Softpanorama

May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

Jeb  "I like Wolfowitz Doctrine"  Bush

News Neoconservatism Recommended Links US Presidential Elections of 2016  Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism
Two Party System as Polyarchy Myth about intelligent voter Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Bernie Sanders Rand Paul  
The Deep State Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Media-Military-Industrial Complex Casino Capitalism Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization Mayberry Machiavellians
Neocons Credibility Scam American Exceptionalism Corruption of Regulators New American Militarism Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Nation under attack meme
Color revolutions Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy Diplomacy by deception National Security State / Surveillance State
Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Deception as an art form Who Rules America The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite The attempt to secure global hegemony
Machiavellism Neo-fashism National Socialism and Military Keysianism Predator state Russian Jokes about Neoliberal Fifth Column and Color Revolutions Etc

Introduction


LeoMarius, 6/16/2015 9:13 AM EDT

Bush family: 2 Presidents, 3 terms, 3 wars & 3 recessions. Vote for another Bush!

reporter1, 6/16/2015 12:58 PM EDT [Edited]

The last member of this family turned a budget surplus into a world financial collapse and caused the needless deaths of thousands of our military personnel. We need Jeb! (whatever his last name is) in the White House like we need another Spiro Agnew as VP.

WonderfulWorld, 6/16/2015 10:58 AM EDT [Edited]

Like the Romneys, they are so competitive that they are almost frightening. They don't care what they have to do, who they have to run over, as long as they can chalk up a 'win'. The whole family is so blind to the fact that they were all born on 3rd.

From comments to Jeb Bush A clan of ferocious competitors returns to the fray The Washington Post

Fascism is socialism for the top 1%.

Jeb Bush is an interesting indication to what extent the USA people are brainwashed by MSM.  Financial oligarchy money created an artificial reality in which most American's live. And it dictate what they believe. That's why it is very difficult to make any dent in the right-wing narrative: they just know that the rising number of bums on welfare is a problem, even though there basically isn’t any welfare and there are currently no more bums on welfare then in the past. This of course totally ignores the fact that Americans work longer hours than people in G7 countries and that there no place in the US where a person who is working full-time at minimum wage is able to rent a two-bedroom apartment. In many areas such as NJ such a person can't rent even one bedroom apartment.  You can't refute a theology.

At the same time many Americans see nothing wrong with that fact that a deeply provincial, third rate politician, who became a governor of Florida due to his father connections and his political machine being pushed to become the next POTUS. The only thing that make Jeb! a worthwhile candidate is the fact that he comes from the aristocratic family of Bushes. Otherwise he does not have brains, political agility, diplomatic skills even on the level required by State Department Secretary (this is actually a bad example, as State Department was invaded by female sociopaths since unforgettable Madeleine "we think the price is worth it" Albright; each of them was incompatible with the word "diplomacy"). Even taking into account that POTUS became a marionette of "deep state".

There two interesting facts in Jeb Bush biography

His mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, has expressed reservations about a Bush 2016 campaign, because in her opinion along with his name he inherits a half-century of political enemies. This is a problem for Jeb how to navigate between between family loyalty and political necessity. How does the 62-year-old former governor of Florida set himself apart as a candidate without creating too much distance from disastrous Presidency of his older brother?

Level of his self-enrichment efforts, while questionable, is far lower then of previous Republican candidates such as McCain (who actually should be in jail for his Kaeting affair machinations), George W Bush (insider trading) and especially, private equity shark Mitt Romney.  So thanks God he is not another insider trader, nor a person who protected financial criminals using his senate seat, not he is a  private equity shark. 

He enriched himself in a classic "revolving door" way - via sinecures in corporate boards.

Jeb Bush as a dyed in the wool neocon, Paul Wolfowitz style



Neoconservatives big on “toughness” would rather pick fights with Putin than address the hard law-and-order issues that founded their movement.

...A proxy war with Russia, over Russian borderlands not one American in a hundred could locate on a map—it’s really the full triumph of Wolfowitz.

... This is neoconservatism’s triumph: the creation of an entire Beltway industry, honeycombed through Congress and largely bipartisan, which finds political life not worth living without the prospect of confrontation with a distant enemy... Detente for them is a dirty word, akin to appeasement.

Scott McConnell June 17, 2015 Washington Prepares to Fight for Donetsk (and Ignore Baltimore) The American Conservative

It is true that Project for the New American Century (PNAC) core ideas were expressed in a September 2000 report produced for Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush, and Lewis Libby entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century. The Sunday Herald referred to the report as a "blueprint for U.S. world domination." (http://home.earthlink.net/~platter/neo-conservatism/pnac.html)

Both he and Hillary are to right of president Richard Nixon. BTW, EPA was proposed by President Richard Nixon and began operation on December 2, 1970, after Nixon signed an executive order. Essentially Nixon charted the USA course for fifty years ahead (rapprochement with China, unilateral withdrawal from dollar standard, detente with Russia, "oil for dollars only"(oil-dollar) in exchange for Saudi political stability, etc. It's funny the Nixon is to the left of the current Democratic Party, which Clinton sold to financial oligarchy. Such an interesting development.

All that means that Jeb Bush is a dyed in the wool neocon, Paul Wolfowitz style (and Paul is a member of his 21 person foreign policy advisory team; can you image this after Iraq http://hamptonroads.com/2015/02/rubin-jeb-bush-iraq-and-truth? How such a person can be adviser to the Presidential candidate? ).

And Republican party itself transformed itself into European style far right nationalist party, some toxic mixture of Tories and NSDAP, which in some areas such as Social security is to the right of NSDAP (see National_Socialist_Program).

In view of Iraq war disaster, participation in PNAC disqualifies him for any public job connected with foreign policy. 

Jeb Bush is a dyed in the wool neocon. In view of Iraq war disaster, participation in PNAC disqualifies him for any public job connected with foreign policy.  

As Ivy Ziedrich noted ( Jeb Bush Gets Schooled By College Student for 'Spouting War Rhetoric)

"...'Your brother created ISIS,'  "

Trip to Germany and the attempt to play Russian card

During his trip to Germany, Poland and Estonia  in June 2015 Jeb Bush wanted to kill at least two birds with one stone: to enlist the support of critical of the Russian Federation Europeans and to demonstrate the failure of the foreign policy of Hillary Clinton – its main competitor. The weapon of choice in both cases was to surpass Hillary in the anti-Russian rhetoric.  Which requires certain efforts, but at the end is a natural line of behaviour for him,  as a card carrying neocon. 

"Bush will not stop and will scold Russia, at least until the end of 2016. If only ISIS would break out in Jerusalem, it will force Bush to change his mind"

The call to confront Vladimir Putin remained the central theme throughout European tour policy. And his political aides belong to the same neocon flock. For example former state Department official Kenneth Juster is known for his statement that "Putin has destroyed international norms of invading Crimea and seizing the territory." "It should shock the international community," claimed Jester. He also made some contribution in demonizing Putin claiming "Putin is a ruthless pragmatist". Compare this with Hillary's infamous "Putin acts as Hitler" ( Hillary Clinton says Putin’s actions are like ‘what Hitler did back in the ’30s’, March 5, 2015, WashPost)   and you see that competition in Putin demonization for those two Presidential candidates  became really fierce. 

That generated strong backlash even among WashPost readership:

DoubleCheck, 3/6/2014 8:09 PM EST

This is shocking! The US, serial invader, bomber, and rapist of nations around the world are accusing the Russians of breaching international law for trying to deal with the fallout from the fascist coup organized in Washington.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=5dc_1393953567

Robert William, 3/6/2014 6:04 PM EST

Former candidate Hillary Clinton will do most anything to get her name in the media. But her remarks of late are completely out of line, even for her. I'm starting to agree with the wag who commented in Paris that her chief problem with Mr. Putin is that he is more attractive without a shirt than she.

jamescnevers, 3/6/2014 12:47 PM EST

I had previously thought, that based upon her experience as Sec of State & U.S. Senator, that Hilary may be the best qualified person to run for the office of The Presidency in our lifetimes. However, Hilary's comment drawing comparisons between Hitler & Putin ARE THE STUPIDIST things I have heard an ex-American diplomat say in a long, long time. LET US NOT FORGET THAT the RUSSIAN PEOPLE LOST 5 MILLION LIVES TO HITLER in WW2!!! In 60 seconds Hilary uttered a sentence that will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN by the Russian people or Putin.

Assuming that Hilary plans to hold the office of The Presidency this highly inflammatory AND IGNORANT remark is guaranteed to cloud Putin and Clinton's ability to cooperate or compromise on future issues for many years to come. Ignorant, Stupid, and Highly Provocative to compare any Russian..or Russian leader to Hitler.....it might be appropos to compare Stalin to Hitler.....but compared to Stalin Putin is is truly a moderate...on the continuum of Russian leaders throughout time.

So there is certain danger for him in overplaying this hand.

In Germany, as expected, Bush pedaled the theme of reunification (in which Bush I took important part) and, of course, noted the importance of the role of NATO. "Who can argue against that, when we see the fate of Ukraine, where the slowly unfolding tragedy?" – he turned to the audience. And moved on to the main theme of his tour – the relations with Russia. "We need to understand that Putin is a ruthless pragmatist, said Bush. – He will not stop until someone does not jerk him to a halt. And I believe that it will make NATO. It is our responsibility to protect the countries of the block, and it serves to strengthen security."

The United States opposes the policies of Putin, but the Russian people they support and consider them to be a "victim of the reckless behavior of their President"

quotes the NYT Bush. And he even have a plan for saving those poor Russian from their evil President.

"The United States and Russia need to clarify the relationship. We don't want to throw Russia a generation ago. In the end, Russia must be European power. First of all we should contribute to the isolation of its corrupt leaders from their own people",

 – quotes his statement to the Associated Press.

After Bush outlined the main threats, and methods of dealing with them, he moved on to the next important aspect of the spending budget to strengthen NATO. It is known that very few European countries can afford the increase in the defense budget until required by the Alliance of two percent of GDP. Germany, for example, spend on the military 32.2 billion dollars, which is only 1.09 per cent of GDP.

Jeb Bush expressed concern about the observed reduction in military spending. However, in saying this, he made a smart move, accusing it of not the German authorities, and the U.S. government. "Reducing our defense budget is destructive, and they were the wrong signal to our European NATO allies, whom we call upon to make their defense spending accounted for no less than two percent of GDP," said Bush, adding that the US should increase defense spending.

"One of the responsibilities of the next President is to rebuild our armed forces, to stop the automatic spending reductions which send cooling signals to our allies,"

he added. Note that the US military budget compared to 2014 year increased from 511,2 billion to $ 513 billion, but in relation to GDP it fell from 3.6 percent to 3.4.

Estonia is now the only NATO country, which despite poverty of its population and economic difficulties bravely increased military spending managing even to exceed the requirements of the Alliance – its defense budget in 2015 will amount to 2.05 percent of GDP. Poland which is also in difficult economic conditions due to diminished exports but were   rampant Russophobia as dominant among the ruling elite as in Estonia, followed the course and increased the budget to 6.6 billion euro for 2015 from 5.6 billion euro in 2014. Which is a nice present to the USA Military industrial complex.

Of cause Jeb applauded those developments: "As for Poland, the Baltic countries and Eastern Europe in General, I believe that NATO is taking the right steps today, however, they could be more determined, says Jeb Bush. – We need  to send a signal about the possible consequences to Russia. I welcome the efforts of Chancellor Merkel, her position on sanctions against Russia, taking into account the economic interests of German business in this country. This is the principled position it has consistently held", – he said approvingly.

And it goes without saying that at the end of his speech the presidential candidate has urged NATO countries together to combat "Russian aggression". "Showing in advance of the inevitable consequences of bad behavior, we will be able to deter possible aggression from Russia, which we all fear...  Who can doubt that Russia will do what they like, if her aggression remains unanswered?" "asked Bush. The Germans applauded and sighed.

The main competitor for Jeb Bush remain former U.S. Secretary of state Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton. Despite the abundance of criticism in its address, and also at a serious information campaign waged by Republicans against her, Clinton is still the favorite of the race.

To blacken the reputation of Clinton, the Republicans chose to criticize former Secretary of state for the foreign policy failures, despite her record as stanch neocon and warmonger. They try to assign the blame Clinton for Benghazi attack. To this end data from her email correspondence prove that Clinton knew about the threat, but did nothing to rescue the people. However, digging the Libya attack dirt did not give the expected result. Most Americans do not care much about this event.

Now Jeb decided to use as the trump card so-called reset button, which she presented to the Russian foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in 2009.

"We are beginning to understand that the reset button was not what was needed," said Jeb Bush, speaking in Berlin. 

Jeb Bush is not discouraged about the fact that the US citizens became sick and tied of Bush family after disastrous presidency of his older brother.  "I haven't seen these polls," he said to the journalists who spoke to him on Wednesday in Germany. "You know, it's very fun to read polls, when you win. Less fun when you're not winning. But I think it's not important. Now only June, and it is too early to cry. We have a long road ahead".

Anti-Russian rhetoric will be the smokescreen to hide his brother blunders, believes co-editor of the analytical website  Terra America Boris Mezhuev. "This is an easy opportunity to avoid denouncing brother mistake and thus engaging into internal conflicts within the Bush clan" – he said in the interview to THE VIEW newspaper . 

Danger to Jeb Bush from Donald Tramp

Whatever you say about Trump he is a tough and shrewd negotiator. You don't build a business empire without that. As such he represent a real and present danger  to establishment candidates like Jeb! In some  success of Donald Tramp is the success stolen directly from Jeb!, the success based on grabbing the national stage with extreme statements. One real threat to Jeb is that Trump point out that now all the jobs got shipped overseas. and that's implicit hint at Jeb's older brother, without shadow of which (and coterie of W advisors like Paul Wolfowitz) Jeb does not weight much in republican field.   In this respect, I believe that Donald Trump may be the only Republican, who can actually get anything major done.


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[May 03, 2017] Has Pope Francis just cast the first vote in the US presidential race?

Recommended !
Sep 30, 2015 | www.theguardian.com

Throughout his American visit the pope's approach was deft and nuanced, but challenging. He could speak softly because he carried a big stick; he had fiercely denounced unfettered capitalism in his documents Evangelii Gaudium and Laudato si', which both identified common causes in the rich world's indifference to the planet and to the poor.

This pope is a tactician as well as a moralist. All this could have a significant impact in the US. Politically, there has been a shift that could prove pivotal in terms of the quarter of the electorate that identifies as Catholic.

Under the previous two popes, Republicans could count on papal endorsement for their anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage stances. Catholic Democrats, by contrast, had a trickier time, treading a tightrope between voicing respect for the pope and for their electorate on such issues.

tjt77 -> ewmbrsfca 29 Sep 2015 20:08

by the time the election actually yawns its way into being, some 14 months away, the public will have long forgotten the visit of Pope Francis..although wahtever current titlilating juicy 'news /entertainment' story plus the words that the still standing bought and paid for clowns utter a few days before might have some impact on the majority voter in (to quote the late Gore Vidal) "the United States of Amenesia."

Dave "marmite71" -> O Robert Cuminale 29 Sep 2015 19:12

No confusion - Every Catholic will say the creed with these words "I believe in one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. This is said in every Mass.

I think I was eight when I was taught for my first communion that meant belief in the Catholic church as the only legitimate christian church and church hierarchy headed by the that guy who lives in Rome.

But what would I know, I was only catholic for 25 years, as was all my wider family, two of whom are priests.

Okasis -> MXJones 29 Sep 2015 19:10

Many Progressives Do Give a Damn. Every time I have to listen to one of the Catholic Bigots on the esteemed Supreme Court, I want to puke! Most of us are pretty unhappy about the Anti-Abortion/Gay/Immigrant/Women trash that passes for political dialogue in the US - Much of it aided and abetted by the Catholic Bishops, in all their wisdom...

Robert Cuminale -> Dave "marmite71" O 29 Sep 2015 18:41

I know the Apostles Creed, The Nicene Creed and The Athanasion Creed. I'm not Catholic so I asked others who are and they don't what it is either.
Are you confusing that small "c" in catholic (universal) with the large "C" as in the name of the denomination?

Maqbool Qurashi -> talenttruth 29 Sep 2015 17:30

It is like the Roman Empire. Its military was spread all over the world while the internal core was getting rotten.

Our infrastructure is rotting. The water system in the Washington DC is 150 years old and leaking 15% of the water. The rate at which they are repairing, it will take another 70 years to fix it.

Education system is in a chaos. As we ignore these deficiencies, the problems become worse. Hey, we do have the largest and well equipped military in the world and we keep feeding it.

John Kayoss -> John Kayoss 29 Sep 2015 16:11

Here's a couple articles, well sourced ones, to begin your education with:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-hypocrisy-of-human-rights-watch/5367940


Dave "marmite71" -> O MXJones 29 Sep 2015 15:52

Most Americans aren't Protestant - the pew survey last year http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/
lists Protestants at 46.5 and it declined 4.8% from the last survey in 2007 when they were 51.3%.

I also don't think the dispirit numbers of Protestants voters are as dead set against Papal advice as you seem to believe. My Methodist father-in-law was very impressed by him for instance.

What I think the article makes a case for (poorly articulated I confess -pardon the pun) is that without the American catholic clergy's pushing just narrow moral issues like stopping abortions and gay marriage and failing to mention the church's social justice positions to catholic voters that will make a difference in a key voting demographic, i.e. Catholic Voters.

Even a relatively small switch in the groups voting patterns will have major impact in US elections.


namjodh -> MXJones 29 Sep 2015 14:30

A few things ...

1. The Catholic Church in the United States is part of the worldwide Catholic Church. With 69.4 million members, it is the largest religious body in the United States, comprising 22% of the population.

2. Separation of Church and State ... ummmmmmm tell that to the frigging Tea Party, dude, or Ted Cruz or Rick Santorum or Mike Huckabee for that matter.

Your comment like most "Conservative" comments is both factually incorrect and simply bullshit.


ewmbrsfca 29 Sep 2015 13:40

Time will tell whether the pope has a decisive influence upon the 2016 race for the White House.

It will be far more important to see how the conservative US Catholic Bishops' Conference, most of the members of which are far more conservative than most conservative Catholics, and who are culture warrior apparatschiks appointed during the long dark winter of the JPII/BXVI-pontificate, will respond to Pope Francis' words and actions.

We will know soon enough during the Synod, which opens its Second Session on October 4 and is slated to last two weeks, or potentially more, given the expected highly controversial debate.

There is a reason why Pope Francis added, by appointment, Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich to the number of participants in the Synod, and this must not have escaped Mr. Vallelly. It is Blase Cupich, after all, who most profoundly "gets" what Francis intends to achieve.

Meanwhile, among the US bishops there are still some very recalcitrant holdouts (e.g. the prelates in San Francisco, CA, or Providence, RI, to name only two) who would love to see Francis gone.

What can be said, I think, is that it has become a bit more difficult for the USCCB to unashamedly broadcast the Republican Party Line as it did, to the embarrassment and diminishment of its own moral authority, during the previous Presidential Election Campaign. In that sense, Pope Francis may well have left many Catholics a precious, and certainly by some bishops despised, gift: vote according to your informed conscience, vote for the Gospel, for peace, justice, and equality for all.

chanayutr 29 Sep 2015 13:31

There is simply no way that the timing of Boehner's announcement is completely unrelated to the Pope's visit, so in that way, at least, the Pope has had an influence, insofar as the teabilly faction will be put off for a couple more months, at least. What happens after that will (most likely) be the responsibility of another Irish-American politician, Kevin McCarthy. The timing of the next teabilly-inspired government shutdown, debt-ceiling crisis, or other near death experience has been moved back in such a way that it could very well influence the Nov., 2016 election. So, yeah, in a way, the Pope did cast his vote against the conservatives.

John Kayoss -> Aaron King 29 Sep 2015 12:53

i highly doubt Francis would have bombed Libya based on lies (as even the US State Department infested Human Rights Watch was clear, after the fact, that it was). Nor would Francis have assisted open Nazis in their coup in Ukraine. Nor would he have armed Wahabists in Syria.

Nor would he have used drones to kill a 16 yr old American citizen, simply because the kid chose to have a father that the US didn't like.

This pope would not have given a free pass to Wall Street, nor would he have arranged a nationwide violent crackdown on those who protested this free pass.

The pope would not have jailed Chelsea Manning for documenting the truth about what informed people already knew, nor would he have imprisoned John Kariakou (sp?) for blowing the whistle on torture (nor would he have remained silent as the torture ring run domestically under the leadership of John Burge, in the same area Obama used to "represent", was exposed)

Nor would he have had the plane of a Head of State (who is far closer to Francis's positions than a corporatist like Obama could ever hope to be) grounded, based on a rumor proven to be false.

Of course, to claim that a man who the banks have invested so heavily in, only to be repaid in appointments, and who tries to push monstrosities like TTIP and TPP onto a public whose "representatives" are not even allowed to speak about the details, as being somehow "left" is indicative of the level of (self?) deception needed to support Obama.

And please, do tell me about how Francis had his opposition chained to a desk for 8 hours at a black site during the debates, to keep the media ignorant of her existence. (As Obama did in 2012).

Obama is not fit to kiss the shoes of the Bishop of Rome, much less be equated with him.

fredimeyer -> Al Simballa 29 Sep 2015 12:31

you raise an extremely worrying point. look at the knesset, where parties with a handful of followers with the most bizarre religious notions can sometimes control certain votes.

In America, splinter 'religious' groups from the scientologists to the mormons to the amish have very specific one or two issue political agendas. and Americans fall over backwards to accommodate any mention of 'religious freedom'

Voters do not seem to mind that candidate x is a total nutter and denies the very fabric of science, or wears magic under clothing or insists of snipping the johnsons of baby boys. no matter how whacky, it is 'religious freedom'.

The massive turnout for the leader of a barbaric and medieval 'religion' was frightening. but experience, so far, suggests that even his most devoted followers do not put into practice and of his preachings.


George Williams YorkerBouncer 29 Sep 2015 11:48

A little hypocritical since his predecessors condemned to death a lot of heretics, which is what political prisoners were called. The Office of the Inquisition lasted until 1964, when, like ACORN, it simply had its name changed.

GreenLake Cooper2345 29 Sep 2015 11:10

There is no evidence to support your claim that the majority of faithful Catholics oppose the church's teaching on the sanctity of life.

I didn't say anything about "faithful" Catholics -- you inserted that word. I said that the majority of Catholics in the United States oppose the Church's teachings on abortion, contraception, gay marriage etc. As evidence, I would cite this Univision poll, which found only 21% of American Catholics support the Church's opposition to abortion. 10% believe it should be allowed in all cases and 66% believe it should be allowed in some cases.

Opposition to the Church's position on every other social issue is even more overwhelming.

StevoKingoftheNewts -> Kevin Parcell 29 Sep 2015 11:07

Hmm. Seems like out of the frying pan into the fire.

A remarkable number of my schoolmates have killed themselves over the years. I believe this is down to the activities of the local priest, who buggered many of them (not me, thankfully) and was helpfully moved by the bishop to another diocese where he did it again. The actual case was reported in the Observer.

I'd no sooner send my child to a Catholic school than I'd sign them up to the junior Ku Klux Klan.

FWIW, I wouldn't send my kid to private school either.

John Kennedy 29 Sep 2015 09:55

The Pope is a great man and a great leader, but I doubt he will have any impact on the election. I think you over estimate the partisan impact, the Pope was very balanced, I suspect on purpose. In fact, I would even venture to say he was a mirror, that reflected your own basis's and views back upon you in a thoughtful manner. I am not surprised that this paper saw this reflection in the mirror.

Daniel P. Ferreira -> bbqtv 29 Sep 2015 09:45

Change has to come gradually, and he is spearheading the biggest change the church has experienced in centuries.

Don't be a hypocrite, governments are the ones responsible to control corporations and stop the destruction of humankind.
Mindless greed in form of short term "profits" at any cost cannot be offset by selling Vatican works of art, which is nothing but another short term fix.

We are a sick society, and we can only enjoy our existence by not caring about others suffering or turning a blind eye.

He has leverage and he is using it.
I am an atheist, but highly respect him.

BaronVonAmericano 29 Sep 2015 09:18

The Pope does not put wind under the wings of all Democrats. It's hard to see how so-called "centrist" Democrats get much out of the Pope's remonstrations. Those candidates are just as wedded to the golden calf as any Republican, and they are opposed to the Pope's position on gay rights and abortion. In other words, the only good things about right-wing Democrats find no support from the Pope, putting them somewhere behind even Republicans as far as this visit goes.

I think if the Pope's visit boosted any candidate, it was Bernie Sanders, who not only focuses on the equity issues the Pope emphasized, but is willing to reach out without judgment to all who will listen.


Captain_Smartypants -> conifer2 29 Sep 2015 08:44

I did say something about you're comment that Christianity doesn't favour credit and lending.

So you've didn't get involved in the original point, and brought in something completely irrelevant instead. Christianity and the Church is hardly one thing, and the Church acts less by Christian values than many an atheist. I don't think we're even having a debate here, unless you're still going to argue for that Christianity (a very different thing from the Church, for the umpteenth time) favours credit.

conifer2 -> Captain_Smartypants 29 Sep 2015 08:39

To make it even simpler for you, it would be like requesting myself to lecture people on debt on the sole basis of myself being a lender. There's nothing in my status as a lender that would require me to do such a thing - in fact, as one I should probably understand that an inherent part of interest is to cover the risk of credit loss, in other words the non-payment of debt, and that this is widespread and part of the business model of any lender.

To make it simpler for you - I didn't say anything about the Pope lecturing Argentina on it's debt. I did say something about you're comment that Christianity doesn't favour credit and lending.

Lysicamus -> Keo2008 29 Sep 2015 06:05

I understand that the Bible forbids usury, lending or changing money for profit. This was why the Jews were moneylenders in Britain; the Church did not want Christians to transgress but didn't care if the Jews did. When the Christians had borrowed too much they expelled the Jews to avoid paying back what they owed.

rivelle -> Zepp 29 Sep 2015 05:56

Chomsky describes the present day GOP as not a party but a "radical insurgency".

http://www.salon.com/2015/09/23/noam_chomsky_right_wing_extremism_from_trump_may_be_comic_relief_but_its_not_that_different_from_the_mainstream/

Whatever their other disagreements, the people at the magazine "The American Conservative" would probably agree with Chomsky's description.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/who-we-are/

Captain_Smartypants -> conifer2 29 Sep 2015 05:31

I think you'll find that Christian churches have no problem with credit or the profits from it. Many churches have investment portfolios.

I would not confuse a pragmatic approach to investing surplus funds with the Christian message though, as the latter doesn't moralise about debt and its repayment. I'm pretty sure it's in the Pope's job description to promote Christianity and its values rather than give debt management advice...

DoctorStrangeglove -> JimPNY 29 Sep 2015 00:56

If you somehow see hypocrisy in those not hyde-bound to a religionist-myth version of American history, if that imaginary phantasm is problem for you, then you've no effin' idea what either "separation of church and state", "...shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." or "freedom of religion" mean.

Gordon Stanly 29 Sep 2015 00:50

The Guardian needs to stop over-exaggerating the Pope's influence. The latest polls show that only 20% of the US population identifies as 'Catholic'.

Most of the Catholic population in America are immigrants from Poland, Ireland, Britain, and South America.

The largest (and fastest growing) growing demographic in America are the "religiously unafilliated" (atheists, agnostics, and nones). They represent about 35% of the US population.

Religion has lost it's influence.

spinnyspace -> Esslloyd 28 Sep 2015 23:48

How dare the Elected Pope attempt to interfere with the 'sole pastime' of the USA in their passion for interfering with other countries leadership.

How dare someone else from one of those little countries who should be doing and thinking what their told not as they want. They don't want people preaching at them? Stop the worldwide policing and judgment of the rest of the world.

peacefulmilitant -> GreenLake 28 Sep 2015 22:51

as the number of white Catholics declines and Hispanic Catholics increases, the trend will probably build more in the Democrats favor.

Except Hispanics are the most likely US Catholics to abandon the Church.

capitalismsucks1 -> Meme Mine 28 Sep 2015 22:40

Add a "Neo" and you are correct. Neoliberals from both corporate owned and operated parties, Republican and Democratic, voted for the war. Socialists and others opposed the war.

Francizek 28 Sep 2015 21:59

Above all, the Pope is realistic and pragmatic. Not so many years ago, the western world was beset with an unsustainable birth rate, and an horrendous infant mortality rate, not so different from the current situation in so-called third world countries today. Medical improvements have certainly helped enormously to change this situation, but equally obviously changes in cultural attitudes involving birth control have had just as big an effect. These changes will not be reversed.

[Nov 21, 2015] Hillary Clinton Appeal to 9-11 to Defend Wall Street Donations Was Bad, But This Was Worse

Notable quotes:
"... Come on people, what is the point of wasting energy and time talking about the two political parties participating in the charade that is called Democracy in the US? In reality there is only one political party ..."
"... Hellary or Chump- do you really believe the choice of figurehead will change the machinery of permanent warfare or diversion of wealth to the favored few? ..."
"... IMO she "put the last nail in her coffin", so to speak, when she brought up AIG Lehman, showing her ignorance to what really happened. (Or was she just "playing dumb" in an attempt to distance herself from her big contributors on Wall St?) ..."
"... Yeah, that 9/11 rift was bad, but the "60% of my contributors are women" was worse. I'd love to see this claim fact checked. What a tidy number. Not too big to make her campaign a women's movement, but big enough to throw the guys off their game and make her nomination a foregone conclusion. Meanwhile, corporations make up probably 90% of her actual contributions. ..."
"... WaPo fact checked Hillary Clinton's claim that most of her donors are small donors. Only 17% donated less than $200 ..."
"... So corporations have genders now? ..."
"... We had one neoliberal Trojan horse get elected twice and if you questioned his policies you were at best a "bad Democrat" and at worst some version of racist…why not try it again? Anyone who questions her bought-and-paid for corruption will be painted as a card-carrying member of the he-man woman-haters club. ..."
"... Some of us, however, just dislike her since she's an enemy of the working class: http://mattbruenig.com/2015/11/06/my-beef-with-hillary-is-mainly-that-she-is-an-enemy-of-the-poor/ ..."
"... I agree that the remark was cynical and false and typical of Clinton's disdain for both facts and the intelligence of the voters. ..."
"... I loved that Bernie Sanders was willing to drop the "F-bomb" (fraud) on Wall Street but he needs to swing much harder at Clinton. Clinton was quick to zing O'Malley as a hypocrite by noting he appointed a former hedge-fund manager to some state regulatory position when given the chance, but yet neither Sanders or O'Malley hit back with the fact that her only child and Clinton Foundation board member, Chelsea Clinton, worked for the hedge fund of a Clinton family pal and mega-donor in 2006. ..."
"... I thought O'Malley had one of the best lines of the night when he said "I think it may be time for us to quit taking advice from economists" but it seemed to go mostly unnoticed and unappreciated. ..."
"... Sanders did a relatively good job of deflecting and not getting zinged by the 'gotcha' question but a full-frontal assault would have been much better. Stronger, more Presidential and with the added bonus of giving neo-liberal economists under the pay of plutocrats a black eye. Another missed opportunity. The questioner set it up perfectly for him. I would have loved to see the expression on her corn-fed face when Bernie turned her 'gotcha' question that she had spent so much time and thought crafting into the home-run answer of the evening. Perhaps it could happen in a debate in the near future. ..."
"... The GOP engages in phony baloney food fights much to the tingling excitement of their base. I'd like to see some REAL debate from the Dems. Not just make nice phony baloney bullshit. ..."
"... Again, I've never expected Sanders to be anything more than someone who'll sound populist and then tell his followers to vote for Clinton… as he's already SAID anyway. ..."
"... Yeah maybe, but I believe that was the price of admission to the Clinton / Wasserman-Shultz ball for a life-long socialist who sometimes caucuses with Democrats. The more damage Sanders inflicts on Clinton in the primaries the less sincere and effective any possible Sanders endorsement of Clinton will be later. ..."
"... Sanders has the right message, the right record and popular support on his side in a year when people are fed-up with the entire Washington establishment and sick of pedigreed, legacy politicians like Clinton. ..."
"... If there's ever been a moment when Bernie Sanders could win the nomination this is it. If you really think Sanders is the "pick of liter" as you say perhaps you could stop calling him things like "window dressing" and "a distraction". While it may protect your feelings from future disappointment to speak confidently of Clinton as the inevitable nominee it clearly helps her campaign objectives, so…. maybe just try tempering your cynicism just a wee bit unless you are out to help Hillary win the nomination. ..."
"... Bernie's campaign never in a million years thought he would get this far. In the beginning, it was calculated to draw attention to income inequality, big money in politics, and other issues that likely would get ignored if the coronation went ahead unopposed. ..."
"... As you point out, Sanders is a senator. He never expected to get this far. He won't win the nomination. He has to think of his post-2016 career. If he goes after Clinton hammer and tongs, he will be (more of) a pariah in the Senate, effectively ruining any chance for him to accomplish anything. ..."
"... Honestly I can see the Democrats collapsing before the Republicans. The South and Midwest are just batshit crazy and they'll stick with the Republicans as long as the evangelicals dominate their culture. Does anyone here know anything about previous "great awakenings" in American culture? ..."
"... For all her vomit-inducing disingenuousness about how she would be the toughest on the financial industry as a whole (really, how does she say that with a straight face?), and her basically sounding like a smarter, saner business as usual neocon on the middle east, I thought her worst moment by far was when she tried to describe single payer as "dismantling" Medicare, Medicaid, etc ..."
"... I'm at a complete loss to understand why Dems, the media, and in fact anyone with two brain cells to rub together, can fail to see or acknowledge that HRC is a liar, a crook, and a generally mean-spirited individual who's only in it for herself and will do and say anything and accept money from anyone as long as it helps her to win. ..."
"... Sadly, the only difference between Hillary and Obama, is that Barack is a better shape-shifter and, when he lies, he can do so with greater eloquence and charm. Hillary can never manage to completely hide her forked tongue and her poisonous lizard personality. ..."
"... After Obama's behavior, and the documentation of Gilens Page, can anyone believe that campaign speeches have anything to do with post-electoral policies? The nomination process is beyond dysfunctional: everyone knows Hillarity's positions are synthetic, yet she successfully campaigns with the grossest political impunity and she is taken seriously enough for analysis. I don't understand why. The only political power remaining to democracy is resistance, either by voting for a third party, or else by total abstinence. I personally prefer the former, as it's a bit harder to sweep under the media carpet. This keeps me outside the grasp of helplessness. ..."
"... Family Guy *exactly* predicted Hillary's 9/11 tragedy-distraction strategy way back in 2008: Life imitating art: http://youtu.be/Rm3d43HLyTI ..."
November 16, 2015 | naked capitalism
RedHope November 16, 2015 at 3:20 am

She will say anything to win and not care about meaning bc she knows the Democratic base will accept anything.

