|Home||Switchboard||Unix Administration||Red Hat||TCP/IP Networks||Neoliberalism||Toxic Managers|
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better
|News||American Polyarchy is not Democracy||Recommended Books||Recommended Links||Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ?||Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite||Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking||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
-- 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.
“The only people truly bound by campaign promises are the voters who believe them.”
Due to the side an introduction was moved to the separate page Polyarchy, Authoritarianism and Deep State
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. 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:
The fact that parties represent interests radically different from interests of their voters is not new. As George Washington put it:
"However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion." President George Washington Farewell Address | Saturday, September 17, 1796
Later the same idea was later coined as the "iron law of oligarchy". So on federal level neither republic, not democracy exists. We level in the neoliberal empire with no participatory democracy (unless voting for the lesser evil of two preselected by the elite candidate can be viewed as a democracy). But lessevelism is parody on democracy, not the actual democracy. In this case election serve just for the legimization of the presented candidate from the ruling elite.
The role of intelligence agencies (including their control of MSM) deserve more close scrutiny after 2016 Presidential election (see Strzok-gate). They launched a "color revolution" against Trump after election. Before election, they derailed Sanders by exonerating Hillary thus enabling Trump's victory. So remnants of democracy probably still exists on local level, but not of the federal level, were the "Inner Party" (aka the Deep State) completely dominates. Although even n local level financial oligarchy managed to spoil the broth -- on municipal level bankers who provide municipal loans usually fully control the politics. That's why we have so many wasteful, hugely overprices and/or outright harmful for the people municipal projects.
In other word "democratic" elements in the neoliberal political system are just a facade for the dictatorship of financial oligarchy, and serve just for the legitimization of its rule. Which is a pretty brutal one (The Saker - The Unz Review, Feb 23, 2018):
But first, full disclosure: I don’t have much faith in the so-called “democratic process”. Just look at the EU and tell me: do you really believe that the people in power represent the will and interests of the people who, supposedly, elected them? There are exceptions, of course, Switzerland is probably one of the comparatively most democratic countries out there, but mostly what we see is that western democracies are run by gangs of oligarchs and bureaucrats who have almost nothing in common with the people they are supposed to represent. As for the US, for decades now every time the people voted for “A” they always got “non-A” as a result. It is almost comical.
So here is my personal conclusion: democracies are political systems in which the real ruling elites hide behind an utterly fake appearance of people power. Putting it differently, the “democratic process” is the device by which the real and hidden rulers of the world (or “worldwide behind the scenes powers“, to use the expression of Ivan Il’in), legitimize their power and prevent their overthrow. This is the same technique followed by used car dealerships when they place tens, sometimes, hundreds of US flags on their lots before a car sale: it’s just a basic trick to induce the ‘correct’, patriotic, state of mind.
This is also the reason why there are elections every 4 years in the US: the more illegitimate and despotic any putatively “democratic” regime is, the more often it will organize elections to, so to speak, “increase the dose” of patriotically-induced stupor in its people and give them the illusion that the regime is legitimate, their opinion matters and all is well.
Finally, when needed, slogans such as “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others” are used to put to sleep those who might have doubts. In terms of real people power “democracies” are probably the least truly democratic regimes imaginable simply because they are by far the most capable of hiding who really runs the country and where their real centers of power are. Do I really need to add that the worst kind of “democracy” is the capitalist one? You disagree? Then why do you think that Mayer Amschel Rothschild allegedly declared “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!“? Nowhere is the concentration of capital easier to achieve than in a society which makes it possible for the real ruling class to hide its power behind a screen of electoral farces.
As Sheldon Wolin put it, all we have under neoliberalism is inverted totalitarism and a nationally security state with modem equivalent of STASI level of total surveillance instead of participative democracy. Some elements of participative democracy still remain (and Trump victory over Hillary had shown that the control of financial oligarchy and intelligence agencies is not complete; unless we view Trump as Trojan force for financial oligarchy, fake opposition to establishment, like Obama was.)
The neoliberal elite firmly guards the levers of power and try to eliminate any challenger before it represent a real political threat to the neoliberal social system. Even minor threats are mercilessly squashed. Look at what happened to Trump after election. A classic color revolution to depose him was unleashed by intelligence agencies, first of all by CIA (see Brennan elections machinations ) and FBI (see Andrew McCabe and his FIFA scandal proofed close circle of politicized "fighters with organized crime" and Strzok-gate.) There was quick coup to install the Special Prosecutor and after that Trump was essentially finished. Tax cut for the rich and appointments of Bolton and Pompeo (and later Elliott Abrams, the key architect of the Iraq War, to manage Venezuela regime change) were clear signs of a complete betrayal of his voters. Truth be told Trump folded even before that in April 2017 (Parteigenosse Mueller was appointed by Rosenstein in May), if we assume that his election promises were sincere (big if) and were not a blatant attempt to con the voters (see Bait and Switch).
|Every empire is a dictatorship. No nation can be a democracy that’s either heading an empire, or a vassal-state of one. Obviously, in order to be a vassal-state within an empire, that nation is dictated-to by the nation of which it is a colony. The Force that is Ending Freedom – OffGuardian, Jun 10, 2019|
Another important question is "democracy for whom?". There is always a large part of society (say bottom 80% or even 90%) living under the dictatorship (for lower 50% this is even worse -- neo-slavery as "debt slaves" or "wage slaves"), struggling to meet ends and thus excluded from the democratic process. Moreover, most of the US population spend their life under authoritarian rule: those who are parts of the military, who work in large corporation, or government. How they can behave in a democratic way if they are conditioned and adapted to the strict authoritarian rule at work ?
Another large question: can a typical American understand whom he/she is voting for in the environment of pretty sophisticated propaganda and systematic betrayal of election promises (in this respect Trump is not different from Barak Obama) as a political norm ("change we can believe in" )?
Yet another one: can the country with powerful and almost uncontolled intelligence againces be a democracy? And what about running a neoliberal empire? Is this compatible with the democracy?
Every empire is a dictatorship. No nation can be a democracy that’s either heading an empire, or a vassal-state of one. Obviously, in order to be a vassal-state within an empire, that nation is dictated-to by the nation of which it is a colony. The Force that is Ending Freedom – OffGuardian, Jun 10, 2019
Add to this such an important factor as brainwashed population ready to vote against their economic interests and for indefinite and costly wars for the expansion of the global neoliberal empire led by the USA. For example, despicable warmonger, war criminal (with destruction of Libya and Syria under the belt), staunch neoliberal Hillary Clinton got almost half of the US voted in 2016 elections. Is not this quite sinister development ? Despite clear signs of the deep systemic crisis of neoliberalism in the USA and closely related process of de-legitimization of neoliberal elite (look what percentage of the Americans who trust Congress) all she wanted is to kick the neoliberal can down the road. And still almost half of the country voted for her.
Also there is no rules that the candidate can not betray all his election time promises. Any level of betrayal is OK, as parties in reality do not control the behaviour of their leaders as long as they remain on neoliberal platform. Recent example of Clinton, Bush II, Obama and Trump are clear demonstration of the gap between election platform and actual governance.
In case of Trump and Obama this was a complete betrayal. In a way Trump is Republican Obama -- a person with almost zero political experience who due to the lack of personal political history during elections was able to pretend to be the politician similar to Frankin Delano Roosevelt -- the betrayer of his class -- while he clearly is not. He proved to be yet another marionette of MIC and Israel lobby. Much like Barak was marionette of CIA; just look at "very close" and pretty unusual relations between him and Brennan) as well as Brannan role in color revolution against Trump
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section
Apr 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com
consumerx, 10 Apr 2019 18:10
Listen, in the computer age, I can find FACTS in seconds.
Here are some FACTS !
Trump says he will create 25 million jobs,--REALLY ???
-5 GOP presidents have NOT created 25 million jobs in 57 YEARS !
Clinton created almost as many jobs as 5 GOP presidents.
Let's cut to the chase. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the net increases in private-sector employment under each president, chronologically by party since 1961--
Richard Nixon: Increase of 7.1 million jobs
Gerald Ford: Increase of 1.3 million jobs
Ronald Reagan: Increase of 14.7 million jobs
George H.W. Bush: Increase of 1.5 million jobs
George W. Bush: Decline of 646,000 jobs
---Total:-------------- Increase of 23.9 million jobs under Republican presidents
John F. Kennedy: Increase of 2.7 million jobs
Lyndon B. Johnson: Increase of 9.5 million jobs
Jimmy Carter: Increase of 9.0 million jobs
Bill Clinton: Increase of 20.8 million jobs
Barack Obama: Increase of 14,332,000 jobs
Total: Increase of 56.3 million jobs.
It is a fact of history that nine of the ten economic recessions since 1953, when Dwight D. Eisenhower became President, have come under Republican Presidents as follows:
- July 1953 to May 1954–Eisenhower
- August 1957 to April 1958–Eisenhower
- April 1960 to February 1961–Eisenhower
- December 1969 to November 1970–Nixon
- November 1973 to March 1975–Nixon/Ford
- January 1980 to July 1980–Carter (Democrat)
- July 1981-November 1982–Reagan
- July 1990-March 1991 -- HW Bush
- March 2001-November 2001–W Bush
- December 2007-June 2009–W Bush/Obama–last five months under Democrat
The longest recessions were under W Bush and Obama; Reagan; and Nixon/Ford, with the unemployment rate reaching 10 percent, 10.8 percent, and 9 percent respectively in those recessions. The shortest recession was under Jimmy Carter, six months in 1980, but the only Democrat to have a recession begin while in office, and suffered at the polls partially on that fact, that it was in an election year!
Eisenhower had three recession periods, while Nixon had two, and W. Bush had two.
When conservatives/neoliberals/GOP are in charge the economy and jobs GO TO SHIT -- !!!
Jun 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.comreparations for slavery - soundly dismissed by numerous African American speakers - Senator Elizabeth Warren has tried to outdo her opponents by seeking reparations for another group of repressed and long-suffering individuals.
Warren reintroduced the Refund Equality Act, a bill that would allow same-sex couples to amend past tax returns and receive refunds from the IRS.
"The federal government forced legally married same-sex couples in Massachusetts to file as individuals and pay more in taxes for almost a decade," Warren said in a statement.
"We need to call out that discrimination and to make it right - Congress should pass the Refund Equality Act immediately."
Mar 06, 2012 | discussion.theguardian.com
bonefisher -> Livemike , 6 Mar 2012 06:52Great post
The problem is that as De Toqueville realises (his quote below) most of the people commenting here are simply living a parasitic existence benefiting from state largesse - sucking the teat of a bloated and overburdened state caring not whether their sustenance is remotely sustainable and just voting for ever more
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy" - Alexis de Toqueville
Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com
LinusL , 3d agoInteresting opinion about Warren 'the wonk' in the Washington Examiner:LinusL -> LinusL , 3d ago
"She's got a (borrowed) plan for that: The media myth of Elizabeth Warren the wonk"
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/shes-got-a-borrowed-plan-for-that-the-media-myth-of-elizabeth-warren-the-wonkAlso, where are her positions on military budgets, Empire and foreign policy?Vassili555 -> LinusL , 3d ago
And why hasn't she come out strong for Medicare for All?Actually Warren has come out strong in favor of Medicare for All and the Green New Deal in every public speech I've seen.LinusL -> Vassili555 , 3d agohttps://jacobinmag.com/2019/06/elizabeth-warren-medicare-for-all-health-care-policy
Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com
aussiecharlie , 2d agoClinton said vote for me because I am a woman, Warren says vote for me because I am a potential leader who happens to be a woman. Good luck to her and the USDargyva -> aussiecharlie , 2d agoShe's not saying anything like that, at all! She's all about economic justice policy. You noticed she's female without her even telling you.TempsdesRoses , 2d agoDon't get me wrong. I would certainly vote for her, if needed. I believe she's quite green behind the ears on foreign policy and how inequality is a global issue. Her backing of our entitled neoliberal wife of an ex-president & neocon dismayed me.Thomas1178 -> TempsdesRoses , 2d ago
Sanders gets the bigger picture on poverty, race, and war/ neocolonialism:
if you wish: MLK Jr's take on "The Three Evils".And yet Warren was the one censured for reading Coretta Scott King's condemnation of Jeff Sessions in the Senate while Bernie sat on his ass.Herr_Settembrini -> TempsdesRoses , 2d ago"Her backing of our entitled neoliberal wife of an ex-president & neocon dismayed me."TempsdesRoses -> Herr_Settembrini , 2d ago
Sanders supported Clinton too in the general election. He also actively campaigned for her.apples and oranges, Thomas and Herr, Would you care to defend her "posture" on NATO? Ditto, for her contributing to the "Evil Vlad" narrative? Israel?? Wiki: Warren states she supports a two state solution, but she believes Palestinian application for membership in the UN isn't helpful.zuftawov943 , 2d ago
In a town hall meeting in August 2014, Warren defended Israel's shelling of schools and hospitals during that summer's Israel–Gaza conflict, stating that "when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they're using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself". She also questioned whether future US aid to Israel should be contingent on the halting of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. In addition she defended her vote in favor of granting Israel $225 million to fund the Iron Dome air defence system.Nobody ever got elected by over-estimating the good sense of the American public.MeRaffey , 2d agoWhile the 2020 election feels critical, the 2024 election will decide the future. Like Trump himself, his base is filled with old people who are still loyal to Ronald Reagan's Republican Party. Old people watch FoxNews, old people vote, old people love Trump and in 2016, old people decided the election.kapsiolaaaaa -> MeRaffey , 2d ago
Younger people do NOT vote. The younger someone is, the less likely they are to vote. However, young people voted for Obama, twice, but when Hillary came along, they stayed home and let the old people choose the president.
And then, in 2018 the young voted again and we learned the next generation plans to take this country into the future. If the young vote in 2020, Trump is toast. If the young stay home, Trump will see a second term.
However, by 2024 the young will assume their rightful place in history and the age of old white men running the country, and the world will come to an end.You are making assumptions that old people are idiots. Making assumptions that middle aged people do not exist or are small in numbers. Trump gets 200 or so electoral votes. He loses. I don't see any case he wins. He is past his 'used by date' even for Republicans. You loose Tx to the Ds its game over, add PA and OH to the list. It doesn't even matter what crazy FL man thinks.zuftawov943 -> MeRaffey , 2d agoDon't forget modern geriatric medicine, by which the dinosaurs in the senate and elsewhere in the hardening arteries of the US body politic will live - and hold ofice - for even longer than Strom Thurmond. They can afford the private medical insurance to pay for it.Mujokan , 2d ago
By the way, MeRaffey , I hope you meant to omit to punctuate in your last phrase so that it would read: ... the age of old white men running the country and the world will come to an end . Your comma has me worried.Warren/Harris, said it before but it makes sense. I would've preferred Biden to Clinton but I can't see him getting the same turnout as Warren. Opinions on Trump are now fixed, it's a red herring to worry about "firing up" Trump supporters, they are already as fired up as they can get. Swing voters are probably going to vote by where the economy is which is out of our control. Ideally Democrats will be just as fired up as Trumpists, the investigations will suppress their enthusiasm somewhat (though they wouldn't care if he killed someone so...) and the coming Trump recession will be brought on by his trade wars and the blame will therefore fall where it should.lightchaser , 2d agoWarren lied about her ancestry to circumvent diversity quotas. Why should anyone believe anything she has to say? Furthermore, What exactly is she promising that is any different then any of the other radical leftists running right now? It's all "Free Stuff" that she's going to make the rich pay for. Um..yeah, that always works out doesn't it? Who needs real math when fuzzy math makes us believe the combined wealth of the richest Americans will finance all this "free" stuff to say nothing about why so many Americans feel entitled to the earnings of others. Remember folks, if a politician says 2+2=6 then it must be true.Mujokan -> lightchaser , 2d ago"Warren lied about her ancestry to circumvent diversity quotas. Why should anyone believe anything she has to say?" You are going to be told this a million times before 11/20 but that's bullshit. It's been well established that she didn't get any job because of that.lightchaser -> Mujokan , 2d agoShe claimed Native American ancestry on her application to Harvard, a job she got and it wasn't the first time she played this card either. But hey, in a political party that loves to change races and genders and expects everyone else to go along with the charade by all means go ahead and believe what you want to believe.Thomas1178 -> lightchaser , 2d agoA lie, see Snopes, see any link you've been given each time you post this lie. She got it on merit.BaronVonAmericano , 2d ago
"In the most exhaustive review undertaken of Elizabeth Warren's professional history, the Globe 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. At every step of her remarkable rise in the legal profession, the people responsible for hiring her saw her as a white woman."
Full story: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2018/09/01/did-claiming-native-american-heritage-actually-help-elizabeth-warren-get-ahead-but-complicated/wUZZcrKKEOUv5Spnb7IO0K/story.html%3foutputType=ampWith Warren and Sanders talking complete sense about our oligarchy, the electorate's expectations are going to improve. Nothing could be better. We've been asked to settle for Republican-lite servants of mammon for too long in the Democratic Party and that's going to change.tigerfisch , 2d ago
The danger, of course, is that in this transition period Biden gets nominated. However much centrists will clamor for voters to hold their nose and vote for him, that's not an electoral strategy. Trump's best chance of winning is that Biden gets nominated and the progressive base of the Democratic Party is totally demoralized and lacking energy by late 2020.After the US public allowed themselves to be hypnotized by Trump's campaign of fatuous lies, empty promises and racist dog whistles, I doubted the electorate possessed the wit to understand actual policies. Maybe they've finally woken up - time will tell.Jdivney -> tigerfisch , 2d agoDo you understand how elections work? The US public were hypnotized? He lost the popular vote. The fault lies with the Republican establishment for letting him put the R after his name. Perot ran on essentially the same ticket back in 92 as a third party candidate. He got 18% of the vote. Had he run as a Republican he could well have won.tigerfisch -> Jdivney , 2d agoOh dear. The question is, do you know how US elections work? The popular vote is irrelevant. He's the 5th POTUS who lost the popular vote. Almost 63 million hypnotized dolts voted for him, and he won - that's why he currently resides in the WHThomas1178 -> tigerfisch , 2d agoOr neither "hypnotized" nor "dolts." The people I knew who voted for him in North Carolina thought he was an asshole. But they wanted a conservative Supreme Court for the next two decades and he has delivered that for them. Why do you assume that people on the right are idiots who don't know what they want? That essential presumption by the left is one of the reasons the left lost last time.Thomas1178 , 2d agoAs one who used to be a Warren supporter, I think she is both patronizing voters and pandering to them. These policies have some detail, sure, but they don't deal with the consequences that Warren knows very well lurk in the wings and as a result they don't necessarily make sense.Thomas1178 -> Thomas1178 , 2d ago
Her proposal for free college is one example – sounds great, while in reality it would benefit the better-off middle class at the expense of the most vulnerable students and create a cascade of problems that she has no plans to fix.
