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Two Party System as Polyarchy with Inner Party (intelligence agencies) playing the role of kingmaker

Version 2.6 (Nov  26, 2019)

The USA is a single party state -- it is governed by the Neoliberal party with two factions "soft neoliberals" (Democratic Party) and "hard neoliberals" (Republican Party). Existence of  "Pepsi" and "Coca-Cola" parties is enforced by "First after the post rule"   and is just a sophisticated variant of "divide and conquer" strategy and could have been used by the USSR leadership  instead of one party system. Intelligence agencies play important  role in selection of two candidate for Presidential elections, representing a third, "Inner Party" 

News American Polyarchy is not Democracy Recommended Books Recommended Links Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Russiagate -- the attempt to entrap Trump with Russia ties by CIA, FBI, MI6 and Clinton mafia Steele dossier Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0 Alexander Vindman
Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking Anti Trump Hysteria Adam Schiff Witch Hunt Nancy Pelosi impeachment gambit Was Eric Ciaramella a part of Obama/Brennan "Trump Task force" ? Blob attacks Trump: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate Brennan elections machinations Rigging the elections and money in US politics
US Presidential Elections of 2020 Tulsi Gabbard Elizabeth Warren Donald Trump Bernie Sanders: A turncoat socialist Creepy neocon Joe Biden and fleecing of Ukraine  Kamala Harris: The Wicked Witch of the American corporate feminism FBI Mayberry Machiavellians: CIA globalists dirty games against Sanders and Trump Bait and Switch
Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump Populism The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Andrew McCabe and his close circle of "fighters with organized crime" Strzok-gate Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition MSM as attack dogs of color revolution
Lesser evil trick of legitimizing neoliberal politicians in US elections Myth about intelligent voter November 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization1 American Polyarchy is not Democracy Nationalism as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living Blowback against neoliberal globalization Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Non-Interventionism as a political force Corporatism
Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking US anti war movement Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Corporatist Corruption Paleoconservatism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Libertarian Philosophy Pathological Russophobia of the US elite
Predator state Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders and blaming Vladimir Putin National Security State  American Exceptionalism Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Pluralism as a myth
Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Electoral College US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization US Presidential Elections of 2012 Mayberry Machiavellians Politically Incorrect Humor Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
"There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money. It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man."

-- Gore Vidal

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

-- Leonard Pinkney

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

-- Daniel Estulin

The only people truly bound by campaign promises are the voters who believe them.”

Christopher Hitchens, The Quotable Hitchens from Alcohol to Zionism: The Very Best of Christopher Hitchens  

 

Due to the side an introduction was moved to the separate page Polyarchy, Authoritarianism and Deep State

Summary

"Polyarchy is generally what British leaders mean
when they speak of promoting 'democracy' abroad.
This is a system in which a small group actually rules
and mass participation is confined to choosing
leaders in elections managed by competing elites

Mark Curtis

Polyarchy is distinct from oligarchy in sense that while few men (the elite) still selects candidates for the office (and in this sense population is deprived on any substantial choice)  there is a regular national elections which serve the purpose of  "approving" one of the preselected by the elite candidates (aka lesser evilism) providing a patina of legitimacy to the elite rule. So the main purpose of election is not an actual choce of candidate who reflects the wishes of the majority of population, but the legitimization of one of two already pre-selected candidates, both of whom in case of election will  pursue the policies beneficial only to the minority -- the oligarchy. According to Wikipedia:

According to William I. Robinson, it is a system where small group actually rules on behalf of capital, and majority’s decision making is confined to choosing among selective number of elites within tightly controlled elective process. It is a form of consensual domination made possible by the structural domination of the global capital which allowed concentration of political powers.[7]

... ... ...

In a discussion of contemporary British foreign policy, Mark Curtis stated that "Polyarchy is generally what British leaders mean when they speak of promoting 'democracy' abroad. This is a system in which a small group actually rules and mass participation is confined to choosing leaders in elections managed by competing elites."[11]

Also, it is being promoted by the transnational elites in the South as a different form from the authoritarianism and dictatorship to the North as a part of Democracy Promotion.[12] Robinson argues that this is to cultivate transnational elites who will open up their countries following transnational agenda of neoliberalism where transnational capital mobility and globalized circuits of production and distribution is established. For example, it was promoted to Nicaragua, Chile, Haiti, the Philippines, South Africa and the former Soviet Bloc countries.[13]

Oligarchs are rich person who got their fortune due to political connections or former position in government,  and then use their fortune to solidify their political influence.  And the first thing oligarchy controls is elections. The reason that the financial oligarchy who now is in power in the USA don’t want free elections and tries to suppress candidates preferred by population (like Bernie Sanders in 2016) is they know that if they had free election, the people would vote for candidates pledging to confiscate their property.

All countries are vulnerable to the hijacking of political power by  financial oligarchy and connected to them special interests groups trying to obtain monopoly profits and prevent competition. In the USA since 1980, the year neoliberalism won in the USA, financial oligarchy, associated with it the military industrial complex, including intelligence  agencies (which lately became a formidable political force; almost like a kingmaker), the medical-industrial complex, together exert enormous political power to suck out more and more of our national wealth.

The numbers have become incredible: over $1 trillion a year for “defense” and nearly 20 percent (over $3.5 trillion) of our gross national product spending for medical costs, more than twice the percentage of many advanced European nations. The record share of mostly parasitic financial industry in the national GDP is just an overt manifestation of the redistribution of wealth up under neoliberalism.  Total compensation of financial intermediaries (profits, wages, salary and bonuses) hit in 2018  $1.4 trillion. That's nine percent of National GDP instead of usual one to two percent in the past. Wall Street, for the last thirty years or so, has been skimming prodigiously from the top.   Phillipon calculates the excess income consumed by the finance sector totals 2 percent of GDP (Graph How the Financial Sector Consumed America’s Economic Growth):

All together, Phillipon calculates the excess income consumed by the finance sector totals 2 percent of GDP, “an annual misallocation of resources of about $280 billions for the U.S. alone.” If accurate, that figure suggests an extraordinary redistribution of the national wealth—from the pockets of the debtors and middle class investors who need it most, straight into the bank accounts of America’s financial elite.

I subscribe to Kantian idea of the dignity in human, the idea that everyone is entitled to survival as well as thriving beyond survival. But does everybody is entitled to equal participation in ruling of the state ?  No. Or in the election of state leaders? No way.  Many people just do not care to learn which program and which candidate corresponds better to their economic  and social needs and vote against  them based on prejusgies and incompetence (this phenomenon is called What's the matter with Kansas. )

The issue of incompetence of voters and their lemming like behaviour is a very important topic, which often is swiped under the rag. See

In reality the direct democracy means and as such it is limited to small groups. As group became bigger intermediary arise in a form of political parties and this is when direct democracy ends and The Iron Law of Oligarchy comes into play.  Because mass parties are natural breeding ground for the political elite which usurps political  power on behalf of financial oligarchy.  This is what the iron law of oligarchy is about. 

Existence of powerful intelligence agencies and associated with this term The Deep State puts another limitation for the expressing the will of the population during elections.  

Alexander Vindman testimony (and Vindman is one of most plausible sources of the lead of Trump transcript to the whistleblower) recently shed some very educational light on the "Deep State" phenomenon. He saw Trump’s entire Ukraine policy as insufficiently hardline and therefore unacceptable.  Automatically assuming that he is eligible to define the USA foreign policy as for Ukraine. Which is not true, as "apparatchik" a nameless bureaucrat in the basement,  he is obligated to implement the policy created by Trump, who as the elected leader of the nations is the highest authority in defining the the USA foreign policy

The key question that arise from his testimony is: "Is the democracy possible if powerful and out of control three letter agencies like CIA and NSA exist?"  Probably not as "deep state" sooner or later (usually sooner)  makes surface state just an instrument for providing legitimacy of deep state rule and hijacks all the decision-making.   In a way they are the "Inner Party" about which Orwell have written its famous dystopia 1984. This phenomenon is reflected in the very term the Deep State.  After 1954 the core of the deep state is intelligence agencies which became a political forces, king of Praetorian Guard, who is capable elects, blackmail (Epstein) and even kill the Presidents (look at the role of CIA in the JFK assassination) and members of Congress. Spy on them and block their initiatives (CIA behaviour in case of Congress investigating torture in Iraq) 

The CIA brass and bureaucratic careerists from other agencies (especially the State Department) are far from being merely obedient public servants dedicated to executing policies that elected officials and their high-level political appointees have adopted. Such operatives have their own policy preferences, and they are not shy about pushing them, nor do they hesitate to impede, undermine, or even sabotage policies they dislike.  They are a the Inner Party, a neocons warmongers party within the  each party of USA political duopoly. 

 The CIA brass and bureaucratic careerists from other agencies (especially the State Department) are far from being merely obedient public servants dedicated to executing policies that elected officials and their high-level political appointees have adopted. Such operatives have their own policy preferences, and they are not shy about pushing them, nor do they hesitate to impede, undermine, or even sabotage policies they dislike.  They are a hidden party, a neocons warmongers party within the USA political duopoly.  

As Ted Carpenter observed  in When the Deep State Bullied Reagan's Foreign Policy Chief   (The American Conservative, November 27, 2019):

The CIA’s sabotage was not confined to policy regarding Mozambique. Later that decade, during delicate negotiations to achieve a ceasefire and subsequent accord between Angola’s government and insurgent leader Jonas Savimbi, Shultz fumed that (emphasis added) “right-wing staffers from Congress, fueled by information from the CIA, were meddling—visiting Savimbi, trying to convince him that [Assistant Secretary of State Chester] Crocker and I would sell him out.”

Such behavior should debunk the notion that the CIA and other bureaucratic careerists are merely obedient public servants dedicated to executing policies that elected officials and their high-level political appointees have adopted. Such operatives have their own policy preferences, and they are not shy about pushing them, nor do they hesitate to impede or undermine policies they dislike.

Perhaps even more troubling, deep state personnel in the CIA, Pentagon, and State Department seem to have a distinct bias in favor of highly activist policies. CIA analysts and briefers regarded even the principal architect of the Reagan Doctrine as insufficiently committed in southern Africa. There is a noticeable parallel to the current bureaucratic opposition to Trump’s handling of Ukraine and Russia. The allegation that Trump has abandoned Kiev and pursues an appeasement policy toward Russia is absurd. His support for Kiev has actually been far more substantial than the approach the Obama administration adopted. Yet even that harder line is apparently not hard enough for establishment career diplomats and their allies.

Treating such saboteurs as heroic patriots is both obscene and dangerous. The honorable course for subordinates who disagree with a president’s policies is to resign and then express criticism. Adopting a termite strategy while working in a presidential administration is profoundly unethical. For Congress and the media to praise bureaucratic subversion is horridly myopic. The last thing defenders of a democratic republic should do is to encourage unelected—and in the case of the intelligence agencies, deeply secretive—bureaucrats to pursue their own rogue policy agendas.

 

President Truman probably did not fully understood what he is doing when he sighed  the National Security Act of 1947:  he signed a death sentence to the form of democracy that the USA was having up to 1950th.

As part of the U.S. Cold War strategy, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 and reorganized military forces by merging the Department of War and the Department of the Navy into the National Military Establishment (later the Department of Defense) and creating the U.S. Air Force. The act also created the CIA and the National Security Council.[135] In 1952, Truman secretly consolidated and empowered the cryptologic elements of the United States by creating the National Security Agency (NSA).

Since JFK assassination we can talk about the rule of the Deep State which is called "inverted totalitarism" (The term introduced by late Professor Sheldon Wolin)  as the form of government which  become entrenched on federal level (the related term if the "deep state"), while remnants of democracy are delegated to state and local levels. 

Growth of power of intelligence agencies inevitably makes them powerful political players. Huver at FBI and Allen Dulles at CIA were just the beginning. Nowhere the power of three letter agencies  was more clear then in 2016 Presidential elections, when by derailing Sanders FBI essentially ensure Trump win and then in cooperation of other agencies (and first of all CIA led by Brennan) launched a color revolution against Trump trying to depose him via Special Prosecutor mechanism.  That latter was don is cooperation with Vichy left -- Clinton wing of the Democratic party and controlled by neoliberals MSM, who correctly viewed Trump as a threat to the classic form of the neoliberal globalization.

Does  the "the first after the post" rule enforces two party system on the population ?

Another important question is "Does  the "the first after the post" rule enforces two party system on the population ?"

If yes does it explain a modified form of the Soviet one party state that exists in the USA in a form of two "Pepsi" vs. "Coca Cola"  parties which serve as a spoilers for those to the left or the right of the center, subverting and emasculating new social movements into their (currently neoliberal) stagnant and elite oriented framework. The effect is so profound that it created the impression that "first after the post" can't be used in any country pretending to be a democracy. 

There are also additional questions:

  1. Is existence  of military-industrial complex, and, especially, such part of MIC as huge and essentially uncontrolled intelligence agencies compatible with democracy? Ever since the inception of the Central Intelligence Agency America has been battling a force that exists with a written charter to undermine and undo ever single fundamental principle of representational democracy in America and elsewhere replacing it with an ugly cold-skinned "inverted totalitarism" covertly overseen by its CIA creators and their Wall Street and MIC sponsors.
  2. Does absence of limits of the term of senators subvert democracy ?  If so what should be the maximum term. Is "gerontocracy" in the US congress  represents positive, or highly negative force? Is role of money in elections forces senators to serve effectively as representatives of corporations which reside in the states, not the states themselves  ? 
  3. Is official lobbing including lobbying by organization which are clearly supported by a foreign  state such as AIPAC ? What is the actual level of influence of Israel on the US elected representatives?  Trump transformation from MAGA politician to MIGA politician represents here an interesting case lesson.
  4. Is "money as a free speech" principle compatible with democracy?  Or does it mean "one dollar-one vote" regime in which only the financial oligarchy dominates ordinary people and enforces political decisions that serves its interests.  Obama betrayal is a good case study here.

The fact that parties represent interests radically different from interests of their voters is not new.  As George Washington put it:

 "However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion." President George Washington Farewell Address | Saturday, September 17, 1796

Later the same idea was later coined as the "iron law of oligarchy". So on federal level in the USA neither republic, not democracy exists. We have highly militarized neoliberal empirical state with tiny remnants of participatory democracy (unless voting for the lesser evil of two preselected by the elite candidate can be viewed as a democracy).  But lesser evilism which is the essence of polyarchy is parody on democracy, not the  actual democracy. In this  case elections serve just for the legimization of the preselected  by the elite candidate. 

The role of intelligence agencies (including their control of MSM) deserve more close scrutiny after  2016 Presidential election (see Strzok-gate). They launched a "color revolution" against Trump after election. Before election, they derailed Sanders by exonerating Hillary thus enabling Trump's victory. So remnants of democracy probably still exists on local level, but not of the federal level, were the "Inner  Party" (aka the Deep State) completely dominates. Although even n local level financial oligarchy managed to spoil the broth -- on municipal level bankers who provide municipal loans usually fully control the politics.  That's why we have so many wasteful, hugely overprices and/or outright harmful for the people municipal projects.

In other word "democratic" elements in the neoliberal political system are just a facade for the dictatorship of financial oligarchy, and serve just for the  legitimization of its rule. Which is a pretty brutal one (The Saker - The Unz Review, Feb 23, 2018):

But first, full disclosure: I don’t have much faith in the so-called “democratic process”. Just look at the EU and tell me: do you really believe that the people in power represent the will and interests of the people who, supposedly, elected them? There are exceptions, of course, Switzerland is probably one of the comparatively most democratic countries out there, but mostly what we see is that western democracies are run by gangs of oligarchs and bureaucrats who have almost nothing in common with the people they are supposed to represent. As for the US, for decades now every time the people voted for “A” they always got “non-A” as a result. It is almost comical.

So here is my personal conclusion: democracies are political systems in which the real ruling elites hide behind an utterly fake appearance of people power. Putting it differently, the “democratic process” is the device by which the real and hidden rulers of the world (or “worldwide behind the scenes powers“, to use the expression of Ivan Il’in), legitimize their power and prevent their overthrow. This is the same technique followed by used car dealerships when they place tens, sometimes, hundreds of US flags on their lots before a car sale: it’s just a basic trick to induce the ‘correct’, patriotic, state of mind.

This is also the reason why there are elections every 4 years in the US: the more illegitimate and despotic any putatively “democratic” regime is, the more often it will organize elections to, so to speak, “increase the dose” of patriotically-induced stupor in its people and give them the illusion that the regime is legitimate, their opinion matters and all is well.

Finally, when needed, slogans such as “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others” are used to put to sleep those who might have doubts. In terms of real people power “democracies” are probably the least truly democratic regimes imaginable simply because they are by far the most capable of hiding who really runs the country and where their real centers of power are. Do I really need to add that the worst kind of “democracy” is the capitalist one? You disagree? Then why do you think that Mayer Amschel Rothschild allegedly declared “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!“? Nowhere is the concentration of capital easier to achieve than in a society which makes it possible for the real ruling class to hide its power behind a screen of electoral farces.

As Sheldon  Wolin put it, all we have under neoliberalism is inverted totalitarism and a nationally security state with modem equivalent of STASI level of total surveillance  instead of participative democracy.  Some elements  of participative democracy still remain (and Trump victory over Hillary had shown that  the control of financial oligarchy and intelligence agencies is not complete; unless we view Trump as Trojan force for financial oligarchy, a  fake opposition to establishment selected by dissident part of the elite,  like Obama was.)  After all it is undeniable that Trump executed similar to Obama "bait and switch" maneuver betraying his voters.  His tax cut, the level of jingoism, and the number of neocons in his administration (Haley, Bolton. Pompeo, Abrams) makes him undistinguishable from Bush II

The neoliberal elite firmly guards the levers of power and  try to eliminate any challenger before it represent a real political threat to the neoliberal social system. Even minor  threats are mercilessly squashed. Look at what  happened to Trump after election. A classic color  revolution to depose him was unleashed by intelligence agencies, first of all by  CIA (see Brennan elections machinations ) and FBI (see Andrew McCabe and his FIFA scandal proofed close circle of politicized "fighters with organized crime"  and Strzok-gate.)  There was quick coup to install the Special Prosecutor and after that Trump was essentially finished. Tax  cut for the rich and appointments of Bolton and Pompeo (and later Elliott Abrams, the key architect of the Iraq War, to manage Venezuela regime change) were clear signs of a  complete betrayal of his voters.  Truth be told Trump folded even before that in April 2017 (Parteigenosse Mueller was appointed by Rosenstein in May), if we assume that his election promises were sincere (big if) and were not a blatant attempt to con the voters (see Bait and Switch).  

Democracy for whom?

  Every empire is a dictatorship. No nation can be a democracy that’s either heading an empire, or a vassal-state of one. Obviously, in order to be a vassal-state within an empire, that nation is dictated-to by the nation of which it is a colony. The Force that is Ending Freedom – OffGuardian, Jun 10, 2019

Another important question is "democracy for whom?". There is always a large part of society (say bottom 80% or even 90%)  living under the dictatorship (for lower 50% this is even worse -- neo-slavery as  "debt slaves" or "wage slaves"), struggling to meet ends and thus excluded from the democratic process. Moreover,  most of the US population spend their life under authoritarian rule: those who are parts of the military, who work in large corporation, or government. How they can behave in a democratic way if they are conditioned and adapted to the strict authoritarian rule at work ?  

Another large question: can  a typical American understand whom he/she is voting for in the environment of pretty sophisticated propaganda and systematic betrayal of election promises (in this respect Trump is not different  from Barak Obama) as a political norm ("change we can believe in" )? 

Yet another one: can the country with powerful and almost uncontrolled intelligence agencies be a democracy?  And what about running a neoliberal empire? Is this compatible with the democracy?

Every empire is a dictatorship. No nation can be a democracy that’s either heading an empire, or a vassal-state of one. Obviously, in order to be a vassal-state within an empire, that nation is dictated-to by the nation of which it is a colony. The Force that is Ending Freedom – OffGuardian, Jun 10, 2019

Add to this such an important factor as brainwashed population ready to vote against their economic interests and for indefinite and costly wars for the expansion of the global neoliberal empire led by the USA. For example,  despicable warmonger, war criminal (with destruction of Libya and  Syria under  the belt), staunch neoliberal Hillary Clinton got almost half of the US voted in 2016 elections.  Is not this quite sinister development ? Despite clear signs of the deep systemic crisis of neoliberalism in the USA and closely related process of de-legitimization of neoliberal elite (look what percentage of the Americans who trust Congress)  all she wanted is to kick the neoliberal can down the road. And still almost half of the country voted for her.

Also there is no rules that the candidate can not betray all his election time promises. Any level of betrayal is OK, as parties in reality do not control the  behaviour of their leaders as long as they remain on neoliberal platform. Recent example of Clinton, Bush II, Obama and Trump are clear demonstration of the gap between election platform and actual governance. 

In case of Trump and Obama this was a complete betrayal. In a way Trump is a Republican Obama -- a person with almost zero political experience  who due to the lack of personal political history during elections was able to pretend to be the politician similar to Franklin Delano Roosevelt -- the betrayer of his class -- while he clearly is not. He proved to be yet another marionette of MIC and Israel lobby. Much like Barak was marionette of CIA; just look at "very close" and pretty unusual relations  between him and Brennan) as well as Brannan role in color revolution against  Trump

What is the level of interest  of average middle class American in real information about Washington  political machinery and neoliberal social system

Poor people are automatically excluded from politics. most of their energy needs to be  spend on task related to mere survival and desperate attempt to spread their meager paycheck to the next without falling into the laps of loan sharks.

Middle class can afford attempts to analyze the political situation and personal efforts to understand the political system in which they live. And because of that can  have informed political opinion. Theoretically. In reality there also many obstacles here.  And neoliberal state put huge efforts into destructing people from analyzing the political situation in the country by bread and circuses shows.

Another  fundamental obstacle is so called The iron law of oligarchy.  Yet another, equally powerful, is the existence of the deep state.

First of all let me ask a simple question: What is the level of interest  in governance of an average middle class American (lower class with McJobs most of the time is too preoccupied with survival to be able to particulate in political activity), if they are brainwashed 24 x 7 by neoliberal propaganda  which tries to distract them from discussing and understanding any serious issue facing the USA. 

Also  the middle class in not uniform. There is substantial caste of Americans deeply connected with the imperial state (servants of the empire so to speak) and they also represent  a political force with interests different form the average middle class American. There are roughly three contractors (28,626) for every U.S. army member (9,800) in Afghanistan. On April 5, Adm. Michael Rogers, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, declared during a Senate hearing that contractors made up 25 percent of his workforce (Foreign Policy). They have their own opinion and interest in such issues as permanent war for permanent peace.  And without draft this issue does not touch too deeply ordinary middle class American, who do not need to fight and die for the empire.

The second  factor is constant brainwashing be neoliberal MSM. Unless a person make a conscious effort to exclude them and rely of alternative media he/she can't form any informed political opinion.  You will almost never even her the  term "neoliberalism" in neoliberal MSM like NYT or WaPo or CNN or MSNBC. This is a taboo.  But you will hear a lot about "evil Russians" or "evil Chinese" which is a perfect distraction, a smoke screen, designed to hide the real problems facing the US society after 40 years of dominance of neoliberalism as a social system.

My impression is that the Communist Party of the USSR made a grave mistake by not adopting "the first after the post" election system :-). In reality it would just legitimize the permanent Communist Party rule, as two factions of the CPSU competing for power (let's call them "Democratic Communists" and "Republican Communists") would exclude any real challenge for the one party rule that was practiced in the USSR even more efficiently that so called "one party" system. Which, while providing the same results,  looks more undemocratic then "first after the post" system, and thus  less safe for the rule of oligarchy as it generates resentment of the population.  

The "first after the post" system "by design" provides a very effective suppression of any third party, preventing any chance of maturing such a political force.  Emerging parties are cooped either under Democratic or Republic umbrella and then emasculated.  This mechanism is no less effective the Soviet one party rule, but more subtle, requires less violence and suppression of dissidents, and more acceptable to the population. Which is all what is needed to continuation of the rule of the oligarchy.  The same is true for the parties themselves. Iron law of oligarchy was actually discovered by observing the evolution of the political party leadership.

Revolutionary situation in the USA after 2008 is connected with discreditation of neoliberal ideology

The situation when the current (neoliberal) ruling elite (or in less politically correct term financial oligarchy) experienced difficulties with the continuation of its rule and the existing methods of suppression and indoctrination of the lower part population stop working is called  "revolutionary situation". 

In 2008 the protest was squashed by electing "Trojan horse" Obama, who proved to be the king of "bait and switch" maneuver. Some signs of the return of this situation were observable in the USA in 2016 which led to the election of what  a person who like Obama pretended  essentially to be an independent candidate slightly (at least formally) opposing the most negative effects of neoliberalism on population (anti-globalization stance, accent of creation jobs within the USA, etc) -- Donald Trump. 

Who later proved to be Republican version of Obama. Not without help of "deep state" which launched unprotected and well coordinated company of leaks and 24 x 7 negative news to discredit his personality and administration. Going as far as in a very elegant really Machiavellian way  using fake accusations ("Russiagate) appointing a special prosecutor using Obama/Hillary supporters in the Judicial department (effectively coup d'état as special procedure is big burden which effectively paralyses any administration and Clinton presidency had shown). And when it did not work, they tried to accuse him of being racist (using  1 Charlottesville events) or even insane person. Looks like for Trump, even if he has some intention to implement anti-neoliberal measures -- the resistance proved to be way too strong and such intension did not last even half a year.  Bombing Syria army air field with Tomahawks was an early signal of surrender.  Removing Bannon, and adding troops to Afghan war make this turn around and betrayal of Trump voters in best Obama style virtual certainty.

It was clear that there is a widespread feeling among the majority of the US population now that the current neoliberal system of governance, installed by victorious neoliberals after 1980, is wrong and unjust. And when the people do not wouldn't like to live under the current system, and the ruling oligarchy can't continue to rule using the same methods and its brainwashing/propaganda does not work anymore " a revolutionary situation, a rare moment when "the change we can believe in" becomes possible arise. Not the con that the king of "bait and switch" maneuver Obama sold to the US lemmings in 2008 and then in 2012, but the "real" change; which can be for the good or bad. Stability of the society also has its great value. As Chinese curse state it succinctly "May you live in interesting times".

In such cases, the ruling elite typically decides to unleash a foreign war and use "rally around the flag" effect  to suppress dissent and to restore the control (that's the real meaning of Samuel Johnson quote "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"). But in this particular case the USA already is in engaged in several wars (or occupations), so the nostalgia for good time what the USSR existed proved to be irresistible. And the pitch level of anti-Russian propaganda in 2016-2017 in neoliberal MSM (the return of McCarthyism of neo-McCarthyism )  suggest that a large part of the US elite decided to "waive a dead chicken" (actually it was Hillary who made Russophobia a part of her election campaign, effectively unleashing a new neo-McCarthyism campaign in the USA).  As John Kenneth Galbraith noted “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.

People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.” --  John Kenneth Galbraith

In 2016 we saw an attempt by oligarchy to rig the elections despite growing populism, at all cost. Throwing  Sanders under the bus represented exactly this maneuver.  The were not stopped even by the fact that they are promoting a deeply criminal and candidate with serious health problems ("We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality") The level of propaganda displayed in 2015-2016 election cycle by neoliberal MSM might well outdo the levels achieved by communist propagandists in during best days of the USSR.  And that happened because this time there is a slight chance that the election are not about choosing "soft neoliberal" vs. "hard neoliberal" but "soft neoliberal"  vs. (at least partially) "paleoconservative" (or "bustard neoliberal" ;-) who during election campaign rejects the idea of neoliberal globalization and by extension the necessity of fighting constant wars for the expansion of the US led global neoliberal empire.   But later quickly recognized that this heresy is not acceptable in the corridors of Washington deep state and can be harmful for his health ;-). The hissy fit in neoliberal media and the emergence of certain figures from the intelligence agencies on an "avanscena" as the leaders of "color revolution" against Trump (so called "Purple revolution") were to be expected but  caught Trump absolutely unprepared.

There is also an interesting question what kind of democracy the competition  of "Democratic Neoliberals" ("soft neoliberal/closet neocons) and "Republican Neoliberals: ("hard core" neoliberal/open neocons) in the USA demonstrates. And not only "democracy for whom" -- it is clear that this is the democracy for the top 1% or, at best, top 20% of population. a more interesting observation is that  as Trump election has shown, neoliberals like Bolsheviks in the past are ready to go to extreme methods including coup d'état to preserve their power, the democracy be damned.  

Also interesting were the methods of indoctrination of population which were borrowed by the USA neoliberals from the Soviet experience, which  were practiced from 1980th.  They use university course in economics in the same (or more correctly slightly more subtle; using mathematics as smoke screen for indoctrination into neoliberal ideology)  way Soviet universities use the course of philosophy. In the USSR the courses of philosophy and political economy were obligatory for all university students and people did read both Marx and Lenin; but there were problem with indoctrination as Soviet society did not correspond to Marx expectations  -- as Marx famously said he was not a Marxist.  The same to a certain extent is true for Lenin, who was essentially a bridge between Marxism and national socialism.  This problem was solved by carefully pre-selecting "classics" works to only a small "legitimate" emasculated subset that was in like with Bolshevism.  Neoclassical economy in the USA plays exactly the same role and is even worse. At least with some effort Soviet  student can get all the  works of Marx and Lenin. Here, in the USA, chances to read Keynes and other "deviant" economists for university students are virtually zero. They are completely distracted from fundamental issues by high doze of mathematics (misused and abused -- called mathiness). Which  is used as smoke  screen which hide the poverty of ideas of neo-classical economy.

But deteriorating economy and stagnation does make neoliberal propaganda less effective.  Like people of the USSR were listening to BBC and Voice of America at night, despite jamming, thinking people in the  USA are resort of alternative sources of news or even, God forbid, visit "naked capitalism", RT, or other "disapproved" by  neoliberal propagandists sites. Even thoroughly brainwashed the USA population, who like member of high demand cult now internalized postulates of neoliberalism like dogmas of some civil religion (displacing Christianity, so much about fake myth the USA is Christian nation; it is not) , started to have doubts.  Alternative sources of information in 2016-2017 started to play such and outside role that the company about "fake news" was launched to suppress them. They did not stop people from reading, say, Guardian, RT, unz.com, American conservative, Asia Times, to name a few.

But still the general level  political education of US votes leave much to be desired and is probably as low if not lower that it was in the USSR (due to obsessive emphasis on the works of Marx and Lenin soviet voters with university education usually have strong doubt about soviet system ). Let's honestly ask yourselves  what percentage of US voters can list key proposition of paleoconservative political platform vs. neoliberal platform. Or define what the term "neoliberal" means. It is difficult also because the terms "neoliberalism" and "Paleoconservatism" are expunged from MSM. Like Trotsky writings were in the USSR. Assuming that this might well be the key difference between two frontrunner in the last Presidential race, this is really unfortunate.

The myth about intelligent voters

That means the hypothesis that majority of voters under "popular democracy" regime (where all citizens have a right to vote) understand what they are voting for ("informed voters" hypothesis)  is open to review (see Myth about intelligent voter).  Otherwise identity politics would not be so successful in the USA, despite being a primitive variation of classic "divide and conquer" strategy. In any democracy, how can voters make an important decision unless they are well informed?  But what percentage of US votes can be considered well informed?  And taking into account popularity of Fox News what percentage is brainwashed or do not what to think about the issues involved and operate based on emotions and prejudices? And when serious discussion of issues that nation faces are deliberately and systematically replaced by "infotainment" voters became just pawns in the game of factions of elite, which sometimes leaks information to sway public opinion, but do it very selectively. All MSM represent the views of large corporations which own them. No exception are allowed. Important information is suppressed or swiped under the carpet to fifth page in NYT to prevent any meaningful discussion. For example, ask several of your friends if they ever heard about Damascus, AR.

In any case one amazing fact happened during this election: republican voters abandoned Republican brass and flocked to Trump, while Democratic voters abandoned Democratic neoliberals and flocked to Sanders (although DNC managed to fix primaries, and then engaged in anti-Russian hysteria to hide this criminal fact).  See Trump vs. The REAL Nuts for an informed discussion of this phenomenon.

Mr. Trump’s great historical role was to reveal to the Republican Party what half of its own base really thinks about the big issues. The party’s leaders didn’t know! They were shocked, so much that they indulged in sheer denial and made believe it wasn’t happening.

The party’s leaders accept more or less open borders and like big trade deals. Half the base does not! It is longtime GOP doctrine to cut entitlement spending. Half the base doesn’t want to, not right now! Republican leaders have what might be called assertive foreign-policy impulses. When Mr. Trump insulted George W. Bush and nation-building and said he’d opposed the Iraq invasion, the crowds, taking him at his word, cheered. He was, as they say, declaring that he didn’t want to invade the world and invite the world. Not only did half the base cheer him, at least half the remaining half joined in when the primaries ended.

But at the same time the struggle for political equality which is often associative with the word "democracy" is a vital human struggle, even if democracy itself is an unachievable and unrealistic ideal (see The Iron Law of Oligarchy).  In some sense too much talk about Democracy is very suspect and just characterize the speaker as a hypocrite with probably evil intentions, who probably is trying to mask some pretty insidious plans with "democracy promotion" smokescreen.

The same is true for countries.  Especially for those which use  "export of democracy" efforts to mask their imperial ambitions. As in the efforts to expand and sustain the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  See color revolutions for details.  Actually that makes the USA very similar the USSR with its leaders dream about global Communist empire led from Moscow. Both in the USA and the USSR there was too much talk about democracy, while actually practice was decidedly undemocratic. It was oligarchic rule in both cases. In the USA the situation is further complicated by amazing level of brainwashing of population via MSM, which definitely exceed the level achieved by nomenklatura in Soviet Union outside of "Stalinism" period.  Can you imagine the situation in the USSR when members of the ruling communist party were prohibited to show their affiliation with the Communist Party and the words "communist" and "communism" was "discouraged" and their usage is suppressed  in MSM including leading newspapers Pravda and Izvestia (roughly analogical to WaPo and NYT).   That's the situation we have in the USA now.

The term "neoliberalism" is effectively prohibited from usage in major US MSM and all political discussion is forcefully turned into "infotainment" -- the clash of  personalizes. In other words discussion of key issues facing the country (politics in real sense of this word)  was replaced under neoliberal regime by "infotainment" with slick and often psychically beautiful "presstitutes" instead of political analysts.   But like was the case in the USSR neoliberal brainwashing gradually lost its effectiveness because it contradicts the reality. and neoliberalism failed to deliver promises of "rising tide lifting all board", or trickle down economy which justified tremendous enrichment of top 0.1%.

Neoliberalism divides the society in two classes like in old, good Marxism

Politically neoliberalism. like Marxism in the past, operates with the same two classes: "entrepreneurs" (modern name for capitalists and financial oligarchy) and debt slaves (proletarians under Marxism) who work for them. Under neoliberalism only former considered first class citizens ("one dollar -- one vote"). Debt slaves are second class of 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") See Empire of Illusion The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle by Chris Hedges.  In this sense the role of the election is not election of the candidate of people want but legitimizing the candidate the oligarchy pre-selected. . They  helps to provide legitimacy for 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.

But at the same time the struggle for political equality which is often associative with the word "democracy" is a vital human struggle, even if democracy itself is an unachievable and unrealistic ideal (see The Iron Law of Oligarchy).  In some sense too much talk about Democracy is very suspect and just characterize the speaker as a hypocrite with probably evil intentions, who probably is trying to mask some pretty insidious plans with "democracy promotion" smokescreen. The same is true for countries.  Especially for those which use  "export of democracy" efforts to mask their pretty much imperial ambitions. The efforts to expand and sustain the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  See color revolutions for details.  Actually that makes the USA very similar the USSR with its leaders dream about global Communist empire led from Moscow. Both in the USA and the USSR there was too much talk about democracy, while actually practice was decidedly undemocratic. It was oligarchic rule in both cases. In the USA the situation is further complicated by amazing level of brainwashing of population via MSM, which definitely exceed the level achieve by nomenklatura in Soviet Union. Can you imagine the situation in the USSR when members of the ruling communist party were prohibited to show their affiliation and the words "communist" and "communism" was "discouraged" and their usage is suppressed  in MSM including leading newspapers Pravda and Izvestia (roughly analogical to WaPo and NYT).   That's the situation we have in the USA now.

Corporation as the role model for government under neoliberalism excludes the possibility of democracy

Everything should be organized like corporation under neoliberalism, including government, medicine, education, even military. And everybody is not a citizen but a shareholder  (or more correctly stakeholder), so any conflict should be resolved via discussion of the main stakeholders. Naturally lower 99% are not among them.

The great propaganda mantra of neoliberal governance is "wealth maximization". Which proved to be very seductive for society as a whole in reality is applied very selectively and never to the bottom 60% or 80%, or eve 99% of population.  In essence, it means a form of welfare economics for financial oligarchy while at the same time a useful smokescreen for keeping debt-slaves obedient by removing any remnants of job security mechanisms that were instituted during the New Deal. As the great American jurist and Supreme Court associate justice Louis Brandeis once said: “We can have huge wealth in the hands of a relatively few people or we can have a democracy. But we can’t have both.”

As under neoliberalism extreme wealth is the goal of the social system, there can be no democracy under neoliberalism. And this mean that pretentions of the USA elite that the USA is a bastion of democracy is plain vanilla British ruling elite style hypocrisy.  Brutal suppression of any move to challenge dominance of financial oligarchy (even such feeble as Occupy movement)  shows that all too well.

Like in case of communist regimes before, under neoliberalism we now face a regime completely opposite to democracy: we have complete, forceful atomization of public, acute suppression of any countervailing political forces (similar to the suppression of dissidents in the USSR in its effectiveness and brutality, but done in "velvet gloves" without resort to physical violence). That includes decimation of  labor unions and other forms of self-organization for the lower 80%, or even 99% of population.  Neoliberalism tries to present any individual, any citizen, as a market actor within some abstract market (everything is the market under neoliberalism). Instead of fight for political  and economic equality neoliberalism provides a slick slogan of "wealth maximization" which is in essence a "bait and switch" for redistribution of wealth up to the top 1% (which is the stated goal of neoliberalism aka "casino capitalism"). It was working in tandem with "shareholder value" mantra which is a disguise of looting of the corporations to enrich its top brass via outsize bonuses (IBM is a nice example where such an approach leads) and sending thousands of white-collar workers to the street. Previously it was mainly blue-collar workers that were affected. Times changed. 

The difference between democrats and republicans as (at least partially) the difference in the level of authoritarianism of two factions of the same "Grand neoliberal Party of the USA"

Both Democratic Party and Republican arty in the USA are neoliberal parties. So effectively we have one-party system skillfully masked as duopoly ;-). Communists could use the same trick, by having the part Socialist internationalists worker-peasants party of the USSR and Democratic internationalists peasant-worker party of the USSR, with leaders wet kissing each other behind the curtain as is the case in the USA. In the USA we have Cola/Pepsi duopoly that is sold as the shining example of democracy, although just the rule "the first after the post" prevents democracy from functioning as it eliminates minorities from governance. 

Political atmosphere at the USA since Reagan, when Republican drifted right and Democrats were bought by Wall Street really reminds me the USSR.  But still those parties reflect two different strata of the US population, which according to Marc J. Hetherington and Jonathan D. Weiler book Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics in the level of authoritarianism (for example, as measured by F-scale.). Many Republican politicians can be classified as Double High Authoritarians.

If we assume that this is true, the large part of "verge issues" that so skillfully played in each election, and using which allow the elite to avoid addressing any fundamental issues facing the nation, such as race, gay marriage, illegal immigration, and the use of force to resolve security problems -- reflect differences in individuals' levels of authoritarianism. This makes authoritarianism an especially compelling explanation of contemporary American politics.

Events and strategic political decisions have conspired to make all these considerations more salient. While the authors acknowledge that authoritarianism is not the only factor determining how people vote, it does offer a an important perspective : a large part (at least white Americans) flock to the particular party based on proximity to their own level authoritarianism and corresponding worldview of the party.  In other words  the percentage of authoritarian/non-authoritarian personality in the population allow to predict, at least in part,  voting behavior of the USA "white block" electorate.

Can the republic survive under Trump ?

Mu impression is that it too late to worry about the survival of the republic under Trump. Republic was lost long ago. According to Sheldon Wolin we live in a neoliberal empire at least since Bush II administration and even since  Reagan.  Essentially the collapse of the USSR was the death  sentence to the republic and at this point transformation of it into empire was quick and irreversible as there were no longer countervailing forces to slow down  this process.  Which is not a completely bad thing for citizens in the USA, unless it collapses like all empires. Which might happen when gas reaches $11 per gallon (in way this is petro-empire) or some other calamity. Sheldon Wolin (which book I strongly recommend to re-read) called this imperial social system that  emerged "inverted totalitarism". So Trump was elected way too late to participate in the destruction of the American republic. At best Trump put the final nail in the coffin of the American republic. Kind of parody on Julius Caesar:
During his early career, Caesar had seen how chaotic and dysfunctional the Roman Republic had become. The republican machinery had broken down under the weight of imperialism, the central government had become powerless, the provinces had been transformed into independent principalities under the absolute control of their governors, and the army had replaced the constitution as the means of accomplishing political goals. With a weak central government, political corruption had spiraled out of control, and the status quo had been maintained by a corrupt aristocracy, which saw no need to change a system that had made its members rich...
But the deep state was in ascendance since Truman (who can be viewed as the father of national security state). So dismounting of the republic was a long continues process with temporary reversal after Church commission, when the power of intelligence agencies were temporary curtailed and they were put under more close control of Senate and House. But later a new "neoliberal" deep state  emerged under Reagan and those gains were reversed.  I personally view Trump as a Bush III.  But resilience of US political system might prevent  the worst outcome -- a war with Russia or China. 

I would prefer if Sanders were elected. But FBI pushed him under the bus by exonerating Hillary. I think the USA now badly need a "New New Deal", not some crazy "Christian capitalism" that Bannon professed under the flag of "economic nationalism" (see Bannonism).  But the question is: "What social forces will support it ?" I see no strong social forces able to take on entrenched "corporatism" -- a merger of  Wall Street and MIC interests and corresponding economic power.  Add to this Silicon valley and unprecedented capability of surveillance.  In the absence of alternatives, the crisis of neoliberalism became  a chronic one.

Russiagate as a sign of the crisis of neoliberal empire

In this sense the "Russiagate" campaign might be interpreted as an attempt of the neoliberal elite to rally people around the flag and hide Hillary political fiasco due to the crisis of neoliberalism. The later led to the surprise victory of Trump, because the voters rejected establishment candidate.  Also as for the level of warmongering Hillary probably is close or surpass Trump.   So in a way  the US voters were put by FBI between Scylla and Charybdis.   Of course,  Russians are not saints and they are an obstacle on the path to global US led neoliberal empire, but still I think that the whole thing is overdone.

A  good (IMHO) overview of our current political can be found in London review of books. See What We Don t Talk about When We Talk about Russian Hacking by Jackson Lears

American politics have rarely presented a more disheartening spectacle. The repellent and dangerous antics of Donald Trump are troubling enough, but so is the Democratic Party leadership’s failure to take in the significance of the 2016 election campaign. Bernie Sanders’s challenge to Hillary Clinton, combined with Trump’s triumph, revealed the breadth of popular anger at politics as usual – the blend of neoliberal domestic policy and interventionist foreign policy that constitutes consensus in Washington. Neoliberals celebrate market utility as the sole criterion of worth; interventionists exalt military adventure abroad as a means of fighting evil in order to secure global progress. Both agendas have proved calamitous for most Americans. Many registered their disaffection in 2016. Sanders is a social democrat and Trump a demagogic mountebank, but their campaigns underscored a widespread repudiation of the Washington consensus.
Of course,  for correct framework we need to refer to classic Sheldon Wolin book. As he pointed out merge of corporate power with the ascendance of the "deep state" and technological progress proved to be an unstoppable factor that doomed the New Deal. Also defeated financial sector borrowed Bolsheviks methods and created "professional counter-revolutionaries" via think tanks, subservient press, etc. Milton Friedman Chicago school and Monte Perelin society were probably the most famous promoters of neoliberalism.  See also The Quiet Coup - Simon Johnson - The Atlantic
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[Dec 10, 2019] Nation reporter to Tucker: Strange to see media pretending Ukraine meddling didn t happen

Dec 05, 2019 | www.foxnews.com

'The Nation' contributor Aaron Maté tells 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' host Tucker Carlson that pundits attacking Sen. John Kennedy are ignoring facts

It's "strange to see" mainstream media pretending Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 presidential election didn't happen, The Nation contributor Aaron Maté said Wednesday.

Appearing on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Maté said Ukraine's efforts to tamper in the election are "no secret."