If you read, at least anecdotally, about the responses of base voters, it seems to be similar to what the GOP does: brush off the discussion as boring, irrelevant, a conspiracy or some combo.

The Democratic base is solely focused on Denial, delusion and hating the Republicans. She will survive this and will likely win with people defending her bat shit extremism.

crittermom November 16, 2015 at 6:34 am

I completely agree with you in that she will say anything to win. Like a pinball, she will take to whatever side necessary to keep from falling into that hole of defeat.

But please, please let's not give any energy toward thoughts of her winning!

She showed her true colors during the debate, & I still wanna believe–despite being continuously proven wrong, that most folks are smarter than that & were able to see through her. (Probably the only transparency in this current govt?)

oho, November 16, 2015 at 8:53 am

she knows the Democratic base will accept anything.

If you read, at least anecdotally, about the responses of base voters, it seems to be similar to what the GOP does: brush off the discussion as boring, irrelevant, a conspiracy or some combo.

just because the GOP 'accept anything' doesn't make it right if the 'good guys' are dogmatic too.

and my hunch is that right now everyone on in the Democratic Beltway is feeling smug cuz of the GOP clown car. But my gut is that in 2016 if HRC wins the nomination, HRC's load of manure is gonna stink a lot more than the GOP clown car's.

on election night I'll be sitting at home cheering on the makers of humble pie.

Crazy Horse, November 16, 2015 at 11:40 am

Come on people, what is the point of wasting energy and time talking about the two political parties participating in the charade that is called Democracy in the US? In reality there is only one political party - the Oligarch Fascist Party - and the National Election Circus is played out to keep people who mistake it for democracy divided and confused.

Hellary or Chump- do you really believe the choice of figurehead will change the machinery of permanent warfare or diversion of wealth to the favored few?

Malcolm MacLeod, MD , November 16, 2015 at 7:21 pm

Crazy Horse: You speak the unvarnished truth, which is always rather confusing in this day and age.

jgordon , November 16, 2015 at 4:29 am

Any serious analysis of the central drivers of the crisis necessarily lead you to the largest banks as the focal point for the interconnection and risk buildup.

Well if we're concerned about serious analysis it seems a bit odd that we aren't starting with the largest bank of all: the Federal Reserve. If not for the deliberate policy of the Fed to inflate the housing bubble in the early 2000s after the dotcom crash, certainly 2007/2008 wouldn't have been such a mess. Though admittedly government corruption (and for all intents and purposes the Fed is a government appendage) certainly played a part.

The main problem is that there are just way too many zombies and criminals infesting the financial system right now, and they are all being lovingly coddled by the Fed with ZIRP and QE. The only way to slay these undead legions is to end the ceaseless Fed-facilitated blood transfusions from the exhausted living to the dead parasites.

Well I suppose one could claim that its thanks to the zombies that our economy is able to function at all. But come on, is it really a good idea to live in a world ruled by zombies? They eat brains you know.

crittermom, November 16, 2015 at 6:01 am

Excellent article. I watched the debate. I found it very telling that when Wall St was mentioned, the only thing she could seem to equate to it was 9/11.
I found it disgusting that she even brought up 9/11 in an obvious attempt to steer the debate away from the corruption by 'her friends' on Wall St while trying to encourage the voters to give her a pat on the back for 'all she did' after 9/11. Pathetic, cheap, transparent tactic IMO.

I found it sad, however, as mentioned in the article "Only when mentioned by a Twitter user later in the debate did the full recognition of the strangeness of that comment shine through." Far too many "trained seals" outside the convention center, as well?

IMO she "put the last nail in her coffin", so to speak, when she brought up AIG & Lehman, showing her ignorance to what really happened. (Or was she just "playing dumb" in an attempt to distance herself from her big contributors on Wall St?)

fresno dan, November 16, 2015 at 8:42 am

I agree. The tendentious quibbling about the definition of "banks" when everyone uses that as shorthand for "excessively large under regulated, corrupt, and stupid financial institutions who have completed co-opted the regulators and politicians who are suppose to oversee them and enforce the rules, regulations and laws" is just deflection from the real issue.

As Bernie said in response: NOT GOOD ENOUGH

dk, November 16, 2015 at 9:05 am

I think you underestimate "most" voters. Don't mistake them for the political media echo chamber that pretends to articulate their subconscious (via absurd polling). Except for the extremes, voters tend to be a taciturn bunch, it's true. One ends up having to pick from an imperfect selection, that's representative democracy; a fact of the circumstance, and voters know it. They play along, don't kid yourself that they actually like it that much.

Comforting stories play well for the comfortable, and when no other stories are being told. The wage disparity issue was almost non-existent in 2008 and got small play in 2012. The BLM narrative is in part a counter-shock to the (granted, naive) assumption that having a black president would have (or indicated) a significant impact on day-to-day racism. The street-level economy has kept sputtering for too many years for that to be passed off as "normal". Too many cats got out of the bag this time around.

Take a look here:
http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/graphics/2015-october-fec-filings/charts/

In the last quarter, Hillary collected 5.19 mil from under-$200 donors, Bernie collected 20.19 mil. That's just shy of four times as much money, and arguably on the order of four times as many people. Whether Hillary is changing these people's minds at any appreciable rate remains to be seen, but this many people backing a Dem candidate in this way is a new thing (not so new for the Tea Party brand).

Not saying Bernie is a slam dunk by any means, but numerically, in dollars and voters, he can't be dismissed as an impossibility (see also, Corbyn). Political media hacks hate voters, they still can't predict them (and they know it too). Sometimes elections occur in a near vacuum of clear indicators and issues (2012), sometimes the indicators and issues are bigger than even a "big" candidate (2008, Obama would not have won without the financial collapse, which suppressed and fractured Rep voting).

Voters aren't smarter than anybody else, but they're not dumber either. What they are is shy (especially the Dems). But think of Bernie's small donor base as a bunch of wallflowers reacting to something they haven't seen before. That wasn't in anybody's narrative.

Ulysses, November 16, 2015 at 9:09 am

You provide a very astute description, of how the MSM Wurlitzer works to concoct narratives that disempower people. Yet I think that Chris Hedges is also on to something when he observes:

"The frustration, mounting across the country, is bringing with it a new radicalism."

http://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/pray_with_your_feet_20151115

We teeter on a knife's edge, close to societal collapse. My hope is that we will shake off our chains and begin to replace systematic oppression and exploitation with a more humane society. My fear is that the people, who currently benefit from the status quo, will go full-bore totalitarian/repressive in a desperate attempt to cling to their ill-gotten wealth and power.

RUKidding, November 16, 2015 at 12:00 pm

I'm afraid that the impetus is more towards the latter than the former. The PTB haven't spent decades/centuries brainwashing the masses to be good little authoritarians wanting Big Daddy/Momma to "take care" of them for nothing.

Dino Reno, November 16, 2015 at 8:18 am

Yeah, that 9/11 rift was bad, but the "60% of my contributors are women" was worse. I'd love to see this claim fact checked. What a tidy number. Not too big to make her campaign a women's movement, but big enough to throw the guys off their game and make her nomination a foregone conclusion. Meanwhile, corporations make up probably 90% of her actual contributions.

JaaaaayCeeeee, November 16, 2015 at 11:52 am

WaPo fact checked Hillary Clinton's claim that most of her donors are small donors. Only 17% donated less than $200 (she did donation drives asking for a dollar even to get to 17% and most of her donations from women were big donations, too):

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/11/15/fact-checking-the-second-democratic-debate/

Code Name D, November 16, 2015 at 12:41 pm

So corporations have genders now?

nigelk, November 16, 2015 at 1:49 pm

We had one neoliberal Trojan horse get elected twice and if you questioned his policies you were at best a "bad Democrat" and at worst some version of racist…why not try it again? Anyone who questions her bought-and-paid for corruption will be painted as a card-carrying member of the he-man woman-haters club.

Some of us, however, just dislike her since she's an enemy of the working class: http://mattbruenig.com/2015/11/06/my-beef-with-hillary-is-mainly-that-she-is-an-enemy-of-the-poor/

Pat, November 16, 2015 at 9:47 am

I agree that the remark was cynical and false and typical of Clinton's disdain for both facts and the intelligence of the voters. (And knowledgable in that she knew she would not get fact checked on this in any manner that would make her look like Ben Carson talking about pyramids.) I truly do not think it is as important as you do, as she had already lost that battle.

The people know the great never ending bank bailout of 2008 did not translate to bailing out the economy. There are still foreclosed homes in neighborhoods across America rotting. If they didn't lose a job and are still looking for a decent one they have a parent, a kid, another family member, or multiple friends who are still un or underemployed. They know their bills are going up but their paychecks aren't. And they get to hear about Jamie Dimon becoming a billionaire. They may not know which bank he heads, but they know a whole lot of those billions came from their taxes while they are still struggling. None of this may get into the details of what happened or what went wrong, but they know they got taken. And her response tells them she would take them again. The only people who don't hear that, are the ones who think 60% of my donations are from women makes Clinton a feminist and tribal loyalists. You know the Democratic equivalent of the Bush supporters who never wavered.

Trying to understand the ins and outs of the financial industry shenanigans is deep, dense, and takes way too much time for most folk. I happened to be out on workmen's comp when it went down. This is not my area, I read and read and read and got deeply angry. I still don't understand it all, and I have more facts at my fingertips then probably at least 75% of the population. My point on this, is that sometimes you don't need to know the details to smell the bullshit. And it reeked of manure.

Vatch November 16, 2015 at 10:10 am

Today is November 16, which is a deadline for the Clinton Foundation to refile some documents, according to this article to which Water Cooler linked on Oct. 28:

https://100r.org/2015/10/clinton-foundation-faces-revisions-and-possible-reckoning/

Here's an article published today about this, although nothing has been resolved yet:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2015/11/16/tracking-hillarys-speech-fees-clinton-foundation-or-pocket/

Still, the Clintons have not defined how they decide to designate their speaking fees as income versus charity work. Earlier this year, the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation admitted collecting $26.4 million in previously unreported speaking fees from foreign governments and foreign and U.S. corporations. For tax purposes, who should be treated as the recipient of that money? It is not a silly question.

Jerry Denim, November 16, 2015 at 11:46 am

I couldn't believe my eyes and ears during the debate when Sanders impugned Clinton's integrity for taking Wall Street super PAC money and she seemed to successfully deflect the accusation by going full-bore star-spangled sparkle eagle. She played the vagina card then quickly blurted out "9/11 New York" for applause while attempting conflate aiding and abetting Wall Street with the 9/11 attacks and patriotism. I couldn't believe people were clapping and I couldn't believe Clinton had the audacity to pull such a illogical and juvenile stunt on live television, but yet CBS reported her highest approval scores of the debate were registered during her confusing but emotionally rousing (for some people apparently) "vagina, 9/11" defense.

I loved that Bernie Sanders was willing to drop the "F-bomb" (fraud) on Wall Street but he needs to swing much harder at Clinton. Clinton was quick to zing O'Malley as a hypocrite by noting he appointed a former hedge-fund manager to some state regulatory position when given the chance, but yet neither Sanders or O'Malley hit back with the fact that her only child and Clinton Foundation board member, Chelsea Clinton, worked for the hedge fund of a Clinton family pal and mega-donor in 2006. Neither candidate mentioned that her son-in-law and the father of her grandchild who she is so fond of mentioning, just so happens to be an extremely rich hedge fund manager who benefits handsomely from the Clinton's political connections and prestige. This isn't mud, this is extremely germane, factual material already on the public record. It gets to the core of who Hillary is and where her loyalties lie. Hillary herself chose to identify unregulated derivatives and the repeal of Glass-Steagall as the primary causes of the financial crisis. She either claimed directly or insinuated that she would address these issues as President, but surprisingly no one pointed out that it was her husband's administration that blocked Brooksley Born from regulating derivatives in the 1990's and it was her husband's administration that effectively repealed Glass-Steagal with the signing of Gramm-Leach-Billey act in 1999. It's not a stretch to say the Clinton's deregulation of Wall Street paved the way for the crisis of 2008 and the extreme income inequality of today. Wall Street is deeply unpopular and Bernie Sanders has built a candidacy on two main issues: attacking Wall Street and addressing income inequality. These are punches he can't afford not to throw at his rival when she holds a commanding lead in the polls plus the support of the DNC and media establishment. Clinton is deeply corrupt and beholden to Wall Street. She needs to be beaten with this stick hard and often. Attempting to deflect this very accurate, very damaging criticism by wrapping herself in the flag and invoking feminism is a cheap stunt that will only work so many times before people notice what she is doing. Bernie needs to swing harder and keep at it, he already has the right message and Clinton is highly vulnerable on his pet topics.

I thought O'Malley had one of the best lines of the night when he said "I think it may be time for us to quit taking advice from economists" but it seemed to go mostly unnoticed and unappreciated. I would have loved a frontal assault on the validity and integrity of economists when the bespectacled lady in blue attempted to nail down Sanders with a 'gotcha' question implying raising the minimum wage would be catastrophic for the economy because "such-and-such economist" said so. There is so much disdain for science and academic credentials in the heartland right now, it seems crazy not to harness this anti-academic populist energy and redirect it to a deserving target like neo-liberal economists instead of climate scientists. " How's that Laffer curve working out for ya Iowa? Are you feeling the prosperity 'trickle down' yet?" Sanders did a relatively good job of deflecting and not getting zinged by the 'gotcha' question but a full-frontal assault would have been much better. Stronger, more Presidential and with the added bonus of giving neo-liberal economists under the pay of plutocrats a black eye. Another missed opportunity. The questioner set it up perfectly for him. I would have loved to see the expression on her corn-fed face when Bernie turned her 'gotcha' question that she had spent so much time and thought crafting into the home-run answer of the evening. Perhaps it could happen in a debate in the near future.

RUKidding, November 16, 2015 at 11:58 am

I think what happened there is that Bernie is showing his true colors, unfortunately. While I'm more than OK with Bernie's attitude towards Benghazi & the emails, he really does not confront HRC on her egregious attitudes towards unfettered War, Inc, and most esp not on Wall St and the Banks.

I have no serious expectations of Sanders, however, and never did.

Jerry Denim, November 16, 2015 at 12:15 pm

Perhaps you are correct but Sanders did say Wall Street's business model is greed and fraud. Strong language for a Presidential candidate and unmistakably clear terms. When it comes to attacking Clinton I feel like something is holding Sanders back. Maybe it's his campaign advisors because he's been told his anger scares voters and people don't like negative attacks. Maybe the DNC and Clinton are holding some threat over his head regarding ballot access, debate cancellation or some other punishment if he doesn't play by certain rules. Perhaps he's been warned certain topics are off limits during debates. Seems fishy to me, but maybe it's just as simple as you say.

RUKidding, November 16, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Yes, Sanders has been outspoken about Wall St, greed, fraud and tightening up regulations, etc. That's why it's disappointing and beyond annoying when he clams up vis Clinton and her relationship with and money from Wall St.

The GOP engages in phony baloney food fights much to the tingling excitement of their base. I'd like to see some REAL debate from the Dems. Not just make nice phony baloney bullshit.

Again, I've never expected Sanders to be anything more than someone who'll sound populist and then tell his followers to vote for Clinton… as he's already SAID anyway.

We're told allegedly that "poll after poll" shows Clinton in a double digit lead. I really question that, as well, but clearly no one's showing me the factual data. It is what is. HRC is the anointed one, so get used to it.

To me, Sanders is just window dressing & a distraction, even though, clearly, he's the pick of "both" (or the combined, if you will) litters. Whatever…

JerryDenim, November 16, 2015 at 2:51 pm

"Again, I've never expected Sanders to be anything more than someone who'll sound populist and then tell his followers to vote for Clinton… as he's already SAID anyway"

Yeah maybe, but I believe that was the price of admission to the Clinton / Wasserman-Shultz ball for a life-long socialist who sometimes caucuses with Democrats. The more damage Sanders inflicts on Clinton in the primaries the less sincere and effective any possible Sanders endorsement of Clinton will be later. I too share your distrust of polls and given that distrust it's hard for me to write off a guy who has had every disadvantage in his Presidential bid but is still polling pretty darn well against a extremely well-known political juggernaut early in the primary season.

Sanders has the right message, the right record and popular support on his side in a year when people are fed-up with the entire Washington establishment and sick of pedigreed, legacy politicians like Clinton. Look at how poorly Bush has fared so far against outsider, blow-hard Donald Trump and unknown-nobody Ben Carson. Even conservatives are sick of dynasties.

If there's ever been a moment when Bernie Sanders could win the nomination this is it. If you really think Sanders is the "pick of liter" as you say perhaps you could stop calling him things like "window dressing" and "a distraction". While it may protect your feelings from future disappointment to speak confidently of Clinton as the inevitable nominee it clearly helps her campaign objectives, so…. maybe just try tempering your cynicism just a wee bit unless you are out to help Hillary win the nomination. If you are out to help Hillary then carry on, you're doing a fine job of tarring and feathering Sanders as a loser on behalf of her campaign.

3.14e-9, November 16, 2015 at 2:53 pm

Bernie's campaign never in a million years thought he would get this far. In the beginning, it was calculated to draw attention to income inequality, big money in politics, and other issues that likely would get ignored if the coronation went ahead unopposed. Within that context, it would have been very easy for him to promise the few votes he thought he would get to Clinton.

I have a feeling that his campaign is regretting he ever said that as much as we are. He has a huge number of supporters who, like jgordon above, would write in "Dog Turd" before voting for Hillary (although I don't know why we couldn't write in Bernie). These people are going to be extremely angry if he throws his support behind her, and they have demonstrated well already that they are very vocal. I've commented on NC before that I think there will be hell to pay if and when that happens.

I also suspect that the DNC didn't make a big fuss about his running as a Democrat because no one there thought he'd get this far, either, and they probably thought he would be useful. For all we know, he agreed to that. And then, suddenly, all the unexpected crowds.

Sanders is the ranking minority member on the Senate Budget Committee, which means he definitely could challenge Clinton on economic issues, and competently. So I agree that something has to be holding him back. Yet another consideration is that he might be keeping the most damaging counts against her until later in the campaign. If he showed his hand now, the Clinton machine would kick into gear overtime, get her off the hook, and drag him down into the mud.

Cassandra, November 16, 2015 at 4:10 pm

No need to think of conspiracies, etc. As you point out, Sanders is a senator. He never expected to get this far. He won't win the nomination. He has to think of his post-2016 career. If he goes after Clinton hammer and tongs, he will be (more of) a pariah in the Senate, effectively ruining any chance for him to accomplish anything. As he said in the debate, the VA bill wasn't all he wanted, but it was something. Many think incrementalism is a fool's game, but I believe Sanders is willing to fight for crumbs.

Lambert Strether, November 16, 2015 at 4:14 pm

I think Sanders did pretty well, especially considering the primaries haven't started. He pushed Clinton into two horrible responses, at least: (1) 9/11 and Wall Street and (2) Sanders single payer vs. ObamaCare. Both will be gifts that keep on giving. My thought would is that the opportunity cost of spending a lot of time reverse engineering whatever number of dimensions of chess Sanders is playing failing to use the very powerful ammo he gave - both of which are about policy.

RUKidding, November 16, 2015 at 4:17 pm

I'm willing to be wrong about Sanders, and in fact, hope I am. Time will tell. I agree that he's done better than the odds called for. Willing to listen to him but wish he'd speak up more about HRC's bs. But he is a politician after all and is playing a long game.

3.14e-9, November 16, 2015 at 6:14 pm

Well, he has to be very careful about that. Clinton's people immediately jump on the least bit of truth from Sanders as "negative campaigning" and then call up their friends in the MSM to back them up:

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/11/05/clinton-campaign-fires-back-at-bernie-/bernie_sanders.

Anyway, thanks for being open.

Jim Haygood, November 16, 2015 at 12:10 pm

'AIG's largest counter-party was Goldman Sachs.'

Thus, the Federal Reserve's "Sunday night special" waiver of the 30-day application period for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to become bank holding companies, and to get their sticky mitts (or tentacles, as the case may be) into "free money" at the discount window. News story from 22 Sep 2008:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/26828495

Having essentially zero consumer deposit-taking business, then or now, these two investment banks resemble ordinary commercial banks like mangy wolves dressed in ill-fitting sheep costumes.

Investment banking is a high-risk, high-reward business with some of the most highly compensated employees in the country. Subsidizing GS and MS with Federal Reserve free money is a rank disgrace. It vexeth me greatly, comrades. But changing it is not even on the menu.

TimmyB, November 16, 2015 at 12:35 pm

What really hasn't been discussed is Sander's motivation for breaking up too big to fail financial institutions. Sanders on his website states he wants to break them up because they have too much economic and political power. Sanders says that breaking them up, in and by itself, will provide a benefit.

So when Clinton starts discussing how her plan will be more effective in preventing another financial collapse, she has changed the subject from how breaking up our banks will benefit our democratcy to whether or not breaking them up will prevent another 2008 crisis.

What Sanders needs to do is bring the discussion on breaking up TBTF banks back around to their having too much economic and political power. For example, he could say he wants to break them up because they have too much power and that Clinton want them to continue to hold that power. Clinton has no real response to that claim.

Michael, November 17, 2015 at 11:44 am

Bernie is not running to win. I'm not sure why he is running. If he does not start to hit Hillary then I think it is primarily to keep the left wing of the Democratic Party inside the party instead of seeking a new home elsewhere. The Justice Party is interesting but a third party has no chance unless the Democrats implode.

Honestly I can see the Democrats collapsing before the Republicans. The South and Midwest are just batshit crazy and they'll stick with the Republicans as long as the evangelicals dominate their culture. Does anyone here know anything about previous "great awakenings" in American culture?

MojaveWolf , November 16, 2015 at 1:01 pm

For all her vomit-inducing disingenuousness about how she would be the toughest on the financial industry as a whole (really, how does she say that with a straight face?), and her basically sounding like a smarter, saner business as usual neocon on the middle east, I thought her worst moment by far was when she tried to describe single payer as "dismantling" Medicare, Medicaid, etc and letting Republican administrations decide who gets health care, and playing up that the ACA as better and more comprehensive. She is not stupid. She is one of the smartest people in politics from a pure short term IQ standpoint. And she has studied and once advocated for single payer so she KNOWS what it does. Think about this for a minute.

Hillary KNOWS single payer EXPANDS on what Medicaid and Medicare provide.

Hillary KNOWS Bernie's single payer plan would not allow states to opt out, unlike the ACA she is touting, while she was claiming the exact opposite. She knowingly bald-faced lied on national TV & radio (I was driving and listening, not watching) in a way to equal anything Dick Cheney or Mitch McConnell or Newt Gingrich ever did, and she lied about a matter she KNOWS will result in millions of people NOT getting adequate medical care with ripple effects ranging from constant illness and misery to job performance to not seeking treatment until emergency to actual death. People can't pay 3k or 5k deductibles. We already have news reports of people not going for this reason. We paid the penalty on our taxes last year because the only affordable plans that were actually usable required us to make a 2 hr one way drive (over 90% hwy, this is a long way) to the closest hospital/doctor that was included in it. One of my acquaintances who is covered took a taxi to what was supposedly the only local doctor who took her plan (after calling everyone in town), waited over an hr, and was told that whoever she spoke to on the phone made a mistake and she is not covered, and they have no idea where she should go, plus she's out the time and a r/t taxi ride. You think Hillary hasn't studied this and doesn't know things like this happen? You think she doesn't know Bernie's single payer plan (and probably all single payer plans) wouldn't prevent these sorts of situations?

She KNOWS we could cut out the insurance companies, have free single payer, pay for it by taxing the most well off, and people on the whole would get much better service, with much better outcomes, and without having to freak out if the ambulance took them to a hospital outside of their plan or a visiting specialist at the hospital their plan said go to was outside the plan and billed them five or six figures or what have.

But she clearly doesn't care. She just cares about people donating money to her campaign and getting elected as a resume stuffer. She doesn't want to change how things are done more than minor tinkering, even when she KNOWS the changes will make everything better off. She will be the same on climate change, even tho she isn't stupid and knows both what we are doing now and what she is recommending are leading us to a planet of the jellyfish in the long run and a state of neverending crises and mass extinction in the short and medium run.

(I am not saying she knows the misery her foreign policy position has and will cause because I actually fear she might believe in what she's saying there; tho whether she believes it or not she clearly intends to continue the same policies that have led us to destabilize the middle east and are starting to destabilize the entire world; the only reason I'm not thinking this is her worst moment is because she was more hinting at than saying things, and I'm less sure of her actual positions)

She is willing to sacrifice millions of lives to get herself elected and continue enriching her already rich family who doesn't need any more money. She is, basically, a Republican on everything but social issues (yes, these matter, and good for her, tho past cowardly statements on abortion and votes on marriage equality should not be disregarded when compared with her opponents).

i guess people think nothing of this, just as they think nothing of her lies on regulating the financial industry, because they think that sort of flat out lie and distortion is just politics as usual, and more important to be good at lying than good on substance?

And that is why really do need a political revolution. Almost all of the current political class, including the political media, really need to go.

RUKidding, November 16, 2015 at 1:37 pm

AKA, there's very little difference bet HRC and whomever barking lunatic the GOP coughs up… other than HRC isn't such a barking lunatic. She's just mired in pure unfettered greed and imperialistic hubris.

Actually the GOP should be kissing the ground that HRC walks on bc she's probably the biggest War Hawk in the whole amalgamated group, and she's way more for BigIns getting their hugely giant sucking cut out of "health" insurance scams than almost any other candidate.

The GOP puts on a dog 'n pony show constantly wasting time and all taxpayer money on voting against ACA. They do that bc they know their phony baloney bills will never ever pass. The GOP doesn't want ACA to ever go away bc the politicians are getting rich rich rich off of it as much as the Dems are. They just have to play a Kabuki show to appease their utterly stupid base.

Such a waste of time all of this is. Such a monumental waste of money. ugh.

nothing will change. authoritarian USians like Big Daddy/Mommy too much to let ever let go of this system.

Vatch, November 16, 2015 at 3:33 pm

There are at least two advantages to breaking up the giant banks:

1. If one of the fragments gets into financial trouble, we won't have to fear a complete economic collapse.

2. Sure, the owners of the banks will continue to own as much as before (and some of their stock might even rise in value). But the CEOs of the big banks will lose influence, because they will suddenly be the bosses of much smaller corporations. Currently, people like Jamie Dimon have far too much power.

Bob Stapp, November 16, 2015 at 2:17 pm

I'm at a complete loss to understand why Dems, the media, and in fact anyone with two brain cells to rub together, can fail to see or acknowledge that HRC is a liar, a crook, and a generally mean-spirited individual who's only in it for herself and will do and say anything and accept money from anyone as long as it helps her to win.

Sadly, the only difference between Hillary and Obama, is that Barack is a better shape-shifter and, when he lies, he can do so with greater eloquence and charm. Hillary can never manage to completely hide her forked tongue and her poisonous lizard personality.

Our country and, in fact, the entire world is at a crossroads and yet there has never been such a lack of selfless, skilled leadership stepping up to help us get to some version of the common good. Meanwhile, Bernie Saunders and Jeremy Corbyn get pilloried daily for even suggesting that we are all in this together and had better get to fixing things right quick. I guess it's the fate of truth-tellers.

I plan to attend my state's caucus and when I say that if we insist on pursuing the political process as we have always done, we are condemning ourselves to disaster. Going out and working for a person, a personality, or a hoped-for savior, is merely repeating the same kind of insanity that has produced the rotten system we have today. Bernie's right. It's going to take all of us standing up together, not to get Bernie or anybody else elected, but for what we know is right. And we'd better do it soon. Then, when I'm shut down by the party operatives, I'll go home and continue to watch the slow-motion train-wreck.

Lambert Strether, November 16, 2015 at 3:21 pm

"It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'bank' is."

cassandra, November 16, 2015 at 7:11 pm

After Obama's behavior, and the documentation of Gilens & Page, can anyone believe that campaign speeches have anything to do with post-electoral policies? The nomination process is beyond dysfunctional: everyone knows Hillarity's positions are synthetic, yet she successfully campaigns with the grossest political impunity and she is taken seriously enough for analysis. I don't understand why. The only political power remaining to democracy is resistance, either by voting for a third party, or else by total abstinence. I personally prefer the former, as it's a bit harder to sweep under the media carpet. This keeps me outside the grasp of helplessness.

Telee, November 16, 2015 at 7:38 pm

The refusal of HRC to be for reinstating Glass-Steagall to separate investment banks and commercial banks is a sure sign that she will be a lap dog for the fraudsters on Wall Street. More of the same or worse.

Another point. My readings has lead me to believe that she played a large role in the destabilization o Libya. In her 11 hours before the Benghazi committee she was never asked why she was so hell-bent for a military solution when there were negotiations which would have led to a more peaceful solution.

1 kings, November 16, 2015 at 9:39 pm

"We came, we saw, he died". HRC

aliteralmind, November 16, 2015 at 10:21 pm

Family Guy *exactly* predicted Hillary's 9/11 tragedy-distraction strategy way back in 2008: Life imitating art: http://youtu.be/Rm3d43HLyTI

[Nov 21, 2015] The REALLY ANNOYING Don't-Wanna-Subsidize-Wealthy-Kids'-College-Tuition Canard

Notable quotes:
"... Can anyone really imagine Bernie Sanders in the White House? , ..."
"... I said here yesterday that Clinton is running a Republican-style campaign. But it's not only its style–its tactics–that are Republican. Watch her edge ever closer on substance as well. Which is the way she began her campaign last spring and early summer, until it became clear that Sanders' campaign was catching on. ..."
November 20, 2015 | naked capitalism

Yves here. Readers know I have a weakness for righteous rants…

By Beverly Mann. Originally published at Angry Bear

Hillary Clinton's performance wasn't as clean or as crisp as her last one. Among other things, she invoked 9/11 in order to dodge a question about her campaign donors. But she effectively made the case that, though Sanders speaks about important questions, his solutions are ultimately simplistic and hers are better. Instead of railing about breaking up the big banks, focus on identifying and moderating the biggest risks to the financial system. Instead of making college free for everyone, increase access to those who need it and decline to subsidize wealthy kids' tuition.

