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Two Party System as Polyarchy and anti-Democratic mechanisms of "first past the post" elections

Version 2.4 (Nov  21, 2016)

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 in the USA is just a sophisticated variant of "divide and conquer" strategy and could have been used by the USSR leadership  instead of one party system. 

News American Polyarchy is not Democracy Recommended Books Recommended Links Demexit Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Anti Trump Hysteria Steele dossier
US Presidential Elections of 2020 Tulsi Gabbard Elizabeth Warren Donald Trump Bernie Sanders: A turncoat socialist Rigging the elections and money in US politics Brennan elections machinations 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   Blowback against neoliberal globalization      
Nationalism as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living Understanding Hillary Clinton email scandal Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Non-Interventionism as a political force Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking US anti war movement 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
Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Corporatist Corruption Paleoconservatism Corporatism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary "Clinton Cash"  Hillary role in Syria bloodbath 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

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 ?  Or  in election of state leaders? Which is what democracy means. Is the democracy possible if three letter agencies like CIA exist?  Probably not as "deep state" sooner or later (usually sooner)  makes surface state just an instrument for providing legitimacy of deep state rule.

Presedent Truman probably did not suspect that by sighing  the National Security Act of 1947  he signed a death sentence tothe 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 "inverted totalitarism" (The term introduced by late Professor Sheldon Wolin)  as the form on government which  become entrenched on 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 political players. Nowhere it was more clear then in 2016 Presendential electio, when by derailing Sanders FBI essenatially ensure Trump win and then in cooperation of other againces (and first of all CIA Brennan) lauched a color regoluation againast Trump trying to deposer him vi Special Procecutor mechnism.

Does  the "the first after the post" rule along with enforcing two party system on the population also is instrumental with establishing slightly camouflaged one party state with 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 addition 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 changeling covertly overseen by its CIA creators and their 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. 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 foright  state such as AIPAC ?
  4. Is "money as a free speech" principle compatible with democracy?  Or does it mean "one dollar-one vote" regime?

The fact that parties represent interests radically different from interests of their voters is not new.  As George Washinton 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 neither republic, not democracy exists. We level in empire with no participatory democracy (unless voting to the lesser  evil of two preselected by the elite candidate can be viewed as a democracy).  In latest Presidential election it was intelligence agencies who were kingmakers, derailing Sanders. But it still exists on local level below the level of state, although even there financial oligarchy managed to spoil the broth -- on municipal level it is bankers who control the politics as they are interested in loans for public projects.

In other word decomicatinc elements in the neoliberal political system are just facade for the  dictatorship of financial oligarchy. And 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 democracy.  The neoliberal elite firmly guar 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.

Democracy for whom?

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 repect Trump is not different  from Barak Obama) as a political norm ("change we can believe in" )? 

Add to this completely 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 was so detached from reality that it hurts. 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 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,  and they and stay in office. 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 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, while he clearly is not -- he is a marionette of MIC (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.  One  fundamental obstacle is so called The iron law of oligarchy.  The second, related, 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 iether 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 after 2008 is connected with discreditation of neoliberal ideology

The situation when the current (neoliberal) ruling elite (or in less politically correct term 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 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 suggest that a large part of the US elite decided to "waive a dead chicken" (actually Hillary 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", biot some crazr "chrstria capitalism that Bannon professed (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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[Apr 21, 2019] CIA created ISIS and it went out of control

Notable quotes:
"... "I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today," warns former CIA Director Jack Devine, saying that, with "frankly uncivilized" ISIS, there is a greater risk of violence worldwide than ever before. ..."
"... Devine argued that dismantling ISIS's command structure is crucial for minimizing the danger it presents, much like al Qaeda before them. "We killed three-fourths of their leadership," he said of al Qaeda. "We have to do the same thing with ISIS. "We have to destroy their refuge over there. When they start to lose, their recruiting numbers start to fall." ..."
"... My guess is that Iran have done a deal with Putin in that once ISIS is swept away Iran gets to build a gas pipeline through Iraq (which it controls) and through Syria into Europe. Russia is allowing Iran into the European gas market because Bandar threatened Sochi, and Putin wants to end the House of Saud in retaliation. Two weeks from now the world is going to make laws that pushes countries towards natural gas and away from coal and oil. ..."
"... I would say that's accurate, since the U.S. put ISIS there to block the Iran - Iraq - Syria pipeline. When Russia destroys ISIS, the previously planned pipeline can proceed. It has nothing to do with Russian 'permission' - Putin expects someone to eventually be sending gas up from the Middle East once the slaughter stops. He doesn't care who it is or how much. It's not going to displace more than a fraction of the Russian supply to Europe. Syria rejected the Qatari pipeline for its own reasons - probably because Qatar was planning on killing Assad and replacing him with a Western stooge well before the Qatari-Turkey pipeline was announced. In fact, the announcement was pretty much an insult to Syria. Qatar quite arrogantly announced that they WOULD be building the pipeline through Syria without bothering to ask them. ..."
"... Putin negotiates with everyone. He was even talking with Israel about helping them with the Leviathan pipeline. The U.S. seems to favor 'regime change' as the preferred strategy to expand its oil interests where it has no business doing so. ..."
"... The CIA serves no master, it is the fucking master. It does deals that are anti American, and they don't care, because America is just a sugar daddy to them. We are the chumps who pay their bills, while they put half of all honest Americans on their enemies list. ..."
"... CIA is international, not American. They are the hit men for the biggest corporations on earth, and most especially the biggest energy firms. Oil and CIA go together, and there is the Saudi connection. ..."
"... CIA is the lead agent if world Islamic extremism, they don't fight it, they nurture it! Their long term goal is to use mass Islamic terror armies to do what the CIA and Corporate masters want done. Need a police state in America? Do a hit on America 9/11. Need to eliminate Russia? Create ISIS and direct them against Russia's allies. And you can take it from there. It will continue on as before. Nobody left has the power to take down the CIA terror rings. ..."
"... No shit, sherlock, and it's because of you and the most vile mass murderer of all time, the CIA (and DIA, and NSA, and FBI, etc.), but predominantly the CIA and the Pentagon, that ISIS and such exists today! Whether it was Allen Dulles coordinating the escape of endless number of mass murderering Nazis, who would end up in CIA-overthrown countries, aiding and abetting their secret police (Example: Walter Rauff, who was responsible for at least 200,000 deaths, ending up as an advisor to Augusto Pinochet's secret police or DINA) or the grandson of the first chairman of the Bank for International Settlements, Richard Helms and his MKULTRA, you devils are to blame. ..."
"... The Devil's Chessboard ..."
Nov 23, 2015 | Zero Hedge

"I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today," warns former CIA Director Jack Devine, saying that, with "frankly uncivilized" ISIS, there is a greater risk of violence worldwide than ever before.

According to The Hill,

"I think this is the most dangerous time in terms of sustained violence," he said on "The Cats Roundtable" in an interview airing Sunday on New York's AM-970.

"I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today," he told host John Catsimatidis. "Some percentage of the world today is always either unbalanced or radicalized. When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

Devine cited the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as an unprecedented threat in terms of its wanton disregard for human life...

"I dealt with terrorists in South America in the 1970s, but they never attacked innocent women and children indiscriminately," he said.

"You have a group in ISIS today that is frankly uncivilized. These folks could get stronger and stronger. We basically have to destroy ISIS over there," Devine said.

Devine argued that dismantling ISIS's command structure is crucial for minimizing the danger it presents, much like al Qaeda before them. "We killed three-fourths of their leadership," he said of al Qaeda. "We have to do the same thing with ISIS. "We have to destroy their refuge over there. When they start to lose, their recruiting numbers start to fall."

Devine, who mainly served during the Cold War, said ISIS is a scourge without parallel because it has no concern for self-preservation.

"There is nothing that can be compared with nuclear weapons and their use," he said of tensions between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union.

"[But] people felt safe in the sense there was countervailing balance," he added. "Early in our contest with the Russians, it was clear we had checks and balances."

Finally Devine admits...

"If there's blame to be put, it's on our failure to have done that by this point."

Selected Skeptical Comments

i_call_you_my_base

"I dealt with terrorists in South America in the 1970s..."

"And by dealt I mean trained and funded."

Looney

John Kerry to the MSM:

Do not use "Al Qaeda" or "Al Nustra" - just call them "Allies" (pronounced Al Lies). ;-)

Looney

Vatican_cameo

"I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today," he told host John Catsimatidis. "Some percentage of the world today is always either unbalanced or radicalized. When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

By small group he means CIA, Right? I thought he would have been a little clearer.

Occident Mortal

My guess is that Iran have done a deal with Putin in that once ISIS is swept away Iran gets to build a gas pipeline through Iraq (which it controls) and through Syria into Europe. Russia is allowing Iran into the European gas market because Bandar threatened Sochi, and Putin wants to end the House of Saud in retaliation. Two weeks from now the world is going to make laws that pushes countries towards natural gas and away from coal and oil.

Paveway IV

"...once ISIS is swept away Iran gets to build a gas pipeline through Iraq (which it controls) and through Syria into Europe..."

I would say that's accurate, since the U.S. put ISIS there to block the Iran - Iraq - Syria pipeline. When Russia destroys ISIS, the previously planned pipeline can proceed. It has nothing to do with Russian 'permission' - Putin expects someone to eventually be sending gas up from the Middle East once the slaughter stops. He doesn't care who it is or how much. It's not going to displace more than a fraction of the Russian supply to Europe. Syria rejected the Qatari pipeline for its own reasons - probably because Qatar was planning on killing Assad and replacing him with a Western stooge well before the Qatari-Turkey pipeline was announced. In fact, the announcement was pretty much an insult to Syria. Qatar quite arrogantly announced that they WOULD be building the pipeline through Syria without bothering to ask them.

The U.S. blocked the first Iran pipeline (called the Persian Pipeline) FROM IRAN to Iraq in 2010 by forcing the Swiss company that partnered with Iran to back out due to Israeli - ooops, 'Western' sanctions on Iran. The second Iran-sourced NG pipeline from Iran through Iraq and Syria - called the Friendship Pipeline - was agreed to in 2012 by the countries involved. That's when the U.S. launched it's failed coup attempt in Syria and let its ISIS mad-dogs loose in Iraq. Tyler usually refers to this by the derogatory label of "Islamic Pipeline" - a snide label that Kagan-PNAC and Western oil companies used. Tyler never refers to the Western-backed Qatari pipeline as the Jihadi Pipeline, nor does he refer to the Kirkuk-Haifa oil pipeline as the Jewish Pipeline. I'm not sure about the inconsistency - maybe he's trying to make some point.

Putin negotiates with everyone. He was even talking with Israel about helping them with the Leviathan pipeline. The U.S. seems to favor 'regime change' as the preferred strategy to expand its oil interests where it has no business doing so.

goldhedge

The CIA guy doesn't mention the House of Saud.

Pfft.

Jack Burton

Good catch! And there never do.

CIA and House of Saud have done a long term deal to look out for each other in this world. The CIA serves no master, it is the fucking master. It does deals that are anti American, and they don't care, because America is just a sugar daddy to them. We are the chumps who pay their bills, while they put half of all honest Americans on their enemies list.

CIA is international, not American. They are the hit men for the biggest corporations on earth, and most especially the biggest energy firms. Oil and CIA go together, and there is the Saudi connection.

CIA is the lead agent if world Islamic extremism, they don't fight it, they nurture it! Their long term goal is to use mass Islamic terror armies to do what the CIA and Corporate masters want done. Need a police state in America? Do a hit on America 9/11. Need to eliminate Russia? Create ISIS and direct them against Russia's allies. And you can take it from there. It will continue on as before. Nobody left has the power to take down the CIA terror rings.

scrappy

Somewhere it's 3:00 AM

Wikileaks: Hillary Clinton Claims Saudi Arabia is the Largest Donor to "Salafism Terrorists" Worldwide

http://refreshingnews99.blogspot.in/2015/11/wikileaks-hillary-clinton-cl...

Clinton Foundation's Colombian 'Private Equity Fund' Deletes Website

http://investmentwatchblog.com/clinton-foundations-colombian-private-equ...

sgt_doom

"I dealt with terrorists in South America in the 1970s, but they never attacked innocent women and children indiscriminately," he said.

No shit, sherlock, and it's because of you and the most vile mass murderer of all time, the CIA (and DIA, and NSA, and FBI, etc.), but predominantly the CIA and the Pentagon, that ISIS and such exists today!

Whether it was Allen Dulles coordinating the escape of endless number of mass murderering Nazis, who would end up in CIA-overthrown countries, aiding and abetting their secret police (Example: Walter Rauff, who was responsible for at least 200,000 deaths, ending up as an advisor to Augusto Pinochet's secret police or DINA) or the grandson of the first chairman of the Bank for International Settlements, Richard Helms and his MKULTRA, you devils are to blame.

Recommended reading (to better understand why the USA is known as the Great Satan):

The Devil's Chessboard, by David Talbot

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=the+devil%27s+chessboard&tag=googhydr-20&index=stripbooks&hvadid=78875381302&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2565125617248777980&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_34lcz93rcf_e_p4

logicalman
Funny how these fucks can come out and say this kind of shit and get away with it. The fucker's basically pleading guilty to murder, FFS.
Ms No
They didn't kill anybody in South America my ass.... The school of Americas, Operation Condor, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Guatamala, El Salvador .... who the hell are they kidding? The CIA has always been covered and nobody ever cared.
Perimetr
"If there's blame to be put. . ."

It's on the CIA for running its global terrorist operations, funded by the $1 trillion dollars a year coming from its Afghanistan heroin operation.

Noplebian

US Gives Their Proxy Army ISIS 45 Minute Warning Before Air Strikes......

http://beforeitsnews.com/conspiracy-theories/2015/11/us-gives-their-prox...

blindman

sirs and madams,
.
"Christmas celebration this year is going to be a charade because the whole world is at war. We are close to Christmas. There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war.

It's all a charade. The world has not understood the way of peace. The whole world is at war. A war can be justified, so to speak, with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war, piecemeal though that war may be-a little here, a little there-there is no justification.

What shall remain in the wake of this war, in the midst of which we are living now? What shall remain? Ruins, thousands of children without education, so many innocent victims, and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers."

Francis I
.
http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2015/11/here-is-british-banned-...

Dinero D. Profit

Ladies and gentlemen of ZH.

In history, what must be, will be.

The discovery of America by Europe had to happen. The savages had to be eliminated and The Revolutionary War had to happen. Slavery had to begin, and after it, segregation had to begin, but, what must be, will be, slavery and segregation had to end. Old School colonization of poor nations had to happen. The Boer War had to happen. The Spanish American War had to happen. The Main had to be sunk. WWI had to happen. Calvary charges had to end. Totalitarian Communism had to happen. Germany's 20's depression had to happen, reactionary jingoism had to happen, and Kristallnacht and the Reichstag fire had to happen. The Allies had to win WWII, Hiroshima and Nagasaki had to be publicity stunts, and the Cold War had to begin. JFK had to be wacked, the Vietnam War had to happen, the FED still was happening. Civil Rights laws had to be passed. Recognition of China had to happen, going off the gold standard had to happen, and Nixon had to be kicked out of office. Corporate Globalization had to begin. After Carter an actor had to be President. Unions had to be stifled. Perestroika and glasnost had to happen. The Berlin Wall had to come down. The MIC had to find another enemy, and suddenly 9/11 had to happen.

Over population has to happen, poisoning the environment has to happen, and the NWO has to happen.

Ladies and gentlemen, the NWO is here, and there is nothing you can do, and nothing you could have done to stop it.

Edit. I see none of our supposed enemies 'truth bombing' 9/11, 7/7, and the 13th Paris attacks. I see no trade embagoes, I see no arguments in the Security Council over the illegality of US/Nato bombing in Syria.

blindman

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-zuesse/jimmy-carter-is-correct-t_b_79...
Jimmy Carter Is Correct That the U.S. Is No Longer a Democracy
Posted: 08/03/2015 11:48 am EDT
.
On July 28, Thom Hartmann interviewed former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and, at the very end of his show (as if this massive question were merely an afterthought), asked him his opinion of the 2010 Citizens United decision and the 2014 McCutcheon decision, both decisions by the five Republican judges on the U.S. Supreme Court. These two historic decisions enable unlimited secret money (including foreign money) now to pour into U.S. political and judicial campaigns. Carter answered:

It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it's just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and congress members. So, now we've just seen a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over. ... At the present time the incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody that is already in Congress has a great deal more to sell." ...
.
it is the money "system", man.

blindman

corporations and hoodwink powers ride on the indifference of the damned, the silence of the dead and doomed.

Dinero D. Profit

The Satus Quo can rely upon the loyalty of their employees, Congress, the military, the military industrial contractors, their workers and family members, the crime control establishment, all Uniersity professors and employees, and every employee of all publically traded companies, and every person employed by the MSM.

The dead and doomed are irrelevant. If you have an establishment job, you'll obey and ask no vital questions.

Dick Buttkiss
Sunnis and Shiites hate each other far more than they hate Christians, Jews, or anyone else. If it weren't for oil, the USG wouldn't give a flyiing fuck if they anihilated each other. Instead, it conspires with them in ways far beyond its ability to comprehend, much less navigate. Thus is the US ship of state heading for the shoals of its destruction, the only question being how much of the country and the outside world it takes down with it.
ross81
thats bullshit Western propaganda that Shiites hate Sunnis and vice versa. In the same way that the Brits stirred up Protestant hatred of Catholics in Ulster for centuries, the US/Israel/Saudi does the same with Sunnis vs Shiites on a much bigger scale in the Middle East. Divide and Conquer.
geno-econ
This is getting scary in that one or two more attacks will result in travel freezes, flow of Middle East oil and result in huge increase in military as well as Homeland security costs. A depression or economic collapse a real possibility Perhaps time for a Peace Conference of all interested parties. The US started this shit and should be the first to call for a Peace Conference. Macho talk will only make things worse.
moonmac
We can print trillions out of thin air at the drop of a hat but we can't kill a small group of terrorists. Got it!
sgt_doom
Or, we pour billions of dollars every year into the CIA, NSA, and DIA, and only a poor old fart such as myself can figure out that Bilal Erdogan is the ISIS connection to oil trading (Turkish president, Erdogan's son) and Erdogan's daughter is with ISIS?
GRDguy
Ex-CIA boss gets it wrong, again.

"When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

should be:

"When you have a small group of financial sociopaths willing to lie-to, steal-from and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

and you'll probably be punished, jailed or shot for tryin' to protect yourself and your family.

Ban KKiller
War profiteer. That is it. Along wth James Comey, James Clapper, Jack Welch and the list is almost endless...
BarnacleBill
"When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

Simply take out the word "their", and the description perfectly fits the CIA, MI6 and their like. For them, it's all a business deal, nothing more - a massive slum-clearance project. Destroy people's houses, provide accommodation and food, ship them somewhere else; do it again and again until the money-printing machine conks out. It's money for old rope.

http://barlowscayman.blogspot.com/2015/11/slum-clearance-on-massive-scale.html

And, yes, we're all vulnerable. The man got that right.

Duc888
"You get the politicians you deserve."

CIA types are appointed, not elected.

Duc888
I do not know if there are any Catherine Austin Fitts fans on this web site but this is definitely worth the time. The FEDGOV came after her non stop for 6 years when she worked for HUD under Bush Sr. If nothing else this lady is tenacious. In this presentation she uncorks exactly HOW the deep black budgets are paid for...and it ain't your tax dollars. What she uncovered while at HUD was simply amazing..... and she made an excellent point. At the top... it's NOT "fraud" because that's how it was all deigned right from the get go after wwII. It brings to mind the funny computer saying....."it's a feature, not a bug".

She digs right into how the CIA was funded... Truly amazing stuff. ...of course the dick head brigade will come along here and deride her because of the conference she is speaking at.... well, who the fuck cares, her presentation is excellent and filled with facts.

Yes it is 1 hour 20 minutes long but imho it is well worth the watch...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0mimIp8mr8

Dragon HAwk
After reading all these posts my only question is why does the CIA allow Zero Hedge to Exist ?

except of course to collect names...

[Apr 20, 2019] The Anti-Sanders Press Influenced the 2016 Primary. Will It Do the Same Again naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... The Clinton camp has demonstrated an almost monomaniacal focus on 'winning' to the exclusion of all else. ..."
"... If Sanders splits the Democrat Party, he will be handing Trump a second term, but laying the groundwork for a reformed and restored Democrat Party in later campaigns. If Sanders toes the line and supports Clinton for a second run, he will also be basically handing Trump a second term. (Unless something catastrophic happens between now and the election. Those Black Swans will pop up out of nowhere, as is their wont.) ..."
"... The Clinton phenomenon shows up a basic flaw in politics. Concentration of political power, no matter how effected, will end up in ruin. What is so sad is that the Clintons are not unique, but exemplars of a perennial trend; corruption, both personal and public. ..."
"... While I certainly don't doubt that the Clintonistas are banking on that strategy, it's dependent on all the not-Bernie candidates happily playing along being cannon fodder to stop Bernie. ..."
"... The present top predator class's basic mistake is a common one. After a string of success's, no group seriously considers the fact that nothing is permanent. That would bring the groups self identity as being "Exceptional" into doubt. Hopefully, this present apex predator class will suffer the same malign fate as have all others who have gone before. ..."
"... The Sanders staff and supporters and well-wishers should think about how to re-engineer Trump's "fake news" schtick as much or as little to be able to use it for the Sanders' Campaigns own self-defense and protection. ..."
"... Where is the congressional investigation of the role the press played in "the disinformation campaign against the American people and their presidential election of 2016?" now THAT would be news worthy. ..."
"... Some us remember that WaPo published 16 negative pieces on Bernie in 16 hours during the run up to the last election. By those standards, "our famously free press" is only getting warmed up but the electorate is ready this time. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

... ... ...

