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Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite

The American Oligarchy only needs “team players”– shameless, cynical hacks who can be counted on to churn out whatever rank propaganda ordered up by the DNC

After twenty year of betrayal of working class Democrats face the consequences of their "Clinton strategy" in full force: in 2016 Presidential elections workers abandoned them in droves

Clinton family grip on the Dems, the neoliberal grip,  might weaken

News National Security State Recommended Links US Presidential Elections of 2016 Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Democratic Party Monday morning quarterbacking Demexit: Abandonment of Democratic party by working class and lower middle class Neocons induced constitutional c
Anti-globalization movement Donald Trump The Deep State Trump vs. Deep State Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders and blaming Vladimir Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Obama: a yet another Neocon
Lesser evil trick of legitimizing a disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections  Predator state New American Militarism Media-Military-Industrial Complex Jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Protestant church on danger of neoliberalism
The Iron Law of Oligarchy Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Non-Interventionism Myth about intelligent voter  American Exceptionalism Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Pluralism as a myth
Principal-agent problem Corporatist Corruption Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Corporatism Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Who Rules America Neoconservatism as an attack dog of neoliberalism Neoliberalism
Bernie Sanders Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention   US Presidential Elections of 2012  Mayberry Machiavellians Politically Incorrect Humor Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Introduction

   

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

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

"A credibility trap is when the managerial functions of a society have been sufficiently compromised by corruption so that the leadership cannot reform, or even honestly address, the problems of that system without implicating a broad swath of the powerful, including themselves.

The moneyed interests and their aspirants tolerate the corruption because they have profited from it, and would like to continue to do so. Discipline is maintained by various forms of soft financial rewards and social coercion."

Jesse's Café Américain

Neoliberalism is self-destructive and lowering of standards of living of the majority of population due to redistribution of wealth up at some point is going to produce social unrest. We are probably pretty close to this point that is called the crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite. And the rejection of  mainstream candidates during this election cycle is probably a writing on the wall.

Hillary is probably most hated Presidential candidate in the US history. Fury over Hillary candidacy is connected not only with her ugly personality and semi-criminal past, but also with the very real concerns over the impact of neoliberal globalization on lives of ordinary Americans, including upper middle class. Lowly shmucks the US elite thought forever brainwashed and suppressed, recently start to show some signs of independent thinking and neoliberal MSM brainwashing suddenly lost at least 80% of its effectiveness. Unemployed programmers, system administrators, oil and gas drillers and trackers,  and other professionals (especially over 50) which fall from, say,  $120K to $20K a year  now are quite typical example of shrinking middle class. So the key tenet of neoliberalism which like socialism professed that the masses will get better with time, became another discredited illusion. And population became restless much like population of the USSR in 80th.  It may not be obvious to the political and media elites living in their hallowed, protected homes in privileged areas. But an increasing gulf between the  "establishment crowd" , and those who have to live at the sharp end of neoliberal globalization led to the situation, which probably can be called as a "revolutionary situation". The  blind rage that characterized the first days of the US anti-establishment movement now have given way to political awakening. Which represents direct danger to the current elite, but which this elite can do nothing to suppress. Genie was let  out of the bottle.  There are several sides of any revolutionary situation:

  1. The elite can not govern "as usual" and experiences the crisis of legitimacy. The rejection ob Jeb!, Cruz and Rubio by the Republican Party voters is nothing else but the crisis of legitimacy; the same is true for the number of votes that Sanders got in Democratic presidential contest against much better financed establishment candidate Hillary ( supported by the full power and the  bag of dirty tricks of Democratic Party establishment). GB population vote for Brexit is another illustration of the same trend. Despite deafening propaganda from MSM the elite failed to brainwash people in secure the desirable outcome. British voters delivered a stunning repudiation  of neoliberalism and austerity, the rejection of the legitimacy of their current political and economic elites A crippling blow to the neoliberal paradigm of globalization with its conversion of weaker nations into debt slaves, and huge speculative capital flows. With citizens reduced to consumers who have to fend for themselves in markets. And increasingly atomized, isolated workers at the mercy of employers who are determined to reduce labor costs and hoard the benefits of productivity gains for themselves.
  2. The lower 90% no longer want to live "as usual" and became politically active and not only refuse to support the establishment candidates, but also provide more and more active support for their own candidates.  They start rejecting "status quo" despite all the power of propaganda applied to quell them. And we are now in what can be called an “instable, dynamic situation,” in which national leaders, and key technocrats are scrambling to figure out how to respond and what to do next.
  3. The elite itself became split and form several competing groups with at least one group which wants to challenge the "people at the top" (Sanders in the Democratic Party, Trump in the Republican Party). See Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite and The Iron Law of Oligarchy. The last time such a revolt happened over "New Deal capitalism" was "Quite coup" period during which neoliberal elite took power and eventually managed to cement their dominance with the election of Reagan in the USA and Thatcher on the UK.  Now this elite find itself under the attack and the level of hate  toward Hillary reflects the level of rejection of neoliberal elite by the society.
  4. The ideology which brought the current elite to power became rotten.  This is just another side of the crisis of legitimacy of the elite mentioned in above. That happened with Marxism in the USSR which in late 80th became completely discredited, this is now happening with the neoliberalism in the USA (which actually became dominant only in 1970th, or  less then 50 years ago, so it will not give up without fierce fight; Marxism in the USSR lasted more then 70 years). The Global Financial Crisis, and the responses of the policy elite proved fatal to neoliberal ideology dominance.  The vacuum started to fill nationalism, and various nationalistic parties and movements emerged after 2008 both in EU and in the USA. The first such movement in the USA the "Tea Party" was cooped by neoliberals.

In addition to that:

Thirty six year of neoliberalism slow motion train wreck finally produced the revolt of lower 90% of population ("shmucks" in neoliberal jargon) in the USA. The elite of the USA like the nomenklatura of the USSR in 1970th suddenly realized that the ordinary people,  most of the population hate them and that ideological brainwashing (Marxism in the USSR, free market fundamentalism in the USA) no longer can serve as effective  "opium for the masses".  People became restless. For the USSR elite the solution was simple: they changed sides and joined neoliberal crowd (while being lavishly bribed by the USA for this accomplishment, while common people starved on the streets).  For the USA elite the situation is more complex.  Trump just served as a crystallization point for already preexistent anti-globalization political forces. The neoliberalism is starting to drown in its own filth, along with neoliberal ideology which successfully protected the elite looting of common people for 35 years or so.

And Hillary does represents "kick the can down the road" neoliberal pro-globalization camp. Actually her candidacy says a lot about the neoliberal rationality and the society that the USA became. And for any non-biased observer voting for a war criminal ("we came, we saw, he died" and thousands Libyan people died and continue to die due to destabilization of the country) is not  the lesser even that voting for a loose cannon. The level of hostility toward Hillary among activist-minded progressives reflect rejection of pro-globalization and neocons camps that dominate official Washington. Many people figuratively will be happy to throu a hand grenade at official Washington by voting for Trump. That means the war-style anti-Trump propaganda campaign unleashed by neoliberal MSM might not have a desired effect. This level of hate toward neoliberal establishment did not existed toward the shady figure Barack Obama in 2008, who during election campaign pretended to be a progressive candidate, but then quickly betrayed his voters.  And even in 2012 when everybody already understood that he is a corrupt "bait and switch" neoliberal (and neocon in foreign policy)  luring Democratic sheep for shearing.

Democratic party  which was sold by Bill Clinton to Wall Street based on the idea that blue collar voters have nowhere to go so let's f*ck them ( that what nickname DemoRats implies) is deeply split and Demexit is a real trend, although it is unclear how significant it is.  Dominant, neoliberal wing of party (Clinton wing) prevailed and managed to put their candidate, but the real question is: will the rank-and-file voters support Hillary?

That's why neoliberal MSM went into overdrive claiming the Trump is dangerous. self-absorbed maniac, the second incarnation of Adolph Hitler. This war-style demonization of Trump (as well as attempts of "red-baiting" -- to present him as friendly with already demonized Vladimir Putin)  reflects the level of fear of neoliberal establishment in the results of November elections. In other words the elite started to lose the control of the population and was forced to resort to dirty tricks like was revealed in recent DNC emails leak scandal, which further endanger Hillary credibility, but failed to derail her candidacy because Sanders deflated and betrayed his base.  

In reality Trump might be viewed as the last attempt to answer the challenge of the crash of neoliberal ideology (after which the crash of the US neoliberal empire is just a matter of time, like was the case with the USSR). The challenge that Hillary in incapable and unwilling to answer, preferring "kick the can down the road" approach. Here is one insightful comment from Crooked Timber discussion (Crooked timber, Aug 04, 2016):

Lupita 08.04.16 at 4:23 am 167

I think Trump is afraid the imperial global order presided by the US is about to crash and thinks he will be able to steer the country into a soft landing by accepting that other world powers have interests, by disengaging from costly and humiliating military interventions, by re-negotiating trade deals, and by stopping the mass immigration of poor people. Plus a few well-placed bombs .

Much has been written about the internet revolution, about the impact of people having access to much more information than before. The elite does not recognize this and is still organizing political and media campaigns as if it were 1990, relying on elder statesmen like Blair, Bush, Mitterrand, Clinton, and Obama to influence public opinion. They are failing miserably, to the point of being counterproductive.

I don't think something as parochial as racism is sustaining Trump, but rather the fear of the loss of empire by a population with several orders of magnitude more information and communication than in 2008, even 2012.

In this sense the November elections will be not about candidates, but more of the referendum on neoliberal globalization, much like Brexit was.  In this referendum Hillary means "Yes" (or more correctly "kick the can down the road"  with minor tweaks ) , and Trump "No" (or "let's try something else") to neoliberal globalization.   In this sense Trump has a chance, as Hillary represents the status quo, now hated by most of US electorate.  Hated after  years of outsourcing, offshoring, Wall Street financial machinations (which led to two crisis in 2000 and 2008 with the last almost taking the financial system down due to recklessness of major players), sliding wages and shrinking pool of salaried workers (with dramatic rise of contractor labor) people became sick-and-tired with.  Neoliberal arguments that people in the USA should be glad to lose employment at 50 so that people from other countries can have higher incomes (slightly exaggerated, but pretty precise depiction of neoliberal approach, see Over 50 and unemployed) now is ripe for a strong backlash.  People do not like to live in occupied country, unable to challenge the occupiers. That makes Hillary vulnerable and that why neoliberal press attacks Trump like a pack of rabid dogs.  Nothing personal, only business.

Good job disappeared, so people now understand that they were taken for ride, and the promise of neoliberalism that rampant, criminal enrichment of the top 0.1% will lift standard of living of everybody (trickle down economics)  much like communists promise of  "worker paradise" (but instead enriched nomenklatura and keep both blue and a large part of white collar worker of semi-starvation diet) is a fools gold.  In both case the elite lost legitimacy (trust in congress is in all time low) and became despised by population myth. A discredited ideology can no longer serve as "opium for the people", not it can keep the global neoliberal US-dominated empire intact.   Neoliberals are still very strong and they can still win this particular battle and crown Hillary,  but they are losing the war. Indeed, a Donald Trump loss is likely to fan the flames of population anger further.

Moreover,  while "bait and switch" tactics worked with Obama (neocons who pretend to be progressive during election campaign), it is unclear whether it will work with Hillary Clinton. Of course she will promise anything to be elected and then betray his voters. But are voters gulling enough to believe this spectacle after the same spectacle played (two times by Obama) and before him by Bill Clinton (who politically benefitted from  temporary bump up in economic growth from 1991 to 2000 caused by opening and devouring (buying asset for pennies on dollar) the xUSSR markets).

She is definitely trying to be the next Obama  (using Sanders as herder), but walkout of Sanders supported after Hillary nomination suggest that it would be difficult and success in luring of Sanders supporters "back in fold" (by rampant MSM propaganda campaign claiming that the "huge danger" of Trump, as if Hillary is less dangerous, or less reckless candidate) is not given.  While few people in the USA understand that Hillary is a war criminal and a more dangerous warmonger then Trump, they understand that she is lying and will betray her election promises. And that might be enough. In other words the fact that she represents "kick the can down road" pro-globalization candidates can't be hidden by MSM propaganda campaign. Also her  record such as Iraq war vote, destruction of Libya, Syria, (indirectly via her protégé Nuland) Ukraine,  and instrumental role (with Obama) in creation of ISIS speak for itself.

Neoliberalism is now a failed and discredited ideology. Masqueraded under posh phases about democracy and "free markets" (why not "fair markets?" neoliberalism promoted the "law of jungle" and destruction of the New Deal in order to enrich few, to redistribute the wealth up. And was very successful in this part.  Essentially it is about new methods of enslavements of people and creating a new type of aristocracy (the top 0.1%). The essence is methodical and quasi-scientific subjugation of people to the needs of transnational corporations.  And after 35 years of its dominance the fact the neoliberalism does not deliver, much like previously happened with communist ideology,  is no longer possible to hide.

It is impossible to hide from population the fact that Hillary Clinton is a Wall Street's dream candidate, a typical neoliberal crusader like Clinton, Bush II and Obama were, who will sell interests (and lives) of American people to Wall Street the say she entered White House. In this sense her election speeches mean absolutely nothing. This is just a smoke screen to deceive the people. She will definitely continues the policies of unlimited immigration and outsourcing of everything to enrich corporate brass in transnational corporations and Wall Steer financial oligarchy. But while those policies run unopposed for 35 years this situation can't last forever, because like a colony of bacteria of squirrel carcass, neoliberalism sooner or later  will run out of food.  And it is the US society that is this squirrel carcass in this case.

In this elections  I was initially impressed with Sanders. Actually I like the fact that in his youth, Sanders had lived in the kibbutz. He has real chances to get rid of delusion that complete equality is a solution to economic problems :-). But he, probably deliberately,  avoided punching Hillary too hard (remember how he tried to sweep "bathroom email server" scandal under the carpet) and then led to his defeat and then pretty despicable folding and betrayal of his supporters  (M of A , Jun 13, 2016)

Bernie Sanders folded. This without gaining any significant concession from Hillary Clinton on programmatic or personal grounds. (At least as far as we know.) He endorsed Clinton as presidential candidate even as she gave no ground for his voters' opinions. This disenfranchises the people who supported him.

In a sense this was another classic  "bait and switch" maneuver, similar to so skillfully executed by "Change we can believe in" fake progressive Obama. See Bernie Sanders: A turncoat socialist  for more.  In this sense Trump is more trustworthy candidate. Does not hide his intentions under posh and false phases. While he also probably will be assimilated GOP and forced to abandon some of most threatening to neoliberal order proposals, he at least represent some real threat to the neoliberal establishment and Washington neocons mafia that dominated the USA foreign policy for the last 35 years. That's why neoliberal MSM launches such a hysteric anti-Trump propaganda campaign, raising the pitch to the level of war propaganda with its simple rules (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war. (Hillary is a candidate of peace; which accentually was instrumental in destruction of two countries (Libya and Syria and wrecking of another two :-)
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war (Trump is a war monger, that will unleash nuclear war if elected; while in reality the opposite is true)
3. The enemy is the face of the devil (attempt to red bait US electorate linking Trump and Putin)
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest (exaggerating facts like Trump University, but swiping under the carpet Clinton cash scandal and other scandal; linking Trump busness past to his opposition on globalization as hypocrisy Donald Trump’s Business Past at Odds With Rhetoric on Trade )
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary. (see Anti Trump Hysteria)
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons (Trump is proposing "collective punishment" on immigration. Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention )
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous (manipulation of polls, Trump meltdown cover and article in Times despite persistant rumors (supported by vedeos and photos)  of Hillary deteriorating health and onset of Alzheimer)
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause (Elisabeth Warren, a long line of stooges like Steven Colbert)
9. Our cause is sacred.  American exceptionalism as in "God bless America' is played by Hillary camp once again to the fullest extent possible."TIME
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors (Hillary is the lesser evil and election of Trump will lead to destruction of the USA)

In this sense the "Politburo-style" candidate in the current race is  Hillary Clinton, supported by full firepower of neoliberal MSMs and Washington establishment.  Especially her foreign policy agenda which can't be distinguished from Dick Cheney agenda even under very close examination.  This lady, who proved to be a staunch neoliberal crusader.  will definitely start a new war, if she come to power. Her record (voting for Iraq war, organizing 2012 failed color revolution in Russia, playing in instrumental role in destroying Ukraine, Libya and Syria) in this respect is pretty impressive indeed. She essentially made State Department a branch of CIA and Pentagon.  Her record in this position is a record of a real, undeniable neocon warmonger.  God forbid if it the next her target is Iran, with its 80 million population (which, in general, will play into the hands of Israel and, especially, Netanyahu). In any case, she is a real, certified neoconservative, not a Democrat. And you can expect jingoistic  "governance" is the best style of George W. Bush -- shoot first and think later (which, however, secured his re-election for the second term; as was planned in advance). First send the troops and play patriotism card to stay in power. Then try to sort out the resulting mess and estimate the resulting blowback and costs to the Treasury.

Outcome of the November elections by-and-large depends on how many people will realize that she will throw them under the bus of neoliberal globalization, and that the first thing she will do after gaining power is to forget about all her election promised (much like Obama did twice with his classic "bait and switch" maneuver from fake progressive to staunch neoliberal).  I hope the American voters this time will remember what Bush II uttered (TIME)

On Sept. 17, 2002, President Bush took the podium in Nashville to speak before a group of schoolchildren, parents and teachers. "There's an old saying in Tennessee," he began.

A series of awkward pauses followed. "I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me... You can't get fooled again!'"

For the record, the correct rendering of the aphorism is: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Or perhaps, as his critics might say, "Elect me once, shame on you. Elect me twice ... shame on you."

Here we can say "elect Clintons twice, shame on me" :-). We already saw how skillfully Slick Willi sold Democractic Party to Wall Street for 20 silver coins (sorry for twinty millions of annul speech fees).

Again, I think most of the US population now understands that  all her election promises will be in the trash the first day after the election. In this sense all her speeches mean nothing to most people. Just unpleasant hypocritical  noise. She, like Obama, Bush II, and Bill Clinton, before her,  is loyal only to Wall Street and transactional corporations, not to the rank-and-file electorate. Like any other neoliberal politician (including Bill Clinton, Bush II and Obama).  Neoliberal propaganda tries to demonize Trump and force the election of Hillary. We will see in November is this  unprecedented demonization was effective or not. Actually Obama broke all records (and diplomatic etiquette) when he blackmailed Trump in his speech in Singapore on Aug 2, 2016. This "constitutional scholar" forgot that the US presidential elections is an internal affair of the country and it is not advisable to enlist foreigners to support one or other candidates (Obama Says Trump ‘Unfit’ For Presidency (Video) Truth Uncensored)

According to CNN President Barack Obama strongly rebuked Donald Trump Tuesday, calling the Republican presidential nominee “unfit” for the presidency following his criticism of the family of a slain Muslim US soldier.

“The Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president,” Obama said at a White House news conference with the Prime Minister of Singapore. “He keeps on proving it.”

“The notion that he would attack a Gold Star family that made such extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our country, the fact that he doesn’t appear to have basic knowledge of critical issues in Europe, the Middle East, in Asia, means that he’s woefully unprepared to do this job,” Obama said.

Speaking alongside Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the White House East Room, Obama said there are now weekly episodes in which even Republican party leaders distance themselves from Trump.

“There has to be a point at which you say, ‘Enough,’ ” Obama said. >

In reality this DNC trap  on Democratic convention was specifically created to stem his growing popularity among blue color voters, which like sheep voted for Democrats the last 5 or six presidential election because as Bill Clinton put it "they have nowhere to go".

Trump is the candidate votes for whom symbolizes the same rejection of neoliberal globalization as votes for Brexit. That why the attacks of neoliberal press of Trump recently reached the pitch of Pravda campaign against "revisionists of Marxism-Leninism". In a way Trump is the "revisionist": he is the revisionist of the neoliberal doctrine. As such he is very dangerous candidate for neoconservatives, who rule the Washington DC and is somewhat dangerous for financial oligarchy (although much less then they are afraid of).

The November election will be a referendum on the US neoliberal establishment as much as the Brexit vote was for the EU. The Brexit vote showed that people are so fed up that they are no longer  listening to establishment fear-mongering and blackmail of alternative candidates.

Neocon Hillary vs. Paleoconservative Trump

Although neoliberal presstitutes are afraid to discuss real issues and are engaged mainly in demonization of Trump, there are two cardinal questions in which two candidates differ:

Some observers think that Trump may represent the last chance (unclear, if realistic or not) to avoid crash landing of the US neoliberal empire (crookedtimber.org)

Lupita 08.04.16 at 4:23 am 167

I think Trump is afraid the imperial global order presided by the US is about to crash and thinks he will be able to steer the country into a soft landing by accepting that other world powers have interests, by disengaging from costly and humiliating military interventions, by re-negotiating trade deals, and by stopping the mass immigration of poor people. Plus a few well-placed bombs .

Much has been written about the internet revolution, about the impact of people having access to much more information than before. The elite does not recognize this and is still organizing political and media campaigns as if it were 1990, relying on elder statesmen like Blair, Bush, Mitterrand, Clinton, and Obama to influence public opinion. They are failing miserably, to the point of being counterproductive.

I don't think something as parochial as racism is sustaining Trump, but rather the fear of the loss of empire by a population with several orders of magnitude more information and communication than in 2008, even 2012.

bruce wilder 08.02.16 at 8:02 pm

I think the U.S. Party system, in the political science sense, shifted to a new state during George W Bush's administration as, in Kevin Phillip's terms the Republican Party was taken over by Theocrats and Bad Money.

bruce wilder 08.06.16 at 4:31 pm

Watching Clinton scoop up bankster money, welcome Republicans neocons to the ranks of her supporters does not fill me with hope.

bruce wilder 08.12.16 at 7:47 pm 689

T @ 685: Trump is too incoherent to really represent the populist view.

There's always tension along the lead running between the politician and his constituents. The thing that seems most salient to me at the present moment is the sense of betrayal pervading our politics. At least since the GFC of 2008, it has been hard to deny that the two Parties worked together to set up an economic betrayal. And, the long-running saga of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also speak to elite failure, as well as betrayal.

These are the two most unpopular candidates in living memory. That is different.

I am not a believer in "the fire next time". Trump is a novelty act. He represents a chance for people who feel resentful without knowing much of anything about anything to cast a middle-finger vote. They wouldn't be willing to do that, if times were really bad, instead of just disappointing and distressing.

Nor will Sanders be back. His was a last New Deal coda. There may be second acts in American life, but there aren't 7th acts.

In any case after successfully deceiving the US population for 36 years, neoliberals (and neocons) have a problem: "The thing that seems most salient to me at the present moment is the sense of betrayal pervading our politics"; people want jobs back, and they do not want more wars for the expansion of the US-dominated global neoliberal empire, wars that benefit only global corporations and corrupt politicians who serve them (such as Clinton and Obama clans), but impoverish regular US citizens.

Vote for Hillary vs. Trump is essentially vote for/against neoliberal globalization (similar to Brexit vote in UK).  Or more correctly vote for Paleoconservatism (Trump) vs. Neoconservatism (Hillary). Personalities are much less relevant despite thick smoke screen produced by MSM, tremendous efforts to brainwash the public for another round of "bait and switch".

The second decisive question is whether Americans want more wars for the US-dominated neoliberal empire expansion.  Hillary and the Clinton clan history suggest that their political interests are the same as interests of the rat pack of neocon warmongers from Bush administration, who was instrumental in destroying several Middle East countries such as Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen. They also organized and financed a coup in Ukraine. 

Anybody who claim that Hillary is less dangerous option then Trump is iether on drugs or is well paid by neoliberal establishment. With her unhinged militarism, she really represent a danger of unleashing a new war, possible with Russia (nationalinterest.org, August 18, 2016). Readers discussion of the article by Ted Galen Carpenter  Hillary Clinton Could Easily Push America into Open Conflict with Russia in pretty informative in this respect and I would recommend to read it in full. Here is a couple of interesting and informative posts:

deadindenver a day ago

Those necon #@%*'s running those Trump is dangerous ad's, the same folks who brought us the endless middle eastern war are the same folks pushing Hillary. Really, who's more dangerous? I have far greater fear Hillary will confront a country that can actually fight back then the Donald.

Robert Willis • 18 hours ago

Excellent article. Hillary Clinton was instrumental in pushing for the Invasion of Iraq, which turned what was essentially a functional state into an ISIS hellhole. As Secretary of State, she was THE personality behind the destruction of Libya, now another Islamist breeding machine with a ruined economy & brutalized population. She has done everything in her power to destabilize Syria & has succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. Now millions of economic migrants are flooding into Europe, which will likely become a Caliphate under Sharia law within 100 years. Clinton's hands are soaked in blood of tens of thousands of men, women, & children. Her thirst for more is unquenchable. She is as much of a war criminal as her hero & good friend Henry Kissinger. All the media can do is scream endless unfounded accusations of Trump being a racist, yet they never mention a whisper of what Clinton has done & intends to do.

alan  -> JPH • a day ago

That's the tragedy of the situation. Trump has shown he is not a captive to the foreign policy consensus of the economic, social, and political elite of the New York-Wash DC beltway. He does not believe in intervention anywhere and everywhere. That I heartily endorse. On all other points he is totally unqualified and unacceptable. We are left with a war-mongering Neo-Con thug. When She takes office, begin the countdown---war is coming, a very big war.

That means that she can't be, by definition, lesser evil. She is an absolute evil much like absolute zero on Kelvin scale:  you can't go lower then that. In other words she is a war criminal, the most low and despicable type of politicians.  And in normal legal circumstances she might face something like Nierenberg tribunal, because all her deeds are not that different from deeds of the Third Reich brass.  Or for a change the leadership of former Yugoslavia (actually dismembered with active support of her husband -- Bill Clinton -- who managed to start serious of aggressive wars for neoliberal domination -- by bombing Serbia). Attempt of MSM to demonize Trump are connected with the simple fact that media is controlled by the same forces which push the USA into expensive and unnecessary oversees wars for opening markets to transnational corporations.  In this sense any Democrat voting for Hillary essentially became an accomplice of her war crimes.

But hopefully this neoliberal brainwashing gradually loses its effectiveness. MSM face now resistance because people are fed up with neoliberalism (aka casino capitalism), which destroys their wellbeing here at home. Jobs are moves oversees, wages drop, permanent jobs became rarity, factories are closed. Professionals over 50 are written off as useless, just because their salary is too high.   Many fine buildings stand empty. Many malls have entry storefronts (not the amount of vacant storefronts is reliable indicator of the health of the economy). What remains is financial speculation in stocks (looks at S&P500 behaviour since 2008), bonds and, the real love of Wall street,  derivatives. But how many day traders this country needs?   This contempt felt by elites for ordinary US people ("let them eat cakes") will eventually produce blowback, if not a revolutionary situation.  And it might well be that we are already in the first stage of this blowback. This is phenomenon known from the history of the USSR and is easy to understand. The US MSM and the elite live in a bubble of myths, delutions,  projections up to and including total loss of contact with reality. In other words in artificial reality. Blowing a kind of   "exceptionalism bubble" somewhat similar to financial bubble is typical for most empires ( political entities with vast, rarely challengeable power). In this sense  absolute power really corrupts absolutely.

Trump at least in some of  his position  looks like an adherent of Paleoconservatism so by definition he has more sound foreign policy and promote Noninterventionalism. That's why he are so hated by the US neocons -- they are afraid of losing their lucrative positions in Washington, DC and are good for nothing else.  Some like Kagan already switch party allegiance to Democrats. And Hillary is died in the wool neoliberal and neoconservative (actually neoconservative is just neoliberal with the gun). She prefer to act as in variation of Al Capone famous  maxim -- you can open more markets with the gun and kind word that with just kind word alone.  Who like Senator McCain never had wars she did no like. Actually her voting for Iraq war alone should already disqualify her holding any public office. But she has Libya, Syria and Ukraine, each county with thousands people, woman, children dead. And she wants new interventions. Voting for Hillary is voting for continuation of wars of neoliberal conquest of smaller countries, without nuclear weapons. At the same time her proven recklessness does not guarantee that she will not accidentally slide into nuclear war with Russia or China.

Of course nothing is given and power of neocons in Washington is such that they still can move Trump from his initial positions, but his initial position are definitely anti-neocon. That's why prominent neocons plan to vote for Hillary.

There is also question of Bill Clinton. Should the US electorate indirectly reward a shady, corrupt figure who sold Democratic party to Wall Street and abolished one of the most important New Deal legislation, directed on keeping financial oligarchy in check.  And that's only the beginning of the long list of his misdeeds.

On a more humorous  end (but not to female objects of Bill Clinton sexual drive), just imagine the result of wondering around White House Bill Clinton with too much free time in his hands  on new female white house interns and female office personnel. I think despite his age is still capable to entertain us with  new sexapades.

We reached the point when the neoliberal elite can't govern "as usual"  and 99% do not want to live "as usual"

Neoliberalism is self-destructive and lowering of standards of living of the majority of population due to redistribution of wealth up at some point is going to produce social unrest. We are probably pretty close to this point and rejecting on mainstream candidates during this election cycle is probably a writing on the wall

Hillary is probably most hated Presidential candidate in the US history. Fury over Hillary candidacy is connected not only with her ugly personality and semi-criminal past, but also with the very real concerns over the impact of neoliberal globalization on lives of ordinary Americans, including upper middle class. Lowly shmucks the US elite thought forever brainwashed and suppressed, recently start to show some signs of independent thinking and neoliberal MSM brainwashing suddenly lost at least 80% of its effectiveness. Unemployed programmers, system administrators, oil and gas drillers and trackers,  and other professionals (especially over 50) which fall from, say,  $120K to $20K a year  now are quite typical example of shrinking middle class. So the key tenet of neoliberalism which like socialism professed that the masses will get better with time, became another discredited illusion. And population became restless much like population of the USSR in 80th.  It may not be obvious to the political and media elites living in their hallowed, protected homes in privileged areas. But an increasing gulf between the  "establishment crowd" , and those who have to live at the sharp end of neoliberal globalization led to the situation, which probably can be called as a "revolutionary situation". The  blind rage that characterized the first days of the US anti-establishment movement now have given way to political awakening. Which represents direct danger to the current elite, but which this elite can do nothing to suppress. Genie was let  out of the bottle.  There are several sides of any revolutionary situation:

  1. The elite can not govern "as usual" and experiences the crisis of legitimacy. The rejection ob Jeb!, Cruz and Rubio by the Republican Party voters is nothing else but the crisis of legitimacy; the same is true for the number of votes that Sanders got in Democratic presidential contest against much better financed establishment candidate Hillary ( supported by the full power and the  bag of dirty tricks of Democratic Party establishment). GB population vote for Brexit is another illustration of the same trend. Despite deafening propaganda from MSM the elite failed to brainwash people in secure the desirable outcome. British voters delivered a stunning repudiation  of neoliberalism and austerity, the rejection of the legitimacy of their current political and economic elites A crippling blow to the neoliberal paradigm of globalization with its conversion of weaker nations into debt slaves, and huge speculative capital flows. With citizens reduced to consumers who have to fend for themselves in markets. And increasingly atomized, isolated workers at the mercy of employers who are determined to reduce labor costs and hoard the benefits of productivity gains for themselves.
  2. The lower 90% no longer want to live "as usual" and became politically active and not only refuse to support the establishment candidates, but also provide more and more active support for their own candidates.  They start rejecting "status quo" despite all the power of propaganda applied to quell them. And we are now in what can be called an “instable, dynamic situation,” in which national leaders, and key technocrats are scrambling to figure out how to respond and what to do next.
  3. The elite itself became split and form several competing groups with at least one group which wants to challenge the "people at the top" (Sanders in the Democratic Party, Trump in the Republican Party). See Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite and The Iron Law of Oligarchy. The last time such a revolt happened over "New Deal capitalism" was "Quite coup" period during which neoliberal elite took power and eventually managed to cement their dominance with the election of Reagan in the USA and Thatcher on the UK.  Now this elite find itself under the attack and the level of hate  toward Hillary reflects the level of rejection of neoliberal elite by the society.
  4. The ideology which brought the current elite to power became rotten.  This is just another side of the crisis of legitimacy of the elite mentioned in above. That happened with Marxism in the USSR which in late 80th became completely discredited, this is now happening with the neoliberalism in the USA (which actually became dominant only in 1970th, or  less then 50 years ago, so it will not give up without fierce fight; Marxism in the USSR lasted more then 70 years). The Global Financial Crisis, and the responses of the policy elite proved fatal to neoliberal ideology dominance.  The vacuum started to fill nationalism, and various nationalistic parties and movements emerged after 2008 both in EU and in the USA. The first such movement in the USA the "Tea Party" was cooped by neoliberals.

In addition to that:

Backlash against neoliberal globalization and connected with it outsourcing and offshoring of jobs

The social unrest caused by lowering of standard of living of the majority of the population (due to the redistribution of wealth up)  demonstrated itself in backlash against two tenets of neoliberalism: neoliberal globalization (and connected with it outsourcing and offshoring of everything, destroying domestic job market in the USA) and unrestricted immigration, designed to put a cap on wages of domestic workers.  It is clear that things have gone  wrong in the global economy. What is at play is a reaction to the failure of over-centralization that is inherent in neoliberal globalization. Over-centralization is too expensive: this one of the reasons of the USSR decline and collapse.  What is less clear is what can be done to fix it and how to get rid of excesses of neoliberal globalization.

It is important to understand that it is not sufficient for lower and middle class realize that they are robbed by neoliberal elite. It is also necessary that  the neoliberal elite experience a crisis of governance, the dramatic loss of legitimacy (which is the case in the USA with Congress approval in single digits). Despite its ideological dominance neoliberalism did not enjoyed broad support and relied on the ability of the elite to turn elections in its favor using the iron law of oligarchy. It mostly co-opted professional classes and upper management. For a while it managed to suppress the demand of lower 80% for higher level of equality, for a larger piece of national pie.  As a result those demand entered political discourse via violent protests, and the rise of nationalism. Civil disobedience movements like "Occupy Wall  Street" were crushed, but to crush nationalism is a much more difficult task. Here the elite failed. It lost control. In other words the elite faces a real "crisis of confidence" in American government, values, and way of life, as the public expresses doubt in a better future for their own children under the neoliberalism. Before that neoliberals relied on "verge issues" and votes of excluded groups to beef up their voting block. There why the same sex marriage spectacle was staged in the USA.

This is the time when a considerable increase in the political activity of the loser 90% usually sedated and poisoned with consumerism and neoliberal ideology. Opium of neoliberal ideology no longer words, or at least does not work as efficiently as before.  As neoliberal ideology entered a deep crisis in 2008 (much like Bolsheviks ideology in 1970th), it has been challenged by nationalism. That' the lesson Brexit that might repeat in the USA in the form of Trump winning the November election. The context of the British referendum was the choice between two evils: between the nationalism and the neoliberalism of both the Cameron government and the EU.  Brexit was supported almost everywhere outside London, a city more dependent than any other in the world on the global financial system. Brexit vote and by the rise of Donald Trump in the United States are two sides of the same coin. Nationalism provides a clear and wrong answer to the problems of neoliberal globalization. While the key problem is how to cut the power of financial oligarchy and reverse neoliberal globalization (or at least put it under more state control), it resorted to the rage against immigrants and racial minorities who benefit from neoliberal "open borders" policies designed to suppress wages for everybody. The natural response is to stop or restrict migration and, if possible, to force recent migrants, and particularly illegal migrants, to leave. While it can stem the wages decline, this does not provide a solution to the economic decline against which most of population is protesting. .In other words, while all popular modern nationalist movements -- Trump, Leave, Golden Dawn, etc -- are anti-neoliberal, instead of hitting the financial elite as the responsible party for their sufferings, they lashed out against immigration. 

The majority vote by Britons to leave the European Union was an act of raw democracy. Millions of ordinary people refused to be bullied, intimidated and dismissed with open contempt by their presumed betters in the major parties, the leaders of the business and banking oligarchy and the media.

This was, in great part, a vote by those angered and demoralized by the sheer arrogance of the apologists for the “remain” campaign and the dismemberment of a socially just civil life in Britain. The last bastion of the historic reforms of 1945, the National Health Service, has been so subverted by Tory and Labour-supported privateers it is fighting for its life.

... ... ...

The most effective propagandists of the “European ideal” have not been the far Right, but an insufferably patrician class for whom metropolitan London is the United Kingdom. Its leading members see themselves as liberal, enlightened, cultivated tribunes of the Twenty-first Century zeitgeist, even “cool.” What they really are is a bourgeoisie with insatiable consumerist tastes and ancient instincts of their own superiority.

In their house paper, the Guardian, they have gloated, day after day, at those who would even consider the European Union profoundly undemocratic, a source of social injustice and a virulent extremism known as “neoliberalism.”

The aim of this extremism is to install a permanent, capitalist theocracy that ensures a two-thirds society, with the majority divided and indebted, managed by a corporate class, and a permanent working poor.

Neoliberal ideology which emerged from the economic crisis of the 1970s,  destroyed an earlier New Deal, which was based on Keynesian macroeconomic management and a social-democratic welfare state. It also buried the USSR, by co-opting (and directly bribing)  its elite.  The essence of neoliberal program was redistribution of wealth up and the dismantling of the welfare state and the associated mixed government/private social-democratic economy. This  trend was exemplified by the Clinton administration in the United States and the Blair government in the UK. Two political party were co-opted (in case of Democratic Party sold to Wall Street by Bill Clinton -- bribed)  into two somewhat different versions of neoliberalism: soft neoliberalism of democratic party vs. hard neoliberalism of Republican Party. Both parties adopted Neoconservatism as their foreign policy platform.  Later Bill Clinton betrayal of sola-democratic values was repeated by Tony Blair’s New Labor, which explicitly abandoned the traditional positions of the Labor Party and embraced neoliberal globalization and the financial oligarchy dominance -- the key tenets of neoliberalism. 

It is clear the Hillary is a quintessential neoliberal stooge, who will never voluntarily adopt any progressive, pro-middle class policy.  She is the same neoliberal sellout as her husband. Bill Clinton, who managed to switch Democratic Party platform (and ideology) from the policy of Americanism (or "America first" in Trump terms) – focusing on what’s good for America’s middle class – to a policy of globalism (to neoliberal ideology), focusing on how to make more money for large corporations who can move their wealth and workers to foreign countries all to the detriment of the American worker and the American economy. Essentially he sold Democratic Party to Wall Street (and due to "Triumphal March of neoliberalism" after dissolution of the USSR he was followed by several other politicians in other countries doing exactly the same thing, like Tony Blair in Great Britain).

While rise of Neoliberalism since the 1970s was partially a consequence of the deep, even "revolutionary" (Internet and global communications) changes in the world economy, it required stooges to dismantle New Deal mechanisms designed to protect workers and middle class from predation of financial oligarchy.  Bill Clinton was one of such stooges, probably the most highly placed one.   Neo-liberal counterrevolution lasted till 2008. At which point it proved to be a fiasco -- deregulated market failed to behave as a self-regulating organism. Even the most hard nose-neoliberals, such as managers of big banks as well as representatives of the Bush-administration were urgently infusing billions of taxpayers money to save neoliberals from themselves, from their reckless self-enriching via games with risky financial instruments such as derivatives. It is not accidental that the second popular name for neoliberalism is casino capitalism.   But Hillary, like many other neoliberals behave like  in famous Talleyrand quote about the restored Bourbon dynasty  "They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing". She remains a staunch neoliberal and, worse, a stanch neocon ready to put the US people lives and treasure at the service of transnational corporation, which attempts to "open" foreign markets and get access to natural resources of other countries.  Which is not surprising as her own wealth and "pay for play" deals via Clinton Foundation are closely connected and depend upon the success of neoliberal globalization.

