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Trump2016 foreign policy platform

Trump was the only candidate who during his election campaign was against neoliberal globalization as well as against neoliberal wars for the expansion of US-led global neoliberal empire (but also only until he was elected)

During elections he looked like the best chance to prevent military confrontation with Russia in Syria and the risk of WWIII. After elections he looks quote opposite experiencing political metamorphose similar to Obama who became Bush II in foreign policy in just 100 days: another masterful "bait and switch maneuver"

The last time America saw a strong paleo-conservative was Pat Buchanan in 1996. An early win in Louisiana caused Buchanan to place second in Iowa and first in New Hampshire. Lacking money, Buchanan was steamrolled by the establishment in Arizona and, in terms of paleo-conservatism, many thought he was the Last of the Mohicans. Trump's campaign is Buchananesque with one difference: Trump has money... --  by Joseph R. Murray II (Orlando Sentinel, Aug 12, 2015)

News Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Recommended Links  Trump vs. Deep State Anti Trump Hysteria Shoot-first-ask-questions-later: Trump adventurism in ME Trump betrayal of his foreign policy platform Trump Colin Powell moment
The Deep State Trump economic platform TTP, NAFTA and other supernational trade treates Anti-globalization movement Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Blowback against neoliberal globalization Immigration and free movement of workers Hillary role in Syria bloodbath
 Zombie state and coming collapse of neoliberalism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Nation under attack meme  American Exceptionalism  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Corporatist Corruption Predator state Neocons New American Militarism Myth about intelligent voter Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Corporatism National Security State Non-Interventionism
Libertarian Philosophy The Iron Law of Oligarchy Principal-agent problem Neoliberalism US Presidential Elections of 2012   Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
 
"There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money. It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man."

-- Gore Vidal

“The Democrats are the foxes, and the Republicans are the wolves – and they both want to devour you.” So what does that make Libertarians? Avian flu viruses?”

-- Leonard Pinkney

The race is no contest when you own both horses. That is why no matter which political party is in power nothing really changes other than the packaging. The puppets who drink at the champagne fountains of the powerful do the bidding of their masters. The people are superfluous to the process.

-- Daniel Estulin

In the “democracy” that America has evolved to, money counts more than people. In past elections, the votes were counted, now they are going to start weighing them.

America The Counter-Revolution - Salem-News.Com

(T)he rich elites of (the USA) have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their fellow American citizens … the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot. Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it.”

-- Mike Lofgren

Note: On April 6, 2016 Trump surrendered to neocons. Events after April 6, 2017 are discussed at Trump after his Colin Powell moment. The election image of Trump
(like in case of king of "bait and switch" Obama it proved to be false) -- he easily betrayed his election promises


Introduction

Note: this article was written long before the election as as such does not reflect subsequent events such as Trump attack on Syria.

Both choices in US Presidential election 2016 were dismal, but they are unequal in their gravity options. All this blabbering about Trump future appointment of "wrong" (aka reactionary) Supreme Court justices, slashing taxes for rich, elimination of inheritance tax,  and other similar things make sense if and only if the country continues to exist. Which is not given due to the craziness and the level of degeneration of neoliberal elite, especially neocons that infest Washington, DC, Obama administration (including Obama himself),   as well as "bloodthrusty" democrats like  Hillary (“no fly zone in Syria” is one example of her craziness). While formally neocons are aligned with Republican party, they feel at home at Democratic Party too as it became the second War Party in Washington. And war (cold or hot are OK, as long as neocons personally do not need to fight in the trenches and somebody else need to die in wars of neoliberal empire expansion) is all they want. Neocons are, in essence, MIC lobbyists. Playing chicken with a nuclear power for the sake of providing MIC with outside profits and maintaining the US global dominance is a crazy policy that exhausts country resources, and impoverish population, like previously was the case with British and Spanish empires.

Neocons rule the roost in both parties, which essentially became a single War Party with two wings. They completely appropriated formulation of the US foreign policy and dominate the State Department and Pentagon. In this sense Trump is a real outlier (or was, before he was elected). Simplified his foreign policy platform includes two simple and very attractive for the US population slogan, that are completely opposite to Washington official foreign policy doctrine, enforced by "deep state"

So the hissy fit the deep state displayed before December 19  (classic "Russians are under every bed" hysteria, supported by all neoliberal MSM, including WaPo, NYT, CNN, ABC, MSBNC, etc) was not about Russia, it was about the danger that the current neocon-driven foreign policy that was a hallmark of the US forign policy during the  last four administrations (Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama) will be abandoned by Trump administration.

The fact the American people discarded  Hillary Clinton is encouraging. As a neocon warmonger she belongs to the dust bin of history. But as it  is not clear whether Trump is capable to deliver his key foreign policy promises/objectives, such a detente with Russia, and no new wars of neoliberal empire expansion. Deep state is way too strong for a single maverick, or even a group of like minded mavericks  change the US foreign policy. Even if they have unconditional support of US military (as Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard demonstrated with her recent bill):

On December 8, 2016, Gabbard introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act to prevent the U.S. government from sponsoring international terrorist groups through funding and the provision of armaments, intelligence, and training. The act was modeled on the Boland Amendment and was endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America and the U.S. Peace Council.[107][108]

The chances are high that Trump he will be co-opted by Washington neocons and gradually will became Bush IV or Obama II.  That will be really unfortunate development.  In this chess game, Trump having weaker figures and position in labyrinth of power will need to find  new people ready to go and skillfully navigate around the neocon swamp and MIC land mines. The only countervailing force are US military, who are fighting all those neocon wars and who really hate neocon chickenhawks, and know their real price. Separately, Trump has suggested a new rules prohibiting lobbying for five years after service in his administration and total prohibition of being lobbyist of foreign states. That is really revolutionary  and this alone make Trump distinct from a typical Washington politicians. But those parasites will definitely fiercely resists such sensitive for their family budget change.

Trump looks like the only chance somewhat to limit their influence and reach some détente with Russia. And I would not be surprised one bit if Dick Cheney, Victoria Nuland, Paul Wolfowitz and Perle voted for Hillary. Robert Kagan and papa Bush publicly declared such an intention. And the fact Hillary is a staunch neocon, and always was.  A wolf in sheep clothing, if we are talking about real anti-war democrats, not the USA brand of DemoRats. She is a crazy warmonger, no question about it, trying to compensate a complete lack of diplomatic skills with jingoism and saber rattling. In foreign policy area she was John McCain in pantsuit. Here is one interesting quote ( nakedcapitalism.com )

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

But it looks that many people in the USA were able to understand that the choice in this particular case was between the decimation of the last remnants of the New Deal and a real chance of WWIII. Those are two events of completely difference magnitude: one is reversible (and please note that Trump is bound by very controversial obligations to his electorate and faces hostile Congress), the other is not.

Neoliberalism after 2008 entered zombie state so while it is still strong aggressive and bloodthirsty it might not last for long. And in such cases the defeat of democratic forces on domestic front is temporary. That means vote against Hillary.

Trump rejects neocon platform of forcefully converting all states in the globe into neoliberal protectorates using color revolutions and brute military force, including drone based assassinations (The Wholesale Failure of American Foreign Policy The American Conservative): 

Airstrikes and drone attacks are accidentally killing thousands of civilians, aid workers, wedding parties, and now even the troops of a nation against whom we are not at war. Each of these mistakes, repeated hundreds of times over the past 15 years, creates more antagonism and hatred of the United States than any other single event. Whatever tactical benefit some of the strikes do accomplish, they are consumed in the still-worsening strategic failure the misfires cause.

Bottom line: The use of military power since 2001 has:

These continued and deepening failures kill unknown numbers of innocent civilians each year, intensify and spread the hatred many have of America, and incrementally weaken our national security. But these military failures have another, less obvious but more troubling cost.

Official election platform

With the exception of Iran, which for some reason he hates so much, that he wants to risk a war with it, Trump speaks more like a paleoconservative  then a neocon.  He is more reasonable as for US-Russian relation that bloodthirsty warmonger Hillary (which is an easy task because "this woman" wet kiss neocons all the time).

His focus in relations with China, while also hawkish  in more about trade balance and "bringing jobs home" issues, not so much about South Sea military adventures (U.S.-China Trade Reform Donald J Trump for President):

How We Got Here: Washington Politicians Let China Off The Hook

In January 2000, President Bill Clinton boldly promised China’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization (WTO) “is a good deal for America. Our products will gain better access to China’s market, and every sector from agriculture, to telecommunications, to automobiles. But China gains no new market access to the United States.” None of what President Clinton promised came true. Since China joined the WTO, Americans have witnessed the closure of more than 50,000 factories and the loss of tens of millions of jobs. It was  not a good deal for America then and it’s a bad deal now. It is a typical example of how politicians in Washington have failed our country.

The most important component of our China policy is leadership and strength at the negotiating table. We have been too afraid to protect and advance American interests and to challenge China to live up to its obligations. We need smart negotiators who will serve the interests of American workers – not Wall Street insiders that want to move U.S. manufacturing and investment offshore.

The Goal Of The Trump Plan: Fighting For American Businesses And Workers

America has always been a trading nation. Under the Trump administration trade will flourish. However, for free trade to bring prosperity to America, it must also be fair trade. Our goal is not protectionism but accountability. America fully opened its markets to China but China has not reciprocated. Its Great Wall of Protectionism uses unlawful tariff and non-tariff barriers to keep American companies out of China and to tilt the playing field in their favor.

If you give American workers a level playing field, they will win. At its heart, this plan is a negotiating strategy to bring fairness to our trade with China. The results will be huge for American businesses and workers. Jobs and factories will stop moving offshore and instead stay here at home. The economy will boom. The steps outlined in this plan will make that a reality.

When Donald J. Trump is president, China will be on notice that America is back in the global leadership business and that their days of currency manipulation and cheating are over. We will cut a better deal with China that helps American businesses and workers compete.

The Trump Plan Will Achieve The Following Goals:

  1. Bring China to the bargaining table by immediately declaring it a currency manipulator.
  2. Protect American ingenuity and investment by forcing China to uphold intellectual property laws and stop their unfair and unlawful practice of forcing U.S. companies to share proprietary technology with Chinese competitors as a condition of entry to China’s market.
  3. Reclaim millions of American jobs and reviving American manufacturing by putting an end to China’s illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards. No more sweatshops or pollution havens stealing jobs from American workers.
  4. Strengthen our negotiating position by lowering our corporate tax rate to keep American companies and jobs here at home, attacking our debt and deficit so China cannot use financial blackmail against us, and bolstering the U.S. military presence in the East and South China Seas to discourage Chinese adventurism.

Details of Donald J. Trump’s US China Trade Plan:

Declare China A Currency Manipulator

We need a president who will not succumb to the financial blackmail of a Communist dictatorship. President Obama’s Treasury Department has repeatedly refused to brand China a currency manipulator – a move that would force China to stop these unfair practices or face tough countervailing duties that level the playing field.

Economists estimate the Chinese yuan is undervalued by anywhere from 15% to 40%. This grossly undervalued yuan gives Chinese exporters a huge advantage while imposing the equivalent of a heavy tariff on U.S. exports to China. Such currency manipulation, in concert with China’s other unfair practices, has resulted in chronic U.S. trade deficits, a severe weakening of the U.S. manufacturing base and the loss of tens of millions of American jobs.

In a system of truly free trade and floating exchange rates like a Trump administration would support, America's massive trade deficit with China would not persist. On day one of the Trump administration the U.S. Treasury Department will designate China as a currency manipulator. This will begin a process that imposes appropriate countervailing duties on artificially cheap Chinese products, defends U.S. manufacturers and workers, and revitalizes job growth in America. We must stand up to China’s blackmail and reject corporate America’s manipulation of our politicians. The U.S. Treasury’s designation of China as a currency manipulator will force China to the negotiating table and open the door to a fair – and far better – trading relationship.

End China’s Intellectual Property Violations

China’s ongoing theft of intellectual property may be the greatest transfer of wealth in history. This theft costs the U.S. over $300 billion and millions of jobs each year. China’s government ignores this rampant cybercrime and, in other cases, actively encourages or even sponsors it –without any real consequences. China’s cyber lawlessness threatens our prosperity, privacy and national security. We will enforce stronger protections against Chinese hackers and counterfeit goods and our responses to Chinese theft will be swift, robust, and unequivocal.

The Chinese government also forces American companies like Boeing, GE, and Intel to transfer proprietary technologies to Chinese competitors as a condition of entry into the Chinese market. Such de facto intellectual property theft represents a brazen violation of WTO and international rules. China’s forced technology transfer policy is absolutely ridiculous. Going forward, we will adopt a zero tolerance policy on intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer. If China wants to trade with America, they must agree to stop stealing and to play by the rules.

Eliminate China’s Illegal Export Subsidies And Other Unfair Advantages

Chinese manufacturers and other exporters receive numerous illegal export subsidies from the Chinese government. These include - in direct contradiction to WTO rules - free or nearly free rent, utilities, raw materials, and many other services. China’s state-run banks routinely extend loans these enterprises at below market rates or without the expectation they will be repaid. China even offers them illegal tax breaks or rebates as well as cash bonuses to stimulate exports.

China’s illegal export subsidies intentionally distorts international trade and damages other countries’ exports by giving Chinese companies an unfair advantage. From textile and steel mills in the Carolinas to the Gulf Coast’s shrimp and fish industries to the Midwest manufacturing belt and California’s agribusiness, China’s disregard for WTO rules hurt every corner of America.

The U.S. Trade Representative recently filed yet another complaint with the WTO accusing China of cheating on our trade agreements by subsidizing its exports. The Trump administration will not wait for an international body to tell us what we already know. To gain negotiating leverage, we will pursue the WTO case and aggressively highlight and expose these subsidies.

China’s woeful lack of reasonable environmental and labor standards represent yet another form of unacceptable export subsidy. How can American manufacturers, who must meet very high standards, possibly compete with Chinese companies that care nothing about their workers or the environment? We will challenge China to join the 21 st Century when it comes to such standards.

The Trump Plan Will Strengthen Our Negotiating Position

As the world’s most important economy and consumer of goods, America must always negotiate trade agreements from strength. Branding China as a currency manipulator and exposing their unfair trade practices is not enough. In order to further strengthen our negotiating leverage, the Trump plan will:

  1. Lower the corporate tax rate to 15% to unleash American ingenuity here at home and make us more globally competitive. This tax cut puts our rate 10 percentage points below China and 20 points below our current burdensome rate that pushes companies and jobs offshore.
  2. Attack our debt and deficit by vigorously eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in the Federal government, ending redundant government programs, and growing the economy to increase tax revenues. Closing the deficit and reducing our debt will mean China cannot blackmail us with our own Treasury bonds.
  3. Strengthen the U.S. military and deploying it appropriately in the East and South China Seas. These actions will discourage Chinese adventurism that imperils American interests in Asia and shows our strength as we begin renegotiating our trading relationship with China. A strong military presence will be a clear signal to China and other nations in Asia and around the world that America is back in the global leadership business.

Trump challenges after the election

This topic is covered in more details at Trump vs. Deep State

As professor  Andrew Levine wrote in Trouble Ahead With Trump and For Himon (CounterPunch, Nov 18, 2016).  

And his views on relations with Russia and China, regime change wars, and imperial overreach, as best they can be ascertained, are a lot wiser and less lethal than hers.  These are not so much left-right issues as matters of common sense.

Clinton’s overriding concern was and always has been to maintain and expand American world domination — in the face of economic decline, and at no matter what cost.  Trump wants, or says he wants, to do business with other countries in the way that he did with sleaze ball real estate moguls and network executives, people like himself.   He wants to make deals.

The Trump way is, as they say, “transactional.”  The idea is to wheel and deal on a case-by-case basis, with no further, non-pecuniary end in view.

... ... ...

Better that, though, than a foreign policy dedicated to keeping America the world’s hegemon. That is the foreign policy establishment’s aim; it is therefore Clinton’s too. It is the way of perpetual war. Trump’s way is far from ideal, but it is less wasteful, less onerous and less reckless.

During the campaign, Trump would sometimes speak out against banksters and financiers, especially the too-big-to-fail and too-big-to-jail kind. For some time, though, the “populist” billionaire has been signaling to his class brothers and sisters in the financial “industry” that he is more likely to deregulate than to regulate their machinations.

This will become even clearer once Trump settles on key Cabinet posts and on his economic advisors. It is already plain, though, that the modern day counterparts of Theodore Roosevelt’s “malefactors of great wealth” have little to fear; they and Trump are joined by indissoluble bonds of class-consciousness and solidarity.

Many of the rich and heinous were skeptical of Trump’s candidacy at first; because he is such a loose cannon. But now that he has won, the bastards are sucking up; and glee is returning to Wall Street.

Trump is now starting too to allay the fears of the movers and shakers of the National Security State. He still has a way to go, however. We can therefore still hope that they are right to worry. What is bad for them is good for the country.

Clinton’s defeat also seems to have unnerved their counterparts in European capitals, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, and in Japan, South Korea and other countries where the presence of the American military has been very very good for the few at the top, and disastrous for ordinary people.

If he means it, then more power to him. The United States and the rest of the world would be well rid of the American dominated military alliances now in place; NATO most of all. However, having talked with him, Obama is now telling the Europeans that Trump is fine with NATO. Time will tell.

Then there is Israel. Trump thinks that the blank check the ethnocratic settler state already gets from the United States isn’t nearly enough. So much for allies paying their own way!

However, even if Trump leaves America’s perpetual war regime and its military alliances intact, some good could come just from him being at the helm – not so much because, as a wheeler and dealer, he would be less inclined actually to start wars than has become the norm, but because he is vile enough, and enough of an embarrassment, to undermine America’s prestige, hastening the day when the hegemon is a hegemon no more.

This would be good for most Americans, and good for the world.

The election he won has already done a lot to explode the idea, more widely believed at home than abroad, that American “democracy” is somehow a model for the world.

Trump election time position on Russia

Campaign trail rhetoric is not the same as actual foreign policy after the elections.  As Sputnik reported (Russia-US Relations Under Trump 'There Will Be Dialogue and Agreements')

"The Democrats consider their views to be the ultimate truth. It is impossible to reach any agreement with them in this respect. They are not focused on national interests, but rather on globalist goals and universal human values. In this sense the ability of Obama's team to reach deals has passed into legend," he said. "In recent years, Russia has not tried to engage in meaningful diplomacy with the Obama administration since it was useless."

But negotiation will be tough because Trump explicit position is to seek advantages for the USA, not equal deals. He might possibly cooperate on tackling Daesh in Syria. If so, this will mark a major departure from Russia's relations with the US under the Obama administration in recent years. But the problem is the Congress which is infected with war hawks (mostly chickenhawks).

Real Trump position on Russia would be more clear when he selects his candidate for the Secretary of State. So far his views were encouraging: he is not in favor of direct confrontation that Obama administration pursued and Clinton administration would probably convert into armed conflict. Here are some additional details from Russophobic Guardian presstitute Shawn Walker (The Guardian, July 7, 2016):

Page, an investment banker who previously worked in Russia, insisted he was in Russia on a private visit, although he is likely to meet Russian officials when he gives the commencement speech at the New Economic School in Moscow on Friday. He refused to comment on whether he had any meetings with officials planned.

... ... ...

Trump himself has has often praised the Russian leader during the campaign, saying in a December interview “he’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country”.

The presumptive Republican nominee has expressed his confidence that he would build a good relationship with the Russian president telling reporters last year: “I think I would get along very well with Vladimir Putin.”

He also defended the Russian leader against accusations that Putin has ordered the killing of journalists, telling ABC News “In all fairness to Putin, you’re saying he killed people. I haven’t seen that. I don’t know that he has. Have you been able to prove that? Do you know the names of the reporters that he’s killed? Because I’ve been – you know, you’ve been hearing this, but I haven’t seen the names,”

The announced topic of Page’s discussion was “the evolution of the world economy”, but much of it involved semi-coherent analysis of the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.

In passing, Page castigated the US for interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and pursuing "regime change" in former Soviet countries. He said Russia and the US could have better relations in future, but this would be “contingent upon US’s refocus toward resolution of domestic challenges”. However, when pressed on details he was evasive.

In March, Page told Bloomberg that his experience on the ground doing deals in Russia and Central Asia would make him better placed to give advice than “people from afar, sitting in the comfort of their think tanks in Washington”. It is unclear how close he is to Trump and how much weight his advice holds with the presidential candidate.

Page repeatedly emphasised that he was in Russia as a private citizen rather than as an emissary of Trump. However, it is connections with the presidential candidate which prompted the New Economic School to invite him to give their keynote annual speech. In previous years, the commencement speeches at the university have been given by high-profile figures, including Barack Obama in 2009.

In December, Putin referred to Trump as a “colourful” person who was the “absolute leader” of the US presidential race, comments which prompted Trump to respond in turn that he was flattered by the praise. “When people call you brilliant, it’s always good, especially when the person heads up Russia,” Trump said, adding incorrectly that Putin had called him a “genius”.

Last month, Putin clarified the comments, saying he had not endorsed Trump, but welcomed his stance on relations with Russia.

“Here’s where I will pay close attention, and where I exactly welcome and where on the contrary I don’t see anything bad: Mr Trump has declared that he’s ready for the full restoration of Russian-American relations. Is there anything bad there? We all welcome this, don’t you?”

Trump election time position on Iran

Trump declared the Obama nuclear deal, the deal which helped to keep oil prices very low since mid 2014, "disastrous" and suggested it would be one of the first arrangements he would "renegotiate" after he assumes the office of the presidency in January, 2017.

"They are laughing at the stupidity of the deal we’re making on nuclear," Trump said of the Iranians, in an interview last summer with CNN. "We should double up and triple up the sanctions and have them come to us. They are making an amazing deal."

It is unlear why he calls this stupidity. IMHO this was a very shrewd move, then decimated Russia economic, as Russia budget depends of world prices and also heavily hit KAS, Venezuela and other oil producing nations. Putting some of them on the wedge of bankruptcy. In American Conservative   Daniel Larison  gave very insightful overview of Trump position, which is shared by his close advisors such as General Flynn (Trump and Iran The American Conservative):

Scott McConnell asks what we could expect from Trump on foreign policy, specifically on Iran:

The greater neoconservative goal, of course, is the prevention any American rapprochement with Iran, keeping the sanctions going till they have a president willing to start a war on the country. How does Trump fit into that?

I have tried to avoid writing about Trump as much as possible over the last few months, because it is generally a waste of time to attempt to analyze the policy views of an opportunistic demagogue, but since the question has been asked here I’ll try to answer it.

As far as I can tell, Trump endorses the hard-liners’ position on the nuclear deal. He has characteristically denounced it in the most hyperbolic terms, he is preparing to share a stage with the only other presidential candidate that can match him in demagogic rhetoric to repeat these denunciations, and two of the groups sponsoring the rally that Trump will attend are among the most fanatical hawkish organizations in the U.S. He has also repeated some of the most ludicrous and dishonest hawkish talking points about what the deal requires of the U.S. For instance, he recently repeated the lie that the deal obliges the U.S. to defend Iran from an Israeli attack:

He then claimed that there’s something in the Iran deal saying if someone attacks Iran, “we have to come to their defense.” And so he interpreted that to conclude, “If Israel attacks Iran, according to that deal, I believe the way it reads… that we have to fight with Iran against Israel.”

This is complete and utter nonsense, so it doesn’t surprise me that Trump believes it (or at least claims to believe it). This is the sort of deliberate distortion of the deal’s contents that hard-line “pro-Israel” hawks like to indulge in. Rubio said something similar to this in his questioning of Kerry earlier in the summer.

It should tell us everything we need to know about Trump’s views on foreign policy that he buys into these lies and repeats them. There are all kinds of reasons not to trust Trump’s judgment, but his statements on the nuclear deal are sufficient to prove that his foreign policy judgment is horrible.

Trump election time position on free trade and victims of neoliberal globalization

From Gaius Publius When Trump Talks Trade, Voters Listen naked capitalism

Before you read, though, take a moment to watch less than two minutes of Donald Trump above, from his victory speech after winning in Michigan and Mississippi. I’ve cued it up to start at the remarks I want to highlight, Trump discussing our trade deficit.

Now Thomas Frank, writing in The Guardian. He starts by noting the utter invisibility of real working Americans to our elite class, including our media elites, and especially our liberal media elites (my emphasis throughout):

Millions of ordinary Americans support Donald Trump. Here’s why

When he isn’t spewing insults, the Republican frontrunner is hammering home a powerful message about free trade and its victims

Let us now address the greatest American mystery at the moment: what motivates the supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump?

I call it a “mystery” because the working-class white people who make up the bulk of Trump’s fan base show up in amazing numbers for the candidate, filling stadiums and airport hangars, but their views, by and large, do not appear in our prestige newspapers. On their opinion pages, these publications take care to represent demographic categories of nearly every kind, but “blue-collar” is one they persistently overlook. The views of working-class people are so foreign to that universe that when New York Times columnist Nick Kristof wanted to “engage” a Trump supporter last week, he made one up, along with this imaginary person’s responses to his questions.

When members of the professional class wish to understand the working-class Other, they traditionally consult experts on the subject. And when these authorities are asked to explain the Trump movement, they always seem to zero in on one main accusation: bigotry. Only racism, they tell us, is capable of powering a movement like Trump’s, which is blowing through the inherited structure of the Republican party like a tornado through a cluster of McMansions.

The conclusion of these writers is this:

The Trump movement is a one-note phenomenon, a vast surge of race-hate. Its partisans are not only incomprehensible, they are not really worth comprehending.

And yet…

A lot of people are racists, including those not supporting Trump. But people have other concerns as well, especially working people. They are dying faster than they used to, from drugs and despair, and they fear for their jobs and their families, for very good reasons. This economy is failing them.

They also hate — and understand — “free trade.”

Trump Also Talks Trade

Donald Trump talks about more than just race and immigration. He talks about trade and the trade deficit, an issue that powered Bernie Sanders to his Michigan victory as well. From the New York Times:

Trade and Jobs Key to Victory for Bernie Sanders

Democratic presidential candidate had campaigned in Traverse City, Mich., in decades until Senator Bernie Sanders pulled up to the concert hall near the Sears store on Friday. Some 2,000 people mobbed him when he arrived, roaring in approval as he called the country’s trade policies, and Hillary Clinton’s support for them, “disastrous.”

“If the people of Michigan want to make a decision about which candidate stood with workers against corporate America and against these disastrous trade agreements, that candidate is Bernie Sanders,” Mr. Sanders said in Traverse City, about 250 miles north of Detroit.

Mr. Sanders pulled off a startling upset in Michigan on Tuesday by traveling to communities far from Detroit and by hammering Mrs. Clinton on an issue that resonated in this still-struggling state: her past support for trade deals that workers here believe robbed them of manufacturing jobs. Almost three-fifths of voters said that trade with other countries was more likely to take away jobs, according to exit polls by Edison Research, and those voters favored Mr. Sanders by a margin of more than 10 points.

There is no question — America’s billionaire-friendly, job-destroying trade policy is toxic — again, literally. That’s why Obama and his bipartisan “free trade” enablers in Congress have to pass TPP, if they can, in post-election lame duck session. TPP is also toxic to political careers, and only lame ducks and the recently-elected can vote for it.

Frank again on Trump:

Last week, I decided to watch several hours of Trump speeches for myself. I saw the man ramble and boast and threaten and even seem to gloat when protesters were ejected from the arenas in which he spoke. I was disgusted by these things, as I have been disgusted by Trump for 20 years. But I also noticed something surprising. In each of the speeches I watched, Trump spent a good part of his time talking about an entirely legitimate issue, one that could even be called left-wing.

Yes, Donald Trump talked about trade. In fact, to judge by how much time he spent talking about it, trade may be his single biggest concern – not white supremacy. Not even his plan to build a wall along the Mexican border, the issue that first won him political fame. He did it again during the debate on 3 March: asked about his political excommunication by Mitt Romney, he chose to pivot and talk about … trade.

It seems to obsess him: the destructive free-trade deals our leaders have made, the many companies that have moved their production facilities to other lands, the phone calls he will make to those companies’ CEOs in order to threaten them with steep tariffs unless they move back to the US.

On the subject more generally, Frank adds:

Trade is an issue that polarizes Americans by socio-economic status. To the professional class, which encompasses the vast majority of our media figures, economists, Washington officials and Democratic power brokers, what they call “free trade” is something so obviously good and noble it doesn’t require explanation or inquiry or even thought. Republican and Democratic leaders alike agree on this, and no amount of facts can move them from their Econ 101 dream.

To the remaining 80 or 90% of America, trade means something very different. There’s a video going around on the internet these days that shows a room full of workers at a Carrier air conditioning plant in Indiana being told by an officer of the company that the factory is being moved to Monterrey, Mexico and that they’re all going to lose their jobs.

As I watched it, I thought of all the arguments over trade that we’ve had in this country since the early 1990s, all the sweet words from our economists about the scientifically proven benevolence of free trade, all the ways in which our newspapers mock people who say that treaties like the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement allow companies to move jobs to Mexico.

Well, here is a video of a company moving its jobs to Mexico, courtesy of Nafta. This is what it looks like. The Carrier executive talks in that familiar and highly professional HR language about the need to “stay competitive” and “the extremely price-sensitive marketplace.” A worker shouts “Fuck you!” at the executive. The executive asks people to please be quiet so he can “share” his “information”. His information about all of them losing their jobs.

Frank goes to greater length, and again, please click through. But you get the idea. This is what Trump is speaking to, whether he means what he says or not, and this is what his voters are responding to, whether they like his racism or not. After all, haven’t you, at least once, voted for someone with qualities you dislike because of policies you do like?

Whose Fault Is This? Both Parties, But Especially the Democratic Elites

One final point. Frank takes on the issue of responsibility:

Trump’s words articulate the populist backlash against liberalism that has been building slowly for decades … Yet still we cannot bring ourselves to look the thing in the eyes. We cannot admit that we liberals bear some [or most] of the blame for its emergence, for the frustration of the working-class millions, for their blighted cities and their downward spiraling lives. So much easier to scold them for their twisted racist souls, to close our eyes to the obvious reality of which Trump_vs_deep_state is just a crude and ugly expression: that neoliberalism has well and truly failed.

I am certain, if this comes up in a general election debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, she could very likely get her clock cleaned; not certainly, but certainly very likely. First, she can only equivocate, and Trump will have none of it. (Trump: “Let me understand. You were for this before you were against it? So … will you be for it again next year? I’m just trying to understand.”)

Second, this is a change election, Trump is one of only two change candidates in the race, and Clinton is not the other one.

Here’s that Carrier Air Conditioning “we’re moving to Mexico” video that Frank mentioned above. Take a look, but prepare to feel some pain as you watch:


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[Mar 29, 2019] How Hegelian it would be if the thesis of the Bush and Clinton dynasties, followed by the antithesis of a Trump victory, were to produce an unanticipated synthesis in 2020

The "Deep State" is too strong to allow that.
Notable quotes:
"... It was possible to say, before Warren G. Harding was elected, that he wasn't particularly well-qualified to be president. And he did turn out as president to have, as we say nowadays, some issues. But his administration was stocked with (mostly) well-qualified men who served with considerable distinction. ..."
"... To succeed in business, the brand only gets you so far. Quality matters. To succeed in the presidency, getting elected only gets you so far. Governing matters. ..."
"... But how Hegelian it would be if the thesis of the Bush and Clinton dynasties, followed by the antithesis of a Trump victory over first a Bush and then a Clinton in 2016, were to produce an unanticipated synthesis: a Trump administration marked by the reconstruction of republican normalcy in America. In its own way, that would be a genuine contribution to making America great again. ..."
"... Kristol is mad Trump lambasted the Iraq war. Was Putin against the Iraq war? I think the whole world was except for the "Coalition of the Willing." You'll never see the UK back another war like that. ..."
"... "Socialist feminist Liza Featherstone and others have denounced Clinton's uncritical praise of the "opportunity" and "freedom" of American capitalism vis-à-vis other developed nations. "With this bit of frankness," Featherstone explains, referring to the former Secretary of State's "Denmark" comments, "Clinton helpfully explained why no socialist-indeed, no non-millionaire-should support her. She is smart enough to know that women in the United States endure far more poverty, unemployment, and food insecurity than women in Denmark-yet she shamelessly made clear that she was happy to keep it that way." Indeed, Clinton's denunciation of the idea that the United States should look more like Denmark betrayed one of the glaring the fault lines within the Democratic Party, and between Clintonian liberalism and Sandersite leftism." ..."
"... Of course the progressive neoliberals in this forum regularly resort to ad hominem to any ideas or facts that don't line up with the agreed-upon party line. ..."
Jan 06, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Fred C. Dobbs : January 05, 2017 at 07:40 AM , 2017 at 07:40 AM
(Harding redux?)

The Trump Administration http://tws.io/2iFd3rC
via @WeeklyStandard
Nov 28, 2016 - William Kristol

Who now gives much thought to the presidency of Warren G. Harding? Who ever did? Not us.

But let us briefly turn our thoughts to our 29th president (while stipulating that we're certainly no experts on his life or times). Here's our summary notion: Warren G. Harding may have been a problematic president. But the Harding administration was in some ways an impressive one, which served the country reasonably well.

It was possible to say, before Warren G. Harding was elected, that he wasn't particularly well-qualified to be president. And he did turn out as president to have, as we say nowadays, some issues. But his administration was stocked with (mostly) well-qualified men who served with considerable distinction.

Andrew Mellon was a successful Treasury secretary whose tax reforms and deregulatory efforts spurred years of economic growth. Charles Dawes, the first director of the Bureau of the Budget, reduced government expenditures and, helped by Mellon's economic policies, brought the budget into balance. Charles Evans Hughes as secretary of state dealt responsibly with a very difficult world situation his administration had inherited-though in light of what followed in the next decade, one wishes in retrospect for bolder assertions of American leadership, though in those years just after World War I, they would have been contrary to the national mood.

In addition, President Harding's first two Supreme Court appointments -- William Howard Taft and George Sutherland -- were distinguished ones. And Harding personally did some admirable things: He made pronouncements, impressive in the context of that era, in favor of racial equality; he commuted the wartime prison sentence of the Socialist leader, Eugene V. Debs. In these ways, he contributed to an atmosphere of national healing and civility.

The brief Harding administration-and for that matter the eight years constituting his administration and that of his vice president and successor, Calvin Coolidge-may not have been times of surpassing national greatness. But there were real achievements, especially in the economic sphere; those years were not disastrous; they were not dark times.

President-elect Donald J. Trump probably doesn't intend to model his administration on that of President Warren G. Harding. But he could do worse than reflect on that administration's successes-and also on its failures, particularly the scandals that exploded into public view after Harding's sudden death. These were produced by cronies appointed by Harding to important positions, where they betrayed his trust and tarnished his historical reputation.

Donald Trump manifestly cares about his reputation. He surely knows that reputation ultimately depends on performance. If a Trump hotel and casino is successful, it's not because of the Trump brand-that may get people through the door the first time-but because it provides a worthwhile experience thanks to a good management team, fine restaurants, deft croupiers, and fun shows. If a Trump golf course succeeds, it's because it has been built and is run by people who know something about golf. The failed Trump efforts-from the university to the steaks-seem to have in common the assumption that the Trump name by itself would be enough to carry mediocre or worse enterprises across the finish line.

To succeed in business, the brand only gets you so far. Quality matters. To succeed in the presidency, getting elected only gets you so far. Governing matters.

It would be ironic if Trump's very personal electoral achievement were followed by a mode of governance that restored greater responsibility to the cabinet agencies formally entrusted with the duties of governance. It would be ironic if a Trump presidency also featured a return of authority to Congress, the states, and to other civic institutions. It would be ironic if Trump's victory led not to a kind of American Caesarism but to a strengthening of republican institutions and forms. It would be ironic if the election of Donald J. Trump heralded a return to a kind of constitutional normalcy.

If we are not mistaken, it was Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (though sadly unaware of the phenomena of either Warren G. Harding or Donald J. Trump) who made much of the Irony of History.

But how Hegelian it would be if the thesis of the Bush and Clinton dynasties, followed by the antithesis of a Trump victory over first a Bush and then a Clinton in 2016, were to produce an unanticipated synthesis: a Trump administration marked by the reconstruction of republican normalcy in America. In its own way, that would be a genuine contribution to making America great again.

(Harding-Coolidge-Hoover were a disastrous triumvirate that ascended to power after the Taft & Wilson administrations, as the GOP - then the embodiment of progressivism - split apart due to the efforts of Teddy Roosevelt.)

Peter K. -> Fred C. Dobbs... , -1

Kristol is mad Trump lambasted the Iraq war. Was Putin against the Iraq war? I think the whole world was except for the "Coalition of the Willing." You'll never see the UK back another war like that.

ilsm -> Peter K.... , January 05, 2017 at 03:35 PM
It is the neocon's taking a back seat! Kristol is co-founder of PNAC along with a Clinton mob long time foggy bottom associate's husband.. Trump is somewhat less thrilled with tilting with Russia for the American empire which is as moral as Nero's Rome.
ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , -1
Prescient: dumping Kristol's PNAC will strengthen the republic.
Peter K. -> Peter K.... , January 05, 2017 at 07:52 AM

"Socialist feminist Liza Featherstone and others have denounced Clinton's uncritical praise of the "opportunity" and "freedom" of American capitalism vis-à-vis other developed nations. "With this bit of frankness," Featherstone explains, referring to the former Secretary of State's "Denmark" comments, "Clinton helpfully explained why no socialist-indeed, no non-millionaire-should support her. She is smart enough to know that women in the United States endure far more poverty, unemployment, and food insecurity than women in Denmark-yet she shamelessly made clear that she was happy to keep it that way." Indeed, Clinton's denunciation of the idea that the United States should look more like Denmark betrayed one of the glaring the fault lines within the Democratic Party, and between Clintonian liberalism and Sandersite leftism."

Is it better to ignore this fault line and try to paper it over or is it better to debate the issues in a polite and congenial manner?

Of course the progressive neoliberals in this forum regularly resort to ad hominem to any ideas or facts that don't line up with the agreed-upon party line.

[Mar 29, 2019] Donald Trump meets with prominent Sanders supporter Tulsi Gabbard

An interesting bit of history
Nov 23, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

Donald Trump's unorthodox US presidential transition continued on Monday when he held talks with one of the most prominent supporters of leftwing Democrat Bernie Sanders.

The president-elect's first meeting of the day at Trump Tower in New York was with Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic maverick who endorsed the socialist Sanders during his unsuccessful primary battle with Hillary Clinton.

... ... ...

At first glance Gabbard, who is from Hawaii and is the first Hindu member of the US Congress, seems an unlikely counsellor. She resigned from the Democratic National Committee to back Vermont senator Sanders and formally nominated him for president at the party convention in July, crediting him with starting a "movement of love and compassion", although by then Clinton's victory was certain.

But the Iraq war veteran has also expressed views that might appeal to Trump, criticising Obama, condemning interventionist wars in Iraq and Libya and taking a hard line on immigration. In 2014, she called for a rollback of the visa waiver programme for Britain and other European countries with what she called "Islamic extremist" populations.

In October last year she tweeted: "Al-Qaeda attacked us on 9/11 and must be defeated. Obama won't bomb them in Syria. Putin did. #neverforget911." She was then among 47 Democrats who joined Republicans to pass a bill mandating a stronger screening process for refugees from Iraq and Syria coming to the US.

[Mar 20, 2019] Trump said that he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse. Then quickly changed his mind and pursues Obama policies. He clearly became a marionette of the Deep State.

Trump betrayed all and every of his main election promises, except may be building the wall. For example "Trump said that he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse."
Notable quotes:
"... Trump said that he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse. If he sticks to his view, it means a big political change in Washington's EU vassals. The hostility toward Russia of the current EU and NATO officials would have to cease. German Chancellor Merkel would have to change her spots or be replaced. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg would have to be dismissed. ..."
www.globalresearch.ca
It also remains to be seen how the Oligarchy will respond to Trump's victory. Wall Street and the Federal Reserve can cause an economic crisis in order to put Trump on the defensive, and they can use the crisis to force Trump to appoint one of their own as Secretary of the Treasury. Rogue agents in the CIA and Pentagon can cause a false flag attack that would disrupt friendly relations with Russia. Trump could make a mistake and retain neoconservatives in his government.
Centre for Research on Globalization
With Trump there is at least hope. Unless Trump is obstructed by bad judgment in his appointments and by obstacles put in his way, we should expect an end to Washington's orchestrated conflict with Russia, the removal of the US missiles on Russia's border with Poland and Romania, the end of the conflict in Ukraine, and the end of Washington's effort to overthrow the Syrian government. However, achievements such as these imply the defeat of the US Oligarchy. Although Trump defeated Hillary, the Oligarchy still exists and is still powerful.

Trump said that he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse. If he sticks to his view, it means a big political change in Washington's EU vassals. The hostility toward Russia of the current EU and NATO officials would have to cease. German Chancellor Merkel would have to change her spots or be replaced. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg would have to be dismissed.

We do not know who Trump will select to serve in his government. It is likely that Trump is unfamiliar with the various possibilities and their positions on issues. It really depends on who is advising Trump and what advice they give him. Once we see his government, we will know whether we can be hopeful for the changes that now have a chance.