Again, fining companies for data breaches? Surely we should fine them *if* they don't immediately report data breaches to their customers– or maybe if they haven't maintained appropriate data security, although I'd love to see proving that one to a court. Hell, if we're going to fine them for data breaches, do we start with the DNC?PS To be clear, I'd still take her in a second over Fat Nixon, I just wish she would pander less and keep her plans to the sensible and achievable, like her consumer protection bureau, which was a fantastic idea.cheryl kimble -> Thomas1178 , 2d agocorps get fined for data breaches today. ever heard of a hippa violation?Thomas1178 -> cheryl kimble , 2d agoYes, (politely) do you? The fines for HIPAA violation have to do with noncompliance with the act, not with an uncontrollable data breach. The fines increase on a sliding scale if "willful neglect" has been found (the data were not properly secured) or if the company delays in reporting a data breach/violation.PaulOram , 2d ago
Which is pretty much exactly what I said above.Yep - No more old white guys - just being disgusted by Trump is not enough - people want new ideas. EW all the way - with AOC by her side as well hopefully.Thomas1178 -> PaulOram , 2d ago
There is nothing Trump fears more than the stigma of being a one term pres - his ego would implode.Oh, I think he fears going to prison more. Michael Cohen was right – the minute Trump is no longer protected by the presidency he is going to be facing charges, on tax evasion if nothing else. He will do anything to keep his protection for more years. He's probably hoping to die in office. (I'd add something to that, but I don't want the Secret Service visiting me!)MeRaffey -> outkast1213 , 2d agowhat did she do in 2016?HobbesianWorlds , 2d agoThe DNC is again placing it's foot on the scale in favor of Biden. I believe that they know Bernie is less likely to win because of America's irrational fear of the word, "socialism." That's why they put Biden and Sanders on the stage together and pushed out Elizabeth Warren to the other debate with lesser known and less popular candidates. They do not what her, with her solid plans, to confront Biden, which would give her a greater boost in the polls and more recognition across the nation.Jdivney -> HobbesianWorlds , 2d agoIt was a random drawing. No one has disputed that.HobbesianWorlds -> Jdivney , 2d agoAnd who was watching the drawing? Who set up the drawing? Are you saying that there was independent oversight on its setup? Or do you just take the DNC's word for it?Jdivney -> HobbesianWorlds , 2d agoAn inability to believe in coincidence will take you to some strange places. If Sanders and Warren drawn the same night you could make an argument that Biden was getting set up to look good against the lightweight opponents. Or had Sanders drawn the undercard that he was being marginalized. Warren will do fine either way. She's a great candidate. Biden isn't.HobbesianWorlds , 2d agoBiden rides high on President Obama's very long coat tails and Wall Street money even without detailed plans that actually help the working class and the poor. Bernie is riding high on his honest fight for the working class and the poor.malapropriety -> HobbesianWorlds , 2d ago
Elizabeth Warren is rising fast because she not only agrees with Bernie on fighting for the working class and the poor, but she has detailed plans that are holding up to independent economic scrutiny.
Both Warren and Sanders are honest in their fight for economic justice for all and recognize that the root cause of poverty and lower middle class' struggle is corporate and wealthy-individual money in politics. They aim to stop it.
Biden claims he can negotiate with McConnell. Obama reached out to McConnell his entire term and drew back a nub. The same will be true of Biden. For the Republicans and Trumpians, it's all about making Democrats fail no matter how much it hurts the working class and the poor. Their propaganda network will always assist and sustain them by appealing to the emotions and prejudices of millions of Americans.HobbesianWorlds -> malapropriety , 2d ago
Biden claims he can negotiate with McConnell. Obama reached out to McConnell his entire term and drew back a nub. The same will be true of Biden.
The same will be true of any Democrat though. There is no way around it except by expanding the powers of the office of the President, which is what has given Trump such a wide ability to repeal Obama-era policies.
Any Democrat coming up against a Republican Senate will have the same thing happen to them, although I can imagine the Republicans will hate Biden marginally less than Obama given that he's not black.Haigin88 , 2d ago
There is no way around it except by expanding the powers of the office of the President, which is what has given Trump such a wide ability to repeal Obama-era policies.
Not the first year of his presidency. His Republican Party controlled Congress and they mostly hated Obama as well. As long as there was full control of congress, it was easy. It was not easy to remove the ACA because so many Americans liked it.
Now remember that the reasons Trump was appointed to office by the EC, was that enough far-right people voted, together with the "conservative" media adding to Russia's concentration of propaganda in the key states (stats provided to the Russians by the Trump campaign) and lifted him just enough to overcome the votes of ~3 million voters. Far more voters are now counting on voting against him and for the best Democratic candidate.
Progressives do not want to expand the powers of the Oval Office. That is the wrong thing to do. True change for the better can only come through the ballet box and by educating the voters to exactly why our government is dysfunctional and is replete with corruption.
I think the most popular message to all voters (from farmers to all others in the working class) is that corporate and private money in politics is the root cause of government corruption and dysfunction and why the collective wealth of the working class is steadily redistributing to the uber-wealthy.
The only candidates who what to change the economy to a DEMAND-side economy is are those who actually and loudly advocate it.
But just voting for a progressive president while putting the "conservative" obstructionists (those who maintain the high capacity money pipeline that runs from Wall Street to their pockets) back into Congress will mean the corruption and dysfunction will continue. Voters must be replaced by a super-majority liberal/progressive Congress, and with that, Elizabeth Warren will make that change.I think she also knows that she should've and easily could've been president right now. That strange piece yesterday, talking about Biden and Sanders standing in front of good female candidates of today: leaving aside a keen Biden getting bullied out of 2016 by Clinton already having things sewn up, Sanders was notoriously late jumping into 2016 because he was waiting on Warren. If Warren was going to run against the wretched Clinton, he wouldn't. Warren choked so Sanders had to do it himself. Warren must know that she would have dismantled Crooked H and, seeing as Clinton was the only person who could've lost to el diablo naranja, Warren would've hammered Trump too. Hence, Warren's got some making up to do and seems very determined.Johnnybi , 2d ago
She's always been my tip. If I was an American, I would vote for Tulsi Gabbard in a second but Warren is a strong candidate and I always thought that her announcing on the last day of last year was going to give her licence to say to other candidates: "I've been running since 2018!". Warren is the candidate that liars for Clinton tried to pretend that Clinton was. A note of caution, though: someone posted a Republican survey of exactly four years ago yesterday. Bush was on 22%, Trump was polling 1%. Long time to go yet.JudeUSA -> Johnnybi , 2d ago
In a poll last week of 2,312 registered voters in South Carolina, Warren gained nine points to reach 17% compared to Biden's 37%. Among 18-34 year olds, Warren is leading 24% to Sanders' 19% and Biden's 17%.
I keep hearing from the mainstream media that Biden is leading in the polls. But we ought to note that Biden's up against a group including Warren, Sanders, Harris etc who are pushing a progressive policies, and if you take their percentages together, Biden cannot compete. Once one of these progressive takes the lead in the group, and hires all the others as running mate, cabinet members etc, he or she will be unbeatable against both Biden and Trump.There is no sure way of knowing how that would play out. You may be interested in looking at the Morning Consult Poll, which comes out weekly. If you scroll down to Second Choices... it gives possible outcomes for where votes may fall. According to MC poll the 2nd choice for Sanders voters is Biden, 2nd for Biden is Sanders, 2nd for Warren is Harris, 2nd for Buttigieg is Biden, and 2nd for Harris is Biden. The poll also shows results for early primary states, if you click on "Early Primary States".Thomas1178 -> Johnnybi , 2d ago
https://morningconsult.com/2020-democratic-primary /Only one question: are these the same polls that were running in ninth 2016? And if they are why do we give a crap what any of them say since we know they are all horribly wrong?Johnnybi -> JudeUSA , 2d agoThe latest of that polling features Sanders and Biden nearly neck and neck as far as approval goes. Funny you don't hear about that on CNN or MSNBC.decisivemoment -> kejovi , 2d ago
It's clear to me that the US public want action, and that means progressive policies. They were conned last time into thinking Trump represented change. But a Hillary Mark II candidate such as Biden will lead to another Trump victory.American voters have spent so long being treated like idiots by politicians and to an even greater extent the press that Warren comes across as something new and interesting by comparison.AdamCMelb , 2d agoThere is no doubt that Warren is the best policy brain in the Democratic Party. She also has some good ideas, and some not so good ones.Jdivney -> AdamCMelb , 2d ago
Were I American, I would be tempted to vote for her. But her candidacy is hopeless. It may be unfair, but the Pocahontas issue will kill her bid stone dead in the general election. Trump would be licking his chops over a Warren run.This election won't be decided by defecting Trump voters.uraniaargus -> AdamCMelb , 2d agoThose who would be swayed by Trump using "Pocahontas" as a slur or would even pay attention to it wouldn't vote for Warren anyway. He's not going to change any minds with it, just rile up his existing sheep.BaronVonAmericano , 2d agoWhen it comes to economic regulation, Warren is second to none.Thomas1178 -> BaronVonAmericano , 2d ago
Her defense of Israeli strikes on Gaza and general support for an internationalist militaristic status quo is morally blind, at best.
I think she would be an excellent Secretary of Treasury or Commerce, but needs evolution elsewhere before I'd want to see her as president.
(Of course, I'll vote for her in the general if she gets the nomination.)That's a very narrow view of her position on Israel. She also supported the Iran treaty, boycotting Netanyahu's speech to the Senate, called on Israel to stop colonizing the West Bank and to recognize the right of Palestinians in Gaza to peaceful protest – her comments about aggression toward Gaza were about Israeli response to missiles fired by Hamas. I don't mind her having a nuanced response to what is in fact a very complex situation.petersview , 2d agopascald -> petersview , 2d agoIf talking sense and enunciating real policies is regarded as "wonky"and "nerdy"in the USA then Warren doesn't have a hope and Trump is a shoe-in.
Warren has treated voters as adults, smart enough to handle her wonky style of campaigning. Instead of spoon-feeding prospective voters soundbites, Warren is giving them heaps to digest – and her polling surge shows that voters appreciate the nerdy policy talk.Nerd used to be just an insult, aimed at anyone more intelligent, thoughtful or better-informed than the speaker. But I think now, like 'queer' and other words, it has been reclaimed and repurposed in a much more positive light.
Jun 21, 2019 | www.unz.com
Amused , says: June 19, 2019 at 2:50 pm GMTIt is a very lightly written article but it touches on a very sensitive nerve rather hard. I liked the entire premise of this story and have ome to agree with the writer that Americans hardly care who dies wherever as long as they can find themselves shoping goods they dont need with the money they don't have and stuffing their mouth with food they don't deserve.
Jun 22, 2019 | nationalinterest.org
Someone whose confidence Bolton does not enjoy is Carlson, a rival for Trump's ear. Carlson, a true believer, took to the airwaves to savage the ambassador Friday night. "John Bolton is a kind of bureaucratic tapeworm," Carlson said."Try as you might, you can't expel him. He seems to live forever in the bowels of the federal agencies, periodically reemerging to cause pain and suffering -- but somehow never suffering himself."
Jun 22, 2019 | www.washingtontimes.com
... Sen. Elizabeth Warren is on the move, passing Sen. Bernard Sanders for second place, according to a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday.
Mr. Biden had support from 32% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents - in line with his 33% support from last month.
Ms. Warren , meanwhile, is now at 15% - up 5 points from last month - and Mr. Sanders was at 14% support.
... ... ...
The Monmouth survey of 306 registered voters who identified themselves as Democrats or Democratic leaners was taken from June 12-17 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.6 percentage points.
... ... ...
And a new survey from the firm Avalanche Strategy found that when the notion of "electability" was taken off the table, Ms. Warren was the top choice of Democratic voters at 21%, followed by Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders at 19% apiece.
Feb 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Andrew Bacevich recalls Madeleine Albright's infamous statement about American indispensability, and notes how poorly it has held up over the last twenty-one years:
Back then, it was Albright's claim to American indispensability that stuck in my craw. Yet as a testimony to ruling class hubris, the assertion of indispensability pales in comparison to Albright's insistence that "we see further into the future."
In fact, from February 1998 down to the present, events have time and again caught Albright's "we" napping.
Albright's statement is even more damning for her and her fellow interventionists when we consider that the context of her remarks was a discussion of the supposed threat from Iraq. The full sentence went like this: "We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us." Albright was making a general claim about our supposed superiority to other nations when it came to looking into the future, but she was also specifically warning against a "danger" from Iraq that she claimed threatened "all of us." She answered one of Matt Lauer's questions with this assertion:
I think that we know what we have to do, and that is help enforce the UN Security Council resolutions, which demand that Saddam Hussein abide by those resolutions, and get rid of his weapons of mass destruction, and allow the inspectors to have unfettered and unconditional access.
Albright's rhetoric from 1998 is a grim reminder that policymakers from both parties accepted the existence of Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction" as a given and never seriously questioned a policy aimed at eliminating something that did not exist. American hawks couldn't see further in the future. They weren't even perceiving the present correctly, and tens of thousands of Americans and millions of Iraqis would suffer because they insisted that they saw something that wasn't there.
A little more than five years after she uttered these words, the same wild threat inflation that Albright was engaged in led to the invasion of Iraq, the greatest blunder and one of the worst crimes in the history of modern U.S. foreign policy . Not only did Albright and other later war supporters not see what was coming, but their deluded belief in being able to anticipate future threats caused them to buy into and promote a bogus case for a war that was completely unnecessary and should never have been fought.
Jun 19, 2019 | www.youtube.comCarol Widerski , 2 days agoAndrea Bandish , 1 day ago (edited)
Thanks Tucker, happy to hear you talking about this. PRESIDENT TRUMP don't let them sucker you.
The true American people, do never believe what this congress, house, and senate want they are cramming down your throats...
Again.. No More. Americans are tired of being lied to by our government, enough...
Look back of Cummings sit down on the floor "FLOOR RUG their sit in" of American people in congress a fool...
Jun 22, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
blue peacock , 22 June 2019 at 01:47 AMTucker Carlson seems like the only realist in the MSM. https://youtu.be/Rf2cS4g0pes
Jun 18, 2019 | www.theguardian.comn Friday, the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren co-sponsored a bill to impose mandatory fines on companies that have data breaches. It was the kind of consumer welfare legislation that in the past would have been unremarkable. But in an era when Congress has consistently shirked its duty to shield consumers, the bill stood out.
The legislation capped a week in which Warren surged in the polls. Less than eight months before the Iowa caucus, Warren is making strides in 2020 primary polls. According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey of 1,000 adults, 64% of Democratic primary voters in June were enthusiastic or comfortable with Warren, compared with 57% in March. Fewer of these voters were enthusiastic or comfortable with Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, who have lost 11 and six points, respectively, since March.
There's more. In a poll last week of 2,312 registered voters in South Carolina, Warren gained nine points to reach 17% compared to Biden's 37%. Among 18-34 year olds, Warren is leading 24% to Sanders' 19% and Biden's 17%.
There's a simple reason for Warren's sudden rise in the polls: the public has an appetite for policy
There's a simple reason for Warren's sudden rise in the polls : the public has an appetite for policy. Of all the Democratic candidates, Warren's campaign has been by far the most ideas-driven and ambitious in its policy proposals. And voters love it.
Rather than condescend to voters, like most politicians, Warren has treated voters as adults, smart enough to handle her wonky style of campaigning. Instead of spoon-feeding prospective voters soundbites, Warren is giving them heaps to digest – and her polling surge shows that voters appreciate the nerdy policy talk.
Indeed, since Warren declared her candidacy for president, she has been offering policy prescriptions for our country's most pressing ailments – and she hasn't been brainstorming in a bubble.
Week in and week out, she has been crisscrossing the country to tell receptive voters her ideas for an ultra-millionaire tax, student debt cancellation and breaking up big tech. She has also weighed in on reproductive rights, vaccines, the opioid crisis and algorithmic discrimination in automated loans. Her bevy of white papers demonstrates that there isn't a policy area Warren won't touch and she isn't worried about repelling anyone with hard-hitting proposals.
Better than any other candidate, Warren has articulated a connection between her personal and professional struggles and her ideas, lending an air of authenticity to her campaign. Her backstory – teacher turned reluctant stay-at-home mom turned Harvard Law School professor – clearly resonates with voters in important states such as Iowa and South Carolina.
That sense of reciprocity has turned Warren into a populist rock star. Instead of appealing to the lowest common denominator among the voting public, she's listening to and learning from voters in an ideas-driven campaign that doesn't take voters for granted.
The strategy is paying off – and proving wrong the outdated political wisdom that Americans don't care about the intricacies of government.
In May, Warren traveled to Kermit, West Virginia, the heart of Trump country, to pitch a $2.7bn-a-year plan to combat opioid addiction.
"Her stance is decisive and bold," Nathan Casian-Lakes told CBS News . "She has research and resources to back her ideas."Jill Priluck's reporting and analysis has appeared in the New Yorker, Slate, Reuters and elsewhere
Elizabeth Warren's economic nationalism vision shows there's a better way Robert Reich
azucenas , 18h agoI've decided that I want to see Warren as President. She is honest and has many good ideas about the economy and offering a leg up to minorities and the poor. Her integrity is unimpeachable. I have donated small sums to her campaign. Bernie has not spoken in detail the way Warren has although his democratic socialism goes in a positive direction. There are many voters who feel that he is too old. I hope that he will approve Warren as the best candidate in the running. Biden's moment is long gone. For now I believe that another recession lurks in the near future and Warren, as a wonk, is the best person to deal with it.GWreader , 20h agoShe also does not take a dime of PAC money, which helps keep her mind cleared of hidden agendas. Because of that, she is the first candidate who campaign I've donated to.shooter gavin , 1d agoRule of thumb that is true for all politicians regardless of party. Most of what they promise they will do will never happen and much of does happen does not occur in the way they promised when they campaigned.JayThomas -> shooter gavin , 1d ago
In the case of Sen Warren she talks a lot of wonderful stuff, paid by rich people. Expect the same results. The courts will probably shoot down the wealth tax as described by Warren anyway which means everything she promises just dies.Then she'll pull an Obama and blame the Republicans.
Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com
shaunhensley , 2d agoTechnocratic, neoliberal, Clinton Democrat ideas which have already proven to fail. She's for the working class, so long as that working class wears a white collar.Thomas1178 -> shaunhensley , 2d agoThe $14.5 million in emergency relief she obtained for Massachusetts fishermen says different.PhilosophicalSquid -> shaunhensley , 2d agoYouve left something out, that should be 'Neo Liberal Elite' shouldnt it?Janet Re Johnson -> shaunhensley , 2d agoShe's no neolib. They hate her, and with good reason.
Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com
curiouswes -> JohnLG , 2d agobut she declared that she will take "the money" in the general election if she wins the nomination. Do you expect that money to come with no strings attached. Clearly this video implied that she knows differently.
This video shows that as a member of Congress she is cognizant of the "as Senator Clinton, the pressures are very different"
Warren knows EXACTLY what she is doing when she says she will take the money in the general if nominated.
Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com
Blackorpheus , 2d agoOkay, Warren made a mistake in claiming Native American heritage, which enabled her to advance professionally as a "diversity" candidate. But that would have to count as a venial not mortal sin. She is doing considerable good on the campaign trail, and I believe that she means to try to follow through on her detailed promises.PepperoniPizza -> Blackorpheus , 2d agoCan't wait to see her debate Trump.Thomas1178 -> Blackorpheus , 2d agoShe didn't, as multiple links below will show she never used that claim for any kind of professional gain. Same troll, different clothes.PhilosophicalSquid -> Blackorpheus , 2d agoNow you know its a lie, please will you stop spreading it and correct it when you see it.
Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com
JayThomas , 1d agoJdivney -> JayThomas , 1d ago
Her backstory – teacher turned reluctant stay-at-home mom turned Harvard Law School professor – clearly resonates with voters in important states such as Iowa and South Carolina.
Working people who are struggling in Iowa and South Carolina say: "She's just like us!"Good thing US politics isn't the bucket of crabs and feudal resentments that is the UK.ildfluer -> JayThomas , 23h agoFunnily enough, Iowans like her more every day.Jdivney -> shooter gavin , 1d ago
She's popular in South Carolina too:
Biden still leads in both Iowa and SC. But he was a very visible VP.Please expand upon the "Constitutional issues of a wealth tax".SolentBound -> Jdivney , 23h ago
Looks pretty clear to me.
Article I, Section 8, Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."Please expand upon the "Constitutional issues of a wealth tax".Waynem Rogers , 2d ago
"Looks pretty clear to me."
The point is that the question would go to a Republican Supreme Court which could indeed find a wealth tax unconstitutional. If you want to know why, do a search. There's lots written on it.Her problem is the American media who's only interested in sound bites. Policy, plans we don't have time for that. Call someone a nasty nameronnewmexico -> Waynem Rogers , 2d agoI don't know. Seems a lot more substance this go round than the last, near as I can tell. Last go round climate change got one question and 45 seconds in response, by both candidates in the general. The media certainly wants and will allow that to happen, but any dem who does would be a idiot.ronnewmexico -> ronnewmexico , 2d ago
Seems last go round gender preference was a main thing. Warren will I think not fall into that trap. White male midwestern industrial voters are at large, what lost HRC key states, she took for granted. White male voters and usually their spouses, will not have a part of a program that seems to leave them out of things.