Can anyone really imagine Bernie Sanders in the White House?, Stephen Stromberg, Washington Post, Nov. 15

Stromberg, a Washington Post editorial writer who also blogs there, is an all-but-official Clinton campaign mouthpiece who last month, in a blog post and (unforgivably) a Post editorial (i.e., commentary with no byline, published on behalf of the Post's editorial board) baldly misrepresented what Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon on Tuesday misrepresented about Sanders' single-payer healthcare insurance plan, but from a different angle: Stromberg said that the cost of the single-payer plan would be in addition to the cost of healthcare now. Actual healthcare, not just insurance premiums.

According to Stomberg and the Post's editorial board then, hospitals, physicians and other healthcare provides would receive full payment from private insurers and also full payment from the government. And employers, employees and individual-market policyholders would continue to pay premiums to private insurers while they also paid taxes to the federal government for single-payer-double-payer?-insurance.

A nice deal for some but not, let's say, for others. Also, a preposterous misrepresentation of Sanders' plan.

Fast-forward a month and Stromberg, this time speaking only for himself (as far as I know; I don't read all the Post's editorials) and for the Clinton campaign, picks up on Clinton's invocation of the horror of the public paying college tuition for Donald Trump's kids. But since he probably knows that Trump's kids no more went to public colleges than did Clinton's kid, he broadens it.

Instead of making college free for everyone, increase access to those who need it and decline to subsidize wealthy kids' tuition. Good line! At least for the ears of voters who are unaware that public universities, like private ones, quietly skew their admissions processes to favor the kids of parents who likely can pay full tuition simply by switching the funds from a CD or other savings account into a checking account at the beginning of each semester, thus removing the need for the school to dig into its endowment fund to provide financial assistance. Or to worry about whether the student will have that loan money ready at the beginning of each semester.

Which is why Jennifer Gratz, salutatorian at her working class Detroit suburb's high school, whose extracurriculars included cheerleading but probably not a summer in Honduras assisting the poor, was denied admission to the University of Michigan back in 1995. And why she sued the University in what eventually became a landmark Supreme Court case challenging the constitutionality under the equal protection clause of UM's affirmative action program.

She did not challenge the constitutionality of the U's almost-certain, but unstated, admissions policy that would ensure that the freshman class had a substantial percentage of students from families wealthy enough to pay the full tuition.

Y'know, the ones wealthy enough to pay for SAT tutoring, SAT practice courts, and if necessary more than one SAT exam.

What especially angers me about this let's-not-subsidize-wealthy-kids'-college-tuition canard is that it uses disparities in ability to pay the tuition as a clever way to ensure the admissions status quo. Or something close to the status quo.

In her and her campaign spokesman's statements in the last several days-most notably her "Read My Lips; No New Taxes on the Middle Class, Even $1.35/wk to Pay for Family and Medical Leave" declaration, but other statements too-she's overtly declaring herself a triangulator. And some progressive political pundits are noticing it. Yes!* They!** Are!*** And Sanders needs to start quoting these articles, in speaking and in web and television ads.

I said here yesterday that Clinton is running a Republican-style campaign. But it's not only its style–its tactics–that are Republican. Watch her edge ever closer on substance as well. Which is the way she began her campaign last spring and early summer, until it became clear that Sanders' campaign was catching on.

[Oct 24, 2015] Snowden NSA, GCHQ Using Your Phone to Spy on Others (and You)

If your phone is in the case microphone will not pick up much. Same for camera. Only your GPS location is available. If phone is switched off then even this is not reality available. I think thw whole ability to listen from the pocket is overblown. Too much noise. I think just metadata are enough to feel that you are the constant surveillance.
Notable quotes:
"... the most part intelligence agencies are not really looking to monitor your private phone communications per se. They are actually taking over full control of the phone to take photos or record ongoing conversations within earshot. ..."
"... According to Snowden, the UK's spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters, uses NSA technology to develop software tools to control almost anyone's smartphone. He notes that all it takes is sending an encrypted text message to get into virtually any smartphone. Moreover, the message will not be seen by the user, making it almost impossible to stop the attack. ..."
"... Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com . ..."
Oct 15, 2015 | The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity
You are a tool of the state, according to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The NSA in the U.S., and its equivalent in the UK, GCHQ, are taking control of your phone not just to spy on you as needed, but also to use your device as a way to spy on others around you. You are a walking microphone, camera and GPS for spies.

Snowden, in a BBC interview, explained that for the most part intelligence agencies are not really looking to monitor your private phone communications per se. They are actually taking over full control of the phone to take photos or record ongoing conversations within earshot.

According to Snowden, the UK's spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters, uses NSA technology to develop software tools to control almost anyone's smartphone. He notes that all it takes is sending an encrypted text message to get into virtually any smartphone. Moreover, the message will not be seen by the user, making it almost impossible to stop the attack.

GCHQ calls these smartphone hacking tools the "Smurf Suite." The suite includes:

Snowden said the NSA has spent close to $1 billion to develop these smartphone hacking programs.

Reprinted with permission from WeMeantWell.com.

[Oct 22, 2015] Energy Crash - 97% of Fracking Now Operating at a Loss at Current Oil Prices

This is an old article (from Jan 2015), but most observations look quite current...
Notable quotes:
"... Some will point out correctly that oil sales from production is sold months or years ahead of time, so a temporary drop, no matter how steep, doesnt have an immediate effect. That statement is true, but it comes with two big caveats. First of all, there is no way of knowing when those oil futures were agreed to. They could expire tomorrow, or three years from now. The other caveat is specific to the geology of fracking. Unlike traditional oil drilling, shale oil taps out very quickly . That is simple geology. ..."
"... the average decline of the worlds conventional oil fields is about 5 percent per year. By comparison, the average decline of oil wells in North Dakotas booming Bakken shale oil field is 44 percent per year. Individual wells can see production declines of 70 percent or more in the first year. ..."
"... The IEA states that the shale oil business needs to bring 2,500 new wells into production every year just to sustain production, and these shale fields will increasingly become more expensive to drill , a rising percentage of supplies…require a higher breakeven price. ..."
"... With the current price of oil, almost none of the frackers will be sinking new wells. So if oil prices stay down, most of the frackers will simply be out of business in a year because they will have stopped producing enough oil for their business model. This is a big reason why the Saudis, with their conventional oil production can wait out the frackers. ..."
"... Of course, there is another factor that needs to be considered when it comes to the fracking industry, and that is high-yield debt . ..."
January 6, 2015 | Alternet
The majority of Texas energy production is still by conventional means. North Dakota, on the other hand, relies heavily on fracking, so they are looking at hard times. Already oil rigs are being shut down at the fastest pace in six years.
"At $50 oil, half the U.S. rig count is at risk," R.T. Dukes, an upstream analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd., said by telephone from Houston. "What happened in the last quarter foreshadows what's going to be a tough year for operators. It's looking worse and worse by the day."
Employment in the support services for oil and gas operations has risen 70% since mid-2009. Employment in oil and gas extraction has risen 34% over the same time period. The thing to remember is that most job creation in the fracking industry comes up-front, so job losses will hit long before production falls.
The most labor-intensive aspect of the oil-field industry is the construction and completion process for new wells, which requires the bulk of investment and provides the most income to the local economy.
He predicts ramifications of the oil slide to show up in three to six months, because companies will complete works in progress according to contract.
The price began crashing a couple months ago so the layoffs notices will really pick up on the oil patches any day. The Dallas Federal Reserve projects Texas will lose 125,000 jobs by the middle of this year. This slowdown is already projected to effect the state budgets of Texas, Wyoming, Louisiana, Oklahoma, North Dakota and Alaska.

Some will point out correctly that oil sales from production is sold months or years ahead of time, so a temporary drop, no matter how steep, doesn't have an immediate effect. That statement is true, but it comes with two big caveats. First of all, there is no way of knowing when those oil futures were agreed to. They could expire tomorrow, or three years from now. The other caveat is specific to the geology of fracking. Unlike traditional oil drilling, shale oil taps out very quickly. That is simple geology.

the average decline of the world's conventional oil fields is about 5 percent per year. By comparison, the average decline of oil wells in North Dakota's booming Bakken shale oil field is 44 percent per year. Individual wells can see production declines of 70 percent or more in the first year.

Shale gas wells face similarly swift depletion rates, so drillers need to keep plumbing new wells to make up for the shortfall at those that have gone anemic.

The IEA states that the shale oil business needs to bring 2,500 new wells into production every year just to sustain production, and these shale fields will increasingly become more expensive to drill, "a rising percentage of supplies…require a higher breakeven price."

With the current price of oil, almost none of the frackers will be sinking new wells. So if oil prices stay down, most of the frackers will simply be out of business in a year because they will have stopped producing enough oil for their business model. This is a big reason why the Saudis, with their conventional oil production can wait out the frackers.

Of course, there is another factor that needs to be considered when it comes to the fracking industry, and that is high-yield debt.

[Sep 27, 2015] The moral universe of the corporate killers

Sep 27, 2015 | www.samefacts.com
Stuart_Levine

Mark--The passage "As Paul Krugman points out" links not to PK, but to a Brad Plummer Vox article. I assume that you wanted to link to PK's column in this AM's NYT.

BTW, you may want to point to this Jeb! Tweet: http://bit.ly/1gVFixr I think that he may have set a record for the total number of horribly bad policy positions that one can advocate in 140 characters or less.

liberalhistorian

Couple of side bar comments:

...and apparently the buzz in the automotive world is that "everyone" was doing it...

Anybody who thinks Mr. Cook and Apple can't disrupt the automobile industry clearly isn't paying attention to the automobile industry. It seems designed more by cads than CAD. Smart elegant design? The auto industry is retrogressive: low hanging fruit. The whole damn kit: from CEOs to Dealers to Mechanics you can't trust. It's a moral atrocity.

Apple can and will seize the wheel and make a ton of money doing so...

As Paul Krugman points out, the scandal makes a nice counterpoint with Jeb Bush's latest "anti-regulation" rant.

Another nice counterpoint: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27867-cod-...

Of course there are many others. And of course there are also many cases of over-regulation. But you don't win an argument for smart regulation unless you have plenty of examples to draw from. I suspect Mrs. Clinton will be well-armed that way come the big time debates with Jeb!

Brett

Fisher's reaction is so typical for many economic libertarians that I've met. They can't really dismiss environmental problems altogether, so instead they diminish and minimize - "Oh, it's just some marginal emissions/a small amount of forest land/a little pollution into the river! What's the harm? And do you really want to hurt an important company that employs thousands over it over a little bit of dirty air?"

Jarndyce

Mark is too easy on both VW and GM in this paragraph:

"That's not as bad as an ordinary murder, where the killer picks out a specific victim, because being personally singled out to be killed is somehow worse than being a random victim. But in both the GM case and the VW case, people wound up dead (or injured, or sick) through the choice of someone else. In the GM case, the company's culpability was mostly passive: it made a design or manufacturing mistake and then didn't disclose it or act promptly or adequately to fix it. What VW did was much worse: the 'defeat software' wasn't a defect, but a deliberate decision to break the law with the predictable consequence of killing hundreds of people, at least twice as many as died of GM's malfeasance. I don't think you need to live in Marin County to find that objectionable."

The pertinent question is whether VW or GM knew that people would die as a result of their actions. If they did, then they are as culpable as an ordinary murderer, despite not having picked out a specific victim or having acted "passively" in deciding not to disclose their mistake. They are comparable to a person who randomly fires a machine gun in a crowd.

David T

One of the ICCT engineers who uncovered this seems to be telling every news shop that will listen that people should be checking other automakers for the same problem. VW's behavior is so appalling and frankly stupid (destroy a company to sell a few diesels? It's not even their biggest product line) that it's hard to understand what they could have possibly been thinking. The general amorality of corporate culture may be part of it. But I wonder if there was a bit of "everybody else is doing it" going on here too. (BMW must be pretty happy that their car passed.)


Keith_Humphreys

Perfect movie reference(The Third Man, 1949). The sociopathic black marketeer Harry Lime is played by Orson Welles and his moral American friend Holly Martins by Joseph Cotten. As they ride in a Ferris wheel far above the people of Vienna, this exchange occurs:

Martins: Have you ever seen any of your victims?

Harry: You know, I never feel comfortable on these sort of things. Victims? Don't be melodramatic. [gestures to people far below] Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax - the only way you can save money nowadays.

Clip: https://vimeo.com/76843899

egorelick

Ok. This may be an extremely stupid question, but how do we know that this was illegal? Many regulations of this type in the electronics/telecommunications field are overspecified and everybody knows the tests (and they cheat in similar fashions if not so explicitly and in such wholesale fashion). If the regulation was written to state that an engine will pass the following test then that's what would be built. Unless there was an explicit prohibition in switching modes or a requirement that the test mode be comparable to driving mode then the engineers may have just seen it as a game. So I'm not defending the amorality of this, but the question of conspiracy is harder to prove if it may not be illegal except under the EPA's theory. And if it wasn't obviously illegal, then what is the moral obligation of the worker to trade-off their livelihood for exposing the fraud.

[Sep 27, 2015] Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for Russian Foreign Ministry, grades Nuland's paper

September 16, 2015 | Fort Russ/Komsomolskaya Pravda

It is impossible to deal with cockroaches in one room while at the same time laying out little plates of bread crumbs on the other side of the wall.

Translated from Russian by Tom Winter

Translator's note: this press account is based on a post on Maria Zakharova's facebook page, and I have changed this account slightly in alignment with Zakharova's original text. It was not clear in KP what was Zakharova and what was KP. I think it is in this translation...

Head of the Information Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry wrote a "critical review" on the "Yalta speech" of the assistant US Secretary of State.

In Kiev, there was a conference "Yalta European Strategy". Already amazing. Yalta is in the Russian Crimea, and the "Yalta" conference was held in the Ukrainian capital. Well and good -- you couldn't miss that one!. But at this Yalta conference came the assistant US Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. Yes, the same one that passed out the cookies. But now, considered a shadow ruler of Ukraine, she points out to the Kiev authorities what to do. This time, Nuland said in a public speech:

- There should be no tolerance for those oligarchs who do not pay taxes. There must be zero tolerance for bribery and corruption, to those who would use violence for political ends.

And these words of the grande dame of the State Department could not be overlooked. Just think, Americans don't like it when their loans to Ukraine get stolen. And anti-oligarchic Maidan brought the very oligarchs to power, and corruption in the country has become even greater. Some of us have grown weary of this talk. But, let Nuland drone on ...

But then Russian Foreign Ministry official spokesman Maria Zakharova replied. So much so that not a stone was left on stone in the American's "Yalta speech":

"All this a little bit, just a little, looks like a lecture to the fox about how bad it is to steal chickens, but actually it surprised in other ways. As soon as Russian authorities began exposing the tax evasion, bribery, or corruption of the oligarchs, Victoria Nuland's office hastened to call zero tolerance "political repression" - Zakharova wrote on her facebook page.

It would be great to see the Department of State "show that same zero tolerance and inquire a bit about how the initial capital of the Russian (and Ukrainian would not hurt) oligarchs got started, those oligarchs who have been accused of corruption at home, but who, once in London, feel protected by the authorities, enjoying all the benefits of membership in the Club of Victims of Political Persecution" - continued Zakharova.

"It is impossible to deal with cockroaches in one room while at the same time laying out little plates of bread crumbs on the other side of the wall. Giving the green light to the dirty money from Russia and the former Soviet Union, the Western world is only boosting the zeal with which the domestic thieves shove their loot in foreign bins."

"Though perhaps," wonders the Foreign Minstiry spokesman "this is the actual purpose of the imaginary zero tolerance?"

"Why do people on Interpol's lists, by the decision of the Russian courts, prove their financial immorality, as they thrive in the Western capitals, and no alarm bells go off in the State Department?"

It turns out to be an interesting story: Taking fetid streams of notes, the West has just one requirement at the border crossing. Scream "victim of the regime." That's it! and you're in spades!

This calls to mind the old Soviet bribery password translated into modern American:

- In Soviet times, it was common phrase, revealing corrupt intent to proceed with plans insidious in varying degrees: "I'm from Ivan Ivanovich." Today the corresponding "Open Sesame" that opens the doors "in Europe and the best houses in Philadelphia," is the phrase "I'm running away from Vladimir".

Victoria, if you're going to start cleaning out the cockroaches, stop feeding them on your side.

[Sep 18, 2015] Paul Krugman: Labour's Dead Center

"...In theory, perhaps, but the political reality is that it could never happen without obliterating the modern Republican Party and a good chunk of the Democrats."
.
"...A healthy economy is more than healthy banks."
.
"...A characteristic of the neoliberal era in both the US and UK is that the center left parties took a turn toward conservative economics coupled with liberal social policies. This collapse on the economic side has been in progress for 30 years. All of the current crop of center left politicians learned their political rhetoric in the context of the reigning conservative economic orthodoxy. Many of them abandoned economic thought and policy altogether, basically handing economics over to the markets. That's why they have to employ other people to tell them what to think when things go haywire economically, and are so muddled and lost at sea."
"Mr. Corbyn's triumph isn't that surprising":
Labour's Dead Center, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: Jeremy Corbyn, a long-time leftist dissident, has won a stunning victory in the contest for leadership of Britain's Labour Party. Political pundits say that this means doom for Labour's electoral prospects; they could be right, although I'm not the only person wondering why commentators who completely failed to predict the Corbyn phenomenon have so much confidence in their analyses...

But I won't ... get into that game. What I want to do instead is talk about one crucial piece of background to the Corbyn surge - the implosion of Labour's moderates. On economic policy, in particular, the striking thing ... was that every candidate other than Mr. Corbyn essentially supported the Conservative government's austerity policies.

Worse, they all implicitly accepted the bogus justification for those policies, in effect pleading guilty to policy crimes that Labour did not ... commit. If you want a U.S. analogy, it's as if all the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination in 2004 had gone around declaring, "We were weak on national security, and 9/11 was our fault." Would we have been surprised if Democratic primary voters had turned to a candidate who rejected that canard, whatever other views he or she held?

In the British case, the false accusations against Labour involve ... claims that the Labour governments that ruled Britain from 1997 to 2010 spent far beyond their means, creating a ... debt crisis that..., in turn, supposedly left no alternative to severe cuts in spending, especially spending that helps the poor.

These claims have ... echoed by almost all British news media ... as facts. It has been an amazing thing to watch -... every piece of this conventional narrative is ... nonsense. ... And all of Mr. Corbyn's rivals for Labour leadership bought fully into that conventional nonsense, in effect accepting the Conservative case that their party did a terrible job of managing the economy, which simply isn't true. So as I said, Mr. Corbyn's triumph isn't that surprising given the determination of moderate Labour politicians to accept false claims about past malfeasance.

This still leaves the question of why Labour's moderates have been so hapless.... Labour's political establishment seems to lack all conviction, for reasons I don't fully understand. And this means that the Corbyn upset isn't about a sudden left turn on the part of Labour supporters. It's mainly about the strange, sad moral and intellectual collapse of Labour moderates.

Comments (117)

BillTuckerUS said...

"the strange, sad moral and intellectual collapse of Labour moderates" happened quite a while ago, when Tony Blair became Prime Minister.

Lafayette said in reply to DrDick...

Here, here.

There was a collapse of progressive-values that would seek less Income Disparity than the kind of arch unfairness that Reckless Ronnie's hatchet-job upon upper income-taxation brought.

It sealed our fate, of sorts, in the US for decades to come. And we are still trying to find a way out of the mess, before the house-of-cards of this present market-economy comes down about our ears.

From the weight of too much good-fortune going to far too few for no good reason whatsoever ...

cm said in reply to Benedict@Large...

Good rejoinder, but I'd say Thatcher too was just a consequence/expression of underlying trends.

Similar things happened in some other countries. E.g. 90's Germany (1.5 (?) election cycles after the reunification) saw an essentially neoliberal "Social Democratic"/Green administration under chancellor Schröder which brought major safety net "reforms" and a vision of various "market liberalizations" on the way.

Schröder himself saw it not unfit to e.g. pose for photos in Armani suits or smoking cigars, which among other things earned him the nickname "comrade of the bosses". That was just one superficial pattern of expression of "labor center" corruption or cooption. Consequences included popular vote losses and splintering off of a "left party" that partially merged with or formed coalitions with East German "ex communists", which made it unpalatable to many people who (understandably) viewed them in a bad light due to association and being kind of a legal and moral successor of corrupt East German elites (even though the "East German communists" are mostly new faces and not the discredited old timers).

Overall, it looks very similar - the "moderates" are corrupted/coopted, leading to splintering into a discredited name-carrying entity and "extremists" that most still-honest members clinging to the former ideals don't want to associate with - even though the "extremists" probably represent (a subset of?) these ideals more so than anybody else.

DrDick said in reply to Eric377...

Right. The state of Michigan deliberately starving the city and imposing unnecessary draconian measures are the fault of the city leaders. As is the case with Britain, Detroit's problems are the result of economic collapse (the auto industry) and subsequent outsourcing of much manufacturing.

Paine said in reply to DrDick...

Goose chasing

The point

Uncle Sam using correct regional policy and the limitless money mine and limited but powerful taxing authority
Could easily prevent detroits from happening

Hell even rusty probably believes enough of this possible reality to admit
Detroit was a butchered by negligence greed and a democrat party that prevents
Real progressives from gaining The power of federal office

DrDick said in reply to Paine ...

In theory, perhaps, but the political reality is that it could never happen without obliterating the modern Republican Party and a good chunk of the Democrats.

bakho said...

People are unhappy with Obama because his Republican Econ team of Geithner and Bernanke bailed out the banks and dropped the ball on cramdown and bailout for the middle class. A healthy economy is more than healthy banks. Part of the message of the crash was that BigF is too bloated and needs to downsize. Instead we propped it up to the detriment of the economy. Same with Corbyn. People are unhappy with Austerity. The GOP is getting ready to shutdown the gov. The message should be, "You risk tanking the economy. " Then if it happens blame Congress.

Laundry Bank & Trust said in reply to bakho...

"healthy economy is more than healthy banks. Part of the message of the crash was that BigF is too bloated and needs to downsize. Instead we propped it up to the detriment of the economy. "
~~bakho~

A healthy Main Street is a dying Bank Street. We don't need another marble coated bank. We need another saw-mill and another cargo-ship.

Did Ayn Rand once advise, "Since the smallest and most minor of all minorities is the individual, those who claim to subsidize minorities should stop crushing small business with repressive regulation, legislation and taxation against Main Street. Stop with talking the walk then walk the talk!"?

Imprecisely, yet put us onto the bloodhound's trek.

Happy
trails

Benedict@Large said in reply to bakho...

"A healthy economy is more than healthy banks."

Except that Obama did not leave the banks healthy. He left them stuffed with excess reserves they cannot lend because they are still stuffed with excess bad debt. Banks cannot be healthy when the markets they've lent into are not healthy, and Obama/Geithner did almost nothing to address this.

[This BTW is the REAL crisis of the repeal of Glass-Steagal; it left the investment bankers in charge of the commercial operations they knew (know) nothing about. In the IB world, every problem can be solved by the addition of more money.

The CB world is more complicated. Problems there require that some of the bad loans actually be paid, and Obama/Geithner, led on by their friends in IB, never thought to do that.]

Dan Kervick said...

"And this means that the Corbyn upset isn't about a sudden left turn on the part of Labour supporters. It's mainly about the strange, sad moral and intellectual collapse of Labour moderates."

A characteristic of the neoliberal era in both the US and UK is that the center left parties took a turn toward conservative economics coupled with liberal social policies. This collapse on the economic side has been in progress for 30 years. All of the current crop of center left politicians learned their political rhetoric in the context of the reigning conservative economic orthodoxy. Many of them abandoned economic thought and policy altogether, basically handing economics over to the markets. That's why they have to employ other people to tell them what to think when things go haywire economically, and are so muddled and lost at sea.

Unlike the Democrats in the US, Labour was in the top political seat in the UK for years, so the responsibility for the financial collapse was laid at their door. They had to take the blame for something. Instead of continuing to take the blame for failing to rein in the banking and finance sector, they have recently decided to shift the blame to their own fiscal policies. Maybe that's because the financial guys own the media and own the politicians, so they call the tune.

Remember that in the US, the politicians also failed to blame the FIRE sector and decided to blame fiscal profligacy. Barack Obaama's first Attorney General infamously let the banksters off the hook. And Joe Biden went around in 2012 telling people that the cause of the financial crisis was that "George Bush put two wars on a credit card." And of course, the Obama administration spent a three years working on the idea that economic Job One was putting the fiscal house in order. Because the Republicans were in the White House in 2007/8, though, Democrats were able to blame both fiscal recklessness *and* the Republicans.

So far in the 2015/16 campaign, the cause of the financial crisis seems like ancient history. The media elite seems to have concluded that the crisis was just one of those things that sometimes happen, and it was nobody's fault. If anything, the problem was juts a short-term technocratic mismanagement issue: failing to deal with Lehman properly, prematurely tightening monetary policy. 30 years of deregulated flim-flam, greed and bubble-making has been swept under the rug.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/aug/09/jeremy-corbyn-labour-overspending-did-not-cause-financial-crisis

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB123785266231219605

JohnH said in reply to Dan Kervick...

Yes, more people should be asking why the Democratic Party is so hapless.

But the answer is obvious...Big Money.

Let's hope that Sanders crushes the corrupt septuagenarians currently driving the party into the ground led from behind by Obama the Wall Sreet neoliberal.

pgl said in reply to JohnH...

Did you even bother to read what Krugman wrote. Let me assist:

"the false accusations against Labour involve fiscal policy, specifically claims that the Labour governments that ruled Britain from 1997 to 2010 spent far beyond their means, creating a deficit and debt crisis that caused the broader economic crisis. The fiscal crisis, in turn, supposedly left no alternative to severe cuts in spending, especially spending that helps the poor. These claims have, one must admit, been picked up and echoed by almost all British news media."

Of course these false accusations were spread by Cameron as his excuse for fiscal austerity which turned out to be a real economic disaster.

Oh wait - there is a reason that you could not address what Krugman was writing about. You were praising Cameron and his stupid fiscal austerity.

My apologies for interrupting your rant.

JohnH said in reply to pgl...

pgl whines about what I say about him...and then he posts the lie that I support Cameron, which is pure BS.

But pgl can't defend corrupt Democrats, much as he tries, so all he can do is make up lies.

Paine said in reply to JohnH...

No


The bastards really wanted to move right on economics
Thy really saw the great society as a failed vision

JohnH said in reply to Peter K....

In the end he had to comprise...the problem with Obama is that he gave Republicans austerity before any negotiations ever began...any idiot understands that you don't start negotiations by giving the store away to the other side...which is what Obama did.

reason said...

Interesting in Australia, inner party coup unseats Prime Minister. That makes twice in a row, in opposing parties. That is what a living democracy looks like. In America, you seem to have forgotten.

pgl said in reply to DrDick...

Bernie Sanders 2015 is not quite George McGovern 1972. And as awful as Nixon was - he's better than any of the remaining 16 Republican clowns (Perry had the good sense to drop out).


DrDick said in reply to pgl...

Bernie's policy positions are actually quite popular, which could not be said of McGovern (who I voted for in my first ever election).

DrDick said in reply to DrDick...

The link for that: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/senator-bernie-sanders-policy-platform-presidential-campaign

pgl said in reply to DrDick...

I was too young but I thought McGovern would have been a very good President. He lost because Nixon lied in October 1972 about peace being at hand. Nixon was almost as dishonest in campaigns as Karl Rove and Mitt Romney.

DrDick said in reply to pgl...

Goldwater, Nixon, and Reagan, reactionaries and liars all, are the parents of modern conservatism.

[Sep 10, 2015] Hillary Clinton admits private email server was a mistake

Notable quotes:
"... The woman is a hawk and a warmonger. In a sane world she would be ineligible on her voting record and likely foreign policy, not down to some technicality about her email address. ..."
"... The fact that she posted almost identical language on Facebook as she used in the Muir interview certainly suggests that the "apology" was carefully written and likely tested in focus groups. ..."
"... Read the dreadful facts (warning: lolcatz spoiler): http://www.bubblews.com/posts/hillary-email-the-horrid-facts ..."
"... An FBI investigation whilst running to be your party's presidential nominee, let alone running for president in the real thing next year, is never a good look. ..."
"... Agreed. I don't much care about this "classified or not" kerfuffle. I am much more concerned about the Nixonian scrubbing of the email server, when Clinton KNEW her work emails were subpoenaed by the House Benghazi committee. That says GUILTY in no uncertain terms. And I don't think we're ever going to receive an "apology" for those deletions. ..."
"... More than a mistake I'm afraid. At best it is a career ending error of judgment. At worst a deliberate and cynical attempt to maintain personal control of data so none of it could come back to damage her presidential campaign. Anyway, she should be finished. ..."
"... Her "We came, we saw, ..." laughter is inappropriate, especially in light of the turmoil resulting from a power vacuum which we are still witnessing today. But I don't know the context of why everyone in the room is in such a jovial mood. ..."
"... She has no ability, but for deception, no intelligence, unless someone "advises" her beforehand, but she DOES have much experience at deception, and commitment only to herself. Certainly not presidential material. She should just drop and let Bernie take the lead. Of course, her dear friend Wasserman-Shultz, would not allow that to happen. ..."
"... It becomes a matter of criminal conspiracy because Clinton did not just use a private email address. This was a conspiracy to avoid monitored email and a matter of legal public record, arranged as a conspiracy between Clinton's desire to maintain secret communications hidden from the rest of government and the person who did the work of setting up the server with knowledge of how it would be used and the network administrators who allowed it to exist in what should have been a secured network location, knowing how it would be used. So not the childish lie of "I did it but I didn't mean to", but the reality of a conspired plan to thwart record keeping, discussed and implemented with purposeful intent and with no question that it was to hide intended criminal activity. ..."
"... Obviously her "apology" was dragged out of her and is completely insincere. This is the track record of H Clinton - arrogant; power hungry; untrustworthy; unscrupulous; unprincipled; 100% insincere; can't we do any better than this? ..."
"... HRC is aiding her own demonization and I honestly think she's going to lose to whomever/whatever clown emerges from the Right Wing. ..."
"... It's not about leaving an opening for her adversaries, it's is about destroying the public record of the Secretary of State. In the US, government communications belongs to the government and to the people. ..."
"... Sanders is the better person but he will never get nominated. So it's either Hillary or some GOP nutbag. Easy vote. Not optimal, but still an easy choice. ..."
"... the private server was not an error --it was a coup of genius-- since it allowed "the candidate" to hand over only the harmless emails after erasing(?) the damning ones (e.g., those with the quid-pro-quo negotiation of UKR-neonazi donations to the clinton foundation before the 2014 UKR coup d'etat). ..."
"... Hillary has learnt a lot from the old Bill. Denial first step: Bill, I did not have sexual relation with that woman. And I need to go back to work for the American people. ..."
"... Admission second step: Bill admitted in taped grand jury testimony on August 17, 1998, that he had had an "improper physical relationship" with Lewinsky. ..."
"... Clinton consistently acts with arrogant denial when confronted with wrong-doing, and throughout her career there have been repeated situations, each marked by the same denial, arrogance. ..."
"... She believes she'll be anointed and begrudgingly goes on the stump, showing no joy in meeting regular folks and getting huffy when reporters dare ask her questions. ..."
"... The US hasn't been a democracy since day 1. Never meant to be. It was/is a carpetbagger's club. The only thing that's changed is the voters are dumber and the pizazz is crappier (to match the candidates). Why is this even discussed? ..."
"... Then again we are talking about an oligarch aiming to retake the presidential office for her wing of the national aristocracy. What else would one expect. ..."
"... I read where Carl Rove deleted 13,000 emails during the bush horror years. It pisses me off that she apologized for this non-issue because of political pressure. I'm voting for Bernie. ..."
"... Mrs. Clinton has the most unappetizing combination of qualities to be met in many days' march: she is a tyrant and a bully when she can dare to be, and an ingratiating populist when that will serve. She will sometimes appear in the guise of a 'strong woman' and sometimes in the softer garb of a winsome and vulnerable female. She is entirely un-self-critical and quite devoid of reflective capacity, and has never found that any of her numerous misfortunes or embarrassments are her own fault, because the fault invariably lies with others. And, speaking of where things lie, she can in a close contest keep up with her husband for mendacity. Like him, she is not just a liar but a lie; a phony construct of shreds and patches and hysterical, self-pitying, demagogic improvisations." (p. 123) ..."
"... Snowden on Clinton: If an ordinary worker at the State Department or the Central Intelligence Agency were sending details about the security of embassies, meetings with private government officials, foreign government officials and the statements were made over unclassified email systems, they would not only lose their jobs and lose their clearance, they would very likely face prosecution for it. (condensed quotation) ..."
Sep 08, 2015 | The Guardian

MasalBugduv -> MasalBugduv 9 Sep 2015 09:18

Killary? Ha ha. Well she is a bit of a warmonger, isn't she?

dawkinsbulldog 9 Sep 2015 08:50

The woman is a hawk and a warmonger. In a sane world she would be ineligible on her voting record and likely foreign policy, not down to some technicality about her email address.

