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Lesser evil  trick of legitimizing disastrous,
corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections

News American Polyarchy is not Democracy Recommended Books Recommended Links US Presidential Elections of 2016 Donald Trump Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Bernie Sanders
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The lesser evil is still evil.

Most people are not getting that they are duped.  "Lesser evil" is a story told to herd the masses. If there are two neoliberal politicians, both are corrupt. Neither intends to deliver anything to you on net; they are competing to deliver you on the plate to their corporate masters. You can chose only the sauce under which you will delivered.  

I am not enthusiastic about this proposed distinction between "hard" and "soft" neoliberalism. Ideologically, conservative libertarians have been locked in a dialectic with the Clintonite / Blairite neoliberals - that's an old story, maybe an obsolete story, but apparently not one those insist on seeing neoliberalism as a monolithic lump fixed in time can quite grasp, but never mind.

Good cop, bad cop. Only, the electorate is carefully divided so that one side's good cop is the other side's bad cop, and vice versa.

bruce wilder 09.01.16 at 7:09 pm
Hillary Clinton is engaging in politics and she's teh most librul librul evah! Why isn't that enough? It is not her fault, surely, that the devil makes her do unlibrul things - you have to be practical and practically, there is no alternative. We have to clap louder. That's the ticket!

 

Superdelegate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In American politics, a "superdelegate" is a delegate to the Democratic National Convention that is seated automatically and chooses for whom they want to vote. These Democratic Party superdelegates include distinguished party leaders and elected officials, including all Democratic members of the House and Senate and sitting Democratic governors. Other superdelegates are chosen during the primary season. Democratic superdelegates are free to support any candidate for the nomination.

This contrasts with convention "pledged" delegates that are selected based on the party primaries and caucuses in each U.S. state, in which voters choose among candidates for the party's presidential nomination. Because they are free to support anyone they want, superdelegates could potentially swing the results to nominate a presidential candidate that did not receive the majority of votes during the primaries.

At least in name, superdelegates are not involved in the Republican Party nomination process. There are delegates to the Republican National Convention that are seated automatically, but they are limited to three per state, consisting of the state chairsperson and two district-level committee members. Republican Party superdelegates are obliged to vote for their state's popular vote winner under the rules of the party branch to which they belong.[1]

Although the term superdelegate was originally coined and created to describe a type of Democratic delegate, the term has become widely used to describe these delegates in both parties,[2] even though it is not an official term used by either party.

... ... ...

For Democrats, superdelegates fall into two categories:

For Republicans, there are delegates in each state, consisting of the state chairman and two RNC committee members. However, according to the RNC communications director Sean Spicer, convention rules obligate those RNC members to vote according to the result of primary elections held in their states.

... ... ...

Democratic Party rules distinguish pledged and unpledged delegates. Pledged delegates are selected based on their announced preferences in the contest for the presidential nomination. In the party primary elections and caucuses in each U.S. state, voters express their preference among the contenders for the party's nomination for President of the United States. Pledged delegates supporting each candidate are chosen in approximate ratio to their candidate’s share of the vote. They fall into three categories: district-level pledged delegates (usually by congressional districts);[4] at-large pledged delegates; and pledged PLEO (Party Leaders and Elected Officials) delegates.

In a minority of the states, delegates are legally required to support the candidate to whom they are pledged.[5] In addition to the states' requirements, the party rules state (Rule 12.J): "Delegates elected to the national convention pledged to a presidential candidate shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them."[3]

By contrast, the unpledged PLEO delegates (Rule 9.A) are seated without regard to their presidential preferences, solely by virtue of being current or former elected officeholders and party officials. Many of them have chosen to announce endorsements, but they are not bound in any way. They may support any candidate they wish, including one who has dropped out of the presidential race.[6] The other superdelegates, the unpledged add-on delegates (Rule 9.B), who need not be PLEOs, are selected by the state parties after some of the pledged delegates are chosen,[3] but they resemble the unpledged PLEO delegates in being free to vote as they wish.

... ... ...

At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, superdelegates cast approximately 823.5 votes, with fractions arising because superdelegates from Michigan, Florida, and Democrats Abroad are entitled to half a vote each. Of the superdelegates' votes, 745 are from unpledged PLEO delegates and 78.5 are from unpledged add-on delegates, although the exact number in each category is subject to events.


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[Nov 24, 2020] Archie Bunker

Nov 24, 2020 | disqus.com

an hour ago

Democrats the Media and Big Tech rendered the Voter obsolete.

[Nov 22, 2020] Elections and Biden administration legitimacy

Nov 22, 2020 | www.unz.com

Anonymous [290] Disclaimer , says: Next New Comment November 22, 2020 at 4:11 pm GMT • 2.5 hours ago

@anastasia ny investigation would occur only after a Trump victory, in which case the investigation would not be bi-partisan.
In terms of your original quote concerning maintenance of legitimacy:
* The urban areas will never accept election of Trump, as Trump and his supporters have no intention of trying to remedy urban fiscal shortfalls by Federal borrowings.
* It would appear that governmental legitimacy has already been lost on both the urban and hinterland coalitions in the US.
* The urban coalition cannot support itself even in the absence of conflict with the hinterland coalition, and is thus incapable of ruling the USA.
* Legitimacy of some sort of government might be restored if Trump's election concerns are acted upon, and if the US urban areas declined into political irrelevance, but not otherwise.

[Nov 19, 2020] Biden's beholden to big money defense industries Sanders' brother

Nov 19, 2020 | www.rt.com

While probably "less aggressively nasty" than Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden is still a "conventional politician," but it won't be easy for him to dismiss his party's progressive wing, Larry Sanders told RT's Going Underground.

Brother to US Senator Bernie Sanders and the Green Party Spokesperson on Health and Social Care (England & Wales), Larry Sanders told RT's Going Underground host Afshin Rattansi that while Biden was not his "choice" for president, he prefers him over the current incumbent, President Donald Trump.

... ... ...

As a fixture of the establishment, Biden will follow the interests of corporate money and the military-industrial complex rather than anybody else's, Sanders noted.

"Biden is a conventional politician, he is beholden to big money, he is beholden to defense industries,


joe_go 13 hours ago 19 Nov, 2020 07:03 AM

If no one in America went to vote the country would still look the way it looks today. The big money and military industry would run the country the way it runs it when people vote and think it matters.
Spirgily_Klump 20 hours ago 19 Nov, 2020 12:46 AM
Do you know after Biden was out of the VP office the Chinese communist party had donated $70 million to one of his foundations at the University of Pennsylvania from which Joe drew a salary of over $900,000 per year? With his benefiting from the hundreds of millions his family took in from foreign powers and persons how can he gain the security clearance necessary for the presidency? The president needs the highest clearance. Even an applicant to the CIA get polygraphed.
shadow1369 Spirgily_Klump 9 hours ago 19 Nov, 2020 11:00 AM
Just one of many skeletons jangling in Bidet's closet, they will be used by his controllers to keep him on track.
Iwanasay 19 hours ago 19 Nov, 2020 01:22 AM
It doesn't matter who is in power, America's destiny has been chosen by other behind the scene faces
RedDragon 15 hours ago 19 Nov, 2020 05:27 AM
All USA presidents are beholden to big money entities, inclusive incoming Biden presidency. Trump is beholden to the Jewish money powers etc..

[Nov 19, 2020] Polls are a tool of voter supression

In a free society you need to convince citizens of the government legitimacy.
Nov 19, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Tucker: We heard you. It's hard to trust anything. Here's what we know.

[Nov 18, 2020] Poll- 52% of Republicans Believe Trump 'Rightfully Won' the Election

Nov 18, 2020 | www.breitbart.com

A slight majority of Republicans believe that President Trump "rightfully won" the presidential election two weeks ago, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released Wednesday found.

The survey, taken November 13-17 among 1,346 U.S. respondents, found 73 percent expressing the belief that Joe Biden (D) won the election, compared to five percent who chose Trump. However, 53 percent of Republicans, specifically, believe Trump "rightfully won," while less than a third, 29 percent, said the same for the former vice president:

According to Reuters, an even greater majority of Republicans expressed concern that the election was, in fact, "rigged":

Asked why, Republicans were much more concerned than others that state vote counters had tipped the result toward Biden: 68% of Republicans said they were concerned that the election was "rigged," while only 16% of Democrats and one-third of independents were similarly worried.

President-ElectJ.Moore@cfp.com an hour ago • edited

Sooo, 48% of Republicans think the steal was legitimate?... hey gee President-ElectJ.Moore@cfp.com an hour ago

Any election using the Dominion electronic voter correction facility should be declared null and void QuidPro Joe Buddy McKenzie 13 minutes ago

We all know Reuters is at least 20 points off! SC President-ElectJ.Moore@cfp.com an hour ago

BB is in on the steal.. Im sure their sponsors or investors dictated them to ignore the steal.. just another 'conservative' betrayal. DreamKilla2.0 President-ElectJ.Moore@cfp.com 40 minutes ago

It's a Reuters poll -- definitely fake Incurablewound President-ElectJ.Moore@cfp.com 38 minutes ago

Social media censorship of anything that questions party line.
Protests are met with police oppression.
We are told when & where we can go & how many we can see.
Plans to prove health & vaccine status.
A reset no one voted for.
Is this enough for everyone to say NO? #NoGreatReset

4 ReplyShare › Avatar Olde_Brooklyn_Lantern President-ElectJ.Moore@cfp.com 42 minutes ago • edited

Using polls as proof of anything? After 2016 AND 2020!??? Absurd.
IndependentWhoShouldntBeBanned
Olde_Brooklyn_Lantern 30 minutes ago • edited

Olde, sadly it probably exceeds 52% bc we know some rightwing dishonesty to pollsters is still a big prob that needs fixing!! For how to correct these 52+ %, my idea is online training for a few things like mask use obs, and a sensitivity/civilty course, and also training could cover how elections are secure and legit. It wouldn't be totally mandatory, but anyone passing the quiz after it could receive rewards, maybe corporations would donate stuff?? And or maybe anyone whose social media accounts were suspended could have them restored provisionally???!? We need to unify the country somehow!!

[Nov 17, 2020] -No, This Is Trump-- Georgia Recount Auditor Claims Multiple Trump Ballots Fraudulently Called For Biden -

Highly recommended!
Nov 17, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

"No, This Is Trump": Georgia Recount Auditor Claims Multiple Trump Ballots Fraudulently Called For Biden


span by Tyler Durden Mon, 11/16/2020 - 20:25 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

A GOP recount observer in Georgia claims that several ballots recorded as Biden were actually votes for Trump , and workers conducting the recount became angry when he reported what was happening to elections officials.

The insider told Project Veritas , "The second person was supposed to be checking it right, three times in three minutes she called out Biden," adding "The second auditor caught it and she said, " No, this is Trump .""

"Now, that's just while I'm standing there. So, does the second checker catch it every time? But this lady in three times in three minutes from 2:09 to 2:12 she got three wrong."" he continued, adding "They were calling their bosses. They were pointing at me..."

Watch:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1328487438713565184&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fno-trump-georgia-recount-auditor-claims-multiple-trump-ballots-fraudulently-called-biden&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Earlier in the day, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger hit back against claims that he facilitated an unfair, illegal ballot count . He's also been accused of trying to skip the manual recount altogether, and initially "wanted to just rescan the bar codes & be done with it."

, 3 hours ago

Welcome To America

Welcome To The Most Corrupt Nation On The Planet......Fact

Welcome To The Most Dumbest Naive Brainwashed Nation On The Planet....Fact

smellmyfingers , 3 hours ago

This is click bait for people who want Trump and and an honest election.

The evidence is overwhelming. They will do Nothing.

You reap what you sow, America better get ready for a totally lawless society because it's coming.

The First Rule , 1 hour ago

Fulton and Dekalb Counties are cesspools of Democrat Cheating (as is apparently areas of Cobb).

Brad Raffensperger knows this. He just doesn't care to make sure the votes are counted accurately there.

If he did, Trump would win GA. And Perdue would NOT be in a Run-Off.

But Brad's boss, George Soros, would frown upon that.

Normalcy Bias , 3 hours ago

This is exactly why they've made Republican Poll Watchers stand back 50'-100.'

Having spent over half of my life in or in a county next to Fulton, I'd wager that half of the Fulton County poll workers aren't even literate.


106 play_arrow 1
Didymus , 3 hours ago

and gop allows it. they never fight, they always give in.

LetThemEatRand , 3 hours ago

Uniparty.

Sven Novgorod , 2 hours ago

The Uniparty = Deepstate.

It's been like this for a long time and when you look back in time with that point of view most of the unusual laws and decisions made by lawmakers over the years start to make sense, at least from the point of view of the Uniparty and it's associates.

Gerrilea , 2 hours ago

Psychotic question, seriously. Blame the victim.

The American public has been trained & conditioned like Pavlov's dogs to believe our government has our best interests at heart. Hell, I believed it for a very long time. Slowly I woke up to the Uniparty after the 2004 election.

We can't have endless wars & war profiteering by multi-national conglomerates like Halliburton without cannon fodder AND Pelosi giving her "men" in the White House, all the money and resources the American people can offer for the next 10 generations.

We've been continually sold a bill of goods that most did not realize was a poison pill. "The Crime Bill", "took a bite out of crime". When in reality it created the Prison Industrial Complex that initiated the New American Plantation and how we got a CANDIDATE for the VP position whom actually argued in court NOT to allow criminals out whom had done their time BECAUSE it would hurt the business model of the prison.

I could go on and on AND all we are left with is armed restoration of Constitutional Law and bringing the traitors before a military tribunal for execution.

Kan , 2 hours ago

98% of the counties are NOT corrupt, so you'd not see much just the software slowly without your knowledge moving the numbers over to the BLUE candidates and RHINO's.

That is why most of the map of counties is RED and not BLUE. You only need some of the most populous locations in the past because the news was setup to keep us around 50/50 all the time... But in this case its 30% more trump votes they have to overcome with cheating in the democrap cities.

slightlyskeptical , 32 minutes ago

The recount will give the answer on the machines. Thus far they haven't found any machine tabulating errors in the recounts.

DebbieDowner , 2 hours ago

Spent my time trying NOT to get into politics, because it's a waste of my talents and skills.

What a sham... there was never any way to WIN. The only option was/is all out war.

Peace_and_Love , 3 hours ago

So, they need to stop the whole effing process and start over, and have every damned vote verified by both parties, with video recording the damned process.

LetThemEatRand , 3 hours ago

The interesting question is whether Trump (a highly flawed candidate who brought us a bigger banker bailout than Bush/Obama by far) is going to finally wake up middle America to the fact that elections don't matter. If he accomplishes that, he won. Bigly.

[Nov 14, 2020] This still technically ongoing electoral process has exposed many truths and confirmed a wide range of suspicions about what is actually going on inside American politics.

Highly recommended!
Nov 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tim Kirby via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Right now, the entire world sits in waiting for the final declaration of the victor in the 2020 U.S. Presidential race even if they have already officially congratulated Biden. This still technically ongoing electoral process has exposed many truths and confirmed a wide range of suspicions about what is actually going on inside American politics. How "the game is to be played" going further down the road will be determined by who wins or maybe better yet how they win. Let's break down everything we should have learned from this very unusual voting year during this brief window of uncertainty.

Democratic calls for "Healing and Unity" prove Trump has a strong case

The American Left is now crying out for " Healing and Unity " across the country which is an obvious middle school ploy to make any attempts by Trump to get fair final election results look pathetic and divisive. On the surface one would think that this is an offensive strategy from the dominant side to get the other to break, but calls for peace generally come from the one with the weaker hand.

If the Democrats were sure that Trump lost, then there would be no need to call for peace after years of demonizing anyone who doesn't agree with them. This rhetorical change is not one of triumph, but of fear. When the first partially Black President of the United States came to power the Left boldly rode this wave of political inertia starting their transformation into hardcore Progressives and while showing zero concern for the losers and "unity". For them this was a smug moment of victory, much like Trump's 2016 victory was for the right. So why would they choose to become so much more friendly all of a sudden this time?

Image: After years of hateful rhetoric why call for healing and unity now?

It seems more likely than not that this guilt tactic is being used because Trump may actually have a case and be able to get the votes counted accurately, i.e. in his favour. Moral high ground attacks from the Dems are unlikely to work as Trump has been compared to Hitler since the start of his previous electoral campaign. Appeasement for the POTUS has thus far completely failed, why would it start working now?

A Color Revolution in America is possible and may have occurred

about:blank

about:blank

me title=

The Old Russian joke that a revolution could "never happen in America because there are no U.S. Embassies in Washington" has now become obsolete. The media, including even the supposedly conservative Fox News, has completely and totally given the election to Biden despite many irregularities. Not to mention, the fact that as these words are being typed – the election is not officially over.

Image: High journalistic standards in practice in the EU.

If there is one key element to a Color Revolution that must be in place for success it is control of the media. If every TV channel and news site says candidate X is the winner, then he has won regardless of votes and regardless of how many people still use said dinosaur media. They ultimately cast the big final ballot.

The rampant tampering and falsification witnessed (and often self filmed by the perpetrators) during the election looked like something you would expect to see in a "backwards third world hellhole" type of country. The manipulation was rampant, blatant and primitive.

This fact can and should be used by the nations at odds with America (Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, Syria, etc.) in perpetuity as proof that the U.S. never had, nor should have, some sort of democracy-based moral authority over anyone else. America's own Color Revolution delegitimizes any attempts to spread regime change via media elsewhere across the globe .

The Dynamic between the Republicans and Democrats has changed forever.

Donald Trump has changed the Republican Party, from the party of Businessmen and a defensive Upper Middleclass with a sprinkling of Social Conservatism speaking almost exclusively to a White audience into a populist party that offers a Right Wing emotional vision to the multi-ethnic America that we live in today.

The shift in concept of the Republican Party is so severe that Trump's influence has had the same or maybe even a greater effect that "The Southern Strategy" ever did. Around ten or fifteen years ago it looked like America would evolve into a one-party state due to demographics and the inability of Republicans to appeal to non-Whites. If polls can be trusted, at the very least Trump has doubled the amount of Black Americans who voted for him last time and was able to persuade ⅓ of Latinos to vote for him despite building "The Wall". Looking back on the 2016 election it is easy to see these huge gains, in groups that the Democrats took for granted as "theirs".

In contrast to Trump's vision of a pro-Consitution, somewhat Libertarian populous party the Democrats have doubled down on hardcore Progressive positions. If the Dems used to represent the working man in a White vs. Blue collar America battle, they have now shifted over to being a Postmodernist circus of race, gender and sexual orientation baiting with a sprinkle of environmentalism via taxation as icing on the cake.

These are two radically different messages in direct opposition to each other, and the parties are no longer "two sides of the same coin", being two slightly different takes on the Liberalism laid down by the Founding Fathers. This is probably why things have gotten so unusually ugly, American politics may have become truly "winner take all" .

Enemy Lists are Proof of Extremism

When Richard Nixon's enemy list was discovered it shocked America. How could such an important politician try to crush those who disagreed with him? Those are the actions of a monsterous dictator, how horribly unamerican! Well the Overton Window has certainly shifted since the 1970's and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's call to create the same type of political repression of her enemies was met with mostly applause over Twitter.

Image: The Enlightenment is dead and we killed it.

Now a " Trump Accountability Project " has already sprung up based on her words to make sure that everyone who supported Trump will be somehow punished. From having their noses rubbed in it, to having their lives ruined by being doxed, harassed, etc.

This idea of creating a Black List of people to punish, is the line where passion for an ideology turns into a form of Extremism. This along with the intimidation tactics used by Antifa are proof that the Democratic Left now has demonstrably Extremist views .

The key issue with Extremists is that you cannot make any agreement with them as they see their opponents as subhuman and/or evil. Trump over the last 4 years has made the massive mistake of trying to "playball". The problem is that one cannot do so with people who have fanatical views. Making concessions to those with Extremist views is basically just tightening the noose around your own neck. Trump, if he survives this needs to understand that this is political war not political games.

Image: The election results are "counted" by those with the money to broadcast the results. Trump needs to break the monopoly.

Trump & The Right need to invest in a Media Empire

The homogeneity of the American news media has become Orwellian. Trump and other like-minded billionaires need to put together a countervoice on their own dime. The Trump Presidency would be doing much better if a billion dollar news outlet was on his side fighting back. There are many media experts with the experience needed (including and especially the author of this piece) who could get this done quickly and effectively.

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The Million MAGA March will surely turn violent and that violence will be exploited for political gains.

Image: The big march is coming, but who would honestly expect it to go peacefully?

Leaders that have survived Color Revolution attempts like Venezuela's Maduro and Belarus's Lukashenko have one thing in common – massive public support. At the very least a massive public showing for the Dear Orange Leader wouldn't hurt but if Antifa were to show up to fight, the event could be exploited by the Right for all sorts of political action. Just because Trump's views seem much more human and reasonable compared to SJWs does not make him a saint. This event will be manipulated to the utmost.

Congratulating Biden is proof of approval of or submission to Washington.

Image: Weaker and more loyal "allies" jumped at the chance to acknowledge Biden's victory.

Some nations have already congratulated Biden, whereas America's two "big dog" enemies, Russia and China, and many other disgruntled parties have not [ZH: China has since congratulated Biden]. This willingness to congratulate Biden, supporting the legitimacy of the elections as the Mainstream Media reported them is very telling to say the least.


me name=


_arrow 6 Thinking123 , 9 hours ago

I do believe that there was a lot of fraud and cheating. Because Biden was as dumb as hell and didn't he talk in empty places.

A recount is definitely necessary, to expose the corrupt voting system and software that were used. Because if they are not exposed, they will do it again and again. Just like they did it to Bernie votes in 2016 primaries.

I don't think that he is the greatest President in US history, he has been Israel first and has given everything to them. He Made Israel Great Again.

Ancient Handicapper , 2 hours ago

Thinking, I would not be the least surprised to discover the Republicans committed some of that "fraud" voting you refer to. Republicans are famous for their "Dirty Tricks," and voting tricks are not beyond their ken. Why are so many people seeing only the Dems as having possibly cheated?

moonshadow , 1 hour ago

Republicans cheated Ron Paul. So what you say may be true. More likely Democrats, but...no problem, no prejudice, let's expose it ALL

rphb , 7 hours ago

The problem is, even IF he still can expose this fraud and get 4 more years, the US is done. The fact that so many thousands of Democrats, from normal postal workers, to governors and anything in between have felt perfectly justified in cheating to get their way is proof that the US is broken beyond repair.

...America have long since passed the point of no return. There is only controlled default or hyperinflation left, and the former requires a fidget of responsibility so the US is sure to choose the later.

The industrial base is gone, and what made America great, its freedoms, its ethics and its proud men and women, no longer exist

XanII , 7 hours ago

Called super trends. The youth is corrupted beyond repair and newcomers will come with specific goals in mind. The ammo box will be the last one remaining unless seccessions succeed better. i doubt that.

dont stare at the beam , 6 hours ago

The problem is not whether he can expose the fraud or not. The problem is that he is part of the fraud.

He never fought for the people.
2 play_arrow 2

[Nov 09, 2020] Who sucks more?

Nov 09, 2020 | www.breitbart.com

Allen M. Ease Murray Suid 6 hours ago

You leftists will NEVER understand the Trump supporters.
We voted for Trump because we DIDN'T LIKE WHAT THE REPUBLICANS WERE DOING (or actually, NOT doing).
Republicans and Democrats BOTH suck. Democrats just suck 100 times more and are 100 times more retarded.
But I would get rid of the RINOs first. At least the evil traitorous democrats don't hide their intentions like the back-stabbing traitorous RINOS.

