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Populism Bulletin, 2016

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[Dec 27, 2016] Neopopulism

Dec 27, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs -> Peter K.... December 26, 2016 at 07:15 AM neopopulism: A cultural and political movement, mainly in Latin American countries, distinct from twentieth-century populism in radically combining classically opposed left-wing and right-wing attitudes and using electronic media as a means of dissemination. (Wiktionary)

[Dec 23, 2016] Paul Krugman: Populism, Real and Phony

Dec 23, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
"Trump_vs_deep_state ... is anything but populist":
Populism, Real and Phony, by Paul Krugman, NY Times : Authoritarians with an animus against ethnic minorities are on the march across the Western world. ... But what should we call these groups? Many reporters are using the term "populist," which seems both inadequate and misleading..., are the other shared features of this movement - addiction to conspiracy theories, indifference to the rule of law, a penchant for punishing critics - really captured by the "populist" label?

Still, the European members of this emerging alliance - an axis of evil? - have offered some real benefits to workers. ... Trump_vs_deep_state is, however, different..., the emerging policy agenda is anything but populist.

All indications are that we're looking at huge windfalls for billionaires combined with savage cuts in programs that serve not just the poor but also the middle class. And the white working class, which provided much of the 46 percent Trump vote share, is shaping up as the biggest loser. ...

Both his pick as budget director and his choice to head Health and Human Services want to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and privatize Medicare. His choice as labor secretary is a fast-food tycoon who has been a vociferous opponent both of Obamacare and of minimum wage hikes. And House Republicans have already submitted plans for drastic cuts in Social Security, including a sharp rise in the retirement age. ...

In other words..., European populism is at least partly real, while Trumpist populism is turning out to be entirely fake, a scam sold to working-class voters who are in for a rude awakening. Will the new regime pay a political price?

Well, don't count on it..., you know that there will be huge efforts to shift the blame. These will include claims that the collapse of health care is really President Obama's fault; claims that the failure of alternatives is somehow the fault of recalcitrant Democrats; and an endless series of attempts to distract the public.

Expect more Carrier-style stunts that don't actually help workers but dominate a news cycle. Expect lots of fulmination against minorities. And it's worth remembering what authoritarian regimes traditionally do to shift attention from failing policies, namely, find some foreigners to confront. Maybe it will be a trade war with China, maybe something worse.

Opponents need to do all they can to defeat such strategies of distraction. Above all, they shouldn't let themselves be sucked into cooperation that leaves them sharing part of the blame. The perpetrators of this scam should be forced to own it.

ilsm : , December 23, 2016 at 10:45 AM
The Clinton brand of nato-neocon-neolib is way ahead of the populist nativist in tilting toward Armageddon.

Own the world for the banksters.

poor pk

DeDude -> Gibbon1... , December 23, 2016 at 02:33 PM
It really depend on how the two sides play it out. You don't need to move the diehard sexists and racists for things to change. But the Democrats need to have a Warren/Sanders attack team ready on every single GOP "favor the rich and screw the rest" proposal. It would be rather easy to get the press to pay attention to those two if they went to war with Trump/GOP. Their following is sufficiently large to be a media market - so their comments would not be ignored. We also know that at least Warren knows how to bait Trump into saying something stupid so you can get the kind of firework that commercial media cannot ignore. The Dems need to learn how to bait the media at least as effectively as Trump does.
Tim Cahill : , -1
When can we please start tuning Krugman down here? He aided and abetted the election disaster by being one of the most prominent Very Serious People leading the offensive against Sanders and promoting a fatally flawed candidate that was beaten resoundingly in 2008 and with irredeemable, self-inflicted, negative baggage.

He may make good points here after-the-fact, but they're all "duh!" level bits of analysis at this stage. And the last thing I want to hear from any of the VSPs who piloted the train over the cliff during this election season is b*tching about the mess at the bottom of the cliff.

Aren't there ANY other voices with some remaining shred of political credibility that can be quoted here instead of the unabashed VSPs who helped elect trump?

Tim Cahill -> pgl... , December 23, 2016 at 11:17 AM
Since I am only noting objection to one blogger who invested much of his personal credibility into promoting a horrible leader, I don't see the relevance of your comment at all. I enjoy pretty much every other blogger to which Thoma links.

My issue is with highlighting a crank whose writing has cratered over the last year. If a Trump ripping is due (and it usually is), then I'm fine with it being a feature so long as it's written by someone who isn't channeling Niall Ferguson and with the same degree of credibility as a political "wonk".

yuan -> sanjait... , December 23, 2016 at 12:03 PM
I think a certain amount of self-criticism and introspection is warranted at this point, no? And, I think, there is little question that the long-term coziness of the democratic party with high finance and the PMIC played a major role in negative perceptions of HRC.

Although I did not vote for Clinton, if I had lived in a remotely competitive state I would have certainly voted for her. To put this in perspective, my vote for Sanders was a very reluctant vote and Clinton is the POTUS I despise the most (Trump will change this).

ilsm -> sanjait... , December 23, 2016 at 01:04 PM
As Lincoln may have observed: you* can fool too many of the democrats all the time.

one Obama, two Clintons .........

Vapid talking points, like fast and loose with felonies.

She had no convictions bc justice was ordered to do the job of juries.

yuan -> Tim Cahill ... , December 23, 2016 at 11:57 AM
"beaten resoundingly in 2008 and with irredeemable, self-inflicted, negative baggage."

Characterizing Clinton's electoral college defeat as being beaten resoundingly is exactly the kind of irrational "bro" rhetoric that Krugman rightly criticized.

And I write this as someone who voted for Sanders and then Stein.

Peter K. -> Tim Cahill ... , December 23, 2016 at 01:08 PM
As you can tell there a few people here who agreed with Krugman during the primary and agree with him now.

I agree with you in general, but am going to try to ignore the insulters and haters and link to good thinkers.

Tim Cahill -> Peter K.... , December 23, 2016 at 01:46 PM
They're an angry lot.... and they, like the conservative "affinity fraudsters" that Krugman has lambasted over the years, refuse to accept reality. Instead, they hunker down, shut out facts, and surround themselves only with people and information that agrees with their flawed opinions.
Denis Drew : , December 23, 2016 at 11:03 AM
All I hear from Paul -- and others -- sounds like ducking and weaving and back peddling -- in a phrase: retreat-in-good-order to avoid defeat-in-detail.

How about a little aggression? Would it be too much to expect these top brains the potential to rebuild labor union density (THE ONLY POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC TISSUE OF THE AVERAGE PERSON) at state by progressive state level.

NEVER HEAR OF IT -- NO OTHER PATH (and it looks to be multi-multi-path once you start looking through all the angles.

So I wont be accused of hi-jacking the thread with a very long unionization entreaty you can look up my entreaty here:
Wet backs and narrow backs (Irish immigrants' native born kiddies)
http://ontodayspage.blogspot.com/2016/12/wet-backs-and-narrow-backs-irish.html

I'm only beginning to sort all this out -- like the angle that any group disallowed of employee status by the Trump NLRB (student teaching and research assistants?) immediately become eligible for full state supported conduction of NLRB-like certification process. No preemption problem.

Preemption on closer exam may not be the barrier folks think. So, so much more federal preemption/supremacy (not the same thing!) stuff to sort through -- another reason to put off posting the full comment. Few weeks maybe.

Denis Drew -> anne... , December 23, 2016 at 01:07 PM
Where I come from, the Bronx of the 50s-70s, everybody was different, so nobody was different, so we had more fun with your differences.

We didn't have diversity; we had assimilation; everyone was the same.

Typical 60s high school chatter: How's an Italian like a crashing airplane? Guinea, Guinea, Guinea: Whop!
How's an Irishman like a submarine under attack? Down the hatch; down the hatch; down the hatch!

In the movie The Wanderers, portraying the 1979 Bronx with more people of color, the high school teasing is all: nigger, spic, kike! Too much for your non-real-melting pot ears.

:-)-
********************
Be more impressed by your (plural) interest in minority dignity if it obsessed on getting everyone one the same ECONOMIC (!) level.

Click here -- for early thoughts (still sorting) on how to actually do just that -- if you really want to really help:
http://ontodayspage.blogspot.com/2016/12/wet-backs-and-narrow-backs-irish.html

You rebuild union density or you do nothing! You do it at the state by progressive state level or you do nothing! Are you academic progressives the slightest bit interested in doing just that? How come you are not obsessed with re-unionization?

[Dec 17, 2016] Paul Krugman Useful Idiots Galore

Notable quotes:
"... Shorter Paul Krugman: nobody acted more irresponsibly in the last election than the New York Times. ..."
"... Looks like Putin recruited the NYT, the FBI and the DNC. ..."
"... Dr. Krugman is feeding this "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality. He comes across as increasingly shrill and even unhinged - it's a slide he's been taking for years IMO, which is a big shame. ..."
"... It is downright irresponsible and dangerous for a major public intellectual with so little information to cast the shadow of legitimacy on a president ("And it means not acting as if this was a normal election whose result gives the winner any kind of a mandate, or indeed any legitimacy beyond the bare legal requirements.") This kind of behavior is EXACTLY what TRUMP and other authoritarians exhibit - using pieces of information to discredit institutions and individuals. Since foreign governments have and will continue to try to influence U.S. policy through increasingly sophisticated means, this opens the door for anyone to declare our elections and policies as illegitimate in the future. ..."
"... Any influence Russian hacking had was entirely a consequence of U.S. media obsession with celebrity, gotcha and horse race trivia and two-party red state/blue state tribalism. ..."
"... Without the preceding, neither Trump nor Clinton would have been contenders in the first place. Putin didn't invent super delegates, Citizens United, Fox News, talk radio, Goldman-Sachs, etc. etc. etc. If Putin exploited vulnerabilities, it is because preserving those vulnerabilities was more important to the elites than fostering a democratic political culture. ..."
"... It's not a "coup". It's an election result that didn't go the way a lot of people want. That's it. It's probably not optimal, but I'm pretty sure that democracy isn't supposed to produce optimal results. ..."
"... All this talk about "coups" and "illegitimacy" is nuts, and -- true to Dem practice -- incredibly short-sighted. For many, voting for Trump was an available way to say to those people, "We don't believe you any more. At all." Seen in that light, it is a profoundly democratic (small 'd') response to elites that have most consistently served only themselves. ..."
"... Post Truth is Pre-Fascism. The party that thinks your loyalty is suspect unless you wear a flag pin fuels itself on Post Truth. Isnt't this absurdity the gist of Obama's Russia comments today!?! ..."
"... Unless the Russians or someone else hacked the ballot box machines, it is our own damn fault. ..."
"... The ship of neo-liberal trade sailed in the mid-2000's. That you don't get that is sad. You can only milk that so far the cow had been milked. ..."
"... The people of the United States did not have much to choose between: Either a servant of the Plutocrats or a member of the Plutocratic class. The Dems brought this on us when they refused to play fair with Bernie. (Hillary would almost certainly have won the nomination anyway.) ..."
"... The Repubs brought this on, by refusing to govern. The media brought this on: I seem to remember Hillary's misfeasances, once nominated, festering in the media, while Trump's were mentioned, and then disappeared. (Correct me if I'm wrong in this.) Also, the media downplayed Bernie until he had no real chance. ..."
"... The government brought this on, by failing to pursue justice against the bankers, and failing to represent the people, especially the majority who have been screwed by trade and the plutocratic elite and their apologists. ..."
"... The educational system brought this on, by failing to educate the people to critical thought. For instance: 1) The wealthy run the country. 2) The wealthy have been doing very well. 3) Everybody else has not. It seems most people cannot draw the obvious conclusion. ..."
"... Krugman is himself one of those most useful idiots. I do not recall his clarion call to Democrats last spring that "FBI investigation" and "party Presidential nominee" was bound to be an ugly combination. Some did; right here as I recall. Or his part in the official "don't vote for third party" week in the Clinton media machine....thanks, hundreds of thousands of Trump votes got the message. ..."
"... It's too rich to complain about Russia and Wikileaks as if those elements in anyway justified Clinton becoming President. Leaks mess with our democracy? Then for darn sure do not vote for a former Sec. of State willing to use a home server for her official business. Russia is menacing? Just who has been managing US-Russia relations the past 8 years? I voted for her anyway, but the heck if I think some tragic fate has befell the nation here. Republicans picked a better candidate to win this thing than we Democrats did. ..."
"... The truth of the matter is that Clinton was a very weak candidate with nothing to offer but narcissism ("I'm with her"). It's notable that Clinton has still not accepted responsibility for her campaign, preferring to throw the blame for the loss anywhere but herself. Sociopathy much? ..."
Dec 17, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
Monetas Tuas Requiro -> kthomas... , December 16, 2016 at 05:10 PM
The secret story of how American advisers helped Yeltsin win

http://content.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19960715,00.html

JohnH -> Dan Kervick... , December 16, 2016 at 11:46 AM
PK seems to be a bitter old man...
anne -> sanjait... , December 16, 2016 at 03:08 PM
Nothing to see here, say the useful idiots.

[ I find it terrifying, simply terrifying, to refer to people as "useful idiots" after all the personal destruction that has followed when the expression was specifically used in the past.

To me, using such an expression is an honored economist intent on becoming Joseph McCarthy. ]

anne -> anne... , December 16, 2016 at 03:15 PM
To demean a person as though the person were a communist or a fool of communists or the like, with all the personal harm that has historically brought in this country, is cruel beyond my understanding or imagining.

"Useful Idiots Galore," terrifying.

Necesito Dinero Tuyo -> anne... , December 16, 2016 at 05:25 PM
Dale : , December 16, 2016 at 10:51 AM
trouble is that his mind reflects an accurate perception of our common reality.
Procopius -> Dale... , December 17, 2016 at 02:37 AM
Well, not really. For example he referred to "the close relationship between Wikileaks and Russian intelligence." But Wikileaks is a channel. They don't seek out material. They rely on people to bring material to them. They supposedly make an effort to verify that the material is not a forgery, but aside from that what they release is what people bring to them. Incidentally, like so many people you seem to not care whether the material is accurate or not -- Podesta and the DNC have not claimed that any of the emails are different from what they sent.
Tom aka Rusty : , December 16, 2016 at 11:06 AM
PK's head explodes!

One thought....

When politicians and business executives and economists cuddle up to the totalitarian Chinese it is viewed as an act of enlightment and progress.

When someone cuddles up to the authoritarian thug Putin it is an act of evil.

Seems a bit of a double standard.

We are going to have to do "business" with both the Chinese and the Russians, whoever is president.

Ben Groves -> Tom aka Rusty... , December 16, 2016 at 11:07 AM
Your head should explode considering Trump's deal with the "establishment" in July was brokered by foreign agents.
ilsm -> Ben Groves... , December 16, 2016 at 04:11 PM
curiouser and curiouser! while Obama and administration arm jihadis and call its support for jihadis funded by al Qaeda a side in a civil war.

the looking glass you all went through.

Trump has more convictions than any democrat

... ... ...

Tom aka Rusty -> kthomas... , December 16, 2016 at 01:36 PM
In a theatre of the absurd sort of way.
dilbert dogbert -> Tom aka Rusty... , December 16, 2016 at 12:11 PM
One thought:
Only Nixon can go to China.
anne -> sanjait... , December 16, 2016 at 03:22 PM
Putin is a murderous thug...

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/23/opinion/david-brooks-snap-out-of-it.html

September 22, 2014

Snap Out of It
By David Brooks

President Vladimir Putin of Russia, a lone thug sitting atop a failing regime....

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/22/opinion/thomas-friedman-putin-and-the-pope.html

October 21, 2014

Putin and the Pope
By Thomas L. Friedman

One keeps surprising us with his capacity for empathy, the other by how much he has become a first-class jerk and thug....

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/21/opinion/sunday/thomas-l-friedman-whos-playing-marbles-now.html

December 20, 2014

Who's Playing Marbles Now?
By Thomas L. Friedman

Let us not mince words: Vladimir Putin is a delusional thug....

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/22/opinion/paul-krugman-putin-neocons-and-the-great-illusion.html

December 21, 2014

Conquest Is for Losers: Putin, Neocons and the Great Illusion
By Paul Krugman

Remember, he's an ex-K.G.B. man - which is to say, he spent his formative years as a professional thug....

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/28/opinion/thomas-friedman-czar-putins-next-moves.html

January 27, 2015

Czar Putin's Next Moves
By Thomas L. Friedman

ZURICH - If Putin the Thug gets away with crushing Ukraine's new democratic experiment and unilaterally redrawing the borders of Europe, every pro-Western country around Russia will be in danger....

anne -> anne... , December 16, 2016 at 03:23 PM
Putin is a murderous thug...

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/16/world/middleeast/white-house-split-on-opening-talks-with-putin.html

September 15, 2015

Obama Weighing Talks With Putin on Syrian Crisis
By PETER BAKER and ANDREW E. KRAMER

WASHINGTON - Mr. Obama views Mr. Putin as a thug, according to advisers and analysts....

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/opinion/mr-putins-mixed-messages-on-syria.html

September 20, 2015

Mr. Putin's Mixed Messages on Syria

Mr. Obama considers Mr. Putin a thug, his advisers say....

Gibbon1 -> anne... , December 16, 2016 at 07:15 PM
> By David Brooks
> By Thomas L. Friedman
> By Paul Krugman
> By Peter Baker and Andrew E. Kramer

I feel these authors have intentionally attempted to mislead in the past. They also studiously ignore the United States thuggish foreign policy.

Sandwichman : , December 16, 2016 at 11:06 AM
"...not acting as if this was a normal election..." The problem is that it WAS a "normal" U.S. election.
Ben Groves -> Sandwichman ... , December 16, 2016 at 11:09 AM
Yup, like the other elections, the bases stayed solvent and current events factored into the turnout and voting patterns which spurred the independent vote.
Gibbon1 -> Ben Groves... , December 16, 2016 at 11:57 AM
When people were claiming Clinton was going to win big, I thought no Republican and Democratic voters are going to pull the lever like a trained monkey as usual. Only difference in this election was Hillary's huge negatives due entirely by her and Bill Clinton's support for moving manufacturing jobs to Mexico and China in the 90s.
dilbert dogbert -> Sandwichman ... , December 16, 2016 at 12:13 PM
I would have thought in a "normal" murika and election, the drumpf would have gotten at most 10 million votes.
Sandwichman -> dilbert dogbert... , December 16, 2016 at 01:54 PM
The trouble with normal is it always gets worse.
Fred C. Dobbs : , December 16, 2016 at 11:08 AM
To Understand Trump, Learn Russian http://nyti.ms/2hLcrB1
NYT - Andrew Rosenthal - December 15

The Russian language has two words for truth - a linguistic quirk that seems relevant to our current political climate, especially because of all the disturbing ties between the newly elected president and the Kremlin.

The word for truth in Russian that most Americans know is "pravda" - the truth that seems evident on the surface. It's subjective and infinitely malleable, which is why the Soviet Communists called their party newspaper "Pravda." Despots, autocrats and other cynical politicians are adept at manipulating pravda to their own ends.

But the real truth, the underlying, cosmic, unshakable truth of things is called "istina" in Russian. You can fiddle with the pravda all you want, but you can't change the istina.

For the Trump team, the pravda of the 2016 election is that not all Trump voters are explicitly racist. But the istina of the 2016 campaign is that Trump's base was heavily dependent on racists and xenophobes, Trump basked in and stoked their anger and hatred, and all those who voted for him cast a ballot for a man they knew to be a racist, sexist xenophobe. That was an act of racism.

Trump's team took to Twitter with lightning speed recently to sneer at the conclusion by all 17 intelligence agencies that the Kremlin hacked Democratic Party emails for the specific purpose of helping Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton. Trump said the intelligence agencies got it wrong about Iraq, and that someone else could have been responsible for the hack and that the Democrats were just finding another excuse for losing.

The istina of this mess is that powerful evidence suggests that the Russians set out to interfere in American politics, and that Trump, with his rejection of Western European alliances and embrace of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, was their chosen candidate.

The pravda of Trump's selection of Rex Tillerson, head of Exxon Mobil, as secretary of state is that by choosing an oil baron who has made billions for his company by collaborating with Russia, Trump will make American foreign policy beholden to American corporate interests.

That's bad enough, but the istina is far worse. For one thing, American foreign policy has been in thrall to American corporate interests since, well, since there were American corporations. Just look at the mess this country created in Latin America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and the Middle East to serve American companies.

Yes, Tillerson has ignored American interests repeatedly, including in Russia and Iraq, and has been trying to remove sanctions imposed after Russia's seizure of Crimea because they interfered with one of his many business deals. But take him out of the equation in the Trump cabinet and nothing changes. Trump has made it plain, with every action he takes, that he is going to put every facet of policy, domestic and foreign, at the service of corporate America. The istina here is that Tillerson is just a symptom of a much bigger problem.

The pravda is that Trump was right in saying that the intelligence agencies got it wrong about Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction.

But the istina is that Trump's contempt for the intelligence services is profound and dangerous. He's not getting daily intelligence briefings anymore, apparently because they are just too dull to hold his attention.

And now we know that Condoleezza Rice was instrumental in bringing Tillerson to Trump's attention. As national security adviser and then secretary of state for president George W. Bush, Rice was not just wrong about Iraq, she helped fabricate the story that Hussein had nuclear weapons.

Trump and Tillerson clearly think they are a match for the wily and infinitely dangerous Putin, but as they move foward with their plan to collaborate with Russia instead of opposing its imperialist tendencies, they might keep in mind another Russian saying, this one from Lenin.

"There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience," he wrote. "A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel."

Putin has that philosophy hard-wired into his political soul. When it comes to using scoundrels to get what he wants, he is a professional, and Trump is only an amateur. That is the istina of the matter.

Fred C. Dobbs -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 16, 2016 at 11:25 AM
If nothing else, Russia - with a notably un-free press - has shrewdly used our own 'free press' against US.

RUSSIA'S UNFREE PRESS

The Boston Globe - Marshall Goldman - January 29, 2001

AS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION DEBATES ITS POLICY TOWARD RUSSIA, FREEDOM OF THE PRESS SHOULD BE ONE OF ITS MAJOR CONCERNS. UNDER PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN THE PRESS IS FREE ONLY AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT CRITICIZE PUTIN OR HIS POLICIES. WHEN NTV, THE TELEVISION NETWORK OF THE MEDIA GIANT MEDIA MOST, REFUSED TO PULL ITS PUNCHES, MEDIA MOST'S OWNER, VLADIMIR GUSINSKY, FOUND HIMSELF IN JAIL, AND GAZPROM, A COMPANY DOMINATED BY THE STATE, BEGAN TO CALL IN LOANS TO MEDIA MOST. Unfortunately, Putin's actions are applauded by more than 70 percent of the Russian people. They crave a strong and forceful leader; his KGB past and conditioned KGB responses are just what they seem to want after what many regard as the social, political, and economic chaos of the last decade.

But what to the Russians is law and order (the "dictatorship of the law," as Putin has so accurately put it) looks more and more like an old Soviet clampdown to many Western observers.

There is no complaint about Putin's promises. He tells everyone he wants freedom of the press. But in the context of his KGB heritage, his notion of freedom of the press is something very different. In an interview with the Toronto Globe and Mail, he said that that press freedom excludes the "hooliganism" or "uncivilized" reporting he has to deal with in Moscow. By that he means criticism, especially of his conduct of the war in Chechnya, his belated response to the sinking of the Kursk, and the heavy-handed way in which he has pushed aside candidates for governor in regional elections if they are not to Putin's liking.

He does not take well to criticism. When asked by the relatives of those lost in the Kursk why he seemed so unresponsive, Putin tried to shift the blame for the disaster onto the media barons, or at least those who had criticized him. They were the ones, he insisted, who had pressed for reduced funding for the Navy while they were building villas in Spain and France. As for their criticism of his behavior, They lie! They lie! They lie!

Our Western press has provided good coverage of the dogged way Putin and his aides have tried to muscle Gusinsky out of the Media Most press conglomerate he created. But those on the Putin enemies list now include even Boris Berezovsky, originally one of Putin's most enthusiastic promoters who after the sinking of the Kursk also became a critic and thus an opponent.

Gusinsky would have a hard time winning a merit badge for trustworthiness (Berezovsky shouldn't even apply), but in the late Yeltsin and Putin years, Gusinsky has earned enormous credit for his consistently objective news coverage, including a spotlight on malfeasance at the very top. More than that, he has supported his programmers when they have subjected Yeltsin and now Putin to bitter satire on Kukly, his Sunday evening prime-time puppet show.

What we hear less of, though, is what is happening to individual reporters, especially those engaged in investigative work. Almost monthly now there are cases of violence and intimidation. Among those brutalized since Putin assumed power are a reporter for Radio Liberty who dared to write negative reports about the Russian Army's role in Chechnia and four reporters for Novaya Gazeta. Two of them were investigating misdeeds by the FSB (today's equivalent of the KGB), including the possibility that it rather than Chechins had blown up a series of apartment buildings. Another was pursuing reports of money-laundering by Yeltsin family members and senior staff in Switzerland. Although these journalists were very much in the public eye, they were all physically assaulted.

Those working for provincial papers labor under even more pressure with less visibility. There are numerous instances where regional bosses such as the governor of Vladivostok operate as little dictators, and as a growing number of journalists have discovered, challenges are met with threats, physical intimidation, and, if need be, murder.

True, freedom of the press in Russia is still less than 15 years old, and not all the country's journalists or their bosses have always used that freedom responsibly. During the 1996 election campaign, for example, the media owners, including Gusinsky conspired to denigrate or ignore every viable candidate other than Yeltsin. But attempts to muffle if not silence criticism have multiplied since Putin and his fellow KGB veterans have come to power. Criticism from any source, be it an individual journalist or a corporate entity, invites retaliation.

When Media Most persisted in its criticism, Putin sat by approvingly as his subordinates sent in masked and armed tax police and prosecutors. When that didn't work, they jailed Gusinsky on charges that were later dropped, although they are seeking to extradite and jail him again. along with his treasurer, on a new set of charges. Yesterday the prosecutor general summoned Tatyana Mitkova, the anchor of NTV's evening news program, for questioning. Putin's aides are also doing all they can to prevent Gusinsky from refinancing his debt-ridden operation with Ted Turner or anyone else in or outside of the country.

According to one report, Putin told one official, You deal with the shares, debts, and management and I will deal with the journalists. His goal simply is to end to independent TV coverage in Russia. ...

(No link; from their archives.)

DeDude -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 16, 2016 at 11:33 AM
"Unfortunately, Putin's actions are applauded by more than 70 percent of the Russian people"

Exactly; the majority of people are so stupid and/or lazy that they cannot be bothered understanding what is going on; and how their hard won democracy is being subjugated. But thank God that is in Russia not here in the US - right?

anne -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 16, 2016 at 11:45 AM
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-2001-02-07/html/CREC-2001-02-07-pt1-PgE133-4.htm

February 7, 2001

Russia's Unfree Press
By Marshall I. Goldman

Watermelonpunch -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 16, 2016 at 04:55 PM
"Infinitely dangerous" As in the event horizon of a black hole, for pity's sake?

Odd choice of words. Should there have been a "more" in between there? Was it a typo?

cm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 17, 2016 at 03:42 PM
"Pravda" is etymologically derived from "prav-" which means "right" (as opposed to "left", other connotations are "proper", "correct", "rightful", also legal right). It designates the social-construct aspect of "righteousness/truthfulness/correctness" as opposed to "objective reality" (conceptually independent of social standards, in reality anything but). In formal logic, "istina" is used to designate truth. Logical falsity is designated a "lie".

It is a feature common to most European languages that rightfulness, righteousness, correctness, and legal rights are identified with the designation for the right side. "Sinister" is Latin for "left".

Ben Groves : , December 16, 2016 at 11:18 AM
If you believe 911 was a Zionist conspiracy, so where the Paris attacks of November 2015, when Trump was failing in the polls as the race was moving toward as you would expect, toward other candidates. After the Paris attacks, his numbers reaccelerated.

If "ZOG" created the "false flag" of the Paris attacks to start a anti-Muslim fervor, they succeeded, much like 911. Bastille day attacks were likewise, a false flag. This is not new, this goes back to when the aristocracy merged with the merchant caste, creating the "bourgeois". They have been running a parallel government in the shadows to effect what is seen.

cm -> sanjait... , December 17, 2016 at 03:46 PM
There used to be something called Usenet News, where at the protocol level reader software could fetch meta data (headers containing author, (stated) origin, title, etc.) independently from comment bodies. This was largely owed to limited download bandwidth. Basically all readers had "kill files" i.e. filters where one could configure that comments with certain header parameters should not be downloaded, or even hidden.
cm -> cm... , December 17, 2016 at 03:48 PM
The main application was that the reader would download comments in the background when headers were already shown, or on demand when you open a comment.

Now you get the whole thing (or in units of 100) by the megabyte.

tew : , December 16, 2016 at 11:19 AM
A major problem is signal extraction out of the massive amounts of noise generated by the media, social media, parties, and pundits.

It's easy enough to highlight this thread of information here, but in real time people are being bombarded by so many other stories.

In particular, the Clinton Foundation was also regularly being highlighted for its questionable ties to foreign influence. And HRC's extravagant ties to Wall St. And so much more.

And there is outrage fatigue.

Ben Groves -> DeDude... , December 16, 2016 at 11:34 AM
The media's job was to sell Trump and denounce Clinton. The mistake a lot of people make is thinking the global elite are the "status quo". They are not. They are generally the ones that break the status quo more often than not.

The bulk of them wanted Trump/Republican President and made damn sure it was President. Buffering the campaign against criticism while overly focusing on Clinton's "crap". It took away from the issues which of course would have low key'd the election.

cm -> DeDude... , December 17, 2016 at 03:55 PM
Not much bullying has to be applied when there are "economic incentives". The media attention economy and ratings system thrive on controversy and emotional engagement. This was known a century ago as "only bad news is good news". As long as I have lived, the non-commercial media not subject (or not as much) to these dynamics have always been perceived as dry and boring.

I heard from a number of people that they followed the campaign "coverage" (in particular Trump) as gossip/entertainment, and those were people who had no sympathies for him. And even media coverage by outlets generally critical of Trump's unbelievable scandals and outrageous performances catered to this sentiment.

Jim Harrison : , December 16, 2016 at 11:24 AM
Shorter Paul Krugman: nobody acted more irresponsibly in the last election than the New York Times.
Sandwichman -> Jim Harrison ... , December 16, 2016 at 11:53 AM
Looks like Putin recruited the NYT, the FBI and the DNC.
DrDick -> Sandwichman ... , December 16, 2016 at 11:57 AM
Nah, Wall Street and the GOP recruited them to the effort.
Sandwichman -> DrDick... , December 16, 2016 at 01:57 PM
GOP included in FBI. Wall Street included in DNC, GOP. It's all just one big FBIDNCGOPCNNWSNYT.
sanjait -> Jim Harrison ... , December 16, 2016 at 03:06 PM
He can't say it out loud but you know he's including the NYT on his list of UIs.
tew : , December 16, 2016 at 11:26 AM
Let me also add some levelheaded thoughts:

First, let me disclose that I detest TRUMP and that the Russian meddling has me deeply concerned. Yet...

We only have assertions that the Russian hacking had some influence. We do not know whether it likely had *material* influence that could have reasonably led to a swing state(s) going to TRUMP that otherwise would have gone to HRC.

Dr. Krugman is feeding this "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality. He comes across as increasingly shrill and even unhinged - it's a slide he's been taking for years IMO, which is a big shame.

It is downright irresponsible and dangerous for a major public intellectual with so little information to cast the shadow of legitimacy on a president ("And it means not acting as if this was a normal election whose result gives the winner any kind of a mandate, or indeed any legitimacy beyond the bare legal requirements.") This kind of behavior is EXACTLY what TRUMP and other authoritarians exhibit - using pieces of information to discredit institutions and individuals. Since foreign governments have and will continue to try to influence U.S. policy through increasingly sophisticated means, this opens the door for anyone to declare our elections and policies as illegitimate in the future.

DrDick -> tew... , December 16, 2016 at 11:56 AM
It is quite clear that the Russians intervened on Trump's behalf and that this intervention had an impact. The problem is that we cannot actually quantify that impact.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-backs-cia-view-that-russia-intervened-to-help-trump-win-election/2016/12/16/05b42c0e-c3bf-11e6-9a51-cd56ea1c2bb7_story.html?pushid=breaking-news_1481916265&tid=notifi_push_breaking-news&utm_term=.25d35c017908

Sandwichman -> tew... , December 16, 2016 at 01:17 PM
"We only have assertions that the Russian hacking had some influence."

Any influence Russian hacking had was entirely a consequence of U.S. media obsession with celebrity, gotcha and horse race trivia and two-party red state/blue state tribalism.

Without the preceding, neither Trump nor Clinton would have been contenders in the first place. Putin didn't invent super delegates, Citizens United, Fox News, talk radio, Goldman-Sachs, etc. etc. etc. If Putin exploited vulnerabilities, it is because preserving those vulnerabilities was more important to the elites than fostering a democratic political culture.

cm -> Sandwichman ... , December 17, 2016 at 04:00 PM
But this is how influence is exerted - by using the dynamics of the adversary's/targets organization as an amplifier. Hierarchical organizations are approached through their management or oversight bodies, social networks through key influencers, etc.
David : , December 16, 2016 at 11:58 AM
I see this so much and it's so right wing cheap: I hate Trump, but assertions that Russia intervened are unproven.

First, Trump openly invited Russia to hack DNC emails. That is on its face treason and sedition. It's freaking on video. If HRC did that there would be calls of the right for her execution.

Second, a NYT story showed that the FBI knew about the hacking but did not alert the DNC properly - they didn't even show up, they sent a note to a help desk.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fbi-probe-dnc-hacked-emails_us_57a19f22e4b08a8e8b601259

This was a serious national security breach that was not addressed properly. This is criminal negligence.

This was a hacked election by collusion of the FBI and the Russian hackers and it totally discredits the FBI as it throwed out chum and then denied at the last minute. Now the CIA comes in and says PUTIN, Trump's bff, was directly involved in manipulating the timetable that the hacked emails were released in drip drip form to cater to the media - creating story after story about emails.

It was a perfect storm for a coup. Putin played us. And he will play Trump. And God knows how it ends. But it doesn't matter b/c we're all screwed with climate change anyway.

sglover -> David... , December 16, 2016 at 02:50 PM
"It was a perfect storm for a coup. Putin played us. And he will play Trump. And God knows how it ends. But it doesn't matter b/c we're all screwed with climate change anyway."

It's not a "coup". It's an election result that didn't go the way a lot of people want. That's it. It's probably not optimal, but I'm pretty sure that democracy isn't supposed to produce optimal results.

All this talk about "coups" and "illegitimacy" is nuts, and -- true to Dem practice -- incredibly short-sighted. For many, voting for Trump was an available way to say to those people, "We don't believe you any more. At all." Seen in that light, it is a profoundly democratic (small 'd') response to elites that have most consistently served only themselves.

Trump and his gang will be deeply grateful if the left follows Krugman's "wisdom", and clings to his ever-changing excuses. (I thought it was the evil Greens who deprived Clinton of her due?)

100panthers : , December 16, 2016 at 02:17 PM
Post Truth is Pre-Fascism. The party that thinks your loyalty is suspect unless you wear a flag pin fuels itself on Post Truth. Isnt't this absurdity the gist of Obama's Russia comments today!?!
ilsm -> 100panthers... , December 16, 2016 at 04:29 PM
Obama and the Clintons are angered; Russia keeping US from giving Syria to al Qaeda. Like Clinton gave them Libya.
Jerry Brown -> sanjait... , December 16, 2016 at 04:46 PM
I agree. Unless the Russians or someone else hacked the ballot box machines, it is our own damn fault.
ilsm : , December 16, 2016 at 04:27 PM
the US media is angered putin is killing US' jihadis in Syria
Mr. Bill : , December 16, 2016 at 08:27 PM
"On Wednesday an editorial in The Times described Donald Trump as a "useful idiot" serving Russian interests." I think that is beyond the pale. Yes, I realize that Adolph Hitler was democratically elected. I agree that Trump seems like a scary monster under the bed. That doesn't mean we have too pee our pants, Paul. He's a bully, tough guy, maybe, the kind of kid that tortured you before you kicked the shit out of them with your brilliance. That's not what is needed now.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , December 16, 2016 at 08:39 PM
What really is needed, is a watchdog, like Dean Baker, that alerts we dolts of pending bills and their ramifications. The ship of neo-liberal trade bullshit has sailed. Hell, you don't believe it yourself, you've said as much. Be gracious, and tell the truth. We can handle it.
Ben Groves -> Mr. Bill... , December 16, 2016 at 09:51 PM
The ship of neo-liberal trade sailed in the mid-2000's. That you don't get that is sad. You can only milk that so far the cow had been milked.

Trump was a coo, he was not supported by the voters. But by the global elite.

Mr. Bill : , December 16, 2016 at 10:28 PM
Hillary Clinton lost because she is truly an ugly aristocrat.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , December 16, 2016 at 11:49 PM
The experience of voting for the Hill was painful, vs Donald Trump.

The Hill seemed like the least likely aristocrat, given two choices, to finish off all government focus on the folks that actually built this society. Two Titans of Hubris, Hillary vs Donald, each ridiculous in the concept of representing the interests of the common man.

At the end of the day. the American people decided that the struggle with the unknown monster Donald was worth deposing the great deplorable, Clinton.

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , December 17, 2016 at 12:11 AM
The real argument is whether the correct plan of action is the way of FDR, or the way of the industrialists, the Waltons, the Kochs, the Trumps, the Bushes and the outright cowards like the Cheneys and the Clintons, people that never spent a day defending this country in combat. What do they call it, the Commander in Chief.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , December 17, 2016 at 12:29 AM
My father was awarded a silver and a bronze star for his efforts in battle during WW2. He was shot in the face while driving a tank destroyer by a German sniper in a place called Schmitten Germany.

He told me once, that he looked over at the guy next to him on the plane to the hospital in England, and his intestines were splayed on his chest. It was awful.

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , December 17, 2016 at 12:55 AM
What was he fighting for ? Freedom, America. Then the Republicans, Ronald Reagan, who spent the war stateside began the real war, garnering the wealth of the nation to the entitled like him. Ronald Reagan was a life guard.
btg : , December 16, 2016 at 11:09 PM
Other idiots...

Anthony Weiner
Podesta
Biden (for not running)
Tim Kaine (for accepting the nomination instead of deferring to a latino)
CNN and other TV news media (for giving trump so much coverage- even an empty podium)
Donna Brazile
etc.

greg : , December 16, 2016 at 11:57 PM
The people of the United States did not have much to choose between: Either a servant of the Plutocrats or a member of the Plutocratic class. The Dems brought this on us when they refused to play fair with Bernie. (Hillary would almost certainly have won the nomination anyway.)

The Repubs brought this on, by refusing to govern. The media brought this on: I seem to remember Hillary's misfeasances, once nominated, festering in the media, while Trump's were mentioned, and then disappeared. (Correct me if I'm wrong in this.) Also, the media downplayed Bernie until he had no real chance.

The government brought this on, by failing to pursue justice against the bankers, and failing to represent the people, especially the majority who have been screwed by trade and the plutocratic elite and their apologists.

The educational system brought this on, by failing to educate the people to critical thought. For instance: 1) The wealthy run the country. 2) The wealthy have been doing very well. 3) Everybody else has not. It seems most people cannot draw the obvious conclusion.

The wealthy brought this on. For 230 years they have, essentially run this country. They are too stupid to be satisfied with enough, but always want more.

The economics profession brought this on, by excusing treasonous behavior as efficient, and failing to understand the underlying principles of their profession, and the limits of their understanding. (They don't even know what money is, or how a trade deficit destroys productive capacity, and thus the very ability of a nation to pay back the debts it incurs.)

The people brought this on, by neglecting their duty to be informed, to be educated, and to be thoughtful.

Anybody else care for their share of blame? I myself deserve some, but for reasons I cannot say.

What amazes me now is, the bird having shown its feathers, there is no howl of outrage from the people who voted for him. Do they imagine that the Plutocrats who will soon monopolize the White House will take their interests to heart?

As far as I can tell, not one person of 'the people' has been appointed to his cabinet. Not one. But the oppressed masses who turned to Mr Trump seem to be OK with this.
I can only wonder, how much crap will have to be rubbed in their faces, before they awaken to the taste of what it is?

Eric377 : , -1
Krugman is himself one of those most useful idiots. I do not recall his clarion call to Democrats last spring that "FBI investigation" and "party Presidential nominee" was bound to be an ugly combination. Some did; right here as I recall. Or his part in the official "don't vote for third party" week in the Clinton media machine....thanks, hundreds of thousands of Trump votes got the message.

It's too rich to complain about Russia and Wikileaks as if those elements in anyway justified Clinton becoming President. Leaks mess with our democracy? Then for darn sure do not vote for a former Sec. of State willing to use a home server for her official business. Russia is menacing? Just who has been managing US-Russia relations the past 8 years? I voted for her anyway, but the heck if I think some tragic fate has befell the nation here. Republicans picked a better candidate to win this thing than we Democrats did.

Greg -> Eric377... , December 17, 2016 at 12:11 PM
Well said, Eric377.

The truth of the matter is that Clinton was a very weak candidate with nothing to offer but narcissism ("I'm with her"). It's notable that Clinton has still not accepted responsibility for her campaign, preferring to throw the blame for the loss anywhere but herself. Sociopathy much?

This has made me cynical. I used to think that at least *some* members of the US political elite had the best interests of ordinary households in mind, but now I see that it's just ego vs. ego, whatever the party.

As for democracy being on the edge: I believe Adam Smith over Krugman: "there is a lot of ruin in a nation". It takes more than this to overturn an entrenched institution.

I think American democracy will survive a decade of authoritarianism, and if it does not, then H. L. Mencken said it best: "The American people know what they want, and they deserve to get it -- good and hard."

[Dec 05, 2016] Government Warmongering Criminals Where Are They Now

Notable quotes:
"... The American people and most of the world bought into the lies and half-truths because they wanted to believe the fiction they were being spoon fed by the White House, but is there a whole lot of difference between what the US government did against Iraq in 2003 and what Hitler's government did in 1939 when it falsely claimed that Polish troops had attacked Germany? Was subsequent torture by the Gestapo any different than torture by a contractor working for Washington? ..."
"... A friend of mine recently commented that honest men who were formerly part of the United States government do not subsequently get hired by lobbying firms or obtain television contracts and "teaching" positions at prestigious universities. ..."
"... If the marketplace is anything to go by Feith and Tenet are running neck-and-neck on secondary book exchanges as George also can be had for $.01. ..."
"... The historian Livy summed up the significance of his act, writing "It is worthwhile for those who disdain all human things for money, and who suppose that there is no room either for great honor or virtue, except where wealth is found, to listen to his story." ..."
"... "Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best." ..."
"... senior government officials and politicians routinely expect to be generously rewarded for their service and never held accountable for their failures and misdeeds ..."
"... One thing for sure about the Washington elite, you never have to say you're sorry. ..."
Jul 08, 2015 | The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

The United States already has by far the per capita largest prison population of any developed country but I am probably one of the few Americans who on this Independence Day would like to see a lot more people in prison, mostly drawn from politicians and senior bureaucrats who have long believed that their status makes them untouchable, giving them license to steal and even to kill. The sad fact is that while whistleblowers have been imprisoned for revealing government criminality, no one in the federal bureaucracy has ever actually been punished for the crimes of torture, kidnapping and assassination committed during the George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama presidencies.

Why is accountability important? After the Second World War, the victorious allies believed it was important to establish responsibility for the crimes that had been committed by officials of the Axis powers. The judges at the Nuremberg Trials called the initiation of a war of aggression the ultimate war crime because it inevitably unleashed so many other evils. Ten leading Nazis were executed at Nuremberg and ninety-three Japanese officials at similar trials staged in Asia, including several guilty of waterboarding. Those who were not executed for being complicit in the actual launching of war were tried for torture of both military personnel and civilians and crimes against humanity, including the mass killing of civilians as well as of soldiers who had surrendered or been captured.

No matter how one tries to avoid making comparisons between 1939 and 2015, the American invasion of Iraq was a war of aggression, precisely the type of conflict that the framework of accountability provided by Nuremberg was supposed to prevent in the years after 1946. High level US government officials knew that Iraq represented no threat to the United States but they nevertheless described an imminent danger posed by Saddam Hussein in the most graphic terms, replete with weapons of mass destruction, armed drones flying across the Atlantic, terrorists being unleashed against the homeland, and mushroom clouds on the horizon. The precedent of Iraq, even though it was an abject failure, has led to further military action against Libya and Syria to bring about "regime change" as well as a continuing conflict in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the US has been waging a largely secret "long war" against terrorists employing torture and secret prisons. The American people and most of the world bought into the lies and half-truths because they wanted to believe the fiction they were being spoon fed by the White House, but is there a whole lot of difference between what the US government did against Iraq in 2003 and what Hitler's government did in 1939 when it falsely claimed that Polish troops had attacked Germany? Was subsequent torture by the Gestapo any different than torture by a contractor working for Washington?

Many Americans would now consider the leading figures in the Bush Administration aided and abetted by many enablers in congress from both political parties to be unindicted war criminals. Together they ignited a global conflict that is still running strong fourteen years later with a tally of more than 7,000 dead Americans and a minimum of hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans, Somalis and Syrians.

War breeds more war, due largely to the fact that guilty parties in Washington who piggyback on the prevailing narrative move onward and upward, rewarded in this life even if not necessarily so in the hereafter. A friend of mine recently commented that honest men who were formerly part of the United States government do not subsequently get hired by lobbying firms or obtain television contracts and "teaching" positions at prestigious universities. Though not 100% accurate as I know at least a couple of honorable former senior officials who wound up teaching, it would seem to be a generalization that has considerable validity. The implication is that many senior government officials ascend to their positions based on being accommodating and "political" rather than being honest and they continue to do the same when they switch over to corporate America or the equally corrupted world of academia.

I thought of my friend's comment when I turned on the television a week ago to be confronted by the serious, somewhat intense gaze of Michael Morell, warning about the danger that ISIS will strike the US over the Fourth of July weekend. Morell, a former senior CIA official, is in the terror business. He had no evidence whatsoever that terrorists were planning an attack and should have realized that maneuvering the United States into constantly going on alert based on empty threats is precisely what militant groups tend to do.

When not fronting as a handsomely paid national security consultant for the CBS television network Morell is employed by Beacon Global Strategies as a Senior Counselor, presumably warning well-heeled clients to watch out for terrorists. His lifestyle and substantial emoluments depend on people being afraid of terrorism so they will turn to an expert like him and ask serious questions that he will answer in a serious way suggesting that Islamic militants could potentially bring about some kind of global apocalypse.

Morell, a torture apologist, also has a book out that he wants to sell, positing somewhat ridiculously that he and his former employer had been fighting The Great War of Our Time against Islamic terrorists, something comparable to the World Wars of the past century, hence the title. Morell needs to take some valium and relax. He would also benefit from a little introspection regarding the bad guys versus good guys narrative that he is peddling. His credentials as a warrior are somewhat suspect in any event as he never did any military service and his combat in the world of intelligence consisted largely of sitting behind a desk in Washington and providing briefings to George W. Bush and Barack Obama in which he presumably told them what they wanted to hear.

Morell is one of a host of pundits who are successful in selling the military-industrial-lobbyist-congressional-intelligence community line of BS on the war on terror. Throw in the neocons as the in-your-face agents provocateurs who provide instant intellectual and media credibility for developments and you have large groups of engaged individuals with good access who are on the receiving end of the seemingly unending cash pipeline that began with 9/11. Frances Townsend, who was the Bush Homeland Security adviser and who is now a consultant with CNN, is another such creature as is Michael Chertoff, formerly Director of the Department of Homeland Security, who has successfully marketed his defective airport scanners to his former employer.

But the guys and gals who are out feathering their own nests are at least comprehensible given our predatory capitalist system of government. More to the point, the gang that ordered or carried out torture and assassination are the ones who should be doing some hard time in the slammer but instead they too are riding the gravy train and cashing in. To name only a few of those who knew about the torture and ordered it carried out I would cite George Tenet, James Pavitt, Cofer Black and Jose Rodriguez from the intelligence community. The assassination program meanwhile is accredited to John Brennan, currently CIA Director, during his tenure as Obama's Deputy National Security Advisor. And then there are Doug Feith and Paul Wolfowitz at the Pentagon together with John Yoo at Justice and Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, and Condi Rice at the White House, all of whom outright lied, dissimulated and conspired their way to bring about a war of aggression against Iraq.

There are plenty of nameless others who were "only carrying out orders" and who should be included in any reckoning of America's crimes over the past fifteen years, particularly if one also considers the illegal NSA spying program headed by Michael Hayden, who defended the practice and has also referred to those who oppose enhanced interrogation torture as "interrogation deniers." And then there are Presidents Bush and Obama who certainly knew what was going on in the name of the American people as well as John Brennan, who was involved in both the torture and renditions programs as well as the more recent assassinations by drone.

So where are they now? Living in obscurity ashamed of what they did? Hardly. Not only have they not been vilified or marginalized, they have, in most cases, been rewarded. George W. Bush lives in Dallas near his Presidential Library and eponymous Think (sic) Tank. Cheney lives in semi-retirement in McLean Virginia with a multi-million dollar waterfront weekend retreat in St. Michaels Maryland, not too far from Donald Rumsfeld's similar digs.

George Tenet, the CIA Director notorious for his "slam-dunk" comment, a man who cooked the intelligence to make the Iraq war possible to curry favor with the White House, has generously remunerated positions on the boards of Allen & Company merchant bank, QinetiQ, and L-1 Identity Solutions. He sold his memoir At the Center of the Storm, which has been described as a "self-justifying apologia," in 2007 for a reported advance of $4 million. His book, ironically, admits that the US invaded Iraq for no good reason.

James Pavitt, who was the point man responsible for the "enhanced interrogation" program as Tenet's Deputy Director for Operations, is currently a principal with The Scowcroft Group and also serves on several boards. Cofer Black, who headed the Counter-Terrorism Center, which actually carried out renditions and "enhanced interrogations," was vice chairman of Blackwater Worldwide (now called Xe) and chairman of Total Intelligence Solutions, a Blackwater spin-off. He is now vice president of Blackbird Technologies, a defense and intelligence contractor. Rodriguez, who succeeded Black and in 2005 illegally destroyed video tapes made of Agency interrogations to avoid possible repercussions, is a senior vice president with Edge Consulting, a defense contractor currently owned by IBM that is located in Virginia.

John Yoo is a Professor of Law at the University of California Berkeley while Condoleezza Rice, who spoke of mushroom clouds and is widely regarded as the worst National Security Advisor and Secretary of State in history, has returned to Stanford University. She is a professor at the Graduate School of Business and a director of its Global Center for Business and the Economy as well as a fellow at the Hoover Institution. She is occasionally spoken of as either a possible GOP presidential candidate or as a future Commissioner of the National Football League. Her interaction with students is limited, but when challenged on her record she has responded that it was a difficult situation post 9/11, something that everyone understands, though few would have come to her conclusion that attacking Iraq might be a good way to destroy al-Qaeda.

Paul Wolfowitz, the Bush Deputy Secretary of Defense, is seen by many as the "intellectual" driving force behind the invasion of Iraq. He is currently a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and advises Jeb Bush on foreign policy. A bid to reward Wolfie for his zeal by giving him a huge golden parachute as President of the World Bank at a salary of $391,000 tax free failed when, after 23 months in the position, he was ousted over promoting a subordinate with whom he was having an affair. His chief deputy at the Pentagon Doug Feith left the Defense Department to take up a visiting professorship at the school of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, which was subsequently not renewed. He is reported to be again practicing law and thinking deep thoughts about his hero Edmund Burke, who no doubt would have been appalled to make Feith's acquaintance. Feith is a senior fellow at the neoconservative Hudson Institute and the Director of the Center for National Security Strategies. His memoir War and Decision did not make the best seller list and is now available used on Amazon for $.01 plus shipping. If the marketplace is anything to go by Feith and Tenet are running neck-and-neck on secondary book exchanges as George also can be had for $.01.

The over-rewarding of former officials who have in reality done great harm to the United States and its interests might well seem inexplicable, but it is all part of a style of bureaucracy that cannot admit failure and truly believes that all its actions are ipso facto legitimate because the executive and its minions can do no wrong. It is also a symptom of the classic American character flaw that all things are of necessity measured by money. Does anyone remember the ancient Roman symbol of republican virtue Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, who left his farm after being named Dictator in order to defeat Rome's enemies? He then handed power back to the Senate before returning to his plowing after the job was done. The historian Livy summed up the significance of his act, writing "It is worthwhile for those who disdain all human things for money, and who suppose that there is no room either for great honor or virtue, except where wealth is found, to listen to his story." George Washington was America's Cincinnatus and it is not a coincidence that officers of the continental army founded the Cincinnati Society, the nation's oldest patriotic organization, in 1783. It is also reported that Edward Snowden used the alias "Cincinnatus."

Lord Acton once observed that "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." More recently essayist Edward Abbey put it in an American context, noting "Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best." That senior government officials and politicians routinely expect to be generously rewarded for their service and never held accountable for their failures and misdeeds is a fault that is perhaps not unique to the United States but it is nevertheless unacceptable. Handing out a couple of exemplary prison sentences for the caste that believes itself untouchable would be a good place to start. An opportunity was missed with David Petraeus, who was fined and avoided jail time, and it will be interesting to see how the Dennis Hastert case develops. Hastert will no doubt be slapped on the wrist for the crime of moving around his own money while the corruption that was the source of that money, both as a legislator and lobbyist, will be ignored. As will his molestation of at least one and possibly several young boys. One thing for sure about the Washington elite, you never have to say you're sorry.

Reprinted with permission from Unz Review.

[Dec 05, 2016] Capitalism Requires World War by Cathal Haughian via TheSaker.ie,

www.zerohedge.com

It has been our undertaking, since 2010, to chronicle our understanding of capitalism via our book The Philosophy of Capitalism . We were curious as to the underlying nature of the system which endows us, the owners of capital, with so many favours. The Saker has asked me to explain our somewhat crude statement 'Capitalism Requires World War'.

The present showdown between West, Russia and China is the culmination of a long running saga that began with World War One. Prior to which, Capitalism was governed by the gold standard system which was international, very solid, with clear rules and had brought great prosperity: for banking Capital was scarce and so allocated carefully. World War One required debt-capitalism of the FIAT kind, a bankrupt Britain began to pass the Imperial baton to the US, which had profited by financing the war and selling munitions.

The Weimar Republic, suffering a continuation of hostilities via economic means, tried to inflate away its debts in 1919-1923 with disastrous results-hyperinflation. Then, the reintroduction of the gold standard into a world poisoned by war, reparation and debt was fated to fail and ended with a deflationary bust in the early 1930's and WW2.

The US government gained a lot of credibility after WW2 by outlawing offensive war and funding many construction projects that helped transfer private debt to the public book. The US government's debt exploded during the war, but it also shifted the power game away from creditors to a big debtor that had a lot of political capital. The US used her power to define the new rules of the monetary system at Bretton Woods in 1944 and to keep physical hold of gold owned by other nations.

The US jacked up tax rates on the wealthy and had a period of elevated inflation in the late 40s and into the 1950s – all of which wiped out creditors, but also ushered in a unique middle class era in the West. The US also reformed extraction centric institutions in Europe and Japan to make sure an extractive-creditor class did not hobble growth, which was easy to do because the war had wiped them out (same as in Korea).

Capital destruction in WW2 reversed the Marxist rule that the rate of profit always falls. Take any given market – say jeans. At first, all the companies make these jeans using a great deal of human labour so all the jeans are priced around the average of total social labour time required for production (some companies will charge more, some companies less).

One company then introduces a machine (costed at $n) that makes jeans using a lot less labour time. Each of these robot assisted workers is paid the same hourly rate but the production process is now far more productive. This company, ignoring the capital outlay in the machinery, will now have a much higher profit rate than the others. This will attract capital, as capital is always on the lookout for higher rates of profit. The result will be a generalisation of this new mode of production. The robot or machine will be adopted by all the other companies, as it is a more efficient way of producing jeans.

As a consequence the price of the jeans will fall, as there is an increased margin within which each market actor can undercut his fellows. One company will lower prices so as to increase market share. This new price-point will become generalised as competing companies cut their prices to defend their market share. A further n$ was invested but per unit profit margin is put under constant downward pressure, so the rate of return in productive assets tends to fall over time in a competitive market place.

Interest rates have been falling for decades in the West because interest rates must always be below the rate of return on productive investments. If interest rates are higher than the risk adjusted rate of return then the capitalist might as well keep his money in a savings account. If there is real deflation his purchasing power increases for free and if there is inflation he will park his money (plus debt) in an unproductive asset that's price inflating, E.G. Housing. Sound familiar? Sure, there has been plenty of profit generated since 2008 but it has not been recovered from productive investments in a competitive free market place. All that profit came from bubbles in asset classes and financial schemes abetted by money printing and zero interest rates.

Thus, we know that the underlying rate of return is near zero in the West. The rate of return falls naturally, due to capital accumulation and market competition. The system is called capitalism because capital accumulates: high income economies are those with the greatest accumulation of capital per worker. The robot assisted worker enjoys a higher income as he is highly productive, partly because the robotics made some of the workers redundant and there are fewer workers to share the profit. All the high income economies have had near zero interest rates for seven years. Interest rates in Europe are even negative. How has the system remained stable for so long?

All economic growth depends on energy gain. It takes energy (drilling the oil well) to gain energy. Unlike our everyday experience whereby energy acquisition and energy expenditure can be balanced, capitalism requires an absolute net energy gain. That gain, by way of energy exchange, takes the form of tools and machines that permit an increase in productivity per work hour. Thus GDP increases, living standards improve and the debts can be repaid. Thus, oil is a strategic capitalistic resource.

US net energy gain production peaked in 1974, to be replaced by production from Saudi Arabia, which made the USA a net importer of oil for the first time. US dependence on foreign oil rose from 26% to 47% between 1985 and 1989 to hit a peak of 60% in 2006. And, tellingly, real wages peaked in 1974, levelled-off and then began to fall for most US workers. Wages have never recovered. (The decline is more severe if you don't believe government reported inflation figures that don't count the costof housing.)

