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Creepy neocon Joe Biden and fleecing of Ukraine

Biden is the quintessential swamp rat, having served in Washington, almost continuously, since Jan 1973.
He voted for the Iraq War (which should disqualify him for running for any public office)  and is up to the neck in the dirt of Clinton-era deregulation. Like Hillary, he also is a symbol of destruction of Libya, Syria and Ukraine by Obama administration; He was instrumental in EuroMaydan coup which destroyed the standard of living of ordinary Ukrainians. His son fleeced Ukraine to the tune of several millions a year

News Conversion of Democratic Party into War Party Recommended Links Obama administration directed the intelligence services putsch against Trump Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0 Ukraine: From EuroMaydan to EuroAnschluss Nulandgate  Blob attacks Trump: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate
Civil war in Ukraine Adam Schiff Witch Hunt Alexandra Chalupa role in fueling Russiagate FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga UA officials role in fueling Russiagate and Ukrainegate Ukrainian Security Services role in Spygate (aka Russiagate) Zelensky presidency as Saakashvilli 2.0 Poroshenko presidency
Alexander Vindman role in Ukrainegate Eric Ciaramella as potential fake whistleblower and Brennan pawn Nancy Pelosi impeachment gambit Rick Perry induced Trump blunder Manafort and his Ukrainian connections Blob attacks Trump: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga Demonization of Putin
Russiagate -- the attempt to entrap Trump with Russia ties by CIA, FBI, MI6 and Clinton mafia Russiagate: Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Creating Insurance: the appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Strzok-gate Steele dossier Brennan elections machinations Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak
 NeoMcCartyism Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Cold War II "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place The Far Right Forces in Ukraine as Trojan Horse of Neoliberalism To whom Euromaydan Sharp-shooters belong? Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014 Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism
Media-Military-Industrial Complex The Deep State Nation under attack meme Clinton Cash The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich New American Militarism  Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Obama: a yet another Neocon Neocons Credibility Scam
Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Blowback against neoliberal globalization Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism American Exceptionalism Noble Lie Deception as an art form Demexit: Abandonment of Democratic party by working class and middle class Cold War II
Predator state The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Inverted Totalitarism == Managed Democracy == Neoliberalism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich   Politically Incorrect Humor  Etc

Introduction: From Ukraine with love

Biden is a weaker version of Bill clonton: wolf in sheeps' clothing -- the person who sold Democratic Party to Wall Street. At some point the Democratic establishment has decided that all that they need is a more likeable candidate, dusted off Biden and pushed him into the race.

And yes, Biden is more favorable ratings in polls than Hillary right now, but then Hillary's favorability was much higher before she kicked off her campaign. Chances for this  grinning neoliberal sell-out are approximately the same as Hillary.  He is a staunch neocon who stands well to the right of most republicans on key elements of the USA foreign policy. So like Hillary he personify conversion of neoliberal Dems into the second war party. This stooge of MIC voted for Iraq war, which alone should disqualify him from any public office.  One reason for Biden run is to deny  Sanders or Warren the nomination. 

The fact that  DemoRats (Clinton wing of Democratic Party) dusted off and added Joe Biden to the already overclouded roster of candidates  (and falsified polls to show that he is a leader and thus artificially created a following for his candidacy) was clearly a move directed on reelection of Trump, a very favorable for Trump event.  And it is true that DemoRats are afraid of Bernie Sanders more then of Trump.

In September three House committees announced earlier this month that they were investigating whether Trump used the withholding of military aid as leverage to get Ukraine’s new President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to probe the Bidens — an allegation that has been bolstered by a  "whistle-blower"( this person is not a whistle-blower but a leaker, as we are talking about potentially criminal actions by Biden, which do deserve investigation by the Ukrainian side)  complaint from inside the  intelligence community.

Democrats risk to discover that in the released transcript Trump did not cross the line and at this point you can say good-buy to Creepy Joe as the leader of the pack, if not as a candidate. So it could well be  that the "whistle-blower" is Warren sympathizer within the intelligence community and the whole operation was devised  to prop-up Warren and hurt Trump in best Russiagate style. Looks like powerful faction within the intelligence community clearly had a candidate in 2016. Do they also have one in 2020?

The US authorities now are obligated to conduct a full-scale inquiry of Biden behavior, but what is even worse theis will add a lot of additional air time to allegations about Biden criminality, linking their party’s 2020 presidential front-runner to Clinton family corruption. The last thing Democrats want is another candidate on the defensive, after Trump was rolled over Hillary 2016.”  Also in view of the scandal voters may think Biden not only just too old to be the President, but that maybe that he carries was too much neoliberal baggage. The whistleblower incident is more likely to end the political career of Biden. The whole matter involving his son’s foreign business dealings not only raises unflattering questions but also provides plenty of reminders about his life in the swamp. Trump practically has been defined by his ability to outlive Democratic “witch hunts.'”

Trump probably will crush Creepy Joe even with all the negative factors he now has, or will acquire.  Creepy Joe (as WaPo nicknamed him) has three major skeletons in the closet:

  1. his narcoaddict son magically escaped justice when a crack pipe was found in his rental car
  2. Biden role in Ukrainian events which are disgusting if not outright criminal. Later after the EuroMaydan events he instrumental if firing Ukrainian Chief Persecutor to squash investigating of gas company Burisma (where his some do some reason got a position in the board of the company) which paid around $50K a month to his son) and his son financial dealings with China.  So his son fleeced impoverished Ukraine where standard living dropped 2-3 times after Euromaydan, which was converted into the debt slave of the  West and where most population live of $2 a day or less.

    The fact of the matter is that Hunter wasn’t on the board because of his expertise in Eastern European energy issues. He’s part of a long tradition of nepotism when family members of influential politicians profiting off a sense that it’s politically and economically useful to cultivate these connections.

    not to mention his past as the  "mentor" of Yanukovich whom he later backstabbed
  3. His China dealings

At night on September 24, 2019 Pelosi  have announced they will pursue impeachment charges against President Trump because an unverified, hearsay whistleblower made a complaint about a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenski. 

In response Trump published the transcript of the call. Trump’s move to release the un-redacted transcripts of the phone call was the right move. But Dems did not stop. They just moved goalposts.

There are few hard facts: a leak claims a whistleblower in the intelligence community believes that during a July 25 phone call, Trump made unspecified “promises” to the Ukrainian president in return for his investigating Biden family corruption. The whistleblower did not have direct knowledge of what was said, and may have read a transcript or summary. Trump knew the call was monitored by multiple people yet said whatever he said anyway

The actual words matter a lot. If this whole thing looks like a dance around some flippant statement by the president about investigating corruption that may involve the Biden family turning it into a quid pro quo accusation, it will fail spectacularly with voters. If we all have to become whistleblower law experts the same way we all were obstruction experts just a few weeks ago, it fails.

Yet while the actual words matter, it should not be lost that none of what Trump was supposed to have really done — using military aid to get dirt on Biden — happened.  

No one claims the Ukrainians investigated Biden at Trump’s demand (and Dems insist there was no Biden wrongdoing anyway, so an investigation would be for naught). It is thus a big problem in this narrative that the long-promised military aid to the Ukraine was only delayed and then paid out, as if the bribe was given for nothing in return—which makes it hardly a bribe. Trump is apparently bad at bribing. Even though he made the decision to temporarily withhold the aid for some reason, the Ukrainians were never even told about it until weeks after the “extortion” phone call, meaning nobody’s arm got knowingly twisted. So no bribe was given, or to the Ukrainians’ knowledge, no money withheld.

In previous case FBI plot to entrap Trump with Moscow hotel  led to the Dems claim that they see a smoking gun. But there is no body on the ground under the muzzle. So will this devolve into another complicated thought crime, another “conspiracy” to commit without the committal?

“No explicit quid pro quo is necessary to betray your country,” helpfully tweeted Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, a member of Congress Pro-isreal lobby. He does not even understand how right he is.

People became way too cynical following the collapse of Russiagate for Dems to have any level of success in derailing Trump.

Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, was hired by the Ukrainian natural gas firm, Burisma Holdings in 2014. They gave Hunter Biden a seat on their board and paid Biden’s firm an average of $166,000 a month during his employment with them. The problem? Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in the Ukraine started a widespread corruption probe into Burisma Holdings with specific plans to look at all board members – including Joe Biden’s son.  (Source)

As Vice President, Joe Biden traveled to Ukraine to give them the news that the United States was going to be granting Ukraine $1 Billion in loan guarantees. While there, he threatened to pull the guarantees if they did not fire Prosecutor Shokin, who was investigating the firm Biden’s son was a board member of. (Source)

Sure enough, Ukraine folded in order to not risk losing the loan guarantees and fired Prosecutor Shokin. The corruption investigation into Burisma Holdings was abandoned and no charges were brought against the firm or Hunter Biden. Last year, Joe Biden bragged on video about personally strong-arming the Ukrainians into firing the prosecutor. (Source)

Biden as a neoliberal

Biden is dyed-in-the-wool in the wool neocon and neoliberal. His real constituents wear pinstripe suits and works on Wall Street and in corporate headquarters. He is the only 2020 candidate who voted for Iraq war. As a part of Obama administration he was instrumental in Libya and Ukraine disasters. He created a sinecure for his cocaine addicted sun in Ukraine in the form of the board member of oil and gas company Burisma and prevented corruption investigation of the company by Ukrainian authorities by forcing the  firing of the Chief Prosecutor by President Poroshenko) . Kind of mini Clinton cash scandal. Al-in-all he is a fossilized remnant of Clinton wing of Democratic Party. 

When people learn about his voting record his ratings will probably drop:

Iraq War supporter? Check. Clinton was pilloried by the left and the right alike as a wild-eyed hawk; her vote in favor of the Iraq invasion haunted both her 2008 and 2016 campaigns. ...Let's be clear: If he runs, Biden will be the only candidate -- out of up to 20 Democrats running for the nomination -- to have voted for the Iraq War.

Friend of Wall Street? Check. Clinton had a Goldman Sachs problem; Biden has an MBNA problem. Headquartered in his home state of Delaware, the credit card giant MBNA was his biggest donor when he served in the Senate. In 2005, Biden threw his weight behind a bankruptcy bill, signed into law by President George W. Bush, that shamefully protected credit card companies at the expense of borrowers.

Champion of mass incarceration? Check. Clinton took flak for supporting the 1994 crime bill, which helped push up the U.S. prison population, introduced new federal death penalty crimes, and hugely exacerbated racial disparities in the criminal justice system. And Biden? Well, he wrote the damn thing!

Establishment-friendly? Check. Biden arrived in D.C. in 1973; he spent 36 years in the Senate and eight years in Obama's cabinet.When Trump tries to run again as an anti-establishment outsider in 2020, what will Biden's response be?

Loser? Check. Clinton won the Democratic nomination in 2016, at the second attempt, having been defeated by Obama eight years earlier. For Biden, it would have to be third-time lucky.

Biden is 76 and he is one of the oldest candidate, older then Trump. As Trump sarcastically noted during a CBS interview last year running against Biden would be “a dream,” noting that Barack Obama “took him out of the garbage heap” to make him his running mate in 2008:  Biden unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and in 2008, both times dropping out after poor showings. That was evidence, Trump said, that Biden “by himself could never do anything.” ( The Washington Post )

Biden biggest and only strength is that he is well known establishment neoliberal. It is also his biggest weakness. It is well known that Biden is beholden to Wall Street (Strategic Culture).

In 1978, Biden worked for Wall Street by voting to rollback bankruptcy protections for college graduates with federal student loans. Six years later he did the same to vocational school graduates. In 2005, he worked with Republican allies to pass the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, which put traditional “clean slate” Chapter 7 bankruptcy out of reach for millions of ordinary Americans and thousands of small businesses. The bill put bankruptcy filers under far stricter Chapter 13 rules, turning countless citizens into de facto indentured servants of finance capital (including the many credit card companies headquartered in Delaware.) Biden backed an earlier version of the bill that was too corporatist even for Bill and Hillary Clinton.

He voted against a bill that would have compelled credit card companies to warn customers of the costs of only making minimum payments.

In 1979, Biden recognized campaign donations from Coca-Cola by cosponsoring a bill that permitted soft-drink producers to skirt antitrust laws. That same year he was one of just two Congressional Democrats to vote against a Judiciary Committee measure to increase consumers’ rights to sue corporations for price-fixing.

Biden strongly supported the 1999 Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, which permitted the re-merging of investment and commercial banking by repealing the Depression-era Glass–Steagall Act. This helped create the 2007-8 financial crisis and subsequent recession.

Biden naturally supported the corporate-neoliberal North American Free Trade agreement and the globalist investor rights Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.

All of this and more in Biden’s record is richly consistent with the beginning of his political career. He’s been an unapologetic corporatist from the start. As Branko Marcetic noted on Jacobin last summer:

“In 1984, the Washington Post specifically named him, along with Gary Hart and Bill Bradley, as one of the best-known figures among that era’s Democratic Party’s ‘neo-liberals,’ who ‘singled out slimming the role of government and pushing new technology’….Biden built his career advertising himself as someone who refuses to toe the progressive line. He proudly boasted of defying liberal orthodoxy on school busing, for instance. But throughout his career, that boast has most often taken the form of bashing liberal ‘special interests.’ Biden toured the country in 1985 chiding…unions and farmers for being too narrowly focused, and complained that Democrats too often ‘think in terms of special interests first and the greater interest second.’ In the latter case, Biden was specifically complaining about their opposition to his calls for a spending freeze on entitlements and an increase in the retirement age” (emphasis added).

During 2018 cycle he  supported Hillary Joe Biden Shills For Establishment Over Nevada Berniecrat -

Politically all he time in congress Biden is a classic corrupt, beholden to insurance companies and large banks  Third Way neoliberal similar to Bill and Hillary Clinton. He spend years attacking progressive “special interests” while crossing the aisle to vote with Republicans in major instances that were decidedly unhelpful to the working class.

He also excels in Clinton-style corruption: The most well-known case is Biden’s relationship with MBNA, a major credit card company based in his home state that was his largest single donor between 1989 and 2000. By sheer coincidence, Biden voted against a measure requiring credit card companies to warn consumers of the consequences of making only minimum payments and voted four times for an industry-supported bankruptcy bill that made it harder for financially strained borrowers to get protection from creditors. Another coincidence: MBNA hired Biden’s son, Hunter, as a lobbyist straight out of law school, and later hired him as a consultant from 2001 to 2005 — the same years Biden was helping to pass the bill.

Another coincidence: MBNA hired Biden’s son, Hunter, as a lobbyist straight out of law school, and later hired him as a consultant from 2001 to 2005 — the same years Biden was helping to pass the bill.

Another side of neoliberal corruption are exorbitant speaking fess. Biden has long been prolific on the speaking circuit. By 1979, he was one of the Senate’s top twenty-five earners of outside income — and, along with twenty-two others on that list, voted against a bill to limit such earnings. As early as 1977, his speaking-fee income was among the highest in the Senate, totaling $22,596 that year (almost $94,000 in today’s dollars) for a practice that even then was controversial. And while he did sponsor a bill that year to bar senators from taking such fees, he clearly wasn’t bothered by its failure, continuing to rack up thousands of dollars in fees from pro-Israel groups and others in the ensuing years, and commanding $100,000–$200,000 per speech today.

Biden can close connection with lobbyists. Many Biden’s longtime staffers became lobbists  From 1989 to 2008 the industry donated $344,400 to him, more then the $300,000 given to him by finance and credit card companies.  He openly proclaims himself a neoliberal:

This hints at the larger issue with Biden: at a time when left-wing populism is increasingly accepted as the antidote to Trump and the GOP’s nativist and corporate-friendly pitch, Biden stands as a remnant of precisely the sort of left-averse, triangulating Democratic politics that Hillary Clinton was relentlessly criticized for personifying.

If you don’t believe me, there’s someone else who can tell you all about it. His name is Joe Biden.

In 2001, Biden was specifically asked by the National Journal about whether or not he thought a “populist message” was an effective one. This was his response:

[Bill] Clinton got it right. I was one of those guys in 1987 who tried to run on a platform that Clinton basically ran on in 1992. And that is, for a lack of a better phrase, his “Third Way.” It worked. It’s where the American people are. It’s where the Democratic Party should have been. Al Gore abandoned it without an alternative, and [Sen.] Paul Wellstone [D-Minn.] thinks we lost because we didn’t take care of Ralph Nader’s voters. One of the things I’m most angry about in the [aftermath of the] 2000 election, we’re now renegotiating as a party what the hell our message should be and who we are, when for me it was settled in 1992 ….

The idea now, and it’s credible, is that class warfare and populism is the way we should conduct the next election. We do that [and] George Bush will be a second term president, regardless of how bad a job he may do.

In fact, even in today’s political climate, Biden continues to defend the ultrarich from criticism — “I don’t think five hundred billionaires are the reason we’re in trouble. The folks at the top aren’t bad guys,” he said last year — suggests his views haven’t shifted much in the last seventeen years.

Biden’s always been a traitor of his class. In 1984, Washington Post specifically mentions  that he (with Gary Hart and Bill Bradley) is the the best-known Democratic Party “neo-liberal”. Politician that subscribes to deregulation, slimming the role of government and pushing new technology

Biden also spent the 1990s voting for a string of neoliberal policies: NAFTA, one of the most devastating political defeats for unions in recent memory, and one where Biden was a crucial vote that switched to help it pass; the balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, which he had earlier decried as “mak[ing] Herbert Hoover’s economic policy a constitutional mandate,” a claim that if anything understates the case; Clinton’s appalling welfare reform; and the repeal of the New Deal-era Glass-Steagall prohibition on banks engaging in risky securities dealings. He did this all while moaning endlessly about excessive government spending.

Being the establishment candidate has a lot of advantages. One is money. Biden got over 6 million in his chest the day he announced his candidacy.

His speeches are full of platitudes and balderdash. Biden has no new political ideas and have no clur how to deal with the crisi of neoliberalism in the USA (one of the side  effects of which was the election of Trump). His sole point is "I am better then  Trump."

Biden as a neocon

Biden is a dangerous neocons, Hillary Clinton without any selling points as one commenter defined him.  See Joe Biden I'm a Democrat and I love John McCain - YouTube

He is adamantly anti-Iran politician:

 Bro. Curtis, Feb 8, 2009

MUNICH – Vice President Joe Biden warned Saturday that the U.S. stands ready to take pre-emptive action against Iran if it does not abandon nuclear ambitions and its support for terrorism...."We will draw upon all the elements of our power — military and diplomatic, intelligence and law enforcement, economic and cultural — to stop crises from occurring before they are in front of us,"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090207/ap_on_go_pr_wh/biden_europe

Not long after the turn of the twentieth century, Biden enthusiastically voted for the greatest foreign policy disaster of the twenty-first: the Iraq War (“I voted to go into Iraq, and I’d vote to do it again”). It was the worst of a pattern for Biden, who backed Margaret Thatcher’s war in the Falklands and was one of the key figures pushing for NATO’s eastward expansion in the 1990s, a needless provocation of Russia that the famed Cold War diplomat George Kennan, speaking more than a year before Vladimir Putin took office, presciently denounced as “the beginning of a new cold war.” Biden’s strategy for Afghanistan is indistinguishable from the one the Trump administration is now pursuing, and his “counterterrorism plus” approach — the use of drone strikes and special forces anywhere in the world — became Obama’s anti-terror policy, one that visited death and carnage to a long series of countries and fueled the very threat it was supposed to extinguish.

Needless to say, Biden isn’t just pro-Israel — he’s one of the most Israel-friendly politicians of his generation.  See for example this  YouTube video:

SHILL! Joe Biden & Israel - YouTube

 

Through speaking fees and campaign donations, Israel has been good to Biden his whole career, and Biden’s been good right back, from pushing for more US aid to voting to move the embassy to Jerusalem — another extremist policy Trump cribbed from Biden and his friends — and even chiding the Bush administration for its criticism of Israel’s assassination program. But being “the best friend of Israel” in the Obama administration didn’t get him far with Benjamin Netanyahu, who openly rebelled against the US under Obama, and humiliatingly announced new illegal settlements in the middle of an official visit from Biden.

Biden involvement  in Obama administration color revolution against  Trump

The "putsch" that intelligence agencies organized after Trump election as well as gambit to appointed the special prosecutor were not unprecedented (JFK assassination is probably one close instance, Nixon removal is another).  But it enjoyed full and continues support of Justice department and several key Obama administration officials, including Obama himself.

Obama has had an outstanding record of dirty tricks and connections to intelligence  agencies, even by Democrat standards with Bill Clinton and Hillary as standards in this area.  His state senate campaign, the Senate campaign…and it would explain some oddities in the 2012 Presidential campaign. Not to mention 2016. Obama White House was not only aware of the intelligence agencies operation against Trump - but possibly was directing it (FBI Spying On Trump Started In London, Earlier Than Thought, New Texts Implicate Obama White House). To hide traces the intelligence agencys targeting of Trump associates wouldn't occur on U.S. soil, Obama moved them to London. London was the center of the "Operation Crossfire Hurricane"  - the code name given to the early official Trump-Russia investigationSome now  accuse the UK of colluding with the Obama administration and Clinton campaign to influence the 2016 US election

As David Stockman  observed (The RussiaGate Witch-Hunt Stockman Names Names In The Deep State's Insurance Policy )

There was a sinister plot to meddle in the 2016 election, after all. But it was not orchestrated from the Kremlin; it was an entirely homegrown affair conducted from the inner sanctums---the White House, DOJ, the Hoover Building and Langley----of the Imperial City.

Likewise, the perpetrators didn't speak Russian or write in the Cyrillic script. In fact, they were lifetime beltway insiders occupying the highest positions of power in the US government.

Here are the names and rank of the principal conspirators:

To a person, the participants in this illicit cabal shared the core trait that made Obama such a blight on the nation's well-being. To wit, he never held an honest job outside the halls of government in his entire adult life; and as a careerist agent of the state and practitioner of its purported goods works, he exuded a sanctimonious disdain for everyday citizens who make their living along the capitalist highways and by-ways of America.

So we can talk about the particlation or implisit support of the putsch by at least two departments (Justice Departemant and the Department of State) as well as several key figures of ama administration, especially Susan Rice and Samatha Powell. 

Fmr. FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom argues the FBI planned to destroy Donald Trump's presidency (Dec 19, 2017). In his Fox interview said that there was a "cabal" of FBI personnel around Comey as well Justice Department.  He asks an interesting question: "Why Trump Justice Department does not comply with congressional subpoena?".

The role of Peter Strzok is also pretty interesting: Jordan Appears There Was Orchestrated Plan Within DOJ, FBI to Prevent Trump From Becoming President - YouTube

I realize that Clinton wing of Democratic Party (soft neoliberals) and their supporters which include a part of Wall Street, large part of Silicon valley and most MSM progressives hate Donald Trump so much that they believe that any pretext is justified in taking him down. So they joined efforts with the neoconservatives. That's why war-mongering against Russia is now OK for them and Democratic party now is just another War Party (as was evident from Hillary campaign).

Many people who detest Trump view Russiagate as the most effective path to achieve Trump’s impeachment, so this desirable end justifies whatever means. that makes them very similar to supported of Ukrainian Maydan, which removed Yanukovich and installed far right junta with a lot of unsavory characters. But to me it look like Trump surrendered after just 100 of anti-Russian smear campaign launched by neocons. So why they still  want to finish him?  So it must be more  to it; there might be some skeletons in the closet revealing of which previous administration and their factions in intelligence  services the are afraid to death . Because their action is as close to sedition as one  can get. In other words they went va bank  by unleashing on Trump Steele dossier (va bank is a common expression among Russian and German speakers. which means to put everything at risk in order to win. And nowhere it is more clear then in sordid case of Steele dossier.

Russiangate can be viewed as "American Maydan" story.  Ukrainian Maydan was about  Yanukovich removal. Yanukovich  who was a neoliberal wanted to bargain more before signing EU memorandum and postpone its signing despite pressure.  At this point EU and the USA decided that he crosses the line and decided to remove legitimatly elected president of Ukraine by force.

Similarly Trump wanted to reach some level of detente  with Russia (at least during the election campaign) rightly considering the level of hostility achieved under Obama dangerous and counterproductive (to the extent that Obama might be controlled by Brennan it might be not Obama personal fault).  In this sense Trump also crossed the line (with the only difference that he did it during he election campaign) and at this point all power of neocons and neolib including their factions in intelligence agencies was unleashed for his removal.

That's why Steele dossier was created and advertized: as part of anti-Trump coup d'état by the neocons, Clinton neoliberals and parts of the US intelligence services.  In both case the interests of the USA and national security suffers. In a way both neocons and neoliberals  are elements of foreign influence that do not care much about ordinary Americans. In any case now two third of US population now is brainwashed into adamantly anti-Russian mindset, increasing the risk of the major war

First let's discuss the historical origins of  the  term “color revolution”. The latter is a new  subversive tactics which was successfully used as a means to triggering “regime change”, which have emerged in a large number of countries in the course of the last decade, especially in xUSSR space (Georgia, Ukraine, Modlova, Russia, etc). But the key methods of "color revolution" coup d'état can be traced to Chilean coup d'état or even earlier.

The “color revolution” is a US intelligence operation which consists of covertly supporting as well as infiltrating protest movements with a view to triggering “regime change” under the banner of a pro-democracy template. The objective of a “color revolution” is to manipulate or delegitimize elections (if the winner in nor desired candidate), foment social unrest and use the protest movement to topple an existing legitimate government.  Formatting social unrest is done via media (and achieving media dominance is an important  step in unleashing a color revolution)  which serve important role in any color revolution. Similar to the role of aviation in modern wars. With the only difference that it drops propaganda bombs. The goal is always the same -- to install a compliant pro-neoliberal, pro-US government (“puppet regime”).

The main underlying features of color revolution is that  those activities are structured as intelligence operation and some players might not even understand that they are pupett of pretty nefarious sceme and  beleave in noble slogans that are on the curface of events.  A lot of technologies in color revolution was taken  from Trostyiate and Bolshevicks handbooks. That include the role of students as foot solgers of regime change, Attempt to capute media as the  first step, digging  dirt on key figures of existing government (corruption is the favorite change oin such revolutions). Color revolution added several new  features: massive fincial infusion to keep unrest going, coordinating role of neoliberal NGO and think tanks in particular country, penetration into and use of law enforcement for deposing the members of the current government (typically on corruption changes). 

This contact bombardment of public with negative information about the current administration and "outsize" role of intelligence agencies we can observe  in the current campaign to de-legitimize and depose President Trump.  Instead of corruption changes they use  the  change  of cooperation with country which they demonized and present as adversary -- Russia. That why some call this color revolution Russiagate. As James Petras observed (Imperial Power Centers, July 24, 2017):

With the ascent of Donald Trump to the US Presidency, imperial rulership has become openly contested terrain, fought over amid unyielding aspirants seeking to overthrow the democratically elected regime.

While Presidents rule, today the entire state structure is riven by rival power centers. At the moment, all of the power seekers are at war to impose their rule over the empire.

In the first place, the strategically placed security apparatus is no longer under Presidential control: They operate in coordination with insurgent Congressional power centers, mass media and extra-governmental power configurations among the oligarchs (business, merchants, arms manufacturers, Zionists and special interest lobbies).

Sectors of the state apparatus and bureaucracy investigate the executive, freely leaking damaging reports to the media, distorting fabricating and/or magnifying incidents. They publicly pursue a course with the goal of regime change.

The FBI, Homeland Security, the CIA and other power configurations are acting as crucial allies to the coup-makers seeking to undermine Presidential control over the empire. No doubt, many factions within the regional offices nervously look on, waiting to see if the President will be defeated by these opposing power configurations or will survive and purge their current directors.

The Pentagon contains both elements that are pro as well as anti-Presidential power: Some active generals are aligned with the prime movers pushing for regime change, while others oppose this movement. Both contending forces influence and dictate imperial military policies.

The most visible and aggressive advocates of regime change are found in the militarist wing of the Democratic Party. They are embedded in the Congress and allied with police state militarists in and out of Washington.

Engineered protest movements are carefully planned and well financed (to the extent of create a caste of "professional protesters"). Again the key feature of all color revolutions is that they are essentially intelligence ops performed via NGO and similar organization, with huge role of the US embassy as the coordinating center.  They use non-governmental organizations and opposition media to recruit protesters.  Creation of powerful opposition media is the necessary prerequisite step in preparation of the color revolution. The protest need to be televised in order to amplify their significance (preferably out of proportion and TV is perfectly suitable for that, using the necessary angles to create impression of huge crowd and interviewing patsies to show deep discontent), and create a critical mass of discontent among the population. Again, the  change of corruption is the favorite delegitimization tactics in such events (and  who in modern political life is not corrupt, or do not have skeletons in the closet?).  As if it can be stopped by the "regime change" (often after color revolution corruption and looting of the country becomes much worse, reaching like was case with Russia in 1990th and Ukraine in 1990th and after 2014 really epic scales).  Often even more corrupt oligarchs come to power as a result, only more  subservant to multinational corporations. And BTW its multinationals such as GE which control the US media too. How convenient. 

Looks like McCabe, Rosenstein, Clinton, Morell, Brennan et al have betrayed the US Constitution by treating the national security services’ staff as their personal servants for political (and material) gains.

 

Biden corruption and Ukrainian adventures

Biden steered billions of dollars in aid to the Ukraine, while his son, Hunter Biden, raked in millions through a deal with a Ukrainian energy company.  "This blurs the ethical line so much that you can't even make out the line anymore. What Hunter Biden did may be technically legal, but it is grotesque abuse of elite sun privileges. This is as bad as the Clintons getting money from Pinchuk.

Biden might have problems with MeToo movement

Biden has also long been criticized for his creepy contacts with women and girls, and was even referred to as “Creepy Uncle Joe Biden” by the Washington Post.

The Great America PAC, according to The Hill, dumped six figures into the ad titled "Creepy Joe." The minute-long video showcases children watching a television screen of Biden accuser former state Sen. Lucy Flores (D-NV) explaining the "mortifying" interaction she had with the then-vice president during an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper. As the audio of the interview continues, the ad cuts to images of Mr. Biden touching young girls' faces, arms, and shoulders, and pressing his face up against them and kissing their head.

But that's just one of this character flaw.  That is another one.

A gaffe machine

 

In public appearances, he is known to deviate from prepared remarks at will.[162] According to political analyst Mark Halperin, he has shown "a persistent tendency to say silly, offensive, and off-putting things";[161]

The New York Times writes that Biden's "weak filters make him capable of blurting out pretty much anything".[159] Journalist James Traub has written that "Biden's vanity and his regard for his own gifts seem considerable even by the rarefied standards of the U.S. Senate."[134]

Joe Biden - Wikipedia

The question arise: Why a comfortably  retired politician with so much dirty lining and skeletons in the closet risks (including but not limited to his Ukrainian connections and his son corruption) all this humiliation that will follow. Is he is already senile enough and does not understand that?  Add to this his inability to keep his tong in his mouth and you can anticipate a disastrous, humiliating run.

The question arise: Why a comfortably  retired politician with so much dirty lining and skeletons in the closet risks (including but not limited to his Ukrainian connections and his son corruption) all this humiliation that will follow. Is he is already senile enough and does not understand that? 

Add to this his chronic inability to keep his tong in his mouth ('I am a gaffe machine' ) and you can anticipate a disastrous, humiliating run. He even made a gaffe about his intentions to run for the White House. In march 2019, a month  before announcing his intention  to run he accidentally let it slip, saying at a dinner for the Delaware Democratic party that he has “the most progressive record of anybody running”. After cheers from the crowd Biden seemed to recognize the mistake, and jokingly gave the sign of the cross, saying he “didn’t mean it”.

Infamously in 2015, while Ashton Carter was being sworn in as the secretary of defense, Biden put his hands on his wife Stephanie’s shoulders, rubbing them and appearing to whisper in her ear. “Joe Biden, We Need to Talk About the Way You Touch Women,” Gawker wrote at the time, collecting a series of photo ops in which Biden appears to behave in an overly familiar way with women, young and old alike. “America Shouldn’t Tolerate ‘Biden Being Biden,’” Time remarked.

Biden’s awkward behavior over the years is not limited to what he has said, but also how he acts. Several women have recently come forward to say he has made inappropriate physical contact with them, leaving them feel uncomfortable.

He called himself a gaffe machine (The Guardian, April 29, 2019):

The 2008 election wasn’t the first time Biden ran for president. After it was revealed that Biden had taken to adopting language used by then British Labour party leader Neil Kinnock – not only turns of phrases but taking parts of his biography as his own on stump speeches – Biden dropped out of the 1988 race.

Clips of the speeches were put together by challengers, damaging Biden’s reputation.
Biden initially called it a “tempest in a teapot” at the time, but after further accusations of plagiarism were reported, stretching back to his days in law school, he stepped down.

As troubling as some of his misstatements might be, and as serious some of the concerns people have about Biden’s retrograde positioning among a new crop of progressive candidates, a sizable percentage of the US electorate finds the often goofy Biden charming.

It didn’t hurt matters that Obama often reacted to them with bemusement. “I don’t remember exactly what Joe was referring to, not surprisingly,” Obama quipped after a typically confusing statement from Biden about the passage of a stimulus package in 2010.

In 2015, presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke about the prospect of squaring off against Biden if he had ended up running. “I think I’d match up great,” he said. “I’m a job producer. I’ve had a great record, I haven’t been involved in plagiarism.”  We may yet get to see how that works on the 2020 campaign trail. Trump is not exactly gaffe-free, to put it mildly. “I hope it’s Biden,” Trump said again last month. “When I say something that you might think is a gaffe, it’s on purpose. It’s not a gaffe. When Biden says something dumb, it’s because he’s dumb.”

“I am a gaffe machine,” Biden admitted in December when asked about potential liabilities of his campaign. “But my God what a wonderful thing compared to a guy who can’t tell the truth,” he said.

This was the basis for the hilarious series of Onion articles from the Obama years that portrayed Biden as a kind of aging Dukes of Hazzard character.

 

The role on Biden in the coming 2020 election is probably the role of spoiler

The fight against Trump can not be won by Clinton DemoRats.  For example Creepy Joe Biden probably understands that he is unelectable.  He was want to get enough  delegates to derail any non-establishment candidate.

There are probably three candidates with some chances to defeat Trump.  All of them are dgangeour for the ciurrent Democrtatic Establishemnt as they, each in thier own way, repudiate the Party neoliberal orientation:

A Sanders/Gabbard ticket in the general election is the one that currently have most promise. With Warren as a Treasury Secretary. That what  Biden will try to prevent.


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[Jan 22, 2020] Fact-Checking Joe Biden's Debunked Conspiracy Theory Memo Telling Liberal Media What To Say About Ukraine

Jan 22, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Via JohnSolomonReports.com,

Former vice president Joe Biden's extraordinary campaign memo this week imploring U.S. news media to reject the allegations surrounding his son Hunter's work for a Ukrainian natural gas company makes several bold declarations.

The memo by Biden campaign aides Kate Bedingfield and Tony Blinken specifically warned reporters covering the impeachment trial they would be acting as "enablers of misinformation" if they repeated allegations that the former vice president forced the firing of Ukraine's top prosecutor, who was investigating Burisma Holdings, where Hunter Biden worked as a highly compensated board member.

Biden's memo argues there is no evidence that the former vice president's or Hunter Biden's conduct raised any concern, and that Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin's investigation was "dormant" when the vice president forced the prosecutor to be fired in Ukraine.

The memo calls the allegation a "conspiracy theory" (and, in full disclosure, blames my reporting for the allegations surfacing last year.)

But the memo omits critical impeachment testimony and other evidence that paint a far different portrait than Biden's there's-nothing-to-talk-about-here rebuttal.

Here are the facts, with links to public evidence, so you can decide for yourself.

Fact: Joe Biden admitted to forcing Shokin's firing in March 2016 .

It is irrefutable, and not a conspiracy theory, that Joe Biden bragged in this 2018 speech to a foreign policy group that he threatened in March 2016 to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Kiev if then-Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko didn't immediately fire Shokin.

"I said, 'You're not getting the billion.' I'm going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money,'" Biden told the 2018 audience in recounting what he told Poroshenko

"Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time," Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event.

Fact: Shokin's prosecutors were actively investigating Burisma when he was fired.

While some news organizations cited by the Biden memo have reported the investigation was "dormant" in March 2016, official files released by the Ukrainian prosecutor general's office, in fact, show there was substantial investigative activity in the weeks just before Joe Biden forced Shokin's firing.

The corruption investigations into Burisma and its founder began in 2014. Around the same time, Hunter Biden and his U.S. business partner Devon Archer were added to Burisma's board , and their Rosemont Seneca Bohais firm began receiving regular $166,666 monthly payments, which totaled nearly $2 million a year. Both banks records seized by the FBI in America and Burisma's own ledgers in Ukraine confirm these payments.

To put the payments in perspective, the annual amounts paid by Burisma to Hunter Biden's and Devon Archer's Rosemont Seneca Bohais firm were 30 times the average median annual household income for everyday Americans.