In other words Hillary Clinton is the candidate the Republicans wished they had been able to field. A Kissinger protégé, a chickenhawk with very bad, disastrous instincts on the foreign policy front, who has no clue what is the security of diplomatic communications means to the country and ready to endanger people so that her petty financial enrichment schemes  where hidden from FIOA requests.  A woman who can’t wait to start a new war, who wants her sexually obsessed husband to continue to neoliberalize the US economy, who is more open to compromises with the Republican right then Obama. Despite the fact that Obama never put any fight and always preferred his classic  "bait and switch" approach, so it's really challenging to compromise with far right Republicans more then him.

Hillary is the candidate who called the TPP the gold standard of trade agreements. As such she is a dream candidate for Wall Street.  And she’s counting on the support of Republican refugees rejecting Trump to help her win in November. Which now became more difficult  as she might be stripped from security clearance and persecuted for perjury, but still possible. In any case she is now shaken by two major scandals, one of which theoretically should end in indictment (but never will under Obama administration, unless perjury changes will be presented to Congress before November elections):

By the way, 9/11 somewhat returned to the news. And not only because Hillary voted for the invasion in Iraq. The press corps recently reminded us about "dancing Israelis", the Palestinians, Saudi role in 9/11. Iran was charged by some NY judge with financial responsibility for 9/11 events. Several news agencies raised again question about "strange"  fate of building 4 which spontaneously collapsed without being hit. And somehow managed to collapse so neatly in its footprint (which is clearly visible from YouTube videos), falling almost at the speed of gravity.   Well, looks like we are close to the second phase of the debriefing  of those events :-). Trump promised to release secret pages from 9/11 commission report. Perspective, which, of course, did not excite Washington neoconservatives, especially those with dual citizenship.  See how Krauthammer screamed about that. Compare with the following  quote:

...recently Trump has decided to venture into the controversial territory of questioning the official story of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

Trump briefly flirted with 9/11 Truth in the past with his comments claiming he witnessed Muslims celebrating the attack but I personally saw that situation as more of a smokescreen. As many readers may know, it was not Muslims who were actually seen dancing and celebrating on camera but a group of dancing Israelis. Trump had many opportunities to clarify his comments and to call out the Israeli agents but instead chose to keep fanning the flames of Islamophobia.

Now Trump is making waves by discussing the “secret papers” and references to the Saudi government’s possible role in funding the 9/11 attacks. At a recent campaign event in South Carolina Trump called out former president George W. Bush for the Iraq war and referenced “very secret” papers about the Saudi government and 9/11.

... ... ...

The “secret pages” Trump is referencing is more than likely the classified 28-pages of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (not the 9/11 Commission Report).  Although the final report amounts to over 800 pages, the 28 pages were classified by former President George W. Bush shortly after the report was released in 2002. The 28 pages make up the bulk of a section titled “Part 4: Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters.”

Sanders and Trump as a candidates raised to political Olymp by resentment against the current neoliberal elite

Obama and the political forces behind him (essentially the same as behind Hillary Clinton) probably was the last candidate who successfully applied "switch and bait" politics. This time this did not work all too well and Hillary despite all the power of the controlled by Bill Clinton political machine of the Democratic Party  barely overcome a challenge from poorly financed not well know senator from Vermont. 

Sanders seems to understand that people are tired of maintaining huge neoliberal empire and the Wall Street can't milk them any longer without the danger of some kind of revolt. Which is dangerous for the US elite despite full militarization of police and tremendous growth of repressive apparatus of the state after 9/11.

I think Trump represents a somewhat similar phenomenon within the Republican Party and also has some level of intuitive understanding of the danger of neoliberal globalization.  He obliterated 16 rivals, some of them rising Republican stars, on the way to winning 37 states and building a coalition broad enough to include secular moderates in Massachusetts as well as evangelicals in Mississippi. The fact is that he managed to defeat Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz, the hero of a disastrous for  GOP government shutdown of 2013.  That became possible only because the Tea Party in Washington no longer represents  an anti-neoliberalism insurgency of Republicans rank-and-file members from below.  It became just a realignment within the neoliberal Republican establishment  -- a shift to the right and commitment of the party leadership to a position of non-compromising position on most issues. "My way or highway" mentality.  (How Bush-Appointed Ivy Leaguer Ted Cruz Became A Tea Party Darling)

To understand Cruz’s role in 2016, one must recognize that the Tea Party in Washington today is a not an insurgency from below. It is a realignment within the Republican establishment that has committed the party to a position of extreme non-compromise. As Megyn Kelly pointed out yesterday, Ted Cruz has put himself at the vanguard of that strategy. The willingness to naysay, more than any policy position or connection to the conservative grassroots, is what distinguishes him from other Republican presidential hopefuls. 

Let’s remember: The Tea Party, more than an organization or even a movement, was a political moment. In early 2009, the person and the policy proposals of President Barack Obama galvanized grassroots conservatives. But, after the exceptionally unpopular President Bush left office, the Republican brand was toxic and the party leadership was in disarray. Encouraged by conservative media, rank-and-file Republicans built ad hoc local “Tea Party” groups to oppose the new president’s agenda. There was plenty of room at the top for any Republican who could seize the “Tea Party” momentum.

Trump like Sanders also represent probably a small, tiny part of the of the US elite which understand grave danger of kicking the can of neoliberalism down the road. And that it a time to purge the Washington elite from the "neocon warmongers" left over from the Bush administration. Otherwise the risks are twofold: one is that that the situation can spiral out of control and the other that the elite will try another "small victorious war" like the  war with Iraq was, to unite the population and quell the discontent (and therefore support Hillary).

Consider Mr. Trump’s remarks in Scotland following the Brexit vote. He has been ridiculed, as usual, for his slip-ups, but he also grasped the underlying symbolism of the referendum: its prideful call for national sovereignty and identity, heightened by the pressures of the global economy. “People want to see borders,” Mr. Trump said. “They don’t necessarily want people pouring into their country that they don’t know who they are and where they come from.”

In this sense Trump movement is somewhat similar to Peronism: hatred of elites combined with direct appeals to “the forgotten man,” “the silent majority” and “the moral majority”. The pillars of the Peronism ideal, known as the "three flags", are social justice, economic independence, and political sovereignty.

This make Sanders and Trump the only two viable candidates. In a sense of lesser evil voting.  Neither of them are perfect and chances of Sanders to get Democratic Party nomination are almost non-existent unless Hillary steps down from the Presidential race. That left Trump as the only potential challenger of  status quoi of neoliberal globalization.

Actually Sanders performance against Hillary was a big surprise to the Democratic (read neoliberal, as Bill Clinton sold the party to Wall Street) establishment this electoral season.  So the fact that Democratic Party was sold by Bill Clinton to Wall Street now start to backfire. They still hope that they will manage to fool the population like in 2008 with Obama ""bait and switch" trick, and by demonizing Trump. But with emailgate scandal and possible loss of security clearance, Hillary is a bad candidate for such a trick because the only way she can win is to get votes of moderate Republicans and independents. Which now is less likely. Also it is difficult to teach old neocon dog new tricks.  So we will see, if they can succeed this time.

It's no question that politically neoliberal forces  in the USA are still very powerful and that they will try their best to install their candidate. It says a lot about pro-Hillary Clinton political forces that even NYT columnist Maureen Dowd stated that "she seems well on her way to becoming Madam President because she’s not getting indicted. "(NYT,

In a mere 11 days, arrogant, selfish actions by the Clintons contaminated three of the purest brands in Washington — Barack Obama, James Comey and Loretta Lynch — and jeopardized the futures of Hillary’s most loyal aides.

Comey, who was then yanked up to Capitol Hill for a hearing on Thursday, revealed that instead of no emails with classified information, as Hillary had insisted, there were 110, of those turned over to the State Department. Instead of Clinton’s assurances that the server in the basement in Chappaqua had never been breached, Comey said it was possible that hostile actors had hacked Clinton’s email account. Among the emails not given to State, he said at least three contained classified information.

Hillary had already compromised the president, who feels he needs her to cement his legacy. Obama angered FBI. agents when he was interviewed on CBS’s “60 Minutes” last fall and undermined the bureau’s investigation by exonerating Hillary before the FBI. was done with its work, saying pre-emptively, “This is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.”

Hillary willfully put herself above the rules — again — and a president, campaign and party are all left twisting themselves into pretzels defending her.

But what should disturb Obama, who bypassed his own vice president to lay out the red carpet for Hillary, is that the email transgression is not a one off. It’s part of a long pattern of ethical slipping and sliding, obsessive secrecy and paranoia, and collateral damage.

Comey’s verdict that Hillary was “negligent” was met with sighs rather than shock. We know who Hillary and Bill are now. We’ve been held hostage to their predilections and braided intrigues for a long time. (On the Hill, Comey refused to confirm or deny that he’s investigating the Clinton Foundation, with its unseemly tangle of donors and people doing business with State.)

We’re resigned to the Clintons focusing on their viability and disregarding the consequences of their heedless actions on others. They’re always offering a Faustian deal.  

Support of Hillary candidacy by major neoliberal MSM no longer work, but tricks with election polls still do

  Fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again.

The key idea of polls is to influence electorate. Not to inform, but to influence.

 

Neoliberal MSM don't care if Hillary is mentally ill, dying, criminal or anything. Because it isn't about her, it is about The Neoliberal Agenda.

Hillary is supported by all major US MSMs (with the exclusion of Fox). Look how AP predeclared Hillary a winner, although none of the "super delegates" (apparatchiks, representing the Party Establishment and controlling the Party much like was the case with CPSU) voted yet. Such dirty tricks are typical when the elite start to worry about the outcome of election and their own stability at the top of the food chain.  In any case, I think that many realize that those elections have one interesting similarity with year 2000 elections: the economy in the second half 2016 and 2017 might decline. And decline of the economy in the second half of 2016 might undermine Democrat chances much like it undermined them in 2000.  But it is difficult to repeat with Hillary "bait and switch" trick that was so skillfully and successfully was performed with Obama.  Like unforgettable George W Bush quipped: "

There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again.

The real issue is not Clinton, or Sanders, or Trump. The real issue is the fight with neoliberalism (or Reaganomics) that destroyed the country. And already destroyed employment opportunities for millions of Americans pushing them into poverty, by encouraging unlimited emigration, including immigration of professionals and unlimited stream of China-produced goods.  In in such desperate battle all means are OK. Even Trump with his multiple warts. Later Twitter hashtags such as

  1. #CrookedHillary
  2. #NotFitToServe
  3. #LyingHillary
  4. #LiedUnderOath,
  5. #EMailScandal
  6. #DeceitfulHillary

became important integrators of "anti-Hillary" news, effectively providing counterweight to fawning MSM presstitutes.

Again MSM in the USA tend to personalize the most important political issues (identity politics). That gives them opportunity to hide real issues facing the nation under smoke screen of personal invectives.  The real issue during this election is a referendum of neoliberal globalization. that's what MSM try to bury in the smokescreen of identity politics, Look how "Back life matters" movement was played.  

They try to hide the danger that yet another globalist war for opening natural resources and labor resources of other countries for transnationals which will be unleashed by Hillary. Who already managed to vote of Iraq war, and  royally rape Ukraine , Libya and Syria. This is a real issue, and it not about personalities involved.  It is about different factions of the US elite: globalist part that now dominant and smaller weaker nationalist part what is now on the upswing.

I doubt that democratic leadership (which are democrats only in name, being regular bought neocons at the service of Wall Street)  shared the voters opinion that we need slightly compress financial oligarchy in order to give people some breathing space :-). For a very simple reason: they all were bought by financial oligarchy during Bill Clinton term and as Mark Twain noted "An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought."

It is possible that "bait and switch" which so wonderfully worked with Obama will work again with Hillary (if people are foolish enough to believe her pre-election promises) although reading all sorts of "alternative press " forums (which are of course not fully reflect public opinion ). But I think now changes for this trick to succeed are much lower than the current neoliberal MSM honchos estimate. And after "emailgate" that Trump really has chances against her. I have an impression is that this time Republicans might "got" her like they got Bill with Monica. And disbar and strip her of security clearance at least.   And I am sure they will try their best now to remove her security clearance, which will be the major embarrassment.  If timing is right in election cycle that will be knockdown.

IMHO if the Democratic Party did not wake up to this danger and did not try to push Sanders -- they might well be done in November.   For Trump, who has no history in politics, Hillary now  is a perfect target for a negative "national security in danger" charged campaign in which he is a grandmaster to be envied by Karl Rove. He will wipe with her the floor, that's for sure. And from this point she can't even mention her stance as the Secretary of State without evoking contemptuous laugh.  specially if he picks up a retired general Pick Flynn,  the former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, as his VP

That why we now see such a brazen, classic Soviet style dirty propaganda campaign against Trump in major MSM. 

To some extent, the fact that Sanders and Trump "floated to the top" against the will of the establishment can be called a symptom of "pre-revolutionary situation" reminding the situation before WWI like depicted in famous 1905 song Warszawianka:

Whirlwinds of danger are racing around us
O'erwhelming forces of darkness prevail
Still in the fight see advancing before us
Bright flag of liberty that yet shall prevail!

In a way the internal situation in the USA have the level of complexity and level of hate of neoliberal globalist elite (represented by investment banks such as Goldman Sachs -- the vampire squid as Tabbi called it) remind my situation in pre-revolutionary Russia or Balkans.  And some reasons the whole world got into the situation somewhat resembling the one that existed before WWI.  Take Mid East. Is not this a new Balkans of 1914 ?

Also like before WWI there is at least one country which now have economic might that somewhat challenges the status of the  sole superpower.  Here we are taking about China. And another country which believes that the US has cut off too large a piece of the pie and want global redistribution of spheres of influence and does not want to march on the tune of Washington drummers. Here we are talking about Russia. While the elite in the USA are still adhere to the delusional idea of the total world domination, whose two countries present some obstacles, which might grow during the next decade. Moreover the people of the USA are tired to pay the costs for maintaining the Global Neoliberal Empire:

It is well known that the key idea of polls is to influence electorate. Not to inform, but to influence. In the USA, like in the USSR,  MSM are fully engaged in this dirty game.  The psychological mechanism behind this dirty game  is based on deeply rooted human tendency to side with the  (presumptive) winner.

MSM fake the desirable for the elite result (or at least distort actually picture) and that automatically conditions those who is still undecided to vote for "presumptive winner", or not to vote. The latter in the spirit of inverted totalitarism is preferable for  elite result -- making each elite voter (who always vote, as this is about their power) more valuable. Please note half of the US population does not vote.  But anger might brings them out.  John Pilger gave a good picture of behaviour of MSM in his recent article The Brexit Rejection of Neoliberal Tyranny ( Consortiumnews, )

Dismissing ‘These People’

On the morning after the vote, a BBC radio reporter welcomed politicians to his studio as old chums. “Well,” he said to “Lord” Peter Mandelson, the disgraced architect of Blairism, “why do these people want it so badly?” The “these people” are the majority of Britons.

The wealthy war criminal Tony Blair remains a hero of the Mandelson “European” class, though few will say so these days. The Guardian once described Blair as “mystical” and has been true to his “project” of rapacious war. The day after the vote, the columnist Martin Kettle offered a Brechtian solution to the misuse of democracy by the masses.
“Now surely we can agree referendums are bad for Britain,” said the headline over his full-page piece. The “we” was unexplained but understood — just as “these people” is understood. “The referendum has conferred less legitimacy on politics, not more,” wrote Kettle, adding: “the verdict on referendums should be a ruthless one. Never again.”

The kind of ruthlessness for which Kettle longs is found in Greece, a country now airbrushed. There, they had a referendum against more austerity and the result was ignored. Like the Labour Party in Britain, the leaders of the Syriza government in Athens are the products of an affluent, highly privileged, educated middle class, groomed in the fakery and political treachery of post-modernism.

The Greek people courageously used the referendum to demand their government seek “better terms” with a venal status quo in Brussels that was crushing the life out of their country. They were betrayed, as the British would have been betrayed.

Sophistication of the current MSM allows conditioning in a very subtle way. For example if electorate of one candidate is younger, you can run poll using landline phones. How subgroup is selected is also important:

3.14e-9  

Yes, how they ask the questions is important, and it’s also important to note which subgroups were asked the questions. Some questions were limited to respondents who had voted in a previous Democratic primary. That means the results don’t include Independents and Republicans who might cross party lines. Also, those who voted in a past primary are far more likely to be familiar with HRC than Sanders.

Lastly, confidence in Bernie rose for some questions. Interestingly enough, there was an increase in the number of people who thought he could competently handle a foreign crisis. Sargent’s bias is pretty clear. Entire poll here:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/12/us/politics/document-poll.html

Of course this election cycle much depends on how angry people really are with the establishment. I think many viscerally dislike Hillary Clinton creating what is called  "anybody but Hillary" voting block. Essentially they are voting not for, but against. 

I think not many understand that Dem and Repug are actually one neoliberal party representing its soft and hard wings, correspondingly. And both intend to harm or even destroy the country with their globalist neoliberal policies to serve interests on top 0.01% (note the intensity the campaign against Trump and the result of this complains).  And that the case with Dems since Bill Clinton sold the part to Wall Street. The vast body of American people wants change back to "New Deal" policies (and not Obama's fake "change we can believe in")  but they don’t have a place at the negotiating table…

Gaius Publius  provide a good analysis of now MSM sell establishment candidate to lemmings in his July 10, 2015 post in Naked capitalism blog (The Clinton Campaign Notices the Sanders Campaign, or How to Read the Media)

Taking Apart the Insider Game

The most important thing to consider when thinking about the Sanders campaign is this. Everyone else who’s running, on both sides, is an insider playing within — and supporting — the “insider game,” the one that keeps insiders wealthy and outsiders struggling, the one where the wealthy and their retainers operate government for their benefit only. What sets Sanders apart is his determination to dismantle that game, to take it apart and send its players home (back to the private sector) or to jail.

Two examples should make this clear. One is Fast Track and the “trade” agreements being forced upon us. The pressure to pass these agreements is coming equally from mainstream Democrats like Barack Obama, a “liberal,” and from mainstream Republicans, supposed “conservatives.” They may differ on “rights” policy, like abortion rights, but not on money matters. Trade agreements are wealth-serving policies promoted by people in both parties who serve wealth, which means most of them. People like Sanders, Warren and others, by contrast, would neuter these agreement as job-killing profit protection schemes and turn them into something else.

A second example involves Wall Street banks, in particular, a policy of breaking them up, reinstating Glass-Steagall, and prosecuting Wall Street fraud. Can you imagine any announced candidate doing any of these things, save Bernie Sanders?

In both of these cases, Sanders would aggressively challenge the insider profit-protection racket, not just give lip service to challenging it. Which tells you why he is so popular. Many of us in the bleachers have noticed the insider game — after all, it’s been happening in front of us for decades— and most of us are done with it. Ask any Tea Party Republican voter, for example, what she thinks of the bank bailout of 2008-09. She’ll tell you she hated it, whether she explains it in our terms or not.

And that’s why Sanders, like Warren before him, draws such enthusiastic crowds. The pendulum has swung so far in the direction of wealth that the nation may well change permanently, and people know it. People are ready, just as they were in 2008, prior to eight years of betrayal. People have been discouraged about the chance for change lately, but they’re ready for the real thing if they see it.

The Clinton Campaign Notices Sanders

There’s been an attempt to downplay the Sanders candidacy since the beginning, to sink his campaign beneath a wave of silence. That ended a bit ago, and the press has begun to take notice, if snippily. Now the Clinton campaign is noticing, if the New York Times is to be believed. I found the following fascinating, for a number of reasons.

The piece first along with some news, then a little exegesis (my emphasis):

Hillary Clinton’s Team Is Wary as Bernie Sanders Finds Footing in Iowa

The ample crowds and unexpectedly strong showing by Senator Bernie Sanders are setting off worry among advisers and allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who believe the Vermont senator could overtake her in Iowa polls by the fall and even defeat her in the nation’s first nominating contest there.

The enthusiasm that Mr. Sanders has generated — including a rally attended by 2,500 people in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Friday — has called into question Mrs. Clinton’s early strategy of focusing on a listening tour of small group gatherings and wooing big donors in private settings. In May, Mrs. Clinton led with 60 percent support to Mr. Sanders’ 15 percent in a Quinnipiac poll. Last week the same poll showed Mrs. Clinton at 52 percent to Mr. Sanders’s 33 percent.

“We are worried about him, sure. He will be a serious force for the campaign, and I don’t think that will diminish,” Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign’s communications director, said Monday in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Some of Mrs. Clinton’s advisers acknowledged that they were surprised by Mr. Sanders’ momentum and said there were enough liberal voters in Iowa, including many who supported Barack Obama or John Edwards in 2008, to create problems for her there.

“I think we underestimated that Sanders would quickly attract so many Democrats in Iowa who weren’t likely to support Hillary,” said one Clinton adviser, who like several others spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly share views about the race. “It’s too early to change strategy because no one knows if Sanders will be able to hold on to these voters in the months ahead. We’re working hard to win them over, but yeah, it’s a real competition there.”

I don’t want to quote the whole thing (well, I do, but I can’t). So I encourage you to read it. There’s much there worth noticing.

What to Look at When the Times Reports on Clinton

Now, some exegesis, meta-reading of the media, especially corporate media like the Times. My three main points are bulleted below.

"Hillary as lesser evil" attack on Trump

A vote against Hillary is not a vote for Trump any more than a vote
against the Iraq War was a vote for Saddam Hussein.

The Guardian

Shills for Democratic Party try to present Hillary as lesser evil then Trump. But Hillary is a war criminal of a type that in the recent past went to Nuremberg tribunal and as such she represents absolute zero (much like Kelvin scale absolute zero in temperatures) of evilness of politicians. You just can't be more evil. She (with her boss Obama) was instrumental in destroying three countries (Ukraine, Libya and Syria) and killing hundreds of thousand civilians by unleashing civil wars in those countries. Aggressive wars are simply, as Jackson said at Nurnberg, the supreme international crime. You can't go lower then this but neoliberal MSM try to fool the voters claiming the opposite (The Guardian)

MrWangincanada , 2016-08-02 11:34:46

Anyone but Clinton, I beg you, American voters.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama is one of the greatest war criminals in recent history, Clinton will only be worse.

Vote for Jill or Trump, never Clinton.

FTPFTP , 2016-08-02 11:30:03

There simply isn't any logic to this OMG Trump will be the worst thing ever. So one must then assume that the argument is created and perpetuated simply to manipulate and mislead.

Trump, a detestable person, would get very little of his extreme views passed. Clinton, a detestable person, would get very much of her extreme views passed.

Because Clinton is to the right of Obama (accurate provided you aren't a rabid partisan) she is far more likely to get every awful military action she wants. Since she's apparently the "pragmatic" one, how quickly do any of these policy proposals get watered down or gutted entirely in the name of compromise and political realities and "politics being the art of the possible"?

And of course, the useless, vapid, Democrat partisans will, for the most part, say nothing. See: 8-years of Obama as Bush 2.0.

ID7004073  -> bluelines , 2016-08-02 11:54:07
Get your facts straight. Those have been labeled FALSE!

However the corruption and neoLiberal war supporter that is hung on Clinton has been proven by her actions with "regime change" in Libya and coup support in Honduras. And then there is the corruption of weapons for charitable contributions for the Clinton Foundation! ...

FTPFTP  -> jamesmit , 2016-08-02 12:10:31
You are correct that Obama was different from Bush, you're just wrong about the direction.
  1. Drones/Illegal Wars: Expanded
  2. Wall St/Corporate Corruption: Went unpunished & expanded
  3. Domestic Spying: Expanded
  4. Constitutional Violations: Expanded
  5. War or Whistleblowers: Created

He has done nothing but act like climate change is important. He has not done anything meaningful except offer more hopeful rhetoric, the only thing the Democratic candidates seem to be good at lately.

This is what lesser evilism gets you.

The US President does have huge influence on in foreign policy and from this point Hillary Clinton should scare hell out off an average US voter (in this particular area she is a real devil as Trump rightly said :-) 

But this is not the case because an average US voter sees the US aggressive wars as defensive. Also MSM brainwashing is very strong and most voters just do not have all the facts in thier disposal, only those who read foreign press can have them. Is it fair to consider such US citizens as delusional? Probably not. But they definitly were merely massively and comprehensively brainwashed.

Is the Trump Campaign smart enough to sustain six months campaign of counter-disinformation warfare? Can they play the irony that Hillary camp is attacking Trump for his fear mongering, while Hillary is a real, certified warmonger and war criminal. Will they will be able to creating countervailing agenda for MSM fear mongering about what a monster Trump would be as the President. It's all about playing voters fear even when MSM pretend it's not, and that is sickening. They try to swipe the problem with neoliberal globalization under the rug.   Is Trump and his team smart enough  to "beat Hillary's teeth out of her mouth"  based on her certified warmonger status war criminal record? As well as the fact that she in the pocket of Wall Street, and will remain in this comfortable (for her) position for the rest of the political life ("Goldwater girl" is a quintessential neoliberal, and always was). Those are very interesting questions. The problem is the very few ask them  (sic_semper_tyrannis, July 29, 2016). 

Jack said in reply to Old Microbiologist...

OM,

"delusional citizens in the US see our aggression as defensive".

This is what happens when citizens have been propagandized for so long. And folks are inherently lazy. They'll buy into whatever whoever they trust say. Do you recall the majority of Americans believed that Saddam had WMD and was in cahoots with AQ and supported the invasion where we would be treated as liberators?

The first time in the recent past there is any dissonance in public discourse has been with Trump.

Trump campaign is making some right moves: (theguardian.com, Aug 2, 2016)

Roger Stone, a long time confidante of Trump, amplified these concerns in an interview with a far right wing radio show.

Stone said: “I think we have widespread voter fraud, but the first thing that Trump needs to do is begin talking about it constantly.”

Laying out a strategy for Trump to adopt, Stone added: “He needs to say for example, today would be a perfect example: ‘I am leading in Florida. The polls all show it. If I lose Florida, we will know that there’s voter fraud. If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate, the election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government.’”

He also promised a “bloodbath” if the Democrats attempted to “steal” the election.

... ... ...

The statement came after Trump reiterated a frequent allegation of his on the campaign trail in recent days, that in endorsing the former secretary of state, Bernie Sanders made a deal with the devil. He went further this time, explicitly saying: “She’s the devil.”

But Hillary campaign has skillful propagandists and full support of neoliberal MSM (which all are neoliberal). They can create much ado about nothing (Melania plagiarism issue ;-). Looks how skillfully they played the propagated by Democratic strategist attack on Trump by the father of a fallen Muslim Army captain. Just look at NYT propaganda games around this sensitive subject:

They managed to inflate it into a major scandal effectively swiping under the rag Hillary Clinton war crimes and presenting Trump as insensitive to sacrifices make by US army (which includes tiny number of Muslims) in fight terrorism. This is a master play that should go into all propaganda books as the whole issue is completely artificial was create out of thin air by Clinton campaign propagandists. That also allowed them to raise questions about how Trump managed to avoid draft:

Another example odd skillfully amplifying not always politically correct (but in this particular case pretty reasonable) Trump remarks is anti-Russian hysteria around his words that Russians should give FBI those 30K deleted emails, if they have them. Now they start blaming him for wanting warmer relations with Putin, the person who stands against expansion of US neoliberal empire and was demonized for a decade (see Demonization of Putin). This is another master class in propaganda.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/02/us/politics/donald-trump-vladimir-putin-russia.html?ribbon-ad-idx=4&rref=politics&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Politics&pgtype=article

This time it looks like this time the working class voters vowed to take their revenge at the polls and do not buy neoliberal propaganda.  They now understand that they were taken for a ride by neocons and will never see promised by neoliberal propagandists "prosperity for all", only redistribution of wealth up at their expense.  They were disgusted with the neoliberal transformation of the country during previous three  administrations and, especially the most dishonest of them --  the king of "bait and switch", neoliberal in democrat cloth Obama, who betrays people who elected him twice in best Bill Clinton traditions.  Who now wants to became a venture capitalist himself. Such a "change we can believe in" ;-). 

 If you did not see Trump Ad Hillary Clinton Crooked Warmonger  (Youtube) I recommend you to watch it. It catches the main point:  Stakes are too high to elect warmonger like Hillary Clinton

Anti Trump propaganda resembles war propaganda

To understand the coverage of Trump in neoliberal MSM one needs to understand the mechanisms of war propaganda. The latter is guided by the following postulates well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

Essentially the task is to compare two candidates (and Trump platform hs many strong points which attacks large swats of voters) but to demonize him by whatever means possible. Often using prepared attacks (political gambits) to discredit him. Neoliberal MSM do not want to discuss real issues such as Hillary record as war party candidate, but try to disrult voter with so called "verge" issues. The classic example of verge issue is LGBT and "gay marriage".  Attacks like "Melania plagiarism", "Muslim solger father attack",  "Trump as Putin lover", anti-Russian hysteria belong to the same category. 

Deflection of an important issue is also successfully used. See for example attempt to drawn the proven corruption of Democratic Party primaries in the sea of anti-Russian hysteria.

To expect NYT, WaPo, CNN, and other neoliberal MSM to discuss dangers of neoliberal globalization and destruction of of US jobs during this election campaign, or, God forbid, ask related questions to candidate Hillary,  is like to expect that Mississippi reverses its flow.

The only hope is the neoliberal MSM are no longer trusted and the bite of neoliberal propaganda became weaker this time.

  1. The "revolt of diplomats" gambit. On March 3, 2016  neocons staged 40 "national security leaders" (read dyed-in-the-wool neocons) open letter against Trump. Trump is ‘fundamentally dishonest,’ say GOP national security leaders in open letter - The Washington Post. This panic at neocons Jurassic park is pretty telling. Among 40 neocons who signed the letter we see only few diplomats. The list mostly composed of second rate "security establishment/foreign policy" players. There are some exceptions -- recognizable names -- such as Robert B. Zoellick (the eleventh president of the World Bank), Ken_Adelman (former deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations),  Robert Kagan  (Counselor of the State Department appointed by Hillary Clinton, co-founder of PNAC), Eliot A. Cohen (Counselor of the State Department appointed by Rice), Daniel Pipes (famous Israeli lobbyist) Michael Chertoff (the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security under Presidents George W. Bush, co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act), and Dov S. Zakheim (Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Planning and Resources from 1985 to 1987).  The major neocon players in George W Bush administration such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Elliott Abrams are not in the list. "The letter comes just days after Michael Hayden, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, said the U.S. military might disobey orders if Trump becomes president. "

    We know that such letters are a standard part of "color revolutions" (including but not limited to Libya, Ukraine(The Revolt of diplomats) and Syria ), but in this case this trick was used preemptively against a leading candidate from Republican party. It was followed by Khan gambit.

    "Revolt of diplomats" from the perspective of propaganda is a very powerful weapon in the Arsenal of "soft coups". It can, if you want to ask Leonid Kuchma, that could confirm "the  Colonel Kaddafi", and Mr. Yanukovich. But in order for bomb to explode more powerfully you need that the revolt of diplomats  was (as in the era of Orange Revolution, in Libya and in Syria) is involve the diplomats of the highest rank, preferably the level of acting heads of diplomatic missions. In this case it produces an avalanche style affect de-legitimizing the current government. and then can serve as a starting point for the further de-legitimization.

     Looks like US neocons now use the color revolution playbook against Trump.  This is a technique of "soft coup".
     

  2. "Waving the flag attacks".  Typically they are switfboat style attacks. This is what this page is about.  Khan gambit opened Trump military record to investigation and blackmailing by neoliberal MSM.  It also facilitated the attacks design to put a verge between Trump and military voters.
  3. Creating a false image of Trump as a fascist authoritarian (with the goal of blocking voting for Trump of Sanders supporters after Sanders betrayal of his political platform)
     
  4. Fanning anti-Russian hysteria and accusing Trump of connections to Putin (Putin stooge gambit). This is a typical cold war trick that works very well because of demonization of Putin in neoliberal MSM.  Neocons, as former Trotskyites, were the propagandist warriors of Cold War and are very skilled in below the belt blows of this kind (searching for  "communists under each bed"). As such this can be viewed as a variation of  McCarthy-style attacks -- a witch hunt for Putin supporters within Trump close cycle of advisors. Anti-Russian and pro-Israel stance is a part of neoconservative ideology (and is shared by a large part of Washington elite), so for neocons (and neoliberal MSM) this type of attacks are as a natural as breathing. McCarthyism  painted liberals as soft on Communism, now neocon paint opponents of Warmonger Hillary,  as soft on Putin.  When in reality the main danger is not softness, but the danger of nuclear confrontation with Russia. Neocon demagogues, such as Robert Kagan managed simultaneously accuse Trump of being Putin stooge and a fascist.  It is well known that chickenhawks are rabidly jingoistic, so this theme also is played as a part of "waving the flag attacks" such as Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention
     
  5. Projecting on Trump accusations of racism ( a variant of Gaslighting) with the goal of eliminating Trump voters among minorities. In reality Bill Clinton, as a staunch neoliberal,  initiated the largest program of incarceration of black men in history.  He also substantially cut federal support to poor families.

     Indiscriminate killing of brown people (including many woman and children) supported (and in case of Libya pressed) by Hillary is not considered racist by neoliberal MSM, but Trump suggestion (note suggestion) to limit Muslim and Mexican immigration to the USA is the crime of the century, because such a measure limits inflow of cheap labor for transnational corporations. What is interesting in this "identity politics" attack deployed by Hillary camp is that often they misdiagnose the problems pretending that nothing, but racism matters and that this is automatically thee root cause. For example for excessive police violence against blacks. Sometime the root cause is different: it can be stereotyping, or that people are frightened, they can behave stupid, or they are evil. No, all such cases are automatically classified as racists. Police misconduct is not a problem solely about race and racism. Here’s a thoughtful blogpost about the problem of police misconduct in certain kinds of fatal shooting incidents and what can be done about it, both politically and in terms of reforming police training and administration: http://sociological-eye.blogspot.com/2016/07/can-war-between-cops-and-blacks-be-de.html
     

  6. Creating an image of Trump as an unstable maniac who can't be trusted with important assignments, such as control of nuclear button (and forgetting that Obama is a former cocaine addict and marijuana user, who might not completely abandon this habit in the White house) . An Bruce Wilder ( Crooked timber, Aug 13, 2016) aptly noted: "People, who argue Trump might start a nuclear war out of personal pique because he insults people on teevee might want to examine Clinton’s bellicose foreign policy record and positions on, say, Israel, Iran, Ukraine, NATO expansion or the South China Sea. ". Or, as Ian Welsh pointed out, her position on Syria is nothing but reckless. She seems to have advocated for a no-fly zone in Syria, which would presumably means shooting down Russian warplanes.
      
  7. Denigration Trump personality by constant using in neoliberal MSM coverage of Trump such epithets as "crazy, reckless, ignorant, ignoramus, unqualified, unhinged lunatic, nuclear weapons trigger happy, narcissist, xenophobe, anti-Muslim, misogynist, buffoon, chimpanzee-level " 
  8. Distorting his views, despite some of them have strong connection to reality. Please read 6 Problems With Media's Reaction To Trump's ISIS Comments by Mollie Hemingway. This is a very important article and I strongly recommend to read it in full to understand how neoliberal propaganda works. This is a nice example of how difficult is for an ordinary person to cut through media lies and get to the truth. So some level of brainwashing is inevitable unless you use only alternative media. Neoliberal MSM are disgusting and are lying all the time, but they are called "mainstream media" not accidentally. Unless you use WWW and foreign sources (like people in the USSR did -- substitute radio for WWW, as it did not existed yet) you will be brainwashed. Like Margaret Thatcher used to say "there is no alternative". They did the same dirty tricks with Bernie Sanders to derail his candidacy.

Attempt to court Jewish voters and thus Florida for Hillary

Slurs that Trump is closet anti-Semite are also successfully used to lure into Hillary camp the specific category of voters, which might decide the Florida election results (Hillary Clinton’s AIPAC speech was a symphony of craven, delusional pandering):

Here is the entirety of Clinton’s remarks about settlements: “Everyone has to do their part by avoiding damaging actions, including with respect to settlements. Now, America has an important role to play in supporting peace efforts. And as president, I would continue the pursuit of direct negotiations. And let me be clear—I would vigorously oppose any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution, including by the U.N. Security Council.”

She spent significantly more time railing against the “alarming” Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, which is gaining traction on college campuses nationwide. Pledging to “take our alliance to the next level,” Clinton said that one of the first things she’d do in office is invite the Israeli prime minister to the White House. That was a barely veiled rebuke to Obama, who never treated Benjamin Netanyahu with the deference the prime minister felt entitled to. Before the speech, some had hoped that Clinton might offer a word of solidarity or encouragement to beleaguered progressives in Israel. She gave them nothing.

It’s understandable that Clinton would want to widen the gulf between AIPAC and Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee. “We need steady hands, not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday, and who knows what on Wednesday, because everything is negotiable,” she said to applause, out-hawking the man who is running on a platform of Middle Eastern war crimes. In doing so, she offered a bridge to #NeverTrump neoconservatives like Max Boot and Robert Kagan, who has already written that, should Trump be the nominee, “the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.”

Anti-Trump neoconservatives, however, are a minuscule group of people. And in seeking their approval, Clinton has further alienated left-wing voters, particularly young ones. Polls show that Americans under 30 are far more critical of Israel than are older voters. Liberal Democrats sympathize more with the Palestinians than they do with Israel. There is already deep suspicion of Clinton’s foreign-policy instincts among Bernie Sanders’ supporters; Clinton doesn’t need to give them new reasons to distrust her.

Foreign Phrase On Bill Clinton's Lapel Pin Sparks Speculation

Former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday was subject to inquiries about his pin shortly after he arrived to watch Vice President Joe Biden’s address. The Forward’s Nathan Guttman shared a Twitter photo of the blue and white pin, which sparked some discussion regarding its potential significance.

“I know it’s Hebrew,” one commenter wrote, “but I can’t make out the letters. Tovah?”

A short time later, a representative of the National Jewish Democratic Council offered some clarity. Steve Rabinowitz explained both he and NJDC Chairman Marc Stanley gave Clinton one of the pins prior to Wednesday evening’s scheduled events. The lapel embellishment reads “Hillary” in Hebrew.

“He said he’d wear it,” Rabinowitz recalled of his encounter with the former president, “but I didn’t know whether or not to believe him and certainly didn’t think he’d do it tonight.” 

Rise of Deep State

My point is that in many ways, the current system  creates this false illusion that there are some politicians out there looking out for the interest of people, that the checks and balances from 18th century that were built into the system are operational, when in fact they're not.  And this no longer can be squared by propaganda in MSM, much like Soviet propaganda machine lost its effectiveness in 1970th. Which contributed to the collapse of the state in 1990th. Actually internal stability of the USA is a complex issue. For one plausible source of this additional stability some researchers see in the rise of The Deep State which actually come to power in 1963:

In a way the concept of  Corporatism and the concept of  "deep state' are very close, almost synonyms. Corporatism presuppose the merger of government and corporations. It can be done openly as was the case in Mussolini Italy or via back door, "revolving door" mechanism as it was done in the USA. In the latter case part of power of 'surface state" is preserved.

