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Donald Trump -- a former (for the duration of elections)
 paleoconservative fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization

 

News US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization Recommended Links Trump vs. Deep State Anti Trump Hysteria Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Trump election time foreign policy platform Trump election time economic platform Purple revolution
Obamacare vs. Trumpcare Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite "Election time Trump" on immigration Blowback against neoliberal globalization Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Zombie state  and coming collapse of neoliberalism Immigration and free movement of workers Trump GroupingGate
Lesser evil trick of legitimizing a disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few New American Militarism  American Exceptionalism Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention Presidential debate trap  Two Party System as Polyarchy  American Polyarchy is not Democracy  Bait and Switch
Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neocons Sacrifice of Michael Flynn to neocons as a precursor to full capitulation Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Populism Paleoconservatism Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Protestant church on danger of neoliberalism
Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Myth about intelligent voter The Iron Law of Oligarchy The Deep State Nation under attack meme Pluralism as a myth Neoliberalism
Corporatism Corporatist Corruption Predator state National Security State Myth about intelligent voter Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Non-Interventionism Bernie Sanders: A turncoat socialist Trump foreign policy platform
Libertarian Philosophy The Iron Law of Oligarchy Principal-agent problem Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization US Presidential Elections of 2016: Primaries Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
"There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money. It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man."

-- Gore Vidal

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

-- Leonard Pinkney

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

-- Daniel Estulin

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

America The Counter-Revolution - Salem-News.Com

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

-- Mike Lofgren

Due to the size the introduction  (written in the heat of election campaign) was moved to a separate page:

Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization

Note: (April 5, 2017): With the attack on Syria after possibly "false flag" operation in the spirit of 2013 false flag sarin attack  ( Khan Sheikhoun gas attack) Trump base is so angry that I think his chances for reelection might be close to zero.  Very few people from anti-war right will vote for him again.

This page is continues at "Trump betrayal of his voters".

Abstract

The main issue in this election is that the Neoliberal Imperial Oligarchy has now taken off the mask, they have abandoned the pretense of "Coke Pepsi" two party competition to unite behind the defender of status quo interests, with WikiLeaks detailing the gory details of their corruption and malfeasance. In this game Trump was not supposed to win, it is an anomaly which defied the concerted rigging of election be neoliberals including Wall Street money and the mainstream media  presstitutes.

Neoliberalism has gutted, or, more correctly, is in the process of gutting, the USA society: American people will be voting for Trump because they now understand the neoliberalism  destroyed their well-being and continue to do so.  They want, after "serial betrayer" Obama "bait and switch" maneuver, so to speak, to lob a hand grenade into the Capitol and White House.

It is not an exaggeration to see in 2016 Presidential election as a referendum on neoliberal globalization. But the political power still belongs to  Neoliberals, which dominates both the government and the economy (transnationals are the cornerstone of neoliberal world order). It's a big question if the American people will be able to change neoliberal dogma, the official civil religion of the USA without a violent revolution... 

Trump is forced to run his campaign with open and  compete hostility of neoliberal MSM. this is like fighting a battle without air cover. Very difficult task. Kudos to Trump for being able to survive and even win in such circumstance. See Anti Trump Hysteria. Among the below belt blows Trump suffered are Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention and Trump GroupingGate (compare with Bill Clinton sexscapades and Hillary and her defense of 40 years old  rapist of 12 years old girl  Exclusive 'Hillary Clinton Took Me Through Hell,' Rape Victim Says - The Daily Beast )

Anti-Russian campaign during this election became the most noticeable part of the elections. See  Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Hillary essentially converted Democrats into War Party and she made charge of Russian hacking the centerpiece of her campaign, directing in creating smoke screen over Hillary Clinton email scandal    and "Clinton Cash" Scandal

It might well be that Anti-Russian hysteria is also a part of efforts to derail Trump by so some "Committee for saving neoliberal order" ( Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? )

Dan Kervick -> Sandwichman ... October 24, 2016 at 02:11 PM

I wonder if the various powers that be assembled some kind of "Committee to Defend the Liberal Order" when Trump began to make noises about re-assessing Nato.  

likbez -> Dan Kervick..., October 24, 2016 at 06:34 PM

Dan,

> ...some kind of "Committee to Defend the Liberal Order" when Trump began to make noises about re-assessing Nato.

A very interesting and pretty plausible hypothesis... That actually is the most deep insight I got from this interesting discussion. In such case intelligence agencies are definitely a part of "Committee to Defend the Liberal Order" which is yet another explanation of their strange behavior.

Thank you --

Dan Kervick -> likbez... October 24, 2016 at 01:14 PM , 2016 at 01:14 PM
I can't claim that a mere mortal like me actually has the slightest clue what is really going on. All I will hazard is that, whatever it is, it's a bunch of scams, lies and public manipulation schemes.

Where this kind of high level foreign policy is involved, the US government and intelligence services blew their cred with me long ago. I disbelieve them now on as a strong and resilient prior.

Old article is now of historical importance only:


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NOTE: After April 6, 2017 some news were redirected to: Trump betrayal of his voters.

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[Sep 20, 2018] The real target of Russiagate isn't Trump, it's you

Sep 20, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Sep 19, 2018 3:02:55 PM | link

Caitlin Johnstone on Russiagate : "The real target of Russiagate isn't Trump, it's you." If you haven't read her essay about controlling the narrative, you can find it here.

[Sep 19, 2018] Trump Says FBI Is A Cancer In Our Country

That's a bold statement but cancerous growth is typical of any intelligence agency, especially CIA: all of them want more and more budget money and try to influence both domestic and foreign policy. That's signs of cancel.
FBI actually has dual mandate: suppressing political dissent (STASI functions) and fight with criminals and organized crime.
The fact the President does not control his own administration, especially State Department isclearly visible now. He is more like a ceremonial figura that is allowed to rant on Twitter, but can't change any thing of substance in forign policy. and Is a typucal Repiblican in domenstic policy, betraying the electorate like Obama did
Notable quotes:
"... Sessions recused himself from the "Russia Collusion" investigation. Now that it is known to have been an extension of Democratic election rigging, and DC bureaucratic "Resistance," he could be initiate a broad sweep investigation into Washington, DC based bureaucratic bias and corruption. ..."
Sep 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Shifting from Sessions to the much-maligned FBI, Trump said the agency was "a cancer" and that uncovering deep-seated corruption in the FBI may be remembered as the "crowning achievement" of his administration, per the Hill .

"What we've done is a great service to the country, really," Trump said in a 45-minute, wide-ranging interview in the Oval Office.

"I hope to be able put this up as one of my crowning achievements that I was able to ... expose something that is truly a cancer in our country."

Moreover, Trump insisted that he never trusted former FBI Director James Comey, and that he had initially planned to fire Comey shortly after the inauguration, but had been talked out of it by his aides.

Trump also said he regretted not firing former FBI Director James Comey immediately instead of waiting until May 2017, confirming an account his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, gave Hill.TV earlier in the day that Trump was dismayed in 2016 by the way Comey handled the Hillary Clinton email case and began discussing firing him well before he became president.

"If I did one mistake with Comey, I should have fired him before I got here. I should have fired him the day I won the primaries," Trump said. "I should have fired him right after the convention, say I don't want that guy. Or at least fired him the first day on the job. ... I would have been better off firing him or putting out a statement that I don't want him there when I get there."

The FISA Court judges who approved the initial requests allowing the FBI to surveil employees of the Trump Campaign also came in for some criticism, with Trump claiming they used "poor Carter Page, who nobody even knew, and who I feel very badly for...as a foil...to surveil a candidate or the presidency of the United States." Trump added that he felt the judges had been "misled" by the FBI.

He criticizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court's approval of the warrant that authorized surveillance of Carter Page, a low-level Trump campaign aide, toward the end of the 2016 election, suggesting the FBI misled the court.

"They know this is one of the great scandals in the history of our country because basically what they did is, they used Carter Page, who nobody even knew, who I feel very badly for, I think he's been treated very badly. They used Carter Page as a foil in order to surveil a candidate for the presidency of the United States."

As for the judges on the secret intelligence court: "It looks to me just based on your reporting, that they have been misled," the president said, citing a series of columns in The Hill newspaper identifying shortcomings in the FBI investigation. "I mean I don't think we have to go much further than to say that they've been misled."

"One of the things I'm disappointed in is that the judges in FISA didn't, don't seem to have done anything about it. I'm very disappointed in that Now, I may be wrong because, maybe as we sit here and talk, maybe they're well into it. We just don't know that because I purposely have not chosen to get involved," Trump said.

Trump continued the assault on Sessions during a brief conference with reporters Wednesday morning. When asked whether he was planning to fire Sessions, Trump replied that "we're looking into lots of different things."

To be sure, Sessions has managed to hang on thus far. And if he can somehow manage to survive past Nov. 6, his fate will perversely rest on the Democrats' success. Basically, if they wrest back control of the Senate (which, to be sure, is unlikely), Sessions chances of staying on would rise dramatically. But then again, how much abuse can a man realistically endure before he decides that the costs of staying outweigh the benefits of leaving?


DingleBarryObummer , 19 minutes ago

Sessions works for Trump, because Trump is running the uniparty russia-gate stormy-gate anti-trump show. Sessions was intentionally placed there to stonewall and make sure the kabuki goes on. Rosenstein is a Trump appointee. This **** garners sympathy for him as the persecuted underdog, rallies his base; and distracts from the obvious zio-bankster influence over his admin and his many unfulfilled campaign promises. He's deceiving you. Why do you think Giuliani acts like such a buffoon? It's because that's what he was hired for. All distractions and bullshit. He will not get impeached, Hillary is not going to jail, nothing will happen. The zio-Banksters will continue to stay at the top of the pyramid, because that's who trump works for, NOT you and me.

"While Trump's fascination with the White House still burned within him [re: 2011], he also had The Apprentice to deal with--and it wasn't as easy as you might think. He loved doing the show and was reluctant to give it up. At one point, he was actually thinking of hosting it from the oval office if he made it all the way to the White House. He even discussed it with Stephen Burke, the CEO at NBCUniversal, telling Burke he would reconsider running if the network was concerned about his candidacy." -Roger Stone

"To some people the notion of consciously playing power games-no matter how indirect-seems evil, asocial, a relic of the past. They believe they can opt out of the game by behaving in ways that have nothing to do with power. You must beware of such people, for while they express such opinions outwardly, they are often among the most adept players at power. They utilize strategies that cleverly disguise the nature of the manipulation involved. These types, for example, will often display their weakness and lack of power as a kind of moral virtue. But true powerlessness, without any motive of self-interest, would not publicize its weakness to gain sympathy or respect. Making a show of one's weakness is actually a very effective strategy, subtle and deceptive, in the game of power." -Robert Greene

Sparkey , 31 minutes ago

This is why the 'little' people love President 'The Donald' Trump, he says the things they would like to say, but have no platform to speak from, Mushroom man The Donald has no fear he has got Mushroom power, and he has my support in what ever he does!

Secret Weapon , 43 minutes ago

Is Sessions a Deep State firewall? Starting to look that way.

TrustbutVerify , 48 minutes ago

Sessions recused himself from the "Russia Collusion" investigation. Now that it is known to have been an extension of Democratic election rigging, and DC bureaucratic "Resistance," he could be initiate a broad sweep investigation into Washington, DC based bureaucratic bias and corruption.

I suspect Sessions will last until after the mid-term elections. Then Trump will fire him and bring someone like Gowdy in to head the DOJ and to bring about investigations.

And, my gosh, there seems to be so much to investigate. And to my mind prosecute.

loop, 49 minutes ago

"I've never seen a President - I don't care who he is - stand up to them (Israel). It just boggles the mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn't writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip these people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms.

Our citizens certainly don't have any idea what goes on."

- U.S. Navy Admiral and former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Thomas Moorer

mendigo, 59 minutes ago

Cool stuff. But really the cancer goes much deeper. That is the scary part. Trump is now largely controlled by the Borg.

Government employees and elected officials have a choice: can either play along and become wealthy and powerful or have their careers destroyed, or worse.

[Sep 18, 2018] The document alleges that a senior Israeli government official conspired with Manafort in 2012 to defame then-Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko by accusing her of maintaining ties with anti-Semitic groups.

Sep 18, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al September 17, 2018 at 5:59 am

Haaretz via Antiwar.com:
Israel's defense chief calls for probe into identity of top official embroiled in Manafort case

Special counsel Robert Mueller's office tells Haaretz that it cannot reveal more details regarding individuals who were not accused in the case
Noa Landau, Amir Tibon | Sep. 17, 2018 | 2:45 AM

The document alleges that a senior Israeli government official conspired with Manafort in 2012 to defame then-Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko by accusing her of maintaining ties with anti-Semitic groups. Manafort said that, as a result, American Jews would pressure the Obama administration not to support Yulia Tymoshenko, whose opponent was a client of Manafort's, the indictment says .

Cortes September 17, 2018 at 6:53 am
Reading JH Kunstler's take on the Manafort plea throwing up the Podesta involvement plus questions about how the Maidan developed

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/monsters-all-the-way-down/

leads me to wonder

Are Russiagate fans gonna need a bigger bag of popcorn?

[Sep 18, 2018] Time for sunshine on Trump-Russia investigation by Mark Penn

Notable quotes:
"... Since when have these "Guardians of Our Republic" ever been against the release of more information from our government? Obviously, only when such release might put a dent in the Russia cloud that they have deliberately perpetuated regardless of the drip, drip, drip of evidence implicating high-ranking FBI, CIA and Justice officials in wrongdoing. ..."
"... The actions of former Secretary of State John Kerry in meeting with Iranian ministers -- a country with which we have no diplomatic relations -- are 100 times more troubling, as he is actively undermining the policy of the current administration. ..."
"... So, two years, a trail of ruined lives, shredded constitutional protections, an administration under a cloud, and no collusion. All that's really been uncovered is a single meeting with a Russian lawyer who actually dined the night before and after the Trump Tower meeting with Glen Simpson of Fusion GPS, who testified he didn't speak to her about it, even though she was his client. ..."
"... It's time for the shroud of secrecy around this investigation to be lifted, for everything to be put in public view. The Justice Department -- and even Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has brazenly defied congressional subpoenas -- must comply with these very lawful and appropriate orders without delay. It also is time for the media to give full, fair coverage to any and all revelations that come out of these documents, regardless of who it hurts or helps. ..."
"... President Barack Obama once famously said that "elections have consequences," and he was right. But those consequences can't be the weaponization of our intelligence assets and the setting-off of investigations to bring down a newly elected government we don't like. Policy changes should be the consequence. ..."
"... Remember, the ends don't justify the means. It is the means that justify the ends. ..."
Sep 18, 2018 | thehill.com

Democrats are squawking about President Trump's order to release the material used by the FBI and the Justice Department to initiate the investigation of his campaign. These minority committee chairs, soon likely to be in the majority, claim it's unfair, an abuse of power, one-sided.

Since when have these "Guardians of Our Republic" ever been against the release of more information from our government? Obviously, only when such release might put a dent in the Russia cloud that they have deliberately perpetuated regardless of the drip, drip, drip of evidence implicating high-ranking FBI, CIA and Justice officials in wrongdoing.

This investigation of the Trump campaign, his administration, family and associates has gone on for more than two years without any serious evidence supporting the Russia-Trump collusion theory. And, increasingly, it looks like there never was any real evidence to support the launching of the largest investigation of an administration in history. It's the only known investigation ever by an outgoing party of the incoming officials of the other party. It was whipped up by opposition-research firm Fusion GPS, former British spy Christopher Steele and partisans in the Obama administration, creating a vast echo chamber with information that was never substantiated in any material way and, on the face of it, was preposterous. (No one ever offered Trump campaign adviser Carter Page $19 billion for anything.)

Now, before Americans go to vote, is precisely the time to unmask publicly this information; if it favors the current administration, then the originators of the investigation will have even more explaining to do. Information that was used to start an investigation can't possibly be exculpatory unless, in the light of day, it appears forced, false or incomplete. After all, it was used to convince judges that crimes were being committed by Trump and his associates.

Based on what we see in the prosecutions, there appears to have been three tranches of allegations behind the investigations -- the "tip" from Australian diplomat Alexander Downer that George Papadopoulos had some generalized advance information about email hacking, the Christopher Steele dossier, and the then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates investigation of Gen. Michael Flynn for potential Logan Act violations. The Mueller probe systematically pursued all of them to the prosecutorial limits, until every witness was bludgeoned into cooperation.

The Papadopoulos case yielded tremendous speculation but no collusion -- just a rather pointless prosecution against him, resolved with 14 days in jail. The best they got from the former Trump campaign adviser was a nod at a meeting that maybe Trump should meet Vladimir Putin. It remains unclear whether FBI plants were sent to entrap him, and others, but that may come out in these documents.

The famous dossier pointed fingers at Page, Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen and onetime campaign chairman Paul Manafort as the collusion masterminds. Page was extensively spied upon, apparently to no avail. Cohen did not take the fabled trips to Prague or anywhere else and, yet, his financial life was investigated anyway and he became a victim of the Mueller probe. He is now part of a Stormy Daniels insurance policy if the main investigation fails to take down the president.

Manafort quite rightly sought a plea deal after losing part of the first trial, and he admitted he did not pay taxes or file lobbying reports, but none of the charges against him include collusion with Russians. I would not hold my breath for any bombshell revelations from him. He could add more color to a Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer, but that meeting was not a crime.

Gen. Flynn is set to be sentenced and it's unlikely he will get even 14 days, given his record of service to the nation. He was deliberately targeted by Yates, an outgoing Obama official, who intercepted legitimate transition calls with the Russian ambassador and dispatched the FBI to question Flynn about those, even though she already had a transcript showing they were benign. The actions of former Secretary of State John Kerry in meeting with Iranian ministers -- a country with which we have no diplomatic relations -- are 100 times more troubling, as he is actively undermining the policy of the current administration.

Then there is Roger Stone. He may have texted with one of the hackers of Clinton campaign emails, but he rejected operatives' efforts to get him to pay for Hillary dirt. Here, Mueller is having less luck trying the same playbook used on others, of finding something in his personal or business life to deploy as leverage against him.

Investigating people in this manner is so completely un-American that Congress should pass legislation to prohibit it in the future, especially when there are political considerations. We investigate crimes, not people. Here, people were named and then investigated until crimes of any kind were found.

So, two years, a trail of ruined lives, shredded constitutional protections, an administration under a cloud, and no collusion. All that's really been uncovered is a single meeting with a Russian lawyer who actually dined the night before and after the Trump Tower meeting with Glen Simpson of Fusion GPS, who testified he didn't speak to her about it, even though she was his client.

It's time for the shroud of secrecy around this investigation to be lifted, for everything to be put in public view. The Justice Department -- and even Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has brazenly defied congressional subpoenas -- must comply with these very lawful and appropriate orders without delay. It also is time for the media to give full, fair coverage to any and all revelations that come out of these documents, regardless of who it hurts or helps.

President Barack Obama once famously said that "elections have consequences," and he was right. But those consequences can't be the weaponization of our intelligence assets and the setting-off of investigations to bring down a newly elected government we don't like. Policy changes should be the consequence.

We have elections every two years, and that's the right route for Americans to express their frustrations. Investigations, especially without probable cause, are most often the wrong way -- and maybe this additional sunlight on what was done here will bring us together around needed reforms to prevent this from ever happening again.

Remember, the ends don't justify the means. It is the means that justify the ends.

Mark Penn is a managing partner of the Stagwell Group, a private equity firm specializing in marketing services companies, as well as chairman of the Harris Poll and author of "Microtrends Squared." He served as pollster and adviser to President Clinton from 1995 to 2000, including during Clinton's impeachment. You can follow him on Twitter @Mark_Penn.

[Sep 16, 2018] Looks like the key players in Steele dossier were CIA assets

Highly recommended!
'Assume, for the sake of argument, that powerful, connected people in the intelligence community and in politics worried that a wildcard Trump presidency, unlike another Clinton or Bush, might expose a decade-plus of questionable practices. Disrupt long-established money channels. Reveal secret machinations that could arguably land some people in prison.
'What exactly might an "insurance policy" against Donald Trump look like?'
All this leads me back to the suspicion that Steele's involvement may have been less in crafting the dossier, than making it possible to conceal its actual origins while giving it an appearance of credibility. It could also be the case that Nellie Ohr's sudden interest in radio transmissions had to do with communications inside the United States, rather than with Steele.
Notable quotes:
"... A great deal of evidence, I think, suggests that practically all those involved in 'Russiagate' were caught totally unprepared by Trump's victory, that they then went rushing around like headless chickens, and that part of this process involved a decision being taken to publish the dossier, without consulting British intelligence. If people like Younger were not consulted, then it would seem to me unlikely that Steele was. ..."
"... And I have immense difficulty seeing how any competent media lawyer would not have recommended, at the minimum, the redaction of the names of Aleksej Gubarev and his company from the final December 2016 memorandum. This would have made legal action unlikely, without greatly diminishing the effect of the claims. ..."
"... But if this was so, and if what they thought was accurate information was actually disinformation, the likely conduit would not have been through Steele, but from FSB cybersecurity people to their FBI counterparts. ..."
"... It it is I think material that intelligence agencies commonly include a great variety of people, ranging from very able analysts and operators to complete dolts. So, the CIA has employed both Philip Giraldi and John Brennan, MI6 both Alastair Crooke and also Christopher Steele and Alex Younger. ..."
"... It is however somewhat revealing that one now finds Giraldi and Crooke appearing on a Russian site, 'Strategic Culture Foundation', while Brennan and Younger are treated as authoritative figures by the MSM. ..."
"... My strong suspicion is that 'Russiagate' is a kind of nemesis, arising from the fact that key figures in British and American intelligence have, over a protracted period of time, got involved in intrigues where they are way out of their depth. The unintended consequences of these have meant that people like Brennan and Younger, and also Hannigan, have ended up having to resort to desperate measures to cover their backsides. ..."
"... There are many aspects to this story that don't make any sense to me if one looks at it from a rational perspective. One of course being concerns about libel litigation and the related legal discovery that you note. The second being no real contingency planning in the event Hillary loses the election. Admittedly they must have bought the media line and Nate Silver's forecast of a greater than 75% probability of a Hillary win. ..."
"... The purported "arms length" relationships don't make any sense. There's Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson playing a central role. They hire Nellie Ohr, a possible CIA asset and the wife of Bruce Ohr, the 4th highest ranking official at the DOJ. ..."
"... Glenn Simpson also hires Christopher Steele who he knows from previous "spook" associations. Steele had numerous and continuous communications including telephone, Skype, email and personal meetings with Bruce and Nellie Ohr during all this. ..."
"... Then there is Mifsud and Halper. Apparently both are CIA and FBI assets. ..."
"... You have Brennan ginning up concerns giving super secret and individual briefings to the Gang of 8 in Congress. There's Democratic Senator Mark Warner, the minority leader on the Senate Intelligence Committee texting and calling Adam Waldman, Deripaska's US attorney about setting up clandestine meetings with Steele. ..."
"... Not to be left behind there's Sen. McCain doing the same. His top aide even travels to London to meet Steele. And then there's Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page busily spending every waking moment texting each other about every twist and turn in all the political games being played. Of course there's Admiral Rogers investigating unusual searches by FBI officials and contractors on the NSA database. And he briefs President-elect Trump at Trump Tower which prompts the entire transition team to move to Trump's golf course in NJ. ..."
"... In fact the IG report on the Clinton "investigation" states that many at the FBI were accepting "gifts" from various media personalities for a quid pro quo ..."
"... There's Rod Rosenstein, Bruce Ohr's direct boss who testifies he knew nothing about Ohr being a conduit to Strzok for Steele. Of course he knew nothing but signed the FISA application on Carter Page. ..."
"... At this point I don't buy that Christopher Steele dug up real intelligence from his contacts at the highest levels of the Russian government, which caught Brennan, Clapper, Comey and Lynch's pants on fire, who then launched a formal investigation of Russia collusion with Trump. Many things just don't pass the smell test. Now of course I have no qualifications nor experience in spookdom. ..."
"... I agree that it (and Skripalmania) are almost impossible to make sense of unless you think of a bunch of highly politicised not very bright people sinking deeper and deeper into what looked like a bright idea at the time. ..."
"... I ask because, if one tries to look at it in a non-partisan way, the Western IC seemed to be a failure when it came to predicting Russian reactions in the Donbass, the Crimea, and it seems in Syria. I link this to various comments from Colonel Lang indicating that true experts were replaced over the years by less experienced and knowledgeable people. Does being "highly politicised" mean that they're not up to much when it comes to minding the shop? ..."
"... I thought I detected a protest against the politicisation of the US in the world some years ago. And we must not forget that Gen Flynn (DIA) and Adm Rogers (NSA) acted strongly against this. Flynn was the first casualty of the Trump/Russia hysteria and the Clapper claque tried to fire Rogers. ..."
"... I was born in the Depression and have seen vitriolic politics but never have seen such a massive opposition by the media, the pundits and the establishment of both parties. Over 500 print publications endorsed Hillary. Only some 20 endorsed Trump. Yet he confounds the pundits by winning the election. Clearly many voters are at odds with the political media class. ..."
"... I think there is an ideological background to this, on which the piece by Alastair Crooke – himself former MI6 – to which Patrick Armstrong links, and the piece by James George Jatras to which Crooke links, are both to the point. The 'end of history' crowd thought they were inhabiting a realised utopia, and cannot cope with the fact that their dream is collapsing. ..."
"... In relation to the millenarian undercurrents on which Crooke focuses, however, it is also worth noting that a traditional conservative suspicion has been that millenarianism is naturally linked to antinomianism: the belief that the moral law is not binding on the elect. ..."
"... It is obviously possible that Ohr did not report up the chain of command, and if so, he and his wife become pivotal figures in the conspiracy. Alternatively, it could be that Rosenstein is lying – in which case, we have large questions about who else is implicated, and specifically whether the termination of Steele by the FBI was anything more than a ruse. ..."
"... 'Yet, Simpson allegedly acknowledged that most of the information Fusion GPS and British intelligence operative Christopher Steele developed did not come from sources inside Moscow. "Much of the collection about the Trump campaign ties to Russia comes from a former Russian intelligence officer (? not entirely clear) who lives in the U.S.," Ohr scribbled in his notes.' ..."
"... And it confirms my strong suspicion that the dossier is actually a composite product, much of it assembled at Fusion, which could indeed contain material from a range of people from the former Soviet space, who could living in the United States, Britain, or elsewhere – Ukraine and the Baltics being obvious possibilities. ..."
"... So Sergei Skripal and Sergei Millian, neither of whom fit the description by Simpson, have been mentioned as possible sources, and there is also the very curiously ambiguous role of Rinat Akhmetshin. ..."
"... All these people, obviously, could simply have fabricated material or retailed gossip, and Steele himself was involved in fabricating material on an industrial scale to cover up what actually happened to Alexander Litvinenko. ..."
"... All this leads me back to the suspicion that Steele's involvement may have been less in crafting the dossier, than making it possible to conceal its actual origins while giving it an appearance of credibility. It could also be the case that Nellie Ohr's sudden interest in radio transmissions had to do with communications inside the United States, rather than with Steele. ..."
"... Apparently that organisation is doing rather well in sustaining the claiming that 'fair report privilege' could circumvent any requirement to prove truth – and a key question now is whether documents which the DOJ is being forced to produce will establish that the dossier was being used by officials in ways that would trigger the privilege as of 10 January 2017. ..."
"... That said, what Ohr reports Simpson as telling him raises fundamental questions about how anyone could have relied upon the dossier for anything – and should push people back to actually asking hard questions about its origins. ..."
"... To add: Steele was on the FBI's payroll, in addition to being on Fusion GPS's payroll. And on the payroll of Her Majesty's Government. After he got caught leaking to the media he was apparently "fired" by the FBI. But he was continuing to communicate and brief through Bruce Ohr at the DOJ. ..."
"... I think the circle of Glenn Simpson. Chris Steele, Bruce & Nellie Ohr, Adam Waldman. Peter Strzok, and Sen. Mark Warner will be very interesting to pursue. ..."
"... The other circle that should be investigated is the Brennan, Clapper, Lynch, Comey, Yates, Susan Rice. ..."
"... No investigation can exclude the active participation of key people from the media complex including people like Comey's good friend Benjamin Wittes. ..."
"... In its original version, the 'Statement of Principles' explained, among other things, that the Society: 'Believes that only modern liberal democratic states are truly legitimate, and that any international organization which admits undemocratic states on an equal basis is fundamentally flawed.' ..."
"... Ironically, it was shortly after the publication of the dossier that Anatol Lieven published in the 'National Interest' an article entitled 'Is America Becoming a Third World Country?' (See https://nationalinterest.or... .) ..."
"... Also in June, Sergei Karaganov published a piece in 'Russia in Global Affairs', of which he is publisher, entitled 'Ideology of Eastward Turn.' ..."
"... I do not think Karaganov's article is simply a reflection of changes in Russian attitudes. The changes, it seems to me, are global. ..."
"... I do think that we in the West really blew it. In 1990, we could have said, in all humility, that our way of life (IMO the key word is pluralism) had proven more survivable. So we should welcome the others into the tent. Instead, we were right and that was that. ..."
"... Just as you're asking about the origins of the dossier I wonder if it was orchestrated or something that evolved organically? If it was orchestrated, then who was the mastermind? Did Brennan, Clapper and Come sit down and hatch it or was Simpson the brains? What is astounding is the scale. So many people involved. Were they all motivated by ideology or by the need to protect their racket? ..."
"... It seems there are many sub-plots. There's the Deripaska, Steele, Waldman, Mueller, Sen. Warner angle. Then there's the Simpson, Steele, Ohr, Strzok, Page, McCabe angle. There's also the Simpson, Steele, media reporters angle. Then there's the whole Mifsud, Halper, Carter Page, Papadopolous, Downer bit. There's the Comey, Rosenstein, Yates, Strzok FISA application piece. Then there's all the stuff happening in the UK including Hannigan's resignation as soon as Trump is elected. Of course the whole Mueller appointment and the obstruction of justice thread to tie Trump's hand. There are so many elements. Who initiated and coordinated? Was each element separate? ..."
"... Together, these methods are likely to have produced a mass of information. It is important to remember, for example, that at the time of his mysterious death on 23 March 2013 Boris Berezovsky was negotiating to return to Russia, and that his head of security, Sergei Sokolov did return, with a 'cache' of documents. ..."
"... The purpose was to demonstrate that Alexei Navalny was the instrument of a 'rιgime change' plot in which William Browder was acting as an agent of MI6. ..."
"... An important role in the Apelbaum piece is played by the private security company Hakluyt. A quick look at the entries on Wikipedia and Powerbase will make clear that, if there is a British 'deep state', this is likely to be at its core. ..."
"... It is against this background that on has to see a specific claim which Apelbaum makes, for which I do not think any evidence is produced, about two figures whose role in 'Russiagate' is clearly central. So Luke Harding is described as 'A Guardian reporter and a Hakluyt and Orbis contractor' (note word.) Meanwhile, Edward Baumgartner is described as 'Co-founder of Edward Austin. Contractor at Orbis and Hakluyt.' ..."
"... That Harding is corrupt, as also Sir Robert Owen's 'Inquiry' into the death of the late Alexander Litvinenko, I can prove. When Owen's report was published in January 2016, a preliminary response by me was posted here on SST, which among other things listed some of the evidence establishing that the interviews supposedly recorded with Litvinenko by Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt immediately before his death were blatant forgeries. ..."
"... In relation to that part of the evidence discussed in my January 2016 post which exposes the fumbling attempts by Steele and his colleagues to cover up the truth about when and how Litvinenko travelled into central London on the day he was supposedly killed, most of this had been among a mass of material submitted by me to the Inquiry Team, which I have e-mails to prove was read. ..."
"... Further study of Owen's report has confirmed my suspicion that a strong 'prima facie case' of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice exists against very many of those involved in it. ..."
"... At the same time, materials produced on the Russian side have confirmed my suspicion that the reason why Steele and others have been able to get away with their cover-up is that the Russian intelligence services are no more enthusiastic than their British counterparts about having anything like the whole truth about how Litvinenko lived and died made public. ..."
"... Additionally, the text itself displays an odd parallelism with his assertion regarding the Steele Dossier- that is, the likelihood of multiple authors, of diverse origins. ..."
"... My curiosity about who Apelbaum might be is reinforced by the fact that the intimations he gives about his background in his responses to comments, while not incompatible with what he has said in the past, do not sit so easily with it. ..."
"... So, questions naturally arise about Apelbaum's intelligence career, in particular, who he is likely to have been employed by, and associated with, in the past, and whether he is still involved with any of those agencies which have employed him. ..."
"... 'Also, there is a large Hakluyt/Orbis "commercial intelligence" network in the US that regularly services political and federal agencies and has the power to summon Nazgϋls the likes of John Brennan. So Steele is not the new kid on the block, he has been doing this type of work long before 2016. This is also why he has such a cozy relationship with the brass at the DOJ and state.' ..."
"... This is that he, the Ukrainian nationalist former KGB person Yuri Shvets, the convicted Italian disinformation peddler Mario Scaramella, and quite possibly the sometime key FBI expert on Mogilevich, Robert 'Bobby' Levinson, were involved in trying to suggest that Mogilevich was an instrument of a plot by Putin to equip Al Qaeda with a 'mini nuclear bomb.' ..."
"... In his prepared statement, Lugovoi claimed that his supposed victim used to say that everyone in Britain were ''retards', to use the translation submitted in evidence to Owen's Inquiry, or 'idiots', to use that by RT. And according to this version, the British believed in everything that 'we' – that is, the Berezovky group – said was happening in Russia. ..."
"... Whether or not Litvinenko expressed this cynical contempt, the credulity with which the claims of the 'information operations' people around Berezovsky have been accepted – well illustrated by Owen's report and perhaps most ludicrous in Harding's journalism – makes clear it is justified. ..."
"... Perhaps then, cartoons about Trump as a puppet, with the strings pulled by another puppet representing Manafort, whose strings are in turn pulled by Putin, should be replaced by ones in which Mueller is seen as a puppet manipulated by the ghost of Boris Berezovsky. ..."
"... But that is the irony. The relationship with Berezovsky blew up in the faces of all concerned, when in the wake of the successsful corruption of the investigation into the death of Litvinenko by him and his 'information operations' people, he attempted to recoup his fortunes by suing Roman Abramovich, and got taken to pieces by Lord Sumption. ..."
"... The 'Vesti Nedeli' piece uses what Elizaveta Berezovskaya says in support of the claim that Berezovsky was murdered by British 'special forces', because he was planning to return to Russia, and he 'knew too much about them.' ..."
"... One of the things I've never understood about the Trump Dossier story is the lack of any forensic analysis of its content and style anywhere in the media, even the alt media. Who was supposed to have actually written it? Steele? The style does not match someone of his background and education, and the formatting and syntax were atrocious. The font actually varied from "report" to "report." It certainly did not give me the impression of being the product of a high-end, Belgravia consultancy. ..."
"... I wonder whether it was produced by an American of one sort or another and then "laundered" by being accorded association with the UK firm. Given that Steele just happened to be hired by the USG to help in the anti-FIFA skulduggery, he and his firm seem very much to be a concern that does dirty little jobs that need discretely to be done, though in this case, the discretion was undermined. ..."
"... Most of the memos were issued before October and Fusion/Simpson authorized Steele to release information to the FBI starting in July. The question is why the memos were released after the election when a release before the election would have been enough to sink Trump. Instead the FBI and presumably those paying Fusion on Hillarys behalf sat on it, and Comey comes out days before the election ..."
"... Kind of looks like they all wanted Trump in office and the disclosure was to give Trump the excuse needed to back track on his promises to improve relations with Russia and blame that on pressure from the Deep State and Russia Gate. ..."
"... Looking at Trumps history with Sater (FBI/CIA asset) and his political aspirations that began following his Moscow visit in 1987 it seems likely Trump has been a Deep State asset for 30 years and fed intelligence to CIA/FBI on Russian oligarchs and mafia . Indeed he may well have duped Russians into believing he was working for them when in fact it was the CIA/FBI who had the best Kompromat with US RICO laws that could have beggared him ..."
"... One thing to remember about the FBI is Sy Hersh. Hersh claims the FBI has been sitting on a report for two years that fingers murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich as the Wikileaks DNC email leaker (or one of them, at least.) ..."
"... I suspect the decision to publish the dossier was political. It was required to enable Clapper, Brennan, and others to opine on national media and create further media hysteria prior to the vote as well as to justify the counter-intelligence investigations underway. They were throwing the kitchen sink to sink Trump's electoral chances. I don't think a lot of thought was given about the legal ramifications. ..."
"... This seems to be a pattern. Leak information. Then use the leaked story to justify actions like apply for a FISA warrant or fan the media flames. ..."
"... I find it incredulous that former leaders of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies have gained paid access to powerful media platforms and they have used it to launch vicious attacks on a POTUS. ..."
"... I find it amazing that McCabe and Peter Strzok are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars on social media platforms. ..."
"... If the GOP retains the House and Jim Jordan becomes speaker, then there may be a possibility that Sessions, Rosenstein and Wray may be fired and another special counsel appointed who will then convene a grand jury. ..."
Aug 23, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

My strong impression is that nobody on the British side vetted the dossier for publication. A striking feature of the early news coverage is that there appeared to be total confusion, with some of the reporting suggesting that the sources quoted wanted to hang him out to dry, others that they wanted to defend him.

An interesting aspect is that not only were anonymous sources linked to MI6 quoted on both sides of the argument -- which could have been explained by disagreements within the organisation: in different stories, not however far apart in date, its head, Sir Alex Younger, was portrayed as holding radically different views.

When CNN publicised the existence of the dossier on 10 January 2017, the same day that it was published by 'BuzzFeed', it suggested that the author was British. The following day, the WSJ named Steele.

On 13 January, Martin Robinson, UK Chief Reporter for 'Mail Online', published a report whose headlines seem worth quoting in full:

'I introduced him to my wife as James Bond': Former spy Chris Steele's friends describe a "show-off" 007 figure but MI6 bosses brand him "an idiot" for an "appalling lack of judgement" over the Trump "dirty dossier": Intelligence expert Nigel West says friend is like Ian Fleming's famous character; He said: "He's James Bond. I actually introduced him to my wife as James Bond'; Mr West says Steele dislikes Putin and Kremlin for ignoring rules of espionage; Angry spy source calls him 'idiot' and blasts decision to take on the Trump work; Current MI6 boss Sir Alex Younger is said to be livid about reputation damage.'

(See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/... . )

On 15 January, however, Kim Sengupta, Defence Editor of the 'Independent', produced a report headlined: 'Head of MI6 used information from Trump dossier in first public speech; Warnings on cyberattacks show ex-spy's work is respected.'

(See https://www.independent.co.... .)

A great deal of evidence, I think, suggests that practically all those involved in 'Russiagate' were caught totally unprepared by Trump's victory, that they then went rushing around like headless chickens, and that part of this process involved a decision being taken to publish the dossier, without consulting British intelligence. If people like Younger were not consulted, then it would seem to me unlikely that Steele was.

This leads me on to another puzzle about the dossier to which I have been having a difficulty finding a solution. Long years ago I was reasonably familiar with libel law in relation to journalism. Anyone who 'served indentures', as very many of us did in those days, had to study it. Later, I got involved in a protracted libel suit -- successfully, I hasten to add -- in relation to a programme I made, and had the sobering experience of having a top-class libel barrister requiring me to justify every assertion I had made.

In the jargon then, a crucial question when an article, or programme, was being 'vetted' before publication was whether it represented a 'fair business risk.' This involved both the technical legal issues, and also judgements as to whether people were likely to sue, and how if they did the case would be likely to pan out.

On the face of things, one would not have expected that people at 'BuzzFeed' would have gone ahead and make the dossier public, without having it 'vetted' by competent lawyers. And I have difficulty seeing how, if they did, the advice could have been to publish what they published.

I have some difficulty seeing how the advice could have been to include the memorandum with the claims about the Alfa Group oligarchs, unless either these could be seriously defended or it was assumed that contesting them effectively would involve revealing more 'dirty linen' than these wanted to see aired in public.

And I have immense difficulty seeing how any competent media lawyer would not have recommended, at the minimum, the redaction of the names of Aleksej Gubarev and his company from the final December 2016 memorandum. This would have made legal action unlikely, without greatly diminishing the effect of the claims.

Trying to make sense of why such an obvious precaution was not taken, I find myself wondering whether, in fact, the reason may have been that the people responsible for the dossier may have actually believed this part of it at least.

If that is so, however, the most plausible explanation I can see is that while other claims in the dossier may well be total fabrication, either by the people at Fusion and Steele or by some of their questionable contacts, this information at least did come from what Glenn Simpson, Nellie Ohr et al thought were reliable Russian government sources.

But if this was so, and if what they thought was accurate information was actually disinformation, the likely conduit would not have been through Steele, but from FSB cybersecurity people to their FBI counterparts.

I think that the cases involving Karim Baratov and Dmitri Dokuchaev and his colleagues may be much more complex than is apparent from what looks to me like patent disinformation put out both on the Western and Russian sides.

It it is I think material that intelligence agencies commonly include a great variety of people, ranging from very able analysts and operators to complete dolts. So, the CIA has employed both Philip Giraldi and John Brennan, MI6 both Alastair Crooke and also Christopher Steele and Alex Younger.

It is however somewhat revealing that one now finds Giraldi and Crooke appearing on a Russian site, 'Strategic Culture Foundation', while Brennan and Younger are treated as authoritative figures by the MSM.

If you want to get a clear picture of quite how low-grade the latter figure is, incidentally, it is worth looking at the speech to which Kim Sengupta refers.

(See https://www.sis.gov.uk/medi... .)

A favourite line of mine comes in Younger's discussion of the -- actually largely mythical -- notion of 'hybrid warfare': 'In this arena, our opponents are often states whose very survival owes to the strength of their security capabilities; the work is complex and risky, often with the full weight of the State seeking to root us out.'

Leaving aside the fact that this is borderline illiterate, what it amazing is Younger's apparent blindness to clearly unintended implications of what he writes. If indeed, the 'very survival' of the Russian state 'owes to the strength of [its] security capabilities', the conclusions, seen from a Russian point of view, would seem rather obvious: vote Putin, and give medals to Patrushev and Bortnikov.

My strong suspicion is that 'Russiagate' is a kind of nemesis, arising from the fact that key figures in British and American intelligence have, over a protracted period of time, got involved in intrigues where they are way out of their depth. The unintended consequences of these have meant that people like Brennan and Younger, and also Hannigan, have ended up having to resort to desperate measures to cover their backsides.

Posted at 01:19 PM in Habakkuk , Intelligence | Permalink

Jack , 4 days ago

David

There are many aspects to this story that don't make any sense to me if one looks at it from a rational perspective. One of course being concerns about libel litigation and the related legal discovery that you note. The second being no real contingency planning in the event Hillary loses the election. Admittedly they must have bought the media line and Nate Silver's forecast of a greater than 75% probability of a Hillary win.

The purported "arms length" relationships don't make any sense. There's Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson playing a central role. They hire Nellie Ohr, a possible CIA asset and the wife of Bruce Ohr, the 4th highest ranking official at the DOJ.

Glenn Simpson also hires Christopher Steele who he knows from previous "spook" associations. Steele had numerous and continuous communications including telephone, Skype, email and personal meetings with Bruce and Nellie Ohr during all this. They even have discussions about Deripaska and about his visa application to visit the US. Bruce is a conduit to Strzok at FBI. Glenn Simpson also is part of these discussions with Steele and the Ohrs.

Simpson also arranges for Steele to brief "reporters" like David Corn and others at the NY Times, WaPo, WSJ, Politico and others. Then there is Mifsud and Halper. Apparently both are CIA and FBI assets. They are communicating with Carter Page and Papadopolous, who in turn is drinking and yapping with Aussie ambassador Downer.

You have Brennan ginning up concerns giving super secret and individual briefings to the Gang of 8 in Congress. There's Democratic Senator Mark Warner, the minority leader on the Senate Intelligence Committee texting and calling Adam Waldman, Deripaska's US attorney about setting up clandestine meetings with Steele. There's Sen. Harry Reid passing on the Steele "dossier" to Comey.

Not to be left behind there's Sen. McCain doing the same. His top aide even travels to London to meet Steele. And then there's Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page busily spending every waking moment texting each other about every twist and turn in all the political games being played. Of course there's Admiral Rogers investigating unusual searches by FBI officials and contractors on the NSA database. And he briefs President-elect Trump at Trump Tower which prompts the entire transition team to move to Trump's golf course in NJ.

Oh, there is also Nellie Ohr setting up ham radio to avoid detection in her communications with Steele. Then we have everyone leaking and spinning to their "cohorts" in the premier media like the NY Times, CNN and WaPo.

Comey even has his buddy a professor and ostensibly his legal counsel on the payroll of the FBI as a contractor with access to all the sensitive databases leaking to the media.

Andy McCabe has his legal counsel Lisa Page spin stories around his wife's huge campaign contributions from Clinton consigliere McAuliffe.

In fact the IG report on the Clinton "investigation" states that many at the FBI were accepting "gifts" from various media personalities for a quid pro quo.

As if all this was not enough there's AG Loretta Lynch, meeting with Bill Clinton on a tarmac ostensibly to discuss their grandkids. Not to forget there were these "unmaskings" of surveillance information by Susan Rice, Samantha Power.

There's Rod Rosenstein, Bruce Ohr's direct boss who testifies he knew nothing about Ohr being a conduit to Strzok for Steele. Of course he knew nothing but signed the FISA application on Carter Page. Then there are the FISC judges who never believed their mandate required them to verify the evidence before issuing sweeping surveillance warrants. Now all this is what I as an old farmer and winemaker have read. Those more in tune would easily add to these convoluted machinations.

I don't know how to make sense of all this. All I see is the extent of effort to prevent Donald Trump from being elected and after he won from governing. The most obvious observation is that the leadership in our law enforcement and intelligence agencies are so busy politicking spinning and leaking they have neither the time or the inclination let alone competence to do their real job for which they get paid a handsome wage and sterling benefits.

At this point I don't buy that Christopher Steele dug up real intelligence from his contacts at the highest levels of the Russian government, which caught Brennan, Clapper, Comey and Lynch's pants on fire, who then launched a formal investigation of Russia collusion with Trump. Many things just don't pass the smell test. Now of course I have no qualifications nor experience in spookdom.

If you have any speculative theories that connects some of the dots it would be my great pleasure to read.

Patrick Armstrong -> Jack , 3 days ago

I agree that it (and Skripalmania) are almost impossible to make sense of unless you think of a bunch of highly politicised not very bright people sinking deeper and deeper into what looked like a bright idea at the time.

Confident that their horse is going to win the race and that the media will cover it all up and nobody will ever hear anything about anything. Now that the unexpected happened, they're just spinning and denying faster hoping the Dems win in Nov and stop all the investigations. And, they're getting nervous wondering who's going to sell out whom next. Up and down, around and around. Gerbils -- there really isn't anything very consistent, planned or thought-out.

In this respect, this piece attempts to make sense (on a very large scale) of their panic. https://www.strategic-cultu...

English Outsider -> Patrick Armstrong , a day ago

"I agree that it (and Skripalmania) are almost impossible to make sense of unless you think of a bunch of highly politicised not very bright people sinking deeper and deeper into what looked like a bright idea at the time."

I believe your summary of what's happening is more accurate than Alastair Crooke's as set out in the article linked to.

But bright or not, what are these people in the IC doing being "highly politicised"? Does that not render them considerably less efficient?

I ask because, if one tries to look at it in a non-partisan way, the Western IC seemed to be a failure when it came to predicting Russian reactions in the Donbass, the Crimea, and it seems in Syria. I link this to various comments from Colonel Lang indicating that true experts were replaced over the years by less experienced and knowledgeable people. Does being "highly politicised" mean that they're not up to much when it comes to minding the shop?

Patrick Armstrong -> English Outsider , 5 hours ago

I thought I detected a protest against the politicisation of the US in the world some years ago. And we must not forget that Gen Flynn (DIA) and Adm Rogers (NSA) acted strongly against this. Flynn was the first casualty of the Trump/Russia hysteria and the Clapper claque tried to fire Rogers.

https://russia-insider.com/...

Jack -> Patrick Armstrong , 3 days ago

Patrick

Usually the incumbent party loses the mid-term election. The Democrats lost big in Obama's first mid-term. The Republicans won the House and gained six senators. While the punditry claims a Blue Wave and Nate Silver is giving the Dems the odds. I'm not so sure. I think the GOP will increase their majority in the Senate putting any conviction of Trump out of question.

I was born in the Depression and have seen vitriolic politics but never have seen such a massive opposition by the media, the pundits and the establishment of both parties. Over 500 print publications endorsed Hillary. Only some 20 endorsed Trump. Yet he confounds the pundits by winning the election. Clearly many voters are at odds with the political media class.

Patrick Armstrong -> Jack , 2 days ago

Yeah. My bet is that the Repubs hold onto both. 1) the economy is getting better 2) what do the Dems have to offer other than this crazy Trump/Russia thing?

Rob -> Patrick Armstrong , a day ago

Economy will slow down sharply in 2019 but there should be enough momentum to help with the mid-terms. Trump needs to stop with the endless sanction stuff. The House does look like a close one.

Pat Lang Mod -> Rob , a day ago

what is the evidence for a slowdown in 2019?

Rob -> Pat Lang , a day ago

With all the caveats that apply to financial forecasting copper, monetary indicators and equity markets are all flagging a slowdown is upon us.

David Habakkuk -> Jack , 3 days ago

Jack,

At a very general level, a 'speculative theory' which I have been mulling over for some time was rather well set out in a commentary in 'The Hill' on 9 August by Sharyl Attkisson, which opens:

'Let's begin in the realm of the fanciful.

'Assume, for the sake of argument, that powerful, connected people in the intelligence community and in politics worried that a wildcard Trump presidency, unlike another Clinton or Bush, might expose a decade-plus of questionable practices. Disrupt long-established money channels. Reveal secret machinations that could arguably land some people in prison.

'What exactly might an "insurance policy" against Donald Trump look like?'

And Attkisson goes on to outline precisely the developments that appear to have happened.

(See http://thehill.com/opinion/... .)

I think there is an ideological background to this, on which the piece by Alastair Crooke – himself former MI6 – to which Patrick Armstrong links, and the piece by James George Jatras to which Crooke links, are both to the point. The 'end of history' crowd thought they were inhabiting a realised utopia, and cannot cope with the fact that their dream is collapsing.

In relation to the millenarian undercurrents on which Crooke focuses, however, it is also worth noting that a traditional conservative suspicion has been that millenarianism is naturally linked to antinomianism: the belief that the moral law is not binding on the elect. And in turn, according to a familiar skeptical view, antinomianism can easily end up in in straightforward rascality.

On the rascality – to which Attkisson is pointing – I am working on how parts of the picture can be fleshed out. A few preliminary points raised by your remarks.

As you note, 'There's Rod Rosenstein, Bruce Ohr's direct boss who testifies he knew nothing about Ohr being a conduit to Strzok for Steele.' So, we know that Ohr and Steele were conspiring together to ensure that the latter could continue to be intimately involved in the Mueller investigation, despite the FBI termination,

It is obviously possible that Ohr did not report up the chain of command, and if so, he and his wife become pivotal figures in the conspiracy. Alternatively, it could be that Rosenstein is lying – in which case, we have large questions about who else is implicated, and specifically whether the termination of Steele by the FBI was anything more than a ruse.

If, as seems to me likely, although not certain, the second possibility is closer to the truth than the former, then before Ohr testifies on 28 August before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees he will have to consider whether he is prepared to 'take the rap' for his superiors, or 'sing sweetly.'

The fact that in a report in 'The Hill', I think on the same day as the Attkisson piece, John Solomon was quoting from Ohr's handwritten notes of a meeting with Glenn Simpson in December 2016 makes me wonder whether he may not already have made a decision. A key paragraph from the report:

'Yet, Simpson allegedly acknowledged that most of the information Fusion GPS and British intelligence operative Christopher Steele developed did not come from sources inside Moscow. "Much of the collection about the Trump campaign ties to Russia comes from a former Russian intelligence officer (? not entirely clear) who lives in the U.S.," Ohr scribbled in his notes.'

(See http://thehill.com/hilltv/r... .)

There is I think a need for caution here. There is no guarantee that Simpson was telling the literal truth to Ohr, or indeed the latter reproducing with absolute accuracy with he was told (handwritten notes can be disposed of easily, but they can also be rewritten.)

One is I think on firmer ground in relation to what it suggests was not the case – that there is any substance whatsoever in the ludicrous story of someone running a private security company in London sending out hired employees who then gain access to top Kremlin insiders, with these, of course, telling them precisely what they actually think.

And it confirms my strong suspicion that the dossier is actually a composite product, much of it assembled at Fusion, which could indeed contain material from a range of people from the former Soviet space, who could living in the United States, Britain, or elsewhere – Ukraine and the Baltics being obvious possibilities.

So Sergei Skripal and Sergei Millian, neither of whom fit the description by Simpson, have been mentioned as possible sources, and there is also the very curiously ambiguous role of Rinat Akhmetshin.

All these people, obviously, could simply have fabricated material or retailed gossip, and Steele himself was involved in fabricating material on an industrial scale to cover up what actually happened to Alexander Litvinenko.

