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Collapse of neoliberal ideology in 2008 will in 40-50 years
probably lead to the collapse of USA-led global neoliberal empire

The deep analogy exists between collapse of neoliberalism and dissolution of the USSR. When ideology became discredited, the social system based on it enters zombie state. Such a state can't last forever and eventually collapses. Neoliberalism which entered zombie state in 2008 now is more cruel and bloodthirsty then before

News Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism  Recommended Links Brexit Casino Capitalism Secular Stagnation Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult
Financial Crisis of 2008 as the Crisis of Neoliberalism Gangster Capitalism Anti-globalization movement Psychological Warfare and the New World Order Key Myths of Neoliberalism Globalization of Corporatism Greenwald US
Elite Theory Compradors Fifth column Color revolutions The Great Transformation Right to protect If Corporations Are People, They Are Psychopaths
Super Capitalism as Imperialism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism America’s Financial Oligarchy Inverted Totalitarism Disaster capitalism Neoliberalism as a Cause of Structural Unemployment in the USA Neoliberalism and inequality
Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Harvard Mafia Friedman --founder of Chicago school of deification of market Republican Economic Policy Monetarism fiasco Small government smoke screen The Decline of the Middle Class
Libertarian Philosophy Media domination strategy Neoliberalism Bookshelf John Kenneth Galbraith Globalization of Financial Flows Humor Etc

Introduction

As the most recent transformation of capitalism, neoliberalism is a broad economic and political project of restoring class power of financial oligarchy it enjoyed in 20th of XX century (financial revanchism). It involved  consolidation, globalization and rapid concentration of financial capital (Giroux 2008; 2014). Both neoliberal  governments and authoritarian societies share one important self-destructive trait: They care only about consolidating power in the hands of the financial elite, common people be damned.  As such it  is not a sustainable social system, although this does not mean that the replacement will be better. It well can be worse.

In any case financial oligarchy is the most criminal and vile part of capitalism class. Probably more vile then limitary industrial complex. The most close to the organized crime. So the fact that they will drive the societies which allowed them to rule of the cliff is govern. Neoliberalism was a toxic ideology designed specifically to restore the power of financial oligarchy and as such it has no staying power.  It is unable to improve the standard of living of the majority of the population as it is oriented on looting of this majority by the financial oligarchy without any interference from the state.  The peak power of neoliberal ideology was the decade of  1990-2000. during this decade the standard of living of working and middle class of the USA was sustained by looting the xUSSR area as well as computer and telecommunication revolution, which partially compensated the deindustrialization trend.

After that neoliberalism experienced series of shocks:

  1. Dot com bubble
  2. Bursting of the subprime mortgage bubble, devaluation of CDOs and the collapse of financial industry. Government bailout at a huge cost instead of deep reforms of financial sector (Obama was really a traitor of his class and his race) . That was a knockdown, but not a knockout. This crisis buried the neoliberal ideology, much like WWII buried Bolsheviks ideology.  At this point neoliberalism entered zombie stage, much like Bolshevism in late forties.
  3. Election of Trump and rejection of candidate of neoliberal elite -- Hillary Clinton by the majority of the US electorate.
  4. Color revolution against Trump by intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of the Democratic Party which further delegitimized neoliberal elite. Epstein scandal.
  5. Unleashing by Trump administration of the trade war with China and end of "classic neoliberalism" globalization period.
  6. Defeat of the USA in Afghanistan  and realization that the dominance of Atlantic nations (G7) is coming to the end (Macron  remarks to European diplomats immediately after the Group of 7 summit in Biarritz  is a nice illustration here)

As an ideology, neoliberalism consider profit-making to be the final arbiter and essence of democracy ("market fundamentalism"). Like Fascism and Bolshevism neoliberalism relies on the power of the state for pushing neoliberal "reforms" and the relentless brainwashing of the population by neoliberal propaganda (including indoctrination of the university students via neoclassical economy courses).   So democracy under neoliberalism is just a fig leaf covering dictatorship of financial oligarchy ("inverted totalitarism'). Despite smoke screen of "free market" rhetoric neoliberal are statists  par excellence. But this is covered by thick smoke screen  of propaganda, which in its intensity, penetration and the level of deception outdo Bolsheviks propaganda by an order of magnitude approaching the level described in Brave New World dystopia. In other words neoliberal population is a thoroughly brainwashed population.

There no surprise that the majority of the USA population hate it which in this USA resulted in the election of Trump and is GB in Brexit. Neoliberalism's sale of state assets, offshored jobs, stripped services, poorly-invested infrastructure and armies of the forcibly unemployed have delivered, not promised "efficiency" and "flexibility" to communities, but discomfort and misery. The wealth of a few has now swelled to a level of conspicuousness that must politely be considered vulgar, yet the neoliberal ideology and perverted neoliberal rationality entrenched itself so deeply in how governments make decisions and allocate resources. To the extent that one of propagandists of neoliberalism once declared its triumph "the end of history".

From the late 1980s to 2016, neoliberal ideas held hegemonic sway among both the Democratic elite and the Republican elite in the USA. But election of Trump was a sign of the  legitimization of the neoliberal elite and a really serious crack in the neoliberal facade. Which neoliberal elite tried to patch with the campaign of virulent Russophobia (aka RussiaGate.)  Moreover intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of Democratic Party tried to reverse the results of the elections by unleashing the color revolution against Trump.

Unlike fascism and bolshevism which both relied on population mobilization, neoliberalism tried to emasculate citizens suppressing political activity by treating them as just a consumers. In other words it promote political passivity and replacement of real political struggle by colorful spectacle like wrestling in WWE. Consumption is the only legitimate form of activity of citizens under neoliberalism and exercising of their choice during this consumption is the only desirable political activity.  With the related religious belief that the market can both solve all problems and serve as a model for structuring all social relations (the  idea of "self-regulating market," to use Karl Polanyi's phrase.) The resulting grinding mass unemployment — with only tiny remnants of New Deal protection mechanisms to soften the blow — created political instability that destroyed any chances of Clinton Wing of Dems for reelection in 2016.

As the mode of governance, neoliberalism produces the way of life driven by a survival-of-the fittest ethic, grounded in the idea of the free, predatory individual in economic jungles. And it declared the moral the right of ruling groups and institutions to exercise power ignoring issues of ethics and social costs (variant of "might is right" mentality).  Epstein scandal (or more correctly the fact that Epstein was not ostracized after his initial conviction and prison term)  is just extreme demonstration of this mentality. 

In the area of economic policies such mentality tend to produce an economy with highly unequal incomes, prevalence of monopolies and high business concentration, unstable booms, and long, painful busts.

As the political project, it involves the privatization of public services, the dismantling of the connection of private issues and public problems, the selling off of state functions, liberalization of trade in goods and capital investment, the eradication of government regulation of financial institutions and corporations, the destruction of the welfare state and unions, and the complete "marketization" and "commodification" of social relations.

Neoliberalism has put an enormous effort into creating a commanding cultural apparatus and public pedagogy in which individuals can only view themselves as consumers, embrace freedom as the right to participate in the market, and supplant issues of social responsibility for an unchecked embrace of individualism and the belief that all social relation be judged according to how they further one’s individual needs and self-interests.

Matters of mutual caring, respect, and compassion for the other have given way to the limiting orbits of privatization and unrestrained self-interest, just as it has become increasingly difficult to translate private troubles into larger social, economic, and political considerations. As the democratic public spheres of civil society have atrophied under the onslaught of neoliberal regimes of austerity, the social contract has been either greatly weakened or replaced by savage forms of casino capitalism, a culture of fear, and the increasing use of state violence.

One consequence is that it has become more difficult for people to debate and question neoliberal hegemony and the widespread misery it produces for young people, the poor, middle class, workers, and other segments of society — now considered disposable under neoliberal regimes which are governed by a survival-of-the fittest ethos, largely imposed by the ruling economic and political elite.

That they are unable to make their voices heard and lack any viable representation in the process makes clear the degree to which young people and others are suffering under a democratic deficit, producing what Chantal Mouffe calls “a profound dissatisfaction with a number of existing societies” under the reign of neoliberal capitalism (Mouffe 2013:119). This is one reason why so many youth, along with workers, the unemployed, and students, have been taking to the streets in Greece, Mexico, Egypt, the United States, and England.

Neoliberalism is the second after Marxism social system that was "invented" by a group of intellectuals (although there was not a single dominant individual among them) and implemented via coup d'état. ( Installed from above by a "quite coup") Although is  formally only around 40 years old (if we count the age of neoliberalism from the election of Reagan, which means from 1981) neoliberalism as ideology was born much earlier, around in 1947.  And the first neoliberal US president was not Reagan, but  Jimmy Carter.

In any case in 2008 it already reached the stage of discreditation of its ideology. When ideology became discredited, the social system based on it enters zombie state. That happened with Bolshevism after its victory on the WWII when it became evident that the working class does not represent the new dominant class and communist party is unable to secure neither higher productivity of economics, nor higher standard of living for people then the advanced capitalist societies. Soviet soldiers in 1944-1945 saw the standard of living in Poland (which was Russian province before the revolution, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Austria and started to suspect the dream of building communist society was just another "opium for the people", the secular religion which hides the rule of "nomenklatura". 

Later the Soviet intelligencia realized that The Iron Law of Oligarchy  in applicable to the USSR no less that to any Western country. We probably can  assume that Soviet ideology entered zombies state in 1945, or may be later in 1963 (with  Khrushchev Thaw) when it became clear that the USSR will never match the standard of living of the USA population and most of Western European countries (which paradoxically was the result of the existence of the USSR and which entered the decline after the USSR dissolution) .  Illusions of the possibility of global Communist hegemony had evaporated with the collapse of Sino-Soviet relations (also the 1960s.) Around 1975, the Soviet Union entered a period of economic stagnation from which it  never emerged.  Due to this the USSR looked to Europe, primarily West Germany, to provide hard currency financing through massive loans, while the US became a major supplier of grain.

All in all the story of the USSR collapse suggests that after the ideology was discredited the society, which was based on it,  can last  several decades, or even half a century (The USSR lasted another 28-46 years (depending on the point at which you assume the ideology was completely discredited).  The sad story of the USSR after 1963 does suggests that if the ideology is "man made" like is both the case with Marxism and neoliberalism, the collapse of ideology is the prolog to the subsequent collapse of the society (even if with a substantial lag). The collapse  of such a society is inevitable. It is just a matter of time.

Neoliberal society probably has at least the same staying power as Bolshevism. Probably more. So we can expect that  after 2008 -- when the ideology was discredited and neoliberalism entered zombie stage it will last around 50 years. If not more. The key fact that might speed up the collapse of neoliberalism is the end of cheap oil. As soon as the price of one barrel of oil exceeds some magic number (different researchers cite figures from $70 to $120; let's assume $100 per barrel) the USA like the USSR will enter the period of stagnation from which it might never emerge without dismantling neoliberalism first.

So the crisis of neoliberalism as ideology doers not signify the death of neoliberal as a social system. It will continue to exist in zombie state for some time. A development that some will indeed see as a curse, others as a blessing. Many people after 2008 declared that neoliberalism is dead or seen to be in its death throes. Many obituaries of finance capitalism and global free trade were written in 2008-2012. Nevertheless, neoliberalism has shown itself to be resilient and remains the dominant social system around the world( this resilience was called by Colin Crouch "the strange non-death of neoliberalism".)

The USSR managed to survive in a very hostile international environment more then 40 years (1945-1991) after Bolshevism was dead as an ideology. Absence of hostile environment, as well as the lack of alternative social system might prolong the life of neoliberalism. Also one advantage neoliberalism enjoyed is that collapse of the USSR was prompted by the ascendance of neoliberalism and betrayal of Soviet nomenklatura (which correctly decided that they will be better off under neoliberalism, then under Brezhnev socialism) is that socialism was discredited.   Also unlike KGB brass, which was instrumental in transition of the xUSSR space from Brezhnev socialism to neoliberalism (with the first stage of gangster capitalism) the USA and GB intelligence agencies (actually all five eyes intelligence agencies) still is ready to defend neoliberalism, as color revolution against Trump had shown.  

However, Brexit (and the election of Jeremy Corbyn as head of Labor) and the movements surrounding Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in the United States are each in their own way symptomatic of a turning of the political tide against neoliberalism, especially such features as hyper-globalization and deregulation of financial markets. The benefits of free trade – of goods, services and capital – and outsourcing of labor to low-cost destinations are now being challenged across the political spectrum.

That means that the crisis of neoliberalism turned from the stage of purely intellectual  problems (collapse and discreditation of the ideology) to the stage of rising political challenges. Under Trump the effectiveness of neoliberal propaganda declined and start approaching the effectiveness of Soviet propaganda under Brezhnev. Neoliberal MSM are viewed by the majority of population of "fake news" -- the label in popularization of which Trump played an important role. Even "leading neoliberal economists" like Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Jeffrey Sachs and Thomas Piketty started voicing concerns.  Rising inequality lessen the cohesion of neoliberal societies and  created social tensions within them as we see in Marcon France. Even top economist from the IMF have recently acknowledged that neoliberalism has been “oversold”.

But we still do not see social system that will replace neoliberalism yet.  And that might prolog the life neoliberalism to the upper limit of the suggested range Meantime the crisis of neoliberalism created preconditions for the rise of far right movements and switch to "national neoliberalism" (or neoliberalism without globalization). Much like Stalinism was socialism within one given country with Trotsky idea of permanent world revolution till final victory of socialism sent to the dustbin). It is an interesting theoretical question if "national neoliberalism" promoted by Trump can be viewed as a flavor of neoliberalism or a flavor of neofascism. If the latter then neoliberalism already died around 2016 and existed in its classic form just 30 years or so.   I doubt  that we can do such equivalence.

At the current stage collapse of neoliberalism, if we can use this word, is still very slow and almost invisible.  Brexit and election of Trump in the USA are probably the first two most notable events after 2008 that can be interpreted as such. Both undermined "neoliberal globalization" -- one of the key components of neoliberalism, because like Communism before it is about building a global neoliberal empire (led by the USA financial oligarchy in close cooperation of other western oligarchies), without state borders.

Still "Great recession" which  started in 2008 is the fact of life. Nations took various roads out of the Great Depression and that's probably will be true for the Great Recession.  Some used deficit spending and the abandonment of the gold standard, which had to overcome resistance from business. In Germany, fascism removed "capitalist objections to full employment," wrote economist Michal Kalecki, by routing all deficit spending into rearmament and by keeping labor quiescent with political repression and permanent dictatorship.

We can envision  the same process of  the growing level of repression in the USA due to the growing gap between ideology postulates and the real life conditions, especially falling standard of living for most of the people (let's say, lower 80% in the USA. Top 20% including large part of "professional" class are doing just fine, much like nomenklatura in the USSR).

In the United States, the replacement ideology for unregulated capitalism on the early 20th was the New Deal. After some initial failed experimentation with planning, New Dealers settled on a framework of stimulus, regulation, unionization, progressive taxation, and anti-trust, heavily influenced by Louis Brandeis. To get people back to work and prime the economic pump, vast new public works were built, and millions were directly employed by the state. Business — especially finance — was regulated, above all to prevent concentration. Unions were protected under a new legal regime created by the National Labor Relations Act. Taxes on the rich were sharply increased, both to raise revenue and to deliberately prevent the accumulation of vast fortunes. Finally, world trade was managed under the Bretton-Woods system. New Deal ideology did not win at once and in 1937, FDR reversed the course and went back to austerity, instantly throwing millions out of work, and forcing him to return to deficit spending. It took the WWII war spending in 1941-1945 to entrench the New Deal and to eliminate mass unemployment. War also created the political space for Roosevelt to raise the top tax bracket to 94%. Think about it. Less then a century ago the top tax bracket in the USA was 94%. The erosion of the New Deal started almost immediately. For example, in 1847 trade union power was undercut by Taft–Hartley Act.

The New Deal framework held for about three decades after the end of the war — during which time the country also had the greatest economic boom in American history. Critically, this time the fruits of growth were also broadly shared. For all the many faults in the New Deal, in this period America was reformed from a country which functioned mostly on behalf of a tiny elite into one which functioned on behalf of a sizable chunk of population.

In this sense ascendance of neoliberalism was a counter-revolution against New Deal staged by financial elite:  fundamental economic bedrock is quite similar: deregulation, tax and spending cuts, union busting, and free trade. Its adherents resurrected the idea of the self-regulating market, creating an elaborate mathematic model in which depressions were always the result of structural problems, the economy is always at full employment, and nothing could be changed without making someone else worse off. Once again, the political message was that regulations and taxation should be kept as low as possible.

A generation of economists centered around the Chicago School, including Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Robert Lucas, provided the intellectual backbone, gaining strength in the 1950s and '60s. They argued that New Deal structures were a drag on economic growth, and that taxes, regulation, and social insurance needed to be cut. America simply couldn't afford the strangling red tape and high taxes of the New Deal. And this time, they assured everyone, things would be different — no 1929-style crash would be in the cards. That was all a very clever deception,  propaganda design at restoring the power of financial oligarchy undermined by the New Deal capitalism and increasing the rate of profits via financialization of everything. Plus a dream of world neoliberal revolution  taken directly from Trotskyite books (Neoliberalism can be viewed as a Trotskyism for the rich)

Neoliberals' opportunity came in the 1970s, when the world economy ran into difficulties and at the center of those difficulties was the rising price of oil. War spending, the baby boom coming of age, and the oil shocks created serious inflation and pushed the USA into a trade deficit, which broke the Bretton-Woods system. Profits declined and big business mobilized against labor and trade unions. The first wave of de-industrialization in the USA and offshoring of factories to Asia hit manufacturing.

I wonder if oil can serve as the grave digger of neoliberalism this time.

The limits of analogy between the collapse of neoliberalism and the collapse of the USSR

Like all analogies it far from being perfect.  Here are major objections:

  1. When the USSR collapsed neoliberal ideology was a clear alternative and the collapse of the USSR coincided with "triumphal march" of neoliberalism around the globe.  In a sense the USSR simply fall on the rails of the neoliberal train.
  2. Right now we do not see such a prominent alternative to the dominant neoliberal ideology, although it is clear that it is wrong and that neoliberal promise that high inequality speeds up economic development and "rising tide lifts all bots" proved to be a fake. But right now  neoliberalism  is still social system that is dominant globally (BTW this is true not only for the USA and Western Europe, but also for Russia and China).  Even after 2008 it managed to counterattack in Argentina and Brazil.
  3. Neoliberalism exists without  major geopolitical threat, unlike Soviet Union which existed in the hostile surrounding of major Western powers with their three letter agencies directly targeting this society. The "collective West" used huge money resources of Western financial system against the USSR, limit access to technology and scientific exchange, and created constant threat of the mere survival which justified huge military expenses (which in turn entrenched Soviet military-industrial complex which starved the civil society) and the burning desire (especially by the US neoliberal elite, which came to power in 1980 ) to get rid of competition by any means possible. 
  4. While Trump administration reminds in its incompetence Brezhnev administration, the gap is still tremendous. While Trump is definitely a third  rate politician, Gorbachov as a politician was simply a naive (and probably bought) idiot. In comparison with him Trump looks like a shrewd statesman (or, at least, a staunch nationalist.) Unless we assume that "Gorby" (cultivated by his handler Margaret Thatcher) was a traitor (the version that became increasingly popular in post Soviet space after 1991). But the complete absence of political talent (Gorbachov came to power as a protégé of Andropov)  is still the primary suspect, because you should not assume sinister motives when incompetence is enough for the explanation of the events (  The Soviet collapse Contradictions and neo-modernization ):

    The main charge that may be laid against Gorbachev as leader is that he lacked an effective strategy of statecraft: the mobilization of resources to make a country more self-confident, more powerful, more respected and more prosperous. Instead, Gorbachev frittered away the governmental capital accumulated by the Soviet regime, and in the end was unable to save the country which he had attempted to reform.

  5. Despite all difficulties the USA remains the owner of world reserve currency and the center of technological innovation (although in the later role it somewhat slipped). It military spending (which stimulate fundamental research) remains the largest in the world. The country still remains the magnet for immigration from other countries.
  6. Geographic location of the USA is such that it has no rivals that share common border.

Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich

There one, especially deep analogy between any neoliberal society and the USSR. Neoliberalism borrowed large part of its strategy and tactic of acquiring and maintaining power directly from  Marxism, specifically from the  flavor of Marxism, which partially originated (and remained popular until late 1940th) in the USA, and called Trotskyism (which Trotsky was a Russia émigré, he spend  his formative years in the USA).  Actually analogies with Marxism are to numerous to list.

The first notable analogy is the slogan "Dictatorship of "free markets"" instead of "dictatorship of proletariat."  With the same idea that the driving force of this social transformation is the intellectual "vanguard" recruited mainly from "Intelligentsia" (mainly right wing economists and philosophers of the  Mont Pelerin Society  created in `947 with the explicit goal to oppose socialism and Bolshevism) will drive steeple to the "bright future of all mankind" -- global neoliberal empire led by the USA. And that the end justifies the means.

In short, neoliberalism is a kind of "Trotskyism for rich." And it uses the same subversive tactics to get and stay in power, which were invented by Bolsheviks/Trotskyites. Including full scale use of intelligence agencies (during WWII Soviet intelligence agency -- NKDV -- rivaled the primary intelligence agencies of Nazi Germany -- Abwehr; CIA was by-and-large modeled on Abwehr  with Abwerh specialists directly participating in its creation ).  It also process the ideal of World Revolution -- with the goal of creating the global neoliberal empire. The neoliberal USA elite is hell-bent on this vision.

Like Trotskyism neoliberalism generally needs a scapegoat. Currently this role is served by Islamic fundamentalist movements. But recently Russia emerged like more convenient scapegoat, at least for "CIA democrats" like Obama and  Hillary Clinton.

Also like Bolshevism before, neoliberalism created its own "nomenklatura" -- the privileged class which exists outside the domain of capital owners. Which along with high level management and professionals include neoclassical academic economists. Who guarantee the level of brainwashing at the universities necessary for maintaining the neoliberal system.  This "creator class" fight for its self-preservation and against any challenges. Often quite effectively.

 Deification of markets (free market fundamentalism) like the idea of "dictatorship of proletariat" is "fools gold"

Yet another strong analogy is that the deification of markets much like the idea of "dictatorship of proletariat" is "fools gold". This fact was clearly established after the Great Recession, and one of the most succinct explanation of the stupidity of the idea of self-regulating market remains Karl Polanyi's famous book The Great Transformation.  Polanyi argued that the development of the modern state went hand in hand with the development of modern market economies and that these two changes were inextricably linked in history. And all talk about small state, state as "night watchman" are pure hypocrisy.  Like Marxism, neoliberalism really provides "the great transformation" because it both changes the human institutions and human morality. The latter in a very destructive way.  The book postulated that and "free market society" (where the function of social regulation is outsourced to the market forces)  is unsustainable because it is fatally destructive to human nature and the natural social contexts humans need to survive and prosper. 

Polanyi attempted to turn the tables on the orthodox liberal account of the rise of capitalism by arguing that “laissez-faire was planned”, whereas social protectionism was a spontaneous reaction to the social dislocation imposed by an unrestrained free market. He argues that the construction of a "self-regulating" market necessitates the separation of society into economic and political realms. Polanyi does not deny that the self-regulating market has brought "unheard of material wealth", but he suggests that this is too narrow a focus. The market, once it considers land, labor and money as "fictitious commodities" (fictitious because each possesses qualities that are not expressed in the formal rationality of the market), and including them "means to subordinate the substance of society itself to the laws of the market. This, he argues, results in massive social dislocation, and spontaneous moves by society to protect itself. In effect, Polanyi argues that once the free market attempts to separate itself from the fabric of society, social protectionism is society's natural response, which he calls the "double movement." Polanyi did not see economics as a subject closed off from other fields of enquiry, indeed he saw economic and social problems as inherently linked. He ended his work with a prediction of a socialist society, noting, "after a century of blind 'improvement', man is restoring his 'habitation.

But when 50 years passed and generation changed they manage to shove it down throat. Because the generation which experienced horrors of the Great Depression at this point was gone (and that include cadre of higher level management which still have some level of solidarity with workers against capital owners).

They were replaced with HBS and WBS graduates -- ready made neoliberals. Quit coup (in Simon Johnson terms) naturally  followed ( https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/05/the-quiet-coup/307364/ ) and we have hat we have.  In a sense neoliberalism and Managerialism ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Managerialism ) are closely related.  Here is how  he "reinvents" the concept  of "Minsky moment" in the new conditions of neoliberal globalization"

Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit—and, most of the time, genteel—oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders. When a country like Indonesia or South Korea or Russia grows, so do the ambitions of its captains of industry. As masters of their mini-universe, these people make some investments that clearly benefit the broader economy, but they also start making bigger and riskier bets. They reckon—correctly, in most cases—that their political connections will allow them to push onto the government any substantial problems that arise.

Neoliberalism in zombie state (which it entered after 2008) remains dangerous and is able to counterattack

Unlike Bolshevism after 1945, neoliberalism in zombie state (which it entered after 2008) remains dangerous and is able to counterattack -- the US sponsored efforts of replacement of left regimes in LA with right wing neoliberal regimes were by-and-large successful. I two key LA countries neoliberalism successfully counterattacked and won political power deposing more left regimes (Brazil and Argentina ). That happened despite that this phase of neoliberal era has been marked by slower growth, greater trade imbalances, and deteriorating social conditions. In Latin America the average growth rate was lower by 3 percent per annum in the 1990s than in the 1970s, while trade deficits as a proportion of GDP are much the same. Contrary to neoliberal propaganda the past 25 years (1980–2005) have also characterized by slower progress on social indicators for the vast majority of low- and middle-income countries [compared with the prior two decades ( https://monthlyreview.org/2006/04/01/neoliberalism-myths-and-reality/ ) :

In an effort to keep growing trade and current account deficits manageable, third world states, often pressured by the IMF and World Bank, used austerity measures (especially draconian cuts in social programs) to slow economic growth (and imports). They also deregulated capital markets, privatized economic activity, and relaxed foreign investment regulatory regimes in an effort to attract the financing needed to offset the existing deficits. While devastating to working people and national development possibilities, these policies were, as intended, responsive to the interests of transnational capital in general and a small but influential sector of third world capital. This is the reality of neoliberalism.

The danger of the end of "cheap oil" for neoliberalism

The Soviet Union collapsed partially due to the fact that collapse of oil prices (which might be engineered event) deprived it of the ability to buy the necessary goods from the West (which at this point included grain, due to inefficiency of Soviet model of  large centralized state owned agricultural complexes).

In case of the USA an opposite situation might also serve as a trigger: as soon as oil cross, say, $80 dollar per barrel mark most Western economies slide in "secular stagnation" and that means growing discontent of lower 80% of population. Also as  globalization is inherently dependent on cheap hydrocarbons and disappearance of cheap oil will male the current international patterns of flow of goods across countries with China as world manufacture  open to review.  

This is the situation when the irresistible force of globalization hits the brick wall of high oil prices. Also high cost of hydrocarbons means "end of growth" (aka permanent stagnation), and neoliberalism financial schemes based on cheap credit automatically implode in the environment of slow of zero growth. So expect that the next financial crisis will shake neoliberalism stronger then the crisis of 2008.

A lot of debt becomes unplayable, if growth stagnates. That makes manipulation of GDP numbers the issue of political and economic survival because this is the method of "inspiring confidence".  And the temptation to inspire confidence is too great to resists. Exactly like it was in the USSR. 

It might well be that the consistent price of oil, say, over $120 is a direct threat to neoliberal project in the USA. Even with prices over $100 the major neoliberal economics  tend to enter the stage of "secular stagnation". It also makes the US military which is a large consumer of oil in the USA much more expensive to run and virtually doubles the costs of  neoliberal "wars for regime change", essentially curtailing neoliberal expansion.

Election of Trump is just testament that some part of the US elite is ready for "Hail Mary" pass just to survive.  The same is true about financiering of color revolutions, which as a new type of neoliberal conquests of other countries, also require a lot of cash, although not at the scale of "boots on the ground".

 More on "zombie stage" of neoliberalism: the consequences of the situation when neoliberal ideology is already discredited

The implosion of the entire global banking/mortgage industry in 2008 has essentially delegitimized neoliberalism as an economic and social model which the U.S. has been pleased to espouse as the royal road to prosperity for decades. It signified the end of Washington Consensus.

At this point ideology of neoliberalism was completely discredited in a sense that promise prosperity for all via "free market" mechanisms. The whole concept of "free markets" is from now on is viewed as fake. Much like happened with bolshevism in the USSR.

It actually was viewed as fake after the Great Depression too, but the generation that remembered that died out and neoliberalism managed to perform its major coup d'état  in the USA in 1981. After trail balls in Chile and GB. 

Also its fake nature became evident to large part of global elite (which probably never have any illusions from the very beginning) as well, which is even more dangerous, a large part of upper middle class in many developing countries, the social strata from which "fifth column of neoliberal globalization" is typically recruited. 

Global neoliberal empire still is supported by pure military and financial power of the USA and its Western (and some Asian, such as Japan) allies as well as technological superiority of the West in general. So right now mainly ideological postulates of neoliberalism, especially as its "free market absolutism", started to be questioned.  And partially revised (the trend which is visible in increase financial regulation in most Western countries). So "self-regulation free market model proved to be neither self-regulating, not really free -- it just transferred the cost of its blunders on the society at large.  This form of neoliberalism with the core ideology intact but with modified one of several postulates can be called post-neoliberalism or zombie neoliberalism. 

Rule of financial oligarchy like the rule of "nomenklatura" in the USSR is under increasing scrutiny

While indoctrination now reached almost all adult population,  there are some instances of resistance, especially among young people, who are insisting that casino capitalism is an act of violence against them and destruction of their future. And if it does not come to an end, what we might experience a mass destruction of human life if not  the planet itself. 

Both Obama and Trump proved to be masters of the "bait and switch" maneuver, but the anger of population did not dissipated and at some point still can explode.

Rule of financial oligarchy also gradually comes under some (although very limited) scrutiny in the USA. Some measures to restrict appetites of financial oligarchy were recently undertaken in Europe (bank bonuses limitations).

HFT and derivatives still remain off-reach for regulators despite JP Morgan fiasco in May 2012 in London branch. Trade loss was around two billions, decline of bank value was around $13bn (The Guardian) At this stage most people around the world realized that as Warren Buffett's right-hand man Charlie Munger quipped in his CNBC interview Trusting banks to self-regulate is like trusting to self-regulate heroin addicts. At the meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) heads of states in the spring of 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the death of “the Washington Consensus” — the famous list of market-liberalizing policy prescriptions that guided the previous 20 or 30 years of neoliberal expansion into third world countries  (Painter 2009).

Prominent economists in the United States and elsewhere pointed out that after decades of reform, market-liberalizing policies had not produced the promised benefits for either economic growth or social welfare of countries were those policies were applied (Stiglitz 2002, 2006; Rodrik 2006). These criticisms further undermined the legitimacy of neoliberal governance, exactly the same way as similar criticism undermined socialist model of the USSR and Eastern Europe. the problem is that while socialist experiment could be compared with the Western countries capitalism achievement, here there is no alternative model with which to compare.

Still a backlash directed at the USA is mounting even from the former loyal vassals. Even the UK elite starts to display the behavior that contradict its role of the US poodle. The atmosphere is which the USA is considered "guilty" of pushing though the throats of other countries a utopia that harmed them is a different atmosphere for the US oligarchy that the role of it accustomed to.

Everybody is now aware of the substantial costs that the modern financial system has imposed on the real economy and no amount of propaganda and brainwashing can hide this simple fact. It is questionable that the "financial innovations" of the last three-four decades can compensate for those huge costs and that they warrants those costs. Shocks generated within the financial system and transformation of economies imposed by international financial oligarchy as the core of neoliberal elite, implies that the rule of financial oligarchy creates negative externalities for societies and that some types of financial activities and some financial structures should be treated like an organized crime (as purely parasitic, extortionist type of players).

Still this stage preserves several attributes of previous stage and first of all push for globalization and aggressive foreign policy. While economic crisis of 2008 destroyed legitimacy of ideology of neoliberalism, neoliberalism as an ideology continue to exists as a cult, much like communism as an ideology continues to exist, despite the failure of the USSR. And being phony ideology from the very beginning, a smokescreen for  the revanchism of financial oligarchy, it still can be promoted by unrelenting propaganda machine of the same forces which put it into mainstream albeit with les efficiency.  

Rise of nationalism as the reaction on neoliberal globalization
much like it was a reaction on Brezhnev's stagnation in the USSR

While no viable alternatives emerged, and inertia is still strong, and G7 block with the USA as the head is still the dominant world power, the crash are now visible in the global neoliberalism façade.  Like in 20th failure the globalization and unrestrained financial markets (which produced the Great Depression)  the financial crisis of 2008 led to the dramatic rise of nationalism, especially in Europe (France, Hungary, Ukraine). In some countries, such as Ukraine, the net result of neoliberal revolution was establishing  far right regime which has uncanny similarities to the régimes which came to power in 30th such as Franco regime in Spain.  The global neoliberal dominance as a social system still continues, it is just the central idea of neoliberalism, the fake idea of self-regulating market that was completely discredited by the crisis (it was discredited before during Great Depression, but the generation the remembered the lesson is now extinct (it looks like it takes approximately 50 years for humanity to completely forget the lessons of history ;-).

This rise of nationalism was also a feature of the USSR political space in 80th. Formally it was nationalist sentiments that buried the USSR.

Around the world, economists and policymakers now come to consensus that excessive reliance on unregulated financial markets and the unrestrained rule of financial oligarchy was the root cause of the current worldwide financial crisis. That created a more difficult atmosphere for the USA financial institutions to operate abroad. Several countries are now trying to limit role of dollar as the world currency (one of the sins Saddam Hussein paid the price).

Also internal contradictions became much deeper and the neoliberal regime became increasingly unstable even in the citadel of neoliberalism -- the USA. Like any overstretched empire it became hollow within with stretches on potholes ridden roads and decaying infrastructure visible to everyone. Politically, the Republican Party became a roadblock for any meaningful reform (and its radical wing -- the tea party even sending its representatives to Congress), the Party that is determined to rather take the USA the road of the USSR, then change its ideology. All this points to the fact that neoliberalism as an socio-economic doctrine is following the path of Bolshevism.

