As much as I want to vote for HRC, the stench of neocon corporatism is too much, the thin
layer of accumulated grime from years of ethical expediency too toxic, the opaque lack of transparency
too dangerous, and the shifting sands of her amorphous policy too treacherous.
First the neoliberal press demolished his candidacy. With NYT and WaPo as two the most rabid
pro-Hillary dogs. Despite neoliberal presstitutes efforts to sink his candidacy, Sanders managed to
stay competitive almost all the way to the California primary in June.
But next this old fogey turned out to be a sellout. The US masses have no leader to represent their
interests. I can now imagine a feelings of Bernie's supporters who will feel duped (M
of A , Jun 13, 2016)
Bernie Sanders folded. This without gaining any significant concession from Hillary Clinton on
programmatic or personal grounds. (At least as far as we know.) He endorsed Clinton as
presidential candidate even as she gave no ground for his voters' opinions. This disenfranchises
the people who supported him.
... ... ...
I expect the "Not Hillary" protest vote to be very strong in the November election. There is
still more significant dirt to be dug up about her and her family foundation. Trumps current lows
in the polls will recover when the media return to the "close race" mantra that makes them money.
He still has a decent chance to win.
June 12, 2016 was a sad day when Bernie finds himself endorsing someone who is the complete
opposite to the politics he claims to champion. What was his BS campaign and all that rhetoric for?
A disgusting spectacle ( Democracy
And The Future Of The United States - ICH):
Bernie is a fake. He was and I guess, still is a test case for the system. Lucifer wants to see
how far he can go – and what is it that the people want to hear. Accordingly, will be adjusted the
discourse of the two candidates. Sanders has a (Senate) voting record which does not portray what
he pledges to stand for.
... ... ...
Sanders, early on has said that if he should not succeed, he would support Killary. Hello! what
message does that convey? – That he would support a warmonger par excellence? – Europeans like many
Americans have been fooled by Bernie's charm and rebellious appearance. All fake!
Tuesday morning Bernie Sanders united the Democrat party by announcing his endorsement of Hillary
Clinton, but not everyone is happy, with some of his supporters calling him a sell-out.
his speech by giving thanks to the 13 million Americans who voted for him during the primaries, Sanders
announced that he would be endorsing Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nominee and intends to do
everything he can to ensure that she will become the "next president of the United States."
"[T]his campaign is not really about Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders or any
other candidate who sought the presidency," Sanders said in the rally. "This campaign is about the
needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crises that we face."
Sanders began to compare Clinton with Republican nominee, Donald Trump, explaining the differences
between the two and using these differences as his reasons for endorsing her. Sanders admitted during
the rally that he and Clinton do disagree on a number of issues but he also claimed that on Sunday,
July 10, during the Democratic Platform Committee the two campaigns were able to come together significantly.
"Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her here today,"
Sanders said at the end of the rally.
This proclamation is a far cry from how his stance was a couple months ago, when he claimed that
Clinton wasn't qualified for the presidency.
"I don't believe that she is qualified," Sanders said in a Philadelphia rally back in April, as
reported by thinkprogress.org. "[I]f she is, through her super PAC, taking tens of millions of dollars
in special interest funds. I don't think that you are qualified if you get $15 million from Wall
Street through your super PAC."
Trump was one of the first to call Sanders a sell-out on Twitter, comparing his endorsement of
"Crooked Hillary Clinton" to Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs.
"I am somewhat surprised that Bernie Sanders was not true to himself and his supporters," Trump
tweeted. "They are not happy that he is selling out!"
While some Democrats are happy that the party has seemed to have finally united, like the Communications
Workers of America who have now changed their endorsement from Sanders to Clinton, other supporters
share Trumps sentiments, feeling outraged and disappointed at Bernie's sudden change of heart.
"A Sanders endorsement of Clinton would be the ultimate betrayal of his supporters, especially
those of us that poured money into his campaign."
"Bernie, if you endorse Hillary Clinton, after is NOW A PROVEN FACT she lied to the American
people, then you sir are a FRAUD."
"Bernie, endorsing Clinton destroys every point you made and everything you stood for in the
race. You are letting the people who supported you down. You made a promise to fight in the end,
but instead you are conceding. You are not the elected leader you lead us to believe in. Shame on
These are just some of the comments people have been leaving on Sander's Facebook page, as reported
on the Forward Progressives website.
Other supporters have asked him to wait for the Democrats Party convention, to run in a third-party
or to join Jill Stein in the Green Party ticket.
Now that Sanders has endorsed Clinton, Clinton's campaign will most likely focus on convincing
his supporters to join them in their fight for the presidency.
Nader: "Bernie Sanders wants to break up the New York banks, he wants to
impose a Wall Street transaction tax, he wants to regulate drug prices, he's for full
Medicare for all - everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital - he
wants to get rid of these corporate tax havens, he's pushing for a $15 dollar an hour
minimum wage, he wants to stronger labor unions. What's not to like?"
Hedges: "Because he [Bernie Sanders] did it within the Democratic
establishment. . . .He's lending credibility to a party that is completely
corporatized. He has agreed that he will endorse the candidate, which, unless there
is some miracle, will probably be Hillary Clinton. So what he does is he takes all of
that energy, he raises all of these legitimate issues and he funnels it back into a
dead political system. . .
"That was the role of Van Jones in the last election," Hedges said. "He was
running around, using the language of Occupy - Occupy the Vote - and that is what
Bernie has done. I don't understand. He fought the Democratic establishment in
Vermont his entire career. Now he has sold out to it."
"Bernie has also not confronted the military industrial complex at all," Hedges said.
"On a personal level, having spent seven years in the Middle East, I'm just not
willing to forgive him for abandoning the Palestinians and giving carte blanche to
Israel. He was one of 100 Senators who stood up like AIPAC wind up dolls and
approved Israel's 51-day slaughter last summer of Palestinians in Gaza - the
Palestinians who have no army, no navy, artillery, mechanized units, command and
Adapted from Wikipedia
Bernard "Bernie" Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician. He is the junior United
States Senator from Vermont and has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 2016
presidential election. As a presidential candidate he is the candidate without a party, as Democratic
Party established is controlled by financial oligarchy after Bill Clinton sold his party to Wall street
("Third Way betrayal", similar to the trick
Tony Blair performed in the UK).
An independent politician since 1979, Sanders described himself as a
democratic socialist (and probably
with his political views might fit
Social Democratic Party of
Germany). He favors the creation of employee-owned cooperative enterprises and has praised
Scandinavian-style social democracy. He caucuses
with the Democratic Party and is counted as a Democrat for purposes of committee assignments. Since
January 2015, Sanders has been the ranking Democratic member on the Senate Budget Committee. He is also
associated with the Vermont Progressive Party and was a member of the Liberty Union Party from 1971
After several unsuccessful runs for office, Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont's largest
city, in 1981. He was reelected to three more two-year mayoral terms before being elected to represent
Vermont's at-large congressional district in the United States House of Representatives in 1990. He
served as a congressman for 16 years before being elected to succeed the retiring Republican-turned-independent
Jim Jeffords in the U.S. Senate in 2006. In 2012 he was reelected by a landslide. Sanders was the
only independent member of the House during most of his service and is the longest-serving independent
in U.S. congressional history.
Since his election to the Senate, Sanders has emerged as a leading progressive voice on the issues
of income inequality, climate change, and campaign finance reform. He rose to national prominence on
the heels of his 2010 filibuster of the proposed extension of the Bush-era tax rates for the wealthy.
In response to the speech, hundreds of people signed online petitions urging Sanders to run in the 2012
presidential election and pollsters began measuring his support in key primary states. As a supporter
of President Obama, Sanders declined to run in 2012, but began expressing an interest in a 2016 presidential
run in December of 2013.
Sanders announced his intentions to seek the Democratic Party's nomination for President on April
30, 2015, in an address on the Capitol lawn. His campaign was officially launched on May 26 with an
event in Burlington, Vermont.
It is well known that the key idea of polls is to influence electorate. Not to inform but influence.
So int he USA they are a very dirty game. Desirable result that conditions those who did
not yet decided to vote "for the winner" can be achieved in a very subtle way. For example if electorate
of one candidate is younger, you can run poll using landline phones. How subgroup is selected is also
Of course this election cycle much depends on how angry people really are with the establishment.
I think many viscerally dislike Clinton and Jeb! for that reason. I think not many understand
that Dem and Repug are actually one neoliberal party representing its soft and hard wings, correspondingly.
And both intend to harm or even destroy the country with their neoliberal policies to serve interests
on top 0.01%. And that the case with Dems since Bill Clinton sold the part to Wall Street. The
vast body of american people wants change (and not Obama's fake "change we can believe in") but
they don't have a place at the table…
The most important thing to consider when thinking about the
Sanders campaign is this. Everyone else who's running, on both sides, is an insider playing within
- and supporting - the "insider game," the one that keeps insiders wealthy and outsiders struggling,
the one where the wealthy and their retainers operate government for their benefit only. What sets
Sanders apart is his determination to dismantle that game, to take it apart and send its players
home (back to the private sector) or to jail.
Two examples should make this clear. One is Fast Track and the "trade" agreements being forced
upon us. The pressure to pass these agreements is coming equally from mainstream Democrats like Barack
Obama, a "liberal," and from mainstream Republicans, supposed "conservatives." They may differ on
"rights" policy, like abortion rights, but not on money matters. Trade agreements are wealth-serving
policies promoted by people in both parties who serve wealth, which means most of them. People like
Sanders, Warren and others, by contrast, would neuter these agreement as job-killing profit protection
schemes and turn them into something else.
A second example involves Wall Street banks, in particular, a policy of breaking them up,
reinstating Glass-Steagall, and prosecuting Wall Street fraud. Can you imagine any announced candidate
doing any of these things, save Bernie Sanders?
In both of these cases, Sanders would aggressively challenge the insider profit-protection racket,
not just give lip service to challenging it. Which tells you why he is so popular. Many of us in
the bleachers have noticed the insider game - after all, it's been happening in front of us for decades-
and most of us are done with it. Ask any Tea Party Republican voter, for example, what she thinks
of the bank bailout of 2008-09. She'll tell you she hated it, whether she explains it in our terms
And that's why Sanders, like Warren before him, draws such enthusiastic crowds. The pendulum has
swung so far in the direction of wealth that the nation may well change permanently, and people know
it. People are ready, just as they were in 2008, prior to eight years of betrayal. People have been
discouraged about the chance for change lately, but they're ready for the real thing if they see
The Clinton Campaign Notices Sanders
There's been an attempt to downplay the Sanders candidacy since the beginning, to sink his campaign
wave of silence. That ended a bit ago, and the press has begun to take notice, if
snippily. Now the Clinton campaign is noticing, if the New York Times is to be believed.
I found the following fascinating, for a number of reasons.
piece first along with some news, then a little exegesis (my emphasis):
Hillary Clinton's Team Is Wary as Bernie Sanders Finds Footing in Iowa
The ample crowds and unexpectedly strong showing by Senator Bernie Sanders are setting off
worry among advisers and allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who believe the Vermont senator
could overtake her in Iowa polls by the fall and even defeat her in the nation's first nominating
The enthusiasm that Mr. Sanders has generated - including a rally attended by 2,500 people
in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Friday - has called into question Mrs. Clinton's early strategy of
focusing on a listening tour of small group gatherings and wooing big donors in private settings.
In May, Mrs. Clinton led with 60 percent support to Mr. Sanders' 15 percent in a Quinnipiac
poll. Last week the same poll showed Mrs. Clinton at 52 percent to Mr. Sanders's 33 percent.
"We are worried about him, sure. He will be a serious force for the campaign, and I don't think
that will diminish," Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign's communications director, said Monday
in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Some of Mrs. Clinton's advisers acknowledged that they were surprised by Mr. Sanders' momentum
and said there were enough liberal voters in Iowa, including many who supported Barack Obama or
John Edwards in 2008, to create problems for her there.
"I think we underestimated that Sanders would quickly attract so many Democrats in Iowa who
weren't likely to support Hillary," said one Clinton adviser, who like several others spoke on
the condition of anonymity to candidly share views about the race. "It's too early to change strategy
because no one knows if Sanders will be able to hold on to these voters in the months ahead. We're
working hard to win them over, but yeah, it's a real competition there."
I don't want to quote the whole thing (well, I do, but I can't). So I encourage you to
read it. There's much there worth noticing.
What to Look at When the Times Reports on Clinton
Now, some exegesis, meta-reading of the media, especially corporate media like the Times.
My three main points are bulleted below.
First, when you expose yourself to any of the "liberal" U.S. outlets (as opposed to, say,
The Guardian) be aware that because they are owned by establishment corporations they're
already pro-Clinton. Subtly, not blatantly, but certainly.
That sounds like prejudice, so
let me explain. For one thing, neither the outlets nor their owning corporation can afford not
to prepare their seat at the Clinton White House table. It's just a fact. Media want access and
corporations want government to smile on their profit schemes. At this point, currying favor with
Sanders is on no one's mind, and the Clintons are known to "have long memories … they punish their
enemies and help their friends" (quoted
here). The incentives are all aligned.
But also, mainstream insider corporations are completely aligned with the insider game for
the obvious reason - they're part of it. No one inside the game wants to see it damaged. Hayes
and Maddow, as people, may or may not prefer Sanders over Clinton, but MSNBC has a clear favorite
and if you listen carefully and consistently, it shows. Their owners, and all of the other big
media owners, can't afford (literally afford, as in, there's major money at stake) to play this
one straight. You may find some unskewed reporting, but not a lot of it.
In the present instance, for example, I read the story above (click through for
all of it) as being pro-Clinton, and in fact, most stories like these will be painted that
way, with a light brush or a heavy one, for some time to come. If you don't spot this bias where
present, you're not reading the story as written.
In the same way that every New York Times story I read in the last two months, literally
every one, used the inaccurate and propagandistic phrase "pro-trade Democrats" to describe Ron
Wyden, Earl Blumenauer and the small handful of other Dems who defied their voters to support
the White House and the wealthy - in that same way you'll have a hard time finding mainstream
Sanders or Clinton coverage that doesn't in some way sell Clinton. If that's not a fact, I'll
be eager to be proven wrong.
Second, be aware that much so-called reporting is the result of "placement," a term
from advertising. Ad placement is when you buy space in a publication or media program into which
you can put your message. Campaigns, among other entities, frequently do the same with reporters.
The reporter offers space, a container, into which the campaign can put its message. (The reward
is usually "access.")
It's certainly true that many reporters and writers openly advocate;
I'm often one of them and I'm not alone. But no one suspects open advocates of trickery. It's
much more subtle, and dangerous for readers, when the advocacy is hidden, as it is in supposed
"straight news" articles.
In cases like these - certainly not all cases of reporting, but far too many - the reporter
doesn't "get" the news. The news "gets" the reporter. A campaign's messenger comes to the reporter,
offers the message, and the reporter builds a genuine and frequently interesting news story around
it, including research from other sources, but always starting with the seed provided by the campaign
or public official.
In the present instance, the article above, you should therefore ask:
Is it really true that the Clinton campaign just now discovered Sanders' popularity and
that he may be a threat?
Or could the following be true? That the Clinton campaign always knew a Warren-like opponent
could gain ground but were publicly ignoring it; now, however, it's time to appear to be noticing,
so they approached a reporter with their take on the Sanders surge.
In other words, is the bolded part of the first sentence of the article its seed? Who approached
whom? That first sentence again:
The ample crowds and unexpectedly strong showing by Senator Bernie Sanders are setting off
worry among advisers and allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton …
I don't have an answer to the bulleted questions above. Either could be correct. I'm a little
suspicious though. First, by the obvious but subtle bias in the story - similar to the constant
bias in all of the Times Fast Track reporting. Second, by the plurals above: "among
advisers and allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton." This isn't one person speaking, but
a coordinated effort by staffers and surrogates ("allies") to say a coordinated single thing to
the Times reporters.
Third, I'm made suspicious by this, a little further down:
"I think we underestimated that Sanders would quickly attract so many Democrats in Iowa
who weren't likely to support Hillary," said one Clinton adviser, who like several others
spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly share views about the race. "It's too early
to change strategy because no one knows if Sanders will be able to hold on to these voters
in the months ahead. We're working hard to win them over, but yeah, it's a real competition
There's obvious messaging, especially in the last part of the paragraph. But look at the bolded
part. Of those in the campaign, the only ones quoted in the article by name are Clinton herself
and Jennifer Palmieri, who spoke, not to the reporters, but to "Morning Joe." Everyone else is
off the record, speaking to these reporters "on the condition of anonymity to candidly
share views about the race."
"Candidly" implies leaking, not messaging or spin, and here's where the deception seems more
clear. Have these reporters really found a minor army of leakers? If these are truly leakers,
expect them to be fired soon.
So, scenario one: Sanders is surging, the Clinton campaign is caught by surprise, and
two Times reporters find a bunch of anonymous campaign leakers who say (paraphrasing),
"Sure, Sanders caught us by surprise. We're aiming for one type of Democrat and he's getting the
other type. It's too early to change strategy - the man could trip and fall - but yes, there's
(Did you notice that part about two kinds of Democrat? The actual quote says: "We underestimated
that Sanders would quickly attract so many Democrats in Iowa who weren't likely to support Hillary."
I think the campaign knows exactly what kind of Democrat they were ignoring, and if you think
about it carefully, you will too.)
Or, scenario two: The Clinton campaign is ignoring the Warren wing, giving them nothing
but platitudes and (as in the case of Fast Track) avoidance. Now the "Sanders surge" is in the
news and the campaign has to respond. They get their message together - "Yes, we're surprised,
and we have to admit that out loud. But it's early days, and if we keep getting reporters to say
'socialist' and 'anathema,' we won't have to counter his specifics with our specifics. So let's
round up some reporters and get 'Morning Joe' on the phone."
Did the reference to "socialist" and "anathema" surprise you? Read on.
Finally, because of the two points above, you'll find that in many cases the story supports
the campaign, while justifying itself as "reporting." Both bolded pieces are important.
Let's look at each element above. First, "the story supports the campaign":
Those who see Mrs. Clinton as being at risk in Iowa say she is still far better positioned
to win the nomination than Mr. Sanders, who lags by double digits in Iowa polling. He also
has far less money than she does, and his socialist leanings are anathema to many
In the first sentence the campaign is being subtly and indirectly quoted. But the bolded phrases
above are pretty strong language in a sentence that isn't necessarily an indirect quote, and echoes
open Clinton surrogates like Claire McCaskill. Even "leanings" lends an unsavory color, since
it echoes the phrase "communist leanings."
(The alternative to the last sentence above, by the way, and much more honestly sourced, would
be something like this: "The anonymous campaign adviser also said, 'Frankly, we think if we just
keep saying 'socialist' whenever we can, we won't have to change our strategy of being vague on
the economic issues. At least we're sticking with that for now.'" I would buy that as excellent
Second, "justifying itself as reporting": Once you present the core message as provided by
the messengers, the reporter can then call around for other, non-Clinton-sourced comment. Thus
the quotes, much further down from Joe Trippi, Carter Eskew and the Sanders campaign.
Add in a little of the reporters' own analysis, much of it good:
"The enthusiasm that Mr. Sanders has generated - including a rally attended by 2,500 people
in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Friday - has called into question Mrs. Clinton's early strategy
of focusing on a listening tour of small group gatherings and wooing big donors in private
and you have the makings of a news story friendly to Clinton built around a news hook and potentially
"placed" elements. The hook, the "placed" elements (if they were placed), and some original analysis
go at the top, and the rest of the story is built to follow that.
If you like this exercise in reading behind the media, please read
the article again with the above thoughts in mind. Is this original reporting (i.e., reporters
starting a conversation), or did the campaign make the first approach? Does the article carry Clinton
water, subtly support the campaign? Are any opposing viewpoints featured at the top, or are they
buried below the point where most people stop reading?
This Times story may be a completely honest exercise in independent journalism. There certainly
is a Sanders phenomenon, and it's detailed honestly and factually, so there's value in reading it.
But there's an obvious bias toward Clinton messaging in the reporters' own prose, so I'm suspicious,
and you should be as well.
I'll also say that most stories about campaigns operate this way, as do many other news stories
involving public figures. What will make reporting the Sanders campaign different is what I wrote
above - Sanders wants to take apart the insider game. What major media outlet will help Sanders do
that, will shut the door to corporate favors, media access and other prizes from a future Clinton
administration, in order to be even-handed?
In the post by By Les Leopold, the director of the Labor Institute in New York
Economic Facts that Power the Sanders Insurgency (naked
capitalism, Nov 13, 2015) and subsequent readers discussion contains so far the most interesting
discussion of Sanders and his (pretty lonely) current position in the presidential race. Being
a an anti-establishment candidate is a difficult job as economic and political power belong to the establishment
by definition. BTW that's why you should not believe blindly the US polls -- they are designed to sway
electorate, not to inform it).
1. The Rich are Getting Richer, The Rest of Us are Not.
There always has been a significant gap between the top 1 percent and the rest of America. But
that gap was kept under control largely through governmental tax, banking and labor policies.
You could make a lot of money in this country, but after the New Deal, unions made sure you
paid a decent wage to your workers, and government made sure the wealthy provided ample tax revenues.
This allowed working people also to enjoy a rising standard of living.
But as the chart below shows the bond has been broken. After 1980, the incomes of the top
1% exploded while the wages of the bottom 90% stagnated….and not by accident.
2. Wall Street/CEO Greed
Most of us haven't had a real raise (after inflation) for more than a decade. Meanwhile
we see our CEOs and their Wall Street partners rake in astronomical sums. The data backs up what
we see and sense. As this chart shows, the gap between the pay of the top CEOs and the average worker
has jumped from 45 to 1 in 1970 to an astounding 829 to one today.
The game is rigged and Sanders is calling them on it.
3. The Biggest Banks are Getting Bigger.
One of the most outrageous economics
facts of life is the engorgement of too-big-to-fail banks. We are told that they now are under
control. But nothing could be further from the truth.
The top four banks have grown even larger since the Great Recession. No wonder crowds roar when
Bernie says "If a bank is too big to fail, I think it's too big to exist."
4. Students are Crippled with Debt.
Sanders wants to tax Wall Street speculation and use the money to fund free higher education.
And for good reason. Debt peonage is hitting college students as banks load them up with onerous
loans. Sanders believes it's time for us to catch up with many other developed nations that already
provide free higher education.
5. We lead the developed world in child poverty
Nothing more clearly reflects the values of a country than how it treats its children. And nothing
is more painful and inexcusable than children living in poverty.
The countries of northern Europe – Iceland, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Sweden
– have nearly eradicated childhood poverty. These also are the countries that have the lowest levels
of inequality. They have made a conscious choice: less inequality, less childhood poverty.
But in a country like ours so engulfed by runaway inequality, child poverty becomes the responsibility
of the poor. In other words, if your kids are poor it's your fault. Don't expect society to feed
Bernie does indeed expect society to feed the poor. And so should we.
6. You can't live on the minimum wage
America is the only country in the developed world in which you can work full time and still live
in poverty. That's because our federal minimum wage is a disgrace. As the chart below shows,
the real buying power of the minimum wage, after taking into account of inflation, has been on the
decline since its peak in the 1960s. That's why one of Sanders' biggest applause lines is
"A minimum wage of $7 an hour is a starvation wage. I applaud those cities-Seattle, Los Angeles
and others-that have raised the minimum wage to $15 an
hour. And that is exactly what we will do at the federal level."
7. The tax system favors the rich
We all know that the rich are not paying their
fair share of taxes. They hire the best lawyers to help make their incomes vanish on IRS papers.
They shift money abroad. They use their influence to create and abuse loopholes. And they sell us
the lie that decreasing taxes on the rich make all boats rise.
The chart below shows the result on the state and local levels. The sad truth is that the
poorer you are, the more you pay as a percent of your income.
8. The Rich Buy the Political System
As our economy fractures under the weight of runaway inequality, so does our entire democracy.
Money is pouring into politics, especially since the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling.
As the chart below makes clear, corporations and financial institutions are taking full advantage
as they flood the political process through Super PACS.
Sanders wants Super PACS outlawed and Citizens United overturned.
9. "The American Dream" is Fading Away
Many Americans still believe in the American Dream - the idea of genuine upward mobility. We cherish
the idea that our children will do as well or better than we have done.
But we're getting a wake up call.
The chart below shows that the odds of rising above your father's economic position in the U.S.
is about 50/50. In Denmark, you have about a seven to one chance of doing better.
No wonder Bernie wants us to learn a thing or two from the Danes
10. The Largest Police State in the World
Freedom pays the price for runaway inequality. Because we refuse to use government to provide
decent paying work for all those who are willing and able to work, we leave vast tracks of our cities
mired in poverty.
We allow institutional racist practices (especially in housing, education and criminal justice)
to trap more people of color on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder.
Instead of using government to create jobs, we use government to fund prisons.
Instead of a War on Poverty we have declared war on the poor.
As a result, we now have more prisoners both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the population
than any country in the world. And if you compare the chart below with the first chart in this article,
you'll find that the incarceration surge started with the onset of runway inequality.
Taking Them On
Perhaps Bernie's biggest applause line is the one that sets us on our course. His campaign cannot
succeed in one election. We need to connect with our neighbors and colleagues and help organize and
mobilize for change.
"This campaign is sending a message to the billionaire class: Yes, we have the guts to
take you on."
Let's hope he's right.
There is much more to a candidates platform than simply economics, which readers of NC know
to be as much pseudo-science as anything, and the Fed, which fails to live up to ideals for the
common good, and actually preserves the status quo which is such a problem these days.
RP is a mixed bag for certain, but you get a sense that he is at least honest, which is a radical
change in itself, and there is much for readers of this blog to latch onto. For instance:
-Paul broke with his party by voting against the PATRIOT Act in 2001
-Paul has spoken against the domestic surveillance program conducted by the National Security
Agency on American citizens
-cut the Department of Defense budget by total 15%; eliminate all foreign war funding
-Paul contends that prohibition of drugs is ineffective and advocates ending the War on
To be sure, many of his positions are headscratchers, for sure, such as his belief in privatization
and "free markets". These are very idealistic, and as you probably focus on, the readers of NC
will call BS on very quickly.
Still, when having to choose between the internally conflicted and the pathological liar, it
is no surprise that many will choose the internally conflicted.
fresno dan, November 13, 2015 at 3:28 pm
And one other point: Paul, and every one else elected, so far at least, is not a Napoleon or Caesar,
so most platforms are 99.9% baloney. (well, more accurately, most platforms are the same as it
ever was – the candidates just say a lot of words to make it appear they are going to do something
different – yesterday's LINKS about how Obama didn't REALLY oppose Bush's policies, just
that they didn't go through a process to make them legal)
At least with Paul, there was some evidence that he would TRY to dial back all the war mongering….
Jim Haygood, November 13, 2015 at 9:57 am
'Ron Paul knows nothing about the Fed and Economics for which he claims to be an expert.'
To be fair, plenty of people write books on topics of which they know nothing, or worse/less
than nothing. All neo-liberal economists, for example.
Nigelk, November 13, 2015 at 1:53 pm
Ron Paul? Seriously? Did I drive through a wormhole this morning and arrive in Fall 2007?
jrs, November 13, 2015 at 2:21 pm
That's what they'll be saying about Sanders in 4 years. I don't mind Sanders as the best choice
there is perhaps. But come on folks, none of this stuff has any hope really. A revolution? Well
I don't hope for one either, but at least movement building might work. Other than that it's 5
minutes in the voting booth and get on with your life.
Jagger, November 13, 2015 at 2:04 pm
I would be curious how anybody who reads this blog could possibly be for Ron Paul, let
alone have voted for him.
Ron Paul is anti-war. Who else is anti-war amongst the Repub/Dem tickets? Maybe Sanders.
He did vote against the Iraqi invasion but wouldn't condemn Israel over the last air war on Gaza.
Jury is still out on him.
We should remember that the image of the United Nations as a benevolent peacemaker is a
myth, as evidenced by the sad history of its military actions over the past 30 years. In virtually
every instance its so-called "peacekeeping missions" have done nothing but intensify regional
conflicts. Kosovo and Somalia are poignant examples of UN policy gone bad, creating lasting
resentment and instability rather than peace.
Uh, that sounds like pretty classic Ron Paul. Are you saying that acting as the world's
police force bombing civilian infrastructure in Serbia was a good idea and that things are hunky
dory in Somalia today? Do you support the current effort to wage war on the Assad government in
You didn't answer Jagger's question.
washunate, November 13, 2015 at 3:21 pm
Maybe we don't need experts. Maybe the God of Authority is a False God. Maybe instead of trying
to fight war better, we should stop trying.
That's the thing about the three biggest things Paul stood for (end the Fed, end the drug war,
end the Iraq war): they were ends. Not new programs that require advanced degrees and subject
matter expertise, but rather, stopping horrible programs run by horrible people for horrible purposes.
Now maybe you disagree that they're horrible, and that's fine. Personally, I vehemently oppose
the drug war and the US empire, but I'm not opposed to the Fed. To me, it just does what politicians
tell it to do. But the point is, that's a matter of personal opinion, not expertise.
I wonder only half-jokingly if your comment is satire, too. I assume it was unintentional, but
it sounds exactly like the whiny Democratic pundit enforcers complaining about Alan Grayson and
FDL working with evil Republicans like Grover Norquist on Audit the Fed legislation. The era in
which people can be intimidated via guilt by association is over. There are far more independents
than Democrats today.
If you don't understand how a 2008 Ron Paul supporter could be interested in fearless commentary
on finance, economics, politics, and power, then all I can surmise is that you don't want to understand.
If you are genuinely curious, this link might be a particularly useful refresher on the tone of
the day to day politics of the time:
The rhetoric Occupy Wall Street was not usurped by the Democratic Party until it was crushed
completed in an orchestrated multi-city police state take-down by Democratic and Republican mayors.
I see no candidates talking about the right of free speech and assembly to petition government
for the redress of grievances. I did not see that sort of repression happen with the Tea Party,
which was receiving massive financing from the start. The two movements are not equivalent
in how they have been received by the two parties.
wbgonne, November 13, 2015 at 10:21 am
Given that OWS and the Tea Party have been usurped by the respective national parties,
and both movements are anti-status quo, my opinion is they should join forces. Also, considering
there is little difference at the end of the day, between the republican and democrat parties,
that they play both sides against the middle, if Trump and Sanders had an ounce of humility
between them, they would both quit their party and run on a split ticket.
A couple of quibbles. First, OWS was not usurped by the Democrats: it was opposed, undermined
and ultimately crushed by the Democratic Establishment, starting at the top with the Obama Administration
all the way down to the mayors, many of whom were Democrats too. The Tea Party began as a populist
movement but was largely hijacked by the GOP corporatists. That said, there is clearly a lot of
populist energy on both the Right and the Left. Sanders carries the ball forward almost without
misstep. Trump, however, is a decidedly mixed bag: while he is anti-TPP - a huge plus - he also
opposes wage increases and probably holds many other anti-populist views that just haven't surfaced
But the biggest problem with the merger you propose, however, is the one that has bedeviled
populism since the 70s: identity politics issues. While I generally try not to over-emphasize
such issues, they should not be discounted either. They should certainly not be disparaged. Let
me put it this way: no self-respecting progressive could collaborate with someone who wishes Operation
Wetback were our national immigration policy. Overt racism, sexism and homophobia cannot be accepted
but political correctness should be rejected too as the antagonizing and divisive factor it is.
In order for the merger you posit to occur - which would be a wonderful development - both the
Left and the Right must downplay identity politics issues because those are the wedges that keep
the two ends of economic populism from joining.
Jagger, November 13, 2015 at 2:11 pm
Identity politics is in the DNA of the Democratic party. Abandoning identity politics is simply
not going to happen for a few generations at best.
WindyCity, November 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm
There is discontent on the left and the right. That's what feeding the candidacies of Tea Party
darlings like Trump and Carson and the Democratic Socialist Sanders. Working- and middle-class
folks across the political spectrum have been hit hard with unemployment, bankruptcy, foreclosure,
debt-slavery, and on and on. Those on the right blame immigration, Obama, and big government;
those on the left blame corporate tyranny and capitalist greed. It's probably naive of me, but
I do see an opening for a Sanders to draw support from the right. His message ought to resonate
with the disaffected, disenfranchised, and disillusioned in all quarters. I've already heard reports
of some Tea Baggers throwing in with him. It will be interesting to see if this becomes a significant
But as the chart below shows the bond has been broken.
I don't like the passive voice here. Who broke the bond? And why?
Noam Chomsky. Pay attention to Chomsky's comments about the dismantling of the Bretton Woods
system in the early 70s. Also pay attention when Chomsky talks about the "crisis of democracy"
and the very conscious destruction of the US educational system.
cwaltz, November 13, 2015 at 7:03 am
I have to laugh at anyone who argues they don't like redistribution because it's the equivalent
of saying I don't like an economy. The reality is in capitalism you have redistribution. Businesses
don't keep the money you give it for goods and services, they redistribute it. The problem is
they redistribute it poorly. They put an inordinately large emphasis on rewarding the guy on the
top of the totem pole regardless of his contributions(that's why you have CEOs walking away with
multimillion dollar parachutes) while paying peanuts to what is often the face of their organization.
The Tea Party has a real critical thinking issue if it thinks any of this has anything to do with
winners and losers. You can be a hard worker spending 17 years busting your backside only to find
a CEO like Trump has decided that the business isn't profitable enough. Guess what? When he files
for bankruptcy he'll get to keep his house, and be insulated from economic consequences that led
to the bankruptcy. Meanwhile the same couldn't be said for that worker whose major "bad decision"
was placing his lot in with the wrong company at the wrong time under the wrong leadership.
Paul Tioxon, November 13, 2015 at 10:06 am
A Million Student March yesterday was the national day of protest across the nation by university
students marching for the cancellation of student debt and $15/hr wages for student jobs. Locally,
in Philly, they tied up traffic marching from North to South down Broad St and from West To East
across Market St converging at City Hall for a rally against debt, for the $15/hr wage and in
solidarity with Mizzou and Yale against racism on campus. Helicopter coverage and on site reporters
interviewed the students, allowing them to get their message across in their own words. A Google
news search shows similar coverage from Pittsburgh, Reno, Oakland, Vanderbilt etc etc. The report
linked below references Bernie Sanders remarks as an inspiration. One student in front of City
Hall demanding student debt cancellation presented the case that since a college degree is a necessity,
why are they forced into debt for something that society requires of them to live any kind of
life worth living? Necessities of life should not require you to borrow money and go into debt.
That is similar to buying you supplies from the mining company so you can go down to the mines
and work. Candles and picks are required to mine, so why does your paycheck have to cover that
cost? The students are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel!
This is an excellent list of problems in the U.S. economy (some of them affect other parts
of the world, too). Whether or not a person currently supports Senator Bernie Sanders, one should
ask which candidates for public office are most likely to sincerely try to solve these problems.
There are other non-economic issues, but the average person won't have a say in solving other
problems unless most of the 10 problems in the list are, at the very least, partly solved.
3.14e-9, November 13, 2015 at 12:53 pm
This article won't convince anyone with half a brain of anything. It's a bunch of opinion,
with weasel words such as "My strong impression is." That he cites Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua
Frank is all anyone needs to know. They've been hammering on the same opinion over and over with
pretty much the same set of "facts," including inaccuracies such as Sanders's alleged support
for the bombing of Gaza last summer. Sanders was one of a small minority of senators who actually
didn't sign on to that resolution (S. Res. 498) and he didn't vote for it, because there is no
vote on resolutions. They are approved by an arcane Senate rule called "unanimous consent," which
is not what it sounds like, but it makes a great story for Chris Hedges and others who are just
pissed off that Sanders chose to run as a Democrat.
Ultimately, this article is just more of the same ol' - which is ironic, given that that's what
most of this crowd says about Sanders.
WindyCity, November 13, 2015 at 3:42 pm
Chris Hedges takes the same view. I am fully sympathetic with the harsh criticisms leveled
at Sanders regarding his support for empire and his relative indifference to foreign policy. Also,
he's clearly not a socialist (nor could he be, considering his support for US militaristic hegemony).
He is a liberal social democratic in the FDR tradition, and what he advocates is the restitution
and strengthening of New Deal restraints on capitalism aimed at reducing inequality. He does support
worker self-directed enterprises (cooperative businesses owned and run by workers) and has introduced
legislation to provide federal support for such endeavors. This does suggest he's mindful of what
genuine socialism is about, though he hasn't highlighted these ideas in the campaign.
My own view is that Sanders could provide an impetus for more movement-led change, provided that
the energy and hope that he has generated, especially among young people, be channeled into organizing
efforts and civil disobedience after the election process has concluded. I have little doubt that
Clinton will win the nomination, but if, instead of succumbing to depression and disillusionment
after Sanders has been defeated, his enthusiastic supporters take their anger and commitment into
movement-building, his campaign will have made an important contribution.
A big problem is that Sanders has pledged to support the Democratic candidate if it's
not him. I don't see how he could really get behind the cynical, opportunistic neocon, neoliberal
Clinton, but we'll see. It does look like he'll push the less worse argument on his supporters,
and that would be unfortunate.
Vatch, November 13, 2015 at 12:37 pm
The article misrepresents some things. For example, these statements are false, or at the very
1) support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including President Obama's recent decision
to maintain a troop presence; 2) blank-check support of Israel, including its savage bombing campaign
in Gaza last year;
1 ) Sanders voted against the war in Iraq and against the Patriot Act. See this for links
and this for the Iraq vote in the House.
2 ) Sanders has been very critical of Israel's behavior in Gaza. See
this for more information and links.
Meant as a reply to Linda J.
Tom Stone, November 13, 2015 at 12:56 pm
Since reform is not going to happen we need to provide local police departments with more armored
vehicles and finish doing away with the 2nd amendment.
The 1st and 4th are gone, it's time for sensible people to get with the program.
Wesley Clarke is calling for FEMA camps to be opened to hold "Extremists".
And he's considered a moderate…
The system is broken, get in line or get hurt.
Sanders is probably among very few US politicians who oppose both theory and practice of neoliberalism,
which came to power in the USA with the election of Ronald Reagan. Now neoliberalism is 35 years old
and already experienced one crisis (2008) which severely undermined its credibility. But it recovered
and continue to exist in "zombie" (and really bloodthirsty) state: people understand that as a social
system it is discredited, but have no viable alternative. What Sanders tried to propose is such an alternative
in a form of resurrection of elements of New Deal. This is a tremendously difficult task. He does not
enjoy support on financial oligarchy and thus face well organized and well fed Hillary campaign or discrediting
him as a viable candidate. One positive thing about this duel that in rate face to face encounters Sanders
might prevail over "not so bright" Hillary.
Neoliberalism is a new form of corporatism
based on the ideology of market fundamentalism,
dominance of finance in the economy (and restoration of the political power of financial oligarchy)
and cult of the rich ("greed
is good") instead of ideology based on racial or national superiority typical for classic corporatism.
Like many religious doctrines it belongs to the class of
Theological Voluntarism (with some pseudo mathematical voodoo attached as a justification; actually
even this is not new. Iranian ayatollahs in the past needed to demonstrate proficiency in mathematics)
, but unlike most philosophies and relations it does not try to suppress greed. On the contrary it pronounces
it to be a virtue ("Greed is good"). All actions are
covered under smokescreen of propaganda which is unprecedented in its
and contempt to the ordinary people.
Probably exceeding cynicism of the USSR leadership which
covered the same redistribution ( in case of the USSR mainly to military industrial complex and nomenklatura
) policies with Big Brother style slogans like "The Party
cares for the
wellbeing of the people". This is
a tailor-made ideology for powerful interests, large international corporations who simply do want to
have their way. They created a political system that is the very opposite of what our leadership, the
mass media, opinion leaders, think tanks etc. proclaim as the world's foremost exemplary of democracy.
The typical for corporatism union of corporate power and government was transformed by the US elite
into a flavor of corporatism which Sheldon Wolin
called "inverted totalitarianism"
which is just another nickname for neoliberalism. Unlike traditional corporatism of Nazi
Germany, and Italy the American neoliberal system is designed not to mobilize the populace, but to distract
it, to encourage a sense of dependency (by cultivating fear, calling everything a "war", for example
"war on terror") as well as encouraging political disengagement (as in Reagan quote: "The nine most
terrifying words in the English language are "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." )
. Those dirty tricks allowed corporate elite to take full political power and kill remnants of unions
political power while citizenry shows little interest or concern. In other words powerful corporate
interests which were the key promoters of neoliberalism and the key beneficiaries of its spread. They
ingeniously used the Cold War as a pretext of dismantling of the New Deal (
Pt 1-8 Hedges & Wolin Can Capitalism and Democracy
Coexist - YouTube):
HEDGES: And the Cold War. So the Cold War arises. And this becomes the kind of moment by which
capital, and especially corporate capital, can dismantle the New Deal and free itself from any kind
of regulation and constraint to deform and destroy American democracy. Can you talk about that process,
what happened during that period?
WOLIN: Well, I think the first thing to be said about
it is the success with which the governing groups manage to create a Cold War that was really
so total in its spread that it was hard to mount a critical opposition or to take a more detached
view of our relationship to the Soviet Union and just what kind of problem it created.
And it also had the effect, of course, of skewing the way we looked at domestic discontents, domestic
inequalities, and so on, because it was always easy to tar them with the brush of communism,
so that the communism was just more than a regime. It was also a kind of total depiction of what
was the threat to -- and complete opposite to our own form of society, our old form of economy and
HEDGES: And in Politics and Vision, you talk about because of that ideological clash,
therefore any restriction of capitalism which was defined in opposition to communism as a kind
of democratic good, if you want to use that word, was lifted in the name of the battle against communism,
that it became capitalism that was juxtaposed to communism rather than democracy, and therefore this
empowered capital, in a very pernicious way, to dismantle democratic institutions in the name of
the war on communism.
WOLIN:Oh, I think there's no question about that, the notion
that you first had to, so to speak, unleash the great potential capitalism had for improving everybody's
economical lot and the kind of constraints that had been developed not only by the New Deal, but
by progressive movements throughout the 19th century and early 20th century in the United States,
where it had been increasingly understood that while American economic institutions were a good thing,
so to speak, and needed to be nurtured and developed, they also posed a threat.
They posed a threat because they tended to result in concentrations of power, concentrations of
economic power that quickly translated themselves into political influence because of the inevitably
porous nature of democratic representation and elections and rule, so that the difficulty's been
there for a long time, been recognized for a long time, but we go through these periods of sleepwalking
where we have to relearn lessons that have been known almost since the birth of the republic, or
at least since the birth of Jeffersonian democracy, that capitalism has its virtues, but it has to
be carefully, carefully watched, observed, and often controlled.
Later Wendy Brown, professor in Berkley advanced Professor Wolin ideas to a new level
in her book Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution (Zone Books, 2015). Notable quotes
from her interview (What
Exactly Is Neoliberalism):
"... I treat neoliberalism as a governing rationality through which everything is "economized"
and in a very specific way: human beings become market actors and nothing but, every field of activity
is seen as a market, and every entity (whether public or private, whether person, business, or state)
is governed as a firm. Importantly, this is not simply a matter of extending commodification and
monetization everywhere-that's the old Marxist depiction of capital's transformation of everyday
life. Neoliberalism construes even non-wealth generating spheres-such as learning, dating, or exercising-in
market terms, submits them to market metrics, and governs them with market techniques and practices.
