome , 1911: 268.


divadab , February 25, 2020 at 7:55 am

I wonder how much of the rot at the top of the Dem party is simple dementia. By the age of 70, half of people have some level of dementia. Consider Joe Biden – is anyone in the public sphere going to state the obvious – that he has dementia and as such is unfit for office?

Fred1 , February 25, 2020 at 8:32 am

First, my priors. I voted for Sanders in 2016, will vote for him in 2020, and expect him to be elected president. Further I believe that where we find ourselves today is the result of at least 40 years of intentional bi-partisan policies. Both parties are responsible.

If Sanders, upon being elected, were able to snap his fingers and call into existence his entire program, it would immediately face a bi-partisan opposition that would be funded by billions of dollars, which would be willing to take as long as necessary, even decades, to roll it back.

Just electing Sanders is only the first step. There must be a committed, determined follow through that must be willing to last decades as well for his program to stick. And there will be defeats along the way.

Several observations. If Hillary had beaten Trump, Sanders would have trudged back to Vermont and would never have been heard from again. The MSM would have dismissed his program as being completely unacceptable to the voting class. But she didn't, so here we are, which is fantastic.

Some on Resistance Twitter claim that if Sanders is the nominee, Trump will win a 48 sweep. Possible, but very unlikely. But if it did happen, the MSM would once again dismiss his program as being completely unacceptable to the voting class, and Sanders would trudge back to Vermont never to be heard from again.

So if his program requires a decade long follow through, what are the least bad outcomes? If the D's deprive him of the nomination at the convention, even though he has far and away more pledged delegates, the MSM cannot dismiss his program as it would in the two previous scenarios, and his program would live to fight another day.

If he loses to Trump, but closely, which can mean a lot of different things, his program would live to fight another day. Moreover, if the D's are seen to actively collude with Trump, this less bad outcome would be even better.

I am an old geezer and don't expect to live long enough to see how all of this plays out. But I am very optimistic about his program's long term prospects. There is only one bad outcome, a Trump 48 state sweep, which I consider very unlikely. But most importantly, the best outcome, his election, and the two least bad outcomes, the D's stealing the nomination from him or his losing a close general election, all still will require a decades long commitment to make his program permanent.

I wish I were younger.

a different chris , February 25, 2020 at 8:55 am

>a Trump 48 state sweep

Where do people get this? Take a deep breath. Trump may or may not win. But if he does, the best he can hope for is a skin-of-his-teeth victory. Seriously, he lost the popular vote by a ton to Hillary freaking Clinton.

And stuff is beginning to crumble around him on the Right. The Dow drops. Oops Richie Rich gets uneasy.

Hammered by a 5 star general. The Deplorables kids were raised to look up to generals, not New Yawk dandys. How does this affect them? And it's still February.

Sailor Bud , February 25, 2020 at 8:34 am

Just an FYI: The five-volume Mommsen "History of Rome" referenced in the text is available in English on Project Gutenberg, free and legal to download. Probably everyone here knows this, but just in case

Dan , February 25, 2020 at 8:44 am

How about Bernie call himself "Roosevelt Democrat" instead of "Democratic Socialist". It would give all those in the senior demographic a better understanding of what Sander's policies mean to them as opposed to the scary prospect of the "Socialist" label.

Oxley Creek Boy , February 25, 2020 at 10:12 am

The Democrats should have been slowly disarming the word "socialist" for at least the last decade. In principle, it's not difficult – as Michael Hudson says – "Every economy is a mixed economy" – and in a very real sense everyone's a socialist (even if only unconsciously). I'm not saying that bit of rhetorical jujitsu would magically turn conservative voters progressive but you'll never get to the point where you can defend socialist programs on the merits if you always dodge that fight. It's just a shame that Bernie Sanders has to do it all in a single election cycle and I don't think choosing a different label now would help him much.

flora , February 25, 2020 at 11:37 am

He could even compare himself to the earlier Roosevelt: Teddy Roosevelt.

By 1900 the old bourbon Dem party was deeply split between its old, big business and banking wing – the bourbons – and the rising progressive/populist wing. It was GOP pres Roosevelt who first pushed through progressive programs like breaking up railroad and commodity monopolies, investigating and regulating meat packing and fraudulent patent medicines, etc. Imagine that.

lyman alpha blob , February 25, 2020 at 1:30 pm

I just finished Stoller's book Goliath and according to him, Teddy wasn't quite as progressive as we are often led to believe. He wasn't so much opposed to those with enormous wealth – he just wanted them to answer to him. He did do the things you mentioned, but after sending the message to the oligarchs, he then became friendly with them once he felt he'd brought them to heel. He developed quite the soft spot for JP Morgan, according to Stoller.

TR wanted to be the Boss, the center of attention with everyone looking up to him. As one of his relatives said, he wanted to be the baby at every christening and the corpse at every funeral.

I find Bernie to be a lot more humble.

Balakirev , February 25, 2020 at 12:51 pm

I have a sense that changing his party affiliation label at any point in time since Sanders began running for president in 2016 would be a godsend to his enemies in both hands of the Duopoly. They'd tar him loudly as a hypocrite without an ounce of integrity, using personal politics to distract from the issues.

Meanwhile, we can expect to see the Socialist (and Communist, and Russia-Russia-Russia) nonsense reiterated as long as Sanders has strong visibility. He's extremely dangerous to both parties and their owners. I don't' believe the DNC will let him take the convention, but if he does, I'll bet the Dems give him minimal support and hope he fails–better the devil you know, etc.

political economist , February 25, 2020 at 9:56 am

It's time to put your money in reality futures by putting all that you can into supporting Bernie, AOC, etc. and all your local candidates that support at least democratic socialism and ourrevolution the DSA Justice Dems or other groups that have people but need money. I was having a conversation with a friend who was complaining that he was getting too many emails from Bernie asking for money after he had given the campaign a "modest amount". My suggestion was in honor of his children and grandchildren he should instead GIVE 'TIL IT FEELS GOOD. My spouse and I, I told him, gave the max to Bernie and now we don't give upset when he asks for more. There will likely never be a moment like this in history and there may not be much of a history if things go the wrong way now. He agreed.

Debra D. , February 25, 2020 at 10:11 am

Exactly right. I gave Bernie the max in 2019 and will keep giving throughout 2020. This campaign is about not just me, but all of us. It's now. We must fight for this change as has always been the historical precedent.

BillC , February 25, 2020 at 11:55 am

OK, you two gave me the push I needed to max out my contributions to Bernie too. Let's hope Bernie's (oops OUR) bandwagon keeps gathering steam!

Arizona Slim , February 25, 2020 at 12:41 pm

Another 2019 Bernie maxer here.

I feel blessed to have been able to give at this level. And I believe that I did this for a lot of people who aren't able to donate at all.

steven , February 25, 2020 at 11:13 am

I was more than a little honked when Sanders appeared to roll over and support HRC in 2016 in spite of the obvious fraud perpetrated on him and his supporters, not to mention the subsequent treatment they received at the hands of the DNC and Tom Perez.

I am coming to understand that might have been necessary within the context of one last desperate attempt to work with the Democratic party. But now I find myself wondering if it wouldn't be a good idea for Sanders and his supporters to make it absolutely clear their attempts to work within 'the system' are finished if they are robbed again; maybe even starting work immediately on establishing a party not controlled by Wall Street lickspittle or knuckle-dragging no-nothings?

Little as it has been the answer has a lot to do with my willingness to pour more money into repetitively self-defeating behavior.

HotFlash , February 25, 2020 at 12:49 pm

Bernie is a long-distance runner and strategizes like one. First work on finishing your races. Then worry about where you place.

Debra R. , February 25, 2020 at 11:28 am

I am a somewhat old geezer, too, who caucused for Bernie in 2016 and 2020. This article is very good and helps me understand why I feel the way I do. I was disappointed in Obama, who didn't follow through on the things I cared about, and I was devastated when Clinton was crowned the Democratic nominee well before the Convention, all the while holding onto a smidgen of hope that somehow Bernie would pull through as the nominee.

I was ecstatic when Bernie announced his candidacy for 2020. He is our only hope, and now we have a second chance. But now I am spending half my time screaming at people on tv and online who can't even hear me, and even if they could, they don't give a s–t what I think. It's Clinton 2.0–same thing all over again, four years later. Just who do these people (DNC, MSM, and others with a voice) think they are, to decide for the Democratic voters which candidate will be the nominee, who won't be the nominee, without regard to what the voters want? They are a bunch of pompous as–s who have some other motive that I am not savvy enough to understand. Is it about money in their pockets or what?

It should be as simple as this–Bernie is leading in the polls, if they are to be believed, and good people of all demographics want him to be our next President. He is a serious contender for the nomination. Show the man some much-earned respect and put people on MSM and publish articles by writers who help us understand what the anti-Bernie panic is about and why we shouldn't panic. Help us to explain his plans if he hasn't explained it thoroughly enough instead of calling him crazy. But to dismiss him as if he has the plague is not furthering the truth, and it is a serious injustice to the voting public. Naked Capitalism can't do it alone.

HotFlash , February 25, 2020 at 12:58 pm

There is a lot of good analysis out there, mainly on Youtube. I particularly like The Hill's Rising. A young progressive Democrat and a young progressive Republican (who even knew there was such a thing!) 'splain a lot of the antipathy. Another good source is Nomiki Konst, who is working on reforming the Dem party from within. Here she talks to RJ Eskow about how the DNC is structured and how she hopes to provide tools for rank-and-file Dems to wrest the levers of power from the establishment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ7wm6DCPV4

notabanktoadie , February 25, 2020 at 12:32 pm

Private sector cannot operate without same. Harrold

The problem is that the population, including FDR in his time, have been duped into believing that the private sector REQUIRES government privileges for private depository institutions, aka "the banks."

So currently we have no truly private sector to speak of but businesses and industry using the public's credit but for private gain.

Susan the other , February 25, 2020 at 12:16 pm

Last night's Democracy Now was interesting. Amy seems to be less of a commie hater than she recently was with her participation in the Russia-Russia-Russia smears against Trump. She held court last night with Paul Krugman and Richard Wolff discussing just exactly what "socialism" means. It was a great performance.

Krug seemed a little shellshocked about the whole discussion and he said we shouldn't even use the term "socialism" at all because all the things Bernie wants are just as capitalist – that capitalism encompasses socialism. But he stuttered when he discussed "single-payer" which he claimed he supported – his single payer is like Pete Buttigieg's single-payer-eventually. He tried to change the subject and Amy brought him straight back.

Then Wolff, who was in excellent form, informed the table that "socialism" is a moveable feast because it can be and has been many things for the advancement of societies, etc. But the term always means the advancement of society. Then Krug dropped a real bomb – he actually said (this is almost a quote) that recently he had been informed by Powell that debt isn't really all that important.

Really, Krug said that. And he tried to exetend that thought to the argument that anybody can provide social benefits – it doesn't require a self-proclaimed "socialist".

Richard Wolff confronted that slide with pointing out that it hasn't happened yet – and he left Krug with no excuses. It was quite the showdown. Nice Richard Wolff is so firmly in Bernie's camp.

Krug looked evasive – and I kept wishing they had invited Steve Keen to participate.

[Feb 22, 2020] The Red Thread A Search for Ideological Drivers Inside the Anti-Trump Conspiracy by Diana West

Highly recommended!
She does not use the term neoliberalism but she provide interesting perspective about connection of neoliberalism and Trotskyism. It is amazing fact that most of them seriously studied communist ideology at universities.
Trotskyites are never constrained by morality and they are obsessed with raw power (especially political power) and forceful transformation of the society. They are for global dominance so they were early adherents of "Full spectrum Dominance" doctirne approporitated later be US neocons. Their Dream -- global run from Washington neoliberal empire is a mirror of the dream of Trotskyites of global communist empire run from Moscow (Trotsky "Permanent war" till the total victory of communism idea)
Inability to understand that neoliberal is undermines Diana West thinking, but still she is a good researcher and she managed to reveal some interesting facts and tendencies. She intuitively understand that both are globalist ideologies, but that about all she managed to understand. Bad for former DIA specialist on the USSR and former colleague of Colonel Lang (see Sic Semper Tyrannis)
It is funny that Sanders is being accused of being a 'self-identified' socialist, while neoliberal elite is shoulder-deep in socialism for the 1% and enjoy almost unlimited access to free Fed funds.
Feb 22, 2020 | www.amazon.com

Boston Bill , March 23, 2019

Programs, programs, get your program here.

I received my copy just a few days before the Mueller investigation closed shop. There is an old saying "You can't tell the players without a program." As the aftermath of the Mueller investigation begins, you need this book. Some pundits and observers of the political scene have observed that the Mueller investigation didn't come about because of any real concern about "Trump Russia collusion," it was manufactured to protect the deep state from a non-political interloper. That's the case Diana West makes and does it with her exceptional knowledge of the Cold War and the current jihad wars. Not to mention her deadly aim with her rhetorical darts.

Erving L. Briggs , April 2, 2019
History Repeats

The Red Thread by Diana West
Diana states, "the anti-Trump conspiracy is not about Democrats and Republicans. It is not about the ebb and flow of political power, lawfully and peacefully transferred. It is about globalists and nationalists, just as the president says. They are locked in the old and continuous Communist/anti-Communist struggle, and fighting to the end, whether We, the anti-Communists, recognize it or not."

Diana traces the Red Thread running through the swamp, she names names and relates the history of the Red players. She asks the questions, Why? Why so many Soviet-style acts of deception perpetrated from inside the federal government against the American electoral process? Why so many uncorroborated dossiers of Russian provenance influencing our politics? Why such a tangle of communist and socialist roots in the anti-Trump conspiracy?
In this book, these questions will be answered.

If you have read her book "American Betrayal," I'm sure you will have a good idea about what is going on. I did. I just didn't know the major players and the red history behind each of them.

The book is very interesting and short, only 104 pages, but it is not finished yet. Easy to read but very disturbing to know the length and width of the swamp, the depth, we may not know for a long time. I do feel better knowing that there are people like Diana uncovering and shining a light into the darkness. Get the book, we all need to know why this is happening and who the enemies are behind it. Our freedom depends on it.

[Feb 21, 2020] The fact that Bernie Sanders is one this stage with the other pro-war imperialists and Tulsi is not is no accident

Feb 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

JC , Feb 20 2020 23:37 utc | 70

Posted by: SharonM | Feb 20 2020 20:29 utc | 41

"Bernie Sanders belonged on that stage with the other pro-war imperialists. With him, we get affordable healthcare, while millions of people around the world will suffer through coups, invasions, bombings, mass murder, and mass displacement. There is absolutely NOTHING (nothing) for an anti-war advocate to get excited about with a Sanders Presidency."

Exactly! I'm surprise even Tulsi Gabbard not invited to the debate many here still wanna her for VP. I an't voting for anyone but Tulsi Gabbard, I hates the Democratic more than Trump and will vote for Trump if necessary.

JC , Feb 20 2020 23:41 utc | 71

http://brothernathanaelchannel.com/

Inside Bernie

Forgot to include Brother Nathanael

[Feb 19, 2020] During the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, a "neoliberal revolution from above" was staged in the USA by "managerial elite" which like Soviet nomenklatura (which also staged a neoliberal coup d' tat) changed sides and betrayed the working class

Highly recommended!
This was an outright declaration of "class war" against working-class voters by a "university-credentialed overclass" -- "managerial elite" which changed sides and allied with financial oligrchy. See "The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite" by Michael Lind
Notable quotes:
"... By canceling the class compromise that governed the capitalist societies after World War II, the neoliberal elite saws the seed of the current populist backlash. The "soft neoliberal" backbone of the Democratic Party (Clinton wing) were incapable of coming to terms with Hillary Clinton's defeat -- the rejection of the establishment candidate by the US population and first of all by the working class. The result has been the neo-McCarthyism campaign and the attempt to derail Trump via color revolution spearheaded by Brennan-Obama factions in CIA and FBI. ..."
Feb 19, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , February 19, 2020 12:31 pm

Does not matter.

It looks like Bloomberg is finished. He just committed political suicide with his comments about farmers and metal workers.

BTW Bloomberg's plan is highly hypocritical -- like is Bloomberg himself.

During the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, a "neoliberal revolution from above" was staged in the USA by "managerial elite" which like Soviet nomenklatura (which also staged a neoliberal coup d'état) changed sides and betrayed the working class.

So those neoliberal scoundrels reversed the class compromise embodied in the New Deal.

The most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the neoliberal managerial class and financial oligarchy who got to power via the "Quiet Coup" was the global labor arbitrage in which production is outsourced to countries with lower wage levels and laxer regulations.

So all those "improving education" plans are, to a large extent, the smoke screen over the fact that the US workers now need to compete against highly qualified and lower cost immigrants and outsourced workforce.

The fact is that it is very difficult to find for US graduates in STEM disciplines a decent job, and this is by design.

Also, after the "Reagan neoliberal revolution" ( actually a coup d'état ), profits were maximized by putting downward pressure on domestic wages through the introduction of the immigrant workforce (the collapse of the USSR helped greatly ). They push down wages and compete for jobs with their domestic counterparts, including the recent graduates. So the situation since 1991 was never too bright for STEM graduates.

By canceling the class compromise that governed the capitalist societies after World War II, the neoliberal elite saws the seed of the current populist backlash. The "soft neoliberal" backbone of the Democratic Party (Clinton wing) were incapable of coming to terms with Hillary Clinton's defeat -- the rejection of the establishment candidate by the US population and first of all by the working class. The result has been the neo-McCarthyism campaign and the attempt to derail Trump via color revolution spearheaded by Brennan-Obama factions in CIA and FBI.

See also recently published "The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite" by Michael Lind.

One of his quotes:

The American oligarchy spares no pains in promoting the belief that it does not exist, but the success of its disappearing act depends on equally strenuous efforts on the part of an American public anxious to believe in egalitarian fictions and unwilling to see what is hidden in plain sight.

[Feb 19, 2020] On Michael Lind's "The New Class War" by Gregor Baszak

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... To writer Michael Lind, Trump's victory, along with Brexit and other populist stirrings in Europe, was an outright declaration of "class war" by alienated working-class voters against what he calls a "university-credentialed overclass" of managerial elites. ..."
"... Lind cautions against a turn to populism, which he believes to be too personality-centered and intellectually incoherent -- not to mention, too demagogic -- to help solve the terminal crisis of "technocratic neoliberalism" with its rule by self-righteous and democratically unaccountable "experts" with hyperactive Twitter handles. Only a return to what Lind calls "democratic pluralism" will help stem the tide of the populist revolt. ..."
"... Many on the left have been incapable of coming to terms with Hillary Clinton's defeat. The result has been the stifling climate of a neo-McCarthyism, in which the only explanation for Trump's success was an unholy alliance of "Putin stooges" and unrepentant "white supremacists." ..."
"... To Lind, the case is much more straightforward: while the vast majority of Americans supports Social Security spending and containing unskilled immigration, the elites of the bipartisan swamp favor libertarian free trade policies combined with the steady influx of unskilled migrants to help suppress wage levels in the United States. Trump had outflanked his opponents in the Republican primaries and Clinton in the general election by tacking left on the economy (he refused to lay hands on Social Security) and right on immigration. ..."
"... Then, in the 1930s, while the world was writhing from the consequences of the Great Depression, a series of fascist parties took the reigns in countries from Germany to Spain. To spare the United States a similar descent into barbarism, President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented the New Deal, in which the working class would find a seat at the bargaining table under a government-supervised tripartite system where business and organized labor met seemingly as equals and in which collective bargaining would help the working class set sector-wide wages. ..."
"... This class compromise ruled unquestioned for the first decades of the postwar era. It was made possible thanks to the system of democratic pluralism, which allowed working-class and rural constituencies to actively partake in mass-membership organizations like unions as well as civic and religious institutions that would empower these communities to shape society from the ground up. ..."
"... But then, amid the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, a "neoliberal revolution from above" set in that sought to reverse the class compromise. The most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the newly emboldened managerial class was "global labor arbitrage" in which production is outsourced to countries with lower wage levels and laxer regulations; alternatively, profits can be maximized by putting downward pressure on domestic wages through the introduction of an unskilled, non-unionized immigrant workforce that competes for jobs with its unionized domestic counterparts. By one-sidedly canceling the class compromise that governed the capitalist societies after World War II, Lind concludes, the managerial elite had brought the recent populist backlash on itself. ..."
"... American parties are not organized parties built around active members and policy platforms; they are shifting coalitions of entrepreneurial candidate campaign organizations. Hence, the Democratic and Republican Parties are not only capitalist ideologically; they are capitalistically run enterprises. ..."
"... In the epigraph to the book, Lind cites approvingly the 1949 treatise The Vital Center by historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. who wrote that "class conflict, pursued to excess, may well destroy the underlying fabric of common principle which sustains free society." Schlesinger was just one among many voices who believed that Western societies after World War II were experiencing the "end of ideology." From now on, the reasoning went, the ideological battles of yesteryear were settled in favor of a more disinterested capitalist (albeit New Deal–inflected) governance. This, in turn, gave rise to the managerial forces in government, the military, and business whose unchecked hold on power Lind laments. The midcentury social-democratic thinker Michael Harrington had it right when he wrote that "[t]he end of ideology is a shorthand way of saying the end of socialism." ..."
"... A cursory glance at the recent impeachment hearings bears witness to this, as career bureaucrats complained that President Trump unjustifiably sought to change the course of an American foreign policy that had been nobly steered by them since the onset of the Cold War. In their eyes, Trump, like the Brexiteers or the French yellow vest protesters, are vulgar usurpers who threaten the stability of the vital center from polar extremes. ..."
Jan 08, 2020 | lareviewofbooks.org

A FEW DAYS AFTER Donald Trump's electoral upset in 2016, Club for Growth co-founder Stephen Moore told an audience of Republican House members that the GOP was "now officially a Trump working class party." No longer the party of traditional Reaganite conservatism, the GOP had been converted instead "into a populist America First party." As he uttered these words, Moore says, "the shock was palpable" in the room.

The Club for Growth had long dominated Republican orthodoxy by promoting low tax rates and limited government. Any conservative candidate for political office wanting to reap the benefits of the Club's massive fundraising arm had to pay homage to this doctrine. For one of its formerly leading voices to pronounce the transformation of this orthodoxy toward a more populist nationalism showed just how much the ground had shifted on election night.