"Ukrainian officials -- they leaked information that exposed some apparent corruption by Paul Manafort and it was consequential. It led to Paul Manafort's resignation from the Trump campaign," he said. "And, the stated intent of Ukrainian officials was to weaken the Trump campaign because they wanted to help elect Hillary Clinton ."

TRUMP RIPS 'SLEEPY EYES CHUCK TODD' FOLLOWING FIERY INTERVIEW WITH SEN. KENNEDY: 'MEET THE DEPRESSED!'

Yet, when Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., told "Meet The Press" host Chuck Todd Sunday that reports from various media outlets indicated that former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko favored Clinton over now-President Trump, Todd accused him of parroting Russian President Vladimir Putin's talking points.

"Are you at all concerned that you've been duped?" Todd asked.

"No, just read the articles," said Kennedy.

Video

On the same network, anchor Nicolle Wallace and her guest The Bulwark Editor-at-Large Charlie Sykes echoed Todd, agreeing that Kennedy "comes off as an addled Russian asset on television" after "peddling Vladimir Putin's talking points."

"I don't understand the proactive work on behalf of Putin's Kremlin," said Wallace.

Maté told Carlson that what these pundits are trying to do is "conflate that with a different theory by Ukrainian meddling. Which is not proven -- it's true."

"And, that is the one that Trump tried to put forward in this phone call with Zelenksy where he appears to be saying that it wasn't Russia that was behind the hacking of the DNC and that it might have been Ukraine," he continued.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

"It's true there's no evidence for that theory, and it's fair enough to point out that. But. what's also ironic here is that the people who are indignant about that claim by Trump are accepting the claim that Russia hacked the DNC," Maté stated, adding that journalists should be demanding to see the underlying evidence used by U.S. intelligence to draw that conclusion.

Carlson said the mainstream media now accuses anyone who questions their narrative of being a "traitor to the country" and supporting Russia. Julia Musto is a reporter for Foxnews.com

[Dec 10, 2019] Tucker: Media proclaims FBI is innocent

So CIA agent Carter Page joins Trump campaign and then do several "improper" moves like travel to Moscow and contracts with Russian officials things in order to create a pretext for FBI investigation. Which of course was promptly started. This is called false flag operation.
From comments: "He wasn’t a victim, he was an asset. When actors portray a victim, they are ACTING!!!"
Notable quotes:
"... "The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses". - the esteemed Malcolm X. ..."
"... Seth Rich downloaded the emails on a potable drive. Was he Russian? ..."
"... DNC/ FBI/ CIA/ CNN/ NBC have merged into the 5 headed serpent. ..."
"... Roger Stone got some minor facts wrong and is facing jail time, Brennan and Comey outright lied to Congress, when are they going to jail? ..."
"... "June 2017, CIA told FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith that Carter Page was working for them (the CIA)." Clinesmith then changed that notification so he could submit the last (FISA) renewal. ..."
"... "Lets hope Carter Page spends the rest of his life sueing everyone..." lol Thats the meanest thing ive ever heard you say! O:) ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Greg Wootton , 4 hours ago

John Brennan lied to Congress, why is he not behind bars?

der Jakob 🇺🇸 , 5 hours ago

Falsifying documents is a crime

Robin John , 5 hours ago

I will believe the swamp is draining when the arrests begin.

Electric Eclectic , 5 hours ago

There are so many crooked actors and actresses hired by the MSM it is just pathetic. They are not reporters, they are there only to put on a show for the masses.

Christopher , 5 hours ago

"The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses". - the esteemed Malcolm X.

Patton Was Right , 5 hours ago

"WE DEFEATED THE WRONG ENEMY!" Now we are paying the price

2legit B , 5 hours ago

Seth Rich downloaded the emails on a potable drive. Was he Russian?

LB Helms , 4 hours ago

DNC/ FBI/ CIA/ CNN/ NBC have merged into the 5 headed serpent.

Mr.762 , 4 hours ago

The FBI and CIA need to be dismantled!

Silly Goose , 5 hours ago

Roger Stone got some minor facts wrong and is facing jail time, Brennan and Comey outright lied to Congress, when are they going to jail?

reminaya , 4 hours ago

"June 2017, CIA told FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith that Carter Page was working for them (the CIA)." Clinesmith then changed that notification so he could submit the last (FISA) renewal.

Theta Kongpancake , 4 hours ago

5:55 - "Lets hope Carter Page spends the rest of his life sueing everyone..." lol Thats the meanest thing ive ever heard you say! O:)

Christopher Wojciechowski , 2 hours ago

The FBI was never innocent. They're guilty as hell and heads need to roll over.


Blue -eyed , 2 hours ago

Allowing ONE person to decide if crimes where done by the most powerful people in america for decades. Horowitz was bought one way or another.

Joe Montano , 4 hours ago

1:52 - This is what a paid shill looks like. If the money is good, they'll read whatever is on the prompter. Years from now when they're demonized by the corrupt media they'll scratch their head and ask... What happened to integrity in our country???

lrm21 , 46 minutes ago

High crimes and misdemeanors. Where is John Brennan?

P MA , 2 hours ago

If you asked me 20 years ago wether I would be watching Fox News to get the most rational point of view in politics, I would have said you were crazy. Another great job Tucker! In my opinion, you’re one of the best news men of our current time; questioning needless wars, and calling out politicians, gvmnt officials and your counterparts at other news desks with rational arguments. Well done sir!

ita-glo jgv , 41 minutes ago

Personally seen these types of things/cases in lower levels, police chiefs and officials, judges, prosecutors, mayor, FBI, and so on. Not surprisingly it happens elsewhere. ...But very disappointed of it all.

cat nerp , 4 hours ago

Politics is like religion. Facts mean very little before the over powering light of belief

TaggsR85 , 1 hour ago

How does Horowitz believe this wasn’t politically motivated? What was the motivation to lie to surveillance to be put on carter page?

VAMPYRE ANGELUS , 4 hours ago

fbi is the mafia with badges..

Bruce Lee , 4 hours ago

The FBI has too much power. It’s not about a few bad apples, it’s what can happen with a few bad apples.

Duncan McCockiner , 33 minutes ago

If I were an American citizen, I'd be very concerned about the utter incompetence of the FBI that the IG report exposed. The dems don't seem to be bothered by this at all. Go figure.

Patrick Ryan , 1 hour ago

The Establishment has played this game many times before .. remember PM Harold Wilson was put up as a Russian Agent .. sure they won that game but NOT this time .. they fear President Trump because the have nothing over him .

Richard Ralph Roehl , 5 hours ago

NOTHING will happen. There will be no indictments of any major deep-$tate players.

tamimerkaz , 2 hours ago

The Democ-rats and the media (I repeat myself) are shamelessly LYING through their teeth to the American People. There was NO Russian collision—it's a HOAX made by LOSERS who can't accept their loss in 2016 so they were up to smear the winner, President Trump, by all means, possible including Illegal surveillance, fraud and manipulation—ABUSE of government power for political prosecution.

Cherrie Dee , 5 hours ago

Steele dossier......fake evidence bought and payed for by the democrats and presented to the FISA court by James Comey...........FELONY FELONY FELONY!......this one can’t be talked away!

Scott Thompson , 4 hours ago

Tucker, thank you for being a constant drumbeat for the criminal activity undertaken by the FBI and CIA to ultimately unseat a duly elected President. No rest until they are held accountable.

Aisha Mohammed , 52 minutes ago

How could the FBI be innocent? We saw the emails. We saw them cover up for Bill Gates, Clinton, Epstein, Brunel, and all the others. We saw how they protected these abusers of children. We saw how they worked to overthrow a sitting president. We saw how they protected the Awan’s and Huma.

BC Stud , 4 hours ago

THE FIX WAS IN - People are saying that Nellie Orr the Russian Expert is best friends with the IG's Horowitz wife - So nice - Bruce your husband is a lap dog and works for the FBI . People should be outraged as the cover up continues . Just like OJ - they have 10 times the evidence that would convict anyone else - have them charged , arrested , tried and jailed . Different rules for corrupt politicians and their friends in law enforcement .

2 Cent , 5 hours ago

Michael Cohen In prison, Papadopulos went to prison, Flynn is going to prison, Roger Stone is going to prison, Manafort is in prison and Devin Nunes and Rudy Giuliani are under investigation.....Lock them up, lock them up!!!!

Jessica Greene , 4 hours ago

CIA tells FBI who in turn uses their corrupt media to spread the lies as truth. The less intelligent among us believe them as gospel and thus we get "Russian Collusion, or Quid Pro Quo, or Iraq has weapons of mass destruction " and on and on.....

Susan Byers , 2 hours ago

Carter Page is scarcely a victim, he was a CIA informant. He was a plant. He was an excuse to do surveillance EVERYONE.

Jennifer Griffin , 2 hours ago

Ukraine and Barisma may be corrupt, but after reading the summary of this report, this country better not be calling any country corrupt. The USA is following Rome. Soon it will die.

kenh2o , 4 hours ago

FBI is totally corrupted by it's unchecked power, these deep states have the guts to repeatedly use FALSE Information again & again to spy on the opposition political party presidential candidate campaign. The Fake News medias continue to cover for them, it is sickening!

Rick Atkins , 5 hours ago

The FBI based on the IG report are either criminally liable for deceiving FISA courts, or the most inept, bumbling criminal investigation agency ever. Looks like both to me. Any FBI agent or employee who knew the FBI was breaking the law, and remained silent needs to be fired immediately and prosecuted along with the principals, for aiding and abetting criminal activity. This sounds like RICO violations.

Daryl Leckt , 34 minutes ago (edited)

if Carter Page didn't run the 2016 "Trump Election Campaign Committee of Moscow" from the ROSNEFT bureau offices inside the Kremlin, where did Carter Page run the "Trump Election Campaign Committee of Moscow" ?

BrianC6234 , 2 hours ago

Horowitz needs to stop being a wuss and tell the whole truth. His report is a big lie. The whole thing was a political attack. It started with John McCain and he handed it off to Obama and Crooked Hillary. There was no reason at all to investigate Trump. Is the IG part of the deep state? Democrats are acting like this report is good news for them.

Pal VB , 1 hour ago (edited)

Steele was not the author of the fake dossier, DNC FusionGPS Glen Simpson was, and Steele used as cover. Coming in the Durham findings. 17 FBI "mistakes" in a row all against Trump? No bias? B S.

Me King , 4 hours ago

How Trump has "conned" the American tax payer: This is just a few of his fraud actions!He set up a foundation to benefit the military, then him and his family pocketed our money.He started a Fake University, then stole the money from the American people.He cheated on his wives, then paid them to keep quiet so it wouldn't damage his chances in the election.He stiffed 100's of worker's he hired and then made up an excuse y they didn't get paid

Maclain Hunter , 2 hours ago

If Donald Trump was a Russian spy it would’ve been the deepest cover of any secret agent ever....he came here after his lgb training as a young man and became a celebrity for 30 years before finally putting his dastardly plan to go from pageant owner to president into action! If that were anywhere close to true the Russians did so much work I think they earned the 4-8 years in the White House! I know that at this point I’d rather have Vladimir Putin as President than any of the top democrats!

The World Through My Mind , 1 hour ago

Folks..All this soap opera is just a smoke screen to hide what is really important and is happening right now at this very minute. The Federal Reserve Banking cartel is pumping 100s of billions of dollars into insolvent banks again like they did in 2008. This time it is more and we taxpayers will again foot the bill. The banks are getting this money called REPO loans. Watch your cash everyone as the Federal Reserve has only 1 product and that is printing money( debt) that they will use to steal your assets and future.

lenchienlon , 3 hours ago

There are many opinions about the Horowitz report. As with a prior report Horowitz lays out damning evidence and then draws exactly the wrong conclusion. Why does he have to draw ANY CONCLUSIONS? His job is to present the facts and the evidence and to let "We the People' draw conclusions. Reminds me of Comey declaring that Hillary's actions were irresponsible but not criminal. Why? She didn't act with intent. She was just incompetent! Tucker is absolutely right! What does it matter what their motive was? Like Clinton, they behaved in a criminal fashion.

[Dec 09, 2019] "There are no patriots in Washington " -- So tragically true. Only profiteers.

Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: December 7, 2019 at 9:54 pm GMT

@Erebus

"There are no patriots in Washington " -- So tragically true. Only profiteers.

anon [113] Disclaimer , says: December 7, 2019 at 11:01 pm GMT
@Erebus TULSI2020

"There are no patriots in Washington "

Don't be so sure. Note that Trump congratulated Tulsi on Kamala's demise. If she isn't the nominee, her mere presence in the campaign is a boon to Trump because she exposes the rot in the DNC and the Empire.

Dem Establishment can't control me and that scares the hell out of them

https://www.youtube.com/embed/IC98dmTAKbM?feature=oembed

[Dec 09, 2019] Presidential candidates who want to place conditions on Israeli military aid have prompted pro-Israel House Democrats to go on the offensive.

Notable quotes:
"... "I'm opposed to conditioning the aid, and I would fight it no matter what," Engel told Al-Monitor. "The Democratic Party has traditionally been a pro-Israel party, and I see no reason for that to change now. If there are people who are Democrats who don't feel that way, then I don't think they should be elected president of the United States." ..."
"... Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is the most vocal proponent of conditioning Israeli military aid in the presidential race -- ​ going even further left than J Street and all his primary opponents. At J Street's conference in October he said that some of the $3.8 billion in annual assistance "should go right now to humanitarian aid in Gaza." ..."
"... J Street has set any formal Israeli annexation of the West Bank as its red line for placing conditions on Israeli military aid. But it also supports the $38 billion memorandum of understanding. ..."
"... Shortly after the vote, Sanders campaign co-chair Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., as well as Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., asked colleagues to sign a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking him to clarify whether Israel has used US military equipment while demolishing Palestinian homes in the West Bank. ..."
"... The letter, seen by Al-Monitor, notes that the Arms Export Control Act "narrowly conditions the use of transferred US-origin defense articles" and requires the president to inform Congress if the equipment is used for unauthorized purposes ..."
Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

renfro , says: December 8, 2019 at 4:46 am GMT

The Jews try to run US policy ..but lately the Dem base (and part of the party) has become more pro Palestine.

Democratic (Jewish) lawmakers reckon with 2020 rhetoric on Israel aid

December 6, 2019

Presidential candidates who want to place conditions on Israeli military aid have prompted pro-Israel House Democrats to go on the offensive.

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

It's becoming harder and harder for pro-Israel Democrats on Capitol Hill to ignore the increasingly critical voices of the US ally within their party and the presidential race.

House Democratic leaders -- who happen to be some of the staunchest Israel supporters on Capitol Hill -- this week added language supportive of the annual $3.8 billion military aid package to Israel to a symbolic resolution that endorses a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The stalled resolution passed 226-188, largely along party lines, today. But pro-Israel Democrats only came on board after House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., added their new language to the bill. The new provision is a response to the fact that several presidential candidates have come out of the woodwork in recent months with calls to place conditions on the largest recipient of US military aid.

"I'm opposed to conditioning the aid, and I would fight it no matter what," Engel told Al-Monitor. "The Democratic Party has traditionally been a pro-Israel party, and I see no reason for that to change now. If there are people who are Democrats who don't feel that way, then I don't think they should be elected president of the United States."

When Engel's committee first advanced the resolution in July, Democratic leaders opted not to put it on the floor, even as they passed another nonbinding resolution condemning the pro-Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement 398-17, which was backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

That changed last month after the Trump administration repealed a decades-old legal opinion maintaining that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law.

"There are those on the far-left side of the Democratic Party -- and some of the presidential candidates -- who are pushing for new conditions on aid, especially in their interactions with Gaza, which is run by Hamas -- a terrorist organization," Gottheimer told Al-Monitor.

An October poll from the liberal Center for American Progress found that 56% of American voters, including 71% of Democrats, oppose "unconditional financial and military assistance to Israel if the Israeli government continues to violate American policy on settlement expansion or West Bank annexation."

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is the most vocal proponent of conditioning Israeli military aid in the presidential race -- ​ going even further left than J Street and all his primary opponents. At J Street's conference in October he said that some of the $3.8 billion in annual assistance "should go right now to humanitarian aid in Gaza."

J Street has set any formal Israeli annexation of the West Bank as its red line for placing conditions on Israeli military aid. But it also supports the $38 billion memorandum of understanding.

Presidential hopefuls Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, have jumped on board with J Street's position. However, the current front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden, has flatly ruled out conditioning the aid.

Notably, J Street did not oppose the effort to amend the Lowenthal resolution with the military aid language. That said, progressive Democrats do not necessarily view that provision as incompatible with calls to attach strings to that assistance. Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., called the Engel language "meaningless."

"It's just restating what current practice or current law is," Pocan told Al-Monitor. "We don't really see it as affecting the bill one way or the other. At any time if we feel like we're better off putting conditions on money and holding back money, Congress could always do that with any country through the normal process."

Shortly after the vote, Sanders campaign co-chair Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., as well as Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., asked colleagues to sign a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking him to clarify whether Israel has used US military equipment while demolishing Palestinian homes in the West Bank.

The letter, seen by Al-Monitor, notes that the Arms Export Control Act "narrowly conditions the use of transferred US-origin defense articles" and requires the president to inform Congress if the equipment is used for unauthorized purposes

Read more: https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/12/democratic-lawmakers-2020-rhetoric-israel-aid.html#ixzz67UEIl383

[Dec 08, 2019] La Rouchefoucald: "hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue"

Dec 08, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

In all of this, it's worth remembering the observation of La Rouchefoucald that "hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue". The accusation of virtue signalling represents the refusal of vice to pay this tribute.


Phil 12.05.19 at 10:10 am ( 2 )

... in my experience the kind of people who talk about VS also talk about 'clicktivism' and similar; in other words, a lack of effort or cost is particularly characteristic of VS (and, in their eyes, particularly repugnant).
nastywoman 12.05.19 at 11:13 am ( 4 )
...And what's about all these people who wear these: "I'm a Deplorable" – T-shirts?
SusanC 12.05.19 at 12:37 pm (no link)
I thought the concept was supposed to be (a)not actually doing anything to reduce a problem; while (b) making ostentatious signs that purport to show you care about it.

A better example might be attending an Extinction Rebellion protest without changing your own consumption/pollution causing activities.

I wonder if it somehow relates to the Mary Douglas cultural theory of risk?

If so, we might tentatively include, e.g. Making a big noise about terrorism without really considering yourself to be at risk from it

"Vice signaling" was a good joke; I think it captures a notion that the affiliation the person is attempting to signal is not a universally shared one,

SusanC 12.05.19 at 12:45 pm (no link)
For that matter, terrorism itself, in its typical modern form, could be regarded as vice signalling: ostentatiously commiting public acts of violence ostensibly in support of a political cause, without regard to whether the political cause is in fact being advanced by their actions.
cs 12.05.19 at 1:37 pm (no link)
... I would say the implication is about the ostentation and a kind of insincerity. Insincerity in the sense that the person displaying the rainbow flag wants to be seen as the kind of person who cares about gay rights, when maybe they don't actually care about it all that much. That isn't quite the same as hypocrisy I think.
MisterMr 12.05.19 at 2:02 pm ( 12 )
I'll try to give my economic based explanation for this, based on this paper from Piketty:

Brahmin Left vs Merchant Right:Rising Inequality & the Changing Structure of Political Conflict

This paper has been cited here various times, however I'll drop this line from the abstract that summarizes the main finding:

Using post-electoral surveys from France, Britain and the US, this paper documents a striking long-run evolution in the structure of political cleavages. In the 1950s-1960s, the vote for left-wing (socialist-labour-democratic) parties was associated with lower education and lower income voters. It has gradually become associated with higher education voters, giving rise to a "multiple-elite" party systemin the 2000s-2010s: high-education elites now vote for the "left", while high-income/high-wealth elites still vote for the "right"

chedolf 12.05.19 at 4:14 pm ( 18 )
Do you think the criticism of Pharisees who pray theatrically in public was exclusively an attack on hypocrisy?
Sashas 12.05.19 at 4:15 pm ( 19 )
I would add to Phil @2 a third option.
(a) You're a hypocrite.
(b) The thing you're signalling isn't actually a virtue.
(c) You're attacking me by reminding everyone of a virtue I don't have.
MrMister 12.05.19 at 4:34 pm ( 21 )
I think the old-fashioned term for virtue signalling is sanctimony, not hypocrisy. Notably, sanctimony is also compatible with genuine belief and/or commitment. It does connote that the committed person has a degree of self-love over their commitments, and that perhaps the frequency or intensity of their display of their commitments is caused by an underlying desire to experience that self-love whenever the opportunity arises.
Tohubohu 12.05.19 at 8:15 pm ( 26 )
Sanctimony–correct word, I think–puts me in mind of that old bumper sticker, "I brake for animals" of which I once saw an example tidily shortened to: "I bake animals".
Trader Joe 12.05.19 at 9:41 pm ( 29 )
The problem I have with the whole concept is the stereotyping and bias implicit in it.

When I see the Rainbow I'm supposed to think open minded, inclusive and left-thinking and that's fully o.k in the minds of liberals, but not in the minds of the Conservatives who see something else (which I'm not inclined to list).

When I see the MAGA I'm supposed to think closed minded, racist and right-thinking, but Conservatives would see hard-working Americans trying to make their country a better place.

Dr. Hilarius 12.05.19 at 10:24 pm ( 30 )
Displaying a rainbow flag or wearing a MAGA hat strikes me as visible tribal identification more than virtue signaling. I think MrMister's mention of sanctimony is closer to the truth. Another poster mentioned Pharisees and public prayer. Consider a meeting to discuss replacing culverts to allow better passage of spawning salmon. The participants represent various interested parties, private and government. The meeting is disrupted by a person who proceeds to lecture all present about the history of racism, broken treaties and Native American reverence for nature. This person is not Native American. The speaker assumes that his/her information is unknown to the audience. The information does nothing to advance the goal of culvert replacement nor does it do anything to right historic wrongs. The speaker gets to feel superior. This is high-grade virtue signaling.

It has been my experience that virtue signalling is often practiced on behalf of marginalized groups by people who do not belong to that group but presume to speak for them.

SamChevre 12.05.19 at 11:17 pm ( 32 )
I'll second several commenters above: "virtue signalling" isn't primarily an accusation of hypocrisy. The related accusations targeted at the right are "sanctimony" and "prudishness" more than hypocrisy. The accusation is that you care more about "being seen as the sort of person who supports X" than about X.
engels 12.06.19 at 2:19 am ( 37 )
I think it means making a political statement in order to look good, where good is understood in a moral sense. That's a real phenomenon, especially in our age of online narcissism/personal branding, and it probably does affect the liberal-left more than the right because left-liberal politics tends to be more morally inspired.

I wouldn't use the term myself (or SJW)

Bernard Yomtov 12.06.19 at 2:28 am ( 38 )
I agree with SusanC at 7 and cs at 10 that the term is mostly intended to suggest that you support some cause or other that you don't really care about, as a way to identify yourself, or establish bona fides, with some group.
steven t johnson 12.07.19 at 12:19 am ( 53 )
https://www.primalpoly.com/virtue-signaling-further-reading

https://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2018/10/if-youre-not-continuously-outraged-you-must-be-a-horrible-person/

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/a-university-degree-is-a-signal-coming-through-loud-and-clear-to-employers-a6873881.html

https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/are-you-guilty-virtue-signaling

https://areomagazine.com/2019/03/05/virtue-signal-or-piety-display-the-search-for-cognitive-identity-and-the-attack-on-social-bargaining/

https://hedgehogreview.com/issues/identitieswhat-are-they-good-for/articles/virtue-signaling

https://www.nas.org/blogs/dicta/are_colleges_wasting_endowment_funds_on_virtue_signaling

I'm so far behind I'm still bemused by the thought that a flag lapel pin, pledges of allegiance and praying in public, are all virtue signalling. The tie-ins to libertarian economics and evolutionary psychology are even more puzzling, but maybe that's because I think they're just ideological scams/Vavilovian mimicry trying to pass off nonsense as real ideas.

engels 12.07.19 at 10:41 am ( 57 )
I invented 'virtue signalling'. Now it's taking over the world
https://www.spectator.co.uk/2015/10/i-invented-virtue-signalling-now-its-taking-over-the-world/
mtraven 12.07.19 at 6:47 pm ( 62 )
Bartholomew did not invent "virtue signalling", of course: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/20/virtue-signalling-putdown-passed-sell-by-date
Donald 12.08.19 at 12:42 am ( 64 )
The term is related to " Social Justice Warrior".

[Dec 08, 2019] Bernie Sanders unveils plan to boost broadband access, break up internet and cable titans

Notable quotes:
"... "Bernie Sanders unveils plan to boost broadband access, break up internet and cable titans" [ CNBC ]. "[T]he Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate calls to treat internet like a public utility. His campaign argues that the internet should not be a "price gouging profit machine" for companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon ..."
"... Several of Sanders' top Democratic competitors have called to pile more money into high-speed internet development. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg released plans to invest at least $80 billion into rural broadband, while former Vice President Joe Biden has proposed putting $20 billion into expanding rural internet access." ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | web204.coolhandle.com:2083

"Bernie Sanders unveils plan to boost broadband access, break up internet and cable titans" [ CNBC ]. "[T]he Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate calls to treat internet like a public utility. His campaign argues that the internet should not be a "price gouging profit machine" for companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon

Several of Sanders' top Democratic competitors have called to pile more money into high-speed internet development. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg released plans to invest at least $80 billion into rural broadband, while former Vice President Joe Biden has proposed putting $20 billion into expanding rural internet access."Here is a map of broadband in Iowa .

"Sarsour Saga Shows Sanders's Continued Struggles With Jewish Voters" [ Forward ].

" the latest example of Sanders, the most successful Jewish presidential candidate in American history, drawing anger from Jewish voters over what some see as his lack of concern for their specific communal issues "

That is, Israel. More: "And Rabbi Jacob Herber of Wisconsin tweeted Tuesday in response to Sarsour's remarks that despite the fact that he abhors Trump, 'I'll be damned if I'm going to vote for Bernie Sanders.'"

[Dec 07, 2019] Enough is enough. Viva Tulsi. Down with neocons. List of wars involving the United States

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , December 01, 2019 at 08:16 AM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_the_United_States

List of wars involving the United States

[Only the listed war names and dates copied without all the references and details.]

  1. American Revolutionary War - (1775–1783)
  2. Cherokee–American wars - (1776–1795)
  3. Northwest Indian War - (1785–1793)
  4. Shays' Rebellion - (1786–1787)
  5. Whiskey Rebellion - (1791–1794)
  6. Quasi-War - (1798–1800)
  7. Fries Rebellion - (1799–1800)
  8. First Barbary War - (1801–1805)
  9. 1811 German Coast Uprising - (1811)
  10. Tecumseh's War - (1811)
  11. War of 1812 - (1812–1815)
  12. Creek War - (1813–1814)
  13. Second Barbary War - (1815)
  14. First Seminole War - (1817–1818)
  15. Texas–Indian Wars - (1820–1875)
  16. Arikara War - (1823)
  17. Aegean Sea Anti-Piracy Operations of the United States - (1825–1828)
  18. Winnebago War - (1827)
  19. First Sumatran expedition - (1832)
  20. Black Hawk War - (1832)
  21. Texas Revolution - (1835–1836)
  22. Second Seminole War - (1835–1842)
  23. Second Sumatran expedition - (1838)
  24. Aroostook War - (1838)
  25. Ivory Coast expedition - (1842)
  26. Mexican–American War - (1846–1848)
  27. Cayuse War - (1847–1855)
  28. Apache Wars - (1851–1900)
  29. Bleeding Kansas - (1854–1861)
  30. Puget Sound War - (1855–1856)
  31. First Fiji expedition - (1855)
  32. Rogue River Wars - (1855–1856)
  33. Third Seminole War - (1855–1858)
  34. Yakima War - (1855–1858)
  35. Second Opium War - (1856–1859)
  36. Utah War - (1857–1858)
  37. Navajo Wars - (1858–1866)
  38. Second Fiji expedition - (1859)
  39. John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry - (1859)
  40. First and Second Cortina War - (1859–1861)
  41. Paiute War - (1860)
  42. American Civil War - (1861–1865)
  43. Yavapai War - (1861–1875)
  44. Dakota War of 1862 - (1862)
  45. Colorado War - (1863–1865)
  46. Shimonoseki War - (1863–1864)
  47. Snake War - (1864–1868)
  48. Powder River War - (1865)
  49. Red Cloud's War - (1866–1868)
  50. Formosa expedition - (1867)
  51. Comanche Campaign - (1867–1875)
  52. Korea expedition - (1871)
  53. Modoc War - (1872–1873)
  54. Red River War - (1874–1875)
  55. Las Cuevas War - (1875)
  56. Great Sioux War of 1876 - (1876–1877)
  57. Buffalo Hunters' War - (1876–1877)
  58. Nez Perce War - (1877)
  59. Bannock War - (1878)
  60. Cheyenne War - (1878–1879)
  61. Sheepeater Indian War - (1879)
  62. White River War - (1879–1880)
  63. Pine Ridge Campaign - (1890–1891)
  64. Garza Revolution - (1891–1893)
  65. Yaqui Wars - (1896–1918)
  66. Second Samoan Civil War - (1898–1899)
  67. Spanish–American War - (1898)
  68. Philippine–American War - (1899–1902)
  69. Moro Rebellion - (1899–1913)
  70. Boxer Rebellion - (1899–1901)
  71. Crazy Snake Rebellion - (1909)
  72. Border War - (1910–1919)
  73. Negro Rebellion - (1912)
  74. Occupation of Nicaragua - (1912–1933)
  75. Bluff War - (1914–1915)
  76. Occupation of Veracruz - (1914)
  77. Occupation of Haiti - (1915–1934)
  78. Occupation of the Dominican Republic - (1916–1924)
  79. World War I - (1914–1918)
  80. Russian Civil War - (1918–1920)
  81. Last Indian Uprising - (1923)
  82. World War II - (1939–1945)
  83. Korean War - (1950–1953)
  84. Laotian Civil War - (1953–1975)
  85. Lebanon Crisis - (1958)
  86. Bay of Pigs Invasion - (1961)
  87. Simba rebellion, Operation Dragon Rouge - (1964)
  88. Vietnam War - (1955–1964[a], 1965–1973[b], 1974–1975[c])
  89. Communist insurgency in Thailand - (1965–1983)
  90. Korean DMZ Conflict - (1966–1969)
  91. Dominican Civil War - (1965–1966)
  92. Insurgency in Bolivia - (1966–1967)
  93. Cambodian Civil War - (1967–1975)
  94. War in South Zaire - (1978)
  95. Gulf of Sidra encounter - (1981)
  96. Multinational Intervention in Lebanon - (1982–1984)
  97. Invasion of Grenada - (1983)
  98. Action in the Gulf of Sidra - (1986)
  99. Bombing of Libya - (1986)
  100. Tanker War - (1987–1988)
  101. Tobruk encounter - (1989)
  102. Invasion of Panama - (1989–1990)
  103. Gulf War - (1990–1991)
  104. Iraqi No-Fly Zone Enforcement Operations - (1991–2003)
  105. First U.S. Intervention in the Somali Civil War - (1992–1995)
  106. Bosnian War - (1992–1995)
  107. Intervention in Haiti - (1994–1995)
  108. Kosovo War - (1998–1999)
  109. Operation Infinite Reach - (1998)
  110. War in Afghanistan - (2001–present)
  111. 2003 invasion of Iraq - (2003)
  112. Iraq War - (2003–2011)
  113. War in North-West Pakistan - (2004–present)
  114. Second U.S. Intervention in the Somali Civil War - (2007–present)
  115. Operation Ocean Shield - (2009–2016)
  116. International intervention in Libya - (2011)
  117. Operation Observant Compass - (2011–2017)
  118. American-led intervention in Iraq - (2014–present)
  119. American-led intervention in Syria - (2014–present)
  120. Yemeni Civil War - (2015–present)
  121. American intervention in Libya - (2015–present)

{ finis }

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 08:25 AM
This list tells quite a story. It deserves a name such as "US History Written in Blood," but more ironically and yet sufficient would be "An Inconvenient List." In any case, mass murder for fun and profit has defined war throughout the entire history of humankind. That in the modern era of late that the US has pioneered rentier capitalism as a means of extracting profits from the industrial war machine is a matter of the natural evolution of state sanctioned murder, far better at returning profits to investors than the mere slaughter of stone age natives to steal their land.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 08:45 AM
Neoconservatives in this context are traditionalists rather than some aberration of modern political thought.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 08:50 AM
OTOH, pacifism is indeed an aberration of political thought, not necessarily an unwarranted aberration, yet one that should be subject to close inspection for its bona fides. My Cherokee ancestors inform me to always be suspect of the good intentions of white men claiming that they despise war.
ilsm -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 03, 2019 at 05:14 AM
Rome martyred Christians bc up to Constantine they were all "draft dodgers".
ilsm -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 03, 2019 at 05:20 AM
Pacifism for me is individual. I was a cold warrior (pacifist not!) from '72 to '85 when I went from supporting operating weapons to the "dark side" in weapons development, which a lot was also nuclear related.
JohnH -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 02, 2019 at 07:59 AM
One of the first things that happened after Trump announced his withdrawal [not!] from Syria is that Pelosi hopped on a plane to Jordan:

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a group of American lawmakers on a surprise visit to Jordan to discuss "the deepening crisis" in Syria amid a shaky U.S.-brokered cease-fire."
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/20/nancy-pelosi-goes-to-jordan-for-vital-discussions-about-syria-crisis.html

I mean, what's with that?

It's pretty obvious that Team Pelosi is more concerned with the affairs of the Empire, even though she has no constitutional responsibility. than for the welfare of the American people. The focus of the impeachment hearing on American policy in Ukraine is further evidence.

Meanwhile, I have gotten no answer to my basic question: what are the top 5 pieces of progressive legislation that Pelosi has passed--legislation that representations can brag about to their constituents when running in 2020? It's pretty obvious that their have been almost none.

Team Pelosi has gone rogue as has Trump.

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to JohnH... , December 02, 2019 at 12:30 PM
Yet, I have been assured by others here at EV that our two party representative political system is not merely engaging in so much Kabuki theatre in order to appear relevant. Who knew?
kurt -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 02, 2019 at 05:02 PM
Outside of the fact that this fellow is a liar of monumental proportion - for instance, this post alone contains 3 different lies - it is fundamentally untrue that BOTH parties are just engaged in theater. One actually passes legislation to help people and to reduce the influence of $$$. The other - as former Republican party member Norm Orenstein has pointed out - is anti-democracy, pro-despotism and a insurgent danger with a propaganda arm.
ilsm -> kurt... , December 03, 2019 at 05:12 AM
Huh... all team Pelosi/Schumer of is rant against the US constitution, demean the congress, disdain the office of the President and make up things about the Donald.

See the continuing resolution good through 20 Dec because Pelosi who owns the House won't face the responsibility to try and run the US government's purse.

ilsm -> JohnH... , December 03, 2019 at 05:08 AM
Team Pelosi like the faux liberals are sponsored by the same owners of the swamp!

Never attribute to Trump derangement what can be explained by a criminal conspiracy.

JohnH -> EMichael... , December 05, 2019 at 05:13 PM
More selective outrage from EMichael, the partisan hack.

Sure, it's horrendous that Trump pardoned a war criminal. But let's not forget that Obama never even prosecuted torturers ... or closed Guantanamo as promised.

As usual for EMichael and his ilk, what's a horror when their party does something, it's perfectly acceptable when his party does it.

kurt -> EMichael... , December 06, 2019 at 11:18 AM
All these years of being a almost pacifist and now I am seeing the error in my ways. Sometimes - hopefully increasingly less often - good people must rise up and stomp out evil. The pardons were not just condoning war crimes - it was telling the nazi ahs in the ranks that they can do the same domestically. The right has an army within the US. Most of the officers are okay - but that said, they are tolerating nazis, white supremacists, oathkeepers and dominionists in their ranks. These exceptions are to let the other nazis know they can mass murder if the want.

[Dec 07, 2019] Sanders shows the most strength in very different environments -- leading Warren everywhere in the latest FiveThirtyEight average, beating Biden in Iowa and challenging him in more-diverse Nevada, matching Pete Buttigieg in New Hampshire and leading him easily in South Carolina and California. ...

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , November 30, 2019 at 04:12 PM

The Case for Bernie
https://nyti.ms/2OT4WWM
NYT - Ross Douthat - Nov. 30

The Democratic Party needs a nominee, but right now it has a train wreck instead. The front-runner seems too old for the job and is poised to lose the first two primary season contests. The woman who was supposed to become the front-runner on the basis of her policy chops is sliding in the polls after thoroughly botching her health care strategy. The candidate rising in her place is a 37-year-old mayor of a tiny, not-obviously-thriving city.

Meanwhile several seemingly electable alternatives have failed to catch fire; the party establishment is casting about for other options; and not one but two billionaires are spending millions to try to buy delegates for a brokered convention which is a not-entirely-unimaginable endgame for the party as it prepares to face down Donald Trump.

The state of the Democratic field reflects the weaknesses of the individual candidates, but it also reflects the heterogenous nature of the Democratic coalition, whose electorate has many more demographic divisions than the mostly white and middle-class and aging G.O.P., and therefore occasionally resembles the 19th-century Hapsburg empire in the challenge it poses to aspiring leaders.

The theory of the Kamala Harris candidacy, whose nosedive was the subject of a withering pre-mortem from three of my colleagues over Thanksgiving, was that she was well suited to accomplish this unification through the elixir of her female/minority/professional class identities -- that she would embody the party's diversity much as Barack Obama did before her, and subsume the party's potential tensions under the benevolent stewardship of a multicultural managerialism.

(How Kamala Harris's Campaign Unraveled https://nyti.ms/2L2GQYw )

That isn't happening. But it's still reasonable for Democratic voters to look for someone who can do a version of what Harris was supposed to do, and build a coalition across the party's many axes of division.

And there's an interesting case that the candidate best positioned to do this -- the one whose support is most diverse right now -- is the candidate whom Obama allegedly promised to intervene against if his nomination seemed likely: the resilient Socialist from Vermont, Bernie Sanders.

Like other candidates, Sanders's support has a demographic core: Just as Elizabeth Warren depends on very liberal professionals and Joe Biden on older minorities and moderates, Bernie depends intensely on the young. But his polling also shows an interesting better-than-you-expect pattern, given stereotypes about his support. He does better-than-you-expect with minorities despite having struggled with them in 2016, with moderate voters and $100K-plus earners despite being famously left-wing, and with young women despite all the BernieBro business.

This pattern explains why, in early-state polling, Sanders shows the most strength in very different environments -- leading Warren everywhere in the latest FiveThirtyEight average, beating Biden in Iowa and challenging him in more-diverse Nevada, matching Pete Buttigieg in New Hampshire and leading him easily in South Carolina and California. ...

[Dec 07, 2019] The DNC has once again put its thumb on the scales

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> EMichael... , December 02, 2019 at 08:04 AM

The DNC has once again put its thumb on the scales: they are ignoring their own criteria for determining who is to be allowed into the next debate. They are doing everything possible to ignore Gabbard and her efforts to raise the issue of US' pointless and futile perpetual wars.
JohnH -> kurt... , December 02, 2019 at 07:01 PM
The DNC is notorious for putting its thumb on the scales not secret forces, just institutional structure.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to JohnH... , December 05, 2019 at 07:09 AM
"The DNC is notorious for putting its thumb on the scales not secret forces, just institutional structure."

[Albeit true then it might not be obvious from your comment that ALL political parties are gated communities that can make resources available to the anointed few. For an independent candidate to be marginally successful in comparison then they must first either be well known on their own or rich, but both are better. Prospective primary candidates must first access petition signatures and then campaign financing. Higher office candidates have ordinarily been through this vetting before when running for seats in state legislatures.]

Paine -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 05, 2019 at 10:02 AM
Bernie in 16

And Dean in 04

Both proved the loose outfit
Operating in this century
with the Democrat name plate
Can be entered
by an outsider campaign
and maybe almost
Railroaded into
a Non core approved
Not core wanted
potus nom

Like McGovern in 72

Yes Jesse got stopped
And
Okay both Dean and Sanders
got de railed

But Liz is slowed not stopped

Maybe ...

Paine -> Paine ... , December 05, 2019 at 10:05 AM
Recall after McGovern
Thank the god of hell fire
George was crushed
Yup after the crush
Elite ex core types
Made moves
Indeed moves were made
of course
They were made

Moves are always made


It's a struggle not a triumphal march of the virtues thru the chaff

kurt -> Paine ... , December 05, 2019 at 01:17 PM
Not for nothing but Dean got ratf#cked (the scream audio file to those of us familiar with compression and reverb was highly modified), and Edwards got "we are all still scared of Bill Clinton's member" ed.

[Dec 07, 2019] Remember corporate liberals want us to believe four more Trump years will be a disaster

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

point -> Paine ... , December 01, 2019 at 06:54 AM

"Remember corporate liberals want us to believe four more Trump years Will be a progressive disaster"

Seems instructive that [DemoRats[ Leadership still seems to be willing to run a candidate that may lose the general for lack of appeal to those who used to be labor. Suggests they see their opposition as not so much republican but the rest [of the Dem bench].

[Dec 07, 2019] Elections, sliding standard of living of deplorables and the cost of imperial wars

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne -> anne... , December 01, 2019 at 02:08 PM

https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2019/US%20Budgetary%20Costs%20of%20Wars%20November%202019.pdf

November 13, 2019

United States Budgetary Costs and Obligations of Post-9/11 Wars through FY2020: $6.4 Trillion
By Neta C. Crawford

Summary of War Related Spending, Billions of Current Dollars, FY2001 – FY2020

Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Appropriations

Department of Defense ( 1,959)
State Department/USAID ( 131)
Estimated Interest on Borrowing for DOD and State Dept OCO Spending ( 925)

War-related Spending in the DOD Base Budget

Estimated Increases to DOD Base Budget Due to Post-9-11 Wars ( 803)
"OCO for Base" a new category of spending in FY2019 and FY2020 ( 100)

Medical and Disability Care for Post-9/11 Veterans ( 437)
Homeland Security Spending for Prevention and Response to Terrorism ( 1,054)

Total War Appropriations and War-Related Spending through FY2020 ( $5,409)

Estimated Future Obligations for Veterans Medical and Disability FY2020 – FY2059 ( >1,000)

Total War-Related Spending through FY2020 and Obligations for Veterans ( $6,409)

[Dec 07, 2019] The Democratic Party needs a nominee, but right now it has a train wreck instead

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , December 01, 2019 at 12:06 PM

"The Democratic Party needs a nominee, but right now it has a train wreck instead. The front-runner seems too old for the job and is poised to lose the first two primary season contests. The woman who was supposed to become the front-runner on the basis of her policy chops is sliding in the polls after thoroughly botching her health care strategy. The candidate rising in her place is a 37-year-old mayor of a tiny, not-obviously-thriving city..."

[We are cursed with an embarrassment of - wait a minute, wait a minute - I know it rhymes with riches.]

[Dec 07, 2019] The 10 most vulnerable senators in 2020: Republicans play defense

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Paine ... , December 04, 2019 at 07:22 AM

(Dems must keep AL, MI & NH;
would need to win in 5 of the
remaining 7: CO, AZ, NC, ME,
IO, TX, GA. Chances are slim,
but three are 'Toss-ups'.)

1. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala. Trump +28; Jones +2 in 2017 Leans Republican

2. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo. Clinton +5; Gardner +2 in 2014 Toss-up

3. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz. Trump +4; McSally -2 in 2018 Toss-up

4. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C. Trump +4; Tillis +2 in 2014 Toss-up

5. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine Clinton +3; Collins +37 in 2014 Tilts Republican

6. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich. Trump +0.2; Peters +13 in 2014 Likely Democratic

7. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa Trump +9; Ernst +8 in 2014 Leans Republican

8. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga. Trump +5; Perdue +8 in 2014 Likely Republican

9. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. Clinton +0.4; Shaheen +3 in 2014 Likely Democratic

10. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas Trump +9 ; Cornyn +27 in 2014 Likely Republican

The 10 most vulnerable senators in 2020: Republicans play defense
https://www.rollcall.com/news/10-vulnerable-senators-2020-republicans-play-defense via @RollCall

[Dec 07, 2019] Hidden resentment against criminal neoliberal billionaires looms in 2020 elections

Notable quotes:
"... Writing in the 1830s, as the Industrial Revolution gathered pace, Honoré de Balzac anticipated the broader social concern: "The secret of great fortunes without apparent cause is a crime that has been forgotten, because it was properly carried out." Or, in the more popular paraphrase: behind every great fortune lies a great crime. ..."
"... In recent decades, this corporate lobbying has had two main effects. First, by erecting entry barriers to existing sectors, it protects incumbents and lowers their effective tax rates. This is a deadweight loss – a pure drag on economic growth that limits opportunities for everyone who is not already an oligarch. ..."
"... As U.S. public finances are eroded by oligarchy, so is the ability to fund essential infrastructure, improvements in education, and the kind of breakthrough science that brought America to this point. ..."
Nov 30, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , November 30, 2019 at 10:52 AM

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2019-11-30/The-billionaire-problem-M2mbVg2rVS/index.html

November 30, 2019

The billionaire problem
By Simon Johnson

Our billionaire problem is getting worse. Any market-oriented economy creates opportunities for new fortunes to be built, including through innovation. More innovation is likely to take place where fewer rules encumber entrepreneurial creativity. Some of this creativity may lead to processes and products that are actually detrimental to public welfare.