If the oligarchy is unable to control Trump and he is actually successful in curbing the power and budget of the military/security complex and in holding the financial sector politically accountable, Trump could be assassinated.

[Mar 19, 2019] Richard Wolff on the money behind Brexit

YouTube
The is a method in British Brexit madness -- money.
Mar 19, 2019 | www.youtube.com

RT correspondent Eisa Ali reports on the latest Brexit drama in the UK Parliament. Then, economist and founder of Democracy at Work Richard Wolff joins Rick Sanchez to discuss, arguing that the Brexit debate constitutes "an endless struggle about what doesn't matter" and that whether the British are "in" or "out" of Europe is an irrelevant distraction from the problems really faced by the UK.

[Mar 16, 2019] May and Merkel Fiddle While Their Unions Burn

Mar 16, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

A couple of points he makes in passing surprised me:

1) "It's why they are using the non-issue of the Irish border ..." Is it really a non-issue, and why? Surely it is a big issue, and intrinsically explosive? Maybe I am missing something there.

2) "The Labour party is squealing out of both sides of its mouth trying to get themselves out of the corner they've painted themselves into. Because they can read the polls. And what was a solid Labour lead in the winter has become a solid Tory lead in the Spring." Is it really so that that huge Labour lead has been turned into - of all things - a Tory lead? Horror of horrors. If true, the present day Brits are unfathomable. And what about the first part of that citation - what about turning it around and expressing it in terms of the reality, which is that the Labour Party consists of two wholly different, wholly contradictory, and wholly ireconcilable parts, namely the socialist majority standing behind Corbyn and the lying fascist corporatist right-wing 5th columnists whose sole objective is to sabotage the previous group in every manner possible. Would perhaps a better statement be that the difference between these two groups is being made more explicit than ever (which, I would have thought, would only increase Corbyn's support not decrease it)? Or is that just my wishful thinking and the UK masses are being successfully hoodwinked by the propaganda of the 2nd group as spouted by the MSM?

Comments on those two issues anyone, from those closer to the action? (Comments from Bevin would be especially gratefully read!)

Posted by: BM | Mar 16, 2019 9:58:53 AM | 172 ... ... ...

The other most ridiculous thing, probably moreso when you think about this Monty Pythonesque British escapade into hillarity is the fact such grand sweeping measures are allowed on a simple majority vote of the populace, thus ensuring approximately half the population will detest the result no matter what.

Say what you will about the US of A-holes, and I admit nearly all of what you say is true (except of course for the oft repeated mis-trope that Trump = US in all his venal stupidity. No, he only represents roughly 35%...and true that is egregious enough...) at least in the US such grand sweeping measures able to be put to a vote to the nation as a whole (iow, amending the Constitution) either require super majority of state legislatures or a super majourity of Congress criminals to pass.

The fact an entire nation of blooming idiots in England are where they are today is insanely larfably and udderly absurd. Also, infotaining.

And to think Theresa May is the headliner fronting this comedy act for the ages.

All this inspired of course by the equally ridiculous US president and his chief strategist the completely nutz Bannon.

... ... ...

Posted by: donkeytale | Mar 16, 2019 10:49:56 AM | 173 @ bevin | Mar 15, 2019 3:45:05 PM; Jen | Mar 15, 2019 3:49:59 PM; mourning dove | Mar 15, 2019 3:59:32 PM
Posted by: ex-SA | Mar 16, 2019 9:18:03 AM | 171

A few half-baked thoughts on this: it seems to me both sides of this argument have some merits. On the one side I am inclined to agree with ex-SA that the working classes in the colonising countries have had by and large a pretty cushy life since after the 2nd World War when compared to the disenfranchised of the colonised countries, both before and after (ostensible but not really real) decolonisation.

The brutality of neoliberalism and austerity on working people in the rich nations (but arguably even more so on those in poor nations!) does not in my view very seriously detract from that argument.

One thing that does arguably somewhat detract from the above argument is that when viewed in non-materialistic terms, those living in the so-called rich countries often have markedly meaningless and miserable lives compared to many poor people living in materially poor countries (extreme destitution obviously aside) - in other words they are miserably unhappy.

Many people in Germany, for example, earn relatively high wages, most of which they spend on very high housing costs (and energy costs etc) - often alone, and spend the rest of their income on highly processed food from supermarkets that costs a multiple of what the simple basic local foodstuffs that were eaten in former times would cost (and still could if you know how to live more meaningfully); and meanwhile their life is spiritually frozen and devoid of worthwhile meaning.

In contrast, often people living materially poor lives in undeveloped and in materialist terms extremely poor countries, but living much closer to nature and with much warmer intra- and inter-familial relations in extended families, and have a philosophy of life that is less exclusively materialist and much more conducive to spiritual well-being. I would argue however that this aspect is largely tangental to the issue of winners and losers of colonialism.

I agree with Bevin @ 131's point about the destitution of the British working classes prior to the first world war, but what about post-1960's? I don't really see that the lifestyles of the worst victims of austerity today are comparable to the lifestyles of the poor in the 18th or 19th century? I think the lives of even the poorest of the poor (excluding probably the homeless) in the West are massively subsidised by the spoils of the (ongoing) rape of the colonised countries.

The entire expectations of people in the West - including the poor - are based on assumptions of entitlement to things which are critically dependent on the rape and theft of the resources of the colonised countries. Look at the extraordinarily privileged living standards of ordinary working people in Belgium today, as an extreme example!

It is always interesting to reflect that in former times the West was always viewed as the poor part of the world, and the East as wealthy - and historically it is true that throughout most of recorded history the East was extremely wealthy compared to the pauper West - the current-day material wealth of the West relative to the East should be viewed as an extraordinary anomaly! The first Westerners to visit the East marvelled at its phenomenal wealth and envied it. That indeed was the primary cause of the Crusades - the paupers of the West envied the riches of the East and drummed up pseudo-religious excuses to rape and pillage whatever they could grab. It is not without reason that most of the economically poorest countries in reacent times are precisely those countries with the most abundant valuable natural resources.

Posted by: BM | Mar 16, 2019 11:08:29 AM | 175

[Mar 14, 2019] The Fog of Politics

Nov 19, 2016 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared with that of the rich."

John Kenneth Galbraith

The sugar high of the Trump election seems to be wearing a bit thin on Wall Street. I had said at the time that I thought they would just execute the trading plans they had in place in their supposition that Hillary was going to win. And this is what I think they did, and have been doing.

And so when the thrill is gone, and dull reality starts sinking in, I suspect we are going to be in for quite a correction.

However, I am tuning out the hysteria from the Wall Street Democrats, especially the pitiful whining emanating from organizations like MSNBC, CNN, and the NY Times, because they have discredited themselves as reliable, unbiased sources. They really have.

They may just be joining their right-leaning peers in this, but they still do not realize it, and think of themselves as exceptional, and morally superior. And the same can be said of many pundits, and insiders, and very serious people with important podiums in the academy and the press.

Hillary was to be their meal ticket. And their anguish at being denied a payday for their faithful service is remarkable.

We are being treated to rumours that Trump is going to appoint this or that despicable person to some key position. I am waiting for him to show his hand with some actual decisions and appointments.

This is not to say that I am optimistic, not in the least. I am not, and I most certainly did not vote for him (or her for that matter). But the silliness of the courtiers in the media is just too much, too much whining from those who had their candy of power and money by association expectations taken away.

I am therefore very interested in seeing who the DNC will choose as chairperson. Liz Warren came out today and endorsed Ellison, which I believe Bernie Sanders has done as well. He is no insider like Wasserman-Schulz, Brazile, or Dean.

The Democratic party is at a crossroads, in a split between taking policy positions along lines of 'class' or 'identity.'

By class is meant working class of the broader public versus the moneyed interests of financiers and tech monopolists. Identity implies the working with various minority groups who certainly may deserve redress for real suppression of their rights and other financial abuses, but in a 'splintering' manner that breaks them down into special interest groups rather than a broader movement of the disadvantaged.

Why has this been the establishment approach of the heart of the Democratic power circles?

I think the reason for this Democratic strategy has been purely practical. There was no way the Wall Street wing of the Democratic party could make policy along lines of the middle class and the poor, and keep a straight face, while gorging themselves in a frenzy of massive soft corruption and enormous donations from the wealthiest few who they were thereby expected to represent and to serve.

And so they lost politically, and badly.

The average American, of whatever identity, finally became sick of them, and rejected the balkanization of their interests into special identity groups that could be more easily managed and messaged, and controlled.

This was a huge difference that we saw in the Sanders campaign, almost to a fault. Not because he was wrong necessarily, but because it was so unaccustomed, and insufficiently articulated. Sanders had his heart in the right place, perhaps, but he lacked the charisma and outspokenness of an FDR. Not to mention that his own party powers were dead set against him, because they wanted to keep the status quo that had rewarded them so well in place.

It is not at all obvious that the Democrats can find themselves again. Perhaps Mr. Trump, while doing some things well, will take economic policy matters to an excess, and like the Democrats ignore the insecurity and discontent of the working class. And the people will find a voice, eventually, in either the Democratic party, or something entirely new.

This is not just an American phenomenon. This has happened with Labour and Brexit in the UK, and is happening in the rest of the developed nations in Europe. One thing that the ruling elite of the West have had in common is a devotion to corporate globalisation and inequality.

And that system is not going to 'cohere' as economist Robert Johnson had put it so well.

With all this change and volatility and insecurity, it appears that people will be reaching for some sort of safe haven for themselves and their resources. So far the Dollar index has benefited from this, not because of its virtues, but from the weakness and foundering of the others.

I am afraid that the confidence in the Dollar as a safe haven is misplaced, especially if things go as I expect that they will with the US economy under a Trump administration. But that is still largely in his hand,s to be decided and written. We have yet to see if he has the will and mind to oppose the vested interests of his own party and the corporate, moneyed interests.

That is an enormous, history-making task, requiring an almost historic moral compass. And so I am not optimistic.

Have a pleasant evening.

[Mar 05, 2019] The ban on entry to the USA should be on all religious extremists including apartheid Zionists and Christian extremists. Religious extremists from all of the major religions have committed heinous atrocities

Feb 01, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

libezkova -> pgl... February 01, 2017 at 08:40 PM

First of all, what is called "School of management" typically is a voodoo cult that should have nothing to do with university education ;-)

"He [Bush] signaled the shift [in strategy] in a speech here [in Pittsburgh] last week when he charged that Reagan had made 'a list of phony promises' on defense, energy and economic policy. And he labeled Reagan's tax cut proposal 'voodoo economic policy' and 'economic madness.'"

Compare with comments to "Ok To Bomb Them. But Don't Ban Them" ( http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46349.htm )

It's not the temporary ban on immigration that upsets people so much as singling out people from specific countries, whether Obama's Republican Congress in did it or Trump did it.

The ban should be on all religious extremists including apartheid Zionists and Christian extremists. Religious extremists from all of the major religions have committed heinous atrocities.

...And the Demo establishment lines up to attack Drumpf's ban; hoping to get some easy votes for corporatist neo-con hypocrites?

...The main purpose of all the noise against president Trump is to weaken him and then force him to take the positions the deep state wants him to take. Among the many problems he has he is only an apprentice.

[Mar 04, 2019] Trump calls for 21st century Glass-Steagall banking law

Notable quotes:
"... As Sen. Elizabeth Warren has famously said with respect to cabinet and other political appointments, "Personnel Is Policy." You can see the outline of the Trump administration's real policies being shaped before our eyes via his proposed cabinet appointees, covered by Politico and other sites. ..."
"... Sanders, Warren and others should hold Trump's feet to the fire on the truly populist things he said and offer to work with him on that stuff. Like preserving Social Security and Medicare and getting out of wars. ..."
Nov 11, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
allan November 10, 2016 at 2:35 pm

Trump calls for '21st century' Glass-Steagall banking law [Reuters, Oct. 26]

Financial Services [Trump Transition Site, Nov. 10]

Oddly, no mention of Glass-Steagall, only dismantling Dodd-Frank. Who could have predicted?

File under Even Victims Can Be Fools.

Chauncey Gardiner November 10, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Not surprised at all. The election is over, the voters are now moot. As Sen. Elizabeth Warren has famously said with respect to cabinet and other political appointments, "Personnel Is Policy." You can see the outline of the Trump administration's real policies being shaped before our eyes via his proposed cabinet appointees, covered by Politico and other sites.

Dr. Roberts November 10, 2016 at 4:03 pm

Also no mention of NAFTA or renegotiating trade deals in the new transition agenda. Instead there's just a bunch of vague Chamber of Commercesque language about making America attractive to investors. I think our hopes for a disruptive Trump presidency are quickly being dashed.

Steve C November 10, 2016 at 4:18 pm

Sanders, Warren and others should hold Trump's feet to the fire on the truly populist things he said and offer to work with him on that stuff. Like preserving Social Security and Medicare and getting out of wars.

As to the last point, appointing Bolton or Corker Secretary of State would be a clear indication he was just talking. A clear violation of campaign promises that would make Obama look like a choirboy. Trump may be W on steroids.

pretzelattack November 10, 2016 at 5:17 pm

sure he may be almost as bad as Clinton on foreign policy. so far he hasn't been rattling a saber at Russia.

Steve C November 10, 2016 at 6:25 pm

Newland also is pernicious, but as with many things Trump, not as gaudy as Bolton.

anti-social socialist November 10, 2016 at 4:23 pm

Yathink?
https://www.ft.com/content/aed37de0-a767-11e6-8898-79a99e2a4de6

Katniss Everdeen November 10, 2016 at 5:38 pm

I can't imagine how he's neglected to update his transition plan regarding nafta. After all, he's already been president-elect for, what, 36 hours now? And he only talked about it umpteen times during the campaign. I'm sure he'll renege.

Hell, it took Clinton 8 hours to give her concession speech.

On the bright side, he managed to kill TPP just by getting elected. Was that quick enough for you?

[Mar 02, 2019] Hope springs eternal: Ron Paul hopes for Tryump forign policy

Look at this forecast now and laugh... Trump betrayed all hopes.
Notable quotes:
"... It's obvious that Americans want a new direction when it comes to foreign policy. That's partly what Trump's election is all about. Americans are sick and tired of the never-ending wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere. That includes military families, especially the many who supported Trump, Gary Johnson, or Jill Stein. Americans are also tired of the out of control spending and debt that come with these wars. By electing Trump, it is obvious that Americans are demanding a change on foreign policy. ..."
Nov 13, 2016 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Eight years ago, President Obama had a chance to change the warmongering direction that outgoing President Bush and the U.S. national-security establishment had led America for the previous eight years. Obama could have said, "Enough is enough. America has done enough killing and dying. I'm going to lead our country in a different direction - toward peace, prosperity, and harmony with the people of the world." He could have ordered all U.S. troops in the Middle East and Afghanistan to return home. He could have ended U.S. involvement in the endless wars that Bush, the Pentagon, and the CIA spawned in that part of the world. He could have led America in a new direction.

Instead, Obama decided to stay Bush's course, no doubt believing that he, unlike Bush, could win the endless wars that Bush had started. It was not to be. He chose to keep the national-security establishment embroiled in Afghanistan and Iraq. Death and destruction are Obama's legacy, just as they were Bush's.

Obama hoped that Hillary Clinton would protect and continue his (and Bush's) legacy of foreign death and destruction. Yesterday, a majority of American voters dashed that hope.

Will Trump change directions and bring U.S. troops home? Possibly not, especially given he is an interventionist, just as Clinton, Bush, and Obama are. But there is always that possibility, especially since Trump, unlike Clinton, owes no allegiance to the U.S. military-industrial complex, whose survival and prosperity depends on endless wars and perpetual crises.

If Clinton had been elected, there was never any doubt about continued U.S. interventionism in Afghanistan and the Middle East. Not only is she a died-in-the-wool interventionist, she would have been owned by the national-security establishment. She would have done whatever the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA wanted, which would have automatically meant endless warfare - and permanent destruction of the liberty and prosperity of the American people.

It's obvious that Americans want a new direction when it comes to foreign policy. That's partly what Trump's election is all about. Americans are sick and tired of the never-ending wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere. That includes military families, especially the many who supported Trump, Gary Johnson, or Jill Stein. Americans are also tired of the out of control spending and debt that come with these wars. By electing Trump, it is obvious that Americans are demanding a change on foreign policy.

Imagine the benefits to American society if Trump were to change directions on foreign policy. No more anti-American terrorist blowback, which would mean no more war on terrorism. That means the restoration of a sense of normality to American lives. No more TSA checkpoints at airports. No more mass surveillance schemes to "keep us safe." No more color coded warnings. No more totalitarian power to round up Americans, put them into concentration camps or military dungeons, and torture them. No more power to assassinate people, including Americans. In other words, the restoration of American civil liberties and privacy.

The Middle East is embroiled in civil wars - wars that have been engendered or magnified by U.S. interventionism. Continued interventionism in an attempt to fix the problems only pours gasoline on the fires. The U.S. government has done enough damage to Afghanistan and the Middle East. It has already killed enough people, including those in wedding parties, hospitals, and neighborhoods. Enough is enough.

Will Trump be bad on immigration and trade? Undoubtedly, but Clinton would have been bad in those areas too. Don't forget, after all, that Obama has become America's greatest deporter-in-chief, deporting more illegal immigrants than any U.S. president in history. Clinton would have followed in his footsteps, especially in the hope of protecting his legacy. Moreover, while Trump will undoubtedly begin trade wars, Clinton would have been imposing sanctions on people all over the world whose government failed to obey the commands of the U.S. government. A distinction without a difference.

Another area for hope under a Trump presidency is with respect to the drug war, one of the most failed, destructive, and expensive government programs in history. Clinton would have followed in Bush's and Obama's footsteps by keeping it in existence, if for no other reason than to cater to the army of DEA agents, federal and state judges, federal and state prosecutors, court clerks, and police departments whose existence depends on the drug war.

While Trump is a drug warrior himself, he doesn't have the same allegiance to the vast drug-war bureaucracy that Clinton has. If we get close to pushing this government program off the cliff - and I am convinced that it is on the precipice - there is a good chance that Trump will not put much effort into fighting its demise. Clinton would have fought for the drug war with every fiber of her being.

There is another possible upside to Trump's election: The likelihood that Cold War II will come to a sudden end. With Clinton, the continuation of the new Cold War against Russia was a certainty. In fact, Clinton's Cold War might well have gotten hot very quickly, given her intent to establish a no-fly zone over Syria where she could show how tough she is by ordering U.S. warplanes to shoot down Russian warplanes. There is no telling where that would have led, but it very well might have led to all-out nuclear war, something that the U.S. national-security establishment wanted with the Soviet Union back in the 1960s under President Kennedy.

The danger of war with Russia obviously diminishes under a President Trump, who has said that he favors friendly relations with Russia, just as Kennedy favored friendly relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba in the months before he was assassinated.

Indeed, given Trump's negative comments about NATO, there is even the possibility of a dismantling of that old Cold War dinosaur that gave us the crisis in Ukraine with Russia.

How about it, President-Elect Trump? While you're mulling over your new Berlin Wall on the Southern (and maybe Northern) border and your coming trade wars with China, how about refusing to follow the 16 years of Bush-Obama when it comes to U.S. foreign interventionism? Bring the troops home. Lead America in a different direction, at least insofar as foreign policy is concerned - away from death, destruction, spending, debt, loss of liberty and privacy, and economic impoverishment and toward freedom, peace, prosperity, and harmony.

Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation .

[Mar 02, 2019] Donald Trump betrayal chronicles: some hot heads expected that he can overturn Neolib-Neocon Rule

Notable quotes:
"... What happened? Why is this clique's triumphant return to power erupting in massive scandal this time around? Probably because we are living in an era during which much that was mysterious is suddenly becoming clear. Probably because Trump's "silent majority" suddenly saw before them someone they had been waiting for for a long time – a man ready to defend their interests. ..."
"... Perhaps also it is because the middle class is choking on its growing exasperation with the "elite caste" occupying its native country. And it finally became clear to the sober-minded American patriots in law enforcement that the return to power of the people responsible for the current global chaos could be a big threat to the US and rest of the world. Because, in the end, everyone has children and no one wants a new world war. ..."
Nov 12, 2016 | russia-insider.com
Today Trump represents an entirely new party made up of half of the American electorate, and they are ready for action. And whatever the eventual political structure of this new model, this is what is shaping America's present reality. Moreover, this does not seem like such a unique situation. It rather appears to be the final chapter of some ancient story, in which the convoluted plotlines finally take shape and find resolution.

The circumstances are increasingly reminiscent of 1860, when Lincoln's election so enraged the South that those states began agitating for secession. Trump is today symbolic of a very real American tradition that during the Civil War (1860-1865) ran headlong into American revolutionary liberalism for the first time.

Right up until World War I traditional American conservatism wore the guise of "isolationism." Prior to WWII it was known as "non-interventionism." Afterward, that movement attempted to use Sen. Joseph McCarthy to battle the left-liberal stranglehold. And in the 1960s it became the primary target of the "counter-cultural revolution."

Its last bastion was Richard Nixon , whose fall was the result of an unprecedented attack from the left-liberal press in 1974. And this is perhaps the example against which we should compare the present-day Trump and his current fight.

And by the way, the crimes of Hillary Clinton, who has failed to protect state secrets and has repeatedly been caught lying under oath, clearly outweigh the notorious Watergate scandal that led to Nixon's forced resignation under threat of impeachment. But the liberal American media remains silent, as if nothing has happened.

By all indications it is clear that we are standing before a truly epochal moment. But before turning to the future that might await us, let's take a quick glance at the history of conflict between revolutionary liberalism and traditional white conservatism in the US.

***

Immediately after WWII, an attack on two fronts was launched by the party of "expansionism" (we'll call it that). The Soviet Union and Communism were designated the number one enemy. Enemy number two (with less hype) was traditional American conservatism. The war against traditional "Americanism" was waged by several intellectual fringe groups simultaneously.

The country's cultural and intellectual life was under the absolute control of a group known as the " New York Intellectuals ." Literary criticism as well as all other aspects of the nation's literary life was in the hands of this small group of literary curators who had emerged from the milieu of a Trotskyist-communist magazine known as the Partisan Review (PR). No one could become a professional writer in the America of the 1950s and 1960s without being carefully screened by this sect.

The foundational tenets of American political philosophy and sociology were composed by militants from the Frankfurt School , which had been established during the interwar period in Weimar Germany and which moved to the US after the National Socialists took power. Here, retraining their sights from communist to liberal, they set out to design a "theory of totalitarianism" in addition to their concept of an "authoritarian personality" – both hostile to "democracy."

The "New York Intellectuals" and representatives of the Frankfurt School became friends, and Hannah Arendt , for example, was an authoritative representative of both sects. This is where future neocons (Norman Podhoretz, Eliot A. Cohen, and Irving Kristol) gained their experience. The former leader of the Trotskyist Fourth International and godfather of the neocons, Max Shachtman , held a place of honor in the "family of intellectuals."

The anthropological school of Franz Boas and Freudianism reigned over the worlds of psychology and sociology at that time. The Boasian approach in psychology argued that genetic, national, and racial differences between individuals were of no importance (thus the concepts of "national culture" and "national community" were meaningless).

Psychoanalysis also became fashionable, which primarily aimed to supplant traditional church institutions and become a type of quasi-religion for the middle class.

The common denominator linking all these movements was anti-fascism. Did something look fishy in this? But the problem was that the traditional values of the nation, state, and family were all labeled "fascist." From this standpoint, any white Christian man aware of his cultural and national identity was potentially a "fascist."

Kevin MacDonald, a professor of psychology at California State University, analyzed in detail the seizure of America's cultural, political, and mental landscape by these "liberal sects" in his brilliant book The Culture of Critique , writing:

"The New York Intellectuals, for example, developed ties with elite universities, particularly Harvard, Columbia, the University of Chicago, and the University of California-Berkeley, while psychoanalysis and anthropology became well entrenched throughout academia.

"The moral and intellectual elite established by these movements dominated intellectual discourse during a critical period after World War II and leading into the countercultural revolution of the 1960s."

It was precisely this intellectual milieu that spawned the countercultural revolution of the 1960s.

Riding the wave of these sentiments, the new Immigration and Nationality Act was passed in 1965, encouraging this phenomenon and facilitating the integration of immigrants into US society. The architects of the law wanted to use the celebrated melting pot to "dilute" the "potentially fascist" descendants of European immigrants by making use of new ethno-cultural elements.

The 60s revolution opened the door to the American political establishment to representatives from both wings of the expansionist "party" – the neo-liberals and the neo-conservatives.

Besieged by the left-liberal press in 1974, Richard Nixon resigned under threat of impeachment. In the same year the US Congress passed the Jackson-Vanik Amendment (drafted by Richard Perle ), which emerged as a symbol of the country's "new political agenda" – economic war against the Soviet Union using sanctions and boycotts.

At that same time the "hippie generation" was joining the Democratic Party on the coattails of Senator George McGovern's campaign . And that was when Bill Clinton's smiling countenance first emerged on the US political horizon.

And the future neo-conservatives (at that time still disciples of the Democratic hawk Henry "Scoop" Jackson) began to slowly edge in the direction of the Republicans.

In 1976, Mr. Rumsfeld and his fellow neo-conservatives resurrected the Committee on the Present Danger , an inter-party club for political hawks whose goal became the launch of an all-out propaganda war against the USSR.

Former Trotskyists and followers of Max Shachtman (Kristol, Podhoretz, and Jeane Kirkpatrick) and advisers to Sen. Henry Jackson (Paul Wolfowitz, Perle, Elliott Abrams, Charles Horner, and Douglas Feith) joined Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and other "Christian" politicians with the intention of launching a "campaign to transform the world."

This is where the neocons' "nonpartisan ideology" originated. And eventually today's "inalterable US government" hatched from this egg.

American politics began to acquire its current shape during the Reagan era. In economics this was seen in the policy of neoliberalism (politics waged in the interests of big financial capital) and in foreign policy – in a strategy consisting of "holy war against the forces of evil." The Nixon-Kissinger tradition of foreign policy (which viewed the Soviet Union and China as a normal countries with which is essential to find common ground) was entirely abandoned.

The collapse of the USSR was a sign of the onset of the final phase of the "neocon revolution." At that point their protégé, Francis Fukuyama, announced the "end of history."

***

As the years passed, the influence of the neo-conservatives (in politics) and neoliberals (in economics) only expanded. Through all manner of committees, foundations, "think tanks," etc., the students of Milton Friedman and Leo Strauss (from the departments of economics and political science at the University of Chicago) penetrated ever more deeply into the inner workings of the Washington power machine. The apotheosis of this expansion was the presidency of George W. Bush, during which the neocons, having seized the primary instruments of power in the White House, were able to plunge the country into the folly of a war in the Middle East.

By the end of the Bush presidency this clique was the object of universal hatred throughout the US. That's why the middle-ground, innocuous figure of Barack Obama, a Democrat, was able to move into the White House for the next eight years. The neocons stepped down from their central rostrums of power and returned to their "influential committees." It is likely that this election was intended to facilitate the triumphant return of the neoconservative-neoliberal paradigm all wrapped up in "new packaging." For various reasons, the decision was made to assign this role to Hillary Clinton. But it seems that at the most critical moment the flimsy packaging ripped open

What happened? Why is this clique's triumphant return to power erupting in massive scandal this time around? Probably because we are living in an era during which much that was mysterious is suddenly becoming clear. Probably because Trump's "silent majority" suddenly saw before them someone they had been waiting for for a long time – a man ready to defend their interests.

Perhaps also it is because the middle class is choking on its growing exasperation with the "elite caste" occupying its native country. And it finally became clear to the sober-minded American patriots in law enforcement that the return to power of the people responsible for the current global chaos could be a big threat to the US and rest of the world. Because, in the end, everyone has children and no one wants a new world war.

How will this new conservative revolt against the elite end? Will Trump manage to "drain the swamp of Washington, DC" as he has promised, or he will end up as the system's next victim? Very soon we can finally get an answer to these questions.

[Mar 02, 2019] Trump first and foremost is the symptom, not cause of crisis of neoliberalism in the USA. Ideology is dead, like Bolshevism was dead soon after the end of WWII in the USSR

The Imperial Presidency of the United States has evolved over the last century to the point that the executive holds certain powers that can be considered dictatorial. Arguably, the most consequential decision in politics is to wage war. The Constitution specifically reserves this right for Congress.
Trump betrayed everything and everybody, but he remain the sign of the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA
Notable quotes:
"... The anger against outsourcing jobs is very real and very dangerous for current corrupt neocon/neolib elite in Washington with their dream of global dominance and global neoliberal empire spanning all countries on all continents much like Trotsky dreamed about global Communist empire. ..."
"... The key information about his real intention would be the candidate for the Secretary of State. But even here uncertainty will remain. For example, it is not completely clear to me that if Bolton would be appointed he will be able to pursue the policies of his neocon past. After all Trump has distinct authoritarian inclinations and Bolton is not stupid enough not to understand that. ..."
"... Hopefully his foreign policy will be less jingoistic that Obama foreign policy. "Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war," said Trump, "unlike other candidates, war and aggression will not be my first instinct." ..."
"... "lovin' Putin" is a propaganda trick which enforces a certain judgment on the US-Russia relations ..."
"... Putin was and remain an obstacle on building global neoliberal empire governed by the USA. So hate toward him by Washington establishment is quite natural. Nothing personal, just business. In other words, demonization of Putin and hysterical anti-Russian campaign (including Hillary attempt to convert Democratic Party into a War party) is just a sign of disapproval of Washington his lack of desire to convert Russian into yet another vassal state. ..."
"... The key question here is not whether Trump will be able to pursue isolationist agenda and improve the US relationship with Russia. The key question is whether he will allowed to do that and resist strong attempts to co-opt him into standard set of neocon policies, which Washington pursued for several decades. ..."
"... Any idea that he will peruse isolationist agenda is undermined by the amount of Iran hawks in his close circle. ..."
"... My impression is that his administration will try to bait Russia in order to prevent any strengthening of China-Russia alliance which was the main blowback of Obama policies toward Russia. ..."
"... This was nothing other than a rejection of the Clinton Doctrine, announced in 1999, in the wake of the war of Kosovo, which made "humanitarian intervention" the new bedrock, or perhaps the new facade, of the foreign policy of the United States. It was the same policy followed and developed by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state. (5) ..."
"... The US Empire has been nice to the Russians before. It was called detente and caused almost (not quite) as much hysteria in war-mongering (proto-neoconservative) circles as Trump's 'neo-detente' is causing now. However, the proviso is (and always was) that the warmongering could be ramped up again any time the Americans chose, and of course it was again under Reagan. ..."
"... From the point of view of American imperialism, Trump's plan to (temporarily) be nice to Russia makes a lot of strategic sense: as you point out, under Obama American imperial forces were becoming increasingly overstretched. In any case, for historical reasons, Russia (white, capitalist, Christian) doesn't make as good an enemy as the mysterious dark forces of 'Radical Islam'. ..."
"... So I am guessing under Trump we will see temporary rapprochement with Russia in the East, and more concentration on command and control of the Middle East. I am also guessing Obama's 'Pivot to China' will be allowed to quietly continue. It's also likely the US' policy of quietly picking off 'weak links' in the 'pink tide' in South American (cf Brazil, Honduras) will continue. ..."
"... For the moment I take great comfort in the hostility Trump displayed to Eliot Cohen and his ilk – https://twitter.com/EliotACohen/status/798512852931788800 ..."
"... "After exchange w Trump transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away. They're angry, arrogant, screaming "you LOST!" Will be ugly." ..."
crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.21.16 at 10:41 pm 33

Trump first and foremost is the symptom, not cause of crisis of neoliberalism in the USA. Ideology is dead, like Bolshevism was dead soon after the end of WWII in the USSR.

Trump has two major path of his governance. He might try relying on nationalist insurgence his election provoked and squeeze the "deep state" and neocon cabal in Washington, or he will be co-opted by Republican brass. He probably understand that his positioning during election campaign as a fighter against globalization and neoliberalism excesses in the USA is the key link that provides political support for his administration. And throwing a couple on neocons or banksters against the wall would be a populist gesture well received by American public.

The anger against outsourcing jobs is very real and very dangerous for current corrupt neocon/neolib elite in Washington with their dream of global dominance and global neoliberal empire spanning all countries on all continents much like Trotsky dreamed about global Communist empire.

My feeling is that a lot of people are really ready to fight for Trump and that creates for problem for the "deep state", if Trump "indoctrination" by Washington establishment fails.

Past revolts in some US cities are just the tip of the iceberg. Obama lost not only his legacy with Trump election. He lost his bid to keep all members of top 1% and first of all financial oligarchy that drives the events on 2008 unaccountable.

So "accountability drive" which will be interpreted by neoliberals as "witch hunt" might well be in the cards. I encourage everybody in this blog to listen to the following Trump election advertisement.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2s9AV910NY

Also I would not assume that he is a newcomer to political games. Real estate business is very a political activity. So a more plausible hypothesis is that he is a gifted politician both by nature and due to on the job training received in his occupation.

His idea of creating a circle of advisors who compete with each other and thus allow him to be the final arbiter of major decisions is not new. He is not hostile to conflicts within his inner circle.

The key information about his real intention would be the candidate for the Secretary of State. But even here uncertainty will remain. For example, it is not completely clear to me that if Bolton would be appointed he will be able to pursue the policies of his neocon past. After all Trump has distinct authoritarian inclinations and Bolton is not stupid enough not to understand that.

Hopefully his foreign policy will be less jingoistic that Obama foreign policy. "Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war," said Trump, "unlike other candidates, war and aggression will not be my first instinct."

likbez 44

@41
Chet Murthy 11.22.16 at 5:08 am

There have been two constants in his campaign: "stomp the weaker" and "lovin' Putin". That's it.

"lovin' Putin" is a propaganda trick which enforces a certain judgment on the US-Russia relations . You should better stay above this level in this blog.

Putin was and remain an obstacle on building global neoliberal empire governed by the USA. So hate toward him by Washington establishment is quite natural. Nothing personal, just business. In other words, demonization of Putin and hysterical anti-Russian campaign (including Hillary attempt to convert Democratic Party into a War party) is just a sign of disapproval of Washington his lack of desire to convert Russian into yet another vassal state.

The key question here is not whether Trump will be able to pursue isolationist agenda and improve the US relationship with Russia. The key question is whether he will allowed to do that and resist strong attempts to co-opt him into standard set of neocon policies, which Washington pursued for several decades.

His "Contract with America" does not cover foreign policy issues except rejection of TPP, NAFTA and like.

https://assets.donaldjtrump.com/_landings/contract/O-TRU-102316-Contractv02.pdf

Any idea that he will peruse isolationist agenda is undermined by the amount of Iran hawks in his close circle.

My impression is that his administration will try to bait Russia in order to prevent any strengthening of China-Russia alliance which was the main blowback of Obama policies toward Russia.

Also under Trump the USA might be more selective as running six concurrent conflicts (Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Ukraine). Which during Obama administration proved to be pretty expensive. Libya is now a failed state. In Ukraine the standard of living dropped to the level of $2 per day for the majority of population and the country became yet another debt slave, always balancing on the wedge of bankruptcy. And costs for the USA are continuing to mount in at least three of the six countries mentioned ( profits extracted in Ukraine and Iraq partially offset that). It is unclear whether Trump administration will continue this Obama policy of multiple unilateral engagements but I think is that during Trump administration the resistance to the USA unilateral interventionism will be stronger as neoliberalism itself became much less attractive ideology. Which is more difficult to "export". Similar to the fact that "communism" was more difficult to export after 60th by the USSR. In a way, after 2008 it is a "damaged good" notwithstanding its recent victories in Brazil and Argentina. See for example discussion at:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/11/22/does-clintons-defeat-mean-the-decline-of-us-interventionism/

The South has understood where the North has not: the selective nature of humanitarian interventions reflects their punitive nature; sanctions go to non-client regimes; interventions seem to be a new excuse for the hegemonic ambitions of the United States and its allies; they are a new rationale for NATO after the collapse of the Soviet Union; they are a way to suppress Russia and deprive it of its zones of influence. (3)

What a far-sighted motion was that of the coalition of the countries of the Third World (G77) at the Havana Summit in 2000! It declared its rejection of any intervention, including humanitarian, which did not respect the sovereignty of the states concerned. (4) This was nothing other than a rejection of the Clinton Doctrine, announced in 1999, in the wake of the war of Kosovo, which made "humanitarian intervention" the new bedrock, or perhaps the new facade, of the foreign policy of the United States. It was the same policy followed and developed by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state. (5)

But, of course, we can only guess how Trump administration will behave.

Hidari 11.23.16 at 8:38 am 51

'The key question here is not whether Trump will be able to pursue isolationist agenda and improve the US relationship with Russia. The key question is whether he will allowed to do that and resist strong attempts to co-opt him into standard set of neocon policies, which Washington pursued for several decades.'

The US Empire has been nice to the Russians before. It was called detente and caused almost (not quite) as much hysteria in war-mongering (proto-neoconservative) circles as Trump's 'neo-detente' is causing now. However, the proviso is (and always was) that the warmongering could be ramped up again any time the Americans chose, and of course it was again under Reagan.

From the point of view of American imperialism, Trump's plan to (temporarily) be nice to Russia makes a lot of strategic sense: as you point out, under Obama American imperial forces were becoming increasingly overstretched. In any case, for historical reasons, Russia (white, capitalist, Christian) doesn't make as good an enemy as the mysterious dark forces of 'Radical Islam'.

So I am guessing under Trump we will see temporary rapprochement with Russia in the East, and more concentration on command and control of the Middle East. I am also guessing Obama's 'Pivot to China' will be allowed to quietly continue. It's also likely the US' policy of quietly picking off 'weak links' in the 'pink tide' in South American (cf Brazil, Honduras) will continue.

'Trump: foreign policy continuity rather than change' may well be a typical graduate thesis in 30 years' time.

reason 11.23.16 at 9:00 am 52

I'm curious how Trump will deal with Erdogan. Erdogan seems to have all the tact and subtlety of an angry Bison and with Trump's thin skin, there is bound to be a conflict at some stage. And Erdogan is not Christian.

kidneystones 11.23.16 at 10:05 am 53

... ... ...

For the moment I take great comfort in the hostility Trump displayed to Eliot Cohen and his ilk – https://twitter.com/EliotACohen/status/798512852931788800

"After exchange w Trump transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away. They're angry, arrogant, screaming "you LOST!" Will be ugly."

[Mar 02, 2019] The President of the US can't pardon someone in advance for possible later crimes, but can give a pardon for any and all past crimes without specifying those crimes

Some people understood it in 2016: "The deep state ushered in Trump because he's clearly their most useful decoy. As the country hopes in vain, the crooked men behind the curtain will go on with business as usual. Trump is simply an Obama for a different demographic. Nothing will change for the better."
Also: "To claim the trump is more powerful and has more influence over the US deep state on day one is just ludicrous."
Notable quotes:
"... Remember, the US Constitution was written by aristocrats who were still in many ways monarchists who didn't want to give up all their power. That mindset also put the electoral college process into the constitution. ..."
"... Oh, what does anyone know about Pence? Folks have been saying he's going to be Trump's Cheney (and apparently Cheney is a Pence's avowed role model and personal hero). Cheney had a lifetime of insider experience and I'm guessing is both ambitious and intelligent (if evil). ..."
"... Did anyone catch Peter Thiel's speech to the National Press Club? Listen to this and tell me it is not spot on. His is actually on Rumps transition team. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfYLEPRiIyE ..."
"... "The deep state ushered in Trump because he's clearly their most useful decoy. As the country hopes in vain, the crooked men behind the curtain will go on with business as usual. Trump is simply an Obama for a different demographic. Nothing will change for the better." ..."
"... So is Trump Hope and Change for the Angry White Male demographic? ..."
"... I doubt very much that the Obama is providing "continuity". IMO this is a naive reading. Obama has just created a smokescreen that allows for preparing to 'facts on the ground' that will force Trump to respond accordingly. ..."
"... That's a mini-conspiracy compared with the one that the Fake War Of Terror has distracted people's attention from. The Privatisation of almost every Publicly-owned asset and piece of infrastructure in the West. The Neolib takeover was well-advanced in 1999 but slipped into overdrive in 2001. Banks, Insurance Cos, Telcos, Airlines, Childcare, Hospitals, Health Clinics (preventative), Roads, Rail, Electrical Generation and distribution. ..."
"... To claim the trump is more powerful and has more influence over the US deep state on day one is just ludicrous. ..."
"... I'm going with the new boss is the same as the old boss. ..."
Nov 11, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

"...the paradox problem is they'll have to charge Clinton before da boy can pardon her..."

That's one of those facts that sounds right but isn't true. If the law was logical that might be correct, but then mathematicians would get the highest scores on the Law School Admission Test (which supposedly tests aptitude to "think like a lawyer.")

The President of the U.S. can't pardon someone in advance for possible later crimes, but can give a pardon for any and all past crimes without specifying those crimes. That's how Ford was able to pardon Nixon, who had not been indicted, for any crimes "he might have committed."

If Obama wants he can pardon the Clintons for everything and anything they MIGHT have done up to the final minutes of swearing in Trump. In that case they would never need to concede they had ever broken any laws at all.