But there are agencies that get special status under corporatism. this is so called three-letter agencies (which actually is the backbone of Media-Military-Industrial Complex). Or national security establishment. This is new unelected aristocracy with huge financial resources that stands above law and can't be easily demotes from their positions (J. Edgar Hoover  is an excellent example here).  They now are a new incarnation of "royal court", which can like in old times is able to dismiss a monarch or even kill him.

So in a way the concept of "deep state" -- hypertrophied role of three letter agencies and their brass and certain corporations (aka military industrial complex) in national politics especially in formulating foreign policy is nothing new. But devil is always in details and some features of the USA deep state are different then our analogy predicts.

First of all "surface state" is still keeping some positions and even try to counterattack deep state in certain areas. Second, the merger of interests of three letter agencies like CIA/NSA and Wall Street can never be absolute as they have different worldviews on both the USA foreign policy priorities and methods of achieving them. They only partially coincide.  Also relations between three letter agencies are far from harmonious at all with CIA ('humint") very concerned about recent rise of status and capabilities of NSA ("sigint").  So in certain areas they are more like spiders in the cage with CIA perfectly capable attacking NSA and vise versa, and that gives us some hope. 

Two party system invented by elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for inverted totalitarism type of regimes, including the US neoliberalism.  But there is second trend here which increase the elite control of the county:  this is dramatic transfer of power to institutions of "deep state", which in certain sense now like TBTF are beyond civil  control. As well as a secret alliance between Wall Street and CIA and other three letter agencies.

All those factors essentially make Presidential and Congress election in the USA truly optional, serving mostly ceremonial, decorative function. Yes elections still continue to exist and sometime provide good theater, within the strict rules of an emasculated "two parties, winner takes all" system, which if you think about it is not that different from one party elections in the USSR.

They still have a role in legitimizing the current rulers, although actual rules are not the same as those who were elected. This is especially true about the two recent US Presidents: George W Bush and Barack Obama.  And that explains why Barack Obama foreign policy is essentially a continuation of policy of George W Bush with minor tweaks.  Just the fact that neocon Victoria Nuland who worked for Cheney was promoted to the key role of the  Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs  tells that Obama controls very little in foreign policy area and that 'deep state" is functioning autonomously and without control of "surface state".

Many people now are starting to distinguish between blue pill and red pill views on the US society and political establishment. They start to understand that neoliberalism legitimizes far-reaching political inequality, because one’s economic capital is translated directly into one’s ‘political capital’. As  in one dollar one vote. The net result is that lower 80%  are disenfranchised, turned into apathetic, passive consumer-citizens, and made increasingly powerless to respond in any meaningful way to dictate of the of transnational corporations (effectively turned into debt slaves).

While it is the multinational corporations which became the primary political actors in what left of politics by deep state. So on one hand neoliberals recasting the persons as "mini-enterprise" a market player that need to compete for survival on the marketplace, but  simultaneously makes a "person" such entities as international corporations. In other words Neoliberal democracy as exists in the USA is a rule not by the people but by the largest corporation (democracy for S&P500, or as some call it "Democracy Inc").

What I am  seeing is a complete breakdown of traditional institutions including the Congress, the Supreme Court, the central government and the institution of general elections. Switch to unelected government called The Deep State is in my view complete on all levels. It happened objectively due to tremendous growth of the size of government bureaucracy (which is irreversible), ability to intercept communications (which gave a rise to NSA), growth  of the population of the country, tremendous growth of multinationals, and some other factors.

And functioning of the US state  really changed dramatically since the days when constitution was written. At this time State Department consisted of less then a dozen people including the Secretary of State -- And how many people State Department employs now. Thousands. That's a real army. And here size matters. That means that they can chew any Secretary of State that deviates from their established policies in no time. Which provides amazing continuity of the USA foreign policy despite changes of the government. And the presence and leading role of Cheney appointee Victoria Nuland in State Department of Obama administration is far from accidental. That's just a sign that Obama does not control the State Department or at least does not want to control it because his foreign policies are continue of Bush policies.  Another sign of the same situation when the tail wags the dog exists with Samantha Power who like McCain wants to bomb each second country on Earth to install democracy and protect women.

The Deep State won because it proved to be more efficient institution of governance then traditional state and it replaced it from within (via "quite coup").  In a way very similar to Bolsheviks take over. The means that traditional institution including general elections stop serving their primary role and became just instrument of legitimization of the rule of top .1%. Please Google "myth of intelligent voter" and "polyarchy" for additional information about those developments.  This slide to unelected imperial structures of governance started in early 60th. Now it is complete. In a way this is similar transformation that happened with the USSR where "nomenklatura" became the ruling class and later successfully privatized the state changing camps from communist to neoliberal (with gentle support of CIA and other branches of US government including generous cash infusions for key people in KGB and other key ministries).  BTW the USSR also has elections on all levels, Two Chamber Parliament, Supreme Court, etc.  In other words we now have the rule of unelected "nomenclature" in the USA too. And outside this narrow circle,  people simply do not have voice, nor any influence on governance, Sanders or no Sanders. Every traditional institution including general elections became just a facade for deep state (http://billmoyers.com/2014/02/21/anatomy-of-the-deep-state/). 

And that means that independently of the results you'll see the next government that continue to have policies that cater to the interests of the top one percent or the .1 percent -- to the detriment of everyone else and will definitely continue Bush-Obama policies because this is the policy .1% wants and need. Sanders or no Sanders.   As simple as that. Sanders is definitely better Presidential candidate for majority of American people then Killary but one robin does not make spring.  He has no staying power, being essentially a one man show. There is no party, not strong organization behind him and that's fatal. The fact is that "Dog and pony show" called general election can't challenge the power of deep state.  And that unfortunately means that he like Obama before him, at the end of the day he "does not matter".  He will forces to perform the will of the deep state. Obama might have some noble intentions are the beginning, but looking into his actual record he can well be called George Bush III.  And most people are now mocking enthusiasm of the country on the day of election and Obama famous slogan "change we can believe in" which should be translated into English as "business as usual after election "bait and switch" ".   Obama proved to be a turncoat who after the elections turned into Bush III with a slightly different color of skin.

That's the way the deep state works.  It will chew any politician. This is a the key lesson of 8 year governance of this week puppet with  "change we can believe it" slogan.  Who is most famous for his  democratizing drone strikes. I wonder how many people he manage to democratize this way ?

Still the  election of Sanders would  be a nice kick in a chin of the ruling elite. Just a kick.  It will not be  a knockout or even knockdown. But still it worth fight for. That will make some things for them slightly more difficult.

But at the end POTUS now became more of ceremonial figure and less a real policymaker. Also any POTUS after JFK is afraid of CIA and NSA. According to retired CIA analysts Obama is.  Look at the O'Bomber State Department populated with Cheney people. Those people, not O'Bomber defined the USA foreign policy. It under the next president it will remain the same consistently highly militaristic and jingoistic policy like under O'Bomber.   Do you think Sanders will be able to change that ? And that's true about all three recent presidents, not just Obama, who were just especially helpless to challenge the power of deep state. As Jon Stewart pointedly asked him "Please baby one more chance". Although traditional institution do not give up easily and sometime stage back fights which now demonstrates in secessionist movement in states, such as Texas, Alaska, Wisconsin, etc.

See also

How the psychological warfare against the US population was won by neoliberal elite in 1980th

The psychological warfare against the US population was won by neoliberal elite which managed to poison the political discourse with their ideas and first of all the idea of establishment of the world neoliberal order (the New World Order) with the USA in the center. This was later got a name Quite coup. That means that the secret war against the American people launched in 1970th in not some bizarre "conspiracy theory" (CIA term for anything that threatens the deep state)  but a very real scientifically verifiable development of the US society. And rise of neoliberal think tanks like Heritage Foundation was not accidental. It was very similar with the mechanisms using which Bolsheviks created their party of "professional revolutionaries".  Then neoliberal infiltrated universities and first of all economic departments, which became the centers of spread of neoliberalism in the country. Bribes proved to be working extremely well in economic professors community :-). And this happened not only in the USA and GB. Much like series of communist revolution in 1920-1950th this repeated in many other countries. GB and Germany comes to mind first. In other words neoliberal revolutions were a worldwide phenomenon, although the center of it was and still is in the USA. See such books as

Bush II era is continuing under Obama

In all crucial respects the Bush II era did not end Jan. 20, 2009 and unless Trump wins will continue after 2016. Obama presidency was just Bush III presidency in all major aspects of the US foreign policy. Deep state controlled a community organizer pretty tightly. According to Bacevich the key contributions of Bush II presidency can be summarized as following (What Bush hath wrought):

And that's fit both Hillary political program as well as Jeb political program.  So independently "Jeb or Hillary",  the USA will get Bush IV. And appearance of clowns like Donald Trump of the arena only makes this analogy with "dog and pony show" stronger. 

Another factor that might affect this election is voter suppression. It remain to be seen how effective this disenfranchisement is for minorities and woman. Low turnover favor Republicans. But low turnover is a key feature of neoliberalism that cultivates voter apathy. The mechanism is well described in the book Stealing Democracy The New Politics of Voter Suppression by professor Spencer Overton.

Disastrous choice of female neocon warmonger as the Presidential candidate from the  Democratic Party

After thoiwing Sanders under the bus, DNC tried to push Hillary We came, we saw, he died Clinton --  a female warmonger, neocon chickenhawk with murky past (about her links into the Us presidency ( see  Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton ). They failed.

Her major political achievement was and is the Libyan disaster. She demonstrated psychopathic qualities by gleeful reaction to brutal killing of deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_x04Gn3-2g

A true psychopath if ever there was one...

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed.

"We came, we saw, he died," she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi's death by an aide in between formal interviews.

Being a female, Hillary like Obama before is king of identity play by the US elite, because the elite are keen on making sure all criticism and political activism is either marginalized or written off as hatred and thus not only dismissible, but worthy of a violent response by government. That was a neat trick they were able to play with the community organizer. Criticism of Hillary will be deemed sexist the same way serious criticism of Obama is now considered racist.

In foreign policy Hillary Clinton is no different than your garden variety Republican, including Senator McCain or any of prominent neocons such as WolfowitzRobert Kagan and his wife. In other words she is another died in the wool neocon.  Probably to the right of Jeb "I like Wolfowitz Doctrine" Bush, who was among the signers of PNAC key document. So in a way Cold War II is guaranteed if she wins, because the elite needs an external threat to keep the nation united despite economic troubles connected with the sunset of neoliberalism as well as it hallmark -- ruthless looting of the nation by financial oligarchy, who is out of control and owns the government via "deep state" structures.

For those who remember the Iraq War, Clinton was always a “warmonger” :

"Bottom line: You can always count on Hillary to say the most politically resonant thing of the moment," said Ray McGovern, a former senior CIA officer turned antiwar protester who was arrested in 2011 (and he claims beaten) for protesting during a Clinton speech. "It's bad enough to have that kind of person as secretary of State; do we really want her to be the president of the United States? I don't think so. She's a menace."

As secretary of State, Clinton represented the most hawkish wing of President Obama's Cabinet (and Barack "Kill them with drones" Obama is not a peacenik by any stretch of imagination). He made blue sky 'Completely Fucking Terrifying',

Clinton supported not only Iraq war, but also air strikes in Libya and arms deliveries to rebels in Syria. Robert Kagan, the husband of Victoria Nuland and the veteran sage of interventionist foreign policy, recently gave a thumbs up to Clinton's foreign policy, telling The New York Times that it's "something that might have been called neocon."

But in MSM you will not often see combination of words a "neocon" and Hillary.  She will be presented via rose grasses and her ugly personality features will carefully hidden. And her confrontational and psychopathic personality will be described as an admirable attribute indicative of a strong leader the same way the psychopathic personalities of her male counterparts are described as the attribute of masters of statecraft (the word itself under neoliberalism became synonymous with bombing small helpless nations and bailing out transnational banks).

As everything we see on television, and increasingly on the internet, “often surpasses expectations of media subservience to government propaganda,” as Edward S. Herman noted nearly two decades ago.

But Internet still gives us a chance with some effort to cut through the dense smoke of MSM propaganda.

The "Great Betrayal" of Democratic Party of working people finally backfired

Trump was essentially run as independent using Republican Party as a host. And then Republican Party tried to capture him after the victory. Trump wasn’t wrong to point out that the Clintons and their allies in DNC rigged the game against Bernie. But even he can't predict that elimination of Sanders would be such a  disaster for Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, Hillary lost not merely because she misread the “real” people, she decided to run a very divisive and nasty negative campaign, which has fueled the violence ever since. According to WikiLeaks emails from campaign John Podesta, Clinton colluded with the DNC and the media to raise what they thought would be the extreme right among Republicans to then make her the middle of the road to hide her agenda.

... ... ...

Clinton called this her “pied piper” strategy, that intentionally cultivated extreme right-wing presidential candidates and that would turn the Republicans away from their more moderate candidates. This enlisted mainstream media who then focused to Trump and raise him above all others assuming that would help Hillary for who would vote for Trump. This was a deliberate strategy all designed to propel Hillary to the White House.

The Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee along with mainstream media all called for using far-right candidates “as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right.” Clinton’s camp insisted that Trump should be “elevated” to “leaders of the pack” and media outlets should be told to “take them seriously.”

If we look back on April 23, 2015, just two weeks after Hillary Clinton officially declared her presidential campaign, her staff sent out a message on straregy to manipulate the Republicans into selecting the worse candidate. They included this attachment a “memo for the DNC discussion.”

The memo was addressed to the Democratic National Committee and stated bluntly, “the strategy and goals a potential Hillary Clinton presidential campaign would have regarding the 2016 Republican presidential field.” Here we find that the real conspiracy was Clinton manipulating the Republicans. “Clearly most of what is contained in this memo is work the DNC is already doing. This exercise is intended to put those ideas to paper.”

“Our hope is that the goal of a potential HRC campaign and the DNC would be one-in-the-same: to make whomever the Republicans nominate unpalatable to a majority of the electorate.”

The Clinton strategy was all about manipulating the Republicans to nominate the worst candidate Clinton called for forcing “all Republican candidates to lock themselves into extreme conservative positions that will hurt them in a general election.”

It was not Putin trying to rig the elections, it was Hillary. Clinton saw the Republican field as crowded and she viewed as “positive” for her. “Many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right.” Clinton then took the strategic position saying “we don’t want to marginalize the more extreme candidates, but make them more ‘Pied Piper’ candidates who actually represent the mainstream of the Republican Party.”

Her manipulative strategy was to have the press build up Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz and Ben Carson. “We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to them seriously.”

This conspiracy has emerged from the Podesta emails. It was Clinton conspiring with mainstream media to elevate Trump and then tear him down. We have to now look at all the media who endorsed Hillary as simply corrupt. Simultaneously, Hillary said that Bernie had to be ground down to the pulp. Further leaked emails showed how the Democratic National Committee sabotaged Sanders’ presidential campaign. It was Hillary manipulating the entire media for her personal gain. She obviously did not want a fair election because she was too corrupt.

What is very clear putting all the emails together, the rise of Donald Trump was orchestrated by Hillary herself conspiring with mainstream media, and they they sought to burn him to the ground. Their strategy backfired and now this is why she has not come out to to speak against the violence she has manipulated and inspired.

This is by far the WORST campaign in history and it was all orchestrated by Hillary to be intentionally divisive for the nation all to win the presidency at all costs. She has torched the constitution and the country. No wonder Hillary could not go to the stage to thank her supporters. She never counted on them and saw the people as fools. The entire strategy was to take the White House with a manipulation of the entire election process. Just unbelievable. Any Democrat who is not angry at this is clearly just a biased fool. Wake up and smell the roses. You just got what you deserve.

Neoliberal MSM so far were very kind to Obama and the Wall Street Democrats. What else we can expect. Clinton Democratic Party was all about throwing the people under the bus in the pursuit of the Almighty Dollar. It was betrayal of working Americans,  nothing could be more clear. Thomas Franks was especially clear about this in this speech  watch-v=pmCibWptzZQ

This was the Clinton Legacy, and that's why "serial betrayer" Obama, who also belongs to Clinton DemoRats camp, and the rest of the Democratic Establishment went along for the ride— and hit the electoral brick wall.  Their great idea of betrayal: the working people have nowhere to go and body slamming the people who get you elected finally backfired.

For the professional class of politicians and the wealthy this was not about civil rights, this was not about decency and justice, and it certainly was not about compassion and kindness even if they were very careful to keep mouthing the words and giving lip service to the pretenses of social but not economic equality.

It was all about money and power. Theirs. Narrowly focused greed that was willfully blind to all that was happening around it. Washington and New York and London and Berlin are thick with it.

And now that their mighty god has betrayed them and bestowed its power on its other, more faithfully vicious children, they are running around without a mission or a purpose other than themselves, not knowing what to do next.

Michael Moore in his facebook post urged to "Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off."

Morning After To-Do List:

1. Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people. They have failed us miserably.

2. Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off.

3. Any Democratic member of Congress who didn't wake up this morning ready to fight, resist and obstruct in the way Republicans did against President Obama every day for eight full years must step out of the way and let those of us who know the score lead the way in stopping the meanness and the madness that's about to begin.

4. Everyone must stop saying they are "stunned" and "shocked". What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren't paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all "You're fired!" Trump's victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that.

5. You must say this sentence to everyone you meet today: "HILLARY CLINTON WON THE POPULAR VOTE!" The MAJORITY of our fellow Americans preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Period. Fact. If you woke up this morning thinking you live in an effed-up country, you don't. The majority of your fellow Americans wanted Hillary, not Trump. The only reason he's president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College. Until we change that, we'll continue to have presidents we didn't elect and didn't want. You live in a country where a majority of its citizens have said they believe there's climate change, they believe women should be paid the same as men, they want a debt-free college education, they don't want us invading countries, they want a raise in the minimum wage and they want a single-payer true universal health care system. None of that has changed. We live in a country where the majority agree with the "liberal" position. We just lack the liberal leadership to make that happen (see: #1 above).

As neoliberal elite definitely prefers Trump to Sanders, so the DNC rigging of primaries was consistent with the neoliberal  Democratic Party elite’s (Clinton wing of the Democratic Party) longstanding vicious hatred of left-leaning progressives and anti-plutocratic populists in the ranks of their party (The Guardian)

...Democratic leaders made Hillary their candidate even though they knew about her closeness to the banks, her fondness for war, and her unique vulnerability on the trade issue – each of which Trump exploited to the fullest. They chose Hillary even though they knew about her private email server. They chose her even though some of those who studied the Clinton Foundation suspected it was a sketchy proposition. To try to put over such a nominee while screaming that the Republican is a rightwing monster is to court disbelief. If Trump is a fascist, as liberals often said, Democrats should have put in their strongest player to stop him, not a party hack they’d chosen because it was her turn. Choosing her indicated either that Democrats didn’t mean what they said about Trump’s riskiness, that their opportunism took precedence over the country’s well-being, or maybe both.

Clinton’s supporters among the media didn’t help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation’s papers, but it was the quality of the media’s enthusiasm that really harmed her.

... ... ...

...the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. Here’s what it consisted of:

How did the journalists’ crusade fail? The fourth estate came together in an unprecedented professional consensus. They chose insulting the other side over trying to understand what motivated them. They transformed opinion writing into a vehicle for high moral boasting. What could possibly have gone wrong with such an approach?

What has happened on November 8, 2016 can be described as a repudiation of the neoliberal globalization and the US neoliberal elite. If is even more significant if you understand that Trump essentially run as an independent: Unlike Hillary he was shunned by the Republican elite. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, actively worked against Trump’s nomination. Many senior Republicans refused to endorse him, or even give him their support. The Republican National Committee did not raise money for Trump to the extent it had for other Republican candidates for president.

The elite that controls the political leaders of both parties, their political operatives, and fundraisers; all major MSM; the country’s biggest corporations, their top executives, and Washington lobbyists and trade associations; the biggest Wall Street banks, their top officers, traders, hedge-fund and private-equity managers, and their lackeys in Washington; as well as bunch of super wealthy individuals who invest directly in politics.

Democratic party became a neoliberal party of top 10%, the party of bankers and white collar professionals. Under Bill Clinton the Democrats have become the party of neoliberals, the party of Financial Oligarchy. At this time  corporate interests were moving to finance as their main activity.  Clintons have positioned the Dems as pupppets of financial oligarchy and got in return the ability to control the media, which was owned by the same corporations.

When the media have to choose between their paymasters and honesty, their paymasters win every time.

Hillary Clinton’s defeat is all the more remarkable in that her campaign not only enjoied unconditional support of major MSM, but also almost twice  outspent the Trump campaign on television and radio advertisements, as well on get-out-the-vote  efforts.  The net result is the Democratic party lost working class voters and have no chanced to attack them on foreseeable future, unless it rejects its neoliberal ideology and current leaders, especially Clinton and Obama families. 

The best article on this issue that so far I managed to find is Sophia A. McClennen article in Salon which is devoted to defeat of Sanders, not Trump victory on November 8, 2016, despite all "sure" prediction of Hillary win. 
10 reasons why #DemExit is serious Getting rid of Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not enough  by Sophia A. McClennen

Salon.com

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

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

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

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

1.     Superdelegates

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

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

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

2.     The Debate Schedule

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

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

3.     Campaign finance

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

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

4.     Refusal to Address Claims of Election Fraud

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

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

5.     The Democratic Party Platform

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

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

6.     Documented Attempts to Discredit / Dismiss Sanders

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

7.     DNC Collusion with Media

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

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

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

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

8.     False Claims of Neutrality

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

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

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

 


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Old News ;-)

[Apr 16, 2019] No One Can Trust Trump

That's from ZeroHedge, the bastion of Trumpism ;-)
Apr 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Deep Snorkeler , 1 hour ago link

No One Can Trust Trump erratic and dysfunctional, absurd and incongruous, fantastic and ludicrous - he rules from an immoral crevasse:

he sustains massive corporate profits and upper caste power.

Fantasy Free Economics , 1 hour ago link

It is normal that others see weakness in the U.S. before we do. The notion in the United States is that what we want to be true is true. Fantasy is a comforting mechanism but it sure is painful when everything falls apart. Our reality gap has not slammed shut but it will.

http://quillian.net/blog/victims-of-fascism/

Cosmicserpent , 10 minutes ago link

It's official. Trump is a cum guzzling **** for Israel's Bentoveryahoo, and the US MIC. He wishes he was Putin's bitch.

†FreeThought† , 11 minutes ago link

What happened to "Nationalism, not globalism will be our credo"...? I voted for Trump and I got Trumpstein instead.

Empire's Frontiers , 18 minutes ago link

An exceptionally good goy, this Trump guy.

Shalom! And get back to work.

Dr. Acula , 7 minutes ago link

It's X-dimensional chess, where the value of X increases each day.

SHsparx , 30 minutes ago link

I'm starting to get the feeling that maybe Trump won't run again? And so now he feels he doesn't even have to pretend anymore.

R19 , 29 minutes ago link

Which President has been the best weapons salesman? I vote:

Trump

Obama

ThomasEdmonds , 28 minutes ago link

Like a guided missile: sure of its target.

KekistanisUnite , 28 minutes ago link

Disappointing but not surprising. I do hope at some point his mind will be changed. Give full credit to the 16 Republicans in the House and 7 Republican Senators for supporting this resolution.

warsev , 37 minutes ago link

I guess we now know fully where President Trump stands on reining in executive warmongering.

evoila , 30 minutes ago link

Better buy your call options on Tulsi Gabbard. She is going to surprise da **** out of these idiots same way Trump surprised in 2016.

jimfcarroll , 28 minutes ago link

Never voted for a democrat in my life. She might be the first. I wont vote for Trump again after this.

[Apr 16, 2019] Trump was transparently chosen to be the fake "agent of change" for the other half of the US population, just as Obama before

Notable quotes:
"... Therefore, both individuals were both an admission that the change in the system is needed and that the ruling regime is into life-extension by means of "whatever it takes". Once the "change" potential is exhausted, repression must take over as the principal life extension mechanism; clearly, these methods do not have a sharp start-over points in time - they overlap. ..."
"... It is an interesting connection of dots that Bloody Gina is Brennan's protégée and thus that Trump has truly stacked up his administration with former i.e. current enemies, But this only shows that Trump works for the same masters as his political enemies. Again, nothing new. ..."
Apr 16, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kiza , Apr 16, 2019 5:33:36 PM | link

Trump is like a voodoo doll into which every sh**bag sticks pins. Firstly, it is irrelevant whether he was a swamp creature before election or was coopted into it after.

Secondly, Trump was transparently chosen to be the "agent of change" for the other half of the US population, just as Obama before.

Therefore, both individuals were both an admission that the change in the system is needed and that the ruling regime is into life-extension by means of "whatever it takes". Once the "change" potential is exhausted, repression must take over as the principal life extension mechanism; clearly, these methods do not have a sharp start-over points in time - they overlap.

This is where we are now, Assange was the most prominent member of the real opposition to the regime, where they try to confuse with plenty of faux opposition. Therefore, the Assange's head had to be chopped off publicly and his slowly rotting corpse will now be on display through "courts of justice" for the next couple of years as a warning to the consumers of alternative media. Go back to reading the approved "journalism" or ... To understand better one just needs to read/re-read Solzhenitsyn.

The other major ongoing life-extension activity, overlapping with repression, is the confiscation of guns from the last remaining armed Western population (lots of leftist oxen pulling that cart). Having too many guns amongst the population is bad for resolving personal conflicts peacefully, but it is even worse for the abusive, exploitative regime. Thus, taking the guns away is doing the right thing for a totally wrong reason.

It is an interesting connection of dots that Bloody Gina is Brennan's protégée and thus that Trump has truly stacked up his administration with former i.e. current enemies, But this only shows that Trump works for the same masters as his political enemies. Again, nothing new.

Therefore, where is a Western Solzhenitsyn to document artistically what transpires in a society deeply in debt and in social & moral decline?

[Apr 16, 2019] Sanders Takes the Campaign Against CAP to Eleven

Apr 16, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Thomas Neuberger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny!

One of my biggest concerns about the 2016 Sanders campaign was that, at least at the beginning, it was too easily forced to apologize for attacks on supposed "allies of progressives" in the Democratic ecosystem -- because "unity."

The prime example of that occurred when Sanders accused the Planned Parenthood Action Fund -- not Planned Parenthood the health care organization, Planned Parenthood AF, the highly Clintonist political action committee, which had early-endorsed Clinton despite Sanders' excellent record on women's issues -- of being "part of the establishment."

He was immediately accused by the rest of the establishment, falsely, of attacking Planned Parenthood clinics. And he backed down, unwisely in my view. (For more on that episode, read the first few paragraphs of this piece .)

Well, the highly Clintonist, highly corporate establishment is at it again, in the form of the corrupt Center for American Progress (CAP) and its online publication ThinkProgress . (For more on their corruption, see also here and here .) ThinkProgress published a video critical of Sanders, as Lee Fang (who also delves into their corruption) explains here:

In response to that video Sanders sent CAP a letter , saying in part:

Center for American Progress leader Neera Tanden repeatedly calls for unity while simultaneously maligning my staff and supporters and belittling progressive ideas. I worry that the corporate money CAP is receiving is inordinately and inappropriately influencing the role it is playing in the progressive movement . (emphasis mine)

Team Sanders then went a whole lot further than that in a public fundraising letter, parts of which are reproduced below. Note the expansion of the "corporate money" point from the CAP letter, and also the directness (emphasis mine throughout):

"We are under attack"

Sisters, Brothers, and Friends –

Just like that, our campaign is under attack from the corporate establishment .

This week, an organization that is the epitome of the political establishment -- the Center for American Progress (CAP) -- unleashed and promoted an online attack video against Bernie.

And behind the scenes on the day Bernie introduced his Medicare for All bill, they held a conference call with reporters attacking the bill.

That is the Center for American Progress' real goal. Trying to stop Medicare for All and our progressive agenda .

CAP's leadership has been pretty upfront about their disdain for Bernie -- and for all of us. They see our political revolution as a threat to their privilege and influence .

The Center for American Progress is an organization whose massive annual budget is bankrolled by billionaires and corporate executives that profit from finance, pharmaceutical companies, fossil fuels, and sending American jobs overseas.

Last year alone, they took funding from financial giants like Bank of America and Blackstone, whose CEO was chair of Trump's business council and is a leading Republican donor.

Before that, they cashed checks from companies like BlueCross Blue Shield, Pfizer, WalMart , and defense contractors like General Dynamics and BAE Systems .

They also took hundreds of thousands of dollars from the fossil fuel pumping United Arab Emirates while the country was bombing innocent civilians in Yemen – a war Bernie has led the fight to end.

The Center for American Progress has deep connections to the economic and political elites who have done so much damage to working families in every zip code. And what we must do today is send a message that we are prepared to fight back against those who are working day and night to defeat our movement .

In solidarity,

Team Bernie

That's powerful stuff, no-holds-barred truth-telling. Note the many bells it rings:

"corporate establishment" "epitome of the political establishment" "real goal stop Medicare for All and our progressive agenda" "threat to their privilege and influence" "massive annual budget is bankrolled by billionaires" "deep connections to the economic and political elites who have done so much damage to working families" "working day and night to defeat our movement"

The letter also names a few of the companies and countries that bankroll CAP -- Walmart, Bank of America, Blue Cross, Blackstone, the UAE. He could have listed a great many more. There are countless stories emerging from former ThinkProgress writers about CAP leadership squelching aggressive reporting because their reports were negatively affecting CAP fundraising. Read this twitter thread by former ThinkProgress reporter Zaid Jilani to see some of those. There are others as well .

Bernie Sanders is not backing down this time. Unlike 2016, this will be a battle with the enemy named out loud and its deeds detailed. Looks like the fight, the one our country has been avoiding for years, is finally on.


Lee , , April 16, 2019 at 11:01 am

This over at Daily Kos:

Fox crowd roars in approval as Bernie explains how M4A is more stable than private insurance
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/04/16/1850603/-Fox-crowd-roars-in-approval-as-Bernie-explains-how-M4A-is-more-stable-than-private-insurance

And, FWIW, Bernie keeps kicking butt in their semi-monthly straw polls over there. There is a whole lot of anti-progressive, push-back but the Sanders Swarm is gathering strength on that centrist platform.
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/4/15/1850407/-Daily-Kos-Democratic-Primary-Straw-Poll-Tax-Day

ambrit , , April 16, 2019 at 3:23 am

I commented about this on another thread to the effect that this is the beginning of a "Night of the Long Knives" quality power struggle in the Democrat Party.
Glad to see the Sanders campaign being proactive about the dirty dealing that is being used to try and stop them.
Now for Sanders to start framing the struggle as being between "Their" Democrat Party and "Our" Democrat Party. Sanders really needs to pull off what Trump managed to do in the Republican Party; a hostile takeover.

Brooklin Bridge , , April 16, 2019 at 3:45 am

Well Put. But regardless, this is still vastly better than 2016.

Left in Wisconsin , , April 16, 2019 at 11:32 am

Exactly right. Unlike Trump, however, Bernie will have to do it with the entire corporate and political establishments against him. And not even a "left" Fox News in his corner. It will truly be us against (all of) them.

Carolinian , , April 16, 2019 at 1:34 pm

Did Trump take over the Republican party or did the Republican party take over him? Winning the presidency is only part of the battle.

rob , , April 16, 2019 at 6:55 am

If any democrat wants to be real, they have to attack other democrats, because the democrats suck.
As a political party, they are so pathetic, they lost to donald trump.
The republicans are vile , and mornic.that is how they appeal to their base ..
So if anything is to be done to try and break the stalemate, it must be the debate of ideas. Not the battle of personalities , we have now.
The republicans have no real ideas, just worn out tropes. The democratic leadership, go around "saying", they are progressives ( pelosi interview),but really they are as tired in their way of thinking as the republicans .
Both groups are not worth a thing.
when pelosi pointed out AOC had a group of five she was being dismissive saying she was steering a bigger ship democrats of all stripes. even the republicans who won seats as democrats . but really her and her band of good for nothing democrats, doesn't count for anything near the five new democrats who are out spoken, and have the good character to be on the right side of history..
I for one, would vote for anyone who battles the democratic blob of a machine. and anyone who doesn't have a problem with the democratic party, is un-electable.

Pelosi needs to go.
So sanders should fight the democratic corporatists in the senate, if he is trying to be real. It is about time he needs that "audacity of hope" thingy.

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antidlc , , April 16, 2019 at 8:59 am

"Mr. Sanders's team remains convinced that the Democratic establishment worked behind the scenes to deprive him of the party's nomination in 2016.."

Well, yeah, it;s true.

Reply

Ashburn , , April 16, 2019 at 9:04 am

Bernie is definitely in it to win this time. Last night he crushed it on Fox News. He had the Fox Town Hall audience cheering and applauding. Yes, Fox News.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/16/backfired-watch-bernie-sanders-counter-right-wing-talking-point-make-case-medicare

I don't know of any announced candidate that could pull this off, or that would have the guts to go on Fox.

Reply

ChrisAtRU , , April 16, 2019 at 12:27 pm

It's exactly what both sides of the broken political duopoly feared. Trump's tweet on the subject bears testament to the latter . The pre #BernieFoxTownHall agita from pearl-clutching Dem cultists online serves as evidence of the former .

Bernie's in it to win it.

Reply

ChrisAtRU , , April 16, 2019 at 12:45 pm

Ooops meant to add "(Dem & GOP)" after duopoly – qualifies former and latter .

Reply

Michael C. , , April 16, 2019 at 9:54 am

Sanders is staying away from some issues, such as Assange arrest and Venezuela, which has caused some complaints from the Left. Personally, I think he is being tactical and smart in that he is attempting to reach the largest portion of the electorate. I doubt that he or his staff is ignorant on these type issues, but he is set on a goal and does not want to let issues that might divert his direction toward that goal. Or am I being unduly naïve? I am pretty skeptical of all politicians, but his consistent history gives me some confidence that he will be straight on these issues if elected/.

Reply

Spring Texan , , April 16, 2019 at 10:47 am

I agree. And he HAS to be tactical and smart to win.

Reply

Joe Well , , April 16, 2019 at 12:46 pm

We said the same about Obama in 08.

Reply

Grant , , April 16, 2019 at 1:19 pm

Saying something about two radically different people doesn't logically lead to the same thing. Obama was great at giving speeches, was a historic candidate and did try to (in a vague way) make it sound as if he wanted to change the system. He didn't. He pretended to want to re-negotiate NAFTA, but when the Canadians freaked a bit, his campaign assured them that it was just talk, cause it was. It was obvious before he took office, to anyone paying attention, that Obama was a neoliberal that wouldn't change much of anything. But Obama in 2008 is not Bernie then or now. Obama in 2008 is Beto or mayor Pete now. Empty platitudes, totally cut off from the struggles of working people, paid to not structurally change what needs to structurally change by people that benefit from the system as is. Obama was just much better at being that empty slate than the 2020 version of him. I can almost smell the mayor Pete book deal though, and I am sure he can too.

Reply

Carey , , April 16, 2019 at 1:50 pm

Thanks for this comment. I tried to read yesterday's New York piece
on the Democrats' Folksiest Heartland Hope, but between that
mcPhoto at the top, and the conversational, we're-all-in-this
together tone of the writer, stopped after a couple of paras.
The #resistance are all so tired; do they not realize that?

Regarding Mister Obama's speeches, to me they reeked of
hollowness. He had the gestures and cadences down, though.

Reply

deplorado , , April 16, 2019 at 1:15 pm

I think you are not being unduly naive. Watch some of Bernie's videos from the 80ies. He is very clear eyed about what he's dealing with – and has always said the same thing. He is being realistic, tactical and smart – raising powerful issues where there is clear daily pain for the common person that can bring a powerful response – is anyone really surprised about the Fox audience reaction? (Im only surprised they didnt stack the room with fakes who would boo him ).

The foreign policy issues are not so clear cut for the common working class person (please understand that!) and would muddle the message. He finally sees an opening and he is going for it. He knows what he's doing.

Reply

jrs , , April 16, 2019 at 1:36 pm

it's likely tactical, but he may govern with the exact same tactical concerns

Reply

John , , April 16, 2019 at 10:07 am

The other thing about Fox is that the owner Murdochs are amoral and apolitical. They go where the money is. Totally neoliberal. That is all they care about. They know the money train is coming to a very complex junction and are setting up to go with the money, whether corporate or little people's.

Reply

voteforno6 , , April 16, 2019 at 10:16 am

I think this touches on what could be the most important aspect of a Sanders presidency – it's not so much the policies (they are important), but the people that would be brought into government. This letter is an indication that the usual suspects will not be running the show. In that regard, it could be similar to Reagan's time in office, except way, way better.

Reply

Arizona Slim , , April 16, 2019 at 1:20 pm

Just got another email from Bernie's campaign. Here it is:

Subject: A serious threat to our campaign

The New York Times has an article today with the headline "'Stop Sanders' Democrats Are Agonizing Over His Momentum."

"From canapé-filled fund-raisers on the coasts to the cloakrooms of Washington, mainstream Democrats are increasingly worried " the article begins.

"The Bernie question comes up in every fundraising meeting I do," said one fundraiser.

"It has gone from being a low hum to a rumble," said an operative.

"He did us a disservice in the last election," said another.

"You can see him reading the headlines now," Mr. [David] Brock mused: "'Rich people don't like me.'"

Mr. Brock -- who smeared Anita Hill and who led an effort to stop our political revolution four years ago -- is almost correct. They don't just hate Bernie Sanders. They hate everything our political revolution embodies. They hate Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, breaking up big banks, free public college for all.

That is why, in the next 48 hours, we are launching a fundraising drive that I hope will send an unmistakable message to the political establishment about the strength of our political revolution.

That's why I'm asking you today:

[Link to donation site] Make a $27 contribution to our campaign as part of our emergency 48-hour fundraising drive to fight back against the "anti-Sanders" campaign being hatched by the financial elite of this country. [End link]

They may have "canapé-filled fundraisers." We have each other.

In solidarity,

Faiz Shakir
Campaign Manager

Reply

Jen , , April 16, 2019 at 1:22 pm

Well, just moments after reading the NYT article in question, which is quite a doozy, this popped up in my in box:

"The New York Times has an article today with the headline "'Stop Sanders' Democrats Are Agonizing Over His Momentum."
"From canapé-filled fund-raisers on the coasts to the cloakrooms of Washington, mainstream Democrats are increasingly worried " the article begins.
"The Bernie question comes up in every fundraising meeting I do," said one fundraiser.
"It has gone from being a low hum to a rumble," said an operative.
"He did us a disservice in the last election," said another.
"You can see him reading the headlines now," Mr. [David] Brock mused: "'Rich people don't like me.'"
Mr. Brock -- who smeared Anita Hill and who led an effort to stop our political revolution four years ago -- is almost correct. They don't just hate Bernie Sanders. They hate everything our political revolution embodies. They hate Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, breaking up big banks, free public college for all.
That is why, in the next 48 hours, we are launching a fundraising drive that I hope will send an unmistakable message to the political establishment about the strength of our political revolution.
That's why I'm asking you today:
Make a contribution to our campaign as part of our emergency 48-hour fundraising drive to fight back against the "anti-Sanders" campaign being hatched by the financial elite of this country.