Neoliberal propaganda gradually lost effectiveness,
 and now  invokes internal protest and rejection much like Marxist propaganda in the USSR

Neoliberalism failed to fulfill its promises for the bottom 80% of population. They became more poorer, job security deteriorated, good jobs disappear, and even McJobs are scare judging from the fact that Wall Mart and McDonalds are able to fully staff their outlets.  McJobs are jobs that does not provide a living wages.  Opiod epidemics reminds me epidemics of alcoholism in the USSR during Brezhnev period.  Cannabis legalization belong to the same trend.

But its media dominance of neoliberalism paradoxically continues unabated. And this is despite the fact that after the crisis of 2008, the notion that finance mobilizes and allocates resources efficiently, drastically reduces systemic risks and brings significant productivity gains for the economy as a whole became untenable. We can expect that like was the case with Catholicism in middle ages and Bolshevism in the USSR, zombie phase of neoliberalism can last many decades (in the USSR, "zombie" state lasted two decades, say from 1970 to 1991, and neoliberalism with its emphasis on low human traits such as greed and supported by military and economic power of the USA, is considerably more resilient then Bolshevism). As of 2013 it is still supported by elites of several major western states (such as the USA, GB, Germany, France), transnational capital (and financial capital in particular) and respective elites out of the sense of self-preservation. That means that is it reasonable to expect that its rule in G7 will continue (like Bolshevism rule in the USSR in 70th-80th) despite probably interrupted by bursts of social violence (Muslim immigrants in Europe are once such force).

In the US, for example, income and wealth inequality continue to increase, with stagnating middle-class earnings, reduced social mobility, and an allegedly meritocratic higher education system, generously supported by tax exemptions, has been turned into the system whose main beneficiaries are the children of the rich and successful. Superimposed on this class divide is an increasingly serious intergenerational divide, and increases level of unemployment of young people, which make social atmosphere somewhat similar to the one in Egypt, although the pressure from Muslim fundamentalists is absent.

More and more neoliberalism came to be perceived as a ruse intended to safeguard the interests of a malignantly narcissistic empire (the USA) and of rapacious multinationals. It is now more and more linked with low-brow cultural homogeneity, social Darwinism, encroachment on privacy, mass production of junk, and suppression of national sentiments and aspiration in favor of transnational monopolies. It even came to be associated with a bewildering variety of social ills: rising crime rates, unemployment, poverty, drug addiction, prostitution, organ trafficking, and other antisocial forms of conduct.

While ideology of neoliberalism is by-and-large discredited, the global economic institutions associated with its rise are not all equally moribund. For example, the global economic crisis of 2008 has unexpectedly improved the fortunes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organization long famous for the neoliberal policy conditions attached to its loans that served to incorporate countries into a global neoliberal economic system. In 2008, a cascade of financial crises in Eastern Europe and Iceland fattened the IMF’s dwindling loan portfolio.

World Trade Organization (WTO), the key US-used and abused universal opener of markets to US corporations and investments is in worse shape then IMF, but still is able to enforce Washington consensus rules. The Doha round of negotiations is stalled, mostly due to irresolvable disputes between developed and developing countries. Consequently, the current crisis of neoliberalism raises many important questions about the future path of the current international institutions promoting the neoliberal order. But still Russia joined WTO in 2012 which means that this organization got a new lease of life.

The slide to "Neoliberalism in name only" under Trump

When ideology collapses the elite often resorts to corporatism (and in extreme case to neo-fascism) That happened briefly in the USSR under Andropov, but he did not last long enough to establish a trend.

Trumps "national neoliberalism" (neoliberalism without neoliberal globalization) mixed with economic nationalism can be called "neoliberalism in name only". Trump foreign economic policies look more and more like an economic aggression, economic racket, then a neoliberal economic policy (which presuppose treating financial oligarchy of other countries as equals). Looks like Trump's "national neoliberalism" became "Hail Mary pass" with which the US financial oligarchy seeks to maintain at all costs it global dominance (The Great Crash, 2008: A Geopolitical Setback for the West , Foreign Affairs)

The financial and economic crash of 2008, the worst in over 75 years, is a major geopolitical setback for the United States and Europe. Over the medium term, Washington and European governments will have neither the resources nor the economic credibility to play the role in global affairs that they otherwise would have played. These weaknesses will eventually be repaired, but in the interim, they will accelerate trends that are shifting the world's center of gravity away from the United States.

A brutal recession is unfolding in the United States, Europe, and probably Japan -- a recession likely to be more harmful than the slump of 1981-82. The current financial crisis has deeply frightened consumers and businesses, and in response they have sharply retrenched. In addition, the usual recovery tools used by governments -- monetary and fiscal stimuli -- will be relatively ineffective under the circumstances.

This damage has put the American model of free-market capitalism under a cloud. The financial system is seen as having collapsed; and the regulatory framework, as having spectacularly failed to curb widespread abuses and corruption. Now, searching for stability, the U.S. government and some European governments have nationalized their financial sectors to a degree that contradicts the tenets of modern capitalism.

Much of the world is turning a historic corner and heading into a period in which the role of the state will be larger and that of the private sector will be smaller. As it does, the United States' global power, as well as the appeal of U.S.-style democracy, is eroding.

The USSR war in Afghanistan and the rampant militarism of the US neoliberal empire:
you can do anything with bayonets, but you can't sit on them

The USSR occupation of Afghanistan was actually a trap created by Carter administration in order to weaken and possibly destroy  the USSR. They wanted that the USSR experienced its own Vietnam-style defeat.  As a side effect they created political Islam and Islam fundamentalist movement (exemplified by former CIA asset Osama bin Laden) that later bite them in the back.

The US elite got into this trap voluntarily after 9/11: first via occupations of  Afghanistan (the war continues to this day), then occupation of Iraq, Libya and initiating "color revolution" (and train and supply Sunni Islam fundamentalists, along with KSA and Turkey) to depose Assad government in Syria.

The USA still remains the most powerful country in the world with formidable military, and still can dictate it will military for small countries in a classic sense --  in a sense that "might makes right". It still can afford to behave as a word hegemon and the only source of justice ignoring the UN and other International organization, unless it is convenient to them.

But there are costs attacked and in case of Iraq war they are already substantial (to the tune of several trillion dollars). While effects on the USA economy of those set of wars of managing and expanding its neoliberal empire (and repartitioning ME, securing oil access and repartitioning the region in favor of Israel regional interests)  are still in the future, military adventurism was a gravestone on many previous empires, which tend to overstretch themselves and this fasten their final day. 

As Napoleon noted "You can do anything with bayonets, but you can't sit on them". having first class military weakens is not everything when you face guerilla resistance in occupied country. Running aggressive foreign policy on a discredited ideology and relying on blunt propaganda and false flag operations is a difficult undertaking as resistance mounts and bubble out in un-anticipated areas.

Ukraine is one recent example, when neoliberal color revolution, which was performed by few thousands trained by the West far right militants, including openly neo-fascist squads, led to civil war in the country. Syria is another case of unanticipated effects, as Russia did not want to repeat experience of Libya and intervened, interfering with the USA goal of establishing Sunni-based Islamist regime, subservant to KSA and Turkey, and/or dismembering the country and creating   several weak Sunny dominated statelets with jihadists in power, the situation which greatly  benefit Turkey and Israel.  Israel correctly consider secular Assad régime as a greater threat and major obstacle in annexation of Golan Heights and eliminating Hezbollah in Lebanon.  It would prefer weak islamist regimes, hopefully engaged in protracted civil war to Assad regime any time.

Unfortunately, the recent troika of "neoliberalized" countries -- Libya, Syria  and Ukraine --  were not probably a swan song of muscular enforcement of neoliberal model on other countries. While sponsored by the USA and allies anti-Putin putsch in Russia (aka "white revolution") failed, events in Libya and, especially,  Ukraine prove the neoliberalism still can launch and win offensives at relatively low, acceptable cost (via color revolutions mechanism ). The main cost carry the population of the target country which is plunged  into economic and political chaos, in most cases including the civil war.  

But in the USA those wars also somewhat backfire with broken domestic infrastructure, decaying bridges and angered, restless, and partially drugged by opioids  population.  As well as thousands of crippled young men healthcare for whom till end of their lives will cost large amount of money.

In such circumstances chances of raising to power of an openly nationalistic leader substantially increase. Which was already demonstrated quite convincingly by the election of Trump.

Conclusions

Analogy of current crisis of neoliberalism in the USA and the USSR collapse is demonstrably far from perfect. The USSR was always in far less favorable conditions  than the USA, operating is a hostile environment encircled by Western powers interested in its demise; also the collapse of the USSR happened during "triumphal march of neoliberalism" which provided ready-made alternative to Brezhnev's socialism and stimulated the betrayal of Soviet nomenklatura of their old ideology and "switching ideological camps").  But the key to collapse of the USSR was the collapse of Bolshevik's ideology, which has happened some time from 1945 to 1963. And this is a common element with the situation of the USA now.

Which does not bode well for the USA future, if the hypothesis that the same fundamental forces are in play in both cases. In this sense the collapse of neoliberal ideology ("free market fundamentalism"), which happened in  2008 is a bad omen indeed.

There is still a chance that the US elite proves to be flexible again  and manage to escape this "ideological mousetrap" by switching to some new ideology, but they are pretty weak, if we look at the quality of Trump administration and the personalities in the USA Congress. The latter clearly resembles the level of degeneration of Soviet Politburo.

Some members of Congress and key figured in Trump administration way  too closely correspond to the depiction of sociopaths to stay comfortable.  Some are perverts. The same was true about certain parts of Soviet "nomenklatura", especially leaders of Komsomol (All-Union Leninist Young Communist League ), from which such questionable post-communist figures such a Khodorkovsky, in Russia (of "pipes and corpses" film fame), and Turchinov in Ukraine  later emerged.

The recent humiliation of the US representative in the UN Nikki Haley by Bolivian representative also suggest that neoliberal propaganda lost large part of its effectiveness and unilateral military actions by the USA are now questioned more effectively: Bolivian UN Rep Sacha Llorenti Blasts U.S. for Attacking Syria, Educates Nikki Haley on Iraq, UN & U.S. History

Llorenti’s fourteen minute address to the UNSC was a tour de force – a critique of unilateral military action by the U.S. (it violates the UN charter), an analysis of previous emotional appeals for urgent action (think Colin Powell in 2003), as well as a reminder of the United States’ long history of interventionism in Latin America. Llorenti also called the UNSC to task for its internal structure, which grants considerably more power upon its five permanent members than it does its ten non-permanent members.

It was a remarkable anti-imperialist display. Read a partial transcript and/or watch the full video below.

That closely corresponds to what had happened with Bolshevism ideology around 1980 -- when it became the source of jokes both inside the USSR and abroad.  Or a little bit later, if we remember "Tear down this wall!" -- a line from a speech made by US President Ronald Reagan in West Berlin on June 12, 1987. When  Paul Craig Roberts  claims that It Has Become Embarrassing To Be An American  that is a symptom of a problem, yet another symptom of the demise of neoliberal propaganda,  despite obvious exaggeration.

It would be  too much stretch to state that neoliberal and especially globalist propaganda is now rejected both by population within the USA (which resulted in defeat of Hillary Clinton -- an establishment candidates and election of the  "wild card" candidate  -- Donald Trump -- with clearly nationalistic impulses) and outside the USA. 


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Old News ;-)

[Dec 10, 2019] Nation reporter to Tucker: Strange to see media pretending Ukraine meddling didn t happen

Dec 05, 2019 | www.foxnews.com

'The Nation' contributor Aaron Maté tells 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' host Tucker Carlson that pundits attacking Sen. John Kennedy are ignoring facts

It's "strange to see" mainstream media pretending Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 presidential election didn't happen, The Nation contributor Aaron Maté said Wednesday.

Appearing on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Maté said Ukraine's efforts to tamper in the election are "no secret."

"Ukrainian officials -- they leaked information that exposed some apparent corruption by Paul Manafort and it was consequential. It led to Paul Manafort's resignation from the Trump campaign," he said. "And, the stated intent of Ukrainian officials was to weaken the Trump campaign because they wanted to help elect Hillary Clinton ."

TRUMP RIPS 'SLEEPY EYES CHUCK TODD' FOLLOWING FIERY INTERVIEW WITH SEN. KENNEDY: 'MEET THE DEPRESSED!'

Yet, when Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., told "Meet The Press" host Chuck Todd Sunday that reports from various media outlets indicated that former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko favored Clinton over now-President Trump, Todd accused him of parroting Russian President Vladimir Putin's talking points.

"Are you at all concerned that you've been duped?" Todd asked.

"No, just read the articles," said Kennedy.

Video

On the same network, anchor Nicolle Wallace and her guest The Bulwark Editor-at-Large Charlie Sykes echoed Todd, agreeing that Kennedy "comes off as an addled Russian asset on television" after "peddling Vladimir Putin's talking points."

"I don't understand the proactive work on behalf of Putin's Kremlin," said Wallace.

Maté told Carlson that what these pundits are trying to do is "conflate that with a different theory by Ukrainian meddling. Which is not proven -- it's true."

"And, that is the one that Trump tried to put forward in this phone call with Zelenksy where he appears to be saying that it wasn't Russia that was behind the hacking of the DNC and that it might have been Ukraine," he continued.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

"It's true there's no evidence for that theory, and it's fair enough to point out that. But. what's also ironic here is that the people who are indignant about that claim by Trump are accepting the claim that Russia hacked the DNC," Maté stated, adding that journalists should be demanding to see the underlying evidence used by U.S. intelligence to draw that conclusion.

Carlson said the mainstream media now accuses anyone who questions their narrative of being a "traitor to the country" and supporting Russia. Julia Musto is a reporter for Foxnews.com

[Dec 10, 2019] Tucker: Media proclaims FBI is innocent

So CIA agent Carter Page joins Trump campaign and then do several "improper" moves like travel to Moscow and contracts with Russian officials things in order to create a pretext for FBI investigation. Which of course was promptly started. This is called false flag operation.
From comments: "He wasn’t a victim, he was an asset. When actors portray a victim, they are ACTING!!!"
Notable quotes:
"... "The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses". - the esteemed Malcolm X. ..."
"... Seth Rich downloaded the emails on a potable drive. Was he Russian? ..."
"... DNC/ FBI/ CIA/ CNN/ NBC have merged into the 5 headed serpent. ..."
"... Roger Stone got some minor facts wrong and is facing jail time, Brennan and Comey outright lied to Congress, when are they going to jail? ..."
"... "June 2017, CIA told FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith that Carter Page was working for them (the CIA)." Clinesmith then changed that notification so he could submit the last (FISA) renewal. ..."
"... "Lets hope Carter Page spends the rest of his life sueing everyone..." lol Thats the meanest thing ive ever heard you say! O:) ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Greg Wootton , 4 hours ago

John Brennan lied to Congress, why is he not behind bars?

der Jakob 🇺🇸 , 5 hours ago

Falsifying documents is a crime

Robin John , 5 hours ago

I will believe the swamp is draining when the arrests begin.

Electric Eclectic , 5 hours ago

There are so many crooked actors and actresses hired by the MSM it is just pathetic. They are not reporters, they are there only to put on a show for the masses.

Christopher , 5 hours ago

"The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses". - the esteemed Malcolm X.

Patton Was Right , 5 hours ago

"WE DEFEATED THE WRONG ENEMY!" Now we are paying the price

2legit B , 5 hours ago

Seth Rich downloaded the emails on a potable drive. Was he Russian?

LB Helms , 4 hours ago

DNC/ FBI/ CIA/ CNN/ NBC have merged into the 5 headed serpent.

Mr.762 , 4 hours ago

The FBI and CIA need to be dismantled!

Silly Goose , 5 hours ago

Roger Stone got some minor facts wrong and is facing jail time, Brennan and Comey outright lied to Congress, when are they going to jail?

reminaya , 4 hours ago

"June 2017, CIA told FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith that Carter Page was working for them (the CIA)." Clinesmith then changed that notification so he could submit the last (FISA) renewal.

Theta Kongpancake , 4 hours ago

5:55 - "Lets hope Carter Page spends the rest of his life sueing everyone..." lol Thats the meanest thing ive ever heard you say! O:)

Christopher Wojciechowski , 2 hours ago

The FBI was never innocent. They're guilty as hell and heads need to roll over.


Blue -eyed , 2 hours ago

Allowing ONE person to decide if crimes where done by the most powerful people in america for decades. Horowitz was bought one way or another.

Joe Montano , 4 hours ago

1:52 - This is what a paid shill looks like. If the money is good, they'll read whatever is on the prompter. Years from now when they're demonized by the corrupt media they'll scratch their head and ask... What happened to integrity in our country???

lrm21 , 46 minutes ago

High crimes and misdemeanors. Where is John Brennan?

P MA , 2 hours ago

If you asked me 20 years ago wether I would be watching Fox News to get the most rational point of view in politics, I would have said you were crazy. Another great job Tucker! In my opinion, you’re one of the best news men of our current time; questioning needless wars, and calling out politicians, gvmnt officials and your counterparts at other news desks with rational arguments. Well done sir!

ita-glo jgv , 41 minutes ago

Personally seen these types of things/cases in lower levels, police chiefs and officials, judges, prosecutors, mayor, FBI, and so on. Not surprisingly it happens elsewhere. ...But very disappointed of it all.

cat nerp , 4 hours ago

Politics is like religion. Facts mean very little before the over powering light of belief

TaggsR85 , 1 hour ago

How does Horowitz believe this wasn’t politically motivated? What was the motivation to lie to surveillance to be put on carter page?

VAMPYRE ANGELUS , 4 hours ago

fbi is the mafia with badges..

Bruce Lee , 4 hours ago

The FBI has too much power. It’s not about a few bad apples, it’s what can happen with a few bad apples.

Duncan McCockiner , 33 minutes ago

If I were an American citizen, I'd be very concerned about the utter incompetence of the FBI that the IG report exposed. The dems don't seem to be bothered by this at all. Go figure.

Patrick Ryan , 1 hour ago

The Establishment has played this game many times before .. remember PM Harold Wilson was put up as a Russian Agent .. sure they won that game but NOT this time .. they fear President Trump because the have nothing over him .

Richard Ralph Roehl , 5 hours ago

NOTHING will happen. There will be no indictments of any major deep-$tate players.

tamimerkaz , 2 hours ago

The Democ-rats and the media (I repeat myself) are shamelessly LYING through their teeth to the American People. There was NO Russian collision—it's a HOAX made by LOSERS who can't accept their loss in 2016 so they were up to smear the winner, President Trump, by all means, possible including Illegal surveillance, fraud and manipulation—ABUSE of government power for political prosecution.

Cherrie Dee , 5 hours ago

Steele dossier......fake evidence bought and payed for by the democrats and presented to the FISA court by James Comey...........FELONY FELONY FELONY!......this one can’t be talked away!

Scott Thompson , 4 hours ago

Tucker, thank you for being a constant drumbeat for the criminal activity undertaken by the FBI and CIA to ultimately unseat a duly elected President. No rest until they are held accountable.

Aisha Mohammed , 52 minutes ago

How could the FBI be innocent? We saw the emails. We saw them cover up for Bill Gates, Clinton, Epstein, Brunel, and all the others. We saw how they protected these abusers of children. We saw how they worked to overthrow a sitting president. We saw how they protected the Awan’s and Huma.

BC Stud , 4 hours ago

THE FIX WAS IN - People are saying that Nellie Orr the Russian Expert is best friends with the IG's Horowitz wife - So nice - Bruce your husband is a lap dog and works for the FBI . People should be outraged as the cover up continues . Just like OJ - they have 10 times the evidence that would convict anyone else - have them charged , arrested , tried and jailed . Different rules for corrupt politicians and their friends in law enforcement .

2 Cent , 5 hours ago

Michael Cohen In prison, Papadopulos went to prison, Flynn is going to prison, Roger Stone is going to prison, Manafort is in prison and Devin Nunes and Rudy Giuliani are under investigation.....Lock them up, lock them up!!!!

Jessica Greene , 4 hours ago

CIA tells FBI who in turn uses their corrupt media to spread the lies as truth. The less intelligent among us believe them as gospel and thus we get "Russian Collusion, or Quid Pro Quo, or Iraq has weapons of mass destruction " and on and on.....

Susan Byers , 2 hours ago

Carter Page is scarcely a victim, he was a CIA informant. He was a plant. He was an excuse to do surveillance EVERYONE.

Jennifer Griffin , 2 hours ago

Ukraine and Barisma may be corrupt, but after reading the summary of this report, this country better not be calling any country corrupt. The USA is following Rome. Soon it will die.

kenh2o , 4 hours ago

FBI is totally corrupted by it's unchecked power, these deep states have the guts to repeatedly use FALSE Information again & again to spy on the opposition political party presidential candidate campaign. The Fake News medias continue to cover for them, it is sickening!

Rick Atkins , 5 hours ago

The FBI based on the IG report are either criminally liable for deceiving FISA courts, or the most inept, bumbling criminal investigation agency ever. Looks like both to me. Any FBI agent or employee who knew the FBI was breaking the law, and remained silent needs to be fired immediately and prosecuted along with the principals, for aiding and abetting criminal activity. This sounds like RICO violations.

Daryl Leckt , 34 minutes ago (edited)

if Carter Page didn't run the 2016 "Trump Election Campaign Committee of Moscow" from the ROSNEFT bureau offices inside the Kremlin, where did Carter Page run the "Trump Election Campaign Committee of Moscow" ?

BrianC6234 , 2 hours ago

Horowitz needs to stop being a wuss and tell the whole truth. His report is a big lie. The whole thing was a political attack. It started with John McCain and he handed it off to Obama and Crooked Hillary. There was no reason at all to investigate Trump. Is the IG part of the deep state? Democrats are acting like this report is good news for them.

Pal VB , 1 hour ago (edited)

Steele was not the author of the fake dossier, DNC FusionGPS Glen Simpson was, and Steele used as cover. Coming in the Durham findings. 17 FBI "mistakes" in a row all against Trump? No bias? B S.

Me King , 4 hours ago

How Trump has "conned" the American tax payer: This is just a few of his fraud actions!He set up a foundation to benefit the military, then him and his family pocketed our money.He started a Fake University, then stole the money from the American people.He cheated on his wives, then paid them to keep quiet so it wouldn't damage his chances in the election.He stiffed 100's of worker's he hired and then made up an excuse y they didn't get paid

Maclain Hunter , 2 hours ago

If Donald Trump was a Russian spy it would’ve been the deepest cover of any secret agent ever....he came here after his lgb training as a young man and became a celebrity for 30 years before finally putting his dastardly plan to go from pageant owner to president into action! If that were anywhere close to true the Russians did so much work I think they earned the 4-8 years in the White House! I know that at this point I’d rather have Vladimir Putin as President than any of the top democrats!

The World Through My Mind , 1 hour ago

Folks..All this soap opera is just a smoke screen to hide what is really important and is happening right now at this very minute. The Federal Reserve Banking cartel is pumping 100s of billions of dollars into insolvent banks again like they did in 2008. This time it is more and we taxpayers will again foot the bill. The banks are getting this money called REPO loans. Watch your cash everyone as the Federal Reserve has only 1 product and that is printing money( debt) that they will use to steal your assets and future.

lenchienlon , 3 hours ago

There are many opinions about the Horowitz report. As with a prior report Horowitz lays out damning evidence and then draws exactly the wrong conclusion. Why does he have to draw ANY CONCLUSIONS? His job is to present the facts and the evidence and to let "We the People' draw conclusions. Reminds me of Comey declaring that Hillary's actions were irresponsible but not criminal. Why? She didn't act with intent. She was just incompetent! Tucker is absolutely right! What does it matter what their motive was? Like Clinton, they behaved in a criminal fashion.

[Dec 09, 2019] Beijing has ordered all government offices and public institutions to remove foreign computer equipment and software within three years

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Dec 9 2019 6:11 utc | 70

Below is a link from ZH about the tech front in the civilization war between the empire West/US and China

China Retaliates For Huawei: Beijing Orders All Government Offices And Public Companies To Replace Foreign PCs And Software

The take away quotes
"
...... the FT reports that Beijing has ordered all government offices and public institutions to remove foreign computer equipment and software within three years.
..........
The take home message here is that US PC and software giants are about to lose billions in sale to Chinese customers, a move that will infuriate Trump who will, correctly, see such attempts to isolate the Chinese PC market from US vendors.
"

This is going to be difficult for China but they have a domestic OS, the Kylin OS, that is Unix/Linux based, so much Open Source software is available to replace the Microsoft/Apple software they currently use until they develop their own.

This speaks to Trump saying he can wait for a trade deal until after the (s)election but it seems obvious that his negotiating position is going to get weaker by the day.

-------------------------------

Another aspect of the tech war that is financial also is that I am reading the China is on the cusp of releasing a digital fiat RMD currency. This will have serious disintermediation effects on the BIS, City of London Corp and others doing currency exchange if any can do such on their phones. I am reading about digital currencies needing a blockchain underpinning but if the US dollar can exist without one currently then what are the show stoppers except the private finance dead weight in the middle?

[Dec 09, 2019] Neocon attempts to build "A New American Century" which is to say hegemony and globalisation failed

Notable quotes:
"... Significantly Wallerstein, arguing from history that the intervals between these brief periods of hegemony are periods in which several states compete for the 'succession'-France and the UK in the period after the Dutch moment had passed; Germany and the United States after 1850- suggested that the European Community would be competing with the East Asian bloc for hegemony. ..."
"... Also of interest is the fact that Russia, which didn't feature among the contestants for future hegemony in 1980, has now re-emerged in its ancient role as the 'eastern' version of expanding America, a mirror image with even more natural resources, a larger landmass and a natural affinity with China and the formerly Soviet states of central Asia. ..."
"... It might be argued that it is because the hubristic United States cannot bring itself to treat the potentially enormously powerful states of Europe as anything more than contemptible slaves that it is never going to re-establish its global position. On the other hand a case can be made that the current thrust of the United States is to re-establish its ownership of the rest of the hemisphere. It treats Canada as a sort of Puerto Rico with snow and oil. Only recently was Mexico was threatened on the improbable-in historical terms- that it allows the CIA to run its drug trade and supervise its Death Squads. ..."
"... US interference and arrogance is as evident as it has ever been. What is less evident is whether, for all its military and financial power, US policy against Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and their increasingly rebellious neighbours has any chance of succeeding. ..."
Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Dec 8 2019 23:14 utc | 49

There is a sense in which everything on this blog comes back to international relations and neo-con attempts to build "A New American Century." Which is to say hegemony and globalisation.
Immanuel Wallerstein, who recently died and will be greatly missed, had some interesting things to say about hegemonic powers.
He identified the Dutch Republic, for a brief period after emerging victorious from the Thirty Years war in 1648, the United Kingdom, after Waterloo and up until the Crimean War and the United States, from 1945 to 1973 as true hegemons with networks of alliances and designated enemies.

He also makes the point that, long after states have ceased to be hegemonic, they remain dominant in the areas of finance and culture.

So far as the United States is concerned it is hanging on in both those areas in which, long after the paper in its Thuggerish foreign policy has been exposed, it retains enormous influence though its media/entertainment businesses and Wall Street's command in finance. (It is interesting here that The City, long after the UK has become a US puppet, still has enormous power in the world of finance.)

Wallerstein prophesied (and this was in 1980) that the next contender for the position of hegemon was likely to be an East Asian alliance of Japan, Korea and China.

Not a bad guess but one, like the end of US hegemony, made premature by the implosion of the Soviet Union which provided the US with a new dawn and another chance-quickly blown- to re-establish its hegemony. Which it did if not in fact then in its own mind in the shape of the hubristic unipolar moment and Brother Fukuyama's End of History celebration.

Significantly Wallerstein, arguing from history that the intervals between these brief periods of hegemony are periods in which several states compete for the 'succession'-France and the UK in the period after the Dutch moment had passed; Germany and the United States after 1850- suggested that the European Community would be competing with the East Asian bloc for hegemony.

It is that prophecy which looks lame currently with the European countries probably more under the domination of the United States than at any time in the past. Wallerstein was writing at a period when it looked as if the the EEC strengthened by the accession of, inter alia, the UK would be capable of throwing off the domination of the US and taking an independent course of its own.

This is a dream, rather like that of the 'Social Europe' in which full employment, welfare states, free education and regional development defy the spread of neo-liberal values and strategies, which still leads a ghost like existence in the minds of Europhiles who don't get out much and have never heard of Greece and the PIIGs.

Also of interest is the fact that Russia, which didn't feature among the contestants for future hegemony in 1980, has now re-emerged in its ancient role as the 'eastern' version of expanding America, a mirror image with even more natural resources, a larger landmass and a natural affinity with China and the formerly Soviet states of central Asia.

It might be argued that it is because the hubristic United States cannot bring itself to treat the potentially enormously powerful states of Europe as anything more than contemptible slaves that it is never going to re-establish its global position. On the other hand a case can be made that the current thrust of the United States is to re-establish its ownership of the rest of the hemisphere. It treats Canada as a sort of Puerto Rico with snow and oil. Only recently was Mexico was threatened on the improbable-in historical terms- that it allows the CIA to run its drug trade and supervise its Death Squads.

As to the rest of central America and the southern continent: US interference and arrogance is as evident as it has ever been. What is less evident is whether, for all its military and financial power, US policy against Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and their increasingly rebellious neighbours has any chance of succeeding.

It wrote in 2001 that the War on Terror was destined to end with Latin American militias, wearing red armbands, patrolling the streets of Cleveland. Perhaps it will.

[Dec 09, 2019] Presidential candidates who want to place conditions on Israeli military aid have prompted pro-Israel House Democrats to go on the offensive.

Notable quotes:
"... "I'm opposed to conditioning the aid, and I would fight it no matter what," Engel told Al-Monitor. "The Democratic Party has traditionally been a pro-Israel party, and I see no reason for that to change now. If there are people who are Democrats who don't feel that way, then I don't think they should be elected president of the United States." ..."
"... Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is the most vocal proponent of conditioning Israeli military aid in the presidential race -- ​ going even further left than J Street and all his primary opponents. At J Street's conference in October he said that some of the $3.8 billion in annual assistance "should go right now to humanitarian aid in Gaza." ..."
"... J Street has set any formal Israeli annexation of the West Bank as its red line for placing conditions on Israeli military aid. But it also supports the $38 billion memorandum of understanding. ..."
"... Shortly after the vote, Sanders campaign co-chair Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., as well as Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., asked colleagues to sign a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking him to clarify whether Israel has used US military equipment while demolishing Palestinian homes in the West Bank. ..."
"... The letter, seen by Al-Monitor, notes that the Arms Export Control Act "narrowly conditions the use of transferred US-origin defense articles" and requires the president to inform Congress if the equipment is used for unauthorized purposes ..."
Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

renfro , says: December 8, 2019 at 4:46 am GMT

The Jews try to run US policy ..but lately the Dem base (and part of the party) has become more pro Palestine.

Democratic (Jewish) lawmakers reckon with 2020 rhetoric on Israel aid

December 6, 2019

Presidential candidates who want to place conditions on Israeli military aid have prompted pro-Israel House Democrats to go on the offensive.

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

It's becoming harder and harder for pro-Israel Democrats on Capitol Hill to ignore the increasingly critical voices of the US ally within their party and the presidential race.

House Democratic leaders -- who happen to be some of the staunchest Israel supporters on Capitol Hill -- this week added language supportive of the annual $3.8 billion military aid package to Israel to a symbolic resolution that endorses a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The stalled resolution passed 226-188, largely along party lines, today. But pro-Israel Democrats only came on board after House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., added their new language to the bill. The new provision is a response to the fact that several presidential candidates have come out of the woodwork in recent months with calls to place conditions on the largest recipient of US military aid.

"I'm opposed to conditioning the aid, and I would fight it no matter what," Engel told Al-Monitor. "The Democratic Party has traditionally been a pro-Israel party, and I see no reason for that to change now. If there are people who are Democrats who don't feel that way, then I don't think they should be elected president of the United States."

When Engel's committee first advanced the resolution in July, Democratic leaders opted not to put it on the floor, even as they passed another nonbinding resolution condemning the pro-Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement 398-17, which was backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

That changed last month after the Trump administration repealed a decades-old legal opinion maintaining that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law.

"There are those on the far-left side of the Democratic Party -- and some of the presidential candidates -- who are pushing for new conditions on aid, especially in their interactions with Gaza, which is run by Hamas -- a terrorist organization," Gottheimer told Al-Monitor.

An October poll from the liberal Center for American Progress found that 56% of American voters, including 71% of Democrats, oppose "unconditional financial and military assistance to Israel if the Israeli government continues to violate American policy on settlement expansion or West Bank annexation."

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is the most vocal proponent of conditioning Israeli military aid in the presidential race -- ​ going even further left than J Street and all his primary opponents. At J Street's conference in October he said that some of the $3.8 billion in annual assistance "should go right now to humanitarian aid in Gaza."

J Street has set any formal Israeli annexation of the West Bank as its red line for placing conditions on Israeli military aid. But it also supports the $38 billion memorandum of understanding.

Presidential hopefuls Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, have jumped on board with J Street's position. However, the current front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden, has flatly ruled out conditioning the aid.

Notably, J Street did not oppose the effort to amend the Lowenthal resolution with the military aid language. That said, progressive Democrats do not necessarily view that provision as incompatible with calls to attach strings to that assistance. Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., called the Engel language "meaningless."

"It's just restating what current practice or current law is," Pocan told Al-Monitor. "We don't really see it as affecting the bill one way or the other. At any time if we feel like we're better off putting conditions on money and holding back money, Congress could always do that with any country through the normal process."

Shortly after the vote, Sanders campaign co-chair Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., as well as Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., asked colleagues to sign a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking him to clarify whether Israel has used US military equipment while demolishing Palestinian homes in the West Bank.

The letter, seen by Al-Monitor, notes that the Arms Export Control Act "narrowly conditions the use of transferred US-origin defense articles" and requires the president to inform Congress if the equipment is used for unauthorized purposes

Read more: https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/12/democratic-lawmakers-2020-rhetoric-israel-aid.html#ixzz67UEIl383

[Dec 08, 2019] If you take away still viable American aerospace, automotive and pharmaceutical industries among very few others, you will find a wasteland of financial speculations and selling the snake oil

Dec 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Jim Christian , says: December 6, 2019 at 2:48 am GMT

@Andrei Martyanov

but if you take away still viable American aerospace, automotive and pharmaceutical industries among very few others, you will find a wasteland of financial speculations and selling the snake oil

Lovely takes, Andrei. The people that need to read you see your name and immediately retort, "Agent for Putin", Washington Post-style. Gets them off the hook from thinking because after all, college deliberately taught them NOT to think. Most of the kids, they're hopeless. They're hopeless idiots, they know nothing of the Constitution, they think all is normal.