Remember, the US Constitution was written by aristocrats who were still in many ways monarchists who didn't want to give up all their power. That mindset also put the electoral college process into the constitution.

Susan Sunflower | Nov 11, 2016 2:07:03 PM | 48
Are you saying that Obama could pardon Bill Clinton and his entire foundation for financial crimes (apparently) being investigated in New York wrt New York's laws regarding charitable foundation practices? That seems like it would be "bigger than Marc Rich" demonstration of Democratic misuse / abuse of power, cronyism, etc.

If he can do it, he might do it ... if the punishment/threat for not doing it was sufficient. I've not been impressed by Obama's "brilliance" or "vision" ... I have been impressed rather by his self-promotion and self-interest -- Neither Bush or Bill Clinton had the sort of job opportunities that GHWB enjoyed.

Oh, what does anyone know about Pence? Folks have been saying he's going to be Trump's Cheney (and apparently Cheney is a Pence's avowed role model and personal hero). Cheney had a lifetime of insider experience and I'm guessing is both ambitious and intelligent (if evil).

Does Pence have genuine potential as Cheney II ... and where does the awkward relationship between the GOP establishment and Trump put "Pence as a new Cheney" ... The GOP might love it. Is Trump ideologically consistent enough (don't laugh) to recognize the contradictions?

Trixie from Dixie | Nov 11, 2016 2:14:28 PM | 49
Did anyone catch Peter Thiel's speech to the National Press Club? Listen to this and tell me it is not spot on. His is actually on Rumps transition team. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfYLEPRiIyE
Yonatan | Nov 11, 2016 2:15:41 PM | 50
Jack Smith @6

Early days indeed. An alternative view of the recent events, by someone who said more or less the same about Obama when he was selected.

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

http://linhdinhphotos.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/the-trump-ploy.html

So is Trump Hope and Change for the Angry White Male demographic?

Jackrabbit | Nov 11, 2016 12:47:24 PM | 29
I agree with Hoarsewhisperer @11: ... it's a crock and a trick.

I doubt very much that the Obama is providing "continuity". IMO this is a naive reading. Obama has just created a smokescreen that allows for preparing to 'facts on the ground' that will force Trump to respond accordingly.

We are at a very very dangerous point in time.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Also, giving ANY credence to 'Obama legacy' BS is misguided in the extreme. His 'legacy' is dissembling and treachery. Anything thing beyond that is just BS meant to keep adversary's off-balance.

bbbb | Nov 11, 2016 12:47:39 PM | 30
@22 Where do you get the idea that those countries are somehow bad for USA? If we ramp up industries in USA it will cost substantially more than in those countries. They've benefitted USA immensely. If the industries come back to USA it won't go over too well, unless slave wages are truly instituted
Susan Sunflower | Nov 11, 2016 12:53:18 PM | 31
I don't know if Trump can take credit ... but rather that the Clinton wing of the Pentagon and CIA, etc. has been defanged and the threat of a coup (if Obama acted in ways contrary to Clinton and the General's plans) is now neutralized ... Clinton's loss, I hope, will mean future books will be more candid than might have been possible if she were in office... yes, I wanna know how bad it's been these last 8 years.

Obama's personal stock wrt his future as a consultant, motivational speaker and all around leader fell dramatically both with Clinton's campaign (and anticipated sharp turn from Obama's foreign policy) but also with her defeat (now his legacy). He was spared the ongoing shaming by a Clinton administration. Likely too little, too late ... when does Kerry get back from the Antarctica? He's got a chance at some legacy mending as well.

I believe reports that the Clintons and the Obamas loathe each other ... particularly since the Clintons hate everyone/anyone who does not grovel perfectly. Did Obama sell-out to the DLC Democrats to secure his future $$$ with all their and the foundation's friends... it will be fun to watch and look for breadcrumbs, particularly if the foundation implodes under scrutiny.

Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 11, 2016 1:03:45 PM | 34
That would be as part of the carveup that we are not supposed to talk about because it is a wicked "conspiracy theory"...
Posted by: paul | Nov 11, 2016 12:12:44 PM | 17

That's a mini-conspiracy compared with the one that the Fake War Of Terror has distracted people's attention from. The Privatisation of almost every Publicly-owned asset and piece of infrastructure in the West. The Neolib takeover was well-advanced in 1999 but slipped into overdrive in 2001. Banks, Insurance Cos, Telcos, Airlines, Childcare, Hospitals, Health Clinics (preventative), Roads, Rail, Electrical Generation and distribution.

In Oz the Govt/people used to own all of the above, or a competitive participant in the 'market' in the case of banking, insurance, health clinics, airlines etc. In 2016 the govt owns only unprofitable burdens. Public Education is currently under extreme pressure to be Privatised for Profit.

(The Yanks call it Anti-Communism but consumers call it an Effing Expensive way to get much crappier service than in the Good Old Days).

Fuckus Assclown | Nov 11, 2016 1:11:07 PM | 35
I think you give Barrack Obongo way too much credit. He is a "selfishly concerned" narcissist alright but that's about it. All his years at the bathhouses and public lavatories with his wookie-in-drag in Chicago, has not made him particularly smarter you know, rather the opposite...
Mina | Nov 11, 2016 1:19:52 PM | 36
Dropping AQ means dropping KSA, i.e. the 9/11 enquiry will probably go ahead. As for the MB/Qatar who run a bunch of other groups, this is left to the EU to decide what it want to do with Turkey. You bet the Eurocrats are having a headache. And Hollande shows his muscles (sic) and claims he will talk with Trump on the phone and gets some "clarifications" about his programme.

MSM are reporting on a daily basis of the huge problems with the "Syrian refugees" crossing the Mediterranean Sea although there is just a handful of Syrians compared to Eritreans, Sudanese, Gambians etc.

ALberto | Nov 11, 2016 1:23:12 PM | 37
@35 Ahhh yes. Bath House Barry. The community ORGANizer.
tom | Nov 11, 2016 1:25:03 PM | 38
To claim the trump is more powerful and has more influence over the US deep state on day one is just ludicrous.

b | Nov 11, 2016 1:33:18 PM | 41
I had earlier reported here that Turkey was told by Russia not to enter Syrian airspace after it killed some 100 Kurds on their way to al-Bab.

An Erdogan daily now confirms it: Turkish jets not participating in airstrikes in Syria

According to the report, the last time Turkish jets participated in airstrikes against terrorists in Syria was on October 23, three days after around 200 PKK/PYD terrorists were killed.

schlub | Nov 11, 2016 1:34:28 PM | 42
Ash Carter is, together with John Brennan, the major anti-Russian force in the Obama administration. He is a U.S. weapon industry promoter and the anti-Russia campaign, which helps to sell U.S. weapons to NATO allies in Europe, is largely of his doing.

https://socioecohistory.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/john_mccain_visits_al_qaeda_isis_terrorists_in_syria_may2013.jpg

Why did u leave out equal credit to Mad Dog McCain, aka Lawrence of Insania---short memory?
https://socioecohistory.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/john_bin_laden_mccain.jpg

BTW, I do believe he re-won his senate seat, against the true patriot Arpaio there.
Hence his absence from the public scene these months.

So things have not changed much if at all, since still 70 days to Jan20, except for appearances as they've rearranged some furniture & color-matched the curtains to the upholstery in the act/play is all.

Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 11, 2016 1:40:45 PM | 43
@11 Hoarsewhisperer - I think it's unrealistic to expect the US simply to leave..
...
Posted by: Grieved | Nov 11, 2016 12:33:02 PM | 27

Today, your guess is as good as mine (at least).
But I regard FrUKUS as Ter'rism Central and if Russia & China et al think they can put a stop to TerCent without dislodging some teeth and kneecapping them, they're pissing into the wind/dreaming.

It's a bit ambiguous but China, according to CCTV Nov 12, during a chat about Sun Yat Sen and China/Taiwan unity, seems to be issuing a Global reminder to Loyal Chinese Citizens overseas similar to the one that Russia issued a month ago.

jo6pac | Nov 11, 2016 1:48:12 PM | 44
I'm going with the new boss is the same as the old boss.

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-wednesday-edition-1.3843587/will-trump-try-to-re-shape-the-world-former-cia-chief-and-trump-adviser-explains-how-1.3843590

h | Nov 11, 2016 2:34:36 PM | 52
O/T - Wall Street Heads Spin Over Trump Weighing Dimon for Treasury and Restoring Glass-Steagall - http://wallstreetonparade.com/2016/11/wall-street-heads-spin-over-trump-weighing-dimon-for-treasury-and-restoring-glass-steagall/

The last video details Trump's infrastructure plan.

Mina | Nov 11, 2016 2:39:16 PM | 53
maybe we could start a hall of fame for the craziest articles and declarations post US elections?
these two should compete:
http://www.lemonde.fr/elections-americaines/article/2016/11/11/la-ministre-allemande-de-la-defense-demande-a-trump-de-s-expliquer-sur-l-otan-et-la-russie_5029172_829254.html
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/11/andrew-sullivan-president-trump-and-the-end-of-the-republic.html

Ken Nari | Nov 11, 2016 2:51:53 PM | 55
Susan Sunflower @ 48

Disgusting as it is, yes, my understanding is Obama can do exactly that. My guess is, want to or not, he probably will come under so much pressure he will have to pass out plenty of pardons. Or maybe Lynch will give everyone involved in the Clinton Foundation immunity to testify and then seal the testimony -- or never bother to get any testimony. So many games.

For Obama, it might not even take all that much pressure. From about his second day in office, from his body language, he's always looked like he was scared.

Instead of keeping his mouth shut, which he would do, being the lawyer he is, Giuliani has been screaming for the Clintons' scalps. That's exactly what a sharp lawyer would do if he was trying to force Obama to pardon them. If he really meant to get them he would be agreeing with the FBI, saying there doesn't seem to be any evidence of wrong doing, and then change his mind once (if) he's AG and it's too late for deals.

With so many lawyers, Obama, the Clintons, Lynch, Giuliani, Comey, no justice is likely to come out of this.

h | Nov 11, 2016 2:53:37 PM | 56
Maybe I saw the question about a 9/11 investigation on the other thread, but someone here asked if this is true. Well, it appears to be on a burner -

http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/trump-reopening-911-reversing-rome-in-bid-to-be-greatest-american-steward/

jdmckay | Nov 11, 2016 2:58:20 PM | 57
Ken Nari @ 55

From what I've read, prez pardon comes with explicit admission of guilt. Highly questionable either (or both) Clintons would accept that.

Mina | Nov 11, 2016 3:03:16 PM | 58
Simply brilliant
https://theintercept.com/2016/11/09/democrats-trump-and-the-ongoing-dangerous-refusal-to-learn-the-lesson-of-brexit/
(it could be on the other thread, sorry)

Susan Sunflower | Nov 11, 2016 3:12:12 PM | 59
@ Posted by: Ken Nari | Nov 11, 2016 2:51:53 PM | 55

I heard a podcast on Batchelor with Charles Ortel which explained some things -- even if there are no obvious likely criminal smoking guns -- given that foundations get away with a lot of "leniency" because they are charities, incomplete financial statements and chartering documents, as I recall. I was most interested in his description of the number of jurisdictions the Foundation was operating under, some of whom, like New York were already investigating; and others, foreign who might or might be, who also have very serious regulations, opening the possibility that if the Feds drop their investigation, New York (with very very strict law) might proceed, and that they might well be investigated (prosecuted/banned??) in Europe.

The most recent leak wrt internal practices was just damning ... it sounded like a playground of favors and sinecures ... no human resources department, no written policies on many practices ...

This was an internal audit and OLD (2008, called "the Gibson Review") so corrective action may have been taken, but I thought was damning enough to deter many donors (even before Hillary's loss removed that incentive) particularly on top of the Band (2011) memo. Unprofessional to the extreme.

It's part of my vast relief that Clinton lost and will not be in our lives 24/7/365 for the next 4 years. (I think Trump is an unprincipled horror, but that's as may be, I'm not looking for a fight). After the mess Clinton made of Haiti (and the accusations/recriminations) I somehow thought they'd have been more careful with their "legacy" -- given that it was founded in 1997, 2008 is a very long time to be operating without written procedures wrt donations, employment

from 11/08/2016, Batchelor segment page

okie farmer | Nov 11, 2016 3:22:53 PM | 60
Donald Trump and a World of Distrust
https://www.project-syndicate.org/default/library/fc1bc22730c324ed2881f4874a20db40.square.jpg"

[Mar 02, 2019] War Broke Out Between Neo-Cons And Libertarians Over Trumps Foreign Policy: now we know who won

Notable quotes:
"... "How many people sleep better knowing that the Baltics are part of NATO? They don't make us safer, in fact, quite the opposite . We need to think really hard about these commitments," said William Ruger, vice president of research and policy at the Charles Koch Institute. ..."
"... A prominent member of the outsiders is Rand Paul, skeptic of Bush's foreign policy, who has criticized Bolton in the last few days. Paul on Tuesday blasted Bolton in an op-ed in Rare as "a longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose." ..."
"... However, neo-cons are bad at losing, so they have redoubled efforts to land one of their own next to Trump. Lindsey Graham, a prominent foreign policy hawk in the Senate, issued an endorsement of Bolton on Thursday, saying: "He understands who our friends and enemies are. We see the world in very similar ways." ..."
"... He also slammed Paul's criticism of Bolton: "You could put the number of Republicans who will follow Rand Paul's advice on national security in a very small car. Rand is my friend but he's a libertarian and an outlier in the party on these issues." ..."
"... Meanwhile, the biggest warmonger, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, who has not said who he'd like to see in Trump's cabinet, laid down a marker on Tuesday by warning the future Trump administration against trying to seek an improved relationship with adversary Russia. "When America has been at its greatest, it is when we have stood on the side those fighting tyranny. That is where we must stand again," he warned. ..."
"... MENA is the most important, perhaps the only leverage that the US has to hold the global reserve currency. As long as the US retain the world's money, the US can finance its debt while collecting rent worldwide. Also, the US can export its inflation. ..."
"... No US President can, or will willingly let these three to fail, because the collapse will be horrifying. ..."
"... the U.S. Empire has globalised its reach as an instrument of the deep state and its oligarchy of owner/operators. Ostensibly to bring democracy to the oppressed, its real purpose was to enrich the rent-seekers on the MIC value chain and to protect and serve the private globalist interests who were the clients of the deep state. National funds flow has always been net outbound, and not the other way around, as in any successful precendent for empire. This continues to be true to this day because of the influence the wealthy rent-seekers on this value chain have over the federal government. Simple as that. ..."
"... Raytheon, Lockheed and Boeing are corporate sponsors of the Rockefeller/CFR. James Woolsey, Stephen Hadley, John Bolton, Eliot Cohen and John McCain are CFR members. Also Bill Clinton, Janet Yellen, John Paulson, Lloyd Blankfein and George Soros. See member lists at cfr dot org. Cohen, Bolton, Woolsey, and McCain were also members of PNAC. ..."
"... Yes. Out of NATO, stop the endless pointless wars in the M.E., embrace George Washington and avoiding "foreign entaglements." ..."
"... Agree...but, easier said than done. A large component of our economy is wholly dependent on government funded MIC and arms sales. Dependency on government spending as large part of our economy has seeped into nearly every aspect of our market place. ..."
"... There is a problem with the long term approach...is that the every attempt will be made to stop such a transition in its tracks. Even if it means world war. ..."
"... With modern travel and communications neither policy would work any longer but I'll take nationalism. Bottom line on hawks, the budget is busted out! Cant afford guns and butter anymore. ..."
"... The empire building has made all but a few a lot poorer and the majority on earth more miserable. I am not naive, I know violence is sometimes necessary, but eternal offence as a strategy ensures enemies will find ways to focus on that top dog and beat you. Beside what I think or believe about foreign policy, it doesn't matter we are broke in affording empire. Period. ..."
"... You guys crazy or sumpthin? You want full employment at good wages? All out War is your best bet. No messy "fixing" anything, just flip the switch and off you go. Draft all those troublemakers, turn them into cannon fodder, crank up the printing presses and happy days are here again. ..."
"... What is with you people? It is almost like Saudi Arabia doesn't exist and doesn't buy our politicians. It is almost as if Hillary Clinton never existed, nor her Saudi asset girlfriend (yes, married to an Israeli asset). Look, if you're going to blame the Jews every time, also blame the Wahhabis. And then you might want to also say fuck you to the British who are responsible for both nations. ..."
"... Look, if you're going to blame the Jews every time, also blame the Wahhabis ..."
"... Wahabism/Salafism has been used since Reagan as a weapon for covert war. Saudi Petrodollars recycle back to the U.S. MIC as they pass through the CIA Hillary Clinton approved very large increases in weapons to the Saudi's especially as they funded the Clinton machine. Clintons are CFR agents, and that has a heavy jewish illuminst influence. ..."
"... In what fucking dimension do people this fucking incompetent still have jobs, let alone credibility? Preposterous that they even still have jobs. The US has blown 5-6 trillion on losing one war after the other, has caused massive disorder and chaos in the Mideast to absolutely no one's benefit except Israel, or so Israel believes, and destabilized the entire region to the point that a WWIII could erupt at any moment. ..."
"... Disaster and incompetence at this level can only be rewarded with sackings and terminations across the board. But no, not in the US. The public is more preooccupied with fictional racists and Donald's bawdy pussy talk. ..."
"... Trump has been provided an easy litmus test, who has ever advocated deposing Assad must be rejected, not because Assad is such a great guy, but because those who would replace him are radical islamists all. Russia could be cultivated as a friend and do more for world peace than the Arab world which has a fatal jihad disease. ..."
"... The presidency is more of a ceremonial position now. If the deep state doesn't like the president, it can simply fire him, as it did with Kennedy (and arguably Nixon). It can also make his life a living hell or force a foreign policy showdown as it did with Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs. ..."
"... Controlled demolitions take weeks of planning and preparation. So the implication is that someone planned the WTC7 collapse weeks in advance. WTC7 held a number of offices, including offices of the SEC. Many files were destroyed. ..."
Nov 20, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
In late October, when it was still conventional wisdom that Hillary was "guaranteed" to win the presidency, the WaPo explained that among the neo-con, foreign policy "elites" of the Pentagon, a feeling of calm content had spread: after all, it was just a matter of time before the "pacifist" Obama was out, replaced by the more hawkish Hillary.

As the WaPo reported , "there is one corner of Washington where Donald Trump's scorched-earth presidential campaign is treated as a mere distraction and where bipartisanship reigns. In the rarefied world of the Washington foreign policy establishment, President Obama's departure from the White House - and the possible return of a more conventional and hawkish Hillary Clinton - is being met with quiet relief ."

The Republicans and Democrats who make up the foreign policy elite are laying the groundwork for a more assertive American foreign policy via a flurry of reports shaped by officials who are likely to play senior roles in a potential Clinton White House.

Oops.

Not only did the "foreign policy" elite get the Trump "scorched-earth distraction" dead wrong, it now has to scramble to find what leverage - if any - it has in defining Trump's foreign policy. Worse, America's warmongers are now waging war (if only metaphorically: we all know they can't wait for the real thing) against libertarians for direct access to Trump's front door, a contingency they had never planned for.

As The Hill reported earlier , "a battle is brewing between the GOP foreign policy establishment and outsiders over who will sit on President-elect Donald Trump's national security team. The fight pits hawks and neoconservatives who served in the former Bush administrations against those on the GOP foreign policy edges."

Taking a page out of Ron Paul's book, the libertarians, isolationists and realists see an opportunity to pull back America's commitments around the world, spend less money on foreign aid and "nation-building," curtail expensive military campaigns and troop deployments, and intervene militarily only to protect American interests. In short: these are people who believe that human life, and the avoidance of war, is more valuable than another record quarter for Raytheon, Lockheed or Boeing.

On the other hand, the so-called establishment camp, many of whom disavowed Trump during the campaign, is made up of the same people who effectively ran Hillary Clinton's tenure while she was Secretary of State, fully intent on creating zones of conflict, political instability and outright war in every imaginable place, from North Africa to Ukraine. This group is pushing for Stephen Hadley, who served as national security adviser under George W. Bush. Another Bush ally, John Bolton whose name has been floated as a possible secretary of State, also falls into this camp.

According to The Hill, other neo-con, establishment candidates floated include Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), outgoing Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), rising star Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and senior fellow at conservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute and former Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.).

"These figures all generally believe that the United States needs to take an active role in the world from the Middle East to East Asia to deter enemies and reassure allies."

In short, should this group prevail, it would be the equivalent of 4 more years of HIllary Clinton running the State Department.

The outsider group sees things differently.

They want to revamp American foreign policy in a different direction from the last two administrations. Luckily, this particular camp is also more in line with Trump's views questioning the value of NATO, a position that horrified many in the establishment camp.

"How many people sleep better knowing that the Baltics are part of NATO? They don't make us safer, in fact, quite the opposite . We need to think really hard about these commitments," said William Ruger, vice president of research and policy at the Charles Koch Institute.

A prominent member of the outsiders is Rand Paul, skeptic of Bush's foreign policy, who has criticized Bolton in the last few days. Paul on Tuesday blasted Bolton in an op-ed in Rare as "a longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose."

... ... ...

However, neo-cons are bad at losing, so they have redoubled efforts to land one of their own next to Trump. Lindsey Graham, a prominent foreign policy hawk in the Senate, issued an endorsement of Bolton on Thursday, saying: "He understands who our friends and enemies are. We see the world in very similar ways."

He also slammed Paul's criticism of Bolton: "You could put the number of Republicans who will follow Rand Paul's advice on national security in a very small car. Rand is my friend but he's a libertarian and an outlier in the party on these issues."

Funny, that's exactly what the experts said about Trump's chances of winning not even two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the biggest warmonger, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, who has not said who he'd like to see in Trump's cabinet, laid down a marker on Tuesday by warning the future Trump administration against trying to seek an improved relationship with adversary Russia. "When America has been at its greatest, it is when we have stood on the side those fighting tyranny. That is where we must stand again," he warned.

Luckily, McCain - whose relationship with Trump has been at rock bottom ever since Trump's first appearance in the presidential campaign - has zero impact on the thinking of Trump.

Furthermore, speaking of Russia, Retired Amy Col. Andrew Bacevich said there needs to be a rethink of American foreign policy. He said the U.S. must consider whether Saudi Arabia and Pakistan qualify as U.S. allies, and the growing divergence between the U.S. and Israel. "The establishment doesn't want to touch questions like these with a ten foot pole," he said at a conference on Tuesday hosted by The American Conservative, the Charles Koch Institute, and the George Washington University Department of Political Science.

Furthermore, resetting the "deplorable" relations with Russia is a necessary if not sufficient condition to halt the incipient nuclear arms build up that has resulted of the recent dramatic return of the Cold War. As such, a Trump presidency while potentially a failure, may be best remember for avoiding the launch of World War III. If , that is, he manages to prevent the influence of neo-cons in his cabinet.

And then there are the wildcards: those Trump advisers who are difficult to peg into which camp they fall into. One example is retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, who was selected by Trump as his national security adviser. Flynn is a "curious case," said Daniel Larison, senior editor at The American Conservative. The retired Army general has said he wants to work with Russia, but also expressed contrary views in his book "Field of Fight."

According to Larison, Flynn writes of an "enemy alliance" against the U.S. that includes Russia, North Korea, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, al-Qaida, Hezbollah, and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. From that standpoint, he is about as "establishment" as they come.

It's also not crystal clear which camp Giuliani falls into. The former mayor is known as a fierce critic of Islamic extremism but has scant foreign policy experience.

Most say what is likely is change.

"Change is coming to American grand strategy whether we like it or not,' said Christopher Layne, Robert M. Gates Chair in National Security at Texas A&M University.

"I think we are overdue for American retrenchment. Americans are beginning to suffer from hegemony fatigue," he said.

And, let's not forget, the tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children who are droned to death every year by anonymous remote-control operators in the US just so the US can pursue its global hegemonic interest. They most certainly have, and unless something indeed changes, will continue to suffer, leading to even more resentment against the US, and even more attacks against US citizens around the globe, and on US soil. Some call them terrorism, others call them retaliation.

Escrava Isaura -> FreezeThese Nov 20, 2016 8:26 AM ,

Help me here with this word (or whatever it means) REALISTS :

Article: Ron Paul's book, the libertarians, isolationists and REALISTS see an opportunity . to intervene militarily only to protect American interests.

So dear Libertarians, as I am about to show you two examples, but the list is long, that you have a problem, because of (US) reality:

1) You are told by the left and right massmedia that the US is something like that: King of natural gas. We'll be the world exporter. That we have enough natural gas for 100 years, or some nonsense like that. But here is the REALITY :

US "still" had to import almost 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2015.

https://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/importsexports/annual/

2) Again, you might hear from the left and right massmedia that: US is shale this. US is shale that, even that shale is not oil, but some form of kerogen. In any event, here' the reality: US crude oil imports, by Millions of Barrels a Day: 2014: 7,344 2015: 7,363 As of July 2016: 8,092 (MBD)

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_sum_snd_d_nus_mbblpd_m_cur-1.htm

Key Point (in my opinion): Libertarians, you can't have both of best worlds -two incomparable believes. You have to chose, otherwise you'll be a hypocrite while being a neocon as well.

BigJim -> Escrava Isaura Nov 20, 2016 8:46 AM ,
What's your point? That if we don't rule MENA, then the people in charge there won't sell us their natural gas?

Lulz

Escrava Isaura -> BigJim Nov 20, 2016 9:39 AM ,

It's more complicated than that.

MENA is the most important, perhaps the only leverage that the US has to hold the global reserve currency. As long as the US retain the world's money, the US can finance its debt while collecting rent worldwide. Also, the US can export its inflation.

No US President can, or will willingly let these three to fail, because the collapse will be horrifying.

Pairadimes -> Escrava Isaura Nov 20, 2016 10:02 AM ,
This construction of the U.S. empire is a myth. Unlike the British, Spanish, French, Portuguese, or any other empire throughout history you care to name, the construction of the U.S. Empire has been a drastic net drain on U.S. finances.

Unlike any preceding empire, which invaded other lands in search of wealth and captured client states to monetize added value, the U.S. Empire has globalised its reach as an instrument of the deep state and its oligarchy of owner/operators. Ostensibly to bring democracy to the oppressed, its real purpose was to enrich the rent-seekers on the MIC value chain and to protect and serve the private globalist interests who were the clients of the deep state. National funds flow has always been net outbound, and not the other way around, as in any successful precendent for empire. This continues to be true to this day because of the influence the wealthy rent-seekers on this value chain have over the federal government. Simple as that.

In the process, the USA has been hollowed out from the inside, and risks imminent collapse. The greatest hope we can hold out for a Trump presidency is a recognition of the truth of this. Bannon gets close sometimes, but I still have my doubts that there is true recognition of just how dire these current circumstances are. In this, people like Ron Paul are right on target - to save the Republic, the Empire and its enabling institutions (like the Fed) must go.

Uzda Farce -> jeff montanye Nov 20, 2016 10:06 AM ,
Raytheon, Lockheed and Boeing are corporate sponsors of the Rockefeller/CFR. James Woolsey, Stephen Hadley, John Bolton, Eliot Cohen and John McCain are CFR members. Also Bill Clinton, Janet Yellen, John Paulson, Lloyd Blankfein and George Soros. See member lists at cfr dot org. Cohen, Bolton, Woolsey, and McCain were also members of PNAC.

Michael Flynn's book "Field of Fight" is co-authored by neocon Michael Ledeen, defender of Israel and promoter of "universal fascism" . Ledeen is a member of the "Foundation for Defense of Democracies" where Trump advisor James Woolsey is chairman. Woolsey, Clinton's ex-CIA director, is also a member of the "Flynn Intel Group".

Tallest Skil -> Stan522 Nov 19, 2016 10:51 PM ,
Fuck the Truman Doctrine . We must return to Glorious Isolationism .
ebworthen -> Tallest Skil Nov 19, 2016 11:08 PM ,
Yes. Out of NATO, stop the endless pointless wars in the M.E., embrace George Washington and avoiding "foreign entaglements."

Drain the M.I.C. and bank/corporation/insurer swamp!

It is about individuals and families, not the vampire squids, trolls, and homunculi that infest the Imperial City.

"Hang 'em high!"

Falcon49 -> ebworthen Nov 20, 2016 7:05 AM ,
Agree...but, easier said than done. A large component of our economy is wholly dependent on government funded MIC and arms sales. Dependency on government spending as large part of our economy has seeped into nearly every aspect of our market place.

The gov expansion into and control of the economy has so distorted the markets, and created so much dependency that we are now in a situation where without it, our economy collapses. It would take decades to fix this problem without collapsing the economy while you are doing it...

However, we would still feel the pain as we transition the economy. There is a problem with the long term approach...is that the every attempt will be made to stop such a transition in its tracks. Even if it means world war.

Raging Debate -> Tallest Skil Nov 20, 2016 6:40 AM ,
With modern travel and communications neither policy would work any longer but I'll take nationalism. Bottom line on hawks, the budget is busted out! Cant afford guns and butter anymore.

The empire building has made all but a few a lot poorer and the majority on earth more miserable. I am not naive, I know violence is sometimes necessary, but eternal offence as a strategy ensures enemies will find ways to focus on that top dog and beat you. Beside what I think or believe about foreign policy, it doesn't matter we are broke in affording empire. Period.

shovelhead -> Raging Debate Nov 20, 2016 8:45 AM ,
You guys crazy or sumpthin? You want full employment at good wages? All out War is your best bet. No messy "fixing" anything, just flip the switch and off you go. Draft all those troublemakers, turn them into cannon fodder, crank up the printing presses and happy days are here again.

Only those doped up hippies worry about nukes. Don't listen to them.

geno-econ -> Stan522 Nov 20, 2016 9:09 AM ,
Dear President Elect Donald Trump,

I hear you do not like yo read, but you must read this ZH post that neatly summarizes the NeoCon influence in Wash. which has run it's course with little tangible returns and many negative debt outcomes including loss of millions of lives . Time to change or face world condemnation worse than Germany received after WWII. America has always been regarded as a savior Nation until the Neocons took over Wash. for narrow corporate, DOD and foreign interests.

You have now heard all the arguments and must decide---compromise will only lead to more strife and possible economic collapse. This is the most important decision of your Presidency ---all other decisions and promises depend on this one.

Sincerely,

Mankind

chosen , Nov 19, 2016 10:43 PM ,
Fuck those stinking neo-con bastards. We are not going to be fighting Israel's wars again. This is the United States, not Israel, no matter how much jew money controls congress and no matter how much jew money controls the media. I hope Trump understands this very clearly.
Krungle -> chosen , Nov 19, 2016 11:00 PM ,
What is with you people? It is almost like Saudi Arabia doesn't exist and doesn't buy our politicians. It is almost as if Hillary Clinton never existed, nor her Saudi asset girlfriend (yes, married to an Israeli asset). Look, if you're going to blame the Jews every time, also blame the Wahhabis. And then you might want to also say fuck you to the British who are responsible for both nations.

The reason "Islamophobia" is even a thing is because Saudis paid Jewish SJWs to make it a thing, all while they pay WASPs like Bolton to go apeshit on non-Wahhabi Muslims.

Yes, before you even start, I'm aware of the claims that the Saudis are some sort of "crypto-Jews". Whatever. They need to be named regardless.

chosen -> Krungle Nov 19, 2016 11:20 PM ,
I don't recall the US fighting any wars that would directly benefit Saudi Arabia. Sure, the Saudis have a lot of money, but they are just a bunch of camel-fuckers who got rich because they are sitting on oil. They are still a bunch of dumb camel-fuckers. They don't have any nukes. I imagine the Saudis do nothing without the approval of the CIA Israel is a whole different story.
Falcon49 -> chosen Nov 20, 2016 5:37 AM ,
Several editions of the Iraq War? Your statement of what they are is moronic.
MEFOBILLS -> Krungle Nov 19, 2016 11:24 PM ,
Look, if you're going to blame the Jews every time, also blame the Wahhabis

Let's deconstruct this statement shall we:

What does America get, especially the Western Illuminist Bankers? All Saudi Petrodollars are to cycle into Western Capital Market, including Western Banks. Saudi's are to buy TBILLs with their petrodollars. All oil is to be priced in dollars, to then create demand for said dollars. Saudi's do not get to own a powerful financial center. (Can you name me a powerful Saudi bank?)

Our Jewish friends are not stupid and have been running the money game since forever.

The Coup for Saudi was actually a British MI6 project. If you trace MI6 back in time, it was an arm of Bank of England. BOE was brought into existence by Jewish Capital out of Amsterrrdaaaamn.

Wahabism/Salafism has been used since Reagan as a weapon for covert war. Saudi Petrodollars recycle back to the U.S. MIC as they pass through the CIA Hillary Clinton approved very large increases in weapons to the Saudi's especially as they funded the Clinton machine. Clintons are CFR agents, and that has a heavy jewish illuminst influence.

So- absolutely, the Salafists are on the side of our Illuminist friends.

The Shites, especially those of Iran/Persia - have had their "funds" absconded with and/or locked up.

So, which side of Islam has our Jewish Illuminist Cabal masters selected?

inosent -> MEFOBILLS Nov 19, 2016 11:58 PM ,
if you can post some reliable source material to support your post I'd like the see it. it generally tracks with my understanding but i could use some solid source material.
MEFOBILLS -> inosent Nov 20, 2016 12:26 AM ,
if you can post some reliable source material to support your post I'd like the see i

Google 1973 Saudi Kissinger deal:

For BOE the sources are more obscure. I personally have tracked them through time using population statistics and the like. I need to write a book, so I can quote myself.

BOE, Cromwell, the Orange Kings - the usurpation of England, are all related by way of Stock Market Capital in Amersterdamn. You can trace our Jewish friends arrival in Amersterdamn with their loss of East West Mechanism (silver gold exchange rates on the caravan routes). They lost it to the portuguese when Vasco de Gama discovered the Sourthern route.

The person who best cataloged these maneuvers was an american Alexander Del Mar - a great monetary historian. Look for his books.

This stuff will take you years of effort, and I applaud anyone who takes it on.

MEFOBILLS -> MEFOBILLS Nov 20, 2016 12:33 AM ,
For the circulation of dollars during Vietnam War, See Hudson's books... especially Super Imperialism

Dr. Bonzo •Nov 19, 2016 11:04 PM

The Republicans and Democrats who make up the foreign policy elite are laying the groundwork for a more assertive American foreign policy via a flurry of reports shaped by officials who are likely to play senior roles in a potential Clinton White House.

In what fucking dimension do people this fucking incompetent still have jobs, let alone credibility? Preposterous that they even still have jobs. The US has blown 5-6 trillion on losing one war after the other, has caused massive disorder and chaos in the Mideast to absolutely no one's benefit except Israel, or so Israel believes, and destabilized the entire region to the point that a WWIII could erupt at any moment.

Disaster and incompetence at this level can only be rewarded with sackings and terminations across the board. But no, not in the US. The public is more preooccupied with fictional racists and Donald's bawdy pussy talk.

A nation of fucking morons. I swear.

Victor999 -> Dr. Bonzo •Nov 20, 2016 4:09 AM

You answered your own question....Israel is the first priority of American foreign policy - always.

Chaos is precisely what Israel ordered in order to weaken central governments of the ME and destroy their military capability. WWIII? Doesn't matter in the least for Israel who will quietly stand aside and let the goyim fight it out, and then pick up the remains. We're all fucking morons for allowing the Jews to take over our money supply, our government, our intelligence services, our media - and hide themselves under the protective cloak of liberalism, political correctness and 'anti-Semitism' to shut down all rational debate and guard them against 'discriminatory' practices.

Neochrome •Nov 19, 2016 11:06 PM

First of all, McStain should STFU, we'll send a nurse to change his depends, no need to get all cranky.

Giuliani's foreign expertise comes down apparently to be so "brave" to kick down Serbs when they are down and to proclaim to their face that they have deserved to be bombarded.

Bolton is exactly opposite of everything that Trump campaigned on.

Again, Mitt doesn't look half-bad considering the alternatives...

Kagemusho •Nov 19, 2016 11:13 PM

The Elite always signal their intent through the Traditional Media...like this:
Empire or Not? A Quiet Debate Over U.S. Role
by Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post, 21 August 2001 https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/linkscopy/empireOrNot.html

You will find the bastards were planning for war and just needed their Pearl Harbor 2 in order to launch it. The same PNAC, Office of Special Plans NeoCon nutcases that want to get close to Trump were talking so glibly and blithely about 'empire'. I knew even then that this was the Elite signaling intent, and we all know what happened a few weeks later. This article should provide the benefit of hindsight when considering Cabinet postings. These NeoCon Israel-Firster assholes belong in prison for war crimes!

Salzburg1756 •Nov 19, 2016 11:16 PM

neocon = Israel-Firster

If Trump disempowers them, he will be a great/good president.

the.ghost.of.22wmr -> Salzburg1756 •Nov 20, 2016 12:18 AM

Trump sure sounds like an Israel-firster. How else could you interpret this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQgDgMGuDI0

dunce •Nov 19, 2016 11:17 PM

Trump has been provided an easy litmus test, who has ever advocated deposing Assad must be rejected, not because Assad is such a great guy, but because those who would replace him are radical islamists all. Russia could be cultivated as a friend and do more for world peace than the Arab world which has a fatal jihad disease.

The Kurds have served our shared interests well , but like all Muslims have no real interest in becoming westernized and will turn on us once they have achieved their goals.

UnschooledAustr... -> dunce •Nov 20, 2016 1:50 AM

You are wrong about the Kurds. Besides the Alevites the only sane people in this mess called the islamic world.

shovelhead -> dunce •Nov 20, 2016 9:35 AM

The Kurds are an ethnic identity, not a religious one. While most are of an Islamic rootstock, the are Kurds of various religious beliefs. The Kurds are fighting for an autonomous region where all religions can co-exist without one being dominant and forcing others to conform.

The Kurds problem is they are not physically separated by geography like Sicily, who falls under the Italian State but are still distinctly Sicilian in language and culture while the outside world sees them as Italian.

The Kurds problem is that someone in Europe drew a line on a map without consulting them whether they wanted their traditional homeland to be divided between three different countries.

Dabooda •Nov 20, 2016 12:37 AM

BERNIE SANDERS would be a genius choice for Secretary of State. A kick in the teeth to the Clintonistas and the neocons, an olive branch to liberals of good will, and a hilarious end to the American civil war that the MSM and Soros are trying to drum up. Bernie's foreign policy was the only thing I liked about him.

sinbad2 -> Dabooda •Nov 20, 2016 1:02 AM

What a fantastic idea, political genius.

UnschooledAustr... -> Dabooda •Nov 20, 2016 1:30 AM

I - non-US citizen living in the US - frequently argued that I would have loved seeing Bernie run as VP for Trump.

Not a lot of people who got it. You did.

BTW: Fuck Soros.

Big Ben •Nov 20, 2016 12:51 AM

The presidency is more of a ceremonial position now. If the deep state doesn't like the president, it can simply fire him, as it did with Kennedy (and arguably Nixon). It can also make his life a living hell or force a foreign policy showdown as it did with Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs.

Incidentally, I've been looking at some websites that claim that the 911 attacks could not have happened the way the government claimed. There were actually THREE buildings that collapsed: the North and South Towers and WTC7 which was never hit by an airplane. The government claims it collapsed due to fires, but a whole bunch of architects and structural engineers say that isn't possible. And if you look at the video of the collapse, it looks like a perfect controlled demolition. There have been a number of large fires in steel framed skyscrapers and none of them has caused a collapse. And even if a fire somehow managed to produce a collapse, it would create a messy uneven collapse where the parts with the hottest fires collapse first.

Controlled demolitions take weeks of planning and preparation. So the implication is that someone planned the WTC7 collapse weeks in advance. WTC7 held a number of offices, including offices of the SEC. Many files were destroyed.

Also Steven Jones, a retired BYU physics professor and other scientists have found particles of thermite in the dust from the North and South tower collapses. Thermite is an incendiary used to cut steel. This suggests that the collapse of the the North and South Towers was also caused by something other than an airplane collision.

I have seen claims that GW Bush's younger brother was a high executive in the company that handled WTC security.

So were the 9/11 attacks a preplanned event designed to create support for the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq?

.... ... ...

[Mar 02, 2019] Donald Trumps New York Times Interview Full Transcript

Just compare this with Trump policies...
Notable quotes:
"... I don't think we should be a nation builder. ..."
"... I had to listen to [Senator] Lindsey Graham, who, give me a break. I had to listen to Lindsey Graham talk about, you know, attacking Syria and attacking, you know, and it's like you're now attacking Russia, you're attacking Iran, you're attacking. And what are we getting? We're getting - and what are we getting? ..."
"... I'd say this in front of thousands of people, wouldn't it be nice to actually report what they said, wouldn't it be nice if we actually got along with Russia, ..."
Nov 24, 2016 | www.nytimes.com

FRIEDMAN: What do you see as America's role in the world? Do you believe that the role

TRUMP: That's such a big question.

FRIEDMAN: The role that we played for 50 years as kind of the global balancer, paying more for things because they were in our ultimate interest, one hears from you, I sense, is really shrinking that role.

