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

Version 2.4 (Nov  21, 2016)

The USA is a single party state -- it is governed by the Neoliberal party with two factions "soft neoliberals" (Democratic Party) and "hard neoliberals" (Republican Party). Existence of  "Pepsi" and "Coca-Cola" parties in the USA is just a sophisticated variant of "divide and conquer" strategy and could have been used by the USSR leadership  instead of one party system. 

News American Polyarchy is not Democracy Recommended Books Recommended Links Demexit Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Anti Trump Hysteria Steele dossier
US Presidential Elections of 2020 Tulsi Gabbard Elizabeth Warren Donald Trump -- a former (for the duration of elections) fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Bernie Sanders: A turncoat socialist Donald Trump 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 Mechanisms of rigging elections Blowback against neoliberal globalization      
Nationalism as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living Understanding Hillary Clinton email scandal Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Non-Interventionism as a political force Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking US anti war movement Libertarian Philosophy Pathological Russophobia of the US elite
Predator state Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders and blaming Vladimir Putin National Security State  American Exceptionalism Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Pluralism as a myth
Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Corporatist Corruption Paleoconservatism Corporatism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary "Clinton Cash"  Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS
  Electoral College US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization US Presidential Elections of 2012  Mayberry Machiavellians Politically Incorrect Humor Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
"There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money. It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man."

-- Gore Vidal

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

-- Leonard Pinkney

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

-- Daniel Estulin

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

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

 

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

Summary

I subscribe to Kantian idea of the dignity in human, the idea that everyone is entitled to survival as well as thriving beyond survival. But does everybody is entitled to equal participation in ruling of the state ?  Or  in election of state leaders? Which is what democracy means. Is the democracy possible if three letter agencies like CIA exist?  Probably not as "deep state" sooner or later (usually sooner)  makes surface state just an instrument for providing legitimacy of deep state rule.

Presedent Truman probably did not suspect that by sighing  the National Security Act of 1947  he signed a death sentence tothe form of democracy that the USA was having up to 1950th.

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

Since JFK assassination we can talk about "inverted totalitarism" (The term introduced by late Professor Sheldon Wolin)  as the form on government which  become entrenched on on federal level (the related term if the "deep state"), while remnants of democracy are delegated to state and local levels.  Growth of power of intelligence agencies inevitably makes them political players. Nowhere it was more clear then in 2016 Presendential electio, when by derailing Sanders FBI essenatially ensure Trump win and then in cooperation of other againces (and first of all CIA Brennan) lauched a color regoluation againast Trump trying to deposer him vi Special Procecutor mechnism.

Does  the "the first after the post" rule along with enforcing two party system on the population also is instrumental with establishing slightly camouflaged one party state with two "Pepsi" vs. "Coca Cola"  parties which serve as a spoilers for those to the left or the right of the center, subverting and emasculating new social movements into their (currently neoliberal) stagnant and elite oriented framework. The effect is so profound that it created the impression that "first after the post" can't be used in any country pretending to be a democracy? 

There are also addition questions:

  1. Is existence  of military-industrial complex, and, especially, such part of MIC as huge and essentially uncontrolled intelligence agencies compatible with democracy? Ever since the inception of the Central Intelligence Agency America has been battling a force that exists with a written charter to undermine and undo ever single fundamental principle of representational democracy in America and elsewhere replacing it with an ugly cold-skinned changeling covertly overseen by its CIA creators and their sponsors.
  2. Does absence of limits of the term of senators subvert democracy ?  If so what should be the maximum term. Is "gerontocracy" in the US congress  represents positive, or highly negative. Is role of money in elections forces senators to serve effectively as representatives of corporations which reside in the states, not the states themselves  ? 
  3. Is official lobbing including lobbying by organization which are clearly supported by foright  state such as AIPAC ?
  4. Is "money as a free speech" principle compatible with democracy?  Or does it mean "one dollar-one vote" regime?

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

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

Later the same idea was later coined as the "iron law of oligarchy". So on federal level neither republic, not democracy exists. We level in empire with no participatory democracy (unless voting to the lesser  evil of two preselected by the elite candidate can be viewed as a democracy).  In latest Presidential election it was intelligence agencies who were kingmakers, derailing Sanders. But it still exists on local level below the level of state, although even there financial oligarchy managed to spoil the broth -- on municipal level it is bankers who control the politics as they are interested in loans for public projects.

In other word decomicatinc elements in the neoliberal political system are just facade for the  dictatorship of financial oligarchy. And pretty brutal one (The Saker - The Unz Review, Feb 23, 2018):

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

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

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

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

As Sheldon  Wolin put it, all we have under neoliberalism is inverted totalitarism and a nationally security state with modem equivalent of STASI level of total surveillance  instead of democracy.  The neoliberal elite firmly guar the levers of power and  try to eliminate any challenger before it represent a real political threat to the neoliberal social system. Even minor  threats are mercilessly squashed. Look at what  happened to Trump.

Democracy for whom?

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

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

Add to this completely brainwashed population ready to vote against their economic interests and  for indefinite and costly wars for the expansion of the global neoliberal empire led by the USA. For example,  despicable warmonger, war criminal(with destruction of Libya and  Syria under  the belt), staunch neoliberal Hillary Clinton was so detached from reality that it hurts. Despite clear signs of the deep systemic crisis of neoliberalism in the USA and closely related process of de-legitimization of neoliberal elite (look what percentage of the Americans trust Congress)  all she wanted is to kick the neoliberal can down the road. And still almost half of the country voted for her.

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

In case of Trump and Obama this was a complete betrayal. In a way Trump is Republican Obama -- a person with almost zero political experience  who due to the lack of personal political history during elections was able to pretend to be the politician, while he clearly is not -- he is a marionette of MIC (much like Barak was marionette of CIA; just look at "very close" and pretty unusual relations  between him and Brennan) as well as Brannan role in color revolution against  Trump

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

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

Middle class can afford attempts to analyze the political situation and personal efforts to understand the political system in which they live. And because of that can  have informed political opinion. Theoretically. In reality there also many obstacles here.  One  fundamental obstacle is so called The iron law of oligarchy.  The second, related, is the existence of the deep state.

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

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

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

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

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

Revolutionary situation after 2008 is connected with discreditation of neoliberal ideology

The situation when the current (neoliberal) ruling elite (or in less politically correct term oligarchy) experienced difficulties with the continuation of its rule and the existing methods of suppression and indoctrination of the lower part population stop working is called  "revolutionary situation".  In 2008 the protest was squashed by electing "Trojan horse" Obama, who proved to be the king of "bait and switch" maneuver. Some signs of this situation were observable in the USA in 2016 which led to the election of what  a person who like Obama pretended  essentially to be an independent candidate slightly (at least formally) opposing the most negative effects of neoliberalism on population (anti-globalization stance, accent of creation jobs within the USA, etc) -- Donald Trump.  Who later proved to be Republican version of Obama. Not without help of "deep state" which launched unprotected and well coordinated company of leaks and 24 x 7 negative news to discredit his personality and administration. Going as far as in a very elegant really Machiavellian way  using fake accusations ("Russiagate) appointing a special prosecutor using Obama/Hillary supporters in the Judicial department (effectively coup d'état as special procedure is big burden which effectively paralyses any administration and Clinton presidency had shown). And when it did not work, they tried to accuse him of being racist (using  1 Charlottesville events) or even insane person. Looks like for Trump, even if he has some intention to implement anti-neoliberal measures -- the resistance proved to be way too strong and such intension did not last even half a year.  Bombing Syria army air field with Tomahawks was an early signal of surrender.  Removing Bannon, and adding troops to Afghan war make this turn around and betrayal of Trump voters in best Obama style virtual certainty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The myth about intelligent voters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Politically neoliberalism. like Marxism in the past, operates with the same two classes: "entrepreneurs" (modern name for capitalists and financial oligarchy) and debt slaves (proletarians under Marxism) who work for them. Under neoliberalism only former considered first class citizens ("one dollar -- one vote"). Debt slaves are second class of citizens and are prevented from political self-organization, which by-and-large deprives them of any form of political participation. In best Roman tradition it is substituted with the participation in political shows ("Bread and circuses") See Empire of Illusion The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle by Chris Hedges.  In this sense the role of the election is not election of the candidate of people want but legitimizing the candidate the oligarchy pre-selected. . They  helps to provide legitimacy for the ruling elite. 

The two party system invented by the elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for neoliberal regimes, which practice what Sheldon Wolin called inverted totalitarism. The latter is the regime in which all political power belongs to the financial oligarchy which rules via the deep state mechanisms, and where traditional political institutions including POTUS are downgraded to instruments of providing political legitimacy of the ruling elite. Population is discouraged from political activity. "Go shopping" as famously recommended Bush II to US citizens after 9/11.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can the republic survive under Trump ?

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

I would prefer if Sanders were elected. But FBI pushed him under the bus by exonerating Hillary. I think the USA now badly need a "New New Deal", biot some crazr "chrstria capitalism that Bannon professed (see Bannonism).  But the question is: "What social forces will support it ?" I see no strong social forces able to take on entrenched "corporatism" -- a merger of  Wall Street and MIC interests and corresponding economic power.  Add to this Silicon valley and unprecedented capability of surveillance.  In the absence of alternatives, the crisis of neoliberalism became  a chronic one.

Russiagate as a sign of the crisis of neoliberal empire

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

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

American politics have rarely presented a more disheartening spectacle. The repellent and dangerous antics of Donald Trump are troubling enough, but so is the Democratic Party leadership’s failure to take in the significance of the 2016 election campaign. Bernie Sanders’s challenge to Hillary Clinton, combined with Trump’s triumph, revealed the breadth of popular anger at politics as usual – the blend of neoliberal domestic policy and interventionist foreign policy that constitutes consensus in Washington. Neoliberals celebrate market utility as the sole criterion of worth; interventionists exalt military adventure abroad as a means of fighting evil in order to secure global progress. Both agendas have proved calamitous for most Americans. Many registered their disaffection in 2016. Sanders is a social democrat and Trump a demagogic mountebank, but their campaigns underscored a widespread repudiation of the Washington consensus.
Of course,  for correct framework we need to refer to classic Sheldon Wolin book. As he pointed out merge of corporate power with the ascendance of the "deep state" and technological progress proved to be an unstoppable factor that doomed the New Deal. Also defeated financial sector borrowed Bolsheviks methods and created "professional counter-revolutionaries" via think tanks, subservient press, etc. Milton Friedman Chicago school and Monte Perelin society were probably the most famous promoters of neoliberalism.  See also The Quiet Coup - Simon Johnson - The Atlantic
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[Feb 17, 2019] Carlson is saying Trump's not "capable" of sustained focus on the sausage-making of right-wing policy

Notable quotes:
"... Carlson is saying Trump's not "capable" of sustained focus on the sausage-making of right-wing policy ..."
Dec 09, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

kees_popinga , December 8, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Tucker Carlson: "Trump is not capable" Weltwoche (Anita)

Carlson is saying Trump's not "capable" of sustained focus on the sausage-making of right-wing policy.

The clickbait (out of context) headline makes it sound like a more general diss. I'm not supporting Trump here [standard disclaimer], but these gotcha headlines are tiresome.

[Feb 17, 2019] GOP Donors Vs. GOP Voters

Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

From J.D. Vance's appearance last night on Tucker Carlson Tonight Vance has just said that the donor elites of the GOP are out of touch with the party's base. More:

CARLSON: But more broadly, what you are saying, I think is, that the Democratic Party understands what it is and who it represents and affirmatively represents them. They do things for their voters, but the Republican Party doesn't actually represent its own voters very well.

VANCE: Yes, that's exactly right. I mean, look at who the Democratic Party is and look, I don't like the Democratic Party's policies.

CARLSON: Yes.

VANCE: Most of the times, I disagree with them. But I at least admire that they recognize who their voters are and they actually just as raw cynical politics do a lot of things to serve those voters.

Now, look at who Republican voters increasingly are. They are people who disproportionately serve in the military, but Republican foreign policy has been a disaster for a lot of veterans. They are disproportionately folks who want to have more children. They are people who want to have more single earner families. They are people who don't necessarily want to go to college but they want to work in an economy where if you play by the rules, you can you actually support a family on one income.

CARLSON: Yes.

VANCE: Have Republicans done anything for those people really in the last 15 or 20 years? I think can you point to some policies of the Trump administration. Certainly, instinctively, I think the President gets who his voters are and what he has to do to service those folks. But at the end of the day, the broad elite of the party, the folks who really call the shots, the think tank intellectuals, the people who write the policy, I just don't think they realize who their own voters are.

Now, the slightly more worrying implication is that maybe some of them do realize who their voters are, they just don't actually like those voters much.

CARLSON: Well, that's it. So I watch the Democratic Party and I notice that if there is a substantial block within it, it's this unstable coalition, all of these groups have nothing in common, but the one thing they have in common is the Democratic Party will protect them.

VANCE: Yes.

CARLSON: You criticize a block of Democratic Voters and they are on you like a wounded wombat. They will bite you. The Republicans, watch their voters come under attack and sort of nod in agreement, "Yes, these people should be attacked."

VANCE: Yes, that's absolutely right. I mean, if you talk to people who spent their lives in D.C. I know you live in D.C.

CARLSON: Yes.

VANCE: I've spent a lot of my life here. The people who spend their time in D.C. who work on Republican campaigns, who work at conservative think tanks, now this isn't true of everybody, but a lot of them actually don't like the people who are voting for Republican candidates these days.

[Feb 17, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard explains why she will run for president

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) explains to CNN's Van Jones why she wants to run for president in 2020.
Jan 12, 2019 | www.youtube.com
charley15z 1 month ago The establishment left and blue checkmarks on Twitter are gonna go after her HARD. But I will support her, purely on her policies.

Mike Fagan 1 month ago Gabbard IS everything Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, and Hillary Clinton isn't. Which is NOT BOUGHT. She got my vote. #Gabbard2020 #Sanders2020

Marcy Clay 1 month ago She would get independents and some Republicans to cross over. She is already being attacked by the left, and right for some old remarks that were homophobic, and for meeting with Assad. I like her better than Warren or Harris by far..

Abu Hurairah 1 month ago she is anti war. so cnn and fox will hate her. just wait....

lrein077 1 month ago I had the opportunity to meet Tulsi in person and she was the most approachable & genuine person. Congratulations Tulsi.

Jimmy Russle 1 month ago I'm a Trump supporter, but she certainly has a better resume than Trump. Her most important issue is peace among nations, I'm all on board. 27

[Feb 17, 2019] H.R. 1249, the INF Treaty Compliance Act, to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used for weapons that would breach the INF treaty

Feb 17, 2019 | twitter.com

Tulsi Gabbard ‏ Verified account @ TulsiGabbard 7h 7 hours ago

Thank you to @ RepMcGovern @ repmarkpocan & @ IlhanMN for cosponsoring H.R. 1249, the INF Treaty Compliance Act, to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used for weapons that would breach the INF treaty. This is one step Congress can & must take now toward national security and peace

[Feb 17, 2019] About TULSI 2020

Feb 17, 2019 | www.tulsi2020.com

The Cost of War

The first day Tulsi arrived at her camp in Iraq, she saw a large sign at one of the gates that read, "Is today the day?" It was a blunt reminder that today may be the day that any of the soldiers would be called to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It caused her to reflect on her own life and the reality that each of us could die at any moment.

While serving in a base in the Sunni Triangle at the height of the war, Tulsi had the heart-wrenching daily responsibility of going through the list of every injury and casualty in the entire theatre of operations, looking to see if any soldiers in her unit were on the list, so she could ensure they received the care they needed and their families were notified.

She was hit with the enduring pain and hardship of her brothers and sisters in uniform, and the stress and pressure on their families. She wondered if those who voted to send soldiers to Iraq really understood why they were there -- if lawmakers and the President reflected daily on each death, each injury, and the immeasurably high cost of war.

Having experienced first-hand the true cost of war, she made a personal vow to find a way to ensure that our country doesn't continue repeating the mistakes of the past, sending our troops into war without a clear mission, strategy, or purpose. In Congress

Serving over 6 years in Congress, and as a member of the Armed Services, Homeland Security, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Tulsi has been a leading voice fighting to end regime change wars and instead focus our military efforts on defeating the terrorist groups that attacked and declared war on the United States. She has approached every issue through the lens of what will best serve the American people, secure our country, and promote peace.

She is a champion for protecting our environment, ensuring clean water and air for generations to come, investing in infrastructure and a green energy economy, healthcare for all, civil liberties and privacy, support for small businesses, criminal justice reform, sustainable agriculture, breaking up the big banks and she needs your help!

Regime change wars are bankrupting our country and our moral authority. We need to redirect those resources into a renewable, sustainable economy that works for everyone and bring about an era of peace. We must put service above self and reclaim our great democracy from the forces of hatred and division.

Will you join us?

[Feb 17, 2019] Tulsi sure is hated by the neocons and neolibral intelligentsia, but she would, more than any other candidate, actually start to heal this country

This is a very important point. She can bring a large part of Trump voters (all anti-war votes and most of promiddle class voters) and part of Sanders voters together.
Notable quotes:
"... As long as we're talking Hawaii, I have found my candidate for President: Tulsi Gabbard. I guess I'm late to the party, and she sure is hated by the intelligentsia, boy do they hate her, but she's really, really electable for President and she would, more than any other candidate, actually start to heal this country. Aloha. ..."
"... I don't believe the Democrats will nominate her. They'll use the electability canard to dismiss her candidacy, much like how Ron Paul was treated by the GOP. ..."
Feb 17, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Bill Herschel , 6 hours ago

As long as we're talking Hawaii, I have found my candidate for President: Tulsi Gabbard. I guess I'm late to the party, and she sure is hated by the intelligentsia, boy do they hate her, but she's really, really electable for President and she would, more than any other candidate, actually start to heal this country. Aloha.
Jack -> Bill Herschel , 6 hours ago
I don't believe the Democrats will nominate her. They'll use the electability canard to dismiss her candidacy, much like how Ron Paul was treated by the GOP.

However, she seems to have an agenda I would back.

[Feb 17, 2019] Trump is Russian asset memo is really neocon propaganda overkill

Highly recommended!
The ability of those in power to manipulate the ways ordinary people think, act and vote has allowed for an inverted totalitarianism which turns the citizenry into their own prison wardens, allowing those with real power to continue doing as they please unhindered by the interests of the common man.
In neoliberal MSM there is positive feedback loop for "Trump is a Russian agent" stories. So the meme feeds on itself.
Notable quotes:
"... And yet the trending, most high-profile stories about Trump today all involve painting him as a Putin puppet who is working to destroy America by taking a weak stance against an alarming geopolitical threat. This has had the effect of manufacturing demand for even more dangerous escalations against a nuclear superpower that just so happens to be a longtime target of U.S. intelligence agencies. ..."
"... the mass media is not in the business of reporting facts, it's in the business of selling narratives. Even if those narratives are so shrill and stress-inducing that they imperil the health of their audience. ..."
"... Trump is clearly not a Russian asset, he's a facilitator of America's permanent unelected government just like his predecessors, and indeed as far as actual policies and administration behavior goes he's not that much different from Barack Obama and George W Bush. Hell, for all his demagogic anti-immigrant speech Trump hasn't even caught up to Obama's peak ICE deportation years ..."
"... Used to be that the U.S. mass media only killed people indirectly, by facilitating establishment war agendas in repeating government agency propaganda as objective fact and promulgating narratives that manufacture support for a status quo which won't even give Americans health insurance or safe drinking water ..."
"... Now they're skipping the middle man and killing them directly by psychologically brutalizing them so aggressively that it ruins their health, all to ensure that Democrats support war and adore the U.S. intelligence community . ..."
"... The social engineers responsible for controlling the populace of the greatest military power on the planet are watching France closely, and understand deeply what is at stake should they fail to control the narrative and herd ordinary Americans into supporting U.S. government institutions. ..."
"... The ability of those in power to manipulate the ways ordinary people think, act and vote has allowed for an inverted totalitarianism which turns the citizenry into their own prison wardens, allowing those with real power to continue doing as they please unhindered by the interests of the common man. ..."
Jan 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The always excellent Moon of Alabama blog has just published a sarcasm-laden piece documenting the many, many aggressive maneuvers that this administration has made against the interests of Russia, from pushing for more NATO funding to undermining Russia's natural gas interests to bombing Syria to sanctioning Russian oligarchs to dangerous military posturing.

<picture deleted>

And yet the trending, most high-profile stories about Trump today all involve painting him as a Putin puppet who is working to destroy America by taking a weak stance against an alarming geopolitical threat. This has had the effect of manufacturing demand for even more dangerous escalations against a nuclear superpower that just so happens to be a longtime target of U.S. intelligence agencies.

If the mass media were in the business of reporting facts, there would be a lot less "Putin's puppet" talk and a lot more "Hey, maybe we should avoid senseless escalations which could end all life on earth" talk among news media consumers. But there isn't, because the mass media is not in the business of reporting facts, it's in the business of selling narratives. Even if those narratives are so shrill and stress-inducing that they imperil the health of their audience.

Like His Predecessors

Trump is clearly not a Russian asset, he's a facilitator of America's permanent unelected government just like his predecessors, and indeed as far as actual policies and administration behavior goes he's not that much different from Barack Obama and George W Bush. Hell, for all his demagogic anti-immigrant speech Trump hasn't even caught up to Obama's peak ICE deportation years.

If the mass media were in the business of reporting facts, people would be no more worried about this administration than they were about the previous ones, because when it comes to his administration's actual behavior, he's just as reliable an upholder of the establishment-friendly status quo as his predecessors.

Used to be that the U.S. mass media only killed people indirectly, by facilitating establishment war agendas in repeating government agency propaganda as objective fact and promulgating narratives that manufacture support for a status quo which won't even give Americans health insurance or safe drinking water.

Now they're skipping the middle man and killing them directly by psychologically brutalizing them so aggressively that it ruins their health, all to ensure that Democrats support war and adore the U.S. intelligence community .

They do this for a reason, of course. The Yellow Vests protests in France have continued unabated for their ninth consecutive week , a decentralized populist uprising resulting from ordinary French citizens losing trust in their institutions and the official narratives which uphold them.

The social engineers responsible for controlling the populace of the greatest military power on the planet are watching France closely, and understand deeply what is at stake should they fail to control the narrative and herd ordinary Americans into supporting U.S. government institutions. Right now they've got Republicans cheering on the White House and Democrats cheering on the U.S. intelligence community, but that could all change should something happen which causes them to lose control over the thoughts that Americans think about their rulers.

Propaganda is the single most-overlooked and under-appreciated aspect of human society. The ability of those in power to manipulate the ways ordinary people think, act and vote has allowed for an inverted totalitarianism which turns the citizenry into their own prison wardens, allowing those with real power to continue doing as they please unhindered by the interests of the common man.

The only thing that will lead to real change is the people losing trust in corrupt institutions and rising like lions against them. That gets increasingly likely as those institutions lose control of the narrative, and with trust in the mass media at an all-time low, populist uprisings restoring power to the people in France, and media corporations acting increasingly weird and insecure , that looks more and more likely by the day.

[Feb 17, 2019] Bill Kristol and Max Boot are not an expect in military technology, or security issues. They are experts in peddling MIC product to the US public

Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Sid , February 15, 2019 at 7:27 pm

The goal of any "peddler" is to move product. When perpetual war is the product, then any rationale that leads to more sales will do. Enemies become interchangeable. The only thing to apologize for is the lack of sales.

These two hucksters are not experts on the product itself, but rather experts at selling the product.

Pres. Eisenhower, a genuine "authority on armed conflict", warned us of such peddlers.

[Feb 17, 2019] The goal of the neocons was to exploit 9/11 to destroy countries in the Middle East that posed a threat to Israel

Notable quotes:
"... Because DC is bought and paid for by the defense industry. Constant wars are good for the bottom line, so winning is not the right strategy. Loosing doesn't work either. A constant low level set of global conflicts is perfect. ..."
"... The goal of any "peddler" is to move product. When perpetual war is the product, then any rationale that leads to more sales will do. Enemies become interchangeable. The only thing to apologize for is the lack of sales. ..."
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Janwaar Bibi February 16, 2019 at 4:50 pm

Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around? Pundits like Max Boot and Bill Kristol got everything after 9/11 wrong but are still considered "experts."

1. The goal of the neocons was to exploit 9/11 to destroy countries in the Middle East that posed a threat to Israel. As Wesley Clarke told us a long time ago, they were going to "do" Iraq first, and after that, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon and finally Iran. Most of this has been accomplished. We are now in the end game and Iran is in their cross-hairs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RC1Mepk_Sw

From the perspective of the neocons, everything has gone their way.

2. The only people who got everything thing wrong were useful idiots like Rod Dreher, Tucker Carlson and Walter "Freedom Fries" Jones who were too dense to see what the neocons were really up to. You did not a PhD from Harvard to see that Bush and Blair had no evidence to back up their claims that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction or to figure out the true intentions of the neocons.

So why are Boot and Kristol still around? Because Iran is not yet reduced to an ash-heap, courtesy of USA!USA!USA! so they still have work to do.

Why have they paid no price? Let's all pretend like we don't know the answer to this. And don't forget to condemn Ilhan Omar for her tweets just to be on the safe side.

john , says: February 16, 2019 at 12:32 pm
It's difficult to live in a post-America America where American interests are subordinate to Israel and AIPAC and lunatics like Bolton and Pompeo, now have replaced the president in matters of foreign policy.

Trump has done a 180 and given in completely.

I like Tulsi Gabbard and hope that she might have a chance of winning the Democratic nomination in spite of the fact that she now is being attacked by members of her own party, along with the representative from Minnesota who has the courage to talk of the power of the Israel lobby that functions solely in the interest of Israel. It seems the Democrats are not so tolerant of strong women after all. And its time for everyone to stop being intimidated by the charge of anti-Semitism. When Israeli interests are not those of America and Americans.

Ksw , says: February 16, 2019 at 3:54 pm
Because DC is bought and paid for by the defense industry. Constant wars are good for the bottom line, so winning is not the right strategy. Loosing doesn't work either. A constant low level set of global conflicts is perfect.
Sid , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:27 pm
The goal of any "peddler" is to move product. When perpetual war is the product, then any rationale that leads to more sales will do. Enemies become interchangeable. The only thing to apologize for is the lack of sales.

These two hucksters are not experts on the product itself, but rather experts at selling the product.

Pres. Eisenhower, a genuine "authority on armed conflict", warned us of such peddlers.

Barry F Keane , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:11 pm
Yes the neocons have a poor track record but they've succeeded at turning our republic into an empire. The mainstream media and elites of practically all western nations are unanimously pro-war. Neither political party has defined a comprehensive platform to rebuild our republic.

Even you, Tucker Carlson, mock the efforts of Ilhan Omar for criticizing AIPAC and Elliott Abrams.

I don't personally care for many of her opinions but that's not what matters: if we elect another neocon government we won't last another generation. Like the lady asked Ben Franklin "What kind of government have you bequeathed us?", and Franklin answered "A republic, madam, if you can keep it."

[Feb 17, 2019] Tucker correctly called out Boot and Kristol for their advocacy of war while possessing no real-world experience when it comes to fighting war. Thos MIC peddlers need to be despised and ignored. But he supported Bush administration in its push for Iraq war as well

While we should thank Tucker for this takedown of these two warmongering know-nothings, he himself is not without a blame... Also while Max Boot and Bill Kristol have Twitter feeds and occasional MSNBC appearances, neocons John Bolton and Eliott Abrams are running American foreign policy.
Iraq invasion mainly benefitted Israel and MIC
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Scott Ritter February 15, 2019 at 4:23 pm

While I was entertained by Tucker's take down of Mssr's Boot and Kristol, I can't help but recall when he was carrying the water for the Bush administration during its build up for the invasion of Iraq. I offer up my encounter with him while he co-hosted CNN's Crossfire in July 2002. My answers, and facts, have withstood the test of time. Tucker's have not, and to see him calling out Boot and Kristol for their advocacy of war while possessing no real-world experience when it comes to fighting war when Tucker did the same thing is very much like the pot calling the kettle black. http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0207/31/cf.00.html

[Feb 16, 2019] Isn't the bottom of election problems, the very heart of the matter simple, eternal, laziness and stupidity of an average person?

Feb 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

jacques sheete , says: February 16, 2019 at 6:31 pm GMT

@peterAUS

Isn't the bottom, the very heart of the matter simple, eternal, laziness and stupidity of an average person?

Yup.

Laziness of the voting public, in particular.

Too lazy to question much, if anything.

Too lazy to study.

Too lazy to learn.

Too lazy to think.

Too lazy to move beyond some glib, mindless cliches such and "Hope and Change," MAGA, etc.

Too lazy to even admit the truth.

Too lazy to do much, if anything, more than cast a ballot for some lying schmuck lesser of two evils every coupla years and hope for the best.

Too lazy, even, to take down some ragged tattered flag during inclement weather

[Feb 16, 2019] Eugene McCarthy never became President, but he changed national politics. Gabbard could have a big impact even if she does not win.

Feb 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
Mark Thomason , says: February 16, 2019 at 5:47 pm GMT
Eugene McCarthy never became President, but he changed national politics. Gabbard could have a big impact even if she does not win.

She could also become VP, and at her age that might well be a stepping stone.

[Feb 16, 2019] Do American people care enough about war to vote for Tulsi Gabbard

Feb 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

HEL , says: February 16, 2019 at 6:26 pm GMT

Gabbard is going nowhere, and while it's true that the powers that be will try to bury her, they don't need to. The simple truth is this: the American public largely doesn't care about the wars and never has. There hasn't been an anti-war movement of any significance since Bush left office, and that was mostly a phony anti-war movement in the first place. It was primarily an anti-Bush movement, and the bulk of the people screaming 'no blood for oil' would've just been screaming some other anti-Bush slogan had our current path of destruction through the Mideast never occurred.

Yes, there has always been a small, independent-minded minority on both the right and left who genuinely oppose American interventionism.

The vast majority of voters, though, don't care much, don't have strong opinions and will largely just follow their leaders. Rank and file Democrats now oppose drawing down from Syria and Afghanistan and want to 'contain' Russia.

This is solely because Trump has made noises in the opposite direction, even if he hasn't done much of anything. And a good portion of the Republicans who say they want out of these wars would support them if Jeb or Rubio were in the White House.

There is a fair bit more genuine antiwar sentiment on the right now than there was 15 years ago. But it's not a dominant issue for many people on the right who didn't always oppose the wars from the get-go. And the mainstream left, again, has totally abandoned the issue.

Only a tiny proportion of the American public considers the endless wars to be the most important issue facing America today.

You don't win campaigns focusing on issues that are regarded as unimportant and where most of the voters in your party oppose you on this point. There is no real antiwar movement. Another full-scale invasion of a previously stable country would generate some serious opposition, sure, but the current slow bleed of endless occupations and occasional opportunistic attacks on already destabilizing regimes can continue forever with little pushback from the public at large.

How anyone could live through the last 15 years of American politics and not realize this is beyond me.

KenH , says: February 16, 2019 at 6:26 pm GMT
@Art

That one trick happens to the most important trick that America is facing.

No Art, that would be unchecked legal and illegal immigration and as far as I can tell Tulsi Gandhi is pretty dreadful on that subject. True, the likudniks in the diaspora don't like her because she would be bad for an expansionist Israel...

If elected Tulsi would probably become a Jew tool just like Trump has become. If not, then they'll have another special counsel ready to take her down. That's how the (((deep state))) operates.

[Feb 16, 2019] President Trump is Saudi Arabia's bitch Hawaii Rep SLAMS Trump

dailymail.co.uk

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard attacked Donald Trump for his tweet praising Saudi Arabia after the CIA report which found the country's crown prince was behind the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Democratic Rep. Gabbard, a National Guard veteran who did two tours in the Middle East, branded the president 'Saudi Arabia's b**ch' after he announced the U.S. would stand by the nation.

'Hey @realdonaldtrump: being Saudi Arabia's bitch is not '"America First,'" Gabbard tweeted.

[Feb 16, 2019] Is Tulsi Gabbard for Real by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... Tulsi's own military experience notwithstanding, she gives every indication of being honestly anti-war. In the speech announcing her candidacy she pledged "focus on the issue of war and peace" to "end the regime-change wars that have taken far too many lives and undermined our security by strengthening terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda." She referred to the danger posed by blundering into a possible nuclear war and indicated her dismay over what appears to be a re-emergence of the Cold War. ..."
"... Gabbard has spoken at a conference of Christians United for Israel, which has defended Israel's settlement enterprise; has backed legislation that slashes funding to the Palestinians; and has cultivated ties with Boteach as well as with major GOP donor casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. She also attended the controversial address to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March 2015, which many progressive Democrats boycotted. ..."
"... Nevertheless, Tulsi supported Bernie Sanders' antiwar candidacy in 2016 and appears to be completely onboard and fearless in promoting her antiwar sentiments. Yes, Americans have heard much of the same before, but Tulsi Gabbard could well be the only genuine antiwar candidate that might truly be electable in the past fifty years. ..."
"... What's her angle about immigration? This: https://votesmart.org/public-statement/1197137/rep-tulsi-gabbard-calls-on-congress-to-pass-the-dream-act#.XGXEplUza1s Not optimistic. ..."
"... What's her angle about "outsourcing" jobs overseas? This: https://www.votetulsi.com/node/25011 Not bad, but, still .. ..."
"... Regularly Americans vote for the less interventionist candidate. ..."
"... Of course, it is impossible to predict whether it will be the same with Tulsi Gabbard, but unlike these other candidates in the past , she puts her rejection of neocons and regime change wars so much into the center of her campaign that it should be assumed that she is serious – otherwise it would be complete betrayal. ..."
"... She'll be sabotaged by relentless smears and other dirty tricks. Only someone bought and owned will be allowed to be a candidate which means the MIC must continue being fed enormous amounts of money and war hysteria constantly being stoked. ..."
"... Has anyone discussed the possibility of Tulsi being "marketed" or long-game "branded" through intentional theatre as "anti-war" ? ..."
"... Any serious Democratic candidate, and to some extent any Republican, must fly through the flack of Deep State anti-populist guns. I am skeptical about Gabbard because her policy views are already too good to be true. She is "cruisin' for a bruisin'" and there is already a campaign to erase her from the debate in the manner in which Ron Paul was erased a few years back ..."
"... Gabbard is an attractive woman and on camera she comes across as aggressive and a quick-thinking, highly articulate debater. Like Trump her instinct is to meet force with counter-force rather than roll with the punches and I think that is her best chance. ..."
"... De ja vu. I remember reading these very similar (not exactly but similar) sentiments about Barack Obama back in 2008. What a load of crap that turned out to be ..."
"... Don't know much about this lady. If she is "fair dinkum" in her anti war/anti-imperialism stance her only chance to get into power & then get things done will be to gain a massive, committed popular following. ..."
Feb 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

The lineup of Democrats who have already declared themselves as candidates for their party's presidential nomination in 2020 is remarkable, if only for the fact that so many wannabes have thrown their hats in the ring so early in the process. In terms of electability, however, one might well call the seekers after the highest office in the land the nine dwarfs. Four of the would-be candidates – Marianne Williamson a writer, Andrew Yang an entrepreneur, Julian Castro a former Obama official, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Congressman John Delaney – have no national profiles at all and few among the Democratic Party rank-and-file would be able to detail who they are, where they come from and what their positions on key issues might be.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has a national following but she also has considerable baggage. The recent revelation that she falsely described herself as "American Indian" back in 1986 for purposes of career advancement, which comes on top of similar reports of more of the same as well as other resume-enhancements that surfaced when she first became involved in national politics, prompted Donald Trump to refer to her as "Pocahontas." Warren, who is largely progressive on social and domestic issues, has been confronted numerous times regarding her views on Israel/Palestine and beyond declaring that she favors a "two state solution" has been somewhat reticent. She should be described as pro-Israel for the usual reasons and is not reliably anti-war. She comes across as a rather more liberal version of Hillary Clinton.

And then there is New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, being touted as the "new Obama," presumably because he is both black and progressive. His record as Mayor of Newark New Jersey, which launched his career on the national stage, has both high and low points and it has to be questioned if America is ready for another smooth-talking black politician whose actual record of accomplishments is on the thin side. One unfortunately recalls the devious Obama's totally bogus Nobel Peace Prize and his Tuesday morning meetings with John Brennan to work on the list of Americans who were to be assassinated.

Booker has carefully cultivated the Jewish community in his political career, to include a close relationship with the stomach-churning "America's Rabbi" Shmuley Boteach, but has recently become more independent of those ties, supporting the Obama deal with Iran and voting against anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) legislation in the Senate. On the negative side, the New York Times likes Booker, which means that he will turn most other Americans off. He is also 49 years old and unmarried, which apparently bothers some in the punditry.

California Senator Kamala Harris is a formidable entrant into the crowded field due to her resume, nominally progressive on most issues, but with a work history that has attracted critics concerned by her hard-line law-and-order enforcement policies when she was District Attorney General for San Francisco and Attorney General for California. She has also spoken at AIPAC , is anti-BDS, and is considered to be reliably pro-Israel, which would rule her out for some, though she might be appealing to middle of the road Democrats like the Clintons and Nancy Pelosi who have increasingly become war advocates. She will have a tough time convincing the antiwar crowd that she is worth supporting and there are reports that she will likely split the black women's vote even though she is black herself, perhaps linked to her affair with California powerbroker Willie Brown when she was 29 and Brown was 61. Brown was married, though separated, to a black woman at the time. Harris is taking heat because she clearly used the relationship to advance her career while also acquiring several patronage sinecures on state commissions that netted her hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The most interesting candidate is undoubtedly Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who is a fourth term Congresswoman from Hawaii, where she was born and raised. She is also the real deal on national security, having been-there and done-it through service as an officer with the Hawaiian National Guard on a combat deployment in Iraq. Though in Congress full time, she still performs her Guard duty.

Tulsi's own military experience notwithstanding, she gives every indication of being honestly anti-war. In the speech announcing her candidacy she pledged "focus on the issue of war and peace" to "end the regime-change wars that have taken far too many lives and undermined our security by strengthening terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda." She referred to the danger posed by blundering into a possible nuclear war and indicated her dismay over what appears to be a re-emergence of the Cold War.

Not afraid of challenging establishment politics, she called for an end to the "illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government," also observing that "the war to overthrow Assad is counter-productive because it actually helps ISIS and other Islamic extremists achieve their goal of overthrowing the Syrian government of Assad and taking control of all of Syria – which will simply increase human suffering in the region, exacerbate the refugee crisis, and pose a greater threat to the world." She then backed up her words with action by secretly arranging for a personal trip to Damascus in 2017 to meet with President Bashar al-Assad, saying it was important to meet adversaries "if you are serious about pursuing peace." She made her own assessment of the situation in Syria and now favors pulling US troops out of the country as well as ending American interventions for "regime change" in the region.

In 2015, Gabbard supported President Barack Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran and more recently has criticized President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the deal. Last May, she criticized Israel for shooting "unarmed protesters" in Gaza, but one presumes that, like nearly all American politicians, she also has to make sure that she does not have the Israel Lobby on her back. Gabbard has spoken at a conference of Christians United for Israel, which has defended Israel's settlement enterprise; has backed legislation that slashes funding to the Palestinians; and has cultivated ties with Boteach as well as with major GOP donor casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. She also attended the controversial address to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March 2015, which many progressive Democrats boycotted.

Nevertheless, Tulsi supported Bernie Sanders' antiwar candidacy in 2016 and appears to be completely onboard and fearless in promoting her antiwar sentiments. Yes, Americans have heard much of the same before, but Tulsi Gabbard could well be the only genuine antiwar candidate that might truly be electable in the past fifty years.

What Tulsi Gabbard is accomplishing might be measured by the enemies that are already gathering and are out to get her. Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept describes how NBC news published a widely distributed story on February 1 st , claiming that "experts who track websites and social media linked to Russia have seen stirrings of a possible campaign of support for Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard."