What was the economic and political result of this decline? During the 20 years 1965-85, there were 4 recessions, 2 energy crises and wage and price controls. These were unprecedented in peacetime and The Gulf of Tonkin event led to the Vietnam War which finally required Nixon to move away from the Gold-Exchange Standard in 1971, opening the next degenerate chapter of FIAT finance up until 2008. Cutting this link to gold was cutting the external anchor impeding war and deficit spending. The promise of gold for dollars was revoked.

GDP in the US increased after 1974 but a portion of end use buying power was transferred to Saudi Arabia. They were supplying the net energy gain that was powering the US GDP increase. The working class in the US began to experience a slow real decline in living standards, as 'their share' of the economic pie was squeezed by the ever increasing transfer of buying power to Saudi Arabia.

The US banking and government elite responded by creating and cutting back legal and behavioral rules of a fiat based monetary system. The Chinese appreciated the long term opportunity that this presented and agreed to play ball. The USA over-produced credit money and China over-produced manufactured goods which cushioned the real decline in the buying power of America's working class. Power relations between China and the US began to change: The Communist Party transferred value to the American consumer whilst Wall Street transferred most of the US industrial base to China. They didn't ship the military industrial complex.

Large scale leverage meant that US consumers and businesses had the means to purchase increasingly with debt so the class war was deferred. This is how over production occurs: more is produced that is paid for not with money that represents actual realized labour time, but from future wealth, to be realised from future labour time. The Chinese labour force was producing more than it consumed.

The system has never differed from the limits laid down by the Laws of Thermodynamics. The Real economy system can never over-produce per se. The limit of production is absolute net energy gain. What is produced can be consumed. How did the Chinese produce such a super massive excess and for so long? Economic slavery can achieve radical improvements in living standards for those that benefit from ownership. Slaves don't depreciate as they are rented and are not repaired for they replicate for free. Hundreds of millions of Chinese peasants limited their way of life and controlled their consumption in order to benefit their children. And their exploited life raised the rate of profit!

They began their long march to modern prosperity making toys, shoes, and textiles cheaper than poor women could in South Carolina or Honduras. Such factories are cheap to build and deferential, obedient and industrious peasant staff were a perfect match for work that was not dissimilar to tossing fruit into a bucket. Their legacy is the initial capital formation of modern China and one of the greatest accomplishments in human history. The Chinese didn't use net energy gain from oil to power their super massive and sustained increase in production. They used economic slavery powered by caloric energy, exchanged from solar energy. The Chinese labour force picked the World's low hanging fruit that didn't need many tools or machines. Slaves don't need tools for they are the tool.

Without a gold standard and capital ratios our form of over-production has grown enormously. The dotcom bubble was reflated through a housing bubble, which has been pumped up again by sovereign debt, printing press (QE) and central bank insolvency. The US working and middle classes have over-consumed relative to their share of the global economic pie for decades. The correction to prices (the destruction of credit money & accumulated capital) is still yet to happen. This is what has been happening since 1971 because of the growth of financialisation or monetisation.

The application of all these economic methods was justified by the political ideology of neo-Liberalism. Neo-Liberalism entails no or few capital controls, the destruction of trade unions, plundering state and public assets, importing peasants as domesticated help, and entrusting society's value added production to The Communist Party of The People's Republic of China.

The Chinese have many motives but their first motivation is power. Power is more important than money. If you're rich and weak you get robbed. Russia provides illustrating stories of such: Gorbachev had received a promise from George HW Bush that the US would pay Russia approximately $400 billion over10 years as a "peace dividend" and as a tool to be utilized in the conversion of their state run to a market based economic system. The Russians believe the head of the CIA at the time, George Tenet, essentially killed the deal based on the idea that "letting the country fall apart will destroy Russia as a future military threat". The country fell apart in 1992. Its natural assets were plundered which raised the rate of profit in the 90's until President Putin put a stop to the robbery.

In the last analysis, the current framework of Capitalism results in labour redundancy, a falling rate of profit and ingrained trading imbalances caused by excess capacity. Under our current monopoly state capitalism a number of temporary preventive measures have evolved, including the expansion of university, military, and prison systems to warehouse new generations of labour.

Our problem is how to retain the "expected return rate" for us, the dominant class. Ultimately, there are only two large-scale solutions, which are intertwined .

One is expansion of state debt to keep "the markets" moving and transfer wealth from future generations of labour to the present dominant class.

The other is war, the consumer of last resort. Wars can burn up excess capacity, shift global markets, generate monopoly rents, and return future labour to a state of helplessness and reduced expectations. The Spanish flu killed 50-100 million people in 1918. As if this was not enough, it also took two World Wars across the 20th century and some 96 million dead to reduce unemployment and stabilize the "labour problem."

Capitalism requires World War because Capitalism requires profit and cannot afford the unemployed . The point is capitalism could afford social democracy after the rate of profit was restored thanks to the depression of the 1930's and the physical destruction of capital during WW2. Capitalism only produces for profit and social democracy was funded by taxing profits after WW2.

Post WW2 growth in labour productivity, due to automation, itself due to oil & gas replacing coal, meant workers could be better off. As the economic pie was growing, workers could receive the same %, and still receive a bigger slice. Wages as a % of US GDP actually increased in the period, 1945-1970. There was an increase in government spending which was being redirected in the form of redistributed incomes. Inequality will only worsen, because to make profits now we have to continually cut the cost of inputs, i.e. wages & benefits. Have we not already reached the point where large numbers of the working class can neither feed themselves nor afford a roof over their heads?13% of the UK working age population is out of work and receiving out of work benefits. A huge fraction is receiving in work benefits because low skill work now pays so little.

The underlying nature of Capitalism is cyclical. Here is how the political aspect of the cycle ends:

If Capitalism could speak, she would ask her older brother, Imperialism, this: "Can you solve the problem?" We are not reliving the 1930's, the economy is now an integrated whole that encompasses the entire World. Capital has been accumulating since 1945, so under- and unemployment is a plague everywhere. How big is the problem? Official data tells us nothing, but the 47 million Americans on food aid are suggestive. That's 1 in 7 Americans and total World population is 7 billion.

The scale of the solution is dangerous. Our probing for weakness in the South China Sea, Ukraine and Syria has awakened them to their danger.The Chinese and Russian leadershave reacted by integrating their payment systems and real economies, trading energy for manufactured goods for advanced weapon systems. As they are central players in the Shanghai Group we can assume their aim is the monetary system which is the bedrock of our Imperial power. What's worse, they can avoid overt enemy action and simply choose to undermine "confidence" in the FIAT.

Though given the calibre of their nuclear arsenal, how can they be fought let alone defeated? Appetite preceded Reason, so Lust is hard to Reason with. But beware brother. Your Lust for Power began this saga, perhaps it's time to Reason.

Uncle Sugar

Seriously - Having a Central Bank with a debt based monetary system requires permanent wars. True market based capitalism does not.

Father Thyme

Your logical fallacy is no true scotsman
http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/no-true-scotsman

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 23:21 | 7264475 Seek_Truth

Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

If wealth were measured by creating strawmen- you would be a Rothschild.

gwiss

That's because they don't understand the word "capitalism."

Capitalism simply means economic freedom. And economic freedom, just like freedom to breed, must be exposed to the pruning action of cause and effect, otherwise it outgrows its container and becomes unstable and explodes. As long as it is continually exposed to the grinding wheel of causality, it continues to hold a fine edge, as the dross is scraped away and the fine steel stays. Reality is full of dualities, and those dualities cannot be separated without creating broken symmetry and therefore terminal instability. Freedom and responsibility, for example. One without the other is unstable. Voting and taxation in direct proportion to each other is another example.

Fiat currency is an attempt to create an artificial reality, one without the necessary symmetry and balance of a real system. However, reality can not be gamed, because it will produce its own symmetry if you try to deny it. Thus the symmetry of fiat currency is boom and bust, a sine wave that still manages to produce equilibrium, however at a huge bubbling splattering boil rather than a fine simmer.

The folks that wrote this do not have a large enough world view. Capitalism does not require world wars because freedom does not require world wars. Freedom tends to bleed imbalances out when they are small. On the other hand, empire does require world war, which is why we are going to have one.

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 23:27 | 7264485 GRDguy

Capitalism becomes imperialism when financial sociopaths steal profits from both sides of the trade. What you're seeing is an Imperialism of Capital, as explained very nicely in the 1889 book "The Great Red Dragon."

AchtungAffen

Really? I thought that was the re-prints of Mises Canada, Kunstler or Brandon Smith. In comparison, this article is sublime.

Caviar Emptor

Wrong. Capitalism needs prolonged directionless wars without clear winners and contained destruction that utilize massive amounts of raw materials and endless orders for weapons and logistical support. That's what makes some guys rich.

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 22:56 | 7264423 Jack's Raging B...

That's was a very long-winded and deliberately obtuse way of explaining how DEBT AS MONEY and The State's usurpation of sound money destroyed efficient markets. The author then goes to call this system Capitalism.

So yeah, the deliberate destruction of capital, in all its forms, is somehow capitalism. Brilliant observation. Fuck you. There are better terms for things like this. Perhaps....central banking? The State? Fiat debt creation? Evil? Naw, let's just contort and abuse language instead. That's the ticket.

My Days Are Get...

From Russia News Feed:

Cathal Haughian Bio :

I've spent my adult life in 51 countries. This was financed by correctly anticipating the Great Financial Crisis in 2008. I was studying Marx at that time. I'm presently an employee of the Chinese State. I educate the children of China's best families. I am the author, alongside a large international team of capitalists, of Before The Collapse : The Philosophy of Capitalism.

I also have my own business; I live with my girlfriend and was born and grew up in Ireland.

===============

Why would anyone waste time to read this drivel, buttressed by the author's credentials.

The unstated thesis is that wars involve millions of actors, who produce an end-result of many hundreds of millions killed.

Absent coercion ("the Draft"), how is any government going to man hundreds of divisions of foot soldiers. That concept is passé.

Distribute some aerosol poisons via drones and kill as many people as deemed necessary. How in the hell will that action stimulate the world economy.

Weapons of mass-destruction are smaller, cheaper and easier to deploy. War as a progenitor of growth - forget it.

The good news is that this guy is educating the children of elite in China. Possibly the Pentagon could clone him 10,000 times and send those cyborgs to China - cripple China for another generation or two.

slimycorporated...

Capitalism requires banks that made shitty loans to fail

Ms No

The term cyclical doesn't quite cover what we have being experiencing. It's more like a ragdoll being shaken by a white shark. The euphoria of bubble is more like complete unhinged unicorn mania anymore and the lows are complete grapes of wrath. It's probably always been that way to some extent because corruption has remained unchallenged for a great deal of time. The boom phases are scarier than the downturns anymore, especially the last oil boom and housing boom. Complete Alfred Hitchcock stuff.

I don't think it's capitalism and that term comes across as an explanation that legitimizes this completely contrived pattern that benefits a few and screws everybody else. Markets should not be behaving in such a violent fashion. Money should probably be made steady and slow. And downturns shouldn't turn a country into Zimbabwe. I could be wrong but there is really no way to know with the corruption we have.

Good times.

o r c k

And War requires that an enemy be created. According to American General Breedlove-head of NATO's European Command-speaking to the US Armed Services Committee 2 days ago, "Russia and Assad are deliberately weaponizing migration to break European resolve". "The only reason to use non-precision weapons like barrel bombs is to keep refugees on the move". "These refugees bring criminality, foreign fighters and terrorism", and "are being used to overwhelm European structures". "Russia has chosen to be an adversary and is a real threat." "Russia is irresponsible with nuclear weapons-always threatening to use them." And strangely, "In the past week alone, Russia has made 450 attacks along the front lines in E. Ukraine".

Even with insanity overflowing the West, I found these comments to be the most bizarrely threatening propaganda yet. After reading them for the first time, I had to prove to myself that I wasn't hallucinating it.

[Dec 04, 2016] Nuclear war our likely future as Russia China would not accept US hegemony, Reagan official warns

Notable quotes:
"... "confronted with the Pivot to Asia and the construction of new US naval and air bases to ensure Washington's control of the South China Sea, now defined as an area of American National Interests." ..."
"... "for the crisis that Washington has created in Ukraine and for its use as anti-Russian propaganda." ..."
"... "How America Was Lost" ..."
"... "aggression and blatant propaganda have convinced Russia and China that Washington intends war, and this realization has drawn the two countries into a strategic alliance." ..."
"... "vassalage status accepted by the UK, Germany, France and the rest of Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia." ..."
"... "price of world peace is the world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony." ..."
"... "On the foreign policy front, the hubris and arrogance of America's self-image as the 'exceptional, indispensable' country with hegemonic rights over other countries means that the world is primed for war," ..."
"... "unless the dollar and with it US power collapses or Europe finds the courage to break with Washington and to pursue an independent foreign policy, saying good-bye to NATO, nuclear war is our likely future." ..."
"... "historical turning point," ..."
"... "the Chinese were there in their place," ..."
"... "Russian casualties compared to the combined casualties of the US, UK, and France make it completely clear that it was Russia that defeated Hitler," ..."
"... "in the Orwellian West, the latest rewriting of history leaves out of the story the Red Army's destruction of the Wehrmacht." ..."
"... "expressed gratitude to 'the peoples of Great Britain, France and the United States of America for their contribution to the victory.'" ..."
"... "do not hear when Russia says 'don't push us this hard, we are not your enemy. We want to be your partners.'" ..."
"... "finally realized that their choice is vassalage or war," ..."
"... "made the mistake that could be fateful for humanity," ..."
May 13, 2015 | RT News
The White House is determined to block the rise of the key nuclear-armed nations, Russia and China, neither of whom will join the "world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony," says head of the Institute for Political Economy, Paul Craig Roberts.

The former US assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy, Dr Paul Craig Roberts, has written on his blog that Beijing is currently "confronted with the Pivot to Asia and the construction of new US naval and air bases to ensure Washington's control of the South China Sea, now defined as an area of American National Interests."

Roberts writes that Washington's commitment to contain Russia is the reason "for the crisis that Washington has created in Ukraine and for its use as anti-Russian propaganda."

The author of several books, "How America Was Lost" among the latest titles, says that US "aggression and blatant propaganda have convinced Russia and China that Washington intends war, and this realization has drawn the two countries into a strategic alliance."

Dr Roberts believes that neither Russia, nor China will meanwhile accept the so-called "vassalage status accepted by the UK, Germany, France and the rest of Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia." According to the political analyst, the "price of world peace is the world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony."

"On the foreign policy front, the hubris and arrogance of America's self-image as the 'exceptional, indispensable' country with hegemonic rights over other countries means that the world is primed for war," Roberts writes.

He gives a gloomy political forecast in his column saying that "unless the dollar and with it US power collapses or Europe finds the courage to break with Washington and to pursue an independent foreign policy, saying good-bye to NATO, nuclear war is our likely future."

Russia's far-reaching May 9 Victory Day celebration was meanwhile a "historical turning point," according to Roberts who says that while Western politicians chose to boycott the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, "the Chinese were there in their place," China's president sitting next to President Putin during the military parade on Red Square in Moscow.

A recent poll targeting over 3,000 people in France, Germany and the UK has recently revealed that as little as 13 percent of Europeans think the Soviet Army played the leading role in liberating Europe from Nazism during WW2. The majority of respondents – 43 percent – said the US Army played the main role in liberating Europe.

"Russian casualties compared to the combined casualties of the US, UK, and France make it completely clear that it was Russia that defeated Hitler," Roberts points out, adding that "in the Orwellian West, the latest rewriting of history leaves out of the story the Red Army's destruction of the Wehrmacht."

The head of the presidential administration, Sergey Ivanov, told RT earlier this month that attempts to diminish the role played by Russia in defeating Nazi Germany through rewriting history by some Western countries are part of the ongoing campaign to isolate and alienate Russia.

Dr Roberts has also stated in his column that while the US president only mentioned US forces in his remarks on the 70th anniversary of the victory, President Putin in contrast "expressed gratitude to 'the peoples of Great Britain, France and the United States of America for their contribution to the victory.'"

The political analyst notes that America along with its allies "do not hear when Russia says 'don't push us this hard, we are not your enemy. We want to be your partners.'"

While Moscow and Beijing have "finally realized that their choice is vassalage or war," Washington "made the mistake that could be fateful for humanity," according to Dr Roberts.

Read more Perverted history: Europeans think US army liberated continent during WW2

Read more US mulls sending military ships, aircraft near South China Sea disputed islands – report

[Nov 24, 2016] Populists as Snake Oil Sellers

Title is pretty misleading. It is neoliberals who are snake oil sellers. In no way FDR was a snake oil seller.
Notable quotes:
"... People aren't so much voting _for_ snake oil as _against_ the status quo. ..."
"... False analogies. Time for "change", no expectation of "hope" from the bomber* who got the Nobel peace prize. 'Snake oil'+ from both sides in 2016. Add a dash of corruption and rigged system. The corrupt snake oil sales pitch who lost to the unorganized snake oil sales pitch. ..."
"... From my prospective the donkey-s were pushing more of the same conservative party-line straight from 1928. The publicans had deep vested interest in the same failed approach to culture, society, economy, and finance. The same except for one of its hopeful candidates who saw the problem, some of the remedies, and a path towards the control tower using the popular but outdated methods of pandering to our most disgusting instincts of evil. Sure! ..."
"... Snake oil salesmen, eh? One only has to read Minsky on the neoclassical assumptions or, for that matter, Milton Friedman on why nonsense is perfectly fine to know who the big league snake oil salesmen have been. People voting for Brexit and Trump were voting for anything but the snake oil status quo. ..."
"... The Establishment isn't delivering so you get populists on the left and right. ..."
"... Make me think of the Middle East where the West destroyed the communists and socialists and so all that was left was the military-backed authoritarians and the mosques with their "snake oil." ..."
"... "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people" ..."
"... Seems it to difficult to admit globalization damaged US workers, so the fall back is to call workers gullible and racist. ..."
Nov 24, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Ron Waller : November 24, 2016 at 08:20 AM

Clearly Keynes and FDR were snake-oil salesmen. The Progressive New Deal Era (1932-80) being the biggest economic muckup in the history of humanity!

Thankfully Friedman came along and made America and the world great again. (Just a slight kink in the model: the global economy teetering on the verge of collapse into fascist revolutions and world war. Nothing a little free-market medicine can't nip in the bud!)

anne -> Ron Waller ... , November 24, 2016 at 08:36 AM
Clearly Keynes and FDR were snake-oil salesmen. The Progressive New Deal Era (1932-80) being the biggest economic muckup in the history of humanity!

[ Perfectly ironic. ]

anne -> Ron Waller ... , November 24, 2016 at 08:40 AM
http://www.measuringworth.com/growth/

January 15, 2016

Annualized Growth Rates

1933 to 1979 Real GDP = 4.71%
1933 to 1979 Real GDP per capita = 3.39%

1980 to 2015 Real GDP = 2.70%
1980 to 2015 Real GDP per capita = 1.69%

Unhandyandy : , November 24, 2016 at 08:31 AM
Maybe a misdiagnosis. People aren't so much voting _for_ snake oil as _against_ the status quo.
ilsm : , November 24, 2016 at 08:48 AM
False analogies. Time for "change", no expectation of "hope" from the bomber* who got the Nobel peace prize. 'Snake oil'+ from both sides in 2016. Add a dash of corruption and rigged system. The corrupt snake oil sales pitch who lost to the unorganized snake oil sales pitch.

If the faux left don't get some logic it needs to be replaced by a leftie of the Trump brand.

*con artist/war monger

+racism/sexism fear mongers

Choco Bell : , November 24, 2016 at 09:01 AM
have become "homogeneous", while Lebanon has not thrived as a nation
"
~~steve randy waldman~

Populist Politicians

From the steve quotation you can guess that USA has thrived thus all our long list of ethnicity-s are mutually dissolving each into the other. As interbreeding proceeds you can see the evidence within Gaussian distribution of each ethnic feature. We are now a nation of one people.

If it then follows that the recent election was not merely all things racism, what was the focus of the candidates?

From my prospective the donkey-s were pushing more of the same conservative party-line straight from 1928. The publicans had deep vested interest in the same failed approach to culture, society, economy, and finance. The same except for one of its hopeful candidates who saw the problem, some of the remedies, and a path towards the control tower using the popular but outdated methods of pandering to our most disgusting instincts of evil. Sure!

His vision is incomplete. He is still searching for the answers, but he is certain that we cannot return to the cold war of 1950. Will he rediscover deflation, full reserve banking, green transportation, a gentler approach to the Luddites?

We need to support his search for a more sustainable USA, a more sustainable planet, a more sustainable

population-al
shrinkage --

Sandwichman : , November 24, 2016 at 09:09 AM
Snake oil salesmen, eh? One only has to read Minsky on the neoclassical assumptions or, for that matter, Milton Friedman on why nonsense is perfectly fine to know who the big league snake oil salesmen have been. People voting for Brexit and Trump were voting for anything but the snake oil status quo.

There are populists and then there are demagogues masquerading as populists. Stamp out the populists with constant ridicule from the crackpot realists and all that will be left are the demagogues who style themselves as populists.

Peter K. -> Sandwichman ... , November 24, 2016 at 09:18 AM
Well said.
Denis Drew : , November 24, 2016 at 09:18 AM
CUT-AND-PASTE AGAIN :-]

As my old Bronx doctor, Seymour Tenzer, put it: "All these histories are bullshit -- I got punched in the chest; that's why I've got a lump." [:-)]

Trump's victory is down to the disappearance of the $800 job for the $400 job. That subtracted from the vote in the black ghettos – and added to the vote in the white ghettos -- both ghettos being far off the radar screen of academic liberals like Hill and O.

I notice the white ghettos because that is me. My old taxi job (much too old now at 72 3/4) was "in-sourced" all over the world to drivers who would work for remarkably less (than the not so great incomes we native born eked out). Today's low skilled jobs go to native and foreign born who willing to show up for $400 (e.g., since Walmart gutted supermarket contracts). Fast food strictly to foreign born who will show up for $290 a week (min wage $400, 1968 -- when per cap income half today's).

Don't expect the 100,000 out of maybe 200,000 Chicago gang age males to show up for a life time of $400/wk servitude. Did I mention, manufacturing was down to 6% of employment 15 years ago -- now 4% (disappearing like farm labor, mostly robo; look to health care for the future?)?
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gang-wars-at-the-root-of-chicagos-high-murder-rate/

6% union density at private employers = 20/10 BP which starves every healthy process in the social body = disappearance of collective bargaining and its institutional concomitants which supply political funding and lobbying equal to oligarchs plus most all the votes ...

... votes: notice? 45% take 10% of overall income -- 45% earn $15/hr or less -- a lot of votes.

Peter K. : , November 24, 2016 at 09:25 AM
The Establishment isn't delivering so you get populists on the left and right. Would Dillow or SWL call Corbyn and Sanders snake oil salesmen?

The centrists do. The corrupt corporate media makes a point to do that.

Make me think of the Middle East where the West destroyed the communists and socialists and so all that was left was the military-backed authoritarians and the mosques with their "snake oil."

"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people"

Tom aka Rusty : , November 24, 2016 at 10:27 AM
Seems it to difficult to admit globalization damaged US workers, so the fall back is to call workers gullible and racist.

[Nov 23, 2016] Populism and the Media

Notable quotes:
"... the media is not in competition with talking about disenchantment over globalisation and de-industrialisation, but a complement to it. ..."
"... This piece is right on the money and nails the ultimate failure of our modern corporate media. ..."
"... Modern corporate media is in existence to make more money, not to serve society. Whatever makes (the collective) us more likely to pay attention to the media is what the media will serve up. With the failure of old style media we have to be concerned whether an actual informed political discourse will be possible. ..."
"... These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America http://www.morriscreative.com/6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america/ ..."
"... People are looking for scapegoats and the corrupt corporate media are misleading them, along with politicians. Why are they looking for scapegoats? Not simply because they're wealthy racist Trump supporters who long for the good old days, as the center-left is telling us. ..."
"... The corrupt corporate media was incredibly unfair to both Bernie Sanders and Jeremby Corbyn but the Blairites and Clinton supporters were okay with that. Sanders was quite good on calling out the media. We need more of that. ..."
"... "We know that erecting trade barriers is harmful: the only question is whether in this case it will be pretty harmful or very harmful"...to whom? To the elites? Or to those who voted for Brexit? ..."
"... Instead of constantly harping on the illusory 'free trade is a free lunch for all,' 'liberal' economists need to start taking responsibility for not emphasizing or even acknowledging that free trade is not a panacea...it has real downsides for many...and real benefits mostly for elites that negotiated the deals. ..."
"... Too many were severely harmed by off shoring and illegal immigration. ..."
Nov 22, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
Simon Wren-Lewis: Populism and the media :

This could be the subtitle of the talk I will be giving later today. I will have more to say in later posts, plus a link to the full text..., but I thought I would make this important point here about why I keep going on about the media. In thinking about Brexit and Trump, talking about the media is not in competition with talking about disenchantment over globalisation and de-industrialisation, but a complement to it.

I don't blame the media for this disenchantment, which is real enough, but for the fact that it is leading people to make choices which are clearly bad for society as a whole, and in many cases will actually make them worse off. They are choices which in an important sense are known to be wrong.

... ... ...

DrDick : November 22, 2016 at 10:38 AM

This piece is right on the money and nails the ultimate failure of our modern corporate media.
DeDude : , November 22, 2016 at 10:59 AM
Modern corporate media is in existence to make more money, not to serve society. Whatever makes (the collective) us more likely to pay attention to the media is what the media will serve up. With the failure of old style media we have to be concerned whether an actual informed political discourse will be possible.
Paul Mathis -> DeDude... , November 22, 2016 at 01:23 PM
Case in Point: Fake Media. As documented in the WaPo yesterday, two unemployed restaurant workers (McDonalds?) made a fortune with their fake news website that collected ad revenue from the likes of Facebook. They didn't bother with any facts; just published stories they knew would attract right wing extremists.

They really worked at their craft using specific language and formats to draw in eyeballs. It worked beyond their wildest expectations and they won't even discuss how much money they made.

Lili : November 22, 2016 at 11:14 AM
These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America http://www.morriscreative.com/6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america/
sglover -> Lili... , November 22, 2016 at 05:42 PM
Something tells me there might be a bit of "fake news" creation going on in those shops, eh? But no, let's pull out our hair over some 20-year-old with a Facebook feed. And -- censor! For the greater good, naturally.
The Rage : , November 22, 2016 at 12:19 PM
That is because it isn't populism.
Peter K. : , November 22, 2016 at 01:13 PM
"In thinking about Brexit and Trump, talking about the media is not in competition with talking about disenchantment over globalisation and de-industrialisation, but a complement to it."

People are looking for scapegoats and the corrupt corporate media are misleading them, along with politicians. Why are they looking for scapegoats? Not simply because they're wealthy racist Trump supporters who long for the good old days, as the center-left is telling us.

The corrupt corporate media was incredibly unfair to both Bernie Sanders and Jeremby Corbyn but the Blairites and Clinton supporters were okay with that. Sanders was quite good on calling out the media. We need more of that.

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , November 22, 2016 at 01:20 PM
The SyFy Channel has a new series called Incorporated about a dystopian America set in 2074 where global climate change has wrecked havoc on politics and society. Giant multinational corporations have stepped in and taken over for governments as America's class divisions have sharpened between the haves and the have-nots. You can watch the first episode online.

http://www.syfy.com/incorporated

Teapot : November 22, 2016 at 02:42 PM
Globalization is not Pareto improving. Maybe it could be done in a way that is, but until then, the "media" is correct to paint a disenchanting picture
pgl -> Teapot... , November 22, 2016 at 02:58 PM
Pareto improving assumes we compensates those who lose from globalization. This is well known. What else is well known is we have a terrible track record on this score.
JohnH : , November 22, 2016 at 03:05 PM
"We know that erecting trade barriers is harmful: the only question is whether in this case it will be pretty harmful or very harmful"...to whom? To the elites? Or to those who voted for Brexit?

Instead of constantly harping on the illusory 'free trade is a free lunch for all,' 'liberal' economists need to start taking responsibility for not emphasizing or even acknowledging that free trade is not a panacea...it has real downsides for many...and real benefits mostly for elites that negotiated the deals.

Why do 'liberal' economists insist on invalidating the life experience of so many?

ken melvin : , November 22, 2016 at 03:30 PM
Wisdom implies giving a good look to the consequences, and taking measures to ameliorate those negative. Too many were severely harmed by off shoring and illegal immigration. These weren't without consequences and maybe not even, on balance, gainful.

In the future, let those best able to make any necessary sacrifices and adjustments.

Denis Drew :
As my old Bronx doctor, Seymour Tenzer, put it: "All these histories are bullshit -- I got punched in the chest; that's why I've got a lump."

Trump's victory is down to the disappearance of the $800 [a week] job for the $400 job. That subtracted from the vote in the black ghettos – and added to the vote in the white ghettos -- both ghettos being far off the radar screen of academic liberals like Hill and O.

I notice the white ghettos because that is me. My old taxi job (much too old now at 72 3/4) was "in-sourced" all over the world to drivers who would work for remarkably less (than the not so great incomes we native born eked out). Today's low skilled jobs go to native and foreign born who willing to show up for $400 (e.g., since Walmart gutted supermarket contracts). Fast food strictly to foreign born who will show up for $290 a week (min wage $400, 1968 -- when per cap income half today's).

Don't expect the 100,000 out of maybe 200,000 Chicago gang age males to show up for a life time of $400/wk servitude. Did I mention, manufacturing was down to 6% of employment 15 years ago -- now 4% (disappearing like farm labor, mostly robo; look to health care for the future?)?
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gang-wars-at-the-root-of-chicagos-high-murder-rate/

6% union density at private employers = 20/10 BP which starves every healthy process in the social body = disappearance of collective bargaining and its institutional concomitants which supply political funding and lobbying equal to oligarchs plus most all the votes ...

... votes: notice? 45% take 10% of overall income -- 45% earn $15/hr or less -- a lot of votes.

[Nov 23, 2016] A crisis of legitimacy -- recommended links

Nov 23, 2016 | www.economist.com

Legitimation crisis - Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legitimation_ crisis

Jump to International crises of legitimacy - Legitimation crisis refers to a decline in the confidence of administrative functions, institutions, or leadership. The term was first introduced in 1973 by Jürgen Habermas, a German sociologist and philosopher. ‎ Legitimacy · ‎ Theories of legitimacy · ‎ Legitimation crisis origin · ‎ Historical examples A crisis of legitimacy | The Economist www.economist.com/node/796097

A crisis of legitimacy . People are fed up with politics. Do not blame globalisation for that. Sep 27th 2001 | From the print edition. Timekeeper. Add this article to ... Legitimacy: Legitimation Crises and Its Causes - Political Science Notes www.politicalsciencenotes.com/ legitimacy / legitimacy -legitimation- crises -and-its.../797

Causes of Legitimation Crisis : There are several causes or aspects of legitimation crisis . Habermas and several other neo-Marxists, after studying all the aspects of capitalist societies, have concluded that a number of factors are responsible for the legitimation crisis

The Global Crisis of Legitimacy | Stratfor https://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20100503_global_ crisis _ legitimacy

The Global Crisis of Legitimacy . Geopolitical Weekly. May 4, 2010 | 08:56 GMT. Print. Text Size. By George Friedman. Financial panics are an integral part of ...

The Legitimacy Crisis in the United States: A Conceptual Analysis - JStor https://www.jstor.org/stable/800195 by DO Friedrichs - ‎1980 - ‎ Cited by 52 - ‎ Related articles A " legitimacy crisis " is widely perceived to exist on the basis of polls of public at- ... causes of a legitimacy crisis may be identified, it has been associated with the ...

[PDF] THEORETICAL BASIS OF CRISIS OF LEGITIMACY AND ... - Dialnet https://dialnet.unirioja.es/descarga/articulo/3640420.pdf

by GE Reyes - ‎2010 - ‎ Cited by 1 - ‎ Related articles Theoretical basis of crisis of legitimacy and implications for less developed countries: Guatemala as a case of study. TENDENCIAS. Revista de la Facultad de ...

[PDF] A Crisis of Democratic Legitimacy? It's about Legitimation, Stupid! aei.pitt.edu/63549/1/EPB21-def.pdf

by A Mattelaer - ‎2014 - ‎ Related articles Mar 21, 2014 - generalised crisis in legitimacy , our democracies face a crisis of legitimation: political choices are in dire need of an explanatory narrative that. The Legitimacy Crisis | RealClearPolitics www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/05/08/the_ legitimacy _ crisis _126530.html

May 8, 2015 - American government - at all levels - is losing the legitimacy it needs to function. Or, perhaps, some segments of the government have ...

The Global Crisis of Legitimacy of Liberal Democracy - Global ... https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/211/44824.html

The third dimension of the crisis that I identify is the crisis of legitimacy of US hegemony. This, I think, is as serious as the other two crises, since, as an admirer of ...

The Crisis of Legitimacy in Africa | Dissent Magazine https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/the- crisis-of-legitimacy -in-africa

The Crisis of Legitimacy in Africa. Abiola Irele ▫ Summer 1992. A bleak picture emerges from today's Africa. One glaring aspect is the material deprivation ...

[Nov 21, 2016] Beppe Grillo The Amateurs Are Conquering The World Because The Experts Destroyed It

An interesting variant of rotation of elite...
Notable quotes:
"... echo chamber ..."
"... With Trump, exactly the same thing has happened as with my Five Star Movement, which was born of the Internet: the media were taken aback and asked us where we were before. We gathered millions of people in public squares and they marvelled. We became the biggest movement in Italy and journalists and philosophers continued to say that we were benefitting from people's dissatisfaction. ..."
"... the amateurs are the ones conquering the world and I'm rejoicing in it because the professionals are the ones who have reduced the world to this state. Hillary Clinton, Obama and all the rest have destroyed democracy and their international policies. ..."
"... If that's the case, it signifies that the experts, economists and intellectuals have completely misunderstood everything, especially if the situation is the way it is ..."
"... Brexit and Trump are signs of a huge change. If we manage to understand that, we'll also get to face it." ..."
"... Until now, these anti-establishment movements have come face-to-face with their own limits: as soon as they come to power they seem to lose their capabilities and reason for being. Alexis Tsipras, in Greece, for example ..."
"... President Juncker suggested modifying the code of ethics and lengthening the period of abstinence from any private work for former Commission members to three years. Is that enough? ..."
"... I have serious doubts about a potential change in the code of ethics being made by a former minister of a tax haven. ..."
"... We've always maintained this idea of total autonomy in decision-making, but we united over the common idea of a different Europe, a mosaic of autonomies and sovereignties. ..."
"... If he wants to hold a referendum on the euro, he'll have our support. If he wants to leave the Fiscal Stability Treaty – the so-called Fiscal Compact – which was one of our battles, we'll be there ..."
"... Renzi's negotiating power will also depend on the outcome of the constitutional referendum in December. We'll see whether he sinks or swims. ..."
"... Neoliberal Trojan Horse Obama has quite a global legacy. ..."
"... Maybe it's time for the Europeans to stop sucking American cock. Note that we barely follow your elections. It's time to spread your wings and fly. ..."
"... "The Experts* Destroyed The World" - Beppe Grillo. Never a truer word spoken, Beppe! YOU DA MAN!!! And these "Experts" - these self-described "ELITE" - did so - and are STILL doing so WITH MALICIOUS INTENT - and lining their pockets every fking step of the way! ..."
"... As the Jason Statham character says in that great Guy Richie movie "Revolver": "If there's ONE thing I've learnt about "Experts", it's that they're expert in FUCK ALL!" ..."
"... Apart from asset-stripping the economy & robbing the populace blind that is - and giving their countries away to the invader so indigenous populations cant fight back... or PURPOSELY angling for WW3 to hide their criminality behind the ULTIMATE & FINAL smokescreen. ..."
"... It NATO collapses so will the Euro project. The project was always American from the start. In recent years it has become a mechanism by which the Poles (and other assorted Eastern Europeans) can extract war guarantees out of the USA, UK and France. It is a total mess and people like Grillo add to the confusion by their flawed analysis. ..."
www.zerohedge.com
Whatever the reason, we agree with the next point he makes, namely the overthrow of "experts" by amateurs.

euronews: "Do you think appealing to people's emotions is enough to get elected? Is that a political project?"

Beppe Grillo: "This information never ceases to make the rounds: you don't have a political project, you're not capable, you're imbeciles, amateurs And yet, the amateurs are the ones conquering the world and I'm rejoicing in it because the professionals are the ones who have reduced the world to this state. Hillary Clinton, Obama and all the rest have destroyed democracy and their international policies. If that's the case, it signifies that the experts, economists and intellectuals have completely misunderstood everything, especially if the situation is the way it is. If the EU is what we have today, it means the European dream has evaporated. Brexit and Trump are signs of a huge change. If we manage to understand that, we'll also get to face it."

Bingo, or as Nassim Taleb put its, the "Intellectual-Yet-Idiot" class. It is the elimination of these so-called "experts", most of whom have PhDs or other letters next to their name to cover their insecurity, and who drown every possible medium with their endless, hollow, and constantly wrong chatter, desperate to create a self-congratulatory echo chamber in which their errors are diluted with the errors of their "expert" peers, that will be the biggest challenge for the world as it seeks to break away from the legacy of a fake "expert class" which has brought the entire world to its knees, and has unleashed the biggest political tsunami in modern history.

One thing is certain: the "experts" won't go quietly as the "amateurs" try to retake what is rightfully theirs.

... ... ...

Beppe Grillo, Leader of the Five Star Movement
"It's an extraordinary turning point. This corn cob – we can also call Trump that in a nice way – doesn't have particularly outstanding qualities. He was such a target for the media, with such terrifying accusations of sexism and racism, as well as being harassed by the establishment – such as the New York Times – but, in the end, he won.

"That is a symbol of the tragedy and the apocalypse of traditional information. The television and newspapers are always late and they relay old information. They no longer anticipate anything and they're only just understanding that idiots, the disadvantaged, those who are marginalised – and there are millions of them – use alternative media, such as the Internet, which passes under the radar of television, a medium people no longer use.

"With Trump, exactly the same thing has happened as with my Five Star Movement, which was born of the Internet: the media were taken aback and asked us where we were before. We gathered millions of people in public squares and they marvelled. We became the biggest movement in Italy and journalists and philosophers continued to say that we were benefitting from people's dissatisfaction. We'll get into government and they'll ask themselves how we did it."

euronews
"There is a gap between giving populist speeches and governing a nation."

Beppe Grillo
"We want to govern, but we don't want to simply change the power by replacing it with our own. We want a change within civilisation, a change of world vision.

"We're talking about dematerialised industry, an end to working for money, the start of working for other payment, a universal citizens revenue. If our society is founded on work, what will happen if work disappears? What will we do with millions of people in flux? We have to organise and manage all that."

euronews
"Do you think appealing to people's emotions is enough to get elected? Is that a political project?"

Beppe Grillo
"This information never ceases to make the rounds: you don't have a political project, you're not capable, you're imbeciles, amateurs

"And yet, the amateurs are the ones conquering the world and I'm rejoicing in it because the professionals are the ones who have reduced the world to this state. Hillary Clinton, Obama and all the rest have destroyed democracy and their international policies.

"If that's the case, it signifies that the experts, economists and intellectuals have completely misunderstood everything, especially if the situation is the way it is. If the EU is what we have today, it means the European dream has evaporated. Brexit and Trump are signs of a huge change. If we manage to understand that, we'll also get to face it."

euronews
"Until now, these anti-establishment movements have come face-to-face with their own limits: as soon as they come to power they seem to lose their capabilities and reason for being. Alexis Tsipras, in Greece, for example "

Beppe Grillo
"Yes, I agree."

euronews
"Let's take the example of Podemos in Spain. They came within reach of power, then had to backtrack. Why?"

Beppe Grillo
"Because there's an outdated way of thinking. Because they think power is managed by forming coalitions or by making agreements with others.

"From our side, we want to give the tools to the citizens. We have an information system called Rousseau, to which every Italian citizen can subscribe for free. There they can vote in regional and local elections and check what their local MPs are proposing. Absolutely any citizen can even suggest laws in their own name.

"This is something never before directly seen in democracy and neither Tsipras nor Podemos have done it."

euronews
"You said that you're not interested in breaking up the European Union, but rather in profoundly changing it. What can a small group of MEPs do to put into motion such great change?"

Beppe Grillo
"The little group of MEPs is making its voice heard, but there are complications In parliament, there are lobby groups and commissions. Parliament decides, but at the same time doesn't decide.

"We do what we can, in line with our vision of a world based on a circular economy. We put forward the idea of a circular economy as the energy of the future and the proposal has been adopted by the European parliament."

euronews

"One hot topic at the Commission at the moment is the problem of the conflicts of interest concerning certain politicians.

"President Juncker suggested modifying the code of ethics and lengthening the period of abstinence from any private work for former Commission members to three years. Is that enough?"

Beppe Grillo

"I have serious doubts about a potential change in the code of ethics being made by a former minister of a tax haven."

euronews
"You don't think the Commission is legitimate?"

Beppe Grillo
"Absolutely not. Particularly because it's a Commission that no one has actually elected. That's what brought us closer to Nigel Farage: a democracy coming from the people."

euronews
"You don't regret being allied with Farage?"

Beppe Grillo
"It was an alliance of convenience, made to give us enough support to enter parliament. We've always maintained this idea of total autonomy in decision-making, but we united over the common idea of a different Europe, a mosaic of autonomies and sovereignties.

"I'm not against Europe, but I am against the single currency. Conversely, I am for the idea of a common currency. The words are important: 'common' and 'single' are two different concepts.

"In any case, the UK has demonstrated something that we in Italy couldn't even dream of: organising a clear 'yes-no' referendum."

euronews
"That is 'clear' in terms of the result and not its consequences. In reality, the population is torn. Many people's views have done u-turns."

Beppe Grillo
"Whatever happens, the responsibility returns entirely to the British. They made the decision."

euronews
"Doesn't it bother you that Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is playing the spoilsport in Europe? Criticising European institutions was your battle horse and now he is flexing his muscles in Brussels."

Beppe Grillo
"Renzi has to do that. But he's just copying me and in doing so, strengthens the original."

euronews
"Whatever it may be, his position at the head of the government can get him results."

Beppe Grillo
"Very well. If he wants to hold a referendum on the euro, he'll have our support. If he wants to leave the Fiscal Stability Treaty – the so-called Fiscal Compact – which was one of our battles, we'll be there."

euronews
"In the quarrel over the flexibility of public accounts due to the earthquake and immigration, who are you supporting?"

Beppe Grillo
"On that, I share Renzi's position. I have nothing against projects and ideas. I have preconceptions about him. For me, he is completely undeserving of confidence."

euronews
"Renzi's negotiating power will also depend on the outcome of the constitutional referendum in December. We'll see whether he sinks or swims."

Beppe Grillo
"It's already lost for him."

euronews
"If he doesn't win, will you ask for early elections?"

Beppe Grillo
"Whatever happens, we want elections because the government as it stands is not legitimate and, as a consequence, neither are we.

"From this point onwards, the government moves forward simply by approving laws based on how urgent they are. And 90 percent of laws are approved using this method. So what good will it do to reform the Senate to make the process quicker?"

euronews
"Can you see yourself at the head of the Italian government?"

Beppe Grillo
"No, no. I was never in the race. Never."

euronews
"So, Beppe Grillo is not even a candidate to become prime minister or to take on another official role, if one day the Five Star Movement was to win the elections?"

Beppe Grillo
"The time is fast approaching."

euronews
"Really? A projection?"

Beppe Grillo
"People just need to go and vote. We're sure to win."

BabaLooey -> Nemontel •Nov 21, 2016 6:27 AM

euronews: "You don't think the Commission is legitimate?"

Beppe Grillo: "Absolutely not. Particularly because it's a Commission that no one has actually elected. That's what brought us closer to Nigel Farage: a democracy coming from the people."

BOILED DOWN - THAT IS ALL THAT NEEDS TO BE SAID.

Blackhawks •Nov 21, 2016 3:15 AM

Neoliberal Trojan Horse Obama has quite a global legacy. People all over the world are voting for conmen and clowns instead of his endorsed candidates and chosen successor. Having previously exposed the "intellectual-yet-idiot" class, Nassim Taleb unleashes his acerbic tone in 3 painfully "real news" tweets on President Obama's legacy...

Obama:
Protected banksters (largest bonus pool in 2010)
"Helped" Libya
Served AlQaeda/SaudiBarbaria(Syria & Yemen) https://t.co/bcNMhDgmuo

- NassimNicholasTaleb (@nntaleb) November 19, 2016

2) (Cont) But in the end what Obama did that is unforgivable is increasing centralization in a complex system.

- NassimNicholasTaleb (@nntaleb) November 19, 2016

3) Don't fughet Obama is leaving us a Ponzi scheme, added ~8 trillions in debt with rates at 0. If they rise, costs of deficit explode...

- NassimNicholasTaleb (@nntaleb) November 20, 2016

LetThemEatRand •Nov 21, 2016 3:20 AM

Maybe it's time for the Europeans to stop sucking American cock. Note that we barely follow your elections. It's time to spread your wings and fly.

Yen Cross -> LetThemEatRand •Nov 21, 2016 3:27 AM

Amen~ The" European Toadies" should also institute " term limits" so those Jean Paul & Draghi][JUNKERS[]- technocratic A-Holes can be done away with!

NuYawkFrankie •Nov 21, 2016 5:07 AM

"The Experts* Destroyed The World" - Beppe Grillo. Never a truer word spoken, Beppe! YOU DA MAN!!! And these "Experts" - these self-described "ELITE" - did so - and are STILL doing so WITH MALICIOUS INTENT - and lining their pockets every fking step of the way!

As the Jason Statham character says in that great Guy Richie movie "Revolver": "If there's ONE thing I've learnt about "Experts", it's that they're expert in FUCK ALL!"

Apart from asset-stripping the economy & robbing the populace blind that is - and giving their countries away to the invader so indigenous populations cant fight back... or PURPOSELY angling for WW3 to hide their criminality behind the ULTIMATE & FINAL smokescreen.

Yep -THAT is how F'KING sick they are. These, my friends, are your "Experts", your self-decribed "Elite" - and Soros is at the head of the parade.

lakecity55 -> NuYawkFrankie •Nov 21, 2016 6:18 AM

You know the old saying, "an expert's a guy from more than 20 miles outside of town."

tuetenueggel •Nov 21, 2016 5:17 AM

Which experts do you mean Beppe ?

All I Kow is that those "experts" are too stupid to piss a hole in the snow.

Oettinger ( not even speaking his mother tongue halfways correct )

Jean clown Juncker ( always drunk too is a kind of well structured day )

Schulz capo (who was too stupid as mayor of a german village so they fucked him out)

Hollande ( lefts are always of lower IQ then right wing people )

Blair ( war criminal )

and thousands more not to be named her ( due to little space availlable )

caesium •Nov 21, 2016 6:35 AM

It NATO collapses so will the Euro project. The project was always American from the start. In recent years it has become a mechanism by which the Poles (and other assorted Eastern Europeans) can extract war guarantees out of the USA, UK and France. It is a total mess and people like Grillo add to the confusion by their flawed analysis.

The bedrock of Italy was always the Catholic faith which the country has abandoned. "The Faith is Europe and Europe is the Faith" said Hilaire Belloc. A reality that Grillo is unable to grasp.

[Nov 20, 2016] The Field of Fight How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies by Michael T. Flynn, Michael Ledeen

Trump essentially betrayed Flynn, who tried to did the billing of Kushner and persuade Russia to abstain from anti-Israel vote.
Notable quotes:
"... The big takeaways from this book is the (1) systemic manipulation of intelligence analysts' conclusions to fit political narratives (I have personally seen my work modified to "soften" the message/conclusions for x, y, or z reasons) and (2) Radical Islam is not a new phenomenon that spawned as a response to "American imperialism" as often preached from the lecterns of western universities. ..."
"... There is no love lost between Lt Gen Flynn and President Obama, and Flynn's frustration with Obama's lack of leadership is clear throughout this work. ..."
"... General Flynn is a career Army combat intelligence officer with extensive hard experience mostly in the Middle East, a lifetime Democrat, who seems to understand and is able to clearly and concisely define the threat of Radical Islam (NOT all Islam) far better than both the Bush ("W") and Obama administrations politicos in Washington were willing to hear or accept. ..."
"... in contrast to what his detractors might opine, General Flynn is speaking of Radical Islam as a "tribal cult," and not taking aim at the religion itself. ..."
"... The general's comments on human intelligence and interrogation operations being virtually nonexistent makes one wonder if all the Lessons Learned that are written after every conflict and stored away are then never looked at again - I suspect it's true. ..."
"... My unit, the 571st MI Detachment of the 525th MI Group, ran agents (HUMINT) throughout I Corps/FRAC in Vietnam. The Easter Offensive of 1972 was actually known and reported by our unit before and during the NVA's invasion of the South. We were virtually the only intelligence source available for the first couple of weeks because of weather. Search the internet for The Easter Offensive of 1972: A Failure to Use Intelligence. ..."
"... I totally concur with Lt. General, Michael T. Flynn, US Army, (ret), that any solution to "Radical Islamic Terrorism" today has to also resolve the ideology issue, along side the other recommendations that he discusses in his book. ..."
"... Provocative, bellicose, rhetorical, and patriotic, the author leaves the reader wondering if his understanding of the enemy is hubris or sagacity. Much of that confusion can be attributed to conditioning as a an American and seeing prosecution of American wars as apolitical and astrategic. General Flynn's contribution to the way forward, "Field of Fight" is certainly political and at a minimum operational strategy. His practical experience is normative evidence to take him at his word for what he concludes is the next step to deal with radicals and reactionaries of political Islam. ..."
"... One paradox that he never solved was his deliberate attempt to frame terrorist as nothing more that organized crime, but at the same respect condemn governments that are "Islamic Republics," whom attempt to enforce the laws as an ineffective solution, and attempting to associate the with the other 1.6 billion Muslims by painting them as "Radical Islam." ..."
Nov 20, 2016 | www.amazon.com

SomeRandomGuy July 17, 2016

We're at war, but few people know it... or are willing to accept it.

When I had heard in the news that Lt Gen Flynn might be chosen by Donald Trump as his Vice Presidential nominee, I was quick to do some research on Flynn and came across this work. Having worked in the intelligence community myself in the past several years, I was intrigued to hear what the previous director of the DIA had to say. I have read many books on the topic of Islam and I am glad I picked this up.

The big takeaways from this book is the (1) systemic manipulation of intelligence analysts' conclusions to fit political narratives (I have personally seen my work modified to "soften" the message/conclusions for x, y, or z reasons) and (2) Radical Islam is not a new phenomenon that spawned as a response to "American imperialism" as often preached from the lecterns of western universities.

If you have formed your opinion of Islam and the nature of the West's fight in the Middle East on solely what you hear in the main steam media (all sides), you would do well to read this book as a starting point into self-education on an incredibly complex topic.

There is no love lost between Lt Gen Flynn and President Obama, and Flynn's frustration with Obama's lack of leadership is clear throughout this work. Usually this political opining in a work such as this is distracting, but it does add much-needed context to decisions and events. That said, Lt Gen Flynn did a great job addressing a complex topic in plain language. While this is not a seminal work on

Amazon Customer on November 11, 2016

A critically important work for western civilization.

General Flynn is a career Army combat intelligence officer with extensive hard experience mostly in the Middle East, a lifetime Democrat, who seems to understand and is able to clearly and concisely define the threat of Radical Islam (NOT all Islam) far better than both the Bush ("W") and Obama administrations politicos in Washington were willing to hear or accept.

He supports what he can tell us with citations. Radical Islam has declared war on Western democracies, most of all on the US. Its allies include Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and others. Their war against us is a long-term effort, and our politicians (except Trump?) don't want to hear it. We need to demand that our politicos prepare for this assault and start taking wise, strong steps to defeat it.

Western Europe may already have been fatally infiltrated by "refugees" who will seek to Islamize it, and current birth rates suggest that those nations will have Muslim majorities in 20 years. General Flynn details what we must do to survive the assault. I bought the Kindle version and began reading it, but then paid more for the audible version so that I could get through it faster. Please buy and read this book!

David Firester on September 2, 2016

Looking Inward First, is What Generates the Strategy-Shifting Process. Flynn Gets This. Few Others Do.

To begin with, I will say that the book is not exactly what one might expect from a recently retired General. For starters, there were numerous spelling errors, an assortment of colloquialisms and some instances in which the prose took on a decidedly partisan tone. The means of documenting sources was something akin to a blog-posting, in that he simply copied and pasted links to pages, right into the body of the work. I would have liked to have seen a more thoroughly researched and properly cited work. All of this was likely due to the fact that General Flynn released his book in the days leading up to Donald J. Trump's announcement of his Vice Presidential pick. As Flynn is apparently a close national security advisor to Trump, I can understand why his work appears to be somewhat harried. Nonetheless, I think that the book's timeliness is useful, as the information it contains might be helpful in guiding Americans' election choices. I also think that despite the absence of academic rigor, it makes his work more accessible. No doubt, this is probably one of Mr. Trump's qualities and one that has catapulted him to national fame and serious consideration for the office he seeks. General Flynn makes a number of important points, which, despite my foregoing adverse commentary, gives me the opportunity to endorse it as an essential read.

In the introductory chapter, General Flynn lays out his credentials, defines the problem, and proceeds to inform the reader of the politically guided element that clouds policy prescriptions. Indeed, he is correct to call attention to the fact that the Obama administration has deliberately exercised its commanding authority in forbidding the attachment of the term "Islam" when speaking of the threat posed by extremists who advocate and carry out violence in the religion's name. As one who suffered at the hands of the administration for speaking truth to power, he knows all too well what others in the Intelligence Community (IC) must suffer in order to hold onto their careers.

In chapter one, he discusses where he came from and how he learned valuable lessons at home and in service to his country. He also gives the reader a sense of the geopolitical context in which Radical Islamists have been able to form alliances with our worst enemies. This chapter also introduces the reader to some of his personal military heroes, as he delineates how their mentorship shaped his thinking on military and intelligence matters. A key lesson to pay attention to in this chapter is what some, including General Flynn, call 'politicization of intelligence.' Although he maintains that both the present and previous administration have been guilty of this, he credits the Bush administration with its strategic reconsideration of the material facts and a search for better answers. (He mentions this again in the next chapter on p.42, signifying this capability as a "leadership characteristic" and later recalls the president's "insight and courage" on p. 154.)

Chapter two of The Field of Fight features an excellent summary of what transpires in a civil war and the manner in which Iraqis began to defect from al-Qa'ida and cooperate with U.S. forces. In this task, he explains for the layperson what many scholars do, but in far fewer pages. Again, this makes his work more accessible. He also works through the process of intelligence failures that are, in his opinion, produced by a superordinate policy failure housed in the upper echelons of the military structure. In essence, it was a misperception (willful or not) that guided thinking about the cause of the insurgency, that forbade an ability to properly address it with a population-centric Counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy. He pays homage to the adaptability and ingenuity of General Stanley McChrystal's Task Force 714, but again mentions the primary barrier to its success was bureaucratic in nature.

The main thrust of chapter 3, aptly named "The Enemy Alliance," is geared toward tying together the earlier assertion in chapter regarding the synergy between state actors like Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the like. It has been documented elsewhere, but the Iranian (non-Arab Shi'a) connection to the al-Qa'ida (Arab Sunni) terrorist organization can't be denied. Flynn correctly points out how the relationship between strange bedfellows is not new in the Middle East. He briefly discusses how this has been the case since the 1970s, with specific reference to the PLO, Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah, Bosnia and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's. He also references President Obama's "curious sympathy" (p. 92) for enemies in places such as Venezuela and Cuba.

General Flynn then reminds readers of some facts that have either been forgotten, or virtually unknown, by most Americans. Namely, the role that Saddam Hussein actually played with regard to the recruitment of foreign terrorists, the internal policies of appeasement for Islamists in his army and the support he lent to Islamists in other countries (e.g., Egypt, Sudan and Afghanistan). He also reminds the readers of the totalitarian mindset that consumes Islamist groups, such as al-Qa'ida and the Islamic State. All the while, and in contrast to what his detractors might opine, General Flynn is speaking of Radical Islam as a "tribal cult," and not taking aim at the religion itself. This chapter is perhaps the most robust in the book and it is the sort of reading that every American should do before they engage in conversations about the nature of political Islam.

Chapter four is a blueprint for winning what used to be called the 'global war on terror.' Although such a phraseology is generally laughed at in many policy circles, it is clear, as General Flynn demonstrates, that some groups and countries are locked in combat with us and our partners in the West. Yet, as he correctly points out, the Obama administration isn't willing to use global American leadership in order to defeat those who see us, and treat us, as their collective enemy. General Flynn's prescription includes four strategic objectives, which I won't recite here, as I'm not looking to violate any copyright laws. The essence of his suggestions, however, starts with an admission of who the enemy is, a commitment to their destruction, the abandonment of any unholy alliances we have made over the years, and a counter-ideological program for combating what is largely an ideologically-based enemy strong suit. He points to some of the facts that describe the dismal state of affairs in the Arab world, the most damning of which appear on pages 127-128, and then says what many are afraid to say on page 133: "Radical Islam is a totalitarian political ideology wrapped in the Islamic religion." Nonetheless, Flynn discusses some of the more mundane and pecuniary sources of their strength and the means that might be tried in an effort to undermine them.

The concluding chapter of General Flynn's work draws the reader's attention to some of the works of others that have been overlooked. He then speaks candidly of the misguided assumptions that, coupled with political and bureaucratic reasons, slows adaptation to the changing threat environment. Indeed, one of the reasons that I found this book so refreshing is because that sort of bold introspection is perhaps the requisite starting point for re-thinking bad strategies. In fact, that is the essence of both the academic and practical work that I have been doing for years. I highly recommend this book, especially chapter 3, for any student of the IC and the military sciences.

Bob Baker on August 4, 2016
It's ironic that the general wrote about Pattern Analysis, ...

It's ironic that the general wrote about Pattern Analysis, when DIA in late-1971 warned that the Ho Chi Minh Trail was unusually active using this technique.

The general's comments on human intelligence and interrogation operations being virtually nonexistent makes one wonder if all the Lessons Learned that are written after every conflict and stored away are then never looked at again - I suspect it's true.

My unit, the 571st MI Detachment of the 525th MI Group, ran agents (HUMINT) throughout I Corps/FRAC in Vietnam. The Easter Offensive of 1972 was actually known and reported by our unit before and during the NVA's invasion of the South. We were virtually the only intelligence source available for the first couple of weeks because of weather. Search the internet for The Easter Offensive of 1972: A Failure to Use Intelligence.