But let's start with a national problem in the 2016 election -- the role of the press in trying to make sure, to the extent it could, that Bernie Sanders would lose to Hillary Clinton. One of the best sources of information for this is Thomas Frank's long-form examination " Swat Team: The media's extermination of Bernie Sanders, and real reform ," written for the November 2016 issue of Harper's Magazine . (Unless you're a Harper's subscriber, the article is paywalled. An archived version can be found here .)

Frank states his goal: "My project in the pages that follow is to review the media's attitude toward yet a third politician, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination earlier this year. By examining this recent history, much of it already forgotten, I hope to rescue a number of worthwhile facts about the press's attitude toward Sanders. Just as crucially, however, I intend to raise some larger questions about the politics of the media in this time of difficulty and transition (or, depending on your panic threshold, industry-wide apocalypse) for newspapers."

His examination of the "press's attitude toward Sanders" produces a striking discovery:

I have never before seen the press take sides like they did this year, openly and even gleefully bad-mouthing candidates who did not meet with their approval.

This shocked me when I first noticed it. It felt like the news stories went out of their way to mock Sanders or to twist his words, while the op-ed pages, which of course don't pretend to be balanced, seemed to be of one voice in denouncing my candidate. A New York Times article greeted the Sanders campaign in December by announcing that the public had moved away from his signature issue of the crumbling middle class. "Americans are more anxious about terrorism than income inequality," the paper declared -- nice try, liberal, and thanks for playing. In March, the Times was caught making a number of post-publication tweaks to a news story about the senator, changing what had been a sunny tale of his legislative victories into a darker account of his outrageous proposals. When Sanders was finally defeated in June, the same paper waved him goodbye with a bedtime-for-Grandpa headline, HILLARY CLINTON MADE HISTORY, BUT BERNIE SANDERS STUBBORNLY IGNORED IT.

Frank marshalls much data to support his claims. I'll leave you to examine those details for yourself.

"Defining Sanders Out"

Frank then turns to the question of why this occurred (emphasis mine below):

I think that what befell the Vermont senator at the hands of the Post should be of interest to all of us. For starters, what I describe here represents a challenge to the standard theory of liberal bias. Sanders was, obviously, well to the left of Hillary Clinton, and yet that did not protect him from the scorn of the Post -- a paper that media-hating conservatives regard as a sort of liberal death squad. Nor was Sanders undone by some seedy journalistic obsession with scandal or pseudoscandal. On the contrary, his record seemed remarkably free of public falsehoods, security-compromising email screwups, suspiciously large paychecks for pedestrian speeches, escapades with a comely staffer, or any of that stuff.

An alternative hypothesis is required for what happened to Sanders, and I want to propose one that takes into account who the media are in these rapidly changing times. As we shall see, for the sort of people who write and edit the opinion pages of the Post , there was something deeply threatening about Sanders and his political views . He seems to have represented something horrifying, something that could not be spoken of directly but that clearly needed to be suppressed.

That threat was to their own status as insider Ivy League–educated friends-of-people-with-power, especially Democratic Party power, which had aligned itself with the upper 10%, the professional class, against the lower 90%, the great unwashed.

In Bernie Sanders and his "political revolution" I believe these same people saw something kind of horrifying: a throwback to the low-rent Democratic politics of many decades ago . Sanders may refer to himself as a progressive, but to the affluent white-collar class, what he represented was atavism, a regression to a time when demagogues in rumpled jackets pandered to vulgar public prejudices against banks and capitalists and foreign factory owners. Ugh.

Choosing Clinton over Sanders was, I think, a no-brainer for this group. They understand modern economics, they know not to fear Wall Street or free trade. And they addressed themselves to the Sanders campaign by doing what professionals always do: defining the boundaries of legitimacy, by which I mean, defining Sanders out.

And it wasn't just bias in the way the news was written; the editorials and op-eds were also brutal. As Frank points out, "the Post's pundit platoon just seemed to despise Bernie Sanders."

Four Year Later

It's been four years since 2015, when the upstart first reared his head and showed himself a viable threat. The forces arrayed against him have had time to reflect, as have the forces on his side.

Will the the leaders of the present Party do all they can to extinguish the threat of Sanders' "political revolution"? It's clear they've already started . Will the press do their part to stem the tide? The jury's out so far. Some coverage has been remarkably bad (also here ), while other coverage is surprisingly fair . We'll see.

In those four years the voters have also had time to reflect. Many took note of the 2016 sabotage, as they would call it, and many are ready, their remembered anger just waiting to be rekindled. Party leaders are aware of this. As a former vice-chair of the DNC said recently , "if we even have anybody raising an eyebrow of 'I'm not happy about this,' we're going to lose [the general election] and they'll have this loss on their hands," meaning the DNC.

It won't take much to make a martyr of Sanders in the eyes of his supporters, especially after 2016. The only questions are:

• Is the fear of Sanders and his political revolution, which would send many of them scrambling for other work and start to cut Party ties to the donor class, enough to make their opposition turn to obviously illegal means?

• If Sanders is indeed made "a martyr," as the party official quoted above fears, what will be the response of the independent voters who swell those stadium appearances?

The stakes were high in 2016. Given our greater nearness to looming catastrophes, climate being just one of them, the stakes are exponentially higher today. We do indeed live in interesting times .


ambrit , April 19, 2019 at 1:32 am

Putting on my Bespoke Tinfoil Hat, I'll posit that the "dirty tricks" are already happening. As Magister Strether declared, the Clintonistas also have had two years to plan for combating a strong Sanders campaign.

To the extent this is about politics, it is about institutional politics, not public policy politics. The Clinton camp has demonstrated an almost monomaniacal focus on 'winning' to the exclusion of all else.

So, I expect a crowded field of Democrat primary candidates to drown out Sanders as much as possible and to, most importantly, deny Sanders a first round win at the convention. Then, the "olde guard" comes into play and the Superdelegates can swing the nomination to H Clinton as a "Unity Candidate."

That is when Sanders will face his most difficult decision. Will he abandon the Democrat Party as a bad job? Sanders seems to be leaving a Third Party run option open with his development of a parallel structure to the Party apparatus.

If Sanders splits the Democrat Party, he will be handing Trump a second term, but laying the groundwork for a reformed and restored Democrat Party in later campaigns. If Sanders toes the line and supports Clinton for a second run, he will also be basically handing Trump a second term. (Unless something catastrophic happens between now and the election. Those Black Swans will pop up out of nowhere, as is their wont.)

The interesting problem here is whether or not any party can govern the nation with only ten or fifteen percent of the population's support. To manage such would, presumably, involve the full on imposition of an authoritarian state.

Our cousins to the South have much to teach us about how extremes of inequality play out "on the ground." Oligarchies will sail along without a care in the world until a major opposition rises up to contest for supremacy. Usually, as the Southern experience shows, those contests will end up in fire and bloodshed, over and over again, down the years.

The Clinton phenomenon shows up a basic flaw in politics. Concentration of political power, no matter how effected, will end up in ruin. What is so sad is that the Clintons are not unique, but exemplars of a perennial trend; corruption, both personal and public.

America was supposed to bring the "blessings of democracy" to the "less well off" of the southlands. The opposite is happening today.

PKMKII , April 19, 2019 at 10:40 am

While I certainly don't doubt that the Clintonistas are banking on that strategy, it's dependent on all the not-Bernie candidates happily playing along being cannon fodder to stop Bernie.

Problem is, the establishment isn't as unified as it was in 2016, and many of them would have no problem poking the rest of the establishment in the eye if they thought it would increase their chances of winning. A split convention with ~9 candidates coming in with delegates isn't just a threat to Bernie's chance, it's a threat to all but one candidate.

There's a strong motivation for them, even stronger than for Bernie quite frankly, to thin the herd out as fast as possible, and I think we're going to see some ugly politics done with that goal in mind. The establishment in-fighting is going to be nastier than the Bernie-establishment fighting.

Of course, if it does work out and they superdelegate Biden in even though Bernie had the most overall votes but shy of an outright majority, they'll be dooming themselves to not just giving Trump another term but relegating the Democrats to second place status in US politics for a generation. But clearly they're willing to pay that price to keep their country club in control of the party.

Skip Intro , April 19, 2019 at 1:50 pm

I think the crowd of establishment neoliberals is going to backfire on the DNC. They will fragment their loyalists while uniting the Sanders voters, who saw through the same shtick in 2016, and arguably in 2012.

In typical DNC fashion, their scheme to rig the election by bringing in superdelegates for the second round will be sabotaged by their arrogance and opportunistic minions all running for their own [x] slots, and diluting the strength of their donor owners.

NotTimothyGeithner , April 19, 2019 at 3:44 pm

The other side is not understanding HRC's support either. Her voters weren't all neoliberals. Between the certainty of her victory, the narratives of a secret "liberal" HRC, and her importance to an older generation, these are not transferrable to other candidates because Terry MacAuliffe or any celebrity says so.

Obama vowed to take it personally if African Americans don't show 2014 Democrats the same support he received in 2012. Cult like attention doesn't necessarily transfer.

ambrit , April 19, 2019 at 3:52 pm

Too true. And cults do not translate into populist movements. Quite the opposite. The very organizational form of a cult is an authoritarian one.

polecat , April 19, 2019 at 4:11 pm

What else would one expect, when rainbow swans swoop in, only to drown in a dirty pool of their own projection.

Mike , April 19, 2019 at 2:17 pm

True. And, if you wish to draw parallels, the demise of social-democratic parties in Europe, especially the British, German, and French, shows this is a global pattern being juiced by, and carried out by, a global elite of which the US is part and a leading member.

Bernie wants to have a rebuilt, renewed Democratic Party that reflects social-democratic norms as they have historically been in Europe. The problem? Soc-Dem parties have mostly surrendered to the neo-liberal agenda just as the Dems here have. Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands – all have shifted mightily to the Right.It is no mistake or error on their part. Their class interests demand they take sides. All these parties are outgrowths of professional upper middle-class elements who have taken these parties from the working class. In doing so, they dragged the "liberal" press with them to become propaganda mouthpieces for their true "brothers". The causes and particular results within each party could take volumes to describe – suffice it to say they wee all enemies of elites in their origin, and were treated as such, spied upon, infiltrated, and whatever else it took to tame them.

Off The Street , April 19, 2019 at 11:43 am

All of that seemingly coordinated effort would appear to tin-foil-hatters and many others to be evidence of some conspiring, if not RICOesque activity. Given the thrust of those noted anti-Sanders media efforts, the century-old Upton Sinclair quote may be repurposed.

It is difficult to get a man to understand report on something, when his salary (and social standing, and access to the best parties, tables, schools, et cetera) depends on his not understanding acknowledging it.

Freedom of the press keeps getting attacked from ever more clever enemies, thereby reinforcing its utter necessity.

ambrit , April 19, 2019 at 3:36 pm

True, a formal conspiracy is not necessary to have 'conspiracy like' outcomes. Feynman's addendum to the Challenger disaster report sets that out.

Read, the dreaded Appendix F : https://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/51-l/docs/rogers-commission/Appendix-F.txt

Sinclair's Quote (TM) is famous exactly because it is applicable across all timelines, all classes of person, and all types of organization.
Human nature doesn't seem to have changed over the last hundred millennia or so.

Going back over the recent past several thousand years of human history, it becomes clear that the present assault on press freedom is but another evolution of the perpetual war on the individual's right to think independently.

The present top predator class's basic mistake is a common one. After a string of success's, no group seriously considers the fact that nothing is permanent. That would bring the groups self identity as being "Exceptional" into doubt. Hopefully, this present apex predator class will suffer the same malign fate as have all others who have gone before.

Happy Good Friday to all the religious out there. For the rest, enjoy a weekday without the stock market to worry about.

Cal2 , April 19, 2019 at 1:39 am

"How will these people respond if they think Sanders was cheated again?"

1.Stay home on election day or vote for Trump?

2. Sanders + Tulsi = Democratic Victory.

Anything else? See number 1.

drumlin woodchuckles , April 19, 2019 at 7:02 pm

They could also come out and vote for one of the little Vanity Third Parties. If the DemParty ticket is not some combination of Sanders Warren Gabbard . . . . and several-to-many million Bitter Berners vote for a Third Party, and the Dem Ticket loses, and the numbers of Dem voters + the numbers of Third Party voters would add up to having been a victory for the Dems; then a message will have been sent about the cruciality of the Bitter Berner vote and how it can not be safely ignored if "winning the election" really is the goal.

skippy , April 19, 2019 at 2:12 am

I think its incumbent to remember its not Sanders per se that is causing orthodoxy to act out . its what he represents e.g. something that can throw a spanner in the good works of neoliberalism.

Sanders crimes are for enabling the unwashed an opportunity to consider options outside that dominate narrative.

rod , April 19, 2019 at 10:12 am

And he's reminding them and everyone with his new slogan–"It's not me-it's us"

skippy , April 19, 2019 at 6:35 pm

Challenging the the foundational cornerstone of methodological individualism and all the aspects bolted on too it – seems a critical point to advance. Lots of time and energy is spent on questioning the bolt-ons, yet for every one refuted the core can spit out more, dog chasing tail experience.

Even to the point of forwarding nationalism in one breath and bespoke individualism in the other – our nationalism protects my squillions . and the consequences of that is "Natural" [tm].

ambrit , April 19, 2019 at 3:43 pm

One of Sander's main 'crimes' is to offer the "unwashed" potentially 'real' Hope. The Obama-bot offered Hope in bad faith. Thus, both sides of the Classical Greeks' ambiguous view of 'Hope' are on display. Hope came last out of Pandora's box. The Chorus is still out on the verdict.

polecat , April 19, 2019 at 4:24 pm

With Obama's false hope, you'd be lucky to receive a dry sip from the water bag as you continue to grasp, with bloodied and blistered hands, that trireme oar, knowing in the back of your mind that you'll Never truly escape the chains holding you down to that hot, burning deck of death !

skippy , April 19, 2019 at 6:42 pm

I'm with you on the Hope [tm], albeit more a case of desperation than informed perspective.

drumlin woodchuckles , April 19, 2019 at 2:16 am

The Sanders staff and supporters and well-wishers should think about how to re-engineer Trump's "fake news" schtick as much or as little to be able to use it for the Sanders' Campaigns own self-defense and protection.

Whenever the media run a dishonest news article, the Sanders Campaign could call it Fake News. Whenever the media run a dishonest editorial, the Sanders Campaign could call it Fake Views. The Sanders Campaign could speak of Fake News and Views from the Rich Corporate MSM.

nathan , April 19, 2019 at 6:34 am

the "liberal", "progressive" upper class and most of the upper middle class democrats did well by trump's tax giveaway.
noam chomsky calls them moderate republicans. they stand for identity issues but not financial ones, nothing that would involve taxing them to give to the rest of the country.

when it comes down to it most of them will prefer to give trump four more years and hope for the best and taking back the white house with one of their own later than supporting a socialist. they're hoping not to face that prospect (in the mirror as well as otherwise) by defeating bernie – and probably warren, who isn't seen as a big threat now – in the primaries. if the bernie supporters sit the election out then trump is on them goes the view.

If biden falters early I see bloomberg coming in as a democrat. if bernie wins anyway i see schultz coming in as an independent.
it will take a near miracle

Kurt Sperry , April 19, 2019 at 11:34 am

I want to see a Sanders vs. Trump election not least because it I think the choice it forces will put the neoliberal, entitled 10% -- the same neoliberal Clinton supporters who derided and mocked those Sanders supporters who wouldn't or couldn't get on board with HRC -- in an a similar but reversed position.

Will they follow their own self-righteous admonitions from four years ago and vote for their hated primary opponent to remove Trump as they hectored Sanders supporters to do? Will they sit out the election, unable to hold their noses and vote a Sanders ticket likely to raise their taxes? Exactly the way many Sanders supporters did with HRC and were viciously excoriated by that same 10% for doing? Or will they go full "evil"/self-loathing and secretly vote for the Satan Trump to keep the country out of socialist hands and prevent having their taxes raised?

I can't wait to hear the neoliberal chattering classes trying to publicly reason it out. Many exploding heads, rank hypocrisy, and much cognitive dissonance will be on full public view.

I get schadenfreude just thinking about it.

John k , April 19, 2019 at 6:40 am

The article mentions that some media seems reasonably fair this time around maybe some thinking sanders can't be stopped, or the lack of somebody obviously about to be coronated.

If Biden doesn't take off more media will become fair institutions want to be on the winning side.

Andy Raushner , April 19, 2019 at 7:06 am

Anti-Sanders press? Oh come on. The Anti-Clinton press was in full bloom as well. Sanders has been a mess so far. SJW politics, health care reform and free college ..basically the Clinton 2016 playbook. It didn't build the enthusiasm to make her campaign electoral proof against the Trump Russian supporters hack, bots and fake news campaigns to ship up her likeability issues.

Then Biden comes out with what one union rep called kitchen table issues. Major corporate welfare for domestic manufacturers, multi trillion dollar infrastructure program, stuff Obama campaign ed on in 2008 but pivoted away from by September 2009 which in Biden's opinion, hurt his Presidency.

Bernie much like AOC live so much in esoteric fantasy, much like Hillary Clinton .which made him such a nice foil to her. The problem is this time, he is going to go against a bunch of other candidates that are bullshitters, reality manipulators and salesmen, he gets drowned. Well beyond Biden as well, there is going to be 15+ sniping away.

Bernie needs to pivot imo by fall of the union vote is going to turn on him

Donald , April 19, 2019 at 7:50 am

You seem confused. The press was anti Sanders and very much pro Clinton during the primaries.

The anti Clinton press played some role in the general election, but for the most part by noticing her actual flaws. There was also an enormous amount of anti Trump press, again based on his actual flaws, but he also received massive free publicity during the whole year and it turned out his voters simply didn't care about his flaws.

GramSci , April 19, 2019 at 7:55 am

Bernie is using the Clinton playbook? I don't think so. And as for the unions endorsing Biden, it's been at least 40 years since the rank-and-file voted with the union bosses.

tegnost , April 19, 2019 at 8:47 am

I know
Sanders has been a mess so far. SJW politics, health care reform and free college ..basically the Clinton 2016 playbook
what?

flora , April 19, 2019 at 8:34 am

The Union vote ain't what it once was. In 2016 the Union brass supported Clinton but the rank and file did not.

Mac na Michomhairle , April 19, 2019 at 9:14 am

If I say something enough times, especially if I have a big media outlet, it is true. Up is down; an orange is the city of Houston; DNC slicksters who would sell your grandmother for cat food are just reg'lar folks fighting for all of us

rob , April 19, 2019 at 9:21 am

wow, you don't think the press was aligned against bernie, that is stunning. What color is the sky in your world? Have you ever been to earth?
So bernie was using hillary's playbook? Hillary clinton?

I'm guessing you think you can just "say stuff", and it will be taken seriously. Fat chance with that drivel . time to get a clue even the most casual observer would remember the hit squad on bernie in every aspect of the media . but for those who don't have the ability to discern reality, the secret is to " bang the rocks together" . so dude.. watch your fingers.

Grant , April 19, 2019 at 12:38 pm

This is the most incoherent post I have seen on this site. I truly mean that. How in the world could anyone think that Bernie is copying Clinton of all people? SHE was the one leading on policy? What bubble do you live in?

"Bernie much like AOC live so much in esoteric fantasy"

Based on what? What policies that he supports are unpopular and would not work? When he goes to West Virginia and meets with a room full of Trump supporters, goes on Fox and connects with people there, are you claiming that most other candidates, especially left of center, could do the same? How could anyone, especially after the leaks, claim that the press wasn't fully on the side of the Clinton campaign, often openly colluding with the campaign?

Plenue , April 19, 2019 at 2:59 pm

https://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/304606-final-newspaper-endorsement-count-clinton-57-trump-2

Surely David Brock can afford better trolls than you.

drumlin woodchuckles , April 19, 2019 at 3:14 pm

You seem confused about who kept playing the SJW cards as well. I think I remember in the first Sanders-Clinton debate a point where Sanders called for re-breaking-up, re-Glassing and re-Steagalling the banks. And Clinton said " breaking up the banks won't do a THING about racism." And it is the anti-Sanders Neera Tandecrats seeking the nomination who are presenting themselves as a live action multi-choice menu of SJW Housekeeping Seal of Approval Identy choices.

You seem confused in many directions.

Carolinian , April 19, 2019 at 8:10 am

Sanders was here yesterday and as requested by Lambert I'll have something to say about it during Water Cooler. But I will say that the crowd was very enthusiastic and the press coverage fair. 2020 may not in fact be a replay of 2016. This time Trump including TDS is the spectre that hangs over the entire process.

jefemt , April 19, 2019 at 8:50 am

Remember when Bernie had pulled even, if not ahead of Hillarity, just prior to the 2016 Dim convention? And he had the Speech of His Life in either AZ or NV?
And Trump was set to speak at the identical time?
And the media focused on Trump's empty podium, mysteriously empty for 1.5 hours
And the media did not cover Bernies speech-of-the-year, not one whit?

Never, ever forget -- and treat the media with the derision and suspicion they have so justly earned

divadab , April 19, 2019 at 9:19 am

Yes the Dem press will be flinging poo at Sanders. But take a gander at Faux News and their town hall with Bernie – and Tucker Carlson's amazing mention of Dem Party cheating of Sanders in the primary. Just as the "liberal" press gave Trump tons of free publicity, so too the reactionary press seems to be giving free coverage to Sanders.

It will be nice to see Sanders wipe the floor with Biden. And if the Dems cheat again and nominate Biden or some other obedient and photogenic bought and paid for candidate, watch Trump wipe the floor with them.