But the expert cited by NBC turned out to be a firm New Knowledge, which was exposed by no less than The New York Times for falsifying Russian troll accounts for the Democratic Party in the Alabama Senate race to suggest that the Kremlin was interfering in that election. According to Greenwald, the group ultimately behind this attack on Gabbard is The Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD), which sponsors a tool called Hamilton 68 , a news "intelligence net checker" that claims to track Russian efforts to disseminate disinformation. The ASD website advises that "Securing Democracy is a Global Necessity."

ASD was set up in 2017 by the usual neocon crowd with funding from The Atlanticist and anti-Russian German Marshall Fund. It is loaded with a full complement of Zionists and interventionists/globalists, to include Michael Chertoff, Michael McFaul, Michael Morell, Kori Schake and Bill Kristol. It claims, innocently, to be a bipartisan transatlantic national security advocacy group that seeks to identify and counter efforts by Russia to undermine democracies in the United States and Europe but it is actually itself a major source of disinformation.

For the moment, Tulsi Gabbard seems to be the "real thing," a genuine anti-war candidate who is determined to run on that platform. It might just resonate with the majority of American who have grown tired of perpetual warfare to "spread democracy" and other related frauds perpetrated by the band of oligarchs and traitors that run the United States. We the people can always hope.


peterAUS , says: February 14, 2019 at 7:41 pm GMT

For the moment, Tulsi Gabbard seems to be the "real thing," a genuine anti-war candidate who is determined to run on that platform.

Be that as it may, what is conspicously missing from the article are some minor things:

1. What's her angle about immigration? This: https://votesmart.org/public-statement/1197137/rep-tulsi-gabbard-calls-on-congress-to-pass-the-dream-act#.XGXEplUza1s Not optimistic.

2. What's her angle about "outsourcing" jobs overseas? This: https://www.votetulsi.com/node/25011 Not bad, but, still ..

Just those two. We can leave the rest of "globo-homo" agenda off the table, for the moment. And, the last but not the least, that nagging angle about automation and (paid) work in general. Let's not get too ambitious here. Those two, only, should suffice at the moment.

Si1ver1ock , says: February 14, 2019 at 8:09 pm GMT
I like Tulsi. but she hasn't been tested in a presidential campaign yet. At least we will have someone who could put peace on the ballot. She should write a book pulling her policies together and use it to get some publicity.
Adrian E. , says: February 14, 2019 at 9:14 pm GMT
Regularly Americans vote for the less interventionist candidate. 2008, an important reason for Obama's victory against Hillary Clinton and John McCain was that he had been against the Iraq war. 2000, George W. Bush said he was against nation building. Then, after they are elected, the neocons remain in power. Something similar again with Donald Trump who campaigned against stupid wars in the Middle East and now has surrounded himself with some of the most extreme neocons.

Of course, it is impossible to predict whether it will be the same with Tulsi Gabbard, but unlike these other candidates in the past , she puts her rejection of neocons and regime change wars so much into the center of her campaign that it should be assumed that she is serious – otherwise it would be complete betrayal. However, if she is serious about this and is elected, she will be fought by the deep state and its allies in the media much more harshly than Trump, who isn't even consistently anti-neocons, just not reliably pro-neocon. What they would probably do to her would make spygate, the Russiagate conspiracy theory, and the Muller investigation look harmless. She might end like JFK (a VP who is just as anti-neocons might increase the chances of survival).

But despite all the risks, I think it is worth trying. If the US was a parliamentary democracy with proportional representation and the neocons had their own party, it would hardly have more than a handful of seats in Congress. Although they don't have, a significant base of their own, neocons have remained in power for a long time, whoever was elected. At the moment, Tulsi Gabbard is probably the best hope for ending their long reign.

anonymous [241] Disclaimer , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:30 am GMT
She'll be sabotaged by relentless smears and other dirty tricks. Only someone bought and owned will be allowed to be a candidate which means the MIC must continue being fed enormous amounts of money and war hysteria constantly being stoked. She won't have a chance. Besides, the Dem party has gotten radical and out of touch with the majority of Americans so who really wants them in? There's no cause for optimism anywhere one looks.
Gg Mo , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:21 am GMT
@the grand wazoo

Has anyone discussed the possibility of Tulsi being "marketed" or long-game "branded" through intentional theatre as "anti-war" ? Greenwald himself has questionable backers and the WWF good guy/bad guy character creations (like Trump's pre-election talking points concerning illegal wars , now stuffed down the memory holes of many), all the FAKE and distracting "fights" etc etc

See Corbett/Sibel Edmonds on Greenwald

jack daniels , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:48 am GMT
@peterAUS

Any serious Democratic candidate, and to some extent any Republican, must fly through the flack of Deep State anti-populist guns. I am skeptical about Gabbard because her policy views are already too good to be true. She is "cruisin' for a bruisin'" and there is already a campaign to erase her from the debate in the manner in which Ron Paul was erased a few years back.

Gabbard is an attractive woman and on camera she comes across as aggressive and a quick-thinking, highly articulate debater. Like Trump her instinct is to meet force with counter-force rather than roll with the punches and I think that is her best chance. In that way she calls the bluff of her opponents: Just how confident are they that in the end the public will prefer war to peace? These points add up to a realistic chance of success but given the Deep State's stranglehold on the media she is definitely a long shot.

Biff , says: February 15, 2019 at 4:04 am GMT
De ja vu. I remember reading these very similar (not exactly but similar) sentiments about Barack Obama back in 2008. What a load of crap that turned out to be, but I do understand that not all politicians are cut from the same dung heap, so it is probably best to find out who is funding the little pricks while they are campaigning – for once they are elected, payback is due.

In the case of Obama it was Robert Rubin( of Goldman Sachs) who bankrolled him, and of course, once elected it was bank bailout time. Then once Ghaddaffi's gold back Dinar became a monetary powerhouse, he committed another crime for the bankers.

"Is she the real deal?"

Elect her and you'll find out, and there lies the problem – you get to find out when it's too late. On the other hand, she could actually be honest and sincere, but that alone disqualifies her as a politician (the kind that Americans are used to anyway).

NTL, she's got people's attention and if for anything else – the people are anti-war, but the monied power brokers are definitely not which begs the question – will democracy actually happen?

animalogic , says: February 15, 2019 at 8:04 am GMT
@Adrian E.

Don't know much about this lady. If she is "fair dinkum" in her anti war/anti-imperialism stance her only chance to get into power & then get things done will be to gain a massive, committed popular following.

She will need to use tactics from both the Sanders & Trump play-books. She will need to appeal to a good number in both the Sanders & Trump constituencies. Regardless, she will need an iron-will & tsunami of charisma .

LondonBob , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:26 am GMT
@Biff Obama was a creation of the Pritzker and Crowne families, although the puppet did decide he wanted to somewhat act on his own. Gabbard is certainly taking flak from the Israel firsters, and her debating Trump on foreign policy in a US Presidential election would be a real paradigm shift.
RobinG , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:10 pm GMT
@renfro Where do you get this "obsessive hatred of Muslims and Islam?"

She's been [insistent and consistent] using the term 'radical Islamic terrorists' which, unfortunately, is an accurate description of ISIS (the bane of the ummah). OTOH, last year Tulsi was a featured speaker at a Moslem conference in NJ, and she has been outspoken about freedom of religion and mutual respect. If you've got some evidence that she excludes Islam from that, please show it.

RobinG , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:35 pm GMT
@jack daniels

[Gabbard's] policy views are already too good to be true.

Not really. Too good to be true would be if she understood Putin in the context of the US and oligarch rape of Russia in the 1990's and how he has restored the Russian economy and dignity; and if she recognized (openly) the US role in the Maidan coup and accepted the validity of the Crimean decision to return to Russia.

Unfortunately, even though she's taken a brave position on ending US regime-change war on Syria, in many other respects she remains quite conventional. She also promotes fear of DPRK, and who knows what she thinks about China.

she comes across as aggressive and a quick-thinking, highly articulate debater.

Aggressive? Composed, confident, yes. Aggressive, no. Calm under fire is more like it. Take a look at the whole interview on Morning Joe. She really outclasses those squirming bitches. BUT, notice her (short) responses on Putin and Assad ("adversary" and "no"), real Judas moments. Does she believe that, or is she clinging to the Overton Window?
https://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/rep-gabbard-assad-is-not-an-enemy-of-the-us-1438093891865

Forcible Overthrow time , says: February 15, 2019 at 5:41 pm GMT
Tulsi's presidential timber but she's wasting her life with the Democrats. Their consulting apparatchiks are going to stuff a bunch of incoherent slogans up her butt. If she wants a real antiwar platform she should steal it wholesale from Stein and Ajamu Baraka. Baraka built a complete and consistent law-and-order platform. He's the only real antiwar candidate in this country.

Of course the Democrat's CIA handlers will crush Tulsi if she starts to make sense, so she's going to have to take her supporters and jump to the Greens.

She will lose, but arbitrary forcible repression of the party will discredit bullshit US electoral pageantry once and for all. Then we move into the parallel government zone in conformity with world-standard human rights law and destroy the parasitic kleptocratic USA.

peterAUS , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:12 pm GMT
@jack daniels You know .there IS one thing nobody wants, really, to talk about.

.given the Deep State's stranglehold on the media she is definitely a long shot

Why, in this age, the "stronghold on the media" is so decisive? A person who gets the most of media exposure wins? That's how it works?
Or, do anyone reading and posting here gets his/her information from the "media"? I'd say not.

Isn't the bottom, the very heart of the matter NOT a Deep State, Dem Joos, Anglo-Saxons, Masons, Illuminati and .whatever but simple, eternal, laziness and stupidity of an average person?
Or, even worse: the real, true, needs and wants of an average person are simply "breads and circuses". Nothing more.
Combine those two and here we are.

I am aware that throws the spanner into works of those into Aryans, White supremacy, Western man and similar stuff, but, the conclusion seems inevitable.

That's the heart of the problem "we" face at the moment. How to fix it, or even is it possible, I don't know. Have some ideas, of course.

anon [194] Disclaimer , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:31 pm GMT
@2stateshmustate

If there was any justice in this country Mr. Chertoff would have long since been tried for treason for his involvement in the 911 attack.

The arc of something or other is long but tends toward justice er something like that:

Chertoff's business partner Mike Hayden had a stroke last November and is still "getting good care and working hard at therapy."

No doubt US taxpayers are paying to rebuild Scumbag Hayden's fried circuits.
Pity.

never-anonymous , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:54 pm GMT
CIA Giraldi probably has more Cherokee DNA than Warren. Another fact he failed to provide to the Government during the security clearance process. The troll has supported the republican establishment all his career, this distinguishes him from the trolls that support the democratic establishment all of their careers. The fact that people can debate the relative merits of political leaders from the dark lagoon reveals their complete lack of rational thought. No politician decides anything important.
Tulip , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:39 pm GMT
@Anonymous No, then she is toast in Hawaii politics, and she is probably running not because she plans on winning, but to raise her profile and perhaps open doors for herself on the national or state level, which won't happen if you shoot yourself in the foot at the same time.

Besides, leaving aside Krishna consciousness, she is too close to Sanders to get any traction among the Republicans. I suppose getting the bipartisan support of the Internet kook vote is something, but hard to translate into political office.

RobinG , says: February 15, 2019 at 8:19 pm GMT
@Tulip

..getting the bipartisan support of the Internet kook vote is something, but hard to translate into political office.

Brilliant.

Dem Juche , says: February 16, 2019 at 12:25 am GMT
You're never going to get anything worthwhile from a Democratic politician because they're indoctrinated worse that the brightest little Pioneer in Juche class. Take Ro Khana's meaningless pap.

https://fellowtravelersblog.com/2018/10/23/ro-khanna-five-principles/

What is this 'we should' crap? The law is perfectly clear. The right to self-defense is subject to necessity and proportionality tests, and invariably subject to UN Charter Chapter 7 in its entirety. See Article 51. Instead of this 'restraint' waffle, just say, the president must commit to faithfully execute the supreme law of the land, including UN Charter Chapter 7 and Article 2(4). That means refrain from use or threat of force. Period.

Second, national security is not a loophole in human rights. Khana uses the legally meaningless CIA magic word 'threat.' Under universal jurisdiction law, it is a war crime to declare abolished, suspended or inadmissible in a court of law the rights and actions of the nationals of the hostile party. Domestic human rights are subject to ICCPR Article 4, HRC General Comment 29, and the Siracusa Principles. Instead of CIA's standard National Security get-out clause, state explicitly that US national security means respect, protection and fulfillment of all human rights. To enforce that, ratify the Rome Statute or GTFO.

Third, internationalism is OK as far as it goes, but Ro Khana doesn't deal with the underlying problem: CIA has infested State with focal points and dotted-line reports, and demolished the department's capacity for pacific resolution of disputes. You have to explicitly tie State's mission to UN Charter Chapter 6, and criminalize placement of domestic CIA agents in State.

Fourth, Congressional war-making powers are useless with Congress completely corrupted. Bring back the Ludlow Amendment, war by public referendum only, subject to Article 51.

Rich , says: February 16, 2019 at 5:21 am GMT
Tulsi is a far Left democrat. She supports raising taxes to pay for free college for people earning less than 125K and universal health care, she actually joined protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline, has a 100% rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood, supports homosexual marriage (changed her previous position in 2012), and has an F rating from the NRA. She's a Lefty. Not for me, anyway.
Ilyana_Rozumova , says: February 16, 2019 at 5:25 am GMT
In any case she is less vulnerable. She can call any opposition a misogynist.
Biff , says: February 16, 2019 at 5:30 am GMT
@obwandiyag

I like the one on here who says the Democrat party has "gotten radical."

I assume this is sarcasm, but there is no denying the fact that the neocons(radical whack jobs) have jumped ship from the Republicans and attached themselves to the Democrats (although there are filtering back into the Trump administration – drunk with power they'll suck up to anyone)

The DNC NeverTrump crowd is all but calling for a nuclear exchange with Russia because they colluded with Trump to throw the election, and they pose a National Security threat to the United States(in their head). Hillary also went on to say that Russians Hacking the DNC is another 9/11. The radical Antifa crowd is made up of 99.999999% of Democratic voters.

[Feb 16, 2019] Libya was a war crime.

Max Boot along with other neocons should be in jail.
Feb 16, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Stephen J. , February 15, 2019 a t 1:43 pm

The article states: " but by 2011 Boot had another war in mind. 'Qaddafi Must Go,' Boot declared in The Weekly Standard. In Boot's telling, the Libyan dictator had become a threat to the American homeland." -- -- - There is reported evidence that Libya was a war crime. And the perpetrators are Free. See info below:

"They Speak "

"The destruction of Libya by NATO at the behest of the UK, the US and France was a crime, one dripping in the cant and hypocrisy of Western ideologues " John Wight, November 27, 2017. https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/27/libya-chose-freedom-now-it-has-slavery/

They speak of "The Rule of Law" while breaking the law themselves They are the dangerous hypocrites that bombed Libya, and created hell Thousands upon thousands are dead in this unfortunate country Many would still be alive, if our "leaders" had not been down and dirty

Libya is reportedly a war crime and the war criminals are free Some of them are seen posturing on the world stage and others are on T.V. Others have written books and others are retired from public office And another exclaimed: "We came, we saw, he died" as murder was their accomplice

They even teamed up with terrorists to commit their bloody crimes And this went unreported in the "media": was this by design? There is a sickness and perversion loose in our society today When war crimes can be committed and the "law" has nothing to say

Another "leader" had a fly past to celebrate the bombing victory in this illegal war Now Libya is in chaos, while bloody terrorists roam secure And the NATO gang that caused all this horror and devastation Are continuing their bloody bombings in other unfortunate nations

The question must be asked: "Are some past and present leaders above the law? Can they get away with bombing and killing, are they men of straw? Whatever happened to law and order in the so- called "democracies"? When those in power can get away with criminality: Is that not hypocrisy?

There is no doubt that Libya was better off, before the "liberators" arrived Now many of its unfortunate people are now struggling to exist and survive The future of this war torn country now looks very sad and bleak If only our "leaders" had left it alone; but instead hypocrisy: They Speak

"The cause of the catastrophe in Libya in Libya was the seven month US-NATO blitzkrieg from March to October 2011 in which thousands of bombs and rockets rained down on that unfortunate land which was governed by President Muammar Ghaddafi whom the West was determined to overthrow by assisting a rebel movement." Brian Cloughley, 12.02.2019 https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/02/12/in-libya-we-came-saw-he-died-will-there-repeat-in-venezuela.html

[More info on all of this at link below] http://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2019/02/they-speak.html

[Feb 16, 2019] Why has the Democratic party turned into the party of the upper class

Feb 16, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Kurt Gayle , February 15, 2019 at 9:44 am

Last night on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Tucker interviewed J.D. Vance. The interview is called "Why has the Democratic party turned into the party of the upper class" (February 14, 2019)

Carlson: Well for generations everybody in America knew what the stereotypes were for the two political parties. Democrats were the party of the working class: Coal miners, factory workers, your local beat cop. Republicans were the party of lawyers, and doctors, and they spent a lot of time at country clubs. Remember? Things have changed a lot. Now Democrats have become the party of the elite professional class. They're consultants, i-bankers, socialites eager to lecture you about open borders, global warming, from their gated communities. Nobody knows that change better, or has watched it more carefully than the author of "Hillbilly Elegy," J.D. Vance. We spoke to him recently about it:

Carlson: J.D. Vance: Thanks for joining us. Because you don't live in Washington and you think bigger thoughts than the rest of us who are completely consumed by this dumb new cycle, I want to ask you a broader question: The parties have re-aligned. They don't represent the same people they thought they represented, or that they've represented for the last 70 years. I'm not sure their leaders understand this, but you do. Who do the parties represent as of right now?

Vance: Well, at a big level the Democratic Party increasingly represents professional class elites and Republicans represent middle and working class wage earners in the middle of the country. Now I will say I think Democratic leaders kind of get this. If you look at the big proposals from the 2020 presidential candidates: Universal child care, debt-free college, even medicare for all which is framed as this lurch to the left, but is really just a big hand-out to doctors, physicians, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals. The sort of get that they're the party of the professional class and a lot of their policies are geared towards making life easier for professional class Americans. The problem I have is that my party, the Republican Party, hasn't quite figured out that we basically inherited a big chunk of the old FDR coalition: The middle of the country, working and middle class blue collar folks, the sort of people who work, pay their taxes, send their kids into the military -- that's increasingly the base of the Republican Party, but the Republican donor elites are actually not aligned with those folks in a lot of ways and so there's this really big miss-match, big-picture, within the Republican Party.

Carlson: So I'm completely fascinated by what you just said -- something I've never thought of in my life -- that medicare for all is actually a sop for the professional class. That's a whole separate segment and I hope you'll come back and unpack that all. But more broadly what you're saying I think is that the Democratic Party understands what it is, and who it represents, and affirmatively represents them. They do things for their voters. But the Republican Party doesn't actually represent its own voters very well.

Vance: Yes, that's exactly right. I mean look at who the Democratic Party is -- and look, I don't like the Democratic Party's policies; most of the time I disagree with them -- but I at least admire that they know who their voters are and they actually -- just as raw, cynical politics -- do a lot of things to serve those voters. Now look at who Republican voters increasingly are: They're people who disproportionately serve in the military, but Republican foreign policy has been a disaster for a lot of veterans. They're disproportionately folks who want to have more children, they're people who want to have more single-earner families, they're people who don't necessarily want to go to college, but they want to work in an economy where, if you play by the rules, you could actually support a family on one income. Have Republicans done anything for those people, really, in the last 15 or 20 years? I think you can point to some policies of the Trump administration -- certainly instinctively the President gets who his voters are and what he has to do to service those folks -- but at the end of the day the broad elite of the party, the folks who really call the shots, the think-tank intellectuals, the people who write the policy, I just don't think they realize who their own voters are. Now the slightly more worrying implication is that maybe some of them do realize who their voters are, they just don't actually like those voters a lot.

Carlson: Well, that's it. So, I watch the Democratic Party and I notice that if there's a substantial block within it -- it's this unstable coalition of all these groups that have nothing in common -- but the one thing they have in common is that the Democratic Party will protect them. You criticize a block of Democratic voters and they're on you like a wounded wombat -- they'll bit you! The Republicans watch their voters come under attack and sort of nod in agreement: Yeah, these people should be attacked.

Vance: That's absolutely right. If you talk to people who spent their lives in DC -- I know you live in DC, I've spent a lot of my life here -- the people who spend their time in DC, who work on Republican campaigns, who work at conservative think-tanks -- now this isn't true of everybody -- but a lot of them actually don't like the people who are voting for Republican candidates these days. And if you ultimately boil down the Never Trump phenomenon -- what is the Never Trump phenomenon? -- I was very critical of the President during the campaign -- but the Never Trump phenomenon is primarily not about the President. It's about the people who are most excited about somebody who was anti-elitest effectively taking over the Republican Party. They recognize that Trump was -- whatever his faults -- a person who instinctively understood who Republicans needed to be for. And at the end of the day, I think they don't think they necessarily want the Republican Party to be for those folks. They don't like the policies that will come from it, they don't like necessarily the country that will come from it, and so there's a lot of vitriol directed at people who voted for Donald Trump, whether excitedly or not.

Carlson: If the Republican Party has a future, it'll be organized around the ideas you just laid out -- maybe led by you or by somebody who thinks like you, I'm serious. That's what it needs. I think. J.D. Vance. Thank you.

Vance: Thanks, Tucker.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/fK2-wmwI5gU?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

[Feb 16, 2019] Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around? Pundits like Max Boot and Bill Kristol got everything after 9/11 wrong but are still considered experts. by Tucker Carlson

Notable quotes:
"... As Trump found himself accused of improper ties to Vladimir Putin, Boot agitated for more aggressive confrontation with Russia. Boot demanded larger weapons shipments to Ukraine. ..."
"... Boot's stock in the Washington foreign policy establishment rose. In 2018, he was hired by The Washington Post as a columnist. The paper's announcement cited Boot's "expertise on armed conflict." ..."
"... Republicans in Washington never recovered. When Trump attacked the Iraq War and questioned the integrity of the people who planned and promoted it, he was attacking them. They hated him for that. Some of them became so angry, it distorted their judgment and character. ..."
"... Almost from the moment Operation Desert Storm concluded in 1991, Kristol began pushing for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In 1997, The Weekly Standard ran a cover story titled "Saddam Must Go." If the United States didn't launch a ground invasion of Iraq, the lead editorial warned, the world should "get ready for the day when Saddam has biological and chemical weapons at the tips of missiles aimed at Israel and at American forces in the Gulf." ..."
"... Under ordinary circumstances, Bill Kristol would be famous for being wrong. Kristol still goes on television regularly, but it's not to apologize for the many demonstrably untrue things he's said about the Middle East, or even to talk about foreign policy. Instead, Kristol goes on TV to attack Donald Trump. ..."
"... Trump's election seemed to undo Bill Kristol entirely. He lost his job at The Weekly Standard after more than 20 years, forced out by owners who were panicked about declining readership. He seemed to spend most of his time on Twitter ranting about Trump. ..."
"... By the spring of 2018, Kristol was considering a run for president himself. He was still making the case for the invasion of Iraq, as well as pushing for a new war, this time in Syria, and maybe in Lebanon and Iran, too. Like most people in Washington, he'd learned nothing at all. ..."
"... Creating complex and convincing false narratives to support demonic purposes is HARD WORK, and requires big pay. ..."
"... Lots of spilled ink here that's pretty meaningless without an answer to the following: Why does Trump employ John Bolton and Elliot Abrams? Explain Trump and Pence and Pompeo's Iran obsession and how it's any better than Kristol/Boot? ..."
Feb 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

One thing that every late-stage ruling class has in common is a high tolerance for mediocrity. Standards decline, the edges fray, but nobody in charge seems to notice. They're happy in their sinecures and getting richer. In a culture like this, there's no penalty for being wrong. The talentless prosper, rising inexorably toward positions of greater power, and breaking things along the way. It happened to the Ottomans.

Max Boot is living proof that it's happening in America.

Boot is a professional foreign policy expert, a job category that doesn't exist outside of a select number of cities. Boot has degrees from Berkeley and Yale, and is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has written a number of books and countless newspaper columns on foreign affairs and military history. The International Institute for Strategic Studies, an influential British think tank, describes Boot as one of the "world's leading authorities on armed conflict."

None of this, it turns out, means anything. The professional requirements for being one ofthe world's Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict do not include relevant experience with armed conflict. Leading authorities on the subject don't need a track record of wise assessments or accurate predictions. All that's required are the circular recommendations of fellow credential holders. If other Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict induct you into their ranks, you're in. That's good news for Max Boot.

Boot first became famous in the weeks after 9/11 for outlining a response that the Bush administration seemed to read like a script, virtually word for word. While others were debating whether Kandahar or Kabul ought to get the first round of American bombs, Boot was thinking big. In October 2001, he published a piece in The Weekly Standard titled "The Case for American Empire."

"The September 11 attack was a result of insufficient American involvement and ambition," Boot wrote. "The solution is to be more expansive in our goals and more assertive in their implementation." In order to prevent more terror attacks in American cities, Boot called for a series of U.S.-led revolutions around the world, beginning in Afghanistan and moving swiftly to Iraq.

"Once we have deposed Saddam, we can impose an American-led, international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul," Boot wrote. "To turn Iraq into a beacon of hope for the oppressed peoples of the Middle East: Now that would be a historic war aim. Is this an ambitious agenda? Without a doubt. Does America have the resources to carry it out? Also without a doubt."

In retrospect, Boot's words are painful to read, like love letters from a marriage that ended in divorce. Iraq remains a smoldering mess. The Afghan war is still in progress close to 20 years in. For perspective, Napoleon Bonaparte seized control of France, crowned himself emperor, defeated four European coalitions against him, invaded Russia, lost, was defeated and exiled, returned, and was defeated and exiled a second time, all in less time than the United States has spent trying to turn Afghanistan into a stable country.

Things haven't gone as planned. What's remarkable is that despite all the failure and waste and deflated expectations, defeats that have stirred self-doubt in the heartiest of men, Boot has remained utterly convinced of the virtue of his original predictions. Certainty is a prerequisite for Leading Authorities on Armed Conflict.

In the spring of 2003, with the war in Iraq under way, Boot began to consider new countries to invade. He quickly identified Syria and Iran as plausible targets, the latter because it was "less than two years" from building a nuclear bomb. North Korea made Boot's list as well. Then Boot became more ambitious. Saudi Arabia could use a democracy, he decided.

"If the U.S. armed forces made such short work of a hardened goon like Saddam Hussein, imagine what they could do to the soft and sybaritic Saudi royal family," Boot wrote.

Five years later, in a piece for The Wall Street Journal , Boot advocated for the military occupation of Pakistan and Somalia. The only potential problem, he predicted, was unreasonable public opposition to new wars.

"Ragtag guerrillas have proven dismayingly successful in driving out or neutering international peacekeeping forces," he wrote. "Think of American and French troops blown up in Beirut in 1983, or the 'Black Hawk Down' incident in Somalia in 1993. Too often, when outside states do agree to send troops, they are so fearful of casualties that they impose rules of engagement that preclude meaningful action."

In other words, the tragedy of foreign wars isn't that Americans die, but that too few Americans are willing to die. To solve this problem, Boot recommended recruiting foreign mercenaries. "The military would do well today to open its ranks not only to legal immigrants but also to illegal ones," he wrote in the Los Angeles Times . When foreigners get killed fighting for America, he noted, there's less political backlash at home.

♦♦♦

American forces, documented or not, never occupied Pakistan, but by 2011 Boot had another war in mind. "Qaddafi Must Go," Boot declared in The Weekly Standard . In Boot's telling, the Libyan dictator had become a threat to the American homeland. "The only way this crisis will end -- the only way we and our allies can achieve our objectives in Libya -- is to remove Qaddafi from power. Containment won't suffice."

In the end, Gaddafi was removed from power, with ugly and long-lasting consequences. Boot was on to the next invasion. By late 2012, he was once again promoting attacks on Syria and Iran, as he had nine years before. In a piece for The New York Times , Boot laid out "Five Reasons to Intervene in Syria Now."

Overthrowing the Assad regime, Boot predicted, would "diminish Iran's influence" in the region, influence that had grown dramatically since the Bush administration took Boot's advice and overthrew Saddam Hussein, Iran's most powerful counterbalance. To doubters concerned about a complex new war, Boot promised the Syria intervention could be conducted "with little risk."

Days later, Boot wrote a separate piece for Commentary magazine calling for American bombing of Iran. It was a busy week, even by the standards of a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Boot conceded that "it remains a matter of speculation what Iran would do in the wake of such strikes." He didn't seem worried.

Listed in one place, Boot's many calls for U.S.-led war around the world come off as a parody of mindless warlike noises, something you might write if you got mad at a country while drunk. ("I'll invade you!!!") Republicans in Washington didn't find any of it amusing. They were impressed. Boot became a top foreign policy adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008, to Mitt Romney in 2012, and to Marco Rubio in 2016.

Everything changed when Trump won the Republican nomination. Trump had never heard of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He had no idea Max Boot was a Leading Authority on Armed Conflict. Trump was running against more armed conflicts. He had no interest in invading Pakistan. Boot hated him.

As Trump found himself accused of improper ties to Vladimir Putin, Boot agitated for more aggressive confrontation with Russia. Boot demanded larger weapons shipments to Ukraine. He called for effectively expelling Russia from the global financial system, a move that might be construed as an act of war against a nuclear-armed power. The stakes were high, but with signature aplomb Boot assured readers it was "hard to imagine" the Russian government would react badly to the provocation. Those who disagreed Boot dismissed as "cheerleaders" for Putin and the mullahs in Iran.

Boot's stock in the Washington foreign policy establishment rose. In 2018, he was hired by The Washington Post as a columnist. The paper's announcement cited Boot's "expertise on armed conflict."

It is possible to isolate the precise moment that Trump permanently alienated the Republican establishment in Washington: February 13, 2016. There was a GOP primary debate that night in Greenville, South Carolina, so every Republican in Washington was watching. Seemingly out of nowhere, Trump articulated something that no party leader had ever said out loud. "We should never have been in Iraq," Trump announced, his voice rising. "We have destabilized the Middle East."

Many in the crowd booed, but Trump kept going: "They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none."

Pandemonium seemed to erupt in the hall, and on television. Shocked political analysts declared that the Trump presidential effort had just euthanized itself. Republican voters, they said with certainty, would never accept attacks on policies their party had espoused and carried out.

Republican voters had a different reaction. They understood that adults sometimes change their minds based on evidence. They themselves had come to understand that the Iraq war was a mistake. They appreciated hearing something verboten but true.

Rival Republicans denounced Trump as an apostate. Voters considered him brave. Trump won the South Carolina primary, and shortly after that, the Republican nomination.

Republicans in Washington never recovered. When Trump attacked the Iraq War and questioned the integrity of the people who planned and promoted it, he was attacking them. They hated him for that. Some of them became so angry, it distorted their judgment and character.

♦♦♦

Bill Kristol is probably the most influential Republican strategist of the post-Reagan era. Born in 1954, Kristol was the second child of the writer Irving Kristol, one of the founders of neoconservatism.

The neoconservatism of Irving Kristol and his friends was jarring to the ossified liberal establishment of the time, but in retrospect it was basically a centrist philosophy: pragmatic, tolerant of a limited welfare state, not rigidly ideological. By the time Bill Kristol got done with it 40 years later, neoconservatism was something else entirely.

Almost from the moment Operation Desert Storm concluded in 1991, Kristol began pushing for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In 1997, The Weekly Standard ran a cover story titled "Saddam Must Go." If the United States didn't launch a ground invasion of Iraq, the lead editorial warned, the world should "get ready for the day when Saddam has biological and chemical weapons at the tips of missiles aimed at Israel and at American forces in the Gulf."

After the September 11 attacks, Kristol found a new opening to start a war with Iraq. In November 2001, he and Robert Kagan wrote a piece in The Weekly Standard alleging that Saddam Hussein hosted a training camp for Al Qaeda fighters where terrorists had trained to hijack planes. They suggested that Mohammad Atta, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was actively collaborating with Saddam's intelligence services. On the basis of no evidence, they accused Iraq of fomenting the anthrax attacks on American politicians and news outlets.

Under ordinary circumstances, Bill Kristol would be famous for being wrong. Kristol still goes on television regularly, but it's not to apologize for the many demonstrably untrue things he's said about the Middle East, or even to talk about foreign policy. Instead, Kristol goes on TV to attack Donald Trump.

Trump's election seemed to undo Bill Kristol entirely. He lost his job at The Weekly Standard after more than 20 years, forced out by owners who were panicked about declining readership. He seemed to spend most of his time on Twitter ranting about Trump.

Before long he was ranting about the people who elected Trump. At an American Enterprise Institute panel event in February 2017, Kristol made the case for why immigrants are more impressive than native-born Americans. "Basically if you are in free society, a capitalist society, after two, three, four generations of hard work, everyone becomes kind of decadent, lazy, spoiled, whatever." Most Americans, Kristol said, "grew up as spoiled kids and so forth."

In February 2018, Kristol tweeted that he would "take in a heartbeat a group of newly naturalized American citizens over the spoiled native-born know-nothings" who supported Trump.

By the spring of 2018, Kristol was considering a run for president himself. He was still making the case for the invasion of Iraq, as well as pushing for a new war, this time in Syria, and maybe in Lebanon and Iran, too. Like most people in Washington, he'd learned nothing at all.

Tucker Carlson is the host of Fox News 's Tucker Carlson Tonight and author of Ship of Fools: How A Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution (Simon & Schuster). This excerpt is taken from that book.


Patrick Constantine February 14, 2019 at 10:50 pm

Trump isn't the only one hated by useless establishment Republicans – with essays like this so will Tucker. Thanks for this takedown of these two warmongering know-nothings. I wish Trump all the time was like he was at that debate in S Carolina where he said what every American knows: the Iraq invasion was stupid and we should not have done it!
Anne Mendoza , says: February 15, 2019 at 2:10 am
So why are these professional war peddlers still around? For the same reason that members of the leadership class who failed and continue to fail in the Middle East are still around. There has not been an accounting at any level. There is just more talk of more war.
polistra , says: February 15, 2019 at 3:54 am
Well, the headline pretty much answers its own question if you know the purpose of Experts. In any subject matter from science to economics to politics, Experts are paid to be wrong. Nobody has to be paid to observe reality accurately with his own senses and rational mind. Every living creature does that all the time. It's the basic requirement of survival.

Creating complex and convincing false narratives to support demonic purposes is HARD WORK, and requires big pay.

snake charmer , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:49 am
""The September 11 attack was a result of insufficient American involvement and ambition," Boot wrote. "The solution is to be more expansive in our goals and more assertive in their implementation.""

In other words, if we had only squandered even more blood and treasure, why, everything would have been fine.

Why do so many true believers end up with some variation on the true believer's wheeze: "Communism didn't fail ! It was never tried!" Then again one can't be sure that Boot is a true believer. He might be a treacherous snake trying to use American power to advance a foreign agenda.

Mike , says: February 15, 2019 at 6:55 am
This is an Exocet missile of an article. Both hulls compromised, taking water. Nice.
John S , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:11 am
This is beautiful, Boot has been rewarded for every horrible failure...
Tom Gorman , says: February 15, 2019 at 8:36 am
Mr. Carlson,

Max Boot has indeed been an advocate of overseas intervention, but you fail to point out that he has recanted his support of the Iraq War. In his 2018 book "The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I left the American Right," he states:

". . . I can finally acknowledge the obvious: it (The Iraq War) was all a big mistake. Saddam Hussein was heinous, but Iraq was better off under his tyrannical rule than the chaos that followed. I regret advocating the invasion and feel guilty about all the lives lost. It was a chastening lesson in the limits of American power."

I'm glad to see that Boot, along with yourself and other Republicans, realize that American use of force must have a clear objective with reasonable chance of success. I suggest you send this article to John Bolton. I'm not sure he agrees with you.

Dawg , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:29 am
Great article, Mr. Tucker. I hope folks also read Mearsheimer & Walt on the Iraq War. From chapter 8 of their book: http://mailstar.net/iraq-war.html
David LeRoy Newland , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:34 am
Excellent article. It's a shame that the Bush era GOP took Boot and Kristol seriously. That poor judgment led Bush to make the kinds of mistakes that gave Democrats the opening they needed to gain power, which in turn led them to make even more harmful mistakes.
Collin , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:55 am
Being against the Iraq 2 I find this populist arguing very 'eye-rolling' as you were pimping this war to death back in the day. (In fact I remember Jon Stewart being one of the few 'pundits' that questioned the war in 2003 & 2004.) And has dovish as Trump as been, his administration is still filled with Hawks and if you are concerned about wars then maybe use your TV show for instead of whining for past mistakes:

1) The administration action in Iran is aggressive and counter-productive to long term peace. The nuclear deal was an effective way of ensuring Iran controlling behavior for 15 years as the other parties, Europe and China, wanted to trade with Iran. (Additionally it makes our nation depend more on the Saudia relationship in which Washington should be slowly moving away from.)

2) Like it or not, Venezuela is starting down the steps of mission creep for the Trump Administration. Recommend the administration stay away from peace keeping troops and suggest this is China's problem. (Venezuela in debt to their eyeballs with China.)

3) Applaud the administration with peace talks with NK but warn them not to overstate their accomplishments. It is ridiculous that the administration signed big nuclear deals with NK that don't exist.

John In Michigan , says: February 15, 2019 at 9:59 am
I find it amazing that Boot is considered one of the "world's leading authorities on armed conflict,"yet never appears to have served in any branch of the armed forces, nor even heard a shot fired in anger. He is proof that academic credentials do not automatically confer "expertise."
Packard Day , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:26 am
Any war, anytime, any place, and cause just so long as American boys and girls can be in the middle of it.

Welcome to the American NeoCon movement, recently joined by Republican Never Trumpers, elected Democrats, and a host of far too many underemployed Beltway Generals & Admirals.

Joshua Xanadu , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:46 am
From a reformed Leftist, thank you Tucker for calling out the stank from the Republicans. The detailed compilation of lowlights from Max Boot and Bill Kristol (don't forget Robert Kagan!) should be etched in the minds of the now pro-war Democratic Party establishment.
Taras 77 , says: February 15, 2019 at 10:57 am
Being a neocon war monger means that you will never have to say you are sorry. The press will give them a pass every single time.

It is all about Israel-being wrong 100% of the time means it is all good because it was in the service of Israel.

Paul Reidinger , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:07 am
Yet another reason not to read the Washington Post.
Anja Mast , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:13 am
Tucker!!! When did you start writing for TAC?!?!

I laughed out loud while reading this, and continued laughing through to the end, until I saw who had the audacity to tell the truth about these utter incompetent failures (who have failed upwards for more than a decade now) who call themselves "foreign policy experts." Yeah -- "experts" at being so moronically wrong that you really start wondering if perhaps the benjamins from another middle eastern nation, that can't be named, has something to do with their worthless opinions, which always seem to do made for the benifit of the nameless nation.

So hurrah for you!!! Let the truth set us all free! Praise the Lord & Sing Songs of Praise to his Name!!!! Literally that's how great it is to hear the pure & unvarnished TRUTH spoken out loud in this publication!

I hope you get such awesome feedback that you are asked to continue to bless us with more truths! Thank you! You totally made my day!

And thank you for your service to this country, where it used to be considered patriotic to speak the truth honestly & plainly!

Joe , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:14 am
Why Are These Professional War Peddlers Still Around? Simple, leaders like Trump keep them around, e.g. Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams.
David Biddington , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:22 am
John Bolton and Eliot Abrams on Team Trump, gearing up with Bibi to attack Iran is of no concern to sir?
George Crosley , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:22 am
"Once we have deposed Saddam, we can impose an American-led, international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul," Boot wrote.