Amazon Customer on August 1, 2016
A GREAT BOOK FOR UNDERSTANDING THE WAR ON TERROR

At a time when so much is hanging in the balance, General Flynn's book plainly lays out a strategy for not only fighting ISIS/ISIL but also for preventing totalitarianism from spreading with Russia, North Korea and Cuba now asserting themselves - again.

Sadly, because there is some mild rebuke towards President Obama, my fear is people who should read this book to gain a better understanding of the mind of the jihadist won't because they don't like their president being called out for inadequate leadership. But the fact remains we are at war with not just one, but several ideologies that have a common enemy - US! But this book is not about placing blame, it is about winning and what it will take to defeat the enemies of freedom.

We take freedom for granted in the West, to the point where, unlike our enemies, we are no longer willing to fight hard to preserve those freedoms. General Flynn makes the complicated theatre of fighting Radical Islam easier to understand. His experience in explaining how we can and have won on the battlefield gives me great comfort, but also inspires me to want to help fight for the good cause of freedom.

My sincerest hope is that both Trump and Clinton will read this book and then appoint General Flynn as our next Defense Secretary!

Amazon Customer DCC on July 30, 2016
recommend you read " Heretic

I totally concur with Lt. General, Michael T. Flynn, US Army, (ret), that any solution to "Radical Islamic Terrorism" today has to also resolve the ideology issue, along side the other recommendations that he discusses in his book. All of the radical fighting that has taken place in the world, ever since the beginning evolution of the Islamic religion over 1400 years ago, has revolved around radical interpretations of the Qur'an.

Until there is an Islamic religious reformation, there will never be a lasting resolution to the current "Radical Islamic Terrorist" problem. It is a religious ideology interpretation issue. Until that interpretation is resolved within the Islamic world, there will always be continuing radical interpretation outbreaks, from within the entire Islamic world, against all other forms of non-Islamic religions and their evolving cultures.

If you require further insight, recommend you read " Heretic, Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now" , by Ayaan Hirisi Ali. DCC

Aaron Rudroff on July 26, 2016
To be continued...

Provocative, bellicose, rhetorical, and patriotic, the author leaves the reader wondering if his understanding of the enemy is hubris or sagacity. Much of that confusion can be attributed to conditioning as a an American and seeing prosecution of American wars as apolitical and astrategic. General Flynn's contribution to the way forward, "Field of Fight" is certainly political and at a minimum operational strategy. His practical experience is normative evidence to take him at his word for what he concludes is the next step to deal with radicals and reactionaries of political Islam.

One paradox that he never solved was his deliberate attempt to frame terrorist as nothing more that organized crime, but at the same respect condemn governments that are "Islamic Republics," whom attempt to enforce the laws as an ineffective solution, and attempting to associate the with the other 1.6 billion Muslims by painting them as "Radical Islam."

As if there is any relationship to relationship to Islam other than it is the predominant religion in a majority of the area where they commit their criminal activity. As if the political war with terrorist is a function of a label that is of itself a oversimplification of the issues. Indeed, suggesting it is a nothing more than 'political correctness" and ignoring the possibility that it might be a function of setting the conditions in an otherwise polygon of political justice. This argument alone is evidence of the his willingness to develop domestic political will for war with a simple argument. Nevertheless, as a national strategy, it lacks the a foundational argument to motivate friendly regional actors who's authority is founded on political Islam.

In 2008 a national election was held and the pyrrhic nature of the war in Iraq adjudicated via the process of democratic choice that ended support for continued large scale conventional occupation. That there is some new will to continue large scale conventional occupation seems unlikely, and as a democratic country, leaders must find other means to reach the desired end state, prosecuting contiguous operations to suppress, neutralize, and destroy "ALL" who use terrorism to expand and enforce their political will with a deliberate limited wars that have methodological end states. Lastly, sounding more like a General MacArther, the General Flynn's diffuse strategy seems to ignore the most principles of war deduced by Von Clausewitz and Napoleon: Concentration of force on the objective to be attacked. Instead, fighting an ideology "Radical Islam" seems more abstract then any splatter painting of modern are in principle form it suggests a commitment to simplicity to motivate our nation to prepare for and endure the national commitment to a long war.

Since we can all agree there is no magical solution, then normative pragmatism of the likes that General. Flynn's assessment provides, must be taken into account in an operation and tactical MDMP. Ignoring and silencing Subject Matter Experts (SME's) will net nothing more than failure, a failure that could be measured in innocent civilian lives as a statistical body count. I could see General Flynn's suggestions and in expertise bolstering a movement to establish a CORP level active duty unit to prepare, plan, and implemented in phases 0, IV, & V (JP 5-0) . Bear in mind, Counter Insurgency (COIN) was never considered a National strategy but instead at tactical strategy and at most an operational strategy.

William Struse TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 17, 2016
The Crossroads of Our Republic

Several times in its nearly 250 years of existence our Nation has been at a crossroads. Looking back on our War for Independence, the Civil War, and WWII we know the decisions made in those tumultuous times forever altered the destiny of our Republic.

We are once again at one of those crossroads where the battle lines have been drawn, only this time in an asymmetrical war between western democracy and the radical Islamists and nation states who nurture them. In his timely book Field of Fight, Lt. General Michael T. Flynn provides a unique perspective on this war and what he believes are some of the steps necessary to meet this foe.

Field of Fight begins as an autobiography in which the author gives you a sense of who he is as a man and a soldier. This background information then provides the reader with a better perspective through which to evaluate his analysis of the challenges we face as well as the course of action he believes we need to take to meet those challenges.

The following are a few of the guidelines General Flynn proposes for developing a winning strategy in our war with radical Islam and other potential foes:

1. Properly assess your environment and clearly define your enemy;
2. Face reality – for politicians, this is never an easy thing to do;
3. Understand the social context and fabric of the operational environment;
4. Recognize who's in charge of the enemy's forces.

In Field of Fight General Flynn makes the case that we are losing this war with radical Islam because our nation's leadership has failed to develop a winning strategy. Further he opines that our current leaders lack the clarity of vision and moral certitude that understands American democracy is a "better way", that not all forms of human government are equal, and that there are principled reasons worth fighting for - the very basic of those being, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

I'll admit I'm concerned about the future of our country. As a husband and a father of five I wonder about the world we leaving for our children to inherit. I fear we have lost our moral compass thus creating a vacuum in which human depravity as exemplified by today's radical Islamists thrives.

Equally concerning to me is what happens when the pendulum swings the other way. Will we have the moral and principled leaders to check our indignation before it goes too far? When that heart rending atrocity which is sure to come finally pushes the American people to white hot wrath who will hold our own passions in check? In a nation where Judeo-Christian moral absolutes are an outdated notion what will keep us from becoming that which we most hate?

As I stated at the start of this review, today we are at a crossroads. Once again our nation needs principled men and women in positions of leadership who understand the Field of Fight as described by General Flynn and have the wisdom and courage to navigate this battlefield.

* * *

In summary, although I don't agree with everything written in this book I found it to be an educational read which will provided me with much food for thought over the coming months. As a representative republic choosing good leadership requires that we as citizens understand the problems and challenges we face as a nation. Today radical Islam is one of those challenges and General Flynn's book Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies gives a much needed perspective on the subject.

Terry M Petty on July 16, 2016
Flynn does great with military intelligence, needs more cultural intelligence

Gen Flynn has been in the news a lot lately. He apparently did not get on well in DC with his views on fighting terrorism. That is very relevant now as we are seeking better ways to fight ISIS and terror in general. I read his book today to learn what is on his mind. Flynn had a lot of experience starting in the 82nd Airborne and was almost always in intelligence work. Army intelligence is narrowly focused - where is the enemy, how many of them are there, how are they armed and what is the best way to destroy them. Undoubtedly he was good at this. However, that is not the kind of intelligence we need to defeat ISIS. Flynn's book shows no sign of cultural awareness, which is the context by which we must build intelligence about our opponent. In Iraq, he did learn the difference between who was Sunni and who was Shia but that was it. He shows no sign of any historical knowledge about these groups and how they think and live. In looking at Afghanistan, he seems unaware of the various clans and languages amongst different people. The 2 primary languages of Afghanistan are Pashto and Dari. Dari is essentially the same as Farsi, so the Persian influence has been strong in the country for a long time. Flynn seems totally unaware. Intelligence in his world is obtained from interrogation and captured documents. They are processed fast and tell him who their next target should be. This kind of work is not broad enough to give him a strategic background. He sees USA's challenges in the world as a big swath of enemies that are all connected and monolithic. North Korea, China, Iran, Russia, Syria, ISIS, and so forth. All need to be dealt with in a forceful manner. He never seems to think about matching resources with objective.

This monlithic view of our opponents is obviously wrong. Pres George W Bush tried it that way with the Axis of Evil. The 1950's Cold War was all built in fear of the monolithic Soviet Union and China. All these viewpoints were failures.
Flynn does not see it though. In the book, Flynn says invading Iraq in 2003 might have been the wrong choice. He would have invaded Iran. The full Neocon plan was for 7 countries in 5 years, right after knocking down Iraq, then we would do the same to Iran. I hope we have lost a lot of that hubris by now. But with poor vision by leaders like Flynn, we might get caught up again in this craziness.

To beat ISIS and Al Qaeda type groups we need patience and allies. We have to dry up the source of the terrorists that want to die. That will be done with a combination of cultural outreaches as well as armed force.
I am sure the Presidential candidates will both see that Flynn does not have that recipe. Where is a General that does? We have often made this mistake. Sixty Six years ago, we felt good that Gen Douglas MacArthur "knew the Oriental mind" and he would guid us to victory in Korea. That ended up as a disaster at the end of 1950. I think we are better off at working with leaders that understand the people that are trying to terrorize us. Generals don't develop those kinds of empathic abilities.

[Nov 19, 2016] The global revolt against elites is not just driven by revulsion and loss of jobs. The era of neoliberalism is over. The era of neonationalism has just begun.

It is the end of neoliberalism and the start of the era of authoritarian nationalism, and we all need to come together to stamp out the authoritarian part.
Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberalism has been disastrous for the Rust Belt, and I think we need to envision a new future for what was once the country's industrial heartland, now little more than its wasteland ..."
"... The question of what the many millions of often-unionized factory workers, SMEs which supplied them, family farmers (now fully industrialized and owned by corporations), and all those in secondary production and services who once supported them are to actually do in future to earn a decent living is what I believe should really be the subject of debate. ..."
"... two factors (or three, I guess) have contributed to this state of despair: offshoring and outsourcing, and technology. ..."
"... Medicaid, the CHIP program, the SNAP program and others (including NGOs and private charitable giving) may alleviate some of the suffering, but there is currently no substitute for jobs that would enable men and women to live lives of dignity – a decent place to live, good educations for their children, and a reasonable, secure pension in old age. Near-, at-, and below-minimum wage jobs devoid of any benefits don't allow any of these – at most, they make possible a subsistence life, one which requires continued reliance on public assistance throughout one's lifetime. ..."
"... In the U.S. (a neoliberal pioneer), poverty is closely linked with inequality and thus, a high GINI coefficient (near that of Turkey); where there is both poverty and a very unequal distribution of resources, this inevitably affects women (and children) and racial (and ethnic) minorities disproportionately. The economic system, racism, sexism, and xenophobia are not separate, stand-alone issues; they are profoundly intertwined. ..."
"... But really, if you think about it, slavery was defined as ownership, ownership of human capital (which was convertible into cash), and women in many societies throughout history were acquired as part of a financial transaction (either through purchase or through sale), and control of their capital (land, property [farmland, herds], valuables and later, money) often entrusted to a spouse or male guardian. All of these practices were economically-driven, even if the driver wasn't 21st-century capitalism. ..."
"... Let it be said at once: Trump's victory is primarily due to the explosion in economic and geographic inequality in the United States over several decades and the inability of successive governments to deal with this. ..."
"... Both the Clinton and the Obama administrations frequently went along with the market liberalization launched under Reagan and both Bush presidencies. At times they even outdid them: the financial and commercial deregulation carried out under Clinton is an example. What sealed the deal, though, was the suspicion that the Democrats were too close to Wall Street – and the inability of the Democratic media elite to learn the lessons from the Sanders vote. ..."
"... Regional inequality and globalization are the principal drivers in Japanese politics, too, along with a number of social drivers. ..."
"... The tsunami/nuclear meltdown combined with the Japanese government's uneven response is an apt metaphor for the impact of neo-liberalism/globalization on Japan; and on the US. I then explained that the income inequality in the US was far more severe than that of Japan and that many Americans did not support the export of jobs to China/Mexico. ..."
"... I contend that in some hypothetical universe the DNC and corrupt Clinton machine could have been torn out, root and branch, within months. As I noted, however, the decision to run HRC effectively unopposed was made several years, at least, before the stark evidence of the consequences of such a decision appeared in sharp relief with Brexit. ..."
"... Just as the decline of Virginia coal is due to global forces and corporate stupidity, so the decline of the rust belt is due to long (30 year plus) global forces and corporate decisions that predate the emergence of identity politics. ..."
"... It's interesting that the clear headed thinkers of the Marxist left, who pride themselves on not being distracted by identity, don't want to talk about these factors when discussing the plight of their cherished white working class. ..."
"... The construction 'white working class' is a useful governing tool that splits poor people and possible coalitions against the violence of capital. Now, discussion focuses on how some of the least powerful, most vulnerable people in the United States are the perpetrators of a great injustice against racialised and minoritised groups. Such commentary colludes in the pathologisation of the working class, of poor people. Victims are inculpated as the vectors of noxious, atavistic vices while the perpetrators get off with impunity, showing off their multihued, cosmopolitan C-suites and even proposing that their free trade agreements are a form of anti-racist solidarity. Most crucially, such analysis ignores the continuities between a Trumpian dystopia and our satisfactory present. ..."
"... Race-thinking forecloses the possibility of the coalitions that you imagine, and reproduces ideas of difference in ways that always, always privilege 'whiteness'. ..."
"... Historical examples of ethnic groups becoming 'white', how it was legal and political decision-making that defined the present racial taxonomy, suggest that groups can also lose or have their 'whiteness' threatened. CB has written here about how, in the UK at least, Eastern and Southern Europeans are racialised, and so refused 'whiteness'. JQ has written about southern white minoritisation. Many commentators have pointed that the 'white working class' vote this year looked a lot like a minority vote. ..."
"... Given the subordination of groups presently defined as 'white working class', I wonder if we could think beyond ethnic and epidermal definition to consider that the impossibility of the American Dream refuses these groups whiteness; i.e the hoped for privileges of racial superiority, much in the same way that African Americans, Latin Americans and other racialised minorities are denied whiteness. Can a poor West Virginian living in a toxified drugged out impoverished landscape really be defined as a carrier of 'white privilege'? ..."
"... I was first pointed at this by the juxtapositions of racialised working class and immigrants in Imogen Tyler's Revolting Subjects – Social Abjection and Resistance in Neoliberal Britain but this below is a useful short article that takes a historical perspective. ..."
"... In a 1990 essay, the late Yale political scientist Juan Linz observed that "aside from the United States, only Chile has managed a century and a half of relatively undisturbed constitutional continuity under presidential government - but Chilean democracy broke down in the 1970s." ..."
"... Linz offered several reasons why presidential systems are so prone to crisis. One particularly important one is the nature of the checks and balances system. Since both the president and the Congress are directly elected by the people, they can both claim to speak for the people. When they have a serious disagreement, according to Linz, "there is no democratic principle on the basis of which it can be resolved." The constitution offers no help in these cases, he wrote: "the mechanisms the constitution might provide are likely to prove too complicated and aridly legalistic to be of much force in the eyes of the electorate." ..."
"... In a parliamentary system, deadlocks get resolved. A prime minister who lacks the backing of a parliamentary majority is replaced by a new one who has it. If no such majority can be found, a new election is held and the new parliament picks a leader. It can get a little messy for a period of weeks, but there's simply no possibility of a years-long spell in which the legislative and executive branches glare at each other unproductively.' ..."
"... In any case, as I pointed out before, given that the US is increasingly an urbanised country, and the Electoral College was created to protect rural (slave) states, the grotesque electoral result we have just seen is likely to recur, which means more and more Presidents with dubious democratic legitimacy. Thanks to Bush (and Obama) these Presidents will have, at the same time, more and more power. ..."
"... To return to my original question and answer it myself: I'm forced to conclude that the Democrats did not specifically address the revitalization – rebirth of the Rust Belt in their 2016 platform. Its failure to do so carried a heavy cost that (nearly) all of us will be forced to pay. ..."
"... This sub seems to have largely fallen into the psychologically comfortable trap of declaring that everyone who voted against their preferred candidate is racist. It's a view pushed by the neoliberals, who want to maintain he stranglehold of identity politics over the DNC, and it makes upper-class 'intellectuals' feel better about themselves and their betrayal of the filthy, subhuman white underclass (or so they see it). ..."
"... You can scream 'those jobs are never coming back!' all you want, but people are never going to accept it. So either you come up with a genuine solution (instead of simply complaining that your opponents solutions won't work; you're partisan and biased, most voters won't believe you), you may as well resign yourself to fascism. Because whining that you don't know what to do won't stop people from lining up behind someone who says that they do have one, whether it'll work or not. Nobody trusts the elite enough to believe them when they say that jobs are never coming back. Nobody trusts the elite at all. ..."
"... You sound just like the Wiemar elite. No will to solve the problem, but filled with terror at the inevitable result of failing to solve the problem. ..."
"... One brutal fact tells us everything we need to know about the Democratic party in 2016: the American Nazi party is running on a platform of free health care to working class people. This means that the American Nazi Party is now running to the left of the Democratic party. ..."
"... Back in the 1930s, when the economy collapsed, fascists appeared and took power. Racists also came out of the woodwork, ditto misogynists. Fast forward 80 years, and the same thing has happened all over again. The global economy melted down in 2008 and fascists appeared promising to fix the problems that the pols in power wouldn't because they were too closely tied to the existing (failed) system. Along with the fascists, racists gained power because they were able to scapegoat minorities as the alleged cause of everyone's misery. ..."
"... None of this is surprising. We have seen it before. Whenever you get a depression in a modern industrial economy, you get scapegoating, racism, and fascists. We know what to do. The problem is that the current Democratic party isn't doing it. ..."
"... . It is the end of neoliberalism and the start of the era of authoritarian nationalism, and we all need to come together to stamp out the authoritarian part. ..."
"... This hammered people on the bottom, disproportionately African Americans and especially single AA mothers in America. It crushed the blue collar workers. It is wiping out the savings and careers of college-educated white collar workers now, at least, the ones who didn't go to the Ivy League, which is 90% of them. ..."
"... Calling Hillary an "imperfect candidate" is like calling what happened to the Titanic a "boating accident." Trump was an imperfect candidate. Why did he win? ..."
"... "The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians." ..."
"... "It is not an exaggeration to say that the Democratic Party is in shambles as a political force. Not only did it just lose the White House to a wildly unpopular farce of a candidate despite a virtually unified establishment behind it, and not only is it the minority party in both the Senate and the House, but it is getting crushed at historical record rates on the state and local levels as well. Surveying this wreckage last week, party stalwart Matthew Yglesias of Vox minced no words: `the Obama years have created a Democratic Party that's essentially a smoking pile of rubble.' ..."
"... "One would assume that the operatives and loyalists of such a weak, defeated and wrecked political party would be eager to engage in some introspection and self-critique, and to produce a frank accounting of what they did wrong so as to alter their plight. In the case of 2016 Democrats, one would be quite mistaken." ..."
"... Foreign Affairs ..."
"... "At the end of World War II, the United States and its allies decided that sustained mass unemployment was an existential threat to capitalism and had to be avoided at all costs. In response, governments everywhere targeted full employment as the master policy variable-trying to get to, and sustain, an unemployment rate of roughly four percent. The problem with doing so, over time, is that targeting any variable long enough undermines the value of the variable itself-a phenomenon known as Goodhart's law. (..) ..."
"... " what we see [today] is a reversal of power between creditors and debtors as the anti-inflationary regime of the past 30 years undermines itself-what we might call "Goodhart's revenge." In this world, yields compress and creditors fret about their earnings, demanding repayment of debt at all costs. Macro-economically, this makes the situation worse: the debtors can't pay-but politically, and this is crucial-it empowers debtors since they can't pay, won't pay, and still have the right to vote. ..."
"... "The traditional parties of the center-left and center-right, the builders of this anti-inflationary order, get clobbered in such a world, since they are correctly identified by these debtors as the political backers of those demanding repayment in an already unequal system, and all from those with the least assets. This produces anti-creditor, pro-debtor coalitions-in-waiting that are ripe for the picking by insurgents of the left and the right, which is exactly what has happened. ..."
"... "The global revolt against elites is not just driven by revulsion and loss and racism. It's also driven by the global economy itself. This is a global phenomenon that marks one thing above all. The era of neoliberalism is over. The era of neonationalism has just begun." ..."
"... They want what their families have had which is secure, paid, benefits rich, blue collar work. ..."
"... trump's campaign empathized with that feeling just by focusing on the factory jobs as jobs and not as anachronisms that are slowly fading away for whatever reason. Clinton might have been "correct", but these voters didn't want to hear "the truth". And as much as you can complain about how stupid they are for wanting to be lied to, that is the unfortunate reality you, and the Democratic party, have to accept. ..."
"... trump was offering a "bailout" writ large. Clinton had no (good) counteroffer. It was like the tables were turned. Romney was the one talking about "change" and "restructuring" while Obama was defending keeping what was already there. ..."
"... "Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course - the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check." http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html ..."
"... Clinton toward the end offered tariffs. But the trump campaign hit back with what turned out to be a pretty strong counter attack – ""How's she going to get tough on China?" said Trump economic advisor Peter Navarro on CNN's Quest Means Business. He notes that some of Clinton's economic advisors have supported TPP or even worked on it. "" ..."
Nov 19, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

dbk 11.18.16 at 6:41 pm 130

Bruce Wilder @102

The question is no longer her neoliberalism, but yours. Keep it or throw it away?

I wish this issue was being seriously discussed. Neoliberalism has been disastrous for the Rust Belt, and I think we need to envision a new future for what was once the country's industrial heartland, now little more than its wasteland (cf. "flyover zone" – a pejorative term which inhabitants of the zone are not too stupid to understand perfectly, btw).

The question of what the many millions of often-unionized factory workers, SMEs which supplied them, family farmers (now fully industrialized and owned by corporations), and all those in secondary production and services who once supported them are to actually do in future to earn a decent living is what I believe should really be the subject of debate.

As noted upthread, two factors (or three, I guess) have contributed to this state of despair: offshoring and outsourcing, and technology. The jobs that have been lost will not return, and indeed will be lost in ever greater numbers – just consider what will happen to the trucking sector when self-driving trucks hit the roads sometime in the next 10-20 years (3.5 million truckers; 8.7 in allied jobs).

Medicaid, the CHIP program, the SNAP program and others (including NGOs and private charitable giving) may alleviate some of the suffering, but there is currently no substitute for jobs that would enable men and women to live lives of dignity – a decent place to live, good educations for their children, and a reasonable, secure pension in old age. Near-, at-, and below-minimum wage jobs devoid of any benefits don't allow any of these – at most, they make possible a subsistence life, one which requires continued reliance on public assistance throughout one's lifetime.

In the U.S. (a neoliberal pioneer), poverty is closely linked with inequality and thus, a high GINI coefficient (near that of Turkey); where there is both poverty and a very unequal distribution of resources, this inevitably affects women (and children) and racial (and ethnic) minorities disproportionately. The economic system, racism, sexism, and xenophobia are not separate, stand-alone issues; they are profoundly intertwined.

I appreciate and espouse the goals of identity politics in all their multiplicity, and also understand that the institutions of slavery and sexism predated modern capitalist economies. But really, if you think about it, slavery was defined as ownership, ownership of human capital (which was convertible into cash), and women in many societies throughout history were acquired as part of a financial transaction (either through purchase or through sale), and control of their capital (land, property [farmland, herds], valuables and later, money) often entrusted to a spouse or male guardian. All of these practices were economically-driven, even if the driver wasn't 21st-century capitalism.

Also: Faustusnotes@100
For example Indiana took the ACA Medicaid expansion but did so with additional conditions that make it worse than in neighboring states run by democratic governors.

And what states would those be? IL, IA, MI, OH, WI, KY, and TN have Republican governors. Were you thinking pre-2014? pre-2012?

To conclude and return to my original point: what's to become of the Rust Belt in future? Did the Democratic platform include a New New Deal for PA, OH, MI, WI, and IA (to name only the five Rust Belt states Trump flipped)?

kidneystones 11.18.16 at 11:32 pm ( 135 )

Thomas Pickety

" Let it be said at once: Trump's victory is primarily due to the explosion in economic and geographic inequality in the United States over several decades and the inability of successive governments to deal with this.

Both the Clinton and the Obama administrations frequently went along with the market liberalization launched under Reagan and both Bush presidencies. At times they even outdid them: the financial and commercial deregulation carried out under Clinton is an example. What sealed the deal, though, was the suspicion that the Democrats were too close to Wall Street – and the inability of the Democratic media elite to learn the lessons from the Sanders vote. "

The Guardian

kidneystones 11.18.16 at 11:56 pm 137 ( 137 )

What should have been one comment came out as 4, so apologies on that front.

I spent the last week explaining the US election to my students in Japan in pretty much the terms outlined by Lilla and PIketty, so I was delighted to discover these two articles.

Regional inequality and globalization are the principal drivers in Japanese politics, too, along with a number of social drivers. It was therefore very easy to call for a show of hands to identify students studying here in Tokyo who are trying to decide whether or not to return to areas such as Tohoku to build their lives; or remain in Kanto/Tokyo – the NY/Washington/LA of Japan put crudely.

I asked students from regions close to Tohoku how they might feel if the Japanese prime minister decided not to visit the region following Fukushima after the disaster, or preceding an election. The tsunami/nuclear meltdown combined with the Japanese government's uneven response is an apt metaphor for the impact of neo-liberalism/globalization on Japan; and on the US. I then explained that the income inequality in the US was far more severe than that of Japan and that many Americans did not support the export of jobs to China/Mexico.

I then asked the students, particularly those from outlying regions whether they believe Japan needed a leader who would 'bring back Japanese jobs' from Viet Nam and China, etc. Many/most agreed wholeheartedly. I then asked whether they believed Tokyo people treated those outside Kanto as 'inferiors.' Many do.

Piketty may be right regarding Trump's long-term effects on income inequality. He is wrong, I suggest, to argue that Democrats failed to respond to Sanders' support. I contend that in some hypothetical universe the DNC and corrupt Clinton machine could have been torn out, root and branch, within months. As I noted, however, the decision to run HRC effectively unopposed was made several years, at least, before the stark evidence of the consequences of such a decision appeared in sharp relief with Brexit.

Faustusnotes 11.19.16 at 12:14 am 138

Also worth noting is that the rust belts problems are as old as Reagan – even the term dates from the 80s, the issue is so uncool that there is a dire straits song about it. Some portion of the decline of manufacturing there is due to manufacturers shifting to the south, where the anti Union states have an advantage. Also there has been new investment – there were no Japanese car companies in the us in the 1980s, so they are new job creators, yet insufficient to make up the losses. Just as the decline of Virginia coal is due to global forces and corporate stupidity, so the decline of the rust belt is due to long (30 year plus) global forces and corporate decisions that predate the emergence of identity politics.

It's interesting that the clear headed thinkers of the Marxist left, who pride themselves on not being distracted by identity, don't want to talk about these factors when discussing the plight of their cherished white working class. Suddenly it's not the forces of capital and the objective facts of history, but a bunch of whiny black trannies demanding safe spaces and protesting police violence, that drove those towns to ruin.

And what solutions do they think the dems should have proposed? It can't be welfare, since we got the ACA (watered down by representatives of the rust belt states). Is it, seriously, tariffs? Short of going to an election promising w revolution, what should the dems have done? Give us a clear answer so we can see what the alternative to identity politics is.

basil 11.19.16 at 5:11 am

Did this go through?
Thinking with WLGR @15, Yan @81, engels variously above,

The construction 'white working class' is a useful governing tool that splits poor people and possible coalitions against the violence of capital. Now, discussion focuses on how some of the least powerful, most vulnerable people in the United States are the perpetrators of a great injustice against racialised and minoritised groups. Such commentary colludes in the pathologisation of the working class, of poor people. Victims are inculpated as the vectors of noxious, atavistic vices while the perpetrators get off with impunity, showing off their multihued, cosmopolitan C-suites and even proposing that their free trade agreements are a form of anti-racist solidarity. Most crucially, such analysis ignores the continuities between a Trumpian dystopia and our satisfactory present.

I get that the tropes around race are easy, and super-available. Privilege confessing is very in vogue as a prophylactic against charges of racism. But does it threaten the structures that produce this abjection – either as embittered, immiserated 'white working class' or as threatened minority group? It is always *those* 'white' people, the South, the Working Class, and never the accusers some of whom are themselves happy to vote for a party that drowns out anti-war protesters with chants of USA! USA!

Race-thinking forecloses the possibility of the coalitions that you imagine, and reproduces ideas of difference in ways that always, always privilege 'whiteness'.

--

Historical examples of ethnic groups becoming 'white', how it was legal and political decision-making that defined the present racial taxonomy, suggest that groups can also lose or have their 'whiteness' threatened. CB has written here about how, in the UK at least, Eastern and Southern Europeans are racialised, and so refused 'whiteness'. JQ has written about southern white minoritisation. Many commentators have pointed that the 'white working class' vote this year looked a lot like a minority vote.

Given the subordination of groups presently defined as 'white working class', I wonder if we could think beyond ethnic and epidermal definition to consider that the impossibility of the American Dream refuses these groups whiteness; i.e the hoped for privileges of racial superiority, much in the same way that African Americans, Latin Americans and other racialised minorities are denied whiteness. Can a poor West Virginian living in a toxified drugged out impoverished landscape really be defined as a carrier of 'white privilege'?

I was first pointed at this by the juxtapositions of racialised working class and immigrants in Imogen Tyler's Revolting Subjects – Social Abjection and Resistance in Neoliberal Britain but this below is a useful short article that takes a historical perspective.

Why the Working Class was Never 'White'

The 'racialisation' of class in Britain has been a consequence of the weakening of 'class' as a political idea since the 1970s – it is a new construction, not an historic one.

.

This is not to deny the existence of working-class racism, or to suggest that racism is somehow acceptable if rooted in perceived socio-economic grievances. But it is to suggest that the concept of a 'white working class' needs problematizing, as does the claim that the British working-class was strongly committed to a post-war vision of 'White Britain' analogous to the politics which sustained the idea of a 'White Australia' until the 1960s.

Yes, old, settled neighbourhoods could be profoundly distrustful of outsiders – all outsiders, including the researchers seeking to study them – but, when it came to race, they were internally divided. We certainly hear working-class racist voices – often echoing stock racist complaints about over-crowding, welfare dependency or exploitative landlords and small businessmen, but we don't hear the deep pathological racial fears laid bare in the letters sent to Enoch Powell after his so-called 'Rivers of Blood' speech in 1968 (Whipple, 2009).

But more importantly, we also hear strong anti-racist voices loudly and clearly. At Wallsend on Tyneside, where the researchers were gathering their data just as Powell shot to notoriety, we find workers expressing casual racism, but we also find eloquent expressions of an internationalist, solidaristic perspective in which, crucially, black and white are seen as sharing the same working-class interests.

Racism is denounced as a deliberate capitalist strategy to divide workers against themselves, weakening their ability to challenge those with power over their lives (shipbuilding had long been a very fractious industry and its workers had plenty of experience of the dangers of internal sectarian battles).

To be able to mobilize across across racialised divisions, to have race wither away entirely would, for me, be the beginning of a politics that allowed humanity to deal with the inescapable violence of climate change and corporate power.

*To add to the bibliography – David R. Roediger, Elizabeth D. Esch – The Production of Difference – Race and the Management of Labour, and Denise Ferreira da Silva – Toward a Global Idea of Race. And I have just been pointed at Ian Haney-López, White By Law – The Legal Construction of Race.

Hidari 11.19.16 at 8:16 am 152

FWIW 'merica's constitutional democracy is going to collapse.

Some day - not tomorrow, not next year, but probably sometime before runaway climate change forces us to seek a new life in outer-space colonies - there is going to be a collapse of the legal and political order and its replacement by something else. If we're lucky, it won't be violent. If we're very lucky, it will lead us to tackle the underlying problems and result in a better, more robust, political system. If we're less lucky, well, then, something worse will happen .

In a 1990 essay, the late Yale political scientist Juan Linz observed that "aside from the United States, only Chile has managed a century and a half of relatively undisturbed constitutional continuity under presidential government - but Chilean democracy broke down in the 1970s."

Linz offered several reasons why presidential systems are so prone to crisis. One particularly important one is the nature of the checks and balances system. Since both the president and the Congress are directly elected by the people, they can both claim to speak for the people. When they have a serious disagreement, according to Linz, "there is no democratic principle on the basis of which it can be resolved." The constitution offers no help in these cases, he wrote: "the mechanisms the constitution might provide are likely to prove too complicated and aridly legalistic to be of much force in the eyes of the electorate."

In a parliamentary system, deadlocks get resolved. A prime minister who lacks the backing of a parliamentary majority is replaced by a new one who has it. If no such majority can be found, a new election is held and the new parliament picks a leader. It can get a little messy for a period of weeks, but there's simply no possibility of a years-long spell in which the legislative and executive branches glare at each other unproductively.'

http://www.vox.com/2015/3/2/8120063/american-democracy-doomed

Given that the basic point is polarisation (i.e. that both the President and Congress have equally strong arguments to be the the 'voice of the people') and that under the US appalling constitutional set up, there is no way to decide between them, one can easily imagine the so to speak 'hyperpolarisation' of a Trump Presidency as being the straw (or anvil) that breaks the camel's back.

In any case, as I pointed out before, given that the US is increasingly an urbanised country, and the Electoral College was created to protect rural (slave) states, the grotesque electoral result we have just seen is likely to recur, which means more and more Presidents with dubious democratic legitimacy. Thanks to Bush (and Obama) these Presidents will have, at the same time, more and more power.

Eventually something is going to break.

dbk 11.19.16 at 10:39 am ( 153 )

nastywoman @ 150
Just study the program of the 'Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschland' or the Program of 'Die Grünen' in Germany (take it through google translate) and you get all the answers you are looking for.

No need to run it through google translate, it's available in English on their site. [Or one could refer to the Green Party of the U.S. site/platform, which is very similar in scope and overall philosophy. (www.gp.org).]

I looked at several of their topic areas (Agricultural, Global, Health, Rural) and yes, these are general theses I would support. But they're hardly policy/project proposals for specific regions or communities – the Greens espouse "think global, act local", so programs and projects must be tailored to individual communities and regions.

To return to my original question and answer it myself: I'm forced to conclude that the Democrats did not specifically address the revitalization – rebirth of the Rust Belt in their 2016 platform. Its failure to do so carried a heavy cost that (nearly) all of us will be forced to pay.

Soullite 11.19.16 at 12:46 pm 156

This sub seems to have largely fallen into the psychologically comfortable trap of declaring that everyone who voted against their preferred candidate is racist. It's a view pushed by the neoliberals, who want to maintain he stranglehold of identity politics over the DNC, and it makes upper-class 'intellectuals' feel better about themselves and their betrayal of the filthy, subhuman white underclass (or so they see it).

I expect at this point that Trump will be reelected comfortably. If not only the party itself, but also most of its activists, refuse to actually change, it's more or less inevitable.

You can scream 'those jobs are never coming back!' all you want, but people are never going to accept it. So either you come up with a genuine solution (instead of simply complaining that your opponents solutions won't work; you're partisan and biased, most voters won't believe you), you may as well resign yourself to fascism. Because whining that you don't know what to do won't stop people from lining up behind someone who says that they do have one, whether it'll work or not. Nobody trusts the elite enough to believe them when they say that jobs are never coming back. Nobody trusts the elite at all.

You sound just like the Wiemar elite. No will to solve the problem, but filled with terror at the inevitable result of failing to solve the problem.

mclaren 11.19.16 at 2:37 pm 160

One brutal fact tells us everything we need to know about the Democratic party in 2016: the American Nazi party is running on a platform of free health care to working class people. This means that the American Nazi Party is now running to the left of the Democratic party.

Folks, we have seen this before. Let's not descend in backbiting and recriminations, okay? We've got some commenters charging that other commenters are "mansplaining," meanwhile we've got other commenters claiming that it's economics and not racism/misogyny. It's all of the above.

Back in the 1930s, when the economy collapsed, fascists appeared and took power. Racists also came out of the woodwork, ditto misogynists. Fast forward 80 years, and the same thing has happened all over again. The global economy melted down in 2008 and fascists appeared promising to fix the problems that the pols in power wouldn't because they were too closely tied to the existing (failed) system. Along with the fascists, racists gained power because they were able to scapegoat minorities as the alleged cause of everyone's misery.

None of this is surprising. We have seen it before. Whenever you get a depression in a modern industrial economy, you get scapegoating, racism, and fascists. We know what to do. The problem is that the current Democratic party isn't doing it.

Instead, what we're seeing is a whirlwind of finger-pointing from the Democratic leadership that lost this election and probably let the entire New Deal get rolled back and wiped out. Putin is to blame! Julian Assange is to blame! The biased media are to blame! Voter suppression is to blame! Bernie Sanders is to blame! Jill Stein is to blame! Everyone and anyone except the current out-of-touch influence-peddling elites who currently have run the Democratic party into the ground.

We need the feminists and the black lives matter groups and we also need the green party people and the Bernie Sanders activists. But everyone has to understand that this is not an isolated event. Trump did not just happen by accident. First there was Greece, then there was Brexit, then there was Trump, next it'll be Renzi losing the referendum in Italy and a constitutional crisis there, and after that, Marine Le Pen in France is going to win the first round of elections. (Probably not the presidency, since all the other French parties will band together to stop her, but the National Front is currently polling at 40% of all registered French voters.) And Marine LePen is the real deal, a genuine full-on out-and-out fascist. Not a closet fascist like Steve Bannon, LePen is the full monty with everything but a Hugo Boss suit and the death's heads on the cap.

Does anyone notice a pattern here?

This is an international movement. It is sweeping the world . It is the end of neoliberalism and the start of the era of authoritarian nationalism, and we all need to come together to stamp out the authoritarian part.

Feminists, BLM, black bloc anarchiest anti-globalists, Sandernistas, and, yes, the former Hillary supporters. Because it not just a coincidence that all these things are happening in all these countries at the same time. The bottom 90% of the population in the developed world has been ripped off by a managerial and financial and political class for the last 30 years and they have all noticed that while the world GDP was skyrocketing and international trade agreements were getting signed with zero input from the average citizen, a few people were getting very very rich but nobody else was getting anything.

This hammered people on the bottom, disproportionately African Americans and especially single AA mothers in America. It crushed the blue collar workers. It is wiping out the savings and careers of college-educated white collar workers now, at least, the ones who didn't go to the Ivy League, which is 90% of them.

And the Democratic party is so helpless and so hopeless that it is letting the American Nazi Party run to the left of them on health care, fer cripes sake! We are now in a situation where the American Nazi Party is advocating single-payer nationalized health care, while the former Democratic presidential nominee who just got defeated assured everyone that single-payer "will never, ever happen."

C'mon! Is anyone surprised that Hillary lost? Let's cut the crap with the "Hillary was a flawed candidate" arguments. The plain fact of the matter is that Hillary was running mainly on getting rid of the problems she and her husband created 25 years ago. Hillary promised criminal justice reform and Black Lives Matter-friendly policing policies - and guess who started the mass incarceration trend and gave speeches calling black kids "superpredators" 20 years ago? Hillary promised to fix the problems with the wretched mandate law forcing everyone to buy unaffordable for-profit private insurance with no cost controls - and guess who originally ran for president in 2008 on a policy of health care mandates with no cost controls? Yes, Hillary (ironically, Obama's big surge in popularity as a candidate came when he ran against Hillary from the left, ridiculing helath care mandates). Hillary promises to reform an out-of-control deregulated financial system run amok - and guess who signed all those laws revoking Glass-Steagal and setting up the Securities Trading Modernization Act? Yes, Bill Clinton, and Hillary was right there with him cheering the whole process on.

So pardon me and lots of other folks for being less than impressed by Hillary's trustworthiness and honesty. Run for president by promising to undo the damage you did to the country 25 years ago is (let say) a suboptimal campaign strategy, and a distinctly suboptimal choice of presidential candidate for a party in the same sense that the Hiroshima air defense was suboptimal in 1945.

Calling Hillary an "imperfect candidate" is like calling what happened to the Titanic a "boating accident." Trump was an imperfect candidate. Why did he win?

Because we're back in the 1930s again, the economy has crashed hard and still hasn't recovered (maybe because we still haven't convened a Pecora Commission and jailed a bunch of the thieves, and we also haven't set up any alphabet government job programs like the CCC) so fascists and racists and all kinds of other bottom-feeders are crawling out of the political woodwork to promise to fix the problems that the Democratic party establishment won't.
Rule of thumb: any social or political or economic writer virulently hated by the current Democratic party establishment is someone we should listen to closely right now.

Cornel West is at the top of the current Democratic establishment's hate list, and he has got a great article in The Guardian that I think is spot-on:

"The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians."

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/17/american-neoliberalism-cornel-west-2016-election

Glenn Greenwald is another writer who has been showered with more hate by the Democratic establishment recently than even Trump or Steve Bannon, so you know Greenwald is saying something important. He has a great piece in The Intercept on the head-in-the-ground attitude of Democratic elites toward their recent loss:

"It is not an exaggeration to say that the Democratic Party is in shambles as a political force. Not only did it just lose the White House to a wildly unpopular farce of a candidate despite a virtually unified establishment behind it, and not only is it the minority party in both the Senate and the House, but it is getting crushed at historical record rates on the state and local levels as well. Surveying this wreckage last week, party stalwart Matthew Yglesias of Vox minced no words: `the Obama years have created a Democratic Party that's essentially a smoking pile of rubble.'

"One would assume that the operatives and loyalists of such a weak, defeated and wrecked political party would be eager to engage in some introspection and self-critique, and to produce a frank accounting of what they did wrong so as to alter their plight. In the case of 2016 Democrats, one would be quite mistaken."

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/18/the-stark-contrast-between-the-gops-self-criticism-in-2012-and-the-democrats-blame-everyone-else-posture-now/

Last but far from least, Scottish economist Mark Blyth has what looks to me like the single best analysis of the entire global Trump_vs_deep_state tidal wave in Foreign Affairs magazine:

"At the end of World War II, the United States and its allies decided that sustained mass unemployment was an existential threat to capitalism and had to be avoided at all costs. In response, governments everywhere targeted full employment as the master policy variable-trying to get to, and sustain, an unemployment rate of roughly four percent. The problem with doing so, over time, is that targeting any variable long enough undermines the value of the variable itself-a phenomenon known as Goodhart's law. (..)

" what we see [today] is a reversal of power between creditors and debtors as the anti-inflationary regime of the past 30 years undermines itself-what we might call "Goodhart's revenge." In this world, yields compress and creditors fret about their earnings, demanding repayment of debt at all costs. Macro-economically, this makes the situation worse: the debtors can't pay-but politically, and this is crucial-it empowers debtors since they can't pay, won't pay, and still have the right to vote.

"The traditional parties of the center-left and center-right, the builders of this anti-inflationary order, get clobbered in such a world, since they are correctly identified by these debtors as the political backers of those demanding repayment in an already unequal system, and all from those with the least assets. This produces anti-creditor, pro-debtor coalitions-in-waiting that are ripe for the picking by insurgents of the left and the right, which is exactly what has happened.

"In short, to understand the election of Donald Trump we need to listen to the trumpets blowing everywhere in the highly indebted developed countries and the people who vote for them.

"The global revolt against elites is not just driven by revulsion and loss and racism. It's also driven by the global economy itself. This is a global phenomenon that marks one thing above all. The era of neoliberalism is over. The era of neonationalism has just begun."

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2016-11-15/global-Trump_vs_deep_state

efcdons 11.19.16 at 3:07 pm 161 ( 161 )

Faustusnotes @147

You don't live here, do you? I'm really asking a genuine question because the way you are framing the question ("SPECIFICS!!!!!!) suggests you don't. (Just to show my background, born and raised in Australia (In the electoral division of Kooyong, home of Menzies) but I've lived in the US since 2000 in the midwest (MO, OH) and currently in the south (GA))

If this election has taught us anything it's no one cared about "specifics". It was a mood, a feeling which brought trump over the top (and I'm not talking about the "average" trump voter because that is meaningless. The average trunp voter was a republican voter in the south who the Dems will never get so examining their motivations is immaterial to future strategy. I'm talking about the voters in the Upper Midwest from places which voted for Obama twice then switched to trump this year to give him his margin of victory).

trump voters have been pretty clear they don't actually care about the way trump does (or even doesn't) do what he said he would do during the campaign. It was important to them he showed he was "with" people like them. They way he did that was partially racialized (law and order, islamophobia) but also a particular emphasis on blue collar work that focused on the work. Unfortunately these voters, however much you tell them they should suck it up and accept their generations of familial experience as relatively highly paid industrial workers (even if it is something only their fathers and grandfathers experienced because the factories were closing when the voters came of age in the 80s and 90s) is never coming back and they should be happy to retrain as something else, don't want it. They want what their families have had which is secure, paid, benefits rich, blue collar work.

trump's campaign empathized with that feeling just by focusing on the factory jobs as jobs and not as anachronisms that are slowly fading away for whatever reason. Clinton might have been "correct", but these voters didn't want to hear "the truth". And as much as you can complain about how stupid they are for wanting to be lied to, that is the unfortunate reality you, and the Democratic party, have to accept.

The idea they don't want "government help" is ridiculous. They love the government. They just want the government to do things for them and not for other people (which unfortunately includes blah people but also "the coasts", "sillicon valley", etc.). Obama won in 2008 and 2012 in part due to the auto bailout.

trump was offering a "bailout" writ large. Clinton had no (good) counteroffer. It was like the tables were turned. Romney was the one talking about "change" and "restructuring" while Obama was defending keeping what was already there.

"Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course - the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check."
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html

So yes. Clinton needed vague promises. She needed something more than retraining and "jobs of the future" and "restructuring". She needed to show she was committed to their way of life, however those voters saw it, and would do something, anything, to keep it alive. trump did that even though his plan won't work. And maybe he'll be punished for it. In 4 years. But in the interim the gop will destroy so many things we need and rely on as well as entrench their power for generations through the Supreme Court.

But really, it was hard for Clinton to be trusted to act like she cared about these peoples' way of life because she (through her husband fairly or unfairly) was associated with some of the larger actions and choices which helped usher in the decline.

Clinton toward the end offered tariffs. But the trump campaign hit back with what turned out to be a pretty strong counter attack – ""How's she going to get tough on China?" said Trump economic advisor Peter Navarro on CNN's Quest Means Business. He notes that some of Clinton's economic advisors have supported TPP or even worked on it. ""

http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/11/news/economy/hillary-clinton-trade/

[Nov 19, 2016] Steve Bannon Interviewed Its About Americans Not Getting disposed

Notable quotes:
"... " Like [Andrew] Jackson's populism, we're going to build an entirely new political movement ," he says. "It's everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I'm the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up. We're just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks . It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution - conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement." ..."
"... Nobody in the Democratic party listened to his speeches, so they had no idea he was delivering such a compelling and powerful economic message. He shows up 3.5 hours late in Michigan at 1 in the morning and has 35,000 people waiting in the cold. When they got [Clinton] off the donor circuit she went to Temple University and they drew 300 or 400 kids." ..."
"... Bannon on Murdoch: "Rupert is a globalist and never understood Trump" ..."
"... " The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f-ed over . If we deliver-" by "we" he means the Trump White House "-we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years. That's what the Democrats missed, they were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about ." ..."
"... ... I'd say, IMO, Steve Bannon is more than an excellent choice for President Trump's team ... Bannon's education, business, work and military experience speaks highly of his abilities ... I wish the MSM would stop labelling him a white nationalist and concentrate on his successful accomplishments and what he could contribute to Trump's cabinet. ..."
Nov 19, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
Bannon next discusses the "battle line" inside America's great divide.

He absolutely - mockingly - rejects the idea that this is a racial line. "I'm not a white nationalist, I'm a nationalist. I'm an economic nationalist, " he tells me. " The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f-ed over . If we deliver-" by "we" he means the Trump White House "-we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years. That's what the Democrats missed, they were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about ."

Bannon's vision: an "entirely new political movement", one which drives the conservatives crazy. As to how monetary policy will coexist with fiscal stimulus, Bannon has a simple explanation: he plans to "rebuild everything" courtesy of negative interest rates and cheap debt throughout the world. Those rates may not be negative for too long.

" Like [Andrew] Jackson's populism, we're going to build an entirely new political movement ," he says. "It's everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I'm the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up. We're just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks . It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution - conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement."

How Bannon describes Trump: " an ideal vessel"

It is less than obvious how Bannon, now the official strategic brains of the Trump operation, syncs with his boss, famously not too strategic. When Bannon took over the campaign from Paul Manafort, there were many in the Trump circle who had resigned themselves to the inevitability of the candidate listening to no one . But here too was a Bannon insight: When the campaign seemed most in free fall or disarray, it was perhaps most on target. While Clinton was largely absent from the campaign trail and concentrating on courting her donors, Trump - even after the leak of the grab-them-by-the-pussy audio - was speaking to ever-growing crowds of thirty-five or forty thousand. "He gets it, he gets it intuitively," says Bannon, perhaps still surprised he has found such an ideal vessel. "You have probably the greatest orator since William Jennings Bryan, coupled with an economic populist message and two political parties that are so owned by the donors that they don't speak to their audience. But he speaks in a non-political vernacular, he communicates with these people in a very visceral way. Nobody in the Democratic party listened to his speeches, so they had no idea he was delivering such a compelling and powerful economic message. He shows up 3.5 hours late in Michigan at 1 in the morning and has 35,000 people waiting in the cold. When they got [Clinton] off the donor circuit she went to Temple University and they drew 300 or 400 kids."

Bannon on Murdoch: "Rupert is a globalist and never understood Trump"

At that moment, as we talk, there's a knock on the door of Bannon's office, a temporary, impersonal, middle-level executive space with a hodgepodge of chairs for constant impromptu meetings. Sen. Ted Cruz, once the Republican firebrand, now quite a small and unassuming figure, has been waiting patiently for a chat and Bannon excuses himself for a short while. It is clear when we return to our conversation that it is not just the liberal establishment that Bannon feels he has triumphed over, but the conservative one too - not least of all Fox News and its owners, the Murdochs. "They got it more wrong than anybody," he says. " Rupert is a globalist and never understood Trump. To him, Trump is a radical. Now they'll go centrist and build the network around Megyn Kelly." Bannon recounts, with no small irony, that when Breitbart attacked Kelly after her challenges to Trump in the initial Republican debate, Fox News chief Roger Ailes - whom Bannon describes as an important mentor, and who Kelly's accusations of sexual harassment would help topple in July - called to defend her. Bannon says he warned Ailes that Kelly would be out to get him too .

Finally, Bannon on how he sees himself in the administration:

Bannon now becomes part of a two-headed White House political structure, with Reince Priebus - in and out of Bannon's office as we talk - as chief of staff, in charge of making the trains run on time, reporting to the president, and Bannon as chief strategist, in charge of vision, goals, narrative and plan of attack, reporting to the president too. Add to this the ambitions and whims of the president himself, and the novel circumstance of one who has never held elective office, the agenda of his highly influential family and the end runs of a party significant parts of which were opposed to him, and you have quite a complex court that Bannon will have to finesse to realize his reign of the working man and a trillion dollars in new spending.

"I am," he says, with relish, "Thomas Cromwell in the court of the Tudors."

Life of Illusion nibiru Nov 18, 2016 2:32 PM ,
now that is direct with truth

" The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f-ed over . If we deliver-" by "we" he means the Trump White House "-we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years. That's what the Democrats missed, they were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about ."

Deathrips Life of Illusion Nov 18, 2016 2:34 PM ,
William Jennings Bryan!!!! Bonus Points.

http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1876-1900/william-jennings-bryan-cro...

Read cross of gold about bimetalism. Gold AND Silver

PrayingMantis wildbad Nov 18, 2016 3:51 PM ,
... I'd say, IMO, Steve Bannon is more than an excellent choice for President Trump's team ... Bannon's education, business, work and military experience speaks highly of his abilities ... I wish the MSM would stop labelling him a white nationalist and concentrate on his successful accomplishments and what he could contribute to Trump's cabinet.

........ from wiki ...

Stephen Kevin Bannon was born on November 27, 1953, in Norfolk, Virginia into a working-class, Irish Catholic, pro-Kennedy, pro-union family of Democrats. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1976 and holds a master's degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University. In 1983, Bannon received an M.B.A. degree with honors from Harvard Business School.

Bannon was an officer in the United States Navy, serving on the destroyer USS Paul F. Foster as a Surface Warfare Officer in the Pacific Fleet and stateside as a special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon.

After his military service, Bannon worked at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker in the Mergers & Acquisitions Department. In 1990, Bannon and several colleagues from Goldman Sachs launched Bannon & Co., a boutique investment bank specializing in media. Through Bannon & Co., Bannon negotiated the sale of Castle Rock Entertainment to Ted Turner. As payment, Bannon & Co. accepted a financial stake in five television shows, including Seinfeld. Société Générale purchased Bannon & Co. in 1998.

In 1993, while still managing Bannon & Co., Bannon was made acting director of Earth-science research project Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona. Under Bannon, the project shifted emphasis from researching space exploration and colonization towards pollution and global warming. He left the project in 1995.

After the sale of Bannon & Co., Bannon became an executive producer in the film and media industry in Hollywood, California. He was executive producer for Julie Taymor's 1999 film Titus. Bannon became a partner with entertainment industry executive Jeff Kwatinetz at The Firm, Inc., a film and television management company. In 2004, Bannon made a documentary about Ronald Reagan titled In the Face of Evil. Through the making and screening of this film, Bannon was introduced to Peter Schweizer and publisher Andrew Breitbart. He was involved in the financing and production of a number of films, including Fire from the Heartland: The Awakening of the Conservative Woman, The Undefeated (on Sarah Palin), and Occupy Unmasked. Bannon also hosts a radio show (Breitbart News Daily) on a Sirius XM satellite radio channel.

Bannon is also executive chairman and co-founder of the Government Accountability Institute, where he helped orchestrate the publication of the book Clinton Cash. In 2015, Bannon was ranked No. 19 on Mediaite's list of the "25 Most Influential in Political News Media 2015".

Bannon convinced Goldman Sachs to invest in a company known as Internet Gaming Entertainment. Following a lawsuit, the company rebranded as Affinity Media and Bannon took over as CEO. From 2007 through 2011, Bannon was chairman and CEO of Affinity Media.

Bannon became a member of the board of Breitbart News. In March 2012, after founder Andrew Breitbart's death, Bannon became executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, the parent company of Breitbart News. Under his leadership, Breitbart took a more alt-right and nationalistic approach towards its agenda. Bannon declared the website "the platform for the alt-right" in 2016. Bannon identifies as a conservative. Speaking about his role at Breitbart, Bannon said: "We think of ourselves as virulently anti-establishment, particularly 'anti-' the permanent political class."

The New York Times described Breitbart News under Bannon's leadership as a "curiosity of the fringe right wing", with "ideologically driven journalists", that is a source of controversy "over material that has been called misogynist, xenophobic and racist." The newspaper also noted how Breitbart was now a "potent voice" for Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

Escrava Isaura The Saint Nov 18, 2016 6:11 PM ,

Bannon: " The globalists gutted the American working class ..the Democrats were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about ."

Well said. Couldn't agree more.

Bannon: " Like [Andrew] Jackson's populism, we're going to build an entirely new political movement I'm the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan.

Dear Mr. Bannon, it has to be way more than $1trillion in 10 years. Obama's $831 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) didn't make up the difference for all the job lost in 2007/08. Manufacturing alone lost about 9 million jobs since 1979, when it peaked.

Trump needs to go Ronald Reagan 180% deficit spending. If Trump runs 100% like Obama, Trump will fail as well.

[Nov 19, 2016] The Anti-Democratic Heart of Populism by Andrés Velasco

The author mixes the notion of populism as a social protest against the excesses of the rule of the current oligarchy, which enpoverish common people, with neofascism and far right nationalism, which are now popular forms of expression of this protest
Nov 19, 2016 | www.project-syndicate.org

SANTIAGO – Many of the men and women who turned out for the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund in early October were saying something like this: "Imagine if the Republicans had nominated someone with the same anti-trade views as Trump, minus the insults and the sexual harassment. A populist protectionist would be headed to the White House."

The underlying view is that rising populism on the right and the left, both in the United States and in Europe, is a straightforward consequence of globalization and its unwanted effects: lost jobs and stagnant middle-class incomes. Davos men and women hate this conclusion, but they have embraced it with all the fervor of new converts.

Yet there is an alternative – and more persuasive – view: while economic stagnation helps push upset voters into the populist camp, bad economics is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for bad politics. On the contrary, argues Princeton political scientist Jan-Werner Mueller in his new book : populism is a "permanent shadow" on representative democracy.

Populism is not about taxation (or jobs or income inequality). It is about representation – who gets to speak for the people and how.

Advocates of democracy make some exalted claims on its behalf. As Abraham Lincoln put it at Gettysburg , it is "government of the people, by the people, for the people." But modern representative democracy – or any democracy, for that matter – inevitably falls short of these claims. Voting in an election every four years for candidates chosen by party machines is not exactly what Lincoln's lofty words call to mind.

What populists offer, Mueller says, is to fulfill what the Italian democratic theorist Norberto Bobbio calls the broken promises of democracy. Populists speak and act, claims Mueller, " as if the people could develop a singular judgment,... as if the people were one,... as if the people, if only they empowered the right representatives, could fully master their fates."

Populism rests on a toxic triad: denial of complexity, anti-pluralism, and a crooked version of representation.

Most of us believe that social choices (Build more schools or hospitals? Stimulate or discourage international trade? Liberalize or restrict abortion?) are complex, and that the existence of a plurality of views about what to do is both natural and legitimate. Populists deny this. As Ralf Dahrendorf once put it, populism is simple; democracy is complex. To populists, there is only one right view – that of the people.