They may have "canapé-filled fundraisers." We have each other.
In solidarity,
Faiz Shakir
Campaign Manager

Forgetting nothing, learning nothing. One of the true, primal joys of Bernie's 2016 campaign was hitting the donate button every time the dollar dems dumped on him.

Reply

Chuck T. , , April 16, 2019 at 2:03 pm

Likewise. I'm giving every time they dump on him, and again every time he hits back. At this pace, $27 may get to be too expensive. A good problem to have I'd say.

Reply

[Apr 16, 2019] Trump doesn't strike me as someone with principles or opinions of his own. He will say and do whatever his base of "deplorables" likes to hear and whatever helps him get what he wants.

Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

Escher , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:01 pm GMT

@The Alarmist Trump doesn't strike me as someone with principles or opinions of his own. He will say and do whatever his base of "deplorables" likes to hear and whatever helps him get what he wants.

[Apr 15, 2019] Do you need to be stupid to support Trump in 2020, even if you voted for him as lesser evil in 2016

Highly recommended!
Please note that unz.com used be forum of stalwart Trump supporters. Times change.
Notable quotes:
"... This will at least wake up those morons at places like Breitbart that Trump is nothing more than a neocon swine. I mean how much more evidence do they need to see that he is invite the world, invade the world. ..."
"... One doesn't have to be stupid to support Trump but it helps. The same can be said for his prominent enemies though. To unconditionally and faithfully support Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Nancy Pelosi, one would have to be stupid or totally controlled by one's emotions. ..."
"... You and I are voting right now just by publicly engaging in politics. Voting on election day is worth it in the same way posting comments online is worth it. ..."
"... Wouldn't a smart person recognize that falling for a grifter who cares not about Heritage America and who dances to Bibi's tune is never a good option? ..."
"... Yes. But during the election, Trump was the least bad option who sometimes seemed like a good option. That's still true today. ..."
Apr 15, 2019 | www.unz.com

neutral , says: April 11, 2019 at 11:37 am GMT

This will at least wake up those morons at places like Breitbart that Trump is nothing more than a neocon swine. I mean how much more evidence do they need to see that he is invite the world, invade the world.

On top of that mass censorship being unleashed under Trump, how can anyone still be conned into supporting him.

Colin Wright , says: Website April 13, 2019 at 5:18 am GMT
@neutral 'On top of that mass censorship being unleashed under Trump, how can anyone still be conned into supporting him '

We'll be 'conned' the same way as always; what's the alternative?

Liberty Mike , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:56 pm GMT
@Colin Wright For one, its not reposing any confidence, faith, and trust in DJT. He is a charlatan who appeals to low IQ whites.

Why do so many intelligent people delude themselves into rationalizing their support and vote for Trump upon the basis of the lesser of two evils loser mindset?

Cagey Beast , says: April 13, 2019 at 2:17 pm GMT
@Liberty Mike

One doesn't have to be stupid to support Trump but it helps. The same can be said for his prominent enemies though. To unconditionally and faithfully support Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Nancy Pelosi, one would have to be stupid or totally controlled by one's emotions.

That being said, a smart person could still support Trump. A smart person could recognize Trump finishing his term as the least bad option. In 2020, this same smart person might recognize that, amazingly, a Trump second term had become the least bad option. People can scream and throw around insults or they can present an alternative to Trump.

Liberty Mike , says: April 15, 2019 at 1:36 pm GMT
@Cagey Beast

Wouldn't a smart person recognize that his vote does not matter?

Wouldn't a smart person recognize that Stalin's maxim, "its not who votes that counts, its who counts the votes" controls?

Wouldn't a smart person recognize that falling for a grifter who cares not about Heritage America and who dances to Bibi's tune is never a good option?

Cagey Beast , says: April 15, 2019 at 2:14 pm GMT

@Liberty Mike Wouldn't a smart person recognize that his vote does not matter?

You and I are voting right now just by publicly engaging in politics. Voting on election day is worth it in the same way posting comments online is worth it.

Wouldn't a smart person recognize that falling for a grifter who cares not about Heritage America and who dances to Bibi's tune is never a good option?

Yes. But during the election, Trump was the least bad option who sometimes seemed like a good option. That's still true today.

[Apr 14, 2019] Warren is been behind some of the major legislation that enacted the things that Bernie Sanders talks about. And Wall Street is scared crapless of her -- why do you think they're going after her so hard?

Apr 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

popgoesthepop , 12 Apr 2019 10:26

Four more years of Trump is in the works.

The fact that she lied about her ethnicity in the past in hopes of gaining a leg up will backfire spectacularly if she's the DNC nominee for POTUS. Conservatives will beat this point over and over and over.

Is the Left secretly trying to put Trump in the WH for another term? It sure looks like it.

jae426 -> gunnison , 12 Apr 2019 10:26

the chances that Dems supporting a candidate who does not win the primary would boycott the election and put Trump back in the White House are vanishingly small this time around

They were warned that that would happen last time, and they still let it happen. The "Bernie bros" are back out in force, and not only have they not learnt their lesson, they feel validated by Clinton's defeat to the extent where they are even more determined that their old man should be the candidate and nobody else. These are people who abandoned the Democrats for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate who managed to make Sarah Palin look intelligent. They will do it again because they are largely white, male and think just because they read liberal newspapers that means they don't have a sense of entitlement.

Both Michigan and Pennsylvania would have gone to Clinton if only 20% of Green voters hadn't lodged protest votes. These people don't want Elizabeth Warren, they don't want Kamala Harris, they don't want Beto O'Rourke, they don't want Pete Buttigieg. They want Bernie. If Bernie isn't the Democrat, they won't vote Democrat.

You can dismiss this as much as you like, but I placed a bet on Trump winning the Republican nomination when he was the joke candidate and when he won the nomination I bet on him winning the presidency. I think that would be an even safer bet this time round.

Thomas1178 -> Sheldon Hodges , 12 Apr 2019 10:25
That's just funny. She's been behind some of the major legislation that enacted the things that Bernie Sanders talks about. And Wall Street is scared crapless of her -- why do you think they're going after her so hard?
popgoesthepop -> WishesandHorses , 12 Apr 2019 10:23
She lies about her ethnicity to get ahead in life? That may have something to do with it.
Sheldon Hodges , 12 Apr 2019 10:22
This conjecture is entirely fiction at best but centrist neo libeberal bollocks as a certainty. Warren was and is a republican. She is a corporate bootlicker, a thrall of Hillary and has no serious attachment to truth. I regret to admit that I am a US citizen, 68 years of age. I have wittnessed Warren's shameless plagirising of Bernie Sanders' arguments and am sickened to see her lionized by people who, if honest, should know better.
Thomas1178 , 12 Apr 2019 10:21
The columnist is right about Warren's intellectual stature and influence, and anyone who's looked at what she's accomplished for Massachusetts (or for that matter watched her takedown of the sleazy head of Wells Fargo during the Senate hearings) knows she's tough. She also has a *workable* vision of what the Democrats could offer Americans. From affordable childcare to making college tuition affordable again to helping out working-class people like the fisherman in Massachusetts, while reigning in the banks and making sure we don't have another crash – it's the blueprint.

There's something hysterically funny about all the people who have signed in here, clearly skipped the article, just to yell "squirrel!" – or in this case -- "oh no she filled out the optional ethnicity box and it turns out her family stories were mistaken!"

What they're missing, what Warren is laying out and the article is pointing out, is what the GOP will really be up against in the future.

Patrician1985 , 12 Apr 2019 10:21
I don't like this argument: she may not win the primary, but it's her ideas that will dominate the conversation.

It worked for Bernie supporters to console themselves.

If we elect someone, it needs to be the person who will be passionate about that idea (as opposed to lukewarm like Pelosi is on Green New Deal). We need someone who knows what it will take to get it done. What will get in the way. How to get around it.

Warren not only had the idea for CFPB. She actually set it up. Then Obama lacked the moral courage and political spine to have her lead the agency - just because Wall Street had pressured the Democrats against it.

Warren is the right candidate for the right time. She has ideas to fix the country and doesn't just rail against people. That's why even Steve Bannon is scared of her policy positions that they could be theirs.

Democrats need to stop playing pundits and go with their heart. If they vote for someone they like less but because he (why is it always a 'he' who is electable?) can win - we will end up with a candidate no one really cares about and how is that a winning strategy?

SolentBound , 12 Apr 2019 10:21
Democrat primary voters need to recognise that defeating Trump is going to be very difficult.

Since WW II, only Jimmy Carter and George Bush Sr. have failed to win re-election, in both cases to superb campaigners who captured the public's imagination and, critically, swing voters.

Which of the potential Democrat challengers is a Ronald Reagan or a Bill Clinton? Or, indeed, a Barack Obama?

For a dose of reality, Democrats could do worse than read Mike Bloomberg's piece on his decision to stay out of the race: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-05/our-highest-office-my-deepest-obligation

JayThomas -> Rio de Janeiro , 12 Apr 2019 10:20
And because nobody expects a politician to keep a promise, they have to find some other way to be convincing.
BenjaminW , 12 Apr 2019 10:19
Warren rules -- her policy ideas are creative, intelligent and moral, and the world would be an indescribably better place if people like her were ever allowed into positions of authority. That anyone on the planet would prefer to be represented by someone like Biden, never mind Trump, is utterly depressing.
charlieblue , 12 Apr 2019 10:16
Sadly, FOX News has already issued their proscribed talking points on Sen.Warren. You will find them listed and repeated anywhere Elizabeth's Warren's candidacy is discussed (including here). Most of it will be lies or exaggerations, claims that she received jobs and promotions based on her claims of Native American ancestry, claims that she received scholarships or some kind of preferential treatment by calling herself an "Indian". They will insist that this is an obvious character flaw, that she's a liar and some sort of cultural thief.

Sadly, too many American's still imagine FOX News and it's ilk are purveyors of fact. They imagine the propaganda they are being fed about Elizabeth Warren is a truth the "mainstream media" won't mention. We saw all of this with Hillary Clinton. 30% of Republican voters still think Sec. Clinton ran a pedophile ring out of a DC pizza parlor.

If Sen.Warren, or any other rational candidate has a fair chance at running for President, if all the lies and propaganda of the right-wing media establishment are to be countered, the left and the center of US politics needs an effective counter to right-wing narrative.

Rio de Janeiro , 12 Apr 2019 10:13
A presidential campaign is not about specific, detailed policy proposals. It's about a vision for the country. A vision that must be consistent with voters' feelings and expectations; and must be communicated in a clear, energetic way by an effective messenger. That's the way Reagan, Clinton, Obama and Trump won.

Does anybody remember Trump's healthcare policy?

People don't vote for policy manifestos. People vote for candidates that inspire and convince.

outkast1213 -> newageblues , 12 Apr 2019 10:13
The same Liz that stated as a Senator she had a better chance to effect change than as POTUS in 2016 now is a genius?
GeorgeC , 12 Apr 2019 10:12
If Warren is the 'intellectual powerhouse' of the Democratic party, then god help them. Not a word about 1 trillion dollar budget deficits and rising (under Trump)-but remember Obama was little better; in 15 years time the US state pension system will be bankrupt, various other states' pension schemes are also effectively bankrupt (see Illinois, Tennessee) as are various cities (Chicago), and all Warren and Trump can think of is more debt, and nor will MMT help (we know this is just deficit spending on steroids). None of these people are 'progressive' - by not tacking the key problem of runaway debt it just robs everyone by forcing a default - not an 'honest' one, but rather the route taken by all politicians, namely rapid devaluation of the currency; something that robs all people, and destroys savings. Instead all we get are jam today, and bankruptcy tomorrow.
needaname100 -> Thomas1178 , 12 Apr 2019 10:11
She changed her ethnicity from white to Native American at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Also, a large majority of Americans have Native American DNA....and EW has less than the average American (which is 5%)...she has 0.20. She abused a privilege and got called out.
Thomas1178 -> mwesqcpa , 12 Apr 2019 10:05
She's too damn smart, is the problem. Along with all her qualifications she has also a lot of very solid wins that she brought home for the people of Massachusetts as a senator, from helping fisherman to low-income students suffering from college debt -- emphasizing that she's actually helped working class people and people in student debt should be a no brainer. And yet she seems not to have a savvy political operator advising her – she sure as hell hasn't gotten out ahead of the Native American thing, and I don't know why no one is doing that for her.
LydiaLysette , 12 Apr 2019 10:03
"Elizabeth Warren is the intellectual powerhouse of the Democratic party"

Then they really are in trouble.....

Just take 1 point....

"She has called for abolishing the electoral college, the unfair institution the US used to elect executives "

Well that requires a constitutional amendment, that requires a two thirds majority in both houses and then ratification by three quarters of the States. The ERA was proposed in 1923 didn't get through Congress until 1972 and is still short of the 38 State ratifications to adopt it. That's an issue of direct concern to at least half the population. The idea that a procedural change to the constitution for partisan benefit is getting through the process is blatantly laughable. Particularly as there appear to be about 27 states that have enhanced importance under the current system ( http://theconversation.com/whose-votes-count-the-least-in-the-electoral-college-74280 ) and only 13 are needed to kill it.

[Apr 14, 2019] Warren has the same foreign policy as all the others, invade, sanction, destroy. Steal oil, gold and assets. The US has become a deluded neurotic police state rife with addiction and so addled it is no longer a force for good in any sphere.

Apr 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com
HARPhilby -> HARPhilby , 12 Apr 2019 08:55
ABT-Anybody But Trump
moderate_rebel_rebel , 12 Apr 2019 08:55
Warren has the same foreign policy as all the others, invade, sanction, destroy. Steal oil, gold and assets. The US has become a deluded neurotic police state rife with addiction and so addled it is no longer a force for good in any sphere.

In short it is now a part of the problem and no longer a part of any workable solution. Who becomes POTUS is therefore irrelevant.

Warren is flawed ideologically and personally, US citizens need to wake up and recognise that the POTUS is an irrelevant position with no authority and that until you tackle the neocon ridden nature of US politics nothing will ever change.

There is no hope in systems, only hope in people. Politics has become irrelevant in the face of our impending extinction.

[Apr 14, 2019] Elizabeth Warren is the intellectual powerhouse of the Democratic party by Moira Donegan

Notable quotes:
"... Posturing as a would-be American native and supporting racial retributions is as far from qualifying as an intellectual powerhouse as it gets. She would be better than Trump, obviously, but then anybody would. ..."
Apr 12, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

It may well not be Warren who wins the Democratic nomination, but whoever does will be campaigning on her ideas

since her initial announcement in December, Warren's campaign has rolled out a series of detailed policy proposals in quick succession, outlining structural changes to major industries, government functions, and regulatory procedures that would facilitate more equitable representation in the federal government and overhaul the economy in favor of the working class. These policy proposals have made Warren the Democratic party's new intellectual center of gravity, a formidable influence who is steadily pushing the presidential primary field to the left and forcing all of her primary challengers to define their political positions against hers.

Warren has become the Democratic party's new intellectual center of gravity

Warren herself is an anti-trust nerd, having come to the Senate from a career as an academic studying corporate and banking law. On the stump, she's most detailed in the same areas where she is most passionate, like when she talks about about breaking up huge tech companies such as Amazon and Google, and implementing a 21st-century -- version of the Glass-Steagall act that would separate commercial and investment banking (she has also called for prosecuting and jailing bank executives who break the law). But her policy agenda is broader than that, taking on pocketbook issues that have resonance with working families.

Warren outlined a huge overhaul of the childcare system that would revolutionize the quality, cost and curriculum of early childhood education, with subsidies for families and a living wage for caregivers. It's a proposal that she talks about in the context of her own career when, as a young mother and fledgling legal mind, she almost had to give up a job as a law professor because childcare for her young son was too expensive.

Warren has also proposed a housing plan that would limit huge investors' abilities to buy up homes, give incentives for localities to adopt renters' protections, and build new public housing. Crucially, and uniquely, her housing plan would also provide home ownership grants to buyers in minority communities that have historically been "redlined", a term for the racist federal housing policies that denied federally backed mortgages to black families. The provision, aimed to help black and brown families buy their first homes, is a crucial step toward amending the racial wealth gap, and it has helped sparked a broader conversation within the party about the need to pay reparations to the descendants of slaves -- a concept that Warren has also endorsed.

Taking her cues from pro-democracy and voting rights advocates such as Stacey Abrams, Warren has also taken on anti-majoritarian constitutional provisions, aiming to make American democracy more representative and less structurally hostile to a progressive agenda. She has called for abolishing the electoral college , the unfair institution the US uses to elect chief executives that makes a vote in New York count less than a vote in Wyoming, and which has resulted in two disastrous Republican presidencies in the past two decades. She has advocated eliminating the filibuster , an archaic procedural quirk of the Senate that would keep the Democrats from ever passing their agenda if they were to regain control of that body. And she has signaled a willingness to pack the courts , another move that will be necessary to implement leftist policies such as Medicare for All -- because even if the next Democratic president can pass her agenda through Congress, she will not be able to protect it from the malfeasance of a federal bench filled with conservative Trump appointees eager to strike it down.

When other candidates campaign, Warren's strong policy positions force them to define themselves against her

Warren has been the first to propose all of these policies, and it is not difficult to see other candidates falling in line behind her, issuing belated and imitative policy proposals, or being forced to position themselves to her right. Warren has promised not to go negative against other Democrats , but her campaign's intellectual project also serves a political purpose: when other candidates campaign, her strong policy positions force them to define themselves against her.

After Warren announced her childcare overhaul, senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris rolled out plans similarly designed to combat gendered economic injustice, calling for guaranteed family leave and better teacher pay , respectively. After Warren rolled out her pro-democracy agenda of eliminating the electoral college, abolishing the filibuster and packing the courts, her ideological rival Bernie Sanders was forced to come out against both eliminating the filibuster and packing the courts , damaging his reputation with a party base who knew that without these interventions, a progressive agenda will probably never be enacted. The pressure eventually forced Sanders to cave to Warren's vision and concede that he would be open to eliminating the filibuster in order to pass Medicare for All.

There's still a long time before the first contests, and it's possible that Warren will succumb to the flaws that her critics see in her campaign. In particular, she might not be able to raise enough money. She's decided not to take any Pac money and not to fundraise with wealthy donors, a position that may be as much practical as it is principled: the super-rich are not likely to donate to Warren anyway, since she has such a detailed plan, called the Ultra Millionaire Tax , to redistribute their money. She may fall victim to the seemingly unshakable controversy over her old claims of Native American ancestry, and she seems doomed to be smeared and underestimated for her sex, called cold and unlikable for her intellect and then, as with other female candidates, derided as pandering when she tries to seem more relatable.

But it would be a mistake to write Warren off as a virtuous also-ran, the kind of candidate whose intellectual and moral commitments doom her in a race dominated by the deep divisions in the electorate and the craven demagoguery of the incumbent. Elizabeth Warren does not seem to be running for president to make a point, or to position herself for a different job. Instead, she is making bold interventions in the political imagination of the party. It may well not be Warren who wins the Democratic nomination, but whoever does will be campaigning on her ideas.

Moira Donegan is a Guardian US columnist



CharlesLittle -> Ken Kutner , 12 Apr 2019 11:00

Thanks Ken and Thomas. I couldn't have said it better myself. Are we going to pare down the list of Democratic candidates on the basis of one or two stupid missteps? Looking through the Bible, I note that Jesus lost his temper at the money-changers and put down the hard-working Martha. So, he's out too.
geejay123 -> Beaufort100 , 12 Apr 2019 10:58
Ex Veteran Tulsi Gabbard has a very good chance of taking votes from Trump's base imo.
All round the best democratic candidate to declare so far.
Ranger69 , 12 Apr 2019 10:57
Im just glad Gabbard made it to the debate stage. More progressives the better.
SoonToBeDead -> T0nyN , 12 Apr 2019 10:57
Not only the USA, with everyone becoming wealthier, the need for education has declined, across the western world, being liberal or educated has become a swear word. Social media and lazy journalists are doing the rest, its all propaganda now, and permanent contradictory stories means only simple messages cut through the noise, hatred, immigrants, islamophobia, anti-semitism, etc. are classic messages that get through and stir people's emotions. Intellect doesn't win elections with a gullible electorate
BaronVonAmericano -> CharlesLittle , 12 Apr 2019 10:54
She really is thin in all areas but financial regulation and consumer protection.

An excellent Commerce/Treasury secretary, or VP. But she lacks the cohesive vision that Sanders articulates.

zagrebZ -> alex13 , 12 Apr 2019 10:54
Trump IS dumb... Or do you want me to Google a few thousand references for you?

'Moron'; 'Child-like'; 'Idiot'; 'Can barely read'...

Sound familiar? Words about Trump from his own staff.

FolkSpirit -> OliversTravels , 12 Apr 2019 10:48
It was a mistake and it was self-interested and it was unethical. And it was a different time before tribal groups in the US developed and enforced laws regarding membership status. Had Trump not shown disdain for her and all native Americans by calling her Pocahontas as though it were a racial slur, few would have made a big deal from this mistake.

Warren did confess without need to do so that she had purchased distressed mortgages to turn a profit as a young lawyer like so many of her ethically misguided law colleagues.

If you are or intimately know more than two attorneys you know this was and in some towns and cities still is common practice for building wealth among lawyers who have first notice when these “deals” are posted at the local Court House. Find me a “clean” lawyer anywhere if you can and I doubt you can — they write law and protect themselves and wealthy constituents mightily in doing so.

If you can help remove most of them from political office and replace them with people working professions of greater merit I stand with you. Congress needs intellectual strength and diversity of backgrounds.

Shakespeare: “First, we kill the lawyers”.

Excession77 -> HarryFlashman , 12 Apr 2019 10:42
Tulsi Gabbard or don't bother.

Unfortunately she opposes wars of choice from the position of an impressive service record in Iraq so she gets ignored in favour of the ridiculous Elizabeth Warren here and in other places. Warren's window was last time anyway when she was coming off the back of viral public speeches about inequality.

garlicbreakfast , 12 Apr 2019 10:41
Posturing as a would-be American native and supporting racial retributions is as far from qualifying as an intellectual powerhouse as it gets. She would be better than Trump, obviously, but then anybody would.
BaronVonAmericano , 12 Apr 2019 10:41
While I'd prefer the genders reversed, I think she would be an ideal running mate for the front-runner among the declared candidates.

Sanders has much more assiduously defined the moral center that any candidate for president must have: unapologetic confrontation with the oligarchy. Warren is the intellectual weapon such an administration could deploy on the specifics of banking and anti-trust.

This is all the more practical given that Warren has failed to tie race, social justice and criminal justice issues all together in her values-based worldview -- certainly not to the extent that Sanders has, his being well beyond any other candidate's efforts.

Sheldon Hodges -> Londonsage , 12 Apr 2019 10:41
Because Obama was a canny corporate move to place someone that offered such qualities as intelligence and grammar in sharp relief to GW Bush while remaining closely controlled by the oligarchy.
BigDave47 , 12 Apr 2019 10:30
Intellectual powerhouse?

Do you include her fraudulent and offensive claims to Native American heritage in that? As CNN has reported, as far back as 1986 she was falsely claiming "American Indian" heritage on official documents. Despite repeated calls by the leaders of the Tribal Nations, she has still failed to apologise. That's some intellectual powerhouse..

[Apr 14, 2019] Elizabeth Warren is timely candidate: The era of US companies offering pensions is coming to a close.

Apr 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

BMW ends pensions for workers

The era of US companies offering pensions is coming to a close.

The latest evidence: after freezing it's two UK pension plans in 2017, BMW will do the same for its remaining US plans.

Since 2011 new workers have not been offered a pension, but rather a defined contribution plan.

Workers who formerly had a pension will keep what they have accrued, but not accrue more. Current retirees receiving a pension will not be affected.

[Apr 12, 2019] Senator Warren On New Corporate Tax Plan Markets Without Rules Are Theft

Apr 12, 2019 | www.youtube.com

At least 60 companies reported an effective federal tax rate of zero, meaning they owe nothing in federal taxes for 2018, and that tax burden then falls on the rest of us. Senator Elizabeth Warren has a plan to fix that. She joins Stephanie Ruhle in her first interview since unveiling her proposal.


Patti Granros , 6 hours ago

Love Liz Warren. No BS. Policy-driven campaign! She's for the regular people, who keep this country going.

Some Person , 8 hours ago

60 years ago every job offered health insurance, retirement plans, paid vacation, and all sorts of other benefits. It's time to have them pay a share of our societies costs, they use the same roads, breathe the same air, and drink the same water...

Kamikapse , 7 hours ago

Warren has consistently amazed me with her proposals... I hope she will make it to the debates, since everyone's fawning over Bernie and Beto for their fundraising capabilities, I hope they are not trying to sink her...

Greg Miller , 9 hours ago

Warren Buffet, who saved 28 or so million on his, himself said trumps tax deal was foolish..but he also said he wouldn't turn it down, which i don't blame him on that..

Kip Landingham , 6 hours ago

Senator Warren makes some excellent points (as usual): "market" implies a competitive environment, so when huge corps squeeze out competitors, it's no longer a "market". Corporations/rich individuals always say they made their profits themselves (independently of others or of any social structure systems). Really? If you were living/doing business on a mountaintop, disconnected from everyone else and any infrastructure support, you would have done just as well? That's a load of crap, and if they had any responsibility at all (as opposed to just pure greed), they'd be willing to give back a bit and contribute to the system(s) they build their wealth on.

Google User , 1 hour ago

Elizabeth Warren you've got my attention.

Tessmage Tessera , 7 hours ago

The fact is that the wealthy all over the world do not want their position of privilege to be challenged. This is why Bernie Sanders has been saying (for several DECADES) that the only way to move our society forward is to build from the bottom up... not the top down. And he is 100% correct.

[Apr 12, 2019] Was McCain a fake candidate selected to ensure Obama win and Trump another fake candidate who accidentally won?

Apr 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Zachary Smith , Apr 11, 2019 5:39:02 PM | link

@ Circe @164

Odd thing, but suddenly I remember how John McCain came out of nowhere back in 2008. Polling in single digits, suddenly the man is hyped like hell and becomes the candidate. Perfect foil for Obama, I suppose.

Somehow reminds me of 2016, but then Obama was an unknown, not the most hated politician in the US.

^^^

As for "why now" on the arrest of Assange, it diverts attention from a lot of other topics. Some of those will probably never re-surface.

[Apr 11, 2019] Warren Unveils Plan For $1 Trillion In New Taxes On Big Corporations by Cameron Joseph

The main way big corporations corrupt the movement is by lobbing for tax preferential regime. Neoliberalism included "voodoo" supply side economics thory that speculates that lower taxes increase employment, while in reality they mostly increase the wealth of capital owners. This theory is brainwashed itno people minds by relentless neoliberal propaganda machine -- all major MSM are controlled by neoliberals. Common people have no say in this gbig game.
But tax regime is the battlefield were big capital fights labor and big capital since 1970 won all major battles.
Notable quotes:
"... "Because of relentless lobbying, our corporate income tax rules are filled with so many loopholes and exemptions and deductions that even companies that tell shareholders they have made more than a billion dollars in profits can end up paying no corporate income taxes," Warren wrote in a Medium post unveiling the plan. "Let's bring in the revenue we need to invest in opportunity for all Americans. And let's make this year the last year any company with massive profits pays zero federal taxes." ..."
"... Warren's plan is aimed at large corporations -- ones that have generally paid lower tax rates than smaller companies in recent years. The GOP tax cut law nearly doubled the number of publicly held companies that paid no federal taxes from 30 to 60 in the last year alone, according to a recent study from the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. ..."
"... This is the latest significant tax proposal the Massachusetts senator has unveiled as part of her campaign platform, which also includes a two percent surtax on people with more than $50 million in assets and a three percent surtax on those who have $1 billion. ..."
Apr 11, 2019 | talkingpointsmemo.com
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) unveiled a major plank in her platform to tax the rich on Thursday, introducing plans for a new tax on all corporations that clear $100 million in annual profits.

Warren's "real corporate profits tax" is aimed at large corporations like Amazon that have generated huge profits in recent years while almost entirely avoiding federal taxes through a series of loopholes and credits.

"Because of relentless lobbying, our corporate income tax rules are filled with so many loopholes and exemptions and deductions that even companies that tell shareholders they have made more than a billion dollars in profits can end up paying no corporate income taxes," Warren wrote in a Medium post unveiling the plan. "Let's bring in the revenue we need to invest in opportunity for all Americans. And let's make this year the last year any company with massive profits pays zero federal taxes."

The plan would institute a seven percent tax on profits over $100 million in addition to current taxes. An economic analysis released by Warren's campaign estimated that at least 1,200 companies would be forced to pay new taxes under the plan, generating a net revenue boost of at least $1 trillion for the government.

Warren's plan is aimed at large corporations -- ones that have generally paid lower tax rates than smaller companies in recent years. The GOP tax cut law nearly doubled the number of publicly held companies that paid no federal taxes from 30 to 60 in the last year alone, according to a recent study from the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

This is the latest significant tax proposal the Massachusetts senator has unveiled as part of her campaign platform, which also includes a two percent surtax on people with more than $50 million in assets and a three percent surtax on those who have $1 billion.

The plans have earned her plaudits on the left and drawn concern from some more business-friendly moderate Democrats.

But so far, they haven't proven a game-changer in the presidential race. Warren continues to struggle to siphon off a significant chunk of voters who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) last election, her natural base of support. She's regularly polled in the mid- to upper-single digits in recent state and national polls, in the second tier of candidates.

And she raised just $6 million in her first quarter in the campaign, her team announced yesterday. That's not a terrible haul in a crowded field, especially since she's sworn off big donors, but it's nothing compared to the huge sums she pulled in as a Senate candidate -- and trailed even upstart South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D).

She also spent almost all of that money, having built out a large staff in the early primary states with a high payroll.

And Sanders isn't giving her much room on her left: He reintroduced a sweeping Medicare for all plan on Wednesday, which she cosponsored, a move that puts pressure on Warren and other Democrats to keep up as they try to woo the progressive wing of the party base.

[Apr 11, 2019] A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.

Notable quotes:
"... He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague ..."
Apr 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Republic , says: April 10, 2019 at 1:47 pm GMT

Cicero's quotation:

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.

For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men.

He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague."

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

[Apr 10, 2019] A demoralized white working and middle class was willing to believe in anything, deluding themselves into reading between the barren eruptions of his blowzy proclamations. They elevated him to messianic heights, ironically fashioning him into that which he publicly claims to despise: an Obama, a Barry in negative image, hope and change for the OxyContin and Breitbart set

Highly recommended!
Trump betrayed white workers because he knows he can get away with it. For the last thirty years of the 20th century millions of white families were wrenched out of the middle class without a squeak out of any major news outlet or national level politician. Trump himself stiffed his workers in those days and got away with it.
Notable quotes:
"... “In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider. ..."
"... A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won’t fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics.” ..."
"... Yes, it would have been worse with the Cackling Hyena, but what does that tell ya? ..."
Apr 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: April 10, 2019 at 8:55 am GMT

I'm not sure why the author of this article seems to be surprised by the actions of Trump and his administration. The collective image of him as a blood-thirsty racist whose hatred of all peoples queer 'n' colored runs marrow and generations-deep -- think of a cross between a street corner John Galt and Ian Smith, daubed with vague overtones of Archie Bunker mingling with Clint Eastwood -- is purely an invention of the media, the left as well as that of the right.

Why or how he became the impromptu pope of white nationalism escapes me. Anyone with ears to listen and eyes to see could find for themselves that he never so much as intimated even muted sympathy for that movement, not during his campaign and certainly not as head of state, media accusations of "dog whistles" and the like notwithstanding.

But a demoralized white working and middle class were willing to believe in anything, deluding themselves into reading between the barren eruptions of his blowzy proclamations. They elevated him to messianic heights, ironically fashioning him into that which he publicly claims to despise: an Obama, a Barry in negative image, "hope and change" for the OxyContin and Breitbart set. Like his predecessor, Trump never really says anything at all. There are grand pronouncements, bilious screeds targeting perceived enemies, glib generalities, but rarely are any concrete, definitive ideas and policies ever articulated. Trump, like Obama, is merely a cipher, an empty suit upon which the dreams (or nightmares) of the beholder can effortlessly be projected, a polarizing figurehead who wields mostly ceremonial powers while others ostensibly beneath him busy themselves with the actual running of the republic.

To observe this requires no great research or expenditure of effort -- he lays it all out there for anybody to hear or read. Unfortunately, the near totality of this country's populace is effectively illiterate and poorly equipped to think critically and independently, preferring to accept the verdicts of their oleaginous talking heads at face value without ever troubling themselves to examine why. (The dubious products of the glorified diploma mills we call "higher education" are often the most gullible and dim-witted.) Trump is the dark magus of racism and bigotry -- boo! Trump is the man of sorrows who will carry aloft Western Civilization resurgent -- yay!

Just as the hysterical left was quickly shattered by the mediocrity that was Barack Obama, so too does the hysterical right now ululate the sting of Donald Trump's supposed betrayal. As with their ideological antipodes, they got what they deserved. Pity that the rest of us have to be carted along for the ride.

Amerimutt Golem , says: April 10, 2019 at 9:39 am GMT

Trump is just a golem -- a creature made by you know who to destroy their enemies like Iran etc, no different from GW or FDR.
anonymous [340] • Disclaimer , says: April 10, 2019 at 10:01 am GMT
Politics, at least at the national level, is a puppet show to channel and periodically blow off dissent.

“In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider.

A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won’t fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics.”

Linh Dinh, “Orlando Shooting Means Trump for President,” published at The Unz Review, June 12, 2016.

jacques sheete , says: April 10, 2019 at 10:12 am GMT

@Hank

We were “Trumped”. Hard to believe.

What’s so hard to believe? Many of us predicted as much.

PS: It would be more accurate to admit that his supporters have been t Rumped . He stuck it to ya and you enjoyed it. Believe it and remember it.

Yes, it would have been worse with the Cackling Hyena, but what does that tell ya?

[Apr 10, 2019] "First the poor taxpayers, robbed by the politicians of one great party and then by those of the other, turn to a group of free-lance rogues in the middle ground -- non-partisan candidates, Liberals, reformers, or what not: the name is unimportant.

Notable quotes:
"... Then, flayed and pillaged by these gentry as they never were by the old-time professionals, they go back in despair to the latter, and are flayed and pillaged again." ..."
Apr 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

jacques sheete says: April 10, 2019 at 10:50 am GMT

Reed was wrong here. The American voter, for the most part, still doesn't realize any of this.

In June 1922 the Zionist halter was firmly reaffixed
round the neck of American State policy, and though American voter only slowly
realized this, it became immaterial to him which party prevailed at elections.

-Douglas Reed, The Controversy of Zion , p 300-301

jacques sheete , says: April 10, 2019 at 10:56 am GMT

@WorkingClass

Today I switch to the Democrats.

Please, no!

"First the poor taxpayers, robbed by the politicians of one great party and then by those of the other, turn to a group of free-lance rogues in the middle ground -- non-partisan candidates, Liberals, reformers, or what not: the name is unimportant.

Then, flayed and pillaged by these gentry as they never were by the old-time professionals, they go back in despair to the latter, and are flayed and pillaged again."

-H.L.Mencken, Editorial , In The American Mercury, April 1924, pp. 408-412

Antonius , says: April 10, 2019 at 11:10 am GMT
Trump is attacked relentlessly by Israel firsters (both left and right) prior to, and after his investiture as POTUS. How does he respond? How has he responded to relentless attacks on his base? The man has no spine, and no sense of gratitude or morality.

'Not worth feeding' my late grandfather would have said. Although he has made a lot of wealthy petulant people (who despise him and laugh behind his back) even wealthier.

What is needed is a billionaire who has genuine sense of noblesse oblige. Hopeless!

Anon918 , says: April 10, 2019 at 11:30 am GMT

Of course Trump was a gamble. I clearly remember him saying he wanted to get out of Syria, put an end to the endless wars, and he declared himself neutral on the Israel/Palestine issue–those were the biggest reasons I voted for him. Turns out he lied big time.

Now what? Looking at the clown car of presidential candidates just induces political nausea. No matter who gets elected it will be a government of, by, and for Jewish/Israeli/Zionist interests.

In the meantime I see no real progress on putting the brakes on illegals flooding the country. I see no economic miracles in spite of all the spin. Actual unemployment in the US was at 21.2% in March, really not much better than it has been since the 2008 crash ( http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts ), and record numbers of people are behind on mortgages and car payments, suicide and drug casualties have been skyrocketing.

Our political system is not going to bring any solutions, it has been far too corrupt for far too long.

jacques sheete , says: April 10, 2019 at 11:32 am GMT
@Nicolás Palacios Navarro

Pity that the rest of us have to be carted along for the ride.

That’s the truth, but we ‘re being carted along not for the ride but for the porking.

[Apr 08, 2019] Senator Elizabeth Warren lobbed another policy grenade into the Democratic primary Friday, announcing she supports drastically changing the Senate by eliminating its legendary filibuster to give her party a better chance of implementing its ambitious agenda.

Apr 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , April 07, 2019 at 06:00 AM

(Liz swerves left!)

Here's how Elizabeth Warren is trying to outmaneuver Bernie Sanders
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/04/05/warren-call-for-end-senate-filibuster/S3saQJayxQNZBPTXQ85x1O/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Liz Goodwin - April 5, 2019

NEW YORK -- Senator Elizabeth Warren lobbed another policy grenade into the Democratic primary Friday, announcing she supports drastically changing the Senate by eliminating its legendary filibuster to give her party a better chance of implementing its ambitious agenda.

The move puts her campaign rivals on the spot to explain how they would pass their own ambitious legislative priorities if the Senate keeps its rule in place requiring a 60-vote supermajority to advance most bills.

Warren's announcement allows her to swerve to the left of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in a meaningful way at a time when she's straggling far behind him in early polls and grass-roots fund-raising.

Sanders, who popularized proposals like free college and Medicare for All among Democrats during his 2016 run for president, has been reluctant to support scrapping the filibuster. That raises questions about how he would be able to pass his sweeping proposals into law should he become president, given Democrats are extremely unlikely to have 60 seats in the Senate.

"I'm not running for president just to talk about making real, structural change," Warren told a group of activists at a conference organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton, where she announced her opposition to the filibuster. "I'm serious about getting it done. And part of getting it done means waking up to the reality of the United States Senate."

The appearance in New York caps off a three-week run that has seen Warren call for making it easier to send executives to jail for corporate crimes, unveil a proposal to break up farm monopolies, endorse forming a commission to study reparations for the descendants of slaves, and say she would like to abolish the Electoral College so presidents are elected by popular vote.

"Bernie Sanders, nobody's to his left on policy, but there's lots of running room on his left on procedural changes that would be necessary to enact those policies," said Brian Fallon, a former top Hillary Clinton aide and the founder of the liberal advocacy group Demand Justice.

Sanders said he's not "crazy about" the idea of getting rid of the filibuster in an interview in February, but said in a later statement that he is open to reform.

Getting rid of the Senate filibuster, which has been around since the mid-1800s, was once seen as a radical proposal that would undermine the chamber's ability to take a deliberative approach to major issues. But Democratic and Republican majorities have chipped away at it in recent years, jettisoning filibusters for Cabinet and Supreme Court nominees.

Just this week, Senate Republicans infuriated Democrats by unilaterally reducing the amount of debate time for other executive branch and judicial nominees before a filibuster could be ended.

The move to ditch the filibuster has gained currency among liberals frustrated that the Senate is more Republican than the general public because of liberals clustering on the coasts and the constitutional requirement that all states get two senators regardless of population.