[Nov 09, 2020] Bitter election aftermath suggests that US democracy really is in its death throes

Nov 09, 2020 | www.rt.com

By Graham Hryce , an Australian journalist and former media lawyer, whose work has been published in The Australian, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, the Sunday Mail, the Spectator and Quadrant. It's only when you compare what is happening in America to the likes of Australia, which also recently held elections, that you appreciate just how alarming the situation in the US is. Civil war is a real possibility.

Despite the fact that America and Australia are both liberal democracies sharing a common cultural heritage, key aspects of the US presidential and congressional elections appear extraordinary from an Australian perspective.

To paraphrase Tolstoy: all happy democracies may resemble one another, but every unhappy democracy is apparently unhappy in its own way.

In recent months, elections have taken place in three Australian states and territories. In each of these contests, the incumbent government has been returned with an increased majority, while in America, President Donald Trump has been narrowly defeated by Joe Biden.

Leaving aside the disparate results, the following important differences between the Australian and the American elections are clear: Firstly, the comparative irrelevance of Covid-19 as an issue in the American election. Secondly, the dominance of a crude populist pro-capitalist ideology (favouring business interests and profits over lives) in the American electoral contests. And finally, Trump's predictable and completely unprincipled response to his defeat.

Debate host Chris Wallace sparks more conservative fury by comparing Trump ally Ted Cruz to Japanese soldiers unaware of war's end

These differences augur badly for the future of democracy in America – in fact, they indicate that it may be in its death throes. In Australia, however, recent events have strengthened democracy, enabling a perspective to emerge which comprehends the disaster that may be about to engulf the US.

The outcome of the recent elections in Australia turned on the issue of how incumbent governments had handled the pandemic. Australia is a federal polity, comprising six states and two territories, with a population of some 25 million. To date, it has recorded 27,000 Covid-19 cases and 900 Covid-19-related deaths – one of the best outcomes of all Western democracies. America, by way of contrast, has seen 10 million cases and chalked up over 250,000 deaths.

Australia's remarkable result has been achieved by an early federal government closure of national borders, strict state government lockdowns and the closure of state borders.

Each of the recent Australian elections was fought on the coronavirus. The Queensland result is the most instructive. The state's Labor government imposed strict lockdowns and closed its borders very early on in the pandemic. The conservative parties opposed this, and the two Trump-like populist parties – One Nation and the Palmer Party – spent the election campaigning for the immediate lifting of all restrictions and opening of the state borders.

Last week, the Queensland Labor government was returned to power with an increased majority, and the One Nation and Palmer Party populist vote – primarily the vote of an older demographic – collapsed and crossed over to Labor.

The situation in America could not be more different. Trump refused to adopt a national policy to deal with Covid-19. He ignored and/or minimised the risk of the spread of the virus, promoted untested cures and belittled the advice of his own public health experts. He also consistently opposed all lockdown measures and other efforts by state governments to control the pandemic, and blatantly lied to voters, telling them that the virus was under control when it has continued to spread at an alarming rate.

Despite all this, Trump only narrowly lost the presidency, and, more astoundingly, the Republican Party easily retained control of the Senate. The 'blue wave' in favour of Biden and the Democrats – predicted by almost all pollsters – did not materialise.

US election is a 'travesty for democracy', says embattled Belarusian leader Lukashenko

One explanation for the relative unimportance of the coronavirus in the US elections is the dominance in America of a crude pro-capitalist ideology that favours the interests of business and the economy over the health of the American people. This ideology has political adherents in all Western democracies (including Australia), but only in America could mainstream politicians fervently embrace it and hope to win office.

And Trump and the Republican Party did this when the Covid-19 second wave was sweeping through Europe, compelling political leaders there (including conservatives like Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron) to reintroduce strict shutdowns and other measures to deal with it.

Fifty years ago, the historian Louis Hartz, in the Liberal Tradition in America , portrayed America as a nation trapped in a liberal, pro-capitalist ideological straitjacket that prevented it from dealing effectively with the social and economic challenges that confronted it. Hartz's analysis seems even more relevant now than it did then.

The most extraordinary aspect of the US election, however, has been Trump's – and the Republican Party's – refusal to accept defeat. It is this that portends, more than anything else, the demise of American democracy.

'Ugly face of liberal democracy': Iran's Khamenei jeers at highly contentious US presidential election

Not surprisingly, Trump has reacted to his defeat by alleging that Biden "stole the election" by means of widespread electoral fraud. Trump maintains that he won the election. Even before the counting of votes had concluded, he commenced a number of legal actions – most of which are doomed to failure – challenging the results in various states.

Donald Trump Jr. urged Republican supporters to "go to total war" to keep his father in office. Trump's former adviser, Steve Bannon (who is currently facing criminal charges) called for the beheading of senior public health officer Anthony Fauci and the FBI director, Christopher A. Wray.

Powerful Republican politicians, including Senator Lindsey Graham, have vigorously supported Trump's response to his defeat. Newt Gingrich, the former Republican powerbroker, predicted that Biden's victory would generate a build-up of rage that would keep Trump in power.

Republican Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis has urged members of the Electoral College – whose votes determine the outcome of the presidential election – to break with convention and give their votes to Trump, despite the fact that voters in their states preferred Biden. This unprecedented suggestion, which has not been disavowed by Trump and his supporters, constitutes a serious attack on the mechanism at the heart of the US presidential electoral process.

It also offers Trump a way to stay in power – because if the Electoral College does not conclude its deliberations by mid-December, it falls to the Republican-dominated Congress to decide who becomes president.

Trump and the Republican Party have plunged America into an extraordinary political crisis that will not be resolved for some time. Trump will not voluntarily give up office, and it is uncertain how this impasse will be resolved.

The president's response to his defeat has astounded conservative Australian politicians. When asked to comment this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison could only say that he was an observer of and not a participant in the US democratic process. Some of his colleagues, however, have been severely critical of Trump.

More ominously, the Covid-19 pandemic is intensifying dramatically in America, with 100,00 new cases now being recorded each day, along with 1,100 deaths. This ongoing health crisis can only exacerbate and intensify the current political crisis.

At the weekend, we saw protests in major American cities. Most disturbingly, armed Trump supporters massed outside an Arizona voting centre in an attempt to stop the count. Such events could become more common as the political crisis intensifies. It is inevitable that both sides of the intractable political and ideological divide in America will become increasingly more irrational in the coming months.

It is all very well for the Democratic Party elites to criticise Trump and his supporters for believing in conspiracy theories about the pandemic and mass electoral fraud. But these elites have themselves been peddling equally irrational views about catastrophic climate change, critical race theory and identity politics for decades. After all, whose world view is really more irrational, Trump's or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's?

Joe Biden's victory speech on the weekend was predictable and bland. It is all very well to announce "a time to heal" and tell Americans "to remain calm and patient" and that "the purpose of our politics is not unending warfare." But these are just meaningless platitudes in the current circumstances.

Reaping discord: Republicans split after Biden declares victory over Trump in US presidential election

Whatever happens, Biden will not be sworn in as president until January 20 next year. He cannot begin to deal with the pandemic until then, when it will be too late, nor can he do anything about the civil unrest that will engulf America. And even if Biden does take office as president in January, the Republican-dominated Senate will no doubt block his entire legislative program – such as it is.

America today is in a very similar position to that which it was in in the 1850s in the lead-up to the Civil War. It is deeply divided over fundamental issues of principle, which have calcified to the degree that rational debate is no longer possible. The political system, previously based on compromise, has become so ideologically divided that compromise is no longer possible.

In such circumstances, civil war becomes a very real possibility. But any coming war will be very different from the American Civil War of the 1860s. That war was fought, in effect, between two nations with regular armies.

The coming civil war in America will be a disorganised bitter social conflict fought in cities by armed groups of citizens on the barricades, much like the European revolutions of 1830 and 1848 – with one important difference. The insurgents in the European revolutions were fighting for democracy – whereas the participants in America's coming civil war will be engaged in a war to destroy it.

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[Nov 09, 2020] First gaslight, then calls for unity: Why should Biden get any more unity than Trump four years ago? by Wayne Dupree

So neoliberal Dems gaslighted everybody with Russiagate for four years, staged Ukrainegate, and now cry for unity. Funny, is not it
For four years, Democrats branded Donald Trump an illegitimate president and treated him as such. Then-President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden plotted with FBI Director James Comey a way to oust Trump's pick for national security advisor, Michael Flynn.
Now they face the results of the attempt to depose Trump via color revolution (aka Russiagate), the result of neo-McCarthyism hysteria and cry uncle. To paraphrase Tolstoy: all happy democracies may resemble one another, but every unhappy democracy is apparently unhappy in its own way.
Nov 09, 2020 | www.rt.com

Wayne Dupree has been to the White House to talk to President Trump about race relations and appeared at election events for him. He was named in Newsmax's top 50 Influential African-American Republicans in 2017, and, in 2016, served as a board member of the National Diversity Coalition for Donald Trump. Before entering politics, he served for eight years in the US Air Force. His website is here: www.waynedupree.com . Follow him on Twitter @WayneDupreeShow I've participated in eight elections including this one, and I've never before witnessed the open hostility and vitriol that's been aimed at President Trump.

No president was ever abused like Trump was from day one. The Republicans didn't cooperate with Barack Obama at all, but any thinking person can see the difference between the way Obama was treated and the way Trump has been treated. The past four years have set a dangerous precedent, and you know what they say about karma.

Representative Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer refused to work with President Trump on anything, but now the socialists want the Republicans to work with them. Interpretation: we want the Republicans to work with us as long as they believe everything we believe and do everything to help us, even if, in their eyes, it destroys America. No dissent will be accepted.

You really have to wonder about this arrogance from the Democrats and their call for unity, don't you? Joe Biden is calling for unity because he doesn't want to face the constant scrutiny the Trump administration faced. After all, do you think the hundreds of millions he received in campaign contributions didn't come with strings attached?

READ MORE Wayne Dupree: Why I, as a black man, am voting for Trump, along with a large number of people who consider themselves Democrats Wayne Dupree: Why I, as a black man, am voting for Trump, along with a large number of people who consider themselves Democrats

Right now, there's not enough critical thinking for unity to happen; our emotions govern too many of us. The media have played on that for four years. They convinced millions of Americans they would have to be insane to consider re-electing Trump, even though most Americans are sick of the establishment politicians and their big empty promises, sick of their endless and expensive foreign wars, sick of a sluggish economy, and tired of the outsourcing of American jobs.

How can unity happen when the rift between liberals and conservatives is larger than ever, and the two sides envision this country's future in vastly different ways? How will half of the American population ever again trust their sources of news and information when nearly every outlet has lost all pretense of objectivity? Every bit of reporting has become an opinion piece.

In marriage, they call these irreconcilable differences. It may not happen in my lifetime, but this country would do well to consider a peaceful separation.

Our national media have failed us. And that's all media, including social. They caught us all hook, line, and sinker. Why? Money. We are such a gullible species. The more people hear an idea promoted, the more it sounds true. This is why our country is divided. We rely too heavily on our media for information, true or not. They manipulate us with their words like modern-day bards. Journalism is indeed dead, and it's been replaced by sensationalism. But it all boils down to who's really at fault. To find that out, look in the mirror. Yes, we all let this happen to us.

I wouldn't blame people for believing phony news. Think about it: why do companies spend literally billions of dollars on commercials? Companies use commercials to change our buying habits, and they work extremely well on a subliminal level. Likewise, the mainstream and social media use misinformation, distortions, deceptions, and omissions to change people's voting behavior on that same subliminal level. The only way to ensure legitimate elections in the future is to destroy mainstream and social media's hold on our country.

ALSO ON RT.COM Bitter election aftermath suggests that US democracy really is in its death throes

In the past four years, the behavior of the Democrats has been that of junior high school bullies with no adult supervision. What all men want most is power, and the Democrats will do anything to get it. We can't take their low road, but should stand against their further attempts to turn this into a one-party nation. We need a broad spectrum of ideas to keep our country strong and our citizens cared for.

One party does not have all the answers, nor can they dictate to the other parties how to worship, think, or even eat. When I was young, I was a Bill Clinton Democrat. I walked away before the Obama administration and never looked back. I believe more and more people are doing that, and, by the 2022 midterms – well, watch out, Dems!

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


[Nov 08, 2020] Not one promise was kept. No wall. No Hillary in jail. No treasonous FBI/prosecutors arrested. Nobody prosecuted for hiring illegals. H1Bs still here.

Nov 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

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Frozen BlueScreen , 2 hours ago

NONSENSE. Are you sleeping? Trump gained black and hispanic voters. He lost whites.

Why? Not one promise was kept. No wall. No Hillary in jail. No treasonous FBI/prosecutors arrested. Nobody prosecuted for hiring illegals. H1Bs still here. No repeal/replace O-care. No lockdown of nursing homes/hospitals, but every other business forced to shut down. Big payday for companies making useless vaccines and ventilators, but no HCQ for those who want it.

If Trump did what he promised he would have won easily. He is a terrible manager, so now we are stuck with a drooling hair sniffer. Thanks again and bye bye Don.

TBT or not TBT , 1 hour ago

He lost white males. The rest of his base grew.

not dead yet , 1 hour ago

Ignorant people need to bone up on there are 3 branches of Fed government all with their own delegated powers and all powers not specifically delegated to the Fed's are the province of the states. The ignorant want to believe any president can just wave his hand and anything he wants is done.

The House, which controls all spending, even under the Repubs gave Trump little or no money for his wall and infrastructure. Trump got as much wall as he could by stealing money from the War department and the Dems fought him in the courts all the way to the Supreme for this. It's a big country so how do you know no one was prosecuted for hiring illegals. As O-care was passed into law by Congress the president can't can it like he can an administrative order from one of the government departments. It's up to Congress and the courts. Nursing homes, hospitals, and healthcare are under the control of the states not the Fed's or Trump as was the orders for shutting down businesses. If they are here legally you can't legally deport all H1b's. Even if Trump issued an order the courts would toss it out. Same with putting Hillary and others in jail. It's up to the courts not Trump. As far getting them into court you are dealing with crooks who know every trick in the book, unlike the Bidoons, to cover their backsides and can hire the best crooked lawyers in the business so you can't go into court with a half a$$ case or it gets tossed and can't be prosecuted again. In real life not every bad person gets what due him unlike a fiction TV show, where it seems most people get "educated", where the good guys triumph all the time.

The US is one of the largest landmasses on the planet with 330 million people and operations world wide. The Fed government is over 40 agencies and 2.1 million people. Yet people who don't even know what their kids are doing in the next room expect one man to know everything that goes on on the planet. The presidents daily briefing book is in the thousands of pages and that's just the major stuff and could be full of lies and half truths by those who write their section. You ill educated brain dead's are the ones who cost Trump the election by not doing your homework and getting your info from the lying a$$ media. Trumps accomplishments are considerable but the media buries them to make him look bad which they have done 24/7 for over 4 years. Many of those "promises" need the cooperation of others especially in his party and he didn't get it as they wanted him gone and good party man like Pence in charge who they could control. No matter how good a manager or leader you are "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink" is the case here. Both sides of the aisle fought him from day one which is why outsider Trump had to listen to their recommendations and got saddled with so many traitors on his staff and cabinet and is only now finally getting them weeded out.

[Nov 08, 2020] sdkeller72 sdkeller72

Nov 08, 2020 | disqus.com

3 hours ago

Don't you get it yet? The MIC and Wall St choose their guy. That's why we're watching Biden give his acceptance speech right now. Sure Wall St liked the trillions Trump dumped on them but they like stability more than the quick payday. They know they'll make more money with Biden without all of the negative attention that Trump brought them. President's aren't elected, they're selected and if they don't pass muster with Wall St and the MIC they aren't selected. If you want to see this change, we need to unite to get money out of politics. It's our only path forward out this BS we call our political system.

[Nov 07, 2020] The US version of lesser evilism

Nov 07, 2020 | www.grunge.com

A Pew poll indicated that roughly half of Clinton and Trump supporters were more motivated by opposing the other side's candidate than backing their own.

Read More: https://www.grunge.com/126290/the-craziest-cases-of-election-fraud-in-u-s-history/?utm_campaign=clip

[Nov 07, 2020] Have you guys already forgotten 4 years of Russiagate?

Nov 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Zanon , Nov 6 2020 15:37 utc | 52

But this is what left are about today, silencing people that dont agree with them on every topic.

This is also how absurd the left have become, look back past years since Trump was elected they are now OK with having a neocon foreign policy president Biden to be elected - just because they hate Trump so much. Have you guys already forgotten 4 years of Russiagate?

Or are you guys watching Rachel Maddow for your foreign policy knowledge?

You havent learned one thing past years.

Why Bush-Era Neocons Are Getting Behind Biden
https://www.realclearpolitics.com/2020/07/16/why_bush-era_neocons_are_getting_behind_biden_517376.html


Joe , Nov 6 2020 15:45 utc | 58

https://thebaffler.com/latest/the-view-from-pennsylvania

"If Biden wins, the best-case scenario is that we'll be forced to deal with a Democratic Party of resurgent centrism, convinced that their path to victory is through vacuous messaging calibrated to cause the least offense to the maximum number of people. They'll insist that their future dominance is assured, normalcy has been restored, and that the nightmare is over. With eyes fixed on a seemingly winning formula, they won't see who's getting left behind again, or history repeating itself before their very eyes."

https://fair.org/home/corporate-media-reverse-reality-by-blaming-blm-protesters-for-everything/

Et Tu , Nov 6 2020 16:18 utc | 67

Everyone falsely assumes that 'winning' actually involves getting elected. If the term 'winning' is viewed as maintaining the status quo, propping up the rich at the expense of the poor while robbing the State, then regardless of who is carrying out the agenda, the Dems leadership and fundraisers are still 'winning'.

Many big corporations have an each way bet in elections and can rest comfortably knowing that whomever is elected, be they Red or Blue, will always join the ranks of weak and corrupt politicians, seeking corporate approval for reelection, chasing profits or a board seat once retired, while regularly selling their voters out. That's how the game is played to 'win'. Politicians are just pawns on the chessboard, racing to get to the other end with the promise of being turned into a queen.

[Nov 07, 2020] Anyway, even when most people thought Dems would have 52-53 Senators, Biden already started backing away from nominal Dem positions on reduction of oil/gas, police reform, reversing tax cuts. On immigration, the Obama administration's was de-facto anti-immigration by virtue of the mass deportation policies

Nov 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ptb , Nov 6 2020 16:22 utc | 69

@30 vk

That's right.

The state of Georgia has a runoff system, so there will be another election in January. Without the presidential election, turnout would presumably be lower. I'm not sure who that would benefit in this case.

Even with both of the GA Senate seats, the Dem control would be the bare minimum. If you need only 1 Senator to kill a piece of legislation, then doing so becomes affordable to a much larger group of donors.

2022 Will have 20 Republican and 12 Democrat Senators up for re-election, and in this case at most 2 of those Dem Senators will be in competitive races (AZ again, and GA again) - so any political pressure will almost entirely on Republican Senators. Unless their game is focused on obstructing their own party (in some places voters like that, and if so it is a lucrative tactic to extract more federal $$$ for their state), Senators facing a close re-election race would generally be more inclined to follow the party line.

Anyway, even when most people thought Dems would have 52-53 Senators, Biden already started backing away from nominal Dem positions on reduction of oil/gas, police reform, reversing tax cuts. On immigration, the Obama administration's was de-facto anti-immigration by virtue of the mass deportation policies, only without the Trump DHS's sadistic touch. Regulation of the internet companies is a big modern issue, and it's hard to see Biden any different from Republicans on that. With a split Senate, it will certainly go nowhere.

I would maybe dare hope for repairing the disaster-response parts of the government, and some infrastructure investment, while the extent of economic damage from covid plays out.

[Nov 07, 2020] Both Democrat and Republican voters want much the same things and that is more collectivism. They want more collectivism on social matters and they want more collectivism on economic matters. They want society back from neoliberal capture

Nov 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Altai , Nov 6 2020 13:28 utc | 19

This is the essence of it. When you actually drill down, the things both Democrat and Republican voters want much the same things and that is more collectivism. They want more collectivism on social matters and they want more collectivism on economic matters. They want society back.

Both the social 'conservatism' and economic 'progressivism' on offer tend to be welded to highly unpopular opposites. If you want immigration control (Which is both a social and economic issue but only framed in social terms effectively) and an end to insane post-modern SJW identity politics, you're obliged to also vote for people who will further deregulate the economy and give tax cuts to the wealthy. If you want social democrat politics you're obliged to vote for people who will further promote insane anti-social solidarity post-modern SJW politics and unending mass migration that are counter-productive, perhaps fatality so, to their social democratic agenda. (See AOC and her wishes for literal open borders and full Nordic-style social democrat welfare state)

The currency of a system of economic redistribution within a democracy is the willingness of those with resources to give to those without. The 'progressive' Democrats in the US are hooked on this ideal of expanding welfare but that doesn't empower the poor because they're depended on those with resources to support taxes to give them it. Industrial policy and immigration restriction (Both to decrease job competition and to make the recipients of resource redistribution more sympathetic to those with resources) to actually shift the real wealth and power in society is far more important.

A synthesis on at least immigration restriction and progressive economic policies like banking regulations, trade reform and industrial policy would be highly popular and is entirely open ground to take. In 2016 Trump became the first person to make that offer in stark form in 40 years and despite all the ammo the media and intellectual class were able to throw at him, he beat Hilary Clinton. Bernie and Corbyn both understand this synthesis and have spoken of it in the past but now are trapped in political apparatuses that make any mention of immigration and the economic and social interests of the native working class totally impermissible. Worse, they wed them to an ideal of ever expanding immigration that will rip apart any social solidarity needed for socialist or social democrat policies since the new group interests of the native working class will be battling the newcomers for social and economic space.

A great deal of American 'Libertarians' are actually quite community oriented and are infact just not in favour of their taxes being redistributed to outgroups whom they don't have any sense of social solidarity with. Ask them what should be done in their community and they start sounding like Bernie Sanders. They view the Federal government as an alien thing that will take from them and give to alien outgroups.People will say they're being 'duped' but I think those people just don't understand that people are born out of ethnic groups not class groups, ethnicity is more important and we might expect it to be so given human evolution.

[Nov 06, 2020] The elites may control who gets nominated but no matter how flawed or repugnant their candidate is or how obvious that the candidate was chosen for them the flocks that follow the candidates act as if they did the choosing.

Nov 06, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

jinn , Nov 5 2020 13:48 utc | 27

The elites may control who gets nominated but no matter how flawed or repugnant their candidate is or how obvious that the candidate was chosen for them the flocks that follow the candidates act as if they did the choosing.

Trump was given 10 times the free advertising than all the other primary candidates combined and yet his followers think they picked him.

And Biden will go down in history as the candidate who got more popular votes than any other candidate ever has and yet he is about as popular as a hemorrhoid.

[Nov 06, 2020] Here's Your Historical Analogy Menu- Rome, The USSR, Or Revolutionary France

Notable quotes:
"... One camp within the elites recognizes the danger and seeks reforms , but the reforms are too little, too late, and in any event, the elites who cling most ardently to the past stability fight the reform movement to a standstill. ..."
"... So take your pick, America: what's the closest analogy? A sclerotic Politburo of elders living in the past, an elite fiddling while the nation disintegrates, or an elite so out of touch with reality that it claims inflation is zero while the populace can no longer afford bread? ..."
Nov 05, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Rome, the USSR and Revolutionary France are all compelling analogies due to the hubristic cluelessness of their fractured elites as the pretensions of stability collapsed around them. Even though Nero didn't actually fiddle while Rome burned and Marie Antoinette didn't gush "Let them eat brioche" when notified that the peasants had no bread (or more accurately, could no longer afford it), these myths are handy encapsulations of the disconnect from reality that infested the elites in the last years before the deluge of non-linear chaos overwhelmed the regimes.