TRUMP: I don't think we should be a nation builder. I think we've tried that. I happen to think that going into Iraq was perhaps I mean you could say maybe we could have settled the civil war, O.K.? I think going into Iraq was one of the great mistakes in the history of our country. I think getting out of it - I think we got out of it wrong, then lots of bad things happened, including the formation of ISIS. We could have gotten out of it differently.

FRIEDMAN: NATO, Russia?

TRUMP: I think going in was a terrible, terrible mistake. Syria, we have to solve that problem because we are going to just keep fighting, fighting forever. I have a different view on Syria than everybody else. Well, not everybody else, but then a lot of people.

I had to listen to [Senator] Lindsey Graham, who, give me a break. I had to listen to Lindsey Graham talk about, you know, attacking Syria and attacking, you know, and it's like you're now attacking Russia, you're attacking Iran, you're attacking. And what are we getting? We're getting - and what are we getting?

And I have some very definitive, I have some very strong ideas on Syria. I think what's happened is a horrible, horrible thing. To look at the deaths, and I'm not just talking deaths on our side, which are horrible, but the deaths - I mean you look at these cities, Arthur, where they're totally, they're rubble, massive areas, and they say two people were injured. No, thousands of people have died. O.K. And I think it's a shame. And ideally we can get - do something with Syria. I spoke to Putin, as you know, he called me, essentially

UNKNOWN: How do you see that relationship?

TRUMP: Essentially everybody called me, all of the major leaders, and most of them I've spoken to.

FRIEDMAN: Will you have a reset with Russia?

TRUMP: I wouldn't use that term after what happened, you know, previously. I think - I would love to be able to get along with Russia and I think they'd like to be able to get along with us. It's in our mutual interest. And I don't go in with any preconceived notion, but I will tell you, I would say - when they used to say, during the campaign, Donald Trump loves Putin, Putin loves Donald Trump, I said, huh, wouldn't it be nice, I'd say this in front of thousands of people, wouldn't it be nice to actually report what they said, wouldn't it be nice if we actually got along with Russia, wouldn't it be nice if we went after ISIS together, which is, by the way, aside from being dangerous, it's very expensive, and ISIS shouldn't have been even allowed to form, and the people will stand up and give me a massive hand. You know they thought it was bad that I was getting along with Putin or that I believe strongly if we can get along with Russia that's a positive thing. It is a great thing that we can get along with not only Russia but that we get along with other countries.

JOSEPH KAHN, managing editor: On Syria, would you mind, you said you have a very strong idea about what to do with the Syria conflict, can you describe that for us?

TRUMP: I can only say this: We have to end that craziness that's going on in Syria. One of the things that was told to me - can I say this off the record, or is everything on the record?

[Mar 02, 2019] My impression is that Donald Trump might run the government as a business, choosing people as cabinet secretaries on the basis of past experience and on what they would bring to the position, as opposed to choosing cabinet secretaries because they have been loyal yes-people

Notable quotes:
"... News that Trump might work 4 days a week as President, or at least work the same work week as Congress does, would suggest he plans on running a lean government. ..."
"... A counter-argument that could be put forward is that the Presidency doesn't (and shouldn't) define the office-holder's life and the Clintons themselves are an example of what can happen if the Presidency consumes their lives ..."
"... If it's Trump's intention to reform the political culture in Washington and make it more accountable to the public, and bring the Presidency closer to the public, then defining the maximum limits of the position on his time and sticking to them, perhaps through delegating roles and functions to his cabinet secretaries, is one path to reform. ..."
Nov 16, 2016 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Jen, November 15, 2016 at 3:32 pm

My impression is that Donald Trump is planning or at least thinking of running the government as a business, choosing people as cabinet secretaries on the basis of past experience and on what they would bring to the position, as opposed to choosing cabinet secretaries because they have been loyal yes-people (as Hillary Clinton would have done)

News that Trump might work 4 days a week as President, or at least work the same work week as Congress does, would suggest he plans on running a lean government. At present the prevailing attitude among Washington insiders and the corporate media is that Trump is not really that interested in being President and isn't committed to the job 24/7.

A counter-argument that could be put forward is that the Presidency doesn't (and shouldn't) define the office-holder's life and the Clintons themselves are an example of what can happen if the Presidency consumes their lives: it can damage the individuals and in Hillary Clinton's case, cut her off so much from ordinary people that it disqualifies her from becoming President herself.

If it's Trump's intention to reform the political culture in Washington and make it more accountable to the public, and bring the Presidency closer to the public, then defining the maximum limits of the position on his time and sticking to them, perhaps through delegating roles and functions to his cabinet secretaries, is one path to reform.

[Mar 02, 2019] Ron Paul understood that neocons will sneak into Trump administration

Nov 12, 2016 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

Donald Trump's success or failure as the next US president will largely depend on his ability to keep his independence from the "shadow government" and elite structures that shaped the policies of previous administrations, former presidential candidate Ron Paul told RT.
[...]

" Unfortunately, there has been several neoconservatives that are getting closer to Trump. And if gets his advice from them then I do not think that is a good sign, " Paul told the host of RT's Crosstalk show Peter Lavelle.

The retired Congressman said that people voted for Trump because he stood against the deep corruption in the establishment, that was further exposed during the campaign by WikiLeaks, and because of his disapproval of meddling in the wider Middle East.

" During the campaign, he did talk a little bit about backing off and being less confrontational to Russia and I like that. He criticized some the wars in the Middle East at the same time. He believes we should accelerate the war against ISIS and terrorism, " Paul noted.

[...]

" But quite frankly there is an outside source which we refer to as the 'deep state' or the 'shadow government'. There is a lot of influence by people which are actually more powerful than our government itself, our president, " the congressman said.

" Yes, Trump is his own guy, more so than most of those who have ever been in before. We hope he can maintain an independence and go in the right direction. But I fear the fact that there is so much that can be done secretly, out of control of our apparent government and out of the view of so many citizens, " he added.
More:
https://www.rt.com/usa/366404-trump-ron-paul-crosstalk/

[Mar 02, 2019] Soros And Liberal Mega-Donors Plot For War With Donald Trump

Soros wasted his money. Trump proved to be Bush III
Notable quotes:
"... A requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated ..."
"... A five year ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service ..."
"... A lifetime ban on the White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government ..."
"... A complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections ..."
"... The billionaire committed $25 million to boosting the Clinton campaign and other Democratic candidates and causes in 2016. ..."
Nov 15, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
While focusing on preserving ObamaCare and other achievements of the Obama administration that are threatened by a Donald Trump presidency, the DA's agenda includes panels on rethinking polling and the left's approach to winning the working-class vote. The group will also stress funneling cash into state legislative policy initiatives and races where Republicans took over last week.

President-elect Donald Trump has said his first 100 days will be dedicated to restoring "honesty, accountability and change to Washington" through the following seven steps:

  1. A Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress
  2. A hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health)
  3. A requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated
  4. A five year ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service
  5. A lifetime ban on the White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government
  6. A complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections
  7. Cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America's water and environmental infrastructure

Billionaire George Soros immediately had fingers of blame pointing at him for the anti-Trump riots and protests that swept the nation since Nov. 9, as his group MoveOn.org has organized most of them .

The billionaire committed $25 million to boosting the Clinton campaign and other Democratic candidates and causes in 2016.

[Mar 02, 2019] Long Live the Establishment! Washington insiders easily captureed Trump and dictated all his positions, policies and decisions

Ran Paul was one of the few who understood how quickly Trump will betray his voters: "There was a time, a very brief time under the Articles of Confederation, when Americans recognized the evils of the establishment and avoided instituting one." But it looks like he shares most of illution about Trump ability to changethings to the better: " The Obama establishment is dead. The Democratic establishment is dead, at least for 4 years. "
Notable quotes:
"... Washington insiders attempt to capture Trump and influence his positions, policies and decisions. ..."
"... The Obama establishment is dead. The Democratic establishment is dead, at least for 4 years. There was a time, a very brief time under the Articles of Confederation, when Americans recognized the evils of the establishment and avoided instituting one. ..."
Nov 13, 2016 | ronpaulinstitute.org

What happens next in Washington? Trump fills out his administration.

At the same time, Washington insiders attempt to capture Trump and influence his positions, policies and decisions. The presidency is an institution, not a man, not a president. The presidency is a network of enormous power with Trump now at its center. Washington insiders who live and breathe politics are now in a race for positions of power and influence. They hanker and vie for appointments. Trump must make appointments. He cannot operate alone. He must delegate power to make decisions. He cannot monitor all information pertinent to every issue in which the government has a hand.

The presidency is not 100 percent centralized. Decision-making power is allocated to levels below the president himself and to levels surrounding him. It also lies outside the presidency in Congress. Trump has his ideas and desires for actions, but their realization depends on the people he appoints. He loses control and locks himself in with every appointment that he makes. People around him want his power and want to influence him. They have a heavy influence on what he hears, whom he sees, the options presented to him, and the evaluations of competing personnel. Trump will likely form a very small team of offshoots of himself, people whom he trusts implicitly, in order to extend his capacity to choose people who will adhere to and execute his agenda.

Power in Washington is not simply the apparatus of administering the presidency that will take up headlines for the next few months. After the U.S. Treasury robs the tax-paying Americans, new robbers (the Lobby) appear to rob the Treasury using every device they can get away with. There is a second contingent, the power-seekers. Those who covet the exercise of power unceasingly work toward their own narrow aims. As long as Washington remains the place that concentrates unbelievably large amounts of money and powers, it will remain the swamp that Trump has promised to drain but won't. He cannot drain it, not without destroying Washington's power and he cannot accomplish that, nor does he even hint that he wants to accomplish that. His stated aims are the redirection of money and powers, not their elimination for the sake of a greater justice, a greater right, and a truly greater people and country.

The presidency is an establishment and Washington is another. By being elected, Trump struck a blow at the members of the establishment who will be packing their bags while weeping over their losses (see here and here .)

But elections do not strike the roots of the presidency, the establishment or Washington. Neither will demonstrations against Trump.

The Obama establishment is dead. The Democratic establishment is dead, at least for 4 years. There was a time, a very brief time under the Articles of Confederation, when Americans recognized the evils of the establishment and avoided instituting one.

This gave way almost immediately (in 1787) to the constitutional seed that planted the enormous tree that now cuts out the sun of justice from American lives. A domestic war failed to uproot that tree. Long live the establishment, the Union, the American state, and may they be possessed of immense powers over our lives - these became the social and political reality. Trump isn't going to change it. He's a president administering a presidency. He's at the top of the heap. His credo is still "Long Live the Establishment!"

Reprinted with permission from LewRockwell.com .

[Mar 02, 2019] Watters Words The swamp strikes back

Pretty interesting video... no we know that the Swamp consumed Flatfooted Donald rather quickly
Notable quotes:
"... Pete Hegseth and Jesse Watters discuss the bitter establishment's desperation to manufacture a Trump scandal ..."
"... Most people don't know that after the 134 men died on the Forrestal fire in 1967 McCain was the ONLY person helicoptered off the ship. It was done for his own safety as many on the ship blamed him for causing the fire by "wet" starting his jet causing a plume of fire to shoot out his plane's exhaust and into the plane behind McCain causing the ordnance to cook off on that jet. McCain then panicked and dropped his own bombs onto the deck making matters much worse. McCain should have ended his career in jail. Oh, wait, he kinda did, maybe karma justice? ..."
"... FakeStream Media ..."
"... The very Fake Media has met their match ..."
Feb 18, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Pete Hegseth and Jesse Watters discuss the bitter establishment's desperation to manufacture a Trump scandal

Louis John 2 hours ago

@hexencoff

McCain is a trouble maker. supporter of the terrorist and warmonger Iraq Libya Syria he is behind all the trouble scumbag

Gary M 3 hours ago
McCain is a globalist
belaghoulashi 2 hours ago
(edited) McCain has always been full of horseshit. And he has always relied on people calling him a hero to get away with it. That schtick is old, the man is a monumental failure for this country, and he needs to have his sorry butt kicked.

ryvr madduck 1 hour ago

+belaghoulashi

Most people don't know that after the 134 men died on the Forrestal fire in 1967 McCain was the ONLY person helicoptered off the ship. It was done for his own safety as many on the ship blamed him for causing the fire by "wet" starting his jet causing a plume of fire to shoot out his plane's exhaust and into the plane behind McCain causing the ordnance to cook off on that jet. McCain then panicked and dropped his own bombs onto the deck making matters much worse. McCain should have ended his career in jail. Oh, wait, he kinda did, maybe karma justice?

Michael Cambo 4 hours ago
When you start to drain the swamp, the swamp creatures start to show.
Alexus Highfield 3 hours ago
@Michael Cambo

don't they...they do say shit floats.

Geoffry Allan 41 minutes ago

@Michael Cambo - Trump has not drained the swamp he has surrounded himself with billionaires in his cabinet who don't give a damn about the working middle class who struggle e eryday to make a living - explain to me how he is draining the swamp

tim sparks 3 hours ago
Trump is trying so fucking hard to do a good job for us.
Integrity Truth-seeker 2 hours ago
@tim sparks

He is not trying... HE IS DOING IT... Like A Boss. Thank God Mark Taylor Prophecies 2017 the best is yet to come

Jodi Boin 3 hours ago
McCain is a traitor and is bought and paid for by Soros.
Grant Davidson 4 hours ago
Love him or hate him. The guy is a frikkin Genius...
Patrick Reagan 4 hours ago
FakeStream Media
Michael Cambo 4 hours ago
@Patrick Reagan

Very FakeStream Media

aspengold5 4 hours ago
I am so disappointed in McCain.
orlando pablo 4 hours ago
my 401k is keep on going up....thank u mr trump....
Dumbass Libtard 3 hours ago
McCain is not a Republican. He is a loser. Yuge difference.1
Mitchel Colvin 3 hours ago
Shut up McCain! I can't stand this clown anymore! Unfortunately, Arizona re-elected him for six more years!
robert barham 4 hours ago
The very Fake Media has met their match
H My ways of thinking! 3 hours ago
Why does everyone feel that if they don't kiss McCain's ass, they are being un American? Mccain has sold out to George Soros. He is a piece of shit who is guilty of no less than treason! Look up the definition for treason if you're in doubt!
Sam Nardo 3 hours ago
(edited) Mc Cain and Graham are two of the best democrats in the GOP. They are called RINOS
kazzicup 3 hours ago
We love and support our President Donald Trump. The media is so dishonest. CNN = Criminal News Network.

Geoffry Allan 34 minutes ago

@kazzicup - yeah if you get rid of the media Trump becomes a dictator - is that what you want he will censor everything and tell you what he wants - Trump is still president and he is doing his job and fulfilling his promises even though the media is there and reporting - so what's the problem - I don't want a got damn dictator running this country - if you don't like the media then just listen to Trump - 2nd amendment free speech and the right to bear arms we have to respect it even if we may disagree

[Mar 02, 2019] Russia would back down in face of military force, says Donald Trump aide in line for foreign policy job

Trump gangsterism revealed itself very early, just after elections. People just did not want to believe that this is the case.
Nov 15, 2016 | telegraph.co.uk
The United States should threaten Russia with military force in order to contain the Kremlin's growing power on the international stage, a top candidate to become Donald Trump's Secretary of State has said.

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York Mayor who is believed to be the front runner to head Mr Trump's State Department, made the comments at a Washington event sponsored by the Wall Street Journal .

In quotes | The Trump - Putin relationship Putin on Trump:

  • "He is a very flamboyant man, very talented, no doubt about that He is an absolute leader of the presidential race, as we see it today. He says that he wants to move to another level of relations, to a deeper level of relations with Russia. How can we not welcome that? Of course we welcome it." - December 2015

Trump on Putin:
  • "It is always a great honour to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond." - December 2015
  • "I think I would just get along very well with Putin. I just think so. People say what do you mean? I just think we would." - July 2015
  • "I have no relationship with [Putin] other than he called me a genius. He said Donald Trump is a genius and he is going to be the leader of the party and he's going to be the leader of the world or something. He said some good stuff about me I think I'd have a good relationship with Putin, who knows." - February 2016
  • "I have nothing to do with Putin, I have never spoken to him, I don't know anything about him, other than he will respect me." - July 2016
  • "I would treat Vladimir Putin firmly, but there's nothing I can think of that I'd rather do than have Russia friendly as opposed to how they are right now so that we can go and knock out Isis together with other people. Wouldn't it be nice if we actually got along?" - July 2016
  • "The man has very strong control over a country. It's a very different system and I don't happen to like the system, but certainly, in that system, he's been a leader." - September 2016
  • "Well I think when [Putin] called me brilliant, I'll take the compliment, okay?" - September 2016

[Mar 02, 2019] Ron Paul to Trump: Dont Listen to Neocons! by Adam Dick

Ron Paul was right in 2016 to express reservations about Trump forign policy.
Notable quotes:
"... Paul started off the interview saying that he is keeping his "fingers crossed" regarding Trump's potential foreign policy actions. ..."
"... Trump has presented "vague" foreign policy positions overall. Paul also comments that a good indication of how Trump will act on foreign policy issues will be provided by looking at who Trump appoints to positions in the executive branch and from whom Trump receives advice. ..."
"... Regarding Trump's foreign policy advisors and potential appointees, Paul expresses in the interview reason for concern. Paul states: "Unfortunately, there have been several neoconservatives that are getting closer to Trump, and, if he gets his advice from them, then I don't think that is a good sign." ..."
"... Even if Trump wants to pursue a significantly more noninterventionist course than his recent predecessors in the presidency, Paul warns that the entrenched "deep state" that favors foreign intervention and war, special interests that have "sinister motivation for these wars," and media propaganda that "builds up the war fever" can ..."
Nov 11, 2016 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Ron Paul, known for his promotion of the United States following a noninterventionist foreign policy, presented Thursday his take on the prospects of Donald Trump's foreign policy as president. Paul set out his analysis in an extensive interview with host Peter Lavelle at RT.

Paul started off the interview saying that he is keeping his "fingers crossed" regarding Trump's potential foreign policy actions. Paul says he views favorably Trump's comments in the presidential election about "being less confrontational with Russia" and criticizing some of the US wars in the Middle East. Paul, though, notes that Trump has presented "vague" foreign policy positions overall. Paul also comments that a good indication of how Trump will act on foreign policy issues will be provided by looking at who Trump appoints to positions in the executive branch and from whom Trump receives advice.

Regarding Trump's foreign policy advisors and potential appointees, Paul expresses in the interview reason for concern. Paul states: "Unfortunately, there have been several neoconservatives that are getting closer to Trump, and, if he gets his advice from them, then I don't think that is a good sign."

Even if Trump wants to pursue a significantly more noninterventionist course than his recent predecessors in the presidency, Paul warns that the entrenched "deep state" that favors foreign intervention and war, special interests that have "sinister motivation for these wars," and media propaganda that "builds up the war fever" can

[Mar 02, 2019] Secretary of State pick is the biggest test case to see whether Trump, like Obama before him, is going to forget about his populist base and take the carrot Wall Street is offering him

And Trump failed this test repeatedly
Notable quotes:
"... One thing not mentioned yet, is Trump getting slammed by his populist base for his Secretary of State picks, which seem to come down to Romney and Giuliani. Romney is the worst of Wall Street, a complete tool of the neoliberal program, and Giuliani has a Hillary Clinton-like record on bloated speaking fees and pay-to-play deals with his law firm, Giuliani Partners. ..."
"... That's the biggest test case to see whether Trump, like Obama before him, is going to forget about his populist base and take the carrot Wall Street is offering him. ..."
"... If Trump really wanted to shake things up, he could pick Tulsi Gabbard for Secretary of State, that would be a clever move, far better than Giuliani or Romney. ..."
www.moonofalabama.org

nonsensefactory | Nov 29, 2016 10:59:10 PM | 75

One thing not mentioned yet, is Trump getting slammed by his populist base for his Secretary of State picks, which seem to come down to Romney and Giuliani. Romney is the worst of Wall Street, a complete tool of the neoliberal program, and Giuliani has a Hillary Clinton-like record on bloated speaking fees and pay-to-play deals with his law firm, Giuliani Partners. Either one of those clowns as Secretary of State would be a complete betrayal of everything Trump said he stood for on foreign policy. Romney however is drawing howls of protest from Rust Belt Trump supporters, because he's so pro-NAFTA, pro-TPP:
https://www.thenation.com/article/more-nafta-anyone-romney-positions-free-trade-champion/

That's the biggest test case to see whether Trump, like Obama before him, is going to forget about his populist base and take the carrot Wall Street is offering him. Another big one is whether John Bolton, neocon war pig just like Clinton pals Victoria Nuland and Robert Kagan, ends up with a big foreign policy role. Forget about cooperation with Russia on ISIS in that case. So, those are some serious issues that Trump might want to distract his base from, but they're the major issues that will determine what kind of foreign policy, economic and military, Trump will really pursue.

As far as Jill Stein, what the hell is she doing? The biggest Green Party issue right now should be helping block the Dakota Accesss Pipeline debacle, a consortium of short-sighted interests aiming at exporting Bakken crude overseas, including Warren Buffett, billionaire Democratic supporter, whose in $6 billion to DAPL via Phillips 66, and Kelcy Warren, billionaire Republican supported, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, another DAPL partner.

Instead she's playing some dumb political game, totally ignoring the one issue any real "Green Party" would be focusing on right now.

nonsensefactory | Nov 29, 2016 11:04:38 PM | 77

P.S. If Trump really wanted to shake things up, he could pick Tulsi Gabbard for Secretary of State, that would be a clever move, far better than Giuliani or Romney.

Here's something on that:
http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/the-administration/307527-tulsi-gabbard-is-the-pick-for-secretary-of-state-not
That would be a real jack move, slapping both the Democratic and Republican establishments, wouldn't it?

[Mar 02, 2019] Watters Words The swamp strikes back

Pretty interesting video... no we know that the Swamp consumed Flatfooted Donald rather quickly
Notable quotes:
"... Pete Hegseth and Jesse Watters discuss the bitter establishment's desperation to manufacture a Trump scandal ..."
"... Most people don't know that after the 134 men died on the Forrestal fire in 1967 McCain was the ONLY person helicoptered off the ship. It was done for his own safety as many on the ship blamed him for causing the fire by "wet" starting his jet causing a plume of fire to shoot out his plane's exhaust and into the plane behind McCain causing the ordnance to cook off on that jet. McCain then panicked and dropped his own bombs onto the deck making matters much worse. McCain should have ended his career in jail. Oh, wait, he kinda did, maybe karma justice? ..."
"... FakeStream Media ..."
"... The very Fake Media has met their match ..."
Feb 18, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Pete Hegseth and Jesse Watters discuss the bitter establishment's desperation to manufacture a Trump scandal

Louis John 2 hours ago

@hexencoff

McCain is a trouble maker. supporter of the terrorist and warmonger Iraq Libya Syria he is behind all the trouble scumbag

Gary M 3 hours ago
McCain is a globalist
belaghoulashi 2 hours ago
(edited) McCain has always been full of horseshit. And he has always relied on people calling him a hero to get away with it. That schtick is old, the man is a monumental failure for this country, and he needs to have his sorry butt kicked.

ryvr madduck 1 hour ago

+belaghoulashi

Most people don't know that after the 134 men died on the Forrestal fire in 1967 McCain was the ONLY person helicoptered off the ship. It was done for his own safety as many on the ship blamed him for causing the fire by "wet" starting his jet causing a plume of fire to shoot out his plane's exhaust and into the plane behind McCain causing the ordnance to cook off on that jet. McCain then panicked and dropped his own bombs onto the deck making matters much worse. McCain should have ended his career in jail. Oh, wait, he kinda did, maybe karma justice?

Michael Cambo 4 hours ago
When you start to drain the swamp, the swamp creatures start to show.
Alexus Highfield 3 hours ago
@Michael Cambo

don't they...they do say shit floats.

Geoffry Allan 41 minutes ago

@Michael Cambo - Trump has not drained the swamp he has surrounded himself with billionaires in his cabinet who don't give a damn about the working middle class who struggle e eryday to make a living - explain to me how he is draining the swamp

tim sparks 3 hours ago
Trump is trying so fucking hard to do a good job for us.
Integrity Truth-seeker 2 hours ago
@tim sparks

He is not trying... HE IS DOING IT... Like A Boss. Thank God Mark Taylor Prophecies 2017 the best is yet to come

Jodi Boin 3 hours ago
McCain is a traitor and is bought and paid for by Soros.
Grant Davidson 4 hours ago
Love him or hate him. The guy is a frikkin Genius...
Patrick Reagan 4 hours ago
FakeStream Media
Michael Cambo 4 hours ago
@Patrick Reagan

Very FakeStream Media

aspengold5 4 hours ago
I am so disappointed in McCain.
orlando pablo 4 hours ago
my 401k is keep on going up....thank u mr trump....
Dumbass Libtard 3 hours ago
McCain is not a Republican. He is a loser. Yuge difference.1
Mitchel Colvin 3 hours ago
Shut up McCain! I can't stand this clown anymore! Unfortunately, Arizona re-elected him for six more years!
robert barham 4 hours ago
The very Fake Media has met their match
H My ways of thinking! 3 hours ago
Why does everyone feel that if they don't kiss McCain's ass, they are being un American? Mccain has sold out to George Soros. He is a piece of shit who is guilty of no less than treason! Look up the definition for treason if you're in doubt!
Sam Nardo 3 hours ago
(edited) Mc Cain and Graham are two of the best democrats in the GOP. They are called RINOS
kazzicup 3 hours ago
We love and support our President Donald Trump. The media is so dishonest. CNN = Criminal News Network.

Geoffry Allan 34 minutes ago

@kazzicup - yeah if you get rid of the media Trump becomes a dictator - is that what you want he will censor everything and tell you what he wants - Trump is still president and he is doing his job and fulfilling his promises even though the media is there and reporting - so what's the problem - I don't want a got damn dictator running this country - if you don't like the media then just listen to Trump - 2nd amendment free speech and the right to bear arms we have to respect it even if we may disagree

[Mar 02, 2019] Pulling a J. Edgar Hoover on Trump

So the coup against the President was exposed already in Jan 2017 and Trump did not take any measures to prevent the appointment of the Special Prosecutor.
Notable quotes:
"... The stories about Russian intelligence supposedly filming Trump in a high-end Moscow hotel with prostitutes have been circulating around Washington for months. I was briefed about them by a Hillary Clinton associate who was clearly hopeful that the accusations would be released before the election and thus further damage Trump's chances. But the alleged video never seemed to surface and the claims had all the earmarks of a campaign dirty trick. ..."
"... However, now the tales of illicit frolic have been elevated to another level. They have been inserted into an official U.S. intelligence report, the details of which were leaked first to CNN and then to other mainstream U.S. news media outlets. ..."
"... In American history, legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was infamous for using his agency to develop negative information on a political figure and then letting the person know that the FBI had the dirt and certainly would not want it to become public – if only the person would do what the FBI wanted, whether that was to reappoint Hoover to another term or to boost the FBI's budget or – in the infamous case of civil rights leader Martin Luther King – perhaps to commit suicide. ..."
"... Still, perhaps the more troubling issue is whether the U.S. intelligence community has entered a new phase of politicization in which its leadership feels that it has the responsibility to weed out "unfit" contenders for the presidency. During the general election campaign, a well-placed intelligence source told me that the intelligence community disdained both Clinton and Trump and hoped to discredit both of them with the hope that a more "acceptable" person could move into the White House for the next four years. ..."
"... Then, after the election, President Obama's CIA began leaking allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin had orchestrated the hacking of Democratic emails and provided them to WikiLeaks to reveal how the DNC undermined Sen. Bernie Sanders's campaign and what Clinton had told Wall Street bigwigs in paid speeches that she had sought to keep secret from the American people. ..."
"... Now, we are seeing what looks like a new phase in this "stop (or damage) Trump" strategy, the inclusion of anti-Trump dirt in an official intelligence report that was then leaked to the major media. ..."
"... America's Stolen Narrative, ..."
"... There are moments in history when it seems almost the entire population of a nation has been struck with deafness and blindess. This maybe one such moment for the United States as a political elite begins the process of tearing the Union apart. ..."
"... The Craft of Intelligence, by Allen Dulles, (1965, if memory serves; alas, that book's text seems unavailable on the internet) ..."
"... At Kent State the National Guard was quite willing to shoot "their own people". The increasingly militarized Police of the US have been getting lots of practice shooting at "their own people". ..."
"... I'm wondering if we are seeing the beginnings of a President Pence. ..."
"... Why are you in the US so keen on destroying any credibility of your government? ..."
Jan 12, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Exclusive: President-elect Trump is fending off a U.S. intelligence leak of unproven allegations that he cavorted with Russian prostitutes, but the darker story might be the CIA's intervention in U.S. politics, reports Robert Parry.

The decision by the U.S. intelligence community to include in an official report some unverified and salacious accusations against President-elect Donald Trump resembles a tactic out of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's playbook on government-style blackmail: I have some very derogatory information about you that I'd sure hate to see end up in the press.

Legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover

In this case, as leaders of the U.S. intelligence community were pressing Trump to accept their assessment that the Russian government had tried to bolster Trump's campaign by stealing and leaking actual emails harmful to Hillary Clinton's campaign, Trump was confronted with this classified "appendix" describing claims about him cavorting with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room.

Supposedly, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan included the unproven allegations in the report under the rationale that the Russian government might have videotaped Trump's misbehavior and thus could use it to blackmail him. But the U.S. intelligence community also had reasons to want to threaten Trump who has been critical of its performance and who has expressed doubts about its analysis of the Russian "hacking."

After the briefing last Friday, Trump and his incoming administration did shift their position, accepting the intelligence community's assessment that the Russian government hacked the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton's campaign chief John Podesta. But I'm told Trump saw no evidence that Russia then leaked the material to WikiLeaks and has avoided making that concession.

Still, Trump's change in tone was noted by the mainstream media and was treated as an admission that he was abandoning his earlier skepticism. In other words, he was finally getting onboard the intelligence community's Russia-did-it bandwagon. Now, however, we know that Trump simultaneously had been confronted with the possibility that the unproven stories about him engaging in unorthodox sex acts with prostitutes could be released, embarrassing him barely a week before his inauguration.

The classified report, with the explosive appendix, was also given to President Obama and the so-called "Gang of Eight," bipartisan senior members of Congress responsible for oversight of the intelligence community, which increased chances that the Trump accusations would be leaked to the press, which indeed did happen.

Circulating Rumors

The stories about Russian intelligence supposedly filming Trump in a high-end Moscow hotel with prostitutes have been circulating around Washington for months. I was briefed about them by a Hillary Clinton associate who was clearly hopeful that the accusations would be released before the election and thus further damage Trump's chances. But the alleged video never seemed to surface and the claims had all the earmarks of a campaign dirty trick.

However, now the tales of illicit frolic have been elevated to another level. They have been inserted into an official U.S. intelligence report, the details of which were leaked first to CNN and then to other mainstream U.S. news media outlets.

Trump has denounced the story as "fake news" and it is certainly true that the juicy details – reportedly assembled by a former British MI-6 spy named Christopher Steele – have yet to check out. But the placement of the rumors in a U.S. government document gave the mainstream media an excuse to publicize the material.

It's also allowed the media to again trot out the Russian word "kompromat" as if the Russians invented the game of assembling derogatory information about someone and then using it to discredit or blackmail the person.

In American history, legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was infamous for using his agency to develop negative information on a political figure and then letting the person know that the FBI had the dirt and certainly would not want it to become public – if only the person would do what the FBI wanted, whether that was to reappoint Hoover to another term or to boost the FBI's budget or – in the infamous case of civil rights leader Martin Luther King – perhaps to commit suicide.

However, in this case, it is not even known whether the Russians have any dirt on Trump. It could just be rumors concocted in the middle of a hard-fought campaign, first among Republicans battling Trump for the nomination (this opposition research was reportedly initiated by backers of Sen. Marco Rubio in the GOP race) before being picked up by Clinton supporters for use in the general election.

Still, perhaps the more troubling issue is whether the U.S. intelligence community has entered a new phase of politicization in which its leadership feels that it has the responsibility to weed out "unfit" contenders for the presidency. During the general election campaign, a well-placed intelligence source told me that the intelligence community disdained both Clinton and Trump and hoped to discredit both of them with the hope that a more "acceptable" person could move into the White House for the next four years.

Hurting Both Candidates

Though I was skeptical of that information, it did turn out that FBI Director James Comey, one of the top officials in the intelligence community, badly damaged Clinton's campaign by deeming her handling of her emails as Secretary of State "extremely careless" but deciding not to prosecute her – and then in the last week of the campaign briefly reopening and then re-closing the investigation.

Then, after the election, President Obama's CIA began leaking allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin had orchestrated the hacking of Democratic emails and provided them to WikiLeaks to reveal how the DNC undermined Sen. Bernie Sanders's campaign and what Clinton had told Wall Street bigwigs in paid speeches that she had sought to keep secret from the American people.

The intelligence community's assessment set the stage for what could have been a revolt by the Electoral College in which enough Trump delegates could have refused to vote for him to send the election into the House of Representatives, where the states would choose the President from one of the top three vote-getters in the Electoral College. The third-place finisher turned out to be former Secretary of State Colin Powell who got four votes from Clinton delegates in Washington State. But the Electoral College ploy failed when Trump's delegates proved overwhelmingly faithful to the GOP candidate.

Now, we are seeing what looks like a new phase in this "stop (or damage) Trump" strategy, the inclusion of anti-Trump dirt in an official intelligence report that was then leaked to the major media.

Whether this move was meant to soften up Trump or whether the intelligence community genuinely thought that the accusations might be true and deserved inclusion in a report on alleged Russian interference in U.S. politics or whether it was some combination of the two, we are witnessing a historic moment when the U.S. intelligence community has deployed its extraordinary powers within the domain of U.S. politics. J. Edgar Hoover would be proud.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).

Bryan Hemming , January 12, 2017 at 11:06 am

Excuse the mixed metaphors, but this looks like another entirely predictable nail in the coffin of US democracy, as the chickens come home to roost. For some time it has been quite obvious the CIA has been pulling strings from behind the scenes to make whatever puppet occupies the White House dance to its tune. But it won't end there. Only when the CIA climbs completely out of the coffin can the epic finale between the CIA, FBI and NSA begin.

The big question is as to how long the people of states like Texas and Florida stand by in the wings as the theater catches fire.

There are moments in history when it seems almost the entire population of a nation has been struck with deafness and blindess. This maybe one such moment for the United States as a political elite begins the process of tearing the Union apart.

Jean-David , January 12, 2017 at 11:22 am

Don't mix your metaphors before they are hatched. ;-) Reply

Bill Bodden , January 12, 2017 at 2:05 pm

There are moments in history when it seems almost the entire population of a nation has been struck with deafness and blindess. This maybe one such moment for the United States as a political elite begins the process of tearing the Union apart.

The United States has been accused of decadence for decades by Americans and non-Americans without much concern being shown by anyone not in a certain minority. The great tragedy of a decadent way of life is its durability.

In 1961 William Lederer's book, "A Nation of Sheep" revealed the abuse of American power and the ignorance of the American people regarding this misrule. Nothing much has changed since then except the names of the aggressors and their primary geographic areas of intended domination. The mass of people are essentially clueless and content to believe whatever lies and salacious tales are told them from the nation's Towers of Babel. This is in line with human history that shows people of authoritarian dispositions tend to be more aggressive and dominant in politics and commerce and the masses accept their lot as long as they get enough crumbs from establishment's plate..

(The title of the book was also an insult to sheep, but that is another story.)

Common Tater , January 12, 2017 at 4:59 pm

The saying goes, "power corrupts," but i believe that it is the corrupt who seek power to begin with.
Most people are content to live and let live, to live by the golden rule, mind their own and reciprocate kindness etc., etc.
Then there are those who get a thrill from exercising control over others. Those are the ones who shoot straight to the top.

Jack Flanigan , January 14, 2017 at 1:47 am

An interesting and clear observation. As an australian I note our system is dominated by two major parties (and I mean dominated) similar to the US. The two parties are vehicles for ambitious and corrupt individuals to fast track political careers. The power rests in these organizations and attracts the corrupt like bees to honey. Reply

Curious , January 12, 2017 at 6:09 pm

Bill, regarding your sense of human history I might add that for many centuries people couldn't read, except for the aristocracy and the religious sects mostly. The reformation produced a 100 year war and literacy was at an all time low in Luthers time but something motivated them to fight for such a long time, and it wasn't information nor intellect.

Where has our literacy gone which would prevent a repeat of endless war and violence these days? Oh yes, corporate controlled media hiring people who are certain to have no critical thinking skills, no moral rudder, nor worldly experience to shed the scales from their eyes. We are almost in pre-Gutenberg times of short attention spans and 140 character 'news truths' covering the landscape of the ignorant. One can only hope the Tower of the oligarchs Babel has rapidly decaying clay feet. We certainly know how to reduce cultures more ancient than ours to ashes without so much as a second thought regarding the sanctity of life. Where are all the pro-lifers now? Oh yeh, that's only in the womb, and after the umbilical cord is cut they are fair game for destruction. The US values we rave about will really hurt when other cultures treat us as they have been treated.

Curious , January 12, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Or better yet, we are in Gutenberg times where the "type" is set by the big players and the papers around the country keep the same type and only add ink. It's their only function now at the national level to inhibit discourse, excluding this site of course. Reply

Curious , January 12, 2017 at 6:34 pm

Or better yet, we are in times of the early press machines, where the "type" is set by the big players and the papers around the country keep the same type and only add ink. It's their only function now at the national level, meant to inhibit discourse and ideas. (excluding this site of course) Reply

Wendi , January 12, 2017 at 5:41 pm

In its Hoover relation, this article reprises the passage in The Craft of Intelligence, by Allen Dulles, (1965, if memory serves; alas, that book's text seems unavailable on the internet).

It describes the power struggle involved post-FDR, during-HST 1946-48, at the institution of the CIA (The Agency was not legislatively enacted, only instituted through Executive Order.)
Hoover opposed the creation of an intelligence collection that would compete with the FBI's monopoly of spies snoops and snitches.

The compromise settlement set the FBI with domestic coverage and the CIA with international haunts for its spooks.

Come the the present day, they still have turf wars in power rivalry for budget money.
However, in effect, after the budget shuffle the two legions merge their 'assets' - making each one double its real size. They join in advocating for (the oxymoronic) 'authoritarian morality,' gaining both the unlawfulness funded in the Judiciary with same unlawfulness, (or, being 'outlaw,' 'above the law'), funded by the Executive.

You can depend that they employ the same techniques. Coercion, extortion, blackmail, assassination, torture, defamation, slander and Press Release aspersion. The polity is hung pendant on those strings the outlaws pull. Or, 'hanged' pendant.

As Hoover, so Clapper et al.

Trump seems to have reconsided, maybe recanted, his defiance of 'intelligence' after he has seen some truth in it regarding things he knows he did in places he knows he was. He knows he dare not let the public see him through the cyclopian 'eye' of the intelligentia illumination.
_____
My wit sez, Lo! That explains his undocumented wife - he heard about Russian mail-order brides and flew off to visit the showroom. And brought back some capital equipment, manufactured in foreign lands.

Bill Bodden , January 12, 2017 at 10:04 pm

The Craft of Intelligence, by Allen Dulles, (1965, if memory serves; alas, that book's text seems unavailable on the internet)

Try alibris or abebooks dot coms. They have copies.

Joe Lauria , January 14, 2017 at 9:08 am

There's a Kindle edition available. Reply

Kiza , January 13, 2017 at 8:34 am

Good comment Bryan, but I wonder if we should pay attention at all to this decline of everything, not only of democracy. Yet, I wish to highlight two humorous comments which best characterise the situation.

The first one was a title I saw on Russia-Insider website: "Trump watch out! John Brennan throws even a kitchen sink at Trump in desperation."

The other was a comment by a zero-hedge reader: "Trump could have had sex with a goat in a Moscow hotel room and be videod as much as I care if he only delivers on his election promises. I voted based on his policy promises, not on his sexual preferences."

The sexual smear is so 20th century, the same as the CIA – obsolete.

Kiza , January 13, 2017 at 11:39 am

To continue on the humorous side, the vile RT has one on the Pornhub reporting a huge increase in searches for "Golden Showers". Perhaps the kiddies are adding a new term to their vocabularies.

https://www.rt.com/viral/373545-pornhub-golden-showers-trump/ Reply

rosemerry , January 13, 2017 at 5:10 pm

It seems that Trump supporters are many and varied, and very loyal. To pretend that all these shenanigans were needed to help elect him against such a faulty candidate as Hillary is pathetic in the extreme. The terrible results, when we see how the new Administration is being gently helped by the Senate including Democrats, will be bad for us all if their warlike statements lead to facts. However, Obama's sending of 2800 tanks and 4000 troops to help Germany(!) and Poland against "Russian aggression" right now, plus Hillary's promises, do not give a hopeful alternative scenario for the "land of the free" or peace on earth. Reply

W. R. Knight , January 12, 2017 at 11:06 am

The saddest part of this entire debacle is that the intelligence agencies, as well as main stream media, the president and most members of Congress have destroyed their own credibility. Lacking credibility, they cannot be believed; and when they cannot be believed, they cannot be trusted; and a government that cannot be trusted is doomed.