Will the Dems fall on their swords again to keep Sanders out? They will try, helped by their pals in the propaganda apparatus.

Svante Arrhenius , April 19, 2019 at 11:59 am

It's kinda like how we used to tease our Nazi 'bagger, Republican friends, about Re-antimating Zombie Reagan to run, since they had nobody that wasn't a pathetic, waddling stereotype to vote for? Maybe, simply run Dead Kennedys. Meanwhile, perhaps a holographic Fred Rodgers, Sally Struthers' disembodied whine or comforting Dr Seuss character? Liberals all like Gandalf, right?

Empires FALL, it's what we do: https://mobile.twitter.com/alyssa_milano/status/1112869883069382656

drumlin woodchuckles , April 19, 2019 at 3:19 pm

The people here have more time than money. And they ( we) have invested our time in finding out enough things to where the spenders of fire hose-loads of money find us resistant to their propaganda.
So since the money will not be taken out of politics until the people who engineer the money into politics have been driven out of public life, the rest of us will have to fight on various un-monetized battlefields.

Time isn't money. Time is life itself.
A British-India Indian is once supposed to have said ( to the West in general . . .) " You have all the watches. But we have all the time."

rob , April 19, 2019 at 10:44 am

After a couple of years of " the press" yammering on with stories of "Russians" subverting our elections, when will we see the real "deplorable's" be shamed. The press, and their snide comments,their acts of omission,their down right lying, their assault on the hearts and minds of the voting population. The press is probably the most valuable group in the election of Donald trump. They are the ones who champion the lie and the smear, they are the ones who make the news "fake", so the supporters of trump have something to latch onto.

Where is the congressional investigation of the role the press played in "the disinformation campaign against the American people and their presidential election of 2016?" now THAT would be news worthy.

ChrisAtRU , April 19, 2019 at 11:33 am

Thanks for taking on this, Yves! I look forward to future installments!

IMO, it has become increasingly difficult for mainstream media (MSM) to de-legitimatize Bernie this time around. My take is that I see #TeamSanders taking steps to make sure the signal-to-noise ratio remains in Sanders' favor. MSM attempts this time around take on more of a mindless screeching tone, and thus far, given the Senator's now nationwide popularity, it appears that far less people are being moved by these attempts (see latest nationwide poll). But it's all going to play on repeat from 2015/2016. Krugman has already begun his insufferable tone policing and disqualifying .

Some us remember that WaPo published 16 negative pieces on Bernie in 16 hours during the run up to the last election. By those standards, "our famously free press" is only getting warmed up but the electorate is ready this time.

Joe Well , April 19, 2019 at 1:04 pm

Here's something that worries me about Bernie:

Here in Massachusetts, almost all the Our Revolution chapters are in affluent municipalities (if you've studied American history you've heard of them: Concord, Cambridge, Lexington, Amherst), with a couple that are supposedly forming in less affluent communities. The events that have been advertised have all been in these more affluent communities so I imagine that's where the real action is. I emailed the one chapter I saw for a more working class community like my hometown and got no response.

In the Our Revolution MA Facebook group, there are some wonderful people, but there has been almost no discussion of the housing crisis, which is the biggest progressive issue facing the state right now. The resolution to the housing crisis will require precisely overcoming opposition to new housing in those affluent municipalities.

So, how do your organize a real progressive movement when the people who call themselves progressives are overwhelmingly deeply embedded in the top 10%?

NotTimothyGeithner , April 19, 2019 at 1:49 pm

This is unfortunately Putnam's decline of bowling leagues. There isn't an easy answer. One of the points of The 50 State Strategy was the recognition of this problem and the need for support and even the ability to access space for the purposes of meeting places. Obama used his celebrity to stamp out much of these efforts. People can't do it forever, so in a sense everyone is starting over with an openly hostile DNC under Perez. Obviously, the decade of additional economic decline for most Americans is a problem.

One problem is the sympathetic among the 10% need to understand the "moderate suburban Republicans" have polished jackboots ready to go and have no interest in good government despite their seemingly "polite" nature. The DSA's brake light clinic is probably the model that needs to be followed, just expanded. Something like "free tax filing" assistance in January. Obviously, CPAs have to earn a living, but taxes don't need to be done in April. Maybe they could be paid.

Time and resources are obvious issues.

sharonsj , April 19, 2019 at 6:23 pm

If the establishment rigs the process once again and Sanders doesn't get the nomination, I will not vote for the anointed Democratic candidate. I forced myself to vote for Hillary Clinton and I will never do that again. I also will do everything in my power to burn down the Democratic party. I wonder if the establishment has a clue as to how furious most people are? Are they paying attention to what's happening throughout Europe–and I wonder how long it will be before you see weekly protests here? P.S. I'm ordering my yellow vest now .

[Apr 20, 2019] Get ready for a slippery slope, because because Cory Booker just introduced a reparations bill in Congress

Apr 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

And, how far back should politicians go? Should descendants of the Visigoths have to give money to Italians for the sack of Rome in 410?

Should the US government make reparation payments for killing countless Filipino civilians in the early 1900s during the armed occupation of the Philippines?

Or to descendants of Japanese-Americans who died in internment camps during World War II?

[Apr 19, 2019] One way to deflect and mask ignorance is to build a monument of commemoration.

Apr 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Maxim Gorki , April 18, 2019 at 13:28

911 is a monument to American ignorance. The only thing we know for certain about 911 is that we don't know what happened on 911.

OlyaPola , April 19, 2019 at 04:31

"911 is a monument to American ignorance."

One way to deflect and mask ignorance is to build a monument of commemoration.

There are many monuments in the misnamed "The United States of America" one of which is the Vietnam monument.

Given their tendency to double down on ignorance perhaps Mr. Trump and his associates' activities in wall building will include, but not necessarily be limited to, extending the Vietnam monument.

[Apr 19, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard: People get into a lot of conversations about political strategies I might get in trouble for saying this, but what does it matter if we beat Donald Trump, if we end up with someone who will perpetuate the very same crony capitalist policies, corporate policies, and waging more of these costly wars?

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "This is not a joke. This is not about me. This about all of us. This is about our future. About making sure we have one." ..."
Apr 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Al Pinto , April 18, 2019 at 13:25

Thank you Max, it's a great summary of what is wrong with the foreign policy and why racism is so rampant.

There are candidates for 2020, who understand and probably share your views. Take for example Tulsi Gabbard in her recent twonhall meeting video:

https://www.reddit.com/r/tulsi/comments/bbsg8q/reupload_tulsis_most_inspiring_and_controversial/

Quote from her replies

"People get into a lot of conversations about political strategies I might get in trouble for saying this, but what does it matter if we beat Donald Trump, if we end up with someone who will perpetuate the very same crony capitalist policies, corporate policies, and waging more of these costly wars?"

And just to drive home this point, quote:

"This is not a joke. This is not about me. This about all of us. This is about our future. About making sure we have one."

Tulsi did get in to trouble. A day after the video posted on Twitter, it had been deleted by Twitter without explanation

Mark Dierking , April 18, 2019 at 15:53

Thanks to you any everyone that has responded for the thoughtful comments. If you are able to edit yours, a more accessible link for the Safari browser is:

https://www.reddit.com/r/tulsi/comments/bbsg8q/reupload_tulsis_most_inspiring_and_controversial/

[Apr 19, 2019] People get into a lot of conversations about political strategies I might get in trouble for saying this, but what does it matter if we beat Donald Trump, if we end up with someone who will perpetuate the very same crony capitalist policies, corporate policies, and waging more of these costly wars?

Apr 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Al Pinto , April 18, 2019 at 13:25

Thank you Max, it's a great summary of what is wrong with the foreign policy and why racism is so rampant.

There are candidates for 2020, who understand and probably share your views. Take for example Tulsi Gabbard in her recent twonhall meeting video:

hxxps://www.reddit.com/r/tulsi/comments/bbsg8q/reupload_tulsis_most_inspiring_and_controversial/

Quote from her replies

"People get into a lot of conversations about political strategies I might get in trouble for saying this, but what does it matter if we beat Donald Trump, if we end up with someone who will perpetuate the very same crony capitalist policies, corporate policies, and waging more of these costly wars?"

And just to drive home this point, quote:

"This is not a joke. This is not about me. This about all of us. This is about our future. About making sure we have one."

Tulsi did get in to trouble. A day after the video posted on Twitter, it had been deleted by Twitter without explanation

[Apr 19, 2019] Freshman Rep. Katie Porter makes a complete fool out of Jamie Dimon on the floor of the House. This is short and a must see

Apr 19, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

https://caucus99percent.com/content/short-and-must-see

dkmich on Thu, 04/18/2019 - 12:26pm Freshman Rep. Katie Porter makes a complete fool out of Jamie Dimon on the floor of the House.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/rOfx931LNJ0

The version with the white board is hard to find. All the msm versions cut the white board out because a picture is worth a thousand words, and they didn't want Dimon to look as stupid as he did.

snoopydawg on Thu, 04/18/2019 - 7:24pm
I know how he could fix that

@dkmich

Hell, I can come up with a way to fix the problem. Raise the pay of his employees. See? Easy Peasy. But then his salary would go down by a couple million. Just how many millions people need to live on? Bezos will never come close to spending his over $150 billion. At the start of Trump's presidency Bezos was only worth $100 billion. I'd sure love to know what it is now.

Edited

on the cusp on Thu, 04/18/2019 - 7:22pm
People like Dimon do not even comprehend

@Centaurea what Porter is asking him about. He has never had a face to face with a renter. (Not renters of a Swiss chalet, etc...)He has had no personal relationship with anybody who buys food and clothing only when it goes on sale. He has never shopped at any store, other than some designer clothing store, although he likely always had tailors come to his home.
He doesn't talk to taxi drivers. He goes in limos.
He is as far from the existence of the 99%ers as an astronaut born and raised on the moon, a Duke of Earl behind a wall, travelling in a gilded carriage.
I call him ignorant. He has absolutely to knowledge, no education, no exposure to us.

Centaurea on Thu, 04/18/2019 - 8:26pm
What's worse

@on the cusp @on the cusp

is that he doesn't want to know.

Every day he makes decisions that affect all of us. Yet he has no desire to recognize and understand the consequences of his actions on his fellow human beings.

His ignorance is willful, and he no doubt believes it's justified. He's proud of himself.

That takes him beyond mere ignorance into sociopathy.

Lenzabi on Thu, 04/18/2019 - 1:11pm
Aye, but considering how fat

Aye, but considering how fat his own salary is and those at the top who have given themselves so much of the payroll pie over the decades, as they cut back on the workers wh0o help them get their fatty paychecks,,,Makes me think they are greedy and stupid.

bobswern on Thu, 04/18/2019 - 1:21pm
Katie Porter's been nothing less than brilliant since day one !

AOC may be getting all the press, but in the long run, Katie Porter is freaking BRILLIANT!!! And, more than a few people in the House, and in the media, are beginning to come to that conclusion , as well.

This Dimon piece is overwhelmingly powerful! Very grateful for you bringing this to our attention. Thank you!

p cook on Thu, 04/18/2019 - 3:19pm
I think it really highlights a housing problem

I think we all need a raise but I also think there is a real housing crisis. Rent is too high for our wages because rental supply is too low. So how do we get more rental buildings? I know Chicago back in the 1950s worked with developers increasing density by razing smaller dwellings and building the four-plus-one apartments. NYC in the 1920s and 30s had a big (huge) density push in Brooklyn and the dense development of farmland in The Bronx. Why can't we do something like that today? I don't know. I would say link that up with the infrastructure rebuild everyone is talking about on the Left. Cities hooking up with banks and developers to get it done.

Bring our troops home!

UntimelyRippd on Fri, 04/19/2019 - 3:35pm
It absolutely does represent a housing shortage.

@p cook @p cook
So, here's a story about Steven Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone, acknowledging the existence of a broad "income insufficiency" problem, and advocating among other things a much higher minimum wage.

Schwarzman's plan would eliminate taxes for teachers, introduce a higher minimum wage and more technical training for people who don't go to college.

What Schwarzman did not mention is that the company he runs was singled out by a UN report for actively making housing less affordable. During the economic collapse Blackstone slurped up enormous holdings at bargain-basement prices from banks and liquidators who did what they always do when liquidating during a market crisis: Package up the assets into large blocs that cannot be purchased by individuals, and auction them off to their pals, while letting the government eat the banks' losses. Schwarzman big concern is not that folks can't afford to pay rent -- it's that they can't afford to pay the rent that Blackstone wants to collect on properties it acquired for dimes on the dollar.
I haven't seen the numbers, but I'd guess that this particular event -- the foreclosure and subsequent fire-sale of those owner-occupied homes, transforming them into rental stock owned by a very small number of Blackstone equity holders -- was one of the largest transfers of wealth in the history of history, ranking up there with Henry VIII seizing church assets, the Bolsheviks seizing aristocratic assets, the Russian oligarchs grabbing the people's assets, and the Europeans grabbing the Americas and Africa.

wokkamile on Thu, 04/18/2019 - 3:47pm
Our side definitely needs

more Katie Porter and AOC types. Smart, to the point, no nonsense, hold their feet to the fire reps.

First time I've heard of KP -- apparently she reps part of Orange County, formerly all GOP. Doubly good.

My other takeaway is that this isn't such a great argument for concentrating too much on raising the minimum wage to a supposed "living wage" as the wages cited left that hypothetical person still in the red. But it might be a good argument for Andrew Yang's Freedom Dividend -- everyone over 18 gets $1,000/mo. Would take care of much of the high rent issue too.

Centaurea on Thu, 04/18/2019 - 8:30pm
$1,000/month

@wokkamile doesn't go far nowadays.

It would also give the rentier class a further excuse to increase what they charge us.

[Apr 19, 2019] Bernie Steals the 'No More Wars' Issue From Trump by Patrick J. Buchanan

Trump betrayed anti-war republicans. As the result he lost any support of anti-war Republicans. That can't be revered as he proved to be a marionette of Israel lobby. How that will influence outcome of 2020 elections remains to be seen.
Apr 19, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

"The president has said that he does not want to see this country involved in endless wars . I agree with that," Bernie Sanders told the Fox News audience at Monday's town hall meeting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Then, turning and staring straight into the camera, Bernie added: "Mister President, tonight you have the opportunity to do something extraordinary: sign that resolution. Saudi Arabia should not be determining the military or foreign policy of this country."

Sanders was talking about a War Powers Act resolution that would have ended U.S. involvement in the five-year civil war in Yemen that has created one of the great humanitarian crises of our time, with thousands of dead children amidst an epidemic of cholera and a famine.

Supported by a united Democratic Party on the Hill, and an anti-interventionist faction of the GOP led by Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee of Utah, the War Powers resolution had passed both houses of Congress.

But 24 hours after Sanders urged him to sign it, Trump, heeding the hawks in his Cabinet and National Security Council, vetoed S.J.Res.7, calling it a "dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities."

With sufficient Republican votes in both houses to sustain Trump's veto, that should have been the end of the matter.

It is not: Trump may have just ceded the peace issue in 2020 to the Democrats. If Sanders emerges as the nominee, we will have an election with a Democrat running on the "no-more-wars" theme Trump touted in 2016. And Trump will be left defending the bombing of Yemeni rebels and civilians by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Does Trump really want to go into 2020 as a war party president? Does he want to go into 2020 with Democrats denouncing "Trump's endless wars" in the Middle East? Because that is where he is headed.

In 2008, John McCain, leading hawk in the Senate, was routed by a left-wing first-term senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who had won his nomination by defeating the more hawkish Hillary Clinton, who had voted to authorize the war in Iraq.

In 2012, the Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who was far more hawkish than Obama on Russia, lost.

Yet in 2016, Trump ran as a different kind of Republican, an opponent of the Iraq war and an anti-interventionist who wanted to get along with Russia's Vladimir Putin and get out of these Middle East wars.

Looking closely at the front-running candidates for the Democratic nomination of 2020 -- Joe Biden, Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O'Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker -- not one appears to be as hawkish as Trump has become.

Trump pulled us out of the nuclear deal with Iran negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and re-imposed severe sanctions.

He declared Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, to which Tehran has responded by declaring U.S. Central Command a terrorist organization. Ominously, the IRGC and its trained Shiite militias in Iraq are in close proximity to U.S. troops.

Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, moved the U.S. embassy there, closed the consulate that dealt with Palestinian affairs, cut off aid to the Palestinians, recognized Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights seized from Syria in 1967, and gone silent on Bibi Netanyahu's threat to annex Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

Sanders, however, though he stands by Israel, is supporting a two-state solution and castigating the "right-wing" Netanyahu regime.

Trump has talked of pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Yet the troops are still there.

Though Trump came into office promising to get along with the Russians, he sent Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and announced a pullout from Ronald Reagan's 1987 INF treaty that outlawed all land-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

When Putin provocatively sent 100 Russian troops to Venezuela -- ostensibly to repair the S-400 anti-aircraft and anti-missile system that was damaged in recent blackouts -- Trump, drawing a red line, ordered the Russians to "get out."

Biden is expected to announce next week. If the stands he takes on Russia, China, Israel, and the Middle East are more hawkish than the rest of the field, he will be challenged by the left wing of his party and by Sanders, who voted "no" on the Iraq war that Biden supported.

The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting towards the Trump position of 2016. And the anti-interventionist wing of the GOP is growing.

And when added to the anti-interventionist and anti-war wing of the Democratic Party on the Hill, together, they are able, as on the Yemen War Powers resolution, to produce a new bipartisan majority.

Prediction: by the primaries of 2020, foreign policy will be front and center, and the Democratic Party will have captured the "no more wars" political high ground that candidate Donald Trump occupied in 2016.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

[Apr 18, 2019] Bernie's millionaire problem

Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

John Doe , Apr 18, 2019 8:08:15 AM | link

Bernie's millionaire problem
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ee8GedvPmBU

[Apr 17, 2019] Six US Agencies Conspired ...

Highly recommended!
Apr 17, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Here is what we now know, per intelligence gleaned form federal law enforcement sources with insider knowledge of what amounts to a plot by U.S. intelligence agencies to secure back door and illegal wiretaps of President Trump's associates:

Six U.S. agencies created a stealth task force, spearhead by CIA’s Brennan, to run domestic surveillance on Trump associates and possibly Trump himself. To feign ignorance and to seemingly operate within U.S. laws, the agencies freelanced the wiretapping of Trump associates to the British spy agency GCHQ. The decision to insert GCHQ as a back door to eavesdrop was sparked by the denial of two FISA Court warrant applications filed by the FBI to seek wiretaps of Trump associates. GCHQ did not work from London or the UK. In fact the spy agency worked from NSA’s headquarters in Fort Meade, MD with direct NSA supervision and guidance to conduct sweeping surveillance on Trump associates. The illegal wiretaps were initiated months before the controversial Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. The Justice Department and FBI set up the meeting at Trump Tower between Trump Jr., Manafort and Kushner with controversial Russian officials to make Trump’s associates appear compromised. Following the Trump Tower sit down, GCHQ began digitally wiretapping Manafort, Trump Jr., and Kushner. After the concocted meeting by the Deep State, the British spy agency could officially justify wiretapping Trump associates as an intelligence front for NSA because the Russian lawyer at the meeting Natalia Veselnitskaya was considered an international security risk and prior to the June sit down was not even allowed entry into the United States or the UK, federal sources said. By using GCHQ, the NSA and its intelligence partners had carved out a loophole to wiretap Trump without a warrant. While it is illegal for U.S. agencies to monitor phones and emails of U.S. citizens inside the United States absent a warrant, it is not illegal for British intelligence to do so. Even if the GCHQ was tapping Trump on U.S. soil at Fort Meade. The wiretaps, secured through illicit scheming, have been used by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 election, even though the evidence is considered “poisoned fruit.”

-----------.

Someone left this link in a comment to LJ, but as ringmaster of this circus, I choose to publish this as the best summary of all the threads of the supposed conspiracy that I have seen thus far. pl

https://truepundit.com/exclusive-six-u-s-agencies-conspired-to-illegally-wiretap-trump-british-intel-used-as-front-to-spy-on-campaign-for-nsa/

Chris Fahlman said...

Wikipedia page on Paul Manafort says that the FBI began a criminal investigation into him in 2014, associated with his previous dealings in Ukraine. He could have been a target of surveillance and wiretapping since then.

I therefore think Manafort was the key the intelligence agencies used to get to into Trump's organisation. It may have been initially incidental to their ongoing, and much earlier surveillance of Manafort.

Robert Poling said...

Thank-you for this summary. If confirmed, Brennan (and others in the group he formed to spy on Trump and Trump's campaign) should go to jail. Congress specifically forbid American spy agencies spying on American citizens in the U.S. Since that Congressional action, the CIA and NSA have gotten around it by having foreign partners among the 'five eyes' do the collecting and then passing the information back to us.