For a period of time in 2015, those investigations were stalled as Ukraine was creating a new FBI-like law enforcement agency known as the National Anti-Corruption Bureau ((NABU) to investigate endemic corruption in the former Soviet republic.

There was friction between NABU and the prosecutor general's office for a while. And then in September 2015, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt demanded more action in the Burisma investigation. You can read his speech here . Activity ramped up extensively soon after.

In December 2015, the prosecutor's files show, Shokin's office transferred the evidence it had gathered against Burisma to NABU for investigation.

In early February 2016, Shokin's office secured a court order allowing prosecutors to re-seize some of the Burisma founder's property, including his home and luxury car, as part of the ongoing probe.

Two weeks later, in mid-February 2016, Latvian law enforcement sent this alert to Ukrainian prosecutors flagging several payments from Burisma to American accounts as "suspicious." The payments included some monies to Hunter Biden's and Devon Archer's firm. Latvian authorities recently confirmed it sent the alert.

Shokin told both me and ABC News that just before he was fired under pressure from Joe Biden he also was making plans to interview Hunter Biden.

Fact: Burisma's lawyers in 2016 were pressing U.S. and Ukrainian authorities to end the corruption investigations.

Burisma's main U.S. lawyer John Buretta acknowledged in this February 2017 interview with a Ukraine newspaper that the company remained under investigation in 2016, until he negotiated for one case to be dismissed and the other to be settled by payment of a large tax penalty.

Documents released under an open records lawsuit show Burisma legal team was pressuring the State Department in February 2016 to end the corruption allegations against the gas firm and specifically invoked Hunter Biden's name as part of the campaign. You can read those documents here .

In addition, immediately after Joe Biden succeeded in getting Shokin ousted, Burisma's lawyers sought to meet with his successor as chief prosecutor to settle the case. Here is the Ukrainian prosecutors' summary memo of one of their meetings with the firm's lawyers.

Fact: There is substantial evidence Joe Biden and his office knew about the Burisma probe and his son's role as a board member .

The New York Times reported in this December 2015 article that the Burisma investigation was ongoing and Hunter Biden's role in the company was undercutting Joe Biden's push to fight Ukrainian corruption. The article quoted the vice president's office.

In addition, Hunter Biden acknowledged in this interview he had discussed his Burisma job with his father on one occasion and that his father responded by saying he hoped the younger Biden knew what he was doing.

And when America's new ambassador to Ukraine was being confirmed in 2016 before the Senate she was specifically advised to refer questions about Hunter Biden, Burisma and the probe to Joe Biden's VP office, according to these State Department documents .

Fact: Federal Ethics rules requires government officials to avoid taking policy actions affecting close relatives.

Office of Government Ethics rules require all government officials to recuse themselves from any policy actions that could impact a close relative or cause a reasonable person to see the appearance of a conflict of interest or question their impartiality.

"The impartiality rule requires an employee to consider appearance concerns before participating in a particular matter if someone close to the employee is involved as a party to the matter," these rules state. "This requirement to refrain from participating (or recuse) is designed to avoid the appearance of favoritism in government decision-making."

Fact: Multiple State Department officials testified the Bidens' dealings in Ukraine created the appearance of a conflict of interest .

In House impeachment testimony , Obama-era State Department officials declared the juxtaposition of Joe Biden overseeing Ukraine policy, including the anti-corruption efforts, at the same his son Hunter worked for a Ukraine gas firm under corruption investigation created the appearance of a conflict of interest.

In fact, deputy assistant secretary George Kent said he was so concerned by Burisma's corrupt reputation that he blocked a project the State Department had with Burisma and tried to warn Joe Biden's office about the concerns about an apparent conflict of interest.

Likewise, the House Democrats' star impeachment witness, former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovich, agreed the Bidens' role in Ukraine created an ethic issue. "I think that it could raise the appearance of a conflict of interest," she testified. You can read her testimony here .

Fact: Hunter Biden acknowleged he may have gotten his Burisma job solely because of his last name .

In this interview last summer , Hunter Biden said it might have been a "mistake" to serve on the Burisma board and that it was possible he was hired simply because of his proximity to the vice president.

"If your last name wasn't Biden, do you think you would've been asked to be on the board of Burisma?," a reporter asked.

"I don't know. I don't know. Probably not, in retrospect," Hunter Biden answered. "But that's -- you know -- I don't think that there's a lot of things that would have happened in my life if my last name wasn't Biden."

Fact: Ukraine law enforcement reopened the Burisma investigation in early 2019, well before President Trump mentioned the matter to Ukraine's new president Vlodymyr Zelensky .

This may be the single biggest under-reported fact in the impeachment scandal: four months before Trump and Zelensky had their infamous phone call, Ukraine law enforcement officials officially reopened their investigation into Burisma and its founder.

The effort began independent of Trump or his lawyer Rudy Giuliani's legal work. In fact, it was NABU -- the very agency Joe Biden and the Obama administration helped start -- that recommended in February 2019 to reopen the probe.

NABU director Artem Sytnyk made this announcement that he was recommending a new notice of suspicion be opened to launch the case against Burisma and its founder because of new evidence uncovered by detectives.

Ukrainian officials said that new evidence included records suggesting a possible money laundering scheme dating to 2010 and continuing until 2015.

A month later in March 2019, Deputy Prosecutor General Konstantin Kulyk officially filed this notice of suspicion re-opening the case.

And Reuters recently quoted Ukrainian officials as saying the ongoing probe was expanded to allegations of theft of public funds.

The implications of this timetable are significant to the Trump impeachment trial because the president couldn't have pressured Ukraine to re-open the investigation in July 2019 when Kiev had already done so on its own, months earlier.

For a complete timeline of all the key events in the Ukraine scandal, you can click here .


ibeanbanned , 4 minutes ago link

Biden may have dementia but that doesn't mean he can't do some pushups for his dullard supporters.

American Dissident , 8 minutes ago link

How low will Organized Criminal Joe go?

# New National Poll: Sanders 27% Biden 24% Warren 14% Buttigieg 11% Bloomberg 5% Klobucher 4% Yang 4% Steyer 2%.

Easyp , 10 minutes ago link

The Clinton's, Obama and the Biden family sum up everything that is rotten about the Democrat Party.

The key players should be in jail not Washington.

new game , 12 minutes ago link

welcome to Mexamurica, land of the highest bidder...

dead hobo , 13 minutes ago link

You forgot the parts about how fake law enforcement likes to ignore everything.

ZorbasStep , 13 minutes ago link

Establishment Democrats are gaslighting people. This is not a qualitative improvement over what the establishment Republicans do. In fact, it makes the establishment republicans correct when the gaslighting is pointed out. The Trump Derangement Syndrome and corrupt basis of the Democrats only helps get Trump re elected. The Democrats have no better plan, and thus will be responsible if Trump gets re elected.

mr1963 , 15 minutes ago link

They're all scumbags, at all levels, and if you ain't used to it by now, you've been living under a rock. That said, it's nice to have some reporting on it and I hope all levels of government abuse will get exposed. I'm assuming it's about the same time the little bug eyed broad takes a job at an oil company...

Lawn.Dart , 16 minutes ago link

~"I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden told the 2018 audience in recounting what he told Poroshenko

“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event."

Isn't this the same fuckin thing as???... **** it, nevermind

E5 , 30 minutes ago link

"...Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event."

A group that coordinated "policy" between the press , government, and corporations. What more proof does anyone need? It is private!!

SEIZE THEIR SERVERS AT THE CFR!

dead hobo , 31 minutes ago link

Yet nobody has been arrested, indicted, or accused of anything except in odd corners of the internet. Although, there have been a couple of fake show investigations.

So, the only conclusion I can draw is it's legal if the Democrats or Establishment do it. And anyone who says otherwise needs to be jailed, ruined, or murdered, such as in the case of Seth Rich.

MalteseFalcon , 36 minutes ago link

Joe Biden is on tape extorting the government of Ukraine for personal profit.

This is a Federal felony.

Everyone has seen it, and everyone understands what it means.

This fact is not going away, even with a gallon of MSM eye bleach.

Joe Biden has not been arrested.

No one in the DOJ, including the nation's Chief Law Enforcer has called for Joe Biden's arrest.

Joe Biden's candidacy has not been withdrawn.

Such is 2020 America.

E5 , 26 minutes ago link

seize the servers at the CFR.

All members are press, state department, and American oligarchs. Trust ME, I know what goes on there. Investigate them ALL and keep all of the investigation interviews in an open public domain.

Force people to distance themselves and quit membership and you can pick them off as they conspire to reform their separate working groups.

John C Durham , 34 minutes ago link

An excellent report, organized and complete. Very useful for pointed arguments against the stressed impeachment claims.

Nunyadambizness , 38 minutes ago link

Facts? Democraps don't care about facts, don't you know that already? Democraps only care about feeeeeelings, and how it makes someone feeeeel... Facts are just those things they just discard, and then hope that we the Sheeple have short memories. Biden? Guilty as sin. Facts? Ignore. Same as Cankles, Comey, Strozk, Page, etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum. If you're a Democrap, you get off scot free, then lie about everything.

[Jan 22, 2020] 'Remember Where You Are' Chief Justice Roberts Admonishes Both Sides After Impeachment Arguments Get Personal

Sometime Kabuki theater can be very entertaining ;-)
Jan 22, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

John Law Lives , 2 hours ago link

Listening to Schiff drone on and on is cruel and unusual punishment (imo). Maybe that is a Democrat tactic.

J Jason Djfmam , 2 hours ago link

It's like he's Rachel Madcow in a blue suit.

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren "Willingness to compromise" = willingness to give obeisance to most of exploitative corporate capitalism

She endorced Hillary in 2016. That tells a lot about her... Now she backstabbed Bernie. What's next?
Notable quotes:
"... Warren has a track record of lying: lied about her dad being a janitor, hers kids going to public school, getting fired for being pregnant, and obviously the Native American heritage. ..."
"... My gut is she is going to endorse Joe Biden and prob got a tease of VP or some other role and all she had to do was kamikaze into Bernie with this. It's backfiring but at this rate and given she's too deep into it now when she drops out she'll prob back Biden as she hasn't shown the integrity to back a guy like Berni. ..."
"... She's toxic now. No one will want her has VP. Sanders supporters despise her, she comes from a small, Democratic state and she's loaded with baggage. She brings nothing to a ticket. She torpedoed any hopes or plans she might have had in that regard. ..."
"... Bernie is labeled as a socialist. Actually he is a real Roosevelt democrat. ..."
"... The most impressive thing I have witnessed about Bernie is that he can extemporaneously recall and explain exactly why he voted as he did on every piece of legislation that he has cast a vote on. in. his. life. It is a remarkable talent. ..."
"... The outcome of the upcoming Iowa Caucus is too hard to predict. All the candidates are very close. Sanders needs to turnout young and working class voters to win. ..."
"... My impression is her supporters are mostly older, mostly female, and mostly centrist. Many want to elect a female pres before they die. Prior to the she said event her supporters second choice were split fairly evenly between Bernie and Biden but the latest fracas is driving her most progressive supporters to Bernie. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Massinissa , January 21, 2020 at 12:49 pm

"Willingness to compromise" = willingness to give obeisance to most of exploitative corporate capitalism.

Amit Chokshi , January 21, 2020 at 5:52 am

Warren has a track record of lying: lied about her dad being a janitor, hers kids going to public school, getting fired for being pregnant, and obviously the Native American heritage.

As pointed here on NC she's great at grandstanding when bank CEOs are in front of her and doing nothing following that.

My gut is she is going to endorse Joe Biden and prob got a tease of VP or some other role and all she had to do was kamikaze into Bernie with this. It's backfiring but at this rate and given she's too deep into it now when she drops out she'll prob back Biden as she hasn't shown the integrity to back a guy like Berni.

Yves Smith Post author , January 21, 2020 at 5:57 am

I don't see how she is anyone's VP. She is too old. You want someone under 60, better 50, particularly for an old presidential candidate. Treasury Secretary is a more powerful position. The big appeal of being VP is maybe it positions you later to be President but that last worked out for Bush the Senior.

Arizona Slim , January 21, 2020 at 8:24 am

And Bush the Senior lost his re-election bid.

pebird , January 21, 2020 at 9:41 am

Because he asked us to read his lips. And he didn't think we were lip readers.

Oh , January 21, 2020 at 10:57 am

She may be looking to be the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture. /s

Sue E Greenwald , January 21, 2020 at 8:19 am

She's toxic now. No one will want her has VP. Sanders supporters despise her, she comes from a small, Democratic state and she's loaded with baggage. She brings nothing to a ticket. She torpedoed any hopes or plans she might have had in that regard.

jackiebass , January 21, 2020 at 6:40 am

I've watched Bernie for years. Even long before he decided to run for president. He is the same today as he was then. Bernie isn't afraid to advocate for something , even though he will get a lot of backlash. I also believe he is sincere in his convictions. If he says something he believes in it.Something you can't say for the other candidates. Bernie is by far my first choice.

After that it would be Warren. Bernie is labeled as a socialist. Actually he is a real Roosevelt democrat. As a life long democrat, I can't support or vote for a Wall Street candidate. Unlike one of the other commenters, I will never vote for Trump but instead wold vote for a third party candidate. Unfortunate the DNC will do anything to prevent Bernie from being candidate. Progressive democrats need to get out and support a progressive or the nomination will again be stolen by a what I call a light republican.

Robert Hahl , January 21, 2020 at 7:26 am

What is great about Bernie is that he is so sure-footed. It was visible in the hot-mic trap Warren set for him where she got nothing, it actually hurt her.

Anonymous Coward , January 21, 2020 at 3:05 pm

The most impressive thing I have witnessed about Bernie is that he can extemporaneously recall and explain exactly why he voted as he did on every piece of legislation that he has cast a vote on. in. his. life. It is a remarkable talent.

Howard , January 21, 2020 at 6:48 am

The outcome of the upcoming Iowa Caucus is too hard to predict. All the candidates are very close. Sanders needs to turnout young and working class voters to win. By many reports, Warren has an excellent ground game in IA and The NY Times endorsement has given a path for her to pick up Klobuchar voters after round one of the caucus.

Biden is a mystery to me. How the heck is he even running. Obama pleaded with him not to. That being said, it wouldn't surprise me if he finishes in the top two. Buttigieg is the wild card. I think the "electability" argument will hurt him as he can't win after NH.

ALM , January 21, 2020 at 7:51 am

According to a recent poll, Elizabeth Warren is one of the most unpopular senators with voters in her own state as measured against approval rates of all other senators in their states. I find this very surprising for someone with a national profile. What do voters in Massachusetts not like about her?

As for me, I find it more and more difficult to trust Warren because she takes the bait and yields to pressure during a primary when the pressure to back down, moderate, and abandon once championed policy positions and principles is a great deal less than it is during the general election. Warren has gone from Medicare4All to a public option to, in the recent debate, tweaks to the ACA. Despite her roll-out of an ambitious $10 trillion Green New Deal plan, Warren is now to the right of Chuck "Wall Street" Schumer as evidenced by her support of NAFTA 2.0 which utterly fails to address climate change. WTF! Where will she be during a general election?

And her political instincts are awful as recently demonstrated by her woke, badly executed girl power attack against a candidate who has been a committed feminist for his entire political career.

Another Scott , January 21, 2020 at 9:18 am

She also has horrible constituent service. I had an issue with a federal student loan a few years ago (I believe it was the servicer depositing money but not crediting my account and charging me interest and late fees). After getting nowhere with the company, I tried calling her office, figuring that as this was one of her core issues, I would get some response, either help or at least someone who would want to record what happened to her actual constituent. I didn't hear back for about a month, by which time I had resolved the issue – no fees or additional interest through multiple phone calls and emails.

In other words, Elizabeth Warren's constituent service is worse than Sallie Mae's.

T , January 21, 2020 at 9:31 am

The stupid Ponds cold cream lie is the worst. Unless she teed up the "how do you look so young!" question , the corrected answer is to point out the nonsense of talking about a candidates looks and addressing actual sexism.

Instead she has a goofball answer about only using Ponds cold cream which lead to Derm pointing out her alleged method was not good advice and also pointing out that she appears to have used botex and fillers, which I don't think people were talking about before then, in public.

The most generous explanation is she was caught flat-footed and, once again, showed she has terrible instincts.

Just a dumb dumb move.

Stefan , January 21, 2020 at 8:43 am

If Bernie Sanders can get it through the thick noggin of the nation that he stands for and will implement the principles, policies, and values of the New Deal–the attitude that got us through the Great Depression and Wotld War II–he has every chance of being elected the next President of the United States.

Stefan , January 21, 2020 at 8:47 am

Btw, is Inauguration Day just a year away?

The Rev Kev , January 21, 2020 at 9:02 am

Google says Wednesday Jan 20, 2021: Swearing-In Ceremony. And here is a countdown page-

https://days.to/when-is/us-presidential-inauguration/2021

Trust me. By the time it comes around you won't care who gets sworn in as you will just be glad that all the vicious, wretched skullduggery of this year's elections will finally be over.

Pat , January 21, 2020 at 11:11 am

And hoping you get one day of rest before the vicious, wretched skullduggery of undermining the desires of the American people gets started. Obviously Sanders will make the Trump years look a cake walk. Anyone else (Democrat or Trump) we will see lots of 'working for' and 'resistance' type memes while largely doing nothing of the sort, but a whole lot of 'bipartisan' passage of terrible things.

Samuel Conner , January 21, 2020 at 10:25 am

It sounds like Sanders, in the famous 2018 conversation, may have been trying to politely encourage EW to not run in 2020. Her moment was 2016 and she declined to run then when a Progressive candidate was needed. Her run in 2020 to some extent divides the Progressive vote. EW interpreted, perhaps intentionally, Sanders' words to imply that he thinks "no woman can win in 2020", and then weaponized them against him.

The very fact that she is running at all suggests to me that she is not at heart a Progressive and in fact does not want a Progressive candidate to win. If she had run in 2016, Sanders would not have run in order to not divide the Progressive vote. EW knew that Sanders would run in 2020 and planned to run anyway. It is hard for me to not interpret this to be an intentional bid for some of the Progressive vote, in order to hold Sanders down.

Anon , January 21, 2020 at 11:59 am

I agree. She decides to do things based on her own self-interest, and uses progressives as pawns to work her way up in DC. My guess is that Warren chickened out in 2016 and didn't run because maybe she didn't think she had a chance against the Clintons. When Warren saw how well Sanders did against Clinton, how close he was at winning, I think only then she decided that 2020 was a good chance for a progressive, or someone running as a progressive candidate, to win the nomination.

She saw how Sanders had fired up loyal progressive support in the Democratic Party. She chickened out back then when she could have endorsed Bernie in '16, but chose not to, probably hoping not to burn bridges with Clinton in order to get a plum role in her administration. Her non-endorsement in '16 worries me because it shows once again that Warren makes decisions largely based on what is good for her career, not what she thinks is better for the country (if she really is the progressive she claims to be).

Knowing that there was now a strong progressive base ready to vote for a candidate left of Democratic candidates like Biden and Clinton, Warren saw her entry into having a good chance at winning the presidency. Rather than thinking about the implications for Bernie and the possibility of dividing left-wing voters, her desire to become president was more important. Remember, this is exactly what Bernie did not do in 2016 when he urged Warren to run, and was willing to step aside, if she had agreed to do so.

If I had been in Sanders position, I probably would have sat down and talked to Warren about the serious implications of the both of them running in 2020. How he had hoped to build on the momentum from his last campaign and the sexism that was used against Clinton in 2016. Hey, if I had been Sanders, I probably would have told Warren not to run. Not because she's a woman, but because it would have been obvious to Bernie that with Warren running alongside him, they would both end up splitting the progressive vote.

What is happening now between the two of them should have been no surprise to either Bernie or Warren. They are both popular among Democrats who identify as progressive or left-of-center. Democrats will always find a way to shoot themselves in the foot. And I agree that when it becomes evident that one of them cannot win, either Bernie or Warren must step aside for the good of the country and fully back the other. There is no other option if either of them truly wants the other to win the nomination rather than Biden. I'm hoping that Warren will do so since it is becoming more clear that Sanders is the stronger progressive and the stronger candidate who has a better chance at beating both Biden and Trump.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:37 pm

> "no woman can win in 2020"

The claim was "no woman can win." It was not qualified in any way.

landline , January 21, 2020 at 10:34 am

If sheepdog St. Bernard Sanders begins to look like the presumptive nominee, look for a new candidate to throw her hat into the ring. Her name: Michelle Obama.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:42 pm

> sheepdog St. Bernard Sanders

I'm so sick of that sheepdog meme (originated by, much as a respect BAR, by a GP activist bitter, I would say, over many years of GP ineffectuality). The elites seem to be pretty nervous about a sheepdog.

pretzelattack , January 21, 2020 at 3:52 pm

if he were a sheepdog, why would the shepherds have to intervene? they wouldn't.

Lee , January 21, 2020 at 10:51 am

And now we have Sanders apologizing for an op-ed in the Guardian by Zephyr Teachout accusing Biden of corruption.

The op-ed simply says what Sanders has said all along, the system is corrupted by big donors. Then she explicitly states the obvious, which Sanders won't at this point say but that Trump certainly will: Biden is a prime example of serving his donors' interests to the detriment of most of the rest of us. Sanders subsequently apologizes for Teachout's baldly true assertion, stating that he doesn't believe that Biden is corrupt.

I guess we're meant to draw a clear distinction between legalized and illegal corruption. I don't know. They both look like ducks to me.

Oh , January 21, 2020 at 11:05 am

Sometimes it's better for Bernie to keep his mouth shut.

Samuel Conner , January 21, 2020 at 11:07 am

I have read that Sanders is the #2 choice of many Iowans who favor JB; it makes a lot of sense for him to not "go negative" on JB in the run-up to the caucuses.

There will be time for plainer speaking. Sanders has been clear about his views on the corrupting influence of corporate money in politics. JB is exhibit #1 within the D primary field and there will be plenty of opportunity to note that.

I suspect that there is a great deal of "method" in what may look to us like "madness" in the Senator's civility.

Samuel Conner , January 21, 2020 at 11:18 am

To put it another way, I doubt very much that Sanders believes that JB's legislative agendas were not significantly influenced by the sources of his campaign funds. And I'm sure that attention will be drawn to this at the right time.

One can charitably affirm that one believes that JB is not a consciously corrupt , pay-for-play, kind of person, while also affirming that of course he has been influenced by the powerful interests that have funded his career, and that this has not served the interests of the American people. All in due course.

jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:37 pm

The thing is Warren would make the right argument here: that it's the system that is corrupted, and make it well. Too bad she has shown so completely that can't be trusted as a person, because she often looks good on paper

inode_buddha , January 21, 2020 at 1:37 pm

I think Warren misses the key point that the reason why the system is corrupted is because the players in it are corrupted. They can be bought and sold. That is why they have no shame.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:43 pm

> The thing is Warren would make the right argument here: that it's the system that is corrupted

That's not the right answer at all. The climate crisis, for example, is not caused by a lack of transparency in the oil industry. It is caused by capital allocation decisions by the billionaire class and their servicers in subaltern classes.

urblintz , January 21, 2020 at 11:12 am

"The real game changer around here, though, might be Iowa State University's decision, after years of pressure, to issue new student IDs, enabling 35,000 students to vote, even under Iowa's restrictive new voter-ID law. That's a progressive victory, and in a different media universe, it would be a story even juicier than a handshake." Iowa is not the Twittersphere – Laura Flanders

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/21/iowa-is-not-the-twitterverse/

ptb , January 21, 2020 at 11:23 am

Thanks for giving this the attention it needs, analysis of the primary has been too light on estimation of delegate numbers and strategy.

Prior to Warren's apparent turn to some new direction, the setup for a 3way DNC with a progressive "coalition" was not only conceivable, but actually expected from the polls.

We are on pace for Sanders+Warren's combined delegate total to exceed Biden by a healthy amount (say 4:3) with all others falling below 15% state by state and getting few or no delegates. Obviously subject to snowballing in either direction, but that's the polls now and for most of the past year.

Warren's attack on Sanders, and NYT endorsement, say the national party doesn't expect any such coalition. Therefore Warren has made her choice. That's that.

The path to winning the Dem primary is a little narrower for Sanders, and also for Biden, since he seems to lack the confidence of his the top strata. The DNC screws a lot up but they know how to read polls. I'm pretty sure that running Warren in the General is not their plan A.

Voters in Iowa and the early states (incl. TX and CA) look like they will be deciding it all this year. The tremendous enthusiasm of Sanders followers gives him, IMO, the best ground game of the three. Will be an interesting 6 weeks.

jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Running Warren in the general might be their plan A. They may not want to win. Of course they might rather have Klobuchar but

Hepativore , January 21, 2020 at 12:52 pm

I do not even trust Warren to hand any delegates she gets to Sanders at this point. Because her campaign staff is so full of Clintonites and neoliberals, she might give them to Biden instead.

She seems to have gone full establishment at this point.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:39 pm

> I do not even trust Warren to hand any delegates she gets to Sanders at this point. Because her campaign staff is so full of Clintonites and neoliberals, she might give them to Biden instead.

Correct.

ambrit , January 21, 2020 at 1:10 pm

The youngish rehab therapist, a woman, said this morning that of the women running, she likes Klobuchar. "If only her voice wasn't so screechy. And I'm saying this as a woman." She was seriously disturbed by Clinton's attack on Sanders.
Several neighbors are leaning towards Yang.

John k , January 21, 2020 at 1:14 pm

The value of her endorsement

My impression is her supporters are mostly older, mostly female, and mostly centrist. Many want to elect a female pres before they die. Prior to the she said event her supporters second choice were split fairly evenly between Bernie and Biden but the latest fracas is driving her most progressive supporters to Bernie.

This means most of those remaining will probably migrate to Biden if when she drops out even if she recommends Bernie. (If 1/3 of her supporters that had Bernie as their second choice switch to Bernie, then 60% of her remaining supporters have Biden as their second choice.)

2016 was different, Clinton already had the older females. But there was a period where just a little support might have tipped the scale in what was a very tight race.

Anyway, I see going forward she will be mostly holding supporters whose second choice is Biden even as she maybe doesn't reach the 15% barrier
and same with Amy. So I hope they both stay in at least until super tue.

And While I previously thought she was a reasonable choice for veep, I now realize she'd be an awful choice. Maybe treasury if she does endorse which she will do if Bernie looks a winner.

worldblee , January 21, 2020 at 1:35 pm

How can anyone be surprised at the lack of trustworthiness from a politician who chose to endorse Clinton in 2016 rather than Bernie? Warren has been playing the DNC game for a long time now, which ideologically is in line with her lifelong Republican stance before changing to the more demographically favorable party when she was 47. She's not progressive now, and never has been or will be.

[Jan 21, 2020] About Joe's corruption problem .

Notable quotes:
"... "It looks like "Middle Class" Joe has perfected the art of taking big contributions, then representing his corporate donors at the cost of middle- and working-class Americans. Converting campaign contributions into legislative favors and policy positions isn't being "moderate". It is the kind of transactional politics Americans have come to loathe. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

flora , , January 21, 2020 at 12:09 pm

Yes. Now, about Joe's corruption problem .

"It looks like "Middle Class" Joe has perfected the art of taking big contributions, then representing his corporate donors at the cost of middle- and working-class Americans. Converting campaign contributions into legislative favors and policy positions isn't being "moderate". It is the kind of transactional politics Americans have come to loathe.

"There are three clear examples." https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/20/joe-biden-corruption-donald-trump

[Jan 21, 2020] Opinion - Joe Biden, Friend Or Foe Of Corruption

Notable quotes:
"... This article was originally published by " ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

UkraineGate - Inconvenient Facts


Watch

Joe Biden, Friend Or Foe Of Corruption?

Although Joe Biden very often denounces the "cancer of corruption", this first episode shows that he has lied several times, and that his attitude remains very questionable on this subject.

You will discover three characters at the heart of UkraineGate. First, Mykola Zlochevsky, the Ukrainian oligarch through whom the scandal happened. Then, General prosecutor Viktor Shokin, whose resignation was obtained under pressure from Joe Biden, less than ten months after his appointment. And finally, the latter's successor, Yuriy Lutsenko, whom Biden was quick to describe as a "solid man"

Summary – Part 1 – A Not So Solid Prosecutor

https://videos.les-crises.fr/embed/player.php?video=ukgate_short_s1e1_en_43p4orvx0fqmvdye

Full Version

https://videos.les-crises.fr/embed/player.php?video=ukgate_long_s1e1_en_jovv1vhy4zcnqlvof

Part II

Not so "dormant" investigations

This second episode focuses on the investigations of General prosecutor Shokin, described as "dormant" by the Biden clan. It demonstrates the fallacy of the narrative launched by Biden's communication advisors. But you will also discover that Biden's defense - widely reported by the mainstream media without any verification - has been challenged by Viktor Shokin in various interviews, of which we reveal several excerpts that have never been broadcast...

https://videos.les-crises.fr/embed/player.php?video=ukgate_long_s1e2_en_i0q1ez5vjqmetagp

- We will post other sections of this documentary as the become available-

This article was originally published by " UkraineGate " -

[Jan 21, 2020] At least Biden and his family are consistent with corruption.

Jan 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Tom Brokaw calling out Joe-Hunter Biden's corruption in 2008:

"Wasn't it inappropriate for someone like you in the middle of all this to have your son collecting money from this big credit card company while you were on the floor protecting its interests?" pic.twitter.com/CORqFD6w1a

-- Ibrahim (@ibrahimpols) October 5, 2019

up

[Jan 21, 2020] Klobuchar hinted that Biden Iraq vote disqualifies him

She is a coward herself. She does not have a courage to call killing Soleimani an assassination: "Asked by Fox News if she agrees with her rival from Vermont, Klobuchar answered: "Again, I'm going to look at the evidence."
Also she supported unleashing the Russiagate hoax: In January 2017, Klobuchar was one of six Democratic senators to introduce legislation that would form an independent counsel with the ability to probe potential Russian cyber attacks on political systems and investigate efforts by Russians to interfere in American elections with roughly eighteen months to hand over its findings and recommendations to Congress. [111]
Jan 21, 2020 | www.foxnews.com

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- When it comes to the escalating crisis with Iran , Democratic presidential primary candidate Amy Klobuchar is saving most of her ammunition for President Trump.

On Tuesday, the senator from Minnesota accused the president of making "a rash decision without thinking of the repercussions" when he last week ordered a U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani.

But she also indirectly fired away at 2020 nomination rival Joe Biden as she spoke to reporters while campaigning in New Hampshire.

SANDERS UNLEASHES ON BIDEN OVER MIDEAST RECORD, AS IRAN TENSIONS CREATE 2020 FLASHPOINT

Asked about Wednesday's upcoming classiifed briefing, when the administration is expected to provide members of the Senate with evidence detailing the drone strike in Iraq that took out Soleimani, Klobuchar -- without prompting -- brought up her opposition to the Iraq War.

"I think too many times people can come to quick conclusions until you see that evidence. Certainly I was against the Iraq War, and actually it was a major issue in my campaign the first time I ran for the Senate because the congressman on the other side of me -- he supported it. I think some people weren't looking at evidence. I think it's important to look at evidence," she said.

While not mentioning Biden by name, it appeared Klobuchar was targeting the former vice president.

The crisis with Iran gives Biden the chance to showcase his decades of foreign policy experience in the Senate and as vice president under President Obama. But his Iraq War vote from nearly two decades ago complicates matters.

Democratic presidential nomination rival Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has repeatedly slammed Biden for that vote. Sanders, a member of the House of Representatives at the time, opposed green-lighting the war.

In the days since last week's Soleimani strike, Sanders has repeatedly called the killing of the Iranian military leader an "assassination."

[Jan 21, 2020] DemoRats blowed thier change to impech Trump due to thier own dishonesty, jingoism and cowardice

Jan 21, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Alex (the one that likes Ike) fuow 15 hours ago • edited

If that means Uncle Joe, then Trump may bloody well already uncork the champagne. Remember that recent Iranian debacle of his, which is already starting being forgotten? That was the *only* real chance for Democrats to look solid in the Senate when trying to impeach him. The only way to make Republican senators look dishonest and partisan when defending him. An unexpected and unprovoked electoral gift to them from Trump (a would-have-been-serious gift - read Daniel Larison's articles as to how many American voters, no matter their partisan leanings, are anti-war now). How did the DNC manage that gift? Exactly. By directly bringing it to the trash bin without a moment of hesitation and keeping on desperately clinging to the politically stillborn clownery around Ukraine which will allow the Republican senators to laugh their Democratic colleagues out of the stage and seal Trump's victory the very moment the said clownery is brought to the upper chamber of the parliament. Now Democrats look like a poor feller in front of an insurmountable wall, who, having witnessed a door which magically/quantumly appeared in that wall, screamed "To battle!/Arriva!/Kovfefe!", slammed the said door shut, industriously broke the handle so that it could never be opened again in the quantum dimension he exists and resumed his attempts to - how to put it mildly? - shatter the reinforced concrete with his forehead.

So please spare me the righteous posturing. Be honest at least to yourself and admit that America's mainstream parties are owned by the same people, hence the only thing you choose is the ideological agenda on cultural issues you prefer. The battle between them is as much of a battle between good and evil and of the rule of law against the lawlessness as the one between Pol Pot and D'Aubuisson Arrieta.

[Jan 21, 2020] I don't see how Trump has actually governed much differently from any other contemporary Republican. The difference between Trump and, say Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio, is mostly style, not policy.

Jan 21, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

one vote fuow 21 hours ago

I'm a former Trump voter who could vote for Warren or Sanders but not Biden. Trump has been the biggest disappointment of my political life, and I'll never forgive him for the failures on immigration, but Biden and bis family looks to be at least as personally sleazy and corrupt as the Trumps, if not as outright sickening.
Clyde Schechter fuow 21 hours ago
Well, I'm a non-Democrat leftist (except for conservative leanings on social issues and a vehemently anti-war posture that is a minority view on both the left and right). I have voted for third-party candidates for President most of my life (and I'm a septuagenarian). For reasons of foreign policy and economics, I would probably vote for either Sanders or Warren, at least if they don't get too bonkers on identity politics. But there is no way I would vote for any of the other Democratic contenders, and there is no way I would vote for Trump.

For what it's worth, I think the whole frenzy to defeat Trump no matter what is overblown. Except for the Twitter feed, I don't see how Trump has actually governed much differently from any other contemporary Republican. The difference between Trump and, say Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio, is mostly style, not policy.

Osse Clyde Schechter 7 hours ago
That last sentence is true. But it is style that really matters to many Democrats. Obama was their ideal President almost entirely because of his style.

And Trump's style is what attracts his hard core supporters.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) fuow 15 hours ago • edited
If that means Uncle Joe, then Trump may bloody well already uncork the champagne. Remember that recent Iranian debacle of his, which is already starting being forgotten? That was the *only* real chance for Democrats to look solid in the Senate when trying to impeach him. The only way to make Republican senators look dishonest and partisan when defending him. An unexpected and unprovoked electoral gift to them from Trump (a would-have-been-serious gift - read Daniel Larison's articles as to how many American voters, no matter their partisan leanings, are anti-war now). How did the DNC manage that gift? Exactly. By directly bringing it to the trash bin without a moment of hesitation and keeping on desperately clinging to the politically stillborn clownery around Ukraine which will allow the Republican senators to laugh their Democratic colleagues out of the stage and seal Trump's victory the very moment the said clownery is brought to the upper chamber of the parliament. Now Democrats look like a poor feller in front of an insurmountable wall, who, having witnessed a door which magically/quantumly appeared in that wall, screamed "To battle!/Arriva!/Kovfefe!", slammed the said door shut, industriously broke the handle so that it could never be opened again in the quantum dimension he exists and resumed his attempts to - how to put it mildly? - shatter the reinforced concrete with his forehead.

[Jan 21, 2020] Iran, Trump, and the neoliberal-neoconservative compact

Jan 21, 2020 | off-guardian.org

The author asks an interesting question: what is the urgency to remove Turmp before the election. Why notwait Novemebr and see if he is removed by voters?

One of the best articles I've seen on both sides of the current scene is Jim Kavanaugh's "Impeachment: What Lies Beneath?" Let us note that this essay was first published at the author's website, The Polemicist, on Dec. 17, 2019.

In the first half of the essay, "The Raw," the author is discussing the remarkable weakness of the impeachment case and articles; the second half of the essay, "The Cooked," begins with the following two paragraphs:

Which makes me wonder. The obviousness of this losing hand, and the fact that the most politically-seasoned, can't-be-that-stupid Democrats seem determined to play it out, have my paranoid political Spidey senses all atingle. What are the cards they're not showing? What lies beneath the thin ice of these Articles of Impeachment?

If the apparent agenda makes no sense, look for the hidden. Something that better explains why Pelosi, et. al. find it so urgent to replace Trump before the election and why they think they can succeed in doing that.

There is one thing that I can think of that drives such frantic urgency: War. That would also explain why Trump's "national security" problem -- embedded in the focus on Ukraine arms shipments, Russian aggression, etc. -- is the real issue, the whistle to Republican war dogs.