And they were fleeced by the academics that dumbed them down. Meanwhile, we have in effect, been selling each other hamburgers (services) for the past 50 years. Also, they've been selling the oil and gas right out from under our feet overseas and putting THAT in their pockets even as we pay a world price for gasoline and finished product. Every other country that produces crude gets a discount. Not us.

To steal a quote from a movie I watched once, they struck oil under our garden and all we get is dead tomatoes. Our society is hollowed out, depraved, the women becoming more and more hideous, all the institutions that held us together, deliberately broken. decay everywhere.

As for the military? A reflection of our society. When I went into the Navy in 1975, it was Stars and Stripes and we served in large part for Mom, Apple Pie and Chevrolet.

Today it is clear that the Stars and Stripes should be dollar signs over a defense contractor logo. The rest? From where I sit today, for most kids, Mom is a divorced slut, Apple Pie is a turd in a wax paper wrapper and Chevrolet is a bent shit can from China.

This isn't a society I'd defend as a nation worth defending. The feminists sit on their fat, comfortable asses, made such on the labors of us White guys and they declare their hatred. Only a moron or a kid that needs a shot at a job or trade or gets a kick out of airplanes or such joins.

Our women in general aren't worth defending on the streets or the world. Not in the Blue cities, they are hideous. Take care of your own woman and kids and community and hell with the rest. There's no draft, the society mostly hates Vets, so it isn't for country most serve.

It's to grab something, from a trade, to a pilot's license. A military based on that has no staying power. And our corruptions and waste and outright theft in military procurement for shitty weapons makes us ripe for the taking. And our talent is wasted building shitty weapons and the second level builds shitty airliners.

Can't fly into space? We cannot fly, literally, to anywhere in the newest build out, the Maxx. And we're depending on the Theranos of Aerospace, Spacex/Musk to get us to space? Right! Except for the nukes, we're ripe, man.

Andrei, speaking of Musk, how the Hell does he smoke big fat doobies and keep his security clearance when everyone else in Washington gets fired for getting near the stuff? Queer privilege? I'm convinced the whole thing with Musk is a shell game. You?

Thanks for your work. Very good stuff, but we can't get those who need it to even look. Our people are incapable of marching in the streets or even seeing why they should. Kudos to those who did it to us. They did a fine job.

Jim Christian , says: December 6, 2019 at 2:55 am GMT
@Frederick V. Reed It has a dangerous set of nukes. The tripwires are and have always been easy-sinkers like our surface ships. The psychos that run our policy have subs and silos with missiles with lots of nukes...

[Dec 07, 2019] Hidden resentment against criminal neoliberal billionaires looms in 2020 elections

Notable quotes:
"... Writing in the 1830s, as the Industrial Revolution gathered pace, Honoré de Balzac anticipated the broader social concern: "The secret of great fortunes without apparent cause is a crime that has been forgotten, because it was properly carried out." Or, in the more popular paraphrase: behind every great fortune lies a great crime. ..."
"... In recent decades, this corporate lobbying has had two main effects. First, by erecting entry barriers to existing sectors, it protects incumbents and lowers their effective tax rates. This is a deadweight loss – a pure drag on economic growth that limits opportunities for everyone who is not already an oligarch. ..."
"... As U.S. public finances are eroded by oligarchy, so is the ability to fund essential infrastructure, improvements in education, and the kind of breakthrough science that brought America to this point. ..."
Nov 30, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , November 30, 2019 at 10:52 AM

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2019-11-30/The-billionaire-problem-M2mbVg2rVS/index.html

November 30, 2019

The billionaire problem
By Simon Johnson

Our billionaire problem is getting worse. Any market-oriented economy creates opportunities for new fortunes to be built, including through innovation. More innovation is likely to take place where fewer rules encumber entrepreneurial creativity. Some of this creativity may lead to processes and products that are actually detrimental to public welfare.

Unfortunately, by the time the need for legislation or regulation becomes apparent, the innovators have their billions – and they can use that money to protect their interests.

This billionaire problem is not new. Every epoch, dating at least from Roman times, produces versions of it whenever some shift in market structure or geopolitics creates an opportunity for fortunes to be built quickly.

Writing in the 1830s, as the Industrial Revolution gathered pace, Honoré de Balzac anticipated the broader social concern: "The secret of great fortunes without apparent cause is a crime that has been forgotten, because it was properly carried out." Or, in the more popular paraphrase: behind every great fortune lies a great crime.

Prominent historical examples include the British East India Company, the Europeans who built vast fortunes based on African slave labor in the West Indies, and coal mine owners.

All became rich fast, and then used their political clout to get what they wanted, including impunity for horrendous abuses. At their peak in the nineteenth century, railway interests held sway over many or perhaps even most members of the British parliament.

The United States has long exhibited a particularly potent strain of the billionaire problem. This is partly because America's founders, in their pre-industrial innocence, could not imagine that money would capture politics to the extent that it has (or that was fully apparent just a few decades later). Moreover, U.S. leaders were long willing to let private enterprise take on new projects that elsewhere fell into the hands of the state.

The German post office, for example, built one of the most extensive and efficient telegraph systems in the world. Samuel Morse urged Congress to do the same (or better). But U.S. telegraph communication was instead developed privately – as was the telephone system that followed, all of iron and steel, the entire railroad network, and just about every other component of the early industrial economy.

When the U.S. government did become involved in economic activity, it was mostly to open up new frontiers – creating more opportunity for individuals and private business.

In the aftermath of World War II, Vannevar Bush – a Republican who was also a top adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt – cleverly argued that science represented the next frontier, and hence constructed a winning political argument for the government to act as a catalyst.

As Jonathan Gruber and I have argued recently in our book Jump-Starting America, the post-war federal government's strategic investments in basic science spurred remarkable private-sector innovation – including productivity gains and widely shared increases in wages. Vast new fortunes were created.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. /VCG Photo

The political consequences of America's post-war private-sector boom were felt within a generation, and they were not always positive. From the 1960s, the U.S. experienced growing anti-tax sentiment, strong pressure for deregulation (including for the financial sector), and a lot more corporate money pouring into politics through every possible avenue.

In recent decades, this corporate lobbying has had two main effects. First, by erecting entry barriers to existing sectors, it protects incumbents and lowers their effective tax rates. This is a deadweight loss – a pure drag on economic growth that limits opportunities for everyone who is not already an oligarch.

As U.S. public finances are eroded by oligarchy, so is the ability to fund essential infrastructure, improvements in education, and the kind of breakthrough science that brought America to this point.

Some of America's billionaires earn kudos for their philanthropy. At the same time, most of them adopt a dog-in-the-manger attitude throughout their business operations – digging deeper moats to protect profits or simply destroying smaller business at every opportunity.

There is a second effect, which is more nuanced. In some entirely new sectors, particularly in the digital domain, entry was possible at least during an early phase.

The entrepreneurs who built the first Internet companies were not able to put up effective entry barriers – hence the runaway success (and greater billions) of more recent companies such as Facebook, Amazon, and Uber.

But now the controlling shareholders of these new behemoths operate pretty much in the same way as Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and the original J.P. Morgan once did. They use their money to buy influence and resist any kind of reasonable restraint on their anti-competitive and anti-worker behavior – even if it undermines democratic institutions.

We will always have billionaires. Ex post regulation and higher rates of taxation are appealing today but, looking forward, will they prove sufficient in a political system that allows individuals to spend as much as they like to get whatever they want (and repeal whatever they hate)? It's time for a new approach, as Gruber and I propose.

Big profits follow from big new ideas. That's why federal science funding should be designed to include upside participation in the enterprises that will be created. The public deserves much more direct participation in those profits. And the billionaires should have to make do with fewer billions.

Simon Johnson is a professor at MIT Sloan.

point -> anne... , December 01, 2019 at 07:06 AM
"The United States has long exhibited a particularly potent strain of the billionaire problem. This is partly because America's founders, in their pre-industrial innocence, could not imagine that money would capture politics to the extent that it has (or that was fully apparent just a few decades later). "

A romanticization of the founders? I seem to recall their motivation was to counter revolt against the galloping egalitarianism of the States, and incidentally, the guys in the room were basically the billionaires of the day.

His subsequent complaints seem right on though, and pointing out the telegraph situation, which rightly should have been a Post Office operation, is especially appreciated.

anne -> point... , December 01, 2019 at 07:29 AM
A romanticization of the founders? I seem to recall their motivation was to counter revolt against the galloping egalitarianism of the States, and incidentally, the guys in the room were basically the billionaires of the day.

[Simon Johnson's] subsequent complaints seem right on though, and pointing out the telegraph situation, which rightly should have been a Post Office operation, is especially appreciated.

[ Nicely done. ]

Paine -> point... , December 03, 2019 at 07:49 AM
Nonsense

Robert Morris and his ilk
and animatronic operatives of the high fi cliques Alex Hamilton
Were there at the creation

Paine -> Paine... , December 03, 2019 at 07:51 AM
Not points. Johnson's of course

Typical liberal capitalist
Phrase and meme framing

Framing also
as in railroading
to a false verdict

Paine -> anne... , December 03, 2019 at 07:46 AM
Our target must be global corporations
And FIRE SECTOR profiteering outfits
Not simply their billionaire benefiaries

Break oligop corporate power
to state harnessing systems

People's states or corporate states

Which shall we have

Paine -> anne... , December 03, 2019 at 07:59 AM
The spending reforms are probably
A decoy hunt

POTUS races can be effectively
Operated with
Little people funded campaigns
Bernie proved that
And Liz

Yes spreading too thin
fielding 435 house races at once
or 34 Senate races etc
Big bucks will prevail over all
But winn8ng evening enough
It requires sustainable
Solid majorities
And protracted continuity
like the new deal maintained

Why ?

The bigger problem is the pre existing
State system
Progressives might get elected
to change The show
But
Deep Sam will resist mightily

Paine -> anne... , December 03, 2019 at 08:04 AM
Look at corporate history and you see
Mant big oligop outfits
Built and run
without a billionaire driving
the operation

The oligop corporation should be
the real target for policy change
not the billionaires


The billionaires however make great agitational targets

And private wealth taxes are a fantastic
Weapon of struggle even if only a credible threat

Paine -> Paine... , December 03, 2019 at 08:09 AM
Corporations allowed free range
. build billionaires

Not visa versa

Without these modern vehicles such wealth accumulation would certain not occur
let alone funnel to a hand few

Paine -> Paine... , December 03, 2019 at 08:13 AM
Capitalism is a system
.of organized social production
That produces and reproduces
Along with itself
Typical human consequences
Among those typical human consequences

Sociopathic billionaires


And immiserated wage earners

[Dec 07, 2019] Could Tax Increases Speed Up the Economy?

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , December 05, 2019 at 04:53 AM

Could Tax Increases Speed Up the Economy?
Democrats Say Yes https://nyti.ms/2RlDbJx
NYT - Jim Tankersley - December 5

WASHINGTON -- Elizabeth Warren is leading a liberal rebellion against a long-held economic view that large tax increases slow economic growth, trying to upend Democratic policymaking in the way supply-side conservatives changed Republican orthodoxy four decades ago.

(Warren Would Take Billionaires Down
a Few Billion Pegs https://nyti.ms/2CtMPRN
NYT - November 10)

Generations of economists, across much of the ideological spectrum, have long held that higher taxes reduce investment, slowing economic growth. That drag, the consensus held, would offset the benefits to growth from increased government spending in areas like education.

Ms. Warren and other leading Democrats say the opposite. The senator from Massachusetts, who is a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, contends that her plans to tax the rich and spend the revenue to lift the poor and the middle class would accelerate economic growth, not impede it. Other Democratic candidates are making similar claims about their tax-and-spend proposals. Some liberal economists go further and say that simply taxing the rich would help growth no matter what the government did with the money.

Democrats in the past, including the party's 2016 nominee, Hillary Clinton, have argued that a more modest combination of tax increases and spending programs would expand the economy. But no Democratic nominee before Ms. Warren had ever proposed so many new taxes and spending programs, and leaned so heavily into the argument that they would be, in economist parlance, pro-growth.

That argument tries to reframe a classic debate about the economic "pie" in the United States by suggesting there is no trade-off between increasing the size of the pie and dividing the slices more equitably among all Americans.

Ms. Warren has proposed nearly $3 trillion a year in new taxes on businesses and high-earners, largely focused on billionaires but sometimes hitting Americans who earn $250,000 and above per year. The taxes would fund wide-reaching new government spending on health care, education, and family benefits like universal child care and paid parental leave.

Last month, Ms. Warren wrote on Twitter that education, child care and student loan relief programs funded by her tax on wealthy Americans would "grow the economy." In a separate post, she said student debt relief would "supercharge" growth.

The last batch of economists to disrupt a political party's consensus position were conservative -- the so-called supply-siders who built influence in the late 1970s and gained power in the Reagan administration. Previous Republican presidents had focused on keeping the budget deficit low, which constrained their ability to cut taxes if they did not also cut government spending. Supply-siders contended that well-targeted tax cuts could generate big economic growth even without spending cuts. ...

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , December 05, 2019 at 04:57 AM
Ms. Warren is making the case that the economy could benefit if money is redistributed from the rich and corporations to uses that she and other liberals say would be more productive. Their argument combines hard data showing that high levels of inequality and wealth concentration weigh down economic growth with a belief that well-targeted government spending can encourage more Americans to work, invest and build skills that would make them more productive.

They also cite evidence that transferring money to poor and middle-class individuals would increase consumer spending because they spend a larger share of their incomes than wealthy Americans, who tend to save and invest.

"The economy has changed, our understanding of it has changed, and we understand the constricting effects of inequality" on growth, said Heather Boushey, the president of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a think tank focused on inequality.

Inequality has widened significantly in America over the last several decades. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the incomes of the top 1 percent of Americans more than tripled from 1979 to 2016, before taxes and government transfer payments are taken into account. For the middle class, incomes grew 33 percent. More than a decade after the recession, wage growth for the middle class continues to run well behind previous times of economic expansion, like the late 1990s.

Research by the economist Emmanuel Saez and colleagues shows that the last time such a small sliver of Americans controlled such a large share of the nation's income and wealth was in the late 1920s, just before a stock market crash set off the Great Depression. World Bank researchers have warned that high levels of inequality are stifling growth in South Africa, which has the globe's worst measured inequality.

"We have an economy that isn't delivering like it used to," said Ms. Boushey, who advised Hillary Clinton's 2016 Democratic presidential campaign. "That's leading people to say let's re-examine the evidence."

The contention that tax and spending increases can lift economic growth is not the only challenge to traditional orthodoxy brewing in liberal economic circles. Some Democrats have also embraced modern monetary theory, which reframes classic thinking that discourages large budget deficits as a drag on growth. Its supporters, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and the economist Stephanie Kelton, an adviser to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, argue that the United States government should be spending much more on programs to fight inequality, like a federal job guarantee, without imposing new taxes.

Some of the inequality-focused economists say they are hoping to build new economic models to predict the effects of their policies, though they acknowledge few of those models exist yet. Instead, they rely on evidence about the likely effects of individual programs, added together.

Many economists who study tax policy contend that Ms. Warren's plans -- and other large tax-and-spend proposals from Democratic candidates this year -- would hurt the economy, just as classic economic models suggest.

"Some elements of the large increase in government spending on health and education proposed by Senator Warren would promote economic growth" through channels like improved education, said Alan Auerbach, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has written some of the most influential research in the profession on the relationship between tax rates and growth.

But, he said, "I am very skeptical that these growth effects would offset the negative effects on growth of the higher taxes, particularly given that the spending increases are not specifically targeted toward enhancing growth."

Ms. Warren disagrees. In the latest Democratic debate, she said the spending programs funded by her wealth tax would be "transformative" for workers. Those plans would raise wages, make college tuition-free and relieve graduates of student debt, she said, adding, "We can invest in an entire generation's future."

An emerging group of liberal economists say taxes on high-earners could spur growth even if the government did nothing with the revenue because the concentration of income and wealth is dampening consumer spending.

"We are experiencing a revolution right now in macroeconomics, particularly in the policy space," said Mark Paul, an economist who is a fellow at the liberal Roosevelt Institute in Washington. "We can think of a wealth tax as welfare-enhancing, in and of itself, simply by constraining the power of the very wealthy" to influence public policy and distort markets to their advantage.

Taken together, Ms. Warren's proposals would transform the role of federal taxation. If every tax increase she has proposed in the campaign passed and raised as much revenue as her advisers predict -- a contingency hotly debated among even liberal economists -- total federal tax revenue would grow more than 50 percent.

The United States would leap from one of the lowest-taxed rich nations to one of the highest. It would collect more taxes as a share of the economy than Norway, and only slightly less than Italy.

Mr. Sanders's plan envisions a similarly large increase in tax levels. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s proposals are much smaller in scale: He would raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations by $3.4 trillion over a decade, in order to fund increased spending on health care, higher education, infrastructure and carbon emissions reduction.

If Ms. Warren's tax program is enacted, said Gabriel Zucman, an economist at Berkeley who is an architect of her wealth tax proposal, "in my view, the most likely effect is a small positive effect on growth, depending on how the revenues are used."

Another economist who has worked with the Warren campaign to analyze its proposals, Mark Zandi of Moody's, said he would expect her plans to be "largely a wash on long-term economic growth."

Researchers at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College projected this summer that Ms. Warren's wealth tax and spending policies would generate a 1.7 percent increase in the size of the economy. A preliminary study of a wealth tax like Ms. Warren's proposal, by the Penn Wharton Budget Model, found that it would reduce the size of the economy by a similar 1.7 percent. The model uses the sort of classic methodology that liberals are now rebelling against and did not evaluate Ms. Warren's spending proposals.

Historical experience offers few parallels for assessing the economic effects of a taxation-and-spending program on the scale of Ms. Warren's ambitions. A 2002 study of wealth taxes in rich countries found that those taxes, most of which have since been abandoned, reduced economic growth slightly on an annual basis.

Conservative economists roundly disagree that large tax increases can spur faster growth, even those who say government spending on paid leave and child care may get more Americans into the labor force. They say a wealth tax on the scale of Ms. Warren's proposal would greatly reduce savings and investment by the rich.

"What a wealth tax does is, it directly taxes savings," said Aparna Mathur, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute who favors a narrow paid leave program and whose research finds benefits from reducing tax rates on business and investment. "If you're taxing savings, you're implicitly taxing investment. So how can that possibly be pro-growth?"

The supply-side economists' plans were similarly denounced -- George Bush called them "voodoo economic policies" while running for president in 1980 -- but in time dominated Republican proposals.

Some members of the new liberal revolt against tax orthodoxy welcome the comparison to the supply-side uprising.

"While I think that the supply-siders were wrong, and were always wrong, they were reacting to very real economic problems in the 1970s," said Michael Linden, the executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, a liberal policy and advocacy group. "There was something really wrong with the economy at the time. I think there is now."

[Dec 06, 2019] Tucker Carlson Main Street Conservatism

Dec 06, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

e at The American Conservative say we're for a 'Main Street' conservatism . There's perhaps no better example of what that means than this 10 minute segment from Tucker Carlson's primetime show last night. Carlson, chairman of TAC's advisory board, dared to go after GOP mega-donor Paul Singer for his thoroughly awful "vulture capitalism" practices -- and the Republican politicians who take his money and remain silent. It was a truly remarkable segment, especially to appear on Fox News.

For the uninitiated, Paul Singer is a New York hedge fund manager who has made billions by purchasing sovereign debt from financially distressed countries. He'd offer struggling foreign governments a lifeline for their debt, then hound them with costly litigation to make a handsome profit on repayment with interest, not unlike a vulture feeding off a carcass -- hence, vulture capitalism. Singer's vulture capitalism isn't limited to foreign countries, though; his hedge fund, Elliot Management, also racks up quite the profit by "investing" in struggling U.S. companies, often off-shoring good paying American jobs in the process.

Much of Carlson's exposé centered around Singer's involvement with the outdoors retailer Cabela's. For many Americans, Cabela's is a yearly staple for hunting and fishing gear. For residents of Sidney, Nebraska, population 6,282 and Cabela's corporate headquarters, it was the economic engine of the flourishing town. For Singer, it was yet another way to add to his bloated net worth. Elliot Management took an ownership stake in Cabela's in 2015, and quickly pushed the board to sell the company. Despite its relative health, Cabela's caved to Elliot Management's wishes, and sold to competitor Bass Pro Shops a year later. Just one week after the merger, amidst surging Cabela's stock prices, Singer's hedge fund cashed out -- to the tune of $90 million up front.

Of course, things didn't work out so well for the town of Sidney. With Bass Pro Shops taking ownership of Cabela's, many good paying jobs in Sidney disappeared -- and many residents were forced to move. Those who didn't leave town quick enough were stuck, as housing prices collapsed. Sidney, once one of the rare thriving small towns surviving the "brain drain," found itself decimated by a New York billionaire who probably never stepped foot in a Cabela's.

Yet the story is not just about another small town fallen prey to a changing economy, because Singer is not just another hedge fund manager. He was the second biggest donor to the GOP in 2016, and has pumped millions of dollars into Republican campaigns. Accordingly, he demands outsized influence over Republican congressmen -- as Carlson noted, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse has been silent on the situation in Sidney. But a closer look at Singer's political investments is revealing as to his brand of "conservatism". He has bankrolled numerous neoconservative foreign policy shops , advocated for more permissive immigration policies , and has been a longtime supporter of pro-LGBT organizations and causes . It's no surprise that he vehemently opposed President Trump's ascendance in 2015.

If you're not yet DVR-ing the 8pm Fox News timeslot, you should be. Last night's segment was the latest evidence that Tucker Carlson is perhaps the only voice on cable news unafraid to call out those on his own side -- even those who are very powerful like Paul Singer. For too long, conservatives have been beholden to moneyed interests that feel no obligation to the country around them. 'Main Street' conservatism, by contrast, sides with the people in places like Sidney, Nebraska over the culturally progressive, interventionist, market absolutists in the centers of power -- regardless of which major party receives their dollars.

about the author Emile A. Doak, senior development associate, coordinates The American Conservative 's fundraising efforts. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he studied political philosophy and theology. Prior to joining TAC , Emile worked in education, teaching and managing college preparation courses for high school students. He and his wife reside in their hometown of Herndon, Virginia.

[Dec 06, 2019] Her constant mind-changing and backpedaling in response to whomever has the political upper-hand at the moment has angered both the DNC establishment as well as the progressive left

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

WJ , December 5, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Said it before and I'll say it again, Warren's personal ambition is often what manifests her poor political instincts. Why did she claim Native American Heritage? Why did she endorse HRC in 2016? Why did she ambiguously support, then unambiguously back away from, M4A?

This trend leads me to suspect that she will not easily back out of the race, and cannot be trusted finally to endorse Sanders in 2020 any more than she could be in 2016. I suspect, in any case, that many of her voters would not default to Sanders but to Buttigieg in any case. They seem to be mostly white professionals between 30-60yrs old who make $120,000/year.

Hepativore , December 5, 2019 at 2:19 pm

Wow, Sanders has really been pulling ahead of Warren if the polls over the past few days are to be believed. I am hoping that this trend continues. Warren's overly-complicated healthcare proposal which she decided to backpedal on at the last moment seems like it has really cost her.

I kind of wonder at this point why Warren decided to run for president in the first place. She seems like the type of person who would rather follow than lead, and would be ill-suited to be president as she would be forced to take a position on something. Warren would have been better served to be clear about what her actual positions are instead of trying to have it both ways. Her constant mind-changing and backpedaling in response to whomever has the political upper-hand at the moment has angered both the DNC establishment as well as the progressive left.

Lambert Strether Post author , December 5, 2019 at 2:22 pm

> angered both the DNC establishment as well as the progressive left.

Warren tried to straddle, and lost both.

Samuel Conner , December 5, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Or, as Abraham Lincoln put it in a letter to "Mr FJ Hooker" as he was contemplating a push across the Rappahannock in the wake of Lee's move westward in June 1863,

"like a bull stuck across a fence that cannot gore to the front or kick to the rear"

I think it was you, Lambert, who drew my attention to "Rich and Tracey's Civil War podcast", and I am grateful.

Lambert Strether Post author , December 5, 2019 at 2:42 pm

Isn't it great? I just listened to that episode!

Trent , December 5, 2019 at 3:34 pm

Love the podcast because we need more stuff like that, but Rich could use a shot of charisma ;)

flora , December 5, 2019 at 3:04 pm

Warren tried to straddle, and lost both.

See Jim Hightower's definition of the political middle of the road.
https://www.amazon.com/Theres-Nothing-Middle-Stripes-Armadillos/dp/0060929499

Arizona Slim , December 5, 2019 at 3:37 pm

And there is nothing, I do mean nothing , that stinks worse than a dead armadillo.

Darius , December 5, 2019 at 3:37 pm

I think Warren is running for treasury secretary in a Biden administration. The theory being that that will be her reward for stopping Sanders. Everybody has an angle. Except Bernie. Can someone show me his angle?

NotTimothyGeithner , December 5, 2019 at 4:44 pm

Warren may be many things, but she despises Biden. She has enough self respect to never work for the turd.

hunkerdown , December 5, 2019 at 4:56 pm

No neoliberal should be assumed to have self-respect. If they did, they wouldn't be neoliberals.

[Dec 06, 2019] Anti-war, anti-imperialist, anti-big business/pro-small business

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Cafefilos , December 5, 2019 at 11:50 am

Tucker Carlson has been making comments like this for a long time. And he's not a libertarian. He believes in regulated capitalism.

What we might be seeing is a the beginning of the two parties flipping from left to right on economic issues. The social issues just obscure it, as they were designed to do.

Bushwood , December 5, 2019 at 9:10 am

I wonder if the powers at be at Fox News allow Tucker to go on these rants because they know two things:
1.) 99% of bought and paid for Republican politicians will never do anything about this except perhaps some lip service here and there.
2.) The fact that it's on Fox News will cause the Vichy left to not believe it's real or perhaps a Russian phy op against American capitalism. Thus outside of the Sanders camp there will be no push/support for any change.

Montanamaven , December 5, 2019 at 6:53 pm

Tucker has CHANGED his views on lots of things. Like I have. To be able to admit you were wrong is a big deal. He supported the Iraq War. I didn't. In retrospect, he realized he did this because of group think cool kids thing. Then he realized that he had been conned, He doesn't like being conned. I thought Obama's speech was the opposite of John Edwards "2 Americas". Obama was delivering a "con" I.e. "We are all One America". So now Tucker and I, from different sides, are more skeptical. I started questioning my groupthink Democratic viewpoint in 2004. Slowly I realized that I too had been conned. So some of those on the "right" and Some of those on the "left" have sought other ports to dock in as we figure this all out. Naked Capitalism is one of those docks. So soon we should introduce Tucker to Yves.

mrtmbrnmn , December 5, 2019 at 7:25 pm

As I have frequently pointed out to my once-upon-a-time "liberal" friends, Tucker Carlson is often these days a worthwhile antidote to the collective yelpings & bleatings of the brain-snatched amen corner on MSNBC & CNN. In this instance (and others) his observations are rational and clearly articulated. He makes sense! And he is on the correct (not far right) side of the topic. The continuing Iraq/Syria catastrophe, PutinGate and the hedge fund hooligan Paul Singer are just three recent examples. His arguments (and his snark) are well played. Alas, following these sensible segments, he is still a Fox guy and is obliged to revert to Fox boilerplate for most of the rest of the night. But in our present crackbrained media environment, be thankful for small mercies such as Tucker's moments.

DSB , December 5, 2019 at 8:30 pm

Thanks for the post. I probably would have missed this without you.

There are a couple things that are interesting to me. First, why does Tucker Carlson call out Ben Sasse for accepting a maxed out campaign contribution from Paul Singer? The Governor of Nebraska then and now is Pete Ricketts. His father (Joe – TD Ameritrade, Chicago Cubs) is a "very good friend" of Paul Singer. Everyone believes Pete Ricketts wants to run for US Senate and the nearest opportunity is Ben Sasse's seat. More than meets the eye?

https://www.omaha.com/money/td-ameritrade-founder-ricketts-cabela-s-investor-very-good-friend/article_f1259ad4-7416-547b-8121-38766ef03cec.html

Two, a longtime director of Cabela's is Mike McCarthy of McCarthy Capital. [Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel worked for McCarthy.] ES&S (electronic voting machines) is owned by McCarthy Group, LLC.

More here than just money?

[Dec 06, 2019] Tucker Carlson Tears into Vulture Capitalist Paul Singer for Strip Mining American Towns

Notable quotes:
"... If we despise Singer, we must also despise Congress. ..."
"... If we despise Singer, we must also despise Congress. ..."
Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

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Fearless commentary on finance, economics, politics and power Recent Items Tucker Carlson Tears into Vulture Capitalist Paul Singer for Strip Mining American Towns Posted on December 5, 2019 by Yves Smith In a bit of synchronicity, Lambert gave a mini-speech tonight that dovetails with an important Tucker Carlson segment about how hedge funds are destroying flyover. As UserFriendly lamented, "It is beyond sad that Tucker Carlson is doing better journalism than just about anywhere else." That goes double given that Carlson has only short segments and TV isn't well suited to complicated arguments.

Lambert fondly recalled the America he grew up in in Indiana, before his parents moved to Maine, where most people were comfortable or at least not in perilous shape, where blue collar labor, like working in a factory or repairing cars, was viewed with respect, and where cities and towns were economic and social communities, with their own businesses and local notables, and national chain operations were few. Yes, there was an underbelly to this era of broadly shared economic prosperity, such as gays needing to be closeted and women having to get married if they wanted a decent lifestyle.

I'm not doing his remarks justice, but among other things, the greater sense of stability contributed to more people being able to be legitimately optimistic. If you found a decent job, you weren't exposed to MBA-induced downsizings or merger-induced closures. Even in the transitional 1970s, Lambert got his first job in a mill! He liked his work and was able to support himself, rent an apartment, and enjoy some modest luxuries. Contrast that with the economic status of a Walmart clerk or an Amazon warehouse worker. And even now, the small towns that remain cling to activities that bring people together, as Lambert highlighted in Water Cooler earlier this week:

Please watch this clip in full. Carlson begins with an unvarnished description of the wreckage that America's heartlands have become as financial predators have sucked local businesses dry, leaving shrunken communities, poverty and drug addiction in their wake.

Readers may wonder why Carlson singles out hedge funds rather than private equity, but he has courageously singled out one of the biggest political forces in DC, the notorious vulture capitalist Paul Singer, best known for his pitched battles with Peru and Argentina after he bought their debt at knocked-down prices. Carlson describes some US examples from his rapacious playbook, zeroing on Delphi, where Singer got crisis bailout money and then shuttered most US operation, and Cabela's, where a Singer-pressured takeover wrecked one of the few remaining prosperous American small towns, Sidney, Nebraska. Not only are former employees still afraid of Singer, but even Carlson was warned against taking on the famously vindictive Singer.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/IdwH066g5lQ


Sound of the Suburbs , December 5, 2019 at 5:35 am

It is in my self-interest to make as much money as possible doing as little work as possible.

I can live a very comfortable life of leisure with a BTL portfolio extracting the hard earned income of generation rent.
Excellent.

What would be the best thing to do?
1) Work really hard to build up a company myself
2) Asset strip a company that has been built up by someone else

It's not even hard.

Kevin Hall , December 5, 2019 at 6:56 am

"it's not even hard"

And also very, VERY short sighted. Sure, it will make you an easy buck today.

It will also slit your throat tomorrow.

Just like Omar, winter 1789 is coming.

jef , December 5, 2019 at 1:52 pm

Kev said; "It will also slit your throat tomorrow."

This, aggressive mergers and acquisitions, has been going on for a very long time and everybody always says that but I have yet to see any wealthy person suffer more than a small loss of a point or 2.

The fact is thats where we are at with capitalism. Money MUST become more money. There are no outside considerations not even human life.

We all talk about robots going rogue and killing off humanity. Well money is already doing that.

Sound of the Suburbs , December 6, 2019 at 1:18 am

This was the lesson Alan Greenspan learnt after 2008.
He hadn't realized bankers would bring the whole system down for personal gain, but they did.

Starrman , December 5, 2019 at 9:48 am

Sound of the Suburbs, your comment suggests that this is the way things are and that there is nothing to do about it, but that is wrong. It's not inherent to markets or to nature. In fact, "it's not even hard" because we have agreed to it as part of the social contract, and created policies that enable it. We can reverse the calculation by changing the tax rules, accounting rules, and legal liability rules and this calculation reverses. TLDR; vote Bernie.

JTMcPhee , December 5, 2019 at 10:03 pm

Which "we" are you talking about? You assume an entity with agency, when there is no such thing. How do YOU suggest "WE" rewrite the non-existent "social contract?" Or change the tax rules, the accounting rules, the Delaware corporations law, the Federal Codes of Civil and Criminal Procedure, the current contents of the Code of Federal Regulations, the United States Code and all the other trappings of legitimacy that give "us" the looting we suffer and remove any access to 'agency" to re-fix things? I hope Bernie wins/is allowed to win, but he would need the skills of a Machiavelli and Richelieu and Bismarck to "drain the swamp" of all the horrible creatures and muck that swirls there.

Not to say it's not worth trying "our" mope-level damndest to make it happen.

Mr Broken Record , December 5, 2019 at 5:44 am

I can't believe this is Tucker Carlson wow

That said – it doesn't seem to me that Cabelas was 'forced' to sell. Singer owned less than 12% of the stock. Is he to blame for either managerial greed, or lack of cojones? I'm not praising Singer, just saying ISTM that he had couldn't have succeeded there without the greed or cowardice of management. I could be wrong.

Carlson said this behavior is banned in the UK, how does that work?

Yves Smith Post author , December 5, 2019 at 7:15 am

Tthis is standard operating procedure for takeovers and greenmail in the US. First, 11% is going to be way way above average trading volumes. Second, unless management owns a lot of shares or has large blocks in the hands of loyal friends, many investors will follow the money and align with a greenmailer.

When a hostile player is forced to announce that he has a stake >5% by the SEC's 13-D filing requirement, managements start sweating bullets. "Activist" hedge funds regularly make tons of trouble with 10% to 15% stakes. CalPERS was a very effective activist investor in its glory years (not even hostile but pushing hard for governance changes) with much smaller stakes.