The spying on Trump was done at the behest of Obama and his minions. I'm reminded of an American president who was hounded from office by the mainstream press for sending minions to spy and collect dirt at the opposition's political headquarters. He had to resign and leave office. Several involved in the burglary went to jail and lost their livelihoods. Why is this situation today any different and why is there a delay in prosecuting them? It's because the major media is bought out and controlled by Trump's political opponents and not demanding justice, indeed is providing cover and excuses for them

[Apr 17, 2019] Deep State and the FBI Federal Blackmail Investigation

Highly recommended!
Intelligence agencies, once created, has their own development dynamics and tend to escape from the control of civilians and in turn control them. Such an interesting dynamics. In any case, the intelligence agencies and first of all top brass of those agencies constitute the the core of the "deep state". Unlike civiliant emplorres they are protected by the veil of secrecy and has access to large funds. Bush the elder was probably the first deep state creature who became the president of the USA, but "special relationship" of Obama and Brennan is also not a secret.
Another problem is that secrecy and access to surveillance, Which gives intelligence agencies the ability to blackmail politicians.
Availability of unaccounted financial resources make them real kingmakers. In a sense, as soon as such agencies were created the tail started waging the dog.
Notable quotes:
"... Serving under nine presidents, from Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon, the FBI was turned into a "Gestapo by Hoover whose modus operandi was blackmail". That's how President Harry Truman (1943-53) reportedly characterized Hoover's bureau. How else do you think he survived for so long – five decades – as the nation's top law enforcer? ..."
"... One of Hoover's mainstay sources is strongly believed to be Mafia crime bosses who had lots of dirt on politicians, from bribe-taking to vote-rigging, to illicit sexual affairs. It is suspected that the Mafia had their own dossier of images on Hoover in a compromising homosexual tryst which, in turn, kept him under their thumb. ..."
"... JFK was particularly wide open to blackmail owing to his rampant promiscuity and extra-marital liaisons, including with screen idol Marilyn Monroe. Kennedy more than once confided to his aides that "the bastards" had him nailed. It was for this reason that he made the thuggish Texan Senator Lyndon B Johnson his vice president even though he detested LBJ. Hoover and Johnson were longtime associates and the former no doubt pulled a favor to get LBJ into the White House. ..."
"... However, Hoover's blackmail on JFK was not enough to curtail his defiance of rabidly anti-communist Cold War politics. Against the hostility of the Pentagon, CIA and FBI, Kennedy pursued a courageous policy of detente with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Such a policy no doubt led to his assassination by the Deep State in Dallas on November 22, 1963. There is ample evidence that Hoover and Johnson, who became the new president, then colluded with the Deep State assassins to cover up the assassination as the act of lone nut Lee Harvey Oswald – a cover-up that persists to this day. ..."
"... But Hoover and Johnson got their revenge by subsequently letting Nixon know that there was classified information on him – thanks to FBI wiretaps. The specter of incrimination is possibly a factor in Nixon becoming increasingly paranoid during this presidency, culminating in the ignominy of the Watergate scandal that ended his career. ..."
"... Hoover certainly was the devious architect of a malign Deep State machine. But he was not alone. He instilled a culture and legacy that pervades the top echelons of the bureau. And not just the FBI. The early Cold War years saw the formation of the CIA and the NSA under the Machiavellian guidance of men like Allen Dulles and Richard Helms and a host of others ..."
Feb 23, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

No other individual in modern US history has a more sinister legacy than John Edgar Hoover, the founder and lifetime director of the FBI. He founded the bureau in 1924 and was its director until his death in 1972 at the age of 77.

Serving under nine presidents, from Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon, the FBI was turned into a "Gestapo by Hoover whose modus operandi was blackmail". That's how President Harry Truman (1943-53) reportedly characterized Hoover's bureau. How else do you think he survived for so long – five decades – as the nation's top law enforcer?

J Edgar Hoover and his henchmen kept files on thousands of politicians, judges, journalists and other public figures, according to biographer Anthony Summers. Hoover ruthlessly used those files on the secret and often sordid private lives of senior public figures to control their career conduct and official decisions so as to serve his interests.

And Hoover's interests were of a rightwing, anti-communist, racist bigot.

Ironically, his own suppressed homosexuality also manifested in witch-hunts against homosexuals in public life.

It was Hoover's secret files that largely informed the McCarthyite anti-communist inquisitions of the 1950s, whose baleful legacy on American democracy, foreign policy and freedom of expression continues to this day.

One of Hoover's mainstay sources is strongly believed to be Mafia crime bosses who had lots of dirt on politicians, from bribe-taking to vote-rigging, to illicit sexual affairs. It is suspected that the Mafia had their own dossier of images on Hoover in a compromising homosexual tryst which, in turn, kept him under their thumb.

Absurdly, the FBI chief maintained that there was "no such thing as the Mafia" in public statements.

Two notorious cases of how FBI wiretapping worked under Hoover can be seen in the presidencies of John F Kennedy (1961-63) and Richard Nixon (1969-74).

As recounted by Laurent Guyénot in his 2013 book , 'JFK to 9/11: 50 Years of Deep State', Hoover made a point of letting each new president know of compromising information he had on them. It wouldn't be brandished overtly as blackmail; the president would be briefed subtly, "Sir, if someone were to have copies of this it would be damaging to your career". Enough said.

JFK was particularly wide open to blackmail owing to his rampant promiscuity and extra-marital liaisons, including with screen idol Marilyn Monroe. Kennedy more than once confided to his aides that "the bastards" had him nailed. It was for this reason that he made the thuggish Texan Senator Lyndon B Johnson his vice president even though he detested LBJ. Hoover and Johnson were longtime associates and the former no doubt pulled a favor to get LBJ into the White House.

However, Hoover's blackmail on JFK was not enough to curtail his defiance of rabidly anti-communist Cold War politics. Against the hostility of the Pentagon, CIA and FBI, Kennedy pursued a courageous policy of detente with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Such a policy no doubt led to his assassination by the Deep State in Dallas on November 22, 1963. There is ample evidence that Hoover and Johnson, who became the new president, then colluded with the Deep State assassins to cover up the assassination as the act of lone nut Lee Harvey Oswald – a cover-up that persists to this day.

As for Richard Nixon, it is believed that "Tricky Dicky" engaged in secret communications with the US-backed South Vietnamese regime on the cusp of the presidential elections in 1968. Nixon promised the South Vietnamese stronger military support if they held off entering peace talks with communist North Vietnam, which incumbent President Johnson was trying to organize. LBJ wanted to claim a peace process was underway in order to boost the election chances of his vice president Hubert Humphrey.

Nixon's scheming prevailed. The Vietnam peace gambit was scuttled, the Vietnam war raged on, and so the Democrat candidate lost. Nixon finally got into the White House, which he had long coveted from the time he lost out to JFK back in 1960.

But Hoover and Johnson got their revenge by subsequently letting Nixon know that there was classified information on him – thanks to FBI wiretaps. The specter of incrimination is possibly a factor in Nixon becoming increasingly paranoid during this presidency, culminating in the ignominy of the Watergate scandal that ended his career.

These are but only two examples of how Deep State politics works in controlling and subverting American democracy. The notion that lawmakers and presidents are free to serve the people is a quaintly naive one. For the US media to pretend otherwise, and to hail the FBI as some kind of benign bastion of justice, while also deprecating claims of "Deep State" intrusion as "conspiracy theory", is either impossibly ignorant of history – or a sign of the media's own compromised complicity.

Nonetheless, to blame this culture of institutionalized blackmail and corruption on one individual – J Edgar Hoover – is not fair either.

Hoover certainly was the devious architect of a malign Deep State machine. But he was not alone. He instilled a culture and legacy that pervades the top echelons of the bureau. And not just the FBI. The early Cold War years saw the formation of the CIA and the NSA under the Machiavellian guidance of men like Allen Dulles and Richard Helms and a host of others.

Once formed, the Deep State – as an alternate, unaccountable, unelected government – does not surrender its immense power willingly. It has learnt to hold on to its power through blackmail, media control, incitement of wars, and, even ultimately, assassination of American dissenters.

The illegal tapping of private communications is an oxygen supply for the depredations of the American Deep State.

Thinking that such agencies are not actively warping and working the electoral system to fix the figurehead in the White House is a dangerous delusion.

So too are claims that American democracy is being "influenced" by malign Russian enemies, as the US intelligence chiefs once again chorused in front of the Senate this past week. The consummate irony of it!

The real "influence campaigns" corrupting American democracy are those of the "All-American" agencies who claim to be law enforcers and defenders of national security.

US citizens would do well to refresh on the untold history of their country to appreciate how they are being manipulated.

We might even surmise that a good number of citizens are already aware, if only vaguely, of the elite corruption – and that is why Washington DC is viewed with increasing contempt by the people.

[Apr 16, 2019] No One Can Trust Trump

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

Deep Snorkeler , 1 hour ago link

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

he sustains massive corporate profits and upper caste power.

Fantasy Free Economics , 1 hour ago link

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

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

Cosmicserpent , 10 minutes ago link

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

†FreeThought† , 11 minutes ago link

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

Empire's Frontiers , 18 minutes ago link

An exceptionally good goy, this Trump guy.

Shalom! And get back to work.

Dr. Acula , 7 minutes ago link

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

SHsparx , 30 minutes ago link

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

R19 , 29 minutes ago link

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

Trump

Obama

ThomasEdmonds , 28 minutes ago link

Like a guided missile: sure of its target.

KekistanisUnite , 28 minutes ago link

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

warsev , 37 minutes ago link

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

evoila , 30 minutes ago link

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

jimfcarroll , 28 minutes ago link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Apr 16, 2019] Fox News Crowd CHEERING LOUDLY at Bernie's Town Hall, For Gov't-Run Healthcare, Taxing the Rich, Protecting SS, etc. caucus99

Notable quotes:
"... Great description of the kind of panic I'm sure the network heads were feeling. Would love to hear the anxious chatter in the board rooms of how to disseminate it, how to selectively cut and edit clips for their own narrative, how to twist his words to tarnish him, etc (hope the Bernie folks only agreed under the direction that they'd get the whole video also). ..."
"... The campaign website, Pete for America, doesn't feature a policy section, something that has caught the attention of critics who say Buttigieg is an empty suit ..."
"... From the New York Times today: 'Stop Sanders' Democrats Are Agonizing Over His Momentum ..."
Apr 16, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Fox News Crowd CHEERING LOUDLY at Bernie's Town Hall, For Gov't-Run Healthcare, Taxing the Rich, Protecting SS, etc.


Mark from Queens on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 8:11pm I ain't got much to say here. Just perusing Twitter and #BernieTownHall is trending, though obviously being overshadowed by the Notre Dame fire.

And while I don't believe much in electoral politics the message here, the evidence that the divide and conquer bullshit isn't as effective as we've been led to believe, the fact that when asked people on the Right do want many of the same things we want - are all something to behold.

We all know that here. But to actually witness that is always a good reminder, and goes a long way to dissolving the manufactured divisions that the corporate media manipulates.

And we all know what happened when he went to WV for a town hall that MSNBC hosted. Here's videos of coal miners thanking him for fighting for them , him consoling an overworked woman whose friends have died , converting propagandized folk into believers in socialist ideas.

Here's some clips and commentary about Bernie's Fox town hall tonight:

Should we raise the minimum wage to a living wage? Yes!
Should we rebuild our crumbling infrastructure? Yes!
Should we ensure veterans get health care they earned? Yes!
Should we protect Social Security and Medicare? Yes!

A majority of the American people agree. #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/qZmuBuA6MM

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 16, 2019

Raise your hand if you're sick and tired of your private health insurance company. We need Medicare for All. #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/3euHRCjqn9

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 15, 2019

Cheering wildly when he exposes Trump for being a fraud on taxes:

. @BernieSanders calls out Fox for not asking Trump what his tax rate is #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/VF7LRr5XYj

-- People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) April 15, 2019

People. Fucking. Hate. Insurance. Companies.

That backfired... #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/NCKNDIQauZ

-- DSA for Medicare for All (@dsam4a) April 15, 2019

Socialism:

Democratic socialism is about creating a government and economy that work for all Americans, not just the top 1%. #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/FybjC7SPPw

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 15, 2019

. @BernieSanders closing statement at #BernieTownHall on @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/mrpB9jTgwn

-- People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) April 15, 2019

If you think Bernie isn't doing WORK converting some right leaning fence sitters watching this Fox News town hall you're delusional. Even if it's just 5% of the audience at home it's worth it. This is why you engage instead of shame! #BernieTownHall

-- Secular Talk (@KyleKulinski) April 15, 2019

"It is not anti Semitic to be critical of a right-wing government in Israel." - @BernieSanders #BernieTownHall

-- Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) April 15, 2019

. @BretBaier "Your plan calls for significant cuts in the military"

*audience cheers* #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/MYpkgAIoE9

-- People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) April 15, 2019

. @BernieSanders "CHECK OUT WHO FUNDS THE THINK TANKS" #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/Ysqfuquabj

-- People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) April 15, 2019

Forgot that this was taking place tonight.

When propaganda spectacularly blows up in the face of the propagandists it is something hopeful, at the very least.

Imagine being the CEO of United Healthcare or BlueCross and watching all the money you spent trying to scare people away from Medicare for All blow up this spectacularly #BernieTownHall . pic.twitter.com/gOmmKAXzt0

-- Hamid Bendaas (@HBendaas) April 15, 2019

@BernieSanders brought the heat at the #FoxNewsTownHall !

Not much has changed since he spoke out against Fox as a Congressman years ago. Explore Sanders's critiques of the network and more in our film Outfoxed: https://t.co/oOlpxf46YT #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/zGuiiqII9X

-- Brave New Films (@bravenewfilms) April 15, 2019

Wally on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 9:20pm
Please remind naysayers

@Mark from Queens

. . . who emphasize Bernie has less than 30% of the votes in polls (less than the 50% + 1 delegate required to get the nomination) that delegates are awarded by states via primaries (different formulas), not by total US % vote. So, he can possibly even pull it off on the first ballot, before the superdelegates' votes kick in.

There really is a chance to pull it off this time! Especially if Bernie does well in the early primaries and on the newly early Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

And for those emphasizing that it's still early. . . the debates start in June, only about two months away.

When propaganda spectacularly blows up in the face of the propagandists it is something hopeful, at the very least.

Imagine being the CEO of United Healthcare or BlueCross and watching all the money you spent trying to scare people away from Medicare for All blow up this spectacularly #BernieTownHall . pic.twitter.com/gOmmKAXzt0

-- Hamid Bendaas (@HBendaas) April 15, 2019

@BernieSanders brought the heat at the #FoxNewsTownHall !

Not much has changed since he spoke out against Fox as a Congressman years ago. Explore Sanders's critiques of the network and more in our film Outfoxed: https://t.co/oOlpxf46YT #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/zGuiiqII9X

-- Brave New Films (@bravenewfilms) April 15, 2019

Mark from Queens on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 8:36pm
Niko House already has a thorough overview if you're interested

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hhg4LIjonko

Le Frog on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 8:37pm
Bret Baier's face!

Thank you for posting these, Mark!

I enjoyed these snippets, and particularly how Bret constantly looked like he was debating pulling a fire alarm to break up this cheerfest or to just run and leave the cohost to deal with it.

Mark from Queens on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 8:48pm
Heh...They're running scared.

@Le Frog

Great description of the kind of panic I'm sure the network heads were feeling. Would love to hear the anxious chatter in the board rooms of how to disseminate it, how to selectively cut and edit clips for their own narrative, how to twist his words to tarnish him, etc (hope the Bernie folks only agreed under the direction that they'd get the whole video also).

This kind of thing blows their whole Us vs. Them cover. They'll probably not be doing this again.

gjohnsit on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 9:23pm
Fox Producer in the back room

@Le Frog
"Someone interrupt the cheering, for Gawd Sakes! Change the subject! Cut to commercial! Anything!"

The UnitedHealth employee who leaked The Post this video says: "I felt Americans needed to know exactly who it is that's fighting against the idea that healthcare is a right, not a privilege." https://t.co/fQAXmVTmdf

-- Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) April 12, 2019

Cassiodorus on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 10:26pm
Ah yes. Pete Buttigieg.

@gjohnsit From this piece in "New York" magazine :

The campaign website, Pete for America, doesn't feature a policy section, something that has caught the attention of critics who say Buttigieg is an empty suit -- or, in his case, empty dress pants plus a white or blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up (tie, but no blazer). Buttigieg talks in specifics about the Electoral College (he wants to get rid of it) and the Supreme Court (he imagines an extreme reconfiguration, with 15 judges instead of nine, five of them confirmed by unanimous vote of the other ten, a way of ensuring nonpartisanship, he says). On other matters, he is less detailed. "I'm very specific on policy. I just think that we need to talk about values first. You can't just expect people to be able to derive your values by looking at the minutiae of your policy proposals," he told me.

So what are Pete Buttigieg's proposed policies? I gather he's trying to get a toehold on the "surprise me" vote. Oh, and policy is "minutiae," not the life-or-death matter for millions which it in fact is.

Dallasdoc on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 9:59pm
Divide and Conquer is Fox's business model

@Mark from Queens
It's too bad Bernie will probably never get live time on Fox again, and that the DNC idiots refused to have a debate on Fox. We all had stories of Republicans who liked Bernie in 2016, even those who would have voted for him over Trump. Democrats just cannot bring themselves to admit that the reason 2016 played out the way it did wasn't Vladimir Putin's fault, it was Hillary Clinton's.

Moron Beltway gasbags think that winning over Republican votes requires a conservative or a racist. No, it requires somebody with authenticity who wants to help average voters. Trump's scam has been played, and a lot of his 2016 voters won't fall for it again. As in 2016, Dems will lose if they run a milquetoast corporate poser. And as in 2016, they'll try their damnedest to do just that.

gjohnsit on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 8:58pm
That was f*cking brilliant!

How could you not love that?

There is no question that Fox News hates Bernie Sanders. Without a doubt Fox News hates the idea of Medicare For All. So when Bernie has a Town Hall on Fox, you can bet that they wanted to make him look bad. If you read Fox's review of the Town Hall that is exactly what happened. Except that isn't what happened.

What actually happened is that Fox moderator Bret Baier made the unforgivable mistake of asking the audience - a Fox News audience - what they thought of Medicare For All, and the reaction was poetry.

BTW, I found this article on insurancenewsnet.com

Medicare for All May Be Cheaper For Employers, But They Still Don't Like It

This is HUUUGE!

Medicare For All wouldn't just be great for the working class, it would probably be great for small businesses. Why haven't I heard more about this? It would immediately bump the approval rating for MFA by 10%-15%-20% in red states.

JtC on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 9:03pm
Beat you to it...

@Cassiodorus
within 100,000 of a second. I promoted it and as I came back to the CC page your comment was there.

Unless we still want to be in the 100,000s on Alexa...

Mark from Queens on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 9:11pm
Over on Reddit at the live thread commentary at WOTB,

which you can find here , I learned that the crowd was booing the Fox News host for some of their questions, one being a slimy insinuation that Bernie wanted to let felons vote because it would help him . They also chanted Bernie's name after his closing remarks (reminiscent of the NY debate).

Heh, remember this classic?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/a3QwnlXFgGE

This one just gets better with time, doesn't it?

lotlizard on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:20am
If Sanders can speak at Liberty U. and win people's respect,

@gjohnsit
he can go on FOX and do the same.

I hope FOX seizes the opportunity to, at least in part, reinvent itself under the radar and appeal to a broader demographic. FOX could carve out a new market niche occupying pro-Bernie populist territory, where other networks fear to tread.

A lot of FOX viewers are probably economically hard-pressed. It ain't a Bloomberg or CNBC audience we're talking about here.

#8
Boy, all those centrist assholes were right, it was totally a bad move for Sanders to go on Fox News for a townhall. What an embarrassing look for him, right?

Le Frog on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:29am
If nothing else, FOX made ratings

@lotlizard

having Bernie do that town hall. Meanwhile, things at CNN are disgusting. The blatant anti-Bernie agenda is burning like a thousand suns over there. The bias is so obvious but it's so strange to watch unfold. I just watched FOX host Bernie Sanders, with a FOX-curated audience chanting BERNIE! BERNIE! while CNN trashes him. I'm not saying CNN is a bastion of fair coverage and a beacon of the left, but this is madness in real time.

Pluto's Republic on Mon, 04/15/2019 - 10:45pm
I've been watching that encouraging trend.

Last night I was writing about this huge swathe of people across the nation -- the unrepresented and silenced Left -- who are stepping out into the light once more to show their strength and support for humane and intelligent national policies that benefit all of the people equally. They are out there and they know what they want.

Outrageous criminal greed among the ruling class is what is fueling the rise of the American Left. The Intelligence Cartel thinks an intense round of anti-communist fear and propaganda blasted across the general population will shut the Left down. The think the brainwashed centrists and corporate media will chase them back into their marginalized existence. It's always worked before.

The Democrat leaders, standing the ruins of their shattered Hoax, are not so sure this time. That's why they pushed a crowd of Democratic contenders into the race to dilute the focus on inconvenient issues. Fifteen years ago, these new candidates would have all looked promising -- but the betrayal of the neoliberals who screwed and exploited and abandoned the working class changed all that. Now, people want their share of government protection against the terrible economic downturns that the corruption of Wall Street and War Street have dumped on them -- and their families. They want their human right to a safe and healthy life, for starters. They want food for their hungry children and a roof over their heads, no matter what.

That bell cannot be unrung.

Snode on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 5:33am
Not only the protection of economic downturns

@Pluto's Republic but in a lot of ways protection from government. The conservatives have built their creds on the horror of "I'm from the government, I'm here to help" but in the end no matter who's in control the real horror has been "I'm from the government". It's why most people see no difference between the r's and d's. Neither will do them any good and both misread the support from their "base". The r's and d's serve their masters and it's why elections have devolved into the farce it is.

wokkamile on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 8:06am
Good points on

@gulfgal98 his potential cross appeal. And it was in his favor that he didn't go after Biden on the progressive question. Bernie is better off running an issues-only campaign in his competition with the other Ds; let the people decide who is truly progressive by their policies and their record.

He also did well in not running from the socialism tag, not that he has much choice. He will need to continue doing this as this country has been conditioned for decades to associate it with the hammer and sickle. Continued de-conditioning will be needed.

Also a positive was his feisty, fighting spirit in calling out some of the low-blow questions, esp the cheap shot from the female moderator about Bernie wanting rapists and murderers to be able to vote for him. My sense is this sort of tough, punch-back approach is going to resonate better with voters than the soft, polite, confrontation-averse types which the DP has so many of.