But if so, the Ukro-Russian motif is itself a screen for another "national security"/war issue that cannot be stated explicitly. There's no urgency about aggression towards Russia. There is for Iran.

These paragraphs mirror the structure of the essay altogether: beginning with impeachment and ending with Iran. In the next paragraph we see Kavanaugh's prognosis, his proposal for how things might unfold:

So here's my entirely speculative tea-leaf reading: If there's a hidden agenda behind the urgency to remove Trump, one that might actually garner the votes of Republican Senators, it is to replace him with a president who will be a more reliable and effective leader for a military attack on Iran that Israel wants to initiate before next November. Spring is the cruelest season for launching wars."

This was striking to read on December 17 and even more striking to reflect upon as of Friday, January 3. Kavanaugh's arguments make a lot of sense, and perhaps it will turn out that "April is the cruelest month" (as he says at the end of the essay) -- but don't we have to consider that perhaps Trump has once again outplayed both Democrats and Republicans, and, even more, the Deep State?

As Trump said in announcing the drone strike that killed Gen. Soleimani, "We took action last night to stop a war; we did not take action to start a war."

Attacks in/on other countries by the U.S. will not receive praise from me, not any more than did the U.S.-abetted coup in Bolivia. I will say, though, that I sure wish the party of the King of Drones, Barack Obama (who openly bragged about being "very good at killing people") would shut the hell up.

That's not going to happen, of course -- the only thing here that will restrain them is the role of Israel in this.

Again, there's no mystery to any of this -- but what is a mystery to me is why anybody listens to the Democrats on this or any other issue.

Undoubtedly there are elements to this situation I don't see or understand -- but what we all have as a helpful guide is the fact that whatever the Democratic Party leadership says here, and whatever the conventional Left narrative presents on this situation, absolutely cannot be trusted.

[Jan 21, 2020] Bernie Sanders Walks Straight Into the Russiagate Trap

Jan 21, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Daniel Lazare January 20, 2020 © Photo: Wikimedia The New York Times caused a mini-commotion last week with a front-page story suggesting that Russian intelligence had hacked a Ukrainian energy firm known as Burisma Holdings in order to get dirt on Joe Biden and help Donald Trump win re-election.

But the article was flimsy even by Russiagate standards, and so certain questions inevitably arise. What was it really about? Who's behind it? Who's the real target?

Here's a quick answer. It was about boosting Joe Biden, and its real target was his chief rival, Bernie Sanders. And poor, inept Bernie walked straight into the trap.

The article was flimsy because rather than saying straight out that Russian intelligence hacked Burisma, the company notorious for hiring Biden's son, Hunter, for $50,000 a month job, reporters Nicole Perlroth and Matthew Rosenberg had to rely on unnamed "security experts" to say it for them. While suggesting that the hackers were looking for dirt, they didn't quite say that as well. Instead, they admitted that "it is not yet clear what the hackers found, or precisely what they were searching for."

So we have no idea what they were up to, if anything at all. But the Times then quoted "experts" to the effect that "the timing and scale of the attacks suggest that the Russians could be searching for potentially embarrassing material on the Bidens – the same kind of information that Mr. Trump wanted from Ukraine when he pressed for an investigation of the Bidens and Burisma, setting off a chain of events that led to his impeachment." Since Trump and the Russians are seeking the same information, they must be in cahoots, which is what Democrats have been saying from the moment Trump took office. Given the lack of evidence, this was meaningless as well.

But then came the kicker: two full paragraphs in which a Biden campaign spokesman was permitted to expound on the notion that the Russians hacked Burisma because Biden is the candidate that they and Trump fear the most.

"Donald Trump tried to coerce Ukraine into lying about Joe Biden and a major bipartisan, international anti-corruption victory because he recognized that he can't beat the vice president," the spokesman, Andrew Bates, said. "Now we know that Vladimir Putin also sees Joe Biden as a threat. Any American president who had not repeatedly encouraged foreign interventions of this kind would immediately condemn this attack on the sovereignty of our elections."

If Biden is the number-one threat, then Sanders is not, presumably because the Times sees him as soft on Moscow. If so, it means that he could be in for the same neo-McCarthyism that antiwar candidate Tulsi Gabbard encountered last October when Hillary Clinton blasted her as "the favorite of the Russians." Gabbard had the good sense to blast her right back.

"Thank you @Hillary Clinton. You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know – it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine ."

If only Sanders did the same. But instead he put out a statement filled with the usual anti-Russian clichés:

"The 2020 election is likely to be the most consequential election in modern American history, and I am alarmed by new reports that Russia recently hacked into the Ukrainian gas company at the center of the impeachment trial, as well as Russia's plans to once again meddle in our elections and in our democracy. After our intelligence agencies unanimously agreed that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, including with thousands of paid ads on Facebook, the New York Times now reports that Russia likely represents the biggest threat of election meddle in 2020, including through disinformation campaigns, promoting hatred, hacking into voting systems, and by exploiting the political divisions sewn [sic] by Donald Trump ."

And so on for another 250 words. Not only did the statement put him in bed with the intelligence agencies, but it makes him party to the big lie that the Kremlin was responsible for putting Trump over the top in 2016.

Let's get one thing straight. Yes, Russian intelligence may have hacked the Democratic National Committee. But cybersecurity was so lax that others may have been rummaging about as well. (CrowdStrike, the company called in to investigate the hack, says it found not one but two cyber-intruders.) Notwithstanding the Mueller report, all the available evidence indicates that Russia did not then pass along thousands of DNC emails that Wikileaks published in July 2016. (Julian Assange's statement six months later that "our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party" remains uncontroverted.) Similarly, there's no evidence that the Kremlin had anything to do with the $45,000 worth of Facebook ads purchased by a St. Petersburg company known as the Internet Research Agency – Robert Mueller's 2018 indictment of the IRA was completely silent on the subject of a Kremlin connection – and no evidence that the ads, which were politically all over the map, had a remotely significant impact on the 2016 election.

All the rest is a classic CIA disinformation campaign aimed at drumming up anti-Russian hysteria and delegitimizing anyone who fails to go along. And now Bernie Sanders is trying to cover his derrière by hopping on board.

It won't work. Sanders will find himself having to take one loyalty oath after another as the anti-Russia campaign flares anew. But it will never be enough, and he'll only wind up looking tired and weak. Voters will opt for the supposedly more formidable Biden, who will end up as a bug splat on the windshield of Donald Trump's speeding election campaign. With impeachment no longer an issue, he'll be free to behave as dictatorially as he wishes as he settles into his second term.

After inveighing against billionaire's wars, he'll find himself ensnared by the same billionaire war machine. The trouble with Sanders is that he thinks he can win by playing by the rules. But he can't because the rules are stacked against him. He'd know that if his outlook was more radical. His problem is not that he's too much of a socialist. Rather, it's that he's not enough.

[Jan 20, 2020] Documentary Released Monday Sheds New Light on Ukrainegate

Notable quotes:
"... I appears to me that Biden stepped into something and it's stuck to his foot. IMPOTUS never seeming to have the ability grasp victory from the jaws of defeat failed, again and stepped into the same mess. ..."
"... Viktor Shokin said under oath in a case in Austria that he was investigating Burisma and that's why Biden had him fired ..."
"... We now know that whenever Biden virtue signals, the exact opposite applies. When he talks about how democratic we are, or about transparency and what not, it's because we are not. Snake Oil salesman. ..."
"... So basically Joe Biden did everything that the Democrats accuse Trump of doing. And Biden is so brazen about the whole thing, he brags on tape at the Council of Foreign Relations and admits to his crime. And Biden is running for president? Image if people like Rachel Maddow did this kind of reporting and truly informed the citizens about the abuses in our own gov't instead of the establishment bullshit she has been spewing for years. We are a banana republic. ..."
"... Biden is the poster boy for nepotism and corruption. ..."
"... This report provides overwhelming evidence that Joe Biden intervened directly to coerce the president of Ukraine to fire an honest and competent prosecutor general, and to put in place a corrupt one. ..."
Jan 15, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

A new documentary by Olivier Berruyer, editor of the website les-crises.fr , released in conjunction with Consortium News on Monday, sorts out the complicated scandal and the role Joe Biden played in it.

UkraineGate – Inconvenient Facts

Part One: "A Not So 'Solid' Prosecutor"

https://videos.les-crises.fr/embed/player.php?video=ukgate_long_s1e1_en_jovv1vhy4zcnqlvof

Tags: Hunter Biden Joe Biden Petro Poroshenko Viktor Shokin


Skip Intro , January 15, 2020 at 22:34

Great video, thanks. I fear you may have misinterpreted the word "solid" in Biden's statement. I believe he meant something more like "reliable", in the sense of being compliant with US wishes. The opposite of 'not corrupt' really. Look at the body language, and it's the CFR, ffs.

robert e williamson jr , January 15, 2020 at 21:06

Right on Joe Lauria !

I have watched this video three times. A long cast of characters with similar, unfamiliar names here, some making multiple appearances.

I appears to me that Biden stepped into something and it's stuck to his foot. IMPOTUS never seeming to have the ability grasp victory from the jaws of defeat failed, again and stepped into the same mess.

A case exists to fry both Biden and the IMPOTUS over the same fire in their own fat, greedy little piggy's. Great stuff for non-partisans.

Now this video needs to go viral. like ASAP!

Three Cheers for" Inspector Clouseau", great job.

Nicolas , January 17, 2020 at 14:06

Merci beaucoup Robert! What a great compliment!

I absolutely agree with you, and we (a very small French team, I mostly researched material in Russian and Ukrainian) didn't do this documentary to help your president, and I don't think it will. It could be the opposite, depending on what happens with the primaries.

We're French (not Russian hackers, LOL!), what matters is that there are wrongdoings that had not been investigated properly until us, and therefore we had a great opportunity to do something serious to let the public know the truth, and make a name for ourselves in the process. If this series does go viral (and I have hopes it will :) ), then, well, it could generate enough donations for us to continue investigating, on other subjects. That would be really cool.

Stay tuned on ukrainegate.info for the next episodes :)

A one minute teaser you can share is available on twitter.com/Ukraine_Gate/

Again, thank you for the compliment, you made me smile.

Eugenie Basile , January 15, 2020 at 02:01

I guess this makes Biden the most solid candidate MSM and DNC can deliver.

DW Bartoo , January 16, 2020 at 15:07

Much appreciation to Olivier Berruyer, les-crises.fr, and CN.

Genuine investigative journalism of the highest order.

(The truth is a powerful gift and critically necessary to empowering understanding, which might even allow the many to find both the courage and imagination to bring about needful change and even permit humanity to have a future, that is not corrupted by crony finance capitalism, endless war, and a global political class intent on extraction on all levels, but rather is premised upon humane and sustainable behaviors and fundamental moral principles that value life above brute domination and cooperation above violent tyrannical oppression.)

Putting U$ MSM, for which only money and sycophantic propaganda pandering is all that matters, to well-deserved shame.

Jonathan Marshall , January 14, 2020 at 19:39

Here's another take from Daria Kaleniuk, executive director of Ukraine's Anti-Corruption Action Center, who is quoted in this video:

"Lutsenko and prosecutor Konstantin Kulik have been giving Giuliani information on this case purely with an agenda to save their careers, inventing the story about the Biden investigation."

In 2016, Vice President Biden demanded that Ukraine fire Prosecutor General Victor Shokin, who Trump might have called a "very good prosecutor," but he was seen by reformers in Kyiv as a disaster. A year earlier, Kalemniuk's watchdog organization had pushed to dismiss Shokin for neglecting multiple corruption cases.

"Here is why I do not say anything about Hunter Biden," Kaleniuk explained. "Vice President Biden called for Ukraine to fire Shokin not because of the Burisma investigation, absolutely not, but because Ukraine's prosecutor general did not investigate Burisma. U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt insisted [in early 2016] that Shokin should be investigating Burisma.

The U.S. government had a clear position: The Burisma probe was killed by Shokin."

www (dot)thedailybeast(dot)com/trump-zelensky-phone-call-shocks-daria-kaleniuk-one-of-ukraines-top-independent-corruption-fighters

Joe Lauria , January 15, 2020 at 02:09

Viktor Shokin said under oath in a case in Austria that he was investigating Burisma and that's why Biden had him fired. Are we supposed to believe the Daily Beast over sworn testimony? The idea that Biden got ride of Shokin because he wouldn't investigate his son's company is way too fantastic to believe.

Jason M Homer , January 15, 2020 at 13:00

Interesting until realizing your sourcing your information from the Daily Beast. Please find new sources of information. The Daily Beast has been repeatedly proven to be pure propaganda.

Clark M Shanahan , January 15, 2020 at 21:49

BTW: Chelsea Clinton is on the Daily Beast's board of directors.

Debra L. Carr de Legorreta , January 14, 2020 at 17:22

We now know that whenever Biden virtue signals, the exact opposite applies. When he talks about how democratic we are, or about transparency and what not, it's because we are not. Snake Oil salesman.

Erin , January 14, 2020 at 16:59

I can't wait to see part 2. When is that coming out? This is an incredible deep dive into the whole stinking Urkrainegate/Biden issue. I paused the film several times because there is so much information provided.

So basically Joe Biden did everything that the Democrats accuse Trump of doing. And Biden is so brazen about the whole thing, he brags on tape at the Council of Foreign Relations and admits to his crime. And Biden is running for president? Image if people like Rachel Maddow did this kind of reporting and truly informed the citizens about the abuses in our own gov't instead of the establishment bullshit she has been spewing for years. We are a banana republic.

Blessthebeasts , January 15, 2020 at 13:15

I almost think the Democrats are deliberately sandbagging Biden with the impeachment farce. They know he would likely lose as Hillary did, but he feels "entitled" like she did, so they think this will finish him once and for all.

Our government is useless.

VallejoD , January 15, 2020 at 13:42

Agreed. Biden is the poster boy for nepotism and corruption.

DC_rez , January 16, 2020 at 16:08

Are you insinuating Rachel Maddow is a journalist?

Nicolas , January 17, 2020 at 14:13

Thank you very much for the compliment!
Part 2 is ready (and it's fun!), if everything is OK you'll see it next week, if you stay tuned to ukrainegate.info and/or twitter.com/Ukraine_Gate
Don't hesitate to share and help us go viral :)

Brewer , January 14, 2020 at 16:13

Spent this morning promoting this documentary on my regular alt-media haunts and sent it to journos and politicians I know. Strongly urge others to do likewise. MSM already blocking it so it is important to get it out there.
Many thanks to Consortium News. A real scoop.

Debra L. Carr de Legorreta , January 14, 2020 at 16:07

It's not surprising that the the CEO of Burisma, Mykola Zlockevsky looks like a mobster. What kind of a person heads a fossil fuel company, an enterprise hell bent on increasing CO2 emissions? not someone you'd like to bump into in a dark alley.

Ruth Harris , January 14, 2020 at 14:48

Some points to ponder:
1. Biden was sent to Ukraine with the backing of both parties in congress and the IMF to remove Shokin in exchange for $5 Bn in aid to the Ukrainian gas industry.
Question: Was any of that money intended for or received by Burisma?
2. Hunter Biden's position at Burisma facilitated connections with a NATO think tank, the Atlantic Council, which was the recipient of million$ from Burisma.
Question: Did any of that money originate from the aid money?
3. The Atlantic Council, an anti Russian organization, sits amid a web of US defense contractors, Raytheon and Lockheed, producers of the Javelin missiles, being two of them. Some of the $300 + million Trump withheld, was to purchase those weapons.
Question: What part did the Atlantic Council and those defense contractors play in the whistle blowing incident that revealed Trump's quid pro quo?
consortiumnews(dot)com/2019/10/14/dcs-atlantic-council-raked-in-funding-from-hunter-bidens-corruption-stained-ukrainian-employer-while-courting-his-vp-father/

Desmond , January 14, 2020 at 18:29

Excellent questions. Thank you.

Dianne Foster , January 15, 2020 at 04:07

Interesting. So far, I only knew that Biden and McCain enabled Nuland to replace Yanukovich with a neo-Nazi-filled government in 2014. Thus to re-start the Cold War with Russia .0

Fred Grosso , January 14, 2020 at 14:05

Thank you for this information. I don't think this vindicates Trump. It shows how he fits so nicely into our corrupt politics. He is of value because he commits immoral acts that he believes others have committed, but he doubles down and he is ruthlessly transparent. Biden is what he is and not as he is presented to us by the media and his gang. How we get the fanatical supporters of these corrupt demons to stop empowering them is a puzzling dilemma.

Louis Robert , January 14, 2020 at 18:02

Gramsci:

" The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters."

rosemerry , January 14, 2020 at 14:01

I would be delighted to see Facebook allowing "The Magnitsky Act-Behind the Scenes", as NOBODY else online is allowed to or brave enough to let the truth be told about that Browder action.

Frank Munley , January 14, 2020 at 12:07

I do not use FB for sending links. I hardly use my FB account at all. But I did access ukrainegate.info through my Safari browser. I noticed immediately that there is an 8:50 short summary of the video posted by CN. I hope there is a transcript of the longer version, because like some others, I don't like to watch videos.

Tim Slater , January 14, 2020 at 11:39

This is what investigative journalism should be!

Nicolas , January 17, 2020 at 14:18

Thank you very much for the compliment!
For the next episodes, see ukrainegate.info
There's also a one-minute teaser on twitter.com/Ukraine_Gate that you can share to help us go viral.

Linda C , January 14, 2020 at 11:06

Corruption has tarnished Joe Biden. He is no longer a viable Democratic candidate in the U.S. This is what Trump was after, even if it was for his own political gain. Impeaching one president and preparing to elect another crooked one is what American politics looks like these days. Ukraine doesn't have a corner on the market of corruption.

Mike from Jersey , January 14, 2020 at 17:49

Linda,

Biden is unfit for office.

The problem is that the Corporate Media will suppress info like this.

That is why sites like this one are important.

The more people get the word out the better.

Adele A Roof , January 14, 2020 at 11:05

I very much appreciated this video, that clearly confirms how corrupt Biden would be were he elected president.

I tried to send a donation to the French company that investigated and produced this and have not yet figured out a way to do that.

Please suggest an alternative link.

Iovleff , January 15, 2020 at 10:48

The page is in french but after filling the form (first name, second name, . In fact you can put what you want, there is no check)
and clicking on the button "Faire un don avec Paypal", you will be able to donate

https://www.les-crises.fr/faire-un-don-a-diacrisis/

Antiwar7 , January 15, 2020 at 13:31

An English-language support page for that site is at:
https(colon)//www(dot)les-crises(dot)fr/support/

Nicolas , January 17, 2020 at 14:28

Thank you very much for your compliment (I'm one of the few members of the investigative team), Adele, and thank you very much to Antiwar for providing the link. I hope it's OK to repeat this link in clear www(dot)les-crises (dot)fr/support/

OK, I think this is the 4th thank you message I write, and I should stop here before CN bans me for flooding the comment section, but I'm really extremely moved by all the compliments on this page.
See you soon for the next videos :)

AnneR , January 14, 2020 at 10:41

Additional and hardly coincidental that NPR should use Area 1 Security as a "source" for "insightful," "reliable and true" information (ho ho) Wikipedia (not itself a reliable, unaffiliated source, but likely so in this case, informs that the Oren Falkowitz and his two co-founders of this (supposed independent) cybersecurity firm, prior to their establishing this "cybersecurity" company they (all three) worked for – guess who? – the US National Security Agency (NSA). You know, that abominable snooping, spy cyber-agency that hacked into everyone's cell/smartphone around the world, including Frau Merkel's.

You have to admire the hubris and arrogance of these men; and the reliance of the NPR on their loyal audience members either fully accepting what any *American* cyber *security* company says about the Reds, the black hats or should they bother to check out the Wiki that audience trusting utterly anything and everything such men and their company say (and do). Mind-boggling.

Charles K. Hof , January 14, 2020 at 10:34

And Joe Biden wants to be the US president. I also note Obama willing to go along with this "change", and use funds for leverage. Unfortunately it seems this is how not only the US but other countries work.
Trump is corrupt, and we may not like what he does, and yes he got caught. The fact that the Republicans do not reign him in is equally as bad.
Enough of the "Old Gard and their version of Ethics/Morality"

AnneR , January 14, 2020 at 10:29

I'd much rather read than watch (bad for my eyes) or listen, so have missed out on this revealing item. However, it is excellent that CN has posted the access to this video for those more than willing to view (I'd love to read a transcript, mind) it.

Makes me wonder if the existence of this evidence has *anything* to do with NPR's Morning Edition today and the new (?) "Russia (GRU) did it" story they are happily broadcasting about the (purported) hacking of Burisma's email accounts. Their source of info? Some CA based "cybersecurity" company called Area 1 Security. Yep, those scary, dastardly Russians (the *only* country with hackers, let alone government funded hackers) have been at it again – and, of course, they have had ill intent, just as they did vis a vis Killary's election campaign

This is from NPR's website, what was said by the Security firm's co-founder: " "What we've uncovered is that the same Russian cyber actors who targeted the DNC in 2016 have been actively launching a phishing campaign against employees of Burisma Holdings and its subsidiaries, to try to steal their email usernames and passwords," Area 1 co-founder Oren Falkowitz tells NPR's Noel King."

Well, of course.

Just in case anyone in the US population begins to raise their head above the Huxleyan-Orwellian propaganda and gets other ideas about what reality really looks like And perhaps in preparation for an impeachment trial taking place in the Senate and the Biden gangsters being subpoenaed .Gotta keep the lid on it.

DH Fabian , January 15, 2020 at 00:28

In fairness, Russia-gate is all that the Democrats have left to sell. They sold out their values, and a good portion of their voters, years ago.

Blessthebeasts , January 15, 2020 at 13:28

I don't usually watch longer videos but I watched this while working in the kitchen and it was easy to follow and clearly laid out. I recommend it; you will gain even more insight into the corruption of these evil people.

ML , January 14, 2020 at 09:12

Remember the older gentleman Merle Gorman, who Joe Biden savaged at an Iowa town hall meeting a few weeks ago? The story ran on CBS nightly news one night. All the retired farmer asked Joe was two questions: 1. That he himself at 83, knew he was too old to have the job of president of the U.S. and how did Biden feel about his own age and job aspirations? 2. What was the deal about Ukraine's Burisma hiring Hunter to their board when Hunter had no experience in oil and gas? And Biden called him a "damned liar" and "fat," challenged him to a physical competition and attacked Mr. Gorman terribly. It was a disgusting display by Biden. Well, I looked up Merle in Hampton, Iowa and wrote him a letter, telling him he was a hero for bringing these issues up so bravely in front of a big crowd. A couple weeks later, I received a two page, hand-written letter from Mr. Gorman himself. Many Americans had written or called him to offer their support. It was delightful to be able to converse with a fellow American on this issue, a complete stranger who had the temerity to confront Biden directly on his corruption. Mr. Gorman, I told you about Consortium News in my letter to you. So if you are reading this, once again, BRAVO! Great video here that proves the point he so courageously made at that Iowa town hall. And Joe is tanking. I hope he continues to tank.

Helga I. Fellay , January 14, 2020 at 21:27

ML – I believe you are correct, that Biden is tanking, as he should be. However, the democrats and their supine MSM are still holding him up as if he were a shoo-in to win the nomination. CBS evening news tonight declared him way out in front, although other polls put Sanders first and Biden way behind. There is only one reason the Dems and the media insist that he is the front runner: because without that pretext, their entire impeachment hoax would collapse. The President has every right to ask that an obviously corrupt senator meddling in foreign affairs be investigated. It's only "illegal" IF that senator is his political rival. But as long as Biden can't win the primary, that would pull the rug out from under the entire impeachment hoax. So between now and the primary, we will hear and read again and again that Biden is the front runner, the truth be damned.

VallejoD , January 15, 2020 at 13:50

Good for you! I was absolutely disgusted with Biden. The man is an ethical sinkhole and then attacks an elder American citizen in the vilest way.

I would not vote for Biden to collect my trash.

James Whitney , January 14, 2020 at 08:18

Les Crises is the most important economic blog in France during the last several years. It welcomed the well-known economist Jacques Sapir who had been kicked out of his previous blog position for criticizing president Macron. One of the best features of Les Crises is the people who leave excellent comments on the many articles published. I am one of these commentators, although I comment a lot less often than some of the best (my comments generally well received all the same).

Robyn , January 14, 2020 at 07:46

I agree with Dingleberry's rhetorical question about why people continue using FB etc. So many people object to being spied on and lament social media's increasing censorship, yet they keep on using them – just as they keep going to MSM sites. I'd like to see a huge boycott of them all, even for just 24 hours.

People – take back the power.

Fran Macadam , January 14, 2020 at 07:28

You've been zucked.

countykerry , January 14, 2020 at 06:10

Joe, Joe say it ain't so !

Thank you for sharing this documentary with us, another example of the corrupt behavior of Joe Biden.

And brought to us not by our own MSM but from France.

Michael Meo , January 14, 2020 at 02:02

This report provides overwhelming evidence that Joe Biden intervened directly to coerce the president of Ukraine to fire an honest and competent prosecutor general, and to put in place a corrupt one.

I am interested to see how the honest prosecutor was presented in European and American mass media as corrupt. I donated 50 dollars, and hope to see the explanation in the second installment.

mbob , January 13, 2020 at 23:14

This video is astonishing! I couldn't stop watching. I normally don't bother with videos, since it's much faster to read than to watch and listen. And this video is very lengthy -- over 50 minutes.

But it's one of the most amazing and compelling things I've ever viewed.

I'll admit: I believe everything that Berruyer says and shows here. The video should completely demolish Biden's candidacy. Although not very explicit about him, it sheds enormous shade on Obama and on the impeachment hearing. It comes near to completely vindicating Trump on the UkraineGate charge, while essentially convicting Biden of what Trump was accused of.

I'll try to learn more about Berruyer to see if he is as objective as this video appears to make him out to be.

And if he is . wow!

Thanks ConsortiumNews for finding and showing this. As I said, I've seen nothing like it. And I'll make a contribution shortly.

If, as Ville from Finland write, the video violates Facebook's norms, then that opens up very troubling issues in itself.

Keep up the good work!

Olivier Berruyer , January 14, 2020 at 08:31

Thanks a lot ! You know, we are french, not americans. We are not politically motivated : we are not pro-democrats, or pro-republicans. We just try to be each day pro-journalism.

As Robert Parry told it : https://consortiumnews.com/2019/12/29/an-apology-and-explanation-two-years-on/

ElderD , January 14, 2020 at 09:08

>>> " It comes near to completely vindicating Trump on the UkraineGate charge . . ."

I don't think that's true. Trump clearly used the leverage of withholding aid authorized by Congress, in order to coerce Ukraine into taking action that would help his reelection campaign. That's seriously bad stuff, regardless of the actions of the Biden family.

>>>". . . while essentially convicting Biden of what Trump was accused of."

Yes. It definitely does that.

John Wright , January 13, 2020 at 22:00

Excellent and important documentary that everyone should watch if they want to understand the roots of UkraineGate.

Thanks for posting this CN !

michael , January 13, 2020 at 17:26

Excellent video! Ukraine is laughably corrupt. American politicians must feel they have died and gone to Paradise!

Piotr Berman , January 14, 2020 at 11:56

Funny countries are laughably corrupt. USA is a serious country. American corruption is .. [exercise for high school kids]

Paul , January 13, 2020 at 18:22

This was remarkable and important. Well done.

Eugenie Basile , January 14, 2020 at 08:30

I wonder if this falls under meddling with U.S. elections by a foreign agent providing kompromat on a U.S. political frontrunner. Mr. Berruyer you are a very courageous man.

[Jan 20, 2020] Devastating documentary sheds new light on Ukrainegate: Biden as the poster boy for nepotism and corruption.

A new documentary by Olivier Berruyer, editor of the website les-crises.fr . See https://videos.les-crises.fr/embed/player.php
Jan 15, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Eugenie Basile , January 15, 2020 at 02:01

I guess this makes Biden the most solid candidate MSM and DNC can deliver.

[Jan 19, 2020] It is unclear what percentage of Congress are alcoholics, but judging from their statements looks like more then half

The situation in neoliberal MSM probably is close to a real epidemics ;-)
Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Last of the Middle Class , 2 hours ago link

Finally, a group Pelosi can lead and be proud of .

[Jan 19, 2020] debunked by Trump himself

Jan 19, 2020 | www.commondreams.org

when he tweeted that 'it doesn't really matter' if there was such a threat or not.

In a letter to the New York Times the now 100 years old chief prosecutor of the Nuremberg trials, Benjamin B. Ferencz, warned of the larger effects of such deeds when he writes :
The administration recently announced that, on orders of the president, the United States had "taken out" (which really means "murdered") an important military leader of a country with which we were not at war. As a Harvard Law School graduate who has written extensively on the subject, I view such immoral action as a clear violation of national and international law.

The public is entitled to know the truth. The United Nations Charter, the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice in The Hague are all being bypassed. In this cyberspace world, young people everywhere are in mortal danger unless we change the hearts and minds of those who seem to prefer war to law.

The killing of a Soleimani will also only have a short term effect when it comes to general deterrence. It was a onetime shot to which others will react. Groups and people who work against 'U.S. interests' will now do so less publicly. Countries will seek asymmetric advantages to prevent such U.S. action against themselves. By committing the crime the U.S. and Trump made the global situation for themselves more complicated.

It is interesting that the commentary closes with a letter by Benjamin Ferencz, perhaps the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor. As he indicates, the assassination is a war crime, and, in my view, even the threat of such an assassination is a serious breach of international law. Regimes following such a policy have gone rogue, and cabinet ministers making such a pronouncement that the assassination was carried out as a deterrent are, in effect, confessing to war crimes. In future the reach of the offending regime may be much less than it is now, and, if that occurs, the rogue minister better be careful if he travels outside of his home country.

Posted by: exiled off mainstree | Jan 18 2020 20:00 utc | 5

"By committing the crime the U.S. and Trump made the global situation for themselves more complicate."

USA is not exactly the sole economic superpower, but as long as the allies, EU, NATO, major allies in Asia and Latin America, behave like poodles, USA pretty much controls what is "normal". After Obama campaigns of murder by drone, now Trump raises it to a higher level, and Europe, the most critical link in the web of alliances, applauds (UK) or accepts and cooperates. That can be a useful clarification for US establishment.

So the bottom line is that while it is hard to show constructive goals achieved by raising murder policies to a more brazen level, nothing changes for the worse. Allies tolerate irrationality, cruelty etc. and to some extend, join the fun.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 18 2020 20:06 utc | 8

Pompeo: "In all cases, we have to do this."

In all cases they have to murder? That is psycho killer talk. Notice how comfortable the American public is with that.

America disconnected from reality years ago. I rather doubt they could even find their way back if they were to somehow return to their senses.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 18 2020 20:07 utc | 9

Deterrence and decapitation strikes ...

Idle speculation on my part, but I am not alone in wondering if the Soleimani assassination accelerated Putin's restructuring agenda. (I'm not suggesting it was generated or even influenced in substance by the strike, just that the timing may have been.) Given the power of the President in Russia, as the CIA itself very well understands, there is perhaps no more tempting target for an overt military assassination strike than President Putin.

Of course, deterrence of rational actors is precisely what would prevent this, but I imagine Russian strategic thinkers have wondered whether or for how long the US remains a rational actor. Moreover, this would be the sort of thing that a fanatical faction could pull off. In some Strangelovean bunker somewhere, there may be those who would actually welcome a last gasp of large-scale warfare before the Eurasian Heartland is lost and the Petrodollar-fueled global finance empire, nominally sheltered in the US, dies away.

Creative destruction ... a last chance to shuffle the cards, and perhaps reset a losing game to zero.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Jan 18 2020 20:20 utc | 13

Maybe I stupidly posted this in the wrong thread?

Trump is simply a third-rate Godfather type gangster, with a touch of the charm and a lot of the baggage. I think his murder of General Qassem Soleimani was not something he would have done if he had any choice. It was a very stupid move, and Trump is just not that stupid. I really think this was demanded by the 'churnitalists'. These churnitalists are probably the psychos of the predatory arm of the CIA, and their billionaire allies.

See, it all works like this:

These churnitalists (who supposedly provide us with 'protection', or 'security') are the real rulers (because everybody who defies them ends up dead). Now just ask your self: How does rulership actually really work? It's really kind of simple. The only actual way to establish rulership over other people is to prove, again and again, that you can force them to do stupid things, for absolutely no reason. This is called 'people-churning', and all you have to do is just keep churning out low-class 'history' by constantly forcing the weaker ones to do stupid things. Again and again. This happens constantly in a churnitalist gangster society. Even in schools and legislatures, and so on. Haven't you noticed it yet?

Posted by: blues | Jan 18 2020 21:39 utc | 30

[Jan 19, 2020] Biden lying to people

Jan 19, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Joe Biden is flat out lying. He keeps referring to a video being doctored (aka edited), but he never says he didn't try to cut Social Security, because he can't. For the media not to address this is malpractice, but of course, we expect that. https://t.co/F7L1UIahF4

-- Pat the Berner(@PatTheBerner) January 18, 2020

Raise your hand if you have seen videos of ByeDone saying that of course social security needs to be cut? Post it if you have one. I do somewhere and I'll try to find it.

Lmao at Warren. It was a dumb thing for her to say because so what? The DNC and DCCC cleared the way for Liz to run unopposed by a more progressive democrat.

Guys, stay with me but.... What if Elizabeth Warren angrily approached Bernie at the end of the debate, NOT because of their meeting, but because of this exchange? pic.twitter.com/IVbhxUa0jK

-- SNAAAKE EATERRRRR (@LegacyZeroYT) January 18, 2020

up 6 users have voted. --

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery Yep Biden is lying

Is Joe Biden saying his comments here, which are also in the Congressional Record, are "doctored"? pic.twitter.com/PMYzlnxIxc

-- Brook Hines (@nashville_brook) January 18, 2020

up 7 users have voted. --

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

[Jan 19, 2020] In 2019, Parnas served as a translator for a legal case involving Dmytro Firtash, one of Ukraine's wealthiest oligarchs with self-admitted mob connections

Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

MushroomCloud2020 , 2 hours ago link

Lev Parnas

In 2019, Parnas served as a translator for a legal case involving Dmytro Firtash , one of Ukraine's wealthiest oligarchs with self-admitted mob connections, [12] who is fighting extradition to the U.S. to face bribery charges. Firtash has lived in Vienna for five years. "Mr. Parnas was retained by DiGenova & Toensing , LLP as an interpreter in order to communicate with their client Mr. Firtash, who does not speak English," the Washington-based law firm said in a statement. [13] However, recordings of Parnas speaking Ukrainian and Russian evidence that he has not retained total fluency in these two languages since coming to the United States. A Swiss lawyer for Firtash loaned $1 million to Parnas's wife in September 2019, according to prosecutors. [14]

In addition to working on joint business and political efforts, Parnas and Fruman have been involved in Jewish charities and causes in the U.S., Ukraine and Israel. [15] Fruman and Parnas are on the board of a Ukrainian-Jewish charity, "Friends of Anatevka", founded by Ukrainian rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman , to provide a refuge for Jews affected by the Russian military intervention in Ukraine . [16] Parnas and Fruman visited Israel in the summer of 2018 as a part of a delegation, led by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and joined by Anthony Scaramucci , of "right-wing Jewish and evangelical supporters of Trump." While there, the group met with various leaders and personalities including the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David M. Friedman , Benjamin Netanyahu 's son Yair Netanyahu , as well as billionaire Simon Falic, one of Netanyahu's most generous donors. [17] Huckabee joined the two once again in March 2019 when they were awarded with the "Chovevei Zion" (Lovers of Zion) awards at a gala for the National Council of Young Israel , an event focused on supporting President Trump and Israeli West Bank settlements . Rudy Giuliani and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy were in attendance as well. While in Israel Parnas and Fruman also met with oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi , a wealthy Ukrainian under investigation by the Department of Justice for money laundering. [15]

[Jan 19, 2020] McConnell Should Toss Out This Malicious Impeachment by Patrick J. Buchanan

Jan 17, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Patrick Buchanan

About the impeachment of President Donald Trump she engineered with her Democratic majority, Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday: "It's not personal. It's not political. It's not partisan. It's patriotic."

Seriously, Madam Speaker? Not political? Not partisan?

Why then were all eight House members chosen as managers to prosecute the case against Trump, who ceremoniously escorted the articles across the Capitol, all Democrats? Why did the articles of impeachment receive not a single Republican vote on the House floor?

The truth: The impeachment of Donald Trump is the fruit of a malicious prosecution whose roots go back to the 2016 election, in the aftermath of which stunned liberals and Democrats began to plot the removal of the new president.

This coup has been in the works for three years.

First came the crazed charges of Trump's criminal collusion with Vladimir Putin to hack the emails of the DNC and the Clinton campaign and funnel them to WikiLeaks.

For two years, we heard the cries of "Treason!" from Pelosi's caucus. And despite the Mueller investigation's exoneration of Trump of all charges of conspiracy with Russia, we still hear the echoes:

Trump is Putin's poodle. Trump is an asset of the Kremlin.