To which the reader might reasonably reply, "What do you mean we , Paleface?"

When I see Max Boot or Bill Kristol in uniform, carrying a rifle, and trudging with their platoon along the dusty roads of the Middle East, I'll begin to pay attention to their bleats and jeremiads.

Until that day, I'll continue to view them as a pair of droning, dull-as-ditchwater members of the 45th Word-processing Brigade. (Company motto: "Let's you and him fight!")

Frank Goodpasture III , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:29 am
It is my understanding that HRC led the charge to overthrow and hang Gaddafi in spite of a reluctant Obama administration. Did Boot, in fact, influence her?
marku52 , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:29 am
"Most Americans, Kristol said, "grew up as spoiled kids and so forth."" Unintentional irony, one must presume. Still it is astonishing that it took someone as addled as DJT to point out the obvious–Invading Iraq was a massive mistake.

Where were the rest of the "adults"

Jimmy Lewis , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:41 am
Boot, Kristal, Cheney, and Rumsfeld should all be in jail for war crimes.
jk , says: February 15, 2019 at 11:53 am
Just like Eliot Abrams, John McCain, GWB, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld or any other neocon, there is no justice or punishment or even well deserved humiliation for these parasites. They are always misinformed, misguided, or "well intentioned."

The US can interfere with sovereign governments and elections at will I guess and not be responsible for the the unintended consequences such as 500k+ killed in the Middle East since the Iraq and Afghan debacle.

There are sugar daddies from the MIC, the Natsec state (aka the Swamp), AIPAC, and even Jeff Bezos (benefactor of WaPo) that keep these guys employed.

You need to be more critical of Trump also as he is the one hiring these clowns. But other than that, keep up the good work Mr. Carlson!

Allen , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:09 pm
These Chairborne Rangers in Washington know nothing about war. They are the flip side of the radical Dems. "Hey, we lost in 2016. Let's do MORE of what made us lose in the first place!"
D , says: February 15, 2019 at 12:53 pm
Would've been nice if you wrote this about Bolton, Adams, Pompeo, Pence, or any of the other sundry neocon lunatics in the Trump administration.

Nonetheless, always good to see a takedown of Boot and Kristol.

J Thomsen , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:07 pm
The GOP is as much an enemy to the Trump revolution as the left. The Bush/Clinton/Obama coalition runs DC – controls the federal workforce, and colludes to run the Federal government for themselves and their pet constituents.

Trump should have stuck it out on the shutdown until those federal workers left. I think it was called RIF wherein after 30 days, he could dump the lot of em.

THE GOP IS NOT THE PARTY OF LESS GOVERNMENT. That's there motto for busy conservatives who don't have the time or inclination to monitor both sides of the swamp.

THEY ALL HAVE GILLS . we need to starve em out.

Joe from Pa , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:10 pm
Lots of spilled ink here that's pretty meaningless without an answer to the following: Why does Trump employ John Bolton and Elliot Abrams? Explain Trump and Pence and Pompeo's Iran obsession and how it's any better than Kristol/Boot?

What's going on in Yemen?

sanford sklansky , says: February 15, 2019 at 1:18 pm
Funny how when liberals said it was wrong to be in Iraq they were vilified. Yes some conservatives changed their minds. Trump however is all over the map when it comes to wars. http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176527/

[Feb 15, 2019] Trump = Obama = CIA meddling in every country. Presidents never change, only the perception of the morons changes

Notable quotes:
"... Why does the USA care about internal Venezuelan politics? Because it cares about every country's politics and demands every country bow down and kneel to the USA. The voters, aka morons, support this, both liberal and right wing, and have for generations. ..."
"... The morons pay their taxes to meddle in other countries and for a giant military to slaughter people who do not obey. ..."
Feb 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

never-anonymous says: February 14, 2019 at 6:21 pm GMT 100 Words

@nietzsche1510

Venezuela invasion thing is double-faceted: a trap for Trump & a bluff. if the invasion is, then bye-bye 2020 election, mission accomplished. if no invasion on sight then the bluff of Pompeo-Bolton-Abrams is called & the 2020 reelection assured. Venezuela in the role of bait.

The real issue lies in the voting class which cowers in fear all day long and seeks saviors every four years via rigged circus. Trump = Obama = CIA meddling in every country. Presidents never change, only the perception of the morons changes.

Why does the USA care about internal Venezuelan politics? Because it cares about every country's politics and demands every country bow down and kneel to the USA. The voters, aka morons, support this, both liberal and right wing, and have for generations.

The morons pay their taxes to meddle in other countries and for a giant military to slaughter people who do not obey. Freedom at the point of a gun. Nothing quite says democracy like having the US president tell the Venezuelans how to run their country.

[Feb 15, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard Pres. Trump -- STOP treating our troops as political pawns - YouTube

Notable quotes:
"... Establishment NeoCons and Neolibs are going to erase Tulsi's candidacy by not mentioning her, not including her in polls, and not letting into debates. Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich received this treatment in 2008/2012 ... because of their Antiwar stance. ..."
Feb 14, 2019 | www.youtube.com

More on Tulsi Gabbard:

https://www.tulsi2020.com/about


Grey Skeptic , 18 hours ago

Tulsi, I sincerely hope you go all the way. You embody what this country desperately needs. Keep fighting them against the smears.

Lakshya Sharma , 18 hours ago

People need leaders like you who address the real needs.

man , 16 hours ago

Best thing about tulsi is that she stood for Bernie when Bernie didn't stood for himself

mattisava , 18 hours ago (edited)

#Tulsi2020 #TULSIrEVOLution #MakeAntiwarGreatAgain

Establishment NeoCons and Neolibs are going to erase Tulsi's candidacy by not mentioning her, not including her in polls, and not letting into debates. Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich received this treatment in 2008/2012 ... because of their Antiwar stance.

Gabriel Arcari , 17 hours ago

Yes Tulsi!! That goes for corporate democrats as well...

R R , 18 hours ago

Make America honest again!!

xXRAGING- DEATHXx , 18 hours ago

A True Leader, right there. #TULSI2020

Trident , 18 hours ago

"America First" shoots missiles at Syria...

Keith Gilbertson , 14 hours ago

You're being blacklisted like a third party candidate. Might as well form a new party, Tulsi. Aloha Party.

Barney Google , 16 hours ago

America's worst enemies are in Washington and the MSM. LET'S TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK! NO MORE REGIME CHANGE WARS TULSI2020 FEEL THE ALOHA!

Randy Hartono , 18 hours ago

Wooooow it's true... Treated like a tools

passane74 , 15 hours ago (edited)

Damn ! Short and powerful true. May God bless President Tulsi 2020 and America.

Benjamin Henderson , 13 hours ago

Michigan loves you Tulsi

Judicial78 , 11 hours ago

I get goosebumps every time I listen to this lady speak, even without the dramatic music. Happy Valentines day to the heart of America, Tulsi Gabbard!!

Judith Schwartzbacker , 15 hours ago

tulsi/bernie2020.

I really don't think Bernie is going to run. and tulsi should announce early on that her pick for vp is bernie. bernie for domestic solutions and tulsi for foreign ones. That's the winning ticket.

If the dnc rigs the election again then i think the people should conduct our own regime change here with tulsi as our commander-in-chief of the peoples' army. this nonsense has to stop.

[Feb 15, 2019] Morning Joe Attacks Tulsi For Opposing War - YouTube

Notable quotes:
"... I'm not American but after seeing how Tulsi Gabbard conducted herself in this (so called) interview I urge ALL thinking Americans to put all of their support behind her candidacy for the Presidency. ..."
Feb 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Bob McDonnel , 1 week ago

Lol the establishment is scared of her! Go Tulsi!

Gary Purkeljc , 1 week ago (edited)

Assad is an "adversary" to the US because Assad isn't controlled by Israel and Saudi Arabia.

GoogIe+ , 6 days ago (edited)

"What are Assad's interests?" - That's what I'd call, a knockout Tusi punch. Totally caught that reporter blind-sighted. Nice one Tulsi!

Horatio Jones , 6 days ago

I'm not American but after seeing how Tulsi Gabbard conducted herself in this (so called) interview I urge ALL thinking Americans to put all of their support behind her candidacy for the Presidency.

Shane Baldwin , 6 days ago

Tulsi Gabbard is the populist Progressive we've been looking for.

Ana Suri , 1 week ago

I am a Syrian and I appreciate everything Tulsi Gabbard is trying to do to stop regime change. The US media is criminal and responsible for the blood shed in Syria and many other places. Assad was never an enemy to the US or other western countries.

Jay Smathers , 6 days ago (edited)

Gabbard is young, but her metal shows in this clip as she just smiles at the msnbc stupidity. She doesn't even take these jokers seriously, and that is going to allow her to go over their heads and connect directly with the public. This is actually awesome.

jim seko , 4 days ago

If Russia was actually helping Tulsi Gabbard, Bernie Sanders, and Jill Stein etc, the Russians are the good guys.

Unlawful_Falafel , 1 week ago

you know what is sad? i trust RT more than MSM.

Dakota Walker , 6 days ago

These smears only drive me to vote for her.

C.M. Butler , 1 week ago

I am a Trump supporter on the right but truly appreciate Jimmy Dore. I am hopeful that the left & right can unite against these pro-war establishment propagandists. Let's stop foreign wars, neocon/neolib policies & MSM deceit ... then we can debate progressive vs conservative issues.

linwood ellsworth , 3 days ago

I'm a veteran and would agree 100% with Tulsi Gabbard. People are catching on. There are only 67 thumbs down. Great video.

John Theos , 6 days ago (edited)

Putin actually said that, other than the cold war, Russia and the U.S. have always been allies, and that's what he wants. I have two recent videos where Putin is calling for peace and good relations with America. Do I really need to find the links and post them here? I'm a busy man. Let's all help Jimmy, Ron and Steph by doing some homework. Americans should stop smearing good people and start applying some critical thinking skills. "Putin-puppets"?

What about " military industrial complex puppets" who robotically repeat false Russian collusion accusations in order to silence honest dissent? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

ArgentiumTea , 4 days ago

It's funny Jimmy Dore, Secular Talk, The Humanist Report and others all support her but not The Young Turks "the home of the progressives"

Paula Laflamme , 2 days ago

Hey Jimmy, hey Jimmy! Have you seen the vid of Putin talking to the western press? I think it was 2015 or so. He's calmly talking about NATO and weapons being put on Russia's borders and how bad it would be if this goes ahead and Russia has to respond. He's practically pleading with them to let the American people know this doesn't have to happen. I saw him saying much the same thing in a Charlie Rose interview before Rose moved into the Big Bucks on network TV. Yet as things were heating up about Russia Rose never mentioned this as he sat at that morning show desk.

Karl Letcher , 1 week ago (edited)

Katie, who has never served, asks Tulsi, who has, to explain herself to the military. These people are as clueless as they are shameless.

je suis Informaticien , 6 days ago

america create their ennemies, all the wars just for isra hell

Tony Skwara , 6 days ago

I hate MSNBC

Lirrulewon , 6 days ago

She is one hot veteran if i may add

Ken Texican , 4 days ago

MSNBC and especially the panel of Morning Joe are some of the most shameless tools in America. If DC is a sewer inhabited by big fat sewer rats; then Kasie (and her ilk), are the plague-infected fleas that take their blood-meals from those rats.

[Feb 15, 2019] Media Erasing Tulsi Gabbard From Presidential Campaign by The Jimmy Dore Show

Feb 15, 2019 | The Jimmy Dore Show

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ScottTheAngel , 1 day ago

This is a good reason to vote for her the only thing she represents is good and they want her gone it seems, she has the majority of America on her mind.

Unlawful_Falafel , 1 day ago

ok, it's official. i'm voting for tulsi gabbard, since clearly the corrupt establishment doesn't want me to and would rather i vote warren.

kastlerock01 , 1 day ago

They did the exact same thing to Ron Paul during his 2012 bid. There are so many videos showing how they cheated him it's almost comical.

Joe Gibbs , 1 day ago

It looks like your political system is very broken. Corrupted by money and greed.

Laura LeDoux , 1 day ago

I was a huge Bernie fan in the last election, but I would love it if he holds a huge press conference to announce his plans and instead gives a HUGE endorsement to Tulsi. That would be a great way to stick it to the media and give her more coverage.

Syncopator , 1 day ago (edited)

They need to make sure Tulsi won't make it to any debates, because they can't allow the discussion that would ensue about expensive, illegal and useless military adventures that we need to stop. And in a debate, they can't simply interrupt her like they can in an interview. That's not a discussion they can allow because people could think they might actually have a choice in the matter. For war mongers, they sure are chicken-shits who obviously don't even have any confidence in their own arguments in favor of it.

Tony Quinn , 21 hours ago

The media did they exact same thing to Ron Paul for the same reason. Bill O'Reilly hated Ron Paul.

Sykes , 1 day ago

Politics as usual. Voters always end up with two oligarch picks that have been groomed to mouth what they are told. MSM employees are not independent thinkers either. The two party system has been around for a long time, although in reality it is one party with a and b choices.

MsLuath , 1 day ago

She is smart, honest and courageous. Of course they will do all they can to dismiss her.

[Feb 13, 2019] Making Globalism Great Again by C.J. Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Pretty biting satire
Notable quotes:
"... So how did Trump finally get the liberal corporate media to stop calling him a fascist? He did that by acting like a fascist (i.e., like a "normal" president). Which is to say he did the bidding of the deep state goons and corporate mandarins that manage the global capitalist empire the smiley, happy, democracy-spreading, post-fascist version of fascism we live under. ..."
"... Notwithstanding what the corporate media will tell you, Americans elected Donald Trump, a preposterous, self-aggrandizing ass clown, not because they were latent Nazis, or because they were brainwashed by Russian hackers, but, primarily, because they wanted to believe that he sincerely cared about America, and was going to try to "make it great again" (whatever that was supposed to mean, exactly). ..."
"... Unfortunately, there is no America. There is nothing to make great again. "America" is a fiction, a fantasy, a nostalgia that hucksters like Donald Trump (and other, marginally less buffoonish hucksters) use to sell whatever they are selling themselves, wars, cars, whatever. What there is, in reality, instead of America, is a supranational global capitalist empire, a decentralized, interdependent network of global corporations, financial institutions, national governments, intelligence agencies, supranational governmental entities, military forces, media, and so on. If that sounds far-fetched or conspiratorial, look at what is going on in Venezuela. ..."
"... And Venezuela is just the most recent blatant example of the empire in action. ..."
Feb 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Maybe Donald Trump isn't as stupid as I thought. I'd hate to have to admit that publicly, but it does kind of seem like he has put one over on the liberal corporate media this time. Scanning the recent Trump-related news, I couldn't help but notice a significant decline in the number of references to Weimar, Germany, Adolf Hitler, and " the brink of fascism " that America has supposedly been teetering on since Hillary Clinton lost the election.

I googled around pretty well, I think, but I couldn't find a single editorial warning that Trump is about to summarily cancel the U.S. Constitution, dissolve Congress, and proclaim himself Führer . Nor did I see any mention of Auschwitz , or any other Nazi stuff which is weird, considering that the Hitler hysteria has been a standard feature of the official narrative we've been subjected to for the last two years.

So how did Trump finally get the liberal corporate media to stop calling him a fascist? He did that by acting like a fascist (i.e., like a "normal" president). Which is to say he did the bidding of the deep state goons and corporate mandarins that manage the global capitalist empire the smiley, happy, democracy-spreading, post-fascist version of fascism we live under.

I'm referring, of course, to Venezuela, which is one of a handful of uncooperative countries that are not playing ball with global capitalism and which haven't been "regime changed" yet. Trump green-lit the attempted coup purportedly being staged by the Venezuelan "opposition," but which is obviously a U.S. operation, or, rather, a global capitalist operation. As soon as he did, the corporate media immediately suspended calling him a fascist, and comparing him to Adolf Hitler, and so on, and started spewing out blatant propaganda supporting his effort to overthrow the elected government of a sovereign country.

Overthrowing the governments of sovereign countries, destroying their economies, stealing their gold, and otherwise bringing them into the fold of the global capitalist "international community" is not exactly what most folks thought Trump meant by "Make America Great Again." Many Americans have never been to Venezuela, or Syria, or anywhere else the global capitalist empire has been ruthlessly restructuring since shortly after the end of the Cold War. They have not been lying awake at night worrying about Venezuelan democracy, or Syrian democracy, or Ukrainian democracy.

This is not because Americans are a heartless people, or an ignorant or a selfish people. It is because, well, it is because they are Americans (or, rather, because they believe they are Americans), and thus are more interested in the problems of Americans than in the problems of people in faraway lands that have nothing whatsoever to do with America. Notwithstanding what the corporate media will tell you, Americans elected Donald Trump, a preposterous, self-aggrandizing ass clown, not because they were latent Nazis, or because they were brainwashed by Russian hackers, but, primarily, because they wanted to believe that he sincerely cared about America, and was going to try to "make it great again" (whatever that was supposed to mean, exactly).

Unfortunately, there is no America. There is nothing to make great again. "America" is a fiction, a fantasy, a nostalgia that hucksters like Donald Trump (and other, marginally less buffoonish hucksters) use to sell whatever they are selling themselves, wars, cars, whatever. What there is, in reality, instead of America, is a supranational global capitalist empire, a decentralized, interdependent network of global corporations, financial institutions, national governments, intelligence agencies, supranational governmental entities, military forces, media, and so on. If that sounds far-fetched or conspiratorial, look at what is going on in Venezuela.

The entire global capitalist empire is working in concert to force the elected president of the country out of office. The US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Denmark, Poland, the Netherlands, Israel, Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Argentina have officially recognized Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela, in spite of the fact that no one elected him. Only the empire's official evil enemies (i.e., Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, and other uncooperative countries) are objecting to this "democratic" coup. The global financial system (i.e., banks) has frozen (i.e., stolen) Venezuela's assets, and is attempting to transfer them to Guaido so he can buy the Venezuelan military. The corporate media are hammering out the official narrative like a Goebbelsian piano in an effort to convince the general public that all this has something to do with democracy. You would have to be a total moron or hopelessly brainwashed not to recognize what is happening.

What is happening has nothing to do with America the "America" that Americans believe they live in and that many of them want to "make great again." What is happening is exactly what has been happening around the world since the end of the Cold War, albeit most dramatically in the Middle East. The de facto global capitalist empire is restructuring the planet with virtual impunity. It is methodically eliminating any and all impediments to the hegemony of global capitalism, and the privatization and commodification of everything.

Venezuela is one of these impediments. Overthrowing its government has nothing to do with America, or the lives of actual Americans. "America" is not to going conquer Venezuela and plant an American flag on its soil. "America" is not going to steal its oil, ship it "home," and parcel it out to "Americans" in their pickups in the parking lot of Walmart.

What what about those American oil corporations? They want that Venezuelan oil, don't they? Well, sure they do, but here's the thing there are no "American" oil corporations. Corporations, especially multi-billion dollar transnational corporations (e.g., Chevron, ExxonMobil, et al.) have no nationalities, nor any real allegiances, other than to their major shareholders. Chevron, for example, whose major shareholders are asset management and mutual fund companies like Black Rock, The Vanguard Group, SSgA Funds Management, Geode Capital Management, Wellington Management, and other transnational, multi-trillion dollar outfits. Do you really believe that being nominally headquartered in Boston or New York makes these companies "American," or that Deutsche Bank is a "German" bank, or that BP is a "British" company?

And Venezuela is just the most recent blatant example of the empire in action. Ask yourself, honestly, what have the "American" regime change ops throughout the Greater Middle East done for any actual Americans, other than get a lot of them killed? Oh, and how about those bailouts for all those transnational "American" investment banks? Or the billions "America" provides to Israel? Someone please explain how enriching the shareholders of transnational corporations like Raytheon, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin by selling billions in weapons to Saudi Arabian Islamists is benefiting "the American people." How much of that Saudi money are you seeing? And, wait, I've got another one for you. Call up your friendly 401K manager, ask how your Pfizer shares are doing, then compare that to what you're paying some "American" insurance corporation to not really cover you.

For the last two-hundred years or so, we have been conditioned to think of ourselves as the citizens of a collection of sovereign nation states, as "Americans," "Germans," "Greeks," and so on. There are no more sovereign nation states. Global capitalism has done away with them. Which is why we are experiencing a "neo-nationalist" backlash. Trump, Brexit, the so-called "new populism" these are the death throes of national sovereignty, like the thrashing of a suffocating fish before you whack it and drop it in the cooler. The battle is over, but the fish doesn't know that. It didn't even realize there was a battle until it suddenly got jerked up out of the water.

In any event, here we are, at the advent of the global capitalist empire. We are not going back to the 19th Century, nor even to the early 20th Century. Neither Donald Trump nor anyone else is going to "Make America Great Again." Global capitalism will continue to remake the world into one gigantic marketplace where we work ourselves to death at bullshit jobs in order to buy things we don't need, accumulating debts we can never pay back, the interest on which will further enrich the global capitalist ruling classes, who, as you may have noticed, are preparing for the future by purchasing luxury underground bunkers and post-apocalyptic compounds in New Zealand. That, and militarizing the police, who they will need to maintain "public order" you know, like they are doing in France at the moment, by beating, blinding, and hideously maiming those Gilets Jaunes (i.e., Yellow Vest) protesters that the corporate media are doing their best to demonize and/or render invisible.

Or, who knows, Americans (and other Western consumers) might take a page from those Yellow Vests, set aside their political differences (or at least ignore their hatred of each other long enough to actually try to achieve something), and focus their anger at the politicians and corporations that actually run the empire, as opposed to, you know, illegal immigrants and imaginary legions of Nazis and Russians. In the immortal words of General Buck Turgidson, "I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed," but, heck, it might be worth a try, especially since, the way things are going, we are probably going end up out there anyway.

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant Paperbacks. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .

[Feb 13, 2019] Stephen Cohen on War with Russia and Soviet-style Censorship in the US by Russell Mokhiber

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... War with Russia. ..."
"... Cohen said the censorship that he has faced in recent years is similar to the censorship imposed on dissidents in the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... "Katrina and I had a joint signed op-ed piece in the New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... "The alternatives have been excluded from both. I would welcome an opportunity to debate these issues in the mainstream media, where you can reach more people. And remember, being in these pages, for better or for worse, makes you Kosher. This is the way it works. If you have been on these pages, you are cited approvingly. You are legitimate. You are within the parameters of the debate." ..."
"... "When I lived off and on in the Soviet Union, I saw how Soviet media treated dissident voices. And they didn't have to arrest them. They just wouldn't ever mention them. Sometimes they did that (arrest them). But they just wouldn't ever mention them in the media." ..."
"... "And something like that has descended here. And it's really alarming, along with some other Soviet-style practices in this country that nobody seems to care about – like keeping people in prison until they break, that is plea, without right to bail, even though they haven't been convicted of anything." ..."
"... "That's what they did in the Soviet Union. They kept people in prison until people said – I want to go home. Tell me what to say – and I'll go home. That's what we are doing here. And we shouldn't be doing that." ..."
"... Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter.. ..."
Feb 12, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

On stage at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C. this past week was Princeton University Professor Emeritus Stephen Cohen, author of the new book, War with Russia: From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate.

Cohen has largely been banished from mainstream media.

"I had been arguing for years -- very much against the American political media grain -- that a new US/Russian Cold War was unfolding -- driven primarily by politics in Washington, not Moscow," Cohen writes in War with Russia. "For this perspective, I had been largely excluded from influential print, broadcast and cable outlets where I had been previously welcomed."

On the stage at Busboys and Poets with Cohen was Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor of The Nation magazine, and Robert Borosage, co-founder of the Campaign for America's Future.

During question time, Cohen was asked about the extent of the censorship in the context of other Americans who had been banished from mainstream American media, including Ralph Nader, whom the liberal Democratic establishment, including Borosage and Vanden Heuvel, stiff armed when he crashed the corporate political parties in the electoral arena in 2004 and 2008.

Cohen said the censorship that he has faced in recent years is similar to the censorship imposed on dissidents in the Soviet Union.

"Until some period of time before Trump, on the question of what America's policy toward Putin's Kremlin should be, there was a reasonable facsimile of a debate on those venues that had these discussions," Cohen said. "Are we allowed to mention the former Charlie Rose for example? On the long interview form, Charlie would have on a person who would argue for a very hard policy toward Putin. And then somebody like myself who thought it wasn't a good idea."

"Occasionally that got on CNN too. MSNBC not so much. And you could get an op-ed piece published, with effort, in the New York Times or Washington Post ."

"Katrina and I had a joint signed op-ed piece in the New York Times six or seven years ago. But then it stopped. And to me, that's the fundamental difference between this Cold War and the preceding Cold War."

"I will tell you off the record – no, I'm not going to do it," Cohen said. "Two exceedingly imminent Americans, who most op-ed pages would die to get a piece by, just to say they were on the page, submitted such articles to the New York Times , and they were rejected the same day. They didn't even debate it. They didn't even come back and say – could you tone it down? They just didn't want it."

"Now is that censorship? In Italy, where each political party has its own newspaper, you would say – okay fair enough. I will go to a newspaper that wants me. But here, we are used to these newspapers."

"Remember how it works. I was in TV for 18 years being paid by CBS. So, I know how these things work. TV doesn't generate its own news anymore. Their actual reporting has been de-budgeted. They do video versions of what is in the newspapers."

"Look at the cable talk shows. You see it in the New York Times and Washington Post in the morning, you turn on the TV at night and there is the video version. That's just the way the news business works now."

"The alternatives have been excluded from both. I would welcome an opportunity to debate these issues in the mainstream media, where you can reach more people. And remember, being in these pages, for better or for worse, makes you Kosher. This is the way it works. If you have been on these pages, you are cited approvingly. You are legitimate. You are within the parameters of the debate."

"If you are not, then you struggle to create your own alternative media. It's new in my lifetime. I know these imminent Americans I mentioned were shocked when they were just told no. It's a lockdown. And it is a form of censorship."

"When I lived off and on in the Soviet Union, I saw how Soviet media treated dissident voices. And they didn't have to arrest them. They just wouldn't ever mention them. Sometimes they did that (arrest them). But they just wouldn't ever mention them in the media."

"Dissidents created what is known as samizdat – that's typescript that you circulate by hand. Gorbachev, before he came to power, did read some samizdat. But it's no match for newspapers published with five, six, seven million copies a day. Or the three television networks which were the only television networks Soviet citizens had access to."

"And something like that has descended here. And it's really alarming, along with some other Soviet-style practices in this country that nobody seems to care about – like keeping people in prison until they break, that is plea, without right to bail, even though they haven't been convicted of anything."

"That's what they did in the Soviet Union. They kept people in prison until people said – I want to go home. Tell me what to say – and I'll go home. That's what we are doing here. And we shouldn't be doing that."

Cohen appears periodically on Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News. And that rankled one person in the audience at Busboys and Poets, who said he worried that Cohen's perspective on Russia can be "appropriated by the right."

"Trump can take that and run on a nationalistic platform – to hell with NATO, to hell with fighting these endless wars, to do what he did in 2016 and get the votes of people who are very concerned about the deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Russia," the man said.

Cohen says that on a personal level, he likes Tucker Carlson "and I don't find him to be a racist or a nationalist."

"Nationalism is on the rise around the world everywhere," Cohen said. "There are different kinds of nationalism. We always called it patriotism in this country, but we have always been a nationalistic country."

"Fox has about three to four million viewers at that hour," Cohen said. "If I am not permitted to give my take on American/Russian relations on any other mass media, and by the way, possibly talk directly to Trump, who seems to like his show, and say – Trump is making a mistake, he should do this or do that instead -- I don't get many opportunities – and I can't see why I shouldn't do it."

"I get three and a half to four minutes," Cohen said. "I don't see it as consistent with my mission, if that's the right word, to say no. These articles I write for The Nation , which ended up in my book, are posted on some of the most God awful websites in the world. I had to look them up to find out how bad they really are. But what can I do about it?"

Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Russell Mokhiber

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..

[Feb 13, 2019] Opinion The Empty Quarters of U.S. Politics by Paul Krugman

Notable quotes:
"... Voters support Elizabeth Warren's proposed tax on large fortunes by a three-to-one majority. Only a small minority want to see cuts in Medicaid, even though such cuts have been central to every G.O.P. health care proposal in recent years. ..."
Feb 12, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Donald Trump, who ran on promises to expand health care and raise taxes on the rich , began betraying his working-class supporters the moment he took office, pushing through big tax cuts for the rich while trying to take health coverage away from millions.

... ... ...

Meanwhile, the modern Republican Party is all about cutting taxes on the rich and benefits for the poor and the middle class. And Trump, despite his campaign posturing, has turned out to be no different.

... ... ...

Polling is unambiguous here. If you define the "center" as a position somewhere between those of the two parties, when it comes to economic issues the public is overwhelmingly left of center; if anything, it's to the left of the Democrats. Tax cuts for the rich are the G.O.P.'s defining policy, but two-thirds of voters believe that taxes on the rich are actually too low, while only 7 percent believe that they're too high.

Voters support Elizabeth Warren's proposed tax on large fortunes by a three-to-one majority. Only a small minority want to see cuts in Medicaid, even though such cuts have been central to every G.O.P. health care proposal in recent years.

Why did Republicans stake out a position so far from voters' preferences? Because they could. As Democrats became the party of civil rights, the G.O.P. could attract working-class whites by catering to their social and racial illiberalism, even while pursuing policies that hurt ordinary workers.

... ... ...

In any case, if there's a real opening for an independent, that candidate will look more like George Wallace than like Howard Schultz. Billionaires who despise the conventional parties should beware of what they wish for.


Concerned Citizen Feb. 5 Times Pick

I consider myself socially conservative and economically liberal and I very bitterly reject the idea that I am a "racist". The left has to stop tossing around the word "racist" to essentially mean "anything they dislike" and "anyone they disagree with". I am not a racist, and I defy anyone to prove I am. Dr. Krugman, if you are going to call 50% of the voters in the US "racists"....well, consider what happened when your pal Hillary called us "deplorables in a basket". How'd that work out for her?

Trajan The Real Heartland Feb. 5 Times Pick

Democrats love to eat their own. We have one of the most racist presidents to ever hold office in modern times, yet some Democrats are going after Northam over some dumb stunt that happened decades ago. Is he a good leader NOW? Does he support good policies NOW? Is Northam's behavior really any worse (blackface versus sexual misconduct) than someone who just got a seat on the Supreme Court? Wow, this is like watching an episode of The Twilight Zone. Republicans have a strategic advantage because, while Democrats get all twisted up in identity politics, Republican leaders are only tightly focused on serving the rich and powerful at the expense of average Americans. No party disunity there. Democrats need to start focusing on the basic, kitchen table issues that average Americans care about, like affordable health care, affordable housing and affordable higher education. With that strong streak of self-destruction that runs through Democrats, Nancy Pelosi is needed more than ever in the people's House where badly needed legislation has to move forward.

Allright New york Feb. 5 Times Pick

A Democrat could beat Trump if he was pro-single payer, pro family, pro-union, anti-war, and for the aggressive taxing of ultra high wealth if he could just shut down the flagrant abuse of our immigration laws and border. That candidate can't win the primary though because not welcoming the infinite number of suffering illegal immigrants to share these expensive benefits or wanting law and order to immigration earns a label of "racist" in the Democratic Party. Trump will win in 2020 unless dems stop with the wild misuse of the word racist.

Patrick Wisconsin Feb. 5 Times Pick

"Racial hostility" is what I, a white male, feel from the Democrats. It's a common thread among the reluctant Trump supporters I know - they are disgusted by Trump, but they won't support the Democrats for that reason. My 66-year-old father recently said to me, for the first time, "well, you know, I'm a racist."

This man voted for Obama, but I wouldn't be surprised if he casts his vote for Trump in 2020 because the left has lost all credibility in his eyes. They call my dad a racist over and over, but he knows he's a fair person, so he's accepted that the "racist" label isn't that big of a deal.

[Feb 13, 2019] What a Midwestern Presidential Candidate Learned From Marxist Intellectuals

Notable quotes:
"... "The absence of effective state, and, especially, national, restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power," he explained. "The prime need to is to change the conditions which enable these men to accumulate power which it is not for the general welfare that they should hold or exercise." ..."
"... Roosevelt was, however, conscious of the threats posed to the American experiment by the rapid consolidation wealth and power. And he knew that progressive taxation could be used to address those threats. ..."
"... The Democrats who seek to dislodge Donald Trump in 2020 will all need to make tax policy a priority. Republicans have for so long practiced reverse Robin Hood politics -- take from the poor and give to the rich -- that the promised Democrats make will be unobtainable without the infusion of revenues that comes from taxing the wealthy. Changing tax policy also infuses governing with democracy, as it dials down the influence of specially interested billionaires (such as the Koch brothers) and their corporations. ..."
"... Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America ..."
"... People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | www.thenation.com

What a Midwestern Presidential Candidate Learned From Marxist Intellectuals | The Nation The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size, acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes."

That's what Teddy Roosevelt proposed in his agenda-setting "New Nationalism" speech from 1910 , when he prodded the United States toward a fuller embrace of progressive reform. As a former president who was preparing to again bid for the position, Roosevelt opened a conversation about tax policy in order to frame a broader debate about at least some of the values that should guide American progress.

At the heart of Roosevelt's agenda was a specific form of taxation. While progressive taxation in a general sense was desirable and necessary, Roosevelt was particularly enthusiastic about "another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective -- a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion, and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate."

Teddy Roosevelt, it should be noted, was a Republican who possessed considerable wealth of his own. He was a flawed figure who let down the progressive cause at many turns and never matched the courageous domestic and foreign policy vision advanced by his rival for leadership of the progressive movement, Wisconsin Senator Robert M. La Follette. But Roosevelt recognized that taxing inherited wealth not merely to collect revenues but to preserve and extend democracy.

"One of the chief factors in progress is the destruction of special privilege." -- Teddy Roosevelt, 1910

"The absence of effective state, and, especially, national, restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power," he explained. "The prime need to is to change the conditions which enable these men to accumulate power which it is not for the general welfare that they should hold or exercise."

Roosevelt's critics may have characterized him as a radical, but he was never as radical (or as right) as La Follette. Roosevelt was, however, conscious of the threats posed to the American experiment by the rapid consolidation wealth and power. And he knew that progressive taxation could be used to address those threats.

Bernie Sanders knows this, as well. That's why Sanders is proposing a progressive estate tax on the fortunes of the top 0.2 percent of Americans. The senator from Vermont's newly introduced "For the 99.8% Act" would collect $2.2 trillion from 588 billionaires.

"At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, when the three richest Americans own more wealth than 160 million Americans, it is literally beyond belief that the Republican leadership wants to provide hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top 0.2 percent," argues Sanders. "Our bill does what the American people want by substantially increasing the estate tax on the wealthiest families in this country and dramatically reducing wealth inequality. From a moral, economic, and political perspective our nation will not thrive when so few have so much and so many have so little."

Sanders is widely expected to bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. If he does so, Sanders will not be the only contender with a bold plan to tax the rich. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren , for instance, has a plan to levy a 2 percent tax on the assets of wealthy Americans with more than $50 million. From those with over $1 billion, she'd demand an additional 1 percent.

The Democrats who seek to dislodge Donald Trump in 2020 will all need to make tax policy a priority. Republicans have for so long practiced reverse Robin Hood politics -- take from the poor and give to the rich -- that the promised Democrats make will be unobtainable without the infusion of revenues that comes from taxing the wealthy. Changing tax policy also infuses governing with democracy, as it dials down the influence of specially interested billionaires (such as the Koch brothers) and their corporations.

What is notable about the Sanders plan is that, with his proposal to establish a 77 percent tax on the value of an estate above $1 billion, the senator is merely seeking "a return to the top rate from 1941 through 1976."

Sanders is proposing an approach that renews American values, as notes University of California–Berkeley economics professor Emmanuel Saez. "The estate tax was a key pillar of the progressive tax revolution that the United States ushered one century ago. It prevented self-made wealth from turning into inherited wealth and helped make America more equal," explains Saez. "However, the estate tax is dying of neglect, as tax avoidance schemes are multiplying and left unchallenged. As wealth concentration is surging in the United States, it is high time to revive the estate tax, plug the loopholes, and make it more progressive. Senator Sanders' bill is a bold and welcome leap forward in this direction."

Teddy Roosevelt understood this economic calculus, and this democratic imperative.

"In every wise struggle for human betterment one of the main objects, and often the only object, has been to achieve in large measure equality of opportunity. In the struggle for this great end, nations rise from barbarism to civilization, and through it people press forward from one stage of enlightenment to the next," the Republican president explained in 1910. "One of the chief factors in progress is the destruction of special privilege. The essence of any struggle for healthy liberty has always been, and must always be, to take from some one man or class of men the right to enjoy power, or wealth, or position, or immunity, which has not been earned by service to his or their fellows. That is what you fought for in the Civil War, and that is what we strive for now."

John Nichols is The Nation 's national-affairs correspondent. He is the author of Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America , from Nation Books, and co-author, with Robert W. McChesney, of People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy .

[Feb 13, 2019] Tulsi rocks

Notable quotes:
"... Trump doesn't have a clue about Foreign Policy ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

David G , February 12, 2019 at 11:26 am

The inimitable CN commenting system just ate my detailed reply to your question of who else besides Gabbard has spoken up, and won't let me repost it. But the short version is that

As far as I know, everybody else is on board the regime-change express, enjoying the bar car.

Summary: Tulsi rocks.

KiwiAntz, February 12, 2019 at 7:04 am

Trump & his corrupt Administration with the Troika of morons such as Pompeo, Bolton & Abrams, are the most dangerous bunch of idiots ever to be in power?

Hopelessly inept & out of his depth, Trump doesn't have a clue about Foreign Policy & his stupid Regime change antics are going to blow up in his & his meddling Nations face!

This buffoonish Clown is really accelerating America's downfall & declining Hegemonic power & turning the World away from the corrupt US Dollar, Petrodollar system with other Countries, actively moving away from this tyranny?

... ... ...

[Feb 12, 2019] Rubio One-Ups Sanders And Schumer With Plan To Curb Corporate Buybacks

Notable quotes:
"... To that end, the senator from Florida on Tuesday unveiled a proposal to limit corporate buybacks. Unlike a plan pitched by Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer earlier this month, Rubio's plan would seek to end preferential tax treatment of share buybacks, by decreeing that any money spent on buybacks would be considered - for tax purposes - a dividend paid to shareholders, even if individual investors didn't actually part with any stock. ..."
"... Any tax revenue generated by these changes could then be used to encourage more capital investment, Rubio said. As part of the proposal, Rubio would make a provision in the tax law that allows companies to deduct capital investment permanent (that provision is currently set to expire in 2022). ..."
"... But before lawmakers take their next steps toward regulating how and when companies should return excess capital to shareholders, they might want to take a look at a column recently published by WSJ's "Intelligent Investor" that expounds a concept called "the bladder theory." ..."
"... But the law most likely to govern here is the Law of Unintended Consequences. ..."
"... That companies bought back a record $1 trillion worth of stock last year while employers like GM slashed jobs and closed factories has stoked criticisms of the Trump tax cuts, but as the gulf between the rich and the poor grows ever more wide (a phenomenon for which we can thank the Federal Reserve and other large global central banks) it's worth wondering: facing a simmering backlash to one of the most persistent marginal bids in the market place, have investors already become too complacent about proposals like Rubio's? ..."
"... Worse, since they're largely funded by increased corporate debt (!) they amount to corporate strip-mining by senior management. This is disgraceful and dangerous. The debt will bust some corporations when the inevitable next downturn comes. ..."
"... This buyback cancer, which has grown rapidly because of corrupt SEC thinking and perverse tax incentives, requires urgent treatment. ..."
Feb 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

For better or worse, Republican Senator and one-time presidential candidate Marco Rubio isn't about to let the Democrats own the fight to curtail one of the most flagrant examples of post-crisis corporate excess. And if he can carve out a niche for himself that might one day help him credibly pitch himself as a populist firebrand, much like the man who went on to claim the presidency after defeating him in the Republican primary, well, that sounds to us like a win-win.