While historians gather evidence of tipping points such as pandemics, ecological damage, invasions, droughts, inflation, etc., the core dynamic is ultimately the loss of social cohesion within the ruling elites and in the social order at large.

As a generality, the permanence of the status quo is taken for granted by elites, who then feel free to squabble amongst themselves over the spoils of wealth and power. Distracted by their own infighting, the elites are blind to the erosion of the foundations of their power.

As coherence in the elites unravels, the ties uniting the elites with the masses unravel as well.

One camp within the elites recognizes the danger and seeks reforms , but the reforms are too little, too late, and in any event, the elites who cling most ardently to the past stability fight the reform movement to a standstill.

As social cohesion unravels, systems that once seemed immutable (i.e. linear ) suddenly display non-linear dynamics in which modest changes that would have made little difference in the past now unleash regime-shattering disorder.

So take your pick, America: what's the closest analogy? A sclerotic Politburo of elders living in the past, an elite fiddling while the nation disintegrates, or an elite so out of touch with reality that it claims inflation is zero while the populace can no longer afford bread?

They all lead to the same destination.


richsob , 1 hour ago

I know a lot of history and I think we will go the route of Rome. We will have a slow slide into total failure from a debased currency, an over extended military, tax revolts, unmanageable immigration and an internal war among the elites.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 , 1 hour ago

My name is an indirect reference to France and the French Revolution.

When Pelosi was photo'd in front of two massive Sub Zero fridges with gourmet ice cream, that was the equivalent of "let them eat brioche." She is fvucking clueless. A tool that is barely coherent, much like Joe.

People see through it. The greed of the politicians, and their apparatchiks, the bureaucrats, is obvious to anyone willing to look. FFS apparatchiks can retire with six fixure salaries after being a government employee! People are sick to death of their arrogance, their greed, their out-and-out abuse of the taxpayer!

The other analogy, which I think is valid, is to ancient Rome. I was a philosophy major / Latin minor so took quite few courses involving the classes, reading the classics, or translating them. I also spent a semester in Rome, tramping through the Forum and walking underground and overground. In 1997 Rome was a beautiful city, mostly safe.

Anyhow, ancient Rome ended up debasing their currency, literally. Which the US (and other central banks) are doing with excessive money printing.

Excessive taxation drove away the tax base of ancient Rome. The first jingle keys event was there. Why? Taxes were too high. People will work hard if there is a profit incentive and they are able to earn a good return from their labor. Once that incentive was gone, people abandoned their farms and property and left. Where did they go? Away. Away from the tax collectors, which were richly rewarded for any taxes they were able to collect. I suppose at the end, the collection methods became quite brutal. At that point, when it is your money or your life, you throw the tax collector your money and flee with your life. You walk away from land that you love and start over.

Never an easy choice to abandon one's land and home. But that is exactly what happened.

Central bankers and governments, along with the common citizen, would do well to heed historical precedents.

MAOUS , 31 minutes ago

I see it more like The Godfather Part I & II. We were betrayed by the stupidest simpletons of our own family (citizenry) that sold us out for trinkets, false promises of grandeur and propaganda from Rival Mafia Families who wanted to rub our family out, kill our leader and take over. "I didn't know until today, it was Barzini all along." Yeah, but Fredo was the turn coat that made it all possible. Meet the simpletons of our Family known as your fellow American voter. "A Republic, if you can keep it." We lost it, kiss it goodbye. Say hello to the new Black Hand on the block.

Omega Point , 1 hour ago

One of the best articles on ZH in a while. The elites are so full of hubris, they behave as if the state of affairs since the post-WWII era has always been the state of affairs throughout history and are immutable. They believe that they are cause of America's dominance, not the individuals who built this country on whose goodwill they are now quickly draining.

I think we're like Rome. Currency debasement, no border security, massively corrupt politicians, most of population on welfare, and games and circuses to distract from the rot.

The elites will soon be surprised how quickly things will decline, just as shocked as the Romans when the Visigoths came through the city walls and looted the Imperial City in 410 AD.

play_arrow
sbin , 1 hour ago

The USSR was very similar with decrepit old party hacks ruining everything.

Unfortunately American exceptional lunatics will try to destroy the world before excepting reality.

Never been a group so corrupt and delusional with so much destructive weaponry.

Dr Strangelove is more appropriate.

RKKA , 1 hour ago

In the summer of 1941, the 4th Panzer Division of Heinz Guderian, one of the most talented German tank generals, broke through to the Belarusian town of Krichev. Parts of the 13th Soviet Army were retreating. Only one gunner, Nikolai Sirotinin, did not retreat - very young, short, thin.

On that day, it was necessary to cover the withdrawal of troops. “There will be two people with a cannon here,” said the battery commander. Nikolai volunteered. The second was the commander himself.

On the morning of July 17, a column of German tanks appeared on the highway.

Nikolai took up a position on the hill right on the field. The cannon was sinking in the high rye, but he could clearly see the highway and the bridge over the river. When the lead tank reached the bridge, Nikolai knocked it out with the first shot. The second shell set fire to the armored personnel carrier that closed the column.

We must stop here. Because it is still not entirely clear why Nikolai was left alone at the cannon. But there are versions. He apparently had just the task - to create a "traffic jam" on the bridge, knocking out the head car of the Nazis. The lieutenant at the bridge and adjusted the fire, and then, disappeared. It is reliably known that the lieutenant was wounded and then he left towards the withdrawing positions. There is an assumption that Nikolai had to move away, having completed the task. But ... he had 60 rounds. And he stayed!

Two tanks tried to move the lead tank off the bridge, but they were also hit. The armored vehicle tried to cross the river not across the bridge. But she got stuck in a swampy shore, where another shell found her. Nikolai shot and shot, knocking out tank after tank ...

Guderian's tanks rested on Nikolai Sirotinin, like the Chinese wall, like the Brest fortress. Already 11 tanks and 6 armored personnel carriers were on fire! For almost two hours of this strange battle, the Germans could not understand where the gun was firing from. And when we reached the position of Nikolai, he had only three shells left. The Germans offered him to surrender. Nikolai responded by firing at them with a carbine.

This last battle was short-lived ...

11 tanks and 7 armored vehicles, 57 soldiers and officers were lost by the Nazis after the battle, where they were blocked by the Russian soldier Nikolai Sirotinin.

The inscription on the monument: "Here at dawn on July 17, 1941 entered into combat with a column of fascist tanks and in a two-hour battle repulsed all enemy attacks, senior artillery sergeant Nikolai Vladimirovich Sirotinin, who gave his life for the freedom and independence of our Motherland."

"After all, he is a Russian soldier, is such admiration necessary?" These words were written down in his diary by Chief Lieutenant of the 4th Panzer Division Henfeld: “July 17, 1941. Sokolnichi, near Krichev. An unknown Russian soldier was buried in the evening. He alone stood at the cannon, shot a convoy of our tanks and infantry for a long time, and died. Everyone was amazed at his courage ... Oberst (Colonel) before the grave said that if all the soldiers of the Fuehrer fought like this Russian soldier, they would have conquered the whole world! Three times they fired volleys from rifles. After all, he is a Russian soldier, is such admiration necessary? "

Ordinary people were ready to defend and die for the USSR. And who is Gorbachev, who destroyed the USSR. A traitor who betrayed everything and everyone. A stupid dilettante who imagines himself a world-class politician. The main drawback of the USSR was that the power was too concentrated in the hands of one person, who was trusted without question. But when people realized where he was leading the country, it was too late.

Max21c , 2 hours ago

It's a mix between Nazi Germany and its criminality and thievery and persecution machinery, and Bolshevist Russia and its criminality and thievery and persecution machinery and many third world banana republics and their criminality and thievery and political persecution machinery.

Face it Washingtonians are evil.

ZeroTruth , 1 hour ago

Americuck in and of its entirety is just a criminal organization. I know a restaraunteur that started his business in the Bay Area selling drugs using a fleet of vehicles that had hidden compartments everywhere. Each vehicle was capable of holding up to half a key of yay and powdered molly already grammed up. Drivers were issued burner phones and given orders via dispatcher.

Last I checked, he had 7 restaurants that did amazing business and those vehicles were still on the road providing the other service. That's just one of the many I know of and it's small time compared to what the US government is doing.

ZeroTruth , 1 hour ago

Americuck in and of its entirety is just a criminal organization. I know a restaraunteur that started his business in the Bay Area selling drugs using a fleet of vehicles that had hidden compartments everywhere. Each vehicle was capable of holding up to half a key of yay and powdered molly already grammed up. Drivers were issued burner phones and given orders via dispatcher.

Last I checked, he had 7 restaurants that did amazing business and those vehicles were still on the road providing the other service. That's just one of the many I know of and it's small time compared to what the US government is doing.

DeeDeeTwo , 2 hours ago

The elites, Big Tech, Media and Deep State threw the kitchen sink at this election and did not move the needle. Regardless of who is next President, nothing changes. This is a tribute to the stability of the American system. In fact, the pendulum is swinging against the subversives who are becoming increasingly reckless and discredited.

TBT or not TBT , 2 hours ago

What did Huxley call the future country depicted in Brave New World?

[Nov 05, 2020] Roaming Charges- The Fuck Up - CounterPunch.org

Notable quotes:
"... Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent books are Bernie and the Sandernistas: Field Notes From a Failed Revolution and The Big Heat: Earth on the Brink (with Joshua Frank) He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net or on Twitter @ JSCCounterPunch . ..."
Nov 05, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

Roaming Charges: The Fuck Up BY JEFFREY ST. CLAIR Facebook Twitter Reddit Email

"Don't underestimate Joe's ability to fuck things up."

Barack Obama

+ The outcome is still in play, but if Biden loses, we're going to hear a lot of Malarky about why and most of it will be bullshit. (When I called it a night, at 2am Left Coast Time, Biden had come back to claim to a narrow lead in Wisconsin.)

+ I predicted in my column last Friday that the polls were underestimating Trump's support (or voter indifference to Biden) by 3 percent. It looks more like 5 to 6 percent in many of the decisive states. In Wisconsin, for example, Biden was favored by 8 percent. At 2Am, he was leading by 0.3 percent. The elite consultants and pollsters may have fucked up more profoundly than the Democrats who relied upon their statistical sorcery.

+ In the midst of a killer pandemic and mass unemployment, the Democrats could have offered the nation a universal health care plan, a moratorium on evictions and a guaranteed basic income. Instead, they believed that the key to victory over Trump was to meld neoliberal economics with a neoconservative foreign policy. I don't know where they got this idea. Probably, the same place Obama got his health insurance plan, the Heritage Foundation.

+ The Democrats' candidate voted for the Iraq war, NAFTA, the destruction of welfare, helped instigate the war on drugs, wrote federal crime laws that incarcerated two generations of young black & brown Americans and has preached austerity his entire political career. I'm not surprised by the inconclusive results of an election which should have been a sure thing.

+ I've long argued that Biden was a weaker candidate than HRC, who was terrible. At least HRC had a rationale for her campaign. Biden had none. The argument was that Biden wasn't hated as much as Hillary. Perhaps. But most people just didn't feel anything about him. Which is fatal for a politician.

+ Look on the bright side. Just think how much money the DNC will raise off of a Biden loss

+ Trump's 2am speech was worthy of Somoza's infamous declaration, "Yes, you won the election. But I won the counting."

+ Trump says he will be going to the U.S. Supreme Court to stop ALL vote counting across the country. "As far as I am concerned, we have already won," Trump says.

+ Trump says a sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise those who voted for him. Sad, indeed.

+ By contrast, Biden's passive speech sounded like Tsar Alexander's the night before the battle of Austerlitz, completely unaware of the concussive force that's going to hit him in the morning .

+ Biden is speaking, but saying nothing. Biden should never speak. Ever.

+ Recall how Biden spent most of the early primary season telling people, most of them young progressives, to vote for someone else if they didn't like his reactionary policies? Surprise!

+ Biden, who spent much of the year recruiting war criminals from the Bush administration, did worse with Republicans than HRC did in 2016.

+ Remember the Zoom election simulation the New Yorker did that got Jeffrey Toobin so excited? Do you think this was the scenario that triggered him?

+ The Biden campaign preferred to court the exiled neocons who started the Iraq war, than Hispanics and progressives. They may not lose, but they probably deserve to

+ Back in May, the Biden campaign announced that they didn't consider Latinos a key part of their " path to victory. " This kind of arrogance yielded the predictable results.

+ Hispanic voters per early 2020 exit polls:

Florida:

2016: Clinton +27
2020: Biden +8

Georgia:
2016: Clinton +40
2020: Biden +25

Ohio:
2016: Clinton +41
2020: Biden +24

+ The results from Starr County, Texas, the most Latino county in the United States (96% Latino) and the second poorest in Texas, with a poverty rate of 33%. In 2016, it went for Clinton by 60 percent. In 2020, Biden won it by only 5 percent, with >98% reporting.

+ The argument against Bernie was that he'd never win the Cuban exile vote in Florida.

+ I guess that Ana Navarro gambit was a bust

+ Biden kept saying this was a fight for the "soul of the nation". What if the nation never had a soul and it was actually a fight for health care, jobs, and a livable climate?

+ We were told that this election was all about "saving democracy" and in order to save democracy, the Democrats had to rig their primaries for Biden.

+ I was never a big fan of Sanders. But he gave people policies to vote for. Biden ran away from all them and offered nothing of substance on his own. The best he had to offer was Kamala Harris, a hard-ass former prosecutor who progressives distrusted and the right could race-bait and caricaturize as the second coming of Angela Davis.

+ Still, it's easy to proclaim that Bernie would have won. It's a proposition that can't be proven. But he would have been shackled by the same party apparatus that failed to win the senate and lost ground in the House. Until the Democratic Party itself is reconstituted, it's electoral fortunes are going to continue to erode.

+ Had the feeling the night might go south for the Democrats when the first crop of exit polls came out showing that 48% of voters believed the COVID pandemic was under control .

+ Trump, at 63,085,022 votes, has already amassed more votes than in 2016.

+ According to the early exit polls, Trump did better in 2020 with every race and gender except . white men!

Change from 2016:

White Men -5
White Women +2
Black Men +4
Black Women +4
Latino Men +3
Latino Women +3
Other +5

+ Clearly, this election would have been a Trump rout without the intervention of COVID.

+ This symbolizes the entire night Republican David Andahl, a North Dakota legislator who died of COVID-19, won re-election .

+ Good news for the squad, plus Cori Bush, who also won. Their victories are, of course, also good news for FoxNews, which can spend the next two years scaremongering them

+ 26 out of the 30 nationally-endorsed Democratic Socialist candidates won their elections.

+ Meanwhile, Scott DesJarlais slept with subordinates, prescribed opioids for his young lover-patients and pressured one to get an abortion, still won in Tennessee, running as a pro-life, family values Republican

+ Looks like the awful Prop 22 will pass in California, cementing drivers' status as independent contractors as Uber, Doordash and other gig companies prevail in their $200M bid to defeat legislation making them employees.

+ Memo to Justice Barrett: "Louisiana has passed Amendment 1, which establishes there is no constitutional right to an abortion."

+ Georgia is still in play and could go for both Biden and Q, thus spawning a decade's worth of new conspiracy theories

+ It turns out, the only debate Biden seems to have won was the one that was canceled.

+ Quitter!

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=NatCounterPunch&dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1323858752978771968&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.counterpunch.org%2F2020%2F11%2F04%2Froaming-charges-the-fuck-up%2F&siteScreenName=NatCounterPunch&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=500px

+ The Democrats can't blame the Greens this time (though I'm sure they'll find some reason to hurl insults at Susan Sarandon), having gotten them kicked off the ballot in key states. Perhaps they'll blame the Libertarians for not pulling enough votes from Trump.

+ Go figure .Trump did better in counties with high COVID death rates than he did in 2016.

+ Trump stomped Biden in Florida, yet the state overwhelmingly passed a $15 minimum wage referendum.

+ Florida Polls are the statistician's version of Florida Man

+ Biden had hopes of winning Iowa, but this once Democratic state is slipping further and further away

2000: Gore by 0.32%
2004: Bush by 0.67%
2008: Obama by 8.5%
2012: Obama by 5.6%
2016: Trump by 9.3%
2020: Trump by 8%

+ It was a good night for drugs. Oregon becomes the first state to decriminalize low-level drug possession and to legalize the use of magic mushrooms.

+ South Dakota, Arizona, Montana, New Jersey all legalized marijuana at the ballot box tonight, a policy which isn't supported by either major party.

+ This polling reinforces my view that if Biden loses, it will be because he spent too much time campaigning and not enough time staying out of sight "Two-thirds of voters say their choice for president was driven by their opinion of President Trump," according to AP VoteCast .

+ The EU is keeping Americans on the no fly list , which is probably prudent given all the celebrities who've vowed to flee the States in the event of Trump's reelection.

+ All Quiet on the Lincoln Project Front?

+ The Lincoln Project raised $67 million. Republican Voters Against Trump raised another $10 million. 93% of Republicans voted for Trump in 2020, up from 90% in 2016.

+ WH Auden: "America can break your heart."

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent books are Bernie and the Sandernistas: Field Notes From a Failed Revolution and The Big Heat: Earth on the Brink (with Joshua Frank) He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net or on Twitter @ JSCCounterPunch .

[Nov 05, 2020] Leveraging the Ruling Class's Loss of Legitimacy by Roger D. Harris

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times, ..."
"... The financial elites disproportionately lavished their support on the Democrats. The oligarchs understood more clearly than certain elements of the left where their class interests reside. "Wall Street," Politico ..."
"... While the outcome of the presidential election is uncertain, the legitimacy of the ruling class has surely been sullied by the arguably ugliest campaign in recent history. The elite club must now figure out how to anoint their new emperor without further damaging their image. The hiccups over their transfer of power is their dilemma and our good fortune. ..."
"... Peace and Freedom Party ..."
Nov 04, 2020 | dissidentvoice.org

The polls closed with " no winner yet in cliffhanger presidential election," as of Wednesday evening. Despite a period of uncertainty, which is typically the nemesis of Wall Street , the Dow climbed 0.9%, the S&P 500 opened 1.5% higher, and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 2.6%.

The explanation is that the financial elites know that they win regardless of who occupies the Oval Office, which is something that some leftists , who had advocated temporarily subordinating an independent working-class alternative to campaign for the leading neoliberal candidate, did not firmly grasp.

Trouncing the contender that Noam Chomsky hyperbolically called " worse than Hitler " would be a blow to overt white supremacy. But bedrock institutional racism, entombed in the US carceral state, will still endure and the tasks of the left will remain.

Legitimizing neoliberal rule

The left's vote was not needed to ensure a Biden victory. But it was needed to justify voting for the "lesser evil" based on the false narrative of TINA – "there is no alternative."

The Revolutionary Communist Party, normally marginalized by the corporate media, received banner headlines when it declared for Biden. The "paper of record" for the Democratic wing of the two-party duopoly, The New York Times, opportunistically posted an op-ed by a self-described socialist because it pleaded , "leftists should vote for Biden in droves."

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) readily acknowledged "there is no choice at the top of the ticket that would advance our movement or constitute a 'victory' for democratic socialism." But that did not deter them from jumping on the Biden bandwagon. DSA seemed more worried about Biden losing than about Sanders being excluded by the DNC.

It is not the left's responsibility to strategize how the Democrats could have run this or future campaigns. Incidentally, a Biden/Harris victory would preclude a liberalish Democrat, such as a member of the Squad , making a run as the Democratic standard bearer for next 12 to 16 years.

The contribution of those parttime leftists who campaigned for Biden was not to put him into the White House – they didn't have the numbers to do that – but to help legitimize neoliberal rule. Their preemptive political surrender obscured the failure of a political system incapable of addressing the critical issues of our times.

Politics of fear obscured critical issues

Fear was the operational motivator for apocalyptic fantasies of a fascist coup, which served to obviate a progressive agenda. A tanking economy, a still uncontained pandemic, and unprecedented protests against racialized police brutality were attributed solely to Trump's watch, instead of being understood as also endemic to the neoliberal order.

Neither presidential candidate advocated comprehensive healthcare in a time of pandemic, with both in effect opting for triage of the most vulnerable – people of color and the elderly . The two wings of the duopoly mainly differ on this existential health issue over the advisability of wearing face masks .

Climate catastrophe remains an existential threat. Biden may throw a few more crumbs than Trump in the direction of the alternative energy industry. But both candidates contested to see who was more enthusiastic about fracking , while they agree that tax cuts and subsidies to the fossil fuel industry will be continued. Biden's predecessor, whom he served as VP, boasted "we've added enough new oil and gas pipeline to circle the Earth and then some." The next four years portends a choice of someone who denies global warming or another who believes in the science but does not act on it.

The financial elites disproportionately lavished their support on the Democrats. The oligarchs understood more clearly than certain elements of the left where their class interests reside. "Wall Street," Politico reported , grew "giddy about Biden," because Uncle Joe would best help recover their legitimacy while carrying their water. The financiers also hedged their bets with contributions to Trump. Along with the DNC, they understood that another four years of the current occupant would be better than a Bernie Sanders presidency for the owning class.

Game of Thrones

While the outcome of the presidential election is uncertain, the legitimacy of the ruling class has surely been sullied by the arguably ugliest campaign in recent history. The elite club must now figure out how to anoint their new emperor without further damaging their image. The hiccups over their transfer of power is their dilemma and our good fortune.

It may be too early to tell, but the widely feared Trump coup has yet to be realized. The Proud Boys, with their mail-order munitions, have yet to replace the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Nervous leftists, apprehensive about a Trump coup, are calling upon labor to wage a general strike to install a neoliberal into the White House. Joe Hill would find that ironic at best.

While "President Donald Trump has cast doubt on whether he will commit to a peaceful transfer of power," CNN revealed , "the secretive process to prepare a would-be Biden administration has been underway for months with help from top Trump officials (emphasis added)."

Biden may now be less unpalatable than Trump, but Uncle Joe had the advantage of not being in power for the last four years. He may not look so hot after another term of neoliberal rule, characterized by increasing austerity for working people, entrenched institutional racism, oppressive surveillance and security state measures, and an aggressive imperialism abroad. Substantial differences exist between Trump and Biden, but those differences do not extend to which class they serve.

Recovering the left alternative

With record turnout , never before have so many voted for so little. Now is auspicious for alternatives to the two-party duopoly.

As reported by Alan Mcleod, Trump's abysmal approval rating of 42% is barely edged out by Biden's of 46%. Two-thirds of prospective Democratic voters polled claim they would be voting against Trump rather than for Biden; only a quarter of the prospective Republicans are voting so much for Trump as against the Democrats. Biden way squeak through on the appeal of not being Trump, but that will wear thin quickly.

With both major parties continuing to abandon the interests of working people, the left must either take the initiative or surrender it to a growing right wing. Rather than this being the time when never before has there been a greater need to support the lesser-evil Democrats and give them an extraordinary mandate to rule , this is a time to leverage the ruling class's loss of legitimacy to articulate a left alternative.