Unfortunately, by the time the need for legislation or regulation becomes apparent, the innovators have their billions – and they can use that money to protect their interests.

This billionaire problem is not new. Every epoch, dating at least from Roman times, produces versions of it whenever some shift in market structure or geopolitics creates an opportunity for fortunes to be built quickly.

Writing in the 1830s, as the Industrial Revolution gathered pace, Honoré de Balzac anticipated the broader social concern: "The secret of great fortunes without apparent cause is a crime that has been forgotten, because it was properly carried out." Or, in the more popular paraphrase: behind every great fortune lies a great crime.

Prominent historical examples include the British East India Company, the Europeans who built vast fortunes based on African slave labor in the West Indies, and coal mine owners.

All became rich fast, and then used their political clout to get what they wanted, including impunity for horrendous abuses. At their peak in the nineteenth century, railway interests held sway over many or perhaps even most members of the British parliament.

The United States has long exhibited a particularly potent strain of the billionaire problem. This is partly because America's founders, in their pre-industrial innocence, could not imagine that money would capture politics to the extent that it has (or that was fully apparent just a few decades later). Moreover, U.S. leaders were long willing to let private enterprise take on new projects that elsewhere fell into the hands of the state.

The German post office, for example, built one of the most extensive and efficient telegraph systems in the world. Samuel Morse urged Congress to do the same (or better). But U.S. telegraph communication was instead developed privately – as was the telephone system that followed, all of iron and steel, the entire railroad network, and just about every other component of the early industrial economy.

When the U.S. government did become involved in economic activity, it was mostly to open up new frontiers – creating more opportunity for individuals and private business.

In the aftermath of World War II, Vannevar Bush – a Republican who was also a top adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt – cleverly argued that science represented the next frontier, and hence constructed a winning political argument for the government to act as a catalyst.

As Jonathan Gruber and I have argued recently in our book Jump-Starting America, the post-war federal government's strategic investments in basic science spurred remarkable private-sector innovation – including productivity gains and widely shared increases in wages. Vast new fortunes were created.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. /VCG Photo

The political consequences of America's post-war private-sector boom were felt within a generation, and they were not always positive. From the 1960s, the U.S. experienced growing anti-tax sentiment, strong pressure for deregulation (including for the financial sector), and a lot more corporate money pouring into politics through every possible avenue.

In recent decades, this corporate lobbying has had two main effects. First, by erecting entry barriers to existing sectors, it protects incumbents and lowers their effective tax rates. This is a deadweight loss – a pure drag on economic growth that limits opportunities for everyone who is not already an oligarch.

As U.S. public finances are eroded by oligarchy, so is the ability to fund essential infrastructure, improvements in education, and the kind of breakthrough science that brought America to this point.

Some of America's billionaires earn kudos for their philanthropy. At the same time, most of them adopt a dog-in-the-manger attitude throughout their business operations – digging deeper moats to protect profits or simply destroying smaller business at every opportunity.

There is a second effect, which is more nuanced. In some entirely new sectors, particularly in the digital domain, entry was possible at least during an early phase.

The entrepreneurs who built the first Internet companies were not able to put up effective entry barriers – hence the runaway success (and greater billions) of more recent companies such as Facebook, Amazon, and Uber.

But now the controlling shareholders of these new behemoths operate pretty much in the same way as Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and the original J.P. Morgan once did. They use their money to buy influence and resist any kind of reasonable restraint on their anti-competitive and anti-worker behavior – even if it undermines democratic institutions.

We will always have billionaires. Ex post regulation and higher rates of taxation are appealing today but, looking forward, will they prove sufficient in a political system that allows individuals to spend as much as they like to get whatever they want (and repeal whatever they hate)? It's time for a new approach, as Gruber and I propose.

Big profits follow from big new ideas. That's why federal science funding should be designed to include upside participation in the enterprises that will be created. The public deserves much more direct participation in those profits. And the billionaires should have to make do with fewer billions.

Simon Johnson is a professor at MIT Sloan.

point -> anne... , December 01, 2019 at 07:06 AM
"The United States has long exhibited a particularly potent strain of the billionaire problem. This is partly because America's founders, in their pre-industrial innocence, could not imagine that money would capture politics to the extent that it has (or that was fully apparent just a few decades later). "

A romanticization of the founders? I seem to recall their motivation was to counter revolt against the galloping egalitarianism of the States, and incidentally, the guys in the room were basically the billionaires of the day.

His subsequent complaints seem right on though, and pointing out the telegraph situation, which rightly should have been a Post Office operation, is especially appreciated.

anne -> point... , December 01, 2019 at 07:29 AM
A romanticization of the founders? I seem to recall their motivation was to counter revolt against the galloping egalitarianism of the States, and incidentally, the guys in the room were basically the billionaires of the day.

[Simon Johnson's] subsequent complaints seem right on though, and pointing out the telegraph situation, which rightly should have been a Post Office operation, is especially appreciated.

[ Nicely done. ]

Paine -> point... , December 03, 2019 at 07:49 AM
Nonsense

Robert Morris and his ilk
and animatronic operatives of the high fi cliques Alex Hamilton
Were there at the creation

Paine -> Paine... , December 03, 2019 at 07:51 AM
Not points. Johnson's of course

Typical liberal capitalist
Phrase and meme framing

Framing also
as in railroading
to a false verdict

Paine -> anne... , December 03, 2019 at 07:46 AM
Our target must be global corporations
And FIRE SECTOR profiteering outfits
Not simply their billionaire benefiaries

Break oligop corporate power
to state harnessing systems

People's states or corporate states

Which shall we have

Paine -> anne... , December 03, 2019 at 07:59 AM
The spending reforms are probably
A decoy hunt

POTUS races can be effectively
Operated with
Little people funded campaigns
Bernie proved that
And Liz

Yes spreading too thin
fielding 435 house races at once
or 34 Senate races etc
Big bucks will prevail over all
But winn8ng evening enough
It requires sustainable
Solid majorities
And protracted continuity
like the new deal maintained

Why ?

The bigger problem is the pre existing
State system
Progressives might get elected
to change The show
But
Deep Sam will resist mightily

Paine -> anne... , December 03, 2019 at 08:04 AM
Look at corporate history and you see
Mant big oligop outfits
Built and run
without a billionaire driving
the operation

The oligop corporation should be
the real target for policy change
not the billionaires


The billionaires however make great agitational targets

And private wealth taxes are a fantastic
Weapon of struggle even if only a credible threat

Paine -> Paine... , December 03, 2019 at 08:09 AM
Corporations allowed free range
. build billionaires

Not visa versa

Without these modern vehicles such wealth accumulation would certain not occur
let alone funnel to a hand few

Paine -> Paine... , December 03, 2019 at 08:13 AM
Capitalism is a system
.of organized social production
That produces and reproduces
Along with itself
Typical human consequences
Among those typical human consequences

Sociopathic billionaires


And immiserated wage earners

[Dec 07, 2019] Impeachment does not require a crime.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... This is just low level Soviet-style propaganda: "Beacon of democracy" and "Hope of all progressive mankind" cliché. My impression is that the train left the station long ago, especially as for democracy. Probably in 1963. The reality is a nasty struggle of corrupt political clans. Which involves intelligence agencies dirty tricks. BTW, how do you like that fact that Corporate Democrats converted themselves in intelligence agencies' cheerleading squad? ..."
"... And both Corporate Dems and opposing them Republican are afraid to discuss the real issues facing the country, such as loss of manufacturing, loss of good middle class jobs (fake labor statistics covers the fact the most new jobs are temps/contractors and McJobs), rampant militarism with Afghan war lasting decades, neocon dominance in foreign policy which led to increase of country debt to level that might soon be unsustainable. ..."
"... Both enjoy impeachment Kabuki theater. With Trump probably enjoying this theatre the most: if they just censure him, he wins, if charges go to Senate, he wins big. ..."
Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , December 06, 2019 at 06:22 AM

Impeach the president
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2019/12/06/opinion/time-impeachment/?event=event25

Boston Globe - editorial - December 5

From the founding of this country, the power of the president was understood to have limits. Indeed, the Founders would never have written an impeachment clause into the Constitution if they did not foresee scenarios where their descendants might need to remove an elected president before the end of his term in order to protect the American people and the nation.

The question before the country now is whether President Trump's misconduct is severe enough that Congress should exercise that impeachment power, less than a year before the 2020 election. The results of the House Intelligence Committee inquiry, released to the public on Tuesday, make clear that the answer is an urgent yes. Not only has the president abused his power by trying to extort a foreign country to meddle in US politics, but he also has endangered the integrity of the election itself. He has also obstructed the congressional investigation into his conduct, a precedent that will lead to a permanent diminution of congressional power if allowed to stand.

The evidence that Trump is a threat to the constitutional system is more than sufficient, and a slate of legal scholars who testified on Wednesday made clear that Trump's actions are just the sort of presidential behavior the Founders had in mind when they devised the recourse of impeachment. The decision by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to proceed with drafting articles of impeachment is warranted.

Much of the information in the Intelligence Committee report, which was based on witness interviews, documents, telephone records, and public statements by administration officials, was already known to the public. The cohesive narrative that emerges, though, is worse than the sum of its parts. This year, the president and subordinates acting at his behest repeatedly tried to pressure a foreign country, Ukraine, into taking steps to help the president's reelection. That was, by itself, an outrageous betrayal: In his dealings with foreign states, the president has an obligation to represent America's interests, not his own.

But the president also betrayed the US taxpayer to advance that corrupt agenda. In order to pressure Ukraine into acceding to his request, Trump's administration held up $391 million in aid allocated by Congress. In other words, he demanded a bribe in the form of political favors in exchange for an official act -- the textbook definition of corruption. The fact that the money was ultimately paid, after a whistle-blower complained, is immaterial: The act of withholding taxpayer money to support a personal political goal was an impermissible abuse of the president's power.

Withholding the money also sabotaged American foreign policy. The United States provides military aid to Ukraine to protect the country from Russian aggression. Ensuring that fragile young democracy does not fall under Moscow's sway is a key US policy goal, and one that the president put at risk for his personal benefit. He has shown the world that he is willing to corrupt the American policy agenda for purposes of political gain, which will cast suspicion on the motivations of the United States abroad if Congress does not act.

To top off his misconduct, after Congress got wind of the scheme and started the impeachment inquiry, the Trump administration refused to comply with subpoenas, instructed witnesses not to testify, and intimidated witnesses who did. That ought to form the basis of an article of impeachment. When the president obstructs justice and fails to respect the power of Congress, it strikes at the heart of the separation of powers and will hobble future oversight of presidents of all parties.

Impeachment does not require a crime. The Constitution entrusts Congress with the impeachment power in order to protect Americans from a president who is betraying their interests. And it is very much in Americans' interests to maintain checks and balances in the federal government; to have a foreign policy that the world can trust is based on our national interest instead of the president's personal needs; to control federal spending through their elected representatives; to vote in fair elections untainted by foreign interference. For generations, Americans have enjoyed those privileges. What's at stake now is whether we will keep them. The facts show that the president has threatened this country's core values and the integrity of our democracy. Congress now has a duty to future generations to impeach him.

JohnH -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 06, 2019 at 08:34 AM
How can Trump have sabotaged American foreign policy, when he has full responsibility and authority to set it?

IMO this impeachment is partly about Trump personally asking a foreign country for help against a domestic political opponent. But it is mostly about geopolitics and the national security bureaucracy's need for US world domination.

Just listen to the impeachment testimony--most of it is whining about Trump's failure to follow the 'interagency' policies of the deep state.

likbez -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 07, 2019 at 01:27 AM
"Impeachment does not require a crime."

Stalin would approve that. And if so, what is the difference between impeachment and a show trial, Moscow trials style? The majority can eliminate political rivals, if it wishes so, right? This was how Bolsheviks were thinking in 30th. Of course, those backward Soviets used "British spy" charge instead modern, sophisticated "Putin's stooge" charge, but still ;-)

The facts show that the president has threatened this country's core values and the integrity of our democracy.

This is just low level Soviet-style propaganda: "Beacon of democracy" and "Hope of all progressive mankind" cliché. My impression is that the train left the station long ago, especially as for democracy. Probably in 1963. The reality is a nasty struggle of corrupt political clans. Which involves intelligence agencies dirty tricks. BTW, how do you like that fact that Corporate Democrats converted themselves in intelligence agencies' cheerleading squad?

In short Boston Globe editors do not want that their audience understand the situation, in which the county have found itself. They just want to brainwash this audience (with impunity)

And both Corporate Dems and opposing them Republican are afraid to discuss the real issues facing the country, such as loss of manufacturing, loss of good middle class jobs (fake labor statistics covers the fact the most new jobs are temps/contractors and McJobs), rampant militarism with Afghan war lasting decades, neocon dominance in foreign policy which led to increase of country debt to level that might soon be unsustainable.

Both enjoy impeachment Kabuki theater. With Trump probably enjoying this theatre the most: if they just censure him, he wins, if charges go to Senate, he wins big.

Can you imagine result for Corporate Dems of Schiff (with his contacts with Ciaramella ) , or Hunter Biden (who was just a mule to get money to Biden's family for his father illegal lobbing) testifying in Senate under oath.

The truth is that they are all criminals (with many being war criminals.) So Beria statement "Show me the man and I'll find you the crime" is fully applicable. That really is something that has survived the Soviet Union and has arrived in the good old USA.

[Dec 07, 2019] Bought and sold Nancy: yet more evidence of Pelosi's perfidy

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH , December 02, 2019 at 08:15 AM

Yet more evidence of Pelosi's perfidy:

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made no secret of her desire to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement by the end of the year

Meanwhile, a top priority for labor has been sitting quietly on Pelosi's desk and, unlike USMCA, already commands enough support to get it over the House finish line. The Protecting the Right to Organize Act would be the most comprehensive rewrite of U.S. labor law in decades. It would eliminate right-to-work laws, impose new penalties on employers who retaliate against union organizing, crack down on worker misclassification, and establish new rules so that employers cannot delay negotiating collective bargaining contracts."
https://theintercept.com/2019/12/02/nancy-pelosi-usmca-pro-act-unions/

Echoes of 2009, when Pelosi refused to pass union card check, when it had already passed the House in 2007? The difference? In 2007 Bush would have vetoes. In 2009, Democrats had the votes and a Democratic president, so they chose to ignore their campaign promise.

Team Pelosi has gone rogue.

Paine -> JohnH... , December 02, 2019 at 08:24 AM
Yes

La Nan is a deep state corpotate concubine. Part of the Deep SAM STEERCOM. The clandestine Capitalist National Steering committee

RC (Ron) Weakley -> Paine ... , December 03, 2019 at 01:06 PM
As far as I can tell nearly all politicians are kept women...

[Dec 07, 2019] Could Tax Increases Speed Up the Economy?

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , December 05, 2019 at 04:53 AM

Could Tax Increases Speed Up the Economy?
Democrats Say Yes https://nyti.ms/2RlDbJx
NYT - Jim Tankersley - December 5

WASHINGTON -- Elizabeth Warren is leading a liberal rebellion against a long-held economic view that large tax increases slow economic growth, trying to upend Democratic policymaking in the way supply-side conservatives changed Republican orthodoxy four decades ago.

(Warren Would Take Billionaires Down
a Few Billion Pegs https://nyti.ms/2CtMPRN
NYT - November 10)

Generations of economists, across much of the ideological spectrum, have long held that higher taxes reduce investment, slowing economic growth. That drag, the consensus held, would offset the benefits to growth from increased government spending in areas like education.

Ms. Warren and other leading Democrats say the opposite. The senator from Massachusetts, who is a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, contends that her plans to tax the rich and spend the revenue to lift the poor and the middle class would accelerate economic growth, not impede it. Other Democratic candidates are making similar claims about their tax-and-spend proposals. Some liberal economists go further and say that simply taxing the rich would help growth no matter what the government did with the money.

Democrats in the past, including the party's 2016 nominee, Hillary Clinton, have argued that a more modest combination of tax increases and spending programs would expand the economy. But no Democratic nominee before Ms. Warren had ever proposed so many new taxes and spending programs, and leaned so heavily into the argument that they would be, in economist parlance, pro-growth.

That argument tries to reframe a classic debate about the economic "pie" in the United States by suggesting there is no trade-off between increasing the size of the pie and dividing the slices more equitably among all Americans.

Ms. Warren has proposed nearly $3 trillion a year in new taxes on businesses and high-earners, largely focused on billionaires but sometimes hitting Americans who earn $250,000 and above per year. The taxes would fund wide-reaching new government spending on health care, education, and family benefits like universal child care and paid parental leave.

Last month, Ms. Warren wrote on Twitter that education, child care and student loan relief programs funded by her tax on wealthy Americans would "grow the economy." In a separate post, she said student debt relief would "supercharge" growth.

The last batch of economists to disrupt a political party's consensus position were conservative -- the so-called supply-siders who built influence in the late 1970s and gained power in the Reagan administration. Previous Republican presidents had focused on keeping the budget deficit low, which constrained their ability to cut taxes if they did not also cut government spending. Supply-siders contended that well-targeted tax cuts could generate big economic growth even without spending cuts. ...

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , December 05, 2019 at 04:57 AM
Ms. Warren is making the case that the economy could benefit if money is redistributed from the rich and corporations to uses that she and other liberals say would be more productive. Their argument combines hard data showing that high levels of inequality and wealth concentration weigh down economic growth with a belief that well-targeted government spending can encourage more Americans to work, invest and build skills that would make them more productive.

They also cite evidence that transferring money to poor and middle-class individuals would increase consumer spending because they spend a larger share of their incomes than wealthy Americans, who tend to save and invest.

"The economy has changed, our understanding of it has changed, and we understand the constricting effects of inequality" on growth, said Heather Boushey, the president of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a think tank focused on inequality.

Inequality has widened significantly in America over the last several decades. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the incomes of the top 1 percent of Americans more than tripled from 1979 to 2016, before taxes and government transfer payments are taken into account. For the middle class, incomes grew 33 percent. More than a decade after the recession, wage growth for the middle class continues to run well behind previous times of economic expansion, like the late 1990s.

Research by the economist Emmanuel Saez and colleagues shows that the last time such a small sliver of Americans controlled such a large share of the nation's income and wealth was in the late 1920s, just before a stock market crash set off the Great Depression. World Bank researchers have warned that high levels of inequality are stifling growth in South Africa, which has the globe's worst measured inequality.

"We have an economy that isn't delivering like it used to," said Ms. Boushey, who advised Hillary Clinton's 2016 Democratic presidential campaign. "That's leading people to say let's re-examine the evidence."

The contention that tax and spending increases can lift economic growth is not the only challenge to traditional orthodoxy brewing in liberal economic circles. Some Democrats have also embraced modern monetary theory, which reframes classic thinking that discourages large budget deficits as a drag on growth. Its supporters, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and the economist Stephanie Kelton, an adviser to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, argue that the United States government should be spending much more on programs to fight inequality, like a federal job guarantee, without imposing new taxes.

Some of the inequality-focused economists say they are hoping to build new economic models to predict the effects of their policies, though they acknowledge few of those models exist yet. Instead, they rely on evidence about the likely effects of individual programs, added together.

Many economists who study tax policy contend that Ms. Warren's plans -- and other large tax-and-spend proposals from Democratic candidates this year -- would hurt the economy, just as classic economic models suggest.

"Some elements of the large increase in government spending on health and education proposed by Senator Warren would promote economic growth" through channels like improved education, said Alan Auerbach, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has written some of the most influential research in the profession on the relationship between tax rates and growth.

But, he said, "I am very skeptical that these growth effects would offset the negative effects on growth of the higher taxes, particularly given that the spending increases are not specifically targeted toward enhancing growth."

Ms. Warren disagrees. In the latest Democratic debate, she said the spending programs funded by her wealth tax would be "transformative" for workers. Those plans would raise wages, make college tuition-free and relieve graduates of student debt, she said, adding, "We can invest in an entire generation's future."

An emerging group of liberal economists say taxes on high-earners could spur growth even if the government did nothing with the revenue because the concentration of income and wealth is dampening consumer spending.

"We are experiencing a revolution right now in macroeconomics, particularly in the policy space," said Mark Paul, an economist who is a fellow at the liberal Roosevelt Institute in Washington. "We can think of a wealth tax as welfare-enhancing, in and of itself, simply by constraining the power of the very wealthy" to influence public policy and distort markets to their advantage.

Taken together, Ms. Warren's proposals would transform the role of federal taxation. If every tax increase she has proposed in the campaign passed and raised as much revenue as her advisers predict -- a contingency hotly debated among even liberal economists -- total federal tax revenue would grow more than 50 percent.

The United States would leap from one of the lowest-taxed rich nations to one of the highest. It would collect more taxes as a share of the economy than Norway, and only slightly less than Italy.

Mr. Sanders's plan envisions a similarly large increase in tax levels. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s proposals are much smaller in scale: He would raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations by $3.4 trillion over a decade, in order to fund increased spending on health care, higher education, infrastructure and carbon emissions reduction.

If Ms. Warren's tax program is enacted, said Gabriel Zucman, an economist at Berkeley who is an architect of her wealth tax proposal, "in my view, the most likely effect is a small positive effect on growth, depending on how the revenues are used."

Another economist who has worked with the Warren campaign to analyze its proposals, Mark Zandi of Moody's, said he would expect her plans to be "largely a wash on long-term economic growth."

Researchers at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College projected this summer that Ms. Warren's wealth tax and spending policies would generate a 1.7 percent increase in the size of the economy. A preliminary study of a wealth tax like Ms. Warren's proposal, by the Penn Wharton Budget Model, found that it would reduce the size of the economy by a similar 1.7 percent. The model uses the sort of classic methodology that liberals are now rebelling against and did not evaluate Ms. Warren's spending proposals.

Historical experience offers few parallels for assessing the economic effects of a taxation-and-spending program on the scale of Ms. Warren's ambitions. A 2002 study of wealth taxes in rich countries found that those taxes, most of which have since been abandoned, reduced economic growth slightly on an annual basis.

Conservative economists roundly disagree that large tax increases can spur faster growth, even those who say government spending on paid leave and child care may get more Americans into the labor force. They say a wealth tax on the scale of Ms. Warren's proposal would greatly reduce savings and investment by the rich.

"What a wealth tax does is, it directly taxes savings," said Aparna Mathur, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute who favors a narrow paid leave program and whose research finds benefits from reducing tax rates on business and investment. "If you're taxing savings, you're implicitly taxing investment. So how can that possibly be pro-growth?"

The supply-side economists' plans were similarly denounced -- George Bush called them "voodoo economic policies" while running for president in 1980 -- but in time dominated Republican proposals.

Some members of the new liberal revolt against tax orthodoxy welcome the comparison to the supply-side uprising.

"While I think that the supply-siders were wrong, and were always wrong, they were reacting to very real economic problems in the 1970s," said Michael Linden, the executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, a liberal policy and advocacy group. "There was something really wrong with the economy at the time. I think there is now."

[Dec 06, 2019] Angry Bear " Forecasting the 2020 election the economic baseline (or, don't count on a recession)

Dec 06, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , December 6, 2019 8:08 pm

Sorry, but impeachment was successful in rallying democrats. Impeachment is always political and every President should be impeached once.

True, but this is just a part of polarization. The same is even more true for republicans.

But the largest group is independents. ~42% identified as independents in 2017. So the real question is about the reaction of independents and how they like the fact that Corporate Democrats converted themselves in intelligence agencies' cheerleading squad.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-impeachment-approval-rating-poll-quinnipiac-university-a9168086.html

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/impeachment-polls/

Pelosi position is weak due to accusations that Schiff mishandled the process, concealed critical evidence, and staged a "show trial". The Horowitz findings can make Pelosi even more vulnerable as they negatively project on her "Russians under each bed" stance.

In no way Dems can benefit from the Senate trial as Schiff can be called to testify about his contacts with Ciaramella. The same is true for Hunter Biden. So this a Catch 22 for Corporate Dems.

That why Pelosi is so nervous. She is essentially in zugzwang position now. Censuring is a win for Trump, and Senate trial is a big win for Trump.

[Dec 06, 2019] Corporate Democrats converted themselves into the cheerleading squad for seventeen government agencies. All The Players In This Great Game Of Gotcha Are About To Face The Consequences by James Howard Kunstler

Notable quotes:
"... What is the Democratic Party today? Well, it's the cheerleading squad for "seventeen" government agencies that add up to the craftily-labeled "intel community ," a warm-and-fuzzy coalition of snoops, false witnesses, rogue lawfare cadres, seditionists, and bad-faith artists working sedulously to hide their previous misdeeds with ever-fresh ones. They're the party against free speech, the party against due process of law, the party determined to provoke war with Russia. They're the party of sexual confusion, sexual hysteria, and sexual conflict, the party of kangaroo courts, cancel culture, erasing boundaries (including national borders), and of making up rules for all that as they go along -- like the Nazis and Soviets used to do. The ideas and policies they advocate are so comprehensively crazy that their old support of slavery looks quaintly straightforward in comparison. ..."
"... The party's propaganda arms at The New York Times , the WashPo , and cable news networks worked up a frenzy of distractions and ruses this past week -- for instance the "bombshell" that International-Man-of-Mystery Joseph Mifsud was not a hireling of the FBI. Of course, nobody ever claimed he was. Rather, he is suspected of being an agent of the Italian intel service with links to British intel, both used by the CIA as beards for its nefarious activities around its own election meddling of 2016. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Democratic caucus has been busy with ersatz impeachment proceedings, which are invidiously scheduled to continue next week as a smokescreen to conceal the Horowitz findings . It's been a frantic campaign for them at a fraught moment in this long saga -- but the odor of desperation is thick and rank. ..."
Dec 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

The last time the Democratic Party blew up in a presidential election year was 1860. It had evolved from Jefferson's 1800 bloc of yeoman farmers to Andrew Jackson's rowdy caucus of frontier populists in the 1830s, and settled into a slough of pro-slavery apologists by the 1850s, including two do-nothing Democratic presidents, Pierce and Buchanan. The party held a nominating convention in the spring of 1860 and couldn't come up with a candidate when a claque of southern "fire-eaters" walked out. They tried again a few months later and cracked up into three separate parties with three nominees -- and of course Mr. Lincoln won the election. The result was the bloodiest war in US history.

That's one way to drain a swamp. Historical obfuscators might say the Civil War was a lofty, legalistic quarrel over "state's rights," but of course it was really about the intolerable depravity of slavery. A hundred years later, the mysterious inversions of history converted the old slaver's party into the Civil Rights party. That had a good fifty-year run. It included a hearty side-dish of anti-war sentiment, and a general disposition against the Big Brother treatment of citizens, including especially the overreach of the CIA and the FBI.

What is the Democratic Party today? Well, it's the cheerleading squad for "seventeen" government agencies that add up to the craftily-labeled "intel community ," a warm-and-fuzzy coalition of snoops, false witnesses, rogue lawfare cadres, seditionists, and bad-faith artists working sedulously to hide their previous misdeeds with ever-fresh ones. They're the party against free speech, the party against due process of law, the party determined to provoke war with Russia. They're the party of sexual confusion, sexual hysteria, and sexual conflict, the party of kangaroo courts, cancel culture, erasing boundaries (including national borders), and of making up rules for all that as they go along -- like the Nazis and Soviets used to do. The ideas and policies they advocate are so comprehensively crazy that their old support of slavery looks quaintly straightforward in comparison.

It's taken a while for the full efflorescence of these political pathologies to present. But now they are finally on display for all to see in what is supposed to be a climactic impeachment melodrama. The impeachment process itself has revealed the party's genius for inventing new debaucheries of law and government misconduct -- the latest being Rep Adam Schiff's blatantly illegal cadging of his opponents' phone logs. And now, after three years of unchallenged wickedness, they literally face the moment of truth.

That is, when all the many players in this grand game of Gotcha have to face the consequences of what they have done. The Horowitz report is necessarily limited to the DOJ inspector general's narrow mission scope: the IG can only interview current employees of the agency and its stepchild, the FBI, which means that key players in the Gotcha game such as former FBI director Comey, former acting director McCabe, fired special agent Peter Stzrok and notably ex-CIA director John Brennan were outside of Mr. Horowitz's sphere of operations. His scope was also supposedly limited to the issues around FISA warrant mischief -- though those complex shenanigans may have led the IG to other related dodges, cons, and crimes outright. The IG has no real law enforcement powers. He can only refer or recommend further action. Nevertheless, a great miasma of anxiety oppresses the Democratic Party now as it awaits whatever Mr. Horowitz has to say about these matters.

The party's propaganda arms at The New York Times , the WashPo , and cable news networks worked up a frenzy of distractions and ruses this past week -- for instance the "bombshell" that International-Man-of-Mystery Joseph Mifsud was not a hireling of the FBI. Of course, nobody ever claimed he was. Rather, he is suspected of being an agent of the Italian intel service with links to British intel, both used by the CIA as beards for its nefarious activities around its own election meddling of 2016. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Democratic caucus has been busy with ersatz impeachment proceedings, which are invidiously scheduled to continue next week as a smokescreen to conceal the Horowitz findings . It's been a frantic campaign for them at a fraught moment in this long saga -- but the odor of desperation is thick and rank.

Of course, behind the Horowitz report loom the specters of Barr & Durham. Whatever they've been up to has been hermetically sealed in a globe of silence even more oppressive and nightmarish for the Dems than the IG's inquiry. Barr & Durham are able to make things stick, most crucially genuine criminal culpability for the entire RussiaGate fiasco and all of its offshoots, including the most recent "Whistleblower" caper -- a patently treasonous scheme. Who knows if and when indictments start raining down, but there's a chance that it will be a very hard rain indeed.

I'm not so sure that the Democratic Party can survive the washing away of its beloved narrative by that hard rain.

They are also faced with a field of manifestly lame presidential candidates, especially the current leader of the pack, Joe Biden, fumbling and doddering his way down the campaign trail in an apparent effort to dodge being investigated for the grifts of his Veep years. All this may be enough to put the party down, like a dog that has peed on the carpet one time too many. Somebody else, from some other hastily assembled party, may have to stand against Mr. Trump in 2020.

G. Wally , 20 minutes ago link

On the other hand:

"What is the Democratic Party today? Well, it's the cheerleading squad for "seventeen" government agencies that add up to the craftily-labeled "intel community," a warm-and-fuzzy coalition of snoops, false witnesses, rogue lawfare cadres, seditionists, and bad-faith artists working sedulously to hide their previous misdeeds with ever-fresh ones. They're the party against free speech, the party against due process of law, the party determined to provoke war with Russia. They're the party of sexual confusion, sexual hysteria, and sexual conflict, the party of kangaroo courts, cancel culture, erasing boundaries (including national borders), and of making up rules for all that as they go along -- like the Nazis and Soviets used to do. The ideas and policies they advocate are so comprehensively crazy that their old support of slavery looks quaintly straightforward in comparison."

True enough.

[Dec 06, 2019] Tucker Carlson Main Street Conservatism

Dec 06, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

e at The American Conservative say we're for a 'Main Street' conservatism . There's perhaps no better example of what that means than this 10 minute segment from Tucker Carlson's primetime show last night. Carlson, chairman of TAC's advisory board, dared to go after GOP mega-donor Paul Singer for his thoroughly awful "vulture capitalism" practices -- and the Republican politicians who take his money and remain silent. It was a truly remarkable segment, especially to appear on Fox News.

For the uninitiated, Paul Singer is a New York hedge fund manager who has made billions by purchasing sovereign debt from financially distressed countries. He'd offer struggling foreign governments a lifeline for their debt, then hound them with costly litigation to make a handsome profit on repayment with interest, not unlike a vulture feeding off a carcass -- hence, vulture capitalism. Singer's vulture capitalism isn't limited to foreign countries, though; his hedge fund, Elliot Management, also racks up quite the profit by "investing" in struggling U.S. companies, often off-shoring good paying American jobs in the process.

Much of Carlson's exposé centered around Singer's involvement with the outdoors retailer Cabela's. For many Americans, Cabela's is a yearly staple for hunting and fishing gear. For residents of Sidney, Nebraska, population 6,282 and Cabela's corporate headquarters, it was the economic engine of the flourishing town. For Singer, it was yet another way to add to his bloated net worth. Elliot Management took an ownership stake in Cabela's in 2015, and quickly pushed the board to sell the company. Despite its relative health, Cabela's caved to Elliot Management's wishes, and sold to competitor Bass Pro Shops a year later. Just one week after the merger, amidst surging Cabela's stock prices, Singer's hedge fund cashed out -- to the tune of $90 million up front.

Of course, things didn't work out so well for the town of Sidney. With Bass Pro Shops taking ownership of Cabela's, many good paying jobs in Sidney disappeared -- and many residents were forced to move. Those who didn't leave town quick enough were stuck, as housing prices collapsed. Sidney, once one of the rare thriving small towns surviving the "brain drain," found itself decimated by a New York billionaire who probably never stepped foot in a Cabela's.

Yet the story is not just about another small town fallen prey to a changing economy, because Singer is not just another hedge fund manager. He was the second biggest donor to the GOP in 2016, and has pumped millions of dollars into Republican campaigns. Accordingly, he demands outsized influence over Republican congressmen -- as Carlson noted, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse has been silent on the situation in Sidney. But a closer look at Singer's political investments is revealing as to his brand of "conservatism". He has bankrolled numerous neoconservative foreign policy shops , advocated for more permissive immigration policies , and has been a longtime supporter of pro-LGBT organizations and causes . It's no surprise that he vehemently opposed President Trump's ascendance in 2015.

If you're not yet DVR-ing the 8pm Fox News timeslot, you should be. Last night's segment was the latest evidence that Tucker Carlson is perhaps the only voice on cable news unafraid to call out those on his own side -- even those who are very powerful like Paul Singer. For too long, conservatives have been beholden to moneyed interests that feel no obligation to the country around them. 'Main Street' conservatism, by contrast, sides with the people in places like Sidney, Nebraska over the culturally progressive, interventionist, market absolutists in the centers of power -- regardless of which major party receives their dollars.

about the author Emile A. Doak, senior development associate, coordinates The American Conservative 's fundraising efforts. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he studied political philosophy and theology. Prior to joining TAC , Emile worked in education, teaching and managing college preparation courses for high school students. He and his wife reside in their hometown of Herndon, Virginia.

[Dec 06, 2019] Her constant mind-changing and backpedaling in response to whomever has the political upper-hand at the moment has angered both the DNC establishment as well as the progressive left

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

WJ , December 5, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Said it before and I'll say it again, Warren's personal ambition is often what manifests her poor political instincts. Why did she claim Native American Heritage? Why did she endorse HRC in 2016? Why did she ambiguously support, then unambiguously back away from, M4A?

This trend leads me to suspect that she will not easily back out of the race, and cannot be trusted finally to endorse Sanders in 2020 any more than she could be in 2016. I suspect, in any case, that many of her voters would not default to Sanders but to Buttigieg in any case. They seem to be mostly white professionals between 30-60yrs old who make $120,000/year.

Hepativore , December 5, 2019 at 2:19 pm

Wow, Sanders has really been pulling ahead of Warren if the polls over the past few days are to be believed. I am hoping that this trend continues. Warren's overly-complicated healthcare proposal which she decided to backpedal on at the last moment seems like it has really cost her.

I kind of wonder at this point why Warren decided to run for president in the first place. She seems like the type of person who would rather follow than lead, and would be ill-suited to be president as she would be forced to take a position on something. Warren would have been better served to be clear about what her actual positions are instead of trying to have it both ways. Her constant mind-changing and backpedaling in response to whomever has the political upper-hand at the moment has angered both the DNC establishment as well as the progressive left.

Lambert Strether Post author , December 5, 2019 at 2:22 pm

> angered both the DNC establishment as well as the progressive left.

Warren tried to straddle, and lost both.

Samuel Conner , December 5, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Or, as Abraham Lincoln put it in a letter to "Mr FJ Hooker" as he was contemplating a push across the Rappahannock in the wake of Lee's move westward in June 1863,

"like a bull stuck across a fence that cannot gore to the front or kick to the rear"

I think it was you, Lambert, who drew my attention to "Rich and Tracey's Civil War podcast", and I am grateful.

Lambert Strether Post author , December 5, 2019 at 2:42 pm

Isn't it great? I just listened to that episode!

Trent , December 5, 2019 at 3:34 pm

Love the podcast because we need more stuff like that, but Rich could use a shot of charisma ;)

flora , December 5, 2019 at 3:04 pm

Warren tried to straddle, and lost both.

See Jim Hightower's definition of the political middle of the road.
https://www.amazon.com/Theres-Nothing-Middle-Stripes-Armadillos/dp/0060929499

Arizona Slim , December 5, 2019 at 3:37 pm

And there is nothing, I do mean nothing , that stinks worse than a dead armadillo.

Darius , December 5, 2019 at 3:37 pm

I think Warren is running for treasury secretary in a Biden administration. The theory being that that will be her reward for stopping Sanders. Everybody has an angle. Except Bernie. Can someone show me his angle?

NotTimothyGeithner , December 5, 2019 at 4:44 pm

Warren may be many things, but she despises Biden. She has enough self respect to never work for the turd.

hunkerdown , December 5, 2019 at 4:56 pm

No neoliberal should be assumed to have self-respect. If they did, they wouldn't be neoliberals.

[Dec 06, 2019] The top .01 percent of all income earners in the United States accounted for 29 percent of all political committee fundraising.

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nbcnews.com

It has long required the support of the wealthy -- and a certain level of personal wealth -- to run for president of the United States. In 2016, billions of dollars were raised by Donald Trump's and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaigns. But the rich control much of this cash flow . In 2014, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, the top .01 percent of all income earners in the United States accounted for 29 percent of all political committee fundraising.

There are many reasons why this is a dangerous thing. But a big one is accountability.

[Dec 06, 2019] Anti-war, anti-imperialist, anti-big business/pro-small business

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Cafefilos , December 5, 2019 at 11:50 am

Tucker Carlson has been making comments like this for a long time. And he's not a libertarian. He believes in regulated capitalism.

What we might be seeing is a the beginning of the two parties flipping from left to right on economic issues. The social issues just obscure it, as they were designed to do.

Bushwood , December 5, 2019 at 9:10 am

I wonder if the powers at be at Fox News allow Tucker to go on these rants because they know two things:
1.) 99% of bought and paid for Republican politicians will never do anything about this except perhaps some lip service here and there.
2.) The fact that it's on Fox News will cause the Vichy left to not believe it's real or perhaps a Russian phy op against American capitalism. Thus outside of the Sanders camp there will be no push/support for any change.

Montanamaven , December 5, 2019 at 6:53 pm

Tucker has CHANGED his views on lots of things. Like I have. To be able to admit you were wrong is a big deal. He supported the Iraq War. I didn't. In retrospect, he realized he did this because of group think cool kids thing. Then he realized that he had been conned, He doesn't like being conned. I thought Obama's speech was the opposite of John Edwards "2 Americas". Obama was delivering a "con" I.e. "We are all One America". So now Tucker and I, from different sides, are more skeptical. I started questioning my groupthink Democratic viewpoint in 2004. Slowly I realized that I too had been conned. So some of those on the "right" and Some of those on the "left" have sought other ports to dock in as we figure this all out. Naked Capitalism is one of those docks. So soon we should introduce Tucker to Yves.

mrtmbrnmn , December 5, 2019 at 7:25 pm

As I have frequently pointed out to my once-upon-a-time "liberal" friends, Tucker Carlson is often these days a worthwhile antidote to the collective yelpings & bleatings of the brain-snatched amen corner on MSNBC & CNN. In this instance (and others) his observations are rational and clearly articulated. He makes sense! And he is on the correct (not far right) side of the topic. The continuing Iraq/Syria catastrophe, PutinGate and the hedge fund hooligan Paul Singer are just three recent examples. His arguments (and his snark) are well played. Alas, following these sensible segments, he is still a Fox guy and is obliged to revert to Fox boilerplate for most of the rest of the night. But in our present crackbrained media environment, be thankful for small mercies such as Tucker's moments.

DSB , December 5, 2019 at 8:30 pm

Thanks for the post. I probably would have missed this without you.

There are a couple things that are interesting to me. First, why does Tucker Carlson call out Ben Sasse for accepting a maxed out campaign contribution from Paul Singer? The Governor of Nebraska then and now is Pete Ricketts. His father (Joe – TD Ameritrade, Chicago Cubs) is a "very good friend" of Paul Singer. Everyone believes Pete Ricketts wants to run for US Senate and the nearest opportunity is Ben Sasse's seat. More than meets the eye?

https://www.omaha.com/money/td-ameritrade-founder-ricketts-cabela-s-investor-very-good-friend/article_f1259ad4-7416-547b-8121-38766ef03cec.html

Two, a longtime director of Cabela's is Mike McCarthy of McCarthy Capital. [Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel worked for McCarthy.] ES&S (electronic voting machines) is owned by McCarthy Group, LLC.

More here than just money?

[Dec 06, 2019] Hillary smears Bernie Sanders

Dec 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Hillary Clinton went on the Howard Stern show this week for a wide-ranging interview with the popular radio host, specifically focusing on her loss to Trump and what 2020 looks like -- a race she's recently dropped hints she could be prepared to enter, however unlikely that might be.

While the Wednesday interview was widely covered in the media, there's one segment largely overlooked in the mainstream, but which is stunning nonetheless. We've grown used to her 'Trump is a Russian asset' line in her typical blame game fashion anytime she makes a media appearance; however, she did repeat the less common conspiracy that links rival Democrat Bernie Sanders to the Kremlin .

me title=

She wasn't even asked, but briefly voluntarily inserted the reference while discussing the Mueller investigation.

Speaking of the Russians, she claimed, "They were like - 'hey let's do everything we can to elect Donald Trump'. Those are quotes... those are words [they used]... And they also said Bernie Sanders ."

"But you know that's for another day..."

Stern runs with it: "Do we hate Bernie Sanders?"

"I don't hate anybody," but agrees with Stern's assessment that he took a while to endorse her: "He could have. He hurt me, there's no doubt about it ."

Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders at a debate on February 4, 2016 in Durham, New Hampshire. Getty Images

Then she delivered the final punch at a moment Sanders continues to gain in the polls , especially among young voters: "And I hope he doesn't do it again to whoever gets the nomination. Once is enough."

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There it is: her disastrous 2016 loss continues to be the fault of everyone else, who are apparently all somehow Russian puppets, even the Leftist Jewish Senator from Vermont (and let's not forget the Green Party's Jill Stein ).

* * *

If you can stomach watching it, she elsewhere describes in detail 'how she felt' being present for Trump's inauguration ceremony. "Which was one of the hardest days of my life, to be honest!"


KimAsa , 48 minutes ago link

This hag hijacked the Democrat party and transformed it into a cabal of criminal misfits, pedofiles, liars, murderers and psychopaths. The DNC is a permanent reflection of her treachery subscribing to everything unwholesome and wicked.

sha384 , 1 hour ago link

I guess we're all russians now, except for Hillary and her small cabal of psychopaths

Smerf , 1 hour ago link

April 2015 Clinton Campaign email ( https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/1120 );

"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. Pied Piper candidates include, but aren't limited to:

We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to them seriously."

Clinton was actively promoting the campaign of a Russian Asset.

[Dec 06, 2019] I have long thought that Paul Singer is representative of the worst people in the world

Notable quotes:
"... If we despise Singer, we must also despise Congress. ..."
"... If we despise Singer, we must also despise Congress. ..."
Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

tegnost , December 5, 2019 at 8:25 am

I have long thought that paul singer is representative of the worst people in the world (argentina wtf)
and I'm glad carlson put his face up there so many times for his victims to see, in case he ever ventures out of mordor undisguised. For all the money he has, a truly worthless pos, as the closing comment made so clear. Good for Carlson, though, almost seems like actual journalism. Kudos.

Dalepues , December 5, 2019 at 10:00 am

Glad to see someone in the MSM point out the obvious .Carlson called out Singer, but in doing so he also called out the Republican Party, specifically Sen. Ben Sasse from Nebraska. It will be interesting to see if Sasse is reelected.

Mike Mc , December 5, 2019 at 11:43 am

Nebraskans – R and D both – should toss Sasse to the curb. He's angered regular bat-poo crazy Republicans by his "never Trump" blather, then angered Nebraska Democrats (both of us) by voting Trump/GOP well over 90 percent of the time.