If so, the complex mechanisms of liberal democracy, with its emphasis on delegation and representation, are all unnecessary. No need for parliaments endlessly debating: the unitary will of the people can easily be expressed in a single vote. Hence populists' love affair with plebiscites and referenda. Brexit, anyone?

And not just anyone can represent the people. The claim is to exclusive representation. Remember Trump's boast in his address to the Republican National Convention: "I alone can fix it."

Politics is always about morality, Aristotle told us. But populists favor what Mueller calls a particular moralistic interpretation of politics . Those who hold the right view about the world are moral; the rest are immoral, lackeys of a corrupt elite. That was exactly the rhetoric of the late Venezuelan ruler Hugo Chávez. When that failed, and when Chávez's sank his country's economy, there was always US imperialism to blame. So populism is a kind of identity politics. It is always us against them .

Viewed in this light, populism is not a useful corrective to a democracy captured by technocrats and elites, as Marine Le Pen, Rafael Correa, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, or assorted Western intellectuals want you to believe. On the contrary, it is profoundly anti-democratic, and hence a threat to democracy itself.

What is to be done? My take (the prescription is my own, not Mueller's) is that democrats must (and can) beat populists at their own game. The toxic triad can become salutary.

First, acknowledge complexity. The only thing that upsets voters as much as being lied to is being treated like babies. People who lead challenging lives know that the world is complex. They do not mind being told that. They appreciate being spoken to as the grownups they are.

Second, do not treat diversity of views and identities as a problem calling for a technocratic solution. Rather, make respect for such diversity a profoundly moral feature of society. The fact that we are not all the same and we can still get along is a tremendous democratic achievement. Make the case for it. And do not fall for the tired cliché that reason is for democrats and emotion is for populists. Make the case for pluralistic democracy in a way that inspires and stirs emotion.

Third, defend – and update – representation. Leave delegation to complex technical matters. Take advantage of modern technologies to bring other choices – particularly those having to do with the fabric of daily life – closer to voters. Tighten campaign finance laws, regulate lobbying better, and enforce affirmative-action measures to ensure that representatives are of the people and work for the people.

These measures alone will not ensure that all of democracy's broken promises are fulfilled. But we cannot expect a single set of simple actions to solve a complex problem. Nor can we believe that we alone can fix it.

If we believed that, we would be populists. For the sake of democracy, that is precisely what we should not be.

Andrés Velasco, a former presidential candidate and finance minister of Chile, is Professor of Professional Practice in International Development at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. He has taught at Harvard University and New York University, and is the author of numerous studies on international economics and development.

[Nov 18, 2016] Ellison is a dud, Bernie tweets support for Schumer theres nobody I know better prepared and more capable of leading our caucus than Chuck Schumer -- Well theres a good

Nov 18, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
chunder maker in that statement eh? Hope dashed! jo6pac November 17, 2016 at 3:13 pm

Lambert you were on to something when you mention his twitter account.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/11/17/the-skeletons-in-keith-ellisons-display-case/

I know my Muslim friends would never want to hurt anyone but this guy is as crazy as hillabillie.

cocomaan November 17, 2016 at 7:44 pm

Support for Syria and Libya interventions? Gross. No thanks.

Who else do we got? Wait this is it? WHAT?!!

uncle tungsten November 18, 2016 at 7:25 am

Ellison is a dud, Bernie tweets support for Schumer "there's nobody I know better prepared and more capable of leading our caucus than Chuck Schumer"!
Well there's a good chunder maker in that statement eh? Hope dashed!

There are no doubt many who are better informed, more progressive and principled, more remote from Wall Street and oligarchic capture than Chuck Schumer and Ellison. So there you have it – this is reform in the Democrats after a crushing defeat.

Vale democrats, and now the journey becomes arduous with these voices to smother hope. A new party is urgently needed (I know how difficult that is) and these voices of the old machine need to be ignored for the sake of sanity.

[Nov 18, 2016] The statecraft of neoliberalism: the elimination of political agency and responsibility for economic performance and outcomes by Bruce Wilder

Notable quotes:
"... The New Deal did not seek to overthrow the plutocracy, but it did seek to side-step and disable their dominance. ..."
"... It seems to me that while neoliberalism on the right was much the same old same old, the neoliberal turn on the left was marked by a measured abandonment of this struggle over the distribution of income between the classes. In the U.S., the Democrats gradually abandoned their populist commitments. In Europe, the labour and socialist parties gradually abandoned class struggle. ..."
"... When Obama came in, in 2008 amid the unfolding GFC, one of the most remarkable features of his economic team was the extent to which it conceded control of policy entirely to the leading money center banks. Geithner and Bernanke continued in power with Geithner moving from the New York Federal Reserve (where he served as I recall under a Chair from Goldman Sachs) to Treasury in the Obama Administration, but Geithner's Treasury was staffed from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Citibank. The crisis served to concentrate banking assets in the hands of the top five banks, but it seemed also to transfer political power entirely into their hands as well. Simon Johnson called it a coup. ..."
"... Here's the thing: the globalization and financialization of the economy from roughly 1980 drove both increasingly extreme distribution of income and de-industrialization. ..."
"... It was characteristic of neoliberalism that the policy, policy intention and policy consequences were hidden behind a rhetoric of markets and technological inevitability. Matt Stoller has identified this as the statecraft of neoliberalism: the elimination of political agency and responsibility for economic performance and outcomes. Globalization and financialization were just "forces" that just happened, in a meteorological economics. ..."
"... This was not your grandfather's Democratic Party and it was a Democratic Party that could aid the working class and the Rust Belt only within fairly severe and sometimes sharply conflicting constraints. ..."
"... No one in the Democratic Party had much institutional incentive to connect the dots, and draw attention to the acute conflicts over the distribution of income and wealth involved in financialization of the economy (including financialization as a driver of health care costs). And, that makes the political problem that much harder, because there are no resources for rhetorical and informational clarity or coherence. ..."
"... If Obama could not get a very big stimulus indeed thru a Democratic Congress long out of power, Obama wasn't really trying. And, well-chosen spending on pork barrel projects is popular and gets Congressional critters re-elected. So, again, if the stimulus is small and the Democratic Congress doesn't get re-elected, Obama isn't really trying. ..."
"... Again, it comes down to: by 2008, the Democratic Party is not a fit vehicle for populism, because it has become a neoliberal vehicle for giant banks. Turns out that makes a policy difference. ..."
Nov 18, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

bruce wilder 11.16.16 at 10:07 pm 30

At the center of Great Depression politics was a political struggle over the distribution of income, a struggle that was only decisively resolved during the War, by the Great Compression. It was at center of farm policy where policymakers struggled to find ways to support farm incomes. It was at the center of industrial relations politics, where rapidly expanding unions were seeking higher industrial wages. It was at the center of banking policy, where predatory financial practices were under attack. It was at the center of efforts to regulate electric utility rates and establish public power projects. And, everywhere, the clear subtext was a struggle between rich and poor, the economic royalists as FDR once called them and everyone else.

FDR, an unmistakeable patrician in manner and pedigree, was leading a not-quite-revolutionary politics, which was nevertheless hostile to and suspicious of business elites, as a source of economic pathology. The New Deal did not seek to overthrow the plutocracy, but it did seek to side-step and disable their dominance.

It seems to me that while neoliberalism on the right was much the same old same old, the neoliberal turn on the left was marked by a measured abandonment of this struggle over the distribution of income between the classes. In the U.S., the Democrats gradually abandoned their populist commitments. In Europe, the labour and socialist parties gradually abandoned class struggle.

In retrospect, though the New Deal did use direct employment as a means of relief to good effect economically and politically, it never undertook anything like a Keynesian stimulus on a Keynesian scale - at least until the War.

Where the New Deal witnessed the institution of an elaborate system of financial repression, accomplished in large part by imposing on the financial sector an explicitly mandated structure, with types of firms and effective limits on firm size and scope, a series of regulatory reforms and financial crises beginning with Carter and Reagan served to wipe this structure away.

When Obama came in, in 2008 amid the unfolding GFC, one of the most remarkable features of his economic team was the extent to which it conceded control of policy entirely to the leading money center banks. Geithner and Bernanke continued in power with Geithner moving from the New York Federal Reserve (where he served as I recall under a Chair from Goldman Sachs) to Treasury in the Obama Administration, but Geithner's Treasury was staffed from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Citibank. The crisis served to concentrate banking assets in the hands of the top five banks, but it seemed also to transfer political power entirely into their hands as well. Simon Johnson called it a coup.

I don't know what considerations guided Obama in choosing the size of the stimulus or its composition (as spending and tax cuts). Larry Summers was identified at the time as a voice of caution, not "gambling", but not much is known about his detailed reasoning in severely trimming Christina Romer's entirely conventional calculations. (One consideration might well have been worldwide resource shortages, which had made themselves felt in 2007-8 as an inflationary spike in commodity prices.) I do not see a case for connecting stimulus size policy to the health care reform. At the time the stimulus was proposed, the Administration had also been considering whether various big banks and other financial institutions should be nationalized, forced to insolvency or otherwise restructured as part of a regulatory reform.

Here's the thing: the globalization and financialization of the economy from roughly 1980 drove both increasingly extreme distribution of income and de-industrialization. Accelerating the financialization of the economy from 1999 on made New York and Washington rich, but the same economic policies and process were devastating the Rust Belt as de-industrialization. They were two aspects of the same complex of economic trends and policies. The rise of China as a manufacturing center was, in critical respects, a financial operation within the context of globalized trade that made investment in new manufacturing plant in China, as part of globalized supply chains and global brand management, (arguably artificially) low-risk and high-profit, while reinvestment in manufacturing in the American mid-west became unattractive, except as a game of extracting tax subsidies or ripping off workers.

It was characteristic of neoliberalism that the policy, policy intention and policy consequences were hidden behind a rhetoric of markets and technological inevitability. Matt Stoller has identified this as the statecraft of neoliberalism: the elimination of political agency and responsibility for economic performance and outcomes. Globalization and financialization were just "forces" that just happened, in a meteorological economics.

It is conceding too many good intentions to the Obama Administration to tie an inadequate stimulus to a Rube Goldberg health care reform as the origin story for the final debacle of Democratic neoliberal politics. There was a delicate balancing act going on, but they were not balancing the recovery of the economy in general so much as they were balancing the recovery from insolvency of a highly inefficient and arguably predatory financial sector, which was also not incidentally financing the institutional core of the Democratic Party and staffing many key positions in the Administration and in the regulatory apparatus.

This was not your grandfather's Democratic Party and it was a Democratic Party that could aid the working class and the Rust Belt only within fairly severe and sometimes sharply conflicting constraints.

No one in the Democratic Party had much institutional incentive to connect the dots, and draw attention to the acute conflicts over the distribution of income and wealth involved in financialization of the economy (including financialization as a driver of health care costs). And, that makes the political problem that much harder, because there are no resources for rhetorical and informational clarity or coherence.

bruce wilder 11.16.16 at 10:33 pm ( 31 )

The short version of my thinking on the Obama stimulus is this: Keynesian stimulus spending is a free lunch; it doesn't really matter what you spend money on up to a very generous point, so it seems ready-made for legislative log-rolling. If Obama could not get a very big stimulus indeed thru a Democratic Congress long out of power, Obama wasn't really trying. And, well-chosen spending on pork barrel projects is popular and gets Congressional critters re-elected. So, again, if the stimulus is small and the Democratic Congress doesn't get re-elected, Obama isn't really trying.

Again, it comes down to: by 2008, the Democratic Party is not a fit vehicle for populism, because it has become a neoliberal vehicle for giant banks. Turns out that makes a policy difference.

likbez 11.18.16 at 4:48 pm 121

bruce wilder 11.16.16 at 10:07 pm 30

Great comment. Simply great. Hat tip to the author !

Notable quotes:

"… The New Deal did not seek to overthrow the plutocracy, but it did seek to side-step and disable their dominance. …"

"… It seems to me that while neoliberalism on the right was much the same old same old, the neoliberal turn on the left was marked by a measured abandonment of this struggle over the distribution of income between the classes. In the U.S., the Democrats gradually abandoned their populist commitments. In Europe, the labour and socialist parties gradually abandoned class struggle. …"

"… When Obama came in, in 2008 amid the unfolding GFC, one of the most remarkable features of his economic team was the extent to which it conceded control of policy entirely to the leading money center banks. Geithner and Bernanke continued in power with Geithner moving from the New York Federal Reserve (where he served as I recall under a Chair from Goldman Sachs) to Treasury in the Obama Administration, but Geithner's Treasury was staffed from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Citibank. The crisis served to concentrate banking assets in the hands of the top five banks, but it seemed also to transfer political power entirely into their hands as well. Simon Johnson called it a coup. … "

"… Here's the thing: the globalization and financialization of the economy from roughly 1980 drove both increasingly extreme distribution of income and de-industrialization. …"

"… It was characteristic of neoliberalism that the policy, policy intention and policy consequences were hidden behind a rhetoric of markets and technological inevitability. Matt Stoller has identified this as the statecraft of neoliberalism: the elimination of political agency and responsibility for economic performance and outcomes. Globalization and financialization were just "forces" that just happened, in a meteorological economics. …"

"… This was not your grandfather's Democratic Party and it was a Democratic Party that could aid the working class and the Rust Belt only within fairly severe and sometimes sharply conflicting constraints. …"

"… No one in the Democratic Party had much institutional incentive to connect the dots, and draw attention to the acute conflicts over the distribution of income and wealth involved in financialization of the economy (including financialization as a driver of health care costs). And, that makes the political problem that much harder, because there are no resources for rhetorical and informational clarity or coherence. …"

"… If Obama could not get a very big stimulus indeed thru a Democratic Congress long out of power, Obama wasn't really trying. And, well-chosen spending on pork barrel projects is popular and gets Congressional critters re-elected. So, again, if the stimulus is small and the Democratic Congress doesn't get re-elected, Obama isn't really trying. …"

"… Again, it comes down to: by 2008, the Democratic Party is not a fit vehicle for populism, because it has become a neoliberal vehicle for giant banks. Turns out that makes a policy difference. …"

[Nov 16, 2016] President Obama Deserves an Oscar by Robert Weissberg

Pretty biting assessment ...
Notable quotes:
"... I can recall tales of insecure Eastern European Jewish immigrants pretending to be WASPS. ..."
"... To be blunt, Barack Obama was less "a president" than a talented actor playing at being presidential. ..."
"... Those of us who have encountered this deception are usually aware of its tell-tale signs, though, to be fair, it may have been diligently practiced for so long that it has become a "real" element of the perpetrator's core personality. For those unfamiliar with this deception, let me now offer a brief catalogue of these tactics. ..."
"... Central is the careful management of outward physical appearances. In theatrical terms, these are props and depending on circumstances, this might be a finely tailored suit, wingtip shoes, a crisp white shirt, a smart silk tie and all the rest that announce business-like competence. ..."
"... Mastering "white" language is equally critical and in the academy this includes everything from tossing around trendy terms, for example, "paradigmatic," to displaying what appears to be a mastering of disciplinary jargon. Recall how the Black Panthers seduced gullible whites with just a sprinkling of Marxist terminology. ..."
"... I recall one (white) colleague who gave a little speech praising a deeply flawed dissertation written by a black assistant professor up for tenure. He told the assembled committee that her dissertation reminded him of Newton's Principia Mathematica (can't make that stuff up). ..."
"... Obama as President repeatedly exhibits these characteristics. It is thus hardly accidental that he relies extensively on canned Teleprompter speeches. According to one compilation published in January 2013, Obama has used Teleprompters in 699 speeches during his first term in office. There is also his aversion to informal off-the-cuff discussions with the press and open mike who-knows-what-will-happen "Town Hall" meetings. Obama is also the first president I've ever seen who often favors a casual blue jacket monogrammed "President of the United States." ..."
"... I suspect that deep down Obama recognizes that almost everything is an act not unlike Eddy Murphy playing Professor Sherman Klump in The Nutty Professor . It is no wonder, then, that his academic records (particularly his SAT scores) are sealed and, perhaps even more important, many of his fellow college students and colleagues at the University of Chicago where he briefly taught constitutional law cannot recall him. It is hard to imagine Obama relishing the prospect of going head-to-head with his sharp-witted Chicago colleagues. ..."
"... As a mulatto raised by white grandparents in Hawaii, Obama is not a black American, with no cultural ties to black Americans and slavery, yet he later learned to throw out a black accent to fool the fools. As Stephen Colbert once observed, white Americans love Obama because he was raised the right way, by white people. That was intended as humor, but ..."
"... Obama has leased an ultra-expensive house in an exclusive neighborhood in DC just like the corrupt Bill Clinton prior to his multi-million dollar speaking and influence peddling efforts. Obama will not return to Chicago to help poor blacks, like Jimmy Carter did elsewhere after he left office. Obama doesn't need an Oscar, he got a Nobel Peace Prize for the same act. ..."
"... Congratulations on noticing what it takes to be a successful politician in ANY "Western" democracy. It doesn't matter if you are black, white, aquamarine or candy-striped, or whether you are a college professor, an "economist", or a "businessman". It's all bluff and acting. ..."
"... The single most critical element of a successful con is not the hucksters appearance, or mannerisms, or even the spiel, it is simply making the con something that the sucker wants to believe. ..."
"... I recognized Obama's type not from academia, but from corporate America. He was the token black higher up. He's smart enough not to obviously do something requiring termination (get drunk and harass a colleague at an office party, shred important document, etc.), and his mistakes can be blamed on team failures, so he gets "black guy's tenure"-a middle or upper management position after only a few years. ..."
"... This critique applies to almost every Presidential candidate, regardless of ethnicity. ..."
"... The most successful recent President was a former professional actor and thus well suited for the position. The latest President-elect is also a savvy media figure, and yet mocked for his obvious lack of intellectual heft. But in his case, he's not acting, it's reality TV. ..."
"... PS. Maybe some Jews around Trump are beginning to feel that China is the real danger to US power in the long run. So, what US should really do is patch things up with Russia for the time being, drive a wedge between China and Russia, and use Russia against China and then go after Russia. ..."
"... Really! Go after Russia? And how would you do that and why? What would "going after Russia" look like? What about the "horrific Rape of Russia" you spoke of? China and Russia have business to conduct, they're quite through with us, our dollar and our Fed. We'll be lucky if they allow us a piece of the action. Instead of Russia>China>Russia machinations, we might want to figure out strategies for doing some other business than patronizing our arms manufacturers. Hey, cap Jewish influence in the courts and business if you wish, but keeping the U.S. in an endless state of war, economic and otherwise is zero sum and worse for the little people. ..."
"... I've called him that for years. And Dubya was possibly our first "legacy" president: chosen entirely based on whom he's related to not on any individual qualities that would suit him for such a high office. Had Dubya been raised by regular people, he would have probably ended up as a hardware store manager. ..."
"... Amen to all. The whole deal is a fraud. All successful politicians are imposters, people who've mastered the art of deception. I'd go even further and say that the majority of "authority figures" are probably parasites and frauds to one degree or another. ..."
"... Overall, the current president has been a deception, a trivial self-absorbed person whose main concern has been himself turned outward onto issues of race and sexual orientation ..."
"... American politics at this level is fake. Everything is orchestrated, attire is handpicked, speeches are written by professionals and read off the teleprompter, questions from the public are actually from plants and rehearsed prior, armies of PR people are at work everywhere, journalists are just flunky propagandists, ..."
"... He will be the subject of future dissertations about the failure of the American political process and the influence of media and third parties like Soros. ..."
Nov 16, 2016 | www.unz.com
As the troubled Obama presidency winds down, the inevitable question is why so many people, including a few smart ones were so easily fooled. How did a man with such a fine pedigree-Columbia, Harvard-who sounded so brilliant pursue such political capital wasting and foolish policies as forcing schools to discipline students by racial quotas? Or obsessing over allowing the transgendered to choose any bathroom? And, of the utmost importance, how can we prevent another Obama?

I'll begin simply: Obama is an imposter, a man who has mastered the art of deception as a skilled actor deceives an audience though in the case of Obama, most of the audience refused to accept that this was all play-acting. Even after almost eight years of ineptitude, millions still want to believe that he's the genuine article-an authentically super-bright guy able to fix a flawed America. Far more is involved than awarding blacks the intellectual equivalent of diplomatic immunity.

When Obama first appeared on the political scene I immediately recognized him as an example of the "successful" black academic who rapidly advances up the university ladder despite minimal accomplishment. Tellingly, when I noted the paucity of accomplishment of these black academic over-achievers to trusted professorial colleagues, they agreed with my analysis adding that they themselves had seen several instances of this phenomenon, but admittedly failed to connect the dots.

Here's the academic version of an Obama. You encounter this black student who appears a liberal's affirmative action dream come true -- exceptionally articulate with no trace of a ghetto accent, well-dressed, personable (no angry "tude"), and at least superficially sufficient brain power to succeed even in demanding subjects. Matters begin splendidly, but not for long. Almost invariably, his or her performance on the first test or paper falls far below expectations. A research paper, for example was only "C" work (though you generously awarded it a "B") and to make matters worse, it exhibited a convoluted writing style, a disregard for logic, ineptly constructed references and similar defects. Nevertheless, you accepted the usual litany of student excuses -- his claim of over-commitment, the material was unfamiliar, and this was his first research paper and so on. A reprieve was granted.

But the unease grows stronger with the second exam or paper, often despite your helpful advice on how to do better. Reality grows depressing -- what you see is not what you get and lacks any reasonable feel-good explanation. The outwardly accomplished black student is not an Asian struggling with English or a clear-cut affirmation action admittee in over his head. That this student may have actually studied diligently and followed your advice only exacerbates the discomfort.

To repeat, the way to make sense out this troubling situation is to think of this disappointing black student as a talented actor who has mastered the role of "smart college student." He has the gift of mimicry, conceivably a talent rooted in evolutionary development among a people who often had to survive by their wits (adaptive behavior captured by the phrase "acting white" or "passing"). This gift is hardly limited to blacks. I can recall tales of insecure Eastern European Jewish immigrants pretending to be WASPS.

But what if the observer was unaware of it being only a theatrical performance and took the competence at face value? Disaster. Russell Crowe as the Nobel Prize winning John Nash in A Beautiful Mind might give a stunning performance as a brilliant economist, but he would not last a minute if he tried to pass himself off as the real thing at a Princeton economic department seminar. To be blunt, Barack Obama was less "a president" than a talented actor playing at being presidential.

Those of us who have encountered this deception are usually aware of its tell-tale signs, though, to be fair, it may have been diligently practiced for so long that it has become a "real" element of the perpetrator's core personality. For those unfamiliar with this deception, let me now offer a brief catalogue of these tactics.

Central is the careful management of outward physical appearances. In theatrical terms, these are props and depending on circumstances, this might be a finely tailored suit, wingtip shoes, a crisp white shirt, a smart silk tie and all the rest that announce business-like competence. Future college or foundation president here we come (Obama has clearly mastered this sartorial ploy). But for those seeking an appointment as a professor, this camouflage must be more casual but, whatever the choice, there cannot be any hint of "ghetto" style, i.e., no flashy jewelry, gold chains, purple "pimpish" suits, or anything else that even slightly hints of what blacks might consider authentic black attire.

Mastering "white" language is equally critical and in the academy this includes everything from tossing around trendy terms, for example, "paradigmatic," to displaying what appears to be a mastering of disciplinary jargon. Recall how the Black Panthers seduced gullible whites with just a sprinkling of Marxist terminology. Precisely citing a few obscure court cases or administrative directives can also do the trick. Further add certain verbal styles common among professors or peppering a presentation with correctly pronounced non-English words. I recall a talk by one black professor from the University of Chicago who wowed my colleagues by just using-and correctly so-a few Yiddish expressions.

Ironically, self-defined conservatives are especially vulnerable to these well-crafted performances. No doubt, like all good thinking liberals, they desperately want to believe that blacks are just as talented as whites so an Obama-like figure is merely the first installment of coming racial equality. The arrival of this long-awaited black also provides a great opportunity to demonstrate that being "conservative" does not certify one as a racist. Alas, this can be embarrassing and comical if over-done. I recall one (white) colleague who gave a little speech praising a deeply flawed dissertation written by a black assistant professor up for tenure. He told the assembled committee that her dissertation reminded him of Newton's Principia Mathematica (can't make that stuff up).

Alas, the deception usually unravels when the imposter confronts a complicated unstructured situation lacking a well-defined script, hardly surprising given the IQ test data indicate that blacks usually perform better on items reflecting social norms, less well on abstract, highly "g" loaded items. In academic job presentations, for example, a job candidate's intellectual limits often become apparent during the Q and A when pressed to wrestle with technical or logical abstractions that go beyond the initial well-rehearsed talk. Picture a job candidate who just finished reading a paper being asked whether the argument is falsifiable or how causality might be established? These can be killer questions that require ample quick footed intellectual dexterity and often bring an awkward silence as the candidate struggles to think on his feet (these responses may rightly be judged far more important than what is read from a paper). I recall one genuinely bewildered black job candidate who explained a complicated measurement choice with "my Ph.D. advisor, a past president of the American Political Science Association told me to do it this way."

Obama as President repeatedly exhibits these characteristics. It is thus hardly accidental that he relies extensively on canned Teleprompter speeches. According to one compilation published in January 2013, Obama has used Teleprompters in 699 speeches during his first term in office. There is also his aversion to informal off-the-cuff discussions with the press and open mike who-knows-what-will-happen "Town Hall" meetings. Obama is also the first president I've ever seen who often favors a casual blue jacket monogrammed "President of the United States."

Perhaps the best illustration of these confused, often rambling moments occurs when he offers impromptu commentary on highly charged, fast-breaking race-related incidents such as the Louis Henry Gates dustup in Cambridge , Mass ("the police acted stupidly") and the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown shootings. You could see his pained look as he struggles with being a "good race man" while simultaneously struggling to sort out murky legal issues. This is not the usual instances of politicians speaking evasively to avoid controversy; he was genuinely befuddled.

Similar signs of confused thinking can also be seen in other spontaneous remarks, the most famous example might be his comment about those Americans clinging to their guns and Bibles. What was he thinking? Did he forget that both gun and Bible ownership are constitutionally protected and the word "cling" in this context suggests mental illness? Woes to some impertinent reporter who challenged the President to clarify his oft-repeated "the wrong side of history" quip or explain the precise meaning of, "That's not who were are"? "Mr. President, can you enlighten us on how you know you are on the Right Side of History"?

I suspect that deep down Obama recognizes that almost everything is an act not unlike Eddy Murphy playing Professor Sherman Klump in The Nutty Professor . It is no wonder, then, that his academic records (particularly his SAT scores) are sealed and, perhaps even more important, many of his fellow college students and colleagues at the University of Chicago where he briefly taught constitutional law cannot recall him. It is hard to imagine Obama relishing the prospect of going head-to-head with his sharp-witted Chicago colleagues.

Further add his lack of a publication in the Harvard Law Review, a perk as the President of the Law Review (not Editor) and the credible evidence that his two autobiographies where ghost written after their initial rejection as unsuitable for publication. All and all, a picture emerges of an individual who knows he must fake it to convince others of his intellectual talents, and like a skilled actor he has spent years studying the role of "President." President Obama deserves an Academy award (which, of course would also be a step toward diversity, to boot) for his efforts.


Carlton Meyer says: • Website

November 16, 2016 at 5:31 am GMT • 300 Words

This is why I often referred to Obama as a "Pentagon spokesman." Did you know his proposed military budgets each year were on average higher than Bush or Reagan? People forget that is first objective as President was to close our torture camp in Cuba. He could have issued an Executive Order and have it closed in one day. DOJ aircraft could fly all the inmates away within two hours before any court could challenge that, if they dared. It remains open.

Yet when Congress refused to act to open borders wider, he issued an Executive Order to grant residency to five million illegals. And under Soros direction, he sent DoJ attack dogs after any state or city that questioned the right of men who want to use a ladies room.

As a mulatto raised by white grandparents in Hawaii, Obama is not a black American, with no cultural ties to black Americans and slavery, yet he later learned to throw out a black accent to fool the fools. As Stephen Colbert once observed, white Americans love Obama because he was raised the right way, by white people. That was intended as humor, but

Obama has leased an ultra-expensive house in an exclusive neighborhood in DC just like the corrupt Bill Clinton prior to his multi-million dollar speaking and influence peddling efforts. Obama will not return to Chicago to help poor blacks, like Jimmy Carter did elsewhere after he left office. Obama doesn't need an Oscar, he got a Nobel Peace Prize for the same act.


3.anon says:

November 16, 2016 at 5:34 am GMT • 100 Words

What to make of the Michael Eric Dysons and the Cornell Wests of the world ??
How do they rise up the ranks of academia , become darlings of talk shows and news panels , all the while dressed and speaking ghetto with zero talent or interest in appearing white . And zero academic competency ??


6.CCZ, November 16, 2016 at 6:08 am GMT

Our first affirmative action President? I have yet to hear that exact description, even in a nation with 60 million deplorable "racist" voters.

8.Tom Welsh, November 16, 2016 at 7:00 am GMT • 100 Words

Congratulations on noticing what it takes to be a successful politician in ANY "Western" democracy. It doesn't matter if you are black, white, aquamarine or candy-striped, or whether you are a college professor, an "economist", or a "businessman". It's all bluff and acting.

Why does anyone still find this surprising?

11.Alfa158, November 16, 2016 at 7:56 am GMT • 100 Words

The single most critical element of a successful con is not the hucksters appearance, or mannerisms, or even the spiel, it is simply making the con something that the sucker wants to believe. White people were desperate for a Magic Negro and they got one. Black people ended up suffering from deteriorating economics and exploding intramural murder rates.

12.whorefinder, November 16, 2016 at 8:02 am GMT • 300 Words

Strikes a chord with me, and with Clint Eastwood (recall the 2012 RNC, where Eastwood mocked Obama as an "empty chair").

I recognized Obama's type not from academia, but from corporate America. He was the token black higher up. He's smart enough not to obviously do something requiring termination (get drunk and harass a colleague at an office party, shred important document, etc.), and his mistakes can be blamed on team failures, so he gets "black guy's tenure"-a middle or upper management position after only a few years.

He then makes sure he shows up every weekday at 9am, but he's out the door at 5pm-and no weekends for him. He's there for "diversity" drives and is prominently featured on the company brochures, and might even be given an award or honorary title every few years to cover him, but he never brings in clients or moves business positively in anyway. But he's quick to take the boss up on the golfing trips. In short, he's realized he's there to be the black corporate shield, and that's all he does. He's a lazy token and fine with being lazy.

It's why Obama had little problem letting Pelosi/Reid/Bill Clinton do all the heavy lifting on Obamacare–not only was Obama out of his depth, he was just plain ol' fine with being out of his depth, because someone else would do it for him. So he went golfing instead.

This is also why that White House press conference where Bill Clinton took over for him halfway speaks volumes. Obama literally had no problem simply walking away from his presidential duties to go party-because someone else would do it for him, as they always had.

It's also why he seems so annoyed when asked about the race rioting going on as a result of his administration's actions. Hey, why do you think I gotta do anything? I just show up and people tell me I did a great job!

13.Ramona, November 16, 2016 at 8:04 am GMT

It's been said for years that Obama amounts to no more than a dignified talk show host. The observation has merit. Oscar-wise, though, only for ironic value.


15.Realist, November 16, 2016 at 9:50 am GMT • 100 Words

@Anon

"I think Obama is pretty smart if not genius. His mother was no dummy, and his father seems to have been pretty bright too, and there are smart blacks."

Ann Dunham had a PhD in anthropology from a run of the mill university where she literally studied women textile weaving in third world countries. Pure genius .right.


16.Fran Macadam, November 16, 2016 at 9:54 am GMT • 100 Words

This critique applies to almost every Presidential candidate, regardless of ethnicity. So few of them have been other than those playing a role assigned by their donors. The most successful recent President was a former professional actor and thus well suited for the position. The latest President-elect is also a savvy media figure, and yet mocked for his obvious lack of intellectual heft. But in his case, he's not acting, it's reality TV.


17.Jim Christian says:

November 16, 2016 at 9:59 am GMT • 200 Words
@Anon

PS. Maybe some Jews around Trump are beginning to feel that China is the real danger to US power in the long run. So, what US should really do is patch things up with Russia for the time being, drive a wedge between China and Russia, and use Russia against China and then go after Russia.

Really! Go after Russia? And how would you do that and why? What would "going after Russia" look like? What about the "horrific Rape of Russia" you spoke of? China and Russia have business to conduct, they're quite through with us, our dollar and our Fed. We'll be lucky if they allow us a piece of the action. Instead of Russia>China>Russia machinations, we might want to figure out strategies for doing some other business than patronizing our arms manufacturers. Hey, cap Jewish influence in the courts and business if you wish, but keeping the U.S. in an endless state of war, economic and otherwise is zero sum and worse for the little people.


20.timalex, November 16, 2016 at 11:58 am GMT

Americans voted for and elected Obama because it made them feel virtuous in their mind and in the eyes of the world. Obama has always been a psychopath. Psychopaths are good at lying and hiding things,even when Presidents.

21.The Alarmist , November 16, 2016 at 12:03 pm GMT

So, you're saying he was an affirmative action hire.


22.Anon, November 16, 2016 at 12:28 pm GMT

Yeah and every white person in a position of power and privilege is "authentically intelligent". America is a society run by and for phonies.

23.War for Blair Mountain, November 16, 2016 at 12:32 pm GMT • 100 Words

Barack Obama is a creation of the Cold War. His father was imported into the US through an anti-commie Cold War foreign student program for young Africans. Barack Obama's nonwhite Democratic Party Voting Bloc would not exist if the 1965 Immigration Reform Act had not been passed. The 1965 Immigration Reform Act was another creation of the anti-commie Cold War Crusade.

The anti-commie Cold War Crusade has been a Death sentence for The Historic Native Born White American Majority.

It is now time to rethink the Cold War .very long overdue..

24.AndrewR, November 16, 2016 at 12:55 pm GMT • 100 Words

@CCZ

I've called him that for years. And Dubya was possibly our first "legacy" president: chosen entirely based on whom he's related to not on any individual qualities that would suit him for such a high office. Had Dubya been raised by regular people, he would have probably ended up as a hardware store manager.

25.Rehmat, November 16, 2016 at 1:36 pm GMT • 100 Words

I think after wining Nobel Peace Award without achieving peace anywhere in the world – Obama deserve Oscar more than Nobel Prize for equating Holocaust as a religion with Christianity and Islam in his speech at the UNGA in September 2012.

Oscar has a long tradition to award top slot for every Holocaust movie produced so far.

"There's no business like Shoah business," says YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, established by Max Weinreich in Lithuania in 1925.

More than 70 movies and documentary on Jewish Holocaust have been produced so far to keep Whiteman's guild alive. Holocaust Industry's main purpose is to suck trillions of dollars and moral support for the Zionist entity. Since 1959 movie, The Diary of Anne Frank, 22 Holocaust movies have won at least one Oscar ..

https://rehmat1.com/2012/10/26/barack-obama-holocaust-is-a-religion/

27.jacques sheete says: November 16, 2016 at 2:20 pm GMT • 200 Words

@Tom Welsh

Amen to all. The whole deal is a fraud. All successful politicians are imposters, people who've mastered the art of deception. I'd go even further and say that the majority of "authority figures" are probably parasites and frauds to one degree or another.

I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing. Does it exalt dunderheads, cowards, trimmers, frauds, cads? Then the pain of seeing them go up is balanced and obliterated by the joy of seeing them come down. Is it inordinately wasteful, extravagant, dishonest? Then so is every other form of government: all alike are enemies to laborious and virtuous men. Is rascality at the very heart of it? Well, we have borne that rascality since 1776, and continue to survive. In the long run, it may turn out that rascality is necessary to human government, and even to civilization itself – that civilization, at bottom, is nothing but a colossal swindle.

- H. L. Mencken, Last Words (1926)

28.anonymous, November 16, 2016 at 2:34 pm GMT • 200 Words

The bar was set ridiculously low by his predecessor the village idiot Bush who could barely put together a coherent sentence. After eight years of disaster people were hoping for something different. Having a deranged person like McCain as his opposition certainly helped. What choice did the American people have?

He received a Nobel Peace prize for absolutely nothing although I admit his reluctance to barge into Syria was quite welcome. How many wars would we be in had the war-crazed McCain gotten into office?

Overall, the current president has been a deception, a trivial self-absorbed person whose main concern has been himself turned outward onto issues of race and sexual orientation.

American politics at this level is fake. Everything is orchestrated, attire is handpicked, speeches are written by professionals and read off the teleprompter, questions from the public are actually from plants and rehearsed prior, armies of PR people are at work everywhere, journalists are just flunky propagandists, expressions of emotion are calculated, the mass media is the property of the billionaire and corporate class and reflects their interests, and so on down the line. The masses of Americans are just there to be managed and milked. Look back at the history of the US: When haven't they been lying to us?

29.nsa, November 16, 2016 at 2:44 pm GMT • 100 Words

President is a very easy job. Almost anyone could fake it even actors, peanut farmers, mulatto community organizers, illegitimate offspring of trailer park whores, haberdashers, developers, soldiers, irish playboys, bicycle riding dry drunks, low rent CA shysters, daft professors.

Play lots of golf. Hot willing young pussy available for the asking. Anyone call you a name, have them audited. Invite pals onto the gravy train. Everyone kissing your ass and begging for favors. Media nitwits hanging on every word. Afterwards, get filthy rich making speeches and appearances. Tough job .

30.Anonymous, November 16, 2016 at 3:03 pm GMT • 100 Words

Manchurian Candidate, or Kenyan Candidate? Whatever he may be called, our current White House resident is a colossal joke perpetrated on the world. Whoever covered all his tracks did a masterful task. He will be the subject of future dissertations about the failure of the American political process and the influence of media and third parties like Soros.

32.Lorax, November 16, 2016 at 3:17 pm GMT

Obama's grandfather, Stanley Armour Dunham, was a "furniture salesman," for which role he deserved an Oscar as well. It takes real acting ability to pull off a lifetime career in Intelligence Service: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/08/07/obama's-cia-pedigree/

34.JoeFour, November 16, 2016 at 3:56 pm GMT

@AndrewR

"Had Dubya been raised by regular people, he would have probably ended up as a hardware store manager."

AndrewR, I know you didn't mean it, but you have just insulted all of the thousands of hardware store managers in this country.

[Nov 16, 2016] The neocon godfather Leo Strauss would be proud as king of bait and switch Obama promotes lying to people telling them what they want to hear, then doing whatever you want after getting elected as an official Democratic Party policy

Notable quotes:
"... Where the Democrats went wrong CNBC. Obama: "[O]ne of the issues that Democrats have to be clear on is that given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere, we have to show up everywhere." Throwing Clinton under the bus… ..."
"... he means just showing up, telling people what they want to hear, then doing whatever the hell you want after getting elected. Not one word about actually meeting peoples needs. EFF OBAMA and the DEMOCRATIC PARTY!! ..."
"... If you didn't read this (linked yesterday), you should consider both reading and sharing far and wide. The entire system is designed to be anti-representative. ..."
"... Don't just get/stay mad, quit expecting a bunch of gangsters to function democratically. ..."
Nov 16, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

mk November 16, 2016 at 7:55 am

Where the Democrats went wrong CNBC. Obama: "[O]ne of the issues that Democrats have to be clear on is that given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere, we have to show up everywhere." Throwing Clinton under the bus…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I yelled at the radio after hearing this, because he means just showing up, telling people what they want to hear, then doing whatever the hell you want after getting elected. Not one word about actually meeting peoples needs. EFF OBAMA and the DEMOCRATIC PARTY!!

Eureka Springs November 16, 2016 at 8:21 am

If you didn't read this (linked yesterday), you should consider both reading and sharing far and wide. The entire system is designed to be anti-representative.

Don't just get/stay mad, quit expecting a bunch of gangsters to function democratically. Get out of their box.

[Nov 15, 2016] The Trump Ploy

Notable quotes:
"... Knowing how angry the working class has become, the deep state could not install Hillary, for that would have been a tiresome rehash of another Clinton presidency. With NAFTA, Bill launched the job offshoring that has wrecked this country, and those most affected by it, working class whites, know damn well who's responsible. The Clinton brand has become anathema to middle America. ..."
"... On the foreign front, America's belligerence will not ease up under a Trump presidency, for without a hyper kinetic military to browbeat and bomb, the world will stop lending us money. The US doesn't just wage wars to fatten the military banking complex, but to prop up the US Dollar and prevent our economy from collapsing. The empire yields tangible benefits for even the lowliest Americans. ..."
Nov 15, 2016 | www.unz.com
Michele Paccione / Shutterstock.com Universally, Trump was depicted as an anti-establishment candidate. Washington and Wall Street hated him, and the media were deployed to vilify him endlessly. If they could not discredit Trump enough, surely they would steal the election from him. Some even suggested Trump would be assassinated.

Acting the part, Trump charged repeatedly that the election was rigged, and he was right, of course. During the primaries, Hillary Clinton received debate questions in advance from CNN. More seriously, 30 states used voting machines that could easily be hacked.

A leaked tape of Trump making obscene comments about groping women became further proof that the establishment was out to get him. In spite of all this, Trump managed to win by a landslide, so what happened?

To steal an American election, one only needs to tamper with votes in two or three critical states, and since Hillary didn't win, we must conclude that she was never the establishment's chosen puppet. As Trump claimed, the fix was in, all right, except that it was rigged in his favor, as born out by the fact.

While everybody else yelped that Trump would never be allowed to win, I begged to differ. After the Orlando false flag shooting on June 12th, 2016, I wrote:

In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider.

A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won't fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics.

On September 24th, I doubled down:

Mind-fucked, most Americans can't even see that an American president's only task is to disguise the deep state's intentions. Chosen by the deep state to explain away its crimes, our president's pronouncements are nearly always contradicted by the deep state's actions. While the president talks of peace, democracy, racial harmony, prosperity for Main Street and going after banksters, etc., the deep state wages endless war, stages meaningless elections, stokes racial hatred, bankrupts nearly all Americans and enables massive Wall Street crimes, etc.

Only the infantile will imagine the president as any kind of savior or, even more hilariously, anti-establishment. Since the deep state won't even tolerate a renegade reporter at, say, the San Jose Mercury News, how can you expect a deep state's enemy to land in the White House?! It cannot happen.

A presidential candidate will promise to fix all that's wrong with our government, and this stance, this appearance, is actually very useful for the deep state, for it gives Americans hope. Promising everything, Obama delivered nothing. So who do you think is being primed by the deep state to be our next false savior?

Who benefits from false flag terrorist attacks blamed on Muslims? Who gains when blacks riot? Why is the Democratic Party propping up a deeply-despised and terminally ill war criminal? More personable Bernie Sanders was nixed by the deep state since it had another jester in mind.

The first presidential debate is Monday. Under stress, Hillary's eyes will dart in separate directions. Coughing nonstop for 90 minutes, her highness will hack up a gazillion unsecured emails. Her head will jerk spasmodically, plop onto the floor and, though decapitated, continue to gush platitudes and lies. "A Very Impressive Performance," CNBC and CNN will announce. Come November, though, Trump will be installed because his constituency needs to be temporarily pacified. The deep state knows that white people are pissed.

The media were out to get Trump, pundits from across the political spectrum kept repeating, but the truth is that the media made Trump. Long before the election, Trump became a household name, thanks to the media.

Your average American can't name any other real estate developer, casino owner or even his own senators, but he has known Trump since forever. For more than a decade, Trump was a reality TV star, with two of his children also featured regularly on The Apprentice. Trump's "You're fired" and his hair became iconic. Trump appeared on talk shows, had cameo roles in movies and owned the Miss Universe pageant. In 2011, Obama joked that Trump as president would deck out the White House in garish fashion, with his own name huge on the façade. The suave, slick prez roasted Trump again in 2016. Trump has constantly been in the limelight.

It's true that during the presidential campaign, Trump received mostly negative press, but this only ramped up support among his core constituency. Joe Sixpacks had long seen the media as not just against everything they cherished, but against them as people, so the more the media attacked Trump, the more popular he became among the white working class.

Like politicians, casinos specialize in empty promises. Trump, then, is a master hustler, just like Obama, and with help from the media, this New York billionaire became a darling of the flyover states. Before his sudden transformation, Trump was certainly an insider. He donated $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation, and Bill and Hillary attended his third wedding. Golf buddies, The Donald and Bill were also friends with one Jeffrey Epstein, owner of the infamous Lolita Express and a sex orgy, sex slave island in the Caribbean.

In 2002, New York Magazine published "Jeffrey Epstein: International Money of Mystery." This asskissing piece begins, "He comes with cash to burn, a fleet of airplanes, and a keen eye for the ladies-to say nothing of a relentless brain that challenges Nobel Prize-winning scientists across the country-and for financial markets around the world."

Trump is quoted, "I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it-Jeffrey enjoys his social life."

Bill Clinton shouts out, "Jeffrey is both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science. I especially appreciated his insights and generosity during the recent trip to Africa to work on democratization, empowering the poor, citizen service, and combating HIV/AIDS."

Epstein gushes back, "If you were a boxer at the downtown gymnasium at 14th Street and Mike Tyson walked in, your face would have the same look as these foreign leaders had when Clinton entered the room. He is the world's greatest politician."

Even during a very nasty election campaign, Trump stayed clear of Clinton's association with Epstein because he himself had been chummy with the convicted pervert. Trump also never brought up the Clintons' drug running in Mena or the many mysterious deaths of those whose existence inconvenienced their hold on power.

With eight years in the White House, plus stints as a senator then secretary of state, Clinton is considered the ultimate insider. Though a novice politician, Trump is also an insider, and it's a grand joke of the establishment that they've managed to convince Joe Sixpacks everywhere that Trump will save them.

Knowing how angry the working class has become, the deep state could not install Hillary, for that would have been a tiresome rehash of another Clinton presidency. With NAFTA, Bill launched the job offshoring that has wrecked this country, and those most affected by it, working class whites, know damn well who's responsible. The Clinton brand has become anathema to middle America.

While Clinton says America is already great, Trump promises to make America great again, but the decline of the US will only accelerate. Our manufacturing base is handicapped because American workers will not put up with Chinese wages, insanely long hours or living in cramped factory dormitories. In a global economy, those who can suck it up best get the jobs.

On the foreign front, America's belligerence will not ease up under a Trump presidency, for without a hyper kinetic military to browbeat and bomb, the world will stop lending us money. The US doesn't just wage wars to fatten the military banking complex, but to prop up the US Dollar and prevent our economy from collapsing. The empire yields tangible benefits for even the lowliest Americans.

With his livelihood vaporized, the poor man does not care for LGBT rights, the glass ceiling or climate change. Supplementing his wretched income with frequent treks to the church pantry, if not blood bank, he needs immediate relief. It's a shame he's staking his hopes on an imposter.

The deep state ushered in Trump because he's clearly their most useful decoy. As the country hopes in vain, the crooked men behind the curtain will go on with business as usual. Trump is simply an Obama for a different demographic. Nothing will change for the better.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate . He's tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, Postcards from the End of America .

[Nov 11, 2016] Trump was the only one who talked about stopping the globalization which is destroying the American middle class and ending our crazy endless unwinnable foreign wars.

Notable quotes:
"... the more credible explanation is: 1) Barack Obama very eloquently promised Hope and Change in 2008 and 2012. 2) Barack Obama systematically broke his promises of hope and change. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton promised to continue Obama's policies. 4) Working people who had voted for Obama in the hope that he truly would change things lost patience and got sick of Democrats who (in the words of one millenial) "promise everything and change nothing." ..."
"... Populism is the real explanation for Trump's victory. ...he talked about stopping the globalization that's destroying the American middle class and ending our crazy endless unwinnable foreign wars. By contrast, Hillary Clinton gave $225,000 speeches to Goldman Sachs hedge fund traders in which she said the "banker-bashing so popular within both parties was unproductive and indeed foolish." ..."
Nov 11, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

mclaren 11.10.16 at 10:42 am 162

Raven Oathill in #145 says: "Oh, for examples of Trumpian fascism I forgot advocating torture …"

Barack Obama continued Bush-era torture, only slightly differently. Obama restricted torture to Appendix M of the CIA's interrogation manual - that's the manual that the CIA created by studying the Chinese communist's Mao-era thought reform torture methods. Appendix M prohibits cutting and beating in favor of sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, cold, noise assault, and other methods like the water drip method. These forms of torture leave no marks but drive people insane or destroy their minds as surely as the standard three weeks of non-stop beatings favored in Lubyanka.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/25/obama-administration-military-torture-army-field-manual

Let's not forget that the American president who began our current ride on the torture carousel was Bill Clinton, who initiated "extraordinary rendition" (AKA fly prisoners to third world countries in CIA chartered Lear jets and let third world dictators torture the victims for us).

https://www.aclu.org/other/fact-sheet-extraordinary-rendition

The problem with the smug top-4% narrative of the Democratic elite's professional class that "It's all about racism!" is that many of the counties in red states that went heavily for Trump in this election went even more heavily for Bernie Sanders. A lot of states that voted for Trump in this election voted for Obama in the last election.

What, did those Rust Belt states suddenly decide to not become racist when Obama ran, and then became racist again when Trump ran? How does that work? "A black guy is running for president, so I'm going to stop being a racist and vote for him. Oh, wait, now a white guy is running for president, so I'm going to become a racist again." Does that make sense?

No, the more credible explanation is: 1) Barack Obama very eloquently promised Hope and Change in 2008 and 2012. 2) Barack Obama systematically broke his promises of hope and change.

3) Hillary Clinton promised to continue Obama's policies. 4) Working people who had voted for Obama in the hope that he truly would change things lost patience and got sick of Democrats who (in the words of one millenial) "promise everything and change nothing."

Populism is the real explanation for Trump's victory. ...he talked about stopping the globalization that's destroying the American middle class and ending our crazy endless unwinnable foreign wars. By contrast, Hillary Clinton gave $225,000 speeches to Goldman Sachs hedge fund traders in which she said the "banker-bashing so popular within both parties was unproductive and indeed foolish."

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-vampire-squid-tells-us-how-to-vote-20160205

Meanwhile Bill Clinton dismissed the American population's rage at the bankers who crashed the world economy with the comment: `"You could take Lloyd Blankfein in an alley and slit his throat, and it would satisfy them for about two days," Clinton said. "Then the blood lust would rise again."'

Did I mention that Hillary's daughter Chelsea is married to former Goldman Sachs hedge fund manager Mark Mezvinsky? They recently bought a pre-WW I ten million dollar townhouse overlooking Madison Square Park. So much for Chelsea's "zero dollar salary." I don't know a lot of people with a salary of zero dollars who can afford to buy 10.5 million dollar apartments in the upper West Side of New York. Do you?

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/real-estate/chelsea-clinton-buys-10-5-million-article-1.1288710

Hillary has wooed defense contractors with the love that dare not speak its name (the love of foreign intervention, AKA burning brown babies by the bushel-load) and she has promised lots more endless unwinnable wars around the globe, disguised as the sound-bite "America needs a more assertive foreign policy."

`"It is clear that she is behind the use of force in anything that has gone on in this cabinet. She is a Democratic hawk and that is her track record. That's the flag she's planted," said Gordon Adams, a national security budget expert who was an associate director in President Bill Clinton's Office of Management and Budget.

`Karen Kwiatkowski, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who has spent her post-service days protesting the war policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, is more blunt.

"Interventionism is a business and it has a constituency and she is tapping into it," she tells TAC. "She is for the military industrial complex, and she is for the neoconservatives."'

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-military-industrial-candidate/

By way of contrast, here's Donald Trump giving a speech on foreign policy:

"Unfortunately, after the Cold War, our foreign policy veered badly off course. We failed to develop a new vision for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our foreign policy began to make less and less sense. Logic was replaced with foolishness and arrogance, and this led to one foreign policy disaster after another. We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama's line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos, and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper.

"It all began with the dangerous idea that we could make Western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interest in becoming a Western Democracy. We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism; thousands of American lives, and many trillions of dollars, were lost as a result. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill. Iran, too, would rush in and fill the void, much to their unjust enrichment. Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster. No vision, no purpose, no direction, no strategy."

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/trump-foreign-policy-15960

Do I believe that Trump meant any of that? Of course not. Did Trump change his foreign policy stance five minutes after he gave that speech? Probably. Is the rest of that Trump foreign policy speech crazy and counterfactual? Obviously - especially the part where Trump claims that America's military is underfunded (!)

But the point here is that Trump actually at least talked about these screwups. He talked about America's mad wars around the globe. He talked about how American leaders couldn't stop getting into endless unwinnable foreign quagmires after the Cold War ended. Every ordinary American knows this stuff. But no one in Washington was talking about it - except Trump. Hillary, who voted for the Iraq war of 2003 and tried to convince president Obama to bomb Iran rather than negotiate, certainly never wanted to mention any of these inconvenient problems. And our beloved president Obama's response was "America is already great." Torture? Endless wars? Collapsing middle class? Burgeoning poverty? Skyrocketing child malnutrition? Bankers asset-stripping the economy? No problem, America is already great. Enjoy!

Sanders and Trump were the only candidates who talked about American corporations shipping jobs overseas. Sanders and Trump were the only candidates who talked about bankers looting the population and crashing the world economy and paying themselves bonuses out of the publicly-funded bailout money. Sanders and Trump were the only candidates who talked about how globalization is destroying the U.S. middle class.

The professionals with advanced degrees who make $80,000 a year or more (the top 4% of the American population) are the ones who control the Democratic party today. And they made sure Sanders never got the nomination. These self-styled Big Brains have decided to treat ordinary working folks and peons who have a mere bachelor's degree and no professional credential (Ma, PhD, M.D., LLD, JD) the same way Jim Crow Southerners used to treat black people.

Everyone without an advanced degree is now treated by the leaders of the Democratic party as one of "those people," ungrateful curs who have the unbelievable gall to criticize their betters. "Those people" have the insufferable temerity to question the wiser and smarter and far more wealthy doyens of the Democratic party, the masterminds with professional credentials, the geniuses who assure them that the TPP is spiffy and globalization is absolutely marvy-doo and global wage arbitrage is just dreamy.

To the professional class top-4% who run the Democratic party, working people and scum with a mere bachelor's degree are inferior creatures, not ready for self-governance. "Those people" must be guided by a superior breed, the elites with advanced degrees, those wise enough to have gotten things right by invading Iraq. And deregulating the banks. And making sure Bernie Sanders never got the Democratic nomination. And writing those marvelous zero-hours work contracts that let employers force employees to call in every morning to see if they get a shift that day.

"Those people" without advanced degrees need careful management, since they have no impulse control, they're filthy and smelly, they're really animals who can't help drinking and carousing and breeding. "Those people" never had the discipline to get a masters or an M.D., so they need a firm hand, and the strict guidance of the All-Powerful Market to keep them in check. Sound familiar? Sort of like, oh, say, Deep South slaveowners talking about their slaves circa 1840?

Populism. That's the reason why Trump won. ... he's the only one of the two presidential candidates who sounded any genuinely populist notes during the campaign. When Hillary was asked if she wanted to break up the too-big-to-fail banks, she said "no." When Hillary was asked about foreign wars, she lapsed into the old "indispensable nation" crap. When Hillary was asked about single-payer health care she called it "something that will never, ever happen."

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/hillary-clinton-single-payer-health-care-will-never-ever-happen/

Gee, I wonder why Hillary lost? It's such a puzzle. Racism! That's it! It must be racism!

[Nov 08, 2016] The US elections are a staged political farce with NO MATERIAL IMPACT on the US imperial policies, domestic or international

Notable quotes:
"... It is shockingly disappointing that MOA, this otherwise intelligent incisive, a deeply intellectual and factual blog's readership exhibit a trait common to overall American anti-intellectual sheeple constituency as Gore Vidal posited decades ago, having no shame expressing their utter confusion and ignorance about one fundamental fact of reality they are facing. ..."
"... Those political puppets, stooges of oligarchy are no alternatives to the calcified imperial system itself, they never have been and they never will. They are new/old faces of the same old 240 y.o. Anglo-American imperial regime based on ancient and modern slavery and they already declared it by submitting to it via pledging to run in this farcical rigged electoral fallacy. ..."
Nov 08, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kalen | Nov 8, 2016 3:21:04 AM | 73

It is shockingly disappointing that MOA, this otherwise intelligent incisive, a deeply intellectual and factual blog's readership exhibit a trait common to overall American anti-intellectual sheeple constituency as Gore Vidal posited decades ago, having no shame expressing their utter confusion and ignorance about one fundamental fact of reality they are facing.

THE FACT: The US elections are a staged political farce with NO MATERIAL IMPACT on the US imperial policies, domestic or international WHATSOEVER. And that's the fact based on rock solid empirical evidences also MOA proliferates that only a mental patient can deny.

SO WHAT THE F.U.CK ALL OF YOU PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT? "Voting" for this or that? NONSENSE;

Those political puppets, stooges of oligarchy are no alternatives to the calcified imperial system itself, they never have been and they never will. They are new/old faces of the same old 240 y.o. Anglo-American imperial regime based on ancient and modern slavery and they already declared it by submitting to it via pledging to run in this farcical rigged electoral fallacy.

All at the end will openly pledge unwavering support for the regime and their rotten deeply corrupted parties while abandoning their gullible voters.

Supporters of any of these plastic puppets of oligarchy not unlike a cargo cult, are impatient, nervous, excited and scared sitting and waiting before an impregnable curtain of political deceit, lies and manipulation by the ruling elite in front of their wide shut eyes , turning to magic, superstition, appeasement, making up stories, poems out of their incoherent utterances filed with tautologies, innuendos and absurd, begging for mercy or praying for a caprice of good will to save them ultimately in a form of fake, meaningless political turds passing as empty "political" platform promises while blatantly abandoning their unalienable rights to independence, self-determination and democratic system of people's rule, based on equality in the law, and one voter one vote principle, for a role of a meddlesome spectators to their own execution.

THE FACT: The democratic electoral system worth participating does not exist in the US but none of the candidates would utter this truth as long as they can benefit from the fraud and that includes third parties. If this was a true change or revolution, that we desperately need, honest leaders would not run their campaign within the corrupted system set up by and for two oligarchic parties but they would decry and utterly reject it.