Taking a left initiative, despite the loss of legitimacy of the ruling elites, is challenging. With a Republican victory, the left has historically gotten absorbed into a resistance that devolves into an assistance – the graveyard of social movements that is the Democratic Party. With a Democratic victory, the illusion of hope and that anyone's better than Trump are false excuses to "give Biden a chance." After campaigning for the Democrat, it will be problematic for these same left forces to credibly do an about-face and fight him. As for an independent electoral left, more rigorous party registration rules targeting left alternatives, recently imposed by Democrats , foreshadow fewer left choices on future ballots.

However, the majority of working people support a progressive agenda, which has been ignored and suppressed by the duopoly:

These were among the critical issues that were lost in the distracting political theatre of the 2020 campaign and the basis for a renewed left initiative.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Email Roger D. Harris is on the state central committee of the Peace and Freedom Party , the only ballot-qualified socialist party in California. Read other articles by Roger .

This article was posted on Wednesday, November 4th, 2020 at 6:42pm and is filed under "The Left" , Civil Liberties , Democrats , Donald Trump , Elections , Fearmongering , Health/Medical , Joe Biden , Media Bias , Militarism , Neoliberalism , Politics , Republicans , Ruling Elite , Surveillance , US Congress , US Foreign Policy , US Media .


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[Nov 05, 2020] America Voted for the Worst Possible Result

Nov 05, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Tim Kirby November 4, 2020 © Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar

If one cares about the stability of the United States then they should have been wishing for a decisive victory in yesterday's election. A decisive victory for whom you ask? Perhaps in the long run that could be relevant, but in the short term it really doesn't matter at all, the main thing is that someone needs to walk away as the undisputed champion for the sake of America.

Not only has the United States had a very solid track record of stability due to having the best possible geopolitical location on the planet, but also in part thanks to the wisdom of those within the two-party system to value said stability over a temporary victory time after time.

Image: is getting rid of Trump really worth killing the golden goose? For some apparently it is.

As a teenager any thinking American will quickly wake up to the fact that with " Hanging Chads ", Gerrymandering , and rumors of the dead and non-citizens voting, that our electoral system is at least highly and deeply flawed if not completely illegitimate. With all the "irregularities" that happen in November it seems to young minds that this is simply a massive farce that needs to end.

However, as one gets older we can see the wisdom in both American parties constantly cheating and yet acknowledging every election as legit, even during the bizarre final moments of the battle like those between Bush and Gore in Florida . The two-party system must have gotten the picture that both teams are going to do anything they can to win and that this is perfectly natural. But in turn, just because both teams cheat there is no reason to declare the competition to be illegitimate as a whole, lest we repeat the U.S. Civil War or the early days in the Russian Revolution in which many factions fought till there could "be only one". Accepting that both sides can and will cheat but they must acknowledge the winner is critical for American stability and perfectly reasonable to those of us with grey hair.

Image: The dangerous electoral situation at the time of writing (source: Fox News)

The issue at hand in 2020 is that this old wisdom of how to play the game in Washington is dying or dead. Both sides are signaling to the other that they will not acknowledge a peaceful transfer/retaining of power . And just a day before voting, suburban soccer mom extremist Nancy Pelosi said that the House is ready to decide who will become President if the elections are "disputed" i.e. they are prepared to bureaucratically make Biden become President of the United States. This type of rhetoric could have big consequences for America as a whole.

With ballots still left to be counted, Trump says, in his usual exaggerated assuredness, that 'Frankly, (his side) did win this election' and is already making plans to go to the Supreme Court. This seems to be really jumping the gun, perhaps he knows about things happening behind the scenes that we do not, or he is simply no better than Pelosi when it comes to keeping their yap shut.

Image: Nancy Pelosi does not seem concerned about risking American stability for a presidential party victory.

So far the official threats that we have heard are all focussed on using bureaucratic procedures against each other, but with BLM, Antifa and other forces already out on the streets and possibly awaiting orders, certain observing forces could throw gasoline on the fire at any moment. Violence on a non-organized/revolutionary level has already started (as expected) with 4 Trump supporters being stabbed .

This is why the results of the election as they stand at this moment are the worst they could possibly be – as a strong victory for either would almost certainly guarantee the United States would remain stable for at least another 4 years. The "score" we are seeing right now is fertile ground for Color Revolution like action.

We should not forget that Color Revolutions happen almost always in connection with hot election cycles and take place in the nation's capital with full media support on the side of the rebels. All these check boxes are currently ticked and if cooler heads don't prevail Americans will get to experience the lifestyle, violence and fear they brought to the former Soviet Union after it lost the Cold War via the CIA's/State Department's Color Revolutions.

It is imperative for cooler heads on both sides to remind their colleagues that America did not become a super power due to "exceptionalism" but instead thanks to location, certain opportunities (WWII), and select wise policies.

Then again if you are an Accelarationist, well, it looks like your moment has finally come. The Right and Left are playing chicken and it doesn't look like anyone is going to blink.

[Nov 04, 2020] America After The Election- A Few Hard Truths About The Things That Won't Change by John Whitehead

Nov 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."

- George Orwell

The American people remain eager to be persuaded that a new president in the White House can solve the problems that plague us.

Yet no matter who wins this presidential election, you can rest assured that the new boss will be the same as the old boss, and we -- the permanent underclass in America -- will continue to be forced to march in lockstep with the police state in all matters, public and private.

Indeed, it really doesn't matter what you call them -- the Deep State, the 1%, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military industrial complex -- so long as you understand that no matter which party occupies the White House in 2021, the unelected bureaucracy that actually calls the shots will continue to do so.

In the interest of liberty and truth, here are a few hard truths about life in the American police state that will persist no matter who wins the 2020 presidential election. Indeed, these issues persisted -- and in many cases flourished -- under both Republican and Democratic administrations in recent years.

Police militarization will continue . Thanks to federal grant programs allowing the Pentagon to transfer surplus military supplies and weapons to local law enforcement agencies without charge, police forces will continue to be transformed from peace officers to heavily armed extensions of the military, complete with jackboots, helmets, shields, batons, pepper-spray, stun guns, assault rifles, body armor, miniature tanks and weaponized drones. "Today, 17,000 local police forces are equipped with such military equipment as Blackhawk helicopters, machine guns, grenade launchers, battering rams, explosives, chemical sprays, body armor, night vision, rappelling gear and armored vehicles ," stated Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. "Some have tanks."

Overcriminalization will continue. In the face of a government bureaucracy consumed with churning out laws, statutes, codes and regulations that reinforce its powers and value systems and those of the police state and its corporate allies, we will all continue to be viewed as petty criminals, guilty of violating some minor law. Thanks to an overabundance of 4,500-plus federal crimes and 400,000-plus rules and regulations, it is estimated that the average American actually commits three felonies a day without knowing it. In fact, according to law professor John Baker, " There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime ." Consequently, we now find ourselves operating in a strange new world where small farmers who dare to make unpasteurized goat cheese and share it with members of their community are finding their farms raided, while home gardeners face jail time for daring to cultivate their own varieties of orchids without having completed sufficient paperwork. This frightening state of affairs -- where a person can actually be arrested and incarcerated for the most innocent and inane activities, including feeding a whale and collecting rainwater on their own property -- is due to what law scholars refer to as overcriminalization.

Jailing Americans for profit will continue. At one time, the American penal system operated under the idea that dangerous criminals needed to be put under lock and key in order to protect society. Today, as states attempt to save money by outsourcing prisons to private corporations, imprisoning Americans in private prisons run by mega-corporations has turned into a cash cow for big business. In exchange for corporations buying and managing public prisons across the country at a supposed savings to the states, the states have to agree to maintain a 90% occupancy rate in the privately run prisons for at least 20 years. Such a scheme simply encourages incarceration for the sake of profits, while causing millions of Americans, most of them minor, nonviolent criminals, to be handed over to corporations for lengthy prison sentences which do nothing to protect society or prevent recidivism. Thus, although the number of violent crimes in the country is down substantially , the number of Americans being jailed for nonviolent crimes such as driving with a suspended license is skyrocketing .

Poverty will continue. Despite the fact that we have 46 million Americans living at or below the poverty line , 16 million children living in households without adequate access to f ood, and at least 900,000 veterans relying on food stamps (mind you, these are pre-COVID numbers, which have only got worse during this pandemic), enormous sums continue to be doled out for presidential excursions (taxpayers have been forced to pay at least $100 million so that Donald Trump could visit his golf clubs and private properties more than 500 times during his four years in office).

Endless wars that enrich the military industrial complex will continue. Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians and incompetent government officials, America's expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $15 billion a month (or $20 million an hour) -- and that's just what the government spends on foreign wars. That does not include the cost of maintaining and staffing the 1000-plus U.S. military bases spread around the globe. Incredibly, although the U.S. constitutes only 5% of the world's population, America boasts almost 50% of the world's total military expenditure, spending more on the military than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined. In fact, the Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety. Yet what most Americans fail to recognize is that these ongoing wars have little to do with keeping the country safe and everything to do with enriching the military industrial complex at taxpayer expense. Consider that since 2001, Americans have spent $10.5 million every hour for numerous foreign military occupations, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Police shootings of unarmed Americans will continue. No matter what our party politics, race, religion, or any other distinction used to divide us, we all suffer when violence becomes the government's calling card. Remember, in a police state, you're either the one with your hand on the trigger or you're staring down the barrel of a loaded gun. At least 400 to 500 innocent people are killed by police officers every year. Indeed, Americans are now eight times more likely to die in a police confrontation than they are to be killed by a terrorist. Americans are 110 times more likely to die of foodborne illness than in a terrorist attack. Police officers are more likely to be struck by lightning than be made financially liable for their wrongdoing. As a result, Americans are largely powerless in the face of militarized police.

SWAT team raids will continue. More than 80,000 SWAT team raids are carried out every year on unsuspecting Americans for relatively routine police matters. Nationwide, SWAT teams have been employed to address an astonishingly trivial array of criminal activity or mere community nuisances including angry dogs, domestic disputes, improper paperwork filed by an orchid farmer, and misdemeanor marijuana possession, to give a brief sampling. On an average day in America, over 100 Americans have their homes raide d by SWAT teams. There has been a notable buildup in recent years of SWAT teams within non-security-related federal agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Education Department.

The government's war on the American people will continue. "We the people" are no longer shielded by the rule of law. While the First Amendment -- which gives us a voice -- is being muzzled, the Fourth Amendment -- which protects us from being bullied, badgered, beaten, broken and spied on by government agents -- is being disemboweled. Consequently, you no longer have to be poor, black or guilty to be treated like a criminal in America. All that is required is that you belong to the suspect class -- that is, the citizenry -- of the American police state. As a de facto member of this so-called criminal class, every U.S. citizen is now guilty until proven innocent. The oppression and injustice -- be it in the form of shootings, surveillance, fines, asset forfeiture, prison terms, roadside searches, and so on -- will come to all of us eventually unless we do something to stop it now.

Government corruption will continue. The government is not our friend. Nor does it work for "we the people." Americans instinctively understand this. When asked to name the greatest problem facing the nation, Americans of all political stripes ranked the government as the number one concern . In fact, almost eight out of ten Americans believe that government corruption is widespread . Our so-called government representatives do not actually represent us, the citizenry. We are now ruled by an oligarchic elite of governmental and corporate interests whose main interest is in perpetuating power and control. Congress is dominated by a majority of millionaires who are, on average, fourteen times wealthier than the average American.

The rise of the surveillance state will continue. Government eyes are watching you. They see your every move: what you read, how much you spend, where you go, with whom you interact, when you wake up in the morning, what you're watching on television and reading on the internet. Every move you make is being monitored, mined for data, crunched, and tabulated in order to form a picture of who you are, what makes you tick, and how best to control you when and if it becomes necessary to bring you in line. Police have been outfitted with a litany of surveillance gear, from license plate readers and cell phone tracking devices to biometric data recorders. Technology now makes it possible for the police to scan passersby in order to detect the contents of their pockets, purses, briefcases, etc. Full-body scanners, which perform virtual strip-searches of Americans traveling by plane, have gone mobile, with roving police vans that peer into vehicles and buildings alike -- including homes. Coupled with the nation's growing network of real-time surveillance cameras and facial recognition software, soon there really will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

The erection of a suspect society will continue. Due in large part to rapid advances in technology and a heightened surveillance culture, the burden of proof has been shifted so that the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty has been usurped by a new norm in which all citizens are suspects. This is exemplified by police practices of stopping and frisking people who are merely walking down the street and where there is no evidence of wrongdoing. Making matters worse are Terrorism Liaison Officers (firefighters, police officers, and even corporate employees) who have been trained to spy on their fellow citizens and report "suspicious activity," which includes taking pictures with no apparent aesthetic value, making measurements and drawings, taking notes, conversing in code, espousing radical beliefs and buying items in bulk. TLOs report back to "fusion centers," which are a driving force behind the government's quest to collect, analyze, and disseminate information on American citizens.

Government tyranny under the reign of an Imperial President will continue. The Constitution invests the President with very specific, limited powers: to serve as Commander in Chief of the military, grant pardons, make treaties (with the approval of Congress), appoint ambassadors and federal judges (again with Congress' blessing), and veto legislation. In recent years, however, American presidents have anointed themselves with the power to wage war, unilaterally kill Americans, torture prisoners, strip citizens of their rights, arrest and detain citizens indefinitely, carry out warrantless spying on Americans, and erect their own secretive, shadow government. The powers amassed by each past president and inherited by each successive president -- powers which add up to a toolbox of terror for an imperial ruler -- empower whomever occupies the Oval Office to act as a dictator, above the law and beyond any real accountability. The grim reality we must come to terms with is the fact that the government does whatever it wants, freedom be damned. More than terrorism, more than domestic extremism, more than gun violence and organized crime, the U.S. government has become a greater menace to the life, liberty and property of its citizens than any of the so-called dangers from which the government claims to protect us. This state of affairs has become the status quo, no matter which party is in power.

The government's manipulation of national crises in order to expand its powers will continue. "We the people" have been the subjected to an "emergency state" that justifies all manner of government tyranny and power grabs in the so-called name of national security. Whatever the so-called threat to the nation -- whether it's civil unrest, school shootings, alleged acts of terrorism, or the threat of a global pandemic in the case of COVID-19 -- the government has a tendency to capitalize on the nation's heightened emotions, confusion and fear as a means of extending the reach of the police state. Indeed, the government's answer to every problem continues to be more government -- at taxpayer expense -- and less individual liberty.

The bottom line is this: nothing taking place on Election Day will alleviate the suffering of the American people. Unless we do something more than vote, the government as we have come to know it -- corrupt, bloated and controlled by big-money corporations, lobbyists and special interest groups -- will remain unchanged. And "we the people" -- overtaxed, overpoliced, overburdened by big government, underrepresented by those who should speak for us and blissfully ignorant of the prison walls closing in on us -- will continue to trudge along a path of misery.

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People , these problems will continue to plague our nation unless and until Americans wake up to the fact that we're the only ones who can change things for the better and then do something about it. If there is to be any hope of restoring our freedoms and reclaiming control over our government, it will rest not with the politicians but with the people themselves.

me title=

After all, Indeed, the Constitution opens with those three vital words, "We the people."

What the founders wanted us to understand is that we are the government.

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There is no government without us -- our sheer numbers, our muscle, our economy, our physical presence in this land. There can also be no police state -- no tyranny -- no routine violations of our rights without our complicity and collusion -- without our turning a blind eye, shrugging our shoulders, allowing ourselves to be distracted and our civic awareness diluted.

No matter which candidate wins this election, the citizenry and those who represent us need to be held accountable to this powerful truth.

[Oct 31, 2020] Biden might be losing his edge, his family might be trading in his name, but who gives a shit? The alternative is worse by light years

Amazingly clear statement of "lesser evilism" principle
Oct 31, 2020 | greenwald.substack.com

Alex G. 23 hr

I became a fan of yours when I was in law school at UC Hastings in 2003. Your the best, for sure. But fuck...

I got to be honest...I'm glad the press is ignoring this story. There's just too much at stake. Biden might be losing his edge, his family might be trading in his name, but who gives a shit? The alternative is worse by light years.

And yeah, I don't trust the "people" out there to get it right. The "people" are rubes. Those idiots voted for this piece of shit once before, they'll do it again, in a heartbeat.

More importantly, you really want to do Rudy Giuliani's work for him? I don't know, I don't get it...why so eager to make the campaign's case for them? It's not a rhetorical question. I just don't get it.

Reply

[Oct 28, 2020] Wall Street Banks, And Their Employees, Now Officially Lean Democrat

Highly recommended!
They understand who will serve them better... After all they are dependent on the continuation of neoliberal globalization.
Oct 28, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

You'd think that voting Republican would be an easy decision if you work on Wall Street, especially given the lower taxes and the removal of burdensome regulations. But Democrats have entangled themselves so deeply in the web of Wall Street, that the industry is now leaning to the left, according to a new report from Reuters .

The Center for Responsive Politics took a look at how the industry, and its employees, break down for the 2020 election cycle.

It has been obvious that Democratic candidate Joe Biden has been outpacing President Trump when it comes to fundraising, and this is also true of "winning cash from the banking industry," Reuters notes.

Biden's campaign has been the beneficiary of $3 million from commercial banks, compared to the $1.4 million Trump has raised. This is a far skew from 2012, where Mitt Romney was able to raise $5.5 million from commercial banks, while Barack Obama only raised $2 million. In 2012, Wall Street banks were among the top five contributors to Romney' campaign.

In 2020, campaign contributions to congressional races from Wall Street banks are about even. Republicans have raised $14 million while Democrats have brought in $13.6 million. About four years ago, Republicans pulled in $18.9 million, which was about twice as much as the Democrats raised. In 2012, Republicans raised about 61% of total bank donations.

Interestingly enough, when Biden and Trump are removed from the equation, the highest recipient from Wall Street is none other than Bernie Sanders, who has raised $831,096. Sanders often tops contributions in many industries due to his grassroots following.

When you remove the employees from the equation and only look at how the bank's political arms donate, the picture turns more Republican-friendly.

House of Representatives lawmaker Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri, one of the senior Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee, which is key for the banking industry, tops the list, hauling in $226,000. Next up is Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, the top Republican on that panel, with $185,500 in cash from bank political committees.

The top 20 recipients of bank political funds comprise 14 Republicans and six Democrats. Representative Gregory Meeks of New York, a senior member of the House banking panel, received the most among Democrats, with $140,000.

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about:blank

about:blank

me title=

The shift in data shows that while Wall Street's top brass may still understand the value of Republican leadership, bank employees themselves may overwhelmingly favor progressives.

ay_arrow

tonye , 3 hours ago

It's obvious. Wall Street is part of the Deep State...

Le SoJ16 , 3 hours ago

How can you hate capitalism and work for a Wall Street bank?

tonye , 3 hours ago

Because Wall Street is no longer capitalist.

Main Street is capitalist, they create the GNP.

Wall Street is a casino owned by globalists and bankers. They don't create much anymore.

Macho Latte , 2 hours ago

It has nothing to do with ideology. The Biden is FOR SALE!

Any questions?

Lord Raglan , 2 hours ago

It is because the majority of Wall Street are Jewish and **** overwhelmingly support Democrats.

David Horowitz has said that 80% of the donations to the Democrat Party come from ****.

KashNCarry , 2 hours ago

What a bunch of ****. Wall St. elites are in it up to their necks casting their lot with the globalists who want total control NOW. Trump is the only thing in their way....

artvandalai , 3 hours ago

Wall street people don't know much about the real economy. They also know little, nor do they care about, the real problems faced by business people who have to work everyday to overcome the policies put in place by liberals.

They do understand finance however. But all that requires is the ability to push paper around all day.

But let them vote for the Libotards and have them watch Elizabeth Warren take charge of the US Senate Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Committee. They'll be jumping out of windows.

FauxReal , 3 hours ago

Wall Street favors free money?

sun tzu , 1 hour ago

Wall Street wants bailouts. 0bozo gave them a yuge bailout

American2 , 2 hours ago

Based on the massively coordinated MSM suppression of the Biden corruption scandal, now I know why these folks back Biden.

CosmoJoe , 2 hours ago

Democrats as the party of the big banks,

bgundr , 2 hours ago

Of course banksters favor policies that make the average person a slave with less agency

Homie , 2 hours ago

Especially if you like the endless bailouts, give-aways, and freedom from those pesky rules limiting the Squid's diet

You'd think that voting Republican would be an easy decision if you work on Wall Street, especially given the lower taxes and the removal of burdensome regulations.

mtl4 , 2 hours ago

The shift in data shows that while Wall Street's top brass may still understand the value of Republican leadership, bank employees themselves may overwhelmingly favor progressives.

The banks are big on corruption and that's one poll the Dems are definitely leading by a longshot.......thick as thieves.

tunetopper , 2 hours ago

Wall St youngsters dont realize their job is to whore themselves out as much as possible to the few remaining classes of folk they dont already have accounts with. The few Millennials and Gen Xers that have enough capital saved up are their target market. Ever since the take-down of Bear Stearns and Lehman, and the exit of many others from their Private Client Groups- the Whorewolves of Wall St are very busy pretending to be Progs and Libs.

And like this post says: " who really cares, they all live in NY, NJ and CT which are guaranteed Dem states anyway"

So in essence- they have nothing to lose while pretending to be a Prog/Lib. in order to ge the clients money.

radar99 , 36 minutes ago

I arrived to wall st in 2010. My female boss at a large investment bank hated me from the moment I criticized Obama. I was and still am absolutely amazed you can work on wall st and be a democrat

moneybots , 59 minutes ago

"The shift in data shows that while Wall Street's top brass may still understand the value of Republican leadership, bank employees themselves may overwhelmingly favor progressives."

So 50 Cent alone went Trump after finding out NYC's top tax rate would be 62% under Biden?

Flynt2142ahh , 1 hour ago

also known as MBNA Joe Biden friends, you mean the privatize profits but liberalize losses crowd that always looks for gubment money to bail out failures - Shocking !

invention13 , 1 hour ago

Wall St. just knows Biden is someone you can do business with.

Loser Face , 1 hour ago

Wall Street leans towards anyone who passes laws that benefit Wall Street.

Obamaroid Ointment , 1 hour ago

The Wally Street crowd has always been a bunch Globalist Mercedes Marxists and Limousine Liberals, this article is ancient history.

Sound of the Suburbs , 2 hours ago

US politicians haven't got a clue what's really going on and got duped by the banker's shell game.

When you don't know what real wealth creation is, or how banks work, you fall for the banker's shell game.

Bankers make the most money when they are driving your economy towards a financial crisis.

On a BBC documentary, comparing 1929 to 2008, it said the last time US bankers made as much money as they did before 2008 was in the 1920s.

Bankers make the most money when they are driving your economy into a financial crisis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6

At 18 mins.

The bankers loaded the US economy up with their debt products until they got financial crises in 1929 and 2008.

As you head towards the financial crisis, the economy booms due to the money creation of bank loans.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

The financial crisis appears to come out of a clear blue sky when you use an economics that doesn't consider debt, like neoclassical economics.

That's what the banker's shell game does to your economy.

Bankers are playing a shell game, which you can't see if you don't know how banks actually work like today's policymakers.

The real estate shell game.

Watch this video of the S&L crisis to refresh your memory.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwFXvc1rJDw

They were just cutting their teeth messing about transferring financial assets around in those days.

It's all pretty straight forward.

Bank loans create money out of nothing.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

Money and debt come into existence together and disappear together like matter and anti-matter.

It's a shell game; you have to keep your eye on the money and the debt.

The speculators pocket the money, and the debt builds up in the S&Ls until the ponzi scheme collapses.

US taxpayers then bail out the bust S&Ls.