To that end, the senator from Florida on Tuesday unveiled a proposal to limit corporate buybacks. Unlike a plan pitched by Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer earlier this month, Rubio's plan would seek to end preferential tax treatment of share buybacks, by decreeing that any money spent on buybacks would be considered - for tax purposes - a dividend paid to shareholders, even if individual investors didn't actually part with any stock.

According to CNBC , the plan calls for every shareholder to receive an imputed portion of the funds equivalent to the percentage of company stock they own, which, of course, isn't the same thing as directly handing capital to shareholders (it simply changes the tax rate that the company buying back the shares would pay).

Ultimately, Rubio hopes that these changes would discourage companies from buying back stock. Those companies that continued to buy back shares would help contribute to higher revenues by increasing the funds that can be taxed, while also raising the rate at which this money can be taxed. Any tax revenue generated by these changes could then be used to encourage more capital investment, Rubio said. As part of the proposal, Rubio would make a provision in the tax law that allows companies to deduct capital investment permanent (that provision is currently set to expire in 2022).

But before lawmakers take their next steps toward regulating how and when companies should return excess capital to shareholders, they might want to take a look at a column recently published by WSJ's "Intelligent Investor" that expounds a concept called "the bladder theory."

Overall, however, buybacks (and dividends) return excess capital to investors who are free to spend or reinvest it wherever it is most needed. By requiring companies to hang onto their capital instead of paying it out, Congress might - perhaps - encourage them to invest more in workers and communities.

But the law most likely to govern here is the Law of Unintended Consequences. The history of investment by corporate managers with oodles of cash on their hands isn't encouraging. Hugh Liedtke, the late chief executive of Pennzoil, reportedly liked to quip that he believed in "the bladder theory:" Companies should pay out as much cash as possible, so managers couldn't piss all the money away.

That companies bought back a record $1 trillion worth of stock last year while employers like GM slashed jobs and closed factories has stoked criticisms of the Trump tax cuts, but as the gulf between the rich and the poor grows ever more wide (a phenomenon for which we can thank the Federal Reserve and other large global central banks) it's worth wondering: facing a simmering backlash to one of the most persistent marginal bids in the market place, have investors already become too complacent about proposals like Rubio's?

We ask only because the Dow soared more than 350 points on Tuesday, suggesting that, even as Rubio added a bipartisan flavor to the nascent movement to curb buybacks, investors aren't taking these proposals too seriously - at least not yet.

Celotex
This still doesn't address the insider trading aspect of stock buybacks, with insiders front-running the buyback.

vladiki

No one's arguing that if a company's groaning with cash then buybacks make sense. But it's the other 95% of of them that are the problem. Compare the 20 year graphs of buybacks with corporate profits, corporate debt, corporate tax paid, corporate dividends paid.

They tell you what everyone in higher management knows - that they're a tax-free dividend mechanism pretending to be "capital rationalisation".

Worse, since they're largely funded by increased corporate debt (!) they amount to corporate strip-mining by senior management. This is disgraceful and dangerous. The debt will bust some corporations when the inevitable next downturn comes.

This buyback cancer, which has grown rapidly because of corrupt SEC thinking and perverse tax incentives, requires urgent treatment.

james diamond squid

Everyone is in on this ponzi. I'm expecting tax deductions for buying stocks/homes.

[Feb 12, 2019] We have elections that are far more like Soviet elections than the average 'conservative' voter can allow himself to imagine. The great difference Soviet elections and ours today is who what entity owns the system, meaning which cultural values rule, dictate.

Feb 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

Jake , says: February 12, 2019 at 11:32 am GMT

The USSR had elections of various types. They meant nothing because the Party owned everybody.

We have elections that are far more like Soviet elections than the average 'conservative' voter can allow himself to imagine. The great difference Soviet elections and ours today is who – what entity – owns the system, meaning which cultural values rule, dictate.

Ours is the Anglo-Zionist Empire. This is the end game of the Judaizing heresies that destroyed Christendom. This nightmare is where WASP culture leads and always lead.

[Feb 12, 2019] Kamala Harris probably is worth around one million

Feb 12, 2019 | therapyjoker.com

Kamala Harris may have just begun to see success in the realm of politics, but she's already aiming for the stars as she's planning to compete with current US president Donald Trump for the presidential seat in the 2020 election which isn't at all far at this point. Senator Kamala isn't too rich considering the huge businessmen that fill up the Congress, but according to the LA Times, she's still a financial success who needs to be recognized. The LA Times reported that Harris' net worth has been growing since she entered politics in 2014 and has now hit close to the $1 million dollar mark. Most of her wealth is from her retirement plans, although she has a large sum of savings, too. We're curious to see how she performs in 2020 – and if we've learned anything so far, it's that political experience doesn't matter as much as one would think.

[Feb 12, 2019] Tulsi was just on CNN talking about CIA funding of "terror-linked groups" in Syria

Feb 12, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

James Thomas , 21 hours ago

Tulsi was just on CNN talking about CIA funding of "terror-linked groups" in Syria:
Play

[Feb 12, 2019] Elizabeth Warren's plan to tax the super-rich has been tried before. Here's what happened by Benjy Sarlin

Notable quotes:
"... Under Warren's proposal, households with over $50 million in assets would pay a 2 percent tax on their net worth every year. The rate would rise to 3 percent on assets over $1 billion. Warren's plan would affect just 75,000 households total. ..."
"... Taxes on wealth in Switzerland are not fixed, but set by 26 regional governments with rates that varied from 0.13 percent to 1 percent per year in 2016, according to the OECD report. They also are much broader, affecting not just millionaires, but many middle-class households as well ..."
"... A study of the country's tax system by Jonathan Gruber and several other economists found that for every 0.1 percent taxes on wealth went up in an area, the wealth taxpayers reported to the government dropped by 3.5 percent ..."
"... "When you tax people's wealth, they manage to somehow reduce their taxable wealth," Gruber told NBC News. "We don't know if it's by saving less or by hiding it. ..."
"... "It's really difficult to enforce," said Alan Cole, a former adviser to House Republicans on tax policy. "That's why almost everyone goes the capital gains tax route and very few go the wealth tax route." ..."
"... The OECD's report found that countries with wealth taxes have tended to collect relatively similar amounts of revenue over time even as the overall wealth in their countries increased at much faster rates. This suggests taxpayers either found new ways to get around them or that legislators and tax collectors weren't keeping pace with annual growth. ..."
"... While they expect the rich to succeed in shielding some of their assets, Warren advisers Saez and Zucman peg the number at 15 percent total based on a survey of existing research. In a letter to Warren, they wrote that Gruber's study was an "outlier" and that studies of wealth taxes in other countries like Sweden and Denmark showed less tax avoidance ..."
"... Lily Batchelder, a professor at New York University and former economic adviser under President Barack Obama, pointed to The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, a 2010 U.S. law in coordination with other governments around the world that requires banks to report activity by American citizens. ..."
"... The fear that the ultra-rich will not just lowball their fortunes, but pack up and take them to a rival country, is a significant reason the wealth tax has declined. In France, President Emmanuel Macron replaced the country's decades-old wealth tax with a narrower tax on real estate partly in response to data suggesting 60,000 millionaires had left the country since 2000. ..."
"... In one prominent case, famed actor Gérard Depardieu moved across the border to less-taxed Belgium while criticizing France's policies. It wasn't just the wealth tax -- the previous government also imposed a 75 percent tax rate on income for millionaires, a policy that bears similarities to a proposal by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. ..."
"... Warren's plan would apply to Americans based on citizenship, not where they live or where their money is earned, so the ultra-rich couldn't easily move to avoid it. If they renounced their citizenship, they'd have to pay a one-time 40 percent "exit tax" on their net worth. ..."
Jan 29, 2019 | www.nbcnews.com

Versions of a "wealth tax" proposed by the 2020 hopeful have been put in place in a number of countries. Most have gotten rid of them.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has made a splash with her plan for a "wealth tax" on the super-rich, a major break from typical Democratic proposals that target income, investment gains and inheritances.

While wealth taxes aren't a new invention and a handful of developed nations currently have them in place, they are on the decline: The number nations that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development with a wealth tax dropped from 12 to four from 1990 to 2017, according to a report by the organization last year.

With inequality hitting new heights, though, Democrats running for president have made finding new ways to tax the rich and distribute the benefits downward a key part of their economic message. Wealth taxes are making a comeback in policy discussions abroad as well, led by French economist Thomas Piketty's call for a global tax on the rich.

Now economists are debating what other countries can tell us about the Warren Ultra-Millionaires Tax and whether it's useful to tie their experiences to the United States.

Video Will Begin In... 3 Sen. Elizabeth Warren on her wealth tax proposal Jan. 24, 2019 16:00

One prominent case study is Switzerland, where a longstanding series of wealth taxes account for about 1 percent of GDP each year. That's a much higher share than in other countries with a wealth tax and it's similar to what Warren's advisers predict her own tax would raise.

"The comparison everyone is thinking of is Switzerland, because it's probably the best precedent for a reasonably effective wealth tax," Ari Glogower, a professor at Ohio State University who researches wealth taxes, told NBC News.

The country's wealth tax may offer some insight into one looming question over Warren's wealth tax, which is whether its targets would find ways to avoid paying it. It's an important debate, because Warren's counting on her tax to raise a lot of money for social programs: $2.75 trillion over 10 years, according to an estimate by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, two economists advising her campaign.

Under Warren's proposal, households with over $50 million in assets would pay a 2 percent tax on their net worth every year. The rate would rise to 3 percent on assets over $1 billion. Warren's plan would affect just 75,000 households total.

Taxes on wealth in Switzerland are not fixed, but set by 26 regional governments with rates that varied from 0.13 percent to 1 percent per year in 2016, according to the OECD report. They also are much broader, affecting not just millionaires, but many middle-class households as well .

A study of the country's tax system by Jonathan Gruber and several other economists found that for every 0.1 percent taxes on wealth went up in an area, the wealth taxpayers reported to the government dropped by 3.5 percent .

"When you tax people's wealth, they manage to somehow reduce their taxable wealth," Gruber told NBC News. "We don't know if it's by saving less or by hiding it. "

Critics point to these shifts as evidence that a wealth tax is an inefficient way to collect taxes. While the IRS can easily check the price of a publicly traded stock, it may be hard to value a privately held company or a rare art collection until it's sold, which is often a source of legal battles in calculating estate taxes. But unlike an estate, which is taxed once at death, the government would have to figure out the value every year.

"It's really difficult to enforce," said Alan Cole, a former adviser to House Republicans on tax policy. "That's why almost everyone goes the capital gains tax route and very few go the wealth tax route."

The OECD's report found that countries with wealth taxes have tended to collect relatively similar amounts of revenue over time even as the overall wealth in their countries increased at much faster rates. This suggests taxpayers either found new ways to get around them or that legislators and tax collectors weren't keeping pace with annual growth.

Anticipating this concern, Warren's plan includes a pledge to bolster the IRS, require a minimum number of audits, and use a variety of techniques to indirectly value more difficult to price assets.

While they expect the rich to succeed in shielding some of their assets, Warren advisers Saez and Zucman peg the number at 15 percent total based on a survey of existing research. In a letter to Warren, they wrote that Gruber's study was an "outlier" and that studies of wealth taxes in other countries like Sweden and Denmark showed less tax avoidance .

As Gruber noted, Switzerland's broad tax base makes it a less than exact comparison. But the tax rate in Warren's plan would also be much higher, giving its targets more motive to avoid it. They would also be more likely to have skilled accountants and lawyers to help them out.

"It doesn't mean it's a bad idea or it won't raise money," Gruber said. "Elizabeth Warren's tax would raise money, it's a question of how much."

At the same time, some argue recent changes in finance make it harder for the rich to hide assets from tax collectors.

Lily Batchelder, a professor at New York University and former economic adviser under President Barack Obama, pointed to The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, a 2010 U.S. law in coordination with other governments around the world that requires banks to report activity by American citizens.

"It's certainly not perfect and there's more work to be done, but compared to even five years ago, the landscape has really changed," she said. "So people who are looking at this from five or 10 or 20 years ago are missing that."

Gruber's study does cut against another top concern raised by critics of a wealth tax -- that it will cause taxpayers to pack up and move. Even with lower-tax options inside the same country, their research found little sign of people moving to avoid higher rates.

The fear that the ultra-rich will not just lowball their fortunes, but pack up and take them to a rival country, is a significant reason the wealth tax has declined. In France, President Emmanuel Macron replaced the country's decades-old wealth tax with a narrower tax on real estate partly in response to data suggesting 60,000 millionaires had left the country since 2000.

In one prominent case, famed actor Gérard Depardieu moved across the border to less-taxed Belgium while criticizing France's policies. It wasn't just the wealth tax -- the previous government also imposed a 75 percent tax rate on income for millionaires, a policy that bears similarities to a proposal by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

Warren's plan would apply to Americans based on citizenship, not where they live or where their money is earned, so the ultra-rich couldn't easily move to avoid it. If they renounced their citizenship, they'd have to pay a one-time 40 percent "exit tax" on their net worth.

[Feb 12, 2019] Trump gave a huge tax cut to corporate America betraying his middle class voters.

Casino Capitalism and democracy cannot co-exist.
"We can have extreme wealth concentrated in the hands of the few; or, we can have democracy, we can't have both." Judge Brandies was right
Notable quotes:
"... "We can have extreme wealth concentrated in the hands of the few; or, we can have democracy, we can't have both." Judge Brandies was right. The Republicans have chosen extreme wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, the few who happen to donate to their campaigns specifically, rather than democracy. The Republicans have sold out the American people. ..."
"... It's all thanks to the Roberts' SCOTUS's Citizens United decision, the McCutcheon decision, and egregious GOP'er gerrymandering of 2010. Vulture Capitalism and democracy cannot co-exist. ..."
Feb 12, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Bruce Rozenblit, Kansas City, MO Feb. 4

I don't think it's that complicated. Donald Trump is the Republican party. He has solidified his power in three basic ways. The first is that he gave a huge tax cut to corporate America. This greatly boosted profits and the stock market reacted in sync. This is all Wall Street and big business cares about. Nothing else matters to them and consequently they ignore everything else that Trump does, no matter how awful, how incompetent and how damaging it is to our republic.

Ronny Dublin, CA Feb. 4

@R. Law "We can have extreme wealth concentrated in the hands of the few; or, we can have democracy, we can't have both." Judge Brandies was right. The Republicans have chosen extreme wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, the few who happen to donate to their campaigns specifically, rather than democracy. The Republicans have sold out the American people.

R. Law Texas Feb. 4

We agree with Dr. K.: " But maybe the gravitational attraction of big money -- which has completely captured the G.O.P., and has arguably kept Democrats from moving as far left as the electorate really wants -- is too great. " defines the issue, since 'voters' are not the actual consumers of politics being sold by the pols - those consumers are the pols' donors: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/15/government-wealthy-study_n_5154879.html

It's all thanks to the Roberts' SCOTUS's Citizens United decision, the McCutcheon decision, and egregious GOP'er gerrymandering of 2010. Vulture Capitalism and democracy cannot co-exist.

[Feb 12, 2019] Elizabeth Warren -- Est. $5 Million

Feb 12, 2019 | therapyjoker.com

Elizabeth is super rich when compared to the average American citizen (who's worth is around $100,000), but keep in mind that Congress is virtually made up of some of the richest people in the country.

While a whole lot of Elizabeth's net worth is based around the investments she's made, she also has a huge house that's worth almost $2 million which isn't bad at all. The house is reportedly in Massachusetts.

CNN reported that Warren is worth between $3.7 million and $10 million dollars because of her combined net worth with her husband and ranked her the 76th wealthiest out of 541 senators and representatives.

It's quite interesting to know that Warren didn't start off rich – she was born to a middle-class family and rose to the top based on pure merit.

She earned a degree in bankruptcy law and began teaching in universities just like her husband. They were soon able to amass a huge amount together.

[Feb 12, 2019] Pelosi Mocks Ocasio-Cortez Green New Deal

It is true that "national, social, industrial and economic mobilization at a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal," is needed...
Feb 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Ocasio-Cortez is rolling out the "Green New Deal" with Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), which she says calls for a "national, social, industrial and economic mobilization at a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal," and is "a wartime-level, just economic mobilization plan to get to 100% renewable energy."

The plan also aims "to promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous communities, communities of color, migrant communities" and other "frontline and vulnerable communities. "

Ocasio-Cortez's plan, which has several doesn't outline specific policy proposals (they'll "work it out" we guess), and promises grandiose measures using broad brush strokes such as achieving "net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers. Everybody gets a job, clean water, healthy food, and "access to nature," whatever that means.

Where it does get slightly more specific, the resolution, obtained by NPR , mandates among other things (via NPR ):

For a deeper analysis which we noted earlier, click here .

[Feb 12, 2019] Social anger at neoliberalization as a material force in 2002 elections

Feb 12, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

likbez, February 12, 2019 8:11 pm

Daniel,

For decades we have heard about the loss of industrial production throughout what is called the "Rust Belt". It's presented, even as recent as the prior presidential election as a relative regional problem that only began post-Reagan.

With all due respect, it looks like you forgot that at some point quantity turns into quality, so making simple extrapolations might well result in an oversimplification of the current situation.

You essentially ignore the current reality of rising popular anger, and the fact of breaking of the social contract by neoliberal (and first of all financial) oligarchy, which is as detached from "deplorable" as French aristocracy ("let them eat cakes" mentality.)

In 2019 it is clear that the USA completely and irreversibly moved from an economy based on high wages and reliable benefits to a system of low wages and cheap consumer prices, to the detriment of workers, which means that social contract was broken ( https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/12/the-past-and-future-of-americas-social-contract/282511/ ).

While less dangerous for the oligarchy then when the USSR used to exist, the level of social anger comes into play as never before. In 2016 became a material factor that decided the elections. I do not see that 2020 will be different.

The most detrimental effects from outsourcing and offshoring will come to the forefront probably in 10 years or so when the oil price might be well over $100 per barrel. But even now this huge social experiment on live people in redistribution of wealth up turn out to be detrimental for the unity of the country (and not only to the unity).

The current squabble between globalist, Clinton wing of Democratic Party allied with the corporatists with the Republican Party (with supporting intelligence agencies) and rag-tag forces of the opposition is a good indication of the power of this resentment.

Spearheaded by intelligence agencies (with material support from British government ) attack on Trump (aka Russiagate) is the attack on the idea of an alternative for neoliberal globalization, not so much on the personality or real or perceived Trump actions; the brutal, Soviet-style attack on the deviation from neoliberal status quo directed on the political elimination of the opposition by elimination of Trump from the political scene. Much like Show Trials were in the USSR (in this case people were charged to be British spies ;-)

There are two countries now co-existing within the USA borders. Which often speak different languages. One is the country of professionals, managers, and capital owners (let's say top 10%). The other is the country of common people (aka "deplorable", or those who are below median wage -- ~$30K in 2017; ratio of average and median wage is now around 65% ).

With the large part of the latter living as if they live in a third world country. That's definitely true for McDonald, Wall-mart (and all retail) employees (say, all less than $15 per hour employees, or around half of US workers).

I think the level of anger of "deplorable" will play the major role in 2020 elections and might propel Warren candidacy. That's why now some MSM are trying to derail her by exploiting the fact that she listed her heritage incorrectly on several applications.

But when the anger of "deplorable" is in play, then, as Donald Trump aptly quipped, one could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue, shoot somebody and do not lose any voters. I think this is now true for Warren too.

Here are some old, but still interesting, facts circa Nov 2011 ( https://www.businessinsider.com/sad-facts-deindustrialization-america-2011-11 ):

-- The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001
-- The United States has lost a total of about 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since October 2000
-- From 1999 to 2008, employment at the foreign affiliates of US parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million
-- In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of U.S. economic output. In 2008, it represented 11.5 percent
-- As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing. The last time less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941. The United States has lost a whopping 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000
-- As of 2010 consumption accounts for 70 percent of GDP. Of this 70 percent, over half is spent on services
-- In 2001, the United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use. Today it ranks 15th
-- Asia produces 84% of printed circuit boards used worldwide.
-- In September 2011, the Census Bureau said 46.2 million Americans are now living in poverty, which is the highest number of poor Americans in the 52 years that records have been kept

NOTE: Programming jobs in the USA are expected to shrink in 2019 ( -21,300 ) so it is incorrect to look at IT industry as a potential compensating industry for manufacturing layoffs. ( https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/best-technology-jobs )

[Feb 11, 2019] Elizabeth Warren and the High Price of Racial Progress

The real question is whether she abused her "second identity" for career purposes or not.
Feb 11, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

President Bill Clinton claimed at a forum in 1998 that his grandmother was "one-quarter Cherokee." The assertion, from a politician with a not-always-sterling reputation for truthfulness, went unheralded.

Clinton's mother had earlier been described, in a 1992 article , as a "descendant of Irish farmers and Cherokee Indians." The genealogical receipts were never in evidence. But families have their stories; few seemed to care one way or another.

They do now.

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren is one of the most talented politicians in the nation and one of the most important policy leaders in her party. She has superb communication skills, including the ability to distill complex class and economic dynamics into compelling, comprehensible rhetoric . She is extremely smart. She might make a fine nominee, even president.

She also can't seem to shake a political problem that posed no noticeable discomfort to Clinton.

The latest installment -- it seems there may be more -- was the unearthing of an apparently not-so-confidential Texas state bar form that Warren filled out three decades ago when she was a law professor at the University of Texas. On the form she wrote her race as "American Indian."

The discovery follows her recent release of a report she commissioned on her DNA that was occasioned by previous controversy about her claims to American Indian ancestry.

Many people find the storm over Warren ridiculous. And they have reason. At a time when the president of the United States makes regular and open appeals to bigotry, harping on Warren's minor identity foibles seems absurd. Warren is not calling Mexicans rapists. She's not caricaturing black neighborhoods as savage war zones where you can't walk down the street without being shot. She has sexually assaulted no one.

Nor did Warren dress in blackface at a time when anyone mindful of history, or even mildly conscious of contemporary American society outside the confines of a creepy college fraternity, understood it to be an act of social barbarism.

The Boston Globe reported that Warren gained no career benefit from her self-designation. "At every step of her remarkable rise in the legal profession, the people responsible for hiring her saw her as a white woman," the Globe reported.

Regarding the Texas bar form, Brian Beutler tweeted , "The fact that she made the claim on a form that was meant to be unlogged and confidential actually underscores her point that she identified as she did out of sincere belief."

Warren is 69. Over the years, she has surely mentioned her Indian affinity many times -- contributing recipes in the 1980s, for example, to "Pow Wow Chow: A Collection of Recipes from Families of the Five Civilized Tribes" -- without social awkwardness or professional consequence.

Warren also grew up in Oklahoma, a state created from Indian Territory. "I think what Warren has done in identifying as American Indian -- and particularly as a Cherokee -- is very Oklahoman," said Circe Sturm, author of " Becoming Indian: The Struggle over Cherokee Identity in the 21st Century. "

Blue-eyed Indians are too common to be political fodder in Oklahoma. "In Oklahoma, you have plenty of native people who look white but have native ancestry or tribal citizenship," Sturm said in a telephone interview.

There was a time when Elvis Presley could grab a piece of "race music" and exploit it for fame and fortune in the white mainstream. Three decades ago, Warren perhaps thought she was respectfully identifying with a brutalized minority, or just imagining herself as the person she thought she was, or wanted to be. You didn't need malicious intent, or a desire to game racial classifications, to want to stretch the bounds of whiteness.

But as nonwhite Americans have gained more political power, cultural appropriation, conscious or otherwise, has become increasingly fraught. Complicating matters, tribal identity is a political designation, and Cherokees are wary of granting inclusion to any Bill or Elizabeth who purports to have an ancestor somewhere.

Historically, whites generally had greater freedom to try on new identities, and explore new social arrangements. Racial minorities had their identities assigned, and "passing" beyond rigid definitions was a perilous exercise.

Now the rules are evolving. A once-free, or at least freer, range of white identity is gradually being fenced by consequences, just as consequences have bound racial minorities to identities for centuries. A white frontier is closing.

One of the chief institutions grappling with this transformation, and driving it, is the Democratic Party. As a woman, Warren has benefited from the party's new openness to female power. But she's being buffeted by crosswinds on race.

Republicans and much of the GOP-allied media, active or silent partners in the Trumpist campaign to sustain white political, social and economic power, are rarely as gleeful as when attacking liberals who struggle to conform to the emerging norms that conservatives subvert. (The case of GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy's family, which has cashed in on dubious claims of Indian heritage, is curiously less scrutinized than Warren's predicament.)

The mainstream news media, always eager to posit a Democratic counterpoint to the criminality and corruption swirling around Trump, may conclude that Warren's Indian issue is an offense so grave that it rivals substandard email protocol. The Democratic Party itself, testing its surroundings with multiracial sensors, may conclude that it has enough high-quality alternatives to Warren that it can afford to leave a star player on the bench.

That would be a shame. Warren is well worth hearing from. But it may also be the high price of progress. Democrats, after all, are the only game in town. Republicans, seated in the whites-only section of the bleachers, hurling insults at the players on the field, won't join in making social justice and empowerment a cause.

Being first movers into a multiracial, female-empowered century has given Democrats a strategic advantage and moral high ground. But the new terrain is often tough to navigate , as another quality politician, Senator Al Franken, discovered . The march forward can be unforgiving, leaving even good people behind.

[Feb 11, 2019] Trump has tried to turn his presidency into a personality cult rather than MAGA

Feb 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

TheBoom , says: September 29, 2018 at 8:55 am GMT

Trump has tried to turn his presidency into a personality cult rather than MAGA. That is a mistake because Trump's campaign positions were more popular than Trump and it doesn't lift the entire party.

Every Hillary voter I meet, male or female, buys every one of the stupid narratives being pushed and are fired up to vote. The Bernie voters don't automatically buy every narrative but they despise Trump and want him out and Democrats to regain control.

I agree with Derb that the hearing may make up some of the enthusiasm gap. A lot of conservative men had to have been looking at that hearing and thinking how easy it would be for them to get similar treatment at work or school.I imagine a good number of conservative women don't want their husbands and sons to face similar inquisitions.

[Feb 11, 2019] There is no democracy in US. There is civil war between two dysfunctional parties

Feb 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

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

AJM

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

[Feb 11, 2019] 'Populism' is just democracy in action and most people seem to think democracy is a good thing. So what's the problem? Apparently the masses don't want what's being shoved down their throats by undemocratic rulers so now we have this ongoing conflict.

Feb 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

anonymous [967] Disclaimer , says: February 3, 2019 at 4:45 pm GMT

'Populism' is just democracy in action and most people seem to think democracy is a good thing. So what's the problem? Apparently the masses don't want what's being shoved down their throats by undemocratic rulers so now we have this ongoing conflict. One can only hope that the populists get the upper hand in all this. We need a new political terminology because it seems strange to use the label "liberal" for a group of people that are such aggressive war-mongers. There doesn't seem to be much that's liberal about them.War lovers and anti-democratic, they have much in common with fascism.

[Feb 11, 2019] AOC Campaign Finance Primer Goes Viral

Notable quotes:
"... By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. ..."
"... Quip, then Clear, Simple Statement. ..."
"... The thing that worries me is that congress might find some way to remove her or shut her up if she continues to ruffle neoliberal feathers like this. ..."
"... Fascinating as this is, I worry that AOC might get the "Rosa Luxembourg" treatment from the present day power elites. ..."
Feb 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

AOC Campaign Finance Primer Goes Viral Posted on February 10, 2019 by Jerri-Lynn Scofield By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.

Wow. strengthening ethics rules for the executive branch reached such a huge audience.

This is a must-watch clip. I hesitate to add much commentary, as anything I write will likely not add all that much, and might instead only distract from the original.

Nonetheless, full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes! I will hazard adding some commentary.

I only ask that you watch the clip first. It'll only take five minutes of your time. Just something to ponder on what I hope for many readers is a lazy, relaxing Sunday. Please watch it, as my commentary will assume you've done so.

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

How to Explain What's At Stake with a Complex Subject

I've spent many, many years thinking about how business influences public policy – and trying to get people to understand some of the details of how that's done, in a variety of contexts.

Here, AOC breaks down one aspect of the problem, and clearly and succinctly explains what's the deal, in terms that've obviously resounded with people and led them to share her primer with their friends.

Quip, then Clear, Simple Statement. She opens with a self deprecating aside – perhaps a bit too self-deprecating, as she doesn't pause long enough to elicit many chuckles. Am I imagining a sense of "What's she up to?" emanating from the (sparse) crowd in that quick initial establishing shot of the hearing chamber?

And then explains what she's up to:

Let's play a lightning round game.

I'm gonna be the bad guy, which I'm sure half the room would agree with anyway, and I want to get away with as much bad things as possible, really to enrich myself and advance my interests, even if that means putting my interests ahead of the American people.

I've enlisted all of you as my co-conspirators, so you're going help me legally get away with all of this."

Framing. Turning this into a lightning round taps into popular culture. Most TV viewers know what a lightning round is, certainly far more than regularly watch congressional hearings on C-Span.

And using the Q & A format requires those summoned to testify at the hearing to affirm each of her points. This reminded me a bit of the call and response technique that some preachers employ.

By structuring this exercise in a lightning round format, each witness can only answer yes or no, allowing little room to obfuscate – I'm looking at you, Bradley A. Smith, chairman of the Institute for Free Speech (IFS). (Here's a link to the Washington Post op-ed AOC refers to: Those payments to women were unseemly. That doesn't mean they were illegal. )

AOC has no time for any waffling, "Okay green light for hush money, I can do all sorts of terrible things, It's totally legal now for me to pay people off " She's not just working from a great script – but is quick on her feet as well. Nice!

Simple Language, Complex Points

The language is simple, and sounds like the way ordinary people speak – "bad guy," Followed later by "super bad guy."

"Totally."

"Okay great."

"Fabulous."

"Okay, so, awesome."

I think it's easier for her to do this, because she's not a lawyer. Even when she's discussing questions of legality, she doesn't slip into legalese -- "super legal" isn't the sort of phrase that would trip easily from the tongues of most lawyers– even recovering ones, or those who got sidetracked into politics.

Repetition of One Point: This is All Legal

AOC channels Michael Kinsley's observation, "The scandal isn't what's illegal, the scandal is what's legal." I hesitate to repeat that saying here, as for political junkies, it's been been heard all too many times before.

AOC fleshes out the details of a message many Americans understand: the system is broken, and under the current laws, no one's going to jail for doing any of this stuff. Instead, this is standard operating procedure in Washington. And that's the case even though as this May headline for report by the Pew Research Centre's headline makes clear: Most Americans want to limit campaign spending, say big donors have greater political influence .


Brindle , February 10, 2019 at 12:24 pm

AOC has great skill in understanding how language works, it is kind of mesmerizing watching her thinking and talking on her feet -- she intertwines big narratives with smaller ones seamlessly. Just brilliant.

notabanker , February 10, 2019 at 1:47 pm

She is gifted. She has demonstrated remarkable poise in her reactions to Pelosi. She refuses to sling dirt, instead acting in deference to her power with a confidence that her own principles will eventually prevail. It's an incredibly wise approach and extremely counter-intuitive to most.

Oso , February 10, 2019 at 4:11 pm

by supporting pelosi, calling her a progressive she shows acknowledgement of her role in the system. it may be the confidence that her principles of being part of the club will prevail. if you pay any attention at all to the system you'd understand it isn't broken, it works as designed.

notabanker , February 10, 2019 at 4:19 pm

Here's the specific interview I was referring to:
https://www.msnbc.com/mtp-daily/watch/full-interview-rep-ocasio-cortez-on-the-democratic-party-green-new-deal-2020-candidates-1439077443625

Catman , February 10, 2019 at 4:15 pm

This past summer right around the time she went to Iowa with Bernie that she was on a Sunday morning talk show. The host asked a question that was pointed and would pin most pols into a corner they'd likely not want to be pinned to. AOC hesitated, thought, and said, "Yes, i'll grant that. I agree with that." or something very similar.
Her hesitation and then acceptance told me two things:
1. She knows herself and she's not frightened by it. Other pols lapse into meaningless nonsense and think defense first. AOC just moves forward aggressively because she's confident in what she believes in.
2. She knows her audience. She understands who she's talking to.
Criticism just bounces off someone like that.

Joe Well , February 10, 2019 at 12:32 pm

I had already seen the Now This video, and what is striking to me is that we have social media content producers like Now This that are willing to treat AOC seriously and give a platform for her ideas, unlike the TV news or most newspapers. Now This and AJ+ (Al Jazeera social video) specialize in making videos viral, so they are the proximate cause of this video going viral, unlike some earlier AOC videos.

Now This is owned by Group Nine Media which is an independent startup that has received millions in venture funding as well as a significant investment by Discovery Media, according to Wikipedia.

Also, Facebook's role is interesting because they are still allowing at least some left-leaning videos to go viral.

How much longer will we have these outlets before they turn into CNN, MSNBC, NYT, etc.?

Ashburn , February 10, 2019 at 12:40 pm

Thanks for this, JLS. I was very impressed with AOC when I first saw her campaign video in her race against Joe Crowley. Since that time she has become a force of nature not just in Washington but across the country and internationally. I believe she is most impressive politician I have ever seen and I am in my late sixties. She is simply thrilling to watch and I think she appeals to many outside of her progressive base. Naturally the Washington Post, with its neocon and neoliberal editorial page, will use every tool at its disposal to discredit her and any other progressive.

Hepativore , February 10, 2019 at 1:41 pm

The thing that worries me is that congress might find some way to remove her or shut her up if she continues to ruffle neoliberal feathers like this.

While it would be a very extreme measure, do you think that Congress might try to place her under Censure, and possibly even try building a case for Congressional Expulsion on bogus charges? It would be a very underhanded thing to do, but on the other hand, the neoliberals in both parties in Washington D.C. probably want to mount her head on a wall at this point.

flora , February 10, 2019 at 5:02 pm

AOC isn't beholden to the corporate donor/lobbyist/consultant owners of the Dem estab. If she isn't spending 30 hours a week dialing-for-dollars, and is free to represent her voters interests, she might give other Dems ideas, especially the younger ones . Gasp! can't have that! (/s)

https://www.businessinsider.com/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-slams-corruption-in-oversight-hearing-2019-2

see also dialing-for-dollars:
http://www.startribune.com/how-dialing-for-dollars-has-perverted-congress/378184931/

JohnnyGL , February 10, 2019 at 12:46 pm

I saw this one on Friday .captivating and jaw-dropping. I almost couldn't believe she just got as blunt as that.

I wonder if she's preparing anything to get a little revenge on Pelosi for the brilliantly withering scorn she dropped on the GND, turning it into the "Green Dream". I found myself laughing and annoyed at the same time.

Pelosi knows she's got a grip on the reigns of power and she's happy to rub it in the face of the new freshman class of what she sees as little more than noisemakers (not to dismiss the power of the noisemakers, they've done more than I could have anticipated).

AOC and friends have cards to play .let's see how they play them. They can't directly attack her, of course, they need her. But they can get attention, pressure and embarrass her to take various actions.

Susan the Other , February 10, 2019 at 12:59 pm

AOC is not reacting to Trump's socialism challenge. She is ignoring it as if it came from someone unqualified to be president. Imagine that. Or from masterful legislators so compromised by corruption they will only change when they get good and frightened. It might take a while because they have been too impervious to fear anything for so many decades they might not realize they are in danger. They might as well be very, very stupid. No, she's not taking the bait. Instead, she is pointing out what a corrupt thing both branches of government are, the legislature and, even worse and more dangerous, the president, and not merely because he is controlled by the military. She's playing chess for now. Checkmate will probably come from left field in the form of an economic collapse. Nothing to see here. Move along.

ambrit , February 10, 2019 at 1:54 pm

Fascinating as this is, I worry that AOC might get the "Rosa Luxembourg" treatment from the present day power elites.
Murder has become a standard operating procedure for American operatives overseas; see drone warfare as an example. The logic of Empire predicts that in general, the tactics used by the Empire overseas will be brought back to the Homeland for eventual use against domestic 'enemies.'
The 'Tinfoil Hat Cadres' can cite numerous examples of domestic killings with suspicious ties to internal politics. In the main, these 'examples' of evil are tied to individuals and smaller groups of the power elites. I fear that political murder has become normalized inside America's political classes.
Many here joke about "Mr. or Mz. 'X' better not take any small airplane flights for the foreseeable future." It may be a 'joke' to us, but it certainly is not a joke to those viewing their impending demise from 10,000 feet up in the air.

Hepativore , February 10, 2019 at 2:55 pm

They probably will not have to go to that much trouble. They can always invent a quasi-legal or illegal procedure to remove her from the senate, like the example I gave above with Censure or Expulsion. Plus, this will be officially-sanctioned by Washington D.C. and all of the major media outlets will be able to portray it as getting rid of a troublemaker who did not want to be a team player.

philnc , February 10, 2019 at 7:24 pm

Freuddian slip that, " remove her from the senate"? Actually, there have been open calls from within the establishment to primary her, or most recently, to gerrymander her House district out of existence. But that would just free her up to run for US Senate. It has been suggested that possibility might cause Sen. Schumer to put the kabosh on any effort to eliminate her district. As for a primary challenge, while it certainly would mean lots of walking around money for a select group of Democratic political consultants (the Republicans seem to have slurped up all the foreign regime-change work for this cycle), given AOC's position as the first or second most popular politician in the country (right up there with Bernie), that seems like a fool's errand.

Adam Eran , February 10, 2019 at 2:39 pm

Nice to know that anyone is saying this in a public forum.

In a bit of coincidence, I heard and adviser to Jerry Brown recite the current political system's creed, saying that just because candidates get money from special interests doesn't mean they're captives to those interests. It was astonishing to hear because the speaker said this without the slightest hesitation The rest of us in the room paused for a moment.

I replied that psychological studies demonstrate that if I give you a piece of gum, not millions in campaign contributions, you're likely to be more favorably disposed to what I say.

so we agreed to disagree. Personally, I've interpreted reciting this creed as a kind of initiation the prerequisite to belong to the religion that currently governs the country, not as something the guy actually believed. Like Michael Corleone's recitation at his children's christening Sure, it's a toxic religion, but there are so many of those the cult of vengeance, for example (why else would Americans incarcerate so many people).

dk , February 10, 2019 at 3:31 pm

The context of AOC's hypothetical 100%-PAC-financed campaign:

Meet the Most Corporate PAC-Reliant Reps in Congress

Here are the eight House representatives who took more than two-thirds of their overall campaign funding in the 2018 cycle from PACs representing corporations and corporate trade associations:

https://readsludge.com/2019/01/16/meet-the-most-corporate-pac-reliant-reps-in-congress/

Wyoming , February 10, 2019 at 3:33 pm

My interpretation of the relationship between Pelosi and AOC.

I don't think at all that Pelosi is out to crush AOC. She certainly does not agree with most of AOC's policies (after all Pelosi's path to power was different and she is irrevocably wedded to it) but I think she operates on a different plane here.

