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Demexit: Abandonment of Democratic party by working class and lower middle class due to "Clinton betrayal"

After twenty year of betrayal of working class Democrats face the consequences of their "Clinton strategy" in full force: workers abandoned them in droves

News Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Recommended Links Pro-War Neoliberal Democrats as Vichy Left Democratic Party Monday morning quarterbacking Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Zombie state and coming collapse of neoliberalism
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Bernie Sanders as sheepdog for Hillary TTP, NAFTA and other supernational trade treates DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders Populism Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak
Clinton Cash and Hillary Clinton links to financial industry Hillary Clinton email scandal Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention Anti Trump Hysteria Anti-globalization movement Hillary as a pathological liar Lesser evil trick of legitimizing a disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections
US Presidential Elections of 2016 Obama: a yet another Neocon Hillary health issues Neoconservatism Bill Clinton With Bill possibly again occupying White House bedroom his sexapades became Hillary campaign issue Hillary Clinton defense of the middle aged rapist of a 12 years old girl
Media-Military-Industrial Complex New American Militarism Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime American Exceptionalism Color revolutions Deception as an art form Madeleine Albrigh as a model for Hillary
Clinton Cash The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich Crisis of Character A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They O Hillary the Other Woman Dolly Kyle Amazon.com Books The Clintons' War on Women Roger Stone, Robert Morrow Amazon.com Books Bill Clinton New Gilded Age President Patrick J. Maney 9780700621941 Amazon.com Books The Secret Life of Bill Clinton The Unreported Stories Ambrose Evans-Pritchard  Amazon.com Books Partners in Crime The Clintons' Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit Jerome Corsi  Amazon
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Neocons Credibility Scam Leo Strauss and the Neocons Lawrence Summers Sandy Weill: the banker who bought Bill Clinton Robert Rubin, the man who helped to convert the USA into banana republic
Diplomacy by deception Corruption of Regulators The Deep State Machiavellism Noble Lie Hillary role in cover up of Bill Clinton sexapades Nation under attack meme
Predator state The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Inverted Totalitarism == Managed Democracy == Neoliberalism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Politically Incorrect Humor  Etc
   

Bill, Hillary, Barack and the rest should do the decent and honorable thing: disappear completely, along with the rest of their vicious elitist Neoliberal Democrat ilk. Progressives who have insisted on backing these criminals – and who have tried to bully those of us on the actual left into joining them in that ugly and viciously circular embrace – need to make themselves over or just drop off the face of the political landscape and let people who are more serious and radical step in.

www.counterpunch.org - Nov 12, 2016, 7:00 PM

 

Trump was right to point out that the Clintons and their allies atop the Democratic National Committee rigged the game against Bernie.

This rigging was consistent with the neoliberal corporate Democratic Party elite’s longstanding vicious hatred of left-wing of the party and anti-plutocratic populists. They hate and viciously fight them in the ranks of their pro-Wall Street Party. It's "Clinton Third Way Democrats" who essentially elected Trump, because Bernie for them is more dangerous than Trump (It was the Democrats' embrace of neoliberalism that won it for Trump Naomi Klein Opinion The Guardian, Nov 9, 2016)

The Democratic party became a neoliberal party of top 10% (may be top 20%), the party of bankers and highly paid white collar professionals. "Soft" neoliberals, to distinguish them from "hard" neoliberals (GOP). 

Under Bill Clinton the Democrats have become the party of Financial Oligarchy. At this time corporate interests were moving to finance as their main activity and that was a very profitable betrayal for Clintons. They were royally remunerated for that.  Clintons have positioned the Dems as puppets of financial oligarchy and got in return two major things:

  1. Money for the Party (and themselves)
  2. The ability to control the large part of MSM, which was owned by the same corporations who were instrumental in neoliberal takeover of the USA.

When the neoliberal media have to choose between their paymasters and the truth, their paymasters win every time. Like under Bolshevism, they are soldiers of the Party. In any case, starting from Clinton Presidency Democratic Party lost any connection with the majority of the USA population.  Bill Clinton was more Davos Man than Democrat. A puppet of  Robert Rubin, a prodigious fundraiser who became his Treasury Secretary, Clinton embraced neoliberal vision of a global future in which corporate investors were unregulated and the social contract was history. That's why the majority working-class Americans, feeling abandoned by the Democrats, got on the hook of the Republican re-definition of class struggle as  struggle for nation  sovereignty (which is the essence of nationalism.) In other  words, Democrats (and  Clintons personally) created conditions for the rise of far right and neofascism in the USA.  The fact that after Presidential Election of 2016 they recruited factions of intelligence agencies (Brennan faction in CIA, Comey faction in FBI) to depose Trump makes the situation even worse.

Like Republicans, Clinton Democrats now completely depends on "divide and conquer" strategy. Essentially they became "Republicans light." That's why they used "identity wedge" politics to attract African American votes (which is ironic as Bill Clinton probably helped to incarcerate more black males than any other president) and minorities (especially woman and sexual minorities.)

As if Spanish and African-American population, as a whole, have different economic interests then white working class and white lower middle class.

We can say that Dems became a party which represents an alliance of neoliberal establishment and minorities, where minorities are duped again and again (as in Barack Obama "change we can believe in" bait and switch classic). This dishonest playing of race and gender cards was a trademark of Hillary Clinton campaign.

Clintons understood well that their  "The Third Way" turn represents the major betrayal of the working class, but they counted (and pretty successfully until 2016) on the fact that white working class "has nowhere to go" and will vote for them anyway, as a lesser evil. But in 2016 they were up to a big and unpleasant  surprise -- white working class turned to right wing populists. So Clinton Democrat are instrumentals in the big "Far right Renaissance". They essentially created all the necessary preconditions for it.

Clinton's strategy was that workers have nowhere to go, and that was true for almost two decades, But then came Trump....

All those hissy hits of Democrats (and neoliberals MSM controlled by  the  same interest groups; see, for example Krugman in NYT) after Hillary Clinton landmark defeat just reflect this fact.  As rejection of Democrats by lower middle and working class is now a permanent factor in US politics (The Democrats' Davos ideology won't win back the midwest Thomas Frank Opinion The Guardian, Apr 27, 2017)

 Clinton Dems now are trying to ally themselves with  intelligence  agencies (which became a real political force during 2018 elections), sliding to neofascism.  They position themselves as the Second War Party, trying  to outdid in jingoism Republicans. It is pretty ironic that Pelosi opposed Trump wall, which cost around 1% of the cost of F35 program (F-35 Program Costs Jump to $406.5 Billion in Latest Estimate). 

But as the head of "Davos Party" she wants to derail and if possible to impeach Trump: no even slightest deviation from neoliberal Washington consensus is allowed and now intelligence  agencies are recruited to ensure this.

It is clear that the US financial and  business elites represented in Davos are far more interested in global markets and corporate investors than they are in ordinary Americans' needs.
 

Essentially US Democrats are a wing of "Davos party" and that situation can't be changed by promoting  "National Security Democrats" (format staff of three letter agencies, or military)  to counter rising far right  in the USA. The latter is just a desperate move by the party brass after Hillary Clinton fiasco (which worked for Congress elections in 2018). If this works, it is only because due to blunders and betrayal of his voters by Trump, who became something like Republican Obama),  In any case, financial oligarchy still dominates (or more correctly have bought) the  Democratic Patty as Jeff Faux noted in his article in Nation (The Party of Davos The Nation , Jan 26, 2016):

Davos is rather the most visible symbol of the virtual political network that governs the global market in the absence of a world government. It is more like a political convention, where elites get to sniff one another out, identify which ideas and people are “sound” and come away with increased chances that their phone calls will be returned by those one notch above them in the global pecking order.

Americans are of course prominent members of this “Party of Davos,” which relies on the financial and military might of the US superpower to support its agenda. In exchange, the American members of the Party of Davos get a privileged place for their projects–and themselves. Whether it’s at Davos, at NATO headquarters or in the boardroom of the International Monetary Fund, heads turn and people listen more carefully when the American speaks.

“Davos Man,” a term coined by nationalist scholar Samuel Huntington, is bipartisan. To be sure, Democrats tend to be more comfortable with the forum’s informal seminar-style and big-think topics like global poverty, cultural diversity and executive stress. Bill Clinton goes often, and Al Gore, John Kerry, Robert Rubin, Madeleine Albright, Joe Biden and other prominent Democrats are familiar faces. Republicans generally prefer more private venues. George W. Bush, of course, doesn’t do anything unscripted. But people like Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, John McCain and Condoleezza Rice have all worked the Davos circuit.

That the global economy is developing a global ruling class should come as no shock. All markets generate economic class differences. In stable, self-contained national economies, where capital and labor need each other, political bargaining produces a social contract that allows enough wealth to trickle down from the top to keep the majority loyal. “What’s good for General Motors is good for America,” Dwight Eisenhower’s Defense Secretary famously said in the 1950s. The United Auto Workers agreed, which at the time seemed to toss the notion of class warfare into the dustbin of history.

But as domestic markets become global, investors increasingly find workers, customers and business partners almost anywhere. Not surprisingly, they have come to share more economic interests with their peers in other countries than with people who simply have the same nationality. They also share a common interest in escaping the restrictions of their domestic social contracts.

The class politics of this new world economic order is obscured by the confused language that filters the globalization debate from talk radio to Congressional hearings to university seminars. On the one hand, we are told that the flow of money and goods across borders is making nation-states obsolete. On the other, global economic competition is almost always defined as conflict among national interests. Thus, for example, the US press warns us of a dire economic threat from China. Yet much of the “Chinese” menace is a business partnership between China’s commissars, who supply the cheap labor, and America’s (and Japan’s and Europe’s) capitalists, who supply the technology and capital. “World poverty” is likewise framed as an issue of the distribution of wealth between rich and poor countries, ignoring the existence of rich people in poor countries and poor people in rich countries.

The conventional wisdom makes globalization synonymous with “free trade” among autonomous nations. Yet as Renato Ruggiero, the first director-general of the World Trade Organization, noted in a rare moment of candor, “We are no longer writing the rules of interaction among separate national economies. We are writing the constitution of a single global economy.” (Emphasis added.)

The best article that so far I managed to find about Demexit is Sophia A. McClennen article in Salon:

10 reasons why #DemExit is serious Getting rid of Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not enough  by

Salon.com

Shortly after Bernie Sanders publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton a new hashtag trended on Twitter: #DemExit.  The hashtag offered Sanders supporters a chance to vent their frustrations with the Democratic Party and with the sense that their candidate had been pressured into an endorsement.  Rather than reach out to these disaffected voters, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) ignored them. Understood within the larger narrative that Sanders supporters were just whining brats who refused to concede and move on, #DemExit was dismissed as just more sour milk.

But now that the latest leak of DNC emails proves that Sanders supporters have a legitimate right to feel cheated, #DemExit increasingly seems like an appropriate response to a rigged system.

The new leak shows that the DNC never took the Sanders campaign seriously, even when he was winning state after state. Rather than recognize that Sanders was attracting new voters to the party, members of the DNC chose to mock them and close ranks around Clinton.

Here are 10 reasons why the #DemExit movement has a valid reason to want nothing to do with the DNC.  Having DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resign is not enough for #DemExit supporters because their concerns run throughout the ranks of the DNC. Until party leaders take these concerns seriously they will have to spend their convention watching potential voters jump ship.

1.     Superdelegates

It is important to recognize that frustrations over party politics are not uniquely tied to the email leaks. The frustration over the superdelegate system is one clear example that distrust of the DNC goes deeper. The fact that the party even has superdelegates is a sign of its anti-democratic, pro-oligarchy stance. As Branko Marcetic of In These Times reports the superdelegate system was created specifically to challenge the will of voters. According to Marcetic, “When a Sanders supporter criticized superdelegate Howard Dean for sticking with Clinton despite Sanders’ landslide victory in Vermont, Dean tweeted back: “Superdelegates don’t represent the people.”

While there have been new negotiations to adjust the role of superdelegates, these concessions still give too much power to the party elite.

In addition, the fact that Clinton superdelegates were regularly reported by the media in her delegate tally contributed to the sense that Sanders couldn’t win.  So it was not just the existence of the superdelegates; it was the way they were covered by the corporate media that pissed off Sanders supporters. Any party with a superdelegate system should be prepared to alienate voters.  This time it worked.

2.     The Debate Schedule

The DNC created a debate schedule designed to make it hard for candidates to challenge Clinton’s status as the “presumptive” nominee.  Debates were held on weekends, at times that conflicted with other events, and were generally slotted to attract fewer viewers. From the start, well before it was clear that Sanders was gaining momentum, folks were already complaining that the debate schedule was slanted towards Clinton. According to a piece in The National Review from November some Democrats thought it was no accident the DNC scheduled a debate in Iowa on the night of a big Iowa Hawkeyes game.  The next two debates were also scheduled for less viewer heavy weekend slots.

The drama over the debate schedule got worse as the DNC refused to add more debates to give Sanders a chance to continue to build momentum.  As The Intercept reports the DNC laughed at the idea of adding another debate prior to the California primary, even though Fox News offered to host one.  Fox News wrote that, “the race is still contested, and given that you sanctioned a final trio of debates, the last of which has not yet been held, we believe a final debate would be an excellent opportunity for the candidates to, as you said when you announced these debates, ‘share Democrats’ vision for the country.’”  There never was a California debate set up. Not on Fox News or any other venue.

3.     Campaign finance

Back in April the Sanders campaign questioned “serious apparent violations” of campaign finance laws under a joint fundraising deal between Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.  The Sanders camp alleged that the joint fundraising agreement offered Clinton a chance to “launder” money through the DNC.  “While the use of joint fundraising agreements has existed for some time — it is unprecedented for the DNC to allow a joint committee to be exploited to the benefit of one candidate in the midst of a contested nominating contest,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager.

Politico reported that legal experts gave conflicting views on whether the practice constituted a violation of campaign finance law.  But whether or not it was legal was not the only point.  Larry Noble, the general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, who served for 13 years as general counsel at the Federal Election Commission, stated that “It clearly goes against what was intended for the joint fundraising committees.”  Given the already significant war chest Clinton had to run her campaign it is not surprising that Sanders supporters would find this news disturbing.

4.     Refusal to Address Claims of Election Fraud

According to a piece from the Observer on calls in California to have the DNC investigate election fraud, “Voter tampering has been frequently cited in California, with many alleging their party registration was changed without their consent. In Riverside County, district attorney Mike Hestrin confirmed voters’ party affiliations were changed without their knowledge.” And that was just one part of the story from California.

The primary elections were rife with claims of election fraud. From the purging of voter rolls (Brooklyn) to cutting poll locations (Arizona, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico), to the debacle of the California primary, there were numerous situations where the DNC could and should have called for an investigation. Despite the fact that in many cases it was Democratic voters that were directly affected, the DNC made no move to support voters’ claims of election fraud.

5.     The Democratic Party Platform

The recent fights over the DNC platform reveal a real lack of support for progressive policy, especially on key economic issues.  As Marcetic reported for In These Timesthere’s no denying that the platform compromises on certain core progressive values.”  While some suggested that the new platform was a “win” for Sanders, in the end the platform submits to corporate will on many issues

Committee delegates selected by Clinton and Wasserman Schultz voted down several measures dear to progressives’ hearts: “amendments advocating single-payer health care and a $15 minimum wage indexed to inflation, several proposals to halt climate change, language criticizing Israeli ‘occupation’ of Palestine and an amendment explicitly opposing the TPP trade agreement.” As Marcetic shows, delegates to the committee with corporate ties were among the most avid in promoting pro-business policy completely out of step with the sort of progressive values that once separated Democrats from Republicans. Unsurprisingly, those very same delegates were the ones connected to Clinton and Wasserman Schultz.

6.     Documented Attempts to Discredit / Dismiss Sanders

As if the previous issues were not evidence enough to justify the #DemExit movement, the Guccifer 2.0 leaks now offer Sanders supporters copious examples of ways that the DNC simply did not respect the Sanders campaign.  It is important to note that Wasserman Schultz was not alone in this general attitude. Even more disturbing, we have no examples of any DNC staffer suggesting that Sanders deserved a better shake than he was getting.  Some of the most egregious examples can be found here.

7.     DNC Collusion with Media

The corporate media was no ally to the Sanders campaign. With AP calling the primary for Clinton before California, New Mexico, New Jersey, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota were set to vote, many Sanders’ supporters felt betrayed by the press. As Bill Boyarsky reports for Truthdig, “The story was not just a scoop. It fed the hostility and cynicism of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ fervent supporters.”

The Guccifer 2.0 leaks also reveal a disturbing pattern of collusion between the media and the DNC to support Clinton and not Sanders.  Luis Miranda, the national communications director for the DNC, communicated with reporters from both Politico and the Wall Street Journal in efforts to discredit Sanders. In one email thread, Miranda told Politico he would “point out… some of the issues” with Sen. Sanders’ DNC committee appointments, but only “off the record.”  Miranda also helped craft “talking points”  to be used by the Clinton campaign in response to the Hillary Victory Fund’s money laundering allegations referenced above.

DNC Press Secretary Mark Paustenbach also vetted a Politico story by reporter Ken Vogel before it was sent to editors:  “Vogel gave me his story ahead of time/before it goes to his editors as long as I didn’t share it,” Paustenbach wrote to Miranda. “Let me know if you see anything that’s missing and I’ll push back.”

And then there are the messages that show how Wasserman Schultz pressured MSNBC after it criticized her “unfair” treatment of Sanders.

8.     False Claims of Neutrality

Perhaps one of the most enervating features of the story is the fact that the leaked documents counter Wasserman Schultz’s claims that the DNC was neutral.  There simply is no evidence of neutrality at all–only evidence of bias. It makes moments like Wasserman Schultz’s interview with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah where he asked her to respond to allegations that she has been cock-blocking Sanders seem like an orchestrated cover-up exist and they make the DNC look really bad. Rather than worry about Russian hacks, the DNC should worry about its integrity.

Today the polling for a potential Donald Trump win is increasingly frightening.  Even Michael Moore is predicting a Trump win.  While there are a variety of forces that are working together to advance the Trump campaign, the DNC’s actions are certainly not helping. If Trump wins in November, the DNC will certainly bear a good portion of the blame.

Sophia A. McClennen is Professor of International Affairs and Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University. She writes on the intersections between culture, politics, and society. Her latest book, co-authored with Remy M. Maisel, is, Is Satire Saving Our Nation? Mockery and American Politics


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[Feb 17, 2019] GOP Donors Vs. GOP Voters

Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

From J.D. Vance's appearance last night on Tucker Carlson Tonight Vance has just said that the donor elites of the GOP are out of touch with the party's base. More:

CARLSON: But more broadly, what you are saying, I think is, that the Democratic Party understands what it is and who it represents and affirmatively represents them. They do things for their voters, but the Republican Party doesn't actually represent its own voters very well.

VANCE: Yes, that's exactly right. I mean, look at who the Democratic Party is and look, I don't like the Democratic Party's policies.

CARLSON: Yes.

VANCE: Most of the times, I disagree with them. But I at least admire that they recognize who their voters are and they actually just as raw cynical politics do a lot of things to serve those voters.

Now, look at who Republican voters increasingly are. They are people who disproportionately serve in the military, but Republican foreign policy has been a disaster for a lot of veterans. They are disproportionately folks who want to have more children. They are people who want to have more single earner families. They are people who don't necessarily want to go to college but they want to work in an economy where if you play by the rules, you can you actually support a family on one income.

CARLSON: Yes.

VANCE: Have Republicans done anything for those people really in the last 15 or 20 years? I think can you point to some policies of the Trump administration. Certainly, instinctively, I think the President gets who his voters are and what he has to do to service those folks. But at the end of the day, the broad elite of the party, the folks who really call the shots, the think tank intellectuals, the people who write the policy, I just don't think they realize who their own voters are.

Now, the slightly more worrying implication is that maybe some of them do realize who their voters are, they just don't actually like those voters much.

CARLSON: Well, that's it. So I watch the Democratic Party and I notice that if there is a substantial block within it, it's this unstable coalition, all of these groups have nothing in common, but the one thing they have in common is the Democratic Party will protect them.

VANCE: Yes.

CARLSON: You criticize a block of Democratic Voters and they are on you like a wounded wombat. They will bite you. The Republicans, watch their voters come under attack and sort of nod in agreement, "Yes, these people should be attacked."

VANCE: Yes, that's absolutely right. I mean, if you talk to people who spent their lives in D.C. I know you live in D.C.

CARLSON: Yes.

VANCE: I've spent a lot of my life here. The people who spend their time in D.C. who work on Republican campaigns, who work at conservative think tanks, now this isn't true of everybody, but a lot of them actually don't like the people who are voting for Republican candidates these days.

[Feb 15, 2019] Trump = Obama = CIA meddling in every country. Presidents never change, only the perception of the morons changes

Notable quotes:
"... Why does the USA care about internal Venezuelan politics? Because it cares about every country's politics and demands every country bow down and kneel to the USA. The voters, aka morons, support this, both liberal and right wing, and have for generations. ..."
"... The morons pay their taxes to meddle in other countries and for a giant military to slaughter people who do not obey. ..."
Feb 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

never-anonymous says: February 14, 2019 at 6:21 pm GMT 100 Words

@nietzsche1510

Venezuela invasion thing is double-faceted: a trap for Trump & a bluff. if the invasion is, then bye-bye 2020 election, mission accomplished. if no invasion on sight then the bluff of Pompeo-Bolton-Abrams is called & the 2020 reelection assured. Venezuela in the role of bait.

The real issue lies in the voting class which cowers in fear all day long and seeks saviors every four years via rigged circus. Trump = Obama = CIA meddling in every country. Presidents never change, only the perception of the morons changes.

Why does the USA care about internal Venezuelan politics? Because it cares about every country's politics and demands every country bow down and kneel to the USA. The voters, aka morons, support this, both liberal and right wing, and have for generations.

The morons pay their taxes to meddle in other countries and for a giant military to slaughter people who do not obey. Freedom at the point of a gun. Nothing quite says democracy like having the US president tell the Venezuelans how to run their country.

[Feb 13, 2019] MoA - Russiagate Is Finished

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... You can take this to the bank. Hardcore Russiagaters will never give up their belief in collusion and Russian influence in the 2016 campaign -- never. Congress and Mueller will be accused of engaging in a coverup. ..."
"... Thus, even if the Mueller report is underwhelming, I think that the Democrats and TDS-saturated Trump opponents will attempt to rehabilitate it by pretending that it contains important loose ends that need to be pursued. In other words, to perpetuate the Mueller-driven political Russophobia by all other available means. ..."
"... Russiagate has exposed the great degree of corruption within the Justice Department bureaucracy, particularly within FBI, and within the entire Democrat Party. ..."
"... Since this is obviously not going to be allowed to happen, and since these people get away with everything, expect this to never end, despite all evidence to the contrary. It doesn't matter if they've been exposed as CIA propagandists or Integrity Initiative stooges, the game goes on...and on.... the job security of these disgraced columnists is the greatest in the Western world. ..."
"... Stephen Cohen discusses how rational viewpoints are banned from the mainstream media, and how several features of US life today resemble some of the worst features of the Soviet system. https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/12/stephen-cohen-on-war-with-russia-and-soviet-style-censorship-in-the-us/ ..."
"... The US needs an enemy, how else can they ask NATO members to cough up 2% of GDP [just for one example Germany's GDP is nearly 4 Trillion dollars [2017] for defence spending, what a crazy sum all NATO members must fork out to please the US, but then most of that money must be spent on the US MIC 'interoperability' of course. ..."
"... Another great damage of Russiagate was the instigating of a nuclear arms race directed primarily at Russia, and ideologically justified by its diabolical policies. ..."
"... Russiagate was very successful. You just have to understand the objectives. It was a great distraction. Diverting peoples attention from the continued fleecing of the "real people" which are the bottom 90% by the "Corporate People" and their Government Lackeys. ..."
"... It provided an excuse for the acting CEO (a figurehead) of the Corporate Empire to go back on many of the promises made that got him elected, and to fill the swamp with Neocon and Koch Brother creatures with the excuse the Deep State made him do it. More proof that there is no deception that is too ridiculous to be believed so long as you have enough pundits claiming it to be so ..."
"... If you've done just a cursory look into Seth Rich, you'd be very suspicious about the story of his life and death. IMO Assange/Wikilleaks were set up. And Flynn was set up too. What they are doing is Orwellian: White Helmets, election manipulation, propaganda, McCarthism, etc. If you're not angry, you're not paying attention. ..."
"... See also this primer on Mueller's MO. ..."
"... The button pushers behind the Trump collusion and Russia election hacking false narratives got what they wanted: to walk the democrats and republicans straight into Cold War v2; to start their campaign to suppress alternative voices on the internet; to increase military spending; and more, more, more war. ..."
"... Russiagate was very successful <=pls read, re-read Pft @ 46.. he listed many things. divide and conquer accomplished. a nation state is defined as an armed rule making structure, designed by those who control a territory, and constructed by the lawyers, military, and wealthy and run by the persons the designers appoint, for the appointed are called politicians. ..."
"... At the beginnng of Russiagate, I wrote on Robert Parry's Consirtium News that Russiagate is Idiocracy piggy-backing on decades and literally billions of dollars of anti-Soviet and anti-Russian propaganda. How hard would it be to brainwash an already brainwashed population? ..."
"... The purveyors of Russiagate will re-compose themselves, brush off all reports and continue on. One just cannot get away from one's nature, even when that nature is pure idiocy. ..."
"... Russiagate will not go away unfortunately because it has evolved in the "Russiagate Industry". As mentioned by others, the Russiagate Industry has been very profitable for many industries and people. Russiagate has generated an entire cottage industry of companies around censorship and "find us a Russian". Dow Jones should have an index on the Russiagate Industry. ..."
Feb 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

For more than two years U.S. politicians, the media and some bloggers hyped a conspiracy theory. They claimed that Russia had somehow colluded with the Trump campaign to get him elected.

An obviously fake 'Dirty Dossier' about Trump, commissioned by the Clinton campaign, was presented as evidence. Regular business contacts between Trump flunkies and people in Ukraine or Russia were claimed to be proof for nefarious deals. A Russian click-bait company was accused of manipulating the U.S. electorate by posting puppy pictures and crazy memes on social media. Huge investigations were launched. Every rumor or irrelevant detail coming from them was declared to be - finally - the evidence that would put Trump into the slammer. Every month the walls were closing in on Trump.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/qjUvfZj-Fm0

At the same time the very real Trump actions that hurt Russia were ignored.

Finally the conspiracy theory has run out of steam. Russiagate is finished :

After two years and 200 interviews, the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its investigation into the 2016 election, having uncovered no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.
...
Democrats and other Trump opponents have long believed that special counsel Robert Mueller and Congressional investigators would unearth new and more explosive evidence of Trump campaign coordination with Russians. Mueller may yet do so, although Justice Department and Congressional sources say they believe that he, too, is close to wrapping up his investigation.

Nothing, zero, nada was found to support the conspiracy theory. The Trump campaign did not collude with Russia. A few flunkies were indicted for unrelated tax issues and for lying to the investigators about some minor details. But nothing at all supports the dramatic claims of collusion made since the beginning of the affair.

In a recent statement House leader Nancy Pelosi was reduced to accuse Trump campaign officials of doing their job:

"The indictment of Roger Stone makes clear that there was a deliberate, coordinated attempt by top Trump campaign officials to influence the 2016 election and subvert the will of the American people. ...

No one called her out for spouting such nonsense.

Russiagate created a lot of damage.

The alleged Russian influence campaign that never happened was used to install censorship on social media. It was used to undermine the election of progressive Democrats. The weapon salesmen used it to push for more NATO aggression against Russia. Maria Butina, an innocent Russian woman interested in good relation with the United States, was held in solitary confinement (recommended) until she signed a paper which claims that she was involved in a conspiracy.

In a just world the people who for more then two years hyped the conspiracy theory and caused so much damage would be pushed out of their public positions. Unfortunately that is not going to happen. They will jump onto the next conspiracy train continue from there.

Posted by b on February 12, 2019 at 01:38 PM | Permalink

Comments next page " Legally, Maria Butina was suborned into signing a false declaration. If there were the rule of law, such party or parties that suborned her would be in gaol. Considering Mueller's involvement with Lockerbie, I am not holding my breath. FWIW the Swiss company that made the timers allegedly involved in Lockerbie have some comments of its own .


james , Feb 12, 2019 2:00:14 PM | link

thanks b..

I will be really glad when this 'get Russia' craziness is over, but I suspect even if the Mueller investigation has nothing, all the same creeps will be pulling out the stops to generate something... Skripal, Integrity Initiative, and etc. etc. stuff like this just doesn't go away overnight or with the end of this 'investigation'... folks are looking for red meat i tell ya!

as for Maria Butina - i look forward to reading the article.. that was a travesty of justice but the machine moves on, mowing down anyone in it's way... she was on the receiving end of all the paranoia that i have come to associate with the western msm at this point...

Zanon , Feb 12, 2019 2:03:26 PM | link
Considering Mueller hasn't produced its report nor the House dito, its way to early to say Russia gate is "finished".
Jackrabbit , Feb 12, 2019 2:11:44 PM | link
And Russiagate was used ...
... by Hillary to justify her loss to Trump

Hillary's loss is actually best explained as her throwing the election to Trump . The Deep State wanted a nationalist to win as that would best help meet the challenge from Russia and China - a challenge that they had been slow to recognize.

=
... to smear Wikileaks as a Russian agent

The DNC leak is best explained as a CIA false flag.

=
... to remove and smear Michael Flynn

Trump said that he fired Flynn for lying to VP Pence but Flynn's conversations with the Russian Ambassador after Obama threw them out for "meddling" in the US election was an embarrassment to the Administration as Putin's Putin's decision not to respond was portrayed as favoritism toward the Trump Administration.

Rob , Feb 12, 2019 2:28:50 PM | link
You can take this to the bank. Hardcore Russiagaters will never give up their belief in collusion and Russian influence in the 2016 campaign -- never. Congress and Mueller will be accused of engaging in a coverup. This is typical behavior for conspiracy theorists.
bj , Feb 12, 2019 2:30:41 PM | link
Jimmy Dore on same: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgBxfHdb4OU Enjoy!
Ort , Feb 12, 2019 2:34:14 PM | link
I hope that Russiagate is indeed "finished", but I think it needs to be draped with garlic-clove necklaces, shot up with silver bullets, sprinkled with holy water, and a wooden stake driven through its black heart just to make sure.

I don't dispute the logical argument B. presents, but it may be too dispassionately rational. I know that the Russiagate proponents and enthralled supporters of the concept are too invested psychologically in this surrealistic fantasy to let go, even if the official outcome reluctantly admits that there's no "there" there.

The Democratic Party, one of the major partners mounting the Russophobic psy-op, has already resolved to turn Democratic committee chairmen loose to dog the Trump administration with hearings aggressively flogging any and all matters that discredit and undermine Trump-- his business connections, social liaisons, etc.

They may hope to find the Holy Grail: the elusive "bombshell" that "demands" impeachment, i.e., some crime or illicit conduct so heinous that the public will stand for another farcical impeachment proceeding. But I reckon that the Dems prefer the "soft" impeachment of harassing Trump with hostile hearings in hopes of destroying his 2020 electability with the death of a thousand innuendoes and guilt-by-association.

Thus, even if the Mueller report is underwhelming, I think that the Democrats and TDS-saturated Trump opponents will attempt to rehabilitate it by pretending that it contains important loose ends that need to be pursued. In other words, to perpetuate the Mueller-driven political Russophobia by all other available means.

Put more succinctly, I fear that Russiagate won't be finished until Rachel Maddow says it's finished. ;)

worldblee , Feb 12, 2019 2:38:17 PM | link
Once a hypothesis is fixed in people's minds, whether true or not, it's hard to get them to let go of it. And let's not forget how many times the narrative changed (and this is true in the Skripal case as well), with all past facts vanishing to accommodate a new narrative.

So I, like others, expect the fake scandal to continue while many, many other real crimes (the US attempted coup in Venezuela and the genocidal war in Yemen, for instance) continue unabated.

karlof1 , Feb 12, 2019 2:43:34 PM | link
Putin solicits public input for essential national policy goals . If ever there was a template to follow for an actual MAGAgenda, Putin's Russia provides one. While US politicos argue over what is essentially Bantha Pudu, Russians are hard at work improving their nation which includes restructuring their economy.

Russiagate has exposed the great degree of corruption within the Justice Department bureaucracy, particularly within FBI, and within the entire Democrat Party.

BlunderOn , Feb 12, 2019 2:48:51 PM | link
mmm...

I very much doubt it it is over. Trump is corrupt and has links to corrupt Russians. Collusion, maybe not, but several stinking individuals are in the frame for, guess what - ...bring it on... The fact that Hilary was arguably even worse (a point made ad-nauseum on here) is frankly irrelevant. The vilification of Trump will not affect the warmongers efforts. He is a useful idiot

james , Feb 12, 2019 2:52:33 PM | link
for a take on the alternative reality some are living in emptywheel has an article up on the nbc link b provides and the article on butina is discussed in the comments section... as i said - they are looking for red meat and will not be happy until they get some... they are completely zonkers...
Blooming Barricade , Feb 12, 2019 2:55:18 PM | link
Now that this racket has been admitted as such, I expect all of the media outlets that devoted banner headlines, hundreds of thousands of hours of cable TV time, thousands of trees, and free speech online to immediately fire all of their journalists and appoint Glenn Greenwald as the publisher of the New York Times, Michael Tracey at the Post, Aaron Matte at the Guardian, and Max Blumenthal at the Daily Beast.

Since this is obviously not going to be allowed to happen, and since these people get away with everything, expect this to never end, despite all evidence to the contrary. It doesn't matter if they've been exposed as CIA propagandists or Integrity Initiative stooges, the game goes on...and on.... the job security of these disgraced columnists is the greatest in the Western world.

jayc , Feb 12, 2019 3:03:51 PM | link
Stephen Cohen discusses how rational viewpoints are banned from the mainstream media, and how several features of US life today resemble some of the worst features of the Soviet system. https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/12/stephen-cohen-on-war-with-russia-and-soviet-style-censorship-in-the-us/
Heath , Feb 12, 2019 3:18:29 PM | link
It turned out getting rid of the Clintons has been a long term project.
Harry Law , Feb 12, 2019 3:21:58 PM | link
The US needs an enemy, how else can they ask NATO members to cough up 2% of GDP [just for one example Germany's GDP is nearly 4 Trillion dollars [2017] for defence spending, what a crazy sum all NATO members must fork out to please the US, but then most of that money must be spent on the US MIC 'interoperability' of course.

Then of course Russia has to be surrounded by NATO should they try and take over Europe by surging through the Fulda gap./s

Then of course there are the professional pundits who have built careers on anti Russian propaganda, Rachel Maddow for instance who earns 30,000$ per day to spew anti Russian nonsense.

folktruther , Feb 12, 2019 3:27:32 PM | link
Another great damage of Russiagate was the instigating of a nuclear arms race directed primarily at Russia, and ideologically justified by its diabolical policies.

I'm sorry b is so down on Conspiracy Theories, since they reveal quite real staged homicidal false flag operations of US power. Feeding into the stigmatizing of the truth about reality is not in the interests of the earth's people.

frances , Feb 12, 2019 3:31:11 PM | link
somehow I see this "revelation: tied to Barr's approaching tenure. I think they (FBI/DOJ) didn't want his involvement in their noodle soup of an investigation and the best way to accomplish that was to end it themselves. I also suspect that a deal has been made with Trump, possibly in exchange for leaving his family alone.

So we will see no investigation of Hillary, her 650,000 emails or the many crimes they detailed (according to NYPD investigation of Weiner's laptop) and the US will continue to be at war all day, every day. Team Swamp rules.

Ash , Feb 12, 2019 3:35:06 PM | link
Meanwhile, MSM is prepping its readers for the possibility that the Mueller report will never be released to us proles. If that's the case, I'm sure nobody will try to use innuendo to suggest it actually contains explosive revelations after all...
Heath , Feb 12, 2019 3:38:37 PM | link
@16

Harry, its vitally important as the US desperately wants to keep Europe under its thumb and to stop this European army which means Europe lead by Paris and Berlin becomes a world power. Trump's attempts to make nice with Russia is to keep it out of the EU bloc.

Anne Jaclard , Feb 12, 2019 3:54:47 PM | link
Well, the liberal conspiracy car crash ensured downmarket Mussolini a second term, it appears...Hard Brexit Tories also look likely to win thanks to centrist sabatoge of the left. You reap what you sow, corporate presstitutes!
wagelaborer , Feb 12, 2019 4:05:25 PM | link
Sane people have predicted the end of Russiagate almost as many times as insane people have predicted that the "smoking gun that will get rid of Trump" has been found. And yet the Mighty Wurlitzer grinds on, while social media is more and more censored.

I expect it all to continue until the 2020 election circus winds up into full-throated mode, and no one talks about anything but the next puppet to be appointed. Oops, I mean "elected".

Jen , Feb 12, 2019 4:15:57 PM | link
Ort @ 7:

You also need to behead the corpse, stuff the mouth with a lemon and then place the head down in the coffin with the body in supine (facing up) position. Weight the coffin with stones and wild roses and toss it into a fast-flowing river.

Russiagate won't be finished until a wall is built around Capitol Hill and all its inhabitants and worker bees declared insane by a properly functioning court of law.

Jackrabbit , Feb 12, 2019 4:16:59 PM | link
frances @18:
I also suspect that a deal has been made with Trump, possibly in exchange for leaving his family alone. So we will see no investigation of Hillary ...
Underlying your perspective is the assumption that USA is a democracy where a populist "outsider" could be elected President, Yet you also believe that Hillary and the Deep State have the power to manipulate government and the intelligence agencies and propose a "conspiracy theory" based on that power.

Isn't it more likely that Trump made it clear (behind closed doors, of course) that he was amenable to the goals of the Deep State and that the bogus investigation was merely done to: 1) cover their own election meddling; 2) eliminate threats like Flynn and Assange/Wikileaks; 3) anti-Russian propaganda?

Jackrabbit , Feb 12, 2019 4:33:16 PM | link
Jen

Steven Cohen once lamented that there were no "wise men" left in foreign policy. All the independent realists were shut out.

Michael McNulty , Feb 12, 2019 4:49:32 PM | link
US anti-Russian hysteria is moving into that grey area beyond McCarthyism approaching Nazism.
Circe , Feb 12, 2019 4:58:40 PM | link
Dowd, Trump's former lawyer on Russiagate stated there may not even be a report. If this is the case then the Zionist rulers have gotten to Mueller who no doubt figured out that the election collusion breadcrumbs don't lead to Putin, they lead to Netanyahu and Zionist billionaire friends! So Mueller may have to come up with a nothing burger to hide the truth.
Danny , Feb 12, 2019 5:02:34 PM | link
B is the only alternative media blogger I've followed for a significant amount of time without becoming disenfranchised. Not because he has no blind spot - his is just one I can deal with... optimism.

hopehely , Feb 12, 2019 5:14:49 PM | link

I will believe Russiagate is finished when expelled Russian staff gets back, when the US returns the seized Russian properties, when the consulate is Seattle reopens and when USA issues formal apology to Russia.

Posted by: hopehely | Feb 12, 2019 5:14:49 PM | link

bevin , Feb 12, 2019 5:16:18 PM | link
Nobody has ever advanced the tiniest shred of credible evidence that 'Russia' or its government at any level was in any way implicated either in Wikileaks' acquisition of the DNC and Podesta emails or in any form of interference with the Presidential election.

This has been going on for three years and not once has anything like evidence surfaced.

On the other hand there has been an abundance of evidence that those alleging Russian involvement consistently refused to listen to explore the facts.

Incredibly, the DNC computers were never examined by the FBI or any other agency resembling an official police agency. Instead the notorious Crowdstrike professionally russophobic and caught red handed faking data for the Ukrainians against Russia were commissioned to produce a 'report.'

Nobody with any sense would have credited anything about Russiagate after that happened.

Thgen there was the proof, from VIPS and Bill Binney (?) that the computers were not hacked at all but that the information was taken by thumbdrive. A theory which not only Wikileaks but several witnesses have offered to prove.

Not one of them has been contacted by the FBI, Mueller or anyone else "investigating."

In reality the charges from the first were ludicrous on their face. There is, as b has proved and every new day's news attests, not the slightest reason why anyone in the Russian government should have preferred Trump over Clinton. And that is saying something because they are pretty well indistinguishable. And neither has the morals or brains of an adolescent groundhog.

Russiagate is over, alright, The Nothingburger is empty. But that means nothing in this 'civilisation': it will be recorded in the history books, still to be written, by historians still in diapers, that "The 2016 Presidential election, which ended in the controversial defeat of Hillary Clinton, was heavily influenced by Russian agents who hacked ..etc etc"

What will not be remembered is that every single email released was authentic. And that within those troves of correspondence there was enough evidence of criminality by Clinton and her campaign to fill a prison camp.

Another thing that will not be recalled is that there was once a young enthusiastic man, working for the DNC, who was mugged one evening after work and killed.

Baron , Feb 12, 2019 5:16:49 PM | link
The 'no collusion' result will only spur the 'beginning of the end' baboons to shout even more, they'll never stop until they die in their beds or the plebs of the Republic made them adore the street lamp posts, you'll see. The former is by far more likely, the unwashed of American have never had a penchant for foreign affairs except for the few spasms like Vietnam.
Circe , Feb 12, 2019 5:20:11 PM | link
There was collusion alright but the only Russians who helped Trump get elected and were in on the collusion are citizens of ISRAEL FIRST, likewise for the American billionaires who put Trump in the power perch. ISRAEL FIRST.

That's why Trump is on giant billboards in Israel shaking hands with the Yahoo. Trump is higher in the polls in Israel than in the U.S. If it weren't that the Zionist upper crust need Trump doing their dirty work in America, like trying today get rid of Rep. Omar Ilhan, then Trump would win the elections in Ziolandia or Ziostan by a landslide cause he's been better for the Joowish state than all preceding Presidents put together. Mazel tov to them bullshet for the rest of us servile mass in the vassal West and Palestinians the most shafted class ever. Down with Venezuela and Iran, up with oil and gas. The billionare shysters' and Trump's payola is getting closer. Onward AZ Empire!

Les , Feb 12, 2019 5:24:36 PM | link
He proved himself so easy to troll during the election. It wouldn't surprise me if aim of the domestic intelligence agencies all along was to get him elected and have a candidate they could manipulate.
Zachary Smith , Feb 12, 2019 5:38:03 PM | link
@ Harry Law #16

At least Germany has the good sense not to throw taxpayer money at the F-35. German F-35 decision sacrifices NATO capability for Franco-German industrial cooperation I don't know what they have in mind with a proposed airplane purchase. If they need fighters, buy or lease Sweden's Gripen. If attack airplanes are what they're after, go to Boeing and get some brand new F-15X models. If the prickly French are agreeable to build a 6th generation aircraft, that would be worth a try.