Add to this his folksy BS appearances in the media and his execrable books, and he's a classic empty suit. Closer to a straight Republican Mayor Pete than any thing else – over-credentialed, over-ambitious and under performing.

Our Nebraska Democratic Party problem is two-fold: incredibly thin bench for decent candidates and preponderance of Clinton/Obama/HRC leftovers running the state party. Will be knocking on doors for Bernie come 2020 but state races are iffy at best.

Susan the Other , December 5, 2019 at 10:36 am

Tucker has good sense. Perhaps Paul Singer is probably retiring from vultury. He's old and it's a nasty fight. Singer is at the end of a 30 year stint of dispossessing other people. Being vicious really isn't enough to keep the federal government at bay. Nor are his bribes. There has been an unspoken policy of dispossessing poor and middle class people. Why? Is the United States actually looking at a specific future? That wouldn't align with the free market – tsk tsk. Or would it? Live free, die free. Somebody needs to define the word "free". Did TPTB decide to deindustrialize this country that long ago? That's when they attacked the unions. And the consensus might have been, "Go for it; get it while you can." So Paul Singer did just that, along with other creepy people like Mitt Romney. Because once the country has been hosed out by these guys we won't be pushing the old capitalist economy at all. We will be pushing a globally connected, sustainable economy. Paul Singer is just a dung beetle. And our government didn't want to discuss it because they would have had to create a safety net. If we despise Singer, we must also despise Congress.

Reply

Carolinian , December 5, 2019 at 11:05 am

He was born in 1944 so not that old. He could go on vulturing for a long time. Reply

HotFlash , December 5, 2019 at 2:26 pm

If we despise Singer, we must also despise Congress.

But I do!

Reply

Sancho Panza , December 5, 2019 at 9:03 pm

If we despise Singer, we must also despise Congress. -Susan the Other

Agreed. I think you can argue Congress (and the Executive Branch) have done more to help the Chinese middle class than the American middle class over the last 30 years. Co-locating our industrial base with the CCP on communist soil should be looked upon as the most radical policy in our history but is not. Imagine if at the height of the Cold War we had told Kruschev hey..how about you make all the stuff we need and we'll pay you $20 or $30T in trade surplus over a number of years in hard currency which you can then parlay into geopolitical power in Africa, South America, the ME and else where. What would the America of the fifties think of this policy?

Reply

Carey , December 6, 2019 at 1:03 am

>Co-locating our industrial base with the CCP on communist soil should be looked upon as the most radical policy in our history but is not.

Truer words were never spoken. And that in a period of less than thirty
years

"our leaders™"

Reply

Carey , December 5, 2019 at 11:39 pm

>Because once the country has been hosed out by these guys we won't be pushing the old capitalist economy at all. We will be pushing a globally connected, sustainable economy.

Can you expand a little on this?

[Dec 06, 2019] Tucker Carlson Tears into Vulture Capitalist Paul Singer for Strip Mining American Towns

Notable quotes:
"... If we despise Singer, we must also despise Congress. ..."
"... If we despise Singer, we must also despise Congress. ..."
Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

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Fearless commentary on finance, economics, politics and power Recent Items Tucker Carlson Tears into Vulture Capitalist Paul Singer for Strip Mining American Towns Posted on December 5, 2019 by Yves Smith In a bit of synchronicity, Lambert gave a mini-speech tonight that dovetails with an important Tucker Carlson segment about how hedge funds are destroying flyover. As UserFriendly lamented, "It is beyond sad that Tucker Carlson is doing better journalism than just about anywhere else." That goes double given that Carlson has only short segments and TV isn't well suited to complicated arguments.

Lambert fondly recalled the America he grew up in in Indiana, before his parents moved to Maine, where most people were comfortable or at least not in perilous shape, where blue collar labor, like working in a factory or repairing cars, was viewed with respect, and where cities and towns were economic and social communities, with their own businesses and local notables, and national chain operations were few. Yes, there was an underbelly to this era of broadly shared economic prosperity, such as gays needing to be closeted and women having to get married if they wanted a decent lifestyle.

I'm not doing his remarks justice, but among other things, the greater sense of stability contributed to more people being able to be legitimately optimistic. If you found a decent job, you weren't exposed to MBA-induced downsizings or merger-induced closures. Even in the transitional 1970s, Lambert got his first job in a mill! He liked his work and was able to support himself, rent an apartment, and enjoy some modest luxuries. Contrast that with the economic status of a Walmart clerk or an Amazon warehouse worker. And even now, the small towns that remain cling to activities that bring people together, as Lambert highlighted in Water Cooler earlier this week:

Please watch this clip in full. Carlson begins with an unvarnished description of the wreckage that America's heartlands have become as financial predators have sucked local businesses dry, leaving shrunken communities, poverty and drug addiction in their wake.

Readers may wonder why Carlson singles out hedge funds rather than private equity, but he has courageously singled out one of the biggest political forces in DC, the notorious vulture capitalist Paul Singer, best known for his pitched battles with Peru and Argentina after he bought their debt at knocked-down prices. Carlson describes some US examples from his rapacious playbook, zeroing on Delphi, where Singer got crisis bailout money and then shuttered most US operation, and Cabela's, where a Singer-pressured takeover wrecked one of the few remaining prosperous American small towns, Sidney, Nebraska. Not only are former employees still afraid of Singer, but even Carlson was warned against taking on the famously vindictive Singer.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/IdwH066g5lQ


Sound of the Suburbs , December 5, 2019 at 5:35 am

It is in my self-interest to make as much money as possible doing as little work as possible.

I can live a very comfortable life of leisure with a BTL portfolio extracting the hard earned income of generation rent.
Excellent.

What would be the best thing to do?
1) Work really hard to build up a company myself
2) Asset strip a company that has been built up by someone else

It's not even hard.

Kevin Hall , December 5, 2019 at 6:56 am

"it's not even hard"

And also very, VERY short sighted. Sure, it will make you an easy buck today.

It will also slit your throat tomorrow.

Just like Omar, winter 1789 is coming.

jef , December 5, 2019 at 1:52 pm

Kev said; "It will also slit your throat tomorrow."

This, aggressive mergers and acquisitions, has been going on for a very long time and everybody always says that but I have yet to see any wealthy person suffer more than a small loss of a point or 2.

The fact is thats where we are at with capitalism. Money MUST become more money. There are no outside considerations not even human life.

We all talk about robots going rogue and killing off humanity. Well money is already doing that.

Sound of the Suburbs , December 6, 2019 at 1:18 am

This was the lesson Alan Greenspan learnt after 2008.
He hadn't realized bankers would bring the whole system down for personal gain, but they did.

Starrman , December 5, 2019 at 9:48 am

Sound of the Suburbs, your comment suggests that this is the way things are and that there is nothing to do about it, but that is wrong. It's not inherent to markets or to nature. In fact, "it's not even hard" because we have agreed to it as part of the social contract, and created policies that enable it. We can reverse the calculation by changing the tax rules, accounting rules, and legal liability rules and this calculation reverses. TLDR; vote Bernie.

JTMcPhee , December 5, 2019 at 10:03 pm

Which "we" are you talking about? You assume an entity with agency, when there is no such thing. How do YOU suggest "WE" rewrite the non-existent "social contract?" Or change the tax rules, the accounting rules, the Delaware corporations law, the Federal Codes of Civil and Criminal Procedure, the current contents of the Code of Federal Regulations, the United States Code and all the other trappings of legitimacy that give "us" the looting we suffer and remove any access to 'agency" to re-fix things? I hope Bernie wins/is allowed to win, but he would need the skills of a Machiavelli and Richelieu and Bismarck to "drain the swamp" of all the horrible creatures and muck that swirls there.

Not to say it's not worth trying "our" mope-level damndest to make it happen.

Mr Broken Record , December 5, 2019 at 5:44 am

I can't believe this is Tucker Carlson wow

That said – it doesn't seem to me that Cabelas was 'forced' to sell. Singer owned less than 12% of the stock. Is he to blame for either managerial greed, or lack of cojones? I'm not praising Singer, just saying ISTM that he had couldn't have succeeded there without the greed or cowardice of management. I could be wrong.

Carlson said this behavior is banned in the UK, how does that work?

Yves Smith Post author , December 5, 2019 at 7:15 am

Tthis is standard operating procedure for takeovers and greenmail in the US. First, 11% is going to be way way above average trading volumes. Second, unless management owns a lot of shares or has large blocks in the hands of loyal friends, many investors will follow the money and align with a greenmailer.

When a hostile player is forced to announce that he has a stake >5% by the SEC's 13-D filing requirement, managements start sweating bullets. "Activist" hedge funds regularly make tons of trouble with 10% to 15% stakes. CalPERS was a very effective activist investor in its glory years (not even hostile but pushing hard for governance changes) with much smaller stakes.

The New York Post, which is very strong on covering hedge funds, confirms Carlson's take. From a 2016 article:

Hedgie Paul Singer hit another bull's-eye with his Cabela's investment.

Singer's Elliott Management bought an 11 percent stake in the hunting supply chain last October and pressed the Springfield, Mo., chain to pursue strategic alternatives -- including a sale.

On Monday, his suggestion was heeded as the 55-year-old company said it agreed to a $5.5 billion, $65.50-per-share takeover offer from rival Bass Pro Shops.

For Singer, who purchased much of his Cabela's stake at between $36 and $40 a share, Monday's news means that the fund gained roughly 72 percent on its investment.

The same story depicts Singer as able to exert pressure with even smaller interests:

The hedge fund had an 8.8 percent stake in the company and was expected to net $58 million in profits, The Post reported.

Elliott, which in June announced a 4.7 stake in PulteGroup, named three board members to the Atlanta-based homebuilding company.

Last Thursday, it readied a new target, taking an 8.1 percent stake in Mentor Graphics, a Wilsonville, Ore.-based developer of electronic design automation software.

Since then, shares of the company have risen 6 percent, to $26.24.

Mentor represents a "classic" Elliott investment, a source close to the matter told The Post, adding that it is a "perfect time" for the company to sell itself.

https://nypost.com/2016/10/03/cabelas-is-sold-for-5-5b-a-win-for-paul-singer/

Joe Well , December 5, 2019 at 9:56 am

You have a gift for explaining these things to people with a lot of education but not in finance. I was confused by this, too, until I read your comment.

WJ , December 5, 2019 at 11:17 am

+100 Very well put.

Roquentin , December 5, 2019 at 3:08 pm

Ditto on that.

Danny , December 5, 2019 at 1:39 pm

"CalPERS was a very effective activist investor in its glory years (not even hostile but pushing hard for governance changes) with much smaller stakes."

Does that mean they pulled the same parasitical stripping of companies to raise money to help pay pensions?

But, since it represents public employees and their paymasters, the taxpayers, couldn't CALPERS be forced to only effect deals that create the most employment, ideally in California, rather than destroy it? i.e. a ban on job destroying deals.

That would be a long term investment in California, rather than a short term means to raise cash, no?

Yves Smith Post author , December 5, 2019 at 6:38 pm

No, CalPERS was pushing for governance reforms like cutting the pay of obviously overpaid CEOs and fighting dodgy accounting. See here:

https://money.cnn.com/2012/05/02/markets/calpers-activist/index.htm

anon in so cal , December 5, 2019 at 9:55 am

Tucker Carlson has taken remarkably courageous positions on a number of issues, including Syria, Ukraine, Russia, etc.

Matt Stoller tweets praise of Carlson's report on Singer:

"There is a real debate on the right.
@TuckerCarlson just guts billionaire Paul Singer over the destruction of a Nebraska town through financial predation. And Carlson is merciless towards Senator @BenSasse for taking $$$ and remaining silent."

https://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/1202079677357207552?s=20

YankeeFrank , December 5, 2019 at 5:45 am

I get the sense sh_t's gonna get biblical soon. Its long past time for people like Singer to reap the whirlwind.

Ramon Zarate , December 5, 2019 at 6:23 am

I have noticed a considerable uptick in comments across a whole range of sites about things "going to get biblical".
When the next downturn happens there seems to be every indication that it's going to be on an unprecedented scale.
Traditionally that's always seem to be time to have a good war, you can get the country to focus on an external common enemy, you can ramp up industrial production providing full employment and you can use national security to clamp down on dissent. Nuclear weapons seems to have put paid to that idea unless our leaders convince themselves that they can survive and flourish in their bunkers (while simultaneously relieving themselves of a large surplus of global population)
The populations willing embrace of the security state through all our electronic devices will be a large hurdle for revolutionary elements as well as the crushing of dissent via institutions like the FBI and the mainstream media.
The French and the Russians succeeded in the past. I doubt if I will either live long enough to see it (being old) or even less likely to live through it.

Synoia , December 5, 2019 at 12:20 pm

Biblical in the OT sense. In the NT going biblical was a sacrifice.

I'm not fond of the phrase as it is a euphemism for violence or war. Under that definition, the US, through declared and undeclared wars, has been going biblical for most of my life.

Boris , December 5, 2019 at 6:05 am

In the Jimmy Dore show this is almost a running joke now: He shows a clip with Tucker Carlson, where Tucker is doing what you would expect the "liberal" media to do, like going against the deep state, criticizing regime change wars (a few times with Tusi as his guest), or something like this great piece against Singer and the hedge funds. Jimmy Dore then, each time, shakes his head in disbelief and asks, "Why the hell is Tucker Carlson the only one who is allowed to say things like this? Its a mystery! I dont get it!"
-- indeed: Why, and why on Fox News?

Isotope_C14 , December 5, 2019 at 6:26 am

Why is he allowed?

Because it sells. Can't let RT steal all the money with anti-war voices, Watching the Hawks, Jesse Ventura, On Contact with Chris Hedges, these shows have viewership, and the Fox news owners know it.

Perhaps they'll have to make Tucker Carlson FOX, the TCFOX news channel. An anti-establishment, pro-capitalism libertarianesque program experience, where they can decry all the pro-war democrats, and RINO's, while making a case that capitalism isn't working cause of "big government".

Of course "private property" requiires state enforcement, which, when you remind libertarians that they are "statists", they don't like that too much

funemployed , December 5, 2019 at 9:26 am

It sells, but also doesn't pose a real threat to the powers that be. He creates very accurate, specific, personally moving, well-produced, diagnoses of problems (he even names names!)

Then he and his ilk imply that the only solution is to magically create a government free white Christian ethnostate where the good non-corrupt capitalists (like, as he states in this video, the rockefellers and carnegies apparently were) will bring us back to the good ol days.

I strongly recommend sitting down for a good long policy discussion with a Tucker Carlson fan. In my experience they will, without exception, go to great lengths to convince you that a vote for Bernie will, undoubtedly, make all the problems Tucker describes worse, cuz gubmint bad and racist dog whistles.

I suspect absent Carlson and his ilk, Bernie would actually have an easier time making inroads into the republican base.

John Wright , December 5, 2019 at 11:00 am

I heard no Carlson mention of "magically create a government free white Christian ethnostate where the good non-corrupt capitalists (like, as he states in this video, the rockefellers and carnegies apparently were) will bring us back to the good ol days."

Carlson seemed to suggest that prior US capitalists "felt some obligation" while, to me, implying that current US capitalist versions do not feel this obligation.

Bernie could show he will listen to good ideas from all sides, even when the ideas surface on Fox.

Carlson did mention some "countries have banned this kind of behavior, including the United Kingdom" which suggests legislative changes are possible.

If Bernie were to pitch a legislative fix, he might pick up some Tucker Carlson fans.

Maybe Bernie might get mentioned favorably by Carlson.

Danny , December 5, 2019 at 1:58 pm

"a government free white Christian ethnostate"

Carnegie built hundreds of public libraries, Rockefeller donated thousands of acres of land, Sears founder
Julius Rosenwald funded the beginnings of the NAACP.

funemployed , December 5, 2019 at 3:17 pm

Well, we can agree to disagree on whether or not Carlson's regularly invoked vision of deserving Americans is racist or ethnocentric, and I'll admit his view of the role of government can seem a bit schizophrenic at times – as far as I can tell he has strongly libertarian sensibilities but in recent years figured out that "free" markets do, in fact, require government regulations.

But I do strongly recommend reading a few social/economic histories of the US from the industrial revolution through the beginning of the great depression.

I promise those fellows you mention were not quite so swell as Tucker makes out, and that the relationship between philanthropy and capital hasn't changed as much as you seem to think.

Shiloh1 , December 5, 2019 at 3:54 pm

Didn't know that Tucker was a DNC Superdelegate or purveyor of trick coins last election.

Roquentin , December 5, 2019 at 3:20 pm

I'll just say this, if I were playing for the other team so to speak, and I were a GOP strategist trying to secure a future for the party, the easy move would be to adopt a degree of populist rhetoric and at least make some gestures towards easing the pain of towns which have been rendered post-industrial wastelands by people like Singer and acknowledge what's been done. It would be almost comically easy to paint the Democrats as the political party of globalized capitalism (because they are), even more so because most of the places that are key liberal constituencies are also centers of the financial industry (Manhattan and San Fransisco, for example). It wouldn't take much to graft the loathing of "urban elites" in these communities onto PE and hedge funds. This, combined with toning down the nationalist rhetoric, cutting back on the racism and homophobia (hell, even just keeping your mouth shut about it) would pretty much build an unstoppable electoral majority.

Back in the days when I was more optimistic about the Democrats, I always tried to warn people that if the Democrats (and other center left parties) waited too long and let the GOP be the first ones to the lifeboats when neoliberalism started to sink, they'd get stuck holding the bag even if the GOP had more to do with those policies historically. But pursuing this strategy would imply that the GOP is somehow less beholden to its donors than the Democrats, which it isn't, but maybe Tucker Carlson is the canary in the coal mine. Even people on the right realize the jig is up, and that they better start trying to cut some kind of deal with the rising populist currents in US politics if they want to stay in power.

flora , December 5, 2019 at 6:32 am

Thanks very much for this post.

divadab , December 5, 2019 at 6:34 am

Tucker Carlson on Fox is making sense, while MSNBC and CNN peddle nonsense. What better reason to cancel your cable and say adios to the fakery and programming.

The Rev Kev , December 5, 2019 at 6:40 am

In other unrelated news, Paul Singer has announced that he is providing funding to the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research to try and understand why so many "flyover" Americans give their votes to Trump. "It's a mystery. I have no idea why they would not vote for a good Republican candidate instead – like my boy Mitt Romney" he stated. "Why would they do that? Maybe I should run for President like my buddy Mike. Then they could all vote for me. Or else!"

Reading his Wikipedia page, I notice that he only donates money to things that effect him personally. He went to Harvard so he gives to Harvard. He lives in New York so he gives money to the Food bank and the Police – which both serve to keep the place calm. He is Jewish so he gives a ton to money to pro-Israel causes. He votes Republican so he helps fund Republicans that will defend wealthy people like him. One son comes out as gay so he gives to same-sex marriage & LGBTQ causes. He provides money to organizations that fight taxes being imposed on wealthy people like himself. It is a very narrow circle of concerns that he has. And the vast bulk of Americans are outside this circle I note.

But of all people to call him on his part in destroying the real economy of the United States. That which actually makes stuff and does stuff instead of financial bs. Of all the people to do so it is Tucker-goddamnn-Carlson. And on Fox News to boot. The same person that "liberal" protesters were demonstrating outside his home with his family inside because they did not like his beliefs. It is kinda funny when you think about it. A right wing commentator is attacking the Left. But from their left.

Jane , December 5, 2019 at 9:21 am

It is kinda funny when you think about it. A right wing commentator is attacking the Left. But from their left.

What better proof that there is no Left left in the Left any more? Today's Left is to the right of what used to be the Centre, Liberals are what used to be Conservative and Conservatives have moved into "here there be dragons" territory. .

jrs , December 5, 2019 at 11:48 am

This is nonsense, the DSA for example is to the right of what used to be the Center? They aren't left enough for some, including some of their members I suspect but .. But the left period has little actual power is the thing. And it's all about taking power.

polecat , December 5, 2019 at 12:17 pm

Like I've mentioned previously – politically .. our society has gone through a phase-shift. Mr. Carlson is but just one example. So are those of us who held our noses, after seeing how transparently conniving the DNC et al were, and voted for the Julius de Orange !

Math is Your Friend , December 5, 2019 at 12:23 pm

"the crushing of dissent via institutions like the FBI and the mainstream media"

This will be unnecessary. Recent research indicates that when people feel like they are being watched, they self-censor.

The growing number of activist special interest groups with a myriad of hot topics and disparate worldviews and interests just about guarantees that anything you say other than parroting the current majority opinion will offend someone.

Couple that with murky legal powers, the unpredictability of the Twitter/Instagram mob, doxing, and the expansion, both in extent and number of players, of ubiquitous surveillance, and significant dissent becomes more and more a thing of the past.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the growing unreliability of political polls?

Yves Smith Post author , December 5, 2019 at 6:42 pm

Another reason not to carry a smartphone or keep in mainly in a Faraday bag.

SB in StL , December 5, 2019 at 4:18 pm

There is a populist Left. Its figurehead is Bernie but there are growing local/state organizations like the DSA that may become relevant nationally in the not-too-distant future. AOC is a current/future leader for this faction.

There is a populist Right. Its figurehead is Trump. From what I can tell, they're primarily online but are also gaining strength in traditional conservative institutions like churches, community orgs, etc.. Tucker appeals to this group. Josh Hawley is a Senator from MO with presidential ambitions who I expect will lead this faction after Trump is gone. He is the slick-but-folksy and deadly serious neo-Fascist type many on this board worry/warn about taking power if a real Left does not arise to counter it/him.

Then there is the establishment elites (or ruling class, or deep state, whatever), which are primarily Neoliberal (domestic policy) and Neoconservative (foreign policy). There have long been these types in both parties, differing only by degree, but Trump has forced most of the "liberal" Republicans into the D party. This group controls the money and most of the key institutions, particularly the major media, tech, energy, and financial corporations, but their grip is slipping and the mask is falling off. Some will side with the populist Left, but most will welcome the new Fascism, i.e. the DNC apparatchiks who would rather lose to Trump than win with Bernie.

Danny , December 5, 2019 at 2:08 pm

Mitt Romney, Bain Capital, another species of parasite, sucking some of the last marrow out of the bones of America. Beware of billionaires who demonstrate that they are aliens to our society.

Tom67 , December 5, 2019 at 7:10 am

I read Tucker Carlsons book "ship of fools". It is all in there: criticism of the war fare state, Wall Street, TBTF bail outs a.s.o. He spares neither Republicans nor Democrats. Kinda crazy but he voices more or less exactly what Sanders is saying as well. Except he doesn´t get "Medicare for all" and he is social conservative. Still you might think that there is enough common ground to work together. Instead we get crazy idendity politics. I more and more believe that it is indeed so that the people on top have realised that "identity politics" is the best thing that ever happened to them: divice et impera. Divide and rule as already the Romans knew

tegnost , December 5, 2019 at 8:31 am

The biggest threat of Sanders is his cross over appeal to the lower orders.

GramSci , December 5, 2019 at 12:21 pm

And the biggest threat from Tucker Carlson is that the lower orders will believe that Carlson-cum-Trump are as much their friend as Sanders. One of the longest-standing Idpol divisions in US history has been unions vs. scabs. Over the past half-century, the Democratic Party has realigned its public image in favor of the scabs. The union leadership stayed with the Dems, but the rank-and-file long ago moved over to the Repubs. Old wine, new bottle.

JBird4049 , December 5, 2019 at 11:05 pm

Unions were weakened and made easier to destroy using IdPol. First by encouraging banning, sometimes expelling, blacks from the various unions and secondly getting rid of first the communists, then the socialists, and finally those deemed too liberal (not conservative enough).

Although the efforts by business interests, often helped by government at all levels, to segregate unions was mainly in the 19th century and the "Better Dead Than Red" campaign was in the 20th especially after 1947, the use of racism and anti-leftism was done in both centuries.

You can see similar successful splintering of the Civil Rights Movements. First separating the Suffragettes from from the anti-racism efforts. Then later the efforts to unite the Women's Rights Movement with the successful efforts against racism was the 1960s were thwarted.

Let us just say that reform movement of the past two centuries has been splintered. The earlier women's rights and the abolitionists, blacks and whites throughout the unions, suffragettes and the anti lynching efforts, communists from everyone else, anti poverty from equal rights ( MLK did get lead poisoning when he tried) and so.

So when I see the latest efforts to use IdPol to split poor people from everyone else or blacks from whites, and see people falling for the same tactics I just lose my mind. Obviously.

Carolinian , December 5, 2019 at 9:03 am

You might think but you'd be wrong. St Clair in Counterpunch calls hims Tuckkker Carlson–apparently because Carlson agrees with Trump on things like immigration. I read Carlson's book too and would say only about half of it was material I would agree with. But the notion that anyone who doesn't stand up to IDPol standards is a villain is crushing the left. They obsess over Trump while the wealthy of both parties wreck the country.

workingclasshero , December 5, 2019 at 1:48 pm

Yeah.those crazy folks who believe a sovereign nation might just have a right to control it's borders.

Carey , December 5, 2019 at 11:29 pm

I'd go along sooner with Tucker Carlson than Mr. St Clair, whose CP smeared both Caitlin Johnstone and CJ Hopkins. St Clair and CP are controlled "oppo", IMO.

The commenter you were replying to had it right: divide et impera is the order of the day; sometimes from unexpected sources, like the one mentioned above.

zagonostra , December 5, 2019 at 7:39 am

Tucker Carlson's trajectory is that of Keith Olbermann in reverse

Art , December 5, 2019 at 9:12 am

I hope that means he'll be anchoring sportscenter soon

WJ , December 5, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Hilarious.

ex-PFC Chuck , December 5, 2019 at 8:15 am

Great post! TC has strode out of the Fox News subset of the Overton window a number of times in recent years.

PS: Yves, some introductory text to the part about Lambert's speech apparently didn't make it into the post. It would fit between the 1st and 2nd paragraphs.

tegnost , December 5, 2019 at 9:26 am

I've been searching for lamberts speech, any tips as to where it is?

Fox Blew , December 5, 2019 at 8:19 am

In my opinion, Tucker Carlson represents a very real and very active right-libertarian view that has been consistently present within the Republican Party for decades. Anti-war, anti-imperialist, anti-big business/pro-small business, and of course, anti-big union. Robert Taft comes to mind. I don't share their "ideologies" but as a self-described socialist, I am deeply attracted to their criticisms. And criticisms ARE important and necessary, even if the solutions are left wanting. I dearly hope that his popularity is a sign of the realignment of politics, where issues of class and war become commonplace and issues of "to impeach or not to impeach" fall by the wayside. I recognize that my hopes may not turn to realities.

jrs , December 5, 2019 at 11:57 am

But for an employee it makes no difference if they work for a big or small business (only big business on average is LESS exploitative if anything – if for no other reason but they can afford to be – some of the worst exploitation out there is employees working for small business owners).

Carey , December 5, 2019 at 11:33 pm

That has most emphatically *not* been my experience.
With small business there is someone to talk to / point at.

teacup , December 5, 2019 at 4:04 pm

Exactly, right libertarian. Within the libertarian spectrum there are real and then royal libertarians, Tucker is of the latter. http://geolib.com/essays/sullivan.dan/royallib.html
What are his immigration views? Are people motivated to come here because this global vulture octopus thing has ruined their home market?

tegnost , December 5, 2019 at 8:25 am

I have long thought that paul singer is representative of the worst people in the world (argentina wtf)
and I'm glad carlson put his face up there so many times for his victims to see, in case he ever ventures out of mordor undisguised. For all the money he has, a truly worthless pos, as the closing comment made so clear. Good for Carlson, though, almost seems like actual journalism. Kudos.

James , December 5, 2019 at 8:55 am

If we assume that good mergers achieve cost savings which ultimately benefit the consumer (they very often do, assuming a good merger), is it better that a relatively large number of people save money on goods, or that a relatively smaller number of people keep duplicate, unnecessary jobs?

Grebo , December 5, 2019 at 11:44 am

Can you name such a good merger? Mergers by definition must reduce competition, and by classical Liberal theory competition is what reduces prices for consumers.

In Neoliberal theory monopoly is the just reward for beating the competition. Sorry consumers! Bad luck workers!

By what criteria do you deem a job unnecessary? Neoliberal criteria.

John Wright , December 5, 2019 at 12:01 pm

Here are some ways a merger can be bad for the US consumer.

If a merger results in employee pensions being transferred to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (US government funded) then employee pension costs are being transferred to the US taxpayer/consumer.

Or consider that a merger might create a monopoly that can raise consumer prices.

How does one determine that a proposed merger will be a good one that will "ultimately benefit the consumer."?

eg , December 5, 2019 at 3:04 pm

Let them eat consumer surplus, eh?

/sarc

No thanks.

Memphis Paul , December 5, 2019 at 9:00 am

Good morning Yves.
Tucker Carlson invoke Paul Singer noted ultra vulture as vehicle to transport Yves, others to Fox News Commentary!
Seems the Good Night and Good Luck segue from Edward R Murro via Keith Olbermann to Tucker Carlson is complete.

pjay , December 5, 2019 at 9:07 am

Thank you for this. It is a story that has been repeated countless times across the country, including the midwestern town where I was born and raised.

As for Carlson being the only source of occasional light in the MSM -- the clarification continues. It has truly become Bizarro World.

Bushwood , December 5, 2019 at 9:10 am

I wonder if the powers at be at Fox News allow Tucker to go on these rants because they know two things:
1.) 99% of bought and paid for Republican politicians will never do anything about this except perhaps some lip service here and there.
2.) The fact that it's on Fox News will cause the Vichy left to not believe it's real or perhaps a Russian phy op against American capitalism. Thus outside of the Sanders camp there will be no push/support for any change.

Dalepues , December 5, 2019 at 10:00 am

Glad to see someone in the MSM point out the obvious .Carlson called out Singer, but in doing so he also called out the Republican Party, specifically Sen. Ben Sasse from Nebraska. It will be interesting to see if Sasse is reelected.

Mike Mc , December 5, 2019 at 11:43 am

Nebraskans – R and D both – should toss Sasse to the curb. He's angered regular bat-poo crazy Republicans by his "never Trump" blather, then angered Nebraska Democrats (both of us) by voting Trump/GOP well over 90 percent of the time.

Add to this his folksy BS appearances in the media and his execrable books, and he's a classic empty suit. Closer to a straight Republican Mayor Pete than any thing else – over-credentialed, over-ambitious and under performing.

Our Nebraska Democratic Party problem is two-fold: incredibly thin bench for decent candidates and preponderance of Clinton/Obama/HRC leftovers running the state party. Will be knocking on doors for Bernie come 2020 but state races are iffy at best.

Brian (another one they call) , December 5, 2019 at 10:24 am

In a wacky pre apocalyptic world, truth and justice is pined for by many. Conservation is a critical requirement. I now look at what is true and what is not, I know, very subjective. Those folks that tell us to do things that harm us are transparent. We follow them at our peril.
I consider Sanders the most conservative option we have for the nation. He intends to 'conserve' our nation and the people first. Something we have not had for decades, or ever, perhaps. Giving the people with the most to lose a voice in how things move forward is a critical point of distinction from the rest of the field.
so vote conservative. Protect that which makes us whole. Stop the looting and take back what has been stolen to benefit all instead of a small clique of criminals.
But I'm an optimist.

Susan the Other , December 5, 2019 at 10:36 am

Tucker has good sense. Perhaps Paul Singer is probably retiring from vultury. He's old and it's a nasty fight. Singer is at the end of a 30 year stint of dispossessing other people. Being vicious really isn't enough to keep the federal government at bay. Nor are his bribes. There has been an unspoken policy of dispossessing poor and middle class people. Why? Is the United States actually looking at a specific future? That wouldn't align with the free market – tsk tsk. Or would it? Live free, die free. Somebody needs to define the word "free". Did TPTB decide to deindustrialize this country that long ago? That's when they attacked the unions. And the consensus might have been, "Go for it; get it while you can." So Paul Singer did just that, along with other creepy people like Mitt Romney. Because once the country has been hosed out by these guys we won't be pushing the old capitalist economy at all. We will be pushing a globally connected, sustainable economy. Paul Singer is just a dung beetle. And our government didn't want to discuss it because they would have had to create a safety net. If we despise Singer, we must also despise Congress.

Carolinian , December 5, 2019 at 11:05 am

He was born in 1944 so not that old. He could go on vulturing for a long time.

HotFlash , December 5, 2019 at 2:26 pm

If we despise Singer, we must also despise Congress.

But I do!

Sancho Panza , December 5, 2019 at 9:03 pm

If we despise Singer, we must also despise Congress. -Susan the Other

Agreed. I think you can argue Congress (and the Executive Branch) have done more to help the Chinese middle class than the American middle class over the last 30 years. Co-locating our industrial base with the CCP on communist soil should be looked upon as the most radical policy in our history but is not. Imagine if at the height of the Cold War we had told Kruschev hey..how about you make all the stuff we need and we'll pay you $20 or $30T in trade surplus over a number of years in hard currency which you can then parlay into geopolitical power in Africa, South America, the ME and else where. What would the America of the fifties think of this policy?

Carey , December 6, 2019 at 1:03 am

>Co-locating our industrial base with the CCP on communist soil should be looked upon as the most radical policy in our history but is not.

Truer words were never spoken. And that in a period of less than thirty
years

"our leaders™"

Carey , December 5, 2019 at 11:39 pm

>Because once the country has been hosed out by these guys we won't be pushing the old capitalist economy at all. We will be pushing a globally connected, sustainable economy.

Can you expand a little on this?

Cafefilos , December 5, 2019 at 11:50 am

Tucker Carlson has been making comments like this for a long time. And he's not a libertarian. He believes in regulated capitalism.

What we might be seeing is a the beginning of the two parties flipping from left to right on economic issues. The social issues just obscure it, as they were designed to do.

jrs , December 5, 2019 at 12:13 pm

the only question then is to what extent social issues DERAIL the economic issues then. If social issues mean paid family leave must be opposed for example because women oughta be barefoot and pregnant, then that's derailing of real concrete material benefits period. Of course progressive socially is where demographics trend.

But of course using the example of paid family leave, we're starting from a country with almost no safety net to begin with, and there are bigger problems with the labor market as well (people having gig jobs with NO benefits, they aren't going to be helped by policy changes to job provided benefits period).

skippy , December 5, 2019 at 9:01 pm

Quibble there is no labour – cough – market labour pool yes

GramSci , December 5, 2019 at 12:29 pm

Medicare for All is the issue that most incisively cuts through this ruling-class kayfabe. Both the top-dog Dems and the top-dog Repubs get their jollies having their boots licked by workers in abject fear for the health and life of their families. It is a neon testosterone line that neither Carlson nor Trump will cross.

Montanamaven , December 5, 2019 at 6:27 pm

+100

Harrold , December 5, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Regulated as long as he benefits.

Synoia , December 5, 2019 at 12:31 pm

I find a good explanation for many behaviors is the human practice of favoring people in their circle of acquaintances, friends and families, and showing some degree of contempt to others.

Some phrases

He (She) is not one of us! (Typically in an upper class UK accent)
The Others (Typically in a string ulster accent)
Not on our team (US)
He's a Catholic
He's a peasant

The attitude of "them and us" coupled with Greed, appears to drive many bad Human behaviors.

HotFlash , December 5, 2019 at 2:33 pm

Indeed! My libertarian friend* is all about helping friends and family, I have seen him do it many times. I totally agree with him, but I have concluded that his definition of "friends and family" is just somewhat more restrictive than mine.

* True convo: "What about if listeria in the bologna at the nursing home kills your granny?" "Ah, a whacking great lawsuit!"

heresy101 , December 5, 2019 at 2:23 pm

Paul Singer is leading the hedge fund group that is trying to take over PG&E from the existing stockholders/hedge funds through the bankruptcy process. He even offered more money to PG&E fire victims ($2.5B), that PG&E almost met (they want to pay part of the funds in stock).

Does anyone have an idea how he plans to make money by taking over PG&E? While the stock is very low, its chance of going back to where it was is very low. Besides, PG&E is under pressure to actually maintain and fire proof the distribution/transmission system and that won't be cheap.

HotFlash , December 5, 2019 at 2:34 pm

I guess that political contributions would be involved?

Summer , December 5, 2019 at 4:09 pm

If Singer tries to sue T.C., Tucker should have John Oliver write him a musical roast of Singer
Like the on Oliver did of coal baron Bob Murray.

YY , December 5, 2019 at 5:08 pm

Tucker went after Singer and this time also Koch as well as the problem that they represent for the GOP the next night, worth watching.

chuck roast , December 5, 2019 at 5:27 pm

Here's Jon Stewart roasting Tucker Carlson back in 2006 when he was just a clown with a bow-tie. A rare and well deserved confrontation.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFQFB5YpDZE
Since then Tucker has ditched his bow-tie and developed a conscience.
We used to call this "being Dutch uncle."

Montanamaven , December 5, 2019 at 6:53 pm

Tucker has CHANGED his views on lots of things. Like I have. To be able to admit you were wrong is a big deal. He supported the Iraq War. I didn't. In retrospect, he realized he did this because of group think cool kids thing. Then he realized that he had been conned, He doesn't like being conned. I thought Obama's speech was the opposite of John Edwards "2 Americas". Obama was delivering a "con" I.e. "We are all One America". So now Tucker and I, from different sides, are more skeptical. I started questioning my groupthink Democratic viewpoint in 2004. Slowly I realized that I too had been conned. So some of those on the "right" and Some of those on the "left" have sought other ports to dock in as we figure this all out. Naked Capitalism is one of those docks. So soon we should introduce Tucker to Yves.

mrtmbrnmn , December 5, 2019 at 7:25 pm

As I have frequently pointed out to my once-upon-a-time "liberal" friends, Tucker Carlson is often these days a worthwhile antidote to the collective yelpings & bleatings of the brain-snatched amen corner on MSNBC & CNN. In this instance (and others) his observations are rational and clearly articulated. He makes sense! And he is on the correct (not far right) side of the topic. The continuing Iraq/Syria catastrophe, PutinGate and the hedge fund hooligan Paul Singer are just three recent examples. His arguments (and his snark) are well played. Alas, following these sensible segments, he is still a Fox guy and is obliged to revert to Fox boilerplate for most of the rest of the night. But in our present crackbrained media environment, be thankful for small mercies such as Tucker's moments.

Montanamaven , December 5, 2019 at 7:35 pm

How can we get Yves or Lambert on Tucker?

DSB , December 5, 2019 at 8:30 pm

Thanks for the post. I probably would have missed this without you.

There are a couple things that are interesting to me. First, why does Tucker Carlson call out Ben Sasse for accepting a maxed out campaign contribution from Paul Singer? The Governor of Nebraska then and now is Pete Ricketts. His father (Joe – TD Ameritrade, Chicago Cubs) is a "very good friend" of Paul Singer. Everyone believes Pete Ricketts wants to run for US Senate and the nearest opportunity is Ben Sasse's seat. More than meets the eye?

https://www.omaha.com/money/td-ameritrade-founder-ricketts-cabela-s-investor-very-good-friend/article_f1259ad4-7416-547b-8121-38766ef03cec.html

Two, a longtime director of Cabela's is Mike McCarthy of McCarthy Capital. [Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel worked for McCarthy.] ES&S (electronic voting machines) is owned by McCarthy Group, LLC.

More here than just money?

[Dec 04, 2019] Biden is trending steadily (but very slowly) downward. Sanders and Buttigieg are trending up, Sanders slowly and Buttigieg somewhat faster, while Warren is settling back to her long term average after a bump in October

Fake polls, fake trends, fake candidates
Dec 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

ChrisPacific , December 3, 2019 at 3:57 pm

The poll graph without three day averaging is a great visual illustration of the margin of error concept. It's even clear in the averaged version. I guarantee people are NOT changing their minds that fast, and I'm sure all the issues Lambert highlighted are contributing to the inaccuracies.

That said, a few trends are clear. Biden is trending steadily (but very slowly) downward. Sanders and Buttigieg are trending up, Sanders slowly and Buttigieg somewhat faster, while Warren is settling back to her long term average after a bump in October. Harris' decision to withdraw looks like a good one. Undecided numbers are all over the place, and tend to spike up when other lines spike down, so I'm guessing that's down to differing polling methodologies and how hard people are pushed to make a call.

Mo's Bike Shop , December 3, 2019 at 9:04 pm

Are these pollsters reading all twenty names over the telephone? Or is the polled asked to name a candidate? I can't get my head around how to manage a list of this many candidates by voice without 'Name Recognition' being the first choice.

Lambert Strether Post author , December 4, 2019 at 7:17 am

> Are these pollsters reading all twenty names over the telephone?

That's a very good question. Is the list of names so long -- I don't think we've ever had one so long -- that it enables pollsters to game the polls in new ways? Could be such a simple and obvious mode of rigging that we did not see it.

Polling mavens?

dk , December 4, 2019 at 8:34 am

The short answer is yes, the full list of names is read at least once. But the number of candidates can vary between pollsters and polls.

For example in the Dec 1 polls:

HarrisX (C+)
Nov 30 – Dec 1
Sat – Sun
437 Reg'd
National
18 candidate names, plus "Other" and "Unsure" (not present in data source, derived in app)
Details here: https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/472629-bloomberg-overtakes-harris-in-new-poll

Morning Consult (B/C)
Nov 25 – Dec 1
Mon – Sun
15,773 Likely
National
16 candidate names, plus "Someone else" (not present in data source, derived in app)
Details here: https://morningconsult.com/2020-democratic-primary/

The differences are Joe Sestak and Steve Bullock in HarrisX but not MC, going to guess that MC decided not to list them because they dropped, and if they asked the names during the survey their report them in the conveniently names "Someone else" category.

Regarding ChrisPacific's point about Undecideds, yes, this is affected by methodology and whose polls came out on a particular day.

And more generally, we should expect to see noise in this data. These are minuscule samples compared to the actual voting universe of over 65 million. The "Margin of Error" / "Confidence Interval" claims are based on the assumption that all polls are distributed as a uniform bell curve. Arguably useful for getting the noise out of stats for physical observations of mechanical models, but absurd for human polling. Pollsters (who work mostly in marketing) use MoE/CI to convince clients spend money on small polls and then spin out reassuring MoE or CI (which scale to each other, bigger MoE = narrower CI). (Tangentially, on political campaigns, the tactical advantages to be found in population data come from looking into what's happening in the noise, not from smoothing it out and then assessing the distorted surface).

And as in most viscous media, quick changes tend to snap back to origin, slow ones push though. Consider also that a) these candidates are introducing themselves, impressions develop over time, and engagement is still low. Also, the context of US society may be gradually changing, but it would take a sudden shock (like 9/11 at the time) to change the background context and be reflected in a suddenly shift in Dem Primary polls.

anonymous , December 4, 2019 at 9:06 am

I participated in the last Des Moines Register/CNN Iowa poll. The pollster was required to read all of the names, even when I could name one immediately.

The call came on my cell phone from a restricted number. I asked for what company or candidate the poll was being conducted; the interviewer said that she was not given that information, but at the very end I was asked whether I would be willing to talk to a reporter from CNN or the DMR (I declined). She did tell me the research firm for which she worked, which I later saw was the name of the firm that had conducted the poll. When I saw the original release, I wondered whether I was correct that this was the poll, since I remembered a question about my preference for a health care system that wasn't in the original release. That result was released at a later date.
The M4A option for that question was simply M4A, without additional information or qualifiers. I, as is usual for me, couldn't simply answer a multiple choice question, but explained that I supported improved M4A, and that current Medicare is still expensive. The interviewer told me that she herself has trouble affording Medicare, and that she particularly has trouble paying for her medication. (We got a little chatty.)

The research firm was also contacting Republicans. She said that I had been the first Democrat that she had reached that day, and that Republicans got different questions. She did not know whom she was calling and, at the end, asked my first name so that her company could verify that she had reached the right individual.

I'll check back here in case there are any other questions about the poll that I might be able to answer. If anyone is interested in the questions themselves, those are already available online.

Why did I agree to participate? To have my support for Bernie counted, of course!

[Dec 04, 2019] There Has Been No Retrenchment Under Trump

Notable quotes:
"... A more compelling explanation for the persistence of a large global U.S. military footprint, and the concomitant creep of oversees commitments, is to be found in domestic politics. Trump's rhetoric can diverge sharply from reality without consequence because few in his party have an incentive to hold him accountable. In this hyper-polarized political moment, most voters will stick with their party regardless of how many campaign pledges are broken or foreign policy initiatives end in failure. With an all-volunteer military, flattening taxes, and deficit financing, the vast majority of Americans are insulated from the costs of American foreign policy. So long as most Americans want to look tough and influential without paying for it, politicians won't be punished for living in the same fantasy world as voters. ..."
"... The main reason why America's military commitments remain unchanged under Trump may simply be that the president doesn't really want to reduce them. ..."
Dec 04, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

aul MacDonald and Joseph Parent explain in detail that Trump hasn't reduced U.S. military commitments overseas:

But after nearly three years in office, Trump's promised retrenchment has yet to materialize. The president hasn't meaningfully altered the U.S. global military footprint he inherited from President Barack Obama. Nor has he shifted the costly burden of defending U.S. allies. To the contrary, he loaded even greater military responsibilities on the United States while either ramping up or maintaining U.S. involvement in the conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere. On practically every other issue, Trump departed radically from the path of his predecessor. But when it came to troop deployments and other overseas defense commitments, he largely preserved the chessboard he inherited -- promises to the contrary be damned.