That said, I continue to think it possible that both the second and final memoranda may incorporate some 'glitter', as well as 'chickenfeed' fed from FSB cybersecurity people to their FBI counterparts, to hark back to George Smiley says to the Minister, quite possibly included in the hope that the BS involved would be reproduced in contexts where it could provoke legal action.

All this leads me back to the suspicion that Steele's involvement may have been less in crafting the dossier, than making it possible to conceal its actual origins while giving it an appearance of credibility. It could also be the case that Nellie Ohr's sudden interest in radio transmissions had to do with communications inside the United States, rather than with Steele.

It could then be that Steele has been, in effect, hoist with his own petard, in that he is having to sustain the fiction that he had some kind of grounds for making the claims about Aleksej Gubarev and XBT. How far this matters, at least in relation to the action bought against 'BuzzFeed' in Florida, remains moot at the moment.

Apparently that organisation is doing rather well in sustaining the claiming that 'fair report privilege' could circumvent any requirement to prove truth – and a key question now is whether documents which the DOJ is being forced to produce will establish that the dossier was being used by officials in ways that would trigger the privilege as of 10 January 2017.

That said, what Ohr reports Simpson as telling him raises fundamental questions about how anyone could have relied upon the dossier for anything – and should push people back to actually asking hard questions about its origins.

fanto -> David Habakkuk , 2 days ago

Mr Habakkuk, you mention "ambiguous role of Rinat Akhmetshin" - I am not sure if you meant Akhmetov.

I am surprised and curious about you mentioning him - if you meant Akhmetov - because that is one name among all the oligarchs which has so far not been prominent. Thank you for your posts, these posts and the SST comments could and should serve as help to the congressional investigations and hearings.

blue peacock -> Jack , 4 days ago

Jack

To add: Steele was on the FBI's payroll, in addition to being on Fusion GPS's payroll. And on the payroll of Her Majesty's Government. After he got caught leaking to the media he was apparently "fired" by the FBI. But he was continuing to communicate and brief through Bruce Ohr at the DOJ.

I think the circle of Glenn Simpson. Chris Steele, Bruce & Nellie Ohr, Adam Waldman. Peter Strzok, and Sen. Mark Warner will be very interesting to pursue.

The other circle that should be investigated is the Brennan, Clapper, Lynch, Comey, Yates, Susan Rice.

No investigation can exclude the active participation of key people from the media complex including people like Comey's good friend Benjamin Wittes.

Patrick Armstrong , 3 days ago

Younger isn't the brightest bulb in the box, is he?

"If you doubt the link between legitimacy and effective counter-terrorism, then – albeit negatively – the unfolding tragedy in Syria will, I fear, provide proof. I believe the Russian conduct in Syria, allied with that of Assad's discredited regime, will, if they do not change course, provide a tragic example of the perils of forfeiting legitimacy. In defining as a terrorist anyone who opposes a brutal government, they alienate precisely that group that has to be on side if the extremists are to be defeated. Meanwhile, in Aleppo, Russia and the Syrian regime seek to make a desert and call it peace. The human tragedy is heart-breaking"

David Habakkuk -> Patrick Armstrong , 3 days ago

Patrick,

Those were indeed some of the most inane comments in an inane piece.

But then, if you read an interview given to Jay Elwes of 'Prospect' magazine in May last year by Younger's predecessor Sir Richard Dearlove, who looks to have been a significant background presence in what has been going on, you will find that, although he is much more coherent than than his successor, it is almost as inane.

(See https://www.prospectmagazin... . )

As it happens, Dearlove was one of the signatories of the 'Statement of Principles' of something called the 'Henry Jackson Society.'

This was founded in 2005, in Cambridge, by a group in whom acolytes of an historian called Maurice Cowling were prominent – Dearlove is himself a graduate in history from that university.

In its original version, the 'Statement of Principles' explained, among other things, that the Society: 'Believes that only modern liberal democratic states are truly legitimate, and that any international organization which admits undemocratic states on an equal basis is fundamentally flawed.'

(See https://en.wikipedia.org/wi... .)

Ironically, it was shortly after the publication of the dossier that Anatol Lieven published in the 'National Interest' an article entitled 'Is America Becoming a Third World Country?' (See https://nationalinterest.or... .)

Among other things, he harked back to the way that, in 1648, a century and a half of bloody ideological strife in Europe had been ended with a recognition that the legitimacy of different state forms had to be accepted, if a kind of 'war of all against all' was to be avoided.

And Lieven went on to reflect on the way that, at what was then widely seen as the end of the Cold War, the abandonment of universalisitic pretensions by Russia and China was interpreted as justifying an embrace of these by the the West.

This, he went on to argue, had actually had the paradoxical effect of relegitimising 'rιgimes' which do not conform to Western 'democratic' models, concluding by noting what appears to our new, quasi-Soviet, preference for not letting experience interfere with ideological dogma:

'Finally – even after the catastrophes of Iraq and Libya – there is almost no awareness among US policymakers of the fact that US attempts to change the regimes of other countries are likely to be seen not only by the elites of those countries but also by their populations as leading to – and intended to lead to – the destruction of the state itself, leading to disaster for its society and population. When the Communist regime in the USSR collapsed (though only in part under Western pressure), it took the Soviet state with it. The Russian state came close to following suit in the years that followed, Russia was reduced to impotence on the world stage, and large parts of the Russian and other populations suffered economic and social disaster. Remembering their own past experiences with state collapse, warlordism, famine and foreign invasion, Chinese people looked at this awful spectacle and huddled closer to the Chinese state – one that they may dislike in many ways, but which they certainly trust more than anything America has to offer – especially given the apparent decay of democracy throughout the West.'

( https://nationalinterest.or... .)

I read with interest your piece back in June entitled 'Putin Once Dreamed the American Dream', reprinting Charles Heberle's account of the 'Transforming Subjects Into Citizens' project, and the attitude of some people close to Putin to it.

(See https://patrickarmstrong.ca... .)

One of the things which struck me was that the question why the American Revolution succeeded, and so many others failed, which was concerning the intellectuals to whom Heberle talked, is one of the central questions of modern political thought, from Tocqueville on.

(Indeed, the question of the preconditions for what might be called 'constitutional' government, has been central to 'republican' thought, ever since it was revived by Italian thinkers, including prominently Machiavelli, when the 'Renaissance' made them reactivate and rework debates from ancient Rome and Greece.)

However, to hark back to the anxieties expressed by Lieven, nothing in the analysis of the great French thinker necessary guarantees that the success of 'Democracy in America' is stable and permanent, or indeed that the relatively civilised order of the post-war 'Pax Americana' is necessarily durable in Western Europe.

Also in June, Sergei Karaganov published a piece in 'Russia in Global Affairs', of which he is publisher, entitled 'Ideology of Eastward Turn.' A paragraph that struck me:

'Russian society should by no means abdicate from its mostly European culture. But it should certainly stop being afraid, let alone feel ashamed, of its Asianism. It should be remembered that from the standpoint of prevailing social mentality and society's attitude to the authorities Russia, just as China and many other Asian states, are offspring of Chengiss Khan's Empire. This is no reason for throwing up hands in despair or for beginning to despise one's own people, contrary to what many members of intelligencia sometimes do. It should be accepted as a fact of life and used as a strength. The more so, since amid the harsh competitive environment of the modern world the authoritarian type of government – in the context of a market economy and equitable military potentials – is certainly far more effective than modern democracy. This is what our Western partners find so worrisome. Of course, we should bear in mind that authoritarianism – just like democracy – may lead to stagnation and degradation. Russia is certainly confronted with such a risk.'

Unlike you, I cannot claim serious expertise on Russia. But, as a reasonably alert generalist television current affairs producer, I took note of the indications which were emerging in the course of 1987 that the Gorbachev 'new thinking' was underpinned by a realisation that Soviet institutions and ideas had become fundamentally dysfunctional, to which you have referred repeatedly over the years.

And, after long tedious months trying interest the powers that were in British broadcasting in what was happening, I ended up producing a couple of programmes for BBC Radio in February/March 1989 in which we interviewed some of the leading 'new thinkers', among them Karaganov's then immediate superior at the Institute of Europe, Vitaly Zhurkin.

At the Institute for the USA and Canada, by contrast, we did not interview its head, Georgiy Arbatov, but his deputy, Andrei Kokoshin, and one of the latter's mentors on military matters and collaborators General-Mayor Valentin Larionov, who I later realised had earlier been one of the foremost Soviet nuclear strategists. (At the Institute for World Economy and International Relations, we interviewed Arbatov's son, Alexei.)

Talking to these people we got a sense, although it had to be fleshed out later, of the scale of the disillusion with Soviet models, and indeed – which began to frighten me not long after – of the way many of them were romanticising the West.

What Karaganov now writes is I think a hardly very surprising reaction to the way that the Western powers responded to the 'new thinking.' Moreover, it seems to me that the disillusionment involved is in no sense particular Russian, but rather global.

If one regards 'democracy' as though it were quoted on the stock exchange, before 1914 there were very many buyers, including among the Russian ιlite. By 1931, in very many places, including large sections of the 'intelligentsia' in Western countries, it was a sellers' market, to put it mildly.

After 1945, a kind of long 'bull market' in 'democracy' started: for very good reasons.

The – largely but very far from entirely – peaceful retreat and collapse of Soviet power was to a very significant extent the product of this. The subsequent behaviour of Western ιlites has generated a vicious 'bear market', a fact they appear unable to understand.

I do not think Karaganov's article is simply a reflection of changes in Russian attitudes. The changes, it seems to me, are global.

Patrick Armstrong -> David Habakkuk , 3 days ago

I do think that we in the West really blew it. In 1990, we could have said, in all humility, that our way of life (IMO the key word is pluralism) had proven more survivable. So we should welcome the others into the tent. Instead, we were right and that was that.

PS, in light of the Henry Jackson society and all Younger's references to "values" this one rather stands out "A vital lesson I take from the Chilcot Report is the danger of group think."

Yeah. Group think, the very opposite of what I mean by pluralism.

Jack -> David Habakkuk , 3 days ago

David,

Sharyl Atkinson describes well the conspiracy. When one steps back and look at all the machinations we know now, it seems incredible.

Just as you're asking about the origins of the dossier I wonder if it was orchestrated or something that evolved organically? If it was orchestrated, then who was the mastermind? Did Brennan, Clapper and Come sit down and hatch it or was Simpson the brains? What is astounding is the scale. So many people involved. Were they all motivated by ideology or by the need to protect their racket?

It seems there are many sub-plots. There's the Deripaska, Steele, Waldman, Mueller, Sen. Warner angle. Then there's the Simpson, Steele, Ohr, Strzok, Page, McCabe angle. There's also the Simpson, Steele, media reporters angle. Then there's the whole Mifsud, Halper, Carter Page, Papadopolous, Downer bit. There's the Comey, Rosenstein, Yates, Strzok FISA application piece. Then there's all the stuff happening in the UK including Hannigan's resignation as soon as Trump is elected. Of course the whole Mueller appointment and the obstruction of justice thread to tie Trump's hand. There are so many elements. Who initiated and coordinated? Was each element separate?

There's no doubt a political thriller movie could be made.

FB -> Patrick Armstrong , 3 days ago

Thanks for the quote...LOL

I guess the comedy part is that there actually exist people with medically functioning brains, who are somehow able to contort such a worldview...Aleppo as peaceful 'desert' indeed...who knew that having bearded fanatics in charge is somehow 'better'...[and not 'heart-breaking']...

Michael Regan , 2 days ago

Some here may find blogpost from March of this year interesting as it speaks to the production of the Steele dossier. I have not seen it mentioned here before and a site search produced no results. https://apelbaum.wordpress.... Some sections seem to have gotten David Cay Johnston's hackles up.

David Habakkuk -> Michael Regan , a day ago

Michael Regan,

I had seen Yaacov Apelbaum's piece referred to by Clarice Feldman in a post on the 'American Thinker' site a few days back, but not looked at it properly.

It is indeed fascinating, and clearly repays a closer study than I have so far had time to give it. I was however relieved to find that what Apelbaum writes 'meshes' quite well with my own views of the likely authorship of the dossier.

A question I have is whether the monumental amount of labour involved in producing it can really be the work of a single IT person – however wide-ranging his abilities and interests. My suspicion is that there may be input from Russian intelligence.

This is not said in order to discredit Apelbaum's work. In matters where I have had occasion critically to examine claims from official Russian sources, I have found several unsurprising, but recurring, patterns. Sometimes, the information provided can be shown to be essentially accurate, and it is reasonably clear how it has been obtained.

At other times, claims are made which information from other sources suggests either are, or may well be, true, but the 'sources and methods' involved are deliberately obscured, making evaluation more difficult.

And then, there are many occasions when what one gets is quite patently a mixture of accurate information and disinformation. Analysing these can be very productive, if one can both sift out the accurate information, and attempt to see what the disinformation is designed to obscure.

One thing of which I am absolutely certain is that the networks which are outlined by Apelbaum are precisely those which Russian intelligence will have spent a great deal of time and ingenuity penetrating.

This will have been attempted by 'SIGINT' and surveillance methods, and also through infiltrating agents and turning people. (There are often grounds to suspect that some of those most vociferously denouncing Putin are colluding with Russian intelligence.)

Together, these methods are likely to have produced a mass of information. It is important to remember, for example, that at the time of his mysterious death on 23 March 2013 Boris Berezovsky was negotiating to return to Russia, and that his head of security, Sergei Sokolov did return, with a 'cache' of documents.

Some of these were used back in April 2016 in a 'Vesti Nedeli' edition presented by Dmitry Kiselyov, who manages Russia's informational programming resources, and an accompanying documentary on the 'Pervyi Kanal' station.

The purpose was to demonstrate that Alexei Navalny was the instrument of a 'rιgime change' plot in which William Browder was acting as an agent of MI6.

There is a good discussion of this, which highlights some of the problems with the documents, by Gilbert Doctorow, and Sokolov appears to have been involved in some murky activities since.

(See https://russia-insider.com/... ; https://en.crimerussia.com/... .)

But whatever the credibility or lack of it of the material, its appearance illustrates a general pattern, where the political disintegration of the London-based opposition to Putin has meant that more and more people involved in it have been supplying information to the Russians.

If, as I strongly suspect, there is fire beneath the smoke in those Russian television programmes, and if a great part of a series of projects of a related kind orchestrated in conjunction by elements in American and British intelligence were actually large run from this side, this will be creating headaches for people in Washington, as well as London.

An important role in the Apelbaum piece is played by the private security company Hakluyt. A quick look at the entries on Wikipedia and Powerbase will make clear that, if there is a British 'deep state', this is likely to be at its core.

(See https://en.wikipedia.org/wi... ; http://powerbase.info/index... .)

It is against this background that on has to see a specific claim which Apelbaum makes, for which I do not think any evidence is produced, about two figures whose role in 'Russiagate' is clearly central. So Luke Harding is described as 'A Guardian reporter and a Hakluyt and Orbis contractor' (note word.) Meanwhile, Edward Baumgartner is described as 'Co-founder of Edward Austin. Contractor at Orbis and Hakluyt.'

That Harding is corrupt, as also Sir Robert Owen's 'Inquiry' into the death of the late Alexander Litvinenko, I can prove. When Owen's report was published in January 2016, a preliminary response by me was posted here on SST, which among other things listed some of the evidence establishing that the interviews supposedly recorded with Litvinenko by Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt immediately before his death were blatant forgeries.

If this is the case, then questions are raised about how much of the apparently compelling forensic evidence is forged – and close examination suggests that key parts of it are.

(See http://turcopolier.typepad.... .)

In relation to that part of the evidence discussed in my January 2016 post which exposes the fumbling attempts by Steele and his colleagues to cover up the truth about when and how Litvinenko travelled into central London on the day he was supposedly killed, most of this had been among a mass of material submitted by me to the Inquiry Team, which I have e-mails to prove was read.

Likewise, also in January 2016, I sent the key relevant evidence on this crucial matter to Harding and senior figures at the 'Guardian', and have reason to believe it was read.

Further study of Owen's report has confirmed my suspicion that a strong 'prima facie case' of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice exists against very many of those involved in it.

At the same time, materials produced on the Russian side have confirmed my suspicion that the reason why Steele and others have been able to get away with their cover-up is that the Russian intelligence services are no more enthusiastic than their British counterparts about having anything like the whole truth about how Litvinenko lived and died made public.

Given the central role which Steele has now assumed in what looks like one of the biggest political scandals in American history, and the fact that in his book 'Collusion' Harding was again coming out in support of him, it would be of the greatest possible interest if indeed the latter had combined being a senior 'Guardian' correspondent with being paid by both Orbis and – even more important – Hakluyt.

And, particularly given the peculiar ambiguities of the role both of Fusion GPS and Baumgartner in the 'Trump Tower' meeting, it would be of great interest if the latter could be tied not only to Fusion, but to Orbis and – again even more important – Hakluyt.

This in turn might be relevant in trying to make sense of whether the fact that he and Simpson appear to have been working against Trump and Browder at the same time was or was not part of an elaborate ploy to give credibility to 'information operations' against the former.

There are accordingly two possibilities. It may be that, while much else in the Apelbaum material can be shown to be accurate, such accurate information is being used to give credibility to disinformation.

Alternatively, he is being used as a conduit for accurate and really explosive information about the British end of 'Russiagate', which he is unlikely to have unearthed all by himself, and the actual sources of which are – for very understandable reasons – being obscured.

Michael Regan -> David Habakkuk , a day ago

Mr Habakkuk-

Thank you for your reply. You have given me much to think about and I am very grateful that you took the time to respond in such a comprehensive manner, and that you have provided me and others here with some really compelling information and notions.

In particular, the issue of sources and methods you note seems spot on. The author(s)'s information gathering methodologies and expertise are certainly not those of the laiety. In fact in the comments below his post YA mentions intelligence work.

Additionally, the text itself displays an odd parallelism with his assertion regarding the Steele Dossier- that is, the likelihood of multiple authors, of diverse origins.

One thing that did catch my eye was a response he made to David Cay Johnston's pissy request for a retraction about Jacoby involvement. YA included a quote in Latin from Cicero's accusations against Cataline. Here is the English: What is there that you did last night, what the night before -- where is it that you were -- who was there that you summoned to meet you -- what design was there which was adopted by you, with which you think that any one of us is unacquainted?

While this sort of riposte isn't exactly hyper-erudite, it ain't chopped liver either. What I mean to say is that exceptional cyber skills, algorithm coding (I'm guessing crawlers) are not commonly coupled with that sort of classical formation. His recourse to various biblical quotes suggests an unusual level of education as well. And no way is he younger than 38 or so.

At any rate, thank you for the article and your kind and informative reply.

David Habakkuk -> Michael Regan , a day ago

Michael Regan,

Thanks. I have now read both a good few of Apelbaum's earlier posts, and also the comments on his discussion of the dossier. Given the importance of his analysis of that document closer study is clearly needed of all this material, but I have some preliminary reactions.

My curiosity about who Apelbaum might be is reinforced by the fact that the intimations he gives about his background in his responses to comments, while not incompatible with what he has said in the past, do not sit so easily with it.

In a July 2010 post, he explained that: 'In my previous life, I was a civil engineer. I worked for a large power marine construction company doing structural design and field engineering.' According to the account he gave then, he subsequently shifted to software development.

(See https://apelbaum.wordpress.... .)

What he now tells us is that: 'As far as how I first started, I do have an intelligence background and have been developing OSINT/cyber/intelligence platforms for many years.'

That makes sense in terms of the analysis, which – whatever other inputs there may or may not have been – looks to me like the work of someone who has a serious background in these kinds of methodology, and moreover, is clearly not any kind of 'Fachidiot.'

So, questions naturally arise about Apelbaum's intelligence career, in particular, who he is likely to have been employed by, and associated with, in the past, and whether he is still involved with any of those agencies which have employed him.

Even if he is not, questions would obviously rise about present connections arising from past work. This is in addition to the possibility that the logic of events may have provoked him to collaborate with those who might earlier have been his adversaries.

Reading Apelbaum's work, I am reminded of another interesting intervention in an embittered argument relating to the Middle East and the post-Soviet space, from what turned out to be an unexpected source.

In the period following the 'false flag' sarin attack at Ghouta on 21 August 2013 an incisive demolition of the conventional wisdom was provided in the 'crowdsourced' investigation masterminded by one 'sasa wawa' on a site entitled 'Who Attacked Ghouta?'

(See http://whoghouta.blogspot.com .)

And then, in December 2016, an Israeli high technology entrepreneur called Saar Wilf, a former employee of Unit 8200, that country's equivalent of the NSA or GCHQ, who had subsequently made a great deal of money when he and his partner sold their company to Paypal, co-founded a site called 'Rootclaim.'

(See https://www.rootclaim.com .)

The site, it was explained, was dedicated to applying Bayesian statistics to 'current affairs' problems. This is a methodology, whose modern form owes much to work done at Bletchley Park in the war, which is invaluable in 'SIGINT' analysis and also combating online fraud.

At the outset, 'Rootclaim' posted a recycled version of some of the key material from the 'Who Attacked Ghouta?' investigation. So, it seems likely, if not absolutely certain, that Saar Wilf and 'sasa wawa' are one and the same.

Following the Salisbury incident on 4 March, a blogger using the name 'sushi' produced a series of eleven posts under the title 'A Curious Incident' on the 'Vineyard of the Saker' blog.

(See https://thesaker.is/tag/sushi/ .)

Again, there are some very clear resemblances to 'sasa wawa' and Saar Wilf, which made me wonder whether the same person may be reappearing under yet another 'moniker.'

While the 'flavour' of Apelbaum seems to be different, the combination of what looks like serious technical expertise in IT techniques relating to intelligence with broad general intellectual interests looks to me similar.

I was amused by the combination of his quotation of the words from John 8:32 etched into the wall of the original CIA headquarters – 'And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free' – and the following remarks:

'The June 2016 start date of Steele's contract with Fusion GPS is the start of the "billable" activity, not the beginning of the research. Steele and Simpson/Jacoby have been collaborating on Trump/Russia going back to 2009.

'Also, there is a large Hakluyt/Orbis "commercial intelligence" network in the US that regularly services political and federal agencies and has the power to summon Nazgϋls the likes of John Brennan. So Steele is not the new kid on the block, he has been doing this type of work long before 2016. This is also why he has such a cozy relationship with the brass at the DOJ and state.'

As it happens, I think that many of the collaborations involved may have started significantly earlier than this. In his response to David Cay Johnston, Apelbaum links to an April 2007' WSJ' article by Simpon and Jacoby which, among other things, deals with Semyon Mogilevich.

This is behind a paywall, but, fortunately, the fact that Ukrainian nationalists have had an obvious interest in treating it as a source of reliable information has meant that it is easily accessible.

(See www.madcowprod.com/wp-conte... )

It should I think be clear from my January 2016 post why I find this particularly interesting, in that it has to be interpreted in the context of a crucial 'key' to the mystery of the death of Alexander Litvinenko.

This is that he, the Ukrainian nationalist former KGB person Yuri Shvets, the convicted Italian disinformation peddler Mario Scaramella, and quite possibly the sometime key FBI expert on Mogilevich, Robert 'Bobby' Levinson, were involved in trying to suggest that Mogilevich was an instrument of a plot by Putin to equip Al Qaeda with a 'mini nuclear bomb.'

So, I then come back to the question of whether this notion of a 'large Haluyt/Orbis "commercial intelligence" network in the US', playing the role of Sauron with Brennan, perhaps, as the 'Witch-king of Angmar', does or does not have substance.

If it does, there would be very good reasons for a variety of people, with a range of different attitudes to events in the post-Soviet space and the Middle East, to think that they had an interest in collaborating with Russian intelligence against a common enemy.

If it does not, then there is a real possibility that Apelbaum may be involved in using accurate intelligence to disseminate inaccurate. (It seems to me that he is much too intelligent to be a plausible candidate for the role of 'useful idiot.')

One further point that may, or may not, be relevant. Many of the most influential American and British Jews, for reasons which I find somewhat hard to understand, seem to have decided that the heirs of the architects of the Lvov pogrom are nice and cuddly.

So, for example, Chrystia Freeland, the unrepentant granddaughter of the notorious Nazi collaborator Michael Chomiak, has been able to end up as Canadian Foreign Minister because made a successful journalistic career on the London 'Financial Times', a paper with a strong Jewish presence.

That the editorial staff of such a paper thought it appropriate to have someone like Freeland as their Moscow correspondent gives you a good insight into how moronic British ιlites have become. This may well be relevant, in trying to evaluate claims about Hakluyt and other matters.

In relation to Apelbaum, it may be quite beside the point that other Jews from a Russian/East European background, both in Russia, Israel, and the United States, have very different views on Ukraine, Russia, and the dangers posed – not least to Israel – by jihadists. It is however a fact which needs to be born in mind, when one comes across people whose views cut across conventional dividing lines in the United States and Britain.

Beside the point in relation to Apelbaum, I am confident, but also needing to be kept in mind, is the possibility that elements in the United States 'intelligence community', seeing the 'writing on the wall', may think it appropriate to shift from trying to pass the buck by blaming the Russians to doing so by blaming the Brits.

Michael Regan -> David Habakkuk , a day ago

It seems apparent that Putin's reordering of the Russian economy after the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management, Republic Bank's difficulites and the death of Edmund Safra left a bitter taste in the mouths of many who had hoped to exercise rentier rights over the Russian economy and resources. Why so much US resources and energy have been committed to recovering a contested deed is a real conundrum.

I was unaware of Freeland's grandfather and his lamentable CV. Thank you. It's funny that you mentioned both the Ghouta post and the Vineyard of the Saker. I recall reading those and thinking- this is not like common fare on the intertubes.

Your last points about failings in the quality of elite decision-making is extremely important. This dynamic of the dumb (US, UK, EU) at the wheel is, for me, the most frightening feature of the current state of play. In the worst moments I fear we are all on a bus driven by a drunk monkey, careening through the Andes. It's going to hurt all the way to the bottom.

Again, I am very grateful for your replies and all the great information and thought.

David Habakkuk -> Michael Regan , 2 hours ago

Michael Regan,

I think the question of why large elements in both American and British ιlites got so heavily invested, in essence, in supporting the oligarchs who refused Putin's terms in what turned into a kind of 'bare knuckles' struggle they were always likely to lose is a very interesting one.

It has long seemed to me that, even if one looked at matters from the most self-interested and cynical point of view, this represented a quite spectacular error of judgement. And, viewing the way in which 'international relations' are rearranging themselves, I am reasonably confident that this was one matter on which I got things right.

A central reason for this, I have come to think, is that Berezovsky and the 'information operations' people round him – Litvinenko is important, but the pivotal figure, the 'mastermind', if you will, was clearly Alex Goldfarb, and Yuri Shvets and Yuri Felshtinsky both played and still play important supporting roles – were telling people in the West what these wanted to hear.

It is a truth if not quite 'universally acknowledged', at least widely recognised by those who have acquired some 'worldly wisdom', that intellectually arrogant people, with limited experience of the world and a narrow education, can commonly be 'led by the nose' by figures who have more of the relevant kinds of intelligence and experience, and few scruples.

This rather basic fact is central to understanding the press conference on 31 May 2007 where the figure whom the Berezovsky group and Christopher Steele had framed in relation to the death of Litvinenko, Andrei Lugovoi, responded to the Crown Prosecution Service request for his extradition.

In his prepared statement, Lugovoi claimed that his supposed victim used to say that everyone in Britain were ''retards', to use the translation submitted in evidence to Owen's Inquiry, or 'idiots', to use that by RT. And according to this version, the British believed in everything that 'we' – that is, the Berezovky group – said was happening in Russia.

(For the RT translation, see https://www.rt.com/news/and... .)

Whether or not Litvinenko expressed this cynical contempt, the credulity with which the claims of the 'information operations' people around Berezovsky have been accepted – well illustrated by Owen's report and perhaps most ludicrous in Harding's journalism – makes clear it is justified.

What moreover became very evident, when Glenn Simpson testified to the House Intelligence and Senate Judiciary Committees, was that he was once again recycling the Berezovsky's group's version of Putin 'sistema' as the 'return of Karla.'

Given what has been emerging on the ways in which Fusion GPS and Steele were both integrated into networks involving top-level people in the FBI, DOJ, State Department and CIA, it seems clear that the 'retards'/'idiots' label is as applicable to people on your side as to people on ours.

Perhaps then, cartoons about Trump as a puppet, with the strings pulled by another puppet representing Manafort, whose strings are in turn pulled by Putin, should be replaced by ones in which Mueller is seen as a puppet manipulated by the ghost of Boris Berezovsky.

But that is the irony. The relationship with Berezovsky blew up in the faces of all concerned, when in the wake of the successsful corruption of the investigation into the death of Litvinenko by him and his 'information operations' people, he attempted to recoup his fortunes by suing Roman Abramovich, and got taken to pieces by Lord Sumption.

As to what happened next, a recent item on 'Russian Insider', providing a link to and transcript of a more recent piece presented by Dmitry Kiselyov on 'Vesti Nedeli is a good illustration of where accurate information and disinformation can be mixed in material from Russian sources.

(See https://russia-insider.com/... .)

The piece, which appeared in July, discusses, and quotes from, an interview given the previous month to Dmitry Gordon, who runs a Ukrainian nationalist site, by Berezovsky's daughter Elizaveta. Among other things, this deals with Berezovsky's death.

(See https://gordonua.com/public... . A little manipulation will get you a reasonably serviceable English translation, although it becomes comic because Berezovsky is referred to as 'pope'.)

The 'Vesti Nedeli' piece uses what Elizaveta Berezovskaya says in support of the claim that Berezovsky was murdered by British 'special forces', because he was planning to return to Russia, and he 'knew too much about them.'

As it happens, this is a patently tendentious reading of what she says. However, interesting features of the actual text of the interview are 1. that it does provide what to my mind is compelling evidence that her father was murdered, and 2. while she clearly suggests that this was covered up by the British, she is not suggesting that they were responsible – but also not making Putin 'prime suspect.'

Whether the suggestion by his daughter that her father might have been murdered by people who knew that by so doing they might get control of assets he might otherwise recoup has any merit I cannot say: I doubt it but cannot simply rule the possibility out.

What remains the case is that at that point there were very many people, including but in no way limited to elements in Western intelligence agencies, who had strong interests in avoiding a return by Berezovsky to Russia.

And the same people had the strongest possible interest in avoiding his being treated at the Inquest into Litvinenko's death by a competent barrister representing the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in the way he had been treated by Lord Sumption.

Ironically, it may have been partly because Lugovoi had made a dramatic announcement that he was withdrawing from the proceedings less than a fortnight before Berezovsky's death that before this happened a lot of people were staring at an absolutely worst-case scenario.

Time and again, in Owen's report, one finds matters where he recycles patent disinformation, which a well-briefed barrister acting for the ICRF could have easily ripped to shreds. At the same time, in this situation, the Russians could most probably have made a reasonable fist of coping with the multiple contradictions in claims made on their own side.

And, crucially, their patent weak suit – the need to obscure the actual role of Russian intelligence in the smuggling of the polonium into London, which had nothing to do with any murder plot – could have been reasonably well 'covered.'

Precisely because of these facts, the one scenario which can very easily be completely ruled out is that which is basic to the 'information operations' now coming out of London and Washington. In this, Berezovsky's death is portrayed as a key element in a systematic attempt by the Putin 'sistema' to eradicate the supposedly heroic opposition, much of it located in London.

That sustaining this fable is critical to defending the credibility of Steele, and therefore of the whole 'Russiagate' narrative, is quite evident from the 'From Russia With Blood' materials published by 'BuzzFeed' in July last year.

(See https://www.buzzfeed.com/he... .)

This, however, leads on to a paradox, which is highlighted by a piece posted by James George Jatras on the 'Strategic Culture Foundation' site on 18 August, entitled 'Have You Committed Your Three Felonies Today?'

(See https://www.strategic-cultu... .)

Among the points Jatras – who I think is an Orthodox Christian – makes is that the logic of contesting the 'Russiagate' narrative has had some strange consequences. Among these, there is one on which the actual history of the activities of Berezovsky and his 'information operations' people bears directly:

'Flipping the "Russians did it" narrative: Among the President's defenders, on say Fox News, no less than among his detractors, Russia is the enemy who (altogether now!) "interfered in our elections" in order to "undermine our democracy." Mitt Romney was right! The only argument is over who was the intended beneficiary of Muscovite mendacity, Trump or Hillary – that's the variable. The constant is that Putin is Hitler and only a traitor would want to get along with him. All sides agree that the Christopher Steele dossier is full of "Russian dirt" – though there's literally zero actual evidence of Kremlin involvement but a lot pointing to Britain's MI6 and GCHQ.'

(See https://www.strategic-cultu... .)

For reasons I have already discussed, I think what while Jatras is substantially right, 'zero evidence' is only partially correct: It seems to me that disinformation supplied by elements in Russian intelligence could quite possibly have found its way into the second and final memoranda.

That said, Jatras has pointed to a fundamental feature of the current situation, which involves multiple ironies.

The total destruction of Steele's credibility could easily be achieved by anyone who was interested in looking at the evidence about the life and death of the late Alexander Litvinenko seriously. However, because a central tactic of most of those who are attacking the 'Russiagate' narrative has generally been 'Flipping the "Russians did it" narrative', they are like people who ought to be able to see Steele's 'Achilles' heel', but in practice, often end up attacking him where his armour is, without being, not at its weakest.

Meanwhile, as I have already stressed, the ability of the Russian authorities to undermine the 'narrative' produced by the 'information operations' people around Berezovsky, of whom the most important are Alex Goldfarb and Yuri Shvets, is compromised by their fear of having to 'own up to' their actual role in the smuggling of the polonium into London in October-November 2007.

The person who had a strong interest in blowing this structure of illusion to pieces was actually Lugovoi. But it seems to me at least possible that there has been a kind of disguised covert conspiracy by elements in Western and Russian intelligence to ensure there was no risk of him doing so.

Steve Smith , 3 days ago

One of the things I've never understood about the Trump Dossier story is the lack of any forensic analysis of its content and style anywhere in the media, even the alt media. Who was supposed to have actually written it? Steele? The style does not match someone of his background and education, and the formatting and syntax were atrocious. The font actually varied from "report" to "report." It certainly did not give me the impression of being the product of a high-end, Belgravia consultancy.

I wonder whether it was produced by an American of one sort or another and then "laundered" by being accorded association with the UK firm. Given that Steele just happened to be hired by the USG to help in the anti-FIFA skulduggery, he and his firm seem very much to be a concern that does dirty little jobs that need discretely to be done, though in this case, the discretion was undermined.

Paul M , 3 days ago

Most of the memos were issued before October and Fusion/Simpson authorized Steele to release information to the FBI starting in July. The question is why the memos were released after the election when a release before the election would have been enough to sink Trump. Instead the FBI and presumably those paying Fusion on Hillarys behalf sat on it, and Comey comes out days before the election

Saying he was reopening the HC email investigation.

Kind of looks like they all wanted Trump in office and the disclosure was to give Trump the excuse needed to back track on his promises to improve relations with Russia and blame that on pressure from the Deep State and Russia Gate.

Looking at Trumps history with Sater (FBI/CIA asset) and his political aspirations that began following his Moscow visit in 1987 it seems likely Trump has been a Deep State asset for 30 years and fed intelligence to CIA/FBI on Russian oligarchs and mafia . Indeed he may well have duped Russians into believing he was working for them when in fact it was the CIA/FBI who had the best Kompromat with US RICO laws that could have beggared him

richardstevenhack , 3 days ago

One thing to remember about the FBI is Sy Hersh. Hersh claims the FBI has been sitting on a report for two years that fingers murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich as the Wikileaks DNC email leaker (or one of them, at least.)

Now can we imagine that not everyone in a senior position at the FBI knows about that report? I can't. Literally everyone from the supervisor of the Special Agent or computer forensic investigator who examined Rich's computer right up to the Director HAD to know that report exists - and covered it up.

That right there is obstruction of justice and conspiracy. Literally everyone at the FBI who can't PROVE he didn't know about that report will be going to jail. The entire top administration of the FBI is going to go down.

And how many people at the Department of Justice are aware of that report? Did Rosenstein know? Who else in the Obama administration knew?

That would be motivation for a lot of desperate maneuvering. Add to that who was really behind the Steele Dossier and even more people are likely to end up in jail.

Pat Lang Mod -> richardstevenhack , 3 days ago

What is the link for Hersh saying that?

richardstevenhack -> Pat Lang , 3 days ago

You haven't heard that yet? It's the infamous audio tape that Hersh was caught on discussing it. He's since obfuscated what he said, but the tape stands on its own, and he has never said that anything he said on the tape wasn't true, despite that a lot of Democrats and Trump-bashers claim he has.

Here's one source on Youtube:

Seymour Hersh discussing Wikileaks DNC leaks Seth Rich & FBI report

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FgYzB96_EK7s%3Ffeature%3Doembed&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DgYzB96_EK7s&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FgYzB96_EK7s%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=21d07d84db7f4d66a55297735025d6d1&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

Pat Lang Mod -> richardstevenhack , 3 days ago

I have told you several times and I will tell you again probably hopelessly that Hersh PERSONALLY has told me that the "tape" was made without his permission or knowledge when he was aimlessly speculating on possibilities.

richardstevenhack -> Pat Lang , 3 days ago

I am unaware of your explicitly telling me that he personally told you that the tape was "aimless speculation." My apologies if I missed that response.

Of course the tape was made without his permission. We all know that. It's irrelevant to what he said on the tape.

What I'm saying is that despite what he may have told you, nothing on that tape sounds like "aimless speculation".

When you consider that he has four good reasons for dissembling about the tape, I view it as far more likely that everything he said was true.

1) If what he said is true, he may have compromised his FBI contact. Not good for his line of work.

2) If what he said is true, compromising that contact may well make all his other contacts wary about talking to him in the future - a bad deal for a journalist who relies on his contacts.

3) If what he said is true, he may have compromised his ability to get his "long form journalism" article published - a problem he already has had in the past.

4) If what he said is true, he's accusing the FBI of sitting on that report for two years, which might well make him a target of retaliation in some way.

If you believe that everything he said on the tape is untrue and that is what he explicitly told you, fine. I'm waiting for his "long form journalism" report to explain it. So far everything he has said publicly about it has not contradicted what he said on the tape, but merely waved his hands about it.

Pat Lang Mod -> richardstevenhack , 3 days ago

Sy Hersh talks a lot both loudly and profanely. He never intended to tell Buttowski that there was more than a possibility that the FBI held more than a rumor that this might be true. He talked to Buttowski because a mutual friend of him and me asked him to do so for no good reason. Please go talk to all the other people you pester and not on SST. You are an argumentative nuisance.

Aukuu Makule -> Pat Lang , 3 days ago

I have no stake in the debate about Rich, DNC, wikileaks.
But I do notice some loose ends. Hersh may well have engaged in speculation, but it is interesting speculation:
quote:
55. During his conversation with Butowsky, Mr. Hersh claimed that he had received information from an "FBI report." Mr. Hersh had not seen the report himself, but explained: "I have somebody on the inside who will go and read a file for me. And I know this person is unbelievably accurate and careful. He's a very high level guy."

56. According to Mr. Hersh, his source told him that the FBI report states that, shortly after Seth Rich's murder, the D.C. police obtained a warrant to search his home. When they arrived at the home, the D.C. police found Seth Rich's computer, but were unable to access it.The computer was then provided to the D.C. police Cyber Unit, who also were unable to access the computer. At that point, the D.C. police contacted the Cyber Unit at the FBI's Washington D.C. field office. Again, according to the supposed FBI report, the Washington D.C. field office was able to get into the computer and found that in "late spring early summer [2016], [Seth Rich][made] contact with Wikileaks." "They found what he had done. He had submitted a series of documents, of emails. Some juicy emails from the DNC." Mr. Hersh told Butowsky that Seth Rich "offered a sample [to WikiLeaks][,] an extensive sample, you know I'm sure dozens, of emails, and said I want money."
. . .
"I hear gossip," Hersh tells NPR on Monday. "[Butowsky] took two and two and made 45 out of it."
. . .
The clip is definitely worth listening to in its entirety if you haven't already. Hersh is heard telling Butowsky that he had a high-level insider read him an FBI file confirming that Seth Rich was known to have been in contact with WikiLeaks prior to his death, which is not even a tiny bit remotely the same as having "heard rumors". Hersh's statements in the audio recording and his statement to NPR cannot both be true.
endquote
https://medium.com/@caityjo...

blue peacock , 3 days ago

All

An interview of Rep. John Ratcliffe who will lead the questioning of Bruce Ohr.

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2Fqn23H0vMCsM%3Ffeature%3Doembed&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dqn23H0vMCsM&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2Fqn23H0vMCsM%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=21d07d84db7f4d66a55297735025d6d1&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

Rob , 3 days ago

I suspect Buzzfeed were in the grip of Trump Derangement Syndrome, and perhaps you overestimate their professionalism.

David Habakkuk -> Rob , 3 days ago

Rob,

You may very well be right. There may be a large element of 'amateur night out' about this.

But then I come back to the question of who decided that the dossier be published, and who, if anyone, was consulted before the decision was made. For the reasons I gave, I am reasonably confident that those on this side who had been in one way or another complicit in its production and covert dissemination were taken aback by the publication.

It is not clear to me whether anything significant can be inferred from the publicly available evidence about whether those on your side who had been complicit were involved in the decision to publish without taking even elementary precautions, or whether the 'Buzzfeed' people just had a rush of blood to the head.

blue peacock -> David Habakkuk , 3 days ago

David

I suspect the decision to publish the dossier was political. It was required to enable Clapper, Brennan, and others to opine on national media and create further media hysteria prior to the vote as well as to justify the counter-intelligence investigations underway. They were throwing the kitchen sink to sink Trump's electoral chances. I don't think a lot of thought was given about the legal ramifications.

This seems to be a pattern. Leak information. Then use the leaked story to justify actions like apply for a FISA warrant or fan the media flames.

Cynthia Anne , 4 days ago

And now they are turning on one another. Hayden just slammed Clapper for making too much of losing the security clearance the he abuse for political reasons.

Pat Lang Mod -> Cynthia Anne , 4 days ago

Looks like both Clapper and Haydon made the same comment about Brennan. they said "his rhetoric was becoming a problem. Ah, the USAF intel rats are swimming for the shore. Lets see how many others (not all USAF) decide to try to save themselves.

blue peacock -> Pat Lang , 4 days ago

Col. Lang

I find it incredulous that former leaders of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies have gained paid access to powerful media platforms and they have used it to launch vicious attacks on a POTUS.

I find it amazing that McCabe and Peter Strzok are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars on social media platforms.

IMO, everyone on the list that Sarah Sanders noted, should not just lose their clearance but should be testifying to a grand jury.

MP98 -> blue peacock , 3 days ago

Not really incredulous. Just expected behavior from swamp creatures whose self-assumed importance and "rights" (that the rest of us peasants don't have) are coming under threat.

David Habakkuk -> blue peacock , 3 days ago

blue peacock

It seems to me absolutely appalling, and I am also appalled that people on this side appear to have been playing a central role in all this.

One question. It seems to me that if what seems likely to be true does prove true, a range of these people must have committed very serious offences indeed.

However, I am too ignorant to know what precisely those offences might be. If you, or anyone else, had a clear understanding, I would be interested.

English Outsider -> David Habakkuk , 3 days ago

"It seems to me absolutely appalling, and I am also appalled that people on this side appear to have been playing a central role in all this."

That says it all. We got the more discreditable side of the affair outsourced to us. Ugh. Is that all we're fit for now in the UK? White helmets and Khan Sheikhoun and Steele, all the scrubby stuff? Is that what the famous "Special Relationship" now consists of? We get to do the scrubby stuff because it's what we're fit for and we can be relied upon to keep it quiet?

Because at least on the American side there are people concerned about the political/PR involvement of parts of their own Intelligence Community, and seeking to have it looked into. Here - am I right? - it's dead silence.

I've been permitted to say before on SST that I don't think the Americans are going to resolve this affair satisfactorily until more light is cast on the UK side. But I also think that, for our own sakes, we should be looking at what exactly our IC does, and in particular, how much UK political involvement there was in what is now clear was a direct PR attack on an American President.

Pat Lang Mod -> English Outsider , 3 days ago

I strongly suspect that Steele has a future as a novelist.

blue peacock -> David Habakkuk , 3 days ago

David

I'm not a lawyer and have no experience with the federal criminal statutes. Having said that I suspect that the following could be considered crimes:

There may also be certain professional agreements with the government that may have been violated. The only way any of these people will face a grand jury is if Donald Trump chooses to take action. Left to the natural devices of the law enforcement institutions nothing will happen and they will sweep everything under the rug. The intensity of Trump's tweets and the accusations therein are rising. If the GOP retains the House and Jim Jordan becomes speaker, then there may be a possibility that Sessions, Rosenstein and Wray may be fired and another special counsel appointed who will then convene a grand jury.

Considering what has been uncovered by Congressional investigators and the DOJ IG, I am truly surprised that Sessions has resisted the appointment of a special counsel. But of course that could go the way of the Owens inquiry in your country.

[Sep 16, 2018] Polling the Left Agenda -- Finally

Notable quotes:
"... there is strong support for egalitarian populist redistributive public policy. ..."
"... His positions against illegal immigration and free trade also beat Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton was a very experienced and savvy politician but she was tied to NAFTA thru her husband. And the Democratic party's defense of allowing ANY foreigner to walk across our borders without ANY sort of background check whatsoever, and remain in the country, was a losing proposition. ..."
"... Labor unions can claw back the "missing 10%" of overall income that a unionless labor market has squeezed out of the bottom 40% of earners; raising the bottom 40% back to 20% income share -- through higher consumer prices at Target, Walgreen's, etc. ..."
"... if fast food can pay $15/hr with 33% (!) labor costs, Target('s consumers) can easily pay $20/hr with 12% labor costs and Walmart('s consumers) can easily pay $25/hr with 7% labor costs. ..."
"... Your description of Republicans is spot on. However, other than their maniacal obsession with divisive identity politics, Democrats are hardly much better given the that they ALSO kowtow to the Wall Street and the wealthy. Neither major party represents working people–it just too bad that working people allow themselves to be forever divided by two corrupt political parties who view them with little but contempt. ..."
"... In other words Dems lost their legitimacy, identify politics did not work this time as well as in the past. I would say that the whole neoliberal elite lost its legitimacy. That's why Russiagate was launched, and Neo-McCarthyism hysteria was launched by Podesta and friends to cement those cracks that divide the USA. ..."
"... The Dem Party became a grab bag of identity groups. But this election the dominant was anti-globalization discourse, and Dems suffered a humiliating defeat. With Republican Party grabbing the the tool they created. The collies of small town America led to collapse of Dems. ..."
"... People do vote against their economic interest ("What the matter with Kansas" situation). But the level of alienation of working and lower middle class is really extreme. The opioid epidemic is just one sign of this. So Trump election was just a middle finger to the neoliberal elite. ..."
"... We actually do not have left in the USA. Because there is no real discussion about neoliberalism and alternatives. Bernie called himself "democratic socialist'. Which was at least in sense transformational. But that's it. Bernie is not anti-war and anti-American empire. ..."
Aug 04, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

As should already be clear from existing polls ( click and search for "fair" ), there is strong support for egalitarian populist redistributive public policy.

At Data For Progress, they chose to emphasize the positive -- four proposals with overwhelming support, but I think it is just as striking that opinion is almost equally split on a top marginal income tax rate of 90% (2% more oppose than support) and universal basic income (2% more oppose than support).

In particular, a (very narrow) plurality of whites without a bachelors degree support a universal basic income. One way to summarize the results is that pundits' guesses about public opinion match the opinions of college educated whites (surprise surprise). That is the group least enthusiastic about universal basic income (by far) (OK I admit I am white and have university degrees so I should say "we are" but like hell i'm going to be classed with my fellow White American College educated opponents of UBI).


JimH , August 2, 2018 9:59 am

"The key question for Democrats (and the USA) is why did most of a group of people more of whom support than oppose UBI vote for Trump ? How can there be such a huge gap between bread and butter big dollar issue polling (where the median US adult is to the left of the mainstream of the Democratic Party) and voting ?"

During the Republican primaries, candidate Trump lost in the polls and won on the ballots. In the run up to the Republican convention, mainstream Republicans were searching for any way to deny the nomination to candidate Trump. (Without ruining the party.)

So candidate Trump was not a traditional mainstream Republican presidential candidate. Candidate Trump espoused most of the mainstream Republican party position. But what separated him from the pack were his positions on illegal immigration and free trade treaties. And Republican voters chose him.

His positions against illegal immigration and free trade also beat Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton was a very experienced and savvy politician but she was tied to NAFTA thru her husband. And the Democratic party's defense of allowing ANY foreigner to walk across our borders without ANY sort of background check whatsoever, and remain in the country, was a losing proposition.

Candidate Clinton could have beaten any of the other Republican candidates.

Unbridled immigration into European countries has caused enough problems for the native born citizens that it has become a huge political issue. Angela Merkel successfully oversaw the uniting of east and west Germany. (A triumph!) But on immigration, her reach exceeded her grasp, she completely misunderstood the magnitude of the problem. And she is splitting the European Union.

Politicians in Europe and the United States speak of populism as if it was some sort of new influence. That voters have never been seen to vote their own interests! European and American voters have allowed their politicians almost a free rein for decades. They seemed to assume that the political class knew best. But that period is coming to an end.

Democrats can beat Republican candidates, but first they have to accept that politics is the art of the possible.

Denis Drew , August 2, 2018 10:22 am

There is a practical, doable way to re-institute American labor unions (to German density level) tomorrow.

Labor unions can claw back the "missing 10%" of overall income that a unionless labor market has squeezed out of the bottom 40% of earners; raising the bottom 40% back to 20% income share -- through higher consumer prices at Target, Walgreen's, etc.

No doubt about this: if fast food can pay $15/hr with 33% (!) labor costs, Target('s consumers) can easily pay $20/hr with 12% labor costs and Walmart('s consumers) can easily pay $25/hr with 7% labor costs.

Easy practical way to do this: amend the NLRA to mandate regularly scheduled cert elections at every private workplace (I would suggest one, three or five year cycles; local plurality rules).

Practical because no other way to rebuild American unions. Illegal (effective-penalty free) union busting disease has so permeated our labor market that there is no normal organizing going back. Even if we made union busting a felony, millions of businesspersons across the country could just say: "What are you going to do, put us all in jail?"

Tear a page from the Rebublican's union busting playbook -- skip over organizing -- skip right to elections on a regular basis:

Why Not Hold Union Representation Elections on a Regular Schedule?

Andrew Strom -- November 1st, 2017

"Republicans in Congress have already proposed a bill [Repub amend] that would require a new election in each unionized bargaining unit whenever, through turnover, expansion, or merger, a unit experiences at least 50 percent turnover. While no union would be happy about expending limited resources on regular retention elections, I think it would be hard to turn down a trade that would allow the 93% of workers who are unrepresented to have a chance to opt for unionization on a regular schedule."

https://onlabor.org/why-not-hold-union-representation-elections-on-a-regular-schedule

Wheels within wheels of poetic justice: a Democratic proposed labor market-make-over would corral a lot of blue collar voters (Obama voters, remember?) back into the Democratic win column – so we could pass said amendment in the first place.

Robert Kuttner recently pointed out that Dems can lean left economically as far as they please -- they will only pick up blue collar workers when they lean left economically.
http://prospect.org/article/yes-democrats-need-run-left-on-economics

All said, all you have to realize is that there is no other way back -- do this or do nothing forever.
Stealing a page from Scott Walker's playbook is "the" win-win-win issue.

Karl Kolchak , August 2, 2018 10:35 am

Your description of Republicans is spot on. However, other than their maniacal obsession with divisive identity politics, Democrats are hardly much better given the that they ALSO kowtow to the Wall Street and the wealthy. Neither major party represents working people–it just too bad that working people allow themselves to be forever divided by two corrupt political parties who view them with little but contempt.

EMichael, August 2, 2018 11:11 am

KK,

"To hold President Trump accountable, the Center for American Progress Action Fund's American Worker Project is tracking every action the president takes to weaken job protections for Americans.

Our list includes legislation and orders signed by the president; procedural changes and regulations enacted or proposed by his administration; and official statements of policy, such as the president's proposed budget. The list does not include political nominations and appointments of individuals with records of enacting anti-worker policies, since these actions happened outside their role in the administration."

https://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/economy/reports/2018/01/26/168366/president-trumps-policies-hurting-american-workers/

There are 36 so far.

urban legend , August 3, 2018 3:47 pm

"Neither major party represents working people–it just too bad that working people allow themselves to be forever divided by two corrupt political parties who view them with little but contempt."

That's the kind of bullshit that allowed Trump to sneak into office. The Democrats may not be your idea of pro-worker or anti-Wall Street, but the difference in voting on bread-and-butter issues between Republicans and Democrats is dramatic. On just one issue, with a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress, there is no doubt we already would have seen a minimum wage to at least $10 per hour. That's not sufficient, but it's almost 40% better than what the Republicans are happy with. Tell a family with two minimum wage workers that an extra $11,000 in their pockets is worthless!

We also would not have seen a Janus decision, because Gorsuch would not be on the Court.