Regarding Rachel Maddow, I recently had an encounter with a relative who told me 1) I visited too many oddball sites and 2) he considered Rachel M. to be the most reliable news person in existence. I think we're talking "true believer" here. :)

Zachary Smith , Feb 12, 2019 5:43:19 PM | link
@ Les @42
It wouldn't surprise me if aim of the domestic intelligence agencies all along was to get him elected and have a candidate they could manipulate.

Considering how those "intelligence agencies" are hard pressed to find their own tails, even if you allow them to use both hands, it would surprise me.

That Trump would turn out to be a tub of jello in more than just a physical way has been a surprise to an awful lot of us.

Pft , Feb 12, 2019 5:44:54 PM | link

Russiagate was very successful. You just have to understand the objectives. It was a great distraction. Diverting peoples attention from the continued fleecing of the "real people" which are the bottom 90% by the "Corporate People" and their Government Lackeys.

It provided an excuse for the acting CEO (a figurehead) of the Corporate Empire to go back on many of the promises made that got him elected, and to fill the swamp with Neocon and Koch Brother creatures with the excuse the Deep State made him do it. More proof that there is no deception that is too ridiculous to be believed so long as you have enough pundits claiming it to be so

Allowed the bipartisan support for the clamp down on alt media with censorship by social media (Deep State Tools) and funded by the Ministry of Truth set up by Obama in his last days in office to under the false pretense of protecting us from foreign governments interference in elections (except Israel of course) . Similar agencies have been set up or planned to be in other countries followig the US example such as UK, France, Russia, etc.

Did anyone really expect Mr "Cover It Up " Mueller to find anything? Mueller is Deep State all the way and Trump is as well, not withstanding the "Fake Wrestling " drama that they are bitter enemies. All the surveillance done over the past 2-3 decades would have so much dirt on the Trumpet they could silence him forever . Trump knew that going in and I sometimes wonder if he was pressured to run as a condition to avoid prosecution. Pretty sure every President since Carter has been "Kompromat"

Jackrabbit , Feb 12, 2019 6:29:51 PM | link
james, bevin

If you've done just a cursory look into Seth Rich, you'd be very suspicious about the story of his life and death. IMO Assange/Wikilleaks were set up. And Flynn was set up too. What they are doing is Orwellian: White Helmets, election manipulation, propaganda, McCarthism, etc. If you're not angry, you're not paying attention.

stevelaudig , Feb 12, 2019 6:34:12 PM | link
Russians and likely at the behest of the Russian state interfered and it was fair payback for Yeltsin's election. It is time to move on but not in feigned ignorance of what was done. Was it "outcome" affecting, possibly, but not clearly and if the US electoral college and electoral system generally is so decrepit that a second level power in the world can influence then its the US's fault.

It's not like the 2000 election wasn't a warning shot about the rottenness of system and a system that doesn't understand a warning shot deserves pretty much what it gets. But there's enough non-hype evidence of acts and intent to say yes, the Russians tried and may have succeeded. They certainly are acting guilty enough. but still close the book move and move on to Trump's 'real' crimes which were done without a Russian assist.

spudski , Feb 12, 2019 6:52:50 PM | link
@38 bevin @47 james

I seem to recall former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray saying that it was not a hack and that he had been handed a thumb drive in a field near American University by a disgruntled Democrat whistleblower. Further, I seem to recall William Binney, former NSA Technical Leader for intelligence, conducting an experiment to show that internet speeds at the time would not allow the information to be hacked - they knew the size of the files and the period over which they were downloaded. Plus, Seth Rich. So why does anyone even believe it was a hack, @32 THN?

Johan Meyer , Feb 12, 2019 6:55:54 PM | link
Just another comment re Mueller. There is a great documentary by (Dutch, not Israeli---different person) Gideon Levy, Lockerbie Revisited. The narration is in Dutch, but the interviews are in English, and there is a small segment of a German broadcast. The documentary ends abruptly where one set of FBI personnel contradict statements by another set of FBI personnel. See also this primer on Mueller's MO.
frances , Feb 12, 2019 7:11:07 PM | link
reply to Les 42
"It wouldn't surprise me if aim of the domestic intelligence agencies all along was to get him elected and have a candidate they could manipulate."

Not the intelligence agencies, the Military IMO. They knew HC for what she was; horrifically corrupt and,again IMO,they know she is insane.

They saw and I think still see Trump as someone they could work with, remember Rogers (Navy) of the NSA going to him immediately once he was elected? That was the Military protecting him as best they could.

They IMO have kept him alive and as long as he doesn't send any troops into "real" wars, they will keep on keeping him alive.
This doesn't mean Trump hasn't gone over to the Dark Side, just that no military action will take place that the military command doesn't fully support.

Again, I could be wrong, he could be backed by fiends from Patagonia for all I really know:)

AriusArmenian , Feb 12, 2019 8:44:27 PM | link
The button pushers behind the Trump collusion and Russia election hacking false narratives got what they wanted: to walk the democrats and republicans straight into Cold War v2; to start their campaign to suppress alternative voices on the internet; to increase military spending; and more, more, more war.
james , Feb 12, 2019 9:34:59 PM | link
ot - further to @65 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK5YFos56ZU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK5YFos56ZU

as jr says - welcome to the rabbit hole..

ben , Feb 12, 2019 10:11:05 PM | link
Hope you're right b. Maybe now we can get on with some real truths.
  1. That there is really only one party with real influence, the party of $.
  2. That most of the Dems belong to that club, and virtually all the Repubs.
  3. That the U$A is not a real democracy, but an Oligarchy.
  4. That the corporate empire is the greatest purveyor of evil the world has ever known.

And these are just a few truths. Thanks for the therapy b, hope you feel better...

Circe , Feb 12, 2019 10:52:22 PM | link
Boy, I hope Jackrabbit sees this. Everyone knows I believe Trump is the anointed chosen of the Zionist 1%. There was no Russia collusion; it was Zionist collusion with a Russian twist...
Circe , Feb 12, 2019 11:11:17 PM | link
Oh yeah! Forgot to mention the latest. Trump is asking Kim to provide a list of his nuclear scientists! Before Kim acts on this request, he should call up the Iranian government for advise 'cause they have lots of experience and can warn Kim of what will happen to each of those scientists. They'll be put on a kill-list and will be extrajudicially wacked as in executed. Can you believe the chutzpah? Trump must think Kim is really stupid to fall for that one!

Aye! The thought of six more years of Zionist pandering Trump. Barf-inducing prospect is too tame.

PHC , Feb 13, 2019 2:25:44 AM | link

Russiagate is finished. So, now is the time to create Chinagate. But how ??

V , Feb 13, 2019 2:25:48 AM | link
The view from the hermitage is, we are in the age of distractions. Russiagate will be replaced with one of a litany of distractions, purely designed to keep us off target. The target being, corruption, vote rigging, illegal wars, war crimes, overthrowing sovereign governments, and political assasinations, both at home and abroad. Those so distracted, will focus on sillyness; not the genuine danger afoot around the planet. Get used to it; it's become the new normal.
Circe , Feb 13, 2019 3:53:19 AM | link
@76Hw
I have yet to read anything more delusional, nay, utterly preposterous. Methinks you over-project too much. Even Trump would have a belly-ache laugh reading that sheeple spiel. You're the type that sees the giant billboard of Zionist Trump and Yahoo shaking hands and drones on and on that our lying eyes deceive us and it's really Trump playing 4-D chess. I suppose when he tried to pressure Omar Ilhan into resigning her seat in Congress yesterday, that too was reverse psychology?

Trump instagramed the billboard pic, he tweeted it, he probably pasted it on his wall; maybe with your kind of wacky, Trump infatuation, you should too!

Starring role

Circe , Feb 13, 2019 4:15:37 AM | link
Russiagate is finished because Mueller discovered an embarrassing fact: The collusion was and always will be with Israel. Here's Trump professing his endless love for Zionism: Trump Resign
snake , Feb 13, 2019 5:13:14 AM | link

Russiagate was very successful <=pls read, re-read Pft @ 46.. he listed many things. divide and conquer accomplished.
a nation state is defined as an armed rule making structure, designed by those who control a territory, and constructed by the lawyers, military, and wealthy and run by the persons the designers appoint, for the appointed are called politicians.

Most designs of armed nation states provide the designers with information feedback and the designers use that information to appoint more obedient politicians and generals to run things, and to improve the design to better serve the designers. The armed rule making structure is designed to give the designers complete control over those targeted to be the governed. Why so stupid the governed? ; always they allow themselves to be manipulated like sheep.

When 10 angry folks approach you with two pieces of ropes: one to throw over the tree branch under which your horse will be supporting you while they tie the noose around your neck and the other shorter piece of rope to tie your hands behind ..your back you need at that point to make your words count , if five of the people are black and five are white. all you need do is say how smart the blacks are, and how stupid the whites are, as the two groups fight each other you manage your escape. democrat vs republican= divide to conquer. gun, no gun = divide to conquer, HRC vs DJT = divide to conquer, abortion, no abortion = divide to conquer, Trump is a Russian planted in a high level USA position of power = divide to conquer, They were all in on it together,, Muller was in the white house to keep the media supplied with XXX, to keep the law enforcement agencies in the loop, and to advise trump so things would not get out of hand ( its called Manipulation and the adherents to the economic system called Zionism
For the record, Zionism is not related to race, religion or intelligence. Zionism is a system of economics that take's no captives, its adherents must own everything, must destroy and decimate all actual or imaginary competition, for Zionist are the owners and masters of everything? Zionism is about power, absolute power, monopoly ownership and using governments everywhere to abuse the governed. Zionism has many adherents, whites, blacks, browns, Christians, Jews, Islamist, Indians, you name it among each class of person and walk of life can be found persons who subscribe to the idea that they, and only they, should own everything, and when those of us, that are content to be the governed let them, before the kill and murder us, they usually end up owning everything.

snake , Feb 13, 2019 6:08:16 AM | link
Here might the subject matter that Russia Gate sought to camouflage https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/02/13/588433/US-Saudi-Arabia-nuclear-deal-nuclear-weapons 'This comes as US Energy Secretary Rick Perry has been holding secret talks with Saudi officials on sharing US nuclear technology.'

Finally, a hypothesis to explain

1. why the Joint non nuclear agreement with Iran and the other nuclear power nations, that prevented Iran from developing nuclear weapons, was trashed? Someone needs to be able to say Iran is developing ..., at the right time.

2. Why Netanyohu made public a video that claimed Iran was developing nuclear stuff in violation of the Iran non nuclear agreement, and everybody laughed,

3. Why the nuclear non proliferation agreement with Russia, that terminated the costly useless arms race a decade ago, has been recently terminated, to reestablish the nuclear arms race, no apparent reason was given the implication might be Russia could be a target, but

4. why it might make sense to give nukes to Saudi Arabia or some other rogue nation, and

5. why no one is allowed to have nuclear weapons except the Zionist owned and controlled nation states.

Statement: Zionism is an economic system that requires the elimination of all competition of whatever kind. It is a winner get's all, takes no prisoners, targets all who would threaten or be a challenge or a threat; does not matter if the threat is in in oil and gas, technology or weapons as soon as a possibility exist, the principles of Zionism would require that it be taken out, decimated, and destroyed and made where never again it could even remotely be a threat to the Empire, that Zionism demands..

Hypothesis: A claim that another is developing nuclear weapon capabilities is sufficient to take that other out?

Kiza , Feb 13, 2019 8:26:29 AM | link
I am glad that most commenters understand that Russiagate will not go away. But the majority appear to miss the real reason. Russiagate is not an accusation, it is the state of mind.

At the beginnng of Russiagate, I wrote on Robert Parry's Consirtium News that Russiagate is Idiocracy piggy-backing on decades and literally billions of dollars of anti-Soviet and anti-Russian propaganda. How hard would it be to brainwash an already brainwashed population?

The purveyors of Russiagate will re-compose themselves, brush off all reports and continue on. One just cannot get away from one's nature, even when that nature is pure idiocy. Of course, the most ironic in the affair is that it is the so called US "intellectuals", academics and other assorted cretins who are the most fervent proponents. If you were wondering how Russia can make such amazing defensive weapons that US can only deny exist and wet dream of having, there is your answer. It is the state of mind. The whole of US establishment are legends in their on lunch time and totally delusional about the reality surrounding them - both Russiagate and MAGA cretins, no report can help the Russiagate nation.

Finally, I am thinking of that crazy and ugly professor bitch from the British Cambridge University who gives her lectures naked to protest something or other. I am so lucky that I do not have to go to a Western university ever again. What a catastrophic decline! No Brexit can help the Skripal nation.

NemesisCalling , Feb 13, 2019 8:46:48 AM | link
Russiagate is finished, but is DJT also among the rubble?

Hardly any money for the border wall and still lingering in the ME?

If Hoarsewhisperer proves to be correct above re: DJT, he will really have to knock our socks off before election 2020. To do this he will have to unequivocally and unceremoniously withdraw from the MENA and Afghanistan and possibly declare a National Emergency for more money for the wall.

The problem is, when he does this, he will look impulsively dangerous and this may harm his mystique to the lemmings who need a president to be more "presidential."

My money is on status quo all the way to 2020 and the rethugz hoping the Dems will eat their own in an orgy of warring identities.

I would love to be proven wrong.

morongobill , Feb 13, 2019 9:52:25 AM | link
Rush Limbaugh has been on a roll with his analysis of Russiagate, in fact, his analysis is in line with the writer/editor here at MOA.
Bart Hansen , Feb 13, 2019 10:52:12 AM | link
The collusion story may be faltering, but the blame for Russia poisoning the Skripals lives on. The other night on The News Hour, "Judy" led off the program with this: "It has been almost a year since Kremlin intelligence officers attempted to kill a Russian defector in the British city of Salisbury by poisoning him with a nerve agent. That attack, and the subsequent death of a British woman, scared away tourists and shoppers, but authorities and residents are working to get the town's economy back on track. Special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports."
Erelis , Feb 13, 2019 12:15:48 PM | link

Russiagate will not go away unfortunately because it has evolved in the "Russiagate Industry". As mentioned by others, the Russiagate Industry has been very profitable for many industries and people. Russiagate has generated an entire cottage industry of companies around censorship and "find us a Russian". Dow Jones should have an index on the Russiagate Industry.

Here is one recent example. You know the measles outbreak in the US Pacific Northwest. Yup, the Russians. How do we know. A government funded research grant. The study found that 899 tweets caused people to doubt vaccines. Looks like money is to be had even by academics for the right results.

Measles outbreak: Anti-vaccination misinformation fueled by Russian propagandists, study finds
https://www.oregonlive.com/clark-county/2019/02/measles-outbreak-anti-vaccination-misinformation-fueled-by-russian-propagandists-study-finds.html

[Feb 12, 2019] We have elections that are far more like Soviet elections than the average 'conservative' voter can allow himself to imagine. The great difference Soviet elections and ours today is who what entity owns the system, meaning which cultural values rule, dictate.

Feb 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

Jake , says: February 12, 2019 at 11:32 am GMT

The USSR had elections of various types. They meant nothing because the Party owned everybody.

We have elections that are far more like Soviet elections than the average 'conservative' voter can allow himself to imagine. The great difference Soviet elections and ours today is who – what entity – owns the system, meaning which cultural values rule, dictate.

Ours is the Anglo-Zionist Empire. This is the end game of the Judaizing heresies that destroyed Christendom. This nightmare is where WASP culture leads and always lead.

[Feb 12, 2019] Labels do matter: The democrats really shot themselves in the foot when they decided to take the stand that those who want less immigration or legal immigration are "racists".

Krugman is a dangerous neoliberal propagandist... And he essentially kills Democratic Party appeal to voters by trying to equate protest against immigration and racism.
To claim the Clinton neoliberal Democrats who are directly or indirectly responsible for killing of million of "brown people" and bombing a dozen of countries support for civil rights is a real, Nazi-propaganda like, stretch...
Feb 12, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Concerned Citizen Feb. 5 Times Pick

I consider myself socially conservative and economically liberal and I very bitterly reject the idea that I am a "racist". The left has to stop tossing around the word "racist" to essentially mean "anything they dislike" and "anyone they disagree with". I am not a racist, and I defy anyone to prove I am. Dr. Krugman, if you are going to call 50% of the voters in the US "racists"....well, consider what happened when your pal Hillary called us "deplorables in a basket". How'd that work out for her?

Trajan The Real Heartland Feb. 5 Times Pick

Democrats love to eat their own. We have one of the most racist presidents to ever hold office in modern times, yet some Democrats are going after Northam over some dumb stunt that happened decades ago. Is he a good leader NOW? Does he support good policies NOW? Is Northam's behavior really any worse (blackface versus sexual misconduct) than someone who just got a seat on the Supreme Court? Wow, this is like watching an episode of The Twilight Zone. Republicans have a strategic advantage because, while Democrats get all twisted up in identity politics, Republican leaders are only tightly focused on serving the rich and powerful at the expense of average Americans. No party disunity there. Democrats need to start focusing on the basic, kitchen table issues that average Americans care about, like affordable health care, affordable housing and affordable higher education. With that strong streak of self-destruction that runs through Democrats, Nancy Pelosi is needed more than ever in the people's House where badly needed legislation has to move forward.

Allright New york Feb. 5 Times Pick

A Democrat could beat Trump if he was pro-single payer, pro family, pro-union, anti-war, and for the aggressive taxing of ultra high wealth if he could just shut down the flagrant abuse of our immigration laws and border. That candidate can't win the primary though because not welcoming the infinite number of suffering illegal immigrants to share these expensive benefits or wanting law and order to immigration earns a label of "racist" in the Democratic Party. Trump will win in 2020 unless dems stop with the wild misuse of the word racist.

Patrick Wisconsin Feb. 5 Times Pick

"Racial hostility" is what I, a white male, feel from the Democrats. It's a common thread among the reluctant Trump supporters I know - they are disgusted by Trump, but they won't support the Democrats for that reason. My 66-year-old father recently said to me, for the first time, "well, you know, I'm a racist."

This man voted for Obama, but I wouldn't be surprised if he casts his vote for Trump in 2020 because the left has lost all credibility in his eyes. They call my dad a racist over and over, but he knows he's a fair person, so he's accepted that the "racist" label isn't that big of a deal.

Don B Massachusetts Feb. 5 Times Pick

I have a hard time getting my head around the author's use of "racist". For example 'economically liberal, socially conservative politicians -- let's be blunt and just say "racist populists."' Where does he get that connection from? Certainly not from any dictionary I have seen. I realize that the left has adopted the habit of calling everyone they disagree with "racist", but this article seems to completely disconnect the word from its meaning. In fact, I have to wonder whether any of the labels he is using, "conservative", "liberal", "populist", etc. are anchored to their literal meanings. Making sense of what he is talking about is impossible if his words have no well defined meaning.

KBronson Louisiana Feb. 5 Times Pick

This analysis is simple, elegant, and completely wrong. Libertarians are far from a majority, but far more than 4%. Probably about 20-25%. "Live and let live" isn't quite that dead. The two party kakistocracy gives people few opportunities to express it in elections. Sorry Professor, but there are plenty of us who don't care who you marry, make cakes for, dress up as, smoke, grow, say, write, spend your money on, put in your or in your body, just so long as you leave us alone. In a dim past it was called Liberalism. Before that it was called Liberty.

54 Recommend
Paul Virginia Feb. 5 Times Pick

On economic issues, especially on social programs, the public is to the left of the Democrats but the numbers of the public who are racist populist are sizable enough for the Republicans to successfully exploit it every election cycle. That's why Trump carried the white working class voters and enough of the suburban and college educated white voters to win the electoral votes.

This is the dilemma of the Democrats for they cannot win elections without working class white support. Racism, and the history of it, is like a curse spelled upon the American political system and as long as there are politicians, mostly Republicans, and others who politically and financially benefit from appealing to racism, true democracy and racial harmony will never arrive in America.

Steve Sonora, CA Feb. 5 Times Pick

Dr. Krugman appears to bewail the demise of the "Rockefeller Republican." As should we all.

49 Recommend
Allright New york Feb. 5 Times Pick

The democrats really shot themselves in the foot when they decided to take the stand that those who want less immigration or legal immigration are "racists". That is the wedge the will drive off the most important block which is the working class midwestern men. If only there were a democrat or an outsider that could stomach being called a racist who was conservative on immigration but liberal on economics, pro-worker, families then he could beat Trump. Otherwise with Kamala or someone that does not appeal to rust-belt workers, there will be 4 more years of Trump. Mark my words.

grantgreen west orange Feb. 5 Times Pick

I take issue with two ideas of Mr Krugman: the statement that Trump is not a true 'racist populist' ...what does that mean anyway? , and that Democrats are moving too left, endangering their prospects. The first idea is that Trump is not keeping a racist agenda is clearly false. His Muslim ban, immigration policies and mass detentions are all following thru on racist ideas. Why Krugman does not feel these are somehow playing to a racist base, and is faking begs credulity. The second idea that Dems are moving too far is not supported by polls that show a majority of people support Medicare for all and taxes on billionaires. The country's middle class has been beaten down for 30 years and now is the time to correct that!

27 Recommend
Jay Florida Feb. 5 Times Pick

"Voters want an economic move to the left -- it's just that some of them dislike Democratic support for civil rights, which the party can't drop without losing its soul." The Democratic Party lost its soul long ago Paul. It lost it when it championed free trade, unguarded borders, Nafta, destroyed defense budgets, tolerated the indecency of Bill Clinton, allowed unions to become corrupt, failed to fix Social Security and bankrupted every American downtown and small business for the pursuit of the mythological better jobs and better living through more imports of products from China as our factories closed and our industries moved offshore. The Democratic Party has betrayed America for the last 30 years and now you're lamenting the loss of Democratic Party members and conservative left wingers. The Democrats moved too far left many years ago. The issues Paul are jobs, industry, affordable housing and healthcare, education for our children, and retirement with dignity. Not to forget safety without sacrificing our right to self-defense. The Republicans and the Democrats equally and together polluted our Democratic institutions. They've corrupted our judicial processes and disenfranchised minorities. We don't need a coffee billionaire or any other billionaire. We need decent, hardworking, intelligent and socially responsible citizens who want legitimate government and institutions. Not corruption from Wall St. or Washington DC. Where are the legitimate candidates?

[Feb 11, 2019] There is no democracy in US. There is civil war between two dysfunctional parties

Feb 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: February 7, 2019 at 4:53 am GMT

@Cassander There is no democracy in US. There is civil war between two dysfunctional parties. How come you did not notice? Or you just came from enchanted kingdom?
Authenticjazzman , says: February 7, 2019 at 5:42 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova " There is civil war between two dysfunctional parties"

Wrong again. There is in fact war between the cowardly, appeasing, Republicans, and the insane blue-haired democrats.

The Democrats are so fricking crazy, so far in outer space that any attempt at working with them is pure futility.

AJM

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: February 8, 2019 at 7:40 pm GMT
@Authenticjazzman You are absolutely correct. I just did not wanted to go into such a details. It is not my stile.

[Feb 11, 2019] Noticeble decay of Democratic leadership -- which is now, apparently, two old crazy people, one of which has active dementia creates preconditions for a loot and burn approach to governing the US.

Notable quotes:
"... Much the same could have been said about the last days of the USSR, or for that matter the last phase of the 30 Years War or the Napoleonic Wars. As back then, so now: The old elite and new authoritarians actively crushing the new group, well, they are are actively crushing _themselves_ at an even greater rate than they are crushing the new group. ..."
"... Example: Decay of Democratic leadership -- which is now, apparently, two old crazy people, one of which has active dementia. Waiting in the wings we see various groups that hate each other and propose what is pretty clearly a loot and burn approach to governing the US. They vary only in whom they will loot and what they will burn. ..."
"... Example: Decay of the media, which now knows it is as ineffective as Russian propaganda towards the USSR's end, and apparently either doesn't care or is unable to change. ..."
"... If resource scarcity prompts armed response, well, humanity has enough shiny new weapons _and untried weapons technologies_ to produce destruction as surprising in its extent as WW I and WW II were for their times [1] (or as the self supporting tercio was during the 30 Years War). ..."
Feb 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Counterinsurgency , says: February 3, 2019 at 12:18 pm GMT

The third trend is the only place where hope can reside. This trend – what I have previously ascribed to a group I call the "dissenters" – understands that radical new thinking is required. But given that this group is being actively crushed by the old liberal elite and the new authoritarians, it has little public and political space to explore its ideas, to experiment, to collaborate, as it urgently needs to.

Much the same could have been said about the last days of the USSR, or for that matter the last phase of the 30 Years War or the Napoleonic Wars. As back then, so now: The old elite and new authoritarians actively crushing the new group, well, they are are actively crushing _themselves_ at an even greater rate than they are crushing the new group.

Example: Decay of Democratic leadership -- which is now, apparently, two old crazy people, one of which has active dementia. Waiting in the wings we see various groups that hate each other and propose what is pretty clearly a loot and burn approach to governing the US. They vary only in whom they will loot and what they will burn.

Example: Decay of the media, which now knows it is as ineffective as Russian propaganda towards the USSR's end, and apparently either doesn't care or is unable to change.

Example: Reaction to yellow vests in France, which drew the reactions described in Cook's article (at the root of this comment thread). "Back to your kennels, curs!" isn't effective in situations like this, but it seems to be the only reply the EU has.

New groups take over when the old group has rotted away. At some point, Cook's third alternative will be all that is left. The real question is what will be happening world wide at that point. If resource scarcity prompts armed response, well, humanity has enough shiny new weapons _and untried weapons technologies_ to produce destruction as surprising in its extent as WW I and WW II were for their times [1] (or as the self supporting tercio was during the 30 Years War).

Counterinsurgency

1] To understand contemporary effect of WW I on survivors, think of a the survivors of a group playing paintball who accidentally got hold of grenade launchers but somehow didn't realize that until the game was over. WW II was actually worse -- people worldwide really expected another industrialized war within 20 years (by AD 1965), this one fought with nuclear weapons.

[Feb 11, 2019] AOC Campaign Finance Primer Goes Viral

Notable quotes:
"... By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. ..."
"... Quip, then Clear, Simple Statement. ..."
"... The thing that worries me is that congress might find some way to remove her or shut her up if she continues to ruffle neoliberal feathers like this. ..."
"... Fascinating as this is, I worry that AOC might get the "Rosa Luxembourg" treatment from the present day power elites. ..."
Feb 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

AOC Campaign Finance Primer Goes Viral Posted on February 10, 2019 by Jerri-Lynn Scofield By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.

Wow. strengthening ethics rules for the executive branch reached such a huge audience.

This is a must-watch clip. I hesitate to add much commentary, as anything I write will likely not add all that much, and might instead only distract from the original.

Nonetheless, full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes! I will hazard adding some commentary.

I only ask that you watch the clip first. It'll only take five minutes of your time. Just something to ponder on what I hope for many readers is a lazy, relaxing Sunday. Please watch it, as my commentary will assume you've done so.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/j_gxiMTIudA

How to Explain What's At Stake with a Complex Subject

I've spent many, many years thinking about how business influences public policy – and trying to get people to understand some of the details of how that's done, in a variety of contexts.

Here, AOC breaks down one aspect of the problem, and clearly and succinctly explains what's the deal, in terms that've obviously resounded with people and led them to share her primer with their friends.

Quip, then Clear, Simple Statement. She opens with a self deprecating aside – perhaps a bit too self-deprecating, as she doesn't pause long enough to elicit many chuckles. Am I imagining a sense of "What's she up to?" emanating from the (sparse) crowd in that quick initial establishing shot of the hearing chamber?

And then explains what she's up to:

Let's play a lightning round game.

I'm gonna be the bad guy, which I'm sure half the room would agree with anyway, and I want to get away with as much bad things as possible, really to enrich myself and advance my interests, even if that means putting my interests ahead of the American people.

I've enlisted all of you as my co-conspirators, so you're going help me legally get away with all of this."

Framing. Turning this into a lightning round taps into popular culture. Most TV viewers know what a lightning round is, certainly far more than regularly watch congressional hearings on C-Span.

And using the Q & A format requires those summoned to testify at the hearing to affirm each of her points. This reminded me a bit of the call and response technique that some preachers employ.

By structuring this exercise in a lightning round format, each witness can only answer yes or no, allowing little room to obfuscate – I'm looking at you, Bradley A. Smith, chairman of the Institute for Free Speech (IFS). (Here's a link to the Washington Post op-ed AOC refers to: Those payments to women were unseemly. That doesn't mean they were illegal. )

AOC has no time for any waffling, "Okay green light for hush money, I can do all sorts of terrible things, It's totally legal now for me to pay people off " She's not just working from a great script – but is quick on her feet as well. Nice!

Simple Language, Complex Points

The language is simple, and sounds like the way ordinary people speak – "bad guy," Followed later by "super bad guy."

"Totally."

"Okay great."

"Fabulous."

"Okay, so, awesome."

I think it's easier for her to do this, because she's not a lawyer. Even when she's discussing questions of legality, she doesn't slip into legalese -- "super legal" isn't the sort of phrase that would trip easily from the tongues of most lawyers– even recovering ones, or those who got sidetracked into politics.

Repetition of One Point: This is All Legal

AOC channels Michael Kinsley's observation, "The scandal isn't what's illegal, the scandal is what's legal." I hesitate to repeat that saying here, as for political junkies, it's been been heard all too many times before.

AOC fleshes out the details of a message many Americans understand: the system is broken, and under the current laws, no one's going to jail for doing any of this stuff. Instead, this is standard operating procedure in Washington. And that's the case even though as this May headline for report by the Pew Research Centre's headline makes clear: Most Americans want to limit campaign spending, say big donors have greater political influence .


Brindle , February 10, 2019 at 12:24 pm

AOC has great skill in understanding how language works, it is kind of mesmerizing watching her thinking and talking on her feet -- she intertwines big narratives with smaller ones seamlessly. Just brilliant.

notabanker , February 10, 2019 at 1:47 pm

She is gifted. She has demonstrated remarkable poise in her reactions to Pelosi. She refuses to sling dirt, instead acting in deference to her power with a confidence that her own principles will eventually prevail. It's an incredibly wise approach and extremely counter-intuitive to most.

Oso , February 10, 2019 at 4:11 pm

by supporting pelosi, calling her a progressive she shows acknowledgement of her role in the system. it may be the confidence that her principles of being part of the club will prevail. if you pay any attention at all to the system you'd understand it isn't broken, it works as designed.

notabanker , February 10, 2019 at 4:19 pm

Here's the specific interview I was referring to:
https://www.msnbc.com/mtp-daily/watch/full-interview-rep-ocasio-cortez-on-the-democratic-party-green-new-deal-2020-candidates-1439077443625

Catman , February 10, 2019 at 4:15 pm

This past summer right around the time she went to Iowa with Bernie that she was on a Sunday morning talk show. The host asked a question that was pointed and would pin most pols into a corner they'd likely not want to be pinned to. AOC hesitated, thought, and said, "Yes, i'll grant that. I agree with that." or something very similar.
Her hesitation and then acceptance told me two things:
1. She knows herself and she's not frightened by it. Other pols lapse into meaningless nonsense and think defense first. AOC just moves forward aggressively because she's confident in what she believes in.
2. She knows her audience. She understands who she's talking to.
Criticism just bounces off someone like that.

Joe Well , February 10, 2019 at 12:32 pm

I had already seen the Now This video, and what is striking to me is that we have social media content producers like Now This that are willing to treat AOC seriously and give a platform for her ideas, unlike the TV news or most newspapers. Now This and AJ+ (Al Jazeera social video) specialize in making videos viral, so they are the proximate cause of this video going viral, unlike some earlier AOC videos.

Now This is owned by Group Nine Media which is an independent startup that has received millions in venture funding as well as a significant investment by Discovery Media, according to Wikipedia.

Also, Facebook's role is interesting because they are still allowing at least some left-leaning videos to go viral.

How much longer will we have these outlets before they turn into CNN, MSNBC, NYT, etc.?

Ashburn , February 10, 2019 at 12:40 pm

Thanks for this, JLS. I was very impressed with AOC when I first saw her campaign video in her race against Joe Crowley. Since that time she has become a force of nature not just in Washington but across the country and internationally. I believe she is most impressive politician I have ever seen and I am in my late sixties. She is simply thrilling to watch and I think she appeals to many outside of her progressive base. Naturally the Washington Post, with its neocon and neoliberal editorial page, will use every tool at its disposal to discredit her and any other progressive.

Hepativore , February 10, 2019 at 1:41 pm

The thing that worries me is that congress might find some way to remove her or shut her up if she continues to ruffle neoliberal feathers like this.

While it would be a very extreme measure, do you think that Congress might try to place her under Censure, and possibly even try building a case for Congressional Expulsion on bogus charges? It would be a very underhanded thing to do, but on the other hand, the neoliberals in both parties in Washington D.C. probably want to mount her head on a wall at this point.

flora , February 10, 2019 at 5:02 pm

AOC isn't beholden to the corporate donor/lobbyist/consultant owners of the Dem estab. If she isn't spending 30 hours a week dialing-for-dollars, and is free to represent her voters interests, she might give other Dems ideas, especially the younger ones . Gasp! can't have that! (/s)

https://www.businessinsider.com/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-slams-corruption-in-oversight-hearing-2019-2

see also dialing-for-dollars:
http://www.startribune.com/how-dialing-for-dollars-has-perverted-congress/378184931/

JohnnyGL , February 10, 2019 at 12:46 pm

I saw this one on Friday .captivating and jaw-dropping. I almost couldn't believe she just got as blunt as that.

I wonder if she's preparing anything to get a little revenge on Pelosi for the brilliantly withering scorn she dropped on the GND, turning it into the "Green Dream". I found myself laughing and annoyed at the same time.

Pelosi knows she's got a grip on the reigns of power and she's happy to rub it in the face of the new freshman class of what she sees as little more than noisemakers (not to dismiss the power of the noisemakers, they've done more than I could have anticipated).

AOC and friends have cards to play .let's see how they play them. They can't directly attack her, of course, they need her. But they can get attention, pressure and embarrass her to take various actions.

Susan the Other , February 10, 2019 at 12:59 pm

AOC is not reacting to Trump's socialism challenge. She is ignoring it as if it came from someone unqualified to be president. Imagine that. Or from masterful legislators so compromised by corruption they will only change when they get good and frightened. It might take a while because they have been too impervious to fear anything for so many decades they might not realize they are in danger. They might as well be very, very stupid. No, she's not taking the bait. Instead, she is pointing out what a corrupt thing both branches of government are, the legislature and, even worse and more dangerous, the president, and not merely because he is controlled by the military. She's playing chess for now. Checkmate will probably come from left field in the form of an economic collapse. Nothing to see here. Move along.

ambrit , February 10, 2019 at 1:54 pm

Fascinating as this is, I worry that AOC might get the "Rosa Luxembourg" treatment from the present day power elites.
Murder has become a standard operating procedure for American operatives overseas; see drone warfare as an example. The logic of Empire predicts that in general, the tactics used by the Empire overseas will be brought back to the Homeland for eventual use against domestic 'enemies.'
The 'Tinfoil Hat Cadres' can cite numerous examples of domestic killings with suspicious ties to internal politics. In the main, these 'examples' of evil are tied to individuals and smaller groups of the power elites. I fear that political murder has become normalized inside America's political classes.
Many here joke about "Mr. or Mz. 'X' better not take any small airplane flights for the foreseeable future." It may be a 'joke' to us, but it certainly is not a joke to those viewing their impending demise from 10,000 feet up in the air.

Hepativore , February 10, 2019 at 2:55 pm

They probably will not have to go to that much trouble. They can always invent a quasi-legal or illegal procedure to remove her from the senate, like the example I gave above with Censure or Expulsion. Plus, this will be officially-sanctioned by Washington D.C. and all of the major media outlets will be able to portray it as getting rid of a troublemaker who did not want to be a team player.

philnc , February 10, 2019 at 7:24 pm

Freuddian slip that, " remove her from the senate"? Actually, there have been open calls from within the establishment to primary her, or most recently, to gerrymander her House district out of existence. But that would just free her up to run for US Senate. It has been suggested that possibility might cause Sen. Schumer to put the kabosh on any effort to eliminate her district. As for a primary challenge, while it certainly would mean lots of walking around money for a select group of Democratic political consultants (the Republicans seem to have slurped up all the foreign regime-change work for this cycle), given AOC's position as the first or second most popular politician in the country (right up there with Bernie), that seems like a fool's errand.

Adam Eran , February 10, 2019 at 2:39 pm

Nice to know that anyone is saying this in a public forum.

In a bit of coincidence, I heard and adviser to Jerry Brown recite the current political system's creed, saying that just because candidates get money from special interests doesn't mean they're captives to those interests. It was astonishing to hear because the speaker said this without the slightest hesitation The rest of us in the room paused for a moment.

I replied that psychological studies demonstrate that if I give you a piece of gum, not millions in campaign contributions, you're likely to be more favorably disposed to what I say.

so we agreed to disagree. Personally, I've interpreted reciting this creed as a kind of initiation the prerequisite to belong to the religion that currently governs the country, not as something the guy actually believed. Like Michael Corleone's recitation at his children's christening Sure, it's a toxic religion, but there are so many of those the cult of vengeance, for example (why else would Americans incarcerate so many people).

dk , February 10, 2019 at 3:31 pm

The context of AOC's hypothetical 100%-PAC-financed campaign:

Meet the Most Corporate PAC-Reliant Reps in Congress

Here are the eight House representatives who took more than two-thirds of their overall campaign funding in the 2018 cycle from PACs representing corporations and corporate trade associations:

https://readsludge.com/2019/01/16/meet-the-most-corporate-pac-reliant-reps-in-congress/

Wyoming , February 10, 2019 at 3:33 pm

My interpretation of the relationship between Pelosi and AOC.

I don't think at all that Pelosi is out to crush AOC. She certainly does not agree with most of AOC's policies (after all Pelosi's path to power was different and she is irrevocably wedded to it) but I think she operates on a different plane here.

Pelosi's rise to power was arduous and her success came from her brilliance in overcoming a wide range of obstacles. She is focused, smart, relentless and ruthless. She earned her power and will not give it away. (what she uses her power for is not really relevant in this discussion)

I think she recognizes in AOC a woman not that dissimilar to herself but separated by a couple of generations. She will not try and destroy her as AOC is not a meaningful threat to her and she can leverage politically from AOC's huge impact in ways only Pelois is likely to know how to do. She will make AOC earn her own power by proving she can overcome obstacles and has the smarts and fortitude to take what she wants in spite of what her opponents do to stop her (opponents come from all directions in politics) – just as she did. That kind of behavior is what Pelosi respects. She could have prevented AOC from being on the committee she used as a platform for the above exposure of corruption but she did not – and it is certain that Pelosi was aware of the potential for AOC to use it to her advantage, or not. So AOC just passed a test there will be many more. She may eventually fall, or she may be one of the rare occurrences of someone rising to prominence and changing the world. She is where she is at at 29 years old! I am sure that scares the crap out of her political opponents as anyone can see tremendous upside for her should she continue to develop. Here's wishing her luck – we need people like her more than any other kind by far.

John k , February 10, 2019 at 7:21 pm

I'd take it, but sounds wishful. Never underestimate incompetence. Pelosi is where she is not because of brilliance but because she is the bag lady.
Pelosi might have made a deal to get her support for speaker, which was more important to her.
Or she might think that AOC would quiet down once she got up on the totem pole, just as she would have done.
Seems unlikely for somebody that believes in the rich and powerful Uber alles would otherwise support somebody that wants to topple that temple.

notabanker , February 10, 2019 at 8:45 pm

AOC's appointment to Fin Svcs is an interesting one. House Oversight Environmental sub committee is useful to Pelosi to have AOC go after Trump, but I'm not sure what Pelosi gets out of the Fin Svcs committee. A quid pro quo for Speaker support makes some sense on the surface.

Interesting as well, AOC turned down an appointment to the Select GND committee and explained it as a timing issue, being asked after her previous two appointments and not having the bandwidth to take on the Select committee and do her job well.

I can read some things into that:
– AOC values those two committee assignments. She's pretty wise to not bite off more than she can chew.
– That Select committee is pretty meaningless. She got the resolution she wanted introduced.
– Did Pelosi underestimate her early and then try to bury her with work? Or did she force her to compromise either the spotlight she will have tearing people up on FS and Oversight or the content of the GND resolution?

I think you have two very savvy political women facing off here, both know it, and both are working a long term game of chess. The generational gap is a huge advantage and disadvantage for both. For now, they are going to leverage it/each other and play their roles. Sometime before the DNC convention in 2020 pieces are going to be played that changes the dynamic. The outcome of that will dictate the path post 2020 convention. The odds of a progressive House are slim. Progressive President a little better. AOC will need Pelosi especially with a Progressive Presidency. Pelosi will need her with a Progressive President. Centrist President relegates AOC to noise in terms of actual House business.

Will be interesting.

VietnamVet , February 10, 2019 at 5:24 pm

AOC is exposing the corruption of paid politics. Virginia Democrats, Donald Trump, and Jeff Bezos illuminate the dark secrets that the plutocratic system uses to keep the connected in line. This is breaking down. Oligarchs are at war. Neoliberalism is stealing life away from the little people and destroying the world. She is a noble in the good old fashion classical sense. Compare her to Adam Schiff. This is visceral. This is good versus evil.

Octopii , February 10, 2019 at 6:02 pm

Brings back fond memories of Alan Grayson's rundowns of the republican healthcare plan (if you do get sick, die quickly) and socializing losses (now we all own the red roof inn).

Wukchumni , February 10, 2019 at 7:07 pm

This was my favorite Grayson grilling, watch Bernanke squirm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0NYBTkE1yQ

Clark , February 10, 2019 at 8:56 pm

AOC was even more riveting than Alan Grayson. I'd forgotten about the Bernanke grilling, although his marvelous skewering of the Fed general counsel (Alvarez, I think his name was) about where all the gazillion dollars of bailout money went was also pretty special. "Answer the question." "Congressman, I did answer the question." "No you didn't. Answer the question."

voteforno6 , February 10, 2019 at 6:39 pm

We're going to see more of this in the future remember, AOC doesn't do "call time," so she'll have plenty of opportunities to engage in hearings like this.

Kael , February 10, 2019 at 7:31 pm

She and the panel missed an important opportunity to point out that what gets you on a committee is raising money from the industry regulated by that committee. Instead they just said there is no illegality in working on related legislation.

Maybe this uniquely Article I corruption, didn't fit with her The President Is Even Worse thesis. But she has the skills to tie it to Article II, revolving door scams. I hope she does so soon.

polecat , February 10, 2019 at 8:21 pm

I know that Big Oil is a baddie nic on AOC's quiver, but why not hit at the black heart of HighFinance,, and their kin, WhiteShoeBoy Big-n-Legal who are, mostly likely, some of the biggest, and most manipulative donors around. I think loosing arrows constantly the earl cos., to the exclusion of other nefarious principals might loose some steam, especially when most of the country's citizens rely considerably on FFs as a means of fueling their ground transport, to say nothing of air travel. An example : She could hit Biden by name, with regard to his imput and substantial influence, in passing legislation that has only screwed a generation .. or few !!
So, if she's serious for change, for the better, for the Commons, she needs some specific bulleyes to aim at, many of whom are within her own party !