So overall a very good showing by the Bernmeister, a needed small victory for the D side, and for the moment that other issue, which didn't come up last night, is on the back burner.

Roy Blakeley on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:48pm
I grew up in an area that is now Trump central

@gulfgal98 but people were once FDR Democrats. They strongly support social security and decent wages. They are damned mad that their jobs have been shipped out of the country, and that their children's prospects are worse than theirs. They will never be corporate friendly. The Democratic Party left them, but they are not corporate Republicans.

Wally on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 7:49am
IT'S HAPPENING !!!

https://twitter.com/i/status/1117935444098994176

Jen on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 9:49am
There he is

There is the Bernie that I love. I did not realize how much I needed to see that until I was watching it with tears running down my face.

I will admit that I was having serious doubts because of how he jumped in the Russiagate boat and how he seemed to be on the wrong side of the Venezuela issue. I don't have those doubts anymore.

When talking about the MIC, more than once he said "we have to have a strong defense". I totally agree, but that's it - just defense. Cut that budget in half (or more) and there's still plenty for defense - just not enough to set up a base in every country that they are able to so.
When he mentioned the 12 year deadline is when the tears really started to flow. Have any of the other candidates even acknowledged that deadline?

I have never voted in my life. If Bernie is not cheated again and he gets on the ballot, I will register and I will cast my first vote ever. I bet I'm not the only one.

Wally on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 1:16pm
Bill McKibben on our window of opportunity

@Jen From Democracy Now with Amy Goodman:

//www.youtube.com/embed/ID_0jG8mxuk?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

smiley7 on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 10:48am
I trust Bernie; have done so for decades.

Thanks for this good news and diary.

Wally on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 10:49am
David Brock speaks on Bernie

"There's a growing realization that Sanders could end up winning this thing, or certainly that he stays in so long that he damages the actual winner," said David Brock, the liberal organizer,

From the New York Times today: 'Stop Sanders' Democrats Are Agonizing Over His Momentum

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/16/us/politics/bernie-sanders-democratic...

WoodsDweller on Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:57pm
Hmmm ...

@MrWebster
That is what I was thinking. Fox certainly knows how to stack an event like this. How could they possibly have failed to vet the audience members? On the other hand we saw an interview a couple of weeks ago with an "average Joe" in a greasy spoon somewhere in the rust belt who was all on board for (I think it was) Medicare for All.

Maybe their screens are faulty. They are making the mistake of screening for labels (are you a Republican? are you a conservative? did you vote for Trump?) and are themselves so ideologically blinded that they don't realize that even people who self-describe with all those labels still want New Deal policies?

Maybe they have an agenda. Visibly TRY but clearly FAIL to discredit Sanders, to set Sanders up as the Democratic candidate with the idea that Trump will easily beat him. Stupid or evil? That's always the question. In this case I'm coming up with "stupid or stupid".

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

Apr 16, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Thomas Neuberger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"We are under attack"

Sisters, Brothers, and Friends –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In solidarity,

Team Bernie

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

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

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

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


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

This over at Daily Kos:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://c.deployads.com/sync?f=html&s=2343&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2019%2F04%2Fsanders-takes-the-campaign-against-cap-to-eleven.html

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

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

Well, yeah, it;s true.

Reply

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

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

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

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

Reply

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

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

Bernie's in it to win it.

Reply

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

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

Reply

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

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

Reply

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

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

Reply

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

We said the same about Obama in 08.

Reply

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

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

Reply

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

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

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

Reply

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

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

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

Reply

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

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

Reply

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

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

Reply

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

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

Reply

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

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

Subject: A serious threat to our campaign

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That's why I'm asking you today:

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

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

In solidarity,

Faiz Shakir
Campaign Manager

Reply

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

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

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

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

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

Reply

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

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

Reply

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

Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

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

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

[Apr 15, 2019] A letter to the> President Trump from former voter

Apr 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Dude-dude , 20 minutes ago link

Dear President Trump:

Tears came to my eyes - happy tears - when you were elected! A seemingly impossible feat was accomplished that day in November.

I understood when you faced tremendous resistance in your first 200 days from Demorats. It seemed you were unphased and determined - all was good.

Good night, and good luck.

Good night, and good luck.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Apr 14, 2019] Another neocon controlled think tak to be beware of: Center For American Progress

Apr 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Zachary Smith , Apr 14, 2019 6:08:14 PM | link

Headline at the Neocon York Times:

"Bernie Sanders Accuses Liberal Think Tank of Smearing Progressive Candidates"

The "liberal" outfit under discussion is the Center For American Progress. This outfit is against "single payer" health care. It was in favor of Obama's escalation in Afghanistan. Funding comes from billionaires like Soros and corporations like Wal-Mart.

The blogger complaining about Sander's awful behavior is a Biden fan, I generally don't link to stupid sites, and all the connected ones in this case qualify.

[Apr 14, 2019] We can talk about intentional [over]flooding of the field with corporate centrist neoliberals like Harris, Booker, Biden, Hickenlooper et al., enough of a deluge to draw attention support from the more-progressive candidates, including Bernie, Warren, and Tulsi (particularly vehement for her open criticism of the war economy)

Apr 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Vin LoPresti , 12 Apr 2019 09:57

Oh please: this is just a more-elaborate replay of what the DNC did to Bernie in '16 and what it does to anyone not espousing the idiocy of the party's corporately enshrined majority. Hence, what's actually happening is the [over]flooding of the field with corporate centrist neoliberals like Harris, Booker, Biden, Hickenlooper et al., enough of a deluge to draw attention & support from the more-progressive candidates, including Bernie, Warren, and Tulsi (particularly vehement for her open criticism of the war economy)
T0nyN -> SoonToBeDead , 12 Apr 2019 10:01
The USA has become anti-intellectual. It prefers 'style' over substance and theatrics over facts.
charlieblue -> Swan17 , 12 Apr 2019 09:59
We're not talking about "Change for changes sake" here. We're talking about Elizabeth Warren vs. Donald Trump. We're talking about a smart, educated woman and proven capable leader and US senator, vs. a vulgar, lazy, Reality TV host and failed businessman. We're talking a calm, rational human being vs. a bloviating jackass.
candoll -> jae426 , 12 Apr 2019 09:57
" white, straight and struggling middle class, "

Not if you add up those things. USA is only ~ 60% white. Depending on how you define middle class, I think more of the US is working class than middle class these days. Straight? Maybe, but I think you could just as easily say "most of the US is *not* a straight white male middle class, and frankly is fed up with the default identity being straight white, male and middle class.

ChesBay -> John Finan , 12 Apr 2019 09:56
My guess is that you are well to do, and enjoying your tax cut. Most of the rest of us are not. The economy is not synonymous with the stock market, which is up because of stock buy-backs. Do you understand how this works? Do you know how many workers have been laid off in the last 3 months? How many companies have moved out of the country, after receiving their tRump bribes? How many more companies paid NO TAX last year--or how many more got REBATES (out of my pocket?) You are soon to be horribly surprised.
retsiLdivaD -> KedarB , 12 Apr 2019 09:55
-You blame her for being good at her job and for having married someone who is good at his job, or for having policies that would distribute wealth? Rich people can be left wing. Find me any politician who isn't loaded.

- High salaries at Universities are a problem, but not responsible for high student loans- roughly half the budget at Havard is spend on salaries, and that includes pensions, and a lot of people in lower paid positions https://finance.harvard.edu/files/fad/files/harvard_annual_report_2018_final.pdf

theredmenace -> GeorgeFrowny , 12 Apr 2019 09:58
She didn't list herself as such when applying for jobs, she volunteered a recipe for a cookbook. Everything else you're repeating is just Fox News propaganda.

"In 2012 she was criticized for having listed herself as a minority in a directory for Harvard Law School. Some critics alleged that she falsified her heritage to advance her career through minority quotas. Warren denied that, and several colleagues and employers (including Harvard) have said her reported ethnic status played no role in her hiring. An investigation by The Boston Globe in 2018 found "clear evidence, in documents and interviews, that her claim to Native American ethnicity was never considered by the Harvard Law faculty, which voted resoundingly to hire her, or by those who hired her to four prior positions at other law schools". PolitiFact noted: "Before this controversy arose in 2012, there is no account that Warren spoke publicly of having Native American roots, although she called herself Cherokee in a local Oklahoma cookbook in 1984."

You should apologise and retract.

Atlant -> Beaufort100 , 12 Apr 2019 09:54

And there is no Democrat who is going to take votes from Trump's base.

I've told this story before but I guess it still bears repeating:

In November of 2016, my wife won a seat in the New Hampshire State House as a Democrat. As she campaigned, she knocked on hundreds and hundreds of doors, the doors of Democrat, Republican, and "Undeclared" households. And many times, she spoke to Republicans who stated that they could easily have seen themselves voting for Bernie Sanders over Trump but they'd BE DAMNED if they were ever going to vote for Hillary Clinton.

My wife didn't argue this point with them. After all, it was her job to get herself elected, not to get Hillary elected. In New Hampshire, the Democrats who DID argue for Clinton (including two more women in our election ward) went down to defeat; my wife won.*

Hillary was absolutely poison for the Democrats nationwide but Bernie would have 1) won and 2) had yuuuuge coat-tails. When they did him in, the Democrats did themselves in.

* Hillary narrowly won New Hampshire's Electoral votes and Democrats narrowly won our U.S. Senate race and both Congressional districts but Democrats lost the Governor's race, three of five Executive Council races, the State House, and the State Senate. That is, Democrats got wiped out within New Hampshire just like they got wiped out nationally.

candoll -> HarryFlashman , 12 Apr 2019 09:53
By electing Trump the American people were rejecting middle-of-the-road politics-as-usual. Warren is the much needed change in the democratic party.
Instead, they're going to push Biden or Beto and try to serve the "safe" more of the same crap that people don't want anymore. We're all fed up to death with the neo-liberal corporate-owned politicians. We need real change for the everyday working people, who have seen their quality of life decline and cost of living incline for decades now.
mwesqcpa , 12 Apr 2019 09:51
Elizabeth Warren has a tremendous academic background in economics, economic history, finance and bankruptcy law; she also is an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.

She was in the forefront during the 2008 economic crisis and raising the alarm about the corrupt banking practices of trillions of risky sub prime lending loans and credit default swaps.

Her current campaign is floundering for many reasons. She is fuzzy on many issues and other issues may be repulsive to most of the electorate such as reparations for the horrible institution of slavery. Two wrongs do not make a right.

The only candidate that rings the bell and frames the hot button issues in a brilliant and articulate manner is Mayor Pete. His only negative is the repulsion of many voters to gay people who in reality are just people who happen to be different than the majority.

ChesBay -> Amanzim , 12 Apr 2019 09:51
The right has moved sooo far right, that reasonable, popular positions may seem "radical." After all, who in the world would vote for health care for themselves? Positively far left, eh? I would like to know: HOW are we going to pay for a $1.9 TRILLION tax cut for the filthy rich, or $730 BILLION for defense? WHERE will we get the money for those "basic needs?"
Thomas1178 -> OliversTravels , 12 Apr 2019 09:48
She didn't -- the bar application does not have a section for race. What she did was fill in an optional area on race to indicate her interest in organizations or societies centered around ethnicity. Not uncommon in academia

Her own argument, that she actually believed that she was far more Native American than she was and was interested in meeting other women with a similar background, matches up well with that. It was not in any way part of deciding to admit her to the bar. Think about it – that would be illegal anyway.

JudeUSA -> ChesBay , 12 Apr 2019 09:48
The majority of Americans do not back packing the courts and reparations.They will be losing issues for those candidates that give those issues strong support.
ThisEarthling , 12 Apr 2019 09:47
It's a shame she didn't run last time, instead of Hilary Clinton - things might have been different. That was her chance, and it's gone now. She will be put in the same bracket as Hilary now by too many voters, and it'll be the kiss of death for her chances. That silly comment about her ancestry aside, she is a very smart woman who wuld have made a decent POTUS, but she's missed her chance at it. Or the party missed its chance with her. Somehow it was deemed to be Hilary's "turn" last time round. If there's anything positive to come out of Trump's election, it might be to wake politicians up to the fact the the old way of doing things must go, though unfortunately the Democrats don;t seem to have really grasped this. The people have voted in some fresh faces, but the party is still stuck in the past.... Bernie Sanders, ffs. God help us.
ChesBay -> Daubish , 12 Apr 2019 09:46
Daubish--Don't hold your breath. Remember who, and what, is "leading" the party. It's an "organization" I intend to quit immediately following next year's closed primary. Remember the words of Mark Twain: "I don't belong to any organized political party. I'm a Democrat."
ChesBay , 12 Apr 2019 09:41
Warren and Sanders are the only clear thinkers in the group. I support Bernie, but I am also sending money to Warren to keep her in the race. She represents the thinking of the majority of Americans. She's right on the money! Backward, corporate,conservative Nancy Pelosi be damned.
BorgleyUderwad -> Afraid of Americans , 12 Apr 2019 09:41
I think the expression "Don't try to argue with an idiot, they'll just drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience" applies.
Henny Miller , 12 Apr 2019 09:41
Although I live outside the US, it is important for the rest of the world to have a competent, decent, ethical and honourable person to be elected as the next president, especially after this disastrous term with Trump. I personally would love to see Elizabeth Warren as the next president, having read a lot about her over the years and her performance after the financial crises when she to the Wall street bankers to task was marvelous. She is the sort of person that would be very beneficial for the US and the world, I think the rest of the world would start to have respect for the US again, as it is definitely on the nose now.
AdamCMelb , 12 Apr 2019 09:39
There is no doubt that Warren has smarts. Her competition policy around the tech giants is actually quite nuanced and sensible, despite presenting some challenges.

But she is not a good presidential candidate. She has wrecked her chances with her 'Pocahontas' antics and - mystifyingly - doubled down on her alleged Indian ancestry before the election. (This is despite the fact that Native American identity is generally not based on DNA alone. Mystifying stuff.)

Meanwhile, ideas like scrapping the electoral college are just bizarre and naive. I had not been aware that this was a 'policy' of Warren's. It does not show her in a good light.

[Apr 14, 2019] the chances of the Democrats winning the election are looking pretty slim right now. They have decided they are more interested in fighting themselves than fighting Trump, with different wings of the party saying they will boycott other wings' candidates if they win the nomination instead.

Apr 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

gunnison -> dallasdunlap , 12 Apr 2019 09:34

Even Donald Trump had experience running an international business empire.


Some would say international crime syndicate, but never mind that.
Running anything as an authoritarian CEO in a private institution of any kind, with no shareholders and no accountability, is not a useful background in the context of a presidency, as we have been finding out on a daily basis since that assrocket took office.
Being a mayor of any kind of city is better preparation by far, because you have to fine ways for people who are not natural allies to pull in the same direction.
gunnison -> jae426 , 12 Apr 2019 09:22

They have decided they are more interested in fighting themselves than fighting Trump, with different wings of the party saying they will boycott other wings' candidates if they win the nomination instead

. I think that's bollocks. Present your evidence. Sure, it's going to be a hard fought fight, but the chances that Dems supporting a candidate who does not win the primary would boycott the election and put Trump back in the White House are vanishingly small
this time around.

Most of America is white, straight and struggling middle class, I'm afraid. A unity candidate like Obama is needed to build bridges between different demographics, but what did we hear from a prominent Democrat activist last week? An attack on Obama as being the worst thing to happen to the Democrat Party in a generation.

Obama campaigned on the theme of progressive change, and won, twice, then once in office governed as a milquetoast centrist trying to seek consensus with an adversary committed to destroying both him and any remnants of the New Deal.
His lackluster performance in this regard and the Dem party establishment's commitment to corporate fealty by thumbing the scale to ensure the confirmation of Clinton's focus-group corporate windsockery so infuriated the traditional working class midwestern party roots that we now have Trump.

The mewling of the remnants of that party establishment can be ignored. There's a new energy now, unleashed by Sanders' remarkable insurgency in the 2016 cycle, and there's no putting the cork back in that bottle.

Trump isn't smiling. Trump has never smiled in his life. He smirks a lot, but that's not the same thing, and over the next year or so he's about to suffer the death of a thousand cuts if the newly empowered House investigative committees do an even halfway competent job of revealing what a corrupt and vindictive scumbag he really is.

dallasdunlap , 12 Apr 2019 09:17
Warren was my early favorite in the Dems primaries, but abolishing the Electoral College, packing the Supreme Court, and paying reparations make her unacceptable to me.
jae426 , 12 Apr 2019 08:58
I'd like her to win the nomination, but she won't.

That won't necessarily be a bad thing, however, because the chances of the Democrats winning the election are looking pretty slim right now. They have decided they are more interested in fighting themselves than fighting Trump, with different wings of the party saying they will boycott other wings' candidates if they win the nomination instead.

Most of these activists are either New Yorkers or Californians or people who think like New Yorkers and Californians. New York and California will vote Democrat whoever wins the nomination. The next election, like the last, will be won or lost in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida.

It will annoy people on the Guardian website to hear, but people in those states are typically not as interested in what might be called 'identity politics' as people on the seaboards. 2016 should have taught Democrats that. Instead they have doubled down on fighting a little civil war between demographics who claim only their candidate should be President.

Most of America is white, straight and struggling middle class, I'm afraid. A unity candidate like Obama is needed to build bridges between different demographics, but what did we hear from a prominent Democrat activist last week? An attack on Obama as being the worst thing to happen to the Democrat Party in a generation.

Trump is smiling, and those smiles aren't fake.

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

Apr 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

popgoesthepop , 12 Apr 2019 10:26

Four more years of Trump is in the works.

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

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

jae426 -> gunnison , 12 Apr 2019 10:26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It worked for Bernie supporters to console themselves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does anybody remember Trump's healthcare policy?

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

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

Then they really are in trouble.....

Just take 1 point....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moira Donegan is a Guardian US columnist



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

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

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

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

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

Sound familiar? Words about Trump from his own staff.

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

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

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

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

Shakespeare: “First, we kill the lawyers”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

BMW ends pensions for workers

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

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

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

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

[Apr 12, 2019] Tulsi might get a considerable part of nationalists voters who previously voted for Trump

Apr 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

Grahamsno(G64) , says: April 10, 2019 at 5:54 am GMT

@Thomm That's so true that it's almost incredible, Andrew Anglin of the daily stormer has been campaigning for Tulsi Gabbard & Andrew Yang for well over a month

He could be said to be instrumental in putting Yang on the democratic primaries and possibly Tulsi as well all the while using his weaponized memes against Trump!! I'm in disbelief.

[Apr 12, 2019] Gabbard on Assange arrest

Apr 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

Art , says: April 12, 2019 at 6:52 am GMT

Good On Tulsi Gabbard.

Gabbard: Assange arrest is a threat to journalists

By Rachel Frazin – 04/11/19 06:10 PM EDT

Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) condemned the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday, calling the arrest a threat to journalists.

"The arrest of #JulianAssange is meant to send a message to all Americans and journalists: be quiet, behave, toe the line. Or you will pay the price," Gabbard tweeted.

The Democrat's remark came hours after police in London arrested Assange, citing charges he is facing in the U.S.

Assange is accused of conspiring to hack into computers in connection with WikiLeaks's release of classified documents from former Army private and intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/438542-gabbard-assange-arrest-is-a-threat-to-journalists

Think Peace -- Art

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

Apr 12, 2019 | www.youtube.com

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


Patti Granros , 6 hours ago

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

Some Person , 8 hours ago

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

Kamikapse , 7 hours ago

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

Greg Miller , 9 hours ago

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

Kip Landingham , 6 hours ago

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

Google User , 1 hour ago

Elizabeth Warren you've got my attention.