We probably would have already had a public option added to ACA -- at least for people aged 50-64 without employer-provided insurance having the right to buy into Medicare. Consideration of a broader public option for everyone in the exchanges would be on the table, too, with very strong public support (and, therefore, likely passage).

That's just three issues. This pox-on-both-your houses is truly toxic. It's uninformed. Yes, it's deplorable.

likbez , August 4, 2018 12:30 am

"Neither major party represents working people–it just too bad that working people allow themselves to be forever divided by two corrupt political parties who view them with little but contempt."

That's the kind of bullshit that allowed Trump to sneak into office. The Democrats may not be your idea of pro-worker or anti-Wall Street, but the difference in voting on bread-and-butter issues between Republicans and Democrats is dramatic

This line of thinking is well known as "What the matter with Kansas" line. It is true that "That's allowed Trump to sneak into office."

But you ignored the fact that Democratic Party entered a profound crisis (aka "demexit" similar to Brexit) from which they still are unable to escape. Clinton ideas that workers do not have alternative and will vote for peanuts Dems are willing to give them stop working.

In other words Dems lost their legitimacy, identify politics did not work this time as well as in the past. I would say that the whole neoliberal elite lost its legitimacy. That's why Russiagate was launched, and Neo-McCarthyism hysteria was launched by Podesta and friends to cement those cracks that divide the USA.

The Dem Party became a grab bag of identity groups. But this election the dominant was anti-globalization discourse, and Dems suffered a humiliating defeat. With Republican Party grabbing the the tool they created. The collies of small town America led to collapse of Dems.

People do vote against their economic interest ("What the matter with Kansas" situation). But the level of alienation of working and lower middle class is really extreme. The opioid epidemic is just one sign of this. So Trump election was just a middle finger to the neoliberal elite.

We actually do not have left in the USA. Because there is no real discussion about neoliberalism and alternatives. Bernie called himself "democratic socialist'. Which was at least in sense transformational. But that's it. Bernie is not anti-war and anti-American empire.

Hillary was a traditional neocon warmonger, defender of the empire in foreign policy and corrupt to the core, greedy politician in domestic policy (in the pocket of Wall Street and special interests).

As somebody noted here:

The term Progressive is now so mutilated that it's no longer effective as an identifier of political affiliation. To be a real Progressive: one must be Anti-War, except in the most dire of circumstances, which includes being Anti-Imperialist/Anti-Empire; 2nd, one must be Pro-Justice as in promoting Rule of Law over all else; 3rd, one must be tolerant and willing to listen to others; and 4th, work for Win-Win outcomes and denounce Zero-sum as the smoke screen for increasing inequality.

[Sep 16, 2018] The Enigma of Orwellian Donald Trump -- How Does He Get Away with It So Easily by Prof Rodrigue Tremblay

This is a very weak article, but it raises several important questions such as the role or neoliberal MSM in color revolution against Trump and which social group constituted the voting block that brought Trump to victory. The author answers incorrectly on both those questions.
I think overall Tremblay analysis of Trump (and by extension of national neoliberalism he promotes) is incorrect. Probably the largest group of voters which voted for Trump were voters who were against neoliberal globalization and who now feel real distrust and aversion to the ruling neoliberal elite.
Trump is probably right to view neoliberal journalists as enemies: they are tools of intelligence agencies which as agents of Wall Street promote globalization
At the same time Trump turned to be Obama II: he instantly betrayed his voters after the election. His election slogan "make Ameraca great again" bacem that same joke as Obama "Change we can believe in". And he proved to be as jingoistic as Obama (A Nobel Pease Price laureate who was militarists dream come true)
In discussion of groups who votes for Trump the author forgot to mention part of professional which skeptically view neoliberal globalization and its destrction of jobs (for example programmer jobs in the USA) as well as blue color workers decimated by offshoring of major industries.
Notable quotes:
"... "Just stick with us, don't believe the crap you see from these people [journalists], the fake news Just remember, what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. " ..."
"... Donald Trump (1946- ), American President, (in remarks made during a campaign rally with Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Kansas City, July 24, 2018) ..."
"... "The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." ..."
"... This is a White House where everybody lies ..."
"... I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power ..."
"... The second one can be found in Trump's artful and cunning tactics to unbalance and manipulate the media to increase his visibility to the general public and to turn them into his own tools of propaganda. ..."
"... ad hominem' ..."
"... Donald Trump essentially has the traits of a typical showman diva , behaving in politics just as he did when he was the host of a TV show. Indeed, if one considers politics and public affairs as no more than a reality show, this means that they are really entertainment, and politicians are first and foremost entertainers or comedians. ..."
"... He prefers to rely on one-directional so-called 'tweets' to express unfiltered personal ideas and emotions (as if he were a private person), and to use them as his main public relations channel of communication. ..."
"... checks and balance ..."
"... The centralization of power in the hands of one man is bound to have serious political consequences, both for the current administration and for future ones. ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

"Just stick with us, don't believe the crap you see from these people [journalists], the fake news Just remember, what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. "

Donald Trump (1946- ), American President, (in remarks made during a campaign rally with Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Kansas City, July 24, 2018)

"The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command."

George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) (1903-1950), English novelist, essayist, and social critic, (in '1984', Ch. 7, 1949)

" This is a White House where everybody lies ." Omarosa Manigault Newman (1974- ), former White House aide to President Donald Trump, (on Sunday August 12, 2018, while releasing tapes recording conversations with Donald Trump.)

" I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power ." Benjamin Franklin ( 1706 – 1790 ), American inventor and US Founding Father, (in 'Words of the Founding Fathers', 2012).

***

In this day and age, with instant information, how does a politician succeed in double-talking, in bragging, in scapegoating and in shamefully distorting the truth, most of the time, without being unmasked as a charlatan and discredited? Why? That is the mysterious and enigmatic question that one may ask about U. S. President Donald Trump, as a politician.

The most obvious answer is the fact that Trump's one-issue and cult-like followers do not care what he does or says and whether or not he has declared a war on truth and reality , provided he delivers the political and financial benefits they demand of him, based on their ideological or pecuniary interests. These groups of voters live in their own reality and only their personal interests count.

1- Four groups of one-issue voters behind Trump

There are four groups of one-issue voters to whom President Donald Trump has delivered the goodies:

With the strong support of these four monolithic lobbies -- his electoral base -- politician Donald Trump can count on the indefectible support of between 35 percent and 40 percent of the American electorate. It is ironic that some of Trump's other policies, like reducing health care coverage and the raising of import taxes, will hurt the poor and the middle class, even though some of Trump's victims can be considered members of the above lobbies.

Moreover, some of Trump's supporters regularly rely on hypocrisy and on excuses to exonerate their favorite but flawed politician of choice. If any other politician from a different party were to say and do half of what Donald Trump does and says, they would be asking for his impeachment.

There are three other reasons why Trump's rants, his record-breaking lies , his untruths, his deceptions and his dictatorial-style attempts to control information , in the eyes of his fanatical supporters, at least, are like water on the back of a duck. ( -- For the record, according to the Washington Post , as of early August, President Trump has made some 4,229 false claims, which amount to 7.6 a day, since his inauguration.)

Is Trump a New Kind of Fascist?

2- Show Politics and public affairs as a form of entertainment

Donald Trump does not seem to take politics and public affairs very seriously, at least when his own personal interests are involved. Therefore, when things go bad, he never volunteers to take personal responsibility, contrary to what a true leader would do, and he conveniently shifts the blame on somebody else. This is a sign of immaturity or cowardice. Paraphrasing President Harry Truman, "the buck never stops at his desk."

Donald Trump essentially has the traits of a typical showman diva , behaving in politics just as he did when he was the host of a TV show. Indeed, if one considers politics and public affairs as no more than a reality show, this means that they are really entertainment, and politicians are first and foremost entertainers or comedians.

3- Trump VS the media and the journalists

Donald Trump is the first U.S. president who rarely holds scheduled press conferences. Why would he, since he considers journalists to be his "enemies"! It doesn't seem to matter to him that freedom of the press is guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution by the First Amendment. He prefers to rely on one-directional so-called 'tweets' to express unfiltered personal ideas and emotions (as if he were a private person), and to use them as his main public relations channel of communication.

The ABC News network has calculated that, as of last July, Trump has tweeted more than 3,500 times, slightly more than seven tweets a day. How could he have time left to do anything productive! Coincidently, Donald Trump's number of tweets is not far away from the number of outright lies and misleading claims that he has told and made since his inauguration. The Washington Post has counted no less than 3,251 lies or misleading claims of his, through the end of May of this year, -- an average of 6.5 such misstatements per day of his presidency. Fun fact: Trump seems to accelerate the pace of his lies. Last year, he told 5.5 lies per day, on average. Is it possible to have a more cynical view of politics!

The media in general, (and not only American ones), then serve more or less voluntarily as so many resonance boxes for his daily 'tweets', most of which are often devoid of any thought and logic.

Such a practice has the consequence of demeaning the public discourse in the pursuit of the common good and the general welfare of the people to the level of a frivolous private enterprise, where expertise, research and competence can easily be replaced by improvisation, whimsical arbitrariness and charlatanry. In such a climate, only the short run counts, at the expense of planning for the long run.

Conclusion

All this leads to this conclusion: Trump's approach is not the way to run an efficient government. Notwithstanding the U.S. Constitution and what it says about the need to have " checks and balance s" among different government branches, President Donald Trump has de facto pushed aside the U.S. Congress and the civil servants in important government Departments, even his own Cabinet , whose formal meetings under Trump have been little more than photo-up happenings, to grab the central political stage for himself. If such a development does not represent an ominous threat to American democracy, what does?

The centralization of power in the hands of one man is bound to have serious political consequences, both for the current administration and for future ones.

*

This article was originally published on the author's blog site: rodriguetremblay100.blogspot.com .

International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book " The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles ", and of "The New American Empire" . Please visit Dr. Tremblay's sites : http://rodriguetremblay100.blogspot.com/ and http://rodriguetremblay.blogspot.com/

[Sep 16, 2018] The US and the UK, unlike most Western democracies, permit anonymous ownership of real estate which facilitates money laundering of roughly $ 300 billion per year in the United States alone, most of it from Russia

There might be criminal connection to Russian oligarchs, but it was for Trump organization which might play a role in Russian oligarchs money laundering via real estate
Notable quotes:
"... The US and the UK, unlike most Western democracies, permit anonymous ownership of real estate which facilitates money laundering of roughly $300 billion per year in the United States alone, most of it from Russia. As a result, luxury real estate has provided a haven for Russian oligarchs ..."
"... According to a BuzzFeed investigation by Thomas Frank, more than 1,300 condos, one-fifth of all Trump-branded condos sold in the US since the eighties, were sold "in secretive, all-cash transactions that enable buyers to avoid legal scrutiny by shielding their finances and identities." The BuzzFeed article added that the total value of these condo sales -- sales that match the US Treasury's criteria for possible money laundering -- was about $ 1.5 billion, a figure that actually may understate the amount of dirty money in play. ..."
"... Starting in 2006, Donald Jr., executive vice president of development and acquisitions for the Trump Organization, made about half a dozen trips to Russia over the course of a year and a half. "In terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets, ....We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia." ..."
"... After a decade of litigation, multiple bankruptcies, and $4 billion in debt, Trump rose from the near-dead with the help of Bayrock and its alleged ties to Russian intelligence and the Russian Mafia. "They saved his bacon," said Kenneth McCallion, a former federal prosecutor ..."
"... Another Bayrock partner, the Sapir Organization, had, through its principal, oligarch Tamir Sapir, a long business relationship with Semyon Kislin, the Ukranian billionare commodities trader who was tied to the Chernoy brothers and, according to the FBI, to Vyacheslav Ivankov's Russian mafias gang in Brighton Beach. ..."
"... Mueller has had over a year to investigate. No doubt he can call on vast resources of US govt too. For all that effort, Mueller has not shown direct Russian govt influence (yet). ..."
"... JR, ben was right on that point. I would put it this way: Trump is owned by Zionist Russian Oligarchs with dual citizenship. Haaretz has an article Know your oligarch: A guide to the Jewish billionaires in the Trump Russia probe. ..."
"... Let's just say there's a huge incentive to sell the Trump illusion and push the Trump juice around here. ..."
Aug 31, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Pft | Aug 30, 2018 9:59:52 PM | 58

Jackrabbit@35

what russian oligarchs?

House of Trump, House of Putin has some interesting stuff.

The US and the UK, unlike most Western democracies, permit anonymous ownership of real estate which facilitates money laundering of roughly $300 billion per year in the United States alone, most of it from Russia. As a result, luxury real estate has provided a haven for Russian oligarchs

According to a BuzzFeed investigation by Thomas Frank, more than 1,300 condos, one-fifth of all Trump-branded condos sold in the US since the eighties, were sold "in secretive, all-cash transactions that enable buyers to avoid legal scrutiny by shielding their finances and identities." The BuzzFeed article added that the total value of these condo sales -- sales that match the US Treasury's criteria for possible money laundering -- was about $ 1.5 billion, a figure that actually may understate the amount of dirty money in play.

Starting in 2006, Donald Jr., executive vice president of development and acquisitions for the Trump Organization, made about half a dozen trips to Russia over the course of a year and a half. "In terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets, ....We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."

After a decade of litigation, multiple bankruptcies, and $4 billion in debt, Trump rose from the near-dead with the help of Bayrock and its alleged ties to Russian intelligence and the Russian Mafia. "They saved his bacon," said Kenneth McCallion, a former federal prosecutor

Another Bayrock partner, the Sapir Organization, had, through its principal, oligarch Tamir Sapir, a long business relationship with Semyon Kislin, the Ukranian billionare commodities trader who was tied to the Chernoy brothers and, according to the FBI, to Vyacheslav Ivankov's Russian mafias gang in Brighton Beach.

Trumps man Giuliani appointed Kislin to be a member of the New York City Economic Development Corporation

Kushner paid $295 million for some of the floors in the old New York Times building, purchased in 2015 from the US branch of Israili-Russian oligarch Leviev's company, Africa Israel Investments (AFI), and partner, Five Mile Capital.

Kushner later borrowed $285 million from the German financial company Deutsche Bank, which has also been linked to Russian money laundering,

The Trumps Taj Mahal had become a favorite destination for the Russian mob because Trump made a point of giving high rollers "comps" for up to $100,000 a visit, an amenity that casinos often offered big-time gamblers. Later, two other Trump casinos, the Trump Castle Hotel and Casino, and the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, agreed to pay fines for "willfully failing to report" currency transactions over $10,000 and failing to comply with laws designed to prevent money laundering.

There is not a major Russian organized crime figure who we are tracking who does not also carry an Israeli passport," said Jonathan Winer, the former money-laundering czar in the Clinton State Department.

Trump World Tower, one-third of the units on the tower's highest and priciest floors, floors seventy-six to eighty-three,* had been snatched up, either by individual buyers from the former Soviet Union, or by limited liability companies connected to Russia or countries that had been part of the Soviet Union. "We had big buyers from Russia and Ukraine and Kazakhstan," sales agent Debra Stotts told Bloomberg Businessweek. Ukrainian billionaire Semyon "Sam" Kislin assisted the sales effort by issuing mortgages to buyers of Trump's latest luxury condos.

Trump Tower in Toronto. When it came to financing the skyscraper, Shnaider, a billionaire of Russian extraction, turned to Raiffeisen Bank International AG in Vienna, a bank whose affiliate has been called "a front to provide legitimacy to the gas company [US-indicted Russian crime boss Semion Mogilevich] controls, RosUkrEnergo," according to Scott F. Kilner, deputy chief of mission for the US embassy in Austria. So it followed that it was likely that funds from the Mogilevich-Firtash money pipeline were behind the Trump project in Toronto.

Then there is the Chabad connection of the Kushners and Putin backed Russian oligarchs, but no time for that

Jackrabbit | Aug 30, 2018 11:04:20 PM | 63

Pft

Clarifying: it's good info about the suspicions of Trump-Russian connections. I appreciate you're being helpful in providing that.

Mueller has had over a year to investigate. No doubt he can call on vast resources of US govt too. For all that effort, Mueller has not shown direct Russian govt influence (yet).

Circe , Aug 30, 2018 11:18:23 PM | 64

@57

JR, ben was right on that point. I would put it this way: Trump is owned by Zionist Russian Oligarchs with dual citizenship. Haaretz has an article Know your oligarch: A guide to the Jewish billionaires in the Trump Russia probe.

It would be great if the Mueller probe exposes how minor Russia collusion is compared to Zionist collusion. Ergo the big prizes for Israel and status quo for Russia under Trump.

I suspect that most still pushing the Trump illusion here are Zionists who care squat about party and American democracy but are really pleased with what Trump is doing for Israel i.e. MIGA and the Zionist American collusion that is growing exponentially with each successive American President.

Trump is their man and he's being well-supported by Zionists even here disguised as Russia lovers, populists and Hillary haters. Let's not forget how many Russians are Zionists: over one million in Israel, not to mention Soviet Jews from former Soviet territory. So the numbers are much greater. An army of hasbara on the web.

Let's just say there's a huge incentive to sell the Trump illusion and push the Trump juice around here. It's concealed hasbara masquerading as Trumpism, plain and simple! Shameless pretense and very transparent.

[Sep 16, 2018] Essentially, this book is just Michael Wolfe or Omarosa's stories, only drier and with more footnotes

Notable quotes:
"... Rather than being a revelatory, shocking look behind the curtain of an administration run by the single dumbest man to ever hold his office, the book just confirms the stories we've already heard, mixing in additional commentary from people in or close to the White House, mostly former employees who clearly still agree with Trump's agenda, even if they could no longer stand the man himself. ..."
"... Woodward presents anecdotes from these individuals--people like Sen. Lindsay Graham, a renown proponent of endless wars in the Middle East, and Steve Bannon, former Chief Strategist, an out-and-proud xenophobe and fascist--without commentary or context, which has the odd effect of presenting these people only in contrast and comparison to Trump himself. ..."
Sep 16, 2018 | www.amazon.com

Edward Novak on September 15, 2018

A frustratingly neutral collection of accounts from morally questionable people.

Trump is really, really bad at being President. This isn't news to anyone who has been following the leaks, rumors, announcements, policies, and tweets coming out of the White House for the last nineteen months.

Rather than being a revelatory, shocking look behind the curtain of an administration run by the single dumbest man to ever hold his office, the book just confirms the stories we've already heard, mixing in additional commentary from people in or close to the White House, mostly former employees who clearly still agree with Trump's agenda, even if they could no longer stand the man himself.

Woodward presents anecdotes from these individuals--people like Sen. Lindsay Graham, a renown proponent of endless wars in the Middle East, and Steve Bannon, former Chief Strategist, an out-and-proud xenophobe and fascist--without commentary or context, which has the odd effect of presenting these people only in contrast and comparison to Trump himself.

One unfamiliar with Bannon, for example, could come away from the book thinking that he was a fairly reasonable person (rather than a racist, white nationalist) because he is only ever shown as a foil to the ongoing circus of incompetence that is the Trump administration.

This is Woodward's style, of course; he presents himself as an almost entirely neutral presence, merely transcribing the things he learned, but when discussing such dangerous and reprehensible people, a paragraph here and there dedicated to reminding readers what, exactly, these people claim to believe would have been appreciated additional context.

Essentially, this book is just Michael Wolfe or Omarosa's stories, only drier and with more footnotes.

[Sep 15, 2018] Where is the Special Counsel looking into FBI/DOJ misconduct with regard to falsely exonerating Hillary while fabricating probable cause to spy on Trump?

Notable quotes:
"... Mueller is getting bad press for not going after Hillary and the democrats. If his findings are all against Trump it will be portrayed as a partisan hack job given all the dems on his team. ..."
Sep 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

I Am Jack's Macroaggression ,

Wait - where is the Special Counsel looking into FBI/DOJ misconduct with regard to falsely exonerating Hillary ehile fabricating probable cause to spy on Trump??

Seriously, Mueller has been on a fishing expedition for 2 fucking years premised entirely on what seems to be FBI/DOJ manufactured evidence and lies to the FISA court... steele memo, the meetings with 'Russians' that were obvious set ups... Sally Yates making what should be a CRIMINAL abuse of office call in justifying spying on Flynn because as part of an incoming admin he was (gasp!) talking to Russian diplomats like incoming admins HAVE TO AND ALWAYS do...

There are more than enough reasons for a special counsel to look into all that because the Very fucking point Is the FBI and DOJ have been corrupted by political bias, despite the 'nothing to see here' bullshit of the IG Report.

All this while Hillary and Brennan and Comey and Clapper with his phony bullshit DNI report all walk around free.. and I'll believe McCabe and Rosenstein are going to be indicted when they are indicted.

Rosenstein tried to hide very relevant texts from Congress and lied about why.

Trump is getting shit advice. He should fire Sessions and Rosenstein right away, let the media go nuts, and find a couple black or latino guys or women to replace them in 'acting' status. See - they just need to be honest and teasonably good.

I Claudius, 4 hours ago

Completely disagree w/Dershowitz. Mueller is getting bad press for not going after Hillary and the democrats. If his findings are all against Trump it will be portrayed as a partisan hack job given all the dems on his team.

My thoughts? Tony Podesta and that Skadden Arps attorney have been selected by the party leaders as the fall guys for the dems. They are throwing them overboard so the Mueller BS probe can be portrayed as non-partisan. They can claim that Manafort was not just a "get Trump's associates" hit job by now stating that Manafort got them these two clowns.

Manafort has zero on Trump and Mueller now has a huge dem jizz load on his face for getting nowhere. He now has to preserve his reputation and going after these two f'wads for some minor issue (don't forget, the Repubs backed themselves into a corner claiming this Foreign lobbyist thing is a minor infraction). So now they get these two guys on a BS charge . . .

And they walk and Mueller saves face.

caconhma, 3 hours ago

It is all BS. The Trump affairs are just diversions from his primary assignments:

  1. Utterly promote and advance interests of Zionist Mafia and Israel
  2. Destabilize the US internal situation and use it as a pretext for transforming the USA into a totalitarian police state
  3. Protect and defend US$ as the only one viable reserve currency
  4. Prevent by any means China from becoming a geopolitical superpower challenging the USA

IMHO, Trump's masters are doing their job very incompetent and their evil game will terribly backfire against them.

[Sep 15, 2018] This is bad for Trump but not unexpected. Despite the fig leaf of 'Russian collusion' the main brief of Mueller was 'find out bad stuff about Trump and his associates' and of course it was almost inevitable that he would find such stuff because Trump and his cronies are scumbags who exist to break the law

In a way Pence is a guarantee that Trump will not be impeached no matter what ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... The Republican elite (and the Democratic elite) have always wanted Pence for President, and they may yet get their wish. But not yet. ..."
"... In terms of the current situation, Manafort is simply irrelevant. Cohen is relevant, but paying a porn start off because you are worried your wife might find out that you are a philanderer: it seems a stretch to interpret that as 'trying to influence an election' although I can sort of see the logic (I suppose Bill Clinton's behaviour vis a vis Monica Lewinsky was ultimately political too). ..."
"... It also seems weird to conceptualise hush money to a porn star as 'campaign finance violations'. But what do I know. ..."
"... Cohen is a serious problem. He has implicated Trump in criminal conduct. ..."
"... Presumably one of the key reasons that Clinton lied about the Lewinsky affair was because he thought it would make him look bad and therefore lose him votes in the 2000 elections. And in a sense it did (although others presumably voted for him 'cos they felt sorry for him). But that seems like a weird way to conceptualise his activities. ..."
"... To further clarify your statement, the issue is that the payment was transparently not to keep Ms. Trump from finding out about Ms. Cliffords or Ms. McDougal – the timing of the payment/catch-and-kill story, well after the incidents but immediately before the election, make that clear: their purpose was to avoid extramarital affairs with adult entertainers from turning into October Surprises. ..."
"... It's intentionally vague . It should be noted that when Johnson was impeached , one of the eleven articles was "Bringing disgrace and ridicule to the presidency by his aforementioned words and actions." ..."
"... And I don't see impeachment as a very useful strategy for the Ds to pursue. Even if successful at removing Trump, that just gets you Pence -- just as public policy irrational, only less politically disorganized. ..."
"... Maybe impeachment comes up as a tactic, to facilitate some other plan of action, but I don't see conviction on impeachment as a useful means of even control of Trump behavior, much less removal. ..."
Aug 24, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

Hidari 08.22.18 at 7:55 am 1

This is bad for Trump but not unexpected. Despite the fig leaf of 'Russian collusion' the main brief of Mueller was 'find out bad stuff about Trump and his associates' and of course it was almost inevitable that he would find such stuff because Trump and his cronies are scumbags who exist to break the law. This is the reality of capitalism (as has been pointed out 'crony capitalism' is the only kind of capitalism that has ever existed or ever will exist). Congress might or might not accept it, but the Senate (even more viciously 'gerrymandered' albeit de facto) won't yet. So Trump won't go down, not yet.

The only way that Trump will go down, IMHO is if and when the Republican establishment decide that they have got everything out of him that they're going to get, which means after the next Presidential election. Assuming he wins it, he may be ditched quickly. The Republican elite (and the Democratic elite) have always wanted Pence for President, and they may yet get their wish. But not yet.

In terms of the current situation, Manafort is simply irrelevant. Cohen is relevant, but paying a porn start off because you are worried your wife might find out that you are a philanderer: it seems a stretch to interpret that as 'trying to influence an election' although I can sort of see the logic (I suppose Bill Clinton's behaviour vis a vis Monica Lewinsky was ultimately political too).

It also seems weird to conceptualise hush money to a porn star as 'campaign finance violations'. But what do I know.

J. Bogart 08.22.18 at 12:13 pm ( 3 )

Manaforte is a publicity problem, which will get worse with his second trial, and, if the US Attorney decides to proceed on the hung counts, a third trial.

None of it ties to Trump; it suggests he hangs out with criminals and does not notice or care about their conduct. That is a publicity issue. Cohen is a serious problem. He has implicated Trump in criminal conduct.

As he is still facing a state investigations, there is high risk that he will exchange information for leniency in that investigation. Which will result in more, at least potentially, statements incriminating Trump. It is not clear to me what the status is relative to the Mueller investigation -- only that his current deal does not require cooperation with Mueller.

Having taken this step, I would expect him to work with Mueller as a way to further leniency in sentencing and to insure no further prosecutions. (I can't tell from news coverage whether the deal includes all federal investigations or not.) Cohen seems a credible witness and too close to Trump on the direct political issues for any very successful effort to wall him off.

His statement also is a big problem for the lawsuits by Daniels, and others, as it shreds Trump's defenses to date. But none of it will mean that significant numbers of Republicans in the Congress will back away from Trump. Nixon held most Republicans until he resigned. I don't see a reason to think the team loyalty now will be less.

Lawfare has good analysis of these issues.

J.Bogart 08.22.18 at 12:15 pm ( 4 )

Watch what Lanny Davis, Cohen's attorney, says and does. He is not a Giuliani. He is clearly telling prosecutors his client has valuable information and is willing to provide it (if not already disclosed).

Hidari 08.22.18 at 12:40 pm ( 6 )

'The Republicans simply don't care, and nothing will make them care.'

To be fair, I don't care either, and nothing will make me care. Anyway, back in the real world .

'Michael Cohen, who spent a decade as a lawyer for Trump, told a judge Tuesday that he was directed by Trump to coordinate payments to two women designed to prevent them from disclosing alleged affairs with the real estate mogul before the presidential election, in violation of campaign finance law.

Such an explosive assertion against anyone but the president would suggest that a criminal case could be in the offing, but under long-standing legal interpretations by the Justice Department, the president cannot be charged with a crime.

The department produced legal analyses in 1973 and 2000 concluding that the Constitution does not allow for the criminal indictment of a sitting president.

In comments to reporters after Cohen pleaded guilty to eight felony counts in federal court in Manhattan, Deputy U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami said prosecutors were sending a message that they are unafraid to file charges when campaign finance laws are broken. But he did not mention Trump or offer any indication that his office planned to pursue action against the president.'

(Washington Post)

'Despite impeachment talk, it's no easy task to remove a president in such a way. Both Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were impeached, but both were acquitted by the Senate. President Richard Nixon resigned before he could be removed from office.

There are three impeachable offenses: treason, bribery and the more opaque "high crimes and misdemeanors," but the House of Representatives has the responsibility to accuse the president of one of those things. If a majority in the House agrees, a president is then impeached. The Senate then votes on impeachment, which under the U.S. Constitiution requires a two-thirds majority.

In Trump's case, starting the impeachment process would currently require a mass revolt by Republicans against him in the House of Representatives -- controlled by the GOP -- an event even less likely than normal with midterm elections on the horizon.'

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/22/trump-impeachment-not-likely-despite-manafort-and-cohen-trials.html

I am not sure that hush money being paid to the porn star the President was banging in order that his pregnant wife not find out was precisely what the Founding Fathers had in mind by 'High crimes and misdemeanors,'

But again, what do I know.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/22/trump-impeachment-not-likely-despite-manafort-and-cohen-trials.html

Hidari 08.22.18 at 1:15 pm ( 7 )

'I am no lawyer, but apparently if you spend that much money covering up your adultery to avoid damage to your political campaign, that is a crime'.

I sort of see what you are saying, and of course, in a certain sense, what you say is not only true but self-evidently and obviously true. Any politician engages in activities to gain him or herself votes. All I am saying is that it doesn't seem like the most obvious way to conceptualise these activities. CF Bill Clinton.

Presumably one of the key reasons that Clinton lied about the Lewinsky affair was because he thought it would make him look bad and therefore lose him votes in the 2000 elections. And in a sense it did (although others presumably voted for him 'cos they felt sorry for him). But that seems like a weird way to conceptualise his activities.

Does it not seem more likely that Trump's main concern in paying the hush money was to avoid his wife, who had just given birth, finding out? Obviously the effect on votes would be of benefit to him, but I'm not sure that was his main concern.

Would it be yours, in his position?

Orange Watch 08.22.18 at 1:22 pm ( 9 )

Donald@5

I too agree with most of what Hidari said here (and there), except for their last paragraph here.

To further clarify your statement, the issue is that the payment was transparently not to keep Ms. Trump from finding out about Ms. Cliffords or Ms. McDougal – the timing of the payment/catch-and-kill story, well after the incidents but immediately before the election, make that clear: their purpose was to avoid extramarital affairs with adult entertainers from turning into October Surprises.

These functioned as (unreported) in-kind donations, insofar as they were third-party resources expended to for the explicit purpose of providing electoral support to the candidate.

Orange Watch 08.22.18 at 1:35 pm ( 12 )

Hidari@

I am not sure that hush money being paid to the porn star the President was banging in order that his pregnant wife not find out was precisely what the Founding Fathers had in mind by 'High crimes and misdemeanors,'

It's intentionally vague . It should be noted that when Johnson was impeached , one of the eleven articles was "Bringing disgrace and ridicule to the presidency by his aforementioned words and actions."

Again, though, the idea that the payoffs to Ms. Cliffords and Ms. McDougal were made to prevent Ms. Trump from learning of the affairs defies all credibility when considering that they occurred in the fall of 2016 rather than ten years earlier.

Fergus 08.22.18 at 2:22 pm ( 15 )

@Hidari

It would be a strange way to conceptualise the activity if it was based purely on the fact that the hush money was politically helpful. But:

"He told a judge in United States District Court in Manhattan that the payments to the women were made "in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office," implicating the president in a federal crime.

"I participated in this conduct, which on my part took place in Manhattan, for the principal purpose of influencing the election" for president in 2016, Mr. Cohen said."

So I don't really know how you can keep insisting this is an issue of conceptual analysis

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/21/nyregion/michael-cohen-plea-deal-trump.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

Glen Tomkins 08.22.18 at 2:37 pm ( 17 )

I don't think that a Congressional majority, and certainly not the 2/3 Senate majority needed for removal, is going to feel much ethical pressure to impeach based on the list of wrongdoing we know about so far, or that are at all likely to emerge. Quite aside from the lack of gravity of the crimes on that list, none of them are a clear betrayal of the electorate that decided he should be president. That electorate already knew he was a Russophile, had even invited Russians to hack D computers, they knew that he was a pussy-grabber, and that his privately-owned business was ethically challenged -- yet an electoral majority voted him in anyway. Removal on impeachment involves the legislature asserting its will and its judgment over that of the people. Of course the legislature is also elected by the people to accomplish duties that include holding the president to certain standards. But I don't see even a 2/3 D Senate (which we would only get by the Rs losing every race up this year, plus about 15 of them party-switching) having the cojones for such an assertion, certainly not when the electorate already knew about the crimes when they voted for the criminal. The Rs have cojones for such enterprises, and in spades, but not our beloved Ds.

And I don't see impeachment as a very useful strategy for the Ds to pursue. Even if successful at removing Trump, that just gets you Pence -- just as public policy irrational, only less politically disorganized.

Maybe impeachment comes up as a tactic, to facilitate some other plan of action, but I don't see conviction on impeachment as a useful means of even control of Trump behavior, much less removal.

If the Ds do have control of either house after the election, of course the usual that we can expect of them is not very much. Even if they control both chambers, they couldn't possibly have the 2/3 in both needed to run the govt by overriding the vetoes that any actual program of theirs would be sure to attract from the president. Even with 2/3, because this is a D 2/3 we're talking about, we can most likely discount the possibility that they would even try to exercise any oversight over what the govt does in opposition to the president's control.

An actual political party in this situation of even controlling a bare majority of just the House could do a whole lot to not only thwart Trump, but to at least make a credible effort at asserting control over the govt. They could of course block any new legislation, or the repeal of any existing law, and even the actual Ds are probably up to that. But to go further, to control or limit how Trump runs the govt under existing law, this D majority of the House would have to be willing to boldly set sail on the sea of political hardball and take up a career of budgetary hostage-taking -- so right off we should say that this is political fanfic, and not even canonic fanfic.

But a girl can dream, can't he, so let's pursue this alternate reality just a bit. Who knows, if Trump's misrule makes things sufficiently dire, maybe even the Ds will be motivated to find their inner pirate.

To take ICE as an example, it would go something like this. The House only agrees to pass the annual appropriations on a 30-day continuing resolution basis, so that their assent is needed every 30-days to the govt doing anything. They pass all the spending except for the ICE funding (keeping the funding for whatever ICE spends on housing and otherwise caring for people already apprehended -- that funding goes with the funding of the rest of the govt), which they hold back until and unless Senate and president agree to ICE funding that includes new law that keeps ICE from doing family separations, and whatever else the Ds find objectionable. After success getting control of ICE abuses, next month when the CRs come due, they do the same maneuver on their next target of Trump misrule.

The risk is that the Rs, Senate and president, just refuse to agree to the omnibus that funds everything else the govt does until the Ds let loose the ICE funding. There is a govt shutdown, and the Ds run the risk of being blamed. It turns into a game of legislative chicken. Of course, this has to be anti-canon fanfic for such a game to end other than by the Ds swerving first, so the real world Ds will never actually even start the game, because whatever their faults, they know their limitations.

Lee A. Arnold 08.22.18 at 2:58 pm ( 18 )

Hidari #13: " they 'all' want to get rid of him now?"

The Republican Senate would be happy to throw him overboard tomorrow. His voters are the problem. They won't wait for his voters to turn on him however, if the Senate receives a lengthy bill of impeachment from a Democratic House and Mueller has signed off on some of the charges.

They'd rather have Pence do the sanctimonious messaging and go into 2020 trying to reconstruct the party with an open primary.

After all, the GOP stands to lose Senate seats in 2020 anyway, just due to the map (the same problem they have this year, with the House). If the election in 76 days puts the Democrats in charge of the House, Trump won't make it to the end of his term.

Hidari 08.22.18 at 3:17 pm ( 19 )

'To further clarify your statement, the issue is that the payment was transparently not to keep Ms. Trump from finding out about Ms. Cliffords or Ms. McDougal – the timing of the payment/catch-and-kill story, well after the incidents but immediately before the election, make that clear: their purpose was to avoid extramarital affairs with adult entertainers from turning into October Surprises. '

Oh ok, I didn't really understand that. I haven't to be honest, been following the Stormy Daniels story too closely for the good reason that I don't care.

So one infers that the FL did in fact know about these things. Could we conceptualise it thus, then: Trump paid the hush money to ensure that Melania was not publicly humiliated by these things (I mean, humiliated even more than simply being married to Donald Trump)?

But obviously, in that case, Trump not wanting this to be a big story in the run up to the election was obviously a 'thing'.

[Sep 15, 2018] Dershowitz Says Manafort Plea Big Win For Mueller; White House Should Be Alarmed

Notable quotes:
"... That said, many - including Yahoo News's Michael Isikoff (the guy whose article containing info fed to him by Christopher Steele was used by the FBI to obtain Carter Page's FISA warrant) - have pointed to potential targets on the left. ..."
"... Those people include former Manafort associates Tony Podesta, Vin Weber and Greg Craig - all of whom failed to register as foreign agents in connection with work outside the United States, as well as members of the Obama administration . Of course, the thought of Mueller going after "the untouchables" seems a bit far fetched. ..."
"... The FSB ambition: to choose the least competent Presidential candidate and, unbeknownst to him, smooth his way to the White House. Thus Robert Meuller's inconvenient truth: If Donald Trump were competent enough to be entrusted with collusion, then he would be too competent for the FSB to achieve its ambitions! I bet the FSB people in charge are gobsmacked that The Donald hasn't been impaled on the 25th Amendment yet! ..."
"... I don't understand Dershowitz here. What could Manafort say that Papadopoulos and Flynn haven't already told Mueller? He was Trump's campaign manager for what three months? ..."
"... If anyone had something juicy on Trump it'd be Michael Flynn since he was in the Trump administration if just for a short time. This is about keeping this farce of a charade going as long as humanly possible. ..."
"... My guess -- a guess -- is that Mueller is under a lot of pressure from the Clinton Family including Brennan, Clapper et al to find something, anything, on enough people to make the last 2 years look legit to the Americans who watch CNN. ..."
"... My guess is that the CF has gone from supporting Mueller to making him scared. ..."
"... That should work for continuing the Conspiracy theory... It is all the DOJ, FBI, Sessions and now newcomer Manafort trying to BRING Down the POTUS. All of this is happening to such a great guy like Trump... Sad huh... ..."
"... Jesus you Trumptards are delusional. The average American is no more likely to take up arms against his masters than the North Koreans are. ..."
Sep 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Harvard Law professor and prominent liberal Alan Dershowitz - who has been shunned by the liberal elite of late for defending President Trump - now says that the White House should be alarmed over Paul Manafort's plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller.

" Well of course they should be ," replied Dershowitz - though he added the rather large caveat that Mueller is "not a credible witness," and would be at best be a corroborating witness against Trump.

"There's nothing he can testify to that would probably lend weight to impeachment because he didn't have close contact with President Trump while he was president," said Dershowitz. " What they are looking for is self-corroborating information that can be used against Trump if they can make him sing and then there's the possibility of him composing, elaborating on the story ."

Dershowitz added that there is "no doubt" Mueller is trying to flip Manafort against Trump.

" Once he agrees to cooperate, he has to cooperate about everything , said Dershowitz. "There's no such thing as partial cooperation."

As for Trump pardoning Manafort? That's now "off the table," and that flipping on the President "opens up a lot of doors that probably haven't been opened before."

It's a "big win" for Mueller, Dershowitz concludes.

That said, many - including Yahoo News's Michael Isikoff (the guy whose article containing info fed to him by Christopher Steele was used by the FBI to obtain Carter Page's FISA warrant) - have pointed to potential targets on the left.

Those people include former Manafort associates Tony Podesta, Vin Weber and Greg Craig - all of whom failed to register as foreign agents in connection with work outside the United States, as well as members of the Obama administration . Of course, the thought of Mueller going after "the untouchables" seems a bit far fetched.


quintus.sertorius , 19 minutes ago

The Tribe plays both sides: Dershowitz the plant in Trump team has the same real loyalty as fellow tribesman Haim Saban or Sheldon Adelson. They want to blackmail Trump into fighting Israel's war in Syria.

radbug , 55 minutes ago

The FSB ambition: to choose the least competent Presidential candidate and, unbeknownst to him, smooth his way to the White House. Thus Robert Meuller's inconvenient truth: If Donald Trump were competent enough to be entrusted with collusion, then he would be too competent for the FSB to achieve its ambitions! I bet the FSB people in charge are gobsmacked that The Donald hasn't been impaled on the 25th Amendment yet!

ZazzOne , 1 hour ago

"Big Win For Mueller"? Only if he plans on going after the founders of the Red Shoe "Pedo" Club.....John and Tony Podesta! Though I highly doubt he'll ever go down that rabbit hole!!!!!

Straddling-the-fence , 2 hours ago

Once he agrees to cooperate, he has to cooperate about everything , said Dershowitz. "There's no such thing as partial cooperation.

That's asinine. There are terms to a plea agreement. Unless those terms encompass what is claimed above, then that is simply false.

KekistanisUnite , 3 hours ago

I don't understand Dershowitz here. What could Manafort say that Papadopoulos and Flynn haven't already told Mueller? He was Trump's campaign manager for what three months?

George Papadopoulos I don't know how long he was there but if really has nothing of value to offer then neither would Manafort.

If anyone had something juicy on Trump it'd be Michael Flynn since he was in the Trump administration if just for a short time. This is about keeping this farce of a charade going as long as humanly possible.

Econogeek , 3 hours ago

My guess -- a guess -- is that Mueller is under a lot of pressure from the Clinton Family including Brennan, Clapper et al to find something, anything, on enough people to make the last 2 years look legit to the Americans who watch CNN.

My guess is that the CF has gone from supporting Mueller to making him scared.

ThePhantom , 4 hours ago

i like to think Mueller is on the plate too, and this is his chance to save his own ass. Greg Craig and Podesta's names are out in all the papers .... they worked with manafort first and foremost....

no idea what dershowitz is talking about.. none.

Calvertsbio , 4 hours ago

Yea sure he is, the SPECIAL Counsel running the show to bring down corruption is "ON THE PLATE" yea, ok...

That should work for continuing the Conspiracy theory... It is all the DOJ, FBI, Sessions and now newcomer Manafort trying to BRING Down the POTUS. All of this is happening to such a great guy like Trump... Sad huh...

Doesn't make much difference how much of this BS is posted, no one is buying it anymore... Even FAUX news has basically given up on him... Everyone know that once it all comes out, it will be labelled by HIS SHEEPLE that it is all made up BS to take him down...

Hillary did it... no ! Sessions did it, nope, it was RYAN ? McConnell... lets keep the guessing game going... The Dossier did it...

BigJim, 4 hours ago

"The swamp critters better stop ignoring the Hillary/DNC side of this or the population is going to be marching in with pitchforks and guillotines."

Jesus you Trumptards are delusional. The average American is no more likely to take up arms against his masters than the North Koreans are.

[Sep 15, 2018] So now CNN is complicit in illegal leaking, disinformation laundering

Sep 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Newly revealed text messages between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page reveal that Strzok wanted to use CNN's report on the infamous "Steele Dossier" to justify interviewing people in the Trump-Russia investigation, reports CNN .


911bodysnatchers322 ,

So now CNN is complicit in illegal leaking, (dis)information laundering, citizen targetting, conspiracy against rights, subversion, sedition and treason?

No wonder it's a nonstop Trump hate fest. They aren't just trying to get Trump impeached in the court of public opinion, they're desperate to get rid of him before he 100% destroys him

Well it's too late. Impeach away. But we'll still hold CNN for treason. The two things aren't related. You can't steal from a store just because Trump set the one next to it on fire

BGO ,

Fatigue is setting in with this charade. Soon the (((pundits))) will respond with the obligatory ***yawn*** troll to all future allegations.

If Trump cannot or is unable to respond to this non-sense in the harshest terms possible, he should not be president. It's amazing no one in this drama has met their maker Hitlery style. If that cunt was in charge and dealing with this shit, bodies would have already hit the floor.

J Mahoney ,

This whole situation has to piss off anyone that is even 10% objective. How could any elected representative or senator still spew shit like "Leave Mueller Alone"

BOTTOM LINE -- If we do not get to work quickly to elect non establishment republicans in the midterms NOTHING will EVER be done and Trump may be forced out if Dems make gains

apocalypticbrother ,

All old news. No one in jail except Manafort. It really seems like Trump is powerless against agencys. He must hate being a powerless president.

squid ,

If, and I do mean IF, the GOP holds onto both houses of congress.....

Everyone of these fucks has to be indited with sedition, PERIOD.

its slam dunk. And, if the elected houses ever wants to get hold of the CIA, FBI and NSA and gain some control over those rogue agencies 20-50 agents from each will have to go down to spend the rest of their lives in Leavenworth.

These uncollected asshats have tried to change the government of the United States.

The only person on the left that appears to understand this is Glen Greenwald.

Squid

Save_America1st ,

the problem is that in my opinion the majority of the GOP is also so fucking corrupt that I don't think most of them actually want to hold control of the House. They never even wanted Trump to win in the first place. On top of that, I would say many of those treasonous scumbags probably actually wanted Hitlery to win the fucking thing even if Trump wasn't going to be her opponent!

Look at all the resignations. Never seen before in history. Why? Two reasons...Trump is using the evidence to push many of them out or they end up in Guantanamo for life. And others in the beginning were quitting in order to give up part of the majority in order to flip the House to the even more evil, treasonous Demoscums so that it would restrict Trump's full majority.

Just look how "No Name" McStain acted when voting down against repealing O-Fuck-You-Care, right???

He was a traitor, plain and fucking simple. We all know it. Fuck their bullshit funeral. That was a cathedral full of traitors to this country. Psychopaths and sociopaths. Except for General Kelly and General Mattis keeping a close eye on that room full of demons.

... ... ...

[Sep 15, 2018] The Mueller investigation has been going on for a very long time - if he had found anything of any real value it would be out there already, trying to reduce Trump popularity and hit the GOP mid-terms

Sep 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Thom Paine ,

The Mueller investigation has been going on for a very long time - if he had found anything of any real value it would be out there already, trying to reduce Trump popularity and hit the GOP mid-terms.

The Mid Terms are very important to Deep State. The Dems must at least get the House back in order to stop Trump.

That Mueller and Co have virtually have found nothing to put out there to stop Trump and the GOP means they have fuck all, and are now clutching at Straws.

They are going to have to go the Bullshit path....start inventing. OH and all sorts of False Flags between now and Mid Terms are guaranteed. ALSO will the neocons dupe Trump into a Syria mistake that causes the death of many US soldiers? We know Deep State don't care who or how many they kill, so long as they get what they want.

One wonders if the Censoring of Conservative media, and Political Sites is because Deep State are planning to Assassinate President Trump , as is stated on Alex Jone's site.

BANNED VIDEOS – PENTAGON INTEL SAYS GLOBALISTS WANT TRUMP DEAD BY MARCH 2019

Watch the clips censored by over one hundred websites

https://www.infowars.com/banned-videos-pentagon-intel-says-globalists-want-trump-dead-by-march-2019/

StarGate ,

There have probably been several Trump assassination attempts since he was elected. Knowing what happened to Lincoln when he vetoed the National Bank / Fed Reserve of his time;

And what happened to JFK when he stated he would shut down the CIA;

Trump is fully aware he performs a death defying act daily. There may be others out there willing to make the Trump-JFK-Lincoln sacrifice, to take back America, but not Pence, not Sanders, not any current Democrat prez wanna be.

Thom Paine ,

It would be impossible, or an exercise in suicide by the GOP and or Democrats if they actually impeached Trump.

There has to be a legally provable breach of Federal law outside the POTUS exercise of powers. Extraordinary prosecution requires extraordinary evidence.

You cannot remove a President elected by 62 million people on flimsy hearsay, or 'he said she said' evidence, or pure circumstantial evidence. It would also set a precedence where Presidents could be impeached on the drop of a hat.

At the moment the Dems and Deep State want to impeach Trump because he beat Clinton and fucked up the last step in their plan to own America.

If Trump beat Sanders not many would be whining right now, they wouldn't care.

StarGate ,

Your premise legally appears to be accurate, that the Supreme Court is a failsafe against a retaliatory political impeachment, based primarily on fact Hillary lost.

However, that means the Supreme Court would have to been beyond corruption and Trump would have to bring a case.

j0nx ,

No. All the Dems and deep state need to know is that a lot of the deplorable would riot like mofos if they tried. No dem would be safe. You think they don't know that? Sociology 101.

Saying the deplorables wouldn't riot is like saying Obama's minions wouldn't have if the shoe were reversed 7 years ago and there was an open coup against him like there is Trump.

Withdrawn Sanction ,

Sorry to nit pick, but there are 2 steps here: the first is impeachment by the House. Akin to an indictment. Then there is a trial in the Senate which is presided over by the Chief Justice of the SC. THEN a 2/3s affirmative vote is required for conviction and removal from office.

An impeachment just like an indictment is meaningless w/o a conviction. You see how much "damage" an impeachment did to Slick Willy. Didn't skip a beat

[Sep 15, 2018] Bob Woodward's book completely discredit the "Russiagate" story

Notable quotes:
"... What I do find absurd is the reception of Bob Woodward's book. It seems that most Trump haters don't seem to have any problems with thinking Trump is unhinged because he threatened to kill the president of a country that is allied with Russia and that he is a Russian puppet and that therefore the investigation about "collusion" is necessary. ..."
"... Bob Woodward's book also stands in a strange relationship to the anonymous NYT piece. The author of that piece seems to be a hardcore neoconservative and free-trade neoliberal -- he wants deregulation, more money for the military, but he dislikes that Trump does not escalate tensions against Russia enough and has to be pressured in order to expell enough Russian diplomats, and also the tentative support of peace efforts for Korea go against his neoconservative desires. ..."
"... Although it is not mentioned explicitly, the piece is at least compatible with "Russiagate" -- Trump's desire not to escalate international tensions against countries like Russia and North Korea too much is seen as a "preference for dictators and authoritarian leaders", which is an interpretation that is typical of neoconservative ideologues. In contrast, Woodward's main point for accusing Donald Trump of being unhinged is that he wanted to have Assad killed -- something many of the hard-core neocons would hardly object. ..."
Sep 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Adrian E. , says: September 14, 2018 at 10:57 am GMT

What I find interesting in the case of Bob Woodward's book is that many anti-Trumpers seem to celebrate it without even taking into account that, if its contents were to be believed, it would completely discredit the whole "Russiagate" story that has been the main line of attack against Donald Trump.

As far as I can judge from the excerpts that have been published, most of the book deals with issues of style -- it is certainly nothing new that many people in the establishment strongly dislike Trump's style -- and about people in important positions in Trump's surroundings have a negative opinion of him and sometimes try to work against him -- that is hardly something new, either.

The only piece of information that could really make Trump look like someone unhinged and dangerous is the claim that he demanded Assad to be killed. Of course, I don't know whether that claim is true and if Trump said something like that, it was meant as an assignment or he just wanted to know what others thought about the idea. But Trump certainly would not have said anything like that if he was a Russian puppet. Although Russia hardly has absolutely loyalty to Assad as a person, killing the president of a government with which Russia is allied and thereby causing more instability is certainly not something Russia might want. So, not only does Bob Woodward's book that claims to report things that happened behind the scenes not show any hints that the Russiagate conspiracy theory might be true, but -- if it is to be believed -, it shows quite strong evidence against that theory.

I don't know whether Bob Woodward spells this out anywhere in the book -- I doubt it because the main target audience of the book is probably Trump haters who like to hate Trump for any conceivable reason and might be upset if one such reason, which had been heavily promoted, was taken away from them. But at least, Bob Woodward seems to be consistent on this to some degree -- after the report by a few handpicked agents from three agencies and Clapper's bureau in January 2017, Woodward criticized the politicization of the secret services. Apart from a few excerpts, I have not read Bob Woodward's book, and I cannot judge its merits, but I think that he is probably somewhat less dishonest than many of Trump haters -- this strange coalition of pseudo-leftists with the deep state.

What I do find absurd is the reception of Bob Woodward's book. It seems that most Trump haters don't seem to have any problems with thinking Trump is unhinged because he threatened to kill the president of a country that is allied with Russia and that he is a Russian puppet and that therefore the investigation about "collusion" is necessary. I think that once more demonstrates the irrationality of the base of that "Anti-Trump Resistance" (not, of course, of people from the Clinton campaign, the FBI and CIA who invented Russiagate, they just exploit the irrationality of large parts of the public).

Bob Woodward's book also stands in a strange relationship to the anonymous NYT piece. The author of that piece seems to be a hardcore neoconservative and free-trade neoliberal -- he wants deregulation, more money for the military, but he dislikes that Trump does not escalate tensions against Russia enough and has to be pressured in order to expell enough Russian diplomats, and also the tentative support of peace efforts for Korea go against his neoconservative desires.

Although it is not mentioned explicitly, the piece is at least compatible with "Russiagate" -- Trump's desire not to escalate international tensions against countries like Russia and North Korea too much is seen as a "preference for dictators and authoritarian leaders", which is an interpretation that is typical of neoconservative ideologues. In contrast, Woodward's main point for accusing Donald Trump of being unhinged is that he wanted to have Assad killed -- something many of the hard-core neocons would hardly object.


Mike P , says: September 14, 2018 at 1:05 pm GMT

@Adrian E. What I find interesting in the case of Bob Woodward's book is that many anti-Trumpers seem to celebrate it without even taking into account that, if its contents were to be believed, it would completely discredit the whole "Russiagate" story that has been the main line of attack against Donald Trump.