President Trump and Barack Obama have complained about the filibuster, with Obama saying last year that it made it "almost impossible" to govern.

Though probably too wonky a proposal to reach the average voter, the debate over the Senate filibuster animates the Democratic activists who are watching the primary the most closely and whose support the candidates are vying to win. Those activists are unmoved by candidates who say they'll be able to persuade Republicans to sign onto their ambitious liberal legislation.

"The idea that you can win people over by inviting them over for drinks on the Truman Balcony -- that is completely out of vogue," Fallon said.

Other candidates have also called for getting rid of the filibuster, including Governor J*a*y Inslee of Washington and Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, who is pondering a run. However, Warren is the first sitting senator in the race to do so. Senator Kamala Harris of California, who signed a letter in 2017 affirming the filibuster, now says she's conflicted about it.

The filibuster's defenders say it protects the rights of the minority party, and forces the majority to compromise. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who also signed the 2017 letter, has said he is concerned that getting rid of the filibuster would mean Republicans would be able to more easily pass legislation in the future over Democrats' objections.

In her speech to the National Action Network's activists, a largely black crowd, Warren framed the filibuster as a tool of "racists" who used it for decades to block civil rights legislation, including a bill to make lynching a federal crime that was first introduced in the early 1900s. The legislation finally passed this year.

"We can't sit around for 100 years while climate change destroys our planet, while corruption pervades every nook and cranny of Washington, and while too much of a child's fate in life still rests on the color of their skin," she said.

After her speech, Warren told reporters that she is concerned about the bills Republicans would be able to pass without the filibuster, but that getting rid of it is worth it for Democrats. "Of course I'm worried. But I'm also worried about a minority that blocks real change that we need to make in this country," she said.

The calls to eliminate the filibuster are part of a larger debate among Democrats about reforming US democracy after they lost the 2000 and 2016 presidential elections despite winning the popular vote. Warren, along with several other Democrats, has also called to abolish the Electoral College. Warren, Harris, and former representative Beto O'Rourke of Texas are also open to the idea of the next president expanding the number of seats on the Supreme Court to offset its conservative majority.

Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who pushes a host of liberal policies, has been more conservative on these proposals than many of his presidential campaign rivals. He is against expanding the court, arguing it would be a slippery slope that Republicans could also take advantage of, and is still on the fence about ditching the filibuster and abolishing the Electoral College.

Warren declined to call out her Senate colleagues when asked whether she was surprised they had not endorsed the idea of ending the filibuster. "All I can do is keep running the campaign I'm running and talking about these ideas," she said.

[Apr 08, 2019] Journalist Media's Mueller leaks are a sign of desperation

Tucker interviews Glenn Greenwald
But we need to understand the Mueller expedition was witch hunt form the beginning to the end, and the fact that Mueller backed off means that some pressure was exerted on him to stay within civilized discourse, or...
I doubt that Mueller of his anthrax investigation fame would have any problems to implicate Trump in non-existent crimes. That would means the false assumption that he has some integrity, which his 9/11 behavioud fully contradict of.
In this sense lawyers from Mueller team complain about Mueller betrayal: he carefully selected the most Trump hating lawyers and brought them for a witch hunt, but at the end he backed off. Ma be under pressure from Israel lobby.
Notable quotes:
"... The legal system isn't supposed to "damage" people, it is supposed to find them innocent or guilty. Shame on Mueller for appointing such disgraceful and unprofessional people. ..."
Apr 08, 2019 | www.youtube.com

monkeygraborange , 2 days ago

JOURNALISM NO LONGER EXISTS... NOW IT'S ONLY THE MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA!

BlissfulXerces , 2 days ago

They are willing to damage our entire country for power. When do we end this?

Flying Gabriel , 2 days ago

Anonymous sources don't cut it anymore. You might as well say "we're making this up." Either put up or shut up.

Shelly Kennedy , 2 days ago

Greenwald is a consistent voice of sanity from the political left. Need more such sane voices to restart cultural debate. Because as we all know, politics is downstream from culture.

Chad Elmer , 2 days ago

"Continual attempt to remove independent thought and reasoning by big tech !"

kim wiser , 2 days ago

He is right tribalism is wrong. What Covington and all the fake stories should teach us it to make sure that we look at the facts. The hard part is finding the good journalists so you can support them.

Sergio Sotelo , 2 days ago

Why isn't anyone being prosecuted for these leaks?

West Kagle , 2 days ago

. Gee.....I wonder why the big media firms are having to layoff huge numbers of their workforce? Could it be that they have destroyed their own credibility and the revenue is no longer there to support the bloated staffs they once had, because people are going elsewhere for their information?

Will to Power , 2 days ago

The legal system isn't supposed to "damage" people, it is supposed to find them innocent or guilty. Shame on Mueller for appointing such disgraceful and unprofessional people.

[Apr 06, 2019] Elizabeth Warren's Watered-Down Populism

Apr 06, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Too often caught between Randian individualism on one hand and big-government collectivism on the other, America's working-class parents need a champion.

They might well have had one in Elizabeth Warren, whose 2003 book, The Two-Income Trap , co-authored with her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi, was unafraid to skewer sacred cows. Long a samizdat favorite among socially conservative writers, the book recently got a new dose of attention after being spotlighted on the Right by Fox News's Tucker Carlson and on the Left by Vox's Matthew Yglesias .

The book's main takeaway was that two-earner families in the early 2000s seemed to be less, rather than more, financially stable than one-earner families in the 1970s. Whereas stay-at-home moms used to provide families with an implicit safety net, able to enter the workforce if circumstances required, the dramatic rise of the two-earner family had effectively bid up the cost of everyday life. Rather than the additional income giving families more breathing room, they argue, "Mom's paycheck has been pumped directly into the basic costs of keeping the children in the middle class."

Warren and Warren Tyagi report that as recently as the late 1970s, a married mother was roughly twice as likely to stay at home with her children than work full-time. But by 2000, those figures had almost reversed. Both parents had been pressed into the workforce to maintain adequate standards of living for their families -- the "two-income trap" of the book's title.

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What caused the trap to be sprung? Cornell University economist Francine Blau has helpfully drawn a picture of women's changing responsiveness to labor market wages during the 20th century. In her work with Laurence Kahn, Blau found that women's wage elasticities -- how responsive their work decisions were to changes in their potential wages -- used to be far more heavily driven by their husband's earning potential or lack thereof (what economists call cross-wage elasticity). Over time, Blau and Kahn found, women's responsiveness to wages -- their own or their husbands -- began to fall, and their labor force participation choices began to more closely resemble men's, providing empirical backing to the story Warren and Warren Tyagi tell.

Increasing opportunity and education were certainly one driver of this trend. In 1960, just 5.8 percent of all women over age 25 had a bachelor's degree or higher. Today, 41.7 percent of mothers aged 25 and over have a college degree. Many of these women entered careers in which they found fulfillment and meaning, and the opportunity costs, both financially and professionally, of staying home might have been quite high.

But what about the plurality of middle- and working-class moms who weren't necessarily looking for a career with a path up the corporate ladder? What was pushing them into full-time work for pay, despite consistently telling pollsters they wished they could work less?

The essential point, stressed by Warren and Warren Tyagi, was the extent to which this massive shift was driven by a desire to provide for one's children. The American Dream has as many interpretations as it does adherents, but a baseline definition would surely include giving your children a better life. Many women in America's working and middle classes entered the labor force purely to provide the best possible option for their families.

The Student Loan Trap Up From Consumerism

In the search for good neighborhoods and good schools, a bidding war quickly became an arms race. There were "two words so powerful the families would pursue them to the brink of bankruptcy: safety and education ." The authors underplay the extent to which policy had explicitly sought to preserve home values, driven by their use as investment vehicles and retirement accounts, a dynamic covered expertly by William Fischel's The Homevoter Hypothesis . But their broader point is accurate -- rising house prices, aided and abetted by policy choices around land use, have made it harder for families to afford the cost of living in 21st-century America.

Another factor in the springing of the trap? Divorce. In her 2000 book about how feminism had failed women, Danielle Crittenden writes about how fear of dependency, especially in an era of no-fault divorce, had caused women to rank financial independence highly.

These two factors, along with others Warren and Warren Tyagi explore, made it difficult for families to unilaterally disarm without losing their place in the middle class. "Today's middle-class mother is trapped," they write. "She can't afford to work, and she can't afford to quit."

A quiet armistice may have been declared in the so-called "mommy wars," but the underlying pressures haven't gone away since The Two-Income Trap was published. If anything, they've gotten worse.

Warren and Warren Tyagi propose severing the link between housing and school districts through a "well-designed voucher program," calling the public education system "the heart of the problem." They correctly note that "schools in middle-class neighborhoods may be labeled 'public,'" but that parents effectively pay tuition by purchasing a home within a carefully selected school district. Breaking the cartel that ties educational outcomes to zip codes would increase choices for families and open the door to further educational pluralism.

Warren and Warren Tyagi are also unafraid to tell unpopular truths about the futility of additional funding for colleges (identifying "faith in the power of higher education [as] the new secular religion"), housing affordability ("direct subsidies are likely to add more ammunition to the already ruinous bidding wars, ultimately driving home prices even higher"), universal child care (which "would create yet another comparative disadvantage for single-income families trying to compete in the marketplace"), and usurious credit (Warren's long work on bankruptcy requires deeper treatment than this space allows, but their questioning of our over-reliance on consumer debt deserves a fuller hearing).

Warren's presidential campaign contains elements of this attempt to make life easier for families, but the shades of her vision of a pro-family economic policy seem paler than they were a decade and a half ago.

Her universal child care plan , for example, seemingly contradicts her prior stated worries about disadvantaging stay-at-home parents. While she explicitly -- and wisely -- steers clear of a subsidy-based approach, her attempt to "create a network of child care options" does less to directly support families who aren't looking for formal care. In a sense, Warren would replicate the public school experience for the under-five crowd -- if you don't want to participate, that's fine, but you'll bear the cost on your own. A true pro-family populism would seek to increase the choice set for all families, regardless of their work-life situations.

Warren's housing plan has similarly good intentions, seeking to increase the supply of affordable housing rather than simply trying to subsidize demand. Her competitive education grant would reward municipalities for relaxing restrictive zoning requirements. But while her campaign has yet to release a plan on education, it seems unlikely we'll see the kind of bold approach to educational choice she espoused in 2003. Populist sympathizers of all ideological stripes should hope I'm proven wrong.

Warren's attempt at pro-family progressive populism seems honest. If not for certain infamous biographical missteps, her personal story would be one of how America is still a land of opportunity -- the daughter of a Oklahoma department store salesman who worked her way to a law degree, a professorship, and a Senate seat. There's a congruence in her positioning of economic security as a family values issue and the resurgent interest in a pro-worker, pro-family conservative agenda. And unlike so many politicians, her personal experience seems to have instilled an understanding of why so many dual-earner families see work as a means to the end of providing a better life for their children rather than an end in itself.

A politician willing to question the sacred cows of double-income families, more money for schools, and easy credit is the kind of politician this populist moment requires. A candidate willing to call into question an economic model that prioritizes GDP growth over all else would boldly position himself or herself as being on the side of families whose vision of the American Dream involves a better life for their children, yet who are exhausted and hemmed in by costs.

How Warren needs to position her platform to navigate the vicissitudes of a Democratic Party primary will likely not be the best way to address the needs of the modern American family. But in a crowded field, an uncompromising vision of increased choice for families across all dimensions -- not just within the public school system, for example, but among all options of education -- would be an impressive accomplishment and a way of distinguishing herself from the pack. An explicit defense of parenthood as a social good would be unconventional but welcome.

Still, a marker of how far the conversation around families has shifted from the early 2000s is the extent to which Warren's and Warren Tyagi's view of parenthood as something more than an individual "lifestyle choice" would now be viewed as radical, particularly on the Left. "That may be true from the perspective of an individual choosing whether or not to have a child," they write, "but it isn't true for society at large. What happens to a nation that rewards the childless and penalizes the parents?"

What indeed. Paging the Elizabeth Warren of 2003 -- your country needs you.

Patrick T. Brown ( @PTBwrites ) is a master's of public affairs student at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.


JonF April 4, 2019 at 6:22 am

Doe anyone think the middle and especially upper middle class would be in favor of a school choice plan that would cause their housing values to take hit? And there's another big roadblock with a school choice program: the need for transportation. Two years ago my next door neighbors who were able to place their young son in a good school across town sold their house and moved to be closer to the school since the daily cross-town commute at rush hour was just too much.
grin without a cat , says: April 4, 2019 at 7:44 am
They might well have had one in Elizabeth Warren, whose 2003 book, The Two-Income Trap, co-authored with her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi, was unafraid to skewer sacred cows.

It's more recent than that. The first edition was 2003, but a second edition came out in 2016, by which time Mom probably knew she might be running for president. It's got a new introduction by the authors, so obviously it was done with their cooperation.

I haven't read either edition, so I don't know what's been changed in the new one.

Chris Atwood , says: April 4, 2019 at 9:38 am
Great essay.

I am struck again and again, by the unbelievable power of the forces in the political arena pushing everyone who is a Democrat because they are fiscally liberal* to ALSO become socially liberal,* and everyone who is a Republican because they are socially conservative* to ALSO become fiscally conservative.*

The net result of the laws of motion seem to systematically take the ideological space of "socially conservative, fiscally liberal" (the old New Deal) and push everyone in it either out to the usual left "fiscally liberal, socially liberal" or the usual right "socially conservative, fiscally conservative" quadrants.

This article shows how it's happening with Elizabeth Warren in one direction, and it's happened constantly with socially conservative Republicans who get yanked back to the proper quadrant anytime they try to move to a direction of economic policy that doesn't involve tax cuts for the rich and actually help their constituents.

Roy Fassel , says: April 4, 2019 at 10:30 am
One can have all the opinions on better ways to do things for the good of society, but if those ideas are not politically viable, it creates a change in directions. Warren probably by now .realizes how complicated all of these policy issues are and the unintended consequence of these policies are always a factor and a risk. Elizabeth Warren seems to have a good grasp of complicated issues, but that never get her the support she would need to prevail in this campaign. We currently live in the age of "Fantasyland" spewed by both the Trump RINOs and the Lunatic Left. Warren is a thinker. That is not helpful these days.
Sid Finster , says: April 4, 2019 at 10:55 am
What happened is that Warren wants the Team D nomination, and Team D, like Team R, could not care less about the 99.9% of Americans who are not non-campaign bundlers or big contributors.

In fact, Team D (again, just like Team R) is actively hostile to any proposal that might take money out of the pockets of the .1%, or otherwise affect the way the the economic pie is sliced.

Chris in Appalachia , says: April 4, 2019 at 11:46 am
If this was the 1970s Warren would probably have supported busing. Pocahontas – leave my safe neighborhood, my children's schools, and my home equity alone. Because these well meaning social engineering schemes seldom work out as planned. As a middle class American I will probably get the short end of the stick.

Funny that policy makers never want to help families by taking a little chunk out of hedge funds and shareholders and vulture capitalists and sharing it with American workers. Talk about "the heart of the problem."

BradleyD , says: April 4, 2019 at 12:15 pm
My wife and I did a sort of calculation. In our state child care would be about 11,000 per child per year. Also, you can't drop them off if they are sick, so you have to use your sick days for them. Oh, and if you don't use the child care if you're on vacation, you still need to pay to hold the slot. With two kids and taxes, she has to clear well over 30k per year to about break even.

Add in the fact you'll be missing out on their childhood, spending maybe three or so hours per day with them, is it really worth it?

The more I see the 'big tech' developments, they are basically things your pay for to let you work so you can afford to work. TaskRabbit, Fivrer, DoorDash, etc basically give you free time so you can work more.

EliteCommInc. , says: April 4, 2019 at 1:00 pm
"What happens to a nation that rewards the childless and penalizes the parents?"

Laughing.

They become liberals, democrats, anarchists, socialists, communists . . . supporters of murdering children in the womb, efficiency advocates by way of eugenics . . . and other assorted malcontents against ordered society.

EliteCommInc. , says: April 4, 2019 at 1:13 pm
This may be unfair as I have not read the book.

But in my view, what has damaged economic sociology has been the shift in practice without any assessment what it would do to the traditional family dynamic between husbands and wives in family construction. That simply demanding that space be made for women and millions of women would seriously tighten the job market for all and disrupt the pillars upon which our nation was built, despite its problems.

Power dynamic, chivalry outran practical realities and that remains the case in increasingly stratifying civil demands.

And while I sympathetic to the complaint about bussing, that had a very little impact on the employment numbers which government and businesses and edication raced to fill the discrimination expectations with women, and primarily white women.

tired comment, but accurate nonetheless, so instead of hiring men in response to discrimination, those men were instead replaced by women, most of whom already had access via the cultural dynamics of the majority.

rps , says: April 4, 2019 at 3:22 pm
Warren and Warren Tyagi propose severing the link between housing and school districts through a "well-designed voucher program," calling the public education system "the heart of the problem." [ ]

In my opinion, Warner's education voucher proposal by guaranteeing voucher dollar enrollment in the affluent zip codes ignores the heart of the education problem. Affluent zip codes do not ensure a child's academic success via 'better' teachers and educational materials. Public schools in the big cities are filled with teachers who have their masters and Ph.D's along with continuing education requirements.

Student success is fundamentally based upon parental commitment and community involvement. Are the parents committed to their children's academic success? Does the parent(s) provide a conducive and safe home environment? Does the child have a quiet space to study, do their homework and prepare for school? Does the parent(s) sit down and teach? Review the child's homework? Do the parents volunteer at the school? Are they involved with school events? Is education a top priority? Or is school a babysitting service to drop off and pick up?

Those affluent zip codes are more than a number. For the most part, they are a supportive community of families.

A child's academic success is assuredly tethered to the parental guiding hands. Simply, a child's success begins at home with parents who care about their children's future.

Fran Macadam , says: April 4, 2019 at 4:34 pm
She Woke up.

Careerism trumps sanity. In the age of #MeToo, it's got to be all about me.

Robert K U , says: April 4, 2019 at 6:47 pm
Probably, every conservative will agree, that the basic flaw is materialism. Thus, with materialism, personal values that cannot be sold or bought for money, are neglected in favour of the gross domestic product per capita philosophy. Such personal values are, for instance, family values, that is, children need both a mother, especially when they are below teenage, and a father, especially when they are teenagers, and perhaps most important, a father and a mother need one another. All this family thing does, however, not enter into the money economy of big government. Whence, on the side of families, those need to take quite brave choices, to choose morals above money. And on the side of the government, this needs to tax the rich and help the poor. In fact, according to the World Bank, economic growth is stimulated best, if governments help the poor directly, rather than with obscure subsidies to the economic system. However, there is also the difficulty with difficult access to regular jobs. By no doubt, abortion genosuicide decreases demand on the most simple of goods and services, causing unemployment for the poor, and driving up costs of raising children. Society then goes into socialism, with genosuicide instead of economic growth, while the money flows into pension funds of the upper middle class. Governments must simply help the poor. Humankind has always been able to produce twice the amount of good food that it needs, but bureaucratic governments keep the poor enslaved, to fill them with lie.
Tim , says: April 4, 2019 at 7:19 pm
Warren's academic work and cheeky refusal to fold under pressure when her nomination as Obama's consumer ('home ec.'?) finance czar was stymied by the GOP are worthy of respect. I'd like to see her make a strong run at the dem nomination, but am put off by her recent tendency to adopt silly far-left talking points and sentiments (her Native DNA, advocating for reparations, etc.). Nice try, Liz, but I'm still leaning Bernie's direction.

As far as the details of the economic analysis related above, though, I am unqualified to make any judgment – haven't read the book. But one enormously significant economic development in the early 70s wasn't mentioned at all, so I assume she and her daughter passed it over as well. In his first term R. Milhouse Nixon untethered, once & for all, the value of the dollar from traditional hard currency. The economy has been coming along nicely ever since, except for one problematic aspect: with a floating currency we are all now living in an economic environment dominated by the vicissitudes of supplies and demands, are we not? It took awhile to effect the housing market, but signs of the difference it made began to emerge fairly quickly, and accelerated sharply when the tides of globalism washed lots of third world lucre up on our western shores. Now, as clearly implied by both Warren and the author of this article, young Americans whose parents may not have even been born back then – the early 70s – are probably permanently priced out of the housing market in places that used to have only a marginally higher cost of entry – i.e. urban California, where I have lived and worked for most of my nearly 60 years. In places like this even a 3-earner income may not suffice! Maybe we should bring back the gold standard, because it seems to me that as long as unfettered competition coupled to supply/demand and (EZ credit $) is the underlying dynamic of the American economy we're headed for the New Feudalism. Of course, nothing could be more conservative than that, right? What say you, TAColytes?

EliteCommInc. , says: April 4, 2019 at 10:57 pm
"Maybe we should bring back the gold standard, because it seems to me that as long as unfettered competition coupled to supply/demand and (EZ credit $) is the underlying dynamic of the American economy we're headed for the New Feudalism."

I take it you think the old one has departed.

It was in the area of how businesses and government were reciprocating unhealthy and unfair business practices is where I think her advocacy was most accurate. But she has abandoned all of that.

K squared , says: April 5, 2019 at 7:05 am
"Funny that policy makers never want to help families by taking a little chunk out of hedge funds and shareholders and vulture capitalists and sharing it with American workers."

Funny that Warren HAS brought up raising taxes on the rich.

[Apr 05, 2019] 'Enough With That' Warren Backs Killing Filibuster to Push Through Progressive Reforms by Julia Conley, staff writer

Notable quotes:
"... "I'm not running for president just to talk about making real, structural change. I'm serious about getting it done," the speech reads. "And part of getting it done means waking up to the reality of the United States Senate." ..."
"... Advocates including Warren also say the end of the filibuster would make it easier for the Senate to pass meaningful legislation to combat the climate crisis and to further other progressive causes. ..."
"... "We can't sit around for 100 years while the rich and powerful get richer and more powerful and everyone else falls further and further behind," Warren's speech reads. "We can't sit around for 100 years while climate change destroys our planet, while corruption pervades every nook and cranny of Washington, and while too much of a child's fate in life still rests on the color of their skin. Enough with that." ..."
Apr 05, 2019 | www.commondreams.org

"We can't sit around for 100 years while the rich and powerful get richer and more powerful and everyone else falls further and further behind."

The 2020 presidential candidate is expected to endorse the proposal in a speech at the National Action Network Convention in New York Friday morning.

"When Democrats next have power, we should be bold and clear: We're done with two sets of rules -- one for the Republicans and one for the Democrats," Warren is expected to say. "And that means when Democrats have the White House again, if Mitch McConnell tries to do what he did to President Obama and puts small-minded partisanship ahead of solving the massive problems facing this country, then we should get rid of the filibuster."

"I'm not running for president just to talk about making real, structural change. I'm serious about getting it done," the speech reads. "And part of getting it done means waking up to the reality of the United States Senate."

Getting rid of the filibuster -- the Senate procedure which allows a minority party to delay a vote by drawing out debate and block legislation from passing by requiring a "supermajority" of 60 senators to approve it -- would be a key step toward passing progressive measures, advocates say.

At the NAN Convention, Warren is expected to note that the filibuster has stopped the Senate from passing radical justice legislation for decades, including an anti-lynching bill which was first introduced a century ago but didn't pass until December 2018.

"It nearly became the law back then. It passed the House in 1922. But it got killed in the Senate -- by a filibuster. And then it got killed again. And again. And again," Warren plans to say. "More than 200 times. An entire century of obstruction because a small group of racists stopped the entire nation from doing what was right."

Advocates including Warren also say the end of the filibuster would make it easier for the Senate to pass meaningful legislation to combat the climate crisis and to further other progressive causes.

"We can't sit around for 100 years while the rich and powerful get richer and more powerful and everyone else falls further and further behind," Warren's speech reads. "We can't sit around for 100 years while climate change destroys our planet, while corruption pervades every nook and cranny of Washington, and while too much of a child's fate in life still rests on the color of their skin. Enough with that."

Warren joins fellow 2020 Democratic hopefuls Pete Buttigieg and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in endorsing the end of the filibuster. Her speech Friday will represent her latest push for "structural change" that she says would have far-reaching positive effects on the lives of working Americans. Since announcing her candidacy in January she has called for a tax on the wealth of the richest Americans to combat economic inequality and fund progressive programs, a universal childcare plan, and a breakup of powerful tech giants , among other proposals.

[Apr 05, 2019] How does one fight in an Internet-infested, money-dominated political system?

Apr 05, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

span y arendt on Tue, 04/02/2019 - 7:31pm The old politics is dead. Citizens United granted unlimited, anonymous political bribery to the transnational billionaire class. The legacy media has been conglomerated down to six companies, while the platform media companies (Google, Facebook, Twitter) have instituted censorship and banning. Sock puppets, trolls, doxers, and other slime have demolished the promise of honest intellectual internet debate.

[Apr 04, 2019] Nine Reasons Why You Should Support Joe Biden For President by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Apr 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Former Vice President Joe Biden has released a video statement telling the American people that the accusations he is now facing of touching women in inappropriate ways without their consent is the product of changing "social norms", assuring everyone that he will indeed be adjusting to those changes.

And thank goodness. For a minute there, I was worried Biden might cave under the pressure of a looming scandal and decline to run for president on the grounds that it could cripple his campaign and leave America facing another four years of Donald Trump. Here are nine good reasons why I hope Joe Biden runs for president, and why you should support him too:

1. It's his turn.

It's Biden's turn to be president. He's spent years playing second fiddle while other leading Democrats hogged all the limelight, and that's not fair. He's been waiting very patiently. Come on.

2. Most Qualified Candidate Ever.

If Joe Biden secures the Democratic Party nomination for president, he would be the Most Qualified Candidate Ever to run for office. His service as a US Senator and a Vice President has given him unparalleled experience priming him for the most powerful elected office in the world. Everything Biden has done throughout his entire career proves that he'd make a great Commander-in-Chief.

3. He's closely associated with a popular Democratic president.

You think Biden, you think Obama. You think Obama, you think greatness. You can't spend that much time with a great Democratic president without absorbing his greatness yourself. It's called osmosis.

4. You liked Obama, didn't you?

Biden was part of the Obama administration. Remember the Obama administration? It was magical, right? If you want more of that, vote Biden.

5. But Trump!

Do you want Trump to win the next election? You know he'll shatter all our norms and literally end the world if he does, right? You should be terrified of the possibility of Trump winning in 2020, and if you are, you should want him running against Joe Biden. What's the alternative? Nominating some crazy unelectable socialist like Bernie Sanders? Might as well just hand Trump the victory now, then. Anyone who wants to beat Trump must fall in line behind the Most Qualified Candidate Ever.

6. Iraq wasn't so bad.

Okay, maybe some of his past foreign policy positions look bad in hindsight, but come on. Pushing for the Iraq war was what everyone was doing back in those days. It was all the rage. We all made it through, right? I mean, most of us?

7. This is happening whether you like it or not.

We're doing this. We're going to push Joe Biden through whether you like it or not, and we can do it the easy way or the hard way. Just relax, take deep breaths, and think about a nice place far away from here. Don't struggle. This will be over before you know it. We'll use plenty of lube.

8. Just vote for him.

Just vote for him, you insolent little shits. Who the fuck do you think you are, anyway? You think you're entitled to a bunch of ponies and unicorns like healthcare and drinkable water? You only think that because you're a bunch of racist, sexist homophobes. You will vote for who we tell you to or we'll spend the next four years calling you all Russian agents and screaming about Susan Sarandon.

9. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

Honestly, what could possibly go wrong? It's not like the Most Qualified Candidate Ever could manage to lose an election to some oafish reality TV star. Hell, Biden could beat Trump in his sleep. He could even skip campaigning in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and still win by a landslide, because those states are in the bag. There's no way he could fail, barring some unprecedented and completely unforeseeable freak occurrences from way out of left field that nobody could possibly have anticipated.

[Apr 03, 2019] There is no democracy in US. There is just a civil war between two dysfunctional and corrupt to the core parties

Notable quotes:
"... The Democrats are so fricking crazy, so far in outer space that any attempt at working with them is pure futility. ..."
Feb 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

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

AJM

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

[Apr 03, 2019] Democrats are now the party of war

Apr 03, 2019 | www.facebook.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Mar 31, 2019] Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving the neoliberal elite for its complicity in fiasco of 2016, and inability to see the mass revolt against neoliberalism coming

Notable quotes:
"... Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ." ..."
"... I can see is that the elite seem to be fighting amongst themselves or (IMO) providing cover for ongoing elite power/control efforts. It might not be about private/public finance in a bigger picture but I can't see anything else that makes sense ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian, link

Here is an insightful read on Trump's (s) election and Russiagate that I think is not OT

Taibbi: On Russiagate and Our Refusal to Face Why Trump Won

The take away quote

" Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming. Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ."

... I can see is that the elite seem to be fighting amongst themselves or (IMO) providing cover for ongoing elite power/control efforts. It might not be about private/public finance in a bigger picture but I can't see anything else that makes sense

[Mar 31, 2019] Because of the immediate arrival of the Russia collusion theory, neither MSM honchos nor any US politician ever had to look into the camera and say, I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming. ..."
"... Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Mar 30, 2019 7:51:28 PM | link

Here is an insightful read on Trump's (s)election and Russiagate that I think is not OT

Taibbi: On Russiagate and Our Refusal to Face Why Trump Won

The take away quote

" Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming.

Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ."

As a peedupon all I can see is that the elite seem to be fighting amongst themselves or (IMO) providing cover for ongoing elite power/control efforts. It might not be about private/public finance in a bigger picture but I can't see anything else that makes sense

[Mar 31, 2019] Taibbi On Russiagate America s Refusal To Face Why Trump Won

Yes, "Trump was selling himself as a traitor to a corrupt class, someone who knew how soulless and greedy the ruling elite was because he was one of them. " But he turned to be a fake, a marionette who is controlled by neocons like hapless Bush II.
Notable quotes:
"... Last weekend, I published a book chapter criticizing the Russiagate narrative, claiming it was a years-long press error on the scale of the WMD affair heading into the Iraq war. ..."
"... The overwhelming theme of that race, long before anyone even thought about Russia, was voter rage at the entire political system. ..."
"... The anger wasn't just on the Republican side, where Trump humiliated the Republicans' chosen $150 million contender , Jeb Bush (who got three delegates, or $50 million per delegate ). It was also evident on the Democratic side, where a self-proclaimed "Democratic Socialist" with little money and close to no institutional support became a surprise contender . ..."
"... Trump was gunning for votes in both parties. The core story he told on the stump was one of system-wide corruption, in which there was little difference between Republicans and Democrats. ..."
"... Perhaps just by luck, Trump was tuned in to the fact that the triumvirate of ruling political powers in America – the two parties, the big donors and the press – were so unpopular with large parts of the population that he could win in the long haul by attracting their ire, even if he was losing battles on the way. ..."
"... The subtext was always: I may be crude, but these people are phonies, pretending to be upset when they're making money off my bullshit . ..."
"... Trump was selling himself as a traitor to a corrupt class, someone who knew how soulless and greedy the ruling elite was because he was one of them. ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Taibbi: On Russiagate & America's Refusal To Face Why Trump Won

by Tyler Durden Sat, 03/30/2019 - 15:30 261 SHARES Authored by Matt Taibbi via RollingStone.com,

Faulty coverage of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign later made foreign espionage a more plausible explanation for his ascent to power

Last weekend, I published a book chapter criticizing the Russiagate narrative, claiming it was a years-long press error on the scale of the WMD affair heading into the Iraq war.

Obviously (and I said this in detail), the WMD fiasco had a far greater real-world impact, with hundreds of thousands of lives lost and trillions in treasure wasted. Still, I thought Russiagate would do more to damage the reputation of the national news media in the end.

A day after publishing that excerpt, a Attorney General William Barr sent his summary of the report to Congress, containing a quote filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller : "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

Suddenly, news articles appeared arguing people like myself and Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept were rushing to judgment , calling us bullies whose writings were intended to leave reporters "cowed" and likely to " back down from aggressive coverage of Trump ."

This was baffling. One of the most common criticisms of people like Greenwald, Michael Tracey, Aaron Mate, Rania Khalek, Max Blumenthal, Jordan Chariton and many others is that Russiagate "skeptics" - I hate that term, because it implies skepticism isn't normal and healthy in this job - were really secret Trump partisans, part of a "horseshoe" pact between far left and far right to focus attention on the minor foibles of the center instead of Trump's more serious misdeeds. Even I received this label, and I once wrote a book about Trump called Insane Clown President .

A typical social media complaint:

@mtaibbi and all his deplorable followers. The truth will come out and your premature celebrations are embarrassing.

It's irritating that I even have to address this, because my personal political views shouldn't have anything to do with how I cover anything. But just to get it out of the way: I'm no fan of Donald Trump .

I had a well-developed opinion about him long before the 2016 race started. I once interned for Trump's nemesis-biographer, the late, great muckraker Wayne Barrett . The birther campaign of 2011 was all I ever needed to make a voting decision about the man.

I started covering the last presidential race in 2015 just as I was finishing up a book about the death of Eric Garner called I Can't Breathe . Noting that a birther campaign started by "peripheral political curiosity and reality TV star Donald Trump" led to 41 percent of respondents in one poll believing Barack Obama was "not even American," I wrote:

If anyone could communicate the frustration black Americans felt over Stop-and-Frisk and other neo-vagrancy laws that made black people feel like they could be arrested anywhere, it should have been Barack Obama. He'd made it all the way to the White House and was still considered to be literally trespassing by a huge plurality of the population.

So I had no illusions about Trump. The Russia story bothered me for other reasons, mostly having to do with a general sense of the public being misled, and not even about Russia.

The problem lay with the precursor tale to Russiagate, i.e. how Trump even got to be president in the first place.

The 2016 campaign season brought to the surface awesome levels of political discontent. After the election, instead of wondering where that anger came from, most of the press quickly pivoted to a new tale about a Russian plot to attack our Democracy. This conveyed the impression that the election season we'd just lived through had been an aberration, thrown off the rails by an extraordinary espionage conspiracy between Trump and a cabal of evil foreigners.

This narrative contradicted everything I'd seen traveling across America in my two years of covering the campaign. The overwhelming theme of that race, long before anyone even thought about Russia, was voter rage at the entire political system.

The anger wasn't just on the Republican side, where Trump humiliated the Republicans' chosen $150 million contender , Jeb Bush (who got three delegates, or $50 million per delegate ). It was also evident on the Democratic side, where a self-proclaimed "Democratic Socialist" with little money and close to no institutional support became a surprise contender .

Because of a series of press misdiagnoses before the Russiagate stories even began, much of the American public was unprepared for news of a Trump win. A cloak-and-dagger election-fixing conspiracy therefore seemed more likely than it might have otherwise to large parts of the domestic news audience, because they hadn't been prepared for anything else that would make sense.

This was particularly true of upscale, urban, blue-leaning news consumers, who were not told to take the possibility of a Trump White House seriously.

Priority number-one of the political class after a vulgar, out-of-work game-show host conquered the White House should have been a long period of ruthless self-examination. This story delayed that for at least two years.

It wasn't even clear Trump whether or not wanted to win. Watching him on the trail, Trump at times went beyond seeming disinterested. There were periods where it looked like South Park's " Did I offend you? " thesis was true, and he was actively trying to lose, only the polls just wouldn't let him.

Forget about the gift the end of Russiagate might give Trump by allowing him to spend 2020 peeing from a great height on the national press corps. The more serious issue has to be the failure to face the reality of why he won last time, because we still haven't done that.

... ... ...

Trump, the billionaire, denounced us as the elitists in the room. He'd call us "bloodsuckers," "dishonest," and in one line that produced laughs considering who was saying it, " highly-paid ."

He also did something that I immediately recognized as brilliant (or diabolical, depending on how you look at it). He dared cameramen to turn their cameras to show the size of his crowds.

They usually wouldn't – hey, we don't work for the guy – which thrilled Trump, who would then say something to the effect of, "See! They're very dishonest people ." Audiences would turn toward us, and boo and hiss, and even throw little bits of paper and other things our way. This was unpleasant, but it was hard not to see its effectiveness: he'd re-imagined the lifeless, poll-tested format of the stump speech, turning it into menacing, personal, WWE-style theater.

Trump was gunning for votes in both parties. The core story he told on the stump was one of system-wide corruption, in which there was little difference between Republicans and Democrats.

...

Perhaps just by luck, Trump was tuned in to the fact that the triumvirate of ruling political powers in America – the two parties, the big donors and the press – were so unpopular with large parts of the population that he could win in the long haul by attracting their ire, even if he was losing battles on the way.

...

The subtext was always: I may be crude, but these people are phonies, pretending to be upset when they're making money off my bullshit .

I thought this was all nuts and couldn't believe it was happening in a real presidential campaign. But, a job is a job. My first feature on candidate Trump was called " How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable ." The key section read:

In person, you can't miss it: The same way Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house, Donald on the stump can see his future. The pundits don't want to admit it, but it's sitting there in plain view, 12 moves ahead, like a chess game already won:

President Donald Trump

It turns out we let our electoral process devolve into something so fake and dysfunctional that any half-bright con man with the stones to try it could walk right through the front door and tear it to shreds on the first go.

And Trump is no half-bright con man, either. He's way better than average.

Traditional Democratic audiences appeared thrilled by the piece and shared it widely. I was invited on scads of cable shows to discuss ad nauseum the "con man" line. This made me nervous, because it probably meant these people hadn't read the piece, which among other things posited the failures of America's current ruling class meant Trump's insane tactics could actually work.

Trump was selling himself as a traitor to a corrupt class, someone who knew how soulless and greedy the ruling elite was because he was one of them.

...

The only reason most blue-state media audiences had been given for Trump's poll numbers all along was racism, which was surely part of the story but not the whole picture. A lack of any other explanation meant Democratic audiences, after the shock of election night, were ready to reach for any other data point that might better explain what just happened.

Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming. Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump."

Post-election, Russiagate made it all worse. People could turn on their TVs at any hour of the day and see anyone from Rachel Maddow to Chris Cuomo openly reveling in Trump's troubles. This is what Fox looks like to liberal audiences.

Worse, the "walls are closing in" theme -- two years old now -- was just a continuation of the campaign mistake, reporters confusing what they wanted to happen with what was happening . The story was always more complicated than was being represented.

[Mar 31, 2019] The Media Gaslighting of 2020's Most Likable Candidate

Mar 31, 2019 | medium.com

At CNN's town hall event on Monday, the American people saw something we'd been told was impossible: Elizabeth Warren winning over a crowd.

The Massachusetts senator took aim at a variety of subjects: the Electoral College, Mississippi's racist state flag, the rise of white nationalism . Always, she was met with thunderous applause. Even a simple Bible verse -- from Matthew 25:35–40, about moral obligation to the poor and hungry -- prompted cheers so loud and prolonged that Warren had to pause and repeat herself in order to make her voice heard over the noise. Yet this was the same woman the media routinely frames as too wonky, too nerdy, too socially stunted. But then, Warren has always been an exceptionally charismatic candidate. We just forget that fact when she's campaigning -- due, in large part, to our deep and lingering distrust for female intelligence.