Above all, it casts people as human capital who must constantly tend to their own present and future
"... The most common criticisms of neoliberalism, regarded solely as economic policy
rather than as the broader phenomenon of a governing rationality, are that it generates and legitimates
extreme inequalities of wealth and life conditions; that it leads to increasingly precarious and
disposable populations; that it produces an unprecedented intimacy between capital (especially finance
capital) and states, and thus permits domination of political life by capital; that it generates
crass and even unethical commercialization of things rightly protected from markets, for example,
babies, human organs, or endangered species or wilderness; that it privatizes public goods and thus
eliminates shared and egalitarian access to them; and that it subjects states, societies, and individuals
to the volatility and havoc of unregulated financial markets. ..."
"... with the neoliberal revolution that homo politicus is finally vanquished as a fundamental
feature of being human and of democracy. Democracy requires that citizens be modestly oriented toward
self-rule, not simply value enhancement, and that we understand our freedom as resting in such self-rule,
not simply in market conduct. When this dimension of being human is extinguished, it takes with it
the necessary energies, practices, and culture of democracy, as well as its very intelligibility.
"... For most Marxists, neoliberalism emerges in the 1970s in response to capitalism's
falling rate of profit; the shift of global economic gravity to OPEC, Asia, and other sites outside
the West; and the dilution of class power generated by unions, redistributive welfare states, large
and lazy corporations, and the expectations generated by educated democracies. From this perspective,
neoliberalism is simply capitalism on steroids: a state and IMF-backed consolidation of class power
aimed at releasing capital from regulatory and national constraints, and defanging all forms of popular
solidarities, especially labor. ..."
"... The grains of truth in this analysis don't get at the fundamental transformation
of social, cultural, and individual life brought about by neoliberal reason. They don't get at the
ways that public institutions and services have not merely been outsourced but thoroughly recast
as private goods for individual investment or consumption. And they don't get at the wholesale remaking
of workplaces, schools, social life, and individuals. For that story, one has to track the dissemination
of neoliberal economization through neoliberalism as a governing form of reason, not just a power
grab by capital. There are many vehicles of this dissemination -- law, culture, and above all, the
novel political-administrative form we have come to call governance. It is through governance practices
that business models and metrics come to irrigate every crevice of society, circulating from investment
banks to schools, from corporations to universities, from public agencies to the individual. It is
through the replacement of democratic terms of law, participation, and justice with idioms of benchmarks,
objectives, and buy-ins that governance dismantles democratic life while appearing only to instill
it with "best practices." ..."
"... Progressives generally disparage Citizens United for having flooded the American
electoral process with corporate money on the basis of tortured First Amendment reasoning that treats
corporations as persons. However, a careful reading of the majority decision also reveals precisely
the thoroughgoing economization of the terms and practices of democracy we have been talking about.
In the majority opinion, electoral campaigns are cast as "political marketplaces," just as ideas
are cast as freely circulating in a market where the only potential interference arises from restrictions
on producers and consumers of ideas-who may speak and who may listen or judge. Thus, Justice Kennedy's
insistence on the fundamental neoliberal principle that these marketplaces should be unregulated
paves the way for overturning a century of campaign finance law aimed at modestly restricting the
power of money in politics. Moreover, in the decision, political speech itself is rendered as a kind
of capital right, functioning largely to advance the position of its bearer, whether that bearer
is human capital, corporate capital, or finance capital. This understanding of political speech replaces
the idea of democratic political speech as a vital (if potentially monopolizable and corruptible)
medium for public deliberation and persuasion. ..."
"... My point was that democracy is really reduced to a whisper in the Euro-Atlantic
nations today. Even Alan Greenspan says that elections don't much matter much because, "thanks to
globalization . . . the world is governed by market forces," not elected representatives. ..."
"... If there were secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence such as might give rise to genuine concern that the national security of the United States might be compromised – for example because they were intended to swing the US election from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump – then the FBI would have a legitimate reason to investigate those contacts even if no actual crimes were committed during them. ..."
"... The point is however is that eighteen months after the start of the Russiagate investigation no evidence either of criminal acts or of secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence which might have placed the national security of the United States in jeopardy has come to light. ..."
"... There is no evidence of a criminal conspiracy by anyone in the Trump campaign involving the Russians. or the hacking of John Podesta's and the DNC's computers in order to steal emails from those computers and to have them published by Wikileaks; ..."
"... There is also no evidence of any secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence during the election which might have placed the national security of the United States in jeopardy. ..."
"... If no evidence either of a criminal conspiracy or of inappropriate secret contacts by the Trump campaign and the Russians has been found after eighteen months of intense investigation by the biggest and mightiest national security and intelligence community on the planet, then any reasonable person would conclude that that must be because no such evidence exists. ..."
"... Some months I expressed doubts that Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would countenance fishing expeditions . It turns out I was wrong. On any objective assessment it is exactly such fishing expeditions that the Mueller investigation is now engaging in. ..."
"... Deutsche Bank is a German bank not a Russian bank. To insinuate that the Russians control Deutsche Bank – one of the world's leading international banks – because Deutsche Bank has had some previous financial dealings with various Russian banks and businesses is quite simply preposterous. I doubt that there is a single important bank in Germany or Austria of which that could not also be said. ..."
"... Which again begs the question why? Why are Mueller and the Justice Department resorting to these increasingly desperate actions in order to prove something which it ought to be obvious by now cannot be proved? ..."
"... My colleague Alex Christoforou has recently pointed out that the recent indictment of Michael Flynn seems to have been partly intended to shield Mueller from dismissal and to keep his Russiagate investigation alive. Some time ago I made exactly the same point about the indictments against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates and about the indictment against George Papadopoulos. ..."
"... Those indictments were issued directly after the Wall Street Journal published an editorial saying that Mueller should resign. ..."
"... It is the Wall Street Journal editorial which in fact provides the answer to Mueller's and Rosenstein's otherwise strange behaviour and to the way that Mueller has conducted the investigation up to now. The Wall Street Journal's editorial says that Mueller's past as the FBI's Director means that he is too close to the FBI to take an objective view of its actions. ..."
"... It is universally agreed that the FBI's then Director – Mueller's friend James Comey – broke protocols by the way he announced that Hillary Clinton had been cleared. ..."
"... By failing to bring charges against Hillary Clinton the FBI ensured that she would win the Democratic Party's nomination, and that she not Bernie Sanders would face off against Donald Trump in the election in the autumn. That is important because though the eventual – completely unexpected – election outcome was that Donald Trump won the election, which Hillary Clinton lost, every opinion poll which I have seen suggests that if the election had been between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump then Bernie Sanders would have won by a landslide. ..."
"... They played Sessions like a violin. Sessions recluses himself for a bullcrap Kisnyak speech, where he did not even meet him. Rosenstein then recommends Trump fire Comey -- who wanted to be fired so they would appoint a special prosecutor -- which Rosenstein does -- Mueller, to the acclamation of ALL of Con and the Senate-including Republicans. ..."
"... Trump was pissed because they removed his only defender from Mueller -- the head of the DOJ. He knew it was a setup, so went ballistic when he found out about Sessions recusing. ..."
"... Strzok was obviously at a VERY senior pay grade. It would be very surprising if HR had any jobs at Strzok's pay grade. ..."
"... once this special prosecutor is done, congress needs to rewrite the special prosecutor law to narrow their mandate to just the item allowed to be investigated - no fishing expeditions - enough of this stupidity - and maybe put a renewal clause in there so that it has to be renewed every 12 months... ..."
"... This is, and always has been a sideshow for the "true believers" in the Democrap party and all Hitlary supporters to accuse Trump of EXACTLY what Hitlary did ..."
Almost eighteen months after Obama's Justice Department and the FBI launched the Russiagate investigation, and seven months after
Special Counsel Robert Mueller took the investigation over, the sum total of what it has achieved is as follows
(1) an indictment of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates which concerns entirely their prior financial dealings, and which makes no
reference to the Russiagate collusion allegations;
(2) an indictment for lying to the FBI of George Papadopoulos, the junior volunteer staffer of the Trump campaign, who during
the 2016 Presidential election had certain contacts with members of a Moscow based Russian NGO, which he sought to pass off –
falsely and unsuccessfully – as more important than they really were, and which also does not touch on the Russiagate collusion
(3) an indictment for lying to the FBI of Michael Flynn arising from his perfectly legitimate and entirely legal contacts with
the Russian ambassador after the 2016 Presidential election, which also does not touch on the Russiagate collusion allegations,
and which looks as if it was brought about by an
act of entrapment
Of actual evidence to substantiate the claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election Mueller has
so far come up with nothing.
Here I wish to say something briefly about the nature of "collusion".
There is no criminal offence of "collusion" known to US law, which has led some to make the point that Mueller is investigating
a crime which does not exist.
There is some force to this point, but it is one which must be heavily qualified:
(1) Though there is no crime of "collusion" in US law, there most certainly is the crime of conspiracy to perform a criminal act.
Should it ever be established that members of the Trump campaign arranged with the Russians for the Russians to hack the DNC's
and John Podesta's computers and to steal the emails from those computers so that they could be published by Wikileaks, then since
hacking and theft are serious criminal acts a criminal conspiracy would be established, and it would be the entirely proper to do
to bring criminal charges against those who were involved in it.
This is the central allegation which lies behind the whole Russiagate case, and is the crime which Mueller is supposed to be investigating.
(2) The FBI is not merely a police and law enforcement agency. It is also the US's counter-espionage agency.
If there were secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence such as might give rise to genuine concern that
the national security of the United States might be compromised – for example because they were intended to swing the US election
from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump – then the FBI would have a legitimate reason to investigate those contacts even if no actual
crimes were committed during them.
Since impeachment is a purely political process and not a legal process, should it ever be established that there were such secret
contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence which might have placed the national security of the United States in
jeopardy, then I have no doubt that Congress would say that there were grounds for impeachment even if no criminal offences had been
committed during them.
The point is however is that eighteen months after the start of the Russiagate investigation no evidence either of criminal acts
or of secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence which might have placed the national security of the United
States in jeopardy has come to light.
(1) There is no evidence of a criminal conspiracy by anyone in the Trump campaign involving the Russians. or the hacking of
John Podesta's and the DNC's computers in order to steal emails from those computers and to have them published by Wikileaks;
(2) There is also no evidence of any secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence during the election
which might have placed the national security of the United States in jeopardy.
Such contacts as did take place between the Trump campaign and the Russians were limited and innocuous and had no effect on the
outcome of the election. Specifically there is no evidence of any concerted action between the Trump campaign and the Russians to
swing the election from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump.
As I have previously discussed, the meeting between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya is
not such evidence .
If no evidence either of a criminal conspiracy or of inappropriate secret contacts by the Trump campaign and the Russians has
been found after eighteen months of intense investigation by the biggest and mightiest national security and intelligence community
on the planet, then any reasonable person would conclude that that must be because no such evidence exists.
Why then is the investigation still continuing?
Some months I expressed doubts that Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would
countenance fishing expeditions. It turns out I was wrong. On any objective assessment it is exactly such fishing expeditions that the Mueller investigation is
now engaging in.
How else to explain the strange decision to subpoena Deutsche Bank for information about loans granted by Deutsche Bank to Donald
Trump and his businesses?
Deutsche Bank is a German bank not a Russian bank. To insinuate that the Russians control Deutsche Bank – one of the world's leading
international banks – because Deutsche Bank has had some previous financial dealings with various Russian banks and businesses is
quite simply preposterous. I doubt that there is a single important bank in Germany or Austria of which that could not also be said.
Yet in the desperation to find some connection between Donald Trump and Russia it is to these absurdities that Mueller is reduced
Which again begs the question why? Why are Mueller and the Justice Department resorting to these increasingly desperate actions
in order to prove something which it ought to be obvious by now cannot be proved?
My colleague Alex Christoforou has recently pointed out that the recent indictment of Michael Flynn seems to have been
partly intended to shield Mueller from dismissal and to keep his Russiagate investigation alive. Some time ago I made exactly the same point about
the indictments against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates and about the indictment against George Papadopoulos.
Those indictments were issued directly after the Wall Street Journal published an
editorial saying that Mueller
The indictment against Manafort and Gates looks sloppy and rushed. Perhaps I am wrong but there has to be at least a suspicion
that the indictments were issued in a hurry to still criticism of Mueller of the kind that was now appearing in the Wall Street Journal.
Presumably the reason the indictment against Flynn was delayed was because his lawyers had just signaled Flynn's interest in
a plea bargain, and it took a few more weeks of negotiating to work that out.
It is the Wall Street Journal editorial which in fact provides the answer to Mueller's and Rosenstein's otherwise strange behaviour
and to the way that Mueller has conducted the investigation up to now. The Wall Street Journal's editorial says that Mueller's past as the FBI's Director means that he is too close to the FBI to take
an objective view of its actions.
In fact the Wall Street Journal was more right than it perhaps realised. It is now becoming increasingly clear that the FBI's
actions are open to very serious criticism to say the least, and that Mueller is simply not the person who can be trusted to take
an objective view of those actions.
Over the course of the 2016 election the FBI cleared Hillary Clinton over her illegal use of a private server to route classified
emails whilst she was Secretary of State though it is universally agreed that she broke the law by doing so.
The FBI does not seem to have even considered investigating Hillary Clinton for possible obstruction of justice after it also
became known that she had actually destroyed thousands of her emails which passed through her private server, though that was an
obvious thing to do.
It is universally agreed that the FBI's then Director – Mueller's friend James Comey – broke protocols by the way he announced
that Hillary Clinton had been cleared.
By failing to bring charges against Hillary Clinton the FBI ensured that she would win the Democratic Party's nomination, and
that she not Bernie Sanders would face off against Donald Trump in the election in the autumn. That is important because though the eventual – completely unexpected – election outcome was that Donald Trump won the election,
which Hillary Clinton lost, every opinion poll which I have seen suggests that if the election had been between Bernie Sanders and
Donald Trump then Bernie Sanders would have won by a landslide.
In other words it was because of the FBI's actions in the first half of 2016 that Bernie Sanders is not now the President of the
In addition instead of independently investigating the DNC's claims that the Russians had hacked the DNC's and John Podesta's
computers, the FBI simply accepted the opinion of an expert – Crowdstrike – paid for by the DNC, which it is now known was partly
funded and was entirely controlled by the Hillary Clinton campaign, that hacks of those computers had actually taken place and that
the Russians were the perpetrators.
As a result Hillary Clinton was able to say during the election that the reason emails which had passed through those computers
and which showed her and her campaign in a bad light were being published by Wikileaks was because the Russians had stolen the emails
by hacking the computers in order to help Donald Trump.
It is now known that the FBI also met with Christopher Steele, the compiler of the Trump Dossier, who is now known to have been
in the pay of the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign. The first meeting apparently took place in early July 2016, shortly before
the Russiagate investigation was launched.
Whilst there is some confusion about whether the FBI actually paid Steele for his information, it is now known that Steele was
in contact with the FBI throughout the election and continued to be so after, and that the FBI gave credence to his work.
Recently it has also come to light that Steele was also directly in touch with Obama's Justice Department, a fact which was only
account of this has been provided by Byron York writing for The Washington Examiner
The department's Bruce Ohr, a career official, served as associate deputy attorney general at the time of the campaign. That
placed him just below the deputy attorney general, Sally Yates, who ran the day-to-day operations of the department. In 2016,
Ohr's office was just steps away from Yates, who was later fired for defying President Trump's initial travel ban executive order
and still later became a prominent anti-Trump voice upon leaving the Justice Department.
Unbeknownst to investigators until recently, Ohr knew Steele and had repeated contacts with Steele when Steele was working
on the dossier. Ohr also met after the election with Glenn Simpson, head of Fusion GPS, the opposition research company that was
paid by the Clinton campaign to compile the dossier.
Word that Ohr met with Steele and Simpson, first reported by Fox News' James Rosen and Jake Gibson, was news to some current
officials in the Justice Department. Shortly after learning it, they demoted Ohr, taking away his associate deputy attorney general
title and moving him full time to another position running the department's organized crime drug enforcement task forces.
It is also now known that over the course of the election the FBI – on the basis of information in the Trump Dossier – obtained
at least one warrant from the FISA court which made it possible for it to undertake surveillance during and after the election of
persons belonging to involved the campaign team of Hillary Clinton's opponent Donald Trump.
However the FBI and the Justice Department have so far failed to provide in response to these subpoenas information about the
precise role of the Trump Dossier in triggering the Russiagate investigation.
The FBI's and the Justice Department's failure to provide this information recently provoked an angry exchange between FBI Director
Christopher Wray and Congressman Jim Jordan during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.
During that hearing Jordan said to Wray the following
Let's remember a couple of things about the dossier. The Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, which we now
know were one and the same, paid the law firm who paid Fusion GPS who paid Christopher Steele who then paid Russians to put together
a report that we call a dossier full of all kinds of fake news, National Enquirer garbage and it's been reported that this dossier
was all dressed up by the FBI, taken to the FISA court and presented as a legitimate intelligence document -- that it became the
basis for a warrant to spy on Americans.
In response Wray refused to say officially whether or not the Trump Dossier played any role in the FBI obtaining the FISA warrants.
This was so even though officials of the FBI – including former FBI Director James Comey – have slipped out in earlier Congressional
testimony that it did.
This is also despite the fact that this information is not classified and ought already to have been provided by the Justice Department
and the FBI in response to Congressman Nunes's subpoenas.
There is now talk of FBI Director Christopher Wray and of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein being held in contempt of Congress
because of the failure of the Justice Department and the FBI to comply with Congressman Nunes's subpoenas.
During the exchanges between Wray and Jordan at the hearing in the House Judiciary Committee Jordan also had this to say
Here's what I think -- I think Peter Strozk (sic) Mr. Super Agent at the FBI, I think he's the guy who took the application
to the FISA court and if that happened, if this happened , if you have the FBI working with a campaign, the Democrats' campaign,
taking opposition research, dressing it all up and turning it into an intelligence document so they can take it to the FISA court
so they can spy on the other campaign, if that happened, that is as wrong as it gets
Peter Strzok is the senior FBI official who is now known to have had a leading role in both the FBI's investigation of Hillary
Clinton's misuse of her private server and in the Russiagate investigation.
Strzok is now also known to have been the person who changed the wording in Comey's statement clearing Hillary Clinton for her
misuse of her private email server to say that Hillary Clinton had been "extremely careless'" as opposed to "grossly negligent".
Strzok – who was the FBI's deputy director for counter-intelligence – is now also known to have been the person who signed the
document which launched the Russiagate investigation in July 2016.
Fox News has
reported that Strzok was also the person who supervised the FBI's questioning of Michael Flynn. It is not clear whether this
covers the FBI's interview with Flynn on 24th January 2017 during which Flynn lied to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian
ambassador. However it is likely that it does.
If so then this is potentially important given that it was Flynn's lying to the FBI during this interview which made up the case
against him and to which he has now pleaded guilty. It is potentially even more important given the strong indications that Flynn's
interview with the FBI on 24th January 2017 was
a set-up intended
to entrap him by tricking him into lying to the FBI.
As the FBI's deputy director of counter-intelligence it is also highly likely that it was Strozk who was the official within the
FBI who supervised the FBI's contacts with Christopher Steele, and who would have been the official within the FBI who was provided
by Steele with the Trump Dossier and who would have made the first assessment of the Trump Dossier.
Recently it has been disclosed that Special Counsel Mueller sacked Strzok from the Russiagate investigation supposedly after it
was discovered that Strzok had been sending anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton messages to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer with whom he
was having an affair.
These messages were sent by Strzok to his lover during the election, but apparently only came to light in July this year, when
Mueller supposedly sacked Strzok because of them.
It seems that since then Strzok has been working in the FBI's human resources department, an astonishing demotion for the FBI's
former deputy director for counter-intelligence who was apparently previously considered the FBI's top expert on Russia.
Some people have questioned whether the sending of the messages could possibly be the true reason why Strzok was sacked. My colleague
Alex Christoforou has
reported on some
of the bafflement that this extraordinary sacking and demotion has caused.
Business Insider reports the anguished comments of former FBI officials incredulous that Strzok could have been sacked for such
a trivial reason. Here is what Business Insider
one ex FBI official Mark Rossini as having said
It would be literally impossible for one human being to have the power to change or manipulate evidence or intelligence according
to their own political preferences. FBI agents, like anyone else, are human beings. We are allowed to have our political beliefs.
If anything, the overwhelming majority of agents are conservative Republicans.
This is obviously right. Though the ex-FBI officials questioned by Business Insider are clearly supporters of Strzok and critics
of Donald Trump,
the same point has been made from the other side of the political divide by Congressman Jim Jordan
If you get kicked off the Mueller team for being anti-Trump, there wouldn't be anybody left on the Mueller team. There has
to be more
Adding to the mystery about Strzok's sacking is why the FBI took five months to confirm it.
Mueller apparently sacked Strzok from the Russiagate investigation in July and it was apparently then that Strzok was simultaneously
sacked from his previous post of deputy director for counter-espionage and transferred to human resources. The FBI has however only
disclosed his sacking now, five months later and only in response to demands for information from Congressional investigators.
There is in fact an obvious explanation for Strzok's sacking and the strange circumstances surrounding it, and I am sure that
it is the one which Congressman Jordan had in mind during his angry exchanges with FBI Director Christopher Wray.
I suspect that Congressman Jordan believes that the true reason why Strzok was sacked is that Strzok's credibility had become
so tied to the Trump Dossier that when its credibility collapsed over the course of the summer when the FBI finally realised that
it could not be verified his credibility collapsed with it.
If so then I am sure that Congressman Jordan is right.
We now know from a variety of sources but first and foremost from the
testimony to Congress of Carter Page
that the Trump Dossier provided the frame narrative for the Russiagate investigation until just a few months ago.
We also know that the Trump Dossier was included in an appendix to the January ODNI report about supposed Russian meddling in
the 2016 election which was shown by the US intelligence chiefs to President elect Trump during their stormy meeting with him on
8th January 2017.
The fact that the Trump Dossier was included in an appendix to the January ODNI report shows that at the start of this year the
top officials of the FBI and of the US intelligence community – Comey, Clapper, Brennan and the rest – believed in its truth.
The June 2017 article in the Washington Post (discussed by me
here ) also all but confirms that it was
the Trump Dossier that provided the information which the CIA sent to President Obama in August 2016 which supposedly 'proved' that
the Russians were interfering in the election.
As the BBC has pointed out , it was also the
Trump Dossier which Congressman Adam Schiff – the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Community, who appears to be very close
to some of the FBI investigators involved in the Russiagate case – as well as the FBI's Russiagate investigators were using as the
narrative frame when questioning witnesses about their supposed role in Russiagate.
These facts make it highly likely that it was indeed the Trump Dossier which provided the information which the FBI used to obtain
all the surveillance warrants the FBI obtained from the FISA court during the 2016 election and afterwards.
Strzok's position as the FBI's deputy director for counter-intelligence makes it highly likely that he was the key official within
the FBI who decided that the Trump Dossier should be given credence, whilst his known actions during the Hillary Clinton private
server investigation and during the Russiagate investigation make it highly likely that it was he who was the official within the
FBI who sought and obtained the FISA warrants.
Given Strzok's central role in the Russiagate investigation going back all the way to its start in July 2016, there also has to
be a possibility that it was Strzok who was behind many of the leaks coming from the investigation which so destabilised the Trump
administration at the start of the year.
This once again points to the true scandal of the 2016 election.
On the strength of a fake Dossier paid for by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign the Justice Department, the FBI and the
US intelligence community carried out surveillance during the election of US citizens who were members of the campaign team of Hillary
Clinton's opponent Donald Trump.
Given the hugely embarrassing implications of this for the FBI, it is completely understandable why Strzok, if he was the person
who was ultimately responsible for this debacle – as he very likely was – and if he was responsible for some of the leaks – as he
very likely also was – was sacked and exiled to human resources when it was finally concluded that the Trump Dossier upon which all
the FBI's actions were based could not be verified.
It would also explain why the FBI sought to keep Strzok's sacking secret, so that it was only disclosed five months after it happened
and then only in response to questions from Congressional investigators, with a cover story about inappropriate anti-Trump messages
being spread about in order to explain it.
This surely is also the reason why in defiance both of evidence and logic the Russiagate investigation continues.
Given the debacle the Justice Department, the FBI and the US intelligence community are facing, it is completely understandable
why they should want to keep the Russiagate investigation alive in order to draw attention away from their own activities.
Put in this way it is Robert Mueller's investigation which is the cover-up, and the surveillance which is the wrongdoing that
the cover up is trying to excuse or conceal, which is what
I said nine months ago in March .
When the suggestion of appointing a second Special Counsel was first floated last month the suggestion was that the focus of the
second Special Counsel's investigation would be the Uranium One affair.
That always struck me as misconceived not because there may not be things to investigate in the Uranium One case but because the
focus of any new investigation should be what happened during the 2016 election, not what happened during the Uranium one case.
Congressman Jordan has now correctly identified the surveillance of US citizens by the US national security bureaucracy during
the election as the primary focus of the proposed investigation to be conducted by the second Special Counsel.
In truth there should be no second Special Counsel. Since there is no Russiagate collusion to investigate the Russiagate investigation
– ie. the investigation headed by Mueller – should be wound up.
There should be only one Special Counsel tasked with looking into what is the real scandal of the 2016 election: the surveillance
of US citizens carried out during the election by the US national security bureaucracy on the basis of the Trump Dossier.
I remain intensely skeptical that this will happen. However the fact that some members of Congress such as Congressman Nunes (recently
cleared of charges that he acted inappropriately by disclosing details of the surveillance back in March) and Congressman Jordan
are starting to demand it is a hopeful sign.
Top Clinton Aides Face No Charges After Making False Statements To FBI
Neither of the Clinton associates, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, faced legal consequences for their misleading statements,
which they made in interviews last year with former FBI section chief Peter Strzok.
These are acts to overthrow the legitimate government of the USA and therefore constitute treason. Treason is still punishable
by death. It is time for some public hangings. Trump should declare martial law. Put Patraeus and Flint in charge and drain the
swamp like he promised...
Absolutely. This is not political, about justice or corruption or election coercion, this is about keeping the fires lit under
Trump, no matter how lame or lying, in the hopes that something, anything, will arise that could be used to unseat Trump. Something
that by itself would be controversial but ultimately a nothing-burger, but piled upon the months and years of lies used to build
a false consensus of corruption, criminality and impropriety of Trump. Their goal has always been to undermine Trump by convincing
the world that Trump is evil and unfit using nothing but lies, that without Trump's endless twitter counters would have buried
him by now. While they know that can't convince a significant majority that these lies are true, what they can do is convince
the majority that everyone else thinks it true, thereby in theory enabling them to unseat Trump with minimal resistance, assuming
many will simply stand down in the face of a PERCEIVED overwhelming majority.
This is about constructing a false premise that they can use minimal FACTS to confirm. They are trying and testing every day
this notion with continuing probes and jabs in hopes that something....anything, sticks.
Mueller is a lot of things, but he is a politician, and skilled at that, as he has survived years in Washington.
So why choose KNOWN partisans for your investigation? He may not have known about Strzok, but he surely knew about Weitsmann's
ties to HRC, about Rhee being Rhodes personal attorney,..so why put them on, knowing that the investigations credibility would
be damaged? No way most of this would not come out, just due to the constant leaks from the FBI/DOJ.
What is the real goal, other than taking Trump down and covering up FBI/DOJ/Obama Admin malfeasance? These goons are all highly
experienced swamp dwellers, so I think there is something that is being missed here..
" The fact that the Trump Dossier was included in an appendix to the January ODNI report shows that at the start of this year
the top officials of the FBI and of the US intelligence community – Comey, Clapper, Brennan and the rest – believed in its truth.
Oh, bull crap. None of them believed a word of it, and at least some of them were in on the dossier's creation.
They just wanted to put over their impeach/resist/remove scam on us deplorables so they could hang on to power and maintain
secrecy over all their years of criminal activity.
The FBI is a fraud on the sheeple. Indoctrinated sheeple believe FBI testimony. The M.O. of the FBI is entrapment of victims
and entrapped witnesses against victims using their Form 302 interrogations. The FBI uses forensic evidence from which gullible
juries trust the FBI financed reports. Power corrupts. The power to be believed because of indoctrination corrupts absolutely.
Keep your powder dry. Hold your fire until you see the whites of their eyes.
All this crap comes down to ONE THING: Sessions ... why he refuses to fire a mega-conflicted and corrupt POS Mueller...
Investigative reporter Sarah Carter hinted (last Friday?) that something big would be happening "probably within the next forty-eight
hours". She related this specifically to a comment that Sessions had been virtually invisible.
I will make a prediction:
THE COMING WEEK WILL BE A TUMULTUOUS WEEK FOR THOSE OBSESSED BY THE "RUSSIA COLLUSION CONSPIRACY" .
First, Sessions will announce significant findings and actions which will directly attack the Trump-Russia-Collusion narrative.
And then, the Democrats/Media/Hillary Campaign will launch a hystierical, viscious, demented political counter attack in a
final onslaught to take down Trump.
They played Sessions like a violin. Sessions recluses himself for a bullcrap Kisnyak speech, where he did not even meet him.
Rosenstein then recommends Trump fire Comey -- who wanted to be fired so they would appoint a special prosecutor -- which Rosenstein
does -- Mueller, to the acclamation of ALL of Con and the Senate-including Republicans.
When Trump tries to get out of the trap by leaking he is thinking about firing Sessions, Lispin Lindsey goes on television
to say that will not be allowed too happen. If he fires Sessions, Congress would not approve ANY of Trump's picks for DOJ-leaving
Rosenstein in charge anyway.
Trump was pissed because they removed his only defender from Mueller -- the head of the DOJ. He knew
it was a setup, so went ballistic when he found out about Sessions recusing.
There is good reason for optimism: Trumpus Maximus is on the case.
I remain intensely skeptical that this will happen. However the fact that some members of Congress such as Congressman Nunes
(recently cleared of charges that he acted inappropriately by disclosing details of the surveillance back in March) and Congressman
Jordan are starting to demand it is a hopeful sign.
The design has been exposed. It is now fairly clear WHAT the conspirators did.
We now enter the neutralization and mop-up phase.
And, very likely, people who know things will be EAGER to talk:
FBI agents, like anyone else, are human beings. We are allowed to have our political beliefs. If anything, the overwhelming
majority of agents are conservative Republicans.
Bloomberg fed a fake leak that Mueller had subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank. Democrats (Schiff) on the House Intelligence Committee fed fake information about Don Jr. that was leaked to CNN. Leading to
an embarrassing retraction. ABC's Brian Ross fed a fake leak about the Flynn indictment. Leading to an embarrassing retraction.
Maybe the operation that Sessions set up some time ago to catch leakers is bearing fruit after all. And Mueller should realize
that the ice is breaking up all around him.
once this special prosecutor is done, congress needs to rewrite the special prosecutor law to narrow their mandate to just
the item allowed to be investigated - no fishing expeditions - enough of this stupidity - and maybe put a renewal clause in there
so that it has to be renewed every 12 months...
This is, and always has been a sideshow for the "true believers" in the Democrap party and all Hitlary supporters to accuse
Trump of EXACTLY what Hitlary did, in the classic method of diversion. Sideshow magicians have been doing it for millenia--"Look
over there" while the real work is done elsewhere. The true believers don't want to believe that Hitlary and the Democrap party
are complicit in the selling of Uranium One to the Ruskies for $145 million. No, no, that was something completely different and
Hitlary is not guilty of selling out the interests of the US for money. Nope, Trump colluded with the Russians to win the election.
Yep, that's it.
Mueller is now the official head of a shit show that's coming apart at the seams. He was too stupid to even bring on ANY non-Hitlary
supporting leftists which could have given him a smidgen of equibility, instead he stacked the deck with sycophant libtard leftists
who by their very nature take away ANY concept of impartiality, and any jury on the planet would see through the connivance like
glass. My guess is he's far too stupid to stop, and I happily await the carnage of his actions as they decimate the Democrap party.
Currently in the USA only nationalist politicians display some level of courage and
authenticity. That's why they attract people.
The problem with superdelegates in Democratic Party is just the tip of the iceberg of the "Clinton transformation" of the
party. The Part is
now neoliberal party that have nothing to do with the democracy. At best it would qualify as a
moderate Republican wing.
"... This endless compromise won't work. The odds of the Dems intentionally trading their Big Money Corporate Supporters like Monsanto for the Working Class is somewhere between slim and none, at least in my lifetime. ..."
"... If the superdelegates were limited to currently serving Democratic members of Congress, currently serving Democratic state governors, and current or former Democratic Presidents and Vice-Presidents, it would be a huge improvement. ..."
"... No lobbyists, no big city mayors, and no state party bosses (unless they are also in one of the other permitted categories). ..."
"... I suppose it doesn't help that I watched the Truman & Wallace episodes of Oliver Stone's "Untold History of the United States" last night. But even before that I've been haunted by the image of shadow on the steps of Sumitomo Bank in Hiroshima, Japan. Recalling that image, the DNC's betrayals of the American people, and the short-sighted and self-serving actions of those who rule us -- detailed in trivialities by Norman Solomon -- combined these give fuller meaning to the comment Bernie Sanders made about those who rule us and their greatest concern about their place on the Titanic. ..."
"... Team D cares not a whit for its voters, but it cares very much for the concerns of big donors. ..."
"... under the new rules, those superdelegates would have to tie their votes on the convention's first ballot to the outcome of primaries and caucuses. In 2016, all superdelegates were allowed to support either candidate. ..."
"... In other words, will the practice of Clinton or the Clintonites locking the superdelegate vote up early just be merely reshaped by this process, with a new sheen of faux democracy, rather than inhibited? ..."
"... This is why the comment above by Quanka is astute: You have to tell the Democrats (and Republicans) that you won't owe your vote to them. And that you are going to burn down the party if it doesn't serve the commonwealth. ..."
"... See my post below when it comes out of moderation; Our country does have a progressive/populist tradition, but everything possible is done to erase it from contemporary memory. Now buried to memory is the history of the Non-Partisan League of North Dakota, the Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota, and even the Reform Republicanism of the early 1900's (Wisconsin's Robert M. La Follette for instance). ..."
"... I hate to tell you, but the New York City subway actually costs $2.75. Another testament to the neoliberal con game, as practiced by the Metropolitan Transit Authority. ..."
"... What is ironic about this issue of superdelegates is that the so called "Democratic" party has them and the party of the elite, the Republicans, do not (well, they do, but at a much smaller % and they are required to vote for whoever won their respective state primary). What is also ironic is that the reason the Dems came up with this system was to prevent blowouts in the election. Carter and McGovern had gotten trounced. The feeling was that "wiser" heads, i.e. experienced politicians could steer the party toward a more electable candidate. And how did that work out for them? First time superdelegates voted in 1984, Mondale lost 49 out of 50 states to Reagan. ..."
"... The Democrat Party is run by a bunch of careerist hacks. This is why the GOP is actually more "democratic" (and got hijacked by Trump): because it's not run by careerist hacks who are more concerned about protecting their rice bowls than they are about being responsive to the electorate. These hacks got paid a billion dollars to run the losing 2016 campaign -- they "won" the election by their self-serving metric, and now get to pay themselves to "resist" the administration that they caused to be elected through their self-serving careerism. ..."
"... And now with current 'RussiaGate' nonsense and the rest of it, and all the wars, including the genocidal destruction of Libya, and some other things, I can never again vote for a Democrat, and I won't vote for a Republican either. I voted for a Socialist once but those votes were not counted because he could not satisfy the requirements to get on the ballot -- petitions and registering in over 200 districts in the state. No one decent gets through the machine. ..."
"... The DNC's Unity Commission's behavior confirms that the real goal of the leadership of the DNC is exactly the opposite of the name of the commission. So what is their real goal? To prevent the emergence of a progressive majority. In fact, this has been their goal for decades; and in fairness, they have been very successful in realizing it to the detriment of the majority of We the People. ..."
"... While I was at the post office, I had a conversation with a longtime friend who is now in the Arizona House of Representatives. She just got elected last year. Even though she is officially a Democratic Party member, she ran as a progressive and that's how she rolls in the House. Get this, she spent this morning addressing a conservative youth group and they loved it. Compared to what they usually hear from politicians, they found her speech refreshing. It was all about balanced policy, and if she posts a video, I will share it. Perhaps the DNC will pay attention. ..."
"... I approve of bringing up this suppressed history of our country's leftist, progressive, socialist, even communist strands, not to mention the multi racial and class political alliance, social organizations, and very frequently personal connections including marriages. Don't forget that the power structure used propaganda, legislation, the law, and armed mobs that often especially, but not only, in the South with rope necklaces, lead poisoning, or if you were "lucky" multi-decade prison terms, or just merely having your home/church/business burnt. This has never really stopped. Like when Jim Crow continues by other means, so did the anti-organization. Chicago, Detroit, the South,etc. Sadly, the black misleadership also help, albeit without the violence, after MLK and others, were no longer a problem. ..."
"... So centuries of poor whites, blacks, native Americans, religious leaders, even some business leaders and some upper class people, struggling together, usually dealing with violence and murder have been dropped into the memory hole. ..."
"... Some days I just want to start screaming and not stop. ..."
The Report is fair, but supporting things like reduction of Super Delegates from the
mid-700s to mid-200s is wrong! Complaining about lack of democracy within the Party means
getting rid of them altogether! That's just one small example.
This endless compromise won't work. The odds of the Dems intentionally trading their
Big Money Corporate Supporters like Monsanto for the Working Class is somewhere between slim
and none, at least in my lifetime.
It is a good start. If the superdelegates were limited to currently serving Democratic
members of Congress, currently serving Democratic state governors, and current or former
Democratic Presidents and Vice-Presidents, it would be a huge improvement.
No lobbyists, no
big city mayors, and no state party bosses (unless they are also in one of the other
I can't point to any particulars -- but I felt something disingenuous about Norman Solomon
-- something 'off'. An even meaner thought came to mind as I listened to his complaints and
details of the DNC machinations -- Norman Solomon would be perfect to work for unity in the
Green Party. He could make theater of herding the Green cats and accomplish nothing in
I suppose it doesn't help that I watched the Truman & Wallace episodes of Oliver
Stone's "Untold History of the United States" last night. But even before that I've been
haunted by the image of shadow on the steps of Sumitomo Bank in Hiroshima, Japan. Recalling
that image, the DNC's betrayals of the American people, and the short-sighted and
self-serving actions of those who rule us -- detailed in trivialities by Norman Solomon --
combined these give fuller meaning to the comment Bernie Sanders made about those who rule us
and their greatest concern about their place on the Titanic.
But this time the DNC has no dying Roosevelt to tack a Truman onto.
Aye! and you can't burn a thing down by continuing to send it money, or lend it undying
support, or by continuing to vote for their horrible lesser evil moderate republican
I quit the damned party as loudly as i could in november 2016 emails to all and sundry,
chewing them all new ones, as it were.
i never heard a word back, of course and the AI that runs the damned thing keeps sending
me emails begging for cash; and surveys,lol which i send back to them with my chicken scratch
all in the margins with my outrage and my considered opinions. i assume all that goes unread,
as well. perhaps if i incorporated and obtained a po box in the caymans or pulau or
Short-term (2018)–Norman Solomon is right. Only the Democratic party is in a
position to defeat the rightists. In the longer term, Howie Hawkins's recent argument for a
new, genuinely working-class party is more convincing to me. It's a lot more work,
The DNC may be becoming irrelevant, but individual Democratic politicians can monetize
their current positions as they stock their personal lifeboats before the Bernie Sanders
mentioned Titanic goes down..
In the draft proposal, a special national party commission calls for keeping some 400
members of the Democratic National Committee as automatic delegates to the convention.
But under the new rules, those superdelegates would have to tie their votes on the
convention's first ballot to the outcome of primaries and caucuses. In 2016, all
superdelegates were allowed to support either candidate.
Cohen and other Democrats stressed, however, that commission members have been busy
circulating amendments ahead of the commission's weekend gathering in metro Washington.
So, which superdelegates will remain and with what actual
constraints, and how far does this move the system away from the status quo? In light of
Solomon's interview, I do wonder about actuarial sleigh-of-hand here. Is there a way of
affecting a likely purge of 2020 Sanders/"grass-roots" aligned superdelegates now? Is there a
way of suggesting that the superdelegates must vote as the states' primaries/caucuses (thus
defanging them) but then not actually imposing any real penalty of these "party elders" and
such? (Will 2020 be about "unfaithful superdelegates voting their conscience against the
party rules for the greater good"?)
In other words, will the practice of Clinton or the Clintonites locking the
superdelegate vote up early just be merely reshaped by this process, with a new sheen of faux
democracy, rather than inhibited?
The report itself is worth reading. I downloaded it a while back when Lambert and Yves
first posted it.
Solomon gets Moore wrong. Moore is not a neo-fascist or fascist. Moore represents some
very deep-seated religious ideas that are prevalent in the South and in the border states.
When Naked Capitalism and other sources report a bishop of an African-American church making
rather ambiguous comments about the rock with the Ten Commandments, we see an ancient
religious attitude emerging:
Yet as many Southerners point out, the South has a progressive / populist tradition. And
where are the Democrats? To me, this is part of the thorough corruption of the party and its
deterioration into a fan club. Too many Democrats are looking for fascists and Rooskies.
People are fleeing the party, and various Democrats living the "Don't know much about
history" aspect of U.S. culture are desperately trying to pin the fascist label on people.
And what is the solution being offered? Fly in Jon Ossoff? He didn't live in the
congressional district where he ran anyway, going counter to another deeply held U.S.
tradition, that you live in your district.
This isn't about "smart" or not smart thinking. This is about people being so thoroughly
corrupt in their thinking that they can only frame questions corruptly and give corrupt
answers. Maybe I'm being hard on Solomon, but looking for Benito Mussolini in Alabama is
wrong history, wrong metaphor, wrong diagnosis, wrong meme.
Next up? The question and and answer of "gentle" "entitlement" "reform." Corrupt from its
This is why the comment above by Quanka is astute: You have to tell the Democrats (and
Republicans) that you won't owe your vote to them. And that you are going to burn down the
party if it doesn't serve the commonwealth.
See my post below when it comes out of moderation; Our country does have a
progressive/populist tradition, but everything possible is done to erase it from contemporary
memory. Now buried to memory is the history of the Non-Partisan League of North Dakota, the
Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota, and even the Reform Republicanism of the early 1900's
(Wisconsin's Robert M. La Follette for instance).
Watt4Bob: You refer here and below to the states along the inland sea, in a sense, the
rather eccentric Great Lakes States. I'd add:
–Chicago agitators and the Haymarket "Riot" (which the police caused)
–The United Auto Workers (Flint strike among others).
–Unions and Youngstown.
–Jane Addams and her own ideas about building community and building peace.
–The Milwaukee Socialists and the mayoralty there.
–The whole rambunctious structure (if it's a structure) of neighborhood associations in
Chicago, where many of those involved in the Harold Washington campaign got their start.
–Henry Gerber, the Society for Human Rights, and the first agitation for acceptance of
gay people, 1924, Chicago. Who even knew that midwesterners thought about politico-sexual
Yes, there is very talented group of people here who simply have to cut down on the
distractions and get back to work.
Socialism was actually a powerful movement -- with elected officials -- all throughout the
Upper Midwest during the so-called Progressive Era and the 1920s. Part of this was a result
of German settlements; any Midwestern town with a significant population of Germans
(especially from Hamburg) had a strong socialist impulse. Often this was manifest in the
elected officials, but even where the Socialists didn't win elections, they were able to
I have little patience for the so-called "Democrats" who, as you said above "don't know
much about history".