J. D. , January 12, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Trump proved more feisty than expected at his first press conference as President-Elect, hitting back at both Buzzfeed ('You're fake news" and CNN ("you're organization is terrible") And went on to say that "If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what, folks? That's called an asset, not a liability," describing the urgency of cooperation in defeating terrorism. Lost in the shuffle however was the source of the lies - British intelligence agencies.In fact, the NYTimes reported Jan. 6 that the official report released last week by the US intelligence agencies, which accused Putin of subverting the U.S. election, also came from British intelligence, which "raised an alarm that Moscow had hacked into the Democratic National Committee's computer servers, and alerted their American counterparts.Talk about foreign interference.

Anna , January 12, 2017 at 9:52 pm

friends of Israel in action in the UK Reply

Furtive , January 12, 2017 at 11:40 pm

A 4 chan blogger wrote it as a hoax Reply

Steve Abbott , January 12, 2017 at 2:15 pm

Get with the program! We are supposed to believe that all we have heard from and about the CIA in this century was pure and innocent incompetence, and should therefore continue to put all of our faith in their motives and methods. Reply

Godfree Roberts , January 13, 2017 at 4:55 am

Do you know which major government is the most trusted by its citizens?
The Edelman Corporation does. They've been doing 'government trust' surveys for decades. Check it out. http://www.slideshare.net/EdelmanAPAC/2016-edelman-trust-barometer-china-english .
Hint: China Reply

Dan Kuhn , January 12, 2017 at 11:08 am

The entire sordid mess needs to be dismantled brick by brick and rebuilt from the ground up. Washington should be razed to the ground. It is beyond rescuing. it is beyond saving. It is rotten from the foundations to the pinicle of the obilisk. The American People should declare war on Washington DC and invade the place and clean house. Bring the Guillotine along with them and the baskets for the heads.

The stench is overwhelming. It needs to be cleaned up. No it needs to be wiped from the face of the earth. One of the founding fathers said that periodically, the tree of democracy had to be watered with blood. That time has arrived. Reply

Znam Svashta , January 12, 2017 at 11:22 am

George Orwell predicted our current mess in his classic, "1984". Interestingly, that was the year that the neocons took over the Pentagon's Office of Risk Assessment, the State Department, and the whore-house American media. Reply

Lin Cleveland , January 12, 2017 at 11:50 am

What's going on here? I think Julian Assange may be on to something. ( my bold )

"Hillary Clinton's election would have been a consolidation of power in the existing ruling class of the United States. Donald Trump is not a D.C. insider , he is part of the wealthy ruling elite of the United States, and he is gathering around him a spectrum of other rich people and several idiosyncratic personalities. They do not by themselves form an existing structure, so it is a weak structure which is displacing and destabilizing the pre-existing central power network within D.C. It is a new patronage structure which will evolve rapidly, but at the moment its looseness means there are opportunities for change in the United States: change for the worse and change for the better."–Julian Assange

floyd gardner , January 12, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Thanks, Lin [for your 'bold.' Assange and Snowden are two voices "in the wilderness" always worth listening to. Reply

Jessejean , January 12, 2017 at 2:10 pm

Brilliant– as always. No matter how vilified JA is and no matter how much he's lied about, he still is a force for reason and subversion, both of which we desparately need. Thanks for the quote. Reply

D5-5 , January 12, 2017 at 4:50 pm

Curious to me in the two-pronged attack on Trump (a. demonizing to delegitimize and replace with Pence coming from the political establishment; b. hysterical fear of Trump coming from left wing journalism sources including left-oriented alternative news sites) is why the hysteria in the left continues so virulently. Assange's comment, to me, is balanced and sober. We don't know what will happen out of Trump and his collection of "idiosyncratic personalities," we don't know what will turn out "change for the worse and change for the better," and all the fear-mongering from people like Robert Reich, appearing regularly in Truthdig, is entirely speculative. I then question–would these same people on the left, that I once thought to be colleagues, prefer Hillary Clinton and "consolidation of power in the existing ruling class"? This fracturing in what I had thought was an intelligent left opposition is disturbing.

floyd gardner , January 12, 2017 at 9:36 pm

As an "old leftie" myself, I'd have to agree with Paul Craig Roberts that there IS no left anymore. It was co-opted and bought by Big Money. Maybe we need to forget about "left" and "right" and operate according to our own minds rather tha taking our cues from apologists for the establishment like Robert Reich. But it sounds like you're already doing that. Reply

Mark West , January 12, 2017 at 5:10 pm

Change that will undoubtedly benefit the privileged in a big way.

I don't give a crap about if Trump had prostitutes. That's between he and his wife. What I do care about is if there are Trump financial threads to Russia and if his team had illegal meetings with Moscow before the election. There are too many questions that need to be answered.

Why does Trump continue to dote on Putin? He's a vicious killer who has no qualms of eliminating his opponents. Those are facts.

Why won't he release his tax returns? It could only mean he is hiding something.

What benefit does the world intelligence community gain in smearing a president elect? Is it financial? idealogical? Power? Are they not tied and beholdened more to the entrenched financial hierarchies then to the ever changing political landscape?

What advantage did this operative from British intelligence gain from compiling this info? Money, fame, a 2nd home in Portugal?

How does anyone watching that press conference not come away with the chilly realization that our president-elect is psychologically impaired? My god you don't have to be a trained psychologist to see the guy has some serious mental health issues.

Anna , January 12, 2017 at 9:54 pm

"He's a vicious killer " – this is a music for the Kagans' clan Reply

JayHobeSound , January 13, 2017 at 4:10 am

"What advantage did this operative from British intelligence gain from compiling this info?"

Reportedly he asked his neighbours to feed his cats and he went into hiding. Bizarre.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article126129709.html Reply

Godfree Roberts , January 13, 2017 at 4:59 am

'Why does Trump continue to dote on Putin? He's a vicious killer who has no qualms of eliminating his opponents. Those are facts.'
Facts? I'm pretty familiar with Putin's career and I've seen nothing to suggest that Putin is a killer at all.
Can you provide links to evidence? Not just links to other people making assertions without evidence, please. Reply

Truth First , January 13, 2017 at 6:20 pm

"Why does Trump continue to dote on Putin? He's a vicious killer who has no qualms of eliminating his opponents. Those are facts."
You talking about Trump or Putin? In any case has Russia or Putin killed as many people as America or Obama. The "facts" say no, not even close. Reply

stinky rafsanjani , January 16, 2017 at 9:36 am

vicious killer? since when is that a bad thing? jinkies, obama of nobel fame
sends missiles and drones around the planet, bombing and killing for fun and
profit. why, he even orders the assassination of citizens of his own country,
without trial even. meanwhile, putin has, umm look! a squirrel!

James van Oosterom , January 16, 2017 at 11:45 am

Nobody said it was a bad thing. You're inferring things. Stick to squirrels . Ah yes, the door . Reply

Andreas Wirsén , January 12, 2017 at 11:54 am

A "new phase" in Intelligence meddling with presidential candidates, yes – but only in how openly they stand behind it as the source. Campaigns to scandalize unwanted primary challengers have been alleged before. Senator Gary Hart, for one, has said in interviews he believes he was caught in a honey trap, which cost him his candidacy.

floyd gardner , January 12, 2017 at 2:08 pm

Gary Hart, a potentially strong contender, was also [like Trump] not up to Deep State's standards in Russophobia. Reply

LongGoneJohn , January 12, 2017 at 12:04 pm

Didn't Trump just acknowledge that attacks on cyber US infrastructure including the DNC takes place, in a general way? That is what his statement read and to me that does not sound like "Trump acknowledges Russian DNC hack" at all.

So is it me, or ?

floyd gardner , January 12, 2017 at 2:12 pm

No, LGJ, it's not just you who can read through MSMB[ullsh t.] Reply

Michael Morrissey , January 12, 2017 at 12:05 pm

If Trump & Co. accept "the intelligence community's assessment that the Russian government hacked the emails," they are only saying that, as is common knowledge, everybody hacks everybody. This is not, as Parry says, an acceptance of the intelligence "assessment" that Putin or Russian hackers released the emails, or even got them. Assange and Murray have said unequivocally that the source was inside the DNC, which means it cannot have been the Russians.

Zachary Smith , January 12, 2017 at 1:07 pm

Assange and Murray have said unequivocally that the source was inside the DNC, which means it cannot have been the Russians.

Assange and Murray might be right, and they might not. There is a term being tossed around – "cutout". Just because an intermediary claims to be a DNC leaker doesn't mean he actually was such.

Under the circumstances I just don't care. Now if the Russians or Chinese or Ugandans or anybody else had done more than facilitate the release of true information useful to voters, I'd be agitated myself. Not that I'd expect anybody else to be. US votes have been hacked ever since the no-verify touchscreen devices were first introduced, and nobody in authority has given a hoot about it.

Jessejean , January 12, 2017 at 2:18 pm

Zachary–you are so right. It drives me crazy that Bush got away with stealing the voting system and all the Damn Dems care about is using it themselves. And now it drives me crazy that the Clintonistas took down Bernie and are getting away with it. With that cat's paw Obusha hanging around to "work" on rebuilding the DNC, we'll never see democracy again.

Sam F , January 13, 2017 at 6:52 am

We must indeed Dump the Dems. We need a progressive party.

There is a strong progressive majority everywhere which is being deliberately fragmented by the Dems. In the US, Clinton supporters must unify not only with the critics of Dem warmongering for Israel and KSA, but also with the Trumpers who want economic security in a rapacious oligarchic state. Clinton supporters will have to admit their mistake and abandon the Dems as a scam of oligarchy serving only as a backstop for the Repubs.

The solution is for a third party to align moderate progressives (national health care, no wars of choice, income security) with parts of the traditional right (fundamentalists, flag-wavers, make America great) leaving out only the extreme right (wars, discrimination, big business imperialism), use individual funding, and rely upon broad platform appeal to marginalize the Dems as the third party.

RMDC , January 13, 2017 at 9:28 am

Sam F. I agree with you but you have to stop using the term "progressive." The Clinton faction of the demo party owns that term. It arose with John Podesta's Center for American Progress. Podesta is the ideologue of contemporary progressivism. It has nothing to do with the Progressive movement of the early 20th century.

The right term is Sander's term: Democratic Socialism. I know socialism is a problematic term, too, but at least it is now claimed by the right people.

Sam F , January 13, 2017 at 2:20 pm

RMDC: Do you think "Progressive" can be brought back to its original meaning, or given a better one, despite people falsely claiming to be progressive? Sanders' term might be incorporated into that. It would be nice to deny the fakers the use of it.

Truth First , January 13, 2017 at 6:23 pm

"we'll never see democracy again."

Humm? When did we last see that "democracy" thing? Reply

Bill Cash , January 12, 2017 at 12:08 pm

Trump could end all this by releasing his tax returns but he won't do it. I believe the intelligence community had fears that once inaugurated, Trump would squash the whole thing. The Russian connection is the only theory that connects all the dots. I'm waiting t see what happens with Assange. Will he suddenly be able to go to Sweden?
As far as Trump's behavior, don't forget he was accused of raping a 13 year old girl but the woman had to withdraw the suit because her life was threatened.

Anna , January 12, 2017 at 9:56 pm

Why is your post such a strong reminder of Pizzagate? Reply

Furtive , January 12, 2017 at 11:48 pm

Wont make any difference what t he does. He's an outsider. There's no escape except trying & convicting the traitors running obama. Reply

Wm. Boyce , January 12, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Very interesting column. I guess Mr. Trump is getting a lesson in who really runs things around here. Reply

Patricia Victour , January 12, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Unless Trump killed a prostitute on film, how could whatever is on the alleged video be any worse than the pussy-grabbing debacle and all the other accusations of sexual predation? I don't think you can embarrass Trump. He would just brush it off, and his base would probably think he was a super stud.

Wm. Boyce , January 12, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Oh, I don't know, they could well have much worse stuff to leak, given Mr. Trump's complete lack of control of his desires.

Zachary Smith , January 12, 2017 at 12:59 pm

I collected a lot of "stuff" on Trump from the internet in the past year, and was surprised to see virtually none of it used against him. My best guess is that Hillary & Co. didn't think it was necessary against their carefully selected "easiest" opponent. That "stuff" is still available, and might well be used to buttress wilder and unverifiable claims.

col from oz , January 12, 2017 at 7:49 pm

Yesterday on anther site i wrote how Hillary was complicit in a very serious charge.
Please watch video titles, where is Eric braverman on you tube . I have watched some and most of the material gives you the reality of what is occurring. A example is this. A fact is Gaddafi wanted to have some kind of gold backed Dina money policy. Fact. So Libya had a lot of gold maybe hundreds of tons. Where is it now. Did the "invaders' get it with their usual cut out Libyan man?
In the spirit of trying to make a better world i put this up, it seems political unbiased however it shows the Clinton as they are?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vam6qxfQrgA

day 70

Gregory Herr , January 12, 2017 at 8:48 pm

"For over four decades, Gaddafi promoted economic democracy and used the nationalized oil wealth to sustain progressive social welfare programs for all Libyans. Under Gaddafi's rule, Libyans enjoyed not only free health-care and free education, but also free electricity and interest-free loans."
http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/20/libya-from-africas-wealthiest-democracy-under-gaddafi-to-terrorist-haven-after-us-intervention/

"Libya's Qadhafi (African Union 2009 Chair) conceived and financed a plan to unify the sovereign States of Africa with one gold currency (United States of Africa). In 2004, a pan-African Parliament (53 nations) laid plans for the African Economic Community – with a single gold currency by 2023.

"African oil-producing nations were planning to abandon the petro-dollar, and demand gold payment for oil/gas Qaddafi had done more than organize an African monetary coup. He had demonstrated that financial independence could be achieved. His greatest infrastructure project, the Great Man-made River, was turning arid regions into a breadbasket for Libya; and the $33 billion project was being funded interest-free without foreign debt, through Libya's own state-owned bank.
That could explain why this critical piece of infrastructure was destroyed in 2011. NATO not only bombed the pipeline but finished off the project by bombing the factory producing the pipes necessary to repair it."

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2987399/why_qaddafi_had_to_go_african_gold_oil_and_the_challenge_to_monetary_imperialism.html

dave , January 12, 2017 at 3:24 pm

Speaking of "leaks", isn't the specific accusation in this case that Trump paid a prostitute to "take a leak" on the bed where he believed the Obamas had spent the night? (So I guess it was the prostitute that had "worse stuff to leak"!)

Gregory Herr , January 12, 2017 at 8:58 pm

And while no one at Trump's press conference mentioned the specifics, Trump stated, "Does anyone really believe that story? I'm also very much of a germaphobe, by the way, believe me."

Anna , January 12, 2017 at 9:56 pm

Check Chan4

Gregory Herr , January 12, 2017 at 11:04 pm

Anna, do you mean the British television programme?

Furtive , January 12, 2017 at 11:48 pm

What? Dim wit. Reply

backwardsevolution , January 12, 2017 at 12:36 pm

The Saker writes in "The Neocon's Declaration of War Against Trump":

"After several rather lame false starts, the Neocons have now taken a step which can only be called a declaration of war against Donald Trump. [ ] All of the above further confirms to me what I have been saying over the past weeks: if Trump ever makes it into the White House (I write 'if' because I think that the Neocons are perfectly capable of assassinating him), his first priority should be to ruthlessly crack down as hard as he legally can against those in the US "deep state" (which very much includes the media) who have now declared war on him. I am sorry to say that, but it will be either him or them – one of the parties here will be crushed. [ ]

As I predicted it before the election, the USA are about to enter the worst crisis in their history. We are entering extraordinarily dangerous times. If the danger of a thermonuclear war between Russia and the USA had dramatically receded with the election of Trump, the Neocon total war on Trump put the United States at very grave risk, including civil war (should the Neocon controlled Congress impeach Trump I believe that uprisings will spontaneously happen, especially in the South, and especially in Florida and Texas). At the risk of sounding over the top, I will say that what is happening now is putting the very existence of the United States in danger almost regardless of what Trump will personally do. Whatever we may think of Trump as a person and about his potential as a President, what is certain is that millions of American patriots have voted for him to "clear the swamp", give the boot to the Washington-based plutocracy and restore what they see as fundamental American values. If the Neocons now manage to stage a coup d'etat against Trump, I predict that these millions of Americans will turn to violence to protect what they see as their way of life

If a coup is staged against Trump and some wannabe President à la Hillary or McCain gives the order to the National Guard or even the US Army to put down a local insurrection, we could see what we saw in Russia in 1991: a categorical refusal of the security services to shoot at their own people. That is the biggest and ultimate danger for the Neocons: the risk that if they give the order to crack down on the population the police, security and military services might simply refuse to take action. If that could happen in the "KGB-controlled country" (to use a Cold War cliché) this can also happen in the USA."

Zachary Smith , January 12, 2017 at 12:54 pm

If a coup is staged against Trump and some wannabe President à la Hillary or McCain gives the order to the National Guard or even the US Army to put down a local insurrection, we could see what we saw in Russia in 1991: a categorical refusal of the security services to shoot at their own people.

At Kent State the National Guard was quite willing to shoot "their own people". The increasingly militarized Police of the US have been getting lots of practice shooting at "their own people". I suspect that's why a great many of them joined up in the first place. Finally, carefully chosen drone operators thousands or tens of thousands of miles away won't have the slightest problem slaughtering evildoers. That's what they do all the time in their regular jobs.

Brad Owen , January 12, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Don't forget veterans, millions of them. When THEY stepped up to the North Dakota pipeline, security forces backed off. Backwards' described scenario could be our "1991" moment to break free and break the Deep State, and reinstating Glass-Steagall would break their Imperial paymasters in The City and The Street. A new World could suddenly come about, faster than even the USSR/Warsaw Pact disappeared. Reply

Bill Bodden , January 12, 2017 at 10:14 pm

At Kent State the National Guard was quite willing to shoot "their own people". The increasingly militarized Police of the US have been getting lots of practice shooting at "their own people".

Police departments all over the U.S. and other nations have a long history of acting as goon squads and occasional firing squads for their local establishments. Lots of examples in labor histories. Reply

Peter Loeb , January 13, 2017 at 8:23 am

KILLING OUR OWN PEOPLE .

Special thanks to Zachary Smith.

In the US it's called "heroism", patriotism" and the rest. But if we are
inconvenienced to kill our own people, we can kill other peoples'
people. Gigantic weapons deals to Saudi Arabia and Israel
are proof of that.

By the way, did anyone happen to notice in the NDAA (Defense Authorization
Act) the increase of funds to rebels in another country whose goal is to
defeat the Syrian Government?

-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

PS For those who object to our killing our own people in the US join
Black Lives Matter. Reply

Oleg , January 13, 2017 at 2:53 am

At the very least, the US should get rid of this prolonged waiting period between the elections and actual assuming power by the president-elect. It was meant to facilitate the orderly transition of power, but as we see now it is serving just the opposite goals. I cannot believe Obama is so keen on hurting Trump he is ready to badly hurt his own country as well. Reply

Zachary Smith , January 12, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Whether this move was meant to soften up Trump

The motive I see is to "soften" him up for his impeachment. Given Trump's temperament, it could be a winning strategy for the people who prefer President Pence. In my barely informed opinion, that would include a majority of both parties in both houses of the US congress.

Joe Tedesky , January 12, 2017 at 1:41 pm

Read section 4 of the 25th amendment .

"Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President."

I'm wondering if we are seeing the beginnings of a President Pence. Although Donald Trump may give one some consternation to his being a qualified person to sit in the Oval Office, Mike Pence may bring down the house with his religious leanings inside of his political philosophy. Either way we Americans are in for a most interesting time of it in our country's brief history. We should all probably prepare ourselves for the worst, and hope that the best will happen.

Zachary wasn't Mike Pense your governor, or do I have you in the wrong state?

Realist , January 12, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Fascinating and disturbing at the same time. That section was surely MEANT to apply to the president's health and physical capacity to do the job. However, a declaration by the VP (supported only by a simple majority of the cabinet or the congress) "that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office" can be based in an insurrection, a coup, or simply the erosion of political capital. Gerald Ford could have argued that Richard Nixon no longer had the support to govern (which is what Nixon himself conceded as the basis for his resignation). It basically gives the VP and whatever insurgents he can muster the ability to quickly overthrow the sitting president without the inconvenience of an impeachment and trial in the Senate. It could be the Maidan without the messy blood all over the pavement. How wonderful.

Very resourceful of you in looking that up, Joe. I would never have imagined the seeds for a coup existed right in the constitution.

Kiza , January 13, 2017 at 9:16 am

I have a saying: For the people in law-enforcement, law is a fringe benefit. Those who control law always use it as a tool. Have you ever heard of a coup which was not based on some law, even if it was the one written post-festum by the coup plotters? In other words, a coup is never difficult to justify by the winners.

I have no doubt that the coup that Joe describes is possible. But the issue for the coup plotters has always been: what happens with all the Trump voters after such a coup, the millions of them? Will they sit and just watch the destruction of their social contract?

To some extent such US coup dilemma is not dissimilar to the nuclear war dilemma: easy to start, difficult to finish.

Joe Tedesky , January 13, 2017 at 10:53 am

KIza, nice to hear from you it's been awhile.

Read this link. Trump got 26.8% of the total citizenry to vote for him. In all honesty I haven't seen any polls on how the American populace shakes out on these controversies such as this most recent fake news story, but I would imagine that a clever beat down campaign would be able to soften the blowback .but then again I agree with you to some extent, that by pushing Trump out of office this would have to have some kind of consequence that would not be pretty.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/12/bringing-trump-nation-down-to-size/

Kiza , January 13, 2017 at 11:20 am

Joe, in general I am trying to highlight that it is one thing to bamboozle sheeple with a talk of democracy (which does not exist) and another to openly crush even this reassuring lie. I just cannot see the end game of a US coup and Trump is but a minor obstacle if they want to start it.

Therefore, they really want to make a Trump a lame and controllable President, not to take over. Maintaining a reassuring lie of democracy is a much more sophisticated and efficient control mechanism than direct control. I may we wrong but I do believe that Trump is just being house trained/broken by TPTB in front of our eyes.

You write: I have not seen any polls how American populace shakes out on these controversies.
My reading of the online beat is that the Trump voters are not swayed, whilst the Clinton voters use the "controversy" as confirmation that they were right all along about Trump. But then Clinton voters would receive a confirmation even from an oily rag thrown in their direction. In other words, a mountain shook and a mouse was born – almost no change at all on either side.

Joe Tedesky , January 13, 2017 at 12:56 pm

KIza your comparing Trump's attackers to how the MH17 story was spun is right on.

http://journal-neo.org/2017/01/11/trump-and-mh17-just-one-step-too-far/

Trump is an easy target since his nature is certainly different than that of the usual norm of our politico class who are cookie cutter politicians on the whole. I'm disappointed by how people such as Michael Moore are going out of their way attacking Trump, while they completely ignore how corrupt and dishonest the Clinton's are.

I wouldn't go so far as to predict that Trump supporters won't rebel against his impeachment, but there again I believe the Trump supporters would be out numbered due to an over aggressive media who could sway the majority into believing we must get Trump out of office. Any other method other than impeachment is to horrible to even contemplate, so let's hope that all of our concerns turn to ashes, and that for the good or bad of it that Trump finishes out his first term in good health.

Kiza , January 13, 2017 at 8:19 pm

Yes, Joe, those 26.8% of citizenry who voted for Trump are built into 75-76% of citizenry who do not believe in the MSM any more and in the John Brennan's two kitchen sinks, that is, his two top secret but leakable kompromat dossiers on Trump – the first one apparently from an MI6 agent and the second one promoted by the BBC (source unknown yet).

But this is not about Clintons any more, this is about the owners of the Clintons training/braking Trump to be like the Clintons. If they cannot have a Clinton as a President, they want to have a President as Clinton. If kompromat does not work, maybe a billet will, their patience is limited.

Always enjoyable to exchange thoughts with you Joe.

Joe Tedesky , January 13, 2017 at 11:14 am

Realist, considering how our country's founders were a bunch of slave owners declaring how all men are created equally well need I say more?

Words are just words, that is until lawyers interpret these legal words into a reality, which doesn't always fit into our own personal definition of a certain word usage. You and I deal with this stuff all the time. Whether it be a traffic ticket, or an ordinance summons, we read one thing, and the judge administers another thing. Prisons are filled with people who swear with, 'yeah but' explanations which give these prisoners no relief what so ever so I do think these crafty legislators could pull a fast one, and install Mike Pence into the White House. Let's you and I hope that I'm the one out in left field with my 25th amendment comment, and that we won't end up with a Christian whack job as our president. Reply

Zachary Smith , January 12, 2017 at 5:23 pm

Yeah, Pence was elected Governor of Indiana. But despite this state being one of the most conservative in the nation, Pence was too "nutty" and "far-right" for Mississippi North, and would have surely been defeated. Now the man is one heartbeat/one impeachment conviction from becoming President of the United States.

Quote: "From his denial of climate change to his belief in creationism, Pence is the most hard-right radical to ever appear on a national ticket. Just this week a federal court had to block his atrocious bill barring Syrian refugees from his state because his reasoning that Syrians scare him is discriminatory."

Quote: "it is a literal truth, Mr. Speaker, to say that I am in Congress today because of Rush Limbaugh, and not because of some tangential impact on my career or his effect on the national debate; but because in fact after my first run for Congress in 1988, it was the new national voice emerging in 1989 across the heartland of Indiana of one Rush Hudson Limbaugh, III, that captured my imagination.""

It's a fact we are very, very close to having a Rush 'druggie' Limpaugh clone as President. In my opinion, Pence is Trump's worst mistake up till now. If they can't have Hillary, for the neocons and neo-liberals and the Christian End-Timers there remains Worse-Than-Hillary Mike Pence.

Trump is a Trojan horse for a cabal of vicious zealots who have long craved an extremist Christian theocracy, and Pence is one of its most prized warriors. With Republican control of the House and Senate and the prospect of dramatically and decisively tilting the balance of the Supreme Court to the far right, the incoming administration will have a real shot at bringing the fire and brimstone of the second coming to Washington.

"The enemy, to them, is secularism. They want a God-led government. That's the only legitimate government," contends Jeff Sharlet, author of two books on the radical religious right, including "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power." "So when they speak of business, they're speaking not of something separate from God, but they're speaking of what, in Mike Pence's circles, would be called biblical capitalism, the idea that this economic system is God-ordained."

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/15/mike-pence-will-be-the-most-powerful-christian-supremacist-in-us-history/

Joe Tedesky , January 13, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Zachary I looked forward to your reply, since you always have references to your level headed comments .so thanks for getting back to me.

In my world I don't even like bringing up the word God, or religion, since I believe a government should be governed in a truly secular way. Who I pray to, and who I pay taxes to, are two completely different things. My devotion to God is a very private matter, and I don't need some politician interpreting God's greatness to me in anyway. So with that if Mike Pense wants to preach the gospel to me, then he should resign from public office and become a full fledged preacher and even then I will not go to his mean spirited church. Amen.

Realist , January 13, 2017 at 3:13 pm

What a troubling coincidence that Hulu is releasing its production of "the Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood this April, which tells the story of the United States government being taken over by extreme Christian fundamentalists and the consequences, especially to women and religious dissenters. Read the book by Atwood and you'll see where Isis/Daesh got many of their ideas on punishment and control of the masses. The Spanish Inquisition was six hundred years ago, but its urges lie just beneath the veneer of our civilised modern world. Human nature hasn't changed, only technology has. I thought this country was in danger of playing out the novel during Dubya's administration, as 9-11 was exactly the kind of pretext for such a takeover in the book's plot narrative and the Islamic world was portrayed as the great global adversary just as many Americans believe in the real world. Trump has never struck me as a religious man, certainly not a zealot, but Pence, with a little help from the Deep State, he could bring this disturbing novel to life.

Bill Bodden , January 12, 2017 at 10:16 pm

I'm wondering if we are seeing the beginnings of a President Pence.

A very plausible and ominous possibility.

Joe Tedesky , January 13, 2017 at 12:53 am

Seriously Bill even taking into consideration how some like Glenn Beck along with Rick Santelli ridiculed an early President Obama back in 2009, I can't recall a more hostile media such as the likes of how this current day corporate media is going after Trump. True, that Donald Trump by just being Donald Trump can be an outrageous person with his words and actions, but still I just can't get over the 24/7 media coverage, and how most of it isn't good coverage at that. This leaves me to wonder if we all are not being setup for something big.

With Trump's winning streak putting away a whole herd of Republican primary candidates, and how he sent 'low energy Jeb' packing, and then to go on and beat Hillary by his winning the Electoral vote, he has had a great run. Now Donald Trump is battling not only the CIA/FBI/NSA, but he is also bumping up against the congressional establishment. You know that McCain and Graham hate him, but you can only bet that there is yet much more to come.

I'm sorry, but I don't sense there is much good to come with all of this. Thanks for the reply.

Kiza , January 13, 2017 at 9:57 am

Joe, I wonder if people missed the crazy similarity of the media campaign on the Trump "report" and the one on MH17 ?

It appears that the TPTB have decided that if they generate enough media screaming, the lack of proof does not matter any more.

Thus, I have become a strong proponent of the theory that whatever TPTB use outside, it is only a practice for what they will use (more productively) inside. Drones anyone?

Joe Tedesky , January 13, 2017 at 1:06 pm

KIza read my comment above, it pertains to what you brought up here.

Gregory Herr , January 13, 2017 at 2:44 pm

Weaponized drones anyone?

http://youtu.be/1sK5mDTCNEU

Pablo Diablo , January 12, 2017 at 12:42 pm

All this turmoil and a dysfunctional Congress insures that nothing will change. The 1% loves the status quo and will do anything to preserve it. Simply a smokescreen to keep US from dealing with the corporate stranglehold on our government.
An Empire in decline. Reply

Mike Flores , January 12, 2017 at 1:24 pm

While others laugh and make jokes, those of us who study Intel know that what just happened with the leaked report was that the CIA has involved itself in U.S. politics, which it is forbidden to do. How did the alliance between the Democratic Party and CIA begin? President Truman had allowed 200 Nazi Intel agents to come into the U.S. – including the men who created the blueprint for the holocaust. Fearing Joe McCarthy would discover this, the CIA faked an Intel report and has spent decades ever since lying about Joe. They actually confessed that his 2 lists were correct, so they had to fool him with a fake dossier right before the Army hearings to shake his confidence. Just search CIA AND THE POND and you will find on their website STUDIES IN INTELLIGENCE in the last third of the article a full confession of framing Joe. This Facebook photo album THE REAL JOSEPH McCARTHY is packed with forbidden information and can be viewed with this link by anyone whether they are on FB or not. The alliance between the Democratic Party and CIA began by hiding the people responsible for the holocaust. ( We should keep in mind Truman was KKK and forbade the bombing of the train tracks to the death camps. The reason soldiers were not prepared for the camps was that none had been told about them. Truman did not want our troops wasting time on them). Interesting to note that absolutely no one has ever done an article or book on the impact of the beliefs of the KKK on the 5 Democrats who were Presidents and Klansmen in the 20th century. That would reveal the true nature of the Democratic Party.
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153995222685986.1073741929.695490985&type=1&l=6dd1544b9d Reply

Bill , January 12, 2017 at 1:37 pm

You don't mention President Obama, but it certainly seems likely that he's involved with this. Who told Brennan and Clapper to go on TV to hype the intelligence reports and bad-mouth the next President?

And were the leakers within the agencies acting on their own, or were they given orders from above? There's a conspiracy going on and it's not my imagination.

Does the behavior rise to the level of treason or espionage?

Furtive , January 12, 2017 at 11:58 pm

Obama is a deadhead it is Brennan who instructs him. But who instructs Brennan? Reply

Michael Morrissey , January 12, 2017 at 1:46 pm

As I have just learned from another reader's comment on another article, David Spring has augmented his earlier article to an 85-page expose. Seems it was both a leak and a hack, but in neither case by "the Russians."

I hope Ray McGovern and especially Wm Binney (and some Trump guy) read this and tell us what they think!

https://turningpointnews.org/hack-everything-special-report

Lois Gagnon , January 13, 2017 at 11:04 am

I read it last night. Very much worth the couple of hours it took. Reply

Realist , January 14, 2017 at 3:42 am

Well, that's THE comprehensive treatment in a nutshell. Everything documented chronologically. Nothing important left out. Everything explained clearly and concisely. As organised as possible and argued like a philosopher rather than a lawyer. The man has exceptional writing skills as well as incredible computer knowledge. I'd like to see him question Clapper on the witness stand. I hope that President Trump puts the Justice Department on this case to do a thorough investigation, including potential indictments of spooks that perjured themselves and/or engaged in partisan activities during the election and its ugly aftermath. Reply

Oleg , January 12, 2017 at 2:47 pm

I am really surprised to no end. Why are you in the US so keen on destroying any credibility of your government? I do not really know what would happen in the US but in Russia there would be riots. Any leader in Russia can govern only until he/she is trusted. Think Tsar Nicholas II, Gorbachev I hope it will not get to this and some sanity will prevail in your country.

Bill Bodden , January 12, 2017 at 10:22 pm

Why are you in the US so keen on destroying any credibility of your government?

What credibility? Oleg, if you check the graphic at the top of the right sidebar on this page you will see a reference to "I. F. Stone" who was one of this nation's great journalists of the 20th Century. He is noted for a dictum that says, "All governments lie." All governments certainly include the U.S. government. You can get plenty of examples of lies with a little effort.

Bill Bodden , January 12, 2017 at 11:12 pm

Lies out of government agencies and elected politicians are not the only problem. Hypocrisy is another and has been part of American governance since the writing of the Declaration of Independence by slave owners who said that all men are created equal with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Now hypocrisy is rampant with politicians decrying alleged Russian intervention is U.S. elections with the claim that it is wrong for any nation to interfere in the elections of another nation. There is no nation on the planet that interferes in the governments of other nations than the United States. Reply

Oleg , January 13, 2017 at 3:02 am

Well, I certainly agree, but a government can still be largely trusted even if they resort to some petty lies. As we all do too sometimes. But this this is not a petty thing, this is an intentional attack on the whole institution of elections and democracy when they try to impeach the elected President because some part of the establishment, not the people, dislike him. This has a potential to really get very dangerous, and having any kind of uprisings (as was also mentioned by other commenters above) in a country like the US is extremely dangerous for the whole world. Reply

Abe , January 12, 2017 at 3:01 pm

Anyone in Washington seeking a golden shower from a couple of Russian prostitutes just has to hop on one of those all-expenses-paid AIPAC junkets to Israel.

It's truly amazing how streams of urine help elevate one's anxiety about Iran's nuclear energy program.

Adam , January 13, 2017 at 3:11 am

Best comment, Abe! Reply

Abe , January 12, 2017 at 3:25 pm

American journalist and activist Chris Hedges noted a key purpose of the declassified report "Russia's Influence Campaign Targeting the 2016 US Presidential Election" from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI):

"to justify the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization beyond Germany, a violation of the promise Ronald Reagan made to the Soviet Union's Mikhail Gorbachev after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Expanding NATO in Eastern Europe opened up an arms market for the war industry. It made those businesses billions of dollars. New NATO members must buy Western arms that can be integrated into the NATO arsenal. These sales, which are bleeding the strained budgets of countries such as Poland, are predicated on potential hostilities with Russia. If Russia is not a threat, the arms sales plummet. War is a racket."

The Real Purpose of the U.S. Government's Report on Alleged Hacking by Russia
By Chris Hedges
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_real_purpose_of_the_us_governments_report_on_alleged_hacking_by_russi

Abe , January 12, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Israeli arms sales to Europe more than doubled from $724 million in 2014 to $1.63 billion in 2015. http://jfjfp.com/?p=83806

Israel is the leading arms exporter in the world per capita (2014), and ranks 11th among the top 20 exporters of military equipment and systems (2011-15).

75-80% of Israeli military exports are generated by just three companies - the state-owned Rafael and Israel Aerospace Industries and the publicly traded Elbit Systems.

The largest categories of Israeli military exports are upgrading aircraft and aerospace systems (14%), radar and electronic systems (12%), drones (11%), and intelligence and information systems (10%).

In 2015, the Russian government described Israel's delivery of lethal weapons to Ukraine as "counterproductive". There is a close arms trade and production co-operation between Israel and Poland. Israeli companies have invested in building arms manufacturing facilities in Poland. Reply

jfl , January 12, 2017 at 3:26 pm

However, in this case, it is not even known whether the Russians have any dirt on Trump.

If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.

- said to have been said by redhat richelieu

what is known is that the nsa/cia/fbi have all the dirt on everyone, and that they use it on the leaders of the eu, for instance.

if the only thing that comes out of this filthy little exercise is the death of the nsa/cia/fbi – superpower america's superstazi – by executive fiat it will have been worth trump's election.

it's either that or another dead president. with pence playing lbj. Reply

F. G. Sanford , January 12, 2017 at 3:41 pm

Funny how these "leaks" work, isn't it? If there really were an "insider" able to provide insight on the deepest, darkest secrets that had been gathered by Russian intelligence, why would any responsible intelligence agency completely destroy that asset only to expose a mundane fetish like "golden showers"? But don't anybody dare leak "The Torture Report". Don't even consider leaking information about war crimes, election fraud, financial crimes, murder, state corruption or state sponsorship of terrorism.

Just my opinion, but here's how it really went. The "hack" scenario is a diversion from the "leak" scenario. The "deep state" didn't really want Hillary. While she may superficially represent their interests, the Clinton machine is too knowledgeable, too experienced and too selfish and self-centered to predictably execute their programs. The Clintons have plenty of dirt on them. But they had enough dirt on her to compromise her electability. They don't want Trump either, but they can manufacture or dig up enough dirt to compromise his Presidency. Their first choice was Jeb Bush. Their second choice is Mike Pence.

The DNC stuff was leaked by an insider, and the Podesta stuff was hacked by the NSA. The only plausible alternative points to hacking attempts by the neo-Nazi Ukrainian hacking outfit "RuH8", not the Russians.

A bunch of recent articles seek to analyze Barack Obama's legacy, personality and motivations. That's all superfluous. The "real deal" has been well documented. His grandparents were CIA His mother was CIA His first job after law school was with Banking international Corporation, a CIA "front company". He was groomed and thoroughly vetted.

Nobody wants to hear the truth or look at real evidence. The circumstantial – though well documented – evidence connecting Ted Cruz's father to the anti-Castro Cubans, the CIA and Lee Harvey Oswald is actually much more plausible and substantial than the evidence for "Russian hacking" of the election, yet the general public has no problem dismissing that as a "conspiracy theory".

Between the two, Trump was perceived – mistakenly – as the lesser threat to the "deep state". Just a guess, but we may be about to see all hell break loose.

It's about time some journalists and researchers started naming names and making lists. The "New McCarthyism" uses lists to good advantage. It creates the perception of a vast subversive network dedicated to destroying our "democracy". Until some names are named and fingers pointed, the "deep state" and its intelligence community enforcement arm will continue to control the "democracy" we don't really have. Blackmail is just one of their methods, and it's far from the worst.

Abe , January 12, 2017 at 4:14 pm

Funny how these "streams," er, "leaks" work:

http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.764452

Abe , January 12, 2017 at 10:17 pm

Buzzfeed's "explosive and unverified" golden shower (guess that's not highlighter on the documents):
https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984/Trump-Intelligence-Allegations.pdf

Oleg , January 13, 2017 at 4:42 am

And someone has been paying for this crap? If anything, this report exposes its authors much more than anybody else. Reply

Abe , January 13, 2017 at 1:00 pm

The "authors" dominate a post-truth regime that demands popular attention to and participation in its discursive games.

Are you not entertained?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsqJFIJ5lLs Reply

F. G. Sanford , January 13, 2017 at 6:37 pm

My favorite quotes from the "Company Intelligence Report":

"However, he and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow " (Is this a pun?)

"PUTIN angry with senior officials who "overpromised" on TRUMP and further heads likely to roll as result. Foreign minister LAVROV may be next" (What Putin is going to make him change the sheets in Trump's hotel room?)

" TRUMP has paid bribes and engaged in sexual activities there but key witnesses silenced and evidence hard to obtain" (Were the "key" witnesses the same ones that claim Putin shot down MH-17?)

I think they dug up the script writers from "The Man from Uncle" and put them back to work. This sounds like a Quinn Martin Production straight out of a Hollywood "B Movie". Reply

Abe , January 12, 2017 at 10:24 pm

First Draft coalition "partner" BuzzFeed is leading the charge to make fake news, hybrid war propaganda, and hoaxes "more shareable and more social"

https://firstdraftnews.com/buzzfeed-wants-use-social-media-might-take-hoaxers/ Reply

Abe , January 12, 2017 at 5:09 pm

Funny how that "leak" worked:

http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/nukevault/ebb565-Was-U.S.-Nuclear-Weapons-Fuel-Diverted-to-Israel/

"OK, but I doubt advisability of getting into this (redacted)." – FBI Director J. Edgard Hoover Reply

Abe , January 12, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Funny how that other "leak" worked:

http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB407/ Reply

Gregory Kruse , January 12, 2017 at 8:37 pm

FG, I'm not gay, but I always scroll down to find your comment. You are always looking into the big picture, not the big illusion.

backwardsevolution , January 13, 2017 at 1:44 am

Gregory – I agree. His comments are always very good. Reply

Joe Tedesky , January 13, 2017 at 1:07 pm

Me three.