To writer Michael Lind, Trump's victory, along with Brexit and other populist stirrings in Europe, was an outright declaration of "class war" by alienated working-class voters against what he calls a "university-credentialed overclass" of managerial elites. The title of Lind's new book, The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite , leaves no doubt as to where his sympathies lie, though he's adamant that he's not some sort of guru for a " smarter Trumpism ," as some have labeled him.

Lind cautions against a turn to populism, which he believes to be too personality-centered and intellectually incoherent -- not to mention, too demagogic -- to help solve the terminal crisis of "technocratic neoliberalism" with its rule by self-righteous and democratically unaccountable "experts" with hyperactive Twitter handles. Only a return to what Lind calls "democratic pluralism" will help stem the tide of the populist revolt.

The New Class War is a breath of fresh air. Many on the left have been incapable of coming to terms with Hillary Clinton's defeat. The result has been the stifling climate of a neo-McCarthyism, in which the only explanation for Trump's success was an unholy alliance of "Putin stooges" and unrepentant "white supremacists."

To Lind, the case is much more straightforward: while the vast majority of Americans supports Social Security spending and containing unskilled immigration, the elites of the bipartisan swamp favor libertarian free trade policies combined with the steady influx of unskilled migrants to help suppress wage levels in the United States. Trump had outflanked his opponents in the Republican primaries and Clinton in the general election by tacking left on the economy (he refused to lay hands on Social Security) and right on immigration.

The strategy has since been successfully repeated in the United Kingdom by Boris Johnson, and it looks, for now, like a foolproof way for conservative parties in the West to capture or defend their majorities against center-left parties that are too beholden to wealthy, metropolitan interests to seriously attract working-class support. Berating the latter as irredeemably racist certainly doesn't help either.

What happened in the preceding decades to produce this divide in Western democracies? Lind's narrative begins with the New Deal, which had brought to an end what he calls "the first class war" in favor of a class compromise between management and labor. This first class war is the one we are the most familiar with: originating in the Industrial Revolution, which had produced the wretchedly poor proletariat, it soon led to the rise of competing parties of organized workers on the one hand and the liberal bourgeoisie on the other, a clash that came to a head in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Then, in the 1930s, while the world was writhing from the consequences of the Great Depression, a series of fascist parties took the reigns in countries from Germany to Spain. To spare the United States a similar descent into barbarism, President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented the New Deal, in which the working class would find a seat at the bargaining table under a government-supervised tripartite system where business and organized labor met seemingly as equals and in which collective bargaining would help the working class set sector-wide wages.

This class compromise ruled unquestioned for the first decades of the postwar era. It was made possible thanks to the system of democratic pluralism, which allowed working-class and rural constituencies to actively partake in mass-membership organizations like unions as well as civic and religious institutions that would empower these communities to shape society from the ground up.

But then, amid the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, a "neoliberal revolution from above" set in that sought to reverse the class compromise. The most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the newly emboldened managerial class was "global labor arbitrage" in which production is outsourced to countries with lower wage levels and laxer regulations; alternatively, profits can be maximized by putting downward pressure on domestic wages through the introduction of an unskilled, non-unionized immigrant workforce that competes for jobs with its unionized domestic counterparts. By one-sidedly canceling the class compromise that governed the capitalist societies after World War II, Lind concludes, the managerial elite had brought the recent populist backlash on itself.

Likewise, only it can contain this backlash by returning to the bargaining table and reestablishing the tripartite system it had walked away from. According to Lind, the new class peace can only come about on the level of the individual nation-state because transnational treaty organizations like the EU cannot allow the various national working classes to escape the curse of labor arbitrage. This will mean that unskilled immigration will necessarily have to be curbed to strengthen the bargaining power of domestic workers. The free-market orthodoxy of the Club for Growth will also have to take a backseat, to be replaced by government-promoted industrial strategies that invest in innovation to help modernize their national economies.

Under which circumstances would the managerial elites ever return to the bargaining table? "The answer is fear," Lind suggests -- fear of working-class resentment of hyper-woke, authoritarian elites. Ironically, this leaves all the agency with the ruling class, who first acceded to the class compromise, then canceled it, and is now called on to forge a new one lest its underlings revolt.

Lind rightly complains all throughout the book that the old mass-membership based organizations of the 20th century have collapsed. He's coy, however, about who would reconstitute them and how. At best, Lind argues for a return to the old system where party bosses and ward captains served their local constituencies through patronage, but once more this leaves the agency with entities like the Republicans and Democrats who have a combined zero members. As the third-party activist Howie Hawkins remarked cunningly elsewhere ,

American parties are not organized parties built around active members and policy platforms; they are shifting coalitions of entrepreneurial candidate campaign organizations. Hence, the Democratic and Republican Parties are not only capitalist ideologically; they are capitalistically run enterprises.

Thus, they would hardly be the first options one would think of to reinvigorate the forces of civil society toward self-rule from the bottom up.

The key to Lind's fraught logic lies hidden in plain sight -- in the book's title. Lind does not speak of "class struggle ," the heroic Marxist narrative in which an organized proletariat strove for global power; no, "class war " smacks of a gloomy, Hobbesian war of all against all in which no side truly stands to win.

In the epigraph to the book, Lind cites approvingly the 1949 treatise The Vital Center by historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. who wrote that "class conflict, pursued to excess, may well destroy the underlying fabric of common principle which sustains free society." Schlesinger was just one among many voices who believed that Western societies after World War II were experiencing the "end of ideology." From now on, the reasoning went, the ideological battles of yesteryear were settled in favor of a more disinterested capitalist (albeit New Deal–inflected) governance. This, in turn, gave rise to the managerial forces in government, the military, and business whose unchecked hold on power Lind laments. The midcentury social-democratic thinker Michael Harrington had it right when he wrote that "[t]he end of ideology is a shorthand way of saying the end of socialism."

Looked at from this perspective, the break between the postwar Fordist regime and technocratic neoliberalism isn't as massive as one would suppose. The overclass antagonists of The New Class War believe that they derive their power from the same "liberal order" of the first-class peace that Lind upholds as a positive utopia. A cursory glance at the recent impeachment hearings bears witness to this, as career bureaucrats complained that President Trump unjustifiably sought to change the course of an American foreign policy that had been nobly steered by them since the onset of the Cold War. In their eyes, Trump, like the Brexiteers or the French yellow vest protesters, are vulgar usurpers who threaten the stability of the vital center from polar extremes.

A more honest account of capitalism would also acknowledge its natural tendencies to persistently contract and to disrupt the social fabric. There is thus no reason to believe why some future class compromise would once and for all quell these tendencies -- and why nationalistically operating capitalist states would not be inclined to confront each other again in war.

Gregor Baszak is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His Twitter handle is @gregorbas1.

Stourley Kracklite 20 days ago • edited ,

Reagan was a free-trader and a union buster. Lind's people jumped the Democratic ship to vote for Reagan in (lemming-like) droves. As Republicans consolidated power over labor with cheap goods from China and the meth of deficit spending Democrats struggled with being necklaced as the party of civil rights.
The idea that people who are well-informed ought not to govern is a sad and sick cover story that the culpable are forced to chant in their caves until their days are done, the reckoning being too great.

[Feb 16, 2020] Want to End Our Endless Wars Remember the Peace of Westphalia

Feb 16, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

hen a crisis in the 17th-century Holy Roman Empire about princely authority and autonomy spiraled into sectarian warfare, Central Europe was plunged into the Thirty Years War. It was to be a conflict so debilitating and deadly that it would prove more proportionally costly in casualties for what is now Germany than even the Second World War. When the Peace of Westphalia finally brought the nightmare to a close in 1648, it was clear that domestic politics had to be separated from diplomacy for any stability to return to Europe. So came an emphasis on the sovereignty of states to police their own affairs while retaining a standardized system for dealing with each other as (ostensible) equals in the international realm.

While no system can guarantee peace free from geopolitical upset, The Westphalian Peace was nonetheless an improvement over the religious wars of the past. Something like it would also be an improvement over the rampant, American-led liberal hegemony of today. The ideologies of permanent war have had disproportionate influence over the ruling cliques in Washington, D.C., from the Clintonite neoliberals to the Dick Cheney neoconservatives. There are very real material reasons for this, of course, such as defense contracting and the powerful lobbying behind it. But it was on purely ideological terms that America's dangerous imperial overstretch was sold to a domestic audience.

Those like former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power would have us believe that there are teeming masses of people abroad just yearning to have American bombs rained down upon them as a solution for their domestic woes. Yet for most of American history, this was not so. The early and rising United States was a nation of diplomats who had taken the lessons of Westphalia to heart. From George Washington and John Quincy Adams up through the start of the 20th century, the importance of keeping domestic ideological arrangements out of sober realist diplomacy was usually understood. It was Woodrow Wilson who departed from this arrangement with his commitment to establishing the United States as guarantor not only of the rights of its own citizens but also the people of foreign nations abroad. His unrealistic vision was rejected by both Congress and most of the world's other great powers. Still, Britain and America were influenced enough by his thinking to stand aghast when first Japan and then Italy and Germany went about sabotaging the fragile postwar order. It would take a second, more destructive war, with the United States and the U.S.S.R. creating a peace out of their victorious power, to undo the damage that had been done. Two countries that could not have been more internally different became the crux of the most important wartime alliance of the 20th century. Largely forgotten was that the top crime pursued by the allies during the Germans' postwar trial was that of " waging aggressive war ."

Since the end of the Cold War, and with the checks on America's ambitions largely removed, we have seen this Wilsonian messianism return, and stronger than before. America's cultural history of puritanism and faith in its own (culturally and historically specific) institutions has merged with an unchecked hubris. Interventions unrelated to the interests of the average American came in the Balkans and Somalia, and then expanded to nearly the entire Middle East and large swathes of Africa. The justification is always the 9/11 terror attacks. The Bush administration in particular merged all of these trends by marrying the images of apocalyptic religious struggle to the Wilsonian quest for a world order founded on a universal conception of rights. When weapons of mass destruction, the ostensible reason for the invasion of Iraq, failed to turn up, Bush quickly pivoted to another argument: that we would build a new and better Iraq Americanized through our concept of civil society. What we got was the rise of ISIS, sectarian strife, and an empowered Iran greatly expanding its influence throughout that region. It was an outcome abundantly obvious to the many experts who were opposed to the war from the outset.

This turn towards militarized humanism became even more overt as the Obama administration reacted to the Arab Spring. Lacking the WMD excuse and post-9/11 bellicosity, the administration that was elected in large part to replace and undo the Bush legacy decided to topple the government of Libya and indirectly try to do the same in Syria. The administration tapped into a large network of human rights NGOs to fill the media with stories of atrocities, many of which were exaggerated or even outright false .

What was the result? Libya is a now a Somalia-level failed state with street-side slave markets that's fueled a European refugee crisis. The Syrian Civil War continues towards a now inevitable conclusion, heavily extended in length by the interventions of countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia working hand-in-hand with the United States . Those interventions were sold to the public under the guise of upholding universal standards of government as imagined by the United States, but have only contributed to global instability and alienation of much of the world from Washington .

In order to inoculate the American public, media, and (dare one hope) policymaking class against future foolhardy adventures, the Westphalian Peace should be reintroduced into the disussion. The foreign policy establishment is largely controlled by a class of professionals in love with their own image as upholders of liberal hegemony and oblivious to the results of their actions. From empowering al-Qaeda in the Middle East to driving Russia and China together, the consequences have proven catastrophic. It is time to stick up for the concept of national sovereignty as the core principle of diplomacy once again.

It was the France, the Catholic power willing to ally with Protestants against its greater Hapsburg foe regardless of domestic politics, that won the most out of the Thirty Years War and at the lowest cost. Such realism in pursuit of modest goals should inform our diplomatic thinking today.

Christopher Mott is a research fellow at Defense Priorities and a former academic and researcher at the State Department. His book on Central Asian geopolitical history, The Formless Empire , was published by Westholme Publishing in 2015.


Sammacdon 3 days ago

"America's cultural history of puritanism and faith in its own (culturally and historically specific) institutions has merged with an unchecked hubris."

Does America have faith in its culturally and historically specific institutions?

Which ones?

Baruch Dreamstalker Sammacdon 3 days ago
America still supports the Bill of Rights for oneself, but not always for others. Listen to how "religious freedom" differs when articulated by a liberal and a conservative.
Baruch Dreamstalker 3 days ago
There's a new player since Westphalia, the soldiers without borders known commonly as terrorists. Arguing about whose fault it is that they exist is as fruitless as "Who lost China?" The article, alas, deals with them only as epiphenomena of great-power actions. C+.
JonF311 Baruch Dreamstalker 3 days ago
But if we weren't poking a big old wasp's nest in the Middle East would any of those terrorists give a hoot about us? We would still have to worry about domestic terrorists, of course.
Baruch Dreamstalker JonF311 3 days ago
Absolutely, about domestic terrorists, who are an old story from the days they were called "clinic bombers."

"Our enemies are our fault" is an invitation to become extinct. I don't go there.

Soldiers without borders are part of the picture now, and the most persuasive assignment of responsibility for them may take gold in the 50-Yard Blame Toss, but is still a "should" non-answer to an "is" problem.

Begemot Baruch Dreamstalker 2 days ago
soldiers without borders known commonly as terrorists

Also known as mercenaries, who aren't new at all. In fact, they've enjoyed something of a revitalization since 2001 with such 'private military contractors" as Blackwater/Xe Services/Academi and its imitators. Courtesy of the US government.

David Naas 3 days ago
Many times in history one can point to as the embodiment of "realism" in international affairs. After Westphalia came the Napoleonic wars and the Congress of Vienna. Some time later came WW1/WW2/Cold War (really one conflict) and no real settlement (with the USA presuming a foolish "End of History" and a faux Superpower hegemony.)

I am reminded that Henry Kissinger was supposed to be a master of realpolitik , and we saw how well that worked. The last real decent politician who understood things may have been Otto von Bismarck, and he was cast aside by a neurotic Kaiser who hated his English grandmother.

The author makes a very good point... That waging aggressive wars is a crime for which we hung people at Nuremberg. But let us not forget the reality of realism, the Roman maxim of, "If you have trouble at home, stir up a war abroad." Works like a charm, or always has before.

kouroi 3 days ago
High goal in the United States of Amnesia.... remembering something...
If anything, the elites would like to bury as much as possible... so that the conclusion is always their alternative only...
Disqus10021 2 days ago • edited
Unless there are members of Congress who were European history majors, I doubt that any of them could tell you much about the Peace of Westphalia. I would be satisfied if they could at least learn some lessons from WWI. One of the best takeaways from that war that I have read was David Stockman's (Reagan's first Budget Director) observation that if the US had just stayed out of the war, the major belligerents would eventually have come to a cease fire and Germany would not have been plunged into chaos after the war. Another takeaway comes from William Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich". The German government paid for its war costs by issuing bonds and when its access to the bond market became exhausted, it simply resorted to printing money. After the war, it not only did not raise taxes to pay off its reparations and other war debts but lowered them.

Germany's Weimar constitution which was approved in 1919 looked good on paper and was very democratic for its time. But it never worked well in practice. The country was beset by a series of weak coalition governments during the Weimar years, governments which were incapable of stopping the runaway inflation of the early 1920's and incapable of dealing with the economic fallout as the Great Depression spread from the US to Europe in the early 1930's.

Dr. Rieux 2 days ago • edited
I doubt our foreign policy "elites" are oblivious to the results of their actions. That degree of self-imposed ignorance even Washinton's "best" and "brightest" couldn't possibly achieve.

What they are is immune to the consequences of their actions, never called to account for the millions of innocent lives they helped to ruin or to completely snuff out.

mark 2 days ago
Baruch says "There's a new player since Westphalia, the soldiers without borders known commonly as terrorists. "

Terrorism has suffered a lazy and opportunistic amount of definition creep in recent decades. I go by the old idea that it's about using unforeseen violence against civilians for political ends.

However to me, the vast bulk of terrorism is state terror and states really hate it when privateers muscle in on their act. For example the morning after the 9-11 bombings (I live a long way from the US) I had two immediate thoughts. First and foremost was sadness for the dead and their families. Second was an awful foreboding for the many thousands of innocent brown foreign civilians who'd die in misplaced criminal revenge aka state terror.

Connecticut Farmer a day ago • edited
"It was the France, the Catholic power willing to ally with Protestants against its greater Hapsburg foe regardless of domestic politics, that won the most out of the Thirty Years War and at the lowest cost."

Be reminded, however, France's victory lasted 115 years--ten minutes in historical terms--coming to an end with the Treaty of Paris in 1763 which ended The Seven Years War which resulted in bankruptcy for the Bourbon monarchy and eventual domestic upheaval commencing in 1789. After the defeat of Napoleon (the inevitable result of said upheaval) and as a result of the Congress of Vienna in 1815 France was pretty much finished off as a world power. Nothing is ever permanent. Except war.

"Those like former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power would have us believe that there are teeming masses of people abroad just yearning to have American bombs rained down upon them as a solution for their domestic woes."

The author is engaging in a bit of hyperbole here. Changing "have American bombs rained down upon them" to "enjoy the fruits of American-style democracy" would suffice. Same conclusion. Same results.

Paul De Palma 21 hours ago
Thanks for such an incisive framing of US foreign policy over the last century and, in particular, the last twenty years. In its crispness and clarity, your piece is on par with Andrew Bacevich's work. It deserves a wide readership.

[Feb 15, 2020] Sanders surge in poll sparks backlash in Democratic establishment by Patrick Martin

Feb 15, 2020 | www.wsws.org

The surge of popular support for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, now the clear front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, has touched off frantic retaliation by the Democratic Party establishment and the corporate media.

While Sanders himself is a known quantity in capitalist politics, with a 30-year career as a loyal supporter of the Democratic Party and American imperialism, there is consternation in the ruling class over the shift to the left among workers and young people that underlies the strength of his campaign.

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders arrives to speak to supporters at a primary night election rally in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 [Credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais]

Sanders won the most votes in both the February 3 Iowa caucuses and the February 11 New Hampshire primary. He has taken a wide lead in polls of prospective Democratic primary voters both nationally and in many of the states scheduled to vote over the next month, which will select two-thirds of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

A Morning Consult poll published Thursday found Sanders with a double-digit lead among likely Democratic voters nationwide. Sanders was at 29 percent, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden at 19 percent and the billionaire former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, at 18 percent. Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who finished second in both Iowa and New Hampshire, was in fourth place nationally at 11 percent. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was at 10 percent, while Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota was at 5 percent.

The support for Sanders reflects shifts to the left in the working class and among young people. Exit polls in New Hampshire showed Sanders leading by a wide margin among working-class voters, both those with incomes below $50,000 a year, and those without a college education. He had 51 percent support among young people under 30, compared to 4 percent each for Klobuchar and Biden.

Nationally, half of US college students support Sanders, according to a poll from Chegg/College Pulse, which surveyed 1,500 full and part-time students attending both four-year and two-year colleges. The students named climate change and income inequality as their top issues. Warren came far back in second at 18 percent.

The widening support for Sanders, along with the apparent demise of Biden's campaign, after a fourth-place finish in Iowa and fifth place in New Hampshire, has provoked angry denunciations of the Vermont senator from the Democratic Party establishment and the corporate media.

The Biden campaign led the way, with its campaign co-chairman, Representative Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, telling a conference call with reporters that there would be "down-ballot carnage" for the Democrats if Sanders won the nomination. "If Bernie Sanders were atop of the ticket, we would be in jeopardy of losing the House, we would not win the Senate back," he said.

Two right-wing Democrats in the Senate openly denounced Sanders for his claim to be a democratic socialist. Senator Doug Jones of Alabama said, "I don't agree with the socialism label." Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said, "If Bernie ends up being one of these frontrunners, he'll have to moderate. I'm not going socialist. Never been a socialist."

Campaign consultant James Carville, a fixture in Democratic politics for three decades, was more vituperative, making repeated television appearances this week to denounce Sanders as an easy target for the Republican right, and at one point directly echoing Trump in calling Sanders a "communist."

The corporate media was filled with anti-Sanders commentary, ranging from laments (Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times ), to cynical sneers (Paul Krugman in the Times ) to outright denunciations (Chuck Todd on MSNBC).

Krugman's column, under the headline, "Bernie Sanders Isn't a Socialist," makes the correct observation that "Bernie Sanders isn't actually a socialist in any normal sense of the term. He doesn't want to nationalize our major industries and replace markets with central planning," and suggests that Sanders would be better described as a European-style social democrat.

The column goes on to echo the warnings of the Democratic establishment that if Sanders is nominated, Trump would win an easy victory, concluding "I do wish that Sanders weren't so determined to make himself an easy target for right-wing smears." Krugman says nothing about the fact that the "right-wing smears" have already begun from the Democrats.

As for Todd, during MSNBC's coverage of the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, he quoted from a diatribe against Sanders by Jonathan Last of Bulwark , who wrote: "No other candidate has anything like this digital brownshirt brigade. I mean, except for Donald Trump. The question no one is asking is this, what if you can't win the presidency without an online mob?"

This comparison of supporters of Sanders -- who is Jewish -- with the fascist thugs of Hitler and Mussolini is typical of the smear tactics by the corporate media against anyone who criticizes the super-rich. Todd's commentary was reposted by the Sanders campaign, where it was viewed nearly a million times, no doubt adding to Sanders' support.

The consternation over Sanders' rise in the polls has already led to calls for the consolidation of the "moderate" (i.e., openly right-wing) forces in the Democratic Party against him. A focal point of these appeals is billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who entered the race for the nomination in November and will be on the ballot for the first time in the March 3 Super Tuesday states.

Bloomberg has poured $100 million into advertising just in those 14 states, a major part of the $300 million he has already invested in winning the Democratic nomination. His campaign has rolled out endorsements from congressmen and local government officials, particularly mayors of cities where Bloomberg has long used his gargantuan fortune to buy influence.

Rather than risk a four-way split among Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg and Klobuchar, to Sanders' advantage, there have been multiple suggestions in the media of various combinations -- a Bloomberg-Klobuchar tie-up, for example.

More likely than an open alliance is a splintering of the delegates among five or six candidates, that would preclude any one candidate gaining an absolute majority, leading to a brokered convention in which the various right-wing candidates would combine to block a Sanders' nomination.

Sanders directly addressed this possibility in an appearance on MSNBC. "The convention would have to explain to the American people, 'Hey, candidate X got the most votes and won the most delegates at the primary process, but we're not going to give him or her the nomination,'" he told host Chris Hayes. "I think that would be a divisive moment for the Democratic Party."