Thank you for bringing those points up. I'd say that buzzwords like fascist and Nazi are
bull horned (as opposed to Republican dog whistles) only as a means to distract from actual
policy issues (vis-a-vis Bernie), but I wonder if it is the case that even the most cynical
Clintonites believe their own BS at this point. These narratives have taken on a life of
I don't think Norman Solomon has bad intentions. If anything he is appealing to pragmatism
and reason too strongly in a political environment that is unreasonable. Bernie does a much
better job at blowing the emotional horn just enough to fit the political zeitgeist while
maintaining an engine of actual policy issues to move his political machine. Historically,
this has always been a successful strategy for socialists, Americans love fire-brands.
As far as Norman's claims of fascism I just don't see how tossing around those terms adds
any strategic value to the political struggle against the right. It just comes across as
preaching to the choir. We (the left) all know Moore is an ass, calling him fascist doesn't
make that any more evident. The trick is trying to understand why he is still viable
politically to a significant number of people despite being an ass. This was the mistake made
with Trump. To loosely paraphrase Adolph Reed, calling something fascist or Nazi and $2.25
will get me a ride on the subway but it does nothing to develop action to counter right wing
agendas. The normalization of the right (Republicans) does not occur because they have
"better ideas" (their current tax bill shows they aren't even trying to appeal to 99% of
society) it is because the current left option in the USA (Democrats) are offering
no ideas , or certain members are not allowed to express ideas because of corporate power and
corporate-supported political power. Assuming I am directing this at the DNC, then who is
actually supporting the so-called fascists?
As goes fascism in the United States, I don't really think anyone has a good
definition. Some see it as a politics that are largely aesthetic as opposed to based on
discourse or debate. Some see it as a marriage of corporate power with state power with
police and military supremacy. By those two measures I think the USA is already deeply
fascist. Though it seems by the current measures, the only thing that make someone
unequivocally fascist (or Nazi) is their being a bigot. This simplistic view of fascism is an
insult to history, and all the people that either died fighting fascism or were sacrificed at
its political altar.
What is ironic about this issue of superdelegates is that the so called "Democratic"
party has them and the party of the elite, the Republicans, do not (well, they do, but at a
much smaller % and they are required to vote for whoever won their respective state primary).
What is also ironic is that the reason the Dems came up with this system was to prevent
blowouts in the election. Carter and McGovern had gotten trounced. The feeling was that
"wiser" heads, i.e. experienced politicians could steer the party toward a more electable
candidate. And how did that work out for them? First time superdelegates voted in 1984,
Mondale lost 49 out of 50 states to Reagan.
I think a little history would be useful at this point to help us understand that we've
been this way before.
As concerns the Minnesota Farmer-Labor party which later merged with the Minnesota
Democratic Party to form the DFL, which has lately devolved, IMO, Wellstone and Franken not
withstanding, to much more closely resemble the party of Clintonism than the party of the
young Hubert Humphrey.
The Minnesota Farmer–Labor Party emerged from the Nonpartisan League in North Dakota
and the Union Labor
Party in Duluth, Minnesota, on a platform of farmer and labor union protection,
government ownership of certain industries, and social security laws. One of the primary
obstacles of the party, besides constant vilification on the pages of local and state
newspapers, was the difficulty of uniting the party's divergent base and maintaining
political union between rural farmers and urban laborers who often had little in common
other than the populist perception that they were an oppressed class of hardworking
producers exploited by a small elite.
That 'divergent base' thing ring a bell anyone?
"The farmer approached problems as a proprietor or petty capitalist. Relief to him meant
a mitigation of conditions that interfered with successful farming. It involved such things
as tax reduction, easier access to credit, and a floor under farm prices. His individualist
psychology did not create scruples against government aid, but he welcomed it only as long
as it improved agricultural conditions. When official paternalism took the form of public
works or the dole, he openly opposed it because assistance on such terms forced him to
abandon his chosen profession, to submerge his individuality in the labor crew, and to
suffer the humiliation of the bread line. Besides, a public works program required
increased revenue, and since the state relied heavily on the property tax, the cost of the
program seemed likely to fall primarily on him.
At the opposite end of the seesaw sat the city worker, who sought relief from the
hunger, exposure, and disease that followed the wake of unemployment. Dependent on an
impersonal industrial machine, he had sloughed off the frontier tradition of individualism
for the more serviceable doctrine of cooperation through trade unionism. Unlike the
depressed farmer, the unemployed worker often had no property or economic stake to protect.
He was largely immune to taxation and had nothing to lose by backing proposals to dilute
property rights or redistribute the wealth. Driven by the primitive instinct to survive,
the worker demanded financial relief measures from the state."
The upper-midwest was fly-over land long before the Wright brothers, and it makes perfect
sense that the the Minnesota Farmer-Labor, and its predecessor, the Non-Partisan League of
North Dakota should sprout here, where the effects of elite neglect/abuse and the related
Great Depression had left We the People feeling mis/unrepresented by the two
Of course it's good to remember that Hubert Humphrey, and the Minnesota Democratic party
did not embrace the populist revolt until it had been successful on its own, in electing
multiple Minnesota Governors, Senators, and Representatives in the 1920-30's, but embrace it
they did, and from 1944 until the 1970's, the DFL stood for something a bit more than the
local franchise of the National Party.
I strongly encourage you to follow the links in the quotes above, you'll find the history
of, among other things, the Bank of North Dakota, still the only state-owned bank in the
country, founded in 1919 to allow ND farmers to break the strangle-hold that banks in
Minneapolis and Chicago held over the farmers of the northern plains, and demand of working
people for free, universal health-care.
So far, the Democratic party, sadly, including the DFL, seems dedicated to putting down
the populist revolt by its neglected base, but with some hard work maybe this time around we
can figure out how to shorten the time between being resisted and being embraced.
The enemies are perennial, so are the solutions, but populism did have a season of
successes in the first half of the 20th century, and there is no reason to think it couldn't
Remember too, the Non Partisan League of
Alberta Canada, and was one of the principal champions of universal healthcare that Canadians
July 2016, after the primaries were over, the WaPo, that bastion of Dem estab groupthink,
suggested the GOP adopt super delegates to avoid another surprise primary outcome. And we see
how well not having super delegates turned out for the GOP.
"There are probably a few missteps I am forgetting. Priebus's spinelessness may well
result in an irretrievably divided party, not to mention a humiliating loss in a critical,
entirely winnable election. Priebus's successor had better learn some lessons from 2016. He
or she might also consider using super delegates. It turns out party grownups are needed.
This cycle they've been AWOL."
The Democrat Party is run by a bunch of careerist hacks. This is why the GOP is
actually more "democratic" (and got hijacked by Trump): because it's not run by careerist
hacks who are more concerned about protecting their rice bowls than they are about being
responsive to the electorate. These hacks got paid a billion dollars to run the losing 2016
campaign -- they "won" the election by their self-serving metric, and now get to pay
themselves to "resist" the administration that they caused to be elected through their
They're not going to let go of the self-licking ice cream cone that the Democrat Party has
become until their comprehensive election losses make it obvious to the Wall Street Wing that
they're wasting their money. That day may be coming soon; however, the current coup d'etat in
Washington may render a party of $27 donors irrelevant
This: "until their comprehensive election losses make it obvious to the Wall Street Wing
that they're wasting their money. "^^^
A similar sentiment was included in all of the flurry of angry emails i sent hither and
yon when I quit the demparty right after the election. ie: the current course of pleasing the
donors is unsustainable if they continue to chase off their own base. what are the donors
one would presume a voice in gooberment .meaning won seats,lol.
without voters, why would any self respecting conglomerate continue to shell out dough to the
of course, all the hippie-punching and other abuse of their base makes perfect sense if the
demparty is, in truth, a ringer party for the oligarchs a pressure relief valve, like on the
side of a water heater
if, in other words, they pretend to be the "opposition" and "for the people"(tm) so all
us'n's don't go rabid and Wobbly.
This seems a more and more likely explanation every week.
Perhaps old age and failing memory is to blame, but I can't remember not hearing the
nonsense arguments of 'vote for the lesser of two evils and reform from within', and the fear
mongering about the right or Republicans winning. (Republicans used to have sort-of 'liberal'
members, like Lowell Weicker, who would make current Democrats look like fascists -- well, a
lot of them are really ). It never worked and everything just gets worse.
And now with current 'RussiaGate' nonsense and the rest of it, and all the wars,
including the genocidal destruction of Libya, and some other things, I can never again vote
for a Democrat, and I won't vote for a Republican either. I voted for a Socialist once but
those votes were not counted because he could not satisfy the requirements to get on the
ballot -- petitions and registering in over 200 districts in the state. No one decent gets
through the machine.
I've given up on both parties, and their phony elections -- there are no solutions there.
What is needed is to see through the games and destroy the machine. Not easy but there is no
other way. Solomon is part of the machine, and the so-called 'progressives' are not
progressive. We are at the point where the only possible solutions are radical -- striking at
the root. The collapse of the empire and capitalism (corporatism -- just a larval stage of
fascism) is coming one way or another because it is not sustainable -- and that which cannot
be sustained will not be. It's like how slavery and feudalism reached a point where they
could no longer survive as dominant systems, nor returned to as such (similar to how the gold
standard, or non-tech agricultural society can not be universally restored). The writing
finger moves on.
We can either see how the global wind of history and culture is blowing and intelligently
move ahead with it, or we can destroy ourselves. The action must be on the streets, in the
workplace, from the masses, in collective consciousness, and world wide. Democrat shills like
Solomon and clowns like Trump should be ignored as symptomatic noise.
The DNC's Unity Commission's behavior confirms that the real goal of the leadership of
the DNC is exactly the opposite of the name of the commission. So what is their real goal? To
prevent the emergence of a progressive majority. In fact, this has been their goal for
decades; and in fairness, they have been very successful in realizing it to the detriment of
the majority of We the People.
Thank you for shining the light on this latest episode of their actions for their
Just got back from running errands. While I was at the post office, I had a
conversation with a longtime friend who is now in the Arizona House of Representatives. She
just got elected last year. Even though she is officially a Democratic Party member, she ran
as a progressive and that's how she rolls in the House. Get this, she spent this morning
addressing a conservative youth group and they loved it. Compared to what they usually hear
from politicians, they found her speech refreshing. It was all about balanced policy, and if
she posts a video, I will share it. Perhaps the DNC will pay attention.
it's really not possible for the leaders at the national level of the Democratic Party
to have a close working relationship with the base when it's afraid of the base.
And strangely, this is a big reason for why after three plus decades, I am no longer an
active member of the party. If you treat the majority of American nation as dangerous,
deplorable, or at best just dumb, please don't be shocked when people start either start
ignoring you, or just try to get rid of.
I approve of bringing up this suppressed history of our country's leftist,
progressive, socialist, even communist strands, not to mention the multi racial and class
political alliance, social organizations, and very frequently personal connections including
marriages. Don't forget that the power structure used propaganda, legislation, the law, and
armed mobs that often especially, but not only, in the South with rope necklaces, lead
poisoning, or if you were "lucky" multi-decade prison terms, or just merely having your
home/church/business burnt. This has never really stopped. Like when Jim Crow continues by
other means, so did the anti-organization. Chicago, Detroit, the South,etc. Sadly, the black
misleadership also help, albeit without the violence, after MLK and others, were no longer a
So centuries of poor whites, blacks, native Americans, religious leaders, even some
business leaders and some upper class people, struggling together, usually dealing with
violence and murder have been dropped into the memory hole.
Some days I just want to start screaming and not stop.
Renegade ( ex-? ) Republican David Stockman NAILS IT TO THE WALL:
To be sure, some element of political calculus always lies behind legislation. For instance, the Dems didn't pass the Wagner
Act in 1935, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 or the Affordable Care Act of 2010 as exercises in pure civic virtue -- these measures
targeted huge constituencies with tens of millions of votes at stake.
Still, threadbare theories and untoward effects are just that; they can't be redeemed by the risible claim that this legislative
Rube Goldberg contraption being jammed through sight unseen ( in ACA redux fashion ) is for the benefit of the rank
and file Republican voters, and most especially not for the dispossessed independents and Dems of Flyover America who voted
for Trump out of protest against the failing status quo.
To the contrary. The GOP tax bill is of the lobbies, by the PACs and for the money. Period.
There is no higher purpose or even nugget of conservative economic principle to it. The battle cry of "pro-growth tax cuts"
is just a warmed over 35-year-old mantra from the Reagan era that does not remotely reflect the actual content of the bill
or disguise what it really is: namely, a cowardly infliction of more than $2 trillion of debt on future American taxpayers
in order to fund tax relief today for the GOP's K Street and Wall Street paymasters.
On a net basis, in fact, fully 97% of the $1.412 trillion revenue loss in the Senate Committee bill over the next decade
is attributable to the $1.369 trillion cost of cutting the corporate rate from 35% to 20% (and repeal of the related AMT).
All the rest of the massive bill is just a monumental zero-sum pot stirring operation.
Stockman, who knows federal budgeting better than most of us know the contents of our own homes, goes on to shred the tax bill
item by item, leaving a smoking, scorched-earth moonscape in his deadly rhetorical wake. And he's not done yet.
But Lordy, how he scourges the last hurrah of the know-nothing R party, just before it gets pounded senseless at the polls
next year. Bubble III is the last hope of the retrograde Republican Congressional rabble. But it's a 50/50 proposition at best
that our beloved bubble lasts through next November. :-(
thanks Jim, yes, this looks like it will knock the legs out of the "main st" economy, but over at versailles on the potomac
they'll be listening to/playing the fiddle and watching the country burn while guzzling 300 dollar scotch and and admiring their
Right next to "Versailles on the Potomac" is the site of the former Bonus Army camp, Anacostia Flats. The burning of the Bonus
Army camp at Anacostia Flats could be seen, as a red glow, from the White House. Historians charitable to Herbert Hoover suggest
that Gen. Douglass MacArthur 'conned' Hoover into letting the Army 'disperse' the Bonus Army. The resulting spectacle can be said
to be one of the prime reasons why the American public rejected Hoover when he ran for re-election against Franklin Roosevelt.
I don't know if Hoover played the fiddle, but MacArthur was known to be able to play politicians like one.
The lesson here, if there is one, is that the present occupant of the White House had better be very circumspect about taking
advice from Generals.
"anacostia flats" bonus army raided by Wall Street General MacArthur which is reason in previous iteration of Wall Street power
grab by "American Liberty League", ("The Plot To Seize the White House"-Jules Archer) Marine General Smedley Butler felt forced
play whistle-blower, providing FDR leverage he needed to prosecute banksters.
Big River Bandido December 2, 2017 at 3:26 pm
The gist of the commenter's statement was true - Democrats are totally complicit in the end result of Republican economic and
foreign policy. Until now, Republicans could only deliver on their promises when Democrats helped them out. The Democrats' enabling
strategy eventually alienated their own core supporters. With this tax cut, the Republicans have shown, for the first time, the
ability to enact and sign their own legislation.
The Democrats basically accommodated the Republicans long enough to ensure their own irrelevance. They will not rise again
until their "mixed stances" and those who encourage them are purged.
And I feel like the Democrats get so distracted. They have been talking about sexual
harassment and stuff instead of the TAX BILL. It is so damn easy to get them to take their
eyes off the ball! and get played again and again. . . and TRAGIC given the consequences . .
It's the perfect "distraction". Allows them to engage in virtue-signaling and "fighting
for average Americans". It's all phony, they always "lose" in the end getting exactly what
they wanted in the first place, while not actually having to cast a vote for it.
It's all related, less safety net and more inequality means more desperation to take a
job, *ANY* job, means more women putting up with sexual harassment (and workplace bullying
and horrible and illegal workplace conditions etc.) as the price of a paycheck.
Horrible Toomey's re-election was a parallel to the Clinton/Trump fiasco. The Democrats
put up a corporate shill, Katie McGinty that no-one trusted.
"Former lobbyist Katie McGinty has spent three decades in politics getting rich off the
companies she regulated and subsidized. Now this master of the revolving-door wants
Pennsylvania voters to give her another perch in government: U.S. Senator." Washington
She was a Clintonite through and through, that everyone, much like $Hillary, could see
To paraphrase the Beatles, you say you want a revolution but you don't really mean it. You
want more of the same because it makes you feel good to keep voting for your Senator or your
Congressman. The others are corrupt and evil, but your guys are good. If only the others were
like your guys. News flash: they are all your guys.
America is doomed. And so much the better. Despite all America has done for the world, it
has also been a brutal despot. America created consumerism, super-sizing and the Kardashians.
These are all unforgivable sins. America is probably the most persistently violent country in
the world both domestically and internationally. No other country has invaded or occupied so
much of the world, unless you count the known world in which case Macedonia wins.
This tax plan is what Americans want because they are pretty ignorant and stupid. They are
incapable of understanding basic math so they can't work out the details. They believe that
any tax cut is inherently good and all government is bad so that is also all that matters.
They honestly think they or their kids will one day be rich so they don't want to hurt rich
people. They also believe that millionaires got their money honestly and through hard work
because that is what they learned from their parents.
Just send a blank check to Goldman Sachs. Keep a bit to buy a gun which you can use to
either shoot up a McDonalds or blow your own brains out.
And some people still ask me why I left and don't want to come back. LOL
Macedonia of today is not the same are that conquered the world. They stole the name from
That being said, the US is ripe for a change. Every policy the current rulers enact seems
to make things better. However, I suspect a revolution would kill majority of the population
since it would disrupt the all important supply chains, so it does not seem viable.
However, a military takeover could be viable. If they are willing to wipe out the most
predatory portions of the ruling class, they could fix the healthcare system, install a
high-employment policy and take out the banks and even the military contractors. Which could
make them very popular.
Yeah, right. Have you seen our generals? They're just more of the same leeches we
have everywhere else in the 0.01%. Have you seen any of the other military dictatorships
around the world, like actually existing ones? They're all brilliantly corrupt and total
failures when it comes to running any sort of economy. Not to mention the total loss of civil
rights. Americans have this idiotic love of their military thanks to decades of effective
propaganda and think the rule of pampered generals would somehow be better than the right to
This is a military dictatorship. The fourth and sixth amendments have been de facto
repealed. Trump cared about one thing and one thing only, namely to repeal the estate tax. He
is the ultimate con man and this was his biggest con. It is truly amazing how he accomplished
this. He has saved his family a billion $$$. He will now turn over governing to the generals
and Goldman Sachs. He may even retire. Truly amazing. One has to admire the sheer perversity
of it all. When will the American electorate get tired of being conned? The fact is they have
nothing but admiration for Trump. We live in a criminal culture, winner take all. America
loves its winners.
There is an old 2003 David Brooks column in which he mentions that
"The Democrats couldn't even persuade people to oppose the repeal of the estate tax, which
is explicitly for the mega-upper class. Al Gore, who ran a populist campaign, couldn't even
win the votes of white males who didn't go to college, whose incomes have stagnated over the
past decades and who were the explicit targets of his campaign. Why don't more Americans want
to distribute more wealth down to people like themselves?"
Then Brooks goes on to explain
"The most telling polling result from the 2000 election was from a Time magazine survey
that asked people if they are in the top 1 percent of earners. Nineteen percent of Americans
say they are in the richest 1 percent and a further 20 percent expect to be someday. So right
away you have 39 percent of Americans who thought that when Mr. Gore savaged a plan that
favored the top 1 percent, he was taking a direct shot at them."
The Republicans have conditioned people to believe government services (except for
defense/military) are run poorly and need to be "run like a business" for a profit.
The problem is that not all government services CAN be profitable (homeless care, mental
health care for the poor, EPA enforcement, OSHA enforcement). And when attempts are made to
privatize some government operations such as incarceration, the result is that the private
company tries to maximize profits by pushing for laws to incarcerate ever more people.
The history of the USA as viewed by outsiders, maybe 50 years hence, will be that of a
resource consuming nation that spent a vast fortune on military hardware and military
adventures when it had little to fear due to geography, a nation that touted an independent
press that was anything but, a nation that created a large media/entertainment industry which
helped to keep citizens in line, a nation that fostered an overly large (by 2 or 3 times per
Paul Whooley) parasitical financial industry that did not perform its prime capital
allocation task competently as it veered from bubble to bubble and a nation that managed to
spend great sums on medical care without covering all citizens.
But the USA does have a lot of guns and a lot of frustrated people.
Maybe Kevlar vests will be the fashion of the future?
The provision to do away with the estate tax, if not immediately, in the current versions
(House and Senate) is great news for the 1%, and bad for the rest of us.
And if more people are not against that (thanks for quoting the NYTImes article), it's the
failure of the rest of the media for not focusing more on it, but wasting time and energy on
fashion, sports, entertainment, etc.
An interesting article on John McCain. I disagree with the contention that McCain hid knowledge that many American POWs were left
behind (undoubtedly some voluntarily choose to remain behind but not hundreds ). However, the article touched on some ideas that
Today when we consider the major countries of the world we see that in many cases the official leaders are also the leaders
in actuality: Vladimir Putin calls the shots in Russia, Xi Jinping and his top Politburo colleagues do the same in China, and
so forth. However, in America and in some other Western countries, this seems to be less and less the case, with top national
figures merely being attractive front-men selected for their popular appeal and their political malleability, a development that
may eventually have dire consequences for the nations they lead. As an extreme example, a drunken Boris Yeltsin freely allowed
the looting of Russia's entire national wealth by the handful of oligarchs who pulled his strings, and the result was the total
impoverishment of the Russian people and a demographic collapse almost unprecedented in modern peacetime history.
An obvious problem with installing puppet rulers is the risk that they will attempt to cut their strings, much like Putin
soon outmaneuvered and exiled his oligarch patron Boris Berezovsky.
One means of minimizing such risk is to select puppets who
are so deeply compromised that they can never break free, knowing that the political self-destruct charges buried deep within
their pasts could easily be triggered if they sought independence. I have sometimes joked with my friends that perhaps the best
career move for an ambitious young politician would be to secretly commit some monstrous crime and then make sure that the hard
evidence of his guilt ended up in the hands of certain powerful people, thereby assuring his rapid political rise.
The gist is that elite need a kill switch on their front men (and women).
Remarkable and shocking. Wheels within wheels – this is the first time I have ever seen McCain's father connected with the infamous
Board of Inquiry which cleared Israel in that state's attack on USS LIBERTY during Israel's seizure of the Golan Heights.
Another stunning article in which the author makes reference to his recent acquisition of what he considers to be a reliably authentic
audio file of POW McCain's broadcasts from captivity. Dynamite stuff. The conclusion regarding aspiring untenured historians is
Also remarkable; fantastic. It's hard to believe, and a testament to the boldness of Washington dog-and-pony shows, because this
must have been well-known in insider circles in Washington – anything so damning which was not ruthlessly and professionally suppressed
and simply never allowed to become part of a national discussion would surely have been stumbled upon before now. Land of the
"... By Shannon Monnat, Associate Professor, Syracuse University and David L. Brown, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website ..."
"... Economic, social and health decline in the industrial Midwest may have been a major factor in the 2016 US presidential election, Monnat and Brown's INET research finds, with people living in distressed areas swinging behind Trump in greater numbers. Trump performed well within these landscapes of despair – places that have borne the brunt of declines in manufacturing, mining, and related industries since the 1970s and are now struggling with opioids , disability, poor health, and family problems. ..."
"... The cost of living = housing costs + healthcare costs + student loan costs ..."
Economic, social and health decline in the industrial Midwest may have been a major factor in
the 2016 US presidential election, Monnat and Brown's INET research finds, with people living in
distressed areas swinging behind Trump in greater numbers. Trump performed well within these
landscapes of despair – places that have borne the
brunt of declines
in manufacturing, mining, and related industries since the 1970s and are now
, disability, poor health, and family problems.
The role of the rural vote in Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. Presidential election has received
. But suggesting that rural frustration with political insiders and years of perceived
neglect was in itself enough to
deliver Trump to the White House
overlooks other key factors that saw the Republican candidate
out-perform in areas ravaged by decay.
To be sure, Donald Trump received a much larger share of the rural vote than Democratic candidate
Hillary Clinton. Electoral data shows he won the countryside by 63.2 percent to 31.3 percent, with the
vote share increasing in the most rural areas. But this advantage hardly signals a new trend.
candidates have long won larger shares of the rural vote
, particularly in Appalachia, the Great
Plains, and parts of the South. In addition, rural voters account for only about 15 percent of the total
U.S. population, and provided a similar share of votes in the 2016 presidential election.
Although Trump's rural edge certainly contributed to his victory, it was not sufficient to swing the
election on its own or to support a theory that a "
" handed him the win. Instead, Trump's combined rural and small city over-performance, and
Clinton's under-performance, particularly in the industrial Midwest, was key to Trump's unanticipated
victory. To understand the election outcome it is critical to understand what drove voters in those areas
to cast a ballot for Trump.
Election Results: The Predicable and The Unexpected
Of course, Clinton won the U.S. popular vote by nearly 2.9 million votes. Trump not only lost the
national popular vote; he also under-performed relative to Mitt Romney four years earlier, receiving 45.9
percent of votes in 2016 compared to Romney's 47.1 percent in 2012.
The Republican stronghold in these areas is not new. What was unexpected though, was how well Trump
performed, and conversely how poorly Hillary Clinton performed, in the industrial Midwest. Ultimately,
Trump's win came down to a difference of just 77,744 votes spread across three states: Michigan, which he
took by 10,704 votes; Pennsylvania, by 44,292; and Wisconsin, with a 22,748 margin.
Trump also garnered substantially larger vote shares than Romney in the other industrial states
including Ohio, Illinois and Indiana – as well as in Appalachia, parts of New England, upstate New York,
Minnesota, and Iowa.
Trump won more votes than Romney in these regions; Clinton also received far fewer votes and a smaller
share than Obama in these areas, even in counties and states she won.
Although the industrial Midwest is home to just over 16 percent of U.S. counties, nearly a third of
the 206 pivot counties – those that went for Trump after going for Obama in both 2008 and 2012 – were in
the industrial Midwest. In nearly all pivot counties, Obama's victory margin declined between 2008 and
2012, perhaps foreshadowing their shift to a Republican candidate in 2016. Importantly, Trump's advantage
in the industrial Midwest was not confined to rural counties; it also included small urban counties like
Montgomery County in Ohio and Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, and even larger urban counties like
Michigan's Macomb County, which is located in the Detroit metropolitan area.
How Despair Drove Trump Votes
To understand the electoral shift in these and similar places outside of the industrial Midwest, it is
important to understand the economic, social, and health declines that have plagued them over the past
three decades. In many of the rural areas and small cities where Trump performed better than expected or
where Clinton performed worse than expected,
economic distress had been building and social conditions breaking down for decades
. The places that
experienced the largest voter shifts in 2016 were not all among the poorest places in America, though
Appalachia certainly holds that distinction. But they are places that are generally worse off today than
they were a generation or two ago, with far fewer manufacturing and natural resource industry jobs that
once provided reliable, livable wages and benefits to those without a college degree. Certainly
de-industrialization is not a new phenomenon in the U.S., but its impacts have been unevenly distributed.
research, published in the
Journal of Rural Studies
, used county-level election data from 2012 and 2016 alongside demographic,
economic, and health research from multiple sources to probe key sources of Trump's support. We found
that nationally, and especially in the industrial Midwest, Trump's average over-performance – defined as
the difference between his percentage share of the vote compared to that of Romney four years earlier –
was greater in areas of higher economic, social, and health distress.
Comparing the difference in Trump over-performance between counties in the top and bottom quartiles
for economic, demographic, and health characteristics helps us understand what drove voters in areas
including the industrial Midwest to swing to Trump. The percentage of residents without a four-year
college degree had the strongest association with Trump over-performance, but indicators of despair also
helped to explain his success in the industrial Midwest. In particular, economic distress (based on rates
of poverty and unemployment, and the percentage of people collecting
or lacking health insurance), health distress (determined by rates of disability,
obesity, those rating their own health fair or poor, smoking, and drug-induced, alcohol-induced and
suicide mortality), and social distress (accounting for factors like rates of separation/divorce, single
parent families, vacant housing units and persistent population loss), were strong predictors of Trump
over-performance. Notably, Trump's average over-performance was 12% higher in counties with the highest
poverty rates compared to those with the lowest poverty rates. These relationships held even when
controlling for metropolitan status.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of factors that likely influenced the election, and many of
these factors are strongly correlated, making it difficult to disentangle and rank in terms of influence.
We also don't know from the data whether the most economically distressed residents voted for Trump, or
if it was comparatively less distressed residents who, out of anxiety and frustration with the
deprivation they saw around them, went for the Republican nominee.
Ultimately, what these descriptive findings suggest is that Trump performed well within these
landscapes of despair – places that have borne the
brunt of declines
in manufacturing, mining, and related industries since the 1970s and are now
, disability, poor health, and family problems. Just as decades of declines in secure and
livable wage jobs, resource-disinvestment, and social decay have made some places in the U.S. more
vulnerable to the
the same forces made some places more susceptible to Trump's quick-fix populist messages.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of factors that likely influenced the election, and many of
these factors are strongly correlated, making it difficult to disentangle and rank in terms of influence.
We also don't know from the data whether the most economically distressed residents voted for Trump, or
if it was comparatively less distressed residents who, out of anxiety and frustration with the
deprivation they saw around them, went for the Republican nominee.
Ultimately, what these descriptive findings suggest is that Trump performed well within these
landscapes of despair – places that have borne the
in manufacturing, mining, and related industries since the 1970s and are now struggling
disability, poor health, and family problems. Just as decades of declines in secure and livable wage
jobs, resource-disinvestment, and social decay have made some places in the U.S. more vulnerable to the
the same forces made some places more susceptible to Trump's quick-fix populist messages.
The most important thing that happened last year (2016) was that globalization, vampire though it
could be, was exposed and repudiated, even if it still lives on.
That ought to maintain its own momentum going forward.
When we look at human beings or personalities, it has been obviously one man is just one man. There
are other power centers in DC. Proposed bills coming out of Congress do not have to correlate with the
party platform or campaign promises. Then, there are those who operate in the dark. If there was a Man of
the Year for 2016, it would be the despaired ones, the Deplorables, the previously ignored, etc. It's
never about one man.
23% of the US population is on Medicaid. The 'insurance expansion' of the ACA was mostly expansion of
Medicaid (the private policies are unaffordable and the insurance companies do not compete with each
other, as they continue to exit the 'market'). And ~ 65% of Medicaid is now Managed Medicaid (& growing
), where the govt money goes to 'non-profit' companies such as Superior Star Plus Medicaid which are
actually owned by Fortune 500 companies, Centene in this example. Guess how well that's working out for
funding actual delivery of health care. Obama's original concept included the 'public option' of
Medicare, the Insurance lobby gutted that and rewrote the bill to their benefit, and being a professional
politician Obama signed it consistent with the crony capitalism rulebook whether you're neo-con or
Many of the Trump voters could 'sense' this as their life experience even without knowing the actual data
above. Writing them off as illogical dullards is not accurate.
I don't believe the voters that gave Trump his Electoral College victory are illogical dullards.
But many were likely persuaded by a Siren call from a politician who had no history (or intent) of
meeting their wants/needs. (They still have no new job, health care, or relief from the opioid
While the economic decline began in these areas in the late 70's (Oil Shock 1973; Japan Auto Market
intrusion, etc.), the call for greater pursuit of more education to survive in a changing world was
also clearly stated. Some likely ignored the call and gambled on a liveable wage/family formation
right out of high school. Unfortunately, fortune and the political system didn't serve their choice
While true, many people are not suited for a four college degree because their talents are best
outside of a desk, and it has gotten so bad economically that one needs at least a bachelors, or
more probably a masters degree just to stay even financially; that only works were there are
If you are better as a machinist, or a chef, what use is a college degree. If you do have the
talents, and inclination, to work that requires a four year degree, can you pay for it, and if you
can, will you be able to find work? If you are disabled, or have family to take care of, or are
stuck deep in one of those growing both in size and numbers, economic wastelands, being told that
you shoulda, coulda gotten a degree is not good.
I didn't say "four year college". I said more education. Learning to operate a digital lathe
(Machinist) takes education/training. Learning to be an electrician/cable installer takes
focused training. These are relatively well-paying jobs versus assembly line work requiring
simply a high school education.
My point is that some folks chose what worked for their parents and started "life" right out
of high school. (During a period when many warned that that may not be good enough in the
The overarching issue is that manipulating the political system for their personal economic
advantage is not a broadly acquired skill set in the US.
I would also blame the elites who praised Obamacare which they never needed/or used themselves,
bought all the latest and the greatest electronic toys (made in China). They kept drinking the Obama
Kool Aid and allowed more control by neo-liberal Dims and Repigs. Now the poor people are truly
screwed with gutting of any kind of public assistance, public transportation and low interest loans
(if there were any).
It's time for all of us to work toward ending the two party rule and bring in a stronger third party.
It will take time. Until that time, more crooks like Trump will get in.
The U.S. population in November, 2017, is about 326,290,400 people. On
, it was about 325,000,000 people. So in August, it was approximately 325,700,000. 74,305,276
divided by 325,700,000 equals about 0.228. In other words, with a small rounding adjustment, the
percentage of the US population on Medicaid is 23%! That's a national embarrassment! I don't expect
sociopathic billionaires to be embarrassed, but there is a surprising number of people who respect or
even admire billionaires, because the billionaires are so "hard working" or "talented" or "creative".
Those admirers should be ashamed.
Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living PLUS interest payments on debt)
The rentiers look to push up the cost of living TO help make their ever larger interest payments to
the banks that harvest much of their rents as interest.
Don't complain about high rents, complain about the ever larger share of rents that go to banks who
lend to more and more uncreditworthy apartment house owners thanks to low interest rates and
Hudson't my hero, but it's still godawful complicated to understand what's not meant to be
discussed in our society.
Business wants to lower wages to make higher profits . . .
But Henry Ford paid higher wages in what he thought would be a long term road to higher profits for
Ford Motor Company. Perhaps he thought it would lead to long-term higher profits for every
thing-making business. I have read that he was considered correct in his thinking.
If business overall would make higher total profits ( even if less profit per unit thing item
produced) in a setting of overall higher wages, then what explains business's desire to lower wages in
order to "raise profits"? Mere short sightedness? Or a sadistic delight in making workers poor and
making poor workers suffer?
But the econometric models of 1992! They mostly said NAFTA would be good for everyone. . . What
Most of the CGE models expect the NAFTA to have virtually no impact on U.S. labor markets.
With constant returns to scale in production, and under the best-case assumptions described
above, none of the CGE models predicts a long-run increase in U.S. wages of more than 0.4
percent, in U.S. employment of more than 0.2 percent, and in U.S. output of more than 0.5
percent; in most cases, the effects are much smaller.u Spread out over the many years of
adjustment to free trade that are assumed by the model, none of these changes would be
The academic economists who promoted NAFTA (almost all of them) made the error of faithfully
projecting David Ricardo and comparative advantage theories without considering all the variables.
. . That article does a good job of discussing this, however:
.the potential shift of investment expenditure from the U.S. to Mexico is analyzed, with
estimates of negative effects on U.S. employment and wages. This investment shift, of course,
will increase employment and wages in Mexico's export-processing industries. However, the
authors also note the possible impact of the liberalization of agricultural trade policy on the
Mexican labor force. If, as seems likely, this forces a portion of Mexico's huge small-scale
farming population into urban labor markets, the negative impact of NAFTA on agricultural
employment could outweigh the positive impact on manufacturing jobs, with an overall decline in
Mexican employment and wages. On this basis, the authors fear that a NAFTA could have a negative
impact on labor markets in both countries.
So, a few economists got it right, but even they failed to predict the massive migration of
desperate Mexicans across the border in search of jobs.
Mexico couldn't compete with the US pre-NAFTA in corn agriculture. Regardless of US cost structure,
the shear scale and efficiency of US operations enabled it to be the lower cost provider. Companies like
Archer Daniels Midland was the real winner in the deal. The problem was the US and Mexican ag worker
received none of the upside.
The Mexican ag worker was never meant to receive any upside. The whole point of dumping American
corn on Mexico was to bankrupt millions of Mexican corn farmers and the more millions of Mexicans whom
their steady corn-based incomes supported. The reason for deliberately bankrupting all those Mexicans
was to drive them off the land and into the border maquiladoras. That was a key goal of NAFTA all
Roll out a half-baked ideology globally and you the same problem globally, the real estate
The housing boom features all the unknowns in today's thinking, which is why they are global.
This simple equation is unknown.
Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
You can immediately see how high housing costs have to be covered by wages; business pays the high
housing costs for expensive housing adding to costs and reducing profits. The real estate boom raises
costs to business and makes your nation uncompetitive in a globalised world.
The unproductive lending involved that leads to financial crises.
The economy gets loaded up with unproductive lending as future spending power has been taken to
inflate the value of the nation's housing stock. Housing is more expensive and the future has been
" banks make their profits by taking in deposits and lending the funds out at a higher rate of
interest" Paul Krugman, 2015. He wouldn't know.
Bank lending creates money, which pours into the economy fuelling the boom; it is this money creation
that makes the housing boom feel so good in the general economy. It feels like there is lots of money
about because there is.
The housing bust feels so bad because the opposite takes place, and money gets sucked out of the
economy as the repayments overtake new lending. It feels like there isn't much money about because there
They were known unknowns, the people that knew weren't the policymakers to whom these things
need question "neoliberal economics" without historical documentation, found here:
"The term neoliberalism was coined at a meeting in Paris in 1938. Among the delegates were two men
who came to define the ideology, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. Both exiles from Austria, they
saw social democracy, exemplified by Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and the gradual development of
Britain's welfare state, as manifestations of a collectivism that occupied the same spectrum as nazism
In The Road to Serfdom, published in 1944, Hayek argued that government planning, by crushing
individualism, would lead inexorably to totalitarian control. Like Mises's book Bureaucracy, The Road
to Serfdom was widely read. It came to the attention of some very wealthy people, who saw in the
philosophy an opportunity to free themselves from regulation and tax. When, in 1947, Hayek founded the
first organisation that would spread the doctrine of neoliberalism – the Mont Pelerin Society – it was
supported financially by millionaires and their foundations.
The movement's rich backers funded a series of thinktanks which would refine and promote the
ideology. Among them were the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato
Institute, the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Centre for Policy Studies and the Adam Smith
Institute. They also financed academic positions and departments, particularly at the universities of
Chicago and Virginia.
Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines
citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process
that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that "the market" delivers benefits that
could never be achieved by planning."
"50 percent of our Community College students drop out to go to work to buy a car."
In most of the nation you cannot function without a personal vehicle.
Even professionally in NYC transportation by taxi was necessary whenever the issue of time was non
(I was trapped underground in the Subway from Brooklyn's Bergen stop on the Red line to Tribeca. Was then
late for the call, and lost the client.)
The working classes of America literally have as their fortune their time, time on earth, and not much
more than that.
There is little way for the working classes to see their experiences over 10 or 20 years of work into
viable Certifications competitive with the all for HR gate out of the University or 4 year colleges
The prospect for Americans who lived an ethos of "You can work your way up the ladder." is nil.
To those for whom time as slipped away, spent, not so near to the paper mills, but with the
experiences that would make them efficiency kings in most systems, there is the anger at the Greenspan
Retraining Edict, used to blame the American Worker.
I am glad I was so incensed I have become a "Creative Economist".
When I say I am a Librarian of Work, it is with a point that I am not the only one.
Incensed by this idea abroad in the mental landscape with no means to move and not even wanting to at
some point along with the house ball & chain trap that has arisen the anger is pushing an entire
demographic into shared intellectual and mental landscape of the pathological.
They helped elect a pathological liar.
As regards the alteration of the American lifestyle & culture that involved a great deal of mobility,
when Americans moved an average of every two years to one of being trapped, tricked & Trapped at every
turn there is one book I would write to attack the sociologically shared pathology of despair &
That would be the Book of Tests.
It would be a challenge to the doom of debt in ascendency caused by a Human Resources Bureaucracy so
married to the discrimination that all accept blindly against those who did go to the "school of hard
knocks". I am a Zappa School Independent Scholar for instance.
In Aviation I have Seen the Mechanics with the Airframe & Powerplant Certification Test to read in the
break room till they can pass the Test. Making this sort of Certification System more general, would lead
the US, & its America of Post War GI Bill leaps into the "best of all world".
Within the Territory, the Geography, the US cannot any longer afford loser geographic territories of
Keynes is the man. & Marx, who saw the banks as of utility.
If Mahan could change the world & start the America that became Rome, then there have been more than the
One Book events to change the world.
I want a world with another name than Rome, that does not degenerate.
It was George HW Bush who signed and sealed NAFTA with Mexico and Canada, prior clinton inauguration,
Dec. 17, 1992. Dems disliked NAFTA, and clinton and majority of dems wouldn't go along till added labor
and environmental regulation were in force. Clinton signed expansion of NAFTA, having added those new
regulations to republican legislation. Here's video of George HW Bush signing NAFTA with Canada and
Bullshit. What "Dems" are you talking about? Clinton was a big backer of NAFTA and his labor
secretary Robert Reich stumped for it,
claiming NAFTA would create jobs
. Bush the senior the deal with the heads of three other nations
was not a binding commitment. NAFTA became law when Clinton signed it in 1993.
In 1992, NAFTA was signed by President George H.W. Bush, Mexican President Salinas and Canadian
Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
It was ratified by the legislatures of the three countries 1993. The U.S. House of
Representatives approved it by 234 to 200 on November 17, 1993. The U.S. Senate approved it by 60
to 38 on November 20, three days later.
President Bill Clinton signed it into law December 8, 1993. It entered force January 1, 1994. It
was a priority of President Clinton's, and its passage is considered one of his first successes.
(Source: "NAFTA Signed Into Law," History.com, December 8, 1993.)
I took the time to read several links, and I would encourage everyone -- irrespective of your political
perspective -- to click on the link to '
'. It's one of the most insightful, explanatory, compassionate explanations that I've read in the
last two years about what we might call 'the Trump Factor' in the US.
Having lived in the heartland of despair of Michigan, in a manufacturing town, here is my 2 cents. I did not
vote for trump, but family members, who were life long democrats, did.
And what people want is something to be done.
Example: I lose my job, but get another with less pay and higher health insurance. I am upset but not mad.
Politicians tell me it will take a little time, but they will fix the cost of health care. So I wait,
expecting an uptick. But I lose this job. And now I am working in retail. I am running out of patience with
the current democrats (and all politicians in general). Nothing is being done, that I see. What I see is
bickering and name calling and "gridlock". I want something done. I am now losing my rationality because my
retail job is not paying the bills. I am falling hopelessly behind. And when I hear politicians are fighting
over whatever, I want them all thrown out of office. So along comes trump. He says "F all of them, I will
tell them all to go to hell". He plays as an outsider. He says he will get things done.
Who do you think I am going to choose now? I am sick of waiting. I cannot wait. My children are hungry and
need medicine. I am getting older and need more medical care. Here's someone who says he will get things
done, regardless if whether those things actually benefit me (cuts to Medicare,etc). I see claims that
minorities are coming to the country and getting "free stuff". He says he will kick those freeloaders out. I
see millionaire sports players complaining.
Now that he is hired, trump has become just as do-nothing as all the other career politicians. His current
tax reform and simplification is just as watered down and convoluted and confusing as other "reforms". What
happened to filing with a postcard?