F. G. Sanford , January 13, 2017 at 6:41 pm

Thanks to all – sometimes I wonder if it's worth putting in my two cents. We're probably a statistically insignificant group of readers on the world's stage, but I like to think at least it's worth a try. Reply

Jessica K , January 12, 2017 at 4:34 pm

We must organize beyond cyberspace as this is a coup in action. CIA is greatest meddler of all nations, coups and assassinations well documented. DC is the Aegean stable that must be cleaned, a truly Herculean task and We the People have to get organized because this planet is imperiled. Agree with Dan that whole sordid mess is beyond a swamp, a stinking pit and pitchforks are necessary! Reply

LJ , January 12, 2017 at 4:36 pm

It's more doublethink logic from the Intelligence heads. It would require a tremendous leap of faith for anyone with a brain to think that Russia/Putin/Lavrov would use this info, if it existed at all, in public manner. To do so wouldn't help them achieve a goal and it would only hurt Russia .. The tape would never become public even if it existed. That means this rumor is clearly slander and was aimed at some political end. . Where is the smoking gun?, sorry. By the way , Putin is friends with Bertoloscini , Sarkozy and other notorious womanizers and is known to like women himself. This is not something he would do. He is not a mobster. This is puerile and it is coming from the Democrats although the word is that George Bush initially hired the guy, the former MI5 spy, who wrote the dossier/smear piece on Trump in the first place. . Hoover would have kept it in shop and tried to leverage Trump himself. Reply

Bernie , January 12, 2017 at 5:09 pm

There's an article at ABC News today about US tanks rolling into Poland. This reminds me of Nazis rolling into Austria in 1938 and then Poland on Sept 1, 1941 to start WWII. "American soldiers rolled into Poland on Thursday, fulfilling a dream some Poles have had since the fall of communism in 1989 to have U.S. troops on their soil as a deterrent against Russia. Some people waved and held up American flags as U.S. troops in tanks and other vehicles crossed into southwestern Poland from Germany and headed toward the town of Zagan, where they will be based. "

Abe , January 12, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Like Poland, Ukraine is eager to express its devotion to the Reich, er, its "Euro-Atlantic aspirations".

If only for the sake of NATO "cooperation" and "capacity building", Poland and Ukraine have much to forgive and forget:

http://observer.com/2016/09/from-friends-to-bitter-rivals-poland-and-ukraine-accuse-each-other-of-genocide/

Of course, reports of Russian "euphoria" remain "unconfirmed". Reply

Mark West , January 12, 2017 at 5:36 pm

Absurd. Who is this "they" everyone is talking about? How many are/is this 'they'? 5, 10 20? Who is in control of 'they'? Who's in charge? The political elite? Do they have a club and do they meet for bridge every Tuesday? Do they have a secret handshake? Are they all really Mason's?

This conspiracy holds no credibility because 'they' is just an 'idea'. That is all. Until someone can give names of those who are responsible and running this political elite then its all storybook conjecture. We should be more concerned with the obvious psychological dementia affecting the president elect. He was a total looney tune in that press conference.

Wendi , January 12, 2017 at 5:52 pm

Here are the names.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/meet-the-80-people-who-are-as-rich-as-half-the-world/

Mark West , January 12, 2017 at 7:09 pm

What you are saying with this list then, Wendi, it is not the political elites, intelligence agencies or career politicians whoTrump continuously rails against as the cause for the end of the American Empire. It is the financial hierarchies that Trump so desperately wants to be a part of. Putin is obviously at the top of this list and Trump sees him as a way to become a player in this club. That makes sense to me. Reply

Dr. Ibrahim Soudy , January 12, 2017 at 6:14 pm

"THEY" are the people who control the MONEY. They are referred to as the BANKERS. Those are a mafia that runs the political circus BEHIND the scene. The parties and elections are a diversion to keep the idiots busy arguing with each other like the crazy fans of sports teams. The BANKERS always make sure that the "idiots" are choosing between alternatives that ultimately BOW to the BANKERS. Read for example the following:

– "All the President's Bankers" by Naomi Prins.

– "Memoirs" by David Rockefeller.

– "The Crisis of Democracy" a publication of the Tri-Lateral Commission on their website.

-Here's How Goldman Sachs Became the Overlord of the Trump Administration
http://wallstreetonparade.com/

-Goldman, Wall Street and Financial Terrorism | The Inline image 2
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-whetten/goldman-wall-street-and-f_b.. .
Jun 19, 2010 · The most disturbing aspect of the recent Goldman Sachs lawsuit isn't just the legal violations involved Goldman, Wall Street and Financial Terrorism.

-Goldman Sachs Are Financial Terrorists | FacebookInline image 1
http://www.facebook.com/Stop.Goldman
Goldman Sachs Are Financial Terrorists. 95,662 likes · 6,188 talking about this. Get the Honest truth on the economy, this page sponsors no organization

Those will give you a good start ..Good Luck. Reply

Sam F , January 13, 2017 at 7:29 am

Perhaps you do not mean the ridicule you suggest. The effects of economic aristocracy and political conspiracy are of course not "storybook conjecture" but the combined deductions of experienced observers. That would become conjecture only if specific persons were accused, which is seldom done without evidence.

The demand for detailed evidence of an old-fashioned conspiracy to effect societal trends is not valid. It becomes propaganda when used to attack the means by which we all deduce that events are driven by cabals, or loose organizations of interested parties. While we are occasionally surprised by the detailed evidence that emerges long after events, even that is incomplete and not very relevant.

The means of ridicule shows its invalidity. There is no reason to speculate upon clubs, meetings, or handshakes, as there is no need for such specific or antiquated organization. No modern organization works that way, no one has suggested that, and no one here has reasoned from such nonsense, but rather from well documented effects of cabals. So I hope that you merely overstated a wish for more evidence.

Kiza , January 13, 2017 at 9:49 am

Bravo. Reply

Howard Mettee , January 12, 2017 at 6:27 pm

Robert, Could it not be true that the real losers in the neocon push to extend the American dominion might actually be the intelligence services? They have become so politicized in domestic politics since the Iraq War build up (a la Rice, Chaney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Powell) that they figure they can shape American public opinion to support any war, no matter how "unthreatening" the enemy (say Russia) might actually be. Originally they were basically "fact collectors" (objective) – at first from around the world, but since 9/11's Patriot Act, at home also. Then, they became "interpreters and analyzers of motives" which takes a bit of a weed-gee board (subjective!) on the part of the "experienced eye". When whatever these very effective (and appreciated) fact collectors opine suddenly becomes gospel in their "estimates" (interpretation), we have lost the ability to even influence the fate of our nation. Is this the country I grew up in? Or, has it been this way since we were led so effectively to support World War I? Take care, HM Reply

Thurgle , January 12, 2017 at 6:44 pm

The NYT skirts around the issue of who paid the huge sums for the research that produced the story of Trump's alleged sexcapades in Moscow. They never say the funders are unknown, but instead use devices like the passive tense to avoid saying. But it would be very interesting to know who signed the checks. Apparently, there was a Republican funder during the primaries who stopped payment when Trump prevailed, whereupon Fusion found a Clinton backer to write their checks. It would be very interesting to know who these funders were and why the MSM seems so keen to avoid saying. Reply

BlackPete , January 12, 2017 at 7:46 pm

When it comes to cavorting with prostitutes JFK was the undisputed champion. Given the high regard JFK is held in in some circles maybe Trump's alleged misbehaviour is a positive sign. Also, now that Trump's behaviour has been made public isn't the Russian threat to expose him now worthless and their alleged hold/influence gone?

Mark West , January 12, 2017 at 8:01 pm

Its not about the hookers. That's useless drivel. It's about the potential of illegal financial dealings with Russia prior to the election. Just show the damn tax returns. What the hell is he afraid of? What could possibly go wrong?

Anna , January 12, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Are you keen on asking Clintons to reveal their financial dealings with Saudis, the sponsors of 9/11?
How about the Kagans' clan being currently "supported" financially by Qatari?
And this is much more interesting than tax return: "The NYT skirts around the issue of who paid the huge sums for the research that produced the story of Trump's alleged sexcapades in Moscow. They never say the funders are unknown, but instead use devices like the passive tense to avoid saying. But it would be very interesting to know who signed the checks. Apparently, there was a Republican funder during the primaries who stopped payment when Trump prevailed, whereupon Fusion found a Clinton backer to write their checks. It would be very interesting to know who these funders were and why the MSM seems so keen to avoid saying."

col from oz , January 12, 2017 at 10:25 pm

I read it was Rubio commissioned the dirt.
Look at day 69 of eric braverman.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwKhbsASDhI Reply

akech , January 12, 2017 at 8:07 pm

Is this the face of the "DEEP STATE"?

It is controlling, deceptive, organized, bloody and does not give a "rat ass" about the needs of any other human being on earth who does not belong to it!

It neither tolerates opposing views from anybody who does not belong to its members nor allows the outsiders to organize . It is determined to be the lens through which everybody under its control see the rest of the world; any conclusion drawn by the besieged population, based on what it is forced to see, must conform to the "DEEP STATE" norms; otherwise, you are in deep trouble. The POTUS or the Congress must toe lines dictated by the members of this organization, (the Deep State). We are observing that no effort is being spared to see to it that President-Elect toes the "DEEP STATE" line; it is deep and scary indeed! Reply

John , January 12, 2017 at 8:40 pm

Russia is the half naked female in the magic show The real slight of hand is the relationship with the American oligarch and china .wow !!! . talking about messing with the bottom line some of you big brain folks will get this in 4 ..3 2 ..lol Reply

Abe , January 12, 2017 at 9:54 pm

What I Learned From the Intelligence Report on "Russian Hacking"
By James Corbett
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ecxu7EStgs Reply

CitizenOne , January 12, 2017 at 9:55 pm

There is little doubt that the obvious blackmail will never be covered in that light by main stream media. To those of us who are historians or are natural skeptics or have actually lived through those times, this is all fairly obvious. They are trying to put Donald Trump in a corner so he can be controlled.

I suspect that is why Trump retained Steve Bannon for. Not just a house racist but someone who can get down and dirty on those that dish up dirt on Trump. We'll have to see if it works. Headlines: "Donald unleashes TwitterBomb on CIA". But he'll have to go on the internet since the CIA owns the press in the USA.

He has two choices. Listen to the CIA and do their bidding which is the requirement to start WWIII with Russia or resist and be smeared in the press. It's an uphill battle too. Unlike Silvio Berlusconi or Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump does not actually own the press. That will make it especially hard to do.

This thing is shaping up to be a geopolitical oil war. Rex and the Russians vs the Saudi/CIA Team USA.

All I can say is fine America. Don't give a damn about privacy. Don't give a damn about anything. But one of these days this massive spying ring gathering every shred of any and all traces of your life and filing them away forever cannot be good. It will most certainly not end well.

When AI has us all pinned up against a wall threatening to out all of us if we do not do exactly what it wants then what will we do?

We need some privacy laws. Also we need to throw the main stream media out with the trash. It is pure evil. Back in the day, the press wouldn't run the stories about MLKs extramarital affairs it recorded secretly. The press demanded to know the source of the B.S. and the FBI did not want to tip their hand so the Mexican standoff led to the suicide letter which said "if you accept the Nobel Prize, we will shame you and ruin you and you should consider preserving you legacy by killing yourself instead. At least the MSM had some ethical standards and smelled a rat and refused to run the stories. Imagine that. If MLK was alive today we and we still had segregation, people and the media would fight to keep it! MLK would be a portrayed in the press as a philandering bad guy. A sexual predator. The Civil Rights movement would end in a quagmire of gossip surrounding its leader.

The Republicans have certainly had their fun with it too making Monica Lewinsky describe to a court the distinctive features of the president's privates. I bet they were rolling in the aisles when that happened. Now it's their turn. Will they defend Trump or will they hope that perhaps Mike Pence would make a better leader.

All this tawdry B.S. really gets old fast. I could care less what people do in private as long as nobody gets hurt.

One person abroad when asked what they thought about Bill Clinton's circumstances replied they were confused since after all we were not electing the Pope. Amen. I feel the same way about Trump. It's all B.S.

The problem is America can't remember what happened yesterday. We are collectively like terminal Alzheimer patients. Two seconds after we see something, we forget it and are completely susceptible to B.S.in two seconds after we forgot what just happened which ignores the facts which occurred a mere two seconds earlier but we are none the wiser since we can't remember what happened more than two seconds ago. That means there are a lot of opportunities each day to fool us.

What ever happened to the story about James Comey influencing the election? We just forgot it. What ever happened to all of the other historically "likely suspects" thought to have been likely suspects in vote rigging schemes. They are all absent and not presented as possible influencers of the election by our CIA owned press. Instead we are presented with a fake narrative filled with salacious gossip and naughty bits designed to turn public opinion into a weapon for further increases in militarization and military spending while preserving foreign relationships which benefit wealthy investors.

We need to wake up and start taking some strong medicine to ward off the Alzheimer disease that is affecting us in order to put the daily snow job presented by the MSM and the CIA into perspective. That perspective would include what just happened two seconds ago.

Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen since the medication would have to include administering it to the MSM too.

The ability of the MSM to erase our collective memory and present us with a new fake narrative on any given day should ring alarm bells that we are obviously vulnerable to being fooled.

We are being fooled. Every day. Time to start taking the meds. Reply

Jurgen , January 12, 2017 at 10:01 pm

This is no "deep state" this is rather in-plain-sight US Government at work.
Trivial task:
1) Create a dense smoke screen by broadcasting on every single TV channel non-stop anti-Russian and anti-Trump*** hysteria (they know it can't go wrong – they know Trump would try to reply to every single fake thus making their task easier and the picture even more colorful)
2) Behind that smoke screen ship few thousands of US troops and tanks over to Poland and to those parasitic micro quasi-states in Baltic and by doing that de-facto lay foundation for 4-5 new military bases,
which (yet another NATO expansion) otherwise would not be approved and likely axed by Trump. But now it went through s-m-o-u-ht-ly, like a butter. Highest class of the old Shell Game. Where CIA, FBI and other spook shops are used as shills and the population of the US are total losers (everyone's taxes will be used to pay for that yet another NATO expansion).
3) Behind the same smoke screen Obamacare has just been demolished late last night, congrats 20 million of poor folks!

*** Just wait till grainy videos surface showing some naked figures – one of them would be vaguely resembling Trump.
That'd be no hard task for talented movie makers from either PSYOP or/and PAG (just remember their masterpieces featuring Jessica Lynch and other ones featuring fat "Osama bin Laden"-looking dude).

Note: Authorization to create and finance state Propaganda apparatus, S.2943, was quietly passed late Friday night Dec.23 behind the smoke screen of the same anti-Russian and anti-Trump hysteria, thus what we are seeing now is perfectly lawful – propaganda machine at full throttle, who said bureaucracy is slow(?)

Anna , January 12, 2017 at 10:05 pm

is not it nice that Obama is leaving office while being decorated with salacious fake stories which he is promoting Petty and dishonest in everything.

Gregory Herr , January 12, 2017 at 11:17 pm

I tried to watch his good riddance speech last night, but couldn't get through the half of it. For relief I turned to this video:

http://youtu.be/F5K7UmYkD1I Reply

Franz Rock , January 12, 2017 at 10:11 pm

As a non-citicen one has to wonder about the mind boggling machination the US politic is capable of.
After WW2 the European countries looked upon the USA as the beacon of democratic values.
How bitter for the young generation to find, bit by bit, that behind the American facade lurked a system
of smoke and mirrors. As ruthless as the very system they replaced in Europe. Slowly sugarcoating
their deep aims of domination. Under words like freedom,liberty and equality there is the underlying
unbelievable lust for money and with it power. From a human point of view, and the thinking person,
the politics and aims of the United States of America is an abomination for all the worlds people.

Oleg , January 13, 2017 at 3:27 am

I certainly agree with you, but also I am really saddened that this pattern is far from being unique and repeats itself all over and over again. The power corrupts, and it is true for states as well as for people. But the US are indeed a sad champion in hypocrisy. Their predecessors were not as skilled in hiding their true intentions behind the screen of freedom and all other very attractive values. This makes it especially hard to accept. Reply

Brad Owen , January 13, 2017 at 5:08 am

You've fingered the wrong culprits, or rather indicted fellow victims. It's the same bloody, titled ruling class and their managerial elites in business and banking from old-line European/British families who've been playing their Imperial games and still are. THEY created the late 19th century Synachist Movement for Empire (SME) that gave birth to Fascism and its' feverish twin NAZIism,really just movements to update the workings of the old-fashioned European Empires. It's also the Cecil Rhodes/Milner RoundTable Group that dove-tailed with SME machinations to update old Empires, campaigning strenuously, through their managerial elites on Wall Street, to recapture their "rogue colony" USA and bring it into the British version of Empire. Right at the moment of FDR's death (may have been assassination), the tables were turned on us, with Churchill leading stupid Truman around by the nose speaking of iron curtains and Red Scares and Cold Wars. FDR's intelligence community was taken over by Anglophile RoundTable allies in the post-war 40s. Having helped win the battles, we lost the War to the fascist/NAZI SME and RoundTable groups who never received so much as a scratch from all the bombs and bullets. Have you seen the show Hunting Hitler? WWII never ended, the methods of fighting just changed.

Brad Owen , January 13, 2017 at 5:44 am

P.S. Not only did WWII never end, just a change in fighting methods, BUT the SME/RoundTable Groups managed to get the two most powerful allies turned against each other: USSR and USA, so that we, together, couldn't focus on the REAL enemy; SME/RoundTable group of elites (which would have happened under FDR in post-war. He would have been President until January 1949 if he hadn't died/been killed, Stalin told FDRs son that "that Churchill gang killed him" been trying to do the same to Stalin) and THIS is why Trumps' Russophilia is such a grave and real threat to our Establishment.

Joe Tedesky , January 13, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Brad you hit the nail on the head with your comments here .bravo! Reply

John P , January 14, 2017 at 9:55 pm

Where on earth did you get this fable. Roosevelt had polio and needed a wheelchair, he was a heavy smoker, had high blood pressure, angina followed by congestive heart failure all finalized by a stoke. He had been weakening over a long period. This is all before the days of polonium the USSR uses to kill its foes today.
Russia wasn't following the agreements drawn up in Yalta and fair free elections were not provided in Poland and many Poles who fought for the allies in the war felt betrayed. The Soviets went their own way, so were we to tell the Poles, tough.
Allied convoys, mainly British, at great cost in ships and men, supplied the Russians with war supplies. They faced U-boats and heavily armed German battle-cruisers in freezing arctic waters. After the war Germany got assistance in rebuilding, but the British were held to paying off debts for US build liberty ships used to replace ships lost on the Atlantic convoys. I had an uncle who's ship was sunk and very luckily, after much time in a life boat, was picked up. Many Americans sat back and watched until Pearl Harbour. The British had warned the Americans some time before, that they had lost contact with one of the Japanese fleets they were following, and you can guess the consequences.
Britain saw what was coming when Germany attacked Poland and declared war on Germany. We didn't have much. My father was almost killed assisting surgeon in a Liverpool hospital and luckily had to leave to go out in an ambulance. When he came back the OR was gone. Bombed out. Luckily on another occasion, the day staff had been told to stay on duty with the night staff and the nursing residence was flattened. We had rationing until 1950, and had to grow food in our small back garden, sprouts, peas, cabbage. We had 6 chickens and a rooster, a source of much needed nutrition from eggs. I remember my mother weeping terribly after telling the police she had lost her ration books. As a young lad I went on a search and eventually found them in the folds of a chair. You may never have had to live through something like that.
And if you think America is any better than others, read "What is America?" by Ronald Wright. Learn about the Trail of Tears and traders knowingly giving natives blankets used by whites with small-pox.

Brad Owen , January 15, 2017 at 6:47 am

You relate the manufactured cover story, thanks to the anglophile Intel community that took over in post-war forties, and did their typical change of the narration, much like they do today with the phony crap about Russian aggression. This kind of sh!t has been going on since the revolution, as the wealthy and powerful Imperial Tories never left and never relented. I got this"fable" from EIR and Tarpley.net. It makes more sense to me than the current fable we call history. Check it out for yourself, it amounts to mountains of articles and essays. It took me years to piece it all together and relay it adequately in brief paragraphs. Choose to believe there is no over-arching Imperial ruling class inimical to the interests of commoners if you want. I refuse to be blind to it anymore.

David F., N.A. , January 12, 2017 at 10:18 pm

What if the intelligence community wasn't choosing between HRC and Trump, but, in stead, between HRC and Pence. So no matter who won, wouldn't this hedged election mean business as usual?

Sorry, HRC, but for this downward neoliberal/fascist spiral thingy to work, you lesser-of-2-evil conservaDems are just going to have to learn to share with the equally-corrupt conservatives. See ya in 4 (or maybe 8 (naw, 4)).

Hail to the de facto Chief. da dada da dada dada dada da. Reply

Furtive , January 12, 2017 at 11:36 pm

You forgot to declare who is the drag queen in this matter?

Let's warn these evil psychopaths that a JFK OUTCOME IS OFF LIMITS.
That is the inference of your article.

By the way, Trump NEVER READ THE REPORT PRIVATELY. THERE WAS AN ORAL PRESENTATION, & CLAPPER & Brennan took the CLASSIFIED documents back with them. Trump never read the 2 pg libel nor was it discussed in the presentation.

Carl Rising-Moore , January 13, 2017 at 2:38 am

This is also reminiscent of Hoover and JFK. When JFK attended Hoover's office, he was handed the President's file. JFK read some of the file while Hoover waited. When JFK stood up to leave, Hoover told the President that the file remains with him. No wonder JFK and Bobby hated this dangerous psychopath. Reply

John P , January 12, 2017 at 11:43 pm

It's all slime, Americans let their political system fall into the trap of big money (lobbying system and PACs) and neo-liberalism. I have no faith that Trump has the capabilities to be a good president. His dialogue is simple, his temper easily aroused as are his feelings of hurt. He shows little historical knowledge or political skills and speaks in a petty childish way. Who is going to pay for the southern border wall ?! What is going to replace Obama's medical care programs, more big business institutions ?! To me it looks like the Palestinians are on the Titanic run by captain Trump and his son-in law, and only minutes to go. What real in depth policies has Trump ever stated ?! Look out because Trump has a habit of passing on the bills be it cash, broken promises or a road you never thought he would take.
And yes we need a calming down and discussion between the US, Russia and China, but I don't see any hope in the line of folks Trump has chosen or Clinton. To me, Trump is like passenger on an aircraft in which the pilot has expired and he is relying on others to tell him what to do because he has no idea or understanding.
I think this and a world where jobs have been taken by microprocessors and robots, is a very dangerous place and we don't need a blind narcissist leading the way. Sadly Bernie Sanders got burnt on the stake. Reply

Carl Rising-Moore , January 13, 2017 at 2:28 am

At times like this I miss the wise words of the late Chalmers Johnson. Chalmers was not encouraged by the possibility of America stepping back from her efforts to control the entire world. He felt the deep state was too committed to America's Full Spectrum Dominance. Is this the sloppy end to the legacy of the Sole Super Power? Or, is this just the middle of the play before curtain call?
When Russia came to the aid of Syria, I believed that we were entering the Multipolar World Order. Hopefully that is still possible but better sooner than later before we enter the No World Order of endless chaos. Does the American deep state really want to play Russian Roulette with live nucs?

Joe Tedesky , January 13, 2017 at 1:16 pm

I wish Chalmers Johnson were still with us, and able to comment on our current events good of you to bring his name up. Reply

John P , January 15, 2017 at 7:01 pm

I'm sorry Brad. With your EIR's reference, the first story I saw concerned Obama-care connected to some Nazi policies. Next they claim global warming is fake. The US was the only western nation without a national health program. People die because they haven't the money to pay for drugs or health care. The health of a labourer is more important to them that a rich bloke sitting at a desk. And excuse me but back in the late 60s I studied astronomy besides my major, another science, and even then learned that both CO2 and methane each trap the sun's energy and cause temperatures to rise. That was long before global warming came to peoples attention. Sorry, your story is pure fiction.

Also, Trump hasn't a clue what he's talking about as far as global warming is concerned. Take a look at the temperatures in the far north. They have been warmer than ever while we down here are having huge cycles of heat and cold and are experiencing the fury that those changes can induce.

Dieter Heymann , January 16, 2017 at 2:23 pm

As a scientist you ought to know that CO2 and methane do not trap the sun's energy but absorb upward IR radiation from Earth part of which they radiate back towards Earth's surface part out into space. The blanket I use on my bed at night does not trap the heat generated by me either. If it did it might catch fire?

John P , January 16, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Dieter I was just trying to make it simple, not write an article for Nature. The point being so many people don't believe that we are altering the earths climate through burning fossil fuels. We take down our forests, and plants are a big reason we are here as they take in carbon dioxide, utilize the suns energy through photosynthesis and create organic compounds thus setting the stage for further developments. There is so much irrationality out there brought on by job losses through technology, and this creates huge divisions within society and that can lead to awful consequences as history has shown.
I not sure some would understand the true science behind it. The subject was a reliance on a web site that promoted climate change denial and a mentioned link between Obamacare and Nazism. Is that a firm foundation of reliance ?

John P , January 16, 2017 at 4:33 pm

Just to clarify, I said astronomy wasn't my major, it was microbiology and medical sciences. I had an interest in star gazing and following the planets. Reply

Jamie , January 16, 2017 at 1:54 pm

Many liberals fail to understand that Hillary was the chosen candidate of the deep-state and international finance capital. Unlike the unwashed masses - these forces don't care if politician has a 'D' or 'R' next to their name. It is how well they will serve capital.

[Feb 09, 2019] Government shutdown, Venezuela Donald Trump evolves into the best propagator of neoliberal fascism that tends to become a norm

Notable quotes:
"... Indeed, a year later, Trump built a pro-war team that includes the most bloodthirsty, hawkish neocons. And then, he ordered a second airstrike against Syria, together with his neocolonial friends. ..."
"... Trump conducted the longest experiment on neoliberals' ultimate goal: abolishing the annoying presence of the state. And this was just a taste of what Trump is willing to do in order to satisfy all neoliberals' wet dreams. ..."
"... And perhaps the best proof for that is a statement by one of the most warmongering figures of the neocon/neoliberal cabal, hired by Trump . As John Bolton cynically and openly admitted recently, " It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela. " ..."
"... Donald Trump is the personification of an authoritarian system that increasingly unveils its true nature. The US empire makes the Venezuelan economy 'scream hard', as it did in Chile in 1973. The country then turned into the first laboratory of neoliberalism with the help of the Chicago Boys and a brutal dictatorship. So, as the big fraud is clear now, neoliberalism is losing ground and ideological influence over countries and societies, after decades of complete dominance. ..."
Feb 09, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

Government shutdown, Venezuela: Donald Trump evolves into the best propagator of neoliberal fascism that tends to become a norm February 07, 2019 by system failure

Even before the 2016 US presidential election, this blog supported that Donald Trump is a pure sample of neoliberal barbarism . Many almost laughed at this perception because Trump was being already promoted, more or less, as the 'terminator' of the neoliberal establishment. And many people, especially in the US, tired from the economic disasters, the growing inequality and the endless wars, were anxious to believe that this was indeed his special mission.

Right after the elections, we supported that the US establishment gave a brilliant performance by putting its reserve, Donald Trump, in power, against the only candidate that the same establishment identified as a real threat: Bernie Sanders.

Then, Trump sent the first shock wave to his supporters by literally hiring the Goldman Sachs banksters to run the economy. And right after that, he signed for more deregulation in favor of the Wall Street mafia that ruined the economy in 2008.

In 2017 , Trump bombed Syria for the first time, resembling the lies that led us to the Iraq war disaster. Despite the fact that the US Tomahawk missile attack had zero value in operational level (the United States allegedly warned Russia and Syria, while the targeted airport was operating normally just hours after the attack), Trump sent a clear message to the US deep state that he is prepared to meet all its demands - and especially the escalation of the confrontation with Russia.

Indeed, a year later, Trump built a pro-war team that includes the most bloodthirsty, hawkish neocons. And then, he ordered a second airstrike against Syria, together with his neocolonial friends.

In the middle of all this 'orgy' of pro-establishment moves, Trump offered a controversial withdrawal of US forces from Syria and Afghanistan to save whatever was possible from his 'anti-interventionist' profile. And it was indeed a highly controversial action with very little value, considering all these US military bases that are still fully operational in the broader Middle East and beyond. Not to mention the various ways through which the US intervenes in the area (training proxies, equip them with heavy weapons, supporting the Saudis and contribute to war crimes in Yemen, etc.)

And then , after this very short break, Trump returned to 'business as usual' to satisfy the neoliberal establishment with a 'glorious' record. He achieved a 35-day government shutdown, which is the "longest shutdown in US history" .

Trump conducted the longest experiment on neoliberals' ultimate goal: abolishing the annoying presence of the state. And this was just a taste of what Trump is willing to do in order to satisfy all neoliberals' wet dreams.

And now, we have the Venezuela issue. Since Hugo Chavez nationalized PDVSA, the central oil and natural gas company, the US empire launched a fierce economic war against the country. Yet, while all previous US administrations were trying to replace legitimate governments with their puppets as much silently as possible through slow-motion coup operations, Trump has no problem to do it in plain sight.

And perhaps the best proof for that is a statement by one of the most warmongering figures of the neocon/neoliberal cabal, hired by Trump . As John Bolton cynically and openly admitted recently, " It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela. "

Therefore, one should be very naive of course to believe that the Western imperialist gang seriously cares about the Venezuelan people and especially the poor. Here are three basic reasons behind the open US intervention in Venezuela:

  1. The imperialists want to grab the rich oil fields for the US big oil cartel, as well as the great untapped natural resources , particularly gold (mostly for the Canadian companies).
  2. Venezuela must not become an example for other countries in the region on social-programs policy, which is mainly funded by the oil production. The imperialists know that they must interrupt the path of Venezuela to real Socialism by force if necessary. Neoliberalism must prevail by all means for the benefit of the big banks and corporations.
  3. Venezuela must not turn to cooperation with rival powers like China and Russia. Such a prospect may give the country the ability to minimize the effects of the economic war. The country may find an alternative to escape the Western sanctions in order to fund its social programs for the benefit of the people. And, of course, the West will never accept the exploitation of the Venezuelan resources by the Sino-Russian bloc.

So, when Trump declared the unelected Juan Guaido as the 'legitimate president' of Venezuela, all the main neoliberal powers of the West rushed to follow the decision.

This is something we have never seen before. The 'liberal democracies' of the West - only by name - immediately, uncritically and without hesitation jumped on the same boat with Trump towards this outrageously undemocratic action. They recognized Washington's puppet as the legitimate president of a third country. A man that was never elected by the Venezuelan people and has very low popularity in the country. Even worse, the EU parliament approved this action , killing any last remnants of democracy in the Union.

Yet, it seems that the US is finding increasingly difficult to force many countries to align with its agenda. Even some European countries took some distance from the attempted constitutional coup, with Italy even trying to veto EU's decision to recognize Guaido.

Donald Trump is the personification of an authoritarian system that increasingly unveils its true nature. The US empire makes the Venezuelan economy 'scream hard', as it did in Chile in 1973. The country then turned into the first laboratory of neoliberalism with the help of the Chicago Boys and a brutal dictatorship. So, as the big fraud is clear now, neoliberalism is losing ground and ideological influence over countries and societies, after decades of complete dominance.

This unprecedented action by the Western neoliberal powers to recognize Guaido is a serious sign that neoliberalism returns to its roots and slips towards fascism. It appears now that this is the only way to maintain some level of power.

[Feb 05, 2019] Trump and His Golfing Buddies Continue Neoliberalism s Assault on the Veteran s Administration by Lambert Strether

Notable quotes:
"... By Lambert Strether of Corrente . ..."
"... It's almost like there's a neo-liberal playbook, isn't there? No underpants gnomes , they! (1) Defund or sabotage, (2) Claim crisis, (3) Call for privatization (4) Profit! [ka-ching]. Congress underfunds the VA, then overloads it with Section 8 patients, a crisis occurs, and Obama's first response is send patients to the private system . ..."
"... Assuming that wait time is a function of resources, you can easily see how the playbook would work: (1) Reduce resources, (2) whinge about wait time, and (3) drain patients from the VA system, for profit! (Note that while Democrats are ostensibly jumping on board the #MedicareForAll train, they are, in the main, silent -- Warren and Sanders being the only notable exceptions -- about the destruction of an existing ..."
"... "This is nothing short of a steady march toward the privatization [1] of the VA," Sanders said. "It's going to happen piece by piece by piece until over a period of time there's not much in the VA to provide the quality care that our veterans deserve." ..."
"... Now, just because privatizing the Veterans Administration is a project of the political class as a whole doesn't mean that the Trump Administration hasn't brought its own special mix of corruption and buffoonery to the table. Indeed it has! Who, we might ask, were the actual factions in the Republican administration pushing for VA Mission? Three of Trump's squillionaire golfing buddies at Mar-a-Lago[2], as it all-too-believably turns out. From Pro Publica, " The Shadow Rulers of the VA ": ..."
"... The wretched excess of Trump's policy-by-golfing buddies aside, I don't see why privatiizing the Veterans Administration shouldn't become a major campaign issue, especially given Sanders' presence on the relevant committee. We send our children off to die in wars for regime change where the only winners are military contractors. ..."
Feb 03, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

February 3, 2019 By Lambert Strether of Corrente .

With the release of new proposed eligibility rules under the VA Mission Act, we see that privatization at the Veterans Administration (VA) continues to unfold, as outlined in the neoliberal playbook , to which we have alluded before:

The stories intertwine because they look like they're part of the neoliberal privatization playbook , here described in a post about America's universities:

It's almost like there's a neo-liberal playbook, isn't there? No underpants gnomes , they! (1) Defund or sabotage, (2) Claim crisis, (3) Call for privatization (4) Profit! [ka-ching]. Congress underfunds the VA, then overloads it with Section 8 patients, a crisis occurs, and Obama's first response is send patients to the private system .

Congress imposes huge unheard-of, pension requirements on the Post Office, such that it operates at a loss, and it's gradually cannibalized by private entities, whether for services or property. And charters are justified by a similar process.

(I've helpfully numbered the steps, and added 'sabotage' alongside defunding, although defunding is neoliberalism's main play, based on the ideology of austerity.)

We can see this process play out not only in public universities, public schools, the Post Office, and the TSA , but in Britain's NHS, a national treasure that the Tories are systematically and brutally dismantling .)

The political class has been trying to privatize the VA across several administrations -- " Veterans groups are angry after President Obama told them Monday that he is still considering a proposal to have treatment for service-connected injuries charged to veterans' private insurance plan" -- although it is true that the Trump administration has brought its own special brand of crassness to the project, as we shall see. As we might expect , the project has nothing to do with the wishes of veterans :

Nearly two-thirds of veterans oppose "privatizing VA hospitals and services," according to a poll released Tuesday by the Vet Voice Foundation. And some 80 percent of the veterans surveyed believe veterans "deserve their health care to be fully paid for, not vouchers which may not cover all the costs."

A plurality of veterans, or 42 percent of those surveyed, agreed with the statement that the VA "needs more doctors," according to the poll, indicating they believe the VA's problems are at least partly due to a personnel shortage [Step (1)].

Although Vet Voice is a progressive organization, the poll of 800 veterans was jointly conducted by a Democratic polling firm and a Republican one.

And the Veterans are right, because VA hospitals provide better care. Besides many anecdotes , we have this in Stars and Stripes, " Dartmouth study finds VA hospitals outperform others in same regions ":

A new study by Dartmouth College that compares Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals with other hospitals in the same regions found VA facilities often outperform others when it comes to mortality rates and patient safety.

Researchers compared performance data at VA hospitals against non-VA facilities in 121 regions. In 14 out of 15 measures, the VA performed "significantly better" than other hospitals, according to results from the study.

"We found a surprisingly high, to me, number of cases where the VA was the best hospital in the region," said Dr. William Weeks, who led the study. "Pretty rarely was it the worst hospital." "One has to wonder whether outsourcing care is the right choice if we care about veterans' outcomes," Weeks said. "The VA is, for the most part, doing at least as well as the private sector in a local setting, and pretty often are the best performers in that setting."

"One has to wonder" indeed! Be that it may, the new VA eligibility rules accelerate privatization. USA Today :

Nearly four times as many veterans could be eligible for private health care paid for by the Department of Veterans Affairs under sweeping rules the agency proposed Wednesday.

VA officials estimated the plan could increase the number of veterans eligible for private care to as many as 2.1 million – up from roughly 560,000 .

And here are the rules (apparently modeled after TriCare Prime , the military's insurance plan):

Assuming that wait time is a function of resources, you can easily see how the playbook would work: (1) Reduce resources, (2) whinge about wait time, and (3) drain patients from the VA system, for profit! (Note that while Democrats are ostensibly jumping on board the #MedicareForAll train, they are, in the main, silent -- Warren and Sanders being the only notable exceptions -- about the destruction of an existing , and highly functional, single payer system. So how do we get to this point? A previous iteration of the neoliberal playbook, of course!

* * *

Our story begins with the " hastily enacted " Veterans Choice Program of 2014 :

The program, which began in 2014, was supposed to give veterans a way around long waits in the VA. But veterans using the Choice Program still had to wait longer than allowed by law. And according to ProPublica and PolitiFact's analysis of VA data, the two companies hired to run the program [TriWest and Health Net] took almost $2 billion in fees, or about 24 percent of the companies' total program expenses .

More on those fees from Pacific Standard :

According to the agency's inspector general, the VA was paying the contractors at least $295 every time it authorized private care for a veteran. The fee was so high because the VA hurriedly launched the Choice Program as a short-term response to a crisis. Four years later, the fee never subsided -- it went up to as much as $318 per referral .. In many cases, the contractors' $295-plus processing fee for every referral was bigger than the doctor's bill for services rendered, the analysis of agency data showed.

Ka-ching! So, step (3) -- profit! -- worked out very well for TriWest and Health Net, piling up $2 billion in loot. ( Step (2) was a scandal of "35 veterans who had died while waiting for care in the Phoenix VHA system," step (1) being the usual denial of resources/sabotage). The VA Mission Act was the legislative response to Veterans Choice debacle. Naturally, it moved the privatization ball down the field. The American Prospect :

Only two of the 42 members on the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committee opposed Mission last year , when it came up for a vote.

In other words, privatizing the Veterans Administration has strong bipartisan support. But:

One of those lawmakers, Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Democrat, reiterated his opposition to Mission in December.

"This is nothing short of a steady march toward the privatization [1] of the VA," Sanders said. "It's going to happen piece by piece by piece until over a period of time there's not much in the VA to provide the quality care that our veterans deserve."

Now, just because privatizing the Veterans Administration is a project of the political class as a whole doesn't mean that the Trump Administration hasn't brought its own special mix of corruption and buffoonery to the table. Indeed it has! Who, we might ask, were the actual factions in the Republican administration pushing for VA Mission? Three of Trump's squillionaire golfing buddies at Mar-a-Lago[2], as it all-too-believably turns out. From Pro Publica, " The Shadow Rulers of the VA ":

[Bruce Moskowitz, is a Palm Beach doctor who helps wealthy people obtain high-service "concierge" medical care] is one-third of an informal council that is exerting sweeping influence on the VA from Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump's private club in Palm Beach, Florida. The troika is led by Ike Perlmutter, the reclusive chairman of Marvel Entertainment, who is a longtime acquaintance of President Trump's. The third member is a lawyer named Marc Sherman. None of them has ever served in the U.S. military or government .

The arrangement is without parallel in modern presidential history.

Everything is like CalPERS.

The Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 provides a mechanism for agencies to consult panels of outside advisers, but such committees are subject to cost controls, public disclosure and government oversight. Other presidents have relied on unofficial "kitchen cabinets," but never before have outside advisers been so specifically assigned to one agency. During the transition, Trump handed out advisory roles to several rich associates, but they've all since faded away. The Mar-a-Lago Crowd, however, has deepened its involvement in the VA.

In September 2017, the Mar-a-Lago Crowd weighed in on the side of expanding the use of the private sector. "We think that some of the VA hospitals are delivering some specialty healthcare when they shouldn't and when referrals to private facilities or other VA centers would be a better option," Perlmutter wrote in an email to Shulkin and other officials. "Our solution is to make use of academic medical centers and medical trade groups, both of whom have offered to send review teams to the VA hospitals to help this effort."

In other words, they proposed inviting private health care executives to tell the VA which services they should outsource to private providers like themselves. It was precisely the kind of fox-in-the-henhouse scenario that the VA's defenders had warned against for years.

While it is true that the ideological ground for privatization was laid by the Koch Brothers , among others, the actual vector of tranmission, as it were, seems to have been the Mar-a-Lago crowd. There has been pushback against them, in the form of a Congressional request for a GAO investigation , and a lawsuit by veterans , but as we have seen, the neoliberal play continues to run.

* * *

The wretched excess of Trump's policy-by-golfing buddies aside, I don't see why privatiizing the Veterans Administration shouldn't become a major campaign issue, especially given Sanders' presence on the relevant committee. We send our children off to die in wars for regime change where the only winners are military contractors.