Pelosi's rise to power was arduous and her success came from her brilliance in overcoming a wide range of obstacles. She is focused, smart, relentless and ruthless. She earned her power and will not give it away. (what she uses her power for is not really relevant in this discussion)

I think she recognizes in AOC a woman not that dissimilar to herself but separated by a couple of generations. She will not try and destroy her as AOC is not a meaningful threat to her and she can leverage politically from AOC's huge impact in ways only Pelois is likely to know how to do. She will make AOC earn her own power by proving she can overcome obstacles and has the smarts and fortitude to take what she wants in spite of what her opponents do to stop her (opponents come from all directions in politics) – just as she did. That kind of behavior is what Pelosi respects. She could have prevented AOC from being on the committee she used as a platform for the above exposure of corruption but she did not – and it is certain that Pelosi was aware of the potential for AOC to use it to her advantage, or not. So AOC just passed a test there will be many more. She may eventually fall, or she may be one of the rare occurrences of someone rising to prominence and changing the world. She is where she is at at 29 years old! I am sure that scares the crap out of her political opponents as anyone can see tremendous upside for her should she continue to develop. Here's wishing her luck – we need people like her more than any other kind by far.

John k , February 10, 2019 at 7:21 pm

I'd take it, but sounds wishful. Never underestimate incompetence. Pelosi is where she is not because of brilliance but because she is the bag lady.
Pelosi might have made a deal to get her support for speaker, which was more important to her.
Or she might think that AOC would quiet down once she got up on the totem pole, just as she would have done.
Seems unlikely for somebody that believes in the rich and powerful Uber alles would otherwise support somebody that wants to topple that temple.

notabanker , February 10, 2019 at 8:45 pm

AOC's appointment to Fin Svcs is an interesting one. House Oversight Environmental sub committee is useful to Pelosi to have AOC go after Trump, but I'm not sure what Pelosi gets out of the Fin Svcs committee. A quid pro quo for Speaker support makes some sense on the surface.

Interesting as well, AOC turned down an appointment to the Select GND committee and explained it as a timing issue, being asked after her previous two appointments and not having the bandwidth to take on the Select committee and do her job well.

I can read some things into that:
– AOC values those two committee assignments. She's pretty wise to not bite off more than she can chew.
– That Select committee is pretty meaningless. She got the resolution she wanted introduced.
– Did Pelosi underestimate her early and then try to bury her with work? Or did she force her to compromise either the spotlight she will have tearing people up on FS and Oversight or the content of the GND resolution?

I think you have two very savvy political women facing off here, both know it, and both are working a long term game of chess. The generational gap is a huge advantage and disadvantage for both. For now, they are going to leverage it/each other and play their roles. Sometime before the DNC convention in 2020 pieces are going to be played that changes the dynamic. The outcome of that will dictate the path post 2020 convention. The odds of a progressive House are slim. Progressive President a little better. AOC will need Pelosi especially with a Progressive Presidency. Pelosi will need her with a Progressive President. Centrist President relegates AOC to noise in terms of actual House business.

Will be interesting.

VietnamVet , February 10, 2019 at 5:24 pm

AOC is exposing the corruption of paid politics. Virginia Democrats, Donald Trump, and Jeff Bezos illuminate the dark secrets that the plutocratic system uses to keep the connected in line. This is breaking down. Oligarchs are at war. Neoliberalism is stealing life away from the little people and destroying the world. She is a noble in the good old fashion classical sense. Compare her to Adam Schiff. This is visceral. This is good versus evil.

Octopii , February 10, 2019 at 6:02 pm

Brings back fond memories of Alan Grayson's rundowns of the republican healthcare plan (if you do get sick, die quickly) and socializing losses (now we all own the red roof inn).

Wukchumni , February 10, 2019 at 7:07 pm

This was my favorite Grayson grilling, watch Bernanke squirm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0NYBTkE1yQ

Clark , February 10, 2019 at 8:56 pm

AOC was even more riveting than Alan Grayson. I'd forgotten about the Bernanke grilling, although his marvelous skewering of the Fed general counsel (Alvarez, I think his name was) about where all the gazillion dollars of bailout money went was also pretty special. "Answer the question." "Congressman, I did answer the question." "No you didn't. Answer the question."

voteforno6 , February 10, 2019 at 6:39 pm

We're going to see more of this in the future remember, AOC doesn't do "call time," so she'll have plenty of opportunities to engage in hearings like this.

Kael , February 10, 2019 at 7:31 pm

She and the panel missed an important opportunity to point out that what gets you on a committee is raising money from the industry regulated by that committee. Instead they just said there is no illegality in working on related legislation.

Maybe this uniquely Article I corruption, didn't fit with her The President Is Even Worse thesis. But she has the skills to tie it to Article II, revolving door scams. I hope she does so soon.

polecat , February 10, 2019 at 8:21 pm

I know that Big Oil is a baddie nic on AOC's quiver, but why not hit at the black heart of HighFinance,, and their kin, WhiteShoeBoy Big-n-Legal who are, mostly likely, some of the biggest, and most manipulative donors around. I think loosing arrows constantly the earl cos., to the exclusion of other nefarious principals might loose some steam, especially when most of the country's citizens rely considerably on FFs as a means of fueling their ground transport, to say nothing of air travel. An example : She could hit Biden by name, with regard to his imput and substantial influence, in passing legislation that has only screwed a generation .. or few !!
So, if she's serious for change, for the better, for the Commons, she needs some specific bulleyes to aim at, many of whom are within her own party !

Richard , February 10, 2019 at 9:11 pm

It's not clear to me how this hearing happened, Can anyone enlighten? Can AOC just schedule her own hearings on her own topics, call her own witnesses? I have no idea how those committees work.

Parker Dooley , February 10, 2019 at 10:38 pm

Apologies to Barry Manilow, but --

I've been alive forever
And I wrote the very first law
I put the weasel words together
I am power and I write the laws

I write the laws that make my wealth increase
I write the laws of war and other hateful things
I write the laws that let the poor folks die
I write the laws, I write the laws

My home lies far above you
But my claws are deep into your soul
Now, when I ignore your cries
I'm young again, even though I'm very old

I write the laws that make my wealth increase
I write the laws of war and other hateful things
I write the laws that let the poor folks die
I write the laws, I write the laws

Oh my greed makes you dance
And lets you know you have no chance
And I wrote foreclosure laws so you must move
Dejection fills your heart
Well, that's a real fine place to start
It's all for me it's not for you
It's all from you, it's all for me
It's a worldwide travesty

I write the laws that make my wealth increase
I write the laws of war and other hateful things
I write the laws that let the poor folks die
I write the laws, I write the laws

I write the laws that make my wealth increase
I write the laws of war and other hateful things
I write the laws that let the poor folks die
I write the laws, I write the laws
I am power and I write the laws

[Feb 10, 2019] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Exposes the Problem of Dark Money in Politics NowThis - YouTube

Highly recommended!
Feb 10, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Published on Feb 8, 2019

'We have a system that is fundamentally broken.' -- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is explaining just how f*cked campaign finance laws really are.
" Subscribe to NowThis: http://go.nowth.is/News_Subscribe

In the latest liberal news and political news, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made headlines at a recent congressional hearing on money in politics by explaining and inquiring about political corruption. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, aka AOC, went into the issues of lobbyists and Super PACs and how the political establishment, including Donald Trump, uses big money to their advantage, to hide and obfuscate, and push crooked agendas. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is a rising star in the Democratic Party and House of Representatives.

#AlexandriaOcasioCortez #AOC #DarkMoney #politics

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Patrick NEZ , 2 days ago

Good for her. Unfortunately a number of American citizens aren't intelligent enough to realize this exact scenario is playing out right now!

Avembe , 2 days ago

OMG this lady is just a nuclear weapon by herself.

ATX World , 2 days ago

Love this feisty congresswoman. I can see why AOC is dislike by the right and even many democrats. She's in DC to work for the American ppl and not enrich herself or special interest. Love the 2018 class and hope they make changes and clean up DC.

TrueDaxian , 2 days ago

AOC is amazing, pointing out all the fundamental wrongs in our political system. I hope she stays in Congress as long as possible to spread her influence.

Lani Tuitupou , 2 days ago

True bravery and leadership in the face of corruption ! I love this woman

Michael Zinns , 2 days ago

AOC is speaking out when no one else will about the corruption in Washington. She is disliked because she is actually fighting for people. This makes me want to move to New York just so I can vote for her. Keep it up the pressure.

Aracelis Morales Garcia de Ramos , 2 days ago

She is going to be needing extra security. She's poised to take them down and we know how these things have been handled in the past. I'm loving her fearlessness but worry for her safety. May she be protected and blessed. SMIB

[Feb 10, 2019] In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex.

Feb 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: February 9, 2019 at 9:35 am GMT

@NoseytheDuke Face it -- he neither believed nor understood those Stephen Miller speeches. Coming from the mouth of Donald Trump, they were lies.

Why do so many of you intelligent people still buy into the political puppet show, expecting BigGov to fix itself? Electoral politics, judicial confirmations, etc, are orchestrated conflict to keep dissidence channeled and harmlessly blown off as the Empire lurches along.

There are other columnists here at Unz who have been calling the Beltway BS for years. For example:

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

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

Linh Dinh, June 12, 2016

[Feb 10, 2019] Can Elizabeth Warren reclaim her role as Democrats' top foil to Trump? by Sabrina Siddiqui in

Notable quotes:
"... The job paid minimum wage and exposed Warren firsthand to the topics that would later define her career: the power of corporations and the effects of bankruptcy on the American consumer. ..."
"... Warren, who had been sharply critical of Clinton in part over her ties to Wall Street, ultimately chose not to challenge her for the Democratic party's nomination and endorsed the former secretary of state's campaign. It was also during this time that Warren proved among the few capable of getting under then candidate Donald Trump's skin. ..."
"... At the same time, Warren became a top target of conservatives and Trump himself. The president has repeatedly mocked Warren with the derisive nickname "Pocahontas" – including at an event intended to honor Native Americans. ..."
"... Republicans first tried to push the notion that Warren used her Native American ancestry to further her career in the 2012 Senate race, homing in on a single questionnaire in which she claimed mixed ancestry. ..."
"... But the matter did not end there. The Washington Post published a story revealing Warren listed her race as "American Indian" while seeking a Texas bar registration card in 1986. ..."
"... Warren's platform includes the single-payer healthcare system Medicare for All, debt-free college tuition and anti-corruption legislation designed to restore accountability in government. She is also poised to unveil a proposal that would impose a wealth tax on Americans worth over $50m. ..."
Feb 10, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Warren's official entry into the race has differed sharply from when she captured widespread liberal enthusiasm in her unlikely bid for the Senate seven years ago.

The two-term senator will join a crowded Democratic primary field with no clear frontrunner – and several contenders jockeying to claim the progressive mantle that she aspires to grasp. She has also found herself contending with a lingering controversy for previously identifying as Native American over the course of nearly two decades.

The question now is whether Warren, who moved early to build an expansive field operation in anticipation of her presidential run, can overcome early setbacks and reclaim her role as the Democratic party's top foil to Donald Trump.

divider

Born to middle-class parents in Norman, Oklahoma , Warren has spoken candidly about how her family's livelihood was upended when her father's heart attack forced him out of work. Addressing crowds across the country, Warren often recalls how her late mother – determined not to lose the family's home – "pulled on her best dress" and got her first paying job at the department store Sears.

The job paid minimum wage and exposed Warren firsthand to the topics that would later define her career: the power of corporations and the effects of bankruptcy on the American consumer.

Her research in bankruptcy law – and the impact on the average person's medical bills, mortgage payments and other installments – led Warren to become a leading expert on the subject and rise in the academia world.

"These are the issues she still cares about," said Charles Fried, a professor at Harvard Law School who helped recruit Warren to its faculty.

"I think she is extraordinary for this reason, that she got into politics because she cared about some issues. She didn't get into politics because she wanted to be in office and then tried to figure out what issues she cared about."

Warren cultivated a profile as a populist firebrand against the backdrop of the Great Recession, earning the ire of Wall Street by spearheading the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – an agency established under the Obama administration as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill of 2010.

Upon being passed over to head the agency she helped create, Warren decided to continue the fight from within the government, embarking on a campaign to win back the late senator and liberal icon Ted Kennedy's seat from the Republican incumbent, Scott Brown, in the high-profile 2012 Massachusetts Senate race.

Roughly $70m was spent on the bitterly waged contest, which catapulted Warren to the national stage.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Elizabeth Warren speaks during day two of the Democratic national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, on 5 September 2012. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The race also saw Warren cement herself as a leader of the burgeoning progressive movement within the Democratic party; branding the choice before voters as "Wall Street versus you", Warren viewed the election as an opportunity to hand a major defeat to what she once dubbed as "the largest lobbying force ever assembled on the face of the earth".

Following her victory, Warren's profile grew so rapidly that speculation swiftly emerged over a potential White House run in 2016, despite the inevitability of Hillary Clinton's candidacy. A group of progressives even mounted a #DraftWarren campaign.

Warren, who had been sharply critical of Clinton in part over her ties to Wall Street, ultimately chose not to challenge her for the Democratic party's nomination and endorsed the former secretary of state's campaign. It was also during this time that Warren proved among the few capable of getting under then candidate Donald Trump's skin.

After Trump derided Clinton as a "nasty woman", Warren famously riffed: "Get this, Donald. Nasty women are tough, nasty women are smart and nasty women vote, and on November 8, we nasty women are going to march our nasty feet to cast our nasty votes to get you out of our lives forever."

The 2016 presidential election did not, however, produce the groundswell of unified opposition to Trump that Democrats had hoped for. Instead, it left the party in search of a clear leader to fill the void left by Obama's departure from the White House.

For Warren, it looked as though her moment had arrived.

In the early days of the Trump administration, Warren quickly emerged as the face of the Democratic opposition, matching the president's tweets with sharp ripostes of her own and holding his cabinet nominees to account when they appeared for consideration before congressional committees.

During the confirmation process for the former attorney general Jeff Sessions, Warren famously read a letter written 30 years prior by Coretta Scott King, in which the widow of Dr Martin Luther King Jr warned of Sessions' civil rights record from the time of his nomination for a federal judgeship.

Silenced by Republicans mid-speech on the Senate floor, Warren read the letter on Facebook Live. The hashtag #LetLizSpeak trended on Twitter and the phrase "Nevertheless, she persisted" was coined.

At the same time, Warren became a top target of conservatives and Trump himself. The president has repeatedly mocked Warren with the derisive nickname "Pocahontas" – including at an event intended to honor Native Americans.

Although Warren long ignored the president's taunts, she took the unusual step of addressing the issue head on in October by making public the results of a DNA test revealing that she did, in fact, have some Native American ancestry.

Rather than putting the topic to rest, Warren's move was rebuked by some tribal leaders, who felt it politicized their identity, and reignited the story.

Republicans first tried to push the notion that Warren used her Native American ancestry to further her career in the 2012 Senate race, homing in on a single questionnaire in which she claimed mixed ancestry.

An exhaustive investigation by the Boston Globe found no evidence that Warren benefited from doing so, and nearly every living Harvard law professor involved in her hiring has said it was not a factor in their votes to offer her a tenured position.

"When we brought her to Harvard, no one had a clue that she thought of herself as Native American," said Laurence Tribe, the school's professor of constitutional law.

"I think she's had an unfair rap," he added. "I don't think it's the case that she ever exploited her family's background or ancestry in a way that some people seem to think she did."

The Cherokee nation, one of the groups that was critical of Warren, said she privately apologized to to tribal leaders.

But the matter did not end there. The Washington Post published a story revealing Warren listed her race as "American Indian" while seeking a Texas bar registration card in 1986. Warren apologized once more, telling reporters: "I'm not a tribal citizen.

"My apology is an apology for not having been more sensitive about tribal citizenship and tribal sovereignty. I really want to underline the point, tribes and only tribes determine tribal citizenship."

Warren remains a popular figure in the Democratic party and was easily re-elected to a second Senate term in the 2018 midterm elections.

Even so, she received fewer votes in her home state than Charlie Baker, the Republican governor of Massachusetts, prompting Warren's hometown paper to urge the senator to reconsider a presidential bid.

"While Warren won re-election, her margin of victory in November suggests there's a ceiling on her popularity," the Boston Globe editorial board wrote. "Baker garnered more votes than she did in a state that is supposed to be a Democratic haven."

She's hard-edged, not personally, but ideologically. She takes very sharp and controversial positions

Barney Frank

"While Warren is an effective and impactful senator with an important voice nationally, she has become a divisive figure," the board added. "A unifying voice is what the country needs now after the polarizing politics of Donald Trump." Those close to Warren dismissed the editorial as having more to do with the personal biographies and inclinations of those who sit on the board. "She's hard-edged, not personally, but ideologically," said Frank. "She takes very sharp and controversial positions."

"So, yeah, they're going to be people who are unhappy with her."

More challenging for Warren, friends and former colleagues said, would be the task of distinguishing herself within a diverse field of Democratic candidates that includes at least three of her Senate colleagues and a record number of women seeking the party's nomination.

Warren's platform includes the single-payer healthcare system Medicare for All, debt-free college tuition and anti-corruption legislation designed to restore accountability in government. She is also poised to unveil a proposal that would impose a wealth tax on Americans worth over $50m.

Fried, who served as solicitor general under Ronald Reagan, said he disagreed with some of the more expansive economic policies touted by Warren. But her greatest asset as a candidate, he acknowledged, would be to approach the campaign with the same steely resolve to elevate the middle class that endeared her to voters seven years ago.

Although he is only occasionally in touch with Warren as she embarks on what will undoubtedly be a grueling campaign for America's highest office, Fried recalled recently sending Warren a lengthy article about capitalism and income inequality.

To his surprise, he received a response from Warren 10 days later. She had not only taken the time to read the article, but highlighted a portion that stood out to her. "How many presidential candidates would do that?" Fried asked. In her email, Warren also recounted to her old colleague how not very long ago they sat together on a flight discussing the prospects of a Clinton presidency. That day never came to fruition, Warren noted. "I don't know what lies ahead," she added. "But I know what I'm fighting for."

[Feb 10, 2019] 'Rigged system': will Warren's rage against the rich win over 2020 voters? by Josh Wood

Feb 09, 2019 | -> www.theguardian.com

While controversy around her heritage lingers, voters call the Democrat's fight against economic injustice 'inspiring' On a cold, blustery January day in 1912, immigrant women walked out of the Everett Mill in the -> Massachusetts factory town of Lawrence demanding higher wages and better working conditions. Mill owners and city government responded in a swift and heavy-handed manner; local militias and police forces were called to the streets. Protesters died. Many more were arrested.

On a cold, blustery February day 117 years later, the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren stood in front of Everett Mill -> to announce her candidacy for president of the United States , channeling the spirit of those women as she told her supporters that they were in a fight for their lives against a rigged system that favors the rich and powerful.

ss="rich-link"> Why women 2020 candidates face 'likability' question even as they make history Read more

"These workers – led by women – didn't have much. Not even a common language. Nevertheless, they persisted," she said. "The story of Lawrence is about how real change happens in America. It's a story about power – our power – when we fight together."

For Warren, who grew up in an economically struggling Oklahoma household and who first rose to mainstream prominence by handing out practical financial advice to American families, the word "fight" is central to her platform and political ethos – it was a word peppered throughout her speech.

But on Saturday, she made clear that hers was not just a fight against president Donald Trump, but against a system she described as one where the rich, privileged and powerful oppress the rest of the country.

-> Facebook Twitter Pinterest Supporters in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

"The man in the White House is not the cause of what is broken, he is just the latest – and most extreme – symptom of what's gone wrong in America, a product of a rigged system that props up the rich and the powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else," she said. "So once he's gone, we can't pretend that all of this never happened."

The backdrop of the mill, where the so-called Bread and Roses strikes originated, was symbolic. But so too was the choice of the modern day city of Lawrence, which is one of those places in America that has felt left behind in recent times. To many in New England, Lawrence is synonymous with crime, drugs and poverty. The Republican governors of Maine and New Hampshire have invoked the city's name when laying blame for the opioid crises in their states. As was the case at the time of the strikes, Lawrence is a working class city of immigrants, with a population that is about 80% Latino. It is a city where wealth is nearby, but out of reach for many.

Sebastian Brown, 31, moved to Lawrence five years ago. While he had yet to choose a candidate to support, he was excited by Warren's message and was happy Warren chose the town as the site of her announcement.

ass="inline-garnett-quote inline-icon ">

I think we need a woman president and I think it will be the fight of our lives

Vicki Ward, rally attendee

"This is a working class city. And I think her – and Bernie [Sanders] – are running on platforms that speak to the working class and how they're being screwed over by the rich and powerful," he said. "And I think she's a great messenger for it."

While there was optimism about Warren's candidacy at her rally, she enters an already crowded Democratic field amid -> r enewed controversy over her past identification as Native American.

For years now – since even before he was president – -> Trump has needled Warren on the issue , calling her "Pocahontas". He and others accuse Warren of falsely presenting herself as Native American to gain unfair advantages in life.

The controversy was re-ignited last week when the Washington Post -> published Warren's 1986 registration card for the Texas State Bar. In it, she listed "American Indian" as her race.

Warren has now apologised repeatedly for identifying as Native American, saying in recent days that she "should have been more mindful of the distinction with tribal citizenship and tribal sovereignty". She still maintains that Native American ancestry was part of her family's story passed down to her.

-> Facebook Twitter Pinterest Elizabeth Warren called Donald Trump the 'most extreme' symptom of a broken system. Photograph: Cj Gunther/EPA

How damaging the controversy will be remains to be see. Warren enters a diverse Democratic field where other candidates belong to minority groups: New Jersey senator -> Cory Booker is African American ; -> California senator Kamala Harris was born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father. -> Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is both the first Hindu and first Samoan-American member of Congress, and the former San Antonio mayor -> Julián Castro is Latino . When the Democratic race gets heated, Warren's portrayal of race could prove to be a point of attack.

Peter Devlin, a 56-year-old dentist from the nearby town of North Andover, said he was at the rally to hear what Warren had to say but said that the Native American controversy "is going to be a problem" for her campaign.

"I voted for her as senator, but I'm concerned about her electability," he said. "It's going to be a tough run. She's got a bit of baggage and she's so sort of cliche progressive liberal that I think there's a lot of America that's not up for that. But I want to hear what she's up to."

ss="rich-link"> Stacey Abrams on the ticket? Democrat's star turn fuels talk for 2020 Read more

However, other attendees, like 64-year-old Vicki Ward, who drove two hours to the event from Vermont, were ready to throw their support behind Warren on the first day of the senator's presidential campaign.

"I think she's got the qualities that we need," she said. "I think we need a woman president and I think it will be the fight of our lives."

Maryann Johnson, who came to Warren's announcement from New Hampshire, also said she was already sold on Warren.

"I basically agreed with everything she said. We need to have more equality, there needs to be less corruption in government," she said. "She's inspiring."

Topics -> Elizabeth Warren -> US elections 2020 -> Massachusetts -> Democrats -> US politics analysis Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

[Feb 09, 2019] 5 Things To Know About Cory Booker

Feb 09, 2019 | politics.theonion.com

1. WHY DOES BOOKER WANT TO BE PRESIDENT?

Hopes it could finally be his ticket out of New Jersey.

... ... ...

[Feb 09, 2019] Tucker Carlson A Buckley for Our Time Intercollegiate Studies Institute Educating for Liberty

Notable quotes:
"... National Review ..."
"... National Review ..."
"... Justin Raimondo is the author of ..."
Feb 09, 2019 | home.isi.org

The Bill Buckley of the paleoconservatives has arrived, and just in time for the Trump era. While Tucker Carlson's rhetorical reach may not stretch as far and wide as Buckley's, he evokes the same gaily combative spirit that young conservatives of the 1960s admired in the founder of National Review . Both emerged as symbols of a new and rising movement, an insurgency on the right that delighted in confronting and demolishing the mythology of modern liberalism -- "owning the libs" as we say nowadays -- as Buckley regularly did on his PBS-aired TV show Firing Line and as Carlson does five times a week on Fox News.

Yet that is where the resemblance ends. The "fusionism" of Buckley and National Review was a far cry from the unreconstructed America First-ism of an earlier American right, so ably reconfigured by Carlson for the twenty-first century. The original Buckley program brought together the three contending factions of the conservative movement: the anti-communists, the social conservatives, and the nascent libertarian movement. The America First coalition personified by Carlson connects the paleoconservatives, long thought to be the least influential of the right's many factions, with millions of radicalized middle Americans, the inhabitants of "flyover country" -- that is, the least influential people in the nation, the "forgotten people" Trump directly appealed to.

The revolution in conservative thought represented by Carlson sets many of what Buckley would have recognized as the central principles of modern conservatism on their head. Beyond that, however, is the fundamental difference in their respective positions: Buckley came to be part of the political class, the coastal elite that has ruled the nation since its earliest days: Carlson targets those people as the hapless captains of a "ship of fools," the title of his new book.

A decadent and self-isolated elite elected Donald Trump, says Carlson. Yes, somewhat tiresomely, Carlson launches his polemic with the eternal search for whom to "blame" for the victory of the "unappealing," "vulgar and ignorant" Trump. Once we get past this boilerplate, however, Carlson homes in on the real problem: the bicoastal oligarchy that dominates the rest of the country and is determined to hold on to power no matter what the cost.

They invaded Iraq on a pretext, bailed out Wall Street, lowered interest rates to zero, unleashed an unprecedented tide of immigration, and stood by while the country's manufacturing foundation was eaten away and the middle class collapsed. Yet still, the oligarchs felt entitled to rule, and they certainly expected to continue their rule beyond that November night in 2016, despite the fact that they were lording it over a population with which they had almost nothing in common.

In a phrase that will surely earn him howls of outrage from the guardians of political correctness, Carlson describes the "Latin Americanization" of the U.S. economy, where the income distribution curve is coming to resemble what one might find under a new form of feudalism. The Democrats, once the party of the working class, now advance the interests of the progressive bourgeoisie in D.C., New York, and Silicon Valley.

This Latin Americanization process is not defined merely by the isolation of the ruling class, its arrogance and indifference to the fate of its own people, but also by a major demographic project: the wholesale substitution of more pliable subjects for the voting population. When the East Germans of the German Democratic Republic rose up in rebellion and the communists solicited ideas to get back in the workers' good graces, the Stalinist poet/playwright Bertolt Brecht opined, "Would it not be easier in that case for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?" That is precisely what is happening. The American people never voted for it. Indeed, at every chance they have been given to express their opinion on mass immigration and open borders, the result has been an overwhelming and unmitigated rejection of both.

Carlson raises a question that no one else dares ask, for fear of the answer: Are we a country anymore? Or are we a sprawling borderless empire that simply expands and spreads, unbidden, like some mindless amoeba? "Again and again, we are told that these changes are entirely good," Carlson writes. "Change itself is inherently virtuous, our leaders explain. Those who oppose it are bigots." We have no common language, culture, history -- so why should we remain a country?

Our rulers cannot and will not answer this question. It violates everything they believe, everything they hold sacred: it strikes at the very heart of their worldview. Carlson points out that this country is in the midst of a disorienting, alienating, and potentially dangerous transformation that is changing the kind of country we were into something that may not be a country at all. If you oppose this, you're an enemy of diversity -- which is now our highest value.

We are not allowed to debate this: like all religious dogmas, it is beyond dispute, and any questioning of its wisdom is apt to get you run out of town on a rail. The penalty is so high because the policy is so unpopular, except with the bicoastal oligarchy, which imports cheap computer nerds from India to run their companies and Guatemalan nannies to raise their children. Mexican gardeners order their landscapes, while robbers, rapists, and drug dealers in this country illegally spread disorder in the neighborhoods on the other side of the railroad tracks. Not that the elites care: it isn't happening in the leafy suburbs they inhabit, which haven't changed since 1956.

And they wonder why the peasants with pitchforks are on the march. Not even the Bourbons were this indifferent to reality. How could they not have seen Trump and the upsurge of right-wing populism coming? How could they not have realized that, as Carlson puts it, "virtually none of their core beliefs had majority support from the population they governed. It was a strange arrangement for a democracy. In the end, it was unsustainable."

Right down the line, from immigration to foreign policy to the economic policies that enriched Silicon Valley and impoverished Middle America, the Davos crowd's agenda is the polar opposite of what most Americans want. Indeed, if a single phrase embodies the new conservative dispensation's view of the elite's policy agenda, and its conservative doppelgänger, Trump's supporters on the right often repeat it with ill-concealed contempt: Invade the world, invite the world.

This was the policy of the George W. Bush administration, and, with only slight rhetorical modifications, the mind-set that animated the Obama administration, not to mention most of the 2016 would-be Republican aspirants. Yet Americans of both parties were sick and tired of being lied to about the most disastrous war in their history, so they ignored the establishment outcries when Trump denounced the Iraq War as based on a lie. Trump was supposed to lose the South Carolina primary due to this "faux pas," but as usual the conventional wisdom was wrong: he won overwhelmingly.

Carlson's chapter on our "Foolish Wars" does something I have seen no other conservative work do: it documents the betrayal of the neoconservatives and their attempted reentry into the legions of the left. Max Boot, formerly a minor neocon known for advocating an "American empire," has now become one of many competing gurus of the NeverTrumpers and is busily trying to convince his newfound leftist comrades that he's really one of them. Carlson's mere listing of all the countries Boot has demanded we hit underscores the sheer craziness and lack of accountability that has dominated our discourse for years.

One almost feels sorry for Bill Kristol -- almost! -- as Carlson documents the trail of failed predictions ("They'll greet us as liberators!") and disastrous policies initiated by the little Lenin of the neocons. It's a virtually unbroken record of failed bets, miscalculations, and outright lies spelled out over decades -- a record that would doom any other pundit to irrelevance, instead of gifting him a prime spot on the cable networks and the op-ed pages.

Buckley made room for the neoconservatives when they defected from a pacifistic Democratic Party in the 1960s. Now Carlson is formalizing their unceremonious exit from the right by giving them a good shove. They'll land on their feet: they always do, like a hobo jumping off a boxcar. Let Tucker's book serve as a warning to the next train they try to hitch a ride on. ♦

Justin Raimondo is the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (ISI Books).

[Feb 07, 2019] Government shutdown, Venezuela Donald Trump evolves into the best propagator of neoliberal fascism that tends to become a norm

Notable quotes:
"... The imperialists want to grab the rich oil fields for the US big oil cartel ..."
"... Venezuela must not become an example for other countries in the region on social-programs policy ..."
"... Venezuela must not turn to cooperation with rival powers like China and Russia. Such a prospect may give the country the ability to minimize the effects of the economic war ..."
"... So, when Trump declared the unelected Juan Guaido as the 'legitimate president' of Venezuela, all the main neoliberal powers of the West rushed to follow the decision. ..."
"... Donald Trump is the personification of an authoritarian system that increasingly unveils its true nature. The US empire makes the Venezuelan economy 'scream hard', as it did in Chile in 1973. The country then turned into the first laboratory of neoliberalism with the help of the Chicago Boys and a brutal dictatorship. So, as the big fraud is clear now, neoliberalism is losing ground and ideological influence over countries and societies, after decades of complete dominance. ..."
Feb 07, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

Even before the 2016 US presidential election, this blog supported that Donald Trump is a pure sample of neoliberal barbarism . Many almost laughed at this perception because Trump was being already promoted, more or less, as the 'terminator' of the neoliberal establishment. And many people, especially in the US, tired from the economic disasters, the growing inequality and the endless wars, were anxious to believe that this was indeed his special mission.

Right after the elections, we supported that the US establishment gave a brilliant performance by putting its reserve, Donald Trump, in power, against the only candidate that the same establishment identified as a real threat: Bernie Sanders.

Then, Trump sent the first shock wave to his supporters by literally hiring the Goldman Sachs banksters to run the economy. And right after that, he signed for more deregulation in favor of the Wall Street mafia that ruined the economy in 2008.

In 2017 , Trump bombed Syria for the first time, resembling the lies that led us to the Iraq war disaster. Despite the fact that the US Tomahawk missile attack had zero value in operational level (the United States allegedly warned Russia and Syria, while the targeted airport was operating normally just hours after the attack), Trump sent a clear message to the US deep state that he is prepared to meet all its demands - and especially the escalation of the confrontation with Russia.

Indeed, a year later, Trump built a pro-war team that includes the most bloodthirsty, hawkish neocons. And then, he ordered a second airstrike against Syria, together with his neocolonial friends.

In the middle of all this 'orgy' of pro-establishment moves, Trump offered a controversial withdrawal of US forces from Syria and Afghanistan to save whatever was possible from his 'anti-interventionist' profile. And it was indeed a highly controversial action with very little value, considering all these US military bases that are still fully operational in the broader Middle East and beyond. Not to mention the various ways through which the US intervenes in the area (training proxies, equip them with heavy weapons, supporting the Saudis and contribute to war crimes in Yemen, etc.)

And then , after this very short break, Trump returned to 'business as usual' to satisfy the neoliberal establishment with a 'glorious' record. He achieved a 35-day government shutdown, which is the "longest shutdown in US history" .

Trump conducted the longest experiment on neoliberals' ultimate goal: abolishing the annoying presence of the state. And this was just a taste of what Trump is willing to do in order to satisfy all neoliberals' wet dreams.

And now, we have the Venezuela issue. Since Hugo Chavez nationalized PDVSA, the central oil and natural gas company, the US empire launched a fierce economic war against the country. Yet, while all previous US administrations were trying to replace legitimate governments with their puppets as much silently as possible through slow-motion coup operations, Trump has no problem to do it in plain sight.

And perhaps the best proof for that is a statement by one of the most warmongering figures of the neocon/neoliberal cabal, hired by Trump . As John Bolton cynically and openly admitted recently, " It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela. "

Therefore, one should be very naive of course to believe that the Western imperialist gang seriously cares about the Venezuelan people and especially the poor. Here are three basic reasons behind the open US intervention in Venezuela:

  1. The imperialists want to grab the rich oil fields for the US big oil cartel, as well as the great untapped natural resources , particularly gold (mostly for the Canadian companies).
  2. Venezuela must not become an example for other countries in the region on social-programs policy, which is mainly funded by the oil production. The imperialists know that they must interrupt the path of Venezuela to real Socialism by force if necessary. Neoliberalism must prevail by all means for the benefit of the big banks and corporations.
  3. Venezuela must not turn to cooperation with rival powers like China and Russia. Such a prospect may give the country the ability to minimize the effects of the economic war. The country may find an alternative to escape the Western sanctions in order to fund its social programs for the benefit of the people. And, of course, the West will never accept the exploitation of the Venezuelan resources by the Sino-Russian bloc.

So, when Trump declared the unelected Juan Guaido as the 'legitimate president' of Venezuela, all the main neoliberal powers of the West rushed to follow the decision.

This is something we have never seen before. The 'liberal democracies' of the West - only by name - immediately, uncritically and without hesitation jumped on the same boat with Trump towards this outrageously undemocratic action. They recognized Washington's puppet as the legitimate president of a third country. A man that was never elected by the Venezuelan people and has very low popularity in the country. Even worse, the EU parliament approved this action , killing any last remnants of democracy in the Union.

Yet, it seems that the US is finding increasingly difficult to force many countries to align with its agenda. Even some European countries took some distance from the attempted constitutional coup, with Italy even trying to veto EU's decision to recognize Guaido.

Donald Trump is the personification of an authoritarian system that increasingly unveils its true nature. The US empire makes the Venezuelan economy 'scream hard', as it did in Chile in 1973. The country then turned into the first laboratory of neoliberalism with the help of the Chicago Boys and a brutal dictatorship. So, as the big fraud is clear now, neoliberalism is losing ground and ideological influence over countries and societies, after decades of complete dominance.

This unprecedented action by the Western neoliberal powers to recognize Guaido is a serious sign that neoliberalism returns to its roots and slips towards fascism. It appears now that this is the only way to maintain some level of power.

[Feb 07, 2019] I am 70 and am thinking that when I was growing up the US Democrats represented the concepts of socialism and the Republicans that of capitalism. Today I see the Democrats as representing capitalism and Republicans representing fascism.

Feb 07, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Feb 7, 2019 9:29:56 PM | link

I just had this insight and wanted to share it here.

I am 70 and am thinking that when I was growing up the US Democrats represented the concepts of socialism and the Republicans that of capitalism. Today I see the Democrats as representing capitalism and Republicans representing fascism.

A commenter on another thread asked me about my China socialism focus and referred to the US Interstate highway system initiated in the Eisenhower era when the marginal tax rate was in the low 90 percent range. America has and continues to embrace aspects of socialism they refuse to believe exists in America.......the effects of MSM brainwashing and propaganda. China is attempting a mixed economy favoring socialism AFAICT

[Feb 07, 2019] Bernie arrived on the scene like a time traveler from an era before the unbreakable stranglehold of neoliberalism

If Trump runs of the defense of neoliberalism platform he will lose. But Trump proved to be a bad, superficial politician, Republican Obama so to speak, so he may take this advice from his entourage. Trump proved to be a puppet of MIC and Israel, his tax cuts had shown that he is a regular "trickle down" neoliberal. So he attraction to voters is down substantially. Now
Polling is unambiguous here. If you define the "center" as a position somewhere between those of the two parties, when it comes to economic issues the public is overwhelmingly left of center; if anything, it's to the left of the Democrats. Tax cuts for the rich are the G.O.P.'s defining policy, but two-thirds of voters believe that taxes on the rich are actually too low, while only 7 percent believe that they're too high. Voters support Elizabeth Warren's proposed tax on large fortunes by a three-to-one majority. Only a small minority want to see cuts in Medicaid, even though such cuts have been central to every G.O.P. health care proposal in recent years.
Notable quotes:
"... Insiders have suggested that Trump plans to explicitly run against socialism in 2020. In fact, in playing up the dangers of socialism, he may be positioning himself to run against Bernie Sanders in 2020. ..."
"... Sanders's rebuttal to Trump's address gave us a preview of how he plans to respond to the mounting attacks on socialism from the Right. President Trump said tonight, quote, "We are born free, and we will stay free," end of quote. Well I say to President Trump, people are not truly free when they can't afford to go to the doctor when they are sick. People are not truly free when they cannot afford to buy the prescription drugs they desperately need. People are not truly free when they are unable to retire with dignity. People are not truly free when they are exhausted because they are working longer and longer hours for lower wages. People are not truly free when they cannot afford a decent place in which to live. People certainly are not free when they cannot afford to feed their families. ..."
"... As Dr Martin Luther King Jr said in 1968, and I quote, "This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor." What Dr. King said then was true, and it is true today, and it remains absolutely unacceptable. ..."
"... In essence what we're seeing here is Bernie Sanders challenging the popular equation of capitalism with democracy and freedom. This is the same point Bernie has been making for decades. "People have been brainwashed into thinking socialism automatically means slave-labor camps, dictatorship and lack of freedom of speech," he said in 1976. This Cold War dogma swept the pervasive reality of capitalist unfreedom - from the bondage of poverty to the perversions of formal democracy under the pressure of a dominant economic class - under the rug. In a 1986 interview, Bernie elaborated: ..."
"... All that socialism means to me, to be very frank with you, is democracy with a small "d." I believe in democracy, and by democracy I mean that, to as great an extent as possible, human beings have the right to control their own lives. And that means that you cannot separate the political structure from the economic structure. One has to be an idiot to believe that the average working person who's making $10,000 or $12,000 a year is equal in political power to somebody who is the head of a large bank or corporation. So, if you believe in political democracy, if you believe in equality, you have to believe in economic democracy as well. ..."
"... The rise of neoliberalism and the fall of the Soviet Union relieved the capitalist state's elite of the need to keep shoring up the equation between capitalism and freedom. Capitalists and their ideology had triumphed, hegemony was theirs, and socialism was no real threat, a foggy memory of a distant era. But forty years of stagnating wages, rising living costs, and intermittent chaos caused by capitalist economic crisis remade the world - slowly, and then all at once. When Bernie Sanders finally took socialist class politics to the national stage three years ago, people were willing to listen. ..."
Feb 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. , February 06, 2019 at 01:36 PM

https://jacobinmag.com/2019/02/trump-state-of-union-socialism

02.06.2019

Trump Is Right to Be Afraid of Socialism
BY MEAGAN DAY

... I think he's scared," said Ocasio-Cortez of Trump's socialism remarks. "He sees that everything is closing in on him. And he knows he's losing the battle of public opinion when it comes to the actual substantive proposals that we're advancing to the public." Given the remarkable popularity of proposals like Bernie's Medicare for All and tuition-free college and Ocasio-Cortez's 70 percent top marginal tax rate, she's probably onto something.