Wasn't this what happened in Germany in the 1920s? People became desperate. They elected somebody that did
"something", even tho it was bad. I am not comparing trump to that guy. I am comparing the desperation and
lack of rational judgement. And that is what I see and hear from people in my community. That's from both
lower class citizens to upper class. And people don't realize it is a "war" between the 1% and the rest of
us. Put people in this desperate situation, tell them they can't afford social security and Medicare, the
people say "this is for the greater good", they cancel those programs, then the money is redirected to the
1%. Then people are still paying 15.2% of their wages govt. but now, they are paying for a huge wealth
transfer in the form of tax cuts (and defense spending) instead of paying for their health care & retirement
when they are old and can't work no more.
Actually, it's rational. According to game theory, when you are put in a position where you
cannot win whatever you do, the only rational action is to flip the board over; throw the pieces on
the floor; stop playing. Elect Trump or vote Brexit.
Those who are on the always-winning side may fail to understand this. It is in their interests
to keep everyone playing the game. The results could get messy.
Ep3, your description echoes what I see in western New York state and its adjacent corner of
Pennsylvania. Despair hangs over the area. Thank you for bearing witness.
The gutted mills (Jamestown was once the premier manufacturer of wood furniture in the US), the
caved-in dairy barns and the rotting late 19th and early 20th century houses, testify to no jobs or
minimum wage work in MacDonald's and Walmart. Add to this mix the existence of a truly awful,
poverty-based, local food culture; meat, mainly fried, and carbs, also fried, and one begins to
understand why the only flourishing enterprises are healthcare related.
A ray of light, there seem to be no homeless people. Not like the growing numbers one sees in Denver,
Salt Lake City, or Seattle. Probably due to the low housing costs and the conversion of the big downtown
hotels in SRO's.
I drove through much of northwestern Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio in October 2016, and afterward
told everyone who would listen that I had seen incontrovertible proof that Trump would win in
"To understand the electoral shift in these and similar places outside of the industrial Midwest, it
is important to understand the economic, social, and health declines that have plagued them over the past
I think this also explains why Trump, not Jeb, won the GOP primary.
Desperate people do desperate things. By 2020 the desperate will be at near exponential expansion. The
democrat leaders apparently believe all they should do is sit on their hands. Like the last time!! Some
how the desperate have not been impressed by which restroom people pee in.
Yes there were many Obama-Trump voters especially in the Midwest and they likely won Trump the election.
This explodes the theory that Trump's win was all about racism. I doubt that people who voted for Obama in
the past were extreme white identity voters.
In addition to the despair highlighted in this piece and in the comments I will also point out that many
people were disappointed in Obama. I am from the Midwest and I know people who voted for Obama twice but
voted for Trump in 2016. The feeling is that Obama betrayed them and turned out to be a "phony." They
thought that Clinton would be Obama 2.0 so they took a gamble on Trump. Contrary to the way they are
portrayed in the media, many Midwestern working-class white Trump voters were not very enthusiastic about
him. They know Trump is a shady guy but were willing to take a risk on him because from their perspective he
talked sense on issues like trade and seemed to notice that not everything is going well in America.
Trump bucked the "everything is fine" message coming from Clinton and the mainstream media. One of the
worst slogans to come out of the Clinton campaign was "America is Already Great." Yeah maybe for the top 10
percent but for the rest of the country that is definitely not true. Also, focusing almost exclusively on
the Coalition of the Ascendant (non-whites, college-educated social liberals, gays) sent a message that the
Democratic Party feels like they don't need or want white working-class voters. Chuck Schumer's quote about
losing working-class whites but gaining moderate suburban Republicans just solidified that suspicion on the
part of white working-class people.
People did indeed vote out of despair. Same as BREXIT. it does NOT mean things will help them (for
instance NC has shown just how awful BREXIT could be) but when you feel you're stuck between the devil and
the deep blue sea you see this type of phenomenon. Profoundly depressing all round.
The BREXIT & Trump voter was a big [family blog] you to the establishment. I didn't vote Trump, but
laughed uproariously when he won, to the dismay of all the fine neoliberals in Seattle.
Question for Seattle voters: how could you vote in Durkan, who failed to prosecute the biggest
financial crime of all -- WaMu, yet reject Hasagawa, who has been rallying for years in the state
legislature for a state bank?
I'm still stunned at the stupidity of the Seattle voters to allow Durkan to fail upwards!
BREXIT is a good example to use here; From my admittedly less-than-scientific perusal of internet
forums in the immediate aftermath of that debacle, the general consensus of the British
poor/underclass was that it was the only option currently available to stick a thumb in the 1%'s
collective eye. I might also add it was the only legal and non-violent option they had. If things
don't finally start changing in the next decade or so, I suspect events will become considerably less
non-violent. As if the world isn't violent enough right now, I know. But things can always get worse
PW, "neoliberal" does not describe many seattle denizens in my acquaintance when considering
historical documentation of "neoliberalism":
"The term neoliberalism was coined at a meeting in Paris in 1938. Among the delegates were two men
who came to define the ideology, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. Both exiles from Austria, they
saw social democracy, exemplified by Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and the gradual development of
Britain's welfare state, as manifestations of a collectivism that occupied the same spectrum as nazism
In The Road to Serfdom, published in 1944, Hayek argued that government planning, by crushing
individualism, would lead inexorably to totalitarian control. Like Mises's book Bureaucracy, The Road
to Serfdom was widely read. It came to the attention of some very wealthy people, who saw in the
philosophy an opportunity to free themselves from regulation and tax. When, in 1947, Hayek founded the
first organisation that would spread the doctrine of neoliberalism – the Mont Pelerin Society – it was
supported financially by millionaires and their foundations.
The movement's rich backers funded a series of thinktanks which would refine and promote the
ideology. Among them were the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato
Institute, the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Centre for Policy Studies and the Adam Smith
Institute. They also financed academic positions and departments, particularly at the universities of
Chicago and Virginia."
For a similar but more detailed–and maps!–analysis, see Sean Trende's articles
on RealClearPolitics. Trende uses a finer-grained analysis of population density. Trende makes the point
that Democrats did well in megacities (urban areas, population > 5 million) and carried large cities (urban
area, population 1-5 million) but over the last two decades have fallen apart everywhere else. Three dozen
states have no large or mega cities; a party of large cities is of no consequence in those states. America
only has 11 megacities, a fair number of which are in places like California where winning more Democratic
votes will not effect the Presidential election. Note also Trende's population growth curves.
I think that housing prices in the mega cities can be used, at least in part, as a rough proxy for wealth
distributions in the US by geography. People who can move to where they think they'll be able to find
decent paying work drive up city size and competition for housing. The mega wealthy also drive up local
real estate prices. So today's mega city can be a proxy for more than persons-per-square-mile analysis,
Using city size as a reflection of wealth, this chart on housing prices is very interesting.
I hear endlessly that the Dems will have to make more compromises with the GOP to win back the Great
Plains and the upper MidWest. I think, if anything, the Dems have compromised too much on economic
matters with the GOP by adopting neo-liberal economics as the Dems' very own TINA. Dems can't improve
the economic lives of their base voters by adopting the GOP economic programs and philosophy.
flora obama codifying of bush – cheney international invasions of sovereign nations on basis of
fabrications, wars, war crimes, destabilization of Middle-East (as George HW Bush warned), millions
refugees, "Patriot Act", Guantanamo Bay, prosecution of whistleblowers telling truth, and Wall
Street "control accounting frauds", no accountability at all, make your point
The bottom line is hardly complicated: The only effective way to combat the sort of phoney, right wing
populism adopted by creeps like Trump, Boris Johnson, Rob Ford, etc. is to use the real thing. And Hillary
couldn't have done that if her life depended on it.
As the late Princeton health economist Uwe Reinhardt (who grew up in post-war Germany) said, Americans
lack a sense of "social solidarity ". He favored national health insurance but with private (non-govt
empoyed) health providers, as in Germany.
For all the media trying to portray Trump as a failed leader of his own party, it's clear to millions that
the Republicans are pushing for his failure and exit as much as the Democrats.
Unless the Democrats nominate a true moderate progressive with real world track record (like a governor )
-- but who?- rather than another Global Cap mercenary, Trump will be reelected.
I am a good way through "Nomadland".
Older white CamperForce workers lives of mere survival become State of South Dakota citizens, in one day.
Like Jet Setters who buy passports of convenience are they proving the sociological saw that the poor & the
rich think the same.
It is the war for survival and those who can go the furthest the fastest win in war.
I really do not get this. There are plenty of people of all different politics who see clearly the
problems, and even agree significantly on the solution and the oncoming catastrophe, but most of the ones
running things either are clueless wonders, or just want to continue straight into the ground for the money
as if that will do them any real good if it gets truly horrible.
It does not require any special amount of brains, experience, or education, just common sense, and not
much of that, to see this. So WTF is going on?
The corporate globalist faction of the democratic party (Clinton) , the minority faction according to the
TPA vote, deliberately blew the election to Trump over the TPP, despite warnings – near riot and walkout
when TPP came up at the platform committee – carried on C-Span.
I really think that folks ought to stop obsessing about why some people voted for Trump. The most
important factor was that nearly half of eligible voters (non-felons aged 18 and over)
didn't bother to
vote at all
. Trump and Clinton were fighting over the
mere 52.8% of eligible voters who cast
for one of the legacy party candidates.
Nearly 10 million people who voted for Obama in 2008 didn't bother to show up to vote in 2016. Their
"Hope" had been changed to "Despair" by Obama's lies. They watched him hand their health care over to the
insurance companies, hand their mortgage relief over to the banks, hand their jobs out to foreigners, and
expand the wars that were killing their children.
They had no intention of turning out to vote for either of two of the most outrageous prevaricators in
their recent memory. Those who did bother to vote did so likely more from force of habit than enthusiasm for
either legacy-party candidate, who were cynically looking for a low-turnout "win" rather than any sort of
actual voter mandate.
This is the best up close to it piece I've seen on this subject, from someone in the midst of a despair
zone; unlike the usual East/West Coast Journo/Pundit, or at the computer with the Starbucks in hand data
factoid analyzer (emphasis mine):
Here's the thing: from where I live, the world has drifted away. We aren't precarious, we're
The money has gone to the top. The wages have gone to the top. The recovery has gone to
the top. And what's worst of all, everybody who matters seems basically pretty okay with that. The new
bright sparks, cheerfully referred to as "Young Gods" believe themselves to be the honest winners in a
new invent-or-die economy, and are busily planning to escape into space or acquire superpowers, and
instead of worrying about this, the talking heads on TV tell you its all a good thing- don't worry, the
recession's over and everything's better now, and technology is TOTES AMAZEBALLS!
The Rent-Seeking Is Too Damn High
If there's no economic plan for the Unnecessariat, there's certainly an abundance for plans to
extract value from them.
No-one has the option to just make their own way and be left alone at it. It
used to be that people were uninsured and if they got seriously sick they'd declare bankruptcy and lose
the farm, but now they have a (mandatory) $1k/month plan with a $5k deductible: they'll still declare
bankruptcy and lose the farm if they get sick, but in the meantime they pay a shit-ton to the
shareholders of United Healthcare, or Aetna, or whoever. This, like shifting the chronically jobless from
"unemployed" to "disabled" is seen as a major improvement in status, at least on television.
Every four years some political ingenue decides that the solution to "poverty" is "retraining": for
the information economy, except that tech companies only hire Stanford grads
, or for health care,
except that an abundance of sick people doesn't translate into good jobs for nurses' aides, or nowadays
for "the trades" as if the world suffered a shortage of plumbers. The retraining programs come and go,
often mandated for recipients of EBT, but the accumulated tuition debt remains behind, payable to the
banks that wouldn't even look twice at a graduate's resume. There is now a booming market in debtor's
prisons for unpaid bills, and as we saw in Ferguson the threat of jail is a great way to extract cash
from the otherwise broke (thought it can backfire too). Eventually all those homes in Oklahoma, in Ohio,
in Wyoming, will be lost in bankruptcy and made available for vacation homes, doomsteads, or hobby farms
for the "real" Americans, the ones for whom the ads and special sections in the New York Times are
relevant, and their current occupants know this. They are denizens, to use Standing's term, in their own
This is the world highlighted in those maps, brought to the fore by drug deaths and bullets to the
brain- a world in which a significant part of the population has been rendered unnecessary, superfluous,
a bit of a pain but not likely to last long. Utopians on the coasts occasionally feel obliged to dream up
some scheme whereby the unnecessariat become useful again, but its crap and nobody ever holds them to it.
If you even think about it for a minute, it becomes obvious: what if Sanders (or your political savior of
choice) had won? Would that fix the Ohio river valley? Would it bring back Youngstown Sheet and Tube, or
something comparable that could pay off a mortgage? Would it end the drug game in Appalachia, New
England, and the Great Plains? Would it call back the economic viability of small farms in Illinois, of
ranching in Oklahoma and Kansas? Would it make a hardware store viable again in Iowa, or a bookstore in
Nevada? Who even bothers to pretend anymore?
Well, I suppose you might. You're probably reading this thinking: "I wouldn't live like that."
Maybe you're thinking "I wouldn't overdose" or "I wouldn't try heroin," or maybe "I wouldn't let my
vicodin get so out of control I couldn't afford it anymore" or "I wouldn't accept opioid pain killers for
my crushed arm." Maybe you're thinking "I wouldn't have tried to clear the baler myself" or "I wouldn't
be pulling a 40-year-old baler with a cracked bearing so the tie-arm wobbles and jams" or "I wouldn't
accept a job that had a risk profile like that" or "I wouldn't have been unemployed for six months" or
basically something else that means "I wouldn't ever let things change and get so that I was no longer in
total control of my life."
And maybe you haven't. Yet.
This isn't the first time someone's felt this way about the dying. In fact, many of the
unnecessariat agree with you and blame themselves
– that's why they're shooting drugs and not
dynamiting the Google Barge. The bottom line, repeated just below the surface of every speech, is this:
those people are in the way, and its all their fault. The world of self-driving cars and global
outsourcing doesn't want or need them. Someday it won't want you either.
They can either self-rescue
with unicorns and rainbows or they can sell us their land and wait for death in an apartment somewhere.
You'll get there too.
In Sum, Despair is the Collapse of Forever into the Strain of Now
If I still don't have your attention, consider this: county by county, where life expectancy is
dropping survivors are voting for Trump.
What does it mean, to see the world's narrative retreat into the distance? To know that nothing
more is expected of you, or your children, or of your children's children, than to fade away quietly and
let some other heroes take their place? One thing it means is: if someone says something about it
publicly, you're sure as hell going to perk up and listen.
Guy Standing believed that the Precariat heralded a new age of xenophobic nationalism and reaction,
but at the same time hoped that something like Occupy, that brought the precariat together as a
self-conscious community, would lead to social and economic changes needed to ameliorate their plight.
Actively. The gay community didn't just roll over and ask nicely for recognition, they had their shit
together enough that they could fight their way, literally, into the studios of one of the top news shows
in America, into the US capitol, the UK parliament, into the streets of every major city at rush hour.
AIDS galvanized them, but it was their mutual recognition as friends, allies, comrades-in-arms from years
of fighting for urban space to hook up in that made that galvanic surge possible. The disease blew a hole
in an entire generation and the survivors kept fighting. HAART attenuated the death rate, and the
survivors kept fighting.
So far, the quiet misery of the unnecessariat has yet to spark its own characteristic explosion, but
is it so hard to see the germ of it in Trump's rallies? In the LaVoy Finicum memorials? Are we, and I
don't mean this rhetorically, on the verge of something as earth-shaking as ACT-UP?
On primary election day, I wrote the following to a professor friend (edited):
"I am despising myself for a coward today. I stopped for gas on the way to the polls, and noticed a
hole in the frame of the car that you could push a parrot through. Dammit, I can't afford a new car,
and I don't know if I can afford a welded patch- I don't even know what would be involved, since so
much has to be stripped off before you can bring a torch near a car body. I was in a pretty bad state
when I got to the polls.
Let me explain my conundrum: all democratic primaries are proportional, among candidates who get
15% or more of the votes. The republicans have a whole slew of delegate procedures, but ours is winner
take all. [I could contribute one fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a delegate to Sanders, or
help push Trump over the top.]
What's the outcome here? Sanders isn't going to win. He doesn't have the delegates- hell, he
doesn't have the votes. Doesn't have the support. Clinton is the democratic nominee, and frankly she's
favored to win in the general election, even though in a head-to-head she gets trounced by Cruz,
Kasich, or Rubio. Right now she polls ahead of Trump, but Trump is the one factor in this race that
could completely kick the whole thing over. What happens if Clinton wins? For me, nothing- nothing
good anyway. I still can't afford car repairs, I still have to buy medication in cash raised by
selling hay bales. No, I didn't bale them, I trucked them across the county. If you bale them
yourself, you make money at it, but I just had some extras to unload. That'll still be the shape of
things in a Clinton presidency.
Lets be honest- Clinton doesn't give a shit about me. When Clinton talks about people hurt by the
economy, she means you: elite-educated white-collar people with obvious career tracks who are having
trouble with their bills and their 401k plans. That's who boomed under the last president Clinton,
especially the 401ks. Me, or the three guys fighting two nights ago over the Township mowing contract,
we're nothing. Clinton doesn't have an economic plan for us. Nobody has an economic plan for us. There
is no economic plan for us, ever. We keep driving trucks around and keep the margins above gas money
and maybe take an odd job here or there, but essentially, we're history and nobody seems to mind
And let me be honest again- Trump doesn't have an economic plan for me either. What Trump's boys
have for me is a noose- but that's the choice I'm facing, a lifetime of grueling poverty, or
Yeah I know, not fun and games- the shouts, the smashing glass, the headlights on the
lawn, but what am I supposed to do, raise my kid to stay one step ahead of the inspectors and don't,
for the love of god, don't ever miss a payment on your speeding ticket? A noose is something I know
how to fight. A hole in the frame of my car is not. A lifetime of feeling that sense, that "ohhhh,
shiiiiiit " of recognition that another year will go by without any major change in the way of things,
little misfortunes upon misfortunes a lifetime of paying a grand a month to the same financial
industry busily padding the 401k plans of cyclists in spandex, who declare a new era of prosperity in
America? Who can find clarity, a sense of self, any kind of redemption in that world?
Fuck it. Give me the fascists, I'll know where I stand
But I went ahead and took a democratic ballot regardless. And voted for Sanders. And as long as
chumps like me keep doing that, we'll keep getting the Clintons we deserve.
I would add that there are ever increasing East/West Coast despair zones not being discussed, other than
tagging those populations as
™, which apparently equates to a non tech background, or just
being over 35, despite current education. I suspect the large Blue Turnout for California, had far more to
do with an enormous anti-Trump immigrant population, traditional Dem voters opting out of either candidate,
and vote counting malfeasance, than anything else; as California has the highest Poverty rate in the Nation,
yet is predominantly overseen by Democrats who may as well be Republicans for the damage they've wrought.
I was at a hostel and an interesting perspective put forth from one of the guests was that at the first
debate with Clinton when he was largely unresponsive, looked terrible and obviously coked up, during the
second debate he did much better. He said that he had believed Trump believed he was going to go in and
fundentally fix things but after the primaries he had gotten talked to about the reality of what was going
to be allowed and his first debate reflected the shock of the reality of things to him. Just an interesting
yeah dear, if anyone able to read claims they don't understand what she wrote, they're clearly not telling
Addending my above comment, a perfect example of the West Coast despair is the Silicon Valley, California
despair (and Silicon Valley, and its borders, have been overseen by 99.99 Democrats who may as well be
REPUBLICANS for the austerity they've presided over).
Using suicide via Commuter Train – by an approximately fifty mile stretch (which mostly encompasses
™), between San Jose and San Francisco, of Caltrain commuter track – as an example, there
were a record 20 Caltrain track deaths in 2015. At least nineteen of those deaths were declared as, or
definitely appeared to be suicides. The 20th death (emphasis mine):
One person was hit and killed late Monday afternoon by a Caltrain in Santa Clara, roughly 30
minutes after police pulled a trespasser from the tracks in Mountain View, officials confirmed.
The death marked the agency's 20th fatality of the year, spokeswoman Tasha Bartholomew confirmed,
matching a record-high set back in 1995.
The fatal collision happened shortly before 5:40 p.m. just north of the Santa Clara Caltrain station,
agency spokeswoman Tasha Bartholomew said. The train that hit the pedestrian was heading northbound at
the time of the collision.
Less than 30 minutes before that incident, another person was detained by police near the San
Antonio station in Mountain View after they were caught on the tracks and nearly hit by a passing train.
Bartholomew said the person was not hit, but a bag they were carrying was grazed. That person has not
Commuters can expect delays.
Check back for updates.
Those record 2015 deaths –predominantly adults, and two 15 year old males from affluent neighborhoods–
were never highlighted by local, or National, news. The adults were usually noted as
Trespassing on the
™; a normal 'coding,' unless it's a youth, or someone considered
Eric Salvatierra Killed By Caltrain: How Did PayPal Executive Die?
; my decades long in silicon valley
educated guess: Peter Thiel/Elon Musk Founded,
, was a ghastly and
inhuman place to work at).
In that same year,
for their December 2015 issue
after that above noted November 16, 2015,
RECORD 20th Caltrain human tragedy
™ published a piece by East Coast DC'er Pundit™,
Hanna Rosin, titled,
The Silicon Valley Suicides -Why are so many kids with bright prospects killing
regarding prior year
Suicides on those same Caltrain Tracks
, Teens from
Affluent Families, mostly in Palo Alto, which neighbors Stanford University and its Hoover institute.
It is wonderful that those teen tragedies from affluent families were highlighted, as they should have
been. But then, neither Hanna Rosin, or anyone from the
™ wrote a follow-up piece
regarding those record 20 Caltrain – mostly ADULT suicides – deaths in 2015, which, if Hanna was doing her
homework regarding Caltrain suicides she had to have been aware of.
Those Caltrain deaths have decreased in the last two years (the last I noticed was an eighth death, on
Caltrain strikes, kills trespasser in San Francisco
, reported by
especially since there is now a worldwide spotlight on the Homogenous Ivy League Male Billionaires of
and the obscene poverty their Publicly Subsidized Private Sandbox encompasses. I.e.
rarely reported on, untold suicide attempts, and: versus easing up the ability to economically survive, The
State of California has instead focused on making sure no one kills themselves before they are sucked dry of
all possible currency, by guarding those tracks (along with Amtrak & Bart tracks, and the Golden Gate
"... The agreement -- signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to [DNC lawyer] Marc Elias -- specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party's finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings. ..."
"... A second difference in substance: Let's remember that for Clinton, the JFA enabled her campaign to circumvent contribution limits for large donors (Brazile: "Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400"). The Sanders campaign , by contrast, had no issue with maxed out donors: "During fall '15, 99.8% of Bernie donors could give again" (because it's awful hard to max out $27 at a time). ..."
"... That's pretty amazing, isn't it? Personnel is policy, as they say, and the Clinton campaign has made sure that the DNC's Communications Director and new hires in the senior staff in the communications, technology, and research departments will be acceptable to it. The Clinton campaign will also review all mass email and communcations (which explains why Brazile, as interim DNC chair, couldn't send out a press release without checking with Brooklyn. Since the notorious debate schedule was already controlled by Wasserman Schultz, there was no point messing about with it, I assume.) There is one place in this passage where the general election is mentioned, so let's look at it: ..."
"... Second, the DNC itself does not ..."
"... But I'd like to know how far up the editorial totem poles the fix went and how it was achieved. ..."
"... It has been a while since I handled a criminal defense case, but I am not sure that the agreement is not in fact, criminal. When the Sanders for President campaign signed an agreement and paid money in consideration of getting access to the voter file and when the state parties agreed to merge their fundraising efforts with the DNC and HFA, the commercial fraud laws applied to that relationship. Since the fundraising was done using interstate phone calls, letters, and emails and the voter file access was provided by electronic transmissions from servers in DC to end users in Burlington, Vermont that includes 18 USC 1341, 1343 and 1346 (mail, wire and honest services fraud). These laws do not just ban outright lying, but also the concealment of material facts that one has a duty to disclose. ..."
"... The DNC got into the position of selling themselves to the Clintons as they were $20 million in debt, right? I have read that the major reason for these debts was that the DNC had not shrunk itself since the last campaign and was paying out a ton of money for consultants doing Christ knows what. In fact, Obama also used the DNC to support a stack of his consultants as well as grifters gotta grift, right? ..."
"... My question is whether this was a deliberate ploy on Obama and the Clinton factions to put the DNC into such a vulnerable position before 2016 came along that when the time came, they had to take up an offer that they could not refuse. I have not heard if Obama has made any comments on this fiasco that took place on his watch and it seems nobody wants to call him out on it. In the Brazile case, it is not a matter of following the money but following the lack of money. ..."
"... "Both sides in the Democratic Party's current faction fight, as I see it, are in denial about the true nature and scope of the problem "Both responses are essentially utopian: They rest on the premise that the Democratic Party is still a functioning political organization and that the United States is still a functioning democracy." ..."
Long-time Democratic operative Donna Brazile, interim chair of the Democratic National
Committee (DNC) after Debbie Wasserman Schultz was defenestrated, has, like two otherparticipants in
the 2016 Presidential election and at least one set of
observers , written a book, Hacked , and published a long excerpt from it four
days ago, in Politico
. Here is the key passage, in which Brazile paraphrases and quotes a conversation with Gary
Gensler, former of Goldman Sachs and the CFTC, and then the chief financial officer of the
[Gensler] described the party as
, which seemed to confirm the suspicions of the Bernie camp. The campaign had the DNC on life
support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using
the party as a fund-raising clearinghouse. Under FEC law, an individual can contribute a
maximum of $2,700 directly to a presidential campaign. But the limits are much higher for
contributions to state parties and a party's national committee.
Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write
an additional check for $353,400 to -- that figure
represented $10,000 to each of the 32 states' parties who were part of the Victory Fund
agreement -- $320,000 -- and $33,400 to the DNC. The money would be deposited in the states
first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that. Money in the battleground states
usually stayed in that state, but all the other states funneled that money directly to the
DNC, which quickly transferred the money to Brooklyn.
Yes, you read that right. Although the Hillary Victory Fund was billed as aiding the states,
in fact the states were simply pass-throughs, and the money went to the Clinton campaign. (This
is not news;
Politico covered the Victory Fun in 2016 : "The Democratic front-runner says she's raising
big checks to help state committees, but they've gotten to keep only 1 percent of the $60
"Wait," I said. "That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the
state party races. You're telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she
got the nomination?"
Gary said the campaign had to do it or the party would collapse.
"That was the deal that Robby struck with Debbie," he explained, referring to campaign
manager Robby Mook. "It was to sustain the DNC. We sent the party nearly $20 million from
September until the convention, and more to prepare for the election."
After some research, Brazile finds a document ("the agreement") that spells out what "fully
under the control of Hillary's campaign" meant operationally:
The agreement -- signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a
copy to [DNC lawyer] Marc Elias -- specified that in exchange for raising money and investing
in the DNC, Hillary would control the party's finances, strategy, and all the money raised.
Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and
it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult
with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.
I had been wondering why it was that I couldn't write a press release without passing it
by Brooklyn. Well, here was the answer.
(Importantly, Gensler has not disputed this account, of which, assuming he's not vacationing
Antarctica, he must have been aware of, given the media uproar. We can therefore assume its
accurate). Note two aspects of this passage, which I'm quoting at such length to ensure we know
what Brazile actually charged. I've helpfully underlined them: (1) Brazile leads with the
money; that is, the Clinton Victory Fund, and (2) Brazile describes the DNC as "fully under the
control" of the Clinton campaign.
Predictably, an enormous controversy erupted, much of it over the weekend just passed, but
I'm not going to do a blow-by-blow of the talking points. (Glenn Greenwald provides an
excellent media critique in
"Four Viral Claims Spread by Journalists on Twitter in the Last Week Alone That Are False
"; all four have to do with this controversy.) I think the following three quotes are key,
the first two being oft-repeated talking points by Clinton loyalists:
"The joint fundraising agreements were except for
the treasurer, and our understanding was that the DNC offered all of the presidential
campaigns the opportunity to set up a JFA and work with the DNC to coordinate on how those
funds were used to best prepare for the general election."
Question: Were the agreements "the same" for each campaign? (Perez focuses only on the JFA,
but that omits a separate Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the DNC and the Clinton
campaign, as we shall see below.)
Second, from 2005-9 DNC chair Howard Dean:
Question: Did the agreement apply only to the general election, and not the primary? (Dean
says "this memo," but he also omits the distinction between the MOU and the JFA.)
"We learned today from the former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile
that the Clinton campaign, in her view, did rig the presidential nominating process by
entering into an agreement to control day-to-day operations at the DNC," Tapper said,
continuing on to describe specific arms of the DNC the Clinton camp had a say over, including
strategy and staffing, noting that the agreement was "entered into in August of 2015," months
before Clinton won the nomination .
Warren responded simply: "Yes."
Question: Can we say that the 2016 Democratic primary was rigged? (Tapper uses the word
"rigged," and Warren adopts it, but a careful reading of Brazile's article shows that although
she uses the word, she does not actually make the claim.)
In this post, I'm going to answer each of these three questions by looking at the documents,
plural, in question (Spoiler: My answers are "No," "No," and "Yes," respectively.) Here is a
timeline of the documents:
8/26/2015 (signed): The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU, or "memo").
download at MSNBC. The MOU
characterized by NBC as a "side deal," specifies how the JFA is to be implemented. Hence,
"the agreement" comprises both documents; the JFA cannot be understood without the MOU, and
): The Sanders-DNC Joint Fundraising Agreement. I can't find a copy online, but it's
described by ABC here . If there is an MOU that accompanies the Sanders JFA, it has not
come to light, and presumably, by this point, it would have.
In summary, the Clinton JFA set up the Hillary Victory Fund scam , the MOU gave
Clinton control of (much of) the DNC apparatus, and (
according to Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver ) the Sanders JFA bought their campaign
access to the DNC voter list, and was never used for fundraising because the DNC never asked
the campaign to do any. So to answer the our first question, we'll look at the JFA. To answer
the second, we'll look at the MOU. And to answer the third, we'll see how all the evidence
Were the Agreements "the Same" for Each Campaign?
Perez is wrong. The agreements were not at all the same, either formally or
Formally, the agreements were not the same because the Clinton JFA had an MOU (the "side
deal") and the Sanders JFA did not.
[T]he Clinton campaign Friday afternoon confirmed the existence of a memo between the DNC
and their campaign, which specifically outlines an expanded scope and interpretation of their
funding agreement . [R]epresentatives from Sanders' former campaign say they only signed a
basic, formulaic fundraising agreement that did not include any additional language about
joint messaging or staffing decision-making [as does the MOU].
Substantively, the agreements weren't the same either. The substance of the JFA was a scheme
enable the Hillary Victory Fund to collect "big checks" (as Politico puts it), supposedly
behalf of the state parties, but in reality treating them as conduits to the coffers of the
Clinton campaign. Page 3:
From time to time and in compliance with FECA, after expenses have been deducted from the
gross proceeds, the Victory Fund will transfer the net proceeds to the Committees according
to the Allocation Formula, as modified by any reallocation required.
"[T]he Committees" being the state party political committees, into whose accounts the
contributions were deposited, only to be immediately removed and transferred to the Clinton
campaign (at least for the states that signed entered into the agreement; a few did not).
However, the Sanders campaign wasn't in the business of collecting "big checks," being
small-donor driven. Hence the substance of the agreement could not have been the same.
ABC once more :
Former Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver told ABC News Friday night that the campaign
entered the agreement with the party in November 2015 to facilitate the campaign's access to
the party's voter rolls. Weaver claims the DNC offered to credit any fundraising the senator
did for the party against the costs of access to the party's data costs, priced at $250,000.
But, Weaver continued, the party did not follow up about fundraising appearances for the
Instead, the Sanders campaign raised the $250,000 from small donors.
Weaver said the Sanders campaign decided early on to ignore the joint fundraising program
and raise small dollars on its own to pay for access to the voter file. "Who are the wealthy
people Bernie was going to bring to a fundraiser?" Weaver asked. "We had to buy the voter
file right before the primaries."
A second difference in substance: Let's remember that for Clinton, the JFA enabled her
campaign to circumvent contribution limits for large donors (Brazile: "Individuals who had
maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for
$353,400"). The Sanders campaign , by
contrast, had no issue with maxed out donors: "During fall '15, 99.8% of Bernie donors could
give again" (because it's awful hard to max out $27 at a time).
Suppose you were comparing two mortgages on different houses: One mortgage has a side deal
attached, the other does not. One is for a lavish facility and demands a complex financing
arrangement involving a third party. The other is for a fixer-upper and a lump sum is paid in
cash. Would you say those two mortgages are "the same," or not? Even if they both had the word
"Mortage" at the top of page one?
Did the Agreement Apply Only to the General Election, and not the Primary?
We now turn our attention to the MOU. Howard Dean,
sadly , is wrong. The MOU contains two key passages; the first describes the relationship
between Hillary for America (HFA; the Clinton campaign) and the DNC (Brazile: "fully under the
control of Hillary's campaign"), and the second is language on the general election. Let's take
each in turn. On control, pages 1 and 2:
With respect to the hiring of a , the DNC agrees
that no later than September 11, 2015 it will hire one of two candidates previously
identified as acceptable to HFA.
2. With respect to the hiring of , in the case of vacancy, the DNC will maintain
the authority to make the final decision as between candidates acceptable to HFA. 3.
Agreement by the DNC that over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and general election
related communications, data, technology, analytics, and research. The DNC will provide HFA
advance opportunity to review . This does not include any communications
related to primary debates – which will be exclusively controlled by the DNC. The DNC
will alert HFA in advance of .
That's pretty amazing, isn't it? Personnel is policy, as they say, and the Clinton campaign
has made sure that the DNC's Communications Director and new hires in the senior staff in the
communications, technology, and research departments will be acceptable to it. The Clinton
campaign will also review all mass email and communcations (which explains why Brazile, as
interim DNC chair, couldn't send out a press release without checking with Brooklyn. Since the
notorious debate schedule was already controlled by Wasserman Schultz, there was no point
messing about with it, I assume.) There is one place in this passage where the general election
is mentioned, so let's look at it:
Agreement by the DNC that HFA personnel will be consulted and have joint authority over
strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and communications, data, technology, analytics, and research.
At the most generous reading, the Clinton campaign has "joint authority" with the DNC over
"strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures." At the narrowest reading, given
that the "general-election[-]related qualifier applies only to "communications," the joint
authority applies to "strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and data,
technology, analytics, and research." And given that the Clinton campaign is writing the checks
that keep the DNC afloat, who do you think will have the whip hand in that "joint authority"
Now to the clause that supposedly says the agreement (JFA + MOU) applies only to the general
election. Here it is, from page 3:
Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to violate through the Nominating process. All activities performed
under this agreement will be focused exclusively on preparations for the General Election and
not the Democratic Primary. Further we understand you may enter into similar agreements with
(Pause for hollow laughter, given Wasserman Schultz's defenestration, Brazile passing debate
questions to the Clinton campaign, etc.). First, even though Hoho seems to think it's
exculpatory, the clause is an obvious fig leaf.
Glenn Greenwald explains :
DNC and Clinton allies pointed to the fact that the agreement contained self-justifying
lawyer language claiming that it is "focused exclusively on preparations for the General,"
as Fischer noted that passage "is contradicted by the rest of the agreement." This would
be like creating a contract to explicitly bribe an elected official ("A will pay Politician B
to vote YES on Bill X"), then adding a throwaway paragraph with a legalistic disclaimer that
"nothing in this agreement is intended to constitute a bribe," and then have journalists cite
that paragraph to proclaim that no bribe happened even though the agreement on its face
explicitly says the opposite.
Second, the DNC itself does not believe that it has any "obligation of impartiality
and neutrality" whatever. From Wilding et al. v. DNC Services Corporation, D/B/A Democratic
National Committee and Deborah "Debbie" Wasserman Schultz (as cited
in Naked Capitalism here ), the DNC's lawyer, Mr. Spiva:
MR. SPIVA: [W}here you have a party that's saying, We're gonna, you know, choose our
standard bearer, and we're gonna follow these general rules of the road, which we are
voluntarily deciding, we could have -- and . That's not the way it was done. But they could have. And that would have also
been their right, and it would drag the Court well into party politics, internal party
politics to answer those questions.
Third, look at the institutional realities from point one on control. The Clinton campaign
had control over the Communications Director slot and major strategic decisions from
the moment the agreement was signed. Are we really to believe that they were behaving as
neutral parties? (One obvious way to have shown that would have been to release the MOU either
when it was signed.)
Can We Say that the 2016 Democratic Primary Was Rigged?
I found no evidence, none whatsoever. 'The only thing I found, which I said, I've found
the cancer but I'm not killing the patient,' was this memorandum that prevented the DNC from
running its own operation," Brazile added
I think Brazile is either overly charitable, or overly legalistic (perhaps confusing
"rigged" with "fixed," where only in the latter case is the outcome absolutely determined). I
also think she's wrong. The
dictionary definition of rigged is:
to manipulate fraudulently
There's ample evidence of rigging in both the JFA and the MOU. The JFA enabled the Hillary
Victory Fund, which was a fraudulent scheme to allow big donors to contribute to the Clinton
campaign by using the states as passthroughs. And the MOU enabled to Clinton campaign to
fraudulently manipulate the public and the press into the belief that the DNC was an
independent entity, when in fact it was a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of the Clinton
we're not supposed to "relitigate" the 2016 campaign ; we're supposed to look forward and
not back. However, the demand not to "relitigate" assumes that the case is closed; as Brazile
shows, we're hardly through with the depositions, let alone prepared to render judgment. So,
when you hear "relitigate," think "silencing tactic," and ask yourself who and what silence
serves. And perhaps this post will provide a basis for further discussion. 119
Likewise, confirms my decision to wash my hands of the party. If, by some miracle, a
candidate acceptable to my priorities is nominated, I will still vote for him/her, but the
party isn't getting any default support or any $.
People need to stop conflating the DNC with the Democratic Party. I realized I was doing
so and stopped.
The DNC is an organization for raising money to support Democratic Party candidates for US
President; its subsidiaries are, of course, the DCCC and the DSCC. The only reason they have
power to dictate to the actual party is because they hold the purse strings. That
Bernie and others have run successful campaigns, to one degree or another, without their
"help" is one of the reasons they're fighting so hard to maintain the status quo. If they're
shown to be redundant, the power of those who currently run it evaporates.
Saying "I'll never vote Democrat again" is, as my sainted mother used to say, cutting off
your nose to spite your face. Right now, if we're going to at least slow down the rocketing
juggernaut that is GOP/plutocratic ownership of our governments, we need to elect progressive
candidates. There's no time to create a third party that can compete, so we need to vote for
the candidates who are advancing a non-neoliberal/neocon agenda whatever party they run
under. It's mostly Democrats, at the moment, but a social media acquaintance spoke of a
clearly progressive candidate running for a local office as a Republican because that's how
One of the ways the GOP was so successful in conning the working people and small business
owners and others into buying their hogwash was by demonizing "the Democrats." Now, their
message that "Democrats" are nothing but crazy-headed hippies who want to take their money
and give it to other people is so deeply ingrained it's a hard row to how convincing them
just how big a lie it is. Indeed, I suspect I shocked a raging right-winger the other day
when I told him we agreed about Obama and Clinton, because his Fox-muddled mind firmly
believes a Democrat thinks Obama rules the heavens.
If we don't "vote Democrat" in the upcoming primaries, then the establishment local and
state parties are going to throw more New Democrats against the GOP and lose. That can't
Yes, thank you! People need to vote for the progressive candidates in the Democratic
primaries. If they don't, then the establishment candidates will easily win, and the national
government will continue to be dominated by both Republican and Democratic lap dogs of the
billionaires. And if there are a few progressive Republicans out there, sure, vote for them,
I often wonder whether some of the people who admonish us to stop voting for Democrats are
really employed by one of the many Koch brothers organizations. Not all of them, of course,
and I'm not making an accusation against anyone who is commenting here. But if people don't
vote for progressive Democrats, the billionaires and the corporate advocates of
financialization will win.
Of course, appearances can be deceptive: Obama ran as a progressive candidate .
As a quick ready-reckoner -- the more a candidate bloviates on Identity issues, the less
likely they are (should they be elected) to be "progressive" on issues of substance: the
economy, tax, war/imperialism
Right! Where are these progressive democrats? I would love to support one other than
Bernie Sanders (yes I know he is not perfect and he is too old). But they don't seem to exist
at the national level. There seem to be mayoral and other municipal candidates on the right
track – just have no idea how to move those ideas onto the state or national level.
Maybe I am just cranky and pessimistic right now.
TYT did several interviews of "Justice Democrats", newbies running on a progressive
platform. Some of the interviews you could see Cenk Uynger almost cringing, and the usually
voluble Jimmy Dore very quiet as the candidates lacked public speaking skills, and
demonstrating a probable lack of political smarts necessary to maneuver any bureaucracy.
Without trial by fire at lower levels, learning how to run a government and get results,
then there is no way to judge the candidates.
Unless candidates like Roza Calderon a faster learn that is
apparent at this point, they the Justice Democrats can only win when "anyone but him/her"
So it was our apathy that did it. It was our moral failure. "Really," says Algernon, in The Importance of Being Earnest, "if the lower orders don't
set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them? They seem, as a class, to have
absolutely no sense of moral responsibility."
There's an important difference between being and voting Democrat. Actually, we already
have a defacto 3rd party, Independents/Unaffiliated, a larger block of voters than either
Republicans or Democrats.
With even greater numbers of Independents/Unaffiliated, we could be a force to be reckoned
with. Actually, we should recognize and own our power right now because we could decimate the
ranks of the Duopoly and make room for an actual third party. We can still vote for Democrats
of course, but they'll realize that they can't continue to take our votes for granted.
There's actually no good reason to remain a registered Democrat. You can still vote for
Democrats as an Independent/Unaffiliated voter. It's only for some presidential primaries and
caucuses that party registration is a limitation. If you live in one of those states, you can
temporarily register as a Democrat to vote, then revert to independent/unaffiliated
afterwards. Other than that, all other elections are open without regard to affiliation.
The Democrats and Republicans are two wings of the same bird of prey, and we're the prey
only because we haven't yet learned to fly to escape their talons. If we start owning our
power as free agents/Independent voters, that can change. While deep pocketed donors may have
the power to make the wheels turn for the Duopoly, those wheels can't go anywhere without our
votes. Since we don't have the power of money, we can at least exercise our political power
to stay out of their talons.
Independence is the way to fly. It's not just leverage, it's also the only way to clear
more space and demand for official third parties. Since the Duopoly refuses to change their
ways and repair the rigged system they created to keep only themselves in power, we can and
should abandon them in droves.
In order to vote in the New York State Democrat party primary you must be a registered
Democrat. In NY the primary is where most seats are won and lost. Being registered as a
Democrat is a necessary evil in some cases.
It has never been clear to me why a hostile takeover of the Democrats, followed by a
management purge and seizure of its assets, should be framed as "saving" the Democrat Party.
I think that's what a lot of Sanders people would like to do. It's also not clear to me why
people think the Democrats can simply be by-passed , and don't need to be assaulted,
and if from the inside, all the better.