Substance is the name of the game for warren, but to counter Trump one needs to throw out the barbs as well, as she did in her twitter post on not being on his propaganda outlet Fox.
"I won't do a town hall with Fox News because I won't invite millions of Democratic primary voters to tune in, inflate ratings, and help sell ads for an outlet that profits from racism and hate. If you agree, sign our petition.Yes that is Elizabeth Warren calling them racists and haters. A guy like Trump calls names and it is par for the course. A woman who conducts herself as your local librarian or grade school teacher, and you have to take pause and listen, is there substance to this? Seems there is.curiouswes -> ronnewmexico , 2d ago
This new Elizabeth Warren, name calling and all, I find must more to my liking than that before. Which is the why to her newfound popularity. Substance and calling a pig a pig not a dog or some other thing.I think you made a good case. she isn't my favorite but still acceptable. In no particular order, for me it is Gabbard, Sanders, Williamson, Warren or Yang. the other 18 would be like voting for the GOP with some protection against the conservative slant on social issues.LiberalCurmudgeon , 2d ago
The right wingers that post here won't debate me because I'll expose them. They know how the system works and they use it to their advantage. Socialism is about getting free stuff but the issue here is who gets the free stuff. Supply side econ says that the rich are entitled to the free stuff and the less fortunate aren't entitled to it. this is killing upward mobility.
the masses want answersIceland, Denmark and Sweden repealed their wealth taxes because they don't work. The Scandinavian countries pay for their safety net by embracing capitalism and taxing the hell out of everyone. Maybe we should embrace that model? Or does Warren's base simply all of the benefits of that system without paying for it?ildfluer -> LiberalCurmudgeon , 2d agoThey're not similar countries to the USA, at all. US citizens are taxed no matter where they choose to live on earth. This is not the case in most countries.MikeSw -> LiberalCurmudgeon , 2d agoronnewmexico -> MikeSw , 2d agoIt would be a hell of a lot better than the government acting as the paymaster for large corporations - paying their workers with food stamps because the corporations don't pay them sufficiently to live on.
The Scandinavian countries pay for their safety net by embracing capitalism and taxing the hell out of everyone. Maybe we should embrace that model?
You do know that is how the US works, right? Corporations don't pay their workers enough, so the government (i.e. taxpayers) pick up the tab.To add the average family of four, assuming one stays with the kids so they do not pay day care costs, at Walmart earning a average salary , is eligible for federal food assistance and in most states, Medicaid.HollowayHaines , 2d ago
California for several decades paid for most of kids college education and even today, New Mexico does the same. New Mexico is indeed one of the poorest states, and if they figured out how to do that(under a republican governor years ago), most places could. The tax rate here is about on average, no higher than most.
780 billion per year on defense without a enemy in sight, and no nation spending a tenth that, seems to be a place one could get a dollar or two.To quote one of the Guardian's post picks:ildfluer -> HollowayHaines , 2d agoI'd extent that from "The USA" to "The USA & the editorial staff of most papers in England", and include some writers for this paper in that catchall.
Smart and lucid. All the right ideas, without using the " S " word that people in the USA do not really understand, and have a big fear of
'Socialist' Sanders and 'Left Wing' Labour as personified by Corbyn are all very well as useful poles to beat the Right with in polemics, but when it looks like they might actually gain access to the corridors of power, suddenly they become villains that have to be defeated so that sensible 'moderates' can retain power....
Warren was receiving more support from this particular paper even before she announced her candidacy than Sanders has or I suspect will even if he gains the nomination.
As Chomsky notes in 'manufacturing consent', the mass media that is not 'Right' is 'Centrist' and will support a centrist candidate over one advocating more radical change.Those labels are totally irrelevant in the USA. Calling someone 'right' or 'left' or 'socialist' in the USA has nothing to do with dictionary definitions. They all mean to say one thing: I disagree with them because they're wrong.StephenO , 2d agoildfluer -> StephenO , 2d ago
On Friday, the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren co-sponsored a bill to impose mandatory fines on companies that have data breaches.
Warren is the politician who operates like a blind-folded person desperately trying to hit a pinata. In her political realm, such companies simply twist in the wind and make easy targets. Her policy is equivalent to any store or home being burglarized and then being fined by government for being a victim of crime. Complete mindlessness describes the policy.Yes. Of course every politician should simply lie down and let the corporations get away with every damn thing. I mean, that's worked really well for most Americans since Reagan.Ginen -> StephenO , 2d agoAgreed that is a stupid policy. If the company suffers a data breach owing to poor security or conceals or unduly delays disclosure of the data breach, then it would make sense to fine the company or to hold the company civilly liable to those injured by the data breach. But a blanket fine for any company that suffers a data breach is dumb.MatchYou , 2d agoIf you want ideas, check out Andrew Yang's website. He has over 100+ intricate ideas laid out in the "policy" tab.ildfluer -> MatchYou , 2d agoWhich means nothing if he's only polling at <1%.Ginen -> ildfluer , 2d agoWhat's Warren polling nationally against the other Democratic candidates? The article doesn't say, instead cherry-picking selected polling.ildfluer -> Ginen , 2d agoAround 16% now in some polls. And polling against Trump - 47% v Trump's 42%. Economist/YouGov poll, she came second behind Biden: https://twitter.com/gelliottmorris/status/1138799359930318848Guy Littleford , 2d agoThe Labor party in Australia surprised me with the boldness and coherency of their plans and it was a great thing to see a party running a campaign on ideas and principles. They lost the election.irenka_irina -> JayThomas , 2d ago....the electorate was conned by spin...outright lies and the Murdoch press.NeverForever , 2d agoHere's an idea. If Warren was a true progressive she wouldn't have been a registered Republican for 5 years, and she would have endorsed Bernie over Hillary in the 2016 primaries.MVOregon -> NeverForever , 2d agoWhat a really stupid thing to write and think. Do you have any inkling of the history of the Republican and Democratic parties? I was born in a Republican household (progressive) and it took me living overseas for 20 years to realize what a nasty little insurgency had taken the Republicans from what Teddy Roosevelt championed to what he described as swine; the Dixiecrats. Ignorance is not bliss no matter how hard you try to pretend.Machiavelli20 , 2d agoOne thing that needs to be done involves an honest discussion about the costs of Warren's proposals and the fact that the US already has a $22 TRILLION national debt with more than $1 TRILLION being added each year at a minimum. A former US Comptroller General stated in 2015 that even the official National Debt figure is a misrepresentation and that taking into account an honest understanding of the nation's actual legal obligations the figure was actually $65 TRILLION.Guy Littleford -> Machiavelli20 , 2d ago
If anyone wants to see it even worse just look at economist Lawrence Kotlikoff's infinite horizon estimates that placed future already promised commitments at $220 TRILLION. My point is that Warren and everyone else in the DC political establishment, is "blowing smoke" and that the US is bankrupt and needs a serious strategy to mitigate that fact rather than reckless proposals aimed to attract votes.
That is not going to happen and the country is in a fundamental financial crisis.Its repinlicans who increase your deficits. Reagan believed deficits don't matter. The bush tax cuts...and now Trumps tax cuts and QE. He's expanding credit, which looks like real growth, but is it? Only the US can do this, because it runs the global dollar. We should have had the Bankor. But the yanks ensured that did not happen.EdChamp -> JayThomas , 1d agoJanet Re Johnson , 2d agoTrue. We use to call it "obstructionist" when the other party in congress unreasonably opposed a president's proposals. We no longer use that term, though. Now we call it "resistance". I'm sure there are at least a few republicans who see being part of the "resistance" exciting if Warren wins the White House.
Nobody expects Congress to deliver on a president's campaign promises. That's not how the system works.At first I thought she must be mad, running for president. Then I started listening to her ideas and looking at how they were being received.EdChamp -> JayThomas , 2d ago
There are millions of young people, youngish people, and parents whose lives would actually be changed by her college loan plan. Even conservatives admit that "her math is correct" and "it's doable."
Then I started watching her in town halls and found her to be VERY different from that awkward lady in the kitchen having a beer. She's warm, direct, funny, casually self-deprecating, and easily able to translate complex ideas into readily understood ones.EdChamp -> Jdivney , 2d agoWell, since you asked. I don't have any student debt and I don't need any more health care. If we are buying votes with "free" stuff, what do I get for free?
Free college and health care, and the rich pay. Who wouldn't get on board with that?
I do like a good brisket. Can we carve out some of that tax on those nasty millionaires for my grocery fund?WeAreNotJustAMarket , 2d agoNot applicable since I'm not a republican. I did vote for Trump, after voting for Obama twice. I'm an independent, and we outnumber either republicans or democrats.
Well, as a rock ribbed Republican, you only one choice.For me it's a toss-up between Warren and Sanders. When it comes to who will actually get to run against Trump, if a dining room set and 4 chairs gets the Democratic nomination, they get my vote in the general election.PepperoniPizza -> WeAreNotJustAMarket , 2d agoThe fix is already in I think. Your table and chairs name is Sleepy Joe Biden. Of course, it's still a long time to the election and mortality rates may kick in.MsEvenstar , 2d agoWarren is rising fast because A) she stands for something and B) she does an excellent job of explaining how America can make the journey from where it is (including rampant inequality) to where it needs to be to offer a future to all its people, not just to those who are white, rich and privileged! Plus, she is super smart & sassy!
Jun 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Why won't Obama live in Chicago?
JD Rock , 2 hours ago link
too much diversity...
Jun 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
donkeytale , Jun 20, 2019 7:15:14 AM | 11
The domestic political result of the increased saberrattling over Iran unfortunately will be to boost Biden since he supposedly possesses "Serious Foreign Policy Credentials" while Bernie and Warren are thought to have obtained theirs from a box of Crackerjacks.
Bernie and Warren could use this moment to their advantage in fact to tie Biden into the same neocon foreign policy establishment Trump is bastardising in his own unique (ie, FUBAR) way and set themselves farther apart from the establishment. Trump is providing that opening for them now as he turns his back on his own anti-establishment alt-right allies towards the old fashioned GOP neocons.
Zico , Jun 20, 2019 7:51:12 AM | 15Empire overreach.virgile , Jun 20, 2019 8:41:49 AM | 19
Trump's surrounded himself with fools. The entire tension with Iran was/is totally avoidable if Trump has the balls to tell Bibi/AIPAC/Saudis/UAE to go f*ck themselves. Instead, he's exposed the US to all kinds of attacks - even from his own "allies".
The recent attacks against US forces in Iraq could very well have been orchestrated by US "allies" trying to force the US into a war with Iran.
Essentially all those involved in the maximum pressure on Iran plot are now caught up in their own sh*t. They're all attacking each other and blaming it on Iran.
Hopefully sane heads in the Pentagon/CIA will advice Trump to tone the f*ck down and stfu coz every time he says something, his "allies" use it as endorsement/green-light to do something stupid.
Trump's inability to stand up to Bibi is going to have catastrophic consequence for the US.After North Korea's fiasco, Venezuela's fiasco, all due to his neocons team's absurd arrogance, Trump faces another one in Iran. One wonders how many foreign policies fiascos he needs to deal with in order to finally fire Bolton and Pompeo.
Now that the polls have turned in his favor he has to stand still and minimize any "provocation" from Iran in order not to compromise his re election. He will not listen anymore to the neocons who were arguing that a war in Iran will bring the polls up.. It id up now because of the economy.
Trump wants the focus of his re election to be the economy and the support to Israel only ( thus ensuring the financial support of the Jewish lobby), anything else will wait.
If Bolton and Pompeo continue provoking Iran into retaliations, thus risking to disrupt the focus of his re-election, he will get rid of them.
Jun 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Despite being probably robbed of the Democratic Party's nomination by the Clinton political machine, the success of the Bernie Sanders' 2016 campaign with his advocacy of "democratic socialism" was an ominous sign of things to come and, in some sense, more telling of the political climate than Donald Trump's improbable victory in November, 2016. The millions of votes garnered by Sanders in the Democratic primaries has emboldened other socialists to seek political office while socialist ideas are openly spoken of with little fear of political recriminations.
Sanders has doubled down on his advocacy of democratic socialism in a recent speech at George Washington University, calling for the completion of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal of the 1930s:
Today I am proposing we complete the unfinished work of Franklin Roosevelt and the Democratic Party by putting forth a 21st century economic bill of rights.
Even supposedly "moderate" Democrats are trying to tout their "progressive" credentials, such as creepy Joe Biden who recently said:
I'm told I get criticized by the New Left. I have the most progressive record of anybody running for... anybody who would run.
While Sanders' chance of becoming the Democratic nominee in 2020 is still uncertain, President Trump has already indicated what is going to be a centerpiece of his election strategy: oppose socialism. The first hint of the strategy came at this year's State of the Union address when the President declared:
America will never be a socialist country.
While President Trump will espouse his supposed accomplishments (tax cuts, deregulation, trade) as a contrast to democratic socialism, his emphasis will also deflect attention away from his most solemn campaign pledge which has not been achieved – a border wall and a crack down and deportation of illegal immigrants.
Whether this is a winning formula remains to be seen. If the Democrats are led by Bernie Sanders in 2020, they will probably lose, unless the economy falls off a cliff (very possible) or the Donald follows the suicidal advice of the war-mongering team of Messrs Bolton and Pompeo and start a war with Iran.
While the Trump campaign narrative for 2020 may convince the masses who may still not be ready to vote for outright socialism, the country, like most of the Western world, has long ago imbibed and adopted many of the philosophy's tenets.
Frank Chodorov, one of the most perceptive and courageous writers of what was affectionately known as the "Old Right," pointed out over a half century ago that America had enacted many of the ideas which were enumerated in Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto . Chodorov constantly chided the Cold War warriors of his time, such as William Buckley, that communism had come to America without one shot being fired by the Soviets.
Frank Chodorov, 1887-1966
In one of his most penetrating essays, "How Communism Came to America," Chodorov incisively pointed out the "long-term objectives of communism:"
Among them are government ownership of land, a heavy progressive income tax, abolition of inheritance rights, a national bank, government ownership or control of communication and transportation facilities, state-owned factories, a government program for soil conservation, government schools, free education.
He trenchantly asked:
" How many of these planks of the Communist Manifesto do you support? Federal Reserve Bank? Interstate Commerce Commission? Federal Communications Commission? Tennessee Valley Authority? The Sixteenth (income tax) Amendment? The inheritance tax? Government schools with compulsory attendance and support?"
Further in his piece, Chodorov describes how the American economy, even at the time, had taken on many features of state capitalism: deficit financing, insurance of bank deposits, guaranteed mortgages, control of bank credits, regulation of installment buying, price controls, farm price supports, agricultural credits, RFC loans to business, social security, government housing, public works, tariffs, foreign loans.
He again asked: "How many of these measures . . . do you oppose?"
The next financial downturn, which is staring America in the face, will be far more devastating than the last since nothing has been resolved financially while the cause of the Great Recession – the Federal Reserve – continues to operate with impunity. As things continue to deteriorate, there will be even greater calls and support for more socialism. The free market will be blamed.
... ... ...
Condor_0000 , 55 seconds ago linkCondor_0000 , 35 minutes ago link
Ever notice that no real socialist ever proposes killing lots of people? On the other hand, our capitalist ruling-class is always looking to do lots of killing.
Trump's Military Drops a Bomb Every 12 Minutes, and No One Is Talking About It
June 19, 2018
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/trumps-military-drops-a-bomb-every-12-minutes-and-no-one-is-talking-about-it/ChaoKrungThep , 50 minutes ago link
Do you know what you never heard Bernie Sanders say and never will hear him say?
The most famous Karl Marx quote of all time, "Workers of the world, unite!" Why do you suppose that is?
Bernie Sanders: A right-wing capitalist posing as a socialist
By Tom Hall
18 June 2019
Last Wednesday, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders gave a speech on "democratic socialism" at George Washington University. The main function of the speech was to define his supposed "socialism" as entirely in conformity with the politics of the Democratic Party -- that is, a "socialism" devoid any opposition to capitalism and war.
Sanders' speech comes within the context of a ruling class that is increasingly fearful of the growing popularity of socialism. Donald Trump has presented himself over the last several months as a bulwark against a "socialist takeover" in America. This theme has also been taken up by many in the Democratic Party, who insist that any reference to socialism in the party's primaries is impermissible.
Sanders' speech attempts to accomplish the same ends through different means. It exposes Sanders' effort to combine populist and "socialist" rhetoric with a defense of American capitalism and the Democratic Party.
Three basic elements of Sanders' speech demonstrate this political fraud. First is Sanders' dishonest presentation of Franklin Roosevelt and the history of the Democratic Party.
In a speech billed as defining his conception of "democratic socialism," Sanders explicitly placed his own politics within the tradition of the Democratic Party, particularly the liberal New Deal reforms of President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s.
"Over eighty years ago Franklin Delano Roosevelt helped create a government that made transformative progress in protecting the needs of working families. Today, in the second decade of the 21st century, we must take up the unfinished business of the New Deal and carry it to completion," Sanders said. "This is the unfinished business of the Democratic Party and the vision we must accomplish."
Sanders quoted the "Economic Bill of Rights" proposed by Roosevelt, but never seriously pursued, in his 1944 State of the Union speech. The centerpiece of Sanders' speech was his call for a "21st Century Economic Bill of Rights" guaranteeing the right to a high-quality standard of living.
Sanders portrays Roosevelt as the leader of a popular revolt involving "organized labor, leaders in the African American community and progressives inside and outside the Party," and which "led a transformation of the American government and the American economy."
He declared, "Despite [the opposition of the rich], by rallying the American people, FDR and his progressive coalition created the New Deal, won four terms, and created an economy that worked for all and not just the few," Sanders claimed.
Sanders' glowing references to Roosevelt are designed to obscure the fact that the Democratic Party was, and is, a party of the ruling class. Roosevelt was not the political representative of popular struggles, much less a "democratic socialist," but a particularly astute representative of the capitalist class, who understood that concessions had to be made in order to preserve the capitalist system, which was in a state of collapse and widely discredited, and prevent the danger of socialist revolution.
The gains that were won during this period came not from the political establishment, but through the mass, insurrectionary struggles of the working class, which Roosevelt and the Democratic Party sought to contain. Moreover, poverty and unemployment remained endemic throughout the United States even after the New Deal. The gap between rich and poor, while lower than before, remained massive. In the South, which remained mired in rural backwardness, African-Americans continued to face segregation and lynch mob terror.
The New Deal reforms also proved unable to lift the United States out of economic crisis. This came through World War Two and its destruction of much of the European and world economy, and at least 60 million lives. Under Roosevelt's leadership, the United States entered World War II in December 1941.
Prior to and during the war, the "progressive" Roosevelt cracked down on democratic rights, jailing leaders of the Trotskyist movement, the most class conscious representatives of the working class, enforcing a ban on strikes with the assistance of the union bureaucracy and imprisoning hundreds of thousands of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps.
Roosevelt's "Economic Bill of Rights," proposed but never acted upon towards the end of the war, was a left-feint that reflected his fear that, if the end of the war brought with it a return to Depression-era conditions, world capitalism would face even more serious revolutionary convulsions than in the 1930s. One year after the speech, Roosevelt replaced his vice president, Henry Wallace, with Harry Truman -- a concession to the right-wing of the Democratic Party.
After the war, Roosevelt's program of liberal reforms, now coupled with Cold War anticommunism, was continued only as long as it could be financed out of rising productivity made possible by the emergence of the United States as world superpower. But the "Economic Bill of Rights," even during the zenith of American capitalism, remained a dead letter. By the end of the 1960s, with the end of the postwar boom and the beginning of the long-term decline of American hegemony, the Democrats abandoned these programs and moved sharply to the right.
But this is precisely the point at which Sanders' historical excursion stops. This enables him to suppress the fact that the Democratic Party long ago repudiated these reforms and is now a full partner in undermining and dismantling the very social programs whose further development Sanders presents as the "unfinished business" of the Democratic Party. In fact, as far the Democratic Party is concerned, their "unfinished business" is destroying every gain won by the working class in a century of struggle.
The second element of Sanders' speech is the complete absence of any reference to foreign policy or war. Events outside of the United States are barely mentioned at all. This guilty silence, which Sanders has long maintained in speeches meant for a broader audience, is aimed at covering for Sanders' support for imperialist war and American nationalism.