As far as I can judge from the excerpts that have been published, most of the book deals with issues of style - it is certainly nothing new that many people in the establishment strongly dislike Trump's style - and about people in important positions in Trump's surroundings have a negative opinion of him and sometimes try to work against him - that is hardly something new, either.

The only piece of information that could really make Trump look like someone unhinged and dangerous is the claim that he demanded Assad to be killed. Of course, I don't know whether that claim is true and if Trump said something like that, it was meant as an assignment or he just wanted to know what others thought about the idea. But Trump certainly would not have said anything like that if he was a Russian puppet. Although Russia hardly has absolutely loyalty to Assad as a person, killing the president of a government with which Russia is allied and thereby causing more instability is certainly not something Russia might want. So, not only does Bob Woodward's book that claims to report things that happened behind the scenes not show any hints that the Russiagate conspiracy theory might be true, but - if it is to be believed -, it shows quite strong evidence against that theory.

I don't know whether Bob Woodward spells this out anywhere in the book - I doubt it because the main target audience of the book is probably Trump haters who like to hate Trump for any conceiveable reason and might be upset if one such reason, which had been heavily promoted, was taken away from them. But at least, Bob Woodward seems to be consistent on this to some degree - after the report by a few handpicked agents from three agencies and Clapper's bureau in January 2017, Woodward criticized the politicization of the secret services. Apart from a few excerpts, I have not read Bob Woodward's book, and I cannot judge its merits, but I think that he is probably somewhat less dishonest than many of his haters - this strange coalition of pseudo-leftists with the deep state.

What I do find absurd is the reception of Bob Woodward's book. It seems that most Trump haters don't seem to have any problems with thinking Trump is unhinged because he threatened to kill the president of a country that is allied with Russia and that he is a Russian puppet and that therefore the investigation about "collusion" is necessary. I think that once more demonstrates the irrationality of the base of that "Anti-Trump Resistance" (not, of course, of people from the Clinton campaign, the FBI and CIA who invented Russiagate, they just exploit the irrationality of large parts of the public).

Bob Woodward's book also stands in a strange relationship to the anonymous NYT piece. The author of that piece seems to be a hardcore neoconservative and free-trade neoliberal - he wants deregulation, more money for the military, but he dislikes that Trump does not escalate tensions against Russia enough and has to be pressured in order to expell enough Russian diplomats, and also the tentative support of peace efforts for Korea go against his neoconservative desires. Although it is not mentioned explicitly, the piece is at least compatible with "Russiagate" - Trump's desire not to escalate international tensions against countries like Russia and North Korea too much is seen as a "preference for dictators and authoritarian leaders", which is an interpretation that is typical of neoconservative ideologues. In contrast, Woodward's main point for accusing Donald Trump of being unhinged is that he wanted to have Assad killed - something many of the hard-core neocons would hardly object. Very good observations. Maybe the "kill Assad" ploy is not intended for domestic consumption but rather to further undermine Trump's working relationship with Putin – just as with the of the phoney Russian agent indictment which wast timed precisely to disrupt the Helsinki summit.

Agent76 , says: September 14, 2018 at 2:35 pm GMT
History is very clear who runs the media for those who are in the know.

9/23/1975 Tom Charles Huston Church Committee Testimony

Tom Charles Huston testified before the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, commonly known as the Church Committee, on the 43-page plan he presented to the President Nixon and others on ways to collect information about anti-war and "radical" groups, including burglary, electronic surveillance, and opening of mail.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?408953-1/tom-charles-huston-testimony-church-committee

Agent76 , says: September 14, 2018 at 2:39 pm GMT
September 1, 2015 THE CIA AND THE MEDIA: 50 FACTS THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW

Since the end of World War Two the Central Intelligence Agency has been a major force in US and foreign news media, exerting considerable influence over what the public sees, hears and reads on a regular basis.

https://www.intellihub.com/the-cia-and-the-media-50-facts-the-world-needs-to-know-2/

Buckwheat , says: September 14, 2018 at 2:47 pm GMT
President Trump's greatest legacy will be his exposing how corrupt the American government has become. Almost every branch of Government has been exposed as corrupt but the absolute worst is the FBI. This attempted coup should be met with the hangman's rope for traitors.
jilles dykstra , says: September 14, 2018 at 3:19 pm GMT
Historians know that very few people understand great historical events when they happen.
My idea is that this now is the case.
Never before in history did the leader of an empire understand that that empire could not survive, and act accordingly.

The British empire was already not sustainable, financially, before 1914. Britain had to give up the two fleet standard, the situation where the British fleet was superior to the next two biggest fleets. Obama had to give up the two war standard, the USA went to one and a half war. What a half war accomplishes one can see in Syria.

The British empire fell apart through WWII, Churchill the undertaker. For this reason, I suspect, are the peace proposals that Rudolf Hess brought to Scotland in May 1941 still secret. France got a generous peace, logical to assume that Hitler would propose the same to Great Britain, the empire he admired.

The British example makes two things clear: what should have been clear prior to 1914 was not clear, or was ignored, and the price of unwilling, or not capable of understanding history at the moment it happens becomes clear. Britain did not have a Deep State, one might say, on the other hand, one can be of the opinion that the British Deep State did exist. A conflict as now in the USA never existed in Great Britain.

What would have happened if say Chamberlain would have acted as Trump does know, anybody's guess. Chamberlain did not want war, but he also did not want to end British imagined power, he belonged to the Thirtyniners, those with the illusion that Great Britain was ready for war in 1939.
As in 1917, the USA had to rescue Britain, but this time the price was high: opening the empire to foreign competition, on top of that, FDR's lofty statements, the Atlantic Charter, in fact the end of all colonial European empires.

Anonymous , [306] Disclaimer says: September 14, 2018 at 3:55 pm GMT
@Buckwheat President Trump's greatest legacy will be his exposing how corrupt the American government has become. Almost every branch of Government has been exposed as corrupt but the absolute worst is the FBI. This attempted coup should be met with the hangman's rope for traitors.

President Trump's greatest legacy will be his exposing how corrupt the American government has become. Almost every branch of Government has been exposed as corrupt but the absolute worst is the FBI. This attempted coup should be met with the hangman's rope for traitors.

The media controls the minds of the mob, and presents itself as vox populi . Corruption has been exposed, and the media admits to it, endorses it, and encourages more.

So, whaddya figure? 20 years to total economic collapse? Who's gonna feed the messicans? Oh! The humanity! Oh, Rome, do not burn!

"Shining city on a hill" and all that bullshit. Turn out the lights.

Windwaves , says: September 14, 2018 at 4:01 pm GMT
Yep, finally someone who gets it.

Trump 180 degree turn on his promises to get out of israel's wars is clear proof that he is just another zionist.

jilles dykstra , says: September 14, 2018 at 5:09 pm GMT
@Deschutes I didn't like Clinton, but I think Trump is as bad, probably worse. Look at the EPA under Trump, it's a fucking joke with fossil fuel shills like Pruitt gutting much needed laws to protect environment and people. Look at Education secretary DeVoss: it does NOT get any worse: a billionaire christian fundamentalist wacko billionaire who bought her way into that post funding the GOP/Trump ticket!? She's the epitome of what the 'Trump voters' ostensibly hate: a billionaire class aka 'Rome on the Potomac' as this author calls it, the plutocracy who own and run the show while the proletariat slave away at their office temp jobs, or worse yet amazon.com sweatshop, etc. DeVoss is privatizing education so that christian fundies can have their kids taught 'gawd made the world in 7 days' instead of Darwin's evolution. Look at Trumps Atty General Sessions: he's a reactionary fossil from the 1950s who wants to illegalize weed? Roll back sensible drug policy? He's a fucking disaster. And look at what Trump is doing for Israel!? Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and Kishner sucking up to Netanyahoo, doing his bidding like an Israel firster? This is all good? This is what the disenfranchised Trump supporter voted for and had in mind??

Trump is a fucking awful trainwreck. ' Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, '
If this makes Netanyahu happy for some time, at negligible cost to the USA, smart move.
At the same time, Trump can claim 'see how I love Israel'.
For me the same as the fake attacks on Syria.
Show.

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: September 14, 2018 at 6:13 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz You seem to be using language like Alice's Humpty Dumpty. "Zionism" is at least a little bit constrained in meaning by its being a movement to restore the Jewish people as currently understood to the land of Israel (Judea and Samaria principally which creates special difficulties...) with Jerusalem as it's capital, and, I suppose to maintain them there. You are absolutely correct.
But it also includes protection of Israel.
And what is the best protection of Israel?
..
To control the most powerful country in the world ergo USA
..
And what is even better protection of Israel?
To to rule the world.
..
What is wrong or evil in this plan?
Nothing! it is good plan.
..
So where is the snag?
..
Complications in executing this plan.
Enver Masud , says: Website Next New Comment September 14, 2018 at 6:39 pm GMT
Bob Woodward needs to answer for not following up on what really happened at the Pentagon on 9/11. My letter the Washington Post at http://www.twf.org/News/Y2009/1206-Ombudsman.pdf

In part, I wrote:

According to the Washington Post, Barbara K. Olson called her husband twice on September 11, 2001 in the final minutes of Flight 77. Her last words to him were, "What do I tell the pilot to do?"

"She called from the plane while it was being hijacked," said Theodore Olson -- 42nd Solicitor General of the United States. "I wish it wasn't so, but it is."

However, prosecution exhibit P200054 (attached) in United States v.
Zacarias Moussaoui -- http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/ exhibits/prosecution/flights/P200054.html -- shows that Barbara Olson made only one phone call -- it did not connect, and it lasted for 0 seconds!

Both accounts of Barbara Olson's phone calls -- the Solicitor General's and the prosecution's in United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui -- cannot be correct.

anarchyst , says: Next New Comment September 14, 2018 at 6:50 pm GMT
Media lies and fabrications have been going on ever since there were "journalists" (I use that term loosely). The difference today, is that "professional journalism" is now blatantly showing its liberal communistic bias.
From "Remember the Maine" in the Spanish-American war (actually a powder magazine explosion–not an attack) to walter duranty's extolling the "virtues" of communism while one of the greatest artificially-engineered (by communists)famines in the Ukraine was taking place, in order to force the "collectivization" of privately-held farms, to walter cronkite outright lying about the American military's effectiveness during the 1968 Vietnam "Tet offensive" (in which much enemy life was lost) journalism has always been a "nasty craft". In cronkite's case, the North Vietnamese were ready to settle (and capitulate) until cronkite's lies about the supposed American "defeat" were publicized. Cronkite's lies gave the North Vietnamese new resolve, as they realized that they had the American "news media" on their side. There has always been a certain sympathy for communism and totalitarianism in the so-called "mainstream media". All one has to do is to look at the journalists fawning over Cuba's Fidel Castro and how wonderful life is in that communist "paradise".
Journalists HATE the internet because it exposes their "profession" for what it really is with the internet, anyone can be a true journalist. This is why the same "mainstream media" is calling for the "licensing" of journalists–something that would have been unheard of (and treasonous) in previous decades
Professional journalism is its own worst enemy
crimson2 , says: Next New Comment September 14, 2018 at 7:20 pm GMT
@Rational WHAT A FOO BELIEVES........HE SEES; OR WHY JUDAISTS ARE GOING BERSERK.

Thanks for the excellent article, Madam.

You forgot to mention that the NYT and Woodward are Judaists.

Jewish paranoid delusions have become severe since Trump took office.

Obviously the NYT op ed is fake. It is a forgery. Per PCR, it is by the NYT itself. Childish pranks.

Bob Woodward's "sources" are fake. He made things up himself.

Every Sabbath, Judaists like these read the Torah, including Deuteronomy 20:16:

"However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes."

And their plan to destroy and exterminate the white goyim is facing hiccups, so the Judaists have gone berserk.

Jewish paranoid delusions

Maybe the dumbasses who think the Jews are behind every bad thing that ever happens to them are the paranoid delusional ones.

The Alarmist , says: Next New Comment September 14, 2018 at 7:53 pm GMT
We're surprised the tools of the Oligarch Class remain loyal to their paymasters? Comey and Müller both received very lucrative board-seat assignments for looking the other way when appropriate, or digging a little deeper when asked.
Agent76 , says: Next New Comment September 14, 2018 at 8:56 pm GMT
Public Intelligence

"In the absence of the governmental checks and balances present in other areas of our national life, the only effective restraint upon executive policy and power in the areas of national defense and international affairs may lie in an enlightened citizenry -- in an informed and critical public opinion which alone can here protect the values of democratic government. For this reason, it is perhaps here that a press that is alert, aware, and free most vitally serves the basic purpose of the First Amendment. For, without an informed and free press, there cannot be an enlightened people."

http://publicintelligence.net

[Sep 15, 2018] Fred to Take Wheel of Ship of State: Will Implement Thoughtful and Reasonable Measures by Fred Reed

Sep 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

I have no choice. I must don the mantle of greatness and take the reins of the country. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I will run for the office of dictator, or President in American parlance.

Readers may ask, "But Fred, what makes you think you are qualified to be President?" To which I respond, "Nothing. But have you seen what we have now? You want a White House with John Bolton in it?"

You see.

I append here a few of the enlightened policies which I will effect. Hold your applause until the end. Interspersed for perusal are a few slogans that I may use to incite your fervor.

One: I will end all policies hostile to Cuba. I will not make life difficult for eleven million perfectly good people to please a ratpack of phony Cubans afflicting Miami. In fact, I will offer Havana a twenty-billion-dollar loan if they will take the bastards back. Cuba poses no danger to anyone. They have good cigars. They should be left alone to live as they please and drink mojitos. If nutcake Republicans protest my policy, I will have them stuffed into an abandoned oil well. Along with the pseudo-Cubans.

Two: Elizabeth Warren will be required to take a DNA test to see whether she is a wild Indian. If she is, she will have to wear feathers. Otherwise, to see a psychiatrist.

We have nothing to be afred of but Fred hisself! Has a classic ring, don't you think?

Three: I will end the Afghan war in an afternoon, relying on use the exit strategy proposed by James P. Coyne, the Sun Tsu of our age:

"OK, on the plane. Now ."

If Lindsey Graham complains that we need to kill more puzzled goatherds, I will have him inserted into the oil well on top of the Republicans and pseudo-Cubans, with Oprah tamped down on top as a sort of cork. There is nothing in Afghanistan that Americans need or want, except opium products, and private enterprise now provides these in abundance. Check the nearest street corner, or ask your kids.

Four: I will make membership in AIPAC a felony, and remind its members that I could have Oprah temporarily removed from the oil well to make more room. Aipackers can act as they please in their own country–I will not meddle in foreign affairs–but leave ours alone.

Fred! Ahhhhhh . This has a nicely orgasmic quality that will appeal to the younger demographic. It represents the satisfaction that my rule will bring to the entire country.

Five: I will end all sanctions against Iran. Then I will sell those Persian rascals airplanes and cars and electronic stuff and towel softener and lock them into the American economic system. This will make Boeing and AT&T and Intel love me with the deep sweet love that never dies, at least as long as the money flows, and there will be lots of jobs in Seattle.

Six: I will bring charges of treason against the contents of the Great Double Wide on Pennsylvania Avenue. The evidence is incontrovertible. The first rule of empire is Don't Let Your Enemies Unite. Everybody who has an empire knows this. Except us. Inside the White House a bunch of apparently brain-damaged political mostly left-overs, suffering from Beltway Bubble Syndrome, push China, Russia, and Iran together like some kind of international spaghetti-grope LGTBQRSTUV threesome. Who are our dismal leaders really working for? China?

A Fred in Every Pot This makes no sense, you may say. No, but we are doing politics. It is almost iambic pentameter, like Shakespeare. It will lend class to my campaign.

Seven: I will keep the F-35 program. It provides a lot of jobs. However, I will but get rid of the airplane. Isn't this brilliant? Instead of building the thing, workers will dig holes and fill them in, but keep their current salaries. It will improve their health, and make America safer. The fewer dangerous things the children in the Five-Sided Wind Tunnel have, the less trouble it can cause.

Better Fred than Dead! Some readers will dispute this. What do they know?

Eight: I have been urged to end affirmative action on the grounds that things should be done by people who can actually do them. This is racist. I will have nothing to do with it. Instead I will make affirmative action democratic and inclusive. Everyone will qualify for it. Special privilege should not be restricted to a minority. It isn't the American way.

Fred! Good as Any, Better'n Some. Good thinking.

Nine: I will abolish NATO. America should find a cheaper way to control the vassals. There is of course the bedtime story that NATO exists to confront the Russkies, and only incidentally provides a compulsory market for American armament. Nuts. Russia cannot seem dangerous to anyone who wasn't dropped on his head at some formative juncture in life. Smallish population, low military budget.

Likewise South Korea, which has twice the population and forty times the economy of the North. If it wants to defend itself, it has my blessing. If it doesn't, it isn't our problem.

Tippecanoe and Frederick Too! This may require exhumation, but for this we have backhoes.

Ten: I will make a modest reduction in the military budget, say seventy-five percent. To keep the soldiers happy I will invest in high-throughput roller coasters, a shooting range with BB guns, and really loud speaker systems that say Va roooom and Bangbangbang and fzzzzzzzzboom. These will provide psychic emoluments of martial life without the murder.

Eleven: The money thus saved I will use on pressing domestic problems. LA has 68,000 homeless people on the streets, San Francisco loses conventions because of so many homeless defecating on the sidewalks, Portland has homeless riots,. The lower primates in Antifa and BLM rend such social fabric as any longer exists. Dams are aging. Our trains are out of of the Fifties. And we spend a trillion a year on goddam aircraft carriers?

Fred? Well, Got a Better Idea?

Twelve: As an educational reform, I will have the Department of Education filled with linoleum cement, the occupants being left inside. This will raise the national IQ by at least three points. I will pass an amendment to the fragments of the Constitution saying, "No federal entity or person shall say, think, suggest, or do anything whatever regarding schooling on pain of garroting." Part of the savings from lowering the military budget will go to purchasing garrotes. The duration, content, and nature of the schools shall be left to localities without exception.

Thirteen: The father of any girl subjected to genital mutilation will be awarded a free gender reassignment operation, preferably with tin-snips. Genital mutilation should be inclusive. The father will then be placed for two weeks in the bottom of a public latrine in Uganda. If this doesn't suffice to deter the practice, I may be forced to adopt extreme measures. A country that allows such treatment of daughters deserves to go to hell. And seems to be.

Fourteen: I will impose a literacy test for voting. People too dim to find their way home should not be permitted to influence policies they have never heard of and can't spell. Yes, this might be called illiberal. If so, it will doubtless be the only example of illiberalism in this meritorious list.

Fifteen: In higher education, I will prescribe horse whipping for anyone saying microaggression, white privilege, whiteness, patriarchy, safe space, people of color, racism, any kind of phobia, or "Resist" in a squalling voice with an exclamation point. No curriculum containing the word "Studies" will be permitted.

Sixteen: Anyone prescribing Ritalin for children under twenty-one will be thrown from a helicopter.

In conclusion, I say to my yearning public, There, you, see, there is hope. Together we can do this. See you at the polls.

... ... ...

Fred Reed is a former news weasel and part-time sociopath living in central Mexico with his wife and three useless but agreeable street dogs. He says it suits him.

FoxTwo , says: September 15, 2018 at 11:03 am GMT

In today's world of political insanity, a healthy dose of sarcasm may be considered as a good antidote. Love your columns Fred; keep them up!

[Sep 14, 2018] Woodward is a career CIA agent as documented in many articles, such as this

Notable quotes:
"... Retired USAF Col. Fletcher Prouty revealed that the "Pentagon Papers" were a planned CIA leak to shift blame for the failed war in Vietnam from the CIA to the Pentagon. The documents were real, but only certain documents were released. ..."
"... Nixon was ousted with the help of covert CIA agent Bob Woodward, working undercover as a reporter at the CIA co-founded "Washington Post". Gerald Ford became President, who just happened to be a member of the discredited Warren Commission that engineered the cover-up of the JFK assassination! ..."
Sep 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Carlton Meyer , says: Website September 14, 2018 at 4:30 am GMT

Woodward is a career CIA agent as documented in many articles, such as this:

https://kennedysandking.com/articles/bob-woodward

He graduated from the CIA university (aka Yale) then went to CIA basic training as a naval intelligence officer for five years, then to the Washington Post. This is why he was allowed White House access by the Trump Neocons, despite is record as a back stabber to those who oppose the Neocon agenda. The Washington Post itself was co-founded by the CIA. Woodward was a key player in the last CIA coup when Nixon was ousted, not too long after they disposed of troublesome President Kennedy. I noted some of this in my 2010 blog:

Retired USAF Col. Fletcher Prouty revealed that the "Pentagon Papers" were a planned CIA leak to shift blame for the failed war in Vietnam from the CIA to the Pentagon. The documents were real, but only certain documents were released. Prouty wrote the other reason for this "leak" was to upset the Nixon administration, which it was trying to destabilize in hopes of ousting Nixon.

That President was upset that the CIA refused to provide him with requested documents concerning the Bay of Pigs and the JFK assassination. Nixon also angered the "Power Elite" by withdrawing American troops from their profitable business venture in Vietnam and improving relations with Red China.

Nixon was ousted with the help of covert CIA agent Bob Woodward, working undercover as a reporter at the CIA co-founded "Washington Post". Gerald Ford became President, who just happened to be a member of the discredited Warren Commission that engineered the cover-up of the JFK assassination!

Justsaying , says: September 14, 2018 at 4:59 am GMT
This piece makes Trump look like a credible president – that is, if he is to be judged by his campaign promises to the American electorate who voted him in. This is only partly true. Recall that Trump did make unequivocal promises: "We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn't be involved with,". and "We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn't be involved with," Not long after such promises, he announced he would be sending more troops to Afghanistan. His bombing of Syria and illegally keeping American boots in that country surely flies in the face of such promises especially in light of statements that American troops will not leave that country any time soon, in keeping with America's zeal for fighting Israel's wars. This piece portrays Trump as intrepid and true to his word. Yet, like many of his predecessors, the morbid fear of the pro-Israeli lobby remains a defining feature of US foreign policy matters. Neither can Trump exonerate himself from the ongoing tragedy in Yemen emboldening the Saudis and their Emirati allies with the sale of billions of dollars of arms to these medieval monarchies, not to mention the logistical support given them by the US.

[Sep 14, 2018] British Are In Flight Forward, Frantic to Save the Empire

Sep 06, 2018 | larouchepac.com
Prime Minister Teresa May took to the floor of the Parliament today to report that the Crown Prosecution Service and Police had issued warrants for two Russian GRU officials who, they claim, had carried out the Skripal attacks last March. "We were right," she said with a stiff upper lip, "to say in March that the Russian State was responsible." Mugshots were released of two people whose names, she declared, were aliases (how they know they are GRU officials if they don't know their names was not explained). "This chemical weapon attack on our soil was part of a wider pattern of Russian behavior that persistently seeks to undermine our security and that of our allies around the world," she intoned.

At the same time, dire warnings have been issued to Syria and Russia that there will be a major military response if Syria uses chemical weapons in Idlib. This is despite the fact that Russia has presented the proof to the OPCW and to the UN that the British intelligence-linked Olive security outfit and the British-sponsored White Helmet terrorists have prepared a false flag chlorine attack in Idlib, to be blamed on the Syrian government, to trigger such a military atrocity by the US and the UK.

Also at the same time, in the US, Washington Post fraudster Bob Woodward released a book claiming that numerous Trump cabinet officials made wildly slanderous statements about Trump -- all third hand from anonymous sources, of course. Chief of Staff John Kelly called the claims "total BS," while Secretary of State Jim Mattis called it typical Washington DC fiction, adding that "the idea that I would show contempt for the elected Commander-in-Chief, President Trump, or tolerate disrespect to the office of the President from within our Department of Defense, is a product of someone's rich imagination."

Worse, the New York Times, apparently for the first time, printed an "anonymous" op-ed by someone claiming to be a "senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us," under the title: "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration -- I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations." Whether this person is or is not who they claim to be, it is clearly part of the British coup attempt, as proven in the op-ed itself. After calling Trump amoral, unhinged, and more, and claiming there is discussion within the Administration of using the 25th Amendment to remove him for mental incompetence, it then states: "Take foreign policy: In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations [read: the United Kingdom - ed.]. Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly, and where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals. On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin's spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable."

And, while news about the British drive for war with Russia and their attempted coup against the government of the United States fills the airwaves and the press, not a single word -- repeat, not a single word -- has been reported in the US or British media about the truly historic conference which took place on Monday and Tuesday in Beijing, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAP). Helga Zepp-LaRouche declared this week that this event will be recognized in history as the end of the era of colonialism and neo-colonialism. Every African nation except one was represented at the conference in Beijing (the "one" was Swaziland, the last holdout on the African continent which still maintains diplomatic relations with Taiwan rather than Beijing).

All but six were represented their head of state. They reviewed the transformation taking place across Africa due to the Belt and Road Initiative since the last FOCAP meeting in 2015, and laid out plans for the even more rapid development over the next three years, and on to 2063 -- the target year for full modernization over 50 years, adopted by the African Union in 2013. One after another the leaders of the African nations described the actual liberation taking place, finally seeing in China the example that real development and the escape from poverty is possible. The program launched at the 1955 Asian-African Conference in Bandung, Indonesia, where the formerly colonized nations met for the first time without their colonial masters, has finally been realized.

But no one reading the western press would even know that this transformative event had taken place.

Rather, there is only the new McCarthyism, trying to demonize Russia and China, to revive the "enemy image" which should have been eliminated with the fall of the Soviet Union and the recognition of the People's Republic of China.

Trump threatens this new McCarthyism, insisting that America should be friends with Russia and China. No longer will the U.S. accept Lord Palmerston's imperial dictate for the Empire, that "nations have no permanent friends or allies, only permanent interests." The "special relationship" is to be no more.

This is the cause of Theresa May's hysterical rant today in the Parliament. Better war, led by the "dumb giant" America, than to see the Empire destroyed in a world united through a shared vision of universal development.

Britain's drive for war must be exposed and stopped, along with their Russiagate coup attempt in the US. A victory for the common aims of mankind is within our grasp, but the danger is great, and the time is short.

[Sep 12, 2018] Trump is a pawn of the State of Israel, nothing more and nothing less.

Sep 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

anonymous , [251] Disclaimer says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 4:28 pm GMT

All Trump has to do to get rid of the Op Ed guy is to fire all those who want to go to war withRussia. That would leave him with no staff.

But Trump is not fooling me. You do not make a campaign promise to cooperate with Russia, and then hire all these people who want to go to war with Russia.
It tells me that Trump was lying during his campaign.

He told us Iraq was the wrong decision, and now he has bombed Syria twice and is ready to bomb them again; he told us that he wants out of the mid-east; he told us he wanted to cooperate with Russia.

So I voted for him, but he was lying. I already found out he is a brazen liar. He took those Clinton women to his debate to humiliate Hillary and Bill Clinton, when all the while he was doing the same thing with women. That is what I call a brazen liar.

He is a pawn of the State of Israel, nothing more and nothing less. They probably told him to hire Bolton and all the other war-mongers around him. He's not surrounded by the enemy. He is surrounded by his friends.

Admiral Assbar , says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 4:46 pm GMT
The biggest mystery of this whole presidency is why the guy who went to battle against the GOP foreign policy establishment turned over those policy positions to them, instead of putting people into office who actually looked favorably on him and shared areas of agreement with him (paleocons, realists, non-interventionists, etc.). The only foreign policy promise he's kept is the one that happened to align with the neocon preferences: backing out of the Iran deal.

I guess it must come down to Jared Kushner and his close ties with Israel and the Gulf Arabs, but still find it bizarre that Trump never reached out to Pat Buchanan, Rand Paul, Steve Bannon, etc., in selecting foreign policy officials.

Tom Welsh , says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 7:52 pm GMT
@Admiral Assbar The biggest mystery of this whole presidency is why the guy who went to battle against the GOP foreign policy establishment turned over those policy positions to them, instead of putting people into office who actually looked favorably on him and shared areas of agreement with him (paleocons, realists, non-interventionists, etc.). The only foreign policy promise he's kept is the one that happened to align with the neocon preferences: backing out of the Iran deal.

I guess it must come down to Jared Kushner and his close ties with Israel and the Gulf Arabs, but still find it bizarre that Trump never reached out to Pat Buchanan, Rand Paul, Steve Bannon, etc., in selecting foreign policy officials. "The biggest mystery of this whole presidency is why the guy who went to battle against the GOP foreign policy establishment turned over those policy positions to them "

It seems fairly clear that, whenever a new President is sworn in, he immediately receives a "pep talk" in which he is informed what he will and will not say and do, and what will happen to him, his family, their pets, and everyone they have ever spoken to if he disobeys. Probably this "offer that he can't refuse" is concluded by words along the lines of: " and if you want to get what the Kennedys got, just try stepping out of line".

J. Edgar Hoover used to do something of the kind when he was head of the FBI, but that was relatively benign – just a threat of blackmail accompanied by kindly advice never to fight the FBI.

ChuckOrloski , says: Next New Comment September 11, 2018 at 10:13 pm GMT
@AlbionRevisited I was referring to the campaign, of course we're in a different situation now. It's amazing the way in which they were able to co-oped his administration. AlbionRevisted wrote: "It's amazing the way in which they (Neoconservatives) were able to co-oped his (Trump)
administration."
Greetings AlbionRevisited!
Many were disappointed with Trump and that might even include a percentage of the voting bloc known as "Deplorables."
Nonetheless, after honing into candidate Donald Trump's awful 2017 homage to AIPAC, it becomes dramatically less amazing how Neoconservatives crept into the White House.
Recall how rabid leftist Neoconservatives wanted Hillary, and how suddenly the naysayer, Extra-Octane Neoconservative, John Bolton, stuck with the phoney populist, "America First-After-Israeli-Interests," talkin' Donald J. Trump?
The essence of American presidential campaigns/elections boil down to powerful international Jewry needs & timing, and disemboweled citizens must take-it or leave-it. Uh, support the immoral wars and pay the bill!
Thanks, AlbionRevisted.

Herald says: September 12, 2018 at 10:53 am GMT • 100 Words

@Tom Welsh

I am not convinced that Trump started out with good intentions but quickly bowed to threats. Trump was never a principled person and it seems much more likely that he was always a stooge for the Israel lobby and the MIC.

I used to think that things would have been worse under Hillary but these days I'm even beginning to have doubts on that score.

jacques sheete, September 12, 2018 at 11:19 am GMT • 100 Words

@Admiral Assbar

The biggest mystery of this whole presidency is why the guy who went to battle against the GOP foreign policy establishment turned over those policy positions to them

No mystery at all. It was all campaign rhetoric like the Shrub's promises of "a humble foreign policy" and "compassionate conservatism," O-bomba-'s "hope and change"and Woody 'n Frankies promises to keep the US out of war.

KenH, September 12, 2018 at 12:20 pm GMT

Trump is now becoming more "patriotic" by the day with his willingness to get us into another no-win, forever war in Syria for Israel. I say we air drop John Brennan into Idlib so he can fight and die like a real man.

[Sep 12, 2018] Did Sanders' people challenge 'the Russians did it' propaganda line, demand the DNC servers be examined by forensic specialists and investigate Crowdstrike? No.

Sep 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: Next New Comment September 12, 2018 at 12:48 pm GMT

@KenH Trump is now becoming more "patriotic" by the day with his willingness to get us into another no-win, forever war in Syria for Israel. I say we air drop John Brennan into Idlib so he can fight and die like a real man. More on patriotism and loyalty. -- To what country?
https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/09/the-plot-against-trump-to-capture-the-white-house-netanyahus-design-part-iii/ by Ronald Thomas West.

"Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you" – Chuck Schumer. maybe Schumer's protective scare-mongering goes to a deeper matter; the matter of the most powerful intelligence agency operating in the USA is MOSSAD, an entity which has penetrated every aspect of American governance.
AIPAC is one of MOSSAD's favorite playgrounds

Did Sanders' people challenge 'the Russians did it' propaganda line, demand the DNC servers be examined by forensic specialists and investigate Crowdstrike? No.
no U.S. intelligence agency has performed its own forensic analysis on the [Clinton's] hacked servers. Instead, the bureau and other agencies have relied on analysis done by the third-party security firm CrowdStrike [Dm. Alperovitch, of the CrowdStrike fame, is a vicious Russophobe and loyal zionist fed and cared for by the ziocon Atlantic Council.] In actuality we know it was the assassinated Seth Rich took the DNC emails with a thumbdrive.

Vladimir Putin, the man standing in the way of Syria's breakup and working to keep the Iran agreement intact and avert a war, must be demonized to realize Bibi Netanyahu's goals. In fact, Israel's intelligence services focus has historically prioritized Russia, first, and the USA second "

– The Jewish Bolsheviks are in arms against Russia and the US because this is what the Jewish Bolsheviks are best for -- at the destruction of functioning human societies.

[Sep 12, 2018] If You Read This Book, It'll Make You a Radical A Conversation with Thomas Frank by John Siman

Notable quotes:
"... "Let us linger over the perversity," he writes in "Why Millions of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump," one of the seventeen component essays in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "Let us linger over the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America -- one of our two monopoly parties -- chose long ago to turn its back on these people's concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a 'creative class' that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps ..."
"... And the real bad news is not that this Creative Class, this Expert Class, this Meritocratic Class, this Professional Class -- this Liberal Class, with all its techno-ecstasy and virtue-questing and unleashing of innovation -- is so deeply narcissistic and hypocritical, but rather that it is so self-interestedly parasitical and predatory. ..."
Sep 11, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Thomas Frank's new collection of essays: Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society (Metropolitan Books 2018) and Listen, Liberal; or,Whatever Happened to the Party of the People? (ibid. 2016)

To hang out with Thomas Frank for a couple of hours is to be reminded that, going back to 1607, say, or to 1620, for a period of about three hundred and fifty years, the most archetypal of American characters was, arguably, the hard-working, earnest, self-controlled, dependable white Protestant guy, last presented without irony a generation or two -- or three -- ago in the television personas of men like Ward Cleaver and Mister Rogers.

Thomas Frank, who grew up in Kansas and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, who at age 53 has the vibe of a happy eager college nerd, not only glows with authentic Midwestern Nice (and sometimes his face turns red when he laughs, which is often), he actually lives in suburbia, just outside of D.C., in Bethesda, where, he told me, he takes pleasure in mowing the lawn and doing some auto repair and fixing dinner for his wife and two children. (Until I met him, I had always assumed it was impossible for a serious intellectual to live in suburbia and stay sane, but Thomas Frank has proven me quite wrong on this.)

Frank is sincerely worried about the possibility of offending friends and acquaintances by the topics he chooses to write about. He told me that he was a B oy Scout back in Kansas, but didn't make Eagle. He told me that he was perhaps a little too harsh on Hillary Clinton in his brilliantly perspicacious "Liberal Gilt [ sic ]" chapter at the end of Listen, Liberal . His piercing insight into and fascination with the moral rot and the hypocrisy that lies in the American soul brings, well, Nathaniel Hawthorne to mind, yet he refuses to say anything (and I tried so hard to bait him!) mean about anyone, no matter how culpable he or she is in the ongoing dissolving and crumbling and sinking -- all his metaphors -- of our society. And with such metaphors Frank describes the "one essential story" he is telling in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "This is what a society looks like when the glue that holds it together starts to dissolve. This is the way ordinary citizens react when they learn that the structure beneath them is crumbling. And this is the thrill that pulses through the veins of the well-to-do when they discover that there is no longer any limit on their power to accumulate" ( Thomas Frank in NYC on book tour https://youtu.be/DBNthCKtc1Y ).

And I believe that Frank's self-restraint, his refusal to indulge in bitter satire even as he parses our every national lie, makes him unique as social critic. "You will notice," he writes in the introduction to Rendezvous with Oblivion, "that I describe [these disasters] with a certain amount of levity. I do that because that's the only way to confront the issues of our time without sinking into debilitating gloom" (p. 8). And so rather than succumbing to an existential nausea, Frank descends into the abyss with a dependable flashlight and a ca. 1956 sitcom-dad chuckle.

"Let us linger over the perversity," he writes in "Why Millions of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump," one of the seventeen component essays in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "Let us linger over the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America -- one of our two monopoly parties -- chose long ago to turn its back on these people's concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a 'creative class' that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps " (p. 178).

And it is his analysis of this "Creative Class" -- he usually refers to it as the "Liberal Class" and sometimes as the "Meritocratic Class" in Listen, Liberal (while Barbara Ehrenreich uses the term " Professional Managerial Class ,"and Matthew Stewart recently published an article entitled "The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy" in the Atlantic ) -- that makes it clear that Frank's work is a continuation of the profound sociological critique that goes back to Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) and, more recently, to Christopher Lasch's The Revolt of the Elites (1994).

Unlike Veblen and Lasch, however, Frank is able to deliver the harshest news without any hauteur or irascibility, but rather with a deftness and tranquillity of mind, for he is both in and of the Creative Class; he abides among those afflicted by the epidemic which he diagnoses: "Today we live in a world of predatory bankers, predatory educators, even predatory health care providers, all of them out for themselves . Liberalism itself has changed to accommodate its new constituents' technocratic views. Today, liberalism is the philosophy not of the sons of toil but of the 'knowledge economy' and, specifically, of the knowledge economy's winners: the Silicon Valley chieftains, the big university systems, and the Wall Street titans who gave so much to Barack Obama's 2008 campaign . They are a 'learning class' that truly gets the power of education. They are a 'creative class' that naturally rebels against fakeness and conformity. They are an ' innovation class ' that just can't stop coming up with awesome new stuff" ( Listen, Liberal , pp. 27-29).

And the real bad news is not that this Creative Class, this Expert Class, this Meritocratic Class, this Professional Class -- this Liberal Class, with all its techno-ecstasy and virtue-questing and unleashing of innovation -- is so deeply narcissistic and hypocritical, but rather that it is so self-interestedly parasitical and predatory.

The class that now runs the so-called Party of the People is impoverishing the people; the genius value-creators at Amazon and Google and Uber are Robber Barons, although, one must grant, hipper, cooler, and oh so much more innovative than their historical predecessors. "In reality," Frank writes in Listen, Liberal ,

.there is little new about this stuff except the software, the convenience, and the spying. Each of the innovations I have mentioned merely updates or digitizes some business strategy that Americans learned long ago to be wary of. Amazon updates the practices of Wal-Mart, for example, while Google has dusted off corporate behavior from the days of the Robber Barons. What Uber does has been compared to the every-man-for-himself hiring procedures of the pre-union shipping docks . Together, as Robert Reich has written, all these developments are 'the logical culmination of a process that began thirty years ago when corporations began turning over full-time jobs to temporary workers, independent contractors, free-lancers, and consultants.' This is atavism, not innovation . And if we keep going in this direction, it will one day reduce all of us to day laborers, standing around like the guys outside the local hardware store, hoping for work. (p. 215).

And who gets this message? The YouTube patriot/comedian Jimmy Dore, Chicago-born, ex-Catholic, son of a cop, does for one. "If you read this b ook, " Dore said while interviewing Frank back in January of 2017, "it'll make y ou a radical" (Frank Interview Part 4 https://youtu.be/JONbGkQaq8Q ).

But to what extent, on the other hand, is Frank being actively excluded from our elite media outlets? He's certainly not on TV or radio or in print as much as he used to be. So is he a prophet without honor in his own country? Frank, of course, is too self-restrained to speculate about the motives of these Creative Class decision-makers and influencers. "But it is ironic and worth mentioning," he told me, "that most of my writing for the last few years has been in a British publication, The Guardian and (in translation) in Le Monde Diplomatique . The way to put it, I think, is to describe me as an ex-pundit."

Frank was, nevertheless, happy to tell me in vivid detail about how his most fundamental observation about America, viz. that the Party of the People has become hostile to the people , was for years effectively discredited in the Creative Class media -- among the bien-pensants , that is -- and about what he learned from their denialism.

JS: Going all the way back to your 2004 book What's the Matter with Kansas? -- I just looked at Larry Bartels's attack on it, "What's the Matter with What's the Matter with Kansas?" -- and I saw that his first objection to your book was, Well, Thomas Frank says the working class is alienated from the Democrats, but I have the math to show that that's false. How out of touch does that sound now?

TCF: [laughs merrily] I know.

JS: I remember at the time that was considered a serious objection to your thesis.

TCF: Yeah. Well, he was a professor at Princeton. And he had numbers. So it looked real. And I actually wrote a response to that in which I pointed out that there were other statistical ways of looking at it, and he had chosen the one that makes his point.

JS: Well, what did Mark Twain say?

TCF: Mark Twain?

JS: There are lies, damned lies --

TCF: [laughs merrily] -- and statistics! Yeah. Well, anyhow, Bartels's take became the common sense of the highly educated -- there needs to be a term for these people by the way, in France they're called the bien-pensants -- the "right-thinking," the people who read The Atlantic, The New York Times op-ed page, The Washington Post op-ed page, and who all agree with each other on everything -- there's this tight little circle of unanimity. And they all agreed that Bartels was right about that, and that was a costly mistake. For example, Paul Krugman, a guy whom I admire in a lot of ways, he referenced this four or five times. He agreed with it . No, the Democrats are not losing the white working class outside the South -- they were not going over to the Republicans. The suggestion was that there is nothing to worry about. Yes. And there were people saying this right up to the 2016 election. But it was a mistake.

JS: I remember being perplexed at the time. I had thought you had written this brilliant book, and you weren't being taken seriously -- because somebody at Princeton had run some software -- as if that had proven you wrong.

TCF: Yeah, that's correct . That was a very widespread take on it. And Bartels was incorrect, and I am right, and [laughs merrily] that's that.

JS: So do you think Russiagate is a way of saying, Oh no no no no, Hillary didn't really lose?

TCF: Well, she did win the popular vote -- but there's a whole set of pathologies out there right now that all stem from Hillary Denialism. And I don't want to say that Russiagate is one of them, because we don't know the answer to that yet.

JS: Um, ok.

TCF: Well, there are all kinds of questionable reactions to 2016 out there, and what they all have in common is the faith that Democrats did nothing wrong. For example, this same circle of the bien-pensants have decided that the only acceptable explanation for Trump's victory is the racism of his supporters. Racism can be the only explanation for the behavior of Trump voters. But that just seems odd to me because, while it's true of course that there's lots of racism in this country, and while Trump is clearly a bigot and clearly won the bigot vote, racism is just one of several factors that went into what happened in 2016. Those who focus on this as the only possible answer are implying that all Trump voters are irredeemable, lost forever.

And it comes back to the same point that was made by all those people who denied what was happening with the white working class, which is: The Democratic Party needs to do nothing differently . All the post-election arguments come back to this same point. So a couple years ago they were saying about the white working class -- we don't have to worry about them -- they're not leaving the Democratic Party, they're totally loyal, especially in the northern states, or whatever the hell it was. And now they say, well, Those people are racists, and therefore they're lost to us forever. What is the common theme of these two arguments? It's always that there's nothing the Democratic Party needs to do differently. First, you haven't lost them; now you have lost them and they're irretrievable: Either way -- you see what I'm getting at? -- you don't have to do anything differently to win them.

JS: Yes, I do.

TCF: The argument in What's the Matter with Kansas? was that this is a long-term process, the movement of the white working class away from the Democratic Party. This has been going on for a long time. It begins in the '60s, and the response of the Democrats by and large has been to mock those people, deride those people, and to move away from organized labor, to move away from class issues -- working class issues -- and so their response has been to make this situation worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse! And there's really no excuse for them not seeing it. But they say, believe, rationalize, you know, come up with anything that gets then off the hook for this, that allows them to ignore this change. Anything. They will say or believe whatever it takes.

JS: Yes.

TCF: By the way, these are the smartest people! These are tenured professors at Ivy League institutions, these are people with Nobel Prizes, people with foundation grants, people with, you know, chairs at prestigious universities, people who work at our most prestigious media outlets -- that's who's wrong about all this stuff.

JS: [quoting the title of David Halberstam's 1972 book, an excerpt from which Frank uses as an epigraph for Listen, Liberal ] The best and the brightest!

TCF: [laughing merrily] Exactly. Isn't it fascinating?

JS: But this gets to the irony of the thing. [locates highlighted passage in book] I'm going to ask you one of the questions you ask in Rendezvous with Oblivion: "Why are worshippers of competence so often incompetent?" (p. 165). That's a huge question.

TCF: That's one of the big mysteries. Look. Take a step back. I had met Barack Obama. He was a professor at the University of Chicago, and I'd been a student there. And he was super smart. Anyhow, I met him and was really impressed by him. All the liberals in Hyde Park -- that's the neighborhood we lived in -- loved him, and I was one of them, and I loved him too. And I was so happy when he got elected.

Anyhow, I knew one thing he would do for sure, and that is he would end the reign of cronyism and incompetence that marked the Bush administration and before them the Reagan administration. These were administrations that actively promoted incompetent people. And I knew Obama wouldn't do that, and I knew Obama would bring in the smartest people, and he'd get the best economists. Remember, when he got elected we were in the pit of the crisis -- we were at this terrible moment -- and here comes exactly the right man to solve the problem. He did exactly what I just described: He brought in [pause] Larry Summers, the former president of Harvard, considered the greatest economist of his generation -- and, you know, go down the list: He had Nobel Prize winners, he had people who'd won genius grants, he had The Best and the Brightest . And they didn't really deal with the problem. They let the Wall Street perpetrators off the hook -- in a catastrophic way, I would argue. They come up with a health care system that was half-baked. Anyhow, the question becomes -- after watching the great disappointments of the Obama years -- the question becomes: Why did government-by-expert fail?

JS: So how did this happen? Why?

TCF: The answer is understanding experts not as individual geniuses but as members of a class . This is the great missing link in all of our talk about expertise. Experts aren't just experts: They are members of a class. And they act like a class. They have loyalty to one another; they have a disdain for others, people who aren't like them, who they perceive as being lower than them, and there's this whole hierarchy of status that they are at the pinnacle of.

And once you understand this, then everything falls into place! So why did they let the Wall Street bankers off the hook? Because these people were them. These people are their peers. Why did they refuse to do what obviously needed to be done with the health care system? Because they didn't want to do that to their friends in Big Pharma. Why didn't Obama get tough with Google and Facebook? They obviously have this kind of scary monopoly power that we haven't seen in a long time. Instead, he brought them into the White House, he identified with them. Again, it's the same thing. Once you understand this, you say: Wait a minute -- so the Democratic Party is a vehicle of this particular social class! It all makes sense. And all of a sudden all of these screw-ups make sense. And, you know, all of their rhetoric makes sense. And the way they treat working class people makes sense. And they way they treat so many other demographic groups makes sense -- all of the old-time elements of the Democratic Party: unions, minorities, et cetera. They all get to ride in back. It's the professionals -- you know, the professional class -- that sits up front and has its hands on the steering wheel.

* * *

It is, given Frank's persona, not surprising that he is able to conclude Listen, Liberal with a certain hopefulness, and so let me end by quoting some of his final words:

What I saw in Kansas eleven years ago is now everywhere . It is time to face the obvious: that the direction the Democrats have chosen to follow for the last few decades has been a failure for both the nation and for their own partisan health . The Democrats posture as the 'party of the people' even as they dedicate themselves ever more resolutely to serving and glorifying the professional class. Worse: they combine self-righteousness and class privilege in a way that Americans find stomach-turning . The Democrats have no interest in reforming themselves in a more egalitarian way . What we can do is strip away the Democrats' precious sense of their own moral probity -- to make liberals live without the comforting knowledge that righteousness is always on their side . Once that smooth, seamless sense of liberal virtue has been cracked, anything becomes possible. (pp. 256-257).

[Sep 12, 2018] Fear Trump in the White House

What is interesting that the first eight reviews were all written by neocons.
The book looks like an implicit promotion of Pence. Which is probably not what Dems want ;-).
Notable quotes:
"... I fell in love with Woodward's writing with "All the President's Men." It inspired me to work in journalism. But Woodward has lost his touch. His "reporting" feels second-hand and arm's length. Each Chapter in his Source Notes leads with this disclaimer: "The information in the chapter comes primarily from multiple deep background interviews and firsthand sources." We have no way of knowing what firsthand sources even means – an article he read in the New York Times whose author he's friends with? ..."
"... The review mentions biography of Mike Pence, "The Shadow President ..." by Michael D'Antonio and Peter Eisner . For former Harvard alumni this is an extremely naive review, that is completely devoid of understanding of political forces that are shaping the country and first of all the crisis of neoliberalism. ..."
"... Mike Pence, the "Shadow President" and Trump's hand picked successor, will from many indications become president in the months following the November 6 election. ..."
Sep 12, 2018 | www.amazon.com

Betsy Lee, September 12, 2018

Not much of a book

I went into this book thinking that it would confirm all of my deepest fears about Trump and give me more reasons to dislike him. At the end of the book, I had the distinct impression that Trump's presidency is not as bad as it is often portrayed.

Some of Trump's ideas are not so bad -- for example, the book spends a lot of time on Afghanistan. Trump has for a long time believed the war was a mistake, that there is no way to "win," and that it is a perpetual loss of our country's treasures.

The book spends a lot of time showing how Trump fought the "swamp" to come up with a strategy to get out -- and failed.

Of course, many other stories in the book confirmed my belief that he is a disaster for a president.

The book jumps around in time and topic a lot, making it difficult to follow. Kind of like Trump himself.

Melanie Gilbert, September 12, 2018

Deep Fear

My Kindle book loaded at 12:30 Tuesday morning , and I stayed up until 6:30 a.m. reading this fascinating and alarming story. The scariest part of this massive tome is the sheer hubris of everyone in President Trump's orbit including the author, famed Watergate reporter, Bob Woodward. They all think they are more presidential than the actual president, and that sense of entitlement and arrogance drives this tell-all narrative.

Even though I agree that Trump is mentally unfit to be Commander-in-Chief – and Woodward cites many troubling incidents that point to a memory-impaired leader – it feels as if Woodward operated under the theory of selection bias, finding sources who would confirm his thesis. I don't know what's scarier, a president who is off the rails, or a staff that helps keep him there while they are busy running the country the way they see fit (except when the crazy uncle escapes his handlers and spouts off on Twitter.)

Woodward, a veteran reporter, and the man (with Carl Bernstein) who broke the Nixon-era Watergate crime with a source the known only as "Deep Throat" falls for and magnifies their conceit. The real story isn't Trump, it's his unelected and unconstitutional enablers (senior staff, family, media, lobbyists, rogue governments) who act like they are running a shadow government (surreptitiously taking papers off his desk, screening his briefing materials.) Woodward's story will feed Trump's main argument that there's a Deep State at work in this country.

I fell in love with Woodward's writing with "All the President's Men." It inspired me to work in journalism. But Woodward has lost his touch. His "reporting" feels second-hand and arm's length. Each Chapter in his Source Notes leads with this disclaimer: "The information in the chapter comes primarily from multiple deep background interviews and firsthand sources." We have no way of knowing what firsthand sources even means – an article he read in the New York Times whose author he's friends with?

This book is beneath Woodward's skill and reputation. You can basically retrieve the same message in "Unhinged" a much briefer and far more readable format - though no less disturbing account - of working in the Trump White House.

gerald t. slevin on September 11, 2018

NOTES: The review mentions biography of Mike Pence, "The Shadow President ..." by Michael D'Antonio and Peter Eisner . For former Harvard alumni this is an extremely naive review, that is completely devoid of understanding of political forces that are shaping the country and first of all the crisis of neoliberalism.

Donald Trump's Demotion & Mike Pence's Promotion! When and How?

Bob Woodward has done it again. "Fear" is a remarkable and important book, especially because it is so current and revealing and is vouched for by this very credible reporter. Woodward's book confirms in much greater detail many earlier and less credible reports, plus many others --- establishing clearly that Donald Trump is not fit to be the US president --- politically, intellectually, psychologically or morally. Moreover, his erratic behavior is a threat to US national security, as Woodward's book and recent TV interviews make very clear. Of course, most of the media attention on this book has been and will continue to be on Woodward's many shocking scoops. The most important question, however, that the book raises, for me at least, is "When and how will Trump's reckless rule be retired?"

Mike Pence, the "Shadow President" and Trump's hand picked successor, will from many indications become president in the months following the November 6 election. That seems to be a high probability, even without Special Counsel Robert Mueller's likely devastating report on the Russian conspiracy to influence illegally the 2016 presidential elections and the related cover up obstructing Mueller's investigation of this conspiracy . The only unknown now is when and how Trump goes--- by the impeachment process or by simple resignation like Nixon did.

We can expect Pence will then give Trump a full pardon, after Trump fully pardons some family members and close associates. Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort need not hold their breath waiting for a pardon. Trump, some of his family members and close associates will, of course, still be at risk of state law prosecutions, expecially in NY.

Trump has long used fear to exercise power over others. Fear, as Machiavelli strongly recommended five centuries ago to a corrupt pope's nephew, is preferable to and more effective than kindness. Paradoxically, Trump's own deep personal fear of failure still drives him desperately--- any means are justified to reach Trump's top goals of personal profit and glory forever. Any means is OK, including even orphaning innocent infants at the Mexican border, while other immigrants are welcomed to work temporarily at Mar-a-Lago. Woodward's book just reinforces these observations many have already made.