Warren is bursting with what we might call "charisma" in male candidates: She has the folksy demeanor of Joe Biden, the ferocious conviction of Bernie Sanders, the deep intelligence of fellow law professor Barack Obama. But Warren is not a man, and so those traits are framed as liabilities, rather than strengths. According to the media, Warren is an uptight schoolmarm, a " wonky professor ," a scold, a wimpy Dukakis, a wooden John Kerry, or (worse) a nerdier Al Gore.

The criticism has hit her from the left and right. The far-right Daily Caller accused her of looking weird when she drank beer ; on social media, conservatives spread vicious (and viciously ableist) rumors that Warren took antipsychotic drugs that treated "irritability caused by autism ." On the other end of the spectrum, Amber A'Lee Frost, the lone female co-host of the socialist podcast Chapo Trap House , wrote for The Baffler (and, when The Baffler retracted her article, for Jacobin) that Warren was " weak " and " not charismatic ." Frost deplored the "Type-A Tracy Flicks" who dared support "this Lisa Simpson of a dark-horse candidate."

Casting Warren as a sheltered, Ivory Tower type is odd, given that her politics and diction are not exactly elitist. Yet none of this is new; the same stereotypes were levied against Warren in 2011, during her Senate campaign.

Strangely, the first nerdification of Warren was a purely local phenomenon -- one which happened even as national media was falling in love with her. Jon Stewart publicly adored her , and her ingenuity in proposing the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a few years prior earned her respect among the rising populist wing of the party. Her fame was further catapulted when a speech -- a video of Warren speaking, seemingly off-the-cuff , in a constituent's living room -- went viral. "Nobody in this country got rich on his own, nobody," Warren proclaimed, pointing up the ways entrepreneurs benefit from publicly funded services like roads and schools and fire departments.

"First-time candidates don't usually articulate a progressive economic message quite this well," the Washington Monthly declared . The New Yorker called it " the most important political speech of this campaign season. " That enthusiasm continued throughout Warren's first Senate bid. Writing for the New York Times , Rebecca Traister noted that "the early devotion to Warren recalls the ardor once felt by many for Obama." (Obama himself famously echoed Warren's message -- "you didn't build that" -- on the 2012 campaign trail.)

Locally, Warren prompted a much different discussion, with scores of Massachusetts analysts describing her as stiff and unlikable. Boston-based Democratic analyst Dan Payne bemoaned her "know-it-all style" and wished aloud she would " be more authentic I want her to just sound like a human being, not read the script that makes her sound like some angry, hectoring schoolmarm." In a long profile for Boston magazine, reporter Janelle Nanos quoted Thomas Whalen, a political historian at Boston University, who called Warren a "flawed candidate," someone who was " desperately trying to find a message that's going to resonate. " In that same article, Nanos asked Warren point-blank about her "likability problem." Warren's response seemed to stem from deep frustration: "People tell me everywhere I go why they care that I got in this race," she said. "I can't answer the question because I literally haven't experienced what you're talking about."

By demanding that Warren disguise her exceptional talents, we are asking her to lose. Thankfully, she's not listening.

There's an element of gaslighting here: It only takes a reporter a few sources -- and an op-ed columnist a single, fleeting judgment -- to declare a candidate "unlikable." After that label has been applied, any effort the candidate makes to win people over can be cast as "inauthentic." Likability is in this way a self-reinforcing accusation, one which is amplified every time the candidate tries to tackle it. (Recall Hillary Clinton, who was asked about her "likability" at seemingly every debate or town hall for eight straight years -- then furiously accused of pandering every time she made an effort to seem more "approachable.")

It's significant that the " I hate you; please respond" line of political sabotage only ever seems to be aimed at women. It's also revealing that, when all these men talked about how Warren could win them over, their "campaign" advice sounded suspiciously close to makeover tips. In his article, Payne advised Warren to "lose the granny glasses," "soften the hair," and employ a professional voice coach to "deepen her voice, which grates on some." Payne seemed to suggest that Elizabeth Warren look like a model and sound like a man -- anything to disguise the grisly reality of a smart woman making her case.

Warren won her Senate race, and the "schoolmarm" stereotype largely vanished as her national profile grew. By 2014, grassroots activists were begging her to run for president; by mid-2016, CNN had named her " Donald Trump's chief antagonist ." She's since given a stream of incendiary interviews and handed the contemporary women's movement its most popular meme . All this should be enough to prove any candidate's "charisma." Yet, now that she's thrown her hat into the presidential ring, the firebrand has become a Poindexter once again.

The digs at Warren's "professorial" style hurt her because, on some level, they're true. Warren really is an intellectual, a scholar; moreover, she really is running an exceptionally ideas-focused campaign, regularly turning out detailed and exhaustive policy proposals at a point when most of the other candidates don't even have policy sections on their websites. What's galling is the suggestion that this is a bad thing.

Yes, male candidates have suffered from being too smart -- just ask Gore, who ran on climate change 20 years before it was trendy. But just as often, their intelligence helps them. Obama's sophistication and public reading lists endeared him to liberals. And just a few days ago, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg was widely praised for learning Norwegian in order to read an author's untranslated works. Yet, Warren is dorky, a teacher's pet, a try-hard Tracy Flick, or Lisa Simpson. A "know-it-all."

The "schoolmarm" stereotype now applied to Warren has always been used to demean educated women. In the Victorian era, we called them "bluestockings" -- unmarried, unattractive women who had dared to prioritize intellectual development over finding a man. They are, in the words of one contemporary writer, " frumpy and frowly in the extreme, with no social talents ." Educators say that 21st century girls are still afraid to talk in class because of "sexist bullying" which sends the message that smart girls are unfeminine: "For girls, peers tell them 'if you are swotty and clever and answer too many questions, you are not attractive ,'" claims Mary Bousted, joint general-secretary of the U.K.'s National Education Union. Female academics still report being made to feel " unsexual, unattractive, unwomanly, and unnatural. " We can deplore all this as antiquated thinking, but even now, grown men are still demanding that Warren ditch her glasses or "soften" her hair -- to work on being prettier so as to make her intelligence less threatening.

Warren is cast as a bloodless intellectual when she focuses on policy, a scolding lecturer when she leans into her skills as a rabble-rouser; either way, her intelligence is always too much and out of place. Her eloquence is framed, not as inspiring, but as "angry" and "hectoring." Being an effective orator makes her "strident." It's not solely confined to the media, but reporters seem anxious to signal-boost anyone who complains: Anonymous male colleagues call her "irritating," telling Vanity Fair that "she projects a 'holier than thou' attitude" and that " she has a moralizing to her. " That same quality in male candidates is hailed as moral clarity.

Warren is accused, in plain language, of being uppity -- a woman who has the bad grace to be smarter than the men around her, without downplaying it to assuage their egos. But running in a presidential race is all about proving that you are smarter than the other guy. By demanding that Warren disguise her exceptional talents, we are asking her to lose. Thankfully, she's not listening. She is a smart woman, after all.

[Mar 30, 2019] My suggestion is that Cambridge Analytica and others backing Trump and the Yankee imperial machine have been taking measurements of USA citizens opinions and are staggered by the results. They are panicked!

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I suspect that the cool aid is not working effectively these days and that far too many people see through the charades and lies. An interesting story lurks behind this and the entire 'hate Russia' and 'monkey Mueller' episode. ..."
"... The attitudes of the masses are spinning out of the manipulative hands of the deep state and the oligarchs ..."
"... Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming. ..."
"... Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ..."
"... the elite seem to be fighting amongst themselves or (IMO) providing cover for ongoing elite power/control efforts. It might not be about private/public finance in a bigger picture but I can't see anything else that makes sense ..."
"... Most of those reporters were going to slant their stories the way their bosses wanted. Their jobs are just too nice to do otherwise. Getting Trump as Hillary's opponent had to have been a goal for the majority of them. He was the patsy who would become squished roadkill in the treads of The Most Experienced Presidential Candidate In History. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton is a knowledgeable, well-prepared, reasonable, experienced, even-tempered, hardworking candidate, while her opponent is a stubbornly uninformed demagogue who has been proven again and again to be a liar on matters big and small. There is no objective basis on which to equate Hillary Clinton to her opponent. ..."
"... The author had it half right. Turns out the voters knew quite a bit about Trump, and still preferred him to the Butcher of Libya. ..."
Mar 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Mar 30, 2019 5:07:46 PM | link

Thaks b, now that is a delightful question to pose on the eve of April fool's day.
My suggestion is that Cambridge Analytica and others backing Trump and the yankee imperial machine have been taking measurements of USA citizens opinions and are staggered by the results. They are panicked!

I suspect that the cool aid is not working effectively these days and that far too many people see through the charades and lies. An interesting story lurks behind this and the entire 'hate Russia' and 'monkey Mueller' episode.

The attitudes of the masses are spinning out of the manipulative hands of the deep state and the oligarchs. Do any of our comrades have a handle on this type of research and the implication for voter attitudes?

psychohistorian , Mar 30, 2019 7:51:28 PM | link

Here is an insightful read on Trump's (s)election and Russiagate that I think is not OT

Taibbi: On Russiagate and Our Refusal to Face Why Trump Won

The take away quote

" Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming.

Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ."

As a peedupon all I can see is that the elite seem to be fighting amongst themselves or (IMO) providing cover for ongoing elite power/control efforts. It might not be about private/public finance in a bigger picture but I can't see anything else that makes sense

Zachary Smith , Mar 30, 2019 10:07:37 PM | link
@ psychohistorian #43

Thanks for the Taibbi link. I hadn't seen it, and found him to be in good form. I do think he ought to have spoken more about how bad Trump's Primary opponents were.

Most of those reporters were going to slant their stories the way their bosses wanted. Their jobs are just too nice to do otherwise. Getting Trump as Hillary's opponent had to have been a goal for the majority of them. He was the patsy who would become squished roadkill in the treads of The Most Experienced Presidential Candidate In History. More on that for people with strong stomachs:

What Hillary Clinton's Fans Love About Her 11/03/2016

Sample:

Hillary Clinton is a knowledgeable, well-prepared, reasonable, experienced, even-tempered, hardworking candidate, while her opponent is a stubbornly uninformed demagogue who has been proven again and again to be a liar on matters big and small. There is no objective basis on which to equate Hillary Clinton to her opponent.
The author had it half right. Turns out the voters knew quite a bit about Trump, and still preferred him to the Butcher of Libya.

[Mar 29, 2019] Elizabeth Warren, Trumpian of the Left by Bret Stephens

Warren supported Hillary that the;s a huge black spot on her credentials. She also king of a hawk in forign policy diligitly repeated stupid Depart of State talking points and making herself a fool. I especially like here blabbing about authoritarian regimes. From former Harvard professor we should expect better that this.
To a certain extent he message about rigged system is authentic as She drive this horse for a long time. But that does not means that she can't betray here electorate like Trump or Obama. She perfectly can. And is quite possible. Several details of her biography suggest that she is a female careerist -- using dirty tricks to be promoted and paying her gender as an offensive weapon (looks also at her use of Cherokee heritage claim)
But there is no ideal people and among establishment candidates she is the most electable despite all flows of her foreign policy positions.
Notable quotes:
"... Comparing Elizabeth Warren to Trump is disingenuous. Trump is just ranting and defensive, without any evidence to back up his claims. What Elizabeth Warren is saying is just a matter of paying attention. ..."
"... This analysis completely ignores the outrageous, overarching influence of money and financial privilege over American politics. Equating Bill Clinton's dalliance with Trump's disrespect for all norms of decency and the truth? Please. Warren is right. Just look at the legislative obscenity of the recent tax bill and then try and equivocate they left and the right. I am not buying this false equivalency. ..."
"... Please, Elizabeth Warren is nothing like Trump. She's a brilliant, honest, tireless fighter for ordinary Americans. She wants a fair shake for them, just as FDR wanted a fair shake -- a "New Deal" -- for our Country. ..."
"... The so-called "left" in America (moderates anywhere else on the globe) have never varied from saying that money = power. They still say that today, and raise money like crazy for candidates thereby proving their own point. ..."
"... Conservatives in America (far-right extremists anywhere else on the globe) are much quieter about the influence of dough, but raise money like crazy for candidates thereby proving the "left's" point. ..."
Dec 20, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

The president and the senator both want you to know that our system is "rigged."

... ... ...

For decades, the left sought to dethrone the idea of truth. Truth was not an absolute. It was a matter of power. Of perspective. Of narrative. "Truth is a thing of this world," wrote Michel Foucault. "Each society has its regime of truth, its 'general politics' of truth: that is, the types of discourse which it accepts and makes function as true."

Then Kellyanne Conway gave us "alternative facts" and Rudy Giuliani said, " Truth isn't truth" -- and progressives rushed to defend the inviolability of facts and truth.

For decades, the left sought to dethrone reverence for the Constitution. "The Constitution," wrote progressive historian Howard Zinn, "serves the interests of a wealthy elite" and enables "the elite to keep control with a minimum of coercion, a maximum of law -- all made palatable by the fanfare of patriotism and unity."

Then Donald Trump attacked freedom of the press and birthright citizenship, and flouted the emoluments clause, and assailed the impartiality of the judiciary. And progressives rediscovered the treasure that is our Constitutional inheritance.

... ... ...

To an audience of nearly 500 new graduates and their families at the historically black college, the Massachusetts senator laid out a bleak vision of America. "The rules are rigged because the rich and powerful have bought and paid for too many politicians," she said. "The rich and powerful want us pointing fingers at each other so we won't notice they are getting richer and more powerful," she said. "Two sets of rules: one for the wealthy and the well-connected. And one for everybody else," she said.

"That's how a rigged system works," she said.

It was a curious vision coming from a person whose life story, like that of tens millions of Americans who have risen far above their small beginnings, refutes her own thesis. It was curious, also, coming from someone who presumably believes that various forms of rigging are required to un-rig past rigging. Affirmative action in college admissions and aggressive minority recruitment in corporations are also forms of "rigging."

But however one feels about various types of rigging, the echo of Trump was unmistakable. "It's being proven we have a rigged system," the president said at one of his rallies last year . "Doesn't happen so easy. But this system -- gonna be a lot of changes. This is a rigged system."

Trump's claim that the system is rigged represents yet another instance of his ideological pickpocketing of progressives. From C. Wright Mills ("The Power Elite") to Noam Chomsky ("Manufacturing Consent"), the animating belief of the far left has been, as Tom Hayden put it, that we live in a "false democracy," controlled by an unaccountable, deceitful and shadowy elite. Trump has names for it: the globalists; the deep state; the fake news. Orange, it turns out, is the new red.

Of course, Warren and Trump have very different ideas as to just who the malefactors of great wealth really are. Is it Sheldon Adelson or George Soros? The Koch brothers or the Ford Foundation? Posterity will be forgiven if it loses track of which alleged conspiracy to rig the system was of the far-right and which was of the far left.

What it will remember is that here was another era in which a president and one of his leading opponents abandoned the prouder traditions of American politics in favor of paranoid ones. Compare Warren's grim message to Bill Clinton's sunny one from his first inaugural: "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America."

At some point, it will be worth asking Senator Warren: Rigged compared to when? A generation ago a black president would have been unthinkable. Two generations ago, a woman on the Supreme Court. And rigged compared to what? Electoral politics in Japan, which have been dominated by a single party for decades? The class system in Brazil, dominated by a single race for centuries?

Bret L. Stephens has been an Opinion columnist with The Times since April 2017. He won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary at The Wall Street Journal in 2013 and was previously editor in chief of The Jerusalem Post.

Larry Bennett Cooperstown NY Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

Warren is saying the system is rigged to suppress the middle class and poor in favor of the wealthy, which is easy to substantiate. Trump is saying the system is rigged to suppress the white right, which is easy to refute. One statement is an economic fact, the other is a racist trope. There is no equivalence here. ScottW Chapel Hill, NC Dec. 20, 2018

Sen. Warren supports Medicare for All, meaningful banking/financial regulations, regulations that benefit consumers, a living wage, etc. Trump supports none of these policies--not a one. Trying to equate Trump with Warren is just stupid.

Terry Gilbert, AZ Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

Comparing Elizabeth Warren to Trump is disingenuous. Trump is just ranting and defensive, without any evidence to back up his claims. What Elizabeth Warren is saying is just a matter of paying attention. I don't need to list all the ways in which money buys everything in politics. It's always a matter of following the money. Bret Stephens conveniently avoids looking at economics. His supposed counterexamples are at best irrelevant to the issue: We've had a black President. We have women on the Supreme Court. How are those examples proof that the system isn't rigged in favor of the wealthy and corporations? No doubt he thinks Plutocracy is part of the natural order of things. He should go back to the Wall Street Journal where his myopia is more appropriate. MarnS Nevada Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

Unfortunately Bret there are no "optimists" in the GOP, including yourself being one who has bounced back and forth in your positions regarding the Trump presidency. Though you have found your way on CNN or MSNBC spouting your disappointments about the state of the nation, the fact remains is that your a hardened, right wing opinion writer who may have less of an ideal when it comes to America being a democratic nation. No, you can conveniently ignore the actions of your conservative party in there gerrymandering, in their changing the rules for governors of the Democrat persuasion, or gross deliberate voter suppression that has placed your party in power positions by, in effect, stealing elections. You are a writer with a forked tongue trying, at times in a passive manner, to separate yourself from Trump, and the evilness of the current GOP Party without understanding that the definition of "conservative" has changed to the radical. And that is documented by your writings in the WSJ. Yet, you cannot even dream about truly being on the left side of an argument other than beating your breast with the fact that the GOP has disappeared, as we have known it, in the hands of radicalism (which prior to Trump you participated in the escalation of radical conservatism), and your party can never be revived as it once was...and we all pray it never will be so.

JPM Hays, KS Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

This analysis completely ignores the outrageous, overarching influence of money and financial privilege over American politics. Equating Bill Clinton's dalliance with Trump's disrespect for all norms of decency and the truth? Please. Warren is right. Just look at the legislative obscenity of the recent tax bill and then try and equivocate they left and the right. I am not buying this false equivalency.

Patrick Schenectady Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

FYI, Foucault was offering critiques of "regimes of truth," not of truth itself. That's very different. Like most historians, he spent an impressive amount of time in archives where he collected evidence in order to write books that give truthful accounts of the past. You make a caricature of Foucault, and then of the entire left.

Rich Casagrande Slingerlands, NY Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

Please, Elizabeth Warren is nothing like Trump. She's a brilliant, honest, tireless fighter for ordinary Americans. She wants a fair shake for them, just as FDR wanted a fair shake -- a "New Deal" -- for our Country. While much of the rest of the world was turning to communism or fascism, FDR saved American capitalism by shaking it up. Oh how we could use a large dose of that today.

WDP Long Island Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

Whoa! Line by line, Mr Stephens offers statements that are way off base and should be refuted. Are you saying you disagree with Warren? Do you think the "system" in America for the last 400 years has not been generally "rigged" against African-Americans? But the gist of his column, and the main argument of conservatives these days, is that the left and the right are equally out of line; that what the right says and does may be bad, but the left does the same sort of thing and is just as bad. This is not true Bret, and you know it. The left desperately tries to find the high road, and anyone who supports Trump these days or believes in most of his policies is either someone who has abandoned morality or is a fool. And that is the truth, Bret.

Hannacroix Cambridge, MA Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

Calling out our system as "rigged" is nothing new for Sen. Warren. She's been stating that publicly since being a regular Bill Moyer's guest on his PBS program 20 years ago -- and clearly already on a "prep for national politics" stump. What undercuts her own integrity regarding "rigged" is that she chose, after much wait & anticipation, to throw her support to Hillary Clinton in the summer of 2016. Not Bernie Sanders. She knew HRC had little integrity. And it's highly likely she knew the DNC primary was rigged in favor of Clinton -- as it's widely been proven.

My point here highlights one of several reasons why Sen. Warren is unelectable in the 2020 presidential general election. This is not to compare her in any way to Trump -- he's a venal, disturbed & dangerous traitor to our country. However, if winning the WH in 2020 is the goal, Elizabeth Warren ain't got the goods to get the necessary votes across our Republic.

Longestaffe Pickering Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

There's a good case to be made that the far left exists in two separate dimensions. I offer myself in evidence. Among the policies and social changes I advocate: Medicare for all Aggressively progressive taxation.

I don't recognize any freedom to corner as much wealth as one can while other people must labor at two or three jobs just to feed their families on peanut butter.

I do think there's a bit of rigging afoot. Restrictions on the ownership of firearms comparable to those in Japan.

A society free from all forms of identity discrimination or prejudice. I'm bitterly opposed to racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, homophobia; any example you care to give, including those without short handles, such as prejudice against Muslims or transgender people.

Yes, I know I have this in common with decent conservatives, but I'm thinking of partisan realities in the US today. I should add that I don't mind the prospect of WASPS like me becoming just another minority.

But-- I can't picture myself as a socialist -- hair combed straight back, and all that.

The rigorously progressive personality type rubs me the wrong way. Leftist cant grates on every fiber of my being. Che Guevara T-shirts make the lip curl. When my knee jerks, it jerks against things like that old leftist conceit that truth is what you make it. I look at the far-left agenda and see a lot to like. I look at the far-left milieu and see didactic arrogance, frigidity, and pat attitudes. I'm a Democrat in disarray.

John Wilson Maine Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

The so-called "left" in America (moderates anywhere else on the globe) have never varied from saying that money = power. They still say that today, and raise money like crazy for candidates thereby proving their own point.

Conservatives in America (far-right extremists anywhere else on the globe) are much quieter about the influence of dough, but raise money like crazy for candidates thereby proving the "left's" point.

Reality? Money in America is everything. Period. Just try to run for office, influence policy, and/or change the direction of the country as a sole, intelligent, concerned poor person and see how far you get.

[Mar 28, 2019] Carlson is saying Trump s not capable of sustained focus

Notable quotes:
"... Carlson is saying Trump's not "capable" of sustained focus on the sausage-making of right-wing policy ..."
Dec 09, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

kees_popinga , December 8, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Tucker Carlson: "Trump is not capable" Weltwoche (Anita)

Carlson is saying Trump's not "capable" of sustained focus on the sausage-making of right-wing policy.

The clickbait (out of context) headline makes it sound like a more general diss. I'm not supporting Trump here [standard disclaimer], but these gotcha headlines are tiresome.

[Mar 26, 2019] PATRICK LAWRENCE Why the Dust Won't Settle After Mueller's Report

Mar 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

DH Fabian , March 19, 2019 at 13:34

What people notice, they often forget unless media work to remind them. The end of the Democrats began as far back as the 1980s, with the Reagan Dems -- a handful of conservative Democrats who represented "sensible politics." These merged with the Clinton right wing, which successfully took over the Democratic Party in the 1990s. Just as the Reagan administration obtained significant "influence" over the MSM, the Clinton administration obtained significant "influence" over the new (online/cable) media marketed to middle class liberals. Media shapes broad public opinion. Robert Reich has been a valued player (effective propagandist) on the Clinton wing since the '90s.

Trump will come through this mess just fine. My impression is that the role of media during this administration is to keep public focus off of what's actually happening in DC by amplifying the Russian Tale and every delicious scandal that can even vaguely e connected to it. It keeps the public preoccupied, chasing ghosts, so that those who are in power can do what they're doing without interruption.

Eddie S , March 19, 2019 at 21:19

While Reich often writes-about & supports liberal/progressive issues, I still recall how he effectively caved to Bill Clinton and his 'Republican-lite' programs, notably 'free-trade/globalization', which undercuts Reich's stated support for unions. I lost most of my modest respect for him at that point -- he apparently felt it was more important to be 'an insider' in a presidential administration than to stand up for his reputed viewpoints.

[Mar 25, 2019] The Mass Psychology of Trumpism by Eli Zaretsky

Highly recommended!
But sophistication of intelligence agencies now reached very high level. Russiage was pretty dirty but pretty slick operation. British thre letter againces were even more devious, if we view Skripals poisoning as MI5/Mi6 "witness protection" operation due to possible Skripal role in creating Steele dossier. So let's keep wanting the evnet. The election 2020 might be event more interesting the Elections of 2016. Who would suggest in 2015 that he/she elects man candidate from Israel lobby instead of a woman candidate from the same lobby?
Notable quotes:
"... The consistent derogation of Trump in the New York Times or on MSNBC may be helpful in keeping the resistance fired up, but it is counterproductive when it comes to breaking down the Trump coalition. His followers take every attack on their leader as an attack on them. ..."
"... Adorno also observed that demagoguery of this sort is a profession, a livelihood with well-tested methods. Trump is a far more familiar figure than may at first appear. The demagogue's appeals, Adorno wrote, 'have been standardised, similarly to the advertising slogans which proved to be most valuable in the promotion of business'. Trump's background in salesmanship and reality TV prepared him perfectly for his present role. ..."
"... the leader can guess the psychological wants and needs of those susceptible to his propaganda because he resembles them psychologically, and is distinguished from them by a capacity to express without inhibitions what is latent in them, rather than by any intrinsic superiority. ..."
"... The leaders are generally oral character types, with a compulsion to speak incessantly and to befool the others. The famous spell they exercise over their followers seems largely to depend on their orality: language itself, devoid of its rational significance, functions in a magical way and furthers those archaic regressions which reduce individuals to members of crowds. ..."
"... Since uninhibited associative speech presupposes at least a temporary lack of ego control, it can indicate weakness as well as strength. The agitators' boasting is frequently accompanied by hints of weakness, often merged with claims of strength. This was particularly striking, Adorno wrote, when the agitator begged for monetary contributions. ..."
"... Since 8 November 2016, many people have concluded that what they understandably view as a catastrophe was the result of the neglect by neoliberal elites of the white working class, simply put. Inspired by Bernie Sanders, they believe that the Democratic Party has to reorient its politics from the idea that 'a few get rich first' to protection for the least advantaged. ..."
"... Of those providing his roughly 40 per cent approval ratings, half say they 'strongly approve' and are probably lost to the Democrats. ..."
Sep 18, 2018 | lrb.co.uk
One might object that Trump, a billionaire TV star, does not resemble his followers. But this misses the powerful intimacy that he establishes with them, at rallies, on TV and on Twitter. Part of his malicious genius lies in his ability to forge a bond with people who are otherwise excluded from the world to which he belongs. Even as he cast Hillary Clinton as the tool of international finance, he said:

I do deals – big deals – all the time. I know and work with all the toughest operators in the world of high-stakes global finance. These are hard-driving, vicious cut-throat financial killers, the kind of people who leave blood all over the boardroom table and fight to the bitter end to gain maximum advantage.

With these words he brought his followers into the boardroom with him and encouraged them to take part in a shared, cynical exposure of the soiled motives and practices that lie behind wealth. His role in the Birther movement, the prelude to his successful presidential campaign, was not only racist, but also showed that he was at home with the most ignorant, benighted, prejudiced people in America. Who else but a complete loser would engage in Birtherism, so far from the Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Harvard aura that elevated Obama, but also distanced him from the masses?

The consistent derogation of Trump in the New York Times or on MSNBC may be helpful in keeping the resistance fired up, but it is counterproductive when it comes to breaking down the Trump coalition. His followers take every attack on their leader as an attack on them. 'The fascist leader's startling symptoms of inferiority', Adorno wrote, 'his resemblance to ham actors and asocial psychopaths', facilitates the identification, which is the basis of the ideal. On the Access Hollywood tape, which was widely assumed would finish him, Trump was giving voice to a common enough daydream, but with 'greater force' and greater 'freedom of libido' than his followers allow themselves. And he was bolstering the narcissism of the women who support him, too, by describing himself as helpless in the grip of his desires for them.

Adorno also observed that demagoguery of this sort is a profession, a livelihood with well-tested methods. Trump is a far more familiar figure than may at first appear. The demagogue's appeals, Adorno wrote, 'have been standardised, similarly to the advertising slogans which proved to be most valuable in the promotion of business'. Trump's background in salesmanship and reality TV prepared him perfectly for his present role. According to Adorno,

the leader can guess the psychological wants and needs of those susceptible to his propaganda because he resembles them psychologically, and is distinguished from them by a capacity to express without inhibitions what is latent in them, rather than by any intrinsic superiority.

To meet the unconscious wishes of his audience, the leader

simply turns his own unconscious outward Experience has taught him consciously to exploit this faculty, to make rational use of his irrationality, similarly to the actor, or a certain type of journalist who knows how to sell their sensitivity.

All he has to do in order to make the sale, to get his TV audience to click, or to arouse a campaign rally, is exploit his own psychology.

Using old-fashioned but still illuminating language, Adorno continued:

The leaders are generally oral character types, with a compulsion to speak incessantly and to befool the others. The famous spell they exercise over their followers seems largely to depend on their orality: language itself, devoid of its rational significance, functions in a magical way and furthers those archaic regressions which reduce individuals to members of crowds.

Since uninhibited associative speech presupposes at least a temporary lack of ego control, it can indicate weakness as well as strength. The agitators' boasting is frequently accompanied by hints of weakness, often merged with claims of strength. This was particularly striking, Adorno wrote, when the agitator begged for monetary contributions. As with the Birther movement or Access Hollywood, Trump's self-debasement – pretending to sell steaks on the campaign trail – forges a bond that secures his idealised status.

Since 8 November 2016, many people have concluded that what they understandably view as a catastrophe was the result of the neglect by neoliberal elites of the white working class, simply put. Inspired by Bernie Sanders, they believe that the Democratic Party has to reorient its politics from the idea that 'a few get rich first' to protection for the least advantaged.

Yet no one who lived through the civil rights and feminist rebellions of recent decades can believe that an economic programme per se is a sufficient basis for a Democratic-led politics.

This holds as well when it comes to trying to reach out to Trump's supporters. Of those providing his roughly 40 per cent approval ratings, half say they 'strongly approve' and are probably lost to the Democrats. But if we understand the personal level at which pro-Trump strivings operate, we may better appeal to the other half, and in that way forestall the coming emergency.

[Mar 23, 2019] MoveOn on Twitter the list of 2020 presidential candidates who have made the decision to #SkipAIPAC continues to grow

Mar 23, 2019 | twitter.com

MoveOn ‏ 1:32 PM - 21 Mar 2019

& the list of 2020 presidential candidates who have made the decision to # SkipAIPAC continues to grow. Thank you for your leadership here @ PeteButtigieg , @ ewarren , @ BernieSanders , @ KamalaHarris , @ JulianCastro , @ BetoORourke , @ JayInslee ... who is next?

[Mar 22, 2019] Mobsters have better morale that the Democratic establishment

But Clintons are mobsters in disguise, so what's the difference. Jared Kushner father is as close to a mobster as one can get (hiring a prostitute to compromise relative is one of his tricks)
Notable quotes:
"... Don't ever think the Democratic establishment is your friend. They want you to die in foreign wars and your children to work in starvation-wage service jobs until they're 70 so that the top 0.1% can buy their kids' way into Yale ..."
Mar 22, 2019 | twitter.com

Mike Gravel ‏ 9:37 AM - 22 Mar 2019

Don't ever think the Democratic establishment is your friend. They want you to die in foreign wars and your children to work in starvation-wage service jobs until they're 70 so that the top 0.1% can buy their kids' way into Yale

Navi ‏ 9:50 AM - 22 Mar 2019

"It's already happening" while the DCCC is trying their best to stop primary challenges is a little shortsighted no? If you don't call out what is wrong what are you really 'fixing'? We can walk and chew gum at the same time!

[Mar 20, 2019] Warren, Clinton and the sexist 'likability' narrative

Mar 20, 2019 | www.aol.com

In 2016, Cannon wrote that Warren would indeed bring more warmth than Clinton, pointing to an anecdote she shared on Facebook about how she would bake her mother a "heart shaped cake" as a child. He contrasted that with Clinton's sarcastic "I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies" comment from 1992 , which was a response to ongoing questions about why she chose to continue her law practice when her husband was governor of Arkansas.

For some Bernie Sanders supporters, meanwhile, praising Warren was a way to deflect accusations of sexism. In a 2016 Huffington Post opinion piece titled, "I Despise Hillary Clinton And It Has Nothing to Do With Her Gender," Isaac Saul wrote that he "and many Sanders supporters would vote for Elizabeth Warren if she were in the race over Hillary or Bernie." ( Saul apologized to Clinton for being a "smug young journalist" and "Bernie Bro" in a follow up article months later, writing that his views of her changed after he endeavored to learn more about her history).

So what's going on here? Has Warren become incredibly unlikable over the past two years? Or is this change more an indication of her growing power. High-achieving women, sociologist Marianne Cooper wrote in a 2013 Harvard Business Review article , are judged differently than men because "their very success -- and specifically the behaviors that created that success -- violates our expectations about how women are supposed to behave." When women act competitively or assertively rather than warm and nurturing, Cooper writes, they "elicit pushback from others for being insufficiently feminine and too masculine." As a society, she says, "we are deeply uncomfortable with powerful women. In fact, we don't often really like them."

[Mar 20, 2019] Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who comes from the Sanders wing of the party, just told CNN in response to Brazile's op-ed that the she believes the 2016 Democratic primary was rigged by Aaron Blake

Nov 02, 2017 | www.washingtonpost.com

The former interim head of the Democratic Party just accused Hillary Clinton's campaign of "unethical" conduct that "compromised the party's integrity." The Clinton campaign's alleged sin: A hostile takeover of the Democratic National Committee before her primary with Sen. Bernie Sanders had concluded.

Donna Brazile's op-ed in Politico is the equivalent of taking the smoldering embers of the 2016 primary and throwing some gasoline on them. Just about everything she says in the piece will inflame Sanders's passionate supporters who were already suspicious of the Democratic establishment and already had reason to believe -- based on leaked DNC emails -- that the committee wasn't as neutral in the primary as it was supposed to be.

But the op-ed doesn't break too much new provable, factual ground, relying more upon Brazile's own perception of the situation and hearsay. In the op-ed, Brazile says:

Brazile sums it up near the end: "If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party's integrity."

None of this is truly shocking. In fact, Brazile is largely writing about things we already knew about. The joint fundraising agreement between the Clinton campaign and the DNC was already known about and the subject of derision among Sanders's supporters. But it's worth noting that Sanders was given a similar opportunity and passed on using it, as Brazile notes.

There were also those emails from the DNC hack released by WikiLeaks that showed some at the DNC were hardly studiously neutral . One email chain discussed bringing Sanders's Jewish religion into the campaign, others spoke of him derisively, and in one a lawyer who worked for both Clinton and the DNC advised the committee on how to respond to questions about the Clinton joint fundraising committee. The emails even cast plenty of doubt on Brazile's neutrality, given she shared with the Clinton campaign details of questions to be asked at a pair of CNN forums for the Democratic candidates in March 2016, before she was interim chair but when she was still a DNC official. Brazile, who was a CNN pundit at the time, lost her CNN job over that.

The timeline here is also important. Many of those emails described above came after it was abundantly clear that Clinton would be the nominee, barring a massive and almost impossible shift in primary votes. It may have been in poor taste and contrary to protocol, but the outcome was largely decided long before Sanders ended his campaign. Brazile doesn't dwell too much on the timeline, so it's not clear exactly how in-the-bag Clinton had the nomination when the alleged takeover began. It's also not clear exactly what Clinton got for her alleged control.

This is also somewhat self-serving for Brazile, given the DNC continued to struggle during and after her tenure, especially financially . The op-ed is excerpted from her forthcoming book, "Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House." Losses like the one in 2016 will certainly lead to plenty of finger-pointing, and Brazile's book title and description allude to it containing plenty of that.

But taking on the Clintons is definitely something that most in the party wouldn't take lightly. And Brazile's allegation that Clinton was effectively controlling the DNC is the kind of thing that could lead to some further soul-searching and even bloodletting in the Democratic Party. It's largely been able to paper over its internal divisions since the primary season in 2016, given the great unifier for Democrats that is President Trump.

Sanders himself has somewhat toned down his criticism of the DNC during that span, but what he says -- especially given he seems to want to run again in 2020 -- will go a long way in determining how the party moves forward.

[Mar 20, 2019] Opinion Elizabeth Warren Actually Wants to Fix Capitalism by David Leonhardt

Looks like Warren is acceptable candidate for NYT and Clinton wing of the Democratic Party.
Mar 15, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

... ... ...

Warren is trying to treat not just the symptoms but the underlying disease. She has proposed a universal child-care and pre-K program that echoes the universal high school movement of the early 20th century. She favors not only a tougher approach to future mergers, as many Democrats do, but also a breakup of Facebook and other tech companies that have come to resemble monopolies. She wants to require corporations to include worker representatives on their boards -- to end the era of "shareholder-value maximization," in which companies care almost exclusively about the interests of their shareholders, often at the expense of their workers, their communities and their country.

Warren was also the first high-profile politician to call for an annual wealth tax , on fortunes greater than $50 million. This tax is the logical extension of research by the economist Thomas Piketty and others, which has shown how extreme wealth perpetuates itself. Historically, such concentration has often led to the decline of powerful societies. Warren, unlike some Democrats, comfortably explains that she is not socialist. She is a capitalist and, like Franklin D. Roosevelt, is trying to save American capitalism from its own excesses.

"Sometimes, bigger ideas are more possible to accomplish," Warren told me during a recent conversation about the economy at her Washington apartment. "Because you can inspire people."

... ... ...

Warren's agenda is a series of such bold ideas. She isn't pushing for a byzantine system of tax credits for child care. She wants a universal program of pre-K and child care, administered locally, with higher pay for teachers and affordable tuition for families.

And to anyone who asks, "But how will you pay for that?" Warren has an answer. Her wealth tax would raise more than $250 billion a year, about four times the estimated cost of universal child care. She is, in her populist way, the fiscal conservative in the campaign.

... ... ...

David Leonhardt is a former Washington bureau chief for the Times, and was the founding editor of The Upshot and head of The 2020 Project, on the future of the Times newsroom. He won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, for columns on the financial crisis. @DLeonhardt • Facebook [Sign up for David Leonhardt's daily newsletter with commentary on the news and reading suggestions from around the web.]

[Mar 20, 2019] Elizabeth Warren, Champion of Consumer Financial Protection by Drake Bennett

Notable quotes:
"... Elizabeth Warren has infuriated bankers and alienated half of Washington, all in the name of a new consumer protection agency she may not get to run ..."
"... At this point, Warren says, the banker made a confession. "We recognize that we have an unsustainable model, and it cannot work forever," she says he told her. "If we told people how much these things cost, they wouldn't use them." ..."
"... Warren's life is a blur of building and promoting the agency she dreamed up -- and that she may never get to lead. On leave from Harvard, she has spent hundreds of hours on Capitol Hill visiting with members of Congress, Democrat and Republican, and flown across the country meeting with the heads of the nation's major banks and many smaller ones. If most financial firms have yet to embrace the bureau, she's made some headway, at least, among the community banks. "Some of my colleagues have not gotten there yet because they are convinced she's close to the antichrist," says Roger Beverage, the head of the Oklahoma Bankers Assn. "I don't think she's doing anything but speaking from the heart on community banks." ..."
"... While Washington bickers, Warren has built the CFPB largely to her specs and almost entirely free of interference from Congress and the Administration, which devotes most of its attention to fixing the economy. Few Cabinet secretaries can claim to have left as indelible a mark on the departments they lead as Elizabeth Warren has already left on the one she doesn't. ..."
Jul 07, 2011 | bloomberg.com

Elizabeth Warren has infuriated bankers and alienated half of Washington, all in the name of a new consumer protection agency she may not get to run

Elizabeth Warren's admirers often refer to her as a grandmother from Oklahoma. This is technically true. It's also what you might call posturing. Warren, 62, is a Harvard professor and perhaps the country's top expert on bankruptcy law. Over the past four years she has managed to stoke a fervent debate over the government's role in protecting American consumers from what she sees as the predatory practices of financial institutions, and she has positioned herself as the person to oversee a new federal agency to rewrite the rules of lending. Warren is a grandma from Oklahoma in roughly the same way Ralph Nader is a pensioner with a thing about cars.