Sanders gives indirect signals to the ruling class of his support for war at points throughout his speech. When Sanders lists off a series of "authoritarian rulers" throughout the world, he tops off the list with Vladimir Putin in Russia and Xi Jinping in China, a sign of support for both his party's demands for confrontation with Russia and Trump's trade war measures against China .
Significantly, Sanders manages to avoid even mentioning World War II in a speech supposedly centered on the political legacy of Franklin Roosevelt. He also favorably cites former presidents Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson, without referencing the fact that both were widely reviled as warmongers and mass murderers: Truman for his dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and for the Korean War, and Johnson for his massive escalation of the Vietnam War.
The reference to Johnson is particularly significant. Johnson's Great Society programs foundered against the massive costs of the war in Vietnam, signaling the end of the whole period of liberal reform. By the late 1960s, the Democratic Party could no longer balance within itself welfare programs aimed at securing the support of working class with the needs of American imperialism.
As Sanders knows well, having begun his political career as a student protester in the 1960s, this pushed a whole generation of students and working-class youth to the left towards anti-capitalist and radical politics, among whom Johnson's name became virtually an epithet. A popular slogan during the protests against the Vietnam War was "Hey, Hey, LBJ, How many kids did you kill today?"
By glossing over this and presenting Johnson in a favorable, even "democratic socialist" light, Sanders is not only rehabilitating Johnson, he is promoting a more basic falsehood -- that an imperialist and militaristic foreign policy is compatible with democracy and social equality at home, a lie which forms the center of Sanders' own politics.
The third element of Sanders' speech is that he does not explain how it is possible to guarantee a high standard of living for everyone without a frontal assault on the capitalist system, especially under conditions where the ruling class considers even a modest increase in the share of income going to workers impermissible. In Sanders' "socialism," there is no there there He proposes a whole series of "rights," without any suggestion that they would require a fundamental change in social relations.
Moreover, the turn towards authoritarian forms of rule, a fact which Sanders himself is obliged to note, demonstrates that the levels of social inequality are no longer compatible with democratic rights. This is not only expressed in Trump, as Sanders implies, but also within the Democratic Party itself, which is engaged in palace coup methods in its internecine struggle against Trump.
If an "Economic Bill of Rights" was unachievable during the high point of American economic and political power, then it is all the more impossible today, when American capitalism is mired in a terminal decline. There can be no doubt that Sanders, were he elected president, would jettison this proposal even more rapidly than Roosevelt.
Indeed, while Roosevelt was prepared to take on powerful elements within the political establishment in order to force through his program of reforms, Sanders has already demonstrated his political spinelessness. The defining moment of Sanders' political career remains his groveling capitulation to Hillary Clinton in 2016 after an election campaign marred by corruption and fraud.
A genuine fight for the social rights of the working class, including the right to a job, a secure retirement, high quality healthcare and education, requires an uncompromising struggle of the working class against the capitalist system. This means the establishment of a workers government, in the United States and internationally, to massively redistribute wealth and transform the giant banks and corporations into publicly-owned utilities, democratically controlled by the working class.
This requires a persistent struggle against the influence of all forms of bourgeois ideology within the working class, above all "left" variants such as that promoted by Sanders.Condor_0000 , 54 minutes ago link
Gotta love the Trumptards and Trailer Park Rednecks touting Capitalism. They've, never experienced real Capitalism or they'd be crying like babies, begging for mercy. Since FDR's New Deal in the 1930s the US has been partly (badly) Socialist.
So let's go Full Capitalist, tough guys: no minimum wage, line up each morning and bid lowest for a job; no health care at all, get sick, go die; food stamps, ha!, eat grass; no pension, work till you drop, then pauper's grave; no unions, every man for himself against the bosses. Like it so far?
Denmark is Socialist, cradle-to-grave health care, free education, minimum wage $43/hr. Oh, it's expensive but everyone's healthy, active and pretty friendly. No ******** billionaires like the Trumpster, Soros, Gates, people who wouldn't throw a starving man a crust. No American Dream, only Danish reality.
But no Walmart AR15 to shoot your neighbors. Right. America's better.snatchpounder , 52 minutes ago link
REALITY CHECK FOR RIGHT-WINGERS
Capitalist Barack Obama gave rich capitalists trillions of dollars in free-stuff bailouts and free-stuff military spending and free-stuff imperialist wars. Capitalist Donald Trump then came along and gave those raping, looting, murderous capitalists $1.5 trillion in free-stuff tax cuts.
Socialism: Trillions of dollars of free stuff for the 99%, paid for by their labor
Capitalism: Trillions of dollars of free stuff for the super-rich 1%, paid for by the labor of the 99%.Condor_0000 , 48 minutes ago link
You described crony capitalism not capitalism.snatchpounder , 25 minutes ago link
Ever notice that your beloved ruling-class capitalists whose great wealth gives them the power to set all the laws and determine all the policy never make any attempt to stop crony capitalism?
Capitalism is inherently cronyism. The cronyism cannot be separated out and no rich capitalist would have any interest in doing so even if it could.Condor_0000 , 9 minutes ago link
Your support of a death cult ideology is duly noted and capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other ism. Marx was a lunatic who never worked a day in his vile useless life. His writings inspired Stalin and Mao to murder millions.Decoherence , 43 minutes ago link
Marx was a lunatic who never worked a day in his vile useless life.
You just described Donald Trump.Condor_0000 , 38 minutes ago link
The government on both sides of the fence subsidize corporations at the expense of the masses, so your solution is to give the government total control and ownership? You're a fuckwit if you believe the elites won't have an even better time under socialism. They would have nothing in their way. The only solution is to privatize everything if you actually wanted a better life for the ones getting screwed, but I won't even waste my time. Carry on with your idiotic thoughts.Decoherence , 29 minutes ago link
That government you right-wingers have all experienced in America and all despise is a capitalist government.
The battle between socialism and capitalism is the battle between the workers who produce the wealth and the parasites who take that wealth from the workers. That's why capitalism tells you that socialism is government. They can't tell you that socialism is society run by the producers of wealth rather than the parasites. Capitalists like to leave the working-class completely out of the equation. That's because they're scared shitless that the 99% might realize that they are actually all socialists.me123me , 37 minutes ago link
Capitalism has nothing to do with the offenses you describe. You're simply gullible enough to believe politicians when they blame capitalism for their ill gotten gains, grease and dirt. When they have the rest of the masses as dumb as you, then socialism will make their job even easier.me123me , 36 minutes ago link
So by your logic the money we earn isnt really ours.Condor_0000 , 6 minutes ago link
You dont even know what socialism is. Your description is completely wrong.Condor_0000 , 1 hour ago link
RIGHT-WING MORONS: We trust our lying, cheating, stealing, warmongering, murderous, corrupt, criminal capitalist elite to tell us everything we need to know about socialism. They would never lie to us about socialism. They would never just define the working-class masses completely out of the equation even as Karl Marx specifically wrote, "Workers of the world, unite!"ChaoKrungThep , 47 minutes ago link
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Operation Condor (Spanish: Operación Cóndor, also known as Plan Cóndor ; Portuguese : Operação Condor) was a United States –backed campaign of political repression and state terror involving intelligence operations and assassination of opponents, officially and formally implemented in November 1975 by the right-wing dictatorships of the Southern Cone of South America.
The program, nominally intended to eradicate communist or Soviet influence and ideas, was created to suppress active or potential opposition movements against the participating governments' neoliberal economic policies, which sought to reverse the economic policies of the previous era.  
Due to its clandestine nature, the precise number of deaths directly attributable to Operation Condor is highly disputed. Some estimates are that at least 60,000 deaths can be attributed to Condor, roughly 30,000 of these in Argentina,   and the so-called " Archives of Terror " list 50,000 killed, 30,000 disappeared and 400,000 imprisoned.   American political scientist J. Patrice McSherry gives a figure of at least 402 killed in operations which crossed national borders in a 2002 source,  and mentions in a 2009 source that of those who "had gone into exile" and were "kidnapped, tortured and killed in allied countries or illegally transferred to their home countries to be executed . . . hundreds, or thousands, of such persons -- the number still has not been finally determined -- were abducted, tortured, and murdered in Condor operations."  Victims included dissidents and leftists, union and peasant leaders, priests and nuns, students and teachers, intellectuals and suspected guerillas.  Although it was described by the CIA as "a cooperative effort by the intelligence/security services of several South American countries to combat terrorism and subversion,"  guerrillas were used as an excuse, as they were never substantial enough to control territory, gain material support by any foreign power, or otherwise threaten national security.    Condor's key members were the governments in Argentina , Chile , Uruguay , Paraguay , Bolivia and Brazil . Ecuador and Peru later joined the operation in more peripheral roles.  
The United States government provided planning, coordinating, training on torture  , technical support and supplied military aid to the Juntas during the Johnson , Nixon , Ford , Carter , and the Reagan administrations.  Such support was frequently routed through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
You've never read Marx. He never advocated overthrowing Capitalism; rather he predicted its demise due to its inherent chaos, waste and selfishness. It cannot exist in civilized society. Just look at America, and see he was right.
Jun 19, 2019 | www.unz.com
Early in any psychology course, students are taught to be very cautious about accepting people's reports. A simple trick is to stage some sort of interruption to the lecture by confederates, and later ask the students to write down what they witnessed. Typically, they will misremember the events, sequences and even the number of people who staged the tableaux. Don't trust witnesses, is the message.
Another approach is to show visual illusions, such as getting estimates of line lengths in the Muller-Lyer illusion, or studying simple line lengths under social pressure, as in the Asch experiment, or trying to solve the Peter Wason logic problems, or the puzzles set by Kahneman and Tversky. All these appear to show severe limitations of human judgment. Psychology is full of cautionary tales about the foibles of common folk.
As a consequence of this softening up, psychology students come to regard themselves and most people as fallible, malleable, unreliable, biased and generally irrational. No wonder psychologists feel superior to the average citizen, since they understand human limitations and, with their superior training, hope to rise above such lowly superstitions.
However, society still functions, people overcome errors and many things work well most of the time. Have psychologists, for one reason or another, misunderstood people, and been too quick to assume that they are incapable of rational thought?
Gerd Gigerenzer thinks so.
He is particularly interested in the economic consequences of apparent irrationality, and whether our presumed biases really result in us making bad economic decisions. If so, some argue we need a benign force, say a government, to protect us from our lack of capacity. Perhaps we need a tattoo on our forehead: Diminished Responsibility.
The argument leading from cognitive biases to governmental paternalism -- in short, the irrationality argument -- consists of three assumptions and one conclusion:
1. Lack of rationality. Experiments have shown that people's intuitions are systematically biased.
2. Stubbornness. Like visual illusions, biases are persistent and hardly corrigible by education.
3. Substantial costs. Biases may incur substantial welfare-relevant costs such as lower wealth, health, or happiness.
4. Biases justify governmental paternalism. To protect people from theirbiases, governments should "nudge" the public toward better behavior.
The three assumptions -- lack of rationality, stubbornness, and costs -- imply that there is slim chance that people can ever learn or be educated out of their biases; instead governments need to step in with a policy called libertarian paternalism (Thaler and Sunstein, 2003).
So, are we as hopeless as some psychologists claim we are? In fact, probably not. Not all the initial claims have been substantiated. For example, it seems we are not as loss averse as previously claimed. Does our susceptibility to printed visual illusions show that we lack judgement in real life?
In Shepard's (1990) words, "to fool a visual system that has a full binocular and freely mobile view of a well-illuminated scene is next to impossible" (p. 122). Thus, in psychology, the visual system is seen more as a genius than a fool in making intelligent inferences, and inferences, after all, are necessary for making sense of the images on the retina.
Most crucially, can people make probability judgements? Let us see. Try solving this one:
A disease has a base rate of .1, and a test is performed that has a hit rate of .9 (the conditional probability of a positive test given disease) and a false positive rate of .1 (the conditional probability of a positive test given no disease). What is the probability that a random person with a positive test result actually has the disease?
Most people fail this test, including 79% of gynaecologists giving breast screening tests. Some researchers have drawn the conclusion that people are fundamentally unable to deal with conditional probabilities. On the contrary, there is a way of laying out the problem such that most people have no difficulty with it. Watch what it looks like when presented as natural frequencies:
Among every 100 people, 10 are expected to have a disease. Among those 10, nine are expected to correctly test positive. Among the 90 people without the disease, nine are expected to falsely test positive. What proportion of those who test positive actually have the disease?
In this format the positive test result gives us 9 people with the disease and 9 people without the disease, so the chance that a positive test result shows a real disease is 50/50. Only 13% of gynaecologists fail this presentation.
Summing up the virtues of natural frequencies, Gigerenzer says:
When college students were given a 2-hour course in natural frequencies, the number of correct Bayesian inferences increased from 10% to 90%; most important, this 90% rate was maintained 3 months after training (Sedlmeier and Gigerenzer, 2001). Meta-analyses have also documented the "de-biasing" effect, and natural frequencies are now a technical term in evidence-based medicine (Akiet al., 2011; McDowell and Jacobs, 2017). These results are consistent with a long literature on techniques for successfully teaching statistical reasoning (e.g., Fonget al., 1986). In sum, humans can learn Bayesian inference quickly if the information is presented in natural frequencies.
If the problem is set out in a simple format, almost all of us can all do conditional probabilities.
I taught my medical students about the base rate screening problem in the late 1970s, based on: Robyn Dawes (1962) "A note on base rates and psychometric efficiency". Decades later, alarmed by the positive scan detection of an unexplained mass, I confided my fears to a psychiatrist friend. He did a quick differential diagnosis on bowel cancer, showing I had no relevant symptoms, and reminded me I had lectured him as a student on base rates decades before, so I ought to relax. Indeed, it was false positive.
Here are the relevant figures, set out in terms of natural frequencies
Every test has a false positive rate (every step is being taken to reduce these), and when screening is used for entire populations many patients have to undergo further investigations, sometimes including surgery.
Setting out frequencies in a logical sequence can often prevent misunderstandings. Say a man on trial for having murdered his spouse has previously physically abused her. Should his previous history of abuse not be raised in Court because only 1 woman in 2500 cases of abuse is murdered by her abuser? Of course, whatever a defence lawyer may argue and a Court may accept, this is back to front. OJ Simpson was not on trial for spousal abuse, but for the murder of his former partner. The relevant question is: what is the probability that a man murdered his partner, given that she has been murdered and that he previously battered her.
Accepting the figures used by the defence lawyer, if 1 in 2500 women are murdered every year by their abusive male partners, how many women are murdered by men who did not previously abuse them? Using government figures that 5 women in 100,000 are murdered every year then putting everything onto the same 100,000 population, the frequencies look like this:
So, 40 to 5, it is 8 times more probable that abused women are murdered by their abuser. A relevant issue to raise in Court about the past history of an accused man.
Are people's presumed biases costly, in the sense of making them vulnerable to exploitation, such that they can be turned into a money pump, or is it a case of "once bitten, twice shy"? In fact, there is no evidence that these apparently persistent logical errors actually result in people continually making costly errors. That presumption turns out to be a bias bias.
Gigerenzer goes on to show that people are in fact correct in their understanding of the randomness of short sequences of coin tosses, and Kahneman and Tversky wrong. Elegantly, he also shows that the "hot hand" of successful players in basketball is a real phenomenon, and not a stubborn illusion as claimed.
With equal elegance he disposes of a result I had depended upon since Slovic (1982), which is that people over-estimate the frequency of rare risks and under-estimate the frequency of common risks. This finding has led to the belief that people are no good at estimating risk. Who could doubt that a TV series about Chernobyl will lead citizens to have an exaggerated fear of nuclear power stations?
The original Slovic study was based on 39 college students, not exactly a fair sample of humanity. The conceit of psychologists knows no bounds. Gigerenzer looks at the data and shows that it is yet another example of regression to the mean. This is an apparent effect which arises whenever the predictor is less than perfect (the most common case), an unsystematic error effect, which is already evident when you calculate the correlation coefficient. Parental height and their children's heights are positively but not perfectly correlated at about r = 0.5. Predictions made in either direction will under-predict in either direction, simply because they are not perfect, and do not capture all the variation. Try drawing out the correlation as an ellipse to see the effect of regression, compared to the perfect case of the straight line of r= 1.0
What diminishes in the presence of noise is the variability of the estimates, both the estimates of the height of the sons based on that of their fathers, and vice versa. Regression toward the mean is a result of unsystematic, not systematic error (Stigler,1999).
Gigerenzer also looks at the supposed finding that people are over-confidence in predictions, and finds that it is another regression to the mean problem.
Gigerenzer then goes on to consider that old favourite, that most people think they are better than average, which supposedly cannot be the case, because average people are average.
Consider the finding that most drivers think they drive better than average. If better driving is interpreted as meaning fewer accidents, then most drivers' beliefs are actually true. The number of accidents per person has a skewed distribution, and an analysis of U.S. accident statistics showed that some 80% of drivers have fewer accidents than the average number of accidents (Mousavi and Gigerenzer, 2011)
Then he looks at the classical demonstration of framing, that is to say, the way people appear to be easily swayed by how the same facts are "framed" or presented to the person who has to make a decision.
A patient suffering from a serious heart disease considers high-risk surgery and asks a doctor about its prospects.
The doctor can frame the answer in two ways:
Positive Frame: Five years after surgery, 90% of patients are alive.
Negative Frame: Five years after surgery, 10% of patients are dead.
Should the patient listen to how the doctor frames the answer? Behavioral economists say no because both frames are logically equivalent (Kahneman, 2011). Nevertheless, people do listen. More are willing to agree to a medical procedure if the doctor uses positive framing (90% alive) than if negative framing is used (10% dead) (Moxeyet al., 2003). Framing effects challenge the assumption of stable preferences, leading to preference reversals. Thaler and Sunstein (2008) who presented the above surgery problem, concluded that "framing works because people tend to be somewhat mindless, passive decisionmakers" (p. 40)
Gigerenzer points out that in this particular example, subjects are having to make their judgements without knowing a key fact: how many survive without surgery. If you know that you have a datum which is more influential. These are the sorts of questions patients will often ask about, and discuss with other patients, or with several doctors. Furthermore, you don't have to spin a statistic. You could simply say: "Five years after surgery, 90% of patients are alive and 10% are dead".
Gigerenzer gives an explanation which is very relevant to current discussions about the meaning of intelligence, and about the power of intelligence tests:
In sum, the principle of logical equivalence or "description invariance" is a poor guide to understanding how human intelligence deals with an uncertain world where not everything is stated explicitly. It misses the very nature of intelligence, the ability to go beyond the information given (Bruner, 1973)
The key is to take uncertainty seriously, take heuristics seriously, and beware of the bias bias.
One important conclusion I draw from this entire paper is that the logical puzzles enjoyed by Kahneman, Tversky, Stanovich and others are rightly rejected by psychometricians as usually being poor indicators of real ability. They fail because they are designed to lead people up the garden path, and depend on idiosyncratic interpretations.
For more detail: http://www.unz.com/jthompson/the-tricky-question-of-rationality/
Critics of examinations of either intellectual ability or scholastic attainment are fond of claiming that the items are "arbitrary". Not really. Scholastic tests have to be close to the curriculum in question, but still need to a have question forms which are simple to understand so that the stress lies in how students formulate the answer, not in how they decipher the structure of the question.
Intellectual tests have to avoid particular curricula and restrict themselves to the common ground of what most people in a community understand. Questions have to be super-simple, so that the correct answer follows easily from the question, with minimal ambiguity. Furthermore, in the case of national scholastic tests, and particularly in the case of intelligence tests, legal authorities will pore over the test, looking at each item for suspected biases of a sexual, racial or socio-economic nature. Designing an intelligence test is a difficult and expensive matter. Many putative new tests of intelligence never even get to the legal hurdle, because they flounder on matters of reliability and validity, and reveal themselves to be little better than the current range of assessments.
In conclusion, both in psychology and behavioural economics, some researchers have probably been too keen to allege bias in cases where there are unsystematic errors, or no errors at all. The corrective is to learn about base rates, and to use natural frequencies as a guide to good decision-making.