Then, when our children come home, we're going to send them into a health care system that's been as crapified as everybody else's (and that's before we get to PTSD, homelessness, and suicide). Surely a pitch along those lines would play in the heartland? If Sanders doesn't pick up the ball and run with it, Gabbard should.

NOTES

[1] More from Sanders. Common Dreams :

[SANDERS:] No one disagrees that veterans should be able to seek private care in cases where the VA cannot provide the specialized care they require, or when wait times for appointments are too long or when veterans might have to travel long distances for that care. The way to reduce wait times is to make sure that the VA is able to fill the more than 30,000 vacancies it currently has. This bill provides $5 billion for the Choice program. It provides nothing to fill the vacancies at the VA. That is wrong . My fear is that this bill will open the door to the draining, year after year, of much needed resources from the VA.

In other words, the way to solve the problem is not to take Step 1: Give the VA the resources that it needs.

[2] I continue to believe that golf play, or knowledge of golf play, should be a disqualification for high office.

[Jan 29, 2019] So which of Trump s nominees gets kneecapped by Deep State first? Michael Flynn

Dec 15, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

pogohere , Dec 15, 2018 5:57:43 PM | link

jackrabbit @ 28

activist potato @ 78

Re: "The possibility that MAGA was, in fact, a sly misdirection to co-opt the fervour of re-ignited passions in a disenfranchised segment of the America people - to re-capture the kind of patriotic commitment and ardor that drove the war effort in two world wars - into a renewed Imperial adventure was obviated, in my view, by Trump's loud and overt criticism of past Imperial adventures such as the Iraq war and Obama's inaction regarding ISIS (the accusation that Obama "created" ISIS was a bombshell, in my opinion).

Trump engaged in a bare, pointed, often crass and bordering on contemptuous criticism of his predecessors' foreign policy. The irreverent tone was unprecedented in recent campaign history and was so plain and completely at odds with Hilary's stated positions that it essentially committed him (in my eyes anyway) to following through, or to make all efforts to follow through. If not, he would set one of the worst examples of a duplicitous politician, perhaps ever. The same applies to other bold campaign positions, such as the border wall, for example.

But when viewed in the context of a deep state "policy change," such a clear and utter denunciation and discrediting of the former policy would be necessary to shift the National mindset and would not necessarily preclude Trump from engaging in further Imperial adventures, as long as they were different from the discredited policy."

So which of Trump's nominees gets kneecapped first? Michael Flynn Former Military Chief: Iraq War Was A 'Failure' That Helped Create ISIS

12-19-16

Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency who came up through intelligence positions in Iraq and Afghanistan, says that the George W. Bush administration's Iraq war was a tremendous blunder that helped to create the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS.

"It was a huge error," Flynn said about the Iraq war in a detailed interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel published Sunday.

"As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, it was a mistake to just eliminate him," Flynn went on to say. "The same is true for Moammar Gadhafi and for Libya, which is now a failed state. The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq. History will not be and should not be kind with that decision."

When told by Der Spiegel reporters Matthias Gebauer and Holger Stark that the Islamic State would not "be where it is now without the fall of Baghdad," Flynn, without reservations, said: "Yes, absolutely."

Read the entire interview here: https://tinyurl.com/zmxd3uf

Flynn, who served in the U.S. Army for more than 30 years, also said that the American military response following 9/11 was not well thought-out at all and based on significant misunderstandings.

BTW:

Hold the Phone on Flynn Sentencing – Judge Emmet Sullivan Has Questions

12-12-18

Interesting, very interesting. As noted in the Flynn sentencing memo last night there were some curiously framed explanations of events surrounding his FBI inquisition.

Now Judge Emmet Sullivan wants expanded information, and wishes to see the actual notes (FD-302) that were mentioned by Flynn; and Judge Sullivan is directing the special counsel to provide all documents created by the FBI surrounding the Flynn interview:

from the comments:

Curt says:
December 12, 2018 at 9:56 pm
This could be big news! Judge Emmet Sullivan was the same judge that had prosecutors investigated for criminal actions they took in the Sen. Ted Stevens FALSE prosecution. Some on Mueller's team, including Weinstein, were held in contempt. One prosecutor committed suicide. Others threatened with disbarment and some were suspended. "A federal judge dismissed the ethics conviction of former Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska on Tuesday after taking the extraordinary step of naming a special prosecutor to investigate whether the government lawyers who ran the Stevens case (2008) should themselves be prosecuted for criminal wrongdoing. Mueller was also involved in that horrible attempt by prosecutors to frame Sen. Ted Stevens. Judge Sullivan has absolutely no use for this group of prosecutors. He smells a rat here and is asking for all investigative materials, including 302s. This judge will not hesitate to take action against these crooked prosecutors if he finds evidence of ANY wrong doing.


See: Cautionary Tale: The Ted Stevens Prosecution

On April 7, 2009, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia unleashed his fury before a packed courtroom. For 14 minutes, he scolded. He chastised. He fumed. "In nearly 25 years on the bench," he said, "I've never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I've seen in this case.

. . .

For months Judge Sullivan had warned U.S. prosecutors about their repeated failure to turn over evidence. Then, after the jury convicted Stevens, the Justice Department discovered previously unrevealed evidence. Meanwhile, a prosecution witness and an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) came forward alleging prosecutorial misconduct. Finally, newly appointed U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that he had had enough and recommended that the seven-count conviction against the former Alaska senator be dismissed.

On April 7, Judge Sullivan did just that. But he was far from done.

In an extraordinarily rare move, he ordered an inquiry into the prosecutors' handling of the case. Judge Sullivan insisted that the misconduct allegations were "too serious and too numerous" to be left to an internal Justice Department investigation. He appointed Washington lawyer Henry F. Schuelke III of Janis, Schuelke & Wechsler to investigate whether members of the trial team should be prosecuted for criminal contempt.

Judge sentencing . . . Michael Flynn orders special counsel to hand over all 302s"


12-13-18 Following the allegations, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan yesterday ordered that both the Mueller investigation and the Flynn team turn over all documents [the "302s"] relating to the fateful interview, including all contemporaneous notes, before 3pm Friday.

DiGenova slams Mueller's handling of Flynn FBI meeting

4:04

Rumor has it the next chapter of this story unfolds Monday, 17 Dec '18.

[Jan 29, 2019] Brexit and the future of neoliberalism in UK

Dec 17, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Dave_P -> willpodmore , 23 Aug 2016 10:57

The EU didn't impose austerity on the UK, its own government did. We don't have the euro, in case you haven't noticed. The US is our top overseas buyer. If we want more of that, we'll have to take something like TTIP or worse.

The EU was a voice for African, Caribbean and Pacific producers against US transnationals, and offered favorable terms. We've weakened that voice.

Brexit makes us more dependent on the IMF, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley. They're not EU bodies.

Britain opposed EU democratisation for forty years by upholding national governments' veto powers over proposals supported by elected MEPs.

You voted against everything you claim to uphold. Because it was a vote against everything.

None of that's even the issue. Do you have an insight to offer beyond antipathy to the EU?

[Jan 20, 2019] This organisation and all of those part of it should be treated as enemies of the people, as they have attacked, disingenuously and using smears

Notable quotes:
"... Sedition is a crime and it is clear that the multiple seditious acts of II and IfS toward many countries and with their band of controlled journalists was a deliberate and planned activity. ..."
"... I don't expect any prosecutions but there is a chance of promotional impediments applying to some of those named. At least for the next month. Every named employee of II and IfS is an enemy of democracy and its people ..."
Jan 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anne Jaclard , Jan 20, 2019 6:02:29 PM | link

On Integrity Initiative Endgame:

From Consortium News

It should be pointed out that the Integrity Initiative recently claimed on Twitter that some of the documents leaked in batch #4 were not theirs and had been misrepresented as part of the organisation.

It doesn't really matter, though: all that we know, anti-socialist shills writing propaganda on behalf of II (Nimmo, Cohen, Reid-Ross) have confirmed their own roles, and the Twitter account was proven to have pushed out slanderous material on Jeremy Corbyn.

Note that "misrepresented" could have referred to the inclusion of the Corbyn slide show document which was presented at but created by the II.

This organisation and all of those part of it should be treated as enemies of the people, as they have attacked, disingenuously and using smears,

-Yellow Vests
– Jill Stein
-Jeremy Corbyn
-George Galloway
-Seuams Milne
-German Left Party
-French Left Party
-French Communist Party
-Greek Communist Party
-Podemos
-Norwegian Red Party
-Norwegian Socialist Left Party
-Swedish Left Party
-Swedish Greens
-International Anti-NATO Groups
-Greyzone Project
-Julian Assange
-MintPressNews

Via

-Infiltrating Corbyn and Sanders campaigns
-Inserting propaganda anonymously into local media including the Daily Beast, Buzzfeed, The Times, the Guardian, and more
-Using social media to orchestrate hate and dismissal campaigns against those mentioned above
-Hosting events for collaboration between members
-Building online "clusters" to deploy and shape discourse in the media and elsewhere

By repeating or openly collaborating with:

-Ben Nimmo
-Oz Katergi
-Anne Applebaum
-Peter Pomerantsev
-Bellingcat
-Atlantic Council
-Carole Cadwalladr
-David Aaronovitch
-Center For A Stateless Society
-PropOrNot
-Alexander Reid-Ross
-Nick Cohen
-Michael Weiss
-Jamie Fly
-Jamie Kirchick

Directed by:

-Tory Government
-NATO
-Facebook
-German Multinationals

uncle tungsten | Jan 20, 2019 6:18:59 PM | 16

Thank you Anne Jaclard @ | 14

Sedition is a crime and it is clear that the multiple seditious acts of II and IfS toward many countries and with their band of controlled journalists was a deliberate and planned activity.

I don't expect any prosecutions but there is a chance of promotional impediments applying to some of those named. At least for the next month. Every named employee of II and IfS is an enemy of democracy and its people.

[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 02, 2019] Britain must surely be in the running for the Wooden Spoon award doe 2018

Notable quotes:
"... Britain must surely be in the running for many reasons: among others, the sheer disaster that is Theresa May's government (and the various clowns and thuggish goons that constitute her Cabinet), the Brexit mess, the Skripal poisoning circus, Britain's own collapse in controlling the propaganda narrative on Syria and the revelations about Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, and their ties to the British military establishment. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Dec 31, 2018 3:36:34 PM | link

If Syria wins the award for Country of the Year 2018, I'd hate to see who gets the Wooden Spoon for 2018. There must be quite a few serious contenders for that prize!

Britain must surely be in the running for many reasons: among others, the sheer disaster that is Theresa May's government (and the various clowns and thuggish goons that constitute her Cabinet), the Brexit mess, the Skripal poisoning circus, Britain's own collapse in controlling the propaganda narrative on Syria and the revelations about Integrity Initiative and the Institute of Statecraft, and their ties to the British military establishment.

[Dec 24, 2018] Did Someone Slip Donald Trump Some Kind Of Political Viagra

Dec 24, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

After two years of getting rolled by the Washington establishment, it seems that President Donald Trump woke up and suddenly realized , "Hey – I'm the president! I have the legal authority to do stuff!"

All of this should be taken with a big grain of salt. While this week's assertiveness perhaps provides further proof that Trump's impulses are right, it doesn't mean he can implement them.

The Syria withdrawal will be difficult. The entire establishment, including the otherwise pro-Trump talking heads on Fox News , are dead set against him – except for Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham .

Senator Lindsey Graham is demanding hearings on how to block the Syria pullout . Congress hardly ever quibbles with a president's putting troops into a country, where the Legislative Branch has legitimate Constitutional power. But if a president under his absolute command authority wants to pull them out – even someplace where they're deployed illegally, as in Syria – well hold on just a minute!

We are being told our getting out of Syria and Afghanistan will be a huge "gift" to Russia and Iran . Worse, it is being compared to Barack Obama's " premature" withdrawal from Iraq ( falsely pointed to as the cause of the rise of ISIS ) and will set the stage for "chaos." By that standard, we can never leave anywhere.

This will be a critical time for the Trump presidency. (And if God is really on his side, he soon might get another Supreme Court pick .) If he can get the machinery of the Executive Branch to implement his decision to withdraw from Syria, and if he can pick a replacement to General Mattis who actually agrees with Trump's views, we might start getting the America First policy Trump ran on in 2016.

Mattis himself said in his resignation letter, "Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these [i.e., support for so-called "allies"] and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position."

Right on, Mad Dog! In fact Trump should have had someone "better aligned" with him in that capacity from the get-go. It is now imperative that he picks someone who agrees with his core positions, starting with withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan, and reducing confrontation with Russia.

Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel complains that "our government is not a one-man show." Well, the "government" isn't, but the Executive Branch is. Article II, Section 1 : "The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America." Him. The President. Nobody else. Period.

Already the drumbeat to saddle Trump with another Swamp critter at the Pentagon is starting: "Several possible replacements for Mattis this week trashed the president's decision to pull out of Syria. Retired Gen. Jack Keane called the move a "strategic mistake" on Twitter. Republican Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) signed a letter demanding Trump reconsider the decision and warning that the withdrawal bolsters Iran and Russia." If Trump even considers any of the above as Mattis's replacement, he'll be in worse shape than he has been for the past two years.

On the other hand, if Trump does pick someone who agrees with him about Syria and Afghanistan, never mind getting along with Russia , can he get that person confirmed by the Senate? One possibility would be to nominate someone like Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney specifically to run the Pentagon bureaucracy and get control of costs, while explicitly deferring operational decisions to the Commander in Chief in consultation with the Service Chiefs.

Right now on Syria Trump is facing pushback from virtually the whole Deep State establishment, Republicans and Democrats alike, as well as the media from Fox News , to NPR , to MSNBC . Terror has again gripped the establishment that the Trump who was elected president in 2016 might actually start implementing what he promised. It is imperative that he pick someone for the Pentagon (and frankly, clear out the rest of his national security team) and appoint people he can trust and whose views comport with his own. Just lopping off a few heads won't suffice – he needs a full housecleaning.

In the meantime in Syria, watch for another "Assad poison gas attack against his own people." The last time Trump said we'd be leaving Syria "very soon " was on March 29 of this year. Barely a week later, on April 7, came a supposed chemical incident in Douma, immediately hyped as a government attack on civilians but soon apparent as likely staged . Trump, though, dutifully took the bait, tweeting that Assad was an "animal." Putin, Russia, and Iran were "responsible" for "many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack" – "Big price to pay." He then for the second time launched cruise missiles against Syrian targets. A confrontation loomed in the eastern Med that could to have led to war with Russia. Now, in light of Trump's restated determination to get out, is MI6 already ginning up their White Helmet assets for a repeat ?

Trump's claim that the US has completed its only mission, to defeat ISIS, is being compared to George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" banner following defeat of Iraq's army and the beginning of the occupation (and, as it turned out, the beginning of the real war). But if it helps get us out, who cares if Trump wants to take credit? Whatever his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad national security team told him, the US presence in Syria was never about ISIS. We are there as Uncle Sam's Rent-an-Army for the Israelis and Saudis to block Iranian influence and especially an overland route between Syria and Iran (the so-called "Shiite land bridge" to the Mediterranean ).

For US forces the war against ISIS was always a sideshow, mainly carried on by the Syrians and Russians and proportioned about like the war against the Wehrmacht: about 20% "us," about 80% "them." The remaining pocket ISIS has on the Syria-Iraq border has been deliberate ly left alone, to keep handy as a lever to force Assad out in a settlement (which is not going to happen). Thus the claim an American pullout will lead to an ISIS "resurgence " is absurd. With US forces ceasing to play dog in the manger, the Syrians, Russians, Iranians, and Iraqis will kill them. All of them.

If Trump is able to follow through with the pullout, will the Syrian war wind down? It needs to be kept in mind that the whole conflict has been because we (the US, plus Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, UAE, the United Kingdom, etc) are the aggressors. We sought to use al-Qaeda and other jihadis to effect regime change via the tried and true method. It failed.

Regarding Trump's critics' claim that he is turning over Syria to the Russians and Iranians, Assad is nobody's puppet. He can be allied with a Shiite theocracy but not controlled by it; Iran, likewise, can also have mutually beneficial ties with an ideologically dissimilar country, like it does with Christian Armenia. The Russians will stay and expand their presence but unlike our presence in many countries – which seemingly never ends, for example in Germany, Japan, and Korea, not to mention Kosovo – they'll be there only as long and to the extent the Syrians want them. (Compare our eternal occupations with the Soviets' politely leaving Egypt when Anwar Sadat asked them, or leaving Somalia when Siad Barre wanted them out. Instead of leaving, why didn't Moscow just do a " Diem " on them?) It seems that American policymakers have gotten so far down the wormhole of their paranoid fantasies about the rest of the world – and it can't be overemphasized, concerning areas where the US has no actual national interests – that we no longer recognize classic statecraft when practiced by other powers defending genuine national interests (which of course are legitimate only to the extent we say so).

What happens over the next few days on funding for the Border Wall – which is fully within the power of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to deliver – and over the next few weeks over Syria and Afghanistan may be decisive for the balance of the Trump presidency. If he can prevail, and if he finally starts assembling an America First national security team beginning with a good Pentagon chief, he still has a chance to deliver on his 2016 promises.

Anyway, if this week's developments are the result of someone putting something into Donald's morning Egg McMuffin , America and the world owe him (or her) a vote of thanks. Let's see more of the wrecking ball we Deplorables voted for !


Karmageddon , 23 seconds ago link

Trump thought that by bringing the swamp into his fold he might be able to defang it. He bent the knee, played nice and kissed the ring but still they kept at him. I think Trump has had enough of giving a mile for getting an inch. I like Trump when he presents himself as a human wrecking ball to all the evil plans of the Washington establishment and if he continues like this I honestly believe he will be reelected in 2020, and one day will be acknowleged as a true chapion for every day Americans but if he shrinks back into his shadow and gives the likes of Bolton and Pompeo free reign to **** all over the globe with their insane scheming he will be a one term failure.

francis scott falseflag , 6 minutes ago link

Don't get too excited about the possibility that there may be more kinds of viagra to try out, Jattras. If Trump recently seems to be more like the candidate we voted for, the real reason for his reversion back is because the midterm elections are over and Trump kept the Senate.

Check with me before you start making a lot of crack-pot statements

Clear blue sky , 25 minutes ago link

Anybody that wants foreign wars and open borders does not have Americas best interest at heart and is a traitor.

[Dec 24, 2018] How to fix America's dysfunctional trade system by Ryan Cooper

Dec 20, 2018 | theweek.com
America's trade policy is in incoherent shambles. Decades of neoliberal "free trade" pacts -- which as often as not simply gave corporations an end run around the state, or their very own rigged, pseudo-legal system -- have created terrible social carnage around the world and a furious political backlash. And President Trump's incoherent, haphazard response has done little to change the system, let alone reform it in a sensible fashion.

Overhauling such a gargantuan, world-spanning system is a dizzying task. But Timothy Meyer and Ganesh Sitaraman at the Great Democracy Initiative have a new paper that presents a solid starting point for developing a fundamental reform of American trade structure.

Meyer and Sitaraman identify three large problems with the status quo, and propose policy solutions for each:

Let's take these in turn.

The extant trade bureaucracy -- as usual for the American state -- is highly fragmented and bizarrely structured. There is the Department of Commerce, the United States Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, plus the International Development Finance Corporation coming soon. Then there are a slew of other agencies that have some bearing on trade-related security or economic development.

Meyer and Sitaraman logically suggest combining most of these functions into a single Department of Economic Growth and Security. The point is not just to streamline the trade oversight structure, but also to make it consider a broader range of objectives. Neoliberals insist that trade is simply about making the self-regulating market more "efficient," but trade very obviously bears on employment, domestic industry, and especially security.

For instance, for all its other disastrous side effects, Trump's haphazard tax on aluminum has dramatically revived the American aluminum industry . Ensuring a reasonable domestic supply of key metals like that is so obviously a security concern -- for military and consumer uses alike -- that it wouldn't have even occurred to New Deal policymakers to think otherwise. It takes a lot of ideological indoctrination to think there's no problem when a small price disadvantage causes a country to lose its entire supply chain of key industrial commodities.

Then there is the problem of pro-rich bias. Put simply, the last few decades of trade deals have been outrageously biased towards corporations and the rich. They have powerfully enabled the growth of parasitic tax havens , which allow companies to book profits in low-tax jurisdictions, starving countries of rightful revenue (and often leading to companies piling up gargantuan dragon hoards of cash they don't know what to do with).

Corporations, meanwhile, have gotten their own fake legal system in the form of Investor-State Dispute Settlement trade deal stipulations. As I have written before , the point of these arbitration systems is to create a legal system ludicrously slanted in favor of the corporation -- allowing them not just to win almost every time, but to sue over nonsensical harms like "taking away imaginary future profits."

Meyer and Sitaraman suggest renegotiating the tax portions of trade deals to enforce a "formulary" tax system -- in which profits are taxed where they are made, not where they are booked. This would go a considerable distance towards cracking down on tax havens -- who knows, perhaps Luxembourg might even develop some productive business.

Finally, there is the problem of distributive justice. Again contrary to neoliberal dogma, trade very often creates winners and losers -- witness the wreckage of Detroit and the fat salaries of the U.S. executive class. Meyer and Sitaraman suggest new mechanisms to consider the side effects of trade deals (and ways to compensate the losers), to take action against abusive foreign nations (for example, by dumping their products below cost, or violating environmental or labor standards), and finally directly taxing the beneficiaries.

Something the authors don't discuss is the problem of trade imbalances . When one country develops a surplus (that is, it exports more than it imports), another country must of necessity be in a deficit. The deficit country in turn must finance its imports, usually by borrowing. That can easily create a severe economic crisis if the deficit country suddenly loses access to loans -- which then harms the exporting country, though not as much. This has been a disastrous problem in the eurozone.

The U.S. does have extremely wide latitude to run a trade deficit, because it controls the global reserve currency, meaning a strong demand for dollar-denominated assets so other countries can settle their international accounts. But this creates its own problems, as discussed above.

More Perspectives James Mattis. Matthew Walther The failure and delusions of the adults in the room Beto ORourke. Matthew Walther The 2020 Democratic frontrunner is a Republican

To be fair, this is not exactly an omission for a paper focused on domestic policy. Creating a specifically international trade architecture would require an entire paper of its own, if not a book or three. But it would be something future trade policymakers will have to consider.

At any rate, it's quite likely that trade policy will be a major topic of discussion in 2020 -- if for no reason other than Trump's ridiculous shenanigans in the area. However, even that demonstrates an important fact: The U.S. president has a great deal of unilateral authority over trade. Democrats should be thinking hard about how they would change things. This paper is a great place to start.

[Dec 23, 2018] Trump proposes cutting food stamps for over 700,000 people just before Christmas by Matthew Rozsa

Dec 20, 2018 | www.salon.com

President Donald Trump is planning on using his executive powers to cut food stamps for more than 700,000 Americans.

The United States Department of Agriculture is proposing that states should only be allowed to waive a current food stamps requirement -- namely, that adults without dependents must work or participate in a job-training program for at least 20 hours each week if they wish to collect food stamps for more than three months in a three-year period -- on the condition that those adults live in areas where unemployment is above 7 percent, according to The Washington Post . Currently the USDA regulations permit states to waive that requirement if an adult lives in an area where the unemployment rate is at least 20 percent greater than the national rate. In effect, this means that roughly 755,000 Americans would potentially lose their waivers that permit them to receive food stamps.

The current unemployment rate is 3.7 percent.

The Trump administration's decision to impose the stricter food stamp requirements through executive action constitutes an end-run around the legislative process. Although Trump is expected to sign an $870 billion farm bill later this week -- and because food stamps goes through the Agriculture Department, it contains food stamp provisions -- the measure does not include House stipulations restricting the waiver program and imposing new requirements on parents with children between the ages of six and 12. The Senate version ultimately removed those provisions, meaning that the version being signed into law does not impose a conservative policy on food stamps, which right-wing members of Congress were hoping for.

"Congress writes laws, and the administration is required to write rules based on the law," Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told The New York Times (Stabenow is the top Democrat on the Senate's agriculture committee). "Administrative changes should not be driven by ideology. I do not support unilateral and unjustified changes that would take food away from families."

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

[Dec 22, 2018] Will Trump Hold Firm on His Syria Pullout

So at the moment when everybody assumed that Trump lost control of the foreign policy, he does this. It's a real surprise. Kind of Christmas gift to his voters. And that's with neocon Pompeo as his State Secretary and neocon Bolton as his national security advisor.
The War Party project of regime change in Tehran suffered a severe setback with the U.S. pullout from Syria.
Notable quotes:
"... Forced to choose between Turkey, with 80 million people and the second-largest army in NATO, which sits astride the Dardanelles and Bosphorus entrance to the Black Sea, and the stateless Kurds with their Syrian Democratic Forces, or YPG, Trump chose Recep Tayyip Erdogan. ..."
"... And Erdogan regards the YPG as kinfolk and comrades of the Kurdish terrorist PKK in Turkey. A week ago, he threatened to attack the Kurds in northern Syria, though U.S. troops are embedded alongside them. What kind of deal did Trump strike with Erdogan? Turkey will purchase the U.S. Patriot anti-aircraft and missile defense system for $3.5 billion, and probably forego the Russian S-400. Trump also told Erdogan that we "would take a look at" extraditing Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen whom the Turkish president says instigated the 2016 coup attempt that was to end with his assassination. ..."
"... The war party project, to bring about regime change in Tehran through either crippling sanctions leading to insurrection or a U.S.-Iranian clash in the Gulf, will suffer a severe setback with the U.S. pullout from Syria. ..."
Dec 22, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

"We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there," wrote President Donald Trump as he ordered the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Syria, stunning the U.S. foreign policy establishment.

Trump overruled his secretaries of state and defense, and jolted this city and capitals across NATO Europe and the Middle East.

Yet Trump is doing exactly what he promised to do in his campaign. And what his decision seems to say is this:

We are extricating America from the forever war of the Middle East so foolishly begun by previous presidents. We are coming home. The rulers and peoples of this region are going to have to find their own way and fight their own wars. We are not so powerful that we can fight their wars while also confronting Iran and North Korea and facing new cold wars with Russia and China.

As for the terrorists of ISIS, says Trump, they are defeated.

Yet despite the heavy casualties and lost battles ISIS has suffered, along with the collapse of the caliphate and expulsion from its Syrian capital Raqqa and Iraqi capital Mosul and from almost all territories it controlled in both countries, the group is not dead. It lives on in thousands of true believers hidden in those countries. And like al-Qaeda, it has followers across the Middle East and inspires haters of the West living in the West.

The U.S. pullout from Syria is being called a victory for Vladimir Putin. "Russia, Iran, Assad are ecstatic!" wailed Senator Lindsey Graham.

Graham was echoed by Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse who called the withdrawal a "retreat" and charged that Trump's generals "believe the high-fiving winners today are Iran, ISIS and Hezbollah."

But ISIS is a Sunni terrorist organization. And as such, it detests the Alawite regime of Bashar Assad, and Hezbollah and Iran, both of which are viewed by ISIS as Shiite heretics. "Russia, Iran, Syria are not happy about the US leaving," Trump tweeted, "despite what the Fake News says, because now they will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us."

If Putin, victorious in the Syrian civil war, wishes to fight al-Qaeda and ISIS, the last major enemies of Assad in Syria, why not let him?

The real losers?

Certainly the Kurds, who lose their American ally. Any dream they had of greater autonomy inside Syria, or an independent state, is not going to be realized. But then, that was never really in the cards.

Forced to choose between Turkey, with 80 million people and the second-largest army in NATO, which sits astride the Dardanelles and Bosphorus entrance to the Black Sea, and the stateless Kurds with their Syrian Democratic Forces, or YPG, Trump chose Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

And Erdogan regards the YPG as kinfolk and comrades of the Kurdish terrorist PKK in Turkey. A week ago, he threatened to attack the Kurds in northern Syria, though U.S. troops are embedded alongside them. What kind of deal did Trump strike with Erdogan? Turkey will purchase the U.S. Patriot anti-aircraft and missile defense system for $3.5 billion, and probably forego the Russian S-400. Trump also told Erdogan that we "would take a look at" extraditing Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen whom the Turkish president says instigated the 2016 coup attempt that was to end with his assassination.

National security advisor John Bolton, who said U.S. troops would remain in Syria until all Iranian forces and Iran-backed militias have been expelled, appears not to have been speaking for his president. And if the Israelis were relying on U.S. forces in Syria to intercept any Iranian weapons shipments headed to Hezbollah in Lebanon through Damascus, then they are going to have to make other arrangements.

The war party project, to bring about regime change in Tehran through either crippling sanctions leading to insurrection or a U.S.-Iranian clash in the Gulf, will suffer a severe setback with the U.S. pullout from Syria.

However, given the strength of the opposition to a U.S. withdrawal -- Israel, Saudi Arabia, the GOP foreign policy establishment in Congress and the think tanks, liberal interventionists in the Beltway press, Trump's own national security team of advisors -- the battle to overturn Trump's decision has probably only just begun.

From FDR's abandonment of 100 million East Europeans to Stalin at Yalta in 1945 to the abandonment of our Nationalist Chinese allies to Mao in 1949 and of our South Vietnamese allies in 1975, America has often been forced into retreats leading to the deaths of allies. Senator Sasse says Trump is risking the same outcome: "A lot of American allies will be slaughtered if this retreat is implemented."

But is that true?

Trump's decision to pull out of Syria at least has assured us of a national debate on what it will mean to America to extricate our country from these Mideast wars. It is the kind of debate we have not had in the 15 years since we were first deceived into invading Iraq.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com .

about:blank


Stephen J. December 21, 2018 at 1:41 pm

I believe "Syria" is a war crime planned and plotted by some western governments and their allies. They are even reportedly financing and assisting terrorists. Which is criminal and treasonous
-- -- --
"With their command and control centre based in Istanbul, Turkey, military supplies from Saudi Arabia and Qatar in particular were transported by Turkish intelligence to the border for rebel acquisition. CIA operatives along with Israeli and Jordanian commandos were also training FSA rebels on the Jordanian-Syrian border with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. In addition, other reports show that British and French military were also involved in these secret training programmes. It appears that the same FSA rebels receiving this elite training went straight into ISIS – last month one ISIS commander, Abu Yusaf, said, 'Many of the FSA people who the west has trained are actually joining us.'" Nafeez Ahmed
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/12/how-the-west-created-the-islamic-state/
-- -- -- -- --

"Under U.S. law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.[i] Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, December 8, 2016,Press Release.
https://gabbard.house.gov/news/press-releases/video-rep-tulsi-gabbard-introduces-legislation-stop-arming-terrorists
-- -- -- -- --
There is further abundant evidence available at links below:
http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2018/12/a-christmas-report-on-crimes-of-war.html

http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-diabolical-work-of-nato-and-its.html

http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.html

http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-war-gangs-and-war-criminals-of-nato.html

http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2016/08/are-there-war-criminals-living-in.html

http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2015/09/should-regime-change-criminals-be-on.html

JeffK , says: December 21, 2018 at 1:58 pm
"At the very least, America will have its first serious debate on its Mideast wars since 2003 . It is the kind of debate we have not had in the 15 years since we were first deceived into invading Iraq."

Finally Mr Buchanan and I agree on something of substance. And I cannot believe I am in agreement with Trump on this too (even though it was quite clumsy). Will wonders never cease?

I hate that Trump will probably throw the Kurds under the bus since they acted as our allies and suffered for it. And if I was Mr Fethullah Gulen I would be packing my bags for Canada.

However, well done, sir. Now let the debate begin.

Fred Bowman , says: December 21, 2018 at 2:00 pm
I think what is to be accomplished by the US staying in the Middle East? Hasn't over 17 years and $600 billion spent and over a million dead been price enough? Hopefully, Syria is the 1st step in ending American military involvement in the Middle East. America has enough to do in taking care of serious issues here at home. As for the Middle East, let Israel, Saudia Arabia, Turkey, Iran and other countries and ethnic groups who reside there solve their own damn problems.
Mark B. , says: December 21, 2018 at 2:01 pm
As a European it feels strange to feel this pro-Trump all of a sudden. Before you know it, I'll order a MAGA cap (I'm always safe with that because carnaval is coming).
Kurt Gayle , says: December 21, 2018 at 4:38 pm
This is President Trump's Finest Hour!

Hang tough, Mr. President!

Bring our troops home from Syria and Afghanistan!

Louis Messana , says: December 21, 2018 at 5:10 pm
Russia just landed a nuclear bomber in Venezuela. Russia and China are making SIGNIFICANT inroads in the Caribbean, Central America, South America and Africa.

If Israel comes under serious threat, the US will be there to assist in its defense but the time has come when the US has to admit that the parasite freeloader nations like Europe and Israel are coming at to high a cost a cost that is both distracting and obstructing the US from being where it is really needed to deal with China and Russia.

One Guy , says: December 21, 2018 at 5:11 pm
In addition to the Syria pullout, Trump promised a 10% tax cut just 2 months ago. Anyone seen a tax cut? Anyone? Bueller?
Connecticut Farmer , says: December 21, 2018 at 6:45 pm
People sit on their collective fat asses inside The Beltway within the confines of some book lined conference room and make decisions involving the lives of thousands of young men and women–other people's sons and daughters (never their own)– who may be dispatched to take a bullet in anger. And over what? Making the MidEast "free for democracy"?

I dislike Trump even though I reluctantly voted for him only to keep the Congenital Liar out of the White House. One of the few positives he exhibited was a desire to extricate the United States from that MidEast hell-hole. For once at least he has delivered. Whether he will succeed, however, remains to be seen. After all, the Beltway is swarming with chicken hawks.

john , says: December 21, 2018 at 7:18 pm
Very zero sum gain way of thinking. How can the US not spending hundreds of billions on a lost cause be a win for Russia? Sounds more like a win for the US. I think the Syrian government with Russia and Iran should be enough to demolish the physical caliphate. Destroying ISIS ? Good luck with that suppress it OK but destroy easier said then done. How have we done against, the Mafia? the IRA? drug cartels and so on and so forth. For those who want to stay is there ever a set of conditions which would be satisfied allowing you to leave? We are still in Germany, I think the Nazis are gone you can relax, if it was the Soviets you worry about also gone by about 3 decades. If we can't accept that Germany is sufficiently stable to no longer be blessed with our presence when oh when would Syria be viewed as stable?
Republicans - are not conservatives , says: December 21, 2018 at 9:48 pm
I have regretted voting for trump for many reasons. I concede that IF USA military leaves Syria, this is a very positive development. He should now do the same for Afghanistan and many other places around the world.
Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and the Syrian military have done a fine job of keeping IS on the run. Let's hope they can finish the job.
Radnor Hunt , says: December 22, 2018 at 4:21 am
In this issue at least I support Trump a hundred percent, and I think a lot of Americans agree.

He's finally doing what he promised to do during the campaign.

I have been very unhappy with him, but if he follows through on this I'll give him credit. Given the lock that the elites and establishment have on the media, it took guts. It's good to see he has some.

Rick Steven D. , says: December 22, 2018 at 6:25 am
While I didn't vote for this excrescence in The White House, I will give credit where credit is due. Hillary's neocon impulses would have been infinitely worse here.

Still, looking at this past week, I can't help thinking about that whole Flight 93 thing. But two years into The Trump presidency, it's starting to look more like that disaster movie camp-fest Airport 1975, where we have crossed-eyed stewardess Karen Black trying to land the stricken 747. In her immortal words to flight control: "Something hit us! There's no one left to fly the plane! HELP US! OH MY GOD HELP US!!!"

[Dec 22, 2018] ISIS was created by the US as a part of its divide and conquer strategy. General Flynn blew the whistle on it which is why he has been vilified. Flynn spoke the truth on ISIS and lied to the FBI! Horrors

Notable quotes:
"... Now ISIS has been "defeated" and the US Quixote can focus on other windmills. ..."
Dec 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon , Dec 20, 2018 10:13:19 PM | link

ISIS was created by the US as a part of its divide and conquer strategy. General Flynn blew the whistle on it which is why he has been vilified. Flynn spoke the truth on ISIS and lied to the FBI! Horrors.

Now ISIS has been "defeated" and the US Quixote can focus on other windmills. Except now comes the Syria encore, Afghanistan. Chalk up another loss for team USA.

[Dec 19, 2018] Judge excoriates Trump ex-adviser Flynn, delays Russia probe sentencing by Jan Wolfe and Ginger Gibson

Flynn "treason" is not related to Russia probe and just confirm that Nueller in engaged in witch hunt. I believe half of Senate and House of Representative might go to jail if they were dug with the ferocity Mueller digs Flynn's past. So while Flynn behavior as Turkey lobbyist (BTW Turkey is a NATO country and not that different int his sense from the US -- and you can name a lot of UK lobbyists in high echelons of the US government, starting with McCabe and Strzok) is reprehensible, this is still a witch hunt
When American law enforcement and intelligence officials, who carry Top Secret clearances and authority to collect intelligence or pursue a criminal investigation, decide to employ lies and intimidation to silence or intimidates those who worked for Donald Trump's Presidency, we see shadow of Comrage Stalin Great Terror Trials over the USA.
Dec 19, 2018 | www.yahoo.com
Former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn passes by members of the media as he departs after his sentencing was delayed at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., December 18, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

By Jan Wolfe and Ginger Gibson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. judge fiercely criticized President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Tuesday for lying to FBI agents in a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and delayed sentencing him until Flynn has finished helping prosecutors.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan told Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, that he had arguably betrayed his country. Sullivan also noted that Flynn had operated as an undeclared lobbyist for Turkey even as he worked on Trump's campaign team and prepared to be his White House national security adviser.

Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his December 2016 conversations with Sergei Kislyak, then Russia's ambassador in Washington, about U.S. sanctions imposed on Moscow by the administration of Trump's Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, after Trump's election victory but before he took office.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, leading the investigation into possible collusion between Trump's campaign team and Russia ahead of the election, had asked the judge not to sentence Flynn to prison because he had already provided "substantial" cooperation over the course of many interviews.

But Sullivan sternly told Flynn his actions were abhorrent, noting that Flynn had also lied to senior White House officials, who in turn misled the public. The judge said he had read additional facts about Flynn's behavior that have not been made public.

At one point, Sullivan asked prosecutors if Flynn could have been charged with treason, although the judge later said he had not been suggesting such a charge was warranted.

"Arguably, you sold your country out," Sullivan told Flynn. "I'm not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense."

Flynn, dressed in a suit and tie, showed little emotion throughout the hearing, and spoke calmly when he confirmed his guilty plea and answered questions from the judge.

Sullivan appeared ready to sentence Flynn to prison but then gave him the option of a delay in his sentencing so he could fully cooperate with any pending investigations and bolster his case for leniency. The judge told Flynn he could not promise that he would not eventually sentence him to serve prison time.

Flynn accepted that offer. Sullivan did not set a new date for sentencing but asked Mueller's team and Flynn's attorney to give him a status report by March 13.

Prosecutors said Flynn already had provided most of the cooperation he could, but it was possible he might be able to help investigators further. Flynn's attorney said his client is cooperating with federal prosecutors in a case against Bijan Rafiekian, his former business partner who has been charged with unregistered lobbying for Turkey.

Rafiekian pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to those charges in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. His trial is scheduled for Feb. 11. Flynn is expected to testify.

Prosecutors have said Rafiekian and Flynn lobbied to have Washington extradite a Muslim cleric who lives in the United States and is accused by Turkey's government of backing a 2016 coup attempt. Flynn has not been charged in that case.

'LOCK HER UP!'

Flynn was a high-profile adviser to Trump's campaign team. At the Republican Party's national convention in 2016, Flynn led Trump's supporters in cries of "Lock her up!" directed against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

A group of protesters, including some who chanted "Lock him up," gathered outside the courthouse on Tuesday, along with a large inflatable rat fashioned to look like Trump. Several Flynn supporters also were there, cheering as he entered and exited. One held a sign that read, "Michael Flynn is a hero."

Flynn became national security adviser when Trump took office in January 2017, but lasted only 24 days before being fired.

He told FBI investigators on Jan. 24, 2017, that he had not discussed the U.S. sanctions with Kislyak when in fact he had, according to his plea agreement. Trump has said he fired Flynn because he also lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the contacts with Kislyak.

Trump has said Flynn did not break the law and has voiced support for him, raising speculation the Republican president might pardon him.

"Good luck today in court to General Michael Flynn. Will be interesting to see what he has to say, despite tremendous pressure being put on him, about Russian Collusion in our great and, obviously, highly successful political campaign. There was no Collusion!" Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning.

After the hearing, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters the FBI had "ambushed" Flynn in the way agents questioned him, but said his "activities" at the center of the case "don't have anything to do with the president" and disputed that Flynn had committed treason.

"We wish General Flynn well," Sanders said.

In contrast, Trump has called his former long-time personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who has pleaded guilty to separate charges, a "rat."

Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election and whether Trump has unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe has cast a shadow over his presidency. Several former Trump aides have pleaded guilty in Mueller's probe, but Flynn was the first former Trump White House official to do so. Mueller also has charged a series of Russian individuals and entities.

Trump has called Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt" and has denied collusion with Moscow.

Russia has denied meddling in the election, contrary to the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that have said Moscow used hacking and propaganda to try to sow discord in the United States and boost Trump's chances against Clinton.