It's like rejecting Pinochet as Chilean president because he once farted in mixed company.

TamLin -> Oldiebutgoodie 9 Sep 2015 07:43

Great post! For those who don't have time to watch the entire Jim & Hillary interview, the real fun begins just after the 24 minute mark, when Jim says of Iran, "...or they will be taken out", and Hillary responds by into an orgasm of laughter.

NottaBot steveji 9 Sep 2015 07:23

The fact that she posted almost identical language on Facebook as she used in the Muir interview certainly suggests that the "apology" was carefully written and likely tested in focus groups.

ProgRock 9 Sep 2015 07:22

Read the dreadful facts (warning: lolcatz spoiler): http://www.bubblews.com/posts/hillary-email-the-horrid-facts

callaspodeaspode 9 Sep 2015 07:16

An FBI investigation whilst running to be your party's presidential nominee, let alone running for president in the real thing next year, is never a good look.

Added to this is that if anything is calculated to motivate the movement conservative base to its highest ever turnout, it's Hillary Rodham Clinton running for president.

I'm mildly (only mildly) surprised there aren't more senior Democrats out there who can see what a liability she is.

Although I'll say this, if Bernie Sanders gets the nomination, the Republican candidate is going to end up with double the money from billionaires and corporate lobbyists, the cash normally being shared between the two candidates from the Republicrat Party.

Mind you, that will just prove Senator Sanders' point.

NottaBot -> ninjamia 9 Sep 2015 07:09

Agreed. I don't much care about this "classified or not" kerfuffle. I am much more concerned about the Nixonian scrubbing of the email server, when Clinton KNEW her work emails were subpoenaed by the House Benghazi committee. That says GUILTY in no uncertain terms. And I don't think we're ever going to receive an "apology" for those deletions.

thesweeneytodd -> Mark Forrester 9 Sep 2015 06:44

Some perspective please. Dubya caused total mayhem and catastrophe with his ill judged and utterly illegal war in Iraq. His lack of intervention in Katrina resulted in misery and death for many in New Orleans. The most unpopular US president perhaps of all time.

Hilary ran a private email server that was perhaps ill judged.

Like I say, some perspective please.

Mark Forrester 9 Sep 2015 06:38

More than a mistake I'm afraid. At best it is a career ending error of judgment. At worst a deliberate and cynical attempt to maintain personal control of data so none of it could come back to damage her presidential campaign. Anyway, she should be finished.

Oldiebutgoodie -> Oldiebutgoodie 9 Sep 2015 03:54

The interview about Diplomacy with Charlie Rose took place June 2012 - prior to the Benghazi fiasco.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpJWsryvVrc

Both James Baker and Hillary basically admit to forcing Assad out and causing 'regime change' in Syria.

Oldiebutgoodie -> makaio 9 Sep 2015 03:24

Nov. 2009
Hillary on Channel l3, NY's Charlie Rose show - Text of interview.
Subject: Iran, Afghanistan
http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/texttrans/2009/11/20091110130524xjsnommis0.1892206.html#axzz3lDt0HNg2

Hillary & Jim Baker interviewed must see laughing about provoking war with Iran
October 2012
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpJWsryvVrc

makaio -> TamLin 9 Sep 2015 01:38

Thanks for the previously unknown to me information.

Her "admission" is sarcasm, which is preceded by a quick note that she was not involved and her visit was unrelated.

Her "We came, we saw, ..." laughter is inappropriate, especially in light of the turmoil resulting from a power vacuum which we are still witnessing today. But I don't know the context of why everyone in the room is in such a jovial mood.

It's hard to get facts on the unfortunate and disastrous consequences of Gaddafi's assassination. I don't directly blame the U.S., but my sense in that our government wrongly gave it a go-ahead.

Timothy Everton -> Hin Leng 9 Sep 2015 01:32

She has no ability, but for deception, no intelligence, unless someone "advises" her beforehand, but she DOES have much experience at deception, and commitment only to herself. Certainly not presidential material. She should just drop and let Bernie take the lead. Of course, her dear friend Wasserman-Shultz, would not allow that to happen.

Rob Jenkins 9 Sep 2015 01:02

American politics is depressing again for me. All realistic candidates seem to be a retrograde step.

Clinton appears to be a moderate Republican from the 90s and has no feasible opponents whilst the GOP primary is a clown car filled with buffoons, crooks and religious zealots.

Where do you go now America?

Hin Leng 9 Sep 2015 00:58

Clearly America has caught a new cultural-political disease called "The Tall Poppy Syndrome". Cut down anyone with ability, intelligence, experience , commitment and vision. Find any excuse for doing it - email server, age, gender, hairstyles, anything whatsoever. Meanwhile give some blatantly nonsensical candidates for its presidency plenty of oxygen and headline space. Is this how an empire expire ? How a hegemon self-destruct ? It is worrying to the extreme.


vr13vr 9 Sep 2015 00:47

"I'm sorry about that. I take responsibility."

How is that taking responsibility after half a year of denial and fighting the allegations? Outside of the lingo of politicians, this doesn't even look like taking responsibility. A phrase, "I finally decided to admit the wrong doing," is much more appropriate at this point.

rtb1961 -> Asok Smith 9 Sep 2015 00:43

It becomes a matter of criminal conspiracy because Clinton did not just use a private email address. This was a conspiracy to avoid monitored email and a matter of legal public record, arranged as a conspiracy between Clinton's desire to maintain secret communications hidden from the rest of government and the person who did the work of setting up the server with knowledge of how it would be used and the network administrators who allowed it to exist in what should have been a secured network location, knowing how it would be used.

So not the childish lie of "I did it but I didn't mean to", but the reality of a conspired plan to thwart record keeping, discussed and implemented with purposeful intent and with no question that it was to hide intended criminal activity.


Merveil Meok 8 Sep 2015 23:36

Obama and Hillary Clinton were bitter rivals until the end of the primaries in 2008. When Obama suggested that Mrs. Clinton be his Secretary of State, I thought it was a trap and a dangerous proposition for Hillary's future bids to the presidency, because foreign policy was a mess after George W. Bush and anything going wrong in the world would be blamed on her. It looks like the GOP didn't need to work that hard.

p4451d 8 Sep 2015 23:08

Obviously her "apology" was dragged out of her and is completely insincere. This is the track record of H Clinton - arrogant; power hungry; untrustworthy; unscrupulous; unprincipled; 100% insincere; can't we do any better than this?

whereistheend 8 Sep 2015 23:00

I'd never vote for a Republican, but if she didn't have Bill Clinton's last name, she'd be out of the picture, and maybe Elizabeth Warren, or Bill Bradley, or Howard Dean (or Bernie) would have the nomination- any of those names could beat any Republican, but HRC is aiding her own demonization and I honestly think she's going to lose to whomever/whatever clown emerges from the Right Wing. Yes, I think she's going to lose to a clown, and that's depressing, and it's because she has no charm to handle her mistakes, and no judgment to avoid some of them (the 'wiping' comment was sickeningly stupid), and she's sucking up all the coverage so no one else is getting the air they need; most of the discussion is over this BS instead of actual issues and that's not all on Fox News.

Elias Vlanton -> seehowtheyrun 8 Sep 2015 22:47

It's not about leaving an opening for her adversaries, it's is about destroying the public record of the Secretary of State. In the US, government communications belongs to the government and to the people. This is not about what is illegal or not, it is about whether officials can be held accountable for their actions. By destroying the public record, Hillary Clinton wanted to avoid that accountability. That's the real travesty.

Kevin Reuter -> LostLake 8 Sep 2015 22:39

The corporate-run media would like us all to believe that Bernie doesn't stand a chance. Since he has such strong policy suggestions and is demanding such attention, the only possible way to stop him is to flood people's minds with rhetoric such as "he can't win!"

Hillary herself has now been championing policy ideas that Bernie started, such as repealing Citizens United, and $15 minimum wage!

LostLake 8 Sep 2015 21:55

Sanders is the better person but he will never get nominated. So it's either Hillary or some GOP nutbag. Easy vote. Not optimal, but still an easy choice.

sashasmirnoff -> erpiu 8 Sep 2015 21:09

As the "Guardian view" is unfailingly wrong on anything it opines on (proven track record), and it's fully endorsing this scum's candidacy, I can only conclude that she merits life in prison at the least, as opposed to high office. That no media organ is questioning her claim of the deleted emails as being purely "personal" speaks volumes as to the sorry state of journalism in this era, as you point out.
Great post!


erpiu 8 Sep 2015 20:28

the private server was not an error --it was a coup of genius-- since it allowed "the candidate" to hand over only the harmless emails after erasing(?) the damning ones (e.g., those with the quid-pro-quo negotiation of UKR-neonazi donations to the clinton foundation before the 2014 UKR coup d'etat).

yes, those erased emails that, let's see... the guardian never mentions, preferring to direct the suckers' attention to the leftover emails selected by billary for regular release. Great diversion job, guardian!

the NSA has hillary's erased emails! When is the MSM going to request that the NSA gives its copies of the erased h.clinton emails to the feds for official archiving and future declassification?


Confucion 8 Sep 2015 20:06

In an interview with ABC News's David Muir which aired on Tuesday, the former secretary of state said: "That was a mistake. I'm sorry about that. I take responsibility."

Hillary has learnt a lot from the old Bill. Denial first step: Bill, I did not have sexual relation with that woman. And I need to go back to work for the American people.

Admission second step: Bill admitted in taped grand jury testimony on August 17, 1998, that he had had an "improper physical relationship" with Lewinsky.

Hilary is the best Bill's disciple in his trickery, lies and contempt of people from whom they are seeking employment and benefit.


FugitiveColors kenalexruss 8 Sep 2015 19:56

That's wishful thinking. The Judge ordered a release of more emails every 30 days until they are all released. It won't be over in 3 months much less 3 weeks. They say til February. There are 55,000 emails and those are just ones she didn't delete. She deleted 35,000 emails that will dog her forever.

When she finally gives up the ghost, I hope you will consider voting for the honest, scandal free candidate.
Bernie Sanders.

EarthyByNature -> Davinci Woohoo 8 Sep 2015 19:54

It's about trust, stupid.
Not being able to trust the potential President of the United States is a huge issue, for everyone on the planet.

1) Clinton consistently acts with arrogant denial when confronted with wrong-doing, and throughout her career there have been repeated situations, each marked by the same denial, arrogance.

2) Everyone's entitled to make mistakes in life and to beg forgiveness. When it happens repeatedly trust evaporates. I am no longer able to trust Hillary Clinton, no more no less that any other behaving the same way, Dem or Republican.

allymaxy -> danceoutlook 8 Sep 2015 19:47

Re: the Secretary of State position: Hillary didn't have to campaign for the job, she was appointed. Her problem is she's making the same mistakes running for CinC that she made in 2008.

She believes she'll be anointed and begrudgingly goes on the stump, showing no joy in meeting regular folks and getting huffy when reporters dare ask her questions.

Remember the recent rope line where she corralled the press in a noose of ropes to keep them away from her?

She is a poor candidate - always was and she hasn't learned anything from losing. She repeats the same mistakes and only changes her policies when focus groups chime in.

If Elizabeth Warren declared tomorrow, Hillary would be long forgotten and not missed.


Joe Stanil -> JoeBursudge 8 Sep 2015 19:47

The US hasn't been a democracy since day 1. Never meant to be. It was/is a carpetbagger's club. The only thing that's changed is the voters are dumber and the pizazz is crappier (to match the candidates). Why is this even discussed?

Ziontrain 8 Sep 2015 19:24

"Full responsibility" would actually mean admitting that she lacks the integrity to be president and withdrawing her candidacy.

But we live in an era where there is no shame, so "full responsibility" is not more like "yeah, I did it. So what? Nothing changes".

Then again we are talking about an oligarch aiming to retake the presidential office for her wing of the national aristocracy. What else would one expect.

JoeBursudge -> NeverLie 8 Sep 2015 19:22

A carpetbagger in a dress. Tony Blair and the Clintons - just goes to show it isn't country specific.

Though he didn't know them, these are the people Kim Beazley Snr was talking about when he said [the Left] went from being represented by the cream of the working-class to being led by the dregs of the middle-class.

Let's face it: the mere fact that Trump and Clinton are being discussed as a possible President is all the proof you need that America's democracy is stuck with a broken model. It's doubtful that the average Yank is up to fixing it.

Not that we can talk, of course, our system is looking sicker by the day. That a fool like Abbott can commit our troops to war without Parliamentary discussion is a pretty clear signal that our 19th century democratic architecture, too, is in need of renovation, if not a complete re-build.

jozzero -> gwpriester 8 Sep 2015 19:20

I read where Carl Rove deleted 13,000 emails during the bush horror years. It pisses me off that she apologized for this non-issue because of political pressure. I'm voting for Bernie.

OneTop 8 Sep 2015 18:42

Christoper Hitchens summed up HRC as well as anyone.

Mrs. Clinton has the most unappetizing combination of qualities to be met in many days' march: she is a tyrant and a bully when she can dare to be, and an ingratiating populist when that will serve. She will sometimes appear in the guise of a 'strong woman' and sometimes in the softer garb of a winsome and vulnerable female. She is entirely un-self-critical and quite devoid of reflective capacity, and has never found that any of her numerous misfortunes or embarrassments are her own fault, because the fault invariably lies with others. And, speaking of where things lie, she can in a close contest keep up with her husband for mendacity. Like him, she is not just a liar but a lie; a phony construct of shreds and patches and hysterical, self-pitying, demagogic improvisations." (p. 123)


Berkeley2013 williamdonovan 8 Sep 2015 18:35

Thank you; there are many more but this is a good start.

As the story unravels, many of there earlier HC rationalizations will require scrutiny--things that seemed innocuous to the average person will require intense scrutiny.

"I deleted e-mails that were personal."

This sounds anodyne enough on first read. Who wants to read billet doux between B and H?

Once people realize that she had no right to mix personal and professional and it certainly wasn't up to any one person what to delete, then even bigger troubles will start for the former SOS.

Sooner or later some of the deleted e-mails will begin to circulate.

At that point...


David Egan 8 Sep 2015 18:15

What gets me about this whole issue is the fact that she is still maintaining that "she did what was allowed" which is a bold faced lie!!! All she is doing right now is continuing to "circle her wagons" around this issue.... I'll bet right now she is trying to figure out how to bribe Pagliano to take the fall for her, stating that she knew nothing about what he did to maintain her ILLEGAL email account. They both knew it was ILLEGAL!!! Clinton and Pagliano should be brought up on charges, the sooner the better!!

Her utter contempt for the investigation makes me laugh, she really thinks she did nothing wrong, and to say something as totally ignorant like "It was allowed by the State Dept. and the State Department CONFIRMED that" is beyond belief and borderlines the definition of psychosis. The State Department is actively investigating Shrillary and her accomplice Bryan Pagliano. I'll bet Pagliano goes to prison.....Any takers?


CNNEvadingTheTopic 8 Sep 2015 18:11

Stand With Bernie, compare, follow, spread the word, donate, help in campaign.
https://berniesanders.com/ (Meet Bernie, Learn Issues/Events, Volunteer, Donate…)
https://www.facebook.com/berniesanders
https://twitter.com/berniesanders (#FeelTheBern)
https://www.reddit.com/r/SandersForPresident (Become Part Of A Bernie Community)
https://www.reddit.com/r/CodersForSanders (Help Create Bernie Websites & Apps)
http://voteforbernie.org/ (How To Vote In Primaries For Bernie By State, Learn Deadlines)
http://feelthebern.org/ (Bernie On The Issues)
Bernie2016tv = https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_yPTb_MIzNt725QKVW_y9A
http://www.bernie2016.tv / (Discuss Bernie & View Campaing Rallies)

Bernie 2016, Feel The Bern!

zyxzyxzyx 8 Sep 2015 18:05

Snowden on Clinton:

If an ordinary worker at the State Department or the Central Intelligence Agency were sending details about the security of embassies, meetings with private government officials, foreign government officials and the statements were made over unclassified email systems, they would not only lose their jobs and lose their clearance, they would very likely face prosecution for it. (condensed quotation)

Clinton on Snowden:

I think turning over a lot of that material-intentionally or unintentionally, because of the way it can be drained-gave all kinds of information, not only to big countries, but to networks and terrorist groups and the like.

macktan894 8 Sep 2015 17:54

Poor Hillary. If she had just said this in the beginning instead of all the bs about how what she did wasn't a prosecutable offense and then tried to defend her behavior by comparing herself to the Republicans, she might have nipped much of this in the bud. Instead, she stonewalls for months, re-enacts her husband's insistence that "he didn't have sex with that woman, Ms Lewinsky," and arrogantly believes that voters will accept that all this is a vast right wing conspiracy that no one gives a hoot about.

Now she admits sorrow over her choice after practically being beat down about it. The main point is that people don't want to re-elect the same o same o. I for one am not looking forward to ranting on a forum about what happened to this promise, to that one. Oh, right. The Republicans. I don't want to hear another Dem try to persuade me that cutting measly social security and Medicare benefits are the way to save the system while at the same time the budget for defense, foreign aid, and mass govt surveillance go up so much that much of it is redacted.

I've heard too much of this before and have no interest in hearing it again. Vote for Bernie Sanders who believes open and transparent govt is worth a little inconvenience.

williamdonovan 8 Sep 2015 17:41

Great now tell it to the Judge. Because as I have stated from the very start these acts were and are Illegal. And Hillary Clinton new it at time she the secret server set up or should have known it.

Title 18, U.S. Code Section 641 - Public Money, Property or Records
793 - Gathering, Transmitting or Losing Defense Information
794 - Gathering of Delivering Defense Information to Aid Foreign Govt.
798 - Disclosure of Classified Information
952 - Diplomatic Codes and Correspondence
1905 - Disclosure of Confidential Information
2071 - Concealment, Removal, or Mutilation of Records

Title 50, U.S. Code
Section 783 (b) - Communication of Classified Information by Government Officer or Employee 783(d) - Penalties for Violation

Title 42, U.S. Code
Section 2272 -Violation of Specific Sections
2273 - Violation of General Sections
2274 - Communication of Restricted Data 2275 - Receipt of Restricted Data
2276 - Tampering With Restricted Data 2277 - Disclosure of Restricted Data

[Aug 12, 2015]The Macroeconomic Divide

"...Too much of macro is ideologically driven conjecture, or worse. None of it rises to the level of demonstrated reliability necessary to ethically inform decision-making. Confronting that reality and the limits of the profession's knowledge and ability, and reining-in it's obsession to intervene in things it doesn't actually understand except at a political level - that will permit the profession to at long last begin to honor its highest ethical duty ... 'First, do no harm.'"
Economist's View
Paul Krugman:
Trash Talk and the Macroeconomic Divide: ... In Lucas and Sargent, much is made of stagflation; the coexistence of inflation and high unemployment is their main, indeed pretty much only, piece of evidence that all of Keynesian economics is useless. That was wrong, but never mind; how did they respond in the face of strong evidence that their own approach didn't work?
Such evidence wasn't long in coming. In the early 1980s the Federal Reserve sharply tightened monetary policy; it did so openly, with much public discussion, and anyone who opened a newspaper should have been aware of what was happening. The clear implication of Lucas-type models was that such an announced, well-understood monetary change should have had no real effect, being reflected only in the price level.
In fact, however, there was a very severe recession - and a dramatic recovery once the Fed, again quite openly, shifted toward monetary expansion.
These events definitely showed that Lucas-type models were wrong, and also that anticipated monetary shocks have real effects. But there was no reconsideration on the part of the freshwater economists; my guess is that they were in part trapped by their earlier trash-talking. Instead, they plunged into real business cycle theory (which had no explanation for the obvious real effects of Fed policy) and shut themselves off from outside ideas. ...

RogerFox said...

Both sides in this macro cat-fight have succeeded in demolishing the credibility of their opponents, at the expense of being demolished themselves - meaning none of them are left standing in the eyes of anyone except their own partisan groupies, who are well-represented on this site. That's nothing but good.

Too much of macro is ideologically driven conjecture, or worse. None of it rises to the level of demonstrated reliability necessary to ethically inform decision-making. Confronting that reality and the limits of the profession's knowledge and ability, and reining-in it's obsession to intervene in things it doesn't actually understand except at a political level - that will permit the profession to at long last begin to honor its highest ethical duty ... 'First, do no harm.'

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to RogerFox...

Confronting that reality and the limits of the profession's knowledge and ability, and reining-in it's obsession to intervene in things it doesn't actually understand except at a political level - that will permit the profession to at long last begin to honor its highest ethical duty ... 'First, do no harm.'

[That is some pretty ironic BS that you are totin' around. The profession does a very good job of NOT intervening in things that any one with half a brain should understand. How on earth do you think the 2008 financial crisis ever even happened? Economists could not intervene because they had black swans squatting on their hands, particularly those economist like Greenspan and Bernanke that were actually in a position to do something to prevent the crisis. Krugman wrote some articles warning about the risk, but undersold his case even to himself. Only Mike Stathis (an investments adviser and trader - not an economist) formally warned (in America's Financial Apocalypse: How to Profit from the Next Great Depression. 2006. ISBN 978-0-9755776-5-3) of the full scope of the coming disaster and that formal warning came a bit late and was almost entirely ignored. Nouriel Roubini (a.k.a. Doctor Doom), who is an economist, ran Stathis a close second on getting it correct. Dean Baker, also an economist, was in there too. It was entirely ignored by Greenspan and Bernanke, although I believe they knew what was going to happen but would rather clean up the mess than stop the party and get blamed for the fallout.

After the crisis several economists recognized the scale of the necessary stimulus to get the economy back on track, but a world of idiots, some of whom you may know, precluded an adequate response to prevent prolonged high unemployment.

Are you a market trader or just a rich man's tool? Anything else would make you just a plain ol' fool.]

DrDick said in reply to RogerFox...

"Both sides in this macro cat-fight have succeeded in demolishing the credibility of their opponents"

You, on the other hand. never had any credibility to begin with.

"Confronting that reality and the limits of the profession's knowledge and ability, and reining-in it's obsession to intervene in things it doesn't actually understand except at a political level"

You might take your own advice, as it is evident that you know nothing about economics or policy.

Peter K. said in reply to RogerFox...

Partisan groupies? Nope. We're the objective ones in this discussion.

Mr. Fox has no criteria upon which to judge and measure things, so of course he has no basis to criticize.

"First do no harm." How can you tell that harm has been done when you don't believe in anything?

You automatically believe that taking no action and the sin of omission is the better choice? But you have no basis on which to make that assumption.

"First do no harm" when it comes to government policy is conservative propaganda.

Paine said in reply to RogerFox...

If rog refuses to entertain any notion of macro nautic efficacy

He. Has taken his position
And perhaps he ought to be left to
sit on it
as long as he likes

However

If he has a test of say Lerner's
fiscal injections model he'd like to propose
A test that if past would change is mind

> Paine said in reply to Paine ...

Cockney takes over
when I sez his
it comes out is

RogerFox said in reply to Paine ...

I don't have a dog in this fight - but I do know that it's dangerously irresponsible and unprofessional to offer advice, or act on it, unless there is adequate evidence to justify the opinion that the advice will not plausibly make the situation worse than it is otherwise destined to be. The compiled track record of all theories of macro demonstrate that none of them yet meet that test - and this ongoing internecine cat-fight has done much to reinforce that view IMO.

Academics need to understand what real economy people who give advice professionally know very well - that an idea or theory could well be right and beneficial isn't enough to justify acting on it without proper consideration to the consequences should the approach prove to be wrong. Candidly assessing down-side risks seems to be anathema to all academics - almost as if they regard the entire matter as some sort of affront to their dignity.

The Crash of '08 and the Crash of '29 both happened, with academic macro-mavens leading us straight into both of them - eyes wide shut. Better for everyone if they'd just kept their mouths shut too.

pgl:

"In the early 1980s the Federal Reserve sharply tightened monetary policy; it did so openly, with much public discussion, and anyone who opened a newspaper should have been aware of what was happening. The clear implication of Lucas-type models was that such an announced, well-understood monetary change should have had no real effect, being reflected only in the price level.In fact, however, there was a very severe recession - and a dramatic recovery once the Fed, again quite openly, shifted toward monetary expansion. These events definitely showed that Lucas-type models were wrong, and also that anticipated monetary shocks have real effects."

Note Krugman is referring to the 2nd Volcker monetary restraint which happened under Reagan's watch. Rusty needs to get his calendar out as he thinks this was all Carter. Actually Volcker was following the advise of JohnH. How did the early 1980's work out for workers?

Back in 1982/3 I heard some economist seriously saying that this recession was due to some notion that people still had high expected inflation. When I asked them WTF - they response was the Reagan deficits.

Yes macroeconomics confuses some people terribly. Look at a lot of the comments here for how confused some people get.

Paine said in reply to pgl...

Confused or partisan ?

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke said...

No divide
Comment on 'The Macroeconomic Divide'

Keynes's employment function was indeed incomplete (2012). So far, Lucas/Sargent had a point. But the NAIRU expectation-wish-wash was even worse. So far, Krugman has a point. The deeper reason is that economics not only has no valid employment theory but that it is a failed science.

Neither the loudspeakers of the profession nor the representative economists of the various schools have a clue about how the actual economy works. What unites the camps is scientific incompetence.*

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

References
Kakarot-Handtke, E. (2012). Keynes's Employment Function and the Gratuitous Phillips Curve Desaster. SSRN Working Paper Series, 2130421: 1–19. URL http://ssrn.com/abstract=2130421

*For details see the cross-references
http://axecorg.blogspot.com/2015/07/incompetence-cross-references.html

[Jul 25, 2015] The Eurasian Big Bang How China Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington

Jul 24, 2015 | Zero Hedge

The Eurasian Big Bang: How China & Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington

07/24/2015

Authored by Pepe Escobar, originally posted at TomDispatch.com,

Let's start with the geopolitical Big Bang you know nothing about, the one that occurred just two weeks ago. Here are its results: from now on, any possible future attack on Iran threatened by the Pentagon (in conjunction with NATO) would essentially be an assault on the planning of an interlocking set of organizations -- the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), the EEU (Eurasian Economic Union), the AIIB (the new Chinese-founded Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), and the NDB (the BRICS' New Development Bank) -- whose acronyms you're unlikely to recognize either. Still, they represent an emerging new order in Eurasia.

Tehran, Beijing, Moscow, Islamabad, and New Delhi have been actively establishing interlocking security guarantees. They have been simultaneously calling the Atlanticist bluff when it comes to the endless drumbeat of attention given to the flimsy meme of Iran's "nuclear weapons program." And a few days before the Vienna nuclear negotiations finally culminated in an agreement, all of this came together at a twin BRICS/SCO summit in Ufa, Russia -- a place you've undoubtedly never heard of and a meeting that got next to no attention in the U.S. And yet sooner or later, these developments will ensure that the War Party in Washington and assorted neocons (as well as neoliberalcons) already breathing hard over the Iran deal will sweat bullets as their narratives about how the world works crumble.

The Eurasian Silk Road

With the Vienna deal, whose interminable build-up I had the dubious pleasure of following closely, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and his diplomatic team have pulled the near-impossible out of an extremely crumpled magician's hat: an agreement that might actually end sanctions against their country from an asymmetric, largely manufactured conflict.

Think of that meeting in Ufa, the capital of Russia's Bashkortostan, as a preamble to the long-delayed agreement in Vienna. It caught the new dynamics of the Eurasian continent and signaled the future geopolitical Big Bangness of it all. At Ufa, from July 8th to 10th, the 7th BRICS summit and the 15th Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit overlapped just as a possible Vienna deal was devouring one deadline after another.

Consider it a diplomatic masterstroke of Vladmir Putin's Russia to have merged those two summits with an informal meeting of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Call it a soft power declaration of war against Washington's imperial logic, one that would highlight the breadth and depth of an evolving Sino-Russian strategic partnership. Putting all those heads of state attending each of the meetings under one roof, Moscow offered a vision of an emerging, coordinated geopolitical structure anchored in Eurasian integration. Thus, the importance of Iran: no matter what happens post-Vienna, Iran will be a vital hub/node/crossroads in Eurasia for this new structure.

If you read the declaration that came out of the BRICS summit, one detail should strike you: the austerity-ridden European Union (EU) is barely mentioned. And that's not an oversight. From the point of view of the leaders of key BRICS nations, they are offering a new approach to Eurasia, the very opposite of the language of sanctions.

Here are just a few examples of the dizzying activity that took place at Ufa, all of it ignored by the American mainstream media. In their meetings, President Putin, China's President Xi Jinping, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi worked in a practical way to advance what is essentially a Chinese vision of a future Eurasia knit together by a series of interlocking "new Silk Roads." Modi approved more Chinese investment in his country, while Xi and Modi together pledged to work to solve the joint border issues that have dogged their countries and, in at least one case, led to war.

The NDB, the BRICS' response to the World Bank, was officially launched with $50 billion in start-up capital. Focused on funding major infrastructure projects in the BRICS nations, it is capable of accumulating as much as $400 billion in capital, according to its president, Kundapur Vaman Kamath. Later, it plans to focus on funding such ventures in other developing nations across the Global South -- all in their own currencies, which means bypassing the U.S. dollar. Given its membership, the NDB's money will clearly be closely linked to the new Silk Roads. As Brazilian Development Bank President Luciano Coutinho stressed, in the near future it may also assist European non-EU member states like Serbia and Macedonia. Think of this as the NDB's attempt to break a Brussels monopoly on Greater Europe. Kamath even advanced the possibility of someday aiding in the reconstruction of Syria.

You won't be surprised to learn that both the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the NDB are headquartered in China and will work to complement each other's efforts. At the same time, Russia's foreign investment arm, the Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), signed a memorandum of understanding with funds from other BRICS countries and so launched an informal investment consortium in which China's Silk Road Fund and India's Infrastructure Development Finance Company will be key partners.

Full Spectrum Transportation Dominance

On the ground level, this should be thought of as part of the New Great Game in Eurasia. Its flip side is the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Pacific and the Atlantic version of the same, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, both of which Washington is trying to advance to maintain U.S. global economic dominance. The question these conflicting plans raise is how to integrate trade and commerce across that vast region. From the Chinese and Russian perspectives, Eurasia is to be integrated via a complex network of superhighways, high-speed rail lines, ports, airports, pipelines, and fiber optic cables. By land, sea, and air, the resulting New Silk Roads are meant to create an economic version of the Pentagon's doctrine of "Full Spectrum Dominance" -- a vision that already has Chinese corporate executives crisscrossing Eurasia sealing infrastructure deals.

For Beijing -- back to a 7% growth rate in the second quarter of 2015 despite a recent near-panic on the country's stock markets -- it makes perfect economic sense: as labor costs rise, production will be relocated from the country's Eastern seaboard to its cheaper Western reaches, while the natural outlets for the production of just about everything will be those parallel and interlocking "belts" of the new Silk Roads.

Meanwhile, Russia is pushing to modernize and diversify its energy-exploitation-dependent economy. Among other things, its leaders hope that the mix of those developing Silk Roads and the tying together of the Eurasian Economic Union -- Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan -- will translate into myriad transportation and construction projects for which the country's industrial and engineering know-how will prove crucial.

As the EEU has begun establishing free trade zones with India, Iran, Vietnam, Egypt, and Latin America's Mercosur bloc (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela), the initial stages of this integration process already reach beyond Eurasia. Meanwhile, the SCO, which began as little more than a security forum, is expanding and moving into the field of economic cooperation. Its countries, especially four Central Asian "stans" (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan) will rely ever more on the Chinese-driven Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the NDB. At Ufa, India and Pakistan finalized an upgrading process in which they have moved from observers to members of the SCO. This makes it an alternative G8.

In the meantime, when it comes to embattled Afghanistan, the BRICS nations and the SCO have now called upon "the armed opposition to disarm, accept the Constitution of Afghanistan, and cut ties with Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist organizations." Translation: within the framework of Afghan national unity, the organization would accept the Taliban as part of a future government. Their hopes, with the integration of the region in mind, would be for a future stable Afghanistan able to absorb more Chinese, Russian, Indian, and Iranian investment, and the construction -- finally! -- of a long-planned, $10 billion, 1,420-kilometer-long Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline that would benefit those energy-hungry new SCO members, Pakistan and India. (They would each receive 42% of the gas, the remaining 16% going to Afghanistan.)