The New York Post, which is very strong on covering hedge funds, confirms Carlson's take. From a 2016 article:

Hedgie Paul Singer hit another bull's-eye with his Cabela's investment.

Singer's Elliott Management bought an 11 percent stake in the hunting supply chain last October and pressed the Springfield, Mo., chain to pursue strategic alternatives -- including a sale.

On Monday, his suggestion was heeded as the 55-year-old company said it agreed to a $5.5 billion, $65.50-per-share takeover offer from rival Bass Pro Shops.

For Singer, who purchased much of his Cabela's stake at between $36 and $40 a share, Monday's news means that the fund gained roughly 72 percent on its investment.

The same story depicts Singer as able to exert pressure with even smaller interests:

The hedge fund had an 8.8 percent stake in the company and was expected to net $58 million in profits, The Post reported.

Elliott, which in June announced a 4.7 stake in PulteGroup, named three board members to the Atlanta-based homebuilding company.

Last Thursday, it readied a new target, taking an 8.1 percent stake in Mentor Graphics, a Wilsonville, Ore.-based developer of electronic design automation software.

Since then, shares of the company have risen 6 percent, to $26.24.

Mentor represents a "classic" Elliott investment, a source close to the matter told The Post, adding that it is a "perfect time" for the company to sell itself.

https://nypost.com/2016/10/03/cabelas-is-sold-for-5-5b-a-win-for-paul-singer/

Joe Well , December 5, 2019 at 9:56 am

You have a gift for explaining these things to people with a lot of education but not in finance. I was confused by this, too, until I read your comment.

WJ , December 5, 2019 at 11:17 am

+100 Very well put.

Roquentin , December 5, 2019 at 3:08 pm

Ditto on that.

Danny , December 5, 2019 at 1:39 pm

"CalPERS was a very effective activist investor in its glory years (not even hostile but pushing hard for governance changes) with much smaller stakes."

Does that mean they pulled the same parasitical stripping of companies to raise money to help pay pensions?

But, since it represents public employees and their paymasters, the taxpayers, couldn't CALPERS be forced to only effect deals that create the most employment, ideally in California, rather than destroy it? i.e. a ban on job destroying deals.

That would be a long term investment in California, rather than a short term means to raise cash, no?

Yves Smith Post author , December 5, 2019 at 6:38 pm

No, CalPERS was pushing for governance reforms like cutting the pay of obviously overpaid CEOs and fighting dodgy accounting. See here:

https://money.cnn.com/2012/05/02/markets/calpers-activist/index.htm

anon in so cal , December 5, 2019 at 9:55 am

Tucker Carlson has taken remarkably courageous positions on a number of issues, including Syria, Ukraine, Russia, etc.

Matt Stoller tweets praise of Carlson's report on Singer:

"There is a real debate on the right.
@TuckerCarlson just guts billionaire Paul Singer over the destruction of a Nebraska town through financial predation. And Carlson is merciless towards Senator @BenSasse for taking $$$ and remaining silent."

https://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/1202079677357207552?s=20

YankeeFrank , December 5, 2019 at 5:45 am

I get the sense sh_t's gonna get biblical soon. Its long past time for people like Singer to reap the whirlwind.

Ramon Zarate , December 5, 2019 at 6:23 am

I have noticed a considerable uptick in comments across a whole range of sites about things "going to get biblical".
When the next downturn happens there seems to be every indication that it's going to be on an unprecedented scale.
Traditionally that's always seem to be time to have a good war, you can get the country to focus on an external common enemy, you can ramp up industrial production providing full employment and you can use national security to clamp down on dissent. Nuclear weapons seems to have put paid to that idea unless our leaders convince themselves that they can survive and flourish in their bunkers (while simultaneously relieving themselves of a large surplus of global population)
The populations willing embrace of the security state through all our electronic devices will be a large hurdle for revolutionary elements as well as the crushing of dissent via institutions like the FBI and the mainstream media.
The French and the Russians succeeded in the past. I doubt if I will either live long enough to see it (being old) or even less likely to live through it.

Synoia , December 5, 2019 at 12:20 pm

Biblical in the OT sense. In the NT going biblical was a sacrifice.

I'm not fond of the phrase as it is a euphemism for violence or war. Under that definition, the US, through declared and undeclared wars, has been going biblical for most of my life.

Boris , December 5, 2019 at 6:05 am

In the Jimmy Dore show this is almost a running joke now: He shows a clip with Tucker Carlson, where Tucker is doing what you would expect the "liberal" media to do, like going against the deep state, criticizing regime change wars (a few times with Tusi as his guest), or something like this great piece against Singer and the hedge funds. Jimmy Dore then, each time, shakes his head in disbelief and asks, "Why the hell is Tucker Carlson the only one who is allowed to say things like this? Its a mystery! I dont get it!"
-- indeed: Why, and why on Fox News?

Isotope_C14 , December 5, 2019 at 6:26 am

Why is he allowed?

Because it sells. Can't let RT steal all the money with anti-war voices, Watching the Hawks, Jesse Ventura, On Contact with Chris Hedges, these shows have viewership, and the Fox news owners know it.

Perhaps they'll have to make Tucker Carlson FOX, the TCFOX news channel. An anti-establishment, pro-capitalism libertarianesque program experience, where they can decry all the pro-war democrats, and RINO's, while making a case that capitalism isn't working cause of "big government".

Of course "private property" requiires state enforcement, which, when you remind libertarians that they are "statists", they don't like that too much

funemployed , December 5, 2019 at 9:26 am

It sells, but also doesn't pose a real threat to the powers that be. He creates very accurate, specific, personally moving, well-produced, diagnoses of problems (he even names names!)

Then he and his ilk imply that the only solution is to magically create a government free white Christian ethnostate where the good non-corrupt capitalists (like, as he states in this video, the rockefellers and carnegies apparently were) will bring us back to the good ol days.

I strongly recommend sitting down for a good long policy discussion with a Tucker Carlson fan. In my experience they will, without exception, go to great lengths to convince you that a vote for Bernie will, undoubtedly, make all the problems Tucker describes worse, cuz gubmint bad and racist dog whistles.

I suspect absent Carlson and his ilk, Bernie would actually have an easier time making inroads into the republican base.

John Wright , December 5, 2019 at 11:00 am

I heard no Carlson mention of "magically create a government free white Christian ethnostate where the good non-corrupt capitalists (like, as he states in this video, the rockefellers and carnegies apparently were) will bring us back to the good ol days."

Carlson seemed to suggest that prior US capitalists "felt some obligation" while, to me, implying that current US capitalist versions do not feel this obligation.

Bernie could show he will listen to good ideas from all sides, even when the ideas surface on Fox.

Carlson did mention some "countries have banned this kind of behavior, including the United Kingdom" which suggests legislative changes are possible.

If Bernie were to pitch a legislative fix, he might pick up some Tucker Carlson fans.

Maybe Bernie might get mentioned favorably by Carlson.

Danny , December 5, 2019 at 1:58 pm

"a government free white Christian ethnostate"

Carnegie built hundreds of public libraries, Rockefeller donated thousands of acres of land, Sears founder
Julius Rosenwald funded the beginnings of the NAACP.

funemployed , December 5, 2019 at 3:17 pm

Well, we can agree to disagree on whether or not Carlson's regularly invoked vision of deserving Americans is racist or ethnocentric, and I'll admit his view of the role of government can seem a bit schizophrenic at times – as far as I can tell he has strongly libertarian sensibilities but in recent years figured out that "free" markets do, in fact, require government regulations.

But I do strongly recommend reading a few social/economic histories of the US from the industrial revolution through the beginning of the great depression.

I promise those fellows you mention were not quite so swell as Tucker makes out, and that the relationship between philanthropy and capital hasn't changed as much as you seem to think.

Shiloh1 , December 5, 2019 at 3:54 pm

Didn't know that Tucker was a DNC Superdelegate or purveyor of trick coins last election.

Roquentin , December 5, 2019 at 3:20 pm

I'll just say this, if I were playing for the other team so to speak, and I were a GOP strategist trying to secure a future for the party, the easy move would be to adopt a degree of populist rhetoric and at least make some gestures towards easing the pain of towns which have been rendered post-industrial wastelands by people like Singer and acknowledge what's been done. It would be almost comically easy to paint the Democrats as the political party of globalized capitalism (because they are), even more so because most of the places that are key liberal constituencies are also centers of the financial industry (Manhattan and San Fransisco, for example). It wouldn't take much to graft the loathing of "urban elites" in these communities onto PE and hedge funds. This, combined with toning down the nationalist rhetoric, cutting back on the racism and homophobia (hell, even just keeping your mouth shut about it) would pretty much build an unstoppable electoral majority.

Back in the days when I was more optimistic about the Democrats, I always tried to warn people that if the Democrats (and other center left parties) waited too long and let the GOP be the first ones to the lifeboats when neoliberalism started to sink, they'd get stuck holding the bag even if the GOP had more to do with those policies historically. But pursuing this strategy would imply that the GOP is somehow less beholden to its donors than the Democrats, which it isn't, but maybe Tucker Carlson is the canary in the coal mine. Even people on the right realize the jig is up, and that they better start trying to cut some kind of deal with the rising populist currents in US politics if they want to stay in power.

flora , December 5, 2019 at 6:32 am

Thanks very much for this post.

divadab , December 5, 2019 at 6:34 am

Tucker Carlson on Fox is making sense, while MSNBC and CNN peddle nonsense. What better reason to cancel your cable and say adios to the fakery and programming.

The Rev Kev , December 5, 2019 at 6:40 am

In other unrelated news, Paul Singer has announced that he is providing funding to the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research to try and understand why so many "flyover" Americans give their votes to Trump. "It's a mystery. I have no idea why they would not vote for a good Republican candidate instead – like my boy Mitt Romney" he stated. "Why would they do that? Maybe I should run for President like my buddy Mike. Then they could all vote for me. Or else!"

Reading his Wikipedia page, I notice that he only donates money to things that effect him personally. He went to Harvard so he gives to Harvard. He lives in New York so he gives money to the Food bank and the Police – which both serve to keep the place calm. He is Jewish so he gives a ton to money to pro-Israel causes. He votes Republican so he helps fund Republicans that will defend wealthy people like him. One son comes out as gay so he gives to same-sex marriage & LGBTQ causes. He provides money to organizations that fight taxes being imposed on wealthy people like himself. It is a very narrow circle of concerns that he has. And the vast bulk of Americans are outside this circle I note.

But of all people to call him on his part in destroying the real economy of the United States. That which actually makes stuff and does stuff instead of financial bs. Of all the people to do so it is Tucker-goddamnn-Carlson. And on Fox News to boot. The same person that "liberal" protesters were demonstrating outside his home with his family inside because they did not like his beliefs. It is kinda funny when you think about it. A right wing commentator is attacking the Left. But from their left.

Jane , December 5, 2019 at 9:21 am

It is kinda funny when you think about it. A right wing commentator is attacking the Left. But from their left.

What better proof that there is no Left left in the Left any more? Today's Left is to the right of what used to be the Centre, Liberals are what used to be Conservative and Conservatives have moved into "here there be dragons" territory. .

jrs , December 5, 2019 at 11:48 am

This is nonsense, the DSA for example is to the right of what used to be the Center? They aren't left enough for some, including some of their members I suspect but .. But the left period has little actual power is the thing. And it's all about taking power.

polecat , December 5, 2019 at 12:17 pm

Like I've mentioned previously – politically .. our society has gone through a phase-shift. Mr. Carlson is but just one example. So are those of us who held our noses, after seeing how transparently conniving the DNC et al were, and voted for the Julius de Orange !

Math is Your Friend , December 5, 2019 at 12:23 pm

"the crushing of dissent via institutions like the FBI and the mainstream media"

This will be unnecessary. Recent research indicates that when people feel like they are being watched, they self-censor.

The growing number of activist special interest groups with a myriad of hot topics and disparate worldviews and interests just about guarantees that anything you say other than parroting the current majority opinion will offend someone.

Couple that with murky legal powers, the unpredictability of the Twitter/Instagram mob, doxing, and the expansion, both in extent and number of players, of ubiquitous surveillance, and significant dissent becomes more and more a thing of the past.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the growing unreliability of political polls?

Yves Smith Post author , December 5, 2019 at 6:42 pm

Another reason not to carry a smartphone or keep in mainly in a Faraday bag.

SB in StL , December 5, 2019 at 4:18 pm

There is a populist Left. Its figurehead is Bernie but there are growing local/state organizations like the DSA that may become relevant nationally in the not-too-distant future. AOC is a current/future leader for this faction.

There is a populist Right. Its figurehead is Trump. From what I can tell, they're primarily online but are also gaining strength in traditional conservative institutions like churches, community orgs, etc.. Tucker appeals to this group. Josh Hawley is a Senator from MO with presidential ambitions who I expect will lead this faction after Trump is gone. He is the slick-but-folksy and deadly serious neo-Fascist type many on this board worry/warn about taking power if a real Left does not arise to counter it/him.

Then there is the establishment elites (or ruling class, or deep state, whatever), which are primarily Neoliberal (domestic policy) and Neoconservative (foreign policy). There have long been these types in both parties, differing only by degree, but Trump has forced most of the "liberal" Republicans into the D party. This group controls the money and most of the key institutions, particularly the major media, tech, energy, and financial corporations, but their grip is slipping and the mask is falling off. Some will side with the populist Left, but most will welcome the new Fascism, i.e. the DNC apparatchiks who would rather lose to Trump than win with Bernie.

Danny , December 5, 2019 at 2:08 pm

Mitt Romney, Bain Capital, another species of parasite, sucking some of the last marrow out of the bones of America. Beware of billionaires who demonstrate that they are aliens to our society.

Tom67 , December 5, 2019 at 7:10 am

I read Tucker Carlsons book "ship of fools". It is all in there: criticism of the war fare state, Wall Street, TBTF bail outs a.s.o. He spares neither Republicans nor Democrats. Kinda crazy but he voices more or less exactly what Sanders is saying as well. Except he doesn´t get "Medicare for all" and he is social conservative. Still you might think that there is enough common ground to work together. Instead we get crazy idendity politics. I more and more believe that it is indeed so that the people on top have realised that "identity politics" is the best thing that ever happened to them: divice et impera. Divide and rule as already the Romans knew

tegnost , December 5, 2019 at 8:31 am

The biggest threat of Sanders is his cross over appeal to the lower orders.

GramSci , December 5, 2019 at 12:21 pm

And the biggest threat from Tucker Carlson is that the lower orders will believe that Carlson-cum-Trump are as much their friend as Sanders. One of the longest-standing Idpol divisions in US history has been unions vs. scabs. Over the past half-century, the Democratic Party has realigned its public image in favor of the scabs. The union leadership stayed with the Dems, but the rank-and-file long ago moved over to the Repubs. Old wine, new bottle.

JBird4049 , December 5, 2019 at 11:05 pm

Unions were weakened and made easier to destroy using IdPol. First by encouraging banning, sometimes expelling, blacks from the various unions and secondly getting rid of first the communists, then the socialists, and finally those deemed too liberal (not conservative enough).

Although the efforts by business interests, often helped by government at all levels, to segregate unions was mainly in the 19th century and the "Better Dead Than Red" campaign was in the 20th especially after 1947, the use of racism and anti-leftism was done in both centuries.

You can see similar successful splintering of the Civil Rights Movements. First separating the Suffragettes from from the anti-racism efforts. Then later the efforts to unite the Women's Rights Movement with the successful efforts against racism was the 1960s were thwarted.

Let us just say that reform movement of the past two centuries has been splintered. The earlier women's rights and the abolitionists, blacks and whites throughout the unions, suffragettes and the anti lynching efforts, communists from everyone else, anti poverty from equal rights ( MLK did get lead poisoning when he tried) and so.

So when I see the latest efforts to use IdPol to split poor people from everyone else or blacks from whites, and see people falling for the same tactics I just lose my mind. Obviously.

Carolinian , December 5, 2019 at 9:03 am

You might think but you'd be wrong. St Clair in Counterpunch calls hims Tuckkker Carlson–apparently because Carlson agrees with Trump on things like immigration. I read Carlson's book too and would say only about half of it was material I would agree with. But the notion that anyone who doesn't stand up to IDPol standards is a villain is crushing the left. They obsess over Trump while the wealthy of both parties wreck the country.

workingclasshero , December 5, 2019 at 1:48 pm

Yeah.those crazy folks who believe a sovereign nation might just have a right to control it's borders.

Carey , December 5, 2019 at 11:29 pm

I'd go along sooner with Tucker Carlson than Mr. St Clair, whose CP smeared both Caitlin Johnstone and CJ Hopkins. St Clair and CP are controlled "oppo", IMO.

The commenter you were replying to had it right: divide et impera is the order of the day; sometimes from unexpected sources, like the one mentioned above.

zagonostra , December 5, 2019 at 7:39 am

Tucker Carlson's trajectory is that of Keith Olbermann in reverse

Art , December 5, 2019 at 9:12 am

I hope that means he'll be anchoring sportscenter soon

WJ , December 5, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Hilarious.

ex-PFC Chuck , December 5, 2019 at 8:15 am

Great post! TC has strode out of the Fox News subset of the Overton window a number of times in recent years.

PS: Yves, some introductory text to the part about Lambert's speech apparently didn't make it into the post. It would fit between the 1st and 2nd paragraphs.

tegnost , December 5, 2019 at 9:26 am

I've been searching for lamberts speech, any tips as to where it is?

Fox Blew , December 5, 2019 at 8:19 am

In my opinion, Tucker Carlson represents a very real and very active right-libertarian view that has been consistently present within the Republican Party for decades. Anti-war, anti-imperialist, anti-big business/pro-small business, and of course, anti-big union. Robert Taft comes to mind. I don't share their "ideologies" but as a self-described socialist, I am deeply attracted to their criticisms. And criticisms ARE important and necessary, even if the solutions are left wanting. I dearly hope that his popularity is a sign of the realignment of politics, where issues of class and war become commonplace and issues of "to impeach or not to impeach" fall by the wayside. I recognize that my hopes may not turn to realities.

jrs , December 5, 2019 at 11:57 am

But for an employee it makes no difference if they work for a big or small business (only big business on average is LESS exploitative if anything – if for no other reason but they can afford to be – some of the worst exploitation out there is employees working for small business owners).

Carey , December 5, 2019 at 11:33 pm

That has most emphatically *not* been my experience.
With small business there is someone to talk to / point at.

teacup , December 5, 2019 at 4:04 pm

Exactly, right libertarian. Within the libertarian spectrum there are real and then royal libertarians, Tucker is of the latter. http://geolib.com/essays/sullivan.dan/royallib.html
What are his immigration views? Are people motivated to come here because this global vulture octopus thing has ruined their home market?

tegnost , December 5, 2019 at 8:25 am

I have long thought that paul singer is representative of the worst people in the world (argentina wtf)
and I'm glad carlson put his face up there so many times for his victims to see, in case he ever ventures out of mordor undisguised. For all the money he has, a truly worthless pos, as the closing comment made so clear. Good for Carlson, though, almost seems like actual journalism. Kudos.

James , December 5, 2019 at 8:55 am

If we assume that good mergers achieve cost savings which ultimately benefit the consumer (they very often do, assuming a good merger), is it better that a relatively large number of people save money on goods, or that a relatively smaller number of people keep duplicate, unnecessary jobs?

Grebo , December 5, 2019 at 11:44 am

Can you name such a good merger? Mergers by definition must reduce competition, and by classical Liberal theory competition is what reduces prices for consumers.

In Neoliberal theory monopoly is the just reward for beating the competition. Sorry consumers! Bad luck workers!

By what criteria do you deem a job unnecessary? Neoliberal criteria.

John Wright , December 5, 2019 at 12:01 pm

Here are some ways a merger can be bad for the US consumer.

If a merger results in employee pensions being transferred to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (US government funded) then employee pension costs are being transferred to the US taxpayer/consumer.

Or consider that a merger might create a monopoly that can raise consumer prices.

How does one determine that a proposed merger will be a good one that will "ultimately benefit the consumer."?

eg , December 5, 2019 at 3:04 pm

Let them eat consumer surplus, eh?

/sarc

No thanks.

Memphis Paul , December 5, 2019 at 9:00 am

Good morning Yves.
Tucker Carlson invoke Paul Singer noted ultra vulture as vehicle to transport Yves, others to Fox News Commentary!
Seems the Good Night and Good Luck segue from Edward R Murro via Keith Olbermann to Tucker Carlson is complete.

pjay , December 5, 2019 at 9:07 am

Thank you for this. It is a story that has been repeated countless times across the country, including the midwestern town where I was born and raised.

As for Carlson being the only source of occasional light in the MSM -- the clarification continues. It has truly become Bizarro World.

Bushwood , December 5, 2019 at 9:10 am

I wonder if the powers at be at Fox News allow Tucker to go on these rants because they know two things:
1.) 99% of bought and paid for Republican politicians will never do anything about this except perhaps some lip service here and there.
2.) The fact that it's on Fox News will cause the Vichy left to not believe it's real or perhaps a Russian phy op against American capitalism. Thus outside of the Sanders camp there will be no push/support for any change.

Dalepues , December 5, 2019 at 10:00 am

Glad to see someone in the MSM point out the obvious .Carlson called out Singer, but in doing so he also called out the Republican Party, specifically Sen. Ben Sasse from Nebraska. It will be interesting to see if Sasse is reelected.

Mike Mc , December 5, 2019 at 11:43 am

Nebraskans – R and D both – should toss Sasse to the curb. He's angered regular bat-poo crazy Republicans by his "never Trump" blather, then angered Nebraska Democrats (both of us) by voting Trump/GOP well over 90 percent of the time.

Add to this his folksy BS appearances in the media and his execrable books, and he's a classic empty suit. Closer to a straight Republican Mayor Pete than any thing else – over-credentialed, over-ambitious and under performing.

Our Nebraska Democratic Party problem is two-fold: incredibly thin bench for decent candidates and preponderance of Clinton/Obama/HRC leftovers running the state party. Will be knocking on doors for Bernie come 2020 but state races are iffy at best.

Brian (another one they call) , December 5, 2019 at 10:24 am

In a wacky pre apocalyptic world, truth and justice is pined for by many. Conservation is a critical requirement. I now look at what is true and what is not, I know, very subjective. Those folks that tell us to do things that harm us are transparent. We follow them at our peril.
I consider Sanders the most conservative option we have for the nation. He intends to 'conserve' our nation and the people first. Something we have not had for decades, or ever, perhaps. Giving the people with the most to lose a voice in how things move forward is a critical point of distinction from the rest of the field.
so vote conservative. Protect that which makes us whole. Stop the looting and take back what has been stolen to benefit all instead of a small clique of criminals.
But I'm an optimist.

Susan the Other , December 5, 2019 at 10:36 am

Tucker has good sense. Perhaps Paul Singer is probably retiring from vultury. He's old and it's a nasty fight. Singer is at the end of a 30 year stint of dispossessing other people. Being vicious really isn't enough to keep the federal government at bay. Nor are his bribes. There has been an unspoken policy of dispossessing poor and middle class people. Why? Is the United States actually looking at a specific future? That wouldn't align with the free market – tsk tsk. Or would it? Live free, die free. Somebody needs to define the word "free". Did TPTB decide to deindustrialize this country that long ago? That's when they attacked the unions. And the consensus might have been, "Go for it; get it while you can." So Paul Singer did just that, along with other creepy people like Mitt Romney. Because once the country has been hosed out by these guys we won't be pushing the old capitalist economy at all. We will be pushing a globally connected, sustainable economy. Paul Singer is just a dung beetle. And our government didn't want to discuss it because they would have had to create a safety net. If we despise Singer, we must also despise Congress.

Carolinian , December 5, 2019 at 11:05 am

He was born in 1944 so not that old. He could go on vulturing for a long time.

HotFlash , December 5, 2019 at 2:26 pm

If we despise Singer, we must also despise Congress.

But I do!

Sancho Panza , December 5, 2019 at 9:03 pm

If we despise Singer, we must also despise Congress. -Susan the Other

Agreed. I think you can argue Congress (and the Executive Branch) have done more to help the Chinese middle class than the American middle class over the last 30 years. Co-locating our industrial base with the CCP on communist soil should be looked upon as the most radical policy in our history but is not. Imagine if at the height of the Cold War we had told Kruschev hey..how about you make all the stuff we need and we'll pay you $20 or $30T in trade surplus over a number of years in hard currency which you can then parlay into geopolitical power in Africa, South America, the ME and else where. What would the America of the fifties think of this policy?

Carey , December 6, 2019 at 1:03 am

>Co-locating our industrial base with the CCP on communist soil should be looked upon as the most radical policy in our history but is not.

Truer words were never spoken. And that in a period of less than thirty
years

"our leaders™"

Carey , December 5, 2019 at 11:39 pm

>Because once the country has been hosed out by these guys we won't be pushing the old capitalist economy at all. We will be pushing a globally connected, sustainable economy.

Can you expand a little on this?

Cafefilos , December 5, 2019 at 11:50 am

Tucker Carlson has been making comments like this for a long time. And he's not a libertarian. He believes in regulated capitalism.

What we might be seeing is a the beginning of the two parties flipping from left to right on economic issues. The social issues just obscure it, as they were designed to do.

jrs , December 5, 2019 at 12:13 pm

the only question then is to what extent social issues DERAIL the economic issues then. If social issues mean paid family leave must be opposed for example because women oughta be barefoot and pregnant, then that's derailing of real concrete material benefits period. Of course progressive socially is where demographics trend.

But of course using the example of paid family leave, we're starting from a country with almost no safety net to begin with, and there are bigger problems with the labor market as well (people having gig jobs with NO benefits, they aren't going to be helped by policy changes to job provided benefits period).

skippy , December 5, 2019 at 9:01 pm

Quibble there is no labour – cough – market labour pool yes

GramSci , December 5, 2019 at 12:29 pm

Medicare for All is the issue that most incisively cuts through this ruling-class kayfabe. Both the top-dog Dems and the top-dog Repubs get their jollies having their boots licked by workers in abject fear for the health and life of their families. It is a neon testosterone line that neither Carlson nor Trump will cross.

Montanamaven , December 5, 2019 at 6:27 pm

+100

Harrold , December 5, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Regulated as long as he benefits.

Synoia , December 5, 2019 at 12:31 pm

I find a good explanation for many behaviors is the human practice of favoring people in their circle of acquaintances, friends and families, and showing some degree of contempt to others.

Some phrases

He (She) is not one of us! (Typically in an upper class UK accent)
The Others (Typically in a string ulster accent)
Not on our team (US)
He's a Catholic
He's a peasant

The attitude of "them and us" coupled with Greed, appears to drive many bad Human behaviors.

HotFlash , December 5, 2019 at 2:33 pm

Indeed! My libertarian friend* is all about helping friends and family, I have seen him do it many times. I totally agree with him, but I have concluded that his definition of "friends and family" is just somewhat more restrictive than mine.

* True convo: "What about if listeria in the bologna at the nursing home kills your granny?" "Ah, a whacking great lawsuit!"

heresy101 , December 5, 2019 at 2:23 pm

Paul Singer is leading the hedge fund group that is trying to take over PG&E from the existing stockholders/hedge funds through the bankruptcy process. He even offered more money to PG&E fire victims ($2.5B), that PG&E almost met (they want to pay part of the funds in stock).

Does anyone have an idea how he plans to make money by taking over PG&E? While the stock is very low, its chance of going back to where it was is very low. Besides, PG&E is under pressure to actually maintain and fire proof the distribution/transmission system and that won't be cheap.

HotFlash , December 5, 2019 at 2:34 pm

I guess that political contributions would be involved?

Summer , December 5, 2019 at 4:09 pm

If Singer tries to sue T.C., Tucker should have John Oliver write him a musical roast of Singer
Like the on Oliver did of coal baron Bob Murray.

YY , December 5, 2019 at 5:08 pm

Tucker went after Singer and this time also Koch as well as the problem that they represent for the GOP the next night, worth watching.

chuck roast , December 5, 2019 at 5:27 pm

Here's Jon Stewart roasting Tucker Carlson back in 2006 when he was just a clown with a bow-tie. A rare and well deserved confrontation.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFQFB5YpDZE
Since then Tucker has ditched his bow-tie and developed a conscience.
We used to call this "being Dutch uncle."

Montanamaven , December 5, 2019 at 6:53 pm

Tucker has CHANGED his views on lots of things. Like I have. To be able to admit you were wrong is a big deal. He supported the Iraq War. I didn't. In retrospect, he realized he did this because of group think cool kids thing. Then he realized that he had been conned, He doesn't like being conned. I thought Obama's speech was the opposite of John Edwards "2 Americas". Obama was delivering a "con" I.e. "We are all One America". So now Tucker and I, from different sides, are more skeptical. I started questioning my groupthink Democratic viewpoint in 2004. Slowly I realized that I too had been conned. So some of those on the "right" and Some of those on the "left" have sought other ports to dock in as we figure this all out. Naked Capitalism is one of those docks. So soon we should introduce Tucker to Yves.

mrtmbrnmn , December 5, 2019 at 7:25 pm

As I have frequently pointed out to my once-upon-a-time "liberal" friends, Tucker Carlson is often these days a worthwhile antidote to the collective yelpings & bleatings of the brain-snatched amen corner on MSNBC & CNN. In this instance (and others) his observations are rational and clearly articulated. He makes sense! And he is on the correct (not far right) side of the topic. The continuing Iraq/Syria catastrophe, PutinGate and the hedge fund hooligan Paul Singer are just three recent examples. His arguments (and his snark) are well played. Alas, following these sensible segments, he is still a Fox guy and is obliged to revert to Fox boilerplate for most of the rest of the night. But in our present crackbrained media environment, be thankful for small mercies such as Tucker's moments.

Montanamaven , December 5, 2019 at 7:35 pm

How can we get Yves or Lambert on Tucker?

DSB , December 5, 2019 at 8:30 pm

Thanks for the post. I probably would have missed this without you.

There are a couple things that are interesting to me. First, why does Tucker Carlson call out Ben Sasse for accepting a maxed out campaign contribution from Paul Singer? The Governor of Nebraska then and now is Pete Ricketts. His father (Joe – TD Ameritrade, Chicago Cubs) is a "very good friend" of Paul Singer. Everyone believes Pete Ricketts wants to run for US Senate and the nearest opportunity is Ben Sasse's seat. More than meets the eye?

https://www.omaha.com/money/td-ameritrade-founder-ricketts-cabela-s-investor-very-good-friend/article_f1259ad4-7416-547b-8121-38766ef03cec.html

Two, a longtime director of Cabela's is Mike McCarthy of McCarthy Capital. [Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel worked for McCarthy.] ES&S (electronic voting machines) is owned by McCarthy Group, LLC.

More here than just money?

[Dec 04, 2019] One year pause in the US-China trade war is probably in the cards due to Trump re-election concerns. But only one year...

Notable quotes:
"... When you factor in reelection worries, Trump needs to find a mutually agreeable solution to at least pause the trade war. Such a move will surely revive economic growth hurt by sanctions and ensure the smoothest possible path toward a second term. People vote with their wallets, and Trump gets that. ..."
"... Nothing could be worse for Xi than the markets concluding that China is in a recession with one of its prime economic centers now in open revolt. Just as quickly as China was dubbed the next rising superpower, her economic and political obituary could be written. ..."
"... Here is where a so-called Phase One trade deal could help patch up the relationship and give both sides the short-term domestic boost their leaderships are looking for. ..."
"... But there are reasons to worry. A recent report in Axios claims that China is quite angry over Trump's decision to sign the Hong Kong bill, and as a result talks between the two nations have "stalled." Still, both sides have ample reasons to get a trade deal done. However, if Trump does indeed get reelected and China feels stable domestically once again, the pull of history -- specifically, which nation will dominate geopolitics in the 21st century -- may be too strong to resist. ..."
Dec 04, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Consider America's position. President Trump surely has incentives to push for what I would call a strategic pause in his quest to contain a rising China through tough trade moves. At the moment, staring down a possible vote on articles of impeachment and a Senate trial, rising trade tensions, which could reignite fears of a recession, are the last thing the president needs. When you factor in reelection worries, Trump needs to find a mutually agreeable solution to at least pause the trade war. Such a move will surely revive economic growth hurt by sanctions and ensure the smoothest possible path toward a second term. People vote with their wallets, and Trump gets that.

Chinese president Xi Jinping, meanwhile, has similar concerns. China's 6 percent economic growth, something Washington can only dream of, is likely a number that exists only on paper, for Beijing is known to cook their books. With growth more than likely just barely in positive territory, thanks in large part to U.S. trade tariffs, and the challenges in Hong Kong not looking as if they will subside anytime soon, Xi needs to deliver what he can claim is a victory that also revives economic growth, at least for the time being. This will help stabilize China domestically, plus give Xi time to allow Hong Kong's protests to burn out while not having to worry about economic troubles at the same time.

Nothing could be worse for Xi than the markets concluding that China is in a recession with one of its prime economic centers now in open revolt. Just as quickly as China was dubbed the next rising superpower, her economic and political obituary could be written.

Here is where a so-called Phase One trade deal could help patch up the relationship and give both sides the short-term domestic boost their leaderships are looking for. A potential deal could involve China rolling back tariffs on all U.S. goods, agreeing to a large purchase of American agricultural goods, and providing basic protections on all U.S. intellectual property involving high-technology goods (think 5G, computers, and robotics). In turn, America would roll back all tariffs -- something China wants very badly -- including, and most importantly, agreeing not to launch the scheduled new round of massive tariffs on December 15, which are viewed as potentially the most damaging to date. While such an interim deal is far from perfect -- China hawks will surely go ballistic, calling the deal nothing more than appeasement or select your other favorite neocon smear -- Xi and Trump are pragmatic enough to see that a deal is in both sides' interests.

But there are reasons to worry. A recent report in Axios claims that China is quite angry over Trump's decision to sign the Hong Kong bill, and as a result talks between the two nations have "stalled." Still, both sides have ample reasons to get a trade deal done. However, if Trump does indeed get reelected and China feels stable domestically once again, the pull of history -- specifically, which nation will dominate geopolitics in the 21st century -- may be too strong to resist.

Harry J. Kazianis is a senior director at the Center for the National Interest and the executive editor of The National Interest magazine.

[Dec 04, 2019] GUILFOYLE: Hong Kong Is Critical To US Effort To Secure A Trade Deal With China

Dec 04, 2019 | dailycaller.com

By offering Hong Kong official tools of support, President Trump has broadened the trade dispute...