It is amazing to me that many of the so-called "adults in the room" cannot see that Trump is misbehaving as he always did. He cannot be changed, certainly not now and not by the many handlers selected seemingly because Trump can dominate them. That said, Trump still has more than two years remaining on his term!

I have strong reactions to Woodward's many disturbing disclosures, as (1) a former Harvard Law assistant to Archibald Cox (prior to his being the unforgettable Watergate Prosecutor and nailing Nixon), (2) a former high school chum of Rudy Guiliani (now an unimpressive key Trump advisor), (3) a former law firm colleague of Bob Khuzami (now the impressive head of NYC federal investigations of Trump criminal matters) and (4) a father and grandfather.

... ... ...

At 75 years old, Woodward clearly had a purpose in this voluntary and prodigious effort to research and write this book--- to flush out the true Donald Trump and show the danger he poses for US national security. Woodward, a Navy veteran like John McCain before him, is also a patriot. To paraphrase Trump, Woodward shows vividly that Trump's behavior is "very sad and really disgusting".

The media will have a field day with some of the troubling Trump episodes Woodward reports. Many persons cited in the book will challenge some of his reports. To be expected and perhaps understandable, given Trump's fiery temper about those he thinks are in any way disloyal to him. The facts will nevertheless prevail, as they have mostly for Woodward's earlier books about the many presidents who immediately preceded Trump.

More important, however, than specific episodes, is what the confluence of these troubling episodes clearly shows --- Trump is clearly unfit to be president! The longer he remains, the greater the risk in our nuclear age for the US, and the world as well. It is well to recall the near catastrophe last January when a Hawaiian technician pressed the wrong button indicating a non-existent "imminent" North Korean missile attack, following Trump's reckless rhetoric about the real North Korean threat. This must have sent a real chill down the spines of the leaders of all nuclear nations, and many others as well.

Will Trump then finish his first term? Very doubtful, it appears.

If the Democrats win a House majority in less than two months, prompt impeachment proceedings and numerous House investigations of Trump and his corrupt cronies appear to be inevitable. That dooms Trump.

Even if the Democrats remain the minority, impeachment is still likely to occur in my view as Mueller's efforts continue --- they cannot be stopped now. They will continue even if Mueller is fired as they continued after Nixon fired Archibald Cox. Moreover, there is a reasonable prospect that one or more of Trump's children and/or in-laws could soon be indicted.

Trump will after November be an increasingly unnecessary liability for Republicans, the GOP. Only 32% of voters currently polled even think Trump is honest. He has already done what the GOP and its billionaire backers like the Kochs and Devoses most wanted --- a major tax cut for the wealthiest, reckless deregulation, insuring a right wing judiciary majority, reducing drastically Federal revenues needed to fund the social safety net, et al.

Moreover, it seems unlikely that Trump will be able to handle the steadily growing pressure he faces. He may even elect to resign as Nixon did. Pence can finish up to the cheers of the Kochs, Devoses, et al.

For a fuller picture of what to expect from Pence when Trump "retires", please see the new comprehensive, readable and detailed biography of Mike Pence, "The Shadow President ..." by Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter, Michael D'Antonio, and by his co-author, Peter Eisner. This book's findings dovetail nicely with the findings in "Fear".

Unlike Woodward, D'Antonio even got, for his recent excellent Trump biography, hours of direct interviews of Trump before the 2016 elections, until Trump abruptly ended the interviews apparently concerned that D'Antonio was writing a truthful book based on facts, not on Trump's limitless lies and specious spin. We now know from this important book on Pence why it is very unlikely that Pence will ever be able to clean up Donald Trump's mess. We also can understand much better why Trump recently predicted that stock markets would crash if he were to be impeached. Not too great an endorsement of his successor, Pence, by a reckless and incompetent boss who has now witnessed up close for almost two years the non-stop cheerleading of the "Shadow President", Mike Pence.

Pence successfully strived during the last two years behind the scenes, with Trump's apparent blessings, to advance his repressive and regressive fundamentalist Christian remaking of American society, including through administration and judicial right-wing appointments and adoption of fundamentalist social policies, like curtailing legal abortions and even limiting contraception access. Significantly, these policies mostly benefit in the end the already "uberrich" top 0.01% of Americans at the expense of the 99.99 % less fortunate--- how Christian is that?

Trump's and Pence's unfair tax cuts and excessive deregulation can readily be fixed by Democrats when they regain power. But Trump and Pence have already changed the Federal judiciary with their many right wing judges appointed for life. That is not so easily fixed.

This is scary stuff for a religiously diverse nation with constitutional safeguards of religious freedom that were extremely important for good reason to our Founding Fathers. They rejected a theocracy as well as a monarchy !

By providing a brisk and insightful history of Pence's personal and political journey, we are able with this book to see behind Pence's perpetual smile and smooth style. It is not a very pretty picture.

All, even Trump supporters, should read this book to understand better the threat Pence poses even for Trump. After the midterm elections, the "uberrich" will know they can fulfill all their remaining political and economic dreams through Pence, without having to put up any longer with Trump's erratic and at times almost bizarre policies and behavior. By mid-November, Trump will need Pence more than Pence will need Trump.

It is not surprising the Omarosa recently observed on Chris Matthews' "Hardball" show that she thinks one of Pence's staff was the author of the unprecedented and anonymous New York times Op Ed column that further undercuts Trump and re-inforces some of Woodward's revelations. As to be expected, Pence offers to swear under oath that HE did not write the Op Ed column, which denial leaves room that one of his staffers wrote it, no?

"Fear" and "The Shadow Presidency" raise a very ironic possibility in my mind. If Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, after the midterm elections in November, indicates that Trump and Pence were both implicated in Russian election conspiracy and/or in the subsequent cover-up, both of them could be removed from office or worse by a Congress forced by public outrage to act on Mueller's report. Even Nixon's base abandoned him once the true facts were widely known.

Pence often played a key role in the 2016 campaign, as well as during the two years since. Who knows what he said and did in secret? Who knows if Pence was recorded by Amarosa, an evangelical pastor, or Michael Cohen, a "tell all" third rate lawyer or someone else at the White House, including possibly Trump himself. I suspect that by now, Mueller knows!

If that happens, Nancy Pelosi could succeed after next January to the presidency as Speaker of the House, third in line after the President and Vice President. So much then for the great Trump/Pence strategy.

The Pence book makes very clear why Pence is to be feared, perhaps even more than Trump. The "god" of Trump is Trump --- in that sense, he is obvious and usually predictable. Pence's "god" is much darker and more dangerous, as well as unpredictable, as this book has confirmed for me. It may be that a needy and greedy Trump is a safer bet than a surreptitious and smiling religious zealot, Pence.

Pence legitimated Trump with the important and united fundamentalist voter base, who voted by over 80% to elect Trump! Trump also won 52% of Catholics' votes, while only 46% of the national vote. Who will legitimate Pence? This book suggests "good" fundamentalists should now vote against Pence if they ever find their Christian moorings again!

Pence appears determined to advance a repressive and regressive fundamentalist evangelical theocracy, even though most Americans, including most Christians, have no interest in a theocracy, Christian or otherwise. Our Founding Fathers were well aware of the brutal post-Reformation religious wars that some of their not too distant relatives had fled Europe to avoid.

Interestingly, Pence was a Catholic altar boy and Trump attended for two years a Jesuit college, Fordham. And the current four male Supreme Court conservative Catholic Justices and the newly nominated likely to be Justice, Brett Kavanagh, were also raised Catholic. Four of these five also went to Catholic schools --- Clarence Thomas to Jesuit Holy Cross College, Neil Gorsuch and Kavanagh to Jesuit Georgetown Prep and John Roberts to La Lumiere School. Samuel Alito was raised in a traditional Italian American Catholic family environment.

.... .... ...

[Sep 12, 2018] The op-ed itself was a jejune and mediocre example of a time-honored American pastime, talking smack about one's boss behind his back

Looks like this "Iago" op-ed injected the poison of mutual suspicion into Trump administration: "Cabinet secretaries quickly lined up to plead their innocence of any involvement, playing Bukharin to Trump's Stalin. Who wrote the op-ed? Someone by the name of "Not Me." An internal administration manhunt (womanhunt?) has allegedly launched to unmask the evildoer."
Sep 12, 2018 | original.antiwar.com

The op-ed itself was a jejune and mediocre example of a time-honored American pastime, talking smack about one's boss behind his back. On its own terms, it deserved at most a brief period of public mockery before fading away to something less than an historical footnote.

But then Trump responded swiftly and decisively from his favorite bully pulpit, Twitter.

"TREASON?" he thundered. "If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!"

... ... ...

As for the alleged internal "resistance" the anonymous writer claims to belong to, it seems to have fled the scene. Cabinet secretaries quickly lined up to plead their innocence of any involvement, playing Bukharin to Trump's Stalin. Who wrote the op-ed? Someone by the name of "Not Me." An internal administration manhunt (womanhunt?) has allegedly launched to unmask the evildoer.

[Sep 12, 2018] The Op-Ed is a Forgery Written by the New York Times

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times' ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... New York Times' ..."
"... New York Times, ..."
"... @Pluto's Republic ..."
"... @TheOtherMaven ..."
"... kind of psy-op. The problem I've had all along with this and the continued blaming of the "deep state" for preventing Trump from being the next coming of Jesus is that it creates sympathy for Trump, which is very dangerous. As I've said many times, none of them are on our side, Trump and his included. ..."
"... @Big Al ..."
"... "With no jail time for executives and half a trillion in post-crisis profits, the big banks have made out like bandits during the post-crash period." ..."
"... "With no jail time for executives and half a trillion in post-crisis profits, the big banks have made out like bandits during the post-crash period." ..."
"... @WoodsDweller ..."
"... @WoodsDweller ..."
"... to take criminal action, ..."
"... @Unabashed Liberal ..."
"... to take criminal action, ..."
"... Leaks to the media are equated with espionage. ..."
"... Leaks to the media are equated with espionage. ..."
Sep 12, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Pluto's Republic on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 9:39am

This, according to author Paul Craig Roberts. In his urgent and compelling essay, he breaks the discovery down piece by piece. You'll want to follow the link below and read it yourself for the full effect of the logic in action. Here are a few of his key assertions:

The op-ed is a forgery. As a former senior official in a presidential administration, I can state with certainty that no senior official would express disagreement anonymously. Anonymous dissent has no credibility. Moreover, the dishonor of it undermines the character of the writer.

The New York Times' claim to have vetted the writer lacks credibility, as the New York Times has consistently printed extreme accusations against Trump and against Vladimir Putin without supplying a bit of evidence. The New York Times has consistently misrepresented unsubstantiated allegations as proven fact. There is no reason whatsoever to believe the New York Times about anything.

Roberts is convinced that this obviously forged op-ed is an attempt to break up the Trump administration by creating suspicion throughout the senior level. Unfortunately, Trump has fallen for the hoax and may not realize his mistake before significant damage is done.

The New York Times motive for this deception, and the reason for the op-ed in the first place, is to serve the interests of the military/security complex, which has long been the newspaper's primary objective. They desperately seek to compel a paranoid nation to hold on to the enemies with whom Trump prefers to make peace.

For example, the alleged "senior official" misrepresents, as does the New York Times , President Trump's efforts to reduce dangerous tensions with North Korea and Russia as President Trump's "preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un" over America's "allied, like-minded nations." This is the same non-sequitur that the New York Times has expressed endlessly.

Why is resolving dangerous tensions a "preference for dictators" and not a preference for peace? The New York Times has never explained, and neither does the "senior official."

How is it that Putin, elected three times by majorities that no US president has ever received, is a dictator? Putin stepped down after serving the permitted two consecutive terms and was again elected after being out of office for a term. Do dictators step down and sit out for 6 years?

The "senior official" also endorses as proven fact the alleged Skripal poisoning by a "deadly Russian nerve agent," an event for which not one scrap of evidence exists. Neither has anyone explained why the "deadly nerve agent" wasn't deadly. The entire Skripal event rests only on assertions. The purpose of the Skripal hoax was precisely what President Trump said it was: to box him into further confrontation with Russia and prevent a reduction in tensions.

If the "senior official" is really so uninformed as to believe that Putin is a dictator who attacked the Skripals with a deadly nerve agent and elected Trump president, the "senior official" is too dangerously ignorant and gullible to be a senior official in any administration. These are the New York Times' beliefs or professed beliefs as the New York Times does everything the organization can do to protect the military/security complex's budget from any reduction in the "enemy threat."

Roberts points out another favorite attack on President Trump used by the New York Times, that he is unstable and unfit for office. He notes that even the wording of the attack is reproduced in the fake op-ed:

"Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president," writes the invented and non-existent "senior official."

Americans are an insouciant people. But are any so insouciant that they really think that a senior official would write that the members of President Trump's cabinet have considered removing him from office? What is this statement other than a deliberate effort to produce a constitutional crisis -- the precise aim of John Brennan, James Comey, Rod Rosenstein, the DNC, and the New York Times . A constitutional crisis is what the hoax of Russiagate is all about. The level of mendacity and evil in this plot against Trump is unequaled in history.

This op-ed hoax puts people in grave danger, all for the financial gain of the war profiteers. There is not a politician left in America that has the nerve to stand up against this atrocity. They are all owned and fearful; they know full well a factual and moral criticism against these inhumane wars and designated enemies will instantly destroy their careers. They will be banished from the Capitol. It is up to the people themselves to denounce the coup government that is waging these illegal wars and destabilizing the world.

In America today, and in Europe, people are living in a situation in which the liberal-progressive-left's blind hatred of Donald Trump, together with the self-interested power and profit of the military security complex and election hopes of the Democratic Party, are recklessly and irresponsibly risking nuclear Armageddon for no other reason than to act out their hate and further their own nest.

This plot against Trump is dangerous to life on earth and demands that the governments and peoples of the world act now to expose this plot and to bring it to an end before it kills us all.

Read the entire article:

I Know Who the "Senior Official" Is Who Wrote the New York Times Op-Ed
by Paul Craig Roberts

Pluto's Republic on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 9:57am
The will of the people should mean something

...in a democracy. But according to recent polls, more than 75 percent of Americans have no one to represent them in ending the wars. No one to vote for in upcoming elections because no one in Congress will take a stand against the deep state Coup government that is pushing military aggression and intervention around the world.

The headline findings show, among other things, that 86.4 percent of those surveyed feel the American military should be used only as a last resort, while 57 percent feel that US military aid to foreign countries is counterproductive. The latter sentiment "increases significantly" when involving countries like Saudi Arabia, with 63.9 percent saying military aid -- including money and weapons -- should not be provided to such countries.

The poll shows strong, indeed overwhelming, support, for Congress to reassert itself in the oversight of US military interventions, with 70.8 percent of those polled saying Congress should pass legislation that would restrain military action overseas

https://www.thenation.com/article/new-poll-shows-public-overwhelmingly-o...

Azazello on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 10:44am
Trivia question:

@Pluto's Republic
When was the last time the US Congress declared war, as required by the Constitution ?
Many assume it was Dec.8, 1941 against Japan or maybe Dec.11, 1941 against Germany and Italy.
Actually, it was June 5, 1942 against Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.
I had to look that up: wikipedia

...in a democracy. But according to recent polls, more than 75 percent of Americans have no one to represent them in ending the wars. No one to vote for in upcoming elections because no one in Congress will take a stand against the deep state Coup government that is pushing military aggression and intervention around the world.

The headline findings show, among other things, that 86.4 percent of those surveyed feel the American military should be used only as a last resort, while 57 percent feel that US military aid to foreign countries is counterproductive. The latter sentiment "increases significantly" when involving countries like Saudi Arabia, with 63.9 percent saying military aid -- including money and weapons -- should not be provided to such countries.

The poll shows strong, indeed overwhelming, support, for Congress to reassert itself in the oversight of US military interventions, with 70.8 percent of those polled saying Congress should pass legislation that would restrain military action overseas

https://www.thenation.com/article/new-poll-shows-public-overwhelmingly-o...

Pluto's Republic on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 11:32am
Keep the trivia coming.

@Azazello

I'm not as amazed as I might have been before I learned about the establishment of the Council on Foreign Relations in 1921 for the sole purpose of forcing US involvement in wars around the world.

The people refused to do it, saw no point in it, so the bankers had to do it themselves.

#1
When was the last time the US Congress declared war, as required by the Constitution ?
Many assume it was Dec.8, 1941 against Japan or maybe Dec.11, 1941 against Germany and Italy.
Actually, it was June 5, 1942 against Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.
I had to look that up: wikipedia

TheOtherMaven on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 10:17am
I conclude that PCR uses "insouciant" to mean "ignorant"

Not out of ignorance, but because he's too damned polite.

arendt on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 11:38am
Not ignorant. The definition is indifferent.

@TheOtherMaven

Insouciant - showing a casual lack of concern; indifferent.

PCR overuses the word, but it is basically a dig at "the exceptional nation". He means we are so arrogant that we can't be concerned to inform ourselves about the facts or their implications. I guess you could say it means ignorant, but its a kind of willful, fingers in the ears ignorance.

Not out of ignorance, but because he's too damned polite.

gulfgal98 on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 10:46am
I have believed it to be a hoax all along,

but particularly after the NYT put out a response to over 23,000 reader inquiries. The answers to those inquires simply did not ring credible.

I laid out two scenarios in a comment on wendy davis' essay yesterday. In the beginning of the second scenario, I wrote of my belief that this op ed was not what it was purported to be. It did not pass the smell test to me.

The more I am learning about this op ed and particularly as a result of the Times explanation of how it came to be, I am beginning to think this op ed was concocted as a way of poisoning the well by those who wish Trump out of office. Two red flags jumped out for me in the Times response to reader inquiries.

While this op ed may not have been written in house by Times staff, it was probably written by someone who has worked closely with the Times in the past and may have even been written at the request of the Times editor in chief or publisher.

gulfgal98 on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 11:01am
Roberts nails it here

@gulfgal98 @gulfgal98 @gulfgal98

The op-ed is an obvious forgery. As a former senior official in a presidential administration, I can state with certainty that no senior official would express disagreement anonymously. Anonymous dissent has no credibility. Moreover, the dishonor of it undermines the character of the writer. A real dissenter would use his reputation and the status of his high position to lend weight to his dissent.

This is exactly why I used William Ruckelhaus' resignation from the Nixon Administration as an example of an insider using his reputation and honor to call attention to what Nixon wanted to do by firing Archibald Cox.

Another aspect of Roberts' essay is something that is very important to me personally and that is what would be the long term damage done to the country by those calling for Trump's impeachment or removal via the 25th Amendment. And that does not take into consideration the frightening prospect of Pence becoming President.

The level of mendacity and evil in this plot against Trump is unequaled in history. Have any of these conspirators given a moment's thought to the consequences of removing a president for his unwillingness to worsen the dangerously high tensions between nuclear powers? The next president would have to adopt a Russophobic stance and do nothing to reduce the tensions that can break out in nuclear war or himself be accused of "coddling the Russian dictator and putting America at risk."

but particularly after the NYT put out a response to over 23,000 reader inquiries. The answers to those inquires simply did not ring credible.

I laid out two scenarios in a comment on wendy davis' essay yesterday. In the beginning of the second scenario, I wrote of my belief that this op ed was not what it was purported to be. It did not pass the smell test to me.

The more I am learning about this op ed and particularly as a result of the Times explanation of how it came to be, I am beginning to think this op ed was concocted as a way of poisoning the well by those who wish Trump out of office. Two red flags jumped out for me in the Times response to reader inquiries.

While this op ed may not have been written in house by Times staff, it was probably written by someone who has worked closely with the Times in the past and may have even been written at the request of the Times editor in chief or publisher.

Big Al on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 11:07am
Alot of red flags and hard to argue with PCR that it's some

kind of psy-op. The problem I've had all along with this and the continued blaming of the "deep state" for preventing Trump from being the next coming of Jesus is that it creates sympathy for Trump, which is very dangerous. As I've said many times, none of them are on our side, Trump and his included.

"Personifying a serious and unfortunate division on the left, progressive-libertarian journalist Glenn Greenwald has focused his ire on the individuals in the administration who seek to undermine Trump's presidency, and his anger at these alleged "deep state" bureaucrats has been echoed by numerous leftists I've spoken with in recent days. While admitting that Trump "may be a threat," Greenwald responds: "but so is this covert coup" within the White House, which represents "an unelected cabal that covertly imposed their own ideology with zero democratic accountability, mandate or transparency."

"Greenwald is an important figure for leftists considering his work with Edward Snowden to expose the federal government and NSA's illegal spying in the "War on Terror." But his message here badly misses the mark. The claim that Trump "may be a threat" to the country is perhaps the understatement of the century.And his willingness to focus on turmoil within the administration as a major threat to democracy is strange. It's akin to complaining that your lawn is slowly turning brown when your house is burning down in front of you. This is not a critique that's unique to Greenwald, as I've engaged with numerous individuals on the left over the last week who see the White House op-ed as an example of the "deep state's" assault on civilian political rule. I don't see it this way. The stakes are far higher than some monkey wrenchers in the White House undermining the president. If we cannot separate the real threat to the nation – fascism in the White House – from the marginal "problem" of intra-administrative discord within that fascist administration, then we are in serious trouble."

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/11/full-on-fascism-trump-makes-the-...

arendt on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 11:43am
"none of them are on our side,"

@Big Al

I agree with that.

I'm not clear if, with your extensive quotations, you are endorsing the Counterpunch article. To me, that article is busy attacking Greenwald for defending the Constitution and the political process. The author perverts defending the law into defending Trump.

Even murderers are supposed to be given a fair trial. The author, DiMaggio, does not seem to be in favor of that.

This article fits a pattern at Counterpunch. They print some leftwing stuff, but when the chips are down, they will publish an article that supports the Deep State. I judge Counterpunch on an article by article basis. This article gets an F.

kind of psy-op. The problem I've had all along with this and the continued blaming of the "deep state" for preventing Trump from being the next coming of Jesus is that it creates sympathy for Trump, which is very dangerous. As I've said many times, none of them are on our side, Trump and his included.

"Personifying a serious and unfortunate division on the left, progressive-libertarian journalist Glenn Greenwald has focused his ire on the individuals in the administration who seek to undermine Trump's presidency, and his anger at these alleged "deep state" bureaucrats has been echoed by numerous leftists I've spoken with in recent days. While admitting that Trump "may be a threat," Greenwald responds: "but so is this covert coup" within the White House, which represents "an unelected cabal that covertly imposed their own ideology with zero democratic accountability, mandate or transparency."

"Greenwald is an important figure for leftists considering his work with Edward Snowden to expose the federal government and NSA's illegal spying in the "War on Terror." But his message here badly misses the mark. The claim that Trump "may be a threat" to the country is perhaps the understatement of the century.And his willingness to focus on turmoil within the administration as a major threat to democracy is strange. It's akin to complaining that your lawn is slowly turning brown when your house is burning down in front of you. This is not a critique that's unique to Greenwald, as I've engaged with numerous individuals on the left over the last week who see the White House op-ed as an example of the "deep state's" assault on civilian political rule. I don't see it this way. The stakes are far higher than some monkey wrenchers in the White House undermining the president. If we cannot separate the real threat to the nation – fascism in the White House – from the marginal "problem" of intra-administrative discord within that fascist administration, then we are in serious trouble."

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/11/full-on-fascism-trump-makes-the-...

dkmich on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 11:39am
Is the undermining and overthrow of the Presidency

internal or external? I really don't have an opinion on which, but I think both are a threat to our rapidly disappearing democracy. Trump is a threat too and easy to hate. It makes him such a great foil for a coup.

lizzyh7 on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 12:04pm
Yes, it makes him the perfect

@dkmich target of a coup, doesn't it? The more I see of this stuff the more I cannot help but think that Trump WAS part of their plan and not just Hers plan that she would win against him but maybe the perfect plan to dismantle what's left of our pathetically termed "democracy."

Trump is dangerous as hell in his own right, what he and his idiots are doing to the climate is something we'll all live with, or rather, die with, but he's doing what our owners want there and it is so easy to blame it all on him when I think we all know our fossil fuel psychos are as much a part of the deep state as is the MIC.

This is a coup alright and what they want is nothing less than totalitarianism. By using Trump to get there it is the same damned game of dupe, divide and conquer. Trump is no hero either, he's not going to "save America" but drive it into a ditch, and really, I think that's been the plan all along.

internal or external? I really don't have an opinion on which, but I think both are a threat to our rapidly disappearing democracy. Trump is a threat too and easy to hate. It makes him such a great foil for a coup.

snoopydawg on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 1:21pm
Glad to see that I am not the only one thinking that

@lizzyh7

Trump was the plan all along. He is doing much of the same things that Obama was doing but people weren't noticing because of his so called 'charm'. It looks like Trump is rolling back a lot of Obama's policies where it comes to the environment, but many of those policies were done just before Obama left office and wouldn't take affect for months or years. But it makes it look like Obama was more progressive than he was and Trump is the one destroying the country.

Hillary wouldn't have been able to appoint the type of people Trump has in order to get to where we are now. And I see that the only thing that has changed when it comes to our foreign interventions is that Trump has relaxed the rules of engagement and isn't even bothering to protect the civilians who are in our way. Trump is still supporting ISIS and AQ who Obama and Hillary armed and funded to do our dirty work.

Then there's the economic issues that the GOP are ramming through and the poor democrats are in no position to defend against them. How convenient, eh?

People are going to pissed when Trump cuts the social programs, but lets not forget that they were cut during Obama's tenure too and he even put SS on the table. Rumor is that McConnell stopped him, but why did he? SO that he could take credit for it? Hmmm. Fishy that.

ps ....

Published on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 by Common Dreams Thanks to Obama Bailouts and Trump Tax Cuts, Five Largest US Banks Have Raked in $583 Billion Since 2008 Crash

"With no jail time for executives and half a trillion in post-crisis profits, the big banks have made out like bandits during the post-crash period."

The 2008 financial meltdown inflicted devastating financial and psychological damage upon millions of ordinary Americans, but a new report released by Public Citizen on Tuesday shows the Wall Street banks that caused the crash with their reckless speculation and outright fraud have done phenomenally well in the ten years since the crisis.

Thanks to the Obama administration's decision to rescue collapsing Wall Street banks with taxpayer cash and the Trump administration's massive tax cuts and deregulatory push, America's five largest banks -- JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs -- have raked in more than $583 billion in combined profits over the past decade, Public Citizen found in its analysis marking the ten-year anniversary of the crisis.

"With no jail time for executives and half a trillion in post-crisis profits," said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, "the big banks have made out like bandits during the post-crash period. Like bandits."

What a surprise,

According to a Washington Post analysis published on Saturday, many of the lawmakers and congressional aides who helped craft the Democratic Congress' regulatory response to the 2008 crisis have gone on to work for Wall Street in the hopes of benefiting from big banks' booming profits.

Not

#5 target of a coup, doesn't it? The more I see of this stuff the more I cannot help but think that Trump WAS part of their plan and not just Hers plan that she would win against him but maybe the perfect plan to dismantle what's left of our pathetically termed "democracy."

Trump is dangerous as hell in his own right, what he and his idiots are doing to the climate is something we'll all live with, or rather, die with, but he's doing what our owners want there and it is so easy to blame it all on him when I think we all know our fossil fuel psychos are as much a part of the deep state as is the MIC.

This is a coup alright and what they want is nothing less than totalitarianism. By using Trump to get there it is the same damned game of dupe, divide and conquer. Trump is no hero either, he's not going to "save America" but drive it into a ditch, and really, I think that's been the plan all along.

lizzyh7 on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 5:42pm
Heartily agree with all of it.

@snoopydawg You always put it so much better and in better detail than I do. I've felt from the beginning with Trump the more repulsive and stupid the policy, they better for our owners. They're fine with all that, but they will not tolerate dissent on overall American dominance of the entire world and Trump, for whatever greedy reasons, is bucking them there. And I do not believe Her could have gotten away with his more egregious things and our owners were certainly aware of that. The mask is off, let the final gutting commence openly.

And the more they "fight" Trump the more "credible" Trump looks. I find that personally terrifying.

#5.1

Trump was the plan all along. He is doing much of the same things that Obama was doing but people weren't noticing because of his so called 'charm'. It looks like Trump is rolling back a lot of Obama's policies where it comes to the environment, but many of those policies were done just before Obama left office and wouldn't take affect for months or years. But it makes it look like Obama was more progressive than he was and Trump is the one destroying the country.

Hillary wouldn't have been able to appoint the type of people Trump has in order to get to where we are now. And I see that the only thing that has changed when it comes to our foreign interventions is that Trump has relaxed the rules of engagement and isn't even bothering to protect the civilians who are in our way. Trump is still supporting ISIS and AQ who Obama and Hillary armed and funded to do our dirty work.

Then there's the economic issues that the GOP are ramming through and the poor democrats are in no position to defend against them. How convenient, eh?

People are going to pissed when Trump cuts the social programs, but lets not forget that they were cut during Obama's tenure too and he even put SS on the table. Rumor is that McConnell stopped him, but why did he? SO that he could take credit for it? Hmmm. Fishy that.

ps ....

Published on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 by Common Dreams Thanks to Obama Bailouts and Trump Tax Cuts, Five Largest US Banks Have Raked in $583 Billion Since 2008 Crash

"With no jail time for executives and half a trillion in post-crisis profits, the big banks have made out like bandits during the post-crash period."

The 2008 financial meltdown inflicted devastating financial and psychological damage upon millions of ordinary Americans, but a new report released by Public Citizen on Tuesday shows the Wall Street banks that caused the crash with their reckless speculation and outright fraud have done phenomenally well in the ten years since the crisis.

Thanks to the Obama administration's decision to rescue collapsing Wall Street banks with taxpayer cash and the Trump administration's massive tax cuts and deregulatory push, America's five largest banks -- JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs -- have raked in more than $583 billion in combined profits over the past decade, Public Citizen found in its analysis marking the ten-year anniversary of the crisis.

"With no jail time for executives and half a trillion in post-crisis profits," said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, "the big banks have made out like bandits during the post-crash period. Like bandits."

What a surprise,

According to a Washington Post analysis published on Saturday, many of the lawmakers and congressional aides who helped craft the Democratic Congress' regulatory response to the 2008 crisis have gone on to work for Wall Street in the hopes of benefiting from big banks' booming profits.

Not

Unabashed Liberal on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 1:16pm
IMO, his election represents to the 'first' major Deep

@lizzyh7

State election FAIL--in my lifetime, anyway.

By that I'm saying that both major legacy Parties always managed to nominate Party candidates who were acceptable to the Deep State and the One Percent--until DT came along, and won the Republican nomination in 2016.

Blue Onyx

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

#5 target of a coup, doesn't it? The more I see of this stuff the more I cannot help but think that Trump WAS part of their plan and not just Hers plan that she would win against him but maybe the perfect plan to dismantle what's left of our pathetically termed "democracy."

Trump is dangerous as hell in his own right, what he and his idiots are doing to the climate is something we'll all live with, or rather, die with, but he's doing what our owners want there and it is so easy to blame it all on him when I think we all know our fossil fuel psychos are as much a part of the deep state as is the MIC.

This is a coup alright and what they want is nothing less than totalitarianism. By using Trump to get there it is the same damned game of dupe, divide and conquer. Trump is no hero either, he's not going to "save America" but drive it into a ditch, and really, I think that's been the plan all along.

WoodsDweller on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 11:39am
A successful coup might be worse than the disease

leading to a Pence administration. Trump's main qualification is that he's incompetent. What this op-ed (I also think it is fake, perhaps written by someone at an intelligence agency) is supposed to do is to tie the Trump White House in knots and keep them from functioning. A Democratic wave in November, even if it does no more than retake the House, will put a stop to Trump's initiatives. If the Democrats take the Senate they will be able to hold up appointments, in particular of judges.
And how many Democratic candidates have an intelligence or military background? What voting block would be calling the shots?
Delay and befuddle for just a few months more, and the worst of the Trump threat will be disarmed. I don't think this is any more complicated than that.

Unabashed Liberal on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 12:45pm
I think you're right, WD. And, if WSWS is correct,

@WoodsDweller

the biggest Dem Congressional voting block will be a military/intel/national security/State Dept cabal--or, a 'shadow Deep State.' Probably, one reason that the DCCC and Dem Leadership recruited scores of these candidates to run in open seats.

On November 7, it will be a piece of cake to take out (figuratively) DT.

Blue Onyx

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

leading to a Pence administration. Trump's main qualification is that he's incompetent. What this op-ed (I also think it is fake, perhaps written by someone at an intelligence agency) is supposed to do is to tie the Trump White House in knots and keep them from functioning. A Democratic wave in November, even if it does no more than retake the House, will put a stop to Trump's initiatives. If the Democrats take the Senate they will be able to hold up appointments, in particular of judges.
And how many Democratic candidates have an intelligence or military background? What voting block would be calling the shots?
Delay and befuddle for just a few months more, and the worst of the Trump threat will be disarmed. I don't think this is any more complicated than that.

Pluto's Republic on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 1:14pm
There may be some protections

@WoodsDweller

...on domestic issues, but don't expect improvements.

As for foreign policy, the Dems will vote with the Deep State every time.

The trajectories of the past 50 years are not going to change.

leading to a Pence administration. Trump's main qualification is that he's incompetent. What this op-ed (I also think it is fake, perhaps written by someone at an intelligence agency) is supposed to do is to tie the Trump White House in knots and keep them from functioning. A Democratic wave in November, even if it does no more than retake the House, will put a stop to Trump's initiatives. If the Democrats take the Senate they will be able to hold up appointments, in particular of judges.
And how many Democratic candidates have an intelligence or military background? What voting block would be calling the shots?
Delay and befuddle for just a few months more, and the worst of the Trump threat will be disarmed. I don't think this is any more complicated than that.

Unabashed Liberal on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 11:58am
Excellent essay, Nancy! Agree with

Greenwald. The CP piece is factually incorrect--the Admin is not asking for an investigation of the author to take criminal action, per the NYT & LA Times. They're wanting assistance to "root out the source of the Op-Ed." Not to prosecute, or jail him/her.

After all, it's perfectly reasonable to assume that OPM wouldn't have a Department that can suss out 'who' the author is. So, in order to discipline the author, some other agency would have to identify him/her.

No doubt, we're witnessing an attempted coup d'ιtat.

Now, if it's a 'single' official--my money's on Jon Huntsman. I've also wondered if the Op-Ed could be a collective effort (by a cabal of officials ).

OTOH, it could very well be the Editorial Board of the NYT, considering the way the author(s) wove in so many verbal expressions that could point to various 'officials.' IOW, it seemed very contrived.

(Pence uses 'lodestar' a lot. Read that a couple other terms/expressions were common to John Kelly, and one other person--whose name I can't recall, right now.)

Anyhoo, who'd be better equipped to throw out 'BS' like that, than a bunch of newspaper editors. After all, they'd have a great deal of familiarty with politicians'/officials' verbiage.

Guess I'll need to amend my comment in WD's essay, now!

Blue Onyx

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

Unabashed Liberal on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 4:28pm
'Correction' to my comment above: Should

@Unabashed Liberal

have attributed this excellent essay to Pluto. My apologies!

(Nancy's comments were great, too. )

Blue Onyx

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

Greenwald. The CP piece is factually incorrect--the Admin is not asking for an investigation of the author to take criminal action, per the NYT & LA Times. They're wanting assistance to "root out the source of the Op-Ed." Not to prosecute, or jail him/her.

After all, it's perfectly reasonable to assume that OPM wouldn't have a Department that can suss out 'who' the author is. So, in order to discipline the author, some other agency would have to identify him/her.

No doubt, we're witnessing an attempted coup d'ιtat.

Now, if it's a 'single' official--my money's on Jon Huntsman. I've also wondered if the Op-Ed could be a collective effort (by a cabal of officials ).

OTOH, it could very well be the Editorial Board of the NYT, considering the way the author(s) wove in so many verbal expressions that could point to various 'officials.' IOW, it seemed very contrived.

(Pence uses 'lodestar' a lot. Read that a couple other terms/expressions were common to John Kelly, and one other person--whose name I can't recall, right now.)

Anyhoo, who'd be better equipped to throw out 'BS' like that, than a bunch of newspaper editors. After all, they'd have a great deal of familiarty with politicians'/officials' verbiage.

Guess I'll need to amend my comment in WD's essay, now!

Blue Onyx

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

lotlizard on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 12:52pm
Obama's "Insider Threat" had Fed workers informing on each other

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/this-really-is-big-brother-leak-...

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/20/194513/obamas-crackdown-views-leak...

Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans' phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.

President Barack Obama's unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach. It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments. It emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of "insider threat" give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct.

Government documents reviewed by McClatchy illustrate how some agencies are using that latitude to pursue unauthorized disclosures of any information, not just classified material. They also show how millions of federal employees and contractors must watch for "high-risk persons or behaviors" among co-workers and could face penalties, including criminal charges, for failing to report them. Leaks to the media are equated with espionage.

"Hammer this fact home . . . leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States," says a June 1, 2012, Defense Department strategy for the program that was obtained by McClatchy.

gulfgal98 on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 4:21pm
Thank you

@lotlizard for reminding us of that! Obama wanted federal employees to rat on one another. Really good for morale, I bet!

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/this-really-is-big-brother-leak-...

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/20/194513/obamas-crackdown-views-leak...

Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans' phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.

President Barack Obama's unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach. It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments. It emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of "insider threat" give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct.

Government documents reviewed by McClatchy illustrate how some agencies are using that latitude to pursue unauthorized disclosures of any information, not just classified material. They also show how millions of federal employees and contractors must watch for "high-risk persons or behaviors" among co-workers and could face penalties, including criminal charges, for failing to report them. Leaks to the media are equated with espionage.

"Hammer this fact home . . . leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States," says a June 1, 2012, Defense Department strategy for the program that was obtained by McClatchy.

Timmethy2.0 on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 3:02pm
The op-ed is completely consistent with everything else

I haven't seen Trump behave in any way but in a way consistent with this op-ed. I watched Omarosa on The View (on youtube) yesterday, and she was completely convinced of the op-ed's truth and had her own theory about who in the administration wrote. She also played a recording of Trump spewing terrible lies (I forgot the subject matter out a need for tranquility) and Sara Huckabee was there backing up the lies, ready to spew them at her next press conference.

I mean, come on: Trump University? The President was born in Kenya? Bankruptcies, inability to condemn a deadly nazi parade? etc etc et fucking cetera. This is real and it's Trump and maybe Putin. The evidence is getting overwhelming.

arendt on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 3:30pm
Yeah, its consistently not news and not impeachable

@Timmethy2.0

We know Trump is a liar. The public knew that when they elected him. That's actually a better deal than the suckers who voted for Obama the "peacemaker" but got Obama the war starter, drone bomber, and coup instigator. That's a better deal than the people who voted for Obama to undo the Bush/Cheney damage, and got Obama the bailer-out of Wall St, Obama the prosecutor of whistleblowers.

Lying is not an impeachable offense. Politicians do it all the time.

The constant undermining of the office of the President by intelligence agencies who abuse their access to classified information is a crime - although one that we have never been able to prosecute the CIA for since the day it was founded.

I haven't seen Trump behave in any way but in a way consistent with this op-ed. I watched Omarosa on The View (on youtube) yesterday, and she was completely convinced of the op-ed's truth and had her own theory about who in the administration wrote. She also played a recording of Trump spewing terrible lies (I forgot the subject matter out a need for tranquility) and Sara Huckabee was there backing up the lies, ready to spew them at her next press conference. I mean, come on: Trump University? The President was born in Kenya? Bankruptcies, inability to condemn a deadly nazi parade? etc etc et fucking cetera. This is real and it's Trump and maybe Putin. The evidence is getting overwhelming.

Timmethy2.0 on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 4:00pm
Does that mean you agree with me about the op-ed?

@arendt
That was the point I was making, since this is an article that seems to imply the op-ed is part of a conspiracy. So you agree with me about the character of Trump and that the op-ed could very well be real?

#9

We know Trump is a liar. The public knew that when they elected him. That's actually a better deal than the suckers who voted for Obama the "peacemaker" but got Obama the war starter, drone bomber, and coup instigator. That's a better deal than the people who voted for Obama to undo the Bush/Cheney damage, and got Obama the bailer-out of Wall St, Obama the prosecutor of whistleblowers.

Lying is not an impeachable offense. Politicians do it all the time.

The constant undermining of the office of the President by intelligence agencies who abuse their access to classified information is a crime - although one that we have never been able to prosecute the CIA for since the day it was founded.

arendt on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 4:16pm
Are you being disingenuous?

@Timmethy2.0

Of course I think the op-ed is part of the plot to overthrow a legitimately elected president.

Trump's a bum. But so was George W. Bush, and Nancy Pelosi said "impeachment is off the table". The Clintons are crooks who TPTB refuse to prosecute. Maybe the NYT should start a smear campaign against Hillary.

You seem to not care about the process of government. You seem to think that all that matters is getting rid of Trump, not how that is done, not how much of the Constitution we tear up to do it. You seem not to care that impeaching Trump brings us Mike Pence, who may be even worse.

This is the same game as Jose Padilla and Habeus Corpus. You find some loathsome character and use him as a test case to get rid of some basic rights from everyone, forever.

If you can't see the plot by this point, I can't help you.

#9.1
That was the point I was making, since this is an article that seems to imply the op-ed is part of a conspiracy. So you agree with me about the character of Trump and that the op-ed could very well be real?

Timmethy2.0 on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 5:03pm
I care about democracy in this country

@arendt @arendt
Democracy requires:
1) A readiness to debate honestly, in a civil manner, with people who disagree.
2) An openess to facts and expert opinion about such things as climate change.
3) A respect for due process and fairness.
4) A respect for non-partisanship in reference, to say, what the attorney general can investigate.

There's a lot of other things a democracy requires but first and foremost Trump has no respect for honest debate. How the hell are we going to solve climate change when Trump's only response is to insult scientists and the intelligence of every American?

You seem to not care about the process of government. You seem to think that all that matters is getting rid of Trump, not how that is done, not how much of the Constitution we tear up to do it.

I never said the word "impeachment" until this reply. Quit putting words in my mouth. Everybody needs to vote against Trump this November because it's critical as hell.

#9.1.1

Of course I think the op-ed is part of the plot to overthrow a legitimately elected president.

Trump's a bum. But so was George W. Bush, and Nancy Pelosi said "impeachment is off the table". The Clintons are crooks who TPTB refuse to prosecute. Maybe the NYT should start a smear campaign against Hillary.

You seem to not care about the process of government. You seem to think that all that matters is getting rid of Trump, not how that is done, not how much of the Constitution we tear up to do it. You seem not to care that impeaching Trump brings us Mike Pence, who may be even worse.

This is the same game as Jose Padilla and Habeus Corpus. You find some loathsome character and use him as a test case to get rid of some basic rights from everyone, forever.

If you can't see the plot by this point, I can't help you.

The Voice In th... on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 5:25pm
Trump is not on the ballot this November.

@Timmethy2.0 @Timmethy2.0

You have to wait for 2020 when you will be able to vote for Biden if you can stop throwing up on your way to the polls.

#9.1.1.1 #9.1.1.1
Democracy requires:
1) A readiness to debate honestly, in a civil manner, with people who disagree.
2) An openess to facts and expert opinion about such things as climate change.
3) A respect for due process and fairness.
4) A respect for non-partisanship in reference, to say, what the attorney general can investigate.

There's a lot of other things a democracy requires but first and foremost Trump has no respect for honest debate. How the hell are we going to solve climate change when Trump's only response is to insult scientists and the intelligence of every American?

You seem to not care about the process of government. You seem to think that all that matters is getting rid of Trump, not how that is done, not how much of the Constitution we tear up to do it.

I never said the word "impeachment" until this reply. Quit putting words in my mouth. Everybody needs to vote against Trump this November because it's critical as hell.

arendt on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 6:47pm
You really don't want to discuss the conspiracy angle, do you?

@Timmethy2.0

In the first comment I replied to, you said:

That was the point I was making, since this is an article that seems to imply the op-ed is part of a conspiracy.

In other words, you have difficulty acknowledging that PCR has been on record for months claiming there is a conspiracy. Are you really that unwilling to acknowledge he thinks there is a conspiracy? What is your objection to acknowledging the man's stated position?

In this second response, you jump on the word "impeachment" as if that is an unjustifiable stretch from the facts on the table.

I never said the word "impeachment" until this reply. Quit putting words in my mouth.

To many of us, including the OP writer, this op-ed is just the latest stirring of the pot in an ongoing campaign to get rid of/impeach/remove Trump well before 2020. Such provocations have been occurring since before Trump was sworn in. To claim, as you do, that this op-ed was done only to influence this election is a classic "broken clock is right twice a day" argument. Its true it might influence the election, but its purpose is to further the coup attempt that is underway.

That you react so strongly ("I never said") to the word impeachment is part of a pattern. You want to wall off the issue of the conspiracy (which you still only acknowledge with a "seems to imply") from the issue of Trump's behavior and only focus on the latter. This is exactly the pattern of the corporate Dems.

I refuse to adhere to your compartmentalization. The op-ed and impeachment ARE related.

#9.1.1.1 #9.1.1.1
Democracy requires:
1) A readiness to debate honestly, in a civil manner, with people who disagree.
2) An openess to facts and expert opinion about such things as climate change.
3) A respect for due process and fairness.
4) A respect for non-partisanship in reference, to say, what the attorney general can investigate.

There's a lot of other things a democracy requires but first and foremost Trump has no respect for honest debate. How the hell are we going to solve climate change when Trump's only response is to insult scientists and the intelligence of every American?

You seem to not care about the process of government. You seem to think that all that matters is getting rid of Trump, not how that is done, not how much of the Constitution we tear up to do it.

I never said the word "impeachment" until this reply. Quit putting words in my mouth. Everybody needs to vote against Trump this November because it's critical as hell.

The Voice In th... on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 5:21pm
I beleive this part for sure.

There is no reason whatsoever to believe the New York Times about anything.

White flag the 3rd on Tue, 09/11/2018 - 5:28pm
Sunshine on the "Deep State"

"It's Time for the Press to Stop Complaining -- And to Start Fighting Back" Chuck Todd SEP 3, 2018 in "The Atlantic"

Two days later the NYT article hit. That was my reaction to the piece, Chuck called for this. What deep state conspiracy? There's your proof right there! So, Trump was right?

"It's a witch hunt!" Trumps seemingly paranoid ejaculations, do not seem so paranoid with every passing day of nothing but backfires. "Fake News!" Strzok-Page's "media leak strategy" Not so crazy after all?

Trump is so unpredictable. The tweeting maniac is impossible to handle. Is that such a bad thing? I think we can afford it, there is a benefit.

Some people just wanted Washington shook up, they are getting what they wanted. I don't know that there's a better way to bring actual change.
The means are not conventional that's for sure, what are the results we want?

If he achieves them, will he be credited? If all his fantastic assertions keep coming true, he'll be around for some time. No? Why not, because of anonymous articles like this? Another deep state back fire; keep digging.

[Sep 12, 2018] Op-ed is particularly telling describing how the White House staff has succeeded in "[calling out] countries like Russia for meddling and [having them] punished accordingly" in spite of the president's desire for d tente was definitely written by neocon faction of NYT (and.or WH)

Notable quotes:
"... The op-ed, perhaps by no coincidence whatsoever, appeared one week before the release of the new book by Bob Woodward Fear: Trump in the White House , which has a similar tale to tell and came out on Amazon today. ..."
Sep 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

And there is always Iran just waiting to get kicked around, when all else fails. Haley, always blissfully ignorant but never quiet, commented while preparing to take over the presidency of the U.N. Security Council last Friday, that Russia and Syria "want to bomb schools, hospitals, and homes" before launching into a tirade about Iran, saying that "President Trump is very adamant that we have to start making sure that Iran is falling in line with international order. If you continue to look at the spread Iran has had in supporting terrorism, if you continue to look at the ballistic missile testing that they are doing, if you continue to look at the sales of weapons we see with the Huthis in Yemen -- these are all violations of security council resolution. These are all threats to the region, and these are all things that the international community needs to talk about."

And there is the usual hypocrisy over long term objectives. President Donald Trump said in April that "it's time" to bring American troops home from Syria -- once the jihadists of Islamic State have been definitively defeated. But now that that objective is in sight, there has to be some question about who is actually determining the policies that come out of the White House, which is reported to be in more than usual disarray due to the appearance last week of the New York Times anonymous op-ed describing a "resistance" movement within the West Wing that has been deliberately undermining and sometimes ignoring the president to further Establishment/Deep State friendly policies. The op-ed, perhaps by no coincidence whatsoever, appeared one week before the release of the new book by Bob Woodward Fear: Trump in the White House , which has a similar tale to tell and came out on Amazon today.

The book and op-ed mesh nicely in describing how Donald Trump is a walking disaster who is deliberately circumvented by his staff. One section of the op-ed is particularly telling and suggestive of neocon foreign policy, describing how the White House staff has succeeded in "[calling out] countries like Russia for meddling and [having them] punished accordingly" in spite of the president's desire for détente. It then goes on to elaborate on Russia and Trump, describing how " the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin's spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But the national security team knew better – such actions had to be taken to hold Moscow accountable."

If the op-ed and Woodward book are in any way accurate, one has to ask "Whose policy? An elected president or a cabal of disgruntled staffers who might well identify as neoconservatives?" Be that as it may, the White House is desperately pushing back while at the same time searching for the traitor, which suggests to many in Washington that it will right the sinking ship prior to November elections by the time honored and approved method used by politicians worldwide, which means starting a war to rally the nation behind the government.

As North Korea is nuclear armed, the obvious targets for a new or upgraded war would be Iran and Syria. As Iran might actually fight back effectively and the Pentagon always prefers an enemy that is easy to defeat, one suspects that some kind of expansion of the current effort in Syria would be preferable. It would be desirable, one presumes, to avoid an open conflict with Russia, which would be unpredictable, but an attack on Syrian government forces that would produce a quick result which could plausibly be described as a victory would certainly be worth considering.

By all appearances, the preparation of the public for an attack on Syria is already well underway. The mainstream media has been deluged with descriptions of tyrant Bashar al-Assad, who allegedly has killed hundreds of thousands of his own people. The rhetoric coming out of the usual government sources is remarkable for its truculence, particularly when one considers that Damascus is trying to regain control over what is indisputably its own sovereign territory from groups that everyone agrees are at least in large part terrorists.

Last week, the Trump White House approved the new U.S. plan for Syria, which, unlike the old plan of withdrawal, envisions something like a permanent presence in the country. It includes a continued occupation of the country's northeast, which is the Kurdish region; forcing Iran plus its proxies including Hezbollah to leave the country completely; and continued pressure on Damascus to bring about regime change.

Washington has also shifted its perception of who is trapped in Idlib, with newly appointed U.S. Special Representative for Syria James Jeffrey arguing that ". . . they're not terrorists, but people fighting a civil war against a brutal dictator." Jeffrey, it should be noted, was pulled out of retirement where he was a fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), an American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) spin off. On his recent trip to the Middle East he stopped off in Israel nine days ago to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The change in policy, which is totally in line with Israeli demands, would suggest that Jeffrey received his instructions during the visit.

Israel is indeed upping its involvement in Syria. It has bombed the country 200 times in the past 18 months and is now threatening to extend the war by attacking Iranians in neighboring Iraq. It has also been providing arms to the terrorist groups operating inside Syria .

[Sep 12, 2018] Trump's Mental Stability Questioned by America's Most Psychopathic City by Tho Bishop

Sep 06, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

As Doug French noted last July , this result would surprise no one familiar with F.A. Hayek's Road to Serfdom. As Hayek wrote in his chapter dedicated to the question "Why the Worst Rise to the Top:"

Advancement within a totalitarian group or party depends largely on a willingness to do immoral things. The principle that the end justifies the means, which in individualist ethics is regarded as the denial of all morals, in collectivist ethics becomes necessarily the supreme rule. There is literally nothing which the consistent collectivist must not be prepared to do if it serves 'the good of the whole', because that is to him the only criterion of what ought to be done.

... ... ...

In fact, the worst parts of the Trump Administration have been its commitment to the beltway status quo on a number of important issues. This includes his appointment of a variety of establishment-friendly Federal Reserve officials , his continuing the war on drugs , commitment to government-regulated immigration policy , support for absurd levels of military spending , and its general willingness to erode civil liberties . It's also worth noting that while it's great to see the establishment media on both the left and right condemn Trump's fondness for tariffs, Washington's hostility for actual free trade long pre-dates the Donald. Both the Bush and Obama administration imposed their own tariffs on good such as steel and solar panels .

Donald Trump is a man that is guilty of a great many sins, but at the end of the day he's no worse than your average – overpaid – Federal senior staffer. The elites that make up the professional political class and their cheerleaders in the mainstream media have no moral high ground here. Their aim is not to restore "civility" or "decency" to American politics, after all their desire to expand the reach of government power is precisely what undermines such values . No, their goal is simply to reverse an election they didn't expect to lose. It's quite possible they may end up succeeding.

Hopefully the takeaway for those who relished the idea of "draining the swamp" is the realization that this can't be accomplished by simply changing the name of the person who occupies the top office. The Federal government can't be fixed; it must have its powers taken away.

Political decentralization is the only way to truly make America great again.