The shell game only works when no when is looking at the debt building up in the financial system like the UK from 1980 – 2008.

https://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_2018_02/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13_53_09.png.e32e8fee4ffd68b566ed5235dc1266c2.png

Money and debt come into existence together and disappear together like matter and anti-matter.

The money flows into the economy making it boom.

The debt builds up in the financial system leading to a financial crisis.

Banks – What is the idea?

The idea is that banks lend into business and industry to increase the productive capacity of the economy.

Business and industry don't have to wait until they have the money to expand. They can borrow the money and use it to expand today, and then pay that money back in the future.

The economy can then grow more rapidly than it would without banks.

Debt grows with GDP and there are no problems.

The banks create money and use it to create real wealth.

Caliphate Connie and the Headbangers , 2 hours ago

https://youtu.be/U06jlgpMtQs Democrat President, Republican Senate, Democratic House equals Deflation

medium giraffe , 3 hours ago

The banks and corporations of America have been welfare queens since 2008. Regardless of who wins, they will be the beneficiaries of moar US-style corporate welfare socialism.

Victory_Rossi , 3 hours ago

Wall Street loves globalism and hates the entire ethos of "America First". They're people with dodgy loyalties and grand self-interests.

FreemonSandlewould , 3 hours ago

What a surprise. The Banking Cartel faction of the Jish Control Grid sent Trotsky and company to Russia to implement the Bolshevik revolution. Should I be surprised they lean left?

Well I guess not. But they are at base amoral - that is to say with out moral philosophy. Their real motto is "Whatever gets the job done".

I know you human fungus in Wall St banks read Zh.

[Sep 28, 2020] Ziocon Trump is a master of deception: has not delivered on any of his promises, hired neocons, assholes, and morons

Highly recommended!
Sep 28, 2020 | www.unz.com

Robert Dolan , says: September 26, 2020 at 7:06 pm GMT

@Realist d on him and tried to remove him from office. This is actually the greatest political scandal in American history, yet nothing will be done about it. The magic negro will never face any consequences and he and his ugly wife will remain free to race bait for another 30 years unimpeded.

Trump and the GOP allowed the covid hoax to wreck the economy and allowed massive riots to go on for many months. They allow the left to run wild while whites live under anarcho-tyranny.

If Trump wins, which is likely, he will just go right back to blabbing about how much he loves blacks and mexicans and gays and you will never hear another word about white people.

Robert Dolan , says: September 26, 2020 at 9:23 pm GMT
@restless94110 p> Obama fired many upper level military and replaced them with leftist cucks.

Besides Trump not getting rid of people he should have gotten rid of, he hired a shitload of scum, neocons, Goldman alums, etc., people who were obviously not going to promote his America First agenda.

From the looks of it he never intended to make good on any of his promises.

And as Ann Coulter says, immigration is really the only thing that matters. Trump didn't deport the 30 million illegals that don't belong here. He didn't do anything about birthright citizenship, E-verify, etc.

We still face the very same demographic disaster as before.

Realist , says: September 26, 2020 at 10:17 pm GMT
@Robert Dolan

Trump doesn't even have the balls to go after the people who spied on him and tried to remove him from office.

I agree on your points

Here is a video of Tom Fitton explaining the situation to Lou Dobbs.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/A5thJyj5I7I?feature=oembed

Realist , says: September 26, 2020 at 10:21 pm GMT
@Harold Smith

I don't think anyone was actually trying to remove him from office (they could've added his war crimes and violations of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to the impeachment charges if they were serious about removing him). Most likely it's all political theater to fool the people who need and/or want to be fooled.

This is a charade designed by the Deep State to distract any thought that both parties are just two sides to the Deep State coin.

restless94110 , says: September 26, 2020 at 10:57 pm GMT
@Robert Dolan did get rid of some military, he clearly didn't get rid of the right people.

You seem to think it's easy. It's not obviously.

I like Ann, but she is hysterical. Yet that is ok in a journalist/editorialist. Her function is to keep pushing. And she is doing that.

But Trump is moving at his own speed based on his own instincts. Meaning it might be faster for some, slower for others. Coulter is not able to understand that. But she does not have to. I still read her. And then I analyze her as a person in fear that the wall won't be built.

Looks to me like Ann is wrong. It's just not happening quickly enough for her.

[Sep 23, 2020] Another sign of the crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite: FBI Agent Who Discovered Hillary's Emails On Weiner Laptop Claims He Was Told To Erase Computer

Highly recommended!
It would be interesting if Durham prove result revealed in October, not matter how whitewashed they are.
From comments below it is lear that for this particular subset neoliberal elite lost all legitimacy
Notable quotes:
"... Told to Erase Laptop Containing Investigation of Anthony Weiner Laptop ..."
"... Robertson alleges that the FBI did nothing for a month after discovering Clinton's emails on the Anthony Weiner laptop. It was only after he spoke with the U.S. Attorney's office overseeing the case, he claims, that the agency took action. ..."
"... Robertson's assertions match up with a Wall Street Journal report from 2018 . In that report, text messages between agent Peter Strzok and his girlfriend, lawyer Lisa Page, indicated the former had been called to discuss the newly discovered emails on September 28th. Those emails wouldn't be revealed until former Director James Comey notified Congress about them on October 28th. ..."
"... A book written by James B . Stewart in 2019 asserts that FBI agents had referred to the discovery of Hillary Clinton's emails as an "oh s***" moment." One agent admitted there were "ten times" as many emails as Comey admitted to publicly. ..."
"... These allegations make it difficult to say Comey did not lie to the public – if not Congress . ..."
"... Recently released documents from the DOJ show multiple FBI officials had "accidentally wiped" their phones after the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) requested them . ..."
"... Erasing evidence is a consistent theme for the Obama-era FBI. Meanwhile, the Senate Homeland Security Committee has voted to authorize over three dozen subpoenas and depositions of some of these officials, including Comey. ..."
"... The difficulty is not just that Comey and his underlings were obstructing justice to benefit Clinton, and made a total **** show of it. It is that Sessions was, "to protect the DOJ"... and Barr, also, clearly, as long he continues to run interference for Comey, Clinton, et al, is also obstructing justice. Barr has crafted a veneer, it seems... in the Durham probe... to provide himself plausible deniability. That veneer can remain plausible only as long as Durham does nothing, and fails to make the files public. ..."
"... It was the NYPD. And, that cadre of NYPD officers recognized what was likely to happen when they did turn it over to the FBI. So they made copies. And, the copies got distributed to the cloud. ..."
"... The emails are in the stellarwind database , according to William Binney. So are all the texts that the Mueller crew "erased." IntercoursetheEU is correct - every email and text ever sent is archived in that database. ..."
"... Where is that slimy, former CIA Director who wouldn't shut-up on national TV from late 2016 to early 2020? Hhmm, not a freaking peep nor have I seen any recent images. How about the dirtball, prior FBI Dir? His Twitter acct has only had "quotes" posted for about a month now. ..."
"... Clapper? Another Trump trasher on constant TV the last few years.....where is he? NOT A PEEP. Why wouldn't he keep trashing to diminish DJT's election chances? ..."
"... Brennan was on an MSNBC panel last week pale, sweating, moving around in his seat at the mere mention of John Durham. Not his usual cocky self that's for sure. ..."
Sep 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Rusty Weiss via The Political Insider blog,

FBI agent John Robertson, the man who found Hillary Clinton's emails on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, claims he was advised by bosses to erase his own computer.

Former FBI Director James Comey, you may recall, announced days before the 2016 presidential election that he had "learned of the existence" of the emails on Weiner's laptop .

Weiner is the disgraced husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

Robertson alleges that the manner in which his higher-ups in the FBI handled the case was "not ethically or morally right."

His startling claims are made in a book titled, "October Surprise: How the FBI Tried to Save Itself and Crashed an Election," an excerpt of which has been published by the Washington Post .

Told to Erase Laptop Containing Investigation of Anthony Weiner Laptop

Robertson alleges that the FBI did nothing for a month after discovering Clinton's emails on the Anthony Weiner laptop. It was only after he spoke with the U.S. Attorney's office overseeing the case, he claims, that the agency took action.

"He had told his bosses about the Clinton emails weeks ago," the book contends . "Nothing had happened."

"Or rather, the only thing that had happened was his boss had instructed Robertson to erase his computer work station."

This, according to the Post report, was to "ensure there was no classified material on it," but also would eliminate any trail of his actions taken during the investigation.

FBI Did Nothing About Hillary Clinton's Emails For Months?

Robertson's assertions match up with a Wall Street Journal report from 2018 . In that report, text messages between agent Peter Strzok and his girlfriend, lawyer Lisa Page, indicated the former had been called to discuss the newly discovered emails on September 28th. Those emails wouldn't be revealed until former Director James Comey notified Congress about them on October 28th.

A book written by James B . Stewart in 2019 asserts that FBI agents had referred to the discovery of Hillary Clinton's emails as an "oh s***" moment." One agent admitted there were "ten times" as many emails as Comey admitted to publicly.

These allegations make it difficult to say Comey did not lie to the public – if not Congress .

Robertson's story is being revealed as U.S. Attorney John Durham is investigating the FBI's role in the origins of the Russia probe into President Trump's campaign.

Recently released documents from the DOJ show multiple FBI officials had "accidentally wiped" their phones after the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) requested them .

Erasing evidence is a consistent theme for the Obama-era FBI. Meanwhile, the Senate Homeland Security Committee has voted to authorize over three dozen subpoenas and depositions of some of these officials, including Comey.

Democrats seem skittish about what Durham is uncovering .

Four House committee chairs last week asked for an "emergency" review of Attorney General William Barr's handling of Durham's probe.

"We are concerned by indications that Attorney General Barr might depart from longstanding DOJ principles," a letter to the IG reads .

They contend Barr may "take public action related to U.S. Attorney Durham's investigation that could impact the presidential election." Top Democrats have also been threatening to impeach Barr over the investigation.

Kevin Clinesmith, one of the FBI officials involved in gathering evidence in the Russia investigation, pled guilty last month to making a false statement. He was accused by the Inspector General of altering an email about former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

President Trump's Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, said in July that he expects further indictments and jail time to come out of Durham's probe. Democrats, Comey, and others at the FBI might be a little nervous.


DaiRR , 12 hours ago

DemoRat operatives still pervade the DOJ and to a lesser extent the FBI. Treasonous F's all of them. Andrew Weissmann is an evil a Rat as any of them and he should be tried, disbarred and punished for all his lying and despicable crimes while at the DOJ. Of course MSNBC now loves paying him to be their "legal analyst".

MissCellany , 13 hours ago

What, like with a cloth or something?

RoadKill4Supper , 12 hours ago

"What difference, at this point, does it make?"

FBGnome , 3 hours ago

The current election would be at stake.

Unknown User , 14 hours ago

Unless the Swamp does it. Not just a post or a website disappear, people disappear.

Sense , 13 hours ago

The difficulty is not just that Comey and his underlings were obstructing justice to benefit Clinton, and made a total **** show of it. It is that Sessions was, "to protect the DOJ"... and Barr, also, clearly, as long he continues to run interference for Comey, Clinton, et al, is also obstructing justice. Barr has crafted a veneer, it seems... in the Durham probe... to provide himself plausible deniability. That veneer can remain plausible only as long as Durham does nothing, and fails to make the files public.

Only if Durham proceeds to use the files, and/or makes the files public, will we find out if we get prosecutions, or if we get more obstruction under Barr's watch. So, Barr is carrying a pretty big hammer. It isn't at all clear what he intends to do with that hammer, or how he intends to use it if he does.

A wild card, perhaps, in the potential for an Senate or House investigation including Barr's forced participation... in response to which he might be compelled to answer the unasked question ? Makes it kind of hard to see how "investigating Barr"... poses a threat to Barr, or Trump... rather than a threat to those investigating him ? The fact they're even twittering about it suggests more than awareness about the content of that information... and thus maybe complicity in the effort to cover it up ?

That would explain most of the events of the last four years.

And, as a note, it wasn't "the FBI" that "found the e-mails" (and other files) on the Weiner laptop.

It was the NYPD. And, that cadre of NYPD officers recognized what was likely to happen when they did turn it over to the FBI. So they made copies. And, the copies got distributed to the cloud.

It is not possible, I'd think, that Julian Assange didn't get a copy... in case you wonder why Barr's DOJ is still prosecuting journalism. I doubt they're doing that because of past publication... rather than in an effort to prevent future publication. Because Assange... in all likelihood... might be the only journalist left in the world... who will not be coerced into withholding publication.

ElmerTwitch , 12 hours ago

The emails are in the stellarwind database , according to William Binney. So are all the texts that the Mueller crew "erased." IntercoursetheEU is correct - every email and text ever sent is archived in that database.

The DOJ is indeed protecting Obama, Hillary, Comey, Brennan, Clapper et al. by claiming "the emails are gone! The texts are gone, too!"

sparky139 , 12 hours ago

What is the stellarwind database

TheReplacement's Replacement , 1 hour ago

Look up NSA.

takeaction , 15 hours ago

As all of us here on ZH understand. NOTHING WILL EVER HAPPEN... And Trump Team....if you are reading this... THIS IS THE BIGGEST LET DOWN OF YOUR ENTIRE PRESIDENCY...

No_Pretzel_Logic , 14 hours ago

takeaction - I disagree. I think things are happening right now....out of the country.

TRIALS.....

Where is that slimy, former CIA Director who wouldn't shut-up on national TV from late 2016 to early 2020? Hhmm, not a freaking peep nor have I seen any recent images. How about the dirtball, prior FBI Dir? His Twitter acct has only had "quotes" posted for about a month now.

Clapper? Another Trump trasher on constant TV the last few years.....where is he? NOT A PEEP. Why wouldn't he keep trashing to diminish DJT's election chances?

I'm telling ya, I think they are on a certain Caribbean Island. And my wager is that Trump is going to toss a wild curveball into this election about the 3rd week of Oct.

Treason convictions announced, is my bet.

maggie2now , 13 hours ago

Brennan was on an MSNBC panel last week pale, sweating, moving around in his seat at the mere mention of John Durham. Not his usual cocky self that's for sure. HRC was online flapping her yap with Jennifer Palmieri not too long ago trying to convince the Biden campaign not to concede the 2020 election under any circumstances. As for Clapper, I don't know - maybe hiding in a remote location ****ting himself?

MoreFreedom , 12 hours ago

They've shut up because their actions betray them. Publicly they say Trump is a Russian spy or puppet, while under oath, in a closed room, representing their former government position and top secret clearance, they've no information to support it. That shows an anti-Trump political motivation, regarding their prior actions in government. It's also defrauding the public and government.

YouJustCouldnt , 2 hours ago

Couldn't agree more. How many times have we been here before!

20 years on from 9/11 - From the thousands of experts on the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth , the latest news is that The National Institute of Standards and Technology ( NIST ) is now more than a week late in issuing its "initial decision" on the pending "request for correction" to its 2008 report on the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7. Big Whoop - and just another nothing burger.

Ms No , 15 hours ago

Uhhhh.....yeah.

We have seen this type of thing since JFK. If you hadn't long ago figured this out then you are either an amateur or a paid internet herd-moving troll/anti-human.

Some of us aren't part of the herd.

(((Anthony Weiner))), just like (((Mossad Epstein honeypot))) and (((lucky Larry Silverstein))), countless other examples that blow statistical likelihood way beyond coincidence.

Not rocket science. Its a mob and these are their puppets and fronts. They dont just own the FBI. They own all branches of your government and all the alphabets.

Enjoying the covid hysteria and run-up to WWIII?

Unknown User , 14 hours ago

If by (((they))) you mean the British who created the OSA and then the CIA. They also created all the think-tanks, like the CFR. They own the Fed and run the worldwide banking cartel. The British Crown owns all the countries of the Commonwealth. And they started the COVID-19 delusion. Yes. Make no mistake. It is (((THEY))).

VWAndy , 15 hours ago

An he didnt go public with it either.

occams razor. they are all corrupt.

Stackers , 15 hours ago

Anyone who thinks that anybody beyond this low level flunky, Kliensmith, is going to get any kind of prosecution is dreaming. None of these people will face any consequences to their outright sedition and they know it. Disgusting.

radical-extremist , 15 hours ago

She created a private personal server to purposely circumvent the FOIA system and any other prying eyes. Her staff was warned not to do it, but they refused to confront her about it. They were so technically inept that they didn't understand emails are copied on to servers everywhere...including the pentagon and the state department. And Huma's laptop that her perv husband used to sext girls.

She maintained and exchanged Top Secret information on a personal/private/unsecured server in her house. That is a crime punishable with prison time...and yet she skates.

High Vigilante , 15 hours ago

This guy should avoid walking out in dark.

His name was Seth!

Bay of Pigs , 13 hours ago

We have to face reality. If Durham doesn't indict some of these people before the election, nothing is going to happen. It's the end of the line. Time has run out.

"We bullsh#tted some folks...."

dogfish , 13 hours ago

Trump is a charlatan and a fraud. The only winners with Trump are the Zionist they are Trumps top priority.

play_arrow
OCnStiggs , 13 hours ago

Good thing NYPD copied the HD on that laptop for just this occurrence. There reportedly at least two copies in safes in NYC. Criminality of the highest order that eclipses by 100,000,000 whatever happened in Watergate. These FBI people need to hang.

Sparehead , 13 hours ago

Safe in NYC? Like all the evidence of criminal banking activity that was lost in World Trade Center 7?

4Y_LURKER , 12 hours ago

Oh look! We found passports even though steel and gold was vaporized by jet fuel!!

NIST is a cornspiracy theory!

you're cornfused

[Sep 02, 2020] 400,000+ Americans sick of political duopoly turn out for virtual 'People's Convention' vote to launch new anti-corporate party

With "first after the post" election rules no third party can succeed.
Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "major new corporate-free political party in America." ..."
"... "There is only one choice in this election, and that is the consolidation of oligarchic power under Donald Trump, or the consolidation of oligarchic power under Joe Biden," ..."
"... "The oligarchs with Trump or Biden will win again, and we will lose." ..."
"... Only one thing matters to the oligarchs, it is not democracy, it is not truth, it is not the consent of the governed, it is not income inequality, it is not the surveillance state, it is not endless war it is the primacy of corporate power, which has extinguished our democracy and left most of the working class and the working poor in misery. ..."
"... We have reverted to aristocracy; it is now a corporate aristocracy. ..."
"... "It is health insurance companies, it is big pharmaceutical companies, it is big oil, it is food companies and of course, it is the military industrial complex," ..."
"... "we are in a fight for our lives and for future generations," ..."
"... "We don't believe in the lies and the bribes and the contentment in a lousy peace," ..."
"... "How can we have peace in moments like this, when over 90 million of our sisters and brothers are either uninsured or underinsured?" ..."
"... "How can we have peace when on the streets of America right now, black lives have been reaching out, calling out the racism and the white supremacy and the bigotry of a system that was created for black lives to languish." ..."
"... How can we have peace when you got a Congress that goes on recess while millions of people are facing evictions from their homes? ..."
"... "We need a third or fourth entity to step in. The lesser of two evils is still evil," ..."
"... "We are living in a moment of massive imperial meltdown, spiritual breakdown, and we need prophetic fight-back," ..."
Sep 01, 2020 | www.rt.com

Fed up with decades of two-party rule, hundreds of thousands of Americans tuned in for the People's Convention, where they voted to form a new political alternative unbeholden to corporate power or the military-industrial complex.

The event drew more than 400,000 viewers to its livestream on Sunday, organizers said. It continued to trend on Twitter through more than 5 hours of speeches that culminated in a vote to create a "major new corporate-free political party in America."

Among the speakers at the convention were several disgruntled Democrats, from Sen. Bernie Sanders's 2020 national co-chair Nina Turner to a candidate in this year's primaries, Marianne Williamson. The roster of speakers also included former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, comedian Jimmy Dore, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, who summed up the spirit of the convention in a fiery address.

ALSO ON RT.COM No cooperation allowed? Twitter suspends cancel culture prof's 'Articles of Unity' call for bipartisanship & BLOCKS website

"There is only one choice in this election, and that is the consolidation of oligarchic power under Donald Trump, or the consolidation of oligarchic power under Joe Biden," said Hedges, who also hosts RT's ' On Contact .' "The oligarchs with Trump or Biden will win again, and we will lose."

Only one thing matters to the oligarchs, it is not democracy, it is not truth, it is not the consent of the governed, it is not income inequality, it is not the surveillance state, it is not endless war it is the primacy of corporate power, which has extinguished our democracy and left most of the working class and the working poor in misery.

www.youtube.com/embed/t6u5xPJaW2s

The People's Convention was held on the heels of the Republican and Democratic national conventions earlier this month, which event organizers said "erased the needs of poor and working people in a time of mounting national crisis." It ended with a vote to create the People's Party in 2021, in which some 99 percent of its 400,000 viewers took part.

Williamson, who made an unsuccessful bid for Democratic nominee in the 2020 race, slammed an economic system that for decades has stranded "millions of people without even a life vest," concentrating massive amounts of wealth upward and leaving the American middle class "completely devastated."

We have reverted to aristocracy; it is now a corporate aristocracy.

"It is health insurance companies, it is big pharmaceutical companies, it is big oil, it is food companies and of course, it is the military industrial complex," she said.

A former Ohio state senator and a senior figure in the Sanders campaign, Turner told the convention that "we are in a fight for our lives and for future generations," adding "We don't believe in the lies and the bribes and the contentment in a lousy peace," quoting from a 1938 poem by Langston Hughs.

"How can we have peace in moments like this, when over 90 million of our sisters and brothers are either uninsured or underinsured?" Turner asked. "How can we have peace when on the streets of America right now, black lives have been reaching out, calling out the racism and the white supremacy and the bigotry of a system that was created for black lives to languish."

How can we have peace when you got a Congress that goes on recess while millions of people are facing evictions from their homes?

ALSO ON RT.COM Rigged US primaries aren't the problem – the rigged election system is

"We need a third or fourth entity to step in. The lesser of two evils is still evil," said Ventura, who was elected Minnesota governor on a third-party ticket in 1998 and has since been involved with the Libertarian and Green parties. Ventura has also hosted RT's ' Off the Grid ' (ending in 2015) and ' The World According to Jesse .'

Harvard professor and social critic Dr. Cornel West also addressed the event, calling to "transform the American empire into a more democratic space," while dubbing the two major parties the "neo-fascist" and "neo-liberal" wings of the "ruling class."

"We are living in a moment of massive imperial meltdown, spiritual breakdown, and we need prophetic fight-back," West said, arguing the new party would provide just that.

The Movement for a People's Party, the organization behind the project, now says it is working to establish local branches around the US, which will "form the building blocks of state parties" and work through the long and often arduous process of securing ballot access. The group has set a lofty goal for the new anti-corporate outfit, hoping it will be "poised to sweep Congress and the White House" by the next election cycle in 2024.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Sinalco 16 hours ago

Sadly, it's the same all over the world - the corporations have bought all politicians... Governments & Politicians no longer work for us; they work for the highest bidder...

ratfink222 Sinalco 3 hours ago

In the USA it is even worse, CEOs give themselves multimillion dollars raises and bonuses for screwing up and screwing Americans. Their pay is at least 10,000 times higher than employees. They act like they are laying golden bricks but they are robbing everybody.

GottaBeMe venze chern 5 hours ago

This one will be a grassroots organization and has pledged to never accept corporate donations. They are planning to get online funding from individuals as did Bernie Sanders. It can be done. When they have enough momentum, they will work to eliminate corporate money from politics. You should watch their convention. I saw all but the first 45 minutes. It was inspiring.