Insiders have suggested that Trump plans to explicitly run against socialism in 2020. In fact, in playing up the dangers of socialism, he may be positioning himself to run against Bernie Sanders in 2020. That would be a smart move, since Bernie is the most popular politician in America and could very well be Trump's direct contender in the general election, if he can successfully dodge attacks from the establishment wing of the Democratic Party in the primary.

Sanders's rebuttal to Trump's address gave us a preview of how he plans to respond to the mounting attacks on socialism from the Right. President Trump said tonight, quote, "We are born free, and we will stay free," end of quote. Well I say to President Trump, people are not truly free when they can't afford to go to the doctor when they are sick. People are not truly free when they cannot afford to buy the prescription drugs they desperately need. People are not truly free when they are unable to retire with dignity. People are not truly free when they are exhausted because they are working longer and longer hours for lower wages. People are not truly free when they cannot afford a decent place in which to live. People certainly are not free when they cannot afford to feed their families.

As Dr Martin Luther King Jr said in 1968, and I quote, "This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor." What Dr. King said then was true, and it is true today, and it remains absolutely unacceptable.

In essence what we're seeing here is Bernie Sanders challenging the popular equation of capitalism with democracy and freedom. This is the same point Bernie has been making for decades. "People have been brainwashed into thinking socialism automatically means slave-labor camps, dictatorship and lack of freedom of speech," he said in 1976. This Cold War dogma swept the pervasive reality of capitalist unfreedom - from the bondage of poverty to the perversions of formal democracy under the pressure of a dominant economic class - under the rug. In a 1986 interview, Bernie elaborated:

All that socialism means to me, to be very frank with you, is democracy with a small "d." I believe in democracy, and by democracy I mean that, to as great an extent as possible, human beings have the right to control their own lives. And that means that you cannot separate the political structure from the economic structure. One has to be an idiot to believe that the average working person who's making $10,000 or $12,000 a year is equal in political power to somebody who is the head of a large bank or corporation. So, if you believe in political democracy, if you believe in equality, you have to believe in economic democracy as well.

For more than four decades, Bernie made these points to relatively small audiences. In 2016, everything changed, and he now makes them to an audience of millions.

The rise of neoliberalism and the fall of the Soviet Union relieved the capitalist state's elite of the need to keep shoring up the equation between capitalism and freedom. Capitalists and their ideology had triumphed, hegemony was theirs, and socialism was no real threat, a foggy memory of a distant era. But forty years of stagnating wages, rising living costs, and intermittent chaos caused by capitalist economic crisis remade the world - slowly, and then all at once. When Bernie Sanders finally took socialist class politics to the national stage three years ago, people were willing to listen.

Bernie has been so successful at changing the conversation that the President now feels obligated to regurgitate Cold War nostrums about socialism and unfreedom to a new generation.

Good, let him. Each apocalyptic admonition is an opportunity for Bernie, and the rest of us socialists, to articulate a different perspective, one in which freedom and democracy are elusive at present but achievable through a society-wide commitment to economic and social equality. We will only escape "coercion, domination, and control" when we structure society to prioritize the well-being of the many over the desires of the greedy few.

Mr. Bill said in reply to anne... February 06, 2019 at 03:29 PM

A lot of the opinion part of what Paul Krugman says, in this article, maybe, doesn't ring quite true, although I don't dispute the facts.

Poll after poll show that 75% of us agree on 80% of the issues, regardless of which political tribe we identify with.

I tend to think that the real problem is that neither the GOP, which represents the top 1% of the economically comfortable, nor the Democrats who represent the top 10%, are representative of the majority of Americans.

Frantically trying to slice and dice the electorate into questionably accurate tranches, ignores the elephant in the room, Paul.

[Feb 06, 2019] NYT Columnist Calls Tulsi Gabbard 'Assad Toady,' Can't Define or Spell Term

I will be very suprosed if neocons would not frame her Putin toady as well. This is how this system works. It eleiminates iundesrable cto the neoliberal cardidates with 100% efficiency. They serve as local STASI and some former STASI official might well envy neocons efficiency of silencing opponents (with much less blood and overt repression, by pure magic of neocon propaganda ).
Feb 06, 2019 | sputniknews.com
Monday to discuss current events, but things got embarrassing when she went in on Gabbard, a progressive Democrat whose foreign policy positions have turned more than a few heads.

Neocon NY Times columnist Bari Weiss smeared Tulsi Gabbard (who bravely opposed regime change and US support for Salafi-jihadist contras) as an "Assad toady," then couldn't spell/define toady or offer any evidence to prove her smear. Embarrassingly funny pic.twitter.com/m0MLaHFPiX

-- Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) January 22, 2019

​She has "monstrous ideas she's an Assad toady," Weiss tells Rogan.

US Representative Tulsi Gabbard speaks during Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 26, 2016 © AFP 2018 / Timothy A. CLARY Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Speaks the Truth on Syria, Gets Smeared by the Mainstream Media

When Rogan asks for clarification, she says, "I think that I used that word correctly." She then asks someone off camera to look up what toady means. "Like toeing the line," Rogan says, "is that what it means?" "No, I think it's like, uh " and Weiss drones off without an answer. She then attempts to spell it, and can't even do that. "T-O-A-D-I-E. I think it means what I think it means "

Rogan then reads the definition: "Toadies. The definition of toadies: A person who flatters or defers to others for self-serving reasons." "A sycophant. So I did use it right!" Weiss exclaims. "So she's an Assad sycophant? Is that what you're saying?" "Yeah, that's, proven -- known -- about her." When Rogan asks what Gabbard has said that qualifies her as a sycophant, Weiss replies: "I don't remember the details."

In this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, greets supporters in Honolulu. Gabbard has announced she's running for president in 2020 © AP Photo / Marco Garcia 'Assad's Mouthpiece in Washington': Controversial Dem. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Announces 2020 Run

"We probably should say that before we say that about her -- we should probably read it, rather, right now, just so we know what she said," Rogan notes. "I think she's, like, the motherlode of bad ideas," Weiss then says. "I'm pretty positive about that, especially on Assad. But maybe I'm wrong. I don't think I'm wrong." It seems to us here at Sputnik that such claims should be made with a bit more confidence than this. So let's set the record straight.

Gabbard, who announced her presidential campaign on January 11, has drawn incredible amounts of ire from mainstream Democrats tripping over themselves for war with Syria because in January 2017, Gabbard met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and denounced the opposition rebels in the country's civil war as "terrorists." She has also expressed skepticism about accusations that Assad's government has used chemical weapons during the conflict and spoken out against cruise missile attacks by the US and its allies against the country.

A general view shows damaged buildings at al-Kalasa district of Aleppo, Syria in Aleppo, Syria, February 2, 2017 © REUTERS / Omar Sanadiki US Lawmakers Call for Syria Strategy Where Assad Leaving Post, Russian Military Pulls Out

"Initially I hadn't planned on meeting him," Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, told CNN's Jake Tapper following the meeting. "When the opportunity arose to meet with him, I did so, because I felt it's important that if we profess to truly care about the Syrian people, about their suffering, then we've got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there is a possibility that we could achieve peace. And that's exactly what we talked about."

"I have seen this cost of war firsthand, which is why I fight so hard for peace," Gabbard said. "And that's the reality of the situation that we're facing here. It's why I have urged and continue to urge [US President Donald] Trump to meet with people like Kim Jong Un in North Korea, because we understand what's at stake here. The only alternative to having these kinds of conversations is more war."

Moreover, in a March 2016 speech before Congress, Gabbard called Assad "a brutal dictator," noting that her opposition to what she called a "war bill" was over the legal ramifications that she feared would lead to the overthrow of Assad, which she opposes on anti-interventionist grounds.

"[T]oppling ruthless dictators in the Middle East creates even more human suffering and strengthens our enemy, groups like ISIS and other terrorist organizations, in those countries," Gabbard said at the time.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York speak to reporters about the Congressional Budget Office projection that 14 million people would lose health coverage under the House Republican bill dismantling former President Barack Obama's health care law, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March, 13, 2017. © AP Photo/ J. Scott Applewhite House Democrats Will Expand Russiagate in 2019 to Push Trump Toward War

Gabbard has been thoroughly demonized for her pro-peace views by global liberal media, as Trump has been for his moves to end the war in Syria and avoid another on the Korean Peninsula. For example, The Daily Beast's article announcing her candidacy called Gabbard "Assad's Favorite Democrat" in its headline; a Haaretz headline from last week say she had "Tea With Assad," and the Washington Post has called her "Assad's Mouthpiece in Washington." The UK Independent called her a "defender of dictators."

It's not clear what Weiss had in mind when she called Gabbard a "sycophant" and a "toady," since the congresswoman's rhetoric about Assad has consisted of skepticism and opposition to intervention, and she hasn't hesitated to call the Syrian president a "brutal dictator." What Gabbard's treatment has demonstrated is that a Democrat who steps out of line from the party's pro-regime change agenda in Syria and who condemns Muslim extremists associated with Daesh and al-Qaeda should be prepared to suffer for it in the mainstream media.

[Feb 06, 2019] Bari Weiss Has the Stupidest Take on Tulsi Gabbard Yet

Feb 06, 2019 | www.youtube.com

the op kingdom , 1 week ago (edited)

This woman had NO CLUE what she was talking about. She thought she was on a show that would just tow the party line and let her get away with wrong statements. She's just repeating what critics say with no idea of the truth. What a fool. As a woman, THIS IS WHY I WON'T JUST VOTE FOR ANY WOMAN. We are just as capable of being stupid as anyone else.

FrozenWolf150 , 1 week ago

Bari: "I think Tulsi Gabbard is an Assad toadie." Joe: "What do you mean by toadie?" Bari: "Oh, I don't know what that means." Joe: "Okay, I looked it up, and it's like a sycophant." Bari: "Then Tulsi is like an Assad sycophant." Joe: "So what do you mean by that?" Bari: "I'm not sure what sycophant means either." Joe: "I looked up the definition, it's like a suck-up." Bari: "All right, Tulsi is an Assad suck-up." Joe: "Could you explain that further?" Bari: "I don't know what suck means." Joe: "It's what you're doing right now."

Jeff Oloff , 1 week ago

Bari Weiss is a tool of Zionist war mongers that promote perpetual war. She has no thoughts of her own.

Joe Smith , 1 week ago

I hate Bari Weiss....I just don't why.

Nicholas Pniewski , 1 week ago

Tulsi also recently clarified her position of Assad and Syria on CNN, where she said she would have diplomacy rather than war

Captain Obvious , 1 week ago

"Am I crazy?" -Bari Weiis Well Bari Weiis you're either crazy or you're a yet another worthless establishment shill whose job is spread deliberate misinformation about the most genuine anti-war candidate running at a time when the entire MSM, MIC, and the neoliberal rightwing establishment (including AIPAC) is deliberately smearing her to immediately kill her campaign. And you didn't come across as crazy so...

[Feb 06, 2019] Tulsi is a threat to the status quo...watch the DNC torpedo her candidacy

Notable quotes:
"... As a Trump supporter from 2016, this is probably the only Democratic candidate that I would seriously consider abandoning Trump over. The rest, I wouldn't give them the time of day - even Bernie. ..."
Feb 06, 2019 | www.youtube.com




James Schuhs , 1 week ago

Tulsi is a threat to the status quo...watch the DNC torpedo her candidacy.

Amir Fahmi , 1 week ago

Israel war strategy ~ Onwards American soldiers.

imnotmike , 1 week ago

I trust Tulsi on foreign policy more than I trust just about anybody else. Some people don't like her because she won't just say that we should stop all military under any circumstances. She's been in the military. She understands the military. She understands that the military is not evil. Drones are not evil. They're just currently being misused. We need to cut military spending, but not eliminate it. We need to end offensive wars and withdraw from countries that aren't attacking us. But that doesn't mean we don't need a military and don't need to be ready to defend ourselves.

paul battenbough , 1 week ago

I'm from the Uk as soon as I heard Tulsi was running I got excited....a chance for real change and dismantling of the military industrial complex.....could it be?

Troy Walker , 1 week ago

thats the military industrial complex's plan, to make enemies to keep them in business.

The Centrist , 1 week ago

Why do you worship Bernie Sanders so much? What does he have that Tulsi Gabbard doesn't in terms of policy? May I note that Sanders is more pro-Israel and actually more for war than Gabbard is. It means something when it's coming from a vet who actually served and visited war-torn countries.

Limedick Andrew , 6 days ago

As a Trump supporter from 2016, this is probably the only Democratic candidate that I would seriously consider abandoning Trump over. The rest, I wouldn't give them the time of day - even Bernie. 

Daniel , 1 week ago

That's nice. I always liked her, but I was worried about her military policy, good that she got rid of that doubt right away. Now we just need these people to actually follow through and not become another Obama with his "change" and "hope". Not that any of this is going to really make a difference or anything unless all the sycophants in the opposition suddenly dies, but it' still nice that someone seems to care.

[Feb 06, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard Rips Interventionism In First Campaign Ad

Feb 06, 2019 | www.youtube.com


Tacet the Terror , 1 week ago

Sanders/Gabbard 2020 is the only non-"lesser of two evils" choice.

kamran5461 , 1 week ago

Now you see why the establishment really hates her.

Zero Divisor , 1 week ago

Tulsi Gabbard went to Standing Rock. She has my support.

it's show buiness kiddo , 1 week ago

I wwant tulsi to defeat Kamala in the primaries. Kamala is a fake progressive and the establishment already coronated her. I can't trust her.

Voitan , 1 week ago

I'm voting Tulsi Gabbard. Uncompromising commitment to no more interventions and wars.

malena garcia , 1 week ago

I love Tulsi; her ad was great. She's the only dem I would vote for at this point. Kamala is an evil hypocrite. And Tulsi's right, love is the most powerful force in the planet.

Jurgen K , 1 week ago

Tulsi is hated by the establishment the most not Bernie , this is the reason I say Tulsi2020

Jay Smathers , 1 week ago (edited)

Wake up folks -Tulsi would not have run if Bernie was going run. Bernie will endorse her early on and she will have a much tougher fight than he did, because while Sanders caught the corporate establishment sleeping in 2016, they are now frightened and see Gabbard coming. They will use every dirty trick at their disposal to keep her from catching fire -and that begins with dividing progressives like us. Tulsi is not perfect because no one is perfect. But she is young, bright and fucking fearless compared to other politicians about putting the long term good of the American people above the moneyed interests who think they own our media and our government. This is why the establishment despises her more than even Sanders. 2020 will reveal weather or not we can retake ownership of our media and our government. That fight will require all of us - so Kyle get on the bus!

FujiFire , 1 week ago

Tulsi is an amazing candidate in her own right, but IMO she would be a perfect VP pick for Bernie. She has the amazing foreign policy cred and would really shore up Bernie's weakest areas.

D. Martin , 1 week ago (edited)

I remember Obama ripping interventionism too. And Trump.

rolled oats , 1 week ago

Tulsa Gabbard's ad doesn't mention the people who die in the countries we invade. That's 600k people in Iraq for example. A significant omission me thinks.

Wayne Chapman , 1 week ago

The Aloha Spirit Law is a big deal in Hawaii. Government officials are required to approach dignitaries from other countries or states with the spirit of aloha. "Aloha" means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return. Aloha is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence. I think that's what we want in a President or a diplomat.

madara uchiha , 1 week ago

She's great and unique as she doesnt fall back to identity politics and sjwism as much as the standard left politicians. I hope she doesnt bend her ethics when the sjws come for her. I'm putting my trust in her. I hope she wins. And if she isn't in the race, i wont be voting.

David , 1 week ago (edited)

The question I would love her to address specifically is will her campaign focus on decreasing military spending like Bernie Sanders? She has a military background and the US loves war. This ad is good but it is tip toing around the MIC ( military industrial complex) She can be non interventionist but not decrease military spending is what worries me

GoLookAtJohn PodestasEmails , 1 week ago

This is why we need Gabbard on the debate stage. She will push the Overton window on revealing to the public what our military is actually doing overseas. She's also a staunch progressive. Bernie/Tulsi 2020. Their weakness match well with each other, and Tulsi was one of the first to jump ship on the sinking DNC ship when Hillary got caught cheating being the DNC. Keep small donations going into your favorite progressive candidates to hear their voice. It doesn't work any other way folks.

Geoff Daly , 1 week ago

Intervention isn't only an issue about morality. As Dwight Eisenhower put it (even though he himself was far from an anti imperialist), you can't have an endless stream of money dedicated to military endeavors AND a sufficient investment in domestic public priorities. This easily explains why we have increasingly decrepit infrastructure, increasingly worse performing education, increasingly worse performing health care, absurdly insufficient regulation between government and business (although the pay to play system certainly is the top reason) and a generally decaying public atmosphere. Beyond the fact that getting involved everywhere creates humanitarian crises, countless dead people, hopelessly destroyed countries, and so much more, even if other countries haven't in return bombed our shores from sea to sea, even if generally speaking those who consider not only the US but Americans the "enemies" haven't overwhelmed with non stop attacks, this non stop and ever growing appetite for more money for more war priorities has created the very decline we see in our country today. Until there is a change in priorities in general, these problems in the US will only continue to get worse.

Tom Pashkov , 1 week ago

Gabbard for Sec. of Defense in the Sanders/Warren administration.

Jacob Serrano , 1 week ago

Man, Tulsi made me tear up. She's my girl. This message reminds me more of the message of Jesus than many of the fundamentalists. She's not even Christian, yet represents Christ very well. I love this woman.

Ny3 43 , 1 week ago

Prepare for BAE, Systems, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and other weapons corporations and their bum lickers to launch a viscous smear campaign against her suggesting she's somehow a Neo Nazi communist anti Semitic islamophobic islamist.

Gem Girlla , 1 day ago (edited)

Tulsi 2020 she's saying some of the same things Trump said in his 2016 campaign. Unfortunately, he didn't deliver. Per the corporate Democrates, making America better is a bad thing.

GiantOctopus0101 , 1 day ago

Tulsi can actually beat Trump...if she gets the nomination. The wars are the elephant in the room, and whoever is willing to take that on full force, can win.

[Feb 06, 2019] The modern Republican Party is all about cutting taxes on the rich and benefits for the poor and the middle class. And Trump, despite his campaign posturing, has turned out to be no different.

Feb 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

Meanwhile, the modern Republican Party is all about cutting taxes on the rich and benefits for the poor and the middle class. And Trump, despite his campaign posturing, has turned out to be no different.

Hence the failure of our political system to serve socially conservative/racist voters who also want to tax the rich and preserve Social Security. Democrats won't ratify their racism; Republicans, who have no such compunctions, will -- remember, the party establishment solidly backed Roy Moore's Senate bid -- but won't protect the programs they depend on.


Charles Pewitt , says: February 6, 2019 at 7:51 pm GMT

Paul Krugman is a baby boomer, pissant globalizer bastard, but he has made reasonable comments about immigration in the past.

Paul Krugman is a high IQ moron who has occasional bouts of clarity on the anti-worker aspects of mass legal immigration and illegal immigration. Krugman had it right in 2006 when he said that mass immigration lowers wages for workers in the USA.

Krugman in NY Times 2006:

First, the benefits of immigration to the population already here are small. The reason is that immigrant workers are, at least roughly speaking, paid their "marginal product": an immigrant worker is paid roughly the value of the additional goods and services he or she enables the U.S. economy to produce. That means that there isn't anything left over to increase the income of the people already here.

My second negative point is that immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants. That's just supply and demand: we're talking about large increases in the number of low-skill workers relative to other inputs into production, so it's inevitable that this means a fall in wages. Mr. Borjas and Mr. Katz have to go through a lot of number-crunching to turn that general proposition into specific estimates of the wage impact, but the general point seems impossible to deny.

Hypnotoad666 , says: February 6, 2019 at 11:05 pm GMT
@Charles Pewitt I agree Paul Krugman is a high IQ moron.

However, Krugman is also a relentless partisan hack. So his expert analysis always ends up supporting the current Democrat talking points -- whatever they may be.

Here, Krugman is disparaging any move to the center as the DNC wants to keep the Dems unified on the left and keep Schultz (or anyone like him) out of the race. Of course, the real reason Schultz has massively negative polling is because the Democrat establishment has been savaging him for precisely this reason.

Likewise, to Krugman a "Racist" politician is anyone who holds the same immigration position as Krugman did in 2006, which is now anathema to the Dem's new Open Borders electoral strategy.

It's only a matter of time until Krugman starts talking up Kamala Harris as the best thing that could happen for the economy.

TG , says: February 7, 2019 at 12:16 am GMT
Bottom line: Krugman – like any economist who was gifted with a fake Nobel Prize in Economics by his wealthy patrons (the Nobel Prize in Economics does not exist – check out wikipedia!) – is a whore whose only function is to protect the left flank of our corrupt and rapacious elite.

He's not a moron, and he's certainly not a liberal. His job – which pays very well mind you – is to pretend to be a sorta-kinda Keynesian New Dealer, but in reality, anything that the rich wants, he will end up defending. And even if he sorta kinda claims to be opposing something that the rich want which will impoverish the rest of us, when it comes to the bottom line, he will ruthlessly attack any opposition to these policies.

[Feb 06, 2019] Kamala Harris is perhaps just an updated Obama

A neolib and neocon...
Feb 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc -> im1dc... , January 29, 2019 at 11:14 AM

Link to the above story

http://www.msn.com/en-us/video/news/see-the-question-that-brought-kamala-harris-to-her-feet/vi-BBSSy8B

Plp -> im1dc... , January 29, 2019 at 11:14 AM
She's perhaps just an updated Obama...

[Feb 06, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Identified Herself As American Indian On 1986 State Bar Registration

Feb 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"Fauxcahontas " is never going to live this one down.

In a report published Tuesday night, just before President Trump started his State of the Union, the Washington Post revealed that it had discovered a document where 2020 Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren, who was exposed by a DNA test that backfired late last year for having a negligible amount of Native American heritage, listed her race as "American Indian" on a registration card for the Texas State Bar in the mid-1980s.

The card lists Warren's name, gender and the address for the University of Texas law school in Austin, where she was working at the time. On the line for "race," Warren wrote: "American Indian." Meanwhile, lines for "National Origin" and "Physical handicap" were left blank.

As WaPo explains, "the card is significant" because, for the first time, it shows that Warren "directly claimed the identity."

One spokeswoman said Warren was sorry for "not more mindful of this" (presumably referring to the risks that this would all blow up in her face later in life), when she was younger, and for falsely identifying as a Native American for more than two decades.

"I can't go back," Warren told WaPo.

According to WaPo, the card, dated April 1986, is the first document to surface showing Warren claiming Native American heritage in her own handwriting. Her office didn't deny the authenticity of the document.

WaPo explained that it found the card through an open-records request.

Using an open records request during a general inquiry, for example, The Post obtained Warren's registration card for the State Bar of Texas, providing a previously undisclosed example of Warren identifying as an "American Indian."

The card was filled out by Warren after she was admitted to the Texas bar. Her reasons for joining the bar are unclear: Though, at the time, she was doing legal work on the side, the work wasn't anything that required her to be admitted to the bar. The date on the card coincided with her fist self-identified listing as a "minority" by the Association of American Law Schools, where she reported herself as a minority in the directory every year beginning in 1986 (the year the Association started listing minority law professors). Her name dropped off that list in 1995.

Warren also famously had her ethnicity changed to Native American from "White" in December, 1989 while working at UPenn, two years after she was hired. She also listed her ethnicity as Native American when she started working at Harvard Law School in 1995.

In a sign that Warren's listing herself as Native American may have been more an act of self-delusion than an attempt to give herself a leg up in the world of academia, the card explicitly states that "the following information is for statistical purposes only and will not be disclosed to any person or organization without the express written consent of the attorney."

Back in October, Warren's decision to release her DNA test results revealed that she had a negligible level of Native American heritage (possibly as little as 1/1,024 Native) while the stunt - which backfired spectacularly - angered leaders of the Cherokee nation, who, as WaPo explained, typically exercise tight control over the process of connecting individuals with the tribe. Warren's apology for that incident hasn't been uniformly accepted, and there are still some who want to see a more thorough apology from Warren.

Whether this is enough to sink her primary bid remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure: We imagine President Trump will be weighing in with some more prospective campaign materials.


PrideOfMammon , 28 seconds ago link

Warren is an insane carpetbagger. But that is practically the definition of an American.

August , 7 minutes ago link

An apology for being stupid isn't really required.

Dr Anon , 10 minutes ago link

How funny: on the 2020 ballot she identifies as the village idiot.

charlie_don't_surf , 12 minutes ago link

Now let's see obama's college applications that show he listed himself as a foreign student from kenya.

chrsn , 19 minutes ago link

I'm not that mad at her.

When you overemphasize and exaggerate identity politics beyond all reason, you're bound to get plenty of people playing these angles. She's already benefited from it, so too ******* bad.

Hugh G. Rection , 56 minutes ago link

Hmmmm, makes me wonder again just why Obama sealed all his college records.....

Maybe he was embarrassed about that D- in Constitutional law, or maybe he claimed foreign citizenship

Insurrector , 26 minutes ago link

Obama graduated from Columbia University in 1983 with a degree in political science and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1991.

Trump graduated from the undergraduate school of finance and commerce at Penn (Wharton school), but he did not graduate at the top of his class or with honors. He did NOT graduate at the top of his class at Wharton undergrad or grad, as the Liar in Chief has frequently quipped. It is believed he was in the bottom third of the undergraduate class.

It is illegal under federal law to release any former student's records to reporters or members of the public without that person's specific, written permission. Obama hasn't released them, but neither have other presidential candidates released their college records.

Trump has not released his records from Penn either. But of course he is your Orange Geezus, so this is an inconvenient truth for you

[Feb 05, 2019] A good analogy on US policy is Syria

Feb 05, 2019 | www.youtube.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9QOVk0x1Vw

JJL90 , 1 month ago (edited)

The emergency room visits are lower when you have bombed all the emergency rooms :D

So when you stop bombing the hell out of them, they can actually rebuild an emergency room, and visits go up :DDDD

[Feb 05, 2019] NYTimes Journo Melts Down On Joe Rogan s Show

Feb 05, 2019 | www.youtube.com

nywvblue , 1 day ago

Bari Weiss is the monstrous motherlode of ineptitude, it would appear.

tom burton , 15 hours ago

Bari Weiss's next column: Joe Rogan is a toady of Tulsi Gabbard.

Robert Harper , 17 hours ago

Now it is easy to understand why I stopped my nyt subscription.

Mike Honcho , 17 hours ago

Unbelievable! It's like Joe is interviewing an airhead middle school mean girl.

[Feb 05, 2019] Tucker Carlson Dismantles Pro-War Stooge

Notable quotes:
"... Tucker is an interesting thinker who doesn't tow a party line. We need more people like Jimmy and Tucker in the news. This is easily the 10th video of Jimmy taking Tucker's side ..."
Feb 05, 2019 | www.youtube.com

j g , 1 month ago

I don't agree with Jimmy Dore on much, but he and Tucker are 100% right about Syria. There is a segment of the left and right that aren't that far apart, but we keep getting manipulated to hate each other.

The Fatty McGee , 1 month ago

My boy is a marine. He was deployed to Syria and even he said that the troops never got a clear reason for being there

grwizy , 1 month ago

Creating terrorists means more money for military industrial complex.

John Donne Show , 1 month ago

MSM is cancer Propagandist on the Payroll of the Ruling Class 1% "The Fed."

Ben Briggs , 1 month ago

Jimmy, Just admit that you like and agree with Tucker. Every Tucker video has the premise of, "I disagree with 99% of what Tucker says" or "If Tucker sees this then everyone should see it." Tucker is an interesting thinker who doesn't tow a party line. We need more people like Jimmy and Tucker in the news. This is easily the 10th video of Jimmy taking Tucker's side .

clamp down , 1 month ago

come on jimmy acknowledge that tucker is doing a GREAT job, moderate conservative or not

dlhoyes , 1 month ago

Sounds like some liberals are waking up to what the conservatives have been saying for decades. We have to work together for freedoms sake.

TBG_ Dies_1st , 1 month ago

Tucker Carlson is the only one I deem worthy of my attention on Fox News. I guarantee it, I stand by that, that's a brand name.

mads max , 1 month ago

Why are we there? To destabilize and baulkanize the remaining Middle East Who are we there for? For the greater 1srae1 project. Who is isis? Massads people. What is our objective? Oil pipelines for 1srae1. Who are we going after next? Iran

dlhoyes , 1 month ago

Sounds like some liberals are waking up to what the conservatives have been saying for decades. We have to work together for freedoms sake.

TBG_ Dies_1st , 1 month ago

Tucker Carlson is the only one I deem worthy of my attention on Fox News. I guarantee it, I stand by that, that's a brand name.

mads max , 1 month ago

Why are we there? To destabilize and baulkanize the remaining Middle East Who are we there for? For the greater 1srae1 project. Who is isis? Massads people. What is our objective? Oil pipelines for 1srae1. Who are we going after next? Iran

Guardiano , 1 month ago

Jimmy Dore: the only leftist journalist with any integrity. I legitimately believe that while he's wrong all the time (to my far-right view), he's not lying.

Rio Rin , 1 month ago

Most important part in my opinion is comment about christians celebrating Christmass in Damascus. They wouldn't celebrate under Al Nusra or Isis or other wahabi supported fractions, but they are celebrating under Assad. By the way US government is in some way protecting HTS in Idlib wich is rebranded Al Nusra, Syrian ofshoot of Al Kaida so Assad army is not attacking them.

oleeb , 1 month ago

Pro war people don't just want to be there for the sake of it. They want to have US forces on the ground there for a whole host of reason all related to maintaining US hegemony wherever they can. We have forces deployed throughout the middle east because we want to be the primary hegemon in the middle east. Our primacy is threatened by no one nation but by a coalition of anti US nations particularly Iran, Syria and Syria's longstanding alliance with Russia.

Loves Chocolate , 1 month ago (edited)

I find it a shame that the western nations are vilifying Russia as Putin hates the globalists and is fighting against the terrorists. It appears that Russia should be our allies rather than Isra Hell and the Saudi regime. Putin was invited by Assad to help him rid his country of the terrorists but the US weren't asked and just illegally invaded. Out of interest why does the US support Isra hell when it has over 300 nukes but it thinks Iran is a problem? Isn't it more that Iran doesn't have a central (Rothschild) bank? Just like North Korea, Cuba and now, Russia due to paying them off and ridding his country of the Rotschilds! They don't own Russia like they do the US. Edited as I forgot to say I love Tucker and his common sense.

Jay Bui , 1 month ago (edited)

The best part by far of this was when Jimmy yelled, we are in these countries ILLEGALLY!! Jimmy I love you bc you are unbiased but for you to complain we are somewhere illegally is rich considering how much you defended ILLEGAL immigration in America. Must have been a freudian slip.

Jay Bui , 1 month ago (edited)

The best part by far of this was when Jimmy yelled, we are in these countries ILLEGALLY!! Jimmy I love you bc you are unbiased but for you to complain we are somewhere illegally is rich considering how much you defended ILLEGAL immigration in America. Must have been a freudian slip.

Reckless Abandon , 1 month ago (edited)

This guy can't admit that the Obama Administration started the Syrian civil war and created ISIS. What he really wants is to PROTECT ISIS because after Syria they were trained to attack Russia in the Caucasus. Russia is sensibly wiping out ISIS in Syria so they don't have to fight them in Chechnya. The Democrats and the neocons created Russiagate to prevent Trump from pulling out two years ago, now Trump doesn't care, because they will invent shit about him regardless.

Sergei , 1 month ago

Obama and Bush created ISIS and Russians, SAA, Iranians and Hezbollah destroyed ISIS. The US needs to GTFO of all countries it occupied.

F M , 1 month ago (edited)

You're missing a major point -- I S R A E L These neocon and establishment democrats have tightened ass cheeks because Trump's decision bypasses these Zionists' fervent wishes of keeping the US there in a proxy war as Israel's protectors.

Reactionary Hermit , 1 month ago (edited)

Tucker is slowly but surely becoming increasingly sympathetic towards the third position.He's the only figure on the MSM who thinks critically and asks uncomfortable questions. I wonder when the Zionists over at Fox News will pull the plug on him? You should have Tucker on if it's at all possible. He is actually aligned with the left somewhat on economic issues.

blaze 2017 , 1 month ago

Dont worry Lindsey Graham pranced in and convinced Trump to let us bleed and be stripped of our wealth.

nh inpg , 1 month ago

"Former Obama Campaign Adviser David Tafuri" -- Pretty much tells you all you need to know, right?

[Feb 05, 2019] Capitalists need their options regulated and their markets ripped from their control by the state. Profits must be subject to use it to a social purpose or heavily taxed. Dividends executive comp and interest payments included

Feb 05, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:22 PM

Is anyone else tired of the longest, least productive waste of war in American history ? What have we achieved, where are we going with this ? More war.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:31 PM
We are being fed a fairy tale of war about what men, long dead, did. And the reason they did it. America is being strangled by the burden of belief that now is like then.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:46 PM
By the patrician men and women administrators, posturing as soldiers like the WW2 army, lie for self profit. Why does anyone believe them ? Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, each an economic decision, rather than a security issue.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:48 PM
America is dying on the same sword as Rome, for the same reason.
Plp -> JF... , January 31, 2019 at 07:28 AM
Capitalists need their options regulated and their markets ripped from their control by the state. Profits must be subject to use it to a social purpose or heavily taxed. Dividends executive comp and interest payments included
Julio -> mulp ... , January 31, 2019 at 08:58 AM
Well done! Much clearer than your usual. There are several distinct motivations for taxes. We have been far enough from fairness to workers, for so long, that we need to use the tax system to redistribute the accumulated wealth of the plutocrats.

So I would say high marginal rates are a priority, which matches both objectives. Wealth tax is needed until we reverse the massive inequality supported by the policies of the last 40 years.

Carbon tax and the like are a different thing, use of the tax code to promote a particular policy and reduce damage to the commons.

Gerald -> Julio ... , January 31, 2019 at 04:14 PM
"...we need to use the tax system to redistribute the accumulated wealth of the plutocrats. So I would say high marginal rates are a priority..."

Forgive me, but high marginal rates (which I hugely favor) don't "redistribute the accumulated wealth" of the plutocrats. If such high marginal rates are ever enacted, they'll apply only to the current income of such plutocrats.

Julio -> Gerald... , January 31, 2019 at 06:22 PM
You merged paragraphs, and elided the next one. The way I see it, high rates are a prerequisite to prevent the reaccumulation of obscene wealth, and its diversion into financial gambling.

But yes that would be a very slow way to redistribute what has already accumulated.

Gerald -> Julio ... , February 01, 2019 at 04:48 AM
Didn't mean to misinterpret what you were saying, sorry. High rates are not only "a prerequisite to prevent the reaccumulation of obscene wealth," they are also a reimposition of fair taxation on current income (if it ever happens, of course).
Global Groundhog -> Julio ... , February 02, 2019 at 01:39 PM
Wealth tax is needed until we reverse the massive inequality supported by the policies of the last 40 years. Carbon tax and the like are a different thing, use of the tax code to promote a particular policy and reduce damage to the commons.
"

more wisdom as usual!

Although wealth tax will be unlikely, it could be a stopgap; could also be a guideline to other taxes as well. for example, Elizabeth points out that billionaires pay about 3% of their net worth into their annual tax bill whereas workers pay about 7% of their net worth into their annual tax bill. Do you see how that works?

it doesn't? this Warren argument gives us a guideline. it shows us where other taxes should be adjusted to even out this percentage of net worth that people are taxed for. Ceu, during the last meltdown 10 years or so ago, We were collecting more tax from the payroll than we were from the income tax. this phenomenon was a heavy burden on those of low net worth. All this needs be resorted. we've got to sort this out.

and the carbon tax? may never be; but it indicates to us what needs to be done to make this country more efficient. for example some folks, are spending half a million dollars on the Maybach automobile, about the same amount on a Ferrari or a Alfa Romeo Julia quadrifoglio, but the roads are built for a mere 40 miles an hour, full of potholes.

What good is it to own a fast car like that when you can't drive but 40 -- 50 miles an hour? and full of traffic jams. something is wrong with taxation incentives. we need to get a better grid-work of roads that will get people there faster.

Meanwhile most of those sports cars just sitting in the garage. we need a comprehensive integrated grid-work of one way streets, roads, highways, and interstates with no traffic lights, no stop signs; merely freeflow ramp-off overpass interchanges.

thanks, Julio! thanks
again
.!

JF -> Global Groundhog... , February 04, 2019 at 05:42 AM
Wonderful to see the discussion about public finance shifting to use net worth proportions as the focus and metric.

Wonderful. Let us see if press/media stories and opinion pieces use this same way of talking about the financing of self-government.

Mr. Bill -> anne... , February 03, 2019 at 08:15 PM
Jesus Christ said, in so many words, that a man's worth will be judged by his generosity and his avarice.

" 24And the disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 26They were even more astonished and said to one another, "Who then can be saved?"

[Feb 04, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard Slams Neocon-Neolib Warmongers After NBC Propaganda Exposed

Notable quotes:
"... "As commander-in-chief, I will work to end the new cold war, nuclear arms race and slide into nuclear war. That is why the neocon/neolib warmongers will do anything to stop me . ..."
"... In short; NBC relied on a known propagandist who created a Russian bot "false flag" to meddle in an election, who claims to track pro-Kremlin Twitter activity, in order to smear Tulsi Gabbard as a Putin puppet. ..."
"... It's uncanny what lengths the establishment will go to in order to eliminate threats. For example, take a look at this Vanity Fair hit piece from Jan 30, which uses perhaps the most unflattering photo Gabbard has ever taken and starts off (emphasis not ours): ..."
"... One question remains; will Gabbard become a Democrat puppet like Bernie Sanders if the DNC colludes with their chosen candidate to cheat against her? ..."
"... Obey or die ... that's the ethos of the U.S. elite, these days ... Tulsi can't fight that. ..."
"... I wonder if Ron Paul feels jealous that Tulsi is getting all the hate he used to get when HE ran for president on the peace platform? ..."
"... I thought Social Security was "the third rail of politics" but obviously it is now "perpetual war". Anyone daring to touch it is going to be zapped by the corporate media, whose owners are likely majority stockholders of the military industrial complex. ..."
"... Orange wants to run against some crazy like Hitlery... easy pickings ... he can't win against a sensible person ..."
"... The term "neoliberal warmongers" is thus born ... ..."
"... Yes, good to add that term to "neoconservative warmongers" because of the degree to which almost all successful politicians have become puppets of the best organized gangsters (due to the long history of the vicious feedback loops of the funding of all aspects of the political processes.) The false fundamental dichotomies and related impossible ideals associated with "liberal" versus conservative" are manifestations of the methods of divide and conquer, which methods are being pushed towards oblivion with their excessive indulgence in the demonization of Russia. ..."
"... All of those may be viewed as manifestations of "false flag attacks" whereby the ruling classes drive the people they rule over to fight against boogie men, in ways which therefore backfire badly, by causing the "blowbacks" which those "false flag" presentations of the "public enemies" were originally designed to cause! ..."
"... Tulsa Gabbard shares the same views on Israel that most of the world outside of the US hold ... that there really is zero difference between the apartheid South Africa regime of 3 decades ago and present day Israel. ..."
"... Now that the evil SA apartheid is ended, the natives are rising up and showing their sadism and hatred for all manner of civilization. They sing and chant about how much they want to "kill de white man!" But they have NO IDEA what to do once they've done that. ..."
"... Too bad, the rabid dogs are firmly in charge of the US government. ..."
"... she could beat orange ... orange is afraid of her... so are the zio elite ..."
Feb 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Tulsi Gabbard Slams "Neocon/Neolib Warmongers" After NBC Propaganda Exposed

by Tyler Durden Mon, 02/04/2019 - 11:31 525 SHARES

Tulsi Gabbard lashed out at "neocon" and "neolib warmongers" after NBC News was exposed trying to smear her as a Kremlin stooge. The network was called out over the weekend for relying on a Democrat-run firm that created fake Russian twitter bots to stage a "false flag" campaign against Republic Roy Moore in the 2017 Alabama special election - New Knowledge.