[Sep 11, 2018] Is Donald Trump Going to Do the Syria Backflip by Publius Tacitus

Highly recommended!
Such an unexpected metamorphose ? Or was it unexpected. See Amazon.com The Truth About Trump eBook Michael D'Antonio
Notable quotes:
"... Trump's new saber rattling against Syria, Russia and Iran goes beyond pure irony and will certainly fuel rumors embraced by critics that he is becoming senile. When Trump was running for the Presidency, he sang a radically different tune: ..."
"... If Vladimir Putin wants to launch airstrikes inside Syria, that's no problem for Donald Trump, who said Wednesday that he believes Russia's military moves in Syria are targeting ISIS and that the United States shouldn't interfere. ( https://www.cnn.com/2015/09/30/politics/donald-trump-syria-don-lemon/index.html ) 1 October 2015 ..."
"... However, Trump did note the complexity of the situation on the ground in Syria, pointing out in reference to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad that Putin "is an Assad person" and "the United States doesn't like Assad". He went on to condemn the Obama administration for "backing people who they don't know who they are", and to warn that rebels backed by the United States "could be Isis" ..."
"... President Donald Trump warned Syria and its allies Russia and Iran on Monday against attacking the last major rebel stronghold of Idlib province in the country's northwest. "President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province," Trump wrote on Twitter. "The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Don't let that happen!" ( https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/03/politics/trump-syria-tweet-assad-rebel-idlib/index.html ) 4 September 2018 ..."
"... In a recent discussion about Syria, people familiar with the exchange said, President Trump threatened to conduct a massive attack against Mr. Assad if he carries out a massacre in Idlib, the northwestern province that has become the last refuge for more than three million people and as many as 70,000 opposition fighters that the regime considers to be terrorists. ( https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-says-syria-plans-gas-attack-in-rebel-stronghold-1536535853?mod=mktw ) 9 September 2018 ..."
Sep 11, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Trump's new saber rattling against Syria, Russia and Iran goes beyond pure irony and will certainly fuel rumors embraced by critics that he is becoming senile. When Trump was running for the Presidency, he sang a radically different tune:

Donald Trump accused his Republican presidential rivals on Friday night of wanting to "start World War III over Syria," and suggested that the United States should instead let Russia deal with the problem. ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/09/25/donald-trump-let-russia-fight-the-islamic-state-in-syria/?utm_term=.a3579167cd97 ) 25 September 2015

If Vladimir Putin wants to launch airstrikes inside Syria, that's no problem for Donald Trump, who said Wednesday that he believes Russia's military moves in Syria are targeting ISIS and that the United States shouldn't interfere. ( https://www.cnn.com/2015/09/30/politics/donald-trump-syria-don-lemon/index.html ) 1 October 2015

Addressing Russia's intervention in the Syrian conflict, which has so far disproportionately targeted rebel-held areas with no Isis presence, Trump expressed confidence that Vladimir Putin would eventually target the Islamic State. "He's going to want to bomb Isis because he doesn't want Isis going into Russia and so he's going to want to bomb Isis," Trump said of the Russian president. "Vladimir Putin is going to want to really go after Isis, and if he doesn't it'll be a big shock to everybody."

However, Trump did note the complexity of the situation on the ground in Syria, pointing out in reference to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad that Putin "is an Assad person" and "the United States doesn't like Assad". He went on to condemn the Obama administration for "backing people who they don't know who they are", and to warn that rebels backed by the United States "could be Isis". ( https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/13/donald-trump-foreign-policy-doctrine-nation-building ) 13 October 2015.

That was then. Now Trump is chest thumping and trash talking Syria and Russia like the recently deceased John McCain. He now appears ready to lead the NeoCon Conga line into an escalation of the war in Syria:

President Donald Trump warned Syria and its allies Russia and Iran on Monday against attacking the last major rebel stronghold of Idlib province in the country's northwest. "President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province," Trump wrote on Twitter. "The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Don't let that happen!" ( https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/03/politics/trump-syria-tweet-assad-rebel-idlib/index.html ) 4 September 2018

In a recent discussion about Syria, people familiar with the exchange said, President Trump threatened to conduct a massive attack against Mr. Assad if he carries out a massacre in Idlib, the northwestern province that has become the last refuge for more than three million people and as many as 70,000 opposition fighters that the regime considers to be terrorists. ( https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-says-syria-plans-gas-attack-in-rebel-stronghold-1536535853?mod=mktw ) 9 September 2018


The Beaver , 5 hours ago

PT,

The flip-flopper Erdogan is at it again :

In an Op-Ed in WSJ:
https://www.wsj.com/article...
"Moderate rebels played a key role in Turkey's fight against terrorists in Northern #Syria; their assistance and guidance will be crucial in Idlib as well"

Yep wonder where all those moderate rebels aka foreign jihadis came through after landing in IST.
Putin told him off in Tehran and now he is back on the fence or on the FUKUS side.
Guess Qatar must be pushing him to play nice by flooding him with billions .

WSJ is really hoping to get the war going . This is a second article /op-ed two days in a row.

David Optional Guyatt , 8 hours ago
Fisk is an old school journalist who doesn't sport a parting in his tongue. I've found him to be very reliable in his reporting. His latest report reveals that despite considerable searching over a 2 day period, he could find no massed Syrian troops around Idlib ready for the looming ground battle.

It's not like you can miss 100,000 men and all the supporting equipment; armoured vehicles,, kitchens, field hospitals, tent cities etc. No Hezbollah, no Russians.

Which raises the question: are we being played here?

https://www.independent.co....

Don Bacon , 13 hours ago
The US has no more authority to interfere in Syria domestic affairs than Syria has to interfere in US domestic affairs.
>Syrian President Bashar Assad has authorized his forces to use chlorine gas in the assault on the last significant rebel redoubt in the country, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. Who can doubt the Wall Street Journal?
>The Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, usually called the Geneva Protocol, is a treaty prohibiting the use of chemical and biological weapons in international armed conflicts.
> The Protocol was Signed at Geneva June 17, 1925, and Entered into force February 8, 1928, and the convention were ratified by President Ford on January 22, 1975.
>Chlorine itself is not a chemical weapon. It's a toxic industrial chemical that is very useful to purify water. It's really very important to have clean water to avoid water borne diseases. But chlorine is a chemical agent that effects the eyes and the ability to breath. When mixed with water it produces hydrochloride acid. It's not a very efficient chemical weapon because we can sense it when it's not very toxic yet. So you can run away. Using chlorine gas is not prohibited as such, but using chlorine gas as a weapon is prohibited in international armed conflicts.
blue peacock -> Don Bacon , 10 hours ago
"The US has no more authority to interfere in Syria domestic affairs than Syria has to interfere in US domestic affairs."

When has this prevented the US from intervening as it pleases over the last 100 years?

Jack , 14 hours ago
PT,

We can be certain that the jihadi White Helmets will stage an "outrage" event, since Bolton and Nikki have already stated what the US response would be. The media I'm sure have their playbook already figured out and ready to create the necessary media hysteria.

The last two times Trump fired a few missiles and called it a day. Woodward however claims that his "anonymous" sources say that Trump wanted to assassinate Assad and Mattis walked it back to token missile strikes. Woodward also claims that the #Resistance in the White House are doing whatever they want and Trump is for all intents and purposes rather clueless about what they're up to. If this has any credence would it be possible that Bolton and Nikki and the other ziocons in the White House orchestrate a provocation by the jihadis that will then be setup to "we need a muscular response to show who's boss". You know the all too familiar argument that the US needs to act to retain credibility.

All this is coming just before the mid-terms which is a pivotal election for Trump. If he loses the House then he's up shit creek with Dems running all kinds of investigations and Mueller emboldened. How does he calculate the political implications of a deeper military engagement in Syria? IMO, many who supported him in the last election will not be very happy and their enthusiasm may waver which could be the difference in close races. OTOH, there is a perception that his economic team and policies are making a positive difference and that is benefiting the Deplorables.

Obama lost big time in his first mid-terms and did very poorly for the Democrats in both federal and state elections during his term as president. Yet the Democrat establishment has continued to back him. That may not happen with Trump as the GOP establishment will find the opportunity to go back to their traditional ways if Trump can't hold the House.

Biggee Mikeee , 14 hours ago
He told us here, we just didn't listen: Play Hide

[Sep 11, 2018] If you believe Trump is trying to remove neocons(Deep State) from the government, explain Bolton and many other Deep State denizens Trump has appointed

Highly recommended!
It is really becoming unlearn why the Deep State hates Trump so much and tries to depose him. He became a typical neocon, Republican Obama, another "bait and switch" artist with slogan "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) as equivalent to Obama's fake "Change we can believe in".
May be Deep State has so many skeletons in the closet (811 is one) that he can only allow CIA controlled puppets as Presidents (looks like Clinton, Bush and Obama were such puppets).
Notable quotes:
"... If you believe Trump is trying to remove neocons(Deep State) from the government, explain Bolton and many other Deep State denizens Trump has appointed. ..."
"... Drain the Swamp? Trump and his sidekick Jared K inhabit the murkiest depths of that Swamp. But people will say Tubby's being forced into a corner and just has to appoint neoCON psychopaths like Bolton. Then explain Trump appointing Nutty Nikki to the UN, at the start of his presidency? Israeli PM wanted Nutty in that job and after watching her unhinged performances in the UNGA, I see why; she's a Shabbos Goy, more than willing to do anything Israel asks, and BTW, keep me in mind for that POTUS opening, OK guys? ..."
"... MAGA was Trump's 'Hope and Change' mantra that many bought. ..."
"... Trump made and lost four multi-billion dollar fortunes while using NYC as his home base. Then made another multi-billion dollar fortune. One doesn't do that in NYC unless you're in bed with the same gangsters that have been looting this nation for decades, those TBTF Wall Street banks that us peasants are forced to bail-out every 10 or so years. ..."
"... Trump was bought and paid for a long time ago, now he's paying off his helpers by doing their dirty work around the word while the 'marks,' us Americans, get our pockets picked. ..."
Sep 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

Realist, September 11, 2018 at 11:37 am GMT

@AlbionRevisited

Another great article by Mr. Giraldi. If Trump can't get the neocons out of the government, who possibly can?

In liberals derangement over Trump, and willingness to support anything that challenges his 2016 America First (anti-interventionist) campaign, they're willing to support the old order for fear of an "isolationist," or realist one, taking its place. If there's a large scale intervention, it'll be interesting to see what kind of left-liberal/dissident-right anti-war movement emerges, and if that furthers the deformation of the normative "liberal" "conservative" divide.

Another great article by Mr. Giraldi. If Trump can't get the neocons out of the government, who possibly can?

If you believe Trump is trying to remove neocons(Deep State) from the government, explain Bolton and many other Deep State denizens Trump has appointed.

Greg Bacon ( Website), September 11, 2018 at 2:45 pm GMT

@Realist

If you believe Trump is trying to remove neocons(Deep State) from the government, explain Bolton and many other Deep State denizens Trump has appointed.

Agreed.

Drain the Swamp? Trump and his sidekick Jared K inhabit the murkiest depths of that Swamp. But people will say Tubby's being forced into a corner and just has to appoint neoCON psychopaths like Bolton. Then explain Trump appointing Nutty Nikki to the UN, at the start of his presidency? Israeli PM wanted Nutty in that job and after watching her unhinged performances in the UNGA, I see why; she's a Shabbos Goy, more than willing to do anything Israel asks, and BTW, keep me in mind for that POTUS opening, OK guys?

MAGA was Trump's 'Hope and Change' mantra that many bought.

Trump made and lost four multi-billion dollar fortunes while using NYC as his home base. Then made another multi-billion dollar fortune. One doesn't do that in NYC unless you're in bed with the same gangsters that have been looting this nation for decades, those TBTF Wall Street banks that us peasants are forced to bail-out every 10 or so years.

Trump was bought and paid for a long time ago, now he's paying off his helpers by doing their dirty work around the word while the 'marks,' us Americans, get our pockets picked.

[Sep 10, 2018] A week of crisis and deepening dysfunction in US politics

Notable quotes:
"... Top Trump aides like chief of staff John Kelly, national security advisor John Bolton, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly met with Trump Thursday in an effort to convince him that none of them was the author of the op-ed and that he could still trust his inner circle. Some two dozen top officials issued formal denials that they were the anonymous writer. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
Sep 10, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Every day last week brought new demonstrations of an unprecedented crisis within the Trump White House and US state apparatus. The Trump administration is torn by internal divisions, amidst palace coup conspiracies involving the corporate media and sections of the military-intelligence apparatus, as well as the Democratic Party.

On Tuesday, initial reports on the new book by Bob Woodward portrayed top Trump aides deriding his intelligence and even sanity, working behind the scenes to derail his most inflammatory orders -- such as a demand for the assassination of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Trump administration officials were carrying out what Woodward characterized as "an administrative coup d'état," i.e., disobeying his wishes and carrying out their own.

The next day, the New York Times made public an op-ed, written for its Thursday print edition, in which an unnamed "senior administration official" presented himself as the spokesman for a cabal of top officials working to keep Trump in check. "We are the real resistance," the official claimed, making clear his support for the main elements of the administration's right-wing program.

On Friday, Barack Obama weighed in with a campaign-style speech -- unusual for an ex-president in the first election after leaving office -- in which he described the Trump administration as "radical" and "not normal." He called on Republicans, conservatives and Christian fundamentalists to vote for Democratic candidates in November, to "restore sanity" in Washington and allow a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives to provide an institutional check on Trump.

President Trump responded in kind. On Monday, he attacked his own attorney-general, Jeff Sessions, for not quashing Justice Department investigations into two Republican congressmen indicted on criminal charges of stock market swindling and theft. On Tuesday he denounced the Woodward book as a fabrication, and on Wednesday he called the New York Times op-ed an act of treason. On Thursday, he told a campaign rally in Montana that they had to vote Republican in November to prevent his impeachment. On Friday, he tweeted his demand that Sessions have the Justice Department investigate the New York Times op-ed and identify the anonymous writer.

Top Trump aides like chief of staff John Kelly, national security advisor John Bolton, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly met with Trump Thursday in an effort to convince him that none of them was the author of the op-ed and that he could still trust his inner circle. Some two dozen top officials issued formal denials that they were the anonymous writer.

There is simply no precedent in modern American history for such a level of political conflict and dysfunction within the leading institutions of the capitalist state. How is this to be explained? What direction will the crisis take?

It is entirely superficial to root such an explanation in the personality of Donald Trump. Even Obama in his Illinois speech admitted that Trump is not the cause, but merely the symptom, of more profound processes. But Obama, of course, covered up his own role, depicting his presidency as eight years of heroic efforts to repair the damage caused by the 2008 financial crash. At the end of those eight years, however, Wall Street and the financial oligarchy were fully recovered, enjoying record wealth, while working people were poorer than before, a widening social chasm that made possible the election of the billionaire con man and demagogue in November 2016.

This social crisis underlies the political convulsions in Washington. There are, of course, political differences within the two factions fighting it out within the ruling elite. They are deeply divided over foreign policy, particularly over how to deal with the failure of US intervention in Syria and the Middle East more broadly, and over whether to target Russia or China first in the struggle to maintain the global dominance of American imperialism. The most significant passage in Obama's speech was his criticism of the Republican Party for having retreated from its Cold War, anti-Communist roots by tolerating Trump's supposed "softness" toward Putin.

More fundamental, however, is the growing concern within all sections of the ruling elite over the possibility of a renewed economic crisis under conditions of mounting social opposition from below, following the initial stirrings of the American working class this year -- the series of statewide teachers' strikes, the mounting resistance of industrial workers to sellout contracts imposed by the unions, and the buildup of anger over super-exploitation by giant employers like Amazon and Walmart.

Facing an impending eruption of the class struggle, there is little confidence in corporate boardrooms, on Wall Street, or at the Pentagon and CIA that the current chief executive of the American government can meet the test of great events.

One of the premier institutions of big business, JP Morgan Chase, issued an internal report on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the 2008 crash, which warned that another "great liquidity crisis" was possible, and that a government bailout on the scale of that effected by Bush and Obama will produce social unrest, "in light of the potential impact of central bank actions in driving inequality between asset owners and labor."

The report went on to note that political explosions on the scale of 1968 could develop, facilitated by the role of the internet as a means of dissemination for radical political views and a means of political self-organization. "The next crisis is also likely to result in social tensions similar to those witnessed 50 years ago in 1968," the bank report warned. "Similar to 1968, the internet today (social media, leaked documents, etc.) provides millennials with unrestricted access to information In addition to information, the internet provides a platform for various social groups to become more self-aware, polarized, and organized."

The ruling class response to this danger is to prepare domestic repression on a massive scale. In that respect, there is no difference between Trump and his opponents, except the ferocious disagreement over who should be in control of the forces of repression that will be unleashed against the American working class. Trump, of course, is an authoritarian through and through, organizing a fascistic attack on immigrant workers and developing tools that will be used against the entire working class.

However, his opponents, utilizing of the methods of the palace coup -- intrigues, leaks, media smears, special prosecutors and other provocations -- are no more wedded to democratic forms than Trump. The essence of the drive to censor the internet, spearheaded by the Democratic Party, is revealed by the JP Morgan report: it is the platform for "social groups," above all, the working class, "to become more self-aware."

As one of Trump's leading media critics, Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum, a frothing anti-communist, wrote Sunday, "Maybe we have also underestimated the degree to which our Constitution, designed in the 18th century, has proved insufficient to the demands of the 21st."

Trump's political opponents seek to use the Democratic Party campaign in the November elections both to further the preparations for repression and to disguise them from working people. The disguise is provided by a handful of self-styled leftwing and even "socialist" candidates for the House of Representatives, many aligned with Bernie Sanders, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley.

The substance is provided by the much larger number of Democratic candidates drawn directly from the military-intelligence apparatus, nearly three dozen in all, who will hold the balance of power if the Democrats win control of the House of Representatives. The policy the Democrats will pursue if they win the election has already been demonstrated by the anti-Russia campaign and the accompanying demands for internet censorship.

Whatever the outcome of the elections, it will not resolve the crisis in Washington nor alter the basic trajectory of politics, which is bringing the working class into explosive conflict with the ruling class, the entire state apparatus, and the capitalist system.

Patrick Martin

[Sep 10, 2018] Trump was able to harness and give voice to some very important forces working against classic neoliberalism

Notable quotes:
"... Serious border enforcement, demanding our wealthy allies do more for their own security, infrastructure investment, the (campaign's) refutation of Reaganomics, acknowledging the costs of globalism, calling BS on all of the dominant left PC pieties and lies, were themes of Trump's campaign that were of value. ..."
Sep 10, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

EarlyBird September 7, 2018 at 7:12 pm

Serious border enforcement, demanding our wealthy allies do more for their own security, infrastructure investment, the (campaign's) refutation of Reaganomics, acknowledging the costs of globalism, calling BS on all of the dominant left PC pieties and lies, were themes of Trump's campaign that were of value.

Trump was able to harness and give voice to some very important energies. But being Trump, he's poisoned these issues for a couple of generations. No serious leader will be able to touch these things.

Add this to all the institutional and political ruin he has created.

[Sep 10, 2018] This Is A Coup, Okay Bannon Weighs In On Anonymous Anti-Trump Op-Ed

Sep 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Responding to an anonymous Op-Ed in the New York Times detailing an active resistance within the Trump White House, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon told Reuters that President Trump is facing a "coup" the likes of which haven't been seen since the American Civil War.

... ... ...

" This is a crisis . The country has only ever had such a crisis in the summer of 1862 when General McClellan and the senior generals, all Democrats in the Union Army, deemed that Abraham Lincoln was not fit and not competent to be commander in chief ," said Bannon - whose departure from the White House was in large part over a fallout with Trump's "establishment" advisers. Bannon said at the time that the "Republican establishment" sought to nullify the results of the 2016 election and effectively neuter Trump.

"There is a cabal of Republic establishment figures who believe Donald Trump is not fit to be president of the United States. This is a crisis," Bannon said in Rome.

Anonymous IX ,

The naivete of so many astounds me. Do you really think that Trump cannot get the name of the person who wrote the op-ed? In the old days, you sent your operatives to break into the Watergate. With today's computers and backdoors everywhere into any computer system [open your reading horizons... https://www.rt.com/op-ed/437895-privacy-five-eyes-encryption/ ], anyone can obtain this information if they so desire. Why is Trump being portrayed as a poor "rich guy" who only wants the best for the country while valiantly fighting a nefarious coup...whose members, by the way, are so clever and clandestine that they write an op-ed in the friggin' New York Times! Sorry...don't have much time to continue discussing op-eds in the NYT, gotta go re-insert ourselves into an independent sovereign nation, called Syria, where our 1%-ers have deemed we need to go!

I like Trump's bravado and I like his partner, Melania. Designers should definitely bring back slits in skirts! Scroll down. Here's a lady with class and style. She doesn't have to show you her entire bosom for you to get the idea that she's hot! https://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2018/09/03/melania-trump-labor-day-looks/

thebigunit ,

Silicon Valley comes full circle:

Apple's famous "1984" ad.

How ironic.

The guy on the TV screen is Tim Cook. He's saying "WE MUST SUPPRESS ALEX JONES!"

https://youtu.be/2zfqw8nhUwA

buenoshun ,

The anonymous leaker might not exist. Maybe the oped was written by someone at the new york times. The reason for lying such might be to make Trump start hunting for his own subordinates, that could turn some of his subordinates against him who then become an actual leaker. I think this is their plan.

Moe Howard ,

Of course it is a coup in progress. So obvious it is beyond a question.

The fake op-ed was just the latest shot.

Seems to me that we need to break up and destroy these MSM and interweb monopolies.

No more dual national control over media outlets.

DEDA CVETKO ,

Yes, Steve Bannon. This is a coup. And it is a bad, bad, bad nazi-style, beer-putsch kind of coup, the night of long knives and all.

But this is the coup you and your party (as well as your technical adversaries, but friends in real life - the "democrats" - have been preparing for decades . This is the coup you have been paving the way for with bombbombbomb Iran, with "export of democracy" to Libya, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans and Russia (and pretty much everywhere else); with weaponization of dollar and global finance and militarization of media and the police, with colored and rosey and khaki revolutions, with vulture hedge funds as the primary instrument of the foreign policy and with 1% distribution of the 99% of national wealth.

Yes. Steve Bannon. These are all proud accomplishments of the Republican and Democratic party.

This is the coup your party (as well as the other one) has been funding for almost three decades by voting for $1 trillion-per-year war budgets and never-ending wars across the globe and by vigorously bankrolling the nazi merchants of death a/k/a/ military-industrial-financial-academic-media complex. And now you are shocked to learn that nazis have fondness for putcshes? No kiddin', Sherlock!

This is the coup your party ideologically, theologically and morally justified in terms of divine national exceptionalism, messianic narcissism, arrogant group-think and never-ending pursuit of national might-makes-right and peace-through-strength.

Yes, Steve Bannon, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was right when he said that the chickens are coming home to roost, er...roast. But this time, they are not coming home as McDonalds' Chikken McNuggets or Kentucky Fried Chicken Shit. This time they are returning as chicken guts'n'bones for the gigantic globalist chicken soup called New World Order.

You and your party should be rejoicing, not bemoaning. For, after all, this is your proudest achievement and your finest hour.

God is The Son ,

Bannon is a retard, Trump is a retard, both Zionists. The only hope is Mattias to a Order Coup De Ta. Military General needs to recognize that how Israel, Jews, Rothschilds have taken over Banking Politics and Media in US and have hijacked US and are looting it. He also needs to realize that they run the Left and the Right of Politics's. Arrest Trump, Alex Jones, Zionists, ABC, FOX, Re-Investigate 9/11 findings will probably come to that the CIA and Zionists did it, and that JFK killing was also CIA and Zionists. The CIA gets destroyed into Thousand pieces and Israeli influence is removed entirely from all parts of American Society. Federal Reserve, gets taken and turned into Public Central Bank of America under eye of US Military. Rothschilds then told to leave or Arrested.

Peter41 ,

Well, correct up to a point. The established world order elites "saved" the system in 2007-08, by propping up the moribund banks (Citibank, JP Morgan, and others) by massive injections of liquidity. Rather than removing this liquidity after the debacle, the Fed kept the accelerator to the floor with continued "quantitative easing." Now presiding over a $4Trillion balance sheet, the Fed is in the famous "liquidity trap" which Lord Keynes avoided describing a solution for, by opining, "in the long run we are all dead."

Well, the elites are now in the position of watching the whole shitteree come unglued as the Fed's policies framed by the elites will soon come unwound. Then, the elites will be exposed as powerless.

Griffin ,

The old world order was not so organised, and the main ideology the ruling elites had in common was transfer of wealth and wealth control,.

Using ideas like privatisation to get control of strategic assets like natural resources, energy etc.

Using scams like pump and dump to suck wealth out of economies and then investing outside the economy or planting it in a tax haven.

In Iceland there was roughly a 5 year interval between crashes. I called it the bubble crash machine.

The msm and bank analysts were a important tool for politicians to keep this scam running, but its dead now.

The new world order was supposed to be far more advanced and more organised, a tool to eliminate all kinds of problems for large corporations, like the sovereign rights of states for instance.

This was supposed to be a fusion between the superstate in Europe, where Merkel was at the helm, and the liberal globalist friendly USA where Hillary was supposed to lead.

The TTIP was one of key elements in this plan.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/13/ttip-trade-deal-transatlantic-trade-investment-treaty

If this would have materialised it would have enabled multinational corporations to sue nation states for imposing inconvenient laws that could suppress hopes of future profits for instance, giving the corporations a indirect control over state politics, overriding democracy and constitutions.

Abraxas ,

Coup, my ass. These guys turn everything upside-down. What a bunch of hyaenas.

Just look, these are the people that will drag us all down to the depths of hell with them, telling us how nice and prosperous ride we'll have getting there. Stop this train, I want to get off!

shortonoil ,

Having worked around DC I can tell you that the place collects nutcases, screwballs, and sociopaths like fresh dog fresh shit collects flies. The Deep State is not the problem, the problem is the DC State! DC is the epicenter of power hungry, greedy, self centered, self serving, backstabbing, backbiting lunatics, and every one of them is looking for a gimmick to advance their own personal agenda. The welfare of the nation is number 101 on their list of 100. Too much money, in too small a place with too many people trying to climb the same ladder at the same time leads to anarchy. Give the power to collect money, and regulate back to the States where it belongs, and let DC sink back into the swamp it was built on. The Federal Government is out of control. The States have the Constitutional power, and responsibility to regulate, and control the Federal government, and they had better start using it before this dog and pony show breaks down into a lynching party.

Herdee ,

U.S. under Trump interfering in the internal affairs of Venezuela. The CIA goes around the world overthrowing governments. American hypocrisy is so phony, especially their Washington NeoCon/NeoNazi politicians:

https://www.rt.com/usa/437978-us-democracy-venezuela-coup-plotters/

DingleBarryObummer ,

Trump gives CIA authority to conduct drone strikes: WSJ | Reuters

MuffDiver69 ,

These uniparty hacks are the same who claim Trump has disemboweled the Obama agenda, which he has. Some nutcase... doing what he ran on. The only things he can't get done are because of the career uniparty hacks.The op-ed was nothing more then carryover from the McCain funeral. It's all transparent and meaningless, but a useful tool for Trump now.

DingleBarryObummer ,

"To some people the notion of consciously playing power games-no matter how indirect-seems evil, asocial, a relic of the past. They believe they can opt out of the game by behaving in ways that have nothing to do with power. You must beware of such people, for while they express such opinions outwardly, they are often among the most adept players at power. They utilize strategies that cleverly disguise the nature of the manipulation involved. These types, for example, will often display their weakness and lack of power as a kind of moral virtue. But true powerlessness, without any motive of self-interest, would not publicize its weakness to gain sympathy or respect. Making a show of one's weakness is actually a very effective strategy, subtle and deceptive, in the game of power" -Robert Greene '48 Laws of Power'

chumbawamba ,

What results though? So far, the results are in and the swamp is still pretty full.

As Dinglebutt pondered: deception, but for what purpose? Have you considered that you might be being lulled into a safe landing right into the heart of totalitarianism?

Don't think for one moment Trump isn't capable of selling you out for his own interests.

-chumblez.

Dilluminati ,

correction demonic coup (re-posted) but the Pizza gate it seems to be real, all the fake news for generatons and the one story the globalists couldn't get to uncovering ~~~ YOU MUST DECIDE!!

Sweden tonight.. Europe tomorrow. The left lives in fantasy land. Where Kapernick is some NFL hero and the guy sucked at QB, I mean looking at the record, he sucked, he didn't win anything. He ran like Mike Vick and that is about that.. and like Mike he suddenly realized that EVERYBODY runs fast in the NFL unlike college. Then there is IMMIGRATION notice how the globalists love three things above all others: profits for the 1%, paying no taxes, and they love them some open borders and immigrant cheap labor. Take for example the imaginary op-ed fake news from the NYT, or the CNN fake news story with leftist Lanny Davis, or lets drag that whore Stormy out on stage for another trailer park runway dollar bill, or how about the hearings on SCOTUS and Spartacus? Pocahontas? Abolishing Ice to fight crime, getting rid of the 2nd amendment to make us safer, Or more gun legislation in Chicago or Baltimore doubling down on stupid.. And now the ghouls who run the Democratic party have to go and try and sell the Obama myth, talk about fantasy.. what the fuck was Obamacare? Where was the $ saved and could people keep their doctor if they wanted? Each and every idea the Democrats and left have come up with is proof that what the left doesn't fuck up it shits upon instead, and now.. after being globally discredited the GLOBALISTS cocksuckers are done. Name a single promise that the Globalists kept to any but the 1% the cocksuckers!

But turn on any globalist media, the NFL, ESPN, CNN, and of the Globalist monopoly news or media outlets, the same lies are told. These Globalist cocksuckers cannot stop telling these lies so instead they need to be removed by ballot, laws, and if need be FORCE!

The rudeness and desperation of the 1% is astonishing, but their boldness is like that of the Pedophile Catholic Church! They get up on stage and do their empty virtue signalling and then rape their communities cynically and with methodical efficiency, yes they are the 1% and they do not care, yes they are the 1% and there is now no laws to confront them. There is only the ballot. They intend to run to New Zealand as they know their days are numbered, they skip the hearings like Google when called to account by Congress, and still you turn on the media and see:

https://www.thewrap.com/miss-america-contestant-slams-trump-division-madeline-collins-west-virginia/

I'm sure Madeline has brokered some deal to service some 1% benefactor somewhere. But again the rudeness, they come into your home under the guise of sports, under the guise of a legitimate news source, and then they spread their LIES and distortions.

Watch Brexit and Google pissing in the face of Congress.. they do not respect the ballot though they clamor about democracy, they but care about the 1% like the Pedophile Catholic Church and do not care about your laws, they want to abolish Ice, they want to disarm you so that they can more efficiently abuse you. That is your globalists not some loser on a Nike ad, who has less of a career than say Tim Tebow (who could run) but wasn't the apologist and hate America first Cunt stooge of the globalists. Watch Brexit and Google as they piss in the face of democracy and remember.

When asked if he would accept the result of the upcoming presidential election if he lost , Republican nominee Donald Trump told the audience in Las Vegas and the millions watching at home: "I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense."

This brief comment became the biggest headline news to come out of the third debate, as many saw it as Mr Trump threatening to shatter a 240-year-old electoral tradition, one of the cornerstones of US democracy: the losing candidate must always concede defeat, regardless of the result.

Presidential rival Hillary Clinton called his stance "horrifying", saying it "was not the way our democracy works".

Barack Obama labelled Trump's comments as "dangerous", and damaging to democracy.

You see how that works? The left is like the Pedophile Catholic Church all worked up about the plastic in the ocean, one set of laws and democracy for you, and another for them..

The lies, the globalist lies.. vote for your freedom.. What does the NFL and the Pedophile Catholic Church have in common? NEITHER PAYS TAXES! Them globalists them silly globalists: love three things above all others: profits for the 1%, paying no taxes, and they love them some open borders and immigrant cheap labor.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6147245/Five-sisters-abused-Catholic-priest-Pennsylvania.html

The real PIZZA GATE my friends is the Globalists. The 1% with their laws, unaccountable to ours which they twist against us.

I'm watching Bob Woodward being pimped by the Globalists media this morning, and I have to think that in this guy's lifetime the largest scandal in the Church, the global abuse and coverup, never warranted an op-ed. Need I say more? When you look at the fabled globalist Bob Woodward, remember that he missed the abuse, the cover-up, the complete and orchestrated abuse of power globally, he missed that story!

It took the state of Pennsylvania and a Grand Jury to tell that story that the globalist and Bob Woodward would not, instead he peddled rumors, similar to Stormy trotted out for a dollar bill on the trailer park runway.

notfeelinthebern ,

Been nothing but a coup since before day one even.

iinthesky ,

Started right after the Trump stepped off the escalator

Jim in MN ,

If the globalist elite neolibcon blackmail files ever see the light of day a lot of folks are going to swing from nooses...where have I heard that phrase before....

This is still our last peaceful chance for change.

iinthesky ,

I think most historically competent folks quickly come to the conclusion that ''Kompramat" as the Russians call it is without a doubt how the government governs itself.. hence an 'outsider' is rarely ever seen and never allowed to govern

[Sep 10, 2018] This agitprop gem could've easily been fabricated right in the NYT newsroom.

Sep 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ort , Sep 9, 2018 4:22:20 PM | link

Regarding that mysterious New York Times op-ed: I don't claim to know the truth of the matter, but I'm mildly surprised that so few people are thinking out of the box-- or should I say "outside the frame"?-- in which this curious op-ed was presented.

These days, I shouldn't be surprised that any old sensational "bombshell" is taken at face value, especially by extreme anti-Trumpers.

The largely unexamined assumption that the mysterious op-ed is legitimate has triggered a rush of whodunit fantasising; it's reminiscent of a pack of racing dogs chasing after the mechanical bunny used on the racetrack to give the critters a reason to run. (Or the endless, churning amateur espionage screenplay-writers' discussions of the Skripal diversion.)

I don't want to get pulped in the stampede, so I've held off expressing the obvious thought that this agitprop gem could've easily been fabricated right in the NYT newsroom.

Why not? Never mind the conventional pious blather asserting that the prestigious Newspaper of Record would never stoop to such chicanery.

Actually, I realize that this is a little too cut-and-dried; it's probable that the NYT poobahs would be more inclined to "let it happen" rather than "make it happen"-- they need a measure of deniability.

OTOH, the NYT is a major Big Lie fulfillment center. It essentially demands that the public trust its explanation of the circumstances under which the op-ed was published; once the "bombshell" is detonated, and the whodunit controversy is off and running, only rigorous skeptics (ahem) would even think to question whether the NYT itself launched this IED of self-sealing infoganda.

This possibility is too mind-blowing for Normals, of course. But why assume that the NYT's carefully-staged and veiled assertions about the op-ed's origins are credible? It certainly pushes all of the right "Resistance" buttons; whether it's perceived as a righteous "whistleblower" attempting to Save Us from the ongoing horror of a Trump presidency, or a treacherous stab in the back from some insider, it doesn't reflect well on Trump.

If one accepts these sources as credible and reliable, one must perforce conclude that Trump is either seriously deranged, or is so hamstrung by his own megalomania and narcissism that he's intolerably incompetent and out of control. He is simply too mad, or bad, or both, to be allowed to remain on the Oval Office Throne.

I just saw a column by a progressive-liberal columnist, Will Bunch, at philly.com with the headline " President Trump is not well. Congress must curb his power to start a nuclear war. ". It almost sounds sympathetic, but the message is that both the mysterious op-ed and Woodward's book conclusively "prove" that Trump is either ethically or mentally unfit to hold office, or both.

Hmmm... these days, no matter where one looks, it's all about the "bombshells"!

[Sep 10, 2018] Bob Woodward's book and the 'resistance' op-ed look increasingly like a sophisticated psy-ops scheme and a prelude for a 'Deep State' coup

Sep 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Grieved , Sep 9, 2018 10:31:46 PM | link

Pepe Escobar has a wonderful new article today in which he discusses the Resistance warrior in the NYT op-ed, as well as the Resistance hit piece from Bob Woodward, and reprises Nixon and Kissinger from the old days of the "golden age of journalism", as Seymour Hersch calls it in his latest memoir, Reporter , and as Escobar details.

The spookiness of the age we live in today couldn't be more resonant with the spookiness exposed back in the golden age. It's all one piece. The only questions are, which is the side to be on? And how are we supposed to leak these secrets anyhow? It's a gripping thriller of an article from Pepe:

'Resistance' runs amok in the US Deep Throat War
-- Bob Woodward's book and the 'resistance' op-ed look increasingly like a sophisticated psy-ops scheme and a prelude for a 'Deep State' coup

Red Ryder , Sep 10, 2018 12:01:11 AM | link

@50, Grieved

The link for Pepe's article is: http://www.atimes.com/article/hold-resistance-runs-amok-in-the-us-deep-throat-war/

Pft , Sep 10, 2018 12:30:32 AM | link
Grieved @50

I said something similar to your quote from the link a couple of days ago. Its part of the show

Frankly the whole Trump show is psyops theater. While the show is going on in public, in the the wrecking crew in the shadows is working to dismantle every aspect of government that works for the benefit of the population, whats left of it anyways.

I remember the Watergate hearings. They dared to interrupt soap operas which allowed me to grab the TV from my mother some summer afternoons and I found it more entertaining than the 50's shows in UHF stations. Pure entertainment. Maybe we see something similar soon to liven up the show

Of course this time they might give us a civil war to have an excuse to declare martial law.

Cant really predict these things though . Stay tuned.

Jackrabbit , Sep 10, 2018 12:56:51 AM | link
Pft @57: Frankly the whole Trump show is psyops theater.

Yup.

Pepe reinforces the narrative that Trump is a nationalist who peace initiatives are thwarted by the nasty deep state. But Trump proved his love for the establishment in the years before he ran for President and no real populist can be elected in USA.

[Sep 09, 2018] A legal argument against Mueller legitimacy

Sep 09, 2018 | thehill.com

Barry Forster WebTraveler 3 hours ago

Professor Dershowitz of the Harvard Law School, who is a lawyer's lawyer accurately pointed out that Mueller and his Democrat Lawyers are really acting illegally.

Mueller is a principal officer of the DoJ not a subordinate officer and according to the Appointments Clause in the Constitution must be appointed by the President and confirmed by the senate. He is neither. His activities are supposed to be supervised only by the AG Sessions as a principal officer. AG Sessions has recused himself from the so called Russian Collusion investigation only. Rosenstein is only a Deputy AG and was not appointed or confirmed as the Acting AG so Mueller is also unsupervised. Mueller appointment and his activities are constitutionally illegal.

No one has ever offered a smidgen of concrete evidence whatsoever that there was ever any collusion of interference in the election by the Russians and certainly none by the Trump Campaign.Former CIA head Brennan at the CIA has never offered under oath any proof of any cyber attacks by the Russians. Obama and Brennan never even pursued the Chinese hacks that were physically confirmed by server and IP addresses from China under Obama. The Democrats claim that their DNC server was hacked by the Russians. This has never been confirmed as the DNC refused to allow it to be taken and examined by the FBI or any other agency. The DNC also had a lot to hide on it. After all, their foreign IT guy ran off to Pakistan with all the server data on flash drives. Blackmail? The DNC servers were subpoenaed a year by the House Judiciary Committee, Somehow they have all disappeared! Felony obstruction of justice.

So here we are a over a year and a half later and still not a single smidgen of proof of any Russian interference. Not a single one of Mueller's American indictments have had anything whatsoever to do with the fake Russian collusion claim or anything that occurred in the campaign period or the transition to office.

This is an obvious attempt at a soft coup to effect the mid terms in favor of the Democrats. And it is obvious to even a casual observer that Alan Dershowitz exposed

[Sep 09, 2018] It should be noted that the NYT oped cruise missile happened to be exactly timed with the big splash of the Bob Woodward 'book' that trumpets the same meme ie the Trump administration is dysfunctional and in a state of mutiny

Sep 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

FB , says: Next New Comment September 8, 2018 at 2:34 pm GMT

Very astute piece by Ms Johnstone

It should be noted that the NYT oped cruise missile happened to be exactly timed with the big splash of the Bob Woodward 'book' that trumpets the same meme ie the Trump administration is dysfunctional and in a state of mutiny

We note here that Woodward, himself a CIA plant since Day One has proved to be the biggest scumbag to ever pose as a 'journalist' an excellent take on this was dished up yesterday by Finian Cunningham

'There is credible evidence that the American Deep State of the military-intelligence apparatus used the Watergate scandal as a way to get rid of Nixon whose febrile mental state was becoming a concern to them. Woodward, who had a background in Navy intelligence was suspiciously a prodigy journalist who rapidly rose to cover what became the scandal that ended Nixon's presidency.'

I would disagree only about Nixon's 'febrile mental state' as the reason for the deep state wanting him gone the real reason was in fact that Nixon moved against neoliberalism and expelled Milton Friedman and the 'Chicago School' from the white house he in fact turned toward socialism on the economy

'Nixon's purge of Friedman from his administration was not merely symbolic. Facing a serious economic downturn, Nixon utilized huge amounts of government spending, spending $25.2 billion to stimulate the economy in 1972.

Nixon went as far to openly propose a plan to provide a universal basic income of $1,600 (the equivalent of $10,000 present day) to every American family of four.'

This was a step too far for the Rockefellers and the plutocracy that runs the United States as Caleb Maupin explained presciently back in May in his superb historical parallel between the war on Trump and the Nixon offing

Now we see that the deep state 'journalist' Woodward is here attempting to reprise his Watergate role in bringing down a sitting POTUS the claims in the Woodward book about an 'administrative coup' in the Trump white house, and this 'oped' are so obviously part of the same ploy that it is way beyond coincidence

Now it is interesting to note that we have on record THREE very astute commentators saying the same thing about the provenance of the 'anonymous' hit piece that it is a creation of the NYT itself PCR was first out of the blocks, yesterday Mr Cunningham, one of the few honest and capable writers on the REAL left and now Ms Johnstone

And here's where things get curioser yet even the neoliberal standard bearer, the New Yorker magazine ran a scathing piece by none other than Putin [and Trump] hater Masha Gessen condemning the 'media corruption' embodied in the NYT oped

'But having this state of affairs described in print further establishes that an unelected body, or bodies, are overruling and actively undermining the elected leader

An anonymous person or persons cannot govern for the people, because the people do not know who is governing.'

Clearly there is a civil war going on behind the scenes inside the executive branch of the United States government what the results will be nobody can know but we must realize that when even one link in the chain of command is broken, the whole thing falls apart

I predicted right after the Singapore Trump-Kim summit and the fierce media backlash that resulted that the media and their deep state partners in crime would overplay their hand and shoot themselves in the foot

They have now done exactly that we will see how the people react, but I suspect that even those who might not otherwise support Trump will in fact rally round the embattled president by firing this cannonade now the treasonous media have nailed their on coffin tightly shut

[Sep 09, 2018] No trick is too low for those who consider Trump an intolerable intruder on THEIR power territory

For the "Full Spectrum Dominance " crows even neutered and bitten down Trump is unacceptable. They want him out.
Notable quotes:
"... I have no idea how deep this amorality charge goes, but coming from people who actually support killing children in the womb, that men and women are the same and marriage is the same dynamic between two people of the same sex as it is for the traditional dynamic, that relations out of wedlock are the same, that illegal immigrants are in fact entitled, that criticizing a foreign state is a crime, that have cheerlead for no less than the four military interventions or destabilizing state actions of the same . . . ..."
"... They don't need him gone, they just need him weak enough to destroy his ability to govern, his agenda and or him personally -- I think they prefer all four. ..."
"... This NYT op ed is a classic forgery, from the scammer NYT posing as a "conservative" (another common scam) to attacking Trump. ..."
Sep 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

PhilipSanders , says: Next New Comment September 8, 2018 at 11:41 am GMT

Please note there is a typo in the sentence "No trick is too low for those who consider Trump an intolerable intruder on THEIR power territory. "

It should read: No trick is too low for (((those))) who consider Trump an intolerable intruder on THEIR power territory.

EliteCommInc. , says: Next New Comment September 8, 2018 at 1:23 pm GMT
This comes as no news. The NYT has been after part of the "get the president" for anything and everything camp since the nomination.

I have no idea how deep this amorality charge goes, but coming from people who actually support killing children in the womb, that men and women are the same and marriage is the same dynamic between two people of the same sex as it is for the traditional dynamic, that relations out of wedlock are the same, that illegal immigrants are in fact entitled, that criticizing a foreign state is a crime, that have cheerlead for no less than the four military interventions or destabilizing state actions of the same . . .

just does not have the weight to make much headway with me. It's like the supposedly wonderful kobe beef from Japan I had today -- spoiled and sour.

The NYT reputation was tainted long before the current president took office. I think that the compromise made by the president to adopt in full the intel report has serious repercussions. The issue here is not whether the Russians engage in espionage or influence, i take it for granted that they do. But thus far the evidence has been mighty thin that they actually have done so and did so to any effect.

Something rather nasty has been seeping out of US polity and if Trump is anything he represents that polity with all its veneer of integrity swept aside.

Not all of the members he chose for his staff are self seeking aggrandizers, making the US safe for democracy is but a disguise. Some are honorable men and women who simply should not have been selected because they openly rejected the current executive for political, policy and personal reasons. I think that was a managerial mistake.

EliteCommInc. , says: Next New Comment September 8, 2018 at 1:26 pm GMT
They don't need him gone, they just need him weak enough to destroy his ability to govern, his agenda and or him personally -- I think they prefer all four.

This article about who, wrote or said what is just a side show.

Da Wei , says: Next New Comment September 8, 2018 at 2:13 pm GMT
@Rational DEAR JUDAISTS -- PLEASE STOP LYING AND SCAMMING, PLEASE. BECOME CIVILIZED PLEASE.

Thanks for the excellent article, Sir. Great points!

This NYT op ed is a classic forgery, from the scammer NYT posing as a "conservative" (another common scam) to attacking Trump.

Anonymous sources -- fabricated conversations that cannot be verified, because the source is non-existent. It is all fabricated.

... ... ... You're being Rational again: "please stop these childish scams. This is juvenile." You're appealing to hardened criminals.

I commend you for moderation and compassion, but if these people were to be redeemed it would have happened before the FED, the Great Depression (read Wayne Jett), the assassination of JFK and RFK, Tonkin, 911, 2008 and God know what more.

... ... ...

[Sep 09, 2018] Obama speech escalates factional warfare against Trump by Barry Grey

The neocon crowd wants a revenge. Badly. "Full Spectrum Dominance" is a a religion for them. And they uses all dirty tricks intelligence agencies are know for.
Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
Sep 08, 2018 | www.wsws.org

In a speech Friday at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, former President Barack Obama publicly joined the escalating offensive against President Trump being mounted by sections of the ruling class and the state. The speech, directed at channeling both popular and ruling class opposition to the Trump administration behind the Democrats in the fall midterm elections, marked Obama's first direct attack on his successor.

Obama's speech came as the culmination of a series of extraordinary events over the past two weeks that have brought the acute political crisis in the US to a new and explosive level of intensity.

First came the week-long spectacle of bipartisan hypocrisy and political reaction occasioned by the death of Republican Senator John McCain, one of the most ferocious war-mongers in the US political establishment. Democrats sought to outdo the Republicans in eulogizing McCain as an "American hero" and model statesman. Within two days of McCain's burial, the media was ablaze with revelations from the forthcoming book on the Trump White House by Washington Post editor Bob Woodward. Woodward, citing anonymous interviews with high-ranking Trump officials, paints a picture of turmoil and dysfunction in which figures such as Defense Secretary James Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly call Trump an idiot. Woodward recounts incidents of Trump administration officials countermanding orders from the president, a situation Woodward characterizes as an "administrative coup d'ιtat."

This was followed by the New York Times ' publication of an op-ed piece by an anonymous "senior official" in the Trump administration describing the activities of an internal "resistance" to Trump within the White House. The piece cited discussions among Trump aides about seeking his removal on the grounds of mental incompetence, as stipulated in the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution. It made clear that the "resistance," promoted by the Times and the Democrats, supports Trump's tax cuts for the rich, removal of corporate regulations and increase in military spending. It attacks Trump for his "softness" toward Russia and North Korea and his overall impulsiveness, unpredictability and recklessness.

Obama's speech was along similar lines. He presented an absurdly potted history of American progress on the basis of the "free market," with, he acknowledged, some imperfections -- such as the wars in Vietnam and Iraq (which killed millions of people). His administration was supposedly part of this march of progress.

... ... ...

The reality, of course, is that Obama presided over the funneling of trillions of dollars to Wall Street to rescue the financial oligarchy, carrying out the greatest redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top in history. This was paid for by wage cuts and the destruction of decent-paying jobs, replaced by poverty-wage, part-time and temporary employment, the gutting of health benefits for millions of workers under "Obamacare," pension cuts, the closure of thousands of public schools and layoff of tens of thousands of teachers, and a general lowering of the living standards of the working class.

Trump's attacks on democratic rights were prepared by Obama's brutal policy of deportations, his continuation of indefinite detention and the Guantanamo torture camp, his support for mass domestic spying and his program of drone assassinations, including of US citizens. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were continued and new wars were launched in Libya and Syria.

[Sep 09, 2018] Regime Change -- American Style by Pat Buchanan

Notable quotes:
"... The methodology is familiar. After a years-long assault on the White House and president by a special prosecutor's office, the House takes up impeachment, while a collaborationist press plays its traditional supporting role. ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.unz.com
900 Words 27 Comments Reply

The campaign to overturn the 2016 election and bring down President Trump shifted into high gear this week.

Inspiration came Saturday morning from the altar of the National Cathedral where our establishment came to pay homage to John McCain.

Gathered there were all the presidents from 1993 to 2017, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Vice Presidents Al Gore and Dick Cheney, Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Henry Kissinger, the leaders of both houses of Congress, and too many generals and admirals to list.

Striding into the pulpit, Obama delivered a searing indictment of the man undoing his legacy:

"So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage. It's a politics that pretends to be brave and tough but in fact is born of fear."

Speakers praised McCain's willingness to cross party lines, but Democrats took away a new determination: From here on out, confrontation!

Tuesday morning, as Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court began, Democrats disrupted the proceedings and demanded immediate adjournment, as scores of protesters shouted and screamed to halt the hearings.

Taking credit for orchestrating the disruption, Sen. Dick Durbin boasted, "What we've heard is the noise of democracy."

But if mob action to shut down a Senate hearing is the noise of democracy, this may explain why many countries are taking a new look at the authoritarian rulers who can at least deliver a semblance of order.

Wednesday came leaks in The Washington Post from Bob Woodward's new book, attributing to Chief of Staff John Kelly and Gen. James Mattis crude remarks on the president's intelligence, character and maturity, and describing the Trump White House as a "crazytown" led by a fifth- or sixth-grader.

Kelly and Mattis both denied making the comments.

Thursday came an op-ed in The New York Times by an anonymous "senior official" claiming to be a member of the "resistance working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his (Trump's) agenda."

A pedestrian piece of prose containing nothing about Trump one cannot read or hear daily in the media, the op-ed caused a sensation, but only because Times editors decided to give the disloyal and seditious Trump aide who wrote it immunity and cover to betray his or her president.

The transaction served the political objectives of both parties.

While the Woodward book may debut at the top of The New York Times best-seller list, and "Anonymous," once ferreted out and fired, will have his or her 15 minutes of fame, what this portends is not good.

For what is afoot here is something America specializes in -- regime change. Only the regime our establishment and media mean to change is the government of the United States. What is afoot is the overthrow of America's democratically elected head of state.

The methodology is familiar. After a years-long assault on the White House and president by a special prosecutor's office, the House takes up impeachment, while a collaborationist press plays its traditional supporting role.

Presidents are wounded, disabled or overthrown, and Pulitzers all around.

ORDER IT NOW

No one suggests Richard Nixon was without sin in trying to cover up the Watergate break-in. But no one should delude himself into believing that the overthrow of that president, not two years after he won the greatest landslide in U.S. history, was not an act of vengeance by a hate-filled city that ran a sword through Nixon for offenses it had covered up or brushed under the rug in the Roosevelt, Kennedy and Johnson years.

So, where are we headed?

If November's elections produce, as many predict, a Democratic House, there will be more investigations of President Trump than any man charged with running the U.S. government may be able to manage.

There is the Mueller investigation into "Russiagate" that began before Trump was inaugurated. There is the investigation of his business and private life before he became president in the Southern District of New York. There is the investigation into the Trump Foundation by New York State.

There will be investigations by House committees into alleged violations of the Emoluments Clause. And ever present will be platoons of journalists ready to report the leaks from all of these investigations.

Then, if media coverage can drive Trump's polls low enough, will come the impeachment investigation and the regurgitation of all that went before.

If Trump has the stamina to hold on, and the Senate remains Republican, he may survive, even as Democrats divide between a rising militant socialist left and the Democrats' septuagenarian caucus led by Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi.

2019 looks to be the year of bellum omnium contra omnes, the war of all against all. Entertaining, for sure, but how many more of these coups d'etat can the Republic sustain before a new generation says enough of all this?

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


Rational , says: September 7, 2018 at 4:54 am GMT

BOB WOODWARD AND NYT: FOR THE JUDAISTS, LYING IS JOB 1.

The fake writer of the NYT piece might be the NYT himself (as per PCR).

It is a forgery.