Don't bother boosting your IQ. Boost your understanding of natural frequencies.
res , says: June 17, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMTGood concrete advice. Perhaps even more useful for those who need to explain things like this to others than for those seeking to understand for themselves.ThreeCranes , says: June 17, 2019 at 3:34 pm GMT"intelligence deals with an uncertain world where not everything is stated explicitly. It misses the very nature of intelligence, the ability to go beyond the information given (Bruner, 1973)"Tom Welsh , says: June 18, 2019 at 8:36 am GMT
"The key is to take uncertainty seriously, take heuristics seriously, and beware of the bias bias."
Why I come to Unz.@Cortes Sounds fishy to me.Biff , says: June 18, 2019 at 10:16 am GMT
Actually I think this is an example of an increasingly common genre of malapropism, where the writer gropes for the right word, finds one that is similar, and settles for that. The worst of it is that readers intuitively understand what was intended, and then adopt the marginally incorrect usage themselves. That's perhaps how the world and his dog came to say "literally" when they mean "figuratively". Maybe a topic for a future article?In 2009 Google finished engineering a reverse search engine to find out what kind of searches people did most often. Seth Davidowitz and Steven Pinker wrote a very fascinating/entertaining book using the tool called Everybody Liesdearieme , says: June 18, 2019 at 11:25 am GMT
Everybody Lies offers fascinating, surprising, and sometimes laugh-out-loud insights into everything from economics to ethics to sports to race to sex, gender, and more, all drawn from the world of big data. What percentage of white voters didn't vote for Barack Obama because he's black? Does where you go to school effect how successful you are in life? Do parents secretly favor boy children over girls? Do violent films affect the crime rate? Can you beat the stock market? How regularly do we lie about our sex lives, and who's more self-conscious about sex, men or women?
Investigating these questions and a host of others, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz offers revelations that can help us understand ourselves and our lives better. Drawing on studies and experiments on how we really live and think, he demonstrates in fascinating and often funny ways the extent to which all the world is indeed a lab. With conclusions ranging from strange-but-true to thought-provoking to disturbing, he explores the power of this digital truth serum and its deeper potential – revealing biases deeply embedded within us, information we can use to change our culture, and the questions we're afraid to ask that might be essential to our health – both emotional and physical. All of us are touched by big data every day, and its influence is multiplying. Everybody Lies challenges us to think differently about how we see it and the world.I shall treat this posting (for which many thanks, doc) as an invitation to sing a much-loved song: everybody should read Gigerenzer's Reckoning with Risk. With great clarity it teaches what everyone ought to know about probability.Anon  • Disclaimer , says: June 18, 2019 at 3:47 pm GMT
(It could also serve as a model for writing in English about technical subjects. Americans and Britons should study the English of this German – he knows how, you know.)
Inspired by "The original Slovic study was based on 39 college students" I shall also sing another favorite song. Much of Psychology is based on what small numbers of American undergraduates report they think they think." Gigerenzer points out that in this particular example, subjects are having to make their judgements without knowing a key fact: how many survive without surgery. "Cortes , says: June 18, 2019 at 4:14 pm GMT
This one reminds of the false dichotomy. The patient has additional options! Like changing diet, and behaviours such as exercise, elimination of occupational stress , etc.
The statistical outcomes for a person change when the person changes their circumstances/conditions.@Tom Welsh A disposition (conveyance) of an awkwardly shaped chunk out of a vast estate contained reference to "the slither of ground bounded on or towards the north east and extending two hundred and twenty four meters or thereby along a chain link fence " Not poor clients (either side) nor cheap lawyers. And who never erred?Tom Fix , says: June 18, 2019 at 4:25 pm GMT
Better than deliberately inserting "errors" to guarantee a stream of tidy up work (not unknown in the "professional" world) in future.Good article. 79% of gynaecologists fail a simple conditional probability test?! Many if not most medical research papers use advanced statistics. Medical doctors must read these papers to fully understand their field. So, if medical doctors don't fully understand them, they are not properly doing their job. Those papers use mathematical expressions, not English. Converting them to another form of English, instead of using the mathematical expressions isn't a solution.SafeNow , says: June 18, 2019 at 5:49 pm GMTRegarding witnesses: When that jet crashed into Rockaway several years ago, a high percentage of witnesses said that they saw smoke before the crash. But there was actually no smoke. The witnesses were adjusting what they saw to conform to their past experience of seeing movie and newsreel footage of planes smoking in the air before a crash. Children actually make very good witnesses.Anon  • Disclaimer , says: June 18, 2019 at 9:48 pm GMT
Regarding the chart. Missing, up there in the vicinity of cancer and heart disease. The third-leading cause of death. 250,000 per year, according to a 2016 Hopkins study. Medical negligence.Curmudgeon , says: June 19, 2019 at 1:42 am GMT
1. Lack of rationality. Experiments have shown that people's intuitions are systematically biased.
2. Stubbornness. Like visual illusions, biases are persistent and hardly corrigible by education.
3. Substantial costs. Biases may incur substantial welfare-relevant costs such as lower wealth, health, or happiness.
4. Biases justify governmental paternalism. To protect people from theirbiases, governments should "nudge" the public toward better behavior.
Well the sad fact is that there's nobody in the position to protect "governments" from their own biases, and "scientists" from theirs.
So, behind the smoke of all words and rationalisations, the law is unchanged: everyone strives to gain and exert as much power as possible over as many others as possible. Most do that without writing papers to say it is right, others write papers, others books. Anyway, the fundamental law would stay as it is even if all this writing labour was spared, wouldn't it? But then another fundamental law, the law of framing all one's drives as moral and beneffective comes into play the papers and the books are useful, after all.An interesting article. However, I think that the only thing we have to know about how illogical psychiatry is this:Paul2 , says: June 19, 2019 at 8:08 am GMT
In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) asked all members attending its convention to vote on whether they believed homosexuality to be a mental disorder. 5,854 psychiatrists voted to remove homosexuality from the DSM, and 3,810 to retain it.
The APA then compromised, removing homosexuality from the DSM but replacing it, in effect, with "sexual orientation disturbance" for people "in conflict with" their sexual orientation. Not until 1987 did homosexuality completely fall out of the DSM.
(source https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/hide-and-seek/201509/when-homosexuality-stopped-being-mental-disorder )
The article makes no mention of the fact that no "new science" was brought to support the resolution.
It appears that the psychiatrists were voting based on feelings rather than science. Since that time, the now 50+ genders have been accepted as "normal" by the APA. My family has had members in multiple generations suffering from mental illness. None were "cured". I know others with the same circumstances.
How does one conclude that being repulsed by the prime directive of every living organism – reproduce yourself – is "normal"? That is not to say these people are horrible or evil, just not normal. How can someone, who thinks (s)he is a cat be mentally ill, but a grown man thinking he is a female child is not?
Long ago a lawyer acquaintance, referring to a specific judge, told me that the judge seemed to "make shit up as he was going along". I have long held psychiatry fits that statement very well.Thank you for this article. I find the information about the interpretation of statistical data very interesting. My take on the background of the article is this:Dieter Kief , says: June 19, 2019 at 8:22 am GMT
Here we have a real scientist fighting the nonsense spreading from (neoclassical) economics into other realms of science/academia.
Behavioral economics is a sideline by-product of neoclassical micro-economic theory. It tries to cope with experimental data that is inconsistent with that theory.
Everything in neoclassical economics is a travesty. "Rational choice theory" and its application in "micro economics" is false from the ground up. It basically assumes that people are gobbling up resources without plan, meaning or relevant circumstances. Neoclassical micro economic theory is so false and illogical that I would not know where to start in a comment, so I should like to refer to a whole book about it:
Keen, Steve: "Debunking economics".
As the theory is totally wrong it is really not surprising that countless experiments show that people do not behave the way neoclassical theory predicts. How do economists react to this? Of course they assume that people are "irrational" because they do not behave according to their studied theory. (Why would you ever change your basic theory because of some tedious facts?)
We live in a strange world in which such people have control over university faculties, journals, famous prizes. But at least we have some scientists who defend their area of knowledge against the spreading nonsense produced by economists.
The title of the 1st ed. of Keen's book was "Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor of the Social Sciences" which was simply a perfect title.@Curmudgeon Could it be that you expect psychiatrists in the past to be as rational as you are now?
Would the result have been any different, if members of a 1973 convention of physicists or surgeons would have been asked?
Jun 10, 2019 | off-guardian.org
Every empire is a dictatorship. No nation can be a democracy that's either heading an empire, or a vassal-state of one. Obviously, in order to be a vassal-state within an empire, that nation is dictated-to by the nation of which it is a colony.
By contrast, 'enemy' nations are ones that the imperial power has placed onto its priority-list of nations that are yet to become conquered. There are two main reasons to conquer a nation. One is in order to be enabled to extract, from the colony, oil, or gold, or some other valuable commodity. The other is in order to control it so as to be enabled to use that land as a passageway for exporting, from a vassal-nation, to other nations, that vassal-nation's products.
International trade is the basis for any empire, and the billionaires who own controlling blocs of stock in a nation's international corporations are the actual rulers of it, the beneficiaries of empire, the recipients of the wealth that is being extracted from the colonies and from the domestic subjects. The idea of an empire is that the imperial nation's rulers, its aristocracy, extract from the colonies their products, and they impose upon their domestic subjects the financial and military burdens of imposing their international dictatorship upon the foreign subjects.
Some authors say that there is a "Deep State" and that it consists of (some undefined elements within) the intelligence services, and of the military, and of the diplomatic corps, of any given dictatorship; but, actually, those employees of the State are merely employees, not the actual governing authority, over that dictatorship.
The actual Deep State are always the aristocrats, themselves, the people who run the revolving door between 'the private sector' (the aristocracy's corporations) and the government. In former times, many of the aristocrats were themselves governing officials (the titled 'nobility'), but this is no longer common. Nowadays, the aristocracy are the individuals who own controlling blocs of stock in international corporations (especially weapons-making firms such as Lockheed Martin and BAE, because the only markets for those corporations are the corporation's own government and its vassal states or 'allies'); and such individuals are usually the nation's billionaires, and, perhaps, a few of the mere centi-millionaires.
A small number, typically less than 100, of these extremely wealthy individuals, are the biggest donors to politicians, and to think tanks, and to other non-profits (these latter being also tax-write-offs to their donors, and so are tax-drains to the general public) that are involved in the formation of the national government's policies.
Of course, they also are owners of and/or advertisers in the propaganda-media, which sell the aristocracy's core or most-essential viewpoints to the nation's subjects in order to persuade those voters to vote only for the aristocracy's selected candidates and not for any who oppose the aristocracy. These few, mainly billionaires, are the actual Deep State -- the bosses over the dictatorship, the ultimate beneficiaries in any empire. In order to maintain this system, of international dictatorship or empire, the most essential tool is deceit, of the electorate, by the aristocracy. The method of control is: the bought agents of the Deep State lie to the public about what their polices will be if they win, in order to be able to win power; and, then, once they have won power, they do the opposite, which is what they have always been paid by the Deep State (the aristocracy) to help them to do. Thereby, elections aren't "democratic" but 'democratic': they are mere formalities of democracy, without the substance of democracy.
All of the well-financed candidates for the top offices are actually the Deep State's representatives, and virtually none are the representatives of the public, because the voters have been deceived, and were given choices between two or more candidates, none of whom will represent the public if and when elected. Here are some recent examples of this system -- the imperial system, international dictatorship, in action: During Donald Trump's Presidential campaign, he said :The approach of fighting Assad and ISIS simultaneously was madness, and idiocy. They're fighting each other and yet we're fighting both of them. You know, we were fighting both of them. I think that our far bigger problem than Assad is ISIS, I've always felt that. Assad is, you know I'm not saying Assad is a good man, 'cause he's not, but our far greater problem is not Assad, it's ISIS. I think, you can't be fighting two people that are fighting each other, and fighting them together. You have to pick one or the other."Assad is allied with Russia against the Saudis (who are the chief ally of the U.S. aristocracy), so the U.S. (in accord with a policy that George Herbert Walker Bush had initiated on 24 February 1990 and which has been carried out by all subsequent U.S. Presidents) was determined to overthrow Assad, but Trump said that he was strongly opposed to that policy. Months before that, Trump had said :I think Assad is a bad guy, a very bad guy, all right? Lots of people killed. I think we are backing people we have no idea who they are. The rebels, we call them the rebels, the patriotic rebels. We have no idea. A lot of people think, Hugh, that they are ISIS. We have to do one thing at a time. We can't be fighting ISIS and fighting Assad. Assad is fighting ISIS. He is fighting ISIS. Russia is fighting now ISIS. And Iran is fighting ISIS. We have to do one thing at a time. We can't go -- and I watched Lindsey Graham, he said, I have been here for 10 years fighting. Well, he will be there with that thinking for another 50 years. He won't be able to solve the problem. We have to get rid of ISIS first. After we get rid of ISIS, we'll start thinking about it. But we can't be fighting Assad. And when you're fighting Assad, you are fighting Russia, you're fighting -- you're fighting a lot of different groups. But we can't be fighting everybody at one time."In that same debate (15 December 2015) he also said:In my opinion, we've spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people that frankly, if they were there and if we could've spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges, and all of the other problems; our airports and all of the other problems we've had, we would've been a lot better off. I can tell you that right now. We have done a tremendous disservice, not only to Middle East, we've done a tremendous disservice to humanity. The people that have been killed, the people that have wiped away, and for what? It's not like we had victory. It's a mess. The Middle East is totally destabilized. A total and complete mess. I wish we had the $4 trillion or $5 trillion. I wish it were spent right here in the United States, on our schools, hospitals, roads, airports, and everything else that are all falling apart."Did he do that? No. Did he instead intensify what Obama had been trying to do in Syria -- overthrow Assad -- yes.
As the U.S. President, after having won the 2016 Presidential campaign, has Trump followed through on his criticism there, against the super-hawk, neoconservative, Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham? No. Did he instead encircle himself with precisely such super-hawks, such neoconservatives? Yes.
Did he intensify the overthrow-Assad effort as Graham and those others had advocated? Yes.
Did America's war against Syria succeed? No.
Did he constantly lie to the voters? Yes, without a doubt.
Should that be grounds for impeaching him? A prior question to that one is actually: Would a President Mike Pence be any different or maybe even worse than Trump? Yes.
So: what, then, would be achieved by removing Trump from office? Maybe it would actually make things a lot worse. But how likely would the U.S. Senate be to remove Trump from office if the House did impeach Trump?
Two-thirds of the U.S. Senate would need to vote to remove the President in order for a President to be removed after being impeached by the House. A majority of U.S. Senators, 53, are Republicans. If just 33 of them vote not to convict the President, then Trump won't be removed. In order to remove him, not only would all 47 of the Democrats and Independents have to vote to convict, but 20 of the 53 Republicans would need to join them. That's nearly 40% of the Republican Senators.
How likely is that? Almost impossible.
What would their voters who had elected them back home think of their doing such a thing? How likely would such Senators face successful re-election challenges that would remove those Senators from office? Would 20 of the 53 be likely to take that personal risk?
Why, then, are so many Democrats in the House pressing for Trump's impeachment, since Trump's being forced out of the White House this way is practically impossible and would only install a President Pence, even if it could succeed? Is that Democratic Party initiative anything else than insincere political theater, lying to their own gullible voters, just being phonies who manipulate voters to vote for them instead of who are actually serving them?
Is that what democracy is, now: insincere political theater? Is that "democracy"? America's voters are trapped, by liars, so it's instead mere 'democracy'. It's just the new form of dictatorship. But it's actually as ancient as is any empire.
There's nothing new about this -- except one thing: the U.S. regime is aiming to be the ultimate, the last, the final, empire, the ruler over the entire world; so, it is trying especially hard, 'to defend freedom, democracy and human rights throughout the world', as Big Brother might say.
Trump's Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, was just as evil, and just as insincere, as Trump, but only a far more skillful liar, who deceived his voters to think that he would fight corruption , work to improve relations with Russia , provide a public option in his health-insurance plan , and otherwise work to reduce economic inequality , to improve the economic situation for disadvantaged Americans , and to prosecute banksters .
He abandoned each one of those stated objectives as soon as he won against John McCain, on 4 November 2008, and then yet more when he defeated Mitt Romney in 2012.
And aren't some of those promises the same ones that candidate Trump had also advocated and then abandoned as soon as he too was (s)elected ?THE THREAT TO THE EMPIREThe heroic fighters for the freedom of everyone in the world are the whistleblowers, who report to the public the corruption and evil that they see perpetrated by their superiors, their bosses, and perpetrated by people who are on the public payroll or otherwise obtaining increased income by virtue of being selected by the government to become government contractors to serve an allegedly public function.
All liars with power hate whistleblowers and want to make special examples of any part of the press that publishes their truths, their facts, their stolen documents. These documents are stolen because that's the only way for them to become public and thereby known to the voters so that the voters can vote on the basis of truths as in a democracy, instead of be deceived as in a dictatorship.
Even if the truth is stolen from the liars, instead of being kept private ("Confidential") for them, are the whistleblowers doing wrong to steal the truth from the liars? Or, instead, are the whistleblowers heroes: are they the authentic guardians of democracy and the precariously thin wall that separates democracy from dictatorship?
They are the latter: they are the heroes. Unfortunately, the vast majority of such heroes are also martyrs -- martyrs for truth, against lies. Every dictatorship seeks to destroy its whistleblowers. That's because any whistleblower constitutes a threat to The System -- the system of control. In all of U.S. history, the two Presidents who pursued whistleblowers and their publishers the most relentlessly have been Trump and Obama.
The public are fooled to think that this is being done for 'national security' reasons instead of to hide the government's crimes and criminality. However, not a single one of the Democratic Party's many U.S. Presidential candidates is bringing this issue, of the U.S. government's many crimes and constant lying, forward as being the central thing that must be criminalized above all else, as constituting "treason."
None of them is proposing legislation saying that it is treason, against the public -- against the nation. Every aristocracy tries to deceive its public in order to control its public; and every aristocracy uses divide-and-rule in order to do this. But it's not only to divide the public against each other (such as between Republicans versus Democrats, both of which are actually controlled by the aristocracy), but also to divide between nations, such as between 'allies' versus 'enemies' -- even when a given 'enemy' (such as Iraq in 2003) has never threatened, nor invaded, the United States (or whatever the given imperial 'us' may happen to be), and thus clearly this was aggressive war and an international war-crime, though unpunished as such.
The public need to fear and hate some 'enemy' which is the 'other' or 'alien', in order not to fear and loathe the aristocracy itself -- the actual source of (and winner from) the systemic exploitation, of the public, by the aristocracy.
The pinnacle of the U.S. regime's totalitarianism is its ceaseless assault against Julian Assange, who is the uber-whistleblower, the strongest protector for whistleblowers, the safest publisher for the evidence that they steal from their employers and from their employers' government. He hides the identity of the whistleblowers even at the risk of his own continued existence.
... ... ...
On 20 May 2019, former British Ambassador Craig Murray (who had quit so that he could blow the whistle) headlined "The Missing Step" and argued that the only chance that Assange now has is if Sweden refuses to extradite Assange to the US in the event that Britain honors the Swedish request to extradite him to Sweden instead of to the US (The decision on that will now probably be made by the US agent Boris Johnson instead of by the regular Tory Theresa May.)
How can it reasonably be denied that the US is, in fact (though not nominally) a dictatorship ?
All of its allies are thus vassal-nations in its empire. This means acquiescence (if not joining) in some of the US regime's frequent foreign coups and invasions; and this means their assisting in the spread of the US regime's control beyond themselves, to include additional other countries.
It reduces the freedom, and the democracy, throughout the world; it spreads the US dictatorship internationally. That is what is evil about what in America is called "neoconservatism" and in other countries is called simply "imperialism." Under American reign, it is now a spreading curse, a political plague, to peoples throughout the world. Even an American whistleblower about Ukraine who lives in the former Ukraine is being targeted by the US regime .
This is how the freedom of everyone is severely threatened, by the US empire -- the most deceitful empire that the world has ever experienced. The martyrs to its lies are the canaries in its coal mine. They are the first to be eliminated.