Throughout negotiations, the Chinese have been reluctant to get a deal over the line, walking away from agreed upon terms several times. By supporting Hong Kong, President Trump is showing the Chinese Communist Party that he will not sit idly by while they jerk trade negotiations around.

[Dec 03, 2019] Despite Pelosi gambit with Ukrtaiongate, chances of Dems to beat Trump did not improve. Warren slide is very dangerous for neoliberal Dems as she along with Sanders and Tulsi can be sold to Dem voters and independents as the "change we can believe in"

Clinton curse sill is hanging over Democratic Party candidates like Damocles sword. 25 year of betrayal of their core constituency and their alliance with Wall Street has consequences, which they now feel. Obama now is openly despised by Democratic voters as the person who betrayed his electorate and then enriched himself in classing "revolving door" corruption scheme. The phrase "change is can believe in" became a curse. Bill Clinton is mired in Epstein scandal. You can't get worse cheerleaders for the party and it does not have anybody else.
Notable quotes:
"... Obama was directly addressing Silicon Valley's wealthiest Democratic donors, telling them to "chill" in their debate over the party's candidates, and seeking to ease the tensions among tech billionaires who have broken into separate camps backing Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, and -- most surprisingly -- Elizabeth Warren ..."
"... Gallup released a poll last week that had some troubling news for Democrats, as only 66% of the party faithful said they're enthusiastic about the upcoming election. ..."
Dec 03, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

While there are still 15 candidates running for the Democratic nomination (after the withdrawal of Kamala Harris earlier today), only four are polling in double digits, with most either at 1% or 0%. But Obama said whoever gets the nod should get the vote.

"There will be differences" between the candidates, Obama said, "but I want us to make sure that we keep in mind that, relative to the ultimate goal, which is to defeat a president and a party that has taken a sharp turn away from a lot of the core traditions and values and institutional commitments that built this country," those differences are "relatively minor."

"The field will narrow and there's going to be one person, and if that is not your perfect candidate and there are certain aspects of what they say that you don't agree with and you don't find them completely inspiring the way you'd like, I don't care," he said. "Because the choice is so stark and the stakes are so high that you cannot afford to be ambivalent in this race."

Obama was directly addressing Silicon Valley's wealthiest Democratic donors, telling them to "chill" in their debate over the party's candidates, and seeking to ease the tensions among tech billionaires who have broken into separate camps backing Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, and -- most surprisingly -- Elizabeth Warren , according to recode.

Obama may have his job cut out for him: with many Democratic voters confused or merely bored silly by the current roster of candidates, two newcomers, Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, entered the race adding further to the confusion. Last month, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, for instance, drew fewer than 100 people to a South Carolina "Environmental Justice" forum. And she's a frontrunner!

Meanwhile, Gallup released a poll last week that had some troubling news for Democrats, as only 66% of the party faithful said they're enthusiastic about the upcoming election. And while for Republicans the number is 65%, "this differed from the typical pattern Gallup has seen over the years, whereby those who identify with the political party of the incumbent president have been less enthusiastic about voting than members of the opposing party," Gallup wrote.

Ironically, Obama isn't alone in saying Democrats need to hold their nose when they vote for the eventual nominee. Joe Biden's wife, Jill, said in August that her husband might not be the best candidate, but told voters "maybe you have to swallow a little bit" and vote for him anyway.

"Your candidate might be better on, I don't know, health care, than Joe is," Jill Biden said on MSNBC, "but you've got to look at who's going to win this election, and maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, 'OK, I personally like so-and-so better,' but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump."

During a campaign stop in New Hampshire, she repeated the point. "I know that not all of you are committed to my husband, and I respect that. But I want you to think about your candidate, his or her electability, and who's going to win this race. So I think if your goal -- I know my goal -- is to beat Donald Trump, we have to have someone who can beat him," she said.

[Dec 03, 2019] China was once very dependent on US chips for its phones by Mike Shedlock

Dec 03, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

China was once very dependent on US chips for its phones. The latest Chinese phones have no US parts.

The Wall Street Journal reports Huawei Manages to Make Smartphones Without American Chips .

American tech companies are getting the go-ahead to resume business with Chinese smartphone giant Huawei Technologies Co., but it may be too late: It is now building smartphones without U.S. chips.

Huawei's latest phone, which it unveiled in September -- the Mate 30 with a curved display and wide-angle cameras that competes with Apple Inc.'s iPhone 11 -- contained no U.S. parts, according to an analysis by UBS and Fomalhaut Techno Solutions, a Japanese technology lab that took the device apart to inspect its insides.

In May, the Trump administration banned U.S. shipments to Huawei as trade tensions with Beijing escalated. That move stopped companies like Qualcomm Inc. and Intel Corp. from exporting chips to the company, though some shipments of parts resumed over the summer after companies determined they weren't affected by the ban.

Meanwhile, Huawei has made significant strides in shedding its dependence on parts from U.S. companies. (At issue are chips from U.S.-based companies, not those necessarily made in America; many U.S. chip companies make their semiconductors abroad.)

Huawei long relied on suppliers like Qorvo Inc., the North Carolina maker of chips that are used to connect smartphones with cell towers, and Skyworks Solutions Inc., a Woburn, Mass.-based company that makes similar chips. It also used parts from Broadcom Inc., the San Jose-based maker of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chips, and Cirrus Logic Inc., an Austin, Texas-based company that makes chips for producing sound.

Yet Another Trump Trade Win

"When Huawei came out with this high-end phone -- and this is its flagship -- with no U.S. content, that made a pretty big statement," said Christopher Rolland, a semiconductor analyst at Susquehanna International Group.

Huawei executives told Rolland that the company was moving away from American parts, but it was still surprising how quickly it happened.

This was likely going to happen anyway, but Trump escalated the speed at which it happened.

Trade Deal?

me title=

Standard Assumption for 17 Months

Assuming there is a deal, the standard assumption for 17 months, Trump will announce two key elements.

Greatest Deal in History
  1. China will resume buying the same amount of soybeans as before.
  2. China will resume buying the same amount of chips as before.

​The longer this takes the more wins there will be.

With that in mind, please recall Another Trump Tariff Success Story: Vietnam .

And despite the fact that Trump's China Tariffs Made Matters Made the Global Manufacturing Recession Worse and has killed US farmers, It's important to remember, Trump is collecting "huge tariffs".

So please brush aside this recession warning: Freight Volumes Negative YoY for 11th Straight Month .


myne , 1 minute ago link

The trade war is the first act in the much larger game of hegemony.

Both sides are disentangling.

Apple finished their Indian plant.

Huawei went ex-US (but almost certainly not US IP)

Europe is already muttering about human rights in Hong Kong and Xiangjang.

We're nearly ready for act 2. That's when Europe joins in on squeezing trade, and the rest of the democratic world and a few others is bullied and bribed to follow.

greatdisconformity , 1 minute ago link

That was the game from day one.

Soon there will be no US parts in anything made in China.

Because there are no industries left here who can make them.

They have all died, or been bought and relocated.

Take away software and vapid entertainment programming, and the US has *** for consumer technology.

***.

Noob678 , 14 minutes ago link

Do you know why Russia still sells rocket engines to US after being hit US sanctions? Don't tell me they need US dollar.

Do you know that China is facing US embargo under the pretext of national security from 1949 until now and things allowed to export to China mostly agriculture produce, gas and oil? This is the reason they develop their own technologies which the media told me stolen from the US even that the US doesn't have like 5G, quantum satellite, hypersonic weapons just to name a few.

Do you know where soybeans in US came from?

Omega_Man , 12 minutes ago link

russia needs to stop selling those engines to merica and cut them out of space... what a dumb move... russia always trying to be friends with evil merica

schroedingersrat , 11 minutes ago link

Its because not everyone is as psychopathic as the US

victorher , 16 minutes ago link

Plainly, China will never buy the same amount of soybeans or chips than before as Russia will never accumulate US dollars in its Reserve. They have discovered than US is not a reliable partner.

davelis , 1 hour ago link

Those that think that China is only about ripping off US technology are going to be surprised. Sure that was once China's main method as it was for the early USA to rip off British textile secrets. Trump trying to take down China's biggest technology company has been a real wake up call for them. Now, they will own all of the content and will dominate in Asian markets, the middle east, etc. They already did it in solar panels and much else. They have a plan. They build infrastructure, we let it ours decay. They invest in education, we leave out students in debt up to their eyeballs and then give them Starbucks jobs. They have high speed trains everywhere, we have Amtrak. They are looking outward, we are looking inward. America first, rah rah. This will end badly - for the USA.

L00K0UTB3L0W , 55 minutes ago link

only bc ppl in the usa are pushing it that way

no average american benefits from international trade unless the product is unattainable state side. if we can grow it, we should. if we can make it, we should. excess can be sold outside the nation but since everything has been weaponized, we are the ones caught in the middle who suffer.

tariffs are good and we should use them to protect our industries. the problem is that our industry was destroyed before implementing tarrifs.. that part doesn't make sense and all of our major corporations have sold out anyways, further screwing john q public because lets be real, companies are out for profit and shareholder return, not protecting employees and consumers. so they could care less where its being made / sold as long as they see their bottom line increase, no worries.

The Palmetto Cynic , 52 minutes ago link

And if the US doing all of that internally was a good idea, someone would be building the manufacturing capacity as I type this....but they ain't.

L00K0UTB3L0W , 34 minutes ago link

problem is big business doesn't want to pay it. it has always been that way. when the money system was put in place, business owners didn't like the idea of increased competition (less slaves and more company owners) and therefore they were given the ability to claim you for tax purposes, hence why anytime you take a job they want your SS#. investment in the past happened because of things that were to come in the future. the future in america from her current vantage is trans/post humanism with the idea of automation, human/machine integration and that leaves little room or interest in building $100m slave factories for working class people to grind away in

L00K0UTB3L0W , 41 minutes ago link

chips have been made consistently in Malaysia, Taiwan and Korea for the better part of almost 25 years, not real sure how any of what you said is relative to current events. just syncrhonicity and morons like you saying dumb ****.

I am Groot , 1 hour ago link

Wow, the article is really insulting to the Chinese. Like building a smart phone for them was like landing on the moon or something. They steal everything from everyone anyways, so who cares what they build.......

beemasters , 1 hour ago link

Now the only NSA backdoor to Huawei is completely shut.

fezline , 1 hour ago link

This is why they are trying to ban Chinese hardware... not because they fear they are spying on us but because their govt mandated backdoors aren't installed on Chinese hardware. The US govt wants to ban their use because they can't spy on them... That is the real reason.

porco rosso , 1 hour ago link

US is losing the technology race against China. In the first phase China copied the tech, now it is on par, and in five to ten years the murican chip manufacturers are out of business.

The point is this: the muricans are lazy bastards, most of the brain power is imported. They lived too long off the dollar reserve currency status, soon enough nobody will interested in that toilet paper anymore.

Asoka_The_Great , 1 hour ago link

Two years ago, Donald *** Trumptard on behalf of his handler, the US War State/Dark State/Deep State , launched a world wide war against the Chinky company, Huawei, in order, to kill it.

But that failed spectacularly. Not only is Huawei not dead, but its revenue actually grown 24% in 2019.

Now, its smart phones, and 5G cell tower equipments are totally free of US components.

WHY IS THE US DARK STATE SO TERRIFIED OF HUAWEI'S 5G WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY?

The US Dark State/War State/Deep State, that is the NSA/CIA/Pentagon/MIC/MSM . . . etc has forced every western tech companies to install backdoors and malwares on their equipments, except Huawei. They have tried to force Huawei to install those NSA backdoors and malwares, in 2014, but the company categorically refused.

"The real issue is that nothing has changed since a 2014 report from The Register that Huawei categorically refuses to install NSA backdoors into their hardware to allow unfettered intelligence access to the data that crosses their networks.

All our emails, text messages, phone calls, internet searches, web browsing, library records, . . . etc, are recorded and stored by NSA/CIA's vast servers farms.

Now, Huawei is not only the leading 5G wireless provider, but it is the only one, so far. The other companies like Nokia and Ericsson are far behind.

5G is going to completely replace 4G and 3G. It is about 200 times faster than 4GLTE, in download speed.

What this means is that if the world adopts the Huawei equipments and standards, it will threaten to UNDO the US Dark State's vast global surveillance network.

This is what terrifies the US Dark State. Their vast Global Surveillance Network is the basis of its power, and tools to enslave mankind.

There is a very good reason, why the American Founding Fathers , enacted every measures, to protect our rights and privacy, so that we will not be controlled and enslaved by the tyranny of totalitarian government, which is already upon us, in the form of US Dark State/War State .

The US Dark State/Deep State/War State does not represent America. It is Un-American. It is not the American Republic founded by our Founding Fathers, and enshrined in the US Constitution.

Anonymous IX , 1 hour ago link

Maybe so, Asoka. I think the Rothschild Clan plays both sides. They are in China. Some purport the family carrying that lineage is named Li.

The U.S. is slowly but surely being isolated for The Great Fall...when we lose world currency status. The Banking Cartel will evidently make huge money and gain enormous power once the U.S. collapses. China already has the massive surveillance state, lack of privacy, institutionalized social scoring, and workers' living cubes located on factory premises...so the Rothshilds are in love. Sigh. So much control!! So much degradation!!! They're in love!!!

Asoka_The_Great , 50 minutes ago link

"I think the Rothschild Clan plays both sides. They are in China. Some purport the family carrying that lineage is named Li."

They are trying hard to infiltrate China. But the Chinese banks and financial service firms are State Owned . They are hard penetrate. That is why they are using Donald *** Trump to launch the Mother of All Great Trade War , to force the Chinese to open up their financial sector for infiltration and plundering.

Plus, Chinese and westerner looks distinctively different. And so, they are trying the inter-marriage trick with the rich and powerful Chinese families.

[Dec 02, 2019] Cheap, ubiquitous cameras, microphones, and location trackers are the real issue. If the state can track everyone's movements and conversations, then it can build a better Stasi even with crude, simple AI

Notable quotes:
"... Seeing Like a State ..."
"... More generally, I think AI gets far too much of the billing in authoritarian apocalypse forecasts. Cheap, ubiquitous cameras, microphones, and location trackers are the real issue. If the state can track everyone's movements and conversations, then it can build a better Stasi even with crude, simple ai. ..."
Dec 02, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

The theory behind this is one of strength reinforcing strength – the strengths of ubiquitous data gathering and analysis reinforcing the strengths of authoritarian repression to create an unstoppable juggernaut of nearly perfectly efficient oppression. Yet there is another story to be told – of weakness reinforcing weakness. Authoritarian states were always particularly prone to the deficiencies identified in James Scott's Seeing Like a State – the desire to make citizens and their doings legible to the state, by standardizing and categorizing them, and reorganizing collective life in simplified ways, for example by remaking cities so that they were not organic structures that emerged from the doings of their citizens, but instead grand chessboards with ordered squares and boulevards, reducing all complexities to a square of planed wood . The grand state bureaucracies that were built to carry out these operations were responsible for multitudes of horrors, but also for the crumbling of the Stalinist state into a Brezhnevian desuetude, where everyone pretended to be carrying on as normal because everyone else was carrying on too. The deficiencies of state action, and its need to reduce the world into something simpler that it could comprehend and act upon created a kind of feedback loop, in which imperfections of vision and action repeatedly reinforced each other.

So what might a similar analysis say about the marriage of authoritarianism and machine learning? Something like the following, I think. There are two notable problems with machine learning. One – that while it can do many extraordinary things, it is not nearly as universally effective as the mythology suggests. The other is that it can serve as a magnifier for already existing biases in the data. The patterns that it identifies may be the product of the problematic data that goes in, which is (to the extent that it is accurate) often the product of biased social processes. When this data is then used to make decisions that may plausibly reinforce those processes (by singling e.g. particular groups that are regarded as problematic out for particular police attention, leading them to be more liable to be arrested and so on), the bias may feed upon itself.

This is a substantial problem in democratic societies, but it is a problem where there are at least some counteracting tendencies. The great advantage of democracy is its openness to contrary opinions and divergent perspectives . This opens up democracy to a specific set of destabilizing attacks but it also means that there are countervailing tendencies to self-reinforcing biases. When there are groups that are victimized by such biases, they may mobilize against it (although they will find it harder to mobilize against algorithms than overt discrimination). When there are obvious inefficiencies or social, political or economic problems that result from biases, then there will be ways for people to point out these inefficiencies or problems.

These correction tendencies will be weaker in authoritarian societies; in extreme versions of authoritarianism, they may barely even exist. Groups that are discriminated against will have no obvious recourse. Major mistakes may go uncorrected: they may be nearly invisible to a state whose data is polluted both by the means employed to observe and classify it, and the policies implemented on the basis of this data. A plausible feedback loop would see bias leading to error leading to further bias, and no ready ways to correct it. This of course, will be likely to be reinforced by the ordinary politics of authoritarianism, and the typical reluctance to correct leaders, even when their policies are leading to disaster. The flawed ideology of the leader (We must all study Comrade Xi thought to discover the truth!) and of the algorithm (machine learning is magic!) may reinforce each other in highly unfortunate ways.

In short, there is a very plausible set of mechanisms under which machine learning and related techniques may turn out to be a disaster for authoritarianism, reinforcing its weaknesses rather than its strengths, by increasing its tendency to bad decision making, and reducing further the possibility of negative feedback that could help correct against errors. This disaster would unfold in two ways. The first will involve enormous human costs: self-reinforcing bias will likely increase discrimination against out-groups, of the sort that we are seeing against the Uighur today. The second will involve more ordinary self-ramifying errors, that may lead to widespread planning disasters, which will differ from those described in Scott's account of High Modernism in that they are not as immediately visible, but that may also be more pernicious, and more damaging to the political health and viability of the regime for just that reason.

So in short, this conjecture would suggest that the conjunction of AI and authoritarianism (has someone coined the term 'aithoritarianism' yet? I'd really prefer not to take the blame), will have more or less the opposite effects of what people expect. It will not be Singapore writ large, and perhaps more brutal. Instead, it will be both more radically monstrous and more radically unstable.

Like all monotheoretic accounts, you should treat this post with some skepticism – political reality is always more complex and muddier than any abstraction. There are surely other effects (another, particularly interesting one for big countries such as China, is to relax the assumption that the state is a monolith, and to think about the intersection between machine learning and warring bureaucratic factions within the center, and between the center and periphery).Yet I think that it is plausible that it at least maps one significant set of causal relationships, that may push (in combination with, or against, other structural forces) towards very different outcomes than the conventional wisdom imagines. Comments, elaborations, qualifications and disagreements welcome.


Ben 11.25.19 at 6:32 pm (no link)

This seems to equivocate between two meanings of bias. Bias might mean a flaw that leads to empirically incorrect judgements and so to bad decisions, and it's true that that type of bias could destabilize an authoritarian state. But what we usually worry about with machine learning is that the system will find very real, but deeply unjust, patterns in the data, and reinforce those pattern. If there's a particular ethnic group that really does produce a disproportionate number of dissidents, and an algorithm leads to even-more-excessive repression of that group -- I'm not sure why an authoritarian state would see a stability threat in that tendency.

More generally, I think AI gets far too much of the billing in authoritarian apocalypse forecasts. Cheap, ubiquitous cameras, microphones, and location trackers are the real issue. If the state can track everyone's movements and conversations, then it can build a better Stasi even with crude, simple ai.

faustusnotes 11.26.19 at 1:00 am (no link)
I'd just like to point out (re: the tweet in the original post) that the "Uighur face-matching AI" idea is bullshit invented by scaremongers, with no basis in fact and traceable to a shoddy reddit thread. The Chinese government is not using facial recognition to identify Uighur, and the facial recognition fears about the Chinese government are vastly overstated.

Australia's border control facial recognition software is far more advanced than China's, as is the UK's, and facial recognition is actually pretty common in democracies. See e.g. the iPhone.

The main areas in which China uses facial recognition are in verifying ID for some high cost functions (like buying high speed rail tickets), and it's quite easy to avoid these functions by joining a queue and paying a human. The real intrusiveness of the Chinese security state is in its constant bag searches and very human-centric abuses of power in everyday life in connection with "security". Whether you get stopped and searched depends a lot on very arbitrary and error prone judgments by bored security staff at railway stations, in public squares, and on buses, not some evil intrusive state technology.

Conversely, the UK is a world leader in installing and using CCTV cameras, and has been for a long time. Furthermore, these CCTV cameras are a huge boon to law-abiding citizens, since they act as both excellent forms of crime prevention (I have had this experience myself) and for finding serious criminals. The people responsible for the death of those 39 Vietnamese labourers in the ice truck were caught because of CCTV; so was the guy who murdered that woman on the street in Melbourne a few years ago.

Finally to address another point that's already been raised (sadly): China no longer harvests organs, and the 2019 report that says it does is a sham. The social credit system is also largely a myth, and nobody from China even seems to know wtf it is.

If you're going to talk about how state's work, and the relative merits of autocratic vs. democratic states and their interaction with technology, it's a really good idea to get the basic facts right first.

Nathanael 11.26.19 at 6:10 am (no link)
I'll add that John Quiggin's point that Xi has already lost control of the provinces is correct -- but it DOES threaten his position as dictator. Once the provincial governors know they can act with impunity, it is absolutely standard for the next step to be getting rid of that annoying guy who is pretending to be dictator. It may take a few years but Xi now has dozens of powerful insiders who know that he's a weakling. They'll bide their time but when he crosses too many of them they'll take him out. And if China doesn't shut down coal, he's going to look like a weakling internationally too, in a couple of years. This will create a new group of ambitious insiders with a different reason to take him out.

Xi broke the "technocratic consensus" which was present after Deng, of central committee members who strove for competence and fact-based decision-making. That was a surprisingly effective type of junta government which led to lots of thinkpieces about whether authoritarian China would beat the democratic west. But it succumbed to the succession problem, like all authoritarian systems; Xi made himself Premier-for-life and the country is now exhibiting all the usual failures of authoritarian countries.

Hidari 11.26.19 at 9:08 am (no link)
@11 Yes it's strange that allegations of Chinese use of facial recognition software is gaining so much traction at a time when the Trump regime is deliberately ratcheting up tensions with China to pursue nakedly imperial goals, when the objective facts of Israeli use of similar software, which the Israelis boast about ( https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/why-did-microsoft-fund-israeli-firm-surveils-west-bank-palestinians-n1072116 ) doesn't cause so much interest, at a time when the Trump regime has simple decreed that the Israeli invasion/colonisation of Palestine is 'legal under international law'.

One of life's little mysteries I guess.

If we must talk about China could we at least bring it back to areas where we are responsible and where, therefore, we can do something about it?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/01/blackwater-founder-erik-prince-to-build-training-camp-in-chinas-xinjiang

[Dec 01, 2019] Fox's Tucker Carlson questions Douma 'chemical attack proof' and roots for Russia on air. Off with his head, cry MSM

Nov 26, 2019 | www.legitgov.org
Fox's Tucker Carlson questions Douma 'chemical attack proof' and roots for Russia on air. Off with his head, cry MSM

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has crossed an MSM Rubicon and questioned the Douma "gas attack" fraud on air, bringing up the OPCW whistleblower. Then he "rooted for Russia" over Ukraine...Carlson boldly went where no mainstream TV host had gone before, unpacking the explosive story of April 2018's Douma "chemical weapons attack." While the "attack" was attributed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by an altered report from the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, two whistleblowers within the group accused it of omitting evidence to craft a misleading narrative - a fact that has never crossed the lips of US media until Monday night... "America almost attacked a country and killed untold thousands of people over an attack that may never have happened in the first place - that powerful people may very well have been lying about," Carlson told his audience, replaying footage of his show from the days following the attack to show he'd always been suspicious it had happened as reported.

[Dec 01, 2019] A Question for Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden or Any Democrat Running for President What s Your Foreign Policy The National In

Notable quotes:
"... "The next president will, for example, have to deal with the enormous loss of U.S. credibility during the past three years, which has stemmedin large part from Trump's reneging on or withdrawing from agreements such as the Paris accord on climate change, arms control accords withRussia, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which restricted Iran's nuclear program." ..."
"... What is the PURPOSE of US Foreign Policy? To protect the US homeland and US interests abroad (freedom of navigation, freedom of commerce and trade, and the protection of US citizens travelling abroad to name a few). ..."
"... Unfortunately, US Policy really refers to US interventionism across the globe. Covert activities are presumably necessary to protect US interests so as to thwart the covert activities of our enemies. In practice, what the US really does is protect the interests of friendly countries and US-based multi-national corporations...and the whole thing is smoke and mirrors (hidden from the American people). Thus, we really have NO IDEA what US Foreign Policy is, or what we are doing behind the scenes. That's on both Democrats and Republicans. ..."
Dec 01, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

This is still a race for a party nomination, and it is well known how political battles at this stage typically focus narrowly on what are perceived to be the parochial concerns of the party's base and take on a different character in the general election. But positions taken now can impose constraints later on. Moreover, Democratic primary voters ought to be learning about what difference the various contenders would make in executing the powers of the presidency, not just in who has the most attractive ideas about policies that cannot be imposed by fiat.

Foreign policy is where more attention and debate are most required, and not just because foreign policy nearly always gets inadequate attention in political campaigns. It also is where a president has the most power to make a difference even without getting Congress to go along with the president's program. This fact is reflected in how many presidents late in their presidencies, especially in second terms, have turned more of their attention to foreign relations as an area where they can make a difference after experiencing frustration in trying to get their domestic programs through Congress.

Many issues in foreign policy could profitably be discussed more than they are now, but priority should be given to those subjects on which Trump has caused the most damage. Candidates should explain how they intend to repair that damage, not just what their policies would be if they somehow could be written on a clean slate. The slate on which the next administration's foreign policy will be written starts out very dirty. Coming after Trump will be a major, task-defining fact about the next administration's foreign policy challenges.

The heavy damage to U.S. relations with the European allies represents another especially dirty part of the slate that the next administration will have to tend to. Brexit will be an added complication in addressing this problem and in a sense is another part of Trump's legacy given the way he has cheered on the Brexiteers, contrary to U.S. interests.

Issues examined by the current impeachment proceeding represent more damage-repair needs. Ukraine is a large and important country and constructing a U.S. policy that adequately reflects Ukraine's delicate situation between East and West would be a challenge in any event. Now it has been made more difficult by Trump and Rudy Giuliani's setting back of Ukraine's efforts to stamp out corruption and subordinating an aid relationship to dirt-digging for domestic political reasons. What are the Democratic candidates' specific ideas for repairing this damage, and for fitting the repairs into a sensible policy toward not just Ukraine but also Russia?

To emphasize these foreign policy challenges is not to diminish the amount of Trump-inflicted damage that extends to domestic matters as well, and the need for the next administration to repair that damage as well. Perhaps the greatest over-arching damage, spanning both the domestic and foreign sides, is that the nation seems to have become inured to wrongdoing because of the sheer volume of it, with attention to each offense quickly fading as it is succeeded by a new offense or attention-hogging presidential outburst. What will the next president do to restore a sense of national outrage over wrongdoing whenever it occurs, be it blatant self-dealing, corruption of U.S. foreign relations, or something else?

Such problems may not have as much resonance in Iowa caucuses as the cost of health care, but they have a lot more to do with who will make the best president.

Paul R. Pillar is Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University and Nonresident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution. He is a contributing editor to The National Interest, where he writes a blog .


MaskOfZero 5 days ago • edited ,

"The next president will, for example, have to deal with the enormous loss of U.S. credibility during the past three years, which has stemmedin large part from Trump's reneging on or withdrawing from agreements such as the Paris accord on climate change, arms control accords withRussia, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which restricted Iran's nuclear program."

What a load of hooey this article is. U.S. credibility with whom? Failed Merkel? Failed Macron?...

Emidio Borg 11 days ago • edited ,

It is our weapons manufacturers who bankroll our political establishment, consequently our foreign policy is whatever they say it is.

The Mugged Liberal 13 days ago ,

Failure of the past three years but no mention of the failures of Obama? Sending an aging hippie James Taylor to console islamic terrorist victims in Paris apparently counts as a major foreign policy success and that mean Trump refuses to perpetuate. And then there's the cross the red line in Syria and we'll do nothing.

Or maybe ship weapons secretly to Islamic terrorists calling them freedom fighters and surprise surprise, the weapons from Obama are used to murder American diplomats in Benghazi. Then cover that up by blaming it on a video from a guy in Los Angeles and sending out a team to blatantly lie about the event.

Now there's real foreign policy you can depend on - from the Democrats.

And of course from Paul Pillar.

Carl Braun 18 days ago ,

What's Your Foreign Policy?
A. Orange man bad.
Need more taxes for my apology diplomacy.
More pallets of cash for the mullahs

Airbrush2020 Me 18 days ago • edited ,

What is the PURPOSE of US Foreign Policy? To protect the US homeland and US interests abroad (freedom of navigation, freedom of commerce and trade, and the protection of US citizens travelling abroad to name a few).

Unfortunately, US Policy really refers to US interventionism across the globe. Covert activities are presumably necessary to protect US interests so as to thwart the covert activities of our enemies. In practice, what the US really does is protect the interests of friendly countries and US-based multi-national corporations...and the whole thing is smoke and mirrors (hidden from the American people). Thus, we really have NO IDEA what US Foreign Policy is, or what we are doing behind the scenes. That's on both Democrats and Republicans.

[Dec 01, 2019] Senator Warren's plans on drugs are a really huge deal

Dec 01, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , November 28, 2019 at 12:34 PM

https://truthout.org/articles/warrens-new-proposal-for-prescription-drugs-is-flying-under-the-radar/

November 25, 2019

Warren's New Proposal for Prescription Drugs Is Flying Under the Radar
By Dean Baker

Earlier this month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren put out a set of steps that she would put forward as president as part of a transition to Medicare for All. The items that got the most attention were including everyone over age 50 and under age 18 in Medicare, and providing people of all ages with the option to buy into the program. This buy-in would include large subsidies, and people with incomes of less than 200 percent of the poverty level would be able to enter the Medicare program at no cost.

These measures would be enormous steps toward Medicare for All, bringing tens of millions of people into the program, including most of those (people over age 50) with serious medical issues. It would certainly be more than halfway to a universal Medicare program.

While these measures captured most of the attention given to Warren's transition plan, another part of the plan is probably at least as important. Warren proposed to use the government's authority to compel the licensing of drug patents so that multiple companies can produce a patented drug.

The government can do this both because it has general authority to compel licensing of patents (with reasonable compensation) and because it has explicit authority under the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act to require licensing of any drug developed in part with government-funded research. The overwhelming majority of drugs required some amount of government-supported research in their development.

These measures are noteworthy because they can be done on the president's own authority. While the pharmaceutical industry will surely contest a president's use of the government's authority to weaken their patent rights, those actions would not require congressional approval.

The other reason that these steps would be so important is that there is a huge amount of money involved. The United States is projected to spend over $6.6 trillion on prescription drugs over the next decade, more than 2.5 percent of GDP.

The government has explicit authority under the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act to require licensing of any drug developed in part with government-funded research.

This is an enormous amount of money. We spend more than twice as much per person on drugs as people in other wealthy countries.

This is not an accident. The grant of a patent monopoly allows drug companies to charge as much as they want for drugs that are necessary for people's health or even their life.

While other countries also grant patent monopolies, they limit the ability of drug companies to exploit these monopolies with negotiations or price controls. This is why prices in these countries are so much lower than in the United States.

But even these negotiated prices are far above what drug prices would be in a free market. The price of drugs in a free market, without patent monopolies or related protections, will typically be less than 10 percent of the U.S. price and in some cases, less than 1 percent.

This is because drugs are almost invariably cheap to manufacture and distribute. They are expensive because government-granted patent monopolies make them expensive.

The rationale for patent monopolies is to give companies an incentive to research and develop drugs. This process is expensive, and if newly developed drugs were sold in a free market, companies would not be able to recover these expenses.

To make up for the loss of research funding supported by patent monopolies, Warren proposes an increase in public funding for research.

To make up for the loss of research funding supported by patent monopolies, Warren proposes an increase in public funding for research. This would be an important move toward an increased reliance on publicly funded biomedical research.

There are enormous advantages to publicly funded research over patent monopoly-supported research. First, the government is funding the research. It can require that all results be fully public as soon as possible so that all researchers can quickly benefit from them.

By contrast, under the patent system, drug companies have an incentive to keep results secret. They have no desire to share results that could benefit competitors.

Public funding would also radically reduce the incentive to develop copycat drugs. Under the current system, drug companies will often devote substantial sums to developing drugs that are intended to duplicate the function of drugs already on the market. While there is generally an advantage to having more options to treat a specific condition, most often, research dollars would be better spent trying to develop drugs for conditions where no effective treatment currently exists.

Ending patent monopoly pricing would also take away the incentive for drug companies to conceal evidence that their drugs may not be as safe or effective as claimed. Patent monopolies give drug companies an incentive to push their drugs as widely as possible.

The opioid crisis provides a dramatic example of the dangers of this system. Opioid manufacturers would not have had the same incentive to push their drugs, concealing evidence of their addictive properties, if they were not making huge profits on them.

In short, Senator Warren's plans on drugs are a really huge deal. How far and how quickly she will be able to get to Medicare for All will depend on what she can get through Congress. But her proposal for prescription drugs is something she would be able to do if elected president, and it would make an enormous difference in both the cost and the quality of our health care.

[Nov 30, 2019] Obama Takes the Field and Hillary May Be Around the Corner by Stephen J. Sniegoski

Notable quotes:
"... However, Morris contends that Clinton believes that she has to "wait until Biden drops out because he's obviously next in line for it, and if he goes away, there's an opening for her." According to Morris' scenario, Clinton would become the moderate candidate opposed to the leading progressive, Elizabeth Warren. ..."
Nov 30, 2019 | www.unz.com

In November, Barack Obama, who had avoided commenting on the Democratic presidential primary, came out forcefully in opposition to the extreme positions taken by some leading progressive contenders, positions that could cause the Democrats to be beaten by Trump in the 2020 election. Obama was a very popular president among Democrats, and what he has to say carries considerable weight with them. While this may not be his intent, Obama's position could open the field for Hillary Clinton to enter the fray and quite possibly become the Democrats' nominee, given the lackluster performance of leading "moderate" Joe Biden, whose weaknesses have been brought out by the mainstream media, despite their animosity toward Trump.