Think people, all the so-called candidates even third party candidates are just nibbling on the behemoth of abhorrent and brutal US imperial power mostly with utterances that they never intended to follow if they wanted to survive terror of the US security apparatus, while peddling the lies about small incremental changes and stealing ours and our children future by asking us to wait, be patient, and begging ruling elite for mercy and may be for some crumbs from an oligarchs' table after they are not able to gorge themselves anymore with our blood sweat and tears.

Unfortunately, this time as well, millions of irrational, desperate and helpless in their daily lives electoral zombies such as those, under a spell of exciting political masquerade, regrettably also on this blog, will be aligning themselves with one or the other anointed by establishment winner [whoever it will be] of a meaningless popularity/beauty contest, in a delusional feat of transference of a fraction of elite's power to themselves just for a second of a thrill of illusion of power, illusion of feelings that something depends on me, that I can make a difference, a delusion of holding skies from falling and by that saving the world common among paranoid mental patients.

And they will continue to authorize their own suicide mission, since even baseless, continually disproved hope of Sisyphus, of any chance of influencing of the political realm via means of begging is the last thing that dies.

THE LOUD POLITICAL BOYCOTT OF THIS FARCE, UTTER REJECTION OF THIS FACADE OF DEMOCRATIC CHOICE, REJECTION OF ANY POLITICAL LEGITIMACY OF THIS SORRY SPECTACLE IS THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE AVAILABLE TO ANY DECENT PERSON, INDEPENDENT, SOVEREIGN CITIZEN WHO TAKES A MORAL STAND REJECTING ENSLAVEMENT RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW.

THE REST WILL JUST PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THEIR OWN CHAINS.

MAKE YOU CHOICE.

Posted by: Kalen | Nov 8, 2016 3:21:04 AM | 73

[Nov 08, 2016] The real danger of serious election-rigging: electronic voting machines. How do we know the machine *really* recorded everyones votes correctly? Insrtead we have anti-russian hysteria fed to us 24 x 7

Notable quotes:
"... "Yet commentators who have been ready and willing to attribute Donald Trump's success to anger, authoritarianism, or racism rather than policy issues have taken little note of the extent to which Mr. Sanders's support is concentrated not among liberal ideologues but among disaffected white men." ... ..."
"... poor pk a leader of the Stalinist press ..."
"... the surprising success of Bernie Sanders -- a Brooklyn-born, Jewish socialist -- in the primaries is solid proof that the electorate was open to a coherent argument for genuine progressive change, and that a substantial portion of that electorate is not acting on purely racist and sexist impulses, as so many progressive commentators say. ..."
"... "I will live my life calmly and my children will be just fine. I will live my life calmly and my children will be just fine." That assumes you're about 85 years old...and don't have long to live! ..."
"... Laid out by whom? By the commercial "media" hype machine that has 12-16 hours of airtime to fill every day with the as sensationalized as possible gossip (to justify the price for the paid advertisements filling the remaining hours). ..."
"... Killary Clinton got no closer than Ann Arbor this weekend, a message! ..."
"... Mr. Krugman forgot to list the collusion of the DNC and the Clinton campaign to work against Sanders. ..."
"... putting crooked in the same sentence as Clinton or DNC is duplicative wording. This mortification is brought to US by the crooked and the stalinist press that calls crooked virtue. ..."
"... Krugman did so much to help create the mass of white working class discontent that is electing Trump. Krugman and co cheering on NAFTA/PNTR/WTO etc, US deindustrialization, collapse of middle class... ..."
"... Hopefully the working class masses will convince our rulers to abandon free trade before every last factory is sold off or dismantled and the US falls to the depths of a Chad or an Armenia. ..."
economistsview.typepad.com

anne -> anne... , November 07, 2016 at 01:47 PM

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/05/23/the-truth-about-the-sanders-movement/

May 23, 2016

The Truth About the Sanders Movement
By Paul Krugman

In short, it's complicated – not all bad, by any means, but not the pure uprising of idealists the more enthusiastic supporters imagine.

The political scientists Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels have an illuminating discussion of Sanders support. The key graf that will probably have Berniebros boiling is this:

"Yet commentators who have been ready and willing to attribute Donald Trump's success to anger, authoritarianism, or racism rather than policy issues have taken little note of the extent to which Mr. Sanders's support is concentrated not among liberal ideologues but among disaffected white men." ...

[ Yes, I do find defaming people by speculation or stereotype to be beyond saddening. ]

ilsm -> anne... , November 07, 2016 at 03:53 PM
poor pk a leader of the Stalinist press
anne -> Chris Lowery ... , November 07, 2016 at 10:28 AM
The fact that Obama either won, or did so much better than Hillary appears to be doing with, the white working-class vote in so many key battleground states, as well as the surprising success of Bernie Sanders -- a Brooklyn-born, Jewish socialist -- in the primaries is solid proof that the electorate was open to a coherent argument for genuine progressive change, and that a substantial portion of that electorate is not acting on purely racist and sexist impulses, as so many progressive commentators say.

And her opponent was/is incapable of debating on substance, as there was/is neither coherence nor consistency in any part of his platform -- nor that of his party....

[ Compelling argument. ]

JohnH : , November 07, 2016 at 10:26 AM
Question is, will Krugman be able to move on after the election...and talk about something useful? Like how to get Hillary to recognize and deal with inequality...
JohnH : , November 07, 2016 at 10:29 AM
Barbara Ehrenreich: "Forget fear and loathing. The US election inspires projectile vomiting. The most sordid side of our democracy has been laid out for all to see. But that's only the beginning: whoever wins, the mutual revulsion will only intensify... With either Clinton or Trump, we will be left to choke on our mutual revulsion."
JohnH -> JohnH... , November 07, 2016 at 10:29 AM
Link: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/03/us-election-projectile-vomiting-barbara-ehrenreich
JohnH -> Bloix... , November 07, 2016 at 04:59 PM
"I will live my life calmly and my children will be just fine. I will live my life calmly and my children will be just fine." That assumes you're about 85 years old...and don't have long to live!
ilsm -> JohnH... , November 07, 2016 at 03:54 PM
the great mortification, these two.
cm -> JohnH... , November 07, 2016 at 11:11 PM
Laid out by whom? By the commercial "media" hype machine that has 12-16 hours of airtime to fill every day with the as sensationalized as possible gossip (to justify the price for the paid advertisements filling the remaining hours).
Tom aka Rusty : , November 07, 2016 at 11:17 AM
Something interesting today.... President Obama came to Michigan. I fully expected him to speak in Detroit with a get out the vote message. Instead he is in Ann Arbor, speaking to an overwhelmingly white and white-collar audience. On a related note, the Dems have apparently written off the white blue collar vote in Michigan, even much of the union vote. the union leaders are pro Clinton, but the workers not so much. Strange year.
ilsm -> Tom aka Rusty... , November 07, 2016 at 03:55 PM
Killary Clinton got no closer than Ann Arbor this weekend, a message!
John M : , November 07, 2016 at 11:26 AM
The real danger of serious election-rigging: electronic voting machines. How do we know the machine *really* recorded everyone's votes correctly? (Did any Florida county ever give Al Gore negative something votes?)
Julio -> John M ... , November 08, 2016 at 06:42 AM
That's a big subject but you are right, that is the biggest risk of significant fraud. Not just the voting machines, but the automatic counting systems. Other forms of possible election fraud are tiny by comparison.
Enquiring Mind : , November 07, 2016 at 11:48 AM
Here is the transcript from 60 Minutes about the Luntz focus group rancor. Instructive to read about the depth of feeling in case you didn't see the angry, disgusted faces of citizens.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-american-voters-on-trump-clinton/

ScottB : , November 07, 2016 at 12:08 PM
Mr. Krugman forgot to list the collusion of the DNC and the Clinton campaign to work against Sanders.
ilsm -> ScottB... , November 07, 2016 at 03:57 PM
putting crooked in the same sentence as Clinton or DNC is duplicative wording. This mortification is brought to US by the crooked and the stalinist press that calls crooked virtue.
Before the 1970s the US was both rich and protectionist - no look at our horrible roads and hopeless people - the miracle of free trade! : , November 07, 2016 at 07:13 PM
Krugman did so much to help create the mass of white working class discontent that is electing Trump. Krugman and co cheering on NAFTA/PNTR/WTO etc, US deindustrialization, collapse of middle class...

Hopefully the working class masses will convince our rulers to abandon free trade before every last factory is sold off or dismantled and the US falls to the depths of a Chad or an Armenia.

[Nov 08, 2016] We don't want World War 3 with Russia. We want our factories and jobs back, we would like to spend $1 trillion a year on infrastructure instead of blowing up yet another Middle Eastern nation.

Notable quotes:
"... We don't want World War 3 with Russia. We want our factories and jobs back, we would like to spend $1 trillion a year on infrastructure instead of blowing up yet another Middle Eastern nation. ..."
"... Fuck Hillary, Fuck the neolibcons, Fuck al-CIAda, Fuck the fascist banksters who eat our children for breakfast. ..."
"... Vote Trump in swing states. Vote Jill everywhere else. ..."
Nov 08, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org
Perimetr | Nov 8, 2016 4:34:49 AM | 77

The heartland of the US is RED, solid RED.
The neolibcons are printing up their Newsweek mags with Madam President on the cover.

They don't have a clue about how pissed off the people in the "flyover states" are.

Fuck their rigged polls and lying news.

Sure Trump is behind or neck-and-neck . . . Just like we have 5% unemployment.

As long as you don't count the 1/3 of working age people who DON"T HAVE A JOB.

The deplorables can think of 650,000 reasons why Hillary should be in PRISON, even if the FBI can't.

We don't want World War 3 with Russia. We want our factories and jobs back, we would like to spend $1 trillion a year on infrastructure instead of blowing up yet another Middle Eastern nation.

Fuck Hillary, Fuck the neolibcons, Fuck al-CIAda, Fuck the fascist banksters who eat our children for breakfast.

ProPeace | Nov 8, 2016 7:02:55 AM | 80
@RayB | Nov 8, 2016 12:18:53 AM | 62 "The only real issue here is either war or peace."

Yes, especially that the US has war-based, or "blood economy" (like diamonds).

Interesting tidbits:

... ... ...

rufus magister | Nov 8, 2016 7:26:46 AM | 81
fairleft at 43 --

Do not blow shit up, like the political system, without a clear idea where the pieces will land and how you will put them back together. Crisis would benefit the right, not the left, given the current correlation of class and political forces.

The best result. sadly, would be a resounding win for Mrs. Clinton. As the comment at 11 shows, anything less than a crushing defeat will enable the alt-right and embolden the most reactionary and nativist elements in society.

The notion that worsening conditions will automatically produce progressive revolution is a pipe-dream. Beaten-down folks struggling to survive don't have the time or energy to organize.

Vote your conscience, your hopes. Takingg the long view, I am again voting, as I have for years, for the Socialist Workers Party.

Jackrabbit | Nov 8, 2016 8:03:07 AM | 82
rufus @81:
Do not blow shit up ...
The corrupt 'Third Way' Democrats blew up U.S. democracy years ago. "Do not blow shit up" = BOHICA.
The best result. sadly, would be a resounding win for Mrs. Clinton.... I am again voting, as I have for years, for the Socialist Workers Party.
Shameless, unadulterated bullshit.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Vote Trump in swing states. Vote Jill everywhere else.

[Nov 07, 2016] No, Hillary Clinton is not less Evil than Trump One has Funny Hair, the Other Wears Trouser-suits Global Research - Centre

Nov 07, 2016 | www.globalresearch.ca
After all, Clinton is not going to make it into the Oval Office unless she can secure the votes of those who backed the far-more progressive Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries.

Clinton's camp have wielded various sticks to beat these voters into submission. Not least they have claimed that a refusal to vote for Clinton is an indication of one's misogyny . But it has not been an easy task. Actor Susan Sarandon, for example, has stated that she is not going to "vote with my vagina". As she notes, if the issue is simply about proving one is not anti-women, there is a much worthier candidate for president who also happens to be female: Jill Stein, of the Green Party.

Sarandon, who supported Sanders in the primaries, spoke for a vast swath of voters excluded by the two-party system when she told BBC Newsnight:

I am worried about the wars, I am worried about Syria, I am worried about all of these things that actually exist. TTP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] and I'm worried about fracking. I'm worrying about the environment. No matter who gets in they don't address these things because money has taken over our system.

Given that both Donald Trump and Clinton represent big money – and big money only – Clinton's supporters have been forced to find another stick. And that has been the "lesser evil" argument. Clinton may be bad, but Trump would be far worse. Voting for a non-evil candidate like Jill Stein – who has no hope of winning – would split the progressive camp and ensure Trump, the more evil candidate, triumphs. Therefore, there is a moral obligation on progressive voters to back Clinton, however bad her track record as a senator and as secretary of state.

There is nothing new about this argument. It had been around for decades, and has been corralling progressives into voting for Democratic presidents who have still advanced US neoconservative policy goals abroad and neoliberal ones at home.

America's pseudo-democracy

So is it true that Clinton is the lesser-evil candidate? To answer that question, we need to examine those "policy differences" with Trump.

On the negative side, Trump's platform poses a genuine threat to civil liberties. His bigoted, "blame the immigrants" style of politics will harm many families in the US in very tangible ways. Even if the inertia of the political system reins in his worst excesses, as is almost certain, his inflammatory rhetoric is sure to damage the façade of democratic discourse in the US – a development not to be dismissed lightly. Americans may be living in a pseudo-democracy, one run more like a plutocracy, but destroying the politics of respect, and civil discourse, could quickly result in the normalisation of political violence and intimidation.

On the plus side, Trump is an isolationist, with little appetite for foreign entanglements. Again, the Washington policy elites may force him to engage abroad in ways he would prefer not to, but his instincts to limit the projection of US military power on the international stage are likely to be an overall good for the world's population outside the US. Any diminishment of US imperialism is going to have real practical benefits for billions of people around the globe. His refusal to demonise Vladimir Putin, for example, may be significant enough to halt the gradual slide towards a nuclear confrontation with Russia, either in Ukraine or in the Middle East.

Clinton is the mirror image of Trump. Domestically, she largely abides by the rules of civil politics – not least because respectful discourse benefits her as the candidate with plenty of political experience. The US is likely to be a more stable, more predictable place under a Clinton presidency, even as the plutocratic elite entrenches its power and the wealth gap grows relentlessly.

Abroad, however, the picture looks worse under Clinton. She has been an enthusiastic supporter of all the many recent wars of aggression launched by the US, some declared and some covert. Personally, as secretary of state, she helped engineer the overthrow of Col Muammar Gaddafi. That policy led to an outcome – one that was entirely foreseeable – of Libya's reinvention as a failed state, with jihadists of every stripe sucked into the resulting vacuum. Large parts of Gadaffi's arsenal followed the jihadists as they exported their struggles across the Middle East, creating more bloodshed and heightening the refugee crisis. Now Clinton wants to intensify US involvement in Syria, including by imposing a no-fly zone – or rather, a US and allies-only fly zone – that would thrust the US into a direct confrontation with another nuclear-armed power, Russia.

In the cost-benefit calculus of who to vote for in a two-party contest, the answer seems to be: vote for Clinton if you are interested only in what happens in the narrow sphere of US domestic politics (assuming Clinton does not push the US into a nuclear war); while if you are a global citizen worried about the future of the planet, Trump may be the marginally better of two terribly evil choices. (Neither, of course, cares a jot about the most pressing problem facing mankind: runaway climate change.)

So even on the extremely blinkered logic of Clinton's supporters, Clinton might not be the winner in a lesser-evil presidential contest.

Mounting disillusion

But there is a second, more important reason to reject the lesser-evil argument as grounds for voting for Clinton.

Trump's popularity is a direct consequence of several decades of American progressives voting for the lesser-evil candidate. Most Americans have never heard of Jill Stein, or the other three candidates who are not running on behalf of the Republican and Democratic parties. These candidates have received no mainstream media coverage – or the chance to appear in the candidate debates – because their share of the vote is so minuscule. It remains minuscule precisely because progressives have spent decades voting for the lesser-evil candidate. And nothing is going to change so long as progressives keep responding to the electoral dog-whistle that they have to keep the Republican candidate out at all costs, even at the price of their own consciences.

Growing numbers of Americans understand that their country was "stolen from them", to use a popular slogan. They sense that the US no longer even aspires to its founding ideals, that it has become a society run for the exclusive benefit of a tiny wealthy elite. Many are looking for someone to articulate their frustration, their powerlessness, their hopelessness.

Two opposed antidotes for the mounting disillusionment with "normal politics" emerged during the presidential race: a progressive one, in the form of Sanders, who suggested he was ready to hold the plutocrats to account; and a populist one, in the form of Trump, determined to deflect anger away from the plutocrats towards easy targets like immigrants. As we now know from Wikileaks' release of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta's emails, the Democats worked hard to rig their own primaries to make sure the progressive option, Sanders, was eliminated. The Republicans, by contrast, were overwhelmed by the insurrection within their own party.

The wave of disaffection Sanders and Trump have been riding is not going away. In fact, a President Clinton, the embodiment of the self-serving, self-aggrandising politics of the plutocrats, will only fuel the disenchantment. The fixing of the Democratic primaries did not strengthen Clinton's moral authority, it fuelled the kind of doubts about the system that bolster Trump. Trump's accusations of a corrupt elite and a rigged political and media system are not merely figments of his imagination; they are rooted in the realities of US politics.

Trump, however, is not the man to offer solutions. His interests are too close aligned to those of the plutocrats for him to make meaningful changes.

Trump may lose this time, but someone like him will do better next time – unless ordinary Americans are exposed to a different kind of politician, one who can articulate progressive, rather regressive, remedies for the necrosis that is rotting the US body politic. Sanders began that process, but a progressive challenge to "politics as normal" has to be sustained and extended if Trump and his ilk are not to triumph eventually.

The battle cannot be delayed another few years, on the basis that one day a genuinely non-evil candidate will emerge from nowhere to fix this rotten system. It won't happen of its own. Unless progressive Americans show they are prepared to vote out of conviction, not out of necessity, the Democratic party will never have to take account of their views. It will keep throwing up leaders – in different colours and different sexes – to front the tiny elite that runs the US and seeks to rule the world.

It is time to say no – loudly – to Clinton, whether she is the slightly lesser-evil candidate or not. The original source of this article is Jonathan Cook Blog Copyright © Jonathan Cook , Jonathan Cook Blog , 2016

[Nov 07, 2016] Populism Needs Place-ism The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Well, two can play at tendentiousness. I'd say that American populism, in its various guises, has been distinguished by three basic beliefs: ..."
"... Concentrated wealth and power are pernicious, so widespread distribution of both is the proper condition; ..."
"... War and militarism are ruinous to the republic and to the character (not to mention physical health) of the people; and ..."
"... Ordinary people can be trusted to make their own decisions. ..."
"... The Democratic candidate this time around is the most hawkish nominee of her party since LBJ in 1964 and its most pro-Wall Street standard bearer since John W. Davis in 1924. She is, in every way, including her "the peasants are revolting" shtick, the compleat anti-populist. ..."
"... Place-based populism, seeded in love, defends a people against the powerful external forces that would crush or corrupt or subjugate them. It's Jane Jacobs and her "bunch of mothers" fighting Robert Moses on behalf of Greenwich Village. It's the people of Poletown, assisted by Ralph Nader, defending their homes and churches against the depredations of General Motors and the execrable Detroit Mayor Coleman Young. It's parents-whether in South Boston, Brooklyn, or rural America-championing their local schools against berobed bussers, education bureaucrats, and Cold War consolidators. ..."
Nov 07, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com

With every generational populist efflorescence (those who disapprove call it a "recrudescence") two things are guaranteed:

First, the prosy men with leaden eyes of the New York Times will rouse themselves from complacent torpor into a Cerberus-like defense of the ruling class against the intruder. The Times of 1896 on William Jennings Bryan (a "cheap and shallow … blatherskite" with an "unbalanced and unsound mind," though whether or not Bryan was "insane," the Times editorialist of 1896 conceded, "is a question for expert alienists") is no different than the Times in 2016 on Donald Trump. For his part, Trump probably thinks Bryan's Cross of Gold would make a classy adornment to the Mar-a-Lago Club chapel.

The second certainty is that middlebrow thumb-suckers and chin-pullers will invoke midcentury historian Richard Hofstadter, whose 1964 essay that refuses to die, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics," ascribed dissent from the Cold War Vital Center consensus to mental illness. In your guts, as LBJ backers said of Barry Goldwater, you know he's nuts.

Or they'll quote Hofstadter's The Age of Reform , winner of the Pulitzer Prize-always a bad sign-in which populism is merely "the simple virtues and unmitigated villainies of a rural melodrama" writ large, and it ulcerates with "nativist phobias," "hatred of Europe and Europeans," and resentment of big business, intellectuals, the Eastern seaboard, the other bulwarks of Time-Life culture, circa 1955. (Only a Vital Centurion could believe that wishing to refrain from killing Europeans in wars is evidence of "hatred of Europe and Europeans.")

Well, two can play at tendentiousness. I'd say that American populism, in its various guises, has been distinguished by three basic beliefs:

  1. Concentrated wealth and power are pernicious, so widespread distribution of both is the proper condition;
  2. War and militarism are ruinous to the republic and to the character (not to mention physical health) of the people; and
  3. Ordinary people can be trusted to make their own decisions.

The Democratic candidate this time around is the most hawkish nominee of her party since LBJ in 1964 and its most pro-Wall Street standard bearer since John W. Davis in 1924. She is, in every way, including her "the peasants are revolting" shtick, the compleat anti-populist.

But Hillary's awfulness should not obscure the truth that a healthy populism requires anchorage. It must be grounded in a love of the particular-one's block, one's town, one's neighbors (of all shapes and sizes and colors)-or else it is just a grab bag of resentments, however valid they may be.

An unmoored populism leads to scapegoating and the sputtering fury of the impotent. Breeding with nationalism, it submerges local loyalties and begets a blustering USA! USA! twister of nothingness.

From out of that whirlwind spin the faux-populists of the Beltway Right: placeless mountebanks banking the widow's mite in Occupied Northern Virginia. To a man they are praying for a Hillary Clinton victory, which would be the Clampetts' oil strike and the winning Powerball ticket all rolled into one. President Clinton the Second would be the most lucrative hobgoblin for the ersatz populists of Birther Nation since Teddy Kennedy crossed his last bridge.

Place-based populism, seeded in love, defends a people against the powerful external forces that would crush or corrupt or subjugate them. It's Jane Jacobs and her "bunch of mothers" fighting Robert Moses on behalf of Greenwich Village. It's the people of Poletown, assisted by Ralph Nader, defending their homes and churches against the depredations of General Motors and the execrable Detroit Mayor Coleman Young. It's parents-whether in South Boston, Brooklyn, or rural America-championing their local schools against berobed bussers, education bureaucrats, and Cold War consolidators.

For a span in the early 1990s, Jerry Brown dabbled in populism. Alas, the protean Brown, once returned to California's governorship, became his father, the numbingly conventional liberal hack Pat Brown, though the chameleonic Jesuit may have one final act left him, perhaps as a nonagenarian desert ascetic.

A quarter-century ago, Brown spoke of the populists' struggle against "a global focus over which we have virtually no control. We have to force larger institutions to operate in the interest of local autonomy and local power. Localism, if you really take it seriously, is going to interrupt certain patterns of modern growth and globalism."

The harder they come, the harder they fall, as Jimmy Cliff sang.

The two self-styled populists who made 2016 interesting never so much as glanced at, let alone picked up, the localist tool recommended by Jerry Brown in one of his previous lives. Their populism, dismissive of the local, is hollow. It's all fury and no love. But tomorrow, as a Georgia lady once wrote, is another day.

Bill Kauffman is the author of 10 books, among them Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette and Ain't My America .

[Nov 06, 2016] Trump vs. the REAL Nuts -- the GOP Uniparty Establishment

Notable quotes:
"... An awful lot of people out there think we live in a one-party state-that we're ruled by what is coming to be called the "Uniparty." ..."
"... There is a dawning realization, ever more widespread among ordinary Americans, that our national politics is not Left versus Right or Republican versus Democrat; it's we the people versus the politicians. ..."
"... Donald Trump is no nut. If he were a nut, he would not have amassed the fortune he has, nor nurtured the capable and affectionate family he has. ..."
"... To be conservative, then, is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant, the sufficient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laughter to utopian bliss. ..."
"... Trump has all the right instincts. And he's had the guts and courage-and, just as important, the money -to do a thing that has badly needed doing for twenty years: to smash the power of the real nuts in the GOP Establishment. ..."
Oct 29, 2016 | www.unz.com
54 Comments Credit: VDare.com.

A couple of remarks in Professor Susan McWillams' recent Modern Age piece celebrating the 25th anniversary of Christopher Lasch's 1991 book The True and Only Heaven , which analyzed the cult of progress in its American manifestation, have stuck in my mind. Here's the first one:

In the most recent American National Election Studies survey, only 19 percent of Americans agreed with the idea that the government, "is run for the benefit of all the people." [ The True and Only Lasch: On The True and Only Heaven, 25 Years Later , Fall 2016]

McWilliams adds a footnote to that: The 19 percent figure is from 2012, she says. Then she tells us that in 1964, 64 percent of Americans agreed with the same statement.

Wow. You have to think that those two numbers, from 64 percent down to 19 percent in two generations, tell us something important and disturbing about our political life.

Second McWilliams quote:

In 2016 if you type the words "Democrats and Republicans" or "Republicans and Democrats" into Google, the algorithms predict your next words will be "are the same".

I just tried this, and she's right. These guesses are of course based on the frequency with which complete sentences show up all over the internet. An awful lot of people out there think we live in a one-party state-that we're ruled by what is coming to be called the "Uniparty."

There is a dawning realization, ever more widespread among ordinary Americans, that our national politics is not Left versus Right or Republican versus Democrat; it's we the people versus the politicians.

Which leads me to a different lady commentator: Peggy Noonan, in her October 20th Wall Street Journal column.

The title of Peggy's piece was: Imagine a Sane Donald Trump . [ Alternate link ]Its gravamen: Donald Trump has shown up the Republican Party Establishment as totally out of touch with their base, which is good; but that he's bat-poop crazy, which is bad. If a sane Donald Trump had done the good thing, the showing-up, we'd be on course to a major beneficial correction in our national politics.

It's a good clever piece. A couple of months ago on Radio Derb I offered up one and a half cheers for Peggy, who gets a lot right in spite of being a longtime Establishment Insider. So it was here. Sample of what she got right last week:

Mr. Trump's great historical role was to reveal to the Republican Party what half of its own base really thinks about the big issues. The party's leaders didn't know! They were shocked, so much that they indulged in sheer denial and made believe it wasn't happening.

The party's leaders accept more or less open borders and like big trade deals. Half the base does not! It is longtime GOP doctrine to cut entitlement spending. Half the base doesn't want to, not right now! Republican leaders have what might be called assertive foreign-policy impulses. When Mr. Trump insulted George W. Bush and nation-building and said he'd opposed the Iraq invasion, the crowds, taking him at his word, cheered. He was, as they say, declaring that he didn't want to invade the world and invite the world. Not only did half the base cheer him, at least half the remaining half joined in when the primaries ended.

I'll just pause to note Peggy's use of Steve Sailer' s great encapsulation of Bush-style NeoConnery: "Invade the world, invite the world." Either Peggy's been reading Steve on the sly, or she's read my book We Are Doomed , which borrows that phrase. I credited Steve with it, though, so in either case she knows its provenance, and should likewise have credited Steve.

End of pause. OK, so Peggy got some things right there. She got a lot wrong, though

Start with the notion that Trump is crazy. He's a nut, she says, five times. His brain is "a TV funhouse."

Well, Trump has some colorful quirks of personality, to be sure, as we all do. But he's no nut. A nut can't be as successful in business as Trump has been.

I spent 32 years as an employee or contractor, mostly in private businesses but for two years in a government department. Private businesses are intensely rational, as human affairs go-much more rational than government departments. The price of irrationality in business is immediate and plainly financial. Sanity-wise, Trump is a better bet than most people in high government positions.

Sure, politicians talk a good rational game. They present as sober and thoughtful on the Sunday morning shows.

Look at the stuff they believe, though. Was it rational to respond to the collapse of the U.S.S.R. by moving NATO right up to Russia's borders? Was it rational to expect that post-Saddam Iraq would turn into a constitutional democracy? Was it rational to order insurance companies to sell healthcare policies to people who are already sick? Was the Vietnam War a rational enterprise? Was it rational to respond to the 9/11 attacks by massively increasing Muslim immigration?

Make your own list.

Donald Trump displays good healthy patriotic instincts. I'll take that, with the personality quirks and all, over some earnest, careful, sober-sided guy whose head contains fantasies of putting the world to rights, or flooding our country with unassimilable foreigners.

I'd add the point, made by many commentators, that belongs under the general heading: "You don't have to be crazy to work here, but it helps." If Donald Trump was not so very different from run-of-the-mill politicians-which I suspect is a big part of what Peggy means by calling him a nut-would he have entered into the political adventure he's on?

Thor Heyerdahl sailed across the Pacific on a hand-built wooden raft to prove a point, which is not the kind of thing your average ethnographer would do. Was he crazy? No, he wasn't. It was only that some feature of his personality drove him to use that way to prove the point he hoped to prove.

And then there is Peggy's assertion that the Republican Party's leaders didn't know that half the party's base were at odds with them.

Did they really not? Didn't they get a clue when the GOP lost in 2012, mainly because millions of Republican voters didn't turn out for Mitt Romney? Didn't they, come to think of it, get the glimmering of a clue back in 1996, when Pat Buchanan won the New Hampshire primary?

Pat Buchanan is in fact a living counter-argument to Peggy's thesis-the "sane Donald Trump" that she claims would win the hearts of GOP managers. Pat is Trump without the personality quirks. How has the Republican Party treated him ?

Our own Brad Griffin , here at VDARE.com on October 24th, offered a couple more "sane Donald Trumps": Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee. How did they fare with the GOP Establishment?

Donald Trump is no nut. If he were a nut, he would not have amassed the fortune he has, nor nurtured the capable and affectionate family he has. Probably he's less well-informed about the world than the average pol. I doubt he could tell you what the capital of Burkina Faso is. That's secondary, though. A President has people to look up that stuff for him. The question that's been asked more than any other about Donald Trump is not, pace Peggy Noonan, "Is he nuts?" but, " Is he conservative? "

I'm sure he is. But my definition of "conservative" is temperamental, not political. My touchstone here is the sketch of the conservative temperament given to us by the English political philosopher Michael Oakeshott :

To be conservative, then, is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant, the sufficient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laughter to utopian bliss.

Rationalism in Politics and other essays (1962)

That fits Trump better than it fits any liberal you can think of-better also than many senior Republicans.

For example, it was one of George W. Bush's senior associates-probably Karl Rove-who scoffed at opponents of Bush's delusional foreign policy as "the reality-based community." It would be hard to think of a more un -Oakeshottian turn of phrase.

Trump has all the right instincts. And he's had the guts and courage-and, just as important, the money -to do a thing that has badly needed doing for twenty years: to smash the power of the real nuts in the GOP Establishment.

I thank him for that, and look forward to his Presidency.

[Nov 06, 2016] Trumps closing argument

Nov 06, 2016 | www.unz.com
Pretty good Trump ad tying together his themes of Hillary's corruption and globalism. Rather than just attack Hillary over idiosyncratic scandals, he's pulling together the threads of how Hillary's ideology and self-interest support each other.

It's funny how Trump is developing a more coherent big picture framework.

My recollection of Romney's campaign is that he generally lacked an intellectual framework for tying together his a la carte issues.

With McCain, he had Invade the World / Invite the World. Sure, it doesn't make much sense, but at least it's an ethos.

Romney, though, was a more reasonable man than McCain, so he was kind of stuck in nowhere land in the middle.

In contrast to the remarkable spectacle of Donald Trump, of all people, evolving into an insightful critic of the conventional wisdom of the zeitgeist , Hillary's big intellectual breakthrough in 2016 was realizing how much she really hates people who don't vote for her due to their irredeemable deplorableness.

That doesn't mean, however, the details will necessarily work together for Trump. For example, industrial protectionism was likely pretty good for America on the whole during the "infant industries" era (to quote the non-rap Alexander Hamilton). But you didn't really want to see how the sausage is made. Tariff battles in Congress tended to gross out everybody who wasn't a hired lobbyist or wardheeler.

Jerry Pournelle has proposed a modest tariff (e.g., 10%) on everything, no exceptions, as a way around the corruption problem. Of course, that's the opposite approach to Trump's Art of the Deal inclinations.

[Nov 04, 2016] Can The Oligarchy Still Steal The Presidential Election

Notable quotes:
"... With the reopening of the FBI investigation of Hillary and related scandals exploding all around her, election theft is not only more risky but also less likely to serve the Oligarchy's own interests. ..."
"... A Hillary presidency could put our country into chaos. I doubt the oligarchs are sufficiently stupid to think that once she is sworn in, Hillary can fire FBI Director Comey and shut down the investigation. The last president that tried that was Richard Nixon, and look where that got him. ..."
"... If you were an oligarch, would you want your agent under this kind of scrutiny? If you were Hillary, would you want to be under this kind of pressure? ..."
"... "Clinton's presence aboard Jeffrey Epstein's Boeing 727 on 11 occasions has been reported, but flight logs show the number is more than double that, and trips between 2001 and 2003 included extended junkets around the world with Epstein and fellow passengers identified on manifests by their initials or first names, including "Tatiana." The tricked-out jet earned its Nabakov-inspired nickname because it was reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls." ..."
Nov 04, 2016 | www.unz.com
Yes they can ;-). that's how two party system is functioning by default. Rank-and-file are typically screwed. the only exception is so called "revolutionary situation", when the elite lost legitimacy and can't dictate its will on the people below.

November 4, 2016

The election was set up to be stolen from Trump. That was the purpose of the polls rigged by overweighting Hillary supporters in the samples. After weeks of hearing poll results that Hillary was in the lead, the public would discount a theft claim. Electronic voting makes elections easy to steal, and I have posted explanations by election fraud experts of how it is done.

Clearly the Oligarchy does not want Donald Trump in the White House as they are unsure that they could control him, and Hillary is their agent.

With the reopening of the FBI investigation of Hillary and related scandals exploding all around her, election theft is not only more risky but also less likely to serve the Oligarchy's own interests.

Image as well as money is part of Oligarchic power. The image of America takes a big hit if the American people elect a president who is currently under felony investigation.

Moreover, a President Hillary would be under investigation for years. With so much spotlight on her, she would not be able to serve the Oligarchy's interests. She would be worthless to them, and, indeed, investigations that unearthed various connections between Hillary and oligarchs could damage the oligarchs.

In other words, for the Oligarchy Hillary has moved from an asset to a liability.

A Hillary presidency could put our country into chaos. I doubt the oligarchs are sufficiently stupid to think that once she is sworn in, Hillary can fire FBI Director Comey and shut down the investigation. The last president that tried that was Richard Nixon, and look where that got him.

Moreover, the Republicans in the House and Senate would not stand for it. House Committee on oversight and Government Reform chairman Jason Chaffetz has already declared Hillary to be "a target-rich environment. Even before we get to day one, we've got two years worth of material already lined up." House Speaker Paul Ryan said investigation will follow the evidence.

If you were an oligarch, would you want your agent under this kind of scrutiny? If you were Hillary, would you want to be under this kind of pressure?

What happens if the FBI recommends the indictment of the president? Even insouciant Americans would see the cover-up if the attorney general refused to prosecute the case. Americans would lose all confidence in the government. Chaos would rule. Chaos can be revolutionary, and that is not good for oligarchs.

Moreover, if reports can be believed, salacious scandals appear to be waiting their time on stage. For example, last May Fox News reported:

"Former President Bill Clinton was a much more frequent flyer on a registered sex offender's infamous jet than previously reported, with flight logs showing the former president taking at least 26 trips aboard the "Lolita Express" - even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights, according to records obtained by FoxNews.com.

"Clinton's presence aboard Jeffrey Epstein's Boeing 727 on 11 occasions has been reported, but flight logs show the number is more than double that, and trips between 2001 and 2003 included extended junkets around the world with Epstein and fellow passengers identified on manifests by their initials or first names, including "Tatiana." The tricked-out jet earned its Nabakov-inspired nickname because it was reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls."

Fox News reports that Epstein served time in prison for "solicitation and procurement of minors for prostitution. He allegedly had a team of traffickers who procured girls as young as 12 to service his friends on 'Orgy Island,' an estate on Epstein's 72-acre island, called Little St. James, in the U.S. Virgin Islands." http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/05/13/flight-logs-show-bill-clinton-flew-on-sex-offenders-jet-much-more-than-previously-known.html
Some Internet sites, the credibility of which is unknown to me, have linked Hillary to these flights. http

[Nov 04, 2016] The Guardian WikiLeaks Reveals How Globalist Elites Run America for Their Own Interests

Notable quotes:
"... From The Guardian : ..."
"... Read the rest here . ..."
www.breitbart.com
Thomas Frank writes in The Guardian that the WikiLeaks emails to and from Hillary Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta "offer an unprecedented view into the workings of the elite, and how it looks after itself." They provide "a window into the soul of the Democratic party and into the dreams and thoughts of the class to whom the party answers."

From The Guardian:

This genre of Podesta email, in which people try to arrange jobs for themselves or their kids, points us toward the most fundamental thing we know about the people at the top of this class: their loyalty to one another and the way it overrides everything else. Of course Hillary Clinton staffed her state department with investment bankers and then did speaking engagements for investment banks as soon as she was done at the state department. Of course she appears to think that any kind of bank reform should "come from the industry itself". And of course no elite bankers were ever prosecuted by the Obama administration. Read these emails and you understand, with a start, that the people at the top tier of American life all know each other. They are all engaged in promoting one another's careers, constantly.

Everything blurs into everything else in this world. The state department, the banks, Silicon Valley, the nonprofits, the "Global CEO Advisory Firm" that appears to have solicited donations for the Clinton Foundation. Executives here go from foundation to government to thinktank to startup. There are honors. Venture capital. Foundation grants. Endowed chairs. Advanced degrees. For them the door revolves. The friends all succeed. They break every boundary.But the One Big Boundary remains. Yes, it's all supposed to be a meritocracy. But if you aren't part of this happy, prosperous in-group – if you don't have John Podesta's email address – you're out.

Read the rest here.

[Nov 04, 2016] Forget the FBI cache; the Podesta emails show how America is run

Notable quotes:
"... The emails currently roiling the US presidential campaign are part of some unknown digital collection amassed by the troublesome Anthony Weiner, but if your purpose is to understand the clique of people who dominate Washington today, the emails that really matter are the ones being slowly released by WikiLeaks from the hacked account of Hillary Clinton's campaign chair John Podesta. ..."
"... "What is remarkable is that, in the party of Jackson and Bryan and Roosevelt, smiling financiers now seem to stand on every corner, constantly proffering advice about this and that". ..."
"... Do they want more of the same + the Clinton's insatiable appetite for self-enrichmentand that permanent insincere smile? If not, why not give Trump a chance. If they don't like him, kick him out in four years' time. ..."
"... My feeling is this sort of behaviour has its equivalents throughout history and that when it peaks we have upheaval and decline. ..."
"... "Yes, it's all supposed to be a meritocracy. But if you aren't part of this happy, prosperous in-group – if you don't have John Podesta's email address – you're out." ..."
"... Of course you are quite correct, the Democratic Party is a fraud for working people and a collection of self serving elitist. If you have a solution to solve why people keep voting for them I would love to hear it. ..."
"... I am sure the people of Syria and Libya are grateful to these amazing people for destroying their countries and stealing their resources. ..."
"... What's left is a pretty ugly, self-righteous and corrupt crowd. Their attacks on Comey have been despicable, beneath contempt and absurd. I think they're going to lose and they will deserve to. ..."
"... "Former National Endowment for the Arts chairman Bill Ivey says a leaked e-mail to Clinton deputy John Podesta did not reveal a 'master plan' for maintaining political power via 'an unaware and compliant citizenry.'" ..."
"... I use work in these circles and the soul crushing thing is that elites look out for themselves and their careers and have no real personality, morals, values, character, backbone and certainly no interest in the people. They have personalities of wet fish and are generally cowardice and an embarrassment to mankind. In sort a waste of space ..."
Nov 04, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

The emails currently roiling the US presidential campaign are part of some unknown digital collection amassed by the troublesome Anthony Weiner, but if your purpose is to understand the clique of people who dominate Washington today, the emails that really matter are the ones being slowly released by WikiLeaks from the hacked account of Hillary Clinton's campaign chair John Podesta. They are last week's scandal in a year running over with scandals, but in truth their significance goes far beyond mere scandal: they are a window into the soul of the Democratic party and into the dreams and thoughts of the class to whom the party answers.

The class to which I refer is not rising in angry protest; they are by and large pretty satisfied, pretty contented. Nobody takes road trips to exotic West Virginia to see what the members of this class looks like or how they live; on the contrary, they are the ones for whom such stories are written. This bunch doesn't have to make do with a comb-over TV mountebank for a leader; for this class, the choices are always pretty good, and this year they happen to be excellent.

They are the comfortable and well-educated mainstay of our modern Democratic party. They are also the grandees of our national media; the architects of our software; the designers of our streets; the high officials of our banking system; the authors of just about every plan to fix social security or fine-tune the Middle East with precision droning. They are, they think, not a class at all but rather the enlightened ones, the people who must be answered to but who need never explain themselves.

...I think the WikiLeaks releases furnish us with an opportunity to observe the upper reaches of the American status hierarchy in all its righteousness and majesty.

The dramatis personae of the liberal class are all present in this amazing body of work: financial innovators. High-achieving colleagues attempting to get jobs for their high-achieving children. Foundation executives doing fine and noble things. Prizes, of course, and high academic achievement.

...Hillary's ingratiating speeches to Wall Street are well known of course, but what is remarkable is that, in the party of Jackson and Bryan and Roosevelt, smiling financiers now seem to stand on every corner, constantly proffering advice about this and that. In one now-famous email chain, for example, the reader can watch current US trade representative Michael Froman, writing from a Citibank email address in 2008, appear to name President Obama's cabinet even before the great hope-and-change election was decided (incidentally, an important clue to understanding why that greatest of zombie banks was never put out of its misery).

The far-sighted innovators of Silicon Valley are also here in force, interacting all the time with the leaders of the party of the people. We watch as Podesta appears to email Sheryl Sandberg. He makes plans to visit Mark Zuckerberg (who, according to one missive, wants to "learn more about next steps for his philanthropy and social action"). Podesta exchanges emails with an entrepreneur about an ugly race now unfolding for Silicon Valley's seat in Congress; this man, in turn, appears to forward to Podesta the remarks of yet another Silicon Valley grandee, who complains that one of the Democratic combatants in that fight was criticizing billionaires who give to Democrats. Specifically, the miscreant Dem in question was said to be:

"… spinning (and attacking) donors who have supported Democrats. John Arnold and Marc Leder have both given to Cory Booker, Joe Kennedy, and others. He is also attacking every billionaire that donates to [Congressional candidate] Ro [Khanna], many whom support other Democrats as well."

Attacking billionaires! In the year 2015! It was, one of the correspondents appears to write, "madness and political malpractice of the party to allow this to continue".

There are wonderful things to be found in this treasure trove when you search the gilded words "Davos" or "Tahoe".

... ... ...

Then there is the apparent nepotism, the dozens if not hundreds of mundane emails in which petitioners for this or that plum Washington job or high-profile academic appointment politely appeal to Podesta – the ward-heeler of the meritocratic elite – for a solicitous word whispered in the ear of a powerful crony.

This genre of Podesta email, in which people try to arrange jobs for themselves or their kids, points us toward the most fundamental thing we know about the people at the top of this class: their loyalty to one another and the way it overrides everything else. Of course Hillary Clinton staffed her state department with investment bankers and then did speaking engagements for investment banks as soon as she was done at the state department. Of course she appears to think that any kind of bank reform should "come from the industry itself". And of course no elite bankers were ever prosecuted by the Obama administration. Read these emails and you understand, with a start, that the people at the top tier of American life all know each other. They are all engaged in promoting one another's careers, constantly.

Everything blurs into everything else in this world. The state department, the banks, Silicon Valley, the nonprofits, the "Global CEO Advisory Firm" that appears to have solicited donations for the Clinton Foundation. Executives here go from foundation to government to thinktank to startup. There are honors. Venture capital. Foundation grants. Endowed chairs. Advanced degrees. For them the door revolves. The friends all succeed. They break every boundary.

But the One Big Boundary remains. Yes, it's all supposed to be a meritocracy. But if you aren't part of this happy, prosperous in-group – if you don't have John Podesta's email address – you're out.

greatapedescendant 5d ago

It's all polyarchy,plutocracy and powerful lobbyists for the arms and finance industries. The average US citizen counts for nothing. The higher up on the socio-economic scale you are, the more you count. Except for a brainwashed vote once every 4 years.

From today's Guardian…

"US politics tends to be portrayed as driven by geopolitical interests rather than personalities, and so most ordinary Russians assume that little will change, whoever wins."

"And nothing will change for the average US citizen, just like in Britain. Looks like most ordinary Russians have got it spot on.

greatapedescendant -> greatapedescendant 5d ago

And as if that were not enough, the elections are 'rigged' in various ways.

Americans have a great responsibility not only to their country but to other so-called advanced western democracies which follow they US model. A radical change in US politics to bring it in line with genuine concern for the interests of the average citizen would greatly assist efforts here on the other side of the Atlantic to do the same.

SergeantPave 5d ago

Astonishing that registered Democrats rejected one of the cleanest politicians in modern US history in order to nominate the Queen of Wall St. What do they hope to gain from expanded corporate globalism and entrenchment of the corporate coup d'etat at home?

Matthew McNeany -> SergeantPave 5d ago

Except that it was the same party grandees (Super-delegates - the very word sticks in your throat no?) who all but confirmed Clinton's appointment before a single ballot was cast by the party rank and file.

djhurley , 31 Oct 2016 11:2
"What is remarkable is that, in the party of Jackson and Bryan and Roosevelt, smiling financiers now seem to stand on every corner, constantly proffering advice about this and that".

Spot on. There's amnesia today about where the Democratic party historically stood in regard to Wall Street and its interests.

Watchman80 -> djhurley , 31 Oct 2016 13:0
Yep - very good article.

I am surprised to find it in the Guardian.

democratista -> Watchman80 , 31 Oct 2016 13:1
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Beckow -> djhurley , 31 Oct 2016 15:1
Real issues - like economic well-being for all - have been replaced by Democrats with mindless identity politics. Clinton is literally running on "I will spend half a billion to reduce bullying", on unisex bathrooms, and more women of color everywhere.

Is that what democracy should be all about? FDR and other real Democrats would die laughing if they would see these current "progressive liberals" - they stand for nothing, they are a total waste of time, as Obama so amply demonstrated.

ga gamba , 31 Oct 2016 11:2
The warning signals were screaming months ago and the mass media concocted a smear campaign against Sanders because he wasn't owned and he was the wrong gender.

Sanders would have destroyed Trump in this election.

Oliver Elkington -> ga gamba , 31 Oct 2016 11:3
See, Trump is right when he says that the US media is corrupt
DaveTheFirst -> ga gamba , 31 Oct 2016 11:4
Then Bernie endorsed Clinton... :\
callaspodeaspode -> DaveTheFirst , 31 Oct 2016 11:5
Yes he did endorse her. Because it is customary for the losing candidate(s) in the nomination race to do so. He said he would endorse her if she won, right from the start of the process. For the patently obvious reason, which he repeated again and again, that even a compromised HRC is far better than Donald Trump.

And he kept his word, but not before he did his level best during the convention to get some decent policies jammed into the Democratic Party platform.

unclestinky , 31 Oct 2016 11:2
And if the same sort of leakage had come from the Republicans you'd see exactly the same patronage and influence peddling. If there's one area of politics that remains truly bipartisan it's the gravitational pull of large sums of money.
Chris Davison -> unclestinky , 31 Oct 2016 11:3
Which only goes to show that ALL of them are unfit for any position of Public Office, let alone any Public employment.
gandrew -> unclestinky , 31 Oct 2016 15:1
Except Citizens United failed because Republicans opposed it in the form of their Supreme Court judges.
OhSuitsYouSir -> Chris Davison , 31 Oct 2016 17:1
yawn yawn - what a profound comment
callaspodeaspode , 31 Oct 2016 11:2
We even read the pleadings of a man who wants to be invited to a state dinner at the White House and who offers, as one of several exhibits in his favor, the fact that he "joined the DSCC Majority Trust in Martha's Vineyard (contributing over $32,400 to Democratic senators) in July 2014".

Then there is the apparent nepotism, the dozens if not hundreds of mundane emails in which petitioners for this or that plum Washington job or high-profile academic appointment politely appeal to Podesta – the ward-heeler of the meritocratic elite – for a solicitous word whispered in the ear of a powerful crony.

Something timeless about it all, isn't there? Like reading an account of court life in the era of Charles II.

Mark Taylor -> callaspodeaspode , 31 Oct 2016 12:1
And to think that they had a revolution to get rid of all that nonsense.
AIRrrww , 31 Oct 2016 11:2
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gully_foyle , 31 Oct 2016 11:2
There's nothing revelatory in the fact that this is happening among the Democrats, there is surely a carbon copy going on with the Republicans! But somehow I don't think Wikileaks will be releasing anything about that, until the GoP happens to do something that steps on Putin's toes...
Banditolobster -> gully_foyle , 31 Oct 2016 11:4
Weak, the truth is the truth, ranting about reds under the beds is bollocks.
sbmfc -> gully_foyle , 31 Oct 2016 13:1
The Russian link is something made up by the Dems to take the heat off Clinton.

Podesta was caught out by a simple phishing trick which could be carried out by anyone.

gully_foyle -> Banditolobster , 31 Oct 2016 14:4
We'll find out the truth about how Wikileaks operates one day. The alignment between Wikileaks releases and interests of Russian foreign policy became suspicious a long time before you read on Breitbart that Clinton made it up. And I wasn't in any way denying or diminishing the activities described in the article. There are just better articles out there, which consider corruption in "the system" from all sides - which is exactly how it should be viewed, not more of this divide and conquer bullshit.
Oliver Elkington , 31 Oct 2016 11:3
It is clear that rigging had taken place in the Democrat primaries, Bernie Sanders was more popular with a big chunk of the electorate including the young, here in the Guardian few people had a bad word to say about him, compare that to Hillary who's only strong point seems to be that she is a safer choice than Trump.
jianhan q -> Oliver Elkington , 31 Oct 2016 13:0
She's not.
js1919 -> jianhan q , 31 Oct 2016 14:0
I'm not so sure anymore either. For the world, maybe Trump is better in the end (ofc Clinton is by far better for the US). I knew what a hawk Clinton is but seeing her "obliterate Iran" comments made me think she might be even more dangerous than I thought.
HotTomales -> Oliver Elkington , 31 Oct 2016 17:1
The corollary is, Trump is the only candidate that Hillary can beat. That bares some thinking over, I believe, especially in the light of the way we know the political system and the Democrats in particular work. Oh well . . .
greenwichite , 31 Oct 2016 11:3
It didn't matter so much when the right-wing parties were puppets of billionaires.

The political crisis arrived when the supposedly "left-wing" parties sold out to them too.

At which point, democratic choice evaporated.

Financial interests have today captured the entire body-politic of Britain and America, and it really doesn't matter which party you vote for - Goldman Sachs will call the shots regardless.

And they see you as simply a cash-cow to be milked for the benefit of the very rich, themselves included.

ID904765 -> greenwichite , 31 Oct 2016 11:4
Your general point is broadly accurate - however I would have second thoughts before singling out Goldman Sachs any more than say Morgan Stanley , Citigroup or Bank of America.
Fred Bloggs -> ID904765 , 31 Oct 2016 12:1
Goldman Sachs are the leader of the gang?
BurgermaS -> ID904765 , 31 Oct 2016 14:1
I think he meant Goldman Sachs as a term for the larger banking group of interests (as you listed). Some call them the 'white shoe boys'. Everyone knows the banks control everything now.
KateShade , 31 Oct 2016 11:3
Let me make sure I've got this right:

you would prefer politicians who never speak to the people running businesses, finance, universities, hospitals etc etc.?

Marjallche -> KateShade , 31 Oct 2016 11:4
I would prefer politicians who don't get paid by those whose power they are supposed to rein in.
stormsinteacups -> KateShade , 31 Oct 2016 11:5
you've got it the wrong way round....it's the groups you mention that plead NOT speak with politicians. Please don't include those running hospitals and universities with the worldwide business and finance mafia.
KateShade -> Marjallche , 31 Oct 2016 12:3
paying politicians is definitely not the way to go... campaign funding rules are what is crippling the US....

other countries have much better systems...

or are you thinking of other forms of 'payment'?

JennM , 31 Oct 2016 11:3
I see no way out of this mess
ralphrooney -> JennM , 31 Oct 2016 11:3
hopefully it ends with hillary in jail
LabourMess -> JennM , 31 Oct 2016 12:1
So you don't think that Trump will try to drain the swamp.
Mates Braas -> ralphrooney , 31 Oct 2016 12:2
Hoping to see Clinton end up in jail is no different than hoping to see Bush at the ICC.
Brownbread , 31 Oct 2016 11:3
"This genre of Podesta email, in which people try to arrange jobs for themselves or their kids, points us toward the most fundamental thing we know about the people at the top of this class: their loyalty to one another and the way it overrides everything else."

This is quite a mundane observation. To which social group does a tendency for in-group loyalty NOT apply? I think what it actually shows is that high status people mix together and are more confident in using such forms of communication with powerful people (with whom they assume a connection) for personal gain. Hardly surprising. And also only applies to the sample - those who emailed - rather than the general class. That is, it's a bad sample because it is self selecting, and therefore says something more about people who are willing to communicate in this way, rather than their broader class.

MacCosham -> Brownbread , 31 Oct 2016 12:0
A tendency for in-group loyalty and loyalty overriding everything else are two very, very, very different things.
Brownbread -> MacCosham , 31 Oct 2016 12:2
Okay, read as, 'a tendency for an in-group loyalty that, when acted out, overrides everything else' (as implied by the definition of 'loyalty').
Brownbread -> MacCosham , 31 Oct 2016 12:2
So to be clear, I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. One is about how often you are loyal to your group, and the other is about the nature of loyalty itself.
soixantehuitard , 31 Oct 2016 11:3
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waldoh , 31 Oct 2016 11:3
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kelso77 , 31 Oct 2016 11:3
What has seemingly slipped under the radar is Podesta's emails withDr Edgar Mitchell, Tom Delonge and a couple of Generals.

The truth is out there...

PaulGButler -> kelso77 , 31 Oct 2016 12:2

What has seemingly slipped under the radar is Podesta's emails withDr Edgar Mitchell, Tom Delonge and a couple of Generals.

Looks like it's going to stay there as well, at least as far as you are concerned ...

JustinNimmo , 31 Oct 2016 11:3
That the people at the very top of their industry and professions know each other and communicate with each other is hardly a surprise. Nor is it bad - it helps the world to function. Nor is it necessarily corrupt provided they operate within the law. What is important is that getting to the top of these professions is an opportunity open to everyone with the ability and the drive. That, sadly, is not the case. Nepotism does not help either.
greenwichite -> JustinNimmo , 31 Oct 2016 11:4
These people at the top of their professions have a track-record of abysmal failure. Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and the other banks should have been allowed to collapse in 2008, as fitting punishment for their greed and incompetence. Instead, they used their paid-for access to the Bush White House to demand and acquire a trillion-dollar bailout.

That's not networking. It's corruption.

infamy72 -> JustinNimmo , 31 Oct 2016 11:4
Who's laws , oh the ruling classes laws.
z8000736 , 31 Oct 2016 11:3
[neo]Liberal may be a dirty word to call someone in America but the author of this piece seems unaware it doesn't work quite the same way the other side of the Atlantic. May I suggest panty-waisted pointy-head instead?
1iJack -> z8000736 , 31 Oct 2016 12:1
Better yet: Globalist. Its an underlying theme that we have seen unite the Clintons and Bush/Romney families in this election cycle...we now know who the enemy is, and they have infiltrated both the Democrats and the Republicans. They have a secret badge they wear pledging an allegiance to a higher power: the Clinton/Bush/Romney families are the jack-booted thugs of the American globalists.
Brownbread -> 1iJack , 31 Oct 2016 15:2
Yeah, they are so much nastier than those cuddly protectionists.
Ted_Pikul -> Brownbread , 31 Oct 2016 16:5
The more the administrative class' borderless "humanism" aligns with the oligarchy's desire for cheap labor, the less objectionable those cuddly persons become.
BobSlater , 31 Oct 2016 11:4
It's very easy to make a case that HRC is unfit for the presidency... Except for the fact the alternative is Trump. A clique arranges matters for themselves and the electorate is basically told to go to hell.

What is over there is on it's way over here if it hasn't happened already. You can build big corporations with a flourishing financial sector or you can build a nation. I would say choose but you don't get a choice.

kodicek , 31 Oct 2016 11:4
Good job in presenting Hillary as the poor victim, when she has the whole weight of the neo-liberal media-banking system behind her... Next up in Orwell land...
flybow , 31 Oct 2016 11:4
here's a link to them. https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/3774
themandibleclaw , 31 Oct 2016 11:4
As George Carlin said "It's a big club and you ain't in it".
Brownbread -> themandibleclaw , 31 Oct 2016 15:3
He also said, "be excellent to each other."
MitchellParker , 31 Oct 2016 11:4
"Along with the concept of American Dream runs the notion that every man and woman is entitled to an opinion and to one vote, no matter how ridiculous that opinion might be or how uninformed the vote. It could be that the Borderer Presbyterian tradition of "stand up and say your rightful piece" contributed to the American notion that our gut-level but uninformed opinions are some sort of unvarnished foundational political truths.

I have been told that this is because we redneck working-class Scots Irish suffer from what psychiatrists call "no insight".

Consequently, we will never agree with anyone outside our zone of ignorance because our belligerent Borderer pride insists on the right to be dangerously wrong about everything while telling those who are more educated to "bite my ass!"

― Joe Bageant, Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War

Longerenong , 31 Oct 2016 11:4
There is still a week to go.

The way this election has been going you'd have to be a fool not to expect yet another twist in the plot.