Richard , February 10, 2019 at 9:11 pm

It's not clear to me how this hearing happened, Can anyone enlighten? Can AOC just schedule her own hearings on her own topics, call her own witnesses? I have no idea how those committees work.

Parker Dooley , February 10, 2019 at 10:38 pm

Apologies to Barry Manilow, but --

I've been alive forever
And I wrote the very first law
I put the weasel words together
I am power and I write the laws

I write the laws that make my wealth increase
I write the laws of war and other hateful things
I write the laws that let the poor folks die
I write the laws, I write the laws

My home lies far above you
But my claws are deep into your soul
Now, when I ignore your cries
I'm young again, even though I'm very old

I write the laws that make my wealth increase
I write the laws of war and other hateful things
I write the laws that let the poor folks die
I write the laws, I write the laws

Oh my greed makes you dance
And lets you know you have no chance
And I wrote foreclosure laws so you must move
Dejection fills your heart
Well, that's a real fine place to start
It's all for me it's not for you
It's all from you, it's all for me
It's a worldwide travesty

I write the laws that make my wealth increase
I write the laws of war and other hateful things
I write the laws that let the poor folks die
I write the laws, I write the laws

I write the laws that make my wealth increase
I write the laws of war and other hateful things
I write the laws that let the poor folks die
I write the laws, I write the laws
I am power and I write the laws

[Feb 10, 2019] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Exposes the Problem of Dark Money in Politics NowThis - YouTube

Highly recommended!
Feb 10, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Published on Feb 8, 2019

'We have a system that is fundamentally broken.' -- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is explaining just how f*cked campaign finance laws really are.
" Subscribe to NowThis: http://go.nowth.is/News_Subscribe

In the latest liberal news and political news, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made headlines at a recent congressional hearing on money in politics by explaining and inquiring about political corruption. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, aka AOC, went into the issues of lobbyists and Super PACs and how the political establishment, including Donald Trump, uses big money to their advantage, to hide and obfuscate, and push crooked agendas. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is a rising star in the Democratic Party and House of Representatives.

#AlexandriaOcasioCortez #AOC #DarkMoney #politics

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Patrick NEZ , 2 days ago

Good for her. Unfortunately a number of American citizens aren't intelligent enough to realize this exact scenario is playing out right now!

Avembe , 2 days ago

OMG this lady is just a nuclear weapon by herself.

ATX World , 2 days ago

Love this feisty congresswoman. I can see why AOC is dislike by the right and even many democrats. She's in DC to work for the American ppl and not enrich herself or special interest. Love the 2018 class and hope they make changes and clean up DC.

TrueDaxian , 2 days ago

AOC is amazing, pointing out all the fundamental wrongs in our political system. I hope she stays in Congress as long as possible to spread her influence.

Lani Tuitupou , 2 days ago

True bravery and leadership in the face of corruption ! I love this woman

Michael Zinns , 2 days ago

AOC is speaking out when no one else will about the corruption in Washington. She is disliked because she is actually fighting for people. This makes me want to move to New York just so I can vote for her. Keep it up the pressure.

Aracelis Morales Garcia de Ramos , 2 days ago

She is going to be needing extra security. She's poised to take them down and we know how these things have been handled in the past. I'm loving her fearlessness but worry for her safety. May she be protected and blessed. SMIB

[Feb 09, 2019] An aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reportedly told insurance executives in private not to worry about Democrats' push for "Medicare for All.

Feb 09, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , February 06, 2019 at 05:22 PM

Oops, Speaker Pelosi caught paving over Medicare For All

https://theintercept.com/2019/02/05/nancy-pelosi-medicare-for-all/

"An aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reportedly told insurance executives in private not to worry about Democrats' push for "Medicare for All." (The Intercept)"

Ryan Grim...February 5 2019...6:00 a.m.

"Less than a month after Democrats -- many of them running on "Medicare for All" -- won back control of the House of Representatives in November, the top health policy aide to then-prospective House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Blue Cross Blue Shield executives and assured them that party leadership had strong reservations about single-payer health care and was more focused on lowering drug prices, according to sources familiar with the meeting.

Pelosi adviser Wendell Primus detailed five objections to Medicare for All and said that Democrats would be allies to the insurance industry in the fight against single-payer health care. Primus pitched the insurers on supporting Democrats on efforts to shrink drug prices, specifically by backing a number of measures that the pharmaceutical lobby is opposing.

Primus, in a slide presentation obtained by The Intercept, criticized single payer on the basis of cost ("Monies are needed for other priorities"), opposition ("Stakeholders are against; Creates winners and losers"), and "implementation challenges." We have recreated the slides for source protection purposes.

Democrats, Primus said, are united around the concept of universal coverage, but see strengthening the Affordable Care Act as the means to that end. He made his presentation to the Blue Cross executives on December 4..."...

Christopher H. said in reply to im1dc... , February 06, 2019 at 07:14 PM
so how do you feel about that?
Mr. Bill -> Christopher H.... , February 06, 2019 at 09:52 PM
Personally, I am aghast. The Congress critters are in bed with the medical monopolies. One example, among many:

The congressional endorsement of the ban on the importation of less expensive drugs, claimed as a matter of safety, is a travesty. In the last several months, I have had two of the drugs I take daily, recalled because the Chinese manufacturers shipped the drugs with a measurable concentration of a known carcinogen in them. Safety, my aching ......

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , February 06, 2019 at 09:55 PM
It was not the FDA that discovered the contamination, it was the EU.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , February 06, 2019 at 10:07 PM
Democrats in action on health care include Max Baucus,Tom Daschle, and most infamously, Billy Tauzin:

"Two months before resigning as chair of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which oversees the drug industry, Tauzin had played a key role in shepherding through Congress the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill. Democrats said that the bill was "a give-away to the drugmakers" because it prohibited the government from negotiating lower drug prices and bans the importation of identical, cheaper, drugs from Canada and elsewhere. The Veterans Affairs agency, which can negotiate drug prices, pays much less than Medicare does. The bill was passed in an unusual congressional session at 3 a.m. under heavy pressure from the drug companies.[4][5]

As head of PhRMA, Tauzin was a key player in 2009 health care reform negotiations that produced pharmaceutical industry support for White House and Senate efforts.[6]

Tauzin received $11.6 million from PhRMA in 2010, making him the highest-paid health-law lobbyist.[7] Tauzin now is on the Board of Directors at Louisiana Healthcare Group. "

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , February 06, 2019 at 10:15 PM
Baucus in action :

"Advocate groups attended a Senate Finance Committee meeting in May 2009 to protest their exclusion as well as statements by Baucus that "single payer was not an option on the table." Baucus later had eight protesters removed by police who arrested them for disrupting the hearing. Many of the single-payer advocates said it was a "pay to play" event.[44][45][46] A representative of the Business Roundtable, which includes 35 memberships of health maintenance organizations, health insurance and pharmaceutical companies, admitted that other countries, with lower health costs, and higher quality of care, such as those with single-payer systems, have a competitive advantage over the United States with its private system.[47]

At the next meeting on health care reform of the Senate Finance Committee, Baucus had five more doctors and nurses removed and arrested.[48][49][50] Baucus admitted a few weeks later in June 2009 that it was a mistake to rule out a single payer plan[51] because doing so alienated a large, vocal constituency and left President Barack Obama's proposal of a public health plan to compete with private insurers as the most liberal position.[51]

Baucus has used the term "uniquely American solution" to describe the end point of current health reform and has said that he believes America is not ready yet for any form of single payer health care. This is the same term the insurance trade association, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), is using. AHIP has launched the Campaign for an American Solution, which argues for the use of private health insurance instead of a government backed program"

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , February 06, 2019 at 10:20 PM
Daschle:

"Daschle co-wrote the 2008 book Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis ISBN 9780312383015.[55] He and his co-authors point out that "most of the world's highest-ranking health-care systems employ some kind of 'single-payer' strategy - that is, the government, directly or through insurers, is responsible for paying doctors, hospitals, and other health-care providers." They argue that a single-payer approach is simple, equitable, provides everyone with the same benefits, and saves billions of dollars through economies of scale and simplified administration. They concede that implementing a single-payer system in the United States would be "politically problematic" even though some polls show more satisfaction with the single-payer Medicare system than private insurance.[56]"

Health care giant Aetna will be the first official client for the former Democratic leader, who's now running his own consulting shop within the law firm Baker Donelson. Daschle will lobby for the health insurer on Obamacare implementation and Medicare and Medicaid rule changes, according to a filing with the Senate Secretary.

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , February 06, 2019 at 10:38 PM
"For fifteen years, Tauzin was one of the more Conservative Democrats in the United States House of Representatives. Even though he eventually rose to become an assistant majority whip, he felt shut out by some of his more liberal colleagues and sometimes had to ask the Republicans for floor time. When the Democrats lost control of the House after the 1994 elections, Tauzin was one of the cofounders of the House Blue Dog Coalition, a group of moderate-to-conservative Democrats.

.......

However, on August 8, 1995, Tauzin himself became a Republican"

Republicans in action ..... ?

[Feb 09, 2019] Americans Are Tired Of The Same Old Pandering And Stale Ideas We're Going To Keep Offering Them

This is from October 2017. nothing changed...
Notable quotes:
"... Voters by the millions dislike our cozying up to Wall Street, our hopelessly out-of-touch elitism, our support for never-ending military entanglements, our blindness to the plight of rural communities decimated by globalization, and our failure to expand opportunities for American workers. So what are we going to do about it? Well, after taking all this into account, after taking a good hard look at ourselves and doing some serious soul-searching, I'm pleased to announce that .... Democrats will continue to run on the same set of platitudes we've been trotting out since at least the 1990s. ..."
Oct 06, 2017 | www.theonion.com

If last year's election showed us anything, it's that anger and resentment are on the rise. I hear it from small business owners and working-class families, from millennials and retirees. There's a sense that we've lost our way, and that the blame rests squarely on our nation's leadership. Simply put, Americans are sick of being patronized and sick of the same old ideas that we, as Democrats, are going to keep offering them over and over and over again.

The frustration is palpable. People are fed up with the status quo. Citizens from all walks of life are sitting around their dinner tables, talking about how they've had it with all the usual proposals that, once more, we will be repackaging and spoon-feeding to them in a way that's entirely transparent and frankly condescending.

That's something every American can count on.

It's no wonder voters are furious. Politics-as-usual has failed them, and they desperately want change that the Democratic Party has no plan to bring about in any meaningful way. But let me assure you, when our constituents tell us they've had enough broken promises, when they say our actions haven't addressed their needs, we listen. We hear your concerns -- hear them loud and clear -- then immediately discard them and revert back to the exact same ineffectual strategies we've been rallying behind for years.

It doesn't take a genius to see what the polls are telling us. Voters by the millions dislike our cozying up to Wall Street, our hopelessly out-of-touch elitism, our support for never-ending military entanglements, our blindness to the plight of rural communities decimated by globalization, and our failure to expand opportunities for American workers. So what are we going to do about it? Well, after taking all this into account, after taking a good hard look at ourselves and doing some serious soul-searching, I'm pleased to announce that .... Democrats will continue to run on the same set of platitudes we've been trotting out since at least the 1990s.

[Feb 09, 2019] 5 Things To Know About Cory Booker

Feb 09, 2019 | politics.theonion.com

1. WHY DOES BOOKER WANT TO BE PRESIDENT?

Hopes it could finally be his ticket out of New Jersey.

... ... ...

[Feb 07, 2019] I am 70 and am thinking that when I was growing up the US Democrats represented the concepts of socialism and the Republicans that of capitalism. Today I see the Democrats as representing capitalism and Republicans representing fascism.

Feb 07, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Feb 7, 2019 9:29:56 PM | link

I just had this insight and wanted to share it here.

I am 70 and am thinking that when I was growing up the US Democrats represented the concepts of socialism and the Republicans that of capitalism. Today I see the Democrats as representing capitalism and Republicans representing fascism.

A commenter on another thread asked me about my China socialism focus and referred to the US Interstate highway system initiated in the Eisenhower era when the marginal tax rate was in the low 90 percent range. America has and continues to embrace aspects of socialism they refuse to believe exists in America.......the effects of MSM brainwashing and propaganda. China is attempting a mixed economy favoring socialism AFAICT

[Feb 06, 2019] House Democrats Will Expand Russiagate in 2019 to Push Trump Toward War

Feb 06, 2019 | sputniknews.com

Radio Sputnik's Loud and Clear spoke with Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books, "The Frozen Republic," "The Velvet Coup" and "America's Undeclared War," about what we can expect from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation in 2019, its third year of operation.

"A House committee can keep the ball rolling indefinitely," Lazare noted. "Nothing solid has turned up about collusion in the Russiagate story. Yet, the story keeps going and going, a new tidbit is put out every week, and so the scandal keeps somehow perpetuating itself. And even though there's less and less of substance coming out, so I expect that'll be the pattern for the next few months, and I expect that the Democrats will revv this whole process up to make it sort of seem as if there really is an avalanche of information crashing down on Trump when there really isn't."

investigation, noting it had produced little to nothing of substance in support of the thesis justifying its existence: that Russia either colluded with the Trump campaign or conspired to interfere in the US election to tilt it in Trump's favor.

Indeed, report after report on the data that has been provided to Congress by tech giants like Facebook, Twitter and Google show an underwhelming performance by any would-be Russian actors. In contrast to the apocalyptic claims by Democrats and the mainstream media about the massive disinformation offensive waged by Russian actors, the websites, social media accounts, post reach and ad money associated with "Russians" is always dwarfed by the equivalent actions of the Trump campaign and the campaign of its rival in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton, along with their throngs of supporters across the US corporate world, both of whom sunk hundreds of millions into winning the social media game.

Among the chief motivations for Democrats going into 2019 is that "Democrats are now the party of war," Lazare said, noting that Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi called Trump's prospective withdrawal from Syria a "Christmas gift to ISIS [Daesh]."

"This is the raison d'etre for Russiagate: they're trying to maneuver Trump into hostilities with Russia, China, North Korea, etc. I mean, this is foreign policy by subterfuge it's about keeping 2,000 troops in Syria as well, and getting Americans' heads blown off in Afghanistan, all of which the Democrats want to do. The whole thing is backroom government of the worst kind."

[Feb 06, 2019] The modern Republican Party is all about cutting taxes on the rich and benefits for the poor and the middle class. And Trump, despite his campaign posturing, has turned out to be no different.

Feb 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

Meanwhile, the modern Republican Party is all about cutting taxes on the rich and benefits for the poor and the middle class. And Trump, despite his campaign posturing, has turned out to be no different.

Hence the failure of our political system to serve socially conservative/racist voters who also want to tax the rich and preserve Social Security. Democrats won't ratify their racism; Republicans, who have no such compunctions, will -- remember, the party establishment solidly backed Roy Moore's Senate bid -- but won't protect the programs they depend on.


Charles Pewitt , says: February 6, 2019 at 7:51 pm GMT

Paul Krugman is a baby boomer, pissant globalizer bastard, but he has made reasonable comments about immigration in the past.

Paul Krugman is a high IQ moron who has occasional bouts of clarity on the anti-worker aspects of mass legal immigration and illegal immigration. Krugman had it right in 2006 when he said that mass immigration lowers wages for workers in the USA.

Krugman in NY Times 2006:

First, the benefits of immigration to the population already here are small. The reason is that immigrant workers are, at least roughly speaking, paid their "marginal product": an immigrant worker is paid roughly the value of the additional goods and services he or she enables the U.S. economy to produce. That means that there isn't anything left over to increase the income of the people already here.

My second negative point is that immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants. That's just supply and demand: we're talking about large increases in the number of low-skill workers relative to other inputs into production, so it's inevitable that this means a fall in wages. Mr. Borjas and Mr. Katz have to go through a lot of number-crunching to turn that general proposition into specific estimates of the wage impact, but the general point seems impossible to deny.

Hypnotoad666 , says: February 6, 2019 at 11:05 pm GMT
@Charles Pewitt I agree Paul Krugman is a high IQ moron.

However, Krugman is also a relentless partisan hack. So his expert analysis always ends up supporting the current Democrat talking points -- whatever they may be.

Here, Krugman is disparaging any move to the center as the DNC wants to keep the Dems unified on the left and keep Schultz (or anyone like him) out of the race. Of course, the real reason Schultz has massively negative polling is because the Democrat establishment has been savaging him for precisely this reason.

Likewise, to Krugman a "Racist" politician is anyone who holds the same immigration position as Krugman did in 2006, which is now anathema to the Dem's new Open Borders electoral strategy.

It's only a matter of time until Krugman starts talking up Kamala Harris as the best thing that could happen for the economy.

TG , says: February 7, 2019 at 12:16 am GMT
Bottom line: Krugman – like any economist who was gifted with a fake Nobel Prize in Economics by his wealthy patrons (the Nobel Prize in Economics does not exist – check out wikipedia!) – is a whore whose only function is to protect the left flank of our corrupt and rapacious elite.

He's not a moron, and he's certainly not a liberal. His job – which pays very well mind you – is to pretend to be a sorta-kinda Keynesian New Dealer, but in reality, anything that the rich wants, he will end up defending. And even if he sorta kinda claims to be opposing something that the rich want which will impoverish the rest of us, when it comes to the bottom line, he will ruthlessly attack any opposition to these policies.

[Feb 05, 2019] Problem with the corrupt, sclerotic and comatose Democratic establishment (Pelosi, Schumer)

First of all financial oligarchy should be taxes and Glass-Steagall reinstalled. Reinstallation of Grass-Steagall is very important as well as raising capital gains taxes. So Warren should concentrate on attacking financial casino first...
Notable quotes:
"... We already saw this with minimum wage proposals, where minimum wages were raised by voter initiative, while Democratic candidates refuse to endorse them and lost. ..."
"... Yet kurt insists that we shouldn't be critical of the corrupt and comatose Democratic leadership, even though they clearly don't represent the vast majority of Democrats. I mean, what's democracy for, if not to follow corrupt leaders in lock step? ..."
"... If the Democratic elite is so enamored of taxing the wealthy, why is it that the DCCC never manages to stand candidates who share that view? ..."
"... Democratic perfidy on taxes dates back to JFK, when Kennedy (a plutocrat) starting cutting them on the his class. After that Tip O'Neill exacerbated the Democratic sell-out by embracing Reagan's tax cuts. ..."
"... It is time for America to live up to it's hyperbole. There are two parties in America. The GOP represents the top 1 %. The Clinton Democrats represent the top 10 %. ..."
"... The unrepresented 90 %, pay the bills, fight the wars, and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune. ..."
"... A 50% reduction in the military budget would serve two masters. Firstly, it may force, a long overdue, economic efficiency on an out of control, wasteful monopolist, that has lost it's way. I'm pretty sure they can provide, at the least, the lame defense they have been providing, at half the cost. Secondly, with the savings, we can provide our citizens with health care, including dental. ..."
"... Our military will scream loudly, like the despots they idolize. Luckily, we have a cadre of true American soldiers that can replace the corrupt dogs of war, currently in control. ..."
Feb 05, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
JohnH, January 29, 2019 at 12:04 PM
Litmus test for Democrats:
  • Warren wealth tax
  • AOC Green New Deal
  • AOC 70% Tax

Polls show that Democrats overwhelmingly favor the two AOC proposals and probably the Warren proposal as well.

Problem is that the corrupt, sclerotic and comatose Democratic establishment (Pelosi, Schumer) would rather squelch such proposals, preferring to lose elections to endorsing and enacting them.

We already saw this with minimum wage proposals, where minimum wages were raised by voter initiative, while Democratic candidates refuse to endorse them and lost.

Democrats' mantra--'no, we can't.'

JohnH -> kurt... , January 31, 2019 at 07:34 AM
Green New Deal, wealth tax, and 70% income tax are campaign issue made in heaven for Pelosi, Schumer, and party leaders...but they are nowhere to be found. They regard the proposals as politically unfeasible, because their handlers are staunchly opposed.

Yet kurt insists that we shouldn't be critical of the corrupt and comatose Democratic leadership, even though they clearly don't represent the vast majority of Democrats. I mean, what's democracy for, if not to follow corrupt leaders in lock step?

JohnH -> kurt... , February 01, 2019 at 01:17 PM
Fact free assertion: "Pelosi is supportive of a much higher marginal rate." LOL!!!

If the Democratic elite is so enamored of taxing the wealthy, why is it that the DCCC never manages to stand candidates who share that view?

kurt (as usual) is delusional...or is gullible enough to believe their words and ignore their action.

Christopher H. said in reply to kurt... , February 01, 2019 at 02:34 PM
"Oh - Pelosi is supportive of a much higher marginal rate and welcomes AOC and has said so repeatedly so there's that."

Stop you're lying.

"You and your bretheren should double check your thoughts about Pelosi and Schumer - recognize the difference between political posturing and reality - and then check to see if what you believe has a real basis in reality or if it is just the bothsidism of the press providing you with the BS position of the right."

Follow your own advice. You lie constantly and are full of it.

JohnH -> kurt... , February 01, 2019 at 02:02 PM

Democratic perfidy on taxes dates back to JFK, when Kennedy (a plutocrat) starting cutting them on the his class. After that Tip O'Neill exacerbated the Democratic sell-out by embracing Reagan's tax cuts.

Pelosi is following a long tradition of Democrats who pander to the wealthy...behaving like Republicans but trying to make-believe that they represent we, the people.

Gerald -> JohnH... , January 31, 2019 at 07:55 AM
There are serious objections on the left to the Warren plan, one of which appeared yesterday: http://time.com/5516903/elizabeth-warren-wealth-tax-income-assets/ Tons of objections on the right, of course, to everything on your litmus test. :)
JohnH -> Gerald... , January 31, 2019 at 02:11 PM
Sure, we should fix the income tax...but that largely leaves out established wealth...plutocrats who largely live off their rents.

I pay at a rate of almost 2% on my house...France had a wealth tax...it can be done. Sweeping it under the rug, as Democrats love to do, only guarantees that it will be buried, the implicit Democratic position.

In any case, the income tax and wealth tax proposals are ideal for Democrats...if they want to win elections rather than simply pander to their wealthy donors.

Mr. Bill -> JohnH... , January 31, 2019 at 07:47 PM
It is time for America to live up to it's hyperbole. There are two parties in America. The GOP represents the top 1 %. The Clinton Democrats represent the top 10 %.

The unrepresented 90 %, pay the bills, fight the wars, and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune.

Time for equality is long past due.

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:14 PM
A 50% reduction in the military budget would serve two masters. Firstly, it may force, a long overdue, economic efficiency on an out of control, wasteful monopolist, that has lost it's way. I'm pretty sure they can provide, at the least, the lame defense they have been providing, at half the cost. Secondly, with the savings, we can provide our citizens with health care, including dental.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:19 PM
Our military will scream loudly, like the despots they idolize. Luckily, we have a cadre of true American soldiers that can replace the corrupt dogs of war, currently in control.

[Feb 05, 2019] Capitalists need their options regulated and their markets ripped from their control by the state. Profits must be subject to use it to a social purpose or heavily taxed. Dividends executive comp and interest payments included

Feb 05, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:22 PM

Is anyone else tired of the longest, least productive waste of war in American history ? What have we achieved, where are we going with this ? More war.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:31 PM
We are being fed a fairy tale of war about what men, long dead, did. And the reason they did it. America is being strangled by the burden of belief that now is like then.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:46 PM
By the patrician men and women administrators, posturing as soldiers like the WW2 army, lie for self profit. Why does anyone believe them ? Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, each an economic decision, rather than a security issue.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:48 PM
America is dying on the same sword as Rome, for the same reason.
Plp -> JF... , January 31, 2019 at 07:28 AM
Capitalists need their options regulated and their markets ripped from their control by the state. Profits must be subject to use it to a social purpose or heavily taxed. Dividends executive comp and interest payments included
Julio -> mulp ... , January 31, 2019 at 08:58 AM
Well done! Much clearer than your usual. There are several distinct motivations for taxes. We have been far enough from fairness to workers, for so long, that we need to use the tax system to redistribute the accumulated wealth of the plutocrats.

So I would say high marginal rates are a priority, which matches both objectives. Wealth tax is needed until we reverse the massive inequality supported by the policies of the last 40 years.

Carbon tax and the like are a different thing, use of the tax code to promote a particular policy and reduce damage to the commons.

Gerald -> Julio ... , January 31, 2019 at 04:14 PM
"...we need to use the tax system to redistribute the accumulated wealth of the plutocrats. So I would say high marginal rates are a priority..."

Forgive me, but high marginal rates (which I hugely favor) don't "redistribute the accumulated wealth" of the plutocrats. If such high marginal rates are ever enacted, they'll apply only to the current income of such plutocrats.

Julio -> Gerald... , January 31, 2019 at 06:22 PM
You merged paragraphs, and elided the next one. The way I see it, high rates are a prerequisite to prevent the reaccumulation of obscene wealth, and its diversion into financial gambling.

But yes that would be a very slow way to redistribute what has already accumulated.

Gerald -> Julio ... , February 01, 2019 at 04:48 AM
Didn't mean to misinterpret what you were saying, sorry. High rates are not only "a prerequisite to prevent the reaccumulation of obscene wealth," they are also a reimposition of fair taxation on current income (if it ever happens, of course).
Global Groundhog -> Julio ... , February 02, 2019 at 01:39 PM
Wealth tax is needed until we reverse the massive inequality supported by the policies of the last 40 years. Carbon tax and the like are a different thing, use of the tax code to promote a particular policy and reduce damage to the commons.
"

more wisdom as usual!

Although wealth tax will be unlikely, it could be a stopgap; could also be a guideline to other taxes as well. for example, Elizabeth points out that billionaires pay about 3% of their net worth into their annual tax bill whereas workers pay about 7% of their net worth into their annual tax bill. Do you see how that works?

it doesn't? this Warren argument gives us a guideline. it shows us where other taxes should be adjusted to even out this percentage of net worth that people are taxed for. Ceu, during the last meltdown 10 years or so ago, We were collecting more tax from the payroll than we were from the income tax. this phenomenon was a heavy burden on those of low net worth. All this needs be resorted. we've got to sort this out.

and the carbon tax? may never be; but it indicates to us what needs to be done to make this country more efficient. for example some folks, are spending half a million dollars on the Maybach automobile, about the same amount on a Ferrari or a Alfa Romeo Julia quadrifoglio, but the roads are built for a mere 40 miles an hour, full of potholes.

What good is it to own a fast car like that when you can't drive but 40 -- 50 miles an hour? and full of traffic jams. something is wrong with taxation incentives. we need to get a better grid-work of roads that will get people there faster.

Meanwhile most of those sports cars just sitting in the garage. we need a comprehensive integrated grid-work of one way streets, roads, highways, and interstates with no traffic lights, no stop signs; merely freeflow ramp-off overpass interchanges.

thanks, Julio! thanks
again
.!

JF -> Global Groundhog... , February 04, 2019 at 05:42 AM
Wonderful to see the discussion about public finance shifting to use net worth proportions as the focus and metric.

Wonderful. Let us see if press/media stories and opinion pieces use this same way of talking about the financing of self-government.

Mr. Bill -> anne... , February 03, 2019 at 08:15 PM
Jesus Christ said, in so many words, that a man's worth will be judged by his generosity and his avarice.

" 24And the disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 26They were even more astonished and said to one another, "Who then can be saved?"

[Feb 02, 2019] "They Are Suspicious of Beto" Why Are Democrats Trying to Annihilate an O'Rourke Campaign Before It Has Even Started

Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post, ..."
Feb 02, 2019 | www.vanityfair.com

"People on the left that identify as Democratic socialist, the left that supports Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for them, Bernie got robbed in 2016," said Michael Kazin, the Georgetown University historian and co-editor of Dissent. "They think the Establishment is always looking for someone to go against Bernie -- to run against progressives in the party and stop them from being ascendant. I think they are suspicious of Beto because he has taken oil and gas money, he's becoming the darling of big donors, and Obama likes him."

Being liked by Obama, who won two presidential elections and left office with an 90 percent favorable rating among Democrats, might not seem like a disadvantage in a Democratic primary. But to many on the left, Obama's sins are plentiful: he bailed out Wall Street, half-assed the stimulus package and health-care reform, deported more undocumented immigrants than any president, and prosecuted drone warfare that left piles of civilian casualties across the Middle East. What especially chafes Sanders-style progressives is that Obama cloaked a centrist neoliberal agenda in a soaring, feel-good rhetoric that charmed voters and made them forget about all the bad stuff.

Obama was cool. So is O'Rourke. The lines, then, are quickly being drawn: Beto is just a Davos Democrat on a skateboard.

"I'm not sure we need another Obama, or another of any Democrat we've had recently," Elizabeth Bruenig recently wrote in The Washington Post, urging caution before Democrats rush to O'Rourke's corner. "I think the times both call for and allow for a left-populist candidate with uncompromising progressive principles. I don't see that in O'Rourke." She labeled O'Rourke "progressive-ish," pointing to his "thin" statements on energy regulation and his membership in the New Democrat Coalition, "a centrist caucus with Clintonian views on health care, education, and trade."

[Jan 29, 2019] These 2020 hopefuls are courting Wall Street. Don t be fooled by their progressive veneer by Bhaskar Sunkara

Highly recommended!
Taming of financial oligarchy and restoration of the job market at the expense of outsourcing and offshoring is required in the USA and gradually getting support. At least a return to key elements of the New Deal should be in the cards. But Clinton wing of Dems is beong redemption. They are Wall Street puddles. all of the them.
Issues like Medicare for All, Free College, Restoring Glass Steagall, Ending Citizen's United/Campaign finance reform, federal jobs guarantee, criminal justice reform, all poll extremely well among the american populace
If even such a neoliberal pro globalization, corporations controlled media source as Guardian views centrist neoliberal Democrats like Booker unelectable, the situation in the next elections might be interesting.
Notable quotes:
"... Bhaskar Sunkara is a Guardian US columnist and the founding editor of Jacobin ..."
"... 2016 has shown that the Democratic party is beyond redemption. When it comes down to the choice of either win with a platform that may impact the wealth and power of their owners, or losing, they will always choose the latter, and continue as useful (and well paid) idiots in the charade presented as US democracy. ..."
Jan 15, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

In their rhetoric and policy advocacy, this trio has been steadily moving to the left to keep pace with a leftward-moving Democratic party. Booker , Harris and Gillibrand know that voters demand action and are more supportive than ever of Medicare for All and universal childcare.
Gillibrand, long considered a moderate, has even gone as far as to endorse abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) and, along with Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders' single-payer healthcare bill. Harris has also backed universal healthcare and free college tuition for most Americans.

But outward appearances aren't everything. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand have been making a very different pitch of late -- on Wall Street. According to CNBC , all three potential candidates have been reaching out to financial executives lately, including Blackstone's Jonathan Gray, Robert Wolf from 32 Advisors and the Centerbridge Partners founder Mark Gallogly.

Wall Street, after all, played an important role getting the senators where they are today. During his 2014 Senate run, in which just 7% of his contributions came from small donors, Booker raised $2.2m from the securities and investment industry. Harris and Gillibrand weren't far behind in 2018, and even the progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown has solicited donations from Gallogly and other powerful executives.

When CNBC's story about Gillibrand personally working the phones to woo Wall Street executives came out, her team responded defensively, noting her support for financial regulation and promising that if she did run she would take "no corporate Pac money". But what's most telling isn't that Gillibrand and others want Wall Street's money, it's that they want the blessings of financial CEOs. Even if she doesn't take their contributions, she's signaling that she's just playing politics with populist rhetoric. That will allow capitalists to focus their attention on candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have shown a real willingness to abandon the traditional coziness of the Democratic party with the finance, insurance and real estate industries.

Gillibrand and others are behaving perfectly rationally. The last presidential election cost $6.6bn -- advertising, staff and conventions are expensive. But even more important than that, they know that while leftwing stances might help win Democratic primaries, the path of least resistance in the general election is capitulation to the big forces of capital that run this country. Those elites might allow some progressive tinkering on the margins, but nothing that challenges the inequities that keep them wealthy and their victims weak.

Big business is likely to bet heavily on the Democratic party in 2020, maybe even more so than it did in 2016. In normal circumstances, the Democratic party is the second-favorite party of capital; with an erratic Trump around, it is often the first.

The American ruling class has a nice hustle going with elections. We don't have a labor-backed social democratic party that could create barriers to avoid capture by monied interests. It's telling that when asked about the former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper's recent chats with Wall Street political financiers, a staff member told CNBC: "We meet with a wide range of donors with shared values across sectors."

Plenty of Democratic leaders believe in the neoliberal growth model. Many have gotten personally wealthy off of it. Others think there is no alternative to allying with finance and then trying to create progressive social policy on the margins. But with sentiments like that, it doesn't take fake news to convince working-class Americans that Democrats don't really have their interests at heart.

Of course, the Democratic party isn't a monolith. But the insurgency waged by newly elected representatives such as the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna and others is still in its infancy. At this stage, it isn't going to scare capital away from the Democratic party, it's going to make Wall Street invest more heavily to maintain its stake in it.

Men like Mark Gallogly know who their real enemy is: more than anyone else, the establishment is wary of Bernie Sanders . It seems likely that he will run for president, but he's been dismissed as a 2020 frontrunner despite his high favorability rates, name recognition, small-donor fundraising ability, appeal to independent voters, and his team's experience running a competitive national campaign. As 2019 goes on, that dismissal will morph into all-out war.

Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats gaining power. It's afraid of the Democrats who will take them on -- and those, unfortunately, are few and far between.

Bhaskar Sunkara is a Guardian US columnist and the founding editor of Jacobin

memo10 -> Karen Maddening , 15 Jan 2019 14:05

Just like universal health care, let's give up, it's too hard, we're not winners, we're not number one or problem solvers and besides, someone at some time for some reason might get something that someone else might not get regardless if that someone else needs it. Let's go with the Berners who seem to believe there will never be none so pure enough to become president.

The corporate state does not cast the votes. The public does.

Leaning farther to the left on issues like universal healthcare and foreign wars would be agreeing with the public. Not only the progressive public, but the GENERAL public. The big money donors are the ONLY force against the Democrats resisting these things.

mp66 , 15 Jan 2019 13:38
2016 has shown that the Democratic party is beyond redemption. When it comes down to the choice of either win with a platform that may impact the wealth and power of their owners, or losing, they will always choose the latter, and continue as useful (and well paid) idiots in the charade presented as US democracy.
Pete Healey , 15 Jan 2019 13:31
Bernie's challenge will "morph into all-out war". "Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats", blah, blah, blah. But we're going to continue to play along? Why? Oh yeah, Bhaskar Sunkara will have us believe "There is no alternative". Remember TINA? Give it up, man, just give it up.
yayUSA , 15 Jan 2019 13:17
Tulsi entering is big news.
Danexmachina , 15 Jan 2019 12:31
One dollar, one vote.
If you want Change, keep it in your pocket.
We can't turn this sinking ship around unless we know what direction it's going. So far, that direction is just delivering money to private islands.
Democrats have a lot of talk, but they still want to drive the nice cars and sell the same crapft that the Republicans are.
Taxing the rich only works when you worship the rich in the first place.
Tim Cahill , 15 Jan 2019 12:00
Election financing is the single root cause for our democracy's failure. Period.

I really don't care too much about the mouthing of progressive platitudes from any 2020 Dem Prez candidate. The only ones that will be worth voting for are the ones that sign onto Sanders' (or similar) legislation that calls for a Constitutional amendment that allows federal and state governments to limit campaign contributions.

And past committee votes to prevent amendment legislation from getting to a floor vote - as well as missed co-sponsorship opportunities - should be interesting history for all the candidates to explain.

Campaign financing is what keeps scum entrenched (because primary challengers can't overcome the streams of bribes from those wonderful people exercising their 'free speech' "rights" to keep their puppet in govt) and prevents any challenges to the corporate establishment who serve the same rich masters.

Lenny Dirges -> Vintage59 , 15 Jan 2019 11:55
Lol, Social Security, Medicare, unemployement protections, so many of the things you mentioned, and so much more, were from the PROGRESSIVE New Deal, which managed to implement this slew of changes in 5 years! 5 years! You can't criticize "progressives" in one sentence and then use their accomplishments to support your argument. Today, the New Deal would be considered too far left by most so called "pragmatic liberals." I assume you are getting fully behind the proposed "Green New Deal" then, right?
memo10 -> L C , 15 Jan 2019 11:54

Vintage59 pointed out lots of things people have changed. Here's an exhaustive list of the legislation passed by people who didn't get elected but were more progressive than the people who did:

There is also a steadily growing list of Democrats who did worse in elections than a hypothetical Democratic candidate had been projected to do.

The party can either continue being GOP-Lite or it can start winning elections. It can't do both.

memo10 -> 2miners , 15 Jan 2019 11:49

Forget it Bernie and Co. -with the women haters in his ranks and his apparent tepid support from African Americans he's way off the pace

Way off the pace compared to who? Trump?

memo10 -> IamDolf , 15 Jan 2019 11:44

Nobody is going to get elected on a far left platform. Not in the USA and not anywhere. That's just a fact. And everybody is going to need $$$ in the campaign. Of course candidates are going to suck up to Wall street and business in general.
And we would have been a thousand percent better off with HRC in the white house than we are now with the Trumpostor.

We don't need a candidate with far-left platform, we need one that is left-leaning at all. HRC and her next generation of clones are mild Republicans.

memo10 -> xxxaaaxxx , 15 Jan 2019 11:40

Those who want to push the Democrats to the left in order to win perhaps need to stop talking to each other and talk to people who live outside of LA and NY. If you stay within your bubble it seems the whole world thinks like you.
How old will Sanders be in 2020?

The people (outside the coasts) lean to the left some big issues. Medicare for all. Foreign wars. etc.

A sane person might ask why in the hell the left-side party is leaning farther to the right than the general public.

memo10 -> Peter Krall , 15 Jan 2019 11:17

Sanders is a dinosaur. If there is a reason for Wall Street to be wary of him then it is that the mentally challenged orange guy may win another term if the Democrats run with Sanders.

Hopefully, Sanders will understand what many of his supporters do not want to see: At some time age becomes a problem. If the Democrats decide to move to the left rather than pursuing a pragmatic centrist approach, Ocasio-Cortez might be an option. If they opt for the centrist alternative, it might be Harris or Gillibrand. Or, in both cases, a surprise candidate. But Sanders' time is over, just as Biden's Bloomberg's.

It's true, but Trump is such a clusterfuck that an 80yo president is still be a better situation. Many countries have had rulers in their 80s at one time or another.

Trump is clearly showing early-stage dementia now. Compare footage of him 10+ years ago to anything within the last 6-12 months and it's obvious. The stress levels of being the POTUS + blackmailed by Putin + investigations bearing down on him . . . it's wearing him down fast.

L C -> HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 11:15
Anti-trust would be a very good place to start with.

Universal healthcare is a lot harder than you seem to think. I'd love it, but getting there means putting so many people out of work, it'll be a massive political challenge, even if corporations have no influence. Progressives might be better off focusing on how to ensure the existing system works better and Medicaid can slowly expand to fill the universal roll in the future.

Vintage59 -> BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 11:05
Wall Street is a casino. The House never loses.
Vintage59 -> Lenny Dirges , 15 Jan 2019 11:02
Everything changes constantly.

Where has offering candidates who actually have a chance to win gotten us? Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, the ADA, Title 9, Social Security, and more. None of these exist without constant changes. All took years to pass against heavy opposition. None went far enough. All were improvements.

The list of wrongheaded things that were also passed is longer but thinking nothing changes because it takes time is faulty logic.

ytram -> ChesBay , 15 Jan 2019 10:30
Our capitalist predators are still alive and well. The finance, insurance, and real estate
organizations are the worst predators in the USA.
They will eat your babies if you let them.

[Jan 24, 2019] Nancy Pelosi fits the classic Soviet politburo member with their private dachas on the Black Sea. Nancy believes she is now the opposition leader with the mandate from the Party of Davos to ensure the defeat of Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Nancy believes she is now the opposition leader with the mandate from the Party of Davos to ensure the defeat of Trump. ..."
Jan 24, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Jack , a day ago

Sir

Nancy Pelosi is worth several hundred million dollars. I don't think she's a Marxist in the classical sense. Although she would fit the classic Soviet politburo member with their private dachas on the Black Sea. I would argue she and her ilk across both parties have enabled massive market concentration across many many sectors just in the past 4 decades. They're elitists who back an oligarchy of their fellow elitists. They are the basis for the symbiotic relationship between Big Business and Big Government. As Steve Bannon calls them, they're the Party of Davos. IMO, the only difference between the two parties are their rhetoric. Both of course engage in identity politics with the Democrats focused on the SJW virtue signaling while the Republicans have for decades channeled the evangelicals.

Trump is an outsider. They consider him to be an uncouth nouveau riche. And are appalled that his media savvy upended their Borg candidates. Nancy believes she is now the opposition leader with the mandate from the Party of Davos to ensure the defeat of Trump. This brouhaha over SOTU is just the first skirmish. I wouldn't underestimate Trump in these media centered battles. While the corporate media who as Bannon calls the opposition party creates the perception of a Trump administration in chaos, the Deplorables are still backing him. His approval rating at this midway point in his presidency is no worse than Obama and even GOP megagod Reagan. It's the reaction of the people from the heartland when he served the Clemson team Big Macs and fries compared to the derisive commentary of the urban/suburban crowd.

McConnell is also a card carrying member of the Party of Davos or else he would have jumped to invite Trump to speak from the Senate. But Trump's shtick is the people's leader. So he should speak from a heartland location. Your suggestion is a good one. Another could be a cornfield in Iowa, the first primary state where all the Democrats presidential contenders will be camping out soon.

[Jan 22, 2019] Neoliberal Dems circled wagons and used Russiagate to avoid the necessary changes: they are now doomed

Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

ravioliollie -> lullu616 , 15 Jan 2019 08:55

As usual, the pledge ultimately never changes, New jobs and No increase in taxes. Americans love tag lines even though our infrastructure, poor education et al is the result of fear of taxation. Both parties use the same tag line, we certainly get what we pay for.
TempsdesRoses , 15 Jan 2019 08:47
Yep,
The party has circled its wagons.
They insist that the Evil Vlad stole the last election.
Therefore, no need to examine Obama's centrist/neoliberal policies and the socio-economic conditions that fueled the rejection of Hillary.
We're doomed to repeat our errors.
The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo.

[Jan 22, 2019] The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big factor in our 2016 loss.

Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Art Glick

, 15 Jan 2019 09:44
The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big factor in our 2016 loss. Even voters too ignorant to see Trump for what he really was - voters that are misinformed to the point that they unwittingly and continually vote against their own best interests - realized how much the Dems have sold out to Wall Street.

HRC would have been nominated in '08 if she had kissed more Wall Street you-know-what. That's why they anointed Obama who then proceeded to squander eight years of opportunity to remove big money from politics and enact progressive reforms to health care, the environment, etc.

Bernie is a bit long in the tooth, so I am all in for Liz Warren. She's the only one with both the courage and the intelligence to take on the big money that controls our politics.

Therefore, you can expect the Russian trolls to be coming for her in force. If you read anything negative about Warren in the coming months, check the source and don't trust the accuracy.