Central Asia is, at the moment, geographic ground zero for the convergence of the economic urges of China, Russia, and India. It was no happenstance that, on his way to Ufa, Prime Minister Modi stopped off in Central Asia. Like the Chinese leadership in Beijing, Moscow looks forward (as a recent document puts it) to the "interpenetration and integration of the EEU and the Silk Road Economic Belt" into a "Greater Eurasia" and a "steady, developing, safe common neighborhood" for both Russia and China.

And don't forget Iran. In early 2016, once economic sanctions are fully lifted, it is expected to join the SCO, turning it into a G9. As its foreign minister, Javad Zarif, made clear recently to Russia's Channel 1 television, Tehran considers the two countries strategic partners. "Russia," he said, "has been the most important participant in Iran's nuclear program and it will continue under the current agreement to be Iran's major nuclear partner." The same will, he added, be true when it comes to "oil and gas cooperation," given the shared interest of those two energy-rich nations in "maintaining stability in global market prices."

[Jul 10, 2015] You mean George Bush sends our soldiers into combat, they are severely wounded, and then he wants $120,000 to make a boring speech to them?

Warren, July 9, 2015 at 4:47 pm

You mean George Bush sends our soldiers into combat, they are severely wounded, and then he wants $120,000 to make a boring speech to them?

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2015

[Jul 09, 2015] More Work Hours Jeb Bush, Try Talking to the Employers

It's not Jeb Bush. It's Jeb Romney
.
"...Having grown up in an era when Americans had hope for the future, I was the one who walked away angry, for her sake. People want to work – they just need real jobs."
.
"...this country has been abused by people who have no concept of working for a living, for way too long Jeb has no concept of actually "working" for a living therefore it's not surprising that when he opens his mouth stupidity falls out…."
Jul 09, 2015 | Forbes

The economic world is obsessed with growth - bigger revenues, more profits, broader markets (and just not regulation). The bias came across today via Jeb Bush who, in answer to a question from the Manchester, New Hampshire Union Leader, said the following:

My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours" and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That's the only way we're going to get out of this rut that we're in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=P5RERORKXNU

Erik Sherman,

I remember once getting into a discussion with a number of corporate executives from public companies. I was giving a talk on some plain-English filing requirements. The executives were complaining roundly about more regulations. "It's killing us - KILLING US!" one literally said. I turned to him and asked, "Did you have higher revenues this year than last?" He said, "Yes." I asked, "Did you have higher profits?" "Yes," he answered. "Then you're not getting killed," I said. Yes, there are costs of regulations and there are times legislators can overdo things because they're either justifying their own existence or trying to position themselves for reelection.

However, costs *have* been reduced. Companies are generally far more profitable now than in the past. Regulations are necessary as companies have proven that without being compelled, they will often do things that are bad for the environment, bad for communities, and bad for the economy. That's why we have environmental legislation, anti-bribery laws, labor laws like overtime requirements, and a host of other things. If companies are finding it too tough, they can raise their prices (and they do that anyway on a regular basis) or make their operations more efficient. If they can't, maybe they shouldn't be in business. If you want to take a market view, then take a full one.

Elarie Rose

Amazing. I never thought to see a business oriented publication like Forbes tell the truth about employers. A few weeks ago I had a casual conversation with a young women that I met casually at a lecture. She was really lovely, well-spoken and intelligent. She works for minimum wage at a supermarket, is trying to afford a few classes at a time at a community college, never expects to own a house and assumes that she will never have children. The most chilling thing about the whole conversation was her calm acceptance that this is just the way the world is, with no expectations that life in America should be any different. She wasn't angry because everyone else in her age group was in the same situation and thought it was normal.

Having grown up in an era when Americans had hope for the future, I was the one who walked away angry, for her sake. People want to work – they just need real jobs.

wigglwagon

The only reason America ever had the MOST PROSPEROUS economy was because America had the BEST PAID employees and consequently, American businesses had the customers with the most money to spend. American business owners are SO GREEDY that they are using free trade agreements, immigration, and deregulation to drive down wages and destroy benefits. In their quest for short term profits, employers are destroying their own customer base.

Gregory A. Peterson

most of the hourly laborers that I know are more than happy to work a "few" hours of overtime for a few extra bucks….here's the problem….a fair number of employers absolutely refuse to pay overtime and IF an employee happens to get some overtime they are promptly reprimanded or written up (I have actually worked for a couple of those companies)…..

companies want all their income to go into their pockets they seem to have forgotten the old saying that one has to spend money to make money…..

this country has been abused by people who have no concept of working for a living, for way too long Jeb has no concept of actually "working" for a living therefore it's not surprising that when he opens his mouth stupidity falls out….

apparently it's a genetic issue within the Bush family…..

[Jun 28, 2015] US Department of Imperial Expansion

Deeper down the rabbit hole of US-backed color revolutions.
by Tony Cartalucci

Believe it or not, the US State Department's mission statement actually says the following:

"Advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system."

A far and treasonous cry from the original purpose of the State Department - which was to maintain communications and formal relations with foreign countries - and a radical departure from historical norms that have defined foreign ministries throughout the world, it could just as well now be called the "Department of Imperial Expansion." Because indeed, that is its primary purpose now, the expansion of Anglo-American corporate hegemony worldwide under the guise of "democracy" and "human rights."

That a US government department should state its goal as to build a world of "well-governed states" within the "international system" betrays not only America's sovereignty but the sovereignty of all nations entangled by this offensive mission statement and its execution.

Image: While the US State Department's mission statement sounds benign or even progressive, when the term "international system" or "world order" is used, it is referring to a concept commonly referred to by the actual policy makers that hand politicians their talking points, that involves modern day empire. Kagan's quote came from a 1997 policy paper describing a policy to contain China with.

....


The illegitimacy of the current US State Department fits in well with the overall Constitution-circumventing empire that the American Republic has degenerated into. The current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, gives a daily affirmation of this illegitimacy every time she bellies up to the podium to make a statement.

Recently she issued a dangerously irresponsible "warning" to Venezuela and Bolivia regarding their stately relations with Iran. While America has the right to mediate its own associations with foreign nations, one is confounded trying to understand what gives America the right to dictate such associations to other sovereign nations. Of course, the self-declared imperial mandate the US State Department bestowed upon itself brings such "warnings" into perspective with the realization that the globalists view no nation as sovereign and all nations beholden to their unipolar "international system."

It's hard to deny the US State Department is not behind the
"color revolutions" sweeping the world when the Secretary of
State herself phones in during the youth movement confabs
her department sponsors on a yearly basis.

If only the US State Department's meddling was confined to hubris-filled statements given behind podiums attempting to fulfill outlandish mission statements, we could all rest easier. However, the US State Department actively bolsters its meddling rhetoric with very real measures. The centerpiece of this meddling is the vast and ever-expanding network being built to recruit, train, and support various "color revolutions" worldwide. While the corporate owned media attempts to portray the various revolutions consuming Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and now Northern Africa and the Middle East as indigenous, spontaneous, and organic, the reality is that these protesters represent what may be considered a "fifth-branch" of US power projection.

CANVAS: Freedom House, IRI, Soros funded Serbian color revolution
college behind the Orange, Rose, Tunisian, Burmese, and Egyptian protests
and has trained protesters from 50 other countries.


As with the army and CIA that fulfilled this role before, the US State Department's "fifth-branch" runs a recruiting and coordinating center known as the Alliance of Youth Movements (AYM). Hardly a secretive operation, its website, Movements.org proudly lists the details of its annual summits which began in 2008 and featured astro-turf cannon fodder from Venezuela to Iran, and even the April 6 Youth Movement from Egypt. The summits, activities, and coordination AYM provides is but a nexus. Other training arms include the US created and funded CANVAS of Serbia, which in turn trained color-coup leaders from the Ukraine and Georgia, to Tunisia and Egypt, including the previously mentioned April 6 Movement. There is also the Albert Einstein Institute which produced the very curriculum and techniques employed by CANVAS.

2008 New York City Summit (included Egypt's April 6 Youth Movement)
2009 Mexico City Summit
2010 London Summit

As previously noted, these organizations are now retroactively trying to obfuscate their connections to the State Department and the Fortune 500 corporations that use them to achieve their goals of expansion overseas. CANVAS has renamed and moved their list of supporters and partners while AYM has oafishly changed their "partnerships" to "past partnerships."

Before & After: Oafish attempts to downplay US State Department's extra-legal
meddling and subterfuge in foreign affairs. Other attempts are covered here.

Funding all of this is the tax payers' money funneled through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and Freedom House. George Soros' Open Society foundation also promotes various NGOs which in turn support the revolutionary rabble on the ground. In Egypt, after the State Department's youth brigades played their role, Soros and NED funded NGOs began work on drafting Egypt's new constitution.

It should be noted that while George Soros is portrayed as being "left," and the overall function of these pro-democracy, pro-human rights organizations appears to be "left-leaning," a vast number of notorious "Neo-Cons" also constitute the commanding ranks and determine the overall agenda of this color revolution army.

Then there are legislative acts of Congress that overtly fund the subversive objectives of the US State Department. In support of regime change in Iran, the Iran Freedom and Support Act was passed in 2006. More recently in 2011, to see the US-staged color revolution in Egypt through to the end, money was appropriated to "support" favored Egyptian opposition groups ahead of national elections.

Then of course there is the State Department's propaganda machines. While organizations like NED and Freedom House produce volumes of talking points in support for their various on-going operations, the specific outlets currently used by the State Department fall under the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). They include Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, Alhurra, and Radio Sawa. Interestingly enough, the current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sits on the board of governors herself, along side a shameful collection of representatives from the Fortune 500, the corporate owned media, and various agencies within the US government.

Hillary Clinton: color revolutionary field marshal & propagandist,
two current roles that defy her duties as Secretary of State in any
rational sense or interpretation.


Judging from Radio Free Europe's latest headlines, such as "Lieberman: The West's Policy Toward Belarus Has 'Failed Miserably' " and "Azerbaijani Youth Activist 'Jailed For One Month,'" it appears that hope is still pinned on inciting color revolutions in Belarus and Azerbaijan to continue on with NATO's creep and the encirclement of Russia. Belarus in particular was recently one of the subjects covered at the Globsec 2011 conference, where it was considered a threat to both the EU and NATO, having turned down NATO in favor of closer ties with Moscow.

Getting back to Hillary Clinton's illegitimate threat regarding Venezuela's associations with Iran, no one should be surprised to find out an extensive effort to foment a color revolution to oust Hugo Chavez has been long underway by AYM, Freedom House, NED, and the rest of this "fifth-branch" of globalist power projection. In fact, Hugo Chavez had already weathered an attempted military coup overtly orchestrated by the United States under Bush in 2002.

Upon digging into the characters behind Chavez' ousting in 2002, it
appears that this documentary sorely understates US involvement.

The same forces of corporatism, privatization, and free-trade that led the 2002 coup against Chavez are trying to gain ground once again. Under the leadership of Harvard trained globalist minion Leopoldo Lopez, witless youth are taking the place of 2002's generals and tank columns in an attempt to match globalist minion Mohamed ElBaradei's success in Egypt.

Unsurprisingly, the US State Department's AYM is pro-Venezuelan opposition, and describes in great detail their campaign to "educate" the youth and get them politically active. Dismayed by Chavez' moves to consolidate his power and strangely repulsed by his "rule by decree," -something that Washington itself has set the standard for- AYM laments over the difficulties their meddling "civil society" faces.

Chavez' government recognized the US State Department's meddling recently in regards to a student hunger strike and the US's insistence that the Inter-American Human Rights Commission be allowed to "inspect" alleged violations under the Chavez government. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro even went as far as saying, "It looks like they (U.S.) want to start a virtual Egypt."

The "Fifth-Branch" Invasion: Click for larger image.


Understanding this "fifth-branch" invasion of astro-turf cannon fodder and the role it is playing in overturning foreign governments and despoiling nation sovereignty on a global scale is an essential step in ceasing the Anglo-American imperial machine. And of course, as always, boycotting and replacing the corporations behind the creation and expansion of these color-revolutions hinders not only the spread of their empire overseas, but releases the stranglehold of dominion they possess at home in the United States. Perhaps then the US State Department can once again go back to representing the American Republic and its people to the rest of the world as a responsible nation that respects real human rights and sovereignty both at home and abroad.

Editor's Note: This article has been edited and updated October 26, 2012.

[Jun 28, 2015] John McCain The Russia-Ukraine cease-fire is a fiction

Looks like there was no US war or color revolution Senator McCain did not like. Doe he tries to position himself to the right of Dick Cheney ;-), I like his statement that "might does not make right":
"...We face the reality of a challenge that many assumed was resigned to the history books: a strong, militarily capable state that is hostile to our interests and our values and seeks to overturn the rules-based international order that American leaders of both parties have sought to maintain since World War II. Among the core principles of that order is the conviction that might does not make right, that the strong should not be allowed to dominate the weak and that wars of aggression should be relegated to the bloody past. "
What a bloody hypocrite he is... He probably forgot Vietnam, Chili, Nicaragua, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria military adventures due to old age senility. And it was actually State Department and personally Victoria Nuland of "nulnadgate (aka F*ck EU") fame, who was the key instigator of civil war in Ukraine. So this is a classic "The pot calling the kettle black" situation.
Jun 28, 2015 | The Washington Post

Last weekend, I traveled with Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to eastern Ukraine to meet with the courageous men and women fighting there for their country's freedom and future. I arrived on a solemn day as Ukrainian volunteers grieved the loss of two young comrades killed by Russian artillery the day before. They had lost another comrade a few days before that, and four more the previous week. Their message to me was clear: The cease-fire with Russia is fiction, and U.S. assistance is vital to deterring further Russian aggression.

Along the front lines, separatist forces backed by Russia violate the cease-fire every day with heavy artillery barrages and tank attacks. Gunbattles are a daily routine, and communities at the front bear the brunt of constant sniper fire and nightly skirmishes.

Yet while these low-level cease-fire violations have occurred regularly since the Minsk agreement was signed in February, Ukrainian battalion commanders said the number of Grad rocket strikes and incidents of intense artillery shelling are increasing. Their reports suggest that the separatists have moved their heavy weapons and equipment back to the front lines hoping to escalate the situation. So far, Ukrainian armed forces supported by volunteer battalions have been able to hold their ground, and they have done so largely without the support of Ukrainian artillery and tanks that have been pulled back from the front as stipulated by the Minsk agreement. How long can we expect these brave Ukrainians to abide by an agreement that Russia has clearly ignored?

It is time that the United States and our European allies recognize the failure of the Minsk agreement and respond with more than empty rhetoric. Ukraine's leaders describe Russian President Vladimir Putin's strategy as a game of "Pac-Man" - taking bite after bite out of Ukraine in small enough portions that it does not trigger a large-scale international response. But at this point it should be clear to all that Putin does not want a diplomatic solution to the conflict. He wants to dominate Ukraine, along with Russia's other neighbors.

No one in the West wants a return to the Cold War. But we must recognize that we are confronting a Russian ruler who seeks exactly that. It is time for U.S. strategy to adjust to the reality of a revanchist Russia with a modernized military that is willing to use force not as a last resort, but as a primary tool to achieve its neo-imperial objectives. We must do more to deter Russia by increasing the military costs of its aggression, starting with the immediate provision of the defensive weapons and other assistance the Ukrainians desperately need.

President Obama has wrongly argued that providing Ukraine with the assistance and equipment it needs to defend itself would only provoke Russia. Putin needed no provocation to invade Ukraine and annex Crimea. Rather, it is the weakness of the collective U.S. and European response that provokes the very aggression we seek to avoid. Of course, there is no military solution in Ukraine, but there is a clear military dimension to achieving a political solution. If Ukrainians are given the assistance they need and the military cost is raised for the Russian forces that have invaded their country, Putin will be forced to determine how long he can sustain a war he tells his people is not happening.

I urge anyone who sees Ukraine's fight against a more advanced Russian military as hopeless to travel to meet those fighting and dying to protect their homeland. These men and women have not backed down, and they will continue to fight for their country with or without the U.S. support they need and deserve.

During my trip, the Ukrainians never asked for the United States to send troops to do their fighting. Ukrainians only hope that the United States will once again open the arsenal of democracy that has allowed free people to defend themselves so many times before.

How we respond to Putin's brazen aggression will have repercussions far beyond Ukraine. We face the reality of a challenge that many assumed was resigned to the history books: a strong, militarily capable state that is hostile to our interests and our values and seeks to overturn the rules-based international order that American leaders of both parties have sought to maintain since World War II. Among the core principles of that order is the conviction that might does not make right, that the strong should not be allowed to dominate the weak and that wars of aggression should be relegated to the bloody past.

Around the world, friend and foe alike are watching to see whether the United States will once again summon its power and influence to defend the international system that has kept the peace for decades. We must not fail this test.

[Jun 28, 2015] Fuck the US Imperialism -- Top German Politician Blasts Nuland Carter

Jun 28, 2015 | Zero Hedge

With intra-Europe relations hitting a new all-time low; and, having already been busted spying on Merkel, Obama got caught with his hand in Hollande's cookie jar this week, the following exultation from one of Germany's top politicians will hardly help Washington-Brussells relations. As Russia Insider notes, Oskar Lafontaine is a major force in German politics so it caught people's attention when he excoriated Ash Carter and Victoria Nuland on his Facebook page yesterday... "Nuland says 'F*ck the EU'. We need need an EU foreign policy that stops warmongering US imperialism... F*ck US imperialism!"

Here is the Facebook post (in German):

Lafontaine has been an outsized figure in German politics since the mid-70s. He was chairman of the SPD (one of Germany's two main parties) for four years, the SPD's candidate for chancellor in 1990, minister of finance for two years, and then chairman of the Left party in the 2000s. He is married to Sarah Wagenknecht, political heavyweight, who is currently co-chairman of Left party.

Lafontaine's outburst came a day after his wife, Sarah Wagenknecht, blasted Merkel's Russia policy in an interview on RT.

Here is the full translation of the post:

"The US 'Defense' secretary, i.e., war minister is in Berlin. He called on Europe to counter Russian 'aggression'. But in fact, it is US aggression which Europeans should be opposing.

"The Grandmaster of US diplomacy, George Kennan described the eastward expansion of NATO as the biggest US foreign policy mistake since WW2, because it will lead to a new cold war.

"The US diplomat Victoria Nuland said we have spent $5 billion to destabilize the Ukraine. They stoke the flames ever higher, and Europe pays for it with lower trade and lost jobs.

"Nuland says 'F*ck the EU'. We need need an EU foreign policy that stops warmongering US imperialism.

"F*ck US imperialism!"

* * *

When he comes out swinging this way, you know something is changing.

* * *

America - making friends and influencing people for 238 years...

remain calm

I see the CIA creating a little muslim terrorism in Europe to teach them the meaning of respect.

BlowsAgainstthe...

"But in fact, it is US aggression which Europeans should be opposing."

So good, it should be required reading . . .

"Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West's Fault

The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin"

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russia-fsu/2014-08-18/why-ukrain...

Latina Lover

To date, the USSA adventurism in the Ukraine has hurt Germany financially and politically, with more losses to follow.

Instead of integrating more closely with Russia, and becoming a key part of the New Silk Road, Germany is blocked by the USSA, against her better interests. The USSA is creating a new berlin style wall of lies and propaganda between Russia and Germany claiming that Russia plans to invade the baltics, poland, moldova, blah, blah, blah.

Fortunately, most Germans are not anti intellectuals, and see through the lies, unlike the average american shlub (30% of whom cannot name the current VP but know all of the names of the Kardashians). Eventually, Merkel will get the boot, and be replaced by a more businesslike leader.

Not Too Important

30% is pretty generous, don't you think? More like 3%.

Even an aborigine in the middle of Africa with a cell phone knows more about the world than 97% of Americans.

Tall Tom

Fuck American Imperialism?

Actually it is GERMAN Imperialism over the nation states of Europe, using the European Union as a subterfuge, is that which needs be quashed.

Fuck GERMAN Imperialism and the European Union as it serves as a tool for the advancement of Germany's Imperialistic ambitions..

saveandsound

Oscar Lafontaine is member of the party "The Left". He used to be member of the "Social Democratic Party of Germany".

Both parties are of rather marginal significance, since Merkel's CDU rules them all. ;-)

Anyway, "the Left" has been opposing US Imperialism ever since, so there is not much new to see here.

datura

that won't help and no more false flags will help either. The latest poll showed that only 19% of Germans would fight Russians in case Russia attacked any NATO country. I repeat: if Russia attacked first. You can wonder, what would be the percentage of them willing to fight Russia just for the sake of Ukraine. Close to zero, I think. The USA overstepped all boundaries, when it began pushing EU countries into a military conflict with Russia. Continental Europeans are not Anglo-Saxons, they think differently. They will bow down to any USA pressure, except for a military conflict with Russia! Thats a big no no. Many of them still remember (especially Germans), what it was like to fight wild-spirited Russians, who never surrender no matter what. These constant talks about "Russian agression" by the USA politicians make Germans feel like a cornered animal with nothing to loose. Such animal cannot be subdued anymore, when your existence and life is so directly threatened, you bite. Or another example: try to force your slave to step on a rattlesnake. He may be forced to do many things, but this time he will turn against you. I already said it before: no war against Russia and Europe is possible, because even if the USA somehow forces us to any such war, huge amounts of people will be so angry that they will flee to the side of Russia. We are already discussing this openly. This is already happening in Ukraine. Already 10 000 Ukranian soldiers defected to the other side (to fight Kiev), plus one Ukrainian general, some members of the Ukranian intelligence service and about one and half million Ukrainians fled to Russia to avoid draft. I saw a video where three entire units of soldiers sent from Kiev to Donetsk (with tanks) changed side, threw out Ukrainian flags and put on Russian flags on their tanks under loud cheers from the brave people of Donbass. There are certain very natural limits to what you can force people to do, which bankers do not seem to understand. Yes, you can send many people to war, but they simply will not fight, unless you give them something to fight for. For example Hitler gave people something to fight for. But all bankers give us is chaos, no strong leader, no ideology strong enough....I think they hoped that Putin would invade Ukraine and that would be the reason for war (they provoked Hitler in a similar way). However, Putin is no Hitler, he is way too intelligent to play these silly games. And it is impossible to repeat exactly what was once so successful, because times change, people are different....you cant win with using old outdated strategies over and over. That is why all empires fall in the end. They get stuck in using the same tricks over and over, until they stop working. Even the old color revolutions are not as efficient now as they were in the past and the same goes for those silly false flags.

cherry picker

He is absolutely correct. US is surrounded by two oceans and the North and South neighbor have no intentions of invading the USA, so can anyone explain this war time nuclear, wmd, too many carriers and so forth military and paranoia.

Can't uncle Sam keep his huge nose out of everyone's business?

Can't America just enjoy what is theirs and leave others alone?

Who needs a CIA except for Nazi types.

Fuck Nuland is a good start.

Albertarocks

And the neighbors to the north and south are non-too-pleased with the USA either. We know WTF the USA is doing, although more and more are waking up to the fact that the USA is only being used as the war branch of the banking mafia. Because of this we hold nothing against American people.

In fact, up north we now probably feel more kinship with "the people" of the USA more than ever before. Because we are learning how all this works. It is the global banking monsters and the fascist corporations, the military industrial complex that is in bed with the fucking bankers. It is those assholes who are causing every damned war in the world... not "the USA" as such. Putin is a saint by comparison... not to mention the only sane leader of a superpower left on earth. He is admirable, even from this side of the pond.

Mexicans might present a problem, I don't know. Mexicans never bother Canadians so we just don't seem to have an opinion. Canadians are pretty calm, but fuck when we get mad there can be one hell of a bar fight. I don't know how all this works out but it isn't going in the right direction. I think 98% of Canadians would agree with Mr. Lafontaine. US Imperialism has got to come to an end. Or the world will. And by "US", I mean "banker".

BI2

If only our politicians could understand what that man is really saying. It is for our own good.

https://biblicisminstitute.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/warmongering-vs-econ...

Dodgy Geezer

We need need an EU foreign policy that stops warmongering US imperialism... F*ck US imperialism!"

You know what the problem is?

It's not particularly the US, though they are the biggest players at the moment. It's the result of the end of the Cold War.

Ever since WW2 the power blocs both had a big military and supporting intelligence service. When the Berlin Wall came down, the Russians collapsed theirs. The West did not. And ever since then it has been looking for a job. That's the reason we have had so much disruption. When your major arm of government is a multi-trillion dollar armed forces, every problem looks like an excuse for a war.

The Delicate Genius

It is not US imperialism

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2014/09/anglozionist-short-primer-for-...

It is the imperialism of the Anglo-Zionist cabal which has hijacked the American treasury and military.

Neocons, Interventionist "realists" and other assorted militarist scum.

Their control of the MSM is sound {they even acquired VICE News as that got too popular, and Orwellized it, beginning with the Zionist sent to fake stories out of Ukraine}...

but not the internet. As younger people grow up, post comments and articles, this cleft between the pre-internet and internet informed grows more and more obvious.

I'm sure I'm not the only one that expects aggressive moves against intent content.

We've seen some attacks on free speech already in the Fast Track bill - but it will take time to really see how bad the TPP itself is in practice.

But it does seem clear that .gov is hoping to make an end run around various Constitutional niceties by "treaty."

and no - treaties do not and can not over-ride the Constitution. Only amendment, not treaty, can change the constitution.

PrayingMantis

... US imperialism plus US exceptionalism is analogous to this >>> http://rt.com/usa/270268-falcon-launch-space-fail/

... and while the US forces the other NATO members to apply more sanctions to Russia, US hypocrisy rears its ugly head by 'allowing' products from sanctioned Russia that would benefit them ... check this out

>>> http://rt.com/usa/270220-us-space-russian-engine/

pupdog1

Gotta love a guy who knows how to define a problem.

Fuck Noodleberg.

HTZMR

As someone who actually lives in Germany i can tell you that Lafontaine is an absolute has-been and he plays no role in German politics, nor has he for years. His influence came to an end when Schroeder kicked him out of his government over 15 years ago. To claim he is a heavyweight is simply dead wrong.

Wagenknecht does play a certain role, but the Left is a pure protest party full of fundamentalist hardline social democrats and former East German communists. The Left has no say on federal government matters such as foreign policy. This post is pure alarmism.

Wild E Coyote

Actually US and Soviet Union both went bankrupt by Cold War.
Soviet Union accepted their fate.
USA still refuse to accept theirs.

Renfield

Upvoted, but I think technically it was Vietnam that bankrupted the US.

Then again, you could argue that it was the First World War, or the 1929 market crash -- although its bankruptcy wasn't admitted until 1933.

[Jun 20, 2015]Jeb Bush - Profile

"...No Republican will enjoy credibility as a deficit hawk unless he or she acknowledges that George W. Bush squandered the budget surplus he inherited. "
.
"...The National Review piece went on: "Adelson sent word to Bush's camp in Miami: Bush, he said, should tell Baker to cancel the speech. When Bush refused, a source describes Adelson as "rips***"; another says Adelson sent word that the move cost the Florida governor 'a lot of money.'" (At around the same time the rupture with Adelson was reported, Bush publicly disavowed Baker, saying that he would not be a part of his foreign policy team.)"
.
"...In March 2014, Bush and several other potential candidates were also received by Adelson at a Republican Jewish Coalition gathering at a Las Vegas hangar owned by Adelson's Sands Corporation, which papers dubbed the "Adelson primary." According to attendees, Bush gave a speech largely focused on domestic issues but also criticized the Obama administration's foreign policy-a key issue for Adelson, who is fiercely "pro-Israel." In his foreign policy remarks, Bush warned about the dangers of "American passivity" and, according to Time, "cautioned the Republican party against 'neo-isolationism' … a line universally understood as a shot at [libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand] Paul. Bush also pushed back on Democratic attacks that whenever a Republican calls for a more activist foreign policy that they are 'warmongering.'"
Jun 20, 2015 | Right Web - Institute for Policy Studies
Foreign Policy Views and Clues

Although he rarely comments on foreign policy, Bush has appeared to embrace neoconservatives who supported his brother's administration, inviting them to serve as his advisers, parroting their complaints about the Obama administration, promoting their current policy objectives, and defending many of their past debacles, like the Iraq War.

He has said that he does not think that "the military option should ever be taken off the table" with respect to Iran and that Obama administration policies on Iran had "empower[ed] bad behavior in Tehran."[8]

Bush has repeatedly defended the decision to invade Iraq. He told CNN in March 2013: "A lot of things in history change over time. I think people will respect the resolve that my brother showed, both in defending the country and the war in Iraq."[9]

More recently, in May 2015, when asked by Fox News pundit Megyn Kelly if he would have authorized the Iraq War "knowing what we know now," Bush replied: "I would have [authorized the invasion], and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got."[10] This statement spurred widespread criticism, including among conservatives. Radio host Laura Ingram, arguing that Bush's weakness on this issue could be exploited by an election opponent, quipped: "We can't stay in this re-litigating the Bush years again. You have to have someone who says look I'm a Republican, but I'm not stupid." She added: "You can't still think that going into Iraq, now, as a sane human being, was the right thing to do. If you do, there has to be something wrong with you," she added.[11]

Many writers have argued that Bush's national ambitions will inevitably suffer from his association with his brother, whom Jeb has pointedly refused to criticize. Saying he didn't believe "there's any Bush baggage at all," Jeb Bush predicted in March 2013 that "history will be kind to George W. Bush." This led The Daily Beast's Peter Beinart to quip, "Unfortunately for Jeb, history is written by historians," who have generally given the Bush administration poor reviews. "That's why Jeb Bush will never seriously challenge for the presidency," Beinart concluded, "because to seriously challenge for the presidency, a Republican will have to pointedly distance himself from Jeb's older brother. No Republican will enjoy credibility as a deficit hawk unless he or she acknowledges that George W. Bush squandered the budget surplus he inherited. No Republican will be able to promise foreign-policy competence unless he or she acknowledges the Bush administration's disastrous mismanagement in Afghanistan and Iraq. … Jeb Bush would find that excruciatingly hard even if he wanted to."[12]

Bush has made several explicit gestures indicating his commitment to continue his brother's track record, particularly on foreign policy. In February 2015, his campaign announced 21 foreign policy experts who will guide him on foreign policy issues. The vast majority were veterans of the George W. Bush administration, like Paul Wolfowitz, Stephen Hadley, Michael Chertoff, John Negroponte, Otto Reich, and [13] George W. Bush Deputy National Security Adviser Meghan O'Sullivan has been mentioned as a possible "top foreign-policy aide."[14]

"Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush … is seeking to distinguish his views on foreign policy from those of his father and brother, two former presidents," reported the Washington Post, "but he's getting most of his ideas from nearly two dozen people, most of whom previously worked for George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush."[15]

Many observers have surmised that Bush's emphatic support for his brother is the result of him attempting to win the support of Sheldon Adelson. Bush is believed to have received the ire of Adelson after he included in his list of foreign policy advisers former Secretary of State James Baker, a realist who has been critical of Israel on several occasions.