Sally Snyder , says: September 7, 2018 at 11:48 am GMT
As shown in this article, over the past decade and a half, Washington's viewpoint on Russia has been completely inconsistent:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/08/washingtons-ever-evolving-viewpoint-on.html

This is, in large part, because the United States and its military-industrial-intelligence network always needs an enemy.

Patrick in SC , says: September 7, 2018 at 1:54 pm GMT
Just for the record -- not that we're keeping one -- I strongly suspect that that NYT Op Ed by an "insider" is almost entirely fraudulent. OK, there might be an assistant to the assistant undersecretary in charge of cutting the grass at the White House who will be willing to put her name at the bottom of this thing, thereby giving the Times an "out" in terms of committing outright journalistic perjury.

But who's going to call these people on it? The Times themselves? CNN? The Washington Post? The Huffington Post?

What consequences will they suffer? Will the rabid dog leftists who read the aforementioned periodicals suddenly do an about-face and abandon their leftist religion because of journalistic fraud?

Of course not.

They'll just move on to the next "scandal" (almost certainly based on anonymous sources or triple hearsay).

MEexpert , says: September 7, 2018 at 2:27 pm GMT
I think Trump is his own worst enemy. It is his incompetence that is fueling all these calls for impeachment. He should have fired Mueller long time ago. The screaming could not have been any worse. I don't think he comprehends the seriousness of the current situation. He doesn't realize that he is the president. He has fallen into the trap of anti-Russian rhetoric while I know he does not believe any of it.

He should never have hired John Bolton or Pompeo. For God's sakes; he appointed all these heads of Departments, CIA, FBI, DNI, etc. and none of them can control his own department. He is letting others control his agenda and his foreign policy. If it weren't for Pence, I would prefer impeachment at this time because he is making the US a laughing stalk of the world. But Pence scares me even more.

Acts 3:25 "He said to Abraham, 'Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.'"

By the way, God's covenant with Abraham included Ishmael, who was also his offspring. The Jews have altered the bible to make the covenant with Isaac only, as they have done with the sacrifice of the "only son."

AB , says: September 7, 2018 at 4:00 pm GMT
So far the only 2 senior officials who have not come out to deny writing the op-ed are John Kelly and Nikki Haley, both are highly suspect at this point. John Kelly gave all those disparaging accounts of the president to Bob Woodward then tried to deny it. Nikki Haley's been running her own dog and pony show at the UN for two years, clashing with Trump more than once for wanting to take out Assad. She takes her orders directly from the Prime Minister of Israel, Trump who?

This NYTimes hit piece shows clearly the existence of a Deep State that is actively working to subvert and overthrow a democratically elected POTUS. The Deep State must be defeated for America to survive, but the only way to defeat the Deep State is through a functioning DOJ. Jeff Sessions must now be considered part of the Deep State, along with Pence and all the people Pence brought into Trump's cabinet when he was in charged of setting up the interim government, from John Kelly to Mattis, Haley, Bolton, Kirstjen Nielsen, Christopher Wray, Mike Pompeo, and above all Rod Rosenstein -- all are neocon Deep State stooges and big time swamp creatures.

[Sep 08, 2018] Any of Trump's opponents in the 2016 primaries would have followed the same policies

Notable quotes:
"... he has brought North Korea away from the edge of nuclear war and established at least tentative diplomatic relations with that nation, something no president has done before him. Against frenzied opposition from the American Establishment, he has somewhat softened U.S. relations with Russia. ..."
"... On domestic and environmental matters, Trump is pro-plutocrat, a climate change denier, and the installer of arch-reactionary Supreme Court justices. But this is more a function of the current national Republican party than of Trump himself. Any of Trump's opponents in the 2016 primaries would have followed the same policies. ..."
Sep 08, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Caleb Melamed says: September 8, 2018 at 5:39 pm

Trump is not crazy at all. He is the proponent of a particular philosophy, Trumpism, which he follows very clearly and consistently.

As president, he has had significant successes. Notably, he has brought North Korea away from the edge of nuclear war and established at least tentative diplomatic relations with that nation, something no president has done before him. Against frenzied opposition from the American Establishment, he has somewhat softened U.S. relations with Russia.

On domestic and environmental matters, Trump is pro-plutocrat, a climate change denier, and the installer of arch-reactionary Supreme Court justices. But this is more a function of the current national Republican party than of Trump himself. Any of Trump's opponents in the 2016 primaries would have followed the same policies.

Trumpism is undeniably a form of near-fascism. Trump has followed viciously anti-immigrant tendencies, and this, along with his ties to out-and-out racists, is the worst part of his presidency. But these horrible aspects do not at all show that he is crazy. He has used them coldly and calculatedly to gain power.

And while his schtick and bluster are indeed bizarre, he has used them very consistently to keep a 40%-plus approval rating in the face of an Establishment opposition the like of which has used against a president at least in our lifetimes.

As I have commented here before, except for Trump's disgusting anti-immigration policies, George W. Bush was on balance a far worse president.

[Sep 08, 2018] Trump angry at explosive book

Sep 05, 2018 | www.xinhuanet.com

U.S. President Donald Trump continued his attacks Wednesday on an explosive book about his administration.

Trump said the book, written by U.S. veteran investigative journalist Bob Woodward, "means nothing" and called it "a work of fiction" during a photo op with visiting Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah at the White House.

Woodward's book -- "Fear: Trump in the White House" -- is to be released next week.

According to excerpts obtained by media outlets, Trump's aides describe him as a "liar" and an "idiot" who is running a "crazytown."

"Isn't it a shame that someone can write an article or book, totally make up stories and form a picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact, and get away with it without retribution or cost," Trump tweeted earlier in the day.

He also tweeted out written statements of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, both of whom denied uttering quoted criticisms of the president in the book.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Woodward said, "I stand by my reporting."

The book was based on hundreds of hours of conversations with direct players, according to the author.

Woodward has been a reporter at the The Washington Post since 1971 and remains an associate editor there.

He is most famous for breaking the story of the Watergate scandal, which promoted the resignation of Richard Nixon from the presidency in 1974.

[Sep 08, 2018] Robert Mueller's Bogus Witch-Hunt

Notable quotes:
"... two more people tied to me would be dragged before the Grand Jury. ..."
"... Mueller and his smug band of thugs seek to browbeat before the Grand Jury is conservative author Dr. Corsi. ..."
"... It was Dr. Corsi who first alerted me to the lucrative business deals and Russian collusion of John and Tony Podesta but Corsi, a brilliant researcher, got this information from already published public sources! ..."
"... The other longtime contact Mueller seeks to interrogate this week is Trump hating left-wing radio host and deranged but job Randy Credico who merely confirmed for me that Wikileaks had, as it's publisher Julian Assange told CNN in June if 2016 a trove of devastating material on Hillary and would publish the material in October before the election. ..."
Sep 08, 2018 | stonecoldtruth.com

Have you heard the latest?

Robert Mueller the biased and partisan " Special Counsel "who has no interest whatsoever in the multiple crimes of Bill and Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama and his deeply corrupted FBI and Justice Department but is on a relentless drive to remove President Donald Trump has done it again!

This time Mueller and the partisan band of left-wing hitmen on the "Get Trump squad" leaked to the media that two more people tied to me would be dragged before the Grand Jury.

If you believe the fake news media Mueller seeks to prove that I had advance knowledge of an alleged hacking of the Democratic National Committee by "the Russians" and that this alleged hack email material was then sent to Julian Assange of WikiLeaks who then passed it on to me to pass in to my friend and client if 40 years Donald Trump. This is a damnable provable lie!

The other fairy tale Mueller is pushing is the false claim that I knew that Wikileaks had obtained and would [publish] Clinton campaign chief John Podesta's incredibly incriminating emails. This also categorically false!

One of my friends Mueller and his smug band of thugs seek to browbeat before the Grand Jury is conservative author Dr. Corsi.

It was Dr. Corsi who first alerted me to the lucrative business deals and Russian collusion of John and Tony Podesta but Corsi, a brilliant researcher, got this information from already published public sources! Corsi also made me aware of an August 14, 2016 article in Breitbart News by Peter Schweizer who reported that John Podesta's brother Tony had lobbied for the same Ukrainian political party as Paul.

While Corsi did not memorialize his findings until Aug 31 I had heard enough to post my now Iconic tweet predicting " the Podesta's time in the barrel (time under the same public scrutiny as Paul Manafort) would come "on August 21. Remember the context- Manafort was taking a beating in the press but I knew the Podesta's Russian ties were more extensive and that Tony was in the same boat as Manafort.

Note in the original Tweet I said THE Podesta's time in the barrel while THE (which is omitted in virtually every news report including ironically the final House Intelligence Committee Report) clearly refers to TWO Podestas. There is much debate about the apostrophe s in Podesta's- I say it is correct as it is a plural possessive (referring to BOTH their time in the barrel) while others argue it should be "Podestas" if I was speaking of two people.

The other longtime contact Mueller seeks to interrogate this week is Trump hating left-wing radio host and deranged but job Randy Credico who merely confirmed for me that Wikileaks had, as it's publisher Julian Assange told CNN in June if 2016 a trove of devastating material on Hillary and would publish the material in October before the election.

This I know- there is no evidence in my emails or texts or anywhere else or from any other party that would demonstrate that I knew about the publication or content of John Podesta's extraordinarily embarrassing and incriminating emails in advance or that I knew about the source or content of the DNC material Wikileaks did publish .Mr. Mueller will find nothing of the sort and any claim to the contrary by anyone would be composed perjury.

If Corsi and Credico testify truthfully their testimony would be exculpatory for me but Mueller has a lifelong record of squeezing witnesses to get them to lie.

Some people should be very careful what they wish for.

UPDATE- the testimony of Dr. Jerome Corsi before the Grand Jury today was canceled.

[Sep 08, 2018] The Manafort and Cohen Convictions

Notable quotes:
"... Mueller's problem is that his entire investigation has been revealed to be permeated with illegality and dubious Constitutional premises. As the result of investigations by Congress, we know that as of December, 2015 British intelligence agencies were frantically signaling their fears about Donald Trump to Obama Administration intelligence officials, primarily the CIA of John Brennan. ..."
"... The British were demanding that Trump be taken out by whatever means because he was "soft on Russia." They were demanding that Trump be taken out by criminalizing the idea for which the American people ultimately voted, a rational relationship, rather than war, between the U.S. and Russia. ..."
"... By the early Spring, we now know Brennan was operating out of the CIA with a taskforce investigating Trump based on British "leads," despite multiple legal prohibitions against just such domestic activity by the CIA. ..."
"... That task force included Peter Strzok, the fired FBI agent who said he would do anything to prevent Trump's election. This operation included sending informants to plant fabricated evidence on peripheral figures in the Trump campaign, including George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. ..."
Sep 08, 2018 | larouchepac.com

The media posited that these two events, one by trial, one by plea, gave Robert Mueller new found credibility and "momentum' at a point where both were dissipating extremely rapidly. This claim, like the others we have examined here, has no relation to reality.

Mueller's problem is that his entire investigation has been revealed to be permeated with illegality and dubious Constitutional premises. As the result of investigations by Congress, we know that as of December, 2015 British intelligence agencies were frantically signaling their fears about Donald Trump to Obama Administration intelligence officials, primarily the CIA of John Brennan.

The British were demanding that Trump be taken out by whatever means because he was "soft on Russia." They were demanding that Trump be taken out by criminalizing the idea for which the American people ultimately voted, a rational relationship, rather than war, between the U.S. and Russia.

By the early Spring, we now know Brennan was operating out of the CIA with a taskforce investigating Trump based on British "leads," despite multiple legal prohibitions against just such domestic activity by the CIA.

That task force included Peter Strzok, the fired FBI agent who said he would do anything to prevent Trump's election. This operation included sending informants to plant fabricated evidence on peripheral figures in the Trump campaign, including George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. The fake evidence suggested that Trump was using Russian obtained "dirt" against Hillary Clinton. The evidence planting operations, mostly conducted on British soil, were designed to back up the bogus and otherwise evidence free and indefensible dossier authored by MI-6's Christopher Steele, paid for by the Clinton campaign, and promoted by the Department of State, Department of Justice, the FBI, and select reporters. The dirty British Steele dossier claimed that Trump had been compromised by Putin. Based on this, Trump was targeted in a full-set counterintelligence investigation by the FBI including surveillance of his campaign and anyone associated with it. The goal of this surveillance was to put those who were around Trump under an investigative microscope stretching back years to find any crime or misdeed for which they could be prosecuted. That is the illegal and unconstitutional backdrop to everything Robert Mueller has produced thus far. Nothing produced by Mueller has shown Trump to be a puppet of Putin as claimed by the British, the Clinton campaign, and the national news media. Nonetheless, the entire episode has damaged relations between the U.S. and Russia and between the U.S. and China, which was the British strategic goal in the first instance, continuing the dive into a new and dangerous Cold War. Trump has fought this at every step.

Paul Manafort was hired to handle delegate selection at the Republican National Convention and then as campaign manager. He worked for Trump for six months total until his legal problems became known and he resigned. He was charged by Mueller with tax, foreign agent registration act, and bank fraud offenses for his lobbying activities on behalf of the deposed government of Ukraine. That government was overthrown in coup in which John McCain played a critical role, a coup which empowered outright neo-Nazis. Christopher Steele, British intelligence, and the U.S. State Department also played major roles in the Ukraine regime change operation. Manafort was targeted by both Ukrainian and British intelligence because he, in effect, backed the perceived Russian side in the coup. For this, he was being investigated by the Obama Justice Department well prior to any campaign association with Donald Trump. Mueller simply adjusted the focus of this already political investigation, a focus aimed at turning Manafort into an asset against Trump by means of the terror of potential prison sentences numbering in the hundreds of years as the result of overcharged and duplicative indictments.

Michael Cohen, who worked with Trump as a lawyer, also had his share of prior legal problems, primarily related to taxes concerning his taxi medallion business in New York City. For months, the mainstream media has featured the claims of porn star Stormy Daniels claiming a one night stand with the future President, ten years ago, as if the nation could draw some lesson from Daniels about public virtue. Cohen apparently arranged to pay off Daniels and another woman concerning their allegations about sex with the President. Among other suspicious dealings, Cohen tape recorded conversations with his client, Donald Trump, during the campaign, a complete and total violation of legal ethics which would independently cost him his law license. For many months prior to his plea deal, Cohen has been a target of intense investigative interest based on his tax problems. In recent months, Cohen has repeatedly signaled that he was willing to betray the President and say whatever prosecutors in the Southern District of New York wanted him to say about Donald Trump in order to avoid jail. The problem is that prosecutors thought Cohen an obvious desperate liar and were not buying. Ultimately, the deal which Cohen struck has him claiming that candidate Trump asked him to pay hush money to the women, resulting in Federal Election Campaign Act violations. This is what the Justice Department claimed against John Edwards in a widely ridiculed and failed prosecution. It is exactly the type of claim by which the British and our Establishment impeached Bill Clinton.

Cohen hired long-time Clinton operative Lanny Davis to represent him in recent months and to make a deal. Following his plea, Davis claimed that Cohen had two made-up morsels to offer Mueller, in return for a reduced sentence, a claim that Trump knew about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer, and a claim that Cohen knew about Russian hacking of Hillary Clinton's emails. Davis has since admitted that both these claims were totally false and has had to walk them back publicly.

So, if you are tempted by the media t think that either of these "convictions" are germane to the President's fitness for office, or Robert Mueller's credibility, please, seek medical attention. The madness which now infects much of official Washington may have claimed you.

[Sep 08, 2018] The Strange Anonymous 'Resistance' Op-Ed by Daniel Larison

First of all as Diana Johnstone noted this can be attempt to saw discord in Trump administration and anonymous author iether does not exist or is a former official fired by Trump. See The New York Times as Iago, by Diana Johnstone . She suggested that it was written by NYT staff " The letter by Mister or Ms Anonymous is very well written. By someone like, say, Thomas Friedman. That is, someone on the NYT staff. It is very cleverly composed to achieve quite obvious calculated aims. It is a masterpiece of treacherous deception." ... "The "resistance" proclaimed is solely against the facets of Trump's foreign policy which White House insiders are said to be working diligently to undermine: peaceful relations with Russian and North Korea." The letter amounts to an endorsement of future President Pence. Just get rid of Trump and you'll have a nice, neat, ultra-right-wing Republican as President.
She continues: " Isn't it obvious that all this is designed to make Trump distrust everyone around him? Isn't that a way to drive him toward that "crazy" where they say he already is, and which is fallback grounds for impeachment when the Mueller investigation fails to come up with anything more serious than the fact that Russian intelligent agents are intelligent agents?"
AS Daniel Larrison points out the dishonesty of anonymous author is evident: " They want credit for "resisting" Trump when their "resistance" amounts to manipulating the policies of the government to their own liking. ". And they so far succeeded in manipulating Trump foreign policy to the extent that he does not differ from Bush II.
Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
"... They want credit for "resisting" Trump when their "resistance" amounts to manipulating the policies of the government to their own liking. ..."
"... There are legitimate political and constitutional remedies for an unfit president, but the anonymous "resistance" official isn't interested in any of that. He prefers to keep the administration from completely imploding because it also happens to be advancing a mostly conventional Republican agenda that he likes. There is nothing particularly admirable about that, and he should not have been granted anonymity to write his self-congratulatory article. ..."
Sep 08, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The New York Times published a strange op-ed purportedly written by a "senior official" in the Trump administration:

The dilemma -- which he does not fully grasp -- is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

I would know. I am one of them.

To be clear, ours is not the popular "resistance" of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.

But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.

The author of the op-ed flatters himself by claiming to be acting in the best interests of the country, but there is something very wrong with having self-appointed guardians assuming that they have the right to sabotage certain policies of the elected president. For one, they have no authority to do what they're doing, and no one voted for them. It is one thing to argue that professionals should be willing to serve a bad president in the interests of public service, and it is quite another to argue that the officials working for the president are entitled to disregard and override the president's decisions because the president happens to be an ignorant buffoon. The "two-track presidency" that the official boasts about is an affront to our system of government. It is not reassuring that U.S. foreign policy continues as if on autopilot no matter what the electorate votes for.

Perversely, the more that Trump administration officials "frustrate parts of his agenda," the more likely it is that Trump remains in power longer than he otherwise would. The official says that the core of the problem is the president's "amorality." That raises the obvious question: how can someone acknowledge that the president has no principles or scruples of any kind and still in good conscience try to help him succeed? These officials are not only enabling a president whose behavior they consider to be "detrimental to the health of our republic," but they are helping to make sure that he stays in office instead of hastening his defeat. They want credit for "resisting" Trump when their "resistance" amounts to manipulating the policies of the government to their own liking.

There are legitimate political and constitutional remedies for an unfit president, but the anonymous "resistance" official isn't interested in any of that. He prefers to keep the administration from completely imploding because it also happens to be advancing a mostly conventional Republican agenda that he likes. There is nothing particularly admirable about that, and he should not have been granted anonymity to write his self-congratulatory article.

If this official feels so strongly that the president endangers the health and well-being of the country, he should put his name on a statement to that effect when he announces his resignation.

[Sep 07, 2018] But all those crazy US neocons still managed to imposed on Russia sanctions because of its interference in the elections. That tells us something about the US congress by Kononenko

Slightly edited Google translation
Notable quotes:
"... I am interested in another, a very simple question: why? Why would Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea interfere in the US midterm elections? What they want to achieve. All right, let's drop all the others, let's just talk about us, Russians. ..."
"... The same hackers who broke into the DNC and stole Hillary Clinton emails now will steal midterm elections. But from whom? Do you understand anything? Personally, I don't understand anymore. Which Party we support? Who is the target of our effort to interfere in the USA elections. Are we promoting Repubs or DemoRats ? ..."
"... Perhaps the head of the US national intelligence Daniel Coates is right when he declared that "their goal is to divide and undermine our democratic values." Well, let's suppose that we really are against those sacred values. ..."
"... But the midterm elections will still be held, despite any interference. And one of candidates will win, while the other will lose. If we see no difference in candidates why we should interfere? ..."
"... Looks like Daniel Coats think that the world government is us. No, I'd certainly like the idea, even if this requires smoking something really strong (let's use Musk as a lodestar ;-). But I'm afraid we're not capable to serve in this role. After economic rape of 1991 we are too poor. And to serve the role of world government you better be rich. ..."
"... why we Russians should interfere in already completely messed up US elections, which typically equal to a force choice between two equally unacceptable candidates, already chosen and vetted by neoliberal elite. Like Trump vs. Hillary. why we should play this game of "the lesser evil." It's plain vanilla stupidity. ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | kononenkome.livejournal.com

According to popular belief, the cold war ended with the victory of the United States of America. And, accordingly, the demice of the Soviet Union. However, what exactly represent such a victory is not that easy to understand. Instead of one conservative, and therefore predictable player, the United States received a half dozen countries, of which only three or four are loyal, with other living by "the laws of jungles" (sorry free market). The number of aimed at American cities Intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads remained approximately the same as before the infamous "victory." And strategic atomic submarines remained, and strategic bombers. There are less of them, for sure, but they are more modern and more dngerous with more sophisticated weaponry. In any ccase remaining are still enough to make the winner to feel like a loser after b=neclear apolaipsys. And the idfea of victory is that the victor is the master (in this case the master of the plant). Am I missing something ?

Of course, another inquisitive observer will tell us about the controlled chaos, about the growing influence and plans for the establishing of the world neoliberal government. I was impressed by the recent revelation of Senator John Tester, who said that Putin is promoting communism in America. As the idea that this senator is a complete idiot who does not understand the Russia rejected communism as a dead-born system is pretty absurd. I would venture to assume that it might be that Russia did something that can with some stretch be qualifies as an attempt to influence the USA election, but, alas, Putin has no strategic plan, not the intention. First of all this would be pretty idiotic idea as two candidates were equally bad for Russia and it was completely unclear who is worse.

But all those crazy US neocons still managed to imposed on Russia sanctions because of its "interference in the elections." That tells us something about the US congress. I do not want to write about the lack of evidence and absurdity of the arguments again. I've already written a lot about it. No, let's stop talking about the past and try to look into the future.

The US President's national security adviser John Bolton (who theoretically should be a sanest person in the administration) recently said that the US is concerned about the potential for interference in the midterm elections to the Congress of four countries. Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. "I will not go into details of what I saw or didn't see, but I tell you that in the 2018 elections, these four countries raise the greatest fears," proclaim this highly placed Presidential adviser.

Theoretically it make some sense. Any man with a knife has a potential to kill. Any country with nuclear weapons has the potential to strike at the US. Any country with developed IT has a potential opportunity to interfere in elections with the help of cyber attacks. For example, Israel. But it is not a good idea to scare the American voter with Israel. No, he/she should be confused, and he/she should be afraid of potential menace. And this external enemy should unite fragmented by neoliberal excesses country (for this purpose those good-for nothing people grazing in State Department and Spaso House (The US embassy in Moscow) should constantly accuse the Russian authorities of all sorts nefarious activities. So there is nothing new here: Great Britain uses similar dirty tricks against Russia for centuries. I am interested in another, a very simple question: why? Why would Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea interfere in the US midterm elections? What they want to achieve. All right, let's drop all the others, let's just talk about us, Russians.

What do we want? Let's say we want the midterms to be won by the Republicans. Then explain to me why Republican John Bolton fears this. If there's anything John Bolton should be afraid of, it's that Russia will intervene in the midterms in order to win the Democrats. But The Washington Post writes that "the leaders of the Democratic party of the United States fear the potential interference of Russia and start to increase its presence in anticipation of the interim election cycle on such platforms as Facebook and Twitter." President Trump writes on Twitter that Russia will" make a lot of effort " to intervene in the midterm elections on the side of the Democrats. Microsoft claims that Russian hackers created fake websites of Republican organizations in order to collect information about Republicans. The same hackers who broke into the DNC and stole Hillary Clinton emails now will steal midterm elections. But from whom? Do you understand anything? Personally, I don't understand anymore. Which Party we support? Who is the target of our effort to interfere in the USA elections. Are we promoting Repubs or DemoRats ?

Perhaps the head of the US national intelligence Daniel Coates is right when he declared that "their goal is to divide and undermine our democratic values." Well, let's suppose that we really are against those sacred values.

But the midterm elections will still be held, despite any interference. And one of candidates will win, while the other will lose. If we see no difference in candidates why we should interfere? If the net result for us anyway will be the same: more sanctions? Here we should go back to the idea of "controlled chaos" and world government. Looks like Daniel Coats think that the world government is us. No, I'd certainly like the idea, even if this requires smoking something really strong (let's use Musk as a lodestar ;-). But I'm afraid we're not capable to serve in this role. After economic rape of 1991 we are too poor. And to serve the role of world government you better be rich.

Again the question arise, why we should interfere in he USA elections. Only if we are out for revenge, "eye for eye" principle as they interfered in ours. There's no other reasonable answer. But even in this case, why we Russians should interfere in already completely messed up US elections, which typically equal to a force choice between two equally unacceptable candidates, already chosen and vetted by neoliberal elite. Like Trump vs. Hillary. why we should play this game of "the lesser evil." It's plain vanilla stupidity.

And before we get the answer to this fundamental question "Why?" there can be no further questions. None. Moreover, no other questions are needed. So let them just explain to us why we should interfere and how we can benefit from such an interference, and we will try our best. Before that, let's just watch.

And when they explain this to us, we can communicate the answer to China, Iran and North Korea free of charge.

[Sep 07, 2018] 'Made up frauds' Book claims Trump is called an 'idiot' by aides wanted to 'fking kill' Assad

Sep 05, 2018 | www.rt.com

President Trump and those close to him have challenged the narrative of Bob Woodward's new book, which portrays him as "a 5th-grader" ready to make rash decisions, such as ordering the assassination of Assad.

"The Woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by General (Secretary of Defense) James Mattis and General (Chief of Staff) John Kelly," Trump tweeted on Tuesday afternoon, after excerpts from the book were published by the Washington Post and other publications. The manuscript, which is scheduled for release next week, contains many quotes that were "made up frauds," Trump said, calling the book's narrative "a con on the public."

The Woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by General (Secretary of Defense) James Mattis and General (Chief of Staff) John Kelly. Their quotes were made up frauds, a con on the public. Likewise other stories and quotes. Woodward is a Dem operative? Notice timing?

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2018

Rejecting the claims that senior aides have been plucking sensitive documents off his desk to prevent him from making rash decisions, Trump noted in an exclusive interview with the Daily Caller that the bulk of the stories in the book were just a compilation of "nasty stuff" totally "made up" by the famed Watergate Washington Post reporter.

'She's a lowlife!' Trump explodes over former aide Omarosa's claims of his 'racist' rants

Trump was not the only one to slam Woodward's claims, which present the US leader as an impulsive decision-maker, who is sometimes called an "idiot" and a "liar" even by those closest to him:

Trump ordered Mattis to 'f**king kill' Assad

One of the excerpts from the book claims the president ordered Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to assassinate the Syrian leader following the 2017 Idlib chemical incident. "Let's f**king kill him! Let's go in. Let's kill the f**king lot of them," Trump allegedly told Mattis. "We're not going to do any of that. We're going to be much more measured," the defense secretary allegedly told one of his senior staffers after that.

Following the controversial claim, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley denied that Trump ever planned to assassinate Assad. "I have not once ever heard the president talk about assassinating Assad," she told reporters at UN headquarters.

"Mr. Woodward never discussed or verified the alleged quotes included in his book with Secretary Mattis or anyone within the DOD," a Pentagon spokesman, Col. Rob Manning, added.

Mattis compared Trump to '5th or 6th grader'

Woodward claims that Trump once asked Mattis why the US backs South Korea militarily and financially, prompting the defense secretary to tell close associates afterward that Trump had the understanding of a fifth or sixth grader. "Secretaries of defense don't always get to choose the president they work for," Mattis allegedly said in another instance.

Mattis personally rejected the claim made in the book. "In serving in this administration, the idea that I would show contempt for the elected Commander-in-Chief, President Trump, or tolerate disrespect to the office of the President from within our Department of Defense, is a product of someone's rich imagination," he said.

Chief of Staff described Trump as an 'unhinged idiot'

"He's an idiot. It's pointless to try to convince him of anything. He's gone off the rails. We're in crazytown," Woodward quotes White House Chief of Staff John Kelly as saying at a staff meeting in his office. "I don't even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I've ever had."

Kelly, however, has firmly denied the allegations, dismissing the chapter about him as "total BS."

Staff snatched documents from Trump's desk fearing he might sign them

Former Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn, according to Woodward, once saw a draft letter on the Oval Office desk that would have withdrawn the US from a trade agreement with South Korea. "I stole it off his desk," Cohn told an associate, allegedly terrified Trump might sign it. "I wouldn't let him see it. He's never going to see that document. Got to protect the country." Former staff secretary Rob Porter, who handled the flow of presidential papers, allegedly used similar tactics on several occasions.

However, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, the entire book is nothing more than a bunch of "fabricated stories" told by "disgruntled" former employees to make the president "look bad."

Egypt's president wondered if Trump was 'going to be around' for long

According to Woodward, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is one of the world leaders who was worried the infamous Mueller probe might eventually result in impeachment. "Donald, I'm worried about this investigation. Are you going to be around?" al-Sisi allegedly said. Trump supposedly later told his lawyer that the question was "like a kick in the nuts."

Amid the barrage of firm denials by Trump and his team, Woodward reiterated that he "stands by" his reporting and the book's contents.

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[Sep 07, 2018] 'Not Watergate, just gossip' Pulitzer winner on Bob Woodward's new anti-Trump bombshell

Notable quotes:
"... "This is very different from Watergate. This is gossip. Much of it is anonymous gossip, so it feeds this neverending reality television show political drama that cable news channels like CNN are making quite a bit of money off of," ..."
"... "It's always something, it's endless burlesque, and this feeds into this kind of narrative." ..."
"... "a little more likely to side with Woodward on this one," ..."
"... "At the same time, 70 percent of the people in this country are in pretty severe economic distress, and their voices are not being heard at all, and I think that that's why Trump's base remains firm, because these people have been rendered invisible by the press... that has just become a giant carnival act," ..."
"... "shady world of anonymous sources" ..."
"... "Institutions like the New York Times... use language about the president that would've been wholly unacceptable when I was there. Calling him a liar day in and day out – that doesn't mean he didn't lie, but presidents lie all the time, and every administration I covered lied, starting with the Reagan administration. This is really a war on the part of the establishment press, the Washington establishment, to take down Trump." ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.rt.com

The paradoxical era of anonymous anti-Trump reporting has turned once-solid journalism into a carnival of unverifiable accusations. True or not, they distract from real issues, says Pulitzer prize winning journalist Chris Hedges. A new bombshell book about the horrors of Trump's White House is about to hit the shelves. This time it's not penned by a disgruntled former official, but the world-famous Bob Woodward – the investigative journalist who uncovered the 1970s Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon. Only this time, instead of doing solid, verifiable journalism, he is peddling damning claims by anonymous sources, says Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer prize winning journalist and author.

"This is very different from Watergate. This is gossip. Much of it is anonymous gossip, so it feeds this neverending reality television show political drama that cable news channels like CNN are making quite a bit of money off of," – Mr. Hedges told RT. "It's always something, it's endless burlesque, and this feeds into this kind of narrative."

This doesn't mean accusations against Trump are necessarily false – in fact, Mr. Hedges says he's "a little more likely to side with Woodward on this one," – but it does draw attention from America's real issues, and thus further entrenches Trump's voter base.

Read more 'Made up frauds'? Book claims Trump is called an 'idiot' by aides & wanted to 'f**king kill' Assad

"At the same time, 70 percent of the people in this country are in pretty severe economic distress, and their voices are not being heard at all, and I think that that's why Trump's base remains firm, because these people have been rendered invisible by the press... that has just become a giant carnival act," Mr. Hedges says.

The "shady world of anonymous sources" has enabled phenomena like the recent New York Times op-ed by a supposed anonymous White House insider, claiming there's a 'Resistance' hotbed within the heart of the presidency. Chris Hedges, who has worked at the NYT for 15 years himself, says the media's war on the president is like nothing he has seen before.

"Institutions like the New York Times... use language about the president that would've been wholly unacceptable when I was there. Calling him a liar day in and day out – that doesn't mean he didn't lie, but presidents lie all the time, and every administration I covered lied, starting with the Reagan administration. This is really a war on the part of the establishment press, the Washington establishment, to take down Trump."

[Sep 07, 2018] The NYT OpEd might be written by one of the people who were fired during the very EARLY days of the Trump administration

More plausible theory is that it was written by NYT staff in Iago-style operation to saw discord in Trump administration and promote Woodward's book
Notable quotes:
"... might be just what the NYT wants the Trump Whitehouse to waste time on. ..."
"... It could very well be a trap. In fact, the timing almost guarantees it. The other alternative is that the NYT is very desperate and the Deep State in dire straights. ..."
"... I don't think the op-ed piece came from anyone in the WH. It's fake but rest assured Trump can still use it to his advantage. ..."
"... The "op-ed" was likely either a set-up fabrication / amalgam from the CIA Toilet Paper of Record or some deluded over ambitious piece of shit like Nikki Haley. ..."
"... It's all about subversion. ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

milo_hoffman,

My new theory.

1) The NYT OpEd was actually written by one of the people who were fired during the very EARLY days of the Trump administration because they turned out to not be so good (like Bannon, Preibus, Walsh, Yates, Comey, Spicer, Gorka, Tillerson, McMaster, etc). This also makes sense because they are describing (very exaggerated) the early days of the Trump admin which were known to be somewhat chaotic before Trump got a good chief of staff (because Preibus was useless)

2) The NYT has been holding onto the letter for almost two years as a weapon to use during the mid-term elections

3) Looking for them inside the current administration is useless, because they are already long gone

4) The NYT is probably stretching the truth about them being "senior" official which they have a history of stretching the truth on for sources

5) It is also the exact same person as the (primary/only) source for all the accusations in Woodward's book

Assuming this was written recently is a HUGE tactical oversight and might be just what the NYT wants the Trump Whitehouse to waste time on.

Brazen Heist II ,

It could very well be a trap. In fact, the timing almost guarantees it. The other alternative is that the NYT is very desperate and the Deep State in dire straights.

FreeEarCandy ,

"Issue Of National Security" and "looking into legal action".

If its a "REAL" issue of national security looking into legal action is non sequitur. You raid the NYT and send all the usual suspects to Guantanamo Bay for a little water boarding.

This whole stunt is pure political mind fuckery. Since when does the justice department determine if we can legally defend our national security?

Kreditanstalt ,

Trump, like the rest of the Deep State elite, detests and is enraged more by "disloyalty" among fellow elitists than by the opposition!

Dangerclose ,

I don't think the op-ed piece came from anyone in the WH. It's fake but rest assured Trump can still use it to his advantage. I'll bet he gets EVERYONE to show a little more support and less resistance. Hmmmmmm?

benb ,

The "op-ed" was likely either a set-up fabrication / amalgam from the CIA Toilet Paper of Record or some deluded over ambitious piece of shit like Nikki Haley.

In any event it doesn't matter. It's all about subversion. The Communist Party USA (Democrats) and Deep State know they are about to get their asses handed to them in November.

They're are a bunch of desperate assholes at this point. Heads up. Be ready for anything from here on out.

Trump needs to de-classify the FISA Docs NOW!!!

[Sep 07, 2018] New York Times Undermining Peace Efforts by Sowing Suspicion by Diana Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The letter by Mister or Ms Anonymous is very well written. By someone like, say, Thomas Friedman. That is, someone on the NYT staff. It is very cleverly composed to achieve quite obvious calculated aims. It is a masterpiece of treacherous deception. ..."
"... This anonymous enemy of amorality claims to approve of all the most extreme right-wing measures of the Trump administration as "bright spots": deregulation, tax reform, a more robust military, "and more" – cleverly omitting mention of Trump's immigration policy which could unduly shock the New York Times' liberal readers. The late Senator John McCain, the model of bipartisan bellicosity, is cited as the example to follow. ..."
"... The "resistance" proclaimed is solely against the facets of Trump's foreign policy which White House insiders are said to be working diligently to undermine: peaceful relations with Russian and North Korea. ..."
"... Trump's desire to avoid war is transformed into "a preference for autocrats and dictators". (Trump gets no credit for his warlike rhetoric against Iran and close relations with Netanyahu, even though they must please Anonymous.) ..."
"... The purpose of this is stunningly obvious. The New York Times has already done yeoman service in rounding up liberal Democrats and left-leaning independents in the anti-Trump lynch mob. But now the ploy is to rally conservative Republicans to the same cause of overthrowing the elected President. The letter amounts to an endorsement of future President Pence. ..."
"... This is the Iago ploy. Shakespeare's villain destroyed Othello by causing him to distrust those closest to him, his wife and closest associates. Like Trump in Washington, Othello, the "Moor" of Venice, was an outsider, that much easier to deceive and betray. ..."
"... The New York Times is playing Iago, whispering that Putin in the Kremlin is surrounded by secret "informants", and that Trump in the White House is surrounded by people systematically undermining his presidency. Putin is not likely to be impressed, but the trick might work with Trump, who is truly the target of open and covert enemies and whose position is much more insecure. There is certainly some undermining going on. ..."
"... Was the New York Times oped written by the paper's own writers or by the CIA? It hardly matters since they are so closely entwined. ..."
"... The military-industrial-congressional-deep state-media complex is holding its breath to breathe that great sigh of relief. The intruder is gone. Hurrah! Now we can go right on teaching the public to hate and fear the Russian enemy, so that arms contracts continue to blossom and NATO builds up its aggressive forces around Russia in hopes that this may frighten the Russians into dumping Putin in favor of a new Boris Yeltsin, ready to let the United States pursue the Clintonian plan of breaking up the Russian Federation into pieces, like the former Yugoslavia, in order to take them over one by one, with all their great natural resources. ..."
"... When dialogue is impossible, all that is left is force and violence. That is what is being promoted by the most influential media in the United States. ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

The New York Times continues to outdo itself in the production of fake news. There is no more reliable source of fake news than the intelligence services, which regularly provide their pet outlets (NYT and WaPo) with sensational stories that are as unverifiable as their sources are anonymous. A prize example was the August 24 report that US intelligence agencies don't know anything about Russia's plans to mess up our November elections because "informants close to Putin and in the Kremlin" aren't saying anything. Not knowing anything about something for which there is no evidence is a rare scoop.

A story like that is not designed to "inform the public" since there is no information in it. It has other purposes: to keep the "Russia is undermining our democracy" story on front pages, with the extra twist in this case of trying to make Putin distrustful of his entourage. The Russian president is supposed to wonder, who are those informants in my entourage?

But that was nothing compared to the whopper produced by the "newpaper of record" on September 5. (By the way, the "record" is stuck in the same groove: Trump bad, Putin bad – bad bad bad.) This was the sensational oped headlined "I am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration", signed by nobody.

The letter by Mister or Ms Anonymous is very well written. By someone like, say, Thomas Friedman. That is, someone on the NYT staff. It is very cleverly composed to achieve quite obvious calculated aims. It is a masterpiece of treacherous deception.

The fictional author presents itself as a right-wing conservative shocked by Trump's "amorality" – a category that outside the Washington swamp might include betraying the trust of one's superior.

This anonymous enemy of amorality claims to approve of all the most extreme right-wing measures of the Trump administration as "bright spots": deregulation, tax reform, a more robust military, "and more" – cleverly omitting mention of Trump's immigration policy which could unduly shock the New York Times' liberal readers. The late Senator John McCain, the model of bipartisan bellicosity, is cited as the example to follow.

The "resistance" proclaimed is solely against the facets of Trump's foreign policy which White House insiders are said to be working diligently to undermine: peaceful relations with Russian and North Korea.

Trump's desire to avoid war is transformed into "a preference for autocrats and dictators". (Trump gets no credit for his warlike rhetoric against Iran and close relations with Netanyahu, even though they must please Anonymous.)

The purpose of this is stunningly obvious. The New York Times has already done yeoman service in rounding up liberal Democrats and left-leaning independents in the anti-Trump lynch mob. But now the ploy is to rally conservative Republicans to the same cause of overthrowing the elected President. The letter amounts to an endorsement of future President Pence. Just get rid of Trump and you'll have a nice, neat, ultra-right-wing Republican as President.

The Democrats may not like Pence, but they are so demented by hatred of Trump that they are visibly ready to accept the Devil himself to get rid of the sinister clown who dared defeat Hillary Clinton. Down with democracy; the votes of deplorables shouldn't count.

That is treacherous enough, but even more despicable is the insidious design to destabilize the presidency by sowing distrust. Speaking of Trump, Mr and/or Ms Anonymous declare: "The dilemma – which he does not fully grasp – is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations" (meaning peace with Russia).

This is the Iago ploy. Shakespeare's villain destroyed Othello by causing him to distrust those closest to him, his wife and closest associates. Like Trump in Washington, Othello, the "Moor" of Venice, was an outsider, that much easier to deceive and betray.

The New York Times is playing Iago, whispering that Putin in the Kremlin is surrounded by secret "informants", and that Trump in the White House is surrounded by people systematically undermining his presidency. Putin is not likely to be impressed, but the trick might work with Trump, who is truly the target of open and covert enemies and whose position is much more insecure. There is certainly some undermining going on.

Was the New York Times oped written by the paper's own writers or by the CIA? It hardly matters since they are so closely entwined.

No trick is too low for those who consider Trump an intolerable intruder on THEIR power territory. The New York Times "news" that Trump is surrounded by traitors is taken up by other media who indirectly confirm the story by speculating on "who is it?" The Boston Globe (among others) eagerly rushed in, asking:

"So who's the author of the op-ed? It's a question that has many people poking through the text, looking for clues. Meanwhile, the denials have come thick and fast. Here's a brief look at some of the highest-level officials in the administration who might have a motive to write the letter."

Isn't it obvious that all this is designed to make Trump distrust everyone around him? Isn't that a way to drive him toward that "crazy" where they say he already is, and which is fallback grounds for impeachment when the Mueller investigation fails to come up with nothing more serious than the fact that Russian intelligent agents are intelligent agents?

The White House insider (or insiders, or whatever) use terms like "erratic behavior" and "instability" to contribute to the "Trump is insane" narrative. Insanity is the alternative pretext to the Mueller wild goose chase for divesting Trump of the powers of the presidency. If Trump responds by accusing the traitors of being traitors, that will be final proof of his mental instability. The oped claims to provide evidence that Trump is being betrayed, but if he says so, that will be taken as a sign of mental derangement. To save our exemplary democracy from itself, the elected president must be thrown out.

The military-industrial-congressional-deep state-media complex is holding its breath to breathe that great sigh of relief. The intruder is gone. Hurrah! Now we can go right on teaching the public to hate and fear the Russian enemy, so that arms contracts continue to blossom and NATO builds up its aggressive forces around Russia in hopes that this may frighten the Russians into dumping Putin in favor of a new Boris Yeltsin, ready to let the United States pursue the Clintonian plan of breaking up the Russian Federation into pieces, like the former Yugoslavia, in order to take them over one by one, with all their great natural resources.

And when this fails, as it has been failing, and will continue to fail, the United States has all those brand new first strike nuclear weapons being stationed in European NATO countries, aimed at the Kremlin. And the Russian military are not just sitting there with their own nuclear weapons, waiting to be wiped out. When nobody, not even the President of the United States, has the right to meet and talk with Russian leaders, there is only one remaining form of exchange. When dialogue is impossible, all that is left is force and violence. That is what is being promoted by the most influential media in the United States.

[Sep 07, 2018] The Coup Against Trump by CURT MILLS

Notable quotes:
"... Taken together, the two are the equivalent of a stiff left jab followed by a roundhouse right. The president has been left reeling, staring into the political abyss. ..."
"... The president is betrayed, openly, in the pages of America's paper of record and, according to the activist, "the senior people in the [administration] do nothing about it." ..."
"... A report of mine in the National Interest last year relayed the hiring procedures, or lack thereof, of Trump appointees on the campaign and in the administration; prospective employees were rarely asked about their policy preferences. Said Scott McConnell , founding editor of TAC , on Wednesday: "Trump's biggest weakness is lacking knowledge of the policy people who might have helped him with a realist/populist agenda. But he never evinced any interest in finding smart realists to staff his administration." ..."
"... "We're Watching an Antidemocratic Coup Unfold," says David Graham in The Atlantic . "How the 'resistance' in the White House threatens American democracy . ..."
"... There's more than one path to authoritarianism," posits Damon Linker in The Week. ..."
"... But it's also true that Trump openly ran on detente . Should actual voters' preferences just be tossed aside in the name of, as the author suggests, the preservation of democracy? "So let's see: Trump ran on closer relations with Russia," Fox News host Tucker Carlson opined on Wednesday night. "Voters agreed with that. And so they elected him president of the United States. And yet, the tiny and incompetent Washington foreign policy establishment -- the very same people who brought you Iraq and Libya -- do not agree with that. So they subvert his views, which are also the views of voters." ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Coup Against Trump One of his advisors tells TAC a plot is afoot. How far will the president go to ensure his political survival?

... ... ...

Donald Trump rose from pariah to president through politics, and now may be on the brink of being returned by the same means, the result of Bob Woodward's searing testimonial in Fear and a scathing New York Times op-ed from someone in his own ranks.

Taken together, the two are the equivalent of a stiff left jab followed by a roundhouse right. The president has been left reeling, staring into the political abyss.

A former senior administration official tells me that Wednesday's op-ed in the New York Times , by an anonymous senior administration official, is nothing short of an attempt at a "coup" against Trump himself. A veteran conservative activist who is close to the White House says the story here is one insiders have been identifying since the early days of the Trump administration (and that I've reported on ad nauseum ): personnel.

The president is betrayed, openly, in the pages of America's paper of record and, according to the activist, "the senior people in the [administration] do nothing about it."

Something tantamount to a national game of "Clue" is underway. It was Mike Pence, with an email to the Times , in the Naval Observatory. It was Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Jr., with the phone, in the bathroom of his Moscow apartment. This reporter is loathe to delve into conjecture, but the author of the op-ed seems clearly to be, first, interested in national security, and second, a traditional conservative. A preponderance of my sources argue that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. "[National Security Advisor John] Bolton would shock me," a State Department veteran says.

The op-ed author writes: "This isn't the work of the so-called deep state. It's the work of the steady state." He (or she) maligns the president as "amoral" and devoid of "first principles." A veteran watcher of Secretary of Defense James Mattis tells me that "'steady' is a favorite Mattis word. I think the McCain funeral hit Mattis hard." Yet even if the president suspected his defense chief, he would be loathe to quickly dispatch him -- and anyway Mattis may leave on his own after the midterms.

♦♦♦

A case of seismic duplicity -- or needed patriotism, depending on who you talk to -- is, of course, only half the story.

The other half is one that has been recurrent throughout this administration: the president and his apparatchiks expended little initial capital on staffing the White House with genuine loyalists, or true believers. They appointed neither longtime personal friends of the president nor policy hands faithful to anything resembling a populist-nationalist agenda. News reports abound of the president's surprising and depressing paucity of genuine friends.

As I relayed last week in TAC : "A former senior Department of Defense official [being considered] for top administration positions recalls meeting Jeff Sessions after the election. After hitting it off, the future AG asked the candidate: ' Where have you been? '"

A report of mine in the National Interest last year relayed the hiring procedures, or lack thereof, of Trump appointees on the campaign and in the administration; prospective employees were rarely asked about their policy preferences. Said Scott McConnell , founding editor of TAC , on Wednesday: "Trump's biggest weakness is lacking knowledge of the policy people who might have helped him with a realist/populist agenda. But he never evinced any interest in finding smart realists to staff his administration."

Donald Trump is Not the Manchurian Candidate 'Far From the Endgame' on Donald Trump's NAFTA Overhaul

The president suggested that the op-ed was perhaps "TREASON?" He routinely conflates national interest and personal interest, and thus now demands that the Times betray its source. In doing so, he denigrates a founding ideal of the republic, prepared to erode civic support for the First Amendment to dull the pain of an atrocious but largely self-inflicted news cycle.

The personal nature of the president's complaint convulses the persuasive authority of the arguments against his opposition. Since the publishing of the op-ed, there has been a steady trickle of concern, particularly among left-liberal writers, about the precedent being set. "We're Watching an Antidemocratic Coup Unfold," says David Graham in The Atlantic . "How the 'resistance' in the White House threatens American democracy . There's more than one path to authoritarianism," posits Damon Linker in The Week.

And indeed there are parts of the op-ed that are cause for genuine concern:

On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin's spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior.

Treating Russia as the adversarial power that it is and proportionately punishing its malign behavior smacks of sound policy. But it's also true that Trump openly ran on detente . Should actual voters' preferences just be tossed aside in the name of, as the author suggests, the preservation of democracy? "So let's see: Trump ran on closer relations with Russia," Fox News host Tucker Carlson opined on Wednesday night. "Voters agreed with that. And so they elected him president of the United States. And yet, the tiny and incompetent Washington foreign policy establishment -- the very same people who brought you Iraq and Libya -- do not agree with that. So they subvert his views, which are also the views of voters."

Beyond the substantive criticisms from both sides, of Trump and of his critics, is the diagnostic nature of the conspiracy -- and it is a conspiracy -- against the president. First and foremost, Trump, they say, is unwell or unfit. The case for invocation of the 25th Amendment is being made plainly in the pages of the United States' most-read newspapers.

What's truly remarkable is that, to a certain extent, the U.S. is already functioning as though the 25th Amendment has been invoked -- at least if the reporting of Bob Woodward, the premier journalist of his generation, is to be believed. In spring of 2017, after Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad reportedly murdered citizens in rebel-held territory with chemical weapons, Trump, according to Woodward, told Defense Secretary Mattis: "Let's f**ing kill him! Let's go in. Let's kill the f**king lot of them." Mattis replied, "We're not going to do any of that." (Mattis denies Woodward's accounts.) As the author of the op-ed gloats, this is "is a two-track presidency. Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly."

The debate, then, isn't about policy. It isn't as though Trump is trying to decimate the civil service, or staff the State Department with "realists" on Russia, or halve legal immigration. If he leaves office, his legacy will be tax cuts and (likely) two conservative Supreme Court justices; on policy, it's unlikely that a President Cruz or Rubio would have done much differently. But the paranoid style that Trump has mainstreamed is, of course, a separate matter and not a small one. Neither is the fealty, or at least feigned fidelity, to a populist-nationalism that is now likely a prerequisite to becoming the Republican presidential nominee for the foreseeable future. That's even though, at their core, the president's protestations of "treason" and a "deep state" are about personal survival, not the implementation of a nationalist revolution.

For his supporters, Trump's continued occupancy of the White House is more about cultural grievance -- a middle finger to a failed establishment -- than about a knock-down, drag-out fight over real political change.

As Steve Bannon told the Weekly Standard after his ouster last year: "The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over."

Curt Mills is the foreign affairs reporter at The National Interest, where he covers the State Department, National Security Council, and the Trump presidency.

[Sep 07, 2018] Democrats Hope for a Richard Nixon Repeat

And please remember that Nixon removal was most probably a CIA operation.
Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Striding to the pulpit, Obama delivered a searing indictment of the man undoing his legacy. "So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty," he said, "trafficking in bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage. It's a politics that pretends to be brave and tough but in fact is born of fear."

Speakers praised McCain's willingness to cross party lines, but Democrats took away a new determination: from here on out, confrontation!

Tuesday morning, as Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court began, Democrats disrupted the proceedings and demanded immediate adjournment, as scores of protesters shouted and screamed.

Taking credit for orchestrating the disruption, Senator Dick Durbin boasted, "What we've heard is the noise of democracy."

But if mob action to shut down a Senate hearing is the noise of democracy, this may explain why many countries are taking a new look at the authoritarian rulers who can at least deliver a semblance of order.

Wednesday came leaks in the Washington Post from Bob Woodward's new book, attributing to Chief of Staff John Kelly and General James Mattis crude remarks on the president's intelligence, character, and maturity, and describing the Trump White House as a "crazytown" led by a fifth or sixth grader.

Kelly and Mattis both denied making the comments.

Thursday came an op-ed in the New York Times by an anonymous "senior official" claiming to be a member of the "resistance working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his [Trump's] agenda."

A pedestrian piece of prose that revealed nothing about Trump one cannot read or hear daily in the media, the op-ed nonetheless caused a sensation, but only because Times editors decided to give the disloyal and seditious Trump aide who wrote it immunity and cover to betray his or her president.

The transaction served the political objectives of both parties.

While the Woodward book may debut at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, and "Anonymous," once ferreted out and fired, will have his or her 15 minutes of fame, what this portends is not good.

For what is afoot here is something America specializes in -- regime change. Only the regime our establishment and media mean to change is the government of the United States. What is afoot is the overthrow of America's democratically elected head of state.

The methodology is familiar. After a years-long assault on the White House and president by a special prosecutor's office, the House takes up impeachment, while a collaborationist press plays its traditional supporting role.

Presidents are wounded, disabled, or overthrown, and Pulitzers all around.

No one suggests Richard Nixon was without sin in trying to cover up the Watergate break-in. But no one should delude himself into believing that the overthrow of that president, not two years after he won the greatest landslide in U.S. history, was not an act of vengeance by a hate-filled city for offenses it had covered up or brushed under the rug in the Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Johnson years.

So where are we headed?

If November's elections produce, as many have predicted, a Democratic House, there will be more investigations of President Trump than any man charged with running the U.S. government may be able to manage.