While his opponents are implacably determined to prevent his nomination, Sanders himself has repeatedly reiterated his determination to support whoever the convention chooses and oppose at all costs any break by his supporters from the Democratic Party.

At his campaign rallies, Sanders makes a rhetorical appeal to opposition to social inequality and war. However, he is also making a case to the political establishment that he can be trusted to defend the interests of the ruling class.

In a recent interview with the New York Times , Sanders said that he would consider using military force in a preemptive war against Iran or North Korea. He also fully endorsed the anti-Russia campaign of the Democratic Party, agreeing that it should be considered "an adversary, or even an enemy" if it continues on its current course in Ukraine.

[Feb 15, 2020] One face of the US voters desprations with establishment candidates

Highly recommended!
Feb 15, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Antoinetta III , Feb 15 2020 21:47 utc | 55

In the past several elections, in the space for "President," I wrote in - Vladimir Putin.

Antoinetta III

[Feb 15, 2020] But they do put on a good show, don't they?

Feb 15, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Feb 15 2020 19:18 utc | 18

Interesting analysis b.

Here's another view: Zionist Bloomberg and Zionist Biden and Zionist Buttigieg and Zionist Klubachar and Zionist Warren and Zionist Sanders competing to race against Zionist Trump. I think I know who the winners and losers are already.

But they do put on a good show, don't they?

!!

[Feb 09, 2020] US troops have stolen tens of millions in Iraq and Afghanistan

Many of these crimes grew out of shortcomings in the military's management of the deployments that experts say are still present: a heavy dependence on cash transactions, a hasty award process for high-value contracts, loose and harried oversight within the ranks, and a regional culture of corruption that proved seductive to the Americans troops transplanted there.
Notable quotes:
"... "this thing going on" ..."
"... a regional culture of corruption that proved seductive to the Americans troops transplanted there. ..."
May 09, 2015 | slate.com

The Fraud of War: U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have stolen tens of millions through bribery, theft, and rigged contracts.

U.S. Army Specialist Stephanie Charboneau sat at the center of a complex trucking network in Forward Operating Base Fenty near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border that distributed daily tens of thousands of gallons of what troops called "liquid gold": the refined petroleum that fueled the international coalition's vehicles, planes, and generators.

A prominent sign in the base read: "The Army Won't Go If The Fuel Don't Flow." But Charboneau, 31, a mother of two from Washington state, felt alienated after a supervisor's harsh rebuke. Her work was a dreary routine of recording fuel deliveries in a computer and escorting trucks past a gate. But it was soon to take a dark turn into high-value crime.

She began an affair with a civilian, Jonathan Hightower, who worked for a Pentagon contractor that distributed fuel from Fenty, and one day in March 2010 he told her about "this thing going on" at other U.S. military bases around Afghanistan, she recalled in a recent telephone interview.

Troops were selling the U.S. military's fuel to Afghan locals on the side, and pocketing the proceeds. When Hightower suggested they start doing the same, Charboneau said, she agreed.

In so doing, Charboneau contributed to thefts by U.S. military personnel of at least $15 million worth of fuel since the start of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. And eventually she became one of at least 115 enlisted personnel and military officers convicted since 2005 of committing theft, bribery, and contract-rigging crimes valued at $52 million during their deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a comprehensive tally of court records by the Center for Public Integrity.

Many of these crimes grew out of shortcomings in the military's management of the deployments that experts say are still present: a heavy dependence on cash transactions, a hasty award process for high-value contracts, loose and harried oversight within the ranks, and a regional culture of corruption that proved seductive to the Americans troops transplanted there.

Charboneau, whose Facebook posts reveal a bright-eyed woman with a shoulder tattoo and a huge grin, snuggling with pets and celebrating the 2015 New Year with her children in Seattle Seahawks jerseys, now sits in Carswell federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, serving a seven-year sentence for her crime.

[Feb 09, 2020] Michael Lind on Reviving Democracy by Aaron Sibarium

Notable quotes:
"... AS : You've talked about technocratic progressives, and alluded to what might be called technocratic libertarians. Is there such a thing as technocratic populism, which genuinely responds to populist complaints through market-based, technical solutions? Or is technocratic populism a contradiction in terms? ..."
"... AS : It's ironic, isn't it, that some of the changes that hollowed out the parties were initially justified on the grounds that they weren't representative enough. Would it be fair to say that these kinds of populist reforms backfired and produced democratic deficits? ..."
"... AS : Two proposals that have been voiced by those policy wonks in recent years are universal basic income and trust-busting. In the book you reject both of these proposals. Why? ..."
"... AS : Five times zero is still zero. ..."
"... AS : Many of the power-sharing proposals you favor work by creating veto points that let workers say no and force a compromise. Do you worry that this might make us less competitive in the international arena? China doesn't have many democratic constraints on the market, after all, because it's not a democracy. Is it possible to create veto points without sacrificing efficiency, and with it our competitive edge? ..."
"... AS : In closing, I want to ask a couple big-picture questions. Patrick Deneen, the author of Why Liberalism Failed , recently tweeted that The New Class War is "THE essential book of the decade." Do you agree that liberalism has failed? And if not, why do you think that a lot of post-liberals have been raving about your book? ..."
"... AS : You don't seem to have much faith in either political party right now. Do you think the power-sharing you envision can plausibly arise without any help from established politicians, or are things going to get a lot worse before they get better? ..."
"... AS : Do you think competition with China could potentially catalyze a class truce? ..."
"... AS : Last question: Your theory of the case is very much a systemic one. It's a story about structures and institutions and systems, how they've changed and how they've changed for the worse. What, if anything, can individuals do to promote the kind of systemic change you want to see in the United States? ..."
Feb 09, 2020 | www.the-american-interest.com

Michael Lind on Reviving DemocracyTo fix things, we must acknowledge the nature of the problem. T he Cold War may have ended, but the class war rages on -- or so Michael Lind argues in The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite . TAI assistant editor Aaron Sibarium recently sat down with Lind to discuss this argument, and what it means for democracy in our populist era. This is a lightly edited transcript of the conversation.

Aaron Sibarium for TAI: You have a new book out: The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite . What is the new class war?

Michael Lind : It's the conflict that has broken out between the college-credentialed, university-educated managerial and professional class, which dominates Western democracies on both sides of the Atlantic, and the high school-educated working class of all races and national origins, which is about two-thirds of the population. I argue that there was a kind of class peace treaty, or what political scientists call a "settlement," between capitalists, managers, and the working class for a couple of decades following 1945 that broke down in the late 20 th century, largely as a result of the atrophy of the institutions that had amplified the power of less educated working-class people. The most important of these were trade unions, churches, and other religious organizations, as well as local mass membership parties -- parties of political machines at the local level.

As a result of that breakdown, there's just been a shift of power and influence in all three realms: the economy, the culture, and government. And I argue the frustration this has created on behalf of much of the population has ultimately led to a lot of the populist rebellions we're seeing: the election of Trump, the Brexit vote in Europe, the Yellow Vest revolts in France.

AS : Part of the story here is the rise of a "managerial elite," as you call it, which differs in important ways from the elite it displaced. What are the distinct features of this managerial class?

ML : I don't claim any particular originality here. I follow James Burnham, a one-time influential American Trotskyist who became one of the founders of postwar American conservatism. In his book The Managerial Revolution written during World War II, he argued that the Marxists were wrong. The two major classes in the Western world in the 1940s were not workers and capitalists, but workers and managers. Because at that point, thanks to the rise of large corporations, there was what Berle and Means in their classic study of the corporation described as separation of ownership and control. And you had this bureaucratic corporate executive class who were not necessarily the biggest shareholders. Particularly nowadays when shared ownership is widely dispersed and fluctuating, it's kind of a legal fiction to say that the shareholders are the owners of the corporation, and that the managers are merely passive agents.

So that was the argument. Burnham argued -- and I follow him -- that the managerial elite includes far more than corporate executives. It includes professionals, experts of all kinds, civil servants, and also the military, which he argued would become increasingly influential in societies. Meanwhile, only one-third of the working class was ever industrial workers -- the rest were service and clerical workers. But at present, as a result of automation and productivity growth, most new working class jobs are in hospitality and leisure, healthcare and retail. And those tend to be very poorly paid and very non-union jobs. So the migration of employment from the unionized manufacturing sector to these sectors has contributed to inequality.

AS : A common libertarian argument holds that if you look at the data, working-class living standards have improved, so everything's more or less fine. To the extent there is a crisis, it's one more of perception than fact. How do you respond to this argument?

ML : Well, it's true: As a result of technological progress poor people have access to all kinds of technology that rich people did not have a century ago. The problem with libertarians is they're like Marxists, and even some progressives: They think money is everything. The problem with libertarians is they're like Marxists, and even some progressives: They think money is everything. They ignore power. They ignore dignity. So the basic premise is, "well, you've lost your unions, which amplified your influence if you only had a high school diploma, but in return you make $500 more a year, so it's a wash."

I find it very odd because the whole basis of American republicanism, small-r republicanism, is the idea that ordinary people should have power and that there should be checks and balances. The idea is not that you can have a dictatorship or an autocracy or an aristocracy as long as it pays compensation to everyone else.

AS : Here at the magazine, we're very interested in reviving what we call the political center. In the book you note that the center of elite opinion is very different from the center of working-class opinion -- even as your emphasis on class compromise sounds, well, kind of centrist. Do you identify as a centrist? And what do you think are the biggest mistakes that self-styled centrists have made?

ML : Marx said, "I'm not a Marxist," so I like saying that I, Michael Lind, am not a Lindist. I'm less interested in sticking out a position on the political spectrum -- either the elite spectrum or the working-class spectrum, which are your two different political spectrums -- than I am in nation-building. And how do you rebuild a functioning democratic nation-state in which politics is not all about 51 percent trying to annihilate 49 percent? I think we have to be as inclusive as possible. In the book, I call this "democratic pluralism," the idea being that you have to have a government based on compromise.

But before you can have compromise, you have to acknowledge the reality of conflict. You have to admit that the conflicts are legitimate. Because if one side is simply wrong or one side is simply evil, then there's no point in compromise. So democratic pluralism is a very realistic view of politics. It's arguably the case that employers and employees have clashing interests on things like trade and immigration. There is no one objective policy, so you have to negotiate and make trade-offs. Different religious groups and secular people have equally legitimate values. They have to coexist in the same society.

And when it comes to matters of class, the vast majority of working-class people simply are going to be outweighed in politics and in the media by the minority of very well-educated and very well-financed people. So they have to have their own organizations to exercise what the economist John Kenneth Galbraith called "countervailing power." But my vision is one of compromise and negotiation. It's not that a group of experts gets together and decides what the ideal policy is and then the government just imposes this. I don't know in advance what the ideal policy is for Uber and Lyft drivers. I think that the drivers should have some kind of collective representation and should be able to negotiate with their employers. But if they can come up with a solution that's acceptable to both, that's fine with me.

AS : You say that under democratic pluralism, the state serves as a kind of brokering agent between labor and capital. Could you elaborate on the role of the state in this negotiating structure?

ML : The libertarian or classical liberal view of government is that it's an umpire. It doesn't have any commitment to one side or another, or even to one country or another, according to libertarianism; it just enforces the rules. Whoever wins, wins. But the democratic pluralist tradition sees the democratic nation-state as the coach of a team. And the team includes the national managerial elite and investors and workers, who are all competing with other nations. So democratic pluralism involves some degree of economic nationalism.

It's not necessarily leading to war or anything like that. It's just that all the different countries are trying to make their own people more prosperous. And so as a result of that, the government can step in and keep the different groups in society from ripping each other apart. But at the same time it should not just try to dictate things from above. So that's why I think the coach metaphor is better than the umpire metaphor.

AS : Would you say that this more thoroughgoing concept of democratic representation is just a means to class compromise, or is it a normative end in itself?

ML : I think it's a means to an end. The normative end is national unity. And that's why, even though some of this sounds vaguely Marxist, the premise is not that the working class is going to destroy and replace the managerial class. Every society, including communist societies, have had managerial elites in the modern world. And you have to have them. You have to have experts. You have to have managers. And in practice, they will probably pass on their advantages to their children to some degree. You even see this in communist industrial countries. So the goal is to give the working-class majority the weapons to enforce a compromise, to draw some concessions from the managerial elite.

If the working class were too strong and were threatening to cripple the managerial elite, I would be for strengthening the managers against an overly powerful working class. But the goal is national unity. It's what Henry Carey , the Whig economist in the 19 th century who was an advisor to Abraham Lincoln, called "the harmony of interests." And there's this older Hamiltonian tradition that rejected the Jeffersonian and Jacksonian idea that there's a battle to the death between capital and labor in favor of the idea that they're partners in a common project of national development and national construction. But the government is not simply a passive figure. It's actively bringing them together and regulating their partnership.

AS : You write that under democratic pluralism, "legislatures can cede large areas of policymaking to those with higher stakes and expertise." That framing sounds a bit like some defenses of the administrative state, of which you are a partial critic. What role, if any, do administrative agencies have in brokering class compromise?

ML : There have been two kinds of administrative agencies that are somewhat independent of direct presidential political control since the progressive era. One kind is the very technocratic agency where you get the experts who are insulated, they're altruistic, they're wise, they have degrees from Ivy League universities. And whatever they want is supposedly good for the public. I'm very suspicious of this for obvious reasons. The other kind is associated with a lot of the New Deal agencies that were created. And we have to remember the New Deal was a farmer-labor alliance. It was an alliance of the working class and the family farmers who had been excluded from the first stage of industrialization in the United States. They realized that Congress cannot possibly make detailed regulations for everything in an industrial economy, but at the same time they did not want to turn over vast discretionary power to a bunch of "pointy heads," as George Wallace would say, from the Ivy League universities.

So their compromise was to create sector-specific organizations: the FCC, the Agriculture Department, and various independent agencies where interest groups were represented and could influence policy, even if only informally. Now, libertarians hate this because they see it as corruption for the interest groups to influence policy. A certain kind of technocratic progressive hates it because the people who make policy are not supposed to actually be from that field -- that's their definition of corruption. But to my mind it makes sense, because if you're going to make policy for family farmers, you should probably talk to family farmers. If you're going to make policy for taxi drivers, then represent the taxi drivers and consult with them.

By the same token, I think we have a very unrealistic view of the omnicompetent legislator. We have this idea that if you're a Senator, today you're going to make policy for farming and tomorrow you're going to make it for pilots, and the day after that you're going to make it for religious liberty. Having worked in state legislatures, I can tell you that doesn't happen. What happens is that one or two members of the legislature are known as experts in a particular field. Usually they have some connection with that field, and their fellow legislators -- often across party lines -- defer to their expertise. So one of the things I argue is that we should not be afraid to delegate some policymaking authority to administrative agencies, on the condition that they represent interest groups, particularly working-class interest groups, whose views might be ignored otherwise.

AS : How much of the current working-class ferment is due to a feeling of powerlessness, and how much of it is due to the people in power making bad decisions? Put another way, if elites had taken better care of the working class without actually giving them much substantive representation, would the working class still be in revolt? To what extent is this about powerlessness qua powerlessness versus not getting some preferred policy outcome?

ML : I think you can make that distinction in theory. But in practice, you really can't, because unless there are institutions that represent the policy preferences of working-class people, those people are going to be ignored.

So in theory, yes, you could have had a bipartisan consensus that did not push elite-friendly globalization policies, that did not push elite-friendly immigration policies, that did not push elite-friendly environmental policies such as in France. But there's a reason why the elite-friendly policies always prevailed: the absence of actual checks and balances. So I simply don't believe in the possibility of a benevolent elite unless members of the working class have something beyond the vote. I simply don't believe in the possibility of a benevolent elite unless members of the working class have something beyond the vote. The vote is important, but casting a vote every couple of years for one of two candidates -- particularly when both have been chosen by donors and elite activists -- does not give you very much influence on the system. That's why, I think, you have to have free elections, but they have to be supplemented by policymaking bodies where you have additional checks and balances.

AS : You write that "even in so-called capitalist countries," partly as a result of this lack of checks and balances, property rights have been "diluted and redefined beyond recognition." How has this happened, and what are the implications for the struggle you're describing?

ML : This gets into why I don't like the term "middle class." For the majority of people in the United States, I use the term "working class." The classic word for that is "proletarian," which sounds kind of Marxist, but it comes from ancient Rome. It meant a propertyless wage worker, who has to earn a living by working for wages. Today we talk about the home-owning majority, the property-owning majority, and so on. But in practice, unless you have paid off your house mortgage loan completely, you're renting it from the bank. And the same is true of your car -- you're renting that until it's completely paid off, if it ever is. So the property-owning majority is kind of an illusion.

And I'm not criticizing the system. It's a successful system. But let's not trick ourselves into thinking that most Americans are therefore property-owners in a significant sense, or certainly that they're capitalists. The vast majority of Americans in retirement depend almost entirely on Social Security. Only the top half of the population has any kind of investments in 401(k)s or IRAs. And even that, if you look at the average 401K or IRA, is really a negligible amount of money. It doesn't last very long. So we really have a majority of people who could not live for more than a few weeks without a wage, without turning to the state for unemployment insurance. They would be destitute in old age without Social Security. And this is one of the reasons that there's a class division in attitudes toward entitlement policy. It seems insane, if you think about it, that after the economy crashed in 2008, the priority in Britain was austerity, cutting back government spending in the middle of a global depression. And in the United States, we had the bipartisan effort to cut the deficit, with President Obama offering the Republicans a cut to Social Security. That would not have happened in a truly democratic system in which ordinary people had the same clout as very well-to-do people.

AS : Implicit here is a critique of a certain kind of left-producerism, which folks like Elizabeth Warren and Matt Stoller have been pushing. That tradition imagines a world where all Americans are self-reliant property-owners, and hearkens back to the free labor movement of the 19 th century. You seem to be saying this is a pipe dream.

ML : My previous book, which I co-authored with the economist Robert D. Atkinson, was Big Is Beautiful: Debunking the Myth of Small Business . And we criticize this anachronistic, 19 th -century Jeffersonian idea of the small producer. It's just completely anachronistic. A slight majority of Americans today work for firms with 500 people or more. I love that statistic. It just shocks people.

Small businesses create most new jobs. They also destroy most new jobs because almost all small businesses fail. Small businesses create most new jobs. They also destroy most new jobs because almost all small businesses fail. So the only net job creation is by successful businesses, which if they are successful, become medium-size or large businesses. They level off at some point, of course. But that being the case, this Jeffersonian ideal is a hundred years out of date. It was clear in the early 20 th century that you could do four things to respond to the rise of large corporations. One is to break them up into little teeny-weeny firms again, mom and pop firms. That's the anti-trust agenda. That was considered anachronistic even in World War I -- Woodrow Wilson said, "this is absurd." So did Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt has this reputation as a trust buster, but if you actually read what he wrote, he thought consolidation was inevitable.

So we have these large corporations, and they should be regulated. But if you reject breaking them up into little pieces, what are the remaining three options? Well, there's nationalization. That's what the socialists wanted. Eugene Debs and the socialists thought trusts were great, because it's easier to nationalize a big firm than a small firm.

Then there's regulation, and then there's countervailing power, to use the term again from John Kenneth Galbraith. The labor movement under Samuel Gompers in the early 20 th century said, "well, we don't want socialism. We're not socialists. We want dynamic firms. We want to share their profits as workers. We don't want our own little tiny mom and pop firms. We like working for steel companies and car companies, as long as we're paid decently. We don't want the government to regulate our wages and benefits because we think that the rich lobbyists will always have more clout in Congress than representatives of working people."

So their solution, which I argue for, was countervailing power. You pool the labor power of workers, but then you negotiate with the big firms.

Now there's technically a fifth option, which is even more absurd than the anti-trust option. That's the libertarian one, where you just allow oligopolies and monopolies to grow, and they grow simply because they're dynamic and efficient. But if they abuse their power you just turn a blind eye to it. And you have to be an ideological libertarian to believe that a janitor, an individual janitor, has bargaining power in a company with 500 people. That's just pure nonsense and it's been recognized as such. Even J.S. Mill, who is cited as a classical liberal thinker, was for unions, because he saw that there was no way one individual could realistically negotiate a contract of employment with a large firm.

AS : You claim that immigration has made this kind of negotiation more difficult by creating a split labor market that ends up hurting low-wage workers. Yet several studies have suggested that it was cultural anxiety, not economic distress, that best predicted support for Trump. Would it be fair to say that immigration is primarily a cultural battleground in this new class war? Or do you think the materialist story is underrated?

ML : That's a misleading question. Most of the social science on Trump and Brexit is worthless because political scientists look for a single factor. Was it deindustrialization, was it racial views, was it age or whatever? And since you're dealing with a society that's quite stratified by class and divided by race, people have multiple characteristics that you can't catch if you're doing a regression analysis with one polling question. So I dismiss a lot of that stuff.

What I do in the book is build on Edna Bonacich's idea of the split labor market . That's when you have two populations competing for the same job. Sometimes they're of different ethnicities, they can be from different regions of the country or from different classes, but each has distinct, identifiable characteristics. Employers prefer the population that is willing to work for lower wages, whatever its defining characteristic is. For example, in the 19 th century industrial capitalists in the North brought in not just African-Americans, but also poor whites from the South to undercut unionization by mostly European immigrants in Northern industrial cities -- often Irish-Americans, German-, Polish-, Italian-Americans. That's a split labor market. Another example is employers bringing Chinese indentured servants to California to undercut unionization attempts by white labor activists. When that happens, there's inevitably racial resentment as well as economic resentment. The Irish-American labor organizers in San Francisco will denounce the Chinese for their cultural characteristics, and, at the same time, they'll denounce the capitalists for bringing in the Chinese to undercut their wages.

So you have to think about it as a three-way conflict among employers and two different groups of workers. It's not simply a racist, anti-racist paradigm. On the other hand, it's not pure economics, because there's often ethnic resentment between these different groups.

AS : Immigration is part of a larger story you tell about global labor arbitrage. Can you expand on that?