HonourableMember , 31 Oct 2016 11:4
A meritocracy always crashes and crushes its actors and puppet masters whenever merit is neither exhibited nor warranted ...... for then is it too much alike a fraudulent ponzi to be anything else.
noteasilyfooled , 31 Oct 2016 11:4
What Americans need to ask themselves is: Are they happy with things as they are after 8 years of Obama? Do they want more of the same + the Clinton's insatiable appetite for self-enrichmentand that permanent insincere smile? If not, why not give Trump a chance. If they don't like him, kick him out in four years' time.
Elephantmoth -> noteasilyfooled , 31 Oct 2016 12:0
Are Americans happy with things as they are after 8 years of a Republican Congress stonewalling every attempt to improve things for ordinary people, even shutting down the whole government in pursuit of their partisan agenda? The childish antics of our 'democratic representatives' have diminished the ideals of democracy and would sink even further with Trump, who could do a lot of damage in four years.
ID1906465 -> noteasilyfooled , 31 Oct 2016 12:0
four years is a very long time! Took less than that for the Nazis to get into power after having got into parliament.
PaulGButler -> noteasilyfooled , 31 Oct 2016 12:1

why not give Trump a chance.

Bit ironic, given your user name "noteasilyfooled". You are aware that Donald Trump (in spite of several attempts to lose his fortune) is a billionaire?

Bluejil , 31 Oct 2016 11:4
It has been ongoing through out history, ancient Greece and the beginning of democracy, Romans, Kings, Queens, courts and courtiers. Is it really a surprise that if you do not have a Harvard MBA, you won't rise through the ranks of Goldman's and McKinsey? It's no different here in England, £50,000 and up to dine with Dave and George last year.

Most of the population trusts who they elect to do the jobs they themselves would not do or could not do, it's steeped in history that the well educated take the helm. Politics is nepotism and money has always played a very large part, for every party, not just the democrats. Let's not pretend the republicans are innocent saints in all of this, if Wikileaks were to delve into their actions there would be a shit storm, remember the NRA is part and parcel of the Republican party.

Blenheim -> Bluejil , 31 Oct 2016 12:0
Most of the population trusts who they elect to do the jobs they themselves would not do or could not do

Not sure we do .. We're totally apathetic and cynical in regards to politics, and certainly those who put themselves forward mostly aren't up to the job but are seemingly unemployable elsewhere; look no further than the last PM and his idiot chum, and now the current PM and her front bench. Would you employ 'em?..

MacCosham -> Bluejil , 31 Oct 2016 12:0
Ehm, sorry, no. Remember there is a word, democracy , which is taken to mean that governments act according to the wishes of the people who elected them. Your petty partisanship is blinding you.
haribol , 31 Oct 2016 11:4

They are the comfortable and well-educated mainstay of our modern Democratic party. They are also the grandees of our national media; the architects of our software; the designers of our streets; the high officials of our banking system; the authors of just about every plan to fix social security or fine-tune the Middle East with precision droning. They are, they think, not a class at all but rather the enlightened ones, the people who must be answered to but who need never explain themselves.

This is across the WHOLE of the West no matter whether right leaning or left leaning.

moria50 -> elliot2511 , 31 Oct 2016 11:5
Also cousins albeit 19th cousins. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3210778/Donald-Trump-Hillary-Clinton-revealed-distant-cousins-family-trees-share-set-royal-ancestors.html
WhitesandsOjibwe , 31 Oct 2016 11:5
"Keep the American public compliant and unaware."

Clinton's private and public face. Says it all.

missuswatanabe , 31 Oct 2016 11:5
The really interesting question is whether it has always been like this (and we just don't have the emails to prove it) or whether this is a fairly new phenomenon. My feeling is this sort of behaviour has its equivalents throughout history and that when it peaks we have upheaval and decline.

The current malaise goes back a long way but was catalysed by the end of the Cold War. Because the West 'won' with a system of liberal capitalist democracy, politics took a back seat to business interests. The Clintonian and Blairite 'third way' was billed as a practical compromise but the reality was an abdication of politics. Into this vacuum stepped the kind of self-serving elite the Podesta emails reveal. Arrangements are starting to break down and Michael Gove's much derided statement that people have 'had enough of experts' is actually the most insightful thing that has been said about 21st Century politics so far.

dedalus77uk , 31 Oct 2016 11:5
Yes, yes, Thomas. But one click on your name reveals an approach to these elections which about as unbiased against Clinton as Comley's - it's pretty clear who you want to win.

Among other things, if Trump wins, though, there will be war in Europe within 2 years, as Putin grabs the Baltic states and the USA sits back, arms folded - you heard it here first.

1iJack -> dedalus77uk , 31 Oct 2016 12:0
Europe hates the U.S. and hasn't wanted us in NATO for decades. Goodbye.
jean2121 -> dedalus77uk , 31 Oct 2016 12:0
You are delusional. It isn quite the contrary that will happen. the war monger is Hillary. what proof do you need?
caseball -> dedalus77uk , 31 Oct 2016 12:1
If Clinton is elected itll be First Strike using nukes by the US. You heard it here first.
1iJack , 31 Oct 2016 11:5
And by electing Trump, we are trying to fuck up all of the people you mention in your article above. We can't completely, but through things like term limits we can make Washington a city full of strangers to them. It is much more difficult to deal with strangers in the "back room" as you can't trust them.

We need to make Washington as inaccessible to those folks as it is to Main Street America.

We have to break America for these globalist elites before America will work for Main Street again.

Because the American oligarchy has now turned globalist, their goals are now contrary to those of the American people, and that's why all Hillary has is empty slogans like "I'll fight for you" while Trump is saying tangible things like "I'll build a wall" and "I'll renegotiate or tear up NAFTA."

We are done with them, and this is just getting started.

TonyBlunt -> Raismail , 31 Oct 2016 12:0
Putin runs the only government that puts billionaires in jail. We put them in the House of Lords or let them run our media.
AlfaBeta73 , 31 Oct 2016 12:0
fantastic ending to a great article:

"Yes, it's all supposed to be a meritocracy. But if you aren't part of this happy, prosperous in-group – if you don't have John Podesta's email address – you're out."

traversecity , 31 Oct 2016 12:0
What's particularly interesting is to contrast the main-chance sleaziness of their internal jockeying with the overwhelming self-righteousness of their pronouncements on public issues. No wonder the voters want revenge.
martinusher , 31 Oct 2016 12:0
This is just the class system in action. Or did everyone think that the US was a classless society?
David Dougherty , 31 Oct 2016 12:0
Of course you are quite correct, the Democratic Party is a fraud for working people and a collection of self serving elitist. If you have a solution to solve why people keep voting for them I would love to hear it.
mattblack81 -> David Dougherty , 31 Oct 2016 12:3
I think the point is that all politics is the same, democrat or republican. These people are self serving leeches on the rest of society and they have us thanking them for it......well in the USA they have you mindlessly chanting USA USA USA over and over again but you get my drift.
hammond , 31 Oct 2016 12:1
It's called globalisation and it's exactly the same in the Uk . neoliberal asset stripping while the citizenry get shafted
WhitesandsOjibwe -> Longerenong , 31 Oct 2016 12:2
Wikileaks doesn't get 'directed'. It's very likely the leaks are from the inside of the Clinton campaign. They've been very sloppy and not very tech savvy by all accounts.
Peter Kelly , 31 Oct 2016 12:1
That such a state of affairs exists is no surprise at all, especially as the whole proclaimed basis of society in America is designed to produce it exactly.

They may couch it in different terms and dress it up to look like 'democracy and freedom', but it is a selfish, greedy stampede where only the lucky or the nasty succeed.

We are forever told that anyone can achieve the 'American dream', but it is a complete myth. The idea that if everyone just puts in the effort they could all live in limitless luxury is such a false illusion you wonder why it hasn't been buried along with believing the world is flat and the sun is a god.

Stechris Willgil , 31 Oct 2016 12:1
If you want to understand how American politics works then watch House of Cards on Netflix with Kevin Spacey . A brilliant series .
Mates Braas , 31 Oct 2016 12:1
The best democracy money can buy indeed, and they want to export this sham to other countries using bombs.
BurgermaS -> Mates Braas , 31 Oct 2016 14:1
no they don't! The freedom and democracy is just bullshot that cons the populace to not see that it's really "nick all your stuff under the threat of violence". They're gangsters. That's all they do.
unedited , 31 Oct 2016 12:2
The state and big business are corruptly entangled.
reluctanttorontonian , 31 Oct 2016 12:2
http://usuncut.com/politics/leaked-emails-confirm-clinton-campaign-worked-bloggers-smear-bernie-sanders /
Freemoneyforeveryone , 31 Oct 2016 12:2
Seriously? Your story is powerful people associate with each other and do each other favours? Absent a pure dictatorship, that's how power works. Even then, I happen to know you're inferring too much design in some of the events you describe.
Mates Braas -> Freemoneyforeveryone , 31 Oct 2016 12:4
Don't you find it strange for corporations to be selecting a cabinet?
FattMatt , 31 Oct 2016 12:2

This genre of Podesta email, in which people try to arrange jobs for themselves or their kids, points us toward the most fundamental thing we know about the people at the top of this class: their loyalty to one another and the way it overrides everything else.

All classes use nepotism to some degree.

Elephantmoth , 31 Oct 2016 12:2
We all know how people in power act in their own interests and that goes for both Parties, not only the one singled out in this article.
What is less clear is how all this hysteria about personalities makes any difference to ordinary people whose interests have been entirely sidelined in this election circus. Where is the discussion about how Americans can get affordable healthcare, or a job that pays more than the minimum, or how to respond to climate change, for instance?
Nada89 , 31 Oct 2016 12:2
The US presidential race signifies the way the political process has become irrevocably debased.
The e-mails merely highlight the cynicism of politicians who long ago ceded power to the financial and corporate world.

Politicians don't really understand the complexities of finance, in the same way they are unable to fathom the Middle east, or even what life has become like for huge swathes of the American population. At the same time politicians have long ceased to be the engine of social progress, in fact more often than not their policies are more likely to do great harm rather than good.

If anybody is surprised by the general tenor of these e-mails I assume they must have been the sort of children who were heartbroken when one day their parents gently sat them down to break it to them that Santa was actually Daddy in an oversized red suit.

TheFireRises , 31 Oct 2016 12:2
And they wonder why Trump is doing so well, Dirty Media, Dirty Government.
antipodes , 31 Oct 2016 12:3
" The dramatis personae of the liberal class are all present in this amazing body of work: financial innovators. High-achieving colleagues attempting to get jobs for their high-achieving children. Foundation executives doing fine and noble things. Prizes, of course, and high academic achievement."

I am sure the people of Syria and Libya are grateful to these amazing people for destroying their countries and stealing their resources.

keynsean , 31 Oct 2016 12:3
Just look over here as former politicians get on the gravy train as they lose their seats or retire. As for the Eton alumni - closer than the mafia ....
pleasevotegordonout , 31 Oct 2016 12:3
Yes ...just look at thsi stunning revent incisive Guardian journam=lism that has helped break this open

"But if she wins, what an added bonus that, as the first woman to enter the White House, she will also step through the door as by far the most qualified and experienced arrival there for generations."

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/09/demonise-hillary-clinton-careful-us-president


"This may shock you: Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest"

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/28/hillary-clinton-honest-transparency-jill-abramson


"The Guardian view on the FBI's Clinton probe: exactly the wrong thing to do"

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/30/the-guardian-view-on-the-fbis-clinton-probe-exactly-the-wrong-thing-to-do

Chuckman , 31 Oct 2016 12:3
"Forget the FBI cache; the Podesta emails show how America is run"

First, no, no one in his right mind should forget the FBI cache which very likely contains evidence of serious crimes by Clinton.

At the very least, they can prove she did not comply with subpoenas and destroyed evidence and lied to the FBI.

Second, yes, the Podesta e-mails do show us something of how America is run, but the picture is far from complete.

We've not had a enough look into the Clinton Foundation and its intertwining with the affairs of a very senior official and the President himself.

One very much suspects Hillary of playing "pay for play" with foreign governments, much the kind of corruption the US loves to accuse less-developed countries of.

After all, when the Clintons were in the White House, fund-raising gimmicks reached unprecedented levels. President Bill came up with the offer of a sleep-over in the Lincoln Bedroom for rich supporters who coughed up a $250,000 campaign contribution.

There are many indications, but no hard proof, of just how corrupt this foundation is. One analyst who has spent some time studying it has called it a huge criminal scheme.

Let's not forget that Julian Assange, the man who gave us the Podesta material, has promised revelations "which could put Hillary in jail" before the election.

Frogdoofus -> FattMatt , 31 Oct 2016 12:5
It's more a country club. If you're in, you're in. If you're out, you're out. Most people are out and will stay that way forever.
Wolly74 -> Chelli , 31 Oct 2016 12:5

The cost of democracy is corruption.

And that's different from autocracy or dictatorship how exactly?

Williamthewriter -> Chelli , 31 Oct 2016 13:0
You're right of course. All of politics is about doing favors for people high and low, you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. In the entire article the one real scandalous thing is that it quotes from hacked personal emails that no on but those who wrote them have a right to see.
LeCochon -> Chelli , 31 Oct 2016 13:0
It depends. Hardcore technical knowledge can put you above the technically illiterate lawyers, economists and journalists of the political class.
keepithuman , 31 Oct 2016 12:4
If anyone thinks that the immediate solution to not backing this type of behavior from one of the major political parties is to elect a huckster riding the wave of righteous revulsion to all of this, then they deserve everything that they will get when said huckster gets to the pinnacle of power.

The solution does not lie with the other major political party either, boy would I love to see a release of emails detailing how that organization is run. It is already in collapse due to the eroding corruption resulting in downright robbery of the people, and on-going bigotry and constant war-mongering to rob the world of its assets.

Nothing will happen to change any of this unless a realistic third party based on true service to the people of this country gains national acceptance. The best thing that could come from these emails and the fracturing of the Republican party would be that all disillusioned and disgruntled citizens unite to form this third party. This will take the emergence of some genuine, selfless leadership, but I have hopes that this can and will happen.

Otherwise, the future is not rosy, and one day we may look back at this hateful campaign with nostalgia.

Flagella , 31 Oct 2016 12:4
We have our own elite clubs in this country some of which have been here for centuries. All members regardless of Party are connected through elite school networks and by of course the class system which is copper fastened to keep the great unwashed out. Corruption, nepotism and cronyism are all present here too even if concealed by the veil of respectability and having the right postcode. From the comfort of their clubs, their marble homes and granite banks they rob the people of Britain and the world.
Isaac_Blunt -> Flagella , 31 Oct 2016 12:4
LOL. Not at all paranoid then...
QuebecCityOliver -> Flagella , 31 Oct 2016 12:5
Yes. I am sure that explains John Major very well.

Gordon Brown does not fit the mould , either.

Talent can make it through more easily in the UK than the USA. That is simply a fact.

Wolly74 -> Isaac_Blunt , 31 Oct 2016 12:5
As they say 'Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean etc. etc.....'
DoctorWibble , 31 Oct 2016 12:4
I'd recommend reading "The Unwinding - An Inner History of the new America" by George Packer who dissects this very well via potted biographies of several real people. The book also covers it's opposite - the rising unemployment, de-industrialisation, repossessions and other themes. A very useful background for understanding this election and whatever comes after. And a good read too which can't always be said about such books.
jazzfan19605 , 31 Oct 2016 12:4
Trump supporters say that Trump is not a politician or part of the Washington "establishment" but he has built his empire by buying politicians for years. His flock is so fooled.
ThaddeusTheBold , 31 Oct 2016 12:4
As someone who started in poverty and rose to do well through lots of hard work and lots of good luck, the "revelation" that this country is controlled by a smug elite is not news. I may be liberal but I have no illusions about the elitism and exclusionism that ruling cadres always exhibit. And if I could achieve one thing, politically, in this lifetime it would be to break the back of privilege in this country and on this planet forever, and make true meritocracy -- not cronyism, not nepotism, not herdeitary wealth and power -- the ONLY determinant of success.
LeCochon -> ThaddeusTheBold , 31 Oct 2016 13:1
Then setup/ join a grassroots party.
I would like to see a pan-European, non-ideological party which will focus on getting people out of the debt economy into economic and financial freedom. The price of housing and transportation and education needs to be addressed. There needs to be less government, fewer MPs and more room for people who create value and employment. There is a lot of innovation out there online for example, but the mass of people are not being exposed to these options. A
gjjwatson , 31 Oct 2016 12:4
This is how the rich, powerful and landed interest in all societies work. Constitutional democracy was supposed to counter it`s worst excesses.
Voters everywhere understand how their governments have been subverted and that is why politicians are mistrusted.
QuebecCityOliver -> LesterUK , 31 Oct 2016 13:0
I was confused by your spelling for a second - David Icke.

One theory states that society would have had to crate a similar model if Icke hadn't provided us with one. It is also, probably, better to blame alien overlords to human ones.

Rainsborow , 31 Oct 2016 12:4
This is a pretty tame assessment. The more I see about HRC (who I once respected, not that long ago) the more angry and saddened I feel. The Dems have lost their connection with the people they were meant to represent. What's left is a pretty ugly, self-righteous and corrupt crowd. Their attacks on Comey have been despicable, beneath contempt and absurd. I think they're going to lose and they will deserve to.
Andrius Ledas , 31 Oct 2016 12:4
The funniest thing about the comments of this article is the people who claim that electing Trump will be different somehow. Trump will demolish the system, Trump will shake things up! Please! Trump IS a part of this system, a system that has two clubs, A and B. Each club has its interests and each club wants to elect a figure that would represent its interests. Moreover, clubs A and B really work together, they are two groups of shareholders that are sometimes in disagreement in the distribution of profit, but at the bottom line they are working for the same goal, the enrichment of themselves and their associates. You have to be very naive to believe that POTUS, a mere public relations figure, would be allowed to make any significiant executive decisions in this company. That's not what a public relations officer does. The real decisions are with the executives of the club, and they are not elected, they are admitted into the club. The real question, however, is if it can be otherwise, if it has ever been otherwise, can we conceive of a system that would be different. This should be the concern of all political experts, scientists and journalists.
CanWeNotKnockIt -> Andrius Ledas , 31 Oct 2016 12:5
Yeah but he's going to build a wall, lock her up, tear up trade agreements with the neighbours, bar Muslims from coming to the USA, create millions of well-paid jobs, open up loads of coal mines, have a trade war with China, end lobbying, establish limited terms (if only a president could have a third term) and sue umpteen women for alleging sexual assault.
Vidarr -> tobyjosh , 31 Oct 2016 13:3
"Just a bunch of expensive suits deciding on what's best for the world (and themselves)"

That's the wrong emphasis based on the points made in this article; surely it is "Just a bunch of expensive suits deciding on what's best for the themselves (and the world)".

Alun Jones , 31 Oct 2016 13:1
Time to Drain the Swamp
hadeze242 , 31 Oct 2016 13:1
sanders said it and trump, an insider of independent means, are both right about the Clinton duo's sleazy corruption. thank you Wikileaks, thank you perv Weiner, thank you Huma for sharing (one of your) computers with your sex-fiend husband. thank you for sharing your total honesty and high morality, all deserving that we citizens pay your pensions and salaries.
Akkarrin , 31 Oct 2016 13:1
Its taken a while but i think I've decided. I genuinely want Clinton to lose, i think Trump will be a disastrous president and the worst in history by far, and worse then Clinton.

That said Clinton and the DNC deserve to lose for the horrific way they treated Sanders in the nomination to see Clinton crowned the candidate... she does not deserve to win and i cannot face that smug arrogant speech which will come if she does much less the next 4-8 years.

supercool , 31 Oct 2016 13:2
Lobbying, influence then a thin line to break into corruption and the system being run for the selfish interest of the tiny few against the majority. The US is no exception to this, it is just done more subtly with a smokescreen and sleight of hand.
AkwaIbom999 , 31 Oct 2016 13:2
I'm not sure where the "news" is in this piece. The same rules of engagement apply during Republican administrations. The same rules of engagement apply in every administration in every country in every part of our benighted World .... and, sadly, always have done. The only response to the article that I can think of is that eternally useful Americanism ... "No s**t Sherlock."
stevecammack , 31 Oct 2016 13:2
it is the elite - both right and left wing who have accumulated all the power, know each other very well and have one aim in life - to retain the power and priviledge for themselves, their families and their peers - whether that is by social class, university, religion and yes race. Bitter - you bet people are bitter - ignorant people who don't see they are all much of the same. It's all about the power and the money that they have, you don't and you don't seem to care. Actually you probably do have right power, money, class and race hence the pathetically flippant comment.
HarryArs -> stevecammack , 31 Oct 2016 13:5
There is no left wing in power in DC. It would be apt to say "the right wing and the far right wing".
gondwanaboy -> CanWeNotKnockIt , 31 Oct 2016 13:3
Well he's already aware of media bias and that a Deep State exists quietly in the background so it will be interesting to see what happens after the election.
mattb1 , 31 Oct 2016 13:2
This is old news. Anyone who knows The Golden Rule can tell you those with the gold make the rules.
Phil Butler , 31 Oct 2016 13:2
Brilliant. Absolutely and positively the best piece on the subject I have read. As an American, once a cable installer who visited all the cliche homes of social-strata USA, I find a ray of hope ij what you write. It is a hope that Americans will just admit the unbelievable folly of Hillary Clinton as a choice for dog catcher, much less Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces. For God's sake, or the sake of Howard Hughes even, this group would nuke Idaho for not approving of a transexual-animal wedding ceremony, let along disagreeing on healthcare. You have framed and illuminated a portrait of the macabre aristocracy now in charge. I hope more people read this.
smaguidhir , 31 Oct 2016 13:3
Ok, new line, US Military coup 2017!!

Neither of the two main political parties have a candidate worth anyone's time. The choice is between a sexual predator and a serial liar to see who will lead the richest most powerful country on the face of the earth and these two are what the parties have puked up for us to choose between. I cant imagine a general or admiral sitting in front of either of these two specimens and thinking themselves proud to be led by them.

This entire cycle is a disgrace, vote for Hillary, impeach her in a year stick Kaine in as a caretaker and then have a proper election in 2020, its the only sane way out of this disaster.

Phil429 -> smaguidhir , 31 Oct 2016 13:3
There's no such thing as a military solution. A coup to dethrone the power, sure, but let's hope for one that's effective.
Orr George -> smaguidhir , 31 Oct 2016 13:5
"Sexual predator", really? You mean like Bill Cosby and Bill Clinton, 2 men with RAPE accusations following them around for decades? All Trump did was kiss women in show biz and beauty contests, and they LET him. I guess you never saw Richard Dawson on Family Feud?
SlumVictim , 31 Oct 2016 13:3
You know damn well, people who get to the top in so called western capitalist representative democracy, only represent themselves. The very idea they care about the people in general is totally demolished by observing the evidence, how countries function and where the money flows to and where from.

The people are no better than domesticated cattle being led out to graze and brought back in the evening to be milked. Marx was right when he talked about wage slavery. The slavers are those in the legislatures of the west.

MereMortal , 31 Oct 2016 13:3
I really like Thomas Frank, author of the brilliant Pity the Billionaire.
I can't help feeling here that he's really softballed the the US elite (the Democrats in this case) by only mildly calling them on their epic corruption.
If seen from Main street, is it any wonder the US electorate have in their millions turned aournd and said "no, you're not going to ensnare us again with your bullshit promises because you want our vote, you are the problem and we're going to kick YOU out"
I mean how many times can they hope to fool the electorate with bought and paid for contestants, all the while with the media having their back. When the media is as corrupt and 'owned' as the US mainstream media, people look elsewhere and there they find voices that are far far more critical of what their awful rulers get up to.
Embracist -> MereMortal , 31 Oct 2016 13:4
Trump and Clinton have been friends for years. So the electorate is fooled once again. Every time the public start to get wind of what's going on, the establishment just adds another layer to the onion. By the time the hoi polloi catch up, they've siphoned tens of billions, hundreds of billions for themselves, and created all new distractions and onion layers for the next election. People are undeniably stupid.
Mauryan , 31 Oct 2016 13:3
This confirms the existence of a shadow government, made up of rich and powerful industrialists and bankers who control the way elections results turn out, so that they can help themselves. From their standpoint, Trump will be a wart in their rear end, because he basically lacks the sophistication needed to hide excretion under the carpet and walk over it smiling. He is already full of it and therefore is of no use to them. They did not expect him to come this far. There is a first time surprise for everything. They did not expect Sanders to gain momentum either. But they managed to contain it, phew! Now with Clinton, they can continue with their merry ways, earning billions more, settings fires across the globe and making more profits out them. It is not just the Democratic party that is full of stench. It includes the other party as well. Right wing and left wing belong to the same bird. All the campaign for voting, right to vote, participate etc. are just window wash. American democracy is buried deep in the Arlington cemetery. What runs now is Plutocracy, whose roots have cracked through the foundations and pillars of this country. Either a bloody revolution will happen one day soon or America will go the way of Brazil.
pretendname , 31 Oct 2016 13:3
It's puzzling really

The US public are pretty happy generally with extra-judicial killing (we call that murder in the UK, remember this for later on in the post), seems little concern about the on-record comments of Clinton regarding Libya.

In fact the on-record comments of Clinton generally, that doesn't even involve hacked email accounts, are absolutely damning to most Europeans.

However.. here in the UK what passes for satire comedy TV shows have rigorously stuck to the line Trump is an idiot, Clinton is a democrat.
I can understand their fascination with Trump.. he's an easy target.. but nobody in the UK media seems to have the balls to call out the fact that Clinton is neck deep in 'extra judicial killing', which I find odd.. More importantly I find this to be an absolutely damning indictment of British media. This organ not withstanding.

David Prince , 31 Oct 2016 13:4
Interesting, but this just tells of the usual cronyism and nepotism; unedifying as it is. We see very little here though of her true masters; i.e. Goldman Sachs; or more specifically the people who own GS who are Hiliary's puppet masters. I would be more worried about Hiliarys ambition apparently to push for a conflict with Russia; a conflict that serves the Military industrial complex and the bankers that own it. DT may be a Narcicist but as Michael Moore says; "the enemy of my enemy....."
BillFromBoston , 31 Oct 2016 14:0
To be more precise these emails show how the US is run under the DEMOCRAT Party.
Murdoch Mactaggart -> BillFromBoston , 31 Oct 2016 14:2
These particular emails do, yes. You'd find exactly the same models were an equivalent lot released involving Reince Priebus or his ilk.
seanwiddowson -> BillFromBoston , 31 Oct 2016 14:2
As a Brit, I'd like to ask if the Republican Party is any different. I very much doubt it.
ID9552055 , 31 Oct 2016 14:1

It's all supposed to be a meritocracy. But if you aren't part of this happy, prosperous in-group – if you don't have XYZ's email address – you're out.

Great article that makes you think as a reader. For instance, though more ethical, it makes you wonder how things are different in the BBC or The Guardian, or NYT, or other powerful organisations. How far does merit count, how far does having the right background, how far not rocking the boat?
Hopefully the article will inspire others to look into the leaderships of American politics where "everything blurs into everything in this world'.

W.R. Garvey , 31 Oct 2016 14:1
The most shocking emails to me were the ones that revealed the Democratic Party had a substantial role in creating and organizing groups like Catholics United, with the intent of using them to try to liberalize the Catholic Church on issues like abortion and same sex marriage.

The same people who (rightly) cried foul over GW Bush crossing the church/state divide apparently had no problem doing the same thing when it suited their agenda. I tend to vote Democratic, but I don't know if I can continue to do that in the future. This kind of thing should not be happening in America.

SuSucat , 31 Oct 2016 14:1
Sounds a bit like Italy to me or nearer to home Blair's cool Britannia.
deFigueira , 31 Oct 2016 14:1
With a constitution like that of the US, with its establishment parties sharing a bought and sold executive evey few years, and in the absence of representative parliamentary democracy, the psuedo macarthyist insinuations of this article are as civilized as it can get.
KendoNagasaki , 31 Oct 2016 14:1
An interesting article, offering snippets of the emails that have been released, all of which confirms two things, it seems to me:

First, that the world operates as we might have suspected it to. In the control of, and in the interests of rich cliques.

Second, that we are on the whole apathetic to our predicament.

Mark Sutcliffe , 31 Oct 2016 14:1
https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/3599
"And as I've mentioned, we've all been quite content to demean government, drop civics and in general conspire to produce an unaware and compliant citizenry. The unawareness remains strong but compliance is obviously fading rapidly. This problem demands some serious, serious thinking - and not just poll driven, demographically-inspired messaging."

And there is the thinking of the elite rolled into a few sentences.

ImaHack -> Mark Sutcliffe , 31 Oct 2016 14:3
http://www.snopes.com/clinton-compliant-citizenry /

"Former National Endowment for the Arts chairman Bill Ivey says a leaked e-mail to Clinton deputy John Podesta did not reveal a 'master plan' for maintaining political power via 'an unaware and compliant citizenry.'"

BoomerLefty , 31 Oct 2016 14:2
One might think that after reading this article, that a liberal/progressive like me would hate the Democratic Party and all of the elites in it. Well, you would be right (no pun intended), but the folks that I really despise are on the GOP side of the equation.

My animosity begins with Eisenhower, who turned the Dulles brother lose on the world to start so many of the fires that still rage today. Then came Nixon, with his "southern strategy", to turn the hate and racism that existed in America since its founding into a political philosophy that only an ignorant, half-assed Hollywood actor could fully weaponize. Then there was GWB who threw jet fuel onto the still smoldering ashes left from the Dulles boys.

(And if you think you can throw LBJ back at me, consider that he saw no way out of Vietnam simply because he knew the right was accuse him of being soft on communism - and so the big fool pushed ever deeper into the Big Muddy.)

And the toxic fumes from those blazes then drifted over Donald J Trump and his fellow 16 clown car occupants - all trying to out-hate each other.

There is simply no alternative to the Democratic Party because the GOP represents hate, misogyny, racism, and the zombie legions that catered to the corporatocracy and the Christian right. It was such a winning strategy that the Democratic Party created the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) - led by the likes of the Clinton's who out-repug'd the Repugnants, and stole their corporate lunches. And this is what we have left (no pun intended).

It sucks!

pierrependre , 31 Oct 2016 14:2
First, Frank misunderstood Kansas. Now he says he was blind to the reality of the Democratic party until the Podesta emails enlightened him. He's right though that the Democrats are never out of power whether they win or lose elections (although it's always more convenient to win them, even with a Clinton and the knowledge that he or she means nasty baggage to come). Republicans have a lock on country clubs; Dems have a lock on government.
Nobby Barnes -> pierrependre , 31 Oct 2016 15:2
i understand that the republicans make up most of the governor positions as well as state houses plus the fed. senate and congress...that is why america is now a banana republic [re: see the fbi interference] and is why america is now an embarassment...run as it is by the republican duck dynasty intellectual class. stay tuned as fascism follows. please don't stand close to me...you're an american and embarrassing....
guardiansek , 31 Oct 2016 14:2
Trust me, middle and lower-class people also try to let eachother know that their kids need a job, and can you help out. And I don't mind the bank exec promoting the dinner of locally grown/caught produce with the tastesful wine pairing. Certainly pretty twee, but otherwise pretty normal.

What should be concentrated on is the amount of "OMG, they are complaining about billionaires!" whining in these emails, and the amount of manipulative news cycle management and duplicitous skullduggery that takes place.

And how about a law that prevents the Clintons from even stepping on Martha's Vineyard for at least 4-5 years?

In all, a somewhat depressing but predictable confirmation that the Democratic party has embraced the donor class to the extent that the donors are now the party's true constituents.

RichWoods -> guardiansek , 31 Oct 2016 14:5
Just like New Labour. It's not very cheering.
SmartestRs , 31 Oct 2016 14:2
A self-interested, self-promoting, self-protecting "Elite" seeks to control and dominate. Clinton is clearly integral to this abhorrent system. The USA is in desperate need of change yet the political system is the antidote to any change. Trump is not the answer. Americans should be very worried.
TinTininAmerica -> SmartestRs , 31 Oct 2016 14:3
The only benefit to Trump winning is that both parties will be blown up and recreated with new, fresh faces - and Trump will be impeached within months.
David Von Steiner -> SmartestRs , 31 Oct 2016 14:5
Why isn't Trump the answer? No one can give me a valid rational reason. He is one of the few who has shone light on the Swamp and is bringing the woke corrupt world down.
Nobby Barnes -> SmartestRs , 31 Oct 2016 15:0
that elite you speak of happen to be your fellow americans and live on your street..unless of course you live in a trailer park..in which case stop your whining and get yourself an education and a better job instead of spending all your time watching wrestling and celebrity apprentice and moaning about the elite...i notice trump hired his stupid kids instead of cracker jack executives...i guess thats some of the nepotism you're crying about....ya rube.
David Von Steiner -> John Star , 31 Oct 2016 14:5
Trump is different though. He socialized in these environments...the politicians...use hit him up for donations....gossip too him about the goings on even try and sleep with him .
Trump does not drink so at these events he probably heard unlimited stories maybe even Bill Clinton bragged to him.
For what ever reason he wants to bring
This scum down. Maybe they disgust him like they disgust us?
Dean Alexander , 31 Oct 2016 14:3
If the current rumours are true, HC is in it up to her neck.
helenamcg , 31 Oct 2016 14:3
'This genre of Podesta email, in which people try to arrange jobs for themselves or their kids, ' I ss written as evidence of nepotism. But there is no mention of whether or not these requests were successful. Nepotism requires that the person requesting the favour is granted it.
WallyWombat , 31 Oct 2016 14:3
Indeed, how could the Clintons go from "effectively broke" in 2001 to $140 million in 2007, and $200 million in 2015?
pretzelattack -> MontyJohnston , 31 Oct 2016 14:5
lol no she doesn't. she doesnt want single payer, neither did obama. she doesnt want a liberal supreme court. she doesn't want the minimum wage raised to 15. she may support race gender lbgt "fairness" as long as it is to her political advantage. but when it isn't, she will throw anybody under the bus.
makeinstall , 31 Oct 2016 14:3

"Read these emails and you understand, with a start, that the people at the top tier of American life all know each other. They are all engaged in promoting one another's careers, constantly."

As long as that class division exists, nothing will ever change, and that class will never relinquish that division of their own accord.

hush632 , 31 Oct 2016 14:3
There appears to be an illusion to influencing the events that unfold, rather than responding to events. Conspiracy theorists may go knuts.
Mafevema , 31 Oct 2016 14:3
How different is this from anywhere else on the planet? There will always be " elites" composed of well connected and/or powerful and/ or wealthy and/or famous people.

I have a good job in a good firm and i am inundated by emails from clients or their friends trying to place their offspring. I decline politely, blame HR and PC, express my sincerest regrets and delete.

As for wealthy and powerful people enjoying holidays in the company of other wealthy and powerful people, so what? I spend my holiday with my friends and my friends tend to have the same professional middle class background and outlook.

What's new?

uponthehill -> LuckyBob , 31 Oct 2016 14:4
She should have said ."You guys are a bunch of cowardly, greedy, malformed humans. You are the cream of everything wrong with society today.. And the worse of it all is,. you know it too. I can smell it in this very room."
That's what!
whiteblob -> LuckyBob , 31 Oct 2016 14:4

Democratic government can save us from Hell.

democracy should be about voting for the candidate you want to win, not who don't want to win!

judyblue -> LuckyBob , 31 Oct 2016 15:1

If we followed the likes of Frank Democrats would be out of power for ever.

No, these Democrats would merely be members of the Republican Party, honestly declaring that the people with money make the rules to benefit themselves. What's the moral point of being in power if you have to be just as bad as the opposing party in order to stay in power?
David Von Steiner , 31 Oct 2016 14:4
I use work in these circles and the soul crushing thing is that elites look out for themselves and their careers and have no real personality, morals, values, character, backbone and certainly no interest in the people. They have personalities of wet fish and are generally cowardice and an embarrassment to mankind. In sort a waste of space
judyblue -> David Von Steiner , 31 Oct 2016 15:1
You used to work in these circles? Not proof-reading their correspondence, I hope.
Shane Johns , 31 Oct 2016 14:4
A meritocracy wouldn't have such hob-nobbing going on for positions of power. There'd be no reason to ask for special consideration for 'Johnny' -- since he would already have risen to the top based on his own MERIT. So I don't understand why this author keeps insisting that this is a meritocracy when the evidence is so clearly and so obviously the opposite.
judyblue -> Shane Johns , 31 Oct 2016 15:1

So I don't understand why this author keeps insisting that this is a meritocracy when the evidence is so clearly and so obviously the opposite.

I think you missed the author's irony.
SeanThorp , 31 Oct 2016 14:4
Once upon a time these emails would have been front and centre of Guardian reporting, headline news and leader columns, now a single opinion article tucked away from the front page. Truly the gatekeepers have lost just as much credibility as the political class that they shill for.
Ambricourt , 31 Oct 2016 14:4
A secret "deep state" operated by a cabal of families? -Lizards on Martha's Vineyard? Is David Icke right, after all?
muttley79 -> Ambricourt , 31 Oct 2016 16:2
It is well known that there is a deep state operating in America, if you want to learn something instead of sneering and being ignorant, you could do worse than reading books such as these:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/American-Deep-State-Democracy-Library/dp/1442214244/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1477931018&sr=1-1&keywords=the+american+deep+state

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deep-State-Mike-Lofgren/dp/0143109936/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1477931051&sr=1-3&keywords=the+american+deep+state

MacSpeaker , 31 Oct 2016 14:4
Shocking. And nothing like the bonhomie shared betwen Oxbridge, The City and No. 10, I suppose?
judyblue -> MacSpeaker , 31 Oct 2016 15:0
This is happening in America, which has always claimed that there are no classes here and everything is done according to merit. So, yes, it's exactly like the triad you mention and it is the more offensive for occurring in a country that expressly repudiates it.
DavidTheDude -> judyblue , 31 Oct 2016 15:1
No classes in America? In a country that was built on the back of slavery and segregation?

Please give your head a shake.

DrChris , 31 Oct 2016 14:4
That article adds up to zero, it does not tell us anything. There are people with networks, and people promote other people they know. Nothing peculiar about this, it works like this in every walk of life. By and large people with high stakes will choose other people who they know can get very hard jobs done, otherwise their project becomes a failure. Can other talented people break into these networks? They can and they do.
pretzelattack -> DrChris , 31 Oct 2016 14:5
they're so talented, it only took 9 emails for huma to explain to clinton how a fax machine worked.
pretzelattack -> Nobby Barnes , 31 Oct 2016 14:5
he's pretty powerful yes. he just runs interference for clinton controlled foundations as far as i know, but i'm sure he will help out the big banks if called upon. your comment reeks of dishonesty.
meggo56 -> SterlingPound , 31 Oct 2016 15:5
It's called a "capitalist republic" for a reason.
KissTheMoai -> meggo56 , 31 Oct 2016 15:5
Plutocracy is a more fitting term.
Paul Ryan , 31 Oct 2016 14:5
The Democrats are as bad if not worse than the Republicans at deceit, manipulation of the media, leaking false information, feeding out a narrative etc..

Its basically become like an arms race between the 2 parties to win by any means necessary because they are so polarized.

The system needs to be overhauled and changed because its not fit for the 21st century. The UK political system too needs to modernise because its creaking as well.

matvox , 31 Oct 2016 15:0
Frank (What's the matter with Frank? Frank) misses the point. completely. The amazing thing about all these emails is how absolutely squeaky clean Podesta is. How many of us could say the same if our personal emails from the last 10 years were blasted all over the internet?!? Not one -- not one! -- example of intemperate language, of bias, of unchained passions, of immaturity. I'm proud to be his fellow citizen and would gladly let him serve as Chief of Staff again if he so chose. Go Italian-Americans!
tweenthetropics -> matvox , 31 Oct 2016 15:2
Do you think he has just one email account?

It seems that his emails expose 10 years of bias ... don't you get it?

And why the hyphenated American thing?

dig4victory , 31 Oct 2016 16:0
The Democratic Party faces exactly the same problem as the Labour Party in the UK.

They are both parties which are supposed to represent the interests of the working class and middle class but they have been infiltrated by corrupt right wing groups lining their own pockets and representing the interests of the oligarchy.

The Labour and Democratic parties need to work together to get these poisonous people out of their organisations before they destroy they destroy them from within.

shoey000 , 31 Oct 2016 16:1
This is all fascinating, and disturbing, but sadly, not a surprise.
It also isn't restricted to the upper echelons of political parties either.

It is no coincidence we hear the same comedians/pundits/writers on Radio Four every week.
It is no coincidence we see the same people on tv.
It is no coincidence the sons and daughters of sons and daughters of the people who went to certain universities go the same universities.
It is no coincidence certain arts grants go to a certain group of people a lot more than they go to others.
It is no coincidence that European grants go to the same small groups of people running organisations.
I'll wager it is no coincidence at the Guardian certain people get work experience and internships.
Its the way the world works, and it stinks.

ACloud , 31 Oct 2016 16:1
Great essay. It is hard to get all the thoughts about the elite into words when so much anger and confusion exist now that all lines have blurred. No longer left and right, but top to bottom. Whereas the world is mostly very grey for the bulk of us, these emails shed a light very clearly on what is black and white and green all over for a few who are really in control. This election has certainly pulled back the curtain and left everyone exposed. For so long Americans could pretend there was virtue and dignity in the "democratic" foundation of our politics, but now with absolute certainly we can see that it is not so and likely never was. No pretending anymore.
muttley79 , 31 Oct 2016 16:1
The class to which I refer is not rising in angry protest; they are by and large pretty satisfied, pretty contented. Nobody takes road trips to exotic West Virginia to see what the members of this class looks like or how they live; on the contrary, they are the ones for whom such stories are written. This bunch doesn't have to make do with a comb-over TV mountebank for a leader; for this class, the choices are always pretty good, and this year they happen to be excellent.

They are the comfortable and well-educated mainstay of our modern Democratic party. They are also the grandees of our national media; the architects of our software; the designers of our streets; the high officials of our banking system; the authors of just about every plan to fix social security or fine-tune the Middle East with precision droning. They are, they think, not a class at all but rather the enlightened ones, the people who must be answered to but who need never explain themselves.

This is a good point. A lot of people who torpedoed Bernie Sanders' campaign against Hillary Clinton in the primaries seem to be comfortable with little or no political change. They do not seem willing to admit that the political and economic system in the US (and elsewhere) is fundamentally broken, and effectively is in ruins.

B

JimHarrison -> redwhine , 31 Oct 2016 17:1

You' re saying that one bad effect of hacks is that email security will be improved and it will be harder to have secure communications. In effect, you hate the idea that the NSA can read our emails, but you're worried that the Russians won't be able to. Personally, I don't want either the government or Wikileaks to invade my privacy. You apparently think that data theft is OK as long as Julian Assange does it.
julianps , 31 Oct 2016 16:1

Yes, it's all supposed to be a meritocracy.

As in, there's a merit to being in the clique.
akacentimetre -> Kevin Skilling , 31 Oct 2016 17:1
That's an ahistorical understanding of the party. Yes, in the runup to the Civil War, the 'Democratic' party was the party of proto-white supremacists, slave owners, and agriculturalists. But the party system as it exists today with its alignment of Dems = liberal and Republicans = conservative came into being around/after 1968. Claiming that today's 'Democrats' voted against slavery is like claiming that today's 'Republicans' are worthy of being lauded for being abolitionists - which would be high hypocrisy given their habits of racism and black voter suppression.
sblejo , 31 Oct 2016 16:2
Righteousness and majesty...They are, they think, not a class at all but rather the enlightened ones, the people who must be answered to but who need never explain themselves.

Exactly what Bernie Sanders was against, just think what 'could' have happened if he were the nominee. The question is when will the email explicitly showing Clinton undermining him come out? Hillary deserves every bit of what is coming out against her, she asked for it, she wants the power and celebrity, but it comes with some pretty ugly stuff. As Mr. Sanders said, she is very 'ambitious', an understatement. If nothing comes out to prove her malice against Mr. Sanders, I will always be convinced it is there somewhere. Now because of what the Democrats did against him that was proven and oh by the way 'the Russians did it', we have her running neck and neck with Trump. They asked for it, they got it.

MarkusKraut , 31 Oct 2016 16:3
This is so depressing.

Why is it that literally all Western democracies have developed totally incapable and immoral political elites at the same time who seem to be lacking any kind of ethical compass?

It is blatantly obvious in the USA where both candidates are almost equally abysmal, but for different reasons. But the same is also true in Germany, Great Britain, France and most other Western countries I can judge on. How did that happen? Where are the politicians who are doing the job for other reasons than self-fulfillment and ideology?

Trump, Clinton, May, Johnson, Farage, Hollande, Sarkozy, Le Pen, Merkel, Gabriel, Petry ... and the rest are all product of a political system that is in a deep crisis. And this comes from someone who has always and will always believe in democracy as such. But how can we finally get better representatives of our political system again?

cyrilnorth -> MarkusKraut , 31 Oct 2016 16:4
"all western democracies" are NOT democracies, but plutocracies
Fitzoid -> MarkusKraut , 31 Oct 2016 16:4
You can't put Corbyn in that group but look at the stick he gets. How dare he try and represent people when he's not part of the elite!
Kevin Skilling -> MarkusKraut , 31 Oct 2016 17:0
Start holding them to account for the lies they tell in a court of law, if they are running campaigns on bullshit, make them own it...
gloriousrevolution , 31 Oct 2016 16:3
What the writer is describing and what the e-mails reveal, is, for anyone with half a brain not too dumbed down by partisanship; is the structure of a system that isn't democracy at all, but clearly an oligarchy. The super-rich rule and the rest are occasionaly alowed to vote for a candidate chosen by the rich, giving the illusion of democracy.
NarniScalo -> gloriousrevolution , 31 Oct 2016 16:5
Yup, that about sums it up. Yet in the case the choice is truly awful.

And whilst we are here let's remember that the European Parliament is very democratic. The US system or the UK System would never allow so many nut jobs from UKIP, FN, Lega Nord and various other facists have a voice. The EU parliament is very representative.

ID8737013 , 31 Oct 2016 16:4
Good read. Money is like manure and if you spread it around it does a lot of good. But if you pile it up in one place, like Silicon Valley or the banks, eventually it will smell pretty bad and attract a lot of flies, like the one that seems attracted to Hillary.
Ubermensch1 , 31 Oct 2016 16:4
You get some idea of just how batty the US electoral campaign system is when you consider that John Podesta is the guy who has hinted at 'exposing' the US government 'cover up' of UFOs...and even got Hillary Clinton making statements about looking into Area 51. Well, that's the vote of all the multitude of conspiracy loons nicely in the bag -- It only shows just how desperate the campaigns are.
ev2rob , 31 Oct 2016 17:1
world history has always provided that the wealthy look after themselves. What's new? Here, both American candidates are wealthy. But Clinton appears to want to look after others and other will look at and after her. I'm not sure what Trump can look after, perhaps his business dealings and bankruptcy triumphs, and lawsuits. Perhaps America is going through a new type of revolution, generational and the massive entry of the post-industrial age in America. How many Americans are screaming for the past, while at least one U.S. automakers shifts some of their factories to Mexico - e.g., Chrysler.
occamslaser , 31 Oct 2016 17:2
We get the candidates we deserve, in any so-called democracy. The west worships money and glitz and celebrity, willingly watches "reality" TV, and in general can aspire to nothing better than material superiority over the neighbours. The U.S., with its pathetic "American Dream," is the most egregious victim of its own obsessions. Bernie Sanders, who in Canada, Britain, or western Europe would be considered centrist, is vilified as a raving socialist. Genuinely well-disposed people with a more humane alternative political vision lack the necessary millions to gain public attention. And so one is left with Business-as-Usual Hillary Clinton (mendacious elitist one-percenter) or the duplicitous demagogue Donald Trump (mendacious vulgar one-percenter).

The internet should be a democratic forum for intelligent discussion of alternatives but has become largely the province of trolls and wingnuts. We should be able to do better.

ID1726608 , 31 Oct 2016 17:2
I'm with MarkusKraut; not because of what the e-mails have discovered - I suspect we all suspected this kind of machinery from BOTH parties - but because their discovery is entirely one-sided.
What does it prove? That the Republicans are any better? Or that Don is any more qualified to be president than he was two weeks ago?

No. It proves one thing, and one thing only - that Republicans keep secrets better than Dems do. At least the important ones.

And I say that as someone who was a security administrator for ten years. And I can guarantee you one thing (and one thing only): The Russians would NOT have got past any e-mail server that I built.

My worry is now not who gets elected - this was always a ship of fools - or who's to blame (although I'm sure we'll be told in the first "hundred days"), but what it means for democracy.
And don't worry, I'm not going to try to equate democracy with Hillary (although I still support her); but about secrecy .

E-mail has always been the most likely medium to be cracked (the correct term for illegal hacking), and secrecy is anathema to democracy - always was, and always will be.
And having been caught with their pants down, I'd like to see the Democratic party, win or lose this election, to say that ALL future e-mails will be a matter of public record. And challenge the GOP to do the same.

Unfortunately, it'll simply be viewed as a failure of security that any administrator like me could tell you is almost impossible, and they'll simply buy better servers for 2020.

oldworldwisdom , 31 Oct 2016 17:2
How America is run? More like how the world has been hijacked by the oligarchs.
Matt Wood , 31 Oct 2016 17:2
For the 1% by the 1%?
Soleprop , 31 Oct 2016 17:2
I've never felt any of the mail to be particularly surprising, but merely a demonstration of what a NeoLiberal society, run by money, looks like at a more granular level. I won't vote for a Trump, but living in California I can vote Green without having to pull the lever for a Clinton. If California goes Trump, then every other state in the nation will have swirled down the drain with him.
ElyFrog , 31 Oct 2016 17:3
In the book 'Who Rules America" written by William Domhoff, first published in 1967, it laid out how the ruling class sits on each others boards of directors, (which he called 'interlocking directorates", inhabits certain think tanks and organizations like the Council on Foreign Relations or political parties, goes to the same clubs, intermarries, and knows one another. I.E. the ruling class is a coherent group of HUMAN BEINGS. People think they are some abstract, nameless wonder. They are not. Podesta's e-mails, as Frank rightly notices, show the Democratic Party elite. Another set will show the Republican Party elite, and how BOTH link to each other.
piebeansMontrachet , 31 Oct 2016 17:3
We are talking about the biggest war mongering outfit on the planet. An election. This ship is being driven by assholes no one elected...and as per, walk away with money and knighthoods while the fabric of our society is unravelling. Store water and tinned goods...or good luck on the help line
MistaSyms , 31 Oct 2016 17:4
Good comment except for the needless hand-wringing about reading "private" e-mails. The freak show that is the 2016 US general election is yet another clear sign that neo-liberalism is a scam run for and by bankers, corporate CEOs, kooky tech billionaires, corrupt politicians and other wealthy and amoral sociopaths.

The media has become their propaganda arm and the divide between what people experience and see and what the media tells them is happening grows ever wider. Alternative media outlets (although some of these, such as VICE, are neo-lib shills also) and organisations like WikiLeaks are more important than ever as they still speak truth to power. Even some dissidents and media 'agitators' are coming down on the side of the establishment - I am thinking Snowden, Greenwald and Naomi Klein all of whom have wagged their fingers at Julian Assange for doing a job the media used to do.

A good rule of thumb that tells you who the establishment worries about is looking at who is repeatedly denounced in the media. Trump, Assange and Putin currently have the powers that be worried because they are giving them the proverbial two fingers (or one finger, depending on which side of the Atlantic you are on) and exposing the rotten framework of lies and corruption that hold the rickety system together. Media darlings like Snowden present no real threat and are tolerated, even celebrated.

[Nov 04, 2016] Julian Assange Says Trump Wont Be Allowed To Win, Clinton And ISIS Are Funded By The Same Money Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... In my opinion, the biggest thing to come out of these emails is the complete manipulation of the "news". ..."
Nov 04, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
My analysis is that Trump would not be permitted to win. Why do I say that? Because he has had every establishment off his side. Trump does not have one establishment, maybe with the exception of the Evangelicals, if you can call them an establishment," said Assange. "Banks, intelligence, arms companies, foreign money, etc. are all united behind Hillary Clinton. And the media as well. Media owners, and the journalists themselves."

He is right, but the same was said about Brexit.

Cognitive Dissonance -> 1980XLS •Nov 4, 2016 8:10 AM

It seems the Shadow Government has decided to go full banana republic.

The sad fact is the vast majority of people simply don't believe this could happen 'here'.

Joe Davola -> two hoots •Nov 4, 2016 9:09 AM

In my opinion, the biggest thing to come out of these emails is the complete manipulation of the "news". The only thing I can attribute it to is that the media are just another form of the free-stuff crowd, because it's not as if Hillary offers a shining beacon of ideology. It's easy to write stories when they're written for you, and it appears that you're really smart because you "got the scoop".

Sure the Saudi angle is quite damning, but for most that's just too deep and difficult to piece together - unless the news breaks it down to simple sound bytes (or an emoji). Heck, without Tyler combing these dumps and lining them up with the overall picture of what was going down at the time, it would be easy to just get swamped in the sheer volume. Much like the "we've printed out 50,000 emails" wasn't intended to help the investigation, it was intended to bog the process down.

Mike in GA -> I am a Man I am Forty •Nov 4, 2016 8:28 AM

Trump has pushed back on every issue that the establishment has thrown at him. Wikileaks has helped with their steady drip of revealing emails giving us all a behind-the-scenes look at the everyday thoughts of our "Leaders". The corruption, collusion and outright criminality thus exposed could only have been accomplished by Trump - certainly no establishment Uniparty candidate would so fearlessly take on the daily goring of everyone else's ox.

Now exposed, this corruption and criminality HAS to be addressed and can only be addressed by an outsider, change-agent president. The opportunity to clean house so substantially does not present itself often and may never again. If properly executed, the halls of power could largely be purged of the criminal class so endemic in the wikileaked emails.

This is where it gets pretty hairy for Trump, and for America. These criminals, living large, very large, on the taxpayer, will not go silently into the night. They will pull out every stop to stop Trump or at least limit the damage. People will start dying a little faster in DC now.

Can anyone explain why that 55 y/o Major General, about to get the promotion of his lifetime into the Air Force Missile Command would commit suicide? And why it took 2 months for the AF to rule it a "suicide"? Rumor says he became privy to domestic EMP contingency plans and was unwilling to comply.

When assassination becomes a tool of the ruling party, the Party has come to town.

[Nov 03, 2016] What Trump represents is not crazy and it is not going away. Peter Thiel defends support for Donald Trump

Notable quotes:
"... The support Trump has enjoyed is directly tied to the frustration many across the country feel toward Washington and its entrenched leaders, and they shouldn't expect that sentiment to dissipate regardless of whether Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton wins at the ballot box on Nov. 8, he said. ..."
The Washington Post

Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel reiterated his support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump Monday morning, telling a room of journalists that a Washington outsider in the White House would recalibrate lawmakers who have lost touch with the struggles of most Americans.

Thiel said it was "both insane and somehow inevitable" that political leaders would expect this presidential election to be a contest between "political dynasties" that have shepherded the country into two major financial crises: the tech bubble burst in the early 2000s, and the housing crisis and economic recession later that decade.

The support Trump has enjoyed is directly tied to the frustration many across the country feel toward Washington and its entrenched leaders, and they shouldn't expect that sentiment to dissipate regardless of whether Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton wins at the ballot box on Nov. 8, he said.

"What Trump represents isn't crazy and it's not going away," he said.

[Nov 03, 2016] Thousands of people eill vote for Trump as a cynical form of rebellion agaisnt neoliberal establishemnt which is hell-bent on globalization

Nov 03, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

redwhine zitan

10h ago
I'd actually argue the opposite. Thousands of people are turning to Trump as a cynical form of rebellion. They think that voting for him will be interesting/fun. If you were to ask them how a Hillary Clinton presidency would seriously make their lives worse, they'd have nothing serious to answer. At best they might say that they'll be fine, but that the rest of the country would suffer, and then spout of a bunch of nonsense as to why that would be. It's a luxury to be so reckless, which is where America is right now. If millions of lives literally depended on the outcome of this election, people would be much more careful about how they plan to vote.