Juan_More 15 hours ago

There are already other parties running in the election it is just that these also ran parties can't get any traction against the two main parties. Part of the reason that RT got trouble last time is that they gave airtime to these also ran parties. Ross Perot made a good try at it but he failed. These also ran parties have to start winning elections at lower levels and building momentum. The other would be to get a high profile candidate with name recognition like Jesse Ventura or Oprah

GottaBeMe Juan_More 5 hours ago Certainly the game is rigged against alternative parties.

They are not allowed to participate in debates, the media tries to ignore them, election rules are designed to make it nearly impossible to get on a state ballot. (This is why I vote 3rd party in the absence of a decent D or R candidate: a threshold of votes can provide a bit of financial relief and if enough, could mandate ballot access.) I truly hope the People's Party succeeds. I intend to support it as much as I can.

Alan Ditmore Juan_More 5 hours ago

No. ONLY ONE viable strategy and that is to get 1000 MAYORS before running any higher, for which you need a municipal platform. houses 13 hours ago Workers' parties are the only alternative to corporate parties.

The British Labour Party was just that, but it was infiltrated by tory fifth columnists and turned into tory lite, thus depriving the electrorate of any meaningfull choice.

Corbyn is real Labour, and was voted leader by a landslide of the national membership, but the Blairites in the PLP simply undermined everything he did, contradicted everything he said, supported tory fake news and lies, and even campaigned openly against him at the general election. The fact is the corporate fascists will not ALLOW any opposition to their kleptocratic establishment.

[Aug 19, 2020] Some Shocking Facts on the Concentration of Ownership of the US Economy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has not seen these levels of concentration of ownership. The Soviet Union did not die because of apparent ideological reasons but due to economic bankruptcy caused by its uncompetitive monopolistic economy. Our verdict is that the US is heading in the same direction. ..."
"... In a future instalment of this report, we will show that the oligarchization of America – the placing it under the rule of the One Percent (or perhaps more accurately the 0.1%, if not 0.01%) - has been a deliberate ideologically driven long-term project to establish absolute economic power over the US and its political system and further extend that to involve an absolute global hegemony (the latter project thankfully thwarted by China and Russia). ..."
"... In present-day United States a few major investors – equity funds or private capital - are as a rule cross-owned by each other, forming investor oligopolies, which in turn own the business oligopolies. ..."
"... A study has shown that among a sample of the 1,500 largest US firms (S&P 1500), the probability of one major shareholder holding significant shares in two competing firms had jumped to 90% in 2014, while having been just 16% in 1999. (*2). ..."
"... Institutional investors like BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, and JP Morgan, now own 80% of all stock in S&P 500 listed companies. The Big Three investors - BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – alone constitute the largest shareholder in 88% of S&P 500 firms, which roughly correspond to America's 500 largest corporations. (*3). Both BlackRock and Vanguard are among the top five shareholders of almost 70% of America's largest 2,000 publicly traded corporations. (*4). ..."
May 19, 2019 | russia-insider.com

A close-knit oligarchy controls all major corporations. Monopolization of ownership in US economy fast approaching Soviet levels

Starting with Ronald Reagan's presidency, the US government willingly decided to ignore the anti-trust laws so that corporations would have free rein to set up monopolies. With each successive president the monopolistic concentration of business and shareholding in America has grown precipitously eventually to reach the monstrous levels of the present day.

Today's level of monopolistic concentration is of such unprecedented levels that we may without hesitation designate the US economy as a giant oligopoly. From economic power follows political power, therefore the economic oligopoly translates into a political oligarchy. (It seems, though, that the transformation has rather gone the other way around, a ferocious set of oligarchs have consolidated their economic and political power beginning from the turn of the twentieth century). The conclusion that the US is an oligarchy finds support in a 2014 by a Princeton University study.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has not seen these levels of concentration of ownership. The Soviet Union did not die because of apparent ideological reasons but due to economic bankruptcy caused by its uncompetitive monopolistic economy. Our verdict is that the US is heading in the same direction.

In a later report, we will demonstrate how all sectors of the US economy have fallen prey to monopolization and how the corporate oligopoly has been set up across the country. This post essentially serves as an appendix to that future report by providing the shocking details of the concentration of corporate ownership.

Apart from illustrating the monopolization at the level of shareholding of the major investors and corporations, we will in a follow-up post take a somewhat closer look at one particularly fatal aspect of this phenomenon, namely the consolidation of media (posted simultaneously with the present one) in the hands of absurdly few oligarch corporations. In there, we will discuss the monopolies of the tech giants and their ownership concentration together with the traditional media because they rightfully belong to the same category directly restricting speech and the distribution of opinions in society.

In a future instalment of this report, we will show that the oligarchization of America – the placing it under the rule of the One Percent (or perhaps more accurately the 0.1%, if not 0.01%) - has been a deliberate ideologically driven long-term project to establish absolute economic power over the US and its political system and further extend that to involve an absolute global hegemony (the latter project thankfully thwarted by China and Russia). To achieve these goals, it has been crucial for the oligarchs to control and direct the narrative on economy and war, on all public discourse on social affairs. By seizing the media, the oligarchs have created a monstrous propaganda machine, which controls the opinions of the majority of the US population.

We use the words 'monopoly,' 'monopolies,' and 'monopolization' in a broad sense and subsume under these concepts all kinds of market dominance be it by one company or two or a small number of companies, that is, oligopolies. At the end of the analysis, it is not of great importance how many corporations share in the market dominance, rather what counts is the death of competition and the position enabling market abuse, either through absolute dominance, collusion, or by a de facto extinction of normal market competition. Therefore we use the term 'monopolization' to describe the process of reaching a critical level of non-competition on a market. Correspondingly, we may denote 'monopoly companies' two corporations of a duopoly or several of an oligopoly.

Horizontal shareholding – the cementation of the oligarchy

One especially perfidious aspect of this concentration of ownership is that the same few institutional investors have acquired undisputable control of the leading corporations in practically all the most important sectors of industry. The situation when one or several investors own controlling or significant shares of the top corporations in a given industry (business sector) is referred to as horizontal shareholding . (*1). In present-day United States a few major investors – equity funds or private capital - are as a rule cross-owned by each other, forming investor oligopolies, which in turn own the business oligopolies.

A study has shown that among a sample of the 1,500 largest US firms (S&P 1500), the probability of one major shareholder holding significant shares in two competing firms had jumped to 90% in 2014, while having been just 16% in 1999. (*2).

Institutional investors like BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, and JP Morgan, now own 80% of all stock in S&P 500 listed companies. The Big Three investors - BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – alone constitute the largest shareholder in 88% of S&P 500 firms, which roughly correspond to America's 500 largest corporations. (*3). Both BlackRock and Vanguard are among the top five shareholders of almost 70% of America's largest 2,000 publicly traded corporations. (*4).

Blackrock had as of 2016 $6.2 trillion worth of assets under management, Vanguard $5.1 trillion, whereas State Street has dropped to a distant third with only $1 trillion in assets. This compares with a total market capitalization of US stocks according to Russell 3000 of $30 trillion at end of 2017 (From 2016 to 2017, the Big Three has of course also put on assets).Blackrock and Vanguard would then alone own more than one-third of all US publicly listed shares.

From an expanded sample that includes the 3,000 largest publicly listed corporations (Russell 3000 index), institutions owned (2016) about 78% of the equity .

The speed of concentration the US economy in the hands of institutions has been incredible. Still back in 1950s, their share of the equity was 10%, by 1980 it was 30% after which the concentration has rapidly grown to the present day approximately 80%. (*5). Another study puts the present (2016) stock market capitalization held by institutional investors at 70%. (*6). (The slight difference can possibly be explained by variations in the samples of companies included).

As a result of taking into account the common ownership at investor level, it emerges that the US economy is yet much more monopolized than it was previously thought when the focus had been on the operational business corporation alone detached from their owners. (*7).

The Oligarch owners assert their control

Apologists for monopolies have argued that the institutional investors who manage passive capital are passive in their own conduct as shareholders as well. (*8). Even if that would be true it would come with vastly detrimental consequences for the economy as that would mean that in effect there would be no shareholder control at all and the corporate executives would manage the companies exclusively with their own short-term benefits in mind, inevitably leading to corruption and the loss of the common benefits businesses on a normally functioning competitive market would bring.

In fact, there seems to have been a period in the US economy – before the rapid monopolization of the last decade -when such passive investors had relinquished control to the executives. (*9). But with the emergence of the Big Three investors and the astonishing concentration of ownership that does not seem to hold water any longer. (*10). In fact, there need not be any speculation about the matter as the monopolist owners are quite candid about their ways. For example, BlackRock's CEO Larry Fink sends out an annual guiding letter to his subject, practically to all the largest firms of the US and increasingly also Europe and the rest of the West. In his pastoral, the CEO shares his view of the global conditions affecting business prospects and calls for companies to adjust their strategies accordingly.

The investor will eventually review the management's strategic plans for compliance with the guidelines. Effectively, the BlackRock CEO has in this way assumed the role of a giant central planner, rather like the Gosplan, the central planning agency of the Soviet command economy.

The 2019 letter (referenced above) contains this striking passage, which should quell all doubts about the extent to which BlackRock exercises its powers:

"As we seek to build long-term value for our clients through engagement, our aim is not to micromanage a company's operations. Instead, our primary focus is to ensure board accountability for creating long-term value. However, a long-term approach should not be confused with an infinitely patient one. When BlackRock does not see progress despite ongoing engagement, or companies are insufficiently responsive to our efforts to protect our clients' long-term economic interests, we do not hesitate to exercise our right to vote against incumbent directors or misaligned executive compensation."

Considering the striking facts rendered above, we should bear in mind that the establishment of this virtually absolute oligarch ownership over all the largest corporations of the United States is a relatively new phenomenon. We should therefore expect that the centralized control and centralized planning will rapidly grow in extent as the power is asserted and methods are refined.

Most of the capital of those institutional investors consists of so-called passive capital, that is, such cases of investments where the investor has no intention of trying to achieve any kind of control of the companies it invests in, the only motivation being to achieve as high as possible a yield. In the overwhelming majority of the cases the funds flow into the major institutional investors, which invest the money at their will in any corporations. The original investors do not retain any control of the institutional investors, and do not expect it either. Technically the institutional investors like BlackRock and Vanguard act as fiduciary asset managers. But here's the rub, while the people who commit their assets to the funds may be considered as passive investors, the institutional investors who employ those funds are most certainly not.

Cross-ownership of oligarch corporations

To make matters yet worse, it must be kept in mind that the oligopolistic investors in turn are frequently cross-owned by each other. (*11). In fact, there is no transparent way of discovering who in fact controls the major institutional investors.

One of the major institutional investors, Vanguard is ghost owned insofar as it does not have any owners at all in the traditional sense of the concept. The company claims that it is owned by the multiple funds that it has itself set up and which it manages. This is how the company puts it on their home page : "At Vanguard, there are no outside owners, and therefore, no conflicting loyalties. The company is owned by its funds, which in turn are owned by their shareholders -- including you, if you're a Vanguard fund investor." At the end of the analysis, it would then seem that Vanguard is owned by Vanguard itself, certainly nobody should swallow the charade that those funds stuffed with passive investor money would exercise any ownership control over the superstructure Vanguard. We therefore assume that there is some group of people (other than the company directors) that have retained the actual control of Vanguard behind the scenes (perhaps through one or a few of the funds). In fact, we believe that all three (BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard) are tightly controlled by a group of US oligarchs (or more widely transatlantic oligarchs), who prefer not to brandish their power. It is beyond the scope of this study and our means to investigate this hypothesis, but whatever, it is bad enough that as a proven fact these three investor corporations wield this control over most of the American economy. We also know that the three act in concert wherever they hold shares. (*12).

Now, let's see who are the formal owners of these institutional investors

In considering these ownership charts, please, bear in mind that we have not consistently examined to what degree the real control of one or another company has been arranged through a scheme of issuing different classes of shares, where a special class of shares give vastly more voting rights than the ordinary shares. One source asserts that 355 of the companies in the Russell index consisting of the 3000 largest corporations employ such a dual voting-class structure, or 11.8% of all major corporations.

We have mostly relied on www.stockzoa.com for the shareholder data. However, this and other sources tend to list only the so-called institutional investors while omitting corporate insiders and other individuals. (We have no idea why such strange practice is employed

[Aug 16, 2020] CIA Behind Guccifer Russiagate A Plausible Scenario

Highly recommended!
Aug 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

If Zerohedge comment reflect general population sentiments this is clear sign of the crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal élite.

Via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

William Binney is the former technical director of the U.S. National Security Agency who worked at the agency for 30 years. He is a respected independent critic of how American intelligence services abuse their powers to illegally spy on private communications of U.S. citizens and around the globe.

Given his expert inside knowledge, it is worth paying attention to what Binney says.

In a media interview this week, he dismissed the so-called Russiagate scandal as a "fabrication" orchestrated by the American Central Intelligence Agency. Many other observers have come to the same conclusion about allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections with the objective of helping Donald Trump get elected.

But what is particularly valuable about Binney's judgment is that he cites technical analysis disproving the Russiagate narrative. That narrative remains dominant among U.S. intelligence officials, politicians and pundits, especially those affiliated with the Democrat party, as well as large sections of Western media. The premise of the narrative is the allegation that a Russian state-backed cyber operation hacked into the database and emails of the Democrat party back in 2016. The information perceived as damaging to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was subsequently disseminated to the Wikileaks whistleblower site and other U.S. media outlets.

A mysterious cyber persona known as "Guccifer 2.0" claimed to be the alleged hacker. U.S. intelligence and news media have attributed Guccifer as a front for Russian cyber operations.

Notably, however, the Russian government has always categorically denied any involvement in alleged hacking or other interference in the 2016 U.S. election, or elections thereafter.

William Binney and other independent former U.S. intelligence experts say they can prove the Russiagate narrative is bogus. The proof relies on their forensic analysis of the data released by Guccifer. The analysis of timestamps demonstrates that the download of voluminous data could not have been physically possible based on known standard internet speeds. These independent experts conclude that the data from the Democrat party could not have been hacked, as Guccifer and Russiagaters claim. It could only have been obtained by a leak from inside the party, perhaps by a disgruntled staffer who downloaded the information on to a disc. That is the only feasible way such a huge amount of data could have been released. That means the "Russian hacker" claims are baseless.

Wikileaks, whose founder Julian Assange is currently imprisoned in Britain pending an extradition trial to the U.S. to face espionage charges, has consistently maintained that their source of files was not a hacker, nor did they collude with Russian intelligence. As a matter of principle, Wikileaks does not disclose the identity of its sources, but the organization has indicated it was an insider leak which provided the information on senior Democrat party corruption.

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William Binney says forensic analysis of the files released by Guccifer shows that the mystery hacker deliberately inserted digital "fingerprints" in order to give the impression that the files came from Russian sources. It is known from information later disclosed by former NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden that the CIA has a secretive program – Vault 7 – which is dedicated to false incrimination of cyber attacks to other actors. It seems that the purpose of Guccifer was to create the perception of a connection between Wikileaks and Russian intelligence in order to beef up the Russiagate narrative.

"So that suggested [to] us all the evidence was pointing back to CIA as the originator [of] Guccifer 2.0. And that Guccifer 2.0 was inside CIA I'm pointing to that group as the group that was probably the originator of Guccifer 2.0 and also this fabrication of the entire story of Russiagate," concludes Binney in his interview with Sputnik news outlet.

This is not the first time that the Russiagate yarn has been debunked . But it is crucially important to make Binney's expert views more widely appreciated especially as the U.S. presidential election looms on November 3. As that date approaches, U.S. intelligence and media seem to be intensifying claims about Russian interference and cyber operations. Such wild and unsubstantiated "reports" always refer to the alleged 2016 "hack" of the Democrat party by "Guccifer 2.0" as if it were indisputable evidence of Russian interference and the "original sin" of supposed Kremlin malign activity. The unsubstantiated 2016 "hack" is continually cited as the "precedent" and "provenance" of more recent "reports" that purport to claim Russian interference.

Given the torrent of Russiagate derivatives expected in this U.S. election cycle, which is damaging U.S.-Russia bilateral relations and recklessly winding up geopolitical tensions, it is thus of paramount importance to listen to the conclusions of honorable experts like William Binney.

The American public are being played by their own intelligence agencies and corporate media with covert agendas that are deeply anti-democratic.


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lay_arrow desertboy , 13 hours ago

Well - who set up them up, converted from the OSS? The banksters.

"Wild Bill" Donovan worked for JP Morgan immediately after WWII.

"our" US intelligence agencies were set up by, and serve, the masters of high finance. Is this in dispute?

meditate_vigorously , 11 hours ago

They have seeded enough misinformation that apparently it is. But, you are correct. It is the Banksters.

Isisraelquaeda , 2 hours ago

Israel. The CIA was infiltrated by the Mossad long ago.

SurfingUSA , 15 hours ago

JFK was on to that truth, and would have been wise to mini-nuke Langley before his ill-fated journey to Dallas.

Andrew G , 11 hours ago

Except when there's something exceptionally evil (like pedo/blackmail rings such as Epstein), in which case it's Mossad / Aman

vova.2018 , 7 hours ago

Except when there's something exceptionally evil (like pedo/blackmail rings such as Epstein), in which case it's Mossad / Aman

The CIA & MOSSAD work hand in hand in all their clandestine operations. There is not doubt the CIA/MOSSAD are behind the creation, evolution, training, supplying weapons, logistic-planning & financing of the terrorists & the destruction of the Middle East. Anybody that believes the contrary has brain problems & need to have his head examined.

CIA/MOSAD has been running illegal activities in Colombia: drug, arms, organs & human (child-sex) trafficking. CIA/MOSAD is also giving training, logistic & arms to Colombia paramilitary for clandestine operation against Venezuela. After Bolsonaro became president, MOSSAD started running similar operation in Brazil. Israel & Brazil also recognizes Guaido as the legit president of Venezuela.

​​​​​​CIA/MOSSAD have a long time policy of assassinating & taking out pep who are a problem to the revisionist-zionist agenda, not just in the M-East but in the world. The CIA/MOSSAD organizations have many connections in other countries like the M-East, Saudi Arabia, UAE, et al but also to the UK-MI5.

The Israelis infiltrated the US to the highest levels a long time ago - Proof

  • Israel has & collects information (a database) of US citizens in coordination with the CIA & the 5 eyes.
  • Israel works with the NSA in the liaison-loophole operations
  • Mossad undercover operations in WDC & all over the world
  • The American Israel Public Affairs Committee – AIPAC
  • People with 2 citizenships (US/Israel) in WDC/NYC (the real Power)
  • From Steve Bannon a christian-zionist: Collusion between the Trump administration and Israel .
  • D-Trump, Ivanka Trump & husband Kushner (orthodox Juus)
  • Epstein & Ghislaine Maxwell, members of the MOSSAD ran their entire pedo-honey-pot operation for the CIA/Mossad
  • CIA/MOSSA want to punish Iran for its role in Syria's victory over ISIS (created by CIA/Mossad) - PROOF: McCain Armed ISIS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziNlUuc167E

New book details Israel's secret history of assassinations
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge-mnC2wGss

CIA Assassination Manual Revealed (CIA = Cover action agency)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3gQfoFCpPs

GreatUncle , 6 hours ago

Well I never expected anything different.

They have a hand in everything and probably the murder of JFK.

Hell the CIA have even had their own president.

They are supposed to be commanded by the president but personally I think they are a rogue operation controlled by somebody else.

Lyman54 , 16 hours ago

Millie Weavers documentary explains everything quite well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HFxVvrXjCg

sborovay07 , 15 hours ago

Funny how a number of the right wing conspiracy stories according to the MSM from a couple years back were true from the get go. 1 indictment over 4 years in the greatest attempted coup in this country's history. So sad that Binney and Assange were never listened to. They can try to silence us who know of the truth, but as Winston Churchill once said, 'Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it. Ignorance may deride it. Malice may distort it. But there it is.' KDP still censors my book on their advertising platform as it promotes conspiratorial theories (about the Obama led coup) and calls out BLM and Antifa for what they are (marxists) . Yet the same platform still recommends BLM books stating there is a pandemic of cops killing innocent blacks. F them!!!! #RIPSeth #FreeJulian #FreeMillie

smacker , 11 hours ago

Yes, and we all know the name of the DNC leaker who downloaded and provided WikiLeaks
with evidence of CIA and DNC corruption.
He was assassinated to prevent him from naming who Guccifer 2.0 was and where he is located.

The Russia-gate farce itself provides solid evidence that the CIA and others are in bed with DNC
and went to extraordinary lengths to prevent Trump being elected. When that failed, they instigated
a program of x-gates to get him out of office any way they could. This continues to this day.

This is treason at the highest level.

ACMeCorporations , 12 hours ago

Hacking? What Russian hacking?

In recently released testimony, the CEO of CrowdStrike admitted in congressional testimony, under oath, that it actually has no direct evidence Russia stole the DNC emails.

Nelbev , 9 hours ago

"The proof relies on their forensic analysis of the data released by Guccifer. The analysis of timestamps demonstrates that the download of voluminous data could not have been physically possible based on known standard internet speeds. ... a disgruntled staffer who downloaded the information on to a disc. That is the only feasible way such a huge amount of data could have been released. ... William Binney says forensic analysis of the files released by Guccifer shows that the mystery hacker deliberately inserted digital "fingerprints" in order to give the impression that the files came from Russian sources. ... "

Any computer file is a bunch of 1s and 0s. Anyone can change anything with a hex editor. E.g. I had wrong dates on some photographs once, downloaded as opposed to when taken, just edited the time stamp. You cannot claim any time stamp is original. If true time stamps, then the DNC files were downloaded to a thumb drive at a computer on location and not to the internet via a phone line. However anyone can change the time stamps. Stating a "mystery hacker deliberately inserted digital [Russian] 'fingerprints' " is a joke if denying the file time stamps were not tampered with. The real thing is where the narrative came from, political spin doctors, Perkins Coie law firm hired by DNC and Hillary campaign who hired Crowdstrike [and also hired Fusion GPS before for pissgate dossier propaganda and FISC warrants to spy on political opponents] and Perkins Coie edited Crowdstrike report with Russian narrative. FBI never looked at DNC servers. This is like your house was broken into. You deny police the ability to enter and look at evidence like DNC computers. You hire a private investigator to say your neighbor you do not like did it and publicise accusations. Take word of political consultants hired, spin doctor propaganda, Crowdstrike narrative , no police investigation. Atlantic Council?

Vivekwhu , 8 hours ago

The Atlantic Council is another NATO fart. Nuff said!

The_American , 15 hours ago

God Damn traitor Obama!

Yen Cross , 14 hours ago

TOTUS

For the youngsters.

Teleprompter Of The United States.

Leguran , 6 hours ago

The CIA has gotten away with so much criminal behavior and crimes against the American public that this is totally believable. Congress just lets this stuff happen and does nothing. Which is worse - Congress or the CIA?

Congress set up the system. It is mandated to perform oversight. And it just sits on its thumbs and wallows in it privileges.

This time Congress went further than ever before. It was behind and engaged in an attempted coup d'état.

Know thy enemy , 10 hours ago

Link to ShadowGate (ShadowNet) documentary - which answers the question, what is the keystone,,,,,

https://www.pscp.tv/Tore_says/1RDGlrYynRgxL

"Comey here, and Holder, while I get a rope for Lynch, and don't forget Brennan."