To justify its claim that Tulsi Gabbard is the Kremlin's candidate, NBC writes:

"analysts at New Knowledge, the company the Senate Intelligence Committee used to track Russian activities in the 2016 election, told NBC News they've spotted 'chatter' related to Gabbard in anonymous online message boards, including those known for fomenting right-wing troll campaigns."

Only to be called out hard by journalist Glenn Greenwald:

After Greenwald fingered NBC for relying on New Knowledge - run by Jonathan Morgan (who also developed the technology behind "Hamilton 68" Russian bot-tracking propaganda website that refuses to disclose its methods) - Gabbard chimed in, tweeting:

"@ggreenwald exposes that @NBC used journalistic fraud to discredit our campaign. But more important is their motive: "to smear any adversary of the establishment wing of the Democratic Party – whether on the left or the right – as a stooge or asset of the Kremlin.""

She later added:

"As commander-in-chief, I will work to end the new cold war, nuclear arms race and slide into nuclear war. That is why the neocon/neolib warmongers will do anything to stop me .

Disturbingly, the Senate Intelligence Committee has relied on a report by New Knowledge on Russian social media election interference, while the firm has created a "Hamilton 68" offshoot, "Disinfo2018" referenced in the NBC article, which claims that three of the top URLs propagated throughout social media by Kremlin bots were about Gabbard.

In short; NBC relied on a known propagandist who created a Russian bot "false flag" to meddle in an election, who claims to track pro-Kremlin Twitter activity, in order to smear Tulsi Gabbard as a Putin puppet.

It's uncanny what lengths the establishment will go to in order to eliminate threats. For example, take a look at this Vanity Fair hit piece from Jan 30, which uses perhaps the most unflattering photo Gabbard has ever taken and starts off (emphasis not ours):

The presidential campaign of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the renegade Democrat known as much for her chummy relationship with Bashar al-Assad as for supporting Bernie Sanders , is beginning to resemble the candidate herself: confusing, disorganized, and, according to Politico , falling apart. - Vanity Fair

One question remains; will Gabbard become a Democrat puppet like Bernie Sanders if the DNC colludes with their chosen candidate to cheat against her?


DFGTC , 1 minute ago link

Obey or die ... that's the ethos of the U.S. elite, these days ... Tulsi can't fight that.

https://soundcloud.com/daniel-sullivan-505714723/little-saigon-report-16-obey-or-die?in=daniel-sullivan-505714723/sets/little-saigon-report

fightapathy , 3 minutes ago link

I wonder if Ron Paul feels jealous that Tulsi is getting all the hate he used to get when HE ran for president on the peace platform?

fightapathy , 5 minutes ago link

I thought Social Security was "the third rail of politics" but obviously it is now "perpetual war". Anyone daring to touch it is going to be zapped by the corporate media, whose owners are likely majority stockholders of the military industrial complex.

napper , 11 minutes ago link

Tulsi Gabbard for 2020 is not enough. You will also need a group of truly knowledgeable, experienced and courageous reformers to fill the cabinet. People who dare to take on the CIA, the MIC, and the pro-Israel lobby. People like Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange ...

Omega_Man , 12 minutes ago link

Orange wants to run against some crazy like Hitlery... easy pickings ... he can't win against a sensible person... mericans are tiring of orange... he may be one term if he doesn't deliver on ****.. just get some wall... cheap wall, any wall... move on

Radical Marijuana , 14 minutes ago link

The term "neoliberal warmongers" is thus born ...

Yes, good to add that term to "neoconservative warmongers" because of the degree to which almost all successful politicians have become puppets of the best organized gangsters (due to the long history of the vicious feedback loops of the funding of all aspects of the political processes.) The false fundamental dichotomies and related impossible ideals associated with "liberal" versus conservative" are manifestations of the methods of divide and conquer, which methods are being pushed towards oblivion with their excessive indulgence in the demonization of Russia.

Welcome To The Wile E Coyote Phase Of American History:

All of those may be viewed as manifestations of "false flag attacks" whereby the ruling classes drive the people they rule over to fight against boogie men, in ways which therefore backfire badly, by causing the "blowbacks" which those "false flag" presentations of the "public enemies" were originally designed to cause!

mendigo , 15 minutes ago link

Running against the fake news is pretty effective. She's pretty effective at staying rational. She needs to establish a bipartisan core who will support her once elected. And some decent appointees. If she has family that she likes she'll need to get them in protective situation. And divest of any assets. I don't know why she would want this task - it's unwinnable.

Rusticus2.0 , 24 minutes ago link

Tulsa Gabbard shares the same views on Israel that most of the world outside of the US hold ... that there really is zero difference between the apartheid South Africa regime of 3 decades ago and present day Israel.

With that said, there is fuckall chance of her ever getting either party's support.

Sad, because if America changed course on their blind support of Israel today, the backlash would be less extreme than what the future holds when Americans finally realize that they've been duped into supporting a pariah state.

RKae , 16 minutes ago link

...there really is zero difference between the apartheid South Africa regime of 3 decades ago and present day Israel.

Yup. That would be the result when you're in the same region with a severely low IQ culture.

Now that the evil SA apartheid is ended, the natives are rising up and showing their sadism and hatred for all manner of civilization. They sing and chant about how much they want to "kill de white man!" But they have NO IDEA what to do once they've done that.

It's a failed state in the making, and it's happening FAST. If you wanted to horrify me by bringing up the wicked nasty apartheid of SA... Wow.

Rusticus2.0 , 8 minutes ago link

Ah, so they steal the land, put the indigenous people in "homelands" and then wonder why those same people are pissed ? I'm neither a black South African living under the Apartheid regime of yesteryear, or a Palestinian driven from his home; but I'm pretty certain that if I had been either; I would have been packing a AK47 and a limpet mine staking out the occupiers shopping malls.

Stuto , 24 minutes ago link

Rabid dogs need to be put down.

napper , 16 minutes ago link

Too bad, the rabid dogs are firmly in charge of the US government.

Omega_Man , 28 minutes ago link

she could beat orange ... orange is afraid of her... so are the zio elite

Omega_Man , 24 minutes ago link

mericans voted for orange for certain reasons... health care, no more war... he is not delivering very well... too much time on the wall.. orange is sucked into the wall **** by dems...

TruthTeller360 , 25 minutes ago link

Japan has medicare for all. Doctors and nurses are paid by the government. You are sick.. you go to the hospital.. you get treated..and you go home. There is nothing wrong with that. If Japan can pay the doctors, if Germany, France, Nederland, Sweden, England, China, etc, can pay the doctor's salaries, why can't the USA?

Currently, they spent $50 billions a year destroying Syria. They spent trillion destroying Iraq. They spent billions a year maintaining a military base in Japan while Japanese foot the medical bills of its citizen. Don't you see there something wrong with this picture? If it's to deploy soldiers all around the world and kill people, we have the money. No one complains.

Yes, medicare for all. Every developed nations does it. And their citizens are not sicker than us. Some of the French, Japanese, German living here in the USA, go home to get treated when they have serious illnesses. They don't want the huge medical bills.

activisor , 28 minutes ago link

She appears to speak for a great many Americans who have simply had enough of war, poverty, and fake news.

[Feb 04, 2019] The pendulum swings back to sensible taxation rates for the ultra wealthy

Looks like neoliberal ideas became completely discredited. Even Krugman abandoned them.
Notable quotes:
"... In the age of AI the US needs a grand rebuilding of our infrastructure including electrical grids, bridges, highways, mass transit systems, and conversion to renewable energy. ..."
"... Elizabeth Warren showed her chops years ago when she was a guest on Bill Moyer's PBS show, and I've been a fan ever since. But - we don't just need more of Teddy Roosevelt - we need a good dose of Franklin Roosevelt, too ..."
"... In Senator Warren we finally have a politician who understands the difference between wealth and income and is willing to start taxing wealth. This is especially important as the truly wealthy receive very little of their money in the form of income and are therefore taxed on far less than they are actually worth. This only serves to exacerbate our inequality problem. ..."
"... Extreme income inequality is damaging to social capital and to public health - and thus in the long run to sustainable prosperity. The American epidemic of depression, opioid abuse and suicide is is correlated with the acceleration of income inequality. ..."
"... Finally, Senator Warren's proposal seems like an acceleration of the estate tax. ..."
"... Having worked in trusts and estates law for decades, I suspect that this proposal will invite use of the same techniques used by estate planners, lawyers, and accountants to drive down the fair market value of assets. Her proposal may work, if it is ever enacted, but the devil, as usual, will be in the details. This is a very complex concept, simple as it may seem at first blush. That is not an argument for not trying, but for being very careful in the implementation, beginning with the statutory language. ..."
"... This tax will require staffing up the IRS and that will require dems control over both houses of Congress as the GOPers have defunded the IRS. ..."
"... Pretax income concentration at the top increased starting in the 1980s as a direct result of the large reductions in the top marginal income tax rates. ..."
"... Even if a 70% top marginal tax rate did not raise a penny more in tax revenue it would still be justified on the grounds of preventing extreme concentration of wealth and income. Recent economic research has shown that in a purely capitalistic society in which there is no taxation nor redistribution all wealth in the whole society will ultimately be owned by a single household. https://voxeu.org/article/what-would-wealth-distribution-look-without-redistribution ..."
"... I applaud Elizabeth Warren and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez for espousing Teddy an Franklin Roosevelt's ideas about reducing the concentration of 90% of wealth in the upper 1/10th of 1 per cent (0.1%). That is the situation which can lead to major social unrest, widespread crime, and ultimately, civil war as happened in England in the 17th century, in Russia in 1917, and in the French Revolution that beheaded Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette - along with thousands of other members of the nobility. ..."
"... "wealthiest 0.1 percent of Americans almost equal to that of the bottom 90 percent combined." The corrupt neoliberalism of the 1% is unsustainable but is reflective of a downward spiral of decline. While we experience continuous political campaigning the U.S. is, in reality, a criminal and corrupt corporate state enriching the 1% and masquerading as a democracy, an Inverted Totalitarianism. ..."
"... Great. The pendulum swings back to sensible taxation rates for the ultra wealthy. Hard to feel sorry for hedge fund managers. I can just see Sean Hannity railing against it now. He would have to cough up. ..."
"... Fascinating article. Thanks for sharing. Her Accountable Capitalism Act also addresses the root causes of inequality, although some critics have stated that it would lead to the semi-nationalization of business. ..."
Feb 04, 2019 | www.nytimes.com
Grindelwald Boston Mass Jan. 29

@Horsepower the tax bill has, as predicted by almost everyone but the GOP lawmakers, caused the deficit to balloon. Currently, the resulting debt must be paid by the descendents of all of us but the ultra-wealthy. The alternative to that approach, openly proposed by the GOP, was to take away vital services from most of us, like medical care, public education, and retirement support. I'm surprised that you don't find those things "consequential to the life of most Americans".

Doug Johnston Chapel Hill, NC Jan. 29

There is no reason -- economic, social or moral -- why anyone needs a personal fortune above $500 million dollars.

Eddie Cohen M.D ecohen2 . com Poway, California Jan. 29

In the age of AI the US needs a grand rebuilding of our infrastructure including electrical grids, bridges, highways, mass transit systems, and conversion to renewable energy.

It also needs a medical care system that provides a high level of to all of our citizens including the poor and those with pre-existing conditions. What better down payment on these costly necessities than a tax on the ultra rich.

Mary Ann Seattle, WA Jan. 29

Elizabeth Warren showed her chops years ago when she was a guest on Bill Moyer's PBS show, and I've been a fan ever since. But - we don't just need more of Teddy Roosevelt - we need a good dose of Franklin Roosevelt, too.

Given where this country is at, taxing the uber-rich alone isn't going to be enough to solve our problems. We need a jobs program - good, family wage jobs - that have been chipped away at for decades by both automation and off-shoring.

Taxing will help fund much needed gov't infrastructure problems, but it's purchasing power that drives the economy - and we can't have one without a vibrant middle class that's actually making and doing stuff. Since the Clinton years, the USA has spawned a bloated investor class, making a lot of money shuffling paper, but what do they produce that drives this country forward? Our infrastructure is fast becoming 3rd world.

John Murphysboro, IL Jan. 29

In Senator Warren we finally have a politician who understands the difference between wealth and income and is willing to start taxing wealth. This is especially important as the truly wealthy receive very little of their money in the form of income and are therefore taxed on far less than they are actually worth. This only serves to exacerbate our inequality problem. The big banks, in particular, are very worried about what would happen should Warren become president. Like that other Roosevelt - Franklin - she welcomes their hatred. Good for her.

Barry Fogel Lexington, MA Jan. 28

Extreme income inequality is damaging to social capital and to public health - and thus in the long run to sustainable prosperity. The American epidemic of depression, opioid abuse and suicide is is correlated with the acceleration of income inequality.

Worldwide, countries with high income inequality have more depression, more suicide and less happiness, even when their per capita GNP is higher than their neighbors'. The toxic effects of inequality are especially great in a nation like the US where children are taught that anyone can make it if they work hard enough. In fact, there's a lot more upward mobility in those awful socialist Nordic countries, where teaching public school is a prestigious and well-paid job, college and vocational training are taxpayer-funded (not 'free'), and no one goes bankrupt from a serious illness or injury.

Steve Tripoli Hull, MA Jan. 29

Without endorsing anyone's proposals here, a couple of examples from recent history on what's actually possible, despite what people may think: -- Six weeks before the Berlin Wall fell and reunited Germany, the then-West German government issued a report projecting that German reunification was at least 20 years away. -- Japan went from a highly-nuclear power dependent country, with no prospect of changing, to one that drastically cut its dependence on nuclear in just one year after the Fukushima disaster. -- One of my favorites: FDR sits down with the leaders of General Motors at the dawn of WWII and says I need so many tanks, so many trucks etc etc for the war effort. A GM exec responds on these lines: "Mr. President, we can't fulfill those needs and still produce X-hundred-thousand cars a year." FDR: "You don't understand. You're no longer a car company." So the lesson is, no one knows what's possible in a society till you try.

Silas Greenback Guilford, CT Jan. 28

Eliminating carried interest seems perfectly rational. Compensation by any other name is compensation and taxable as ordinary income as it is for everyone else in this country. Once upon a time, capital gains were taxed at 15% and ordinary income at rates as high as 91%. That led to all sorts of devices to game the system, including the infamous collapsible corporation.

But with the difference down to around 10-15%, we may as well bite the bullet and tax income from capital at the same rate we tax income from work. I doubt this will hurt savings, investment, or capital formation.

It is still nice to have money, and owning capital assets will still beat the alternative.

Finally, Senator Warren's proposal seems like an acceleration of the estate tax.

Having worked in trusts and estates law for decades, I suspect that this proposal will invite use of the same techniques used by estate planners, lawyers, and accountants to drive down the fair market value of assets. Her proposal may work, if it is ever enacted, but the devil, as usual, will be in the details. This is a very complex concept, simple as it may seem at first blush. That is not an argument for not trying, but for being very careful in the implementation, beginning with the statutory language.

Lisa Bay Area Jan. 28

@Taz Bernie talks in bumper-sticker slogans; Elizabeth talks substance.

Tom New Jersey Jan. 28

@Steve B People receiving Social Security only pay taxes on the benefits if their income exceeds the same thresholds that apply to people who go out and work for a living, and pay Social Security taxes that go to the elderly. Ellen, stop treating Social Security like it's a savings bank.

Your Social Security taxes paid for the generation before you, and the Social Security taxes raised now are paying for you. The average Social Security recipient today will receive twice as much as they paid into the system during their earning years.

So please give the "I'm just getting back the money I paid into the system" routine a rest. It's a fiction. The wealth of the over 65s is growing faster than any other age group in our society, and the fraction of government spending on over-65s is the only part of government that has grown in decades.

If you're making enough to pay income taxes, pay your taxes and stop complaining. That means you're doing OK. You'd better hope young people don't wake up and realize just how much of their hard-earned pay is going to pay for retirees.

Kodali VA Jan. 29

The seriousness in her policies is in her work ethics and brilliance. She means what she says and works her heart out to achieve those goals. There isn't anyone out there that matches those qualities.

RobertF Acton Ma Jan. 28

This tax will require staffing up the IRS and that will require dems control over both houses of Congress as the GOPers have defunded the IRS.

The ultra right, ultra rich will be paying more and more of their fortunes to their already privately-owned senators to defeat this and any other progressive tax proposals. We need more, more and more people to get into the democratic process and VOTE to recapture the nation's leadership in 2020!

Doug Rife Sarasota, FL Jan. 28

Pretax income concentration at the top increased starting in the 1980s as a direct result of the large reductions in the top marginal income tax rates. Those who complain that a 70% top marginal tax rate is confiscatory need to understand that's the whole point.

When top marginal tax rates are confiscatory that leads to lower pre-tax income inequality because tax aversion of the wealthy leads they to pay themselves less income to avoid paying the government so much in taxes.

Unlike most workers, corporate executives can easily arrange for their boards to pay them far more than their marginal product would justify.

Furthermore, wealth tends to concentrate automatically when top marginal tax rates are low. This is simply due to the math of compound interest. When investment returns are not taxed sufficiently by the estate tax or by capital gains taxes, they will be reinvested leading to extreme wealth accumulation over generations that is automatic and not the result of any kind of investing skill.

Even if a 70% top marginal tax rate did not raise a penny more in tax revenue it would still be justified on the grounds of preventing extreme concentration of wealth and income. Recent economic research has shown that in a purely capitalistic society in which there is no taxation nor redistribution all wealth in the whole society will ultimately be owned by a single household. https://voxeu.org/article/what-would-wealth-distribution-look-without-redistribution

Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

@Baldwin Actually, it's 2% on what is on top of those 50M, so 2% on 100M, if you have a net worth of $150M. That being said, nobody with $150M net worth just "sits" on his money for 35 years. To get there in the first place, in the 21st century you usually have to pay an expert and engage in financial speculation (= speculation about financial transactions, not an investment in the "real" economy), and of course you won't stop paying that expert once you reach $150M, so you continue to add millions to your wealth anyhow. On the other hand, if you belong to the middle class, you easily pay $30,000 taxes a year.

After ten years, that's $300,000, and after 33 years that's a million dollars paid in taxes. Seen in this way, even having the middle class paying taxes seems "unfair", because when they only earn $75,000 a year, why should they pay a million in taxes over 33 years ... ?

Conclusion: taxes are paid year after year not in function of how many you will have paid in total at the end of your career, but in function of what we collectively need to run this country smoothly (military, government, education, roads and bridges, EPA, ...).

A "fair" tax code is a tax code that allows anyone who works hard to live comfortably, weather your a hedge fund manager or teacher. And in order to get there, we can't continue the GOP's constantly lowering taxes for the wealthiest all while cutting services to the 99%. NO one with $150M will suffer by paying $2M in taxes a year ...

San Francisco Voter San Framcoscp Jan. 28

I applaud Elizabeth Warren and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez for espousing Teddy an Franklin Roosevelt's ideas about reducing the concentration of 90% of wealth in the upper 1/10th of 1 per cent (0.1%). That is the situation which can lead to major social unrest, widespread crime, and ultimately, civil war as happened in England in the 17th century, in Russia in 1917, and in the French Revolution that beheaded Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette - along with thousands of other members of the nobility.

We see this anger and violence today in the United States - in mass shootings, in failing public schools (the salaries are not sufficient to attract qualified teachers who instead will work in more remunerative fields, like law and computer technology. What works better is to reduce the concentration of wealth so people in the lower 90% can have more prosperity and social stability in their lives.

All people need a reliable source of food, healthcare, and a place for them and their families to live. All people need access to good education, family planning, and higher education sufficient to alllow them to work. With so much reliance on mechanical work, we also need for all people to have a minimum income - something that no one talks abou yet - but enough to live safely.

There is support for this not only among Democrats but also among Republicans. The help should be for everyone, not based on need (Marxism). This is common sense not socialism.

Dadof2 NJ Jan. 29

It was hilarious to read that Rush Limbaugh is SO terrified of AOC and Liz Warren that he, the grandmaster of Goebbels-like mis-information, is calling them "hitlerian" as he and Hannity push Trump every day to emulate Mussolini! But why is simple: I read that Limbaugh makes about $100 million a year, which puts him in the super-rich category. I doubt highly that he's paying the maximum 37(?)% on his income and if he is he needs better accountants and tax lawyers! But AOC's proposal means that $90 million of his $100 million would be taxed at 70%, leaving him "only" a measly $27 million a year to try not to starve on. Along with whatever millions are left after taxes on the first $10 million, say, $5 million (again, needs better tax advice). So he's stuck trying to survive on $32 million! (BTW, Hannity only makes about $29 million before taxes, Oh! The Humanity!--Or is it "Oh! The Hannity"?) That's really why they are vitriolic. Taxes are for the "little people", the suckers who call in and rant, who watch Fox and believe, no matter how illogical their logic. Rush and Sean see a REAL movement to tax their excessive income and will fight it tooth and nail, with fact and fiction (mostly fiction) to protect themselves and their wealth.

Mike L NY Jan. 29

Interesting how it is almost exactly a hundred years since this problem was dealt with in the last Gilded Age. Enough time so that the generations that remember are long gone and so the problem came back.

The Uber rich did this to themselves with their complete disconnect from the economic realities facing the 99%. TARP was the kicker - we gave a trillion dollars to the 1% while the 99% were left to fend for themselves. Despite the protestations of the 99%. Now that's political power in the hands of the few for the benefit of the few. Time to stop it now.

Ken McBride Lynchburg, VA Jan. 29

"wealthiest 0.1 percent of Americans almost equal to that of the bottom 90 percent combined." The corrupt neoliberalism of the 1% is unsustainable but is reflective of a downward spiral of decline. While we experience continuous political campaigning the U.S. is, in reality, a criminal and corrupt corporate state enriching the 1% and masquerading as a democracy, an Inverted Totalitarianism.

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Louis D. Brandeis

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Henry's boy Ottawa, Canada Jan. 29

Great. The pendulum swings back to sensible taxation rates for the ultra wealthy. Hard to feel sorry for hedge fund managers. I can just see Sean Hannity railing against it now. He would have to cough up.

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Fran B. Kent, CT Jan. 29

This column makes a good case for Elizabeth Warren as Secretary of the Treasury, or head of the Consumer Protection Bureau which she invented following Dodd Frank legislation. But the best way to reach the widest audience is a Presidential campaign. Most of the responses here focus on enough wealth, extreme wealth and self-interest. Beyond their tax liabilities is the reality of the power the the rich wield through lobbyists, campaign contributions, corporate takeovers, and tax dodges over our politics, governments, and over us, the people. It's a pity that any proposed tax fairness adjustments are reduced to epithets against socialism.

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David Dyte Brooklyn Jan. 28

The problem is that the big money against this will say (ie: fund ads saying) anything (true or false) about any other subject to swing votes against any candidate who's a serious chance of pushing such a tax increase. One can only hope I am wrong.

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Seabiscute MA Jan. 29

@Socrates, another trenchant and witty comment! Thank you.

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Cindy California Jan. 29

Fascinating article. Thanks for sharing. Her Accountable Capitalism Act also addresses the root causes of inequality, although some critics have stated that it would lead to the semi-nationalization of business. I think its effect would be commonsense regulation of the economic playing field so that excesses do not occur in how rewards are distributed. It has the potential to address issues early enough to prevent problems.

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Steve Scaramouche Saint Paul Jan. 29

@George Thanks to the Republican budget busting tax holiday for rich folks we will need every penny of revenue just to keep our fiscal boat afloat. We should add AOC's 70% rate just to patch our leaks in infrastructure, healthcare, education and social security for the retirees who were gutted by the 2008 Republican Great Recession.

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cslaftery NY, NY Jan. 29

Since the super-rich are already paying 2+20 for their wealth management, paying another 2 to the government hardly seems like it would kill incentive...

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Gary Upper West Side Jan. 28

Throughout most of the history of civilizations, governments have been funded by a wealth tax. This was in the form of property tax, as that was the only wealth there was. Somehow when financial wealth started to build, it was made largely exempt. Proposals to close this loophole are well overdue. It's not so radical as it is just restoring traditional funding methods.

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texsun usa Jan. 29

A sure sign of health when Warren, a veteran politician and Ocasio-Cortez, a first term member of Congress publish ideas early in the election cycle. The next steps are laws that dismantle Citizens United and protect voting rights.

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Wayne Campbell Ottawa, Canada Jan. 28

Elizabeth Warren had better take care. If she doesn't tread softly on these plans to progressively tax the rich and make them spread the wealth to all those millions of people out there who have had a hand in generating their economic success, she'll be called something equally invidious to a 'socialist' -- a 'Canadian'.

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stu freeman brooklyn Jan. 29

Prof. Krugman is speaking truth to power but power tends to speak back, telling our citizens that progressives like Sen. Warren are aiming to increase taxes across the board. Never EVER do they narrow the stated target of such projected increases to the uppermost economic stratum. And progressives always manage to let them get away with this. Democratic candidates for political office need to assign members of their campaign staffs to Republican events and arm them with bullhorns for the expressed purpose of shouting out the words "for the rich" every time a typically disingenuous Republican opponent announces that a specific Democrat has a plan to raise Americans' taxes.

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Andrew Michigan Jan. 29

"More important, my sense is that a lot of conventional political wisdom still assumes that proposals to sharply raise taxes on the wealthy are too left-wing for American voters." It's just shocking to me that conservative voters supposedly hate liberal elites, yet refuse continuously to tax the mega rich and/or ignore the tax cuts for those households. Do they not see the hypocrisy they're being fed by Fox News?

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Tom Pauloski Highland Park, IL Jan. 29

I know that it's inconvenient, but the US Constituion prohibits a direct tax that is not apportioned among the states on the basis of population. Hard to see how Ms. Warren's "plan" meets this standard. Serious presidential candidates need to propose plans that actually have a chance to work. After what we're experiencing now, we don't need four additional years of bombast.

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Kem Phillips Vermont Jan. 29

@Mkm Can you give any arguments as to why this is unconstitutional, or a source as to when it was declared so? Note that once (ie, just a few generations ago) abhorrent laws concerning voting rights and segregation were considered just fine.

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Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

@Paul Wortman We indeed tend to believe that the poor and lower middle class must be (more) ignorant, and as such easier victims of the GOP's massive fake news campaigns. Studies show however that a majority of those earning less than $100,000 a year voted for Hillary, whereas a small majority of those earning more than that voted for Trump. That's because her platform included VERY clear and urgent, fact-based measures that would have helped the poor and middle class, after Obama already made serious progress on these issues (a public option added to Obamacare, and many other things). So imho the only ones risking "forgetting" about the needs of the 99% when it comes to voting, are those who don't carefully fact-check politicians' achievements and campaign agenda, before voting (or deciding not to vote) ...

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CA CA Jan. 29

@BC The current standard deduction of $12K for single people means that the first $12K is not taxed ($24K joint) which means that your wish has already come true.

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Paul Rogers Montreal Jan. 29

@Socrates Please run for office.

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boourns Nyc Jan. 29

Fundamentally, a fallacy of modern American society is a perversion of the golden rule. Let's call it "tax not lest ye be taxed." Even though the electorate will never in their wildest dreams make this kind of income, their wildest dreams persist. And thus they will not permit the thought of "unfair" taxation on the ultra-rich, using all the talking points the richest 1% have lobbied deep into our political system at every level.

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Doug Lowenthal Nevada Jan. 29

At this stage in our history when wealth hasn't been more concentrated, raising taxes on the ultra-rich is exactly what populism is about. Think TR and FDR, not DJT.

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pjahwah Iowa Jan. 29

@Socrates Oh Socrates, you do have a way with words! Your first and second paragraphs are lol gems! I hope you keep coming back.

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michaeltide Bothell, WA Jan. 29

@Ronald B. Duke, I think I remember people saying that during the civil rights movement too. Be patient. You'll get what you want by'n'by. Waiting for dynastic fortunes trickle away is sort of like waiting for the mountain to be worn away by the wind. It's not gonna happen in our lifetime. There's always a reason for not depriving the wealthy of any part of their fortunes. Each time we fail to do that, the need to do it becomes more dire. Things just don't get better by waiting for someone to voluntarily or even accidentally, divest themselves of money or power. It can be done by legislation, and that's better than by revolution. And, you know, the wealth accumulation has already begun. What has to happen now is to keep it from falling over and crushing all of us (Make that almost all of us).

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Tom Maguire Darien CT Jan. 28

@Rockets Pual Krugman is almost surely right about incentives on the individual level since few of us will hold off just because the second $50 MM is slightly less lucrative. Buts its funny how he ignores the macroeconomic effect. If the Bezos tax bill was $1 billion, I think we agree it would come exclusively out of savings. *IF* the government simply used the proceeds to reduce spending (below some credible prior baseline) then the net effect on national savings is zero; interest rates unchanged, economic activity unaffected, and so on. But if the government spends the money (as seems likely under President Warren) then national savings is reduced and the fed will (in the current environment) probably feel obliged to push back against a stimulative fiscal policy with a restrictive monetary policy: higher rates, less investment, less consumer spending, etc. So Bezos has no incentive to invest less but as a nation we will do just that. Is that good? Maybe - it would have been great in 2009. Seems to merit a discussion.

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Harold Winter Park, Fl Jan. 29

The 2020 campaign for POTUS is shaping up to be very interesting. That is, if Trump makes it. Combine Warren and Harris we would have a great team. Warren adds specifics with intellectual heft and Harris inspires us with her open, honest and intelligent persona. Just need to find room for Amy K. on that team.

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DJS New York Jan. 29

@FunkyIrishman Your "radical plan " has been tried, and has failed.

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Native Tarheel Durham, NC Jan. 29

This is far better than changing the rate on capital gains, which would tend to punish middle class retirees for having invested over the years (Mr. Rattner's proposal today) and, I think, would be difficult for the uber-wealthy to avoid. I'm not sure that $50 million is the correct starting point (perhaps a meager $25 million of net worth should be taxed) but this is a brilliant new concept that offers promise of slowing wealth inequality while not terribly constraining the wealthy.

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Henry Crawford Silver Spring, Md Jan. 29

"We seem to be heading toward a society dominated by vast, often inherited fortunes." Welcome to kingship, 21st Century style.

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Mathman314 Los Angeles Jan. 29

In reading this column and the associated comments, there seems to be one glaring omission: the necessity of overturning the Citizens United decision which provides the ultra-rich avenues to continually push their lower taxes agenda by hiring hoards of lobbyists, by "buying" politicians with campaign contributions, by funding misleading and excessive political advertising, and by controlling various media outlets that are little more than propaganda mills. Until Citizens United is overturned much-needed, rational progressive taxation reforms have little chance of becoming reality, and with the current composition of the Supreme Court overturning this decision is unfortunately extremely unlikely.

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stan continople brooklyn Jan. 29

@Yabasta Yeah, Dr. Krugman must have sustained a hit to the head since 2016 and would not recognize a photo of Hillary Clinton if it was flashed before him. His incessant savaging of Bernie was positively embarrassing to witness and never adequately explained. Only goes to show you that our much vaunted reason is designed to justify our emotions and that even Nobel laureates have deep subconscious axes to grind.

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Rosebud NYS Jan. 29

Under Eisenhower marginal tax rates were approximately 90%. This "Greatest Generation" built the interstate system. We can't even maintain the interstate system we have let alone build a new one. Our national-level political system is dominated by the rich. Our economic policies are totally skewed towards the rich. Our educational system is biased towards the rich. We've let capitalism trump democracy. If making America Great Again means taxing the rich back into reality, I have no problem with that. My only annoyance with Mr. Krugman's essay is his monomaniacal avoidance of saying the word, "Sanders." What's that about?

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Steve NJ Jan. 29

This makes perfect sense to me. Under Senator Warren's plan households with more than $50 million of annual income would pay a 2% wealth surcharge. I can't imagine this would have any significant effect on any of the 75,000 wealthiest U.S. households. I'd much rather see Michael Bloomberg and his financial peers support broader efforts to make college free or reduce student debt levels than make more lavish gifts to elite institutions like John Hopkins.

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Rima Regas Southern California Jan. 28

cks, broken promises, scandal. and a presidency in trouble – all pushed Bill Clinton into taking a brand new tack: triangulation. In addition to the definition of triangulation offered by Dick Morris in his Frontline appearance on PBS, here is a quote from his book: "The idea behind triangulation is to work hard to solve the problems that motivate the other party's voters, so as to defang them politically The essence of triangulation is to use your party's solutions to solve the other side's problems. Use your tools to fix their car." The problem with that is that triangulation has not quite worked out that way. "Their car" wasn't what was actually being fixed. What the "tools" did address, however, were the goals of the Republican party. https://www.rimaregas.com/2017/09/04/triangulation-when-neoliberalism-is-at-its-most-dangerous-to-voters-updated-dem-politics-on-blog42 /

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Schrodinger Northern California Jan. 28

@Jonathan....Current S+P 500 dividend yield is 2.02%. That would provide cash to cover most of the wealth tax. A wealth tax might impact the market for high end art and collectibles, but that is probably a very small fraction of total wealth.

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Peter Wolf New York City Jan. 29

@Duane McPherson I realize Warren may have some limitations re emotional appeal (also re men not wanting to vote for a woman), which is why I said I put her "at the top of my list for Dems, SO FAR." I'll see how this plays out on the campaign trail. Someone else may emerge who has both the smarts and the charisma- or Warren may find an emotional niche. Time will tell.

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skier 6 Vermont Jan. 29

@George Warren Buffet has said, "There's class warfare all right. But it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning."

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mrpoizun hot springs Jan. 28

@Phyliss Dalmatian I'm afraid Sherrod is not liberal enough. Nowadays, if you talk about bi-partisanship and reaching across the aisle, you're talking about making a deal with the devil.

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faivel1 NY Jan. 29

@Yuri Asian Very passionate and authentic comment!

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UtahSteve 1953 Gardiner, NY Jan. 29

This is a pie pie-in-the-sky comment, but I'll stand by the overall premise based on our history. It's all about the velocity of money and resources. You have to spend it to grow it. Infrastructure also includes 100% healthcare cradle to grave, baseline living standards, Social Security clean water, clean air, clean power, full education, etc. Infrastructure is the key to everything throughout history, period. Close all tax loop holes. Reduce all business taxes by at least half or more. Create a progressive tax rate starting at 0% raised all the way to 80% up the ladder. If you don't like it, renounce your citizenship with all of what that entails and leave. Completely get rid of the cap on Social Security. Everyone except those at the 0% tax rate pays in 7%. That is fair. Make the business contribution 3% of the first $100,000 Reinstate a stronger set of anti-trust guard rails. Re-instate a stronger form of Glass/Steagle. Reinstate a stronger Fairness Doctrine Realize that a corporation is NOT a person and if we think they are, subject them to the 13th amendment regarding one person owning another. They also are not allowed participate in anything of a political nature, in any way shape or form. Period. Full stop. Invest in the poor and middle classes in all ways. Raising standards from the bottom up raises all boats. It's not "trickle down" it's "trickle up". It's all about the velocity of money. You have to spend it to grow it. We can do this in this country.

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James Ricciardi Panama, Panama Jan. 28

Why do by indirection what is better done directly? Income tax rates should be adjusted to push the marginal rate to a percentage needed to produce the estimated revenue from Warren's proposal. This would (1) not require creation of a new beauracracy and a new wealth tax code to administer the new wealth tax, (2) not create incentives for lawyers and accounts to redefine net worth and would (3) not change incentives for investments by wealthy individuals, with unknown and unknowable side effects. If we also want to reduce fortunes directly, enact a truly functional estate tax, not the joke which we have now.

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Truthbeknown Texas Jan. 29

One other thought, the high tax rates of the 1950s and 1960s carried with them many, many deductions which are no longer available -- -which were surrendered politically in exchange for lower overall ages. Maybe something additionally to be considered would be combing through the tax code and addressing the special interest provisions which conflate social policy about certain companies/products/goals with tax policy.

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Tom Maguire Darien CT Jan. 28

@A P As you note, simply giving the money to their foundation can spare them the tax bill. They don't actually need to have the foundation disburse that much of it. And my casual impression is that Bill Gates' ability to direct billions through his foundation has preserved his "social capital" - he is still invited to Davos, can tour Africa with Bono or the Pope, get his phone calls returned by Important People, get his kids into whatever college he chooses to endow, hop on private jets to wherever, and so on. As punishments go forcing him to chair a major foundation is not much.

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John Coctosin Florida Jan. 29

The government has never proven itself to be a good steward of capital. They will tax and spend, tax and reallocate, tax and waste. No thanks. Would rather the incentives remain and America push back against socialist notions. So expected from Krugman.

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Jonathan Lincoln Jan. 28

@CDN Eh? Real estate is already valued every year and taxed accordingly, it's called property taxes. Art and antiquities are already valued for insurance purposes. It's not difficulty at all.

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b fagan chicago Jan. 28

@Shiv "I'm completely unable to determine how Jeff Bezos's work building Amazon has caused me or anyone else to be worse off. In fact, we're all better off." So you know nobody who had been making a decent living with a bookstore - or in publishing - or in many other small businesses that have been priced into oblivion by Amazon if they'd been lucky enough to survive the WalMart effect that came before. Robert Reich in "Supercapitalism" was right. The consumer side of a person can so easily derange the thinking of the rest of the person. Not following me? Than picture the dream world of big tech companies with their dreams of stupendous individual wealth by "disrupting" something where people have been making their livings. Each wave of disruption leaves people without their jobs. And these days, the chance of getting into a better-paying job after being disruptive aren't all that terrific if you look at the statistical outcomes. So is your view of morality served by the relentless push to undercut older businesses that provided employment, simply because the disrupting model is "more efficient"? Reconsider what "efficiency" is supposed to accomplish in the bigger picture of society rather than just shareholder (and top executive) financial reward.

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usa999 Portland, OR Jan. 29

As an authentic Republican, not one of the brigands who hijacked the party as a means to plunder and pillage, I heartily endorse the Warren proposal. To make it somewhat more palatable for voters I would suggest it earmark 50% of the revenue generated go to starting to pay down the national debt. That would mean, using the 2.75 trillion estimate, that in the first decade we would reclaim from the wealthiest approximately what Republicans gave away in the deficit-financed tax cuts of 2017. In effect having had an interest-free loan from us for a decade they would return the cash we have been paying interest on. Would be quite big of them, actually.

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WAXwing01 EveryWhere Jan. 30

Excellent!

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Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

@Alice It's not as if we ignore which tax loopholes for the wealthiest have to be closed and how to do so, you know. Democrats have been trying to do this for quite some time already, but the GOP blocks it. And Obamacare already includes a tax increase for the wealthiest - that's one of the reasons why it cuts the deficit by $100 billion, rather than adding to it. That proves that the wealthiest DNC donors and Democrats (such as Obama himself, and Pelosi) FULLY agree to increase their own taxes. Conclusion: cynicism never helped us move forward, fact-checking does ... ;-)

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stan continople brooklyn Jan. 29

@Vink Why do you think they all own a dozen sprawling properties scattered around the globe? They are all Bond villain wannabes never far from a secret citadel. I hope they've got plenty of toilet paper on hand for the siege.

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Jeoffrey Arlington, MA Jan. 28

@Michael Blazin You think that... why? It's not at all clear. But it is clear that the law could be written so that any transaction could be taxed. So unless the billionaires want to hide their money under their mattresses.....