Now many in the Democratic Party leadership, as well as wealthy Democratic donors, have been concerned for some time about the radical nature of some of the economic policies advocated by the leading progressive Democratic contenders. They fear that instead of the 2020 election revolving around Trump with his low approval ratings, and very likely his impeachment, which would seem to be a slam-dunk victory for Democrats, it would focus on those radical economic proposals. Many voters are skeptical about how free college for all, free health care for all, high-paying jobs in "green energy" -- after greatly reducing the use of fossil fuels, free childcare for all, just to name some of the "free" things that have been promised, would really work. Instead of raising taxes on the middle class, most of these free things would purportedly be paid for by the super-wealthy, which would exclude mere millionaires such as Bernie Sanders (estimated wealth $2 million) and Elizabeth Warren (estimated wealth $12 million) who are the leading progressive contenders.

Obama began stressing his concern about the danger of radicalism in an October speech at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago. And he did this not by dealing with presidential candidates but with youth who think they can immediately change society. "This idea of purity and you're never compromised, and you're always politically woke and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly," Obama lectured. "The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws."

It was at a gathering of Democratic donors in Washington, D.C., in November that Obama cautioned Democratic candidates not to go too far to the left since that would antagonize many voters who would otherwise support the Democratic candidate. "Even as we push the envelope and we are bold in our vision we also have to be rooted in reality ," Obama asserted. "The average American doesn't think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it." Although Obama did not specify particular Democratic candidates, his warning was widely interpreted as being directed at Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Currently, the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination, according to national polls, is Joe Biden, who is considered a moderate. But Biden has a number of problems. He continues to make gaffes while speaking, and during his long career in the Senate took positions that are antithetical to the Democratic Party of today. Moreover, he lacks the charisma to attract large crowds to his events. Thus, it is questionable that he has the capability to attract large numbers of Democratic voters to the polls in November 2020.

According to Politico Magazine , Obama was recently discussing election tactics with an unnamed current candidate and "pointed out that during his own 2008 campaign, he had an intimate bond with the electorate" and he is quoted as adding, "And you know who really doesn't have it ? Joe Biden."

Biden's appeal already seems to be waning. For example, in November, a Marquette Law School poll, which is considered the gold-standard survey in swing state Wisconsin, which the Democrats need to win the 2020 election, shows Trump leading Biden 47 percent to 44 percent. In October, Trump had trailed Biden by 6 points (44 percent to 50 percent), and in August, Trump trailed Biden by 9 points (42 percent to 51 percent). In short, Biden is losing support. Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by a slender margin of 0.77 percent, with 47.22 percent of the total votes over the 46.45 percent for Hillary Clinton.

Another problem Biden faces is the corrupt activities of his son Hunter and brother James, who have taken advantage of their connection with him. The mainstream media has so far largely kept this mostly under wraps, but this tactic won't be successful as the election approaches. In fact, the progressive Democrats such as Bernie Sanders are likely to bring this up in a desperate effort to be nominated. And already these issues are being mentioned by the alternative media. For instance, there is an article in the non-partisan, anti-government Intercept titled, "Joe Biden's Family Has Been Cashing in on His Career for Decades. Democrats Need to Acknowledge That," and comparable articles in the conservative Washington Examiner such as, "Hunter Biden-linked company r eceived $130M in special federal loans while Joe Biden was vice president," and "Hunter Biden has 99 problems , and Burisma is only one."

David Axelrod, Democratic strategist and longtime aide to Barack Obama, said concerns about Biden's electability clearly influenced multi-billionaire (estimated $53 billion) and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's entrance into the contest for the Democratic nominee for president. "There's no question that Bloomberg's calculus was that Biden was occupying a space, and the fact that he's getting in is a clear indication that he's not convinced Biden has the wherewithal to carry that torch," Axelrod said. "So yeah, I don't think this is a positive development for Joe Biden."

Similarly, Democratic strategist Brad Bannon contended that "centrist Democrats and wealthy donors have lost confidence in Biden's ability to stop Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders from winning the nomination." Bannon added that with Bloomberg entering the Democratic presidential race, "Biden's fundraising will get even shakier than it already is. There's only room for one moderate in this race and Bloomberg threatens Biden's status as the centrist standard-bearer."

Bloomberg's "stop and frisk" policy as mayor , which largely targeted blacks and Hispanics, should make it virtually impossible that he could be the Democratic nominee, despite his recent apology. Unless he has become senile in his late 70s, Bloomberg should well understand this since he did not make his billions by being stupid. It could be that he intends to serve as a stalking horse to draw Hillary Clinton into the contest by showing the weakness of Biden. Then like Superwoman, Hillary can enter the fray, appearing not to act for her own sake but to save the country from a likely second term for President Trump.

Similarly, Mark Penn, who was chief strategist for Clinton's unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign, said Bloomberg's entrance could cause Clinton to consider to run and decide there's "still a political logic there for her."

As Biden's support slips away, Clinton's should rise. Clinton has been recently promoting a book she co-wrote with her daughter, Chelsea, in Britain. In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live , Clinton said "many, many, many people" are pressuring her to jump into the 2020 presidential race and that she thinks about this "all the time." Clinton told the host that she is under "enormous pressure" but said it is not in her plans, though she cryptically added that she would "never say never."

Dick Morris, who was once a close confidant of the Clintons during Bill Clinton's time as Arkansas governor and U.S. president recently said in a radio interview that Hillary Clinton likely wants to run for the presidency in 2020. "My feeling is that she wants to ," Morris said. "She feels entitled to do it. She feels compelled to do it. She feels that God put her on the Earth to do it. But she's hesitant because she realizes the timing is bad."

However, Morris contends that Clinton believes that she has to "wait until Biden drops out because he's obviously next in line for it, and if he goes away, there's an opening for her." According to Morris' scenario, Clinton would become the moderate candidate opposed to the leading progressive, Elizabeth Warren.

Morris has not been in touch with the Clintons for many years, and has become strongly critical of them, so his claim might be questionable. Nonetheless, his portrayal of Hillary's current thinking seems quite reasonable.

A Fox News poll included Clinton along with the active Democratic candidates in a hypothetical election with Trump, and Hillary came out ahead of him by two percentage points. While some actual candidates did somewhat better than Hillary, she did quite well for someone who is not currently running for office.

Furthermore, a Harris Harvard poll in late October asked the question, "Suppose Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, and John Kerry decides [sic] to enter the race, who would you support as a candidate for President?" Joe Biden received the support of 19 percent of Democrat respondents while Clinton was a close second with 18 percent. Elizabeth Warren came in third at 13 percent, John Kerry was at 8 percent, and Bloomberg was at 6. Again, Clinton does quite well for someone who is not actually running for president.

One might think that if references to family members' corruption damaged Biden, then Clinton would be subject to worse damage in that area, since she and her husband Bill were connected with far more corrupt activities -- Whitewater, Travelgate, the Lewinsky affair, the Paula Jones affair, t the death of Vince Foster, the Clinton Foundation, her private server, and so on. But these issues are already known and are presumably already taken into account by the voters, whereas the Biden family's corrupt activities are so far largely unknown.

It should be pointed out that Clinton has a number of positives as a presidential candidate. Although losing in the Electoral College in 2016, Clinton had garnered 3 million more votes more than Trump. The election was decided by a total of 80,000 votes in three states. It is highly unlikely that such a fluke could be duplicated.

Clinton's staff had been overconfident assuming victory, which was based on their polling of various states, and as a result began to focus on competing in states well beyond those Clinton needed for victory.

Moreover, one key event outside the control of Clinton's staff was FBI Director James Comey's investigation of Clinton's use of a personal email server during her tenure as secretary of state. Most crucial were his July 2016 public statement terminating the investigation, with a lengthy comment about what Clinton did wrong, and his October 28 reopening the inquiry into newly discovered emails and then closing it two days before the election, stating that the emails had not provided any new information. The October 28 letter, however, probably played a key role in the outcome of the election. As statistician Nate Silver maintains: "Hillary Clinton would probably be president if FBI Director James Comey had not sent a letter to Congress on Oct. 28. The letter, which said the FBI had 'learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation into the private email server that Clinton used as secretary of state, upended the news cycle and soon halved Clinton's lead in the polls, imperiling her position in the Electoral College.'"

[Silver's organization FiveThirtyEight had projected a much higher chance (29 percent) of Donald Trump winning the presidency than most other pollsters]

Clinton has also helped to convince many Democrats and members of the mainstream media that the 2016 election was stolen from her by Russian agents If this were really true – which is very doubtful – then Hillary should be the Democrats' candidate for 2020 since Russian intervention should not be as successful as it allegedly was in 2016.

In endorsing Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, Obama stated. "I don't think that there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office." He has yet to make such an endorsement for Biden and privately, as mentioned earlier, said he is a poor choice for a nominee. He might ultimately endorse Biden, but he certainly would not renege on what he said four years ago about Clinton if she became the Democrats' standard-bearer.

Should Clinton opt to run, she would have no trouble raising money since she set a record in 2016 of $1.4 billion and wealthy donors want a moderate to be the Democratic nominee. It would seem likely that she would enter the contest if Biden has serious trouble. She would miss some state primaries since it would be too late to register in them but given the crowded field of candidates, there is a likelihood that there will be a brokered convention, that is, the convention will go past the first ballot. Since the superdelegates would be allowed to vote in all rounds after the first, they could determine the winner, which would probably mean the selection of a candidate who would be seen to have the greatest chance of winning, and that would likely be Hillary Clinton, if she has entered the fray.

I discussed the merits of Pete Buttigieg in a previous article in Unz Review, and what I write here might seem to conflict with that. However, while Buttigieg is doing quite well in the polls, he still does not get much support from blacks and Latinos, which is essential to become the Democrats nominee for president. Buttigieg could, however, be nominated for vice president or, more likely, given an important cabinet position since the vice-presidential slot would probably be reserved for a black or Latino if a white person were picked as the presidential nominee, which currently seems likely.

But because of Buttigieg's relatively hardline foreign policy , which largely meshes with that of Clinton's, and his wide knowledge and language ability, Buttigieg would fit well in the all-important position of secretary of state in a Clinton administration. Moreover, Buttigieg, whose tenure as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, will end in January 2020, would almost certainly be willing to take such a position, which could serve as a jumping-off point for the presidency in the future.

[Nov 28, 2019] Fox News host Tucker Carlson has crossed an MSM Rubicon and questioned the Douma "gas attack" fraud on air, bringing up the OPCW whistleblower. Then he "rooted for Russia" over Ukraine. Was it a "betrayal," or epic truth-trolling?

Notable quotes:
"... The polarizing Fox host dismantled the official Western media narrative in a seven-minute segment that included an interview with the Guardian correspondent who personally witnessed the second whistleblower present evidence to the agency. ..."
"... "America almost attacked a country and killed untold thousands of people over an attack that may never have happened in the first place – that powerful people may very well have been lying about," Carlson told his audience, replaying footage of his show from the days following the attack to show he'd always been suspicious it had happened as reported. ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Patient Observer November 26, 2019 at 1:06 pm

Tucker Carlson lets it all hang out:

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has crossed an MSM Rubicon and questioned the Douma "gas attack" fraud on air, bringing up the OPCW whistleblower. Then he "rooted for Russia" over Ukraine. Was it a "betrayal," or epic truth-trolling?

Carlson boldly went where no mainstream TV host had gone before, unpacking the explosive story of April 2018's Douma "chemical weapons attack." While the "attack" was attributed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by an altered report from the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, two whistleblowers within the group accused it of omitting evidence to craft a misleading narrative – a fact that has never crossed the lips of US media until Monday night.

Must Watch @TuckerCarlson Segment Tonight: New Evidence Shows Syria's Assad May Have Been Falsely Blamed for 2018 Chemical Attack"We've been lied to, we've been manipulated, we knew it at the time." pic.twitter.com/vKw6YnphcT

-- The Columbia Bugle (@ColumbiaBugle) November 26, 2019

The polarizing Fox host dismantled the official Western media narrative in a seven-minute segment that included an interview with the Guardian correspondent who personally witnessed the second whistleblower present evidence to the agency.

"America almost attacked a country and killed untold thousands of people over an attack that may never have happened in the first place – that powerful people may very well have been lying about," Carlson told his audience, replaying footage of his show from the days following the attack to show he'd always been suspicious it had happened as reported.

https://www.rt.com/usa/474372-tucker-carlson-syria-russia-ukraine/

Patient Observer November 26, 2019 at 1:09 pm
The next time Tulsi Gabbard is on Carlson's show will be interesting. Can they now speak truth about Syria?

Carlson is the most watched political commentator on US television. He is opening a new can of worms for the MSM.

Like Like

yalensis November 26, 2019 at 2:28 pm
Heroes arise from strange places; nobody would have guessed

Like Like

Patient Observer November 26, 2019 at 2:36 pm
Carlson is politically astute and media smart. He would not make such statements unless he was sure they would not be excessively damaging, advance his message and boost his popularity. A real risk is Fox News pulling the plug though.

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Mark Chapman November 26, 2019 at 7:17 pm
Fortuitous indeed that I was not eating or drinking anything when he mentioned Samantha Power and 'stupid decisions'; otherwise, there would have been a pressure-diffused spray of it everywhere. He did indeed let it all hang out – I continue to marvel at his transformation. Who would ever have imagined? I would once have liked to hear of him being roasted alive over a slow fire, back when he was snarking and smirking his way through defenses of the Bush administrations ham-fisted policy strangulation. Well, by God, whatever it takes, and hero biscuits to the medium. Rock on, Tucker.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-XfmHyG8y-g?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

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[Nov 28, 2019] Sanders Calls Out MSNBC s Corporate Ownership -- In Interview On MSNBC HuffPost

Notable quotes:
"... Sanders went on to argue that "pressure has got to be put on media" to cover policy issues like income inequality and poverty more heavily, instead of devoting attention to sensational campaign moments and the state of political horse races. ..."
"... 'You know what, forget the political gossip. Politics is not a soap opera. Talk about the real damn issues facing this country.'" ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | www.huffpost.com

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has not been shy about his disdain for the mainstream media. But the Democratic presidential hopeful has rarely, if ever, articulated it as bluntly as he did in an interview that aired on MSNBC 's " The Rachel Maddow Show " on Friday night. Sanders called out the network for its corporate character in a novel exchange with host Rachel Maddow .

"The American people are sick and tired of establishment politics and economics, and by the way, a little bit tired of corporate media as well," Sanders told Maddow in an interview taped in Burlington, Vermont.

Maddow pressed Sanders for specifics on how he would change the media if he were president. "What's the solution to corporate media?" she asked.

"We have got to think of ways the Democratic party, for a start, starts funding the equivalent of Fox television," Sanders answered. Of course, MSNBC is a corporate media outlet that is widely seen as a Democratic version of Fox News because of the perceived sympathies of many of its political talk shows.

Sanders went on to argue that "pressure has got to be put on media" to cover policy issues like income inequality and poverty more heavily, instead of devoting attention to sensational campaign moments and the state of political horse races.

He then claimed that bringing that pressure to bear would be difficult, since corporate ownership makes it harder for news outlets to cover issues in a way that conflicts with the interests of top executives. "MSNBC is owned by who?" Sanders asked. "Comcast, our overlords," Maddow responded with a chuckle.

"All right, Comcast is not one of the most popular corporations in America, right?" Sanders said. "And I think the American people are going to have to say to NBC and ABC and CBS and CNN, 'You know what, forget the political gossip. Politics is not a soap opera. Talk about the real damn issues facing this country.'"

[Nov 28, 2019] Futures Tumble After Trump Signs Bill Backing Hong Kong Protesters, Defying China

So in due course the trade war was replaced by the full scale cold war.
Notable quotes:
"... Needless to say, no differences will be "settled amicably" and now China will have no choice but to retaliate, aggressively straining relations with the US, and further complicating Trump's effort to wind down his nearly two-year old trade war with Beijing. ..."
"... The legislation, S. 1838, which was passed virtually unanimously in both chambers, requires annual reviews of Hong Kong's special trade status under American law and will allow Washington to suspend said status in case the city does not retain a sufficient degree of autonomy under the "one country, two systems" framework. The bill also sanctions any officials deemed responsible for human rights abuses or undermining the city's autonomy. ..."
"... The House cleared the bill 417-1 on Nov. 20 after the Senate passed it without opposition, veto-proof majorities that left Trump with little choice but to acquiesce, or else suffer bruising fallout from his own party. the GOP. ..."
"... In accordance with the law, the Commerce Department will have 180 days to produce a report examining whether the Chinese government has tried use Hong Kong's special trading status to import advanced "dual use" technologies in violation of US export control laws. Dual use technologies are those that can have commercial and military applications. ..."
"... The new law directs the US secretary of state to "clearly inform the government of the People's Republic of China that the use of media outlets to spread disinformation or to intimidate and threaten its perceived enemies in Hong Kong or in other countries is unacceptable." ..."
"... The state department should take any such activity "into consideration when granting visas for travel and work in the United States to journalists from the People's Republic of China who are affiliated with any such media organizations", the law says. ..."
"... Yes I think getting the western financial institutions out of HK is the plan. I'm sure they appreciate the US doing this for them, but of course they could never admit that. ..."
Nov 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Less than an hour after Trump once again paraded with yet another all-time high in the S&P...

... and on day 510 of the trade war, it appears the president was confident enough that a collapse in trade talks won't drag stocks too far lower, and moments after futures reopened at 6pm, the White House said that Trump had signed the Hong Kong bill backing pro-democracy protesters, defying China and making sure that every trader's Thanksgiving holiday was just ruined.

In a late Wednesday statement from the White House, Trump said that:

I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong. They are being enacted in the hope that Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all.

Needless to say, no differences will be "settled amicably" and now China will have no choice but to retaliate, aggressively straining relations with the US, and further complicating Trump's effort to wind down his nearly two-year old trade war with Beijing.

Trump's signing of the bill comes during a period of unprecedented unrest in Hong Kong, where anti-government protests sparked by a now-shelved extradition bill proposal have ballooned into broader calls for democratic reform and police accountability.

"The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act reaffirms and amends the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, specifies United States policy towards Hong Kong and directs assessment of the political developments in Hong Kong," the White House said in a statement. "Certain provisions of the act would interfere with the exercise of the president's constitutional authority to state the foreign policy of the United States."

The legislation, S. 1838, which was passed virtually unanimously in both chambers, requires annual reviews of Hong Kong's special trade status under American law and will allow Washington to suspend said status in case the city does not retain a sufficient degree of autonomy under the "one country, two systems" framework. The bill also sanctions any officials deemed responsible for human rights abuses or undermining the city's autonomy.

The House cleared the bill 417-1 on Nov. 20 after the Senate passed it without opposition, veto-proof majorities that left Trump with little choice but to acquiesce, or else suffer bruising fallout from his own party. the GOP.

Trump also signed into law the PROTECT Hong Kong act, which will prohibit the sale of US-made munitions such as tear gas and rubber bullets to the city's authorities.

While many members of Congress in both parties have voiced strong support for protesters demanding more autonomy for the city, Trump had stayed largely silent, even as the demonstrations have been met by rising police violence.

Until now.

The bill's author, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, said that with the legislation's enactment, the US now had "new and meaningful tools to deter further influence and interference from Beijing into Hong Kong's internal affairs."

In accordance with the law, the Commerce Department will have 180 days to produce a report examining whether the Chinese government has tried use Hong Kong's special trading status to import advanced "dual use" technologies in violation of US export control laws. Dual use technologies are those that can have commercial and military applications.

One other less discussed but notable provision of the Hong Kong Human Rights Act targets media outlets affiliated with China's government. The new law directs the US secretary of state to "clearly inform the government of the People's Republic of China that the use of media outlets to spread disinformation or to intimidate and threaten its perceived enemies in Hong Kong or in other countries is unacceptable."

The state department should take any such activity "into consideration when granting visas for travel and work in the United States to journalists from the People's Republic of China who are affiliated with any such media organizations", the law says.

* * *

In the days leading up to Trump's signature, China's foreign ministry had urged Trump to prevent the legislation from becoming law, warning the Americans not to underestimate China's determination to defend its "sovereignty, security and development interests."

"If the U.S. insists on going down this wrong path, China will take strong countermeasures, " said China's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a briefing Thursday in Beijing. On Monday, China's Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang summoned the U.S. ambassador, Terry Branstad to express "strong opposition" to what the country's government considers American interference in the protests, including the legislation, according to statement. The new U.S. law comes just as Washington and Beijing showed signs of working toward "phase-one" of deal to ease the trade war. Trump would like the agreement finished in order to ease economic uncertainty for his re-election campaign in 2020, and has floated the possibility of signing the deal in a farm state as an acknowledgment of the constituency that's borne the brunt of retaliatory Chinese tariffs.

Last week China's Vice Premier and chief trade negotiator Liu He said before a speech at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing, that he was "cautiously optimistic" about reaching the phase one accord. He will now have no choice but to amend his statement.

In anticipation of a stern Chinese rebuke, US equity futures tumbled, wiping out most of the previous day's gains... Still, the generally modest pullback - the S&P was around 2,940 when Trump announced the Phase 1 deal on Oct 11 - suggests that despite Trump's signature, markets expect a Chinese deal to still come through. That may be an aggressive and overly "hopeful" assumption, especially now that China now longer has a carte blanche to do whatever it wants in Hong Kong, especially in the aftermath of this weekend's landslide victory for the pro-Democracy camp which won in 17 of the city's 18 districts.

"Following last weekend's historic elections in Hong Kong that included record turnout, this new law could not be more timely in showing strong US support for Hongkongers' long-cherished freedoms," said Rubio


The Palmetto Cynic , 1 hour ago link

Trade wars are good and easy to win. LOL.

Gonzogal , 32 minutes ago link

This is another attempt by the US to stop BRICS. They care NOTHING about HK, only its usefulness in the US war on Chinas growing importance in world trade.

Fascal Rascal upended , 27 minutes ago link

**** trading with communists.

lift foot, aim, pull trigger.

but no no no... trading with communists brings jobs to sell cheap crap. oh what was I thinking.... cheap crap, jobs, and the richest of the rich get richer... my bad.
it ain’t like the commies are going to use the money to build up their military..

silly me.

sentido kumon , 41 minutes ago link

Of course the obvious solution is to just let people choose whatever or whomever they want to associate with and be respected and left alone for their choice.

But no. We all have to live and abide by the wishes of other people bcuz of "unity" and ****.

This non sense is really getting tiresome.

Gonzogal , 51 minutes ago link

This criticism from a country that just this week renewed the "Patriot Act" that has taken away Americans rights and increased spying on US citizens.

The US should get its OWN house in order BEFORE moves against countries that do the SAME THING THE US DOES!

The world is sick of this hypocracy!

Helg Saracen , 1 hour ago link

Eh guys, you still do not understand that all this (not only China and Hong Kong) is a very big "elite" performance for ordinary people to keep you (the rest of the boobies) in subjection. It's like in boxing - contractual fights. Do you think world "elites" benefit from peace and order? You are mistaken - these guys have the world as death (the death of their Power and their Control). An example from the history of Europe - in the 18-19 and early 20th century, Europe only did what it fought. But the funny thing is that the monarchs (the real owners of Europe) were relatives among themselves. The First World War was popularly called “The War of Three Cousins” (English monarch, German Kaiser and Russian emperor). But the Europeans paid for the dismantling of relatives. Now the "monarchs" are bankers and your position has not changed, you changed only the owners after 1918.

He–Mene Mox Mox , 1 hour ago link

Problem with Hong Kong is, it is dependent on China to survive. That is not only true for the most basic neccessities, but also as a port for international trade. However, in the last 25 years, Shenzhen and Guangzhou have built up their own trade hubs, which has pulled trade away from being concentrated in Hong Kong, and consequently more dependent on China. Our ideas of Hong Kong remaining an independent island nation isn't going to work for three reasons:

1. Without being a doorway to China, there is no other reason for its existence.

2. Hong Kong is indeed Chinese sovereign territory, that was taken away from it to be made into a trade colony by the British in 1841, under the Treaty of Nanking. The British gave up Hong Kong in 1997, under the 1984 signed Sino-British Joint Declaration, in which Britain agreed to return not only the New Territories but also Kowloon and Hong Kong itself. China promised to implement a "One Country, Two Systems" regime, under which for fifty years Hong Kong citizens could continue to practice capitalism and political freedoms forbidden on the mainland. So, when the year 2047 comes around, Hong Kong will be fully absorbed and integrated in a One Country, One system Chinese regime. In otherwords, Hong Kong's fate was already sealed in 1984, and there is nothing America can legally do about it.

3. Hong Kong still needs the basic neccessities from China to survive. Don't count on either the British or the Americans to provide it.

Dzerzhhinsky , 1 hour ago link

Yes I think getting the western financial institutions out of HK is the plan. I'm sure they appreciate the US doing this for them, but of course they could never admit that.

[Nov 25, 2019] China doesn't aim to be an empire for the simple reason it learned from America's mistakes

Nov 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Nov 23 2019 6:37 utc | 58

Xi Jinping tells that bullshit little story about China's 5,000 year History, but the truth is really much more pragmatic: China doesn't aim to be an empire for the simple reason it learned from America's mistakes.

The CCP already knows that being the sole superpower is unsustainable and, in the medium term, goes even against its main objective, which is to establish a "moderately prosperous society" in China until 2030 (they consider the 2000s Belgium as the standard for "moderately prosperous").

Socialist China has shown, so far, an incredible capacity of learning from other nations' mistakes:

1) It correctly read the historical conjuncture of the late 1960s, by concluding that the historical cycle of socialist revolutions was over, and moved on to try to break the Cold War embargo in order to initiate a cycle of wealth production. They achieved that in 1972. This was when Mao Zedong was still alive and commanding China with absolute authority, so it's a myth China "freed itself" only when and because Mao died (1976);

2) It learned from the failed experiment of the Brazilian liberal dictatorship, by doing exactly the opposite of the Zona Franca de Manaus . The result was the creation of the Special Economic Zones, which allowed capitalist investment from abroad to come to China but in quarentene, and with technological transfer.

3) It learned from the trap the USSR fell, and used a peaceful geopolitical strategy. It avoided an arms race and was able to expand its allied nations portfolio and slowly tightened its grip over the American economy.

4) It learned from the the failure of Soviet socialism in producing very good quality consumer goods. It solved this problem by "opening up" for capitalist exploitation the sectors which produced and distributed consumer goods, without affecting the strategic sectors (defense, finance, natural resources, etc.).

5) It learned from the failure of the American empire of maintaining its status as the world's "lonely superpower" by not adopting a war culture in China and by being more tolerant with its neighbors. But that didn't mean they didn't consolidated position: military spending continues to go up and the Armed Forces continues to be modernized and under firm CCP control. The South China Sea is a "corridor of life" for the Chinese, so the CCP quickly, but in a peaceful manner, took control of it, very aware that it would probably cost the Vietnamese friendship. But that was the exception that proves the rule, an exceptional situation where the benefits were greater than the costs.

vk , Nov 23 2019 13:58 utc | 79

@

[Nov 25, 2019] China's trade has gradually steadied as the nation moves to explore third markets

Nov 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Nov 22 2019 21:16 utc | 20

This isn't the only article I've read over the past several days suggesting China won't agree to a trade deal anytime soon. The following are amongst the reasons why:

"China's trade has gradually steadied as the nation moves to explore third markets. 'A substantial decline in trade and a drastic fall in economic growth which some international observers were worried about didn't occur, pointing to the potential and resilience of the Chinese economy,' he went on to say.

"The US, for its part, has seen its current account deficit as a percentage of GDP shoot up from 2.9 percent to 3.2 percent. This suggests the trade war is failing to address the issue of the US' current account deficit, stressed Zhu, who is currently the Chairman of the National Institute of Financial Research at Tsinghua University. He added that, more worryingly, tariffs mean additional costs are put on US companies and consumers."

Evil Outlaw US Empire planners in their hubristic zeal to decouple from China's economy erred massively in thinking China would be the one harmed and come begging for a trade deal. Instead, China's geoeconomic strategy is clearly working and is more potent than what the Empire can bring to the table--Oops! China can now play Trump.

uncle tungsten , Nov 23 2019 8:09 utc | 68
Peter AU1 #64

psychohistorian 63
I see Trump's envoy Kissinger is standing next to Xi. Seems like Trump is trying to cook something up with Kissinger regularly on the scene when it comes to Russia and China.

Interesting that Kissinger is there . Steve Pieczenik takes the very strong view that Pompeo is a dead man walking. Worth every second of his five minute discourse . What I like about Steve and his various takes on people of note is that he assassinates them immediately and intensely with a quick turn of phrase.

Peter AU1 , Nov 23 2019 8:20 utc | 69
uncle tungsten

Kissinger was also Nixon's envoy. He engineered the split between China and the Soviet Union amongst other things. China and Russia's current leadership though may be above Kissinger's pay grade.

[Nov 24, 2019] Chris Hedges: Who Killed the American Dream On Civil Society

Aug 27, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Dan Harris , 1 year ago (edited)

Chris Hedges is our very own modern day Thomas Paine. Too bad most the sheep don't even know he exists let alone be fired by his deeply powerful words and ideas. He is so dangerous he is universally banned by any and all major media. He is so smart, so well read and so incredibly morally powerful, they make sure only those few who like myself, go looking can actually find him.

Supernautiloid , 1 year ago

I only recently discovered Hedges myself. Needless to say, his speeches have blown my mind. It only requires one to take a look at the world around us to see he speaks the truth. If only more would wake up to this truth.

Bergur Rasmussen , 3 months ago div class="comment-

renderer-text-content expanded"> There is this Frank Zappa quote, I keep thinking of when listening to Chris Hedges "The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater." The illusion is hastily crumbling ... thanks CH for wording the decay so clearly

Doug N , 11 months ago (edited)

Four cops were recently indicted for beating an under cover cop posing as a protester during the recent St Louis race riots. Chris is absolutely correct when he says antifa is half cops. The oligarchs want Marshall Law. And cops are playing their part in seeing that it comes to pass.

[Nov 24, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Endorses Trump s Economic War on Venezuela, Soft-Pedals Far-Right Bolivia Coup by Ben Norton

Notable quotes:
"... Doesn't Warren claim to have indigenous ancestors herself and was proud of it? She caused Trump to call her "Pocahontas"? She agrees to support the unelected interim president Jeannine Añez, who refers to indigenous inhabitants as satanic? Warren is a very horrible person, inhumane, amoral, and rather stupid overall, who wants to get rich. ..."
"... I personally think that capitalism with "human face" and robust public sector is the way to go. But imperialist imposition and aggression is not the part of "human face" that I imagine. ..."
"... I'm sorry but you all need to come to terms with the farce that is the American political system. Anyone who was supporting Warren or even considering voting for her for ANY reason is apparently either in denial or is being duped. Warren is a Madison Avenue creation packaged for US liberal consumption. ..."
"... She hangs out with Hillary Clinton and Madeline Albright, two evil women if ever there were. Now they make the three witches brewing one coup/regime change after another. She's not smart enough to see that HRC and MA are leading her around by her nose. People should call out this phoney everywhere she goes. BTW, Rachel Maddow completes an odious clique. ..."
"... This is a bit of exaggeration. The three ladies are more like good students, they did not write the textbook but they good grades for answering as written, or like cheerleaders, they jump and shout but they do not play in the field. Mind you, "interagency consensus" was formed without them. ..."
"... The DNC's strategy for this election is to ensure that Bernie doesn't go into the Convention with enough delegates to win the first ballot. (Once voting goes past the first ballot, super-delegates get to weigh in and help anoint a candidate who's friendly to the Party's plutocratic-oligarch principals.) ..."
"... That's the reason the DNC is allowing and encouraging so many candidates to run. Warren's specific assignment is to cannibalize Bernie's base and steal delegates that would otherwise be his, by pretending to espouse most of his platform with only minor tweaks. She's been successful with "better educated," higher-income liberal Democrats who consider themselves well informed because they get their news from "respectable" sources -- sources that, unbeknownst to their target audiences, invariably represent the viewpoint of the aforementioned plutocratic oligarchs. ..."
"... if Warren becomes the nominee, I will support her over Trump. It's a lesser of two evils choice, but we must recognize that no candidate will be perfect–ever. ..."
"... Zionism is typically the gateway drug for Democratic would-be reformers. Once they've swallowed that fundamental poison, the DNC feels secure it's just a matter of time before they Get With the Program 100%. Given that "Harvard" and "phony" are largely synonymous, what else could've been expected? ..."
Nov 24, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

59 Comments

The Democratic contender parroted neocon regime-change myths in an interview on "Pod Save America," writes Ben Norton.

The Grayzone

... ... ...

Reiterates Her Neoconservative Policies Against Venezuela

Elizabeth Warren repeated her support for regime change in Venezuela in an interview in September with the Council on Foreign Relations , a central gear in the machinery of the military-industrial complex. "Maduro is a dictator and a crook who has wrecked his country's economy, dismantled its democratic institutions, and profited while his people suffer," Warren declared. She referred to Maduro's elected government as a "regime" and called for "supporting regional efforts to negotiate a political transition." Echoing the rhetoric of neoconservatives in Washington, Warren called for "contain[ing]" the supposedly "damaging and destabilizing actions" of China, Russia, and Cuba. The only point where Warren diverged with Trump was on her insistence that "there is no U.S. military option in Venezuela."

Soft-Pedals Far-Right Coup in Bolivia

While Warren endorsed Trump's hybrid war on Venezuela, she more recently whitewashed the U.S.-backed coup in Bolivia.

On Nov. 10, the U.S. government backed a far-right military coup against Bolivia's democratically elected President Evo Morales , a leftist from the popular Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party and the first Indigenous head of state in a country where nearly two-thirds of the population is Native.

Warren refused to comment on the putsch for more than a week, even as the far-right military junta massacred dozens of protesters and systematically purged and detained elected left-wing politicians from MAS.

Finally, eight days after the coup, Warren broke her silence. In a short tweet, the putative progressive presidential candidate tepidly requested "free and fair elections" and calling on the "interim leadership" to prepare an "early, legitimate election." What Warren did not mention is that this "interim leadership" she helped legitimize is headed by an extreme right-wing Christian fundamentalist, the unelected "interim president" Jeanine Añez. Añez has referred to Bolivia's majority-Indigenous population as "satanic" and immediately moved to try to overturn the country's progressive constitution, which had established an inclusive, secular, plurinational state after receiving an overwhelming democratic mandate in a 2009 referendum.