If the grandmother perception is plausible, it's largely because Warren has a gift for parables and for placing herself in the middle of them as the embodiment of moral force. Thus, her account of the precise moment she realized that changing the way banks lend was going to require a new federal bureaucracy -- and that it was up to her to create it.

Warren begins her tale in the spring of 2007, before the housing crash and the financial crisis. She was on a plane back to Boston after a series of discouraging meetings with credit-card company executives. She had tried to sell them on an idea called the "clean card" that grew out of her academic work and her side gig as a guest on such shows as Dr. Phil , where she dispensed empathy and advice to audience members who were one bad check away from losing everything. The concept was simple: Offer the equivalent of a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval to any credit-card company that disclosed all of its costs and fees up front, no fine print.

After a few meetings in which she was politely rebuffed, one executive walked Warren to the door and, with his arm around her, let her in on a trade secret: If he admitted that his card's actual rate was 17 percent, while his competitors were still claiming theirs was only 2.9 percent, his customers would desert him for the seemingly cheaper option, seal of approval or not. No credit-card company would ever go along with a clean card unless all of them did. And the only way to get all of them to do it was to require it by law.

At this point, Warren says, the banker made a confession. "We recognize that we have an unsustainable model, and it cannot work forever," she says he told her. "If we told people how much these things cost, they wouldn't use them."

Here she pauses for effect, and to take a sip of herbal tea. Warren is slight and kinetic, with wide, pale blue eyes behind rimless glasses. She punctuates her sentences with exclamations like "Holy guacamole!" It's difficult to tell whether these are spontaneous or deliberately deployed to soften her imposing professorial mien. Warren, who grew up poor and went to college on a debate scholarship, understands the power of expression. When she wants to underline a point, she leans in to conspire with her listener; then her voice goes quiet, as it does when she says she knew instantly the condescending executive was right. Her clean card was a flop.

And so, on the flight home, Warren turned to the problem of how to push those credit-card companies into doing the right thing. By landing time, she says, she had her answer: a powerful new federal agency whose sole mission would be to protect consumers, not only from confusing credit cards but from what she calls the "tricks and traps" of all dangerous financial products. The same way the Consumer Product Safety Commission guards against dangerous household products or the Food and Drug Administration watches out for contaminated produce and quack medications. The way Warren tells it, she pulled a piece of paper out of her backpack and got to work right there on the plane. "I started sketching out the problem and what the agency should look like."

It's a good story, even if the timeline is a little off. Warren's aides say she first pitched the idea of a consumer financial protection agency to then-Senator Barack Obama's office months before her fateful meeting with the executive. Whatever the idea's provenance, there's no doubting its influence. In a summer 2007 article in the journal Democracy , Warren outlined what her guardian agency would look like. "It is impossible to buy a toaster that has a one-in-five chance of bursting into flames and burning down your house," she wrote. "But it is possible to refinance an existing home with a mortgage that has the same one-in-five chance of putting the family out on the street -- and the mortgage won't even carry a disclosure of that fact to the homeowner." One was effectively regulated. The other was not.

The annals of academia are stuffed with provocative proposals. Most die in the library. A little over four years after she first dreamed it up, Warren's has become a reality. Last summer, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a package of financial reforms meant to prevent another economic meltdown. One of the bill's pillars is Warren's watchdog agency, now called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

On July 21, exactly a year after Dodd-Frank became law, the CFPB is scheduled to open for business with a broad mandate to root out "unfair, deceptive, or abusive" lending practices. Consolidating functions previously scattered across seven different agencies, the bureau will have the power to dictate the terms of every consumer lending product on the market, from mortgages and credit cards to student, overdraft, and car loans. It will supervise not only banks and credit unions but credit-card companies, mortgage servicers, credit bureaus, debt collectors, payday lenders, and check-cashing shops. Dozens of researchers will track trends in the lending market and keep an eye on new products. Teams of examiners will prowl the halls of financial institutions to ensure compliance. The bureau is already at work on its first major initiative: simplifying the bewildering bank forms you sign when you buy a house.

Warren's life is a blur of building and promoting the agency she dreamed up -- and that she may never get to lead. On leave from Harvard, she has spent hundreds of hours on Capitol Hill visiting with members of Congress, Democrat and Republican, and flown across the country meeting with the heads of the nation's major banks and many smaller ones. If most financial firms have yet to embrace the bureau, she's made some headway, at least, among the community banks. "Some of my colleagues have not gotten there yet because they are convinced she's close to the antichrist," says Roger Beverage, the head of the Oklahoma Bankers Assn. "I don't think she's doing anything but speaking from the heart on community banks."

One other person she has not yet won over: Barack Obama. The President has not nominated her to head the bureau. Instead, last fall he gave her the title of special assistant to the President and special adviser to the Treasury and tasked her with getting the place up and running. For now, she is the non-head of a non-agency. The White House refuses to say whether Obama will eventually put her up for the job, allowing only that he is considering several candidates. In the coded language of appointment politics, it is a signal that they are seriously considering passing Warren over for someone else. A White House official says the Administration would like to have a nominee in place before Congress leaves for its August recess.

There's a reason for their wariness. The White House is reluctant to antagonize congressional Republicans in the middle of contentious negotiations over the federal debt ceiling. Warren's position requires Senate approval, and Republicans, many of whom regard the CFPB as more clumsy government meddling in the free market, are vehemently opposed to allowing its creator to be installed at its helm. Republicans have used a parliamentary maneuver to keep the Senate from officially adjourning for its traditional summer break, thus depriving Obama of the opportunity to sidestep their objections and make Warren a recess appointment.

"She's probably a nice person, as far as I know," says Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the Banking Committee, which will hold hearings on the eventual nominee for the post. Shelby has said Warren is too ideological to lead the agency, a judgment shared by many of his Republican colleagues. "She's a professor and all this," he says in a tone that makes it clear he is not paying her a compliment. "To think up something, to create something of this magnitude, and then look to be the head of it, I wouldn't do that," Shelby says. "It looks like you created yourself a good job, a good power thing."

Warren is not waiting for permission to do the job she may never get. She and her small team have hired hundreds of people, at a recent clip of more than 80 per month. The agency has already outgrown its office space and is divided between two buildings in downtown Washington -- with branches to be opened across the country. A fledgling staff of researchers is cranking out the CFPB's first reports, and its first bank examiners are being trained. Meanwhile, the office softball team has compiled a 2-3 record.

Above all, an institutional culture is emerging, and it is largely loyal to Warren and her idea of what the agency should be. She has attracted several top hires from outside the federal government. The bureau's chief operating officer, Catherine West, was previously president of Capital One; its head of research, Sendhil Mullainathan, is a behavioral economist and star Harvard professor; the chief of enforcement, Richard Cordray, is the former attorney general of Ohio; Raj Date, her deputy and head of the bureau's Research, Markets and Regulation Div., is a former banker at Capital One and Deutsche Bank. Warren, whose reputation as a scholar rests on her pioneering use of bankruptcy data, has imbued the place with her faith in quantitative analysis. Researchers she recruited and hired have begun to build the bureau's database of financial information, with a broad mandate to keep track of lending markets and find ways to make financial information more easily digestible.

While Washington bickers, Warren has built the CFPB largely to her specs and almost entirely free of interference from Congress and the Administration, which devotes most of its attention to fixing the economy. Few Cabinet secretaries can claim to have left as indelible a mark on the departments they lead as Elizabeth Warren has already left on the one she doesn't.

The CFPB's main offices are on two floors of a russet-colored office building a few blocks northwest of the White House. The government-gray cubicles and hallways spill over with new hires -- many of them young -- working 12- and 14-hour days elbow to elbow, pale and exuding a dogged cheerfulness that suggests that, no, they do not miss the sun. By the elevator bank is a calendar counting down the days until July 21.

Ten years ago, before she became a liberal icon, Warren was a popular Harvard professor known for taking a maternal interest in the students she chose as research assistants. She was famous, but only in the small corner of academia that cared about bankruptcy. "In my opinion she is the best bankruptcy scholar in the country," says Samuel Bufford, a law professor at Penn State who got to know Warren decades ago as a bankruptcy judge in California's Central District.

Work Warren did with Jay Westbrook, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and Teresa Sullivan, a sociologist who is now president of the University of Virginia, reshaped the scholarly understanding of bankruptcy. Analyzing thousands of filings and interviewing many of the debtors themselves, they found that those who go bankrupt weren't, as commonly assumed, primarily poor or financially reckless. A great many of them were solidly middle class and had been driven to bankruptcy by circumstances they did not choose or could not control: the loss of a job, a medical disaster, or a divorce. The explosion in consumer credit in recent decades had only exacerbated the situation -- almost without realizing it, households could now slide faster and further into debt than ever before.

Warren, Westbrook, and Sullivan all saw their bankruptcy findings as a window into the broader travails of the financially fragile middle class. More than her co-authors, though, Warren sought a larger audience for the message. In 2003, along with her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi, she wrote The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers & Fathers Are Going Broke , a book that combined arguments about the political and economic forces eroding middle-class financial stability with practical advice about how households could fight them. The language was sharper than in her academic work: "Subprime lending, payday loans, and the host of predatory, high-interest loan products that target minority neighborhoods should be called by their true names: legally sanctioned corporate plans to steal from minorities," Warren and Tyagi wrote.

The book got attention and Warren became a frequent TV guest. She was invited to give speeches and sit on panels on bankruptcy and debt. She was a regular on comedian Al Franken's radio show on the now defunct Air America network. "She's quite brilliant. She was always just an excellent guest," recalls Franken, now a Democratic U.S. Senator from Minnesota. "She has a very good sense of humor."

In 2003, Warren attended a fundraiser in Cambridge for Barack Obama, then running for U.S. Senate. When she walked up to shake his hand, he greeted her with two words: "predatory lending." As a senator, Obama would occasionally call Warren for her thoughts, though the two never became close.

It was the financial crisis that made Warren a star. In November 2008, in a nod to her growing reputation as a consumer advocate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid chose Warren to chair the congressional panel overseeing the TARP financial rescue program. The reports she helped produce over the next two and a half years and the hearings she helped lead gave the panel a higher profile than even its creators had predicted, as she articulated concerns that many Americans had about the wisdom of a massive Wall Street bailout. In perhaps her most famous moment, Warren grilled Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on AIG's share of the aid money and how it was that so much of it had ended up simply reimbursing the investment banks the insurer owed money.

Warren used her role on the panel, and the newfound visibility it gave her, to push for her agency. She worked the idea into a special report the committee released in January 2009, among a list of recommendations to head off fut ure financial crises. She wrote op-ed pieces, was on TV constantly, and met with at least 80 members of Congress. She also brought the idea to the Administration. Over a long lunch at an Indian restaurant in Washington, she pitched the concept to White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers, whom she knew from his tenure as Harvard's president. Inside Treasury, the idea was taken up by Michael Barr, a key architect of Dodd-Frank and a lawyer Warren had known for years. At least within the White House, Barr recalls, it wasn't hard to build support. "I think there was a general consensus that built pretty quickly that this was a good option," he says. "I didn't get any significant pushback on the idea." Barr's inside advocacy, combined with Warren's PR blitz, paid off. In June 2009, Obama released a "white paper" laying out his own financial regulatory proposals, and Warren's agency was in it.

Among the CFPB staff there is a strongly held belief that they have the opportunity not only to reshape an industry but reinvent what a government agency can be, to rescue the idea of bureaucracy from its association with sclerosis and timidity. People there emphasize that they are creating a 21st century agency. Still, there's a throwback Great Society feel to the place, with its faith in the abilities of very smart unelected administrators, armed with data, to iron out the inefficiencies and injustices of the world. "Nobody looks at consumer finance regulation as it existed over the past decade and says, 'Yeah, that seemed to work all right, let's do more of that,' " says Raj Date, a square-jawed 40-year-old who speaks in the confident, numbers-heavy parlance of Wall Street.

Regardless of whether the CFPB has a director by its July 21 "transfer date," there are certain things it will immediately begin to do. One is to send teams of examiners into banks and credit unions to make sure they are complying with existing consumer finance regulations. When the bureau is fully staffed up -- initially, it will have some 500 employees and an annual budget of around $500 million -- a majority of the people who work there will be examiners. The bureau has only supervisory power over banks with assets of more than $10 billion, though the rules it writes will still apply to smaller banks. Banks on the low end of the scale will see a team of examiners for a few weeks every two years, unless there are specific complaints to investigate. Most of the biggest banks, those with assets of $100 billion and up, will have CFPB examiners in residence year-round. The examiners will go to work parsing the terms of mortgages and other loans, searching for evidence of consumer harm. They'll look at how the products are marketed and sold to make sure it's done transparently, that costs and fees are disclosed up front.

What the bureau will not be able to do without a director is send its examiners into nonbank financial institutions. Dodd-Frank gives the CFPB jurisdiction over payday lenders, check cashers, mortgage brokers, student loan companies, and the like. Because this is an expansion of regulatory powers, it will not take effect until a permanent director is in place.

The bureau is less willing to discuss the specifics of what will happen when it finds evidence of wrongdoing. The press office refused to make the head of enforcement, Richard Cordray, available for an interview. Like other enforcement agencies, the CFPB will have a variety of measures at its fingertips: It will be able to give firms a talking-to, or issue so-called "supervisory guidance" papers on problematic financial products. It will be able to send cease-and-desist orders. And if all else fails, the bureau will be able to take offenders to court.

The CFPB will also have broad rule-making powers over everything from credit-card marketing campaigns to car loan terms to the size of bank overdraft fees. For now, it has confined itself to initiatives less likely to arouse wide opposition among financial firms. The major one at the moment is developing a clear, simple, two-page mortgage form that merges the two confusing ones borrowers now confront. Bureau staff met with consumer advocates and mortgage brokers last fall, then put up two versions of a possible new form on the bureau's website, where consumers were invited to leave critiques. About 14,000 people weighed in. The forms are now being shown to focus groups around the country. A new version is due out in August.

This lengthy process is meant to demonstrate the bureau's commitment to a sort of radical openness to counter accusations that it's a body of unaccountable bureaucrats. In another gesture, Warren's calendar is posted on the website so that anyone can see who has a claim on her time. The undeniable sense among bureau staffers that they are political targets tempers that commitment to transparency a bit. The press office is jittery about allowing reporters to talk to staff on the record, and Warren agreed to two interviews on the condition that Bloomberg Businessweek allow her to approve quotes before publication.

If the supervision and enforcement division is the long arm of the bureau, its eyes and brain will be Research, Markets and Regulations, headed by Raj Date. Teams of analysts will follow various markets -- credit cards, mortgages, or student loans -- to spot trends and examine new products. Economists and other social scientists on staff will help write financial disclosure forms that make intuitive sense. The benefits of this sort of work, Date argues, will extend beyond just protecting consumers. It will help spot signs of more systemic risks. If the bureau and its market research teams had been in place five years ago, he says, they would have spotted evidence of the coming mortgage meltdown and could have coordinated with the bureau's enforcement division to head it off. "If it was someone's job to be in touch with the marketplace and monitor what was going on," Date says, "it would have been very difficult not to notice that three different kinds of mortgages had gone from nothing to a very surprising share of the overall marketplace in the span of, honestly, like three years."

Were it not for a head of prematurely gray hair, Patrick McHenry could still pass for the college Republican he once was. Elected to Congress from North Carolina seven years ago at age 29, he speaks through an assiduous smile and arches his eyebrows as he listens -- furrowing them quizzically at arguments he disagrees with. In late May, McHenry assumed the role of Warren's chief antagonist in Congress. At an oversight hearing he was chairing, McHenry accused Warren of misleading Congress about whether she had given advice to Treasury and Justice Dept. officials who were investigating companies for mortgage fraud. McHenry said she had concealed her conversations. Warren insisted she had disclosed them.

The hearing then took a bizarre turn. McHenry called for a recess so members of the committee could go to the House floor for a vote. Warren replied that she had agreed to testify for an hour and could not stay any longer. "Congressman, you are causing problems," she said. "We had an agreement." Offended, McHenry shot back: "You're making this up, Ms. Warren. This is not the case." Warren's response, an outraged gasp, was played on cable news.

In a conversation a month later in his Capitol Hill office, McHenry is eager to emphasize that his problem is not with Warren, but with the bureau itself. That's not to say he feels he has anything to apologize for. "I've asked questions of a litany of Administration officials from Democrat and Republican Administrations, and I've never seen an action by any witness like I saw that day," he says.

Like most congressional Republicans -- and a broad array of business groups, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Financial Services Roundtable, and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions -- McHenry opposed the creation of the CFPB and voted against Dodd-Frank. At the time, the bureau's opponents argued that its seemingly noble goals would not only hurt financial firms -- depriving them of the ability to compensate for risky borrowers by charging higher interest rates -- they would also hurt borrowers. The prospect of limits on the sort of rates and fees they could charge would cause banks and payday lenders alike to lend less and to not lend at all to marginal borrowers at a time when the economy needed as much credit as it could get.

Where it's not actively harmful, McHenry argues, the bureau will be redundant. If there's fraud or deceptive marketing in the consumer lending market, the federal government can prosecute it through the Federal Trade Commission. Clearer mortgage forms are all well and good, but Congress can take care of that, he says, noting that he introduced legislation for a simpler mortgage form three years ago. In response to arguments like these, Warren simply points to the record of those existing regulators: the Fed and the Housing & Urban Development Dept. have haggled over a simpler mortgage form for years. As for fears that the bureau will cap the interest rates companies can charge, she notes that Dodd-Frank explicitly prevents it from doing that.

Warren has been uncharacteristically tightlipped about her own ambitions. She refuses to say whether she even wants the job and has never publicly expressed a desire for it. In a way, the White House may do her a favor by not nominating her. If the President decides to go with a compromise candidate to appease Republicans, she will be spared the indignity of being tossed aside. She can't be said to have lost a job she was never offered.

Yet Warren gives the distinct impression that she will not suffer long if the President passes her over. Harvard has more than its share of celebrity professors who have gone to Washington and returned. The experience could also lead to a different kind of life in politics: Democrats in Massachusetts have been urging her to come home to run for Senate against Republican Scott Brown. There would be books to write, television appearances to make, and, who knows, maybe a show of her own. And whatever happens, she will get to tell the second half of the story of how she started a government agency. Whether the story ends with her confirmation or being driven from town, it's almost certain that the character of Elizabeth Warren will come out looking just fine.

( Corrects the year Elizabeth Warren moved to Washington to work at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau )

[Mar 19, 2019] Elizabeth Warren had a good speech at UC-Berkeley. She focused on the middle class family balance sheet and risk shifting

Mar 19, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

rc, March 18, 2019 at 4:01 pm

Elizabeth Warren had a good speech at UC-Berkeley. She focused on the middle class family balance sheet and risk shifting. Regulatory policies and a credit based monetary system have resulted in massive real price increases in inelastic areas of demand such as healthcare, education and housing eroding purchasing power.

Further, trade policies have put U.S. manufacturing at a massive disadvantage to the likes of China, which has subsidized state-owned enterprises, has essentially slave labor costs and low to no environmental regulations. Unrestrained immigration policies have resulted in a massive supply wave of semi- and unskilled labor suppressing wages.

Recommended initial steps to reform:

1. Change the monetary system-deleverage economy with the Chicago Plan (100% reserve banking) and fund massive infrastructure lowering total factor costs and increasing productivity. This would eliminate

2. Adopt a healthcare system that drives HC to 10% to 12% of GDP. France's maybe? Medicare model needs serious reform but is great at low admin costs.

3. Raise tariffs across the board or enact labor and environmental tariffs on the likes of China and other Asian export model countries.

4. Take savings from healthcare costs and interest and invest in human capital–educational attainment and apprenticeships programs.

5. Enforce border security restricting future immigration dramatically and let economy absorb labor supply over time.

Video of UC-B lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akVL7QY0S8A&feature=youtu.be

Jerry B, March 18, 2019 at 5:26 pm

As I have said in other comments, I like Liz Warren a lot within the limits of what she is good at doing (i.e. not President) such as Secretary of the Treasury etc. And I think she likes the media spotlight and to hear herself talk a little to much, but all quibbling aside, can we clone her??? The above comment and video just reinforce "Stick to what you are really good at Liz!".

I am not a Liz Warren fan boi to the extent Lambert is of AOC, but it seems that most of the time when I hear Warren, Sanders, or AOC say something my first reaction is "Yes, what she/he said!".

[Mar 19, 2019] Angry Bear " Elizabeth Warren, David Leonhardt, Redistribution, and Predistribution by Robert Waldmann

Mar 17, 2019 | angrybearblog.com
Politics Taxes/regulation I just had an unusual experience. I was convinced by an op-ed. One third of the way through "Elizabeth Warren Actually Wants to Fix Capitalism" by David Leonhardt, I was planning to contest one of Leonhard's assertions. Now I am convinced.

The column praises Elizabeth Warren. Leonhardt (like his colleague Paul Krugman) is careful to refrain from declaring his intention to vote for her in the primary. I am planning to vote for her. I mostly agreed with the column to begin with, but was not convinced by Leonard's praise of Warren's emphasis on aiming for more equal pre-fiscal distribution of income rather than just relying on taxes and transfers to redistribute.

In particular, I was not convinced by

This history suggests that the Democratic Party's economic agenda needs to become more ambitious. Modest changes in the top marginal tax rate or in middle-class tax credits aren't enough. The country needs an economic policy that measures up to the scale of our challenges.

Here two issues are combined. One is modest vs major changes. The other is that predistribution is needed in addition to redistribution, as discussed even more clearly here

"Clinton and Obama focused on boosting growth and redistribution," Gabriel Zucman, a University of California, Berkeley, economist who has advised Warren, says. "Warren is focusing on how pretax income can be made more equal."

The option of a large change in the top marginal tax rate and a large middle class tax credit isn't considered in the op-ed. I think this would be excellent policy which has overwhelming popular support as measured by polls (including the support of a large fraction of self declared Republicans). I note from time to time that, since 1976 both the Democrats who have been elected president campaigned on higher taxes on high incomes and lower taxes on the middle class (and IIRC none of the candidates who lost did).

This is also one of my rare disagreements with Paul Krugman , and, finally one of my rare disagreements with Dean Baker ( link to a book which I haven't read).

After the jump, I will make my usual case. But first, I note Leonardt's excellent argument for why "soak the rich and spread it out thin" isn't a sufficient complete market oriented egalitarian program. It is phrased as a question.

"How can the next president make changes that will endure, rather than be undone by a future president, as both Obama's and Clinton's top-end tax increases were?"

Ahh yes. High taxes on high income and high wealth would solve a lot of problems. But they will be reversed. New programs such as Obamacare or Warren's proposed universal pre-K and subsidized day care will not. Nor will regulatory reforms such as mandatory paid sick leave and mandatory paid family leave. I am convinced that relatively complicated proposals are more politically feasible, not because it is easier to implement them, but because it is very hard to eliminate programs used by large numbers of middle class voters.

I'd note that I had already conceded the advantage of a regulatory approach which relies on the illusion that the costs must be born by the regulated firms. Here I note that fleet fuel economy standards are much more popular than increased gasoline taxes. One is a market oriented approach. The other is one that hides behind the market as consumers don't know that part of the price of a gas guzzler pays the shadow price of reducing fleet average milage.

OK my usual argument after the jump

It is unusual for me to disagree with Baker, Leonhardt, and (especially) Krugman. I am quite sure that the Democratic candidate for president should campaign on higher taxes on the rich and lower taxes for the non-rich.

To be sure, I can see that that isn't the only possible policy improvement. Above, I note the advantages of hiding spending by mandating spending by firms and of creating entitlements which are very hard for the GOP to eliminate. I'd add that we have to do a lot to deal with global warming. Competition policy is needed for market efficiency. I think unions and restrictions on firing without cause have an effect on power relations which is good in addition to the effect on income distribution.

But I don't understand the (mildly) skeptical tone. I will set up and knock down some straw men

1) Total straw -- US voters are ideological conservatives and operational liberals. They reject soaking the rich, class war, and redistribution. To convince them to help the non rich, one has to disguise what one is doing.

This is especially silly, and no one in the discussion argues this (anymore -- people used to argue this). The polls and elections are clear. US voters want higher taxes on high incomes and on the wealthy. Also Congress has gone along -- the effective tax rate on the top 1% was about the same after Obama as before Reagan

2) Extremely high marginal tax rates are bad for the economy. Here this is often conceded, in particular by people arguing for modest increases in the top marginal tax rate. The claim is not supported by actual evidence. In particular the top rate was 70% during the 60s boom.

3) High tax rates cause tax avoidance. This reduces efficiency and also means that they don't generate the naively expected revenue. There is very little evidence that this is a huge issue . In particular there was a huge increase in tax sheltering after the 1981 Kemp-Roth tax cuts and reforms. It is possible to design a tax code which makes avoidance difficult (as shown by the 1986 Kemp-Bradley tax reform). It is very hard to implement such a code without campaigning on soaking the rich and promoting class uh struggle.

4) More generally, redistribution does not work -- the post tax income distribution is not equalized because the rich find a way. This is super straw again. All the international and time series evidence points the other way.

I don't see a political or policy argument against a large increase in taxes on high incomes (70% bracket starting at $400,000 a year) used to finance a large expansion of the EITC (so most households receive it).

I think a problem is that a simple solution does not please nerds. I think another is that a large fraction of the elite would pay the high taxes and it is easier to trick them into trying to make corporations pay the costs.

But I really don't understand.


Denis Drew , March 17, 2019 3:51 pm

First, whenever anybody (that I hear or read) talks about what to do with the revenue from higher taxes on the rich, they always suggest this or that government program (education, medical, housing). I always think of putting more money back in the pockets of my middle 59% incomes to make up for the higher consumer prices they will have to pay when the bottom 40% get unionized.

Of course the 59% can use that money to pay taxes for said government programs -- money is fungible. But, that re-inserts an important element or dimension or facet which seems perpetually forgotten (would not be in continental Europe or maybe French Canada).

Don't forget: predistribution goal = a reunionized labor market. Don't just look to Europe for redistribution goals -- look at their predistribution too.

Bert Schlitz , March 17, 2019 10:14 pm

Nobody in the 60's that was taxed at a marginal 70% rate paid 70%. The top effective rate was about 32-38%, which was far higher than today, but you get the point. The income tax code was as much control of where investment would take place as much as anything ..Ronald Reagan whined about this for years. Shove it grease ball. There was a reason why.

Redistribution won't work because the system is a debt based ponzi scheme. The US really hasn't grown much since 1980, instead you have had the growth in debt.

You need to get rid of the federal reserve system's banks control of the financial system, which they have had since the 1830's in terms of national control(from Hamilton's Philly, which was the financial epicenter before that) and de Rothschild free since the 1930's(when the bank of de Rothschild ala the Bank of England's reserve currency collapsed). Once we have a debt free currency that is usury free, then you can develop and handle intense changes like ecological problems ala Climate Change, which the modern plutocrats cannot and will not solve.

They have been ramming debt in peoples face since 1950 and since 1980 it has gotten vulgar. They know they are full of shit and can't win a fair game.

run75441 , March 18, 2019 6:09 am

Robert:

Would you agree a secure healthcare system without work requirements for those who can not afford healthcare is a form of pre-distribution of income? Today's ACA was only a step in the right direction and is being tampered with by ideologs to limit its reach. It can be improved upon and have a socio-economic impact on people. Over at Medpage where I comment on healthcare, the author makes this comment:

"Investing in improvements in patients' social determinants of health -- non-medical areas such as housing, transportation, and food insecurity -- is another potentially big area, he said. "It's a major opportunity for plans to position around this and make it real. The more plans can address social determinants of health, [the more] plans can become truly organizations dedicated to health as opposed to organizations dedicated to incurring medical costs, and that to me is a bright future and a bright way to position the industry."

Many of the "social determinants of health" are not consciously decided by the patient and are predetermined by income, social status or politics, and education. What is being said in this paragraph makes for nice rhetoric and is mostly unachievable due to the three factors I suggested. And yes, you can make some progress. People can make healthy choices once the pre-determinants to doing so are resolved.

Another factor which was left dangling when Liebermann decided to be an ass is Long Term Healthcare for the elderly and those who are no longer capable. Medicare is only temporary and Medicaid forces one to be destitute. There is a large number of people who are approaching the time when they will need such healthcare till death. We have no plans for this tsunami of people.

The tax break was passed using Reconciliation. In 7-8 years out, there is a planned shift in taxes to be levied on the middle income brackets to insure the continuamce of Trump's tax break for the 100 or so thousand households it was skewed towards. If not rescinding the tax break then it should be fixed so it sunsets as did Bush's tax break due to its budget creating deficit. Someone running for the Pres position should be discussing this and pointing out how Republicans have deliberately undermined the middle income brackets.

We should not limit solutions to just income when there are so many areas we are lacking in today.

Mu $.02.

Robert Waldmann , March 18, 2019 4:47 pm

I guess I consider food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security old age pensions and disability pensions to be redistribution. My distinction is whether it is tax financed. Providing goods or services as in Medicare and food stamps seems to me basically the same as providing cash as in TANF and old age pensions.

There is also a difference between means tested and age dependent eligiability, but I don't consider it fundamental.

I assert that Medicare (especially plan B) is a kind of welfare basically like TANF and food stamps.

(and look forward to a calm and tranquil discussion of that opinion).

run75441 , March 18, 2019 9:01 pm

Robert:

Medicare is 41% funded by general revenues. The rest comes from payroll taxes and beneficiary premiums. Advantage plans cost more than traditional Medicare for providing the same benefits and also extract a premium fee. I do not believe I have been mean to you. I usually question to learn more. I am happy to have your input.

I am writing for Consumer Safety Org on Woman's healthcare this time and also an article on the Swiss struggling to pay for cancer fighting drugs.

I am always looking for input.

[Mar 18, 2019] FULL CNN TOWN HALL WITH TULSI GABBARD 3-10-19

Highly recommended!
amazing, simply amazing. You need to watch this Town Hall in full to appreciate the skills she demonstrated in defense of her principles. What a fearless young lady.
And this CNN warmonger, a prostitute of MIC was/is pretty devious. Question were selected with malice to hurt Tulsi and people who ask them were definitely pre-selected with an obvious intent to smear Tulsi. In no way those were spontaneous question. This was a session of Neocon//Neolib inquisition. Tulsi behaves like a modern Joan of Arc
From comments: "People need to donate to Tulsi Gabbard for president so she is allowed on the DNC sponsored debate stages. 65000 unique donors required to be in the debates. Donation can be as small as $1 if you can't afford $25"(mrfuzztone)
Notable quotes:
"... Braver then 99.9% of all men in power. They just enjoy watching the blood sports they create for profit. Looks like people are starting to get fed up with the show. About time ..."
"... WE CURRENTLY HAVE A CRONY CAPITALIST PYRAMID SCHEME AND CNN PLAYS IT'S PART TO KEEP THAT SYSTEM IN PLACE ..."
"... I'm 66, a Progressive formerly from Boston where we eat and breathe politics and I'll tell you... never in my life have I seen a Democratic candidate like this fearless young woman who will simultaneously attract veterans AND anti-war folks AND moderate Republicans AND youth. NO OTHER CANDIDATE CAN DO THIS. My absolute belief is that if Tulsi's not on the ticket... Trump wins. Sorry Bernie, this time I'm going with Tulsi. ..."
Mar 18, 2019 | www.youtube.com
lalamimix , 1 week ago

Braver then 99.9% of all men in power. They just enjoy watching the blood sports they create for profit. Looks like people are starting to get fed up with the show. About time✌️ 😉

FMA Bincarim , 1 week ago

CNN has the nerve to claim that Cloudbootjar Copmala Cory and Creepy Joe are polling higher than her.

softminimal1 , 1 week ago (edited)

WE CURRENTLY HAVE A CRONY CAPITALIST PYRAMID SCHEME AND CNN PLAYS IT'S PART TO KEEP THAT SYSTEM IN PLACE.

softminimal1 , 1 week ago

CNN LOVES WARS.

edfou5 , 1 week ago

I'm 66, a Progressive formerly from Boston where we eat and breathe politics and I'll tell you... never in my life have I seen a Democratic candidate like this fearless young woman who will simultaneously attract veterans AND anti-war folks AND moderate Republicans AND youth. NO OTHER CANDIDATE CAN DO THIS. My absolute belief is that if Tulsi's not on the ticket... Trump wins. Sorry Bernie, this time I'm going with Tulsi.

mb1968nz , 1 week ago (edited)

Tulsi handled these hacks like a pro LOOL Are you a capitalist? LOL What s stupid question.....CCN usually stacks there town halls with corporate cronies. I bet Bernie picks her for a high position in his government.

mrfuzztone , 1 week ago

People need to donate to Tulsi Gabbard for president so she is allowed on the DNC sponsored debate stages. 65000 unique donors required to be in the debates. Donation can be as small as $1 if you can't afford $25.

[Mar 12, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Ads Banned From Facebook

Mar 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"Three companies have vast power over our economy and our democracy. Facebook, Amazon, and Google," read the ads which began to run on Friday, According to Politico . "We all use them. But in their rise to power, they've bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field in their favor."

As these companies have grown larger and more powerful, they have used their resources and control over the way we use the Internet to squash small businesses and innovation , and substitute their own financial interests for the broader interests of the American people. To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it's time to break up our biggest tech companies. -Elizabeth Warren

Facebook confirmed with Politico that the ads had been taken down and said said the company is reviewing the matter. "The person said, according to an initial review, that the removal could be linked to the company's policies about using Facebook's brand in posts ."

Around a dozen other ads placed by Warren were not affected.

[Mar 11, 2019] Neoliberal MSM want to bury Tucker

Mar 11, 2019 | www.newsweek.com

From: Fox News' Tucker Carlson Responds To Recordings Where He Calls Women 'Extremely Primitive' By Inviting Critics To Appear On His

By Donica Phifer On 3/10/19 at 11:17 PM

The tapes, released on Sunday by Media Matters for America , a progressive watchdog group, are recordings of Carlson from 2006 to 2011 when the media personality regularly called in to The Bubba the Love Sponge Show . The nationally-syndicated program featured shock jock host Todd "Bubba" Clem, who legally changed his name to Bubba the Love Sponge Clem in 1998, and broadcast from Tampa, Florida.

The three-and-half minutes of audio features a wide variety of subjects including Carlson, Bubba and an unnamed co-host discussing Warren Jeffs, who is currently serving a life sentence after being convicted of two counts of felony child sexual assault.

"(Jeffs) is in prison because he's weird and unpopular and he has a different lifestyle that other people find creepy," Carlson says in a clip from August 2009 following a discussion about the charges brought against Jeffs.

"No, he is an accessory to the rape of children. That is a felony and a serious one at that," a co-host responds, prompting Carlson to ask what he means by an "accessory."

"He's got some weird, religious cult where he thinks it's okay to, you know, marry underage girls, but he didn't do it," Carlson said. "Why wouldn't the guy who actually did it, who had sex with an underage girl, he should be the one who is doing life."

"Look, just to make it absolutely clear. I am not defending underage marriage at all. I just don't think it's the same thing exactly as pulling a child from a bus stop and sexually assaulting that child," Carlson added later in the interview.

In a separate interview, dated September 5, 2009, Carlson says that the charges against Jeffs for sexual assault are "bulls--t" because he is not "accused of touching anybody. He is accused of facilitating a marriage between a 16-year-old girl and a 27-year-old man. That's the accusation. That's what they're calling felony rape."

In another interview, Carlson referred to Martha Stewart's daughter Alexis Stewart as a"'c--nt" and, in yet another one, called Britney Spears and Paris Hilton "biggest white wh--res in America."

Carlson also found himself caught in a discussion about his daughter's boarding school in October 2009, and allegations from Bubba and his co-host that girls attending boarding schools often experiment with same-sex relationships.

... ... ...

[Mar 09, 2019] Gone When They Get Your Vote

Notable quotes:
"... I'll be honest here and admit that Democrats irritate me more than Republicans for this one simple reason. ..."
"... I've come to expect Republicans to be malicious -- there is honesty in their advertisement. However, it's the Democrats who smile like foxes as they pretend to be our allies only to stab us in our backs the minute they get elected. ..."
Mar 09, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

...He brilliantly exposed the false-distinction between Democrats and Republicans as a choice between the lesser of the same evil.

Malcom X's last speech after Feb. 1965 firebombing of his home https://vimeo.com/192326332

"Foxes and wolves usually are of the same breed. They belong to the same family -- I think it's called canine. And the difference is that the wolf when he shows you his teeth, you know that he's your enemy; and the fox, when he shows you his teeth, he appears to be smiling. But no matter which of them you go with, you end up in the dog house."

It took a mean mugging by reality -- one that shook me out of cognitive dissonance -- for me to realize that Democrats are no different than Republicans. They differ in their methods, but in the end they feast on us regardless of their gang affiliation. Both parties are subsidiaries of corporations and oligarchs; our entire political system is based on two factions bamboozling their respective bases while manufacturing dissension on all sides.

... ... ...

Now that I've shed my political blinders, I see how this game is played. I'll be honest here and admit that Democrats irritate me more than Republicans for this one simple reason.

I've come to expect Republicans to be malicious -- there is honesty in their advertisement. However, it's the Democrats who smile like foxes as they pretend to be our allies only to stab us in our backs the minute they get elected.

They have maintained power for decades by successfully treading on the pains of marginalized groups as they concurrently enact legislation and regulations that inflame the very injustices they rail against.

If there is one group that has been leveraged the most by Democrats, it's the descendants of slaves and "black" diaspora as a whole. For generations, supposed liberals -- who now call themselves progressives -- have cunningly used the pains of "African-Americans" to further their own agendas. The Democrat's most loyal voting bloc have time and time again been taken advantage of only to be tossed to the side as soon as Democrats gain power. They talk a good game and pretend to be for us right up until election day, soon as the last ballot is counted, they are nowhere to be found.

[Mar 09, 2019] Zabinski Point for democrats

Mar 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Summer , March 6, 2019 at 3:39 pm

Re: Loyalty Oath

That's the Democrats for ya! When they don't have any useful ideas they go and grab the Republican's old, bad ones out of the trash.

Carey , March 6, 2019 at 3:47 pm

"Loyalty Oath"? We are in what country, in what year?

*Why* did he sign on with the Dems? Could've had ballot access with the Greens, and
everything else from the Dem association is a net-negative, IMO.

Lucy/Football2020

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , March 6, 2019 at 3:59 pm

I want to say this is the Zabinski Point (apparently the lowest dry point in the geographic US) in the D party's recent history, but I fear it could get lower still.

Wukchumni , March 6, 2019 at 4:06 pm

Nope, the name of the lowest point is even more appropriate for the donkey show

Badwater

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , March 6, 2019 at 4:20 pm

I guess I was misinformed by that moive, Zabriskie Point.

Wukchumni , March 6, 2019 at 5:12 pm

The actual lowest point in the state might be at the bottom of the artificially created lake-the Salton Sea, as at the surface it's -236 feet, and the claim is the bottom is 5 feet higher than Badwater, but who knows.

It was created in 1905, when a diversion of the Colorado River went out of control for 2 years, until they were able to stop the flow.

ambrit , March 6, 2019 at 5:22 pm

"Zabriskie Point." A truly apt metaphor for the modern political landscape.
My favourite foreign movie metaphor for the Democrat Party would be Bertolucci's "The Conformist."