[Nov 02, 2016] Donald Trump is no outsider: he mirrors our political culture by George Monbiot

Trump mirrors resentment with the current political culture. Unfortunately very few readers in this forum understand that the emergence of Trump as a viable candidate in the current race, the candidate who withstand 24x7 air bombarment by corrupt neoliberabl MSM (like Guardian ;-) signify deep crisis of neoliberalsm and neoliberal globalization.
Notable quotes:
"... "What Madison could not have foreseen was the extent to which unconstrained campaign finance and a sophisticated lobbying industry would come to dominate an entire nation, regardless of its size." ..."
"... That's it – finance and sophisticated lobbying. And you can add to that mass brainwashing at election campaigns by means of choice language and orchestration as advised by cognitive scientists who are expressly recruited for this purpose. Voters remain largely unaware of the mind control they are undergoing. And of course the essential prerequisite for all of this is financial power. ..."
"... Now read again in this light Gore Vidal's famous pronouncement… "Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically by definition be disqualified from ever doing so." ..."
"... Worse still, the political spectrum runs from right to right. To all intents and purposes, one single party, the US Neoliberal party, with 2 factions catering for power and privilege. Anything to the left of that is simply not an available choice for voters. ..."
"... Americans have wakened up to the fact that they badly need a government which caters for the needs of the average citizen. In their desperation some will still vote for Trump warts and all. This for the same sorts of reasons that Italians voted for Berlusconi, whose winning slogan was basically 'I am not a politician'. ..."
"... The right choice was Bernie Sanders. Sadly, not powerful enough. So Americans missed the boat there. But at least there was a boat to miss this time around. You can be sure that similar future boats will be sunk well in advance. Corporate power has learnt its lesson and the art of election rigging has now become an exact science. ..."
"... Donald Trump, Brexit and Le Pen are all in their separate ways rejections of the dogma of liberalism, social and economic, that has dominated the West for the past three decades. ..."
"... In 2010, Chomsky wrote : ..."
"... The United States is extremely lucky.....if somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response. ..."
"... Dangerous times. The beauty of democracy is we get what we deserve ..."
"... The worst thing about Donald Trump is that he's the man in the mirror. ..."
"... He is the distillation of all that we have been induced to desire and admire. ..."
"... I thought that he is the mirror image, the reverse, of the current liberal consensus. A consensus driven by worthy ideals but driven too far, gradually losing acceptance and with no self correcting awareness. ..."
"... Trump is awful - but by speaking freely he challenges the excesses of those who would limit free speech. Trump is awful - but by demonising minorities he challenges those who would excuse minorities of all responsibility. Trump is awful - but by flaunting his wealth he challenges those who keep their connections and wealth hidden for the sake of appearances. ..."
"... Trump is awful because the system is out of balance. He is a consequence, not a cause. ..."
"... Voting for Trump is voting for peace. Voting for Clinton is voting for WW3. ..."
"... It's quite clearly because Hillary as President is an utterly terrifying prospect. When half the population would rather have Trump than her, it must be conceded that she has some serious reputational issues. ..."
"... Personally, I'd take Trump over Hillary if I was a US citizen. He may be a buffoon but she is profoundly dangerous, probably a genuine psychopath and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the Presidency. Sanders is the man America needs now, though, barring one of Hillary's many crimes finally toppling her, it's not going to happen... ..."
"... The true constitution is plutocracy tempered by scandal ..."
"... And the shame is we seem to be becoming desensitized to scandal. We cannot be said to live in democracies when our political class are so obviously bought by the vastly rich. ..."
"... One of the things it says is that people are so sick of Identity Politics from the Left and believe the Left are not very true to the ideals of what should be the Left. ..."
"... When the people who are supposed to care about the poor and working joes and janes prefer to care about the minorities whose vote they can rely on, the poor and the working joes and janes will show their frustration by supporting someone who will come along and tell it as it is, even if he is part of how it got that way. ..."
"... People throughout the world have awoken to the Left being Right Light but with a more nauseating moral superiority complex. ..."
"... he is not an outsider but the perfect representation of his caste, the caste that runs the global economy and governs our politics ..."
"... 'Encouraged by the corporate media, the Republicans have been waging a full-spectrum assault on empathy, altruism and the decencies we owe to other people. Their gleeful stoving in of faces, their cackling destruction of political safeguards and democratic norms, their stomping on all that is generous and caring and cooperative in human nature, have turned the party into a game of Mortal Kombat scripted by Breitbart News.' ..."
"... Many years ago in the British Military, those with the right connections and enough money could buy an officer's commission and rise up the system to be an incompetent General. As a result, many battles were mismanaged and many lives wasted due to the incompetent (wealthy privileged few) buying their way to the top. American politics today works on exactly the same system of wealthy patronage and privilege for the incompetent, read Clinton and Trump. Until the best candidates are able to rise up through the political system without buying their way there then the whole corrupt farce will continue and we will be no different to the all the other tin pot republics of the world. ..."
"... There's the "culture wars" aspect. Many people don't like being told they are "deplorable" for opposing illegal (or even legal) immigration. They don't like being called "racist" for disagreeing with an ideology. ..."
"... I like the phrase Monbiot ends with - "He is our system, stripped of its pretences" - it reminds me of a phrase in the Communist Manifesto - but I don't think it's true. "Our" system is more than capitalism, it's culture. And Clinton is a far more "perfect representation" of the increasingly censorious, narrow [neo]liberal culture which dominates the Western world. ..."
"... Finally, Monbiot misses the chance to contrast Clinton's and Trump's apparent differences with regard to confronting nuclear-armed Russia over the skies of Syria. It could be like 1964 all over again - except in this election, the Democrat is the nearest thing to Barry Goldwater. ..."
"... As a life-long despiser of all things Trump, I cannot believe that I am saying this: Trump is good for world peace. ..."
"... I fully agree with Monbiot, American democracy is a sham - the lobby system has embedded corruption right in the heart of its body politic. Lets be clear here though, whatever is the problem with American democracy can in theory at least be fixed, but Trump simply can not and moreover he is not the answer ..."
"... His opponent, war child and Wall Street darling can count her lucky stars that the media leaves her alone (with husband Bill, hands firmly in his pockets, nodding approvingly) and concentrates on their feeding frenzy attacking Trump on sexual allegations of abusing women, giving Hillery, Yes, likely to tell lies, ( mendacious, remember when she claimed to be under enemy fire in Bosnia? remember how evasive she was on the Benghazi attack on the embassy) Yes Trump is a dangerous man running against an also extremely dangerous woman. ..."
"... Extremely interesting reference to the Madison paper, but the issue is less about the size of the electorate, and more about the power that the election provides to the victor. ..."
"... Democracy in the US is so corrupted by money that it is no longer recognisable as democracy. You can kick individual politicians out of office, but what do you do when the entire structure of politics is corrupt? ..."
"... When you look at speeches and conversations and debates with the so-called bogeyman, Putin, he is not at all in a league as low and vile as portrayed and says many more sensible things than anybody cares to listen to, because we're all brainwashed. We are complicit in wars (now in Syria) and cannot see why we have to connive with terrorists, tens of thousands of them, and they get supported by the war machine and friends like Saudis and Turkey which traded for years with ISIS. ..."
"... Clinton the war hawk, and shows us we are only capable of seeing one side and project all nastiness outward while we can feel good about ourselves by hating the other. ..."
"... It fits the Decline of an Empire image as it did in other Falls of Civilizations. ..."
"... Trump spoke to the executives at Ford like no one before ever has. He told them if they moved production to Mexico (as they plan to do) that he would slap huge tariffs on their cars in America and no one would buy them. ..."
"... What happens in Syria could be important to us all. Clinton doesn't hide her ambition to drive Assad from power and give Russia a kicking. It's actually very unpopular although the media doesn't like to say so; it prefers to lambast Spain for re-fueling Russian war ships off to fight the crazed Jihadists as if we supported the religious fanatics that want to slaughter all Infidels! There is an enormous gulf between what ordinary people want and the power crazy Generals in the Pentagon and NATO. ..."
"... USA has got itself in an unholy mess . It's politicians no longer work for the people . Their paymasters care not if life in Idaho resembles Dantes inferno . Trump has many faults but being "not Hilary" is not one of them. The very fact he is disliked by all the vested interests should make you take another look. And remember , the American constitution has many checks and balances , a President has a lot less power than most people imagine. ..."
"... Like many on the right, the left have unthinkingly accepted a narrative of an organized, conspiratorial system run by an elite of politicians and plutocrats. The problem with this narrative is it suggests politics and politicians are inherently nefarious, in turn suggesting there are no political solutions to be sought to problems, or anything people can do to challenge a global system of power. As Monbiot asks: "You can kick individual politicians out of office, but what do you do when the entire structure of politics is corrupt?" Well, what indeed? ..."
"... I don't think you need to believe in an organised conspiracy and I don't see any real evidence that George Monbiot does. The trouble is that the corporate and political interests align in a way that absorbs any attempt to challenge them and the narrative has been written that of course politics is all about economics and of course we need mighty corporations to sustain us. ..."
"... Not long after the start of the presidential campaign I began to reflect that in Trump we are seeing materializing before us the logical result of the neoliberal project ..."
"... The Republican party essentially offered their base nothing – that was the problem. ..."
"... They couldn't offer all the things that ordinary Americans want – better and wider Medicaid, better and wider social security, tax increases on the rich, an end to pointless foreign wars and the American empire. ..."
"... The Democrats have largely the same funding base, but they at least deliver crumbs – at least a nod to the needs of ordinary people through half-hearted social programmes. ..."
"... Trump is imperfect because he wants normal relations rather than war with Russia. No, Hillary Clinton is the ultimate representation of the system that is abusing us. What will occur when Goldman Sachs and the military-industrial complex coalition get their, what is it, 5th term in office would be a great subject of many Guardian opinion pieces, actually. But that will have to wait till after November 8. ..."
"... And, of course, we also have Hillary's Wall Street speeches -- thanks to Wikileaks we have the complete transcripts, in case Guardian readers are unaware. They expose the real thinking and 'private positions' of the central character in the next episode of 'Rule by Plutocracy'. ..."
"... The democrats is the party practicing hypocrisy, pretending that they somehow representing the interest of the working class. They are the ones spreading lies and hypocrisy and manipulating the working class everyday through their power over the media. Their function is to appease the working class. The real obstacle for improving conditions for the working class historically has always been the Democratic party, not the Republican party. ..."
"... In what concerns foreign politics, Trump some times seems more reasonable than Clinton and the establishment. Clinton is the best coached politician of all times. She doesn't know that she's coached. She just followed the most radical groups and isn't able to question anything at all. The only thing that the coaches didn't fix until now is her laughing which is considered even by her coaches as a sign of weirdness. ..."
"... Western economies are now so beholden to the patronage of the essentially stateless multinational, it has become a political imperative to appease their interests - it's difficult to see a future in which an administration might resist this force, because at its whim, national economies face ruination. In light of such helplessness our political representatives face an easier path in simply accepting their lot as mere administrators who will tinker at the margins [and potentially reap the rewards of a good servant], rather than hold to principle and resist an overwhelming force. ..."
"... "Trump personifies the traits promoted by the media and corporate worlds he affects to revile; the worlds that created him. He is the fetishisation of wealth, power and image in a nation where extrinsic values are championed throughout public discourse. His conspicuous consumption, self-amplification and towering (if fragile) ego are in tune with the dominant narratives of our age." ..."
"... Yes, they don't care any more if we see the full extent of their corruption as we've given up our power to do anything about it. ..."
"... It was once very common to see Democratic politicians as neighbors attending every community event. They were Teamsters, pipe fitters, and electricians. And they were coaches and ushers and pallbearers. Now they are academics and lawyers and NGO employees and managers who pop up during campaigns. The typical income of the elected Democrats outside their government check is north of $100,000. They don't live in, or even wander through, the poorer neighborhoods. So they are essentially clueless that government services like busses are run to suit government and not actual customers. ..."
"... Yea, 15 years of constant wars of empire with no end in sight has pretty much ran this country in the ground. ..."
"... We all talk about how much money is wasted by the federal government on unimportant endeavors like human services and education, but don't even bat an eye about the sieve of money that is the Pentagon. ..."
"... Half a trillion dollars for aircraft carriers we don't need and are already obsolete. China is on the verge of developing wickedly effective anti-ship missiles designed specifically to target these Gerald R. Ford-class vessels. You might as well paint a huge bull's-eye on these ships' 4-1/2 acre flight deck. ..."
"... There are plenty more examples of this crap and this doesn't even include the nearly TWO trillion dollars we've spent this past decade-and-a-half on stomping flat the Middle East and large swaths of the Indian subcontinent. ..."
"... And all this time, our nation's infrastructure is crumbling literally right out from underneath us and millions upon millions of children and their families experience a daily struggle just to eat. Eat?! In the "greatest," wealthiest nation on earth and we prefer to kill people at weddings with drones than feed our own children. ..."
"... I'd like to read an unbiased piece about why the media narrative doesn't match the reality of the Trump phenomenon. He is getting enormous crowds attend his rallies but hardly any coverage of that in the filtered news outlets. Hillary, is struggling to get anyone turn up without paying them. There is no real enthusiasm. ..."
"... The buzzwords and tired old catch phrases and cliches used by the left to suppress any alternative discussion, and divert from their own misdemeanors are fooling no one but themselves. Trump supporters simply don't care any more how Hillary supporters explain that she lied about dodging sniper fire. Or the numerous other times she and her cohorts have been caught out telling fibs. ..."
"... Very true. Throughout history the rich, the powerful, the landed, ennobled interest and their friends in the Law and money changing houses have sought to control governments and have usually succeeded. ..."
"... In the Media today the rich are fawned over by sycophantic journalists and programme makers. These are the people who make the political weather and create the prevailing narratives. ..."
"... Working class people fancied themselves to above the common herd and thought themselves part of some elite. ..."
"... It's quite disturbing the lengths this paper will go to in order to slur and discredit Trump, labelling him dangerous and alluding to the sexual assault allegations. This even goes so far to a very lengthy article regarding Trumps lack of knowledge on the Rumbelows Cup 25 years ago. ..."
"... Whereas very little examination is made into Hillary Clinton's background which includes serious allegation of fraud and involvement in assisting in covering up her husband's alleged series of rapes. There are also issues in the wikileaks emails that merit analysis as well as undercover tapes of seioau issues with her campaign team. ..."
"... One of the most important characteristics of the so-called neoliberalism is its negative selection. While mostly successfully camouflaged, that negative selection is more than obvious this time, in two US presidential candidates. It's hard to imagine lower than those two. ..."
"... Well, OK George. Tell me: if Trump's such an establishment candidate, then why does the whole of the establishment unanimously reject him? Is it normal for Republicans (such as the Bushes and the neocons) to endorse Democrats? Why does even the Speaker of the House (a Republican) and even, on occasion, Trump's own Vice-Presidential nominee seem to be trying to undermine his campaign? If Trump is really just more of the same as all that came before, why is he being treated different by the MSM and the political establishment? ..."
"... Obviously, there's something flawed about your assumption. ..."
"... Trump has exposed the corruption of the political system and the media and has promised to put a stop to it. By contrast, Clinton is financed by the very banks, corporates and financial elites who are responsible for the corruption. This Trump speech is explicit on what we all suspected is going on. Everybody should watch it, irrespective of whether they support him or not! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tab5vvo0TJw ..."
"... "I know a lot of people in Michigan that are planning to vote for Trump and they don't necessarily agree with him. They're not racist or redneck, they're actually pretty decent people and so after talking to a number of them I wanted to write this. ..."
"... Donald Trump came to the Detroit Economic Club and stood there in front of Ford Motor executives and said "if you close these factories as you're planning to do in Detroit and build them in Mexico, I'm going to put a 35% tariff on those cars when you send them back and nobody's going to buy them." It was an amazing thing to see. No politician, Republican or Democrat, had ever said anything like that to these executives, and it was music to the ears of people in Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin - the "Brexit" states. ..."
"... Mrs Clinton is also the product of our political culture. A feminist who owes everything to her husband and men in the Democratic Party. A Democrat who started her political career as a Republican; a civil right activist who worked for Gerry Goldwater, one of last openly racist/segregationist politicians. A Secretary of State who has no clue about, or training in, foreign policy, and who received her position as compensation for losing the election. A pacifist, who has never had a gun in her hands, but supported every war in the last twenty years. A humanist who rejoiced over Qaddafi's death ("we came, we won, he is dead!") like a sadist. ..."
"... One thing that far right politics offers the ordinary white disaffected voter is 'pay back', it is a promised revenge-fest, putting up walls, getting rid of foreigners, punishing employers of foreigners, etc., etc. All the stuff that far right groups have wet dreams about. ..."
"... Because neoliberal politics has left a hell of a lot of people feeling pissed off, the far right capitalizes on this, whilst belonging to the same neoliberal dystopia so ultimately not being able to make good on their promises. Their promises address a lot of people's anger, which of course isn't really about foreigners at all, that is simply the decoy, but cutting through all the crap to make that clear is no easy task, not really sure how it can be done, certainly no political leader in the western hemisphere has the ability to do so. ..."
"... Wrong as always. Trump *is* an outsider. He's an unabashed nationalist who's set him up against the *actual* caste that governs our politics: Neo-liberal internationalists with socially trendy left-liberal politics (but not so left that they don't hire good tax lawyers to avoid paying a fraction of what they are legally obliged to). ..."
"... Best represented in the Goldman Sachs executives who are donating millions to Hillary Clinton because they are worried about Trump's opposition to free trade, and they know she will give them *everything* they want. ..."
"... Trumps the closest thing we're gotten to a genuine threat to the system in a long, long time, so of course George Monbiot and the rest of the Guardian writers has set themselves against him, because if you're gonna be wrong about the EU, wrong about New Labour, wrong about social liberalism, wrong about immigration, why change the habit of a lifetime? ..."
"... Lies: Emails, policy changes based on polls showing a complete lack of conviction, corporate collusion, Bosnia, Clinton Foundation, war mongering, etc. Racist stereotypes: Super predators. Misogyny: Aside from her laughing away her pedophile case and allegedly threatening the women who came out against Bill, you've also got this sexist gem "Women are the primary victims of war". ..."
"... Alleged gropings: Well she's killed people by texting. So unless your moral compass is so out of whack that somehow a man JOKING about his player status in private is worse than Clinton's actions throughout her political career, then I guess you could make the case that Clinton at least doesn't have this skeleton in her closet. ..."
"... Refusal to accept democratic outcomes: No. He's speaking out against the media's collusion with the democratic party favoring Clinton over every other nominee, including Bernie Sanders. He's talking about what was revealed in the DNC leaks and the O'Keefe tapes that show how dirty the tactics have been in order to legally persuade the voting public into electing one person or the other. ..."
"... When do the conspiracy theories about the criminality of his opponent no longer count as conspiracies? When we have a plethora of emails confirming there is indeed fire next to that smoke, corruption fire, collusion fire, fire of contempt for the electorate. When we have emails confirming the Saudi Arabians are actually funding terrorist schools across the globe, emails where Hilary herself admits it, but will not say anything publicly about terrorism and Saudi Arabia, what's conspiracy and what's reality? ..."
"... Is it because Saudi Arabia funded her foundation with $23 million, or because it doesn't fit with her great 'internationalists' global agenda? ..."
"... Yep trump is a buffoon, but the failure of all media to deliver serious debate means the US is about to elect someone probably more dangerous than trump, how the hell can that be ..."
"... Nothing wrong with a liberal internationalist utopia, it sounds rather good and worth striving for. It's just that what they've been pushing is actually a neoliberal globalist nirvana for the 1 per cent ..."
"... The problem is the left this paper represents were bought off with the small change by neoliberalism, and they expect the rest of us to suck it up so the elites from both sides can continue the game ..."
"... we near the end of the neoliberal model. That the USA has a choice between two 'demopublicans' is no choice at all. ..."
"... This is the culmination of living in a post-truth political world. Lies and smears, ably supported by the corporate media and Murdoch in particular means that the average person who doesn't closely follow politics is being misinformed. ..."
"... The complete failure of right wing economic 'theories' means they only have lies, smears and the old 'divide and conquer' left in their arsenal. 'Free speech' is their attempt to get lies and smears equal billing with the truth. All truth on the other hand must be suppressed. All experts and scientists who don't regurgitate the meaningless slogans of the right will be ignored, traduced, defunded, disbanded or silenced by law. ..."
"... Not so much an article about Trump as much as a rant. George Monbiot writes with the utter conviction of one who mistakenly believes that his readers share his bigotry. When he talks about the 'alleged gropings' or the 'alleged refusal to accept democratic outcomes', that is exactly what they are 'alleged'. ..."
"... The Democratic Party has been dredging up porn-stars and wannabe models who now make claims that Trump tried to 'kiss them without asking'. ..."
"... The press also ignored the tapes of the DNC paying thugs to cause violence at Trump rallies, the bribes paid to the Clintons for political favours and the stealing of the election from Bernie Sanders. Trump is quite right to think the 'democratic outcome' is being fixed. Not only were the votes for Sanders manipulated, but Al Gore's votes were also altered and manipulated to ensure a win for Bush in the 2000 presidential election. The same interests who engineered the 2000 election have switched from supporting the Republican Party to supporting Clinton. ..."
"... Great article. The neoliberals have been able to control the narrative and in doing so have managed to scapegoat all manner of minority groups, building anger among those disaffected with modern politics. Easy targets - minorities, immigrants, the poor, the disadvantaged and the low-paid workers. ..."
"... The real enemy here are those sitting atop the corporate tree, but with the media controlled by them, the truth is never revealed. ..."
www.theguardian.com

America's fourth president, James Madison, envisaged the United States constitution as representation tempered by competition between factions. In the 10th federalist paper, written in 1787, he argued that large republics were better insulated from corruption than small, or "pure" democracies, as the greater number of citizens would make it "more difficult for unworthy candidates to practise with success the vicious arts by which elections are too often carried". A large electorate would protect the system against oppressive interest groups. Politics practised on a grand scale would be more likely to select people of "enlightened views and virtuous sentiments".

Instead, the US – in common with many other nations – now suffers the worst of both worlds: a large electorate dominated by a tiny faction. Instead of republics being governed, as Madison feared, by "the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority", they are beholden to the not-so-secret wishes of an unjust and interested minority. What Madison could not have foreseen was the extent to which unconstrained campaign finance and a sophisticated lobbying industry would come to dominate an entire nation, regardless of its size.

For every representative, Republican or Democrat, who retains a trace element of independence, there are three sitting in the breast pocket of corporate capital. Since the supreme court decided that there should be no effective limits on campaign finance, and, to a lesser extent, long before, candidates have been reduced to tongue-tied automata, incapable of responding to those in need of help, incapable of regulating those in need of restraint, for fear of upsetting their funders.

Democracy in the US is so corrupted by money that it is no longer recognisable as democracy. You can kick individual politicians out of office, but what do you do when the entire structure of politics is corrupt? Turn to the demagogue who rages into this political vacuum, denouncing the forces he exemplifies. The problem is not, as Trump claims, that the election will be stolen by ballot rigging. It is that the entire electoral process is stolen from the American people before they get anywhere near casting their votes. When Trump claims that the little guy is being screwed by the system, he's right. The only problem is that he is the system.

The political constitution of the United States is not, as Madison envisaged, representation tempered by competition between factions. The true constitution is plutocracy tempered by scandal. In other words, all that impedes the absolute power of money is the occasional exposure of the excesses of the wealthy.

greatapedescendant 26 Oct 2016 4:11

A good read thanks. Nothing I really disagree with there. Just a few things to add and restate.

"What Madison could not have foreseen was the extent to which unconstrained campaign finance and a sophisticated lobbying industry would come to dominate an entire nation, regardless of its size."

That's it – finance and sophisticated lobbying. And you can add to that mass brainwashing at election campaigns by means of choice language and orchestration as advised by cognitive scientists who are expressly recruited for this purpose. Voters remain largely unaware of the mind control they are undergoing. And of course the essential prerequisite for all of this is financial power.

Now read again in this light Gore Vidal's famous pronouncement… "Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically by definition be disqualified from ever doing so."

Which recalls Madison over 200 years before… "The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted."

What the US has is in effect is not a democracy but a plutocracy run by a polyarchy. Which conserves some democratic elements. To which the US president is largely an obedient and subservient puppet. And which openly fails to consider the needs of the average US citizen.

Worse still, the political spectrum runs from right to right. To all intents and purposes, one single party, the US Neoliberal party, with 2 factions catering for power and privilege. Anything to the left of that is simply not an available choice for voters.

Americans have wakened up to the fact that they badly need a government which caters for the needs of the average citizen. In their desperation some will still vote for Trump warts and all. This for the same sorts of reasons that Italians voted for Berlusconi, whose winning slogan was basically 'I am not a politician'. Though that didn't work out too well. No longer able to stomach more of the same, voters reach the stage of being willing to back anyone who might bring about a break with the status quo. Even Trump.

The right choice was Bernie Sanders. Sadly, not powerful enough. So Americans missed the boat there. But at least there was a boat to miss this time around. You can be sure that similar future boats will be sunk well in advance. Corporate power has learnt its lesson and the art of election rigging has now become an exact science.

UltraLightBeam 26 Oct 2016 4:11

Donald Trump, Brexit and Le Pen are all in their separate ways rejections of the dogma of liberalism, social and economic, that has dominated the West for the past three decades.

The Guardian, among others, laments the loss of 'tolerance' and 'openness' as defining qualities of our societies. But what's always left unsaid is: tolerance of what? Openness to what? Anything? Everything?

Is it beyond the pale to critically assess some of the values brought by immigration, and to reject them? Will only limitless, unthinking 'tolerance' and 'openness' do?

Once self-described 'progressives' engage with this topic, then maybe we'll see a reversal in the momentum that Trump and the rest of the right wing demagogues have built up.

petercookwithahook 26 Oct 2016 4:14

In 2010, Chomsky wrote:

The United States is extremely lucky.....if somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response.

Dangerous times. The beauty of democracy is we get what we deserve.

DiscoveredJoys -> morelightlessheat 26 Oct 2016 6:11

The most telling part for me was:

The worst thing about Donald Trump is that he's the man in the mirror.

Except that instead of

He is the distillation of all that we have been induced to desire and admire.

I thought that he is the mirror image, the reverse, of the current liberal consensus. A consensus driven by worthy ideals but driven too far, gradually losing acceptance and with no self correcting awareness.

Trump is awful - but by speaking freely he challenges the excesses of those who would limit free speech. Trump is awful - but by demonising minorities he challenges those who would excuse minorities of all responsibility. Trump is awful - but by flaunting his wealth he challenges those who keep their connections and wealth hidden for the sake of appearances.

Trump is awful because the system is out of balance. He is a consequence, not a cause.


Gman13 26 Oct 2016 4:25

Voting for Trump is voting for peace. Voting for Clinton is voting for WW3.

These events will unfold if Hillary wins:

1. No fly zone imposed in Syria to help "moderate opposition" on pretence of protecting civilians.

2. Syrian government nonetheless continues defending their country as terrorists shell Western Aleppo.

3. Hillary's planes attack Syrian government planes and the Russians.

4. Russia and Syria respond as the war escalates. America intensifies arming of "moderate opposition" and Saudis.

5. America arms "rebels" in various Russian regions who "fight for democracy" but this struggle is somehow hijacked by terrorists, only they are not called terrorists but "opposition"

6. Ukranian government is encouraged to restart the war.

7. Iran enters the war openly against Saudi Arabia

8. Israel bombs Iran

9. Cornered Russia targets mainland US with nuclear weapons

10. Etc.


snakebrain -> Andthenandthen 26 Oct 2016 6:54

It's quite clearly because Hillary as President is an utterly terrifying prospect. When half the population would rather have Trump than her, it must be conceded that she has some serious reputational issues.

If Hillary and the DNC hadn't fixed the primaries, we'd now be looking at a Sanders-Trump race, and a certain Democrat victory. As it is, it's on a knife edge as to whether we get Trump or Hillary.

Personally, I'd take Trump over Hillary if I was a US citizen. He may be a buffoon but she is profoundly dangerous, probably a genuine psychopath and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the Presidency. Sanders is the man America needs now, though, barring one of Hillary's many crimes finally toppling her, it's not going to happen...

jessthecrip 26 Oct 2016 4:29

Well said George.

The true constitution is plutocracy tempered by scandal

And the shame is we seem to be becoming desensitized to scandal. We cannot be said to live in democracies when our political class are so obviously bought by the vastly rich.

Remko1 -> UnevenSurface 26 Oct 2016 7:43

You're mixing up your powers. legislative, executive and judicial are the powers of law. Money and business are some of the keys to stay in command of a country. (there's also military, electorate, bureaucracy etc.)

And if money is not on your side, it's against you, which gets quite nasty if your main tv-stations are not state-run.

For example if the EU would (theoretically of course) set rules that make corruption more difficult you would see that commercial media all over the EU and notoriously corrupted politicians would start making propaganda to leave the EU. ;)

yamialwaysright chilledoutbeardie 26 Oct 2016 4:38

One of the things it says is that people are so sick of Identity Politics from the Left and believe the Left are not very true to the ideals of what should be the Left.

When the people who are supposed to care about the poor and working joes and janes prefer to care about the minorities whose vote they can rely on, the poor and the working joes and janes will show their frustration by supporting someone who will come along and tell it as it is, even if he is part of how it got that way.

People throughout the world have awoken to the Left being Right Light but with a more nauseating moral superiority complex.

Danny Sheahan -> chilledoutbeardie 26 Oct 2016 5:25
That many people are so desperate for change that even being a billionaire but someone outside the political elite is going to appeal to them.

Tom1Wright 26 Oct 2016 4:32

I find this line of thinking unjust and repulsive: the implication that Trump is a product of the political establishment, and not an outsider, is to tar the entire Republican party and its supporters with a great big flag marked 'racist'. That is a gross over simplification and a total distortion.

UnevenSurface -> Tom1Wright 26 Oct 2016 5:05

But that's not what the article said at all: I quote:

he is not an outsider but the perfect representation of his caste, the caste that runs the global economy and governs our politics

No mention of the GOP.

Tom1Wright -> UnevenSurface 26 Oct 2016 5:14

and I quote

'Encouraged by the corporate media, the Republicans have been waging a full-spectrum assault on empathy, altruism and the decencies we owe to other people. Their gleeful stoving in of faces, their cackling destruction of political safeguards and democratic norms, their stomping on all that is generous and caring and cooperative in human nature, have turned the party into a game of Mortal Kombat scripted by Breitbart News.'

HindsightMe 26 Oct 2016 4:33
the truth is there is an anti establishment movement and trump just got caught up in the ride. He didnt start the movement but latched on to it. While we are still fixated on character flaws the undercurrent of dissatisfaction by the public is still there. Hillary is going to have a tough time in trying to bring together a divided nation
leadale 26 Oct 2016 4:37
Many years ago in the British Military, those with the right connections and enough money could buy an officer's commission and rise up the system to be an incompetent General. As a result, many battles were mismanaged and many lives wasted due to the incompetent (wealthy privileged few) buying their way to the top. American politics today works on exactly the same system of wealthy patronage and privilege for the incompetent, read Clinton and Trump. Until the best candidates are able to rise up through the political system without buying their way there then the whole corrupt farce will continue and we will be no different to the all the other tin pot republics of the world.
arkley leadale 26 Oct 2016 5:48
As Wellington once said on reading the list of officers being sent out to him,
"My hope is that when the enemy reads these names he trembles as I do"
Some would argue however that the British system of bought commissions actually made the army more effective in part because many competent officers had to stay in the field roles of platoon and company commanders rather than get staff jobs and through the fact that promotion on merit did exist for non-commissioned officers but there was a block on rising above sergeant.

Some would argue that the British class system ensured that during the Industrial Revolution charge hands and foremen were appointed from the best workers but there was no way forward from that, the result being that the best practices were applied through having the best practitioners in charge at the sharp end.

rodmclaughlin 26 Oct 2016 4:37
"he is not an outsider but the perfect representation of his caste, the caste that runs the global economy and governs our politics."

Obviously, Donald Trump is not an "outsider" in the economic sense. Trump definitely belongs to the ruling "caste", or rather, "class". But he is by no means the perfect representative of it. "The global economy", or rather, "capitalism", thrives better with the free movement of (cheap) labour than without it. Economically, poor Americans would be better off with more immigration control.

And there's more too it than economics. There's the "culture wars" aspect. Many people don't like being told they are "deplorable" for opposing illegal (or even legal) immigration. They don't like being called "racist" for disagreeing with an ideology.

I like the phrase Monbiot ends with - "He is our system, stripped of its pretences" - it reminds me of a phrase in the Communist Manifesto - but I don't think it's true. "Our" system is more than capitalism, it's culture. And Clinton is a far more "perfect representation" of the increasingly censorious, narrow [neo]liberal culture which dominates the Western world.

Finally, Monbiot misses the chance to contrast Clinton's and Trump's apparent differences with regard to confronting nuclear-armed Russia over the skies of Syria. It could be like 1964 all over again - except in this election, the Democrat is the nearest thing to Barry Goldwater.

nishville 26 Oct 2016 4:40
As a life-long despiser of all things Trump, I cannot believe that I am saying this: Trump is good for world peace. He might be crap for everything else but I for one will sleep much better if he is elected POTUS.
dylan37 26 Oct 2016 4:40
Agree, for once, with a piece by George. Trump is nothing new - we've seen his kind of faux-outsider thing before, but he's amplifying it with the skills of a carnival barker and the "what me?" shrug of the everyman - when we all know he's not. The election result can't be rigged because the game is fixed from the start. A potential president needs millions of dollars behind them to even think about running, and then needs to repay those bought favours once in office. Trump may just win this one though - despite the polls, poor human qualities and negative press - simply because he's possibly tapped into a rich seam of anti-politics and a growing desire for anything different, even if it's distasteful and deplorable. It's that difference that might make the difference, even when it's actually just more of the same. It's all in the packaging.
greenwichite 26 Oct 2016 4:41
Donald Trump is a clumsy, nasty opportunist who has got one thing right - people don't want globalisation.

What people want, is clean, high-tech industries in their own countries, that automate the processes we are currently offshoring. They would rather their clothes were made by robots in Rochdale than a sweat-shop in India.

Same goes for energy imports: we want clean, local renewables.

What people don't want is large, unpleasant multinational corporations negotiating themselves tax cuts and "free trade" with corrupt politicians like Hillary Clinton.

Just my opinion, of course...

TheSandbag -> greenwichite 26 Oct 2016 4:50
Your right about globalisation, but I think wrong about the automation bit. People want Jobs because its the only way to survive currently and they see them being shipped to the country with the easiest to exploit workforce. I don't think many of them realize that those jobs are never coming back. The socioeconomic system we exist in doesn't work for 90% of the population who are surplus to requirements for sustaining the other 10%.
Shadenfraude 26 Oct 2016 4:43
I fully agree with Monbiot, American democracy is a sham - the lobby system has embedded corruption right in the heart of its body politic. Lets be clear here though, whatever is the problem with American democracy can in theory at least be fixed, but Trump simply can not and moreover he is not the answer.

... ... ...


oddballs 26 Oct 2016 5:24

Trump threatened Ford that if they closed down US car plants and moved them to Mexico he would put huge import tariffs on their products making them to expensive.

Export of jobs to low wage countries, how do you think Americans feel when they buy 'sports wear, sweater, t-shirts shoes that cost say 3 $ to import into the US and then get sold for20 or 50 times as much, by the same US companies that moved production out of the country.

The anger many Americans feel how their lively-hoods have been outsourced, is the lake of discontent Trump is fishing for votes.

His opponent, war child and Wall Street darling can count her lucky stars that the media leaves her alone (with husband Bill, hands firmly in his pockets, nodding approvingly) and concentrates on their feeding frenzy attacking Trump on sexual allegations of abusing women, giving Hillery, Yes, likely to tell lies, ( mendacious, remember when she claimed to be under enemy fire in Bosnia? remember how evasive she was on the Benghazi attack on the embassy)
Yes Trump is a dangerous man running against an also extremely dangerous woman.

onepieceman 26 Oct 2016 5:31

Extremely interesting reference to the Madison paper, but the issue is less about the size of the electorate, and more about the power that the election provides to the victor.

One positive outcome that I hope will come of all of this is that people might think a little more carefully about how much power an incoming president (or any politician) should be given. The complacent assumption about a permanently benign government is overdue for a shakeup.

peccadillo -> Dean Alexander 26 Oct 2016 5:43

Democracy in the US is so corrupted by money that it is no longer recognisable as democracy. You can kick individual politicians out of office, but what do you do when the entire structure of politics is corrupt?

Having missed that bit, I wonder if you actually read the article.

tater 26 Oct 2016 5:46
The sad thing is that the victims of the corrupt economic and political processes are the small town folk who try to see Trump as their saviour. The globalisation that the US promoted to expand its hegemony had no safeguards to protect local economies from mega retail and finance corporations that were left at liberty to strip wealth from localities. The Federal transfer payments that might have helped compensate have been too small and were either corrupted pork barrel payments or shameful social security payments. For a culture that prides itself on independent initiative and self sufficiency this was always painful and that has made it all the easier for the lobbyists to argue against increased transfer payments and the federal taxes they require. So more money for the Trumps of this world.

And to the future. The US is facing the serious risk of a military take over. Already its foreign policy emanates from the military and the corruption brings it ever closer to the corporations. If the people don't demand better the coup will come.


MrMopp 26 Oct 2016 6:12


There's a reason turnout for presidential elections is barely above 50%.

Wised up, fed up Americans have long known their only choice is between a Coke or Pepsi President.

Well, this time they've got a Dr. Pepper candidate but they still know their democracy is just a commodity to be bought and sold, traded and paraded; their elections an almost perpetual presidential circus.

That a grotesque like Trump can emerge and still be within touching distance of the Whitehouse isn't entirely down to the Democrats disastrous decision to market New Clinton Coke. Although that's helped.

The unpalatable truth is, like Brexit, many Americans simply want to shake things up and shake them up bigly, even if it means a very messy, sticky outcome.

Anyone with Netflix can watch the classic film, "Network" at the moment. And it is a film of the moment.

"I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be.

We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is: 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.'

Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get MAD! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman, because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad. [shouting] You've got to say: 'I'm a human being, god-dammit! My life has value!'

So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell: I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!

I want you to get up right now. Sit up. Go to your windows. Open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not gonna take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!...You've got to say, I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE! Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first, get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"

And that was in 1976. A whole lot of shit has happened since then but essentially, Coke is still Coke and Pepsi is still Pepsi.

Forty years later, millions are going to get out of their chairs. They are going to vote. For millions of Americans of every stripe, Trump is the "I'M AS MAD AS HELL AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE", candidate.

And he's in with a shout.


André De Koning 26 Oct 2016 6:13

Trump is indeed the embodiment of our collective Shadow (As Jung called this unconscious side of our Self). It does reflect the degeneration of the culture we live in where politics has turned into a travesty; where all projections of this side are on the Other, the usual other who we can collectively dislike. All the wars initiated by the US have started with a huge propaganda programme to hate and project our own Shadow on to this other. Often these were first friends, whether in Iran or Iraq, Libya: as soon as the oil was not for ""us" , they were depicted as monsters who needed action: regime change through direct invasion and enormous numbers of war crimes or through CIA programmed regime change, it all went according to shady plans and manipulation and lies lapped up by the masses.

When you look at speeches and conversations and debates with the so-called bogeyman, Putin, he is not at all in a league as low and vile as portrayed and says many more sensible things than anybody cares to listen to, because we're all brainwashed. We are complicit in wars (now in Syria) and cannot see why we have to connive with terrorists, tens of thousands of them, and they get supported by the war machine and friends like Saudis and Turkey which traded for years with ISIS.

The Western culture has become more vile than we could have imagined and slowly, like the frog in increasingly hot water, we have become used to neglecting most of the population of Syria and focusing on the rebel held areas, totally unaware of what has happened to the many thousands who have lived under the occupation by terrorists who come from abroad ad fight the proxy war for the US (and Saudi and the EU). Trump dares to embody all this, as does Clinton the war hawk, and shows us we are only capable of seeing one side and project all nastiness outward while we can feel good about ourselves by hating the other.

It fits the Decline of an Empire image as it did in other Falls of Civilizations.


tashe222 26 Oct 2016 6:28

Lots of virtue signalling from Mr. M.

Trump spoke to the executives at Ford like no one before ever has. He told them if they moved production to Mexico (as they plan to do) that he would slap huge tariffs on their cars in America and no one would buy them.

Trump has said many stupid things in this campaign, but he has some independence and is not totally beholden to vested interests, and so there is at least a 'glimmer' of hope for the future with him as Potus.


DomesticExtremist 26 Oct 2016 6:28

I never tire of posting this link:

Donald Trump and the Politics of Resentment

Lindsay Went DomesticExtremist 26 Oct 2016 6:58

Yes, when the Archdruid first posted that it helped me understand some of the forces that were driving Trump's successes. I disagree with the idea that voting for Trump is a good idea because it will bring change to a moribund system. Change is not a panacea and the type of change he is likely to bring is not going to be pleasant.


Hanwell123 -> ArseButter 26 Oct 2016 6:59

What happens in Syria could be important to us all. Clinton doesn't hide her ambition to drive Assad from power and give Russia a kicking. It's actually very unpopular although the media doesn't like to say so; it prefers to lambast Spain for re-fueling Russian war ships off to fight the crazed Jihadists as if we supported the religious fanatics that want to slaughter all Infidels! There is an enormous gulf between what ordinary people want and the power crazy Generals in the Pentagon and NATO.

unsubscriber 26 Oct 2016 6:43
George always writes so beautifully and so tellingly. My favourite sentence from this column is:
Their gleeful stoving in of faces, their cackling destruction of political safeguards and democratic norms, their stomping on all that is generous and caring and cooperative in human nature, have turned the party into a game of Mortal Kombat scripted by Breitbart News.
Cadmium 26 Oct 2016 6:51
Trump is not a misogynist, look the word up. He may be crude but that's not the same thing. He also represents a lot more people than a tiny faction. He is also advocating coming down on lobbying, which is good. He may be a climate change denier but that's because a lot of his supporters are, he'd probably change if they did. The way to deal with it is with rational argument, character assassination is counterproductive even if he himself does it. Although he seems to do it as a reaction rather than as an attack. He probably has a lot higher chance of winning than most people think since a lot of people outside the polls will feel represented by him and a lot of those included in the polls may not vote for Hilary.
ID4755061 26 Oct 2016 6:52
George Monbiot is right. Trump is a conduit for primal stuff that has always been there and never gone away. All the work that has been done to try to change values and attitudes, to make societies more tolerant and accepting and sharing, to get rid of xenophobia and racism and the rest, has merely supressed all these things. Also, while times were good (that hasn't been so for a long time) most of this subterranean stuff got glossed over most of the time by some kind of feel good factor and hope for a better future.

But once the protections have gone, if there is nothing to feel good about or there is little hope left, the primitive fear of other and strange and different kicks back in. It's a basic survival instinct from a time when everything around the human species was a threat and it is a fundamental part of us and Trump and Palin at al before him have got this, even if they don't articulate it this way, and it works and it will always work. It's a pure emotional response to threat that we can't avoid, the only way out of it, whihc many of use use, is to use our intellects to challenge the kick of emotion and see it for what it is and to understand the consequences of giving it free reign. It's this last bit that Trump, Palin, Farage and their ilk just don't get and never will, we aill always be fighting this fight.

PotholeKid 26 Oct 2016 6:56
Political culture includes the Clintons and Bushes, the Democratic party and Republican party. exploring that culture using the DNC and Podesta leaks as reference, paints a much better picture of the depth of depravity this culture represents..Trump is a symptom and no matter how much the press focuses on maligning his character. The Clintons share a huge responsibility for the corruption of the system. Mr. Monbiot would serve us well by looking at solutions for cleaning up the mess, what Trumps likes to call "Draining the swamp"
lonelysoul72 26 Oct 2016 6:59
Trump for me , he is horrendous but Clinton is worse.

nooriginalthought 26 Oct 2016 7:06

"Democracy in the U.S. is so corrupted by money it is no longer recognisable as democracy." Sounds like a quote from Frank Underwood. To catch a thief sometimes you need the services of a thief. With a fair degree of certainty we can be sure a Clinton administration will offer us continuity .

Your probably going to vote Trump. Looking forward to a long list of articles here in November prophecies of Armageddon a la brexit. You liberal lefties , you'll never learn. If you want to know what people are thinking , you got to get out of the echochamber.


nooriginalthought -> aurlius 26 Oct 2016 7:45

Sorry , hate having to explain myself to the dim witted.

USA has got itself in an unholy mess . It's politicians no longer work for the people . Their paymasters care not if life in Idaho resembles Dantes inferno .
Trump has many faults but being "not Hilary" is not one of them. The very fact he is disliked by all the vested interests should make you take another look.
And remember , the American constitution has many checks and balances , a President has a lot less power than most people imagine.

Pinkie123 26 Oct 2016 7:21

While it is impossible to credibly disagree with the general thrust of this, some of Monbiot's assumptions exemplify problems with left-wing thinking at the moment.

But those traits ensure that he is not an outsider but the perfect representation of his caste, the caste that runs the global economy and governs our politics. He is our system, stripped of its pretences.

Like many on the right, the left have unthinkingly accepted a narrative of an organized, conspiratorial system run by an elite of politicians and plutocrats. The problem with this narrative is it suggests politics and politicians are inherently nefarious, in turn suggesting there are no political solutions to be sought to problems, or anything people can do to challenge a global system of power. As Monbiot asks: "You can kick individual politicians out of office, but what do you do when the entire structure of politics is corrupt?" Well, what indeed?

I think Monbiot a principled, intelligent left-wing commentator, but at the same time he epitomises a left-wing retreat into pessimism in the face of a putatively global network of power and inevitable environmental catastrophe. In reality, while there is no shortage of perfidious, corrupt corporate interests dominating global economies, there is no organized system or shadowy establishment - only a chaotic mess rooted in complex political problems. Once you accept that reality, then it becomes possible to imagine political solutions to the quandaries confronting us. Rather than just railing against realities, you can envision a new world to replace them. And a new kind of world is something you very rarely get from the left these days. Unlike the utopian socialists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, there is little optimism or imagination - just anger, pessimism and online echo chambers of 'clictivists'.

Like the documentarian Adam Curtis says, once you conclude that all politics is corrupt then all you can do is sit there impotently and say: 'Oh dear'.

deltajones -> Pinkie123 26 Oct 2016 8:12

I don't think you need to believe in an organised conspiracy and I don't see any real evidence that George Monbiot does. The trouble is that the corporate and political interests align in a way that absorbs any attempt to challenge them and the narrative has been written that of course politics is all about economics and of course we need mighty corporations to sustain us.

Even the left has largely taken on that narrative and it's seen as common sense. Challenging this belief system is the toughest job that there is and we see that in the howling indignation hurled at Jeremy Corbyn if he makes the slightest suggestion of nationalisation of the railways, for instance.

ianfraser3 26 Oct 2016 7:29

Not long after the start of the presidential campaign I began to reflect that in Trump we are seeing materializing before us the logical result of the neoliberal project, the ultimate shopping spree, buy an election.

furiouspurpose -> IllusionOfFairness 26 Oct 2016 8:08

The Republican party essentially offered their base nothing – that was the problem.

They couldn't offer all the things that ordinary Americans want – better and wider Medicaid, better and wider social security, tax increases on the rich, an end to pointless foreign wars and the American empire. None of these things were acceptable to their funders so that only left emotional issues – anti-abortion, anti-gay, pro-god, pro-gun. And all of the emotional issues are on the wrong side of history as the US naturally grows more politically progressive. So the Republican party couldn't even deliver on the emotionally driven agenda. I think their base realised that they were being offered nothing – and that's why they turned to Trump. Perhaps a fascist blowhard could bulldoze the system to deliver on the emotional side of the offer. That's why Trump broke through

The Democrats have largely the same funding base, but they at least deliver crumbs – at least a nod to the needs of ordinary people through half-hearted social programmes. In the end the African Americans decided that Hillary could be relied upon to deliver some crumbs – so they settled for that. That's why Sanders couldn't break through.

fairleft 26 Oct 2016 7:55

Trump is imperfect because he wants normal relations rather than war with Russia. No, Hillary Clinton is the ultimate representation of the system that is abusing us. What will occur when Goldman Sachs and the military-industrial complex coalition get their, what is it, 5th term in office would be a great subject of many Guardian opinion pieces, actually. But that will have to wait till after November 8.

Such commentary would be greatly aided the Podesta emails, which enlighten us as to the mind and 'zeitgeist' of the HIllary team. And, of course, we also have Hillary's Wall Street speeches -- thanks to Wikileaks we have the complete transcripts, in case Guardian readers are unaware. They expose the real thinking and 'private positions' of the central character in the next episode of 'Rule by Plutocracy'.

But, of course, opinion columns and think pieces on the Real Hillary and the Podesta emails will have to wait ... forever.

toffee1 26 Oct 2016 7:58

Trump shows the true face of the ruling class with no hypocrisy. He is telling us the truth. If we have a democracy, we should have a party representing the interests of the business class, why not. The democrats is the party practicing hypocrisy, pretending that they somehow representing the interest of the working class. They are the ones spreading lies and hypocrisy and manipulating the working class everyday through their power over the media. Their function is to appease the working class. The real obstacle for improving conditions for the working class historically has always been the Democratic party, not the Republican party.

Kikinaskald Cadmium 26 Oct 2016 8:39
In fact presidents don't usually have much affect, they're prey to their advisors. Generally true. But Obama was able to show that he was able to distance himself up to a certain point from what was around him. He was aware of the power of the establishment and of their bias. So, when the wave against Iran was as strong as never before, he made a deal with Iran. He also didn't want to intervene more actively in Syria and even in what concerns Russia, he seems to have moderate positions.

In what concerns foreign politics, Trump some times seems more reasonable than Clinton and the establishment. Clinton is the best coached politician of all times. She doesn't know that she's coached. She just followed the most radical groups and isn't able to question anything at all. The only thing that the coaches didn't fix until now is her laughing which is considered even by her coaches as a sign of weirdness.


Kikinaskald -> J.K. Stevens 26 Oct 2016 9:09

She is considered to be highly aggressive, she pushed for the bombing of a few countries and intervening everywhere..

Chris Williams 26 Oct 2016 8:20

Unfortunately all politics in the west is based on a similar model with our own domestic landscape perhaps most closely resembling that in the US. We've always been peddled convenient lies of course, but perhaps as society itself becomes more polarised [in terms of distribution of wealth and the social consequences of that], the dissonance with the manufactured version of reality becomes ever sharper. It is deeply problematic because traditional popular media is dominated by the wealthy elite and the reality it depicts is as much a reflection of the consensual outlook of that elite as it is deliberate, organised mendacity [although there's plenty of that too].

Western economies are now so beholden to the patronage of the essentially stateless multinational, it has become a political imperative to appease their interests - it's difficult to see a future in which an administration might resist this force, because at its whim, national economies face ruination. In light of such helplessness our political representatives face an easier path in simply accepting their lot as mere administrators who will tinker at the margins [and potentially reap the rewards of a good servant], rather than hold to principle and resist an overwhelming force.

Meanwhile the electorate is become increasingly disaffected by this mainstream of politics who they [rightly] sense is no longer truly representative of their interests in any substantive way. To this backdrop the media has made notable blunders in securing the status quo. It has revealed the corruption and self-seeking of many in politics and promoted the widespread distrust of mainstream politicians for a variety of reasons. While the corruption is real and endemic, howls of protest against political 'outsiders' from this same press is met with with the view that the political establishment cannot be trusted engendered by the same sources.

The narrative for Brexit is somewhat similar. For many years the EU was the whipping boy for all our ills and the idea that it is fundamentally undemocratic in contrast to our own system, so unchallenged that it is taken for fact, even by the reasonably educated. Whilst I'm personally deflated and not a little worried by our exit, it comes as little surprise that a distorted perspective on the EU has led to a revolt against it.

There are of course now very many alternative narratives to those which are the preserve of monied media magnates, but they're disparate, fractured and unfocused.

Only the malaise has any sort of consistency about it and it is bitterly ironic that figures like Trump and Farage can so effectively plug into that in the guise of outsiders, to offer spurious alternatives to that which is so desperately needed. It's gloomy stuff.

Winstons1 Chris Williams 26 Oct 2016 9:27

Very well written .

Western economies are now so beholden to the patronage of the essentially stateless multinational, it has become a political imperative to appease their interests - it's difficult to see a future in which an administration might resist this force, because at its whim, national economies face ruination. In light of such helplessness our political representatives face an easier path in simply accepting their lot as mere administrators who will tinker at the margins [and potentially reap the rewards of a good servant], rather than hold to principle and resist an overwhelming force.

I have been an advocate of this point for a long time.There is a saying in politics in America that'' the only difference between a Democrat and a Republican is the speed at which they drop to their knees when big business walks into the room''.

How it is going to be stopped or indeed if there is the will to do so,I do not know. The proponents and those who have most to lose have been incredibly successful in propagating the myth that 'you to can have what I have'and have convinced a sizeable minority that there is no alternative.
Until that changes and is exposed for the illusion that it is ,we are I fear heading for something far worse than we have now.

trp981 26 Oct 2016 8:20 2 3

"Trump personifies the traits promoted by the media and corporate worlds he affects to revile; the worlds that created him. He is the fetishisation of wealth, power and image in a nation where extrinsic values are championed throughout public discourse. His conspicuous consumption, self-amplification and towering (if fragile) ego are in tune with the dominant narratives of our age."

Because this is who we are and this is how we role. We got on rickety ships and braved the cowardly waters to reach these shores, with tremendous realworld uncertainty and absolute religious zeal. We are the manly men and womanly women who manifested our destiny, endured the cruel nature naturing, and civilized the wild wild west, at the same time preserving our own wildness and rugged individualism. Why should we go all soft and namby-pamby with this social safety nonsense? Let the roadkills expire with dignified indignity on the margins of the social order. We will bequeath a glorious legacy to the Randian ubermenschen who will inherit this land from us. They will live in Thielian compounds wearing the trendiest Lululemons. They will regularly admonish their worses with chants of: "Do you want to live? Pay, pal". If we go soft, if we falter, how will we ever be able to look in the eye the ghosts of John Wayne, Marion Morrison, Curtis LeMay, Chuck Heston, Chuck Norris, and the Great Great Ronnie Himself? Gut-check time folks, suck it up and get on with the program.

"The political constitution of the United States is not, as Madison envisaged, representation tempered by competition between factions. The true constitution is plutocracy tempered by scandal."

The Founders had a wicked sense of humor. They set up the structure of various branches so as to allow for the possibility of a future take-over by the Funders. That leaves room for the exorbitant influence of corporations and wealthy individuals and the rise of the Trumps, leading to the eventual fall into a Mad Max world.

"Yes, [Trump] is a shallow, mendacious, boorish and extremely dangerous man. But those traits ensure that he is not an outsider but the perfect representation of his caste, the caste that runs the global economy and governs our politics. He is our system, stripped of its pretences."

It is irrelevant if everyone sees the emperor/system has no clothes, it quite enjoys walking around naked now that it has absolute power.

Lopedeloslobos -> trp981 26 Oct 2016 9:02

'It is irrelevant if everyone sees the emperor/system has no clothes, it quite enjoys walking around naked now that it has absolute power.'

Yes, they don't care any more if we see the full extent of their corruption as we've given up our power to do anything about it.


chiefwiley -> Luftwaffe 26 Oct 2016 9:31

It was once very common to see Democratic politicians as neighbors attending every community event. They were Teamsters, pipe fitters, and electricians. And they were coaches and ushers and pallbearers. Now they are academics and lawyers and NGO employees and managers who pop up during campaigns.
The typical income of the elected Democrats outside their government check is north of $100,000. They don't live in, or even wander through, the poorer neighborhoods. So they are essentially clueless that government services like busses are run to suit government and not actual customers.

It's sort of nice to have somebody looking after our interests in theory, but it would be at least polite if they deemed to ask us what we think our best interests are. Notice the nasty names and attributes being hurled at political "dissidents," especially around here, and there should be little wonder why many think the benevolent and somewhat single minded and authoritarian left is at least part of their problems.


ghstwrtrx7 -> allblues 26 Oct 2016 14:02

Yea, 15 years of constant wars of empire with no end in sight has pretty much ran this country in the ground.

We all talk about how much money is wasted by the federal government on unimportant endeavors like human services and education, but don't even bat an eye about the sieve of money that is the Pentagon.

Half a trillion dollars for aircraft carriers we don't need and are already obsolete. China is on the verge of developing wickedly effective anti-ship missiles designed specifically to target these Gerald R. Ford-class vessels. You might as well paint a huge bull's-eye on these ships' 4-1/2 acre flight deck.

And then there there's the most egregious waste of money our historically over-bloated defense budget has ever seen: The Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightening II Joint Strike Fighter. Quite a mouthful, isn't? When you hear how much this boondoggle costs the American taxpayer, you'll choke: $1.5 Trillion, with a t. What's even more retching is that aside from already being obsolete, it doesn't even work.

There are plenty more examples of this crap and this doesn't even include the nearly TWO trillion dollars we've spent this past decade-and-a-half on stomping flat the Middle East and large swaths of the Indian subcontinent.
And all this time, our nation's infrastructure is crumbling literally right out from underneath us and millions upon millions of children and their families experience a daily struggle just to eat. Eat?! In the "greatest," wealthiest nation on earth and we prefer to kill people at weddings with drones than feed our own children.

I can't speak for anyone else other than myself, but that, boys and girls, has a decided miasma of evil about it.

transplendent 26 Oct 2016 9:49

I'd like to read an unbiased piece about why the media narrative doesn't match the reality of the Trump phenomenon. He is getting enormous crowds attend his rallies but hardly any coverage of that in the filtered news outlets. Hillary, is struggling to get anyone turn up without paying them. There is no real enthusiasm.

If Hillary doesn't win by a major landslide (and I mean BIGLY) as the MSM would lead us to believe she is going to, it could be curtains for the media, as what little credibility that is not already swirling around the plughole will disappear down it once and for all.

The buzzwords and tired old catch phrases and cliches used by the left to suppress any alternative discussion, and divert from their own misdemeanors are fooling no one but themselves. Trump supporters simply don't care any more how Hillary supporters explain that she lied about dodging sniper fire. Or the numerous other times she and her cohorts have been caught out telling fibs.

leftofstalin 26 Oct 2016 10:06

Sorry George YOU and the chattering classes you represent are the reason for the rise of the far right blinded by the false promises of new labour and it's ilk the working classes have been demonized as striking troublemakers benefit frauds racists uneducated bigots etc etc and going by the comments on these threads from remainders you STILL don't understand the psyche of the working class

Gary Ruddock 26 Oct 2016 10:07

When Obama humiliated Trump at that dinner back in 2011 he may have set a course for his own destruction. Lately, Obama does not appear anywhere near as confident as he once did.

Perhaps Trump has seen the light, seen the error of his ways, maybe he realizes if he doesn't stand up against the system, then no one will.


transplendent 26 Oct 2016 10:38

Trump's only crime, is he buys into the idea of national identity and statehood (along with every other nation state in the world mind you), and Hillary wants to kick down the doors and hand over the US to Saudi Arabia and any international vested interest who can drop a few dollars into the foundation coffers. I can't see Saudi Arabia throwing open the doors any day soon, unless it is onto a one way street.

N.B. The Russians are not behind it.

gjjwatson 26 Oct 2016 11:10

Very true. Throughout history the rich, the powerful, the landed, ennobled interest and their friends in the Law and money changing houses have sought to control governments and have usually succeeded.

In the Media today the rich are fawned over by sycophantic journalists and programme makers. These are the people who make the political weather and create the prevailing narratives.

I remember when President Reagan railed against government whilst he was in office, he said the worst words a citizen could hear were "I`m from the government, I`m here to help you".

Working class people fancied themselves to above the common herd and thought themselves part of some elite.

All of this chimes of course with American history and it`s constitution written by slave owning colonists who proclaimed that "all men are created equal".

bonhiver 26 Oct 2016 12:10

It's quite disturbing the lengths this paper will go to in order to slur and discredit Trump, labelling him dangerous and alluding to the sexual assault allegations. This even goes so far to a very lengthy article regarding Trumps lack of knowledge on the Rumbelows Cup 25 years ago.

Whereas very little examination is made into Hillary Clinton's background which includes serious allegation of fraud and involvement in assisting in covering up her husband's alleged series of rapes. There are also issues in the wikileaks emails that merit analysis as well as undercover tapes of seioau issues with her campaign team.

Whereas it is fair to criticise Trump for a lot of stuff it does appear that there is no attempt at balance as Clinton's faults appear to get covered up om this paper.