Añez's ally in this coup regime's interim leadership is Luis Fernando Camacho , a multi-millionaire who emerged out of neo-fascist groups and courted support from the United States and the far-right governments of Brazil and Colombia. By granting legitimacy to Bolilvia's ultra-conservative, unelected leadership, Warren rubber-stamped the far-right coup and the military junta's attempt to stamp out Bolivia's progressive democracy. In other words, as The Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal put it, Liz's Big Structural Bailey compliantly rolled over for Big IMF Structural Adjustment Program .

Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a reporter for The Grayzone , and the producer of the " Moderate Rebels " podcast, which he co-hosts with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com , and he tweets at @ BenjaminNorton .

This article is from The Grayzone .


Skip Scott , November 23, 2019 at 07:57

H Beazley-

A vote for evil is never a good choice, and choosing a candidate you perceive as a lesser evil still condones evil. Allowing the Oligarchy to limit your choice gives them the power to continue advancing evil policies. They control both major parties. You may succeed in getting non-gender specific restrooms in your Starbucks, but the murdering war machine will continue unabated.

JoAnn , November 23, 2019 at 01:41

Now, we are seeing the true colors of candidates, who have professed to be progressive. Sanders went on a "tirade" against Maduro during the last "debate" I saw. Tulsi Gabbard has stayed against US Imperialism, but, I'm sure the Democratic policy controllers will never nominate her. I foresee I'll be voting for the Socialist next year.

Raymond M. , November 22, 2019 at 18:09

""""On Nov. 10, the U.S. government backed a far-right military coup against Bolivia's democratically elected President Evo Morales bla blla bla".

And the 3 right wing candidates spent more time slinging mud at at each other than at Morales. Had the CIAs top front man Ortez stepped aside, the vote would not have split and allowed Morales to claim a first round victory and avoid a run-off that he would have lost. And the right wing Christian fundamentalist for sure was a CIA plant who manged to split the vote further.

Under the Trump administration, the CIA can even run a coup right.

Piotr Berman , November 22, 2019 at 15:25

If only those anti-Western rulers seen the light and joined RBWO (rule* based world order, * rules decided in DC, preferably by bipartisan consensus), then the economy would run smoothly and the population would be happy. Every week gives another example:

By The Associated Press, Nov. 21, 2019, BOGOTA, Colombia

Colombians angry with President Iván Duque and hoping to channel Latin America's wave of discontent took the streets by the tens of thousands on Thursday in one of the biggest protests in the nation's recent history. [ ] Police estimated 207,000 people took part. [ ] government deployed 170,000 officers, closed border crossings and deported 24 Venezuelans accused of entering the country to instigate unrest.

So if only Iván did not start unnecessary conflict with Maduro, these 24 scoundrels would stay home and the trouble would be avoided. Oh wait, I got confused

CitizenOne , November 21, 2019 at 22:10

You must imagine that when candidtes suddenly become mind control puppets what is going on. The scariest thing in American Politics is how supposedly independent and liberal progressives somehow swallow the red pill and are transported into the world of make believe. Once inside the bubble of fiction far removed from human suffering which is after all what politicians are supposed to be about fixing they can say crazy things. Jimmy Carter and Donald Trump are the only souls to retain their independent (yet opposite) minds and both of them got the boot for being different.

Hide Behind , November 21, 2019 at 20:44

The puppet masters are experts, on the one hand there is A Republican, and on the other is a Democrat, but even they mess up now and then get the different strings tangled. Some come back on stage on the different hand so to save time they give a puppet two faces.

Watching same puppets gets old so every so often 2-4-6 they restring an old one that was used as props in past, change their makeup a bit to give them new faces. We do not actually elect the puppet, we instead legitimize the Puppeteers who own' s the only stage in town.

Those who choreograph the movements and change the backgrouds, media outlets and permanent bureaucrats know the plays before they are introduced, and they know best how to get adults to leave reality behind and bring back their childhood fantacies. Days of sugar plums, candy canes, socks filled with goodies and not coal, tooth fairys, and kind generous Fairy God Mothers.

Toy Nutcracker soldiers that turn into Angelic heros, Yellow brick roads, Bunnies with pocket watches, and and magic shoes of red, or of glass in hand of handsome Princes and beautiful Princesses, all available if we vote. So who votes, only those who control the voting puppets know that reality does not exist, they twitch we react, and at end of voting counts one of hand's puppets will slump and cry, while others will leap and dance in joy, only for all to end up in one pile until the puppeteers need them for next act.

Frederike , November 21, 2019 at 17:30

"What Warren did not mention is that this "interim leadership" she helped legitimize is headed by an extreme right-wing Christian fundamentalist, the unelected "interim president" Jeanine Añez.

Añez has referred to Bolivia's majority-Indigenous population as "satanic" and immediately moved to try to overturn the country's progressive constitution, which had established an inclusive, secular, plurinational state after receiving an overwhelming democratic mandate in a 2009 referendum."

Doesn't Warren claim to have indigenous ancestors herself and was proud of it? She caused Trump to call her "Pocahontas"? She agrees to support the unelected interim president Jeannine Añez, who refers to indigenous inhabitants as satanic? Warren is a very horrible person, inhumane, amoral, and rather stupid overall, who wants to get rich. Everything she agreed to in the interview listed above is pathetic. I had no idea that she is such a worthless individual.

arggo , November 22, 2019 at 19:57

"neocon" explains this. She seems to have the support of very foundational structures that enabled Hillary Clinton Democrats to attack and destroy Bernie Sanders in 2016.

Cara , November 21, 2019 at 15:40

Warren has not lost my vote for the simple reason she never had it in the first place. None of this, sickening as it is, comes as any surprise. Warren is an unapologetic capitalist. She's like Robert Reich in that regard. They both believe capitalism–if reformed, tweaked a bit here and there–can work. To give her credit, she's always been very honest about that. And of course our doctrine of regime change is all in the service of capitalism. Unless I'm simply confused and mistaken.

Sherwood Forrest , November 22, 2019 at 09:38

Yes, Capitalist First! That makes it so difficult for any aware person to believe she sincerely supports a wealth tax, Universal Healthcare, Green New Deal, College loan forgiveness, family leave or anything else the 1% oppose. Because promising like Santa is part of Capitalist politics, and then saying," Nah, we can't afford it."

Piotr Berman , November 22, 2019 at 16:08

I personally think that capitalism with "human face" and robust public sector is the way to go. But imperialist imposition and aggression is not the part of "human face" that I imagine.

So Warren's imperialist positions are evil and unnecessary to preserve capitalism, how that projects at her as a person it is hard to tell. A Polish poet has those words spoken by a character in his drama "On that, I know only what I heard, but I am afraid to investigate because it poisons my mind about " (Znam to tylko z opowiada?, ale strzeg? si? tych bada?, bo mi truj? my?l o ) As typical of hearsay, her concept of events in Venezuela, Bolivia etc. is quite garbled, she has no time (but perhaps some fear) to investigate herself (easy in the era of internet). A serious politician has to think a lot about electability (and less about the folks under the steam roller of the Empire), so she has to "pick her fights".

It is rather clear that American do not care if people south of the border are governed democratically or competently, which led Hillary Clinton to make this emphatic statement in a debate with Trump "You will not see me singing praises of dictators or strongmen who do not love America". One can deconstruct it "if you do not love America you are a strongman or worse, but if you love America, we will be nice to you". I would love to have the original and deconstructed statement polled, but Warren is not the only one afraid of such investigations. So "electability" connection to green light to Bolivian fascist and red light to Bolivarians of Venezuela is a bit indirect. Part of it is funding, part, bad press.

brett , November 21, 2019 at 15:15

I'm sorry but you all need to come to terms with the farce that is the American political system. Anyone who was supporting Warren or even considering voting for her for ANY reason is apparently either in denial or is being duped. Warren is a Madison Avenue creation packaged for US liberal consumption.

She is a fraud and a liar. One trained in psychology can see, in her every movement and utterance, the operation that is going on behind the facade. Everything Warren says is a lie to someone. She only states truth in order to later dis-inform. Classic deception. She (her billionaires) has latched on to the populism of the DSA etc. in order to sabotage any progressive momentum and drive a stake in it.

Rob Roy , November 22, 2019 at 00:40

She hangs out with Hillary Clinton and Madeline Albright, two evil women if ever there were. Now they make the three witches brewing one coup/regime change after another. She's not smart enough to see that HRC and MA are leading her around by her nose. People should call out this phoney everywhere she goes. BTW, Rachel Maddow completes an odious clique.

Piotr Berman , November 22, 2019 at 16:13

This is a bit of exaggeration. The three ladies are more like good students, they did not write the textbook but they good grades for answering as written, or like cheerleaders, they jump and shout but they do not play in the field. Mind you, "interagency consensus" was formed without them.

Peter in Seattle , November 21, 2019 at 14:53

The DNC's strategy for this election is to ensure that Bernie doesn't go into the Convention with enough delegates to win the first ballot. (Once voting goes past the first ballot, super-delegates get to weigh in and help anoint a candidate who's friendly to the Party's plutocratic-oligarch principals.)

That's the reason the DNC is allowing and encouraging so many candidates to run. Warren's specific assignment is to cannibalize Bernie's base and steal delegates that would otherwise be his, by pretending to espouse most of his platform with only minor tweaks. She's been successful with "better educated," higher-income liberal Democrats who consider themselves well informed because they get their news from "respectable" sources -- sources that, unbeknownst to their target audiences, invariably represent the viewpoint of the aforementioned plutocratic oligarchs.

Absolutely nothing in Warren's background supports her new calculatedly progressive primary persona. She was a Reagan Republican. When the Republican Party moved right to become the party of batshit crazy and the Democratic Party shifted right to become the party of Reagan Republicans, she became a Democrat. She's not a good actress, and it takes willing suspension of disbelief to buy into her performance as a savvier, wonkier alternative to Bernie. And when she's pressed for details (Medicare for All) and responses to crises (Venezuela and Bolivia), the cracks in her progressive façade become patently obvious. She's a sleeper agent for Democratic-leaning plutocrats, like Obama was in 2008, and she would never get my vote.

PS: Impressed by Warren's progressive wealth-tax plan? Don't be. Our country's billionaires know she won't fight for it, and that if she did, Congress would never pass it. (They know who owns Congress.) Besides, do you really think Pocahontas would beat Trump? Do you think Sleepy Joe would? The billionaires wouldn't bet on it. And they're fine with that. Sure, they'd like someone who's more thoroughly corporatist on trade and more committed to hot régime-change wars than Trump is, but they can live just fine with low-tax, low-regulation Trump. It's the prospect of a Bernie presidency that keeps them up at night and their proxies in the Democratic Party and allied media are doing everything they can to neutralize that threat.

mbob , November 21, 2019 at 18:13

@Peter

Thanks for this beautiful post. I agree with it 100%. I've been trying to figure out why Democrats are so consistently unable to see through rhetoric and fall for what candidates pretend to be. Part of it is wishful thinking. A lot of it is, as you wrote, misplaced trust in "respectable" sources. I have no idea how to fix that: how does one engender the proper skepticism of the MSM? I haven't been able to open the eyes of any of my friends. (Fortunately my wife and daughter opened their own eyes.)

Warren is, if you look clearly, driven by her enormous ambition. She's the same as every other candidate in that regard, save Bernie.

Bernie is driven by the same outrage that we feel. We need him.

Dan Kuhn , November 21, 2019 at 14:31

In the last Israeli massacre on Gaza she was all for the IDF killing Palistinians. Americans like to look at the CCP and cry about China being a one party state. Well is the US not a one party state?= Are the views of the Democrats and Republicans not the same when it comes to slaughtering people in the third world? There is not a razor`s edge between them. Biden, Warren, Sanders, Trump, Cruz and Pense they are all war criminals, or if elected will soon become war criminals.

From someone who at the beginning showed promise and humanity, she has turned into Albright and Clinton. How f**king sad is that?

Dan Kuhn , November 21, 2019 at 14:33

Better to see her for what she really is now then after the election if she were to win. She is disgusting in her inhumanity.

Rob , November 21, 2019 at 13:43

This Is, indeed, disturbing and disappointing. Warren seems so genuinely right on domestic economic and social issues, so how could she be so wrong on foreign policy issues? The same principles apply in both–justice, fairness, equity, etc. That said, she is no worse than any of the other Democratic candidates in that regard, with the exceptions of Sanders and Gabbard, so if Warren becomes the nominee, I will support her over Trump. It's a lesser of two evils choice, but we must recognize that no candidate will be perfect–ever.

Dan Kuhn , November 21, 2019 at 14:36

Far better to stick to your principles and write in " None of the above." believe me with this article we can easily see that Trump is no worse nor better than Warren is. They are both pretty poor excuses as human beings.

Peter in Seattle , November 21, 2019 at 16:04

@Rob:

If you'll allow me to fix that for you, "What Warren tactically claims to support, in the primaries, seems so genuinely right on domestic economic and social issues ." I'm convinced Warren is an Obama 2.0 in the making. I don't think anyone can match Obama's near-180° turnabout from his 2008 primary platform and that if Warren is elected, she will try to make Wall Street a little more honest and stable, maybe advocate for a $12 minimum wage, and maybe try to shave a few thousand dollars off student-loan debts. I suppose that technically qualifies as less evil than Trump. But I fully expect her to jettison 90% of her primary platform, including a progressive tax on wealth and Medicare for All. And when you factor in her recently confirmed approval of US military and financial imperialism -- economic subversion and régime-change operations that cost tens of thousands of innocent foreign lives, and other peoples their sovereignty -- at what point does "less evil" become too evil to vote for?

John Drake , November 21, 2019 at 13:13

" presidential candidate tepidly requested "free and fair elections". Such a statement ignores the fact that Evo Morales term was not up; therefore elections are not called for. This means she supports the coup. Restoration of his position which was illegally and violently stolen from him are in order not elections until his term is up.
Her position on Venezuela is nauseating; as the article states classic neo-conservative. Maybe Robert Kagan will welcome her into their club as he did with Hillary.
Warren used to be a Republican, she has not been cured of that disease; and is showing her true colors. Maybe it's best as she is differentiating herself from Bernie. I was concerned before she started down this latest path that she would do an Obama; progressive rhetoric followed by neo-liberal-or worse- behavior once in office. Maybe she is more honest than Obama.

Guy , November 21, 2019 at 12:40

Warren can't be very informed about what democracy actually means .Democracy is not the same as capitalism . Not a US citizen but am very disappointed with her stated platform . Short of divine intervention Tulsi will never make it but Sanders for president and Tulsi as VP would do just fine to re-direct the US foreign policy and maybe ,just maybe make the US more respectable among the rest of the nations of the world.

Piotr Berman , November 22, 2019 at 16:17

It would make a lot of sense from actuarial point of view. The chances that at least one person on the ticket would live healthily for 8 years would be very good, without Tulsi

Punkyboy , November 21, 2019 at 12:02

I was pretty sure Warren was a Hillary clone; now I'm absolutely sure of it. Another election between worse and worser. I may just stay home this time, if the world holds together that long.

Socratic Truth , November 21, 2019 at 11:42

Warren is just another puppet of the NWO.

Ma Laoshi , November 21, 2019 at 11:12

I remember years and years ago, I guess about when Lizzie first entered Congress, that she went on the standard pandering tour to the Motherland and an astute mind commented: Zionism is typically the gateway drug for Democratic would-be reformers. Once they've swallowed that fundamental poison, the DNC feels secure it's just a matter of time before they Get With the Program 100%. Given that "Harvard" and "phony" are largely synonymous, what else could've been expected?

Peter in Seattle , November 21, 2019 at 15:32

@Ma Laoshi:

Speaking of Harvard, having contemplated the abysmal track record compiled by our "best and brightest" -- in Congress, in the White House, and on the federal bench -- I am now almost as suspicious of the Ivy League as I am of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security (WHINSEC, formerly known as the School of the Americas). The mission of both is to train capable, reliable, well-compensated servants to the US plutocracy. (And the only reason I say "almost" is because a non-negligible number of black sheep have come out of the Ivy League and I'm not aware of any that have come out of WHINSEC.)

Sam F , November 23, 2019 at 18:59

Harvard admissions are apparently largely bought, and doubtless those of Yale and others. MIT was strictly militarist warmongers in the 1970s, and one compete with 80% cheaters.

Dfnslblty , November 21, 2019 at 11:12

" The only point where Warren diverged with Trump was on her insistence that "there is no U.S. military option in Venezuela." " Hell, one doesn't need a military option after immoral, illegal and crippling sanctions. This essay is the most disturbing piece all year-2019.

Vote anti-military – vote nonviolence. Don't give these murderers anything but exposure to humane sensibilities.

Freedomlover , November 21, 2019 at 17:43

I didn't think Trump supported a military solution in Venezuela. That was John Bolton's baby and Trump fired him as one would hope he would soon fire Pompeo as has been hinted at. Trump campaigned on ending wars of choice but has given in to the MIC at almost every turn. Maybe he will resign in leiu of being impeached. We might then see a Rand Paul vs. Bernie Sanders. I could live with either one

Skip Scott , November 21, 2019 at 09:12

Once again the Democratic Party is pushing to have our choice for 2020 be between corporate sponsored war monger from column A or B.

I wish Tulsi would "see the light" and run as an Independent in 2020. There is absolutely no way that she gets the nod from the utterly corrupt DNC. She is abandoning her largest base (Independents) by sticking with the Democratic Party. Considering the number of disgruntled non-voters, she could easily win the general election; but she will never win the Democratic primary. The field is purposely flooded to ensure the "superdelegates" get the final say on a second ballot.

AnneR , November 21, 2019 at 08:50

Warren is as inhumane, amoral and imperialist as anyone in the WH and the US Congress, and she is certainly kindred in spirit, thought and would be in deed, as Madeline Albright, the cheerful slaughterer of some 500,000 Iraqi children because the "price was worth it." Of course, these utterly racist, amoral people do not have to pay "that price" nor do any of their families. (And let us not forget that Albright and Killary are good friends – Warren is totally kindred with the pair, totally.)

And clearly Warren – like all of the Demrat contenders – is full on for any kind of warfare that will bring a "recalcitrant" country into line with US demands (on its resources, lands etc.). She is grotesque.

She and those of her ilk – all in Congress, pretty much, and their financial backers – refuse to accept that Maduro and Morales *both* were legally, legitimately and cleanly re-elected to their positions as presidents of their respective countries. But to do that would be to go against her (commonly held) fundamental belief that the US has the right to decide who is and is not the legitimate national leader of any given country. And what policies they institute.

Anyone who supports economic sanctions is supporting siege warfare, is happily supporting the starvation and deprivation of potentially millions of people. And shrugging off the blame for the effects of the sanctions onto the government of the sanctioned country is heinous, is immoral and unethical. WE are the ones who are killing, not the government under extreme pressure. If you can't, won't accept the responsibility – as Warren and the rest of the US government clearly will not – for those deaths you are causing, then stay out of the bloody kitchen: stop committing these crimes against humanity.

Cara , November 21, 2019 at 15:25

Please provide documentation that Sanders is, as you claim, a "full-on zionist supporter of "Israel" and clearly anti-Palestinian." Sanders has been quite consistent in his criticism of Israel and the treatment of Palestinians: timesofisrael.com/bernie-sanders-posts-video-citing-apartheid-like-conditions-for-palestinians; and; jacobinmag.com/2019/07/bernie-sanders-israel-palestine-bds

Piotr Berman , November 21, 2019 at 16:46

"Sanders is less so, but not wholly because he is a full-on zionist supporter of "Israel" and clearly anti-Palestinian"

Sanders is definitely not "full-on zionist supporter", not only he does not deny that "Palestinians exist" (to died-in-the-wool Zionists, Palestinians are a malicious fiction created to smear Israel etc., google "Fakestinians"), but he claims that they have rights, and using Hamas as a pretext for Gaza blockade is inhumane (a recent headline). One can pull his other positions and statements to argue in the other direction, but in my opinion, he is at the extreme humane end of "zionist spectrum" (I mean, so humane that almost not a Zionist).

[Nov 24, 2019] Despair is a very powerful factor in the resurgence of far right forces. Far right populism probably will be the decisive factor in 2020 elections.

Highly recommended!
Nov 24, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.25.19 at 2:56 am 46

Glen Tomkins 11.24.19 at 5:26 pm @43

And again, if we do win despite all the structural injustices in the system the Rs inherited and seek to expand, well, those injustices don't really absolutely need to be corrected, because we will still have gotten the right result from the system as is.

This is a pretty apt description of the mindset of Corporate Democrats. Thank you !

May I recommend you to listen to Chris Hedge 2011 talk On Death of the Liberal Class At least to the first part of it.

Corporate Dems definitely lack courage, and as such are probably doomed in 2020.

Of course, the impeachment process will weight on Trump, but the Senate hold all trump cards, and might reverse those effects very quickly and destroy, or at lease greatly diminish, any chances for Corporate Demorats even complete on equal footing in 2020 elections. IMHO Pelosi gambit is a really dangerous gambit, a desperate move, a kind of "Heil Mary" pass.

Despair is a very powerful factor in the resurgence of far right forces. And that's what happening right now and that's why I suspect that far right populism probably will be the decisive factor in 2020 elections.

IMHO Chris explains what the most probable result on 2020 elections with be with amazing clarity.

[Nov 24, 2019] Chris Hedges on Death of the Liberal Class - YouTube

Highly recommended!
Jan 04, 2011 | www.youtube.com

riccardo estavans , 4 months ago

Colin Shaw , 5 months ago Think Mackay , 5 months ago

Bill Clinton destroyed the USA economy and middle class like no president has ever done. Bush II and Obama exacerbated the destruction by the hundred folds.

Orion's Ghost , 5 months ago

I believe Hedges statement that "the true correctives to society were social movements that never achieved formal political power" is perhaps one of the most important things for each of us to understand.

Fred Slocombe , 3 months ago (edited)
Ali Naderzad , 3 months ago (edited)

16:50 GENIUS. WELL DONE. So true.go Chris !!!

cubismo85 , 4 weeks ago

hauntingly accurate in every aspect, im speehless

Eris123451 , 3 days ago

I watched this with interest and curiosity and growing skepticism although he makes some killer points and cites some extremely disturbing facts; above all he accepts and uncritically so the American narrative of history.

Brian Valero , 4 months ago

The message from democrats is "hey we're not bigots". Most people (repubs+dems) aren't. If they keep calling on that for energy the Dems will forever continue to lose. If they don't come back to the working class they might as well just call themselves conservatives.

jimmyolsenblues , 4 months ago

he did/wrote this in 2011, he really understood then how things are in 2019.

Andy Russ , 3 years ago (edited)

Prescient 'post-mortem' of the 2016 election

2009starlite , 5 months ago (edited)

Those of us who seek the truth can't stop looking under every stone. The truth will set you free but you must share it with those who are ready to hear it and hide it from those who can hurt you for exposing it. MT

Aubrey De Bliquy , 2 days ago (edited)

"A Society that looses the capacity for the sacred cannibalizes itself until it dies because it exploits the natural world as well as human beings to the point of collapse."

Clark WARS News , 1 day ago

I learned something from watching this thank you powerful teacher love you ⭐

Rebel Scum , 5 months ago

I think he meant Washington State University which is in Pullman. The University of Washington is in Seattle. 16:43

phuturephunk , 6 years ago

Damn, he's grim...but he makes a whole lot of sense.

davekiernan1 , 2 weeks ago

Like Mr bon ribentrof said in monty Python. He's right you know...

Rich Keal , 5 months ago

Search YouTube for Dr. Antony Sutton the funding of the Bolshevik Revolution. The Act of 1871 as well. Take the Red Pill and go deeper.

kevin joseph , 5 days ago

loony republicans? did they open the borders, legalize late abortions and outright infanticide?

Michael Maya , 5 months ago

I've listened to this twice both twice it played on accident bcuz I had you tube on autoplay, it woke me up while I was sleeping but I'm glad it did.

Bryce Hallam , 1 week ago

Set the Playback Speed to: 1.25 . Great lecture.

Buddy Aces , 5 months ago

It makes sense and we can smell it! Those varmints must be shown no mercy.

VC YT , 5 months ago

To get in the mood, I watched this lecture from behind some Hedges. :-)

Orion's Ghost , 5 months ago

I believe Hedges statement that "the true correctives to society were social movements that never achieved formal political power" is perhaps one of the most important things for each of us to understand.

Fred Slocombe , 3 months ago (edited)

15:05 The subjugation of Education 21:15 Theatrical Manipulation of Expectations 24:08 U.S. Debt and Borrowing

Ali Naderzad , 3 months ago (edited)

16:50 GENIUS. WELL DONE. So true.go Chris !!!

cubismo85 , 4 weeks ago

hauntingly accurate in every aspect, im speehless

Eris123451 , 3 days ago

I watched this with interest and curiosity and growing skepticism although he makes some killer points and cites some extremely disturbing facts; above all he accepts and uncritically so the American narrative of history. The Progressive movement, for example, (written into American history as being far more important that it ever really was,) unlike Socialism or Communism was primarily just a literary and a trendy intellectually movement that attempted, (unconvincingly,) to persuade poor, exploited and abused Americans that non of those other political movements, (reactive and grass-roots,) were needed here and that capitalism could and might of itself, cure itself; it conceded little, promised much and unlike either Communism or Socialism delivered fuck all. Personally I remain unconvinced also by, "climate science," (which he takes as given,) and which seems to to me to depend far too much on faith and self important repeatedly insisting that it's true backed by lurid and hysterical propaganda and not nearly enough on rational scientific argument, personally I can't make head nor tail of the science behind it ? (it may well be true, or not; I can't tell.) But above all and stripped of it his pretensions his argument is just typical theist, (of any flavor you like,) end of times claptrap all the other systems have failed, (China for example somewhat gives the lie to death of Communism by the way and so on,) the end is neigh and all that is left to do is for people to turn to character out of first century fairly story. I wish him luck with that.

penny kannon , 5 months ago

CHRIS HEDGES YOUR BOOK MUST BE HIGH SCHOOL STUDY!!! wtkjr.!!!

Brian Valero , 4 months ago

The message from democrats is "hey we're not bigots". Most people (repubs+dems) aren't. If they keep calling on that for energy the Dems will forever continue to lose. If they don't come back to the working class they might as well just call themselves conservatives.

jimmyolsenblues , 4 months ago

he did/wrote this in 2011, he really understood then how things are in 2019.

Andy Russ , 3 years ago (edited)

Prescient 'post-mortem' of the 2016 election

Jean Lloyd Bradberry , 5 months ago

Shared! Excellent presentation!

Mike van Wijngaarden , 4 months ago

What if, to fail is the objective? That would mean they planned everything that's happened and will happen.

Michael Hutz , 1 month ago (edited)

Loved Chris in this one. First time I've heard him talking naturally instead of reading verbatim from a text which makes him sound preachy.

Bill Mccloy , 4 months ago (edited)

Chris is our canary in a coal mine! Truly a national treasure and a champion for humanity. And he's more Christian than he thinks he is.

Herr Pooper , 4 months ago

I have always loved Chris Hedges, but ever since becoming fully awake it pains me to see how he will take gigantic detours of imagination to never mention Israel, AIPAC or Zionism, and their complete takeover of the US. What a shame.

ISIS McCain , 4 months ago

Hey Chris, please look up Dr. Wolfe and have a big debate with him!!! I believe you guys would mostly hit it off, but please look him up!

UtopiaMinor666 , 8 years ago

The reality of this is enough to make you want to cry.

Terri Pebsworth , 3 months ago

Excellent! And truer today (2019) than even in 2010.

Russell Olausen , 4 months ago

Notes From the Underground,my favourite book.

John Doe , 3 weeks ago

Gosh I thought it was being broadcasted today. Then I heard it and it was really for today.

George C. May , 2 months ago

Not once did I hear the word corruption which in this speech sums up the bureaucratic control of the country !

L N , 5 months ago

I think Chris Has saved my life! ✊🏼✌️ 👍🏼🌅

Laureano Luna , 4 months ago

43:53 Cicero did not even live the imperial period of Rome...

andrew domenitz , 4 months ago

The continued growth of unproductive debt against the low or nonexistent growth of GDP is the recipe for collapse, for the whole world economic system.

Thomas Simmons , 5 months ago

I agree with Chris about the tragedy of the Liberal Church. Making good through identity politics however, is every bit as heretical and tragic as Evangelical Republican corrupted church think, in my humble, Christian opinion.

Alexandros Aiakides , 2 weeks ago (edited)

The death of the present western hemisphere governments and "democratic" institutions must die right now for humanity to be saved from the zombies that rule it. 'Cannibalization" of oikonomia was my idea, as well as of William Engdahl. l am glad hearing Hedges to adopt the expression of truth. ( November 2019. from Phthia , Hellas ).

Heathcliff Earnshaw , 4 months ago div cl

ass="comment-renderer-text-content expanded"> Gosh , especially that last conclusion ,was terrific so I want to paste the whole of that Auden poem here:- September 1, 1939 W. H. Auden - 1907-1973

... ... ...

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

[Nov 22, 2019] Elizabeth Warren's Support for Bolivia Coup Consistent With Other Hawkish Foreign Policy Positions

Nov 22, 2019 | www.mintpressnews.com

The opposing positions of Warren and her primary opponent Bernie Sanders on Bolivia highlight an increasingly clear policy gap between the two Democratic frontrunners.

11-20-19

Massachusetts Senator and Democratic Presidential nomination frontrunner Elizabeth Warren endorsed the recent U.S. backed military coup d'état in Bolivia Monday. Warren's statement carefully avoided using the word "coup," and instead referred to the new government of Jeanine Añez as an "interim leadership," effectively validating the new administration.

She stated that the Bolivian people "deserve free and fair elections, as soon as possible," implying that the October 20 vote, won convincingly by President Evo Morales, was not clean, thus taking essentially the same position as the Trump administration, who made no secret of their relief that Morales was ousted.

Posted by: pogohere | Nov 21 2019 18:37 utc | 85 Elizabeth Warren's Support for Bolivia Coup Consistent With Other Hawkish Foreign Policy Positions

The opposing positions of Warren and her primary opponent Bernie Sanders on Bolivia highlight an increasingly clear policy gap between the two Democratic frontrunners.


11-20-19

Massachusetts Senator and Democratic Presidential nomination frontrunner Elizabeth Warren endorsed the recent U.S. backed military coup d'état in Bolivia Monday. Warren's statement carefully avoided using the word "coup," and instead referred to the new government of Jeanine Añez as an "interim leadership," effectively validating the new administration.

She stated that the Bolivian people "deserve free and fair elections, as soon as possible," implying that the October 20 vote, won convincingly by President Evo Morales, was not clean, thus taking essentially the same position as the Trump administration, who made no secret of their relief that Morales was ousted.

Posted by: pogohere | Nov 21 2019 18:42 utc | 86

[Nov 22, 2019] How 98% of Americans feel about the Ukraine BS

Tucker is definitely an interesting commentator.
Nov 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

Carlton Meyer , says: Website November 17, 2019 at 6:31 am GMT

How 98% of Americans feel about the Ukraine BS:

Tucker Democrats have no actual plan for impeachment - YouTube

Antares , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:42 am GMT
@Alfred I had the same thoughts. Zelenskii should show a similar coffin with the text "This one is still empty" and then start rounding up the terrorists. He finally has a good excuse.
Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:58 am GMT
Thank you Saker and Unz for the very interesting article .

I wonder what has been the role of Germany in the Ukrainian disaster . ...I have the feeling , just the suspicion , that they contributed to the ucranian disaster out of their genetic Drang nach Osten Nordic greed , is that right ?

Anyway since the Ukrainian disaster the cohesion of the EU is going going down . Germany which was gifted with the german reunification , is less and less trusted spetially in south Europe , and even less in the EU far west , in England which is going out of the EU .

Most of the people in the EU would like to keep collaborating with the US , of course , but also with Russia and with the rest of the world . Most of the people in the UE are scared of the dark forces operating in Ukraine trying to provoke a war with Russia .

As a curiosity in 1945 the jewery asked Stalin to give Crimea to the jews , Stalin refused .
https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/164673/crimea-as-jewish-homeland

Z-man , says: November 17, 2019 at 10:21 am GMT
@Mr. Hack Do you work for Victoria Nudleman?
awry , says: November 17, 2019 at 10:41 am GMT
The stupid name-calling like the term "ukronazi" makes this article look like a rant like North Korean communiques or the ravings of some Arab despot's propagandist. It is not better than calling "The Saker" a "Moskal", "Sovok" or "Putler's stooge" etc. He should keep this lingo to directly "debating" "Ukronazis" on twitter or youtube commentst etc. not for an article that is supposed to be a serious analysis.
I understand that it is hard for a Russian nationalist to accept that the majority of Ukrainians don't want to belong to their dream Russkiy Mir, they were seduced by the West, which is more attractive with all its failings, because mostly of simple materialistic reasons. Ukrainians happily go to EU countries that now allow them in as guest workers. The fact, like it or not that majority of them chose the West over Russkiy Mir despite being very close to Russians in culture, language, history etc. He is still in the first stage of grief it seems.
Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 12:38 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack Touching. (Really, no sarcasm implied.)

All in all, Ukrainians are probably way above average in most human characteristics. The area of Ukraine is by planetary standards one of the best available: arable land, great rivers, Black see, pleasant and liveable.

But it is 2019 and life in Ukraine is barely better than it was 25-50 years ago, population has actually dropped from its peak in early 1990's. Millions of Ukrainians live abroad (I know some of them) and have – to be polite – at best an ambivalent attitude towards their homeland. Almost all of them prefer to be somewhere else, even to become someone else.

Now why is that? A normal society would have enough introspection to discuss this, to look for answers. Throwing a temper-tantrum on a big square in Kiev every few years is not looking for a solution. That is escapism, Orange-this, Maidan-that, 'Russians bad', 'we are going West', 'golden toilets', and always 'Stalin did it'.

I don't agree with the facile name-calling that sees Nazis everywhere and exaggerates throw-away symbolism. But Ukraine has not been functioning and it can't go like this much longer. Not because it will collapse, it won't, but because during an era of general prosperity Ukraine can't be a unstable exception (oh, I get it, they are better than Moldova, good for them.)

Rebellions against geography are doomed. Projecting one's personal frustrations on external enemies (Kremlin!) has never worked. Ukraine needs rationality – accepting that they will not be in EU, that attempting to join Nato would destroy Ukraine, and that they can't beat Russia in a war. And following advise of half-mad and half-ignorant well-wishers from Washington or Brussels is a road to ruin. Nulands, Bidens and Tusks will never live in Ukraine, they really deeply don't care about it. They have no skin in that game, it is just entertainment for them.