"The bad blood between Bush and Adelson is relatively recent," wrote the conservative National Review in May 2015, "and it deepened with the news that former secretary of state James Baker, a member of Bush's foreign-policy advisory team, was set to address J Street, a left-wing pro-Israel organization founded to serve as the antithesis to the hawkish American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)."[16]

The National Review piece went on: "Adelson sent word to Bush's camp in Miami: Bush, he said, should tell Baker to cancel the speech. When Bush refused, a source describes Adelson as "rips***"; another says Adelson sent word that the move cost the Florida governor 'a lot of money.'"[17] (At around the same time the rupture with Adelson was reported, Bush publicly disavowed Baker, saying that he would not be a part of his foreign policy team.[18])

During the April 2015 Republican Jewish Coalition-hosted "Adelson primary" in Las Vegas, Salon reported, Adelson "devoted a night to honoring Bush's brother George W. for all he'd done for Israel and the Middle East." Salon added: "The Las Vegas mogul and Israel hawk thus took Bush's biggest political problem-his brother-and made him an asset."[19]

In May 2015, at a meeting with wealthy investors hosted by "pro-Israel" billionaire Paul Singer, Bush unequivocally expressed his attention to follow his brother's advice on issues related to Israel and the Middle East. "If you want to know who I listen to for advice, it's him," Bush said at the event.[20]

In March 2014, Bush and several other potential candidates were also received by Adelson at a Republican Jewish Coalition gathering at a Las Vegas hangar owned by Adelson's Sands Corporation, which papers dubbed the "Adelson primary." According to attendees, Bush gave a speech largely focused on domestic issues but also criticized the Obama administration's foreign policy-a key issue for Adelson, who is fiercely "pro-Israel." In his foreign policy remarks, Bush warned about the dangers of "American passivity" and, according to Time, "cautioned the Republican party against 'neo-isolationism' … a line universally understood as a shot at [libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand] Paul. Bush also pushed back on Democratic attacks that whenever a Republican calls for a more activist foreign policy that they are 'warmongering.'"[21]

The remarks-which the Washington Post described as "muscular if generic"[22]-appeared to be well received by the attendees and seemed to demonstrate that Bush identified more with the party's interventionist wing than with its rising libertarian faction on foreign policy.[23]

At one point in the late 1990s, Bush seemed to have been considered a potentially more influential political ally than his brother by the neoconservatives who founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Commenting on the signatories to PNAC's 1997 founding statement of principles, Jim Lobe and Michael Flynn wrote: "Ironically, virtually the only signatory who has not played a leading role since the letter was released has been Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who in 1997 apparently looked to [William] Kristol and [Robert] Kagan more presidential than his brother George."[24]

[Jun 20, 2015]Charleston and the National-Security State

"...Why should Americans have their pretty little heads bothered with such unpleasantries? Just leave "national security" to us, U.S. officials say, and we'll do whatever is necessary to "keep you safe" from all those scary creatures out there who want to come and get you and take you away. Oh, and be sure to keep all those trillions of U.S. taxpayer dollars flooding into our "defense" coffers."
Jun 19, 2015 | The Future of Freedom Foundation

... Ever since 9/11, the American people have operated under the quaint notion that all the violence that the Pentagon and the CIA have been inflicting on people in foreign nations has an adverse effect only over there. The idea has been that as long as all the death, torture, assassinations, bombings, shootings, and mayhem were in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and elsewhere, Americans could go pleasantly on with their lives, going to work, church, and fun sporting events where everyone could praise and pray for the troops for "defending our freedoms" and "keeping us safe."

Through it all, the national-security state, with the cooperation of the mainstream media, has done its best to immunize Americans from all the violence, death, and mayhem that they've been wreaking on people over there.

Anything and everything to keep the American people from having to confront, assimilate, and process the ongoing culture of violence that the national-security state has brought to people in other parts of the world.

Why should Americans have their pretty little heads bothered with such unpleasantries? Just leave "national security" to us, U.S. officials say, and we'll do whatever is necessary to "keep you safe" from all those scary creatures out there who want to come and get you and take you away. Oh, and be sure to keep all those trillions of U.S. taxpayer dollars flooding into our "defense" coffers.

As an aside, have you ever noticed that Switzerland, which is one of the most armed societies in the world, is not besieged by a "war on terrorism" and by gun massacres? I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that the Swiss government isn't involved in an ongoing crusade to violently remake the world in its image.

Ask any American whether all that death and destruction at the hands of the military and the CIA is necessary, and he's likely to say, "Well, of course it is. People all over the world hate us for our freedom and values. We've got to kill them over there before they come over here to kill us. The war on terrorism goes on forever. I'm a patriot! Praise the troops!"

The thought that the entire scheme of ongoing violence is just one great big racket just doesn't even occur to them. That's what a mindset of deference to authority does to people.

All that ongoing violence that has formed the foundation of America's governmental structure since the totalitarian structure known as the national-security state came into existence after World War II is at the core of the national sickness to which Rand Paul alludes.

And so is the extreme deference to authority paid to the national-security establishment by all too many Americans who have converted the Pentagon and the CIA into their god - one who can do no wrong as it stomps around the world killing, torturing, bombing, shooting, invading, maiming, and occupying, all in the name of "national security," a ridiculous term if there ever was one, a term not even found in the U.S. Constitution.

As I have long written, the national-security establishment has warped and perverted the values, morals, and principles of the American people. This totalitarian structure that was grafted onto our governmental system after World War II to oppose America's World War II partner and ally the Soviet Union has stultified the consciences of the American people, causing them to subordinate themselves to the will and judgment of the military (including the NSA) and the CIA and, of course, to surrender their fundamental God-given rights to liberty and privacy in the quest to be "kept safe" from whoever happens to be the official enemy of the day.

The discomforting fact is that the American people have not been spared the horrific consequences of the ongoing culture of violence that the U.S. national-security establishment has brought to foreign lands. The ongoing culture of violence that forms the foundation of the national security state - killing untold numbers of people on a perpetual basis - has been a rotting and corrosive cancer that has been destroying America from within and that continues to do so.

It's that ongoing culture of violence that brings out the crazies and the loonies, who see nothing wrong with killing people for no good reason at all. In ordinary societies, the crazies and the loonies usually just stay below the radar screen and live out their lives in a fairly abnormal but peaceful manner. But in dysfunctional societies, such as ones where the government is based on killing, torturing, maiming, and destroying people on a constant basis, the crazies and the loonies come onto the radar screen and commit their crazy and loony acts of violence.

... ... ...

[Jun 20, 2015] Paul Krugman Voodoo, Jeb! Style

"...Selling tax cuts for the wealthy with unrealistic promises about growth"
.
"...Economists on Bush's Promise: Close to 0 Percent Chance of 4 Percent Growth
By Josh Barro"

.
"...Over the last 40 years, the American economy has grown at an average of 2.8 percent per year. That's slower than the 3.7 percent average from 1948 to 1975, but the future looks even gloomier because that 2.8 figure relied on two favorable trends that are now over: women entering the work force, and baby boomers reaching their prime earning years."
.
"...We had a two decade continuation of the Rooseveltian spirit of can-do ambition and government leadership moving energetically to re-shape our country and build a new society. It was awesome. The US was the economic wonder of the world. Then the neolibs took over and screwed it all up."
.
"...If the population doesn't grow then the 4% growth rates would require 4% per capita growth rates. That is part of what makes the 4% rate unrealistic. But the reason people are laughing at Jeb is that he is taking his own record as Florida governor as proof that he can do it again. His record of growingthat state at 4% is based on blowing a "...catastrophic bubble"
.
"...And politicians who set high and ambitious economic targets for a country that has fumbled along for far too long with stagnant growth and a neglect of long-term economic development and strategic thinking should be welcomed into the discussion.
.
Democrats should leap at the chance to have a debate about how to get to 4% growth! That kind of ambition represents a major potential turnaround from the current radical Republican agenda of laissez faire do-nothingism.
.
Now we know what the Republican formula is going to be: cutting taxes, cutting red tape, cutting restrictions, de-fanging the FDA and the EPA and the Department of Labor, etc. Democrats should come back with the historical data that is on their side, and that shows that the highest levels of US growth in the 20th century coincided with an activist US government that played a much bigger role than our government currently plays. You know why America is stagnant? Because modern Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and the Kochs don't have the right stuff. They're incredibly committed to selfish libertarian plans to help the fortunate keep their stuff; but they lack the vision and patriotic public spirit chutzpah of earlier generations who knew how to use the US government to mobilize resources to build the country and spread broad prosperity."
.
"... Way back in 1980, George H.W. Bush, running against Reagan for the presidential nomination, famously called it "voodoo economic policy." And while Reaganolatry is now obligatory in the G.O.P., the truth is that he was right. So what does it say about the state of the party that Mr. Bush's son - often portrayed as the moderate, reasonable member of the family - has chosen to make himself a high priest of voodoo economics? Nothing good.
.
"...Fast-forward 2000 years, and in its place we see an America floundering in an exaggerated adoration for the Really-Rich. I suggest the "Urge to Get Rich" is much more ingrained in American mentalities than any notion of correcting Income Disparity."
Jun 20, 2015 | Economist's View

Selling tax cuts for the wealthy with unrealistic promises about growth:

Voodoo, Jeb! Style, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: On Monday Jeb Bush - or I guess that's Jeb!,... gave us a first view of his policy goals. First, he says that if elected he would double America's rate of economic growth to 4 percent. Second, he would make it possible for every American to lose as much weight as he or she wants, without any need for dieting or exercise.
O.K., he didn't actually make that second promise. But he might as well have. It would have been just as realistic as promising 4 percent growth, and considerably less irresponsible. ...
Mr. Bush ... believes that the growth in Florida's economy during his time as governor offers a role model for the nation as a whole. Why is that funny? Because everyone except Mr. Bush knows that, during those years, Florida was booming thanks to the mother of all housing bubbles. When the bubble burst, the state plunged into a deep slump... The key to Mr. Bush's record of success, then, was good political timing: He managed to leave office before the unsustainable nature of the boom he now invokes became obvious.
But Mr. Bush's economic promises reflect more than self-aggrandizement. They also reflect his party's habit of boasting about its ability to deliver rapid economic growth, even though there's no evidence at all to justify such boasts. It's as if a bunch of relatively short men made a regular practice of swaggering around, telling everyone they see that they're 6 feet 2 inches tall. ...
Why, then, all the boasting about growth? The short answer, surely, is that it's mainly about finding ways to sell tax cuts for the wealthy..., low taxes on the rich are an overriding policy priority on the right - and promises of growth miracles let conservatives claim that everyone will benefit from trickle-down, and maybe even that tax cuts will pay for themselves.
There is, of course, a term for basing a national program on this kind of self-serving (and plutocrat-serving) wishful thinking. Way back in 1980, George H.W. Bush, running against Reagan for the presidential nomination, famously called it "voodoo economic policy." And while Reaganolatry is now obligatory in the G.O.P., the truth is that he was right.
So what does it say about the state of the party that Mr. Bush's son - often portrayed as the moderate, reasonable member of the family - has chosen to make himself a high priest of voodoo economics? Nothing good.
Dan Kervick said in reply to pgl...

That's the kind of short-term thinking we could use a lot less of. Clinton unleashed the banks and neutered the regulatory apparatus, which directly set the stage for the financial crisis of 2007/8. He himself has expressed regret about these policies, but many in the Clinton loyalist bloc in his party still have trouble grasping the point.

He also happened to be sitting in the Oval Office when a (harmful) dot-com bubble and (useful) productivity surge took place, driven by tech developments coming to fruition that Bill Clinton did absolutely nothing to catalyze. Those developments were the outcome of decades of government-driven R&D in the various components of computer and internet technology. Clinton reaped the political benefits of that earlier big government investment, but presided himself over further reductions in government driven by the reigning neoliberal small government philosophy.

The stagnation we are currently experiencing is, in part, the result of four decades of failure by both parties to accept the responsibilities of government leadership in the technological and infrastructure development ares, and to seize opportunities for transformative national and global development of the kinds that that only governments are capable of carrying out.

Inequality also surged dramatically under Clinton. Of course this was not all attributable to Clinton himself, but was an outcome of the reigning neoliberal approach to political economy, and long term trends in finance, corporate organization and tax policies that prevailed throughout the neoliberal era under Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II - and which have sadly continued under Obama.

anne said in reply to anne...

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/18/upshot/economists-advise-us-not-to-hold-our-breath-on-jeb-bushs-growth-target.html

June 17, 2015

Economists on Bush's Promise: Close to 0 Percent Chance of 4 Percent Growth
By Josh Barro

Jeb Bush set out an aggressive economic growth target in his campaign announcement speech Monday: four percent real G.D.P. growth, for a decade.

"It's possible," he said. "It can be done."

Don't bet on it.

Over the last 40 years, the American economy has grown at an average of 2.8 percent per year. That's slower than the 3.7 percent average from 1948 to 1975, but the future looks even gloomier because that 2.8 figure relied on two favorable trends that are now over: women entering the work force, and baby boomers reaching their prime earning years.

After 2020, with the percentage of the American population that is of prime working age shrinking, the Congressional Budget Office expects growth to stabilize at 2.2 percent. Hitting Mr. Bush's target would require nearly doubling that pace. It would mean exceeding the economic performance of every presidential administration since the Kennedy-Johnson years despite demographic headwinds caused by baby-boom retirements....

Dan Kervick said in reply to pgl...

It was more than that. We still had a Vietnam war post-1966, but growth began to fall. And the Iraq War never gave us growth rates of 5%, 6% and 7%. Something else was going on. Some of it was just the baby boom, but we were also carrying out massive public investment projects: GI Bill, highway plan, space program and more.

Why are you so eager to disparage the progressive achievements of the postwar period that took place under assertive, forward-leaning government, and make it look like it was all military? Democrats should try to take credit for that stuff. We had a two decade continuation of the Rooseveltian spirit of can-do ambition and government leadership moving energetically to re-shape our country and build a new society. It was awesome. The US was the economic wonder of the world.

Then the neolibs took over and screwed it all up.

Stop trying to run away from all the things we did right. We can do that kind of thing again, but the challenges are different now. We have to remake the global system because otherwise we will destroy the planet. Our social system is crumbling. Water resources are in jeopardy. Our consumption patterns are irrational, inefficient and unbalanced. If we don't act now we are headed toward a future of pollution, resource wars, caste fragmentation and impoverishment.

The Pope just sent you guys another big fat hanger to hit out of the park and you seem to want to take it off your head again.

Wake up. Think bigger. Good lord; it's not about the freaking interest rates.

DeDude said in reply to anne...

If the population doesn't grow then the 4% growth rates would require 4% per capita growth rates. That is part of what makes the 4% rate unrealistic. But the reason people are laughing at Jeb is that he is taking his own record as Florida governor as proof that he can do it again. His record of growing that state at 4% is based on blowing a catastrophic bubble - is that what he will do to grow the national economy by 4%? The only way to grow the economy by 4% is to increase the income of the consumer class by 4% - that is not going to happen with another Bush in the white house.

anne said in reply to DeDude...

If the population doesn't grow then the 4% growth rates would require 4% per capita growth rates. That is part of what makes the 4% rate unrealistic....

[ Population growth is 0.7% yearly, while total factor productivity growth has averaged 1.2% yearly since 1948. That leaves 2.1% growth with an employment-population ratio that is far below that of other healthy developed countries.

China has averaged 8.6% per capita GDP growth yearly since 1977, or for 38 years, and how this has been done should be thoroughly studied. ]

DeDude said in reply to pgl...

Agree, the conversion of their population from dirt poor subsistence farmers to productive factory workers (and consumers) has been a substantial driver of Chinese GDP growth rates. The appear to understand that they have reached a size where they can no longer rely on mercantilism and need to transform to a true consumer economy - so they probably will be able to continue outpacing the US growth for at least another decade or two. Especially if we continue to elect people who fail to "get" such a basic concept as that economic growth originate in increased consumption.

Peter K. said...

This is the Krugman I don't like. I understand what he's doing - a Jeb! presidency with a Republican Congress would be a nightmare - pace Paine and Kervack - but he should spare a paragraph why Obama's growth rate sucks so bad and why long term growth rates are coming down from the Golden Era of rising living standards.

Marco policy. Unions. Inequality. Boom/bust cycle. Obama picked Bernanke and Geithner and listened to them. That's why his growth rate sucks, not demographics. And a crappy economy doesn't help with race relations.


Dan Kervick said...

I responded briefly to this in the other thread where Fred Dobbs posted it, but I'll expand a bit here.

Paul Krugman thinks we don't know how to make make long-run growth happen as a matter of deliberate policy, and that changes in long-run growth patterns are unpredictable. But I think he's much overstating the case. We know that if we shift overall spending at the national level from wasteful consumption into investment, R&D and capital development, we can build up the productive capacity of the country and achieve much higher levels of GDP growth for some years in the short term, and much higher overall GDP in the long run. It's true that we can't sustain annual growth at some arbitrarily chosen high level over a long run. But even 10 years or so of surging growth followed by a leveling off would mean we level off at a higher level of prosperity than we get from perpetuating our current pattern of sluggish growth indefinitely.

And politicians who set high and ambitious economic targets for a country that has fumbled along for far too long with stagnant growth and a neglect of long-term economic development and strategic thinking should be welcomed into the discussion.

Democrats should leap at the chance to have a debate about how to get to 4% growth! That kind of ambition represents a major potential turnaround from the current radical Republican agenda of laissez faire do-nothingism.

Now we know what the Republican formula is going to be: cutting taxes, cutting red tape, cutting restrictions, de-fanging the FDA and the EPA and the Department of Labor, etc. Democrats should come back with the historical data that is on their side, and that shows that the highest levels of US growth in the 20th century coincided with an activist US government that played a much bigger role than our government currently plays. You know why America is stagnant? Because modern Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and the Kochs don't have the right stuff. They're incredibly committed to selfish libertarian plans to help the fortunate keep their stuff; but they lack the vision and patriotic public spirit chutzpah of earlier generations who knew how to use the US government to mobilize resources to build the country and spread broad prosperity.

We don't know how to create sustained high growth over many years? Tell that to the Chinese. Tell it to the economic engineers who doubled US annual output between 1939 to 1944, when failure was not an option. Tell it to the people who engineered high average growth between 1950 and 1965 by sustaining government investment at a much higher level than we do currently. Marianna Mazzucato, among others, gets this stuff. Loser liberals from the boomer generation often don't. They are stuck in the neoliberal paradigm of an economy that is "self-adjusting" over the long run, and where the only role for government is short-term stabilization and running a safety net.

The only thing standing between us and a major American liftoff is ideological stupidity and lack of political will. The visionary engineering portfolios of the worlds creative people are overstuffed with incredible plans: entirely new kinds of cities; transoceanic tunnels, redesigns of entire energy grids and transportation systems. What is lacking is leaders with a clue and the willingness to call for the kind of organization, planning and mobilization to make these things happen.

Suppose a president shoots for 4% and we only get 3.5%. How have we lost? And who pays the political price? The guy who set the high target and then laughs, "Hey we only got 3.5% - just shoot me." Or the snarky smart guys on the sidelines who say, "I told you we didn't have it in us."

Krugman has been writing some good stuff lately, but these recent kneejerk columns about Jeb Bush are Krugman at his absolute worst. Whenever he puts on his blue team baseball cap and descends into this kind of shallow hackitude, his IQ goes down 50 points. If Jeb Bush said, "We're going to end cancer in our lifetime!" I now fully expect Krugman to come back with, "That's so unrealistic; we don't know where cancer comes from."

Peter K. said in reply to Dan Kervick...

If you push the monetary-fiscal mix (and trade) you can get higher growth and higher productivity.

That means looser monetary policy and more fiscal policy until inflation picks up. That also means distributing income more widely, via unions and better labor laws and regulating banks effectively, including better credit policy.

If Obama had better monetary and fiscal policy (and a competitive dollar) during his Presidency his growth rates would have been better.

Instead they were worried about the deficit and inflation becoming "unmoored" or a problem some day.

Phantom issues.

Dan Kervick said in reply to Peter K....

Yes, too much concern about restrictive target rates and parameters. And although some of the economic goals can be described in abstract macroeconomic terms, the policy instruments can't be addressed purely macroeconomically. It's a matter of choosing the world we want to live in and then building it - on purpose, deliberately. You can't just shoot for an interest rate and inflation rate and then expect that better world to emerge from from private enterprise on its own.

Businesses have already had the most favorable credit conditions anyone can reasonably want, and still very few of them are building the future we need or expanding ambitiously. They lack courage and a sense of direction because of an absence of leadership. So their hunger for "safe assets" and rent-collection schemes is endless.

DeDude said...

"He managed to leave office before the unsustainable nature of the boom he now invokes became obvious."

Yes Jeb Bush has a slightly better timing than his big brother George, who did not get out before the collapse of the bubble he had created and lived high on. Unfortunately, the only way GOP presidents can get growth is by blowing bubbles. That will create additional "money" in the system which can be used to push the main/only driver of GDP growth - consumption.

As much as GOPsters try to avoid dealing with the "gravitational law" of economics they can only postpone it. Economic growth is driven by increases in consumption, which means either bigger government or increases in money to the consumer class.

The only palatable way for the party of the rich to get to that is by blowing bubbles in some asset class held by the upper half of the consumer class. But then they have to time those bubbles such that they blow up during a democratic presidency (to avoid being blamed for what was their fault)

Lafayette said...

{PK: The short answer, surely, is that it's mainly about finding ways to sell tax cuts for the wealthy..., low taxes on the rich are an overriding policy priority on the right - and promises of growth miracles let conservatives claim that everyone will benefit from trickle-down, and maybe even that tax cuts will pay for themselves.}

It is amazing that "getting rich" should be so ingrained as part and parcel of the "American Way of Life".

People, since antiquity, have always wanted to praise their "heroes". Typically, Roman generals would return to Rome to parade their booty in front of the population. No doubt, those generals then got involved in Roman politics. Otherwise, why risk your life on the battle field.

Fast-forward 2000 years, and in its place we see an America floundering in an exaggerated adoration for the Really-Rich. I suggest the "Urge to Get Rich" is much more ingrained in American mentalities than any notion of correcting Income Disparity.

Why, otherwise, would stupendous lottery wins be such an attractive way to waste one's money ... ?

[Jun 20, 2015] Architects of American policy towards Russia and Ukraine are destroying American national security

"...Whatever you want, we're with you. Bush says, Well, I think we're going to have to go to war in Afghanistan. And Putin said, I can help you. We've got major resources and assets in Afghanistan. I even have an army over there called the Northern Alliance. I'll give it to you! You want overflight? It's all yours!"
"...So Putin sets his course, and then comes this famous speech he gives in 2007 in Munich, with McCain sitting in the front row. Putin says just what I told you. He says, Look, we want to be your partner; this is what we've wanted to be since Gorbachev. We believe in the common European home. But every time we turn to you or we negotiate with you or we think we have an agreement with you, you act like a hegemon and everybody has to do exactly what you say if they want to to be on your side. "
"...I want to turn this around: what is your view of America's strategic goal? I ask in the context of your analysis, in "Failed Crusade," of "transitionology," as you term the paradigm wherein Russia was supposed to transition into a free-market paradise. As the book makes clear, it amounted to the elevation and protection of crooks who asset-stripped most of an entire nation. Now we don't hear much about Russia's "transition." What is Washington's ambition now?"
"...Parts of your work are very moving, and that's not a word a lot of scholarship prompts. The enormous value the Soviet Union accreted-most Americans know nothing of this; with the media's encouragement, we're completely ignorant of this. There's nothing encouraging us to understand that the hundreds of billions of misappropriated assets during the 1990s was essentially the misappropriation of Soviet wealth."

"Architects of American policy towards Russia and Ukraine are destroying American national security": Stephen F. Cohen on the truths U.S. media and politicians hide

Myths of American nationalism busted as our interview with noted scholar concludes

Patrick L. Smith

If there is a lesson in Stephen F. Cohen's professional fortunes over the past year, it is the peril of advancing a dispassionate reading of our great country's doings abroad. Cohen's many pieces in The Nation on the Ukraine crisis and the consequent collapse of U.S.-Russia relations now leave him in something close to a state of siege. "My problem with this begins with the fact that… I don't have a vested interest in one of the 'isms,' or ideologies," Cohen says in this, the second part of a long interview conducted last month.

The problem lies with the ideologues infesting the waters wherein Cohen swims. Terminally poisoned by Cold War consciousness, they cannot abide disinterested thought. Cohen has been mostly scholar, partly journalist, since the 1970s. His "Sovieticus" column, launched in The Nation in the 1980s, put a magazine traditionally tilted toward domestic issues among the few American publications providing consistent analysis of Russian affairs. At this point, Cohen's Nation essays are the bedrock scholarly work to which those (few) writing against the orthodoxy turn.

The first half of our exchange, last week on Salon, began with events during the past year and advanced toward the post-Soviet origins of the current crisis. In part two, Cohen completes his analysis of Vladimir Putin's inheritance and explains how he came to focus his thinking on "lost alternatives"-outcomes that could have been but were not. Most surprising to me was the real but foregone prospect of reforming the Soviet system such that the suffering that ensued since its demise could have been averted.

Salon: Putin inherited a shambles, then-as he would say, "a catastrophe."

Stephen F. Cohen: As Russia's leader, Putin has changed over the years, especially in foreign policy but also at home. His first impulse was toward more free-market reforms, anti-progressive taxes. He enacted a 13 percent flat tax-Steve Forbes would've been ecstatic, right? He offers [George W.] Bush what Clinton never really offered Yeltsin: a full partnership. And what does he do? On September 11, 2001, he called George and said, Whatever you want, we're with you. Bush says, Well, I think we're going to have to go to war in Afghanistan. And Putin said, I can help you. We've got major resources and assets in Afghanistan. I even have an army over there called the Northern Alliance. I'll give it to you! You want overflight? It's all yours!

How many American lives did Putin save during our land war in Afghanistan? And do you know what a political price he paid in Russia for that? Because his security people were completely against it.

They were? Please explain.

Oh, yeah. You think they minded seeing America being brought to its knees? They'd been invaded so often; let America get a taste of it! But Putin assumes he's achieved what Yeltsin couldn't and that this benefits the Russian state. He has a real strategic partnership with America. Now, remember, he's already worried about his radical Islamic problem because Russia has nearly 20 million Muslim citizens of its own. Russia sits in the East and in the West; it's on the front lines.

What does Bush give him in return? He expands NATO again and he unilaterally withdraws the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the bedrock of Russia's nuclear security- it's a complete betrayal. Is that how you repay somebody who's helped you save the lives of your citizens? This is where the word "betrayal" begins to enter into the discourse.

It's an important word for Putin.

It's not only Putin; [Dmitry] Medvedev uses it, too, when he becomes president [in 2008]. America has broken its word, it's betrayed us, it's deceived us, and we no longer take America at its word- well, they never should've in the first fucking place, just as Gorbachev should have got the promise not to expand NATO in writing. We'd have done it anyway, but at least they would have had a talking point.

This trust, this naive trust on the part of Russians, that there's something about American presidents that makes them honorable-it suggests they need a crash course in something. This was betrayal for Putin, and for the entire Russian political class, and Putin paid a price.

I've heard him called, among right-wing Russian intellectuals, an appeaser of the West. Soft. You can hear this today: Mariupol? Odessa? Should've taken them a year ago; they belong to us. What's he thinking? Why is he discussing it? [Mariupol and Odessa are two contested cities in the southeastern region of Ukraine.]

So Putin sets his course, and then comes this famous speech he gives in 2007 in Munich, with McCain sitting in the front row. Putin says just what I told you. He says, Look, we want to be your partner; this is what we've wanted to be since Gorbachev. We believe in the common European home. But every time we turn to you or we negotiate with you or we think we have an agreement with you, you act like a hegemon and everybody has to do exactly what you say if they want to to be on your side.

Putin has come to tell them that America is risking a new Cold War with more than a decade of bad behavior towards post-Soviet Russia. John McCain interprets this as the declaration of a new Cold War.

But the demonization of Putin came earlier, before the Munich speech, when he began to drive a few favorite American oligarchs [oil companies] out of the country. I looked it up: No major oil-producing country permits majority foreign ownership of its oil. So there's a long a long history of how Putin goes from a democrat for sure in the U.S. media and an aspiring partner of America to becoming the Hitler of today, as Hillary Clinton put it. You can see what a disease it's become, this Putin-phobia….

RT just aired a documentary in which Putin explains exactly when and why he decided to move as he did in Crimea. It's striking: The deliberations began the night President Yanukovych was ousted in the American-supported coup last year. Can you talk about Putin's thinking on the Crimea question, leading to the annexation?

Putin, in my judgment, did some wrong-headed things. We now know much more about Crimea, but even given what he has said, there was an argument. It wasn't quite as clear-cut as he says it was. There was a debate with two sides.

One side said, "Take Crimea now or fight NATO there later." The other said, "Let the referendum [on association with Russia, held in March 2014] go forward and they're going to vote 80-plus percent to join Russia. We don't have to act on it; they've just made a request and we'll say what we think about it. Meanwhile, we see what happens in Kiev." The Kremlin had done polling in Crimea. And it's the best bargaining chip Putin will have. He'll have Crimea wanting to join Russia and he can say to Washington, Well, you would like the Crimea to remain in Ukraine? Here's what I'd like in return: an eternal ban on NATO membership and federalization of the Ukrainian constitution, because I have to give my Crimean brethren something.

But those arguing that Crimea was the biggest bargaining chip Putin was ever going to have lost. The other side prevailed.

Now, Putin took all the credit, but that's not what really happened. They were all dependent on intelligence coming out of Kiev and Crimea and Donbass. You see now, if you watch that film, what a turning point the overthrow of Yanukovych was. Remember, the European foreign ministers-Polish, German, and French-had brokered an agreement saying that Yanukovych would form a coalition government and stay in power until December, and that was burned in the street. I'll never forget the massive Klitschko [Vitali Klitschko, a prizefighter-turned-political oppositionist, currently Kiev's mayor] standing on a platform at Maidan, all 6' 8" of him, announcing this great triumph of negotiation, and some smaller guy whipping away the microphone and saying, Go fuck yourself. This thing is going to burn in the streets. The next day it did. That night you saw what an undefeated heavyweight champion looks like when he's terror-stricken.

This is the turning point, and "It's all due to Putin," but it's all due to Putin because demonization has become the pivot of the analysis.

What do we do from here to resolve the Ukraine question? You used the word "hope" when talking about the February cease-fire, Minsk II-"the last, best hope." It tripped me up. Hope's a virtue, but it can also be very cruel.

Anyone of any sense and good will knows that it [the solution] lies in the kind of home rule they negotiated in the U.K.-and don't call it a federated Ukraine if that upsets Kiev. As the constitution stands, the governors of all the Ukrainian provinces are appointed by Kiev. You can't have that in eastern Ukraine. Probably can't even have that in Western and Central Ukraine anymore. Ukraine is fragmenting.

I want to turn this around: what is your view of America's strategic goal? I ask in the context of your analysis, in "Failed Crusade," of "transitionology," as you term the paradigm wherein Russia was supposed to transition into a free-market paradise. As the book makes clear, it amounted to the elevation and protection of crooks who asset-stripped most of an entire nation. Now we don't hear much about Russia's "transition." What is Washington's ambition now?

I think the Ukranian crisis is the greatest blow to American national security- even greater than the Iraq war in its long-term implications- for a simple reason: The road to American national security still runs through Moscow. There is not a single major regional or issue-related national security problem we can solve without the full cooperation of whoever sits in the Kremlin, period, end of story.

Name your poison: We're talking the Middle East, we're talking Afghanistan, we're talking energy, we're talking climate, we're talking nuclear proliferation, terrorism, shooting airplanes out of the sky, we're talking about the two terrorist brothers in Boston.

Look: I mean American national security of the kind I care about-that makes my kids and grandkids and myself safe-in an era that's much more dangerous than the Cold War because there's less structure, more nonstate players, and more loose nuclear know-how and materials…. Security can only be partial, but that partial security depends on a full-scale American-Russian cooperation, period. We are losing Russia for American national security in Ukraine as we talk, and even if it were to end tomorrow Russia will never, for at least a generation, be as willing to cooperate with Washington on security matters as it was before this crisis began.

Therefore, the architects of the American policy towards Russia and Ukraine are destroying American national security-and therefore I am the patriot and they are the saboteurs of American security. That's the whole story, and any sensible person who doesn't suffer from Putin-phobia can see it plainly.

Is it too strong to say that the point is to destabilize Moscow?

What would that mean? What would it mean to destabilize the country that may have more weapons of mass destruction than does the U.S.?

Is that indeed the ambition?

I don't think there's any one ambition. I come back to the view that you've got various perspectives in discussion behind closed doors. I guess Mearsheimer [John Mearsheimer, the noted University of Chicago scholar] is right in the sense of saying that there's a faction in Washington that is behaving exactly as a great power would behave and trying to maximize its security, but it doesn't understand that that's what other great powers do, too. That's its failure. Gorbachev and Reagan, though it wasn't originally their idea, probably agreed on the single most important thing: Security had to be mutual. That was their agreement and they built everything on that. We have a military build-up you're going to perceive as a threat and build up, and I will perceive your build-up as a threat… and that's the dynamic of permanent and conventional build-up, a permanent arms race. And that's why Gorbachev and Reagan reasoned, We're on the edge of the abyss. That's why we are going to declare the Cold War over, which they did.

That concept of mutual security doesn't mean only signing contracts: It means don't undertake something you think is in your security but is going to be perceived as threatening, because it won't prove to be in your interest. Missile defense is the classic example: We never should have undertaken any missile defense program that wasn't in cooperation with Russia, but, instead, we undertook it as an anti-Russian operation. They knew it and we knew it and scientists at MIT knew it, but nobody cared because some group believed that you've got to keep Russia down.