Tessmage Tessera , 7 hours ago

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

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

Apr 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

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

@ Circe @164

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

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

^^^

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

[Apr 11, 2019] Vindicated At Last, Thank You General Barr by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... Attorney General Barr stated the obvious--law enforcement and intelligence agencies spied on Donald Trump's campaign ..."
"... I had learned in December 2016 from friends inside the intelligence community that there was collaboration with the Brits to collect and disseminate intel on persons on the Trump campaign. With Trump's tweet making news, I was invited by RT (i.e., Russia Today) to come on one of their news programs and discuss the matter that same afternoon. ..."
"... I then shared what I had learned about British intelligence ops to intercept U.S. communications on people affiliated with the Trump campagin with members of VIPS—i.e., Veteran Intelligence Professionals. One of these colleagues shared my analysis without my knowledge with Judge Andrew Napolitano. ..."
"... The Brits reportedly initiated collection on their own. The “collection” from those intercepted conversations and emails were shared with the Obama Administration through normal intelligence channels—i.e., principally the NSA. It is important to note that the Brits targeting and collecting on Americans is not illegal. We are foreigners as far as they are concerned. They can collect anything. ..."
"... The Independent ..."
"... I felt sorry for the Judge and knew he was being railroaded. But I did not expect a phone call from him, asking for my help. He called and asked me to help. Prior to the phone call on Thursday, March 16, 2017, I had never spoken to the Judge. We were not even casual acquaintances. ..."
"... Grynbaum is a classic example of what is wrong with the journalism today. For starters, he manufactured the “Frederick Forsyth” quote. I said no such thing. Besides fabricating a quote, he refused to address the substance of my information regarding the activities and conduct of British GCHQ. Instead, he went for the “Whitey” smear. ..."
"... This was a dark period for me. People I thought I could rely on abandoned me. I was on my own. But not for long. Rescue came via Judge Napolitano and an unlikely source, The Guardian—a left leaning British newspaper. The Judge was brought back on air at Fox on March 29, 2017 and stood his ground: ..."
"... On Wednesday morning, Napolitano returned to the network, making an appearance on “Fox & Friends.” His first order of business? Doubling down on the claims that got him suspended in the first place. (From the Washington Post, 29 March 2017, Amy Wang). ..."
"... Two weeks later, on April 13 th , The Guardian not only confirmed what I had said about GCHQ (note, in some of my on air interviews I stupidly and mistakenly called the British spy agence GHCQ) but identified other countries as well who were collecting intelligence, i.e., intercepting communications : ..."
"... There is a simple bottomline—My information was accurate and reliable. Also, I had the story before anyone else. Journalists and pundits were unwilling to listen. ..."
"... Former national security adviser Susan Rice privately told House investigators that she unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials to understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York late last year, multiple sources told CNN. ..."
"... Do you understand what this means? If you have never had a clearance and had access to NSA material then you probably fail to understand how profound this is. Let me explain. There were multiple intelligence reports released by the NSA. I am pretty certain all were classified as Top Secret. Some of these may have been generated by NSA, but most, according to the Guardian piece I mentioned above, were from foreign liaison. The names of the American citizens were initially obscured--e.g., Subject 1 or Subject 2. Hence the "request" to unmask. In other words, identify the nameless person by name. That, boys and girls, is known as spying. ..."
"... Bill Barr is now getting the Larry Johnson treatment for daring to speak a simple, self-evident truth. One big difference. Barr can set in motion the legal process to indict and prosecute those American traitors in the law enforcement and intelligence community who violated their oath to uphold the Constitution and used their positions to launch a political witch-hunt. Stay tuned. ..."
"... Thank you for this clarifying account. I used to read NoQuarter back in the day, and had been mystified when it was taken down. Now I understand, and am glad that Col. Lang has facilitated your return to blogging. ..."
Apr 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Attorney General Barr stated the obvious--law enforcement and intelligence agencies spied on Donald Trump's campaign -- and touched off an incredible display of stupidity and obtuseness among the Trump haters. Me? I was cheering because Bill Barr confirmed what I said two years ago. Unfortunately, for daring to speak a simple truth in the spring of 2017 I immediately was a target of the hate Trump media mob.

I was attacked for telling the public the truth that foreign intelligence--the British to be precise--were spying on the Trump campaign and passing this info along to US intelligence. But the Brits were not acting unilaterally. There was full cooperation and activity by U.S. intelligence agencies and the FBI. Another word for this is "COLLUSION."

My speaking out brought about a furious counter attack by the media. People inside the Department of Justice reached out to my business partner and denounced me as a crank and conspiracy theorist. Because of that backlash I took down my blog, NoQuarter, and "retired" from blogging. Thanks to generosity of Colonel Lang, I eventually climbed back onto the blogging saddle.

Let me take you back to the events that unfolded after Donald Trump tweeted on March 4, 2017 that he was being wiretapped by the FBI. The media establishment erupted in laughter and saw this as just one more piece of evidence proving Trump's mental instability. But I had a different take.

I had learned in December 2016 from friends inside the intelligence community that there was collaboration with the Brits to collect and disseminate intel on persons on the Trump campaign. With Trump's tweet making news, I was invited by RT (i.e., Russia Today) to come on one of their news programs and discuss the matter that same afternoon.

https://youtu.be/gPVkHGmw-7A

Worth noting that my appearance on RT made no waves and generated no pushback. That tells you everything you need to know about RT’s alleged influence over public and punditry opinion as an alleged arm of Russian propaganda.

I then shared what I had learned about British intelligence ops to intercept U.S. communications on people affiliated with the Trump campagin with members of VIPS—i.e., Veteran Intelligence Professionals. One of these colleagues shared my analysis without my knowledge with Judge Andrew Napolitano.

Napolitano went on Fox on Monday, March 13, 2017 and declared:

On Monday, Fox News Channel judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano alleged that three intelligence sources had confirmed to him that the Obama administration used GCHQ (Britain's NSA) to spy on President Trump during the 2016 election so that there would be no paper trail.

"Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the 'chain of command' to conduct the surveillance on Trump," he said. "Obama didn’t use the NSA, he didn’t use the CIA, he didn’t use the FBI, and he didn’t use the Department of Justice."

"What happened to the guy who ordered this? Resigned three days after Trump took office," he added.

The Judge got some key nuances wrong. Obama, to my knowledge, did not ask the Brits/GCHQ to do anything on his behalf. The Brits reportedly initiated collection on their own. The “collection” from those intercepted conversations and emails were shared with the Obama Administration through normal intelligence channels—i.e., principally the NSA. It is important to note that the Brits targeting and collecting on Americans is not illegal. We are foreigners as far as they are concerned. They can collect anything.

The Judge’s comments set off a firestorm. In a matter of hours, Fox News Corporation, responding to pressure from the British Government, took Napolitano off the air. The Independent, a British newspaper, reported as follows:

A legal analyst who claimed British intelligence could have helped spy on Donald Trump during his bid to become US president has been taken off the air.

Andrew Napolitano has been pulled from the Fox News Channel, a source at the organisation said.

The Independent understands that Mr Napolitano is not expected to appear on the Fox News Channel anytime in the near future.

The analyst's claim that GCHQ had helped former president Barack Obama bug Trump Tower was cited last week by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, sparking a diplomatic incident.

I felt sorry for the Judge and knew he was being railroaded. But I did not expect a phone call from him, asking for my help. He called and asked me to help. Prior to the phone call on Thursday, March 16, 2017, I had never spoken to the Judge. We were not even casual acquaintances.

Judge Napolitano, clearly smarting over the public lashing he was receiving, asked if I would be willing to speak to a New York Times reporter, Michael Grynbaum, about the matter. I agreed to do so. That was a mistake. Here is how Grynbaum reported what I did not say:

Mr. Napolitano also has a taste for conspiracy theories, which led him to Larry C. Johnson, a former intelligence officer best known for spreading a hoax about Michelle Obama. . . .

But Mr. Johnson, who was himself once a Fox News contributor, said in a telephone interview that Mr. Napolitano called him on Friday and requested that he speak to The New York Times. Mr. Johnson said he was one of the sources for Mr. Napolitano’s claim about British intelligence.

Mr. Johnson became infamous in political circles after he spread false rumors in 2008 that Michelle Obama had been videotaped using a slur against Caucasians. In the interview on Friday, Mr. Johnson acknowledged his notoriety, but said that his knowledge of surveillance of Mr. Trump came from sources in the American intelligence community. Mr. Napolitano, he said, heard about his information through an intermediary.

“It sounds like a Frederick Forsyth novel,” Mr. Johnson said.

Grynbaum is a classic example of what is wrong with the journalism today. For starters, he manufactured the “Frederick Forsyth” quote. I said no such thing. Besides fabricating a quote, he refused to address the substance of my information regarding the activities and conduct of British GCHQ. Instead, he went for the “Whitey” smear.

If you are not familiar with that episode, permit me to refresh your memory or create a new one for you. It is a simple story—I allowed myself to be used by Clinton campaign, Sid Blumenthal in particular, to spread a rumor that turned out to be untrue.

I was an ardent supporter of Hillary in 2007 and 2008. I had previously briefed her in 2007 on the war in Iraq and found her, at least in a one-on-one setting, to be very intelligent and very well informed. But that was then. Her subsequent conduct as the Secretary of State, especially how she mishandled the Benghazi incident, ended any chance that I would ever support her for any role in which the lives of American military, diplomats or intelligence officers are on the line.

After that briefing, I found myself as an unofficial member of the Clinton for President team via my friendship with Sid Blumenthal. I had enormous respect for Sid and his wife. I thought they were good people. The only thing I now know for certain is that they are fiercely loyal to the Clintons.

As the contest between Hillary and Barach Obama heated up, Sid would call me from time to time with suggestions of articles I could write or pieces that could be run on my now defunct blog--NoQuarterUSa.net. I was more than happy to help. I believed then (and have been vindicated by the passage of time) that Barack Obama was just a pretty face with no significant experience and he would be a terrible President.

Then came the fateful phone call from Sid Blumenthal in late May 2008. He told me he had learned of a tape that was circulating in restricted circles that featured Michelle Obama using the derogatory phrase, “whitey.” Armed with that tidbit of gossip I turned to an old friend in the media community and he too confirmed he had heard the same thing (stupidly, I never considered the possibility that Sid was spreading this far and wide and that I was getting blowback).

When I mentioned the possible existence of this tape to a Republican friend of mine and former CIA colleague in California, I was shocked when he said, “I have a friend who has seen and heard the tape. That was enough for me. Based on these two sources, I wrote the story up at NoQuarterUSA.net.

It went viral. But nothing surfaced. I became uneasy. So I went back to Sid and pressed him for more information. He in turn sent me to David Brock of Media Matters. (I had met Brock previously at the Blumenthal home watching election returns in 2006.) Brock told me that the information came from female friend who insisted she had seen and heard the slur by Michelle Obama.

The matter became more confused when the Obama campaign sent out an email to their campaign workers claiming that Michelle said “WHY DID HE” rather than the pejorative, “WHITEY.” That led me to believe there was substance to the Blumenthal/Brock rumor.

Ultimately the story died out. No tape surfaced, but I bore the blame as the “Whitey” guy. With the benefit of hindsight I now understand that I was an unwitting but willing tool in a David Brock dirty trick. No such tape ever surfaced. I can only conclude that the desperation of the Clinton campaign to win was so extreme that they would stoop to use a racist meme to smear Obama.

I regret what I did in writing the story up. But it did not originate with me. It started with David Brock. Which brings me back to the Napolitano affair.

After Grynbaun identified me as one of Judge Napolitano’s sources, it was open season on me. Not one of the media outlets—except for CNN and the Politico — even took the time to reach out to me and ask me to tell my side of the story. Instead, they recirculated talking points from Media Matters.

Here is what I told Brian Stelter during this period:

https://youtu.be/NRxuzxcOLdM

Talk about Chutzpah. David Brock started the Whitey rumor (I will happily take a polygraph on that point) and then has the audacity to attack me and dismiss my information (via Media Matters) simply because I had passed on rumors where he was the original source:

Media Matters first traced Napolitano's wiretapping conspiracy back to an interview on the state-sponsored Russian television network RT with the former CIA analyst and discredited conspiracy theorist Larry C. Johnson, who previously promoted false claims that Michelle Obama used a racial slur against Caucasian people.

This was a dark period for me. People I thought I could rely on abandoned me. I was on my own. But not for long. Rescue came via Judge Napolitano and an unlikely source, The Guardian—a left leaning British newspaper. The Judge was brought back on air at Fox on March 29, 2017 and stood his ground:

On Wednesday morning, Napolitano returned to the network, making an appearance on “Fox & Friends.” His first order of business? Doubling down on the claims that got him suspended in the first place. (From the Washington Post, 29 March 2017, Amy Wang).

Two weeks later, on April 13th, The Guardian not only confirmed what I had said about GCHQ (note, in some of my on air interviews I stupidly and mistakenly called the British spy agence GHCQ) but identified other countries as well who were collecting intelligence, i.e., intercepting communications:

Britain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told.

GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added.

Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump’s inner circle and Russians, sources said.

There is a simple bottomline—My information was accurate and reliable. Also, I had the story before anyone else. Journalists and pundits were unwilling to listen.

We know a lot more today then we did in the Spring of 2017. George Papadopoulos was targeted by a MI-6 covert action designed to portray him as a lackey of Russia and promoting Russia to the Trump campaign. Carter Page was spied upon under four separate FISA warrants that were based on the fictitious Steel Dossier. And a CIA "contractor", Stefan Halper, played the role of an agitator trying to lure Papadopoulos into implicating himself in a Russian plot.

And then we have the unmasking of American citizens. Here is but one example:

Former national security adviser Susan Rice privately told House investigators that she unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials to understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York late last year, multiple sources told CNN.

The New York meeting preceded a separate effort by the UAE to facilitate a back-channel communication between Russia and the incoming Trump White House.

Do you understand what this means? If you have never had a clearance and had access to NSA material then you probably fail to understand how profound this is. Let me explain. There were multiple intelligence reports released by the NSA. I am pretty certain all were classified as Top Secret. Some of these may have been generated by NSA, but most, according to the Guardian piece I mentioned above, were from foreign liaison. The names of the American citizens were initially obscured--e.g., Subject 1 or Subject 2. Hence the "request" to unmask. In other words, identify the nameless person by name. That, boys and girls, is known as spying.

Bill Barr is now getting the Larry Johnson treatment for daring to speak a simple, self-evident truth. One big difference. Barr can set in motion the legal process to indict and prosecute those American traitors in the law enforcement and intelligence community who violated their oath to uphold the Constitution and used their positions to launch a political witch-hunt. Stay tuned.

JerseyJeffersonian , 12 hours ago

Mr. Johnson,

Thank you for this clarifying account. I used to read NoQuarter back in the day, and had been mystified when it was taken down. Now I understand, and am glad that Col. Lang has facilitated your return to blogging.

And just in time to see some of your tormentors - and unsurprisingly the very same tormentors of our constitutional republic - be (hopefully) called to account for their actions.

The Lame Stream Media have much for which to answer concerning their part in all of this; they have abrogated their role as even-handed watchdogs through their open-eyed and monolithic dissemination of hyper-partisan, cultural marxist agitprop, much of it focused on character assassination of those who did not share their beliefs, and yet more noxiously by throttling the expression of contrary argumentation across the board.

But the genuine opprobium should be reserved for those officers and officials, sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution, who determinedly worked to instead disregard and undermine the Constitution, and the constitutional republic which it undergirds.

[Apr 11, 2019] The dubious products of the glorified diploma mills we call "higher education" are often the most gullible and dim-witted

Apr 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

HallParvey , says: April 10, 2019 at 2:56 pm GMT

@Nicolás Palacios Navarro

Unfortunately, the near totality of this country's populace is effectively illiterate and poorly equipped to think critically and independently, preferring to accept the verdicts of their oleaginous talking heads at face value without ever troubling themselves to examine why.

(The dubious products of the glorified diploma mills we call "higher education" are often the most gullible and dim-witted.)

Someday, when we all have multiple degrees from prestigious institutions of exalted learning, our collective I.Q. will be substantially higher than it is today, and we will understand everything.

Except how to change a light bulb.

[Apr 11, 2019] Tulsi Hits 65,000 Donors!!!---UPDATE caucus99percent

Apr 11, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

span y apenultimate on Wed, 04/10/2019 - 7:09pm She did it, an hour ago!

Tulsi Gabbard now has enough individual donors to make it into the televised Democratic debates! Thanks to those of you who helped, either by becoming a donor, or in spirit!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cicero's quotation:

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

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

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

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@Hank

We were “Trumped”. Hard to believe.

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

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

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

[Apr 10, 2019] Trump and low-information voters

Apr 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

Hail , says: Website April 10, 2019 at 5:41 am GMT

@Thinker

who are those idiots who still keep showing up at his rallies?

See the SteveSailerism "Low-information voters."

If one is a regular reader of the Unz Review , one is almost by definition not among this class of people. Regulars at sites like this are mainly all off towards the right tail of the low-to-high 'information' distribution curve. It's easy to forget that most of our fellow people are somewhere near the center of the curve, or in the left half. And there is your answer.

Biff , says: April 10, 2019 at 4:14 am GMT
Packaging

Nothing gets my liberal friends gnashing their teeth harder than when I point out(with facts) how Trump is just like Hillary – and that was before the election.

Thinker , says: April 10, 2019 at 4:16 am GMT
Yep. Trump's a lying POS pond scum like the rest of the DC swamp that he said he was going to drain, turns out he is one of them all along. We elected America's first Jewish president, nothing more. He needs to change his campaign slogan to MIGA, Make Israel Great Again, that was the plan of his handlers all along.

What I want to know is, who are those idiots who still keep showing up at his rallies? Are they really that dumb?

Even Sanders came out and said we can't have open borders. I've also heard him said back in 2015 that the H1b visa program is a replacement program for American workers. If he grows a pair and reverts back to that stance, teams up with Tulsi Gabbard, I'll vote for them 2020. Fuck Trump! Time for him and his whole treasonous rat family to move to Israel where they belong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@WorkingClass

Today I switch to the Democrats.

Please, no!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Apr 09, 2019] Kushner Extorted Qatar - Or Did He?

Notable quotes:
"... Brookfield Asset Management has agreed to lease the troubled office tower for 99 years and is paying for the lease up front, rather than in the typical yearly ground rent, the Wall Street Journal reports. The financial terms of the deal were not made public, but the New York Times reports that Brookfield is paying $1.1B. ..."
"... Thanks b and you are wise to be sceptical. The up front payment to the Kusher kleptocracy by Brookfield Partners (Asset Management) is not just unusual but more like extraordinary! One test will be how this deal compares to other deals. Was Kushner avoiding taxes by doing a lease? Is this a common practice? ..."
"... It is an old story. From February 12, Bess Levin, Vanity Fair: Qatar Shocked, Shocked to Learn It Accidentally Bailed Out Jared Kushner ..."
"... In 2015, Kushner and his family business, Kushner Cos., bought a portion of the New York Times building on West 43rd Street from Russian /Israeli real estate billionaire Lev Leviev for $295M, where $285M was borrowed from Deutsche Bank to complete the transaction, despite the 666 albatross hanging over Kushners head ..."
"... Qatar paid over a billion dollars to build and expand the US base in Qatar and charges no rent for that base. This allows Qatar to easily brush aside any question of loyalty that may be posed by USA and makes the US/US military reluctant to pressure Qatar. But Israel would have no qualms about apply pressure. The "Jared bailout" allows for a narrative of Qatari leadership as weak and corrupt - much like the ridiculous claims that Putin is pro-Israel. ..."
Mar 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kushner Extorted Qatar - Or Did He? DG , Mar 30, 2019 5:37:23 PM | link

The Hillreporter just published a very juicy story about Jared Kushner, the son in law and senior advisor of President Trump.

It says that Kushner, with the help of the Saudi clown prince Mohammad bin Salman, extorted Qatar for $1 billion to save his families real estate business in New York.

While the story sounds plausible and fits the public known timeline of other events, there is so far no evidence that supports it.

The tale is based on the work and information of author Vicky Ward, who recently published Kushner Inc - Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump .

Ward first talked through the story on yesterday's KrassenCast , a podcast by the anti-Trump and somewhat shady Krassenstein brothers who also run the Hillreporter .

In 2007, at the hight of the real estate bubble, the Kushner family bought the 666 5th Avenue building in New York City for $1.8 billion. Ten years later the Kushners were in real trouble. Plans to replace the building with a new one found no financing. The property was losing lots of money and a huge mortgage payment was due in January 2019. The family had to look for a bail out.

In early 2017 the Kushner family had several meetings with Qatari officials to discuss a deal. The Intercept reported :

Joshua Kushner, a venture capitalist and the younger brother of White House adviser Jared Kushner, met with Qatari Finance Minister Ali Sharif Al Emadi the same week as his father, Charles Kushner, did in April 2017, in an independent effort to discuss potential investments from the Qatari government. Both meetings took place at Al Emadi's St. Regis Hotel suite in Manhattan.

This revelation comes after Charles Kushner, in an interview with the Washington Post this week, confirmed for the first time that his meeting with Al Emadi had indeed taken place on the subject of financing for the underwater Kushner property at 666 Fifth Avenue.

According to Vicky Ward this is what happened next :

"What I have learned is that in the ensuing month [May 2017] before the US visit to Riyadh, Jared Kushner got on a plane and flew to Doha, the Qatari capital, and he reamed the Qatari ruling family, the al-Thanis, for not doing the deal with his father They began to feel that he was indirectly threatening their sovereignty. The next thing they know, when they show up to the summit in Riyadh, the Emir, the ruler of Qatar, arrives with an entourage, but his entourage is suddenly cut off from him, and not allowed into the summit at the same time by the Saudis, which he felt was a move to deliberately make him look weak. You have to remember during this summit, Jared and Ivanka go off for a cozy secret unmonitored dinner with [Saudi Crown Prince] MBS. Nobody knows what they talked about."

Fifteen days later the Saudis and the UAE blockade Qatar and send troops to its border. Trump supports the Saudi blockade against the advice of his Secretary of State Tillerson and his Defense Secretary Mattis and despite the fact the the biggest U.S. base in the area is in Qatar.

Nine months later, a Canadian company, Brookfield Partners, who the Qatari Investment Authority owns a $1.8 billion or 9% stake in, bailed out Kushner Properties, with a 99-year lease agreement for 666 5th Ave.
...
Around this same time, President Trump publicly shifts course, no longer supporting the blockade, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells Saudi Arabia to stop the embargo.

If the blockade of Qatar originates in a Kushner extortion scheme, as the story insinuates, it would have serious political consequences. But is that true?

The sequencing of the real estate deal and the change in the Trump policy on the blockade is somewhat problematic. The Trump shift was reported on April 29 2018 while the Brookfield Partner deal was first published about three weeks later on May 17:

Charles Kushner, head of the Kushner Companies, is in advanced talks with Brookfield Asset Management over a partnership to take control of the 41-story aluminum-clad tower in Midtown Manhattan, 666 Fifth Avenue, according to two real estate executives who have been briefed on the pending deal but were not authorized to discuss it.

The deal only closed in August 2018 on terms that had changed from the first report and were unusual:

Brookfield Asset Management has agreed to lease the troubled office tower for 99 years and is paying for the lease up front, rather than in the typical yearly ground rent, the Wall Street Journal reports. The financial terms of the deal were not made public, but the New York Times reports that Brookfield is paying $1.1B.