As readers know, my experience with the Greens was poor (as it has been with others I have
talked to). This is especially sad since the GP in Maine had seemed to be viable. So, my fear
of the Greens is not fear of the un known, but fear of the known ; I worked
at dysfunctional non-profits before, and I don't need to do it again. Others, especially CP
activists, may differ in their experience, but that's mine. (Note that I was reinforced in my
priors by Stein's lawyer adopting the "Russian hacking" meme in Stein's post-election
if Bernie's primary campaign and support had been transferred to the Green Party, he
would have been a very serious contender,
I agree. But Sanders couldn't join the Green ticket, because he made a promise to support
the Democratic candidate, and unlike some politicians, he tries to keep his promises. So what did the Greens do? Instead of actively trying to gain the support of Sanders
primary voters, they nominated ideological purist Ajamu Baraka as their Vice Presidential
candidate, and he would not back down from unrealistic insulting criticism of Sanders. In
effect, the Greens chose to fail.
How many clowns can dance on the head of a pin? Debating whether it feels better to have a
donkey or an elephant standing on your neck is a fools errand. Neither the Democrat or
Republican party is democratic or representative of any more than a handful of families from
the Billionaires Club. While they may favor different individuals in the ruling class,
neither faux-party has the slightest interest in the rabble who don't line their pockets and
provide protection against electoral defeat.
Elections are a stage managed charade in our kleptocracy. Expecting them to change
anything that matters, or alter the course of the Warfare State is pure delusion. First we
must have Collapse, then Chaos before we can have Change that we can believe in.
"First we must have Collapse, then Chaos before we can have Change that we can believe
You are right -- although hopefully mere "crisis" will be sufficient for radical change
rather than complete collapse & chaos . Collapse & chaos may void any chance of
organised positive change. Having said that the signs are not good: see https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/06/the-ecosystem-is-breaking-down/
for the less than cheery news on ecosystem breakdown.
Both parties must be revealed unambiguously to the whole public as the completely morally
bankrupt, treasonous & vicious entities that socialists & progressives have known
them to be for decades.
You are correct about Carter. Zbigniew Brzezinski was a creature of the Rockefellers, and
he was Carter's Special Assistant for National Security. Prior to becoming President, Carter
was a member of the Trilateral Commission.
The rigging was obvious from the start. When nearly all the super delegates declared for
Clinton before a single primary was held, I read numerous reports that said the reason was
quid pro quo. The super delegates were to be given campaign money in exchange for their
support. The agreement proves it.
That, and what the DNC did to Bernie supporters during the convention, made me swear I'd
never give them a penny. I have only donated to specific candidates directly. Meanwhile, the
Dem establishment stubbornly remains clueless as to why it cannot regain the House and
I have seen portions of the agreement (not sure if JFA or MOU) characterized as a "slush
fund" for consultants. Naturally, of course, but one might also wonder if that slush fund was
used to purchase any superdelegate votes. Pure speculation I didn't have time to run down, so
I left it on the cutting room floor.
G, a lot happened to Sanders supporters at the convention, too much to recap but you can
probably find stories about it. Many walked out but their seats were filled by paid
seat-fillers so the hall didn't look empty, also from what I understand paid seat-fillers
sometimes didn't let them take their seats. Signs were blocked, white noise was used to
muffle boos, etc.
Before the convention, many of the primaries had a lot of funny business (not all, I know
of no problems here in Texas). But California, Arizona, New York, Puerto Rico, Nevada and
others all had SERIOUS problems with things such as efforts to prevent Sanders supporters
from voting, questionable vote counting (such as at Nevada caucuses), efforts to make voting
difficult by having few poll places, etc., etc.
I think there were irregularities in Illinois, too. I recall that 6 counties did not have
enough Democratic ballots, and the Democratic Attorney General, a Clinton supporter, sued to
prevent voters in those counties from voting after election day. In Massachusetts, Bill Clinton illegally electioneered near or in a polling place. But the
authorities let him get away with it.
Great article Lambert. TheGreenwald article was helpful but yours is the icing on the
cake. Hopefully many will read this so that they do not get confused with all of the
Clintonista response to Brazile. Howard Dean must be suffering from early Alzheimer's to
write such a lie. But he has done it before.
It's hard for me to believe anyone can, with a straight face, suggest the 2 agreements are
equal.How can you have more than one agreement giving "the authority to make the final decision
Final means last, no? #corruptlosers
I know we're not supposed to "relitigate" the 2016 campaign; we're supposed to look
forward and not back. However, the demand not to "relitigate" assumes that the case is
closed; as Brazile shows, we're hardly through with the depositions, let alone prepared to
render judgment. So, when you hear "relitigate," think "silencing tactic," and ask yourself
who and what silence serves.
Well said. Regular contact with the centrist MSM recently is like being subjected to
hypnotism routines from 50s movies. "You are thinking forward, forward, forward. When I snap
my fingers you will feel fresh, eager to believe in the promises of the party of Franklin
Roosevelt and Barack Obama."
and yet FDR stood by while his own "Senator Sanders" – Henry Wallace was sidetracked
from his vice-presidency and legacy as FDR's successor (to the chagrin of Eleanor, among
many) by corporate dems James Byrnes, stooge for big oil and U.S. steel, who replaced Wallace
with Truman at 1944 dem convention
However, there certainly is no comparison, as you note, between obama's complete lack of
"transparency, oversight, accountability" regarding bush-cheney war crimes, Wall Street
frauds, destabilization of entire Middle-East, leading to republican trump administration,
Most authors-historicans I have encountered believe FDR had no real idea how ill he
A while ago, I read a story about the DNC's misuse of unpaid interns. The story itself was
barfy enough, but what really shocked me was an aside asserting that even official elected
DNC members were barred from viewing the DNC's budget. ( http://paydayreport.com/unpaidinternsatdnc/
"WTF kind of an organization is this?!" I thought. How on earth is that even legal?
Well, after the Brazile disclosure of the Clinton MOU, I went back to look at the DNC
charter/bylaws. You'll note on the first page the date the current version was
adopted–2 days after the MOU was signed!
Anyone wanna take a bet that the budget committee carveout was one of things that was
jsba, suggest you use the Wayback machine or another internet archive and look at prior
historical copies of DNC charter/bylaws, to identify the changes. Could be very illuminating
as to (possible) criminal intent?
As much as I'd like to switch parties (hah) so as to add to the greater numbers of fleeing
formerly party faithful, I'm in one of those 'closed primary' states. My vote is already
nearly worthless (though I exercise my right every chance I get); to switch to a third party
would make sure I'm both excluded from the more interesting local party contests AND drowned
out in national contests. Lose/lose. Maybe if something like Maine's (currently under attack)
Ranked Choice Voting existed all over, I'd be less sour about the whole thing.
Yeah, you need people like Lambert willing to do the work. It is exhausting keeping up
with the truths, half truths and lies promulgated in the press and trying to figure out what
is true and what isn't.
I find it interesting that the agreement involved control of the IT/data infrastructure of
the DNC. Doesn't the DNC administer the democratic party registry? And with that observation,
wasn't there a lot of illegal party switching that caused a problem for some Democrats voting
in party restricted primaries that had their registration switched, so that they couldn't
take part in the primaries. Wouldn't it be interesting if the switched parties were on the
DNC record as donating to Bernie's campaign? Fixed, indeed.
Manipulations of the deplorable superdelegate system, with its covert quid pro quo payoffs
after the Clintons take power, was part of a seamless fix. Premature coronation by media and
party wigs after primary victories in red states no Democrat would win in the general
election helped ice it.
Perhaps revelations will turn up on mainstream media, from the Sabbath Gasbags to NPR,
knifing Bernie with Hillary talking points at every opportunity, when he wasn't being
ignored. Thomas Frank wrote persuasively on WaPo's bias in Swat Team in Harper's, and there
have been tidbits on off-record Clinton media cocktail parties and such. But I'd like to know
how far up the editorial totem poles the fix went and how it was achieved. Certainly Jeff
Bezos has a Washington wish list. I marveled at how many journalists suddenly sounded like
breathless valley girl propagandists. And still do. What faster way to tank journalism's
credibility than that perception?
I guess that's why after catching headlines more of my reading time shifts to alternative
offerings such as those presented here.
But I'd like to know how far up the editorial totem poles the fix went and how it was
I worked as a journalist in America for over a decade. I cannot stress enough how
unnecessary such a literal fix would be. (Though doubtless words were and are exchanged
between concerned parties when needed.)
The hive-mind position of most U.S. journalists -- and especially of editors, who tend to
be the most compliant with the power-structure and often the stupidest people in the room --
was (and is) an automatical default to unquestioning support -- even worship -- of the
Democratic Party, its elite, and Clintonite neoliberalism.
I once wrote a long feature that got a crush-letter from Joe Lieberman's office. The
editors at the magazine in question were ecstatic and printed that letter as its own separate
feature in the next issue. Personally, I thought Leiberman was scum, but kept my qualms to
myself and was glad I used a byline.
It seems to me that the HRC campaign's JFA was expressly designed to -- and succeeded in
its design -- circumvent the statutory $2700 limit on direct campaign contributions. Yet I
have not seen commentary that suggests any laws were violated. What am I missing?
To me, it seemed that the Democratic Party had already decided for clinton before the
primaries, as at my local caucus the party had planted each neighborhood group with a party
faithful, not from the neighborhood, who would argue for clinton and fear monger about Trump.
I know this because I talked to the plant in my group, asked her where she lived, and
discovered it was not in my neighborhood; it was a different town. Others reported the
Also, a Dem party leader came up to me and said "Sanders is not going to be the nominee"
and "When this is over (meaning the primary), then you'll be supporting Hillary, right?" I
told her to never assume anything.
So, thanks to Brazile, no matter her motivation, for providing proof of what we already
I think you don't see that skill set very much in party leaders because they so rarely
need for the party to win elections. They do need to be able to maintain control
over their parties, so they're great at being cutthroat and cheating. But apart from certain
important individual elections, the success of the party as a whole isn't a big priority for
them. There are spoils to divide either way.
I worked on the Sanders primary campaign in my city. I watched as the state/regional
leadership consistently tanked the gotv and other Sanders ground outreach while a few local
leaders working in smaller areas worked their hearts out on the ground. Surprisingly (or not)
the state/ regional leadership bailed to work on the HRC campaign within hours of closing the
I swear, in one of her interviews on the past weekend, Brazile made a quick, underbreath,
reference to 'poor Seth Rich' in recounting the death threats aimed at her. Glad someone has
not forgotten that connection.
It has been a while since I handled a criminal defense case, but I am not sure that the
agreement is not in fact, criminal. When the Sanders for President campaign signed an
agreement and paid money in consideration of getting access to the voter file and when the
state parties agreed to merge their fundraising efforts with the DNC and HFA, the commercial
fraud laws applied to that relationship. Since the fundraising was done using interstate
phone calls, letters, and emails and the voter file access was provided by electronic
transmissions from servers in DC to end users in Burlington, Vermont that includes 18 USC
1341, 1343 and 1346 (mail, wire and honest services fraud). These laws do not just ban
outright lying, but also the concealment of material facts that one has a duty to
Considering the importance of voter file access, it is impossible to imagine that your
chief competitor having joint authority over hiring the people who handle all your customer
service and monitor your compliance with voter file contract is not a material fact. If,
under DC contract law or FTC commerical regulations, these kinds of conflicts of interest are
mandatorily disclosable (I do not practice in DC but I doubt DC applies caveat emptor to that
degree), then 18 USC 1343 was broken and Jeff Sessions could indict everyone involved.
It is even worse for the state parties agreement. The DNC arguably has a duty of loyalty
to its state affiliates which makes agreeing to encourage them all to sign up even though it
is concealing its knowledge that the money will be allocated in a way that will be bad for at
least some of them seem utterly inconsistent with the honest services provisions of 1346. All
in all, it is probably a good thing for the DNC that the Sessions aides I went to law school
with paid less attention in criminal law that I did.
It seemed to me that the nondisclosure of material facts and of conflicts of interest
might, arguably, constitute some type of criminal activity and that Donna Brazile's
characterization of the agreement as "not a criminal act" was, perhaps, a bit too facile but
I did not know the specific statutes or claims that might be involved. I really appreciate
your detailed observations here.
Just want to point out that the state-party=>DNC pass-through is not at all new. Has
been active in some form and proportion in every presidential campaign since 1992 (mainly, or
at least nominally due to changes in FEC regulation), but really ramped up in and after
Pushback by states has decreased over time, as state party executive directors are now
almost always (even in off-cycle years) routed in from DC, instead of staffing from the local
pool of operatives.
One of the important impacts is on state legislatures. Gutted of necessary funding, and
discouraged (and sometimes contractually inhibited) from soliciting further funds on the
national level, state parties have little left in their coffers to support their legislative
candidates and committees (and forget about the bottom of the ticket).
So this kind of money hoovering is a significant factor in the national net loss of Dem
seats in state houses in non-"battleground" states.
During oral arguments in McCutcheon v. FEC three years ago, Justice Samuel Alito
dismissed the Campaign Legal Center's
analysis showing how, absent limits on the total amount that donors could give to
multiple political committees, candidates could use joint fundraising schemes to raise
huge, potentially corrupting contributions.
These scenarios, Justice Alito claimed, are "wild hypotheticals that are not obviously
plausible." Hillary Clinton, though, is proving that the Campaign Legal Center was right all
I'm not at all a campaign finance expert. Perhaps readers will weigh in?
As we know, the Citizens United Supreme Court decision allows corporations, individuals
and labor unions to make unlimited contributions to independent organizations that use the
money to support or defeat a candidate. Rules prohibit coordination between a candidate committee and an individual or
organization making "independent expenditures."
Clearly this was not the arrangement between the HVF, State Democratic Central Committees
participating in the PAC and the DNC. Hillary was pulling the strings at the DNC. But I'm just now appreciating that the Hillary Victory Fund is not a Super PAC.
Joint fundraising is fundraising conducted jointly by a political committee and one or
more other political committees or unregistered organizations. Joint fundraising rules
Party organizations not registered as political committees;
Federal and/or nonfederal candidate committees;
Nonparty, unauthorized political committees (nonconnected PACs); and
Unregistered nonparty organizations. 11 CFR 102.17(a)(1)(i) and (2).
The HVF was the first joint fundraising committee between a presidential candidate and the
Democratic party since the 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision McCutcheon v FEC. A horrible
precedent at that!
McCutcheon declared a total limit on how much an individual can give federal candidates
and parties in a two-year cycle unconstitutional. Chief Justice Roberts opined, "The existing
aggregate limits may in fact encourage the movement of money away from entities subject to
The HVF demonstrates how rechanneling dark money from super PACs toward candidates and
parties doesn't stop unethical and undemocratic processes.
That the HVF was needed to balance the Obama debt is one thing. That the HVF can pass
through money from State committees to the DNC and then coordinate activities there while
passing off as a joint fundraising committee is another thing.
The rechanneling of hundreds of millions of dollars donated by rich D elites to bypass
individual contribution limits was a brilliant financial engineering feat–one that the
Rs will surely emulate.
Before conducting a joint fundraiser, all participants must enter into a written
agreement that identifies the JFR and states the allocation formula -- the amount or
percentage that the participants agree to use for allocating proceeds and expenses. 11 CFR
What was the allocation formula of the joint fundraising committee?
As the HVF fairy tale plays out, Clinton is the witch who lures Hansel and Gretel to the
forest with a castle of confections, with the intention to eat them.
Are Democrats capable of outsmarting the witches that want to cannibalize the party?
Thanks Lambert for this. As usual, you have seen around corners and cleared the mud from
the water. Thank God you like crawling through this sh*t, so that I at least don't have
Our local radio host Warren Olney, on KCRW who started his show "To The Point" (which is
syndicated nationally on Public Radio International) during the 2000 Bush v Gore Supreme
Court crowning of Bush fiasco is doing a week long retrospective of the disintegration of
Americans' faith in "our" institutions (ha!) before he goes to a once a week podcast.
I have listened to him for 17 years and I don't know how he could stomach covering U.S.
society, politics, and culture during those years of non-ending sh*t show. He was fair to all
guests including some right wing loonies, but you never got the feeling he was going for
"balance." He always seemed to get the truth. Gonna sorely miss him.
So glad you are still on the case, and loving it. You have my gratitude, and soon, a
As far as relitigating the primary goes, we should've had that fight back, if not in 2000,
then definitely in 2004. After Team Clinton, people who justified their sellouts and perfidy
with 'we must never have another McGovern or Carter', gave the GOP a gift of a unified
government that should have been the permanent end of their credibility. Because while
McGovern, Carter, and Mondale went down in flames they didn't so thoroughly destroy the
anti-reactionary institutions as badly as the Third Way did.
The endless 2016 primary is our punishment for giving these centrist vipers a second
I appreciate Lambert going through these documents and laying out the timeline. One of the
things that this read sparked for me was the realization the Joe Biden was elbowed out just
as much as Bernie Sanders. I didn't follow the Biden decision-making process at the time but
checking back on the timeline it seems like Clinton pre-empted any attempt by dear old Joe to
actually decide to run. Correct me if I'm wrong (as I may well be. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Biden#2016_presidential_race
The bottom line is that the political system is owned by the ruling oligarchy and that the
Democratic Establishment is in bed with them. If a serious candidate from the left poses a
challenge, they will rig the Primary against that candidate.
The Democratic Establishment is pretty much paid to lose and to make the consultant class
rich. Equally as importantly, they exist to co-opt the left.
Sure there are a few voices talking that make sense like Tulsi Gabbard. They are the
exception to a very corrupt party.
A big part of why the middle class has declined is because of the total betrayal of the
Democratic Party from the ideas behind the New Deal.
The DNC got into the position of selling themselves to the Clintons as they were $20
million in debt, right? I have read that the major reason for these debts was that the DNC
had not shrunk itself since the last campaign and was paying out a ton of money for
consultants doing Christ knows what. In fact, Obama also used the DNC to support a stack of
his consultants as well as grifters gotta grift, right?
My question is whether this was a deliberate ploy on Obama and the Clinton factions to put
the DNC into such a vulnerable position before 2016 came along that when the time came, they
had to take up an offer that they could not refuse. I have not heard if Obama has made any
comments on this fiasco that took place on his watch and it seems nobody wants to call him
out on it. In the Brazile case, it is not a matter of following the money but following the
lack of money.
"Both sides in the Democratic Party's current faction fight, as I see it, are in denial
about the true nature and scope of the problem
"Both responses are essentially utopian: They rest on the premise that the Democratic Party
is still a functioning political organization and that the United States is still a
Thanks. This was plain and simple money laundering to get around the Federal Election
Commission rules and regulations. That no one has been brought to justice shows how corrupt
the American political process is. It would great if you could post how you would reform it.
I would start with paper ballots counted in public and halt corporations from buying
If I understand the law correctly, this really wasn't money laundering, since laundered
money becomes dirty by virtue of its being the result of a crime (like drug dealers
depositing cash at HSBC (IIRC)). Handling money in a complex and obfuscated way is not, in itself, money laundering. I'm
not sure what the word is, though.
Violating campaign laws is a crime. Circumventing can often be shown to be violating. Need
a prosecutor willing to prosecute white collar crime, a rare breed for at least the last
But trump has been attacked by Clintons, and he has DOJ but nothing is happening.
Some very good points are made here. Carping about the inequities of the Democrat Party
establishment isn't going to change their behaviour. Too much lucre. One needs to change the
people running the party. From the ground up and with concrete regulatory features. Full
However, one might look to the UK Labour party to see how it reacted when J. Corbyn, a
lifelong member and activist, became leader of the party through grandee miscalculation. The
Thatcherist Blairites went ballastic and basically decided to destroy the party rather than
let a fairly mild democratic socialist offer an alternative to their beloved neoliberal
economic policies. Too much lucre. They almost destroyed Labour in Scotland and were intent
on defenestrating Labour in England, whilst retaining some feeble structure as a mock
substitute, so that the Tories would, in fact, become the one and only alternative.
The forces aligned against the democratic tendencies of ordinary citizens are formidable
and reach into every nook and cranny of our lives. They have the money, technological reach
and hence the power of capital and its persuasive abilities.
i dont think a campaign had owned the dnc like that before. i think it had nothing to do
with hilary being a good team player, and everything to do with money and juicy
consulting/lobbying jobs. and pointing this out is not "sulking". know your enemy, and don't
excuse their crimes and predations by an argument that "that's just the way things are".
I am a Bernie supporter. He was pushed to the side by the Dem's – a party to which I
belonged for forty years – in a total panic when it was shown to the Dem's that Bernie
was able to reach disaffected party members as myself by raising a large amount of money
through individual small donors.
That Bernie accomplished this feat was a huge factor, IMO, in why and how my former party
felt it necessary to malign and derail Bernie and his supporters before, during and after the
Democratic -meh – Nominating Convention.
The Dem's should have just named the Hillary for America Fund the Hillary for Hillary
Hillary cares only for and about Hillary. She's the reason Trump is POTUS today.
My family has been Democrat for many generations. Most of my family members have,
unfortunately, BTFD on this one. I used to find them to be reasonable folk. Trump derangement
syndrome has infected them all. This is a common complaint these days.
Forgot to thank Lambert for all of his great care and hard work in putting this together
for us. Thank you, Lambert.
In Brazile's account I do believe I remember reading that my home state, CA, did not sign off
on the agreement with regard to the HFV fund. But I seem to remember that Naked Capitalism,
or perhaps in the commentariat here, did state that the Dem's here in CA were in an uproar
over Hillary Victory Fund taking all of the state party monies. Am I having a flashback or
did I actually remember this wrong? Anyone know?
I thought the most interesting thing about Brazile's comments to date was that Obama left
the DNC indebted and therefore more vulnerable to the highest bidder. Not easy to bail that
out on $27 donations. So typical of these Goldmanite administrations, this use of finance as
a political weapon.
Presstitutes from guardian have no shame. Look, for example, at the following statement "The former
Clinton staffers – among them high-profile figures such as Huma Abedin, Jennifer Palmieri and campaign
manager Robby Mook, the target of stringent criticism from Brazile – wrote: "It is particularly troubling
and puzzling that she would seemingly buy into false Russian-fueled propaganda, spread by both the Russians
our opponent , about our candidate's health."
It is widely suspected that Hillary Clinton has second stage
of Parkinson or some other serious neurological diseases?
It is telling that Guardian is afraid to open comments on this article.
"... Regarding the primary, in which Sanders – a Vermont independent – mounted a surprisingly strong challenge, Brazile writes in her book that a joint fundraising agreement between Clinton and the DNC "looked unethical" and she felt Clinton had too much influence on the party. ..."
She also said she "got sick and tired of people trying to tell me how to spend money" as DNC chair,
when she "wasn't getting a salary. I was basically volunteering my time".
"I'm not Patsey the slave," Brazile said, referring to a character in the Oscar-winning film 12
Years a Slave.
In her book, Brazile writes that she did not ultimately try to make the change of candidate because:
"I thought of Hillary, and all the women in the country who were so proud of and excited about her.
I could not do this to them."
On ABC, she admitted she had not had the power to make the change but said: "I had to put in on
the the table because I was under tremendous pressure after Secretary Clinton fainted to have a quote-unquote
plan B. I didn't want a plan B. Plan A was great for me. I supported Hillary and I wanted her to
win. But we were under pressure."
Brazile writes that on 12 September 2016, Biden's chief of staff called saying the vice-president
wanted to speak with her. Her thought, she writes, was: "Gee, I wonder what he wanted to talk to
On ABC, she said she did not mention the possible switch. "I mean, look, everybody was called
in to see, do you know anything? How is she doing? And of course my job at the time was to reassure
people, not just the vice-president but also reassure the Democratic party, the members of the party,
that Hillary was doing fine and that she would resume her campaign the following week."
It is unclear if Biden was ever willing to step into the race. The former vice-president, who
many believe could a run for the presidency in 2020, made no immediate comment.
Asked if she still thinks a Biden-Booker ticket could have won, Brazile equivocated, saying: "Well,
you know, I had a lot of other combinations. This was something you play out in your mind."
Regarding the primary, in which Sanders – a Vermont independent – mounted a surprisingly strong
challenge, Brazile writes in her book that a joint fundraising agreement between Clinton and the
DNC "looked unethical" and she felt Clinton had too much influence on the party.
"... the DNC agreed to let the Clinton campaign control the party's finances, strategy, donations, and staffing decisions in exchange for the Clinton campaign's financial help. ..."
"... At a time when many people and many voices are calling for unity within the Democratic party, it was really disturbing to see that there was kind of a purge of party officials from both the at large committee, as well as the executive committee within the DNC. That really had one common thread of the people who were booted out of those seats that they had held. Some for decades. The commonality was that these were people who had either supported Bernie Sanders for president or supported Keith Ellison for DNC chair, or both. ..."
"... Getting rid of the non democratic superdelegates who make up one third of all of the votes cast that a nominee needs to secure the nomination, and to secure open or same day registration primaries so that again, open the doors. Let's let everybody in and get involved in the process. ..."
"... In Roger Stone's book, The Making of the President 2016 ..."
"... Every piece of what we've learned so far, unfolding over months, is as bad as or worse than we had thought: The DNC works to engineer a Clinton/Trump match-up, the combination most likely to assure a Democratic loss . It vehemently denies that it is tilted favorably toward Clinton -- which turns out to be true, in a technical sense, because it is controlled by Clinton. ..."
"... Debbie will be the sacrificial lamb. Still waiting for anyone in the mainstream to publish the name "Awan". ..."
"... she's put her money where her mouth is numerous times now, beginning with leaving the DNC in protest over its unethical practices ..."
News Network interview , Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) responds to former interim chair
Donna Brazile's revelation that the Clinton campaign had effective control of the DNC. Gabbard
was a vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee until February 28, 2016, when she
resigned to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Primary.
AARON MATÉ: It's The Real News. I'm Aaron Maté. During the 2016 Democratic
primary, supporters of Bernie Sanders complained that the Democratic National Committee was
plagued by internal corruption, and rigging the nomination for Hillary Clinton. Well today, the
former interim chair of the DNC has come out to say exactly that. Writing for Politico, Donna
Brazile details a scheme wherein the Clinton campaign effectively took over the DNC. Facing a
major funding shortfall, the DNC agreed to let the Clinton campaign control the party's
finances, strategy, donations, and staffing decisions in exchange for the Clinton campaign's
But, this did not happen after Clinton became the nominee. In fact, this agreement was made
in August 2015, months before a single primary vote was cast. Among many things, this meant
that the DNC was able to act as a money laundering operation for the Clinton campaign. Tens of
millions of dollars in donations to state democrats across the country ultimately was kicked
back to Clinton headquarters in Brooklyn, well, earlier I spoke to someone who has been a
prominent vocal critic of the DNC process from the start. Congressmember Tulsi Gabbard
represents Hawaii's second congressional district. She was vice chair of the DNC until February
2016 when she resigned to endorse senator Bernie Sanders. I spoke to her about Donna Brazil's
revelations. Congressmember Gabbard, welcome. Your response, what we've heard from Donna
TULSI GABBARD: I was not surprised to read what she was detailing in what was printed today.
This was something that when I was vice chair of the DNC I didn't have knowledge of the
details, but it was something that some folks were actually talking about and were concerned
about at that time
AARON MATÉ: I want to quote more from Donna Brazile. She writes "If the fight had
been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which
one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the
party's integrity." She's referring especially to this financial arrangement in which the
Clinton camp gives the DNC money but in exchange, the DNC hands over control of basically every
single decision. Your thoughts on that? Were you surprised by her revelation?
TULSI GABBARD: Again, this is not something I wasn't privy to the inner workings of how
these decisions were made, because at that time the decisions were really ultimately coming
from the chair of the DNC. But I had heard some concerns from folks from different state
parties actually. Executive directors and chairs and people who were involved in the grassroots
organizing and trying to again increase involvement in the process. Their concerns around this
joint fundraising agreement that Donna Brazile talked about in her article and her book was
that the funds that were being raised through this agreement were not actually benefiting the
party, but they were kind of being used as a pass through for lack of a better word. Their
concerns again were about getting more support for the work that parties do on the ground and
grassroots organizing. Turning out the vote, going and knocking on doors. Doing all the things
that happened on the ground in states all across the country. Again, this was not something
that I was terribly surprised by in reading that Donna detailed, but it's something that hasn't
been laid out in the way that she has in this way.
AARON MATÉ: Yeah. She provides a figure when it comes to the money element. She says
that of $82 million that was raised in state fundraisers, less than half of 1%, half of 1% got
to go to the state parties, and said the rest went back to Brooklyn for the Clinton campaign.
What kind of difference do you think that made on the election outcome when it comes to
democratic efforts at the state level?
TULSI GABBARD: It's hard to say. I can't exactly quantify that. But I do know that some of
the state party officials who I had spoken to at different times during the campaign had
actually expressed these concerns and decided not to sign onto this joint fundraising agreement
for that specific reason. They saw at that point, look we're not going to be used by anyone's
campaign. If you want to talk about how to help strengthen local parties, let's have that
conversation, but this was clearly not an effort in that direction.
AARON MATÉ: You recently spoke out about some more decisions by the DNC at the
national level, in terms of their staffing of key committees. Can you comment there on what you
were most upset by, and your thoughts on what should be done?
TULSI GABBARD: At a time when many people and many voices are calling for unity within the
Democratic party, it was really disturbing to see that there was kind of a purge of party
officials from both the at large committee, as well as the executive committee within the DNC.
That really had one common thread of the people who were booted out of those seats that they
had held. Some for decades. The commonality was that these were people who had either supported
Bernie Sanders for president or supported Keith Ellison for DNC chair, or both. If the message
is that we're going to get rid of people who may have dissenting opinions, or may be calling
for different kinds of reform or retaliating for positions that they've taken this is not the
direction that the democratic party should be going in. The democratic party should be going in
the direction of openness, inclusiveness, transparency, accountability, which is why I've been
calling for two major but very basic kinds of reform. Getting rid of the non democratic superdelegates who make up one third of all of the votes cast that a nominee needs to secure
the nomination, and to secure open or same day registration primaries so that again, open the
doors. Let's let everybody in and get involved in the process.
Yep. Here in Maine, where the state party was part of the Victory Fund kick-back scheme,
Trump ended up winning one of the state's electoral votes (Maine allows splitting by
congressional district) -- the first time a Republican took a Maine electoral vote since
The link at the FEC was dated 9/16/15 and shows only 32 states and the Democratic Party of
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Open Secrets shows 38 states eventually signed on to the Hillary Victory Fund shows 38
states (Iowa, NJ, Del, KS, NM and SD added), with each participating state a "beneficiary" of
around $3M. Nada to the Democratic Party of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. https://www.opensecrets.org/jfc/summary.php?id=C00586537
Incidentally, I was not able to track these funds at the Oregon Secretary of State with
Orestar, the online tool to search campaign finances. As I looked closely at the filings, it
appears the FEC requires expenditures by (not contributions to) the Democratic Party of
Oregon to federal political committees be recorded. I only see ~$275K contributed back
(aggregated expenditures) to "Democratic Party of Oregon Federal Account" and "Democratic
Party of Oregon Forward Oregon Transfer Down Acct." in the 2015 and 2016 calendar years
(though an additional $123,404.48 has gone to Democratic Party of Oregon Federal Account in
So for Wisconsin at least, it is not true that the state party made anything (even half of
1 percent) from the "joint" fundraising. Clinton took all but $4700 of the proceeds AND took
another $282,000 from the state party.
At first, I didn't think that he was anything more than your classic identity politician.
Then I needed constituent service. Matter of fact, I needed it a couple of times. Let me tell
you, his staff aced it. They were that good.
As far as I am concerned, Raul has my vote for as long as he wants to stay in office.
Finally one shoe has dropped. The second one about to drop is that the DNC emails were not
hacked by Russia in any capacity, directly or indirectly by the Kremlin, whatever. They were
most probably leaked. HRC started the Russia hysteria when she called President Trump a
pupped of Putin in one of the debates. This is only one small example of her manipulative
Every piece of what we've learned so far, unfolding over months, is as bad as or
worse than we had thought: The DNC works to engineer a Clinton/Trump match-up, the
combination most likely to assure a Democratic loss . It vehemently denies
that it is tilted favorably toward Clinton -- which turns out to be true, in a technical
sense, because it is controlled by Clinton.
The establishment Democrats accuse
Sanders of not working for down-ballot Democrats while the DNC is siphoning money from the
states to help Clinton's campaign. "Maintaining ties to Wall Street makes economic
sense for Democrats and keeps their coffers full," one "pollster and senior political adviser
to President Bill Clinton from 1994 to 2000" helpfully assures us two weeks ago in the NYT , except when it
doesn't, such as when Donna Brazile discovers, to her horror, that the party is, fact, broke,
probably due, in no small part, to paying consultants -- like the one writing in the
Times -- whose expertise has led the
decimation of the party. (And, on top of all that, the DNC, professing "unity," purges
long-time members who supported Bernie Sander or Keith Ellison and appoints anti-minimum wage
lobbyist Dan Halpern to the Finance Committee.)
Every part of the story turns out to be a colossal train wreck -- and all this
from establishment/élite types who spent the entire campaign season reminding everyone
else that they knew what was realistic, pragmatic, achievable, so on and so forth.
It's unreal, really.
" but it was something that some folks were actually talking about and were concerned
about at that time"
Why does this remind me of Harvey Weinstein?
its like deja vu or something
To be fair to Rep. Gabbard, the excerpt published by Ms. Brazile clearly indicates that
Rep. Wasserman-Shulz (DWS) was not keeping the rest of the DNC leadership fully informed of
relevant business and financial arrangements.
If Brazile's account is accurate, the question arises, why did the DNC board tolerate that
situation for so long, given their legal responsibilities? Given the anomalous behavior by
DWS, you have to wonder how the DNC board could have been comfortable in their roles, and why
action wasn't taken against DWS earlier. That leads one to a suspicion is that there was an
outside force supporting (controlling?) DWS and intimidating the others.
Ah yes, but Brazile's account is a self-serving CYA attempt to get ahead of a story that
was obvious as it was happening to anyone paying attention 18 months ago. Notice no mention
of passing debate questions from CNN to Clinton ahead of time. It undercuts your "bombshell"
if you have to say "it was rigged and I helped"
Debbie will be the sacrificial lamb. Still waiting for anyone in the mainstream to publish
the name "Awan".
Nearly a year after the Nov 2016 general election, this issue is finally beginning to be
elevated. Senator Elizabeth Warren also responded affirmatively to a question about whether
some primary elections were rigged against Sanders on PBS Newshour yesterday evening.
Somewhat related in terms of the scramble to get ahead of the Den estab breakdown: In an interesting coincidence the recent meeting of the AFL-CIO saw labor leaders say it's
time to stop automatically giving Dems support.
"The time has passed when we can passively settle for the lesser of two evils," reads
the main political resolution passed Tuesday by delegates. Lee Saunders, chair of the
AFL-CIO's political committee and president of AFSCME (link is external), and Randi
Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (link is external), introduced
the resolution. They lead the labor federation's two largest unions. Convention managers
yoked the resolution to another measure it also approved discussing a labor party, though not
by name. "
Many AFT members were very unhappy (understatement) when Weingarten announced support for
Hillary without first polling members. AFT lost a lot of members over that. I'm not sure this
isn't a PR scramble by labor leaders to keep their jobs, instead of any real change in
outlook. But it's an interesting data point about the current state-of-play.
AFT member here. I was livid about the sham endorsement "process" that happened; it was
rushed through, months before the first contest, with absolutely no consultation from the
rank and file. Weingarten's infamous text messages about the National Nurses Union basically solidified
for me that she's nothing but pond scum. She's not a teacher, she's an attorney. And clearly,
not a very clever one, at that. I am obligated to be an AFT member, and if I were only to
become a "partial" member I'd still be paying about 88% of the dues anyway. I still support
my AFT local.
The national AFT and its pathetic misleadership can go to hell.
If it's any consolation, your situation appears to be the norm with the long-established
unions. Their clearly-stated bias aside, the World Socialist Web Site covers labor disputes
and has shown over and over that the mainstream unions have sold their rank-and-file out.
Ironically, just this week I read where an activist group has done some major housecleaning
at the Teamsters -- and it only took them 41 years.
During the primary, the outrage among SEIU members when their Fearless Leader not only
announced for HRC but tried to pretend it was "what our people want" by posting to Facebook
photos of a half-dozen blue-shirted members heading out to knock on doors. It didn't go over
Did Senator Warren admit that her refusal to endorse Bernie was bought by the Hillary
Victory Fund? In other words, does this indicate that the great fighter against Wall Street
corruption was bought off by Wall Street?
Was Massachusetts one of the participating states? She wouldn't have made any friends
there exposing the money-laundering, if so. And had Clinton beaten the odds and won, she
would have been toast, especially given she has a huge target on her back painted by the GOP.
The Clintons notoriously hold grudges, and have long memories.
The Margot Kidder piece in Counterpunch linked to in Montanamaven's
comment lists 31 of the 33 participating states. Massachusetts is one of them. (It's not
clear which are the other two states or why they aren't listed.)
I remember reading these things back then, and trying to forward them to HillBots I knew.
Without exception I was poo-poo'ed as a
I'd love to say 'I told you so' to those peeps, but most of them are now fully occupied
looking under their beds for Russkis. :/
Not that I know Joseph Cannon, but check out his Cannonfire site .hysteric hysteria, deny,
RUSSKIS!, Brazile is a liar!!!, deny again, MORE RUUUUSSSKKKIIIIS!!!
to me it seems to be the 'I'm With Her' version of a Trumpsters pizzagate rantings .I
dunno, maybe I am missing something and my brain has already been washed and taken over by
Cyrillic Control Mechanisms
I read about this on Politico yesterday. Donna Brazile? This is the lady who leaked debate
topics to Clinton and was fired from CNN, right? It makes you wonder why she is writing about
this now. Opportunism in order to sell books? Revenge on Clinton? Or does she sense the wind
changing direction in the Democratic party?
Personally I think Donna Brazile, via her story and book, is trying get her version out as
she probably knows the Clinton Mafia will throw her under the bus as this story is finally
getting legs..with or without Donna Brazile's revelations.
As I've noted before her name is Mud with CNN, noone wants her to be a talking head. And
Clinton can no longer shelter her. What does she have left but airing the dirty laundry and
hoping for a payout?
Donna Brazile is wrong that this was not illegal, but only unethical. The Hillary Victory
Fund was set up to evade the campaign financing laws. There is a legal limit on how much an
individual can give to a candidate. Hillary's big donors had reached those limits. She
directed her donors who had exceeded the legal limits on direct contributions to her to give
to the DNC and state parties with the agreement that those entities would funnel the money
back to her.
That would seem to me to be evidence of intent to violate the law.
RICO? Would seem the big donors had to know what they were doing as well. But then I
recall the recent lawsuit where the party claimed it could do anything and the judge
There is just no good reason for a party to operate in such a manner. Complete financial
transparency in real time whilst functioning in a democratic process among binding terms with
real membership seems to be the least people should expect.
All of which is why I am a member/participant of no party and find the process
illegitimate across the board. It really does come back to it's not just if you win or lose,
but how it's played.
" If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before
the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act
." -- Donna Brazile
I, too, beg to differ. Naturally a perp doesn't see their own twisted actions as
But the basic principle behind campaign finance laws is transparency. Both the D and R
parties receive extensive direct and in-kind government financing, such as the free primary
elections which states run on their behalf. Consequently they are obliged to provide an
accurate accounting of funds received and paid.
Does anyone think Robert "Torquemada" Mueller couldn't indict both Hillary and Donna
Brazile on a whole laundry list of federal offenses, if he were actually looking for gross
Slightly off topic: The neolib Dem estab has just discovered – much to their
surprise, no doubt – that's it's one thing to run the neoliberal economic playbook on
the deplorables, but quite another thing to run the neoliberal playbook on their own
establishment's finances and organization, each for their own personal benefit.
The judge dismissed the lawsuit because federal court wasn't, in his opinion, the proper
channel for seeking redress, not because he agreed with the DNC's assertion it wasn't
required to abide by its charter.
"But not one of them alleges that they ever read the DNC's charter or heard the statements
they now claim are false before making their donations. And not one of them alleges that they
took action in reliance on the DNC's charter or the statements identified in the First
Amended Complaint (DE 8). Absent such allegations, these Plaintiffs lack standing."
People who knew and did not speak, would they be accessories?
Knowledge of the crime
To be convicted of an accessory charge, the accused must generally be proved to have had
actual knowledge that a crime was going to be, or had been, committed. Furthermore, there
must be proof that the accessory knew that his or her action, or inaction, was helping the
criminals commit the crime, or evade detection, or escape. A person who unknowingly houses
a person who has just committed a crime, for instance, may not be charged with an accessory
offense because they did not have knowledge of the crime.
I believe you are most correct & thanks for altering the direction of the
The support for Sanders was a resonate echo of
support many of us felt for President Jimmy Carter.
How far we have traveled is well acknowledged when you see that Sanders lost.
For the purposes of the Naked Capitalism readers, who are studying how real money is
captured & used by the Jet Setter Classes, here we have a Politico so entrenched
her Unit used coercion & tricks to take for themselves all of the main tool, money,
required to make the Democratic Party a real Party.
(I refuse to see Hillary Clinton as the First Woman Nominated for the Presidency, &
consider her & her husband Bill, the Clinton Unit.)
I do chalk it up to the Clinton Unit's long & destructive influence as law makers &
breakers. What the Unit is about is clear when you look at their history in Haiti. We are to
get the leadership & economy same as the Haitians get.
The leak that in many cases there was no sincere link at all between what Clinton Unit II
said, and what she really believed & intended, meant we were to get another cipher.
"Look out kid/They keep it all hid. -Bob Dylan, comes to mind.
After Obama it is clear that the Democratic Party is and will be in the pocket of the
pirate parasites of the US Financial System.
The revolution has to take place below the jet setter classes stranglehold on who writes
the checks for what. (I'd be interested in knowing how much of whose money paid for the
Clinton Unit's Boeing.)
In the end we as a bunch of honest people who like justice in that form it takes in the
day to day demonstration of good ethical moorings, liked how Sanders got the money for his
The Clinton Unit by taking money from down ballot candidates crippled the necessary
revolution being attempted by those actually fighting to strengthen the nation.
Is there a large and notable set of organized people who vote, lining up behind Tulsi
Gabbard as the next Great Hope of the Mope (GHOTM)? Able and willing to go to the mat for
her? Trusting that she is not just another screen on which people can project their
Got to have leaders, don't we? Because most of us just go along, go along, go along But
leaders are just other flawed humans, so easy to corrupt and failing that, to remove from the
game board by other means Too bad the Occupy model, whatever that actually was/is, seems not
to work effectively, especially against the organized on the other side of the crowd-control
I don't think people learned/practiced an occupy model for the most part. Folk were
expected to bite off more than they could chew in due haste. Remember the media immediately
asking what are your demands before people could figure out wtf was going on beyond we are
the 99 percent? Establishing a new practice was of course difficult to do while wondering if
you would be busted for just being there. Like the problems with parties people just keep
rolling with what they know (top-down), hammering their familiar square peg in a round hole
– rather than attempt/establish new process.
We really have no idea what a democratic process looks like.
And also, it's not up to her, is it? That screen thing is not about what she is, it's
about what people do. On a practical level, that move that Gabbard decries -- killing off
local party organizations -- is truly a step the wrong way. Real citizens have more to do
than just project their images.
she's put her money where her mouth is numerous times now, beginning with leaving
the DNC in protest over its unethical practices
That isn't why Tulsi Gabbard resigned as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee.