All we want, and what the American people deserve, is a "fair trial," Democrats and their media collaborators now insist. But can a fair trial proceed from a manifestly deficient and malicious prosecution?

Consider. In this impeachment, we are told, the House serves as the grand jury, and Adam Schiff's Intelligence Committee and Jerry Nadler's Judiciary Committee serve as the investigators and prosecutors.

But the articles of impeachment on which the Judiciary Committee and the House voted do not contain a single crime required by the Constitution for impeachment and removal. There is no charge of treason, no charge of bribery or "other high crimes and misdemeanors."

So weak is the case for impeachment that the elite in this city is demanding that the Senate do the work the House failed to do .

The Senate must subpoena the documents and witnesses the House failed to produce, to make the case for impeachment more persuasive than it is now.

Not our job, rightly answers Mitch McConnell.

The Senate is supposed to be an "impartial jury."

But while there is a debate over whether Republicans will vote to call witnesses, there is no debate on how the Senate Democrats intend to vote -- 100% for removal of a president they fear they may not be able to defeat.

Consider Trump's alleged offense: pressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Burisma Holdings and Hunter Biden.

Assume Zelenskiy, without prodding, sent to the U.S., as a friendly act to ingratiate himself with Trump, the Burisma file on Hunter Biden.

Would that have been a crime?

Why is it then a crime if Trump asked for the file?

The military aid Trump held up for 10 weeks -- lethal aid Barack Obama denied to Kyiv -- was sent. And Zelenskiy never held the press conference requested, never investigated Burisma, never sent the Biden file.

There is a reason why no crime was charged in the impeachment of Donald Trump. There was no crime committed.

Not political, said Pelosi. Why then did she hold up sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate for a month, after she said it was so urgent that Trump be impeached that Schiff and Nadler could not wait for their subpoenas to be ruled upon by the Supreme Court?

Pelosi is demanding that the Senate get the documents, subpoena and hear the witnesses, and do the investigative work Schiff and Nadler failed to do.

Does that not constitute an admission that a convincing case was not made? Are not the articles voted by the House inherently deficient if the Senate has to have more evidence than the House prosecutors could produce to convict the president of "abuse of power"?

Can we really have a fair trial in the Senate, when half of the jury, the Democratic caucus, is as reliably expected to vote to remove the president as Republicans are to acquit him? What kind of fair trial is it when we can predict the final vote before the court hears the evidence?

It is ridiculous to deny that this impeachment is partisan, political and personal. It reeks of politics, partisanship and Trump-hatred.

As for patriotic, that depends on where you stand -- or sit.

But the forum to be entrusted with the decision of "should Trump go?" is not a deeply polarized Senate, but with those the Founding Fathers entrusted with such decisions -- the American people.

In most U.S. courts, a prosecution case this inadequate, with prosecutors asking the court itself to get more documents and call more witnesses, and so visibly contaminated with malice toward the accused, would be dismissed outright.

Mitch McConnell should let the House managers make their case, and then call for a vote to dismiss, and treat this indictment with the contempt it so richly deserves.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.

Mary Myers 2 days ago

I want to know all the dirt. I want the Dems to be able to call their witnesses, and I want Trump's team to call their witnesses. And I want cross examinations. Let's have a real trial so the American people can learn what has been going on. To sweep it all under the carpet by having Mitch McConnell move for dismissal is to suppress the truth. What is wrong with Pat Buchanan? I always thought Buchanan was a truth seeker and a truth teller. So very disappointed in him.
Gary Sellars Mary Myers a day ago
Fools and charlatans should not be encouraged. This faux "impeachment" is simply an exercise in pre-election mischief-making by a Democrat party that simply hopes to damage Trump in the eyes of the voters.
Hank Linderman Gary Sellars a day ago
The "pre-election mischief" was Trump's efforts re Ukraine, Biden, etc.
TISO_AX2 Hank Linderman a day ago • edited
Biden is a good Dem, shaking down Ukraine on behalf of his Navy-rejected druggie son, using US public money. And we have it on videotape.

Crooks need to be exposed. Good on the President for exposing Democrat-Ukraine corruption. He hasn't ended it yet but he has exposed it.

phreethink TISO_AX2 a day ago
So this is your argument: The Bidens were corrupt so Trump gets a pass on violating the law AS FOUND BY THE NONPARTISAN GAO! Yup, sounds reasonable to me. MAGA
Gary Sellars phreethink a day ago
Government agencies are only as "non-partisan" as the political appointees tasked to run them.

No-one cared when Creepy joe Biden did it openly, but its a crime because some choose to believe that Trump did the same? LOL!!! No sorry, that won't wash.

Juts because Biden is seeking to be president that doesn't mean he gets some kind of immunity from investigation for corrupt activities in foreign nations.

If you think that a Dem-funded dodgy dossier on Trump is sufficient to initiate an FBI probe on trump when he is the Repubs nominee, how can you possibly think that Biden is untouchable given his public admission of squeezing the Ukro gov using foreign aid as leverage?????

Hilarious. The cognitive dissonance is strong with this one.

Gary Sellars Hank Linderman a day ago • edited
What pre-election "Trump efforts in Ukraine"? I think you have an inability to follow time-lines.

Manafort was involved in corrupt dealing with shady Oligarchs, but that was before he worked for Trump, and the Bad Orange Man wasn't in the slightest bit involved.

I still find it hilarious that the libs think Trump committed a crime in his conversation with Zelensky, but its OK for Creepy Joe (as Veep) to blackmail Poroshenkos regime to get rid of the prosecutor sniffing around Burisa Holdings and thereby threatening his sons get-rich-quick scheme (and then BRAGGING about it on camera). Un-freakin-believable... :-D

TISO_AX2 Mary Myers a day ago
Why won't the Dems and leftwing media leave him alone then? Rep. Al Green (D-Tx) let that cat out of the bag when he told us that they have to impeach him otherwise he's going to get re-elected. The impeachment gambit is no more complicated than that.
Mary Myers TISO_AX2 a day ago • edited
The Left can't stand Trump because of his Supreme Court nominations, his pulling out of the Climate Accord, and his pro-life positions. That's why they want him stopped and removed from office. That being said, Trump is his own worst enemy because he is so full of himself that he is incapable of behaving in an adult and judicious way.
phreethink Mary Myers a day ago
Absolutely true. 100% But it doesn't change the fact that Trump tried to blackmail Ukraine into announcing an investigation of the Bidens by withholding Congressionally mandated aid.

So, KNOWING the Dems were out to get him, he still does that, and is stupid enough to get caught red handed. Your great leader picks such "winners." Rudy, Lev, and the gang did him right.

If Obama did it, a GOP House and Senate would have run him out of town in a week.

Mary Myers phreethink a day ago
Like, I said, Trump is his own worst enemy. And a lot of Republicans are hypocrites. If Obama behaved as Trump has they'd be all over him with criticism.
TISO_AX2 Mary Myers a day ago
If we could design our own president..he'd be perfect. For us that is. A president is there to do a job. It's laid out in the Constitution. The job desription says nothing about personality type.

Would I like him to say some things differently, sure. Sometimes I cringe. But nothing that he says affects us negatively (unless it's in an emotional or psychological way). Your life, family, your career, your bank accounts, are not hurt by DJTs tweets or sayings or interactions with anyone else in Washington.

So if that's the price to pay to have a leader who works to keep his promises it's a small price, and Americans ought to have the grace and fortitude to handle the daily news without melting down emotionally or psychologically. A good spirit and a joyful outlook are good for your soul.

Joe Frank TISO_AX2 21 hours ago • edited
A quote: "Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one."
Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Food for thought.

TISO_AX2 Joe Frank 20 hours ago • edited
Things are tough all over. Especially among those who are not on America's side.
Gary Sellars Mary Myers a day ago
If that was the case, just not leave him to hang himself. Instead the corrupt libs indulge in big lies and sedition. The witch hunt is clear and obvious, and it will stiffen Trumps sails as he heads into the 2020 showdown.
Mary Myers Gary Sellars a day ago • edited
Probably. However, the ancients had a saying; "Whoever the gods would destroy, they first make drunk with power."
Gary Sellars Mary Myers a day ago
You're referring to Shrillary I must presume?
Mary Myers Gary Sellars a day ago
"The mills of God's justice grind exceedingly slow, but they also grind exceedingly fine."
TISO_AX2 Mary Myers 20 hours ago • edited
How do you know that God's justice isn't what's behind Donald Trump's success?
Mary Myers TISO_AX2 4 hours ago
We shall see what happens to Mr. Trump in the long run. God is inscrutable. No one can claim to know the workings of God.
TISO_AX2 Mary Myers 4 hours ago
What happens to Mr. Trump in the long run is not our business. He's the POTUS. Anything beyond both the scope of and the time of his presidency is an obsession with his person. Better to leave what's between him and his country out of any ideas of what's between him and God.
Joe Frank Mary Myers a day ago
Well spoken Mary. I find it ironic that the American Conservative would publish a "hit piece" about a supposed "hit job." I come to the American Conservative for thoughtful, insightful ideas, not this. When the president grants himself "absolute immunity," which I would expect Pat Buchanan and American Conservative writers and readers to be outrages at, and I read a piece like this, I wonder how Pat and company can editorialize and comment at a level well below the dignity of this publication?
Joe Frank Joe Frank a day ago
I think this statement is closer to the truth of the matter:

"I think the votes have been decided. As much as anybody will be pretending to be judicious about this, I don't think that there's one senator who hasn't decided how they're going to vote... I think if you're pretty much no longer interested in running for office, or no longer interested in getting Republican votes, you might vote to impeach the president... When it comes to whether or not you're going to impeach a president of your own party, particularly over a policy difference or whether or not he has lack of decorum or whatever, I think that's something that a lot of voters will not excuse."

Rand Paul, Regarding the Impeachment Trial, January 16, 2020

phreethink Joe Frank a day ago
Absolutely agree. And those in the GOP who close their eyes and ears to Trump's attempted blackmail/bribery will answer to the electorate. That's why we need to get this trial going and get it over. Sure would be nice to hear what all the president's men say about it, but that would only provide the first-hand evidence further proving Trump's guilt.

So there's no way they'll have witnesses. They'll try to blame the Dems for not letting Trump delay the whole thing in Court and for refusing to have Hunter and Joe testify, even though that is a sideshow to the attempted blackmail/bribery. This is so obviously a bunch of bull. If the Senate really wanted to hear from Joe and Hunter, they could subpoena them right now, today into a committee hearing on their supposed Ukraine corruption. They haven't, so we know its just a bunch of smoke. The only question is how many voters in the middle are going to let them get away with it.

Gary Sellars phreethink a day ago
Witnesses to say what? The same sort of hearsay and opinion that dominated the House hearings?

Errr... NO. The case will be judged on what the Dems have submitted in their articles of impeachment. They don't get to turn this into a sustained lynch attempt or a never-ending talk-show for liberals and their minions who hate Trump and just want to be heard.

Gary Sellars Joe Frank a day ago • edited
Quite frankly, without evidence of High Crimes, that is the way it should be.
phreethink Joe Frank a day ago
Agree. But Buchanan has become just another Trumper.
Constantinople Mary Myers a day ago
Buchanan was a longtime aide to Richard Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal Nixon. The people who accept this line of argument contend, in effect, that the purpose of the American Revolution and the US Constitution was to replace a hereditary monarchy with an elected one.
Westcoastdeplorable Mary Myers a day ago
I want all the dirt aired as well, but the SENATE is not the proper venue. These traitors need to be indicted, tried, probably convicted, and sent to Gitmo. I hope McConnell shuts this down good and proper.
Mary Myers Westcoastdeplorable a day ago • edited
So how are we to know who the traitors are if there are no witnesses and cross examinations in the Senate? Are you expecting the justice department to come down with a bunch of indictments?
phreethink Westcoastdeplorable a day ago
Under Bill Barr's DOJ the traitors who sought a bribe from Ukraine to benefit Trump's reelection will be prosecuted? HAHAHAHAHAHA. Good one.
TISO_AX2 2 days ago • edited
Indeed. The Senate should consider the case that the House sent them in writing, and only that case. Too bad for Pelosi and Schiff that it's so weak.
phreethink TISO_AX2 a day ago
It's so weak that if it weren't the President, there'd already be an indictment.
timoth3y 2 days ago
Mr. Buchanan has a deep understanding of these matters on both an academic level and from personal experience. It's unfortunate, but the only conclusion to draw is that the numerous falsehoods in this article are not mistakes, but deliberate attempts to deceive the reader.

Whatever one's opinion on the behavior of Trump, the Democratic House or the Republican Senate, we should, at a bare minimum, respect the truth.

1) Impeachment is not a criminal trail. It does not require an underlying crime to be committed, and the rules for impeachment hearings are not the same as those for criminal or civil trails. Furthermore, the GAO has stated that what Trump is accused of is indeed a crime.

2) The Mueller report was not an "exoneration of Trump of all charges of conspiracy with Russia." The report literally said that it was not and Mueller testified to Congress that it was not an exoneration.

3) The claim that "The Senate must subpoena the documents and witnesses the House failed to produce" is absurd. it was the White House that failed to produce to documents that the House subpoenas demanded. Whether you believe there should be witnesses (or a trail at all) in the Senate. Implying that House Democrats is somehow concealing these documents is a lazy lie.

I must put aside Mr. Buchanan's comments regarding what the various senators are "really thinking" because I lack the physic mind-reading abilities that he seems to possess.

However, whatever our opinion on the impeachment and the events that led up to it, can we please stop with the bald-faced lies?

If the Senate decides to dismiss, so be it, but if they publicly swear to God and country that they "will do impartial justice according to the constitution and laws: so help you God?" then we should do our best to ensure they act that way.

Gary Sellars timoth3y a day ago
"The Mueller report was not an "exoneration of Trump of all charges of conspiracy with Russia." The report literally said that it was not and Mueller testified to Congress that it was not an exoneration."

Total rubbish. A lack of evidence IS exoneration. Without evidence, all there is left is a bunch of allegations without proof. Mueller was given the job to hang trump but he couldn't prove the lie to be fact. He won't admit it so he indulges in innuendo to give a little complimentary red meat to his team mates.

This "impeachment" is a disgrace, nothing more than a corrupt exercise in partisan party politics. No high crimes. No high misdemeanors. Nothing but a steaming pile of hearsay, allegations, bias and opinions. Certainly nothing that should ever justify the removal of a legal and constitutionally elected POTUS.

Wezz Gary Sellars a day ago
"Disgrace". Trump has hypnotized his followers to repeat his 5 favorite words mindlessly... in this case it must be the word Trumps mother kept using to admonish him, it's one of his favorite.
Jeffrey Samuels Gary Sellars a day ago
it wasn't lack of evidence. It was the DOJ rule that you can't indict a sitting president that prompted Mueller's response.
TISO_AX2 Jeffrey Samuels a day ago
Yes, it was a lack of evidence. The purpose of a special prosecutor is to prosecute. When they have the evidence then they bring an indictment. If this is not possible for the US President, there would be no purpose for an investigation of a President. And when a prosecutor fails to bring an indictment the accused is presumed innocent.
Mary Myers TISO_AX2 a day ago • edited
There was evidence of collusion. It's in the tapes of the phone calls Gen. Mike Flynn had with the Russian ambassador in December of 2016. It's just that the collusion was not with Russia but was instead a collusion with another country to get Russia to do something that would undermine Obama's policy at the U.N. But to reveal those tapes to the public is politically incorrect, and Robert Mueller wasn't going to go there.
TISO_AX2 Mary Myers a day ago
There was evidence of collusion. It's in the tapes of the phone calls
Gen. Mike Flynn had with the Russian ambassador in December of 2016.

Cite it, please. Let's see what this collusion looks like.

Mary Myers TISO_AX2 a day ago • edited
The Mueller Report (The Washington Post edition) page 538 barely touches on it, but you can get the drift.

"Flynn also agreed that he lied to the FBI about another contact with Kislyak, a December 2016 phone call in which Flynn asked if Russia would delay or vote against a proposed United Nations resolution critical of Israel. Flynn said he made this call at the direction of a "very senior member" of the presidential transition team," identified later as Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner."

Phil Giraldi, who was terminated at TAC, also did an article on this that you can find on www.unz.com . I believe the title of Phil Giraldi's column is "Russiagate is really Israelgate."

TISO_AX2 Mary Myers a day ago
Flynn was plea bargaining to save his family from the heavy hand of uncontrolled government prosecutors. He has since withdrawn the plea so any collusion remains in doubt. This also fits the narrative that the FBI agents did not think Flynn was lying when they interviewed him.
Mary Myers TISO_AX2 a day ago
Well, there is one way to find out for sure, and that would be for the tapes of the Kislyak conversation to be released so we can hear exactly what Flynn said. It sure can't be classified information as he wasn't yet working for the government during the transition period in December of 2016. For some reason they don't want those taped phone conversations to be released even in Judge Emmett Sullivan's courtroom.
Gary Sellars Mary Myers a day ago • edited
You seem to be one of these "True Believers" who simply cannot digest the reality of Muellers report. He searched high and low, and found NOTHING.

No Trump crimes.
No Trump collusion.

Accept the facts and get a life. You'll be happier for it.

Mary Myers Gary Sellars a day ago
At least I read the report. Did you?
Gary Sellars Mary Myers a day ago • edited
You read it, focused on the bits that you wanted, made your mind up on what you wanted it to mean, and then ignored the rest.
Mary Myers Gary Sellars a day ago
No, I found that the report was rather boring, and, of course, there was no proof of any collusion with Russia. The report paints Trump as a stupid, self serving oaf. I am sure you couldn't bear to even read the report and preferred to get your summary of it from FOX News.
Gary Sellars Mary Myers a day ago • edited
"The report paints Trump as a stupid, self serving oaf. "

So? Who cares what Mueller and his Democrat minions think? It wasn't the investigations remit to critique Trump as a person or even as a President.It was to find evidence of collusion and criminal behaviour by Trump and his campaign.

It found NOTHING or the sort. Personal bad behaviour by Manafort in Ukraine doesn't stain trump. Flynn getting caught in a procedural trap by FBI agents looking entrap him doesn't count (and he is recanting his plea bid now, and good for him).

Unsupported innuendo about bad behaviors mean NOTHING. Trump isn't bound to assist the Witch Hunt against him. He has no obligation to help those that are concocting fallacies in an attempt to bring down or sabotage his tenure. Refusal to co-operate with your own lynching by your enemies is not "obstruction". Trump hasn't broken any laws by his refusal to co-operate, and as president, he has a great amount of privilege in this respect (as all previous presidents have had and exercised when required).

Great big nothing-burger. Accept the truth and get over yourself.

[Jan 19, 2020] Russiagate was to hide Clinton's corruption. Ukrainegate is to hide Biden's corruption

Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Dank fur Kopf , 2 hours ago link

You can all go and ignore the whole Trump impeachment, because it's just smoke to try and hide the real fire.

Joe Biden's actual blackmail of the Ukrainian government, when he threatened to withhold $1 billion if the Prosecutor investigating his son, Hunter Biden, wasn't immediately fired.

Russiagate was to hide Clinton's corruption.
Ukrainegate is to hide Biden's corruption.

And because Biden is such an arrogant piece of ..., here's him admitting to it on camera:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3115&v=Q0_AqpdwqK4&feature=emb_logo

Dank fur Kopf , 2 hours ago link

You can all go and ignore the whole Trump impeachment, because it's just smoke to try and hide the real fire.

Joe Biden's actual blackmail of the Ukrainian government, when he threatened to withhold $1 billion if the Prosecutor investigating his son, Hunter Biden, wasn't immediately fired.

Russiagate was to hide Clinton's corruption.
Ukrainegate is to hide Biden's corruption.

And because Biden is such an arrogant piece of ..., here's him admitting to it on camera:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3115&v=Q0_AqpdwqK4&feature=emb_logo

[Jan 18, 2020] Biden Has Been Lying About His Record on Iraq for Years – Consortiumnews

Jan 18, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Consortiumnews Volume 26, Number 17–Friday, January 17, 2020

Campaign 2020 , Commentary , Foreign Policy , Iraq , Politics , Propaganda , U.S. , Until This Day--Historical Perspectives on the News Biden Has Been Lying About His Record on Iraq for Years January 14, 2020 • 18 Comments

In Tuesday night's debate, Sam Husseini would like to see the Democratic presidential ca ndidate finally face serious scrutiny for his support for the Iraq war.

Joe Biden during the December primary debate. (Screenshot)

By Sam Husseini
Common Dreams

D emocratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his surrogates such as former Secretary of State John Kerry continue to falsely claim that he did not favor the Iraq invasion.

But Senator Bernie Sanders' camp has just highlighted a video of Biden speaking at the Brookings Institution in July 2003, after the invasion, in which he expresses support for "finishing this job" in Iraq and says: "The president of the United States is a bold leader and he is popular."

BREAKING: Video emerges of @JoeBiden criticizing antiwar Dems, praising Bush for leading America into the Iraq War & promising he will support Bush's continuation of the war

"The president of the United States is a bold leader & he is popular I & many others will support him" pic.twitter.com/Sx2zsdbSJV

-- David Sirota (@davidsirota) January 12, 2020

As far as showing Biden's support for the war, that video is the tip of the iceberg.

In that address to Brookings ( video ) Biden makes brazen pro-war falsehoods, claiming that Saddam Hussein "violated every commitment that he made. He played cat and mouse with the weapons inspectors. He failed to account for the huge gaps in weapons declarations that were documented by UN weapons inspectors and submitted by them to the UN Security Council in 1998, and every nation in that Council believed he possessed those weapons at that time. He refused to abide by any conditions."

Pack of Lies

That's a pack of lies. The Iraqi government released a massive amount of information in 2002 . It agreed to allow the UN weapons inspectors in well before the congressional vote that authorized war -- a vote that Biden has claimed was justifiable to give Bush a stronger hand in getting inspectors into Iraq.

Additionally, the prior weapons inspection regime, UNSCOM, was ended in 1998 not because Saddam Hussein kicked them out , but because then President Bill Clinton ordered them withdrawn on the eve of his scheduled impeachment vote to make way for the Desert Fox bombing campaign.

Donate to the Winter Fund Drive.

It's fitting that the Biden camp has put Kerry on this issue since Kerry's falsifications regarding Iraq are remarkably similar to Biden's. Kerry might be the Democratic senator whose record helped the Iraq war as much as Biden's. This notably led to his contortions in the 2004 election when he was the Democratic Party nominee and lost to George W. Bush.

When I questioned Kerry in 2011 about his vote for the Iraq invasion, he claimed that "I didn't vote for the Iraq war. I voted to give the president authority that he misused and abused. And from the moment he used it, I opposed that."

Another lie . Kerry actually attacked the notion of a withdrawal from Iraq at that point, even saying in December of 2003: "I fear that in the run-up to the 2004 election the administration is considering what is tantamount to a cut-and-run strategy ," effectively taking position even more militaristic than that of Bush. Also see from August 2004 from CNN: " Kerry stands by 'yes' vote on Iraq war ."

It's remarkable how little scrutiny Biden has gotten for his role in the Iraq invasion. Sanders has mostly criticized Biden's vote, but beyond that, Biden was chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He has been criticized by leading analysts and weapons inspectors for the hearings he presided over that led to war .

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, viewed by many as an antiwar candidate, has outright let Biden off the hook. At a debate last year, Gabbard said of Biden: "He was wrong -- he said he was wrong . "

Thus, Biden may be positioned to become the Democratic nominee -- and face Trump in the general election -- with minimal scrutiny for his major role in the worst policy decision of our lifetimes. He's also in a worse position to take on Trump's phony "America First" isolationism than Hillary Clinton was in 2016."

In September's Democratic Party debate hosted by ABC News, Biden lied about his Iraq record, just as he did at the first two debates.

Watch:

Joe Biden: "With regard to Iraq, the fact of the matter is that, you know, I should have never voted to give Bush the authority to go in and do what he said he was going to do." #DemocraticDebate
pic.twitter.com/70MzR2gcki

-- Action News on 6abc (@6abc) September 13, 2019

In the July debate, Biden claimed: "From the moment 'shock and awe' started, from that moment, I was opposed to the effort, and I was outspoken as much as anyone at all in the Congress."

When he first said that, it received virtually no scrutiny except for Mideast scholar Stephen Zunes, who authored " Biden Is Doubling Down on Iraq War Lies ." In that piece, Zunes outlined much of Biden's record, including his insistence in May 2003 -- months after the Iraq invasion -- that "[t]here was sufficient evidence to go into Iraq."

In the September debate that he voted for the Iraq invasion authorization to "to allow inspectors to go in to determine whether or not anything was being done with chemical weapons or nuclear weapons."

But the congressional vote happened on Oct. 11, 2002 (see Biden's speech then).

https://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?c4799070/user-clip-biden-saddam-dangerous

And by that time Iraq had agreed to allow weapons inspectors back in. On Sept. 16, 2002, The New York Times reported: " U.N. Inspectors Can Return Unconditionally, Iraq Says ." (This was immediately after a delegation organized by the Institute for Public Accuracy -- where I work -- had gone to Iraq . )

Independent journalist Michael Tracey, who interviewed Biden in New Hampshire last fall, reported that Biden made the ridiculous claim that he opposed the invasion of Iraq even before it started. Said Biden: "Yes, I did oppose the war before it began." See Tracey's piece: " Joe Biden's Jumbled Iraq War Revisionism " and video .

https://www.youtube.com/embed/MouFdYVIyvU?feature=oembed

Biden did initially back a bill, along with Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, which would have somewhat constrained Bush's capacity to launch an invasion of Iraq completely at his whim. But the Bush administration opposed the measure. One might have thought that such opposition would lead Biden to conclude that Bush insisting on not having any constraint would be a reason not to write him a blank check. But Biden ultimately voted for the legislation giving Bush the complete license the president wanted.

Resolution Backing Bush

Bush ended up launching the war by telling the UN to get the weapons inspectors out -- thus forcing an end to their work -- before launching a bombing campaign. Immediately, Biden co-sponsored a resolution backing Bush.

Tracey writes, "It's unclear whether the Delaware senator genuinely believes the tale he is currently telling, or if it's the product of his apparent cognitive decline." But, Biden has been lying about Iraq for years and years and years and years . He was chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2002 and presided over hearings that were called rigged at the time by actual critics of the Iraq invasion.

Still, Biden's voluminous deceits on Iraq -- which he's adding to by the day -- have yet to be adequately examined. Biden told Tim Russert on "Meet the Press" in 2007 of Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction: "The real mystery is, if he, if he didn't have any of them left, why didn't he say so? "

Of course the Iraqi government, in 2002 and before, had been pleading that it had disarmed. And it was widely mocked by the U.S. government and media for such claims.

Saddam Hussein told Dan Rather on " 60 Minutes " in February 2003:

"I believe that that [the U.S. military preparations in the Gulf] were, in fact, done partly to cover the huge lie that was being waged against Iraq about chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. And it was on that basis that Iraq actually accepted [the U.N.] Resolution -- accepted it, even though Iraq was absolutely certain that what it had said -- what the Iraqi officials had kept saying, that Iraq was empty, was void of any such weapons -- was the case. But Iraq accepted that resolution in order not to allow any misinterpretation of its position in order to make the case absolutely clear that Iraq was no longer in possession of any such weapons. [See from FAIR: " Saddam's 'Secret. " ]

But such remarks from Iraq were derided. On Nov. 13, 2002, The New York Times reported: " U.S. Scoffs at Iraq Claim of No Weapons of Mass Destruction ." The Bush administration, the newspaper reported in the piece, "dismissed Saddam Hussein's contention today that he possesses no weapons of mass destruction as a fabrication. But President Bush's advisers said they would not be taunted into revealing the intelligence they had gathered to contradict him until after Iraq delivered a full accounting of weapons stores in early December."

Similarly, The International Herald Tribune on Dec. 9, 2002, ran the headline, "Senators dismiss Iraqi arms declaration to UN," which reported: "Copies of a 12,000-page Iraqi declaration on banned weapons reached UN offices in Vienna on Sunday and were en route to the United Nations in New York for analysis, but senior U.S. senators of both parties dismissed its contents as lies. And they spoke of a likely war that they said would have surprisingly broad backing."

These senators did this without even having access to the documents.

The piece continued: "Senator Richard Lugar, Republican of Indiana, incoming chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said that he assumed the Iraqi report would 'totally be an obfuscation.' The Democratic vice-presidential candidate in 2000, Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, called the declaration 'probably a 12,000-page, 100-pound lie.'" The piece also quoted Biden saying that Bush was likely to "have all that he needs, all the help, all the bases in the Middle East" and a coalition "larger than anyone anticipated."

What Biden did was to help ensure war happened while trying to wash his hands of responsibility for it. He helped build the car for Bush, filled it up with gas, saw that Bush was drunk, gave him license to do what he wanted -- and then told him to be responsible while he handed him the keys. Eventually, Biden pretends he's shocked that the streets are littered with mangled bodies.

Biden is the exact opposite of Sen. Wayne Morse , one of only two senators who voted against the Tonkin Gulf Resolution -- a false pretext used by Lyndon Johnson's to dramatically escalate the Vietnam War in 1964. To those -- like Biden in 2002 -- who argued that you have to back the president, Morse responded that they didn't understand the Constitution or their responsibilities as senators:

"Why not give the president a vote of confidence? This was the lingo of the reservationists: We've got to back our president. Since when do we have to back our president, or should we, when the president is proposing an unconstitutional act? And so these reservationists said that although I'm going to back my president, I want to show him I have confidence in him. I want to warn him I'm not giving him a blank check. This doesn't mean that I don't expect him to consult me in the future. This doesn't mean that the president can go ahead and send additional troops over there without consulting me, a senator of the United States. And you know, I most respectfully, but used language that they understood, said that's just nonsense. I want to say to my colleagues in the Senate, you're being consulted right now . "

Would that Biden understood his responsibilities as well.

Sam Husseini is a writer and political activist. He is communications director of the Institute for Public Accuracy , a Washington-based nonprofit that promotes progressive experts as alternative sources for mainstream media reporters. He tweets @samhusseini .

An earlier version of this article was published in Common Dreams .

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

Donate to the Winter Fund Drive.

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2029

Tags: Iraq invasion Joe Biden John Kerry Saddam Hussein Sen. Bernie Sanders WMD

Post navigation ← JOHN KIRIAKOU: Actually, Congress is Overdoing It Establishment Pundits Go Nuts Over New Russian Hacking Conspiracy → 18 comments for "Biden Has Been Lying About His Record on Iraq for Years"

Paolo , January 16, 2020 at 06:45

The problem is not the lies Biden says (and those so many other politicians say)

The problem is the media that don't denounce the lies. Newsmen were supposed to be the watchdogs of democracy. They have become the house pets of politicians

robert e williamson jr , January 16, 2020 at 15:00

Exactly which is why the French video documentary needs to go viral, pass it on.

But don't try to use ass-face–book to to do it.

Realist , January 16, 2020 at 01:58

It is impossible to get the truth on anything across to the American people if it contradicts the official false narratives floated by the Matrix of the figurehead government, the mass media, the so-called social media, the intel agencies, the Pentagon War Machine and the ruling puppet masters of the transnational oligarchy who control our entire lives. Try it and they'll systematically smear you, beat you down, arrest you if you are a big enough thorn (like Assange, Manning or Kiriakou), and possibly even eliminate you like several public figures who conveniently died in plane crashes or committed "suicide."

Politicians playing at Joe Biden's level, like Obama and Hillary before him, sold their souls to the shadow kingmakers decades ago long before they even became widely known to the public, I understand. They are vetted while still striving to become someone of consequence at an Ivy League campus. Plaudits to the alternative media (like CN) that carry on the good fight on-line, the problem is they are swamped by the establishment and systematically
targeted by the thousands of mercenaries working for the insider elites.

robert e williamson jr , January 15, 2020 at 17:40

The death of the republic will be hoisted on the deceit fueled by the liars of both parties. To re-elect either the IMPOTUS or Biden will not change anything that curses us at the moment.

New blood is needed in D.C. not Iraq or Iran.

Leslie Dagnall , January 15, 2020 at 12:56

Joe Biden is the worst candidate for the Democratic Party and if they manage to get him the nomination, I will not vote for him, but will write in Bernie Sanders, who in the House, did vote against the war with Iraq.

Biden is a liar and a fraud – mainstream media seems to like that about him. I wonder why

Vera Gottlieb , January 15, 2020 at 11:59

A country – any country, gets the government it deserves. To me, Biden is an "has been". Look forward not backward

Herman , January 15, 2020 at 11:51

When Washington ignored the documentation from Iraq that had gotten rid of its WMDs, the author quotes this beauty of a statement. Sound similar to White House claims why the murdered the Iranian General? We have the evidence but we can't tell anyone. Trust us.

"But President Bush's advisers said they would not be taunted into revealing the intelligence they had gathered to contradict him until after Iraq delivered a full accounting of weapons stores in early December."

Regina Schulte , January 15, 2020 at 11:19

Simply put: Joseph Biden is not presidential material (and never was).

ML , January 15, 2020 at 15:17

Hear, hear! And amen.

Tony , January 15, 2020 at 11:00

I remember seeing Biden on the news channels after 9/11.
He praised President Bush's handling of the situation!
He should have demanded his impeachment for ignoring all the warnings.

Warnings came from members of the Taliban government in Afghanistan, Putin and the CIA.
The CIA Presidential Daily Briefing of 6 August 2001 was titled: "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S."
There is a very good chance that if Bush had done his job properly, or at all, then 9/11 could have been avoided.

Biden would be out of his depth as dogcatcher. Trump will be laughing his head off if Biden is the nominee.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , January 15, 2020 at 13:07

Unless external events intervene – possibilities include: economic collapse or war with Iran – Trump will be re-elected, almost by default.

The Democrats just do not have good material on offer. No spark. No heroism. Dull establishment views.

Bernie has his strong points, but he is old, has had a heart attack, and showed serious weakness vis-a-vis Hillary Clinton and her theft of the nomination in 2016.

Tulsi Gabbard, a really promising politician, is simply ignored by the Democratic establishment and the press.

It really doesn't matter which of the candidates wins. They are all married to the Pentagon and war, and with the US spending about a trillion a year in borrowed money for the military/security establishment, no social programs of any consequence are going to be put in place.

All the leading candidates worship at the alter of the Pentagon and CIA.

American "democracy" is looking thinner than ever.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , January 15, 2020 at 10:38

Biden has always been a pretty sleazy operator.

Somehow that smile and folksy talk fools a lot of people.

Same phenomenon as Obama.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , January 15, 2020 at 20:51

He consistently supported wars and coups. He worked closely with Obama on some of them.

He is also credited with helping convince Obama to start America's vast extrajudicial killing scheme. A hi-tech update of the old Argentine Junta's "disappearing" people by the thousands without any charge or trial or defense. Just a nameless operator at a screen playing computer games with real human beings.

Remember, he received the Medal of Freedom from Obama – that's Obama of the jocular statement, "Hey, I'm pretty good at this killing stuff!" – and you don't get that award without doing some serious dirty work for America's empire. Just ask Madeline Albright.

o.j. frowein , January 15, 2020 at 10:04

Indeed Biden is not lying, he is just a SENILE old man suffering from Alzheimer!! It would be a crime to elect this man for US president!! Although sometimes it's not even noticed by the voters as we saw with Nixon & Reagan!

Vera Gottlieb , January 15, 2020 at 12:01

I would dare say that too many of the voters suffer from "short memory"

Blessthebeasts , January 15, 2020 at 13:43

His age isn't the issue. He's been lying all throughout his career.

michael , January 15, 2020 at 08:10

The DNC, the MSM, and the Government Establishment has selected Biden as the nominee. It doesn't matter that Biden is a Corrupt Liar and his pro-war, pro-Rich and pro-corporatist policies have destroyed America since he became a US Senator in 1973; he is Obama 2.0.

Toxik , January 14, 2020 at 22:10

Biden's a liar, a cheat, and a fraud. And to top that off, he's a sexual predator. its not surprising the mainstream media is not even talking about feeling up females.

[Jan 18, 2020] Trump Lawyers Frame Impeachment Removal Trial as Violation of Constitution, Election Meddling - Sputnik International

Jan 18, 2020 | sputniknews.com

The US Senate has formally initiated the trial for the removal of US President Donald Trump from office, which kicked off with House officials reading the charges to the upper chamber and the swearing-in of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to preside over the process. Trump's legal team on Saturday released a statement attempting to reject his impeachment by the House, characterising the charges against the US president as a "dangerous attack" on Americans and their right to vote.

"We are on strong legal footing. The president has done nothing wrong and we believe that will be borne out in this process", a source said, ahead of the document's submission to the Senate scheduled later in the day.

Trump's defence team formally responded to the six-page document containing the articles of impeachment and stated their opinion on the merits of the two charges - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

"The articles of impeachment submitted by House Democrats are a dangerous attack on rights of the American people to freely choose their president. This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election, now just months away", the document states.