[Jan 22, 2019] Mounting a campaign against plutocracy makes as much sense to the typical Washington liberal as would circulating a petition against gravity.

Jan 22, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"Mounting a campaign against [financial] plutocracy makes as much sense to the typical Washington liberal as would circulating a petition against gravity.

What our modernized liberal leaders offer is not confrontation but a kind of therapy for those flattened by the free-market hurricane: they counsel us to accept the inevitability of the situation."

Thomas Frank, Rendezvous With Oblivion

[Jan 22, 2019] The French Anti-Neoliberal Revolution. On the conditions for its success by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The French bourgeoisie is the politically most experienced ruling class in Europe. It has no illusions about the challenge it faces. Le Point put its file on the revolt of the vests under the self-telling title "What is waiting us". ..."
"... But it's not only the king who is naked. The whole system is naked. In the many pages devoted by the magazine to demonstrate that what the Vests want is unfeasible, not even a single serious word is written about what needs to be done to deal with the deep causes which led the French to revolt. Today's capitalism of Macron, Merkel and Trump does not produce a Roosevelt and New Deal or Popular Fronts – and we have to wait to see if it will produce a Hitler as some are trying to achieve. For the time being, it only produces Yellow Vests! ..."
"... In Oscar Wilde's masterpiece "The Picture of Dorian Gray", the main character looks every night at his horrible real self in the mirror. But he looks at it alone. ..."
"... This is where Macron made his most fatal mistake, being arrogant and markedly cut off from reality – with the confidence given to him by the mighty elite forces, which elected him and by his contempt of the common people which characterizes him. ..."
"... Observing Macron, the people understood what lied ahead for them. They felt their backs against the wall – they felt that they had only themselves to rely on, that they had to take themselves action to save themselves and their country. ..."
"... This was the decisive moment, the moment the historical mission of Macron was achieved . By establishing the most absolute control of Finance over Politics, he himself invited Revolution. His triumph and his tragedy came together. ..."
"... Many established "leftists" or "radical" intellectuals, who used to feverishly haul capitalism over the coals – although the last thing they really wanted was to experience a real revolution during their lifetime – they too, stand now frightened, looking at an angry Bucephalus running ahead of them. They prefer a stable capitalism, of which they can constitute its "consciousness", writing books, appearing on shows and giving lectures, analyzing its crises and explaining its tribulations. They idea that the People could at some point take seriously what they themselves said, never crossed their minds either! ..."
"... Today, four out of five French people disapprove of Macron's policies and one in two demands that he resigns immediately. We assume that this percentage is greater than the percentage of Russians who wanted the ousting of Tsar Nicholas II in February 1917. ..."
"... France is currently almost in a state of Power Vacuum . The president and the government cannot in essence govern and the people cannot tolerate them. It is not a situation of dual power, but a situation of dual legitimacy , in Mélenchon 's accurate description. ..."
"... This is a typical definition of a revolutionary situation . As history teaches us, the emergence of such a situation is necessary but not sufficient condition for a victorious Revolution. What is required in or order to turn a rebellion into a potentially victorious Revolution, is a capable and decided leadership and an adequate strategy, program and vision. These elements do not seem to exist, at last not for now, in today's France, as they did not exist in May 1968 or during the Russian Revolution of February 1917. Therefore, the present situation remains open to all possible eventualities; there must be no doubt however, that this is the beginning of a period of intense political and class conflicts in Europe, and that the Europe, as we know it, is already history. ..."
"... Or at least, for the people to be given the opportunity to develop an effective way of controlling state power. ..."
"... By reversing Marx's famous formula in German Ideology , the ideas of the dominant class do not dominate society. This is why the situation can be described as revolutionary. ..."
"... Although it is difficult to form an opinion from afar about how the situation may unfold, the formation of a such a United Front from grassroots could perhaps offer a way out with regards to the need for a political leadership for the movement, or even of the need to work out a transitional economic program for France, which must also serve as a transitional program for Europe . ..."
"... Contrary to how things were a century ago, certain factors such as the educational level of the lower social classes, the existence of a number of critical, radical thinkers with the necessary intellectual skills and the Internet, render such a possibility a much more realistic scenario today, than in the past. ..."
Jan 14, 2019 | www.defenddemocracy.press

The magazine Le Point is one of the main media outlets of the French conservative "centre-right". One of its December issues carries the cover title France Faces its History. 1648, 1789, 1830, 1848, 1871 four centuries of revolutions.

The cover features also a painting by Pierre-Jérôme Lordon, showing people clashing with the army at Rue de Babylone , in Paris, during the Revolution of 1830. Perhaps this is where Luc Ferry, Chirac's former minister, got his idea from, when, two days ago, he asked the Army to intervene and the police to start shooting and killing Yellow Vests.

Do not be surprised if you haven't heard this from your TV or if you don't know that the level of police repression and violence in France, measured in people dead, injured and arrested, has exceeded everything the country has experienced since 1968. Nor should you wonder why you don't know anything about some Yellow Vest's new campaign calling for a massive run on French banks. Or why you have been lead you to believe that the whole thing is to do with fuel taxes or increasing minimum wage.

The vast majority of European media didn't even bother to communicate to their readers or viewers the main political demands of the Yellow Vests ; and certainly, there hasn't been any meaningful attempt to offer an insightful interpretation of what's happening in France and there is just very little serious on-the-ground reporting, in the villages and motorways of France.

Totalitarianism

Following Napoleon's defeat in Waterloo, European Powers formed the Holy Alliance banning Revolutions.

Nowadays, Revolutions have just been declared inconceivable (Soros – though not just him – has been giving a relentless fight to take them out of history textbooks or, as a minimum, to erase their significance and meaning). Since they are unthinkable they cannot happen. Since they cannot happen they do not happen.

In the same vein, European media sent their journalists out to the streets in Paris on Christmas and New Year's days, counted the protesters and found that they weren't too many after all. Of course they didn't count the 150,000 police and soldiers lined up by Macron on New Year's Eve. Then they made sure that they remain "impartial" and by just comparing numbers of protesters, led viewers to think that we are almost done with it – it was just a storm, it will pass.

The other day I read a whole page article about Europe in one of the most "serious" Greek newspapers, on 30.12. The author devoted just one single meaningless phrase about the Vests. Instead, the paper still found the way to include in the article the utterly stupid statement of a European Right-Wing politician who attributed the European crisis to the existence of Russia Today and Sputnik! And when I finally found a somewhat more serious article online about the developments in France, I realized that its only purpose was to convince us that what is happening in France surely has nothing to do with 1789 or 1968!

It is only a pity that the people concerned, the French themselves, cannot read in Greek. If they could, they would have realized that it does not make any sense to have "Revolution" written on their vests or to sing the 1789 song in their demonstrations or to organize symbolic ceremonies of the public "decapitation" of Macron, like Louis XV. And the French bourgeois press would not waste time everyday comparing what happens in the country now with what happened in 1968 and 1789.

Totalitarianism is not just a threat. It's already here. Simply it has omitted to announce its arrival. We have to deduce its precence from its results.

A terrified ruling class

The French bourgeoisie is the politically most experienced ruling class in Europe. It has no illusions about the challenge it faces. Le Point put its file on the revolt of the vests under the self-telling title "What is waiting us".

A few months ago, all we had about Macron in the papers was praise, inside and outside of France – he was the "rising star" of European politics, the man who managed to pass the "reforms" one after the other, no resistance could stop him, he would be the one to save and rebuild Europe. Varoufakis admired and supported him, as early as of the first round of the 2017 elections.

Now, the "chosen one" became a burden for those who put him in office. Some of them probably want to get rid of him as fast as they can, to replace him with someone else, but it's not easy – and even more so, it is not easy given the monarchical powers conferred by the French constitution to the President. The constitution is tailored to the needs of a President who wants to safeguard power from the people. Those who drafted it could not probably imagine it would make difficult for the Oligarchy also to fire him!

Read also: Scandaleux : le fondateur du parti fasciste ukrainien Svoboda reçu à l'Assemblée et au Sénat !

And who would dare to hold a parliamentary or presidential election in such a situation, as in France today? No one knows what could come out of it. Moreover, Macron does not have a party in the sense of political power. He has a federation of friends who benefit as long as he stays in power and they are damaged when he collapses.

The King is naked

"The King is naked", points out Le Point's editorial, before, with almost sadistic callousness, posing the question: "What can a government do when a remarkable section of the people vomits it?"

But it's not only the king who is naked. The whole system is naked. In the many pages devoted by the magazine to demonstrate that what the Vests want is unfeasible, not even a single serious word is written about what needs to be done to deal with the deep causes which led the French to revolt. Today's capitalism of Macron, Merkel and Trump does not produce a Roosevelt and New Deal or Popular Fronts – and we have to wait to see if it will produce a Hitler as some are trying to achieve. For the time being, it only produces Yellow Vests!

They predicted it, they saw it coming, but they didn't believe it!

Yet they could have predicted all that. It would have sufficed, had they only taken seriously and studied a book published in France in late 2016, six months before the presidential election, highlighting the explosive nature of the social situation and warning of the danger of revolution and civil war.

The title of the book was "Revolution". Its author was none other than Emmanuel Macron himself. Six months later, he would become the President of France, to eventually verify, and indeed rather spectacularly, his predictions. But the truth is probably, that not even he himself gave much credit to what he wrote just to win the election.

By constantly lying, politicians, journalists and intellectuals reasonably came to believe that even their own words are of no importance. That they can say and do anything they want, without any consequence.

In Oscar Wilde's masterpiece "The Picture of Dorian Gray", the main character looks every night at his horrible real self in the mirror. But he looks at it alone.

This is where Macron made his most fatal mistake, being arrogant and markedly cut off from reality – with the confidence given to him by the mighty elite forces, which elected him and by his contempt of the common people which characterizes him.

Unwise and Arrogant, he made no effort to hide – this is how sure he felt of himself, this is how convinced his environment was that he could infinitely go on doing anything he wanted without any consequences (same as our Tsipras). Thus, acting foolishly and arrogantly, he left a few million eyes to see his real face. This was the last straw that made the French people realize in a definite way what they had already started figuring out during Sarkozy's and Hollande's, administration, or even earlier. Observing Macron, the people understood what lied ahead for them. They felt their backs against the wall – they felt that they had only themselves to rely on, that they had to take themselves action to save themselves and their country.

There was nobody else to make it in their place.

Macron as a Provocateur. Terror in Pompeii

This was the decisive moment, the moment the historical mission of Macron was achieved . By establishing the most absolute control of Finance over Politics, he himself invited Revolution. His triumph and his tragedy came together.

It was just then, that Bucephalus (*) sprang from the depths of historical Memory, galloping without a rider, ready to sweep away everything in his path.

Now those in power look at him with fear, but fearful too are both the "radical right" and the "radical left". Le Pen has already called on protesters to return to their homes and give her names to include in her list for the European election!

Mélenchon supports the Vests – 70% of their demands coincide with the program of his party, La France Insoumise – but so far he hasn't dared to join the people in demanding Macron's resignation, by adopting the immense, but orphan, cry of the people heard all over France: "Macron resign". Perhaps he feels that he hasn't got the steely strength and willpower required for attempting to lead such a movement.

The unions' leadership is doing everything it can to keep the working class away from the Vests, but this stand started causing increasing unrest at its base.

Read also: Macron Prepares a Social War

Many established "leftists" or "radical" intellectuals, who used to feverishly haul capitalism over the coals – although the last thing they really wanted was to experience a real revolution during their lifetime – they too, stand now frightened, looking at an angry Bucephalus running ahead of them. They prefer a stable capitalism, of which they can constitute its "consciousness", writing books, appearing on shows and giving lectures, analyzing its crises and explaining its tribulations. They idea that the People could at some point take seriously what they themselves said, never crossed their minds either!

In fact, this is also a further confirmation of the depth of the movement. Lenin , who, in any event knew something about revolutions, wrote in 1917: "In a revolutionary situation, the Party is a hundred times farther to the left than the Central Committee and the workers a hundred times farther to the left than the Party."

"Revolutionary Situation" and Power Vacuum

Today, four out of five French people disapprove of Macron's policies and one in two demands that he resigns immediately. We assume that this percentage is greater than the percentage of Russians who wanted the ousting of Tsar Nicholas II in February 1917.

France is currently almost in a state of Power Vacuum . The president and the government cannot in essence govern and the people cannot tolerate them. It is not a situation of dual power, but a situation of dual legitimacy , in Mélenchon 's accurate description.

This is a typical definition of a revolutionary situation . As history teaches us, the emergence of such a situation is necessary but not sufficient condition for a victorious Revolution. What is required in or order to turn a rebellion into a potentially victorious Revolution, is a capable and decided leadership and an adequate strategy, program and vision. These elements do not seem to exist, at last not for now, in today's France, as they did not exist in May 1968 or during the Russian Revolution of February 1917. Therefore, the present situation remains open to all possible eventualities; there must be no doubt however, that this is the beginning of a period of intense political and class conflicts in Europe, and that the Europe, as we know it, is already history.

People's Sovereignty at the center of demands

Starting from fuel tax the revolting French have now put at the centre of their demands, in addition to Macron's resignation, the following:

  • preserving the purchasing power of the poorest social strata, e.g. with the abolition of VAT on basic necessities to ensure decent standards of living for the entire population,
  • the right of people to provoke referendums on any issue, the Citizens' Initiative Referendum (RIC), including referendums to revoke elected representatives (the President, MPs, mayors, etc. ) when they violate their mandate, all that in the context of establishing a Sixth French Republic .

In other words, they demand a profound and radical " transformation " of the Western bourgeois-democratic regime, as we know it, towards a form of direct democracy in order to take back the state, which has gradually and in a totalitarian manner – but while keeping up democratic appearances – passed under direct and full control of the Financial Capital and its employees. Or at least, for the people to be given the opportunity to develop an effective way of controlling state power.

These are not the demands of a fun-club of Protagoras or of some left-wing or right-wing groupuscule propagating Self-Management or of some club of intellectuals. Nor are they the demands of only the lowest social strata of the French nation.

They are supported, according to the polls and put forward by at least three quarters of French citizens, including a sizeable portion of the less poor. In such circumstances, these demands constitute in effect the Will of the People, the Will of the Nation.

The Vests are nothing more than its fighting pioneers. And precisely because it is the absolute majority of people who align with these demands, even if numbers have somewhat gone down since the beginning of December, the Vests are still wanted out on the streets.

By reversing Marx's famous formula in German Ideology , the ideas of the dominant class do not dominate society. This is why the situation can be described as revolutionary.

And also because it is not only the President and the Government, who have been debunked or at least de-legitimized, but it's also the whole range of state and political institutions, the parties, the unions, the "information" media and the "ideologists" of the regime.

The questioning of the establishment is so profound that any arguments about violence and the protesters do not weaken society's support for them. Many, but not all, condemn violence, but there are not many who don't go on immediately to add a reminder of the regime's social violence against the people. When a famous ex-boxer lost his temper and reacted by punching a number of violent police officers, protesters set up a fundraising website for his legal fees. In just two hours they managed to raise around 120.000 euro, before removing the page over officials' complaints and threats about keeping a file on anyone who contributes money to support such causes.

Read also: Greece: Creditors out to crush any trace of Syriza disobedience

Until now, an overwhelming majority of the French people supports the demands while an absolute majority shows supports for the demonstrations; but of course, it is difficult to keep such a deadlock and power-void situation going for long. They will sooner or later demand a solution, and in situations such as these it is often the case that public opinion shifts rapidly from the one end of the political spectrum to the other and vice versa, depending on which force appears to be more decisive and capable of driving society out of the crisis.

The organization of the Movement

Because the protesters have no confidence in the parties, the trade unions, or anyone else for that matter, they are driven out of necessity into self-organization, as they already do with the Citizens' Assemblies that are now emerging in villages, cities and motorway camps. Indeed, by the end of the month, if everything goes well, they will hold the first " Assembly of Assemblies ".

Similar developments have also been observed in many revolutionary movements of this kind in various countries. A classic example is the spontaneous formation of the councils ( Soviets ) during the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917.

Although it is difficult to form an opinion from afar about how the situation may unfold, the formation of a such a United Front from grassroots could perhaps offer a way out with regards to the need for a political leadership for the movement, or even of the need to work out a transitional economic program for France, which must also serve as a transitional program for Europe .

Contrary to how things were a century ago, certain factors such as the educational level of the lower social classes, the existence of a number of critical, radical thinkers with the necessary intellectual skills and the Internet, render such a possibility a much more realistic scenario today, than in the past.

Because the movement's Achilles' Heel is that, while it is already in the process of forming a political proposition, it still, at least for now, does not offer any economic alternative or a politically structured, democratically controlled leadership.

Effective Democracy is an absolute requirement in such a front, because it is the only way to synthesize the inevitably different levels of consciousness within the People and to avoid a split of the movement between "left" and "right", between those who are ready to resort to violence to achieve their ends and those who have a preference for more peaceful, gradual processes.

Such a " front " could perhaps also serve as a platform for solidifying a program and vision, to which the various parties and political organizations could contribute.

In her Critique of the Russian Revolution Rosa Luxemburg , the leader of the German Social Democracy was overly critical of the Bolsheviks , even if, I think, a bit too severe in some points. But she closes her critique with the phrase: " They at least dared "

Driven by absolute Need, guided by the specific way its historical experience has formed its consciousness, possessing a Surplus of Consciousness, that is able to feel the unavoidable conclusions coming out of the synthesis of the information we all possess, about both the "quality" of the forces governing our world and the enormous dangers threatening our countries and mankind, the French People, the French Nation has already crossed the Rubicon.

By moving practically to achieve their goals at a massive scale, and regardless of what is to come next, the French people has already made a giant leap up and forward and, once more in its history, it became the world's forerunner in tackling the terrible economic, ecological, nuclear and technological threats against human civilization and its survival.

Without the conscious entry of large masses into the historical scene, with all the dangers and uncertainties that such a thing surely implies, one can hardly imagine how humanity will survive.

Note

(*) Bucephalus was the horse of Alexander the Great, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucephalus

[Jan 17, 2019] The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

TempsdesRoses , 15 Jan 2019 08:47

Yep,
The party has circled its wagons.
They insist that the Evil Vlad stole the last election.
Therefore, no need to examine Obama's centrist/neoliberal policies and the socio-economic conditions that fueled the rejection of Hillary.
We're doomed to repeat our errors.

The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo.

Brassic , 15 Jan 2019 08:21
Excellent article. Thank you.

This is the realistic perspective we have to adopt in the US: the Democratic establishment is part of the neoliberal machinery that has generated Bush's wars, Obama's bank bailouts, deportations, and drone executions, and now Trump's anti-democratic populism.

[Jan 17, 2019] In regards to the Hillary v Bernie question, it also didn't help that the primary vote was wildly skewed by so-called 'superdelegates,' who don't actually commit their votes until the DNC convention

Notable quotes:
"... Bernie's bid was crushed by Clinton's superdelegates. No amount of throwing money against him in the direct sense was doing any good. He took popular positions on issues and stubbornly stayed on-message. ..."
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

cagnusdei -> cagnusdei , 15 Jan 2019 10:53

In regards to the Hillary v Bernie question, it also didn't help that the primary vote was wildly skewed by so-called 'superdelegates,' who don't actually commit their votes until the DNC convention, but were being counted by the media as having already voted for Hillary, which made it appear to many of the uninformed that Bernie didn't have any chance of winning, which may have been intended to keep Bernie supporters home on primary day under the assumption that Hillary was unbeatable.
ehmaybe -> HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 10:52
As sensible as your suggestions may be, what you're calling for would require at least three constitutional amendments to be practical - including scrapping the first amendment.

Maybe we should strive towards attainable goals instead?

cagnusdei -> lullu616 , 15 Jan 2019 10:50
Didn't help that the ostensibly neutral DNC was sending emails saying that they should play up Bernie Sanders' Jewish faith (among other attack strategies), fed debate questions to the Clinton campaign or tried to limit opportunities for Bernie and Hillary to share a stage together.

Bernie Sanders is widely considered by many to be one of the most popular American politicians, more than Trump and certainly more popular than Hillary. I think an interesting phenomenon to notice is the lengths the GOP, in particular, will go to in order to convince the average voter that anything that cuts taxes is inherently good for the 'little guy,' while anything that raises taxes is bad. Trump's recent tax cuts are a good example. Most of the actual cuts go toward the corporations and ultra-wealthy, which just increases the deficit while shifting the proportion of taxes paid onto the middle class. It's a con that many Americans are inexplicably susceptible to believing, for some reason.

ConBrio -> cnzewi , 15 Jan 2019 10:45

Progressive believe in inclusion and if that is "moralistic rhetoric" then so be it.

The litany goes "round and round.

Hillary Clinton:

" you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic -- you name it!

"Barack Obama:

"Referring to working-class voters in old industrial towns decimated by job losses, the presidential hopeful said: "They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion "

There's liberal "inclusion" for you!

memo10 -> GRBnative , 15 Jan 2019 10:34
Bernie's bid was crushed by Clinton's superdelegates. No amount of throwing money against him in the direct sense was doing any good. He took popular positions on issues and stubbornly stayed on-message.

[Jan 17, 2019] The Coke or Pepsi and parties is a perfect corporatist arrangement, which guarantee filtering out any opposition to the oligarchy in 99 percent of elections

Only a severe political crisi can shake this "controlled duopoly" of the US coporatism.
Jan 16, 2019 | theguardian.com

William Williamson, 15 Jan 2019 10:38

Well put. All the USA has is Coke or Pepsi. With a lot of masquerading in between. A couple people who aren't on THE payroll, or wanting to be.
MyGenericUsername , 15 Jan 2019 07:38
Half of Americans don't bother voting for president. Why is the American media full only of people who insist that the country is divided in half between Democrat and Republican supporters? Where are the people of influence who think it's a problem and reflects poorly on the country that half of eligible voters don't see a reason to participate, and that it's worth changing things in order to get more people to change their minds about that?

Both parties are content with being unpopular, but with political mechanisms ensuring they stay in power anyway. The Democrats aren't concerned with being popular. They're content with being a token opposition party that every once in a while gets a few token years with power they don't put to any good anyway. It pays more, I guess.

CanSoc , 15 Jan 2019 07:34
It still looks like if Americans want to live in a progressive country, they'll have to move to one. But as it is clear that the neoliberalism of establishment Democrats has little or nothing to offer the poor and working class, or to non-wealthy millennials, the times they are a-changing.

[Jan 16, 2019] The travesty of the US elections

These corporate-Dem candidates are not being forced to sell out to win elections. Quite the opposite in fact. They are risking losing their elections for the sake of selling out.
Jan 16, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 07:54

Surely, many will comment that Democrats have no choice but to take the money in order to be competitive. I have one truism for such folks to ponder: Why would you trust your allegiance to those who don't care if you win?

Basic logic: rich people win the general election either way, so long as the primary-winning Democrat is in their pocket (the GOP is always on their side). So this monetary affection is certainly more about fixing an no-lose general than it is about ousting Trump, or any Republican.

[Jan 14, 2019] As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, the Party's Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic and Pro-War Than Republicans

Jan 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, the Party's Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic and Pro-War Than Republicans" [Glenn Greenwald, T he Intercept ].

'But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents overwhelming favor their removal.

The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent support withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump voters overwhelmingly support withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent."

Those of you who followed my midterms worksheets will recall that the liberal Democrat establishment packed the ballot with MILOs (candidates with Military, Intelligence, and Law enforcement backgrounds, or Other things, like being a DA), preparing the way for further militarization of the Party, and ultimately for war.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating Fox News

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.foxnews.com
Tucker: America's goal is happiness, but leaders show no obligation to voters

Voters around the world revolt against leaders who won't improve their lives.

Newly-elected Utah senator Mitt Romney kicked off 2019 with an op-ed in the Washington Post that savaged Donald Trump's character and leadership. Romney's attack and Trump's response Wednesday morning on Twitter are the latest salvos in a longstanding personal feud between the two men. It's even possible that Romney is planning to challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020. We'll see.

But for now, Romney's piece is fascinating on its own terms. It's well-worth reading. It's a window into how the people in charge, in both parties, see our country.

Romney's main complaint in the piece is that Donald Trump is a mercurial and divisive leader. That's true, of course. But beneath the personal slights, Romney has a policy critique of Trump. He seems genuinely angry that Trump might pull American troops out of the Syrian civil war. Romney doesn't explain how staying in Syria would benefit America. He doesn't appear to consider that a relevant question. More policing in the Middle East is always better. We know that. Virtually everyone in Washington agrees.

Corporate tax cuts are also popular in Washington, and Romney is strongly on board with those, too. His piece throws a rare compliment to Trump for cutting the corporate rate a year ago.

That's not surprising. Romney spent the bulk of his business career at a firm called Bain Capital. Bain Capital all but invented what is now a familiar business strategy: Take over an existing company for a short period of time, cut costs by firing employees, run up the debt, extract the wealth, and move on, sometimes leaving retirees without their earned pensions. Romney became fantastically rich doing this.

Meanwhile, a remarkable number of the companies are now bankrupt or extinct. This is the private equity model. Our ruling class sees nothing wrong with it. It's how they run the country.

Mitt Romney refers to unwavering support for a finance-based economy and an internationalist foreign policy as the "mainstream Republican" view. And he's right about that. For generations, Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars. Modern Democrats generally support those goals enthusiastically.

There are signs, however, that most people do not support this, and not just in America. In countries around the world -- France, Brazil, Sweden, the Philippines, Germany, and many others -- voters are suddenly backing candidates and ideas that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. These are not isolated events. What you're watching is entire populations revolting against leaders who refuse to improve their lives.

Something like this has been in happening in our country for three years. Donald Trump rode a surge of popular discontent all the way to the White House. Does he understand the political revolution that he harnessed? Can he reverse the economic and cultural trends that are destroying America? Those are open questions.

But they're less relevant than we think. At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone, too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then? How do we want our grandchildren to live? These are the only questions that matter.

The answer used to be obvious. The overriding goal for America is more prosperity, meaning cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven't so far. A lot of Americans are drowning in stuff. And yet drug addiction and suicide are depopulating large parts of the country. Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot.

The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It's happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children. They're what our leaders should want for us, and would want if they cared.

But our leaders don't care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows. They can't solve our problems. They don't even bother to understand our problems.

One of the biggest lies our leaders tell us that you can separate economics from everything else that matters. Economics is a topic for public debate. Family and faith and culture, meanwhile, those are personal matters. Both parties believe this.

Members of our educated upper-middle-classes are now the backbone of the Democratic Party who usually describe themselves as fiscally responsible and socially moderate. In other words, functionally libertarian. They don't care how you live, as long as the bills are paid and the markets function. Somehow, they don't see a connection between people's personal lives and the health of our economy, or for that matter, the country's ability to pay its bills. As far as they're concerned, these are two totally separate categories.

Social conservatives, meanwhile, come to the debate from the opposite perspective, and yet reach a strikingly similar conclusion. The real problem, you'll hear them say, is that the American family is collapsing. Nothing can be fixed before we fix that. Yet, like the libertarians they claim to oppose, many social conservatives also consider markets sacrosanct. The idea that families are being crushed by market forces seems never to occur to them. They refuse to consider it. Questioning markets feels like apostasy.

Both sides miss the obvious point: Culture and economics are inseparably intertwined. Certain economic systems allow families to thrive. Thriving families make market economies possible. You can't separate the two. It used to be possible to deny this. Not anymore. The evidence is now overwhelming. How do we know? Consider the inner cities.

Thirty years ago, conservatives looked at Detroit or Newark and many other places and were horrified by what they saw. Conventional families had all but disappeared in poor neighborhoods. The majority of children were born out of wedlock. Single mothers were the rule. Crime and drugs and disorder became universal.

What caused this nightmare? Liberals didn't even want to acknowledge the question. They were benefiting from the disaster, in the form of reliable votes. Conservatives, though, had a ready explanation for inner-city dysfunction and it made sense: big government. Decades of badly-designed social programs had driven fathers from the home and created what conservatives called a "culture of poverty" that trapped people in generational decline.

There was truth in this. But it wasn't the whole story. How do we know? Because virtually the same thing has happened decades later to an entirely different population. In many ways, rural America now looks a lot like Detroit.

This is striking because rural Americans wouldn't seem to have much in common with anyone from the inner city. These groups have different cultures, different traditions and political beliefs. Usually they have different skin colors. Rural people are white conservatives, mostly.

Yet, the pathologies of modern rural America are familiar to anyone who visited downtown Baltimore in the 1980s: Stunning out of wedlock birthrates. High male unemployment. A terrifying drug epidemic. Two different worlds. Similar outcomes. How did this happen? You'd think our ruling class would be interested in knowing the answer. But mostly they're not. They don't have to be interested. It's easier to import foreign labor to take the place of native-born Americans who are slipping behind.

But Republicans now represent rural voters. They ought to be interested. Here's a big part of the answer: male wages declined. Manufacturing, a male-dominated industry, all but disappeared over the course of a generation. All that remained in many places were the schools and the hospitals, both traditional employers of women. In many places, women suddenly made more than men.

Now, before you applaud this as a victory for feminism, consider the effects. Study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don't want to marry them. Maybe they should want to marry them, but they don't. Over big populations, this causes a drop in marriage, a spike in out-of-wedlock births, and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow -- more drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarceration rates, fewer families formed in the next generation.

This isn't speculation. This is not propaganda from the evangelicals. It's social science. We know it's true. Rich people know it best of all. That's why they get married before they have kids. That model works. But increasingly, marriage is a luxury only the affluent in America can afford.

And yet, and here's the bewildering and infuriating part, those very same affluent married people, the ones making virtually all the decisions in our society, are doing pretty much nothing to help the people below them get and stay married. Rich people are happy to fight malaria in Congo. But working to raise men's wages in Dayton or Detroit? That's crazy.

This is negligence on a massive scale. Both parties ignore the crisis in marriage. Our mindless cultural leaders act like it's still 1961, and the biggest problem American families face is that sexism is preventing millions of housewives from becoming investment bankers or Facebook executives.

For our ruling class, more investment banking is always the answer. They teach us it's more virtuous to devote your life to some soulless corporation than it is to raise your own kids.

Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook wrote an entire book about this. Sandberg explained that our first duty is to shareholders, above our own children. No surprise there. Sandberg herself is one of America's biggest shareholders. Propaganda like this has made her rich.

We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows.

What's remarkable is how the rest of us responded to it. We didn't question why Sandberg was saying this. We didn't laugh in her face at the pure absurdity of it. Our corporate media celebrated Sandberg as the leader of a liberation movement. Her book became a bestseller: "Lean In." As if putting a corporation first is empowerment. It is not. It is bondage. Republicans should say so.

They should also speak out against the ugliest parts of our financial system. Not all commerce is good. Why is it defensible to loan people money they can't possibly repay? Or charge them interest that impoverishes them? Payday loan outlets in poor neighborhoods collect 400 percent annual interest.

We're OK with that? We shouldn't be. Libertarians tell us that's how markets work -- consenting adults making voluntary decisions about how to live their lives. OK. But it's also disgusting. If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street.

And by the way, if you really loved your fellow Americans, as our leaders should, if it would break your heart to see them high all the time. Which they are. A huge number of our kids, especially our boys, are smoking weed constantly. You may not realize that, because new technology has made it odorless. But it's everywhere.

And that's not an accident. Once our leaders understood they could get rich from marijuana, marijuana became ubiquitous. In many places, tax-hungry politicians have legalized or decriminalized it. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner now lobbies for the marijuana industry. His fellow Republicans seem fine with that. "Oh, but it's better for you than alcohol," they tell us.

Maybe. Who cares? Talk about missing the point. Try having dinner with a 19-year-old who's been smoking weed. The life is gone. Passive, flat, trapped in their own heads. Do you want that for your kids? Of course not. Then why are our leaders pushing it on us? You know the reason. Because they don't care about us.

When you care about people, you do your best to treat them fairly. Our leaders don't even try. They hand out jobs and contracts and scholarships and slots at prestigious universities based purely on how we look. There's nothing less fair than that, though our tax code comes close.

Under our current system, an American who works for a salary pays about twice the tax rate as someone who's living off inherited money and doesn't work at all. We tax capital at half of what we tax labor. It's a sweet deal if you work in finance, as many of our rich people do.

In 2010, for example, Mitt Romney made about $22 million dollars in investment income. He paid an effective federal tax rate of 14 percent. For normal upper-middle-class wage earners, the federal tax rate is nearly 40 percent. No wonder Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating.

Our leaders rarely mention any of this. They tell us our multi-tiered tax code is based on the principles of the free market. Please. It's based on laws that the Congress passed, laws that companies lobbied for in order to increase their economic advantage. It worked well for those people. They did increase their economic advantage. But for everyone else, it came at a big cost. Unfairness is profoundly divisive. When you favor one child over another, your kids don't hate you. They hate each other.

That happens in countries, too. It's happening in ours, probably by design. Divided countries are easier to rule. And nothing divides us like the perception that some people are getting special treatment. In our country, some people definitely are getting special treatment. Republicans should oppose that with everything they have.

What kind of country do you want to live in? A fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement. A country you might recognize when you're old.

A country that listens to young people who don't live in Brooklyn. A country where you can make a solid living outside of the big cities. A country where Lewiston, Maine seems almost as important as the west side of Los Angeles. A country where environmentalism means getting outside and picking up the trash. A clean, orderly, stable country that respects itself. And above all, a country where normal people with an average education who grew up in no place special can get married, and have happy kids, and repeat unto the generations. A country that actually cares about families, the building block of everything.

Video

What will it take a get a country like that? Leaders who want it. For now, those leaders will have to be Republicans. There's no option at this point.

But first, Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.

Internalizing all this will not be easy for Republican leaders. They'll have to unlearn decades of bumper sticker-talking points and corporate propaganda. They'll likely lose donors in the process. They'll be criticized. Libertarians are sure to call any deviation from market fundamentalism a form of socialism.

That's a lie. Socialism is a disaster. It doesn't work. It's what we should be working desperately to avoid. But socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people.

If you want to put America first, you've got to put its families first.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson has sparked the most interesting debate in conservative politics by Jane Coaston

Highly recommended!
Tucker Carlson sounds much more convincing then Trump: See Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters and Tucker The American dream is dying
Notable quotes:
"... America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society." ..."
"... He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement." ..."
"... The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president. ..."
"... The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke ..."
"... Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people." ..."
"... "What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?" ..."
"... Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it." ..."
"... Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment. ..."
"... Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax. ..."
"... "I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not." ..."
"... Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed." ..."
"... But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left. ..."
"... Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin. ..."
"... Hillbilly Elegy ..."
"... Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature." ..."
Jan 10, 2019 | www.vox.com

"All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God."

Last Wednesday, the conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson started a fire on the right after airing a prolonged monologue on his show that was, in essence, an indictment of American capitalism.

America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society."

He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement."

The monologue was stunning in itself, an incredible moment in which a Fox News host stated that for generations, "Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars." More broadly, though, Carlson's position and the ensuing controversy reveals an ongoing and nearly unsolvable tension in conservative politics about the meaning of populism, a political ideology that Trump campaigned on but Carlson argues he may not truly understand.

Moreover, in Carlson's words: "At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then?"

The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president." Other conservative commentators scoffed. Ben Shapiro wrote in National Review that Carlson's monologue sounded far more like Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren than, say, Ronald Reagan.

I spoke with Carlson by phone this week to discuss his monologue and its economic -- and cultural -- meaning. He agreed that his monologue was reminiscent of Warren, referencing her 2003 book The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke . "There were parts of the book that I disagree with, of course," he told me. "But there are parts of it that are really important and true. And nobody wanted to have that conversation."

Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people."

But whether or not he likes it, Carlson is an important voice in conservative politics. His show is among the most-watched television programs in America. And his raising questions about market capitalism and the free market matters.

"What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?"

Populism on the right is gaining, again

Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it."

Populism is a rhetorical approach that separates "the people" from elites. In the words of Cas Mudde, a professor at the University of Georgia, it divides the country into "two homogenous and antagonistic groups: the pure people on the one end and the corrupt elite on the other." Populist rhetoric has a long history in American politics, serving as the focal point of numerous presidential campaigns and powering William Jennings Bryan to the Democratic nomination for president in 1896. Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment.

When right-leaning pundit Ann Coulter spoke with Breitbart Radio about Trump's Tuesday evening Oval Office address to the nation regarding border wall funding, she said she wanted to hear him say something like, "You know, you say a lot of wild things on the campaign trail. I'm speaking to big rallies. But I want to talk to America about a serious problem that is affecting the least among us, the working-class blue-collar workers":

Coulter urged Trump to bring up overdose deaths from heroin in order to speak to the "working class" and to blame the fact that working-class wages have stalled, if not fallen, in the last 20 years on immigration. She encouraged Trump to declare, "This is a national emergency for the people who don't have lobbyists in Washington."

Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax.

-- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 4, 2019

These sentiments have even pitted popular Fox News hosts against each other.

Sean Hannity warned his audience that New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's economic policies would mean that "the rich people won't be buying boats that they like recreationally, they're not going to be taking expensive vacations anymore." But Carlson agreed when I said his monologue was somewhat reminiscent of Ocasio-Cortez's past comments on the economy , and how even a strong economy was still leaving working-class Americans behind.

"I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not."

Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed."

"I think populism is potentially really disruptive. What I'm saying is that populism is a symptom of something being wrong," he told me. "Again, populism is a smoke alarm; do not ignore it."

But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left.

Carlson's argument that "market capitalism is not a religion" is of course old hat on the left, but it's also been bubbling on the right for years now. When National Review writer Kevin Williamson wrote a 2016 op-ed about how rural whites "failed themselves," he faced a massive backlash in the Trumpier quarters of the right. And these sentiments are becoming increasingly potent at a time when Americans can see both a booming stock market and perhaps their own family members struggling to get by.

Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin.

-- Jeremy McLallan (@JeremyMcLellan) January 8, 2019

At the Federalist, writer Kirk Jing wrote of Carlson's monologue, and a response to it by National Review columnist David French:

Our society is less French's America, the idea, and more Frantz Fanon's "Wretched of the Earth" (involving a very different French). The lowest are stripped of even social dignity and deemed unworthy of life . In Real America, wages are stagnant, life expectancy is crashing, people are fleeing the workforce, families are crumbling, and trust in the institutions on top are at all-time lows. To French, holding any leaders of those institutions responsible for their errors is "victimhood populism" ... The Right must do better if it seeks to govern a real America that exists outside of its fantasies.

J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy , wrote that the [neoliberal] economy's victories -- and praise for those wins from conservatives -- were largely meaningless to white working-class Americans living in Ohio and Kentucky: "Yes, they live in a country with a higher GDP than a generation ago, and they're undoubtedly able to buy cheaper consumer goods, but to paraphrase Reagan: Are they better off than they were 20 years ago? Many would say, unequivocally, 'no.'"

Carlson's populism holds, in his view, bipartisan possibilities. In a follow-up email, I asked him why his monologue was aimed at Republicans when many Democrats had long espoused the same criticisms of free market economics. "Fair question," he responded. "I hope it's not just Republicans. But any response to the country's systemic problems will have to give priority to the concerns of American citizens over the concerns of everyone else, just as you'd protect your own kids before the neighbor's kids."

Who is "they"?

And that's the point where Carlson and a host of others on the right who have begun to challenge the conservative movement's orthodoxy on free markets -- people ranging from occasionally mendacious bomb-throwers like Coulter to writers like Michael Brendan Dougherty -- separate themselves from many of those making those exact same arguments on the left.

When Carlson talks about the "normal people" he wants to save from nefarious elites, he is talking, usually, about a specific group of "normal people" -- white working-class Americans who are the "real" victims of capitalism, or marijuana legalization, or immigration policies.

In this telling, white working-class Americans who once relied on a manufacturing economy that doesn't look the way it did in 1955 are the unwilling pawns of elites. It's not their fault that, in Carlson's view, marriage is inaccessible to them, or that marijuana legalization means more teens are smoking weed ( this probably isn't true ). Someone, or something, did this to them. In Carlson's view, it's the responsibility of politicians: Our economic situation, and the plight of the white working class, is "the product of a series of conscious decisions that the Congress made."

The criticism of Carlson's monologue has largely focused on how he deviates from the free market capitalism that conservatives believe is the solution to poverty, not the creator of poverty. To orthodox conservatives, poverty is the result of poor decision making or a lack of virtue that can't be solved by government programs or an anti-elite political platform -- and they say Carlson's argument that elites are in some way responsible for dwindling marriage rates doesn't make sense .

But in French's response to Carlson, he goes deeper, writing that to embrace Carlson's brand of populism is to support "victimhood populism," one that makes white working-class Americans into the victims of an undefined "they:

Carlson is advancing a form of victim-politics populism that takes a series of tectonic cultural changes -- civil rights, women's rights, a technological revolution as significant as the industrial revolution, the mass-scale loss of religious faith, the sexual revolution, etc. -- and turns the negative or challenging aspects of those changes into an angry tale of what they are doing to you .

And that was my biggest question about Carlson's monologue, and the flurry of responses to it, and support for it: When other groups (say, black Americans) have pointed to systemic inequities within the economic system that have resulted in poverty and family dysfunction, the response from many on the right has been, shall we say, less than enthusiastic .

Really, it comes down to when black people have problems, it's personal responsibility, but when white people have the same problems, the system is messed up. Funny how that works!!

-- Judah Maccabeets (@AdamSerwer) January 9, 2019

Yet white working-class poverty receives, from Carlson and others, far more sympathy. And conservatives are far more likely to identify with a criticism of "elites" when they believe those elites are responsible for the expansion of trans rights or creeping secularism than the wealthy and powerful people who are investing in private prisons or an expansion of the militarization of police . Carlson's network, Fox News, and Carlson himself have frequently blasted leftist critics of market capitalism and efforts to fight inequality .

I asked Carlson about this, as his show is frequently centered on the turmoils caused by " demographic change ." He said that for decades, "conservatives just wrote [black economic struggles] off as a culture of poverty," a line he includes in his monologue .

He added that regarding black poverty, "it's pretty easy when you've got 12 percent of the population going through something to feel like, 'Well, there must be ... there's something wrong with that culture.' Which is actually a tricky thing to say because it's in part true, but what you're missing, what I missed, what I think a lot of people missed, was that the economic system you're living under affects your culture."

Carlson said that growing up in Washington, DC, and spending time in rural Maine, he didn't realize until recently that the same poverty and decay he observed in the Washington of the 1980s was also taking place in rural (and majority-white) Maine. "I was thinking, 'Wait a second ... maybe when the jobs go away the culture changes,'" he told me, "And the reason I didn't think of it before was because I was so blinded by this libertarian economic propaganda that I couldn't get past my own assumptions about economics." (For the record, libertarians have critiqued Carlson's monologue as well.)

Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature."

And clearly, our market economy isn't driven by God or nature, as the stock market soars and unemployment dips and yet even those on the right are noticing lengthy periods of wage stagnation and dying little towns across the country. But what to do about those dying little towns, and which dying towns we care about and which we don't, and, most importantly, whose fault it is that those towns are dying in the first place -- those are all questions Carlson leaves to the viewer to answer.