She resigned because the person in that position is supposed to remain neutral in
presidential primaries, and she decided she wanted to publicly endorse Sanders.
In other words, she was following the party rules. This separates her from all those DNC
officers who stayed on board while putting their thumbs on the scale for Clinton.
In order to survive, you have to trust SOMEBODY! Whom do you trust JT? I get what you are
saying and agree 100%, but what next? I think that is the meaning of accountability. You have
to trust someone and make that trust the basis for your life. Screw me over and you are out.
Mopes are mopes because they keep placing their trust in the wrong place or for whatever
social reason, don't have an option.
The twisted logic of Margaret Thatchers now famous line-" there is no society", is a case
in point. The entire quote is,"I think we've been through a period where too many people have
been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with
it. 'I have a problem, I'll get a grant.' 'I'm homeless, the government must house me.'
They're casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society.
There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything
except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after
ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too
much in mind, without the obligations. There's no such thing as entitlement, unless someone
has first met an obligation."
Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, the champions of Neoliberalism and the recasting of
the Divine right of Kings as a means of ordering society. The Market is Supreme, the Noble
Families (Corporations and Insiders, the 10%, are in direct communion with the divine, and
the rest of us need to worship and obey. We have no power because we have not earned it. It
is a recasting of the Feudal order. But what she fails to articulate is the obligation of the
system to the people? In her ideology, there is no reciprocal obligation. The systems owes
nothing. It is a system where the powerful hold control and the subjects are held in check by
Thatcher is right for the wrong reasons. Trust starts with the family and successful,
healthy families have a better chance of surviving over time due to the natural support they
provide. But she takes for granted, or is totally blinded by her own history. The Feudal
order failed for a reason. It breeds war and corruption. It thrived on ignorance and
violence. Offer a different vision, and the power center shifts.
Leadership is important as everyone knows. With proper leadership, much is possible.
Leadership is achieved when guided by some vision or goal. Is it any wonder why individuals
that can communicate a vision of brotherhood and solidarity are killed or marginalized by
Authoritarians? Where collectivism is shunned at every turn. How the meaning of family values
is cynically turned on its head.
Obligation is right. What is screwed up is how obligations have been distorted, and
continue to be distorted in a capitalist system. If you believe in social evolution, then the
strength of the family unit can serve as the fundamental immortal unit that provides the
basis for continued human existence. It is a buffer against the excesses of the capitalist
system. It is the source from which positive change will come. Support the family unit by
guaranteeing affordable housing, healthcare, and work. A basic income firmly grounded in
social contribution. What institutions are left that have not been corrupted by the
The problem making inroads is that the current political power still thinks this is a
game. It is not. The first duty for people who desire a better world for themselves, their
families, and their future generations need to see the obligation to protect the commons,
their families being the basic unit connected to a larger whole.
By destroying the middle class, capitalists have sown the seeds of their own destruction.
How many people are willingly going to walk into bondage? The promise of Neoliberalism is
failing and the mopes/masses know it- they live it. They just don't know where to turn. It is
a slow motion grinding into dust.
Communities are begging for relief. The organizations that need to be constructed are ones
that allow people to extend themselves out into the world and take risks, at the same time,
providing them with the assurance and concrete reality that if they fail, there is a place or
institution that will not let them perish. Capitalists buy loyalty. Individuals in their club
always fail upwards. No one is EVER left behind.
There is nothing to prevent other groups from achieving that same sense of solidarity
The most powerful aspect of the last election cycle is the eye opening role that money
plays in politics. Everyone knows the fundamental influence money has, but the false
narrative that has been acting for decades was finally turned on its head. Namely, that large
sums of money are needed to compete in the political process and only by funneling that
capital flow into the pockets of corporate entities can anything get done. Sanders campaign
proved without a doubt that self financing is possible and money alone is not enough to carry
victory. Its who controls that money, and what can be done with it, are the important
factors. Money didn't win the election for Trump, corruption did.
The lies and crookedness of the existing power structure has been laid bare and only the
completely uninformed still believe it or are directly paid off by the process. No wonder
silence and an outside forces- RUSSIA- must be deployed. There is nothing left to mask the
class warfare. This process reminds me of rats fleeing a sinking ship, and good riddance-
they all need to drown or just scatter away into obscurity.
But until those money flows can be directed towards the commons, the corruption will not
be driven out of our society. Democracy will die.
The silence and obfuscation on these important developments just highlight the crisis
capitalism, as a system, is facing and how the existing political structure is incapable of
dealing with the problem. The level of corruption is the problem, along with the extent lies
and misinformation are needed to maintain control. It is dysfunctional.
Once again, the rallying cry is for a social guarantee. A guarantee for work, healthcare,
housing, and a basic standard of living. Neoliberalism says no to all the above. Their
worldview is that there are no guarantees. Only competition where the strong prevail and the
weak perish. Boiled down once again to the fight between socialism and capitalism. Third way
politics is no longer functional. Hard choices must be made.
But what is the source of that power? Physical strength? Intellect? Mind control- the
ability to convince others? All of the above? The mind returns to social evolution. Forces
trying to maintain the status quo and counter forces seeking to alter the system. The
constant tension of forces exerting pressure until something gives. The faults and cracks are
everywhere. What holds it together is the peoples willingness to exert pressure where they
are directed to by their leadership. There is a crisis of leadership.
Finally, people are waking up to the notion that following crooks and thieves does not
make their lives better or secure. The nation needs leaders who are not cynical opportunists,
here in America and around the world. As the Trump administration makes painfully obvious,
America's standing in the world diminishes in proportion to its level of naked corruption. We
have become that which we professed we were against. The next true Revolution must be that
Scoundrels cannot run the world. Yea, I know Utopia. But if you can't dream about Utopia what
do humans have? All that comes to mind is a capitalist nightmare. ( As seen from the
Just as the Soviet Union collapsed in a breathtaking short time, the Rube Goldberg
construction that is todays capitalist system might meet the same speedy end. Just as the old
guard soviet apparatchiks held on for dear life, supporting a known failed experiment due to
their privileged position, if feels like the capitalist system is headed for a similar fate.
A quick, catastrophic failure instead of a slow, incremental adjustment. A failure brought
about form outside forces and the system not being able to deal or cope.
Donna Brazile can now make money revealing how she and the Democratic party screwed over
working people in this country and lied to the constituency she was supposed to serve. If
this helps people understand how they are fundamentally mislead, if only indirectly and
unintended, all the better. Its NOT about the money alone, it shows what the cynical
manipulation of money makes you become.
Re "Once again, the rallying cry is for a social guarantee. A guarantee for work,
healthcare, housing, and a basic standard of living. Neoliberalism says no to all the above.
Their worldview is that there are no guarantees. Only competition where the strong prevail
and the weak perish."
One cannot get a government controlled by special interests and large corporations to
provide social guarantees that are worth a damn and won't be corrupted. Indeed, the heart of
the problem is that the New Deal guarantees and post-Depression regulations (e.g.
Glass-Steagall), or even the earlier antitrust laws, have all been eroded.
There is a historical American worldview, not neoliberal, but also not "Third Way", in
which there are no Big Brother guarantees, yet there is strong social protection of those in
need. It contains a greater level of self-reliance, in the sense that one does not place
one's hope in corruptible governments as the solution. And yet not self-reliance, because it
trusted in neighbors to help neighbors. And it also renounces personal greed as a prime
motivator. The pioneers had this worldview – self reliance with a recognition of a
common interest, and thus a moral duty, leading to a willingness to help others, building an
entire nation, one barn raising party at a time, so that their children would have a better
I am no historian, but gut experience informs me that what you are talking about is a true
American sentiment. The desire for individual freedom struggling simultaneously to forge a
lasting social bond with your fellow countrymen. At its heart, our nation was formed in the
embrace of a contradiction. The promise of freedom connected to the chains of bondage. The
age old dilemma of the rights of the rulers over the ruled. Freedom was sought above all else
and the historical opportunity presented itself for a great experiment. Open land available
for occupation, far from a ruling power, devoid of a powerful local social force.
The delusion, and betrayal, is the fact that reconciling this contradiction is no longer
the driving force of American politics. Neoliberal ideology has short circuited the political
system- on should we say, perfected it in that the ruling elite in America never intended to
share power with the unwashed masses. With the destruction of a functioning two party system,
even the pretense cannot be upheld any longer. Without a viable opposition party, the power
of private property can do as it pleases- and is doing it.
In America, we just had lots of space to spread out into and put off the day of reckoning.
Well, that day has arrived.
You mention barn raising, but that is an Amish tradition, to my limited understanding, the
Amish rejected American culture and wished to separate themselves from the broader culture to
ensure that their values could be preserved. It is an honest attempt to live christian
values. They are a-political and want to be left alone. I can't say much for other christian
denominations other than they are connected at the hip to capitalist values. That is not
working out so well on a cognitive dissonance level.
The cooperation that you speak of is more along socialist lines. And once again on an
intuitive level, most sane and healthy human beings, this is their normal state. The default
desire is to aid a person in need or to take satisfaction from assisting your neighbor
instead of abusing them. This natural human desire is prevented from becoming embodied in a
political force because that would spell the end to individual opulence, and we can't have
that. Charity is acceptable, a natural state of care and social equality is unacceptable.
The question is can you have a secular society that is dedicated to human care? Or a
theocratic society that does not become bogged down in religious dogma. American Democracy
seemed to point in that direction but appears to have stalled out due to resistance and lack
Big Brother guarantees is code language for destroying the social responsibilities
embodied in New Deal legislation. Functioning Democracy is supposed to protect from
corruption by being able to vote the crooks out. This becomes impossible when the crooks take
control of the government and citizens are convinced that their government itself is the
problem. You have the revolving door policy that we see today. National government captured
by special interests.
Until a two-pronged attack can be instituted on a large scale- communities taking care of
one another along with demand for honest representation by the government, only small scale
resistance will be possible. Evil and hardship will prevail.
As far as a greater level of self-reliance and not placing all one's hopes in corruptible
governments I definitely think that's what the radical labor movement aimed at, a lot of
bottom up left movements do, just have limited power these days. This is fighting back to
reclaim the wealth the 1% (or 1% of the 1%) have captured.
Charity likely doesn't even work with such inequality for several reasons: Although you
can always give a dollar to a homeless person, charity fails to do that much good when almost
all of the wealth in a society is controlled by fewer and fewer people to a greater and
greater degree. A bunch of paupers can only do so much in helping each other (except in
trying to fight to reclaim the wealth from the 1% of the 1%). They can't do much else when
the very few control the businesses, the agriculture, own most of the property and use their
charity (Bill Gate's charity as it were) as a means of control (whatever little good it may
or may not also do).
" This was something that when I was vice chair of the DNC I didn't have knowledge of the
details, but it was something that some folks were actually talking about and were concerned
about at that time"
Boy, is there a big question mark hanging over THAT. Apparently she didn't respond to the
rumors by asking impertinent questions. And if the vice-chair didn't know who really owned
the joint, it was a purely ornamental office. Rather like Ellison's now.
I knew the cat was in the bag the moment nearly all of the super delegates publicly
supported Hillary Clinton before a single primary was held. (Are you listening, Sen. Shumer?)
I also knew it had to be a quid pro quo because it was obvious they were doing it for
campaign money for their re-elections. A lot of this appeared in print long before Donna
Brazile "discovered" the affirming document. This, and the way Bernie supporters were treated
at the convention, is why I will never give the DNC a penny.
Tulsi seemed a bit tongue tied on some questions in her position and not knowing what was
going on? Not credible to me.
She gets credit for quitting and endorsing Bernie, and big credit for anti war, but she does
not have history as a progressive, though moving in that direction.
Similarly Liz is no progressive irrespective of anti bank position, though similarly inching
in that direction.
Both want to move up, seem to be sensing changing winds.
If Bernie runs, who would he pick? Both usefully female, but neither brings any ev's he won't
get anyway. Tulsi brings looks and youth and she endorsed Liz better at treasury, and she
might be happy there.
Gabbard is a co-sponsor of all 4, and Jayapal is a co-sponsor of all but HR1587. I believe
you that Gabbard isn't always progressive, but she does pretty well most of the time, and
(for now) she's better than Jayapal on the very dangerous issue of antibiotic overuse.
I don't know people taking positions on things that aren't likely to pass isn't all that.
Ok if enough Dems were on board and they controlled congress or some Reps were AND they had a
president who wouldn't veto then maybe Medicare for All etc. Even getting enough Dems on
board to pass it even if they had the majority is a long way from where we are now.
However a constitutional amendment is in a whole other category of unlikely than that as
the requirement to get one passed are super majorities we are never going to see. So some of
the former may be difficult and mostly grandstanding at this point, but I really regard the
last as impossible.
Another way to take a public position is to refuse to co-sponsor high profile bills such
as these. People in the PACs notice if a member of Congress co-sponsors something that they
don't like, or if the member chooses to avoid co-sponsoring it.
Of course none of these bills will pass in the current Congress. However, it is important
to get some momentum for them so that they will have a greater chance in future Congresses,
and co-sponsorship is a way to generate some of that momentum.
HR676 has been introduced in every Congress since 2003, and this is the first Congress in
which it has gained more than 100 co-sponsors. HR1587 has also been introduced since 2003,
although it has always had a different bill number. Its number of co-sponsors has gone up and
Perhaps too many people are paying too much attention to Trump's twitter account, and not
enough attention to the wonkish reality of how bills can become laws. People need to push
their Representatives to support these bills.
DNC has long stood for Democratic National CLUB not Committee. Under Perez, I see little
evidence of movement toward a "democratic" "committee." This is not about Anti-Sanders it is
apparently about maintaining Clintonism when the electorate wants more progressivism. DNC is
pushing many of us to vote for a qualified Republican over a Clintonite Democrat. That is
very stupid – very sad.
Good laws make a good society, bad laws make a bad society. Good people make better laws
than bad people.
All people are good, but some do more bad, sure, go ahead and think of it that way.
I only get to vote for people.
"The Democrats, the longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em. I want them to
talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with
economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats." Steve Bannon
It's not often your opponent does you the favor of telling you why you are losing. I
pissed away some money on the Democrats last election (not because I liked Hillary; I just
despise Trump). What I got for my money was four or five emails a day asking for more money.
That and the ignominious, gut-wrenching loss. Many of the emails were from Donna Brazile and
almost all of them were about identity politics issues, usually tsk-tsk'ing some nasty thing
Trump said about one group or another. I remember thinking how dumb this was. They already
had the identity politics voters and getting them to turn out was going to be a ground game
play. While they sang to their choir, Trump and Bannon were out energizing an aggrieved white
middle and working class, which could have been Hillary's. Non-stop ads with Trump's ugly
face on the screens of Pennsylvania and Ohio saying "you're fired" would have been good.
Every time the Democrats waxed indignant about an identity issue, they lost some more
aggrieved white voters, who took the message as further confirmation that the Dems really
didn't care about them and their problems. Trump walked right in. Comey's timing, the
Russians, etc all mattered, but net net the Democrats gave Trump the win. The top of their
organization is full of people who seem to be better at identity politics than anything else,
except maybe backstabbing. They're crap at strategy.
I strongly encourage those who have Democratic friends and relatives to be sure that those
friends and relatives have seen the article by Donna Brazile. Don't be afraid to be a pest
(although I do recommend politeness). Many of those friends and relatives will be voting in
primaries next year, and they need to know what is happening in the Democratic party.
It doesn't just indict Hillary, although that is what gets the focus, it is a condemnation
of Obama as well for leaving the Dem party in so much debt. So Obama as well sacrificed the
Dem party for his own campaign. By slightly different means (running up debt rather than
funneling money) but to the same end. What a self-seeking bunch, to the destruction of even
their own party, the Dem top ticket has been (yea cheeto is no better, but that's it's own
DNC Bylaws state that the Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national
officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and
evenhandedness during the Democratic Party
Presidential nominating process.
Since that obviously didn't happen, I would assert that Hillary being the Democrat nominee
is null and void.
"The victory fund agreement was signed in August 2015 and widely reported during the
course of the campaign, amplifying the friction between Sanders and the DNC that had already
been fueled by disagreements over the primary debate schedule and access to the party's voter
oh well then nothing to see here, let's just go back to bashing russia.
Wasn't Brazile the one who said that while the DNC is supposed to be neutral, she was
working on behalf of Clinton over Bernie? So as we all knew, then and now, grifters gotta
grift and Brazile is no better than anyone else at the DNC who keeps failing upwards and
being rewarded for her part in the grift.
Nationalism really represent a growing threat to neoliberalism. It is clear the the rise of
nationalism was caused by the triumph of neoliberalism all over the globe. As neoliberal
ideology collapsed in 2008, thing became really interesting now. Looks like
1920th-1940th will be replayed on a new level with the USA neoliberal empire under stress from
new challengers instead of British empire.
Rumor about the death of neoliberalism are slightly exaggerated ;-). This social system still
has a lot of staying power. you need some external shock like the need of cheap oil (defined as
sustainable price of oil over $100 per barrel) to shake it again. Of some financial crisis similar
to the crisis of 2008. Currently there is still
no alternative social order that can replace it. Collapse of the USSR discredited both socialism even
of different flavors then was practiced in the USSR. National socialism would be a step back from
"... The retreat of [neo]liberalism is very visible in Asia. All Southeast Asian states have turned their backs on liberal democracy, especially Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar in the last decade. This NYT article notes that liberalism has essentially died in Japan, and that all political contests are now between what the west would consider conservatives: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/15/opinion/liberalism-japan-election.html ..."
"... What is today called "Liberalism" and "Conservatism" both are simply corrupted labels applied to the same top-down corporate-fascistic elite rule that I think Mr. Buchanan once referred to as "two wings of the same bird of prey." ..."
"... Nobody at the top cares about 'diversity.' They care about the easy profits that come from ever cheaper labor. 'Diversity' is not suicide but rather murder: instigated by a small number of very powerful people who have decided that the long-term health of their nations and civilization is less important than short-term profits and power. ..."
"... Hillary and Obama are to the right of the President that Buchanan served in his White House. Richard Nixon was to the Left of both Hillary and Obama. I can't even imagine Hillary accepting and signing into law a 'Clean Water Act' or enacting Price Controls to fight inflation. No way. Heck would freeze over before Hillary would do something so against her Banker Backers. ..."
"... It's sure that financial (neo)liberalism was in a growth phase prior to year 2000 (under Greenspan, the "Maestro") with a general belief that the economy could be "fine tuned" with risk eliminated using sophisticated financial instruments, monetary policy etc. ..."
"... If [neo] Liberalism is a package, then two heavy financial blows that shook the whole foundation were the collapse of the dot.com bubble (2000) and the mortgage bubble (2008). ..."
"... And, other (self-serving) neoliberal stories are now seen as false. For example, that the US is an "advanced post-industrial service economy", that out-sourcing would "free up Americans for higher skilled/higher wage employment" or that "the US would always gain from tariff free trade". ..."
"... The basic divide is surely Nationalism (America First) vs. Globalism (Neo-Liberalism), as shown by the last US Presidential election. ..."
"... Neoliberalism, of which the Clintons are acolytes, supports Free Trade and Open Borders. Although it claims to support World Government, in actual fact it supports corporatism. This is explicit in the TPPA Trump vetoed. Under the corporate state, the state controls the corporations, as Don Benito did in Italy. Under corporatism, the corporations tell the state what to do, as has been the case in America since at least the Clinton Presidency. ..."
"... But I recall that Pat B also said neoconservatism was on its way out a few years after Iraq war II and yet it's stronger than ever and its adherents are firmly ensconced in the joint chiefs of staff, the pentagon, Congress and the White House. It's also spawned a close cousin in liberal interventionism. ..."
Asked to name the defining attributes of the America we wish to become, many liberals would answer
that we must realize our manifest destiny since 1776, by becoming more equal, more diverse and more
democratic -- and the model for mankind's future.
Equality, diversity, democracy -- this is the holy trinity of the post-Christian secular state
at whose altars Liberal Man worships.
But the congregation worshiping these gods is shrinking. And even Europe seems to be rejecting
what America has on offer.
In a retreat from diversity, Catalonia just voted to separate from Spain. The Basque and Galician
peoples of Spain are following the Catalan secession crisis with great interest.
The right-wing People's Party and far-right Freedom Party just swept 60 percent of Austria's vote,
delivering the nation to 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, whose anti-immigrant platform was plagiarized
from the Freedom Party. Summarized it is: Austria for the Austrians!
Lombardy, whose capital is Milan, and Veneto will vote Sunday for greater autonomy from Rome.
South Tyrol (Alto Adige), severed from Austria and ceded to Italy at Versailles, written off by
Hitler to appease Mussolini after his Anschluss, is astir anew with secessionism. Even the Sicilians
are talking of separation.
By Sunday, the Czech Republic may have a new leader, billionaire Andrej Babis. Writes The Washington
Post, Babis "makes a sport of attacking the European Union and says NATO's mission is outdated."
Platform Promise: Keep the Muslim masses out of the motherland.
To ethnonationalists, their countrymen are not equal to all others, but superior in rights. Many
may nod at Thomas Jefferson's line that "All men are created equal," but they no more practice that
in their own nations than did Jefferson in his
... ... ...
European peoples and parties are today using democratic means to achieve "illiberal" ends. And
it is hard to see what halts the drift away from liberal democracy toward the restrictive right.
For in virtually every nation, there is a major party in opposition, or a party in power, that holds
deeply nationalist views.
European elites may denounce these new parties as "illiberal" or fascist, but it is becoming apparent
that it may be liberalism itself that belongs to yesterday. For more and more Europeans see the invasion
of the continent along the routes whence the invaders came centuries ago, not as a manageable problem
but an existential crisis.
To many Europeans, it portends an irreversible alteration in the character of the countries their
grandchildren will inherit, and possibly an end to their civilization. And they are not going to
be deterred from voting their fears by being called names that long ago lost their toxicity from
And as Europeans decline to celebrate the racial, ethnic, creedal and cultural diversity extolled
by American elites, they also seem to reject the idea that foreigners should be treated equally in
nations created for their own kind.
Europeans seem to admire more, and model their nations more, along the lines of the less diverse
America of the Eisenhower era, than on the polyglot America of 2017.
And Europe seems to be moving toward immigration polices more like the McCarran-Walter Act of
1950 than the open borders bill that Sen. Edward Kennedy shepherded through the Senate in 1965.
Kennedy promised that the racial and ethnic composition of the America of the 1960s would not
be overturned, and he questioned the morality and motives of any who implied that it would.
Liberalism is the naivete of 18th century elites, no different than today. Modernity as you
know it is unsustainable, mostly because equality isn't real, identity has value for most humans,
pluralism is by definition fractious, and deep down most people wish to follow a wise strongman
leader who represents their interests first and not a vague set of universalist values.
Blind devotion to liberal democracy is another one of those times when white people take an
abstract concept to weird extremes. It is short-sighted and autistically narrow minded. Just because
you have an oppressive king doesn't mean everyone should be equals. Just because there was slavery/genocide
doesn't mean diversity is good.
The retreat of [neo]liberalism is very visible in Asia. All Southeast Asian states have turned their
backs on liberal democracy, especially Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar in the last decade.
This NYT article notes that liberalism has essentially died in Japan, and that all political contests
are now between what the west would consider conservatives:
Good riddance. The idea that egalitarianism is more advanced than hierarchy has always been
false, and flies against the long arc of history. Time for nationalists around the world to smash
liberal democracy and build a new modernity based on actual humanism, with respect to hierarchies
and the primacy of majorities instead of guilt and pathological compassion dressed up as political
"Liberalism" is not dying. "Liberalism" is dead, and has been since at least 1970.
What is today called "Liberalism" and "Conservatism" both are simply corrupted labels applied
to the same top-down corporate-fascistic elite rule that I think Mr. Buchanan once referred to
as "two wings of the same bird of prey."
Nobody at the top cares about 'diversity.' They care about the easy profits that come from
ever cheaper labor. 'Diversity' is not suicide but rather murder: instigated by a small number
of very powerful people who have decided that the long-term health of their nations and civilization
is less important than short-term profits and power.
Its been dead for nearly 20 years now. Liberalism has long been the Monty Python parrot nailed
to its perch. At this point, the term is mainly kept alive in right-wing attacks by people who
lack the imagination to change their habitual targets for so long.
To my eye, the last 'liberal' politician died in a susupicious plane crash in 2000 as the Bush
Republicans were taking the White House by their famous 5-4 vote/coup and also needed to claim
control of the Senate. So, the last authentic 'liberal' Senator, Paul Wellstone of MN was killed
in a suspicious plane crash that was never properly explained.
Hillary and Obama are to the right of the President that Buchanan served in his White House.
Richard Nixon was to the Left of both Hillary and Obama. I can't even imagine Hillary accepting
and signing into law a 'Clean Water Act' or enacting Price Controls to fight inflation. No way.
Heck would freeze over before Hillary would do something so against her Banker Backers.
And, at the root, that is the key. The 'Liberals' that the right now rails against are strongly
backed and supported by the Wall Street Banks and other corporate leaders. The 'Liberals' have
pushed for a government Of the Bankers, By the Bankers and For the Bankers. The 'Liberals' now
are in favor of Endless Unconstitutional War around the world.
Which can only mean that the term 'Liberal' has been so completely morphed away from its original
meanings to be completely worthless.
The last true Liberal in American politics was Paul Wellstone. And even by the time he died
for his sins, he was calling himself a "progressive" because after the Clintons and the Gores
had so distorted the term Liberal it was meaningless. Or it had come to mean a society ruled by
bankers, a society at constant war and throwing money constantly at a gigantic war machine, a
society of censorship where the government needed to control all music lyrics, the same corrupt
government where money could by anything from a night in the Lincoln Bedroom to a Presidential
Pardon or any other government favor.
Thus, 'Liberals' were a dead movement even by 2000, when the people who actually believed in
the American People over the profits of bankers were calling themselves Progressives in disgust
at the misuse of the term Liberal. And now, Obama and Hillary have trashed and distorted even
the term Progressive into bombing the world 365 days a year and still constantly throwing money
at the military machine and the problems it invents.
So, Liberalism is so long dead that if you exumed the grave you'd only find dust. And Pat must
be getting senile and just throwing back out the same lines he once wrote as a speechwriter for
the last Great Lefty President Richard Nixon.
Another question is whether this is wishful thinking from Pat or some kind of reality.
I think that he's right, that Liberalism is a dying faith, and it's interesting to check the
It's sure that financial (neo)liberalism was in a growth phase prior to year 2000 (under
Greenspan, the "Maestro") with a general belief that the economy could be "fine tuned" with risk
eliminated using sophisticated financial instruments, monetary policy etc.
If [neo] Liberalism is a package, then two heavy financial blows that shook the whole foundation
were the collapse of the dot.com bubble (2000) and the mortgage bubble (2008).
And, other (self-serving) neoliberal stories are now seen as false. For example, that the
US is an "advanced post-industrial service economy", that out-sourcing would "free up Americans
for higher skilled/higher wage employment" or that "the US would always gain from tariff free
In fact, the borderless global "world is flat" dogma is now seen as enabling a rootless hyper-rich
global elite to draw on a sea of globalized serf labour with little or no identity, while their
media and SWJ activists operate a scorched earth defense against any sign of opposition.
The basic divide is surely Nationalism (America First) vs. Globalism (Neo-Liberalism),
as shown by the last US Presidential election.
A useful analogy might be Viktor Orbán. He started out as a leader of a liberal party, Fidesz,
but then over time started moving to the right. It is often speculated that he started it for
cynical reasons, like seeing how the right was divided and that there was essentially a vacuum
there for a strong conservative party, but there's little doubt he totally internalized it. There's
also little doubt (and at the time he and a lot of his fellow party leaders talked about it a
lot) that as he (they) started a family and having children, they started to realize how conservatism
kinda made more sense than liberalism.
With Kurz, there's the possibility for this path. However, he'd need to start a family soon
for that to happen. At that age Orbán was already married with children
Neoliberalism, of which the Clintons are acolytes, supports Free Trade and Open Borders.
Although it claims to support World Government, in actual fact it supports corporatism. This is
explicit in the TPPA Trump vetoed. Under the corporate state, the state controls the corporations,
as Don Benito did in Italy. Under corporatism, the corporations tell the state what to do, as
has been the case in America since at least the Clinton Presidency.
Richard Nixon was a capitalist, not a corporatist. He was a supporter of proper competition
laws, unlike any President since Clinton. Socially, he was interventionist, though this may have
been to lessen criticism of his Vietnam policies. Anyway, his bussing and desegregation policies
were a long-term failure.
Price Control was quickly dropped, as it was in other Western countries. Long term Price Control,
as in present day Venezuela, is economically disastrous.
Let's hope liberalism is a dying faith and that is passes from the Western world. If not it will
destroy the West, so if it doesn't die a natural death then we must euthanize it. For the evidence
is in and it has begat feminism, anti-white racism, demographic winter, mass third world immigration
and everything else that ails the West and has made it the sick and dying man of the world.
But I recall that Pat B also said neoconservatism was on its way out a few years after
Iraq war II and yet it's stronger than ever and its adherents are firmly ensconced in the joint
chiefs of staff, the pentagon, Congress and the White House. It's also spawned a close cousin
in liberal interventionism.
What Pat refers to as "liberalism" is now left wing totalitarianism and anti-white hatred and
it's fanatically trying to remain relevant by lashing out and blacklisting, deplatforming, demonetizing,
and physically assaulting all of its enemies on the right who are gaining strength much to their
chagrin. They resort to these methods because they can't win an honest debate and in a true free
marketplace of ideas they lose.
Portside article about NAFTA, unions, and Canadian unions: Here is a paragraph from the
underlying article at New York Magazine about the three sponsors:
On Wednesday, Democratic senators Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, and Kirsten Gillibrand
announced their agreement -- and introduced legislation to ban "right-to-work" laws
throughout the United States.
[NY Mag article is dated 20 Sept 2017]
The sooner we collectively kill off the feudal idea of "right to work," the better. Right
now, though, we're only what -- sixty, seventy–years too late?
Why didn't Democrats pass legislation in 2009 to eliminate it?
It was one of the few policies that I could think of what would actually, you know, help
the win elections. But then I realized the the purpose of the DNC isn't actually to win
elections, it's to raise money from Wall Street, Hollywood and Silcon Valley to pay for
And it's a bad look anyway. With the basically insurmountable barriers to organizing under
the Wagner Act these days, a focus on making sure the money keeps flowing, much of it ending
up in the Ds campaign coffers. How about repealing Taft-Hartley?
Maybe unions would be better off with less bureaucracy and more member participation. Do
it like the Wobs: you come to the meeting, you pay your dues, you voice your opinion and you
They not only write themselves they've already been written and burned into the brain.
True or not, there they are. So what are you risking?
The thing is the D-time is well past the point (no House, no Senate, no Pres, vanishing
amount of Govs, vanishing amount of State leges..) where saying "That's not true!!" can be
considered a winning strategy, even if you could show me what you've won by saying it.
How about "hell yeah that's how we feel, America rocked (when we had strong labor)". Stand
up to the bully for once, again whaddya got to lose now. I often wonder what Steve Gilliard
would say at this point, he always made sure that us white people realized that something was
better than nothing when you were looking at absolutely nothing at all . but things have sunk
so low would he still feel that what has become nothing more than an orderly, but continuous
retreat should be sustained? Or is it time to dig in and really declare full throated
(like the rest of your post, just think the time to avoid things is past)
Henry Moon Pie: So? Let's repeal the Wagner Act and Taft-Hartley. And let's not pre-defeat
Just as Lambert keeps reminding us, Who would have though five years ago that the momentum
is now toward single-payer health insurance even if the current couple of bills don't pass?
For years, John Conyers carried on the fight almost single-handedly. And now we have
influential physicians stumping for single-payer.
"... With the U.S. government offering tens of millions of dollars to combat Russian "propaganda and disinformation," it's perhaps not surprising that we see "researchers" such as Jonathan Albright of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University making the absurd accusation that the Russians have "basically turned [the Internet] into a sewer." ..."
"... I've been operating on the Internet since 1995 and I can assure you that the Internet has always been "a sewer" -- in that it has been home to crazy conspiracy theories, ugly personal insults, click-bait tabloid "news," and pretty much every vile prejudice you can think of. Whatever some Russians may or may not have done in buying $100,000 in ads on Facebook (compared to its $27 billion in annual revenue) or opening 201 Twitter accounts (out of Twitter's 328 million monthly users), the Russians are not responsible for the sewage coursing through the Internet. ..."
"... Even former Clinton political strategist Mark Penn has acknowledged the absurdity of thinking that such piddling amounts could have any impact on a $2.4 billion presidential campaign, plus all the billions of dollars worth of free-media attention to the conventions, debates, etc. Based on what's known about the Facebook ads, Penn calculated that "the actual electioneering [in battleground states] amounts to about $6,500." ..."
"... In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Monday, Penn added, "I have 40 years of experience in politics, and this Russian ad buy mostly after the election anyway, simply does not add up to a carefully targeted campaign to move voters. It takes tens of millions of dollars to deliver meaningful messages to the contested portion of the electorate." ..."
"... Occasionally, the U.S. mainstream media even acknowledges that fact. For instance, last November, The New York Times, which was then flogging the Russia-linked "fake news" theme , ran a relatively responsible article about a leading "fake news" Web site that the Times tracked down. It turned out to be an entrepreneurial effort by an unemployed Georgian student using a Web site in Tbilisi to make some money by promoting pro-Trump stories, whether true or not. ..."
"... The owner of the Web site, 22-year-old Beqa Latsabidse, said he had initially tried to push stories favorable to Hillary Clinton but that proved unprofitable so he switched to publishing anti-Clinton and pro-Trump articles, including made-up stories. In other words, the Times found no Russian connection. ..."
"... But the even larger Internet problem is that many "reputable" news sites, such as AOL, lure readers into clicking on some sensationalistic or misleading headline, which takes readers to a story that is often tabloid trash or an extreme exaggeration of what the headline promised. ..."
"... This reality about the Internet should be the larger context in which the Russia-gate story plays out, the miniscule nature of this Russian "meddling" even if these "suspected links to Russia" – as the Times initially described the 470 Facebook pages – turn out to be true. ..."
"... And, there is the issue of who decides what's true. PolitiFact continues to defend its false claim that Hillary Clinton was speaking the truth when – in referencing leaked Democratic emails last October – she claimed that the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies "have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election." ..."
"... That claim was always untrue because a reference to a consensus of the 17 intelligence agencies suggests a National Intelligence Estimate or similar product that seeks the judgments of the entire intelligence community. No NIE or community-wide study was ever done on this topic. ..."
"... Only later – in January 2017 – did a small subset of the intelligence community, what Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described as "hand-picked" analysts from three agencies – the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation – issue an "assessment" blaming the Russians while acknowledging a lack of actual evidence . ..."
"... In other words, the Jan. 6 "assessment" was comparable to the "stovepiped" intelligence that influenced many of the mistaken judgments of President George W. Bush's administration. In "stovepiped" intelligence, a selected group of analysts is closeted away and develops judgments without the benefit of other experts who might offer contradictory evidence or question the groupthink. ..."
Exclusive: As the Russia-gate hysteria spirals down from the implausible to the absurd,
almost every bad thing is blamed on the Russians, even how they turned the previously pristine
Internet into a "sewer," reports Robert Parry.
With the U.S. government offering tens of
millions of dollars to combat Russian "propaganda and disinformation," it's perhaps not
surprising that we see "researchers" such as Jonathan Albright of the Tow Center for Digital
Journalism at Columbia University making the absurd accusation that the Russians have
"basically turned [the Internet] into a sewer."
I've been operating on the Internet since 1995 and I can assure you that the Internet
has always been "a sewer" -- in that it has been home to crazy conspiracy theories, ugly
personal insults, click-bait tabloid "news," and pretty much every vile prejudice you can think
of. Whatever some Russians may or may not have done in buying $100,000 in ads on Facebook
(compared to its $27 billion in annual revenue) or opening 201 Twitter accounts (out of
Twitter's 328 million monthly users), the Russians are not responsible for the sewage coursing
through the Internet.
Americans, Europeans, Asians, Africans and pretty much every other segment of the world's
population didn't need Russian help to turn the Internet into an informational "sewer." But, of
course, fairness and proportionality have no place in today's Russia-gate frenzy.
After all, your "non-governmental organization" or your scholarly "think tank" is not likely
to get a piece of
the $160 million that the U.S. government authorized last December to counter primarily
Russian "propaganda and disinformation" if you explain that the Russians are at most
responsible for a tiny trickle of "sewage" compared to the vast rivers of "sewage" coming from
many other sources.
If you put the Russia-gate controversy in context, you also are not likely to have your
cited by The Washington Post as Albright did on Thursday because he supposedly found some
links at the home-décor/fashion site Pinterest to a few articles that derived from a few
of the 470 Facebook accounts and pages that Facebook suspects of having a link to Russia and
shut them down. (To put that 470 number into perspective, Facebook has about two billion
Albright's full quote about the Russians allegedly exploiting various social media platforms
on the Internet was: "They've gone to every possible medium and basically turned it into a
But let's look at the facts. According to Facebook, the suspected "Russian-linked" accounts
purchased $100,000 in ads from 2015 to 2017 (compared to Facebook's annual revenue of about $27
billion), with only 44 percent of those ads appearing before the 2016 election and many having
little or nothing to do with politics, which is curious if the Kremlin's goal was to help elect
Donald Trump and defeat Hillary Clinton.
Even former Clinton political strategist Mark Penn has acknowledged the absurdity of
thinking that such piddling amounts could have any impact on a $2.4 billion presidential
campaign, plus all the billions of dollars worth of free-media attention to the conventions,
debates, etc. Based on what's known about the Facebook ads, Penn calculated that "the actual
electioneering [in battleground states] amounts to about $6,500."
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Monday, Penn added, "I have 40 years of experience in
politics, and this Russian ad buy mostly after the election anyway, simply does not add up to a
carefully targeted campaign to move voters. It takes tens of millions of dollars to deliver
meaningful messages to the contested portion of the electorate."
Puppies and Pokemon
And, then there is the curious content. According to The New York Times, one of these
"Russian-linked" Facebook groups was dedicated to
photos of "adorable puppies." Of course, the Times tried hard to detect some sinister
motive behind the "puppies" page.
Similarly, CNN went wild over its own
"discovery" that one of the "Russian-linked" pages offered Amazon gift cards to people who
found "Pokémon Go" sites near scenes where police shot unarmed black men -- if you would
name the Pokémon after the victims.
"It's unclear what the people behind the contest hoped to accomplish, though it may have
been to remind people living near places where these incidents had taken place of what had
happened and to upset or anger them," CNN mused, adding:
"CNN has not found any evidence that any Pokémon Go users attempted to enter the
contest, or whether any of the Amazon Gift Cards that were promised were ever awarded -- or,
indeed, whether the people who designed the contest ever had any intention of awarding the
So, these dastardly Russians are exploiting "adorable puppies" and want to "remind people"
about unarmed victims of police violence, clearly a masterful strategy to undermine American
democracy or – according to the original Russia-gate narrative – to elect Donald
A New York Times article
on Wednesday acknowledged another inconvenient truth that unintentionally added more
perspective to the Russia-gate hysteria.
It turns out that some of the mainstream media's favorite "fact-checking" organizations are
home to Google ads that look like news items and lead readers to phony sites dressed up to
resemble People, Vogue or other legitimate content providers.
"None of the stories were true," the Times reported. "Yet as recently as late last week,
they were being promoted with prominent ads served by Google on PolitiFact and Snopes,
fact-checking sites created precisely to dispel such falsehoods."
There is obvious irony in PolitiFact and Snopes profiting off "fake news" by taking money
for these Google ads. But this reality also underscores the larger reality that fabricated news
articles – whether peddling lies about Melania Trump or a hot new celebrity or outlandish
Russian plots – are driven principally by the profit motive.
The Truth About Fake News
Occasionally, the U.S. mainstream media even acknowledges that fact. For instance, last
November, The New York Times, which was then flogging the
Russia-linked "fake news" theme , ran
a relatively responsible article about a leading "fake news" Web site that the Times
tracked down. It turned out to be an entrepreneurial effort by an unemployed Georgian student
using a Web site in Tbilisi to make some money by promoting pro-Trump stories, whether true or
The owner of the Web site, 22-year-old Beqa Latsabidse, said he had initially tried to push
stories favorable to Hillary Clinton but that proved unprofitable so he switched to publishing
anti-Clinton and pro-Trump articles, including made-up stories. In other words, the Times found
no Russian connection.
The Times article on Wednesday revealed the additional problem of Google ads placed on
mainstream Internet sites leading readers to bogus news sites to get clicks and thus
advertising dollars. And, it turns out that PolitiFact and Snopes were at least unwittingly
profiting off these entrepreneurial ventures by running their ads. Again, there was no claim
here of Russian "links." It was all about good ole American greed.
But the even larger Internet problem is that many "reputable" news sites, such as AOL, lure
readers into clicking on some sensationalistic or misleading headline, which takes readers to a
story that is often tabloid trash or an extreme exaggeration of what the headline promised.
This reality about the Internet should be the larger context in which the Russia-gate story
plays out, the miniscule nature of this Russian "meddling" even if these "suspected links to
Russia" – as the Times initially described the 470 Facebook pages – turn out to be
But there are no lucrative grants going to "researchers" who would put the trickle of
alleged Russian "sewage" into the context of the vast flow of Internet "sewage" that is even
flowing through the esteemed "fact-checking" sites of PolitiFact and Snopes.
There are also higher newspaper sales and better TV ratings if the mainstream media keeps
turning up new angles on Russia-gate, even as some of the old ones fall away as inconsequential
or meaningless (such as the Senate Intelligence Committee dismissing earlier controversies over
Sen. Jeff Sessions's brief meeting with the Russian ambassador at the Mayflower Hotel and minor
changes in the Republican platform).
Saying 'False' Is 'True'
And, there is the issue of who decides what's true. PolitiFact continues to
defend its false claim that Hillary Clinton was speaking the truth when – in
referencing leaked Democratic emails last October – she claimed that the 17 U.S.
intelligence agencies "have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks,
come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our
That claim was always untrue because a reference to a consensus of the 17 intelligence
agencies suggests a National Intelligence Estimate or similar product that seeks the judgments
of the entire intelligence community. No NIE or community-wide study was ever done on this
Only later – in January 2017 – did a small subset of the intelligence
community, what Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described as
"hand-picked" analysts from three agencies – the Central Intelligence Agency,
National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation – issue an "assessment"
blaming the Russians while acknowledging
a lack of actual evidence .
In other words, the Jan. 6 "assessment" was comparable to the "stovepiped" intelligence
that influenced many of the mistaken judgments of President George W. Bush's administration. In
"stovepiped" intelligence, a selected group of analysts is closeted away and develops judgments
without the benefit of other experts who might offer contradictory evidence or question the
So, in many ways, Clinton's statement was the opposite of true both when she said it in 2016
and later in 2017 when she repeated
it in direct reference to the Jan. 6 assessment. If PolitiFact really cared about facts, it
would have corrected its earlier claim that Clinton was telling the truth, but the
fact-checking organization wouldn't budge -- even after The New York Times and The Associated
Press ran corrections.
In this context, PolitiFact showed its contempt even for conclusive evidence –
testimony from former DNI Clapper (corroborated by former CIA Director John Brennan) that the
17-agency claim was false. Instead, PolitiFact was determined to protect Clinton's false
statement from being described for what it was: false.