A spokesman for Trump's legal team suggested that the articles of impeachment are constitutionally invalid. "They fail to allege any crime or violation of law whatsoever, let alone high crimes and misdemeanors", the document said.

The lawyers reportedly stressed that Trump did nothing wrong and predicted that he would not be removed from office during the upcoming Senate trial, adding that the defence team planned to argue that the impeachment articles violate the US constitution.

On Saturday, US lawmakers managing the Senate removal trial filed a brief laying out their arguments supporting charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress against the US president.

The Democratic House of Representatives impeachment managers faced a deadline of 5 p.m. EST (22:00 GMT) on Saturday to file the document before the trial of the US president starts in the Senate next week. Lawmakers argued in the brief that Trump must be removed from the Oval Office to safeguard the integrity of the upcoming presidential election.

On 18 December, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted along party lines to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for freezing military aid to Ukraine in exchange for Kiev launching a probe of political rival Joe Biden.

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) bangs the gavel to adjourn the House of Representatives after representatives voted in favor of two counts of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 18, 2019. © REUTERS / JONATHAN ERNST 'Impeached Forever': Pelosi Slams Trump as Senate Trial Set to Begin Next Week According to the US Constitution, the House has sole power to impeach, which is analogous to an indictment, while the 100-seat Senate, currently controlled by the Republicans, has the sole power of removing a president.

Trump is the third US president to be impeached. Neither of the previous two, Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999 were forced from office. Another US president, Richard Nixon, resigned in August 1974 before the House could vote on his impeachment, thus avoiding a removal trial in the Senate.

Trump has called his impeachment a "witch hunt" designed to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

An unnamed senior Trump administration official told reporters earlier this week that the president's legal team - made up, in part, of lawyers who formerly worked for deceased paedophile and sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein - expect a "rapid acquittal" and doubt the removal trial will last more than two weeks.

[Jan 18, 2020] Impeachment circus begins in earnest, and will change nothing -- RT Op-ed

Jan 18, 2020 | www.rt.com

... ... ...

The Republican-controlled Senate will almost certainly vote to acquit Trump. No concrete evidence of wrongdoing was revealed during the House Intelligence Committee's inquiry, and none of the second-hand witnesses to Trump's infamous phone call with Zelensky revealed any smoking gun evidence. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has ignored Democrat pleas to admit more witnesses and more evidence, arguing that the House's case be tried as is.

Meanwhile, Republicans ridiculed Pelosi for sitting on the impeachment articles for four weeks, despite Democrat claims that Trump posed a "clear and present danger" to national security, and Pelosi's insistence that removing him was an "urgent concern."

Any doubt that impeachment was a partisan affair was removed by Pelosi on Wednesday night, when she handed out souvenir pens to reporters after signing the articles, posing in front of a lectern with a placard reading "#defendourdemocracy" on it. McConnell described the signing ceremony as "The House's partisan process distilled into one last perfect visual. Not solemn or serious. A transparently political exercise from beginning to end."

Yesterday, the Speaker celebrated impeachment with souvenir pens, bearing her own golden signature, brought in on silver platters. The House's partisan process distilled into one last perfect visual. Not solemn or serious. A transparently political exercise from beginning to end. pic.twitter.com/AshajRLH2F

-- Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) January 16, 2020

McConnell is not above partisan games either, and has openly pledged to work with the White House to see Trump acquitted.

Which begs the question, what was it all for? If Trump is acquitted, the Democratic Party has no political capital left to launch another impeachment campaign, even if Trump blatantly commits the "high crimes and misdemeanors" necessary to trigger an actual, bipartisan impeachment effort.

Trump then also gets to claim victory, with an acquittal justifying his cries of "witch hunt" and "presidential harassment," further solidifying his base and embarrassing the Democrats in front of undecided voters. Pelosi stated on Sunday that regardless of the trial's outcome, Trump is "impeached for life," but Trump is louder and brasher than Pelosi, and will milk an acquittal for all it's worth.

Even as the trial against him formally opened on Thursday, the president celebrated the passage of his US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, his second trade win in two days. His approval rating also rose to 51 percent, the highest it's been since he was impeached just over a month ago. All of this strengthens his argument against the party he's taken to calling "Do Nothing Democrats."

[Jan 18, 2020] If Trump is removed, will the Speaker of the House not be the Sovereign

Jan 18, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com


After the War of Independence from Great Britain, the US had a very different form of government than the present one. This government functioned under the Articles of Confederation. This government had been formed in 1775 and had served the rebellious colonies fairly well throughout the war and into the initial years of peace and separation from the mother country across the sea.

Some people judged that government to be too loose an arrangement among the constituent states. A sufficient number of so minded people persuaded the states to convene a convention at Philadelphia to consider some amendments to the Articles of Confederation and to report these back as RECOMMENDATIONS to the state legislatures.

That did not happen. Instead the delegates to this convention seized control of the agenda and wrote a document that created a form of government in which there was an Executive Branch empowered in many ways to act without the direction given by the Legislative Branch. This Executive was made to be particularly independent in the conduct of war and and foreign relations. Some restrictions were established in that the military was to be funded by the legislature (if it chose to do so). The military was to be designed by the legislature and officers thereof were to be appointed by the senate on recommendation of the president. In foreign affairs the appointment of ambassadors and the approval of international treaties were made the responsibility of the senate as well, but both in war and in foreign relations the content and conduct of these government affairs were reserved to the Executive Branch. As an example of this, the Congress of the US had no role in running WW2.. The House of Representatives did not "sign off" on Operation Overlord or any other plan. The Congress did make an attempt to control military operations during the Civil War. A Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War was formed from among the most radical Republicans in both houses, but Lincoln largely ignored the machinations of this body.

Trump is to be tried for abuse of power and obstructing Congress. In the first instance he is accused of seeking political advantage by soliciting an investigation of the affairs of Joe Biden in a telephone call to the president of the Ukraine. His motivations in that call are unclear and are contested even among those who listened to the call in an official capacity. Biden was not then a candidate for office. He was a potential candidate. In the second article Trump is accused of Obstructing Congress. No president has ever been impeached on such a charge even though an inherent conflict between the Executive and Legislative Branches was built into the structure of the US Constitution in order to limit the power of both branches. For example; the president may wish to make some change in government practice that the Congress does not want. Many presidents have sought to obviate this difficulty by attaching signing statements to laws passed by Congress. These often say, in effect, "I am signing this but will not execute the will of Congress." No president has ever been impeached for doing that. Obama did that many times.

Speaker Pelosi has succeeded indicting Trump on such grounds and now seeks to control the trial pf the president in the senate through intimidation of members and such devices as accusing the Majority Leader of the Senate of being a Russian agent of influence "Moscow Mitch.". Her justification for that is McConnell's unwillingness to obey her.

Pelosi and company are now trying to remove a president on the grounds mentioned above. If they can do that, they will have succeeded in reverting the power structure within the federal government, reverting it to something much like the government of the Articles of Confederation. In that set up the federal government will become driven by the House of Representatives and will become the sole controlling part of the federal government with the ability to remove an opposition president through a simple majority vote and a rubber stamp trial in an intimidated senate. We will then have become a parliamentary democracy with the Speaker of the House controlling all.

Alan Dershowitz will testify in this wise at Trump's trial. I support his position. pl

[Jan 18, 2020] I was intrigued by its reference to one of the richest men in Ukraine, Dmytro Firtash and wondered as to his links to the 'Biden Burisma business

Jan 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Jan 18 2020 7:28 utc | 112

evilempire #73

I am having trouble getting replies to you posted but here is a tale on Mogilevitch (2014) that you might find interesting.

I was intrigued by its reference to one of the richest men in Ukraine, Dmytro Firtash and wondered as to his links to the 'Biden Burisma business' if any. Of course he may have links to the progeny of Pelosi too. The entire impeachment episode went ballistic as soon as Trump stated picking over the turds in Ukraine so I suspect that is where the democrazies will come undone.

[Jan 18, 2020] We Need A Full Investigation Bannon Accuses Pelosi, Schiff And MSM Of Colluding

Jan 18, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has called for a full investigation into coordination between Congressional Democrats and members of the media, after articles of impeachment against President Trump appear to have been deliberately 'slow walked' in order to coincide with two 'bombshell' developments in the Ukraine story.

" Why did they time this? Why did they wait? " asked Fox Business host Trish Regan.

"First off, Rachel Maddow should be a witness of fact now . She should be brought in," replied Bannon - referring to the seemingly coordinated media blitz surrounding Lev Parnas, an indicted former Rudy Goiliani associate whose undated, hand-written notes appear to support the claim that President Trump pressured Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden for corruption.

" We ought to have all the emails and all the text messages between Schiff, between Nancy Pelosi, Phil Griffin at MSNBC News. We ought to bring the whole thing out. How did this get dropped? Why have they been working on this for so long? How did this just come about at the last second? She admitted she's been working on this for months, and the House just got this. The Republicans didn't even see this when the vote when down," said Bannon, adding "This is now a complete farce."

" I think there was collusion between MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, Lev Parnas's attorneys, and the entire process." -Steve Bannon

"So why did this not come forward earlier?" asks Regan.

"You know why, because they wanted to drop their "big reveal," this was going be such a big bombshell. This is all total hearsay from a guy trying to talk his way into a lesser sentence because he's already indicted. It's so obvious what he's trying to do."

Adding to the collusion / 'slow walk' theory is the completion of a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requested by Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen, which found that President Trump's pause of US aid to Ukraine violated the law. Of note, virtually every previous administration has received a similar nastygram from the GAO - just not the day after directly related impeachment articles were delivered to the Senate ahead of a trial.

Watch: Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has called for a full investigation into coordination between Congressional Democrats and members of the media, after articles of impeachment against President Trump appear to have been deliberately 'slow walked' in order to coincide with two 'bombshell' developments in the Ukraine story.

" Why did they time this? Why did they wait? " asked Fox Business host Trish Regan.

"First off, Rachel Maddow should be a witness of fact now . She should be brought in," replied Bannon - referring to the seemingly coordinated media blitz surrounding Lev Parnas, an indicted former Rudy Goiliani associate whose undated, hand-written notes appear to support the claim that President Trump pressured Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden for corruption.

" We ought to have all the emails and all the text messages between Schiff, between Nancy Pelosi, Phil Griffin at MSNBC News. We ought to bring the whole thing out. How did this get dropped? Why have they been working on this for so long? How did this just come about at the last second? She admitted she's been working on this for months, and the House just got this. The Republicans didn't even see this when the vote when down," said Bannon, adding "This is now a complete farce."

" I think there was collusion between MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, Lev Parnas's attorneys, and the entire process." -Steve Bannon

"So why did this not come forward earlier?" asks Regan.

"You know why, because they wanted to drop their "big reveal," this was going be such a big bombshell. This is all total hearsay from a guy trying to talk his way into a lesser sentence because he's already indicted. It's so obvious what he's trying to do."

Adding to the collusion / 'slow walk' theory is the completion of a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requested by Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen, which found that President Trump's pause of US aid to Ukraine violated the law. Of note, virtually every previous administration has received a similar nastygram from the GAO - just not the day after directly related impeachment articles were delivered to the Senate ahead of a trial.

Watch:

Steve Bannon weighs in on Lev Parnas, calls Impeachment a 'farce' - YouTube

David Reynolds 20 hours ago It's a coup attempt. The Democrats (and other globalists) are trying to overthrow Trump by any means necessary, because he's totally wrecking the leftist and globalist agenda. usero misa 19 hours ago Democrats pulling the same TRICK with this impeachment BS like Justice Kavanaugh's Senate confirmation hearing. Remember Christine Blasey Ford! Now is Lev Parnas. And like Christine Ford, Lev Parnas has been secretly coached by the Democrats Legal team, reason for their delay tactics.

novictim , 9 minutes ago link

If you going to make Lev Parnas the center of your impeachment witch-hunt, shouldn't you first have to remove the man's ankle bracelet?

NeverDemRino , 9 minutes ago link

Mark Levin EXPOSES Obama/Clinton for their COLLUSION on Sean Hannity here: Obama/Clinton Collusion

Here is the full Sean Hannity Show from 1-16-20 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rmCUmlIyUU

See how YouTube "Orwellizes" this Sean Hannity Show down to ONE second. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8y6JuUDXC4

and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx4OVtZPLqg

and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Seke8j4Irb0

and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqROj2xpHJs

and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz9e-e8R8TM

Seems like the FakeNews/MSM, and JewTube don't want anyone to know about the Obama/Clinton criminality.

blindfaith , 17 minutes ago link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkpsKSyeRL4

a very good introduction to why this guy is another lair, in all kinds of trouble like Avanetti and Cohen were...looking for a deal to be presented to stay out of jail. The interview with Madcow, does not jive with the NYT interview he gave, not does it match up with what the Ukrainians are saying about this. The Ukrainian Head of Foreign Relations gave an interview to CNN, and flat out said no one there knows this guy and he never spoke to anyone including him, and he is NOT to be trusted. But that does not fit in with the Democrats plan, so they will step in it once again.

Then there is this:

(his) undated, hand-written notes appear to support the claim that President Trump pressured Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden for corruption.

go read them , If you don't laugh then you are the problem. If the Democrats want more evidence, look here. If you think this guy was on a double, double secrete mission and met personally with Trump to receive it, then maybe your meds are wrong.

Here is certified "EVIDENCE" for the Democrats just found in the nearby woods.

__________________________________________________________

Adam *****, Nancy Pilosie*, and Fat Nadler* are terrible crazy people* and are not to be trusted*.

*evidence for the "committees"

respectfully submitted this day by,

Rocket J. Squirrel, Esq

novictim , 13 minutes ago link

https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2020/01/16/amanpour-ukrainian-foreign-minister-impeachment-iran-plane.cnn

blindfaith , 7 minutes ago link

Thank you for that....BRAVO. Those damn FACTS always Trump lies the left tries so hard to sow.

[Jan 17, 2020] In the full sprit of bipartisanship

Notable quotes:
"... Why then were all eight House members chosen as managers to prosecute the case against Trump, who ceremoniously escorted the articles across the Capitol, all Democrats? Why did the articles of impeachment receive not a single Republican vote on the House floor? ..."
Jan 17, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Why then were all eight House members chosen as managers to prosecute the case against Trump, who ceremoniously escorted the articles across the Capitol, all Democrats? Why did the articles of impeachment receive not a single Republican vote on the House floor?

[Jan 17, 2020] A Malicious Indictment Mitch Should Toss Out

Jan 17, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

About the impeachment of President Donald Trump she engineered with her Democratic majority, Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday: "It's not personal. It's not political. It's not partisan. It's patriotic."

Seriously, Madam Speaker? Not political? Not partisan?

Why then were all eight House members chosen as managers to prosecute the case against Trump, who ceremoniously escorted the articles across the Capitol, all Democrats? Why did the articles of impeachment receive not a single Republican vote on the House floor?

The truth : The impeachment of Donald Trump is the fruit of a malicious prosecution whose roots go back to the 2016 election, in the aftermath of which stunned liberals and Democrats began to plot the removal of the new president.

This coup has been in the works for three years.

First came the crazed charges of Trump's criminal collusion with Vladimir Putin to hack the emails of the DNC and the Clinton campaign and funnel them to WikiLeaks.

For two years, we heard the cries of "Treason!" from Pelosi's caucus. And despite the Mueller investigation's exoneration of Trump of all charges of conspiracy with Russia, we still hear the echoes:

Trump is Putin's poodle. Trump is an asset of the Kremlin.

All we want, and what the American people deserve, is a "fair trial," Democrats and their media collaborators now insist. But can a fair trial proceed from a manifestly deficient and malicious prosecution?

Consider. In this impeachment, we are told, the House serves as the grand jury, and Adam Schiff's Intelligence Committee and Jerry Nadler's Judiciary Committee serve as the investigators and prosecutors.

But the articles of impeachment on which the Judiciary Committee and the House voted do not contain a single crime required by the Constitution for impeachment and removal. There is no charge of treason, no charge of bribery or "other high crimes and misdemeanors."

So weak is the case for impeachment that the elite in this city is demanding that the Senate do the work the House failed to do.

The Senate must subpoena the documents and witnesses the House failed to produce, to make the case for impeachment more persuasive than it is now.

Not our job, rightly answers Mitch McConnell.

The Senate is supposed to be an "impartial jury."

But while there is a debate over whether Republicans will vote to call witnesses, there is no debate on how the Senate Democrats intend to vote -- 100% for removal of a president they fear they may not be able to defeat.

Consider Trump's alleged offense : pressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Burisma Holdings and Hunter Biden.

Assume Zelenskiy, without prodding, sent to the U.S., as a friendly act to ingratiate himself with Trump, the Burisma file on Hunter Biden.

Would that have been a crime?

Why is it then a crime if Trump asked for the file?

The military aid Trump held up for 10 weeks -- lethal aid Barack Obama denied to Kyiv -- was sent. And Zelenskiy never held the press conference requested, never investigated Burisma, never sent the Biden file.

There is a reason why no crime was charged in the impeachment of Donald Trump. There was no crime committed.

Not political, said Pelosi. Why then did she hold up sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate for a month, after she said it was so urgent that Trump be impeached that Schiff and Nadler could not wait for their subpoenas to be ruled upon by the Supreme Court?

Pelosi is demanding that the Senate get the documents, subpoena and hear the witnesses, and do the investigative work Schiff and Nadler failed to do.

Does that not constitute an admission that a convincing case was not made? Are not the articles voted by the House inherently deficient if the Senate has to have more evidence than the House prosecutors could produce to convict the president of "abuse of power"?

Can we really have a fair trial in the Senate, when half of the jury, the Democratic caucus, is as reliably expected to vote to remove the president as Republicans are to acquit him? What kind of fair trial is it when we can predict the final vote before the court hears the evidence?

It is ridiculous to deny that this impeachment is partisan, political and personal. It reeks of politics, partisanship and Trump-hatred.

As for patriotic, that depends on where you stand -- or sit.

But the forum to be entrusted with the decision of "should Trump go?" is not a deeply polarized Senate, but with those the Founding Fathers entrusted with such decisions -- the American people.

In most U.S. courts, a prosecution case this inadequate, with prosecutors asking the court itself to get more documents and call more witnesses, and so visibly contaminated with malice toward the accused, would be dismissed outright.

Mitch McConnell should let the House managers make their case, and then call for a vote to dismiss, and treat this indictment with the contempt it so richly deserves.

[Jan 16, 2020] Corrupt Clinton Democrats like Biden as just republican in disguise -- wolfs in sheep clothing

In this sense only Sanders, Warren and Tulsi are authentic democrats... Major Pete is definitely a wolf in sheep clothing.
Notable quotes:
"... Today's Democrats want to destroy those social programs you cite. They have wanted to destroy those social programs ever since President Clinton wanted to conspire with "Prime Minister" Gingrich to privatize Social Security. Luckily Monica Lewinsky saved us from that fate. ..."
"... A nominee Sanders would run on keeping Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in existence. And he would mean it. A nominee Biden might pretend to say it. But he would conspire with the Republicans to destroy them all. ..."
Jan 16, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

drumlin woodchuckles , , January 14, 2020 at 7:13 pm

Today's Democrats want to destroy those social programs you cite. They have wanted to destroy those social programs ever since President Clinton wanted to conspire with "Prime Minister" Gingrich to privatize Social Security. Luckily Monica Lewinsky saved us from that fate.

A nominee Sanders would run on keeping Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in existence. And he would mean it. A nominee Biden might pretend to say it. But he would conspire with the Republicans to destroy them all.

The ClintoBama Pelosicrats have no standing on which to pretend to support some very popular social programs and hope to be believed any longer. Maybe that is why they feel there is no point in even pretending any more.

drumlin woodchuckles , , January 14, 2020 at 7:22 pm

Bearing in mind the fact that the DemParty would prefer a Trump re-election over a Sanders election, I don't think anyone will be giving Trump any heave ho. The only potential nominee to even have a chance to defeat Trump would be Sanders. And if Sanders doesn't win on ballot number one, Sanders will not be permitted the nomination by an evil Trumpogenic DemParty elite.

Even if Sanders wins the nomination, the evil Trumpogenic Demparty leadership and the millions of Jonestown Clintobamas in the field will conspire against Sanders every way they feel they can get away with. The Clintobamas would prefer Trump Term Two over Sanders Term One. They know it, and the rest of us need to admit it.

If Sanders is nominated, he will begin the election campaign with a permanent deficit of 10-30 million Clintobama voters who will Never! Ever! vote for Sanders. Sanders will have to attract enough New Voters to drown out and wash away the 10-30 million Never Bernie clintobamas.

[Jan 16, 2020] PolitiFact Wrongly Lets Biden Off the Hook The Truth About Social Security Cuts by Alex Lawson

Social Security cuts is the essence of political platform of neoliberal democrats like Biden.
Obomber and Biden were more than willing to cut Social Security
Jan 15, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Yves here. It is striking how much Biden is able to misrepresent his record. Uncritical media coverage will do that.

By Alex Lawson, the executive director of Social Security Works , a non-profit advocacy group that supports expanding benefits to address America's growing retirement security crisis. Lawson has appeared on numerous TV and radio outlets and is a frequent guest host of The Thom Hartmann Program , one of the top progressive radio shows in the country. Produced by Economy for All , a project of the Independent Media Institute

Recently, a newsletter from the Bernie Sanders campaign laid out Joe Biden's long record of supporting cuts to Social Security. The website PolitiFact weighed in on one part of that record, a speech Biden gave in 2018 in which he expressed enthusiasm for former House Speaker Paul Ryan's plans to cut Social Security.

PolitiFact wrongly ranked the statement from the Sanders newsletter as "false" because they willfully refused to understand what Biden said in the speech -- and how it represents decades of Washington establishment consensus on cutting the American people's earned Social Security and Medicare benefits.

In the speech, Biden says, "we need to do something about Social Security and Medicare" and that Social Security "needs adjustments." Biden did not elaborate on what these "adjustments" were, but a look at his long history on Social Security is telling.

In the 1980s, Biden sponsored a plan to freeze all federal spending , including Social Security. In the 1990s, Biden was a leading supporter of a balanced budget amendment , a policy that the Center for American Progress and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (two center-left think tanks who are hardly in the tank for Bernie Sanders) agree would be a catastrophe for Social Security.

More recently, Biden led "grand bargain" negotiations with Republicans during his time as vice president. This "grand bargain" would have given Republicans structural, permanent cuts to Social Security in return for tax increases on the wealthy that would be rolled back as soon as a Republican president got elected to office.

Time and time again, Biden kept coming back to the negotiating table, insisting that Republicans were dealing in good faith. Ultimately, the grand bargain fell through only because of hardline House Republicans refusing to make even an incredibly lopsided deal. Biden was fully prepared to make a deal that included Social Security cuts, including reducing future cost-of-living increases by implementing a chained CPI .

When Washington politicians talk about Social Security cuts, they almost always use coded language, saying that they want to "change," "adjust," or even "save" the program. That's because cutting Social Security is incredibly unpopular with voters of all political stripes. When corporate-friendly politicians like Biden use those words, they are trying to signal to elite media and billionaire donors that they are "very serious people" who are open to cutting Social Security benefits, without giving away the game to voters.

One of those billionaires, Pete Peterson, spent almost half a billion dollars on a decades-long crusade to destroy Social Security and Medicare. Peterson died in 2018, but his money lives on in the form of think tanks like the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), which relentlessly advocate for benefit cuts while insisting that they are neutral arbiters because they are "non-partisan."

Non-partisan and non-ideological are two very different things, but the media has an unfortunate tendency to treat them as one and the same. The CRFB and similar groups are zealously committed to an ideology of cutting the American people's earned benefits. PolitiFact quotes a CRFB staffer to back up their article, without providing readers with any context about CRFB's ideology or speaking to an expert opposed to Social Security cuts.

It's easy for people in a D.C. elite bubble, working for think tanks or newspaper editorial boards, to support cutting Social Security. Cushioned by billionaire money, they have no idea what it's like to live on the average Social Security benefit of less than $18,000 a year.

But in the rest of the country, it's a very different story. People love Social Security, the only thing keeping their grandparents, their friend with a disability , and their young neighbors who recently lost a parent out of poverty. Grassroots activists across the country, working with congressional champions like Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, put pressure on Democratic politicians and changed the conversation on Social Security.

After years of hard work, Democrats are united in support of expanding, not cutting, Social Security. Ninety percent of House Democrats are co-sponsors of the Social Security 2100 Act , and every major Democratic presidential candidate has a plan to expand Social Security.

That includes Biden, who has disavowed benefit cuts and is running on a plan to modestly expand Social Security benefits. Politicians responding to activist pressure is a good thing, and people have the capacity to evolve and change. But Biden continually sows doubt that his change of heart is genuine by continuing to talk about the merits of " sharing power " with Republicans. He says that " there's an awful lot of really good Republicans ," and has even stated that he'd consider making a Republican his vice president .

Biden doesn't seem to have changed much from his time as vice president, when he offered Republicans "grand bargains" that included Social Security cuts again and again. At this point, it's self-evident that the only agenda Republican politicians care about is cutting taxes for their billionaire donors and stealing earned benefits from the American people. When Biden says that he wants to work with them, it suggests that he remains open to that agenda. That's very concerning for everyone who cares about the future of Social Security and Medicare.

Additionally, Biden's past support for Social Security cuts is a major vulnerability should he become the Democratic nominee. In the 2016 election, Donald Trump continually promised to protect Social Security and Medicare. That was a lie . But lying has never bothered Trump, and he'll be happy to use the same playbook in 2020.

There are numerous videos of Joe Biden calling for Social Security cuts. We can expect Trump to blanket Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania with ads containing that footage.

Democrats win when they can draw a clear contrast with Republicans on protecting and expanding our most popular government program, Social Security. Nominating Joe Biden would make that far more difficult than it needs to be.


shinola , January 15, 2020 at 11:27 am

'The Intercept' article link is well worth a read. Good roundup of Biden's history of attempts to cut SS, Medicare & Medicaid.

https://theintercept.com/2020/01/13/biden-cuts-social-security/

Ignacio , January 15, 2020 at 12:28 pm

By Spanish political standards Biden would be considered a hard-core conservative, not that far from ultraliberal types. He has nothing to offer except business as usual. He would be a puppet on Trump's hands.

Paul Hirschman , January 15, 2020 at 1:08 pm

Hard to believe any of this recent, very recent, history is still unknown.

It was the Tea Party that saved Social Security because of its intransigence. Bama/Biden would've sold SS down the river had the Tea Party been "reasonable."

Strange and uninteresting times these. Boring attacks on truth and common sense social policy. The only fun part of the story is that England is about to throw itself off the American cliff too.

smoker , January 15, 2020 at 3:00 pm

Thanks.

I don't at all understand why Obama's name is missing from this piece, he's the one that validated Pete Peterson's Catfood Commission , I'm sure with the full support of VP Biden.

NotTimothyGeithner , January 15, 2020 at 8:33 pm

I believe it wasn't even the commission which couldn't get that many people to be so openly evil but just Pete Peterson and Alan Simpsons' personal wish list.

smoker , January 15, 2020 at 9:01 pm

Yeah, which Obomber and Biden were more than willing to honor as a valid discussion, as if it wasn't stunningly cruel and vicious. The word evil, which would have been my first choice of adjectives, appears to have been banned by neoliberals – who now openly adore George Walker Bush – as fundyism ™, since George Walker Bush/ Dick Cheney Days; as has moral outrage been banned.

smoker , January 15, 2020 at 10:26 pm

Shorter version of my comment in moderation:

Yep, which Obomber and Biden were more than willing to honor as a valid discussion.

WestcoastDeplorable , January 15, 2020 at 1:59 pm

I made a decent income during my prime working years, nevertheless I can testify it's just not possible to live any kind of a comparable lifestyle solely depending on social security. The fedgov has already trimmed back the COLAs to the point where if hamburger gets pricey, they substitute it with dog food. I'm serious. If any adjustments are made to social security, they need to be double-digit increases, not decreases, and not more of this "chained cpi" crap!

DHG , January 15, 2020 at 6:34 pm

I transfer the problem to the bankers, they pay the difference as the cards never will be repaid, I am judgment proof and there are no assets for them to attach legally when I kick off. Salute.

JBird4049 , January 15, 2020 at 6:55 pm

What COLAs are we talking about? Gas, rent, food, insurance all rise faster than the official rate of inflation and therefore the cost of living increases. It's an insulting joke and stealth benefit cutting.
I would think that the mismatch between the COLA and the real rate of inflation is a reason for the mistrust of the government. If the Feds are lying on something that you can easily check either by your experience or by going online, just what else is bull manure?

Also, just what is it with some people on reforming cutting social security as it really does not pay much. It is also very difficult to get disability even when everything is well documented. I assume that they care about orphans, the disabled, and the old? Almost everyone but the orphans have worked for years and any serious cuts would bring the wrath that would destroy the careers of politicians who voted for them.

This is almost a rhetorical question, but am I crazy or are the supporters of these "adjustments?"

teacup , January 15, 2020 at 3:00 pm

This is precisely why this country is so screwed up. When a so called leader of the left advocates austerity for seniors the end is near. A currency war against your own people. Thanks Joe!

DHG , January 15, 2020 at 6:35 pm

The end of this system of things is indeed very very near. I welcome its complete destruction and the installation of Gods rulership on this planet forever.

JBird4049 , January 15, 2020 at 7:00 pm

Let's try to forestall the End Times and Armageddon, shall we? I really rather wish that the selfish SOBs ruining things any help, even passively, unless it's sending them to prison, The Hague, or even just bankruptcy court.

Oh , January 15, 2020 at 3:13 pm

Our news media is so much in bed with the neo-liberals that their propaganda is sickening!

JTMcPhee , January 15, 2020 at 9:22 pm

Does any significant fraction of the working class believe anything that comes out of that nether orifice that dares to style itself "Politifacts?" Every piece I have ever read from that hole reeks of the worst kind of Jesuitical subterfuge, happily selecting and shading things until they come up with a pronouncement that serves the PTB.

Politi-crap.

run75441 , January 15, 2020 at 9:26 pm

I guess we can add social security to the other issues Biden has been on the wrong side of such as healthcare.

Having come to Michigan to give praise to Freddie Upton for pushing the 21st Century Cures Act during Congressional elections and probably pushed him across the finish line bay a small margin of votes over the Democratic candidate Matt Longjohn. Fred suffered from that hard work as Commerce Chair taking in $millions in contributions from the healthcare supply and pharma industry. Fewer NIH clinical trials and real world testing.

Then there are student loans and Biden's inflexibility on bankruptcy for students since the mid nineties. Of course Biden will tell you how hard he worked and others such as millennials should do so also. Except we have so burdened a segment of the population we have stymie the growth one might expect from graduates entering the consumer market and being successful enough to buy and pay taxes.

I am sorry Yves, Biden is an a**. This boomer would love to talk to him as I did with Stabenow publicly on the same issue and why she voted for such nonsense.

Dirk77 , January 16, 2020 at 12:17 am

Tell me more about Biden and student loans

[Jan 15, 2020] Trump and the Mad Negotiator Approach

Notable quotes:
"... Another aspect of Trump's erraticness is making sudden shifts, or what we have called gaslighting. He'll suddenly and radically change his rhetoric, even praise someone he demonized. That if nothing else again is a power play, to try to maintain his position as driving the pacing and content of the negotiations, which again is meant to position his counterparty as in a weaker position, of having to react to his moves, even if that amounts to identifying them as noise. It is a watered-down form of a cult strategy called love bombing (remember that Trump has been described as often being very charming in first meetings, only to cut down the person he met in a matter of days). ..."
"... I would disagree with the "selecting staff" part. I can't really think of any of his appointees to any office while he is president that was a good pick. One worse than the other basically. Maybe in his private dealings he did better, but in public office it's a continuous horror show. Examples like Pence, Haley, "Mad Dog", Bolton, DeVos, his son in law, Pompeo. The list goes on. ..."
"... For me as a foreigner who detests the forever wars and most of the US foreign policy, this is a good thing: the more heavy handed, the more brutal, the more cruel, the more stupid the US policy is, the less is the chance for our euro governments to follow the US in today's war or other policy. ..."
"... They are not inept and incompetent at what they are trying to achieve. The GOP has long sought to privatize government to help the rich get richer and harm anyone who isn't rich by cutting services and making them harder to get. Trumps picks are carrying out that agenda very well. ..."
"... Trump is just a huge crude extension of the usual "exceptional" leaders, much more transparent by not pretending he is any sort of representative of democratic and cooperative values claimed by his predecessors. ..."
"... But what I think is noticeable is that his worst high profile staff picks, while horrible people, are generally those who are under his thumb and so he has control of. ..."
"... He got elected over the dead bodies of just about everyone who counts in the Republican Party. He pretty much did a hostile takeover of the GOP. So his ability to draw on seasoned hands was nil. And on top of that, he is temperamentally not the type to seek the counsel of perceived wise men in and hanging around the party. The people he has kept around are cronies like Wilbur Ross and Steve Mnuchin. ..."
"... The one notably competent person he has attracted and retained is Robert Lightizer, the US Trade Representative ..."
"... oderint, dum metuant ..."
"... Führerprinzip ..."
"... Hitler ran the Third Reich by a system of parallel competition among bureaucratic empire builders of all stripes. Anyone who showed servile loyalty and mouthed his yahoo ideology got all the resources they liked, for any purpose they proposed. But the moment he encountered any form of independence or pushback, he changed horses at once. He left the old group in place, but gave all their resources to a burgeoning new bureaucracy that did things his way. If a State body resisted his will, he had a Party body do it instead. He was continually reaching down 2-3 levels in the org charts, to find some ambitious firecracker willing to suck up to him, and leapfrog to the top. ..."
"... This left behind a complete chaos of rival, duplicated functions, under mainly unfit leaders. And fortunately for the world, how well any of these organizations actually did their jobs was an entirely secondary consideration. Loyalty was all. ..."
"... Hitler sat at the center of all the resource grabbers and played referee. This made everyone dependent on his nod and ensured his continued power. The message was: there are no superiors in the Reich. There is only der Führer, and his favor trumps everything ..."
"... The few over-confident generals he picked, except for Flynn, finally caved when they realized staying was an affront to the honor code they swore to back in OCS or their academy. ..."
"... I don't know how they selected staff in the Reagan years, but lately the POTUS seems to appoint based on who the plutocrats want. As has been noted Bary O took his marching orders from Citigroup if I remember right. I doubt if Trump had even heard of most of the people he appointed prior to becoming president. So at least some of Trump's turnover is due to him firing recommendations from others who didn't turn out how he'd like. That's one reason I didn't get all that upset over the Bolton hiring – I didn't think he'd last a year before Trump canned him. ..."
"... I would say that Trump, not acting in an intelligent way is doing very clever things according to his interests. My opinion is that his actions/negotiations with foreign countries are 100% directed for domestic consumptiom. He does not care at all about international relationships, just his populist "make America great again" and he almost certainly play closest attention to the impact of his actions in US opinion. ..."
"... Classic predatory behaviors: culling the herd and eating the weak. ..."
"... I think Trump understands that one of the basic tactics of negotiation (though forgotten by the Left(tm)) is to set out a maximalist position before the negotiation starts, so that you have room to make compromises later. ..."
"... But in domestic politics, there's no doubt that publicly announcing extreme negotiating positions is a winning tactic. You force the media and other political actors to comment and make counter-proposals, thus dragging the argument more in your direction from the very start. Trump remembers something that his opponents have willfully forgotten: compromise is something you finish with not something you start from . In itself, any given compromise has no particular virtue or value. ..."
"... The maintenance of fear, chaos and blowback are exACTLY the desired result. Deliberately and on purpose. ..."
"... It also helps him do some things quietly in the background ..."
Jan 15, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Trump and the Mad Negotiator Approach Posted on January 14, 2020 by Yves Smith Trump's numerous character flaws, such as his grandiosity, his lack of interest in the truth, his impulsiveness, his habitual lashing out at critics, have elicited boatloads of disapproving commentary. It's disturbing to see someone so emotional and undisciplined in charge of anything, let alone the United States.

Rather than offer yet more armchair analysis, it might be productive to ask a different question: why hasn't Trump been an abject failure? There are plenty of rich heirs who blow their inheritance or run the family business into the ground pretty quickly and have to knuckle down to a much more modest lifestyle.

Trump's lack of discipline has arguably cost him. The noise regularly made about his business bankruptcies is wildly exaggerated. Most of Trump's bankruptcies were of casinos , and most of those took place in the nasty 1991-1992 recession. He was one of only two major New York City developers not to have to give meaningful equity in some of their properties in that downturn. He even managed to keep Mar-a-Lago and persuaded his lenders to let him keep enough cash to preserve a pretty flashy lifestyle because he was able to persuade them that preserving his brand name was key to the performance of Trump-branded assets.

The idea that Trump couldn't borrow after his early 1990s casino bankruptcies is also false. As Francine McKenna pointed out in 2017 in Donald Trump has had no trouble getting big loans at competitive rates:

The MarketWatch analysis shows a variety of lenders, all big banks or listed specialized finance companies like Ladder Capital, that have provided lots of money to Trump over the years in the forms of short-, medium- and long-term loans and at competitive rates, whether fixed or variable.