Whereas I can not vote in the US elections and therefore the partisan reporting has no substantive effect on how I may vote or act it is troubling that a UK newspaper does not provide the reader with an objective as possible reporting on the presidential race.

It suggests biased reporting elsewhere.

thevisitor2015 26 Oct 2016 12:46

One of the most important characteristics of the so-called neoliberalism is its negative selection. While mostly successfully camouflaged, that negative selection is more than obvious this time, in two US presidential candidates. It's hard to imagine lower than those two.

seamuspadraig 26 Oct 2016 13:37

Well, OK George. Tell me: if Trump's such an establishment candidate, then why does the whole of the establishment unanimously reject him? Is it normal for Republicans (such as the Bushes and the neocons) to endorse Democrats? Why does even the Speaker of the House (a Republican) and even, on occasion, Trump's own Vice-Presidential nominee seem to be trying to undermine his campaign? If Trump is really just more of the same as all that came before, why is he being treated different by the MSM and the political establishment?

Obviously, there's something flawed about your assumption.


CharlesPDXOr -> seamuspadraig 26 Oct 2016 13:58

I think the answer to your question is in the article: because Trump has brought the truth of the monied class into the open. He is a perfect example of all that class is and tries to pretend it is not. And when the commoners see this in front of them, a whole lot of them are disgusted by it. That doesn't sit well back in the country club and the boardroom, where they work so hard to keep all of that behind closed doors. They hate him because he is one of them and is spilling the beans on all of them.

bill9651 26 Oct 2016 13:01

Trump has exposed the corruption of the political system and the media and has promised to put a stop to it. By contrast, Clinton is financed by the very banks, corporates and financial elites who are responsible for the corruption. This Trump speech is explicit on what we all suspected is going on. Everybody should watch it, irrespective of whether they support him or not!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tab5vvo0TJw


Frances56 26 Oct 2016 13:54

Michael Moore explaining why a lot of people like him


"I know a lot of people in Michigan that are planning to vote for Trump and they don't necessarily agree with him. They're not racist or redneck, they're actually pretty decent people and so after talking to a number of them I wanted to write this.

Donald Trump came to the Detroit Economic Club and stood there in front of Ford Motor executives and said "if you close these factories as you're planning to do in Detroit and build them in Mexico, I'm going to put a 35% tariff on those cars when you send them back and nobody's going to buy them." It was an amazing thing to see. No politician, Republican or Democrat, had ever said anything like that to these executives, and it was music to the ears of people in Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin - the "Brexit" states.

You live here in Ohio, you know what I'm talking about. Whether Trump means it or not, is kind of irrelevant because he's saying the things to people who are hurting, and that's why every beaten-down, nameless, forgotten working stiff who used to be part of what was called the middle class loves Trump. He is the human Molotov Cocktail that they've been waiting for; the human hand grande that they can legally throw into the system that stole their lives from them. And on November 8, although they lost their jobs, although they've been foreclose on by the bank, next came the divorce and now the wife and kids are gone, the car's been repoed, they haven't had a real vacation in years, they're stuck with the shitty Obamacare bronze plan where you can't even get a fucking percocet, they've essentially lost everything they had except one thing - the one thing that doesn't cost them a cent and is guaranteed to them by the American constitution: the right to vote.
They might be penniless, they might be homeless, they might be fucked over and fucked up it doesn't matter, because it's equalized on that day - a millionaire has the same number of votes as the person without a job: one. And there's more of the former middle class than there are in the millionaire class. So on November 8 the dispossessed will walk into the voting booth, be handed a ballot, close the curtain, and take that lever or felt pen or touchscreen and put a big fucking X in the box by the name of the man who has threatened to upend and overturn the very system that has ruined their lives: Donald J Trump.

They see that the elite who ruined their lives hate Trump. Corporate America hates Trump. Wall Street hates Trump. The career politicians hate Trump. The media hates Trump, after they loved him and created him, and now hate. Thank you media: the enemy of my enemy is who I'm voting for on November 8.

Yes, on November 8, you Joe Blow, Steve Blow, Bob Blow, Billy Blow, all the Blows get to go and blow up the whole goddamn system because it's your right. Trump's election is going to be the biggest fuck you ever recorded in human history and it will feel good."

Michael Moore


Debreceni 26 Oct 2016 14:15

Mrs Clinton is also the product of our political culture. A feminist who owes everything to her husband and men in the Democratic Party. A Democrat who started her political career as a Republican; a civil right activist who worked for Gerry Goldwater, one of last openly racist/segregationist politicians. A Secretary of State who has no clue about, or training in, foreign policy, and who received her position as compensation for losing the election. A pacifist, who has never had a gun in her hands, but supported every war in the last twenty years. A humanist who rejoiced over Qaddafi's death ("we came, we won, he is dead!") like a sadist.

Both candidates have serious weaknesses. Yet Trump is very much an American character, his vices and weaknesses are either overlooked, or widely shared, secretively respected and even admired (even by those who vote against him). Clinton's arrogance, elitism and hypocrisy, coupled with her lack of talent, charisma and personality, make her an aberration in American politics.


BabylonianSheDevil03 26 Oct 2016 15:26

One thing that far right politics offers the ordinary white disaffected voter is 'pay back', it is a promised revenge-fest, putting up walls, getting rid of foreigners, punishing employers of foreigners, etc., etc. All the stuff that far right groups have wet dreams about.

Farage used the same tactics in the UK. Le Pen is the same.

Because neoliberal politics has left a hell of a lot of people feeling pissed off, the far right capitalizes on this, whilst belonging to the same neoliberal dystopia so ultimately not being able to make good on their promises. Their promises address a lot of people's anger, which of course isn't really about foreigners at all, that is simply the decoy, but cutting through all the crap to make that clear is no easy task, not really sure how it can be done, certainly no political leader in the western hemisphere has the ability to do so.

ProseBeforeHos 26 Oct 2016 15:45

"But those traits ensure that he is not an outsider but the perfect representation of his caste, the caste that runs the global economy and governs our politics."

Wrong as always. Trump *is* an outsider. He's an unabashed nationalist who's set him up against the *actual* caste that governs our politics: Neo-liberal internationalists with socially trendy left-liberal politics (but not so left that they don't hire good tax lawyers to avoid paying a fraction of what they are legally obliged to).

Best represented in the Goldman Sachs executives who are donating millions to Hillary Clinton because they are worried about Trump's opposition to free trade, and they know she will give them *everything* they want.

Trumps the closest thing we're gotten to a genuine threat to the system in a long, long time, so of course George Monbiot and the rest of the Guardian writers has set themselves against him, because if you're gonna be wrong about the EU, wrong about New Labour, wrong about social liberalism, wrong about immigration, why change the habit of a lifetime?

aofeia1224 26 Oct 2016 16:09

"What is the worst thing about Donald Trump? The lies? The racist stereotypes? The misogyny? The alleged gropings? The apparent refusal to accept democratic outcomes?"

Lies: Emails, policy changes based on polls showing a complete lack of conviction, corporate collusion, Bosnia, Clinton Foundation, war mongering, etc.
Racist stereotypes: Super predators. Misogyny: Aside from her laughing away her pedophile case and allegedly threatening the women who came out against Bill, you've also got this sexist gem "Women are the primary victims of war".

Alleged gropings: Well she's killed people by texting. So unless your moral compass is so out of whack that somehow a man JOKING about his player status in private is worse than Clinton's actions throughout her political career, then I guess you could make the case that Clinton at least doesn't have this skeleton in her closet.

Refusal to accept democratic outcomes: No. He's speaking out against the media's collusion with the democratic party favoring Clinton over every other nominee, including Bernie Sanders. He's talking about what was revealed in the DNC leaks and the O'Keefe tapes that show how dirty the tactics have been in order to legally persuade the voting public into electing one person or the other.

Besides that, who cares about his "refusal" to accept the outcome? The American people protested when Bush won in 2000 saying it was rigged. Same goes with Obama saying the same "anti democratic" shit back in 2008 in regards to the Bush Administration.

Pot call kettle black

caravanserai 26 Oct 2016 16:16

Republicans are crazy and their policies make little sense. Neo-conservatism? Trickle down economics? Getting the poor to pay for the mess created by the bankers in 2008? Trump knows what sells to his party's base. He throws them red meat. However, the Democrats are not much better. They started to sell out when Bill Clinton was president. They pretend to still be the party of the New Deal, but they don't want to offend Wall Street. US democracy is in trouble.

rooolf 26 Oct 2016 16:24

When do the conspiracy theories about the criminality of his opponent no longer count as conspiracies? When we have a plethora of emails confirming there is indeed fire next to that smoke, corruption fire, collusion fire, fire of contempt for the electorate. When we have emails confirming the Saudi Arabians are actually funding terrorist schools across the globe, emails where Hilary herself admits it, but will not say anything publicly about terrorism and Saudi Arabia, what's conspiracy and what's reality?

Is it because Saudi Arabia funded her foundation with $23 million, or because it doesn't fit with her great 'internationalists' global agenda?

Either way there seems to be some conspiring of some sort

When is it no longer theory? And where does the guardian fit into this corrupted corporate media idea?

Yep trump is a buffoon, but the failure of all media to deliver serious debate means the US is about to elect someone probably more dangerous than trump, how the hell can that be

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-26/the-election-of-hillary-clinton-promises-a-more-dangerous-world/7966336

rooolf 26 Oct 2016 16:35

What the author overlooks is the media's own complicity in allowing this to develop

Unfortunately the corruption of the system is so entrenched it takes an abnormality like trump to challenge it

Hard to believe, but trump is a once in a lifetime opportunity to shake shit up, not a pleasant one, in fact a damn ugly opportunity, but the media shut him down, got all caught up in self preservation and missed the opportunity

it what comes next that is scary


BScHons -> rooolf 26 Oct 2016 17:09

Nothing wrong with a liberal internationalist utopia, it sounds rather good and worth striving for. It's just that what they've been pushing is actually a neoliberal globalist nirvana for the 1 per cent

rooolf BScHons 26 Oct 2016 17:17

Totally agree

The problem is the left this paper represents were bought off with the small change by neoliberalism, and they expect the rest of us to suck it up so the elites from both sides can continue the game

Talking about the environment and diversity doesn't cut it

mrjonno 26 Oct 2016 17:02

Well said as ever George. Humanity is in a total mess as we near the end of the neoliberal model. That the USA has a choice between two 'demopublicans' is no choice at all.

I would go further in your analysis - media controlled by these sociopaths has ensured that our society shares the same values - we are a bankrupt species as is.

As long as you are here to provide sensible analysis, along with Peter Joseph, I have hope that we can pull out of the nosedive that we are currently on a trajectory for.

Thank you for your sane input into an otherwise insane world. Thank you Mr Monbiot.


annedemontmorency 26 Oct 2016 19:08

We'll ignore the part about the inability to accept democratic outcomes since that afflicts so many people and organisations - Brexit , anyone?

More to the point is how the summit of US politics produces candidates like Trump and Clinton.

Clinton is suffering the same damage the LibDems received during their coalition with the Tories .Proximity to power exposed their inadequacies and hypocrisy in both cases.

Trump - unbelievably - remains a viable candidate but only because Hillary Clinton reeks of graft and self interest.
The obvious media campaign against Trump could also backfire - voters know a hatchet job when they see one - they watch House of Cards.

But politics is odd around the whole world.
The Guardian is running a piece about the Pirate party in Iceland.

Why go so far? - the most remarkable coup in recent politics was UKIP forcing a vote on the EU which it not only won it did so in spite of only ever having ONE MP out of 630.

Trump may be America's UKIP - he resembles them in so many ways.

ID6209069 26 Oct 2016 20:35

It's possible that something like this was inevitable, in a nation which is populated by "consumers" rather than as citizens. There are "valuable demographics" versus those that aren't worthy of the attention of the constant bombardment of advertising. I jokingly said last year that as I was turning 55 last year, I am no longer in the 'coveted 29-54 demo'. My worth as a consumer has been changed merely by reaching a certain age, so I now see fewer ads about cars and electronics and more about prescription medicines. The product of our media is eyeballs, not programs or articles. The advertising is the money maker, the content merely a means of luring people in for a sales pitch, not to educate or inform. If that structure sells us a hideous caricature of a successful person and gives him political power, as long as the ad dollars keep rolling in.

GreyBags 26 Oct 2016 21:19

This is the culmination of living in a post-truth political world. Lies and smears, ably supported by the corporate media and Murdoch in particular means that the average person who doesn't closely follow politics is being misinformed.

The complete failure of right wing economic 'theories' means they only have lies, smears and the old 'divide and conquer' left in their arsenal. 'Free speech' is their attempt to get lies and smears equal billing with the truth. All truth on the other hand must be suppressed. All experts and scientists who don't regurgitate the meaningless slogans of the right will be ignored, traduced, defunded, disbanded or silenced by law.

We see the same corrupted philosophy in Australia as well.


JamesCameron 7d ago

Yet Trump, the "misogynist, racist and bigot"' has more women in executive and managerial positions than any comparable company, pays these women the same or more than their male counterparts and fought the West Palm Beach City Council to be allowed to open his newly purchased club to blacks and Jews who had been banned until then. I suspect his views do chime with Americans fed up with political correctness gone mad as well as the venality of the administration of Barak Obama, a machine politician with dodgy bagmen from Chicago – the historically corrupt city in Illinois, the most corrupt state in the Union. Finally, unlike The Hilary, he has actually held down a job, worked hard and achieved success and perhaps they are more offended by what she does than what he says.

aucourant 7d ago

Not so much an article about Trump as much as a rant. George Monbiot writes with the utter conviction of one who mistakenly believes that his readers share his bigotry. When he talks about the 'alleged gropings' or the 'alleged refusal to accept democratic outcomes', that is exactly what they are 'alleged'.

The Democratic Party has been dredging up porn-stars and wannabe models who now make claims that Trump tried to 'kiss them without asking'. This has become the nightly fare of the mainstream media in the USA. At the same time the media ignores the destruction of Clinton's emails, the bribing of top FBI officials who are investigating the destroyed tapes and the giving of immunity to all those who aided Clinton in hiding and destroying subpoenaed evidence.

The press also ignored the tapes of the DNC paying thugs to cause violence at Trump rallies, the bribes paid to the Clintons for political favours and the stealing of the election from Bernie Sanders. Trump is quite right to think the 'democratic outcome' is being fixed. Not only were the votes for Sanders manipulated, but Al Gore's votes were also altered and manipulated to ensure a win for Bush in the 2000 presidential election. The same interests who engineered the 2000 election have switched from supporting the Republican Party to supporting Clinton.

Anomander64 6d ago

Great article. The neoliberals have been able to control the narrative and in doing so have managed to scapegoat all manner of minority groups, building anger among those disaffected with modern politics. Easy targets - minorities, immigrants, the poor, the disadvantaged and the low-paid workers.

The real enemy here are those sitting atop the corporate tree, but with the media controlled by them, the truth is never revealed.

mochilero7687 5d ago

Perhaps next week George will write in detail about all the scandals Hildabeast has caused and been involved in over the past 40 years - which have cost the US govt tens of millions of dollars and millions of man hours - but I won't be holding my breath.

[Nov 01, 2016] Conspiracy Vs. Government Is Elite Propaganda Justifying Violent Repression Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... With US belief in "conspiracy theory" over 50 percent (see our previous article here ) elites are showing increasingly concern that they have lost control of their narrative. ..."
"... The article explains that if people grow paranoid about government, then the "norms" of government will collapse. ..."
"... The article also has parallels to an article we analyzed recently here by Cass Sunstein. His Bloomberg editorial suggested that nothing was more important from a political standpoint than returning "civility" to Congress and politics generally. ..."
"... The NeoCons will take the United States in the same direction it is going until its' bust. Endless war, run down infrastructure and poverty is the future. Tax receipts are falling fast and government can't pay the big bills with service sector jobs. ..."
"... Decommissioning the plethora of foreign airbases and dismantling NATO would see the Bankster/MIC die a death. Gotta starve those beasts pronto. ..."
"... "Conspiracy theory is called "paranoid politics" in this article but it amounts to the same thing." ..."
"... "conspiracy theory" ..."
"... "paranoid" ..."
"... "we should" ..."
"... "paranoid politics" ..."
"... "good" ..."
"... necessarily controlled ..."
"... "The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost invariably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And if he is not romantic personally, he is apt to spread discontent among those who are." ..."
"... "dishonest, insane and intolerable," ..."
"... "paranoid politics," ..."
"... "We need" ..."
"... justifiably paranoid ..."
Nov 01, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com

With US belief in "conspiracy theory" over 50 percent (see our previous article here ) elites are showing increasingly concern that they have lost control of their narrative.

This article again illustrates elite push back. The article explains that if people grow paranoid about government, then the "norms" of government will collapse.

Conspiracy theory is called "paranoid politics" in this article but it amounts to the same thing.

The article also has parallels to an article we analyzed recently here by Cass Sunstein. His Bloomberg editorial suggested that nothing was more important from a political standpoint than returning "civility" to Congress and politics generally.

This article runs along the same lines: Negative perceptions of the US government can make the process of "governing" dysfunctional.

Herdee •Nov 1, 2016 12:13 AM

The NeoCons will take the United States in the same direction it is going until its' bust. Endless war, run down infrastructure and poverty is the future. Tax receipts are falling fast and government can't pay the big bills with service sector jobs.

WTFUD •Oct 31, 2016 11:14 PM

Major Civil Unrest is required in the USSofA to alleviate the pressure on Russia, the Elites' would be bogeyman. The rest of the world would benefit too.

Decommissioning the plethora of foreign airbases and dismantling NATO would see the Bankster/MIC die a death. Gotta starve those beasts pronto.

PoasterToaster •Oct 31, 2016 10:30 PM

Bankers hiding behind "government" and using the moral authority it carries in people's heads to carry out their dirty deeds. But now the people have seen behind the curtain and the dope at the controls has been found wanting. Writing is on the wall for them and they know it.

"The rise of paranoid politics could make America ungovernable"

We in America aren't supposed to be "governed". And our state of mind is none of your goddamned business.

medium giraffe Oct 31, 2016 9:55 PM
"Conspiracy theory is called "paranoid politics" in this article but it amounts to the same thing."

There is a huge difference between critical thought and lack of education.

The Telegraph author's unwillingness to seperate the two is telling.

Radical Marijuana -> medium giraffe Oct 31, 2016 11:45 PM
One of the most delightful ironies (to those with a sufficiently macabre sense of humour) is that declassified CIA documents from the 1960s have proven that the mass media promotion of the "conspiracy theory" meme was deliberately developed by the CIA, using their media assets.

Many people have developed ways to discuss the relatively slim differences between being "paranoid" versus being realistic. After several decades of enjoying the luxury to spend most of my time attempting to understand the political processes, my conclusion has always been that THE MORE I LEARNED, THE WORSE IT GOT.

It is barely possible to exaggerate the degree to which "we should" seriously consider "paranoid politics" as being the most realistic. Governments are only "good" in the sense that they are the biggest forms of organized crime, dominated by the best organized gangs of criminals. In my view, that conclusion can both be derived from the basic principles of the ways that general energy systems operate, as well as empirically confirmed by an overwhelming abundance of well-documented evidence. Indeed, more rational evidence and logical arguments result in that any deeper analysis of politics ALWAYS discovers and demonstrates the ways that civilization is necessarily controlled by applications of the methods of organized crime, whose excessive successfulness are more and more spinning out of control.

As H.L. Menchen stated:

"The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost invariably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And if he is not romantic personally, he is apt to spread discontent among those who are."

The important things which most governments DO,

that are "dishonest, insane and intolerable,"

are ENFORCE FRAUDS by private banks.

Given those social FACTS, it is barely possible to develop a sufficiently "paranoid politics," to encompass the degree to which the existing political economy, based upon enforcing frauds, is being driven by advancing technologies towards becoming exponentially more fraudulent. The problem is NOT that some people are becoming too critical, but that the majority of them have not yet become critical enough ... "We need" to go beyond being merely superficially cynical, in order to become profoundly cynical enough to perhaps cope with how and why governments ARE the biggest forms of organized crime, dominated by the best organized gangs of criminals.

In my view, most of the content published on Zero Hedge, which engages in various superficially correct analyses of those problems, tends to never engage in deeper levels of analysis, due to the degree to which the resulting conclusions are way worse than anything which could be adequately admitted and addressed. Rather, it is barely possible to exaggerate the degree to which one is justifiably paranoid about the ways that the ruling classes in Globalized Neolithic Civilization are becoming increasingly psychotic psychopaths:

THE EXCESSIVE SUCCESSFULNESS OF CONTROLLING CIVILIZATION

BY APPLICATIONS OF THE VARIOUS METHODS OF ORGANIZED CRIME

HAS RESULTED IN CIVILIZATION MANIFESTING CRIMINAL INSANITY!

Radical Marijuana -> medium giraffe •Nov 1, 2016 12:25 AM

Yes, mg, the CIA, in ways which were, of course, ILLEGAL, attempted to discredit those who did not believe the official story regarding the assination of President Kennedy.

You may well already be familiar with this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1Qt6a-vaNM

JFK to 911 Everything Is A Rich Man's Trick

The most relevant conclusion of that documentary was that, at the highest levels, there is no difference, because they blend together, between organized crime and government agencies such as the CIA, which was effectively the American branch of the secret police employed by the international bankers.

jeff montanye Oct 31, 2016 9:08 PM
i believe i've said it before but bust 9-11 and these fucks shut up for eternity, many of them incarcerated eventually.

http://www.whale.to/b/israel_did_911.html

https://sites.google.com/site/onedemocraticstatesite/archives/-solving-9...

http://www.amazon.com/Solving-9-11-Deception-Changed-World/dp/0985322586

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP_Ezjm7xDg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DOnAn_PX6M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsoY3AIRUGA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YW6mJOqRDI4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhROd7Jt3-w

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgM6hjNedE0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rj_AL4OlmHc&feature=iv&src_vid=rnbMjAN7B...

http://www.luogocomune.net/site/modules/sections/index.php?op=viewarticl...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVHstSrC1CQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gORu-68SHpE.

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/everything-rich-man-trick/

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/098213150X/sr=1-1/qid=1467687982/ref=olp_pro...

http://www.europhysicsnews.org/articles/epn/pdf/2016/04/epn2016474p21.pdf

[Oct 30, 2016] Soft neoliberals are using anti-racism to discredit economic populism and its motivations, using the new politics of the right as a foil

Oct 30, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

bruce wilder 10.30.16 at 9:34 pm 34

The success of [civil rights and anti-apartheid] movements did not end racism, but drove it underground, allowing neoliberals to exploit racist and tribalist political support while pursuing the interests of wealth and capital, at the expense of the (disproportionately non-white) poor.

That coalition has now been replaced by one in which the tribalists and racists are dominant. For the moment at least, [hard] neoliberals continue to support the parties they formerly controlled, with the result that the balance of political forces between the right and the opposing coalition of soft neoliberals and the left has not changed significantly.

There's an ambiguity in this narrative and in the three-party analysis.

Do we acknowledge that the soft neoliberals in control of the coalition that includes the inchoate left also "exploit racist and tribalist political support while pursuing the interests of wealth and capital, at the expense of the (disproportionately non-white) poor."? They do it with a different style and maybe with some concession to economic melioration, as well as supporting anti-racist and feminist policy to keep the inchoate left on board, but . . .

The new politics of the right has lost faith in the hard neoliberalism that formerly furnished its policy agenda of tax cuts for the rich, war in the Middle East and so on, leaving the impure resentment ungoverned and unfocused, as you say.

The soft neoliberals, it seems to me, are using anti-racism to discredit economic populism and its motivations, using the new politics of the right as a foil.

The problem of how to oppose racism and tribalism effectively is now entangled with soft neoliberal control of the remaining party coalition, which is to say with the credibility of the left party as a vehicle for economic populism and the credibility of economic populism as an antidote for racism or sexism. (cf js. @ 1,2)

The form of tribalism used to mobilize the left entails denying that an agenda of economic populism is relevant to the problems of sexism and racism, because the deplorables must be deplored to get out the vote. And, because the (soft) neoliberals in charge must keep economic populism under control to deliver the goods to their donor base.

[Oct 29, 2016] Comey was forced to tell Congress the Clinton e-mail investigation was being reopened. If he did not then sure as hell the existence of those e-mails on the Weiner computer would be leaked.

People started to demand Hillary scalp...
Notable quotes:
"... FBI agents looking at Weiners weiner on his laptop, sees tons of Huma emails and Clinton emails, turn and tell their boss they are disgusted with all this and he needs to disrupt her winning office or they are going public. That's what happened! ..."
"... I think you are spot on with that observation. Comey was forced to tell Congress the Clinton e-mail investigation was being reopened. If he did not then sure as hell the existence of those e-mails on the Weiner computer would be leaked. ..."
"... I agree, it is all puppet theatre with some humor added. The more outrageous the more believable, right? ..."
"... It achieves some "unity" around Trump when there wasn't enough going down the home stretch, it became OBVIOUS she's not a winner, which anyone with half a brain has known since she announced? So maybe they are pulling the plug and she's been beat officially? Which leaves the question is Trump for real? ..."
"... I must say, fake or not he fought hard? I like Trump. I hope he realizes if he did decide to do GOOD, he could become very powerful. Why these leaders get to these positions and give it all up for a little greed is beyond me? They could be 10 times more powerful by just being GOOD? You've got the money Trump, if your GOOD, you'll obtain the power? Trump has some political capital and makes him more attractive to the establishment. My guess is, im being too optimistic for good things to happen? I hope Im wrong. ..."
"... The Clintons are a great success story. They never set out to be legal, only not to get sent to jail. By this standard they have succeeded. They have wealth and power and are 2 of the most admired people on earth. Lawyers and fines are just businesses expenses. ..."
"... I want to share my intentions with my fellow ZH Bloggers and Patriots, beginning today, I am going to be sending a series of communications directly to Paul Ryan by using his WEBSITE found at the following URL: http://www.speaker.gov/contact ..."
"... I plan to both encourage and challenge the Speaker. I know many on ZH look at Paul Ryan as a hypocrite. I understand why you may hold this position. I too am very disappointed with recent REPUBLICAN positions and communications. However, now is the time to unite as "WE THE PEOPLE". All of the data is suggesting that leadership within US Government Agencies is corrupted by special interests and their own fleshly nature. We see evidence of TREASON everywhere. But I believe brighter days lie ahead for America at least in the short term. ..."
"... AMERICA has lost her way and this needs to be corrected. ..."
Oct 29, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
TahoeBilly2012 Rubicon Oct 29, 2016 9:46 AM ,
FBI agents looking at Weiners weiner on his laptop, sees tons of Huma emails and Clinton emails, turn and tell their boss they are disgusted with all this and he needs to disrupt her winning office or they are going public. That's what happened!
Tarjan TahoeBilly2012 Oct 29, 2016 10:18 AM ,
I think you are spot on with that observation. Comey was forced to tell Congress the Clinton e-mail investigation was being reopened. If he did not then sure as hell the existence of those e-mails on the Weiner computer would be leaked.
joego1 Tarjan Oct 29, 2016 1:15 PM ,
Check this out;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgbEj-YyEIQ

The FBI's hand was forced by Anonymous.

Wow72 lil dirtball Oct 29, 2016 11:07 AM ,
I agree, it is all puppet theatre with some humor added. The more outrageous the more believable, right?

It achieves some "unity" around Trump when there wasn't enough going down the home stretch, it became OBVIOUS she's not a winner, which anyone with half a brain has known since she announced? So maybe they are pulling the plug and she's been beat officially? Which leaves the question is Trump for real?

I must say, fake or not he fought hard? I like Trump. I hope he realizes if he did decide to do GOOD, he could become very powerful. Why these leaders get to these positions and give it all up for a little greed is beyond me? They could be 10 times more powerful by just being GOOD? You've got the money Trump, if your GOOD, you'll obtain the power? Trump has some political capital and makes him more attractive to the establishment. My guess is, im being too optimistic for good things to happen? I hope Im wrong.

I've been burned so many times by BIG GOV. both DEM & REP? I just cant trust anyone that is near it?

They take lots of ideas from ZH these days, and its not good..... ZH offers them the ideas, the power, and the creativity of the crowd. They use it against us, a very powerful tool.

Kidbuck Fester Oct 29, 2016 10:56 AM ,
The Clintons are a great success story. They never set out to be legal, only not to get sent to jail. By this standard they have succeeded. They have wealth and power and are 2 of the most admired people on earth. Lawyers and fines are just businesses expenses.
GUS100CORRINA Fester Oct 29, 2016 11:07 AM ,
I want to share my intentions with my fellow ZH Bloggers and Patriots, beginning today, I am going to be sending a series of communications directly to Paul Ryan by using his WEBSITE found at the following URL: http://www.speaker.gov/contact

I plan to both encourage and challenge the Speaker. I know many on ZH look at Paul Ryan as a hypocrite. I understand why you may hold this position. I too am very disappointed with recent REPUBLICAN positions and communications. However, now is the time to unite as "WE THE PEOPLE". All of the data is suggesting that leadership within US Government Agencies is corrupted by special interests and their own fleshly nature. We see evidence of TREASON everywhere. But I believe brighter days lie ahead for America at least in the short term.

AMERICA has lost her way and this needs to be corrected.

I encourage everyone who reads this message to send a note to the SPEAKER encouraging him to do four things:

  1. Get on board the TRUMP/PENCE train no matter what it takes which includes eating "HUMBLE PIE".
  2. Go after Hillary R. Clinton and press for swift and immediate justice.
  3. Enforce existing laws for TREASON that are on the books.
  4. Do whatever it takes to ensure the integrity of the American POTUS Election process. MAKE OUR VOTE COUNT.

I plan to do this today and will be sending the speaker notes and comments from ZH.

If everyone contacts the SPEAKER, he will get the POINT.

GOD's SPEED in whatever you decide to do as a CITIZEN of these UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

[Oct 29, 2016] A Presidency From Hell by Patrick J. Buchanan

Notable quotes:
"... Moreover, thousands of emails were erased from her server, even after she had reportedly been sent a subpoena from Congress to retain them. During her first two years as secretary of state, half of her outside visitors were contributors to the Clinton Foundation. Yet there was not a single quid pro quo, Clinton tells us. ..."
"... Pat is oh-so right: "This election is not over." In fact it's likely that Donald Trump will continue to surge and will win on November 8th. ..."
"... Remember: Many of the polls claiming to show statistically significant Clinton leads were commissioned by the same corrupt news organizations that have worked for months to bias their news coverage in an attempt to throw the election to Clinton. ..."
"... The problem facing the donor class and the party elites is that Trump supporters are not swayed by the media bias. A recent Gallup poll shows Americans trust in journalists to be at its lowest level since Gallup began asking the question. ..."
"... Americans are savvy to the media's rigging of election reporting. Election Day, Nov. 8th, will show that the dishonest reporting of the mainstream media and the cooked samplings of their polls were all for naught. ..."
"... More years of bank favoritism, corporate socialism, political corruption, failed social programs, deindustrialization, open borders lawlessness, erosion of liberties, interventionism and wage stagnation is all adding more steam to the pressure cooker. ..."
"... A Trump presidency would back the pressure off, a Clinton presidency would be a disaster. ..."
"... Why does PJB, of all people, cling to the abhorrent notion that presidential "greatness" is defined by territorial aggrandizement through war? ..."
"... Unfortunately, that new evidence of the Clinton Criminal Enterprise (CCE) caused nary a ripple in the MSM. It was merely noted in the Crony lapdog Washington Post and then quickly submerged into the bottom of the content swamp. The Clinton WikiLeaks documents and the James O'Keefe corruption videos are marginalized or not even acknowledged to exist by the various MSM outlets. ..."
"... Hillary is probably guilty of a lot of things. However, evidence from the counter-media and/or Congress means nothing to the MSM. In fact the MSM will actually conjure up a multitude of baseless red herrings to protect Hillary. E.g., the Trump as Putin puppet meme as a diversion away from documented Clinton corruption. ..."
"... The anti-Hillary elements can only mutually reinforce in their internet ghettos. Those ghettos do not provide enough political leverage to move against a President Hillary no matter how compelling the evidence of the Clinton's collective criminality. In that context, Hillary will be politically inoculated by the protective MSM against Republican congressional inquiries and attacks. ..."
"... Hillary's presidency will almost certainly be a catastrophe because it will manifest the haggard, corrupt, cronied-up, parasitic and mediocre qualities of the hack sitting in the Oval Office. Expect a one term fiasco and then Hillary will stumble out of the White House as even more of a political and personal wreck. ..."
Oct 29, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com
... ... ...

Moreover, thousands of emails were erased from her server, even after she had reportedly been sent a subpoena from Congress to retain them. During her first two years as secretary of state, half of her outside visitors were contributors to the Clinton Foundation. Yet there was not a single quid pro quo, Clinton tells us.

Yesterday's newspapers exploded with reports of how Bill Clinton aide Doug Band raised money for the Clinton Foundation, and then hit up the same corporate contributors to pay huge fees for Bill's speeches.

What were the corporations buying if not influence? What were the foreign contributors buying, if not influence with an ex-president, and a secretary of state and possible future president?

Did none of the big donors receive any official favors?

"There's a lot of smoke and there's no fire," says Hillary Clinton.

Perhaps, but there seems to be more smoke every day.

If once or twice in her hours of testimony to the FBI, to a grand jury, or before Congress, Clinton were proven to have lied, her Justice Department would be obligated to name a special prosecutor, as was Nixon's.

And, with the election over, the investigative reporters of the adversary press, Pulitzers beckoning, would be cut loose to go after her.

The Republican House is already gearing up for investigations that could last deep into Clinton's first term.

There is a vast trove of public and sworn testimony from Hillary, about the server, the emails, the erasures, the Clinton Foundation. Now, thanks to WikiLeaks, there are tens of thousands of emails to sift through, and perhaps tens of thousands more to come.

What are the odds that not one contains information that contradicts her sworn testimony? Rep. Jim Jordan contends that Clinton may already have perjured herself.

And as the full-court press would begin with her inauguration, Clinton would have to deal with the Syrians, the Russians, the Taliban, the North Koreans, and Xi Jinping in the South China Sea-and with Bill Clinton wandering around the White House with nothing to do.

This election is not over. But if Hillary Clinton wins, a truly hellish presidency could await her, and us.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority


Kurt Gayle , says: October 27, 2016 at 11:55 pm

Pat is oh-so right: "This election is not over." In fact it's likely that Donald Trump will continue to surge and will win on November 8th.

Remember: Many of the polls claiming to show statistically significant Clinton leads were commissioned by the same corrupt news organizations that have worked for months to bias their news coverage in an attempt to throw the election to Clinton.

On the other hand, several polls with a history of accuracy have consistently shown either a Trump lead or a statistical dead-heat.

The problem facing the donor class and the party elites is that Trump supporters are not swayed by the media bias. A recent Gallup poll shows Americans trust in journalists to be at its lowest level since Gallup began asking the question.

Americans are savvy to the media's rigging of election reporting. Election Day, Nov. 8th, will show that the dishonest reporting of the mainstream media and the cooked samplings of their polls were all for naught.

Thus, fortunately, the American people will avoid the spectacle of a "truly hellish" Clinton presidency.

Matt , says: October 28, 2016 at 12:58 am
More years of bank favoritism, corporate socialism, political corruption, failed social programs, deindustrialization, open borders lawlessness, erosion of liberties, interventionism and wage stagnation is all adding more steam to the pressure cooker.

A Trump presidency would back the pressure off, a Clinton presidency would be a disaster.

William N. Grigg , says: October 28, 2016 at 1:13 am
James Polk, no charmer, was a one-term president, but a great one, victorious in the Mexican War, annexing California and the Southwest, negotiating a fair division of the Oregon territory with the British.

Why does PJB, of all people, cling to the abhorrent notion that presidential "greatness" is defined by territorial aggrandizement through war?

Michael Bienner , says: October 28, 2016 at 1:36 am
Tyranny is upon us…
Brian J. , says: October 28, 2016 at 7:17 am
The only people responsible for that "cloud" are conservatives. If you wish to prevent the horrid fate that you're describing, Pat, you need to apologize and concede that these investigations are groundless. You can't say "where there's smoke, there's fire" if we can all see your smoke machine.
PAXNOW , says: October 28, 2016 at 7:29 am
The Visigoths will continue their advance on Rome by the millions. The Supreme Court and Fed will shy away from diversity in their numbers. The alternative media will go bonkers, but to no avail. The military will provide employment (endless wars) to those displaced by a permissive immigration policy. Elizabeth I – will look down (up) in envy.
David , says: October 28, 2016 at 7:46 am
"Cloud" is an understatement.
SteveM , says: October 28, 2016 at 8:34 am
Re: "Yesterday's newspapers exploded with reports of how Bill Clinton aide Doug Band raised money for the Clinton Foundation, and then hit up the same corporate contributors to pay huge fees for Bill's speeches."

Unfortunately, that new evidence of the Clinton Criminal Enterprise (CCE) caused nary a ripple in the MSM. It was merely noted in the Crony lapdog Washington Post and then quickly submerged into the bottom of the content swamp. The Clinton WikiLeaks documents and the James O'Keefe corruption videos are marginalized or not even acknowledged to exist by the various MSM outlets.

Hillary is probably guilty of a lot of things. However, evidence from the counter-media and/or Congress means nothing to the MSM. In fact the MSM will actually conjure up a multitude of baseless red herrings to protect Hillary. E.g., the Trump as Putin puppet meme as a diversion away from documented Clinton corruption.

The anti-Hillary elements can only mutually reinforce in their internet ghettos. Those ghettos do not provide enough political leverage to move against a President Hillary no matter how compelling the evidence of the Clinton's collective criminality. In that context, Hillary will be politically inoculated by the protective MSM against Republican congressional inquiries and attacks.

Hillary's presidency will almost certainly be a catastrophe because it will manifest the haggard, corrupt, cronied-up, parasitic and mediocre qualities of the hack sitting in the Oval Office. Expect a one term fiasco and then Hillary will stumble out of the White House as even more of a political and personal wreck.

Agree with Pat though that it's going to be a wild ride for the rest of us – straight down.

P.S. A Republican Congress does have the power of the purse and could shave away Clinton's Imperial use of the executive branch. But the feckless Congress has never been intelligent enough to utilize that power effectively.

Mike Schilling , says: October 28, 2016 at 9:31 am
And if anyone would know about clouds of mistrust, it's a Nixon staffer/
Kurt Gayle , says: October 28, 2016 at 9:58 am
SteveM makes excellent points about the mainstream media cover-up of the Wikileaks revelations:

"Unfortunately, that new evidence of the Clinton Criminal Enterprise (CCE) caused nary a ripple in the MSM. It was merely noted in the Crony lapdog Washington Post and then quickly submerged into the bottom of the content swamp. The Clinton WikiLeaks documents and the James O'Keefe corruption videos are marginalized or not even acknowledged to exist by the various MSM outlets."

Alex Pfeiffer (The Daily Caller) expands upon SteveM's critique in "The Anatomy Of A Press Cover-Up." Great stuff:

http://dailycaller.com/2016/10/27/the-anatomy-of-a-press-cover-up/

Viriato , says: October 28, 2016 at 10:14 am
@William N. Grigg: "Why does PJB, of all people, cling to the abhorrent notion that presidential "greatness" is defined by territorial aggrandizement through war?"

Yes, that's one aspect of PJB's thought that has long disturbed me. Granted, PJB is a nationalist, and I can see why an old-fashioned nationalist would admire Polk. But PJB also advocates an "enlightened nationalism." There's nothing enlightened about stealing someone else's land. Frankly, I fail to see how Polk's actions are any different from Hitler's actions a century later. I don't want to offend anyone but, I'm sorry… this needs to be said.

Viriato , says: October 28, 2016 at 10:24 am
I greatly admire Pat Buchanan, but this article is rather ridiculous.

"If once or twice in her hours of testimony to the FBI, to a grand jury, or before Congress, Clinton were proven to have lied, her Justice Department would be obligated to name a special prosecutor, as was Nixon's."

Translation: "I want revenge for Watergate."

Look, I admire Nixon. I think he was one of our greatest Presidents. I really mean that. I also think that he was unfairly subjected to a witch hunt and that there was no valid reason for him to have faced the prospect of impeachment (and the same is true, in my view, for both of the Presidents who were actually impeached, interestingly enough). Nixon should have been allowed to finish his second term.

I think Hillary Clinton is also facing a witch hunt. I don't agree with her foreign policy views or with many of her domestic policy views, but this vicious attempt by the GOP to take her down needs to stop. There is no evidence that she is any more corrupt than anybody else.

And, in any case, if she gets elected, she will be entitled to serve as President. To deliberately try to sabotage her Presidency by hounding her with these investigations would be to show profound contempt for democratic norms.

Enough already. I don't support Clinton or Trump. Jill Stein is my gal now. But I hope that whoever wins does a great job and that all goes well for them. Nothing else would be in the best interests of the country or the world.

KevinS , says: October 28, 2016 at 10:43 am
"Remember: Many of the polls claiming to show statistically significant Clinton leads were commissioned by the same corrupt news organizations that have worked for months to bias their news coverage in an attempt to throw the election to Clinton.
On the other hand, several polls with a history of accuracy have consistently shown either a Trump lead or a statistical dead-heat."

We heard this in 2012. Go back and read the Free Republic election night thread to see how such comforting thoughts came crashing down as the night went on. Then read the posts today…all the exact same people saying all the exact same things.

Karel , says: October 28, 2016 at 12:53 pm
For a society to work well and to succeed, the good-will (trust and support) of it's productive, tax-paying citizens is of paramount importance. The corrupt politics in DC for the last 25 years has used up this good-will. Only few trust these elitists , as evidenced by the success of the socialist, Sanders, and Trump.

With the election of the corrupt, lying, unaccomplished politician, the legitimacy of the D.C. "Leaders" will be gone. It would be a disaster!

KennethF , says: October 28, 2016 at 1:05 pm
" She would enter office as the least-admired president in history, without a vision or a mandate. She would take office with two-thirds of the nation believing she is untruthful and untrustworthy. "

Funny you should go there. Sure, HRC has historically high unfavorability ratings. Fact: DJT's unfavorability ratings are even higher. Check any reasonably non-partisan site such as RCP or 538.

Pretty much all the negatives about HRC are trumped by Trump. His flip-flopping makes hers look amateur: he used to be a pro-choice Democrat; has publicly espoused admiration for HRC and declared that WJC was unfairly criticized for his transgressions. Integrity: he's stiffed countless businesses, small and large; he's been sued by his own lawyers for non-payment. Character: he behaves like a child, 'nuff said.

Corruption: his daddy illegally bailed him out of a financial jam; Trump's foundation makes the Clintons' look legit by comparison.

With HRC, the GOP had a huge chance to take back the WH: she has plenty of genuine baggage to go along with the made-up stuff. However the GOP managed to nominate the one candidate who makes her transgressions appear tolerable. The end result is that a significant number of moderate Republicans are supporting no one, Johnson, or even HRC. Trump is so toxic that very few progressive Dems will stray from HRC, despite being horrified by her corporate connections.

Susan , says: October 28, 2016 at 2:46 pm
Re today: The FBI is not investigating her server. Servers don't send emails on their own. They are investigating Hillary Clinton. They just don't like to say that. I wonder if it's in order to – once again – announce Hillary's "innocence," just before the end of early voting and voting day. We'll see.
GeneTuttle , says: October 28, 2016 at 2:52 pm
Once again, Pat shows prescience. The bombshell about the reopened FBI investigation was dropped minutes after I read this article.
jeff , says: October 28, 2016 at 3:14 pm
For those interested in a functional government, note that this is three straight elections – over twelve years – where the incoming president is a priori deemed illegitimate, regardless of the scale of the victory, and the opposing political party has no interest in working with that president.

In fact, some senators and representatives (Cruz, Gowdy, Issa, etc.) seem to take joy and pride in noting the extent and length of these investigations, regardless of what they find. It is the very process of governmental obstruction they seek, not necessarily justice or truth.

KD , says: October 28, 2016 at 3:26 pm
Looks like the FBI discovered some new emails:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/28/politics/fbi-reviewing-new-emails-in-clinton-probe-director-tells-senate-judiciary-committee/

Could we have a new historic first if Hillary wins, the First Woman President to be impeached by Congress? And the first couple in the history of the Republic to both be impeached?

dave , says: October 28, 2016 at 3:27 pm
At some point the Republicans have to be for something. I suppose they will be tempted to go after Ms. Clinton for what she has elided or attempted to, but I think that is a major mistake. You wrote: "Yet the hostility Clinton would face the day she takes office would almost seem to ensure four years of pure hell.
The reason: her credibility, or rather her transparent lack of it."

There are a few assumptions in this – first, that any investigations into her past behavior will be impartial. True or not, the impression will be hard to pull off – I expect they will easily be framed as misogynist. And some most likely will be, so it takes a bit of thought and study to determine which are motivated by misogyny and which are not. News cycles are too fast for that sort of reflection, and in any event more or less all the major papers and television networks are in her camp, so can't really expect journalism out of them anymore. It will be a called a misogynist, partisan investigation and that will be the end of it.

Second, it assumes that the people doing the investigation have credibility. That's a big if – the GOP went from Bush 43's two terms of military adventurism, increasing income inequality and economic catastrophe to no introspection or admission of error in the ensuing 8 years of apparently mindless, vindictive opposition. That is a long time of being kind of – well – less than thoughtful.

And it's had tremendous costs. Mr. Obama presents as a decent man in his profiles, but he was very inexperienced when elected and in my opinion has more or less been bumbling around for almost 8 years now, kind of like Clouseau in those old Pink Panther movies. Only a lot of people of died, lost their homes or have seen their communities consumed by despair. Government has been very ineffective for many Americans, and the Republicans have a lot to answer for with the way they've chosen to spend their time and direct their energy over the last 8 years. It's been a waste going after Obama, and going after Clinton will just be more of the same.

And the last assumption is that with all that might be going on in the next few years, this is important. Ms. Clinton has made some statements, some good, some bad. The bad, though, are remarkably bad – she's for invading a Middle Eastern country and establishing control over their airspace, as an example. In 2017. It's pure crazy. She has Democratic support. Hate to think if she is elected the Republicans will be focusing on email.

[Oct 28, 2016] Junk the system: why young Americans won't do as they're told this election

Oct 28, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
by Dave Schilling

Instead, there's the very real possibility that as millennials age, they are less apt to stomach a thing called hope. The Obama presidency did not usher in a new age of cooperation. Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner did not announce they would be going on a nationwide concert tour performing the hits of the Carpenters.

Racial tension, climate change, gun violence, terrorism, and poverty persist. Easy answers do not exist, and even if they did, they wouldn't be coming from one of the two major political parties – groups often more concerned with their own survival than practical solutions to tangible issues. As the global situation appears to become more and more hopeless – thanks to actual horrors, plus the media saturation that occurs after every tragedy, which amplifies our malaise – it should come as no surprise that millennials as a group and the nation at large disagree on how to turn things around.

Consensus might just be a thing of the past; MTV is far from the unchallenged thought leader for American youth. What this election might be remembered for is the moment when the American political system became so ossified and incapable of solutions that we decided, at last, to junk it and start from scratch.

[Oct 28, 2016] Some Trump Voters Warn of Revolution if Clinton Wins

Oct 28, 2016 | www.nytimes.com

By ASHLEY PARKER and NICK CORASANITI 5:00 AM ET

417 Comments

[Oct 27, 2016] What Do Trump and Marx Have in Common - The New York Times

Notable quotes:
"... In Germany, some 60 percent of A.F.D. supporters say globalization has "mainly negative" effects. We live in a world, the liberal British historian Timothy Garton Ash noted lately, "which would have Marx rubbing his hands with Schadenfreude." ..."
"... When Hillary Clinton calls half of Mr. Trump's voters a "basket of deplorables," she sounds as aloof as Marie Antoinette, telling French subjects who had no bread to "eat cake." ..."
Oct 27, 2016 | www.nytimes.com

HAMBURG, Germany - We have a word in German, "Wutbürger," which means "angry citizen" - though like many German compound words, its meaning can never quite be captured in a pithy English translation. And yet nothing in either language quite frames this current political moment.

It is a relatively new expression, with a derogatory connotation. A Wutbürger rages against a new train station and tilts against wind turbines . Wutbürgers came out in protest after the Berlin government decided to bail out Greece and to accept roughly one million refugees and migrants into Germany.

Wutbürgers lie at both ends of the political spectrum; they flock to the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (A.F.D.) and the socialist Linke (Left) Party. The left wing has long had a place in German politics, and the Linke has deep roots in the former East Germany's ruling party. And we've had a fringe right wing since the postwar period began. But the populist anger of the A.F.D. is something new: Anti-establishment, anti-European Union and anti-globalization, the A.F.D. didn't exist four years ago. Today, 18 percent of Germans would consider voting for it.

The same thing is happening elsewhere in Europe: Many British Wutbürgers voted for Brexit. French Wutbürgers will vote for Marine Le Pen's National Front. Perhaps the most powerful Wutbürger of them all is Donald J. Trump.

Which raises the question: How was anger hijacked?

In its pure form, anger is a wonderful force of change. Just imagine a world without anger. In Germany, without the anger of the labor movement, we would still have a class-based voting system that privileged the wealthy, and workers would still toil 16 hours a day without pension rights. Britain and France would still be ruled by absolute monarchs. The Iron Curtain would still divide Europe, the United States would still be a British colony and its slaves could only dream of casting a vote this Nov. 8.

Advertisement Continue reading the main story

Karl Marx was a Wutbürger. So were Montesquieu, William Wilberforce, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the tens of thousands of Eastern German protesters who brought down the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Now: Compare these spirits to the current parties claiming to stand for necessary change. Mr. Trump vs. Dr. King. Sadly, the leaders of today's Wutbürger movements never grasped the difference between anger driven by righteousness and anger driven by hate.

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Anger works like gasoline. If you use it intelligently and in a controlled manner, you can move the world. That's called progress. Or you just spill it about and ignite it, creating spectacular explosions. That's called arson.

Unfortunately, a lack of maturity and prudence today exists among not just the new populist class, but parts of the political establishment. The governing class needs to understand that just because people are embittered and paranoid doesn't mean they don't have a case. A growing number of voters are going into meltdown because they believe that politicians - and journalists - don't see what they see.

Sure, the injustices they see are, in historical perspective, less stark and obvious than in the days of Marx or King. The injustices of today are smaller, but they are more complex. And this is what makes them all the more terrifying.

If John Steinbeck could travel the West today as he traveled America three generations ago, leaving the highways to visit forgotten towns, documenting people's struggles as he did in "The Grapes of Wrath,'' he would find much the same to write about. Globalization and its masters have capitalized on enormous pay gaps between West and East, at a huge profit for them, and huge cost to others.

The upper class has gained much more from the internationalization of trade and finances than the working class has, often in obscene ways. Bankers get bonuses despite making idiotic decisions that trigger staggering losses. Giant enterprises like Facebook or Apple pay minimal taxes, while blue-collar workers have to labor harder - even taking a second or third job - to maintain their standard of living. And this is as true in Germany, France or Austria as it is in Ohio or Florida.

In Germany, some 60 percent of A.F.D. supporters say globalization has "mainly negative" effects. We live in a world, the liberal British historian Timothy Garton Ash noted lately, "which would have Marx rubbing his hands with Schadenfreude."

The grievances of white, often less-educated voters on both sides of the Atlantic are often dismissed as xenophobic, simplistic hillbillyism. But doing so comes at a cost. Europe's traditional force of social change, its social democrats, appear to just not get it. When Hillary Clinton calls half of Mr. Trump's voters a "basket of deplorables," she sounds as aloof as Marie Antoinette, telling French subjects who had no bread to "eat cake." In Germany, a deputy Social Democrat leader, Ralf Stegner, displays a similar arrogance when he calls A.F.D. supporters "racists" and "skunks." Media reports often convey the same degree of contempt.

In Germany a recent poll showed that only 14 percent of the citizens trusted the politicians. This is an alarming figure, in a country where faith in a progressive, democratic government has been a cornerstone of our postwar peace. But this presumes that legitimate anger will be acknowledged as such. If this faith is rattled, democracy loses its basic promise.

Amid their mutual finger-pointing, neither populist nor established parties acknowledge that both are squandering people's anger, either by turning this anger into counterproductive hatred or by denouncing and dismissing it. Mrs. Clinton has the chance to change, by leading a political establishment that examines and processes anger instead of merely producing and dismissing it. If she does, let's hope Europe once again looks to America as a model for democracy.

Jochen Bittner is a political editor for the weekly newspaper Die Zeit and a contributing opinion writer. Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter , and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter .

[Oct 27, 2016] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/02/millennial-voters-2016-election-apathy

Oct 27, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

Instead, there's the very real possibility that as millennials age, they are less apt to stomach a thing called hope. The Obama presidency did not usher in a new age of cooperation. Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner did not announce they would be going on a nationwide concert tour performing the hits of the Carpenters.

Racial tension, climate change, gun violence, terrorism, and poverty persist. Easy answers do not exist, and even if they did, they wouldn't be coming from one of the two major political parties – groups often more concerned with their own survival than practical solutions to tangible issues. As the global situation appears to become more and more hopeless – thanks to actual horrors, plus the media saturation that occurs after every tragedy, which amplifies our malaise – it should come as no surprise that millennials as a group and the nation at large disagree on how to turn things around.

Consensus might just be a thing of the past; MTV is far from the unchallenged thought leader for American youth. What this election might be remembered for is the moment when the American political system became so ossified and incapable of solutions that we decided, at last, to junk it and start from scratch.

[Oct 25, 2016] The moral bankruptcy of each political party

Oct 25, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH : October 25, 2016 at 04:19 PM

I thought I'd never say this, but Glenn Beck gave a very thoughtful interview with Charley Rose last night. He raised a lot of issues that the other Glenn (Glenn Greenwald) has been raising -- the moral bankruptcy of each political party and the tendency of each to attack the other for things that they themselves would deny, excuse, and say that it doesn't matter when their own party does it.

Glenn is not supporting Trump. But he gives the example of the many Republicans who viciously attacked Bill Clinton for his sexual behavior but now deny, excuse and say that it doesn't matter when Trump does it.

The flip side, of course, is found with the many Democrats who viciously attack Trump but denied, excused, and said that it didn't matter when Bill Clinton did it.

Glenn says that to restore trust with the American people, both parties need to clean their houses and become parties that put laws and principles first, which implies criticizing their own instead of shielding them when they misbehave.

cm -> pgl... , October 25, 2016 at 06:52 PM
The for-profit media thrive and depend on controversy and generally content that is emotionally engaging. Racism is only a small part of it, it is much more broadly appealing - it is essentially "addressing", channeling, amplifying, and redirecting existing grievances of a large part of the public. If economy and society would be doing great and a large majority of people would be happy/contented, these anger-based media formats wouldn't find an audience.

The same underlying causes as the success of Trump. The reason why he can maintain considerable success despite of grave shortcomings is because he continues to be a channel for the anger that is not disappearing. (With the support of the media, who are also interested in an ongoing controversy with details as scandalous as possible.)

[Oct 25, 2016] The two-party system is a political monopoly of the capitalist class. Both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are political instruments of big business. The claims of Bernie Sanders and his pseudo-left apologists that it is possible to reform or pressure the Democrats-and even carry out a political revolution through it-have proven to be lies

Notable quotes:
"... This outcome has an objective character. The two-party system is a political monopoly of the capitalist class. Both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are political instruments of big business. The claims of Bernie Sanders and his pseudo-left apologists that it is possible to reform or pressure the Democrats-and even carry out a "political revolution" through it-have proven to be lies ..."
Sep 14, 2016 | marknesop.wordpress.com
"The 2016 election campaign was dominated for many months by explosive popular disaffection with the whole political and corporate establishment. But it has concluded in a contest between two candidates who personify that establishment-one a billionaire from the criminal world of real-estate swindling, the other the consensus choice of the military-intelligence apparatus and Wall Street.

This outcome has an objective character. The two-party system is a political monopoly of the capitalist class. Both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are political instruments of big business. The claims of Bernie Sanders and his pseudo-left apologists that it is possible to reform or pressure the Democrats-and even carry out a "political revolution" through it-have proven to be lies."

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/09/28/pers-s28.html

And of course….some warmonger gibberish from:

[Oct 25, 2016] The rise of the angry voter, charted by David Keohane

Notable quotes:
"... The establishment GOP and establishment DNC have become almost identical in their support of big banks, big corporations, and extremely hawkish overseas military policies. Favorites of the top 10% in the US. ..."
"... The biggest reason why it kicked this cycle. Historically only the bottom 20% or so have been heavily exploited. After 8 years of net loss (economic growth < population growth), almost everyone outside the elites of society are feeling the pinch. ..."
"... There's British voters that claim Hillary Clinton would be a Tory there for example. ..."
"... One specific example would be immigration, where voters don't agree with the Republican position on hardline enforcement of the law, nor with the Democratic position on continuing to expand immigration and granting legal status to those who have come illegally. ..."
"... The government bailouts from the banking crash of 2007-8 really kickstarted the angry voter here in the U.S. ..."
"... For the record, Sanders voted against the bank bailout. Obama and Clinton voted for it. Trump was not an elected official at the time of course. And Cruz was not yet in the Senate, but voter anger over items like this propelled him there. ..."
"... A part of what you describe is due to the capture of the state and media by a modern clerisy, all clinging to power by chasing the same (presumed centrist) voter. Voter disgust at this class and their short-sighted decisions is fully understandable. ..."
"... voting for a candidate who signals a Left/Right wing inclination (Clinton, NuLabour, Trump?) but has no intention of delivering - is a deliberate and willful disenfranchisement of the voter. ..."
Oct 25, 2016 | ftalphaville.ft.com
It's a bigly trend with enormous consequences for fiscal and monetary policy. But the rise of voter rage in advanced democracies is a hard narrative to chart, what with the lack of data and the abundance of anecdote. However, this seems a pretty decent attempt:

Screen Shot 2016-10-24 at 13.03.20

That's from Barclay's Marvin Barth - who has set out to measure "voter rage as a drop in the combined vote share of the centre-right and centre-left parties as voters shift to parties that they believe better reflect their frustrations," in a 73-page note.

And the exercise perhaps demonstrates that Brexit wasn't much of an exception after all:

Screen Shot 2016-10-24 at 15.12.17

Interesting/telling that commodity exporters such as Norway and Australia bucked the general trend, no? Although you have to wonder how long that will last as the commodity boom fades.

Another interesting question ( asked by Joseph, with his ha