[Jan 12, 2019] Democratic Party became the party of corrupt, sclerotic, corporate Democrats

Jan 12, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Monday, January 07, 2019 at 03:17 PM


-> anne... , January 10, 2019 at 07:06 AM

Did Krugman just issue a veiled warning to Pelosi, Schumer, and Clinton Democrats? Did he see this as a teaching moment for them? Has he turned from unabashed megaphone for establishment Democrats to an honest broker, willing to explain economics to Demcoratic Big Money parasites? Could be... If so, this might be a turning point for Krugman from partisan hack to honest broker!

As always, Robert Reich pulls fewer punches: "Do not ever underestimate the influence of Wall Street Democrats, corporate Democrats, and the Democrats' biggest funders. I know. I've been there.
In the 2018 midterms, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, big business made more contributions to Democrats than to Republicans. The shift was particularly noticeable on Wall Street. Not since 2008 have donors in the securities and investment industry given a higher percentage to Democratic candidates and committees than to Republicans.

The moneyed interests in the Democratic party are in favor of helping America's poor and of reversing climate change – two positions that sharply distinguish them from the moneyed interests in the Republican party.

But the Democrats' moneyed interests don't want more powerful labor unions. They are not in favor of stronger antitrust enforcement against large corporations. They resist firmer regulation of Wall Street. They are unlikely to want to repeal the Trump-Republican tax cut for big corporations and the wealthy."
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/06/house-democrats-donald-trump-subpoena-tax-return-impeachment

And maybe, just maybe, Krugman, in a veiled warning to Democrats enamored with Trump's tax cuts, has decided to trump partisan loyalty with economic reality...as any decent economist should do.

EMichael and kurt will be disappointed, very disappointed that Krugman sided with AOC over corrupt, sclerotic, corporate Democrats...

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to JohnH... , January 08, 2019 at 07:27 AM
There is no reason to think that mainstream liberals would not just go along with whatever direction the liberal establishment takes. OTOH, there is a major difference in the context between the rank and file of mainstream liberals and the actual liberal establishment itself. Mainstream liberals just want to fit in and win elections. They are concerned with electability and the constraints of legislative process. There is nothing wrong with that. It is the role of the rank and file.

However, AOC is correct. It is radicals that bring about all significant change. Mainstream radical is an oxymoron. After radicals cause change then it is no longer radical, but it becomes mainstream instead.

In contrast, the liberal establishment is also concerned with electability because that is what they do for a living, either get elected or ride along on the coattails of the elected, but they are elites and elitists not to be separated from the status quo economic establishment without considerable consternation. However, the elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing. Still, it would be a rare elected official that would rather eat in a soup kitchen than a five-star restaurant both for the good food and for the good company. In both regards though that depends upon what your definition of "good" is.

JohnH -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 08, 2019 at 08:48 AM
"Mainstream liberals just want to fit in and win elections..." And they are precisely they kind of "go-along to get along types" who let bad things happen...and then pretend to not understand what went wrong...Vietnam, Iraq, GWOT, Glass-Steagall repeal, trade liberalization/offshoring profits, banksters who go Scot free after bringing the economy down. The list goes on.
RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to JohnH... , January 08, 2019 at 09:24 AM
There are leaders, followers, and radicals. One can choose to be any one or two or those they want, but no more than two. It is not very rewarding to be a radical from the back of the line unless there is also a radical to follow at the front of the line. Leaders that are also followers inherit the status quo and guard it like it was their own because it is. Radical leaders rarely succeed, but often die young.

Trump is a bad example of a leader, but he follows his nose at least rather than just the status quo. Trump has a nose for trouble and he cannot resist its stench any more than a jackal or hyena can resist rotting carrion. Fortunate for Trump the US has a long history of stockpiling trouble for future consumption that reaches all the way back to colonial times. Trump likes to think that orange is the new black, but the old black, brown, and red are still around and neither yellow nor orange can take their place.

The majority of people are just plain old followers. If people think that there is chaos in the world already, just imagine what it would be like if most people were not just plain old followers. The status quo always has the advantage of the natural force of inertia.

mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 10, 2019 at 02:14 PM
"...banksters who go Scot free after bringing the economy down. The list goes on."

Because you believe in government as done by Putin, Maduro, Saddam, Saudi Arabia, etc: jail, torture, kill enemies by the people in power being the law.

You reject the US Constitution where voters are allowed to elect Republicans who legalize fraud and theft by deception based on voters wanting the free lunch of easy credit requiring bankers have no liability for the bad loans from easy credit. You reject the US Constitution prohibition on retroactive laws criminalizzing legal actions.

Only if you were leading protests in the 90s in opposition to laws making credit easy for below $80,000 workers whether buying houses or trucks/SUV.

Only if you were picketing real estate agents and car dealers from 2001 to 2005 to keep out customers, you were not doing enough to stop easy credit.

The GOP was only dellivering what voters wanted, stuff they could not afford paid for by workers saving for their retirement.

Elections have consequences.

The elections from 1994 to 2004 were votes for free lunch economics. The GOP promised and delivered free lunch economic policies.

In 2005, voters on the margins realized tanstaafl, and in 2006 elected Pelosi to power, and Pelosi, representing California knows economies are zero sum, so she increased costs to increase general welfare. One of the costs was reccognizing the costs, and benefits, of the US Constitution.

In 2008, she did not try to criminalize past action, and when she could not get the votes to punish the bankers who bankrupted the institutions they ran by prohibiting bonuses in the future,, she insread delivered the best deal possible for the US Constitutional general welfare.

I think Bernie wanted all voters who voted GOP to lose their jobs, or maybe he simply believes in free lunch economist claims that welfare payments in Ohio and Michigan are higher than union worker incomes.

Maybe he thinks bankruptcy court nationalize businesses, not liquidate them.

Or maybe he figured the solution was a 21st Century Great Depression which would elect a socialist instead of a capitalist FDR, and he would get to run all the automakers, all the food industry, and employ all the workers deciding what they can buy?

I can never figure out how the economy would work if Bernie were running it. He talks about Europe, but never advocates the cost of EU economy that is part of EU law: the VAT. All EU members must have a VAT that is a significant cost to every person in the EU.

Free lunch economics is when you promise increased benefits with no costs, or lower costs.


Free lunch Trump and free lunch Bernie differ only in their winners, but their losers are always the same.

When progressives argue for unlimited increases in debt just like Reagan, they are rejecting the pokicies of FDR, Keynes, the US when the general welfare increased most by increasing assets faster than debt.

JohnH -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 08, 2019 at 08:53 AM
"'elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing." Which is why so many liberal establishment politicians...per Reich...pay only lip service to real campaign finance reform. Being parasites, they feed off of their hosts and dare not disrupt the gravy train.
mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 09, 2019 at 05:04 AM
"elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing."

So, the wealthy liberal elites who pay no taxes by cleverly paying all revenue to workers need to be punished because they pay too much to too many workers?

Warrren Buffett has never paid much in taxes even when tax rates on corporations were over 50% and individuals reached over 70%. Money paid to workers, directly or indirectly, was and still is the number one tax dodge.

Unless you go to a sales tax aka VAT which taxes all revenue, expecially business income paid to workers.

VAT is an income tax with zero tax dodges aka loopholes aka deductions.

mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 10, 2019 at 03:04 PM
""'elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing." Which is why so many liberal establishment politicians...per Reich...pay only lip service to real campaign finance reform. Being parasites, they feed off of their hosts and dare not disrupt the gravy train."

In your view, its the poor who create high paying jobs?

It's wrong to listen to people who convince rich people to give their money to people paying US workers to build factories, wind farms, solar farms battery factories, transportation systems, vehicles, computer systems in the US?

Instead Democrats should listen to people who have never created long term paying jobs, but only pay elites who run campaigns using mostly unpaid workers, or workers paid only a few months every few years? Like Bernie does?

When it comes to how to run a "Green New Deal", I want the policy crafted by someone who listens to Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and the CEOs of California energy corporations, tech companies, who are commited to consuming more and more energy that requires no fossil fuels. Listening to Home Depot and Walmart building managers and retail sales managers should be a priority. All these guys both focus on paying more workers, and selling more to workers paid more.

AOC and Bernie seem to listen to the Lamperts who are destroying the value of companies like Sears by "taxing" both the customers, workers, and owners, by giving money to people who don't work to produce anything.

I make going to RealClearPolicy, Politics, etc a daily practice to see how bad progressives are at selling their policies, making it easy for find all sorts of costs, without any benefits to anyone.

The New Deal was not about taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor. The New Deal was about paying workers more.

In 1930, half the population still lived on farms. (They might work off the farm, but they were farmworkers first.) The problem for farmers is Europe had recovered from the war and was no longer sending gold to the US to secure loans to buy food, but instead repaying the loans by shipping high value food to the US, wine, cheese, etc, and that meant too much food drove prices down, which meant farmworkers earned less and less.

One of the first laws set minimum prices for food, enforced by destroying crops, or government overpaying for food like milk, cheese, bread, which the government gave away to the poor who could never buy this food. It was not about giving food away, but about paying workers, the farmers, ranchers, etc. Giving the food to the poor who could not afford to buy food was simply to avoid the attacks on FDR for destroying good food to drive up farmer pay. Which was the truth.

FDR talked about creating a healthy workforce to make America great, then about building a healthy soldier. Ike in the 50s and JFK in the 60s campaigned on creating healthy soldiers. And smart, educated soldiers and workers.

The policies of liberals was about better workers, richer workers.

Conservatives since Reagan has been about cutting the costs of workers. Sold based on consumers benefiting from lower cost workers, because consumees are never workers, workers never consumers, because if workers equal consumers, economics must be zero sum.

Christopher H. said in reply to RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 08, 2019 at 09:20 AM
Well said. It is fascinating to witness how the liberal establishment is rallying around democratic socialists AOC and Rashida Tlaib.


https://twitter.com/MattBruenig/status/1082287736550293504

Matt Bruenig‏
@MattBruenig

By attracting the intense ire of the GOP, AOC activates the negative polarization of lib pundits and makes them look for ways to defend left policy items they'd attack in any other scenario. It's very effective at pushing the discourse forward.

6:47 AM - 7 Jan 2019

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Christopher H.... , January 08, 2019 at 09:25 AM
Sweet. THANKS!
mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 09, 2019 at 04:55 AM
"But the Democrats' moneyed interests don't want more powerful labor unions. They are not in favor of stronger antitrust enforcement against large corporations."

So, you think beef at $10 plus per pound, salad greens at $5 plus per pound, a fast food meal at $10 plus, is a winning issue for Democrats?

Or by powerful labor unions, you mean for only white male blue collar factory workers, long haul white truckers, white construction workers?

Making all work pay enough to reach middle class status at the low end will not happen by unions because many parts of the US, and workers, and jobs, will oppose unions. Instead, labor laws and enforcement to lift wages and working conditions rapidly in conservative regions are required.

Better to get the minimum wage in Indiana and Kansas to $10 than in California to $15.

More important to get farm workers fully covered by Federal law like factory workers, with exemptions only for farmer family members.

Raising incomes in low living cost regions will not raise prices much nationally, but increase living standards among the most disadvantaged who feel "left behind".

Automatic increases annually of 10% for 7 years, then indexed by cpi.

Constantly emphasizing this minimum is way below what the low wage is in SF, NYC, LA, but the goods produced will be bought and thus wages paid mostly by high income liberal elites. Conservatives sticking it to liberals!

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to mulp ... , January 09, 2019 at 09:26 AM
"you think beef at $10 plus per pound,"

Wow... you need to do a lot better at shopping sales. I wait for sales and then buy burger at $2.50, crud cuts at $3-4, and can frequently get t-bone and ribeye for under $5.

BUT, on the larger scale, what is the difference if I pay $1 a pound for burger and earn $20K a year, or I pay $3 for burger and earn $60K a year?

Inflation punishes savers? Really? What is the difference if I earn 3% at 2% inflation or 1% at 0% inflation? The answer is, none.

Julio -> anne... , January 08, 2019 at 09:47 AM
"In that case, however, why do we care how hard the rich work? If a rich man works an extra hour, adding $1000 to the economy, but gets paid $1000 for his efforts, the combined income of everyone else doesn't change, does it? Ah, but it does – because he pays taxes on that extra $1000. So the social benefit from getting high-income individuals to work a bit harder is the tax revenue generated by that extra effort – and conversely the cost of their working less is the reduction in the taxes they pay."

This is not right. Heck, it's not even wrong.
Say the $1000 is for a surgery. The social benefit is the tax they pay on it? The surgery itself is irrelevant?

Krugman confuses the flow of money, which supports and correlates with production, with the actual production, the real "social benefit".

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to Julio ... , January 08, 2019 at 04:17 PM
A point I try to make.

If you invent a widget that everyone on earth is willing to pay $1 over cost to get, congratulations, you just earned $7 billion.

Now, does that mean you get to consume $7 billion worth of stuff other people produce? I think so.

Or, does it mean you get to trap the world in $7 billion of debt servitude from which it is impossible for them to escape, because you are hoarding, and then charging interest on, the $7 billion they need to pay back their debts.

The key is to understand that money is created via debt. Money has value because people with debt need to get it to repay their debts.

If we all decide BitCoin is worthless, then BitCoin is worthless. It has no fundamental usefulness.

If we all decide money is worthless, then a bunch of people with debt will gladly take it off our hands so that they can repay their debt. Heck, they may even trade us stuff to get the debt... which is why money is NOT worthless.

mulp said in reply to Darrell in Phoenix... , January 09, 2019 at 05:15 AM
If $1 per day make everyone live better with no added climate change, PLUS paid an extra $7 billion per day to production workers, service workers, that would be good, or bad?

Say, the $7 billion in wages was to sing and dance so no matter where in the world he was, he was entertained by song and dance?

Economies are zero sum. Every cost has an equal benefit aka income or consumption. Work can't exist without consumption, consumption without work.

Money is merely work in the past or future.

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to mulp ... , January 09, 2019 at 08:06 AM
"If $1 per day make everyone live better with no added climate change, PLUS paid an extra $7 billion per day to production workers, service workers, that would be good, or bad?"

Obviously, good. Which is what I say in my post.

"Money is merely work in the past or future."

Money is other peoples' debt. They have borrowed money into existence and then spent it into the economy, AND they have pledged to do work in the future, to get the money back so they can repay the debt.

That "doing work in the future to get the money back" is only possible if the people with the money actually spend it back into the economy.

The problem is that the people in debt also agreed to pay interest, and the people with the money want to keep collecting the interest... so keep holding the money... making it absolutely impossible for those with debt to pay it back.

I'm saying is that there is obligation on both sides. There is obligation on the part of people with debt to produce goods and services and sell them for money to repay their debts, AND for that to be possible, there is obligation on those with money to actually spend the money...

Contrary to CONservative opinion, money is not created by work, it is earned by selling, and that means for the economy to function, there has to be spending.

We need a tax code with very high top rates, but deductions for spending and capital investing... not to take from the rich, but rather to force them to spend and invest to get deductions.

[Jan 11, 2019] As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, The Party's Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic And Pro-War Than Republicans by Glenn Greenwald

Clinton Democrats (DemoRats) are so close to neocons that the current re-alliance is only natural and only partially caused by Trump. Under Obama some of leading figures of his administration were undistinguishable from neocons (Samantha Power is a good example here -- she was as crazy as Niki Haley, if not more). There is only one "war party in the USA which continently consists of two wings: Repugs and DemoRats.
Notable quotes:
"... Both GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham , one of the country's most reliable war supporters, and Hillary Clinton , who repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for insufficient hawkishness, condemned Trump's decision in very similar terms, invoking standard war on terror jargon. ..."
"... That's not surprising given that Americans by a similarly large plurality agree with the proposition that "the U.S. has been engaged in too many military conflicts in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan for too long and should prioritize getting Americans out of harm's way" ..."
"... But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents overwhelming favor their removal. The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent support withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump voters overwhelmingly support withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent. ..."
"... This case is even more stark since Obama ran in 2008 on a pledge to end the war in Afghanistan and bring all troops home. Throughout the Obama years, polling data consistently showed that huge majorities of Democrats favored a withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan ..."
"... While Democrats were more or less evenly divided early last year on whether the U.S. should continue to intervene in Syria, all that changed once Trump announced his intention to withdraw, which provoked a huge surge in Democratic support for remaining ..."
"... At the same time, Democratic policy elites in Washington are once again formally aligning with neoconservatives , even to the point of creating joint foreign policy advocacy groups (a reunion that predated Trump ). The leading Democratic Party think tank, the Center for American Progress, donated $200,000 to the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and has multilevel alliances with warmongering institutions. ..."
"... By far the most influential [neo]liberal media outlet, MSNBC, is stuffed full of former Bush-Cheney officials, security state operatives, and agents , while even the liberal stars are notably hawkish (a decade ago, long before she went as far down the pro-war and Cold Warrior rabbit hole that she now occupies, Rachel Maddow heralded herself as a "national security liberal" who was "all about counterterrorism"). ..."
"... All of this has resulted in a new generation of Democrats, politically engaged for the first time as a result of fears over Trump, being inculcated with values of militarism and imperialism, trained to view once-discredited, war-loving neocons such as Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and David Frum, and former CIA and FBI leaders as noble experts and trusted voices of conscience. It's inevitable that all of these trends would produce a party that is increasingly pro-war and militaristic, and polling data now leaves little doubt that this transformation -- which will endure long after Trump is gone -- is well under way. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP'S December 18 announcement that he intends to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria produced some isolated support in the anti-war wings of both parties , but largely provoked bipartisan outrage among in Washington's reflexively pro-war establishment.

Both GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the country's most reliable war supporters, and Hillary Clinton, who repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for insufficient hawkishness, condemned Trump's decision in very similar terms, invoking standard war on terror jargon.

But while official Washington united in opposition, new polling data from Morning Consult/Politico shows that a large plurality of Americans support Trump's Syria withdrawal announcement: 49 percent support to 33 percent opposition.

That's not surprising given that Americans by a similarly large plurality agree with the proposition that "the U.S. has been engaged in too many military conflicts in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan for too long and should prioritize getting Americans out of harm's way" far more than they agree with the pro-war view that "the U.S. needs to keep troops in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan to help support our allies fight terrorism and maintain our foreign policy interests in the region."

But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents overwhelming favor their removal. The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent support withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump voters overwhelmingly support withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent.

A similar gap is seen among those who voted Democrat in the 2018 midterm elections (28 percent support withdrawal while 54 percent oppose it), as opposed to the widespread support for withdrawal among 2018 GOP voters: 74 percent to 18 percent.

Identical trends can be seen on the question of Trump's announced intention to withdraw half of the U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan, where Democrats are far more supportive of keeping troops there than Republicans and independents.

This case is even more stark since Obama ran in 2008 on a pledge to end the war in Afghanistan and bring all troops home. Throughout the Obama years, polling data consistently showed that huge majorities of Democrats favored a withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan:

With Trump rather than Obama now advocating troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, all of this has changed. The new polling data shows far more support for troop withdrawal among Republicans and independents, while Democrats are now split or even opposed . Among 2016 Trump voters, there is massive support for withdrawal: 81 percent to 11 percent; Clinton voters, however, oppose the removal of troops from Afghanistan by a margin of 37 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed.

This latest poll is far from aberrational. As the Huffington Post's Ariel Edwards-Levy documented early this week , separate polling shows a similar reversal by Democrats on questions of war and militarism in the Trump era.

While Democrats were more or less evenly divided early last year on whether the U.S. should continue to intervene in Syria, all that changed once Trump announced his intention to withdraw, which provoked a huge surge in Democratic support for remaining. "Those who voted for Democrat Clinton now said by a 42-point margin that the U.S. had a responsibility to do something about the fighting in Syria involving ISIS," Edwards-Levy wrote, "while Trump voters said by a 16-point margin that the nation had no such responsibility." (Similar trends can be seen among GOP voters, whose support for intervention in Syria has steadily declined as Trump has moved away from his posture of the last two years -- escalating bombings in both Syria and Iraq and killing far more civilians , as he repeatedly vowed to do during the campaign -- to his return to his other campaign pledge to remove troops from the region.)

This is, of course, not the first time that Democratic voters have wildly shifted their "beliefs" based on the party affiliation of the person occupying the Oval Office. The party's base spent the Bush-Cheney years denouncing war on terror policies, such as assassinations, drones, and Guantánamo as moral atrocities and war crimes, only to suddenly support those policies once they became hallmarks of the Obama presidency .

But what's happening here is far more insidious. A core ethos of the anti-Trump #Resistance has become militarism, jingoism, and neoconservatism. Trump is frequently attacked by Democrats using longstanding Cold War scripts wielded for decades against them by the far right: Trump is insufficiently belligerent with U.S. enemies; he's willing to allow the Bad Countries to take over by bringing home U.S. soldiers; his efforts to establish less hostile relations with adversary countries is indicative of weakness or even treason.

At the same time, Democratic policy elites in Washington are once again formally aligning with neoconservatives , even to the point of creating joint foreign policy advocacy groups (a reunion that predated Trump ). The leading Democratic Party think tank, the Center for American Progress, donated $200,000 to the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and has multilevel alliances with warmongering institutions.

By far the most influential [neo]liberal media outlet, MSNBC, is stuffed full of former Bush-Cheney officials, security state operatives, and agents , while even the liberal stars are notably hawkish (a decade ago, long before she went as far down the pro-war and Cold Warrior rabbit hole that she now occupies, Rachel Maddow heralded herself as a "national security liberal" who was "all about counterterrorism").

All of this has resulted in a new generation of Democrats, politically engaged for the first time as a result of fears over Trump, being inculcated with values of militarism and imperialism, trained to view once-discredited, war-loving neocons such as Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and David Frum, and former CIA and FBI leaders as noble experts and trusted voices of conscience. It's inevitable that all of these trends would produce a party that is increasingly pro-war and militaristic, and polling data now leaves little doubt that this transformation -- which will endure long after Trump is gone -- is well under way.

[Jan 11, 2019] Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming

Highly recommended!
Seeing Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters suggest that the collapse of neoliberalism is coming...
Notable quotes:
"... Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble, which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible without 2008 events. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

bruce wilder, January 11, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Barkley insists on a left-right split for his analysis of political parties and their attachment to vague policy tendencies and that insistence makes a mess of the central issue: why the rise of right-wing populism in a "successful" economy?

Naomi Klein's book is about how and why centrist neoliberals got control of policy. The rise of right-wing populism is often supposed (see Mark Blyth) to be about the dissatisfaction bred by the long-term shortcomings of or blowback from neoliberal policy.

Barkley Rosser treats neoliberal policy as implicitly successful and, therefore, the reaction from the populist right appears mysterious, something to investigate. His thesis regarding neoliberal success in Poland is predicated on policy being less severe, less "shocky".

In his left-right division of Polish politics, the centrist neoliberals -- in the 21st century, Civic Platform -- seem to disappear into the background even though I think they are still the second largest Party in Parliament, though some seem to think they will sink in elections this year.

Electoral participation is another factor that receives little attention in this analysis. Politics is shaped in part by the people who do NOT show up. And, in Poland that has sometimes been a lot of people, indeed.

Finally, there's the matter of the neoliberal straitjacket -- the flip-side of the shock in the one-two punch of "there's no alternative". What the policy options for a Party representing the interests of the angry and dissatisfied? If you make policy impossible for a party of the left, of course that breeds parties of the right. duh.

Likbez,

Bruce,

Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming. I would consider the current situation in the USA as the starting point of this "slow-motion collapse of the neoliberal garbage truck against the wall." Neoliberalism like Bolshevism in 1945 has no future, only the past. That does not mean that it will not limp forward in zombie (and pretty bloodthirsty ) stage for another 50 years. But it is doomed, notwithstanding recently staged revenge in countries like Ukraine, Argentina, and Brazil.

Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble, which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible without 2008 events.

At least half of Americans now hate soft neoliberals of Democratic Party (Clinton wing of Bought by Wall Street technocrats), as well as hard neoliberal of Republican Party, which created the " crisis of confidence" toward governing neoliberal elite in countries like the USA, GB, and France. And that probably why the intelligence agencies became the prominent political players and staged the color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate ) in the USA.

The situation with the support of neoliberalism now is very different than in 1994 when Bill Clinton came to power. Of course, as Otto von Bismarck once quipped "God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America." and another turn of the technological spiral might well save the USA. But the danger of never-ending secular stagnation is substantial and growing. This fact was admitted even by such dyed- in-the-wool neoliberals as Summers.

This illusion that advances in statistics gave neoliberal access to such fine-grained and timely economic data, that now it is possible to regulate economy indirectly, by strictly monetary means is pure religious hubris. Milton Friedman would now be laughed out the room if he tried to repeat his monetarist junk science now. Actually he himself discarded his monetarist illusions before he died.

We probably need to the return of strong direct investments in the economy by the state and nationalization of some assets, if we want to survive and compete with China. Australian politicians are already openly discussing this, we still are lagging because of "walking dead" neoliberals in Congress like Pelosi, Schumer, and company.

But we have another huge problem, which Australia and other countries (other than GB) do not have: neoliberalism in the USA is the state religion which completely displaced Christianity (and is hostile to Christianity), so it might be that the lemming will go off the cliff. I hope not.

The only thing that still keeps neoliberalism from being thrown out to the garbage bin of history is that it is unclear what would the alternative. And that means that like in 1920th far-right nationalism and fascism have a fighting chance against decadent neoliberal oligarchy.

Previously financial oligarchy was in many minds associated with Jewish bankers. Now people are more educated and probably can hang from the lampposts Anglo-Saxon and bankers of other nationalities as well ;-)

I think that in some countries neoliberal oligarchs might soon feel very uncomfortable, much like Soros in Hungary.

As far as I understood the level of animosity and suppressed anger toward financial oligarchy and their stooges including some professors in economics departments of the major universities might soon be approaching the level which existed in the Weimar Republic. And as Lenin noted, " the ideas could become a material force if they got mass support." This is true about anger as well.

[Dec 30, 2018] RussiaGate In Review with Aaron Mate - Unreasoned Fear is Neoliberalism's Response to the Credibility Gap

Highly recommended!
Dec 30, 2018 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

At the inception of this entire RussiaGate spectacle I suggested that it was a political distraction to take the attention away from the rejection by the people of neoliberalism which has been embraced by the establishments of both political parties.

And that the result of the investigation would be indictments for perjury in the covering up of illicit business deals and money laundering. But that 'collusion to sway the election' was without substance, if not a joke.

Everything that has been revealed to date tends to support that.

One thing that Aaron overlooks is the evidence compiled by William Binney and associates that strongly suggests the DNC hack was no hack at all, but a leak by an insider who was appalled by the lies and double dealing at the DNC.

In general, RussiaGate is a farcical distraction from other issues as they say in the video. And this highlights the utterly Machiavellian streak in the corporate Democrats and the Liberal establishment under the Clintons and their ilk who care more about money and power than the basic principles that historically sustained their party. I have lost all respect for them.

But unfortunately this does open the door for those who use this to approve of the Republican establishment, which is 'at least honest' about being substantially corrupt servants to Big Money who care nothing about democracy, the Constitution, or the public. The best of them are leaving or have already left, and their party is ruined beyond repair.

This all underscores the paucity of the Red v. Blue, monopoly of two parties, 'lesser of two evils' model of political thought which has come to dominate the discussion in the US.

We are heavily propagandized by the owners of the corporate media and influencers of the narrative, and a professional class that has sold its soul for economic advantage and access to money and power.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/2HBA3Zm3dGM

And here is a bit more from Nate Silver --

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SETw5GLF8mU

[Dec 29, 2018] The problem is in 2008 unlike 1933 large sections of the electorate just wanted more Republican economics to "deal" with the aftermath

Politically Obama was a "despicable coward", or worse, a marionette.
Notable quotes:
"... A 50 state strategy, or no 50 state strategy, it really doesn't matter. Democrats were going to take losses. The key is, making sure the party is unified enough to run public policy courses. ..."
"... Your points make little sense in the face of what people wanted in 2016 that Obama could have delivered without interference from the Republicans. Things like anti-trust enforcement, SEC enforcement aka jailing the banksters, not going into Syria, not supporting the war in Yemen (remember he did both of those on his own without Congress), not making the Bush tax cuts permanent, not staying silent on union issues and actually wearing those oft mentioned comfortable shoes while walking a picket line, the list of what could have been done and that people supported goes on and on. None of which required approval from Congress. ..."
"... And speaking of the ACA, we know that Obama and others did whatever they could to kill single payer and replace it with Romneycare 1.5. The language in the bill and the controversy surrounding it show that no one thought this would give them a short term political advantage. If anything, the run up to the vote finally made enough citizens realize that they didn't hate government insurance, they just hated insurance. And here were the Democrats and Obama, forcing people to buy expensive insurance. ..."
"... He had a mandate for change. He had a majorities in both houses. He had the perfect bully pulpit. He chose not to use any of it. He and others killed the support for local parties. The Democrats needed the JFA with Hillary because Obama had pretty much bankrupted the party in 2012. A commitment to all 50 states would have been huge and would have helped Hillary get on the ground where she needed to shore up support by a few thousand votes. ..."
"... Obama and the Democrats took losses from 2008 on because they promised to do what their constituents voted them in to do and then decided not to do it. ..."
"... People don't have Republican fatigue. They don't have Democrat fatigue. They simply don't see the point in voting for people who won't do what they're voted in to do. ..."
"... The citizens of this country want change. They want higher wages and lower prices. They want less war. They want less government interference. They want their kids to grow up with more opportunities than they did. ..."
Dec 29, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Health Care

"Democratic left playing a long game to get 'Medicare for All'" [Bloomberg Law]. "'We don't have the support that we need,' said Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who will co-chair the Progressive Caucus. She said that she'd favor modest expansions of Medicare or Medicaid eligibility as a step toward Medicare for All. 'I am a big bold thinker; I'm also a good practical strategist,' Jayapal said.

'It's why the Medicare for All Caucus was started, because we want to get information to our members so people feel comfortable talking about the attacks we know are going to come.'" • So many Democrat McClellans; so few Democrat Grants.

"Progressives set to push their agenda in Congress and on the campaign trail. The GOP can't wait." [NBC]. "While the party has moved left on health care, many Democrats seem more comfortable offering an option to buy into Medicare or a similar public plan rather than creating one single-payer plan that replaces private insurance and covers everyone. Progressives, led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and her Medicare For All PAC, plan to whip up support for the maximalist version and advance legislation in 2019." • The "maximalist version" is exactly what Jayapal herself, quoted by Bloomberg, says she will not seek. Not sure whether this is Democrat cynicism, sloppy Democrat messaging, or poor reporting. Or all three!


Nick Stokes , December 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm

The problem is unlike 1933 large sections of the electorate just wanted more Republican economics to "deal" with the aftermath. That is the difference between a moderate recession(historically) and a collapse like the early 1930's had when the British Empire and the de Rothschild dynasty finally collapsed.

40% didn't want anything the Obama Administration came up with succeed. 40% wanted more than they could possible politically come up with and that left 20% to actually get something done. You see why the Democrats had to take losses.

Even if Health Care, which was controversial in the party was nixed for more "stimulus", Democrats look weak. Politically, Stimulus wasn't that popular and "fiscal deficit" whiners were going to whine and there are a lot of them.

Naked Capitalism ignores this reality instead, looking for esoteric fantasy. I would argue Democrats in 2009-10 looked for short term political gain by going with Health Care reform instead of slowly explaining the advantage of building public assets via stimulus, because the party was to split on Health Care to create a package that would satisfy enough people.

Similar the Republican party, since Reagan had done the opposite, took short term political gain in 2016, which was a mistake, due to their Clinton hatred.

Which is now backfiring and the business cycle is not in a kind spot going forward, which we knew was likely in 2016.

So not only does "Republican fatigue" hurt in 2018, your on the political defensive for the next cycle. Short-termism in politics is death.

A 50 state strategy, or no 50 state strategy, it really doesn't matter. Democrats were going to take losses. The key is, making sure the party is unified enough to run public policy courses.

Chris , December 27, 2018 at 7:13 pm

Mr. Stokes (or David Brock I presume?),

I truly don't understand your point of view. I also don't understand your claim that NC deals in fantasy.

Your points make little sense in the face of what people wanted in 2016 that Obama could have delivered without interference from the Republicans. Things like anti-trust enforcement, SEC enforcement aka jailing the banksters, not going into Syria, not supporting the war in Yemen (remember he did both of those on his own without Congress), not making the Bush tax cuts permanent, not staying silent on union issues and actually wearing those oft mentioned comfortable shoes while walking a picket line, the list of what could have been done and that people supported goes on and on. None of which required approval from Congress.

There's even the bland procedural tactic of delaying the release of the Obamacare exchange premium price increases until after the election in 2016. He could have delayed that notice several months and saved Hillary a world of hurt at the polls. But he chose not to use the administrative tools at his disposal in that case. He also could have seen the writing on the wall with the multiple shut down threats and gotten ahead of it by asking Congress that if you are deemed an essential employee you will continue to be paid regardless of whether your department is funded during a shutdown. With 80% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck that would have been a huge deal.

And speaking of the ACA, we know that Obama and others did whatever they could to kill single payer and replace it with Romneycare 1.5. The language in the bill and the controversy surrounding it show that no one thought this would give them a short term political advantage. If anything, the run up to the vote finally made enough citizens realize that they didn't hate government insurance, they just hated insurance. And here were the Democrats and Obama, forcing people to buy expensive insurance.

Obama took a huge organization that could have helped him barnstorm the country (OFA) just like what Bernie is doing now and killed it early in his first term. He had a mandate for change. He had a majorities in both houses. He had the perfect bully pulpit. He chose not to use any of it. He and others killed the support for local parties. The Democrats needed the JFA with Hillary because Obama had pretty much bankrupted the party in 2012. A commitment to all 50 states would have been huge and would have helped Hillary get on the ground where she needed to shore up support by a few thousand votes.

Obama and the Democrats took losses from 2008 on because they promised to do what their constituents voted them in to do and then decided not to do it. By the time 2016 rolled around, there were estimates which placed 90% of the counties in the US as not having recovered from the disaster in 2007. Hillary ran on radical incrementalism aka the status quo. Who in their right mind could have supported the status quo in 2016?

The Democrats lost seats at all levels of government because of their own incompetence, because of their cowardice, because of their lazy assumptions that people had nowhere else to go. So when record numbers of people didn't vote they lost by slim margins in states long considered True Blue. There is nothing cyclical about any of that.

People don't have Republican fatigue. They don't have Democrat fatigue. They simply don't see the point in voting for people who won't do what they're voted in to do.

The citizens of this country want change. They want higher wages and lower prices. They want less war. They want less government interference. They want their kids to grow up with more opportunities than they did.

Obama and Hillary and all the rest of the Democrats stalking MSM cameras could have delivered on some of that but chose not to. And here we are. With President Trump. And even his broken clock gets something right twice a day, whereas Team Blue has a 50/50 chance of making the right decision and chooses wrong everytime.

Please provide better examples of your points if you truly want to defend your argument.

Carey , December 27, 2018 at 8:45 pm

What an outstandingly comprehensive recent history of
Our dismal-by-design Democrats.

My hat is off to you, Sir.

Expat2uruguay , December 28, 2018 at 7:44 am

And, that often mentioned reason for voting for Democrats, the Supreme Court. Neither Obama nor the Democrats fought for their opportunity to put their person on the Supreme Court. Because of norms I guess. Which actually makes some sense because it broke norms. Because they simply don't care

WJ , December 28, 2018 at 11:37 am

+100000

Chris , December 27, 2018 at 7:21 pm

I truly don't understand why you think any of that. Most mystifying is your claim that anyone thought ACA would provide short term political benefit?

You know how Obamacare could have given Hillary a short term political gain? If Obama had directed HHS to delay releasing any premium increase notices until after the election.

Otherwise, you'd have to support your argument a lot better. NC has the least fantastical commentary base of any website I've seen.

Yves Smith , December 27, 2018 at 8:09 pm

This is complete and utter nonsense. Your calling depicting NC as "fantasy" is a textbook example of projection on your part.

The country was terrified and demoralized when Obama took office. Go read the press in December 2008 and January 2009, since your memory is poor. He not only had window of opportunity to do an updated 100 days, the country would have welcomed. But he ignored it and the moment passed.

Obama pushed heath care because that was what he had campaigned on and had a personal interest in it. He had no interest in banking and finance and was happy to let Geither run that show.

As for stimulus, bullshit. Trump increased deficit spending with his tax cuts and no one cares much if at all. The concern re deficit spending was due to the fact that the Obama economic team was the Clinton (as in Bob Rubin) economics team, which fetishized balanced budgets or even worse, surpluses. We have explained long form that that stance was directly responsible for the rapid increase in unproductive household debt, most of all mortgage debt, which produced the crisis.

We discussed it long form in 2010:

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/03/the-empire-continues-to-strike-back-team-obama-propaganda-campaign-reaches-fever-pitch.html

Better trolls, please.

[Dec 24, 2018] Chuck Schumer, feckless hack

Notable quotes:
"... Senate Democrats have once again selected Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) as their minority leader without so much as a whisper of a debate or contest. This is galling. The man is incompetent, has abysmal politics, and as we were reminded in a huge New York Times investigation into Facebook, is extremely corrupt. ..."
"... Schumer definitely succeeded in the latter objective. In keeping with his long career as a Wall Street stooge (and in sharp contrast with his predecessor Harry Reid ), he quietly shepherded financial deregulation through. And because he has an almost neoconservative foreign policy, he largely stood aside as Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal for no reason. He also attacked Trump from the right for not being belligerent enough towards North Korea. ..."
"... Where does Schumer come in? Well, in 2017, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) opened an investigation into Facebook over Russiagate and misinformation generally. (Far from being some fire-breathing populist, Warner is among the most milquetoast, business-friendly Democrats who has ever held high office.) But Schumer has raised more money from Facebook than any other member of Congress, his daughter works there , and he helped get his former staffer appointed to the Federal Trade Commission (which oversees Facebook). In concert with Facebook brass, he told Warner to lay off the company, reported the Times : "Mr. Warner should be looking for ways to work with Facebook, Mr. Schumer advised, not harm it." ..."
"... So when it comes to sellout Democrats voting to make another financial crisis more likely, Schumer wrings his hands and hectors progressives not to criticize them too much (after which most of the sellouts lose anyway). But when those same sellouts start criticizing one of his favored sources of campaign cash, suddenly he discovers a knack for backroom arm-twisting and hardball tactics. ..."
Dec 24, 2018 | theweek.com
Senate Democrats have once again selected Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) as their minority leader without so much as a whisper of a debate or contest. This is galling. The man is incompetent, has abysmal politics, and as we were reminded in a huge New York Times investigation into Facebook, is extremely corrupt.

In his first two years as Senate minority leader, Schumer had two main priorities. First, preserve his vulnerable moderates running in deeply Trumpy states, like Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly in Indiana. Second, use the Trump presidency to sneak through some odious stuff that most liberals hate.

Schumer definitely succeeded in the latter objective. In keeping with his long career as a Wall Street stooge (and in sharp contrast with his predecessor Harry Reid ), he quietly shepherded financial deregulation through. And because he has an almost neoconservative foreign policy, he largely stood aside as Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal for no reason. He also attacked Trump from the right for not being belligerent enough towards North Korea.

And how about that first goal? Schumer failed spectacularly in preserving most of these seats. Nearly all of his moderates -- to whom he had granted significant leeway to vote for President Trump's judicial nominees and bills -- lost. Only Joe Manchin in West Virginia managed to hang on. The Democratic Senate margin is being somewhat bolstered only by other candidates knocking off Republican senators in Arizona and Nevada, which Schumer had little to do with. (Indeed, Harry Reid, who is still helping run a well-oiled labor turnout machine in Nevada, was the key figure behind the Nevada win.)

This brings me to Facebook. Sheera Frenkel, Nicholas Confessore, Cecilia Kang, Matthew Rosenberg, and Jack Nicas wrote a jaw-dropping piece of reporting for the Times about Facebook's lobbying operation. They focused on how the company has defended itself from evidence that Russian intelligence used the platform to help Trump win in 2016, and that political extremists have been using the platform to organize atrocities , including genocide .

Basically, the strategy conducted by Facebook's top executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, was the filthiest sludge out of the bottom of the lobbying barrel. (Facebook has defended itself and calls the report "grossly unfair.") The story is very long, but probably the most explosive revelation was that Facebook hired a soulless Republican propaganda shop to attack its critics -- notably the Open Markets Institute , which Anne-Marie Slaughter shoved out of the New America Foundation on instructions from her Google paymasters -- with anti-Semitic smears, casting it as the tool of wealthy Jewish philanthropist George Soros. Remarkably, at the very same time they convinced the Anti-Defamation League to cast criticism of Facebook as anti-Semitic, as both Zuckerberg and Sandberg are Jewish.

It's worth stopping for a moment to take this in. Just a couple weeks ago a right-wing terrorist hopped up on anti-Soros propaganda massacred 11 Jews at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Another sent a mail bomb to Soros' home. A third person in D.C. was recently arrested on suspicion of plotting another synagogue shooting.

Where does Schumer come in? Well, in 2017, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) opened an investigation into Facebook over Russiagate and misinformation generally. (Far from being some fire-breathing populist, Warner is among the most milquetoast, business-friendly Democrats who has ever held high office.) But Schumer has raised more money from Facebook than any other member of Congress, his daughter works there , and he helped get his former staffer appointed to the Federal Trade Commission (which oversees Facebook). In concert with Facebook brass, he told Warner to lay off the company, reported the Times : "Mr. Warner should be looking for ways to work with Facebook, Mr. Schumer advised, not harm it."

So when it comes to sellout Democrats voting to make another financial crisis more likely, Schumer wrings his hands and hectors progressives not to criticize them too much (after which most of the sellouts lose anyway). But when those same sellouts start criticizing one of his favored sources of campaign cash, suddenly he discovers a knack for backroom arm-twisting and hardball tactics.

[Dec 22, 2018] A closer look at American "democracy" by Barry Grey

December 20, 2018
Notable quotes:
"... According to the narrative fabricated by the intelligence agencies and promoted by the Democratic Party and the corporate media over the past year and a half, Putin and his minions hacked the Democrats and stirred up social divisions and popular grievances to secure the election for Donald Trump, and they have been working ever since to destroy "our institutions." ..."
"... The State and Revolution ..."
Dec 22, 2018 | www.wsws.org

A central theme of the hysteria over alleged "Russian meddling" in US politics is the sinister effort supposedly being mounted by Vladimir Putin "to undermine and manipulate our democracy" (in the words of Democratic Senator Mark Warner).

According to the narrative fabricated by the intelligence agencies and promoted by the Democratic Party and the corporate media over the past year and a half, Putin and his minions hacked the Democrats and stirred up social divisions and popular grievances to secure the election for Donald Trump, and they have been working ever since to destroy "our institutions."

Their chosen field of battle is the internet, with Russian trolls and bots infecting the body politic by taking advantage of lax policing of social media by the giant tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter.