MacDonald and Parent's article complements my earlier post about U.S. "global commitments" very nicely. When we look at the specifics of Trump's record, we see that he isn't ending U.S. military involvement anywhere. He isn't bringing anyone home. On the contrary, he has been sending even more American troops to the Middle East just this year alone. While he is being excoriated for withdrawals that never happen, he is maintaining or steadily increasing the U.S. military presence in foreign countries. Many Trump detractors and supporters are so invested in the narrative that Trump is presiding over "withdrawal" that they are ignoring what the president has actually done. Trump's approach to U.S. military involvement might be described as "loudly declaring withdrawal while maintaining or increasing troop levels." Almost everyone pays attention only to his rhetoric about leaving this or that country and treats it as if it is really happening. Meanwhile, the number of military personnel deployed overseas never goes down.

The authors offer a possible explanation for why Trump has been able to get away with this:

A more compelling explanation for the persistence of a large global U.S. military footprint, and the concomitant creep of oversees commitments, is to be found in domestic politics. Trump's rhetoric can diverge sharply from reality without consequence because few in his party have an incentive to hold him accountable. In this hyper-polarized political moment, most voters will stick with their party regardless of how many campaign pledges are broken or foreign policy initiatives end in failure. With an all-volunteer military, flattening taxes, and deficit financing, the vast majority of Americans are insulated from the costs of American foreign policy. So long as most Americans want to look tough and influential without paying for it, politicians won't be punished for living in the same fantasy world as voters.

Trump is further insulated from scrutiny and criticism because he is frequently described as presiding over a "retreat" from the world. Most news reports and commentary pieces reinforce this false impression that Trump seeks to get the U.S. out of foreign entanglements. There are relatively few people pointing out the truth that MacDonald and Parent spell out in their article. The main reason why America's military commitments remain unchanged under Trump may simply be that the president doesn't really want to reduce them.

[Dec 03, 2019] Despite Pelosi gambit with Ukrtaiongate, chances of Dems to beat Trump did not improve. Warren slide is very dangerous for neoliberal Dems as she along with Sanders and Tulsi can be sold to Dem voters and independents as the "change we can believe in"

Clinton curse sill is hanging over Democratic Party candidates like Damocles sword. 25 year of betrayal of their core constituency and their alliance with Wall Street has consequences, which they now feel. Obama now is openly despised by Democratic voters as the person who betrayed his electorate and then enriched himself in classing "revolving door" corruption scheme. The phrase "change is can believe in" became a curse. Bill Clinton is mired in Epstein scandal. You can't get worse cheerleaders for the party and it does not have anybody else.
Notable quotes:
"... Obama was directly addressing Silicon Valley's wealthiest Democratic donors, telling them to "chill" in their debate over the party's candidates, and seeking to ease the tensions among tech billionaires who have broken into separate camps backing Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, and -- most surprisingly -- Elizabeth Warren ..."
"... Gallup released a poll last week that had some troubling news for Democrats, as only 66% of the party faithful said they're enthusiastic about the upcoming election. ..."
Dec 03, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

While there are still 15 candidates running for the Democratic nomination (after the withdrawal of Kamala Harris earlier today), only four are polling in double digits, with most either at 1% or 0%. But Obama said whoever gets the nod should get the vote.

"There will be differences" between the candidates, Obama said, "but I want us to make sure that we keep in mind that, relative to the ultimate goal, which is to defeat a president and a party that has taken a sharp turn away from a lot of the core traditions and values and institutional commitments that built this country," those differences are "relatively minor."

"The field will narrow and there's going to be one person, and if that is not your perfect candidate and there are certain aspects of what they say that you don't agree with and you don't find them completely inspiring the way you'd like, I don't care," he said. "Because the choice is so stark and the stakes are so high that you cannot afford to be ambivalent in this race."

Obama was directly addressing Silicon Valley's wealthiest Democratic donors, telling them to "chill" in their debate over the party's candidates, and seeking to ease the tensions among tech billionaires who have broken into separate camps backing Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, and -- most surprisingly -- Elizabeth Warren , according to recode.

Obama may have his job cut out for him: with many Democratic voters confused or merely bored silly by the current roster of candidates, two newcomers, Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, entered the race adding further to the confusion. Last month, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, for instance, drew fewer than 100 people to a South Carolina "Environmental Justice" forum. And she's a frontrunner!

Meanwhile, Gallup released a poll last week that had some troubling news for Democrats, as only 66% of the party faithful said they're enthusiastic about the upcoming election. And while for Republicans the number is 65%, "this differed from the typical pattern Gallup has seen over the years, whereby those who identify with the political party of the incumbent president have been less enthusiastic about voting than members of the opposing party," Gallup wrote.

Ironically, Obama isn't alone in saying Democrats need to hold their nose when they vote for the eventual nominee. Joe Biden's wife, Jill, said in August that her husband might not be the best candidate, but told voters "maybe you have to swallow a little bit" and vote for him anyway.

"Your candidate might be better on, I don't know, health care, than Joe is," Jill Biden said on MSNBC, "but you've got to look at who's going to win this election, and maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, 'OK, I personally like so-and-so better,' but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump."

During a campaign stop in New Hampshire, she repeated the point. "I know that not all of you are committed to my husband, and I respect that. But I want you to think about your candidate, his or her electability, and who's going to win this race. So I think if your goal -- I know my goal -- is to beat Donald Trump, we have to have someone who can beat him," she said.

[Dec 03, 2019] Ukrainegate hysteria in neoliberal MSM repeats in minute details the neoliberal MSM hysteria about Trump meeting with Putin

In his foreign policy Trump looks like a Republican Obama, save Nobel Peace Price. If Obama was/is a CIA-democrat, this guy is a Deep State controlled republican. Why is the Deep State is attacking him is completely unclear. May be they just do not like unpredictable, inpulsive politicians
Despite his surrender "Neocon crazies from the basement" still attack his exactly the same way as they attacked him for pretty mundane meeting with Putin and other fake "misdeeds" like Ukrainegate
And that means that he lost a considerable part of his electorate: the anti-war republicans and former Sanders supporters, who voted for him in 2016 to block Hillary election.
And in no way he is an economic nationalist. He is "national neoliberal" which rejects parts of neoliberal globalization based on treaties and prefer to bully nations to compliance that favor the US interests instead of treaties. And his "fight" with the Deep state resemble so closely to complete and unconditional surrender, that you might have difficulties to distinguish between the two. Most of his appointees are rabid neocons. Just look at Pompeo, Bolton, Fiona Hill. That that extends far beyond those obvious crazies.
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Washington Post stating that he "has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details" of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin - telling Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a phone interview that he would be willing to release the details of a private conversation in Helsinki last summer.

"I would. I don't care," Trump told Pirro, adding: "I'm not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn't care less."

"I mean, it's so ridiculous, these people making up," Trump said of the WaPo report.

The president referred to his roughly two-hour dialogue with Putin in Helsinki -- at which only the leaders and their translators were present -- as "a great conversation" that included discussions about "securing Israel and lots of other things."

"I had a conversation like every president does," Trump said Saturday. "You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries." - Politico

In July an attempt by House Democrats to subpoena Trump's Helsinki interpreter was quashed by Republicans. "The Washington Post is almost as bad, or probably as bad, as the New York Times," Trump said. When Pirro asked Trump about a Friday night New York Times report that the FBI had opened an inquiry into whether he was working for Putin, Pirro asked Trump "Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?" "I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked," Trump responded. "I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written."

Trump went on an epic tweetstorm Saturday following the Times article, defending his 2017 firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and tweeting that he has been "FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!"

[Dec 02, 2019] The Fake Myth of American Meritocracy by Barbara Boland

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... As part of the scam, parents would "donate" money to a fake charity run by Singer. The funds would then be laundered to either pay off an SAT or ACT administrator to take the exams or bribe an employee in college athletics to name the rich, non-athlete children as recruits. Virtually every scenario relied on multiple layers of corruption, all of which eventually allowed wealthy students to masquerade as "deserving" of the merit-based college slots they paid up to half a million dollars to "qualify" for. ..."
"... When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it. ..."
"... The conclusion of the study? We live in an oligarchy: ..."
Mar 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The college bribery scandal reveals an ugly truth: our society is unjust, dominated by a small elite. Actress Lori Loughlin, who has been implicated in the Operation Varsity Blues scandal. Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock The most destructive and pervasive myth in America today is that we live in a meritocracy. Our elites, so the myth goes, earned their places at Yale and Harvard, on Wall Street and in Washington -- not because of the accident of their birth, but because they are better, stronger, and smarter than the rest of us. Therefore, they think, they've "earned" their places in the halls of power and "deserve" to lead.

The fervor with which so many believe this enables elites to lord over those worse off than they are. On we slumber, believing that we live in a country that values justice, instead of working towards a more equitable and authentically meritocratic society.

Take the Operation Varsity Blues scandal. On Tuesday, the FBI and federal prosecutors announced that 50 people had been charged in, as Sports Illustrated put it , "a nationwide college admissions scheme that used bribes to help potential students cheat on college entrance exams or to pose as potential athletic recruits to get admitted to high-profile universities." Thirty-three parents, nine collegiate coaches, two SAT/ACT exam administrators, an exam proctor, and a college athletics administrator were among those charged. The man who allegedly ran the scheme, William Rick Singer, pled guilty to four charges of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and obstruction of justice.

As part of the scam, parents would "donate" money to a fake charity run by Singer. The funds would then be laundered to either pay off an SAT or ACT administrator to take the exams or bribe an employee in college athletics to name the rich, non-athlete children as recruits. Virtually every scenario relied on multiple layers of corruption, all of which eventually allowed wealthy students to masquerade as "deserving" of the merit-based college slots they paid up to half a million dollars to "qualify" for.

Cheating. Bribery. Lying. The wealthy and privileged buying what was reserved for the deserving. It's all there on vivid display. Modern American society has become increasingly and banally corrupt , both in the ways in which "justice" is meted out and in who is allowed to access elite education and the power that comes with it.

The U.S. is now a country where corruption is rampant and money buys both access and outcomes. We pretend to be better than Russia and other oligarchies, but we too are dominated by a rich and powerful elite.

The average American citizen has very little power, as a 2014 study by Princeton University found. The research reviewed 1,779 public policy questions asked between 1981 and 2002 and the responses by different income levels and interest groups; then calculated the likelihood that certain policies would be adopted.

What they found came as no surprise: How to Fix College Admissions

A proposed policy change with low support among economically elite Americans (one-out-of-five in favor) is adopted only about 18 percent of the time, while a proposed change with high support (four-out-of-five in favor) is adopted about 45% of the time.

That's in stark contrast with policies favored by average Americans:

When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.

The conclusion of the study? We live in an oligarchy:

our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. [T]he preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.

The belief in the myth of merit hurts the smart kid with great grades who aced his SATs but was still rejected from Yale and Harvard. It hurts talented athletes who have worked their tails off for so many years. It hurts parents who have committed hundreds of school nights and weekends to their children. It hurts HR departments that believe degrees from Ivy League schools mean that graduates are qualified. It hurts all of us who buy into the great myth that America is a democratic meritocracy and that we can achieve whatever we want if only we're willing to expend blood, toil, sweat, and tears.

At least in an outright class system like the British Houses of Lords and Commons, there is not this farcical playacting of equal opportunity. The elites, with their privilege and titles, know the reason they are there and feel some sense of obligation to those less well off than they are. At the very least, they do not engage in the ritual pretense of "deserving" what they "earned" -- quite unlike those who descend on Washington, D.C. believing that they really are better than their compatriots in flyover country.

All societies engage in myth-making about themselves. But the myth of meritocracy may be our most pervasive and destructive belief -- and it mirrors the myth that anything like "justice" is served up in our courts.

Remember the Dupont heir who received no prison time after being convicted for raping his three-year-old daughter because the judge ruled that six-foot-four Robert Richards "wouldn't fare well in prison"? Or the more recent case of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who had connections to both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and faced a 53-page federal indictment for sex-trafficking over two dozens underage girls ? He received instead a sweetheart deal that concealed the extent of his crimes. Rather than the federal life imprisonment term he was facing, Epstein is currently on house arrest after receiving only 13 months in county jail. The lead prosecutor in that case had previously been reprimanded by a federal judge in another underage sex crimes case for concealing victim information, the Miami Herald reports .

While the rich are able to escape consequences for even the most horrific of crimes , the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Approximately 7 million people were under some form of correctional control by the end of 2011, including 2.2 million who were detained in federal, state, and local prisons and jails. One in every 10 black men in his thirties is in prison or jail, and one out of three black men born in 2001 can expect to go to prison in their lifetimes.

While black people make up only 13 percent of the population, they make up 42 percent of death row and 35 percent of those who are executed . There are big racial disparities in charging, sentencing, plea bargaining, and executions, Department of Justice reviews have concluded, and black and brown people are disproportionately found to be innocent after landing on death row. The poor and disadvantaged thereby become grist for a system that cares nothing for them.

Despite all this evidence, most Americans embrace a version of the Calvinist beliefs promulgated by their forebears, believing that the elect deserve their status. We remain confident that when our children apply to college or are questioned by police , they will receive just and fair outcomes. If our neighbors' and friends' kids do not, then we assure ourselves that it is they who are at fault, not the system.

The result has been a gaping chasm through our society. Lives are destroyed because, rather than working for real merit-based systems and justice, we worship at the altar of false promises offered by our institutions. Instead we should be rolling up our sleeves and seeing Operation Varsity Blues for what it is: a call to action.

Barbara Boland is the former weekend editor of the Washington Examiner . Her work has been featured on Fox News, the Drudge Report, HotAir.com, RealClearDefense, RealClearPolitics, and elsewhere. She's the author of Patton Uncovered , a book about General Patton in World War II. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .

MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

The GOP's Laughable Call for a Balanced Budget Amendment Congress's "One Spending Bill to Rule Them All" is a Debt-Fueled Disgrace Hide 11 comments 11 Responses to The Myth of American Meritocracy

Collin March 15, 2019 at 1:46 pm

If conservatives are going to dance the graves of Aunt Beckie, the backlash is going to be big. Sure this is a 'scandal' but it seems these parents weren't rich enough to bribe their kids in college the right way, like Trumps and Kushner, and probably slightly duped into going along with this scheme. (It appears the government got the ring leader to call all defendants to get evidence they participated in a crime.)

Just wait until the mug shot of Aunt Beckie is on the internet and Olivia Jade does 60 minutes doing teary eyed interview of how much she loves her mother. And how many parents are stress that their kids will struggle in the global competitive economy.

Fran Macadam , , March 15, 2019 at 1:52 pm
I fully recall the days of getting government computing contracts. Once a certain threshold was reached, you discovered you had to hire a "lobbyist," and give him a significant amount of money to dole out to various gatekeepers in the bureaucracy for your contracts to be approved. That was the end of our government contracts, and the end was hastened by the reaction to trying to complain about it.
prodigalson , , March 15, 2019 at 1:56 pm
Great article, well done. More of this please TAC.
Kurt Gayle , , March 15, 2019 at 2:17 pm
Thank you, Barbara Boland, for "The Myth of American Meritocracy" and for linking ("Related Articles" box) to the 2012 "The Myth of American Meritocracy" by Ron Unz, then publisher of the American Conservative.

The 26,000-word Ron Unz research masterpiece was the opening salvo in the nation-wide discussion that ultimately led to the federal court case nearing resolution in Boston.

"The Myth of American Meritocracy -- How corrupt are Ivy League admissions?" by Ron Unz, The American Conservative, Nov 28, 2012:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-myth-of-american-meritocracy/

Kurt Gayle , , March 15, 2019 at 2:18 pm
Barbara Boland "While black people make up only 13 percent of the population, they make up 42 percent of death row and 35 percent of those who are executed."

Ms. Boland: According to the US Department of Justice, African Americans [13 per cent of the population] accounted for 52.5% of all homicide offenders from 1980 to 2008.

JeffK , , March 15, 2019 at 2:46 pm
I agree with prodigalson. This is the type of article that TAC should uphold as a 'gold standard'. One reason I read, and comment on, TAC is that it offers thought provoking, and sometimes contrarian, articles (although the constant harping on transgender BS gets annoying).

America has always been somewhat corrupt. But, to borrow a phrase, wealth corrupts, and uber wealth corrupts absolutely.

As Warren Buffet says "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning".

I have said it before, and I will say it again. During the next severe financial recession, if the rich are protected and coddled and everybody else is left to fend for themselves the ARs will come out of the closets when the sheriff comes to take the house or the pickup truck. My sense is that average Americans have had enough.

Imagine if the digital transfer of money was abolished. Imagine if everybody had to have their money in a local bank instead of on an account in one of the major banks. Imagine if Americans saw, day after day, armored vehicles showing up at local banks to offload sacks of currency that went to only a few individual accounts.

Instead, the elites get their financial statements showing an ever increasing pile of cash at their disposal. They see it, but nobody else does. But, if everybody physically saw the river of wealth flowing to the elites, I believe things would change. Fast. Right now this transfer of wealth is all digital, hidden from the view of 99.99% of Americans. And the elites, the banking industry, and the wealth management cabal prefer it that way.

Mike N in MA , , March 15, 2019 at 2:49 pm
You said it sister. Great article.

I am amazed by the media coverage of this scandal. Was anyone actually under the impression that college admissions were on the level before these Hollywood bozos were caught red handed?

BDavi52 , , March 15, 2019 at 2:49 pm
What total silliness!

No, the meritocracy is not dead; it's not even dying. It is, in fact, alive and well and the absolute best alternative to any other method used to separate wheat from chaff, cream from milk, diamonds from rust.

What else is there that is even half as good?

Are merit-based systems perfect? Heck, no. They've never been perfect; they will never be perfect. They are administered by people and people are flawed. Not just flawed in the way Singer, and Huffman are flawed (and those individuals are not simply flawed, they're corrupt) but flawed in the everyday kind of sense. Yes, we all have tendencies, biases, preferences that will -- inevitably -- leak into our selection process, no matter how objectively strict the process may be structured, no matter how rigorously fair we try to be.

So the fact that -- as with most things -- we can find a trace of corruption here that fact is meaningless. We can find evidence of human corruption, venality, greed, sloth, lust, envy (all of the 7 Deadly Sins) pretty much everywhere. But if we look at the 20M students enrolled in college, the vast majority are successfully & fairly admitted through merit-based filtering systems (which are more or less rigorous) which have been in place forever.

Ms. Boland tells us (with a straight face, no less) that "The U.S. is now a country where corruption is rampant and money buys both access and outcomes." But what does that even mean?

Certainly money can buy access and certainly money can buy outcomes. But that's what money does. She might as well assert that money can buy goods and services, and lions and tigers and bears -- oh my! Of course it can. Equally networks can 'buy' access and outcomes (if my best friend is working as the manager for Adele, I'm betting he could probably arrange my meeting Adele). Equally success & fame can buy access and outcomes. I'm betting Adele can probably arrange a meeting with Gwen Stefani .and both can arrange a meeting with Tom Brady. So what? Does the fact that money can be used to purchase goods & services mean money or the use of money is corrupt or morally degenerate? No, of course not. In truth, we all leverage what we have (whatever that may be) to get what we want. That's how life works. But the fact that we all do that does not mean we are all corrupt.

But yes, corruption does exist and can usually be found, in trace amounts -- as I said -- pretty much everywhere.

So is it rampant? Can I buy my way into the NBA or the NFL? If I go to Clark Hunt and give him $20M and tell him I want to play QB for the Chiefs, will he let me? Can I buy my way into the CEO's position at General Electric, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Sprint, Verizon, General Motors, Toyota or any of the Fortune 500? Heck, can I even buy my way into the Governor's mansion? To become the Mayor of Chicago? Or the Police Commissioner? No -- these things are not possible. But what I can buy is my presence on the media stage.

What happens after cannot be purchased.

So no, by any measure, corruption is not rampant. And though many things are, in fact, for sale -- not everything is. And no matter how much money I give anyone, I'm never gonna QB the Chiefs or play for the Lakers.

She tells us, "we are dominated by a rich and powerful elite." No, we're not. Most of us live our lives making the choices we want to make, given the means that each of us has, without any interference from any so-called "elite". The "elite" didn't tell me where to go to school, or where to get a job, or how to do my job, or when to have kids, or what loaf of bread to buy, or what brand of beer tastes best, or where to go on the family vacation. No one did. The elite obviously did not tell us who to vote for in the last presidential election.

Of course one of the problems with the "it's the fault of the elite" is the weight given institutions by people like Ms.Boland. "Oh, lordy, the Elite used their dominating power to get a brainless twit of a daughter into USC". Now if my kid were cheated out of a position at USC because the Twit got in, I'd be upset but beyond that who really cares if a Twit gets an undergraduate degree from USC or Yale .or Harvard .or wherever. Some of the brightest people I've known earned their degrees at Easter PolyTechnic U (some don't even have college degrees -- oh, the horror!); some of the stupidest have Ivy League credentials. So what?

Only if you care about the exclusivity of such a relatively meaningless thing as a degree from USC, does gaming the exclusivity matter.

She ends with the exhortation: "The result has been a gaping chasm through our society. Lives are destroyed because, rather than working for real merit-based systems and justice, we worship at the altar of false promises offered by our institutions. Instead we should be rolling up our sleeves and seeing Operation Varsity Blues for what it is: a call to action."

To do what, exactly?

Toss the baby and the bathwater? Substitute lottery selection for merit? Flip a coin? What?
Again the very best method is and always will be merit-based. That is the incentive which drives all of us: the hope that if we work hard enough and do well enough, that we will succeed. Anything else is just a lie.

Yes, we can root out this piece of corruption. Yes, we can build better and more rigorously fair systems. But in the end, merit is the only game in town. Far better to roll-up our sleeves and simply buckle down, Winsocki. There isn't anything better.

Sid Finster , , March 15, 2019 at 2:52 pm
Gee, and people wonder why the rubes think that the system is gamed, why the dogs no longer want to eat the dog food.
Jim Jatras , , March 15, 2019 at 3:22 pm
"While black people make up only 13 percent of the population, they make up 42 percent of death row and 35 percent of those who are executed. There are big racial disparities in charging, sentencing, plea bargaining, and executions, Department of Justice reviews have concluded, and black and brown people are disproportionately found to be innocent after landing on death row. The poor and disadvantaged thereby become grist for a system that cares nothing for them."

So to what degree are these "disparities" "disproportionate" in light of actual criminal behavior? To be "proportionate," would we expect criminal behavior to correlate exactly to racial, ethnic, sex, and age demographics of society as a whole?

Put another way, if you are a victim of a violent crime in America, what are the odds your assailant is, say, an elderly, Asian female? Approximately zero.

Conversely, what are the odds your assailant is a young, black male? Rather high, and if you yourself are a young, black male, approaching 100 percent.

Pam , , March 15, 2019 at 3:42 pm

Mostly thumbs up to this article. But why you gotta pick on Calvinism at the end? Anyway, your understanding of Calvinism is entirely upside down. Calvinists believe they are elect by divine grace, and salvation is something given by God through Jesus, which means you can't earn it and you most assuredly don't deserve it. Calvinism also teaches that all people are made in the image of God and worthy of respect, regardless of class or status. There's no "version" of Calvinism that teaches what you claim.

[Dec 02, 2019] The Smearing of Tulsi Gabbard by W.J. Astore

Notable quotes:
"... Aha! There you have it. Back in February 2016, Gabbard resigned her position as vice-chair of the DNC to endorse Sanders, and the DNC, controlled by establishment centrists like the Clintons as well as Barack Obama, have never forgiven her. Recently, Hillary Clinton smeared her (as well as Jill Stein, Green Party candidate from 2016) as a Russian asset, and various mainstream networks and news shows, such as "The View" and NBC, have suggested (with no evidence) she's the favored candidate of Russia and Vladimir Putin. ..."
"... Just what we don't need: two bought-and-paid-for political parties in the service of the wealthiest and the corporations. But at least the Republicans are (mostly) honest about their priorities ..."
Dec 02, 2019 | bracingviews.com

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is a compelling choice for president in 2020. She's principled, she's against America's disastrous regimen of regime-change wars, and she's got the guts to criticize her own party for being too closely aligned with rich and powerful interests. She's also a military veteran who enlisted in the Army National Guard in Hawaii after the 9/11 attacks (she currently serves as a major and deployed overseas to Iraq during that war).

What's not to like about a female veteran who oozes intelligence and independence, a woman who represents diversity (she's a practicing Hindu and a Samoan-American), an early supporter of Bernie Sanders who called out the DNC for its favoritism toward Hillary Clinton

Aha! There you have it. Back in February 2016, Gabbard resigned her position as vice-chair of the DNC to endorse Sanders, and the DNC, controlled by establishment centrists like the Clintons as well as Barack Obama, have never forgiven her. Recently, Hillary Clinton smeared her (as well as Jill Stein, Green Party candidate from 2016) as a Russian asset, and various mainstream networks and news shows, such as "The View" and NBC, have suggested (with no evidence) she's the favored candidate of Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Think about that. Hillary Clinton and much of the mainstream media are accusing a serving major in the U.S. military of being an asset to a foreign power. It's an accusation bordering on a charge of treason -- a charge that is libelous and recklessly irresponsible.

A reminder: Tulsi Gabbard enlisted in the military to serve her country in the aftermath of 9/11. What did Hillary Clinton do? Can you imagine Hillary going through basic training as a private, or serving in the military in a war zone? (Hillary did falsely claim that she came under sniper fire in Bosnia , but that's a story for another day.)

Tulsi Gabbard is her own person. She's willing to buck the system and has shown compassion and commitment on the campaign trail. She may be a long shot, but she deserves a long look for the presidency, especially when you consider the (low) quality of the enemies she's made. Reply


wjastore November 26, 2019 at 1:10 PM

Whenever I post anything remotely positive about Tulsi Gabbard on Facebook, the same few people come out to denounce her. My response is below, though I know you can't reason with haters:

That Tulsi has been on Fox News is an argument in her favor, i.e. her crossover appeal and her willingness to engage with the "other side." That Tulsi met with Assad is, in my view, reasonable; true leaders are always willing to meet with "bad" people, even ruthless dictators, in the cause of averting war. My main point is how she's being smeared as some kind of traitor, or at least a useful idiot. She's neither. Also, I've read the piece on Tulsi in Jacobin, and I've heard about alleged cults. Is this really the best the media can do? Guilt by association?

Some of our readers may have concerns about Tulsi, e.g. alleged Islamophobia, alleged cults, etc. The main point is this: Does she deserve to be smeared as a Putin puppet? What does this say about our media? And why are they doing this? I can tell you why. Trillions of dollars are spent on wars and weapons, and Tulsi is calling for an end to regime-change wars and a return to diplomacy. She also, like Bernie, is willing to call out the DNC as being against the interests of ordinary Americans -- and she's right about this. She has a lot in her favor. I'm a Bernie fan myself, but I'll take Tulsi over all those phony "centrists" like Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Harris, and Biden.

rs November 26, 2019 at 1:52 PM
This was published when she was accused of being a Russian asset! https://www.thenation.com/article/tulsi-russia-clinton/

On the other hand, her connection to extreme right RSS and BJP ( of India ) though diaspora are troubling .. https://www.alternet.org/2019/10/russia-accusations-a-distraction-from-tulsi-gabbards-actual-troubling-ties/

wjastore November 26, 2019 at 2:09 PM
I can't speak to the RSS/BJP connection; I've read about it, but I admit to ignorance on the matter. Of course, every candidate has multiple connections, positions, donors, etc. All politicians carry baggage. So far, from what I've read, Tulsi is more principled and more courageous than most of her peers.

I'm still a Bernie fan -- his long record of helping the poor and vulnerable speaks for itself. Of course, he once went to Moscow oh no! Run away! 🙂

Joseph Mirzoeff November 26, 2019 at 3:24 PM
Tulsi has now done four courageous, unusual, and very positive things while merely a candidate:
1) Tulsi effectively took down a leading contender and DNC favorite, by demonstrating that Senator Harris had been a corrupt prosecutor.
2) Tulsi defended democracy as she sued Google for at least $50 million, for playing favorites in search-routing of candidates.
3) Tulsi called out Hillary Clinton for the monster she is.
4) Tulsi supported a process toward 911 truth by supporting 911-victims' families' right to see FBI documents that have been denied to them.

Tulsi is the anti-war candidate. Tulsi Gabbard should be Commander-in-Chief. Yang should be VP and in charge of the economy. Read his book. UBI is the way to go. Tulsi needs someone she can trust as VP.

Michael Murry November 26, 2019 at 4:46 PM
To your list of courageous Tulsi Gabbard positions, I would add the following, Joseph:

Tulsi Gabbard Says She Would Drop Julian Assange Charges and Pardon Edward Snowden , by Jason Murdock, Newsweek (5/15/19 at 5:22 AM EDT).

I consider the vicious persecution of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning -- both languishing in prison for having committed no crime whatsoever -- along with the exile of Edward Snowden, among the greatest travesties of justice ever committed by the U.S. and U.K. (dishonorable mention goes to Sweden and the latest Ecuadorian government, as well). I had hoped for this subject to come up in the "debates," giving Tulsi yet another opportunity to shine relative to her competitors, most of whom would soil their undergarments in panic at the thought of "crossing" the absurdly named "intelligence community" and its entirely co-opted corporate media outlets.

If Tulsi Gabbard had done no other principled thing than this, I would have considered her heads and shoulders above anyone else campaigning for a position in the U.S. government today.

Michael Murry November 26, 2019 at 4:59 PM
I ought to dedicate this one to Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard for her principled defense of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden (and no-doubt Chelsea Manning, as well):

Star Chamber, Incorporated

Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning
Jailed as twin examples for the proles:
"Look what happens if you publish secrets:
More totalitarian controls."

In Chinese: "Kill the Chicken scare the Monkey."
Rat-out your colleagues. Do not Power tempt.
Or otherwise the judges and grand juries
Will hold you in what lawyers call "contempt."

A strange word-choice, indeed, by Power's minions
Who spend careers perfecting rank abuse.
For them I'd have to feel respect much greater
Before that is the word that I would use.

I've nothing good to say for prosecutors.
Some say I wish to "damn them with faint praise."
But I reply: "You praise with faint damnation.
So which of us has coined the the better phrase?"

Despicable, the treatment of these heroes.
The US and UK have sunk so low.
Still, Julian and Chelsea have together
More balls than these two governments can grow.

No matter, they have passed into the ages.
Already they have earned a fair renown.
Each day they live defiant, undefeated,
They rise as jailers try to put them down.

As JFK once said of his elite class:
"The ship of state leaks mainly from the top."
But if some lowly, powerless, poor person
Tries that, they'll feel the lash. No truth. Now stop!

To scare a monkey, kill another monkey.
If not, the monkeys learn impunity.
While eating KFC they ask, obtusely:
"What has a chicken got to do with me?"

And so the Corporation-State must silence
Reports of its incompetence and crime.
If citizens knew what it did they'd order
Its dissolution. Now. And just in time.

Historically, they called it the Star Chamber
A secret court designed to thwart the king.
But power then perverted it to serve him.
Grand juries in the US, same damn thing.

They now indict ham sandwiches routinely
With no protection for the innocents.
Presumed as guilty, evidence not needed.
Conviction guaranteed. No court repents.

A judge may do whatever he determines
He can. So levy fines. Coerce. Demand
On penalty of prison, testimony
Against oneself, alone upon the stand.

"Democracy" is just a euphemism
If citizens allow this to proceed.
Orwellian: first Hate then Fear of Goldstein.
Two Minutes, daily. Really, all you need.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2019

Joseph Mirzoeff November 26, 2019 at 4:20 PM
Please don't fall for Bernie. He is neither Presidential nor trustworthy. Consider this: https://www.sentinelsource.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/what-did-bernie-know-about-these-conspiracies-by-joseph-mirzoeff/article_f7b43e69-6639-526a-823d-c4ca3778b5a1.html
Felix_47 November 27, 2019 at 12:21 PM
This is a good commentary. military experience is a good thing especially when we are dealing with the fact that over half of the national budget is devoted to the military.
wjastore November 27, 2019 at 5:19 PM
A good short clip on Tulsi Gabbard and smears against herL https://www.youtube.com/embed/OcCOtOCZ_qY?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent
rs November 29, 2019 at 9:34 AM
Tulsi Gabbard KNOWS it i. e. Cost of Wars!
https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-is-tulsi-the-only-democrat-who-cares-about-our-wars/
Monotonous Languor November 29, 2019 at 10:03 AM
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a thoughtful article on playing it safe, running out the clock, prevent defense, etc., on your opponent as it would apply to politics.

Jabbar writes: Almost every poll showed her with a respectable lead over Trump just days before the election. So, the Clinton campaign tried to run out the clock by not campaigning much in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota, all of which turned much redder than in the previous presidential election.

The tactic of trying to pick a "safe" candidate who can beat Trump by appealing to their ideas about Middle America sends the wrong message to all of America. No team devise a game strategy based on fear: they emphasize their strengths and exploit their opponents' weaknesses. The Democratic candidate shouldn't be the least objectionable, but the one who boldly forges ahead with clear and detailed plans for Making America America Again.

Democrats can't pander to voters by denigrating Trump but then promising them Trump-lite with a wink. Promote progressive policies and plans worthy of a party that wants to lead this country without fear of being called "socialists" or "the radical left" or whatever else your opposing team chants.
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/oct/15/how-sports-tactics-can-help-the-democrats-beat-donald-trump-in-2020
===================================
Jabbar is correct. The Corporate Democrats among them Biden, Buttigieg and Bloomberg are fighting desperately to preserve a perceived lead aided and abetted by the McMega-Media.

Chicago Alderman, Paddy Bauler (1890-1977) said in 1955 on the election of Daley the Elder, "Chicago ain't ready for reform yet", or "Chicago ain't ready for a reform mayor".

Today, the pundits employed by Corporate America, along with various Democratic Party stooges for Wall Street tell us America ain't ready for Reform.

bmcks November 29, 2019 at 4:21 PM
Yes, ML, so goes American 'Exceptionalism', after WW2 Victory. Today, so goes a Great American City in violence, all so shortsighted. I'm still confused with our never-ending wars overseas, as our cities rot in crime & violence, my main concern. I didn't grow up – or party! -later on in today's disaster areas of Baltimore or Philadelphia, etc.It was GREAT!

But somethings going on I don't know about, when the WORST cities have black Congresspeople (Maxime Waters?) living in 6.5$Mil mansions as their "districts" die.
I have NO PROBLEM with black people! Such a smear an insult. But it's worth investigating why these characters who have ruined their cities are supporters of Dems, & Billary! Oh! They spend & vote lavishly on more money for our wars, but nothing for their own cities!

Finally starting to figure it out: They're traitors to their own race, for their personal benefit. They make Dems "look proud", vs "REP's!" Yes, they too re dreadful maybe that's why I feel: TULCI GO! She's neither dreadful party!

wjastore November 29, 2019 at 5:32 PM
A long but interesting podcast with Tulsi Gabbard on the Joe Rogan show

https://www.youtube.com/embed/PdYud9re7-Q?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Eddie S November 29, 2019 at 7:05 PM
ML: Good citation of KA-J -- - although I've seen the same-sort of criticism of the Dems elsewhere, Kareem's sports analogy is very helpful in understanding the concept.

(I have to say that I got sick of the Dems milquetoast approach to politics. Maybe it was an understandable response to a frustrating right-wing zeitgeist, but DAMN, did they have to be SO passive against the Reps?? Even when they briefly held majorities in Congress under Obama, the wouldn't introduce/push bills that weren't 'filibuster-proof'!?!? I for one might still be voting Dem POTUS IF they had pushed those progressive bills., then let the Reps filibuster for weeks or months, meantime the Dems & Obama could've gone in front of the public daily and said something like "We're trying to help you by passing Bill X, but the Reps are filibustering and stopping Congress from getting any work done!" Let the government shut-down for a few weeks because of it and keep hammering away at the Reps for being the BLOCKERS, etc. Call their bluff, and use it against them during elections. Instead they tried to be overly accommodating & conciliatory BEFORE debate had even begun!)

Michael Murry November 29, 2019 at 7:46 PM
Yes. Eddie. The Democratic Party not only gets its ass kicked for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it seems to have developed something of a masochistic taste for the Republican abuse. Hence two of my verse compositions essentially agreeing with your observations:

(1) From eight years ago. From "Hope" and "Change" to despair and the status quo. And with a Nobel Peace Prize for Endless War, too.

Congenital Stockholm Syndrome

He started by giving up quickly,
Surrendering early his case.
He offered to kiss their asses.
Replying, they pissed in his face.

Their urine, he thought, tasted strangely;
Yet not at all bad to his taste.
He'd gotten so used to it, plainly.
Why let such a drink go to waste?

The people who voted in favor
Of him and his promise of "change"
Now see in his many betrayals
A poodle afflicted with mange.

Each time that the surly and crazy
Republicans out for his skin
Condemn him for living and breathing,
He graciously helps them to win.

He'll turn on his base in an instant
With threats and disdain and neglect
While bombing some Muslims so Cheney
Might thrill to the lives that he's wrecked.

A black man in love with apartheid
He offers his stalwart support
To Zionists and their extortion
With "More, please!" his only retort.

A masochist begging for beatings
Obama takes joy in abuse
Receiving just what he has asked for
Which makes him of no earthly use

The little brown men that he's murdered
In homes far away from our land
Bring profits obscene to his backers
Who give him the back of their hand.

Obama seeks praise from the vicious
Republicans, no matter what.
He suffers, apparently, nothing
So much as his need to kiss butt.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2011

(2) From twelve years ago and on the Congressional side of the Surrender Monkey Syndrome:

Nancy the Negotiator

Nancy the Negotiator
Gives up first; surrenders later;
Takes her cards from off the table,
Then recites her loser fable:

"We don't have the votes we need,"
Nancy says, in tones that bleed:
"Mean Republicans will whine
If we do not toe their line."

Nancy bows to George and Dick
While her skinny ass they kick;
Writes them checks both blank and rubber,
Then proceeds to lamely blubber:

"We don't like what Dubya's doing.
Still, we quite enjoy the screwing.
Masochism's what we offer,
Helping crooks to loot the coffer"

"Sure, the squandered blood and treasure
Goes to those we will not measure.
Still, we promise you'll adore us
If you mark your ballot for us."

"Choices you don't have assail you,
Leaving only us who fail you.
Nonetheless, we've gotten fatter.
Why, then, should we think you matter?"

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2007

After six years in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club (the last eighteen months of that in the now-defunct Republic of South Vietnam) it didn't take me long to realize that the Republicans get paid a lavish salary to do what the fabulously wealthy demand, while the Democrats get a comparatively meager allowance to do what the Republicans tell them to do, also on behalf of the fabulously wealthy: namely, betray their own working-class anti-war base so that the Republicans will not have anything even remotely "leftist" to worry about. In truth, the Democratic party crawled up its own ass and died so many years ago that I think I've lost count.

Like Like

wjastore November 30, 2019 at 9:06 AM
Just what we don't need: two bought-and-paid-for political parties in the service of the wealthiest and the corporations. But at least the Republicans are (mostly) honest about their priorities

[Dec 01, 2019] Polls are more tools of propaganda the the reflection of voters prefernces

Dec 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Dec 1 2019 20:37 utc | 7

@ jayc in comment #6 who wrote
"
Craig Murray says that Boris Johnson was notably drunk at the Cenotaph ceremony for Remembrance Sunday in London.

Why do the UK polls appear to show the Conservatives headed to big victory?
"
Polls are more tools of propaganda in this human time frame. Add to that in the US we (s)elected a pussy grabbing misogynist and serial bankruptcy grifter and you might start to understand that Boris Johnson may be an alcoholic tool of the elite that run Western nations....and they will propagandize his mythical wonderfulness in spite of his moral vacuousness....to a degree that enough of the masses believe in him.

I refuse to take polls anymore because the questions are always worded to get the answers whomever is paying for the poll wants.

We hope for structural change to the Western system/social contract but keep our eyes wide open to the obvious perfidy by the elite of today in the West...hence my steady drum beat about those of the cult that own global private finance

[Dec 01, 2019] Fox's Tucker Carlson questions Douma 'chemical attack proof' and roots for Russia on air. Off with his head, cry MSM

Nov 26, 2019 | www.legitgov.org
Fox's Tucker Carlson questions Douma 'chemical attack proof' and roots for Russia on air. Off with his head, cry MSM

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has crossed an MSM Rubicon and questioned the Douma "gas attack" fraud on air, bringing up the OPCW whistleblower. Then he "rooted for Russia" over Ukraine...Carlson boldly went where no mainstream TV host had gone before, unpacking the explosive story of April 2018's Douma "chemical weapons attack." While the "attack" was attributed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by an altered report from the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, two whistleblowers within the group accused it of omitting evidence to craft a misleading narrative - a fact that has never crossed the lips of US media until Monday night... "America almost attacked a country and killed untold thousands of people over an attack that may never have happened in the first place - that powerful people may very well have been lying about," Carlson told his audience, replaying footage of his show from the days following the attack to show he'd always been suspicious it had happened as reported.

[Dec 01, 2019] A Question for Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden or Any Democrat Running for President What s Your Foreign Policy The National In

Notable quotes:
"... "The next president will, for example, have to deal with the enormous loss of U.S. credibility during the past three years, which has stemmedin large part from Trump's reneging on or withdrawing from agreements such as the Paris accord on climate change, arms control accords withRussia, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which restricted Iran's nuclear program." ..."
"... What is the PURPOSE of US Foreign Policy? To protect the US homeland and US interests abroad (freedom of navigation, freedom of commerce and trade, and the protection of US citizens travelling abroad to name a few). ..."
"... Unfortunately, US Policy really refers to US interventionism across the globe. Covert activities are presumably necessary to protect US interests so as to thwart the covert activities of our enemies. In practice, what the US really does is protect the interests of friendly countries and US-based multi-national corporations...and the whole thing is smoke and mirrors (hidden from the American people). Thus, we really have NO IDEA what US Foreign Policy is, or what we are doing behind the scenes. That's on both Democrats and Republicans. ..."
Dec 01, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

This is still a race for a party nomination, and it is well known how political battles at this stage typically focus narrowly on what are perceived to be the parochial concerns of the party's base and take on a different character in the general election. But positions taken now can impose constraints later on. Moreover, Democratic primary voters ought to be learning about what difference the various contenders would make in executing the powers of the presidency, not just in who has the most attractive ideas about policies that cannot be imposed by fiat.

Foreign policy is where more attention and debate are most required, and not just because foreign policy nearly always gets inadequate attention in political campaigns. It also is where a president has the most power to make a difference even without getting Congress to go along with the president's program. This fact is reflected in how many presidents late in their presidencies, especially in second terms, have turned more of their attention to foreign relations as an area where they can make a difference after experiencing frustration in trying to get their domestic programs through Congress.

Many issues in foreign policy could profitably be discussed more than they are now, but priority should be given to those subjects on which Trump has caused the most damage. Candidates should explain how they intend to repair that damage, not just what their policies would be if they somehow could be written on a clean slate. The slate on which the next administration's foreign policy will be written starts out very dirty. Coming after Trump will be a major, task-defining fact about the next administration's foreign policy challenges.

The heavy damage to U.S. relations with the European allies represents another especially dirty part of the slate that the next administration will have to tend to. Brexit will be an added complication in addressing this problem and in a sense is another part of Trump's legacy given the way he has cheered on the Brexiteers, contrary to U.S. interests.

Issues examined by the current impeachment proceeding represent more damage-repair needs. Ukraine is a large and important country and constructing a U.S. policy that adequately reflects Ukraine's delicate situation between East and West would be a challenge in any event. Now it has been made more difficult by Trump and Rudy Giuliani's setting back of Ukraine's efforts to stamp out corruption and subordinating an aid relationship to dirt-digging for domestic political reasons. What are the Democratic candidates' specific ideas for repairing this damage, and for fitting the repairs into a sensible policy toward not just Ukraine but also Russia?

To emphasize these foreign policy challenges is not to diminish the amount of Trump-inflicted damage that extends to domestic matters as well, and the need for the next administration to repair that damage as well. Perhaps the greatest over-arching damage, spanning both the domestic and foreign sides, is that the nation seems to have become inured to wrongdoing because of the sheer volume of it, with attention to each offense quickly fading as it is succeeded by a new offense or attention-hogging presidential outburst. What will the next president do to restore a sense of national outrage over wrongdoing whenever it occurs, be it blatant self-dealing, corruption of U.S. foreign relations, or something else?