Of course, maybe PolitiFact is suffering from the arrogance of its elite status as an
arbiter of truth with its position on Google's First Draft coalition, a collection of
mainstream news outlets and fact-checkers which gets to decide what information is true and
what is not true -- for algorithms that then will exclude or downplay what's deemed
So, if PolitiFact says something is true – even if it's false – it becomes
"true." Thus, it's perhaps not entirely ironic that PolitiFact would collect money from Google
ads placed on its site by advertisers of fake news.
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
David G , October 18, 2017 at 5:57 pm
I bet the Russians are responsible for all the naked lady internet pictures as well. Damn
you, Vladimir Vladimirovich, for polluting our purity.
TS , October 19, 2017 at 5:43 am
Two-thirds of a century ago, Arthur C. Clarke, who besides being a famous SF author,
conceived the concept of the communications satellite, published a short story in which the
Chinese use satellite broadcasting to flood the USA with porn in order spread moral
degeneracy. Wadya think?
Mr. Mueller! Mr. Mueller! Investigate who the owners of YouPorn are!
It's all a Chinese plot, not a Russian one!
Broompilot , October 19, 2017 at 1:55 pm
I second the motion!
Antiwar7 , October 19, 2017 at 7:48 pm
"Mandrake, have you never wondered why I drink only distilled water, or rainwater, and
only pure-grain alcohol?"
richard vajs , October 20, 2017 at 7:50 am
And Vladimir keeps tempting me with offers of money that he found abandoned in Nigerian
banks and mysteriously bequeathed to me.
This sounds eerily similar to newspeak described by George Orwell "1984" in
Sam F , October 18, 2017 at 7:20 pm
The failure of Russia bashers to rank all nations on FB ads and accounts, proves that they
know they are lying. Random Russians (about 2% of the world population) may have spent 100K
on mostly apolitical ads on FB (about 0.0004%) and may have 470 accounts on FB (about
0.000025%). So Russians have far fewer FB ads and accounts per capita than the average
nation. Probably most developed nations have a higher per capita usage of FB, and many
individuals and companies may have a higher total usage of FB.
The fact that 160 million is spent to dig up phony evidence of Russian influence (totaling
about 0.13% of the investigation cost), proves that such "researchers" are paid liars; they
are the ones who should be prosecuted for subversion of democracy for personal gain.
The fact that all views may be found on internet does not make it a "sewer" because one
can view only what is useful. The Dems and Repubs regard the People as a sewer, because they
believe that power=virtue=money no matter how unethically they get it, to rationalize
oligarchy. They keep the most abusive and implausible ads out of mass media only because no
advertiser wants them, but of course they don't want the truth either.
JWalters , October 18, 2017 at 9:03 pm
Add MSNBC to the sources of sewage on the internet. I checked out MSNBC today, and they
are full-throttle on any kind of Russia-phobia. For those who read somewhat widely, it is
obvious they are not even trying to present a balanced picture of the actual evidence. It is
completely one-sided, and includes the trashiest trash of that one side. Their absolute lack
of integrity matches Fox on its worst days.
As someone who formerly watched MSNBC regularly, I am sickened at the obvious capituation
to the criminal Zionists who own the network. Have these people no decency? Apparently not.
Historians will judge them harshly.
Dave P. , October 19, 2017 at 11:28 am
Yes. I completely agree with you. I am beginning to wonder if these people who are
spitting out this trashiest trash at MSNBC from their mouths every day for over a year now
are really sane people. I believe that along with politicians like Adam Schiff, these talk
show hosts have slid into complete madness. The way it is going now, I am afraid that If
these people are not removed, there is a danger of the whole country sliding into some form
anonymous , October 20, 2017 at 2:12 pm
"Historians will judge them harshly."
The western civilisation galloped to worldly success on the twin horses of Greed and
Psychopathy. This also provided them the opportunity to write history as they wished.
Are historians judging them harshly now? They are themselves whores to whichever society
they belong to.
Anna , October 19, 2017 at 5:32 pm
Jonathan Albright, the Research Director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism,
email@example.com . https://towcenter.org/about/who-we-are/
Mr. Albright is preparing for himself a feathered nest among other presstitutes swarming the
many ziocons' "think tanks," like the viciously russophobic (and unprofessional) Atlantic
Council that employs the ignoramus Eliot Higgins (a former salesman of ladies' underwear and
college dropout) and Dmitry Alperovitch of CrowdStrike fame, a Russophobe and threat to the
US national security
One can be sure that Jonathan Albright knows already all the answers (similar to Judy Miller)
and he is not interested in any proven expertise like the one provided by the Veteran
Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russia-hack-evidence/
Can anyone out there please supply me with a couple of Russian hit pieces that crippled
Hillary´s campaigne. Just askin, because I have never seen one.
Michael K Rohde , October 18, 2017 at 8:29 pm
You obviously haven't looked hard enough. I just finished the book "Shattered" and she had
no problem blaming the Russians when the emails of Podesta came out in the summer. It took
her a day or 2 to figure out that she couldn't blame the Arabs so the Russians were next up.
How could you have missed it?
Sam F , October 18, 2017 at 9:38 pm
He is likely asking for ads from Russia that actually could have served as "hit pieces"
against Clinton, versus her accusations.
I fear we must set aside our sarcasm and understand that this entire Russian narrative has
the ultimate goal of silencing any oppositional news sources to the corporate media. When we
hear that Facebook is seeking to hire people with national security clearances, which is made
to sound as if it's a good, responsible reaction to the "Russian ads" and is cheered on by
people who should know better, we need to get our tongues out of our cheeks and stay
A good friend, who is an activist battling the fracking industry in Colorado and blogging
about it, was urging people this week to sign petitions demanding more censorship on Facebook
to "prevent Russian propaganda." When I pointed out that, based on the Jan. 6 "report," which
condemned RT America for "criticizing the fracking industry" as proof it was a propaganda
organ, her blog is Russian propaganda. Did that change her mind? Nope. Her response was in
the category of "Better safe."
So, it appears Russia is not replacing "Muslim terrorists" as the "great danger" our
beloved and benevolent government must ask us to hand over our rights to combat. And people
who can't seem to get it through their heads the government is NOT their friend are marching
in lock-step to agree because it never occurs to them they, too, are a target.
Sam F , October 18, 2017 at 7:39 pm
Yes, the purpose of Russia bashing is to distract from the revelations of DNC corruption
by oligarchy (top ten Clinton donors all zionists), attack leakers as opponents of oligarchy,
and attack Russia in hope of benefits to the zionists in the Mideast.
Perhaps you meant to say that "Russia is [not] replacing "Muslim terrorists" as the 'great
danger' our beloved and benevolent government must ask us to hand over our rights to combat."
Or perhaps you meant that the Russia-gate gambit is not working.
Abe , October 18, 2017 at 8:32 pm
American psychologist Gustave Gilbert interviewed high-ranking Nazi leaders during the
International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. In 1947, Gilbert published part of his diary,
consisting of observations taken during interviews, interrogations, "eavesdropping" and
conversations with German prisoners, under the title Nuremberg Diary.
Hermann Goering, one of the most powerful figures in the Nazi Party, was founder of the
Gestapo and Head of the Luftwaffe.
From an 18 April 1946 interview with Gilbert in Goering's jail cell:
Hermann Goering: "Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a
farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back
to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor
in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after
all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple
matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a
Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."
Gilbert: "There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter
through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare
Hermann Goering: "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can
always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell
them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing
the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
Dave P. , October 19, 2017 at 12:44 am
Good post. Yes, from all the wars initiated during the last half century what Hermann
Goring said is very true of U.S. The opposition to the Vietnam War later on was largely
because of the draft.
Bertrand Russell in his autobiography describes in length how they prepared the U.K.
public with outrageously false propaganda for War – World War I – against Germany
in 1914. Bertrand Russell was vehemently against the War with Germany and spent some time in
Jail for his activities to oppose the war.
Brad Owen , October 19, 2017 at 3:58 am
Based on what I have read about him, in his own words,on EIR, he was probably opposed to
war with Germany because he was already looking ahead to a revival of the "Imperial Rome"
situation we have in the Trans-Atlantic Community today, with its near-global Empire
(enforced by America), working on breaking up the last holdout:the Eurasian Quarter with
Russia, China, India, Iran, etc.
Dave P. , October 20, 2017 at 2:21 am
Yes Brad, Bertrand Russell did love England and was very proud of English Civilization and
it's contributions to the World. Considering his very aristocratic background, his
contributions to mathematics and Philosophy are laudable. And he was very much involved in
World peace and nuclear disarmament movements.
(Goering quote) ahh yes, sometimes it takes a cynical scoundrel to tell the truth!
T.Walsh , October 20, 2017 at 11:09 am
the major war criminals' trial ended in 1946, with the execution of the 10 major war
criminals taking place on October 16, 1946.
Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 8:48 pm
Elizabeth for the mere fact you are on this site may possibly be your reason for your
escape from the MSM as it is a propaganda tool, to be used by the Shadow Government to guide
your thought processes. (See YouTube Kevin Shipp for explanation for Shadow Government and
Deep State) other than that I think it safe to say we are living in an Orwellian predicted
state of mass communications, and for sure we are now living in a police state to accompany
our censored news. Joe
Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 10:02 pm
Here is something I feel may ring your bell when it comes to our maintaining a free press.
Read this .
"From the PR perspective, releasing one anti-Russia story after another helps cement a
narrative far better than an all-at-once approach to controlling the news cycle. The public
is now getting maximum effect from what I believe is a singular and cohesive effort to lay
the groundwork for global legislation to eradicate any dissent and particular dissent that is
pro-Russia or pro-Putin. The way the news cycle works, a campaign is best leveled across two
weeks, a month, or more, so that the desired audience is thoroughly indoctrinated with an
idea or a product. In this case, the product is an Orwellian eradication of freedom of speech
across the swath of the world's most used social media platforms. This is a direct result of
traditional media and the deep state having failed to defeat independents across these
platforms. People unwilling to bow to the CNN, BBC and the controlled media message, more or
less beat the globalist scheme online. So, the only choice and chance for the anti-Russia
message to succeed is with the complete takeover of ALL channels. As further proof of a
collective effort, listen to this Bloomberg interview the other day with Microsoft CEO Brad
Smith on the same "legislation" issues. Smith's rhetoric, syntax, and the flow of his
narrative mirror almost precisely the other social CEOs, the US legislators, and especially
the UK Government dialogue. All these technocrats feign concern over privacy protection and
free speech/free press issues, but their real agenda is the main story."
Here is the link for the rest of the essay to Phil Butler's important news story ..
When you read this keep in mind that the Russians weren't doing any backroom illegal
deals, because the Russians thought that they were dealing on the upside with the Obama White
House State Department. Where you may question this, is where our Obama State Department side
stepped the law to make money for those couple of Americans who fronted this deal. This is
the epitome of hypocrisy of the worst kind.
Disclaimer; please Clinton and Trump supporters try and attempt to see this scandal for
what it is. This fudging of the law to make a path for questionable donations is not a party
platform issue. It is an issue of integrity and honesty. Yes Trump is the worst, but after
you dig into the above link I provided, please don't come back at me screaming partisan
politics. This scandal doesn't deserve a two sided political debate, as much as it deserves
our attention, and what we do all should do about it.
Dave P. , October 19, 2017 at 2:56 pm
Joe Tedesky –
Reading about this Russian Bribery case in buying interest in "Uranium One" reminds me
that Russians came a century or two late into this Capitalist Game. And they must be novices
and rather crude in this business of bribing. This Russia bribery case is just a puddle in
this vast Sea of Corruption to sell weapons, fighter jets, commercial airplanes, and other
things by U.S., U.K., French, Swedes or other Western Nations to the Third World countries
like India, Egypt, Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria etc. To make a sale of three or four
billion dollars they would bribe the ministers and other officials in those countries
probably with a 100 million dollars easily. Those of us who belong to the two worlds know it
much better. The Indian Newspapers used to be always full of it, whenever I visited.
And the bribe money stays in the Western banks with which those ministers and officials
sons and daughters buy extensive properties in these countries. In fact, these kind of issues
are the topic of conversation at these Ethnic parties of rather prosperous people to which we
do get invited once in a year or so – which minister or official bought what property
and where with this kind or other type of corruption money. There used to be stories about
Egyptian Presidents Sadat and Mubarak's sons playing around in U.S. having bought extensive
properties with the bribe money. For Indian Ministers and Officials U.S., Canada, Australia,
U.K., and New Zealand are the preferred destinations to buy the properties.
And as we know with the corruption money, rich Russians are buying all these homes and
other properties in Spain, U.S., U.K. and other Western Countries. It seems like Putin and
his team have stopped most of big time corruption but it is very hard to stop the other
corruption in this globalized free market economy, especially in countries where corruption
is the norm.
Same is true of these IMF loans to those Third World Countries. Most of the money ends up
in these Western Countries. The working class of those countries end up in paying back the
high interest loans.
This is the World we are trying to defend with these endless wars and Russia-Gate.
Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 11:20 pm
Dave I concur that even the Russians are not beyond corruption, but we are not talking
about the bad habits of the Russians, no we are talking about U.S. officials possibly
breaking the law. I'll bet Dave if I had taken you on a vandalizing spree when we were young
bad ass little hoodlums, and we got caught, that your father wouldn't have come after me, as
much as he would come after you, as he would have given you a well deserved good spanking for
your bad actions. So with that frame of mind I am keeping my focus with this Clinton escapade
right here at home.
I like that you did point out to how the Russians maybe new to this capitalistic new world
they suddenly find themselves in, but I would not doubt that even an old Soviet Commissar
would have reached under the table for a kickback of somekind to enrich himself, if the
occasion had arisen to do so. You know this Dave, that bribery has no political philosophy,
nor does it have a democratic or communist ideology to prevent the corrupted from being
I am not getting my hopes up that justice will be served with this FBI investigation into
Hillary and Bill's uranium finagling. Although I'm surmising this whole thing will get turned
around as a Sessions Trump attack upon the Clintons, and with that this episode of selling
off American assets for personal wealth benefits, will instead fade away from our news cycles
altogether. Just like the torture stuff went missing, and where did that go?
Dave I always look forward to hearing from you, because I think that you and I often have
many a good conversation. Joe
Dave P. , October 20, 2017 at 2:07 am
Yes Joe. I agree with you. The reason I wrote my comments was to make a point that Russian
businessmen are not the only one who are in the bribery business, the businessmen of other
Western Nations are doing the same thing. Yesterday on the Fox News the "Uranium One" bribery
case was the main News. Shawn Hannity was twisting his words to make it look like that it is
Putin who did it, and that it is Putin who gave all this 140 million as bribery to Clinton
Foundation. Actually , I think the 140 millions was given to the Clinton Foundation by the
trustees of the Company in Canada. And Russian officials probably greased the hands of a few
of them too.
Of course Clintons are directly involved in this case. Considering how Hillary Clinton has
been perpetuating this Russia-Gate hysteria, I hope some truth comes out to show that she may
be the real center of this Russia-Gate affair. But way the things in Washington are now,
probably they are going to whitewash the Hillary Clinton's role in this bribery scandal.
Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 10:55 pm
While my one comment i wanted for you to read is being moderated, and it is an important
comment, read how the Israeli's handle unwanted news broadcasting. When you read this think
of the Kristallnacht episode, and then wonder why the Israeli's would do such a terrible
thing similar to what they had encountered under Hitler's reign.
Be sure to see my comment I left above, which is being moderated. In the meantime go to
NEO New Eastern Outlook and read Phil Butler's shocking story, 'Globalist Counterpunch: Going
for the Media Knockout'.
backwardsevolution , October 19, 2017 at 3:41 am
Joe Tedesky – the Zionists had been working (long before Hitler) on getting the Jews
into Palestine. Read up on the Balfour Declaration. Hitler was helping them get out to
Palestine. During World War II, one of the top German officials (can't remember which one
right now) went to Palestine to have discussions with the Zionists. The Zionists basically
said to him: "Look, you're sending us lazy Jews. These guys aren't interested in
construction. Can't you raise more hell so that the harder-working Jews will want to leave
Germany and come to Palestine?"
I think if we ever find out the truth about what happened, we will be shocked.
Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 9:11 am
Edmund de Rothschild who was a big financier of Zionism in 1934 on the subject of
Palestine had said, "the struggle to put an end to the Wandering Jew, could not have as its
result, the creation of the Wandering Arab."
I personally can't see the legality of the 'Balfour Declaration', but before Zionist
trolls attack me, I must admit I'm no legal scholar.
I'll need to research that episode you speak of about the Germans meeting the Zionist.
It's not an easy part of the Zionist history to study. Unless, you backwardsevolution can
provide some references that would help to learn more about this fuzzy history.
Good to see you posting, for awhile your absence gave me concern that you are doing okay.
Skip Scott , October 19, 2017 at 8:38 am
Thanks for the links Joe. Both great articles.
Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 9:14 am
Your welcome Skip I'll apologize for my posting all these links, but I kind of went nuts
getting into the subject we are all talking about here, and more. Joe
Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 11:21 pm
Although this article by the Saker talks about the U.S. being prepared for war against
Iran it speaks to the bigger problem of who is America's puppet master.
Sorry, but how naive or deeply in the bubble can one be? lol :(
Beverly Voelkelt , October 19, 2017 at 2:50 am
I agree Elizabeth. The ultimate objective is censorship and control, using the pretext of
keeping America safe from external meddling just like they enacted the Patroit Act to protect
us from the terrists they created.
Daniel , October 19, 2017 at 5:04 am
Thank you Elizabeth. Shutting down alternative voices is clearly the end game here.
David G , October 18, 2017 at 6:25 pm
I'm not crazy about Robert Parry's phrase, "the mistaken judgments of President George W.
The lying, murdering bastards were lying. It's their parents that made the mistake.
But I'll let it slide.
Tayo , October 18, 2017 at 6:29 pm
I've said this before and I'll say it again: I suggest Mueller focuses on Tinder too. I'm
betting there's something on there. Russians have been known to use honey pot plots.
D.H. Fabian , October 18, 2017 at 6:40 pm
Ah, but who is better at it -- Russia or the US? (And dare we even consider the power of
China to infiltrate political powers and the media?)
anon , October 18, 2017 at 7:46 pm
So do Martians and every other national, religious, and ethnic group on the planet, with
the US out in front. You will not trick more careful thinkers by attacking the target du
D.H. Fabian , October 18, 2017 at 6:38 pm
Yes, and over the past week or two, it appears that work is being redirected into holding
the vast military behemoth (?), Israel, accountable for our own political/policy choices.
Either way, the US is clearly in its post-reality era.
anon , October 18, 2017 at 7:49 pm
Abe , October 18, 2017 at 10:06 pm
The naked gun of post-reality Hasbara propaganda:
When Israeli influence on US foreign policy choices may be discussed, Hasbara troll "D.H.
Fabian" pops up to insist:
And what do you want to discuss Abe? That there is undue influence from Israel on the US
government? Maybe, but you could say the same thing about the pharmaceuticals, the MIC, big
oil and the bankers, just to begin the list.
If you and others wish to focus in on a single culprit (defined as anyone fighting for
their own self interests), fine. But there are opposing views that believe the picture is
bigger than the one you would like to paint.
Curious , October 19, 2017 at 1:26 am
WC, I don't want to speak for Abe, but I am wondering about your use of the word "maybe".
Since the last count of US politicians was 13 Senators, and 27 House Reps who are dual
citizens of Israel, does that not imply a conflict of interest just in those stats alone?
Israel doesn't allow dual citizenship in their political system as it is a security risk, so
why do we? I will wait for your reply.
WC , October 19, 2017 at 4:23 am
I can't speak for the legalities that led to allowing dual citizenship in the House and
Senate, nor why Israel doesn't allow dual citizenship in their political system. Like a lot
of laws it is probably serving someone's best interests. ;)
As for the word "maybe" and how it relates to your overall question. Just because there
are dual citizen reps in government, does that automatically say they all vote in the
interests of Israel exclusively? And even if that were the case what makes them any different
from the rep sold out to the MIC, big oil, pharmaceuticals, bankers, etc., or combination of?
We'd then need to do a study of all of the sold-out politicians and chart the percentage of
each to the various interests they sold out to. At what percentage does Israel come into the
No one is denying Israel has a certain influence on the US government, but given all of
the vested interests involved, the US also has a big stake in what happens in the region. I
also don't know what the overall game plan is, not just for the middle east but all of the
sordid shit going on everywhere. If old George is right about "The Big Club", I'm assuming
some group or combination of groups have some master plan for us all, so I am not ready to
label any group, country or entity good or bad at this stage of the game. If this somehow
leaves out the moral question, I am not idealistic enough to believe morality and
Geo-politics often work hand in hand. :)
Brad Owen , October 19, 2017 at 4:41 am
WCs point is valid and correct. The picture is MUCH bigger than a tiny desert country of a
few million Semites ruling the World. The actual picture is the outgrowth of the several,
world-wide, European Empires having united into one, gigantic "Roman Empire" (under
Synarchist directorship) and CAPTURED America, post WWII, to be its enforcer, working to
break the last holdout: the Eurasian Quarter including Iran, into a truly global Empire.
Israel was a strategy of the British Empire to preclude any revival of a Muslim Empire,
threatening its MENA holdings. The enemy is still the British Empire of the 1%er oligarchs in
City-of-London and Wall Street. The fact that NOBODY pays attention to this situation, and
obsesses over Israel, guarantees the success of the Plan.
anon , October 19, 2017 at 7:29 am
No, the problem of Mideast policy and oligarchy control of mass media is entirely due to
zionist influence, including all top ten donors to Clinton 2016. Ukraine and the entire
problem of surrounding and opposing Russia is due primarily to zionist influence, due to
their intervention in the Mideast, although the MIC is happy to join the corruption for war
anywhere. The others on your list "pharmaceuticals, big oil and the bankers" are involved in
WC seeks to divert discussion from zionist influence by changing the subject.
anon , October 19, 2017 at 7:33 am
Brad, you will have a hard time explaining why US wars in the Mideast and surrounding
Russia are always for the benefit of Israel, if you think that ancient Venetians and British
aristocracy are running the show. Looks like a diversionary attack to me.
Abe , October 20, 2017 at 2:05 am
The naked solo of "D.H. Fabian" has surged into a Hasbara chorus. Where to begin.
Let's start with "Curious", who definitely does not speak for me.
The "dual citizens" canard is a stellar example of Inverted Hasbara (false flag
"anti-Israel", "anti-Zionist", frequently "anti-Jewish" or "anti-Semitic") propaganda that
gets ramped up whenever needed, but particularly Israel rains bombs on the neighborhood.
Like Conventional Hasbara (overtly pro-Israel or pro-Zionist) propaganda, the primary
purpose of Inverted Hasbara false flag propaganda is to divert attention from Israeli
military and government actions, and to provide cover for Israel Lobby activities
The Inverted Hasbara canard inserted by "Curious" came into prominence after the
Israel-initiated war Lebanon in 2006. Israel's shaky military performance, flooding of south
Lebanon cluster munitions, use of white phosphorus in civilian areas brought censure. Further
Israeli attacks on Gaza brought increasing pressure on the neocon-infested Bush
administration for its backing of Israel.
A Facebook post titled, "List of Politicians with Israeli Dual Citizenship," started
circulating. The post mentioned "U.S. government appointees who hold powerful positions and
who are dual American-Israeli citizens."
With the change of US administration in 2008, new versions of the post appeared with
headlines such as "Israeli Dual Citizens in the U.S. Congress and the Obama Administration."
Common versions included 22 officials currently or previously with the Obama administration,
27 House members and 13 senators.
The posts were false for a variety of reasons, not least of which was the
misrepresentation of Israeli nationality law. Israel does allow its citizens to hold dual (or
multiple) citizenship. A dual national is considered an Israeli citizen for all purposes, and
is entitled to enter Israel without a visa, stay in Israel according to his own desire,
engage in any profession and work with any employer according to Israeli law. An exception is
that under an additional law added to the Basic Law: the Knesset (Article 16A) according to
which Knesset members cannot pledge allegiance unless their foreign citizenship has been
revoked, if possible, under the laws of that country.
The Law of Return grants all Jews the right to immigrate to Israel and almost automatic
Israeli citizenship upon arrival in Israel. In the 1970s the Law of Return was expanded to
grant the same rights to the spouse of a Jew, the children of a Jew and their spouses, and
the grandchildren of a Jew and their spouses, provided that the Jew did not practice a
religion other than Judaism willingly. In 1999, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that Jews
or the descendants of Jews that actively practice a religion other than Judaism are not
entitled to immigrate to Israel as they would no longer be considered Jews under the Law of
Return, irrespective of their status under halacha (Jewish religious law).
Israeli law distinguishes between the Law of Return, which allows for Jews and their
descendants to immigrate to Israel, and Israel's nationality law, which formally grants
Israeli citizenship. In other words, the Law of Return does not itself determine Israeli
citizenship; it merely allows for Jews and their eligible descendants to permanently live in
Israel. Israel does, however, grant citizenship to those who immigrated under the Law of
Return if the applicant so desires.
A non-Israeli Jew or an eligible descendant of a non-Israeli Jew needs to request approval
to immigrate to Israel, a request which can be denied for a variety of reasons including (but
not limited to) possession of a criminal record, currently infected with a contagious
disease, or otherwise viewed as a threat to Israeli society. Within three months of arriving
in Israel under the Law of Return, immigrants automatically receive Israeli citizenship
unless they explicitly request not to.
In short, knowingly or not, "Curious" is spouting Inverted Hasbara propaganda.
Conventional Hasbara (pro-Israel, pro-Zionist) propagandists constantly attempt to portray
Israeli military threats against its neighbors, Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian
territory, Zionist claims of an "unconditional land grant covenant" for Israel, or the
manipulations of the Israel Lobby, as somehow all based on "the way the world really
"WC" has repeatedly promoted a loony "realism" in the CN comments, claiming for example
that "The Jews aren't doing anything different than the rest have done since the beginning of
The Conventional Hasbara troll refrain is that whatever Israel does "ain't no big
"D.H. Fabian", "WC" and others are not Hasbara trolls because we somehow "disagree". They
are Hasbara trolls because they promote propaganda for Israel.
Fellow travellers round out the Hasbara chorus.
Commenter anon discourses in absolutes such as "entirely due to zionist influence" and
"always for the benefit of Israel".
Commenter Brad Owen just can't understand why everyone "obsesses" over that "tiny desert
country" when "the Plan" outlined by LaRouche is sooo much more interesting.
Dave P. , October 20, 2017 at 11:55 am
Abe – An excellent analysis – very penetrating. Yes, I understand it very
I am one of those who does not have the background in this area. However, reading the
largely British view oriented newspapers since I was fourteen , in a different land where at
that time during 1950's and early 60's, all viewpoints were discussed including the communist
Russian/Soviet side, and the Communist Chinese side too, one develops a balanced outlook on
the World events.
Reading your comments on Israel's citizenship laws, is very eye opening for me. Israel is
a very Racist State, which is kind of the opposite of what Jewish Writers write books in this
country about America being the melting pot. Some of us have already melted here. I sometimes
wonder, Jewish writers are writing all these books, but why don't they melt! Are they special
WC , October 20, 2017 at 4:59 pm
Let me first dispel the notion that I am trying to change the subject, as "anon" would
like to imply. What I am after is a proper perspective as opposed to something blown out of
When it comes to the subject of Israel, Jews and Zionism, Abe would appear to be well
versed on the subject. He certainly cleared up "Curious"s question on dual citizenship!
With Abe and others on this site, Zionism is the big daddy culprit in the world today. I,
on the other hand, see it as simply one part of a bigger picture, which I am still trying to
get my head around, but I am quite certain it goes far beyond just a regional issue. In
reading what Abe has to say on this subject over the past few months, he may very well be
right about Zionist influence and a take no prisoners-type of resolve in pursuing their aims
(whatever that may be). But none of this has yet to convince me they are entirely wrong
Which brings us to the subject of morality. Take a second look at what Abe has chosen to
cherry pick from what he sees as the "Hasbara chorus" – all pointing to "trolls" who
(he thinks) are in support of an all powerful and heartless sect. This is what is known as
being overly dramatic and speaks volumes about what Abe (and others on this site) view as the
most objectionable of all – the moral wrongs being committed. For the sake of
clarification "morality" is defined as "principles concerning the distinction between right
and wrong or good and bad behavior". Most of us who are not suffering from a mental disorder
can agree on what constitutes right and wrong at its purist level, but thrown into a world
filled with crime, corruption, greed, graft, hate, lust, sociopaths and psychopaths vying for
power, sectarian violence, a collapsing economy, inner city decay, and all of the vested
special interests jockeying to save their piece of the pie, what is right and wrong becomes
far more convoluted and mired in mud. Simply throwing perfect world idealism at the problem
will not fix it. In fact, it will get you as far as the miles of crucified Christians that
lined the road to Rome. Which is a hell of a way to prove you are so right in a world filled
with so much wrong.
Since the day I "slithered in" here, I have asked the same question over and over –
what are your REAL world solutions to REAL world problems? So far, the chorus of the Church
Of The Perfect World has offered up nothing. :)
Abe , October 20, 2017 at 6:07 pm
Making the same statements over and over again, "WC" is clearly "after" a Hasbara "proper
perspective" on Israel.
For example, in the CN comments on How Syria's Victory Reshapes Mideast (September 30,
2017), "WC" advanced three key Hasbara propaganda talking points concerning the illegal
50-year military occupation of Palestinian territory seized by Israel during the 1967
– Spurious claims about "what realistically (not idealistically) can be done"
– Insistence that "Israel is not going to go back to the 1948 borders"
– Claims that the US "depends on a strong Israeli presence"
A leading canard of Hasbara propaganda and the Israeli right wing Neo-Zionist settlement
movement is the notion of an "unconditional land grant covenant" entitlement for Israel.
Land ownership was far more widespread than depicted in the fictions of Israeli
propaganda. In reality, the Israeli government knowingly confiscated privately owned
Palestinian land and construct a network of outposts and settlements.
Israel's many illegal activities in occupied Palestinian territory encompass Neo-Zionist
settlements, so-called "outposts" and declared "state land".
The United Nations has repeatedly upheld the view that Israel's construction of
settlements constitutes a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (which provides
humanitarian protections for civilians in a war zone).
The 1967 "border" of Israel refers to the Green Line or 1949 Armistice demarcation line set
out in the Armistice Agreements between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria after the
1948 Arab–Israeli War.
The Green Line was intended as a demarcation line rather than a permanent border. The 1949
Armistice Agreements were clear (at Arab insistence) that they were not creating permanent
borders. The Egyptian–Israeli agreement, for example, stated that "the Armistice
Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary,
and is delineated without prejudice to rights, claims and positions of either Party to the
Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question."
Similar provisions are contained in the Armistice Agreements with Jordan and Syria. The
Agreement with Lebanon contained no such provisions, and was treated as the international
border between Israel and Lebanon, stipulating only that forces would be withdrawn to the
United Nations General Assembly Resolutions and statements by many international bodies
refer to the "pre-1967 borders" or the "1967 borders" of Israel and neighboring
According to international humanitarian law, the establishment of Israeli communities
inside the occupied Palestinian territories – settlements and outposts alike – is
forbidden. Despite this prohibition, Israel began building settlements in the West Bank
almost immediately following its occupation of the area in 1967.
Defenders of Israel's settlement policies, like David Friedman, the current United States
Ambassador to Israel, argue that the controversy over Israeli settlements in occupied
Palestinian territory is overblown.
The Israeli government and Israel Lobby advocates like Ambassador Friedman claim the
built-up area of settlements comprises only around 2% of the West Bank.
This Hasbara "2%" argument is at best ignorant, and at worst deliberately
The "2%" figure is misleading because it refers restrictively to the amount of land
Israeli settlers have built on, but does not account for the multiple ways these settlements
create a massive, paralytic footprint in the illegally occupied Palestinian territory of the
Since 1967, Israel has taken control of around 50% of the land of the West Bank. And
almost all of that land has been given to the settlers or used for their benefit. Israel has
given almost 10% of the West Bank to settlers – by including it in the "municipal area"
of settlements. And it has given almost 34% of the West Bank to settlers – by placing
it under the jurisdiction of the Settlement "Regional Councils."
In addition, Israel has taken hundreds of kilometers of the West Bank to build
infrastructure to serve the settlements, including a network of roads that crisscross the
entire West Bank, dividing Palestinian cities and towns from each other, and imposing various
barriers to Palestinian movement and access, all for the benefit of the settlements.
Israel has used various means to do this, included by declaring much of the West Bank to
be "state land," taking over additional land for security purposes, and making it nearly
impossible for Palestinians to register claims of ownership to their own land.
The Israeli Supreme Court has repeatedly used the term "belligerent occupation" to
describe Israel's rule over the West Bank and Gaza. Indeed, Israel's Supreme Court ruled that
the question of a previous sovereign claim to the West Bank and Gaza is irrelevant to whether
international laws relating to occupied territories should apply there.
Rather, the proper question – according to Israel's highest court – is one of
effective military control. In the words of the Supreme Court decision, "as long as the
military force exercises control over the territory, the laws of war will apply to it." (see:
HCJ 785/87, Afo v. Commander of IDF Forces in the West Bank).
The Palestinian territories were conquered by Israeli armed forces in the 1967 war.
Whether Israel claims that the war was forced upon it is irrelevant. The Palestinian
territory has been controlled and governed by the Israeli military ever since.
Who claimed the territories before they were occupied is immaterial. What is material is
that before 1967, Israel did not claim the territories.
Ariel Sharon, one of the principal architects of Israel's settlement building policy in
the West Bank and Gaza, recognized this reality. On May 26, 2003, then Israeli Prime Minister
Sharon told fellow Likud Party members: "You may not like the word, but what's happening is
occupation [using the Hebrew word "kibush," which is only used to mean "occupation"]. Holding
3.5 million Palestinians under occupation is a bad thing for Israel, for the Palestinians and
for the Israeli economy."
Whether one believes that these territories are legally occupied or not does not change
the basic facts: Israel is ruling over a population of millions of Palestinians who are not
Israeli citizens. Demographic projections indicate that Jews will soon be a minority in the
land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.
Real world solutions:
An end to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
An end to apartheid government and the beginning of real democracy in Israel.
What can be done now?
United States government sanctions against Israel for its 50-year military occupation of
Palestine, its apartheid social regime, and its arsenal of nuclear weapons.
The United States can require Israel to withdraw its forces to the 1967 line, and honor
the right of return to Palestinians who fled their homeland as a result of Israel's multiple
ethnic cleansing operations.
In addition, the United States can demand that immediately surrender its destabilizing
nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons arsenal or face severe U.S. action.
Hasbara trolls will keep trying to change the subject, continue muttering about "opposing
views" and some "bigger picture" picture", and repeatedly insist that an Israel armed with
weapons of mass destruction routinely attacking its neighbors "ain't no big thing".
Tannenhouser , October 20, 2017 at 10:30 am
Most of the ones in control of "pharmaceuticals, the MIC, big oil and the bankers" are
Israel firsters as well. Round and round we go eh?
wapo says Hamas disarm because us and israel want them to.israel won't disarm
Curious , October 18, 2017 at 6:44 pm
Thank you Mr Parry for actually taking the time to read the NYT or WaPo for your readers,
so we don't have to. There is only so much disinformation one can cram into our 'cranium soft
drives' regarding journalists with no ethics nor moral rudders.
It reminds me of watching Jon Stewarts Daily Show to check out the perverse drivel on Fox
News since to watch Fox myself would have damaged me beyond repair. Many of my friends are
already Humpty-Dumptied by the volume of fragmented info leeching into their bloodstreams by
140 character news.
Thank you for your fortitude in trying to debunk the news and 'outing' those editors who feel
they are insulated from critical analysis.
dahoit , October 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm
Curious , October 19, 2017 at 8:56 pm
Just chalk it up to a historical reference as that is around the time I stopped watching TV,
having worked in the biz for some 30 years. I don't miss it either. Jon gave us a lot of
humor and a lot of clever, surreptitious info, and the way they captured the talking points
of the politicians by the use of their fast cuts was remarkable. There was a lot of political
content in a show meant to just be humorous. Sorry you feel otherwise.
fudmier , October 18, 2017 at 6:59 pm
EITHER OR, INC. (EOI) a secret subsidiary of Deep Sewer Election Manipulators, Inc
(DSEMI), a fraudulent make believe Russia company, that changes election outcomes, in foreign
countries, to conform the leadership of the foreign country with Russia foreign policy,
studied the most recent USA candidates and concluded Russia could not have found persons more
suited to Russian foreign policy than the candidates the USA had selected for its American
governed, to vote on. The case is not yet closed, EOI is still trying to decide if there is
or was a difference between the candidates..
Charles Misfeldt , October 18, 2017 at 7:44 pm
Our election process is so completely corrupted I doubt that a few thousand dollars of
Facebook ads that no one pays any attention to could sway the vote, I am much more concerned
about bribery, Israel, American Zionists, racists, corporations, evangelicals, dominionists,
white nationalists, anarchist's, conservatives, war profiteers, gerrymanders, vote purges,
vote repressors, voting machine hackers, seems like Russian's are pretty far down the
Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 8:52 pm
Now you talking, let's get to the real stuff. Good one Charles. Joe
Peter Loeb , October 19, 2017 at 6:08 am
I don't have "FACEBOOK". Or any other "social media (whatever that may be.)
I don't "tweet" and the technology which we were once told would save
the world, has left me behind. I don't text. I have no smart phone
I no longer have a TV of any description. Or cable with millions of things
you don't want to see anyway.
Only my mind is left. For some more years.
(J.M. Keynes: " in the long run we will all be dead."
Perhaps one has to have "social media" to be born in
this generation. Do you need it to exit?
Please accept my thoughts with my "asocial" [media]
-- -Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA
My "tweet"/message is only my fear that the NY Yankees
will be in the World Series where I can hate them with complete
impunity. (I was created a fan of the Washington Senators,
morphed into a Brooklyn Dodgers fan so the usually failing
Boston Red Sox fits me well. Being for that so-called "dodgers"
team on the west coast is a forced marriage at best.
Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 9:27 am
Peter screw Facebook and all the rest of that High Tech Big Brother Inc industry, and the
garbage they are promoting.
Also Peter do you have a little Walter Francis O'Malley voodoo doll to stick pins in it? I
also haven't followed baseball since Roberto Clemente died.
We kids use to skip school to go watch Clemente play. In fact in 1957 a young ball player
who the Pirates had acquired in somekind of trade with the Brooklyn Dodgers chased my seven
year old little butt out of right field when I wandered all confused onto the field. That
young rookie who chased my loss little being off the field, was none other than the great
number 21 Roberto Clemente.
Actually the only thing you left out Peter was the Braves moving to Atlanta. Take care
Peter, and let's play more ball in the daylight, and let's make it more affordable game to
watch again. Play ball & BDS. Joe
Thomas Phillips , October 19, 2017 at 12:30 pm
I'm envious now Joe. Roberto Clemente was one of my favorite baseball players. My no. 1
favorite, though, was Willie Mays. And speaking of the Braves moving to Atlanta, my father
took my brother and I there the first year the team was in Atlanta. The Giants were there for
a series with the Braves, and I got to see Mays play (my first and only time). I would have
loved to have been able to skip school and watch Clemente play.
On the subject of concern here, The Hill has a couple of stories on the zerohedge.com
story you referenced above. From what I read, it appears to me that if this is still an open
case with the FBI, Ms. Clinton (and Obama?) could possibly face criminal charges in this
matter. We can only hope. To Peter – I do have an old 1992 console TV, but no cable; so
I have no television to speak of. I have a VHS and DVD player though and watch old movies and
such on the old TV.
Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 2:42 pm
Thomas how cool. My buddies and I would purchase the left field bleacher seats for I think
fifty cents or maybe it was a dollar. Then around the third inning we would boogie on over
into the right field stands overlooking the great Roberto, and yell 'hey Roberto'. From right
field we kids would eye up the empty box seats off of third base. Somewhere about the sixth
or seventh inning we would sneakily slide into those empty box seats along third base side,
where you could see into the Pirate dugout along first. Now the Pirate dugout is along third.
The box seat ushers would back then justbsimply tell us kids to be good, and that they got a
pat on the back from management for filling up those empty box seats, because the television
cameras would pick that up. The best part was, we little hooky players did all of this on our
school lunch money.
About that FBI thing with Hillary I'm hoping this doesn't get written off as just another
Trump attack, and that this doesn't turn into another entertaining Benghazi hearing for
Hillary to elevate her status among her identity groupies. Joe
mark , October 18, 2017 at 7:46 pm
All this nonsense will soon die an evidence-free natural death, but rather than admit to
the lies the MSM will divert the Deplorables with some convenient scandal like the Weinstein
The effect of all this will be to hammer the final nails in the coffin of the political
establishment and its servile MSM. This process began with the Iraqi WMD lies, and now 6% of
the population believes what it sees in the MSM.
Skip Scott , October 19, 2017 at 8:47 am
I wish you were right, but with all the money being thrown around, and scumbag Mueller in
the mix, how this will end is anybody's guess. I'm also curious where you got the 6% figure.
Sounds like wishful thinking to me.
Great take Mr Parry
Smoke and mirrors to distract we the sheeple of this dying paradigm. Fascism alive and well
in the land of the free. The sheeple r now entering the critical stage, they have hit 20
percent. Dangerous times for the western masters of the universe. Get ready for more false
flags to keep the sheeple blinded from reality. The recent events globally with regards to
Iran, Syria and the DPRK are all their for distractions add the Russians ate my homework and
viola distraction heaven. But like I said more and more people in the US and the west are
turning off 1/5 to be exact and that spells trouble for the masters. They want war at all
costs 600 percent debt is not a sustainable economic system . IMF warning just the other day
that all it will take is one major European bank to crash and viola. So dangerous and
interesting times we r living. Is it by design in order to get their way.?I would say yes to
Sam F , October 18, 2017 at 9:44 pm
Good notes. Incidentally you may intend the French "voila" rather than the musical
Skip Scott , October 20, 2017 at 3:37 pm
Voila, viola. Didn't Curly of the three stooges do a bit on that?
Michael K Rohde , October 18, 2017 at 8:27 pm
Should I say it? Shocker. NYT and HIllary are a potent team. Add on Google and CNN and you
have a formidable propaganda organization that is going to influence millions of American.
Plus Face Book and you have most of America covered without a dissenting voice. I used to be
one of their customers, reading and believing everything they put out until Judith Miller was
exposed with W and Scooter. I confess to a jaundiced eye since then. Unfortunately there
isn't a whole lot out there if you like to read good writers of relevant material. We have a
Joe Tedesky , October 18, 2017 at 9:07 pm
If it is possible to consider Russia helped throw the 2016 presidential election with 100k
spent over a three year period, then why not suspect and investigate the American MSM, who
gave Donald Trump 4.9 billion dollars worth of free media coverage? Surely you all may recall
the wall to wall commercial free cable network coverage Trump used to receive during the way
too long of a presidential campaign? Now we are being led to believe that a few haphazard
placed Russian adbuys on FB stool the election from 'it's my turn now boys' Hillary. Here I
must admit that as much as I would love to have a woman President, I would choose almost any
qualified women other than Hillary. But yeah, this Russia-gate nonsense is a creation of the
Shadow Government, who wants so badly to see Putin get thrown out of office, that they would
risk starting WWIII doing it.