"The Treasury yield that matches the term of the loan is the closest starting benchmark for Trump-sized commercial real estate loans," said Robert Thesman, a certified public accountant in Washington state who specializes in real estate tax issues. The 10-year Treasury swap rate is also used and tracks the bonds closely, according to one expert.

Trump's outstanding loans were granted at rates between 2 points over and under the matching Treasury-yield benchmark at inception. That's despite the well-documented record of bankruptcy filings that dot Trump's history of casino investment.

The flip side is that it's not hard to make the case that Trump's self-indulgent style has cost him in monetary terms. His contemporary Steve Ross of The Related Companies who started out in real estate as a tax lawyer putting together Section 8 housing deals, didn't have a big stake like Trump did to start his empire. Ross did have industrialist and philanthropist Max Fisher as his uncle and role model, but there is no evidence that Fisher staked Ross beyond paying for his education . Ross has an estimated net worth of $7.6 billion versus Trump's $3.1 billion.

Despite Trump's heat-seeking-missile affinity for the limelight, we only get snippets of how he has managed his business, like his litigiousness and breaking of labor laws. Yet he's kept his team together and is pretty underleveraged for a real estate owner.

The area where we have a better view of how Trump operates is via his negotiating, where is astonishingly transgressive. He goes out of his way to be inconsistent, unpredictable, and will even trash prior commitments, which is usually toxic, since it telegraphs bad faith. How does this make any sense?

One way to think of it is that Trump is effectively screening for weak negotiating counterparties. Think of his approach as analogous to the Nigerian scam letters and the many variants you get in your inbox. They are so patently fake that one wonders why the fraudsters bother sending them.

But investigators figured that mystery out. From the Atlantic in 2012 :

Everyone knows that Nigerian scam e-mails, with their exaggerated stories of moneys tied up in foreign accounts and collapsed national economies, sound totally absurd, but according to research from Microsoft, that's on purpose .

As a savvy Internet user you probably think you'd never fall for the obvious trickery, but that's the point. Savvy users are not the scammers' target audience, [Cormac] Herley notes. Rather, the creators of these e-mails are targeting people who would believe the sort of tales these scams involve .:

Our analysis suggests that is an advantage to the attacker, not a disadvantage. Since his attack has a low density of victims the Nigerian scammer has an over-riding need to reduce false positives. By sending an email that repels all but the most gullible the scammer gets the most promising marks to self-select, and tilts the true to false positive ratio in his favor.

Who would want to get in a business relationship with a guy who makes clear early on that he might pull the rug out from under you? Most people would steer clear. So Trump's style, even if he adopted it out of deep-seated emotional needs, has the effect of pre-selecting for weak, desperate counterparties. It can also pull in people who think they can out-smart Trump and shysters who identify with him, as well as those who are prepared to deal with the headaches (for instance, the the business relationship is circumscribed and a decent contract will limit the downside).

Mind you, it is more common than you think for businesses to seek out needy business "partners". For instance, back in the day when General Electric was a significant player in venture capital, it would draw out its investment commitment process. The point was to ascertain if the entrepreneurs had any other prospects; they wouldn't tolerate GE's leisurely process if they did. By the time GE was sure it was the only game in town, it would cram down the principals on price and other terms. There are many variants of this playbook, such as how Walmart treats suppliers.

Trump has become so habituated to this mode of operating that he often launches into negotiations determined to establish that he had the dominant position when that is far from clear, witness the ongoing China trade row. Trump did in theory hold a powerful weapon in his ability to impose tariffs on China. But they are a blunt weapon, with significant blowback to the US. Even though China had a glass jaw in terms of damage to its economy (there were signs of stress, such as companies greatly stretching out when they paid their bills), Trump could not tolerate much of a stock market downdraft, nor could he play a long-term game.

Another aspect of Trump's erraticness is making sudden shifts, or what we have called gaslighting. He'll suddenly and radically change his rhetoric, even praise someone he demonized. That if nothing else again is a power play, to try to maintain his position as driving the pacing and content of the negotiations, which again is meant to position his counterparty as in a weaker position, of having to react to his moves, even if that amounts to identifying them as noise. It is a watered-down form of a cult strategy called love bombing (remember that Trump has been described as often being very charming in first meetings, only to cut down the person he met in a matter of days).

Voters have seen another face of Trump's imperative to find or create weakness: that of his uncanny ability to hit opponents' weak spots in ways that get them off balance, such as the way he was able to rope a dope Warren over her Cherokee ancestry claims.

The foregoing isn't to suggest that Trump's approach is optimal. Far from it. But it does "work" in the sense of achieving certain results that are important to Trump, of having him appear to be in charge of the action, getting his business counterparts on the back foot. That means Trump is implicitly seeing these encounters primarily in win-lose terms, rather than win-win. No wonder he has little appetite for international organizations. You have to give in order to get.


PlutoniumKun , January 14, 2020 at 7:08 am

I think this is pretty astute, thanks Yves. One reason I think Trump has been so successful for his limited range of skills is precisely that 'smart' people underestimate him so much. He knows one thing well – how power works. Sometimes that's enough. I've known quite a few intellectually limited people who have built very successful careers based on a very simple set of principles (e.g. 'never disagree with anyone more senior than me').

Anecdotally, I've often had the conversation with people about 'taking Trump seriously', as in, trying to assess what he really wants and how he has been so successful. In my experience, the 'smarter' and more educated the person I'm talking to is, the less willing they are to have that conversation. The random guy in the bar will be happy to talk and have insights. The high paid professional will just mutter about stupid people and racism.

I would also add one more reason for his success – he does appear to be quite good at selecting staff, and knowing who to delegate to.

timotheus , January 14, 2020 at 8:30 am

There is another figure from recent history who displayed similar astuteness about power while manifesting generally low intelligence: Chile's Pinochet. He had near failing grades in school but knew how to consolidate power, dominate the other members of the junta, and weed out the slightest hint of dissidence within the army.

Off The Street , January 14, 2020 at 9:17 am

To the average viewer, Trump's branding extends to the negative brands that he assigns to opponents. Witness Lyin' Ted , Pocahontas and similar sticky names that make their way into coverage. He induces free coverage from Fake News as if they can't resist gawking at a car wreck, even when one of the vehicles is their own. Manipulation has worked quite a lot on people with different world views, especially when they don't conceive of any different approaches.

drumlin woodchuckles , January 14, 2020 at 6:52 pm

Scott Adams touted that as one of Trump's hidden persuasionological weapons . . . that ability to craft a fine head-shot nickname for every opponent.

If Sanders were to be nominated, I suppose Trump would keep saying Crazy Bernie. Sanders will just have to respond in his own true-to-himself way. Maybe he could risk saying something like . . .

" so Trashy Trump is Trashy. This isn't new."

If certain key bunches of voters still have fond memories for Crazy Eddie, perhaps Sanders could have some operatives subtly remind people of that.

Some images of Crazy Eddie, for those who wish to stumble up Nostalgia Alley . . .

https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0geKYkLVB5emoUAN6RXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyNm03Y25mBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMyBHZ0aWQDQTA2MTVfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=crazy+eddie&fr=sfp

curious euro , January 14, 2020 at 9:23 am

I would disagree with the "selecting staff" part. I can't really think of any of his appointees to any office while he is president that was a good pick. One worse than the other basically. Maybe in his private dealings he did better, but in public office it's a continuous horror show. Examples like Pence, Haley, "Mad Dog", Bolton, DeVos, his son in law, Pompeo. The list goes on.

Another indication how bad his delegation skills are is how short his picks stay at their job before they are fired again. Is there any POTUS which had higher staff turnover?

NotTimothyGeithner , January 14, 2020 at 9:45 am

Its a horror show because you don't agree with their values. After the last few Presidents, too much movement to the right would catastrophic, so there isn't much to do. His farm bill is a disaster. The new NAFTA is window dressing. He slashed taxes. He's found a way to make our brutal immigration system even more nefarious. His staff seems to be working out despite it not having many members of the Bush crime family.

Even if these people were as beloved by the press as John McCain, they would still be monsters.

curious euro , January 14, 2020 at 10:43 am

It's not their values that make them a horror show, it's their plain inaptitude and incompetency. E.g. someone like that Exxon CEO is at least somewhat capable, which is why I didn't mention him. Though he was quite ineffective as long as he lasted and probably quite corrupt. Pompeo in the same office on the other hand is simply a moron elevated way beyond his station. Words fail and the Peter principle cannot explain.

The US can paper over this due to their heavy handed application of power for now, but every day he stays in office, friends are abhorred while trying not to show it, and foes rejoice at the utter stupidity of the US how it helps their schemes.

For me as a foreigner who detests the forever wars and most of the US foreign policy, this is a good thing: the more heavy handed, the more brutal, the more cruel, the more stupid the US policy is, the less is the chance for our euro governments to follow the US in today's war or other policy. So while I am sort of happy about the outcome, I don't see the current monsters at the helm worse than the monsters 4 years ago under Obama. In fact I detested them much more since they had the power to drag my governments into their evil schemes.

Evil and clearly despicable is always better than evil and sort of charismatic.

tegnost , January 14, 2020 at 11:29 am

For me as a foreigner who detests the forever wars and most of the US foreign policy, this is a good thing: the more heavy handed, the more brutal, the more cruel, the more stupid the US policy is, the less is the chance for our euro governments to follow the US in today's war or other policy.

Indeed, if you look at the trendline from the '80's to now, trump is, in some ways, the less effective evil.

James O'Keefe , January 14, 2020 at 1:17 pm

They are not inept and incompetent at what they are trying to achieve. The GOP has long sought to privatize government to help the rich get richer and harm anyone who isn't rich by cutting services and making them harder to get. Trumps picks are carrying out that agenda very well.

That he still hasn't filled 170 appointed positions is icing on the cake. See stats at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/trump-administration-appointee-tracker/database/

rosemerry , January 14, 2020 at 4:47 pm

I feel exactly the same. Trump is just a huge crude extension of the usual "exceptional" leaders, much more transparent by not pretending he is any sort of representative of democratic and cooperative values claimed by his predecessors.

PlutoniumKun , January 14, 2020 at 10:05 am

But what I think is noticeable is that his worst high profile staff picks, while horrible people, are generally those who are under his thumb and so he has control of. But in the behind the scenes activities, they've been very effective – as an obvious example, witness how he's put so many conservative Republicans into the judiciary, in contrast with Obamas haplessness.

curious euro , January 14, 2020 at 10:51 am

That is not a Trump thing, getting more judges is a 100% rep party thing and only rep party thing. Sure, he is the one putting his rubber stamp on it, but the picking and everything else is a party thing. They stopped the placement for years under Obama before Trump was ever thought about, and now are filling it as fast as they can. Aren't they having complicit democrats helping them or how can they get their picks beyond congress? Or am I getting something wrong and Obama could have picked his judges but didn't?

The people he chooses to run his administration however are all horrible. Not just horrible people but horrible picks as in incompetent buffoons without a clue. Can you show a evil, horrible or not but actually competent pick of his in his administration?

The only one I can think of is maybe the new FAA chief Dickson. Who is a crisis manager, after the FAA is in its worst crisis ever right now. So right now someone competent must have this post. All the others seem to be chickenhawk blowhards with the IQ of a fruitfly but the bluster of a texan.

fajensen , January 14, 2020 at 11:13 am

Gina Haspel? She is probably equally good with a handgun, an ice pick and a pair of pliers.

curious euro , January 14, 2020 at 11:49 am

Is she effective? What has she done to make her a spy mastermind? She is obviously a torturer, but is that a qualification in any way useful to be a intelligence agency boss?

I have the suspicion Haspel was elevated to their office by threatening "I know where all the bodies are buried (literally) and if you don't make me boss, I will tell". Blackmail can helping a career lots if successful.

Thuto , January 14, 2020 at 11:18 am

The outcomes of incompetence and malicious intent are sometimes indistinguishable from one another. With the people Trump has surrounded himself with, horrible, nasty outcomes are par for the course because these guys are both incompetent and chock full of malicious intent. Instead of draining the swamp, he's gone and filled it with psychotic sociopaths.

drumlin woodchuckles , January 14, 2020 at 7:04 pm

Some time ago I heard Mulvaney answer the criticism about the Trump budget of the day cutting so much money from EPA that EPA would have to fire half of its relevant scientists. He replied that " this is how we drain the swamp".

Citing "corruption" was misdirection. Trump let his supporters believe that the corruption was The Swamp. What the Trump Group ACTually means by "The Swamp" is all the career scientists and researchers and etc. who take seriously the analyzing and restraining of Upper Class Looter misbehavior.

Yves Smith Post author , January 14, 2020 at 12:28 pm

I limited the post to his negotiating approach. One would think someone so erratic would have trouble attracting people. However, Wall Street and a lot of private businesses are full of high maintenance prima donnas at the top. Some of those operations live with a lot of churn in the senior ranks. For others, one way to get them to stay is what amounts to a combat pay premium, they get paid more than they would in other jobs to put up with a difficult boss. I have no idea how much turnover there is in the Trump Organization or how good his key lieutenants are so I can't opine either way on that part.

Regarding his time as POTUS, Trump has a lot of things working against him on top of his difficult personality and his inability to pay civil servants a hardship premium:

1. He got elected over the dead bodies of just about everyone who counts in the Republican Party. He pretty much did a hostile takeover of the GOP. So his ability to draw on seasoned hands was nil. And on top of that, he is temperamentally not the type to seek the counsel of perceived wise men in and hanging around the party. The people he has kept around are cronies like Wilbur Ross and Steve Mnuchin.

The one notably competent person he has attracted and retained is Robert Lightizer, the US Trade Representative

2. Another thing that undermines Trump's effectiveness in running a big bureaucracy is his hatred for its structure. He likes very lean organizations with few layers. He can't impose that on his administration. It's trying to put a round peg in a square hole.

cocomaan , January 14, 2020 at 1:56 pm

I have no idea how much turnover there is in the Trump Organization or how good his key lieutenants are so I can't opine either way on that part.

Is it just me or does nobody know? Does it seem to anyone else like there has been virtually no investigation of his organization or how it was run?

Maybe it's buried in the endless screeds against Trump, but any investigations of his organizations always seem colored by his presidency. I'd love to see one that's strictly historical.

Yves Smith Post author , January 14, 2020 at 2:10 pm

I am simply saying that I have not bothered investigating that issue. There was a NY Times Magazine piece on the Trump Organization before his election. That was where I recall the bit about him hating having a lot of people around him, he regards them as leeches. That piece probably had some info on how long his top people had worked for him.

ObjectiveFunction , January 15, 2020 at 2:30 am

Congratulations Yves, on another fine piece, one of your best. I might recommend you append this comment to it as an update, or else pen a sequel.

While Trump has more in common stylistically with a Borgia prince out of Machiavelli, or a Roman Emperor ( oderint, dum metuant ) than with a Hitler or a Stalin, your note still puts me in mind of an insightful comment I pulled off a history board a while ago, regarding the reductionist essence of Führerprinzip , mass movement or no mass movement. It's mostly out of Shirer:

Hitler ran the Third Reich by a system of parallel competition among bureaucratic empire builders of all stripes. Anyone who showed servile loyalty and mouthed his yahoo ideology got all the resources they liked, for any purpose they proposed. But the moment he encountered any form of independence or pushback, he changed horses at once. He left the old group in place, but gave all their resources to a burgeoning new bureaucracy that did things his way. If a State body resisted his will, he had a Party body do it instead. He was continually reaching down 2-3 levels in the org charts, to find some ambitious firecracker willing to suck up to him, and leapfrog to the top.

This left behind a complete chaos of rival, duplicated functions, under mainly unfit leaders. And fortunately for the world, how well any of these organizations actually did their jobs was an entirely secondary consideration. Loyalty was all.

Hitler sat at the center of all the resource grabbers and played referee. This made everyone dependent on his nod and ensured his continued power. The message was: there are no superiors in the Reich. There is only der Führer, and his favor trumps everything .

As you note, some of these tools (fortunately) aren't available to Cheeto 45 .

I hope this particular invocation of Godwin's avenger is trenchant, and not OT. Although Godwin himself blessed the #Trump=Hitler comparison some time ago, thereby shark-jumping his own meme.

Tomonthebeach , January 14, 2020 at 12:53 pm

It might be as simple as birds of a feather (blackbirds of course) flocking together. Trump seems to have radar for corrupt cronies as we have seen his swamp draining into the federal prison system. The few over-confident generals he picked, except for Flynn, finally caved when they realized staying was an affront to the honor code they swore to back in OCS or their academy.

lyman alpha blob , January 14, 2020 at 2:16 pm

The crooks in the Reagan administration were getting bounced seemingly every other day. Just found this from Brookings (blecchh) which if accurate says Trump has recently surpassed Reagan – https://www.brookings.edu/research/tracking-turnover-in-the-trump-administration/

I don't know how they selected staff in the Reagan years, but lately the POTUS seems to appoint based on who the plutocrats want. As has been noted Bary O took his marching orders from Citigroup if I remember right. I doubt if Trump had even heard of most of the people he appointed prior to becoming president. So at least some of Trump's turnover is due to him firing recommendations from others who didn't turn out how he'd like. That's one reason I didn't get all that upset over the Bolton hiring – I didn't think he'd last a year before Trump canned him.

My recollection of the Reagan years was that he had a lot of staff who left to "spend more time with their families"; in other words they got caught being crooked and we're told to go lest they besmirch the sterling reputation of St. Ronnie.

drumlin woodchuckles , January 14, 2020 at 6:57 pm

He early-on adopted the concept of "dismantle the Administrative State". Some of his appointees are designed to do that from within. He appoints termites to the Department of Lumber Integrity because he wants to leave the lumber all destroyed after he leaves the White House.

His farm bill is only a disaster to those who support Good Farm Bill Governance. His mission is to destroy as much of the knowledge and programs within the USDA as possible. So his farm bill is designed to achieve the destruction he wants to achieve. If it works, it was a good farm bill from his viewpoint. For example.

Ignacio , January 15, 2020 at 5:38 am

I would say that Trump, not acting in an intelligent way is doing very clever things according to his interests. My opinion is that his actions/negotiations with foreign countries are 100% directed for domestic consumptiom. He does not care at all about international relationships, just his populist "make America great again" and he almost certainly play closest attention to the impact of his actions in US opinion.

He calculates the risks and takes measures that show he is a strong man defending US interests (in a very symplistic and populist way) no matter if someone or many are offended, abused or even killed as we have recently seen. Then if it is appreciated that a limit has been reached, and the limit is not set by international reactions but perceived domestic reactions, he may do a setback showing how sensibly magnanimous can a strongman like him be. In the domestic front, IMO, he does not give a damn on centrists of all kinds. Particularly, smart centrists are strictly following Trumps playbook focusing on actions that by no means debilitate his positioning as strongman in foreign issues and divert attention from the real things that would worry Trump. The impeachment is exactly that. Trump must be 100% confident that he would win any contest with any "smart" centrist. Of course he also loves all the noises he generates with, for instance, the Soleimani killing or Huawei banning that distract from his giveaways to the oligarchs and further debilitation of remaining welfare programs and environmental programs. This measures don't pass totally unnoticed but Hate Inc . and public opinions/debates are not paying the attention his domestic measures deserve. Trump's populism feeds on oligarch support and despair and his policies are designed to keep and increase both. Polls on Democrats distract from the most important polls on public opinion about Trum "surprise" actions.

Trump will go for a third term.

Seamus Padraig , January 14, 2020 at 7:18 am

Trump has the rare gift of being able to drive his enemies insane – just witness what's become of the Democrats, a once proud American political party.

Eureka Springs , January 14, 2020 at 9:39 am

Democrats have long been (what, 50 plus yrs. – Phil Ochs – Love Me I'm A Liberal) exuding false pride of not appearing to be or sounding insane. Their place, being the concern troll of the duopoly. All are mad. If the Obama years didn't prove it, the Dems during Bush Cheney certainly did.

curious euro , January 14, 2020 at 10:53 am

Yes, 50 years. Nixon played mad to get his Vietnam politics through, Reagan was certifiable "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever." "We begin bombing in five minutes." live on air. Etc.

vlade , January 14, 2020 at 7:38 am

I suspect only half of the post was posted? The last para seems to get cut in mid sentence.

I'd add one more thing (which may be in the second half, assuming there's one). Trump's massively insane demands are a good anchoring strategy. Even semi-rational player will not make out-of-this-earth demands – they would be seen as either undermining their rationality, or clearly meant to only anchor so less effective (but surprisingly, even when we know it's only an anchor it apparently works, at least a bit). With irrational Trump, one just doesn't know.

GramSci , January 14, 2020 at 7:41 am

Classic predatory behaviors: culling the herd and eating the weak.

David , January 14, 2020 at 8:21 am

I think Trump understands that one of the basic tactics of negotiation (though forgotten by the Left(tm)) is to set out a maximalist position before the negotiation starts, so that you have room to make compromises later.

Sometimes this works better than others – I don't know how far you can do it with the Chinese, for example. But then Trump may have inadvertently played, in that case, into the tradition of scripted public utterances combined with behind-the-scenes real negotiation that tends to characterize bargaining in Asia.

But in domestic politics, there's no doubt that publicly announcing extreme negotiating positions is a winning tactic. You force the media and other political actors to comment and make counter-proposals, thus dragging the argument more in your direction from the very start. Trump remembers something that his opponents have willfully forgotten: compromise is something you finish with not something you start from . In itself, any given compromise has no particular virtue or value.

Michael Fiorillo , January 14, 2020 at 8:59 am

Yes, Trump does seem to be very good at getting to people to "negotiate against themselves."

chuck roast , January 14, 2020 at 9:52 am

and that is why Trump will eat Biden's lunch.

The Rev Kev , January 14, 2020 at 9:09 am

There is actually two parts to a negotiation I should mention. There is negotiating a deal. And then there is carrying it out. Not only Trump but the US has shown itself incapable of upholding deals but they will break them when they see an advantage or an opportunity. Worse, one part of the government may be fighting another part of the government and will sabotage that deal in sometimes spectacular fashion.
So what is the point of having all these weird and wonderful negotiating strategies if any partners that you have on the international stage have learned that Trump's word is merely a negotiating tactic? And this includes after a deal is signed when he applies some more pressure to change something in an agreement that he just signed off on? If you can't keep a deal, then ultimately negotiating a deal is useless.

curious euro , January 14, 2020 at 9:28 am

The incapability of the US to keep their treaties has been a founding principle of the country. Ask any Indian.

Putin or the russian foreign ministry called the US treaty incapable a few years before Trump, and they were not wrong. Trump didn't help being erratic as he is, but he didn't cancel any treaty on his own: JCPOA, INF, etc. He had pretty broad support for all of these. Only maybe NAFTA was his own idea.

Yves Smith Post author , January 14, 2020 at 12:31 pm

I would put it a bit differently. Trump's erraticness is a strong signal he fits to a pattern the Russians have used to depict the US: "not agreement capable". That's what I meant by he selects for weak partners. His negotiating style signals that he is a bad faith actor. Who would put up with that unless you had to, or you could somehow build that into your price?

barnaby33 , January 14, 2020 at 11:53 pm

Considering I doubt the Russians have ever honored a single deal they made, that's maybe not a good example!

Yves Smith Post author , January 15, 2020 at 12:16 am

I have no idea who your mythical Russians are. I know two people who did business in Russia before things got stupid and they never had problems with getting paid. Did you also miss that "Russians" have bought so much real estate in London that they mainly don't live in that you could drop a neutron bomb in the better parts of Chelsea and South Kensington and not kill anyone? Pray tell, how could they acquire high end property if they are such cheats?

Boomka , January 15, 2020 at 6:38 am

somebody was eating too much US propaganda? how about this for starters:
https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/26-years-on-russia-set-to-repay-all-soviet-unions-foreign-debt

"It is politically important: Russia has paid off the USSR's debt to a country that no longer exists," said Mr Yuri Yudenkov, a professor at the Russian University of Economics and Public Administration. "This is very important in terms of reputation: the ability to repay on time, the responsibility," he told AFP.

It would have been very easy for Russia to say it cannot be held responsible for USSR's debts, especially in this case where debt is to a non-existent entity.

drumlin woodchuckles , January 14, 2020 at 7:09 pm

In Syria, the Department of Defense was supporting one group of pet jihadis. The CIA was supporting a different group of pet jihadis.

At times the two groups of pet jihadis were actively fighting eachother. I am not sure how the DoD and CIA felt about their respective pet jihadis fighting eachother. However they felt, they kept right on arming and supporting their respective groups of pet jihadis to keep fighting eachother.

timbers , January 14, 2020 at 9:47 am

I'm just not impressed by Trump in any way.

He owes the fact he's President not to any skill he has, but to Democrats being so bad. Many non establishment types could have beaten Hillary.

And Trump owes the fact that he's not DOA in 2020 re-election again because Democrats are so bad. There are a handful of extremely popular social programs Democrats could champion that would win over millions of voters and doom Trump's re-election. But instead, they double down on issues that energize Trump's base, are not off-limits to there donors while ignoring what the broad non corporate/rich majority support. For example impeaching him for being the first recent President not to start a major new war for profit and killing millions and then saying it's really because something he did in Ukraine that 95% of Americans couldn't care less about and won't even bother to understand even if they could.

That leaves the fact he is rather rich and must have done something to become that. I don't know enough about him to evaluate that. But I would never what to know him or have a friend that acts like him. I've avoided people like that in my life.

Yves Smith Post author , January 14, 2020 at 12:36 pm

Did you read the post as positive? Please read again. Saying that Trump's strategy works only to the extent that he winds up selecting for weak partners is not praise. First, it is clinical, and second, it says his strategy has considerable costs.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , January 14, 2020 at 4:35 pm

I agree.

Understanding how it works is the first step in dealing with (or countering) it.

Someone above mentions Pinochet as being similar. I can't, just now, think of anyone* from history working the way he does. Can anyone name some?

*Except Shakespeare's Hamlet, or some Kung Fu masters, like Jackie Chan in his 1978 "Drunken Master," or earlier, the not as well-known 1966 film, Come Drink With Me, which was produced by the legendary Run Run Shaw (who lived to be 107, or maybe it was his brother), starring Cheng Pei Pei. The master becomes the master when, or only when, drunk. It reminds of the saying, 'method to the madness.'

And often what we perceive to be chaotic – in weather, nature, space or human affairs – is only so because we don't truly comprehend it. This is not to say it can not be in fact chaotic.

rd , January 14, 2020 at 6:54 pm

I find it interesting that the primary foreign entity who has played Trump like a violin is Kim in North Korea. He has gotten everything he wanted,except sanctions relief over the past couple of years.

However, Trump's style of negotiating with Iran has made it clear to Kim that North Korea would be idiots to give up their nuclear weapons and missiles. Meanwhile, Iran has watched Trump's attitude towards Kim since Kim blew up his first bomb and Trump is forcing them to develop nuclear weapons to be able to negotiate with Trump and the West.

ObjectiveFunction , January 15, 2020 at 1:36 am

But other than the minor matter of US 8th Army (cadre) sitting in the line of fire, the bulk of any risks posed by Li'l Kim are borne by South Korea, Japan and China. So for Trump, it's still down the list a ways, until the Norks can nuke tip a missile and hit Honolulu. So what coup has Kim achieved at Trump's expense, again?

drumlin woodchuckles , January 14, 2020 at 7:13 pm

Today's Democrats want to destroy those social programs you cite. They have wanted to destroy those social programs ever since President Clinton wanted to conspire with "Prime Minister" Gingrich to privatize Social Security. Luckily Monica Lewinsky saved us from that fate.

A nominee Sanders would run on keeping Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in existence. And he would mean it. A nominee Biden might pretend to say it. But he would conspire with the Republicans to destroy them all.

The ClintoBama Pelosicrats have no standing on which to pretend to support some very popular social programs and hope to be believed any longer. Maybe that is why they feel there is no point in even pretending any more.

Carolinian , January 14, 2020 at 10:08 am

Thanks for the shrewd analysis. The problem is that Trump appears to be morphing from the mad negotiator into someone who really is mad. I think he knows he screwed up with Soleimani and there's no taking it back, only doubling down. You can't talk your way out of some mistakes. Trump is shrewd, but not very smart and like most bullies he's also weak. He gets by being such an obvious bluffer and blowhard but when you start assassinating people and expect to be praised for it it's no longer a game.

False Solace , January 14, 2020 at 1:03 pm

If I were Iran I'd think really hard about scheduling something embarrassing to happen just before the election. Jimmy Carter was seriously damaged by hostages, why not Trump?

drumlin woodchuckles , January 14, 2020 at 7:14 pm

Trump would simply bomb the hostages.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , January 14, 2020 at 4:52 pm

If you note and believe he tends to start out at the furthest position, the question then becomes, is this his most forceful action.

Is it the general plus collateral damage, and no more/no worse?

Or maybe he doesn't always start out at the far end. Then, people need to respond differently, if the aim is to play the man in this chess game.

Carolinian , January 14, 2020 at 4:59 pm

I'd say the solution is to give Trump the heave ho this November and not play his game of me me me. Indeed the Iranians seem to be biding their time to see what happens.

Trump was always only tolerable as long as he spent his time shooting off his mouth rather than playing the imperial chess master. This reality show has gone on long enough.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , January 14, 2020 at 5:10 pm

And to give Trump the heave-ho, we have to know how to play the man. (Then, Iran doesn't have to.)

But if we don't fully know – if he is unpredictable in how he starts out at the beginning – it makes the venture harder (but not impossible).

drumlin woodchuckles , January 14, 2020 at 7:22 pm

Bearing in mind the fact that the DemParty would prefer a Trump re-election over a Sanders election, I don't think anyone will be giving Trump any heave ho. The only potential nominee to even have a chance to defeat Trump would be Sanders. And if Sanders doesn't win on ballot number one, Sanders will not be permitted the nomination by an evil Trumpogenic DemParty elite.

Even if Sanders wins the nomination, the evil Trumpogenic Demparty leadership and the millions of Jonestown Clintobamas in the field will conspire against Sanders every way they feel they can get away with. The Clintobamas would prefer Trump Term Two over Sanders Term One. They know it, and the rest of us need to admit it.

If Sanders is nominated, he will begin the election campaign with a permanent deficit of 10-30 million Clintobama voters who will Never! Ever! vote for Sanders. Sanders will have to attract enough New Voters to drown out and wash away the 10-30 million Never Bernie clintobamas.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , January 14, 2020 at 7:39 pm

Not sure he "screwed up" with Suleimani. He now has something to point to when Adelson and the Israel Firsters ring up. He has red meat for his base ("look what a tough guy I am"). He can tell the Saudis they now owe him one. He added slightly to the fund of hatred for America in the hearts of Sunnis but that fund is already pretty full. If they respond with a terror attack Trump wins because people will rally around the national leader and partisan differences will be put aside. Notice how fast de-escalation happened, certainly feels alot like pre-orchestrated kayfabe.

Yves Smith Post author , January 14, 2020 at 6:42 pm

Mind you, there's no reason to think that this negotiation approach wasn't an adaptation to Trump's emotional volatility, as in finding a way to make what should have been a weakness a plus. And that he's less able to make that adaptation work well as he's over his head, has less control than as a private businessman, and generally under way more pressure.

marym , January 14, 2020 at 10:23 am

If someone doesn't care who/what they harm or destroy; or if the harm or destruction is the actual goal, it gives them freedom and power not available to someone with even a crumb-dropping neoliberal sense (or façade) of obligation toward anyone else or to anything constructive.

With Democrats being unwilling to scrutinize, it's not clear how much Trump and family are winning as far as personal fortune. In his public capacity he has little to show for his winnings that isn't some form of dismantling, destruction, or harm with no constructive replacement and no material benefits outside the donor class.

xkeyscored , January 14, 2020 at 2:47 pm

Trying to see things from Trump's perspective, while I don't know how his personal fortune is faring, his lifestyle doesn't seem to have suffered too much of a downturn. He still spends much of his time playing golf and hanging out at Mar-a-Lago. In addition, his name is known around the entire world, to a far greater extent than when he was a mere real estate crook or reality TV phenomenon. Which may be of greater importance to him than the precise extent of his wealth, let alone the fate of his country or the planet.

Wondering , January 14, 2020 at 10:48 am

Nice analysis, Yves. A welcome break from the typical centrist hand wringing "What norms has he broken this week?"
Next question: Given that our system allows for bloviating bullies to succeed, is that the kind of system we want to live under?

HH , January 14, 2020 at 11:43 am

I recall reading that Trump's empire would have collapsed during the casino fiasco were it not for lending from his father when credit was not available elsewhere. NYT investigative reporters have turned up evidence of massive financial support from Trump father to son to the tune of hundreds of millions throughout the son's career. So much for the great businessman argument.

carbpow , January 14, 2020 at 11:45 am

Trump is nothing more or less than a reflection of the mind set of the US people.The left wing resorts to the same tactics that Trump uses to gain their ends. Rational thought and reasonable discussion seems to be absent. Everyone is looking for a cause for the country's failing infrastructure, declining life expectancy, and loss of opportunity for their children to have a better life than they were able to achieve They each blame the other side. But there are more than two sides to most folks experience. If ever the USA citizens abolish or just gets fed up with the two party system maybe things will change. In reality most people know there is little difference between the two parties so why even vote?

Thuto , January 14, 2020 at 11:48 am

While it might work in domestic politics, this mad man negotiating tactic erodes trust in international affairs and it will take decades for the US to recover from the harm done by Trump's school yard bully approach. Even the docile Europeans are beginning to tire of this and once they get their balls stitched back on after being castrated for so long, America will have its work cut out crossing the chasm from unreliable and untrustworthy partner to being seen as dependable and worthy of entering into agreements with.

Jeremy Grimm , January 14, 2020 at 12:11 pm

This analysis of Trump reminded me of a story I heard from the founders of a small rural radio station. Both had been in broadcasting for years at a large station in a major market, one as a program director and the other in sales. They competed for a broadcasting license that became available and they won. With the license in-hand they needed to obtain investments to get the station on-air within a year or they would lose the license. Even with their combined savings and as much money as they could obtain from other members of their families and from friends -- they were short what they needed by several hundred thousand dollars. Their collateral was tapped out and banks wouldn't loan on the broadcast license alone without further backing. They had to find private investors. They located and presented to several but their project could find no backers. In many cases prospects told them their project was too small -- needed too little money -- to be of interest. As the deadline for going on-air loomed they were put in touch with a wealthy local farmer.

After a long evening presenting their business case to this farmer in ever greater detail, he sat back and told them he would give them the money they needed to get their station on-air -- but he wanted a larger interest in the business than what they offered him. He wanted a 51% interest -- a controlling interest -- or he would not give them the money, and they both had to agree to work for the new radio station for a year after it went on-air. The two holders of the soon to be lost broadcast license looked at each other and told the farmer he could keep his money and left. The next day the farmer called on the phone and gave them the names and contact information for a few investors, any one of whom should be able and interested in investing the amounts they needed on their terms. He also told them that had they accepted his offer he would have driven them out of the new station before the end of the year it went on-air. He said he wanted to see whether they were 'serious' before putting them in touch with serious investors.

juliania , January 14, 2020 at 12:22 pm

Sorry, assassination doesn't fit into this scenario. That is a bridge too far. Trump has lost his effectiveness by boasting about this. It isn't just unpredictability. It is dangerous unpredictability.

Yves Smith Post author , January 15, 2020 at 5:52 am

I never once said that Trump was studied in how he operates, in fact, I repeatedly pointed out that he's highly emotional and undisciplined. I'm simply describing some implications.

meadows , January 14, 2020 at 12:28 pm

If our corrupt Congress had not ceded their "co-equal" branch of gov't authority over the last 40 years thereby gradually creating the Imperial Presidency that we have now, we might comfortably mitigate much of the mad king antics.

Didn't the Founding Fathers try desperately to escape the terrible wars of Europe brought on by the whims and grievances of inbred kings, generation after generation? Now on a whim w/out so much as a peep to Congress, presidential murder is committed and the CongressCritters bleat fruitlessly for crumbs of info about it.

I see no signs of this top-heavy imperialism diminishing. Every decision will vanish into a black hole marked "classified."

I am profoundly discouraged at 68 who at 18 years old became a conscientious objector, that the same undeclared BS wars and BS lies are used to justify continuous conflct almost nonstop these last 50 years as if engaging in such violence can ever be sucessful in achieving peaceful ends? Unless the maintenance of fear, chaos and blowback are the actual desired result.

Trump's negotiating style is chaos-inducing deliberately, then eventually a "Big Daddy" Trump can fix the mess, spin the mess and those of us still in the thrall of big-daddyism can feel assuaged. It's the relief of the famiy abuser who after the emotional violence establishes a temporary calm and family members briefly experience respite, yet remain wary and afraid.

drumlin woodchuckles , January 14, 2020 at 7:34 pm

Bingo!

The maintenance of fear, chaos and blowback are exACTLY the desired result. Deliberately and on purpose.