Looking again at that rank-ordered list of 23 countries, one sees the US and eight of its main allies (or vassal-nations), in order: US, UK, Canada, Poland, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Japan, France, Indonesia. These are countries where the subjects are already well-controlled by the empire. They already are vassals, and so are ordained as being 'allies'.
At the opposite end, starting with the most anti-US-regime, are: S. Africa, India, Russia, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, S. Korea, Turkey. These are countries where the subjects are not yet well-controlled by the empire, even though the current government in some of them is trying to change its subjects' minds so that the country will accept US rule.
Wherever the subjects reject US rule, there exists a strong possibility that the nation will become placed on the US regime's list of 'enemies'. Consequently, wherever the residents are the most opposed to US rule, the likelihood of an American coup or invasion is real. The first step toward a coup or invasion is the imposition of sanctions against the nation. Any such nation that is already subject to them is therefore already in danger.
Any such nation that refuses to cooperate with the US regime's existing sanctions -- such as against trading with Russia, China, Iran, or Venezuela -- is in danger of becoming itself a US-sanctioned nation, and therefore officially an 'enemy'. And this is why freedom and democracy are ending. Unless and until the US regime itself becomes conquered -- either domestically by a second successful American Revolution (this one to eliminate the domestic aristocracy instead of to eliminate a foreign one), or else by a World War III in which the US regime becomes destroyed even worse than the opposing alliance will -- the existing insatiable empire will continue to be on the war-path to impose its dictatorship to everyone on this planet.
ANDREW CLEMENTSThis should be taught in schools'Ramdan
I will get my coat"Our only hope is to organize the overthrow of the corporate state that vomited up Trump. Our democratic institutions, including the legislative bodies, the courts and the media, are hostage to corporate power. They are no longer democratic. We must, like liberation movements of the past, engage in acts of sustained mass civil disobedience and non-cooperation. By turning our ire on the corporate state, we name the true sources of power and abuse. We expose the absurdity of blaming our demise on demonized groups such as undocumented workers, Muslims, African-Americans, Latinos, liberals, feminists, gays and others. We give people an alternative to a Democratic Party that refuses to confront the corporate forces of oppression and cannot be rehabilitated. We make possible the restoration of an open society. If we fail to embrace this militancy, which alone has the ability to destroy cult leaders, we will continue the march toward tyranny." Chris HedgesAndrew PaulSurely, as well as some billionaires and centi-millionaires, there are other perhaps more institutionalised individuals with power to dispose of much even more clandestine wealth hidden in black budgets operated by and for the interests of unaccountable military and intelligence services in the putative empire, and there is also 'organised crime' and there are wealthy religious organisations, and these too can strongly influence politicians and the public opinion-forming 'narrative' shaping this false 'democracy' in the name of an elitist, highly hierarchical, socially as well as environmentally destructive global empire under full spectrum dominance.Yarkob
At the global level the most viable alternative to this, I suggest, and barring destructive world war (but perhaps following a US and even a UK civil war, unfortunately), will be a world federation or confederation with a high council at which all cultures and social interest-groups, great and small, of this world are properly, and preferably directly democratically, represented.
Many thanks for the food for thought here."So: what, then, would be achieved by removing Trump from office? Maybe it would actually make things a lot worse."mark
See: Saddam HusseinWe could get President Pocahontas or President Buttplug instead.ANDREW CLEMENTSPresident silence of the pestilentWilmers31We see a merger today between Raytheon and United Technologies. Here one para from 0hedge:mark
"Of course, there is a simpler way to boost profit margins that avoids cutting costs – just boost revenue, which of course would require war. Luckily, the Trump admin's neocon hawks are doing everything in their power to make sure that that's precisely what happens as the stock of the combined company will continue its relentless levitation."
Don't let them use you – don't enlist. Freedom might still be ended, but less profitable for them.As another man at another time asked, "What is to be done?"Frank Poster
The power of the billionaires, their bought and paid for politicians, and their servile media need to be broken.
In living memory, tax rates in the UK and US reached 98% and 91% respectively. There's no need to go back anywhere near those confiscatory levels, just ensure those people do actually pay SOME taxes. Last year, Amazon and Netflix should have paid over $16 billion in taxes. They paid nothing – they were actually given rebates of over $4 billion. Boeing hasn't paid a cent in taxes for 15 years. The same applies to a rogues' gallery of all the big boys, Google, Starbucks, General Electric, Boots, to name but a few. Profits are made to disappear and turned into losses by financial sleight of hand. An inflated level of debt is incurred to finance share buy backs instead of R&D, reinvestment and training. Trillions are salted away illegally in tax havens. The working and middle classes, 99.9% of the population, endure decades of austerity, declining wages, salaries and benefits, disappearing pensions, endemic insecurity. Rocketing house prices, £500,000 for a crappy one bed London flat. Children unable to leave home. Education and health privatised or becoming so. All public services or formerly public services declining to third world standards. A level of inequality not seen since Dickensian times. A financialised, spiv and shyster economy. A parasitic financial elite bleeding productive businesses dry, committing crime with impunity, and looting the public Treasury of untold trillions. Criminal wars of aggression abroad, taking the lives and destroying the future of tens of millions.
All this and much more needs to be changed.
Easier said than done. But is it?
We have seen what happens when anger and outrage are mobilised into an irresistible force.
This can happen surprisingly easily.
Things like the MPs expenses scandal, the Gilets Jaunes in France, Brexit in the UK, Trump in the US, political chaos in the EU. whatever you think of those developments, one way or another. The elites have a very tenuous grip on power, which can be broken quite easily.
All of the above characteristics of our present system can be changed by public pressure. It can be done.
Tax avoidance and tax havens can be closed down. If the big boys can't see which way the wind is blowing, they will do after a few of them are jailed. Anything that works against the public interest targeted for radical change. Public utilities and rail companies that fail to clean up their act properly regulated and if necessary nationalised. Housing and health treated as human needs and human rights. The NHS and a massive post war social housing programme went ahead though the country was completely bankrupt. It is a question of will and priorities. All this can be done. It is doable. All it needs is the mobilisation of sufficient outrage. And there are many recent examples of this."The elites have a very tenuous grip on power, which can be broken quite easily.mark
All of the above characteristics of our present system can be changed by public pressure. It can be done."
Easily? Sorry Mark, I agree with your sentiments but there's nothing easy about it whatsoever, and you must be living on a different planet to me, sorry to say – let's examine each of your examples –
MPs expenses scandal : minimal effect, the buggers carry on, and with a self-appointed overseer.
Gilets Jaunes : smashed, sadly.
Brexit : this is not democracy, it's a US / neocon hijack of Britain.
Trump : Enriching the rich even more.
Political chaos in the EU : it's a US tactic to "shake the tree" and knock the confidence in the EU, it became too strong a competitor for the US. Divide and conquer is their game with the EU. Tariffs will follow, and they are doing exactly the same to China, and indeed Russia.
It's sad that the most common social purpose in European modern history is being attacked not only by the right wing nutters, but also the blinkered Trotskyists on the left.You're right about some of the outcomes. The point I was trying to make is that it's not possible to paper over the cracks any more. People realise that they have been lied to and the system does not work for them, if it ever did. This may sound nebulous, but it has an effect. The credibility and influence of the MSM has been shredded by its own mendacity and lack of integrity. This has far reaching consequences which may not be readily apparent on a day to day basis. But it is important. The same applies to all the institutions and organs of the state. The world is becoming increasingly turbulent and unstable, and support for elites and the systems they represent is dwindling rapidly. The whole economic and financial system is like a house of cards. At such times, change that had previously been inconceivable becomes inevitable. Of course, there is no guarantee that these changes will be positive, like Russia in 1917 or Germany in 1933.Frank PosterPfff, what happened to the new OffG function to be able to edit one's posts, it's disappeared!OffGIt vanished during our DoS attack – we haven't managed to get it back yet. Infuriating, I know.Gezzah PottsClearly explained analysis of the deep shit we're all in. Unfortunately tho I don't see a second American revolution breaking out anytime soon. I think the large majority have been too crushed by the system; many working 2 or 3 jobs just to survive, many a couple paychecks away from being homeless, many living in cars or under bridges, and sadly, the large large majority lap up the propaganda spewed out by the stenographers. And believe it. Which leaves us with the next option for stopping this evil blood drenched Empire. And that is probably where we're heading. Scary times Eric.markYou may be right, GP. When I lived in America I was quite shocked by the low standard of living of very many people. Working 2 or 3 jobs, unable to run a car, health care completely out of their reach, living in houses like wooden shacks. Even buying food a problem. Completely ignorant of the outside world.George
Half a million are now homeless, with third world shanty towns next to the gated developments of the rich, the streets covered with human faeces, TB, typhoid and tapeworm becoming major problems.
What I see is this becoming worse and forming a critical mass, when it can no longer be ignored. As such, there are grounds for optimism. Things becoming so bad that they can no longer be tolerated. Perhaps that is unrealistic, I don't know."Working 2 or 3 jobs, unable to run a car, health care completely out of their reach, living in houses like wooden shacks. Even buying food a problem. Completely ignorant of the outside world."Gezzah Potts
Hey – but haven't you heard? That's FREEDOM!Appreciate both your comments Mark, and yes, the Gilets Jaunes are probably the best current example of people fighting back against the system and saying Enough. I've never been to the UK so can't really judge from first hand experience, know the situation in United States by a fair bit of reading on the levels of poverty and precariousness state many live in, tho here in Australia the levels of cognitive dissonance, apathy and groupthink (derived from mainstream media) seem very high, and I speak to lots of people while out selling The Big Issue mag. About the angriest people get here is griping about Aussie politicians. I don't get any sense of anger or disgust at the Actual economic system.wardropper"Things becoming so bad that they can no longer be tolerated" ?mark
Nothing a couple more wars couldn't fix, MarkYou may be right, but the outcome of any wars that are currently being threatened, Iran, Venezuela, DPRK, Russia, China, would be the final nail in the coffin of the AngloZionist Empire.wardropperMy greatest worry is that this AngloZionist Empire doesn't care about anything at all – not even the nails in their own coffin.nwwoods
They fondly imagine some kind of capitalistic "rapture" is going to whisk them off to "Money Heaven" and we will be left with their crap and their puke all over our planet.
I no longer think it's exaggerated to talk of demonic beings here, and if they are not demonic, then why are they acting as if they were?FWIW, Tulsi Gabbard uttered a full-throated defense of both Assange and Manning.SteveIt has to be remembered that Assange is an Australian and Manning was born in West Wales to a UK mother. These countries must stand up for their citizens.nwwoodsGiven the recent federal police raids on Australian journalists, it seems unlikely that Australia will be coming to the aid of Julian Assange any time soon.TutisicecreamYes this is true. Tulsi Gabbard is the real deal and a bellwether of the current corrupt system and its stupefying echo chambers. She has no chance at the moment, but that's not the point. She exposes the corruption of the aristocracies and their corrupt system and shills.Frank Poster
As we are here. Take the Fruadian Tulsi ticks all their supposed PC boxes and yet their is no mention of her anywhere. But "Creepy Joe" Biden who epitomises the corrupt entitlement the system offers is reported on add nauseum.
As the Fraud, can't attack her it appears they can't report on her either. So her good campaign work is reported on the alt media, you know where the fake stuff is!
So there you have it, a perfect example of a faux feedback loop
Oh, and excellent article by Eric as well.She won't last long then, unfortunately.nwwoodsNo, I am hoping that the DNC doesn't change the rules in order to block her from at least the first round of televised debate. But I'm not holding my breath.Ramdan
BTW, I read somewhere that DNC intends to split the first (D) debate into two groups, ostensibly because of the ridiculous number of candidates, which stands at 24, last I looked.
DNC is going to make certain that only centrist liberals are on the same debate stage with Joe Biden, "the only real progressive in the race" (in his own words).
Bernie and Tulsi will probably be dining at the kids table, if at all.
Frank PosterGood point, I agree with you.der einzigeIf these sentences of Mr. Eric are trueEinstein
Of course, they also are owners of and/or advertisers in the propaganda-media, which sell the aristocracy's core or most-essential viewpoints to the nation's subjects in order to persuade those voters to vote only for the aristocracy's selected candidates and not for any who oppose the aristocracy.
These few, mainly billionaires, are the actual Deep State -- the bosses over the dictatorship, the ultimate beneficiaries in any empire.
the rest of Assange is a lie
What Mr. Mossange did in these media which promoted him? Who he worked for? for Arab Springs? for Rothschilds? What he did on tea in The Economics, Guardian, NYT, The Bild etc.? What?Excellent piece.DunGroaninJA is a thorn in their side.wardropper
JC is a stake through their heart.
The v'empires fear is palpable.
Neither the throwing of the book or the kitchen sinks full of shit at their nemesises is working, as these polls demonstrate.
Hillarious. Bring on the much delayed GE.Sorry to be a wet blanket, but, frankly, it's been a long time since a GE fixed anythingSteve
Elections, as I think George Carlin said, are only there to make us think we have a voice.If the UK elect Jeremy Corbyn all bets are off, he will expose ALL corrupt politicians media and foreign powers. Why do you think there is such a concerted effort to prevent him gaining office, even Pompeo has said "the US will prevent him becoming PM"wardropperI think there is a misunderstanding here, Steve. I couldn't agree with you more, especially about the concerted efforts (which I noticed a long time ago) to prevent Corbyn from gaining office.Rhisiart Gwilym
My "wet-blanket" point is really only connected with your last quote from Pompeo, "The US will prevent him becoming PM". Surely no one today is under any illusions as to whether Pompeo means what he says, much as I would love to throw a spanner in his works.
Nothing would please me more, either, than to learn that I had been overly pessimistic. But I still have no doubts that Pompeo could and would fix any election that suited him. He has already admitted, in another context, to lying, cheating, stealing and killing.Pompous Hippo, TIGW – The Insane Geriatric Walrus, Donny Les Tweets, Elliott Demon, Veryfew Pence and the rest of the delusional criminal inadequates of the DCSwamp may be against JC and wish to stop him, but – judging by their steadily-increasing ineffectualness on the world stage (how're those regime changes in Syria and Venezuela going? how's the bankrupting-Russia-with-sanctions going?) – they may not be too effective at preventing his entry to Downing Street.wardropperI pray you're right. Those dull-witted thugs may indeed be increasingly ineffectual, but the fact that they are still committed to their insane agenda continues to cost the world a great deal of suffering.different frankPeople will be the good sheeple that the establishment want them to be.kevin morris
They will vote who they are told to vote for.
Hate who they are told to hate.
Fear who they are told to fear.
Devoid of all independent thought. Forever sleeping. Always conforming. Always consuming. The sheeple serve their establishment masters well. maybe a crumb will fall from the big table. They can fight each other for that. good sheep. baaaWe're all sheeple!wardropperAssange isn't.Annie BesantI will first quote the final passage from your tract which reads "Unless and until the US regime itself becomes conquered -- either domestically by a second successful American Revolution (this one to eliminate the domestic aristocracy instead of to eliminate a foreign one), or else by a World War III in which the US regime becomes destroyed even worse than the opposing alliance will -- the existing insatiable empire will continue to be on the war-path to impose its dictatorship to everyone on this planet." Whist it has not yet sunk in to the heads of the faceless perpetrators within the Hegemon, it is true to say that a much greater proportion, the greater percentage of humanity are now enlightened to the truth that should a global nuclear conflict break out, either by accident or design, there would be no living person remaining to gloat over the spoils.wardropper
This is where "American Exceptionalism" meets its nemesis, for at that moment all their power, influence, wealth, and vanity would evanesce as the towers of Mammon are reduced to rubble. Even their nuclear bunkers would provide no safe haven and there would be even less time for them to come to their senses, for we are contemplating the total extinction of the human species here.
Even in the face of an almost overwhelming resignation to fate, I am well aware that I am not alone in the belief that our planet will survive until that time when our sun ceases to exist. Perhaps we can share Mr Zuess's suggestion that the key to our survival here is by "domestic revolution" whereby within national limits, any country can create a groundswell of solidarity working to find a humane fix for the broken socio-economic system which thrives on the incompetence of dysfunctional leaders. This can be brought about by de-centralisation in matters of how our citizens are governed, rather than the current situation where our citizens are controlled and monitored, both in public and in private.
Localised government, informed by local people, can address all the issues in respect of which there are many who currently feel disempowered and thereby render themselves vulnerable to the general apathy and malaise that is fertile ground for the mischief of authority. This is a matter of systemic transformation and it is taking place right now with innumerable (largely unreported) peace, education, economic and apolitical bodies. Working together on a global basis, realising the interconnectedness of our lives, we will replicate the chain reaction of an atomic device. However, in our case it will be the gradual acceleration of our energies, all directed towards the betterment of all our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters on this planet who ask for one thing, and one thing only – that being an end to all this narcissism, cowardice, arrogance and greed, that are the dramatic personae for this litany of misery which has been inflicted by devilish forces upon the masses of humanity over centuries. No matter how small or insignificant my personal effort is here, I am now convinced that there are millions of others who feel the same. This is why the movement is growing at such a pace. When all our creative, and positively directed energies eventually coalesce we will approach the point of critical mass. At that time we will see the brainwashed troops of the military hegemon suddenly attain enlightenment and throw down their weapons – and the cowards who have previously been in control will flee to exile on some nice sunny beach. This is going to happen because I have already seen it.BigB
But they won't LET you decentralize, Annie. It doesn't suit them. Millions of others do indeed share your concern, but merely imagining a better system doesn't make it happen. It doesn't get through the layers and layers of entrenched investment in the current system, or through the layers and layers of ruthless militarism protecting it. Our enemy will never step aside and voluntarily make way for something worthy of the name, "society".
Somebody, somewhere, sometime, is going to have to insist.Annie is absolutely right: I think we need to start looking ahead. Neoliberal capitalism is dead: it cannot be revived because there are neither the mineral or energy primary resource assets left for permanent expansionism. Monetizing debt is short term firefighting – fighting fire with fire, debt with debt. We need to stop thinking like capitalists: assessing consciousness and wellbeing against fake GDP and monetized debt prosperity and start thinking as humanists. Like Annie.wardropper
By all measures: capitalism is due another crisis Taleb's Black Swan is in clear view we can expect the unexpected. No one can predict the timing or severity: but the debt hangover from GFC 1 makes GFC 2 look potentially worse.
Then capitalism has one more shot of adrenaline (more easing; ZIRPS; savings 'haircuts'; going cashless; potentially a change in reserve) then what? Fascism or socialism. Angry people make for fascism. Peaceful people make for socialism. Materialism won't be that much of an option: apart from the grotesque levels of conspicuous ersatz wealth that will build up in the meantime.
Capitalism is time-limited and finite: humanism is time-independent and limitless. We chose to measure our wealth and happiness in terms of finite resources that were bound to run short. Perhaps now we can turn to the one non-finite resource we have overlooked – ourselves?Philosophically, I'm with you 100%, BigB.harry law
But it's also the crux of your own matter as to where the mechanisms for choosing either fascism or socialism really are in our current system.
Many of us here want to know what to DO, rather than merely pass judgment on what is wrong.
For example, by nature, I am very inclined to follow Annie's path, but we have to know exactly what is the nature of the colossal resistance we will definitely encounter. Will we be stuck in jail, or even "permanently disappeared", because we can think for ourselves?
Or will the media simply keep up their current assault on our intelligence and education until, after a decade or two, nobody is left who could rub two coherent sentences together?Trumps promises before the election about the trillions wasted in futile wars, and promising to redirect those trillions into US infrastructure etc, turned out to be outrageous lies. Here are some quotes from HL Mencken which in my opinion sum up the passengers in the out of control US clown car, Trump, Bolton, Pence and Pompeo.
- The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.
- The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.
- The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable.
- Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
Apr 18, 2019 | thesaker.is
Grieved on April 17, 2019 , · at 1:36 am EST/EDT... ... ..
The US was always the way Orlov describes its future. It only ever belonged to those who could keep their heads above water. You go under, and you're gone forever, and very quickly forgotten. I don't recommend it as a social system, but that's the system.