[Mar 09, 2019] Warren Takes Her Amazon, Facebook Breakup Proposal to SXSW

Mar 09, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com
On Friday she called for legislation that would designate large technology companies as "platform utilities," and for the appointment of regulators who'd unwind technology mergers that undermine competition and harm innovation and small businesses.

"The idea behind this is for the people in this room," for tech entrepreneurs who want to try out "that new idea," Warren told a packed and enthusiastic crowd. "We want to keep that marketplace competitive and not let a giant who has an incredible competitive advantage snuff that out."

Warren said venture capital "in this area" has dropped by about 20 percent because of a perceived uneven playing field. She didn't provide more detail or say where she obtained her figures.

[Mar 09, 2019] Warren's Plan to Break Up Big Tech Should Focus on Amazon

Mar 09, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

Elizabeth Warren's proposal to break up "Big Tech" companies is sure to stoke debate and add to the tension between the Democratic Party and reliably Democratic Silicon Valley. While breaking up Big Tech isn't likely to happen anytime soon, one nuance in her proposal is worth thinking about, and that's whether tech companies that operate large marketplaces should also be able to participate in said marketplaces.

The most obvious impact this would have would be on Amazon. While in the universe of the American retail industry Amazon's market share remains in the single digits, in e-commerce it's got around 50 percent market share . When consumers shop on Amazon, they're presented with items sold by Amazon, and also items that Amazon doesn't own or warehouse but merely hosts the listings. It's also increasingly getting into the advertising business, so that when you're searching you'll be presented with a list of sponsored products in addition to whatever results a search may generate.

A third-party seller on Amazon has a difficult relationship with Amazon, which can act both as partner and competitor. Amazon can use its huge data sets to see how successful third-party sellers and products are, and if they meet a certain profitability threshold Amazon can decide to compete with that third-party seller directly.

Someone might say, isn't that what grocery stores or Costco do with private label goods or Costco's Kirkland brand? But the difference is that in physical retail, there are all sorts of stores where a producer can sell their products -- Walmart, Target, Costco, major grocery chains, and so on. In e-commerce, with half the market share, Amazon has a dominant position. While in the short run Amazon being able to compete with its third-party sellers may be good for consumers, who can end up with lower prices, in the long run it may mean fewer producers even bother to come up with new products, feeling that eventually Amazon will crowd them out of the marketplace.

Would restricting Amazon, which has grown so quickly and is popular with consumers, harm the economy? Government's antitrust fight with Microsoft a generation ago ended up paying dividends for innovation. In the 2000s a common critique of Microsoft was that it "missed" the internet, and smartphones, and social media, but to some extent that may have been because the company feared an expansion in emerging technologies would bring back more scrutiny from the government. As a result, new tech platforms and companies bloomed. The same could happen in the next decade if Amazon's ambitions were reined in a little.

"Break up Big Tech" is an easy emotional hook, but hopefully Warren's proposal will get all Americans to think more about the power of tech companies and their platforms, and whether regulatory changes would best serve both consumers and producers.

[Mar 09, 2019] According to the text of the application Dems candidates swear to be "faithful" to the "interests, welfare and success of the Democratic Party," but not to its principles. That's because there aren't any.

Mar 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Note that the candidate swears to be "faithful" to the "interests, welfare and success of the Democratic Party," but not to its principles. That's because there aren't any.

Readers may enjoy picking through the bafflegab, because I think you could drive a whole fleet of trucks through the loopholes. Here, for example, is Benjamin Studebaker's view : "A Second Term for Trump is Better Than Beto."

Nobody, after all, said that success had to be immediate ; perhaps a short term failure improves the ultimate welfare and prospects for success for the party.

In a way, this McCarthy-ite armraising is a kludge, another symptom of a fraying system: Exactly as we can no longer, apparently, trust voters to pick a President, and so must give veto power to the intelligence community, so we can no longer trust primary voters to pick a candidate, and the "National Chairperson" must step in if they somehow get the wrong answer. Pesky voters!

[Mar 09, 2019] The shadow of 1930th fall over the USA: a modest Swiftian proposal to deliver swift justice to globalizer plutocrats such as the Rothschilds.

Mar 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

Charles Pewitt says: March 9, 2019 at 2:58 pm GMT 200 Words

@Anthony Aaron

It's been the biggest money maker for them since -- the Rothschild family invented central banks -- or loaned money to both sides in every war they could find and/or drum up.

The Rothschilds must be financially liquidated in an orderly and legal manner as a lesson to the other globalizer plutocrats.

The Koch boys and the Benetton bunch should be legally liquidated financially as well.

There should be no billionaires in European Christian nations.

The Russians excepted; let those Ruski bastards do as they please within reason. I love Russians, and I would like to see many Russians depart the USA and England to go back to beautiful Russia. England for the English; America for the Americans; Russia for the Russians!

Billionaires in European Christian nations should be financially liquidated and exiled to sub-Saharan Africa. They must never be allowed to leave sub-Saharan Africa once they are escorted there.

The above is my modest Swiftian proposal to deliver swift justice to globalizer plutocrats such as the Rothschilds.

[Mar 07, 2019] Tucker Carlson The Populist Paladin of Primetime by Alan Pell Crawford

Interesting personal story of Tucker Carlson. I also like his interview with Max Boot Tucker vs critic who calls him cheerleader for Russia - YouTube
Notable quotes:
"... In his attitudes toward "diversity," Carlson considers Graham not much different from his Northwest Washington neighbors. "My neighbors," he says, "don't understand why it is not a good idea to keep 'welcoming' untold thousands of low-income, poorly educated immigrants whose wage expectations are lower than those of Americans who are already here and are struggling to keep their jobs." Who is hurt most, he asks, by this competition for jobs? His answer: "Americans who are themselves poorly educated -- especially, I might add, African-Americans." Organized labor, a pillar of the Democratic Party for decades, always seemed to understand this. Bill Clinton -- "the last Democrat to recognize this problem and speak to the middle class" -- also understood it. "So why can't my neighbors?" ..."
"... Though Carlson supported the Iraq War when Bush initiated it, he later denounced it as "a total nightmare and a disaster, and I'm ashamed I went against my own instincts in supporting it. I'll never do it again. Never." He has also developed a contempt for much of neocon foreign policy -- and for some of its chief proponents. Back in July, a guest on his show was Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations, who once suggested that the troubled lands of Islam "cry out for the sort of enlightened foreign administration once provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodhpurs and pith helmets." ..."
"... When Carlson told Boot that it was folly for the United States to have tried to oust Syria's Bashar al-Assad and that neocons (and Democrats) are wildly exaggerating the Russian threat, Boot accused Carlson of being a "cheerleader" for Russia, which Carlson called "grotesque." Boot professed indignation that Carlson was "yukking it up over the fact that Putin is interfering and meddling in our election process," and Carlson called it "odd coming from you, who really has been consistently wrong in the most flagrant and flamboyant way for over a decade." ..."
"... as the self-styled "sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness, and groupthink," Carlson deploys his well-honed tools of debate in a cause that many consider valuable, even indispensable -- especially in calling out the agents of foreign policy adventurism ..."
"... "In his vicious and ad hominem way," wrote Beinart in The Atlantic , "Carlson is doing something extraordinary: He's challenging the Republican Party's hawkish orthodoxy in ways anti-war progressives have been begging cable hosts to do for years [wading into] a debate between the two strands of thinking that have dominated conservative foreign policy for roughly a century." These two strands, presumably, are the long-dominant hawks and the still outnumbered non-interventionists troubled by the expansion of federal power that goes with those who seem to favor one war after another -- often fought simultaneously all over the globe. ..."
"... This raises a question: Can you be a conservative if you don't embrace foreign policy interventionism? "Look,'' Carlson says, "if Bill Kristol is a conservative, I am not." Further, he suggests he actually isn't much of a conservative on some economic issues either. "I do not favor cutting tax rates for corporations, and I do not favor invading Iran," he says. ..."
"... Sometimes, he adds, "the hard left is correct. The biggest problem this country faces is income inequality, and neither the liberals nor the conservatives see it. There is a great social volatility that goes with inequality like we have now. Inequality will work under a dictatorship, maybe, but it does not work in a democracy. It is dangerous in a democracy. In a democracy, when there is inequality like this, the people will rise up and punish their elected representatives." ..."
"... Carlson rarely leaves Democrats out of his sights for long, however. Yes, he will go after neocons, but he still directs plenty of firepower at the opposition party, which has only recently come to fear Russia as our "enemy" and uses this perceived threat to undermine President Trump. "Democrats cannot accept the fact that Trump is the president, so they have to find ways to tell themselves he really didn't win the election," Carlson says. "First, it was James Comey's fault. Now it is the Russians with their 'collusion.' The same crowd that for years made excuses for Stalin, now that the Soviet threat no longer exists, has decided that Russia is our 'great enemy.' The same people who for years were highly distrustful of the FBI and the intelligence agencies now accept on faith whatever comes out of them. It's a good thing Frank Church is no longer alive to see this." ..."
"... Carlson says that the rise of the brutal Islamists of ISIS was a direct result of the Iraq War, a clear example of the law of unintended consequences. "When you think about it," he says, "we are still suffering from the ill effects of World War I. The Austro-Hungarian archduke is assassinated, and the world is still feeling the effects. There are unforeseen consequences of any of these actions." ..."
"... Is Carlson oblivious to the threats confronting America and its allies? He doesn't think so, even if Boot and other neocons might make that claim. "Am I concerned about North Korea?" he asks. "Am I concerned about Iran? Let's put it this way. I am concerned about North Korea. I am concerned about Iran, but I am also concerned about Pakistan as a nuclear power. I'm concerned about a lot of things." When he hears that Iran is the number one sponsor of terrorism in the world, he asks how many Americans have been killed as a result of Iran-sponsored terrorism. Carlson's answer: "In the neighborhood of none, that's how many." ..."
"... If Carlson's skepticism about the Iranian threat is still a minority view in Washington, he is used to having unpopular opinions. He seems comfortable taking on the establishment, as he defines it, whether the subject is Iran, Russia, immigration, or trade -- or Trump. When asked what he thinks of Steve Bannon, the president's erstwhile chief strategist who also deals in controversy, Carlson replies, "I don't think Bannon fully understands the ideas he espouses." But he adds: "I will say this for him: He has been brave enough to say that the people in charge in Washington don't know what they are doing, with respect to Iran and a lot else." The people making the decisions these days are the equivalent of day traders, "making it up as they go," Carlson says. "The private equity model is not good for the economy, and it is not good for the government or the American people. It's too shortsighted." ..."
Feb 27, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Carlson avoids both O'Reilly's hokeyness and Hannity's pro-Trump histrionics, instead drawing on his own strength as rapid-fire commentator and relentless interrogator -- that rare Grand Inquisitor with a boisterous sense of humor. Besides the obvious entertainment value, what's also worth following is how Carlson's own birthright conservatism (he says he has never gone through a "liberal phase") is a work in progress. He's increasingly willing -- sometimes eager -- to challenge positions sacrosanct to the Republican right, especially to neoconservatives. He drives neocons crazy, for example, with his opposition to the overseas militarism they support and with his skepticism about their fixation on the "Russian threat." That he is perfectly willing to irk the orthodox was on display at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference when he dared suggest that the New York Times , while liberal, is also a paper "that actually cares about accuracy." Boos followed, but he remained unfazed, lecturing his audience about how conservatives should care about getting their facts right, too.

He remains well within the ideological tent on many red meat controversies of the day, however, particularly on immigration, which he considers a factor in the troubling condition of many rural communities. It isn't the only factor, certainly, but it particularly animates Carlson these days. When Trump outraged polite society with his crude characterization of Haiti and African countries, Carlson countered that "almost every single person in America" in fact agrees with the president. "An awful lot of immigrants come to this country from other places that aren't very nice," he said. "Those places are dangerous. They're dirty, they're corrupt, and they're poor, and that's the main reason those immigrants are trying to come here, and you would too if you lived there."

As for the idea that "diversity is our strength," Carlson lit into Sen. Lindsey Graham for saying that America is "an idea, not defined by its people." This claim, Carlson said, might surprise the people who already live here, "with their actual families and towns and traditions and history and customs." It might also come as a surprise that "they're irrelevant to the success or failure of what they imagined was their country." If diversity is our strength, it must follow that "the less we have in common somehow the stronger we are. Is that true? We better hope it's true because we're betting everything on it."

In his attitudes toward "diversity," Carlson considers Graham not much different from his Northwest Washington neighbors. "My neighbors," he says, "don't understand why it is not a good idea to keep 'welcoming' untold thousands of low-income, poorly educated immigrants whose wage expectations are lower than those of Americans who are already here and are struggling to keep their jobs." Who is hurt most, he asks, by this competition for jobs? His answer: "Americans who are themselves poorly educated -- especially, I might add, African-Americans." Organized labor, a pillar of the Democratic Party for decades, always seemed to understand this. Bill Clinton -- "the last Democrat to recognize this problem and speak to the middle class" -- also understood it. "So why can't my neighbors?"

Carlson pauses, tosses another piece of Nicorette gum into his mouth, and laughs. It's not a bitter laugh, but one of seeming disbelief. While he can be abrupt and sometimes even brutal with guests on his nightly program, one-on-one he's good humored and ebullient. He's that way, according to those who know him, even during breaks with on-air guests he is about to behead. He is exceedingly pleasant company for a leisurely lunch at swank Bistro Bis near the Fox headquarters, within walking distance of the U.S. Capitol. (The former smoker orders a plate of cheeses, which seem not to interfere with the gum, which he says both "sharpens the intellect and calms you down at the same time. It's great.") His own office, with the kind of framed political memorabilia de rigueur in Washington, looks out on Union Station. His desk is spacious and well-worn; he likes to tell people "it was Millard Fillmore's," which is the kind of joke also de rigueur in Washington.

"I have a good life," he says. The pay is good, and there was a time he could not have afforded a sizeable house in Northwest Washington. After college, for example, he worked on the editorial staff of the now-defunct Policy Review , then owned by the Heritage Foundation. He also paid his dues as a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock and, after that, The Weekly Standard . Back then, of course, he could not have afforded the five-bedroom, six-and-a-half-bath, 7,400-square-foot house he bought last July (purchase price: $3.895 million).

He likes his new neighbors -- and the nearby dog park. "My neighbors are intelligent and thoughtful people," he says, most of whom still have Obama stickers on their Priuses. "They think Trump is awful on immigration, and they don't see how anyone could possibly view the issue any differently. But that's because there is only one way that the issue touches them in their lives, and that is in terms of their household help. They worry about 'Margarita who has been with our family for years and the kids love her and we just want to know that she will be protected.' They aren't cynical. They really care about the legal status of their household help. I get that. They just don't see the issue in any larger social context."

♦♦♦

There is some irony here, given Carlson's family background. The son of a former president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, director of Voice of America, and ambassador to the African island republic of the Seychelles, this "primetime populist," as The Atlantic 's McKay Coppins calls him, is clearly a child of privilege. While he no longer sports bow-ties, he looks the part, with that well-scrubbedness we associate with boarding schools. (He went to St. George's in Middletown, Rhode Island.) On his mother's side, he is a descendant of St. George Tucker of Bermuda and Williamsburg, who straddled the 18th and 19th centuries, served as one of the first law professors at the College of William and Mary, and was stepfather of the acerbic Virginia Congressman John Randolph of Roanoke. "They thought of naming me St. George Tucker Carlson," he says. His stepmother is a Swanson frozen-food heiress and niece of Senator J. William Fulbright.

Though Carlson sees the irony, he's untroubled by it. "I grew up in the world I'm describing," he acknowledges. "I grew up in Georgetown. I know the way these people think. Look, there are very few poorly educated Honduran talk show hosts who are out to take my job."

Actually, there aren't a lot of well-educated, native-born Ivy Leaguers who pose much of a threat, either, given his current audience ratings. But Carlson knows from personal experience that the world he inhabits can be fickle. He has bounced around on cable news programs since 2000, when he went to work for CNN. In 2005, the channel cancelled his show, "Crossfire," and he was hired by MSNBC, where he hosted "Tucker," also dropped in 2008. Fox picked him up as a news contributor and eventually hired him as co-host of "Fox & Friends." "Tucker Carlson Tonight" debuted in November 2016. ("Sooner or later," he writes in his breezy 2003 memoir of his cable career, Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites , "just about everyone in television gets canned, usually without warning.")

Kelefa Sanneh writes in The New Yorker that Carlson has been doing cable news "for far too long to be considered a rising star," though he still seems like something of a fresh face. Liberals of course can't stand him -- and aren't likely to notice how his views have been changing. "I'm probably more liberal right now than I've ever been," he says. In prep school and at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, he considered the arrival of The American Spectator and Commentary "thrilling." For years he read those magazines "cover to cover," he says. "They were great, especially the Spectator , which had such spirit and published writers like P.J. O'Rourke and Andrew Ferguson. It's depressing to see how far both those once-great magazines have fallen."

Though Carlson supported the Iraq War when Bush initiated it, he later denounced it as "a total nightmare and a disaster, and I'm ashamed I went against my own instincts in supporting it. I'll never do it again. Never." He has also developed a contempt for much of neocon foreign policy -- and for some of its chief proponents. Back in July, a guest on his show was Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations, who once suggested that the troubled lands of Islam "cry out for the sort of enlightened foreign administration once provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodhpurs and pith helmets."

When Carlson told Boot that it was folly for the United States to have tried to oust Syria's Bashar al-Assad and that neocons (and Democrats) are wildly exaggerating the Russian threat, Boot accused Carlson of being a "cheerleader" for Russia, which Carlson called "grotesque." Boot professed indignation that Carlson was "yukking it up over the fact that Putin is interfering and meddling in our election process," and Carlson called it "odd coming from you, who really has been consistently wrong in the most flagrant and flamboyant way for over a decade."

Boot, who can take care of himself, held his own in the exchange, but some hapless "guests" find themselves in a mismatch. Carlson, who seems only too happy to press his advantage, can come off as a bit of a bully, especially when he bursts into derisive laughter. "To me, it's just cringe-making," Ferguson, now with The Weekly Standard , told The New Yorker . "You get some poor little columnist from the Daily Oregonian who said Trump was Hitler, and you beat the shit out of him for ten minutes."

Maybe so, but as the self-styled "sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness, and groupthink," Carlson deploys his well-honed tools of debate in a cause that many consider valuable, even indispensable -- especially in calling out the agents of foreign policy adventurism. Peter Beinart, late of The New Republic , anticipated something conservatives have yet to address but might need to soon.

"In his vicious and ad hominem way," wrote Beinart in The Atlantic , "Carlson is doing something extraordinary: He's challenging the Republican Party's hawkish orthodoxy in ways anti-war progressives have been begging cable hosts to do for years [wading into] a debate between the two strands of thinking that have dominated conservative foreign policy for roughly a century." These two strands, presumably, are the long-dominant hawks and the still outnumbered non-interventionists troubled by the expansion of federal power that goes with those who seem to favor one war after another -- often fought simultaneously all over the globe.

This raises a question: Can you be a conservative if you don't embrace foreign policy interventionism? "Look,'' Carlson says, "if Bill Kristol is a conservative, I am not." Further, he suggests he actually isn't much of a conservative on some economic issues either. "I do not favor cutting tax rates for corporations, and I do not favor invading Iran," he says.

Sometimes, he adds, "the hard left is correct. The biggest problem this country faces is income inequality, and neither the liberals nor the conservatives see it. There is a great social volatility that goes with inequality like we have now. Inequality will work under a dictatorship, maybe, but it does not work in a democracy. It is dangerous in a democracy. In a democracy, when there is inequality like this, the people will rise up and punish their elected representatives."

In fact, they did rise up, says Carlson, when they elected Trump in 2016. "There was no mystery to why Trump won. He was the only candidate speaking to the collapsing middle class. Conservatives do not understand the social consequences of economic inequality."

Carlson rarely leaves Democrats out of his sights for long, however. Yes, he will go after neocons, but he still directs plenty of firepower at the opposition party, which has only recently come to fear Russia as our "enemy" and uses this perceived threat to undermine President Trump. "Democrats cannot accept the fact that Trump is the president, so they have to find ways to tell themselves he really didn't win the election," Carlson says. "First, it was James Comey's fault. Now it is the Russians with their 'collusion.' The same crowd that for years made excuses for Stalin, now that the Soviet threat no longer exists, has decided that Russia is our 'great enemy.' The same people who for years were highly distrustful of the FBI and the intelligence agencies now accept on faith whatever comes out of them. It's a good thing Frank Church is no longer alive to see this."

Carlson's skeptical view of U.S. policy in the Middle East can be traced, at least in part, to 2006, which was a strange year in Carlson's life. That fall, he appeared on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" and was the first contestant to be eliminated. (Even Jerry Springer did better.) In Carlson's defense, he was also doing his nightly MSNBC show "Tucker" at the time and had to miss his dancing classes because he was on assignment in Israel and Lebanon during the war between Israel and Hezbollah. While there, he also was the host of an MSNBC Special Report called "Mideast Crisis."

It is not clear what he learned on "Dancing with the Stars," but he learned a great deal, he says, in the Middle East. "First, the closer you get to any situation, at least in terms of these wars, the more confusing and complicated things are," he says. "Second, the consequences of your actions are never predictable." The United States toppled the Afghan government in 2001, "and 16 years and $1 trillion later, what do we have to show for it?" American diplomats, he reports, can't even drive the two miles from the airport in Kabul to our embassy because it's unsafe. "They have to take helicopters."

Carlson says that the rise of the brutal Islamists of ISIS was a direct result of the Iraq War, a clear example of the law of unintended consequences. "When you think about it," he says, "we are still suffering from the ill effects of World War I. The Austro-Hungarian archduke is assassinated, and the world is still feeling the effects. There are unforeseen consequences of any of these actions."

This concern about consequences sounds eminently conservative, even if a lot of conservatives don't want to hear it. Like their liberal counterparts, many neoconservatives have fallen under the spell of what Carlson considers the maddening optimism of the American people -- the view that we can take any situation around the world and improve it. "Something else you learn in the Middle East is that there are some really crummy places in the world," Carlson says, adding that Americans viewed Iraq's Saddam Hussein as such an evil leader that, no matter what followed, his overthrow would have to be an improvement. "Well, that is naïve," he says. "Things can always get worse. But Americans don't want to believe that, because we lack imagination and we want to help. And as for toppling dictatorships, we don't seem to realize that there's something worse than a dictatorship -- and that's anarchy. Because with anarchy, there can be a dictator in any neighborhood: anybody with an AK-47."

♦♦♦

Is Carlson oblivious to the threats confronting America and its allies? He doesn't think so, even if Boot and other neocons might make that claim. "Am I concerned about North Korea?" he asks. "Am I concerned about Iran? Let's put it this way. I am concerned about North Korea. I am concerned about Iran, but I am also concerned about Pakistan as a nuclear power. I'm concerned about a lot of things." When he hears that Iran is the number one sponsor of terrorism in the world, he asks how many Americans have been killed as a result of Iran-sponsored terrorism. Carlson's answer: "In the neighborhood of none, that's how many."

If Carlson's skepticism about the Iranian threat is still a minority view in Washington, he is used to having unpopular opinions. He seems comfortable taking on the establishment, as he defines it, whether the subject is Iran, Russia, immigration, or trade -- or Trump. When asked what he thinks of Steve Bannon, the president's erstwhile chief strategist who also deals in controversy, Carlson replies, "I don't think Bannon fully understands the ideas he espouses." But he adds: "I will say this for him: He has been brave enough to say that the people in charge in Washington don't know what they are doing, with respect to Iran and a lot else." The people making the decisions these days are the equivalent of day traders, "making it up as they go," Carlson says. "The private equity model is not good for the economy, and it is not good for the government or the American people. It's too shortsighted."

Like millions of other Americans, Carlson worries about the current administration, though not necessarily for the same reasons. "My concern is that Trump is actually weaker than most people realize," he says. "I don't worry about the people who go on TV and say Trump is a 'racist' and a 'fascist' and all that. They have no effect on the administration. The worry for me is the people who want to use Trump as a host to do things they want, like a war with Iran." Many of the people who advocated the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's government, which posed the one real counterbalance to Iran, are now calling for American ground troops in the Islamic Republic -- "people like Max Boot, who calls anyone who disagrees with this idea a quisling."

Again the law of unintended consequences comes to mind for Carlson, as does the son he drives down U.S. Route 29 to visit in Charlottesville. "I'm against those people who want a war with Iran. Those are the people who might get my 20-year-old son killed in a war in Iran. Why would I favor that?"

Alan Pell Crawford is the author of How Not to Get Rich: The Financial Misadventures of Mark Twain , among other books.


Cosmin Visan February 26, 2018 at 8:29 pm

Carlson has emerged from a small bubble and moved into a slighter bigger bubble. This has an initial invigorating effect; but it only lasts until he bumps against the bigger bubble. This notion that America is a naive optimist looking to fix things but screwing up is very dear to AC conservatives. But it ain't true. Read that famous quote by Smedley Butler and you will have it in a nutshell.
Westy , says: February 26, 2018 at 9:33 pm
Tucker is good at provoking thought. As a (sorta) conservative reexamining (Reaganite) conservatism as it's been known.
Problem is, he's very short on coherent solutions. The rightist populists generally are. If 'the hard left is right, income inequality is the biggest problem', what is the solution to that other than trust in bigger govt and more collectivism? Protectionism is not going to reverse inequality, the opposite if anything. Nor is immigration restriction likely to, materially. Yes, immigration is a legitimate issue, and no not everyone who wants less is a 'racist'. But the economic as opposed to social impact of immigration is very easy to overstate.
Tucker is ultimately an example of a 'new kind of right' which simply lacks solutions other than those of the left. Why not just embrace the left if it's right about the 'main problem' and you have not other practical solution than those of the left? Maybe a left with less 'elitism' and 'snobbery'? Thought provoking but I'm not sure Tucker is really about anything other than style. It's again a problem of the populist right generally.
Leftophobe , says: February 26, 2018 at 9:53 pm
Tucker is not beholden to anyone. He is a true patriot and has a deep sadness for the loss of accuracy and dignity in American journalism.
somewhere east of falls church , says: February 26, 2018 at 2:20 am
"Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations, who once suggested that the troubled lands of Islam "cry out for the sort of enlightened foreign administration once provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodhpurs and pith helmets.""

Boot is such a big, easy target, isn't he? "Jodhpurs and pith helmets" don't you know, preached by a Russian Jew with American citizenship for God's sake

Can't Boot see how pathetic and incongruous this mush sounds coming from a neocon's mouth? Particularly after the serial disasters they engineered in the Mideast? The best of the old Brit colonials (and there weren't that many) weren't just "self-confident", they were shrewd and surpassingly competent. And they didn't let punk client states call the shots. Nonetheless, to the extent that "jodhpurs and pith helmets" were responsible for turning the Middle East and large swathes elsewhere into despoiled ruin, I suppose Boot has got his wish.

How typical of a neocon to mistake attitude for substance and power for "enlightenment", eh?

I guess it's nice to have Boot for Carlson to kick around, and here's hoping Carlson continues to hark to "the People". More "the People" and less Boot would suit me just fine, and I'm one of precious few people who actually own jodhpurs and a pith helmet!

The sooner that the neocons are kicked out of the public square the better.

cka2nd , says: February 26, 2018 at 8:35 am
" the opposition party, which has only recently come to fear Russia as our 'enemy' 'The same crowd that for years made excuses for Stalin'"

I'm sorry Mr. Crawford, but which Democrats are you talking about who "only recently came to fear Russia as our 'enemy?'" The Democrats who prosecuted the Korean and Vietnam Wars? JFK, who campaigned on the lie of a "missile gap?" The Democrats who, while Nixon and Ford pursued Détente, organized rallies and sanctions to force the Soviets to allow Jews to emigrate? Charlie Wilson and the other enthusiastic Democratic supporters of the mujahideen of Afghanistan? Bill Clinton, who happily pushed for NATO to include former members of the Warsaw Pact and former Soviet republics while supporting the economic rape of Russia and the collapse of not only its living standards but the longevity of its people's lives?

And, I'm sorry, but which liberals does Mr. Carlson think made excuses for Stalin? Hubert Humphrey? Adlai Stevenson? JFK? LBJ? Henry "Scoop" Jackson? Jimmy Carter, the man who gave the go-ahead to foment an Afghan civil war specifically to goad the Soviet Union to intervene?

I know Bernie Sanders isn't officially a Democrat, but he did run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, and he called the late Hugo Chavez a "dead Communist dictator," which certainly seemed to fit very nicely into the mainstream of Democratic Party thinking about Stalin, Russia and Communism for the last 70 years.

Kawi , says: February 26, 2018 at 9:28 am
Max Boot held his own against Tucker? Boot was red-faced and sputtering. He had nothing to say, because his worldview is vapid. I rarely watch TV, but somehow I caught that exchange live, and it was deeply gratifying. Making it even better was the knowledge that there would be clips of it stored on youtube and elsewhere.

This portrait should have mentioned Carlson's essay from the beginning of 2016 asking what conservatives have gotten from the Republican establishment. It was superb.

We need more voices like Carlon's right now. Many more.

Paulb , says: February 26, 2018 at 10:00 am
Another difference: Bernie always uses the phrase "billionaire class" while Tucker uses the more accurate "ruling class." (See the terrific 2-19-18 episode.) But I hope he's careful. Remember what Schumer said a year ago: the intel agencies have "six ways from Sunday of getting back at you." (It would have been nice if one of our crack reporters asked him what he meant by that.)
Gray Liddell , says: February 26, 2018 at 5:31 pm
Tucker is the best. He does his homework and can confront, rhetorically, the diverse group of guests he has on. He does an excellent job of trying to keep the guests on topic. In our age of parrying questions, the Tuck continually zeros in on the salient discrepancies in the discussion. He does not bloviate like O'Reilly did.
Tucker does not toe the party line, he can wonder, out loud why we are fighting these endless wars?
It must take a lot of work to familiarize yourself with all the varying subjects that go in to one night of 'Tucker Carlson'. Lets hope he is on TV for another ten or twenty years.
Tight lines to Tucker.

[Mar 07, 2019] "Fake Wrestling" theory

Mar 07, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pft , Mar 5, 2019 8:17:55 PM | link

tNot so puzzling if you buy into the "Fake Wrestling" theory. Since Bill Clinton each party gets 8 years on the throne then hands off to the other party. Dems just playing their part as they did in the 2016 election. Both parties controlled by the corporate and cognitive elites pursuing their globalist agenda thats occasionally masked by nationalism to appease the herd.

China has multiple parties within the CCP. The CCP is the visible face of authority. In the West the CCP equivalent is hidden, preferring to allow each party in turn to accept the blame for executing their agenda. Every 8 years the herd votes for Hope and Change or the lesser evil and watches in amazement as nothing changes and lesser evil becomes more, only to try again in the next cycle. Kind of like Groundhog Day.

When half the population has an IQ under 100, its easy for those with IQ's 4-6 SD above average to manipulate the herd given the tools they have today. People can be made to believe anything and much of what people believe is not true.

bevin , Mar 5, 2019 9:53:36 PM | link

Pft@54

"Every 8 years the herd votes for Hope and Change or the lesser evil and watches in amazement as nothing changes and lesser evil becomes more, only to try again in the next cycle. Kind of like Groundhog Day.....When half the population has an IQ under 100, its easy for those with IQ's 4-6 SD above average to manipulate the herd given the tools they have today. People can be made to believe anything and much of what people believe is not true."

My guess is that this contempt for "the herd" must be accompanied by a very generous estimation of your own independence of mind and superiority of intellect.

My question, is how can democracy work in the world which you describe? Or would it just consist of the idiotic "herd" listening to your ideas, applauding and carrying out orders?

[Mar 06, 2019] The faces of US elite: The marasmic McCain, marasmic Pelosi, and hysterical Max Boot, the openly lying Clapper and the hate-filled profiteer Brennan

Notable quotes:
"... The next two weeks will show whether Trump is the real deal, or just another schlub. ..."
Jul 27, 2017 | www.unz.com

annamaria > , July 27, 2017 at 8:06 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig

His greatest accomplishment may well be that he has caused Washington's Swamp Dwellers to rise from the ooze and expose themselves for all the world to see. That's weakened them immeasurably, perhaps fatally. To be sure, that's no small thing, and the next Trump to come along is now on full alert as to who & what to bring with him.
You nailed it. Even if they do eventually succeed in foiling Trump, things will never be the same again. The whole world is watching the circus in Washington, and so Washington's brand ('democracy') is now shot. 2016 was indeed an annus mirabilis! " things will never be the same again. The whole world is watching the circus in Washington.."

It looks and sounds like dementia – as if a sick person behaving inappropriately, showing unprovoked aggression (like some Alzheimer patients), using silly or senseless phrasing, and having the unreasonable demands and uncontrolled fits of rage like a spoiled child. The marasmic McCain, marasmic Pelosi, and hysterical Max Boot, the openly lying Clapper and the hate-filled profiteer Brennan.

What a panopticon.

Here is an outline of the current state of "western values" by Patrick Armstrong: http://turcopolier.typepad.com

Jeff Davis > , July 27, 2017 at 8:54 pm GMT

As I have written here and elsewhere, President Swamp Drainer needs to get control of the DoJ. He got rid of Comey, which was good, but got Rosenstein and Mueller in response. Meanwhile Jeff Sessions is twiddling his thumbs re the Russia witch hunt. Perhaps his recusal was appropriate, but he's not doing anything whatsoever regarding Swamp Draining. So it feels like he's a disingenuous old guard GOPer, who wants to obstruct any real progress, while dragging his feet with do-nothingness obscured behind a facade of law enforcement community boosterism. By this tactic the GOP attempts to stall until 2020, when it can then point at Trump's failures (failures they have enabled by their stalling, wink wink) and then campaign to take "their" party back. In short, Sessions may just be an anti-Trump "mole" planted in the single most important position with regard to swamp draining, in order to ***prevent*** any swamp draining.

Let me be clear: in the last 24 years the DC political class has gone almost entirely criminal, with the last 13 years dedicated to serial war crimes. In this sort of situation the DoJ, AG, and FBI head, becomes corrupted, and turns away from the rule of law to become a shield for the DC criminal despotism.

So watch closely what happens next. Just today rumors have come out -- though I've been speaking of this for several weeks now -- that there is talk in the White House about ***recess appointments*** . We have reached the crucial moment, and I for one am surprised that, as important as this is, it has not been prominent in public discussion until now. The "August" was scheduled to begin at the end of business tomorrow, July 28th. Because of the health care business, McConnell has postponed it for two weeks, so let's call it for close of business Friday, August 11th. That's fifteen days from now.

When Congress goes home fifteen days from now, this country and the world may very well change forever. Go to Wikipedia and look up "recess appointment". Here's what you will find:

" a recess appointment is an appointment by the President of a federal official while the U.S. Senate is in recess.

Recess appointments are authorized by Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which states:

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session .

If Trump is the fighter I think he is, then this is what he has been waiting for, ever so patiently these last six months. Notice that the Congress cannot countermand recess appointments. Recess appointments end by expiration, and then only at the end of the following Congressional session. Other than impeachment, Congress cannot stop Trump from doing this .

So Trump dumps Sessions, purges the anti-Trump prosecutors from previous administrations, and appoints a new FBI head and dozens of fire-breathing swamp-draining prosecutors who immediately start doling out orange jumpsuits. He could -- not saying that he would execute this "nuclear option" -- but he could lock up virtually the entire Congress on war crimes charges; Neocons for conspiracy to commit war crimes; Cheney, Addington, Yoo, and Bybee to the Hague for torture; Hillary and Obama for Libya.

Control of the DoJ is the key.

The next two weeks will show whether Trump is the real deal, or just another schlub.

[Mar 05, 2019] The Sad Story of Trump University by Michael Warren

Feb 26, 2016 | www.weeklystandard.com

In a recent issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, Matt Labash highlighted the sad story of Trump University, one of the Donald's biggest failures. Here's an excerpt:

But most egregious was Trump University, a purported real estate school that attracted the attention of New York's attorney general, who brought a $40 million suit on behalf of 5,000 people. The New York Times described Trump U as "a bait-and-switch scheme," with students lured "by free sessions, then offered packages ranging from $10,000 to $35,000 for sham courses that were supposed to teach them how to become successful real estate investors." Though Trump himself was largely absentee, one advertisement featured him proclaiming, "Just copy exactly what I've done and get rich." While some students were hoping to glean wisdom directly from the success oracle, there was no such luck. At one seminar, attendees were told they'd get to have their picture taken with Trump. Instead, they ended up getting snapped with his cardboard cutout. What must have been a crushing disappointment to aspiring real estate barons is a boon to Republican-primary metaphor hunters.

Read the whole article here , which documents Trump at his Trumpiest, from his penchant for cheating at golf to his sensitivity to being called a "short-fingered vulgarian."

Michael Warren is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard.

[Mar 05, 2019] Now the majority of the people do not believe anything coming from two major parties. The proper term is alienated. That's why Trump

Feb 12, 2017 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

libezkova -> Yikes... February 11, 2017 at 06:02 AM

No. the train left the station. Obama was a sellout who used to speak right things and did completely opposite to please his sponsors.

Now the majority of the people do not believe anything coming from two major parties. The proper term is alienated. That's why Trump.

libezkova -> sanjait... February 12, 2017 at 11:30 AM

The problem with your views is that there is no liberals in the USA per se. Most are in reality neoliberals and as such are the part of the right, if we define right as those who want to increase the power of capital vs. labor.

This flavor of democracy for top 1% the they promote (one dollar one vote) should be property called "oligarchy" or at best "polyarchy" (the power of the top 10%).

The rest (aka "Debt slaves") are second class citizens and are prevented from political self-organization, which by-and-large deprives them of any form of political participation. In best Roman tradition it is substituted with the participation in political shows ("Bread and circuses"). In a way US election is the ultimate form of "bait and switch" maneuvers of the ruling elite.

The two party system invented by the elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for neoliberal regimes, which practice what Sheldon Wolin called inverted totalitarism.

The latter is the regime in which all political power belongs to the financial oligarchy which rules via the deep state mechanisms, and where traditional political institutions including POTUS are downgraded to instruments of providing political legitimacy of the ruling elite. Population is discouraged from political activity. "Go shopping" as famously recommended Bush II to US citizens after 9/11.

[Mar 05, 2019] David Cay Johnston on the Crony Capitalism, and Part 2 on Plans for Funding For Your Old Age

Mar 05, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

David Cay Johnston on the Crony Capitalism, and Part 2 on Plans for Funding For Your Old Age

"A pension is not a 'gratuity.' A pension is wages you could have taken in cash, but prudently and conservatively set aside for your old age. It's your money. If your employer, for every pay period, does not set aside and designate it to go into a pension plan, your employer is stealing from you. The way to get this is to require pay stubs to itemize the amount of money that has been contributed to your pension plan."

David Cay Johnston

"Capitalism is at risk of failing today not because we are running out of innovations, or because markets are failing to inspire private actions, but because we've lost sight of the operational failings of unfettered gluttony. We are neglecting a torrent of market failures in infrastructure, finance, and the environment. We are turning our backs on a grotesque worsening of income inequality and willfully continuing to slash social benefits. We are destroying the Earth as if we are indeed the last generation."