The truth is, not everything depends on the president of the United States. Not everything, but an awful lot does, and when it comes to international affairs we haven't really had a president who acted as an actual statesman in regard to Russia since Reagan in 1985-88. Clinton certainly didn't; his Russia policy was clownish and ultimately detrimental to U.S. national security interests. Bush's was reckless and lost one opportunity after another, and Obama's is either uninformed or completely out to lunch. We have not had a statesman in the White House when it comes to Russia since Reagan, and I am utterly, totally, 1000 percent convinced that before November 2013, when we tried to impose an ultimatum on Yanukovych-and even right now, today-that a statesman in the White House could end this in 48 hours with Putin. What Putin wants in the Ukraine crisis is what we ought to want; that's the reality.

Interesting.

What does Putin want? He's said the same thing and he's never varied: He wants a stable, territorial Ukraine-Crimea excepted-and he knows that's possible only if Ukraine is free to trade with the West and with Russia but is never a member of NATO. However, somebody's got to rebuild Ukraine, and he's not going to take that burden on himself, but he will help finance it through discounted energy prices. It could all be done tomorrow if we had a statesman in the White House. Tomorrow! Nobody else has to die.

I think Chancellor Merkel understands this, too.

I think she's come to, but how strong she is and whether Washington will cut her legs out from under her as they're trying to do now… [Shortly before this interview Senator McCain delivered a blunt attack on Merkel at a security conference in Munich for opposing the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine. The Arizona Republican was similarly critical when Merkel began to explore a diplomatic solution in Ukraine in spring 2013.]

They have very little respect for her, which is wrong.

What Lindsay Graham and McCain did in Germany, in her own country, on German national television, to her face-and the fact that she's a woman didn't help, either. The way they spoke to her, I can't think of a precedent for that.

Parts of your work are very moving, and that's not a word a lot of scholarship prompts. The enormous value the Soviet Union accreted-most Americans know nothing of this; with the media's encouragement, we're completely ignorant of this. There's nothing encouraging us to understand that the hundreds of billions of misappropriated assets during the 1990s was essentially the misappropriation of Soviet wealth.

A lot of it came here, to the United States.

Can you talk about this?

I can tell you about a guy who was formerly very high up in the CIA. I called him about a something I was writing on Russian wealth smuggled through the banks into the United States, and he said, We have informed the FBI exactly where all this wealth is in the United States but we are under strict political orders to do nothing about it. Now, the interesting thing is, why now? Well, it would have badly damaged the Yeltsin regime, which the Clinton administration had unconditionally embraced, but also because that money became part of the flourishing stock and real estate markets here at that time.

Even today in Russia, when you ask people if they wish the Soviet Union hadn't ended, you're still getting over 60 percent, among young people, too, because they hear the stories from their parents and grandparents. It requires a separate study, but it's not rocket science. If young kids see their grandparents dying prematurely because they're not being paid their pensions, they're going to resent it. When the bottom fell out of the Soviet welfare state and out of the professions, what happened in the 1990s was that the Soviet middle class- which was one of the most professional and educated, and had some savings and which therefore should have been the building block of a Russian free market sector- that middle class was wiped out, and it's never been recreated. Instead, you got a country of impoverished people and of very, very rich people-with a small middle class serving the rich. That changed under Putin; Putin has rebuilt the middle class, gradually.

The Russian middle class isn't the same as ours. A lot of Russia's middle class are people who are on the federal budget: Army officers, doctors, scientists, teachers-these are all federal budget people. They're middle class, but they don't become middle class as autonomous property owners. A lot of my friends are members of this class, and a lot of them are very pro-Putin, but a lot of my friends are very anti-Putin, too. The thing about the Soviet Union can be summarized very simply: The Soviet Union lasted 70-plus years, so that would be less than the average life of an American male today. A person cannot jump out of his or her autobiography any more than they can jump out of their skin; it's your life. You were born in the Soviet Union, you had your first sexual experience in the Soviet Union, you were educated, you got a career, you got married, you raised your kids: That was your life. Of course you miss it, certainly parts of it.

There were ethnic nationalities in the Soviet Union who hated it and wanted to break away, and this became a factor in 1991, but for a great many people- certainly the majority of Russians and a great many Ukrainians and Belorussians and the central Asians- it's not surprising that 25 years later, those adults still remember the Soviet Union with affection. This is normal, and I don't find anything bad in it. You know, Putin wasn't actually the first to say this but he did say it and it's brilliant and tells you who Putin is and who most Russians are. He said this: Anyone who doesn't regret the end of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who thinks you can recreate the Soviet Union has no head. That's it, that's exactly right!

Didn't Putin say that the end of the Soviet Union was the 20th century's greatest catastrophe?

It all has to do with the word "the." There's no "the" in Russian. Did Putin say, in translation, that the end of the Soviet Union was "the" greatest catastrophe of the 20th century? If so, there's something wrong with that, because for Jews it was the Holocaust. Or did he say, "one of" the greatest catastrophes?

I would have guessed the latter.

All four professional translators I sent Putin's phrase to said you have to translate it as "one of the greatest catastrophes of the 20th century." Now, we can have a discussion. He's taken a moderate position, but what are the others? Fair enough, but catastrophe for whom? Americans don't think it was a catastrophe. Putin would say, "Look, 20 million Russians found themselves outside the country when the Soviet Union broke up, that was a tragedy for them, a catastrophe. Seventy or 80 percent plunged into poverty in the 1990s, lost everything. Can I put that on the list of "one of the greatest?" I would say sure, because for everybody there's a greater catastrophe. For the Jews there's no catastrophe greater than the Holocaust. For the Armenians, their genocide. Again, people can't jump out of their history. A tolerant, democratic person acknowledges that. Each people and nation has its own history. I'd like to write an article about this, but I'm not going to live long enough to write all the articles or books I want to write. We say, for example, the Russians have not come to grips with and fully acknowledged the horrors of Stalinism and its victims. I would argue in this article that they have done more to acknowledge the horrors of Stalinism than we have of slavery.

Interesting.

For example, do we have a national museum of the history of slavery in the United States? They're building a large one in Moscow to commemorate Stalin's victims. He recently signed a decree mandating a monument in central Moscow to those victims.

In the way of being moved by some of the things you write, I've wanted to ask you about this for years. It has to do with the sentiments of Russians and what they wanted, their ambitions for themselves, some form of… as I read along in these passages I kept saying, "I wonder if he's going to use the phrase 'social democracy.'" And, sure enough, you did. These passages got me to take Rudolph Bahro [author of "The Alternative in Eastern Europe"] off the shelf. The obvious next step after East-West tension subsided was some form of social democracy. I don't know where you want to put it. I put it between Norway and Germany somewhere. To me what happened instead is a horrific tragedy, not only for Russia but for Eastern Europe.

My problem with this begins with the fact that I'm not a communist, I'm not a socialist, a social democrat. I'd like to have enough money to be a real capitalist, but it's a struggle. [Laughs.] I don't have a vested interest in one of the "isms" or the ideologies, but I agree with you. I don't know about Eastern Europe, let's leave it aside, but look at Russia. You'd have thought that the logical outcome of the dismantling of the Stalinist Communist system, because the system was built primarily by Stalin from the 1930s on, would have been Russian social democracy and that, of course, was what Gorbachev's mission was. Lots of books have been written, most persuasively by Archie Brown, the great British scholar, who knows Gorbachev personally, probably as well as I do, that Gorbachev came to think of himself as a European social democrat while he was still in power. That's what his goal was. He had this close relationship with the Social Democratic prime minister of Spain, I forget his name.

Zapatero?

I don't remember, but I remember that they did a lot of social democratic socializing and talking.

Felipe Gonzalez, I think it was.

Gonzalez, that's right. Gorbachev was a very well-informed man and his advisors during his years in power were mostly social democrats and had been for years. Their mission had been to transform the Soviet Union. Now, remember, Lenin began as a social democrat, and the original model for Lenin had been not only Marx but the German Social Democratic Party. The Bolshevik or Communist Party was originally the Russian Social Democratic Party, which split into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. So in a way, and I once said this to Gorbachev, historically you want to go back to Lenin before he became a Bolshevik. He said, "Well that's kind of complicated." Then Gorbachev said, "Everybody agrees Russia is a left-of-center country."

The Russian people are left of center. They're a welfare-state country. Gorbachev had this interesting conversation with Putin, when he went to tell Putin that he, Gorbachev, was going to start a social democratic party. There had been several start-ups and they never went anywhere. And Putin said that's the right thing to do, because Russia really is a left-of-center country. So Putin said the same thing. And so Russia is, if you look at the history of Russia…

Are you talking about Russia very early, thinking about Russian givenness to community and all that?

However you put it all together, the peasant tradition, the urban tradition, the socialist tradition. Almost all the revolutionary parties were socialist. You didn't have a Tea Party among them. This is a Russian tradition. Now, it's obviously changed, but I would say that today, looking at the polls, most Russians overwhelmingly believe that the state has obligations that include medical care, free education, and guaranteeing everybody a job. In fact, it's in the Russian constitution, the guarantee of a job. Most Russians feel there should not be a "free market" but a social or regulated market, that some things should be subsidized, that the government should regulate certain things, and that nobody should be too rich or too poor. For that you get 80 percent of the vote every time. So that's a social democratic program, right? Why don't they have it?

I ask everybody in Russia who wants a social democratic party. They exist, but not a party that can win elections? What's the problem here? I think know, but I want to hear Russians tell me what's right. People cite what you and I would guess. First of all, there's the hangover from communism, which was social democratic and somewhat socialist, in some form.

Second, and this is probably the key thing, social democratic movements tended to grow out of labor movements-labor unions, historically, in England and Scandinavia and Germany. They became the political movement of the labor movement, the working class movement. So you normally get a labor movement that favors political action instead of strikes, creates a political party, you have a parliamentary system, they begin to build support in the working class, elements of the middle class join them, and you end up eventually with European social democracy.

Old Labour in Britain is a perfect example.

Well, the labor unions in Russia are a complete mess. I shouldn't say that, but they're complicated. The major one remains the old Soviet official one, which is in bed deeply with state employers. The independent one, or ones, haven't been able to get enough traction. In almost every European country there were circumstances, you might say the political culture was favorable. Those objective circumstances don't exist [in Russia]. First, you have an insecure savaged middle class that's seen its savings confiscated or devalued repeatedly in the last 25 years. You've got a working class trapped between oligarchs, state interests and old industries, and private entrepreneurs who are very vulnerable. In other words, the working class itself is in transition. Its own insecurities don't lead it to think in terms of political organizations but in terms of issues-of whether Ford Motor Company is going to fire them all tomorrow. They're localized issues.

Then you don't have a leadership. Leadership really matters. No one has emerged, either in the Russian parliament or in Russian political life. By the 1990s Gorbachev was past his prime and too hated for what had happened to the country. He hoped to be, when he ran for president that time [in 1996] and got 1 percent, he hoped to be the social democratic leader. There are a couple guys in Parliament who aspire to be the leader of Russian social democracy…. When I'm asked, and I've told this to young social democrats and to Gennady Zyuganov, whom I've known for 20 years, the leader of the Russian Communist Party, the only real electoral party, that Russia needs social democracy with a Russian face….

What this means is that the most important force in Russia, and people were wrong to say Putin created it, is nationalism. This began, in fact, under Stalin. It was embedded during the Brezhnev years, and it was overshadowed during perestroika in the late-1980s. Then there was an inevitable upsurge as a result of the 1990s. You cannot be a viable political candidate in Russia today unless you come to grips with nationalism.

Therefore, the best way, in my judgment, if you also want democracy, is social democracy with a Russian nationalist face. What's interesting is the guy who was until recently the most popular opposition leader, Navalny [Alexei Navalny, the noted anti-corruption activist], who got nearly 30 per cent of the vote in the Moscow mayoral elections and then blew it by becoming again a foe of the entire system instead of building on his electoral success-he's too nationalistic for the taste of a lot of democrats.

Truly? You wouldn't know it from what you read.

He's got a bad history in regards to the Caucasus people, among others. But what's interesting in this regard is, we don't ever speak of American nationalism. We call it patriotism. It's weird, isn't it? We don't have a state, we have a government….

Every American politician who seeks the presidency in effect tries to make American nationalism the program of his or her candidacy, but they call it patriotism. They're fully aware of the need to do this, right? So why they think Putin doesn't have to do it, too, is completely beyond me. There's no self-awareness.

In Russia, people had lost hope tremendously after 1991 but their hope later attached to Putin-imagine what he faced. For example, can you imagine becoming the leader of such a country and for the sake of consensus having a textbook putting together Tsarist, Soviet and post-Soviet history? Our presidents had a hard time dealing with slave and post-slave, Civil War and post-Civil War history. How do they do it? Each president did it differently, but Putin inherited this conflicting history, and the way he's tried to patch all three together into a consensual way for Russians to view their history and to teach kids in school is very interesting. Now, of course, it's being ruptured again with this war and with Crimea and with this new nationalism.

I'd like to change the subject. Often in the books you mention an interest in alternatives: What could've happened if this or that hadn't. We just covered one, the missed opportunity for a historically logical social democratic outcome in Russia. How do you account for this tendency in your thinking?

We have formative experiences-what shaped you, at least so you think when you look back. You don't know it at the time, you don't know a formative experience is formative until later. You'd agree with that.

It's only in hindsight. "Reality takes form only in memory." Proust.

For me it was growing up in the segregated South. But the reality was valid in retrospect, because I later realized that what I was doing had been so shaped by growing up in the segregated South, the way I reacted to that and the way I learned from it later, actually, in a strange way, led me to Russia.

You suggested this in the book on gulag returnees, "The Victims Return." I wonder if you could explain the connection. How did growing up in Kentucky [Cohen was raised in Owensboro] lead you to Russian studies, and what does it do for your analysis of the Russian situation? How does a Kentucky childhood keep you alert to alternatives?

Well, you have to remember what segregation was. I didn't understand this as a little boy, but it was American apartheid. Owensboro, probably had fewer than 20,000 people then, including the farmers. For a kid growing up in a completely segregated county, first of all, the world you're born into is the normal world. I had no questions about it…. I didn't perceive the injustice of it.

And then you get older and you begin to see the injustice and you wonder, how did this happen?… At Indiana University I run into this professor who becomes my mentor, Robert C. Tucker, [Tucker, who died in 2010, was a distinguished Russianist and author of a celebrated biography of Stalin]. I'd been to Russia-accidentally, I went on a tour-and he asked, "What in Russia interests you?" And I said, "Well, I'm from Kentucky, and I've always wondered if there was an alternative in Kentucky's history between being deep South and not being deep South." And Tucker said, "You know, one of the biggest questions in Russian history is lost alternatives. Nobody ever studies them." And I said, "Aha!"

So the title of your 2009 book, "Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives," is in his honor?

I began to live in Russia in 1976, for two or three months a year until they took my visa away in 1982. This is when I got deeply involved in the dissident movement, smuggling manuscripts out and books back in and all these things. I begin to think, how does Russia change today? And my mind reverted to segregation and the end of segregation and the friends and foes of change…. I wrote an article called "The Friends and Foes of Change" about reformism and conservatism in the Soviet system, because I thought that it was institutions, it was culture, it was history and leaders and that you needed a conjunction of these events before you could get major change in Russia and the Soviet Union…. I published that as an article in 1976 or 1977 and I expanded it for a book I wrote, "Rethinking the Soviet Experience," which was published in 1985, a month before Gorbachev came to power. And everybody would later say, "He foresaw Gorbachev."

Actually I didn't quite. What I foresaw was perestroika. For me it wasn't about the name of the leader, but the policy such leader would enact. I got one thing wrong. Because it was so hard to make this argument in Cold War America, that the Soviet Union had a capacity for reform awaiting it, if factors came together. I didn't think to carry the argument beyond liberalization to actual democratization. So I didn't foresee a Gorbachev who would enact actual democratization, free voting, and dismantle the Communist Party…. But I always thought that thinking about the history of Kentucky, living through segregation, watching the change, seeing the civil rights movement, seeing the resistance to it and why helped me think more clearly about the Soviet Union under Brezhnev and about my dissident friends. And I also knew reformers in the party bureaucracy pretty well, and when we would talk at night, I never mentioned this but my mind would always kind of drift back.

The connection is not at all obvious but you explain it very well and it's clear once you do.

Well, sometimes people read a book that opens their eyes. I think the whole secret, particularly as you get older… Trotsky I think wrote that after some age, I think he said 39 or 45, all we do is document our prejudices. And there's some truth to that, obviously. But one of the ways that you avoid becoming dogmatic about your own published views is to keep looking for things that challenge what you think. You try to filter them through whatever intellectual apparatus you've been using for, in my case, 40 years.

I thought it would be interesting to get through those sections of Kennan's journals ["The Kennan Diaries," 2014] that would be germane to our exchange. What struck me coming away from them was the enormous sadness and pessimism that hung over him in the later years. I wonder if you share that.

My position has always been, America doesn't need a friend in the Kremlin. We need a national security partner. Friendships often don't last. Partnerships based on common interests, compatible self-interests, do.

I have always known such a partnership would be difficult to achieve because there are so many differences, conflicts, and Cold War landmines. There were numerous chances to enhance the relationship-during the Nixon-Brezhnev détente period, Gorbachev and Reagan, Gorbachev and Bush, even with Putin after 9/11, when he helped [George W.] Bush in Afghanistan. But they all became lost opportunities, those after 1991 lost mainly in Washington, n ot Moscow.

When I speak of lost alternatives I do not mean the counter-factuals employed by novelists and some historians-the invention of "what-ifs." I mean actual alternatives that existed politically at turning points in history, and why one road was taken and not the other. Much of my work has focused on this large question in Soviet and post-Soviet Russian history and in U.S.-Russian relations.

So you ask if I'm disappointed by the lost opportunities for an American-Russian partnership, especially in light of the terrible confrontation over Ukraine? Having struggled for such a partnership for about 40 years, yes, of course, I'm personally disappointed-and even more so by the Ukraine crisis because I think it may be fateful in the worst sense.

On the other hand, as an historian who has specialized in lost alternatives, well, now I have another to study, to put in historical context and analyze. And it's my historical analysis-that an alternative in Ukraine was squandered primarily in Washington, not primarily in Moscow-that those who slur me don't like.

To which I reply, Let them study history, because few of them, if any, seem ever to have done so.

Patrick Smith is the author of "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century." He was the International Herald Tribune's bureau chief in Hong Kong and then Tokyo from 1985 to 1992. During this time he also wrote "Letter from Tokyo" for the New Yorker. He is the author of four previous books and has contributed frequently to the New York Times, the Nation, the Washington Quarterly, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter, @thefloutist.

More Patrick L. Smith.

[Jun 19, 2015] Jeb Bush: A clan of ferocious competitors returns to the fray

"...Friend of the establishment, friend of the rich and another member of the dynasty. Let us see how ocial engineering would fare to get him elected."
"...I might be able to differentiate JEB from his (failed presidency) brother IF the former did not have the same advisors as the latter. Given that he is already selected the likes of Wolfowitz and friends to be his foreign policy advisors (and has specifically stated that he will take foreign policy advice from GW), there is no way that I would vote for JEB. We don't need another middle east war, much less another "recession", which is what the Bushes do best. Sorry, no more Bushes in the White House."
"...Sally - this article is a low point in your jouranalism career. The Bushes are the kings of sleaze. Where is mention of Willie Horton, McCain's black love child, and the Swift Boaters? The Bushes always get someone else to the dirty work for them."
"...Jeb! hired most of his brother's neocon chicken hawks as his foreign policy advisors, which belies any media puff piece portraits of Jeb as independent and intellectual. That fact alone makes Jeb! utterly unappealing to most independents and Libertarian-leaning Republicans."
"...Do you really think Jeb was elected to anything without relying exclusively on his dad's political donor machine and operatives? Just like GWB, the same machine could elect goats to office."
"...So Jeb "Nobody Would Have Ever Heard of Him Except for His Family Connections" Bush now wants to pretend he is his own man. He certainly had no problems being a Bush man when he saw an upside to it."
"...Ms. Jenkins, surely you mean the MONEY behind the Bushs shouldn't be underestimated because they are owned lock, stock and barrel by the top 1% global financial elite who are trying to destroy democracy in America and around the world. Any American who is thinking of supporting another Bush for president - or any public office - had better do some background research.
Their only purpose for holding public office is to further line the pockets of themselves and their wealthy buddies in the top 1% global financial elite at OUR expense. "
Jun 19, 2015 | The Washington Post

His own identity is this: He is the thoughtful Bush, "certainly the most introspective and independent member of our family," Marvin says.

... ... ...

The Bushes loved consorting with famous athletes, eager to see how their amateur talents stacked up against the real thing. During George H.W.'s term in office, he baited tennis legends Chris Evert and Pam Shriver into a match against Jeb and Marvin at the White House - and invited 250 or so dignitaries to watch. When it rained, the president moved the match to an indoor court at the Hart Senate Office Building.

"He brought the whole Senate with him," Evert says. All business at the White House paused. Buses were organized to take VIP spectators, including astronauts, to the match.

"We foolishly took the challenge lightly," Evert says.

The Bush boys turned out to have wicked country club backhands and booming serves "like they were on the ATP tour," Evert says.

... ... ...

He's an overt intellectual in a clan of self-trimmers who make fun of academic pretensions. An accent from nowhere and steel-rimmed glasses give him the aspect of a technocrat, and he is far more interested in policy than either his father or brother.

The ball went up, and the 6-foot-4 Jeb immediately tried to post up Staubach inside. George W., a seasoned runner, began sprinting and despite the heat did not cease for the next couple of hours. "Driven by false pride perhaps," Marvin says, the Bush boys held their own with the Dallas Cowboys.

itsthedax, 6/17/2015 5:42 PM EDT

Maybe we can make Neal Bush Secretary of the Treasury, what with all his banking experience...

petrocrab, 6/17/2015 12:55 PM EDT

Is this a news article or a Jeb Bush propaganda piece? I'm amazed it survived the cutting board!

a. ozgunes, 6/17/2015 9:21 AM EDT

Of course people all around the world think that Jeb Bush is the same as the other Bushes. Friend of the establishment, friend of the rich and another member of the dynasty. Let us see how social engineering would fare to get him elected.

mhammer02, 6/17/2015 10:48 AM EDT

Yet is Obama who was supposed to be the savior of the working man and instead is even today doing everything he can to make the American worker subject to an untenable trade deal that will only make the rich more fabulously rich and the working person much more forgotten.

mrmxb, 6/17/2015 8:48 AM EDT

I might be able to differentiate JEB from his (failed presidency) brother IF the former did not have the same advisors as the latter. Given that he is already selected the likes of Wolfowitz and friends to be his foreign policy advisors (and has specifically stated that he will take foreign policy advice from GW), there is no way that I would vote for JEB. We don't need another middle east war, much less another "recession", which is what the Bushes do best. Sorry, no more Bushes in the White House.

knoxscoop, 6/16/2015 7:29 PM EDT

I would have been interested in a story on their competitive campaign tactics. Tennis and hoop shots? Not so much. Pure puffery.

joeb2665, 6/16/2015 7:28 PM EDT

America's cry of "No more Clinton's" could only be drown out by it's cry of "No more Bush's." This guy is unelectable. The only thing he has going for him is he's not Hillary, and that's nowhere near enough.

House7, 6/16/2015 6:52 PM EDT

Jeb disenfranchised thousands of Florida voters in the Fall of 1999 and, along with the Right Wing SCOTUS, appointed Dubya as President. It was a disgraceful affront to our democracy (or federal republic, if you want to split hairs), right up there with the Right Wing activist SCOTUS' Citizens United decision.

rxlee, 6/16/2015 6:04 PM EDT

Sally - this article is a low point in your jouranalism career. The Bushes are the kings of sleaze. Where is mention of Willie Horton, McCain's black love child, and the Swift Boaters? The Bushes always get someone else to the dirty work for them.

Brian from Cardiff, 6/16/2015 5:53 PM EDT

Was that story paid for? I know that Americans as a whole are incredibly ignorant, but surely we can not be stupid enough to to fall for this a third time! Wait till he takes on Putin in the Ukraine. We will long for the days of Afghanistan and Iraq (4000 KIA's, 30,000 wounded) after a few nuclear winters.

rrhs, 6/16/2015 7:56 PM EDT

Putin would eat Jebya alive.

Io V, 6/17/2015 5:41 PM EDT

The media will never persecute and attack and drag Bush's through the muck that they love to do with the Clintons and the Obamas or ... Jimmy Carter.

The media love Republicans and especially the Bushes and their cronies.

Giantsmax, 6/16/2015 4:21 PM EDT [Edited]

The Post is really doing a lot of free stuff for Jeb on his run, I haven't seen this about Rand Paul or Scott Walker or Bernie Sanders or anyone else. Not even Hillary.

Did the Bilderbergers choose Jeb over the weekend?

former Republican, 6/16/2015 4:21 PM EDT

JEB BUSH:

'America's economy is almost recovered enough for another Bush to ruin it.'

DerBlaueEngel, 6/16/2015 4:19 PM EDT

Big Mommy Babs got it right the first time:

"We've had enough Bushes."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS0BGp9vKQ0

former Republican, 6/16/2015 4:13 PM EDT

JEB BUSH: 'I won't talk about the wars my brother started or the economy he destroyed. Now excuse me while I gather up his billionaire donor network and hire his economic and military advisors.'

rzzzzz, 6/16/2015 2:53 PM EDT

Jeez, how many sweetheart Bush articles can the Post squeeze out in a couple of days? It's like they're Fox News, working off the daily talking points. There's at least a dozen other republican candidates, and a handful of democrats who deserve the same treatment. But they don't have a connection that trumps a level playing field.

DominionDem, 6/16/2015 3:22 PM EDT

Realize that most mass media is Conservative...owned by large multinational media corporations that strive only for profits....and promoting Democrats is NOT in their business plan. Thus the notion/myth that the media is liberal is probable the biggest media lie out there...except for FoxGOP network stating 24-7 that they are "fair and balanced"!

Riaz-Danish, 6/16/2015 2:48 PM EDT

Meet the new BUSH same as the old BUSH. While understandably trying to distance himself from his brother the Texan Nero, but offering the same compassionate conservative garbage which conned the country into electing his brother "the decider". We know that conservative means to conserve their Oil based plutocratic power and compassionate means to bankrupt this great country by being compassionate to his top 1% base by giving them enormous tax cuts, and show even more compassion with his AIPAC led military industrial complex buddies, and diverting our hard earned tax dollars for his wars of choice. No thank you says the American public fool me once shame on me and the supreme court, fool me twice shame on you.

Shame on you BUSHES for repeating your con job and expecting the same results. This time you will not even have a chance for your GOP buddies in the supreme court to seal you another election.

Io V, 6/16/2015 2:30 PM EDT

Be afraid, be very afraid, eh? This is the second warning coming almost one after the other in the Post.

Most everything spouted in this fawning screed has its Janus-faced, not so nice side, a nasty, cheating side that will be ignored repeatedly in the Post's desperate attempt to give Jebbie an edge, make him a defacto winner even before the race has begun. Kind of like how they were able to cheat W's way to win the 2000 election.

Every claim to the greatness of this family brings to mind nasty incidents I've read about this aggressive family.

Just one thing, remember the photo of W playing very dirty, (poppy probably cried with pride) punching a rugby opponent in the face... a fierce competitor indeed.

Cheating seems to be the Bush familia credo.

Far East LA, 6/16/2015 2:12 PM EDT

How much did the Bushs have to pay for this Infomercial??

Please exert a little bit of investigative Journalism and reveal the Real Bush family - dating back to the Tories in 1777.

snokart, 6/16/2015 2:00 PM EDT

" they should never be underestimated"
You meant to type "misunderestimated", right?

Zetetic15, 6/16/2015 2:00 PM EDT

A clan of wealthy, connected, and unscrupulous predators.

Austrolib, 6/16/2015 1:59 PM EDT

"A clan of ferocious competitors"

If by ferocious competitors you mean tax feeding parasites who feel entitled to rule then yea, you nailed it.

DCsandiego, 6/16/2015 1:57 PM EDT

Sally:

Jeb is an "overt intellectual" but chooses the same dim witted foreign policy dweebs as his brother, Wolfowutz, Feith, Abrams, etc? Perhaps you should stick to Lance Armstrong puff pieces, Jeb will get rolled as easily as GWB.

t11123, 6/16/2015 1:43 PM EDT [Edited]

Bush defaulted on a loan from Broward Saving and Loan, leaving the taxpayers on the hook for $4.5 million.

InnoVida and chief executive Claudio Osorio paid Bush about $470,000 as a consultant before Osorio went to prison for fraud.

Bush lied about not being a candidate for months to raise money.

He is a crook, although I'm sure he feels he is honestly entitled to all the money people throw at him because of his last name.

FLWin, 6/16/2015 1:48 PM EDT

I am SO glad you brought up that point. He and his wife believe the law is for others, not themselves. Of course, his kids also seem to have the same view. Some family values.

t11123, 6/16/2015 2:05 PM EDT

Don't forget Recarey, who ran International Medical Centres (IMC), employed Jeb Bush as a real estate consultant and paid him a $75,000 fee for finding the company a new location, although the move never took place, which raised questions at the time. Jeb Bush did, however, lobby the Reagan/Bush administration vigorously and successfully on behalf of Recarey and IMC. "I want to be very wealthy," Jeb Bush told the Miami News when questioned during that period. Recarey was later charged with massive medicare fraud but fled the US before his trial and is now a fugitive.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/dec/02/usa.b...

Science and Reasoning, 6/16/2015 1:40 PM EDT [Edited]

Jeb! hired most of his brother's neocon chicken hawks as his foreign policy advisors, which belies any media puff piece portraits of Jeb as independent and intellectual. That fact alone makes Jeb! utterly unappealing to most independents and Libertarian-leaning Republicans. That donors would try to push this guy onto voters despite his history of shady business dealings, mediocre gubernatorial record, and family baggage shows how little respect super PAC funders have for the electorate and our electoral process.

FLWin, 6/16/2015 1:27 PM EDT

What a puff piece. Jeb can't distinguish himself from his brother, because he is just like him. We in Florida (who are not far right lovers of oligarchy) know exactly what he is. Jeb has cost Florida taxpayers a lot by privatizing DCF, prisons and schools that have been badly mismanaged both in finances and operation. The Fl papers have published numerous articles about the scandals, and deaths that have occurred. Jeb also stole the election for his brother - it was abundantly obvious to any who watched what happened. He (and his wife) are elitists who think the law is for others, not them.

Nobody in their right mind would vote for another Bush. By the way, Jeb is more like his brother than his father.


Italian Rose, 6/16/2015 1:22 PM EDT

Why is the Washington Post hyping this guy up. First anyone who opposes Hillary is wasting their time and money. Second he is responsible for the start of the Stand your Ground craze in America and no self respecting liberal wants a president with that on their resume. If a republican in general and Bush specifically win the presidency, their policies are so destructive we've lost the country.

Austrolib, 6/16/2015 2:02 PM EDT

"Why is the Washington Post hyping this guy up"

Because he, like anyone not named Sanders or Paul, represents a seamless continuation of the status quo.

Idiotsinc, 6/16/2015 1:06 PM EDT

We have what appears to be an inconsistent standard. I didn't read the entire article yet Jeb didn't work for either of his relatives that were president. He was a governor and has his own record just like H and W were very different presidents. The common thread is family values. I am not sure who will be the pres between them or other yet Hillary stated after Bubba won the election how she wasn't your average first lady and she will be directly involved as well as Sec of State and a NY senator. A candidate's experience is important yet we need to evaluate them equally and be realistic.

FLWin, 6/16/2015 1:30 PM EDT [Edited]

Nonsense. His policies are just like his brother's. He is even surrounding himself with the same advisors.

A candidate's experience can be important and helpful - IF that experience shows a positive track record. Jeb's does not.

As to family values, the Bushes have no lock on that. In fact, I would say that Hillary Clinton has better "family values" than Jeb. Look at the difference between their children. Hillary's daughter is accomplished and, I might add, complies with the law. The same cannot be said of Jeb. His entire family has shown that they believe the law is for others, not them.

DCsandiego, 6/16/2015 2:06 PM EDT

Idiot

Do you really think Jeb was elected to anything without relying exclusively on his dad's political donor machine and operatives? Just like GWB, the same machine could elect goats to office.

FDRHSTLBJ, 6/16/2015 12:34 PM EDT

So Jeb "Nobody Would Have Ever Heard of Him Except for His Family Connections" Bush now wants to pretend he is his own man. He certainly had no problems being a Bush man when he saw an upside to it.

What a jerk. What a liar. What an ingrate. What a fraud.

dead reckoning, 6/16/2015 12:28 PM EDT

If you are an upper middle class, college educated, professionally employed, suburban domiciled white male, then you are gonna positively love Jeb as president.