But the people, within that system. the people are great people, with remarkable moral fiber, in situations they understand. Those who are breathing air and not water can rightfully enjoy the company of these others, even though many of those others might lately be breathing an air-water mixture – and perhaps even oneself.
It's a poignant thing, these United States. The people are as good as anywhere, but only as trained as their culture tells them to be. Perhaps the future holds some spark of brightness for the people. They were always a transcendent bunch, actually, in a culture founded on spiritual independence – despite all the overlay of consumerist crap. Somehow they uniquely evolved the means of ignoring that crap – playing the TV in the background, for example, while reading college studies – in order to live decent lives.
It's possible this long-remote karma of spiritual longing might still hold some embers. Perhaps the people of the US might rediscover the power of sincere prayer? The power of sincerity? Time alone will tell.
May 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,
"After the Mueller report was released, our president called Vladimir Putin, spent an hour on the phone with him," Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke said on CBS's Face The Nation yesterday. "Described the report as a hoax, giving Putin a green light to further interfere in our democracy."
"Russia interfered in the 2016 election," tweeted presidential candidate Kamala Harris the other day. "If we don't do anything to upgrade our election infrastructure, we will leave our nation vulnerable to future attacks."
We've been seeing many such hysterical warnings about Russian interference in the upcoming 2020 elections, and as the election gets nearer we are 100 percent guaranteed to see a lot more.
Another concern people have been voicing, which has far more legitimacy, is the fear of election tampering from domestic actors. An article published the other day by Roll Call reports that experts are warning America's 2020 elections "will be held on voting machines that are woefully outdated and that any tampering by adversaries could lead to disputed results." An article published last month by the Guardian warns that new voting machines aren't necessarily an improvement.
"The purchases replace machines from the turn of the century that raise serious security concerns," the Guardian reports. "But the same companies that made and sold those machines are behind the new generation of technology, and a history of distrust between election security advocates and voting machine vendors has led to a bitter debate over the viability of the new voting equipment -- leaving some campaigners wondering if America's election system in 2020 might still be just as vulnerable to attack."
Initiatives are sprouting up to bring more election security and reliability to the United States, which is currently ranked dead last in election integrity among all western democracies. Support for paper ballots is picking up steam with support from Senate Democrats and multiple presidential candidates, and rightly so; hand-counted paper ballots is considered the gold standard for election integrity, and every nation should want that for their voting systems.
But neither foreign interference nor domestic vote tampering will be the most egregious form of election meddling that we will see in America's 2020 presidential elections.
In 2016, at the single hottest and most contested moment of the Democratic presidential primaries, the Washington Post published no less than sixteen smear pieces against Bernie Sanders in the span of sixteen hours . This campaign by a newspaper which is solely owned by the richest man in the world (who also happens to be a CIA contractor and Pentagon advisory board member ) was plainly geared at manipulating the 2016 presidential primary results. And, along with similar campaigns by the rest of the plutocrat-owned media which ranged from blacking out coverage on Sanders to deliberately manipulating narratives about him to circulating outright lies , it succeeded.
We are already seeing this same pattern repeated today, arguably in an even more egregious way. A recent article by Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone titled " We've Hit a New Low in Campaign Hit Pieces " documents some jaw-droppingly obnoxious smears leveled against the two Democratic candidates who are taking the most flack from the mass media, Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard. The Daily Beast added to the growing mountain of MSM Gabbard smears with an article titled "Tulsi Gabbard's Campaign Is Being Boosted by Putin Apologists", claiming on essentially zero evidence that the Hawaii congresswoman has a suspicious amount of support from Kremlin loyalists, a smear which was elevated into mainstream consciousness by ABC and CNN. Sanders was smeared by the New York Times for his previous opposition to US interventionism in Nicaragua.
We're not even halfway through 2019 and there are already far too many of such mass media hit pieces for me to list in this article. These plutocrat-owned outlets are doing everything they can to make sure that Trump will be running against a more polite version of himself come November 2020. Hell, Fortune Magazine just published an article titled " Why Joe Biden Is the Only True Progressive Candidate ", which attempts to argue exactly what the headline promises. Once the primaries are over, this manipulation will shift toward whoever's the oligarchic favorite for the general election.
As soon as you see someone become extremely wealthy, you immediately see them start buying up public narrative control. They buy and invest in media outlets, they pour money into influential think tanks, they send lobbyists into government offices to persuade politicians to think a certain way about a given subject. Ordinary people can't afford to do these things, so they have relatively little control over the dominant narratives about what's going on in our society and our world.
It is therefore an indisputable fact that the very wealthy therefore have an immensely disproportionate influence over the way that people think and vote, which means the plutocratic class has the fully legal ability to practice election interference. Both the plutocratic media and the US government have already tacitly admitted that this is true in the frantic, hysterical way they've been talking about Russian Facebook memes as election interference, despite the fact that those social media posts are a microscopic drop in the barrel of the billions and billions of dollars that goes into mass media election coverage. If the Internet Research Agency of St Petersburg was election meddling, then the plutocratic class which consistently manipulates public narratives to its favor certainly is as well, to an extent that is greater by orders of magnitude.
Of course it's good that people are pushing for paper ballots, and it's not a bad idea to take precautions against foreign interference as well, but we must become aware that the greatest share of election interference happens before anyone sets foot in a polling booth. The way the American psyche is pummeled with mass media narratives designed to manufacture consent for war, economic injustice, ecocide, Orwellian government intrusiveness, and the politicians who promote these things will influence far more votes in 2020 than any other election tampering, foreign or domestic.
Mass media propaganda is the single most overlooked and under-appreciated aspect of our society. The ability of an elite class to control the way a supermajority of the population thinks, acts and votes has shaped our entire world in the favor of a few sociopaths driven by an insatiable lust for money and power who got to where they are because they were willing to do anything to get ahead. If we can't find a way to get a handle on that, then it won't matter how pristine your elections are, how ethical the DNC primary process becomes, or what the Russians are up to this year.
Do you want to live in a world which is built around the selfish desires of powerful, amoral manipulators and hoarders? No? Then you're going to have to start doing what you can to oppose such a system, and to convince as many of your brothers and sisters as possible to join you.
* * *
Everyone has my unconditional permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here .
Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2 Tags Politics
Jun 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Election forensics analyst Jonathan Simon said , "The great irony, and tragedy, here is that we could easily go the opposite direction and quickly solve all the problems of election security if we got the computers out of the process and were willing to invest the modicum of effort needed for humans to count votes observably in public as they once did."
Jonathan Simon, god bless him, has used 55 words to say 11: We could easily fix our fraudulent election system, but we won't.
The answer is not to hand it over to Microsoft and the Pentagon and the ass clowns who make robotic death machines. The Pentagon can't keep track of $21 TRILLION DOLLARS over the past 20 years -- what makes us think they can keep track of hundreds of millions of votes?
The ruling elite have no interest in making sure our voices are heard. They want that as much as they want nunchucks to the balls. If they sought to have our voices heard, we would have paper ballots, ranked choice voting, real exit polls and a president who doesn't look and act like an over-cooked ham-and-cheese sandwich.
It's time to demand real elections.
SybilDefense , 1 hour ago linkdarktideac , 1 hour ago link
I thought George Soros owns (controlling interest) %56 of all voting machines
Soros linked to voting machine mfrs
Now with Microsoft providing the lib-genda software...what could go wrong?
All this whiz bang gadgetry for unimportant things, like elections but when the Gov really wants info it's "fill this out in triplicate Mr Smith"!
Paper ballots should be mandatory, in triplicate, with the voter depositing copy A in the ballot box, mailing copy B to one of any approved secondary processing centers, chosen by the voters, retaining copy C for ones records and online verification that copies A and B remain true.
I see no reason why states couldn't swap ballots, allowing state 2 to "grade state 1's homework". At the end of the day, the state 1 opens a lottery drawn code telling them who will be grading their papers. For Example, at poll close, CA opens the supersecret envelope (reminiscient of Karnac the Great on Johnny Carson), revealing that TX will be in charge of processing CAs validation count. If it's off by a statistical significance...no fed money for the offending state until corrected)
There has to be a better way, and Microsoft/Soros/DARPA isn't going to enstill the confidence this country needs to survive. A #2 pencil, a few black dots and independent verification with (voter retained) proof is so simple it just may work. If the voter isn't intelligent enough to color the circle, they shouldn't be voting.
Ballot box computers should be reserved for researching the candidates, not for harboring the only copy of your choices...
Here's hoping Brenda Snipes isn't in charge of counting your 2020 Trump vote!schroedingersrat , 2 hours ago link
Yep, the US election system is the most stupid system I know. Why not just use paper votes or block-chain voting over the internet?Yars Revenge , 5 hours ago link
The funny thing is.. even if they tamper with elections. Your vote never mattered anyway!platitudipus , 5 hours ago link
Now we know the deep state purpose of "Russian meddling" and "interfering in our elections.
Its to justify installing security software on voting machines to "protect us."emmanuelthoreau , 6 hours ago link
If you think the 2016 elections were a ****-show, wait until you see the fireworks we have planned for 2020.Overdrawn , 7 hours ago link
Technology is destroying most if not all of western civilization's institutions, and replacing them with nothing but mobocracy. The feedback effect means that every 3-4 years the power of the loudest and most popular -- and hence the lowest common denominator -- gets amped up another few degrees. It is not abating. The phones are everywhere, everywhere , in public. Necks bent over everywhere. When they can get these things synced up to eye movement on a headset or pair of glasses for mass consumption (meaning, really, really easy to use), look out. Silence, baby. Human race goes under.
If you were raised in an oddball environment before computers -- and then smartphones -- infested every corner of the human imagination, it's obvious what's happened. 40 years ago people didn't behave this way. They had tons of problems, sure, and those were fucked up times, but at least there was still some fight left in them. I just see a bitter, aggrieved, very small-minded set of people out there now, absorbed in themselves, their genitalia/identity/skin color, who have nothing to offer this planet except destruction. I have come to believe they will succeed. I could walk away from all this tech tomorrow and wouldn't blink an eye. But I realize that for many, that would be an event akin to becoming a quadruple amputee.
We've always been cynical about how much a single vote can mean, but for the most part, people have believed that their vote showed up somewhere, numerically, in a digit in a column in a newspaper every other November. If nothing else. Once that belief goes out the window, forget it. What, then, will tie you to the land or the people around you? The law? Ha. Only force, and that means outright tyranny. Which is what democracy, Socrates argued in The Republic, always leads to.
And all to serve these ******* computers instead of ourselves.stopEUSSR , 7 hours ago link
In UK we have paper ballot papers and postal voting, both have been abused recently by the Labour Party.
One man boasted on Twitter than he burnt over 1,000 votes for the Brexit Party, so effectively they would have won the election had this crime against democracy not been committed.
Police Investigating Mystery Man Who Claims He 'BURNED' Brexit Party Votes
Fraud, Convicts, And Ethnic Exploitation – How Peterborough Was REALLY Won
https://www.politicalite.com/election-2019/exclusive-fraud-convicts-and-ethnic-exploitation-how-peterborough-was-really-won/CosineCosineCosine , 7 hours ago link
Why bother hijacking an election, when the deep state choose both candidates? And just because you use paper ballots doesn't mean it still can't be rigged. We use paper ballots in the UK, but elections can be rigged through the postal voting system amoungst other things.runningman18 , 7 hours ago link
Now THIS is cathartic journalism :))
Why do we need an answer? Well, our election system is... how do you say... a festering rancid corrupt needlessly complex rigged rotten infected putrid pus-covered diseased dog pile of stinking, dying cockroach-filled rat **** smelling like Mitch McConnell under a vat of pig farts. And that's a quote from The Lancet medical journal (I think).
But have no fear: The most trustworthy of corporations recently announced it is going to selflessly and patriotically secure our elections. It's a small company run by vegans and powered by love. It goes by the name "Microsoft." (You're forgiven for never having heard of it.)
Also - unless these voting machines are Faraday caged AND have Mu metal layers, they could be monitored or interfered with in real time, even if air gapped.
Know the basics of this and you're already a 1 in 100,000 tech red piller ;)
Passport ID, Paper system with a duplicate receipt ... ironically like Venezuela's system (the one thing they got right it seems) and monitoring of voting areas and counting streamed to the net of every polling station (ironically like the newish Russian system) make it close to foolproof and certainly verifiable if questioned and accountable.Baron Samedi , 7 hours ago link
The elites hijacked elections a long time ago using the false left/right paradigm. Just look at the banksters in Trump's cabinet to see the proof.wkirkpa , 7 hours ago link
Auditable paper ballots for voters with verifiable identity - preferably with receipts - and dye-marking the hands of the voters.
We are a long way from secure elections. Our (((oligarchy))) wouldn't have it any other way!
Remember the old refrains: "If voting could change anything it'd be illegal." -- Emma Goldman, and "The people who cast the votes don't decide an election, the people who count the votes do." -- Joseph StalinMike Rotsch , 7 hours ago link
Wow. Dude just climbed out from under his favourite rock and met the reality gnome. Good for him.
I'm good with technology. I wasted whole moments of my life pondering electronic elections. Here's the thing. There is NO manner of electronic election process that does not forfeit one, or more, mandatory elements required of a free and fair election process. None. At all. Can't be done.He–Mene Mox Mox , 8 hours ago link
Meanwhile, as we approach election time, we have cyber-operations taking place without Trump's knowledge.GreatUncle , 8 hours ago link
This article is nuts and full of BS! The Pentagon could care less who is president, since they only have to worry about congress funding them. Also, Microsoft is more worried about profits than people. Just ask anyone who works there.
The hijacking of American elections has been going on for 165 years. That is why almost every state has Ballot Access Laws, and why practically every district in the U.S. are gerrymandered by the two parties. And, you never had any truly free elections either, since the parties chose the candidates for you in the primaries, and all you do is ratify their selections. Your vote is rather meaningless.
I went to bed after having voted for BREXIT and through all the propaganda thought BREMAIN had won. I woke up the next morning and BREXIT had won. Those in tears were all BREMAIN as they thought they would win because the propaganda was so complete against the people.
SO NOW THEY ARE GOING TO FIX THE RESULT TO MAKE THE VOTES REFLECT THE PROPAGANDA.
One more step put in place the next step has to be to close down all channels of objection or certainly throttle it back to prevent people discussing it - the scrutiny of those being fit for public office removed.
Jun 17, 2019 | www.nytimes.com
For her entire career, Warren's singular focus has been the growing fragility of America's middle class. She made the unusual choice as a law professor to concentrate relentlessly on data, and the data that alarms her shows corporate profits creeping up over the last 40 years while employees' share of the pie shrinks. This shift occurred, Warren argues, because in the 1980s, politicians began reworking the rules for the market to the specifications of corporations that effectively owned the politicians. In Warren's view of history, "The constant tension in a democracy is that those with money will try to capture the government to turn it to their own purposes." Over the last four decades, people with money have been winning, in a million ways, many cleverly hidden from view. That's why economists have estimated that the wealthiest top 0.1 percent of Americans now own nearly as much as the bottom 90 percent.
As a presidential candidate, Warren has rolled out proposal after proposal to rewrite the rules again, this time on behalf of a majority of American families. On the trail, she says "I have a plan for that" so often that it has turned into a T-shirt slogan. Warren has plans (about 20 so far, detailed and multipart) for making housing and child care affordable, forgiving college-loan debt, tackling the opioid crisis, protecting public lands, manufacturing green products, cracking down on lobbying in Washington and giving workers a voice in selecting corporate board members. Her grand overarching ambition is to end America's second Gilded Age.
[ Elizabeth Warren has lots of plans. Together, they would remake the economy.]
"Ask me who my favorite president is," Warren said. When I paused, she said, "Teddy Roosevelt." Warren admires Roosevelt for his efforts to break up the giant corporations of his day -- Standard Oil and railroad holding companies -- in the name of increasing competition. She thinks that today that model would increase hiring and productivity. Warren, who has called herself "a capitalist to my bones," appreciated Roosevelt's argument that trustbusting was helpful, not hostile, to the functioning of the market and the government. She brought up his warning that monopolies can use their wealth and power to strangle democracy. "If you go back and read his stuff, it's not only about the economic dominance; it's the political influence," she said.
What's crucial, Roosevelt believed, is to make the market serve "the public good." Warren puts it like this: "It's structural change that interests me. And when I say structural, the point is to say if you get the structures right, then the markets start to work to produce value across the board, not just sucking it all up to the top."
Jun 15, 2019 | www.unz.com
Fabius , says: June 14, 2019 at 9:52 pm GMTOverfill Crowds in NYC for Tulsi Town Halls
Well I saw/heard Tulsi on Joe Rogan too and was very impressed, her heart is in the right place and she is anti war. However what worries me most is that Israel is only waiting for one more surgical strike on it's enemies per Israel's shopping list revealed by Gen. Wesley Clark and we all know that is Iran. The US will probably have to sacrifice a warship to Mossad in October to kick this one off.
Tulsi in all liklihood will be swept away by events and I have a sneaky suspicion she is the 'wildcard candidate' insurance for the 'kingmakers' after all she has kissed the AIPAC arse is member of CFR etc – she was after all on the fast track before she cried 'foul'.
She is far more honest than most but sadly is still compromised and there is no getting around that one. She owes them and they never forget. My 'outside choice' is the formidably 'loose cannon' Robert David Steele and his partnering with Cynthia McKinney.
The Zionists are in open war with them both. If they can wake up the black voters en masse to who runs America now it could cause the biggest shock to the US system since the McCarthy purge. Steele is appealing to 'Truthers', independents, and Alt Right Constitutionalists and McKinney to the working class and Black vote.
Trump is trying to exploit the same groups but next time around they will be wiser. The problem now is the Evangelist 'Christian Zionist' rump. Kushner/Trump and Netanyahu have got them all at fever pitch for the 2nd coming.
Jun 15, 2019 | caucus99percent.com
dkmich on Fri, 06/14/2019 - 12:36pm By all means, speak your piece.
But will someone please explain to me how in the hell everyone turned Bernie from social democrat into fucking Marx? Never once have I heard Bernie say that capitalism should not exist in the United States.
If Bernie happens to survive the collusion going on to tank his campaign, Trump and the GOP will "socialist" him to death from sun up to sun down. The clown car of establishment Democrats will also take more than a shot or two. His speech was simply his attempt to embrace and frame this dirty word into something Americans can relate to. For that, he gets mocked by the media and butchered by neolibs, libertarians, right-wingers, corporatists, and pompous lefties.
He referenced MLK, FDR, and Marx trying to name a just few socialists that people can compare, contrast and relate to.
Oh there are many, and of course we must define what qualifies someone to be a 'socialist'. For example, Bernie Sanders is largely considered a social democrat although many 'true' or 'hardcore' socialists will adamantly say he is not a true socialist because he doesn't advocated for the means of production to be controlled democratically by the workers.
For argument's sake we'll only use people who advocated or had a philosophy of altering the current system of economy to that of a traditionally socialist one. For this reason also, it will include Marxists whom were types of socialists too (until the term socialist was later used to differentiate itself from authoritarian communism).
Without further ado, I shall take you through the fascinating (and sometimes violent) world of socialism.
- Albert Einstein
- Che Guevara
- Rosa Luxemburg
- Emma Goldman
- George Orwell
- Oscar Wilde
- Nelson Mandela
- V. I. Lenin
- Mao Zedong
- Malcolm X
- Martin Luther King Jr. - Yep, he was a democratic socialist. History tends to gloss over the fact that many human rights activists and movements were actually linked to socialism and even communism. I like to call it 'capitalist whitewashing'
- Leon Trotsky
- Bertrand Russell
- John Lennon
- Pete Seeger
The point being, pick your choose. I bet people can argue over this list for days. It doesn't change the fact that Bernie was absolutely right. The government provides billionaires and corporations with cash and safety nets no questions asked. Privatize the profits and socialize the losses to use that word again.
The day after Bernie's speech, Trump came out with a plan to subsidize farmers, aka big ag, to make up for losses from his tariffs. No one asked "how will you pay for it". No hue or cry anywhere.
Jamie Dimon took his government handout and a bonus for committing fraud that no one ever went to jail for. He didn't even have to pass a drug test to get it.