There is the Mueller investigation into "Russiagate" that began before Trump was inaugurated. There is the investigation into his business and private life before he became president in the Southern District of New York. There is the investigation into the Trump Foundation by New York State.

There will be investigations by House committees into alleged violations of the Emoluments Clause. And ever present will be platoons of journalists ready to report on the leaks from all of these investigations.

Then, if the media coverage can drive Trump's polls low enough, will come the impeachment investigation and the regurgitation of all that went before.

If Trump has the stamina to hold on, and the Senate remains Republican, he may survive, even as Democrats divide between a rising militant socialist left and a septuagenarian caucus led by Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Kerry, and Nancy Pelosi.

2019 looks to be the year of bellum omnium contra omnes, the war of all against all. Entertaining, for sure, but how many more of these coups d'etat can the Republic sustain before a new generation says enough of all this?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

[Sep 07, 2018] Brennan Praises 'Courageous' 'Active Insubordination' of Anonymous NYT Op-Ed

Sep 07, 2018 | townhall.com

On NBC's Thursday morning broadcast of the "Today" show, former CIA director John Brennan repeatedly praised the unknown author of the New York Times's recent anti-Trump op-ed as a supreme example of "courageous" American patriotism. While admitting that the anonymous writer was committing "active insubordination" with the piece, Brennan justified his or her actions by claiming that because Trump is too "unfit" to be President, the writer is admirably trying to "prevent disasters" in the future.

"I think there are two major takeaways," Brennan told "Today" co-host Savannah Guthrie in relation to the op-ed. "One is, what the author wrote is wholly consistent with all the reports that we have seen over the last year, the reports within Bob Woodward's book, and other things about just how unfit, reckless, irresponsible Donald Trump is. But secondly, it shows the depth of concern within the administration, within the senior ranks of the administration, about what is happening and the extraordinary steps that individuals are willing to take, such as this op-ed, to prevent disasters."

[Sep 07, 2018] Sarah Huckabee Sanders has a legitimate request to neoliberal MSM - Stop Bugging Me About The New York Times' Trump Op-Ed

Highly recommended!
Actually the reaction of neoliberal MSM to the op-ed reminds me Wolff's book. They try to amplify the effect to cause the most damage.
Sep 07, 2018 | www.huffingtonpost.com

Sara h Huckabee Sanders has a tiny request: Please stop asking her about that pesky little New York Times op-ed written by an anonymous White House official.

... ... ...

On Thursday, Sanders tweeted a message addressed to all the people "asking for the identity of the anonymous coward" (basically, everyone).

The media's wild obsession with the identity of the anonymous coward is recklessly tarnishing the reputation of thousands of great Americans who
proudly serve our country and work for President Trump. Stop. If you want to know who this gutless loser is, call the opinion desk of the failing NYT at 212-556-1234, and ask them. They are the only ones complicit in this deceitful act.

We stand united together and fully support our President Donald J.Trump.

[Sep 07, 2018] Guardian continues to push Woodward book linking it to NYT anonymous op-ed

Whoever it was, this "gutless" person seems pretty craven, opportunistic neocon of McCain flavor. Most neocons are chickenhawks. And there are plenty of neocons in Trump administration.
It might well be that anonymous "resistance" op-ed in NYT is CIA operation to promote Woodward's book ( Woodward is definitely connected to CIA from the time of Nixon impeachment)
Notable quotes:
"... You are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

During an interview with Fox and Friends, conducted onstage prior to Trump's rally and set to air on Friday, the president called the paper's decision to publish the column "very unfair".

"When somebody writes and you can't discredit because you have no idea who they are," Trump said. "It may not be a Republican, it may not be a conservative, it may be a deep state person that's been there a long time.

It's a very unfair thing, but it's very unfair to our country and to the millions of people that voted really for us."

Since the editorial was published, the highest-ranking officials in Trump's administration have come forth to publicly deny any involvement. Those distancing themselves from the column have included the vice-president, Mike Pence, and the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, along with much of Trump's cabinet. The first lady, Melania Trump, also condemned the author and called on the individual to come forward.

"You are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions," she wrote.

The editorial was published as the White House was contending with yet another firestorm.

A book authored by the famed journalist Bob Woodward , poised for release next week, chronicles the chaos and dysfunction within the Trump administration.

Excerpts released on Tuesday provided an unflattering portrait of the president, who was described by aides in disparaging terms that included being likened to a schoolchild.

[Sep 07, 2018] BBC links NYT gutless op-ed with Wooodword book

Most probably this anonymous official does not exist and this is Iago style disinformation operation by the NYT to saw discord in trump administration.
Notable quotes:
"... Does the so-called "Senior Administration Official" really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source? ..."
Sep 06, 2018 | bbc.co.uk

Originally from: New York Times Trump op-ed denied by senior officials - BBC News

... ... ...

Meanwhile, First Lady Melania Trump said: "If a person is bold enough to accuse people of negative actions, they have a responsibility to publicly stand by their words."

Why does it matter?

The White House is already on the defensive amid questions over Mr Trump's suitability for office raised in a book by revered political journalist Bob Woodward.

Fear: Trump in the White House also describes staff deliberately undermining the president, with some hiding sensitive documents from him to prevent him signing them, and other aides calling him an "idiot" and a "liar". Mr Trump has called the book a "con".

Image deleted (copyright REUTERS)
Image caption Bob Woodward is one of the most respected journalists in the US

One of the most explosive passages in the New York Times article says there were "early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment", which would allow Mr Trump to be forced out of office.

That top officials are reportedly working against the elected US leader has raised some alarm and not just from the White House. In the Atlantic, David Frum, a Republican commentator who is a fierce critic of Mr Trump, called it a "constitutional crisis" .

"What the author has just done is throw the government of the United States into even more dangerous turmoil," he wrote. "He or she has enflamed the paranoia of the president and empowered the president's willfulness."

Twitter post by @BBCJonSopel
Jon Sopel @BBCJonSopel

So much puzzles me about Mr/Ms Anon in @ nytimes - if you really think best interests of state are served working covertly inside to thwart president, why blurt out what you're doing? Aren't you making @ realDonaldTrump case of a # DeepState ? Surely resign or keep schtum?

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

Does the so-called "Senior Administration Official" really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source? If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once! 2:54 AM - Sep 6, 2018

End of Twitter post by @BBCJonSopel

A former CIA director, John Brennan, who has been strongly critical of Mr Trump, called the article "active insubordination" although he said it was "born out of loyalty to the country".

... ... ...

[Sep 07, 2018] Left, Right, and Dead Center by Andrew Levine

Notable quotes:
"... When the center does fail to hold, it is usually in periods of political and perhaps also social upheaval. In those conditions, centrist parties, along with the constituencies they represent, often radicalize – generally merging into the side that wins the day. ..."
"... The jury is still out on how effective Trump's verbal assaults on the institutions that regulate global trade will be. No matter what Trump says, tweets, or thinks, those institutions were fashioned to work to America's advantage, and still generally do. Evidently, though, they do not conform well enough to his or his base's understanding of American "greatness"; thus they have become imperiled. ..."
"... It wasn't always so, but nowadays, almost without exception, Democrats occupy left or center positions on that spectrum; Republicans line up on its right. In a relational sense, the center is replete with Democrats; the left not so much. Centrist Republicans, long a vanishing breed, are, by now, as rare as snowstorms in July. ..."
"... In this respect, the United States is an exceptional case. There are few, if any, liberal democratic regimes in modern capitalist states in which notionally leftwing political forces have played such a negligible role. ..."
"... s was evident in the Clinton campaign's efforts to fight back the Sanders insurgency in 2016, it has forged robust political machines in the process. Their ability to mobilize voters on behalf of mainstream Democratic candidates has been disappointing however; what they have been mainly good at is tamping down radical dissent. ..."
"... Thus conditions are now in place for a revival of Left politics at the electoral level. This frightens the party's leaders. They and the pundits who serve them speak of unity. But is plain as can be that they are determined to quash whatever they cannot turn to their own advantage. Corporate media's role in this endeavor is crucial. They are already hard at work – pushing the all-too-familiar line that the way to win, especially in "red" states and districts, is to occupy the (relational) center. ..."
"... That center in today's Democratic Party is a dead center; it is where progressive impulses go to die. And, like a vampire on a mission, that dead center is gearing up for a fight – against those who would challenge the Democratic Party from the left. Witness the weeklong spectacle that accompanied the departure of John McCain from the land of the living. What a nauseating display of veneration for a man supremely unworthy, and of nostalgia for the good old (actually bad old) pre-Trump days! ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

When the center does fail to hold, it is usually in periods of political and perhaps also social upheaval. In those conditions, centrist parties, along with the constituencies they represent, often radicalize – generally merging into the side that wins the day.

Thus it is mainly in situations in which the regime itself is undergoing fundamental transformations that the center is depleted of its former occupants. In time, though, a new mainstream is constituted, and its center again becomes the point on the left/right continuum where the majority of positions and policies in play at the time cluster.

***

To everyone living through it, it feels as if the Trump presidency has turned the political scene topsy-turvy. This is what happens when there is an imbecilic president whose governing style is a low-grade imitation of a mob boss's.

The fact is, though, that the Trump presidency, destructive as it has been, has changed a good deal less than meets the eye. The foundations of the regime remain the same as before; fundamental neoliberal economic structures remain intact, and the perpetual war regime that went into overdrive after 9/11 continues to flourish.

The jury is still out on how effective Trump's verbal assaults on the institutions that regulate global trade will be. No matter what Trump says, tweets, or thinks, those institutions were fashioned to work to America's advantage, and still generally do. Evidently, though, they do not conform well enough to his or his base's understanding of American "greatness"; thus they have become imperiled.

What is disturbingly clear is that for all but the filthy rich, and especially for anyone not white as the driven snow, life in Trump's America has taken a turn for the worse.

Trump has been a godsend for "white nationalists," the current euphemism for nativists and racists. He has legitimated them and their views to an extent that no one would have imagined just a few years ago.

Also, to the detriment of the health and well being of the vast majority of Americans, Trump and his minions have done serious harm to America's feeble welfare state institutions.

And even this is not the main reason why there will be hell to pay when the next economic downturn happens, as it inevitably will, more likely sooner than later. By giving Wall Street free rein again, and by cutting taxes for the rich, depleting the treasury of financial resources that could be put to use in a crisis, Trump has all but guaranteed that most Americans will soon find themselves in straits as bad or worse than ten years ago.

Worst of all, by watering down or setting aside the weak but nevertheless indispensible environmental regulations in place before their arrival on the scene, Trump has hastened the day when the world will be hit with, and perhaps be undone by, grave, possibly irreparable, ecological catastrophes.

There are many other lesser harms for which, directly or indirectly, Trump is responsible. This is all serious stuff, but while they make life worse for many people and shift the political spectrum to the right, they do not shake the foundations of the regime in a way that puts the center in jeopardy -- at least not yet.

In short, what we are living through is not a Trumpian "revolution," not even in the "Reagan Revolution" sense, but a degeneration of much of what is worth preserving in the old regime. Trump didn't start the process, but he has come to dominate it, and his mindless and mean spirited antics accelerate it.

***

If "left," "right," and "center" are understood in relational terms, American politics plainly does have a left, right, and center. These designations overlay the deeply entrenched, semi-established duopoly party system that structures the American political scene.

It wasn't always so, but nowadays, almost without exception, Democrats occupy left or center positions on that spectrum; Republicans line up on its right. In a relational sense, the center is replete with Democrats; the left not so much. Centrist Republicans, long a vanishing breed, are, by now, as rare as snowstorms in July.

Understood notionally, where "left," "right," and "center" designate positions on an historically evolving, widely understood, ideal political spectrum, the situation is much the same, but with a major difference: there is hardly any left at all.

There have always been plenty of (notional) leftists in the United States, but there has never been much of an intersection between the left of the political spectrum, understood relationally, and anything resembling a notional Left.

In this respect, the United States is an exceptional case. There are few, if any, liberal democratic regimes in modern capitalist states in which notionally leftwing political forces have played such a negligible role.

This unfortunate state of affairs has become worse in recent decades under the aegis of (notionally) center-right Democrats like the Clintons and their co-thinkers. Thanks to them, the Democratic Party today is a (notionally) centrist party through and through.

They succeeded as well as they did partly because our party system stifles progressive politics more effectively than it is stifled in other ways in other liberal democracies.

The duopoly is still going strong, but, even so, times change. Largely thanks to Trump, there are now inklings of a notional Left in formation that stands a chance of avoiding marginalization.

Thus Democrats all along the (relational) spectrum now consider themselves embattled, challenged from the Left by anti-Trump militants. Many of the challengers come from under-represented, Democratic-leaning constituencies – the young, women, and "persons of color" – with traditionally low levels of political participation. In view of the abundant, well meaning but generally toothless "diversity" blather for which Democrats are notorious, this is delightfully ironic.

The challengers include African Americans, of course, but also people drawn from sectors of the population that Trump has targeted and demeaned with particular malice -- Hispanics and Muslims especially.

The Democratic Party has been actively courting – and colonizing – African American and other subaltern constituencies for a long time. A s was evident in the Clinton campaign's efforts to fight back the Sanders insurgency in 2016, it has forged robust political machines in the process. Their ability to mobilize voters on behalf of mainstream Democratic candidates has been disappointing however; what they have been mainly good at is tamping down radical dissent.

But because race and ethnicity intersect with age and gender – and because, in the final analysis, "it's the politics, stupid" -- many of the African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims and others now being drawn into the electoral fold will likely not be as amenable to being coopted by Democratic Party grandees as persons who "look like them" have been in the past. The danger of cooptation remains formidable, but it is almost certainly surmountable if the will to resist the pressure is strong.

Thus conditions are now in place for a revival of Left politics at the electoral level. This frightens the party's leaders. They and the pundits who serve them speak of unity. But is plain as can be that they are determined to quash whatever they cannot turn to their own advantage. Corporate media's role in this endeavor is crucial. They are already hard at work – pushing the all-too-familiar line that the way to win, especially in "red" states and districts, is to occupy the (relational) center.

In this context, "red," of course, doesn't mean red; it means almost the opposite, Republican. Only in America!

... ... ...

What passes for a "resistance" in liberal or "democratic socialist" circles nowadays is a pale approximation of the genuine article. This is not just because the spirit of rebellion has been bred out of us or because of any failure of imagination; it is because in the circumstances that currently obtain, resistance, like "revolution," even in the anodyne "Our Revolution" sense, just isn't on the agenda.

But there is something now that can and should be resisted by any and all appropriate means – the illusion that the way to defeat Trump and Trumpism and, more generally, to advance progressive causes, is to tack to the relational center.

That center in today's Democratic Party is a dead center; it is where progressive impulses go to die. And, like a vampire on a mission, that dead center is gearing up for a fight – against those who would challenge the Democratic Party from the left. Witness the weeklong spectacle that accompanied the departure of John McCain from the land of the living. What a nauseating display of veneration for a man supremely unworthy, and of nostalgia for the good old (actually bad old) pre-Trump days!

How pathetic! The whole country's, not just the Democratic Party's, left, right, and center – minus Donald Trump, of course -- heaping praise on a Navy pilot who, heeding McCain family traditions and the call of Lyndon Johnson, killed a lot of Vietnamese peasants for no defensible reason, before becoming a "hero" after the Vietnamese shot his plane down, and who, after repatriation, embarked on a legislative career in which, despite a few "maverick" exceptions, he promoted every retrograde Republican cause that arose, war mongered vociferously at every opportunity, and did all he could, even before Hillary Clinton took a notion, to get the Cold War revved up again.

They were all there, every rotten one of them -- from Barack Obama and Joe Biden and, their brother-in-arms, George W. Bush, the man who, but for Trump, could now boast of being the worst president in modern times, all the way to the decrepit Henry Kissinger, the never to be indicted war criminal whom liberals have learned to stop loathing and to call upon for advice instead.

Even that malevolent airhead couple Jarvanka showed up, invited, it seems, by Senator Lindsey Graham, McCain's hapless sidekick. This was no popular front. It was a festival of the dead Center, a blight on the political landscape, and, with Trump sucking up all the air, a harbinger of things to come.

Resist that!

[Sep 07, 2018] Bernie Sanders Introduces 'Stop BEZOS' Bill To Tax Amazon For Underpaying Workers

Notable quotes:
"... Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | yro.slashdot.org

(theverge.com) Sanders' Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act (abbreviated "Stop BEZOS") -- along with Khanna's House of Representatives counterpart, the Corporate Responsibility and Taxpayer Protection Act -- would institute a 100 percent tax on government benefits that are granted to workers at large companies . The bill's text characterizes this as a "corporate welfare tax," and it would apply to corporations with 500 or more employees. If workers are receiving government aid through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), national school lunch and breakfast programs, Section 8 housing subsidies, or Medicaid, employers will be taxed for the total cost of those benefits. The bill applies to full-time and part-time employees, as well as independent contractors that are de facto company employees.

[Sep 07, 2018] Elizabeth Warren Calls For Use Of 25th Amendment To Remove Trump by Lydia O'Connor

This Senator supported Hillary Clinton...
Sep 07, 2018 | www.huffingtonpost.com

Trump officials need to do more than "take documents off his desk, write anonymous op-eds," the senator told CNN.

It's time we invoke the Constitution to remove President Donald Trump from office, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said Thursday.

[Sep 07, 2018] Is Trump Truly 'Insane'

Notable quotes:
"... No doctor that has examined him says he is insane. All that's presented are third-party anonymous accusations of incompetence shot through with gossip. A book written by a Hollywood trash reporter is otherwise held up as critical evidence of the inner workings of the president's mind. ..."
"... We might instead look at the actual decisions Trump has made, and those of his predecessors. One president used nuclear weapons to decimate two cities' worth of innocents , and a set of presidents squandered hundreds of thousands of American lives washing Vietnam with blood. Ronald Reagan was famously caught on an open mic saying he was going to start bombing the Soviet Union in the next few minutes. Another president spread false information about WMDs to launch an invasion of Iraq and mocked North Korea's leader as a pygmy. Obama said he "will not hesitate to use our military might" against the North, knowing that meant Armageddon. Historical psychiatrists say half of our past presidents may have suffered from some sort of mental illness. If Trump is dangerous as president, he would seem to have company. ..."
"... In the minds of the "Trump is Insane" crowd what matters most is that never-used fourth subsection, the incapacitation clause. People claim because Trump is insane he is unable to carry out his duties, and so Mike Pence, et al, must step in and transfer power away from him. Trump would legally exist in the same status as Grandpa Simpson in the nursing home, and Pence would take over. Among other problems, this imagines that the 25th Amendment's legally specific term "unable" means the same thing as "unfit." An unconscious man is unable to drive. A man who forgot his glasses is unfit, but still able, to drive. The 25th Amendment only refers to the first case. ..."
Jan 28, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The media chatterati seems to be of one mind: Donald Trump is mentally incompetent and may have to be removed from office before he blows us all to hell.

They say so on Vox , the New York Review of Books , CNN , The Intercept , CNBC , The Nation , Bill Moyers , Salon , and the New York Times . A new book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President , concludes that "Trump's mental state presents a clear and present danger to our nation and individual well-being."

http://www.youtube.com/embed/3OfV-VXyQdo?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

The solution, to their minds, lies in the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which creates a mechanism outside of impeachment to remove an "incapacitated" president. Trump's mental state, some believe, qualifies him. Is there a case?

Dr. Bandy Lee , one of the editors of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump , says yes. Her evidence includes tweets that Trump sent threatening Kim Jong-un. She really has no other ammunition: no doctor who says Trump is insane, including Lee, has examined him. No doctor that has examined him says he is insane. All that's presented are third-party anonymous accusations of incompetence shot through with gossip. A book written by a Hollywood trash reporter is otherwise held up as critical evidence of the inner workings of the president's mind.

So is there a case without the tweets? Not really. Lee adds that while Trump has not committed violent acts against himself or others, his "verbal aggressiveness, history of boasting about sexual assault, history of inciting violence at his rallies, and history of endorsing violence in his key public speeches are the best predictors of future violence," and thus concludes he will destroy the world. Lee also weakly points to Trump "being drawn to violent videos." Oh my.

We might instead look at the actual decisions Trump has made, and those of his predecessors. One president used nuclear weapons to decimate two cities' worth of innocents , and a set of presidents squandered hundreds of thousands of American lives washing Vietnam with blood. Ronald Reagan was famously caught on an open mic saying he was going to start bombing the Soviet Union in the next few minutes. Another president spread false information about WMDs to launch an invasion of Iraq and mocked North Korea's leader as a pygmy. Obama said he "will not hesitate to use our military might" against the North, knowing that meant Armageddon. Historical psychiatrists say half of our past presidents may have suffered from some sort of mental illness. If Trump is dangerous as president, he would seem to have company.

But how can we know? Trump will never voluntarily undergo a mental competency exam, though courts can order people to submit. But even Lee, who met with congressional representatives to press the case that Trump is insane, admits this is unlikely to happen. "Many lawyer groups have actually volunteered to file for a court paper to ensure that the security staff will cooperate with us," Lee said . "But we have declined, since this will really look like a coup, and while we are trying to prevent violence, we don't wish to incite it through, say, an insurrection."

Still, those arguing Trump is insane and must be removed from office will point to the 25th Amendment as just what the doctor ordered.

The framers did not originally include rules for what happens if a president dies or becomes incapacitated. It was just assumed the vice president would serve as "Acting President." The 25th Amendment, passed after the Kennedy assassination , created the first set of protocols for this sort of situation.

The amendment has four short subsections. If the presidency goes vacant (for example, after a fatal heart attack), the vice president becomes president. If the vice presidency goes vacant, the president chooses a new VP. If the president knows he'll be incapacitated (due to scheduled surgery, for example), he can voluntarily and temporarily assign his duties to the vice president. If the president is truly incapacitated (unconscious after an assassination attempt) and can't voluntarily assign away his duties, the VP and cabinet can do it for him, with a two-thirds majority confirming vote of the House and Senate.

In the minds of the "Trump is Insane" crowd what matters most is that never-used fourth subsection, the incapacitation clause. People claim because Trump is insane he is unable to carry out his duties, and so Mike Pence, et al, must step in and transfer power away from him. Trump would legally exist in the same status as Grandpa Simpson in the nursing home, and Pence would take over. Among other problems, this imagines that the 25th Amendment's legally specific term "unable" means the same thing as "unfit." An unconscious man is unable to drive. A man who forgot his glasses is unfit, but still able, to drive. The 25th Amendment only refers to the first case.

The use of the 25th Amendment to dethrone Trump is the kind of thing non-experts with too much Google time can convince themselves is true. But unlike much of the Constitution, where understanding original intent requires the Supreme Court and a close reading of the Federalist Papers, the 25th Amendment is modern legislation. We know the drafters' intent was an administrative procedure, not a political thunderbolt. The 25th Amendment premises that the president will almost always invoke succession himself, either by dying in office or by anticipating that he will be unable to discharge his duties, as in 2007 when George W. Bush went under anesthesia for his annual colonoscopy and signed things over to his vice president for a few hours.

The reason the 25th Amendment is not intended to be used adversarially is the Constitution already specifies impeachment as the way to force an unfit president out against his will, his unfitness specifically a result of "high crimes and misdemeanors." The people who wrote the 25th Amendment did not intend it to be an alternate method of impeachment or a do-over for an election.

The Constitution at its core grants ultimate power to the people to decide, deliberately, not in panic, every four years, who is president. Anything otherwise would mean the drafters of the 25th Amendment wrote a backdoor into the Constitution that would allow a group of government officials, many of whom in the Cabinet were elected by nobody, to overthrow an elected president who they simply think has turned out to be bad at his job.

Accusations of mental illness are subjective, unprovable in this case, and alarmist -- perfect fodder to displace the grinding technicalities of Russiagate. Denouncing one's political opponents as crazy was a tried-and-true Soviet and Maoist tactic, and a movie trope where the youngsters try to get the patriarch shut away to grab his fortune. We fear the mentally ill, and psychiatric name calling against Trump invokes that fear . "The 25th Amendment would require, for mental incapacity, a major psychotic break," said one former Harvard Law School professor. "This is hope over reality. If we don't like someone's politics we rail against him, we campaign against him, we don't use the psychiatric system against him. That's just dangerous."

Trump's time in office is finite, but what happens around him will outlast his tenure. It is dangerous to mess with the very fundamentals of our democracy, where the people choose the president and then replace him with a cabal called into session by pop psychologists. This is an attack on the process at its roots: you yokels voted for the wrong guy so somebody smarter has to clean up.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People and Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan. Follow him on Twitter @WeMeantWell.


Brunchify January 25, 2018 at 10:47 pm

Yes, the concerns about Trump are all political, nothing at all do with concerns about his mental state as he said himself he is a Very Stable Genius.

Very Stable Genius

Very Stable Genius

Very Stable Genius

Very Stable Genius

Alex (the one that likes Ike) , says: January 26, 2018 at 12:15 am
Brunchify,

Judging by the fact that he's still the only president after the end of the Cold War who hasn't yet dragged the country into any new costly and unnecessary war, it indeed must be that either he's a genius or his predecessors are mentally challenged. Your choice.

EliteCommInc. , says: January 26, 2018 at 12:20 am
" . . . and a set of presidents squandered hundreds of thousands of American lives washing Vietnam with blood."

Total US losses in the Vietnam War/conflict: 58,300

It is sad that plans were made to remove the Pres. even before he was elected. It has been the use of a special prosecutor has certainly been a factor
in damaging our republics democracy.

b , says: January 26, 2018 at 2:32 am
I remember hearing a reporter comment upon Obama and Bush meeting on inauguration day that the "Peaceful transition of power is what makes our Democracy great." Now 8 years later those same people are saying we need to oust the Democratically elected candidate. The danger here is not against the offices of our government but against the press itself. As the media continues down this path they paint themselves as lunatics, hypocrites and partisans. I think our institutions will survive this and much worse. But I don't think the media as we know it will. Trust is at an all time low in most all of the media outlets. The question that needs to be asked is will our Democracy survive the death of the press and what if anything will replace what used to be called investigative and informative journalism?
Fran Macadam , says: January 26, 2018 at 4:14 am
There's a NeverTrump and Resistance checklist that's being worked through, and this was the next gambit if Russiagate failed, which was the gambit if the Electoral College revolt didn't work The next in line will be something along the arc of a politicized MeToo They're making a list, and they're checking it twice
Fran Macadam , says: January 26, 2018 at 4:15 am
There's a NeverTrump and Resistance checklist that's predictably being worked through, and this was the next gambit if Russiagate failed, which was the gambit if the Electoral College revolt didn't work The next in line will be something along the arc of a politicized MeToo They're making a list, and they're checking it twice
connecticut farmer , says: January 26, 2018 at 9:04 am
Reading this only serves as a reminder that the ones whom we really need to fear are the masses of the great Unwashed Elite (Vox, CNN, etc.), not Trump.
Elizabeth , says: January 26, 2018 at 9:44 am
Slightly off topic, but "the youngsters try to get the patriarch shut away to grab his fortune" is, sadly, no movie trope; my family is living it right now. Trying to right this outrageous wrong on behalf of the forcibly shut-away patriarch is costing us non-grabby siblings tens of thousands of dollars in legal and court fees. Justice has a crippling price in modern America and those who can't pay don't get much justice.
John Gruskos , says: January 26, 2018 at 9:49 am
In East Germany, Stasi leader Markus Wolfe took things a step further with the "zersetzung" tactic.

The idea was to *induce* a "personal crisis" through clandestine harassment, including at the hands of acquaintances secretly recruited by the Stasi.

In other words, while the Frankfort School was content to merely *label* their opponents mentally ill ("Authoritarian Personality", "Paranoid Style", etc.), Markus Wolfe was actively trying to cause *real* mental illness by relentlessly gaslighting selected individual dissidents until they cracked.

How many centuries will it take for the reputation of the mental health profession to recover from their association with various repressive left-wing regimes and pseudo-scientists such as the Freudians and the Frankfurt School?

Dan Green , says: January 26, 2018 at 10:00 am
HRC warned us of all the dumb white male deplorable's , as being a major threat. Wonder where the pop psychologist have these Americans slotted, possibly not allowed to vote ?
Allen , says: January 26, 2018 at 10:42 am
What's insane is that a married FBI agent and an FBI lawyer hooked up and conspired to bring down a President, yet both still work for the FBI! That's really insane.

Trump? He's just grumpy.

mrscracker , says: January 26, 2018 at 11:17 am
It's just silliness re. Mr Trump. He's perfectly sane.
We had a former governor- whom I actually admire- but his behavior was authentically erratic. If Pres. Trump ever acts even half this way, then we should take a serious look at his mental health 🙂 :

" Long spent ninety minutes ranting and lashing out against his opponents. Spotting Rainach in the crowd, Long launched into the salacious details of the murder of Rainach's uncle, killed by a black man who had caught him in bed with the man's wife. In one of Long's most famous remarks, he told the crowd, "After all this is over [Rainach will] probably go up there to Summerfield, get up on his front porch, take off his shoes, wash his feet, look at the moon, and get close to God." Pointing and shouting at Rainach, he continued, "And when you do, you got to recognize that n**gers is human beings!" When he concluded his tirade, Earl was rushed to the governor's mansion and locked in a bedroom where he grew violent. At one point, he stood in the smashed bedroom window shouting, "Murder!"

Concerned about his mental health, Long's family had him institutionalized in Texas before transferring him to the Louisiana State Hospital in Mandeville. With the assistance of his subordinates, however, Long won release from the asylum, firing the director in the process, and proceeded on an interstate buying spree trailed by national press agents. Many have speculated on the cause of Long's apparent breakdown, with at least one biographer convinced the politician suffered from bipolar disorder. Others speculate that Long's all-night escapades in New Orleans, including dalliances with dancer Blaze Starr, coupled with the regular ingestion of large amounts of alcohol and the powerful stimulants Dexedrine undermined Long's perception of reality. Regardless of the cause, it was clear to many, including the national press, that Long needed an extended vacation."

http://www.knowlouisiana.org/entry/earl-long-2

BobS , says: January 26, 2018 at 12:07 pm
Trrump's as sane as any other 71 year old man-baby.
Nelson , says: January 26, 2018 at 1:49 pm
If one day Trump wakes up and decides it's a good day to launch nuclear missiles at some country because their leader said disparaging remarks against him, then the 25th should be invoked. But not before then.
JK , says: January 26, 2018 at 4:14 pm
One of the hallmarks of mental illness is that a person's personality or behavior change and people close to them that love them are most alarmed by it and want them to get treated. None of this holds in Trump's case. His behavior is the same as it's always been, which is what people voted on. And the ones trying to use it are his enemies which don't care about treatment, but simply as a machination to depose him.
Susan Dawkins , says: January 26, 2018 at 4:44 pm
The author has made several errors. He assumes that discussing the possibility of a psychiatric disorder making Trump unfit means proving insanity. In reality, the most likely disorder does not meet the legal definition of insanity, but does make a person incapable of competently or faithfully performing the duties of office.

The suggestion that this is some type of superficial soviet style political maneuver ignores the fact that good diagnosis is done nowadays based to a large extent on observed behavior, history, and the reports of third parties. This is especially important when the individual shows signs of being a pathological liar. In these cases, information gained in a face-to-face interview may be virtually useless.

The condition that Mr. Trump should be assessed for is Antisocial Personality Disorder with Psychopathic Features. (Alternative PDOs in DSM-5, pg. 761-765 Some of the signs and symptoms which make such a person unfit for office include-
 Dishonesty and fraudulence
 Embellishment or fabrication when relating events
 Anger or irritability in response to minor slights and insults
 Mean, nasty, or vengeful behavior
 Boredom proneness and thoughtless initiation of activities to counter boredom
 Lack of concern for one's limitations
 Acting on the spur of the moment in response to immediate stimuli
 Acting on a momentary basis without a plan or consideration of outcomes
 Disregard for -- and failure to honor­–financial and other obligations or commitments

No one imagined that someone with this possible disorder would ever make it to the White House, however, the 25th Amendment provides an avenue for him to temporarily be removed from power while he can undergo proper evaluation by military psychiatrists and neurologists. This is all mental health professionals are requesting. These individuals can do tremendous damage when give power over others.

karsten , says: January 26, 2018 at 8:56 pm
"The condition that Mr. Trump should be assessed for is Antisocial Personality Disorder with Psychopathic Features. (Alternative PDOs in DSM-5, pg. 761-765 Some of the signs and symptoms which make such a person unfit for office include-
 Dishonesty and fraudulence
 Embellishment or fabrication when relating events
 Anger or irritability in response to minor slights and insults
 Mean, nasty, or vengeful behavior
 Boredom proneness and thoughtless initiation of activities to counter boredom
 Lack of concern for one's limitations
 Acting on the spur of the moment in response to immediate stimuli
 Acting on a momentary basis without a plan or consideration of outcomes
 Disregard for -- and failure to honor­–financial and other obligations or commitments "

An Orwellian comment like the above just proves the point of the article, and then some. As if there isn't anyone in the world who couldn't be shoehorned to fit such a diagnoses, with a crafty narrative reconfiguring of their actions.

If there are indeed any witch doctors (excuse me, "psychiatrists") pathologizing people on the basis of a laughable list like the above, then I consider them to be far more undeserving of the power they have, and far more toxic to society, than Trump in any of the actions or utterances that he has made.

Peter Van Buren , says: January 26, 2018 at 9:04 pm
Susan Dawkins, who claims my article has mistakes, didn't read it. Her amateur diagnosis that Trump has "Antisocial Personality Disorder with Psychopathic Features" does not make him UNABLE to be president, which is what the 25th Amendment is for.

She claims he is UNFIT. Fitness is judged primarily by the people, who elected him. If a president somehow becomes unfit while in office it must be because of "high crimes and misdemeanors." That's the only reason the Constitution provides for. And impeachment is the only answer.

Sorry kiddies, the 25th is a not-over for an election Rachael Maddow doesn't like.

karsten , says: January 26, 2018 at 9:07 pm
This is all mental health professionals are requesting."

"All"? That's rich.

Indeed, is that all that they're requesting? My goodness -- what a modest request! -- a request merely to have complete veto power over America's entire citizenry, in terms of who is allowed to be President; a request merely to be able to remove any President who is not to their liking.

In short, a mere request to be able to legally perform a coup d'etat at will, to overturn any election that does not yield their desired result.

How gratified we all should be that their request for power is such a small one. Imagine if they asked for something just a bit more ambitious. "Omnipotence" comes to mind.

Dale , says: January 26, 2018 at 9:38 pm
Trump is the one who messes with the very fundamentals of our democracy. Remember his voting commission and the crap they wanted? Force states to provide all the 2016 voter information to his CosaNostra buddies. And remember when they wanted all Americans to fill out a registration form similar to the one used when purchasing a gun? They said they wanted to make sure only those qualified were on the voter registration lists.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) , says: January 26, 2018 at 10:31 pm
Bob S,

Trrump's as sane as any other 71 year old man-baby.

Obviously saner and infinitely more mature than a 70 year old woman-baby, who wrecked a havoc all over the Middle East, was laughing like a bloodthirsty child when watching an old man's violent death in the hands of a barbaric crowd as one of the results of that havoc and then, out of a sheer infantile negligence, caused an American ambassadors similarly violent death in the hands of likely the same crowd as another result of the same havoc.

***

Susan Dawkins,

So, you claim that something that something that doesn't meet the legal definition of insanity is somehow a basis to invoke a legal mechanism that would require someone to be legally defined as insane ? How pathetic. Do you know that this mere writing of yours can be a sign of at least three mental disorders, assuming it was written in good faith and not as an umpteenth attempt of a comically maladroit political hackery? Note that I have certain knowledge in psychiatry and can highlight the signs of these disorders step by step, not by hysterical shrilling "I'm an MD, you philistines", which can be a sign of yet another mental disorder.

Though the most comical part of your hackery is that every point of your list meant to "describe" Trump perfectly fits Hillary Clinton. You should try better. Seriously. You have just shown that your knowledge of psychiatry is abysmal, no matter the degrees you might have.

Furor , says: January 27, 2018 at 5:39 am
Ultimately to the leftists everybody is mentally ill because they don't understand the necessities of history and they don't possess "secret" knowledge.
B , says: January 27, 2018 at 11:36 am
Susan Dawkins, that list of symptoms reminds me of most all of the people that run for political office or spend a majority of their lives up on the hill. I immediately thought of several people on both the left and the right. Let's see how HIllary does:

1&2: embellished/lied in saying she was personally shot at by a sniper in Bosnia? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1582795/Hillary-Clintons-Bosnia-sniper-story-exposed.html . Might I add that she said this while other Americans were on battlefields half a world away actually getting shot at.
3&4: Calling American Citizens deplorable 5&6&8: Voted for Iraq, pushed for action in Libya.
Hmm, I guess there is a reason voters didn't pick her.

Sid_finster , says: January 27, 2018 at 2:27 pm
Lordy, how naive.

What matters in this narrative is not law, not ethics or sanity, not anything else but power.

If those who want Trump removed will have the power to do so, they will do so. Whatever law is invoked will merely be an excuse, a cover story, if you will.

cylindrical crown , says: January 27, 2018 at 2:29 pm
Question: How many anti-Trump psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?

Answer: Only one. But the psychiatrist will take a very long time, and believes the light bulb has to want to change.

Mia , says: January 27, 2018 at 3:51 pm
"The suggestion that this is some type of superficial soviet style political maneuver ignores the fact that good diagnosis is done nowadays based to a large extent on observed behavior, history, and the reports of third parties. This is especially important when the individual shows signs of being a pathological liar. In these cases, information gained in a face-to-face interview may be virtually useless."

So what happens when the third parties or the psychiatrist in question are pathological liars? Would a face-to-face interview help in that case?

[Sep 07, 2018] Are We Being Played by Caitlin Johnstone

Looks like this Iago-style false flag operation by NYT: the anonymous author does not exists and the the plot is to saw discord and mutual suspicion
Notable quotes:
"... The more I study US politics, the less useful I find it to think of it in political terms. The two-headed one party system exists to give Americans the illusion of choice while advancing the agendas of the plutocratic class which owns and operates both parties, yes, but even more importantly it's a mechanism of narrative control. ..."
"... If you belonged to a ruling class, obviously your goal would be to ensure your subjects' continued support for you. In a corporatist oligarchy, the rulers are secret and the subjects don't know they're ruled, and power is held in place with manipulation and with money. As such a ruler your goal would be to find a way to manipulate the masses into supporting your agendas, and, since people are different, you'd need to use different narratives to manipulate them. You'd have to divide them, tell them different stories, turn them against each other, play them off one another, suck them in to the tales you are spinning with the theater of enmity and heroism. ..."
"... As a result of the New York Times op-ed, if this administration engages in yet another of its many, many establishment capitulations (let's say by attacking the Syrian government again ), Trump's supporters won't see it as his fault; it will be blamed on the deep state insiders in his administration who have been working to thwart his agendas of peace and harmony. ..."
"... Would a billionaire WWE Hall of Famer and United States President understand the theater of staged conflict for the advancement of plutocratic interests, and willingly participate in it? I'm going to say probably. ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

If any evidence existed to be found that Donald Trump had illegally colluded with the Russian government to rig the 2016 presidential election, that evidence would have been picked up by the sprawling surveillance networks of the US and its allies and leaked to the Washington Post before Obama left office.

Russiagate is like a mirage. From a distance it looks like a solid, tangible thing, but when you actually move in to examine it critically you find nothing but gaping plot holes, insinuation, innuendo, conflicting narratives, bizarre mental contortions to avoid acknowledging contradictory information, a few arrests for corruption and process crimes, and a lot of hot air. The whole thing has been held together by nothing but the confident-sounding assertions of pundits and politicians and sheer, mindless repetition. And, as we approach the two year mark since this president's election, we have not seen one iota of movement toward removing him from office. The whole thing's a lie, and the smart movers and shakers behind it are aware that it is a lie.

And yet they keep beating on it. Day after day after day after day it's been Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia. Instead of attacking this president for his many, many real problems in a way that will do actual damage, they attack this fake blow-up doll standing next to him in a way that never goes anywhere and never will, like a pro wrestler theatrically stomping on the canvass next to his downed foe.

What's up with that?

... ... ....

As you doubtless already know by now, the New York Times has made the wildly controversial decision to publish an anonymous op-ed reportedly authored by "a senior official in the Trump administration." The op-ed's author claims to be part of a secret coalition of patriots who dislike Trump and are "working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations." These "worst inclinations" according to the author include trying to make peace with Moscow and Pyongyang, being rude to longtime US allies, saying mean things about the media, being "anti-trade", and being "erratic". The possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment is briefly mentioned but dismissed. The final paragraphs are spent gushing about John McCain for no apparent reason.

I strongly encourage you to read the piece in its entirety, because for all the talk and drama it's generating, it doesn't actually make any sense. While you are reading it, I encourage you to keep the following question in mind: what could anyone possibly gain by authoring this and giving it to the New York Times ?

Seriously, what could be gained? The op-ed says essentially nothing, other than to tell readers to relax and trust in anonymous administration insiders who are working against the bad guys on behalf of the people (which is interestingly the exact same message of the right-wing 8chan conspiracy phenomenon QAnon, just with the white hats and black hats reversed). Why would any senior official risk everything to publish something so utterly pointless? Why risk getting fired (or risk losing all political currency in the party if NYTAnon is Mike Pence, as has been theorized ) just to communicate something to the public that doesn't change or accomplish anything? Why publicly announce your undercover conspiracy to undermine the president in a major news outlet at all?

What are the results of this viral op-ed everyone's talking about? So far it's a bunch of Democratic partisans making a lot of excited whooping noises, and Trump loyalists feeling completely vindicated in the belief that all of their conspiracy theories have been proven correct. Many rank-and-file Trump haters are feeling a little more relaxed and complacent knowing that there are a bunch of McCain-loving "adults in the room" taking care of everything, and many rank-and-file Trump supporters are more convinced than ever that Donald Trump is a brave populist hero leading a covert 4-D chess insurgency against the Deep State. In other words, everyone's been herded into their respective partisan stables and trusting the narratives that they are being fed there.

And, well, I just think that's odd.

Did you know that Donald Trump is in the WWE Hall of Fame ? He was inducted in 2013, and he's been enthusiastically involved in pro wrestling for many years, both as a fan and as a performer . He's made more of a study on how to draw a crowd in to the theatrics of a choreographed fight scene than anyone this side of the McMahon family (a member of whom happens to be part of the Trump administration currently).

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZBl6cL9GYs0

You don't have to get into any deep conspiratorial rabbit hole to consider the possibility that all this drama and conflict is staged from top to bottom. Commentators on all sides routinely crack jokes about how the mainstream media pretends to attack Trump but secretly loves him because he brings them amazing ratings. Anyone with their eyes even part way open already knows that America's two mainstream parties feign intense hatred for one another while working together to pace their respective bases into accepting more and more neoliberal exploitation at home and more and more neoconservative bloodshed abroad. They spit and snarl and shake their fists at each other, then cuddle up and share candy when it's time for a public gathering. Why should this administration be any different?

I believe that a senior Trump administration official probably did write that anonymous op-ed. I do not believe that they were moved to write it out of compassion for the poor Americans who are feeling emotionally stressed about the president. I believe it was written and published for the same reason many other things are written and published in mainstream media: because we are all being played.

The more I study US politics, the less useful I find it to think of it in political terms. The two-headed one party system exists to give Americans the illusion of choice while advancing the agendas of the plutocratic class which owns and operates both parties, yes, but even more importantly it's a mechanism of narrative control. If you can separate the masses into two groups based on extremely broad ideological characteristics, you can then funnel streamlined "us vs them" narratives into each of the two stables, with the white hats and black hats reversed in each case. Now you've got Republicans cheering for the president and Democrats cheering for the CIA, for the FBI, and now for a platoon of covert John McCains alleged to be operating on the inside of Trump's own administration. Everyone's cheering for one aspect of the US power establishment or another.

Whom does this dynamic serve? Not you.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Yw0qkvvSE7s

If you belonged to a ruling class, obviously your goal would be to ensure your subjects' continued support for you. In a corporatist oligarchy, the rulers are secret and the subjects don't know they're ruled, and power is held in place with manipulation and with money. As such a ruler your goal would be to find a way to manipulate the masses into supporting your agendas, and, since people are different, you'd need to use different narratives to manipulate them. You'd have to divide them, tell them different stories, turn them against each other, play them off one another, suck them in to the tales you are spinning with the theater of enmity and heroism.

As a result of the New York Times op-ed, if this administration engages in yet another of its many, many establishment capitulations (let's say by attacking the Syrian government again ), Trump's supporters won't see it as his fault; it will be blamed on the deep state insiders in his administration who have been working to thwart his agendas of peace and harmony. Meanwhile those who see Trump as a heel won't experience any cognitive dissonance if any of the establishment agendas they support are carried out, because they can give the credit to the secret hero squad in the White House.

Would a billionaire WWE Hall of Famer and United States President understand the theater of staged conflict for the advancement of plutocratic interests, and willingly participate in it? I'm going to say probably.

* * *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , checking out my podcast , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , or buying my book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers .

[Sep 07, 2018] Guardian cheerleading of the NYT "resistance" op-ed by Richard Wolffe

What is interesting is that Wolffe links the op-ed and publishing Bob Woodward's latest book: "Woodward has cornered the panicked Trump rats into screeching about all the ways they prevented World War Three , or a massive trade war, by ignoring the ranting boss or snatching papers off his desk."
Notable quotes:
"... Nothing proved, unnamed sources, claims about this, claims about that. Until someone is prepared to step forward and reveal themselves this is a non story. Still, it gives the Trump haters comfort. ..."
"... Personally, I am not surprised or impressed by this White House insider's account. Nothing he or she has said should be a real revelation to anyone who has cast a critical eye on the Trump presidency. And whoever it is, this person is so enamored with tax cuts, deregulation, ramping up military spending and the usual Republican horse shit that he or she does not seem prepared to risk further discrediting the administration by identifying him/herself and resigning publicly. ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

The madness is pouring out of the White House now, for all to see Richard Wolffe

... ... ...

If you really believe your boss is a threat to the constitution which you've taken an oath to protect, perhaps you should consider quitting or going public. As in: going on Capitol Hill to hold a press conference to urge impeachment.

In this regard, and only in this regard, our anonymous whistleblower has handed the crazy boss a degree of righteous indignation.

"If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist," tweeted the madman in the attic, "the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!"

Donald, we feel your pain, albeit briefly. Your internal enemies are indeed gutless, and if you feel better putting that in ALL CAPS, that's fine. Let it out.

But that bit about turning people over to you for national security reasons is kind of the point here. If you'll allow us to summarize the GUTLESS person's arguments: you are fundamentally a threat to democracy and national security yourself. You are indeed, as your lawyers have pointed out repeatedly, your own worst witness.

This much we know from this week's other bombshell in the shape of Bob Woodward's latest book. Woodward has cornered the panicked Trump rats into screeching about all the ways they prevented World War Three , or a massive trade war, by ignoring the ranting boss or snatching papers off his desk.

... ... ...

Mr or Ms GUTLESS describes Trump's decisions as "half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless", while chief of staff John Kelly says Trump is "an idiot" living in a place called "Crazytown". This revelation led to the priceless statement from Kelly where he had to deny calling the president an idiot.

Somewhere in Texas, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson is swirling a glass of bourbon muttering that he lost his job for calling Trump a moron.

Second, Trump's staffers are enabling the very horrors they claim to hate, while grandiosely pretending to be doing the opposite.

Mr or Ms GUTLESS says there were "early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th amendment" in what he imagines is a clear sign they can distinguish reality from reality TV.

Ladies and gentlemen of the Trump cabinet: please know that you will not be accepted into the next edition of Profiles in Courage for your early whispers. If you truly believe the president is incapacitated, you should perhaps consider raising your voice to at least conversational level, if you're not inclined to bellow from the mountaintops. Library rules are inoperative at this point.

Given the weight of evidence, even the most diehard Trump defenders are now conceding the obvious, by signing up to the GUTLESS gang's self-promotion. Brit Hume, a Fox News veteran, let the cat out of the bag when he tweeted that it was a "good thing" they were restraining Trump "from his most reckless impulses".

This is how the pirate ship Trump eventually sinks to the ocean's floor. You can fool some of Fox News's viewers all of the time, and you can fool all of them some of the time.

But no fool wants to drown with the captain we all know is plain crazy.

Richard Wolffe is a Guardian US columnist

MoonlightTiger -> MoonlightTiger , 6 Sep 2018 10:02

It's someone high up that makes policy decisions, brags about everything they have done to help America despite Cheetos interfering. Why now? Pence wants it known that he is running the government not useless trump whom has passed nothing. Pence will come out as the author when Don is removed from office. Which could be nearing since this OPED is likely to expose him. Maybe he planned it that way.

Brutus is close now.

Carl123 -> MuttPretty , 6 Sep 2018 10:00

What's most remarkable to me is how closely the Michael Wolff's White House, Omarosa's White House, Bob Woodward's Whitehouse, and Anonymous Staffer's White House reflect each other.

Clearly a massive conspiracy. And one which Trump is helpfully participating in by constantly saying and doing stuff which accords with the pictures they're all painting.

MuttPretty , 6 Sep 2018 09:58
What's most remarkable to me is how closely the Michael Wolff's White House, Omarosa's White House, Bob Woodward's Whitehouse, and Anonymous Staffer's White House reflect each other. All these sources come together to display a rather coherent image of a chaotic White House led by a man who's not bright enough to realize he's in over his head.
Alun Jones , 6 Sep 2018 09:53
The New York Times attack piece was anonymous. It is therefore completely unverifiable and could have been written by anyone, including any of the politically biased NYT editorial team, or by Bob Woodward to publicize his new book. It's junk news.
OrangeLagoon -> JozzaBoy , 6 Sep 2018 09:49
I'm firmly convinced that when it's all said and done we'll be able to represent his presidency as an MMO boss fight. This is the bit where everyone concentrates fire on the glowy spot until the enrage mechanic kicks in. In fact it looks like the mad flailing has started and now everyone will try not to stand in the AoE as they DPS him down.
moranet , 6 Sep 2018 09:43
Mussolini was in power for twenty years before his functionaries deposed him to keep the regime intact while removing its newly-a-liability head. Mussolini was the legal (if abhorrent) premier of a coalition government in a liberal-democratic (both words with a pinch of salt) regime for his first two years, until winning a parliamentary majority of his own; indeed, after the leader of the Socialist Party was killed by his supporters, his coalition partners almost pulled out of government: that's not a totalitarian dictatorship, but what was then called "pre-fascism", and today we'd call it an 'illiberal democracy'. The dictatorship was informal (result of a supportive majority) until the constitional reform of 1928 - five years into his government.

Thinking that all will turn out fine because American democracy is under strain but generally intact, is a dangerous complacency. All interwar autocrats went through a transition of first governing under the old constitution, slowly undermining opposition, then installing a new organic law. Perhaps all will turn out well in the US, and Trump will leave office with the old 'rules of the game' untouched - but that can't be assumed, and we won't know until after he is gone.

Carl123 -> Finisterre , 6 Sep 2018 09:40

Pepperoni Pizza is absolutely correct. We DON'T know his staff are going behind his back - we have this anonymous bollocks as the totality of our evidence.

Truckloads of "anonymous bollocks" reported by credible, highly respected journalists with excellent reasons to protect their sources.

"Anonymous" bollocks" which syncs perfectly with events and pronouncements by the president himself - including numerous firings of so many of the "best people" he hired.

"Anonymous bollocks" confirmed in evidence/testimony presented publicly and under oath in court.

Otherwise, great point.

JozzaBoy , 6 Sep 2018 09:40
this is desperate stuff. Is this the thing that is finally going to bring down Trump?

The media cycle wrt Trump;

1. Trump is Crazy
2. Trump is Hitler
3. Trump is Losing
4. Go To Line 1.

babyboomer63 , 6 Sep 2018 09:38
Nothing proved, unnamed sources, claims about this, claims about that. Until someone is prepared to step forward and reveal themselves this is a non story. Still, it gives the Trump haters comfort.
imperious -> BLACKCAT66 , 6 Sep 2018 09:36
There is a segment of this country that is willfully ignorant because a con man told them to be. We really need to ignore this shrinking number of fuck-nuts and just out vote them.
We live in a democracy. If you choose to use facebook as your only source of news about the world, it is not because a con man told you to, it is because you are just too plain stupid to go looking elsewhere.
Cascais99 , 6 Sep 2018 09:36
I'm surprised that no one has compared the author of the anonymous article in the New York Times with "Deep Throat", who anonymously met Bernstein and Woodward in an underground parking garage in Washington to spill the beans about Watergate. Deep Throat turned out to be Mark Felt, a high-ranking official in the FBI who kept working against Nixon under cover and whose name was revealed only a few years ago.
FeliciorAugusto , 6 Sep 2018 09:31
Personally, I am not surprised or impressed by this White House insider's account. Nothing he or she has said should be a real revelation to anyone who has cast a critical eye on the Trump presidency. And whoever it is, this person is so enamored with tax cuts, deregulation, ramping up military spending and the usual Republican horse shit that he or she does not seem prepared to risk further discrediting the administration by identifying him/herself and resigning publicly.

Screw whoever it is, they are obviously no hero to the American people.

James Steel , 6 Sep 2018 09:31
Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo have denied writing the op-ed -- but that's exacta guilty person would say :)