ML : Arbitrage is making a profit by exploiting jurisdictional differences in the value of the same good -- in this case, labor. It has nothing to do with productivity growth, and this is something that is confused in talks about globalization. If you shut down a factory in the Midwest and open up a new factory employing cheaper labor in South China or Mexico, using exactly the same technology, the profit of your firm goes up because the wage share of the profit has gone down. You're no more productive than you were, and you don't produce any more output because productivity is output-per-worker. The Chinese workers or the Mexican workers are producing cars and iPhones at the same rate as the American workers -- they're just paid much less. So that's labor arbitrage.

You also get labor arbitrage with immigration. When employers bring in a group from abroad to work the same jobs that natives or naturalized immigrants have been doing, but for lower wages, the new workers are not more productive, or more skilled, or more efficient. They're just cheaper.

AS : You hold up the post-World War II settlement as a model of democratic pluralism -- not just in economics but also culture. That settlement arguably rested on a shared moral consensus -- in particular a shared Christian consensus -- that's since broken down. The working class has become more diverse, not just ethnically but religiously, philosophically, morally. How do we have cultural power-sharing agreements when there's no shared culture, even among the working class?

ML : Well, I disagree with that characterization of the postwar period. Up until then you had a mainline Protestant establishment in the United States that was very anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish. And so Jewish kids and Catholic kids had to recite Protestant prayers in schools and sing Protestant hymns. Americanization was stripping them of being Jewish and Catholic. And evangelical Protestants suffered as well because these were mainline Protestants who didn't like evangelical Protestants.

But after World War II, the United States created what the sociologist Will Herberg called "the triple establishment." He wrote a book called Protestant -- Catholic -- Jew . And I'm old enough to remember that at every high school commencement, you had a priest, a minister, and a rabbi. So it was pluralistic. Now the term "Judeo-Christian" was invented around that time, to pretend these religions are all part of the same thing, which their theologians will dispute. I'm not saying we should return to that and ignore secular people, particularly with secularization increasing in the U.S. as in Europe.

But I think we've moved back toward a secularized Protestant mainline establishment. And if you look at a lot of the "wokeness" we see today, it's kind of a secularized version of New England puritanism I think we've moved back toward a secularized Protestant mainline establishment. And if you look at a lot of the "wokeness" we see today, it's kind of a secularized version of New England puritanism , at least in the United States. They go after exactly the same people that the old Northeastern mainline did: Southern evangelicals, Catholics, and traditional, non-liberal Jews. Muslims as well, although they treat Muslim as a racial category to be favored rather than a religious conservative category, although most Muslims are religiously conservative.

So I argue that we don't want a French-style anticlerical state, which wants to ban all displays of religion and be aggressively secular. That's not the American tradition. It's not the Anglo-American tradition. You also don't want the elite's religion -- which in the old days was mainline Protestantism, nowadays you'd call it mainline secularism -- to simply dominate the media and education. So I think we have to go back to some kind of institutionalized representation. Maybe it will be the priest, the minister, the rabbi, the druid, and the atheist. But I think that's a much healthier approach in a society where you have deep permanent value pluralism , as the philosopher John Gray has argued. You have to have what he calls a modus vivendi , an agreement to live and let live and co-exist.

AS : In your book, you note that there used to be religious and cultural bodies that were informally charged with oversight of education in the media. Organizations to which films were submitted for approval.

ML : Yeah, the Legion of Decency, which was originally a Catholic organization. It got to the point where Hollywood would just submit the films to them. There's this wonderful movie by the Coen brothers, Hail, Caesar , about making a biblical epic in the 1950s. There's a great scene where they have a Catholic priest, a Protestant minister, an Orthodox Christian priest, and a rabbi, and the poor studio guys are trying to make sure their film doesn't offend anybody.

Now, if you're a free speech zealot of the romantic libertarian bent, then the more shocking to public sensibilities, the better. And I don't want to go back to the old days where they were censoring Catcher in the Rye in the libraries. But on the other hand, come on. If you have a society that is half wiccans and half Nordic Asatru Thor worshippers, what is the goal of your policy in education and so on? Is it to constantly insult and humiliate the two groups that are the biggest groups in your society?

And what about parents? If you have compulsory public education, then the views of the parents ought to be respected by educators, right? Now again, this is not anticlerical France where the public school is a way to de-program Catholic school children and turn them into French Jacobin Republican citizens. I'm very supportive of mandatory viewpoint diversity in K-12 and higher education, and also in the media because let's face it, the mass media are a de facto public utility. It's how people communicate, it's what shapes perceptions. And to say that it's a purely private thing, so if you don't like it, go found your own radio network or your own TV network or your own social media platform . . . I don't think that's realistic.

AS : You note that in the past, Catholics played a role out of proportion to their numbers when it came to policing the culture. What sort of minority group, if any, do you think would fill that role today? Is there a particular subgroup that's well-positioned to revive these religious or cultural bodies?

ML : There is a kind of a revival of Catholic social thought on the right wing of the Republican Party, with people like Marco Rubio saying good things about unions. You see flickers there of this older Catholic influence, both in working-class economic areas but also in the culture. Like Protestants, Catholics are declining as a percentage of the population. Southern evangelicals, because of their dispensationalist ideology -- thinking the end of the world is near -- did not for obvious reasons put a whole lot of effort into thinking about the details of public policy.

We'll see what happens with American Muslims. What you saw with Catholic immigrants and Jewish immigrants was that even as they became less ethnic diasporas, they remained religious believers. There were new Jewish-American and Catholic-American establishments. I think we may see that with both Sunni and Shi'a Muslims. And to the extent that they don't accept the idea that we're just going to go along with whatever the Ivy League schools say, to the extent they reject the woke secular liberal attitude, they may play a role.

AS : You also have a very interesting passage where you say that terms like transphobia, homophobia, and Islamophobia medicalize politics, and treat different viewpoints as evidence of psychological disorder. Why has this become one of the go-to methods for invalidating dissent in the United States?

ML : Well, it has very deep roots, nearly a century old. If you go back to the 1920s and 30s, many of the intellectuals in the Western world were just completely entranced with Freudianism, and with other kinds of modern psychology. They thought that this was a science and it explained human behavior. And so the whole project of redefining morality in terms of psychology and therapy goes back to Freudianism, and then you get these increasingly dumbed down versions of it where one moral dispute after another -- over gay rights, over trans rights, over immigration -- gets medicalized so that instead of this being a dispute based on thousand-year-old religious texts, the people who hold a certain view are simply emotionally disturbed. And the cure for that is therapy.

You see this with diversity training. The premise is that if you don't agree with whatever the accepted positions are, then you need to be reprogrammed. To become a productive, normal person, you need therapy. And I think this is just very sinister and totalitarian. Obviously there are emotionally disturbed people who hate homosexuals, and there are deranged individuals with a completely insane hatred of people of another race. But as I say in the book, an Orthodox Jewish rabbi who disapproves of homosexuality, but also of abortion and divorce and adultery, is just following the teachings of Judaism, right? The rabbi is a perfectly normal, well-adjusted person. That's just the theology. If you want to fight the theology, denounce the theology.

But when you have the elites in charge of education and the media essentially adopting as their working hypothesis that anyone who disagrees with them needs therapy -- this is very sinister.

AS : It seems like this medicalization of politics has coincided with the rise of outlets like Vox, which you criticize more than once in The New Class War . Is that just an accident, or have both trends been driven by the same technocratic impulse?

ML : Yes, Vox very much represents what I call technocratic progressivism -- the idea that there is one "correct" answer which is also the moral answer. And so if anyone disagrees with the Vox policy, either they're ignorant or emotionally disturbed. It's very patronizing.

Having said that, the right has its own version of this, where anyone who disagrees with the right's policies is a traitor or an instrument of Satan or morally evil or stupid. So you find it on both sides.

But the medicalization tends to be associated with the overclass center-left, not the radical left. The Marxists don't do this because they believe in class conflict. I think their theory of class and class conflict is wrong, but they're actually closer to reality than the technocratic progressives who think that if everyone were sane and smart, there would never be any conflicts at all.

AS : You've talked about technocratic progressives, and alluded to what might be called technocratic libertarians. Is there such a thing as technocratic populism, which genuinely responds to populist complaints through market-based, technical solutions? Or is technocratic populism a contradiction in terms?

ML : I think it's a contradiction in terms, because if you believe as I do that the root of populism is a power deficit, then it's not a matter of getting the right policies. You actually have to redistribute power, and redistributing power to working class people means they have the power to be wrong and support dumb things. And their representatives have the power to make bad decisions.

So I don't think you can come up with a kinder and gentler version of technocratic progressivism where you just do better polling or you're just more benevolent and more sensitive to working-class people. You have to talk to them. I spent two decades in the NGO world. Apart from receptionists and janitors, you never encounter working-class people. I spent two decades in the NGO world. Apart from receptionists and janitors, you never encounter working-class people. The idea that you would actually go out there and ask them what their problems are, that almost never happens.

To be clear, there are some good things that come out of the technocratic approach. You don't expect working-class people to tell you statistically what the best health insurance option is. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about basic preferences. The politicians do go out and supposedly hear from people at the diner when they're trying to get elected. But the experts in a think tank or university who are coming up with the plans that the politicians then sell to the people at the diner -- those experts don't have much contact with the working class.

Fifty years ago in this country it worked differently. The parties were federations of state and local parties, so word could go forth from Washington to persuade people that yes, this is the way to do it. And often that worked because the people involved in the local Democratic or Republican machine trusted the county precinct chairman. But the people in DC also heard from the grassroots. County people would talk to the state people, state people would send the message that things are going on out here. Now that the parties are just shells bought by billionaires, you don't get that.

As for unions -- they did bad things as well as good things, all human organizations have trade-offs -- but it meant that there was some kind of mechanism for working-class revolts to get somebody's ear up above. And in the absence of unions you get polls. "There's a poll that shows the working class believes X, there's a poll that shows the working class believes Y." In the old days you asked the shop steward or the foreman what the working class thought; you didn't have a telephone poll. That shows the extent to which all these connecting levels of organization have vanished, if the only way to find out what people are thinking is by calling them randomly and asking their opinion.

AS : It's ironic, isn't it, that some of the changes that hollowed out the parties were initially justified on the grounds that they weren't representative enough. Would it be fair to say that these kinds of populist reforms backfired and produced democratic deficits?

ML : Yeah, I think that's right. Now, sure, there were corrupt smoke-filled-room politicians. There were sleazy union officials who were embezzling from the union, there was sexual harassment among religious figures. These are human institutions.

But in ancient Rome, there were the tribunes, whose role was to represent the ordinary people against the senatorial class. And the moment it was reduced to one tribune -- who happened to be Caesar -- that was the end of that system. So you have to have lots of little petty tribunes, lots of petty power brokers, whom the metropolitan liberals never liked. The elite conservatives never liked them. Everybody looked down their noses at them, and at the church ladies, and at the corrupt local union boss, but they're all gone now. They're all extinct, just like the dinosaurs. So there's this huge void in between. Nothing's perfect, but I think we do have to rebuild this group of intermediate brokers so that you don't simply have a political system that consists of donors, advertising experts, and policy wonks who live in New York and Washington and maybe San Francisco.

AS : Two proposals that have been voiced by those policy wonks in recent years are universal basic income and trust-busting. In the book you reject both of these proposals. Why?

ML : Well, universal basic income has always been rejected by pro-labor people and by social democrats on the theory that if the working class has power through collective bargaining and other means to force employers to pay a living wage, then you don't need a universal basic income. If you work 40 hours a week -- and there's dignity to work -- then it's profoundly humiliating to say that a few rich CEOs are the only productive people in society, and everyone else is some kind of parasite. But to bribe them into silence, we'll just pay them off -- this is utterly abhorrent to the idea of the dignity of labor. It's abhorrent to the idea of a democratic Republic. Instead, you have an aristocracy passing out charity to people.

So that's the moral and political reason for rejecting it. The practical reason is, does anyone think that these billionaires who are hiding all of their income in the Cayman Islands are going to consent to be taxed to give everyone $12,000 a year? I don't believe that for a moment. Right now you can't even raise taxes on people making $100,000 or $200,000 a year. If the middle class is defined as anyone making less than $200,000 a year, we're not going to raise taxes on them. So where's this money coming from for the UBI?

And I've already touched briefly on the fact that trust-busting is anachronistic. What's particularly absurd is they're trying to argue that inequality has gone up, not for the real reason, which is that unions have been crushed and labor markets have been flooded by low-wage immigrants, but because of the monopsony power of big corporations. Okay. So let's say you break Facebook into five giant firms. Do we really believe that the janitor is going to have five times the bargaining power in these baby Facebooks? That's ridiculous. It's not going to happen.

AS : Five times zero is still zero.

ML : Yeah. But what you see with the Democrats is they're rapidly being taken over by formerly Republican libertarians and moderates. So as the Bush Republicans and a lot of libertarians, even the Koch brothers, are distancing themselves from the Republican Party, are moving away from the GOP because it's becoming more blue-collar -- well, when Bush country club Republicans decide, "Oh, I hate Donald Trump, I'm going to switch to the Democrats," they don't necessarily change their views about taxes or immigration or unions.

I'll give you an example I use in the book. The overwhelming majority of congressional districts in the 2016 elections that went for Clinton are among the wealthiest districts in the United States. And Trump got among the poorest districts in the United States, so the idea that the Republicans are the country club managerial capitalist party and the Democrats are the AFL-CIO steelworkers is like 20, 30 years out of date. It's all in flux.

AS : Many of the power-sharing proposals you favor work by creating veto points that let workers say no and force a compromise. Do you worry that this might make us less competitive in the international arena? China doesn't have many democratic constraints on the market, after all, because it's not a democracy. Is it possible to create veto points without sacrificing efficiency, and with it our competitive edge?

ML : Germany has had strong unions and co-determination, and its manufacturing industries are in many ways more advanced and successful than in the United States, where companies just want to crush unions and go for the cheapest possible labor. Japan is very paternalistic, but they have good labor relations as part of this kind of welfare capitalist system. So if you look at export competitiveness, the anti-labor countries like the U.S. and the UK don't do that well compared to the ones that have some kind of harmonization among their workforces and employers in manufacturing.

What dictatorships like China can do is mainly through credit, not cheap labor. They can dump products below cost on the rest of the world. And the classic dumping strategy, whether it's from a firm or a nation, is that you deliberately sell below cost long enough to drive your rivals out of business. And then at that point you have a monopoly in the market, which means you can jack up the price to recoup the losses you incurred during the dumping phase. So if you have government-owned enterprises, or nominally private enterprises that in practice have an unlimited credit line from the government or from banks the government pressures, there's no way any private enterprise can compete with a state-backed corporation.

So if you believe in industrial capitalism as I do -- I think it's the most dynamic system for increasing wealth and innovation in history -- then you have to block entry into your market by state-capitalists, otherwise they will wipe out your firms. This should not even be debated.

AS : In closing, I want to ask a couple big-picture questions. Patrick Deneen, the author of Why Liberalism Failed , recently tweeted that The New Class War is "THE essential book of the decade." Do you agree that liberalism has failed? And if not, why do you think that a lot of post-liberals have been raving about your book?

ML : Well I think there's agreement among people with very different views of history that what we call "liberalism" now -- which I would call libertarianism or neoliberalism -- has moved toward hyper-individualism in the culture and deregulation of the economy, and that this is a bad thing. It's bad for community. It's bad for the nation-state. It's bad in the long run for the capitalist economy because it undermines its foundations.

Where you get debate is on the question of when this started. To my mind, the neoliberal era started in the '70s and really got underway after the Cold War. For some of the critics of liberalism, like Deneen, it starts with the Protestant Reformation or with the Enlightenment. That's an interesting debate to have, but it's a philosophical debate. And I think that whatever your theory of the case, you can agree that the neoliberal moment is hopefully over, and that it's time to create a new system, which I for one hope will incorporate the good things about neoliberalism: emancipation of sexual minorities, a lot of the gains in civil rights and civil liberties. So you want the pendulum to swing back, but not necessarily all the way to where it was before neoliberalism. You just correct the excesses in the next stage of history.

AS : You don't seem to have much faith in either political party right now. Do you think the power-sharing you envision can plausibly arise without any help from established politicians, or are things going to get a lot worse before they get better?

ML : In the book, I argue that ruling elites generally share power only when they're forced to. And they are forced to either by fear of insurrection from below or by a fear of competition with other countries. I argue that ruling elites generally share power only when they're forced to. And they are forced to either by fear of insurrection from below or by a fear of competition with other countries. In most cases it's very difficult for weak, disorganized working-class people, or in the old days peasants, to overthrow the regime. So the elite doesn't have a whole lot to worry about from below. If you look at the creation of the mid-century class compromise I document in The New Class War , it was done largely during World War II in the United States and in Britain and in Germany. The left doesn't like to admit this. They want to pretend it was just a spontaneous upwelling from below. But in fact union membership shot up radically during World War II, because the Roosevelt Administration ordered firms to switch to war production, to make a deal with unions in the interest of defeating the Axis powers.

So at this point, I'm actually very pessimistic. I think that absent some kind of sustained international rivalry, where a section of the managerial elite comes to understand that constant labor and cultural warfare undermines us in international competition, so that they will have to broker a truce to save themselves -- I think absent that, you get a situation like a lot of South American countries. Brazil and Mexico, Central America, arguably they suffer because they never had a major war, and thus never had any incentive to extend power to ordinary people. So they're very oligarchical to this day.

AS : Do you think competition with China could potentially catalyze a class truce?

ML : It could, but I'm a realist in my foreign policy views. So I tend to see international politics as a series of either low-level or very intense competitions among different great powers. So if it's China now, it may be a rising India 50 years from now, and it may be somebody else in a hundred years. I think it just makes sense as a matter of prudence for a nation-state that's also a great power, like the United States, to have a kind of permanent low-level mobilization, which we didn't do after the Cold War.

I think future historians will be puzzled by the idea that the bipartisan establishment had that there would be no more great power conflicts -- that we could move much of our manufacturing and R&D to China, our most likely competitor, and have nothing to worry about. Sure, it lowers consumer prices. But if you think that today's trading partner may be tomorrow's military rival, it doesn't mean you're not going to engage in trade and immigration, but it does mean you're going to have some limits on those things for national security reasons. And again, for national security reasons you do not want class conflicts, racial rivalries, religious disputes to spiral out of control. It undermines the strength and harmony of your country in a dangerous world.

AS : Last question: Your theory of the case is very much a systemic one. It's a story about structures and institutions and systems, how they've changed and how they've changed for the worse. What, if anything, can individuals do to promote the kind of systemic change you want to see in the United States?

ML : Well, I think the first thing they can do is get off Twitter, and stop following national news obsessively, which is largely something the educated upper-middle class does. Working-class people are working, they don't have time, but if you're just re-tweeting angry memes about national politics, that's not politics. I don't know what it is. It's a kind of entertainment or something.

So start with your neighborhood, start with your city. It's not going to be enough -- obviously you have to have the top-down element too -- but real politics is getting the dangerous intersection fixed. It's taking part in a group. If the only thing you do is you vote and then retweet cartoons about the other party, you're not really engaged in politics, right?

So you have to be part of some kind of group. It can be a community group, it can be a religious group, it can be a party group. You've got local Democrats, local Republicans. But I think the best way to break the tendency toward increasing nationalization of everything starts with the individual. It starts locally. When I teach I'm kind of amused, if not shocked, by the tendency of young people to think that if there's any problem, Washington should fix it. If you need a bike path in your city, then Congress should allocate money for the bike path. Well, okay, but why don't you try raising money door-to-door for the bike path? And if that doesn't work, why not go to the city council? And if that doesn't work, there's the state legislature. We really are drifting toward this system where it's assumed that if you elect the right President, then all problems, state and Federal and local, social and economic, will be solved because the President has the right policies.

The Democratic primary has just seemed unreal to me for this very reason because now each candidate has his or her own party platform. They're basically one-person parties, and they're expected to have a platform for every single thing. Up until recently, the President was just the head of the party in Congress, and the party had different wings. There were the farmers and labor and African-Americans, there were consumer groups. The party platform reflected the relative power of those groups, and the President vowed to help carry out the party platform.

I think we're moving toward a nationalized plebiscitary presidential system, where the president is freely elected, but it's a kind of elective dictatorship: an all-powerful Caesarist or Bonapartist presidency will just solve all of our problems, and then if anything goes wrong in the country it's the President's fault, even though the President didn't have all that much power in reality. Real politics starts locally and consists of having groups of people working together on common projects beginning at home. Published on: January 29, 2020

Michael Lind is co-founder of New America and the author of The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite . Aaron Sibarium is assistant editor at The American Interest .

[Feb 09, 2020] DNC Is Setting The Stage For An Irrevocable Split Of The Party

Feb 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

If there is one thing that is clear as we end this truly insane week it is that it was a good one for President Donald Trump.

Between his acquittal in the Senate over an impeachment that is the apotheosis of three years of patent nonsense and the fiasco that were the Iowa caucuses, Trump comes out of this first week of February in better shape than he's been since he won the election back in 2016.

The Democrats have made a complete mockery of their candidate selection process. At least back in 2016 when Trump knocked people off one by one the GOP didn't openly try to rig primaries against him.

Of course, Trump isn't as much of an outsider as he portrays himself, so his real threat to the entrenched political establishment in The Swamp was never as great as someone like, say, Ron Paul's was in 2012.

But the depths the DNC are willing to dig deep to in order to stop Bernie Sanders from being their nominee are truly breathtaking. In 2016, the Clinton machine had declared her the candidate. Bernie was getting in the way of her coronation as the first woman president.

In 2020, however, no one actually running for the Democratic nomination, except maybe Bernie Sanders in a perfect world, can actually beat Donald Trump. So, the whole process is really academic at this point.

Honestly, after this week the only person who can beat Trump nationally is Trump himself. So, that leaves me with 65/35 odds he'll be re-elected.

But with impeachment behind him, an agenda of retribution against his accusers ahead of him and a Democratic party deep in the preparations for committing ritualistic suicide Trump should have no problem carrying at least as many states as he did in 2016.

Caitlyn Johnstone believes that the DNC's ineptitude is a ruse, a clever ploy to look stupid and corrupt but doing so to ensure their preferred outcome, which is a brokered convention and the return of Hillary Clinton from the grave, as I said recently , "like some zombie whose head we forgot to cut off."

While I love Ms. Johnstone's thesis, I think she's missing the much more salient point. As the Democrats flop from one fiasco to the next, they are doing two very important things.

This is why no matter who is eventually declared the winner in Iowa, the winner there is Donald Trump.

And, guess what? There's only 49 more states like this to go!