Kudo's to Millie

DontHateMeBecauseImABureaucrat , 9 hours ago

Neither google nor Apple will open the link. Or it's not there.

bringonthebigone , 8 hours ago

currently it is up here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HFxVvrXjCg

I Claudius , 5 hours ago

It's time for Assange and Wikileaks to name the person who they rec'd the info from. By hiding behind the "we don't name names" Mantra they are helping destroy America by polarizing its citizens. Name the damn person, get it all out there so the left can see that they've been played by their leaders. Let's cut this crap.

freedommusic , 7 hours ago

...all the evidence was pointing back to CIA as the originator [of] Guccifer 2.0.

Yep, I knew since day one. I remember seeing Hillary Clinton talking about Guccifer . As soon as uttered the name, I KNEW she with the CIA were the brainchild of this bogus decoy.

They copy. They mimic. These are NOT creative individuals.

Perhaps hell is too good a place for them.

on target , 4 hours ago

This is old news but worth bringing up again. The CIA never wanted Trump in, and of course, they want him out. Their fingerprints were all over Russiagate, The Kavanaugh hearings, Ukrainegate, and on and on. They are just trying to cover their asses for a string of illegal "irregularities" in their operations for years. Trump should never have tried to be a get along type of guy. He should have purged the entire leadership of the CIA on day one and the FBI on day 2. They can not be trusted with an "America First" agenda. They are all New World Order types who know whats best for everyone.

fersur , 7 hours ago

Boom, Boom, Boom !

Three Reseachable Tweets thru Facebook, I cut all at once, Unedited !

"#SusanRice has as much trouble with her memory as #HillaryClinton. Rice testified in writing that she 'does not recall' who gave her key #Benghazi talking points she used on TV, 'does not recall' being in any meetings regarding Benghazi in five days following the attack, and 'does not recall' communicating with anyone in Clinton's office about Benghazi," Tom Fitton in Breitbart.

"Adam Schiff secretly subpoenaed, without court authorization, the phone records of Rudy Giuliani and then published the phone records of innocent Americans, including @realDonaldTrump 's lawyers, a member of Congress, and a journalist," @TomFitton .

BREAKING: Judicial Watch announced today that former #Obama National Security Advisor and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, admitted in written responses given under oath that she emailed with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Clinton's non-government email account and that she received emails related to government business on her own personal email account.

STONEHILLADY , 7 hours ago

It's not just the Democrats, the warmongering neocons of the Republican party are also in on it, the Bush/Romney McCain/McConnell/Cheney and many more. It's called "Kick Backs" Ever notice these so called retired Generals all end up working for all these spying companies that span the 5eyes to Israel. It seems our POTUS has got his hands full swimming up stream to get this stopped and actually get rid of the CIA. It's the number 1 reason he doesn't trust these people, they all try to tell him stuff that is mis-directed.

Liars, leakers, and thieves are running not only our nation but the world, as George Carlin said, "It's a Big Club, and we ain't in it." If you fall for this false narrative of mail in voting and not actually go and vote on election day, you better start learning Chinese for surely Peelosi and Schumer will have their way and mess up this election so they can drag Trump out of office and possible do him and his family some serious harm, all because so many of you listen to the MSM and don't research their phony claims.

Max21c , 7 hours ago

It's called "Kick Backs" Ever notice these so called retired Generals all end up working for all these spying companies that span the 5eyes to Israel.

American Generals & Admirals are a lot more corrupt today than they were a few generations back. Many of them are outright evil people in today's times. Many of these people are just criminals that will steal anything they can get their banana republic klepto-paws on. They're nothing but common criminals and thieves. No different than the Waffen SS or any other group of brigands, bandits, and criminal gangsters.

Max21c , 7 hours ago

The CIA, FBI, NSA, Military Intelligence, Pentagon Gestapo, defense contractors are mixed up in a lot of crimes and criminal activities on American soil against American citizens and American civilians. They do not recognize borders or laws or rights of liberty or property rights or ownership or intellectual property. They're all thieves and criminals in the military secret police and secret police gangsters cabal.

BandGap , 7 hours ago

I have seen Binney's input. He is correct in my view because he scientifically/mathematically proves his point.

The blinded masses do not care about this approach, just like wearing masks.

The truth is too difficult for many to fit into their understanding of the world.

So they repeat what they have been told, never stopping to consider the facts or how circumstances have been manipulated.

It is frustrating to watch, difficult to navigate at times for me. Good people who will not stop and think of what the facts show them.

otschelnik , 8 hours ago

It could have been the CIA or it could have been one of the cut-outs for plausible deniability, and of all the usual suspects it was probably CrowdStrike.

- CGI / Global Strategy Group / Analysis Corp. - John Brennan (former CEO)

- Dynology, Wikistrat - General James L. Jones (former chairman of Atlantic Council, NSA under Obama)

- CrowdStrike - Dmitri Alperovich and Shawn Henry (former chief of cyber forensics FBI)

- Clearforce - Michael Hayden (former dir. NSA under Clinton, CIA under Bush) and Jim Jones Jr. (son Gnrl James Jones)

- McChrystal Group - Stanley McChrystal (former chief of special operations DOD)

fersur , 8 hours ago

Unedited !

The Brookings Institute – a Deep State Hub Connected to the Fake Russia Collusion and Ukraine Scandals Is Now Also Connected to China Spying In the US

The Brookings Institute was heavily involved in the Democrat and Deep State Russia collusion hoax and Ukraine impeachment fraud. These actions against President Trump were criminal.

This institute is influenced from foreign donations from entities who don't have an America first agenda. New reports connect the Institute to Chinese spying.

As we reported previously, Julie Kelly at American Greatness released a report where she addresses the connections between the Brookings Institute, Democrats and foreign entities. She summarized her report as follows: Accepting millions from a state sponsor of terrorism, foisting one of the biggest frauds in history on the American people, and acting as a laundering agent of sorts for Democratic political contributions disguised as policy grants isn't a good look for such an esteemed institution. One would be hard-pressed to name a more influential think tank than the Brookings Institution. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit routinely ranks at the top of the list of the best think tanks in the world; Brookings scholars produce a steady flow of reports, symposiums, and news releases that sway the conversation on any number of issues ranging from domestic and economic policy to foreign affairs.

​​ Brookings is home to lots of Beltway power players: Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, former chairmen of the Federal Reserve, are Brookings fellows. Top officials from both Republican and Democrat presidential administrations lend political heft to the organization. From 2002 until 2017, the organization's president was Strobe Talbott. He's a longtime BFF of Bill Clinton; they met in the 1970s at Oxford University and have been tight ever since. Talbott was a top aide to both President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Kelly continued:

Brookings-based fellows working at Lawfare were the media's go-to legal "experts" to legitimize the concocted crime; the outlet manipulated much of the news coverage on collusion by pumping out primers and guidance on how to report collusion events from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's appointment to his final report.

Now, testimony related to a defamation lawsuit against Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous "dossier" on Donald Trump, has exposed his direct ties to Talbott in 2016 when he was still head of Brookings. Talbott and Steele were in communication before and after the presidential election; Steele wanted Talbott to circulate the dossier to his pals in John Kerry's State Department, which reportedly is what Talbott did . Steele also briefed top state department officials in October 2016 about his work.

But this isn't the only connection between the Brookings Institute and the Russia collusion and Ukrainian scandals. We were the first to report that the Primary Sub-Source (PSS) in the Steele report, the main individual who supplied Steele with bogus information in his report was Igor Danchenko.

In November 2019, the star witness for the Democrat Representative Adam Schiff's impeachment show trial was announced. Her name was Fiona Hill.

Today we've uncovered that Hill is a close associate of the Primary Sub-Source (PSS) for the Steele dossier – Igor Danchenko – the individual behind most all the lies in the Steele dossier. No wonder Hill saw the Steele dossier before it was released. Her associate created it.

Both Fiona Hill and Igor Danchenko are connected to the Brookings Institute.

They gave a presentation together as Brookings Institute representatives:

Kelly writes about the foreign funding the Brookings Institute partakes:

So who and what have been funding the anti-Trump political operation at Brookings over the past few years? The think tank's top benefactors are a predictable mix of family foundations, Fortune 100 corporations, and Big Tech billionaires. But one of the biggest contributors to Brookings' $100 million-plus annual budget is the Embassy of Qatar. According to financial reports, Qatar has donated more than $22 million to the think tank since 2004. In fact, Brookings operates a satellite center in Doha, the capital of Qatar. The wealthy Middle Eastern oil producer spends billions on American institutions such as universities and other think tanks.

Qatar also is a top state sponsor of terrorism, pouring billions into Hamas, al-Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood, to name a few. "The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level," President Trump said in 2017. "We have to stop the funding of terrorism."

An email from a Qatari official, obtained by WikiLeaks, said the Brookings Institution was as important to the country as "an aircraft carrier."

Yesterday the Brookings Institute was connected to spying by Communist China in a post at the Washington Free Beacon :

Part 1 of 2

fersur , 8 hours ago

Part 2 of 2 !

The Brookings Institution, a prominent Washington, D.C., think tank, partnered with a Shanghai policy center that the FBI has described as a front for China's intelligence and spy recruitment operations, according to public records and federal court documents.

The Brookings Doha Center, the think tank's hub in Qatar, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences in January 2018, the institution said . The academy is a policy center funded by the Shanghai municipal government that has raised flags within the FBI.

The partnership raises questions about potential Chinese espionage activities at the think tank, which employs numerous former government officials and nearly two dozen current foreign policy advisers to Joe Biden's presidential campaign.

It is really frightening that one of two major political parties in the US is tied so closely with the Brookings Institute. It is even more frightening that foreign enemies of the United States are connected to this entity as well.

Let it Go , 8 hours ago

One thing for sure is these guys have far to much of our money to spend promoting their own good.

fersur , 7 hours ago

Unedited !

Mueller Indictments Tied To "ShadowNet," Former Obama National Security Advisor and Obama's CIA Director – Not Trump

By Patrick Bergy, Cyber-Security, Veteran & Former DoD Contractor

December 18th, 2018

According to a report in the Daily Beast, which cited the Wall Street Journal's reporting of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into two companies, Wikistrat and Psy Group, "The firm's advisory council lists former CIA and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden, former national security adviser James L. Jones."

According to numerous reporting from major news outlets like the Wall Street Journal and Daily Beast, both Wikistrat and Psy Group represent themselves as being social media analysts and black PSYOP organizations. Both Wikistrat and Psy Group have foreign ownership mixed between Israeli, Saudi (Middle East) and Russian. Here is what the Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast and pretty much everyone else out there doesn't know (or won't tell you).

The fact Obama's former National Security Advisor, General James Jones, and former Obama CIA director, Gen. Michael Hayden, are both on Wikistrat's advisory board may not seem suspicious, but both of these general's have another thing in common, and that is the ShadowNet. The ShadowNet, and its optional companion relational database, iPsy, were both originally developed by the small, family owned defense contracting company, Dynology. The family that owns Dynology; Gen. James Jones. I would add Paul Manafort and Rick Davis was Dynology's partner at the time we were making the ShadowNet and iPsy commercially available.

After obtaining the contract in Iraq to develop social media psychological warfare capabilities, known in military nomenclature as Interactive Internet Activities, or IIA, Gen. Jones kept the taxpayer funded application we developed in Iraq for the 4th Psychological Operation Group, and made it commercially available under the trademark of the "ShadowNet" and the optional black PSYOP component, "iPsy." If you think it is interesting that one of the companies under Mueller's indictment is named, "Psy" Group, I did as well. In fact, literally everything both publicly described in news reports, and even their websites, are exactly the same as the ShadowNet and iPsy I helped build, and literally named.

The only thing different I saw as far as services offered by Wikistrat, and that of Dynology and the ShadowNet, was described by The Daily Beast as, "It also engaged in intelligence collection." Although iPsy was a relational database that allowed for the dissemination of whatever the required narrative was, "intelligence collection" struck another bell with me, and that's a company named ClearForce.

ClearForce was developed as a solution to stopping classified leaks following the Edward Snowden debacle in 2013. Changes in NISPOM compliance requirements forced companies and government agencies that had employees with government clearances to take preventive measure to mitigate the potential of leaking. Although the NISPOM compliance requirement almost certainly would have been influenced by either Hayden, Jones or both, they once again sought to profit from it.

Using components of the ShadowNet and iPsy, the ClearForce application (which the company, ClearForce, was named after,) was developed to provide compliance to a regulation I strongly suspect you will find Jones and Hayden had a hand in creating. In fact, I strongly suspect you will find General Jones had some influence in the original requirement for our Iraq contract Dynology won to build the ShadowNet – at taxpayer expense! Dynology worked for several years incorporating other collection sources, such as financial, law enforcement and foreign travel, and ties them all into your social media activity. Their relationship with Facebook and other social media giants would have been nice questions for congress to have asked them when they testified.

Part 1 of 2 !

fersur , 7 hours ago

Part 2 of 2 !

The ClearForce application combines all of these sources together in real-time and uses artificial intelligence to predictively determine if you are likely to steal or leak based on the behavioral profile ClearForce creates of you. It can be used to determine if you get a job, and even if you lose a job because a computer read your social media, credit and other sources to determine you were likely to commit a crime. It's important for you to stop for a moment and think about the fact it is privately controlled by the former CIA director and Obama's National Security Advisor/NATO Supreme Allied Commander, should scare the heck out of you.

When the ClearForce application was complete, Dynology handed it off to ClearForce, the new company, and Michael Hayden joined the board of directors along with Gen. Jones and his son, Jim, as the president of ClearForce. Doesn't that kind of sound like "intelligence collection" described by the Daily Beast in Wikistrat's services?

To wrap this all up, Paul Manafort, Rick Davis, George Nader, Wikistrat and Psy Group are all directly connected to Mueller's social media influence and election interreference in the 2016 presidential election. In fact, I believe all are under indictment, computers seized, some already sentenced. All of these people under indictment by Mueller have one key thing in common, General James Jones's and Michael Hayden's social media black PSYOP tools; the ShadowNet, iPsy and ClearForce.

A recent meeting I had with Congressman Gus Bilirakis' chief of staff, Elizabeth Hittos, is confirmation that they are reviewing my DoD memorandum stating the work I did on the IIA information operation in Iraq, the Dynology marketing slicks for the ShadowNet and iPsy, along with a screenshot of Goggle's Way-Back Machine showing Paul Manafort's partnership with Dynology in 2007 and later. After presenting to her these facts and making clear I have much more information that requires the highest classification SCIF to discuss and requires being read-on to the program, Elizabeth contacted the office of Congressman Devin Nunez to request that I brief the intelligence committee on this critical information pertaining directly to the 2010 Ukrainian elections, Michael Brown riots, 2016 election interference and the "Russia collusion" hoax. All of that is on top of numerous questionable ethical and potentially illegal profits from DoD contracts while servings as NATO Commander and Obama's National Security Advisor.

We also need to know if the ShadowNet and iPsy were allowed to fall into foreign hands, including Russia, Saudi Arabia and Israel. I'm pretty sure South America is going to have a few questions for Jones and Obama as well? Stay tuned!

Balance-Sheet , 4 hours ago

Intelligence Agencies of all countries endlessly wage war at all times especially 'Information Warfare' (propaganda/disinformation) and the primary target has always and will always be the domestic population of the Intelligence Agency's country.

Yes, of course the CIA does target ALL other countries but the primary target will always be the Americans themselves.

Balance-Sheet , 4 hours ago

Intelligence Agencies of all countries endlessly wage war at all times especially 'Information Warfare' (propaganda/disinformation) and the primary target has always and will always be the domestic population of the Intelligence Agency's country.

Yes, of course the CIA does target ALL other countries but the primary target will always be the Americans themselves.

Paralentor , 5 hours ago

A lot more detail can be found here:

https://banned.video/watch?id=5f37fcc2df77c4044ee2eb03

SHADOW GATE – FULL FILM

462,864 views

yerfej , 8 hours ago

The neoliberals own the media, courts, academia, and BUREAUCRACY (including CIA) and they will do anything to make sure they retain power over everyone. These control freaks work hard to create all sorts of enemies to justify their existence.

LaugherNYC , 15 hours ago

It is sad that this information has to be repeatedly published, over and over and over, by SCI and other Russian. outlets.

Because no legit AMERICAN news outlet will give Binney or Assange the time of day or any credence, this all becomes Kremlin-sponsored disinformation and denials. People roll their eyes and say "Oh God, not the whole 'Seth Rich was murdered by the CIA' crap again!! You know, his FAMILY has asked that people stop spreading these conspiracy theories and lies."

SCI is a garbage bin, nothing more than a dizinformatz machine for Putin, but in this case, they are likely right. It seems preposterous that the "best hackers in the world" would forget to use a VPN or leave a signature behind, and it makes far more sense that the emails were leaked by someone irate at the abuses of the DNC - the squashing of Bernie, the cheating for Hillary in the debates - behavior we saw repeated in 2020 with Bernie shoved aside again for the pathetic Biden.

Would that SOMEONE in the US who is not on the Kremlin payroll would pick up this thread. But all the "investigative journalists" now work indirectly for the DNC, and those that don't are cancelled by the left.

Stone_d_agehurler , 15 hours ago

I am Guccifer and I approve this message.

Sarc/

But i do share your opinion. They are likely right this time and most of the pundits and media in the U. S. know it. That's what makes this a sad story about how rotten the U. S. system has become.

Democrats will sacrifice the Union for getting Trump out of office.

If elections in Nov won't go their way, Civil War II might become a real thing in 2021.

PeterLong , 4 hours ago

If " digital "fingerprints" in order to give the impression that the files came from Russian sources" were inserted in the leak by "Guccifer", and if the leak to wikileaks came from Seth Rich, via whatever avenue, then the "Guccifer" release came after the wikileaks release, or after wikileaks had the files, and was a reaction to same attempting to diminish their importance/accuracy and cast doubt on Trump. Could CIA and/or DNC have known the files were obtained by wikileaks before wikileaks actually released them? In any case collusion of CIA with DNC seems to be a given.

RightlyIndignent , 4 hours ago

Because Seth had already given it to Wikileaks. There is no 'Fancy Bear'. There is no 'Cozy Bear'. Those were made up by CrowdStrike, and they tried the same crap on Ukraine, and Ukraine told them to pound sand. When push came to shove, and CrowdStrike was forced to say what they really had under oath, they said: "We have nothing."

novictim , 4 hours ago

You are leaving out Crowd Strike. Seth Rich was tasked by people at the DNC to copy data off the servers. He made a backup copy and gave a copy to people who then got it to Wiki leaks. He used highspeed file transfers to local drives to do his task.

Meanwhile, it was the Ukrainian company Crowd Strike that claimed the data was stolen over the internet and that the thieves were in Russia. That 'proof" was never verified by US Intelligence but was taken on its word as being true despite crowd strike falsifying Russian hacks and being caught for it in the past.

Joebloinvestor , 5 hours ago

The "five eyes" are convinced they run the world and try to.

That is what Brennan counted on for these agencies to help get President Trump.

As I said, it is time for the UK and the US to have a serious conversation about their current and ex-spies being involved in US elections.

Southern_Boy , 5 hours ago

It wasn't the CIA. It was John Brennan and Clapper. The CIA, NSA FBI, DOJ and the Ukrainian Intelligence Service just went along working together and followed orders from Brennan who got them from Hillary and Obama.

Oh, and don't forget the GOP Globalist RINOs who also participated in the coup attempt: McCain, Romney, Kasich, Boehner, Lee and Richard Burr.

With Kasich now performing as a puppy dog for Biden at the Democrat Convention as a Democrat DNC executive, the re-alignment is almost complete: Globalist Nationalist Socialist Bolshevism versus American Populism, i.e. Elites versus Deplorables or Academics versus Smelly Wal-Mart people.

on target , 5 hours ago

No way. CIA up to their eyeballs in this as well as the State Department. Impossible for Russiagate or Ukrainegate without direct CIA and State involvement.

RightlyIndignent , 4 hours ago

Following Orders? How did that argument go at Nuremberg? (hint: not very well)

LeadPipeDreams , 6 hours ago

LOL - the CIA's main mission - despite their "official" charter, has always been to destabilize the US and its citizens via psyops, false flags, etc.

Covid-1984 is their latest and it appears most successful project yet.

Iconoclast27 , 5 hours ago

The CIA received a $200 million initial investment from the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations when it was first established, that should tell you everything you need to know how who they truly work for.

A_Huxley , 6 hours ago

CIA, MI6, 5 eye nations.

All wanted to sway the USA their own way.

Let it Go , 8 hours ago

Almost as frightening as the concentrated power held by companies such as Facebook and Google is the fact Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and the world's richest man, is the person who owns and controls the Washington Post. It is silly to think Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post in 2013 because he expected newspapers to make a lucrative resurgence.

It is more likely he purchased the long-trusted U.S. newspaper for the power it would ensure him in Washington when wielded as a propaganda mouthpiece to extend his ability to both shape and control public opinion. More on this subject in the article below.

https://Amazon, Jeff Bezos, And The Influential Washington Post_31.html

avoiceofliberty , 16 hours ago

The amazing thing about Binney's forensic analysis is that it has been around since 2018 .

It's also been clear since 2017 the hack of the DNC computers didn't hold up under scrutiny .

How it is the Democrats, the Deep State, and the legacy media are still able to cling to the remnants of these long discredited narratives is a mystery.

avoiceofliberty , 6 hours ago

At the official level, you have a point.

However, even before Mueller was appointed, a review of the materials in the extant public record of both the DNC "hack" and the history of Crowdstrike showed the narrative simply did not make sense. A detailed investigation of materials not made public was not necessary to shoot down the entire narrative.

Indeed, one of the great scandals of the Mueller probe is the way it did not bring prudential skepticism to the question of the DNC "hack". When building a case, either for public debate or for public trial, a dose of skepticism is healthy; it leads to a careful vetting of facts and reasoning.

Alice-the-dog , 6 hours ago

The CIA has been an agency wholly independent of the US government almost since its inception. It is not under any significant control by the government, and has its own agenda which may occasionally coincide with that of the government, but only coincidentally. It has its own view of how the world should look, and will not balk at any means necessary to achieve such. Including the murder of dis-favorable members of government.

snodgrass , 6 hours ago

It's the CIA and the FBI, Obama and people in his administration who cooked up Russiagate.

Floki_Ragnarsson , 7 hours ago

The CIA whacked JFK because he was going to slow the roll to Vietnam AND disband the CIA and reform it.

It is broken and needs to be disbanded and reformed along lines that actually WORK! The CIA missed the fall of the USSR, 9/11, etc. HTF does THAT happen?

DeportThemAll , 6 hours ago

The CIA didn't "miss" 9/11... they participated in it.

Let it Go , 8 hours ago

The CIA is a tool that when improperly used can do great damage.

Anyone who doesn't believe that countries use psychological warfare and propaganda to sway the opinions of people both in and outside of their country should be considered naive. Too many people America is more than a little hypocritical when they criticize other countries for trying to gain influence considering our history of meddling in the affairs of other countries.

Americans have every reason to be concerned and worried considering revelations of just how big the government intelligence agencies have grown since 9-11 and how unlimited their spying and surveillance operations have become. The article below explores this growth and questions whether we have lost control.

http://Psychological Warfare And Propaganda Out Of Control.html

tion , 16 hours ago

The idea of Binney and Jason Sullivan privately working to 'secure the vote' is something that I actually consider to be very eyebrow raising and alarming.