As for the rest of you, stand back.

FLWin, 6/16/2015 1:45 PM EDT

As for the rest of you, stand back.

INCLUDING upper middle class, college educated, professionally employed, suburban domiciled white males and females.

Anyone with half a brain who is not exceedingly greedy would see Jeb Bush is a disaster.

FLWin, 6/16/2015 1:38 PM EDT [Edited]

dead reckoning - I suspect most upper middle class, college educated professionally employed people (men or women) are smarter than to vote for Jeb. I certainly am, and I fit all of your criteria except for "male". My husband, however, fits all of your criteria and he is way too smart to vote for Jeb.

In fact, it is common for uneducated lower "class" people to vote for someone like Jeb - to vote against their own interests. It is the same phenomena as what Thomas Frank described in "What's the Matter with Kansas".

msmaat, 6/16/2015 12:15 PM EDT

Ms. Jenkins, surely you mean the MONEY behind the Bushs shouldn't be underestimated because they are owned lock, stock and barrel by the top 1% global financial elite who are trying to destroy democracy in America and around the world. Any American who is thinking of supporting another Bush for president - or any public office - had better do some background research.

Their only purpose for holding public office is to further line the pockets of themselves and their wealthy buddies in the top 1% global financial elite at OUR expense.

You can start by reading how Grandpa Bush helped Hitler during WWII, then look up the Savings and Loan "scandal" when George Bush, Sr. was Vice President, and his son, Niel, and the S&L he ran were up to their ears in it. We are witness to George Bush, Jr's giveaway to BIG banks when they tanked the global economy in 2005 and all the wealth flooded to the top 1% while average Americans lost half the value of their 401ks, their homes and many lost their jobs. Do not vote for another Bush.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/25/usa.s...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savings_and_loan_cris...
http://www.econmatters.com/2014/12/russian-roulett...

[Jun 18, 2015] Torture is a war crime the government treats like a policy debate

"...Torture is and has been illegal in the US, so no new law is needed. Prosecute to the full extent anyone who authorized, implemented or has or is covering up these grave crimes. Starting at the Very Top on down. Now. "
.
"...Obama appears to see as his primary goal greasing the skids of American decline. Washington has lost all credibility as presiding over a democracy governed by the rule of law, what with this two-tiered justice system. Celebrate the betrayers of the constitution and punish those who blow the whistle on them. While it's five years old, Alfred McCoy's article on the US decline was cited twice last week, reminding me of how hard-hitting McCoy's argument is. It can be found at TomDispatch"
.
"...The routine use of torture by Savak may well have contributed heavily to the failure of the Shah, particularly considering that these people were probably concentrated in the cities where most of the action took place."
Jun 17, 2015 | The Guardian
Torture architects are television pundits and given enormous book contracts while Guantanamo detainees still can't discuss what happened to them

GUANTANAMO
Prisoners haven't been allowed to talk about what happened to them here. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Wednesday 17 June 2015 07.15 EDT Last modified on Wednesday 17 June 2015 13.35 EDT

Torture is and has been illegal in the US, so no new law is needed. Prosecute to the full extent anyone who authorized, implemented or has or is covering up these grave crimes. Starting at the Very Top on down. Now.

CraigSummers, 17 Jun 2015 16:16)

  • The evidence that torture doesn't work is overwhelming.
  • http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/dec/09/senate-committee-cia-torture-does-not-work
  • http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/12/08/world/does-torture-work-the-cias-claims-and-what-the-committee-found.html?_r=0
  • http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/dec/09/cia-torture-report-released
  • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11283082/Does-the-use-of-torture-ever-work.html
  • http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/sep/09/dick-cheney-defends-torture-al-qaida
  • capatriot -> CraigSummers 17 Jun 2015 16:12

    The president's oath is to obey the law, the constitution, not to "keep Americans safe." Torture is illegal for good and proper reasons. It cannot be used and, if used, must be prosecuted and punished.

    It is immaterial if it "works" ... this is not Dirty Harry or Jack Bauer; this is real governance: a govt of laws, not men.

    bloggod 17 Jun 2015 16:07

    "The only reason a host of current and former CIA officials aren't already in jail is because of cowardice on the Obama administration," says Timm
    ________

    An emphatic collusion of many more complicit parties would seem to suggest the world is not run by Obama...

    ID8667623 17 Jun 2015 15:30

    Obama appears to see as his primary goal greasing the skids of American decline. Washington has lost all credibility as presiding over a democracy governed by the rule of law, what with this two-tiered justice system. Celebrate the betrayers of the constitution and punish those who blow the whistle on them.

    While it's five years old, Alfred McCoy's article on the US decline was cited twice last week, reminding me of how hard-hitting McCoy's argument is. It can be found at TomDispatch:

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175327/tomgram%3A_alfred_mccoy%2C_taking_down_america

    gbob5366 -> outkast1213 17 Jun 2015 14:54

    I, being a US citizen, feel that it is up to us to stand up to US imperialism.
    Until we, in the US, stand up and say "Enough", this country will continue it's attack upon the world.

    Wake up America --

    PS. You see that the war has come home... just look at the military armament being used by the police. And, we need to stand up all together! Please, Mr. Policeman, don't shoot us. Protect us against the 1%.

    JimHorn 17 Jun 2015 11:20

    In the run up to the Iranian Revolution, I worked with an Iranian woman in a restaurant. She wore the same short sleeve blouse as the others, and her skirt was only an inch or two longer. Her husband was a grad student at the university. Obviously thoroughly westernized. I took the opportunity to ask an actual Iranian about the events that were happening in her homeland.

    She told me that her brother, a student, had been picked up and tortured by Savak, the Shah's secret police. She said

    "No one in my family, my father, my brothers, my uncles, my cousins, - will support the Shah. We hate Khomeini, but we also hate the Shah. We will let Khomeini overthrow the Shah and then we will overthrow Khomeini."

    These were people who should have been on the side of the westernizing Shah but sat on the sidelines. Some reports say that Savak may have treated up to 100,000 people like this woman's brother. Allowing for ten adult relatives per victim, we get a million westernized Iranians. The population at the time was about 30 million. The routine use of torture by Savak may well have contributed heavily to the failure of the Shah, particularly considering that these people were probably concentrated in the cities where most of the action took place.

    Note that Savak, sadly, trained by our CIA, was intent on preventing a communist takeover and concentrated on those who wished to westernize government as well as the economy. They utterly failed to deal with the threat from religious conservatives.

    [Jun 17, 2015] Washington Prepares to Fight for Donetsk

    "...There are valid arguments on both sides but you don't get to walk this back. Once we have done this we become a belligerent party in a proxy war with Russia, the only country on earth that can destroy the United States. That's why this is a big deal." "
    Jun 17, 2015 | The American Conservative
    Washington Prepares to Fight for Donetsk (and Ignore Baltimore) The American Conservative

    Jacob Heilbrunn has an extremely suggestive article in the latest National Interest which reminds readers that neoconservatives essentially began as critics of Great Society liberalism and elite reluctance to defend bourgeois standards and law and order in the 1960s. Heilbrunn has written one of the finest books about neoconservatism, and is generally a nuanced critic of the group. But one need not go full bore with Norman Podhoretz-type linkages between homosexuality, cultural decay, and Munich to recognize that the neocons were right about many things, and law and order in American cities was one of them. In any case, Heilbrunn reminds us that Bill Kristol (son of Irving, founder of The Public Interest, a magazine devoted to domestic policy) tweeted out in the aftermath of the Ferguson riots (the second set, not the first) that it felt like 1968 all over again and some politician would do well to speak, a la Richard Nixon, for the silent American majority which was not anti-cop. In this case, Kristol was probably right.

    It is also is apparent that no major politician right, center, or left has yet risen to take the bait. Of course they all want to be "tough"-but always somewhere else in the world. Neoconservatism has prevailed, but only in foreign policy. Today the target is Vladimir Putin and Russia, and everyone in Washington agrees he needs to be taught a lesson. Congress voted last week voted to compel the administration to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine, including offensive weapons-against the administration's judgment. The Times story noted that the arms shipments would open a rift between the Washington and France and Germany, which are hesitant about any measure which would escalate the fighting. It would seem that Congress has bought whole hog into the Wolfowitz doctrine, widely derided as extremist when it was leaked in 1992, according to which the United States should maintain dominance in every region of the world, and that no other nation should aspire to a greater role, even in its own geographic area.

    Major European governments are now doing their best to circumvent anti-Russian sanctions which they themselves instituted. European publics make it clear that they are not willing to fight Russia over the disposition of the territories of the former Soviet Union. The cease-fire between Ukraine and its rebellious Russian-backed eastern provinces that was negotiated last February has been violated repeatedly, and Putin has called openly for the West to persuade Ukraine's central government to follow its provisions. It's not clear how many American congressmen voting for giving Ukraine offensive weapons understand the implications of their weapons policy, which were spelled out by the Kennan Institute's Matthew Rojansky:

    There are valid arguments on both sides but you don't get to walk this back. Once we have done this we become a belligerent party in a proxy war with Russia, the only country on earth that can destroy the United States. That's why this is a big deal.

    A proxy war with Russia, over Russian borderlands not one American in a hundred could locate on a map-it's really the full triumph of Wolfowitz. Not to be outdone by Congress, the Obama administration is now floating plans to deliver tanks and other heavy weapons, along with token numbers of American troops, to several of our new NATO "allies," the former Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Those governments will inevitably conclude that Washington has their back in any conflict with Russia and act accordingly. See Georgia, 2008, for an example of how this might play out.

    There is something about Ukraine and the other Russian border regions which Europeans seem to understand and Americans don't. Much of the "Maidan Revolution" was driven by ethnic Ukrainian nationalists with deep hatred for Russia; while it's not a universal sentiment, many Ukrainians despise all things Russian, including their own compatriots who identify with Russia. They want nothing more than to draw the West into a war against their ancestral enemy. The newly minted anti-Russian regime in Kiev is the fruit of American "pro-democracy" meddling involving billions of dollars of payouts to private groups and individuals, the kind of thing the CIA used to do during the Cold War. Of course because of its proximity to an unsettled region, the new Ukrainian government can find endless ways to keep the pot boiling–shelling their own civilians in Donetsk, or instituting a blockade against Transnistria , a pro-Russian breakaway province of Moldova. The average American may not know much about Transnistria-or indeed likely has never heard of it at all-but you can be assured that Putin does care about keeping the small Russian garrison stationed there supplied.

    This is neoconservatism's triumph: the creation of an entire Beltway industry, honeycombed through Congress and largely bipartisan, which finds political life not worth living without the prospect of confrontation with a distant enemy. The notion of treating Russia as a great power, acknowledging that Russia has serious security interests on its borders and treating those interests respectfully, does not occur to its members. Detente for them is a dirty word, akin to appeasement.

    [Jun 16, 2015] Hillary Clinton ducks questions on trade deals during New Hampshire visit

    Notable quotes:
    "... But, listen, lets review the rules. Heres how it works: the president makes decisions. Hes the Decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction! ..."
    "... The media is still a bunch of stenographers for the WH and even now the WH candidates. ..."
    "... She was part of the Obama/Biden administration that expanded Afghanistan war, attacked Libya, intervened in Syria and Yemen, relaunched the Iraq war, used Ukraine to provoke Russia and is being provocative with China by interfering in South China Sea. ..."
    "... Lets face it. Wall Street and the military industrial complex control BOTH parties, and are especially bonded with and beholding to Hillary Clinton. ..."
    "... You have to remember that to the financial elites who are backing Republicans - and Obama - middle class means anyone whos in the top 5% of the economic pyramid but hasnt made it into the top 1% because theyre too damned lazy. ..."
    Jun 15, 2015 | The Guardian

    FugitiveColors 15 Jun 2015 23:52

    She can talk til her pantsuit turns blue.
    I have already decided that my ballot will have Bernie Sanders on it one way or another.
    I don't believe her. I don't like her, and I damn sure won't vote for her.
    She is a blue corporate stooge and not much different than a red corporate stooge.
    Bernie is honest and after all of those years in politics, he is not rich.
    You can't say that about a single other candidate.


    libbyliberal -> Timothy Everton 15 Jun 2015 23:47

    Yo, Timothy, Paul Street recently reminded his readers of part of Colbert's speech at the Correspondents' Dinner way back in 2006 (time flies while we're sinking into fascism):

    "But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the Decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!"

    Timothy Everton -> enlightenedgirl 15 Jun 2015 22:36

    Sorry Not-so-enlightenedgirl. WE don't elect government officials, and we don't pay them for "not putting the screws to us". They get elected, paid, and influenced by lobbyists for the wealthy one percent, and by the corporations, who both fund their campaigns for future favors rendered. Those with the most funding for the prettiest and most abundant campaign ads are those elected. And yes, they DO put the screws to us, the American public. This woman is more a puppet for those interests than some Republicans.

    Timothy Everton -> libbyliberal 15 Jun 2015 22:11

    "The media is still a bunch of stenographers for the WH and even now the WH candidates."

    Sorry libby, I don't see them crowding around Bernie Sanders, the only viable candidate FOR the AVERAGE American. In fact, I believe he had more "press time" before he became a candidate.

    That is the way it goes here though. Get an honest candidate who speaks her/his mind, and you get no press coverage - way too dangerous for those who actually control our government through lobbyists.


    libbyliberal 15 Jun 2015 21:42

    What is this business about Hillary NOT "taking the bait" of a reporter's questions? Hillary needs to be challenged and not be the one in control with her gobsmackingly well-funded pr info-mercial steamrolling her presidential challenge.

    The media is still a bunch of stenographers for the WH and even now the WH candidates. This is what THEY say their policy is and will be. Not critical thinking of the journalist, no connecting of the dots, to be applied?

    Their talk sure is cheap and seductive. Obama gave us major lessons in that in 2008 and again in 2012. More nicey-nice sounding bull-sh*t that is vague or downright mendacious to the realpolitik agenda.

    Hillary wants to talk about what is convenient and safe for her. Identity politics. Generalized populist feel-good rhetoric. Nothing substantial with the globalized and corporatized trade deals OR the massive violent US-sponsored or direct militarism around the globe.

    Hillary's NYC Four Freedoms Park speech: lack of mention of foreign policy except for some threats on China, Russia, N. Korea and Iran. No mention of Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, Afghanistan. No mention of drone warfare. No mention of NSA surveillance. No mention of police violence.

    She was part of the Obama/Biden administration that expanded Afghanistan war, attacked Libya, intervened in Syria and Yemen, relaunched the Iraq war, used Ukraine to provoke Russia and is being provocative with China by interfering in South China Sea.

    Hillary skipped addressing the inconvenient and the media and her fan base had no problem with such gobsmacking omissions. Hillary decides that the US citizenry doesn't want to focus on foreign policy and she ramps up vague populist rhetoric like Obama did back in 2008 to convince the citizenry she is their champion even though she personally has amassed over $100 million from her financial elite cronies over the decades and if you think that fortune has no influence on who she is championing there's a bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn you should look into buying.

    Let's face it. Wall Street and the military industrial complex control BOTH parties, and are especially bonded with and beholding to Hillary Clinton.


    Vladimir Makarenko -> enlightenedgirl 15 Jun 2015 19:19

    "diplomacy so badly needed after the disastrous term of Bush and Cheney and their destruction of the Middle East." If anything she extended B & Ch policies by destroying Libya and turning it in a murderous breeding ground for Islamic ultras. She was at helm of arming Syrian "opposition" better known today as ISIS.

    Her record as a Secretary is dismal - line by line no achievements, no solved problems but disaster by disaster.

    talenttruth 15 Jun 2015 18:34

    If the Democratic party nominates the "inevitable" Hillary Clinton, rather than someone real who ACTUALLY represents the middle class, tells the truth and is NOT part of the "corporately bought-and-sold" insider group, then it will be heads-or-tails whether she wins or one of the totally insane, whack-job Republi-saur candidates wins.

    If she keeps on doing what she's been doing, she will LOOK just like those arrogant "insiders" the Republicans claim her to be (despite the fact that they are FAR FAR FAR worse, but much better at lying about that than any Democrat). Hillary is a VERY VERY WEAK candidate, because the huge "middle" of decent Americans is looking for real change, and not -- as well -- a Republican change WAY for the worse.

    This Election is the Democratic Party's to LOSE. Hillary could make that happen (no matter how much worse ANY Republican victor will likely be). What a choice.

    sour_mash -> goatrider 15 Jun 2015 18:09

    "...why doesn't the disgusting American media ask the Republicans who support it to explain themselves too. Why are they so eager to join Obama in destroying the American middle class?"

    After +6 years of the then Republican Party, now known as the Christian Jihad Party or CJP, making Obama a one term president it smells to high heaven that they now agree on this single issue.

    Yes, where are the questions.

    Whitt 15 Jun 2015 18:03

    Because they're not "destroying the American middle class". You have to remember that to the financial elites who are backing Republicans - and Obama - "middle class" means anyone who's in the top 5% of the economic pyramid but hasn't made it into the top 1% because they're too damned lazy.

    [Jun 16, 2015] Jeb Bush's campaign debut: protester showdown met with chants of 'USA'

    Notable quotes:
    "... sandra oconnor is actually on record saying that she would do anything to get bush elected. ..."
    "... All candidates are promising change and yet are funded by those who dont want change. All candidates are promising defeat of ISIS and yet voted for or presided over or agreed with military aggression in the ME and tactics that helped create the instability in Iraq that led to ISIS. All candidates are promising to strengthen the middle classes and yet support tax cuts (benefiting the rich), trade agreements (benefiting the rich), deregulation (benefiting the rich), and are funded by industries that impoverish the working and middle classes and keep wages stagnant. ..."
    "... Most Americans are addicted , with help from the media, to those who like to drag them to wars and fuck their economy for the sake of the rich and powerful. And the sad truth is that there is not much difference between Democrats such as Clinton and the GOP bunch that have announced their presidential intentions. There is no hope as long as big money is involved in choosing leadership for a country that boasts about democracy and democratic values while its institutions are under assault by corrupt rich and powerful. ..."
    "... The right-wing is incredibly stupid if Bush is their nominee. ..."
    "... Bush may speak Spanish and come across as Latino friendly, but the reality is that hes the son of one of the most powerful families in the US. As a conservative Republican, his first priority is to the powerful elite. ..."
    Jun 15, 2015 | The Guardian

    eileen1 -> mabcalif 15 Jun 2015 23:48

    Neither a Bush nor a Clinton. They're both poisonous in different ways.

    eileen1 -> WMDMIA 15 Jun 2015 23:47

    There is no difference between Bush and Obama, except Obama is smarter and more devious.

    redbanana33 -> mabcalif 15 Jun 2015 23:27

    "are you really suggesting we forget this piece of history simply because bush won by corruption and connivance?"

    No, I never said I believed there was corruption and connivance. Those are your words. Your personal opinion. MY words were that if more voters had wanted Gore as their president, he would have won. As it was, he couldn't even carry his home state. Sometimes the truth is hard to face and so we make excuses for what we perceive as injustice, when, in reality, more people just didn't think like you did in that election. But blame the court (bet you can't even clearly state what the case points they were asked to consider, without googling it) and blame the Clintons and even blame poor Ralph for your guy's lack of popularity. If it makes you feel better, go for it. It won't change the past.

    And, speaking of presidents winning by a hair's breadth, shall we talk about how Joe Kennedy bribed his way to electing his son? Hmmmm? Except that even the crook Nixon had enough class to concede rather than drag the country through months of misery like your hero did.

    mabcalif -> redbanana33 15 Jun 2015 22:50

    there have been more than one excellent president who's won that office only by a hair's breadth.

    are you really suggesting we forget this piece of history simply because bush won by corruption and connivance? particularly when the outcome was so disastrous for the country and the world?

    it wasn't a question of being more popular, it's a question of being overwhelmed by the clinton scandal, a brother governor willing to throw the state's votes and by a supreme court that was arrayed against him (sandra o'connor is actually on record saying that she would do anything to get bush elected.) not to mention a quixotic exercise in third party politics with a manifestly inadequate candidate that had no foreign policy experience

    Otuocha11 -> redbanana33 15 Jun 2015 22:43

    Yes some people need to be reminded, especially about the falsification/lies completing the 2009 voter-registration form.

    bishoppeter4 15 Jun 2015 22:39

    Jeb and his father and brother ought to be in jail !

    Otuocha11 -> redbanana33 15 Jun 2015 22:38

    His point is that "No more president with the name BUSH" in the White House. He can change his name to something like Moron or Terrone. Let him drop that name because Americans have NOT and will NOT recover from the regime of the last Bush.

    redbanana33 -> Con Mc Cusker 15 Jun 2015 22:30

    Then (respectfully) the rest of the world needs to grow some balls, get up off their asses, define their vision, and strike out on their own as controllers of their own destinies.

    After that, you'll have the right to criticize my country. Right now you don't have that right. Get off the wagon and help pull it.

    ponderwell -> Peter Ciurczak 15 Jun 2015 22:25

    Politics is about maneuvering to get your own way. In Jebya speak it means whatever will
    lead to power. Hillary sounds trite and poorly staged.

    Jeez, now Trump wants more attention...a big yawn.

    WMDMIA 15 Jun 2015 22:24

    His brother should be in prison for war crimes and crimes against Humanity. Jeb violated election laws to put his brother in office so he is also responsible for turning this nation into a terrorist country.

    ExcaliburDefender -> Zenit2 15 Jun 2015 22:03

    No $hit $herlock, he met his wife when they were both 17, in MEXICO. Jeb has a degree in Latin Studies too.

    Just vote, the Tea Party always does.

    :<)

    ExcaliburDefender 15 Jun 2015 22:01

    Jeb may very well be the most qualified of the GOP, and he can speak intelligently on immigration, if his campaign/RNC would allow it.

    Too bad we don't have other GOPers like Huntsman and even Steve Forbes, yes I enjoyed Forbes being part of the debates in 96, even voted for him in the primary. And not because I thought he would win, but I wanted him to be heard.

    Debates will be interesting, Trump is jumping in for the 4th time.

    #allvotesmatter

    fflambeau 15 Jun 2015 22:00

    The USA presidential campaign looks very much like a world wrestling match (one of those fake ones). Only the wrestlers are more intelligent.

    MisterMeaner 15 Jun 2015 21:59

    Jebya. Whoopty Goddam Doo.

    ponderwell 15 Jun 2015 21:52

    Jebby exclaimed: 'The country is going in the wrong direction'. Omitting the direction W Bush sent the U.S. into with false info. and willful intention to bomb Iraq for the sake of an egotistical purpose.

    And, the insane numerous disasters W sponsored. The incorrigible Bush Clan !

    benluk 15 Jun 2015 21:49

    Jeb Bush, "In this country of ours, most improbable things can happen," Jeb Bush

    But not as improbable as letting another war mongering Bush in the White House.

    gilbertratchet -> BehrHunter 15 Jun 2015 21:42

    Indeed, and it seems that Bush III thinks it's a virtue not a problem:

    "In this country of ours, most improbable things can happen," began Bush. "And that's from the guy who met his first president on the day he was born and his second on the day he was brought home from the hospital..."

    No Jeb, that would be improbable for me. For you it was a normal childhood day. But it's strange you're pushing the "born to rule" angle. I guess it's those highly paid consultants who tell you that you have to own the issue before it defines you.

    Guess what... No amount of spin will change your last name.

    gorianin 15 Jun 2015 21:35

    Jeb Bush already fixed one election. Now he's looking to "fix" the country.

    seasonedsenior 15 Jun 2015 21:29

    Stop calling him Jeb. Sounds folksy and everyman like. His name is John E. Bush. And he's from a family of billionaires. Don't let him pull a what's-her-name in Spokane. He was a rich baby, child, young man, Governor ...on and on and is completely out of touch with the common man.

    He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and his sensibilities are built of money gained off the backs of the workers of this country. He is big oil to his core.

    Caesar Ol 15 Jun 2015 21:27

    Jeb is the dumbest of all the Bushes. Therefore the most dangerous as someone will manipulate him the way that Cheney did with Bush.

    ChelsieGreen 15 Jun 2015 21:27

    Interesting thing is that Bush is old school Republican, spend big, be the power to the world.

    Since his brother/father left office the party moved on, Tea Party may have faded slightly but they are not big spenders, they are small government. Jeb will have trouble making a mark in the early states to be the nominee, he is considered center-right.

    The right wing of the party thinks where they slipped up was not nominating someone right-wing enough, they will portray him as weak on immigration and chew him up.


    Brookstone1 15 Jun 2015 21:11

    America has been wounded badly by the reckless and stupidity of the Republicans under the leadership of G. W. Bush. And now it would be a DEADLY MISTAKE to even ponder about voting Republican again, let alone voting for another Bush! The Bush family has nothing in common with ordinary Americans!

    NO MORE BUSH!!!

    nubwaxer 15 Jun 2015 21:03

    i heard his punchlines about "fixing" america to get us back to free enterprise and freedom. dear jeb, we know what you mean and free enterprise is code for corporatism run wild and repeal of regulations. similarly when you say freedom you mean that for rich white males and right to work laws, union busting, repeal of minimum wage laws, no paid vacation or maternity leave and especially the freedom to go bankrupt, suffer, and die for lack of health care insurance. more like freedumb.

    Xoxarle -> sitarlun 15 Jun 2015 20:33

    All candidates are promising change and yet are funded by those who don't want change.

    All candidates are promising defeat of ISIS and yet voted for or presided over or agreed with military aggression in the ME and tactics that helped create the instability in Iraq that led to ISIS.

    All candidates are promising to strengthen the middle classes and yet support tax cuts (benefiting the rich), trade agreements (benefiting the rich), deregulation (benefiting the rich), and are funded by industries that impoverish the working and middle classes and keep wages stagnant.

    All candidates are promising bipartisanship and yet are part of the dysfunction in DC, pandering to special interests or extreme factions that reject compromise.

    ID6995146 15 Jun 2015 20:33

    Another Saudi hand-holder and arse licker.


    OlavVI -> catch18 15 Jun 2015 20:24

    And he's already got Wolfowitz, one of the worst war mongers (ala Cheney) in US history as an adviser. Probably dreaming up several wars for Halliburton, et al., to rake up billions of $$$$ from the poor (the rich pretty much get off in the US).

    concious 15 Jun 2015 20:20

    USA chant is Nationalism, not Patriotism. Is this John Ellis Bush really going to get votes?

    sitarlun 15 Jun 2015 20:02

    Most Americans are addicted , with help from the media, to those who like to drag them to wars and fuck their economy for the sake of the rich and powerful.

    And the sad truth is that there is not much difference between Democrats such as Clinton and the GOP bunch that have announced their presidential intentions.

    There is no hope as long as big money is involved in choosing leadership for a country that boasts about democracy and democratic values while it's institutions are under assault by corrupt rich and powerful.

    OurPlanet -> briteblonde1 15 Jun 2015 19:34

    He's a great "fixer" Him and his tribe in Florida certainly fixed those chads for his brother's election success in 2000. A truly rich family of oilmen . What could be better? Possibly facing if inaugerated as the GOP nominee to face the possibly successful Democrat nominee Clinton. So the choice of 2016 menu for American election year is 2 Fish that stink. Welcome to the American Plutocracy.

    Sam Ahmed 15 Jun 2015 19:23

    I wonder if the state of Florida will try "Fix" the vote count for Jeb as they did for Georgie. I wonder if the Republicans can "Fix" their own party. You know what, I don't want the Republican party to think I'm bashing them, so I'll request a major tune up for Hillary Clinton too. Smiles all around! =)

    Cyan Eyed 15 Jun 2015 18:48

    A family linked to weapons manufacturers through Harriman.
    A family linked to weapons dealing through Carlyle.
    A family linked to the formation of terrorist networks (including Al Qaeda).
    A family linked to an attempted coup on America.
    The right-wing is incredibly stupid if Bush is their nominee.

    davshev 15 Jun 2015 18:43

    Bush may speak Spanish and come across as Latino friendly, but the reality is that he's the son of one of the most powerful families in the US. As a conservative Republican, his first priority is to the powerful elite.

    [Jun 14, 2015] Bush and Hawkish Magical Thinking

    Notable quotes:
    "... t's usually not clear what hawks think would have discouraged Russian interference and intervention in Ukraine under the circumstances, but they seem to think that if only the U.S. had somehow been more assertive and more meddlesome there or in some other part of the world that the conflict would not have occurred or would not be as severe as it is. ..."
    Jun 14, 2015 | The American Conservative
    Jeb Bush made a familiar assertion during his visit to Poland:

    Bush seemed to suggest he would endorse a more muscular foreign policy, saying the perception of American retreat from the global stage in recent years had emboldened Russian President Vladimir Putin to commit aggression in Ukraine.

    "When there's doubt, when there's uncertainty, when we pull back, it creates less chance of a more peaceful world," Bush told reporters. "You're seeing the impact of that in Ukraine right now."

    Bush's remarks are what we expect from hawks, but they are useful in showing how they indulge in a sort of magical thinking when it comes to the U.S. role in the world. They take for granted that an activist and meddlesome U.S. foreign policy is stabilizing and contributes to peace and security, and so whenever there is conflict or upheaval somewhere it is attributed to insufficient U.S. meddling or to so-called "retreat." According to this view, the conflict in Ukraine didn't happen because the Ukrainian government was overthrown in an uprising and Russia then illegally seized territory in response, but because the U.S. was perceived to be "retreating" and this "emboldened" Russia. It's usually not clear what hawks think would have discouraged Russian interference and intervention in Ukraine under the circumstances, but they seem to think that if only the U.S. had somehow been more assertive and more meddlesome there or in some other part of the world that the conflict would not have occurred or would not be as severe as it is.

    This both greatly overrates the power and influence that the U.S. has over the events in other parts of the world, and it tries to reduce every foreign crisis or conflict to how it relates to others' perceptions of U.S. "leadership." Hawks always dismiss claims that other states are responding to past and present U.S. actions, but they are absolutely certain that other states' actions are invited by U.S. "inaction" or "retreat," even when the evidence for said "retreat" is completely lacking. The possibility that assertive U.S. actions may have made a conflict more likely or worse than it would otherwise be is simply never admitted. The idea that the U.S. role in the world had little or nothing to do with a conflict seems to be almost inconceivable to them.

    One of the many flaws with this way of looking at the world is that it holds the U.S. most responsible for conflicts that it did not magically prevent while refusing to accept any responsibility for the consequences of things that the U.S. has actually done. Viewing the world this way inevitably fails to take local conditions into account, it ignores the agency of the local actors, and it imagines that the U.S. possesses a degree of control over the rest of the world that it doesn't and can't have. Unsurprisingly, this distorted view of the world reliably produces very poor policy choices.

    [Jun 14, 2015] An Inconvenient Truth The Bush Administration Was a Disaster

    Jun 14, 2015 | The American Conservative

    Most Americans remember the Bush years as a period of expanding government, ruinous war, and economic collapse. They voted for Obama the first time as a repudiation of those developments. Many did so a second time because most Republicans continue to pretend that they never happened.



    Etc

    FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit exclusivly for research and educational purposes.   If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. 

    ABUSE: IPs or network segments from which we detect a stream of probes might be blocked for no less then 90 days. Multiple types of probes increase this period.  

    Society

    Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy

    Quotes

    War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes

    Bulletin:

    Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law

    History:

    Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

    Classic books:

    The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

    Most popular humor pages:

    Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

    The Last but not Least


    Copyright © 1996-2016 by Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov. www.softpanorama.org was created as a service to the UN Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP) in the author free time. This document is an industrial compilation designed and created exclusively for educational use and is distributed under the Softpanorama Content License.

    The site uses AdSense so you need to be aware of Google privacy policy. You you do not want to be tracked by Google please disable Javascript for this site. This site is perfectly usable without Javascript.

    Original materials copyright belong to respective owners. Quotes are made for educational purposes only in compliance with the fair use doctrine.

    FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to advance understanding of computer science, IT technology, economic, scientific, and social issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided by section 107 of the US Copyright Law according to which such material can be distributed without profit exclusively for research and educational purposes.

    This is a Spartan WHYFF (We Help You For Free) site written by people for whom English is not a native language. Grammar and spelling errors should be expected. The site contain some broken links as it develops like a living tree...

    You can use PayPal to make a contribution, supporting development of this site and speed up access. In case softpanorama.org is down you can use the at softpanorama.info

    Disclaimer:

    The statements, views and opinions presented on this web page are those of the author (or referenced source) and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of the author present and former employers, SDNP or any other organization the author may be associated with. We do not warrant the correctness of the information provided or its fitness for any purpose.

    Last modified: October, 01, 2017