What was the real sequencing here? Was the property deal agreed upon before the Trump administration changed its stand on the Qatar blockade or after that happened? Was it related to it or not? We don't know. There is no public record of the alleged Jared Kushner flight to Qatar. There is so far no other evidence that would support the story. The tale fits the publicly known timeline, but that is not enough to believe it. Its authors may have used the public timeline to then fit a story onto it.

It is possible that the Kushner property deal and the Qatar blockade are intimately intertwined but there is, so far, no proof for it. That idea that Kushner played the Saudis is dubious. The other way around is more likely.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE had plenty of reason to blockade Qatar. Both countries fear the Qatari support for the Muslim Brotherhood. They hate Qatar's Al Jazeerah TV because it often publicly opposes their policies. The Saudis need money and annexing the very rich Qatar would solve all their problems. Brookfield Properties denies that Qatar or the Qatari investment agency had any involvement in 666 5th Ave. deal.

Even if Qatar, through Brookfield, made a deal with the Kushner family, it does not mean that it was extorted. The Qatari rulers might simply have hoped that the deal would help them. It did not. The blockade still continues despite the real estate deal. Trump had his own reasons to support the Saudis Qatar blockade. He wanted them to buy as many U.S. weapon system as possible, if only to beat out Obama, who sold the Saudis all sorts of military trash for a record amount of money.

During the Mueller Russia investigation lots of smoke seemed to show that there was a 'collusion' fire burning somewhere under the hundreds of facts and figures. There wasn't.

The story about the Kushner 'extortion of Qatar' might create a similar ' the walls are closing in ' (vid) farce only to end up with nothing. It is interesting that the Vicky Ward story was published on March 29, a day after Jared Kushner was interviewed behind closed door by the Senate Intelligence Commission:

President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner returned to the Senate Intelligence Committee for a closed door interview Thursday as part of the committee's Russia investigation.
...
The first time Kushner appeared before the panel in 2017, he was interviewed by committee staff. The committee has wanted to re-interview witnesses central to the investigation. On Thursday, senators were sitting in on the interview.

Russiagate is really finished . The Republican's rule the Senate. Why would they continue to interview Kushner and why would senators sit in on it? Might the 'Kushner extorted Qatar' be a planned sequel to Russiagate or why else was it launched right now?

Posted by b on March 30, 2019 at 05:28 PM | Permalink


Sally Snyder , Mar 30, 2019 5:42:24 PM | link

Here is an article that explains how the Trump Administration was trying to export nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/02/saudi-arabia-and-american-nuclear.html

One has to wonder whether Kushner's influence was involved in this deal which would have seen the geopolitical balance in the Middle East tilt into Saudi Arabia's favour.

uncle tungsten , Mar 30, 2019 6:27:52 PM | link
Thanks b and you are wise to be sceptical. The up front payment to the Kusher kleptocracy by Brookfield Partners (Asset Management) is not just unusual but more like extraordinary! One test will be how this deal compares to other deals. Was Kushner avoiding taxes by doing a lease? Is this a common practice?

I did like the reference to Trump outdoing Obummer in arms deals and had a good laugh at Trumps childish racism in that game. He sure hates Obummer but he sure won't go after him in any way. Trump wont even go after $hillary and her global empire shakedown Foundation. Sometimes I think he is now a sitting duck but then I am an optimist.

somebody , Mar 30, 2019 6:29:48 PM | link
It is an old story. From February 12, Bess Levin, Vanity Fair: Qatar Shocked, Shocked to Learn It Accidentally Bailed Out Jared Kushner
In addition to likely having had the chance to hear about the deal through Brookfield directly or read about it in the paper of record, one would imagine the Qataris were keeping tabs on all things Kushner on account of Jared's father, Charles Kushner, taking a meeting with Qatar's finance minister, Ali Sharif Al Emadi in April 2017. (Kushner the Elder later said he accepted the invite purely "out of respect" for the Qataris to tell them there was no way "we could do business.")

Of course Trump throwing the full weight of the US behind Saudi Arabia and UAE was a de facto shake down of Qatar. And of course, Saudi and UAE were actively lobbying for it.

james , Mar 30, 2019 7:06:05 PM | link
thanks b.. it will be interesting to see how much traction vicky wards reporting gets and whether any of it gets substantiated..

i do believe the usa is crazy enough to do another witch hunt, so anything is possible here... she works for the huffpost.. that is grounds to discredit here right there in my books..

ben , Mar 30, 2019 7:25:51 PM | link
More theatrics as diversion, while the crooks in D.C. dismantle the agencies that keep the wealthy oligarchs at bay, as they rewrite the rules to allow greed and avarice to become virtues.

"Rules and regulations never changed a man's heart, but they can restrain the heartless."

MLK...

Augustin L , Mar 30, 2019 7:29:22 PM | link
Meanwhile, propaganda organs in America won't publicize real Donald Trump scandals like the case of ''Maria'' a Waterbury 12-year old alleged child rape victim of Donald Trump and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The crimes allegedly occurred at a midtown Manhattan mansion owned by Epstein's friend Les Wexner.

Donald Trump recently named as his Secretary of Labor, Alex Acosta, former U.S. Attorney for South Florida, the federal official directly overseeing sweetheart future immunity deal for Grifter in Chief acolytes like Jeffrey Epstein... As Labor Secretary, Acosta is charged with overseeing federal laws designed to combat domestic and international sex trafficking.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York is currently deciding whether to unseal the documents from a 2017 lawsuit involving one of Epstein's sex trafficking victims and Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's assistant.

Other possible corrupt practices involving stable genius center around China's decision to grant Ivanka Trump 38 new trademarks in the middle of a trade war dispute... Part of current trade war negotiations are EB-5 investment visas. Jared Kushner and Trump stand to benefit from EB-5 visas designed to attract Chinese investment in the United States in return for permanent residency.

Curiously an EB-5 visa scam was being run out of an office in Jupiter, Florida, located across the street from the Orchids of Asia massage parlor raided by police where Trump billionaire friend Kraft was caught in a possible Chinese Honey Trap.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article227186429.html?fbclid=IwAR1FkjigXKFOf8gcPoKRqwqfqSLRuzPNDig5sg7XWtBQClavo73RQRsVWYs

Pft , Mar 30, 2019 9:05:31 PM | link
Russiagate may be done but thats because it was defined improperly. Sometimes it helps to look back to get a big picture perspective

Starting in 1999, Putin enlisted two oligarchs Lev Leviev and Roman Abramovich, who would go on to become Chabad's biggest patrons worldwide, to create the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia under the leadership of Chabad rabbi Berel Lazar, who would come to be known as "Putin's rabbi."

Roman Abramovich is the owner of the Chelsea Football Club of the English Premier League. He was a victor (along with Paul Manafort's patron Oleg Deripaska) in the aluminum wars of the 1990s and reportedly the person who convinced Boris Yeltsin that Putin would be a proper successor.

Ivanka Trump is very close friends with Abramovich's wife , Dasha Zhukova. Zhukova reportedly attended the inauguration as Ivanka's personal guest. Leviev is the one with the closest links to the Trumps and Israel

It starts with Bayrock . This is the company that Donald Trump teamed up with to build his Trump Soho project. There were three main actors . One was convicted mob associate and FBI informant Felix Sater. Another was Tevfik Arif, a likely Russian intelligence connection who was once was arrested by the Turks . The third was the late Tamir Sapir, another man with ties to Russian intelligence.

The late billionaire Tamir Sapir, was born in the Soviet state of Georgia. Trump has called Sapir "a great friend." In December 2007, he hosted the wedding of Sapir's daughter, Zina, at Mar-a-Lago. The groom, Rotem Rosen, was the CEO of the American branch of Africa Israel, the Putin oligarch Leviev's holding company, and known as Leviev's right hand man.

As mentioned Leviev was one of two oligarch's who Putin had establish the "Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia" under the leadership of Chabad rabbi Berel Lazar, who would come to be known as 'Putin's rabbi.'" Sater, Sapier, Jared, Ivanka are all Chabad members and/or donors

Trump had business discussions in Moscow in 2013 about Moscow real estate projects with Agalarovs, Alex Sapir (son of Tamir Sapir, brother of Zina, and brother-in-law of Rotem Rosen.) and Rotem Rosen, a pair of New York-based Russian . This may also have been discussed during the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower that was attended by Kushner, Manafort and Donald Trump Jr and a Russian lawyer associated with Fusion GPS (Steele dossier) and the Leviev linked Prevezon

Agalarov is a Moscow-based property developer who had won major contracts from Putin's government. He hosted Trump's 2013 Miss Universe contest at his concert hall in Moscow. He orchestrated the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting and formed a new American shell company a month beforehand with the help of the Russian lawyer who attended the meeting.

In 2015, Kushner and his family business, Kushner Cos., bought a portion of the New York Times building on West 43rd Street from Russian /Israeli real estate billionaire Lev Leviev for $295M, where $285M was borrowed from Deutsche Bank to complete the transaction, despite the 666 albatross hanging over Kushners head

Deutsche Bank and two companies tied to Leviev, Africa Israel Investments and Prevezon, have all recently been the subject of money laundering investigations. A laundering case against Prevezon was settled two months after Trump fired Bharara, with a $6M slap on the wrist settlement that raised some eyebrows.

As for 666, Kushner gets bailed out by Brookfield who has Qatar as its 2nd largest investor. But consider that at the same time they did this deal they also acquired Westinghouse Electric, a nuclear power company. Now members of the Trump administration propose selling nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia. Interesting.

Can't seem to find a Putin/Russian oligarch connection although that's probably due to the fact you cant use anonymous shell companies to buy property in NYC any longer due to new rules by FinCEN

But so many conflict of interests here, Israel, China, Saudis, Russian oligarchs, etc and virtually no oversight or transparency. With twitter being used to manipulate markets one has to imagine rampant insider trading as well (hey guys, my tweets going out at 3 pm, get your trades in and remember my 5%).

Clueless Joe , Mar 30, 2019 9:11:34 PM | link
Ross Stanford 4: That's the notorious meeting between Roosevelt and Ibn Saud on the way from Yalta, when they made the infamous deal between the US and the Saudis: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/03/Franklin_D._Roosevelt_with_King_Ibn_Saud_aboard_USS_Quincy_%28CA-71%29%2C_14_February_1945_%28USA-C-545%29_%281%29.jpg
For mankind, very few post-WWII events were worse than this.
Jackrabbit , Mar 30, 2019 9:12:38 PM | link
@7 savvy globalist somebody wants us to know that there's nothing to see here!

But the Vanity Fair article he links to, written by Bess L-evin, makes this unsubstantiated(!) point:

So why is Doha taking pains to insist it accidentally bailed out the First-in-Laws on their no good, very bad investment now?
1) Actually, the Reuters article that she refers to explicitly states that Qatar has a minority position and no board representation ! It is a known in the financial world as a "passive investment".

2) L-evin's wording is extremely disingenuous: the Qataris never said they bailed out anyone, accidentally or otherwise!!

Jackrabbit , Mar 30, 2019 9:22:43 PM | link
Ask yourself:

1) Why would Qatar be associated in any way with such a sweetheart deal?

2) why would the Vanity Fair author spin the Reuters story this way?
Jackrabbit , Mar 30, 2019 9:26:20 PM | link
Interestingly, Vicky Ward used to work at Vanity Fair, and is currently an editor at HuffPost (a Democratic rag). And media that broke/promoted this story (Leevin and Krasseenstein) could (naturally) rise some suspicions of a connection to Israel's conflict with Iran. Qatar shares a huge gas field with Iran so Qatar has been reluctant to join KSA and Israel against Iran.
Jackrabbit , Mar 30, 2019 9:27:23 PM | link
Qatar paid over a billion dollars to build and expand the US base in Qatar and charges no rent for that base. This allows Qatar to easily brush aside any question of loyalty that may be posed by USA and makes the US/US military reluctant to pressure Qatar. But Israel would have no qualms about apply pressure. The "Jared bailout" allows for a narrative of Qatari leadership as weak and corrupt - much like the ridiculous claims that Putin is pro-Israel.
vk , Mar 30, 2019 9:31:14 PM | link
I agree with this blog's author.

1) Documentation is scarce and the few that exist don't fit the journalist's story chronology (even though, in the concrete case, you could argue for expediency/bureacratic delay, so this criterium alone doesn't bust the journalist's chronology)

2) The whole narrative simply doesn't have social cohesion. It simply doesn't make any sense for Trump to risk be impeached in such polarized scenario just to rescue his son-in-law. It makes even less sense for the Arab royalties to submit to a much weaker political player such as Kushner. And, as b mentions, Trump had many more powerful reasons to sanction Qatar.

mourning dove , Mar 30, 2019 9:34:29 PM | link
@11 &12
Corruption abounds, but any of it that touches Zionists, the Clinton's, or the royal family (Epstein, Prince Andrew) is off limits. They are untouchable to the MSM.
j , Mar 30, 2019 10:23:04 PM | link
people like Brennan & Clapper are feeding the "trump really, really, no really hearts putin" narrative to the msdnc crowd, and this of an administration being helmed by CIA men like Pompeo.

like the fbi's manufacture wholesale of "islamo-terrorist" non-events in part to distract from the presence of the actual threat of rising fascism & racism (a la Nazism, as in NZ) from the usual suspects, much beloved of the fibbies, it's convenient for all, incl trump, to be painted as bff's with Vlad.

if the goal was to stop or in any way impede the trump admin (not just trump himself, who is a know-nothing shit golem animated by the glad-handing he receives from the people actually in charge, who just feed his narcissistic fantasies), there are other, more practical & achievable ways to do it. in-fighting among the herd who have not yet jumped off the Gadarene cliffs is not the same thing as opposition, not among the Legion possessed swine in D.C. they are just grunting & snorting at each other, occasionally, very occasionally & deliberately, trampling one of their own, as they plummet over the edge.

it's pretty clear that funny things like such pigs' full-throated support of Zionism is more important to Pelosi & Schumer than resisting the Trump admin *in any way,* no matter how much they personally despise trump. and mainly they despise him for helping to reveal what some POTUS would have sooner or later: the pointlessness of Congress; that the "unitary executive", as the titular head of the corporate security state, is already fully in charge; that "dyarchy," dual rule by legislative & executive, is non-existent.

[Apr 09, 2019] Trump clamors for new regime change wars -- Iran, Venezuela

Trump is an Israel lobby marionette. As simple as that.
Feb 09, 2019 | www.youtube.com

President Trump campaigned against regime change wars when he ran for President, but now he bows to the wishes of the neocons who surround him, clamoring for the regime change wars that he claimed to oppose--this time in Venezuela and Iran.

These powerful politicians dishonor the sacrifices made by every one of my brothers and sisters in uniform, their families - as they are the ones who pay the price for these wars.

In fact, every American pays the price for these wars that have cost us trillions of dollars since 9/11.

Every dollar that we spend on regime change wars or on the new cold war and this nuclear arms race is a dollar coming out of our pockets dollars that should be used to address the very real, urgent needs of our people and our communities right here at home.

- Tulsi Gabbard

[Apr 09, 2019] Trump, Netanyahu, Saudis leading us closer to catastrophe

Trump is an Israel lobby marionette. As simple as that.
Apr 09, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia want to drag the United States into war with Iran, and Trump is submitting to their wishes. The cost in money and lives will be catastrophic.

[Apr 09, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard SMASHES HER CRITICS In Corporate News - YouTube

Apr 09, 2019 | www.youtube.com

John S , 1 week ago

She needs like 5000 more donors. Put in that dollar!

double down , 1 week ago

Getting my news from Jimmy and my comedy from CNN and CNBC. Go Figure.

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

Apr 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

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

(Liz swerves left!)

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

Liz Goodwin - April 5, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

monkeygraborange , 2 days ago

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

BlissfulXerces , 2 days ago

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

Flying Gabriel , 2 days ago

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

Shelly Kennedy , 2 days ago

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

Chad Elmer , 2 days ago

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

kim wiser , 2 days ago

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

Sergio Sotelo , 2 days ago

Why isn't anyone being prosecuted for these leaks?

West Kagle , 2 days ago

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

Will to Power , 2 days ago

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

[Apr 07, 2019] Kamala Harris handing of subprime mortgage crisis and opioids abuse

Apr 07, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rev Kev , April 6, 2019 at 5:50 am

Do people really want the the Trump administration, the Department of Justice and the F.D.A. involved here? Bit fuzzy on the details but wasn't there a time about a decade ago when the States were getting together to sue banks for fraudulently marketing mortgages but that Obama got ahead of this movement and basically short-circuited the whole process? And the banks got a tap on the wrist as they were busy seizing homes by the millions?

If the Trump administration got involved, I would expect that Big Pharma would have to pay a few billion dollars restitution (which they, like the banks previously, could claim back on their taxes), that there would be no criminal sentences, that nobody would be convicted of a crime or have it on their record, and that Big Pharma would promise to behave better in future – starting February 30th.

Meanwhile, another thousand Americans would be dying each and every week from what Big Pharma has created. Hopefully the States will create an almighty stink with their law suits.

Cal2 , April 6, 2019 at 1:51 pm

Rev,

Who will Trump's Kamala Harris be? (Mortgage fraud by banks versus Pharmafraud)

Kamala did squat in the mortgage settlement as California attorney general. What little she did get was handed to Jerry Brown to resuscitate the general fund of the state, not to homeowners cheated out of their homes.

She could have done what Scott Pruitt did in Oklahoma, which was to NOT accept the nationwide settlement. Oklahoma received 6x the national average in mortgage settlements because of that. "Chain of Title" by David Dayen.

like Corey Booker's pharma payoff, she got a nice donation for her next campaign for her probank activities, from Trump's man Mnuchin himself.

Pat , April 6, 2019 at 5:14 pm

Hey cut Kamala a break. My AG Schneiderman joined Obama's sideswipe, got pennies for NY and didn't end up in the Senate. She got more for CA, the bigger political payoff and even a run for president.

And unfortunately Justice for those abused by the corporations who benefitted is not really in our political mainstream calculations.

[Apr 06, 2019] Trump is for socialism but only when it comes to funding US military industry Tulsi Gabbard

Highly recommended!
Tulsi is a really great polemist with a very sharp mind and ability to find weak points in the opponent platform/argumentation and withstand pressure. In the debate she will probably will wipe the floor with Trump. IMHO he stands no chances against her in the open debate
Notable quotes:
"... Trump is for socialism when it comes to taxpayers underwriting military contractors and arms manufacturers. The same money would create more jobs used for rebuilding our country's infrastructure and green economy, and it would be better for humanity. ..."
"... While the paper hailed the fact that the Pentagon's budget increase allowed local workers to keep their jobs and encouraged a skilled workforce to move to a small town in rural Ohio, Gabbard apparently hinted that the whole story in fact described what amounted to re-distribution of money from taxpayers to a de-facto depressed area to save some jobs – a social-democratic if not outright socialist move indeed. ..."
"... In her post, Gabbard also added that the US might have had a better use for a $160 billion boost in defense spending over two years. “The same money would create more jobs used for rebuilding our country’s infrastructure and green economy, and it would be better for humanity,” she wrote. ..."
Apr 05, 2019 | www.rt.com

US President Donald Trump, who has been relentlessly bashing everything linked to what he sees as 'socialism,' is himself no stranger to using socialist principles to support the US arms industry, Tulsi Gabbard has claimed. One could hardly suspect Trump of being a socialist in disguise.

After all, the US president has emerged as one of the most ardent critics of the leftist ideological platform. Just recently, he announced he would "go into the war with some socialists," while apparently referring to his political opponents from the Democratic Party.

But the president also seems to be quite keen on borrowing some socialist ideas when it fits his agenda, at least, according to the congresswoman from Hawaii and Democratic presidential candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, who recently wrote in a tweet that "Trump is for socialism when it comes to taxpayers underwriting military contractors and arms manufacturers."

Trump is for socialism when it comes to taxpayers underwriting military contractors and arms manufacturers. The same money would create more jobs used for rebuilding our country's infrastructure and green economy, and it would be better for humanity. https://t.co/tcNqsNQVbN

-- Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) April 5, 2019

She was referring to a piece in The Los Angeles Times, which cheerfully reported that Trump's whopping military budget helps to breathe some new life into a Pentagon-owned tank manufacturing plant somewhere in northwestern Ohio that was once on the verge of a shutdown.

While the paper hailed the fact that the Pentagon's budget increase allowed local workers to keep their jobs and encouraged a skilled workforce to move to a small town in rural Ohio, Gabbard apparently hinted that the whole story in fact described what amounted to re-distribution of money from taxpayers to a de-facto depressed area to save some jobs – a social-democratic if not outright socialist move indeed.

It is very much unclear if Trump had this Ohio plant or any other factories like it in mind when he supported the record Pentagon budget. After all, redistributing large sums of public money in favor of the booming US military industrial complex does not look very much like socialism.

In her post, Gabbard also added that the US might have had a better use for a $160 billion boost in defense spending over two years. “The same money would create more jobs used for rebuilding our country’s infrastructure and green economy, and it would be better for humanity,” she wrote.

Trump, meanwhile, seems to be pretty confident that his policies indeed “make America great again” while it is those pesky socialists that threaten to ruin everything he has achieved. “I love the idea of 'Keep America Great' because you know what it says is we've made it great now we're going to keep it great because the socialists will destroy it,” he told an audience of Republican congress members this week, while talking about the forthcoming presidential campaign.

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

Apr 06, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Student Loan Trap Up From Consumerism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


JonF April 4, 2019 at 6:22 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I take it you think the old one has departed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 05, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

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

[Apr 05, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate with any real substance on either side of the political divide.

Apr 05, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

whybother , 34 minutes ago link

Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate with any real substance on either side of the political divide.

Everybody else is a slimy, gutless, servile tool of the military industrial complex.

You know its true.