Such problems may not have as much resonance in Iowa caucuses as the cost of health care, but they have a lot more to do with who will make the best president.

Paul R. Pillar is Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University and Nonresident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution. He is a contributing editor to The National Interest, where he writes a blog .


MaskOfZero 5 days ago • edited ,

"The next president will, for example, have to deal with the enormous loss of U.S. credibility during the past three years, which has stemmedin large part from Trump's reneging on or withdrawing from agreements such as the Paris accord on climate change, arms control accords withRussia, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which restricted Iran's nuclear program."

What a load of hooey this article is. U.S. credibility with whom? Failed Merkel? Failed Macron?...

Emidio Borg 11 days ago • edited ,

It is our weapons manufacturers who bankroll our political establishment, consequently our foreign policy is whatever they say it is.

The Mugged Liberal 13 days ago ,

Failure of the past three years but no mention of the failures of Obama? Sending an aging hippie James Taylor to console islamic terrorist victims in Paris apparently counts as a major foreign policy success and that mean Trump refuses to perpetuate. And then there's the cross the red line in Syria and we'll do nothing.

Or maybe ship weapons secretly to Islamic terrorists calling them freedom fighters and surprise surprise, the weapons from Obama are used to murder American diplomats in Benghazi. Then cover that up by blaming it on a video from a guy in Los Angeles and sending out a team to blatantly lie about the event.

Now there's real foreign policy you can depend on - from the Democrats.

And of course from Paul Pillar.

Carl Braun 18 days ago ,

What's Your Foreign Policy?
A. Orange man bad.
Need more taxes for my apology diplomacy.
More pallets of cash for the mullahs

Airbrush2020 Me 18 days ago • edited ,

What is the PURPOSE of US Foreign Policy? To protect the US homeland and US interests abroad (freedom of navigation, freedom of commerce and trade, and the protection of US citizens travelling abroad to name a few).

Unfortunately, US Policy really refers to US interventionism across the globe. Covert activities are presumably necessary to protect US interests so as to thwart the covert activities of our enemies. In practice, what the US really does is protect the interests of friendly countries and US-based multi-national corporations...and the whole thing is smoke and mirrors (hidden from the American people). Thus, we really have NO IDEA what US Foreign Policy is, or what we are doing behind the scenes. That's on both Democrats and Republicans.

[Dec 01, 2019] Senator Warren's plans on drugs are a really huge deal

Dec 01, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , November 28, 2019 at 12:34 PM

https://truthout.org/articles/warrens-new-proposal-for-prescription-drugs-is-flying-under-the-radar/

November 25, 2019

Warren's New Proposal for Prescription Drugs Is Flying Under the Radar
By Dean Baker

Earlier this month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren put out a set of steps that she would put forward as president as part of a transition to Medicare for All. The items that got the most attention were including everyone over age 50 and under age 18 in Medicare, and providing people of all ages with the option to buy into the program. This buy-in would include large subsidies, and people with incomes of less than 200 percent of the poverty level would be able to enter the Medicare program at no cost.

These measures would be enormous steps toward Medicare for All, bringing tens of millions of people into the program, including most of those (people over age 50) with serious medical issues. It would certainly be more than halfway to a universal Medicare program.

While these measures captured most of the attention given to Warren's transition plan, another part of the plan is probably at least as important. Warren proposed to use the government's authority to compel the licensing of drug patents so that multiple companies can produce a patented drug.

The government can do this both because it has general authority to compel licensing of patents (with reasonable compensation) and because it has explicit authority under the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act to require licensing of any drug developed in part with government-funded research. The overwhelming majority of drugs required some amount of government-supported research in their development.

These measures are noteworthy because they can be done on the president's own authority. While the pharmaceutical industry will surely contest a president's use of the government's authority to weaken their patent rights, those actions would not require congressional approval.

The other reason that these steps would be so important is that there is a huge amount of money involved. The United States is projected to spend over $6.6 trillion on prescription drugs over the next decade, more than 2.5 percent of GDP.

The government has explicit authority under the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act to require licensing of any drug developed in part with government-funded research.

This is an enormous amount of money. We spend more than twice as much per person on drugs as people in other wealthy countries.

This is not an accident. The grant of a patent monopoly allows drug companies to charge as much as they want for drugs that are necessary for people's health or even their life.

While other countries also grant patent monopolies, they limit the ability of drug companies to exploit these monopolies with negotiations or price controls. This is why prices in these countries are so much lower than in the United States.

But even these negotiated prices are far above what drug prices would be in a free market. The price of drugs in a free market, without patent monopolies or related protections, will typically be less than 10 percent of the U.S. price and in some cases, less than 1 percent.

This is because drugs are almost invariably cheap to manufacture and distribute. They are expensive because government-granted patent monopolies make them expensive.

The rationale for patent monopolies is to give companies an incentive to research and develop drugs. This process is expensive, and if newly developed drugs were sold in a free market, companies would not be able to recover these expenses.

To make up for the loss of research funding supported by patent monopolies, Warren proposes an increase in public funding for research.

To make up for the loss of research funding supported by patent monopolies, Warren proposes an increase in public funding for research. This would be an important move toward an increased reliance on publicly funded biomedical research.

There are enormous advantages to publicly funded research over patent monopoly-supported research. First, the government is funding the research. It can require that all results be fully public as soon as possible so that all researchers can quickly benefit from them.

By contrast, under the patent system, drug companies have an incentive to keep results secret. They have no desire to share results that could benefit competitors.

Public funding would also radically reduce the incentive to develop copycat drugs. Under the current system, drug companies will often devote substantial sums to developing drugs that are intended to duplicate the function of drugs already on the market. While there is generally an advantage to having more options to treat a specific condition, most often, research dollars would be better spent trying to develop drugs for conditions where no effective treatment currently exists.

Ending patent monopoly pricing would also take away the incentive for drug companies to conceal evidence that their drugs may not be as safe or effective as claimed. Patent monopolies give drug companies an incentive to push their drugs as widely as possible.

The opioid crisis provides a dramatic example of the dangers of this system. Opioid manufacturers would not have had the same incentive to push their drugs, concealing evidence of their addictive properties, if they were not making huge profits on them.

In short, Senator Warren's plans on drugs are a really huge deal. How far and how quickly she will be able to get to Medicare for All will depend on what she can get through Congress. But her proposal for prescription drugs is something she would be able to do if elected president, and it would make an enormous difference in both the cost and the quality of our health care.

[Dec 01, 2019] Joe Rogan finally got around to interviewing Tulsi, along with another vet named Jocko Willink.

Dec 01, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

fdr-fan , November 29, 2019 at 2:11 pm

Attn Lambert:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdYud9re7-Q

Joe Rogan finally got around to interviewing Tulsi, along with another vet named Jocko Willink.

Tulsi does splendidly but unsurprisingly, finally allowed to complete a sentence without fighting stupid questions.

Around the middle of the clip, Willink has a passionate description of the rebirth of manufacturing in Maine, which is surprising!

Conrad , November 29, 2019 at 3:50 pm

#25 on trending when I clicked through just now. Not bad for a two and a half hour long interview.

And how on earth did an ex comedian and MMA commentator become one of the better political interviewers around?

WheresOurTeddy , November 29, 2019 at 4:19 pm

"And how on earth did an ex comedian and MMA commentator become one of the better political interviewers around?"

Dereliction of duty by the gatekeeper oligarch press, and discontent by the ever-more-discerning consumer to be served cold lies? Baby Boomers and Silent Generation dying off more by the day? People under 40 who have never experienced an economy that doesn't suck for the non-rich?

polecat , November 29, 2019 at 5:07 pm

He got over his fear factor ..

XXYY , November 30, 2019 at 10:44 am

I've started listening to Rogan interviews since Sanders's blockbuster interview a few months ago.

The guy is actually a surprisingly good interviewer, for reasons that are hard to understand. For one thing, he is invariably friendly and respectful, which I think draws the subject out. His format also allows almost unlimited and uninterrupted time, (2-3 hours is typical), which removes time pressure and allows extended and nuanced conversation. He also has no particular agenda, and allows the conversation to go where it will, jumping in with "questions" only when a particular topic seems to be exhausted.

The interesting thing is that anyone, either inside the media or outside it, could be doing a similar program; it's not technically hard. But no one is.

dcrane , November 30, 2019 at 12:58 am

Rogan first interviewed her in May. This was the second time. And another good one. She is ready to be president.

Perpetual war , November 30, 2019 at 4:55 am

If I didn't miss anything, then it is not 100% clear that USA will stop invading and bombing other countries with Gabbard. She is slippery enough to continue the bombings. She still mentions war as a last option. It is highly subjective to judge whether you have used up all diplomatic channels to achieve your goal or not.

The wars and invasions has been about stealing natural resources, oil mainly but now lithium too, feed the MIC-swamp creatures in general and selling out state resources to American interests. In no way does she tackle the causes of the wars, only the symptoms.

When have you tried all diplomatic channels to steal Iraq's, Venezuela's, Syria's and Libya's oil fields? What do the diplomatic tools look like? Economic strangulation? IMF on steroids?

She needs to talk about a society getting off of oil for a starter

Hepativore , November 29, 2019 at 2:46 pm

It is amazing on how so many arguments against progressive policies coming from the Democratic Party all seem to boil down to "Shut up and get back to work, peasants!"

Incrementalists do not even slowly improve things most of the time, as the neoliberal Democratic Party "incrementally" follows the Republicans rightward with every broad shift to the right on the GOP side. Today's deregulators and supply-side economic proponents are just as likely to be Democrats as Republicans and many Democrats are probably cheering on Kavanaugh's attacks on environmental standards as we speak.

Our aristocracy do not even pretend to adhere to any sort of sense of noblisse oblige, unlike the feudal lords of old.

[Nov 30, 2019] Obama Takes the Field and Hillary May Be Around the Corner by Stephen J. Sniegoski

Notable quotes:
"... However, Morris contends that Clinton believes that she has to "wait until Biden drops out because he's obviously next in line for it, and if he goes away, there's an opening for her." According to Morris' scenario, Clinton would become the moderate candidate opposed to the leading progressive, Elizabeth Warren. ..."
Nov 30, 2019 | www.unz.com

In November, Barack Obama, who had avoided commenting on the Democratic presidential primary, came out forcefully in opposition to the extreme positions taken by some leading progressive contenders, positions that could cause the Democrats to be beaten by Trump in the 2020 election. Obama was a very popular president among Democrats, and what he has to say carries considerable weight with them. While this may not be his intent, Obama's position could open the field for Hillary Clinton to enter the fray and quite possibly become the Democrats' nominee, given the lackluster performance of leading "moderate" Joe Biden, whose weaknesses have been brought out by the mainstream media, despite their animosity toward Trump.

Now many in the Democratic Party leadership, as well as wealthy Democratic donors, have been concerned for some time about the radical nature of some of the economic policies advocated by the leading progressive Democratic contenders. They fear that instead of the 2020 election revolving around Trump with his low approval ratings, and very likely his impeachment, which would seem to be a slam-dunk victory for Democrats, it would focus on those radical economic proposals. Many voters are skeptical about how free college for all, free health care for all, high-paying jobs in "green energy" -- after greatly reducing the use of fossil fuels, free childcare for all, just to name some of the "free" things that have been promised, would really work. Instead of raising taxes on the middle class, most of these free things would purportedly be paid for by the super-wealthy, which would exclude mere millionaires such as Bernie Sanders (estimated wealth $2 million) and Elizabeth Warren (estimated wealth $12 million) who are the leading progressive contenders.

Obama began stressing his concern about the danger of radicalism in an October speech at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago. And he did this not by dealing with presidential candidates but with youth who think they can immediately change society. "This idea of purity and you're never compromised, and you're always politically woke and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly," Obama lectured. "The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws."

It was at a gathering of Democratic donors in Washington, D.C., in November that Obama cautioned Democratic candidates not to go too far to the left since that would antagonize many voters who would otherwise support the Democratic candidate. "Even as we push the envelope and we are bold in our vision we also have to be rooted in reality ," Obama asserted. "The average American doesn't think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it." Although Obama did not specify particular Democratic candidates, his warning was widely interpreted as being directed at Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Currently, the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination, according to national polls, is Joe Biden, who is considered a moderate. But Biden has a number of problems. He continues to make gaffes while speaking, and during his long career in the Senate took positions that are antithetical to the Democratic Party of today. Moreover, he lacks the charisma to attract large crowds to his events. Thus, it is questionable that he has the capability to attract large numbers of Democratic voters to the polls in November 2020.

According to Politico Magazine , Obama was recently discussing election tactics with an unnamed current candidate and "pointed out that during his own 2008 campaign, he had an intimate bond with the electorate" and he is quoted as adding, "And you know who really doesn't have it ? Joe Biden."

Biden's appeal already seems to be waning. For example, in November, a Marquette Law School poll, which is considered the gold-standard survey in swing state Wisconsin, which the Democrats need to win the 2020 election, shows Trump leading Biden 47 percent to 44 percent. In October, Trump had trailed Biden by 6 points (44 percent to 50 percent), and in August, Trump trailed Biden by 9 points (42 percent to 51 percent). In short, Biden is losing support. Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by a slender margin of 0.77 percent, with 47.22 percent of the total votes over the 46.45 percent for Hillary Clinton.

Another problem Biden faces is the corrupt activities of his son Hunter and brother James, who have taken advantage of their connection with him. The mainstream media has so far largely kept this mostly under wraps, but this tactic won't be successful as the election approaches. In fact, the progressive Democrats such as Bernie Sanders are likely to bring this up in a desperate effort to be nominated. And already these issues are being mentioned by the alternative media. For instance, there is an article in the non-partisan, anti-government Intercept titled, "Joe Biden's Family Has Been Cashing in on His Career for Decades. Democrats Need to Acknowledge That," and comparable articles in the conservative Washington Examiner such as, "Hunter Biden-linked company r eceived $130M in special federal loans while Joe Biden was vice president," and "Hunter Biden has 99 problems , and Burisma is only one."

David Axelrod, Democratic strategist and longtime aide to Barack Obama, said concerns about Biden's electability clearly influenced multi-billionaire (estimated $53 billion) and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's entrance into the contest for the Democratic nominee for president. "There's no question that Bloomberg's calculus was that Biden was occupying a space, and the fact that he's getting in is a clear indication that he's not convinced Biden has the wherewithal to carry that torch," Axelrod said. "So yeah, I don't think this is a positive development for Joe Biden."

Similarly, Democratic strategist Brad Bannon contended that "centrist Democrats and wealthy donors have lost confidence in Biden's ability to stop Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders from winning the nomination." Bannon added that with Bloomberg entering the Democratic presidential race, "Biden's fundraising will get even shakier than it already is. There's only room for one moderate in this race and Bloomberg threatens Biden's status as the centrist standard-bearer."

Bloomberg's "stop and frisk" policy as mayor , which largely targeted blacks and Hispanics, should make it virtually impossible that he could be the Democratic nominee, despite his recent apology. Unless he has become senile in his late 70s, Bloomberg should well understand this since he did not make his billions by being stupid. It could be that he intends to serve as a stalking horse to draw Hillary Clinton into the contest by showing the weakness of Biden. Then like Superwoman, Hillary can enter the fray, appearing not to act for her own sake but to save the country from a likely second term for President Trump.

Similarly, Mark Penn, who was chief strategist for Clinton's unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign, said Bloomberg's entrance could cause Clinton to consider to run and decide there's "still a political logic there for her."

As Biden's support slips away, Clinton's should rise. Clinton has been recently promoting a book she co-wrote with her daughter, Chelsea, in Britain. In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live , Clinton said "many, many, many people" are pressuring her to jump into the 2020 presidential race and that she thinks about this "all the time." Clinton told the host that she is under "enormous pressure" but said it is not in her plans, though she cryptically added that she would "never say never."

Dick Morris, who was once a close confidant of the Clintons during Bill Clinton's time as Arkansas governor and U.S. president recently said in a radio interview that Hillary Clinton likely wants to run for the presidency in 2020. "My feeling is that she wants to ," Morris said. "She feels entitled to do it. She feels compelled to do it. She feels that God put her on the Earth to do it. But she's hesitant because she realizes the timing is bad."

However, Morris contends that Clinton believes that she has to "wait until Biden drops out because he's obviously next in line for it, and if he goes away, there's an opening for her." According to Morris' scenario, Clinton would become the moderate candidate opposed to the leading progressive, Elizabeth Warren.

Morris has not been in touch with the Clintons for many years, and has become strongly critical of them, so his claim might be questionable. Nonetheless, his portrayal of Hillary's current thinking seems quite reasonable.

A Fox News poll included Clinton along with the active Democratic candidates in a hypothetical election with Trump, and Hillary came out ahead of him by two percentage points. While some actual candidates did somewhat better than Hillary, she did quite well for someone who is not currently running for office.

Furthermore, a Harris Harvard poll in late October asked the question, "Suppose Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, and John Kerry decides [sic] to enter the race, who would you support as a candidate for President?" Joe Biden received the support of 19 percent of Democrat respondents while Clinton was a close second with 18 percent. Elizabeth Warren came in third at 13 percent, John Kerry was at 8 percent, and Bloomberg was at 6. Again, Clinton does quite well for someone who is not actually running for president.

One might think that if references to family members' corruption damaged Biden, then Clinton would be subject to worse damage in that area, since she and her husband Bill were connected with far more corrupt activities -- Whitewater, Travelgate, the Lewinsky affair, the Paula Jones affair, t the death of Vince Foster, the Clinton Foundation, her private server, and so on. But these issues are already known and are presumably already taken into account by the voters, whereas the Biden family's corrupt activities are so far largely unknown.

It should be pointed out that Clinton has a number of positives as a presidential candidate. Although losing in the Electoral College in 2016, Clinton had garnered 3 million more votes more than Trump. The election was decided by a total of 80,000 votes in three states. It is highly unlikely that such a fluke could be duplicated.

Clinton's staff had been overconfident assuming victory, which was based on their polling of various states, and as a result began to focus on competing in states well beyond those Clinton needed for victory.

Moreover, one key event outside the control of Clinton's staff was FBI Director James Comey's investigation of Clinton's use of a personal email server during her tenure as secretary of state. Most crucial were his July 2016 public statement terminating the investigation, with a lengthy comment about what Clinton did wrong, and his October 28 reopening the inquiry into newly discovered emails and then closing it two days before the election, stating that the emails had not provided any new information. The October 28 letter, however, probably played a key role in the outcome of the election. As statistician Nate Silver maintains: "Hillary Clinton would probably be president if FBI Director James Comey had not sent a letter to Congress on Oct. 28. The letter, which said the FBI had 'learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation into the private email server that Clinton used as secretary of state, upended the news cycle and soon halved Clinton's lead in the polls, imperiling her position in the Electoral College.'"

[Silver's organization FiveThirtyEight had projected a much higher chance (29 percent) of Donald Trump winning the presidency than most other pollsters]

Clinton has also helped to convince many Democrats and members of the mainstream media that the 2016 election was stolen from her by Russian agents If this were really true – which is very doubtful – then Hillary should be the Democrats' candidate for 2020 since Russian intervention should not be as successful as it allegedly was in 2016.

In endorsing Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, Obama stated. "I don't think that there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office." He has yet to make such an endorsement for Biden and privately, as mentioned earlier, said he is a poor choice for a nominee. He might ultimately endorse Biden, but he certainly would not renege on what he said four years ago about Clinton if she became the Democrats' standard-bearer.

Should Clinton opt to run, she would have no trouble raising money since she set a record in 2016 of $1.4 billion and wealthy donors want a moderate to be the Democratic nominee. It would seem likely that she would enter the contest if Biden has serious trouble. She would miss some state primaries since it would be too late to register in them but given the crowded field of candidates, there is a likelihood that there will be a brokered convention, that is, the convention will go past the first ballot. Since the superdelegates would be allowed to vote in all rounds after the first, they could determine the winner, which would probably mean the selection of a candidate who would be seen to have the greatest chance of winning, and that would likely be Hillary Clinton, if she has entered the fray.

I discussed the merits of Pete Buttigieg in a previous article in Unz Review, and what I write here might seem to conflict with that. However, while Buttigieg is doing quite well in the polls, he still does not get much support from blacks and Latinos, which is essential to become the Democrats nominee for president. Buttigieg could, however, be nominated for vice president or, more likely, given an important cabinet position since the vice-presidential slot would probably be reserved for a black or Latino if a white person were picked as the presidential nominee, which currently seems likely.

But because of Buttigieg's relatively hardline foreign policy , which largely meshes with that of Clinton's, and his wide knowledge and language ability, Buttigieg would fit well in the all-important position of secretary of state in a Clinton administration. Moreover, Buttigieg, whose tenure as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, will end in January 2020, would almost certainly be willing to take such a position, which could serve as a jumping-off point for the presidency in the future.

[Nov 30, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard: Wake Up and Smell Our $6.4 Trillion Wars

Nov 30, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

he Democratic establishment is increasingly irritated. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, long-shot candidate for president, is attacking her own party for promoting the "deeply destructive" policy of "regime change wars." Gabbard has even called Hillary Clinton "the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party."

Senator Chris Murphy complained: "It's a little hard to figure out what itch she's trying to scratch in the Democratic Party right now." Some conservatives seem equally confused. The Washington Examiner 's Eddie Scarry asked: "where is Tulsi distinguishing herself when it really matters?"

The answer is that foreign policy "really matters." Gabbard recognizes that George W. Bush is not the only simpleton warmonger who's plunged the nation into conflict, causing enormous harm. In the last Democratic presidential debate, she explained that the issue was "personal to me" since she'd "served in a medical unit where every single day, I saw the terribly high, human costs of war." Compare her perspective to that of the ivory tower warriors of Right and Left, ever ready to send others off to fight not so grand crusades.

The best estimate of the costs of the post-9/11 wars comes from the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. The Institute says that $6.4 trillion will be spent through 2020. They estimate that our wars have killed 801,000 directly and resulted in a multiple of that number dead indirectly. More than 335,000 civilians have died -- and that's an extremely conservative guess. Some 21 million people have been forced from their homes. Yet the terrorism risk has only grown, with the U.S. military involved in counter-terrorism in 80 nations.

Obviously, without American involvement there would still be conflicts. Some counter-terrorism activities would be necessary even if the U.S. was not constantly swatting geopolitical wasps' nests. Nevertheless, it was Washington that started or joined these unnecessary wars (e.g., Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen) and expanded necessary wars well beyond their legitimate purposes (Afghanistan). As a result, American policymakers bear responsibility for much of the carnage.

The Department of Defense is responsible for close to half of the estimated expenditures. About $1.4 trillion goes to care for veterans. Homeland security and interest on security expenditures take roughly $1 trillion each. And $131 million goes to the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which have overspent on projects that have delivered little.

More than 7,000 American military personnel and nearly 8,000 American contractors have died. About 1,500 Western allied troops and 11,000 Syrians fighting ISIS have been killed. The Watson Institute figures that as many as 336,000 civilians have died, but that uses the very conservative numbers provided by the Iraq Body Count. The IBC counts 207,000 documented civilian deaths but admits that doubling the estimate would probably yield a more accurate figure. Two other respected surveys put the number of deaths in Iraq alone at nearly 700,000 and more than a million, though those figures have been contested.

More than a thousand aid workers and journalists have died, as well as up to 260,000 opposition fighters. Iraq is the costliest conflict overall, with as many as 308,000 dead (or 515,000 from doubling the IBC count). Syria cost 180,000 lives, Afghanistan 157,000, Yemen 90,000, and Pakistan 66,000.

Roughly 32,000 American military personnel have been wounded; some 300,000 suffer from PTSD or significant depression and even more have endured traumatic brain injuries. There are other human costs -- 4.5 million Iraqi refugees and millions more in other nations, as well as the destruction of Iraq's indigenous Christian community and persecution of other religious minorities. There has been widespread rape and other sexual violence. Civilians, including children, suffer from PTSD.

Even stopping the wars won't end the costs. Explained Nita Crawford of Boston University and co-director of Brown's Cost of War Project: "the total budgetary burden of the post-9/11 wars will continue to rise as the U.S. pays the on-going costs of veterans' care and for interest no borrowing to pay for the wars."

People would continue to die. Unexploded shells and bombs still turn up in Europe from World Wars I and II. In Afghanistan, virtually the entire country is a battlefield, filled with landmines, shells, bombs, and improvised explosive devices. Between 2001 and 2018, 5,442 Afghans were killed and 14,693 were wounded from unexploded ordnance. Some of these explosives predate American involvement, but the U.S. has contributed plenty over the last 18 years.

Moreover, the number of indirect deaths often exceeds battle-related casualties. Journalist and activist David Swanson noted an "estimate that to 480,000 direct deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, one must add at least one million deaths in those countries indirectly caused by the recent and ongoing wars. This is because the wars have caused illnesses, injuries, malnutrition, homelessness, poverty, lack of social support, lack of healthcare, trauma, depression, suicide, refugee crises, disease epidemics, the poisoning of the environment, and the spread of small-scale violence." Consider Yemen, ravaged by famine and cholera. Most civilian casualties have resulted not from Saudi and Emirati bombing, but from the consequences of the bombing.

Only a naif would imagine that these wars will disappear absent a dramatic change in national leadership. Wrote Crawford: "The mission of the post-9/11 wars, as originally defined, was to defend the United States against future terrorist threats from al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations. Since 2001, the wars have expanded from the fighting in Afghanistan, to wars and smaller operations elsewhere, in more than 80 countries -- becoming a truly 'global war on terror'."

Yet every expansion of conflict makes the American homeland more, not less, vulnerable. Contrary to the nonsensical claim that if we don't occupy Afghanistan forever and overthrow Syria's Bashar al-Assad, al-Qaeda and ISIS will turn Chicago and Omaha into terrorist abattoirs, intervening in more conflicts and killing more foreigners creates additional terrorists at home and abroad. In this regard, drone campaigns are little better than invasions and occupations.

For instance, when questioned by the presiding judge in his trial, the failed 2010 Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, a U.S. citizen, cited the drone campaign in Pakistan. His colloquy with the judge was striking: "I'm going to plead guilty 100 times forward because until the hour the U.S. pulls its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and stops the drone strikes in Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan and stops the occupation of Muslim lands and stops Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan, and stops the occupation of Muslim lands, and stops killing the Muslims."

Ajani Marwat, with the New York City Police Department's intelligence division, outlined Shahzad's perspective to The Guardian : "'It's American policies in his country.' 'We don't have to do anything to attract them,' a terrorist organizer in Lahore told me. 'The Americans and the Pakistani government do our work for us. With the drone attacks targeting the innocents who live in Waziristan and the media broadcasting this news all the time, the sympathies of most of the nation are always with us. Then it's simply a case of converting these sentiments into action'."

Washington does make an effort to avoid civilian casualties, but war will never be pristine. Combatting insurgencies inevitably harms innocents. Air and drone strikes rely on often unreliable informants. The U.S. employs "signature" strikes based on supposedly suspicious behavior. And America's allies, most notably the Saudis and Emiratis -- supplied, armed, guided, and until recently refueled by Washington -- make little if any effort to avoid killing noncombatants and destroying civilian infrastructure.

Thus will the cycle of terrorism and war continue. Yet which leading Democrats have expressed concern? Most complain that President Donald Trump is negotiating with North Korea, leaving Syria, and reducing force levels in Afghanistan. Congressional Democrats care about Yemen only because it has become Trump's war; there were few complaints under President Barack Obama.

What has Washington achieved after years of combat? Even the capitals of its client states are unsafe. The State Department warns travelers to Iraq that kidnapping is a risk and urges businessmen to hire private security. In Kabul, embassy officials now travel to the airport via helicopter rather than car.

Tulsi Gabbard is talking about what really matters. The bipartisan War Party has done its best to wreck America and plenty of other nations too. Gabbard is courageously challenging the Democrats in this coalition, who have become complicit in Washington's criminal wars.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire.


Alex (the one that likes Ike) 17 hours ago • edited

And, by the way, it's important to stress that Tulsi ain't picking at Her Majesty all of a sudden. It was the said majesty who has recently started picking at Tulsi first out of no reason, extrapolating that joke of Trump's "Russia's candidate" status on her as well.

Also, this:

People would continue to die. Unexploded shells and bombs still turn up in Europe from World Wars I and II. In Afghanistan, virtually the entire country is a battlefield, filled with
landmines, shells, bombs, and improvised explosive devices.


At least in Europe it is indeed shells and bombs, which are kind of big schmucks thus easily noticed when approached and then disarmed by engineers. While all over the Middle East it is first and foremost IEDs that can look like, virtually, anything starting from a hand grenade's size.

polistra24 Alex (the one that likes Ike) 5 hours ago
Good point that I hadn't thought about. Hillary is not only the war-starter abroad, she's the fight-starter here.
Kierkegaardian 16 hours ago
Because every dollar counts, I think that sums should always be written with all digits, like this
$6400000000000
Alex (the one that likes Ike) Kierkegaardian 5 hours ago
On one hand, you're right. On the other hand, the average neocon/neolib commenter who will come to enlighten us as to Russian agents behind the authorship of the article will be utmostly unable to read the damn thing. For such a feller it ain't gonna be much different from 5D21DBA0000.
Disqus10021 16 hours ago
You can read a summary of the Brown University study here: watson.brown.edu/costsofwar...

You can read a summary of a similar study published at Harvard University in 2013 here: www.hks.harvard.edu/publica...

Unfortunately, a lot of Americans in recent years were more concerned about gays getting married and poor women terminating their pregnancies.

At Thanksgiving dinner today, the conversation eventually turned to politics and more specifically, Ukraine. I asked the other diners if they knew who Victoria Nuland was and got blank stares. Most didn't know that Crimea had been part of the Russian Empire going back to 1783, which happens to be the year that the US was formally recognized as a separate country under the Treaty of Paris.

How big is $6.4 trillion? Enough to cover outstanding student loans about 4 times. Or enough to stabilize Social Security and Medicare for decades to come.

Clay Williams 16 hours ago
Wait...you think it's the DEMOCRATS who "appear abysmally unconcerned about the human and financial toll?" Wow.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) Clay Williams 5 hours ago
Yes, them. Exactly like their Republican twins.
Mark 9 hours ago
Mostly a very good article - but - what possible legitimate purpose was there invading Afghanistan ? This was the biggest war crime of the lot and you're still there. Afghanistan had nothing whatsoever to do with the New York plane attacks. It was a failed state and had the misfortune to have bin Laden and co supposedly holed up in the mountains there and unable to do much about it. Dealing with that required a specific police style action. Instead you carpet bombed Kabul to start and unleashed a frenzy of killing across the country. Unfortunately pretty much as a lot of us predicted around the middle of Sept 2001.

And where did you find Osama in the end ? Oh yeah, hiding in luxury in a Pakistan army town.

In response to the plane attacks you murdered countless thousands in an immiserated land and after another brain fart thought Iraq was a good idea because they had nothing to do with it either.

The only civilian plane to fly out of the US on Sept 11 2001 was carrying the Saudi Royal family back home. Almost all the plane terrorists were Saudi and Pakistan conspired against you continually. But you didn't have the guts or brains to take either of them on and instead picked in the weakest of the lot, Afghanistan followed by a nice flat country you'd already half destroyed and without nukes.

Apart from that, good article.

Daniel (not Larrison) Mark 4 hours ago
I'm not sure if it was a "failed state" at that point. True, we did not like the brutal Taliban to be in charge, but I don't think it had no effective central government. It did.
Frank Valente Mark 4 hours ago
It is hard not believe that 9/11 was the work of our own deep state and the Saudi Government....Patriot Act anyone????
appleDwight 7 hours ago
How clueless do you have to be to express antipathy towards Gabbard's stance and question "what really matters"? What do these idiots think is more important than policies that send our children to war?
Rappahannock IV 6 hours ago
"Senator Chris Murphy complained: "It's a little hard to figure out what itch she's trying to scratch in the Democratic Party right now.""

Couldn't agree more, Senator Chris. Most Democrats really like these pointless, endless, trillion dollar wars. They want to keep them going strong as long as possible, because there's nothing Democrats like better than staggeringly expensive government programs, and when it comes down to a choice
between being more frugal and getting Americans out of the Middle East on the one hand, or a big, juicy budget-busting festival of spending, refugee floods, and death on the other, there's no question where Chris Murphy and the Democratic Party stand.

As for Tulsi Gabbard, who does she think she's kidding? An anti-war Democrat? A fiscal restraint Democrat? A "focus on America not foreign wars" Democrat? Whoever heard of such a thing? She needs a new party, one that isn't run by billionaire elites serving corporate or foreign interests. Call it "the American Party", to distinguish it from the corrupt garbage offered by the globalist elites and foreign interests who run the Democrats and GOP.

Fran Macadam Rappahannock IV 5 hours ago
One military industrial lobbyist with a million bucks has a million times the influence of a million ordinary voters with one buck each.
Frank Valente Rappahannock IV 4 hours ago
I appreciate your silly tirade against the Democrats, hate to rain on your biased parade BUT it is BOTH corrupt political parties that perpetuate this senseless crusade! Both of these parties should be dismantled and banned!
Sid Finster 5 hours ago
The United States merely pays lip service to avoiding civilian casualties. Witness Mosul and Fallujah, to name but two recent examples.
Frank Valente 4 hours ago
Tulsi would make the best of all presidents but I am afraid the CIA working for the owner Oligarchs of the evil Military Industrial War Crime Complex would do the same thing they did to Kennedy so they could put a stooge in office to do their bidding.
kouroi 4 hours ago
All these wars weren't against terrorists and such. For a good strategist, that was the best opportunity to get in the Central Asia and plant your bases there under the belly of Iran, Russia, and China and start making mischief and prepare for the next phases. At that point, with the new man at helm in Moscow and China getting lift-off, it was clear that the planned take over of the entire world economy was not happening, so action needed to be taken.

As for the 6.4 trillion dollars and such, what should be clear to any with two brain cells between their ears is that the US has no intention to ever repay those loans, or any, at least not to foreigners. And is the duty of the American cogs to shed their blood for their betters' ever expanding profits.

Go Tulsi Go!

staircaseghost 3 hours ago
I could remind readers that Hillary Clinton is not now running for president and is not ever going to be president, but I know the TAC target demographic uses snarls about Hillary the way the rest of us use punctuation marks, so I guess I can let the gratuitous first-paragraph sneer slide.

Your representation of the Sen. Murphy quote is upside down, inside out, and completely obviates the rest of the article. He is not bemused that someone is trying to sell steaks to vegetarians. He is asking why she is trying to sell refrigerators to eskimos.

Meanwhile, her fellow Democrats appear abysmally unconcerned about the human and financial toll.

You... couldn't be bothered to spend even 15 seconds typing in a name of one of the Democratic frontrunners and the words "foreign policy" or "endless wars" into google?

I mean, no one was hiding something like this from you :

"From endless wars that strain military families to trade policies that crush our middle class, Washington's foreign policy today serves the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of everyone else... A strong military should act as a deterrent so that most of the time, we won't have to use it. We must continue to be vigilant about the threat of terrorism, but it's time to bring our troops home... That means cutting our bloated defense budget and ending the stranglehold of defense contractors on our military policy."

Mccormick47 3 hours ago
I'm well to the left of center, and I donated to Tulsi early in her campaign. So many conservatives have praised her that she's become suspect for people on the left. She's allowed herself to become a one issue candidate, and that's unworkable in a presidential campaign.

Her anti gay activities in the past are problematic, and although she identifies as a Hindu, there are claims she's or was member of a cult like group. It's very clear to me that the Evangelicals would attack her for her religion in any event. Tulsi will never be president, but I hope she continues her battle to end the forever war.

peter mcloughlin 3 hours ago
There is blindness across the political spectrum about the perilous state of the world. They do not see the similarities with 1914 and 1939. The situations are not identical, no two situations are. But the pattern is clear.
https://www.ghostsofhistory...

[Nov 28, 2019] Working-class Americans across the country are chipping in $3, $18, $27, or whatever they can to help elect Bernie Sanders because they know he is the only candidate who will fight for them and take on corporate greed and corruption

Nov 28, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Plus there is Bernie (of course).

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced that his campaign for president has received over four million individual donations.

The news means Sanders is the fastest candidate in history to reach the mark, putting him in a league of his own when it comes to donor contributions. While poll numbers can be a strong indicator of a candidate's prospects, individual donations are often a sign of voter enthusiasm.

"Working-class Americans across the country are chipping in $3, $18, $27, or whatever they can to help elect Bernie Sanders because they know he is the only candidate who will fight for them and take on corporate greed and corruption," campaign manager Faiz Shakir said in a statement. "This is what momentum looks like."

There are many levers of political power, such as media power and infrastructure power. Those are still firmly in the hands of the establishment.
But cracks are showing.


Pluto's Republic on Thu, 11/28/2019 - 3:04am

I see it that way, too.

@QMS

DNC will burn rubber
before going progressive

It's not like the Democratic Party is going to turn Left. And why should they? Democrats are a huge, cohesive alliance of dedicated Members. They have some Liberal tolerance, but they are most comfortable in an ambience of cosy conservative values. The last thing the Democrats want to do is change anything. Changing things is too risky and upsetting. They are the guardians of the status quo. The Democratic Party is where the Democrats belong.

The Left may have some mild influence in the Party, but the Party is not moving Left. It's moving right, with stronger ties to the Neocons. They embrace the Empire and all that comes with it. They renewed the Patriot Act two weeks ago and the Media Monopolies agreed not to mention it. I read not a single Republican voted for the Bill. This demonstrates the ideology of the Democrats.

The Left is oppressed by the Democratic Party whether they are inside the party, or standing outside. When the Left finally manifests as a Party in the US, it will be via a charismatic populist outsider. I think they can capture a majority of Americans at the Presidential level. And that's maybe all you need for a decade or two. Executive power is enough to get a foothold. Because building a new Party infrastructure within the Federal election system is legally and logistically blocked by the Duopoly and the Billionaires, no matter how many Americans are affiliated with it.

But, then, it's not like we have a functioning democracy in the first place. We're Totalitarians who "show vote."

that power shift
in the wink of an eye
DNC will burn rubber
before going progressive

Snode on Wed, 11/27/2019 - 3:40pm
Upbeat news!

Sometimes things go the way they oughta. Unfortunately this will just encourage the DNC to grovel to the 1%, and pander to the rest of us, all that much harder.

Situational Lefty on Thu, 11/28/2019 - 12:04am
Growing cracks

Bernie broke the mold in 2016 and the powers that be are trying their best to deny it ever happened. They're even trying to give all the credit to Elizabeth Warren for President.

Those of us with long memories know that the Democratic Party has backed the conservative candidate over the progressive time and again.

The Democratic Party establishment is afraid of the Left. They're afraid of us because they know we're right. They know we vote. And now they know we can raise some money.

[Nov 28, 2019] Tulsi is capable of being a good president the first in decades in my opinion

Notable quotes:
"... Starting to remind me more and more of JFK. She's a natural at public speaking; I don't think I've ever seen her lost for words, and while she must have prepared herself for many of these questions. she launches immediately into her response and does not use recovery pauses like "Ummm " that break up the flow of her speech. She responds instantly and seemingly spontaneously, and delivers the whole message as a seamless package. ..."
Nov 25, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star November 25, 2019 at 11:52 am

https://www.youtube.com/embed/5ktOunMSzzw?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Like Like

Patient Observer November 25, 2019 at 3:47 pm
Did she say she would not vote for impeachment? Up to recently, I thought that, while she was the best of a bunch of fakers, clowns and idiots, her lack of experience and toughness were fatal flaws..

However, her ongoing performances suggests to me that she is capable of being a good president – the first in decades in my opinion.

Like Like

Mark Chapman November 25, 2019 at 5:18 pm
Starting to remind me more and more of JFK. She's a natural at public speaking; I don't think I've ever seen her lost for words, and while she must have prepared herself for many of these questions. she launches immediately into her response and does not use recovery pauses like "Ummm " that break up the flow of her speech. She responds instantly and seemingly spontaneously, and delivers the whole message as a seamless package.

Hillary did her a huge favour by taking her on.

[Nov 28, 2019] Fox News host Tucker Carlson has crossed an MSM Rubicon and questioned the Douma "gas attack" fraud on air, bringing up the OPCW whistleblower. Then he "rooted for Russia" over Ukraine. Was it a "betrayal," or epic truth-trolling?

Notable quotes:
"... The polarizing Fox host dismantled the official Western media narrative in a seven-minute segment that included an interview with the Guardian correspondent who personally witnessed the second whistleblower present evidence to the agency. ..."
"... "America almost attacked a country and killed untold thousands of people over an attack that may never have happened in the first place – that powerful people may very well have been lying about," Carlson told his audience, replaying footage of his show from the days following the attack to show he'd always been suspicious it had happened as reported. ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Patient Observer November 26, 2019 at 1:06 pm

Tucker Carlson lets it all hang out:

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has crossed an MSM Rubicon and questioned the Douma "gas attack" fraud on air, bringing up the OPCW whistleblower. Then he "rooted for Russia" over Ukraine. Was it a "betrayal," or epic truth-trolling?

Carlson boldly went where no mainstream TV host had gone before, unpacking the explosive story of April 2018's Douma "chemical weapons attack." While the "attack" was attributed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by an altered report from the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, two whistleblowers within the group accused it of omitting evidence to craft a misleading narrative – a fact that has never crossed the lips of US media until Monday night.

Must Watch @TuckerCarlson Segment Tonight: New Evidence Shows Syria's Assad May Have Been Falsely Blamed for 2018 Chemical Attack"We've been lied to, we've been manipulated, we knew it at the time." pic.twitter.com/vKw6YnphcT

-- The Columbia Bugle (@ColumbiaBugle) November 26, 2019

The polarizing Fox host dismantled the official Western media narrative in a seven-minute segment that included an interview with the Guardian correspondent who personally witnessed the second whistleblower present evidence to the agency.

"America almost attacked a country and killed untold thousands of people over an attack that may never have happened in the first place – that powerful people may very well have been lying about," Carlson told his audience, replaying footage of his show from the days following the attack to show he'd always been suspicious it had happened as reported.

https://www.rt.com/usa/474372-tucker-carlson-syria-russia-ukraine/

Patient Observer November 26, 2019 at 1:09 pm
The next time Tulsi Gabbard is on Carlson's show will be interesting. Can they now speak truth about Syria?

Carlson is the most watched political commentator on US television. He is opening a new can of worms for the MSM.

Like Like

yalensis November 26, 2019 at 2:28 pm
Heroes arise from strange places; nobody would have guessed

Like Like

Patient Observer November 26, 2019 at 2:36 pm
Carlson is politically astute and media smart. He would not make such statements unless he was sure they would not be excessively damaging, advance his message and boost his popularity. A real risk is Fox News pulling the plug though.

Like Like

Mark Chapman November 26, 2019 at 7:17 pm
Fortuitous indeed that I was not eating or drinking anything when he mentioned Samantha Power and 'stupid decisions'; otherwise, there would have been a pressure-diffused spray of it everywhere. He did indeed let it all hang out – I continue to marvel at his transformation. Who would ever have imagined? I would once have liked to hear of him being roasted alive over a slow fire, back when he was snarking and smirking his way through defenses of the Bush administrations ham-fisted policy strangulation. Well, by God, whatever it takes, and hero biscuits to the medium. Rock on, Tucker.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-XfmHyG8y-g?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Like Like

[Nov 28, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard Takes On Kamala On The Debate Stage

Nov 28, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Victor , 6 days ago

2:42 I find it funny that Kamala said that because if there is any candidate on that stage that "can speak to all people" it's definitely Tulsi. Conservatives actually appreciate and respect Tulsi Gabbard, even tho we disagree with her with just about everything, she actually does a good job speaking to both sides. She's the only candidate that shows respect to conservatives and isn't afraid to go on Fox News. Unlike Kamala. Conservatives do not like her and we know she doesn't care about us.

[Nov 28, 2019] Sanders Calls Out MSNBC s Corporate Ownership -- In Interview On MSNBC HuffPost

Notable quotes:
"... Sanders went on to argue that "pressure has got to be put on media" to cover policy issues like income inequality and poverty more heavily, instead of devoting attention to sensational campaign moments and the state of political horse races. ..."
"... 'You know what, forget the political gossip. Politics is not a soap opera. Talk about the real damn issues facing this country.'" ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | www.huffpost.com

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has not been shy about his disdain for the mainstream media. But the Democratic presidential hopeful has rarely, if ever, articulated it as bluntly as he did in an interview that aired on MSNBC 's " The Rachel Maddow Show " on Friday night. Sanders called out the network for its corporate character in a novel exchange with host Rachel Maddow .