Jeff Wells of Rigorous Intuition wrote a post about that years ago, in a different context. Here it is.

https://rigint.blogspot.com/2006/07/violent-bear-it-away.html

Edward , January 14, 2020 at 2:14 pm

In some ways Trump has a very Japanese style; everything is about saving face even if you are saying complete nonsense. You have to divine what his actual agenda is. However his approach to negotiation actually works in the business world, it is a disaster as diplomacy.

In trying to make sense of his foreign policy, though, there are hidden factors; some how deep state interests are able to maneuver presidents into following the same policies. What is happening behind the scenes? This manipulation may be contaminating his negotiations.

ian , January 14, 2020 at 7:12 pm

I saw an interview with someone (can't remember who) who had a great analogy for the relationship between Trump and the press: think of the press as a herd of puppies and Trump is the guy with the tennis ball. He tosses outrageous things out there, they all chase it. One brings it back, he tosses it again.

Why would he do this? My own take is that he invites chaos – he has a fluid style, changing his mind often, dumping people and the like which thrives in a chaotic environment. He likes to shake things up and look for openings.

It also helps him do some things quietly in the background, along with key allies. While everyone was foaming at the mouth over Russian collusion, he and Mitch McConnell were busy getting appellate judges confirmed.

I think it is a mistake to underestimate him – he is an unusual person, but far from stupid.

xkeyscored , January 15, 2020 at 5:42 am

It also helps him do some things quietly in the background
I think you've hit the nail on the head there.

drumlin woodchuckles , January 14, 2020 at 7:29 pm

There is a silver lining to that. If another term of Trump inspires the Europeans to abrogate NATO and put an end to that alliance and create their own NEATO ( North East Atlantic Treaty Organization) withOUT America and withOUT Canada and maybe withOUT some of those no-great-bargain East European countries; then NEATO Europe could reach its own Separate Peace with Russia and lower that tension point.

And America could bring its hundred thousand hostages ( "soldiers") back home from not-NATO-anymore Europe.

KFritz , January 14, 2020 at 10:17 pm

Kim Jong Un uses similar tactics, strategy, perhaps even style. Clinically and intellectually, it's interesting to watch their interaction. Emotionally, given their weaponry, it's terrifying.

Jason , January 15, 2020 at 9:15 am

Great post! The part about selecting for desperate business partners is very insightful, it makes his cozying up to dictators and pariah states much more understandable. He probably thinks/feels that these leaders are so desperate for approval from a country like the US that, when he needs something from them, he will have more leverage and be able to impose what he wants.

[Jan 14, 2020] Impeachment Of President Trump An Imperial War Game by By Barbara Boyd

Highly recommended!
Barbara Boyd correctly called Kent testimony "obsine" becase it was one grad neocon gallisination, which has nothing to do with real facts on the ground.
She attributed those dirty games not only to the USA but also to London.
Nov 22, 2019 | futurefastforward.com

If you want to stop the coup against the President, you must understand how Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton's State Department carried out a coup against the democratically elected government of Ukraine in 2014.

In a November 16 webcast, LaRouche PAC's Barbara Boyd presented the real story behind the present impeachment farce: how the very forces running the attack on President Trump, used thugs as their enforcers, in order to turn Ukraine into a pawn in the British geopolitical war drive against Russia.

https://youtu.be/uBg3vLjWePI

[Jan 14, 2020] Impeachment Of President Trump An Imperial War Game

Nov 22, 2019 | futurefastforward.com
If you want to stop the coup against the President, you must understand how Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton's State Department carried out a coup against the democratically elected government of Ukraine in 2014.

In a November 16 webcast, LaRouche PAC's Barbara Boyd presented the real story behind the present impeachment farce: how the very forces running the attack on President Trump, used thugs as their enforcers, in order to turn Ukraine into a pawn in the British geopolitical war drive against Russia.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/uBg3vLjWePI?feature=oembed&wmode=transparent Must Watch Videos

[Jan 12, 2020] It continue to be highly suspicious of the fact that it is a Ukrainian plane. Ukraine is firmly in the Anglo-Zionist camp,

Jan 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Tom_LX , Jan 11 2020 19:40 utc | 250

The fact that the plane was brought down because of the conflict initiated by Trump makes everything about it very suspicious. Just because Iran states that it is responsible does not disqualify the possibility that they were not made to make this mistake. We do not know the facts as to what the Iranian defense system saw as that Ukrainian plane was flying.

I continue to be highly suspicious of the fact that it is a Ukrainian plane. Ukraine is firmly in the Anglo-Zionist camp, period. Zelensky or not the deal was sealed when V. Nuland finished her work in Kiev. The only reason Ukraine made a deal with Russia is because it is in financial trouble and needs revenue. The West will not keep it afloat. So thinking that suddenly it is conducting its own foreign policy is incorrect.

As an aside. Does a sovereign country bring in a man like this to help it run its country ?

Mikheil Saakashvili - born 21 December 1967) is a Georgian and Ukrainian politician.[7][8] He was the third President of Georgia for two consecutive terms from 25 January 2004 to 17 November 2013. From May 2015 until November 2016, Saakashvili was the Governor of Ukraine's Odessa Oblast.[1][9][10] He is the founder and former chairman of the United National Movement party.
How about this one,
Natalie Ann Jaresko is an American-born Ukrainian investment banker who served as Ukraine's Minister of Finance from December 2014 until April 2016.[1] In 20 March 2017, she was appointed as executive director of the Financial Oversight & Management Board for Puerto Rico.
or this one,
Aivaras Abromavičius is a Lithuanian-born Ukrainian investment banker and politician. On 31 August 2019 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appointed Abromavičius the Director General of Ukroboronprom.[1] Previously he was Ukraine's Minister of Economy and Trade starting in December 2014 (Abromavičius announced his resignation on 3 February 2016). He did not retain his post in the Groysman Government that was installed in 14 April 2016.[2]

Ukraine is a Captured State.

Thus the possibility exists that that plane may have had some equipment placed in it in Kiev that could trick the Iranian Defense system to think a craft is a danger to it. Kiev would have been a safe place to do it (reasons above). If this were true does anyone here believe that announcing this fact Public opinion would believe it ? I for one don't. Russia knows how that worked out with Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17). No matter what Iran would have said that would have been spun in the West as attempting to blame someone else. Thanks to this all attention in the Media would have been on Iran which Trump would have loved. Again, Russia knows how this was played out in Malaysia MH17 case. The average CNN viewer in that case would not see how the BUKA Russian was being used as evidence that it was Russia that shot the plane down.

Iran did the right thing in admitted that it was responsible whether it was their fault or not. There was simply no way to win in the case of having being fooled into shooting the plane down.


E Mo Scél , Jan 11 2020 20:36 utc | 259

The FAA banned flights of commercial airplanes over Tehran 2 hours before the plane came down. Note, over Tehran, not over Iran. That's quite specific. Communication was lost when the officer had to make a decision. Communication jamming is part of modern warfare. Maybe this is a thwarted attempt by the US at a "disproportionate response" to Iranian strikes. Maybe this is why Trump is not that excited and had to take drugs before performing his Iran speech.
alaff , Jan 11 2020 21:00 utc | 265
Iran deserves respect, if only because it openly and honestly admitted its responsibility for what happened. This shows the maturity and courage of the political and military leadership of this country.
It is clear that the plane was shot down unintentionally. It is also obvious that Iran was provoked by the actions of the United States.

This is called life. That happens. And not only that. Human factor. We cannot avoid this and 100% eliminate all risks.

In 1914, an idiot killed a monarch, which led to a large-scale war and the death of millions of people. Human factor. Soldiers accidentally make the wrong buttons. Workers at an oil factory smoke in the wrong place, resulting in huge fires. People do not notice an extinct burner on a gas stove, resulting in an explosion, collapse of the house and death of people. Vacationers tourists did not extinguish after themselves a fire in the forest, as a result of which a giant fire covers thousands of hectares of territory. During the invasion of Iraq in 2003, American Patriot systems destroyed a friendly British Tornado fighter bomber (in addition to the destroyed American fighters). In February 2017, the Russian Aerospace Forces mistakenly attacked the Turkish military in northern Syria. In 2001, Ukrainian air defense, conducting military exercises, shot down a Russian passenger plane TU-154 over the Black Sea, 78 people died. So on and so on... The technique and equipment is imperfect. People all the more.

The Iranian situation is very similar to what happened in September 2018. Syrian air defense shot down a Russian military plane, provoked by deliberate actions by Israeli aviation. Just to remind that the Russian side has made it clear who is the true culprit of the tragedy. In the case of Iran, the same thing. It is one thing if the plane crashes as a result of a pilot error or a technical malfunction. But when it is now clear that plane was shot down, and the Iranian air defense acted as it was provoked by the actions of the United States, then the guilt of the United States only increases.

bevin , Jan 11 2020 19:27 utc | 242
Iran bears very little, if any responsibility in this matter.
The United States is entirely to blame-what has occurred is exactly what the
US government was aiming at. It has created an atmosphere of fear and panic
in the knowledge that it would create chaos-that normal government would break down
and mistakes be made.
The US plays with the lives of people. It plays God, a God dedicated to the principle of pure evil.
It plays with people's lives, the lives of the 'ants' that Harry Lime saw from above Vienna,
as a matter of course. In Gaza children with cancer cannot get treatment because the US and Israel
want to make life harder for their parents. The evil objective is to madden the people to the point
that they will rise up and kill those who oppose the Occupation. In Colombia, Bolivia, Honduras, Ecuador
and Brazil-even as we speak Death Squads-trained armed and financed-by the US and Israel stalk those
who want to reform their society. In Venezuela the supply of food and medicine is interrupted as far as
the power of the US and its allies extends.
Around the world where there are evil deeds being carried out, where children are starving, medicines are
withheld, protesters are being assassinated and militias are terrorising the population-the hands of the
United States and its allies are always evident. It was they who imported tens of thousands of wahhabis
into Afghanistan, Russia, China and the battlegrounds that we all know in order to kill, frighten and impoverish
the people. The people of Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Iran, Lebanon and far beyond- all of them have seen their
living standards diminished, their security removed their hopes of happiness systematically thwarted.
In order, evil order, to punish them, not for anything that they have done but in the hope that they will
surrender themselves to the United States and its agents, submit.
The truth is that human history has never seen a regime like that now ruling the United States and attempting
to rule the world. Nothing compares with it, the Nazis were simply malicious pygmies in comparison.
Many people from Trudeau to posters here refuse to admit what is crystal clear and what history will
confirm: all the deaths that come, daily, weekly, yearly from this assumption by the United States of
prerogatives, religion reserves for God; all the deaths that come from this juvenile playing with the lives of
ordinary people are entirely the choice of the US government.
Trudeau bears more responsibility for the deaths of these airline passengers than anyone in Iran. It was his choice to
keep the Embassy doors closed, to withdraw diplomatic representation and to join the US in its sanctions
against the Iranian people. He has made the same choice in Venezuela, where similar accidents may occur (have occurred
as in the sabotage of the power grid). People died then, people die daily and they do so because of choices made by
governments playing with the lives of the people.
Everyone of the victims would be alive today had not the mafia in Washington decided to smash up their society.
And they would almost certainly have been alive still had Trudeau and Freeland-and the four parties in Ottawa- done
, what most Canadians want them to do and disassociate themselves and Canada from the evil games Washington plays.

I hope that no Iranian is tricked into surrendering to evil. I hope that the tone of the Revolutionary Guards-one
of sincere regret and manly apology- does not inform their future moves which must be to re-double their commitment
to the defence of their country and the defeat of the most evil government the world has ever seen.

Ort , Jan 11 2020 19:30 utc | 243
Re: Trudeau's escalating attempts at scene-stealing

The odious, opportunistic popinjay Trudeau seems to have calculated that it's time for him to upgrade his "brand" from "dashing young Bonnie Prince Justin" to "Mature Statesman with Gravitas".

Thus, his predilection for elbowing his way to the head of the Western Hegemony Official Spokesperson line and bumptiously blowing off his big bazoo.

The new beard is a "tell"; some men, especially handsome but "baby-faced" men, are susceptible to an abiding adolescent impulse to grow facial hair in order to appear more mature. It can't be a coincidence that Trudeau's beard correlates with his increased penchant for making (fatuous) bold and aggressive pronouncements on geopolitical crises.

I know that Trudeau has a pedigree that nominally puts him in the top drawer of Canada's political aristocracy. Still, he reminds me a lot of the Venezuelan golpista boy-toy Juan "Random Guy" Guaidó.

Andromeda , Jan 11 2020 20:38 utc | 261
Prometheus - Thank you for your information. I previously thought the transponder signal would identify the plane as a civilian aircraft but one question remains for me: even without IFF would the airtraffic control not (verify the identity)and be in contact with the pilot when the course is changed? Is there no coordination between civlian and military air-control? (especially in such a tense situation)

(the Ukrainain plane turned around - why?)

Still ...despite the admission it is strange that an aviation expert like Peter Haisenko (retired Lufthansa pilot with special technical knowledge who knows Tehran airport well) came to a very different conclusion: (excerpt from German Original - my translation)

Weil mittlerweile bekannt ist, dass die Boeing nach dem ersten Aufprall noch etwa 500 Meter über den Boden geschrammt ist, darf man davon ausgehen, dass sie in flachem Winkel den Boden berührt hat, etwa wie bei einer Landung. Sie ist also nicht „ungespitzt" in den Boden gerammt.

Since it is now known the Boing grazed the ground for about 500 metres after impact it is reasonable to assume that she touched the ground at a flat-angle, like in a regular landing. [...]

Das deutet wiederum darauf hin, dass sich die Piloten in ihrer Notlage gar nicht bewusst waren, wie nahe sie dem Boden bereits sind und völlig unerwartet Bodenkontakt hatten. [...]

This is an indication that the Pilots were not aware of their emergency (how close to the ground they were) and unexpectedly touched the ground. [...]


Fest steht wohl, dass die ukrainische Boeing nach dem Start einen Motorschaden hatte. Und zwar einen soliden, mit Feuer und Totalausfall.

It appears to be certain that the Ukrainian Boeing suffered an engine breakdown after take-off, a severe one with fire and total failure.


Zunächst stelle ich fest, dass es nahezu unmöglich ist, ein Passagierflugzeug in dieser Flugphase abzuschießen. Man müsste schon jemanden mit einer kleinen Boden-Luft-Rakete im erwarteten Abflugkorridor platzieren, der dann dem abfliegenden Jet die Rakete hinterher schießt. Dieses hitzesuchende Projektil könnte dann einen Motor treffen, was aber kein zwingender Grund für einen Absturz ist. Mit einem Motor kann das Flugzeug weiter fliegen, wenn die Rahmenumstände entsprechend aller Vorschriften gesetzt worden sind. Eine größere, aufwendigere Flugabwehreinrichtung scheidet für diese Flugphase und den Ort aus. Nicht nur wegen der geringen Höhe über Grund, sondern auch, weil es solche Anlagen in dieser Gegend nicht gibt. Wenn, dann befinden sie sich im weiteren Umkreis, um Angriffe aus größerer Höhe weit vor der Stadt abzuwehren. Warum ist es dann überhaupt zu dem Absturz gekommen?

https://www.anderweltonline.com/wissenschaft-und-technik/luftfahrt-2020/ist-die-ukrainische-b-737-in-teheran-abgeschossen-worden/

Haisenko asserts that " it is nearly impossible to shoot down a passenger plane in this phase of the flight. In order to do that you'd need to place a (sort of) MANPAD in the expected flight-corridor and the heat-seaking missile could then destroy one of the engines.But this does not automatically lead to the crashing of the plane since it is able to fly with one engine [...] A bigger anti-aircraft system is not suitable for this phase of the flight ... these systems aim to intercept (destroy) targets flying at much higher altitutes and farther away from the cities ... So why did the crash happen?

Obviously he wrote that before the Iranian admission was published and with limited knowledge but still one wonders if electronic warfare played a role and certain parties wanted that plane to crash ... (at least a closer look at the passenger list seems advisable)


Emily , Jan 11 2020 21:01 utc | 266
Bevin 242

That is one of the best posts I have ever read and I have read more than a few.
Never a truer word.
If it needed a precis.......
Madeleine Albright.
The deaths of of 500,000 Iraqi children is a price worth paying.
This from a woman who had played a leading role in the destruction of Yugoslavia and the handing of the Serbian province of Kosovo to the KLA a forerunner of Al Qaeda and ISIS.
Today a narco criminal islamic state - and a base for the bloodletting and birthing of the European Caliphate.
And unlimited proxies for the USA War Of!! Terror across the Middle East.
Pure evil.

harold , Jan 11 2020 21:02 utc | 268
Sadly due to their own incompetence, Iran lost there moral high ground!
A great disappointment to those of us who supported Iran through thick and thin.

I'm not convinced this is a moral issue.

E Mo Scel , Jan 11 2020 21:03 utc | 269
am repeating my first comment for context sake:

The FAA banned flights of commercial airplanes over Tehran 2 hours before the plane came down. Note, over Tehran, not over Iran. That's quite specific. Communication was lost when the officer had to make a decision. Communication jamming is part of modern warfare. Maybe this is a thwarted attempt by the US at a "disproportionate response" to Iranian strikes. Maybe this is why Trump is not that excited and had to take drugs before performing his Iran speech.

Adding:

This would also explain why this is the first time the US did not respond to a state attacking US institutions/military bases. The Us, in fact, did respond: "Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!"

we have (!) targeted (that must mean there were plans for imminent actions in place, it's not saying "we will target") Iranian sites, some at a very high level (!), very fast (!) and very hard.

Their response went horribly wrong. Maybe a US drone was found. Maybe the US jammed communication systems. It's all speculation but it could be that the US response is the cause for the shooting down of the plane. It is a mystery to me why the airport was not closed down that night, esp. in view of the FAA warning that specifically addresses Tehran. The Iranian civil flights authority should have known about this, or is information of this kind proprietary, i.e. not shared across countries/systems? The FAA is a lead aviation agency, it's not as if the aviation agency of Tristan da Cunha had issued such a ban.

The FAA banning US aircraft flying over Tehran after Iran had struck the bases - my gut tells me the US had planned and were executing a response involving a target in Tehran which resulted in the plane being targeted by Iranian air defense systems... the jamming of communication systems (which would have been part of the US response) would be the direct cause for the plane being targeted. If this is true the US has this blood on their hands, not Iran. Again, that's why Trump was clearly under the influence of some drugs. Because that blood is on his hands, or rather, his big mouth and big ego.

...

"Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD."

somebody , Jan 11 2020 21:08 utc | 270
Daily Telegraph with explanations
(before Iran confessed)
How would the passenger plane have been accidentally targeted?

That is less clear, but is one of the challenges facing any missile operator. While military aircraft will plot course to avoid radar, civilian airliners are equipped with transponders that identify the craft and their flight path set and share it with military bases in the area.

Theoretically, the Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 should have been identified as a civilian craft on any radar. But if the Western assessment is true, this incident will join other tragic incidents of civilian planes being shot down by anti-aircraft weaponry.

In 2014, Malaysia Airline Flight 17 was suspected to have been inadvertently shot down by Russian missiles, though Moscow has consistently denied any involvement. And in 1988, a US warship engaging with Iranian gunboats in the Persian Gulf, the USS Vincennes, shot down an Iranian passenger plane after mistaking it for a jet fighter, killing all 290 people on board.

They have a nice map of Iran's rocket range. The map explains the Russian attitude towards Iran which is complex. Iran's rockets do NOT reach the USA but they reach the whole of the Middle East and a large part of Russia.

mikh , Jan 11 2020 21:29 utc | 272
To all the smart asses:Yes Iran should have closed the airport but other have some responsibility too. The Ukraine for example. Allowing planes to fly in to what is practically a war zone. Not that thei have done it before..
Peter AU1 , Jan 11 2020 21:34 utc | 274
Iranian military presentation which shows flight path, at what position in the turn
the aircraft was hit and location of SAM site in relation to the plane.
https://twitter.com/AbasAslani/status/1215942737557671936

The aircraft was hit when it had turned directly towards the Tor unit, at that point a
turn of nearly ninety degrees which I take it was located at the military site.

Bill Smith , Jan 11 2020 21:46 utc | 281
According to this Iran has fired this system at other civilian aircraft. From the news in 2012:

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/world/middleeast/wary-of-israel-iran-is-said-to-blunder-in-strikes.html

"Iranian air defense units have taken inappropriate actions dozens of times, including firing antiaircraft artillery and scrambling aircraft against unidentified or misidentified targets," noted a heavily classified Pentagon intelligence report, which added that the Iranian military's communications were so inadequate and its training deficiencies so significant that "misidentification of aircraft will continue."

Peter AU1 , Jan 11 2020 22:14 utc | 291
E Mo Scel 284

The Ukraine plane was the target and the operation was successfull.
this was the only way US could strike Iran without Iran striking US bases throughout the regin plus Israel.
When Trump threatened strikes against 52 cultural sites if Iran retaliated for the killing of Soleimani, Iran said Isreal would also be hit (it has been noticeable US and Isreal have beeing trying pass of US as threatening Iran as indipendent of Isreal).
This is when the Trump admin and Israel would have settled on the takedown of a civian craftby Iran air defence. This makes Iran look fools in the eyes of fools as has occurred here and not the highly professional force they truly are.

Sam , Jan 11 2020 22:21 utc | 292
Iranians have gathered in the streets of Tehran to demand the resignation of Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei after the regime admitted it had mistakenly shot down a civilian passenger plane.

Angry crowds gathered on Saturday night in at least four locations in Tehran, chanting 'death to liars' and calling for the country's supreme leader to step down over the tragic military blunder, video from the scene shows.

What began as mournful vigils for Iranian lives lost on the flight soon turned to outrage and protest against the regime, and riot police quickly cracked down, firing tear gas into the crowd.

'Death to the Islamic Republic' protesters chanted, as the regime's security forces allegedly used ambulances to sneak heavily armed paramilitary police into the middle of crowds to disperse the demonstration.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7876363/Iranian-protesters-Tehran-turn-against-regime-military-admits-shooting-plane.html

I don't blame the Iranians protesting the unnecessary deaths of their compatriots through sheer incompetence and lack of coordination among civil and military officials. They clearly should have grounded all commercial flights. Their air defense units should have at least the basic ability to discern between a commercial jet and military aircraft & missiles. If they are this incompetent or their systems are so poor how do they expect to withstand the onslaught of an air attack by the US that would include thousands of missiles and thousands of sorties a day! Tehran will be flattened.

E Mo Scel , Jan 11 2020 23:19 utc | 313
Peter AU1 291

We agree that there was a US response, and that the plane was involved in this response. You think it was the idea from the beginning to trick Iranian air defense into shooting this particular plane down, I think there was a different target and things did not go according to plan, while the plane played a role. Both of us are speculating. You think the operation was successful, I say no, things went wrong. The US could not continue with their operation as this would have made it obvious they had utilized the plane in some way. It's different from the incident where Syria shot down a Russian military plane when Israeli jets used it as cover - this here was a civilian plane. So, speculation from my side.

It's also to be observed that 146 people on the plane were Iranian citizens; this could speak for your theory as this is a problem for the government of Iran (protests) ("One-hundred forty-six victims held Iranian passport, ten Afghan, five Canadian, four Swede and two Ukrainian. All nine crew members consisting of three cockpit crew and six cabin crew were Ukrainian. Note: A number of victims could have had multiple nationalities, so other news reports might introduce them with different nationalities than the ones in this report. The above list concerns the passport with which they left the Islamic Republic of Iran air border.") https://www.flightradar24.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Iran-CAO-PS752-Initial-Report.pdf

I have no means to know. I am sure, though, that the big mouthed announcement of Trump is real. There was a response. I hope the dams won't hold for this one.

Peter AU1 , Jan 11 2020 23:32 utc | 314
E Mo Scel

Various MSM have stories of victims. The British and Canadian victims I saw in these articles all had Iranian names. Students expats ect returning to Iran for a visit.
One couple to get married in Iran.
Seemed to be a large number of university students including a couple of professors.

Vasco da Gama , Jan 11 2020 23:39 utc | 317
Regarding the FAA NOTAMS restricting airspace a list is provided here . It is not accurate to claim only Tehran was restricted:

KICZ A0001/20 - SECURITY..UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FLIGHT PROHIBITION AGAINST CERTAIN FLIGHTS IN THE BAGHDAD FLIGHT INFORMATON REGION (FIR)
(ORBB) - 07 JAN 23:45 2020 UNTIL PERM. CREATED: 07 JAN 23:49 2020

KICZ A0002/20 - SECURITY..UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FLIGHT PROHIBITION AGAINST CERTAIN FLIGHTS IN THE TEHRAN FLIGHT INFORMATON REGION (FIR) (OIIX) - 08 JAN 00:10 2020 UNTIL PERM. CREATED: 08 JAN 00:07 2020

Notice these cover national airspace, it is not limited to the cities they refer to. The timezones are UTC.

Zanon , Jan 11 2020 23:41 utc | 318
Well Israel and neocons sure have a good laugh how well it turned out for them past week. Not sure how Iran will be able to get back from this anytime soon, now being attacked both from abroad and internally. Not to mention the collaboration between protesters and the west.
Qparticle , Jan 11 2020 23:51 utc | 321
This site and its comments have been an unfortunate repository of ridiculous, reflexive anti-American nonsense over the past few weeks. The speculation about the flight, and inability to accept Iranian responsibility, was one of the more silly charades.

Posted by: Daniel Lennon | Jan 11 2020 16:46 utc | 185

I would add anti-Semitic too....
In my own country can't criticise Mossad actions on the news.. it would be anti-Semitic too...

So here what came from a Forbes article that helped uncover a huge Mossad Operation targeting Cyprus Larnaka airport (their Cypriot allies)
The 2 "ex" agents identified is only probably the tip of the proverbial iceberg...

"A Multimillionaire Surveillance Dealer Steps Out Of The Shadows . . . And His $9 Million WhatsApp Hacking Van"
https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2019/08/05/a-multimillionaire-surveillance-dealer-steps-out-of-the-shadows-and-his-9-million-whatsapp-hacking-van#5787fb8231b7

Youtube: https://youtu.be/Tl3mpywMYFA

9.5 million smart phones it is estimated were hacked by the Mossad Stingray like tech discuised as plain ambulances alone in Larnaka air port during the time of the operation.

Peter AU1 , Jan 12 2020 1:10 utc | 346
This is looking to be a very complex operation the US and five eyes is pulling off. Rather than simply reacting to events after the killing of Soleimani, the killing was inteded to set up circumstances to induce Iran into firing at a civilian aircraft. The act of war in killing the Iranian military official and diplomat followed by threats against Iranian cultural sites. With Iran air dfences on high alert, all it required was to cut air defence coms and turn an aircraft at the same time. Once that is aclomplashed, making Iran look incompetent in the eyes of the world it is straight into the pre-organised regime change operation.
I hope Russia and China will be giving Iran a bit of an assist in this because they are facing a very dangerous moment. Anything can happen now that US thinks it has Iran on the backfoot. And I think Iran is on the backfoot at the moment. What has happened has shocked them. Zarif and others, saying the plane definitely was not shot down and then realising they were wrong.
Very dangerous period for Iran as US will now press its attack harder, and perhaps in more unexpected ways. Hopefully the crew that fired will not be punished because of this. If they are, air defense crew will be hesitant to make decisions anytime their coms are cut.
The IRGC said they had asked for all flights to be grounded but the request was not acted on. This is the area hopefully the Iranian investigation will focus on.
Peter AU1 , Jan 12 2020 1:38 utc | 353
VK "Right after the assassination of Soleimani, Pompeo went publicly and said Iran was "one step closer to regime change""

The Assassination was the first step. Trump threats against Iran cultural sites the second step. Iran retaliation against the US bases the third step. Downing the civilian aircraft step four. And guess what... regime change operation kicks into gear.

stevelaudig , Jan 12 2020 1:43 utc | 354
But for Trump's murder of Soleimani, the Iranians would not have been so jumpy.
Trump's murder of Soleimani, was a significant factor in making the Iranians jumpy.
These deaths go on Trump's death count card along with all the dead in Syria.

[Jan 10, 2020] Joe Biden under cross examination in senate trail would be Conedy Central show transmitted live

The folks who hatched that particular impeachment plan and pitched it to Nancy Pelosi must have been the same idiots in the DNC who dreamt up the Russiagate scandal and also pursued Paul Manafort to get him off DJT's election campaign team. Dmitri Alperovich / Crowdstrike, Alexandra Chalupa: we're looking at you.
The real Trump move would be to hit the twitter right before the house impeachment vote and announce that he has instructed the House Republicans to vote for impeachment.
Notable quotes:
"... At least this mess made it patently clear the Dem obsession with Russia has been all about preserving their Ukraine pickpocketing operation. ..."
Nov 27, 2019 | www.forbes.com

Forbes.com billwhalen 26 September 2019 Link

I ordered a truckload of pop corn to snack on during the trial in the Senate. Just imagine Joe Biden under cross examination as he flips 'n flops! "Was that me in the Video, I can't recall."

Maracatu | Nov 26 2019 21:56 utc | 18

I can see a Trump marketing consultant designing a campaign centered on the impeachment hearings called "The Swamp Strikes Back". It might be most effective as a comic strip.

Fly | Nov 27 2019 0:30 utc | 33

At least this mess made it patently clear the Dem obsession with Russia has been all about preserving their Ukraine pickpocketing operation.
Just Saying | Nov 27 2019 7:22 utc | 58

All the bull-Schiff comes from Hillary's lingerie. The democrats need to secure a huge laundromat

[Jan 08, 2020] Assassination of Soleimani was done on false pretences much like Bush II Iraq war justification. Trump abused his power and now needs to be impeached

The neocon cabal of Pompeo, Ester and O'bian needs to be fired immediately and investigated by FBI.
Notable quotes:
"... As for the war powers resolution justification provided by the administration, that legislation was not designed to alter the fundamental constitutional balance, but to restore it, Healy says. Critically, it does not give presidents a free pass to carry out military action for 60 days without congressional approval, as some have suggested. ..."
"... The war powers resolution itself was introduced after Congress discovered Nixon's secret war in Cambodia in 1973. It was designed to allow Congress to terminate any unauthorized actions taken by the executive branch and to require transparency. If the president responds to any "imminent threat" not covered by an existing statute or law authorizing use of force, then the president must within 48 hours report to Congress what actions have been taken. ..."
"... "With the Soleimani strike, the administration is saying they're responding to an imminent threat, but they have not publicly stated what that threat is," said Kate Kizer, policy director at Win Without War, in an interview with TAC. "From reporting, there's not a lot of evidence of an imminent attack. So they should have come to Congress first and said what they were going to do." ..."
"... The Constitution clearly gives the power to declare war to Congress. Article II states that the president can act without Congress only when it is necessary to do so against imminent threats to U.S. territories, possessions, or citizens.​ ..."
Jan 08, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
claims the strike was "authorized" in part by the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which provided the legal basis for the war in Iraq. ​

"Unless Trump is using his presidential sharpie, it's not at all clear how this 17-year-old statute authorizes what seems to be a major escalation that could start a whole new war," said Gene Healy, vice president of the Cato Institute, in an interview with The American Conservative. ​

As for the war powers resolution justification provided by the administration, that legislation was not designed to alter the fundamental constitutional balance, but to restore it, Healy says. Critically, it does not give presidents a free pass to carry out military action for 60 days without congressional approval, as some have suggested.

The war powers resolution itself was introduced after Congress discovered Nixon's secret war in Cambodia in 1973. It was designed to allow Congress to terminate any unauthorized actions taken by the executive branch and to require transparency. If the president responds to any "imminent threat" not covered by an existing statute or law authorizing use of force, then the president must within 48 hours report to Congress what actions have been taken.

In the case of Soleimani, "the Pentagon statement doesn't mention any imminent attacks," notes Healy . Secretary of State Mike "Pompeo says Soleimani was planning an attack that could have killed hundreds of lives, but he's provided no evidence for that. I think it's hardly cynical to verify, instead of blindly trusting, given the track record of this administration and recent past administrations."

"With the Soleimani strike, the administration is saying they're responding to an imminent threat, but they have not publicly stated what that threat is," said Kate Kizer, policy director at Win Without War, in an interview with TAC. "From reporting, there's not a lot of evidence of an imminent attack. So they should have come to Congress first and said what they were going to do."

​That's because there's ​simply ​ " no viable argument " that the 2002 AUMF authorizes force against Iran ​, according to ​ Brian Egan, a former legal adviser to both the State Department ​ and the NSC, and ​Tess Bridgeman, a senior fellow at NYU School of Law and former a ssociate ​c​ ounsel to the ​p​ resident. ​ ​

The 2002 AUMF allows the president to "defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq " and "enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions against Iraq " ​ ( e mphasis added ).

"Those are plainly not relevant to the situation" today, Egan and Bridgeman write.​

The ​Trump administration also said it does not ​"​ need congressional sign off from a legal standpoint" for the Soleimani strike because ​of the president's authority​ as​ commander-in-chief under Article II of the Constitution ​, CNN reported.

The Constitution clearly gives the power to declare war to Congress. Article II states that the president can act without Congress only when it is necessary to do so against imminent threats to U.S. territories, possessions, or citizens.​

That's why Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Pentagon chief Mark Esper, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley were so emphatic Monday that the U.S. was responding to an "imminent threat."​ But so far, no evidence of that has been provided.

​While a 2018 Office of Legal Council (OLC) opinion offers a very liberal definition of executive authority and provides ​ " very little constraint on modern presidential uses of force," it appears to classify the Soleimani strike as an act of war, since Iran is a nation state that will likely escalate its military retaliation in response to the killing of their uniformed military member.

Indeed, the U.S. has already said it will send 3,500 additional troops to the Middle East "after Iran vowed to exact 'severe revenge.'" ​The U.S. has warned its citizens to leave Iraq​, and Iran has already begun firing at housing for American forces in Iraq: all signs that point to escalation.

Moreover, targeted political assassinations, like the kind used against Soleimani, have been banned by executive order since the Ford administration. Ronald Reagan signed Executive Order 12333, which reads: "No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination."

Soleimani was "not a rogue outlaw, but a military official of a sovereign government we were not at war with, making his killing an assassination," writes Ben Friedman, policy director at Defense Priorities. "His actions, however evil, served Iranian policy."

"The idea that the president can, without going to Congress, take out a top level official of a country we're not in an authorized war with, is crossing a Rubicon," said Healy.

So what happens now?

Congress has several choices to make in the days ahead. It can pass empty, non-binding resolutions, that require the president's sign-off, like the kind suggested by Kaine and Pelosi. Or it can repeal the decades-old AUMFs that have been used to justify continuing U.S. escalations in the Middle East. Congress could also pass bills like those by Representative Khanna and Senator Sanders to strip funding for offensive military action against Iran from the NDAA.

It remains to be seen if Congress will choose substantive actions, like defunding unauthorized wars, over window dressing.