Lying to the FBI carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison. Flynn's plea agreement stated that he was eligible for a sentence of between zero and six months.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe and Ginger Gibson; Additional reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Kieran Murray and Will Dunham)

[Dec 18, 2018] FBI's Flynn Notes Show He Was Aware of Nature of First Interview

Notable quotes:
"... christophere steele admitted before a british court today that he was hired by the clintons/obama/DNC to make up the dossier as a weapon to use against trump as a backup plan in case he won the election.. this proves the DNC lied, paid for a fake dossier, and comey admitted he knew the fake dossier was false before using it to get a FISC warrant and to spy on trump, which was used as an excuse for the mueller investigation.. yahoo news and leftwing media arent covering the story.. educate yourselves ..."
Dec 18, 2018 | news.yahoo.com

[Dec 17, 2018] The Mueller group disclosed only 2 redacted documents that were already known by Robert Willmann

Notable quotes:
"... There is an article in the Daily Caller: "Powell: New Facts Indicate Mueller Destroyed Evidence..." dailycaller.com/2018/12/16/... ..."
Sic Semper Tyrannis

On Friday, 14 December 2018, the office of "special counsel" Robert Mueller filed a reply to Gen. Michael Flynn's sentencing memorandum by the court's deadline, as noted on the court clerk's docket sheet--

"12/14/2018 56 REPLY by USA as to MICHAEL T. FLYNN to Defendant's Memorandum in Aid of Sentencing (Attachments: # 1 Attachment A, # 2 Attachment B)(Van Grack, Brandon) (Entered: 12/14/2018)".

Judge Emmet Sullivan in an order on 12 December stated: "In 50 defendant's memorandum in aid of sentencing, the defendant quotes and cites a 'Memorandum dated Jan. 24, 2017.' See page 8 n. 21, 22. The defendant also quotes and cites a 'FD-302 dated Aug. 22, 2017.' See page 9 n. 23-27. The defendant is ORDERED to file on the docket FORTHWITH the cited Memorandum and FD-302. The Court further ORDERS the government to file on the docket any 302s or memoranda relevant to the circumstances discussed on pages 7-9 of the defendant's sentencing memorandum by no later than 3:00 p.m. on December 14, 2018."

In response to Judge Sullivan's order, the Mueller group attached to its reply memo two noticeably blacked out (redacted) documents, which turned out to be the same ones that were referred to in Flynn's memo raising the issue of FBI conduct surrounding his interview, and were nothing additional or new!

The government's reply and two documents that were filed are here--

The two redacted documents are the "January 24, 2017" memo and the "FD-302 dated Aug. 22, 2017", which were cited in the court's order and which Flynn's lawyers apparently already had, or knew what they were about. Judge Sullivan ordered the Mueller group to produce "any 302s or memoranda relevant to the circumstances discussed on pages 7-9 of the defendant's sentencing memorandum", not just the two that were already known [emphasis added]. The "Attachment B" is not the form 302 by an agent who interviewed Flynn on 24 January 2017, but rather is a 302 report by an unknown person of an interview of now former FBI agent Peter Strzok on 20 July 2017, in which Strzok allegedly talks about some things that happened on 24 January.

Unless the "special counsel" filed a complete set of unredacted documents with a motion (request) for leave to file them under seal, the reply is on its face a violation of the court's disclosure order.

As 'blue peacock' said in a comment to the posting on this issue of 14 December, it will be interesting to see what Judge Sullivan does about the response by the Mueller group.

Both documents are heavily blacked out. The form 302 does include the language that the agents at the Flynn interview "had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying". Since this had already been revealed in news and mass media reports, they basically had to disclose that little part, otherwise it probably would have been redacted as well.

On the bottom right corner of each page is a number, which is usually referred to as a "Bates stamp", after the name of the numbering machines that are often used to number and identify documents that are produced in a lawsuit [1]. The pages on the form 302 are numbered DOJSCO-700021201 to 05. The one-page typed paper (Attachment A) has number DOJSCO-700021215. There are nine pages between those pages, but what those might be is not disclosed.

The Justice Department, FBI, and other federal departments are capable of trying to play semantic word games with requests for information, such that if the exact name or abbreviation of the document or class of documents is not requested, they will leave them out of their response. In this instance, the judge asked for "any 302s or memoranda" relevant to the circumstances. The FBI has guidelines about the different types of records it keeps and they can have different names, such as LHM (letterhead memorandum), EC (electronic communication), original note material, the FD-302, and so forth. There are also different types of files and records systems. Thus, there may be some ducking and dodging of the court's order on the theory that the exact types of records were not in the order.

Documents and records may also be generated when any investigative activity is started or requires approval, such as an assessment, preliminary investigation, or a full investigation. Furthermore, an interesting issue is the type of authorized activity the Flynn interview was part of: an assessment, preliminary investigation, or full investigation. Although it is significantly redacted (in this instance whited out instead of blacked out), the FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide contains some useful information for trying to figure out what is going on with this issue [2].

If this problem with disclosure is not bad enough, on 11 December the Justice Department Inspector General (OIG) issued a report with the bland title, "Report of Investigation: Recovery of Text Messages from Certain FBI Mobile Devices"-- https://oig.justice.gov/reports/2018/i-2018-003523.pdf

The OIG investigation began when it was discovered that there was a "gap in text message data collection during the period December 15, 2016, through May 17, 2017, from Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) mobile devices assigned to FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page relevant to a matter being investigated by the OIG's Oversight and Review Division". Those names are familiar. Thousands of the text messages were recovered.

In addition, the report states: "In view of the content of many of the text messages between Strzok and Page, the OIG also asked the Special Counsel's Office (SCO) to provide to the OIG the DOJ issued iPhones that had been assigned to Strzok and Page during their respective assignments to the SCO".

The result? After Strzok was forced to leave the special counsel's office, his iPhone was given to another FBI agent and reset, wiping out the data. The Mueller group's "records officer" told the inspector general's office that "as part of the office's records retention procedure, the officer reviewed Strzok's DOJ issued iPhone after he returned it to the SCO and determined it contained no substantive text messages". In other words, after the Strzok and Page scandal erupted because of text messages while Strzok was at the special counsel's office, the Mueller group decided itself that his other cellular phone issued to him by the Department of Justice for the special counsel's office had no "substantive" messages on it.

Strzok's paramour, Lisa Page, also had an iPhone issued to her by the Justice Department while she was at the special counsel's office. The Mueller group said it could not find her phone, but it eventually was located at the DOJ's Justice Management Division. It had been reset, wiping out the data, on 31 July 2017.

[1] http://www.batesstampmachine.com

[2] https://vault.fbi.gov/FBI%20Domestic%20Investigations%20and%20Operations%20Guide%20%28DIOG%29


Fred , 5 hours ago

"...the officer reviewed Strzok's DOJ issued iPhone after he returned it to the SCO and determined it contained no substantive text messages"..."

So what is the officer's name, what criterea was used in the review and just what relationship to the extended cast of characters does this individual have?

Tidewater , 3 hours ago
It seems to me that this is very big news. Can it be that the Straight Arrow is bent, after all? This is amazing. There is an article in the Daily Caller: "Powell: New Facts Indicate Mueller Destroyed Evidence..." dailycaller.com/2018/12/16/...
Greco , 3 hours ago
I hope Judge Sullivan gets the chance to read this letter: https://saraacarter.com/for...
As a former/retired Agent, I have combed through every piece of information regarding Mike's case, as if I was combing through evidence in the hundreds of cases I have successfully handled while in the FBI.

The publicly reported Brady material alone, in this case, outweighs any statement given by any FBI Agent (we now know at least one FD-302 was changed), Special Prosecutor investigator report, and any other party still aggressively seeking that this case remain and be sentenced as a felony. Quite simply, I cannot see justice being served by branding LtG. Michael Flynn a convicted felon, when the truth is still being revealed while policies, ethics, and laws have been violated by those pursuing this case.

We now know all FBI employees involved in Mike Flynn's case have either been fired, forced to resign or forced to retire because of their excessive lack of candor, punitive biases, leaking of information, and extensive cover-up of their deeds.

Michael Flynn has always displayed overwhelming candor and forthrightness.

akaPatience , 9 hours ago
Projection and hypocrisy on steroids: leftists accuse Republicans of "fascism" and label the POTUS as "authoritarian".

[Dec 16, 2018] FBI Docs Reveal Flynn Was Not Lying Or Did Not Think He Was Lying

The decision to indict Flynn ruins " esprit de corps " in the USA intelligence community. So Partaigenosser Mulkler trying to depose Trump oversteped the "norms" of intelligence community. And if CIA allied with FBI against DIA that's a bad sign. It looks like the US elite was split into two warring camps that will fight for power absolutely ruthlessly.
As for "In the report, the two agents describe Flynn as being very open and noted said Flynn 'clearly saw the FBI agents as allies.' " the question arise how he got the to position of the head of DIA with such astounding level of naivety. If anyone from FBI does not want your lawyer to be present you should probably have a lawyer present.
Notable quotes:
"... "The agents did not provide Gen. Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement under 18 U.S.C. 1001 before, during, or after the interview," the Flynn memo says. ..."
"... According to the 302, before the interview, McCabe and other FBI officials "decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed , and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport." ..."
"... McCabe, who has since been fired for lying to the DOJ's Office of Inspector General about leaking information to the media, also asked Flynn not to have his lawyer present during the initial meeting with the FBI agents. ..."
"... On Thursday, FBI Supervisory Agent Jeff Danik told SaraACarter.com that Sullivan must also request all the communications between the two agents, as well as their supervisors around the August 2017 time-frame in order to get a complete and accurate picture of what transpired. Danik, who is an expert in FBI policy, says it is imperative that Sullivan also request "the workflow chart, which would show one-hundred percent, when the 302s were created when they were sent to a supervisor and who approved them." ..."
"... Flynn was found guilty by Mueller on one count of lying to the FBI. Supporters of Flynn have questioned Mueller's tactics in getting the retired three-star general to plead guilty to this one count of lying. ..."
"... In the report, the two agents describe Flynn as being very open and noted said Flynn "clearly saw the FBI agents as allies." Flynn is described as discussing a variety of "subjects." The report includes his openness regarding Trump's "knack for interior design," the hotels he stayed at during his campaign, as well as other issues. ..."
"... It would appear that the branch of government that may be out of control (by the Supreme Court) is the judiciary. It is the court rules and failure of the Supreme Court to act and weed its subordinate courts, that allowed much of this to happen. The FISA Court has been a rubber stamp. No judge is held accountable for failure to obtain justice in their court. ..."
"... Could Mueller's whole appointment be meant to protect the Clinton empire? ..."
Dec 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Sara Carter via SaraCarter.com,

The Special Counsel's Office released key documents related to former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn Friday. Robert Mueller's office had until 3 p.m. to get the documents to Judge Emmet Sullivan, who demanded information Wednesday after bombshell information surfaced in a memorandum submitted by Flynn's attorney's that led to serious concerns regarding the FBI's initial questioning of the retired three-star general.

The highly redacted documents included notes from former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe regarding his conversation with Flynn about arranging the interview with the FBI. The initial interview took place at the White House on Jan. 24, 2017.

The documents also include the FBI's "302" report regarding Flynn's interview with anti-Trump former FBI Agent Peter Strzok and FBI Agent Joe Pientka when they met with him at the White House. It is not, however, the 302 document from the actual January, 2017 interview but an August, 2017 report of Strzok's recollections of the interview.

Flynn's attorney's had noted in their memorandum to the courts that the documents revealed that FBI officials made the decision not to provide Flynn with his Miranda Rights, which would've have warned him of penalties for making false statements.

"The agents did not provide Gen. Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement under 18 U.S.C. 1001 before, during, or after the interview," the Flynn memo says.

According to the 302, before the interview, McCabe and other FBI officials "decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed , and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport."

McCabe, who has since been fired for lying to the DOJ's Office of Inspector General about leaking information to the media, also asked Flynn not to have his lawyer present during the initial meeting with the FBI agents.

The July 2017 report, however, was the interview with Strzok. It described his interview with Flynn but was not the original Flynn interview.

Apparent discrepancies within the 302 documents are being questioned by may former senior FBI officials, who state that there are stringent policies in place to ensure that the documents are guarded against tampering.

On Thursday, FBI Supervisory Agent Jeff Danik told SaraACarter.com that Sullivan must also request all the communications between the two agents, as well as their supervisors around the August 2017 time-frame in order to get a complete and accurate picture of what transpired. Danik, who is an expert in FBI policy, says it is imperative that Sullivan also request "the workflow chart, which would show one-hundred percent, when the 302s were created when they were sent to a supervisor and who approved them."

He stressed, "the bureau policy – the absolute FBI policy – is that the notes must be placed in the system in a 1-A file within five days of the interview." Danik said that the handwritten notes get placed into the FBI Sentinel System, which is the FBI's main record keeping system. "Anything beyond five business days is a problem, eight months is a disaster," he added.

In the redacted 302 report Strzok and Pientka said they "both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying." Information that Flynn was not lying was first published and reported by SaraACarter.com.

Flynn was found guilty by Mueller on one count of lying to the FBI. Supporters of Flynn have questioned Mueller's tactics in getting the retired three-star general to plead guilty to this one count of lying.

In the report, the two agents describe Flynn as being very open and noted said Flynn "clearly saw the FBI agents as allies." Flynn is described as discussing a variety of "subjects." The report includes his openness regarding Trump's "knack for interior design," the hotels he stayed at during his campaign, as well as other issues.

"Flynn was so talkative, and had so much time for them, that Strzok wondered if the national security adviser did not have more important things to do than have a such a relaxed, non-pertinent discussion with them," it said.

The documents turned over by Mueller also reveal that other FBI personnel "later argued about the FBI's decision to interview Flynn." Tags Law Crime


haruspicio , 3 hours ago link

Basically McCabe and others in his unit are totally discredited. He should have this quashed and the case thrown out of court. No Miranda rights, therefore no lying to FBI.

Ajax-1 , 4 hours ago link

Why didn't Flynn demand his day in court? He would have won. I am not buying the ******** argument about him being run into bankruptcy. Hell, he could have represented himself and still won the case at trial. In addition, I am not buying this ******** argument that he agreed to plead guilty because he was afraid the Mueller would go after his son. Does anyone know what Flynn's son does for a living? Why would he be afraid?

alter_ , 4 hours ago link

I've got news for you, if you don't think you are lying, its not a lie. That is a simple fact for anyone who understands English

Koba the Dread , 4 hours ago link

Flynn was found guilty by Mueller on one count of lying to the FBI.

No! Flynn was not f ound guilty by Mueller on one count of lying. The FBI is an investigative body (at best) not a judicial body. Only a jury or a judge acting in lieu of a jury can find someone guilty of anything.

Flynn plead guilty to one count of lying because to have plead innocent would have bankrupted him in legal fees. However, it's interesting that this ZH article stated that Mueller found Flynn guilty. In federal courts these days, once you're charged with a crime you will be found guilty. FBI, DEA, BATF, IRS...whoever, you do not get a fair trial. Federal judges are hard-wired to find guilt. Vicious and ambitious federal prosecutors have only one interest, to rack up successful prosecutions. Federal juries are intimidated by the brute force of the federal system and, I suspect, fear that if they don't bring in a verdict satisfactory to the prosecutor, they may be investigated themselves. "Investigation" in the federal sense means that they will be relentlessly harassed forever by the federal government

artichoke , 1 hour ago link

My small experience as a juror is that state prosecutors and judges are no different than what you describe for the federal system. We found a guy non-guilty (not a close call either) that the judge wanted convicted, and he came back and questioned us about our logic. Casually of course. I just said the guy was innocent beyond a reasonable doubt. Judge wasn't pleased.

Imxploring , 7 hours ago link

Flynn is an idiot.... why agree to talk to the FBI at all.... as Martha Stewart found out.... if they can't make the case for what they're investigating... they'll just find some statement in your "interview" that they claim was not true.... no matter if it was your intention to lie or just a recollection that was wrong... and charge you with that!

Simple answer is that if law enforcement wants to "talk" to you they're looking to get information to charge you.... simple reply.... FU... I want a lawyer!

Amy G. Dala , 8 hours ago link

Remember Petreaus and Paula Broadwell?

The compromise of classified docs was really sort of candy-assed, everybody knew it . . .

Rewind the tape, and you will find the contrite Petreaus in front of any and all microphones confessing to his affair with Broadwell, which he repeatedly stated began on some certain date . . .conveniently AFTER his confirmation as CIA director . . .

. . .certainly Petreaus was asked in his FBI background interview if he was involved in any affairs. And he certainly said no.

So, Paula, since I'm on all the networks at the moment, I know you can hear me, our affair started on X date, in case the FBI gets a notion to ask you (which they did not.)

See, the FBI takes lying seriously. But somebody must have said something along the lines of: hey, Petreaus is a good guy, I hope you can find a way to let him off easy.

Noktirnal , 9 hours ago link

How can an honest investigation be done now?

The FBI destroyed evidence and devices at the behest of subjects in the HRC investigation on the first go-round.

Aubiekong , 9 hours ago link

But when faced with financial destruction, your kids being threatened, and false evidence against you, you sometimes admit to the charges to make a deal...

PGR88 , 10 hours ago link

Flynn "clearly saw the FBI agents as allies."

Sorry dumbass, they are America's new Gestapo. Big mistake.

divingengineer , 7 hours ago link

The military is realizing they are not on the same team with FBI, CIA, DOJ.

Why do you think they have tried so hard to keep NSA under military leadership? Wink, wink...

Leguran

It would appear that the branch of government that may be out of control (by the Supreme Court) is the judiciary. It is the court rules and failure of the Supreme Court to act and weed its subordinate courts, that allowed much of this to happen. The FISA Court has been a rubber stamp. No judge is held accountable for failure to obtain justice in their court.

The Chief Justice has refused to accept that judges can employ personal poliltical beliefs in court. All courts are subordinate to the US Supreme Court and therefore the Supreme Court has a duty to ensure justice not just to decide whether cases are 'sufficiently mature' to come before the Supreme Court. In other words, the Judiciary needs to be disturbed from their lifetime appointments and made conditional appointments. The Supreme Court needs to deal with incapacity within its own ranks. All told, this shocking miscarriage of justice came about because the Judicial Branch of government allowed it to happen. The Judicial Branch has run amok.

lizzie dw

IMO, Judge Emmet Sullivan needs to demand and receive the original UNREDACTED 302 about the Strzok/Pientka interview with General Flynn. But, really, just by reading the pre-interview discussions of the FBI members involved, the whole thing sounds fishy.

Caloot

Hedge headline:

Could Mueller's whole appointment be meant to protect the Clinton empire?

Like Trump or not, there are serious cracks appearing in the Clintons foundation.

[Dec 16, 2018] Judge Emmet Sullivan in the Michael Flynn case orders the Mueller group to disclose interview material by Robert Willmann

Dec 14, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Two days ago, federal judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington D.C. ordered the "special counsel" Robert Mueller group to do the following by 3:00 p.m. eastern time today, as shown on the court clerk's docket sheet--

"12/12/2018 MINUTE ORDER as to MICHAEL T. FLYNN. In 50 defendant's memorandum in aid of sentencing, the defendant quotes and cites a 'Memorandum dated Jan. 24, 2017.' See page 8 n. 21, 22. The defendant also quotes and cites a 'FD-302 dated Aug. 22, 2017.' See page 9 n. 23-27. The defendant is ORDERED to file on the docket FORTHWITH the cited Memorandum and FD-302. The Court further ORDERS the government to file on the docket any 302s or memoranda relevant to the circumstances discussed on pages 7-9 of the defendant's sentencing memorandum by no later than 3:00 p.m. on December 14, 2018. Should the parties seek to file such material under seal, the parties may file motions for leave to do so. The government is also ORDERED to file its reply to the defendant's sentencing memorandum by no later than 3:00 p.m. on December 14, 2018. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 12/12/2018. (lcegs3) (Entered: 12/12/2018)"

Judge Sullivan is a Black lawyer who came up the hard way, going to Washington D.C. public schools and Howard University and its law school. Howard University has been a reputable university with a full curriculum as it provided education to Black Americans from the time of segregation. He was appointed by three different U.S. presidents to judicial positions, by Reagan, Bush sr, and Bill Clinton [1].

The actions and investigation regarding Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.) beginning when he was removed as National Security Advisor to president Trump have seemed odd and not to square with past behavior and the normal course of things. With little information available publicly it is very difficult to look at the issue and pick through information, since it has been mainly hidden behind the skirts of the Mueller "investigation", which was supposed to look at "interference" by the Russian government in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Flynn's sentencing is set for next Tuesday, 18 December. However, that is subject to change, depending on what is filed today. I will try to provide some relevant items from the court clerk's file that you can read to bring yourself up to date about the court case from what is available; some items are still filed under seal, and the probation office presentence investigation report (PSI) is kept private as a matter of federal judicial policy.

Continue reading "Judge Emmet Sullivan in the Michael Flynn case orders the Mueller group to disclose interview material" "

Posted at 02:20 PM in Babelfish , Current Affairs , Intelligence , Justice , Politics , Transcripts | Permalink | 13 Comments


Walrus , a day ago

The FBI failed to warn Flynn and entrapped him. Throw out the case
TTG -> Walrus , 9 hours ago
That defense would be more effective if Flynn was a bewildered youth or someone with diminished mental capacities being badgered in a police interrogation room.
MP98 -> TTG , 5 hours ago
Flynn certainly acted like a bewildered, naive person.
Did he think that the FBI was showing up to ask about his health?
Was he really the Director of DIA......or did he just stay in a Holiday Inn?
Pat Lang Mod -> MP98 , 5 hours ago
He was in way over his head at DIA. This guy had commanded MI housekeeping units and had dome CT targeting/
Greco , 10 hours ago
Thank you Robert. It's good to have someone like judge Sullivan presiding over this case. We'll have to wait and see, but a lot of what I have gathered so far suggests Gen. Flynn is a man of honorable character who has been raked over for mostly political reasons.
MP98 , a day ago
In the meantime, has anyone investigated the leak that supposedly caught Flynn talking to the Russian Amb?
That apparently did harm sources and methods.
But,noooooooooo, no investigation.
The swamp cares not a whit for national security, but yet constantly lectures us "deplorables" about their great talent and dedication - they'd all be Fortune 500 CEO's if they weren't so dedicated.
There are probably a few dedicated talented people trying to do the right thing, but the bureaucracy - including the Intel. agencies/FBI (VERY important people "risking" their lives, BTW) - has shown over and over to be populated mostly by self-enriching slugs.
TTG -> MP98 , 9 hours ago
The leak was that USI and LE were listening in on the Russian Ambassador's conversations by turning his smartphone into a hot mic by exploiting well-known SS7 vulnerabilities. This hardly reveals anything new about sources and methods. Any one who wants to keep secrets shouldn't be carrying a smartphone and any ambassador who thinks the host government doesn't keep him under surveillance is hopelessly naive.
MP98 -> TTG , 6 hours ago
So the leaker gets a pass?
TTG -> MP98 , 5 hours ago
Was it a leak or was it just an assumption of the obvious surveillance of Kislyak? Pence is the one who confirmed Flynn talked to Kislyak about lifting sanctions and lied to him about it.

[Dec 16, 2018] Former FBI SSA Exposes McCabe Mueller's Unethtical, Target Destroy Coercion Tactics, Defends Flynn

Usual can of worms. Typical for any large organization. Petty vengeance, etc.
Dec 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Former FBI SSA Exposes McCabe & Mueller's "Unethtical, Target & Destroy Coercion" Tactics, Defends Flynn

by Tyler Durden Sat, 12/15/2018 - 21:15 59 SHARES Via SaraCarter.com,

Former FBI Supervisory Special Agent Robyn Gritz has asked SaraACarter.com to post her letter to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in support of her friend and colleague retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who will be sentenced on Dec. 18. The Special Counsel's Office has requested that Flynn not serve any jail time due to his cooperation with Robert Mueller's office. Based on new information contained in a memorandum submitted to the court this week by Flynn's attorney, Sullivan has ordered Mueller's office to turn over all exculpatory evidence and government documents on Flynn's case by mid-day Friday. Sullivan is also requesting any documentation regarding the first interviews conducted by former anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok and FBI Agent Joe Pientka -known by the FBI as 302s- which were found to be dated more than seven months after the interviews were conducted on Jan. 24, 2017, a violation of FBI policy, say current and former FBI officials familiar with the process. According to information contained in Flynn's memorandum, the interviews were dated Aug. 22, 2017.

Read Gritz's letter below... (emphasis added)

The Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan. December 5, 2018 U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

333 Constitution Avenue, N.W.

Washington D.C. 20001

Re: Sentencing of Lt. General Michael T. Flynn (Ret.)

Dear Judge Sullivan:

I am submitting my letter directly since Mike Flynn's attorney has refused to submit it as well as letters submitted by other individuals. I feel you need to hear from someone who was an FBI Special Agent who not only worked with Mike, but also has personally witnessed and reported unethical & sometimes illegal tactics used to coerce targets of investigations externally and internally.

About Myself and FBI Career

For 16 years, I proudly served the American people as a Special Agent working diligently on significant terrorism cases which earned noteworthy results and fostered substantial interagency cooperation. Prior to serving in the FBI I was a Juvenile Probation Officer in Camden, NJ. Currently, I am a Senior Information Security Metrics and Reporting Analyst with Discover Financial Services in the Chicago Metro area. I have recently been named as a Senior Fellow to the London Center for Policy Research.

While in the FBI, I served as a Special Agent, Supervisory Special Agent, Assistant Inspector, Unit Chief, and a Senior Liaison Officer to the CIA. I served on the NSC's Hostage and Personnel Working Group and brought numerous Americans out of captivity and was part of the interagency team to codify policies outlining the whole of government approach to hostage cases.

In November 2007, I was selected over 26 other candidates to become the Supervisory Special Agent, CT Extraterritorial Squad; Washington Field Office (WFO) in Washington, DC. At WFO, I led a squad of experts in extraterritorial evidence collection, overseas investigations, operational security during terrorist attacks/events, and overseas criminal investigations. I coordinated and managed numerous high profile investigations (Blackwater, Chuckie Taylor, Robert Levinson, and other pivotal cases) comprised of teams from US and foreign intelligence, military, and law enforcement agencies. I was commended for displaying comprehensive leadership performance under pressure, extensive teamwork skills, while conducting critical investigative analysis within and outside the FBI.

In December 2009, I was promoted to GS-15 Unit Chief (UC) of the Executive Strategy Unit, Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate (WMDD). While the UC, I codified the WMDD five-year strategic plan, formulated goals and objectives throughout the division, while translating the material into a directorate scorecard with cascading measurements reflecting functional and operational unit areas. This was the only time in Washington, DC when I did not work with of for McCabe.

From September to December 2010, I was selected as the FBI's top candidate to represent the FBI, and the USG in a rigorous, intellectually stimulating; 12 week course for civilian government officials, military officers, and government academics at the George C. Marshall Center in Garmisch, Germany, Executive Program in Advanced Security Studies. The class was comprised of 141 participants from 43 countries.

I have received numerous recommendations and commendations for my professionalism, liaison and interpersonal ability and experience . Additionally, I have been rated Excellent or Outstanding for my entire career, to include by Andrew McCabe when I was stationed at the Washington Field Office. Further, other awards of note are: West Chester University 2005 Legacy of Leadership recipient, Honored with House of Representatives Citation for Exemplary record of Service, Leadership, and Achievements: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Awarded with a framed Horn of Africa blood chit from the Department of Defense and Office of the DASD (POW/MPA/MIA) for my work in bringing Americans Out of captivity, "Patriot, Law Enforcement Warrior, and Friend."

Length of Association with Flynn, McCabe, and Mueller

I met Michael Flynn in 2005, while working in the Counterterrorism Division (CTD) at FBI Headquarters (FBIHQ).

I met then Supervisory Special Agent Andrew McCabe, when he reported to CTD at FBIHQ, around the same time. McCabe subsequently was the Assistant Section Chief over my unit, my Assistant Special Agent in Charge at the Washington Field Office, and the Assistant Director (AD) over CTD when I encountered the discrimination and McCabe spearheaded the retaliation personally (according to documentation) against me.

I have known both men for 12-13 years and worked directly with both throughout my career. They are on the opposite spectrum of each other with regard to truthfulness, temperament, and ethics, both professionally and personally.

I regularly briefed former FBI Director and Special Prosecutor Mueller on controversial and complex cases and attended Deputies meetings at the White house with then Deputy Director Pistole. I got along with both and trusted both. Watching what has been done to Mike and knowing someone on the 7th floor had to have notified Mueller of my situation (Pistole had retired), has been significantly distressing to me.

Lt.G. Michael T. Flynn:

Mike and I were counterparts on a DOJ-termed ground-breaking initiative which served as a model for future investigations, policies, legislation and FBI programs in the Terrorist Use of the Internet. For this multi-faceted and leading-edge joint operation, I was commended by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Gen. Keith Alexander (NSA Director), and LtG. Michael Flynn as well as others for leading the FBI's pivotal participation in this dynamic and innovative interagency operation. I received two The National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation (NIMUC) I for my role in this operation. The NIMUC is an award of the National Intelligence Awards Program, for contributions to the United States Intelligence Community.

Mick Flynn has consistently and candidly been honest and straightforward with me since the day I met him in 2005. He has been a mentor and someone I trust to give me frank advice when I ask for his opinion. His caring nature has shown through especially when he saw me being torn apart by the FBI and he felt compelled to write a letter in support of me. He further took the extra step to comment on my character in an NPR article and interview exposing the wrongdoings in my case and others who have stood up for truth and against discrimination/retaliation. Senator Grassley also commented on my behalf. NPR characterized this action against me as a "warning shot" to individuals who stood up to individuals such as McCabe.

The day after I resigned from the FBI, while I was crying, Mike reached out and congratulated me on my early retirement. I really needed to hear that from someone I respected so much. His support for the last 13 years has been unparalleled and extremely valuable in helping me get through the trauma of betrayal, unethical behavior, illegal activity executed against me and to rebuild my life. Additionally, his support has helped my family in dealing with their painful emotions regarding my situation. My parents wanted me to pass on to you that they are blessed that I have had a compassionate and supportive individual on my side throughout this trying time.

Mike has been a respected leader by his peers and by FBI Agents and Analysts who have interacted with him. I personally feel he is the finest leader I have ever worked with or for in my career. Our continued friendship and subsequent friendship with his family has helped all of us cope with the stress a situation like this puts on individuals and families.

It is so very painful to watch an American hero, and my friend, torn apart like this. His family has had to endure what no family should have to. I know this because of the damaging effect my case had on my parent's health, finances, and emotional well-being. Mike and I both had to sell our houses due to legal fees, endured smear campaigns (mostly by the same individual, McCabe). I ended up being deemed homeless by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, was on public assistance and endured extensive health and emotional damage due to the retaliation. Mike kept in touch and kept me motivated. He has always reached out to help me with whatever he could.

The Process is the Punishment

Thomas Fitton of Judicial Watch commented to me that the "Process is the punishment." This is the most accurate description I have heard regarding the time Mike has gone through with this process and the year and a half I was ostracized and idled before I resigned. This process is one which many FBI employees, current, retired and former, feel was brought to the FBI by Mueller and he subsequently brought this to the Special Prosecutor investigation.

It also fostered the behavior among FBI "leadership" which we find ourselves shocked at when revealed on a daily basis. Is this the proper way to seek justice? I say no. I swore to uphold the Constitution while protecting the civil rights of the American people. I believe many individuals involved in Mike's case have lost their way and could care less about protection of due process, civil and legal rights of who they are targeting. Mike has had extensive punishment throughout this process. This process has punished him harder than anyone else could.

Andrew McCabe

I believe I have a unique inside view of the mannerisms surrounding Andrew McCabe, other FBI Executive Management and Former Director Mueller, as well as the unethical and coercive tactics they use, not to seek the truth, but to coerce pleas or admissions to end the pain, as I call it. They destroy lives for their own agendas instead of seeking the truth for the American people. Candor is something that should be encouraged and used by leadership to have necessary and continued improvement. Under Mueller, it was seen as a threat and viciously opposed by those he pulled up in the chain of command.

I am explaining this because numerous Agents have expressed the need for you to know McCabe's and Mueller's pattern of "target and destroy" has been utilized on many others, without regard for policies and laws. I, myself, am a casualty of this reprehensible behavior and I have spoken to well over 150 other FBI individuals who are casualties as well.

I am the individual who filed the Hatch Act complaint against McCabe and provided significant evidentiary documents obtained via FOIA, open source, and information from current, former, and retired Special Agents. The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) asked why my filing of the complaint was delayed from the actual acts. I said I personally thought I was providing additional information to what should have been an automatic referral to OSC by FBI OPR. I was notified I was the only complainant. This illustrates not only a fatal flaw in OPR AD Candice Will not making the appropriate and crucial referral, but also shows the fear of those within the FBI to report individuals like McCabe for fear of retaliation.

While serving at the CIA, detailed by the FBI in January 2012, I was responsible for overseas investigations, as opposed to Continental United States-based (CONUS) cases. Unfortunately, during my assignment at the CIA, I encountered extensive discrimination by two FBI Special Agents and subsequently, in 2012, I filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint. Instead of addressing the issues, then CTD Assistant Director Andrew McCabe chose to authorize a retaliatory Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) investigation against me, five days after my EEO contact. The OPR referral he signed was authored by the two individuals I had filed the EEO complaint against. In his signed sworn statement, McCabe admitted he knew I had filed or was going to file the EEO.

Numerous members of my department at the CIA requested to be spoken with by CTD executive management, regarding my work ethic and accomplishments. However, CTD, Inspection Division, and OPR disregarded the list of names and contact numbers I submitted. This is an example of knowing you are being targeted and the truth is not being sought.

Although my time at this position was short, I was commended by my CIA direct supervisor for: "having already contributed more than your predecessor in the short time you have been here." My predecessor had been assigned to the post for 18 months; I had been there four months.

In contrast and showing lack of candor, McCabe wrote on official documents the following statement, contradicting the actual direct supervisor I worked with daily:

"SA Gritz had to be removed from a prior position in an interagency environment, due to inappropriate communications and general performance issues"

This is one of many comments McCabe used to discredit my reputation and to ostracize me. McCabe knew me as someone who told the truth, worked hard, got results, and was always willing to be flexible when needed. He was also acutely aware of the excellent relationships I had formed in the USG interagency due to comments made by individuals from numerous agencies. Yet, he continued to make false statements on official documents. He has done this to numerous other very valuable FBI employees, destroying their careers and lives. He used similar tactics of lies against Flynn. It should be noted, McCabe was very aware of my professional association with Mike Flynn.

In July 5, 2012, I was involuntarily pulled back to CTD from the CIA. I was told McCabe made the decision. A year and a month later, I resigned from the job I absolutely loved and was good at. All because of the lack of candor of numerous individuals within the FBI.

Unethical and dishonest investigative tactics

Throughout the last year, I have kept abreast of the revelations surrounding anything related to Mike's case. I believe, from my years at the FBI and in exposing corruption and discrimination, the circumstances surrounding the targeting, investigation, leaking, and coercion of him to plea are all consistent with the unethical process I and many others have witnessed at the FBI. The charge which Mike Flynn plead to was the result of deception, intimidation, and bias/agenda. Simply, Mike is being branded a convicted felon due to an unethical and dishonest investigation by people who were malicious, vindictive, and corrupt. They wished to silence Mike, like they had once silenced me.

The American people have read the Strzok/Page text messages, the conflicting testimony and lack of candor statements of former Director Comey, the perceived overstepping of the reasonable scope of the Special Prosecutor's investigation, the extensive unethical, untruthful, and outright illegal behavior of Andrew McCabe, to include slanderous statements against Flynn, and the facts found within FOIA released documents and Congressional testimony. As a former/retired Agent, I have combed through every piece of information regarding Mike's case, as if I was combing through evidence in the hundreds of cases I have successfully handled while in the FBI.

The publicly reported Brady material alone, in this case, outweighs any statement given by any FBI Agent (we now know at least one FD-302 was changed), Special Prosecutor investigator report, and any other party still aggressively seeking that this case remain and be sentenced as a felony. Quite simply, I cannot see justice being served by branding LtG. Michael Flynn a convicted felon, when the truth is still being revealed while policies, ethics, and laws have been violated by those pursuing this case.

We now know all FBI employees involved in Mike Flynn's case have either been fired, forced to resign or forced to retire because of their excessive lack of candor, punitive biases, leaking of information, and extensive cover-up of their deeds.

Summation

Michael Flynn has always displayed overwhelming candor and forthrightness. One of the main individuals involved in his case is Andrew McCabe, who used similar tactics against me in my case, of which Mike Flynn defended me by penning a letter of character reference and is a witness. Seeing McCabe was named as a Responding Management Official in my case, he should have recused himself with anything having to do with a character witness on my behalf against him and DOJ.

I'm told by numerous people, but have been unable to confirm, that McCabe was asked why he was so viciously going after Flynn; my name was mentioned. I do know, from experience with McCabe, he is a vindictive individual and I have no doubt Mike's support of me fueled McCabe's disdain and personally vindictive aggressive unethical activities in this case . It matches his behavior in my case.

Reliable fact-finding is essential to procedural due process and to the accuracy and uniformity of sentencing. I'm unsure if the fact-finding in this case is reliable, nor do I think we currently have all the facts.

The punishment which LtG. Flynn has already endured this past year, due to the nature of the case, legal fees and reputation damage, is punishment enough. He is a true patriot, a loving husband and father, a devoted grandfather, a trusted friend, and has a close knit family made up of compassionate and honest individuals. To be branded a felon, is a major hit to a hero who protected the American people for 33 years. I do not think society would benefit from Mike Flynn going to jail nor being branded as a convicted felon. Not knowing the sentencing guidelines for this charge but if there is any chance that the case can be downgraded to a misdemeanor, this would be an act of justice that numerous Americans need to see to stay hopeful for further justice.

Respectfully yours,

Robyn L. Gritz


Never One Roach , 3 minutes ago link

This lady is seriously brave. She confirms one more reason i strongly support our Second Amendment; it's to protect us from tyrants and corrupt people like McCabe, Ohr, Comey and Mueller. Oh yes. I almost forget Rosenstein who should be hung for treason also.

Totally_Disillusioned , 35 minutes ago link

WOW...all this time I had been asking where are the whistle blowers and kept saying, certainly not all the FBI are this corrupt -and further asked are they being threatened to not come forward?"

Well, the later sure seems true when you consider Ms. Gristz statements, particularly " the fear of those within the FBI to report individuals like McCabe for fear of retaliation. "

This is the level of corruption that ought to bring this entire cabal to their knees and place them behind bars. Hopefully Judge Sullivan's intuitions will be bolstered by Ms. Gristz' letter.

runswithscissors , 19 minutes ago link

The FBI is corrupt to the core...from top to bottom. If she joined the FBI to "uphold the Constitution" or "serve the American People" or some other horseshit then that was her first mistake. The FBI is a completely corrupt & unconstitutional organization that protects only the (((globalists))) and other enemies of freedom. The Hoover Buliding should be padlocked and all of the agents of evil put on trial for treason.

Macho Latte , 6 minutes ago link


Like I said earlier today,

Flynn was an example to the rest of the Trump supporters. His guilt or innocense was/is meaningless and irrlevant to the Prog Attack Dogs. The message was/is clear:
"We are the Power. Resistance is futile. Bend your knee or we will destroy you."

It is prudent for reasonable people to believe that the Progs have spent the past couple years destroying evidence that can be used against their gods (Obama, Clinton, Soros, etc.) and their cohorts.

There is no penalty or negative consequence for the Mueller team who engaged in "unethical" activity. None of them will have to answer to anyone or disgorge the millions of dollars in "fees" they have been paid by the Sheeple.

All Progs must hang.
Christopher Wray must hang next.

[Dec 13, 2018] Brexit Endgame

Notable quotes:
"... Brexit can be considered as the rebuilding of the old nation state wall between England and the Continent. To an extent, this is a repudiation of the Globalist Movement, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Neo-Liberal Experiment. In it's essence, Trumps Wall is a repudiation of the NAFTA Consensus. The American 'deplorables' support it because they see it as a means of defending their livelihoods from those hordes of 'foreign' low wage workers. In both cases, it is a looking inwards. ..."
Dec 13, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

ambrit , December 13, 2018 at 5:27 am

Hadrian also built a wall.

Brexit can be considered as the rebuilding of the old nation state wall between England and the Continent. To an extent, this is a repudiation of the Globalist Movement, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Neo-Liberal Experiment. In it's essence, Trumps Wall is a repudiation of the NAFTA Consensus. The American 'deplorables' support it because they see it as a means of defending their livelihoods from those hordes of 'foreign' low wage workers. In both cases, it is a looking inwards.

Arguably, May is one of a generation of politicos in decline. Macron, (perhaps Merkel's hope of having a posterity,) has caved. Merkel has seen the face of her political mortality recently. May has her Pyrrhic victory.

The Clintons cannot even give tickets to their road show away. In all of these examples, the replacements waiting in the wings are, to be charitable about it, underwhelming. Brexit is but the opening act of a grand, worldwide crisis of governance.