"The American people are sick and tired of establishment politics and economics, and by the way, a little bit tired of corporate media as well," Sanders told Maddow in an interview taped in Burlington, Vermont.

Maddow pressed Sanders for specifics on how he would change the media if he were president. "What's the solution to corporate media?" she asked.

"We have got to think of ways the Democratic party, for a start, starts funding the equivalent of Fox television," Sanders answered. Of course, MSNBC is a corporate media outlet that is widely seen as a Democratic version of Fox News because of the perceived sympathies of many of its political talk shows.

Sanders went on to argue that "pressure has got to be put on media" to cover policy issues like income inequality and poverty more heavily, instead of devoting attention to sensational campaign moments and the state of political horse races.

He then claimed that bringing that pressure to bear would be difficult, since corporate ownership makes it harder for news outlets to cover issues in a way that conflicts with the interests of top executives. "MSNBC is owned by who?" Sanders asked. "Comcast, our overlords," Maddow responded with a chuckle.

"All right, Comcast is not one of the most popular corporations in America, right?" Sanders said. "And I think the American people are going to have to say to NBC and ABC and CBS and CNN, 'You know what, forget the political gossip. Politics is not a soap opera. Talk about the real damn issues facing this country.'"

[Nov 27, 2019] Obama Admits He Would Speak Up Only To Stop Bernie Sanders Nomination

Highly recommended!
The question is who will listed to Obama after his "change we can believe in" betrayal. Also is not he a war criminal? Obama election was probably the most slick false flag operation even conducted by intelligence agencies. Somebody created for him complexly fake but still plausible legend.
That Obama desire to interfere in 2020 election also shows gain that that he a regular completely corrupt Clinton neoliberal. The worst king of neoliberals, wolfs in sheep's clothing.
And the fact that CIA democrats dominates the Democratic Party actually is another reason from "Demexit" from the Democratic party of workers and lower middle class. The sad fact that the USA Corporate Dems recently became the second pro-war militarist party, and learned to love intelligence agencies; two things unimaginable in 60th and 70th.
Notable quotes:
"... Image source: Getty ..."
Nov 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As we noted earlier, a bombshell admission from Politico today exploring Obama's substantial behind the scenes influence as Democratic kingmaker : included in the lengthy profile on the day-to-day of the former president's personal office in the West End of Washington D.C. and his meeting with the field of Democratic candidates, is the following gem :

"Obama said privately that if Bernie were running away with the nomination, Obama would speak up to stop him."

Image source: Getty

And crucially, when asked about that prior statement reported in Politico, an Obama spokesperson did not deny that he said it.

The frank admission underscores what many independent analysts, not to mention prior damning WikiLeaks DNC disclosures , have pointed out for years: that the establishment controlling the Democratic party has continuously sought to rig the system against Bernie.

"Since losing 2016, Dem elites have waged a prolonged effort to stop Bernie. Bernie is the obvious answer to the neoliberal Clinton-Obama legacy voters rejected..." journalist Aaron Maté observed of the Politico quote.

Here's the stunning and deeply revealing section in full, which began by outlining Obama's 'advice-giving' throughout meetings with Democrat contenders including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and others :

Publicly, he has been clear that he won't intervene in the primary for or against a candidate , unless he believed there was some egregious attack. "I can't even imagine with this field how bad it would have to be for him to say something," said a close adviser. Instead, he sees his role as providing guardrails to keep the process from getting too ugly and to unite the party when the nominee is clear.

There is one potential exception: Back when Sanders seemed like more of a threat than he does now, Obama said privately that if Bernie were running away with the nomination, Obama would speak up to stop him. (Asked about that, a spokesperson for Obama pointed out that Obama recently said he would support and campaign for whoever the Democratic nominee is.)

And a further deeply revealing but more laughable quote comes later as follows: "Obama designed his post-presidency in 2016, at a time when he believed Hillary Clinton would win and Biden would be out of politics." So the reality is... far from the idea that the Dem elites would back the actual nominee the party puts forward, clearly the die has already been cast against Bernie just like the last time around against Hillary in 2016.

Politico author Ryan Lizza later in the story quotes a "close family friend," who described that Obama's "politics are not strong left of center."

"I mean it's left, but he's nowhere near where some of the candidates are currently sitting, at least when he got himself elected," the source claimed.

This means in the mind of Obama and other top party influencers and kingmakers, Bernie and other popular outliers like Tulsi Gabbard have already long been sidelined. Tulsi, it should also be noted, is one of the couple of candidates who did not bother to stop by Obama's D.C. office for a 'blessing' and advice.

[Nov 27, 2019] Progressive journalist MSNBC doesn't try to hide 'contempt' towards Gabbard TheHill

Nov 27, 2019 | thehill.com

Progressive journalist Michael Tracey claimed Tuesday that MSNBC is has dropped all pretenses for their "contempt" towards Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).

The political news contributor said the left-leaning network has treated her fellow 2020 Democratic candidates, including businessman Andrew Yang , and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) unfairly, but he argued that with Gabbard it, "crosses a certain threshold."

"Fundamentally they're beholden to whatever the market incentives are and right now it's within their market interests to depict Tulsi as an infiltrator, as a Trojan horse in the Democratic Party and not deal on the substance with what she's saying which is why over and over again they tar her as a Russian plant essentially," Tracey told Hill.TV.

"There's nobody who can really offer any kind countervailing view because it's just not economically advantageous for them at this point," he added.

MSNBC didn't immediately return Hill.TV's request for comment.

Tracey pointed to a fiery exchange between Gabbard and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) during last week's 2020 primary debate as a prime example.

During the debate, Harris accused Gabbard of being a conservative media darling and consistently going on Fox News to bash President Obama during his tenure.

"I think that it's unfortunate that we have someone on this stage who is attempting to be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, who, during the Obama administration, spent four years full-time on Fox News criticizing President Obama," Harris said.

Gabbard dismissed the criticism, calling it "ridiculous."

The California senator also hit Gabbard over her meeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who U.S. officials have accused of being a war criminal. Harris concluded her attack by saying that Democrats need a candidate who can take on President Trump as well as "bring the party and the nation together."

The back-and-forth came after Gabbard criticized the Democratic Party of fashioning outdated foreign policies "represented "by Hillary Clinton and others' foreign policy."

"Our Democratic Party unfortunately is not the party that is of, by and for the people. It is a party that has been and continues to be influenced by the foreign policy establishment in Washington, represented by Hillary Clinton and others' foreign policy, by the military industrial complex and other greedy, corporate interests," she said.

Leading up to the fifth Democratic debate, Gabbard engaged in a weeks-long feud with Clinton after the former Democratic presidential nominee said the Hawaii lawmaker was "the favorite of the Russians."

-- Tess Bonn

[Nov 27, 2019] If Sanders had some character he would run as an independent with Tulsi

Nov 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

james , Nov 26 2019 22:58 utc | 20

'thanks b.. looking at the theatre, it seems dems have backed themselves into a corner... meanwhile obama wants to ca-bosh sanders... You know if Sanders had some character he would run as an independent with Tulsi.. but you all know that stands a snowball chance in hell.. the problem with conformists, is they spend too much time conforming and that doesn't end up serving anyone.. and it is the reason trump got elected - he is not a conformist.. self centered narcissist, yes, but conformist - no.. too bad about american leadership being persona non grata...

what i don't understand is why bernie doesn't run as an independent? if he is so great and would be great for the usa, why can't he figure this basic picture out? this is why i give merit to jackrabbit sometimes - it is all political theatre and they are all in it together raping the common people..

[Nov 27, 2019] Did Pelosi went along with impeachment to block nomination of Bernie Sanders?

Notable quotes:
"... and now Obama weighs in to warn against the real danger to the democrats, Bernie Sanders. that's who they have to beat, and Gabbard. They don't give much of a damn about beating Trump. ..."
"... This pretty much confirms my and many others here hypothesis that the Dems are fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump nationalist capitalism and the other against the "democratic socialists" who have been flocking to their party machine since 2014. ..."
"... Clearly, the goal is to prevent the US Polity from clawing back power from the 10% and enacting policies to their benefit. Meanwhile, a new form of Transnational Nationalism continues to take shape that will soon present a serious threat to the Financialized Globalizers and their Cult of Debt. Too many seem to laugh off the entire situation by dismissing it as Kabuki Theatre, which I see as self-serving and shortsighted since there're several very real crises we're in up to our collective armpits. ..."
"... A full blown impeachment trial that exposes the entire Russia-gate/Ukraine-gate/Whatever-gate sham is what this country needs. ..."
"... Bet the MSM sells Ukrainegate this way: Trump is guilty in Ukrainegate and should be impeached, but Democrats are moving on to focus on the election. And besides, Dems will tell us, the dastardly Republicans in the Senate will corruptly block Trump's impeachment. ..."
"... That is what they call a "trial balloon." If there isn't too much of a freakout among the true-believer base, and I don't think there is, it'll be an option they will at least take seriously. Not that I'm encouraging anyone to bet on rational thinking at this point. Anyway I agree it's the best move for congressional Democrats. ..."
"... I am liking all the commenters here that understand that there is only one empire party with two mythical faces. I think this kabuki is necessary if you don't have a major WAR to keep the masses focused on or otherwise distracted from the underlying R2P which I translate to Rape2Protect. ..."
"... If this show should teach people in the US anything (again), it is how both US parties descend like vultures onto countries where they manage to take over the government. Five billion poured into Ukraine with the requisite murder and mayhem, and who knows how many billions come pouring back out. It's a real jackpot for those in the right positions to scoop it into their pockets. ..."
"... The average people in the US don't even have a genuine safety net. Important for all those productive resources to go to pedophile islands and sinecures for coke head sons of politicians, obviously. ..."
"... The GOP is the party of the rich. The Democrats are the party the rich pay to keep the left at bay when the Republicans lose. ..."
"... the deck is stacked even more against independents than it is against actual mildly leftist candidates who run as democrats. there are a substantial number of people who think the only way to change the country is to take over the democratic party. frankly, that isn't going to happen, and nobody is going to win as an independent candidate with all the procedural rules making it so hard to even get on the ballot, while the state government, which is invariably controlled by one of the two parties, throws every roadblock, legal and illegal, in the way. my gut feeling is things are going to have to get quite a bit worse before the citizenry starts to explode, and there's no telling how that process will work out, and no way to control it once it reaches critical mass. ..."
"... the Democrats won't want to censure Trump for matters in which they themselves are equally complicit, as has been discussed here. ..."
"... "The party's true function is thus largely theatrical. It doesn't exist to fight for change, but only to pose as a force which one fine distant day might possibly bestir itself to fight for change. Thus the whole magic of the Dem Party -- the essential service it renders to the US power structure -- lies not in what it does, but in its mere existence: by simply existing, and doing nothing, it pretends to be something it's not; and this is enough to relieve despair & to let the system portray itself as a "democracy." ..."
"... Trump is up against an entrenched powerful bureaucracy and people who buy ink by the 55 gallon barrel. The democrats need to take a hard turn towards Mayor Pete and Tulsi. The rank and file Democrats are tired of the elite political class ..."
"... The real Trump move would be to hit the twitter right before the house impeachment vote and announce that he has instructed the House Republicans to vote for impeachment. ..."
"... He could lay out his story about how the American People never got to hear the full story because of house dems, and how the Senate would fully investigate the 2016 election, Russiagate, Ukraine, and whatever else they want. Maybe even make Hillary testify. Heads would explode and his base would love it. ..."
"... To the people here clamoring for Bernie Sanders to go independent: The American electoral system is very unique. The two parties -- GOP and Dems -- are much more than mere political parties: they are the American electoral machine itself. It is impossible to win the presidency without being the candidate of one of the two, that's why Trump also didn't go as an independent either. ..."
Nov 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stever , Nov 26 2019 21:01 utc | 9

"An impeachment trial in the Senate would be a disaster for the Democrats.
I can not see why the Democrats would want to fall into such a trap. House leader Nancy Pelosi is experienced enough to not let that happen."

The real reason in my opinion that Pelosi went along with impeachment was that she saw Bernies message getting through, and even though the DNC pushed all the conserva-dem candidates they could into the race, Bernie is still doing well and gaining. An impeachment trial would require Bernie to attend the hearings rather that campaigning. Also Wall Streets best friend Obama has just stated that Bernie is not a Democrat and that would require Obama to get on the speaking circuit to campaign against him - you know for the sake of the corporations - and those 500k speaking thank you gigs. They would rather elect Trump than Bernie - that is why I think Pelosi would go along with an impeachment trial in the Senate - Bernie is the greater threat.


Likklemore , Nov 26 2019 21:01 utc | 10

The idea to censure Trump and move on has been aired since mid 2017. The latest was Forbes.com billwhalen 26 September 2019 Link

I ordered a truckload of pop corn to snack on during the trial in the Senate. Just imagine Joe Biden under cross examination as he flips 'n flops! "Was that me in the Video, I can't recall."

Guess I will have to unpack some popcorn. At this phase in the process an impeachable offence remains undefined!??
House Judiciary Committee Sets Date For Impeachment Hearing, Invites Trump To Testify

With interest (even among Democrats) in the impeachment process sliding, the House Judiciary Committee is set to take over the impeachment probe of President Trump next week, scheduling a Dec. 4 hearing.

As The Hill reports, behind Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the committee will hear from legal scholars as Democrats weigh whether the evidence turned up in their weeks-long impeachment inquiry warrants the drafting of articles aimed at removing the president from office.

The hearing, scheduled for next Wednesday, will focus on the definition of an impeachable offense and the formal application of the impeachment process. The panel will invite White House lawyers to attend and participate.

Ahead of the hearing, Nadler wrote to Trump requesting his participation - or that of White House counsel - as part of ensuring "a fair and informative process."[.]

Trump will take a page from the other president who campaigned on the "do nothing congress"

pretzelattack , Nov 26 2019 21:16 utc | 11
and now Obama weighs in to warn against the real danger to the democrats, Bernie Sanders. that's who they have to beat, and Gabbard. They don't give much of a damn about beating Trump.
Wind Hippo , Nov 26 2019 21:21 utc | 12
b, there seems to be a critical flaw in your analysis--you seem to base it on a premise that the goal of the Democratic establishment is to win elections/gain power/govern. It's not, it's to ensure the continuing enrichment of themselves and their oligarch peers, financial industry, military, pharma, etc.

The question people like Pelosi (worth $100 million or so btw along with her husband whose business she enriches via her position) are pondering isn't "Will doing x, y, z help Trump win?" It's "Will doing x, y, z ensure Bernie Sanders doesn't win?"

vk , Nov 26 2019 21:23 utc | 13
Maybe this is useful to understand the DNC's situation:

Obama 'Privately' Vowed to 'Speak Up to Stop' Bernie Sanders if He Secured Presidential Nomination - Report

This pretty much confirms my and many others here hypothesis that the Dems are fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump nationalist capitalism and the other against the "democratic socialists" who have been flocking to their party machine since 2014.

jared , Nov 26 2019 21:25 utc | 14
No group of adults is that stupid. They are doing and will do as they are required to do by their owners.
Jen , Nov 26 2019 21:31 utc | 15
Of all the things that the Democrats could impeach President Trump over, the one thing they seized upon was the issue that had the most potential to blow back on them and destroy Joe Biden's chances of reaching the White House. Whoever had that brilliant idea and put it as the long straw in a cylindrical prawn-chip can along with all the other straws for pulling out, sure didn't think of all the consequences that could have arisen. That speaks for the depth (or lack thereof) of the thinking among senior Democrats and their worker bee analysts, along with a narrow-minded outlook, sheer hatred of a political outsider and a fanatical zeal to match that hatred and outlook.

The folks who hatched that particular impeachment plan and pitched it to Nancy Pelosi must have been the same idiots in the DNC who dreamt up the Russiagate scandal and also pursued Paul Manafort to get him off DJT's election campaign team. Dmitri Alperovich / Crowdstrike, Alexandra Chalupa: we're looking at you.

William Gruff , Nov 26 2019 21:37 utc | 16
Impeachment takes Sanders out of the campaign and that opens things up for the CIA/establishment's "Identity Politics Candidate #3" , Mayor Butt-gig.

That said, since "Everyone who doesn't vote for our candidate is a deplorable misogynist!" didn't work as expected, I wonder what makes them think "Everyone who doesn't vote for our candidate is a deplorable homophobe!" will work any better?

karlof1 , Nov 26 2019 21:52 utc | 17
Lots of agreement here with the overall situation becoming clearer with Bloomberg's entrance and the outing of Obama's plans. I just finished writing my response to Putin's speech before the annual United Russia Party Congress on the Open Thread and suggest barflies take 10 minutes to read it and compare what he espouses a political party's deeds & goals ought to be versus those of the West and its vassals.

Clearly, the goal is to prevent the US Polity from clawing back power from the 10% and enacting policies to their benefit. Meanwhile, a new form of Transnational Nationalism continues to take shape that will soon present a serious threat to the Financialized Globalizers and their Cult of Debt. Too many seem to laugh off the entire situation by dismissing it as Kabuki Theatre, which I see as self-serving and shortsighted since there're several very real crises we're in up to our collective armpits.

James Speaks , Nov 26 2019 22:58 utc | 21
A full blown impeachment trial that exposes the entire Russia-gate/Ukraine-gate/Whatever-gate sham is what this country needs.

Obviously, a sufficient number of secure Republican representatives are needed to vote in favor of impeachment to allow this circus to continue to its bizarrely entertaining, Democratic Party destroying end.

librul , Nov 26 2019 22:59 utc | 22
The MSM will declare Trump guilty - that is, he has earned impeachment for Ukrainegate.

There are Democrats still under the illusion that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election. Dems tell us that Trump *obstructed* the Mueller investigation thus Trump could not be nailed, nonetheless Trump is guilty of collusion until proven innocent.

Back to Ukrainegate. Bet the MSM sells Ukrainegate this way: Trump is guilty in Ukrainegate and should be impeached, but Democrats are moving on to focus on the election. And besides, Dems will tell us, the dastardly Republicans in the Senate will corruptly block Trump's impeachment.

karlof1 , Nov 26 2019 23:28 utc | 25
Tulsi Gabbard Tweet not specifically about impeachment but begs numerous questions:

"My personal commitment is to always treat you and all Americans with respect. Working side-by-side, we can defeat the divisiveness of Donald Trump, and usher in a 21st century of peace, human dignity, & true equality. Working side by side, we can make Dr. King's dream our reality ." [My Emphasis]

Questions: Is Trump divisive, or is it the D-Party and Current Oligarchy that make him so; and which is more important to defeat? Which party "usher[ed] in the 21st century" with several wars and abetted the next two? How did Obama, Slick Willie or his wife advance "human dignity & true equality"? How does her last sentence differ from "Hope you can believe in"? Hasn't her D-Party worked tirelessly for decades to circumvent the goals she espouses? Wouldn't Gabbard have a better chance running as an Enlightened Republican than as a Renegade Democrat if her goal's to defeat Trump?

snake , Nov 26 2019 23:30 utc | 26
American Democracy is political professional wrestling, Kabuki Theater, and mediocre Reality TV all rolled into. by: AK74 @ 4 <= binary divide <=conducted by the USA, is not about America, Americans or making America great again, its about the welfare of [the few<= which most Americans would not call fellow Americans].

Sasha.@ 23 I don't understand where you are coming from.. thank Korlof1 @18 for posting that Putin talk alert. excerpts from the talk.. => The priority [of United Russia has been] the protection of the people's interests, the interests of [the] Motherland, and ..responsible [approach] to ..country, its security, stability and people's lives in the long-term perspective.

The party.. offered a unifying agenda based on freedom and well being, patriotism, ..traditional values, a strong civil society and a strong state. The key issue in the party's work .being together with the people, Karlof1@18 <=this talk suggest change in Russian leadership that are not congruent with your [Sasha] comment @23. I hope you will make more clear what you spent sometime writing ( and for that effort I thank you) but it is not yet clear what you mean.. .

ptb , Nov 26 2019 23:42 utc | 27
Re: Brenda Lawrence talking about censure rather than impeachment:

That is what they call a "trial balloon." If there isn't too much of a freakout among the true-believer base, and I don't think there is, it'll be an option they will at least take seriously. Not that I'm encouraging anyone to bet on rational thinking at this point. Anyway I agree it's the best move for congressional Democrats.

Yet another other option is to continue the investigation indefinitely. I'm going to say it is their default move actually. In that case, the House Judiciary Committee would spend a few weeks putting on their own show, then say they would like more evidence to be really sure, returning matters to the House Intelligence Committee, and we repeat the cycle.

psychohistorian , Nov 27 2019 0:14 utc | 31
I am liking all the commenters here that understand that there is only one empire party with two mythical faces. I think this kabuki is necessary if you don't have a major WAR to keep the masses focused on or otherwise distracted from the underlying R2P which I translate to Rape2Protect.

It is sad to see us all talking about which of the lesser of horrible evils will continue the leadership of American faced empire.....I hope it crashes soon and takes the global elite down with it.....how many barflies are ready to stand up and say NO to the owners of the Super-Priority derivatives that will say they own the world because of their casino (no skin in the game) bets that are currently "legal" in America when the crash comes?

AK74 , Nov 27 2019 0:51 utc | 34
@ snake

American "Democracy" is a mask for the American Empire and its capitalist system--including especially the American Military and its Intelligence apparatus (aka The Deep State). If the American people don't identify with these institutions, you would see much greater hostility to -- if not outright rebellion against--the American military and spooks.

Instead, you see the very opposite: the American people saluting, glorifying, "thanking for their service," and politically fellating the US military and spy agencies every chance they get. That should tell you all you need to know about Americans.

Guest , Nov 27 2019 1:27 utc | 36
If this show should teach people in the US anything (again), it is how both US parties descend like vultures onto countries where they manage to take over the government. Five billion poured into Ukraine with the requisite murder and mayhem, and who knows how many billions come pouring back out. It's a real jackpot for those in the right positions to scoop it into their pockets.

The average people in the US don't even have a genuine safety net. Important for all those productive resources to go to pedophile islands and sinecures for coke head sons of politicians, obviously.

Dave , Nov 27 2019 1:38 utc | 37
Re: #3 Allen – well said. The GOP is the party of the rich. The Democrats are the party the rich pay to keep the left at bay when the Republicans lose.
Yeah, Right , Nov 27 2019 1:38 utc | 38
The problem with this prediction is that the MSM has been breathlessly pronouncing that THIS IS EXPLOSIVE EVIDENCE!!!! pretty much every day and after every witness testimony.

So if you are a member of the public who gets their "information" from the MSM (and, be honest, that is most of the people in the USA) then you have been force-fed is that Trumps defense against these allegations has already been shredded, and that his guilt has already been established beyond any reasonable doubt.

How can those opinion-makers then turn around and say "Nah, it'll be fine" and settle for a mere censure?

Wouldn't the Sheeple respond with a fully-justified "Hey, hang on! What gives?"

The Democrats has leapt on a Tiger. Nobody made them do it, but now they are there I don't think they are going to be able to leap off.

Some of the first-term nobodies, maybe, but not the Schiffs and the Pelopis and the Nadlers.

Hang on for dear life and hope for a miracle is probably their only option now.

And, who knows, that trio may be so incompetent that they actually think they are going to win.

Josh , Nov 27 2019 1:49 utc | 39
Via, perhaps, One who has established Truth, Standing, and Right, Declaring so.... Lawfully.
pretzelattack , Nov 27 2019 1:56 utc | 40
james, the deck is stacked even more against independents than it is against actual mildly leftist candidates who run as democrats. there are a substantial number of people who think the only way to change the country is to take over the democratic party. frankly, that isn't going to happen, and nobody is going to win as an independent candidate with all the procedural rules making it so hard to even get on the ballot, while the state government, which is invariably controlled by one of the two parties, throws every roadblock, legal and illegal, in the way. my gut feeling is things are going to have to get quite a bit worse before the citizenry starts to explode, and there's no telling how that process will work out, and no way to control it once it reaches critical mass.
Duncan Idaho , Nov 27 2019 2:13 utc | 43
The US is a one party State-- Pepsi _Pepsi Lite. Both parties are capitalist. It is rather humorous the attention paid to a Dim vs Repug argument. Small thinking for small minds---
Rob , Nov 27 2019 2:13 utc | 44
As I posted at the beginning of the impeachment process, the Dems would be foolish to hang it all on the arcane shenanigans in Ukraine but rather should impeach Trump on the numerous more serious breaches and crimes that he has committed. I also worried that the Democratic Party leaders would blow the opportunity to demonstrate that Trump and the Republican Party are rotten to the core and harmful to the country. And so they have blown it. What an inept pack of asses.
juliania , Nov 27 2019 2:26 utc | 46
I would think that even censure is still going to be a hot potato for the Democrats. Looking at the procedure as far as wikipedia describes it, it hasn't done anything of significance when it comes to being used against a president, especially as the Democrats won't want to censure Trump for matters in which they themselves are equally complicit, as has been discussed here.

That means they would be censuring on the same shaky grounds that they would have impeached him, which only prolongs attention upon the dubious claims of the indictment. It seems to me Trump will, rather than be shamed by the process, only be saying 'Make my day', and hopefully have his Attorney General come forward with exonerating revelations on that issue in the judicial proceeding that it was my contention the impeachment effort had been a last ditch one to forestall such.

Wishful thinking on that, I know - but at least that probe has merit.

karlof1 , Nov 27 2019 2:29 utc | 47
Grieved @42--

Thanks for your reply! And thanks for linking the Keen video! Made a comment on that thread.

As I wrote when the possibility of Trump's impeachment arose almost as soon as he was inaugurated, the entire charade reminds me of Slick Willie's impeachment, trial and exoneration--the Articles of Impeachment utilized were such that he'd avoid conviction just as they will be for Trump.

ben , Nov 27 2019 2:52 utc | 48
Allen @ 3 said; "The party's true function is thus largely theatrical. It doesn't exist to fight for change, but only to pose as a force which one fine distant day might possibly bestir itself to fight for change. Thus the whole magic of the Dem Party -- the essential service it renders to the US power structure -- lies not in what it does, but in its mere existence: by simply existing, and doing nothing, it pretends to be something it's not; and this is enough to relieve despair & to let the system portray itself as a "democracy."

With very few exceptions, you nailed it..Your description of the Dem. party is sad, but true.....

Trisha , Nov 27 2019 3:07 utc | 49
Oh dear, sadly this was so easy to predict.

Maybe the Dims will creep past the yawning Trump trap and get around to minor policy issues, like crafting and passing a real Green New Deal bill.

Again, sadly, so easy to predict nothing of the sort happening.

dltravers , Nov 27 2019 3:45 utc | 50
Not having much time to watch the show trial it appears to me the Democrats still have a set of very weak candidates. Anyone who knows Biden knows he in not now and never will be able to handle a campaign against Trump.

Trump is up against an entrenched powerful bureaucracy and people who buy ink by the 55 gallon barrel. The democrats need to take a hard turn towards Mayor Pete and Tulsi. The rank and file Democrats are tired of the elite political class in the same fashion that the rank and file Republicans were tired of the political establishment which caused then to turn to Trump.

Is the Democrat political establishment smart enough to take a few steps back and push forward some outsiders? I doubt that but they would not lose much if they did. Any new leaders would have the same stable of bureaucrats to pick from which will still be there long after they are gone.

MT_bill , Nov 27 2019 4:18 utc | 53
The real Trump move would be to hit the twitter right before the house impeachment vote and announce that he has instructed the House Republicans to vote for impeachment.

He could lay out his story about how the American People never got to hear the full story because of house dems, and how the Senate would fully investigate the 2016 election, Russiagate, Ukraine, and whatever else they want. Maybe even make Hillary testify. Heads would explode and his base would love it.

AntiSpin , Nov 27 2019 4:42 utc | 55
j @ dltravers | Nov 27 2019 3:45 utc | 50

"The democrats need to take a hard turn towards Mayor Pete and Tulsi."

Mayor Pete -- are you serious? I urge you to take a look at these two articles before making any other public endorsements.

All About Pete
by Nathan J. Robinson
https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/03/all-about-pete

Is Pete Buttigieg A Shill For The Donor Class?
by Miles Mogulescu | November 23, 2019
https://ourfuture.org/20191122/is-pete-buttigieg-a-shill-for-the-donor-class

librul , Nov 27 2019 5:56 utc | 56
The...***The***...core takeaway, the battle at the heart of Russiagate/Ukrainegate, is that it does not matter who the People elect as President and what platform he was elected on the Deep State will decide foreign policy.
A User , Nov 27 2019 9:12 utc | 61
RE: Posted by: Sabine | Nov 27 2019 7:39 utc | 61

democrats republicans makes no difference both teams are managed by self serving scum who refuse to allow "what the people want" to distract them from the big one. "what can I steal?".

People meed to appreciate two things about both the dems and the rethugs. The first is they supply a much-needed insight into: "How low can I go as a worthless hang off the wagon by me fingernails, careerist. The second? That every hack must understand that eventually every talking head is seen for the ugly sellout which they are.

There is no 'honourable way through this mess', one either quietly resigns pulling the pin on the worst of us all, or one accepts the previously unacceptable, that we are most likely both musically n functionally illiterate but it never matters what-u-say, what really counts is what you do.

TJ , Nov 27 2019 10:48 utc | 63
Whoever it was the Democrats should shun that person before it creates more damage to their party.

I would disagree here. If the Democrats continue they will destroy themselves hopefully leading to Mutually Assured Destruction as they would need to do something very drastic to destroy the Republicans in return e.g. expose 9/11, Iraq etc, let the swamp / Deep State go M.A.D. and from the political ashes parties and politicians can rise who are actually working for the betterment of the USA and its people.

vk , Nov 27 2019 11:54 utc | 64

To the people here clamoring for Bernie Sanders to go independent: The American electoral system is very unique. The two parties -- GOP and Dems -- are much more than mere political parties: they are the American electoral machine itself. It is impossible to win the presidency without being the candidate of one of the two, that's why Trump also didn't go as an independent either.

Bernie Sanders is different from all other independent presidential candidates in American History because he was the first to really want to win. That's why he penetrated the Democratic machine, even though he became senator many times as an independent. He read the conjuncture correctly and, you have to agree, he's been more influential over American political-ideological landscape than all the other independents put together (not considering Eugene Debs as an independent).

snake , Nov 27 2019 13:05 utc | 65
@ snake

American "Democracy" is a mask for the American Empire and its capitalist system--including especially the American Military and its Intelligence apparatus (aka The Deep State). If the American people don't identify with these institutions, you would see much greater hostility to--if not outright rebellion against--the American military and spooks.

Instead, you see the very opposite: the American people saluting, glorifying, "thanking for their service," and politically fellating the US military and spy agencies every chance they get.

That should tell you all you need to know about Americans. by: AK74 @ 34

<= No not yet do I agree with you.. The American young people are forced into the military in order to afford to be educated, and in order to have access to health care and good-level workforce entry jobs especially the military is default for children of struggling parents that cannot fund a college education or for the kids who are not yet ready to become serious students.

The USA has not always discounted America or denied Americans. When I grew up, a college education was very affordable, health care was available to even the most needy at whatever they could afford, most of us could work our way through the education and find decent entry level jobs if we were willing to dedicate ourselves to make the opportunity of a job into a success (education, degrees, licenses were not needed, just performance was enough). Unfortunately third party private mind control propaganda was used to extend into fake space, the belief that the USA provides a valuable service to American interest. As time went on, the USA had to hid its activities in top secret closets, it then had to learn to spy on everyone, and it had to prosecute those (whistle blowers) who raised a question. Hence the predicament of the awaken American dealing with friends that still believe the USA is good for America.. Others hope the good times will return but the USA tolerance for descent is dissipating. After the 16th amendment and the federal reserve act in 1913 the USA began to edge America out in favor of international globalization.

Most of the really important parts of what made the USA great for Americans has been sold off [privatized] and the protections and umpiring and refereeing that the USA used to provide to keep the American economic space highly competitive and freely accessible to all competitors has not only ceased, but now operates as a monopoly factory, churning out laws, rules and establishing agencies that make the wealthy and their corporate empires wealthier, richer and more monopolistic at the expense of everyday Americans.

The USA began to drop America from its sights after WWII. The USA moved its efforts and activities from American domestic concerns to global concerns in 1948, neglected its advance and protect American ideology; it imposed the continental shelf act in 1954 and the EPA act in 1972, in order to force American industry out of America (the oil business to Saudi Arabia and OPEC); by 1985-95 most businesses operating in America were either forced to close or forced to move to a cheap third world labor force places.. .<=the purpose is now clear, it was to separate Americans from their industrial and manufacturing know-how and to block American access to evolving technology . At first most Americans did not notice.

Many Americans are only now waking to the possibility that things topside have changed and some are realizing just how vulnerable the US constitution has made the USA to outside influence. .. thanks to the USA very little of good ole America remains. but the humanity first instinct most Americans are born with remains mostly unchanged, even though the globalist have decimated religious organizations, most Americans still believe their maker will not look favorably on those who deny justice, democracy or who abuse mankind. The USA has moved on, it has become a global empire, operating in a global space unknown to most Americans. The USA has created a world of its own, it no longer needs domestic America, it can use the people and resources of anyone anywhere in the world for its conquest.

The last two political campaigns for President were "Change=Obama" and "Make America Great Again=Trump"; neither of these two would have succeeded if Americans did not feel the problem.

[Nov 27, 2019] Could your county use some extra money?

Highly recommended!
Nov 27, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

catherine , 26 November 2019 at 05:16 PM

Could your county use some extra money?

According to the US Census there are 3031 counties in the US.
If we redirected the $3.8 billion plus the 500,000,000 for missile defense that we give Israel to US counties budgets each county would receive about
$ 1.3 million.

If we included the $1.2 billion each we give to Egypt and Jordon for signing the Carter peace treaty with Israel that figure increases to $2.3 million for each county.

While $2.3 million may be a small figure for counties with metro cities, it would be a large amount for the majority of counties across the nation.

Since aid to Israel alone accounts for 50% of US foreign aid who would oppose this re direct of taxpayers money...besides the politicians...and how would the politicians explain their opposition to the districts they supposedly represent?

[Nov 26, 2019] Tulsi, warrior princess by Alligator Ed

Notable quotes:
"... She's tough, smart, and amazingly strong psychologically. That's exactly the kind of person you want on point. ..."
"... TLA "have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you" -- Schumer ..."
"... Not out of line to presume the JFK way is one of those six . . . https://duckduckgo.com/?q=schumer+trump+six+ways+sunday ..."
Nov 22, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

This message is brought to you thanks to the efforts of the combined staffs of the History and Sociology Departments of Alligator University.

This year of our Lord, the holy Flying Spaghetti Monster 2019, we have discovered a legend--a living, fire-breathing legend at that. Not since the days of Boudica , a warrior Queen, has the earth seen such a warrior. Not surpassed by Jean d Árc nor Katherine the Great. This warrior of the wireless age has not only exhibited compassion on the battlefield, as befits a person of high honor, but has the uncanny ability to perform as the best of Generals (not just Majors) throughout recorded history have done. Know wherein lies the enemy. Know your own strengths. Know your own weaknesses. When engaging the enemy, do not hold back. Fight to win! Win as big as you can, while sparing needless damage.

Tulsi, our subject (and [bias apparent here] champion), has arisen, almost from the sea. Far to the West across the Great Water, from islands spewed from the mouths of living volcanoes, emerged, almost as an eruption, our Warrior Princess Tulsi. She fought to defend her tribe by joining a council of the advisers, then abandoning such sedentary life and chosing battle instead. Fighting with distinction, Tulsi saved the lives of many fellow soldiers. Her counsel proved both wise and humane. Troops and others recognized Tulsi's emerging greatness, coupled with compassion.

To the delight of her cadre, Tulsi sallied forth to the land known today as The Great Swamp. Chauvinistically however, I believe my south Florida estuary is the true Great Swamp. But we shall leave that debate to a later time.

She joined a regiment called the DNC. At first it seemed to Tulsi this to be a desirable posting, surrounded by fields and rivers with pleasing structures in which to live. Continuing her steady progress up the ranks, our Warrior Princess, as yet untested by actual combat, joined others to high councils of War and of Foreign trysts.

But only a few years had yet to pass during her service, Tulsi sensed some problems in the command chain. Plans seemed to favor neither Nation nor Military, but instead the commanders themselves. Upon thus learning, Tulsi resigned her position, abandoning the ill-disposed regiment, seeking mission achievement over promotion.

A loosely knit Brigade, called the Democratic Party, united by the power of money and of power itself, was to become the default posting of TWP. Unfortunately the chain of command was rent asunder by internal factions, an unholy tug of war resulting. This war is still actively contested--we are in a state of war.

[Injection of unpaid political endorsement, not approved by TWP] Folks, we need this brave general to lead.

Contesting amongst others for the ultimate Brigade command was Tulsi and 21 22 (23?) others. The concept grew either too tiresome or expensive for many contestants, who either became sick or perished from fatigue and/or loneliness. The field of battle was becoming clarified, gaining Tulsi progressively improving evaluation and appropriate planning for future campaigns.

The First Slain Enemy, Olaf the Oaf

From the gentle hills and scattered forests of Ohionia came Olaf. Initially he was known as Olaf the Ogre; until he was slain by sword blows from Warrior Tulsi. Description of her foe is warranted. Her foe was a giant, tall and strong. But Olaf was neither quick of wit nor of foot. Large he was, as said. The ground would rumble beneath his foot steps. Trees were bent aside as he strode unstoppably through the woods. Local dwellers both feared and respected Olaf, the mighty.

The battle: the setting is on a level plain under illumination of many cell phones torches soon after sunset. Other contestants on the field have agreed that only two contestants combat each other. Female referees would enforce rules of combat.

Tulsi and Olaf faced each other. In his ponderous way, Olaf declared his desire to engage. With that, Warrior Tulsi swiftly smote his pate with a mighty broadsword blow. Owing to the thickness of Olaf's cranium, the sound of the resultant impact was heard for miles. Yea, more than a thousand miles some say. Rending Olaf's pulsating brain irreversibly damaged, the Oaf staggered from battleground, only to succumbing to his wounds months later.

Not being particularly fond of Olaf, I did not check the source of the following: it is estimated that 30 people attended his internment, including undertakers.

Yet the Campaign had only just begun. More foes to conquer.

Second Casualty: Klammer the Camel

Venturing forth from the Kingdom of Kalifornication comes (but not for very long) the former Lord High Executioner, Klammer the Camel. Since Klammer is of mixed parentage, it is unsure whether Klammer is a Dromedary (one hump camel) or a two hump Bactrian camel. It is recorded that an expert on Klammer's humping is retired statesman Willie Brown.

It is said said that Klammer's exhalations could kill enemies at 10 paces. Yet Klammer's best weapon was heaving heavy Criminal Code books at her victims. Strangely, Klammer looked reasonably fit in her drab clothing. Foes who faced her in battle have noted how white Klammer's teeth are as she gnashes at them. She had a strange reaction to cannabis. When others utilized the substance, she raged and destroyed them, if she could reach them. Yet when she herself inhaled the aroma of such burning vegetation, she became as if in a trance.

The battlefield: very much like the field upon which brave Tulsi slew the Oaf, at night with many candles burning held by acolytes of various contestants. Once again, only two were allowed combat at a time. Supremely self-confident of victory, flush with self-satisfaction after inflicting a minor wound on former vice-king JoJo the Far Gone. Klammer first engaged other contestants, smirking from her presumed victories. Now brimming with confidence bordering on hubris, Klammer stood her ground. Then, in a well-planned straight ahead frontal attack, delivered with swiftness and ferocity, Tulsi struck her foe. And struck her. While Klammer lay quivering on the ground, TWP demanded an apology of her for her past sins. When none was evinced, Tulsi stuck the tip of her blade into Klammer's seeming impenetrable armor. This wound, though not immediately fatal, nevertheless is proving fatal to the now debilitated Klammer. Klammer attempted a counter-attack at another field before falling slack-jawed after a mere glare from Tulsi. Not yet dead, but soon.

Third Casualty: Boots the Jiggler

Wandering from a land not far from the home of Olaf, proceeds the Stolid Boots. He sets his sights on new lands to conquer. The city he leaves is burning and being plundered by wandering Mnuchkins from the neighboring fiefdom of Illinois. Unconcerned with the plight of the subjects of the Boots' prior management, Boots bravely strides forth, still not battle-tested. He gathers with him followers, some of whom are loyal, while others need financial encouragement to participate in his campaign.

Boots has been gifted with the ability to speak so eloquently and at such length that those auditioners of his monologues are both amazed and yet unable to understand the essence of Boots' message.

The battlefield: interestingly quite similar to those upon which Tulsi administered the blows dispatching the Oaf and crippling the Camel. Once again, remaining combatants aligned to watch two of their number engage upon combat.

Boots, buoyed by the support of his entourage, summoned forth 400 of his Southern Army to aid in his battle. There Boots turned upon Tulsi, promising to not only to vanquish her by his superior generalship but send troops across the Southern border. But, becoming anxious of TWP, he turned to assay his retinue of 400. But lo, none remained, most not having left the barracks.

In face-to-face combat Boots met Tulsi. Mutually acknowledging their military experience, Tulsi struck blows into the Jiggler. This assault froze Boots into place, unable to respond. The above picture of Boots was made immediately after a biting blow from Tulsi's broadsword. He was heard to mumble something like "Et tu, Tulsi?".

. . . . .

Campaigns against larger enemies are soon to come. One looming conflict may be likened to a civil war against Brooklyn Bernie which hopefully be short. A battle against the Hokey Okie is inevitable.

Our AU colleagues assure me that the Feared Medusa will enter the fray after more rivals have fallen. The Snake-head leads a mighty army, most of whom are oddly cyborg-like. Bots I think they call them. Hilbots actually.

A musical coda is appropriate here. A good choice is a warning, an admonition to those contemplating with the Warrior Princess.

www.youtube.com/embed/lK3Oc6HD4xU?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

Centaurea on Sat, 11/23/2019 - 12:41am

Warrior Tulsi

has massive cojones .

She's tough, smart, and amazingly strong psychologically. That's exactly the kind of person you want on point.

lotlizard on Sat, 11/23/2019 - 9:39pm
TLA "have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you" -- Schumer

@The Voice In the Wilderness

TLA = "Three Letter Agencies" = shorthand for the so-called "intelligence community"

Schumer = Senator Charles "Chuck" Schumer (D–NY), Senate Minority Leader

Not out of line to presume the JFK way is one of those six . . . https://duckduckgo.com/?q=schumer+trump+six+ways+sunday

[Nov 26, 2019] The Illiberal World Order

Notable quotes:
"... Despite massive amounts of evidence to the contrary, such people now enthusiastically whitewash the decades preceding Trump to turn it into a paragon of human liberty, justice and economic wonder. You don't have to look deep to understand that resistance liberals are now actually conservatives, brimming with nostalgia for the days before significant numbers of people became wise to what's been happening all along. ..."
"... Lying to yourself about history is one of the most dangerous things you can do. If you can't accept where we've been, and that Trump's election is a symptom of decades of rot as opposed to year zero of a dangerous new world, you'll never come to any useful conclusions ..."
"... Irrespective of what you think of Bernie Sanders and his policies, you can at least appreciate the fact his supporters focus on policy and real issues ..."
"... An illiberal democracy, also called a partial democracy, low intensity democracy, empty democracy, hybrid regime or guided democracy, is a governing system in which although elections take place, citizens are cut off from knowledge about the activities of those who exercise real power because of the lack of civil liberties; thus it is not an "open society". There are many countries "that are categorized as neither 'free' nor 'not free', but as 'probably free', falling somewhere between democratic and nondemocratic regimes". This may be because a constitution limiting government powers exists, but those in power ignore its liberties, or because an adequate legal constitutional framework of liberties does not exist. ..."
Nov 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Illiberal World Order by Tyler Durden Mon, 11/25/2019 - 21:45 0 SHARES

Authored by Michael Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

From a big picture perspective, the largest rift in American politics is between those willing to admit reality and those clinging to a dishonest perception of a past that never actually existed. Ironically, those who most frequently use "post-truth" to describe our current era tend to be those with the most distorted view of what was really happening during the Clinton/Bush/Obama reign.

Despite massive amounts of evidence to the contrary, such people now enthusiastically whitewash the decades preceding Trump to turn it into a paragon of human liberty, justice and economic wonder. You don't have to look deep to understand that resistance liberals are now actually conservatives, brimming with nostalgia for the days before significant numbers of people became wise to what's been happening all along.

They want to forget about the bipartisan coverup of Saudi Arabia's involvement in 9/11, all the wars based on lies, and the indisputable imperial crimes disclosed by Wikileaks, Snowden and others. They want to pretend Wall Street crooks weren't bailed out and made even more powerful by the Bush/Obama tag team, despite ostensible ideological differences between the two. They want to forget Epstein Didn't Kill Himself.