To defend democracy, the argument goes, these companies, working with the state, must silence oppositional viewpoints -- above all left-wing, anti-war and socialist viewpoints -- which are labeled "fake news," and banish them from the internet. Nothing is said of the fact that this supposed defense of democracy is a violation of the basic canons of genuine democracy, guaranteed in the First Amendment to the US Constitution: freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

But what is this much vaunted "American democracy?" Let's take a closer look.

The two-party monopoly

In a vast and complex country with a population of 328 million people, consisting of many different nationalities, native tongues, religions and other demographics, spanning six time zones and thousands of miles, two political parties totally dominate the political system.

The ruling corporate-financial oligarchy controls both parties and maintains its rule by alternating control of the political institutions -- the White House, Congress, state houses, etc. -- between them. The general population, consisting overwhelmingly of working people, is given the opportunity every two or four years to go to the polls and vote for one or the other of these capitalist parties. This is what is called "democracy."

The monopoly of the two big business parties is further entrenched by the absence of proportional representation, which it makes it impossible for third parties or independent candidates to obtain significant representation in Congress.

The role of corporate money

The entire political process -- the selection of candidates, elections, the formulation of domestic and foreign policies -- is dominated by corporate money. No one can seriously bid for high office unless he or she has the backing of sponsors from the ranks of the richest 1 percent -- or 0.01 percent -- of the population. The buying of elections and politicians is brazen and shameless.

Last month's midterm elections set a record for campaign spending in a non-presidential year -- $5.2 billion -- a 35 percent increase over 2014 and triple the amount spent 20 years ago, in 1998. The bulk of this flood of cash came from corporations and multi-millionaire donors.

In the vast majority of contests, the winner was determined by the size of his or her campaign war chest. Eighty-nine percent of House races and 84 percent of Senate races were won by the biggest spender.

Democratic candidates had a huge spending advantage over their Republican opponents, exposing the fraud of their attempt to posture as a party of the people. The securities and investment industry -- Wall Street -- favored Democrats over Republicans by a margin of 52 percent to 46 percent.

Elections are anything but a forum to openly and honestly discuss and debate the great issues facing the voters. The real issues -- the preparation for new wars, deeper austerity and further attacks on democratic rights -- are concealed behind a miasma of attack ads and mudslinging. The research firm PQ Media estimates that total political ad spending will reach $6.75 billion this year. In last month's elections, the number of congressional and gubernatorial ads rose 59 percent over the previous, 2014, midterm.

The setting of policy and passage of legislation is helped along by corporate bribes, euphemistically termed lobbying. In 2017 alone, corporations spent $3 billion to lobby the government.

Ballot access restrictions

A welter of arcane, arbitrary and anti-democratic requirements for gaining ballot status, which vary from state to state, block third parties from challenging the domination of the Democrats and Republicans. These include filing fees and nominating petition signature requirements in the tens of thousands in many states. Democratic officials routinely challenge the petitions of socialist and left-wing candidates who are likely to find support among young people and workers.

Media blackout of third party candidates

The corporate media systematically blacks out the campaigns of third party and independent candidates, especially left-wing and socialist candidates. The exception is candidates who are either themselves rich or who have the backing of wealthy patrons.

Third party candidates are generally excluded from nationally televised candidates' debates.

In last month's election, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for Congress in Michigan's 12th Congressional District, Niles Niemuth, won broad support among workers, young people and students for his socialist program, but received virtually no press coverage.

Voting restrictions

Since the stolen election of 2000, when the Supreme Court shut down the counting of votes in Florida in order to hand the White House to the loser of the popular vote, George W. Bush, with virtually no opposition from the Democrats or the media, attacks on the right of workers and poor people to vote have mounted.

Thirty-three states have implemented voter identification laws, which, studies show, bar up to 6 percent of the population from voting. States have cut back early voting and absentee voting and shut down voting precincts in working class neighborhoods. A number of states impose a lifetime ban on voting by felons, even after they have done their time. In 2013, the Supreme Court gutted the enforcement mechanism of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, with no real opposition from the Democrats. The United States is one of the few countries that hold elections on a work day, making it more difficult for workers to cast a ballot.

Government of, by and for the rich

The two corporate parties have overseen a social counterrevolution, resulting in a staggering growth of social inequality. In tandem with this process, the oligarchic structure of society has increasingly found open expression in the political forms of rule. Alongside the erection of the infrastructure of a police state -- mass surveillance, indefinite detention, the militarization of the police, Gestapo raids on workplaces and attacks on immigrants, the ascendancy of the military in political affairs, internet censorship -- the personnel of government have increasingly been recruited from the rich and the super-rich.

More than half of the members of Congress are millionaires, as compared to just 1 percent of the American population. All the presidents for the past three decades -- George H. W, Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama -- have either been multi-millionaires going in or have cashed in on their presidencies to become multi-millionaires afterward. In the person of the multi-billionaire real estate speculator and con man Donald Trump, the financial oligarchy has directly taken occupancy of the White House.

In The State and Revolution , Vladimir Lenin wrote: "Bourgeois democracy, although a great historical advance in comparison with medievalism, always remains, and under capitalism is bound to remain, restricted, truncated, false and hypocritical, a paradise for the rich and a snare and deception for the exploited, for the poor."

... ... ...

Barry Grey

[Nov 28, 2018] Greenwald Goes Ballistic On Politico Theory Guardian's Assange-Manafort Story Was Planted By Russians

Nov 28, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Greenwald Goes Ballistic On Politico "Theory" Guardian's Assange-Manafort Story Was Planted By Russians

by Tyler Durden Wed, 11/28/2018 - 20:25 105 SHARES

After The Guardian attempted to shovel what appears to be a wholly fabricated story down our throats that Trump campaign manager met with Julian Assange at the London Embassy - Politico allowed an ex-CIA agent to use their platform to come up with a ham-handed cover story ever; Russia tricked The Guardian into publishing the Manafort-Assange propaganda.

To that end, The Intercept 's Glenn Greenwald (formerly of The Guardian ) ripped Politico an entirely new oriface in a six-part Twitter dress down.

Greenwald also penned a harsh rebuke to the Guardian 's "problematic" reporting in a Tuesday article titled: "It Is Possible Paul Manafort Visited Julian Assange. If True, There Should Be Ample Video and Other Evidence Showing This."

In sum, the Guardian published a story today that it knew would explode into all sorts of viral benefits for the paper and its reporters even though there are gaping holes and highly sketchy aspects to the story.

It is certainly possible that Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, and even Donald Trump himself "secretly" visited Julian Assange in the Embassy. It's possible that Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un joined them.

And if any of that happened, then there will be mountains of documentary proof in the form of videos, photographs, and other evidence proving it . Thus far, no such evidence has been published by the Guardian. Why would anyone choose to believe that this is true rather than doing what any rational person, by definition, would do: wait to see the dispositive evidence before forming a judgment?

The only reason to assume this is true without seeing such evidence is because enough people want it to be true. The Guardian knows this. They knew that publishing this story would cause partisan warriors to excitedly spread the story, and that cable news outlets would hyperventilate over it , and that they'd reap the rewards regardless of whether the story turned out to be true or false. It may be true. But only the evidence, which has yet to be seen, will demonstrate that one way or the other. - Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

In short, The Guardian tried to proffer a load of easily disprovable claims - which if not true, are pure propaganda. Once it began to blow up in their face, Politico let an ex-CIA operative try to save face by suggesting Russia did it . Insanity at its finest.


zerofucks , 20 minutes ago link

loving the lies being drug into the light

anyone who believes the MSM about anything is a fool

and i am shocked an ex-CIA guy was behind the fake news

CatInTheHat , 20 minutes ago link

GG neatly tied in the nefarious connection between the CIA and the media together

This CIA a criminal organization that has lied us into every single war. Yet the Resistance upholds the CIA as beyond reproach.

TODAY THEY LOOK AS FOOLS.

nidaar , 25 minutes ago link

They jumped the shark. This show has its days numbered.

Chuckster , 30 minutes ago link

We don't need the Russians re-chewing our cabbage. We have enough natural born idiots to screw the facts up.

Hippocleides , 34 minutes ago link

Someone ate my sandwich out of the work fridge, God damn Russians!

The Terrible Sweal , 38 minutes ago link

It looks like Greenwald is just about at the point of capitulation and accepting that the entire MSM is utterly fraudulent.

Alternative , 42 minutes ago link

Up next: Guardian journos suffer from Novichik poisoning but survive this lethal nerve gas.

Badsamm , 45 minutes ago link

That still doesn't clear the Guardian from lawsuits.

xrxs , 39 minutes ago link

Maybe discovery will reveal their 'sources.'

Jung , 46 minutes ago link

Ever since Alan Rusbridger. left the Guardian as Chief Editor and made room for Assange and Snowden etc., it seems that they have been infiltrated by the CIA and Luke H. gets attention for his stories and Russia-hatred. The ENglish have been conditioned to hate Russia and the Guardian will do anything to discredit Russia with whatever silly stories. Now they are begging for money to survive: well, NO, because you went along with fake news to get some money: corrupt, unlike Alan Rusbridger, Assange, Manning and Snowden.

Captain Nemo de Erehwon , 49 minutes ago link

Up next: The Russians put up the Guardian to launch a slimy and obviously stupid defence to discredit them.

Later: The Russians are making my hands move on the keys and making me type this nonsense.

BankSurfyMan , 48 minutes ago link

when you masturbate on the HEDGE...

5onIt , 50 minutes ago link

Doesnt matter, 1/2 of our population is convinced, that our governmemt would never do to the USA. what they do to other countries for the past 60 years.

BankSurfyMan , 50 minutes ago link

Assange took another dump today, he is full of **** just like the rest of us ??? Doom 2019! Your *** is on FIRE! neXT!

bluebird100 , 54 minutes ago link

Wow Glenn is discovering that the Fake News is real after all! He's such a hack

JimmyJones , 34 minutes ago link

Yep, the Russian Collusion / interference is so weak. Look at this story, it's breaking and will be huge. Epstine's dirty details released, Muller looks pretty bad.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/11/robert-muellers-fbi-gave-orgy-island-billionaire-epstein-light-sentence-today-details-were-released-on-his-widespread-child-sex-abuse/

[Nov 27, 2018] The political fraud of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal"

Highly recommended!
After Democratic party was co-opted by neoliberals there is no way back. And since Obama the trend of Democratic Party is toward strengthening the wing of CIA-democratic notthe wing of the party friendly to workers. Bought by Wall Street leadership is uncable of intruting any change that undermine thier current neoliberal platform. that's why they criminally derailed Sanders.
Notable quotes:
"... When you think about the issue of how exactly a clean-energy jobs program would address the elephant in the room of private accumulation and how such a program, under capitalism, would be able to pay living wages to the people put to work under it, it exposes how non threatening these Green New Deals actually are to capitalism. ..."
"... To quote Trotsky, "These people are capable of and ready for anything!" ..."
"... "Any serious measures to stop global warming, let alone assure a job and livable wage to everyone, would require a massive redistribution of wealth and the reallocation of trillions currently spent on US imperialism's neo-colonial wars abroad." ..."
"... "It includes various left-sounding rhetoric, but is entirely directed to and dependent upon the Democratic Party." ..."
"... "And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war." - New York Times tries to shame "disillusioned young voters" into supporting the Democrats ..."
"... It is an illusion that technical innovation within the capitalist system will magically fundamentally resolve the material problems produced by capitalism. But the inconvenient facts are entirely ignored by the corporate shills in the DSA and the whole lot of establishment politicians, who prefer to indulge their addiction to wealth and power with delusions of grandeur, technological utopianism, and other figments that serve the needs of their class. ..."
"... First it was Obama with his phoney "hope and change" that lured young voters to the Dumbicrats and now it's Ocacia Cortez promising a "green deal" in order to herd them back into the Democratic party--a total fraud of course--totally obvious! ..."
"... from Greenwald: The Democratic Party's deceitful game https://www.salon.com/2010/... ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Raymond Colison4 days ago

they literally ripped this out of the 2016 Green Party platform. Jill Stein spoke repeatedly about the same exact kind of Green New Deal, a full-employment, transition-to-100%-renewables program that would supposedly solve all the world's problems.

When you think about the issue of how exactly a clean-energy jobs program would address the elephant in the room of private accumulation and how such a program, under capitalism, would be able to pay living wages to the people put to work under it, it exposes how non threatening these Green New Deals actually are to capitalism.

In 2016, when the Greens made this their central economic policy proposal, the Democrats responded by calling that platform irresponsible and dangerous ("even if it's a good idea, you can't actually vote for a non-two-party candidate!"). Why would they suddenly find a green new deal appealing now except for its true purpose: left cover for the very system destroying the planet.

To quote Trotsky, "These people are capable of and ready for anything!"

Greg4 days ago
"Any serious measures to stop global warming, let alone assure a job and livable wage to everyone, would require a massive redistribution of wealth and the reallocation of trillions currently spent on US imperialism's neo-colonial wars abroad."

Their political position not only lacks seriousness, unserious is their political position.

"It includes various left-sounding rhetoric, but is entirely directed to and dependent upon the Democratic Party."

For subjective-idealists, what you want to believe, think and feel is just so much more convincing than objective reality. Especially when it covers over single-minded class interests at play.

"And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war." - New York Times tries to shame "disillusioned young voters" into supporting the Democrats

Penny Smith4 days ago
It is an illusion that technical innovation within the capitalist system will magically fundamentally resolve the material problems produced by capitalism. But the inconvenient facts are entirely ignored by the corporate shills in the DSA and the whole lot of establishment politicians, who prefer to indulge their addiction to wealth and power with delusions of grandeur, technological utopianism, and other figments that serve the needs of their class.
Jim Bergren4 days ago
First it was Obama with his phoney "hope and change" that lured young voters to the Dumbicrats and now it's Ocacia Cortez promising a "green deal" in order to herd them back into the Democratic party--a total fraud of course--totally obvious!

Only an International Socialist program led by Workers can truly lead a "green revolution" by expropriating the billionaire oil barons of their capital and redirecting that wealth into the socialist reconstruction of the entire economy.

Master Oroko4 days ago
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal" is a nice laugh. Really, it sure is funny hearing these lies given any credence at all. This showmanship belongs in a fantasy book, not in real life. The Democratic Party as a force for good social change Now that's a laugh!
Vivek Jain4 days ago
from Greenwald: The Democratic Party's deceitful game https://www.salon.com/2010/...
лидия5 days ago
"Greenwashing" of capitalism (and also of Zionist apartheid colony in Palestine) is but one of dirty tricks by Dems and their "left" backers.
Kalen5 days ago
Lies, empty promises, meaningless tautologies and morality plays, qualified and conditional declarations to be backpedalled pending appropriate political expediencies, devoid any practical content that is what AOC, card carrying member of DSA, and in fact young energetic political apparatchik of calcified political body of Dems establishment, duty engulfs. And working for socialist revolution is no one of them.

What kind of socialist would reject socialist revolution, class struggle and class emancipation and choose, as a suppose socialist path, accommodation with oligarchic ruling elite via political, not revolutionary process that would have necessarily overthrown ruling elite.

What socialist would acquiesce to legalized exploitation of people for profit, legalized greed and inequality and would negotiate away fundamental principle of egalitarianism and working people self rule?

Only National Socialist would; and that is exactly what AOC campaign turned out to be all about.

National Socialism with imperial flavor is her affiliation and what her praises for Pelosi, wife of a billionaire and dead warmonger McCain proved.

Now she is peddling magical thinking about global change and plunge herself into falacy of entrepreneurship, Market solution to the very problem that the market solutions were designed to create and aggravate namely horrific inequality that is robbing people from their own opportunities to mitigate devastating effects of global change.

The insidiousness of phony socialists expresses itself in the fact that they lie that any social problem can be fixed by current of future technical means, namely via so called technological revolution instead by socialist revolution they deem unnecessary or detrimental.

Me at home Kalen4 days ago
The technical means for achieving socialism has existed since the late 19th century, with the telegraph, the coal-powered factory, and modern fertilizer. The improvements since then have only made socialism even more streamlined and efficient, if such technologies could only be liberated from capital! The idea that "we need a new technological revolution just to achieve socialism" reflects the indoctrination in capitalism by many "socialist" theorists because it is only in capitalism where "technological growth" is essential simply to maintain the system. It is only in capitalism (especially America, the most advanced capitalist nation, and thus, the one where capitalism is actually closest towards total crisis) where the dogma of a technological savior is most entrenched because America cannot offer any other kind of palliative to the more literate and productive sections of its population. Religion will not convince most and any attempt at a sociological or economic understanding would inevitably prove the truth of socialism.

[Nov 27, 2018] American Politics Is Now Just Civil War by Other Means by James George JATRAS

Notable quotes:
"... The Camp of the Saints ..."
"... русский ..."
"... российский ..."
"... Two people walk into a bar. ..."
"... One is a Baptist, straight, male Virginia state trooper whose ancestors arrived at Jamestown . ..."
"... The other is a one-legged, genderqueer , Somali Dervish WIC recipient illegally in the US on an expired student visa. ..."
"... So the bartender says ..."
Nov 03, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

In the wake of the sending of bomb-like devices of uncertain capability to prominent critics of US President Donald Trump and of a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue ( both Trump's fault , of course) – plus a migrant invasion approaching the US through Mexico – there have been widespread calls for toning down harsh and "divisive" political rhetoric. Of course given the nature of the American media and other establishment voices, these demands predictably have been aimed almost entirely against Trump and his Deplorable supporters , almost never against the same establishment that unceasingly vilifies Trump and Middle American radicals as literally Hitler , all backed up by the evil White-Nationalist-in-Chief, Russian President Vladimir Putin .

Those appealing for more civility and a return to polite discourse can save their breath. It's much, much too late for that .

When Trump calls the establishment media the enemies of the people, that's because they – together with their passive NPC drones and active Antifa enforcers – are enemies, if by "the people" we mean the historic American nation. Trump's sin is that he calls them out for what they are.

Trump didn't cause today's polarization, he only exacerbates it because he punches back. Good, may he continue to do so. Pining for a more well-mannered time in a country that belongs to another, long-gone era is futile.

American politics is no longer about a narrow range of governing styles or competing economic interests. It is tribal. Today's "tribes" are defined in terms of affinity for or hostility to the founding American ethnos characterized by European, overwhelming British origin (a/k/a, "white"); Christian, mainly Protestant; and English-speaking, as augmented by members of other groups who have totally or partially assimilated to that ethnos or who at least identify with it (think of Mr. Hamadura in The Camp of the Saints ).

(Unfortunately we don't have a specific word for this core American ethnic identity to distinguish it from general references to the United States in a civic or geographic sense. (Russian, by contrast, makes a distinction between ethnic русский (russkiy) and civic/geographical российский (rossiiskiy).) Maybe we could adapt Frank Lloyd Wright's " Usonian "? "Or Americaner," comparable to Afrikaner? "Or Anglo-American "?)

Since the Left gave up on its original focus on industrial workers as the revolutionary class, the old bourgeois/proletarian dichotomy is out. Tribes now line up according to categories in a plural Cultural Marxist schematic of oppressor and victim pairings , with the latter claiming unlimited redress from the former. As the late Joe Sobran said, it takes a lot of clout to be a victim in America these days. The following is a helpful guide to who's who under the new dispensation:

Category

Oppressor

Victim

Sex

Male

Female

Race

White

"Person of Color" (POC)

Language

English

Non-English

Religion

Christian

Non-Christian

Sexual Orientation

"Cis"/" Straight "

LGBTQQIAPP+

Sovereign allegiance

US citizen

Non-US citizen

Legal status

Citizen/legal resident

Illegal/"Undocumented"

Criminality

Law-abiding

Offender

Origin

Native

( Im)migrant

Physical condition

Able

Disabled

Economic

Self-supporting

Dependent

In most of the above categories there are variations that can increase the intensity of oppressor or victim status. For example, certified victimhood in a recognized category confers extra points, like Black Lives Matter for race (it is racist to suggest that " all lives matter ") or a defined religious group marginalized by "hate" (mainly anti-Jewish or anti-Muslim , but not something like anti-Buddhist, anti-Rastafarian, or even anti-atheist or anti-Satanist because no one bothers about them; anti-Christian victimhood is an oxymoron because "Christian" is inherently an oppressive category). In addition, meeting the criteria for more than one category confers enhanced victimhood under a principle called " intersectionality ."

In the same way, there are aggravating factors in oppressor categories, such as being a policeman (an enforcer of the structure of oppression regardless of the officer's personal victim attributes, but worse if straight, white, Christian, etc.) or a member of a "hate" subculture (a Southerner who's not vocally self-loathing is a presumed Klan sympathizer ; thus, a diabetic, unemployed, opioid-addicted Georgia cracker is an oppressor as the beneficiary of his "white privilege" and "toxic masculinity," notwithstanding his socio-economic and health status). Like being Southern, living while genetically Russian is also an aggravating factor.

Creatively shuffling these descriptors suggests an entertaining game like Mad Libs , or perhaps an endless series of jokes for which you could be fired if you told them at work:

Two people walk into a bar.

One is a Baptist, straight, male Virginia state trooper whose ancestors arrived at Jamestown .

The other is a one-legged, genderqueer , Somali Dervish WIC recipient illegally in the US on an expired student visa.

So the bartender says [insert your own punch line here] .

While Patrick Buchanan is right that the level of domestic violence today is not up to what the US experienced in 1968, the depth of the existential divide is much greater. This is why it's perfectly acceptable for a homosexual, black MSM news anchor to describe " white men" collectively as a "terror threat ," but when a straight white, female counterpart makes a clumsy but mild observation about ethnic role-playing it's a firing offense. (Note that while "female" is an assigned victim category, white females can be " gender traitors" if they are seen as putting their "racial privilege ahead of their second-class gender status "; to remain victims in good standing and an "allies" of higher-caste victim groups they need to learn to just " shut the f**k up " when POC sisters with superior oppressed status are holding forth.)

The victim side accuses its opponents of a litany of sins such as racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc., for which the solution is demographic and ideological replacement – even while denying that the replacement is going on or intended. This is no longer ordinary political competition but (in an inversion of von Clausewitz attributed to Michel Foucault) politics " as the continuation of war by other means ." In its immediate application this war is a second American civil war, but it can have immense consequences for war on the international stage as well.

To attain victory the forces of victimhood championed by the Democratic Party need to reclaim part of the apparatus of power they lost in Trump's unexpected 2016 win. (Actually, much of the apparatus in the Executive Branch remains in Democratic hands but is only of limited utility as a "resistance" under the superficial Trumpian occupation.) As this commentary appears it is expected that on November 6 the GOP will retain control of the US Senate but the House of Representatives will flip to the Democrats.

That's what's "supposed" to happen, just as Hillary Clinton was "supposed" to win the White House two years ago. How things will actually play out though is anybody's guess .

But for the sake of discussion, if the expected scenario comes to pass the last chance Trump's election afforded to save what is left of the American nation is likely to come to an end . We can anticipate three results:

Tags: Civil War

[Nov 26, 2018] Orwell's story is an allegory of modern Western politics and social commentary, where so many essential but inconvenient facts are "silently dropped" from analysis.

Notable quotes:
"... Homage to Catalonia ..."
"... Homage to Catalonia ..."
"... typhlophthalmism ..."
Nov 26, 2018 | www.unz.com

In Homage to Catalonia (1938), his memoir of the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell describes how his wife was rudely woken by a police-raid on the hotel room she was occupying in Barcelona:

In the small hours of the morning there was a pounding on the door, and six men marched in, switched on the light, and immediately took up various positions about the room, obviously agreed upon beforehand. They then searched both rooms (there was a bathroom attached) with inconceivable thoroughness. They sounded the walls, took up the mats, examined the floor, felt the curtains, probed under the bath and the radiator, emptied every drawer and suitcase and felt every garment and held it up to the light. ( Homage to Catalonia , ch. 14)

The police conducted this search "in the recognized OGPU [then the Russian communist secret-police] or Gestapo style for nearly two hours," Orwell says. He then notes that in "all this time they never searched the bed." His wife was still in it, you see, and although the police "were probably Communist Party members they were also Spaniards, and to turn a woman out of bed was a little too much for them. This part of the job was silently dropped, making the whole search meaningless."

Orwell's story suggests a new word to me: typhlophthalmism , meaning "the practice of turning a blind eye to essential but inconvenient facts" (from Greek typhlos , "blind," + ophthalmos , "eye"). But it's a long word, so let's call it typhlism for short. Shorter is better, because the term could be used so often today. Orwell's story is an allegory of modern Western politics and social commentary, where so many essential but inconvenient facts are "silently dropped" from analysis.

[Nov 25, 2018] Neoliberal plutocrats preparing ground to wipe out progressives and directly take over the Democratic party in US

The problem with the title is that neoliberals plutocrats took Dem Party during Bill Clinton years. so this goal was accomplished long ago.
Nov 25, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.com
October 23, 2018 globinfo freexchange
Through his own humorous style, comedian Lee Camp pointed out something quite serious. As he explained, Facebook's founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, fulfilled all the conditions necessary to run for president of the United States.
One key condition is certain and obvious: tons of money.
Another one, is to pretend to be religious. And this condition is, of course, particularly important in the America of Donald Trump. Indeed, as Camp says, the former Atheist Mark Zuckerberg has suddenly found religion.
And the most recent fulfilled condition by Facebook's boss, was to secure the alliance with the US deep state.
Indeed , on October 11, Facebook announced the removal of 559 pages and 251 accounts from its service, accusing the account holders of " spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior. " The primary thread connecting victims of the purge seems to be that they are critics and/or opponents of the American political "mainstream" or "establishment."
Also, as Ben Norton of the Real News points out, Facebook has done this multiple times now. We've seen numerous pages that have been removed. We've also seen the scare of so-called fake news. And what's troubling about this is that some of the partners Facebook has in its crackdown on so-called fake news, vetting pages like these that have been removed, one of the partners is the Atlantic Council . The Atlantic Council is essentially a kind of unofficial NATO, funded by the United States government and the European Union along with NATO. Among the other fact-checkers that have partnered with Facebook to screen so-called fake news is the Weekly Standard . The Weekly Standard is a neo-conservative website that itself published false information in the lead-up to the Iraq war, which it strongly supported.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/UiBKj1RTS30


https://www.youtube.com/embed/-nIxZXxeVQY


And what about Jeff Bezos? He invested on the mainstream media propaganda power by buying " one of the leading daily American newspapers, along with The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal. The Post has distinguished itself through its political reporting on the workings of the White House, Congress, and other aspects of the U.S. government. " Quite influential on the US political developments.
Right after this key move, Alternet immediately identified the conflicts of interest since the Washington Post would never reveal the fact that Bezos signed a $600 million contract with the CIA.
It seems that another multi-billionaire rushed to proceed in the necessary actions that could build a bridge towards the US presidency.
And recently, Jeff Bezos attempted to fix his image by raising minimum wage to $15 an hour for Amazon workers. The move came out from the pressure exercised by Bernie Sanders and the progressive movement. Yet, it seems to be another neoliberal-style trick .
All these indications point to the fact that the liberal plutocracy is determined to 'fire' its faithful political puppets in the Democratic party, who are rapidly losing popularity and have become 'inefficient' to serve its interests.
Besides, the progressive movement has already marked some significant victories in the ideological battlefield. For example, big money and wealthy donors become more and more repulsive in the eyes of progressive voters and younger generations. And this has become clear in practice, with the unprecedented victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives who beat establishment Democrats without the help of the big money.
As the liberal plutocrats understand that it is now pointless to spend money for buying politicians, they will attempt to take over the Democratic party by themselves. Otherwise, the party will fall in the hands of the progressives and they will be left without political power. The liberal plutocrats will use the power of the corporate media to sell themselves as the sole antidote to Donald Trump.
It is highly unlikely to see this in the 2020 presidential election. The liberal plutocrats probably prepare the ground to take over the Democratic party in 2024. We may see Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos fighting in the Democratic primaries and then, fighting for the presidency against someone from the Trump 'school', like Nikki Haley .
The anti-globalist part of the big capital that supported Trump will prefer this development instead of an uncontrollable progressive movement that will hold political power. Then, plutocrats of all sides will do what the big capital always does. They will clear up things between them. In one thing they are unquestionably united: crushing the resistance of the ordinary people from below.

[Nov 23, 2018] Millionaires Running Democratic Party Meet In Secret

Nov 23, 2018 | youtu.be

A big club is meeting to discuss "progressive" causes. Reporters aren't allowed. Here are the details Jimmy Dore gets it.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 23, 2018 11:03:50 AM | 81

[Nov 12, 2018] The Democratic Party long ago earned the designation graveyard of social protest movements, and for good reason

Highly recommended!
The Democrats are politically responsible for the rise of Trump.
Notable quotes:
"... As Obama said following Trump's election, the Democrats and Republicans are "on the same team" and their differences amount to an "intramural scrimmage." They are on the team of, and owned lock stock and barrel by, the American corporate-financial oligarchy, personified by Trump. ..."
"... The Democrats are, moreover, politically responsible for the rise of Trump. The Obama administration paved the way for Trump by implementing the pro-corporate (Wall Street bailout), pro-war (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, drone killings) and anti-democratic (mass surveillance, persecution of Snowden, Assange, Manning) policies that Trump is continuing and intensifying. And by breaking all his election promises and carrying out austerity policies against the working class, Obama enabled the billionaire gangster Trump to make an appeal to sections of workers devastated by deindustrialization, presenting himself as the anti-establishment spokesman for the "forgotten man." ..."
"... This was compounded by the right-wing Clinton candidacy, which exuded contempt for the working class and appealed for support to the military and CIA and wealthy middle-class layers obsessed with identity politics. Sanders' endorsement of Clinton gave Trump an open field to exploit discontent among impoverished social layers. ..."
Nov 02, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Pelosi's deputy in the House, Steny Hoyer, sums up the right-wing policies of the Democrats, declaring: "His [Trump's] objectives are objectives that we share. If he really means that, then there is an opening for us to work together."

So much for the moral imperative of voting for the Democrats to stop Trump! As Obama said following Trump's election, the Democrats and Republicans are "on the same team" and their differences amount to an "intramural scrimmage." They are on the team of, and owned lock stock and barrel by, the American corporate-financial oligarchy, personified by Trump.

The Democrats are, moreover, politically responsible for the rise of Trump. The Obama administration paved the way for Trump by implementing the pro-corporate (Wall Street bailout), pro-war (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, drone killings) and anti-democratic (mass surveillance, persecution of Snowden, Assange, Manning) policies that Trump is continuing and intensifying. And by breaking all his election promises and carrying out austerity policies against the working class, Obama enabled the billionaire gangster Trump to make an appeal to sections of workers devastated by deindustrialization, presenting himself as the anti-establishment spokesman for the "forgotten man."

This was compounded by the right-wing Clinton candidacy, which exuded contempt for the working class and appealed for support to the military and CIA and wealthy middle-class layers obsessed with identity politics. Sanders' endorsement of Clinton gave Trump an open field to exploit discontent among impoverished social layers.

The same process is taking place internationally. While strikes and other expressions of working class opposition are growing and broad masses are moving to the left, the right-wing policies of supposedly "left" establishment parties are enabling far-right and neo-fascist forces to gain influence and power in countries ranging from Germany, Italy, Hungary and Poland to Brazil.

As for Gay's injunction to vote "pragmatically," this is a crude promotion of the bankrupt politics that are brought forward in every election to keep workers tied to the capitalist two-party system. "You have only two choices. That is the reality, whether you like it or not." And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war.

The Democratic Party long ago earned the designation "graveyard of social protest movements," and for good reason. From the Populist movement of the late 19th century, to the semi-insurrectional industrial union movement of the 1930s, to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, to the mass anti-war protest movements of the 1960s and the eruption of international protests against the Iraq War in the early 2000s -- every movement against the depredations of American capitalism has been aborted and strangled by being channeled behind the Democratic Party.

[Nov 12, 2018] Why Democrats Are So Okay With Losing by Louis Proyect

Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump has been transforming American society not by legislation but by using his executive powers to put people in charge of government agencies who are inimical to their stated goals. It is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse ..."
"... By contrast, Trump is imposing a regime that was incubated long ago by people such as Grover "Starve the Beast" Norquist and every other libertarian think-tank funded by the Koch Brothers et al. The big bourgeoisie might not like the bad taste, racism and thuggish behavior of the Trump administration but they couldn't be happier with the results. This is an elected government that has fulfilled its deepest policy aspirations and that shows a willingness to push the Democrats back on their heels, so much so that someone like Mikie Sherrill lacks the courage to defend policies that might win elections down the road. After all, if she is unseated, she can always go back to a job as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey. What happens to someone working in Walmart's is not her business, after all. ..."
Nov 09, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Ever since the Democratic Party abandoned its New Deal legacy and adopted the neoliberal centrism associated with the Carter presidency and then cast in stone by the Democratic Leadership Council in 1985, each election loss has generated a chorus of remonstrations in the left-liberal press about the need to run "progressive" candidates if the party wants to win. The latest instance of this was a post to the Jacobin FB page that stated: "By running to the right, Democrats insist on losing twice: at the polls and in constructing an inspiring agenda. Bold left-wing politics are our only hope for long-term, substantive victory."

The question of why Democrats are so okay with losing has to be examined closely. In some countries, elections have huge consequences, especially in Latin America where a job as an elected official might be not only a source of income for a socialist parliamentarian but a trigger for a civil war or coup as occurred in Costa Rica in 1948 and in Chile in 1973 respectively.

In the 2010 midterm elections, there was a massive loss of seats in the House of Representatives for the Democrats. In this month's midterm elections, the Democrats hoped that a "Blue Wave" would do for them what the 2010 midterms did for the Republicans -- put them in the driver's seat. It turned out to be more of a "Blue Spray", not to speak of the toothless response of House leader Nancy Pelosi who spoke immediately about how the Democrats can reach across the aisle to the knuckle-dragging racists of the Republican Party.

Out of curiosity, I went to Wikipedia to follow up on what happened to the "losers" in 2010. Did they have to go on unemployment? Like Republicans who got voted out this go-round, Democrats had no trouble lining up jobs as lobbyists. Allen Boyd from Florida sent a letter to Obama after the BP oil spill in 2010 asking him to back up BP's claim that seafood in the Gulf of Mexico was okay to eat. After being voted out of office, he joined the Twenty-First Century Group, a lobbying firm founded by a former Republican Congressman from Texas named Jack Fields. A 1980 article on Fields describes him as a protégé of ultraright leader Paul Weyrich.

Glenn Nye, who lost his job as a Virginia congressman, his considerable CV that included working for the Agency for International Development (AID) and serving in various capacities during the occupation of Iraq to land a nice gig as Senior Political Advisor for the Hanover Investment Group.

John Spratt from South Carolina was described by Dow Jones News as "one of the staunchest fiscal conservatives among House Democrats." That was enough for him to land a job with Barack Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform that was supposed to come up with a strategy to reduce the deficit. Just the sort of thing that was calculated to lift the American economy out of the worst slump since the 1930s. Not.

Pennsylvania's Chris Carney was a helluva Democrat. From 2002 to 2004, he was a counterterrorism analyst for the Bush administration. He not only reported to Douglas Feith in the Office of Special Plans and at the Defense Intelligence Agency, researching links between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, but served as an interrogator in Guantanamo. These qualifications landed him a job as director of homeland security and policy strategy for BAE Systems when the House of Representatives gig ended. A British security and munitions powerhouse, BAE won a contract worth £4.4bn to supply the Saudis with 72 fighter jets – some of which were used to bomb Red Cross and Physician Without Borders hospitals in Yemen.

With such crumb-bums losing in 2010, you'd think that the Democrats would be convinced that their best bet for winning elections would be to disavow candidates that had ties to the national security apparatus and anything that smacked of the DLC's assault on the welfare state. Not exactly. When the candidates are female, that might work in the party's favor like sugar-coating a bitter pill.

In Virginia, former CIA officer Abigail Spanberger and retired Navy Commander Elaine Luria defeated Republican incumbents. Air Force veteran Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania, former CIA analyst Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, and former Navy pilot Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey also helped the Democrats regain the House. Sherill calculated that moving to the center would serve her own and the party's interests. She told MSNBC: "As a Navy helicopter pilot I never flew Republican missions or Democratic missions, I would have had a very short career. This is something I do think vets bring to the table, this willingness to work with everyone."

An article titled "' Montclair Mikie' Sherrill recast as 'Moderate Mikie' as Webber attacks in NJ House race " described her Road to Damascus conversion to DLC principles:

For Sherrill, a newcomer to politics, the 11th has proved to be a tricky terrain. She is seen as a progressive, but appears wary of carrying the "Trump resistance" banner into the fray. At Wednesday's debate, Sherrill was determined to show she is more Morris Plains than Montclair.

There were no heated vows to fight Trump, even though being "appalled" by the president was what motivated her to run in the first place. The Nov. 6 midterms loom as a referendum on Trump's presidency, but you would never have guessed that watching Wednesday's contest.

Sherrill repeatedly promised to be bipartisan -- a far cry from the combative, confrontational tone that many in the party's grass roots are demanding.

On tax policy she sounded more centrist Republican than mainstream liberal Democrat, and she refused to endorse issues like free community college tuition, which has become a popular talking point for Democrats and was launched by Gov. Phil Murphy this summer.

"Without understanding how that would be paid for, I haven't supported it because it sounds like it would raise taxes on our families,'" she said.

The moderate tone puzzled some of her ardent "resistance" activists who mobilized around her candidacy.

For Eric Fritsch, 32, a Teamster for the film and television industry from West Orange, it was jarring to hear Sherrill oppose Democratic Party wish-list items like free community college tuition or "Medicare-for-all" coverage out of fear that it may raise taxes. She used the same excuse to sidestep supporting a "carbon tax" to reduce global warming.

"By going on the defensive about taxes she is accepting a Republican framing that we don't want to be responsible with taxes in the first place,'" said Fritsch, who insisted that he remains a "very enthusiastic" Sherrill supporter.

It should be abundantly clear by now that the Democratic Party leadership will be selecting a candidate in 2020 in all ways identical to Hillary Clinton but perhaps with a less tawdry past and less of an appetite for Goldman-Sachs speaking fees. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo, et al have no intention of allowing upstarts like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to spoil their plans, even if it means a second term for Donald Trump.

No matter. Jacobin editor Bhaskar Sunkara urges his readers and DSA comrades to plunge ahead trying to consolidate a "socialist" caucus in the Democratic Party. From his perspective, working in the Democratic Party seems to be the "most promising place for advancing left politics, at least in the short term." Keep in mind that Sherrill raised $1.9 million for her campaign and my old boss from Salomon Brothers Michael Bloomberg ponied up another $1.8 million just for her TV ads. Does anybody really think that "socialist" backed candidates will be able to compete with people like Sherrill in the primaries? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was able to defeat the hack Joe Crowley on a shoestring but that was something of a fluke. Until there is a massive shake-up in American society that finally reveals the Democratic Party to be the capitalist tool it has been since Andrew Jackson's presidency, it is likely that a combination of big money and political inertia will keep the Democratic Party an agent of reaction.

Furthermore, the takeover of the House might turn out to be a hollow victory in the light of how Trump rules. His strategy hasn't been to push through legislation except for the tax cut. Remember the blather about investing in infrastructure? His minions in Congress have no intention of proposing a trillion or so dollars in highway or bridge repair, etc. With Nancy Pelosi fecklessly talking about how the two parties can collaborate on infrastructure, you can only wonder whether she has been asleep for the past two years.

Donald Trump has been transforming American society not by legislation but by using his executive powers to put people in charge of government agencies who are inimical to their stated goals. It is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse as Malcolm X once put it. Two days ago, the NY Times wrote about how the "Trump Administration Spares Corporate Wrongdoers Billions in Penalties". It did not need legislation to help big banks rip off the public. All it took was naming former head of BankOne Joseph Otting comptroller of the currency. Senator Sherrod Brown, one of the few Democrats with a spine, called Trump out: "The president's choice for watchdog of America's largest banks is someone who signed a consent order -- over shady foreclosure practices -- with the very agency he's been selected to run."

For all of the dozens of articles about how Trump is creating a fascist regime, hardly any deal with the difference between Trump and Adolf Hitler. Hitler created a massive bureaucracy that ran a quasi-planned economy with generous social benefits that put considerable restraints on the bourgeoisie. Like FDR, he was taking measures to save capitalism. Perhaps if the USA had a social and economic crisis as deep as Germany's and left parties as massive as those in Germany, FDR might have embarked on a much more ambitious concentration camp program, one that would have interred trade unionists as well as Japanese-Americans. Maybe even Jews if they complained too much.

By contrast, Trump is imposing a regime that was incubated long ago by people such as Grover "Starve the Beast" Norquist and every other libertarian think-tank funded by the Koch Brothers et al. The big bourgeoisie might not like the bad taste, racism and thuggish behavior of the Trump administration but they couldn't be happier with the results. This is an elected government that has fulfilled its deepest policy aspirations and that shows a willingness to push the Democrats back on their heels, so much so that someone like Mikie Sherrill lacks the courage to defend policies that might win elections down the road. After all, if she is unseated, she can always go back to a job as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey. What happens to someone working in Walmart's is not her business, after all.

[Nov 08, 2018] Trump, Gorbachev, And The Fall Of The American Empire

Gold age of the USA (say 40 years from 1946 to approximately 1986 ) were an in some way an aberration caused by WWII. As soon as Germany and Japan rebuilt themselves this era was over. And the collapse of the USSR in 1991 (or more correct Soviet nomenklatura switching sides and adopting neoliberalism) only make the decline more gradual but did not reversed it. After 200 it was clear that neoliberalism is in trouble and in 2008 it was clear that ideology of neoliberalism is dead, much like Bolshevism after 1945.
As the US ruling neoliberal elite adopted this ideology ad its flag, the USA faces the situation somewhat similar the USSR faced in 70th. It needs its "Perestroika" but with weak leader at the helm like Gorbachov it can lead to the dissolution of the state. Dismantling neoliberalism is not less dangerous then dismantling of Bolshevism. The level of brainwashing of both population and the elite (and it looks like the USA elite is brainwashed to an amazing level, probably far exceed the level of brainwashing of Soviet nomenklatura) prevents any constructive moves.
In a way, Neoliberalism probably acts as a mousetrap for the country, similar to the role of Bolshevism in the USSR. Ideology of neoliberalism is dead, so what' next. Another war to patch the internal divisions ? That's probably why Trump is so adamant about attacking Iran. Iran does not have nuclear weapons so this is in a way an ideal target. Unlike, say, Russia. And such a war can serve the same political purpose. That's why many emigrants from the USSR view the current level of divisions with the USA is a direct analog of divisions within the USSR in late 70th and 80th. Similarities are clearly visible with naked eye.
Notable quotes:
"... t is well known that legendary American gangster Al Capone once said that 'Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class', - and I have commented on the links between organised crime and capitalist accumulation before on this blog, but I recently came across the following story from Claud Cockburn's autobiography, and decided to put it up on Histomat for you all. ..."
"... "Listen," he said, "don't get the idea I'm one of those goddam radicals. Don't get the idea I'm knocking the American system. The American system..." As though an invisible chairman had called upon him for a few words, he broke into an oration upon the theme. He praised freedom, enterprise and the pioneers. He spoke of "our heritage". He referred with contempuous disgust to Socialism and Anarchism. "My rackets," he repeated several times, "are run on strictly American lines and they're going to stay that way"...his vision of the American system began to excite him profoundly and now he was on his feet again, leaning across the desk like the chairman of a board meeting, his fingers plunged in the rose bowls. ..."
"... A month later in New York I was telling this story to Mr John Walter, minority owner of The Times . He asked me why I had not written the Capone interview for the paper. I explained that when I had come to put my notes together I saw that most of what Capone had said was in essence identical with what was being said in the leading articles of The Times itself, and I doubted whether the paper would be best pleased to find itself seeing eye to eye with the most notorious gangster in Chicago. Mr Walter, after a moment's wry reflection, admitted that probably my idea had been correct.' ..."
"... The biggest lie ever told is that American hegemony relies on American imperialism and warmongering. The opposite is true. America is weak precisely because it is trying so hard to project strength, because anyone with half a brain knows that it is projecting strength to enrich oligarhcs, not to protect or favor the American people. ..."
"... please mr. author don't give us more globalist dribble. We want our wealth back ..."
"... America the empire is just another oligarchic regime that other countries' populations rightly see as an example of what doesn't work ..."
"... It's the ruling capitalist Predator Class that has been demanding empire since McKinley was assassinated. That's the problem. ..."
"... And who do you suppose are the forces which are funding US politicians and thus getting to call their shots in foreign policy? Can you bring yourself to name them? ..."
"... The US physical plant and equipment as well as infrastructure is in advanced stages of decay. Ditto for the labor force which has been pauperized and abused for decades by the Predator Class... ..."
Nov 08, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump, Gorbachev, And The Fall Of The American Empire

by Tyler Durden Wed, 11/07/2018 - 23:25 13 SHARES Authored by Raja Murthy via The Asia Times,

"The only wealth you keep is wealth you have given away," said Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD), last of the great Roman emperors. US President Donald Trump might know of another Italian, Mario Puzo's Don Vito Corleone, and his memorable mumble : "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."