I'm really regretting swearing off popcorn.

The good news is that, for now, the markets recognize that the biggest threat to U.S. political stability has been averted. Stocks bolted to new all-time highs after Trump's acquittal, but couldn't follow through to end the week.

It only gets better from here if the DNC is set on sowing distrust, chaos beneath a veneer of practiced stupidity.

So, while there are a number of sincere challenges to global growth both right in front of us (the coronavirus) and far ahead of us (the growing insolvency of the European financial system now that Brexit is finished) equity markets are more than capable of rallying for the next few sessions.

But expect volatility to increase from here. The dollar is strengthening. While the euro narrowly avoided a catastrophic January close last Friday, the dominant bear trend reasserted itself with a vengeance this week, breaking below the all-important $1.10 level.

And that should finally see eurobond prices begin to collapse. The rally we've seen over the past two weeks has been nothing short of ridiculous. A classic 'false move.'

Oil is now in a bear market after 2018's reaction high above $86 per barrel Brent and the terrible results and guidance from industry leaders this week like Exxon-Mobil (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) only reinforce that view. If not for some noises from OPEC+ and the hopes that Russia will go along with extending current production cuts kept Brent from collapsing further this week as shorts piled on early.

But everything comes down to King Dollar and whether real fear which lurks just behind the headlines grips the plumbing of global markets, which had an outstanding week.

This surge in the dollar confirms the December low as significant which sets up a difficult few months. Given everything else we're experiencing from the shutdown of major Chinese cities, travel, etc. there's every reason to be cautious here even if the equity markets keep grinding higher, though I'd expect a whole lotta grinding sideways from both equities and gold while this goes on.

Expect a lot of this schizophrenic behavior as capital sloshes from stem to stern trying to figure out where it should best be deployed in this age of central bank heroin .

The central banks are still desperate to keep a lid on volatility to extend the lie that they have things under control, but if that's the case then why is the Fed still having to deal with repo market interventions being oversubscribed and the rate creeping back up toward its target Fed Funds rate and IOER (Interest on Excess Reserves)?

They've lost control over the short end of the yield curve.

And that's where things get interesting for this election cycle.

For Trump, the primary season should work out well as the Democrats continue imploding. And I have no doubt he will now go on the warpath to take down those who he rightly feels wronged him and the country. And he'll be merciless on Twitter using it to goad the Democrats into even more lunacy, more mistakes.

This is what he truly excels at and it will all but guarantee him surviving any crises that appear on the horizon between now and November.

For now, New Hampshire is next. Bernie should win the most votes it in a walk. But the real winner, regardless of anything else will be Trump.

* * *

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Alice-the-dog , 7 minutes ago link

DNC is trying to drive Bernie and Tulsi out of the party. What they don't realize is that doing so will irrevocably drive more than their supporters out as well, as the party faithful realize their faith is unfounded.

HRClinton , 11 hours ago link

Let's not gloat too much here.

The GOP Old Guard screwed over the Libertarian wing also for years. Exhibit A: Ron Paul.

It boils down to this:

It does not matter if you are Democrat leaning or Republican leaning. As soon as you attempt to do any real and fundamental change, banksters bring out their big guns and fund whatever candidate or party to maintain the status quo. US elections are about tinkering around the edges, never about fundamental improvements that would be to the detriment of the banksters.

If you have an IQ >100, more than one testicle and the mental clarity, then you know that the true enemy is and always has been: International Banksters. Without them there could be no MIC, no Wars, no welfare for the rich and no excess of socialism for the poor. Without them, perpetual deficit financing would be impossible. They alone are the financial drug dealers who keep everyone addicted.

Nothing will change until you bring out the proverbial pitchforks, rope and guillotines.

LightBeamCowboy , 12 hours ago link

"But with impeachment behind him, an agenda of retribution against his accusers ahead of him ..."

An "agenda of retribution" is exactly what Dems want us to think this is. But when these cases reach court, we'll find out that they are just normal criminal prosecutions, for real crimes, with real evidence, that would have been brought to the arrest phase a long time ago except that Trump has taken all the time necessary to gather evidence on the one hand, and to let the Dems exhaust their quiver of anti-Trump arrows on the other. Think back to July 5th, 2016 when James Comey went in front of the cameras and rattled off a long list of serious crimes by Hillary and then said she wasn't going to be prosecuted. Trump could have brought charges on January 20th, 2017 but he didn't. These last three years have been the largest, most thorough criminal investigation, of the largest number of people, in human history. Brace yourself for the next phase. And BTW, the sealed indictments are up to 144,844 nationwide.

Mzhen , 11 hours ago link

November 9, 2019 -- "I caught the Swamp. I caught them all. Let's see what happens."

stevesmith- , 15 hours ago link

If were not for Bernie Sanders single-handily, we would not have 'democratic socialism' whatever that means...no one in the democratic party pushes socialism like he does...somehow Warren got 'tied up in the moment' and went with Medicare for All, then backed off. Let him win the nomination, he will be crushed, like Jeremy Corbyn, and the the USA 'socialist movement' will end...there are NO young Bernie Sanders out there...so another 4 years of Trump, but the democrats can remake themselves more center focused. If the Republicans win President, Senate and House, good chance for rebound as usually the ruling party takes the hit and dems get their chance again 2024...their is always hope. New leadership (Schumer, Pelosi and Perez) will also be needed required for a new era.

rtb61 , 16 hours ago link

The Democrats are not imploding, the scam that turned the Democrat Party, the workers party, into another Republican party another bosses party, is failing. The democrats were more corrupt than the Republicans because the Clinton's sold the Democrats to the Corporations, pretended to be the workers party, whilst kicking all the workers out.

The scam is ending. Now the scam where the Republican party was stolen from conservative libertarians to the Corporations, also needs to be tackled.

The USA is a very long way from being a democracy.

uhland62 , 16 hours ago link

Sanders and Gabbard can never be elected to high office. America gets it up on destroying other countries with wars.

As long as America rules the waves there can be no peace - peace candidates will be sidelined in all manner of ways.

algol_dog , 17 hours ago link

I disagree that Sanders can't beat Trump. It's 4 more years later, with another 4 years extra of youth able to vote for this guy. It's been stated before, the new generations have been brought up suckling on the socialist tit of the American school system and media for over 20+ years and they are as indoctrinated as any 20th Century socialist enthusiast. Only a matter of time before the chickens come home to roost. With Trump the battle may have been won, but the war will likely be lost unless something drastically changes. - My $.02

HRClinton , 17 hours ago link

In another ZH article, Steve Banning pointed out that both Sanders and Trump have identified fundamental/similar problems in the country, but that they differ on how to solve them. Not sure about that being true of reality.

I'd argue that both parties are destroying the US with Crony Capitalism and Bifurcated Socialism.

Crony capitalism is letting the rich (1%) get richer.

Bifurcated Socialism is where the TBTF and the MIC get obscene amounts of fiat money on one extreme, and the very poor get just enough welfare to keep them from starting a French Revolution.

Everyone else in the middle (the 20-99%) has to deal with Darwinian Capitalism - survival of the fittest.

The only true winners are the banks and (((those))) closest to the source of money creation, because both militarism and socialism keep increasing the debt burden . Alas, 99.9% off the population and 95% of ZH bloggers fail to see this, and will opt to attack one side or the other - in this Banksters game of Divide and Conquer.

USAllDay , 16 hours ago link

Central Banking is antithesis to Free Markets. The cost of interest is price fixed by a monopoly bank. Not only can the FED create money, but with that money they create artificial demand. The wealth gap will never close so long as the Federal Reserve exist.

[Feb 07, 2020] The democratic party must be thee only political party in all world history that actively suppresses people who want to vote for them.

Feb 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Erelis , Feb 6 2020 19:43 utc | 61

The democratic party must be thee only political party in all world history that actively suppresses people who want to vote for them.

Looks like the democrats are set to lose the same way they did in 2016. Basically as Matt Bruenig wrote in his article "The Boring Story of the 2016 Election

Donald Trump did not win because of a surge of white support. Indeed he got less white support than Romney got in 2012. Nor did Trump win because he got a surge from other race+gender groups. The exit polls show him doing slightly better with black men, black women, and latino women than Romney did, but basically he just hovered around Romney's numbers with every race+gender group, doing slightly worse than Romney overall.

However, support for Hillary was way below Obama's 2012 levels, with defectors turning to a third party. Clinton did worse with every single race+gender combo except white women, where she improved Obama's outcome by a single point. Clinton did not lose all this support to Donald. She lost it into the abyss. Voters didn't like her but they weren't wooed by Trump .

The Third Wave neocons pointed out an interesting fact. Clinton won bigly CA, NY, and MA which gave her something like 7 million votes. However, Trump won the remaining 47 states by four million.

Willy2 , Feb 6 2020 23:19 utc | 92

- Caitlin Johnstone: It wasn't "incompetence", it was intentionally.

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/02/06/the-myth-of-incompetence-dnc-scandals-are-a-feature-not-a-bug

[Feb 07, 2020] Divide et Impera

Feb 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

VodkaInKrakow , 1 hour ago link

Bezos held a party in DC recently at his place attended by top officials from the Trump Administration. Jared Kushner was there before. They hang out together.

How odd that Bezos is somehow portrayed as some anti-Trump owner of WaPo. Bezos serves his role in Beltway...

Divide et Impera.

Divide and Rule (the rabble).

[Feb 07, 2020] Centrist Dems - The Right Wing Democrats dominating the Democratic Party... prefer Trump to Sanders

Feb 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

VodkaInKrakow , 1 hour ago link

As has always been said, Centrist Dems - The Right Wing Democrats dominating the Democratic Party... prefer Trump to Sanders.

It will always be that way. They figure they can stick out four more years of Trump just like they did with Bush and have their victory in 2024.

They are living in the past.

2020, with continued corruption by Centrist Dems? Will result in massive gains for Republicans and massive losses for Centrist Dems. The top party leadership of Centrist Dems are fine with that as long as their own seats are protected from Republican challenge. Deals will be made.

If you look at Trump term? Not much has really changed other than the rabble (Right, Center, and Left) being at each other's throats more than usual. That's they way the elites like it. Rabble like that, so easily divided?

DESERVE TO BE RULED.

monkman , 1 hour ago link

The system isn't broken. It's working exactly the way it's intended to work. It ain't a bug, it's a feature. And that feature will remain in operation until the entire sick system is torn down and replaced with something healthy.

* * *

Correct, the entire system and most likely that's a long time from now. Unfortunately.

[Feb 07, 2020] Unless They Change The Democrats Deserve To Lose

Notable quotes:
"... How can they change? The owners are the warmongering monopoly capitalist ruling class. Are you imagining that any decision can ever be made by the lowly peons, the rank and file? ..."
Feb 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Unless They Change The Democrats Deserve To Lose Trisha , Feb 6 2020 16:12 utc | 6

The Democratic Party seems to intend to lose the 2020 elections.

The idiotic impeachment attempt against Trump ended just as we predicted at its beginning:

After two years of falsely accusing Trump of having colluded with Russia [the Democrats] now allege that he colludes with Ukraine. That will make it much more difficult for the Democrats to hide the dirty hands they had in creating Russiagate. Their currently preferred candidate Joe Biden will get damaged.
...
Trump should be impeached for his crimes against Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.

But the Democrats will surely not touch on those issues. They are committing themselves to political theater that will end without any result. Instead of attacking Trump's policies and proposing better legislation they will pollute the airwaves with noise about 'crimes' that do not exist.

There is no case for impeachment. Even if the House would vote for one the Senate would never act on it. No one wants to see a President Pence.

The Democrats are giving Trump the best campaign aid he could have wished for. Trump will again present himself as the victim of a witch hunt. He will again argue that he is the only one on the side of the people. That he alone stands with them against the bad politicians in Washington DC. Millions will believe him and support him on this. It will motivate them to vote for him.

The Senate acquitted Trump of all the nonsense the Democrats have thrown against him.


bigger

Biden lost in Iowa and his poll numbers elsewhere are not much better. His meddling in Ukrainian politics will continue to be investigated.

Iowa caucuses count was intentionally sabotaged, first through an appn created by incompetent programmers on the payroll of a Buttigieg related company , then by a manipulated manual count by the Iowa Democratic party:

Chris Schwartz @SchwartzForIowa - 22:01 UTC · Feb 5, 2020

The state party is now being forced to walk back their error of giving @BernieSanders delegates to @DevalPatrick who received zero votes in Black Hawk County. Press can dm me.

We have known for over 24 hours as verified by our county party that @BernieSanders won the #iacaucuses in Black Hawk County with 2,149 votes, 155 County Delegates. #NotMeUs #IowaCaucuses


bigger

The whole manipulation was intended to enable Buttigieg to claim that he led in Iowa even though it is clear that Bernie Sanders won the race. It worked:

29 U.S.C. § 157 @OrganizingPower - 4:13 UTC · Feb 6, 2020

Post Iowa, Buttigieg has gotten a 9pt bounce in Emerson's tracking poll of NH. A bounce based on a caucus he didn't win.

All this is clearly following a plan:

Lee Camp [Redacted] @LeeCamp - 16:58 UTC · Feb 5, 2020

If a progressive is about to win #IowaCaucuses:
- remove final polls
- use mysterious app created by former Clinton staffers
- Funnel results thru untested app
- Claim app fails
- Hold results
- Reveal only 62% to give false impression of who won
- Refuse to reveal final results

But the cost of such open manipulations is the loss of trust in the Democratic Party and in elections in general:

In sum: We are 24 hours into the 2020 campaign, and Democrats have already humiliated their party on national television, alienated their least reliable progressive supporters, demoralized their most earnest activists, and handed Trump's campaign a variety of potent lines of attack.

This so obvious that has to wonder if these outcomes are considered to be features and not bugs .

Buttigieg is by the way a terrible candidate. His work for McKinsey, the company that destroyed the middle class , smells of work for some intelligence agency . His hiring of a Goldman Sachs executive as national policy director makes it clear what his policies will be.

The other leading candidates are not much better. Sanders might have a progressive agenda in domestic policies, but his foreign policies are fully in line with his party. Matt Duss, Sanders' foreign policy advisor, is the son of a lifelong key front man for CIA proxy organizations. He spills out mainstream imperial blabber:

Matt Duss @mattduss - 2:38 UTC · Feb 5, 2020

The only thing that Trump's Venezuela regime change policy achieved is giving Russia an opportunity to screw with the US in our own hemisphere. That's what they were applauding.

Giving a standing ovation to Trump's SOTU remarks on Venezuela were of course the Democratic "resistance" and Nancy Pelosi . That was before she theatrically ripped up her copy of Trump's speech, the show act of a 5 year old and one which she had trained for . She should be fired.

Impeachment, the Iowa disaster and petty show acts will not win an election against Donald Trump. While they do not drive away core Democratic voters, they do make it difficult to get the additional votes that are needed to win. Many on the left and the right who dislike Trump will rather abstain or vote for a third party than for a party which is indistinguishable from the currently ruling one.

Meanwhile Trump hauls in record amounts in donations and, with 49%, achieved his best personal approval rate ever .

Either the Democrats change their whole course of action or they will lose in November to an extend that will be breathtaking. It would be well deserved.

Posted by b on February 6, 2020 at 15:57 UTC | Permalink The donor class owners of the "Democratic" party have every incentive to support Trump, who has cut their taxes, hugely inflated the value of their assets, and mis-directed attention away from substantial issues that might degrade either their assets or their power, by focusing on identity politics.


SharonM , Feb 6 2020 16:15 utc | 7

It's obvious to me that the two war parties function as one. The Democrats have been winning since Trump took office--they get their money and they get their wars. If Trump wins, the Democrats win as billionaires flood more money into the DNC. If Trump loses, the Republicans win for the same reasons.
Bruce , Feb 6 2020 16:36 utc | 10
The behavior of a five year old is an appropriate reference point for most of the people working in DC, albeit engaged parents expect more of their children. This vaudeville routine is giving satisfaction to Republicans, Trump supporters, and those who have been looking for a clearer opportunity to say "I told you so" to diehard Democratic believers (who will continue to refuse to listen).
For an American, even one who has always been somewhat cynical regarding cultural notions of democracy and the "American Way," the show has become patently and abusively vulgar and revulsive. It does not appear to be anywhere near "hitting bottom." There can be no recovery without emotional maturity, and the leaders in Washington exhibit nothing of the kind. The level of maturity and wisdom of the individuals involved is determinative of the political result, not the alleged quality of the politics they purport to sell. Right now we don't have that.
Piero Colombo , Feb 6 2020 17:07 utc | 19
"Unless They Change The Democrats Deserve To Lose"

Aren't there 2 levels of "change"?

1. How can they change? The owners are the warmongering monopoly capitalist ruling class. Are you imagining that any decision can ever be made by the lowly peons, the rank and file? If you thought anything like that, you should try to find one single instance, in all history, of this "party" ever having done anything at all out of line with the express policy of the owners of the country (the high level of people-friendly noise, intended for the voting peons, never translates into any action of that sort.)

2. If you mean change the electoral policy to win this election, how could they conceivably manage to change this late? Like a supertanker launched at full speed trying to make a sharp turn a few seconds before hitting the shore, you mean?

Anyway, in both cases forget what it "deserves", it should be destroyed and buried under, not only lose.

ak74 , Feb 6 2020 17:08 utc | 21
American democracy is Kabuki Theater and Professional Wrestling.

It is the ultimate Reality TV show for the sheeple to think that they have a political voice.

Remember what Frank Zappa said: "Politics is the Entertainment Division of the Military-Industrial Complex."

jared , Feb 6 2020 17:30 utc | 26
It would take extreme mental contortions to take U.S. "democracy" seriously at this point.
I would like to believe that it makes some difference who is elected, but increasingly doubtful.
How different would it really have been had Hillary been elected (much as it pains me to consider such a scenario)?
Trump was elected (aside from interference from AIPAC) partly because he was republican candidate and for some that's all it takes but aside from that because;
- end pointless wars
- improve healthcare
- control immigration
- jobs for coal miners
- somehow address corruption and non-performance of government
- improve US competitiveness, bring back jobs, promote business, improve economy
He claims having improved the economy but more likely is done juice from the FED.
So really, what grade does he deserve?
And yet people are rallying to his side.
Personally I think that the entrenched interests have moulded Trump to meet their requirements and now it is inconvenient to have to start work on a new president, unless it would be one of their approved choices.
I voted for Trump because of Hillary.
Now I would not vote for Trump given a decent choice. Fortunately there is an excellent alternative.
Noirette , Feb 6 2020 17:37 utc | 29
All who count have known for a long time that Trump will have a second term. Baked in. (1)

The Dems agitate and raucously screech and try to impeach to distract or whatever to show da base that they hate Trump and hope to slaughter! him! a rapist! mysoginist! racist! liar ! He is horrors! in touch with the malignant criminal authoritarian ex-KGB Putin! Russia Russia Russia - and remember Stormy Daniels! ( :) ! )

The top corp. Dems prefer to lose to Trump, I have said this for years, as have many others. In rivalry of the Mafia type, it is often better to submit to have a share of the pie. Keep the plebs on board with BS etc. Victim status, underdog pretense, becomes ever more popular.

1. Trump might fall ill / dead / take Melania's advice and wishes into account, or just quit.

Jackrabbit , Feb 6 2020 17:47 utc | 31
People still talk like democracy really exists in USA.

They channel their anger toward Party and personality.

If only the democrats would ... If only Sanders would ... If only people would see that ...

A few understand the way things really are, but most are still hoping that somehow that the bed-time stories and entertaining kayfabe are a sort of democracy that they can live with.

But the is just normalcy bias. A Kool-Aid hang-over. This is not democracy. It is a soft tyranny encouraged by Empire stooges, lackeys, and enabled by ignorance.

The lies are as pervasive as they are subtle: half-truths; misdirection; omitting facts like candidate/party affiliations with the Zionist/Empire Death Cult.

The REAL divide among people in the West is who benefits from an EMPIRE/ZIONIST FIRST orientation that has polluted our politics and our culture and the rest of us.

Wake up. War is on the horizon. And Central Banks can't print money forever.

/rage, rage against the dying of the light

!!

par4 , Feb 6 2020 17:52 utc | 34
After watching Pelosi it reminded me that during the Geo. W. Bush era the Democrats were always claiming to be the adults in the room. It's odd that Mayo Pete's 'husband' is never seen or heard from. I wonder why? Biden's toast and Epstein didn't kill himself. AND Seth Rich leaked Hillary's emails to Wikileaks.
Qparticle , Feb 6 2020 18:11 utc | 41
-- --
The Clinton-Obama administration had scores of corrupt officials and associates (the Podestas, for instance). It was necessary to create a firewall once Trump won the nomination. As so, they attacked his campaign manager, his national security adviser, his family, himself, using all the means of FISA, wire tapping done by NSA and CIA and Mi6 and probably Mossad.

Red Ryder | Feb 6 2020 16:56 utc | 14
-- --

Trump is an installment of The Mossad via blackmail and media manipulation, check "Black Cube Intelligence", a Mossad front operating from City of London. It would make sense the establishment in the US would eavesdrop on him. Mossad on the other hand would wiretap the wiretapers and give feedback on Trump. The Podesta you mentioned once threatened the factions with "disclosure" possibly to keep the runaway black projects crazies in check not that I wish to play advocate of these people.

-- --
After they lose again in November, they will unleash their street thugs, Antifa, to terrorize the winners. Meanwhile for the purists of the Liberal Cult there will be many real suicides. So, bloodshed and death will become reality.