Larry Gates , October 18, 2017 at 9:44 pm
A single person started all this nonsense: Hillary Clinton.
No need for America to be influenced to turn the internet into a sewer, America is doing
just fine on that with no help at all. The Russians are just mocking us over there, which is
perfectly understandable. In fact, from what I read, Russians are actually more religious and
concerned about immorality than Americans.
This whole thing is a joke, we know it, it's an attempt to control people, and I for one
am pretty sick of it and don't mind telling anyone just that. Let them sputter, stomp their
feet, or whatever. Keep it up, United States, and you'll be playing in the schoolyard all by
Was the article below in corporate media? Link below:
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
-- -- -
Thousands of govt docs found on laptop of sex offender married to top Clinton adviser
Published time: 18 Oct, 2017 16:45Edited time: 18 Oct, 2017 18:37 https://www.rt.com/usa/407120-fbi-found-3k-docs-weiner/
It's amazing how the "mainstream media" has pushed this Russian collusion nonsense. What's
more amazing is how every time an article is published my these outlets claiming some new
evidence of Russian collusion, within 24 hours there's evidence to the contrary. I think the
whole Pokemon and Facebook claims are the lowest point in this Russian collusion nonsense.
The worst part is we won't see it end anytime soon
Sam F , October 19, 2017 at 7:38 am
Good points, Sam. There are many named "Sam" so please distinguish your pen name from
mine, perhaps with an initial. Thanks!
Drew Hunkins , October 19, 2017 at 12:46 am
Absolutely crucial and outstanding piece by Mr. Parry. His well thought out dissection of
Politifact is invigorating.
backwardsevolution , October 19, 2017 at 12:52 am
Peter Schweizer, author of "Clinton Cash", has been talking about the biggest Russian
bribe of all, the one no one wants to talk about – Uranium One. This deal may have been
the reason why $145 million ended up in Clinton Foundation coffers, all while Hillary Clinton
was Secretary of State.
Here is Peter Schweizer today on Tucker Carlson's program talking about it:
Your site has a lot of useful information for myself. I visit regularly. Hope to have more
Dave P. , October 19, 2017 at 1:33 am
Joe – I never had interest in conspiracy type stories and narratives like that.
However, after reading the zerohedge article in the link in your post, I am beginning to
seriously doubt the Seth Rich murder investigation findings by the Washington DC police
– I had some misgivings before about it too. I think there was not any significant
involvement by FBI in the case. And the Justice department under Loretta Lynch did not pursue
Knowing all kind of stories in the news about Clintons friend Vince Foster's death during
1990's , and many other episodes in Bill and Hillary Clinton's political life, I wonder about
the power and reach of this couple. And now this article and no investigation of this bribery
and corruption scandal during Obama's presidency. It all smells fishy.
Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 1:58 am
Dave not only as what you had mentioned, but the Seth Rich story seems to have become
taboo in our news. I realize what the Rich family requested, but when did ever a request from
the family ever get honored by the big media ever before? I'm not suggesting anything more,
than why is the Seth Rich murder appearing to be off limits, and further more with Seth's
death being in question and implicated to the Wikileaks 'Hillary Exposures' being Seth one of
those 'leakers', then take responsibility DNC and ask the same questions, or at least answer
the questions asked. I hope that made sense, because somehow it made sense to me.
The suggestion of any alternative to the establish narrative gets tossed to the wind. I
think this drip, drip, flood, of Russia collusion into the gears of American Government is a
way of America's Establishment, who is now in charge, way of going out with a bang. The world
is starting to realize it doesn't need the U.S., and the U.S. is doing everything in it's
power to help further that multi-polar world's growing realization that it doesn't.
Okay Dave. Joe
Dave P. , October 19, 2017 at 2:57 am
Joe, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has the power to initiate investigations into these
cases. However, it seems to me that the Ruling Elite/Deep State does not want to wash the
dirty linen in front of the whole World. It would be very embarrassing; it will show the true
picture of this whole sewage/swamp it is. Jeff Sessions or others in high places, have no
independence at all, even if they want to pursue their own course – which they rarely
It seems like that all these investigations are a kind of smoke screen to hide the real
issues. During 1950's or 60's , people in this country mostly trusted the leaders and elected
officials. And majority of the leaders, whatever their policies or sides they took on issues,
had some integrity, depth, solidity and dignity about them. But it seems to me that these
days politicians do not have any of it. The same is true of the Media. This constant mindless
Russia-Gate hysteria being perpetuated by the elected leaders, Media, and pundits without any
thought or decorum is not worthy of a civilized country. Also, it is not good for the Country
or the World.
Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 9:34 am
Yes Dave the quality of accountability and responsibility in DC is sorely lacking of
concern to be honest, and do the right thing by its citizens. This is another reason why it's
good to talk these things over with you, and many of the others who post comments here.
Joe,Dave, glad you bring it up Russiagate seems to be providing a full eclipse of any
investigation into the Seth Rich murder and just whatever happened to his laptop?
Joe Tedesky , October 19, 2017 at 10:45 am
I think Bob the Rich investigation got filed under 'conspiracy theory do not touch' file.
backwardsevolution , October 19, 2017 at 1:39 am
"Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley asked the attorney of a former FBI informant
Wednesday to allow her client to testify before his committee regarding the FBI's
investigation regarding kickbacks and bribery by the Russian state controlled nuclear company
that was approved to purchase twenty percent of United States uranium supply in 2010, Circa
In a formal letter, Grassley, an Iowa Republican, asked Victoria Toensing, the lawyer
representing the former FBI informant, to allow her client, who says he worked as a voluntary
informant for the FBI, to be allowed to testify about the "crucial" eyewitness testimony he
provided to the FBI regarding members of the Russian subsidiary and other connected players
from 2009 until the FBI's prosecution of the defendants in 2014. [ ]
FBI officials told Circa the investigation could have prevented the sale of Uranium One,
which controlled 20 percent of U.S. uranium supply under U.S. law. The deal which required
approval by CFIUS, an inter-agency committee who reviews transactions that leads to a change
of control of a U.S. business to a foreign person or entity that may have an impact on the
national security of the United States. At the time of the Uranium One deal the panel was
chaired by then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and included then-Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton and then-Attorney General Eric Holder."
This FBI informant was apparently gagged from speaking to Congress by either Loretta Lynch
or Eric Holder (I've heard both names). Why would they have done this?
Sven , October 19, 2017 at 1:44 am
Very well written article
Lee Francis , October 19, 2017 at 2:41 am
The whole Russia-Gate brouhaha has become a monumental bore. How anyone with a modicum of
intelligence and moral integrity can believe this garbage is beyond me. I salute Mr Parry for
his fortitude in clearing the Augean stables of this filth; it reminds of the old Bonnie
Raitt song, to wit – 'It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it." personally I can't
be bothered reading it anymore.
backwardsevolution , October 19, 2017 at 2:51 am
Stefan Molyneux does a great job in this 25-minute video where he outlines the absolute
corruption going on in the Banana Republic of Americastan on both the left and right.
He ends up by saying that all of the same actors (Rosenstein, McCabe, Mueller, Comey,
Lynch, Clinton) who were part of covering up Hillary's unsecured servers and Uranium One are
the very same people who are involved with going after Trump and his supposed collusion with
Russia. Same people. And the media seem to find no end of things to say about the latter,
while virtually ignoring the former.
Yes, Media ignores the other scandal while beating up 24/7 on Russian inference/collusion
in the Presidential Election. It is the same with the Foreign News. There was this more than
10,000 strong torchlit Neo-Nazi March in Kiev last Saturday. The pictures in the Sputnik News
of these neo-Nazis in the march were very threatening. I think that most of the Russians have
probably left West Ukraine. There was not even a mention of this March in the Los Angeles
However, a week before Alexander Navalny had this protest – 500 figure as given the
Western media – in Moscow. The picture was splashed across the entire page of Los
Angeles Times with a half page article, mostly beating up on Putin.
I rarely watch TV shows. However, this Tuesday, because of the some work going on our
house, I was home most of the day. My wife was watching TV starting in the afternoon well
into the evening – MSNBC, CNN, PBS newshour; Wolg Blitzer, Lawrence O'Donnell, Don
Lemon, Rachel Maddow, and others with all these so called experts invited to the shows. Just
about most of it was about beating up on Trump and Russia as if it is the only news in the
Country and in the World to report. It was really pathetic to hear all these nonsensical lies
and garbage coming out the mouths of these talk show hosts and experts. It is becoming Banana
Republic of Americanistan as you wrote.
backwardsevolution , October 19, 2017 at 4:04 am
Hi, Dave P. Yeah, I swear they have things on the shelf that are ready-to-go stories
whenever there's a lull in the Trump/Russia collusion nonsense. This last week they pulled
Harvey Weinstein off the shelf and crucified the guy (not that he shouldn't have been). If
this Uranium One deal gets legs, watch for some huge false flag to coincidentally appear to
take our minds off of it.
The biggest thing separating a "first world" country from a "third world" country is the
rule of law. Without it, you might as well hoist up a flag with a big yellow banana on it and
call it a day. Bananastan has a nice ring to it.
Lee Francis , October 19, 2017 at 8:10 am
"There was this more than 10,000 strong torchlit Neo-Nazi March in Kiev last Saturday." It
never happened, well according to the Washington Post (aka Pravda on the Potomac) or New York
Times (aka The Manhattan Beobachter) who, like the rest of the establishment media lie by
omission. Other things that didn't happen – the Odessa fire where 42 anti-Maidan
demonstrators were incinerated by the Banderist mob who actually applauded as the Union
Building went up like a torch with those unfortunate people not only trapped inside with the
entrances barricaded, but those who jumped out of windows to escape the flames (a bit like
9/11 in New York) were clubbed to death as they lie injured on the ground. The film is on
youtube if you can bear to watch it, I could only bear to watch it once. According to the
website of Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh, it was "another bright day in our national
history." A Svoboda parliamentary deputy added, "Bravo, Odessa . Let the Devils burn in
hell." These people are our allies, along of course with Jihadis in the middle east.
In his the British playwright Harold Pinter's last valediction nailed the propaganda
methodology of the western media with the phrase, 'even while it was happening it wasn't
Dave P. , October 20, 2017 at 2:31 am
Lee Francis –
yes. The words : 'even while it was happening it wasn't happening.' It is from his Nobel
lecture. I read the text of Nobel Lecture by Harold Pinter at that time – very
passionate lecture. Pinter had terminal throat cancer, he could not go to Sweden. I think he
sent his video of the Nobel lecture to be played.
It will be interesting to see how the so-called left leaning media like MSNBC and CNN spin
the Uranium One/Obama-Clinton State Department story. The right, especially Hannity on Fox,
are on it, also Tucker Carlson who is moderate mostly. When these pundits say "Russia", they
seem to imply "Putin" but that may not be the case. And they always want to imply the US is
beyond corrupt business deals, which is a joke. It's about time the Clinton case is cracked,
but with corruption rampant, who knows?
JeffS , October 19, 2017 at 9:34 am
The targeting of Pokemon Go users was especially nefarious because aren't about half of
those people below voting age? But when they finally are old enough to vote we can say that
they were influenced by Russia! And this is always reported in a serious tone and with a
straight face. I find the aftermath of the 2016 election to be 'Hillary'ous. The obviously
phony from the get-go Russia story was invented out of whole cloth to allow stunned Democrat
voters to engage in some sort extended online group therapy session. After a year many are
still working through the various stages of the grieving process, and some may actually reach
the final stage -- Acceptance (of the 2016 Election results)
mike k , October 19, 2017 at 1:07 pm
Jamila Malluf , October 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm
Excellent Report! Consortium needs a video outlet somebody to give these reports. There
are many places other than YouTube you could use and I could become one of your Amateur video
mike k , October 19, 2017 at 1:10 pm
The Rulers fear the internet.
Liam , October 19, 2017 at 3:01 pm
#MeToo – A Course In Deductive Reasoning: Separating Fact From Fiction Through The
Child Exploitation Of 8 Year Old Bana Alabed
I was glad to see that when H Clinton was in England, the RT ads all around were making
fun of the blame game. Someone needs to lighten up and stop the ludicrous nonsensical
year-long concentration on blaming Russia for the deep defects in almost all aspects of US
presence in our world. Observe Pres. Putin and nearly every other real leader getting on with
negotiations, agreements, constructive trade deals, ignoring the sinking ship led by the
Trumpet and the Republican Party, while the Dems slide down with them.
Realist , October 19, 2017 at 7:20 pm
I think the "Powers that be" in America actually believed it when Karl Rove announced to
the world that the U.S. government had the godlike power to create any reality of its own
choosing, the facts be damned, and the entire world would come to accept it and live by it,
like it or not. They've been incessantly trying to pound this square peg of a governing
philosophy into holes of a wide spectrum of geometric shapes ever since, believing that mere
proclamation made it so. Russia, China, Iran and any other country that does business with
this troika are evil. Moreover, any country that does not kowtow to Israel, or objects to its
extermination campaign against the Palestinian people, is evil. Even simply pursuing an
independent foreign policy not approved by Washington, as Iraq, Libya and Syria felt entitled
to do, is evil. Why? Because we say so. That should suffice for a reason. Disagree with us at
your peril. We have slaughtered millions of "evil-doers" in Middle Eastern Islamic states who
dared to disagree, and we have economically strapped our own "allies" in Europe to put the
screws to Russia. The key to escape from this predicament is how much more blowback, in terms
of displaced peoples, violated human rights, abridged sovereignty and shattered economies, is
Europe willing to tolerate in the wake of Washington's megalomaniacal dictates before it
stands up to the bully and stops supporting the madness. When does Macron, Merkel and May
(assuming they are the leaders whom others will follow in Europe) say "enough" and start
making demands on Washington, and not just on Washington's declared "enemies?"
And, if the internet has indeed become the world's "cloaca maxima," I'd say first look to
its inventors, founders, chief administrators and major users of the service, all of which
reside in the United States. In terms of volume, Russia is but a small-time user of the
service. If the object is to re-create a society such as described in the novel "1984," it is
certainly possible to censor the damned thing to the point where its just a tool of tyranny.
The "distinguished" men and corporations basically running the internet planetwide have
already conferred such authority to the Chinese government. Anything they don't want their
people to see is filtered out, compliments of Microsoft, Google, Facebook and the other heavy
hitters. Just looking at trends, rhetoric and the fact that the infrastructure is mostly
privately-owned, I can see the same thing coming to the West, unless the users demand
otherwise, vociferously and en masse.
Tannenhouser , October 20, 2017 at 4:19 pm
Trump is running point on the distraction op currently being run, to distract from the
actual crimes committed by the Blue section of the ruling political party. So far he played
his part brilliantly, knowingly or unknowingly, matters not.
Readers of Consortium News come from around the world, from very small towns with
populations in the few 1,000's to major cities with populations in the millions, and
everything size category in between. In each of those categories of population size, the
power is controlled by those possessing the greatest wealth inside that particular
population, whether small town, medium, semi-large or major city. One can describe each
category of population center as pyramidal in power structure, with those at the top of the
pyramid the wealthiest few who "pull the strings" of societies, and, as relates to war and
peace, the people who literally fire the first shots.
Identify those at the top of the world category pyramid, call them out for their war
crimes, and then humanity has a fighting chance for peace.
Curious , October 19, 2017 at 7:56 pm
Thank you for your answer to my question. The 'reply' tab is gone on the thread so I will
I believe I was trying to figure out the difference between "lawmakers" and the corporate
entities you mentioned. Obviously the lawmakers are heavily influenced by the money and the
lobbyists from the large corps which muddies the waters and makes it even more difficult to
find clarity between politicians and the big money players. When the US sends our military
into sovereign countries against international law, it's fair to ask whether it is at the
behest of corporate interests, or even Israels' geopolitical agenda, especially in the Middle
The large corps you mentioned don't have the legal authority to send our military to foreign
lands and perform duties that have nothing to do with US defense (or do they?) and that is
why I try to understand the distinction between 40 dual citizens of Israel within the
'lawmakers' of our country and large corporations. When Israels 'allowance' from US tax
payers goes remarkably up in value, one has to wonder how and why that occurs when our own
country is suffering. That's all I wonder about. I won't distract any more from Mr. Parrys'
GM , October 19, 2017 at 9:31 pm
If I recall correctly, Politifact is owned by the majority owners of the St Petersburg
times, which family is a major big Clinton donor.
Kevin Beck , October 20, 2017 at 9:01 am
I am curious whether Russia is really able to employ all these "marketing geniuses" to
affect elections throughout the world. If so, then America's greatest ad agencies need to
look to Moscow for new recruits, instead of within our business schools.
Maybe Politifact declares it? stance is based on an alternative fact?
But greetings from Finland. In here is in full swing a MSM war against so called fake
media, never mind the fact that many are the stories in fake media that have turned out to be
the truth -- or that we are supposed to be a civilized country with free speech.
Our government with the support of the MSM is using a term hatespeech to silence all
tongues telling a different tale; some convictions have been given even though our law does
not recognise hatespeech as a crime. The police nor the courts can not define exactly what
hatespeech is -- so it is what they want it to be.
Bastard neoliberalism by Trump (and Bannon) are inconsistent. You can't be half pregnant -- to be
a neoliberal (promote deregulation, regressive taxes) and be anti-immigration and anti-globalist. In
this sense words Trump is doomed: neoliberal are determined to get rid of him.
Reagan was a former governor of California before becoming the President. hardly a complete outsider.
Trump was an outsider more similar to Barak Obama in a sense that he has no political record and can
ride on backlash against neoliberal globalization, especially outsourcing and offshoring and unlimited
immigration, as well as ride anti-globalism sentiments and popular protest against foreign wars. Only
quickly betraying those promised afterward. Much like king of "bait and switch" Obama .
"... Among the signature issues of Trumpian populism is economic nationalism, a new trade policy designed to prosper Americans first. ..."
"... Reagan preached free trade, but when Harley-Davidson was in danger of going under because of Japanese dumping of big bikes, he slammed a 50 percent tariff on Japanese motorcycles. Though a free trader by philosophy, Reagan was at heart an economic patriot. ..."
"... He accepted an amnesty written by Congress for 3 million people in the country illegally, but Reagan also warned prophetically that a country that can't control its borders isn't really a country any more. ..."
"... Reagan and Trump both embraced the Eisenhower doctrine of "peace through strength." And, like Ike, both built up the military. ..."
"... Both also believed in cutting tax rates to stimulate the economy and balance the federal budget through rising revenues rather than cutting programs like Medicare and Social Security. ..."
"... Both believed in engaging with the superpower rival of the day -- the Soviet Union in Reagan's day, Russia and China in Trump's time. ..."
"... As Ingraham writes, Trumpism is rooted as much in the populist-nationalist campaigns of the 1990s, and post-Cold War issues as economic patriotism, border security, immigration control and "America First," as it is in the Reaganite issues of the 1980s. ..."
"... Coming up on one year since his election, Trump is besieged by a hostile press and united Democratic Party. This city hates him. While his executive actions are impressive, his legislative accomplishments are not. His approval ratings have lingered in the mid-30s. He has lost half a dozen senior members of his original White House staff, clashed openly with his own Cabinet and is at war with GOP leaders on the Hill. ..."
"... And both are fans of the tinkle-down theory of economics, where the govt cuts taxes on the rich and increases them on the poor and middle class, since the rich will do a better job of spreading around the extra money they get to keep, thereby stoking the economy, supposedly. Or as 'Poppy' Bush called it, "voodoo economics." ..."
"... It's a failed regressive tax program that only creates more billionaires while the number of poor swells, due to an influx of the steadily declining middle-class. ..."
"... Bizarrely, comically ignorant of reality. Though the really bizarre thing is the degree to which the same obtusely ignorant world-view permeates the establishment media and the political establishment. ..."
"... There is arguably a fundamental difference here, that in Reagan's day there was a clear ideological threat from the Soviet Union, which was still (albeit increasingly nominally) in the grip of an aggressively destabilising universalist ideology, communism. Reagan's opposition to the Soviet Union was very much bound up in resistance to that ideology, even if that resistance was often as much a pretext as a real motive. ..."
"... Today neither Russia nor China subscribes to any such universalist ideology. It is the US, today, that seeks to impose its liberal democratic political correctness ideologies and its manufactured taboos upon the world and which harasses and menaces any country that tries to live differently. ..."
"... As for Trump supposedly being wrapped up in "America First", that's particularly comical this week as he demonstrates that his idea of "America First" is acting as Israel's bitch, and as he makes ever louder noises about undermining the Iran deal – a policy as clearly counterproductive to any interest plausibly attributable to the American nation (as opposed to the identity lobbies that run the US government politics and media) as it is self-evidently in the self-perceived interests of the Israel Lobby and the foreign country that lobby serves. ..."
"... Trump is an egotistical jackass, nothing else. A liar from the git-go, and a completely ineffective leader, ideologue and President. He's not going to last much longer. I will take note that he did, temporarily, save us from the madness of the Hillary moiety. But, he has molted into a complete fuckup. ..."
"... Goodbye, good riddance. Let's get ready to deal with the next wacko -- Pence. ..."
"... you're forgetting that Trump wasn't a war monger while on the campaign trail, far from it. Which is the only reason he won the election. In other words he fooled just enough people (like you and me) long enough to get elected. Same thing happened with peace candidate, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Hussein Obama. It's clearly a rigged process. ..."
Both men were outsiders, and neither a career politician. Raised Democratic, Reagan had been a
Hollywood actor, union leader and voice of GE, before running for governor of California.
Trump is out of Queens, a builder-businessman in a Democratic city whose Republican credentials
were suspect at best when he rode down that elevator at Trump Tower. Both took on the Republican
establishment of their day, and humiliated it.
Among the signature issues of Trumpian populism is economic nationalism, a new trade policy
designed to prosper Americans first.
Reagan preached free trade, but when Harley-Davidson was in danger of going under because
of Japanese dumping of big bikes, he slammed a 50 percent tariff on Japanese motorcycles. Though
a free trader by philosophy, Reagan was at heart an economic patriot.
He accepted an amnesty written by Congress for 3 million people in the country illegally,
but Reagan also warned prophetically that a country that can't control its borders isn't really a
country any more.
Reagan and Trump both embraced the Eisenhower doctrine of "peace through strength." And, like
Ike, both built up the military.
Both also believed in cutting tax rates to stimulate the economy and balance the federal budget
through rising revenues rather than cutting programs like Medicare and Social Security.
Both believed in engaging with the superpower rival of the day -- the Soviet Union in Reagan's
day, Russia and China in Trump's time.
And both were regarded in this capital city with a cosmopolitan condescension bordering on contempt.
"An amiable dunce" said a Great Society Democrat of Reagan.
The awesome victories Reagan rolled up, a 44-state landslide in 1980 and a 49-state landslide
in 1984, induced some second thoughts among Beltway elites about whether they truly spoke for America.
Trump's sweep of the primaries and startling triumph in the Electoral College caused the same consternation.
However, as the Great Depression, New Deal and World War II represented a continental divide in
history between what came before and what came after, so, too, did the end of the Cold War and the
As Ingraham writes, Trumpism is rooted as much in the populist-nationalist campaigns of the
1990s, and post-Cold War issues as economic patriotism, border security, immigration control and
"America First," as it is in the Reaganite issues of the 1980s.
Which bring us to the present, with our billionaire president, indeed, at the barricades.
The differences between Trump in his first year and Reagan in 1981 are stark. Reagan had won a
landslide. The attempt on his life in April and the grace with which he conducted himself had earned
him a place in the hearts of his countrymen. He not only showed spine in giving the air traffic controllers
48 hours to get back to work, and then discharging them when they defied him, he enacted the largest
tax cut in U.S. history with the aid of boll weevil Democrats in the House.
Coming up on one year since his election, Trump is besieged by a hostile press and united
Democratic Party. This city hates him. While his executive actions are impressive, his legislative
accomplishments are not. His approval ratings have lingered in the mid-30s. He has lost half a dozen
senior members of his original White House staff, clashed openly with his own Cabinet and is at war
with GOP leaders on the Hill.
And both are fans of the tinkle-down theory of economics, where the govt cuts taxes
on the rich and increases them on the poor and middle class, since the rich will do a better job
of spreading around the extra money they get to keep, thereby stoking the economy, supposedly.
Or as 'Poppy' Bush called it, "voodoo economics."
It's a failed regressive tax program that only creates more billionaires while the number
of poor swells, due to an influx of the steadily declining middle-class.
The only parts of the economy it helps are the builders of luxury mansions, antique and pricey
art dealers, and the makers of luxury autos and private jets.
when the US Government is trying to prevent alien forces from interfering in our electoral
Bizarrely, comically ignorant of reality. Though the really bizarre thing is the degree
to which the same obtusely ignorant world-view permeates the establishment media and the political
Two pieces here at Unz you ought to read, and fully take on board the implications of, if you
want to even begin the process of grasping reality, rather than living in the manufactured fantasy
you appear to inhabit at the moment:
Both believed in engaging with the superpower rival of the day -- the Soviet Union in
Reagan's day, Russia and China in Trump's time.
There is arguably a fundamental difference here, that in Reagan's day there was a clear
ideological threat from the Soviet Union, which was still (albeit increasingly nominally) in the
grip of an aggressively destabilising universalist ideology, communism. Reagan's opposition to
the Soviet Union was very much bound up in resistance to that ideology, even if that resistance
was often as much a pretext as a real motive.
Today neither Russia nor China subscribes to any such universalist ideology. It is the
US, today, that seeks to impose its liberal democratic political correctness ideologies and its
manufactured taboos upon the world and which harasses and menaces any country that tries to live
As for Trump supposedly being wrapped up in "America First", that's particularly comical
this week as he demonstrates that his idea of "America First" is acting as Israel's bitch, and
as he makes ever louder noises about undermining the Iran deal – a policy as clearly counterproductive
to any interest plausibly attributable to the American nation (as opposed to the identity lobbies
that run the US government politics and media) as it is self-evidently in the self-perceived interests
of the Israel Lobby and the foreign country that lobby serves.
Here's the German government being unusually blunt yesterday about the stupidity of the Trump
regime's seeming plans in this regard:
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Thursday said that any move by US President Donald
Trump's administration to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal would drive a wedge between Europe
and the US.
"It's imperative that Europe sticks together on this issue," Gabriel told Germany's RND
newspaper group. "We also have to tell the Americans that their behavior on the Iran issue
will drive us Europeans into a common position with Russia and China against the USA."
It's difficult to know whether the likes of Gabriel actually believe all the boilerplate nonsense
they talk about a supposed Iranian nuclear program – the real reason the European nations want
the deal to continue is that it stopped them having to pretend to believe all the outright lies
the US told about Iran, and having to kowtow t0 costly and counterproductive sanctions against
Iran that did immense general harm for the benefit only of Israel and Saudi Arabia and their US
The US pulling out of the deal would at least bring that issue of US dishonesty on Iran and
past European appeasement of it to a head, I suppose.
Trump is an egotistical jackass, nothing else. A liar from the git-go, and a completely ineffective
leader, ideologue and President. He's not going to last much longer. I will take note that he
did, temporarily, save us from the madness of the Hillary moiety. But, he has molted into a complete
Goodbye, good riddance. Let's get ready to deal with the next wacko -- Pence.
Assuming they won't kill Pence with the same bomb.
I will take note that he did, temporarily, save us from the madness of the Hillary moiety.
Often I feel like it'd be better if Hillary did the same insane policies. It's always worse
when our guy does something wrong, and better when the hated enemy does it.
Hillary was a danger that she would start WW3 in Syria, but I don't think we can be certain
she'd have started it. Given how risk-averse women are in general, I think the only issue was
whether the Russians could've made it clear that shooting at Russian soldiers would mean war with
Russia. And I think even Hillary's advisers would've blinked.
On the other hand, I don't think Hillary would be nearly as insane on North Korea or Iran.
As a bonus, she would be accelerating the demise of the US, by introducing ever more insane domestic
policies, things like gay, transsexual and female quotas in US Special Forces. This would ultimately
be a good thing, destroying or weakening US power which is currently only used to evil ends in
I think one good thing would be if US conservatives stopped their Reagan worship. He was certainly
not a bad person, but he allowed the amnesty to happen, couldn't stop the sanctions on Apartheid
South Africa, didn't (or couldn't?) do anything against the MLK cult becoming a state religion,
and started the free trade and tax cuts cults, he's also responsible for promoting the neocons
to positions of power. So overall he was a mixed bag from a nationalist conservative viewpoint.
Yes, that's quite possible, but a common EU stance is not really all that important. What really
matters is how far the Germans, and to a lesser extent the less relevant but still big European
nations such as France and Italy and the more subservient US tool, the UK, are prepared to continue
to kowtow to US and Israeli dishonesty on Iran.
All the signs seem to be that repudiating the deal and trying to return to the days of the
aggressive and counter-productive US-imposed sanctions will be a step too far for many of those
As a bonus, she would be accelerating the demise of the US, by introducing ever more insane
domestic policies, things like gay, transsexual and female quotas in US Special Forces. This
would ultimately be a good thing, destroying or weakening US power which is currently only
used to evil ends in the world.
Actually I suspect that repudiating the JCPOA, whether openly or by de facto breach, will go
immensely farther, and much faster, towards destroying practical US influence and therefore power
globally than any of those domestic policies, at least in the short run.
You can see that Trump is at least dimly aware of that likelihood from the way he keeps bottling
and postponing the decision, despite his clearly evident and desperate desire to please his pro-Israeli
and anti-Iranian advisers and instincts.
1) There's a chance foreign policy insanity starts a nuclear war, in which case all domestic
policy issues will pale before such horror.
2) The US already has de facto open borders. Why does it matter if it becomes majority nonwhite
in 30 or just 20 years?
3) For non-American whites, it's better the earlier the US sphere disintegrates. I bet you
it's better for American whites as well. As long as this political/cultural center holds, the
rot cannot be stopped.
An election of Hillary meant open borders. That is official, rapid and deliberate national
suicide. All foreign policy issues pale before such a horror.
That's understandable, but obviously the calculation must be somewhat different from a non-US
perspective. Given how strongly many white Americans are in favor of pro-war policies and mindless
Israel worship (how many US blacks or Hispanics care about Israel or confronting Iran?), I'm not
even sure nationalists in Europe should really lament the Hispanicization of the US. It might
at least have a positive effect in restricting US interventionism and eroding US power. The sooner
the US is unable to continue with its self-appointed role as a global redeemer nation, the better.
History repeats first as tragedy (crushing the spoiled unionized mostly white air traffic controllers),
then as farce (crushing the spoiled unionized mostly afro NFL jocks). Reagan was at least an American
Firster. Trumpenstein is an obvious traitorous Izzie Firster, with little concern for the so-called
deplorables except to convert them into deployables at the service of his jooie sponsors. Maybe
Paddy should have titled his screed "Heir to Begin, not Reagan"?
Rubio was far more of a war-monger than Trump, and he won the primaries in the majority non-White
jurisdictions (Washington DC, Puerto Rico).
If only non-White votes were counted, Hillary Clinton would have been elected unanimously by
the electoral college, and Hillary is more of a war-monger than Trump is.
The few reliable voices for foreign policy sanity in congress, such as Senator Rand Paul and
Congressmen Walter Jones, John Duncan, Thomas Massie, and Justin Amash, represent overwhelmingly
White, Protestant, old-stock American districts.
Rubio was far more of a war-monger than Trump, and he won the primaries in the majority
non-White jurisdictions (Washington DC, Puerto Rico).
Maybe, but is there any data indicating many blacks in Washington DC actually voted in the
Republican primaries? Why would they when most of them are a solid Democrat voting block? I'd
guess Rubio got his votes from white elites in DC.
As for Puerto Rico, I didn't know they actually have primaries, seems odd given they don't vote
in US presidential elections.
Hillary is more of a war-monger than Trump is.
Hillary was horrible all around, and I agree she might well have been disastrous as president
given her dangerous proposals for no-fly zones in Syria, and the potential of conflict with Russia
this entailed. But I'm no longer sure Trump is really better regarding foreign policy. His behaviour
on the North Korea issue is irresponsible imo, and his willingness to wreck the nuclear deal with
Iran at the behest of neoconservatives and Zionist donors like Sheldon Adelson is a big fat minus
in my view. Sorry, but I think you guys who hoped for something different have all been (neo-)conned.
The only similarities I see between Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump is that both live (lived) in
a sort of la-la land, totally out of touch with reality. The only difference between them is that
Reagan had sensible people around him (like Pat Buchannan) who wrote good speeches and make good
decisions which he took full credit for. Trump, on the other hand delivers abbreviated, one-sentence
speeches via Twitter while surrounded by mental midgets with military minds.
There is arguably a fundamental difference here, that in Reagan's day there was a clear
ideological threat from the Soviet Union, which was still (albeit increasingly nominally) in
the grip of an aggressively destabilising universalist ideology, communism
Not really Randal. The Cold War was an invented war like the War on Terror that replaced just
in the nick of time, and for the same purpose, which is to justify unlimited defense budgets necessary
to sustain a bloated MIC that would not otherwise exist.
Rubio was far more of a war-monger than Trump, and he won the primaries in the majority
non-White jurisdictions (Washington DC, Puerto Rico).
but you're forgetting that Trump wasn't a war monger while on the campaign trail, far from
it. Which is the only reason he won the election. In other words he fooled just enough people
(like you and me) long enough to get elected. Same thing happened with peace candidate, and Nobel
Peace Prize winner, Hussein Obama. It's clearly a rigged process.
Not really Randal. The Cold War was an invented war like the War on Terror that replaced
just in the nick of time, and for the same purpose, which is to justify unlimited defense budgets
necessary to sustain a bloated MIC that would not otherwise exist.
Well, yes and no. In both cases. It really is more complicated than that.
Reagan didn't undo Arab Israel Camp David Peace Treaty He didn't keep the Israeli side and undo
the Egyptian side of the American obligation . He kept both.
Trump is dangerous malevolent anti-American and anti- anything that hurts his ego or pocket
. He has malcontent displaced sycophants as inner circle supporters who want a piece in the pie
denied to them by the establishment .
Here is a quote from antiwar -"In other words, it's all about the war that Trump and his still-loyal
lieutenant Steve Bannon, assisted by UN ambassador Nikki Haley, have declared on the "deep state."
This war between elites have been predicted by a CT professor in an article in 2016 , to get
more serious and dangerous by 2020 . The fights among elites are not new but another pathway an
empire takes additionally to the final fate of the destruction from within
"A large class of disgruntled elite-wannabes, often well-educated and highly capable,
has been denied access to elite positions."
Another visible sign of increasing intra-elite competition and political polarization is the
fragmentation of political parties
cliodynamic research on past societies demonstrates that elite overproduction is by far the
most important of the three main historical drivers of social instability and political violence
(see Secular Cycles for this analysis).
But the other two factors in the model, popular immiseration (the stagnation and decline of
living standards) and declining fiscal health of the state (resulting from falling state revenues
and rising expenses) are also important contributors.
Ideally Europe would be strong together, without US and more sane policies on morals and immigration.
Yes v4 is connected to CC, Neocon, Zios.
While Polands stance on immigration, and trying to hold on to old values is good, problem is
depending on US too much, and being stuck between Russia and Germany which would isolate it from
Europe in some ways. Obviously Poles are not uniform, views on US, Russia, Germany, Ukraine are
all over the place. I wish Poland was just European (in politics) but the US-EU connection is
Commenting on US presidents. Presidents are puppets. All of them. Modern leaders in Western world
are unlikable. Reagan at least had some balance, had some Catholic and Paleocon involvement. It
wasnt all Neocons and Zios. Im quite sure Reagan (and his dad), people like Buchanan had connections
to groups like Knights Malta or Knights Colombus. Cant prove it though. Kennedy was KC.
Neocon/Zionist influence is even stronger. Trump policies on NK and Iran are nuts. At best a war
On the other side you have Clintons, Obamas. They would destroy the US, and have similar policies
because again they are puppets. Clinton would likely be involved in Syria, just like Obama was.
While Polands stance on immigration, and trying to hold on to old values is good, problem
is depending on US too much
Yes, that's a problem, and I think Polish national conservatives are somewhat in denial about
what the modern US stands for the "values" pushed by the US establishment today are incompatible
with the Polish right's vision for Poland (e.g. conservative values in sexual morality – no homo-lobbyism
and transgender nonsense -, strong public role of Catholicism, restrictive and selective immigration
policies that keep out Muslims).
I can understand to some degree why the Polish right is so pro-US, given history and apprehensions
about Germany and Russia, but they should at least be aware that alliance with the US could have
a rather pernicious influence on Poland itself.
Anybody who subscript of NYT, or WaPo after this fiasco is simply paying money for state
"... Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference last Wednesday when he said: "We feel very confident that the ICA's accuracy is going to be supported by our committee. " ..."
"... Burr's statement is an example of "confirmation bias" which is the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one's own preexisting beliefs. In this case, Burr and his co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together Intelligence report that was the work of "hand-picked" analysts who were likely chosen to produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda. ..."
"... This is the basic claim of Russia meddling that has yet to be proved. As you can see, the charge is mixed with liberal doses of mind-reading mumbo-jumbo that reveal the authors' lack of objectivity. There's a considerable amount of speculation about Putin's motives and preferences which are based on pure conjecture. It's a bit shocking that professional analysts -- who are charged with providing our leaders with rock-solid intelligence related to matters of national security -- would indulge in this type of opinionated blather and psycho-babble. ..."
"... The ICA reads more like the text from a morning talk show than an Intelligence report. And what is it about this report that Burr finds so persuasive? It's beyond me. The report's greatest strength seems to be that no one has ever read it. If they had, they'd realize that it's nonsense. ..."
"... How can the committee conduct "100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts" without producing a shred of evidence that Russia meddled in the elections? How is that possible? The Committee's job is to prove its case not to merely pour over the minutia related to the investigation. No one really cares how many people testified or how much paperwork was involved. What people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem: "There are concerns that we continue to pursue. Collusion? The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I'm not going to even discuss any initial findings because we haven't any." ..."
"... Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple. ..."
"... Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype? ..."
"... It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war. ..."
"... If the Senate can 'assess,' so can I! I assess that Hollywood hottie Jenifer Lawrence is secretly in love with me! Although I can't prove this, all of my assessments point to this as being fact. ..."
"... This report is as bogus as the "9/11 Commission Report". Both commissions members were hand-picked by those guys that have a vested interest in the right outcome. ..."
"... In the end, Robert Mueller, an Obama/Clinton/Comey/Brennan stooge, will produce some "evidence" about so-called Russian meddling as far-fetched this may be. And the fawning media will go for it. The American public will get the report, which it deserves. ..."
"... But what is missing is that this "Russian Hacking" story was not nonsense, it worked. After Trump was elected, the establishment panicked and went into full attack mode. The headlines were screaming, thought went out the window, it looked like Trump was going to be hounded out of office by force majeure. Then Trump buckled, and shot those missiles at the Syrian air base, and we are back on track throwing away trillions of dollars on endless pointless winless foreign wars in places of zero strategic interest to us. ..."
"... Having served its purpose, the Russian 'hacking' stories are tapering off, being continued more out of momentum and habit than true focused intent. Oh sure, the corporate press still publicly despises Trump, but the intensity is gone. They are just going through the motions, it is no longer important, just political theater. ..."
"... The people who came up with the Russian hacking story were not stupid. The logical weakness of the claim was never relevant. Unlike Dubya in Iraq, they got what they wanted. Mission accomplished. ..."
"... The inaptly named Intelligence Community just never busts out. However much it has gotten flat out wrong and however much it has flat out missed over the years, however much its blunders and mistakes have cost us and our victims in treasure and blood, it just never busts out. There is always an excuse. The closest the Borg ever came to any gesture towards accountability was the Church committee post Watergate, ancient history, lessons purposefully buried and lost to the legions of bureaucrats blundering their way through the last 40 years. ..."
"... Good article on something everyone who is well researched and truth seeking already knows; the Russian Collusion story is a hatchet job by incompetent political hacks. The only power they USED to have is an obsessive never give up faith in the power of lying. ..."
"... So what ? Truth is no longer an issue in USA politics: Christopher Lasch, 'The Culture of Narcissism, American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations', 1979, 1980, London ..."
"... Even today there was another AP hit piece about those 201 Russian Twitter handles, and zero perspective about the kind of math that renders 201 out of 24 billion a speck of dust. You really have to depend on a dumbed down population to get them to buy this stuff. ..."
"... If all we hear are endless allusions to what are just opinions, meetings, plans, criticism, etc what is being investigated? This is literally suggesting that some in Washington and US media are not mature enough, smart enough, or sane enough to be taken seriously. How are they planning to recover the basic level of rationality after this fiasco? ..."
The Senate Intelligence Committee has made it clear that it is not conducting an open and
independent investigation of alleged Russian hacking, but making a determined effort to support
a theory that was presented in the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment.
Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference
last Wednesday when he said: "We feel very confident that the ICA's accuracy is going to be
supported by our committee. "
Burr's statement is an example of "confirmation bias" which is the tendency to interpret
information in a way that confirms one's own preexisting beliefs. In this case, Burr and his
co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together
Intelligence report that was the work of "hand-picked" analysts who were likely chosen to
produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda. In other words, the
intelligence was fixed to fit the policy. Burr of course has tried to conceal his prejudice by
pointing to the number of witnesses the Committee has interviewed and the volume of work that's
been produced. This is from an article at The Nation:
Since January 23, the committee and its staff have conducted more than 100 interviews,
comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts, and reviewed
more than 100,000 documents relevant to Russiagate. The staff, said Warner, has collectively
spent a total of 57 hours per day, seven days a week, since the committee opened its inquiry,
going through documents and transcripts, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing both
classified and unclassified material.
It all sounds very impressive, but if the goal is merely to lend credibility to unverified
assumptions, then what's the point? Let's take a look at a few excerpts from the report and see
whether Burr and Warner are justified in "feeling confident" in the ICA's accuracy. From the
Intelligence Community Assessment:
We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at
the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US
democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential
presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference
for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.
This is the basic claim of Russia meddling that has yet to be proved. As you can see,
the charge is mixed with liberal doses of mind-reading mumbo-jumbo that reveal the authors'
lack of objectivity. There's a considerable amount of speculation about Putin's motives and
preferences which are based on pure conjecture. It's a bit shocking that professional analysts
-- who are charged with providing our leaders with rock-solid intelligence related to matters
of national security -- would indulge in this type of opinionated blather and
psycho-babble. It's also shocking that Burr and Warner think this gibberish should be
Here's more from the ICA:
Putin most likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has publicly blamed her
since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012, and
because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him.
More mind-reading, more groundless speculation, more guessing what Putin thinks or doesn't
think. The ICA reads more like the text from a morning talk show than an Intelligence
report. And what is it about this report that Burr finds so persuasive? It's beyond me. The
report's greatest strength seems to be that no one has ever read it. If they had, they'd
realize that it's nonsense. Also, it would have been better if the ICA's authors had
avoided the amateur psychoanalysis and stuck to the point, Russia hacking. Dabbling in the
former seriously impacts the report's credibility.
To their credit, however, Burr and Warner have questioned all of the analysts who
contributed to the report. Check out this excerpt from The Nation:
"We have interviewed everybody who had a hand or a voice in the creation of the ICA," said
Burr. "We've spent nine times the amount of time that the IC [intelligence community] spent
putting the ICA together. We have reviewed all the supporting evidence that went into it and,
in addition to that, the things that went on the cutting-room floor that they may not have