Forgetting such Aurelian and godfather codes is propelling the decline and fall of the American empire.

Trump is making offers the world can refuse – by reshaping trade deals, dispensing with American sops and forcing powerful corporations to return home, the US is regaining economic wealth but relinquishing global power.

As the last leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika (restructuring) led to the breakup of its vast territory(22 million square kilometers). Gorbachev's failed policies led to the dissolution of the USSR into Russia and independent countries, and the end of a superpower.

Ironically, the success of Trump's policies will hasten the demise of the American empire: the US regaining economic health but losing its insidious hold over the world.

This diminishing influence was highlighted when India and seven other countries geared up to defy Washington's re-imposition of its unilateral, illegal sanctions against Iran, starting Monday.

The US State Department granting "permission" on the weekend to the eight countries to buy Iranian oil was akin to waving the green flag at a train that has already left the station

The US State Department granting "permission" on the weekend to the eight countries to buy Iranian oil was akin to waving the green flag at a train that has already left the station.

The law of cause and effect unavoidably delivers. The Roman Empire fell after wars of greed and orgies of consumption. A similar nemesis, the genie of Gorbachev, stalks Pennsylvania Avenue, with Trump unwittingly writing the last chapter of World War II: the epilogue of the two rival superpowers that emerged from humanity's most terrible conflict.

The maverick 45th president of the United States may succeed at being an economic messiah to his country, which has racked up a $21.6 trillion debt, but the fallout is the death of American hegemony. These are the declining days of the last empire standing.

Emperors and mafia godfathers knew that wielding great influence means making payoffs. Trump, however, is doing away with the sops, the glue that holds the American empire together, and is making offers that he considers "fair" but instead is alienating the international community– from badgering NATO and other countries to pay more for hosting the US legions (800 military bases in 80 countries) to reducing US aid.

US aid to countries fell from $50 billion in fiscal year 2016, $37 billion in 2017 to $7.7 billion so far in 2018. A world less tied to American largesse and generous trade tarrifs can more easily reject the "you are with us or against us" bullying doctrine of US presidents. In the carrot and stick approach that largely passes as American foreign policy, the stick loses power as the carrot vanishes.

Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) in The Godfather. Big payoffs needed for big influence. A presidential lesson for Don Trump

More self-respecting leaders will have less tolerance for American hypocrisy, such as sanctioning other countries for nuclear weapons while having the biggest nuclear arsenal on the planet.

They will sneer more openly at the hysteria surrounding alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential elections, pointing to Washington's violent record of global meddling. They will cite examples of American hypocrisy such as its sponsorship of coups against elected leaders in Latin America, the US Army's Project Camelot in 1964 targeting 22 countries for intervention (including Iran, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia), its support for bloodthirsty dictators, and its destabilization of the Middle East with the destruction of Iraq and Libya.

Immigrant cannon fodder

Trump's focus on the economy reduces the likelihood of him starting wars. By ending the flood of illegal immigrants to save jobs for US citizens, he is also inadvertently reducing the manpower for illegal wars. Non-citizen immigrants comprise about 5% of the US Army. For its Iraq and Afghanistan wars, US army recruiters offered citizenship to lure illegal immigrants, mostly Latinos.

Among the first US soldiers to die in the Iraq War was 22-year old illegal immigrant Corporal Jose Antonio Gutierrez, an orphan from the streets of Guatemala City. He sneaked across the Mexican border into the US six years before enlisting in exchange for American citizenship.

On March 21, 2003, Gutierrez was killed by friendly fire near Umm Qasr, southern Iraq. The coffin of this illegal immigrant was draped in the US flag, and he received American citizenship – posthumously.

Trump policies targeting illegal immigration simultaneously reduces the availability of cannon fodder for the illegal wars needed to maintain American hegemony.

Everything comes to an end, and so too will the last empire of our era.

The imperial American eagle flying into the sunset will see the dawn of an economically healthier US that minds its own business, and increase hopes for a more equal, happier world – thanks to the unintentional Gorbachev-2 in the White House.


PeaceForWorld , 3 minutes ago link

I am sure that many of us are OK with ending American Empire. Both US citizens and other countries don't want to fight un-necessary and un-ending wars. If Trump can do that, then he is blessed.

Condor_0000 , 23 minutes ago link

Imperialism and the State: Why McDonald's Needs McDonnell Douglas

By Paul D'Amato

http://www.isreview.org/issues/17/state_and_imperialism.shtml

Excerpt:

The modern nation-state was necessary as a means of creating a single, unified market that could facilitate commerce. But the state was also crucial in providing necessary infrastructure, and sometimes the pooling of capital resources, necessary for national capitalists to operate and compete effectively.

But the state as a bureaucratic institution had another, more fundamental function. Lenin, citing Engels, defined the essence of the state as "bodies of armed men, prisons, etc.," in short, an instrument for the maintenance of the rule of the exploiting minority over the exploited majority.

As capitalism burst the bounds of the nation-state, the coercive military function of the state took on a new dimension--that of protecting (and projecting) the interests of the capitalists of one country over those of another. As capitalism developed, the role of the state increased, the size of the state bureaucracy increased, and the size of its coercive apparatus increased.

Lenin was soon to refine this conception in light of the world's descent into the mass slaughter of the First World War. He argued that capitalism had reached a new stage--imperialism--the struggle between the world's "great powers" for world dominance. The central feature of imperialism was the rivarly between the great powers--whose economic competition gave way to military conflict.

Another Russian revolutionary, Leon Trotsky, put it this way:

The forces of production which capitalism has evolved have outgrown the limits of nation and state. The national state, the present political form, is too narrow for the exploitation of these productive forces. The natural tendency of our economic system, therefore, is to seek to break through the state boundaries. The whole globe, the land and the sea, the surface as well as the interior, has become one economic workshop, the different parts of which are inseparably connected with each other. This work was accomplished by capitalism. But in accomplishing it the capitalist states were led to struggle for the subjection of the world-embracing economic system to the profit interests of the bourgeoisie of each country...

But the way the governments propose to solve this problem of imperialism is not through the intelligent, organized cooperation of all of humanity's producers, but through the exploitation of the world's economic system by the capitalist class of the victorious country; which country is by this War to be transformed from a great power into a world power.5

Golden Showers , 32 minutes ago link

See a pattern here? Raja Murthy, you sound like a pro-American Empire shill. 1964 Project Camelot has nothing to do with the current administration. Raja, you forgot to wear your satirical pants.

The idea and catchy hook of 2016 was Make America Great Again, not wasting lives and resources on the American Empire. You point out the good things. Who might have a problem with the end of the American Empire are Globalists. What is wrong with relinquishing global power and not wasting lives and money?

"The only lives you keep is lives you've given away" That does not ring true. The only lies you keep are the lies you've given away. What? You're not making any sense, dude. How much American Empire are you vested in? Does it bother you if the Empire shrinks its death grip on Asia or the rest of the world? Why don't you just say it: This is good! Hopefully Trump's policies will prevent you from getting writers' cramp and being confusing--along with the canon fodder. Or maybe you're worried about job security.

America is a super power, just like Russia. Just like England. However, whom the US carries water for might change. Hope that's ok.

Captain Nemo de Erehwon , 33 minutes ago link

Trump is saving the US by destroying the empire. Both the US and the world will be happier for that.

Condor_0000 , 29 minutes ago link

No he's not.

Trump is an empirial president, just like every other US president. In fact, that's what the article is describing. MAGA depends upon imperialist domination. Trump and all of US capitalism know that even if the brain-dead MAGA chumps don't.

Capitalism can't help but seek to rule the world. It is the result of pursuing capitalism's all-important growth. If it's not US capitalism, it will be Chinese capitalism, or Russian capitalism, or European capitalism that will rule the world.

The battle over global markets doesn't stop just because the US might decide not to play anymore. Capitalism means that you're either the global power who is ******* the royal **** out of everyone else, or you're the victim of being fucked up the *** by an imperialist power.

FBaggins , 25 minutes ago link

The only thing which makes the US different from the rest of the world is its super concentration of power, which in effect is a super concentration of corruption.

ebworthen , 33 minutes ago link

Quite entertaining to be living in the modern Rome.

Condor_0000 , 28 minutes ago link

It's a cross between ancient Rome and Nazi Germany. And you're right. It's fascinating.

Condor_0000 , 34 minutes ago link

Another day and another ZeroHedge indictment of American capitalism.

And how refreshing that the article compares US capitalism to gangsterism. It's a most appropriate comparison.

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

Al Capone on Capitalism

It is well known that legendary American gangster Al Capone once said that 'Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class', - and I have commented on the links between organised crime and capitalist accumulation before on this blog, but I recently came across the following story from Claud Cockburn's autobiography, and decided to put it up on Histomat for you all.

In 1930, Cockburn, then a correspondent in America for the Times newspaper, interviewed Al Capone at the Lexington Hotel in Chicago, when Capone was at the height of his power. He recalls that except for 'the sub-machine gun...poking through the transom of a door behind the desk, Capone's own room was nearly indistinguishable from that of, say, a "newly arrived" Texan oil millionaire. Apart from the jowly young murderer on the far side of the desk, what took the eye were a number of large, flattish, solid silver bowls upon the desk, each filled with roses. They were nice to look at, and they had another purpose too, for Capone when agitated stood up and dipped the tips of his fingers in the water in which floated the roses.

I had been a little embarrassed as to how the interview was to be launched. Naturally the nub of all such interviews is somehow to get round to the question "What makes you tick?" but in the case of this millionaire killer the approach to this central question seemed mined with dangerous impediments. However, on the way down to the Lexington Hotel I had had the good fortune to see, I think in the Chicago Daily News , some statistics offered by an insurance company which dealt with the average expectation of life of gangsters in Chicago. I forget exactly what the average was, and also what the exact age of Capone at that time - I think he was in his early thirties. The point was, however, that in any case he was four years older than the upper limit considered by the insurance company to be the proper average expectation of life for a Chicago gangster. This seemed to offer a more or less neutral and academic line of approach, and after the ordinary greetings I asked Capone whether he had read this piece of statistics in the paper. He said that he had. I asked him whether he considered the estimate reasonably accurate. He said that he thought that the insurance companies and the newspaper boys probably knew their stuff. "In that case", I asked him, "how does it feel to be, say, four years over the age?"

He took the question quite seriously and spoke of the matter with neither more nor less excitement or agitation than a man would who, let us say, had been asked whether he, as the rear machine-gunner of a bomber, was aware of the average incidence of casualties in that occupation. He apparently assumed that sooner or later he would be shot despite the elaborate precautions which he regularly took. The idea that - as afterwards turned out to be the case - he would be arrested by the Federal authorities for income-tax evasion had not, I think, at that time so much as crossed his mind. And, after all, he said with a little bit of corn-and-ham somewhere at the back of his throat, supposing he had not gone into this racket? What would be have been doing? He would, he said, "have been selling newspapers barefoot on the street in Brooklyn".

He stood as he spoke, cooling his finger-tips in the rose bowl in front of him. He sat down again, brooding and sighing. Despite the ham-and-corn, what he said was probably true and I said so, sympathetically. A little bit too sympathetically, as immediately emerged, for as I spoke I saw him looking at me suspiciously, not to say censoriously. My remarks about the harsh way the world treats barefoot boys in Brooklyn were interrupted by an urgent angry waggle of his podgy hand.

"Listen," he said, "don't get the idea I'm one of those goddam radicals. Don't get the idea I'm knocking the American system. The American system..." As though an invisible chairman had called upon him for a few words, he broke into an oration upon the theme. He praised freedom, enterprise and the pioneers. He spoke of "our heritage". He referred with contempuous disgust to Socialism and Anarchism. "My rackets," he repeated several times, "are run on strictly American lines and they're going to stay that way"...his vision of the American system began to excite him profoundly and now he was on his feet again, leaning across the desk like the chairman of a board meeting, his fingers plunged in the rose bowls.

"This American system of ours," he shouted, "call it Americanism, call it Capitalism, call it what you like, gives to each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it." He held out his hand towards me, the fingers dripping a little, and stared at me sternly for a few seconds before reseating himself.

A month later in New York I was telling this story to Mr John Walter, minority owner of The Times . He asked me why I had not written the Capone interview for the paper. I explained that when I had come to put my notes together I saw that most of what Capone had said was in essence identical with what was being said in the leading articles of The Times itself, and I doubted whether the paper would be best pleased to find itself seeing eye to eye with the most notorious gangster in Chicago. Mr Walter, after a moment's wry reflection, admitted that probably my idea had been correct.'

LetThemEatRand , 52 minutes ago link

This article was obviously written by someone who wants to maintain the status quo.

America would be much stronger if it were not trying to be an empire. The biggest lie ever told is that American hegemony relies on American imperialism and warmongering. The opposite is true. America is weak precisely because it is trying so hard to project strength, because anyone with half a brain knows that it is projecting strength to enrich oligarhcs, not to protect or favor the American people.

hardmedicine , 41 minutes ago link

exactly, please mr. author don't give us more globalist dribble. We want our wealth back and screw the rest of the world, America First

LetThemEatRand , 39 minutes ago link

I truly believe that "America First" is not selfish. America before it went full ****** was the beacon of freedom and success that other countries tried to emulate and that changed the world for the better.

America the empire is just another oligarchic regime that other countries' populations rightly see as an example of what doesn't work.

HopefulCynical , 26 minutes ago link

Empire is a contrivance, a vehicle for psychopathic powerlust. America was founded by people who stood adamantly opposed to this. Here's hoping Trump holds their true spirit in his heart.

If he doesn't, there's hundreds of millions of us who still do. We don't all live in America...

Posa , 15 minutes ago link

It's the ruling capitalist Predator Class that has been demanding empire since McKinley was assassinated. That's the problem.

CTacitus , 15 minutes ago link

LetThemEatRand:

America is weak precisely because it is trying so hard to project strength, because anyone with half a brain knows that it is projecting strength to enrich oligarhcs [sic], not to protect or favor the American people.

And who do you suppose are the forces which are funding US politicians and thus getting to call their shots in foreign policy? Can you bring yourself to name them? Oligarchs...you're FULL of ****. Who exactly pools all (((their))) money, makes sure the [s]elected officials know (((who))) to not question and, instead, just bow down to them, who makes sure these (((officials))) sign pledges for absolute commitment towards Israel--or in no uncertain terms-- and know who will either sponsor them/or opposes them next time around?

JSBach1 called you a 'coward', for being EXACTLY LIKE THESE TRAITOROUS SPINELESS VERMIN who simply just step outside just 'enough' the comfort zone to APPEAR 'real'. IMHO, I concur with JSBach1 ...your're a coward indeed, when you should know better ..... shame you you indeed!

pitz , 55 minutes ago link

There is little evidence, Trump's propaganda aside (that he previously called Obama dishonest for) that the US economy is improving. If anything, the exploding budget and trade deficits indicate that the economy continues to weaken.

Posa , 12 minutes ago link

Correct. The US physical plant and equipment as well as infrastructure is in advanced stages of decay. Ditto for the labor force which has been pauperized and abused for decades by the Predator Class...

the US can't even raise an army... even if enough young (men) were dumb enough to volunteer there just aren't enough fit, healthy and mentally acute recruits out there.

[Nov 07, 2018] There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard. The Rich, the Corporate Profiteers and the Military-Political Establishment have pulled away in their fur and jewel-encrusted life boats. It's one minute after midnight on the Doomsday Clock, the hands have fallen off the Debt Clock, the skies are burning and seas are rising (they say), and we are in WW3 in 8 nations. Or is it 9? ..."
"... So the Democrat faction of the Corporate One-Party took back control of the House from the Republican faction. (It's one hard-right party, of course; only liars and those ignorant of history call the Dems "centrist". By any objective or historical standard they're a right-wing party.) ..."
"... I made no prediction on what would happen in this election, but I've long predicted that if/when the Democrats win control of either house they'll do nothing with that control. Jack squat. Status quo all the way, embellished with more retarded Russia-Derangement stuff and similar nonsense. ..."
"... If there really were a difference between these corporate factions, here's the chance for the House to obstruct all Senate-passed legislation. ..."
"... They claim there's a difference between the two parties? ..."
"... But I predict this House won't lift a finger vs. the Senate, and that it'll strive to work with the Senate on legislation, and that it'll fully concur with the Senate on war budgets, police state measures, anything and everything demanded by Wall Street, Big Ag, the fossil fuel extractors, and of course the corporate welfare state in general. ..."
"... Nothing I've talked about here is anything but what is possible, what is always implicitly or explicitly promised by Dembots, and what it would seem is the minimum necessary given what Dembots claim is the scope of the crisis and what is at stake. ..."
Nov 07, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Debsisdead | Nov 7, 2018 6:19:36 AM | 9

It's not even decent theatre. Drama is much lacking, character development zilch. The outcome that dems take congress,& rethugs improve in senate is exactly as was predicted months ago.

The dems reveal once again exactly how mendacious and uncaring of the population they are. Nothing matters other than screwing more cash outta anyone who wants anything done so that the DC trough stays full with the usual crew of 4th & 5th generation wannabe dem pols guzzling hard at the corporate funded 'dem aligned' think tanks which generate much hot air yet never deliver. Hardly suprising given that actually doing something to show they give a sh1t about the citizenry would annoy the donor who would give em all the boot, making all these no-hopers have to take up a gig actually practising law.

These are people whose presence at the best law schools in the country prevented many who wanted to be y'know lawyers from entering Harvard, Cornell etc law school. "one doesn't go to law school to become a lawyer It too hard to even pull down a mil a year as a brief, nah, I studied the law to learn how to make laws that actually do the opposite of what they seem to. That is where the real dough is."

Those who think that is being too hard on the dem slugs, should remember that the rethugs they have been indoctrinated to detest act pretty much as printed on the side of the can. They advertise a service of licking rich arseholes and that is exactly what they do. As venal and sociopathic as they are, at least they don't pretend to be something else; so while there is no way one could vote for anyone spouting republican nonsense at least they don't hide their greed & corruption under a veneer of pseudo-humanist nonsense. Dems cry for the plight of the poverty stricken then they slash welfare.

Or dems sob about the hard row african americans must hoe, then go off to the house of reps to pass laws to keep impoverished african americans slotted up in an over crowded prison for the rest of his/her life.

Not only deceitful and vicious, 100% pointless since any Joe/Jo that votes on the basis of wanting to see more blackfellas incarcerated is always gonna tick the rethug box anyhow.

Yeah- yeah we know all this so what?

This is what - the dems broke their arses getting tens of millions of young first time voters out to "exercise their democratic prerogative" for the first time. Dems did this knowing full well that there would be no effective opposition to rethug demands for more domestic oppression, that in fact it is practically guaranteed that should the trump and the rethug senate require it, in order to ensure something particularly nasty gets passed, that sufficient dem congress people will 'cross the floor' to make certain the bill does get up.

Of course the dems in question will allude to 'folks back home demanding' that the dem slug does vote with the nasties, but that is the excuse, the reality is far too many dem pols are as bigoted greedy and elitist as the worst rethugs.

Anyway the upshot of persuading so many kids to get out and vote, so the kids do but the dems are content to just do more of the same, will be another entire generation lost to elections forever.

If the DNC had been less greedy and more strategic they would have kept their powder dry and hung off press-ganging the kids until getting such a turnout could have resulted in genuine change, prez 2020' or whenever, would be actual success for pols and voters.

But they didn't and wouldn't ever, since for a dem pol, hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens living on the street isn't nearly as problematic for them, as the dem wannabe pol paying off the mortgage on his/her DC townhouse by 2020, something that would have been impossible if they hadn't taken congress as all the 'patrons' would have jerked back their cash figuring there is no gain giving dosh to losers who couldn't win a bar raffle.

As for that Sharice Davids - a total miss she needed to be either a midget or missing an arm or leg to qualify as the classic ID dem pol. Being a native american lezzo just doesn't tick enough boxes. I predict a not in the least illustrious career since she cannot even qualify as the punchline in a circa 1980's joke.

Anton Worter , Nov 7, 2018 11:13:25 AM | link

@9

As you said, nothing will get out of the House, Pelosi can't lead. They can easily swing 3 Democrats, then Mike Pence puts the hammer down. If anything manages to crawl through, it won't even be brought to a vote in the Republican Senate. Trump can still us his bully pulpit to circle the White wagons, fly in even more than his current 1,125,000 H-visa aliens, and No Taxes for the Rich is now engraved in stone for the Pharoahs.

The imminent $1,500B Omnibus Deficit Bill Three will be lauded as a 'bipartisan solution' by both houses, and 2020 looks to be a $27,000B illegal, onerous, odious National Debt open Civil War.

There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard. The Rich, the Corporate Profiteers and the Military-Political Establishment have pulled away in their fur and jewel-encrusted life boats. It's one minute after midnight on the Doomsday Clock, the hands have fallen off the Debt Clock, the skies are burning and seas are rising (they say), and we are in WW3 in 8 nations. Or is it 9?

Smart money is moving toward the exits. This shyte is gonna blow. Let's move to Australia, before it becomes part of Xi's PRC String of Girls.

ken | Nov 7, 2018 12:44:13 PM | 69

Reading most of the comments explaining how the D's won/lost,,, the R's won/lost,,, Trump and company won/lost,,, but couldn't find one post about how America is losing due to the two suffocating party's and a greedy, disunited, selfish, electorate that wants it all free.

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the Majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury,,,,,,, After that the Majority always votes for the candidate 'promising the most' ,,,,,,,
Alex Fraser.

The US, and West in general, is proof positive.

Russ | Nov 7, 2018 7:48:10 AM | 17

So the Democrat faction of the Corporate One-Party took back control of the House from the Republican faction. (It's one hard-right party, of course; only liars and those ignorant of history call the Dems "centrist". By any objective or historical standard they're a right-wing party.)

It's no big surprise. Last two years it's been the normally self-assured Republicans who, because of their ambivalence about Trump, have uncharacteristically taken on the usual Democrat role of existential confusion and doubt. Meanwhile the Democrats, in a berserk batsh$t-insane way, have been more motivated and focused.

So what are these Democrats going to do with this control now that they have it?

I made no prediction on what would happen in this election, but I've long predicted that if/when the Democrats win control of either house they'll do nothing with that control. Jack squat. Status quo all the way, embellished with more retarded Russia-Derangement stuff and similar nonsense.

If there really were a difference between these corporate factions, here's the chance for the House to obstruct all Senate-passed legislation. And as for things which are technically only in the power of the Senate such as confirming appointments, here's the chance for the House to put public moral pressure on Democrats in the Senate. And there's plenty of back-door ways an activist House can influence Senate business. Only morbid pedantry, so typical of liberal Dembots, babbles about what the technical powers of this or that body are. The real world doesn't work that way. To the extent I pay attention at all to Senate affairs it'll be to see what the House is doing about it.

They claim there's a difference between the two parties? And they claim Trump is an incipient fascist dictator? In that case there's a lot at stake, and extreme action is called for. Let's see what kind of action we get from their "different" party in control of the House.

But I predict this House won't lift a finger vs. the Senate, and that it'll strive to work with the Senate on legislation, and that it'll fully concur with the Senate on war budgets, police state measures, anything and everything demanded by Wall Street, Big Ag, the fossil fuel extractors, and of course the corporate welfare state in general.

Nor will any of these new-fangled fake "socialist" types take any action to change things one iota. Within the House Democrats, they could take action, form any and every kind of coalition, to obstruct the corporate-Pelosi leadership faction. They will not do so. This "new" progressive bloc will be just as fake as the old one.

Nothing I've talked about here is anything but what is possible, what is always implicitly or explicitly promised by Dembots, and what it would seem is the minimum necessary given what Dembots claim is the scope of the crisis and what is at stake.

[Nov 07, 2018] Republicans can easily swing 3 Democrats, then Mike Pence puts the hammer down

Notable quotes:
"... There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard. The Rich, the Corporate Profiteers and the Military-Political Establishment have pulled away in their fur and jewel-encrusted life boats. It's one minute after midnight on the Doomsday Clock, the hands have fallen off the Debt Clock, the skies are burning and seas are rising (they say), and we are in WW3 in 8 nations. Or is it 9? ..."
Nov 07, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anton Worter , Nov 7, 2018 11:13:25 AM | 57 ">link

@9

As you said, nothing will get out of the House, Pelosi can't lead. They can easily swing 3 Democrats, then Mike Pence puts the hammer down. If anything manages to crawl through, it won't even be brought to a vote in the Republican Senate. Trump can still us his bully pulpit to circle the White wagons, fly in even more than his current 1,125,000 H-visa aliens, and No Taxes for the Rich is now engraved in stone for the Pharoahs.

The imminent $1,500B Omnibus Deficit Bill Three will be lauded as a 'bipartisan solution' by both houses, and 2020 looks to be a $27,000B illegal, onerous, odious National Debt open Civil War.

There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard. The Rich, the Corporate Profiteers and the Military-Political Establishment have pulled away in their fur and jewel-encrusted life boats. It's one minute after midnight on the Doomsday Clock, the hands have fallen off the Debt Clock, the skies are burning and seas are rising (they say), and we are in WW3 in 8 nations. Or is it 9?

Smart money is moving toward the exits. This shyte is gonna blow. Let's move to Australia, before it becomes part of Xi's PRC String of Girls.

[Nov 07, 2018] The biggest losses of the night were center-right Democrats.

Nov 07, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

It's true that progressives lost a bunch of very close races in deep-red districts, but many of the biggest losses of the night were center-right Democrats. Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota were just some of those so-called "moderate" losers.
I say good riddance.

[Nov 07, 2018] The corporate Dems have no policies that represent the people who elected them. However, they are no longer supported by working class and lower middle class

Notable quotes:
"... @WindDancer13 ..."
"... @WindDancer13 ..."
"... Investigating Trump for the rest of his tenure will keep them from having to do their jobs for Americans. ..."
"... They're going to spend millions of dollars and better yet, millions of hours babbling on and on about Taxes and Trump. ..."
"... With Sessions now out they're already screaming again about Rosenstein and Mueller for Gods sake. And they'll keep that up right until Nov 2020. ..."
"... In many cases, the people have won. The fresh blood going into the House in particular and some new governorships are more important than people realize yet. ..."
"... There are now over 100 women in the House -- a first. ..."
"... I hope the dems stand firm on protecting both programs plus not raising the retirement age. But with Pelosi who knows. ..."
"... Nancy Pelosi: Democrats Don't Want a New Direction ..."
Nov 07, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Losing strategy. @WindDancer13

They need to spend their time going after Trump's policies period.

They have no policies of their own. Will they just continue saying that they're not as bad as trump?

#3

should not spend their time "investigating" Trump. Leave that to real journalists (there are still some around).

If they play it right, the Dems could triple Trump's anxiety and paranoia levels by keeping relative silence over his corruption, rather than starting a war of words with him. He wins if they let him weasel his way out of things. Besides that, the Dems will do a lousy job of trying to go after Trump. They need to spend their time going after Trump's policies period.

up 13 users have voted. --

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.


WindDancer13 on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 2:51pm

Yes and no

@Pricknick

The corporate Dems have no policies that represent the people who elected them. However, they are no longer completely surrounded by like thinkers. While the number of progressives may still be smaller than the numbers of establishment Dems, those progressives DO have an agenda and the people who want progress MUST support them and let the old guard know that they will not support obstruction of progressive policies.

Start by telling your congress critter to vote no on Pelosi.

#3.2

They need to spend their time going after Trump's policies period.

They have no policies of their own. Will they just continue saying that they're not as bad as trump?

gulfgal98 on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 3:43pm
It's fool's folly

@WindDancer13 The Democrats should be doing everything they can to build up themselves by aggressively pursuing policies that benefit the people. The Democrats need to stand FOR something. Otherwise they are just like the old guy shaking his fist at the sky. They can investigate Trump all they want, but it is waste of time, money, and there will be no impeachment hearing in the Senate. Besides many of them have so big skeletons in their closets too.

#3

should not spend their time "investigating" Trump. Leave that to real journalists (there are still some around).

If they play it right, the Dems could triple Trump's anxiety and paranoia levels by keeping relative silence over his corruption, rather than starting a war of words with him. He wins if they let him weasel his way out of things. Besides that, the Dems will do a lousy job of trying to go after Trump. They need to spend their time going after Trump's policies period.

snoopydawg on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 4:35pm
And that's why they are doing it

@gulfgal98

Investigating Trump for the rest of his tenure will keep them from having to do their jobs for Americans. The republicans came out with their balls on fire and rescinded and passed legislation right and left and now that the democrats have the house they're going to look at Trump's tax returns. For gawd's sake why? Okay.. they find that he did something wrong on them. Then what? Do they think that if they show he cheated on them then he'll be kicked out of office? Nope

Look at how many people who Obama tried to appoint were guilty of not paying theirs. Daschle who came from a medical lobbying firm was supposed to be his secretary of health, but he hadn't paid his taxes for a decade. Did he go to prison over it? Why no he didn't. Why? Two Americas. Only little people go to prison for doing .... fill in the blank.

Pelosi is also spouting bipartisanship. Gack! WTF again Nancy? Don't forget pay as you go.

#3.2 The Democrats should be doing everything they can to build up themselves by aggressively pursuing policies that benefit the people. The Democrats need to stand FOR something. Otherwise they are just like the old guy shaking his fist at the sky. They can investigate Trump all they want, but it is waste of time, money, and there will be no impeachment hearing in the Senate. Besides many of them have so big skeletons in their closets too.

lizzyh7 on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 5:53pm
Same reaction from me here.

@snoopydawg Like really? They're going to spend millions of dollars and better yet, millions of hours babbling on and on about Taxes and Trump. But they'll only go so far as that mess effects all of them and they good and well know it. But it keeps the divide going and the utter fallacy of someday sticking it to Trump. They'll come up with nothing and stone wall anything that threatens their status quo. With Sessions now out they're already screaming again about Rosenstein and Mueller for Gods sake. And they'll keep that up right until Nov 2020.

destroying the departments they're in charge of. If squeezed, will they sing like canaries? Cry like babies? Youth wants to know.

The Voice In th... on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 5:39pm
Neither does Clinton, Pekosi, DWS, Schumer ...

@gjohnsit

If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level. Two can play that game!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2018

WindDancer13 on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 2:31pm
Trump's victory dance is off beat.

He did not "win," not by a long shot. Neither did the corporate Dems. It was never really expected (except maybe by some totally unrealistic people) that the Dems would take the Senate. The seats that were up for grabs were too limited and in some very, very red areas. However, we need to pay attention to just how close many of those races were. Some major dents were put into Rep armor and have left some wounds.

I too was very happy to see McCaskill and Heitcamp defeated. They were both totally worthless. This could be viewed as the start to cleaning out the "bad" Dems, even if we have to put up with a few Republicans to do so.

Suppression played a huge role in the results (especially governorships), and that must not be forgotten. In fact needs to be a focal point for the next two years along with getting corporate money out of the election system.

Another issue that needs to be dealt with is stopping Trump from dominating the news cycle. Anyone else notice just how many non-news stories popped up regarding Kavanaugh in the last week? The public does not need to see Dems foaming at the mouth in response to or in imitation of Trump. If they do, let the culprit from your voting district know how displeased you are with their actions (get a few friends to also comment).

In many cases, the people have won. The fresh blood going into the House in particular and some new governorships are more important than people realize yet. For diversity alone, there were huge strides made yesterday. Seeing so many progressives take a seat in the House will encourage others for 2020 who will have a lot better chance now to remove some of the riffraff.

There are now over 100 women in the House -- a first. This means that we are still less than half way to parity. This needs to be worked on for 2020 along with more progressives. (No, not all women are equal--I remember Phyllis Shaffly only too well, and there is still HRC to silence, but overall, women and certainly progressive women have different priorities most of which align with what people really want and need.) Message to all...less time writing and contemplating and more time taking action.

In short, I see this as a victory--albeit not as large as we would like--for progressives.

MrWebster on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 3:59pm
Hopefully winner is social security and medicare survival

I hope the dems stand firm on protecting both programs plus not raising the retirement age. But with Pelosi who knows. I would like to think that she would get major push back if she tries an Obama grand bargain bullshit. But she lives in a such a bubble though.

snoopydawg on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 4:45pm
Speaking of Nancy and her agenda

@MrWebster

Listen to her about legislating and stuff. I wanted to reach into the video and wipe that silly grin off her face. Gah. Her eyes.

Learn to Swim: This is Why People Don't Vote for the Democratic Party

This is why people don't vote for the Democratic Party and why the big blue wave of cash won't win the 2018 midterm elections for them:

In December of 2016 – right after Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democratic candidates lost big to Trump, the worst presidential candidate of all time – what happened? Their leader, Nancy Pelosi was asked directly what the Democratic Party was going to do to change this heinous defeat.

Know what she said? Do you remember? I do.

She said the Democratic Party wasn't going to change anything. Keep the same policies they lost the 2016 elections on. Know what they were going to change?

Their marketing. Change the marketing so people "get the message."

Same shit. Different wrapper.

Nancy Pelosi: Democrats Don't Want a New Direction

//www.youtube.com/embed/NP4-2bItxY8?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

WindDancer13 on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 5:33pm
Social security and medicare will hopefully be protected, but even Obama put it on the table. So who knows?

@MrWebster

Pelosi is not yet a done deal. People need to write, email, call their reps and tell them NO!

[Nov 06, 2018] What Causes a Normal Election to Spiral into Tribal Warfare Zero Hedge

Nov 06, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

What Causes a Normal Election to Spiral into Tribal Warfare?

by TDB Mon, 11/05/2018 - 12:13 23 SHARES by Joe Jarvis via The Daily Bell

In 1966, Gao Jianhua (who later changed his name to Gao Yuan) was 14 years old.

At the Yizhen Middle School near Beijing, China, he witnessed and participated in the birth of China's "Cultural Revolution." He later recorded his personal account in a book called Born Red: A Chronicle of the Cultural Revolution .

The leader of Communist China, Chairman Mao, warned the country that revisionists were threatening to erase all the progress made since the Communist Revolution which brought Mao to power.

It had been almost 20 years since the bloody revolution, and Mao wanted to reinvigorate the rebel spirit in the youth. He instructed students to root out any teachers who wove subtle anti-communist sentiments in their lessons.

Mao encouraged students to rebel against any mindless respect for entrenched authority, remnants, he said, of centuries of capitalist influence.

Students at Yizhen Middle School, like many others, quickly took up the task. They "exposed" capitalist intellectual teachers and paraded them around in dunce caps with insulting signs hung around their necks.

Teachers were beaten and harassed until they confessed to their crimes most of which were, of course, false confessions to avoid further torture.

It only escalated from there.

What ensued puts Lord of the Flies to shame.

One teacher killed himself after being taken captive by students. Most teachers fled.

Soon the students were left entirely in charge of their school. Two factions quickly emerged, one calling themselves the East is Red Corps, and the other the Red Rebels.

One student was kidnapped by the East is Red Corps, and suffocated to death on a sock stuffed in his mouth.

A girl was found to be an East is Red spy among the Red Rebels. She was later cornered with other East is Red students in a building. She shouted from a window that she would rather die than surrender. Praising Chairman Mao, she jumped to her death.

Some Red Rebels died from an accidental explosion while making bombs.

Many were tortured, and another student died from his injuries at the hands of the East is Red Corps.

A female teacher refused to sign an affidavit lying about the cause of death. She was beaten and gang-raped by a group of students.

Robert Greene explains these events, in his new book, The Laws of Human Nature . (Emphasis added.)

Although it might be tempting to see what happened at YMS as mostly relevant to group adolescent behavior what happened at the school occurred throughout China in government offices, factories, within the army, and among Chinese of all ages in an eerily similar way

The students' repressed resentment at having to be so obedient now boiled over into anger and the desire to be the ones doing the punishing and oppressing

In the power vacuum that Mao had now created, another timeless group dynamic emerged. Those who were naturally more assertive, aggressive, and even sadistic pushed their way forward and assumed power , while those who were more passive quietly receded into the background becoming followers

Once all forms of authority were removed and the students ran the school, there was nothing to stop the next and most dangerous development in group dynamics. The split into tribal factions

People may think they are joining because of the different ideas or goals of this tribe or the other, but what they want more than anything is a sense of belonging and a clear tribal identity.

Look at the actual differences between the East is Red Corps and the Red Rebels. As the battle between them intensified it was hard to say what they were fighting for, except to assume power over the other group.

One strong or vicious act of one side called for a reprisal from the other, and any type of violence seemed totally justified. There could be no middle ground, nor any questioning of the rightness of their cause.

The tribe is always right. And to say otherwise is to betray it.

I write this on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections.

And like Mao handing down his orders to dispose of capitalist sympathizers, such have the leaders of each major US political party rallied their supporters.

This is the most important election of our lifetime, they say.

No middle ground. Violence is justified to get our way. Betray the tribe, and be considered an enemy.

Just like Mao, they have manufactured a crisis that did not previously exist.

The students had no violent factions before Mao's encouragement. They had no serious problems with their teachers.

Is there any natural crisis occurring right now? Or has the political establishment whipped us into an artificial frenzy?

This isn't just another boring election, they say. This is a battle for our future.

The students battled over who were the purest revolutionaries.

The voters now battle over who has the purest intentions for America.

Do the factions even know what they are fighting for anymore?

They are simply fighting for their tribe's control over the government.

The battle of the factions at schools across China were "resolved" when Mao came to support one side or the other. In that sense, it very much did matter which side the students were on

The government came down hard against the losing faction.

They had chosen wrong and found themselves aligned against the powerful Communist Party.

It won't be a dictator that hands control to one faction or another in this election. It will be a simple majority. And those in the minority will suffer.

The winners will feel that it is their time to wield power, just as the students were happy to finally have the upper hand on their teachers.

If Mao didn't have so much power, he could have never initiated such a violent crisis.

And if our government didn't have so much power, it would hardly matter who wins the election.

Yet here we are, fighting for control of the government because each faction threatens to violently repress the other if they gain power.

It is a manufactured crisis. A crisis that only exists because political elites in the government and media have said so.

They decided that this election will spark the USA's "Cultural Revolution."

And anyone with sympathies from a bygone era will be punished.


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Totally_Disillusioned , 8 hours ago link

Tribal warfare? You clearly don't understand what's happening here. The Globalist cartel has created division between two parties to incite chaos and violence. The "warfare" you reference will be nothing but protesting ->rioting ->anarchy ->police restraint of the Democrat incited sheeple.

There's no tribalism associated with upholding and preserving the Constitution.

Semi-employed White Guy , 6 hours ago link

I think the globalists will try to cool it off before things spin out of (((their))) control. Either that or move to the next phase...world war... so they can just slaughter us and not have to bother trying to herd the increasingly "woke" goyim live stock.

MoralsAreEssential , 11 hours ago link

I have NOT heard about a SINGLE CREDIBLE violent incident where people got hurt FROM THE RIGHT. All the incidents of "White Fascist Violence" look like FALSE FLAGS and contrived incidents. The foregoing CAN NOT be said of the Leftist Antifa types including racist La Raza supporters, racist Blacks who want something for nothing, immigrants from any country who want to be fully supported because they BREATHE and the Top Group (pun intended) Whites who do not believe in boundaries, standards or quality of life UNLESS it's their lives. NOT all Blacks, Hispanics and Immigrants are in the Left; but most Blacks, Hispanics and Immigrants are on the Left and havn't a clue they are responsible for their own prisons because they cannot REASON and virtue signaling is more important so they are part of the GROUP. Misplaced EMPHASIS on what is important in creating a CIVILIZED and SAFE society.

[Nov 06, 2018] One wonders why the NYT is willingly playing into Trump hands with the cartoon like this

Notable quotes:
"... Dems are fucking bonkers with the caravans. It's as if these fools didn't know Europe does exist and had the same thing happen, on a far bigger magnitude, or didn't learn the lesson - as if Brexit, Le Pen, Lega, Orban and others didn't really exist in their strictly America-centered world. ..."
Nov 06, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

frances , Nov 5, 2018 9:07:22 AM | link

IMO b is right. The image works for Trump, not against, on two issues; the border and the ME.

Border

  • Yes the US Constitution prevents US Troops being used within the country for military purpose. But the troops are only providing support at the Border.
  • The reality is the people on the march to the US border all refused an offer from Mexico to settle in two southern (Mexican) states and receive jobs, free housing, free food, free education and free healthcare. So much for the PR story of this group as economic immigrants and sanctuary seekers. They are seen as being in search of the Free Lunch.
  • These people are being paid (not sure how much) from what I have read and the march is to create a story of poor souls prevented (by Trump) from obtaining the supposed American dream.
  • For voters in the US southwest especially this group is seen as a bunch of scroungers and Trump as the guy who will keep them out.

The ME

I am not aware of anyone who thinks the US belongs in the ME. Yes, Israel is all for it, but in the US no one wants troops there. We have lost country after country after country and some military head just said that after 17 years we are not "winning" in Afghanistan. These wars are a financial scam in the eyes of many and are for Israel's benefit in the eyes of many others. I doubt if any troops in recent years have signed up to fight in the ME so that statement itself is one the NYT will choke on.

But it is the Times, and they play to their now somewhat limited audience who must be told that the lies they believe are true.
If Trump paid for this cartoon, he could probably not be more pleased.