Red Ryder | Feb 6 2020 16:56 utc | 14
-- --

Yes, what we need is just a nazi party in the US to keep communism in check, right? We are half way there with Trump already aren't we? "Black Sun" technologies (which a part off I described above) already there, leaking to anyone interested enough that would aid in the great outsourcing for the Yinon project, so why not? "Go Trump 2020"! (sarcasm)

DannyC , Feb 6 2020 18:12 utc | 42
For whatever reason the only thing the Dems seem to find more terrible than a loss to Trump is a win with Bernie. I'm no fan of Bernie but it's clear they're out to sabotage the one guy that would actually beat Trump in an election
VeraK , Feb 6 2020 18:16 utc | 43
While I have no illusions that a Sanders administration will have good foreign policy objectives, is there not something to be said for shifting money away from the military-industrial complex in the US? In general Sanders gives me the impression that he wants to reduce US intervention in foreign affairs in favor of spending more money on domestic issues. Even a slight reduction in pressure is helpful for giving other countries the ability to expand their spheres of influence and becoming more legitimate powers in opposition to the US and EU. Based on this I still see voting for Sanders as helpful even if he won't bring about any meaningful change in the US's foreign policy.
Pft , Feb 6 2020 19:10 utc | 56
it's not an actual Stalin quote, but often used as such
he did say something in the same vein, though.
it IS absolutely spot on here:

"It's not who vote that counts, it's who counts the votes"

congratulations, DNC, you're on a par with Joseph Stalin; the most ruthless chairman the Sovyets have ever had.
so here is your real Russia Gate.
oh, come and smell the Irony. In fake wrestling the producers determine the winner in advance and the wrestlers ate given their script to follow. The Dems have no intention to win this, look at the clowns they have running the show not to mention the flawed candidates . The script calls for the king of fake wrestling, Trump himself, to win yet again. Only a concerted effort by the Dems and Deep State media, along with some tech help from Bibis crew can engineer this result, but they are all on board. Dems willing to wait for 2024 when the producers will write them in for a big Win over somebody not named Trump. The world will be ready for a Green change by then, and Soros/Gates boys will have their chance to step up to the plate again.

Enjoy the show if you wish, I'm changing the channel.

[Feb 07, 2020] The favored candidate of the DNC is clearly Trump

Trump is Hillary2020 ;-)
Feb 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bubbles , Feb 6 2020 20:57 utc | 74

Yes pft, the favored candidate of the DNC is clearly Trump.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Feb 6 2020 19:25 utc | 58


Only if the ungrateful commoners who identify as Democrats or moderates can't be brought to heel and give their full throated support for the DNC's favoured Cookie Cutter candidate who might as well be one of those dolls with a string and a recording you hear when you pull the string.

Then yes, they would prefer 'fore moar years!!' of the Ugliest American ever to be installed as President of the United States.

One of things I respect about Tulsi Gabbard is she ain't no Doll with a string attached. When she made the comment about cleaning out the rot in the Democratic Party, she left no doubt her intent and goals. And to take on hillary, the Red Queen to boot, why that was simply delicious.

Alas, the View, the DNC, it's web of evil rich and the media will never forgive her for Soldiering for her Country.

[Feb 07, 2020] Failed Coup of a Failing Establishment by Pat Buchanan

Feb 04, 2020 | www.unz.com

It has been a bad few days for the establishment, really bad.

In a 51-49 vote, the Senate refused to call witnesses in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump and agreed to end the trial Wednesday, with a near-certain majority vote to acquit the president of all charges.

As weekend polls show socialist Bernie Sanders surging into the lead for the nomination in the states of Iowa, New Hampshire and California, the sense of panic among Democratic Party elites is palpable.

Former Secretary of State and Joe Biden surrogate John Kerry was overheard Sunday at a Des Moines hotel talking of the "possibility of Bernie Sanders taking down the Democratic Party -- down whole."

Tuesday, Trump takes his nationally televised victory lap in the U.S. Capitol with his State of the Union address, as triumphant Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a humiliated Speaker Nancy Pelosi sit silently side-by-side behind him.

Democrats may declare the Trump impeachment a victory for righteousness, but the anger and outrage, the moans and groans now coming off the editorial and op-ed pages and cable TV suggest the media know otherwise.

History, we are told, will vindicate what Pelosi and the Democrats did and stain forever the Republican Party for voting to acquit.

Perhaps, but only if some future Howard Zinn is writing the history.

Reality: The impeachment of Trump was an attempted -- and failed -- coup that not a single Republican supported, only Democrats in the House and their Senate caucus. The impeachment of Trump was an exercise in pure partisanship and itself an abuse of power.

What was the heart of the Democrats' case to remove Trump?

Trump failed to invite Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to the White House, and held up military aid to Kyiv for several months, to get Zelenskiy to hold a press conference to announce that Kyiv was looking into how Hunter Biden got on the board of a corrupt energy company at a retainer of $83,000 a month while his father was the chief international monitor of corruption in Ukraine.

The specific indictment: Trump's suspension of military aid imperiled "our national security" by denying arms to an "ally" who was fighting the Russians over there, so we don't have to fight them over here.

And what was the outcome of it all?

Zelenskiy got his meeting with the president. He got the military aid in September. He did not hold the press conference requested. He did not announce an investigation of the Bidens. No harm, no foul.

How did President Obama handle Ukraine?

After Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea and intervened to protect pro-Russian secessionists in the Donbass, Obama's White House restricted U.S. lethal military aid to Kyiv and provided blankets and meals ready to eat.

What punishment did House and Senate Democrats and anti-Trump media demand for the pause in sending weapons for Ukraine?

Capital punishment, a political death penalty.

Democrats demanded that a Republican Senate overturn the election of 2016, make Trump the first president ever impeached and removed, and then ensure that the American people could never vote for him again.

Nancy Pelosi's House and the Democratic minority in the Senate were demanding that a Republican Senate do their dirty work and keep Trump off the ballot in 2020, lest he win a second term.

For four years, elements of the liberal establishment -- in the media, "deep state" and major institutions -- have sought to destroy Trump. First, they aimed to smear him and prevent his election, and then to overturn it as having been orchestrated by the Kremlin, and then to impeach and remove him, and then to block him from running again.

The damage they have inflicted upon our country's institutions is serious.

U.S. intelligence agencies are being investigated by U.S. Attorney John Durham for their role in instigating an investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign. The FBI has been discredited by exposure of a conspiracy of top-level agents to spy on Trump's campaign.

The media, by endlessly echoing unproven claims that Trump was a stooge of the Kremlin, discredited themselves to a degree unknown since the "Yellow Press" prostituted itself to get us into war with Spain. Media claims to be unbiased pursuers of truth have suffered, not only from Trump's attacks, but from their own biased and bigoted coverage and commentary.


anonymous [245] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment February 3, 2020 at 11:18 pm GMT

Always at least a dribble of Beltway, uniparty propaganda that Russia is "our" enemy ruled by a dictator, etc: "After Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea .." Can this columnist not acknowledge that the people of Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine after Uncle Sam helped stage a coup and handpicked its new figurehead? He is still on record espousing the claim that Russia "hacked" the 2016 U.S. election.

Anyone who believes that people above the level of sacrificial flunky "being investigated by U.S. Attorney John Durham for their role in instigating an investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign" will be charged with a felony is dreaming.

Mr. Buchanan's jobs as Stagehand Right in the Washington puppet show are to whitewash the imperialism and to lead enough Red sheep to vote in the next Most Important Election Ever.

TG , says: Show Comment February 3, 2020 at 11:24 pm GMT
Impeachment was a circus, nothing more.

Ooh, lookie lookie, Trump is being impeached! Cheer the noble Democrats striking a blow for freedom and virtue! Or boo the corrupt Democrats for putting on this farce! Take your pick.

But whatever you do, don't pay any attention to the ongoing third-world invasion on our southern border, or the trillions we are wasting on pointless winless foreign wars, or the tens of trillions (that's not a mis-print) we are wasting bailing out and subsidizing Wall Street and financial engineering, don't pay any attention to the fact that most of our drugs are now made in Communist China with very little quality control, and yet prices for these same drugs in the US are skyrocketing. And don't get me started on the growing industry of "Surprise Medical Billing." I could go on but you get the idea.

Yes, impeachment was a bad joke. It's not a bug, it's a feature.

Buck Ransom , says: Show Comment February 3, 2020 at 11:45 pm GMT
Mr. Buchanan continues in his refusal to mention that the Maidan Revolution in the Ukraine was a color revolution backed by the Obama-era State Department, the CIA and various Soros-affiliated NGOs. But he dutifully invokes the Russian annexation of Crimea while never mentioning the fact that it followed a referendum on the issue which was supported by the vast majority in Crimea.
Rurik , says: Show Comment February 3, 2020 at 11:46 pm GMT

Almost all now concede we have become an us vs. them nation.

hmm..

Corvinus , says: Show Comment February 3, 2020 at 11:59 pm GMT
"Reality: The impeachment of Trump was an attempted -- and failed -- coup that not a single Republican supported, only Democrats in the House and their Senate caucus. The impeachment of Trump was an exercise in pure partisanship and itself an abuse of power."

Reality–Mr. Buchanan is still smarting from his boss Nixon getting busted, and will stoop to new lows to exonerate him and others on the same trajectory. Of course, impeachment is not a coup, and the Democrats made a strong case. It is other than surprising in an election year where Trump threatened to burn any Republican Senator to the ground that they are "united".

It is laughable that there was this "perfect call", yet he stonewalled any and all efforts to enable witnesses to come forward. Why not have the Bidens, Guiliani, Parnas, Mulvaney, and everyone associated to this scandal be allowed to speak their minds in the Senate? What is the GOP so afraid of?

Several questions remain:

Why did Trump task Giuliani, in a personal capacity, to press Ukraine on the Bidens rather than Trump asking the Department of Justice to investigate? Why were several key administration officials "in the dark" about the activities of Giuliani?

Why did one Trump lawyer say to Senators that the House never authorized a resolution (when it did) for subpoenas of Trump officials, when that same lawyer stated in 2019 that resolution was unnecessary since they would testify on their own behalf?

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney admitted to a quid pro quo and then walked it back. Could he testify as to explain why? Why not allow other Trump officials to testify as witnesses to exonerate Trump?

Trump stated he is concerned about adult children benefiting from their father's name? Why did he give his children a place in his administration?

Trump's lawyers argued that in order to convict him, the Senate must find him guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt". Except that has never been the standard ever used in past impeachment trial. Why would they make this claim?

Anonymous [124] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 12:48 am GMT
Time for a senate investigation into Joe Biden's blatant corruption and abuse of power in the Burisma matter. There has already been a shitload of evidence gathered by Ukraine prosecutors and a French journalist and it all points to Joe actually being guilty of everything the Dems charged Trump with. Subpoena all of it plus sworn testimony from Joe and Hunter themselves (though they will both have to take the Fifth to avoid self-incrimination).
Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 1:02 am GMT
@Truth3 He can't get that far, he's still stuck on Russia "annexing" Crimea.
gsjackson , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 1:07 am GMT
@Truth3 You'd think at 82 and presumably secure financially Pat would let 'er rip once in a while, but he had bigger stones three decades ago when he had a mainstream career in middle age to protect. I met him a couple of times in the '80s, and the pugnacious brawler image he liked to project -- back then, at least -- is not what comes across in person. He was a little reserved and diffident (maybe it was the company). Nothing wrong with that, of course, but you didn't sense a zest for engaging and confronting.
R.G. Camara , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 1:09 am GMT
All the coup members should be arrested and tried for treason. Including those working at the corporate news networks who cheered this on.

Also, the Democratic party will cease to be a viable national party by 2030. (ok, it really should be 2032, because that will be the first presidential election they will not be viable, but I'll stick with 2030).

Why? Simple: a political party based on a coalition solely devoted to hating the other side won't work. Political parties, unlike wartime militaries, need a constructive agenda to unite behind. Meaning the party must want to do certain things when in power that everyone in the party agrees on, not merely to trample on their political opponents

Ironically, that's why Bernie's going so well: he's got a constructive agenda. Yes, socialism is evil, but all the other candidates merely say the same flavor of "defeating Trump is paramount." Socialism is at least something to implement beyond recriminations against whitey.

R.G. Camara , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 1:09 am GMT
@Corvinus lmao. Our personal paid media-matters troll, Corvinus, is desperately trying to spin his conspiracy theory hoax again. Go, Corvinus, go, earn Mr. Soros's paycheck you maginificent lying bastard!
Ozymandias , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 2:38 am GMT
@Anonymous "Subpoena all of it plus sworn testimony from Joe and Hunter themselves (though they will both have to take the Fifth to avoid self-incrimination)."

Then charge them with Obstruction Of Congress. Isn't that what you're supposed to do when someone exercises their rights?

Truth3 , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 3:04 am GMT
@gsjackson Remember this is the guy that was attacked on stage by Jewish thug-wannabees the day he announced his Presidential Campaign and he bounced them off the stage solo.

He knows the Elephant with the hooked nose well enough is he still afraid of Mossad?

Priss Factor , says: Website Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 3:15 am GMT
@Truth3 Yup. Jew Coup through and through.

It makes me wonder. Even though Jews are over-represented in elite institutions, the great majority of Deep State is still made up of goyim. Then, why are they all so servile to Jewish agendas and Jewish wishes? Do goyim lack a mind of their own? If Jews say 'gay marriage', deep state goyim run to fetch the stick. When Jews 'more Wars for Israel', deep state goyim roll over. If Jews say, 'bail out Wall Street', deep state goyim just go along. If Jews say, "fuc* the first and second amendments", deep state goyim nod along. Look at cuck goyim in Virginia grabbing guns to serve their Jewish masters. If Jews say 'let's get Trump', deep state goyim bark and bite.

It could be that deep state goyim just happen to share the same ideas and values as the Jews. Or it could be their minds were molded by Jewish-run media and academia. Or they're just afraid of Jewish power that, via media, blackmail, and bought off politicians, can destroy anyone. Indeed, the sheer chutzpah of all those Jews coming out of the woodwork to unseat an elected president.
Jewish attitude is "Powers Is Ours. All you goyim are just guests at the table."

Jews are captains of the ship. Deep State goyim must man the engines with no sense of direction or destiny of their own.

Priss Factor , says: Website Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 3:21 am GMT
@Corvinus Trump is scump, and yes, he was sniffing at Hunter for political reasons. But there is no smoking gun that he violated any law. It's all speculation.

Still, Trump did something that was unethical even though he was probing into corruption. He did it for political reasons. After all, if Trump is concerned about corruption, he should begin with US defense budgets.

But Dems are also full of shit. They began with the agenda, "Let's impeach Trump" and grasped for ANYTHING to carry it out. It didn't begin with the possible violation on Trump's part but with the desire to get Trump somehow someway. Impeach Trump was the apriori agenda from the day he was elected.

Besides, if Trump should really be removed, it's for the murder of hero Soleimani. And Obama should have been impeached for his war crimes. But nope. It's some fantasy about Russia Collusion or some triviality about Hunter, another scumbag. Jewish Power pushes American Politicians to do evil things around the world and expresses OUTRAGE only when Jews don't get what they want.

You pretend to be a proggy, but you're just Hasbara. It's so obvious. Give it up.

nsa , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 6:11 am GMT
@Priss Factor Henry Ford was the last WASP to resist jew banking and finance. 100 years ago, Ole Henry bought a newspaper dedicated to attacking the jew, and he disseminated the Elders of Zio through all his dealerships. He also tried to prevent the jew's favorite project at the time ..WW1. The jew stomped Ole Henry double plus good and got their war. The WASP establishment took careful note of Ford's humiliation, and took in the jew as a junior partner in running and looting the country. 100 years later, the jew is running government, media, and finance ..with the WASP as a very junior partner, mostly playing the role of useful idiot providing the cannon fodder and taxes for jew wars.
John Johnson , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 7:30 am GMT
@Truth3 You and other "blame da jooz" lurkers at Unz clearly haven't spent much time around non-Jewish White leftists as Pat obviously has. There is no great conspiracy he is trying to avoid.

I went to a college where every single professor was doing their best to indoctrinate the students and 90% of them were Anglo or Nordic.

For every Jewish leftist lawyer you can point at in DC there are a thousand non-Jewish White lawyers behind the scenes.

Liberalism is a sickness that would still exist even if you got rid of the Jews. Have a look at Deutschland if you doubt this.

Here is the kicker: The non-Jewish leftists know they are lying. It isn't some brainwash job by the Jewz. Liberal professors and media commentators know they are lying. They think it is all justified. In their minds we are the problem and lies or gulags are just fine if the end is the same.

The worst leftist of all time was not Jewish and in fact sent a lot of Jews packing. His name was Stalin, maybe you have heard of him.

El Dato , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 7:56 am GMT
@Truth3 But that get-out is a bit easy. It's like ghetto denizens complaining about "the man".

Yes, philosophical high ground, media high ground, rent-a-mob management ground and self-unaware ability to act decisively and shamelessly has been taken. Now what? Order up a box of Red Bull?

The sad fact is that there are REAL reasons for getting Trump's ass dragged off into the sunset, but they involve wars and hits for you-know-who, so nobody is ever going to mention those.

Ludwig Watzal , says: Website Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 8:33 am GMT
Pat Buchanan describes all the steps of a corrupt political system to remove a sitting US President from office with bogus charges, and their handlers in the media played the loudspeakers and an inaffable role. This gang bears the responsibility that all the major institutions are untrustworthy. CNN leads the lying press crowd. I was not surprised hearing that the Iowa caucus did produce any results yet. As it seems, the "right" person didn't come out first; Joe Biden. The corrupt Democratic Party starts already at the beginning of the primaries by rigging the election. The Dems are still suffering from the defeat of the Queen of Darkness, Hillary Clinton, and their corrupt entourage. The Democratic Parts seems incapable to clean out this Augean stable. The last telling example has been the charade of impeachment. As long no Heads will roll, the Democratic Party will remain in the political quagmire, and corruption will prevail.
Tulip , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 11:43 am GMT
What Sanders is doing is revolutionary, in the sense that he is raising enough money to run a national campaign, and winning, without taking corporate money.

American politics is controlled by a two-party cartel, and candidates have to join the cartel and take the corporate money to get elected, resulting in policies like high immigration that make sense to the Chamber of Commerce but not to many voters. Sure, you can pander to voters and then do the bidding of the Chamber, but a candidate that does more than pander is a stronger candidate.

You could have a real populist right if you had a candidate who could generate campaign funding solely from grass roots contributions and refused to take corporate money. Granted this is not the culture of the GOP, but the reality is that the program of the American cartels is deeply unpopular with huge swaths of the American people, and the future belongs to the group that can effectively carry out a hostile take-over of the organization and then, not having to obey the corporate donors, puts in place a political program that actually accomplishes the agenda: something like mandatory everify rather than say stupid symbolic fights about a "wall" that never gets built, or maybe conduct a foreign policy that does not have to have pre-approval from Sheldon Adelson.

Realist , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 12:15 pm GMT
@Priss Factor

It makes me wonder. Even though Jews are over-represented in elite institutions, the great majority of Deep State is still made up of goyim. Then, why are they all so servile to Jewish agendas and Jewish wishes?

Jews have lots of wealth and control the narrative. Plus the average Jew is smarter than the average goyim.

Do goyim lack a mind of their own?

In many cases yes.

It could be that deep state goyim just happen to share the same ideas and values as the Jews. Or it could be their minds were molded by Jewish-run media and academia.

The latter is the case.

Jews are captains of the ship. Deep State goyim must man the engines with no sense of direction or destiny of their own.

This has happened many times in history the out come not so good for Jews.

Realist , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 12:22 pm GMT
@nsa

Henry Ford was the last WASP to resist jew banking and finance.

And Henry Ford actually produced something of value. As opposed to most rich Jews who produce financial products , which are detrimental to most goyim, but very lucrative to Jews.

Johnny Smoggins , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 1:17 pm GMT
@John Johnson "The worst leftist of all time was not Jewish and in fact sent a lot of Jews packing. His name was Stalin, maybe you have heard of him."

No the worst leftist of all time was the creator of it all, Karl Marx, who absolutely was Jewish. Jews like to use goy cat's paws like Stalin, Roosevelt and Bush to do their dirty work but never forget who's behind it all.

Truth3 , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 2:50 pm GMT
@John Johnson Rosa Kaganovich would call you an idiot so I don't have to.
TGD , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 3:58 pm GMT
Pat wrote:

How we accomplish great things again, giv(en) our seemingly unbridgeable differences, remains a mystery.

Hasn't the US had enough of "accomplishing great things?" Let's pull back and stop trying to remake the world in our own image.

John Johnson , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 4:23 pm GMT
@Johnny Smoggins No the worst leftist of all time was the creator of it all, Karl Marx, who absolutely was Jewish. Jews like to use goy cat's paws like Stalin, Roosevelt and Bush to do their dirty work but never forget who's behind it all.

Marx was half-Jewish and White egalitarian marauding predates Marxism. Napoleon and Lincoln both believed in war for equality.

Did the Jews force Stalin to send millions to the Gulag? Was pol pot also forced by the Jews to kill his own people? Pretty amazing that Jews were able to manipulate even Asian leftists when there were zero Jews in those countries.

The corollary of blaming Jews for everything is that non-Jewish leftists are never responsible for their own actions. This is amusing since behind closed doors leftist leaders will admit certain politically incorrect truths which shows they are not Goy-drones. But according to the Unz Blamin' Jews club they are just victims of manipulation. Poor wittle victims that are consciously lying and would send us all to gulags if they could.

Rurik , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 4:39 pm GMT
@anonymous

Can this columnist not acknowledge that the people of Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine

Whose Side Is God on Now?

April 4, 2014 by Patrick J. Buchanan

In his Kremlin defense of Russia's annexation of Crimea, Vladimir Putin, even before he began listing the battles where Russian blood had been shed on Crimean soil, spoke of an older deeper bond.

Crimea, said Putin, "is the location of ancient Khersones, where Prince Vladimir was baptized. His spiritual feat of adopting Orthodoxy predetermined the overall basis of the culture, civilization and human values that unite the peoples of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus."

Indicting the "Bolsheviks" who gave away Crimea to Ukraine, Putin declared, "May God judge them."

Putin is entering a claim that Moscow is the Godly City of today and command post of the counter-reformation against the new paganism.

Putin is plugging into some of the modern world's most powerful currents.

Not only in his defiance of what much of the world sees as America's arrogant drive for global hegemony. Not only in his tribal defense of lost Russians left behind when the USSR disintegrated.

He is also tapping into the worldwide revulsion of and resistance to the sewage of a hedonistic secular and social revolution coming out of the West.

https://buchanan.org/blog/whose-side-god-now-6337

It seems to me, that in a sense, Buchanan is declaring that Putin is 'planting Russia's flag' as the new moral center of the dying ((murdered)) Western world, with Moscow as the " the Third Rome".

As the West descends into the moral 'sewer', Putin's Russia is returning to the ideals of Christian virtues and traditional values.

"But the war to be waged with the West is not with rockets. It is a cultural, social, moral war where Russia's role, in Putin's words, is to "prevent movement backward and downward, into chaotic darkness and a return to a primitive state."