Or alternatively you can pray that Russia collapses – good luck waiting for that.

Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 12:47 pm GMT
@Anon

.genetic drang nach osten nordic greed

There is not much 'drang' left in Germany, so I think this is mostly fingers on the map post dinner empty talk.

in 1945 the jewery asked Stalin to give Crimea to the jews , Stalin refused

Crimea is a jewel, but has one big problem: not enough water. But that's also true about Izrael, maybe there is a deep genetic memory of coming out of a desert environment.

During WWII, Germany actually established settlements in Crimea. Think about it: there is a massive war, you have like 1-2 years, short on transport and resources, and you start sending settlers to Crimea – that's how much drang-nach-osten types wanted it. And the Turks, etc This must be driving them absolutely nuts.

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:34 pm GMT
The mexicans are able to make fun of themselves , that`s a good thing . They have a joke which aplies also to Ukraina ( and other countries )

The mexicans say : when God created Mexico He gave Mexico everything ; land , mountains , plains , tropical forests , deserts , two oceans , agriculture , gold , silver , oil . then God saw how beautiful and perfect Mexico was and He though that He should also give something bad to the country to prevent the sin of pride , and then he populated Mexico with pure pendejos ,( idiots ) .

The same aplies to Ukraina . pure pendejos .

Skeptikal , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:49 pm GMT
@AWM "Is it not possible to have an article on Ukraine without all the N@ZI references?

If you want a decent analysis of current events in the Ukraine, which is what The Saker provides, I guess you'll just have to put up with his terminology.

The world won't miss a thing if Curmudgeon or AWM goes off in a huff, to sit on his toilet and read the "one joke per dump" volume lodged on the tank and stops reading The Saker's very thorough analysis as a protest action!

Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:55 pm GMT
@Anon My experience is that Ukrainians individually are far from being pendejos . But they are unable to act as a group or as a nation. (Well, they 'act', but it mostly somehow fails.)

Maybe it is the relative shallow and heterogenous history of Ukraine. Or – and this is what I have observed – a fundamental inner disloyalty to the Ukraine as a homeland. When one observes the assorted Porkys, Timoshenkas, Yanuks, the oligarchs, but also the crowds on Maidan, I get a sense that they are all about to leave Ukraine or are thinking about leaving. Societies can't be built with one foot always at the airport, or in an old car in a 5-km column waiting on the border of Poland. Or Russia.

GMC , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:56 pm GMT
Another good article – thanks – Yep, the US/EU NWO is not going to let their "West Ukraine Isis" battalions and intel gang lose their funding , arms trafficking ops, or terrorist reputation. This is a no win situation in Ukraine and the West knows it – Even if NovoRossiya gets some independence, the Ukraine Isis will/can reek havoc and murder for a long time along the border. The modern Cheka { Ukraine Isis } has been modified for the security of the new Farmland owners – Monsanto, Cargill, DuPont and the rest of the Globalist Corporations and their ports close to Odessa.
Hapalong Cassidy , says: November 17, 2019 at 2:01 pm GMT
One point of contention since it wasn't made clear in this article – Novorussia consists of Luhansk and Donetsk, but not Kharkov. While Kharkov has more Russians than most other provinces of Ukraine do, it does not have a plurality like Donetsk and Luhansk.
Epigon , says: November 17, 2019 at 2:06 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

All of Ukraine's doomsayers have been crying about Ukraine's demise for the lat 25 years, yet the fact is that it' s getting stronger and stronger every year,

USA diaspora keeps on delivering.

Shoutout to quarter/half Poles USA citizens LARPing as Ukrainian patriots in the comments.

Alfred , says: November 17, 2019 at 5:20 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Even the Kremlin doesn't show much interest in breaking up the Ukraine, so why the hell would it break up?

Follow the money my friend!

Some provinces send much more money to Kiev then they get back in "services". So long as more loans from the EU, The USA and the IMF were forthcoming, that situation was not too bad. Now, the spigot is being closed. Hence the sad face of Mr Z when he met Trump in Washington.

This means that the provinces that are losing most from this internal transfer are going to be strongly motivated to stop sending money to Kiev. Kiev will lose control and that will fragment the country.

The Donbass was a big contributor to Kiev and got little in return – that was a major reason for their dissatisfaction. Everyone there could see that Kiev sent the money west and kept much for itself.

If the French provinces were to stop sending money to Paris, the Yellow movement would be totally unnecessary.

Skeptikal , says: November 17, 2019 at 5:20 pm GMT
@awry About 2.5 million Ukrainians have "emigrated" (you could also say "fled") to the RF since 2014.
Per Bloomberg most of the outflow not to Russia has been to countries of Eastern Europe, esp. Poland.
Alfred , says: November 17, 2019 at 5:34 pm GMT
@AP "Ukraine was historically a marsh of Poland for centuries before it was a historical marsh of Russia"

That was mostly Galicia and Volhynia. It is a tiny part of today's the Ukraine. In these areas, the Poles were landowners, the Jews their rent/tax collectors and the peasants were Ukrainian-speaking Slavs. Now, they are planning to sell the best farmland to "foreigners" (i.e. Jews) and the Slavs will become serfs once again.

Ukraine's plan to sell farmland raises fears of foreigners

It did not include many important cities – Kiev, Odessa, Kharkov and a great many smaller ones. There was no access to the sea.

If you go further back in time, you can also claim that Smolensk and Moscow belonged to Poland.

Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 6:35 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack The problem with your argument is that the 'war' in the east was entirely predicable. So was Crimea leaving and joining Russia. The people in charge in Kiev – presumably with 3-digit IQ – would think about it, plan for it, etc They obviously didn't. Instead they provided a needed catalyst to make it worse by voting in February 2014 to ban Russian language in official use, and the idiotic attacks on Russian speakers like in Odessa, that were neither prevented nor punished. The other side – in this case Russia and Russian speakers living in Donbas and Crimea – rationally took care of their own interests. Post-Maidan Kiev handed them all they could on a silver platter while busying themselves with silly slogans and videos of golden saunas.

Russia is actually one of the least susceptible countries to an economic collapse in the world – it is largely self-sufficient, has enormous resources that others will always buy, and has a very minimal percentage of its economy that deals with foreign trade. What they are susceptible to is the loss of value for their currency – and that has already largely happened since 2014. When it comes to energy, the countries that are low-cost producers are least impacted – who you should worry about are the numerous higher-cost producers like US shale, coal miners, or LNG gas that have huge upfront fixed costs and built-in high transportation costs. Russia and Saudis will be fine.

Back to the drawing board, what exactly is the plan in Kiev? If they know that having a war costs them investments, how do they end that war? It is highly unlikely that it would end with a victorious Kiev army conquering Donetsk (or Crimea). So what's the plan?

chris , says: November 17, 2019 at 6:45 pm GMT
It's amazing how spectacularly inept all these interventions over the last decades have been. Iraq, Lybia, Syria, Yemen, the coup in Turkey but also Ukraine.

And I know that in the ME, the Isrseli policy, as iterated by Michael Orin is to let all sides bleed each other to death, and that part has been relatively successful until recently.

But in Ukraine, they were going to consolidate their control over the country from Kiev and force-march the Russians out of Sevastopol. And that part didn't work at all, except as leverage to impose sanctions on Russia; but the long term goal of using Ukraine to overthrow Putin is now stuck in the Donbas.

My point being that it is the great fortune of the world that these criminal nitwits and fools in the State (War) Department and their helpers in the "intelligence" community are so arrogant and incompetent.

Arioch , says: November 17, 2019 at 7:41 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack Putin did not courted Yanukovich.

Putin courted (gave loans to) Yulia Timoshenko, the same way as later Putin gave loans to Marine Le Pen of France

You don't know even the most recent and public history of ze Ukraine .
Well, how is the land so are the patriots.

Arioch , says: November 17, 2019 at 7:52 pm GMT
@Anon Merkel (who herself was studying in Donetsk for few months) definitely has a hand in ze EuroUkrainian mess.

Afterall she met with Right Sector representatives one dayt before the final, bloody part of the coup started. And that meeting of "reporting on delivering at our commitments and asking Merkel about her delivery of her commitments" both with the next day start of "offence at the government" was announced by Right Sector yet another day before, 16 February 2014.

However i have reservations about Merkel representing German peoples, especially some alleged "genetical" trend of them to invade eastwards.
It was public, that Merkel's everything including public phone is spied upon by USA "intelligence community", and Merkel considered it normal and proper.

So it is clearly stated what she considers her allegiance and whom she considers her employees. Not citizens of Germany.

EliteCommInc. , says: November 17, 2019 at 7:53 pm GMT
"Each of these countries is as inorganic and disunited as Ukraine, or worse, made up as they are of various racial and ethnic groups who don't identify with each other."

I am dubious about this suggestion. But more importantly, Ukraine or the Ukraine has had a violent revolution about every ten years. You simply cannot develop a stable government, economy or safe social system if you you overturn the the government via violence every ten tears.

That is the key differences and essential to any successful government, and more so for a democracy that holds as innate belief, a tolerance for difference even competing ideas held by its population. It is as if the only the only we are exporting is revolution as solution to differences.

Arioch , says: November 17, 2019 at 8:58 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack > Russia has never been able to lead with a carrot, but only with a stick.

Russia offered dozen billions of loans and years ahead orders for Ukrainian industries. Those that Yatzenyuk begged to be re-started when he destroyed democratic government of Ukraine.

EuroMaidan tried to stole the carrot from Ukraine, and while it succeeded in stealing what Ukraine already picked, about 10%, the rest was kept safe of usurpers' reach, and so they started looting Ukrainian economy instead. Hrivna fallen 3-fold – more than ruble.

> Positive outside influence into Ukraine's internal development in the form of investments and economic development

EuroMaidan usurpers stopped real and ongoing investments from China and Russia by looting what investments arrived into Ukraine already. But at least they got $5 billions of investments from Nulland.

I like how "economic development" is listed as "outside influence". I thought that any state or nation would claim being capable of their own economic development, but for EuroMaidania it is quoted as some miracle that can only be given from outside.

> foreign investments being delayed until the war in the east is resolved

And that was why EuroMaidan usurpers invaded Donbass and started the war. To preclude investments from the West after they stopped investments form China and Russia.

> create a chaotic situations

EuroMaidan proponent blaming chaotic situations. Precious. "Bees against honey" movement.

> Since the West changed the dynamics of the energy game around the world

Did it? how exactly? By making Ukrainian pipelines liability no one wants to touch with a pole?

> It's learned to better feed itself, and that's about it

But that is exactly what Ukraine knew how to do, and what EuroMaidania can not do.
While Russia is gaining this experience – EuroMaidania was and is destroying it, for the sake of being "not like Russia". Way to go!

> One more jolt like in 2014

You mean the one when rouble fallen two-fold and hrivna three-fold?
Guess if the West could do it again – they would. But they can't.

> where are Russia's automobiles, televisions, medical equipment, computers, pharmaceuticals etc; within the world markeplace?

Russia is not packaging consumer goods. Russia is sending technologies, which others pack as consumer goods.

https://www.quora.com/Does-Russia-make-and-export-things-I-have-never-seen-anything-made-in-Russia

Ukraine could become one of those salesmen, packing Russian technologies into pretty wraps and selling around.
EuroMaidan usurpers feared that and prevented that.

EuroMaidan even destroyed Antonov company, which was one of just 4 companies in the world capable of building large airframes. Ensuring AirBus+Boeing+Tupolev/Ilyushin would have one competitor less. And as Antonov was el-cheapo vendor with strategy based on dumping – it was especially dangerous for Russian company, of the three. Thank you, guys, for removing this riddance out of Russian pathway. You did great service!

Arioch , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:19 pm GMT
@Hapalong Cassidy Beckow> the crowds on Maidan, I get a sense that they are all about to leave Ukraine or are thinking about leaving.

You do not need to "have a feeling"

The promise of "visa-less living and working in EU" was exactly what EuroMaidan crowd paraded as their aim and treasure, somehow magically warranted by the "Deep Association" that Yatzenyuk and Poroshenko later dragged feet for months, trying to delay signing of this economy suicide pact.

They were very public and honest about it. They claimed Yanukovich was somehow putting ball and chain on them all by giving the second thought to orders from Brussels. Aid in leaving Ukraine was the price they sold Ukrainian economy for. Ther were never shy in 2014 to speak about it.

Hapalong Cassidy> While Kharkov has more Russians than most other provinces of Ukraine do, it does not have a plurality like Donetsk and Luhansk.

There is a point. Kharkov in North-East and Odessa in South-West were trading cities, routing the official and smuggled goods streams and hosting the largest foreign goods markets. This clearly had impact upon mindsets of citizens and even more of cities elites.

People in Kharkov went to the streets right after the coup commited and without support they were at least equally numerous to all-Ukraine sponsored gathering of EuroMaidan #2.
But their leaders did not seek for independence, Kharkov city mayor Kernes openly shook hands with Andrey "White Fuhrer" Byletsky and expressed his care about his (not Kharkov citizens) safety in the night of Rymarskaya street murders, 2014 March 14th AFAIR.

People in Kharkov went against nazi from westernmost Ukraine regions (and even policemen) and stormed those out of their district government building. Who else did then?

They had a huge impulse, but they also focused the most efforts from usurpers to deflect and dissipate it. And little free resources the usurpers had back then.
Month later, in April, Kharkov was exhausted and pacified. But other regions of Ukraine were overlooked those two months.

However, it was that first month which gave people in Donetsk and Lugansk both time and examples to understand what is really going on (it was almost unbelievable that something like that can actually happen in XXI century in Europe, wasn't it?) and learn their Ukrainian elites are prostituting them, and then find some other leaders which would have enough skin in the game to not sell them out.

You may rightly say Kharkov citizens did not resist for long. But have to admit the resistance of Donbass and Lugansk was in significant part based upon time Kharkov bought them in March and April 2014, and upon self-exposing that Kharkov's fleeting but furious resistance forced EuroMaidan usurpers into.

Anon [301] Disclaimer , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:40 pm GMT
"All, repeat, ALL the steps taken to sever crucial economic and cultural links between Russia and the Ukraine were decided upon by Ukrainian leaders, never by Russia who only replied symmetrically when needed.
Even with international sanctions directed at her, Russia successfully survived both the severance of ties with the Ukraine and the AngloZionist attempts at hurting the Russian economy. In contrast, severing economic ties with Russia was a death-sentence for the Ukrainian economy which has now become completely deindustrialized."

No wonder saker deletes posts to his website containing info like these:

https://wits.worldbank.org/CountryProfile/en/Country/UKR/Year/LTST/TradeFlow/Export/Partner/by-country/Product/Total

https://wits.worldbank.org/CountryProfile/en/Country/UKR/Year/LTST/TradeFlow/Import/Partner/by-country/Product/Total

http://www.democracyhouse.com.ua/en/2018/ukraine-russia-trade-ties-trends-and-forecasts/

The top trade partner of *the* Ukraine is Russia. So his thesis is a little 'shoddy math' ish. The links have not been severed as he pretends.

" the severance of ties with Russia " The Ukraine is more tied to Russia than any other country, by recent trade volumes (as well as in traditional culture). Saker doesn't like these facts to muddy up his thesis.

Felix Keverich , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:59 pm GMT
@Alfred

This means that the provinces that are losing most from this internal transfer are going to be strongly motivated to stop sending money to Kiev.

You don't get it. Ukraine's South-Eastern provinces are inanimate objects . They have no consciousness, no self-interest or free will. They don't decide anything.

Donbass never decided to break away from the Ukraine. That choice was made for it by Strelkov, when he and his men occupied Slovyansk and began an armed confrontation.

Felix Keverich , says: November 17, 2019 at 10:04 pm GMT
@Anon The Ukraine used to export something like $20 billion worth of goods to Russia annually. It's now closer to $5 billion, and Ukrainians are a lot poorer as a result.
Anon [301] Disclaimer , says: November 17, 2019 at 10:24 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich The point is saker maintains it is completely de-industrialized. It is 'dead'. Total trade of >40 B all partners, isn't dead by a long shot. See what he says? 'Death sentence'. Far from it. A decrease isn't death. No doubt there has been a plunge. But saker is over stating it. Russia is still a center of gravity for the Ukraine.
anonymous [191] Disclaimer , says: November 17, 2019 at 10:27 pm GMT
I am so sick and tired of hearing the term nazi this and nazi that when referring to the situation in the Ukraine. The term nazi died in 1945 and should be left dead and buried. It was a stupid word created by the British during the war because of their inability to pronounce the German name for the NSDAP. The British and American media have a fetish for the word and will call any "right-wing" movement "nazi" if given any opportunity. This shows their total lack of creativity to come up with anything new and their deep obsession with anything to do with Hitler which borders on religious worship. I say get rid of the usage of the word on this site unless one is referring to the actual NSDAP party that existed until 1945.
Gerard2 , says: November 18, 2019 at 2:26 am GMT
@AWM You are an absurd cretin. Of course referring to current Ukraine as being controlled by Nazi's is 100% accurate.

Ukronazis and Hitler Nazi's have many alignments with eachother:

1. Bizarre, fundamentally paganist usage of ahistoric/religious images from a millenia ago as national symbols that should have had no connection to national identity of either state in the 1930's or now ( swastika and Tryzub) even the UPA flag has more sense about it to any "Ukrainian " state

2. Mass arrests and persecution of political opponents I'm fairly sure that Ukronazi's have arrested ( and maybe even killed) far more people in their first 5 years, that the Nazi's ever did in their 6 year, pre-war time in charge

3. Mass killing and torture of the people of the Donbass- now take on board this is with Russia fighting the war of fighting the war that they are not even there and Russia/DNR/LNR basically conducting huge talks with west/Banderastan and making huge concessions every time they have been in a a hugely advantageous position or made a big breakthrough in the war. Even Nazi's wouldn't have used such a lousy pretext for instigating war against the people of Donbass – although at least the Nazi's could govern their state ukrops can't govern f ** k all without it descending into farce

4. Above average representation of freaks and/or highly camp idiots Goebbels, Goering and Ribbentrop versus Avakov, "Yats" the yid, Poroshenko, Turchynov and many more – a lamentable contest

5. Neither would have got off the ground without Anglo-American funding

Just because the Nazi's in the 30's and 40's were more competent does not take away the similarities

Anon [301] Disclaimer , says: November 18, 2019 at 2:41 am GMT
*the * Ukraine is not dead nor dying contrary to saker:

https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/gdp . (click on 10 y timescale)

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG?locations=UA

again, click on 10 y timescale or ad lib;

https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/exports

https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/imports

" a death-sentence for the Ukrainian economy which has now become completely deindustrialized."

saker has lost it:

"Now that the Ukraine has been completely deindustrialized, all she can export are either people or land/soil."

saker needs to do some fact checking.

Contraviews , says: November 18, 2019 at 3:43 am GMT
Upon reading this article it should become even more evident who were responsible for the downing of MH17
renfro , says: November 18, 2019 at 3:58 am GMT
@Anon Pick whatever you want to believe.

Ukraine Special Focus Note
Tapping Ukraine's growth potential
May 23, 2019
http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/927141558601581077/Ukraine-Special-Focus-Note-Spring-2019-en.pdf

Structural bottlenecks and slow reform progress lead to anemic growth in Ukraine
The rate of economic growth in Ukraine remains too low to reduce poverty and reach income levels of neighboring European countries. Following the 16 percent cumulative contraction of the economy in 2014-15, economic growth has recovered to 2.4 percent in 2016-17 and 3.3 percent in 2018. Faster economic growth for a sustained period of time is needed to reduce poverty which remains above pre-crisis levels. More needs to be done if Ukraine's aspiration is to become a high-income country and to close the income gap with advanced economies. Today Ukraine is far from that goal. In terms of GDP-per-capita, Ukraine remains one of the poorest countries in the region -- at levels of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia. Ukraine's GDP per capita in purchasing power parity terms is about three times lower than in Poland, despite having similar income levels in 1990.
At the growth rate of recent years, it will take Ukraine more than 50 years to reach income levels of today's Poland. If Ukraine's productivity growth and investment rate remains at the low levels observed in recent years, overt the medium-term the growth rate will converge to almost zero per annum -- productivity growth is offset by declining contribution of labor as Ukraine undergoes the demographic transition. Boosting total factor productivity growth to 3 percent per year and investment to 30 percent of GDP would result in sustained growth of about 4 percent per year over the medium- to long-term. Given declining total population this translates to GDP per capita growth of about 4.5 percent per year. These trends will not improve on their own, they can happen only through the implementation of appropriate policies that boost productivity and increase the returns on factors of production.

Ukraine – Economic Indicators- Moody's
https://www.economy.com/ukraine/indicators

Arioch , says: November 18, 2019 at 3:58 pm GMT
@Anon This your link has few problems.

1. It does not split trade to industries. Hi-tech big added value and lo-tech slim added value – falls into the same "total"
2. It only shows one snapshot, not YoY dynamics.
3. The column "Export Product" shows exactly the same value – literally, 100% – for ALL the countries, all the rows. I wonder what we should deduce from it

What about this, a perspective ?

https://wits.worldbank.org/CountryProfile/en/Country/UKR/StartYear/2011/EndYear/2018/TradeFlow/Export/Indicator/XPRT-TRD-VL/Partner/RUS/Product/Total

Russian Federation 19,819,713.34 17,631,749.45 15,077,259.13 9,799,143.63 4,827,717.88 3,592,865.62 3,943,217.84

2012 – $19,8B
2013 – $17,6B – the start of the coup
2014 – $15B – the coup won power but did not entrenched yet and did not had time yet to enforce its ideals
2015 – $9.8B – the work started
2016 – $4.8B – 80% of 2012 exports are cut off, EuroMaidan means business
2017 – $3.6B – 82% of 2013 exports are cut off, coming to plateau ?
2018 – $3,9B – a slight rebound, plateau reached

AnonFromTN , says: November 18, 2019 at 8:09 pm GMT
@bob sykes I'd dismiss this, as Putin is apparently doing. Kolomoisky is looking who else would provide money that he can steal. He, Porky, and others of their ilk stole Western loans so blatantly, that even US-controlled IMF is balking at giving Ukraine more money. So, Kolomoisky hopes that Russia will, so that he has more to steal. I hope that his hopes are in vain.
Truth3 , says: November 18, 2019 at 9:26 pm GMT
The entire Ukraine farce can be explained as a simple project

Khazaria 2.0.

I met a Jew (American) in Ukraine over 20 years ago.

He told me the plan Jews were returning to historically Jewish cities in Ukraine by the hundreds buying up for kopecki on the Gryvnia anything they could.

Media outlets, banks, factories, beachfront land, farmland, apartments, etc.

The idea? Make Ukraine the next EU Country, and benefit from the huge potential of Ukraine.

I agreed with him at the time, that Ukraine had huge potential, I was there as an engineer working for German companies but his lust for what could be 'looted' disgusted me.

AnonFromTN , says: November 18, 2019 at 11:02 pm GMT
@Truth3

the snipers perch on the square

This is a standard CIA scenario, used in Sarajevo and Deraa before Kiev. So, Ukrainians bought an old stale show, swallowed it hook, line, and sinker.

But the Georgian snipers brought in 2014 to Kiev by Saakashvili started dying in suspicious circumstances, so those who are still alive rushed to Belarus and started deposing their testimony. They implicated a lot of Ukies, including former speaker Parubii, former MP Pashinsky, etc. It was well known (to those who did not keep their eyes wide shut for political reasons) that the sniper fire in 2014 on Maidan was from the building controlled by the coup leaders, who later tried to blame Yanuk for it. That's why post-coup Ukrainian authorities got rid of the trees on Maidan: bullet holes in those trees indicated where the fire was coming from. But this recent testimony implicated particular people, who (surprise, surprise!) happened to be among the coup leaders.

Seraphim , says: November 19, 2019 at 2:36 am GMT
@Truth3 The truth is that you are absolutely right. 'Ukrainians' boasted that they are the 'Khazars' since Mazeppa and Orlyk of the 'Constitution of Bendery' fame, while parading a distaste for 'the adherents of deceitful Judaism' and noisy adherence to Orthodoxy.
Look at this entry of the http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com and see if anything changed:

"After Mazepa's death, on 16 April 1710, Orlyk was elected hetman, with the backing of Charles XII of Sweden, in Bendery. The chief author of the Constitution of Bendery, he pursued policies aimed at liberating Ukraine from Russian rule. He gained the support of the Zaporozhian Host, concluded a treaty with Charles XII* in May 1710, and sought to make the Ukrainian question a matter of international concern by continuing Mazepa's attempts at establishing an anti-Russian coalition ** . Orlyk signed a treaty with the Crimean khan Devlet-Girei in February 1711, negotiated with the Ottoman Porte, which formally recognized his authority over Right-Bank Ukraine and the Zaporizhia in 1712, conducted talks with the Don Cossack participants in Kondratii Bulavin's revolt who had fled to the Kuban, and even contacted the Kazan Tatars and the Bashkirs. In 1711–14 he led Cossack campaigns against the Russians in Right-Bank Ukraine. Despite initial victories they ultimately failed, because of Turkish vacillation and because the pillaging, raping, and taking of many civilian captives by Orlyk's Crimean Tatar allies resulted in the loss of public and military support on the Right Bank".
Nowhere does the 'first "European" constitution' speak about 'ukrainians', but of 'Exercitu Zaporoviensi genteque Rossiaca" (Zapo­rozhian Host and the Ruthenian people) living in "Parva Rossia"/Little Russia.

* putting Ukraine under the protection of the King of Sweden.
** an plot of 'European' and Islamic powers with an intense 'Masonic-Kabbalistic' coloring (and Jewish financial support) against Russian 'Tsardom' and 'Patriarchal' Church. 'Ukraine' was an anti-Russian project from the get go. Brzezinski's quip: "Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire" reflects only the revival of the old plan in new circumstances.

Arioch , says: November 19, 2019 at 10:18 am GMT
@Seraphim " Brzezinski's quip: "Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot "

Old Zbieg was as lunatic as Pole can be and as cunning as Jew can be (was he?).

The Poles were so desiring to became Slavic superpower, and on the height of their might in 15th century – they could become. They occupied Russian lands – oh, that mythical Kievan Rus oppressed by Moscow for centuries. And they even occupied Moscow for few months – more than unified Europe managed to do under both Napoleon and Hitler combined! Polska was really stronk then.

.well, they ate themselves from inside and sold their statehood to all the foreign bidders while boasting about Polish pride. Like ukropeans do today. They lost their strength, they lost their eastern colony, and for a while they even lost Poland itself.

They could never move over it.

Zbieg – coming from Galicia, the last shrink of Poland-occupied lands – had this specifically Polish resentment burning in him. And he managed to make USA fight Polish fights. Managed to use American incompetence in history and geography to sell them that idea that the Ukraine – the borderlands between Poland and Russia have "geopolitical" importance. For USA, no less. Wow!

Okay, USA invested at very least $5B into buying Ukrainian warchiefs, and we don't know how much more was added by EU and Germany. They now have this "geopolitical asset" as Zbieg urged them to do. What are they gonna do with it now? How do they gonna make Ukrainians pay back the money they spent? Old Zbieg preached about the world "paid by Russia to fight against Russia". This is that very "Russia, occupy the Ukraine finally, we are tired of fruitless waiting!" whining they repeat again and again. But if this won't work, just like it did not work yet, how do they think to make Ukrainians pay for it? Or whom else? I wonder

Anon [301] Disclaimer , says: November 19, 2019 at 4:37 pm GMT
@Arioch "> My point is the ukraine isn't dead. It isn't dying.

In which quality? As a swath of land inhabited by few peasants here and there – it surely will remain.
As an economically vibrant country, one of UN founders, with economy larger than German and closing on France – what it used to be – it is dead.
As a laws-bound polity it is dead since 2014, though was dying even before.
As STEM engineering and education stronghold it was in USSR – it is dead.
As one in just four in the whole world producers of really large airplanes – it is dead.
As one of the few ICBM producers – it is dead, know-how sold to Saudi.
As one of the few turbojet engines producers – it is dead, know-how sold to China.
As one of the reliable and well known tanks and APCs producer – it is dead, even USA-occupied Iraq does not buy this trash.
As the country, living from the geographic rent, just providing roads and hotels for cargo traffic, it is almost dead. Bridges are collapsing, roads – neither for cars nor railways – are not maintained."

Bravado, anyone can see.

Dead countries don't produce electricity. Real economists look at things like this. Not just at industrial reorganization. That is the only point you have. Industrial reorganization. Not death of industry.

https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/electricity-production
click on ten years
28th in world rankings. far from dead.

Anon [301] Disclaimer , says: November 19, 2019 at 5:04 pm GMT
@Anon BTW, most *live* countries of the world do not produce ICBMs, nor jet engines, nor APCs etc, nor super heavy aircraft. The military industrial complex remnants from the SU are not industries that most of the planet's countries have. Specialties. Those can not be measures of whether a country is living or dead. Use some real measures.
Arioch , says: November 19, 2019 at 5:51 pm GMT
@Anon Actually a good point. Mass cargo logistics and energy generation. Indeed.

The thing here is, that as of now the Ukraine is enjoying its privileged position from times Ukrainians ruled USSR (IOW, after Stalin died in 1953 and of few coup leaders Khruschev became top dog in 1956). The Ukraine is reeking with then top-tech nuclear power plants, that very few of other USSR republics had (one in Ignalina in Baltics, one in Armenia, and dozen in Russia, that is all. Ukraine was #2 with huge gap).

There is a switch, though. What do you do with electricity you produced?
And, what kind of electricity you produce?

The second question is tangential to "green energy" fad.
The generation is split to "base" generation, which covers required minimum and should be steadily generating around the clock, and "maneuvering" generation which can be turned on and off in a matter of few minutes, to accommodate with daytime traits, like "people awoke in between 7-8am, took shower, cooked breakfast and departed to school/work".
In general, base generation is predictable, thus does not need big reserves, can use economy of scales and cut costs. Maneuvering one has to increase costs, dealing with unpredictable mode changes and extra wearing it puts on the equipment and employees.

The first question, as you can not pour electricity into a tank and keep it for months there, can be roughly split to
1) use at home, for things like washing, cleaning, entertaining (TV, computers), air conditioning in summer and heating in winter.
2) use in industries, this is perhaps what "real economists" look for. Those should had less daily spikes, they might even have near constant consumption around the clock.
3) export to the countries, who need it, but does not want to build their own power plants

The export is significant thing. There is so called Byrshtyn Island, a constellation of power plants in Western Ukraine, that was cut off from Ukrainian grid and plugged to Polish grid, to act as maneuvering damper for Polish citizens' daylight cycles.

http://www.ukrenergoexport.com/index.php/en/Electricity-Export

You chart shows that between 2014 and 2015 there was strong (about 2000 GWH) decrease in production, which remained more or less stable after that. It also shows huge seasonal variation.
It probably means Ukrainian industries and households enjoy a lot of winter-time heating, but very little of summer-time AC. Just like it was built during USSR times.

Ukrainian electricity export seems rising. Were there new power plants put to service? I did not heard. Then it means that domestic consumption shrunk.

2019 – http://112.international/politics/ukraine-raises-electricity-exports-by-4-in-january-2019-37406.html

2018 – https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/532757.html

There are some hard numbers, but they sadly end at 2016
https://knoema.com/atlas/Ukraine/topics/Energy/Electricity/Electricity-exports

There was also a streak of Nuclear Power Plants accidents in the news of 2017-2019.
This can stem from two factors:
1) increased reliance on NPP as other power plants go belly-up, especially forcing those giant NPPs into maneuvering modes, which they were not designed for. You can find news sources that Ukrainian NPPs were being tested to 105% of normative capacity and to maneuvering modes, the modes that just do not make sense when together.
2) decreased maintenance

Anyway, those NPPs are of old Soviet design of 1980-s, they are closing to end of life. We'll see if new ones will be built. Or if they will just be used regardless of aging until some hard failure, "run to the ground". And what will come after.

Of course, as long as they operate – no mater how harmful to locals – EU will buy cheap energy.
And since EuroMaidan government is living on debts, it will have no choice than to sell. Even if domestic power consumption will get zero, the EU will buy the power.

But I do not think EU would invest into building new power plants there when Soviet ones finally crack.

Arioch , says: November 19, 2019 at 6:00 pm GMT
@Anon Indeed, only Airbus and Boeing can produce super-heavy aircrafts.
China and Russia are contenders. Ukraine used to be, but stepped out.

Does it mean, USA and France are hell-bent over their military industrial complex? Maybe.
Does it make them run worse?

Bombardier and EmBraer factories are bought by Airbus and Boeing, not vice versa.
Avro of Canada once used to be a pillar, now is memory.

And all the other countries have to kiss up to political powers that allow them purchasing Boeing and Airbus jets and maintenance as a privilege for their lapdogging.

Iran wanted to buy Airbus badly, how did it work out?

So, yeah, specialties. Those specialties that can not be replaced – for master races.
And those that can easily – for lapdogs.

New Zealand can produce good beef. But so can Brazil and Argentina. And Ukraine too.
But Brazil can not produce irreplaceable large cargo aircrafts. And even mid-size they can not produce independently.

Dr Scanlon , says: November 19, 2019 at 6:57 pm GMT
All nations are completely artificial along with the gods, ideologies, fiat money & all the rest if the human fictions. If humans went extinct overnight would the US, Russia et al still exist? No, nor would their thousands of gods.

That little trick with the maps can be done with many countries. The US is a fine example. 1st map = 13 colonies – keep adding new maps for every new state they added after France paid for & won US independence & include the theft/conquest of Mexican territory & Hawaii.

The Ukraine is a huge basket case made much worse by the US, but your (Orlov too) Rabid Russian nationalism blinds you. IOW, like the empires propagandists, you too are spinning a narrative, albeit more truthful than empires, but a narrative (emotional) nonetheless.

Anon [301] Disclaimer , says: November 19, 2019 at 8:47 pm GMT
And it means nothing that ukraine is a top grain producer? The dead don't produce anything. Farming is an industry.
https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/07/02/ukraine-takes-worlds-largest-grain-exporter-title-from-russia-a66250

Also, check construction spending:
https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/gdp-from-construction
click on 10 year

It looks like to me that there is too much activity there in various sectors to conclude that it is dead or dying. It isn't dead or dying.

Arioch , says: November 19, 2019 at 9:03 pm GMT
@Dr Scanlon Maybe we just compare real Ukraine with what it was promised to become?

Michael Saakashvil