William Gruff , Nov 5, 2018 9:08:09 AM | link

"It's not really possible to excuse the pretense that a band of beggars who plan to ask for asylum constitute an invasion."

I suppose that is what Assad and the Syrian government thought when the CIA death squads started trickling into their country under the pretense that they were refugees from the violence in Libya.

The CIA built lots of death squads in Latin America.

While most of the the "band of beggars" are harmless useful idiots recruited for the optics, there is a very real possibility that the CIA's death squads from Honduras and possibly Mexico (have to get out now that AMLO is cracking down) are mingling amongst them. Why? Page borrowed from the textbook CIA/State Department manual on regime change:

1) Bring protesters into conflict with authorities.
2) Death squads embedded among the protesters kill both protesters and law enforcement officers.
3) Riots ensue.
5) Complicit corporate mass media winds up the echo chamber forcing the meme that the violence was the authorities' fault.
6) Profit!

Anywho, it is tough to take serious any accusations of slander against a population that has been heavily brainwashed since birth. As with a pair of bluejeans that have been washed several times per day since they were manufactured, over-laundered minds get limp, floppy and full of holes. Americans' minds are so frayed from daily reprogramming that they cannot remember what they believed yesterday, much less why they would have believed it.

A. Person , Nov 5, 2018 9:16:48 AM | link
@J. 3, 4.

The possee commitatus law which prohibited federal troops from engaging in domestic law enforcement has been repealed.

Also, you are aware that Israel is a rogue state in that it does not have a constitution, it has never defined its borders, it has repeatedly attacked its neighbors, it is an apartheid state, it has 200-400 illegal nuclear warheads, it engages in mass punishment of 6 million Arabs the are the dominant peoples of Palestine, and it has pulled strings to lure the US into wars with Iraq, Syria, Lybia, and Iran.

For these reasons it is perfectly reasonable and accurate and truthful to label such a rogue state a 'Zionist regime.'

(Now you are informed. Now you should apologize to b.)

Russ , Nov 5, 2018 9:30:28 AM | link
One wonders why the NYT is willingly playing into his hands with this.

Because the NYT (and mainstream media in general) have been such psychopathic warmongers for so long that by now they're really incapable of understanding that there could be any alternative idea or action. In many states they'd meet the legal definition of insanity.

Of course Trump is just as insane. He merely wants to do both/and rather than either/or, as the NYT would have it.

Hoarsewhisperer , Nov 5, 2018 9:32:17 AM | link
Given that the only characters with speaking parts in the cartoon are hi-profile non-combatant pro-"Israel" warmongers masquerading as brain-washed grunts, the message it sends is so mixed that it means whatever the consumer wants it to mean.
An attempt at reverse psychology?
Debsisdead , Nov 5, 2018 9:37:24 AM | link
Posted by: morongobill | Nov 5, 2018 8:48:58 AM | 5
"I'm a deplorable and proud of it and I believe that this nation needs to make it crystal clear that the borders mean something."

I don't reckon native americans would agree, particularly since most of those arriving are indigenous to america. amerika the abortion, has never considered the property rights, cultures or ethos of other humans anywhere on this old rock. Not in the ME, Asia or more recently Africa, much less those concerns as they relate to native americans be they those indigenous to the area that comprises amerika or those who are indigenous to other portions of the american continents, so I reckon that using this nonsense now to justify racism is just hypocritical, That it is about as low as it is possible to go. That is compounded to the n th degree when one considers that the failed states which most of the caravan peoples originate from suffered failure because amerika the abortion of a place, deliberately engineered the failures to make amerika's theft of all resources in latin america, easier and less expensive.
Run along and study exactly how amerika has deliberately destroyed Guatemala and Honduras then come back here and try to justify the attacks on a few hundred thousand of those people fleeing lawlessness and corruption that the amerikan government has caused in your name.

Not that it matters - trump or any of his ilk have no chance of preventing the Latin American influx.
Once again if you study history you will discover that over the millennia numerous other populations have attempted to prevent needs driven migration into what they have arbitrarily decided are 'their' lands and have used exactly the same techniques the trump scumbags propose. They inevitably fail. Mass migrations are relentless they cannot be 'blocked' the only viable strategy has been to remove the attraction by ensuring economic improvement in the areas that migrants come from.

If amerikans actually want to stop the migration, which is debatable since the rich who control amerika believe increasing the population to be an excellent way to go since they profit from more humans and increased population density, but let's pretend that ordinary citizens actually have a say in what happens in amerika, then amerikans need to fix that which they f**ked. Central amerikans have endured decades of corrupt amerikan installed 'governments' which regarded their primary mission (after trousering all funds in their purview) to be confiscating all land from the people who have lived on it going back at least a few thousand years, then selling that stolen land to amerikan corporations, hedge funds, retirement schemes, AKA any & all of Wall St's scams.

None of the migr
Everybody in amerika has been aware of this even tho they pretend they are ignorant of their culture's rapacious thefts it is impossible for anyone with half a brain not to see 2 + 2 = 4.
So quit whining and either assist the new arrivals or, get yer arse into gear & ensure your mendacious leadership sets about making amends for the damage done in your name.

andy mcnub , Nov 5, 2018 9:44:25 AM | link

nobody remembers anglo persian oil that was ares those iranian gypsy stole it the gas fields 2.
it was not fare fair they kicked are shar out 2
trumped is doing molechs work here hare here.
it is vital that latest push on these yemeni ports is a success with a strong tail wind victory is at hand.
a redrawing of the maps is needed and an exodus of musslamics and arab and children of christ into scotland wales,detroit noray denmark and lovely sweden germany france
a big idea may need a new marshall plan trillions of dollars in bonds must be made like lend lease in great britain it may take 50 years to pay off the debts for this final solution maybe 100 years or more.
never again the man said we must protect the innocent khazar ashkanazi from brutal goyim.
lets do this
as paul greengrass said lets roll


who set up israelia and saudi barbaria


https://themillenniumreport.com/2015/12/the-house-of-saud-its-jewish-origin-and-installation-by-the-british-crown/

Josh , Nov 5, 2018 9:48:51 AM | link
Should several thousand knuckle heads attempt to force entry into the United States,...
The news story should read as such,...
'Today, a couple thousand knuckleheads attacked our border. We shot them.'
Tom Welsh , Nov 5, 2018 9:52:37 AM | link
"Morally flawed"????? Morally flawed like Attila, Temuchin, Pol Pot...

I think this cartoon represents my feelings about HRC in the Oval Office.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/11/this-nyt-cartoon-helps-trump-to-win.html

VK , Nov 5, 2018 10:02:39 AM | link
I don't think the NYT readership is that big and that diverse to the point one cartoon can tip any midterm elections.

@Posted by: morongobill | Nov 5, 2018 8:48:58 AM | 5

The hole is much deeper than that.

First things first: since 2008, the USA depends on vegetative growth to show high GDP growths . That's why Japan is considering, slowly but surely, opening up its borders .

Second: this mass immigration from Latin America is fruit of inumerous American backed regime changes, aimed at stifling industrialization of the region, thus empoverishing its peoples. This is true even for the Monroe Doctrine poster boy, Mexico .

Clueless Joe , Nov 5, 2018 10:13:32 AM | link
Dems are fucking bonkers with the caravans. It's as if these fools didn't know Europe does exist and had the same thing happen, on a far bigger magnitude, or didn't learn the lesson - as if Brexit, Le Pen, Lega, Orban and others didn't really exist in their strictly America-centered world.

As a matter of fact, any deliberately illegal entry of anyone into a foreign country represents per se an invasion. it's just that it's minimal when it's a couple of people, and not all invasions are armed gangs of conquistadores ready to loot the gold from the temples, or Mongols on rampage. Not all invasions require military will kill on sight orders, though. Some measure is required.

Now, where Dems are bloody idiots is that only a part of the progressive wing will see the caravans as nice people to be welcome. Part of the uber-capitalist wing will see them as a great opportunity as well, but for very different reasons. The thing is, the inner subconscious of a majority of Westerners will basically have 2 very different interpretations of a vast column of people walking towards their border.

One, which is quite recent, occurs if it's a large group of unarmed civilians and families from a neighbouring country, fleeing it under direct threat of closeby invading and advancing enemy armies; in this case, the obvious reference in Western psyche, specially European one, will be WW II and the hosts of panicked civilians fleeing before the enemy onslaught.

The other reference from the collective psyche, which obviously is the one that lurks in the mind of most Westerners who saw the vids and pictures of the huge crowds of migrants back in 2015/16 - and which will likely occur for some Americans as well, with the caravans -, is obviously the far older picture of the Barbarian Invasions. The ones ironically called nowadays as "Migration period" by revisionist history in German and Anglo-Saxon areas, for obvious reasons (they didn't want to tarnish their ancestors by reflecting they were bloody savages that nearly wiped out civilization, by fear that it would reflect badly on them); karmic justice puts them now in a bad spot since they're quite forced to consider the current wave as mere "migration" and no big deal at all, just like in 406.

Of course, there's also karmic justice in having the US tear itself apart and being slowly invaded by those whose countries it has wrecked beyond recognition for the last century. But we must be absolutely honest about it. Allowing masses of migrants into the US isn't about Central Americans deserving a better life in the US, it's about punishing the US by wrecking it and by pushing it's ever-polarizing political sides towards civil war.

A. Person , Nov 5, 2018 11:22:48 AM | link
Schooling Jay:

Section 1076 of the 2006 John Warner National Defense Authorization titled "Use of the Armed Forces in major public emergencies," provides that "The President may employ the armed forces... to... restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition... the President determines that... domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order... or [to] suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy if such... a condition... so hinders the execution of the laws... that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law... or opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws."

So then the Possee Comitatus Act is repealed by the John Warner Act. The federal government may send troops to the border to kill any American (Central) that throws a rock. Killing rock-throwers = MAGA.

AriusArmenian , Nov 5, 2018 12:03:51 PM | link
Who came up with the idea of an immigrant march to the US southern border just before the mid-term elections and who is funding it?

If they are anti-Trump then they must be the stupidest morons in history.

Michael , Nov 5, 2018 12:09:44 PM | link
B.

In answer to your question, IMHO we are witnessing a very choreographed effort at political theater on the part of both establishment R's and D's to generate interest in the election. The ultimate point is to divide the country, which from my perspective, as a lefty who lives and thrives among R's is not that divided as evidenced by the 2016 election. The game is divide and rule.

The elites of the US are very perturbed that Senator Sanders had such a following in the last go around with 75% popularity while both running establishment candidates had negatives ratings greater than their positive ones.

Looking at polling in the US it has been reported that a great majority of people in the country want Single Payer Health Care, including ~50% R's. Additionally, some 80% of the population agree that climate change is a major issue and want the government to do something about it. This cuts across both parties. Meanwhile, neither party is actively pushing Single Payer, while some Democrats show support, while the establishment is campaigning to save the insurance and pharmaceutical industies' bonanza of ObamaCare.

IMO we have the makings of a united insurrection on our hands and it is a requirement to keep Americans at war with each other, rather than them realizing they have been fooled by the media and sociopathic politicians.

Also interestingly, the biggest fear people have in the US, according to the following poll is corrupt politicians. How do you campaign against that when you have your fingers in the till?

Additionally, according to this poll the biggest fears other than crooked politicians, are primarily related to the environment. Neither party is attempting to address this issue.


https://blogs.chapman.edu/wilkinson/2018/10/16/americas-top-fears-2018/

[Nov 05, 2018] Scum vs. Scum by Chris Hedge

Hell is empty and all the devils are here. ~William Shakespeare
Notable quotes:
"... Scum versus scum. That sums up this election season. Is it any wonder that 100 million Americans don't bother to vote? When all you are offered is Bob One or Bob Two, why bother? ..."
"... One-fourth of Democratic challengers in competitive House districts in this week's elections have backgrounds in the CIA, the military, the National Security Council or the State Department. Nearly all candidates on the ballots in House races are corporate-sponsored, with a few lonely exceptions such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, members of the Democratic Socialists of America who are running as Democrats. ..."
"... "In interviews with two dozen Wall Street executives, fund-raisers, donors and those who raise money from them, Democrats described an extraordinary level of investment and excitement from the finance sector ," The New York Times reported about current campaign contributions to the Democrats from the corporate oligarchs. ..."
Nov 05, 2018 | www.truthdig.com

There is perhaps no better illustration of the deep decay of the American political system than the Senate race in New Jersey. Sen. Bob Menendez, running for re-election, was censured by the Senate Ethics Committee for accepting bribes from the Florida businessman Salomon Melgen, who was convicted in 2017 of defrauding Medicare of $73 million. The senator had flown to the Dominican Republic with Melgen on the physician's private jet and stayed in his private villa, where the men cavorted with young Dominican women who allegedly were prostitutes. Menendez performed numerous political favors for Melgen, including helping some of the Dominican women acquire visas to the United States. Menendez was indicted in a federal corruption trial but escaped sentencing because of a hung jury.

Menendez has a voting record as sordid as most Democrats'. He supported the $716 billion military spending bill, along with 85 percent of his fellow Senate Democrats. He signed a letter , along with other Democratic leaders, calling for steps to extradite Julian Assange to stand trial in the United States. The senator, the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, is owned by the lobby for Israel -- a country that routinely and massively interferes in our elections -- and supported moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. He helped cause the 2008 global financial crisis by voting to revoke Glass-Steagall , the Depression-era law enacted to create a firewall between commercial and investment banks.

His Republican rival in the Senate race that will be decided Tuesday is Bob Hugin , whose reported net worth is at least $84 million. With Hugin as its CEO, the pharmaceutical firm Celgene made $200 million by conspiring to keep generic cancer drugs off the market, according to its critics. Celgene, a model of everything that is wrong with our for-profit health care system, paid $280 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower who accused the firm of improperly marketing two drugs to treat several forms of cancer without getting Federal Drug Administration approval, thereby defrauding Medicare. Celgene, over seven years, also doubled the price of the cancer drug Revlimid to some $20,000 for a supply of 28 pills.

The Senate campaign in New Jersey has seen no discussion of substantive issues. It is dominated by both candidates' nonstop personal attacks and negative ads, part of the typical burlesque of American politics.

Scum versus scum. That sums up this election season. Is it any wonder that 100 million Americans don't bother to vote? When all you are offered is Bob One or Bob Two, why bother?

One-fourth of Democratic challengers in competitive House districts in this week's elections have backgrounds in the CIA, the military, the National Security Council or the State Department. Nearly all candidates on the ballots in House races are corporate-sponsored, with a few lonely exceptions such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, members of the Democratic Socialists of America who are running as Democrats.

The securities and finance industry has backed Democratic congressional candidates 63 percent to 37 percent over Republicans, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics . Democratic candidates and political action committees have received $56.8 million, compared with Republicans' $33.4 million, the center reported. The broader sector of finance, insurance and real estate, it found, has given $174 million to Democratic candidates, against $157 million to Republicans. And Michael Bloomberg , weighing his own presidential run, has pledged $100 million to elect a Democratic Congress.

"In interviews with two dozen Wall Street executives, fund-raisers, donors and those who raise money from them, Democrats described an extraordinary level of investment and excitement from the finance sector ," The New York Times reported about current campaign contributions to the Democrats from the corporate oligarchs.

Our system of legalized bribery is an equal-opportunity employer.

Of course, we are all supposed to vote Democratic to halt the tide of Trump fascism. But should the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, hate speech and violence as a tool for intimidation and control will increase, with much of it directed, as we saw with the pipe bombs intended to decapitate the Democratic Party leadership, toward prominent Democratic politicians and critics of Donald Trump. Should the white man's party of the president retain control of the House and the Senate, violence will still be the favored instrument of political control as the last of democratic protections are stripped from us. Either way we are in for it.

Trump is a clownish and embarrassing tool of the kleptocrats. His faux populism is a sham. Only the rich like his tax cuts, his refusal to raise the minimum wage and his effort to destroy Obamacare. All he has left is hate. And he will use it. Which is not to say that, if only to throw up some obstacle to Trump, you shouldn't vote for the Democratic scum, tools of the war industry and the pharmaceutical and insurance industry, Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry, as opposed to the Republican scum. But Democratic control of the House will do very little to halt our descent into corporate tyranny, especially with another economic crisis brewing on Wall Street. The rot inside the American political system is deep and terminal.

The Democrats, who refuse to address the social inequality they helped orchestrate and that has given rise to Trump, are the party of racial and ethnic inclusivity, identity politics, Wall Street and the military. Their core battle cry is: We are not Trump! This is ultimately a losing formula. It was adopted by Hillary Clinton, who is apparently weighing another run for the presidency after we thought we had thrust a stake through her political heart. It is the agenda of the well-heeled East Coast and West Coast elites who want to instill corporate fascism with a friendly face.

... ... ...

[Nov 05, 2018] Vote if you want, but it's a charade in which the Duopoly will remain beholden to the same money interests who paid for both the Red and Blue campaigns

Nov 05, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Mark from Queens

Elections USA, Inc: "Scum Vs. Scum." When I went looking for Hedges's weekly column today I rather expected him to be onto the next Bigger Picture item that he is always adroit at tackling.

So it was a little surprising that he chose instead to lead with an example of the midterm races in his state of NJ, the one between disgraced Democratic Senator Robert Menendez and Republican Bob Hugin.

He never disappoints.

There is perhaps no better illustration of the deep decay of the American political system than the Senate race in New Jersey. Sen. Bob Menendez, running for re-election, was censured by the Senate Ethics Committee for accepting bribes from the Florida businessman Salomon Melgen, who was convicted in 2017 of defrauding Medicare of $73 million. The senator had flown to the Dominican Republic with Melgen on the physician's private jet and stayed in his private villa, where the men cavorted with young Dominican women who allegedly were prostitutes. Menendez performed numerous political favors for Melgen, including helping some of the Dominican women acquire visas to the United States. Menendez was indicted in a federal corruption trial but escaped sentencing because of a hung jury.

Menendez has a voting record as sordid as most Democrats'. He supported the $716 billion military spending bill, along with 85 percent of his fellow Senate Democrats. He signed a letter, along with other Democratic leaders, calling for steps to extradite Julian Assange to stand trial in the United States. The senator, the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, is owned by the lobby for Israel -- a country that routinely and massively interferes in our elections -- and supported moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. He helped cause the 2008 global financial crisis by voting to revoke Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era law enacted to create a firewall between commercial and investment banks.

In what is so emblematic of how pathetic and corrupt the opposition party, their presidential candidate came out to throw her support behind such an odious criminal and corporate whore and to campaign with him. While at the same time the Dems have made no secret about their intention to crush any candidate who espouses socialist values.

Vote if you want, but it's a charade in which the Duopoly will remain beholden to the same money interests who paid for both the Red and Blue campaigns.

Scum versus scum. That sums up this election season. Is it any wonder that 100 million Americans don't bother to vote? When all you are offered is Bob One or Bob Two, why bother? One-fourth of Democratic challengers in competitive House districts in this week's elections have backgrounds in the CIA, the military, the National Security Council or the State Department. Nearly all candidates on the ballots in House races are corporate-sponsored, with a few lonely exceptions such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, members of the Democratic Socialists of America who are running as Democrats. The securities and finance industry has backed Democratic congressional candidates 63 percent to 37 percent over Republicans, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics. Democratic candidates and political action committees have received $56.8 million, compared with Republicans' $33.4 million, the center reported. The broader sector of finance, insurance and real estate, it found, has given $174 million to Democratic candidates, against $157 million to Republicans. And Michael Bloomberg, weighing his own presidential run, has pledged $100 million to elect a Democratic Congress.

"In interviews with two dozen Wall Street executives, fund-raisers, donors and those who raise money from them, Democrats described an extraordinary level of investment and excitement from the finance sector ," The New York Times reported about current campaign contributions to the Democrats from the corporate oligarchs.

Our system of legalized bribery is an equal-opportunity employer.

Of course, we are all supposed to vote Democratic to halt the tide of Trump fascism. But should the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, hate speech and violence as a tool for intimidation and control will increase, with much of it directed, as we saw with the pipe bombs intended to decapitate the Democratic Party leadership, toward prominent Democratic politicians and critics of Donald Trump. Should the white man's party of the president retain control of the House and the Senate, violence will still be the favored instrument of political control as the last of democratic protections are stripped from us. Either way we are in for it.

Trump is a clownish and embarrassing tool of the kleptocrats. His faux populism is a sham. Only the rich like his tax cuts, his refusal to raise the minimum wage and his effort to destroy Obamacare. All he has left is hate. And he will use it. Which is not to say that, if only to throw up some obstacle to Trump, you shouldn't vote for the Democratic scum, tools of the war industry and the pharmaceutical and insurance industry, Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry, as opposed to the Republican scum. But Democratic control of the House will do very little to halt our descent into corporate tyranny, especially with another economic crisis brewing on Wall Street. The rot inside the American political system is deep and terminal.

"Plus ça change, Plus c'est la même chose."

But it is always necessary to remind folks that the Greatest Democracy In The World is not. It is An Auction House To The Highest Bidder.

He goes on to talk about fascism, its characteristics, its incarnation today, and the elements that pave the way for, which are economic instability, concentrated wealth, monopoly, a police state, imperialism, etc. It is Neoliberalism which has ushered in fascism across the globe, plain and simple.

No totalitarian state has mastered propaganda better than the corporate state. Our press has replaced journalism with trivia, feel-good stories, jingoism and celebrity gossip. The banal and the absurd, delivered by cheery corporate courtiers, saturate the airwaves. Our emotions are skillfully manipulated around manufactured personalities and manufactured events. We are, at the same time, offered elaborate diversionary spectacles including sporting events, reality television and absurdist political campaigns. Trump is a master of this form of entertainment. Our emotional and intellectual energy is swallowed up by the modern equivalent of the Roman arena. Choreographed political vaudeville, which costs corporations billions of dollars, is called free elections. Cliché-ridden slogans, which assure us that the freedoms we cherish remain sacrosanct, dominate our national discourse as these freedoms are stripped from us by judicial and legislative fiat. It is a vast con game.

You cannot use the word "liberty" when your government, as ours does, watches you 24 hours a day and stores all of your personal information in government computers in perpetuity. You cannot use the word "liberty" when you are the most photographed and monitored population in human history. You cannot use the word "liberty" when it is impossible to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or General Dynamics. You cannot use the word "liberty" when the state empowers militarized police to use indiscriminate lethal force against unarmed citizens in the streets of American cities. You cannot use the word "liberty" when 2.3 million citizens, mostly poor people of color, are held in the largest prison system on earth. This is the relationship between a master and a slave. The choice is between whom we want to clamp on our chains -- a jailer who mouths politically correct bromides or a racist, Christian fascist. Either way we are shackled.

American Exceptionalism reigns supreme to the Nationalist. He refuses to acknowledge that the real idea of "freedom" is not owning a munitions factory full of weaponry and putting a flag on the back of a pickup. It is instead the freedom to not have to live in the shadow of being foreclosed upon for a medical emergency, to not have to spend almost all of one's income on rent or mortgage debt, to have more time to spend with loved ones or doing what you love instead of working a dead end job just to pay the bills. In other words, a socialist economy heavily regulating the banks and corporations, in which debt peonage would largely become a thing of the past.

And then there it is. "We are being shackled incrementally," by unseen, unelected and unacknowledged vipers who use their wealth and power to also make sure we're ignorant and impotent to the real story.

Gross understood that unchecked corporate power would inevitably lead to corporate fascism. It is the natural consequence of the ruling ideology of neoliberalism that consolidates power and wealth into the hands of a tiny group of oligarchs. The political philosopher Sheldon Wolin, refining Gross' thesis, would later characterize this corporate tyranny or friendly fascism as "inverted totalitarianism." It was, as Gross and Wolin pointed out, characterized by anonymity. It purported to pay fealty to electoral politics, the Constitution and the iconography and symbols of American patriotism but internally had seized all of the levers of power to render the citizen impotent. Gross warned that we were being shackled incrementally. Most would not notice until they were in total bondage. He wrote that "a friendly fascist power structure in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, or today's Japan would be far more sophisticated than the 'caesarism' of fascist Germany, Italy, and Japan. It would need no charismatic dictator nor even a titular head it would require no one-party rule, no mass fascist party, no glorification of the State, no dissolution of legislatures, no denial of reason. Rather, it would come slowly as an outgrowth of present trends in the Establishment."

As far as I'm concerned America has been fascist for a long time, at least since 9/11 but probably longer. We've been captured by Inverted Totalitarianism. Trump just puts the ugly villainous face to that Fascism which has been rampant for a long time. Lewis Lapham had a great piece called, "Due Process: Lamenting the death of the rule of law in a country where it might have always been missing" that lays out the case for a how concentrated wealth has pretty much ruled with impunity since the beginning. (h/t to wendy davis)

How long will we continue to participate in this elaborate Lesser of Two Evil voting sham?

And these days those who do will surely let you know too. All the Good Zombies will be smiling for their selfies with their, "I Voted" stickers (now an added bonus to your "voting experience," as if it were a child's toy inside of a cereal box or something). How long will it be until we're handed little candies as a reward for voting? In step with the continuation of the infantilization of interaction in America. Civics? Nah. Stickers? Yeah.

Seems we're fucking doomed. But not unless people turn off the tv's and social media to begin talking to one another in public as fellow human beings, who as the 99% pretty much have so many of the same concerns in common.

Partisan ideology, blasted night and day on the propaganda networks, keeping us divided and conquered, with fear, manufactured distraction and celebrity gossip thrown in, to keep the lemmings hypnotized from what's really going on.

It's a damn shame.

Mark from Queens on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 7:36pm
Leave it to Hedges to exquisitley describe the darkness.

But he also pulled back from saying one shouldn't vote for the Dems to stem Trump's insanity, although he quickly added that it wouldn't stop the onslaught of corporate tyranny.

The only thing giving me hope lately is taking the longview, and the emergence of whistleblowers/journalists exposing the inner workings of the corporate coup. To what degree it matters will depend on how many people they reach.

The former,

https://www.youtube.com/embed/nXL7kO5t5NQ

and the latter (of which I've been putting together an essay on)

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q6RXRKlGsV8

Bollox Ref on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 7:46pm
Americans love to quote Alexis de Tocqueville

but they rarely acknowledge Charles Dickens' impressions of the country.

[Nov 05, 2018] On the eve of the US midterm elections

Notable quotes:
"... Opposition to the unending and expanding wars of American imperialism has been completely excluded from the election campaigns of both the Democrats and Republicans. ..."
"... The Democrats represent a political alliance of Wall Street and privileged sections of the middle class. Over the past two years, their central focus, in addition to the anti-Russia campaign, has been the promotion of the politics of race and gender, particularly through the #MeToo campaign. ..."
"... The aim has been to divide the working class while advancing the interests of factions within the top 10 percent that are competing over positions of power, money and privilege. ..."
"... Trump is himself the product of a protracted decay of democratic forms of rule. Nodal points in this process were the Clinton impeachment in 1998, the theft of the 2000 election, the launching of the "war on terror" after the 9/11 attacks, accompanied by the erection of a massive apparatus of domestic spying, and the Obama administration's policy of drone assassination, including of US citizens. ..."
Nov 05, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Whatever the rhetoric, and however the seats of the Senate and House of Representatives are allocated, the basic factors that drive American politics will persist. These are:

1. The determination of the ruling class to maintain the global position of American capitalism through military force, including world war:

This central strategy has dominated American policy for decades. Seventeen years of the "war on terror," including wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, have devastated entire countries and left more than one million people dead. The Trump administration has officially announced the end of the "war on terror" and ordered the military to begin preparing for "great power conflict" with Russia or China.

In the weeks leading up to the elections, the administration withdrew from a key Cold War-era nuclear arms agreement (the INF Treaty) and threatened to launch preemptive strikes against Russia. At the same time, it effectively declared a new "cold war" against China. With no public discussion and on a bipartisan basis, the administration has initiated the largest military buildup since the end of the Cold War.

Opposition to the unending and expanding wars of American imperialism has been completely excluded from the election campaigns of both the Democrats and Republicans.

The Democrats fully support the strategic aim of the American ruling class to maintain its global supremacy through military force. From the beginning of the Trump administration, the Democrats, channeling powerful sections of the military and intelligence apparatus, have centered their opposition to Trump on the concern that he was pulling back from war in the Middle East and confrontation with Russia.

2. The staggering levels of social inequality, which cannot be changed by any election, and which infect every institution of the capitalist state:

Ten years after the 2008 financial crisis, social inequality is at historic highs. Three individuals now possess more wealth than the bottom half of the population, and just three families have a combined fortune of $348.7 billion, four million times the median family wealth. The vast majority of the population confronts the many manifestations of social crisis -- declining wages, soaring health care costs, a drug overdose epidemic and decaying social infrastructure.

These conditions are the product of the policies of the Obama administration, which supported and oversaw the bailout of the banks following the financial meltdown in 2008. Since Trump's election, the Democrats have collaborated in the implementation of massive tax cuts for the rich, which they have no intention of rolling back whatever the outcome of the elections.

The Democrats represent a political alliance of Wall Street and privileged sections of the middle class. Over the past two years, their central focus, in addition to the anti-Russia campaign, has been the promotion of the politics of race and gender, particularly through the #MeToo campaign.

The aim has been to divide the working class while advancing the interests of factions within the top 10 percent that are competing over positions of power, money and privilege.

3. The crisis of democratic forms of rule and the turn to authoritarianism:

The crisis of American democracy, of which the Trump administration is an extreme expression, expresses the alignment of political forms with the oligarchical character of American society.

While Trump pursues his strategy of developing an authoritarian movement, the Democrats likewise support the destruction of democratic rights, but in a different way. They have focused on demands that social media companies censor the internet, under the guise of combating "fake news" and blocking organizations that "sow discontent." In the course of their conflict with Trump, they have hailed such enemies of democratic rights as former CIA Director John Brennan, responsible for torture and domestic spying.

Trump is himself the product of a protracted decay of democratic forms of rule. Nodal points in this process were the Clinton impeachment in 1998, the theft of the 2000 election, the launching of the "war on terror" after the 9/11 attacks, accompanied by the erection of a massive apparatus of domestic spying, and the Obama administration's policy of drone assassination, including of US citizens.

[Nov 05, 2018] What if the Democrats don't win caucus99percent

Notable quotes:
"... if the Democrats win ..."
"... @Not Henry Kissinger ..."
Nov 05, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

What if the Democrats don't win?


span y gjohnsit on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 1:47pm By "win" I mean "Democrats take over the house".

Here's my humble opinion:

1) For the Democratic establishment it won't mean much. If the drubbings in 2010, 2014, and 2016 can't cause a leadership change, or even an autopsy, then nothing will.
If anything they will blame progressives and embrace a neoliberal center-right agenda even more.

2) For the Democratic base, OTOH, it'll be devastating. Democratic activists will lose heart and it will begin the real start of America being a one-party state. The reason I think this is after you call the other guy a traitor and fascist, and that still isn't enough to defeat him, what else can you do to motivate your voters?

Expect progressive voter activism to plummet in 2020. The Green Party will probably grow, but not as fast as the Democrats shrink.

... ... ...

IMO, we are already a one party country

The party is the neoliberal/neoconservative party.

The Democrats do not deserve to win. As a party, they have no policy positions and have based their entire campaign on the we're not as bad. That does not put food on the table, create health care security, or create living income jobs. The Democrats showed their true colors when they voted along with the Republicans to increase the DoD budget beyond what Trump requested and expanded the powers of surveillance under the President that they loathe.

Most people do not want to see a phony impeachment hearing which does nothing but drain all resources away from helping the people. If the Democrats truly wanted to win, they would be proposing an ambitious platform aimed at helping the American people.

One more thing, would this country be better off with President Pence instead of Trump? As bad as Trump is, I think Pence would be espousing similar hatred and therefore, would far worse with his theocratic ideas.

span y WindDancer13 on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 2:34pm
This is already true:

Their voting base will believe the lies over the evidence before their own eyes.

I agree with most points, but disagree with this:

Expect progressive voter activism to plummet in 2020.

Given the option to just let the country turn into a full-fledged Fascist state, the logical thing to do would be for the progressives to fight even harder. Bernie Sanders is an example of turning a loss into more action on behalf of the people. (For those who constantly disparage Sanders because he is not perfect, get over it...no one is and no one will ever be. Amazon screwed their workers, not Sanders.).

Getting more and more progressives in down ballot positions will be extremely important, no matter their label.

span y doh1304 on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 3:30pm
I firmly believe that your scenario will happen

if the Democrats win . There are other possibilities if the corruptocrats lose - more likely is that the true left could finally be forced to admit that the theory that the corporatist fifth column can be reformed was always a pollyannish delusion and (for example) Bernie will run as a Green. Without a fascist Democratic Party sabotaging him he will win easily. (Ironically a fascist Dem, in a 3 way race, would only win NY and CA, but draw off enough votes from Bernie so that he could lose the popular vote but would win the Electoral College. Trump would only win AZ, TX, MS, ID, AL and SC. the final: Bernie 379, Hillscum 84, Trump 77) On the other hand, what If 60 million people turn out and vote Democratic, and then the corruptocrats stab them in the back again? You worry about disillusionment?
Actually it might depend on how the Democrats win or lose. I would rather see 100 Dems but 75 of them Berniecrats rather than 225 "Democrats".
Or maybe you're afraid of a racist/theocratic right coup? That is a very legitimate fear. We have backed them up against a wall, but we don't know if they're a rat or a tiger. But they have had 50 years to show us which, and the tiger is still hasn't eaten us. Identity politics however, (unless you count anti-porn feminism) is less than a decade old and has already achieved more than racism could hope for. I fear the PC SMERSH more than the racist Gestapo.

span y MrWebster on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 4:27pm
Things will get worse for sure.

Just random stuff.

  • Social security and Medicare cut big time.Trump will propose extreme measures, and democrats will meet them "half way".
  • Overall, the gop economic agenda permanently put in place.
  • Russia. Russia. Russia by the main stream media and democrats. Well, if they
    win expect the same.
  • Democrats will focus on Trump tweets over real issues.
  • Democrats will be an opposition much in the vein as Vichy France.
  • Hillary will be nominated a second time.
span y HenryAWallace on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 4:56pm
What this someone else thinks.

1. For current Democratic incumbents who lose, it will mean a job change with a higher salary.

For a while, we wondered how Democrats could be so stupid as to engage in behaviors that might cause their constituents to primary them or vote against them in the general. Eventually, it became clear: to ensure obedience from officeholders, their owners had been giving officeholders unemployment insurance in the form of cushy, prestigious, well-paying jobs to be awarded to officeholders who lost their elected slots. This insulated officeholders very nicely from the need to cater to pain-in-the-neck constituents.

Take for example, the post-Senate career move of Senator Dodd:

Motion Picture Association of America

In February 2011, despite "repeatedly and categorically insisting that he would not work as a lobbyist,"[23][24] Dodd replaced Dan Glickman as chairman of and chief lobbyist for the Motion Picture Association of America.[25][26]

On January 17, 2012, Dodd released a statement criticizing "the so-called 'Blackout Day' protesting anti-piracy legislation."[27] Referring to the websites participating in the blackout, Dodd said, "It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power... when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests."[27] In further comments, Dodd threatened to cut off campaign contributions to politicians who did not support the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act, legislation supported by the Motion Picture Association of America.[28]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Dodd

Whatever do you suppose qualified Dodd to head the Motion Picture Association?

As an aside, I wonder how Dodd views censorship and/or skewing by the likes of google, which long since started doing evil, its motto to the contrary; facebook; and twitter

For all other Democratic pols, all over the country, it will mean another two years in which they make a public show of attacking Trump while just enough of them in D.C. vote for his budgets, judges, etc. to give him and their corporate sponsors what they want.

2. For the Democratic base, those who eagerly vote blue, no matter who, it will mean--Oh, screw it. Let's be candid. No one, including the Democratic Party, cares.

3. For Republicans, it would mean a minimum of two more years to be in control of the Oval Office, both houses of Congress and the Supreme Court, which is better than a demotion to a mere trifecta. Continued control typically means larger donations to the controlling party and its incumbents.

While some may vacillate publicly as to whether or not Trump is good for the Party (*gives Senator Graham and his ilk the side eye fish eye*), they will, in private, be giddy with glee about both the money and power, thereby having it both ways, the wet dream scenario of US politicians.

span y Not Henry Kissinger on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 5:05pm
If the Dems don't win.

Hillary drops out of the 2020 race and spends the next two years lawyering up.

Meanwhile the Democratic party implodes in an angry round of fingerprinting that eventually leads to all out street fight between Bernie supporting Progressives and Establishment Liberals in the run up to the 2020 primary.

Obama tries to play mediator and runs his own slate of phony change agents, but Berniecrats and lost Hillbots are both hip to the con and aren't having it.

Bernie decides on another run from within, fighting a green tide of corporate payola and corrupt machine Dems that ends up in a brokered convention.

And that's where the crystal ball goes cloudy.

span y WindDancer13 on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 7:41pm
Fingerprinting?

@Not Henry Kissinger

Have the Dems gone full Fascists?

I hate it when someone only picks out one point of my argument to respond to. Don't you?

Meanwhile, I suddenly had a picture in my head of HRC running around with a bottle of ink, a pad to pour it onto, a roller to saturate it with and some unwilling soul grasped by the wrist and forced to spread their fingers for said fingerprinting.

Crystal ball haze suddenly lifts, and we see the Emerald City in the distance. (Monkeys? What monkeys?)

Hillary drops out of the 2020 race and spends the next two years lawyering up.

Meanwhile the Democratic party implodes in an angry round of fingerprinting that eventually leads to all out street fight between Bernie supporting Progressives and Establishment Liberals in the run up to the 2020 primary.

Obama tries to play mediator and runs his own slate of phony change agents, but Berniecrats and lost Hillbots are both hip to the con and aren't having it.

Bernie decides on another run from within, fighting a green tide of corporate payola and corrupt machine Dems that ends up in a brokered convention.

And that's where the crystal ball goes cloudy.

span y Big Al on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 5:12pm
Same things that will happen if they win,

the rich will continue to get richer, the poor more poor, the middle class will continue to shrink, the war and U.S. imperialism will continue, the deficit and debt will keep going up, we won't get a nationalized health care system, climate change will continue unabated, and we still won't live in a democracy. Then the ruling class and it's corporate media will prepare the sheeple for another election in less than two years.

[Nov 05, 2018] Bertram Gross (1912-1997) in "Friendly Fascism: The New Face of American Power" warned us that fascism always has two looks. One is paternal, benevolent, entertaining and kind. The other is embodied in the executioner's sadistic leer

Highly recommended!
Nov 05, 2018 | www.truthdig.com

Extracted from Scum vs. Scum by Chris Hedge

Of course, we are all supposed to vote Democratic to halt the tide of Trump fascism. But should the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, hate speech and violence as a tool for intimidation and control will increase, with much of it directed, as we saw with the pipe bombs intended to decapitate the Democratic Party leadership, toward prominent Democratic politicians and critics of Donald Trump. Should the white man's party of the president retain control of the House and the Senate, violence will still be the favored instrument of political control as the last of democratic protections are stripped from us. Either way we are in for it.

Trump is a clownish and embarrassing tool of the kleptocrats. His faux populism is a sham. Only the rich like his tax cuts, his refusal to raise the minimum wage and his effort to destroy Obamacare. All he has left is hate. And he will use it. Which is not to say that, if only to throw up some obstacle to Trump, you shouldn't vote for the Democratic scum, tools of the war industry and the pharmaceutical and insurance industry, Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry, as opposed to the Republican scum. But Democratic control of the House will do very little to halt our descent into corporate tyranny, especially with another economic crisis brewing on Wall Street. The rot inside the American political system is deep and terminal.

The Democrats, who refuse to address the social inequality they helped orchestrate and that has given rise to Trump, are the party of racial and ethnic inclusivity, identity politics, Wall Street and the military. Their core battle cry is: We are not Trump! This is ultimately a losing formula. It was adopted by Hillary Clinton, who is apparently weighing another run for the presidency after we thought we had thrust a stake through her political heart. It is the agenda of the well-heeled East Coast and West Coast elites who want to instill corporate fascism with a friendly face.

Bertram Gross (1912-1997) in "Friendly Fascism: The New Face of American Power" warned us that fascism always has two looks. One is paternal, benevolent, entertaining and kind. The other is embodied in the executioner's sadistic leer. Janus-like, fascism seeks to present itself to a captive public as a force for good and moral renewal. It promises protection against enemies real and invented. But denounce its ideology, challenge its power, demand freedom from fascism's iron grip, and you are mercilessly crushed. Gross knew that if the United States' form of fascism, expressed through corporate tyranny, was able to effectively mask its true intentions behind its "friendly" face we would be stripped of power, shorn of our most cherished rights and impoverished. He has been proved correct.

"Looking at the present, I see a more probable future: a new despotism creeping slowly across America," Gross wrote. "Faceless oligarchs sit at command posts of a corporate-government complex that has been slowly evolving over many decades. In efforts to enlarge their own powers and privileges, they are willing to have others suffer the intended or unintended consequences of their institutional or personal greed. For Americans, these consequences include chronic inflation, recurring recession, open and hidden unemployment, the poisoning of air, water, soil and bodies, and more important, the subversion of our constitution. More broadly, consequences include widespread intervention in international politics through economic manipulation, covert action, or military invasion."

No totalitarian state has mastered propaganda better than the corporate state. Our press has replaced journalism with trivia, feel-good stories, jingoism and celebrity gossip. The banal and the absurd, delivered by cheery corporate courtiers, saturate the airwaves. Our emotions are skillfully manipulated around manufactured personalities and manufactured events. We are, at the same time, offered elaborate diversionary spectacles including sporting events, reality television and absurdist political campaigns. Trump is a master of this form of entertainment. Our emotional and intellectual energy is swallowed up by the modern equivalent of the Roman arena. Choreographed political vaudeville, which costs corporations billions of dollars, is called free elections. Cliché-ridden slogans, which assure us that the freedoms we cherish remain sacrosanct, dominate our national discourse as these freedoms are stripped from us by judicial and legislative fiat. It is a vast con game.

You cannot use the word "liberty" when your government, as ours does, watches you 24 hours a day and stores all of your personal information in government computers in perpetuity. You cannot use the word "liberty" when you are the most photographed and monitored population in human history. You cannot use the word "liberty" when it is impossible to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or General Dynamics. You cannot use the word "liberty" when the state empowers militarized police to use indiscriminate lethal force against unarmed citizens in the streets of American cities. You cannot use the word "liberty" when 2.3 million citizens, mostly poor people of color, are held in the largest prison system on earth. This is the relationship between a master and a slave. The choice is between whom we want to clamp on our chains -- a jailer who mouths politically correct bromides or a racist, Christian fascist. Either way we are shackled.

Gross understood that unchecked corporate power would inevitably lead to corporate fascism. It is the natural consequence of the ruling ideology of neoliberalism that consolidates power and wealth into the hands of a tiny group of oligarchs. The political philosopher Sheldon Wolin , refining Gross' thesis, would later characterize this corporate tyranny or friendly fascism as "inverted totalitarianism." It was, as Gross and Wolin pointed out, characterized by anonymity. It purported to pay fealt