Would that be the "chaotic darkness" and "primitive state" of mankind, before the Light came into the world?"

In other words, Patrick Buchanan knows very well indeed who the villains are vis-a-vis Crimea, and Russia, vs. the ((Globohomo)). And he's willing to say so, eloquently, when it suits him to do so.

But even so, there was that vomit reflex moment when I read "writes WCF's Allan Carlson, "Russia is defending Judeo-Christian values . "

So Pat does pepper his articles with paeans to the Globohomo vernacular of the day, I suppose for reasons of appealing to the masses, such as they are. But if you've been reading Pat for as long as I have, you know he's well aware of the subtle nuances behind claims of 'annexing Crimea', but this column is all about the obvious corruption on display with the impeachment farce, and how the Democrats all gush when Obama does something corrupt, but howl and screech when it's 'done' by Trump.

So in that context, he's simply using Crimea as an example of Democrat hypocrisy. Like trying to impeach Trump for endeavoring to uncover the rat-hole of uber-corruption between Obama/Hillary/Biden/Nuland – and the former regime in Ukraine.

IOW, what Trump did, (what he was actually impeached for) was the "off the reservation" attempt to expose their uber-corruption. That he trusted the current ((regime)) in Ukraine, and in his own deepstate, was his monumental error.

Then, there's this:

The NSC and State Department have been exposed as employing individuals with an exaggerated view of their role in the origination and the execution of foreign policy. Disloyalty and animosity toward the chief executive appear to permeate the upper echelons of the "deep state."

The arrogance on display from all those diplomats, with sanctimonious outrage, at a president that actually thinks *he's* in charge of foreign policy! 'Who does he think he is?!, to decide when Ukraine gets their belligerent weapons to use on Putin's/Hitler's aggressive Russia?! These decisions are all made wayyyy above that asshole's pay grade, and we need to put him in his place!'

Not in our lifetime have the institutions of government and the establishment been held in lower regard.

Almost all now concede we have become an us vs. them nation.

Liberal Jews, who hate Trump's guts with the searing heat of a thousand exploding suns, vs. war mongering neocon Jews, who also hate Trump, but see in him a very pliant and useful idiot.

@ Priss

Or they're just afraid of Jewish power that, via media, blackmail, and bought off politicians, can destroy anyone.

Bingo

If you're a goyim in the administration, and you mumble something about how much the wars are costing, either in untold trillions or in political capital, the dagger-eyed glowering would be immediate from every Jew in the room. 'So, we have a little wannabe Himmler here. He'll soon fine out what happens to Adolf wannabes, when he gets his arse handed to him, and he's out on the streets'. Make him the first on your list.'

Everyone with two synapses to rub together, knows that all these wars are Jewish supremacist wars of conquest. Duh. Even the war on Yemen, is a proxy war against Iran. So the moment anyone tries to rein in the belligerence, he's going to have Hymie to pay. And that is what this really is all about. Trump's holding back weapons from Ukraine, is seen as counter productive to the ((greater agenda)), and so they pile on. And if the president of the United States, can be keelhauled for a year, and impeached, for daring to obstruct the Eternal Wars for Israel*, then how well will some lesser veck fare if he too thinks the wars are not the greatest thing since sliced bread?

The Jews are uniform and connected on certain subjects. The Eternal Wars are one of them. I know some liberal Jews. To this day, they seem to worship Obama, and loath Trump with obvious distain, (clear hatred), but when it comes to the wars, they're kosher.

That's why there's perfect conformity from both isles in DC, on the need to continue the wars. That's why both Fox news and ABCNNBCBS.. et al, are all perfectly aligned on that particular issue. Which is why Tulsi has been 'Ron Pauled'. When it's something all Jews are all aligned on ** , then it's unwritten, and woe be to any wrong-minded goyim, who's brave enough to step over that particular line.

*Obama got a pass on a lot of things, because the liberal Jews gushed when he walked into the room. Trump gets no such leeway.

** .. in reality, since first entering Congress in 1991, Sanders has compiled a lengthy record of support for war and defense of the predatory interests of American imperialism."

Sanders' record demonstrates what he considers "necessary wars." It also includes the NATO air war against Serbia in 1999, launched on the pretext of stopping the imminent ethnic cleansing of Kosovars.

In 2001, Sanders joined in a near-unanimous vote in favor of the invasion of Afghanistan. Today -- now that the nearly twenty-year-long war is widely unpopular -- Sanders conveniently declares that his earlier vote was a "mistake." But he has continued to endorse US wars in the Middle East, including the US proxy war in Syria.

Sanders has also supported Israel's repeated assaults on Gaza, imperialist war crimes made possible with the support of the United States. In a 2014 town hall meeting, Sanders shouted down an antiwar protester who challenged his support for Israel even as it was committing egregious crimes against the Palestinian population.

Moreover, Sanders has publicly voiced support for the use of assassinations and "extraordinary rendition" in the so-called "war on terror." In 2015, when asked whether anti-terrorism policies under a Sanders administration would include drones and special forces, Sanders replied that he supported "all that and more."

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/01/11/sand-j11.html

John Johnson , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 5:23 pm GMT
I'm amazed Pat even posts here when half of you guys couldn't analyze the contents of a turkey sandwich without some screed about Jews.

Jews are depicted as some monolithic bloc and yet Israel would undoubtedly take Trump over Sanders.

So the first Jewish president would be rejected by the world wide Jewish conspiracy? Some conspiracy.

As a reminder the presidential candidate that actually wanted government troops to kick in doors and take guns was an Irish Texan. But I'm sure that's somehow the fault of Jews even though the Jewish candidate has been a moderate on guns.

follyofwar , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 5:57 pm GMT
In the fifth paragraph, Pat writes: "Tuesday, Trump takes his nationally televised victory lap in the US Capitol with his SOTU address, as Mitch McConnell and a humiliated Speaker Nancy Pelosi sit silently side-by-side behind him."

I'll forgive Pat the senior moment, as he surely knows that VP Pence, not Mitch McConnell, will be sitting next to our senile Speaker.

anonymous [245] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 6:18 pm GMT
@Rurik "In other words, Patrick Buchanan knows very well indeed who the villains are vis-a-vis Crimea, and Russia, vs. the ((Globohomo)). And he's willing to say so, eloquently, when it suits him to do so.
[I]f you've been reading Pat for as long as I have, you know he's well aware of the subtle nuances behind claims of 'annexing Crimea', "

Please. Just run "Crimea" in the search engine against Mr. Buchanan's columns. -- > 11/22/2019: " .. 2014, when Vladimir Putin's Russia seized Crimea .." What's subtle or nuanced about "seized"? Do I need to show you some of his other Beltway bits, like his standing assertion that Russia "hacked" the 2016 US election?

I repeat: Mr. Buchanan's jobs as Stagehand Right in the Washington puppet show are to whitewash the imperialism and to lead enough Red sheep (like you?) to vote in the next Most Important Election Ever.

Refute it, or admit it. Neither should require another 1,300 words.

Rurik , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 6:58 pm GMT
@John Johnson

Jews are depicted as some monolithic bloc and yet Israel would undoubtedly take Trump over Sanders.

in the comment right above this one, I just wrote

"Liberal Jews, who hate Trump's guts with the searing heat of a thousand exploding suns, vs. war mongering neocon Jews, who also hate Trump, but see in him a very pliant and useful idiot."

Jews don't control everything. But when it comes to N. America's foreign policy, you'd have to be a huge knucklehead not to know of AIPAC, CFR, and PNAC, and all the other Jewish supremacist institutions herding our congress-critters like so many sheep, to their Eternal Wars for Israel.

Or ,

..you can explain how its in the American people's interest to spend seven+ trillion, (all of it borrowed at interest) to slaughter, main and displace millions of innocent people, who just happen to be inconvenient to Israel's imperial ambitions. While simultaneously getting tens of thousands of young American soldiers dead, maimed or so soul-shattered they're committing suicide at some 20 a day?

Or, would you really have us all believe, that Saddam did 9/11, and that he and Gadhafi had WMD, because they "hate our freedom", and so we have to "fight them over there, so we don't have to fight them over here"

?

Johnny Smoggins , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 7:13 pm GMT
@John Johnson But for the Jews who controlled the Communist party in the Soviet Union grooming and promoting him, Stalin would've been a minor tyrant terrorizing the peasantry in the Georgian countryside. Unfortunately for them, their pet got out of control and started to bite the hand that fed him. The corollary to this is Jews in the US promoting "civil rights" and then having some of their negro pets (like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton) turn on them.

Remind us friend, where the idea for Marxism came to Asians from? The answer of course is from the Jew Marx with financing provided by Jacob Schiff and other wealthy Jews. Perhaps Pol Pot may have found some other outlet for his murderous instincts but as has been the case in so many instances around the world, it was Jewish Marxism that not only lit the fuse, but set it up to begin with.

Don't get me wrong, do gooder Christian types are nearly as much to blame for the mess we're in as the Jews. The difference is that while Christians are naive, gullible and stupid, their motivations are essentially good even if the outcome is bad. With Jews, the motivation behind what they do is pure malice.

You seem new here. Welcome. Do some more reading and exploring and then comment more. You're not the first newbie to wander in from Breitbart ready to defend Israel and the Jews without first having educated himself, and you won't be the last.

Rurik , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 7:20 pm GMT
@anonymous

Do I need to show you some of his other Beltway bits, like his standing assertion that Russia "hacked" the 2016 US election?

from my little screed

"So Pat does pepper his articles with paeans to the Globohomo vernacular of the day, I suppose for reasons of appealing to the masses, such as they are."

Mr. Buchanan's jobs as Stagehand Right in the Washington puppet show are to whitewash the imperialism and to lead enough Red sheep (like you?) to vote in the next Most Important Election Ever.

Refute it, or admit it.

I admit it!

HAHAHAAAAHAAA!!!

I'm actually a Trump supporter because, that's right! I'm a racist!!!

HAHAHAAAHAAAA!

That's why we're all pretending that the Dems are actuyally way worse than Trump when it comes to the Eternal Wars, because we all secretly love Trump, because he called Mexicans 'bad hombres!! And he said Obama wasn't born here, and we all love that kind of RACISM!

HAHAHAAAAA!!!!

When ever he mocks Maxine Waters, we all laugh at how racist we all are, and that's why Pat and the Deplorables and all of us closet racists are going to pull the lever for Trump!

Because we're racists!! And we don't even worship Obama!! the One!!!

HAHAHAAAHAAAA!!!!

White supremacy, baby!!!

HAHAAAHAAAAAAA!!!!

You're going to get four more years of Orange clown racism! He grabs fulsomely offered gold-digger's pussies like crazy, and we don't even care!!!

We even like, that he likes women, and isn't even gay!!

HAHAHAAAA

I was just talking to a buddy of mine, and we were lamenting some of Trump's more egregious disappointments, (assassinating world leaders, tossing Bibi's salad, etc..). But there was one thing about which we could agree, as bad as Trump is, (and he's a disaster), we are very much going to enjoy the show, as Hillary and Madow and Maxine and all the other white-male-castrating hags and losers and SJW POS, will be soul-raped on election day.

That, might go a long way towards mollifying Trump's disastrous presidency.

Sometimes I watch those videos of the reaction to the 2016 election, and the tears, and howls of existential angst, from Hillary supporters, and boy oh boy are those memories great.

heh

John Johnson , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 8:44 pm GMT
@Rurik Jews don't control everything. But when it comes to N. America's foreign policy, you'd have to be a huge knucklehead not to know of AIPAC, CFR, and PNAC

Zomg Jewish lobbies. You can actually be against aid to Israel while not taking the view that Jews control every single war and leftist action. Not everything has to be about the Jews.

Or, would you really have us all believe, that Saddam did 9/11, and that he and Gadhafi had WMD, because they "hate our freedom", and so we have to "fight them over there, so we don't have to fight them over here"

What would make you think that I believe Saddam did 9/11? I have said nothing of the sort.

It's actually possible to be against foreign wars and also against blaming the Jews for everything. Anglo leaders have started foreign wars without the influence of Jews. If that angry Austrian didn't start a needless war with Poland we wouldn't be in the mess we are in today. Then he went and made his great dunderheaded move of attacking Russia before defeating Britain. Did the Jews make him do it while they were in boxcars? The Romans started all kinds of needless foreign wars without Jewish influence. But if a US president does it then MUST BE the Jews. Nevermind that GWB talked about wanting to get even with Saddam or that Cheney had all sorts of war industry connections. Just blame Jews, it's the Unz way. Thank you Mr. Jewish Unz for providing this forum.

SolontoCroesus , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 8:49 pm GMT
Disagree w/ Buchanan's key premise: the coup leaders, as Rick Wiles identified them, the Jew Coup, got everything they wanted and still have tethers in place to force more from Trump, in the fullness of time.

-- Give us Golan or we'll unleash "six ways til Sunday"

-- Give us Jewish capital in Jerusalem or we will unleash "six ways til Sunday"

-- Convey gas rights in Golan to Cheney, other Jewish and American interests or we'll unleash "six ways til Sunday"

-- Kill Soleimani or we'll unleash "six ways til Sunday"

-- Give us full sovereignty and political cover to take all of ersatz Israel, Palestinians be damned, or we'll unleash "six ways til Sunday"

-- Ensure that Syria remains fragmented and without financing to rebuild or we'll unleash "six ways til Sunday"

--
By the way: those of you familiar with gematria or Kabbalah -- remember Schiff's "parody" of the Trump phone call? Among its other weird references that, I suspect, were not without esoteric meaning, Schiff repeated the number seven. Does that mean anything?

IMHO, the outcome -- 'acquittal' in the Senate -- is just as pre-ordained by Schiff-Nadler – Engel – Schumer, as was the No vote on witnesses: Dems are just as dirty as GOP; they'd have been pissing in their Guccis if Republicans had voted to call more witnesses who might have implicated Democrats in corruption.

AGREE that Pelosi has been humiliated: nothing Jew Coupers like better than using, then humiliating a Catholic; that she is Italian (Roman) is cream cheese on the bagels.

John Johnson , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 9:02 pm GMT
@Johnny Smoggins But for the Jews who controlled the Communist party in the Soviet Union grooming and promoting him, Stalin would've been a minor tyrant terrorizing the peasantry in the Georgian countryside.

Where does Lenin fall into this revisionist history? He had nothing to do with the rise of Stalin? Why didn't the Jews rally around Trotsky, an actual Jew?

Anyways the Jews dominated the NKVD, not the central party. They executed anyone including Jews. Their top leaders were eventually executed by Stalin to cover up his crimes. Their hegemony in the NKVD was eventually broken but the "Jewish USSR" myth remained for decades.

Remind us friend, where the idea for Marxism came to Asians from? The answer of course is from the Jew Marx with financing provided by Jacob Schiff and other wealthy Jews.

This is exactly the irrational thinking that I am talking about. If some Asian dictator kills a million people you actually blame a half-Jew's Communist book even though said book never called for killing a million people. Total removal of responsibility. You are giving a free pass to any blood thirsty leftist.

Don't get me wrong, do gooder Christian types are nearly as much to blame for the mess we're in as the Jews. The difference is that while Christians are naive, gullible and stupid, their motivations are essentially good even if the outcome is bad.

This shows you don't even understand leftiest leadership in the US or EU. They are mostly secular, not Christian. They are not manipulated children. They know exactly what they are doing and fully intend to
transform the US into Brazil.

Whites like Edwards and Beto are not the pawns of some Jewish indoctrination project. They know full well that they are lying to the public. Nothing on this website would surprise them. You could tell them all about Jewish lobbies or Jews in the NKVD and they wouldn't care. Leftists have an egalitarian vision and don't care about what you have to say.

Rurik , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 9:48 pm GMT
@John Johnson

Not everything has to be about the Jews.

not everything is..

But the Eternal Wars for Israel, are.

Btw, you're an imbecile

Johnny Smoggins , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 9:57 pm GMT
@John Johnson Can we agree that a person needn't actually be a believer himself to carry the ideals that the religion espoused?

Marx may have never worn a yarmulke or even believed in God but that doesn't mean that his actions, perhaps unconsciously, weren't rooted in Jewish ideals. And every single SJW, even the most stridently atheist, is animated by Christian ideals about making the world a better place.

Bottom line – Whites are in the sorry state we're in because of both Jews and Christians but Jews were, and are, motivated by a poisonous hatred of Whites. We'll have to deal with dumb Christians and SJWs on our own, we don't need Jews with all their money, power and hate helping them.

You're right though; Before we can tackle the Jewish problem we have to clean our own house first.

SeekerofthePresence , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 10:43 pm GMT
@Priss Factor Sounds like the couple on their honeymoon who went over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Not sure if they survived.
eah , says: Show Comment February 4, 2020 at 11:04 pm GMT
a Failing Establishment

Actually the Establishment is doing fine: the government employs more people, spends more money, and exerts more influence than ever, while big tech censors legitimate opposition/dissent.

It's the American people who are screwed by being chained to this freak show by the coercive tax system, especially when it's obvious voting makes no difference.

"Already, the odds of a modern 30-50-year-old dying from suicide, alcohol, or drugs in America are 10 times as high as the odds an 18-35-year-old in 1960 had of dying in Vietnam." https://t.co/RrudZ1cvwX

-- Christoph Nahr (@ChrisNahr) January 27, 2020

John Chuckman , says: Website Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 12:54 am GMT
Ridiculous use of the word "coup."

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/02/01/john-chuckman-comment-the-destructive-outcome-of-trumps-impeachment-ugly-precedents-set-for-the-future-and-accommodating-a-man-with-perhaps-the-most-dangerous-personality-ever-to-serve-as-presi/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2020/01/22/john-chuckman-comment-more-on-the-nature-of-american-impeachment-why-it-is-and-has-been-a-political-act-the-american-constitutions-limits-and-how-it-is-treated-by-washingtons-political-establ/

Crazy Horse , says: Website Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 1:23 am GMT
@Corvinus Maybe you should contact Gordon Duff over at VT. He'd probably hire you in a New York minute. It seems that you don't even have the decency to admit that the Impeachment was nothing but a Deep State orchestrated circus or more accurately farce actually unbelievably promoting the NeoNazi State of Ukraine as our "ally" who were fighting the evil Rooskies on our behalf.

Number one. Why would it be in the interest of the American people to get involved in a proxy war with Russia? A nation that happens to have more nukes and a more effective and deadlier method of delivering them than we do. According to military analysts we are at least two decades behind them.

Next even if Russia was a valid target. They are not attacking Russia they are attacking Dombass, dumb ass which happens to be a breakaway region of Ukraine.

Two. Talk about being low life sniffling scum they embrace John Bolton the epitome of Neocon subversion as an "ally". Just shows how low the establishment demoncrats have sank proving that they have no moral compass whatsoever and like the CIA the ends justify the means.

What you and the DemonCrats have shown is that you aren't any better than Trumpenstein but probably in many ways far worse.

Well done! Shit head.

David Walters , says: Website Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 1:45 am GMT
"The damage they have inflicted upon our country's institutions is serious."

No more true words have ever been printed.

I fear for my country.

SeekerofthePresence , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 1:47 am GMT
Coup is 'Murikan as apple pie.
"It's Californication!"
Destroy the other or say good bye.
Devil's inauguration.
SeekerofthePresence , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 2:12 am GMT
@Crazy Horse The Sarmat ICBM is now in serial production and being deployed. Range: 18,000km. Payload: 10 nuclear or hypersonic warheads.
Sulu , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 4:38 am GMT
@Corvinus Hey Corvinus,
The Democrats swung and missed. It was a Hail Mary effort that was bound to fail but their blind hatred of Trump would not allow them to see the inevitable outcome. The Democrats simply can't accept that their annotated one (Hillary) was just not Presidential timber, but many voting Americans could see it. You lost in 2016 and you will lose the Presidency in 2020, almost certainly. If you lose the house too that will simply be the icing on the cake. Democrats will then be relegated to the sidelines and will be able to do nothing but squall impotently from the dark spaces they all inhabit. I await your lamenting and gnashing of teeth after Nov.

The Democratic party may be done for a decade because of this. Their continued actions have damaged themselves and strengthened Trump but their denial does not allow them to see it.

Democrats are like the tranny males they claim to espouse. When they look in the mirror the reflection they see is that of a beautiful girl. But in reality all they are is just a bunch of dicks.

Crazy Horse , says: Website Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 5:15 am GMT
@SeekerofthePresence Exactly we're at least 20 years beyond the Rooskies as far as hypersonic weapons. They're still on the drawing boards here while:

https://www.fort-russ.com/2019/08/russia-is-ahead-of-us-in-hypersonic-technologies-experts-say/

John Johnson , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 5:21 am GMT
@Johnny Smoggins And every single SJW, even the most stridently atheist, is animated by Christian ideals about making the world a better place.

Bottom line – Whites are in the sorry state we're in because of both Jews and Christians but Jews were, and are, motivated by a poisonous hatred of Whites. We'll have to deal with dumb Christians and SJWs on our own, we don't need Jews with all their money, power and hate helping them.

I don't actually believe this is the case and I'm not trying to be argumentative.

If Christianity is the underlying problem then European countries with greater declines in Christianity should see less support for liberalism. Children raised in secular households should be less like to be liberal.

This hasn't happened and in fact the opposite is true. Sweden is very secular and very leftist. Children raised in secular homes are far more likely to be liberal. The data is clear on this.

We aren't dealing with Christianity or some pseudo form. We are dealing with a new egalitarian religion called liberalism. The leaders are secular are fully conscious of what they are doing. If anything Christianity in the right form can provide a layer of inoculation.

So no I don't think blaming Jews or Christians is valid or helpful.

John Johnson , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 5:22 am GMT
@Rurik Btw, you're an imbecile

Ur Stooped.

Did you get an award from the Unz Joo Hatin' club for that brilliant retort?

anon [311] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 6:11 am GMT
@Corvinus Hey. Some Democrat candidates got what they wanted. Old Joe Biden barely survived Iowa, which was not unintended collateral damage, but rather very intended and targeted. I can imagine Elizabeth Warren's fingerprints all over this one.

We will see in November exactly who was too clever by half.