Lying to yourself about history is one of the most dangerous things you can do. If you can't accept where we've been, and that Trump's election is a symptom of decades of rot as opposed to year zero of a dangerous new world, you'll never come to any useful conclusions. As such, the most meaningful fracture in American society today is between those who've accepted that we've been lied to for a very long time, and those who think everything was perfectly fine before Trump. There's no real room for a productive discussion between such groups because one of them just wants to get rid of orange man, while the other is focused on what's to come. One side actually believes a liberal world order existed in the recent past, while the other fundamentally recognizes this was mostly propaganda based on myth.

Irrespective of what you think of Bernie Sanders and his policies, you can at least appreciate the fact his supporters focus on policy and real issues. In contrast, resistance liberals just desperately scramble to put up whoever they think can take us back to a make-believe world of the recent past. This distinction is actually everything. It's the difference between people who've at least rejected the status quo and those who want to rewind history and perform a do-over of the past forty years.

A meaningful understanding that unites populists across the ideological spectrum is the basic acceptance that the status quo is pernicious and unsalvageable, while the status quo-promoting opposition focuses on Trump the man while conveniently ignoring the worst of his policies because they're essentially just a continuation of Bush/Clinton/Obama. It's the most shortsighted and destructive response to Trump imaginable. It's also why the Trump-era alliance of corporate, imperialist Democrats and rightwing Bush-era neoconservatives makes perfect sense, as twisted and deranged as it might seem at first. With some minor distinctions, these people share nostalgia for the same thing.

This sort of political environment is extremely unhealthy because it places an intentional and enormous pressure on everyone to choose between dedicating every fiber of your being to removing Trump at all costs or supporting him. This anti-intellectualism promotes an ends justifies the means attitude on all sides. In other words, it turns more and more people into rhinoceroses.

Eugène Ionesco's masterpiece, Rhinoceros, is about a central European town where the citizens turn, one by one, into rhinoceroses. Once changed, they do what rhinoceroses do, which is rampage through the town, destroying everything in their path. People are a little puzzled at first, what with their fellow citizens just turning into rampaging rhinos out of the blue, but even that slight puzzlement fades quickly enough. Soon it's just the New Normal. Soon it's just the way things are a good thing, even. Only one man resists the siren call of rhinocerosness, and that choice brings nothing but pain and existential doubt, as he is utterly profoundly alone.

– Ben Hunt, The Long Now, Pt. 2 – Make, Protect, Teach

A political environment where you're pressured to choose between some ridiculous binary of "we must remove Trump at all costs" or go gung-ho MAGA, is a rhinoceros generating machine. The only thing that happens when you channel your inner rhinoceros to defeat rhinoceroses, is you get more rhinoceroses. And that's exactly what's happening.

The truth of the matter is the U.S. is an illiberal democracy in practice, despite various myths to the contrary.

An illiberal democracy, also called a partial democracy, low intensity democracy, empty democracy, hybrid regime or guided democracy, is a governing system in which although elections take place, citizens are cut off from knowledge about the activities of those who exercise real power because of the lack of civil liberties; thus it is not an "open society". There are many countries "that are categorized as neither 'free' nor 'not free', but as 'probably free', falling somewhere between democratic and nondemocratic regimes". This may be because a constitution limiting government powers exists, but those in power ignore its liberties, or because an adequate legal constitutional framework of liberties does not exist.

It's not a new thing by any means, but it's getting worse by the day. Though many of us remain in denial, the American response to various crises throughout the 21st century was completely illiberal. As devastating as they were, the attacks of September 11, 2001 did limited damage compared to the destruction caused by our insane response to them. Similarly, any direct damage caused by the election and policies of Donald Trump pales in comparison to the damage being done by the intelligence agency-led "resistance" to him.

So are we all rhinoceroses now?

We don't have to be. Turning into a rhinoceros happens easily if you're unaware of what's happening and not grounded in principles, but ultimately it is a choice. The decision to discard ethics and embrace dishonesty in order to achieve political ends is always a choice. As such, the most daunting challenge we face now and in the chaotic years ahead is to become better as others become worse. A new world is undoubtably on the horizon, but we don't yet know what sort of world it'll be. It's either going to be a major improvement, or it'll go the other way, but one thing's for certain -- it can't stay the way it is much longer.

If we embrace an ends justifies the means philosophy, it's going to be game over for a generation. The moment you accept this tactic is the moment you stoop down to the level of your adversaries and become just like them. It then becomes a free-for-all for tyrants where everything is suddenly on the table and no deed is beyond the pale. It's happened many times before and it can happen again. It's what happens when everyone turns into rhinoceroses.

* * *

If you enjoyed this, I suggest you check out the following 2017 posts. It's never been more important to stay conscious and maintain a strong ethical framework.

Do Ends Justify the Means?

[Nov 25, 2019] Tulsi, warrior princess caucus99percent

Nov 25, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Tulsi, warrior princess

Alligator Ed on Fri, 11/22/2019 - 8:53pm This message is brought to you thanks to the efforts of the combined staffs of the History and Sociology Departments of Alligator University.

This year of our Lord, the holy Flying Spaghetti Monster 2019, we have discovered a legend--a living, fire-breathing legend at that. Not since the days of Boudica , a warrior Queen, has the earth seen such a warrior. Not surpassed by Jean d Árc nor Katherine the Great. This warrior of the wireless age has not only exhibited compassion on the battlefield, as befits a person of high honor, but has the uncanny ability to perform as the best of Generals (not just Majors) throughout recorded history have done. Know wherein lies the enemy. Know your own strengths. Know your own weaknesses. When engaging the enemy, do not hold back. Fight to win! Win as big as you can, while sparing needless damage.

Tulsi, our subject (and [bias apparent here] champion), has arisen, almost from the sea. Far to the West across the Great Water, from islands spewed from the mouths of living volcanoes, emerged, almost as an eruption, our Warrior Princess Tulsi. She fought to defend her tribe by joining a council of the advisers, then abandoning such sedentary life and chosing battle instead. Fighting with distinction, Tulsi saved the lives of many fellow soldiers. Her counsel proved both wise and humane. Troops and others recognized Tulsi's emerging greatness, coupled with compassion.

To the delight of her cadre, Tulsi sallied forth to the land known today as The Great Swamp. Chauvinistically however, I believe my south Florida estuary is the true Great Swamp. But we shall leave that debate to a later time.

She joined a regiment called the DNC. At first it seemed to Tulsi this to be a desirable posting, surrounded by fields and rivers with pleasing structures in which to live. Continuing her steady progress up the ranks, our Warrior Princess, as yet untested by actual combat, joined others to high councils of War and of Foreign trysts.

But only a few years had yet to pass during her service, Tulsi sensed some problems in the command chain. Plans seemed to favor neither Nation nor Military, but instead the commanders themselves. Upon thus learning, Tulsi resigned her position, abandoning the ill-disposed regiment, seeking mission achievement over promotion.

A loosely knit Brigade, called the Democratic Party, united by the power of money and of power itself, was to become the default posting of TWP. Unfortunately the chain of command was rent asunder by internal factions, an unholy tug of war resulting. This war is still actively contested--we are in a state of war.

[Injection of unpaid political endorsement, not approved by TWP] Folks, we need this brave general to lead.

Contesting amongst others for the ultimate Brigade command was Tulsi and 21 22 (23?) others. The concept grew either too tiresome or expensive for many contestants, who either became sick or perished from fatigue and/or loneliness. The field of battle was becoming clarified, gaining Tulsi progressively improving evaluation and appropriate planning for future campaigns.

The First Slain Enemy, Olaf the Oaf

From the gentle hills and scattered forests of Ohionia came Olaf. Initially he was known as Olaf the Ogre; until he was slain by sword blows from Warrior Tulsi. Description of her foe is warranted. Her foe was a giant, tall and strong. But Olaf was neither quick of wit nor of foot. Large he was, as said. The ground would rumble beneath his foot steps. Trees were bent aside as he strode unstoppably through the woods. Local dwellers both feared and respected Olaf, the mighty.

The battle: the setting is on a level plain under illumination of many cell phones torches soon after sunset. Other contestants on the field have agreed that only two contestants combat each other. Female referees would enforce rules of combat.

Tulsi and Olaf faced each other. In his ponderous way, Olaf declared his desire to engage. With that, Warrior Tulsi swiftly smote his pate with a mighty broadsword blow. Owing to the thickness of Olaf's cranium, the sound of the resultant impact was heard for miles. Yea, more than a thousand miles some say. Rending Olaf's pulsating brain irreversibly damaged, the Oaf staggered from battleground, only to succumbing to his wounds months later.

Not being particularly fond of Olaf, I did not check the source of the following: it is estimated that 30 people attended his internment, including undertakers.

Yet the Campaign had only just begun. More foes to conquer.

Second Casualty: Klammer the Camel

Venturing forth from the Kingdom of Kalifornication comes (but not for very long) the former Lord High Executioner, Klammer the Camel. Since Klammer is of mixed parentage, it is unsure whether Klammer is a Dromedary (one hump camel) or a two hump Bactrian camel. It is recorded that an expert on Klammer's humping is retired statesman Willie Brown.

It is said said that Klammer's exhalations could kill enemies at 10 paces. Yet Klammer's best weapon was heaving heavy Criminal Code books at her victims. Strangely, Klammer looked reasonably fit in her drab clothing. Foes who faced her in battle have noted how white Klammer's teeth are as she gnashes at them. She had a strange reaction to cannabis. When others utilized the substance, she raged and destroyed them, if she could reach them. Yet when she herself inhaled the aroma of such burning vegetation, she became as if in a trance.

The battlefield: very much like the field upon which brave Tulsi slew the Oaf, at night with many candles burning held by acolytes of various contestants. Once again, only two were allowed combat at a time. Supremely self-confident of victory, flush with self-satisfaction after inflicting a minor wound on former vice-king JoJo the Far Gone. Klammer first engaged other contestants, smirking from her presumed victories. Now brimming with confidence bordering on hubris, Klammer stood her ground. Then, in a well-planned straight ahead frontal attack, delivered with swiftness and ferocity, Tulsi struck her foe. And struck her. While Klammer lay quivering on the ground, TWP demanded an apology of her for her past sins. When none was evinced, Tulsi stuck the tip of her blade into Klammer's seeming impenetrable armor. This wound, though not immediately fatal, nevertheless is proving fatal to the now debilitated Klammer. Klammer attempted a counter-attack at another field before falling slack-jawed after a mere glare from Tulsi. Not yet dead, but soon.

Third Casualty: Boots the Jiggler

Wandering from a land not far from the home of Olaf, proceeds the Stolid Boots. He sets his sights on new lands to conquer. The city he leaves is burning and being plundered by wandering Mnuchkins from the neighboring fiefdom of Illinois. Unconcerned with the plight of the subjects of the Boots' prior management, Boots bravely strides forth, still not battle-tested. He gathers with him followers, some of whom are loyal, while others need financial encouragement to participate in his campaign.

Boots has been gifted with the ability to speak so eloquently and at such length that those auditioners of his monologues are both amazed and yet unable to understand the essence of Boots' message.

The battlefield: interestingly quite similar to those upon which Tulsi administered the blows dispatching the Oaf and crippling the Camel. Once again, remaining combatants aligned to watch two of their number engage upon combat.

Boots, buoyed by the support of his entourage, summoned forth 400 of his Southern Army to aid in his battle. There Boots turned upon Tulsi, promising to not only to vanquish her by his superior generalship but send troops across the Southern border. But, becoming anxious of TWP, he turned to assay his retinue of 400. But lo, none remained, most not having left the barracks.

In face-to-face combat Boots met Tulsi. Mutually acknowledging their military experience, Tulsi struck blows into the Jiggler. This assault froze Boots into place, unable to respond. The above picture of Boots was made immediately after a biting blow from Tulsi's broadsword. He was heard to mumble something like "Et tu, Tulsi?".

. . . . .

Campaigns against larger enemies are soon to come. One looming conflict may be likened to a civil war against Brooklyn Bernie which hopefully be short. A battle against the Hokey Okie is inevitable.

Our AU colleagues assure me that the Feared Medusa will enter the fray after more rivals have fallen. The Snake-head leads a mighty army, most of whom are oddly cyborg-like. Bots I think they call them. Hilbots actually.

A musical coda is appropriate here. A good choice is a warning, an admonition to those contemplating with the Warrior Princess.

//www.youtube.com/embed/lK3Oc6HD4xU?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

Centaurea on Sat, 11/23/2019 - 12:41am
Warrior Tulsi

has massive cojones .

She's tough, smart, and amazingly strong psychologically. That's exactly the kind of person you want on point.

[Nov 25, 2019] Chris Matthews Asks Gabbard Why Are So Many Democrats War Hawks

Notable quotes:
"... Why were they hawks? ..."
"... "Yeah," Tulsi answers. "I point to two things. One is you have the foreign policy establishment and the military-industrial complex in Washington that carries such a huge amount of influence over both parties." ..."
"... She continues, "There are campaign contributions, the influence that these contractors have in this pay-to-play culture , this corrupt culture in Washington, but you also just have people who don't understand foreign policy and who lack the experience to make these critical decisions that impact our lives and the safety and security of the American people. This is so serious about what's at stake here." ..."
"... Democratic presidential primary debate, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Atlanta, via the AP. ..."
Nov 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

In a rare moment with MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard explained why the leading figures in her party are war hawks. Far from days of the Democrats feigning to have any semblance of an 'anti-war' platform (only convenient for Liberal activism during the Bush years, but fizzling out under Obama), today's party attempts to out-hawk Republicans at every turn.

"I'm looking at the Democratic establishment figures," Matthews introduced, "people I normally like. John Kerry, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton. You go down the list. They all supported the war in Iraq. Why were they hawks? " (Though we might ask, what do you mean, " were ?"). "Why so many Democrats with a party that's not hawkish, why are so many of their leaders hawks?" Matthews reiterated.

In the segment, Matthews heaps rare praise on Tulsi for being "out there all alone tonight fighting against the neocons."

me title=

"Yeah," Tulsi answers. "I point to two things. One is you have the foreign policy establishment and the military-industrial complex in Washington that carries such a huge amount of influence over both parties."

She continues, "There are campaign contributions, the influence that these contractors have in this pay-to-play culture , this corrupt culture in Washington, but you also just have people who don't understand foreign policy and who lack the experience to make these critical decisions that impact our lives and the safety and security of the American people. This is so serious about what's at stake here."

Democratic presidential primary debate, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Atlanta, via the AP. NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST

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The interview happened immediately after this week's fifth Democratic debate Wednesday night in Atlanta, and after pundits have continued to complain that Gabbard is a 'single issue candidate'.

However, is there any candidate in her party or in the GOP saying these things?

We find ourselves in a rare moment of agreement with MSNBC's Matthews: she is "out there all alone tonight fighting against the neocons." Tags Politics

[Nov 24, 2019] Mark Blyth - Why People Vote for Those Who Work Against Their Best Interests

Nov 24, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Duration: 1:12:11.

Washington Watch

[Nov 24, 2019] Mark Blyth - Global Trumpism and the Future of the Global Economy

Highly recommended!
Jul 16, 2019 | www.youtube.com

This lecture is part of the McMaster Department of Philosophy's Summer School in Capitalism, democratic solidarity, and Institutional design
https://www.solidaritydesign2019.com


ProLansPl , 3 months ago

At first I thought the guy makes up lack of knowledge by trying to be funny. I stand corrected though: he's smart, informative and funny as heck. Way to go!

Turbo Skeleton , 3 months ago

1:23:48 "Will Trump win again?"

Randy Ozaeta , 3 months ago

Cant believe he missed tulsi, i actually put biden on the lower end with beto but idk thats my perspective and yes trump will most likely win but i wanna see who's the democratic nominee because i think hes underestimating the amount of people willing to come out for bernie

debbiedogs1 , 3 months ago

Bernie is still THE most popular candidate, despite mainstream media pretending that he is not. The skullduggery of media and the establishment is ENDLESS - including not allowing a couple of hundred Bernie supporters to come in with their signs and shirts, but allowing Warren supporters to do so and showing ONLY THOSE SUPPORTERS. Nice, huh?

mythrail , 3 months ago

Nixon decided to un-peg the dollar (from gold) in 1971, which was the last remaining constraint on price inflation. Currency supply increases, which eventually become price inflation, have been the norm since. The rest of this could be plainly foreseen with a decent understanding of Hayek's business cycle contributions.

James Stuart , 3 months ago

Professor Blythe, you are outstanding. I wish that you had been my tutor in graduate school. Everything you say makes sense perfect sense, but the plug for the #SNP . Some British people identify as Scottish, believe themselves to be different. The same could be said of people from Yorkshire; my grandparents hail from Bradford & Glasgow respectively. We're all British; we all rely on the South-East; to wit, London ... like it or not. Could Scotland - sure Scots. are cannier than Greeks ... or are they - survive as a vassal state of The Berlin-Brussels Axis? I may be old school but give me the Anglophone world every time ;).

I would love to know how you would advise Nicky Sturgeon should Brigadoon ever become a reality or will the next #GFC be death knell of the #EUropean experiment, putting an end - just for now - to the British constitutional issue - ?

debbiedogs1 , 3 months ago

Blyth is wrong about Warren, HER record is thinner than Bernie's by far. She talks a good game, stands for almost nothing and will do almost everything our corrupt establishment wants, including the MIC and other sociopathic profiteers. smdh

Antonio Garmsci , 3 months ago (edited)

The US stock market are so IPO's can steal money. Yeah, that sound about right. Capitalism is the crisis!!!

Paul Allan , 3 months ago

A quality 15-minute version of this video's info is needed.

Victor Psoras , 3 months ago

He does not talk about the warfare welfare state so he is wrong about inflation.

[Nov 24, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Endorses Trump s Economic War on Venezuela, Soft-Pedals Far-Right Bolivia Coup by Ben Norton

Notable quotes:
"... Doesn't Warren claim to have indigenous ancestors herself and was proud of it? She caused Trump to call her "Pocahontas"? She agrees to support the unelected interim president Jeannine Añez, who refers to indigenous inhabitants as satanic? Warren is a very horrible person, inhumane, amoral, and rather stupid overall, who wants to get rich. ..."
"... I personally think that capitalism with "human face" and robust public sector is the way to go. But imperialist imposition and aggression is not the part of "human face" that I imagine. ..."
"... I'm sorry but you all need to come to terms with the farce that is the American political system. Anyone who was supporting Warren or even considering voting for her for ANY reason is apparently either in denial or is being duped. Warren is a Madison Avenue creation packaged for US liberal consumption. ..."
"... She hangs out with Hillary Clinton and Madeline Albright, two evil women if ever there were. Now they make the three witches brewing one coup/regime change after another. She's not smart enough to see that HRC and MA are leading her around by her nose. People should call out this phoney everywhere she goes. BTW, Rachel Maddow completes an odious clique. ..."
"... This is a bit of exaggeration. The three ladies are more like good students, they did not write the textbook but they good grades for answering as written, or like cheerleaders, they jump and shout but they do not play in the field. Mind you, "interagency consensus" was formed without them. ..."
"... The DNC's strategy for this election is to ensure that Bernie doesn't go into the Convention with enough delegates to win the first ballot. (Once voting goes past the first ballot, super-delegates get to weigh in and help anoint a candidate who's friendly to the Party's plutocratic-oligarch principals.) ..."
"... That's the reason the DNC is allowing and encouraging so many candidates to run. Warren's specific assignment is to cannibalize Bernie's base and steal delegates that would otherwise be his, by pretending to espouse most of his platform with only minor tweaks. She's been successful with "better educated," higher-income liberal Democrats who consider themselves well informed because they get their news from "respectable" sources -- sources that, unbeknownst to their target audiences, invariably represent the viewpoint of the aforementioned plutocratic oligarchs. ..."
"... if Warren becomes the nominee, I will support her over Trump. It's a lesser of two evils choice, but we must recognize that no candidate will be perfect–ever. ..."
"... Zionism is typically the gateway drug for Democratic would-be reformers. Once they've swallowed that fundamental poison, the DNC feels secure it's just a matter of time before they Get With the Program 100%. Given that "Harvard" and "phony" are largely synonymous, what else could've been expected? ..."
Nov 24, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

59 Comments

The Democratic contender parroted neocon regime-change myths in an interview on "Pod Save America," writes Ben Norton.

The Grayzone

... ... ...

Reiterates Her Neoconservative Policies Against Venezuela

Elizabeth Warren repeated her support for regime change in Venezuela in an interview in September with the Council on Foreign Relations , a central gear in the machinery of the military-industrial complex. "Maduro is a dictator and a crook who has wrecked his country's economy, dismantled its democratic institutions, and profited while his people suffer," Warren declared. She referred to Maduro's elected government as a "regime" and called for "supporting regional efforts to negotiate a political transition." Echoing the rhetoric of neoconservatives in Washington, Warren called for "contain[ing]" the supposedly "damaging and destabilizing actions" of China, Russia, and Cuba. The only point where Warren diverged with Trump was on her insistence that "there is no U.S. military option in Venezuela."

Soft-Pedals Far-Right Coup in Bolivia

While Warren endorsed Trump's hybrid war on Venezuela, she more recently whitewashed the U.S.-backed coup in Bolivia.

On Nov. 10, the U.S. government backed a far-right military coup against Bolivia's democratically elected President Evo Morales , a leftist from the popular Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party and the first Indigenous head of state in a country where nearly two-thirds of the population is Native.

Warren refused to comment on the putsch for more than a week, even as the far-right military junta massacred dozens of protesters and systematically purged and detained elected left-wing politicians from MAS.

Finally, eight days after the coup, Warren broke her silence. In a short tweet, the putative progressive presidential candidate tepidly requested "free and fair elections" and calling on the "interim leadership" to prepare an "early, legitimate election." What Warren did not mention is that this "interim leadership" she helped legitimize is headed by an extreme right-wing Christian fundamentalist, the unelected "interim president" Jeanine Añez. Añez has referred to Bolivia's majority-Indigenous population as "satanic" and immediately moved to try to overturn the country's progressive constitution, which had established an inclusive, secular, plurinational state after receiving an overwhelming democratic mandate in a 2009 referendum.

Añez's ally in this coup regime's interim leadership is Luis Fernando Camacho , a multi-millionaire who emerged out of neo-fascist groups and courted support from the United States and the far-right governments of Brazil and Colombia. By granting legitimacy to Bolilvia's ultra-conservative, unelected leadership, Warren rubber-stamped the far-right coup and the military junta's attempt to stamp out Bolivia's progressive democracy. In other words, as The Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal put it, Liz's Big Structural Bailey compliantly rolled over for Big IMF Structural Adjustment Program .

Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a reporter for The Grayzone , and the producer of the " Moderate Rebels " podcast, which he co-hosts with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com , and he tweets at @ BenjaminNorton .

This article is from The Grayzone .


Skip Scott , November 23, 2019 at 07:57

H Beazley-

A vote for evil is never a good choice, and choosing a candidate you perceive as a lesser evil still condones evil. Allowing the Oligarchy to limit your choice gives them the power to continue advancing evil policies. They control both major parties. You may succeed in getting non-gender specific restrooms in your Starbucks, but the murdering war machine will continue unabated.

JoAnn , November 23, 2019 at 01:41

Now, we are seeing the true colors of candidates, who have professed to be progressive. Sanders went on a "tirade" against Maduro during the last "debate" I saw. Tulsi Gabbard has stayed against US Imperialism, but, I'm sure the Democratic policy controllers will never nominate her. I foresee I'll be voting for the Socialist next year.

Raymond M. , November 22, 2019 at 18:09

""""On Nov. 10, the U.S. government backed a far-right military coup against Bolivia's democratically elected President Evo Morales bla blla bla".

And the 3 right wing candidates spent more time slinging mud at at each other than at Morales. Had the CIAs top front man Ortez stepped aside, the vote would not have split and allowed Morales to claim a first round victory and avoid a run-off that he would have lost. And the right wing Christian fundamentalist for sure was a CIA plant who manged to split the vote further.

Under the Trump administration, the CIA can even run a coup right.

Piotr Berman , November 22, 2019 at 15:25

If only those anti-Western rulers seen the light and joined RBWO (rule* based world order, * rules decided in DC, preferably by bipartisan consensus), then the economy would run smoothly and the population would be happy. Every week gives another example:

By The Associated Press, Nov. 21, 2019, BOGOTA, Colombia

Colombians angry with President Iván Duque and hoping to channel Latin America's wave of discontent took the streets by the tens of thousands on Thursday in one of the biggest protests in the nation's recent history. [ ] Police estimated 207,000 people took part. [ ] government deployed 170,000 officers, closed border crossings and deported 24 Venezuelans accused of entering the country to instigate unrest.

So if only Iván did not start unnecessary conflict with Maduro, these 24 scoundrels would stay home and the trouble would be avoided. Oh wait, I got confused

CitizenOne , November 21, 2019 at 22:10

You must imagine that when candidtes suddenly become mind control puppets what is going on. The scariest thing in American Politics is how supposedly independent and liberal progressives somehow swallow the red pill and are transported into the world of make believe. Once inside the bubble of fiction far removed from human suffering which is after all what politicians are supposed to be about fixing they can say crazy things. Jimmy Carter and Donald Trump are the only souls to retain their independent (yet opposite) minds and both of them got the boot for being different.

Hide Behind , November 21, 2019 at 20:44

The puppet masters are experts, on the one hand there is A Republican, and on the other is a Democrat, but even they mess up now and then get the different strings tangled. Some come back on stage on the different hand so to save time they give a puppet two faces.

Watching same puppets gets old so every so often 2-4-6 they restring an old one that was used as props in past, change their makeup a bit to give them new faces. We do not actually elect the puppet, we instead legitimize the Puppeteers who own' s the only stage in town.

Those who choreograph the movements and change the backgrouds, media outlets and permanent bureaucrats know the plays before they are introduced, and they know best how to get adults to leave reality behind and bring back their childhood fantacies. Days of sugar plums, candy canes, socks filled with goodies and not coal, tooth fairys, and kind generous Fairy God Mothers.

Toy Nutcracker soldiers that turn into Angelic heros, Yellow brick roads, Bunnies with pocket watches, and and magic shoes of red, or of glass in hand of handsome Princes and beautiful Princesses, all available if we vote. So who votes, only those who control the voting puppets know that reality does not exist, they twitch we react, and at end of voting counts one of hand's puppets will slump and cry, while others will leap and dance in joy, only for all to end up in one pile until the puppeteers need them for next act.

Frederike , November 21, 2019 at 17:30

"What Warren did not mention is that this "interim leadership" she helped legitimize is headed by an extreme right-wing Christian fundamentalist, the unelected "interim president" Jeanine Añez.

Añez has referred to Bolivia's majority-Indigenous population as "satanic" and immediately moved to try to overturn the country's progressive constitution, which had established an inclusive, secular, plurinational state after receiving an overwhelming democratic mandate in a 2009 referendum."

Doesn't Warren claim to have indigenous ancestors herself and was proud of it? She caused Trump to call her "Pocahontas"? She agrees to support the unelected interim president Jeannine Añez, who refers to indigenous inhabitants as satanic? Warren is a very horrible person, inhumane, amoral, and rather stupid overall, who wants to get rich. Everything she agreed to in the interview listed above is pathetic. I had no idea that she is such a worthless individual.

arggo , November 22, 2019 at 19:57

"neocon" explains this. She seems to have the support of very foundational structures that enabled Hillary Clinton Democrats to attack and destroy Bernie Sanders in 2016.

Cara , November 21, 2019 at 15:40

Warren has not lost my vote for the simple reason she never had it in the first place. None of this, sickening as it is, comes as any surprise. Warren is an unapologetic capitalist. She's like Robert Reich in that regard. They both believe capitalism–if reformed, tweaked a bit here and there–can work. To give her credit, she's always been very honest about that. And of course our doctrine of regime change is all in the service of capitalism. Unless I'm simply confused and mistaken.

Sherwood Forrest , November 22, 2019 at 09:38

Yes, Capitalist First! That makes it so difficult for any aware person to believe she sincerely supports a wealth tax, Universal Healthcare, Green New Deal, College loan forgiveness, family leave or anything else the 1% oppose. Because promising like Santa is part of Capitalist politics, and then saying," Nah, we can't afford it."

Piotr Berman , November 22, 2019 at 16:08

I personally think that capitalism with "human face" and robust public sector is the way to go. But imperialist imposition and aggression is not the part of "human face" that I imagine.

So Warren's imperialist positions are evil and unnecessary to preserve capitalism, how that projects at her as a person it is hard to tell. A Polish poet has those words spoken by a character in his drama "On that, I know only what I heard, but I am afraid to investigate because it poisons my mind about " (Znam to tylko z opowiada?, ale strzeg? si? tych bada?, bo mi truj? my?l o ) As typical of hearsay, her concept of events in Venezuela, Bolivia etc. is quite garbled, she has no time (but perhaps some fear) to investigate herself (easy in the era of internet). A serious politician has to think a lot about electability (and less about the folks under the steam roller of the Empire), so she has to "pick her fights".

It is rather clear that American do not care if people south of the border are governed democratically or competently, which led Hillary Clinton to make this emphatic statement in a debate with Trump "You will not see me singing praises of dictators or strongmen who do not love America". One can deconstruct it "if you do not love America you are a strongman or worse, but if you love America, we will be nice to you". I would love to have the original and deconstructed statement polled, but Warren is not the only one afraid of such investigations. So "electability" connection to green light to Bolivian fascist and red light to Bolivarians of Venezuela is a bit indirect. Part of it is funding, part, bad press.

brett , November 21, 2019 at 15:15

I'm sorry but you all need to come to terms with the farce that is the American political system. Anyone who was supporting Warren or even considering voting for her for ANY reason is apparently either in denial or is being duped. Warren is a Madison Avenue creation packaged for US liberal consumption.

She is a fraud and a liar. One trained in psychology can see, in her every movement and utterance, the operation that is going on behind the facade. Everything Warren says is a lie to someone. She only states truth in order to later dis-inform. Classic deception. She (her billionaires) has latched on to the populism of the DSA etc. in order to sabotage any progressive momentum and drive a stake in it.

Rob Roy , November 22, 2019 at 00:40

She hangs out with Hillary Clinton and Madeline Albright, two evil women if ever there were. Now they make the three witches brewing one coup/regime change after another. She's not smart enough to see that HRC and MA are leading her around by her nose. People should call out this phoney everywhere she goes. BTW, Rachel Maddow completes an odious clique.

Piotr Berman , November 22, 2019 at 16:13

This is a bit of exaggeration. The three ladies are more like good students, they did not write the textbook but they good grades for answering as written, or like cheerleaders, they jump and shout but they do not play in the field. Mind you, "interagency consensus" was formed without them.

Peter in Seattle , November 21, 2019 at 14:53

The DNC's strategy for this election is to ensure that Bernie doesn't go into the Convention with enough delegates to win the first ballot. (Once voting goes past the first ballot, super-delegates get to weigh in and help anoint a candidate who's friendly to the Party's plutocratic-oligarch principals.)

That's the reason the DNC is allowing and encouraging so many candidates to run. Warren's specific assignment is to cannibalize Bernie's base and steal delegates that would otherwise be his, by pretending to espouse most of his platform with only minor tweaks. She's been successful with "better educated," higher-income liberal Democrats who consider themselves well informed because they get their news from "respectable" sources -- sources that, unbeknownst to their target audiences, invariably represent the viewpoint of the aforementioned plutocratic oligarchs.

Absolutely nothing in Warren's background supports her new calculatedly progressive primary persona. She was a Reagan Republican. When the Republican Party moved right to become the party of batshit crazy and the Democratic Party shifted right to become the party of Reagan Republicans, she became a Democrat. She's not a good actress, and it takes willing suspension of disbelief to buy into her performance as a savvier, wonkier alternative to Bernie. And when she's pressed for details (Medicare for All) and responses to crises (Venezuela and Bolivia), the cracks in her progressive façade become patently obvious. She's a sleeper agent for Democratic-leaning plutocrats, like Obama was in 2008, and she would never get my vote.

PS: Impressed by Warren's progressive wealth-tax plan? Don't be. Our country's billionaires know she won't fight for it, and that if she did, Congress would never pass it. (They know who owns Congress.) Besides, do you really think Pocahontas would beat Trump? Do you think Sleepy Joe would? The billionaires wouldn't bet on it. And they're fine with that. Sure, they'd like someone who's more thoroughly corporatist on trade and more committed to hot régime-change wars than Trump is, but they can live just fine with low-tax, low-regulation Trump. It's the prospect of a Bernie presidency that keeps them up at night and their proxies in the Democratic Party and allied media are doing everything they can to neutralize that threat.

mbob , November 21, 2019 at 18:13

@Peter

Thanks for this beautiful post. I agree with it 100%. I've been trying to figure out why Democrats are so consistently unable to see through rhetoric and fall for what candidates pretend to be. Part of it is wishful thinking. A lot of it is, as you wrote, misplaced trust in "respectable" sources. I have no idea how to fix that: how does one engender the proper skepticism of the MSM? I haven't been able to open the eyes of any of my friends. (Fortunately my wife and daughter opened their own eyes.)

Warren is, if you look clearly, driven by her enormous ambition. She's the same as every other candidate in that regard, save Bernie.

Bernie is driven by the same outrage that we feel. We need him.

Dan Kuhn , November 21, 2019 at 14:31

In the last Israeli massacre on Gaza she was all for the IDF killing Palistinians. Americans like to look at the CCP and cry about China being a one party state. Well is the US not a one party state?= Are the views of the Democrats and Republicans not the same when it comes to slaughtering people in the third world? There is not a razor`s edge between them. Biden, Warren, Sanders, Trump, Cruz and Pense they are all war criminals, or if elected will soon become war criminals.

From someone who at the beginning showed promise and humanity, she has turned into Albright and Clinton. How f**king sad is that?

Dan Kuhn , November 21, 2019 at 14:33

Better to see her for what she really is now then after the election if she were to win. She is disgusting in her inhumanity.

Rob , November 21, 2019 at 13:43

This Is, indeed, disturbing and disappointing. Warren seems so genuinely right on domestic economic and social issues, so how could she be so wrong on foreign policy issues? The same principles apply in both–justice, fairness, equity, etc. That said, she is no worse than any of the other Democratic candidates in that regard, with the exceptions of Sanders and Gabbard, so if Warren becomes the nominee, I will support her over Trump. It's a lesser of two evils choice, but we must recognize that no candidate will be perfect–ever.

Dan Kuhn , November 21, 2019 at 14:36

Far better to stick to your principles and write in " None of the above." believe me with this article we can easily see that Trump is no worse nor better than Warren is. They are both pretty poor excuses as human beings.

Peter in Seattle , November 21, 2019 at 16:04

@Rob:

If you'll allow me to fix that for you, "What Warren tactically claims to support, in the primaries, seems so genuinely right on domestic economic and social issues ." I'm convinced Warren is an Obama 2.0 in the making. I don't think anyone can match Obama's near-180° turnabout from his 2008 primary platform and that if Warren is elected, she will try to make Wall Street a little more honest and stable, maybe advocate for a $12 minimum wage, and maybe try to shave a few thousand dollars off student-loan debts. I suppose that technically qualifies as less evil than Trump. But I fully expect her to jettison 90% of her primary platform, including a progressive tax on wealth and Medicare for All. And when you factor in her recently confirmed approval of US military and financial imperialism -- economic subversion and régime-change operations that cost tens of thousands of innocent foreign lives, and other peoples their sovereignty -- at what point does "less evil" become too evil to vote for?

John Drake , November 21, 2019 at 13:13

" presidential candidate tepidly requested "free and fair elections". Such a statement ignores the fact that Evo Morales term was not up; therefore elections are not called for. This means she supports the coup. Restoration of his position which was illegally and violently stolen from him are in order not elections until his term is up.
Her position on Venezuela is nauseating; as the article states classic neo-conservative. Maybe Robert Kagan will welcome her into their club as he did with Hillary.
Warren used to be a Republican, she has not been cured of that disease; and is showing her true colors. Maybe it's best as she is differentiating herself from Bernie. I was concerned before she started down this latest path that she would do an Obama; progressive rhetoric followed by neo-liberal-or worse- behavior once in office. Maybe she is more honest than Obama.

Guy , November 21, 2019 at 12:40

Warren can't be very informed about what democracy actually means .Democracy is not the same as capitalism . Not a US citizen but am very disappointed with her stated platform . Short of divine intervention Tulsi will never make it but Sanders for president and Tulsi as VP would do just fine to re-direct the US foreign policy and maybe ,just maybe make the US more respectable among the rest of the nations of the world.

Piotr Berman , November 22, 2019 at 16:17

It would make a lot of sense from actuarial point of view. The chances that at least one person on the ticket would live healthily for 8 years would be very good, without Tulsi

Punkyboy , November 21, 2019 at 12:02

I was pretty sure Warren was a Hillary clone; now I'm absolutely sure of it. Another election between worse and worser. I may just stay home this time, if the world holds together that long.

Socratic Truth , November 21, 2019 at 11:42

Warren is just another puppet of the NWO.

Ma Laoshi , November 21, 2019 at 11:12

I remember years and years ago, I guess about when Lizzie first entered Congress, that she went on the standard pandering tour to the Motherland and an astute mind commented: Zionism is typically the gateway drug for Democratic would-be reformers. Once they've swallowed that fundamental poison, the DNC feels secure it's just a matter of time before they Get With the Program 100%. Given that "Harvard" and "phony" are largely synonymous, what else could've been expected?

Peter in Seattle , November 21, 2019 at 15:32

@Ma Laoshi:

Speaking of Harvard, having contemplated the abysmal track record compiled by our "best and brightest" -- in Congress, in the White House, and on the federal bench -- I am now almost as suspicious of the Ivy League as I am of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security (WHINSEC, formerly known as the School of the Americas). The mission of both is to train capable, reliable, well-compensated servants to the US plutocracy. (And the only reason I say "almost" is because a non-negligible number of black sheep have come out of the Ivy League and I'm not aware of any that have come out of WHINSEC.)

Sam F , November 23, 2019 at 18:59

Harvard admissions are apparently largely bought, and doubtless those of Yale and others. MIT was strictly militarist warmongers in the 1970s, and one compete with 80% cheaters.

Dfnslblty , November 21, 2019 at 11:12

" The only point where Warren diverged with Trump was on her insistence that "there is no U.S. military option in Venezuela." " Hell, one doesn't need a military option after immoral, illegal and crippling sanctions. This essay is the most disturbing piece all year-2019.

Vote anti-military – vote nonviolence. Don't give these murderers anything but exposure to humane sensibilities.

Freedomlover , November 21, 2019 at 17:43

I didn't think Trump supported a military solution in Venezuela. That was John Bolton's baby and Trump fired him as one would hope he would soon fire Pompeo as has been hinted at. Trump campaigned on ending wars of choice but has given in to the MIC at almost every turn. Maybe he will resign in leiu of being impeached. We might then see a Rand Paul vs. Bernie Sanders. I could live with either one

Skip Scott , November 21, 2019 at 09:12

Once again the Democratic Party is pushing to have our choice for 2020 be between corporate sponsored war monger from column A or B.

I wish Tulsi would "see the light" and run as an Independent in 2020. There is absolutely no way that she gets the nod from the utterly corrupt DNC. She is abandoning her largest base (Independents) by sticking with the Democratic Party. Considering the number of disgruntled non-voters, she could easily win the general election; but she will never win the Democratic primary. The field is purposely flooded to ensure the "superdelegates" get the final say on a second ballot.

AnneR , November 21, 2019 at 08:50

Warren is as inhumane, amoral and imperialist as anyone in the WH and the US Congress, and she is certainly kindred in spirit, thought and would be in deed, as Madeline Albright, the cheerful slaughterer of some 500,000 Iraqi children because the "price was worth it." Of course, these utterly racist, amoral people do not have to pay "that price" nor do any of their families. (And let us not forget that Albright and Killary are good friends – Warren is totally kindred with the pair, totally.)

And clearly Warren – like all of the Demrat contenders – is full on for any kind of warfare that will bring a "recalcitrant" country into line with US demands (on its resources, lands etc.). She is grotesque.

She and those of her ilk – all in Congress, pretty much, and their financial backers – refuse to accept that Maduro and Morales *both* were legally, legitimately and cleanly re-elected to their positions as presidents of their respective countries. But to do that would be to go against her (commonly held) fundamental belief that the US has the right to decide who is and is not the legitimate national leader of any given country. And what policies they institute.

Anyone who supports economic sanctions is supporting siege warfare, is happily supporting the starvation and deprivation of potentially millions of people. And shrugging off the blame for the effects of the sanctions onto the government of the sanctioned country is heinous, is immoral and unethical. WE are the ones who are killing, not the government under extreme pressure. If you can't, won't accept the responsibility – as Warren and the rest of the US government clearly will not – for those deaths you are causing, then stay out of the bloody kitchen: stop committing these crimes against humanity.

Cara , November 21, 2019 at 15:25

Please provide documentation that Sanders is, as you claim, a "full-on zionist supporter of "Israel" and clearly anti-Palestinian." Sanders has been quite consistent in his criticism of Israel and the treatment of Palestinians: timesofisrael.com/bernie-sanders-posts-video-citing-apartheid-like-conditions-for-palestinians; and; jacobinmag.com/2019/07/bernie-sanders-israel-palestine-bds

Piotr Berman , November 21, 2019 at 16:46

"Sanders is less so, but not wholly because he is a full-on zionist supporter of "Israel" and clearly anti-Palestinian"

Sanders is definitely not "full-on zionist supporter", not only he does not deny that "Palestinians exist" (to died-in-the-wool Zionists, Palestinians are a malicious fiction created to smear Israel etc., google "Fakestinians"), but he claims that they have rights, and using Hamas as a pretext for Gaza blockade is inhumane (a recent headline). One can pull his other positions and statements to argue in the other direction, but in my opinion, he is at the extreme humane end of "zionist spectrum" (I mean, so humane that almost not a Zionist).

[Nov 24, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Soft-Pedals Far-Right Bolivia Coup

Nov 24, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Drew Hunkins , November 21, 2019 at 15:32

Hopefully Kamala Harris never sniffs the White House, we'd all die in a nuclear war. Her pathetic and stupid swipes at the courageous and brilliant Tulsi Gabbard last night in the debates were something to cringe at.

[Nov 24, 2019] It Was A Coup. Period -- Tulsi Gabbard Slams US Interference In Bolivia

Nov 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"It Was A Coup. Period": Tulsi Gabbard Slams US 'Interference' In Bolivia

Democratic Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has come out swinging on Bolivia, following an initial period of being silent and reflection on the issue after leftist President Evo Morales was forced to step down on November 10 over growing anger at election irregularities, whereupon he was given political asylum in Mexico.

"What happened in Bolivia is a coup. Period," Gabbard wrote on Twitter in the early hours of Friday while warning against any US interference.

"The United States and other countries should not be interfering in the Bolivian people's pursuit of self-determination and right to choose their own government, " she argued.

Washington had been quick to endorse and recognize opposition senator Jeanine Anez as 'interim president' after she controversially declared herself such without a senatorial quorum or public vote, and as Morales' Movement for Socialism was said to be barred from the senate building when it happened.

Gabbard's statement, which again sets her far apart from a large field of establishment and centrist candidates on foreign policy issues , comes a few days after Bernie Sanders was the first to condemn the events which led to Evo's ouster as a military coup.

"When the military intervened and asked President Evo Morales to leave, in my view, that's called a coup," Sanders tweeted Monday, while linking to a video showing Bolivian security forces dispersing an indigenous pro-Morales protest using a volley of tear gas canisters.

Meanwhile, in a new interview with Russian media this week, Evo Morales said the right-leaning Organization of American States (OAS), which had initially cited "clear manipulations" in the voting surrounding his controversial re-election to a fourth term, played a prime role in deposing him, and that ultimately Bolivia's huge reserves of lithium were being eyed by the United States and its right-wing Latin American allies .

"The OAS made a decision and its report is not based on a technical report, but on a political decision," Evo told RT in the interview from Mexico.

Addressing his country's most valued natural resource, he said, "In Bolivia we could define the price of lithium for the world...Now I have realized that some industrialized countries do not want competition" -- while implying Washington had helped engineer his downfall.

Most estimates put the impoverished country's Lithium supply at about 60% of the world's known reserves .

The White House in the days after Evo's ouster had called it a "significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere"; however, the now exiled former president described it as "the sneakiest, most nefarious coup in history."

* * *

Watch key moments of the translated RT interview below:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZY1fIwFkSvQ

[Nov 24, 2019] Despair is a very powerful factor in the resurgence of far right forces. Far right populism probably will be the decisive factor in 2020 elections.

Highly recommended!
Nov 24, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.25.19 at 2:56 am 46

Glen Tomkins 11.24.19 at 5:26 pm @43

And again, if we do win despite all the structural injustices in the system the Rs inherited and seek to expand, well, those injustices don't really