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Joe Sneed Bedminister PA Jan. 29

A progressive wealth tax is an"idea whose time has come". See Piketty, Thomas. Capital in the Twenty-First Century . Harvard University Press. Use the revenue generated for infrastructure repair.

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Jim Gordon So Orange,nj Jan. 29

@carl bumba You'll need to visit those other countries to see how wrong you are and how right Socrates is.

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John Homan Yeppoon - Australia Jan. 29

@Rajiv The discussion is not about 'attacking' income, but taxing wealth.

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mrpoizun hot springs Jan. 28

@Blue Moon As far as Social Security and Medicare, all we have to do to fix that is tax the millionaires' income the same as we do the peon- every dime that goes in their overseas accounts should be taxed, same as the rest of us.

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Zdebman Central US Jan. 29

There are numerous holes in this proposal, none of which have anything to do with "greed". 1. What Krugman, Saez and Zucman fail to mention is that Denmark repealed its wealth tax in 1996 and Sweden repealed its wealth tax more than a decade ago. Not hard to understand why -- it is ultimately a self-defeating tax policy that just drives wealth out of your economy. Krugman doesn't mention that Saez and Zucman's basic premise is that every country has to implement a wealth tax for it to work, which is never going to happen. 2. Warren's proposal is blatantly unconstitutional as a direct tax, so she would need to garner the political support not just to pass the tax but amend the constitution similar to what was done for the income tax. Highly unlikely. The bottom line is that the only way to actually pay for all of the middle-class goodies that Democrats want to be provided by the Federal government (free college, Medicare for all, free daycare, paid leave) is to tax the middle-class like what they do in Sweden and Denmark through VAT and much lower income tax thresholds. Of course, once everyone figures that out, those proposals won't poll nearly as well, which is why AOC is now claiming that it will be magically paid for through the hocus-pocus of Modern Monetary Theory.

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PV Wisconsin Jan. 29

For Warren's tax proposal that "wouldn't lead to large-scale evasion if the tax applied to all assets and was adequately enforced ..." the IRS needs more staff and a bigger budget. Past Republican congresses have purposely gutted the agency's audit and enforcement capabilities at the direction of the very interests Warren's proposal targets.

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Charlesbalpha Atlanta Jan. 29

"Would such a plan be feasible? Wouldn't the rich just find ways around it?" The most likely way around it would be to bribe Congress not to vote for it. Isn't that why they

[Feb 04, 2019] Opinion Elizabeth Warren Does Teddy Roosevelt - The New York Times

Feb 04, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Debra Petersen Clinton, Iowa Jan. 28

"The net worth of the wealthiest 0.1 percent of Americans is almost equal to that of the bottom 90 percent combined." This describes a truly radical concentration of wealth that should raise red flags for anyone who genuinely cares about the future of this country. How long can such a situation last...or grow even worse...without resulting in social upheaval on a massive scale, such as happened in France in the late 1700's or Russia in the early 1900s? And exactly what do those 0.1 percent want so much wealth for anyway? While some people of great wealth do try to use it to make the world a better place, far too manty of them seem not to know what to do with it, except to let it pile up to gloat over or use it to influence politicians to create policies that will give them even more. Proposals for higher taxes on the very wealthy are derided as too radical. But the economic chasm that exists in this country between the very wealthiest and everyone else represents a radical challenge that must be addressed.

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carlyle 145 Florida Jan. 28

All you smarties ignored us when your Globalism took away all our jobs. Prez Clinton aimed for middle with his love of approval. Our situation became worse so in desperation we believed the Huckster Trump and called him our "NEW DEAL" Trump has failed us and there is a chance for Dem government in two years. A cautious, donor friendly, middle of the road Democratic administration just like the last one will send us on the hunt again for a leader to save us from peonage.

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EJ NJ Jan. 29

@Charlie As enticing as is your suggestion, let's not lower ourselves that far down to Tweety's "standards of behavior". Pinocchio redeemed himself in the end; Tweety never will, and many hope he ends up sharing a cell with Bernie Madoff.

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DS Georgia Jan. 28

Thank you for this review of reactions from the experts -- and for the list of experts who focus on this topic. And thank you for sharing your views. The challenge with Warren's proposal isn't devising a good policy. The challenge will be explaining it to voters who don't understand economics or Piketty's book. It's a voter-education problem more than an economics problem. I wish Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez well in their efforts to explain their proposals. It seems a tall order, but it's just the kind of medicine we need.

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stan continople brooklyn Jan. 28

Thanks to Trump we, as a nation, got to see that even Federal workers can barely get by. This was quite a revelation for many. There has long been a stigma in this country about sharing the truly dismal state of one's economic affairs. It's why we've made so little progress along the lines discussed here. It's also the reason once-middle class people place themselves in a debt spiral, to compete with others who, unbeknownst to them, are doing likewise. There will be much more discussion now of just how unequal and insecure this society is. The powers that be have tried to muffle the conversation for long enough. And kudos to Wilbur Ross for opening his fat mouth and provoking everyone's ire!

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Flora Maine Jan. 29

@dajoebabe Another sign that ours is "a system that is the only one in the world where such vast sums can be accumulated with so little being required in return" is the way foreign capital is swamping our property markets because people from un-free countries are trying to buy access to the rule of law. There aren't that many places in the world for the rich to flee where public infrastructure and the rights of citizenship are quite as robust as here in the US.

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OgataOkiOwl Okinawa, Japan Jan. 28

@Ana Luisa Amen!! Very well said. I hope you're correct in projecting that the U.S. "will finally become an entirely civilized country too." I fear that the 'Kochtopus' will strangle the initiatives proposed by Warren and other progressives before they can be enacted. But I won't roll over and give up. Dr. Krugman's columns and the comments from others such as yourself inspire me to continue to push back against the Repubs and support candidates such as Sen. Warren. Bravo Zulu to you and all the other NYT readers who speak up to state that the United States can strive to be the shining example of equality and fairness that does truly function to promote governance that works for the common good of ALL U.S. citizens.

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CPMariner Florida Jan. 28

Dr. Krugman uses the argument of "marginal utility value" as the crux of one of his statements. Marginal utility, briefly described, is the value one might put on he first milkshake he's had in years. Probably very high. But what about the 10th milkshake in the same day? ("Yuck" would do nicely.) So it is with "the second $50 million", as Dr. Krugman argues. Quite right. After a given point - depending on the individual - wealth ceases to play an important part in one's life. Would a billionaire miss a million?... one thousandth of his net worth? Hardly. But when arguing such a point, beware the Slippery Slope argument (a classic fallacy). "Yeah, maybe just a million today; but tomorrow? Maybe TEN million!!

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Blue Moon Old Pueblo Jan. 28

"Taxing the superrich is an idea whose time has come -- again." Let's hope Democrats have their ducks in a row with this legislation when they regain the presidency and full control of Congress in 2020. And if we want to get even more radical with the "swollen" wealthy, we could rescind their recent trillion-dollar tax cut. Perhaps that will start acclimating them to what needs to be our new normal. We should consider cuts to our bloated defense budget as well. We can use all of this money to shore up Social Security and Medicare, in addition to Medicaid, and to promote more affordable public education, infrastructure to fight climate change, and universal health care. This additional revenue is not just something we should see as a windfall for society. In the end, it may prove to be what saves what's left of our society.

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Maryellen Simcoe Baltimore Jan. 28

@Registered Repub. Again, Warren is not a socialist. You may not know what a socialist is.

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thewriterstuff Planet Earth Jan. 28

@Mike Rowe The only people that this would effect are the people who can't afford lawyers and accountants. I have been audited twice. Both times it turned out the government owed me money, but the money I was owed, was eaten up because I had to pay and accountant to defend me. Trump still has not put forward his tax documents, do you really think that adding a few more IRS agents would change that.

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Tom New Jersey Jan. 28

@Orthoducks Let's be honest: every society that has taken away the wealth of individuals and handed it to the government to allocate has been ruled by tyrants and has reduced their citizenry to penury at the point of a gun. Wealthy people reinvest their money in economic ventures that grow their wealth, which generates greater productivity while creating jobs and wealth for the society. If there is too much concentration of wealth (there is), let's tax it back down, but don't ever suggest that we should just take all the money from individuals because we can. That's the route Lenin and Mao went down; I thought we had learned that lesson.

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John Hartford Jan. 29

Whether you agree with Warren's proposal or not it's a good thing that this issue is being put out in the public domain because we've now reached the stage where income and wealth inequality is eroding the effectiveness of the open and dynamic capitalist economy that we all need. Some of the more perceptive of the super rich like Warren Buffett and Michael Bloomberg have recognized this and the dangers it threatens. It was a problem recognized in the 30's by J. M. Keynes speaking in America when he said "If the new problem of inequality is not solved the existing order of society will become so discredited that wild, foolish and destructive changes will become inevitable." It's worth remembering that Maduro and Chavez before him were the products of the vast inequalities in Venezuelan society. And there are plenty of other examples of a similar dynamic at work.

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nora m New England Jan. 29

The people who don't like a wealth tax are a) very wealthy, or b) corrupt politicians, or c) pundits who like to sound like they know everything. Yes, tax the wealthy. Even Willie Sutton could tell you that if you want money (tax revenue) go where it is. The time is right. They can choose: higher taxes or the guillotine.

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RMS Jan. 28

@Shiv Taxes were at this rate in the 50's and inequality was nowhere as bad as it is now. Undertaxing Bezos and his ilk (and the way our tax system is now set up, generally), directs money to the CEOs and other muckety mucks, not to their employees. Republicans seem to think that there's a "natural" (as in, arising out of nature) situation where money goes to the person who has "earned" it. That's simply not true. The economy is a construct, created by law and custom. And right now, the law makes sure that Bezos gets a whole lot more than he should be getting, while his hapless employees (the folks who do the actual work) get way less than they should.

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PATRICK G.O.P. is the Party of "Red" Jan. 28

I have admired Warren since she entered the political spectator sport. She has a lot of guts for a woman. I gathered from your essay that only 75,000 or so Americans hold as much wealth as the lower 90 percent of the entire population of 320,000,000 Americans. Decades have passed since Eisenhower rightly paid down the debt of the great war. In that time, fairly dispersed wealth trickled up to a few who employed "Trickle Down" propaganda and political manipulation, all too often agreed to, to reduce their tax burden thereby heaping all responsibilities of maintaining the nation on everyone but the rich. "Trickle Down Economics" was always a lie we all saw through. Party politics, bought and paid for, happily accepted wealthy dollars in exchange for legislation outlined by the wealthys' lobbyists. The reality has always been "Trickle Up" and "Trickle Out" economics as American wealth is grossly concentrated at the top. I like the taxation plan as presented. It still leaves the filthy rich, well, filthy rich. It started as our money they now have amassed. Decades of lies and corruption justify any new taxes on the wealthy who need to be convinced their absent patriotism should be reestablished by law. If the wealthy are going to "Crowd Source" America, let's make them "Crowd Pleasers". It's a great way to keep the peace. We do want peace, don't we?

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RMS Jan. 29

@DJS Ummm, wealthy people, no matter how well meaning or even well-acting (and there are many who are neither), do not (or should not) be in charge of infrastructure, public health, national defense, public education and so on. As far as "helping needy people, who never see it," I wonder what you are thinking. I assure you that the recipients of food stamps, unemployment, social security, medicare and medicaid benefits certainly "see" it. As do the rest of us when we have clean air and water (currently under attack by Republicans), safe air flight (ditto), and well-maintained roads (also ditto).

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Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

@Registered Repub (Reply to your reply to FunkyIrishman) Could you please explain how American workers can be simultaneously 30-40% more productive than Scandinavian workers, and all American "socialists" (which for you seems to be a synonym with Democrats, and as a consequence refers to the majority of the American people) "lazy" ... ? And of course America hasn't a 40% higher productivity rate than Scandinavian countries. In 2015, the US ranked merely fifth on the OECD's productivity list - after Luxemburg, Ireland, Norway and Belgium. A US workers adds $68 per hour to the GDP, a Danish worker half a dollar less, and a Swedish worker $9 dollars less. And maybe Americans "own more cars and live in bigger houses", but Norwegians are FAR happier, as all studies show. Producing tons of money as a country's highest ideal is clearly not the best way to have a happy, healthy and well-educated population and economy that works for all citizens. And funny enough, in the US it's precisely the party that loves to call itself "the party of values" that indeed systematically sees money as its main value ... http://time.com/4621185/worker-productivity-countries /

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Yuri Asian Bay Area Jan. 29

@Paul Rogers Agree except for abolishing propaganda, which offends the First Amendment. Better to help others recognize political manipulation and reject irrational or emotional appeals. Thanks for your reply.

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Ockham9 Norman, OK Jan. 29

It doesn't matter whether large majorities of Americans or economists or tax experts support a wealth tax or higher marginal rates. The only poll that matters limits itself to 535 people, the members of the House and Senate. And the net worth of those 535 people is on average 5 times larger than that of the rest of America. Fourteen have net worths larger than the $50 million of the proposal. Will they vote to tax themselves more? Though the number may be small, in a contentious matter and a highly partisan and divided body, every vote matters.

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Manish Seattle Jan. 29

Let's start simple: close the carried interest loophole. For all the talk of Obama being about the working class, he didn't get this done. Hedge fund guys had his administration and Dems lobbied up to prevent closing this. So it's not just the Republicans supporting the oligarchy. Democrats are guilty too.

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SamwiseTheDrunk Chicago Suburbs Jan. 28

Us Americans need to stop seeing ourselves as temporarily embarrassed millionaires, that's the problem. I don't care how we do it, either by raising rates, closing loopholes, or both, but the 1%, the 0.1%, and the 0.01% need to take home less money. They don't "work harder" than the rest of us, that's complete garbage. Maybe we pass a tiered law stipulating an allowed pay ratio between the CEO and lowest level employee, based on either company size as the number of people, or revenue, or some other formula. Or maybe we say you get a lower tax rate if you meet that ratio, and higher taxes if you don't. I'm glad people are moving the overton window though.

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Buddy Badinski 28422 Jan. 29

@JW Maybe she should. Bernie does and it clearly demonstrates his conviction to the wealth inequality situation.

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Len Charlap Princeton NJ Jan. 28

"Denmark and Sweden, both of which USED to have significant wealth taxes" Why don't they have them today?

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mrpoizun hot springs Jan. 28

@Taz Obama was also a moderate Republican. This time, we need a liberal. Who was the last president to be nearly universally popular? (Except with the mega-rich) FDR. And remember what he said about his wealthy enemies? "I welcome their hatred!"

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Phil Las Vegas Jan. 28

Existing US infrastructure is so degraded, the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) estimates it will cost $2 trillion just to bring it back up to code. President Trump cut taxes on the 1%, which will cost about that much in increased debt over ten years. Candidate Trump floated the idea that this imminent infrastructure cost should be born by the 'little people' via toll booths, as they schlep themselves to work and back each day just trying to make their rent money. Americans need to realize something about our government: it costs money, and that money is not in question. Someone is going to pay that bill: 'nothing is certain but death and taxes'. As the infrastructure debate illustrates, we can either make the wealthy pay that cost, or they will make us pay it. But somebody is going to pay it, of that you can be sure. (Just a suggestion: that $2 trillion is just for delayed maintenance on existing infrastructure. But that infrastructure was originally constructed, i.e. out of nothing, back at a time when the maximum marginal income tax was over 90%).

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Kelly McKee Reno, NV Jan. 28

Benjamin Franklin founded the first communally funded public hospital and library, and Jefferson the the first communally funded public school. Both also touted the benefits of capitalism, including Franklin in his autobiography, stressing self discipline and creativity in business; and Jefferson famously said, paraphrasing here, that he 'admired industry and abhorred slavery' while they touted science and technologies' advances and natural law. Therefore, they believed in and instantiated a mixed economics plan for the future of the nation, with both capitalist and socialist dimensions. This was over the objections and boos of men of lesser ideals, at the time. But the founders became Founders, and the other men of lesser ideals did not. Therefore, it is the ideals of the founders that should live on in our country, not other ideals. We can all take a simple pride in the American Exceptionalism that led Ben Franklin to maneuver against powerful loyalist-capitalists in the 1750's in Pennsylvania colony, and found the first hospital in Philadelphia above their private disbelief that it would ever work; the hospital would unquestioningly take in any and all from off of the streets who needed assistance. The combined ideal vision of America's founding fathers broke the mold of two-tiered monarchy capitalism, and established mixed capitalism on the new plateau of democracy. There's no need to apologize, if we aim to fulfill this vision in a now more pluralist America.

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Bruce Wheeler` San Diego Jan. 28

Simply: the USA has perhaps the largest set of overpaid, underperforming rich people the world has ever seen. Yes, there are always rich people ... but ... at some point they realize the only significant remaining goal is to make humankind ... well, more human. Teddy R and Franklin R "got it", even Dwight. But certainly not Saint Ronald. Without implementation of the Warren or other plans, we will let the rich destroy the fundamentals of society which allowed them to become rich. Rich includes: law and order, free speech, little corruption among police, ... children who will grow up and support the rich in their dotage.

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White Buffalo SE PA Jan. 29

@Vink FDR, who was infinitely more canny and wise than Trump, understood this in no uncertain terms.

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just visiting USA Jan. 29

To me the current trend in concentration of income at the top looks like inflation. In places like San Francisco you have to earn 7 digit incomes to be able to afford housing. In response housing gets more expensive, and Google will have to increase your salary to make your ends meet. So now houses will get more expensive... Of course, if you are a school teacher, or a baker or a cashier at the supermarket, your goose is cooked. If a hedge fund manager can afford to pay $200+ million for a penthouse where you used to live, you are going to be homeless

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Lawrence Zajac Williamsburg Jan. 29

The real justice of such a plan is that money could be made to move throughout the system stimulating the economy and shared prosperity. What should be obvious to all and hopefully will before the next election cycle is that the Dems are imaginatively searching for solutions and coming up with great ideas.

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Betaneptune Somerset, NJ Jan. 28

@Baldwin - How about property tax? Tax on your same home over an over again, with the home itself paid for with money that was already taxed. T'would be no worse than that.

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J. Cornelio Washington, Conn. Jan. 29

We have no hesitation in shaming those who get a dopamine rush from alcohol or from drugs or from sex or (occasionally) from an obscene accumulation of power. But as the saying goes, you can never be too rich or too thin. Well, that's a cultural meme not a Platonic truth, one probably dating back to at least Freud (if not Augustine) who preferred we "sublimate" our sexual lust for money/power lust because the latter is, at least theoretically, more "productive" for society. Except when it isn't. And when dopamine (a/k/a/ greed) driven plutocrats use their wealth to corrupt the system so that they can continue to accumulate more wealth and power, it isn't. Neuter them.

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JohnH Rural Iowa Jan. 29

It's time we ask ourselves this: What happens if we do nothing versus if we do something? If we do nothing, we continue with a small group of family dynasties that owns everything, whose primary commitment is only to amassing more wealth. We have a precedent for this in the robber barons of the late 1800's. The outcome? They drove the U.S. economy off the cliff in the 1920's. (Yes, simplified, but not much.) What happens if we do what Warren proposes -- or something similar? More tax money to solve problems, and we need the money. We just gave these people around $1.5 trillion in tax breaks, and the data clearly show they will not trickle down on us. And we're not remotely addressing climate change or crumbling infrastructure -- situations that will strain our social and economic capacity for perhaps a century. But just as important, it would cap the capacity of 75,000 people to make all the de facto decisions for our society. Democracy would be reinvigorated. Throw in the destruction of Citizens United, and it would usher in a new era in America. Of course, it is guaranteed that the ultra-rich, their super-rich pals, and the politicians they buy through Citizens United will fight this tooth and nail. For them it would be: to the barricades! Just like corporations, their loyalty is to themselves and their wealth, not to their country.

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Miguel Valadez UK Jan. 29

Wealth Redistribution is only one of the four legs of the stool of an inclusive society. Prof Krugman, AOC and Democrats would do well to expand the narrative to address right wing concerns: 1. Effective government spending on public services that improve welfare and national wealth and risk taking and knowledge generation (eg NASA) that the private sector just wont do - root out inefficiencies in the system, ensure incentives for productivity are maximized and keep operations lean and accountable to society. 2. Campaign finance reform: mandate air time for election coverage as a public good and give parties public funds and budget ceilings to ensure a level playing field. Also ensure redistricting makes all races competitive scross party lines as the preeminent rule. Eliminate the electoral college and moderately shift senate power to more populous states. 3. Equalise access to educational opportunities by removing the link between geography and housing and education quality and massively supporting early education programmes across the board. Improve educational outcomes to ensure the majority of society is capable of critical thinking. 4. Redistribute wealth and limit the power of elites to tilt the system in their favour: both in government policy and in how the judicial system operates (no more a la carte legal representation quality based on ability to pay).

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John Hartford Jan. 29

@Michael Who says it will be changed? You? Progressive taxation is not seizing assets. Without it a modern state cannot function. And the AMT came into existence because of the efforts of people like Donald Trump to evade taxation.

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Paul Wortman Providence Jan. 28

Income inequality along with climate change are the two BIG issues that need to be addressed. The rollback in the progressive income tax that began with Ronald Reagan needs to be reversed. The proposals by Sen. Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Steven Rattner in today's Times need to be debated and carefully evaluated. But, there are related issues that are relevant to this debate concerning how to cope with automation and artificial intelligence that will dramatic effect the labor market for those still struggling for decent paying jobs. Democrats must not lose sight of their base--blue-collar, lower- and middle-class voters still struggling with wage stagnation and the loss of manufacturing jobs. That's where Hillary Clinton lost the last election, and while Democrats may feel good about taxing the rich, they must not forget the 99 plus percent who are still in need of help.

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heysus Mount Vernon Jan. 28

I feel this is exactly what this country needs. The rich have become richer and seem to demand more and more. Time to stop this incredible greed and put some of those dollars back to work in the country. Hopefully all of the Dems will agree with this.

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Karl Hoaglund Milwaukee, WI Jan. 29

Excellent article and kudos to Elizabeth Warren. On top of her and AOC's proposals I would add a 100% inheritance tax on estates over $1M. This isn't my idea but that of my favorite law school professor: the taxee doesn't care because s/he's dead; any money passed on to children is a complete windfall to them. Let's end the aristocracy.

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New Haven CT New Haven Jan. 29

The time has got to be ripe for these kinds of proposals. The primary source of unhappiness in the working class throughout the western world is the feeling of being left behind and not having their problems addressed. In the US we need to fix our crumbling infrastructure, provide a livable minimum wage and universal health care. These goals can easily be achieve by addressing the outrageous accumulation of wealth by the top 1%. Implement Warren's plan, AOC's 70% tax, tax capital gains the same as income, and add a 1% fee on all stock trades. The money the rich are hoarding needs to be invested in the betterment of society. That would truly make America great again.

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Schrodinger Northern California Jan. 28

@Alice...Inflation has been low and stable for 20 years and quantitative easing has had no effect on it, despite the forecasts of most right-wing economists. If you knew anything about macroeconomics you would be aware that in the past some governments have had serious struggles with the control of inflation.

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Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

It's a sad, very sad day, when in order to have a very brief but concrete idea about what Warren just proposed, you have to read an op-ed, not a NYT article, as that article just skips the very content of her speech and instead focuses on what most MSM constantly focus on: a politician as an individual wanting a career in DC, and whether this or that will advance or hurt that career (supposedly based not on policy but "likability"). MSM, I really hope that this time you will do your job! That Trump and the lying GOP won the 2016 elections is as much due to Fox News constant barrage of fake news as to MSM's tendency to systematically silence the most relevant facts (most of the time not in order to distort the truth, as Trump falsely claims, but simply because of their "small" concept of political journalism, which often seems closer to a sports match report than to a way to build a truly informed and engaged democratic civil society, even though that's precisely the crucial job of the fourth branch of government, in a democracy).

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Bill Belle Harbour, New York Jan. 29

@Linda Helping the poor seems to be your prescription for salvation. But what hope is there for those who don't help the poor when they actually made and continue to make people poor?

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EAK Cary NC Jan. 29

It's the T word that hangs people up. On any given day, the paper wealth of billionaires can gain or lose one or two percent based on the fluctuations of the stock market. They happily play the numbers to stabilize -- and hopefully improve -- their portfolios, but they manage to take the lumps without having to alter their lavish lifestyles. They're fixated on control, which they believe is stolen from them by big government. But in the long run, they really don't feel the pain on a personal level. Let 'em be taxed.

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rtj Massachusetts Jan. 28

@Tom Maguire "If Ms. Warren is this generation's Teddy, what companies does Prof. Krugman see her breaking up?" Insurance, Drugstores, Cable/ISPs, Tech, Big Box stores for starters. https://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/2016-6-29_Warren_Antitrust_Speech.pdf

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Doc Who Gallifrey Jan. 29

Bully for Elizabeth Warren! Take the time to read or skim the engaging books she has written about the economic plight of the American family---available on Amazon, and in your local library.

7 Recommend
Simon Lyon Jan. 29

If her bid for the nomination fails the winning candidate should commit to her being their Treasury secretary. She knows how to reform and tame finance.

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Paul Wortman Providence Jan. 28

@Ana Luisa Hillary totally ignored the blue-collar voters in the Midwest "blue wall" states and did not advocate for stronger unions. In fact, she never agreed with the progressive proposal for a $15/hr. minimum wage. She was a centrist, establishment, Wall Street candidate who picked a center-right running mate rather than uniting the party by picking a progressive like Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. The election NEVER should have been close, but Clinton was out-of-touch with the working class and most Sanders progressives--and it cost her.

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Hugh Massengill Eugene Oregon Jan. 29

Well, the first Democrat who takes after FDR sure has my vote. Hugh

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Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

@carlyle 145 This has nothing to do with globalism, and everything with the fact that for too long, many people didn't vote, allowing the GOP to fire up their base with fake news and as such force Democrats in DC to move more and more to the right, each time they had to compromise with the GOP because "we the people" didn't give them the votes to control DC. And in a democracy, ALL real, radical, lasting, democratic progress is step by step progress. So as long as progressives don't see that Democrats' are their natural allies and simply wait until someone comes along who claims to be able to single-handedly change everything overnight, it's the lying GOP and their Big Money corruption that will continue to destroy the country. Conclusion: stop "hunting for a leader to save us", in a democracy only "we the people" can save us. So instead of standing at the sidelines yelling "not enough!" to those fighting in the mud each time they managed to get us one step closer to the finish line, start focusing on that finish line too, then roll up your sleeves and come standing in the mud too, and then the next step forward will be taken much faster

[Feb 04, 2019] Progressive tax is not about taxing wealth. It's about taxing power, privilege and greed. This isn't about punishing oligarchy. This is about saving democracy

Notable quotes:
"... This isn't about taxing wealth. It's about taxing power, privilege and greed. This isn't about punishing oligarchy. This is about saving democracy. ..."
"... The concentration of wealth parallels the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: it is economic climate change with consequences equally as dire as global warming on all lifeforms. The challenge will be no less difficult, replete with a powerful lobby of deniers and greed-mongers ready for war against all threats to their power and position. Their battle cry is apres moi, le deluge -- as if taxing wealth and privilege is barbarians at the gate and the demise of civilization rather than curbing cannibals driven not by hunger but voracious greed. ..."
"... Likewise, the same majority now sees the rising tide of inequality and social dysfunction and what that means for the future as a global caste system condemns nearly all of us -- but mainly our progeny -- to slavery in servitude to our one percent masters. ..."
Feb 04, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Yuri Asian Bay Area Area

This isn't about taxing wealth. It's about taxing power, privilege and greed. This isn't about punishing oligarchy. This is about saving democracy.

The concentration of wealth parallels the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: it is economic climate change with consequences equally as dire as global warming on all lifeforms. The challenge will be no less difficult, replete with a powerful lobby of deniers and greed-mongers ready for war against all threats to their power and position. Their battle cry is apres moi, le deluge -- as if taxing wealth and privilege is barbarians at the gate and the demise of civilization rather than curbing cannibals driven not by hunger but voracious greed.

Everywhere climate change deniers are being drowned out by a rational majority who now see the signs of global warming in every weather report and understand what this means for their children if we continue to emulate ostriches.

Likewise, the same majority now sees the rising tide of inequality and social dysfunction and what that means for the future as a global caste system condemns nearly all of us -- but mainly our progeny -- to slavery in servitude to our one percent masters.

Elizabeth Warren is no nerd. She's our Joan of Arc. And it's up to us to make sure she isn't burned alive by the dark lords as she rallies us to win back our country and our future.

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[Feb 04, 2019] Opinion Elizabeth Warren Does Teddy Roosevelt

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Feb 04, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

America invented progressive taxation. And there was a time when leading American politicians were proud to proclaim their willingness to tax the wealthy, not just to raise revenue, but to limit excessive concentration of economic power.

"It is important," said Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, "to grapple with the problems connected with the amassing of enormous fortunes" -- some of them, he declared, "swollen beyond all healthy limits."

Today we are once again living in an era of extraordinary wealth concentrated in the hands of a few people, with the net worth of the wealthiest 0.1 percent of Americans almost equal to that of the bottom 90 percent combined. And this concentration of wealth is growing; as Thomas Piketty famously argued in his book "Capital in the 21st Century," we seem to be heading toward a society dominated by vast, often inherited fortunes.

So can today's politicians rise to the challenge? Well, Elizabeth Warren has released an impressive proposal for taxing extreme wealth. And whether or not she herself becomes the Democratic nominee for president, it says good things about her party that something this smart and daring is even part of the discussion.

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The Warren proposal would impose a 2 percent annual tax on an individual household's net worth in excess of $50 million, and an additional 1 percent on wealth in excess of $1 billion. The proposal was released along with an analysis by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman of Berkeley, two of the world's leading experts on inequality.

Saez and Zucman found that this tax would affect only a small number of very wealthy people -- around 75,000 households. But because these households are so wealthy, it would raise a lot of revenue, around $2.75 trillion over the next decade.

Make no mistake: This is a pretty radical plan.

I asked Saez how much it would raise the share of income (as opposed to wealth) that the economic elite pays in taxes. His estimate was that it would raise the average tax rate on the top 0.1 percent to 48 percent from 36 percent, and bring the average tax on the top 0.01 percent up to 57 percent. Those are high numbers, although they're roughly comparable to average tax rates in the 1950s.

Would such a plan be feasible? Wouldn't the rich just find ways around it? Saez and Zucman argue, based on evidence from Denmark and Sweden, both of which used to have significant wealth taxes, that it wouldn't lead to large-scale evasion if the tax applied to all assets and was adequately enforced.

Wouldn't it hurt incentives? Probably not much. Think about it: How much would entrepreneurs be deterred by the prospect that, if their big ideas pan out, they'd have to pay additional taxes on their second $50 million?

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It's true that the Warren plan would limit the ability of the already incredibly wealthy to make their fortunes even bigger, and pass them on to their heirs. But slowing or reversing our drift toward a society ruled by oligarchic dynasties is a feature, not a bug.

And I've been struck by the reactions of tax experts like Lily Batchelder and David Kamin ; while they don't necessarily endorse the Warren plan, they clearly see it as serious and worthy of consideration. It is, writes Kamin, "addressed at a real problem" and "goes big as it should." Warren, says The Times, has been " nerding out "; well, the nerds are impressed.

But do ideas this bold stand a chance in 21st-century American politics? The usual suspects are, of course, already comparing Warren to Nicolás Maduro or even Joseph Stalin, despite her actually being more like Teddy Roosevelt or, for that matter, Dwight Eisenhower. More important, my sense is that a lot of conventional political wisdom still assumes that proposals to sharply raise taxes on the wealthy are too left-wing for American voters.

But public opinion surveys show overwhelming support for raising taxes on the rich. One recent poll even found that 45 percent of self-identified Republicans support Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's suggestion of a top rate of 70 percent.

By the way, polls also show overwhelming public support for increasing, not cutting, spending on Medicare and Social Security . Strange to say, however, we rarely hear politicians who demand "entitlement reform" dismissed as too right-wing to be taken seriously.

And it's not just polls suggesting that a bold assault on economic inequality might be politically viable. Political scientists studying the behavior of billionaires find that while many of them push for lower taxes, they do so more or less in secret, presumably because they realize just how unpopular their position really is. This "stealth politics" is, by the way, one reason billionaires can seem much more liberal than they actually are -- only the handful of liberals among them speak out in public.

The bottom line is that there may be far more scope for a bold progressive agenda than is dreamed of in most political punditry. And Elizabeth Warren has just taken an important step on that agenda, pushing her party to go big. Let's hope her rivals -- some of whom are also quite impressive -- follow her lead.

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Yuri Asian Bay Area Jan. 29 Times Pick

This isn't about taxing wealth. It's about taxing power, privilege and greed. This isn't about punishing oligarchy. This is about saving democracy. The concentration of wealth parallels the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: it is economic climate change with consequences equally as dire as global warming on all lifeforms. The challenge will be no less difficult, replete with a powerful lobby of deniers and greed-mongers ready for war against all threats to their power and position. Their battle cry is apres moi, le deluge -- as if taxing wealth and privilege is barbarians at the gate and the demise of civilization rather than curbing cannibals driven not by hunger but voracious greed. Everywhere climate change deniers are being drowned out by a rational majority who now see the signs of global warming in every weather report and understand what this means for their children if we continue to emulate ostriches. Likewise, the same majority now sees the rising tide of inequality and social dysfunction and what that means for the future as a global caste system condemns nearly all of us -- but mainly our progeny -- to slavery in servitude to our one percent masters. Elizabeth Warren is no nerd. She's our Joan of Arc. And it's up to us to make sure she isn't burned alive by the dark lords as she rallies us to win back our country and our future.

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Peter Wolf New York City Jan. 28

Warren's proposal- and her desire to try to actually explain these basic economic realities without dumbing them down- has put her at the top of my list for the Dems so far. I was/am a big Bernie fan, and Bernie is great with the big picture (it's Yuge). But Warren really knows the details and how to craft an economic policy. Trump will call her names (that's his specialty), and she will explain reality (her specialty).

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Rich Berkeley CA Jan. 29 Times Pick

@George, It's not scapegoating the wealthy. When I was born, the top marginal tax rate was 91%. This has shriveled, along with inheritance and cap gains taxes. This was not due to an act of nature: it was a series of conscious policy decisions and SCOTUS decisions that created the situation we face today. Great societal damage derives from wealth inequality -- think public schools, access to college, housing costs, and more recently, political influence. Those who have far more money than they need distort the economic and political landscape, to the detriment of the majority. Class warfare against the poor and middle classes must end. Reversing the policies that changed the US from having a growing middle-class of my childhood to the shrinking one my kid faces is simply correcting bad policy. It can't come soon enough.

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DazedAndAmazed Oregon Jan. 28

I recently listened to a TED talk where Yuval Harari observed that capitalism beat out communism in the 20th century in large part due to the distributed decision making platform it provided that far out-performed what was available to the limited number of central planners in communist systems. It occurs to me that this same limiting dynamic of a restricted number of decision makers can occur in capitalist systems if wealth (and power) become concentrated. When just 2200 billionaires meet in Davos to choose the path forward for the rest of the 7.53 billion inhabitants of this planet (without their input) we can be assured that a series of sub-optimal decisions will have been made.

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R. Law Texas Jan. 28

We'd add 1 more item to Warren's plan: Kill Wall Street's carried interest loophole.

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DBman Portland, OR Jan. 29 Times Pick

Elizabeth Warren is impressive. She has the passion of Bernie Sanders. Unlike Sanders, she has a deep understanding of the policy and mechanisms that can achieve that result. A plan to tax extreme wealth is brilliant and, at about $275 billion per year, will ease the budget deficit. As the Times noted, Warren also can talk expertly about subjects as diverse as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to net power metering. The political punditry is probably wrong about voters rejecting a too-intellectual candidate. (They seem to be wrong a lot lately.) Especially in contrast to Trump, voters hunger for someone who is passionate, smart, has their interests at heart, and is very well informed.

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JSH California Jan. 28

If amassing billions of dollars isn't a hoarding disease, nothing is. Who needs more than a few hundred millions dollars, anyway? Perhaps it would be less of a problem if the uber-wealthy didn't secretly try to get their taxes lowered. They also, like the Koch brothers, like to buy policy positions and elect politicians that hurt most of the rest of us. The Bill of Rights isn't meant to be a list of suggestions. A democratic republic isn't meant to be ruled by the wealthiest 0.01 percent of all Americans. When those with the money get to establish opinions as to what is and isn't too radical for this nation, all of the marching and demonstrating the rest of us do doesn't amount to much. Vote the Republicans out of office in the next election and keep voting them out until their number fit in the bathtub they would have liked to drown the government in. That's two or three, tops.

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Anne-Marie Hislop Chicago Jan. 29 Times Pick

Yes. I remember a time when at least some of the rich viewed paying their taxes as "giving back" to the country which had been so good to them.

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Bill Belle Harbour, New York Jan. 29 Times Pick

A small transaction tax on the sale of stocks and bonds that was proposed as a way to sure-up and expand social security and Medicare should be added to the list of higher taxes on earned income. Furthermore, the tax rates on salaries and wages should no longer be penalized with high rates so that the privileged who make their money from transactions can pay a favored tax rate that is much much lower than the rates paid by people who work. Please, Paul, write a column on what Teddy Roosevelt and FDR advocated. They were nearly a hundred years ahead of where Americans want us to be. Minimum wage, from the Roosevelts' perspective meant a wage that could support a family. It meant making enough for a family to take a vacation and put some money away to retire. They weren't contemplating a wage for teenagers when they talked about minimum wage. The Roosevelts wanted to see retirement security. They were advocates of legislation that prevented employers from ripping off the wages of their workers. Liz Warren isn't radical; neither is OCA, or Bernie Sanders. They are merely informed about our history and the trends around the world.

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Mike Rowe Oakland Jan. 28

We should use some (a pittance) of the $300 billion a year this proposal would raise on giving the IRS the resources it needs to actually enforce the laws already on the books, and to the prisons, to house tax-cheats like our "president".

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FunkyIrishman member of the resistance Jan. 28

''Make no mistake: This is a pretty radical plan.'' - Uhm No. A radical plan is not allowing any single person or family to even HAVE a billion dollars, let alone tax them @ a paltry 3%. A radical plan would be to do way with money altogether, and have all of us contribute proportionally and progressive into one single community, instead of having 26 people have the SAME wealth as HALF of the world's population. A radical plan would be to actually work together so that our species could actually survive, instead of destroying our planet, and us as an extension. I am really tired of people and pundit alike trying to box in people and ideas before they even get off the ground, because all it does is continue the status quo. Perhaps the point, I suppose...

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Linda Oklahoma Jan. 28

I'm reading Susan Orlean's book, The Library Book. It's not just about the fire in Los Angeles but covers much of the history of libraries. If you love libraries, you probably know who Andrew Carnegie was. At one time, he was the richest person in the world. In middle-age, he decided to give his money away. He built 1,700 libraries for towns that couldn't afford them. I'm sure he had his problems and wasn't perfect. But, Carnegie realized you really can't take it with you and you can do much good while on earth. When I see rich people who only seem to care about showing up at premiers, jetting around the world, wearing different outfits every time they're photographed, and not seeming to care about all the pain on earth, it hurts. A certain billionaire bragged that not paying taxes made him smart. That means he's not paying to help the poor, the sick, the elderly, not paying for safe roads or safe water systems, not paying for the soldiers he claims to be so proud of. If these rich people were true Americans, they'd be proud to pay their fair share, proud to support the country that gave them so much. Happy to give away their money because they have more than they'll ever use. They won't be remembered for being rich. But look when you drive through small towns. More than 100 years after he gave his money away, you still see the name Carnegie on libraries across America.

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Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ Jan. 28

Perhaps after being trickled on by Grand One Percent bladder fluid economics for 40 years, some of the Grand Old Peasants will towel off, turn over their Grand Old Plantation voter ID cards and give progre