Roads, firemen, cops, school are paid for with our public dollars. That means we own them and their means of production/service: fire halls, police stations, cop cars, school buildings, and wages. Why do you think privatization so outrageous and pisses so many people off? Because capitalists are taking our assets for pennies on the dollar so they can then charge us to use what we own. Again, privatizing the profits and the losses.
I think it is highly probable that Bernie's ship, our ship, sailed in 2016; and he missed the boat by remaining in a system so vile and so corrupt that it can only be reformed by rising from the ashes. The party is manufacturing candidates faster than Bezos makes a billion hoping one of them will stick. At worst, they'll dilute the first round of voting enough for the superdelegates to step in and tell us kids where to sit.
Warren hid in 2016, and she is sabotaging 2020. She is the real sheepdog that so many here, me on occasion too, accuse Bernie of being. She talks like a progressive and votes like a Republican. She is Obama 2.0, 2020's Trojan Horse.
Here is the debate schedule. Since Warren is tied with Bernie for second place in CA, does it look like they set this up to protect her? Who at the kiddies table is going to lay a glove on her? Helping to assure people tune in for the warm up debate, they put it on night one.
Jun 15, 2019 | caucus99percent.com
Yep @Pluto's Republic
The Democrats engineered another win for Trump. Now why is that?
The why is because the democrats are not really against the things he is doing. Oh sure they will give some speeches about how they don't like what he is doing, but so far enough democrats have voted with republicans on almost every bill that has come up. The only one that they didn't vote for was to rescind the ACA. Deregulation of the banks? Yup. More unconstitutional spying on us? Yup. The military budget? Yup. Confirming his horrible cabinet picks? Yup again except for DeVos. Warren voted for Ben Carson. Why? She said that she was afraid that Trump would pick someone worse. How about just keep voting no until he chose someone qualified? His horrible right wing judges? Yup. Schumer continues to make deals with McConnell to get them done. DiFi and of course Manchin and other blue dawgs are right there voting with them. I don't remember which democrat told McConnell that he should have let all of congress in on the tax bill because he could have gotten 70 or more votes on it.
This after McConnell refused to let Obama's judges get a vote and then there's Garland and the kabuki confirmation hearing for Kavanaugh.
Democrats are passing bills to keep Trump from pulling the troops out of Afghanistan and Syria and we saw what happened when he tried to pull them out of Syria. And made nice with Kim and Vlad.
So yeah if ByeDone or Warren doesn't get the nod then they will be just fine with Trump again. And since ByeDone's latest gaffes they are now pushing Warren as coming from behind. I think Harris was supposed to be the nominee, but she isn't going anywhere.
up 32 users have voted. --
This is their world, after all. They're fighting for the future, and they have more of it to fight for.
At the same time, I've noticed a flurry of anti-centrist and Biden-warning articles coming from all directions.
What I know for sure, is that at this point Trump is set to win in 2020 and the backlash from the Russia Hoax is just getting started. I don't think it matters which way Barr decides to play it. The establishment is going to take the hit. There is an army of potential voters out there who will not vote for more of the same, and that includes Trump. Nor will they waste their votes on the established third party slush pile. Only a bold vision from an uncompromising candidate will bring this army forward, and many voters will join them. There are only a few candidates who can bring it. But they all pretended to fall for the Russia Hoax. Or, maybe they are just that dumb.
There are enough Millennial votes to carry the win, and the Left will provide back-up. Who knows with the so-called Progressives? In Congress, they'll vote for anything with a back-end pay-off that keeps them in DC. On the street, they may be genuine and will vote with the uncompromised. Tulsi Gabbard can carry this off. She is the first Millennial presidential candidate -- if she can get past the media black-out.
Bottom line: The Democrats engineered another win for Trump. Now why is that?
America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery
Pluto's Republic on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 12:35amWatching them run around with the goalpostsJen on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 9:34am
...eliminating candidates will be very instructive.
But it's a sad and pathetic state of affairs. Very sad.No way outPluto's Republic on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 4:19pm
@snoopydawgDemocrats are passing bills to keep Trump from pulling the troops out of Afghanistan and Syria and we saw what happened when he tried to pull them out of Syria.
This is why it wouldn't matter even if we got Sanders/Gabbard by some miracle. If we got a Sanders/Gabbard presidency, you can be sure congress would start doing everything they can to make sure absolutely nothing happened to change the status quo. It would be like what the Rs did to Obama, but it would be both Ds and Rs pushing back and nothing would change.She has walked the razor's edgewendy davis on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 4:25pm
...which she must. She's been smeared for being a skeptic, on one hand.
And smeared for buying into RussiaGate.
I give her and the Left a pass on that grey area. Tulsi has never embraced the Russia Hoax to the extent that Sanders and Warren have -- and still do. One thing I don't need is a purity pledge from members of the Left who try to climb on the political stage with the American duopoly, who in turn throw every lie and ugly smear they can at them.
The Russia Hoax is falling apart on its own. The Democrats have been deeply stained by it. Americans grow increasingly shocked and disgusted with the media monopolies. They have all lost the trust of the American people. The candidates are trying to evolve as fast as they can on this issue. It will come up in the debates. Answer wrong and watch out, but that will change week by week as the public begins to realize what happened in 2016.i appreciate yourwokkamile on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 7:49pm
bringing the evidence, but my stars, the hundreds of subtweeters gave her an education. okay, it's a grey area for you, as likely is her voting to sanction russia for stealing crimea, sanctioning north korea for...whatever.One of the fiercest critics of
@Pluto's Republic Russiagate from early on, Prof Stephen Cohen, is a backer and contributor to Tulsi Gabbard. If she's good enough for the Prof on this issue, she's good enough for me.
She might be alone among candidates in calling for a substantial pullback in the hostility directed at Russia by the US, a thawing of the new cold war. And how many of the Ds running for prez have explicitly called out the undue influence of the MIC?
I see her overall as a young pol, still in her 30s, evolving in the right direction in a number of areas. I wish she had been perfect on this issue from the get go, but I must take my candidate with all her flaws.
Jun 14, 2019 | twitter.com
Jimmy Dore 12:43 PM - 14 Jun 2019
Join us for a livestream at 1pm Pacific Time. We'll be interviewing
@Faradayspeaks and @MikeGravel . Watch via youtube: https:// youtu.be/bEEcY34a4n4
Sen. Mike Gravel 11:24 AM - 14 Jun 2019
Though we didn't qualify for June (we didn't expect to) we're more than on track to qualify for the July debates. Donations are surging and we expect to hit 65,000 by the end of the month or earlier. Our strategy will be shared with supporters soon! Find the press release here. pic.twitter.com/KEMt2qFfuN
Sen. Mike Gravel 8:55 AM - 14 Jun 2019
We're going to be doing a tour of the Midwest (Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan) later this month. Mike is probably going to do a speech in Iowa as well. Do you have ideas for what we should do? Are you willing to host an event? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Sen. Mike Gravel 7:12 AM - 14 Jun 2019
When the hell is this arrogant thoughtless bastard going to cut it out? https:// twitter.com/lizcgoodwin/st atus/1138817493064138752
Sen. Mike Gravel 6:28 AM - 14 Jun 2019
They lie. They lie to pour money to military contractors. They lie to enforce American hegemony. They lie to send children to the slaughter. They lie for their relection campaign. They lie, they lie, they lie. https:// twitter.com/thedailybeast/ status/1139481358139559936
Sen. Mike Gravel 5:48 PM - 13 Jun 2019
Sen. Mike Gravel 3:42 PM - 13 Jun 2019
This campaign is just heating up and with the looming threat of war with Iran, a new cold war with China, and the terrifying emptiness that is Joe Biden's candidacy, we need Mike on stage more than ever to speak truth to power. Your dollar gets him there. https:// secure.actblue.com/donate/mikegra vel2020?refcode=campaignupdate&amount=1
Sen. Mike Gravel 11:56 AM - 13 Jun 2019
No war with Iran!
Sen. Mike Gravel 7:30 AM - 13 Jun 2019
Campaign HQ: [story about John Bolton on the news] Mike: [chanting] hague, hague- Teens: hague, HAGUE Twitter: [shaking their fists] HAGUE, HAGUE, HAGUE!
Sen. Mike Gravel 6:30 AM - 13 Jun 2019
We were really sorry to hear that
@JohnDelaney , @ericswalwell , @Hickenlooper , @BilldeBlasio , and @MichaelBennet polled below us in the national Change Research poll after spending millions on their campaigns. Hopefully your families still love you
Sen. Mike Gravel 6:55 PM - 12 Jun 2019
Oh wow didn't know they leaked Joe Biden's top donors already! https:// twitter.com/JStein_WaPo/st atus/1138967445505490944?s=19
Sen. Mike Gravel 5:19 PM - 12 Jun 2019
"...don't you dare say a bad word about my good friend Strom Thurmond" pic.twitter.com/BfgiFhV2VB
Sen. Mike Gravel 4:16 PM - 12 Jun 2019
We're facing a global wave of right-wing authoritarianism, bankrolled by legions of elites desperate to retain their wealth and power. If your answer to this threat is "the power of hope" instead of transformative policy, you're a worthless shill named Beto O'Rourke.
Sen. Mike Gravel 1:18 PM - 12 Jun 2019
#Gravelanche meets our big red boy ( @carterforva ) pic.twitter.com/cIX2IwMUHu
Sen. Mike Gravel 8:33 AM - 12 Jun 2019
Sex work is work. If the Democrats want to be the party of workers, they must acknowledge that simple truth and start fighting for the lives, livelihood, and rights of sex workers - if they stand by bills like SESTA/FOSTA, the blood is on their hands. https://www. nbcnews.com/news/us-news/n ew-york-state-lawmakers-introduce-bill-decriminalize-sex-work-n1015891
Current Affairs 11:38 AM - 11 Jun 2019
if just 1/3 of our twitter followers donate $1 to
@MikeGravel today, our man gets to be on the debate stage and hold the democratic candidates accountable! https:// secure.actblue.com/donate/mikegra vel2020 https:// twitter.com/mikegravel/sta tus/1137842432081571840
Sen. Mike Gravel 10:02 AM - 11 Jun 2019
Pack of four Mike Gravel 2020 buttons - available at the low price of $3.75 until midnight June 12! Buy now and help us qualify for the July debates! https:// secure.actblue.com/donate/mikegra velbuttons
Sen. Mike Gravel 8:47 AM - 11 Jun 2019
If you live in Virginia House of Delegates District 50 make sure to get out today to vote! National fights matter but more important than that is supporting progressive candidates like
@carterforva at every level of our government, the people taking politics into our hands. https:// twitter.com/carterforva/st atus/1138378422634369024
Sen. Mike Gravel 5:55 PM - 10 Jun 2019
Get ready for our official campaign buttons to become available tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/YxSZ0xaP4S
Sen. Mike Gravel 4:45 PM - 10 Jun 2019
You can't recognize Pride Month and also support sending tens of billions of dollars in weapons to a kingdom that beheads gay people.
Sen. Mike Gravel 3:20 PM - 10 Jun 2019
Wall Street didn't welcome the New Deal, it didn't welcome the Great Society, it didn't welcome Obamacare. Of course shills will tell you the logical next steps forward -- like Medicare for All -- are "impractical" or "political suicide." They'll fight you every inch of the way.
Sen. Mike Gravel 12:40 PM - 10 Jun 2019
The elite class of this country has no qualms about shipping you off to Afghanistan or watching your house submerged in order to make sure their investments aren't taxed and they can still buy a third home. Don't believe them when they tell you they care. They don't.
Sen. Mike Gravel 10:45 AM - 10 Jun 2019
Just as you can't control whether one is born rich or poor, you can't control whether you're strong or intelligent. A comfortable life shouldn't depend on that. As Rawls wrote: having a certain trait doesn't entitle you to live well. EVERYONE has a right to live well.
Sen. Mike Gravel 5:20 AM - 10 Jun 2019
For so many, opposition to Trump is centered on a dislike of his aesthetic. Obviously Trump is gauche and tasteless. But who cares? Care about his policies, his racism, his appointees. You're not going to sway anyone, or save any lives, by pointing out his typos.
Sen. Mike Gravel 5:00 AM - 10 Jun 2019
We're currently preparing our Pentagon Rolling Papers for shipping! Our apologies for the wait. Picture below! pic.twitter.com/TnKv6TjbpJ
Cenk Uygur 12:57 PM - 9 Jun 2019
Third candidate to sign
#ProgressivePledge - @MikeGravel ! http:// tyt.com/pledge
Sen. Mike Gravel 10:24 AM - 9 Jun 2019
In a time when the global fight is between progressivism and fascism, history will not look kindly on those who declared themselves "moderates."
Sen. Mike Gravel 8:14 AM - 9 Jun 2019
The elite class has no loyalty to common people -- they're only interested in "justice" so long as it doesn't affect their pocketbooks. It's either win this idiot's money or earn the votes of the poor and voiceless. https:// twitter.com/IbrahimAS97/st atus/1137145949606879232
Marianne Williamson 6:33 AM - 8 Jun 2019
The DNC should be helping all the candidates to get our word out to the voters, not just its handpicked choices. We shouldn't have to fight our way in. Yang and I got into the debates; now let's help Gravel. https:// twitter.com/tipping6103746 8/status/1137350407339032576
Sen. Mike Gravel 2:10 PM - 7 Jun 2019
Millions of Americans are living day to day scared to death they'll get sick and be robbed blind by heartless crooks like these. It makes ME sick. It's an abomination. https:// twitter.com/Gizmodo/status /1136585123900604416
Sen. Mike Gravel 9:30 AM - 7 Jun 2019
The Mike Gravel campaign is proud to announce that we've been endorsed by
@muntazer_zaidi , most famous for throwing his shoes at George W. Bush. Thank you, Muntadher! https:// twitter.com/adamkelsey/sta tus/1137028519396032512
Sen. Mike Gravel 8:31 AM - 7 Jun 2019
George W. Bush: 1) shouldn't be getting any "lifetime achievement awards." 2) should be sent to The Hague. https:// news.yale.edu/2019/06/03/yal e-undergrads-present-george-w-bush-lifetime-achievement-award
Sen. Mike Gravel 5:30 PM - 5 Jun 2019
Joe Biden's a bum. A right-wing chauvinist, good time prick, arrogant bastard creep who thinks that because he's got a $3,000 suit and the cachet of a lifetime sinecure in the Senate we should bow down to his beaming smile. A real racist piece of work. https:// twitter.com/WalkerBragman/ status/1125121786021019654
Sen. Mike Gravel 2:52 PM - 5 Jun 2019
The legacy of U.S. imperialism is dictatorship, massacres, and genocide. We need to face up to our legacy abroad -- and that means reparations for the Global South and worldwide military withdrawal. The U.S. must become a moral international actor. Anything else is suicide. https:// twitter.com/means_tv/statu s/1125717447380803584
Sen. Mike Gravel 1:45 PM - 5 Jun 2019
The most consistent through line of Biden's career is his lack of respect for a woman's autonomy. Not only does he pet and paw at women publicly, but he refuses to work to make abortion easier by supporting the monstrous Hyde Amendment. https:// twitter.com/NARAL/status/1 136272132231577606
Sen. Mike Gravel 8:40 AM - 5 Jun 2019
Why is it that after Democrats' experiment with centrism -- which gave us mass incarceration, financial deregulation, and the destruction of our working class -- so many candidates are eager to return to the halcyon days of Bill Clinton's triangulations? It's all about the Benjamins.
Sen. Mike Gravel 7:20 AM - 5 Jun 2019
Savage capitalism has devastated our communities, treating social relations as commodities and reducing everything to an item to be bartered and sold. We need politicians willing to admit that, to constrain the market and restore decimated towns riven by opioids and joblessness.
Sen. Mike Gravel 5:30 AM - 5 Jun 2019
The idea that America doesn't have a radical history is a lie forced on us by a dishonest and venal establishment -- erasing figures like Hubert Harrison, pretending the American Dream always meant radical individualism. The truth: Americans have always strived for radical equality.
Sen. Mike Gravel 4:00 PM - 4 Jun 2019
Mike will not be on Fox News tonight. Don't worry, they canceled to cover something something very newsworthy and vital: Trump's pomp & circumstance state visit to the Queen in jolly old England. Chip in a buck to help get Mike on the debate stage! https:// buff.ly/2KF3mcd
Sen. Mike Gravel 1:32 PM - 4 Jun 2019
Lee Zeldin is a disgrace who spends his time harassing his female Muslim colleagues and once defended Trump by calling President Obama a racist. Teaming up with him is one rung above teaming up with Steve King, and
@DWStweets and @RepLawrence should be ashamed. https:// twitter.com/AJCGlobal/stat us/1135637608283934720
Sen. Mike Gravel 11:14 AM - 4 Jun 2019
But all of that lies in the future. Today, we wish American Muslims and Muslims around the world a day of peace and tranquility.
Sen. Mike Gravel 11:14 AM - 4 Jun 2019
We need a foreign policy that sees Jews and Muslims as equal citizens in Israel, and is willing to find a path to peace without condoning land grabs by Netanyahu. We need to stop funding the slaughter of Muslims in Yemen. And we need to end FBI domestic surveillance of Muslims.
Sen. Mike Gravel 11:14 AM - 4 Jun 2019
We need to protect the right to free speech by refusing to discriminate against those who support BDS. We need to end Trump's Muslim and refugee bans. And we need a national office in the White House to address the surge in hate crimes, especially against Muslims.
Sen. Mike Gravel 11:14 AM - 4 Jun 2019
Sen. Gravel wants to wish every Muslim a wonderful Eid al-Fitr. American Muslims ought to be valued members of our American community: but for too long we have pursued an Islamophobic path here and abroad. We need to build a nation that embraces all who live within it.
Sen. Mike Gravel 4:30 AM - 4 Jun 2019
Our authoritarian policies are self-perpetuating: they create problems that justify more authoritarian policies. If we hadn't deposed Central American leaders, worked with drug cartels, and supported the Contras, Central Americans wouldn't need to come to America.
Sen. Mike Gravel 12:44 PM - 3 Jun 2019
ICE, the American Gestapo, should be dismantled and abolished on Day 1 of any Democratic presidency. It has done nothing but fill immigrants' lives with terror and, when it does detain immigrants, treat them so poorly that some die. A criminal investigation is needed. https:// twitter.com/kenklippenstei n/status/1135579639617851394
Sen. Mike Gravel 11:20 AM - 3 Jun 2019
No matter who the Democrats nominate, Republicans will attack them as radical and socialist. That's a given. The only real choice Democrats have is whether or not to inspire people in the process with policies that improve people's lives.
Sen. Mike Gravel 10:16 AM - 3 Jun 2019
The idea of apolitical institutions within politics, like the Supreme Court, is a fantasy that Republicans use to dupe Democrats. Appointing "apolitical justices" (as if any constitutional question can be apolitical), as Buttigieg suggests, is idiotic.
Sen. Mike Gravel 9:39 AM - 2 Jun 2019
In a moral country, when a politician admitted to participating in the murder of hundreds of people, they'd immediately be removed from office and tried for war crimes. But we don't live in a moral country. https://www. kpbs.org/news/2019/may/ 30/congressman-hunter-says-he-probably-killed-hundred/
Sen. Mike Gravel 7:37 AM - 2 Jun 2019
Our punitive, militaristic approach to drugs has destabilized Latin America, criminalized our own neighborhoods, and enabled the police to grossly abuse their power. It has done nothing but harm to our communities. The War on Drugs must end immediately.
Sen. Mike Gravel 8:08 PM - 1 Jun 2019
While the GOP stole one Supreme Court seat, placed a rapist on another, rigged the Census, implemented power-grabs in WI and NC, and passed voter ID laws, Democratic "opposition" has meant Pelosi asking Melania and Pence to step in. It's pathetic. Take the fight to Trump.
Sen. Mike Gravel 11:15 AM - 1 Jun 2019
A bit late on this, but we're proud to announce that we've exceeded 40,000 donors! We need just 25,000 more to qualify for the July debates. Help Mike climb the mountain by getting your loved one to donate! Just $1 will do (though $4.20 is preferred)! http:// bit.ly/Gravelanche