[Jan 08, 2020] Impeachment as a way out for the USa for create Trump Soliemani muder deadlock with Iran

Jan 08, 2020 | www.nytimes.com

Hineni47 NYC area 6h ago

"Unlike with North Korea, it's difficult to imagine any photo op or exchange of love letters defusing the crisis the president has created. " The only thing that might defuse this crisis would be the Senate convicting Trump and removing him from office. It would be a good idea if the House passes another article of impeachment accusing the president of committing an act of war without Congressional authorization.
Sirlar Jersey City 3h ago Times Pick
Threatening to destroy cultural sites of a country is the sign of a deranged madman. I can't believe a US president would dare say something like that. It goes against all the principles America stands for. Nothing will motivate the people of Iran to fight the US more than the threat of destruction to their cultural sites. If we go to war with Iran, this is a Republican war. They own it. When are decent Republicans going to stand up and do the right thing? If they don't, this could be very, very, bad.
PatMurphy77 Michigan 5h ago
The Defense department is already walking back Trump's tweet about bombing Iran culture sites. Unfortunately, it's too late because the damage to our reputation as the "shining light on the hill" has already been destroyed. I'm afraid more than now than I have ever been in my life. Who knows when or where the revenge will occur but I'm fairly certain it will happen and we'll be more isolated than ever before. It's taken centuries to build goodwill and our reputation as a beacon of democracy for the world. We gave the keys to the kingdom to a false prophet and we'll pay for his indiscretions for the rest of my lifetime. God help us all.
stan continople brooklyn 3h ago Times Pick
You've sure got it right with "rapture-mad", and the most frightening thing is that the religious zealotry of Pompeo, Pence, Mulvaney and Barr, inoculates them against any criticism, because they believe they are serving a "higher"power and any criticism is a testimony to their faith. In fact, by turning themselves into martyrs, they get to advance in line for the Rapture. It seems particularly ironic that Evangelicals who support Israel do so because they see God's plan unfolding there. The Jews, just happen to be sacrificial lambs in the grand scheme. so they must must be preserved until the time is ripe for their rightful annihilation, heralding the Second Coming. So, the problem of Pompeo, et al, is not Iran destroying Israel, it's just that they've determined the timing is off.
Eric Ashland 4h ago Times Pick
As for the "wag the dog" theory, sure, Trump sees no difference between his personal fortunes and national interests. But worse, the impeachment rests upon evidence that points to a personal criminality on an international scale, which is the landscape where we find ourselves. The president pardons convicts like Gallagher and Arpaio because they are cruel or bloodthirsty. He admires dictators and ignores the law whenever he can, both as a private individual and a president, and has obstructed a legal investigation into his corruption. Now, on the international stage, by bypassing Congress, he is ignoring the sovereignty of the American people, while incoherently threatening war crimes. Trump is fully blossoming into a man like those he admires, an unrestrained, unprincipled, heavy hitting international tyrant. I'm so disgusted with those whose job it is to check this man, and have abdicated their responsibility, because they want to be like him. Reply 230 Recommend Share
Aaron San Francisco 4h ago Times Pick
I was at a friend's house on election night ready to celebrate Clinton's victory. When the networks suddenly announced that Trump had won Florida, a professor of international relations who was with us ominously predicted, "we are going to war with Iran." And here we are.
PT Melbourne, FL 4h ago Times Pick
America has become a living nightmare. A global power perceived mostly as benevolent by the world is now a danger to all, including itself. Already having killed the Paris Agreement, and Iran Nuclear Treaty, not to mention walking away from a nuclear arms treaty with the Russians, Trump is now ready to wreak real havoc on the world - start a war. Boy will they forget about impeachment now!
Jonathan Baron Staunton, Virginia 5h ago
We haven't authorized the assassination of a military leader since the daring mission to kill Japanese Admiral Yamamoto in 1943. Although he'd been the architect of the Pearl Harbor attack, and we were at war with Japan, this was a departure so significant that it only proceeded after lengthy deliberation. And now, this. Your article fills in precisely how this was so very much not that. But one party is in so cult-deep into this president now that the lies won't stop. Thousands of Iranian have lost their lives in the past month trying to rid themselves of this regime. Not only were those deaths rendered in vain by the assassination of Suleimani, but the Iranian people are also even more yoked to a government they hate. And wasn't the idea of grassroots-driven change in regime a core strategy behind pulling out of the nuclear deal? And it's not okay because Suleimani is "evil." That's both subjective and never a justification for an assassination of a foreign military leader of a nation we're not at war with. As I noted, it was questionable when it was a military leader of nation we were at war with. But, most important, what did we gain from this? Following yet another disasterous military and foreign policy snap decision it only makes the importance of removing Trump from office more urgent. Come for the Constitutional crime but convict because the defendant is also manifestly unfit for the office. People are dying because of it and more will die if he stays. Reply 186 Recommend Share
Joe Portland, ME 3h ago Times Pick
What, then, for an effective response? Outrage is mere fuel: what is the engine? A full year seems too long. The Senate seems hopeless. What does that leave? Must we take to the streets to stop this disaster of a president? All this time spent wondering how this will end makes me feel like a victim of domestic abuse. What a waste. 1 Reply 180 Recommend Share
AnitaSmith New Jersey 4h ago Times Pick
The near silence of the countries frequently referred to as our allies -- before the age of Trump -- is deafening.

[Jan 08, 2020] McConnell Wrangles Republicans For Speedy Trump Acquittal As Schumer Cries Cover-Up

Jan 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

McConnell Wrangles Republicans For Speedy Trump Acquittal As Schumer Cries Cover-Up by Tyler Durden Tue, 01/07/2020 - 15:11 0 SHARES

Most Senate Republicans have lined up behind Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan for a lightning-fast, witness-free impeachment trial which will end with the acquittal of President Trump - much to the chagrin of Senate Democrats led by Chuck Schumer of New York.

McConnell (R-KY) has been unswayed by former National Security Adviser John Bolton's offer to testify, as well as the recent emergence of emails suggesting Trump's direct involvement in his administration's pausing of US aid to Ukraine after asking President Volodomyr Zelensky to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden ahead of the 2020 US election.

Two Republicans who have on occasion broken with Trump and have criticized McConnell's statements about the trial -- Alaska's Lisa Murkowski and Maine's Susan Collins -- say they back his plan to follow the precedent of Bill Clinton's 1999 impeachment trial by delaying any decision on witnesses.

"I think we need to do what they did the last time they did this unfortunate process, and that was to go through a first phase and then they reassessed after that," Murkowski said.

McConnell likely has the votes to force the issue without cooperation from Democrats . - Bloomberg

McConnell has guaranteed that Senate Democrats won't have the 67 votes required to convict Trump and remove him from office. Meanwhile, he can simply point to Clinton's impeachment as precedent on witness testimony, as it would allow Trump's lawyers and White House impeachment managers to make their arguments and answer questions from Senators before administration figures such as Bolton and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney have a chance to speak.

There have been no discussions between McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who can go pound sand as talks seem unlikely.

"If every Republican senator votes for a rigged trial that hides the truth, the American people will see that the Republican Senate is part of a large and awful cover-up," said Schumer in a Tuesday screed on the Senate floor.

Chuck Schumer: "Whoever heard of a trial without witnesses and documents? It's unprecedented ... Witnesses and documents? Fair trial. No witnesses and no documents? Cover-up. That simple sentence describes it all." Via ABC pic.twitter.com/eKhKoBjIVP

-- Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 7, 2020

According to Trump, Bolton 'would know nothing' about the Ukraine situation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), meanwhile, has yet to reveal when she plans to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate, thereby making Trump's impeachment official according to House Democratic witness and Harvard Law professor, Dr. Noah Feldman.

Pelosi's allies argue that the Senate turning down Bolton's offer to testify under subpoena suggest that Republicans are involved in covering up evidence against Trump.

"McConnell is making very plain he's not interested in the country learning the full extent" of Trump's misconduct, according to a Tuesday statement by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff. "And apparently there are any number of senators willing to go along with that head-in-the-sand strategy," he added.


Albertarocks , 9 minutes ago link

Six ways from Sunday Chuck. "Six ways from Sunday." It must really suck to be you these days.

Nov1917Sucks , 10 minutes ago link

The only difference between a Dem and a Repub in Congress is the shear ignorance of their voters. But Trump has exposed his voters to be the biggest dolts of the last century!

BryanM , 17 minutes ago link

If Pelosi could have offed that terrorist Salami to change the subject she would have. She has seriously misjudged this escapade. I'm sure Schiff and Nadler convinced her they could use the MSM to split off some republican votes and gain momentum. Their case is so weak they couldn't even get any the 30+ republicans that are retiring with nothing to lose to split off and vote with the dems. Where's the popcorn?

[Jan 08, 2020] If we assume that Pompeo persuaded Trump to order to kill a diplomatic envoy, Trump is now a dead man walking as after Iran responce Pelosi impeachment gambit now have legs

Highly recommended!
This is truly shocking: Trump assassinates diplomatic envoy he himself arranged for. . If the U.S. lured Soleimani to Iraq with a promise of negotiations with the Iraqis as mediators and then proceeded to kill him, surely that would be an impeachable offense. Particularly in view of the failure to brief Congress. If it was Saudi tricked Soleimani by getting Iraq to "mediate" (Iraq's prime minister was expecting a message by him on the mediation when he was assassinated), Saudi will get targeted.
The US changed the rules of engagement. They had decided to assassinate Soleimani when he was in Syria, having just returned from a short journey to Lebanon, before boarding a commercial flight from Damascus airport to Baghdad. The US killing machine was waiting for him to land in Baghdad and monitored his movements when he was picked up at the foot of the plane. The US hit the two cars, carrying Soleimani and the al-Muhandes protection team, when they were still inside the airport perimeter and were slowing down at the first check-point.
US forces will no longer be safe in Iraq outside protected areas inside the military bases where they are deployed. A potential danger or hit-man could be lurking at every corner; this will limit the free movement of US soldiers. Iran would be delighted were the Iraqi groups to decide to hit the American forces and hunt them wherever they are. This would rekindle memories of the first clashes between Jaish al-Mahdi and US forces in Najaf in 2004-2005.
Jan 06, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Tom , Jan 5 2020 15:55 utc | 16
Impeachment with GOP support could be just around the corner. And who lost Iraq??? He would be a dead man walking in that case. I can't see the evangelical crowd saving him. President Pence. Might have to get use to that.

Here is a link to a twitter account with a good video of massive crowds on the streets of Mashhad awaiting the arrival of Qassem Suleimani. Very powerful.

https://twitter.com/sonofnariman/status/1213792565075550208


Piotr Berman , Jan 5 2020 16:02 utc | 17

There will be no draining of any swamps. Trump-Kushner just another Bibi lackey.

Posted by: Jerry | Jan 5 2020 15:48 utc | 13

1. Draining swamps was a marker of progress in the past. >>Wiki:But in the late 1960s and early 1970s, researchers found that marshes and swamps "were worth billions annually in wildlife production, groundwater recharge, and for flood, pollution, and erosion control." This motivated the passage of the 1972 federal Water Pollution Control Act.<<

2. To recognize this vital role, parties should adopt more acquatic symbols. Caymans are a bit too similar to alligators, but, say, Alligators vs Snapping Turtles?

Sasha , Jan 5 2020 16:02 utc | 18
A video which says it all...
Gen. #Soleimani, enemy of Daesh and Trump!

Trump has threatened #Iran with destroying its cultural sites but that is not his only similarity with Daesh, they both hated General Soleimani.

https://twitter.com/PressTV/status/1213804505537679362


Bemildred , Jan 5 2020 16:02 utc | 19
Posted by: Tom | Jan 5 2020 15:55 utc | 16

Yes, it might just be that this debacle provides the extra impulse to get him removed. Can't say I can even imagine what that would look like, but there would seem to be a good argument now that he must be restrained somehow. Somebody needs to tell Pompeous to stop digging the hole deeper (shutup) too.

[Jan 07, 2020] McConnell Wrangles Republicans For Speedy Trump Acquittal As Schumer Cries Cover-Up

Jan 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

McConnell Wrangles Republicans For Speedy Trump Acquittal As Schumer Cries Cover-Up by Tyler Durden Tue, 01/07/2020 - 15:11 0 SHARES

Most Senate Republicans have lined up behind Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan for a lightning-fast, witness-free impeachment trial which will end with the acquittal of President Trump - much to the chagrin of Senate Democrats led by Chuck Schumer of New York.

McConnell (R-KY) has been unswayed by former National Security Adviser John Bolton's offer to testify, as well as the recent emergence of emails suggesting Trump's direct involvement in his administration's pausing of US aid to Ukraine after asking President Volodomyr Zelensky to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden ahead of the 2020 US election.

Two Republicans who have on occasion broken with Trump and have criticized McConnell's statements about the trial -- Alaska's Lisa Murkowski and Maine's Susan Collins -- say they back his plan to follow the precedent of Bill Clinton's 1999 impeachment trial by delaying any decision on witnesses.

"I think we need to do what they did the last time they did this unfortunate process, and that was to go through a first phase and then they reassessed after that," Murkowski said.

McConnell likely has the votes to force the issue without cooperation from Democrats . - Bloomberg

McConnell has guaranteed that Senate Democrats won't have the 67 votes required to convict Trump and remove him from office. Meanwhile, he can simply point to Clinton's impeachment as precedent on witness testimony, as it would allow Trump's lawyers and White House impeachment managers to make their arguments and answer questions from Senators before administration figures such as Bolton and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney have a chance to speak.

There have been no discussions between McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who can go pound sand as talks seem unlikely.

"If every Republican senator votes for a rigged trial that hides the truth, the American people will see that the Republican Senate is part of a large and awful cover-up," said Schumer in a Tuesday screed on the Senate floor.

Chuck Schumer: "Whoever heard of a trial without witnesses and documents? It's unprecedented ... Witnesses and documents? Fair trial. No witnesses and no documents? Cover-up. That simple sentence describes it all." Via ABC pic.twitter.com/eKhKoBjIVP

-- Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 7, 2020

According to Trump, Bolton 'would know nothing' about the Ukraine situation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), meanwhile, has yet to reveal when she plans to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate, thereby making Trump's impeachment official according to House Democratic witness and Harvard Law professor, Dr. Noah Feldman.

Pelosi's allies argue that the Senate turning down Bolton's offer to testify under subpoena suggest that Republicans are involved in covering up evidence against Trump.

"McConnell is making very plain he's not interested in the country learning the full extent" of Trump's misconduct, according to a Tuesday statement by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff. "And apparently there are any number of senators willing to go along with that head-in-the-sand strategy," he added.

[Jan 07, 2020] Trump wags the hippopotamus - The Washington Post

Jan 07, 2020 | www.washingtonpost.com

The idea of launching military action to distract from domestic political troubles has been a thing at least since the 1997 film "Wag the Dog" (as in, the tail wagging the dog) gave it a name. Republicans accused President Bill Clinton of it in 1998 when he ordered airstrikes against Sudan and Iraq as impeachment loomed. Trump alleged (wrongly) that President Barack Obama would " start a war with Iran " before the 2012 election.

Trump's assassination of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani has, at least for the moment, shifted attention from the Senate trial. Before the attack, pro-impeachment activists had scheduled a protest inside the Hart Senate Office Building for Monday, but only 45 demonstrators showed up for the event, nearly equaled by the 20 journalists and 15 police officers who greeted them. Though wearing "Remove Trump" and "Trump is Guilty" T-shirts, they were about as disruptive as a tour group.

... ... ...

Now, Trump has lit the Middle East on fire, with only a halfhearted attempt to justify the sudden urgency ("This president waited three years. I mean, we've had Soleimani in our sights for just as long as we've been here," Trump strategist Kellyanne Conway told Fox News on Monday). Thousands of U.S. troops are hurriedly deploying to the region, Iraq is demanding that U.S. troops leave the country , and Iran is threatening retaliation and renewing its nuclear ambitions .

This is precisely why the impeachment trial -- and Bolton's long-sought testimony -- must go forward. The same lawlessness and recklessness that led Trump to extort political help from Ukraine has now brought us, willy-nilly, to the precipice of war, as Trump openly threatens to commit war crimes. If unchecked, he'll do this again -- and worse.

[Jan 04, 2020] The Three Main Reasons Trump Can't Lose 2020 Dispelling Nonsense Polls and Wishful Thinking

Jan 04, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Looking at Pelosi's statements and methods, it would appear that the process left Democrats looking extremely partisan to the detriment of getting the business of the country done. That business included the USMCA, the Mexico-Canada Agreement that redefines a host of matters previously mishandled by Bill Clinton's tremendously unpopular NAFTA. Why this seems to be the case – Trump was in the process of getting his USMCA through congress, and with high support from organized labor. As we consistently explain, Democrats rely on organized labor not only for votes, but more critically for their entire ground campaigns, especially making phone calls to other voters, and precinct walking during the campaign and on Election Day. That labor always opposed NAFTA and generally supports the USMCA is critical. The key line in Pelosi's post impeachment charade statement, regarding why they were not actually going to send the articles to the Senate and therefore complete the process of impeaching the president, was that she said specifically that they needed instead to prioritize passing the USMCA.

Imagine that for a moment. Because of the relationship between labor and the Democrat Party, it was necessary for Democrats to appear as its champion, even that it was their idea in the first place. This means that Democrats had the practical wisdom to understand that their impeachment charade did not appeal to blue collar Democrat voters, but in fact would work against them. What they needed in part in the impeachment, apart from implementing their strategy of a thousand cuts, was to energize college educated upper middle-class boomers, which form the bulk of the Rachel Maddow, and Democrat leaning mainstream media consumer demographic. While these people control work-place politics and effectively police water-cooler talk, this back-fires. Voting in the US is secret ballot – and so with this class in control of people's ability to remain employed, unenthusiastic, rehearsed, regurgitated, manufactured 'orange man bad' utterances are more commonly heard than they are truly believed. People say one thing at work to keep their job, and then vote another way on Election Day.

But the USMCA fiasco surrounding the impeachment tells us a lot. Eight years of Bill Clinton and decades of his NAFTA has been symptomatic of the Democrat's anti-labor politics. Democrats from that time onward invested their political capital into developing socialism. However, they didn't develop this in the US, but in China – while in the US a crony class grew up and lined their own pockets from it all. This is something which is perhaps, in a strange turn of events, quite good for China and many other developing parts of the world including Africa. But that has come at the expense not of America's wealthy 'bourgeoisie', but rather its own 'working class'. Bill Clinton was supposed to work to reverse 12 years of Reagan-Bush, whose anti-labor policies amounted to one of the single greatest austerity campaigns in US history. And yet this was only to be outdone by Clinton's outsourcing and off-shoring of jobs, and deregulation of the financial sector.

What has shown to matter least of all, and especially where Trump is concerned, are polls. And even here too, polls – when read correctly – point to a Trump victory.

There are also reasons why left-wing Democrats like documentary film maker Michael Moore also understand that Trump is likely to win. Needless to say, his fixation therefore on an impeachment succeeding, and his blanket support for Nancy Pelosi's absurd and failing strategy, is also why even progressive Democrats like Sanders fail to understand why Trump is unbeatable. Their placing hopes in impeachment isn't so much that impeachment is viable or likely, but from a sober and scientific approach, it's only more likely than an electoral defeat of Trump at the polls given that the party stubbornly insists on promoting Biden and Buttigieg.

"It's the economy, stupid"

Sure, it will always be argued that the improved economy under Trump was in fact either related to impersonal forces of the global economy unrelated to Trump; sun spots, the invisible hand, or Obama policies whose fruits we are now only reaping. But voters never go for this reasoning. Partisans do, but voters don't.

Democrats at best are going to point out that while employment numbers have improved, 'never before have so many earned so little'. And while that's true, we are dealing with a badly bruised and insecure American working class. Things right now appear to be going in the right direction, and so being able to find work even if it's a lower salary than they had before their several-year unemployed stint, they are literally thanking the heavens, the stars, and even Trump, that today they have any job at all. And even here, Trump's tax cuts put a few thousand dollars back in the pockets of households where the average combined income is about $70k. His even larger, but targeted, tax cuts for the rich in certain areas, due to the economic growth these cuts in part inspired, resulted in more tax revenues overall.

And yes, we get it – old black people like Biden . At least mainstream media reports on certain polls, whose methodologies we can't see, report as much. What did that question actually look like? We think the push-poll went something like: "In the coming election, would you support Obama's good friend and Vice President , a gay mayor, a neurotic Jew, a Hindu veteran who may have PTSD, Pocahontas, or a Chinaman good at math? Obama's VP was Biden. Will you vote for Biden? Y/N".

But still this figure is misleading, and doesn't relate to Biden's electability, but is supposed to get past this trope that he's a racist – a meme trending surrounding the first few debates. Older black voters won't turn swing-states, and older black voters aren't part of an energized or energizing electorate for new voters. This means that the media's reportage cycle on this 'factoid' is about virtue signaling to the above mentioned Rachel Maddow demographic that Biden is ' progressive since black people like him '. Oh, you don't like Biden? Well black people like Biden. Don't you like black people?

And our jokingly hypothetical poll question aside, the reality isn't far off. This targeted poll of black voters relates almost entirely back to labor union activism. The DNC controls organized labor, and Biden is the DNC's choice. Black workers are extraordinarily over-represented in the public sector, and the public sector is extraordinarily over-represented in union membership. Older people are more likely to be involved in activism in their labor union, and as a consequence, older black people trend towards Biden more than other candidates. This factoid may trend well right now in media, but will have nothing to do with the outcome of the election except that it will guarantee Trump's victory if Biden is the Democrat nominee.

And so we have it, our three primary reasons Trump will win: the lack of enthusiasm for the DNC's picks, the increasing enthusiasm among Trump supporters which will be contagious (again), and the economic growth which, while favoring the rich, in fact did in this case 'trickle down'.

[Jan 03, 2020] If a conflict between USA led NATO and Russia goes thermonuclear,we can all kiss our asses goodbye. Two maybe three hundred million dead outright within an hour or so. What then?? Who the fuck knows.

Jan 03, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star

January 2, 2020 at 5:30 pm
"With each passing day of the impeachment crisis, the distance between the official reasons for the conflict in Washington and the real reasons grows wider.

It has become increasingly clear that the central issue is not Trump's attempt to "solicit interference from a foreign country" by "pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the president's main domestic political rivals," as alleged in the whistleblower complaint that triggered the impeachment inquiry.
Rather, the conflict raging within the state centers on Trump's decision to temporarily delay a massive weapons shipment to Ukraine.

The ferocity with which the entire US national security apparatus responded to the delay raises the question: Is there a timetable for using these weapons in combat to fight a war against Russia?

A New York Times front-page exposé published Monday, coming in at 5,000 words and bearing six bylines, makes it clear that Trump's decision to withhold military aid -- over a month before his phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky -- triggered the conflict that led to the president's impeachment.

As the Times reports, "Mr. Trump's order to hold $391 million worth of sniper rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, night vision goggles, medical aid and other equipment the Ukrainian military needed to fight a grinding war against Russian-backed separatists would help pave a path to the president's impeachment."

"Despite the unforeseen and disastrous consequences of the CIA-backed coup in Ukraine, the United States is determined to continue its efforts to militarily encircle Russia, which it sees as a major obstacle to its central geopolitical aim -- control of the Eurasian landmass, which would give it a staging ground for a conflict with China."

If a conflict between USA led NATO and Russia goes thermonuclear, we can all kiss our asses goodbye. Two maybe three hundred million dead outright within an hour or so. What then?? Who the fuck knows.

However if the conflict remains non thermonuclear -but possibly involving tac nukes -- I can conceive of no scenario in which Russia does not stomp the living shit out of a USA/NATO aggressor. Russia and China allied and working together? Capitulation of the USA/NATO forces within a month tops.

The problem is that we have psychopaths in D.C. and Brussels who actually believe that the peoples of the Eurasian land mass can be subjugated. As long as their insanity is tolerated ,we are all living on borrowed time.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/12/31/pers-d31.html

Northern Star January 2, 2020 at 5:34 pm
Yup!!!
Like I was saying:

https://www.checkpointasia.net/with-the-demented-advice-biden-is-getting-on-russia-better-buckle-your-seatbelts-if-he-wins-2020/

[Jan 01, 2020] Must-read on George Soros's manipulations in Ukraine.

Jan 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

Skeptikal , says: December 30, 2019 at 1:39 am GMT

An expose by F. William Engdahl constitutes what might be considered evidence of Mr. Joyce's assertion.

Must=read, in any case, on George Soros's manipulations in Ukraine.

"An American Oligarch's Dirty Tale of Corruption"

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52773.htm

[Jan 01, 2020] Tulsi Gabbard Defends 'Present' Vote; Warns Impeachment Will Backfire

Tulsi proved to be amazingly talented politician. Viva Tulsi. Down with old neocon and war criminal Pelosi
Jan 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
by Tyler Durden Tue, 12/31/2019 - 11:15 0 SHARES

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D) has taken flack from the left after voting "present" during last week's formal House impeachment vote, and now says that the process may only "embolden" President Trump and increase his chances of reelection (which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned about before she caved to her party).

"I think impeachment, unfortunately, will only further embolden Donald Trump, increase his support and the likelihood that he'll have a better shot at getting elected while also seeing the likelihood that the House will lose a lot of seats to Republicans," said Gabbard in a Saturday interview with ABC News in Hudson, New Hampshire.

Tulsi Gabbard: "Unfortunately the House impeachment of the President has greatly increased the likelihood that Donald Trump will remain the President for the next 5 years... Furthermore the House impeachment has increased the likelihood that Republicans will take over the House." pic.twitter.com/gQIPssX0nS

-- The Hill (@thehill) December 31, 2019

Gabbard also told CBS News that impeachment may allow Republicans to regain the majority in the House after the 2020 election.

WATCH: I sat down with @TulsiGabbard to discuss her "present" vote on impeachment. Gabbard says the Senate trial will strengthen President Trump.

Most Gabbard supporters I've spoken with in New Hampshire approve of her vote, particularly independents.

🔗 https://t.co/SOsvF9jsHQ pic.twitter.com/hDi7JoI4Kg

-- Nicole Sganga (@NicoleSganga) December 31, 2019

Gabbard -- a 2020 president candidate -- noted that the prospect of a second term for Trump and a Republican-controlled House is a "serious concern" of hers, adding that she's worried about the potential ramifications that will be left if Trump is acquitted.

She told ABC News that it could leave "lasting damage" on the country as a whole.

The Democratic congresswoman -- who is known to be an outspoken critic of her own party -- was the lone lawmaker to not choose a side on impeachment, and has faced intense criticism for her choice. - ABC News

Gabbard defended her decision to vote present, calling it an "active protest" against the "terrible fallout of this zero sum mindset" between Democrats and Republicans. She told ABC News that her vote was "not a decision of neutrality," and that she was indeed "standing up for the people of this country and our ability to move forward together.


A rope leash , 4 minutes ago link

If she isn't the Democratic nominee, the Democratic Party will cease to exist.

She is clearly the only uncorrupted adult running, including Trump.

She is running on foriegn policy. Those worried about her domestic policy forget it will go nowhere in a Republican Congress.

She's the only anti-war candidate. You want Tulsi or you want war.

GALLGE , 12 minutes ago link

DiGenova: Comey and Brennan were 'coup leaders'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Oea0Dz0w4U

Vince Clortho , 15 minutes ago link

Observe Tulsi while you can. She is the last of a dying breed -- a relatively moderate democrat. In today's Glo-Bol-Commiecrat party you have to be completely onboard with their 4 sheets to the wind extremist platform or you are the enemy.

ddiduck , 48 minutes ago link

Not to worry folks, if Tulsi is announcing president Trump and a majority in both the house and senate it is safe to say things are right on track. However, HERE COME THE CIA and NSA orchestrated false flag distractions and diversions I.e, Iran.. Also expect a much amped up domestic terrorism by the MKULTRA radical nut jobs they will be using to divert attention. Also creating a civil war starting in Virginia is examples of the allegiances to the satanic fraternity by certain governors. These retards will also becoming out of the woodwork.

ddiduck , 48 minutes ago link

Not to worry folks, if Tulsi is announcing president Trump and a majority in both the house and senate it is safe to say things are right on track. However, HERE COME THE CIA and NSA orchestrated false flag distractions and diversions I.e, Iran.. Also expect a much amped up domestic terrorism by the MKULTRA radical nut jobs they will be using to divert attention. Also creating a civil war starting in Virginia is examples of the allegiances to the satanic fraternity by certain governors. These retards will also becoming out of the woodwork.

Polymarkos , 50 minutes ago link

I wish you conspiracy twits would drop the MKULTRA nonsense. MKULTRA was an UMBRELLA PROGRAM that covered hundreds of classified operations, almost NONE of which had anything to do with anything you people think it did. Head out of ***, please!

emmanuelthoreau , 34 minutes ago link

Oh, yeah, MKULTRA was totally cool, normal stuff, really. Just the Dulles Brothers and a bunch of other psychos throwing people out of windows in the name of protecting Amurica from the dirty Reds.

Glad to know a self-identified former intel person is on here making death threats against Gabbard, by the way. Guess you have a get out of jail free card, huh? Why don't we find out?

MauiJeff , 51 minutes ago link

She is my Congresswoman. Tulsi is not perfect but she is good enough. Both the Democrat Senator (Schatz and Hirono) don't support her on our only other Democrat Congressperson does not support her. She is also despised by the national Dem party. This means she is doing something right.

Savyindallas , 1 hour ago link

Leave Tulsi alone. She's the best of the group by far. Some of you sound like all the George Bush supporters I knew who loved young Bush because he was so "pro-life". Give me a break. She has socially conservative roots. Unfortunately she has had to take on some of this progressive **** to be elected in a Democratic District. I have heard her views repeatedly on abortion, gun rights and immigration. She doesn't worry me at all. I trust her on all these issues more than Trump or any other establishment republican who I know are owned by the elites and who will sell us out when they are told to.

This is the real Tulsi. Look at her Christmas eve video--enjoy:

https://www.tulsi2020.com/updates/2019-12-25-special-holiday-message?sourceid=1014165&ms=em191225&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=em191225&emci=bb9e7d2e-6727-ea11-a601-2818784d6d68&emdi=bc9e7d2e-6727-ea11-a601-2818784d6d68&ceid=117332

kalboking , 1 hour ago link

TULSI GABBARD IS true patriot Dont y'all remember when she called trump as Israel's bitch?

[Jan 01, 2020] Twitter Scrubs Viral Trump Retweet Of Alleged Hoaxblower's Name

Jan 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Twitter blamed a computer glitch after President Trump's retweet of a post containing the name alleged whistleblower Eric Ciaramella mysteriously disappeared from his timeline. After 'fixing' the issue and restoring the retweet, the user was simply banned from the platform so that nobody could see the tweet, which quickly went viral.

" Rep. Ratliffe suggested Monday that the "whistleblower" Eric Ciaramella committed perjury by making false statements in his written forms filed with the ICIG and that Adam Schiff is hiding evidence of Ciaramella's crimes to protect him from criminal investigations," read the tweet made by by now-banned @surfermom77, which describes herself as living in California and a "100% Trump supporter."

Ciaramella has been outed in several outlets as the 'anonymous' CIA official whose whistleblower complaint over a July 25 phone call between Trump and with his Ukrainian counterpart is at the heart of Congressional impeachment proceedings.

Trump retweeted the post around midnight Friday. By Saturday morning, it was no longer visible in his Twitter feed.

When contacted by The Guardian 's Lois Beckett for explanation, Twitter blamed an "outage with one of our systems."

Some people reported earlier today that someone had deleted the alleged-whistleblower's name-retweet from Trump's timeline. Others of us still see *that tweet* on Trump's timeline. When asked for clarification, Twitter said this: https://t.co/Rftkg3nbus https://t.co/XREAvvxjhf

-- Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) December 29, 2019

By Sunday morning, the tweet had been restored to Trump's timeline - however hours later the user, @Surfermom77, was banned from the platform .

Running cover for Twitter is the Washington Post , which claims " The account shows some indications of automation , including an unusually high amount of activity and profile pictures featuring stock images from the internet."

Surfermom77 has displayed some hallmarks of a Twitter bot, an automated account. A recent profile picture on the account, for instance, is a stock photo of a woman in business attire that is available for use online.

Surfermom77 has also tweeted far more than typical users, more than 170,000 times since the account was activated in 2013. Surfermom77 has posted, on average, 72 tweets a day, according to Nir Hauser, chief technology officer at VineSight, a technology firm that tracks online misinformation. - WaPo

Meanwhile, Trump retweeted another Ciaramella reference on Thursday, after the @TrumpWarRoom responded to whistleblower attorney Mark Zaid's tweet calling for the resignation of Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) from the Senate Whistleblower Caucus after she made "hostile" comments - after she tweeted in November that "Vindictive Vindman is the "whistleblower's" handler (a reference to impeachment witness Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman.

It's pretty simple. The CIA "whistleblower" is not a real whistleblower! https://t.co/z6bjGaFCSH pic.twitter.com/RHhkY1BGei

-- FOLLOW Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TrumpWarRoom) December 26, 2019

As the Washington Times notes, "This week, it was revealed that conservative organization Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request in November for the communications of Ciaramella, a 33-year-old CIA analyst who is alleged to be the whistleblower."

"The watchdog group requested conversations between Ciaramella and special counsel Robert Mueller, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and former FBI attorney Lisa Page."


Wahooo , 12 minutes ago link

No one likes a rat

Deep Snorkeler , 39 minutes ago link

Trump Makes The Joker Look Normal

We are a Christian Nation, but it's a myth.

We are an empire, without a military success.

Every country is a threat, every friend an enemy.

Americans hate Americans, most of all.

America, a humorous exaggeration of Rome.

Is-Be , 31 minutes ago link

The USA is an over-confident teenager.

SweetDoug , 40 minutes ago link

'

'

Deep Snorkeler , 1 hour ago link

The American Empire Has Reached a Dead End

despair and spiritual decay

paranoia and mistrust and hysteria

slow and vulnerable - - -

Led by the Lawrence Welk of Washington,

Don Trump.

[Dec 31, 2019] Skripals false flag and Russiagate are birds of the feather

Notable quotes:
"... If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS. ..."
Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Dec 29 2019 22:21 utc | 28

@Posted by: sleepy | Dec 29 2019 17:38 utc | 8

Thanks sleeply,

But underlying your comment is an assumption of *logic* in this world. If it ever existed it certainly does not apply any longer. Look how much mileage the MSM and the anti-Democracy Party got out of the nothingburger Russiagate.

The MSM doesn't even need to smell real blood, they will run with anything to continue the coup.

Anything negative that involves Edward Gallagher between now and election day could be magnified 1 million-fold and
repeated 1000 million times by the MSM and dropped in Trump's lap.

If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS.

[Dec 31, 2019] A Joe Biden event on Sunday at a New Hampshire Middle School gymnasium was interrupted by two protesters, who assailed 'quid pro Joe' with accusations of being a 'pervert' and making money in Ukraine.

Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Dec 30 2019 16:16 utc | 51

Below is a ZH link about the latest Biden rally in New Hampshire

"Don't Touch Kids You Pervert!": Biden Middle School Gymnasium Rally Melts Down Into Chaos

The take away quotes
"
A Joe Biden event on Sunday at a New Hampshire Middle School gymnasium was interrupted by two protesters, who assailed 'quid pro Joe' with accusations of being a 'pervert' and making money in Ukraine.
.................
On the bright side, Joe was able to avoid calling either of them fat or 'damn liars.'
"

I love the smell of speaking truth to power in the morning.

[Dec 31, 2019] Skripals false flag and Russiagate are birds of the feather

Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Dec 29 2019 22:21 utc | 28

@Posted by: sleepy | Dec 29 2019 17:38 utc | 8

Thanks sleeply,
But underlying your comment is an assumption of *logic* in this world. If it ever existed it certainly does not
apply any longer. Look how much mileage the MSM and the anti-Democracy Party got out of the nothingburger Russiagate.
The MSM doesn't even need to smell real blood, they will run with anything to continue the coup.

Anything negative that involves Edward Gallagher between now and election day could be magnified 1 million-fold and
repeated 1000 million times by the MSM and dropped in Trump's lap.

If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS.

[Dec 30, 2019] "Don't Touch Kids You Pervert!": Biden Middle School Gymnasium Rally Melts Down Into Chaos

Dec 30, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"How much money did you make in Ukraine?"

[Dec 30, 2019] Because You d Be In Jail! - The Real Reason Democrats Are Pushing Trump Impeachment by Robert Bridge

Dec 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Robert Bridge via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

In the time-honored tradition of Machiavellian statecraft, all of the charges being leveled against Donald Trump to remove him from office – namely, 'abuse of power' and 'obstruction of congress' –are essentially the same things the Democratic Party has been guilty of for nearly half a decade : abusing their powers in a non-stop attack on the executive branch. Is the reason because they desperately need a 'get out of jail free' card?

Due to the non-stop action in Washington of late, few believe that the present state of affairs between the Democrats and Donald Trump are exclusively due to a telephone call between the US leader and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That is only scratching the surface of a story that is practically boundless.

Back in April 2016, before Trump had become the Republican presidential nominee, talk of impeachment was already in the air.

"Donald Trump isn't even the Republican nominee yet," wrote Darren Samuelsohn in Politico.

Yet impeachment, he noted, is "already on the lips of pundits, newspaper editorials, constitutional scholars, and even a few members of Congress."

The timing of Samuelsohn's article is not a little astonishing given what the Department of Justice (DOJ) had discovered just one month earlier.

In March 2016, the DOJ found that "the FBI had been employing outside contractors who had access to raw Section 702 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) data, and retained that access after their work for the FBI was completed," as Jeff Carlson reported in The Epoch Times.

That sort of foreign access to sensitive data is highly improper and was the result of "deliberate decision-making," according to the findings of an April 2017 FISA court ruling ( footnote 69 ).

On April 18, 2016, then-National Security Agency (NSA) Director Adm. Mike Rogers directed the NSA's Office of Compliance to terminate all FBI outside-contractor access. Later, on Oct. 21, 2016, the FBI and the DOJ's National Security Division (NSD), and despite they were aware of Rogers's actions, moved ahead anyways with a request for a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The request was approved by the FISA court, which, apparently, was still in the dark about the violations.

On Oct. 26, following approval of the warrant against Page, Rogers went to the FISA court to inform them of the FBI's non-compliance with the rules. Was it just a coincidence that at exactly this time, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter were suddenly calling for Roger's removal? The request was eventually rejected. The next month, in mid-November 2016 Rogers, without first notifying his superiors, flew to New York where he had a private meeting with Trump at Trump Towers.

According to the New York Times, the meeting – the details of which were never publicly divulged, but may be guessed at – "caused consternation at senior levels of the administration."

Democratic obstruction of justice?

Then CIA Director John Brennan, dismayed about a few meetings Trump officials had with the Russians, helped to kick-start the FBI investigation over 'Russian collusion.' Notably, these Trump-Russia meetings occurred in December 2016, as the incoming administration was in the difficult transition period to enter the White House. The Democrats made sure they made that transition as ugly as possible.

Although it is perfectly normal for an incoming government to meet with foreign heads of state at this critical juncture, a meeting at Trump Tower between Michael Flynn, Trump'