Crazy Horse , says: Website Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 7:45 am GMT
@Crazy Horse Meant to say behind not "beyond" oopsie
redhorse , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 9:18 am GMT
The french had a solution during their revolution!
swamped , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 9:19 am GMT
@John Johnson "This hasn't happened and in fact the opposite is true. Sweden is very secular and very leftist" Sweden is not as 'leftist' as often portrayed. In the last election the Social Democrats fell to their lowest vote share in over 100 years. They were reduced to only 100 seats in the Riksdag (less than a 1/3)& formed a minority coalition govt. with the Greens & Commies comprising only 144 seats. The centrist Alliance coalition picked up 143 seats & the rising stars – the right-wing Sweden Democrats, rose to 62 seats. The coalition was slightly revamped after an early vote of no-confidence but the Social Democrats are waning & the centrist & right-wing Parties are gaining. The most recent polls in the country show the Sweden Democrats actually running ahead of the Social Democrats now, making it the most popular Party in the country at this time. Most of those "Johnson's" aren't very leftist anymore. But this still doesn't detract from the fact that Christianity is NOT the problem. After all, our greatest living pundit, Pat Buchanan, is Christian & he's no raving, leftist loony.
KenH , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 2:03 pm GMT
Like a coup really matters when Trump has turned into either Jeb Bush or Lindsey Grahamnesty without the lisp and the drawl. Trump has become orange Jebulus. He's not the Donald Trump I voted for in 2016. The Potomoc fever bug finally bit him.

At Trump's State of the Zionist Union speech (SOTZU) he received raucous applause and shouts of "four more years" from the Republican side of the chamber. Most of these people used to oppose him but now that Trump has sold out to the deep state (if he ever really opposed it in the first place), especially on foreign policy, they love him and have accepted him as one of their own.

Tulip , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 4:22 pm GMT
@KenH Orange golem good, muh capitalism!
follyofwar , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 4:45 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus Not to worry, Pelosi got her revenge last night when she churlishly tore up her copy of Trump's SOTU address right after he was done speaking. What a classless little tramp that woman is.

Is it not true, though, that the three biggest Jewish plotters in Congress (Schiff, Nadler, and Schumer) have been equally humiliated?

Virgile , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 6:26 pm GMT
Hillary Clinton, Nany Pelosi and her likes have poisoned deaply the democratic party without any chance of cure soon.
Revenge for their humiliation has been the engine behind the Muller trial and the impeachment circus.
They failed dramatically and now the DNC is not only more humiliated but it has lost the little credibility it still had.
Only an old fashioned democrat leader can bring back confidence in the democratic ideology that has been lost by Hillary and Cie. It seems too late for this to happen and Trump will be back . As it is expected that the economy in the US may enter into a recession in the second term, why taking away from him the humiliation he will face?
siberiancat , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 8:27 pm GMT
@John Johnson Marx himself was of a pure ethnic Jewish stock. His father converted to Christianity.
His wife was German.
John Johnson , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 8:50 pm GMT
@swamped Sweden Democrats actually running ahead of the Social Democrats now, making it the most popular Party in the country at this time. Most of those "Johnson's" aren't very leftist anymore. But this still doesn't detract from the fact that Christianity is NOT the problem.

They have around 20% of the vote which is significant but the majority still buys into mainstream leftist BS.

After all, our greatest living pundit, Pat Buchanan, is Christian & he's no raving, leftist loony.

Good point and quite ironic that we have someone here blaming Christians when PB is a stalworth against the left. Some of the strongest anti-left parties in Europe are in Eastern Europe where support for the church is strong. The belief that secularism undermines liberalism simply doesn't match the data. If anything it seems that secular Whites double down on liberalism because they don't have a religion.

John Johnson , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 9:01 pm GMT
@siberiancat Marx himself was of a pure ethnic Jewish stock. His father converted to Christianity.
His wife was German.

There is no such thing as pure German-Jewish stock. They are all mixed. There was a DNA test a while back proved this.

anonymous [284] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 10:35 pm GMT
It is Feb 5th and teh US Senate has absolve the President, thus ending 4yrs of endless Conspiracies, coups and impeachments. Trump has emerge victorious and single handedly destroy the DEMs party , this in spite of the Fake news establishment, the deepstate and people within his own innercircle. Trump with the support of the American Deplorables have defeated the DEM/LEFT/Antifa continues attacks. BUT it seems that the GOP does NOT understand, realize the golden historical unprecendentes opportunity to REnake the party, rolled back the Great BLUE wave that never was. The GOP is poised to recover the House, turn the Blue states RED again. IF the GOP does NOT keep this momentum going, if they break their inner discipline, or the GOP makes the ILL mistake to sabotage Trump the GOP will go back to playing second fiddle to the DEMs and will probably lose their best chance to REmake, REimagine, REorganize, REdefine REunite the GOP and the Conervative movement in America Trumpism is on the March..
Corvinus , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 11:15 pm GMT
@Crazy Horse "It seems that you don't even have the decency to admit that the Impeachment was nothing but a Deep State orchestrated circus or more accurately farce actually unbelievably promoting the NeoNazi State of Ukraine as our "ally" who were fighting the evil Rooskies on our behalf."

Why are you spreading Fake News?

"Why would it be in the interest of the American people to get involved in a proxy war with Russia?"

I never directly nor indirectly made any comment about this situation. Pray tell, are you a Russian troll?

"Talk about being low life sniffling scum they embrace John Bolton the epitome of Neocon subversion as an "ally"."

Why not let him, the Bidens, Mulvaney, Pompeo, Guiliani, and Parnas have the opportunity to speak before the Senate if it was the "perfect call"? What does Trump have to hide?

Furthermore, do you support any president digging up dirt on a political rival while in office by way of a proxy?

Corvinus , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 11:17 pm GMT
@Sulu "The Democrats swung and missed."

Actually, democracy swung and missed. But there are over two dozen investigations taking place relating to Trump and his associates, and more information will be coming about the Ukraine fiasco.

"The Democrats simply can't accept that their annotated one (Hillary) was just not Presidential timber, but many voting Americans could see it."

Actually, she won the popular vote. But I do agree that she was, along with Trump, not "presidential timber".

"You lost in 2016 and you will lose the Presidency in 2020 "

I didn't run. Moreover, I'm an educated white married man who makes his own decisions about politics, race, and culture. You?

anastasia , says: Show Comment February 5, 2020 at 11:23 pm GMT
What this impeachment hoax so rawly exposes is that the politicians who brought on the impeachment and voted in favor of it (and that includes Romney) think very little, in fact, nothing about what Joe Biden and his son did. They think it was perfectly OK. What that should tell everyone is that they too would do (if they haven't already) the same thing given the opportunity as Congressmen, Senators, a Vice President, or President. They would fill their pockets and the pockets of their families given the same opportunity. People should reflect on that next time these people run for office.
Crazy Horse , says: Website Show Comment February 6, 2020 at 12:25 am GMT
@Corvinus Russian troll? My question is are you a moron? You don't have to answer because the question is rhetorical.

Seems anyone who disagrees with dipshits like you must be "agents of Putin Inc". McCarthy would be sooo proud of brain dead assholes like you and to answer your question. NO!

Now go fuck yourself.

Crazy Horse , says: Website Show Comment February 6, 2020 at 12:40 am GMT
@Virgile They lost whatever credibility they had by rigging the primary and accusing anyone that disagreed with the Queen of the Damned that they must be a Russian Troll or Agent. Corvinus perfectly epitomizes this idiocy.
Crazy Horse , says: Website Show Comment February 6, 2020 at 12:46 am GMT
@Corvinus "Won" the popular vote is a consolation prize in a presidential election. Besides that's questionable due to the fact she "won" 1) in states that used Soros owned Smartmatic Voting Machines 2) reported votes that far exceeded the number eligible voters registered. For instance LA County reported that 145% of eligible voters "voted" in the last general election.
danand , says: Show Comment February 6, 2020 at 12:52 am GMT

"includes Romney) think very little, in fact, nothing about what Joe Biden and his son did."

Anastasia, it's not disputed that Romney has a least one close associate who worked with Hunter, but actually in the Ukraine, at Burisma; but I don't believe that's Romney's angle here.

I think Romney is setting up to run 3rd party for President. Of course the objective will not be to become the next president: it will be to take out Trump, and make possible a Bloomberg victory. I would guess Romney will hold off announcement as long as possible to ensure maximum chaos. Doesn't even need to make all the state ballots to achieve "victory".

[Feb 07, 2020] It should be clear on what the fight is really about in the US. It's about stopping the rise of socialism. Regardless of party affiliation, the elites know what the populace wants and are desperately trying to stop it. I refuse to accept that the Democrats have no idea what they're doing.

Feb 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ian2 , Feb 6 2020 20:02 utc | 65

It should be clear on what the fight is really about in the US. It's about stopping the rise of socialism. Regardless of party affiliation, the elites know what the populace wants and are desperately trying to stop it. I refuse to accept that the Democrats have no idea what they're doing.

I honestly can't see Sanders getting the nomination with all the corruption openly being displayed. I would be pleasantly surprised if Sanders did manage to get it, but he still have to deal with the ELECTORAL COLLEGE (EC). The Electors have the final say. Yes, one can point out that some States have laws forcing Electors to vote what the populace wants, but that is being challenged in court. The debate on whether such laws are unconstitutional or not, remains to be seen. It's too late now to deal with the EC for this election, but people need to be more active in politics at the State level as that's where Electors are (s)elected.

IF Sanders is genuine then he should prepare to run as an independent just to get the EC attention.

ben , Feb 6 2020 22:01 utc | 79

RR @ 14;
Everything in the U$A today, is driven by the unofficial Party of $, and it's reach transcends both Dems & repubs. It's cadre is the majority of the D.C. "rule makers", so we get what they want, not what "we the people" want or need.

They own the banks, MSM media, and even our voting systems.

IMO, to assume one party is to blame for conditions in the U$A is a bit naive.

Question is, can anything the masses do, change the system? Or is rank and file America just along for the ride?

I'm assuming us peons will get what the party of $ wants this November also.

P.S. If any blame is given, it needs to go to the American public, because " you get the kind of Gov. you deserve" through your inactions...

It's a lot like living, death is certain, but until that occurs, I'll move forward trying to mitigate current paradigms.

[Feb 07, 2020] As for being to the left of Clinton, so was Benito Mussolini. I don't see that as a meaningful description.

Feb 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bubbles , Feb 6 2020 22:16 utc | 81

As for being to the left of Clinton, so was Benito Mussolini. I don't see that as a meaningful description.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 6 2020 21:38 utc | 76


Spinner for the new / coming fascist order Mr. Gruff?

Clinton and trump may be competing for the Title of who is the greatest example of Mussolini's fascist doctrine, but Clinton isn't in the White House. Trump's posture at his rallies, the essence of said rallies, the message delivered at said rallies, his subservience to far right dictator ideology, all scream Mussolini wannabe working the disgruntled crowd who need a Messiah to lead them to the next level of the American dream, that ain't gonna happen.

America's rich love them the labor of po folk in foreign lands and trump is nothing more than a Judas Goat.

AshenLight , Feb 7 2020 0:44 utc | 103

@ Posted by: Bubbles | Feb 6 2020 22:16 utc | 81

For my money, the correct Trump analog from Italian politics is Berlusconi, not Mussolini.

[Feb 01, 2020] Has The FBI Been Lying About Seth Rich by Craig Murray

Notable quotes:
"... Finally, and perhaps this is the most important point, the FBI was at this time supposed to be in the early stages of an investigation into how the DNC emails were leaked to Wikileaks. The FBI here believed Wikileaks to be indicating the material had been leaked by Seth Rich who had then been murdered. Surely in any legitimate investigation, the investigators would have been absolutely compelled to check out the truth of this possibility, rather than treat it as a media issue? ..."
Authored by Craig Murray,

A persistent American lawyer has uncovered the undeniable fact that the FBI has been continuously lying , including giving false testimony in court, in response to Freedom of Information requests for its records on Seth Rich. The FBI has previously given affidavits that it has no records regarding Seth Rich.

A Freedom of Information request to the FBI which did not mention Seth Rich, but asked for all email correspondence between FBI Head of Counterterrorism Peter Strzok, who headed the investigation into the DNC leaks and Wikileaks, and FBI attorney Lisa Page, has revealed two pages of emails which do not merely mention Seth Rich but have "Seth Rich" as their heading. The emails were provided in, to say the least, heavily redacted form.

Before I analyze these particular emails, I should make plain that they are not the major point. The major point is that the FBI claimed it had no records mentioning Seth Rich, and these have come to light in response to a different FOIA request that was not about him. What other falsely denied documents does the FBI hold about Rich, that were not fortuitously picked up by a search for correspondence between two named individuals?

To look at the documents themselves, they have to be read from the bottom up, and they consist of a series of emails between members of the Washington Field Office of the FBI (WF in the telegrams) into which Strzok was copied in, and which he ultimately forwarded on to the lawyer Lisa Page.

The opening email, at the bottom, dated 10 August 2016 at 10.32am, precisely just one month after the murder of Seth Rich, is from the media handling department of the Washington Field Office. It references Wikileaks' offer of a reward for information on the murder of Seth Rich, and that Assange seemed to imply Rich was the source of the DNC leaks. The media handlers are asking the operations side of the FBI field office for any information on the case. The unredacted part of the reply fits with the official narrative. The redacted individual officer is "not aware of any specific involvement" by the FBI in the Seth Rich case. But his next sentence is completely redacted. Why?

It appears that "adding" references a new person added in to the list. This appears to have not worked, and probably the same person (precisely same length of deleted name) then tries again, with "adding for real" and blames the technology – "stupid Samsung". The interesting point here is that the person added appears not to be in the FBI – a new redacted addressee does indeed appear, and unlike all the others does not have an FBI suffix after their deleted email address. So who are they?

(This section on "adding" was updated after commenters offered a better explanation than my original one. See first comments below).

The fourth email, at 1pm on Wednesday August 10, 2016, is much the most interesting. It is ostensibly also from the Washington Field Office, but it is from somebody using a different classified email system with a very different time and date format than the others. It is apparently from somebody more senior, as the reply to it is "will do". And every single word of this instruction has been blanked. The final email, saying that "I squashed this with ..", is from a new person again, with the shortest name. That phrase may only have meant I denied this to a journalist, or it may have been reporting an operational command given.

As the final act in this drama, Strzok then sent the whole thread on to the lawyer, which is why we now have it. Why?

It is perfectly possible to fill in the blanks with a conversation that completely fits the official narrative. The deletions could say this was a waste of time and the FBI was not looking at the Rich case. But in that case, the FBI would have been delighted to publish it unredacted. (The small numbers in the right hand margins supposedly detail the exception to the FOIA under which deletion was made. In almost every case they are one or other category of invasion of privacy).

And if it just all said "Assange is talking nonsense. Seth Rich is nothing to do with the FBI" then why would that have to be sent on by Strzok to the FBI lawyer?

It is of course fortunate that Strzok did forward this one email thread on to the lawyer, because that is the only reason we have seen it, as a result of an FOI(A) request for the correspondence between those two.

Finally, and perhaps this is the most important point, the FBI was at this time supposed to be in the early stages of an investigation into how the DNC emails were leaked to Wikileaks. The FBI here believed Wikileaks to be indicating the material had been leaked by Seth Rich who had then been murdered. Surely in any legitimate investigation, the investigators would have been absolutely compelled to check out the truth of this possibility, rather than treat it as a media issue?

We are asked to believe that not one of these emails says "well if the publisher of the emails says Seth Rich was the source, we had better check that out, especially as he was murdered with no sign of a suspect". If the FBI really did not look at that, why on earth not? If the FBI genuinely, as they claim, did not even look at the murder of Seth Rich, that would surely be the most damning fact of all and reveal their "investigation" was entirely agenda driven from the start.

In June 2016 a vast cache of the DNC emails were leaked to Wikileaks. On 10 July 2016 an employee from the location of the leak was murdered without obvious motive, in an alleged street robbery in which nothing at all was stolen. Not to investigate the possibility of a link between the two incidents would be grossly negligent. It is worth adding that, contrary to a propaganda barrage, Bloomingdale where Rich was murdered is a very pleasant area of Washington DC and by no means a murder hotspot. It is also worth noting that not only is there no suspect in Seth Rich's murder, there has never been any semblance of a serious effort to find the killer. Washington police appear perfectly happy simply to write this case off.

I anticipate two responses to this article in terms of irrelevant and illogical whataboutery:

Firstly, it is very often the case that family members are extremely resistant to the notion that the murder of a relative may have wider political implications. This is perfectly natural. The appalling grief of losing a loved one to murder is extraordinary; to reject the cognitive dissonance of having your political worldview shattered at the same time is very natural. In the case of David Kelly, of Seth Rich, and of Wille Macrae, we see families reacting with emotional hostility to the notion that the death raises wider questions. Occasionally the motive may be still more mixed, with the prior relationship between the family and the deceased subject to other strains (I am not referencing the Rich case here).

You do occasionally get particularly stout hearted family who take the opposite tack and are prepared to take on the authorities in the search for justice, of which Commander Robert Green, son of Hilda Murrell, is a worthy example.

(As an interesting aside, I just checked his name in the Wikipedia article on Hilda, which I discovered describes Tam Dalyell "hounding" Margaret Thatcher over the Belgrano and the fact that ship was steaming away from the Falklands when destroyed with massive loss of life as a "second conspiracy theory", the first of course being the murder of Hilda Murrell. Wikipedia really has become a cesspool.)

We have powerful cultural taboos that reinforce the notion that if the family do not want the question of the death of their loved one disturbed, nobody else should bring it up. Seth Rich's parents, David Kelly's wife, Willie Macrae's brother have all been deployed by the media and the powers behind them to this effect, among many other examples. This is an emotionally powerful but logically weak method of restricting enquiry.

Secondly, I do not know and I deliberately have not inquired what are the views on other subjects of either Mr Ty Clevenger, who brought his evidence and blog to my attention, or Judicial Watch, who made the FOIA request that revealed these documents. I am interested in the evidence presented both that the FBI lied, and in the documents themselves. Those who obtained the documents may, for all I know, be dedicated otter baiters or believe in stealing ice cream from children. I am referencing the evidence they have obtained in this particular case, not endorsing – or condemning – anything else in their lives or work. I really have had enough of illogical detraction by association as a way of avoiding logical argument by an absurd extension of ad hominem argument to third parties.

* * *

Unlike his adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, Craig's blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate. Subscriptions to keep Craig's blog going are gratefully received .


Smi1ey , 19 minutes ago link

It's weird how everybody except the Mockingbird Media knows.

Ed Butowsky on the ongoing Seth Rich controversy

JasperEllings , 32 minutes ago link

" We have powerful cultural taboos that reinforce the notion that if the family do not want the question of the death of their loved one disturbed, nobody else should bring it up. "

Yeah. We see that all the time on ID Network ... whenever a family member wants authorities to stop investigating their "loved one's" death, it usually means they're protecting the guilty party. But the cases are solved by good cops who ignore the family and do what's right.

Investigating and prosecuting murders is not all about the family. It's also about finding and removing murderers from society so they can't hurt anyone else.

Vesta , 37 minutes ago link

Craig is the former UK diplomat who says he picked up the thumb drive from the leaker. Craig has since deleted that post from his blog.

Lord Raglan , 1 hour ago link

And neither Mueller nor any other government official ever bothered to interview Julian Assange even though he agreed to do so. That Mueller didn't but took CrowdStrike's word for the fact that so-called "Russians" hacked the DNC computer and then gave it to Wikileaks tells you about all you need to know. Mueller knew who likely did it but didn't want to make it part of his Report or let it be made public. Meanwhile the Russia Collusion Hoax marched on, got a life of its own and is allowed to continue in its various forms like the impeachment of a Donald Trump.

Smi1ey , 1 hour ago link

Seymour Hersh says they have documents.

What I know comes off an FBI report.

- Seymour Hersh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYzB96_EK7s

hardmedicine , 30 minutes ago link

"Is it true that the hidden metadata contained within the FIRST WikiLeaks DNC files batch clearly shows sequential time stamps (on each file copied) proving that a very high speed transfer rate took place that could only be done with direct internal access to a DNC computer on the network (i.g., a USB thumb drive or NAS drive plugged directly into a local PC or a LAN network jack within the building) as opposed to the much slower file transfer rate that would be recorded in the metadata if Russia or other hackers had remotely accessed a DNC computer or local DNC network via a remote WAN/Internet connection (to transfer those files from the outside)? Another rumor that needs to be put to rest is a SECOND batch of files may exist (that is almost identical to the FIRST batch), except it includes some fake Russian breadcrumb "fingerprints" that may have been added to support the "Russian's hacked it" story that was circulated within the intelligence agencies and leaked out to the media. IDK, true or false? "

synopsis of the real whistleblower Bill Binney, ex-NSA Technical director who has had his life ruined because he published this info.

[Jan 31, 2020] What's going on right now with Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton is the beginning of sticking the knife back into Bernie's back by Bill Martin What follows originates in some notes I made in response to one such woman who supports Bernie. There are two main points.

Highly recommended!
Jan 31, 2020 | off-guardian.org

1. What's going on right now with Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton is the beginning of sticking the knife back into Bernie's back. These two played a major role in doing that in 2016, and now they're getting the band back together again. Okay, that's no mystery.

The real question is, What are Bernie supporters and those who (one way or another) support the Democrats, going to do about it? When and if Warren and Clinton succeed in taking Bernie down–and of course Biden and the Obamas are onboard for this, as well–will Democrats (and Dem-supporting "leftists," etc.) be so blinded by TDS that they'll just say,

"Oh well, we still have to vote for " Warren, Biden, etc.?

I think this runs parallel to what some have said about "letting the CIA help with the impeachment"–it's truly delusional, reactionary stuff. Likewise, people getting in a huff because "Bernie called her a liar on national television." No problem, apparently, that Warren first called Bernie a liar. Even more, no problem that Warren's whole life and career is based on a lie–a lie that, even now, she justifies with bullshit about how she "just loves her family so much." Indeed, Hillary's intervention in the following days was very likely intended to take attention away from Warren's attack on Sanders, as well as, of course, to once again put HRC out there as the potential savior at the convention.

It seems to me that the lesson here is that, if Bernie doesn't get the nomination, no other candidate (from among the frontrunners) is acceptable, especially because of the role they will have played in taking down Bernie and his movement.

I have two basic reasons for hoping Sanders can get the nomination and that there could be a Trump/Sanders election:

i. For Sanders to get the nomination there will have to be a very strong, dedicated, and focused movement, which will essentially have to defeat the powers-that-be in the Democratic Party and in whatever one wants to call t