[Apr 05, 2019] Tulsi Continues April 03, 2019 (Donors, Dore, Iversen)

Notable quotes:
"... Tulsi didn't join in the standing ovation for NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg during his warmongering speech to the US Congress on Weds. Good for her. ..."
"... Tracey has allowed Tulsi to explain the nuances of her foreign policy stands concerning regime change, war, and fighting terrorism. I do not believe any other interviewer has been able to bring out those distinctions. ..."
"... I hope people will take the time to listen to Tracey's interview. It is posted on YouTube, but it is an audio interview only. Tracey does a nice introduction to both parts of the interview which was conducted over two days. ..."
Apr 03, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

apenultimate on Wed, 04/03/2019 - 11:53pm

The Tulsi2020 campaign continues to gain unique donors, closing in on the magic number. As of tonight, Tulsi has 61,029 of them, and needs only 3,971 more to get into the Democratic debates. That's only 97 new donors per day through May 14.

Centaurea on Thu, 04/04/2019 - 4:39am

From what I've heard,

Tulsi didn't join in the standing ovation for NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg during his warmongering speech to the US Congress on Weds. Good for her.

gulfgal98 on Thu, 04/04/2019 - 7:15am
IMHO, Michael Tracey has done the best interview

with Tulsi Gabbard so far. Tracey has allowed Tulsi to explain the nuances of her foreign policy stands concerning regime change, war, and fighting terrorism. I do not believe any other interviewer has been able to bring out those distinctions.

I hope people will take the time to listen to Tracey's interview. It is posted on YouTube, but it is an audio interview only. Tracey does a nice introduction to both parts of the interview which was conducted over two days.

//www.youtube.com/embed/FPq5Qp5mlc0?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

>

[Apr 04, 2019] In this interview Cenk asks Tulsi directly if she opposes the Isreal Occupation, she says

Apr 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

RobinG says: April 2, 2019 at 11:35 pm GMT 100 Words @Cloak And Dagger What do they say about Tulsi? Please note in this interview when Cenk asks her directly if she opposes the Occupation, she says Yes! A true Zio supporter (as some here have accused her!) would object to even using the word. And she addresses the Adelson question. On the conflict, her answer is pretty pablum, but probably as far as she can go strategically.

Cenk has been castigated from both sides, either as too harsh or too easy with her. IMO it's a very good interview. Can you picture for a moment, Tulsi in a debate with Trump? What are her boosters doing to prepare her for that? She's handling all the animosity with equanimity, and she'll arrive at the final contest battle-hardened.

Tulsi Gabbard Interview On TYT

Cloak And Dagger , says: April 3, 2019 at 5:56 am GMT

@RobinG

Cenk has been castigated from both sides, either as too harsh or too easy with her.

It is a good interview and she handles herself very well and her positions are well articulated. I remain wary of her, however, but I will keep an open mind and watch her in the months ahead to see where her funding comes from.

Cloak And Dagger , says: April 3, 2019 at 6:30 am GMT
@RobinG You may also be interested in this interview:

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

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

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

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

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

1. It's his turn.

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

2. Most Qualified Candidate Ever.

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

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

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

4. You liked Obama, didn't you?

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

5. But Trump!

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

6. Iraq wasn't so bad.

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

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

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

8. Just vote for him.

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

9. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AJM

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

[Apr 03, 2019] Krugman is irrelevant and his promotion of Hillary is disingenuous

This is from 2015 and it certainly characterize Krugman as a despicable political hack...
Notable quotes:
"... The big story he won't write about is that the Republicans wouldn't be such a threat if Team D was worth a damn. ..."
"... The spectacle of 2009-2010 cured me of any lingering desire to vote Democrat ever again – or to waste my time reading Krugman. ..."
"... Krugman is a collaborator. His wealth and prestige is built on his capacity for perpetuating falsehoods that have had vast and deadly consequences (Obama care, for instance). ..."
"... Not to mention he was a huge advocate of NAFTA. Something he never mentions. ..."
"... Krugman's defense of Obama care either indicates a lack of intellect, or in my view the more probable possibility, the inability to accept that the system is thoroughly corrupt, including most dems and economists ..."
"... It's no excuse for someone who actually thinks and writes about public policy, but could it be that Krugman is like my fellow guests and just never had to think about the cost of his health insurance simply because he could always afford it. So, I mean, he's never done the math. He's just done the "responsible thing" and carried insurance his whole life. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com

Steven D.

Used to be an avid Krugman reader. But I get bored reading about how bad the Republicans are. Tell me something I don't know. The big story he won't write about is that the Republicans wouldn't be such a threat if Team D was worth a damn.

It's like they got the ball in 2009 with the field wide open for a touchdown. But since the game was fixed Team D just danced around their own 20-yard line looking for the feeble Republican defense to block them. Every time they have an opening for a good play they panic over the prospect of scoring big and contrive to fumble the ball. The most they ever want is field goals and to prevent the Republicans from running away with the game too much.

That's why Krugman can write about how scary the Republicans are. But so what? Everyone knows that. Why are they in such a position? That's the interesting story.

Barmitt O'Bamney

Indeed, and seconded: Kruggers is irrelevant. However correct his critique may be, as far as it goes, it never goes far enough since he has chosen to mutilate himself into playing the role of partisan hack. There is a beam in the Republicans' eye? Well, there is a beam in his eye, too.

The spectacle of 2009-2010 cured me of any lingering desire to vote Democrat ever again – or to waste my time reading Krugman. If my choice is between voting against my own interests on the one hand, and voting against my interests on the other, I'll just stay home or else make my vote a protest against the party that assumes it has an unconditional right to my vote. Reading about how the Republicans are always wrong, with nary a mention of how Democrats are right there with them in the latrine of wrongness isn't worth a minute more of my time – and my time isn't even very valuable.

Benedict@Large

The problem (that leads to the boredom) with reading Krugman is not that he's always talking about how bad the Republicans are. That after all is true. The problem with reading Krugman is that he's always picking on the lowest hanging fruit; the easy cases that require no special nuance or understanding. Krugman is a smart man, and he is better than this. We have all too many of us capable of picking apart the 4th grade thinking and analysis that is so common in the GOP. To add Krugman to that list is a waste of (his and our) time.

tongorad

Krugman is a smart man, and he is better than this.

Evidence, please.

Krugman is a collaborator. His wealth and prestige is built on his capacity for perpetuating falsehoods that have had vast and deadly consequences (Obama care, for instance).

hidflect

Not to mention he was a huge advocate of NAFTA. Something he never mentions.

fresno dan

Krugman's defense of Obama care either indicates a lack of intellect, or in my view the more probable possibility, the inability to accept that the system is thoroughly corrupt, including most dems and economists

Ulysses

I think the most serious problem that Paul Krugman has, in accepting that the system is thoroughly corrupt, is his internalization of the meritocratic myth. The syllogism runs as follows:

1) I have "merit"

2)The system has lavished wealth and renown on me

3)Therefore, those who claim that our system "isn't really meritocratic" must themselves lack "merit," or be deluded from too much sentimentality, or too much attention to "exceptions that prove the rule."

Tom Allen

He's also prone to defending politicians and economists with whom he's personal friends - and there are a lot of them. That's human nature, but it tends to make one skeptical of his objectivity when, for example, Larry Summers or Ben Bernanke is involved.

NotTimothyGeithner

He's also preaching to the choir. Who is Krugthullu's audience? Outside of New Yorkers, it's largely people who fantasize about finishing the Sunday crossword despite not actually trying and love to have a simplified "liberal" world view reinforced. Given how Obots use to swarm, would he have survived not towing the company line? Without his column, Krugthullu is just another economics professor without the backing of a billionaire who keeps him around as a pet. Maybe Warren Buffet would put up a nice fence to keep Krugthullu in his yard, but he would likely have to spend time in Omaha.

The flip side is Krugthullu has likely burned too many bridges to regain his 2009 status. The Obots can't handle criticism, and it's rather late to join the Obama anonymous support group.

jrs

I mostly think they keep Krug around to justify "trade" agreements. That the little battles don't matter so much compared to "trade" agreements (and in fact they don't, on the issue of healthcare, "trade" agreements are a serious threat to even those countries with better medical systems. "Trade" agreements can override other political battles, even those where Krugs position might be decent).

jo6pac

Thanks for LOL, so true.

GlobalMisanthrope

Yeah, I am completely mystified by his defense of the ACA. My employers think of themselves as good liberals (although they do not provide health insurance but rather a health stipend to a handful of top managers that we can apply toward our purchase of insurance on the exchange) and have trotted out Krugman on occasion when I have argued against the Act.

I was at a dinner party before Christmas with a diverse group of professionals hosted by a friend who is a wine maker. There were several people from the food and beverage industry, a university professor and her law school administrator spouse, an obstetrical surgeon, a rancher and three others I never got a chance to learn anything about. The subject of "Obamacare" came up. I was truly astonished by the completely fact-free conversation that ensued. So much so that I stayed silent for a long time, really not knowing what to say.

My friend, the host, noticed my expression and asked me what I thought about Obamacare. So I described it as the boondoggle that it is and went into some detail debunking many of the claims made by the other guests. Honestly, I mean they were more or less polite, but they didn't think I knew what I was talking about. What can account for this?

Well, one of the things that came out was that I was, by some distance, the lowest paid person at the table.

It's no excuse for someone who actually thinks and writes about public policy, but could it be that Krugman is like my fellow guests and just never had to think about the cost of his health insurance simply because he could always afford it. So, I mean, he's never done the math. He's just done the "responsible thing" and carried insurance his whole life.

Anyway, it was a cold shower to realize how intractable their belief in the system is. As I find myself saying a lot lately, I was not heartened.

flora

The whole ACA thing reminds me of the urban renewal projects of the 50s and 60s. Those were supposedly progressive projects to replace blighted areas with modern housing. In fact it was political snake oil that didn't help the poor so much as help large cities fill their coffers. It replaced poor dwellings with middle class dwellings that increased the cities' tax revenues. The poor were left to fend for themselves as their poor but stable neighborhoods were destroyed. The designers of the projects thought they were doing good.

I wonder how many people sitting around the table with you tried to buy their mandated insurance on the ACA web portal or on the open market? ACA sounds good in theory.

Lexington

It's no excuse for someone who actually thinks and writes about public policy, but could it be that Krugman is like my fellow guests and just never had to think about the cost of his health insurance simply because he could always afford it. So, I mean, he's never done the math. He's just done the "responsible thing" and carried insurance his whole life.

Yup.

I have my frustrations with Krugman too, but I think progressives need to cut the guy some slack: he's a professor at Princeton, a Nobel laureate, and has a trophy case full of professional honours and twenty books plus a couple of hundred articles under his belt. He's in the sanctum sanctorum of the elite.

If he never penned another op ed or blog post or participated in another public debate it wouldn't make the slightest difference to his legacy. Yet there he is, the very model of a public intellectual, actually inviting non specialists to engage in a discussion about economics and public policy, and fighting the good fight for liberalism. You can be sure he isn't doing it to win plaudits from his peers. ...

[Apr 02, 2019] Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens

Notable quotes:
"... When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy. ..."
Apr 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Apr 1, 2019 1:27:52 PM | link

mourning dove

Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens

When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.

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

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

psychohistorian, link

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

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

The take away quote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The take away quote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A typical social media complaint:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

...

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

...

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

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

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

President Donald Trump

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

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

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

[Mar 31, 2019] US Army Major Warns Dems Trump Will Wipe The Floor In 2020 Unless You Fix Foreign Policy

I think Trump completely discredited himself in foreign policy due to appointment of Bush II team of neocon which drive it.
So the only chance for him to win is if US voters do not care about foreign policy. Demagogy will not work like in 2016 as he now have a dismal record including attempt in regime change in Venezuela.
Notable quotes:
"... the vast majority of Americans don't give a hoot about issues of war, peace, and international diplomacy. Why should they care? It's not as though anything is asked of them as citizens. By cynically ditching the draft, Tricky Dick Nixon took the wind out of the sails of current and future antiwar movements, and permanently cleaved a gap between the U.S. people and their military ..."
"... Mothers no longer lose sleep over their teenage sons serving their country and they – along with the rest of the family – quit caring about foreign policy. Such it is, and so it will be, that the 2020 presidential election is likely to be decided by "kitchen-table" affairs like healthcare, immigration, race, and taxes. ..."
"... In 2016, he (correctly) made Hillary"regime change" Clinton out to be the true hawk in the race. Trump, on the other hand, combined tough guy bravado (he'd "bomb the shit" out of ISIS) with earthy good sense (there'd be no more "stupid" Iraq invasions. And it worked. ..."
"... Mark my words: if the DNC – which apparently picks the party's candidates – backs a conventional neoliberal foreign policy nominee, Trump will wipe the floor with him or her. ..."
"... If they want to stand a chance in 2020, the Dems had better back a nominee with a clear, alternative progressive foreign policy or get one the domestic-focused candidates up to speed and fast. ..."
"... So here's how my mental math works: a progressive candidate needs to win over libertarian-minded Republicans and Independents (think Rand Paul-types) by force of their commonsense alternative to Trump's foreign policy. ..."
"... Still, there's more than a little reason for concern . Look at how "Nasty" Nancy Pelosi and the establishment Dems came down on Ilhan Omar for that representative's essentially accurate tweets criticizing the Israel Lobby. ..."
"... Tulsi Gabbard, though she still looks the long shot, remains intriguing given here genuine antiwar (and combat veteran) credentials. ..."
"... Then again, even Bernie has his foreign affairs flaws – such as reflexively denouncing the BDS movement and occasionally calling for regime change in Syria. Nevertheless, both Bernie and Tulsi demonstrate that there's some promise for fresh opposition foreign policy. ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by US Army Major Danny Sjursen (ret.) via TruthDig.com, Still Waiting: 2020 Fever and the Quest for a Progressive Foreign Policy

The 2020 election will not turn on global issues – and more's the pity. After all, thanks to decades upon decades of accumulating executive power in an increasingly imperial presidency, it is in foreign affairs that the commander-in-chief possesses near dictatorial power. Conversely, in domestic policy, a hostile Congress can – just ask Barry Obama – effectively block most of a president's agenda.

Still, the vast majority of Americans don't give a hoot about issues of war, peace, and international diplomacy. Why should they care? It's not as though anything is asked of them as citizens. By cynically ditching the draft, Tricky Dick Nixon took the wind out of the sails of current and future antiwar movements, and permanently cleaved a gap between the U.S. people and their military.

Mothers no longer lose sleep over their teenage sons serving their country and they – along with the rest of the family – quit caring about foreign policy. Such it is, and so it will be, that the 2020 presidential election is likely to be decided by "kitchen-table" affairs like healthcare, immigration, race, and taxes.

Be that as it may, serious observers should pay plenty of attention to international strategy.

So, while Dems can't win the White House with foreign policy alone, they can lose it by ignoring these issues or – oh so typically – presenting a muddled overseas strategy.

This is serious.

Just in case there are any out there still underestimating Trump – I, for one, predict he'll win in 2020 – make no mistake, he's no pushover on foreign policy. Sure he doesn't know much – but neither does the average voter. Nonetheless, Trump is no dope. He's got the pulse of (white) voters across this country and senses that the populace is tired of spending blood and cash (but mostly its cash) on Mideast forever wars. In 2016, he (correctly) made Hillary"regime change" Clinton out to be the true hawk in the race. Trump, on the other hand, combined tough guy bravado (he'd "bomb the shit" out of ISIS) with earthy good sense (there'd be no more "stupid" Iraq invasions. And it worked.

So, with 2020 in mind, whether you're a progressive, a libertarian, or just a Trump-hater, its vital that the opposition (most likely the Dems) nominate a candidate who can hang with Trump in foreign affairs.

Mark my words: if the DNC – which apparently picks the party's candidates – backs a conventional neoliberal foreign policy nominee, Trump will wipe the floor with him or her. And, if the Dems national security platform reads like a jumbled, jargon-filled sheet full of boring (like it usually does) than Joe the proverbial plumber is going to back The Donald.

That's what has me worried. As one candidate after another enters an already crowded field, this author is left wondering whether any of them are commander-in-chief material. So far I see a huge crew (Liz, Kirsten, Kamala, Beto) that live and die by domestic policy; two potentially conventional foreign policy guys (Biden and Booker); and two other wildcards (Bernie and Tulsi). That's not a comprehensive list, but you get the point. If they want to stand a chance in 2020, the Dems had better back a nominee with a clear, alternative progressive foreign policy or get one the domestic-focused candidates up to speed and fast.

So here's how my mental math works: a progressive candidate needs to win over libertarian-minded Republicans and Independents (think Rand Paul-types) by force of their commonsense alternative to Trump's foreign policy. That means getting the troops out of the Mideast, pulling the plug from other mindless interventions and cutting runaway defense spending. Then, and only then, can the two sides begin arguing about what to do with the resultant cash surplus. That's an argument for another day, sure, but here and now our imaginary Democratic (or Third Party?) nominee needs to end the wars and curtail the excesses of empire. I know many libertarians – some still nominally Republican – who could get behind that agenda pretty quickly!

Still, there's more than a little reason for concern . Look at how "Nasty" Nancy Pelosi and the establishment Dems came down on Ilhan Omar for that representative's essentially accurate tweets criticizing the Israel Lobby. Then there's Joe Biden. Look, he's definitely running. He's also definitely been wrong time and again on foreign policy – like how he was for the Iraq War before he was against it (how'd that turn out for John Kerry in 2004?). And, for all the talk of a progressive "blue wave" in the party ranks, Biden still polls as the top choice for Democratic primary voters. Yikes.

Behind him, thankfully, is old Bernie – who sometimes shows potential in foreign affairs – the only candidate who has both backed Omar and been consistent in a career of generally antiwar votes. Still, Bernie won his household name with domestic policy one-liners – trashing Wall Street and pushing populist economic tropes. Whether he can transform into a more balanced candidate, one that can confidently compose and deliver a strong alternative foreign policy remains to be seen.

Tulsi Gabbard, though she still looks the long shot, remains intriguing given here genuine antiwar (and combat veteran) credentials. Still, she'll have her hands full overcoming problematic skeletons in her own closet: ties to Indian Hindu nationalists, opposition to the Iran deal, and sometime backing of authoritarians and Islamophobes. Then again, even Bernie has his foreign affairs flaws – such as reflexively denouncing the BDS movement and occasionally calling for regime change in Syria. Nevertheless, both Bernie and Tulsi demonstrate that there's some promise for fresh opposition foreign policy.

Here's (some) of what that would look like:

Our imaginary candidate would need to convey this commonsense course to a war-weary American people as plainly and coherently as Trump can. No jargon, no Clintonian wonky crap – simple and to the point. Imagine it: a commonsense course for a clear-eyed country!

Less war and more investment at home. Less war and more middle-class tax cuts. Whatever. That fight will come and the progressives and independents/libertarians will fight it out. For now, though, what's essential is checking the war machine and military-industrial behemoth before its too late (it may be already!).

None of this will be easy or likely, of course. But count on this much: the establishment Democrats, media-mogul "left," and centrist DC think tanks won't save us from the imperial monster or deliver a Trump-defeating strategy in foreign affairs. The Mueller-will-save-us, Mattis-was-a-hero, reflexively anti-Trump, born-again hawks like Rachel Maddow and the other disappointing chumps at MSNBC or CNN aren't on our side. Worse yet, they're born losers when it comes to delivering elections.

All of this may be far-fetched, but is not impossible. Neither libertarians nor progressives can countenance Trump. Nor should they. One of their only true hopes for compromise rest on foreign policy and a genuine antiwar message. It can be done.

Look, on a personal note, even America's beloved and over-adulated soldiers are reachable on this issue – that's how you know the foreign policy alliance has potential! For every rah-rah war-fever cheerleader in uniform, there's an exhausted foot soldier on his Nth tour in the Mideast. There's also a huge chunk ( 40%! ) who are racial minorities – usually a reliably anti-Trump demographic. Finally, among the white men and women in uniform I've personally met a solid core of libertarians. And the data backs up my anecdotal observation – Ron Paul was highly popular among active-duty military members and their families. A progressive foreign policy alliance with the libertarian wing of Republicans and Independents would sell better with these such voters both in and out of uniform. You know the type: sick of war but just as sick of stereotypical liberal snowflakes.

So here's a plea to the "opposition" such at it is: avoid the usual mistakes – don't cede foreign affairs to the Trump and the Republicans; don't nominate anyone remotely resembling Joe Biden; don't alienate libertarians and independents with wonky or muddled international policy.

Try something new. Like winning

* * *

Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. Army officer and regular contributor to antiwar.com . He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge . Follow him on Twitter at @SkepticalVet .

[Mar 31, 2019] Woodward was Naval intelligence. Watergate was the coup that established the Bush cabal.

Mar 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

GeorgeV , Mar 30, 2019 2:43:57 PM | 12

Woodward was Naval intelligence. Watergate was the coup that established the Bush cabal.

[aside for b: thank you for forcing us to beacon to Google our presence and comments on your site. The "secret team" says danke.]

">link

Realist , Mar 30, 2019 4:31:08 PM | link

OMG! How far the mighty MSM doyen The Washington Post has fallen. Those halcyon days of Woodward and Bernstein are now but a distant memory. The shinning victory of driving the hated President Richard Nixon from high office ... a ... myth ... morons ... We the people ...

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

Mar 31, 2019 | medium.com

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

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

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

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

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

Strangely, the first nerdification of Warren was a purely local phenomenon -- one which happened even as national media was falling in love with her. Jon Stewart publicly adored her , and her ingenuity in proposing the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a few years prior earned her respect among the rising populist wing of the party. Her fame was further catapulted when a speech -- a video of Warren speaking,