Son of Captain Nemo , 8 hours ago

Bill Binney under "B" in the only "yellow pages" that show a conscience and a soul!...

https://www.ae911truth.org/signatures/#/General/B/williambinneysevernMDUS

fliebinite , 9 hours ago

This is the dumbest article ever. Russiagate is a total fabrication of the FBI as per Clinesmith, CIA provided information that would have nipped it at the bud. Read the real news.

bringonthebigone , 9 hours ago

Wrong. this article is one small piece of the puzzle. Clinesmith is one small piece of the puzzle. The Flynn entrapment is one small piece of the puzzle. The Halper entrapment was one small piece of the puzzle.

Because Clinesmith at the FBI covered up the information saying Page was a CIA source does not mean it was a total FBI fabrication and does not mean the CIA was not involved and does not mean the DNC server hack is irrelevant.

Milley Weaver gets close in her recent video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HFxVvrXjCg

Sundance does a better job pulling it all together.

PKKA , 14 hours ago

Relations have already soured between Russia and the United States, and sanctions have been announced. Tensions have grown on the NATO-Russia border. The meat has already been rolled into the minced meat and it will not be possible to roll the minced meat back into the meat. The CIA got it. But the Russian people now absolutely understand that the United States will always be the enemy of Russia, no matter whether socialist or capitalist. But I like it even more than the feigned hypocritical "friendship". Russia has never reached such heights as during the good old Cold War. All Russians have a huge incentive, long live the new Cold War!

smacker , 12 hours ago

More and more people have worked out that the fabricated tensions between the US and Russia
and US and China have little to do with those two countries posing any sort of threat to world peace.

It is all about the US trying to remain in No.1 position as uni-polar top dog via the Anglo American Empire.
We see examples of this every day in the M/E, South China Sea, Taiwan, Libya all over Eastern Europe,
Ukraine, Iran and now Belaruse. HK was added along the way.

Both Russia and China openly want a multi-polar world order. But the US will never accept that.

Hence the prospect of war. The only unknown today is what and where the trigger will be.

smacker , 12 hours ago

More and more people have worked out that the fabricated tensions between the US and Russia
and US and China have little to do with those two countries posing any sort of threat to world peace.

It is all about the US trying to remain in No.1 position as uni-polar top dog via the Anglo American Empire.
We see examples of this every day in the M/E, South China Sea, Taiwan, Libya all over Eastern Europe,
Ukraine, Iran and now Belaruse. HK was added along the way.

Both Russia and China openly want a multi-polar world order. But the US will never accept that.

Hence the prospect of war. The only unknown today is what and where the trigger will be.

hang_the_banksters , 31 minutes ago

the best proof thAt Guccifer 2 was CIA hacking themselves to frame Wikileaks is this:

Guccifer has not yet been identified, indicted and arrested.

you'd think CIAFBINSA would be turning over every stone to the ends of the earth to bust Guccifer. we just had to endure 4 years of hysterical propaganda that Russia had hacked our election and that Trump was their secret agent. so Guccifer should be the Most Wanted Man on the planet. meanwhile, it's crickets from FBI. they arent even looking for him. because Guccifer is over at Langley. maybe someone outta ask Brennan where G2 is now.

remember when DOJ indicted all those GRU cybersoldiers? the evidence listed in the indictment was so stunning that i dont believe it. NSA so thoroughly hacked back into GRU that NSA was watching GRU through their own webcams and recording them doing Google searches to translate words which were written in Guccifer's blog posts about the DNC email leaks. NSA and DOJ must think we are all stupid, that we will believe NSA is so powerful to do that, yet they cant identify Guccifer.

i say i dont believe that for a second because no way Russian GRU are so stupid to even have webcams on the computers they use to hack, and it is absurd to think GRU soldiers on a Russian military base would be using Google instead of Yandex to translate words into English.

lay_arrow
ConanTheContrarian1 , 1 hour ago

As a confirmed conspiracy theorist since I came back from 'Nam, here's mine: The European nobility recognized with the American and French revolutions that they needed a better approach. They borrowed from the Tudors (who had to deal with Parliament) and began to rule by controlling the facade of representative government. This was enhanced by funding banks to control through currency, as well as blackmail and murder, and morphed into a complete propaganda machine like no other in history. The CIA, MI6 and Mossad, the mainstream media, deep plants in bureaucracy and "democratic" bodies all obey their dictates to create narratives that control our minds. Trump seems to offer hope, but remember, he could be their latest narrative.

greatdisconformity , 1 hour ago

A Democracy cannot function on a higher level than the general electorate.

The intelligence and education of the general electorate has been sliding for generations, because both political parties can play this to their advantage.

It is no accident that most of the messages coming from politicians are targeted to imbeciles.

[Jul 19, 2020] American Maidan is social revolution that is pushed forward by radical children of the bourgeoisie. Their leaders have nothing to say about poverty or unemployment. Their demands are centered on utopian ideals: diversity and racial justice ideals pursued with the fervor of regious converts

Highly recommended!
Just look at the cost of smartphone that they display at the riots and you instantly get a certain impression about income of their parents
Notable quotes:
"... And their radicalism would be resisted, Lasch predicted, not by the upper reaches of society, or the leaders of Big Philanthropy or the Corporate Billionaires. These latter, rather, would be its facilitators and financiers." ..."
Jul 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Peter AU1 , Jul 19 2020 1:35 utc | 80

A section quoted by Crooke in the piece karlof1 linked to

"A social revolution that would be pushed forward by radical children of the bourgeoisie. Their leaders would have almost nothing to say about poverty or unemployment. Their demands would be centred on utopian ideals: diversity and racial justice – ideals pursued with the fervour of an abstract, millenarian ideology.

And their radicalism would be resisted, Lasch predicted, not by the upper reaches of society, or the leaders of Big Philanthropy or the Corporate Billionaires. These latter, rather, would be its facilitators and financiers."

And Crooke's thoughts..

"So, what can we make of all this? The US has suddenly exploded into, on the one hand, culture cancelation, and on the other, into silent seething at the lawlessness, and at all the statues toppled. It is a nation becoming angrier, and edging towards violence.

One segment of the country believes that America is inherently and institutionally racist, and incapable of self-correcting its flawed founding principles – absent the required chemotherapy to kill-off the deadly mutated cells of its past history, traditions and customs.

Another, affirms those principles that underlay America's 'golden age'; which made America great; and which, in their view, are precisely those qualities which can make it great again."

The link again https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/07/13/is-this-awokening-a-revolution-or-not/

[Jul 07, 2020] I doubt that the Democrats have "won" working class votes, white, black, hispanic, or other, since the time of LBJ, and possibly before that

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... What they have "won" is an electorate where a significant minority, but still a minority, are the party faithful but the majority (growing over time) vote Democratic only as the lesser evil, i.e. because they believe that the media coverage and electoral system's exclusion of third parties in effect forces them to vote Democratic by holding a gun to their head. Maybe I'm wrong, but then I would want to see more media coverage of third party candidates combined with "Is the Democratic Party nominee your first choice?" polling before conceding that I am. ..."
Jul 07, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

Andres 07.06.20 at 4:54 pm58

Chetan Murthy @48: "The Dems didn't lose working-class votes in 2016: the median income of a Hillary voter was less than that of a Trump voter [or maybe it was average? In any case, not much difference.] What the Dems lost, was "white non-college-educated" voters. They retained working class voters of color."

I doubt that the Democrats have "won" working class votes, white, black, hispanic, or other, since the time of LBJ, and possibly before that. What they have "won" is an electorate where a significant minority, but still a minority, are the party faithful but the majority (growing over time) vote Democratic only as the lesser evil, i.e. because they believe that the media coverage and electoral system's exclusion of third parties in effect forces them to vote Democratic by holding a gun to their head. Maybe I'm wrong, but then I would want to see more media coverage of third party candidates combined with "Is the Democratic Party nominee your first choice?" polling before conceding that I am.

What I see is that U.S. voters are forced into a choice between a conservative center-right national-security party (Democrats) whose main virtues are that they are not fascist or racist and are willing to provide a basic welfare state safety net, though one not as extensive as in Europe. Opposed to them is a party whose ideology and behavior are degenerating into something combining the pre-conditions of fascism (e.g., pre-Great War Germany) and the 1860 secessionist South.

Changing this state of affairs is not something that will be accomplished by elections, but by large and sustained protest movements (think Occupy or BLM multiplied many times). The next few decades will be interesting, but not fun.

Orange Watch 07.06.20 at 5:40 pm (no link)

Chetan Murthy@48:

It's helpful that you told us who you were, in so few words. 43% of the US are non-voters. The median household income of non-voters is less than half of the median income of a Clinton voter (which was higher than the overall US median, albeit by less than the Trump median was). Clinton didn't lose in 2016 because of who voted as much as who didn't ; every serious analysis (and countless centrist screeds) since Trump's installation has told us that. Losing the working class doesn't require that the Republicans gain them; if the working class drops out, that shifts the electoral playing field further into the favor of politics who cater to the remaining voting blocks. Democrats playing Republican-lite while mouthing pieties about how they're totally not the party of the rich will always fare worse in that field than Republicans playing Republicans while mouthing pieties about how they ARE the party of the rich, but also of giving everyone a chance to make themselves rich. I know it's been de rigour for both Dems and the GOP to ignore the first half of Clinton's deplorable quote, but it truly was just as important as the half both sides freely remember. The Democrats have become a party of C-suite diversity, and they have abandoned the working class. And when their best pick for President's plenty bold plan for solving police violence is to encourage LEOs to shoot people in the leg instead of the chest (something that could only be said by a grifter or someone with more knowledge of Hollywood than ballistics or anatomy), the prospect of keeping the non-white portions of the working class from continuing to drop out is looking bleak.

MisterMr@49:

The traditional threading of that needle is to expand class-based analysis to more accurately reflect real-world political and economic behavior. In the past (and in some countries who updated the applicable definitions, still), the most relevant additional class was the petty bourgeoisie; in the modern US, however, the concept of the professional-managerial class is the most useful frame of reference.

[Jun 23, 2020] Identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ( soft neoliberals ) to counter the defection of trade union members from the party

Highly recommended!
divide and conquer 1. To gain or maintain power by generating tension among others, especially those less powerful, so that they cannot unite in opposition.
Notable quotes:
"... In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new. ..."
"... The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy. ..."
"... Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity. ..."
"... If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear. Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represents a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump. ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.27.19 at 10:21 pm

John,

I've been thinking about the various versions of and critiques of identity politics that are around at the moment. In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new.

You missed one important line of critique -- identity politics as a dirty political strategy of soft neoliberals.

See discussion of this issue by Professor Ganesh Sitaraman in his recent article (based on his excellent book The Great Democracy ) https://newrepublic.com/article/155970/collapse-neoliberalism

To be sure, race, gender, culture, and other aspects of social life have always been important to politics. But neoliberalism's radical individualism has increasingly raised two interlocking problems. First, when taken to an extreme, social fracturing into identity groups can be used to divide people and prevent the creation of a shared civic identity. Self-government requires uniting through our commonalities and aspiring to achieve a shared future.

When individuals fall back onto clans, tribes, and us-versus-them identities, the political community gets fragmented. It becomes harder for people to see each other as part of that same shared future.

Demagogues [more correctly neoliberals -- likbez] rely on this fracturing to inflame racial, nationalist, and religious antagonism, which only further fuels the divisions within society. Neoliberalism's war on "society," by pushing toward the privatization and marketization of everything, thus indirectly facilitates a retreat into tribalism that further undermines the preconditions for a free and democratic society.

The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy.

Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity.

Of course, the result is to leave in place political and economic structures that harm the very groups that inclusionary neoliberals claim to support. The foreign policy adventures of the neoconservatives and liberal internationalists haven't fared much better than economic policy or cultural politics. The U.S. and its coalition partners have been bogged down in the war in Afghanistan for 18 years and counting. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is a liberal democracy, nor did the attempt to establish democracy in Iraq lead to a domino effect that swept the Middle East and reformed its governments for the better. Instead, power in Iraq has shifted from American occupiers to sectarian militias, to the Iraqi government, to Islamic State terrorists, and back to the Iraqi government -- and more than 100,000 Iraqis are dead.

Or take the liberal internationalist 2011 intervention in Libya. The result was not a peaceful transition to stable democracy but instead civil war and instability, with thousands dead as the country splintered and portions were overrun by terrorist groups. On the grounds of democracy promotion, it is hard to say these interventions were a success. And for those motivated to expand human rights around the world, it is hard to justify these wars as humanitarian victories -- on the civilian death count alone.

Indeed, the central anchoring assumptions of the American foreign policy establishment have been proven wrong. Foreign policymakers largely assumed that all good things would go together -- democracy, markets, and human rights -- and so they thought opening China to trade would inexorably lead to it becoming a liberal democracy. They were wrong. They thought Russia would become liberal through swift democratization and privatization. They were wrong.

They thought globalization was inevitable and that ever-expanding trade liberalization was desirable even if the political system never corrected for trade's winners and losers. They were wrong. These aren't minor mistakes. And to be clear, Donald Trump had nothing to do with them. All of these failures were evident prior to the 2016 election.

If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear. Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represents a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump.

Initially Clinton calculation was that trade union voters has nowhere to go anyways, and it was correct for first decade or so of his betrayal. But gradually trade union members and lower middle class started to leave Dems in droves (Demexit, compare with Brexit) and that where identity politics was invented to compensate for this loss.

So in addition to issues that you mention we also need to view the role of identity politics as the political strategy of the "soft neoliberals " directed at discrediting and the suppression of nationalism.

The resurgence of nationalism is the inevitable byproduct of the dominance of neoliberalism, resurgence which I think is capable to bury neoliberalism as it lost popular support (which now is limited to financial oligarchy and high income professional groups, such as we can find in corporate and military brass, (shrinking) IT sector, upper strata of academy, upper strata of medical professionals, etc)

That means that the structure of the current system isn't just flawed which imply that most problems are relatively minor and can be fixed by making some tweaks. It is unfixable, because the "Identity wars" reflect a deep moral contradictions within neoliberal ideology. And they can't be solved within this framework.

[Jun 23, 2020] Surely 'legitimacy' goes to the victor. Once you've won you can build a sort of legitimacy that the majority will agree with (whether its real or not)

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Of course ultimately you reach a point where no one truly understands what is real and what isn't any more. ..."
"... Boris Johnson PM of the UK? Surely not, Theresa May? I can barely wipe the smirk from my face. 4th and 5th rate politicians relying on SPADs to run the country. ..."
"... Reading his recent essay on the truths of WWII ( http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/63527 ) yet again sees him posting uncomfortable realities to a West knee deep in vassalage to a crumbling US. ..."
"... Change is coming whether we like it or not, with or without Putin, we'd best tend our own garden and stop worrying about an opposition that simply doesn't exist. ..."
Jun 23, 2020 | irrussianality.wordpress.com
    1. Gerald says: June 20, 2020 at 5:34 pm surely 'legitimacy' goes to the victor. Once you've won you can build a sort of legitimacy that the majority will agree with (whether its real or not) of course if you are a kind of despotic dictatorship (as appears to be happening in terms of western neoliberal capitalism) then you will merely do as you wish regardless until confronted with overwhelming opposition at which point you will infiltrate and co-opt said opposition, pay lip service to their vague claim for 'rights' and continue on your merry way.

      I always thought that the greatest thing that the capitalists did in the 20th century was to get the slaves to love their slavery, its all advertising, hollywood, TV that's all that politics has become, certainly in the West. Edward Bernays has a lot to answer for.

      Of course ultimately you reach a point where no one truly understands what is real and what isn't any more.

      Boris Johnson PM of the UK? Surely not, Theresa May? I can barely wipe the smirk from my face. 4th and 5th rate politicians relying on SPADs to run the country.

      There is no wonder that Putin looks like the greatest 21st century leader, the last of a dying breed. Reading his recent essay on the truths of WWII ( http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/63527 ) yet again sees him posting uncomfortable realities to a West knee deep in vassalage to a crumbling US.

      Change is coming whether we like it or not, with or without Putin, we'd best tend our own garden and stop worrying about an opposition that simply doesn't exist.

[Jun 23, 2020] It is shocking to see such a disgusting piece of human garbage like Joe Biden get so many working class voters to vote for him. Biden has never missed a chance to stab the working class in the back in service to his wealthy patrons.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... From wiping out the ability of regular folks to declare bankruptcy (something supported by our founding fathers who were NOT socialists), to shipping our industrial base to communist China (which in less enlightened days would have been termed treason), to spending tens of trillions of dollars bailing out and subsiding the big banks (that's not a misprint), to supporting "surprise medical billing," to opening the borders to massive third-world immigration so that wages can be driven down and reset and profits up (As 2015 Bernie Sanders pointed out), Backstabbing Joe Biden is neoliberal scum pure and simple. ..."
"... It's astonishing that so many people will just blindly accept what they are told, that Biden is. "moderate." Biden is so far to the right, he makes Nixon look like Trotsky. ..."
"... Joe Biden is a crook and a con man. He has been lying his whole life. Claimed in his 1988 Campaign to have got 3 degrees at college and finished in top half of his class. Actually only got 1 degree & finished 76th out of 85 in his class. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

TG , Mar 3 2020 22:02 utc | 56

Yet another circus. The proles get to scream and holler, and when all is done, the oligarchy gets the policies it wants, the public be damned. Our sham 'democracy' is a con to privatize power and socialize responsibility.

Although it is shocking to see such a disgusting piece of human garbage like Joe Biden get substantial numbers of people to vote for him. Biden has never missed a chance to stab the working class in the back in service to his wealthy patrons.

The issue is not (for me) his creepiness (I wouldn't much mind if he was on my side), nor even his Alzheimer's, but his established track record of betrayal and corruption.

From wiping out the ability of regular folks to declare bankruptcy (something supported by our founding fathers who were NOT socialists), to shipping our industrial base to communist China (which in less enlightened days would have been termed treason), to spending tens of trillions of dollars bailing out and subsiding the big banks (that's not a misprint), to supporting "surprise medical billing," to opening the borders to massive third-world immigration so that wages can be driven down and reset and profits up (As 2015 Bernie Sanders pointed out), Backstabbing Joe Biden is neoliberal scum pure and simple.

It's astonishing that so many people will just blindly accept what they are told, that Biden is. "moderate." Biden is so far to the right, he makes Nixon look like Trotsky. Heck, he makes Calvin Coolidge look like Trotsky.

Mao , Mar 3 2020 22:01 utc | 55

Ian56:

Joe Biden is a crook and a con man. He has been lying his whole life. Claimed in his 1988 Campaign to have got 3 degrees at college and finished in top half of his class. Actually only got 1 degree & finished 76th out of 85 in his class.

[VIDEO]

https://twitter.com/Ian56789/status/1234914227963518977

[Jun 18, 2020] Populism vs. inverted totalitarism and the illusion of choice in the US elections

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The endless and extravagant election cycles, he said, are an example of politics without politics. ..."
"... "Instead of participating in power," he writes, "the virtual citizen is invited to have 'opinions': measurable responses to questions predesigned to elicit them." ..."
"... Political campaigns rarely discuss substantive issues. They center on manufactured political personalities, empty rhetoric, sophisticated public relations, slick advertising, propaganda and the constant use of focus groups and opinion polls to loop back to voters what they want to hear. Money has effectively replaced the vote. Every current presidential candidate -- including Bernie Sanders -- understands, to use Wolin's words, that "the subject of empire is taboo in electoral debates." The citizen is irrelevant. He or she is nothing more than a spectator, allowed to vote and then forgotten once the carnival of elections ends and corporations and their lobbyists get back to the business of ruling. ..."
"... "If the main purpose of elections is to serve up pliant legislators for lobbyists to shape, such a system deserves to be called 'misrepresentative or clientry government,' " Wolin writes. "It is, at one and the same time, a powerful contributing factor to the depoliticization of the citizenry, as well as reason for characterizing the system as one of antidemocracy." ..."
"... We are tolerated as citizens, Wolin warns, only as long as we participate in the illusion of a participatory democracy. The moment we rebel and refuse to take part in the illusion, the face of inverted totalitarianism will look like the face of past systems of totalitarianism. ..."
"... "The significance of the African-American prison population is political," ..."
Jun 02, 2020 | www.truthdig.com

...Inverted totalitarianism also "perpetuates politics all the time," Wolin said when we spoke, "but a politics that is not political." The endless and extravagant election cycles, he said, are an example of politics without politics.

"Instead of participating in power," he writes, "the virtual citizen is invited to have 'opinions': measurable responses to questions predesigned to elicit them."

Political campaigns rarely discuss substantive issues. They center on manufactured political personalities, empty rhetoric, sophisticated public relations, slick advertising, propaganda and the constant use of focus groups and opinion polls to loop back to voters what they want to hear. Money has effectively replaced the vote. Every current presidential candidate -- including Bernie Sanders -- understands, to use Wolin's words, that "the subject of empire is taboo in electoral debates." The citizen is irrelevant. He or she is nothing more than a spectator, allowed to vote and then forgotten once the carnival of elections ends and corporations and their lobbyists get back to the business of ruling.

"If the main purpose of elections is to serve up pliant legislators for lobbyists to shape, such a system deserves to be called 'misrepresentative or clientry government,' " Wolin writes. "It is, at one and the same time, a powerful contributing factor to the depoliticization of the citizenry, as well as reason for characterizing the system as one of antidemocracy."

The result, he writes, is that the public is "denied the use of state power." Wolin deplores the trivialization of political discourse, a tactic used to leave the public fragmented, antagonistic and emotionally charged while leaving corporate power and empire unchallenged.

"Cultural wars might seem an indication of strong political involvements," he writes. "Actually they are a substitute. The notoriety they receive from the media and from politicians eager to take firm stands on nonsubstantive issues serves to distract attention and contribute to a cant politics of the inconsequential."

"The ruling groups can now operate on the assumption that they don't need the traditional notion of something called a public in the broad sense of a coherent whole," he said in our meeting. "They now have the tools to deal with the very disparities and differences that they have themselves helped to create. It's a game in which you manage to undermine the cohesiveness that the public requires if they [the public] are to be politically effective. And at the same time, you create these different, distinct groups that inevitably find themselves in tension or at odds or in competition with other groups, so that it becomes more of a melee than it does become a way of fashioning majorities."

In classical totalitarian regimes, such as those of Nazi fascism or Soviet communism, economics was subordinate to politics. But "under inverted totalitarianism the reverse is true," Wolin writes. "Economics dominates politics -- and with that domination comes different forms of ruthlessness."He continues: "The United States has become the showcase of how democracy can be managed without appearing to be suppressed."

The corporate state, Wolin told me, is "legitimated by elections it controls." To extinguish democracy, it rewrites and distorts laws and legislation that once protected democracy. Basic rights are, in essence, revoked by judicial and legislative fiat. Courts and legislative bodies, in the service of corporate power, reinterpret laws to strip them of their original meaning in order to strengthen corporate control and abolish corporate oversight.

He writes: "Why negate a constitution, as the Nazis did, if it is possible simultaneously to exploit porosity and legitimate power by means of judicial interpretations that declare huge campaign contributions to be protected speech under the First Amendment, or that treat heavily financed and organized lobbying by large corporations as a simple application of the people's right to petition their government?"

Our system of inverted totalitarianism will avoid harsh and violent measures of control "as long as dissent remains ineffectual," he told me. "The government does not need to stamp out dissent. The uniformity of imposed public opinion through the corporate media does a very effective job."

And the elites, especially the intellectual class, have been bought off. "Through a combination of governmental contracts, corporate and foundation funds, joint projects involving university and corporate researchers, and wealthy individual donors, universities (especially so-called research universities), intellectuals, scholars, and researchers have been seamlessly integrated into the system," Wolin writes. "No books burned, no refugee Einsteins."

But, he warns, should the population -- steadily stripped of its most basic rights, including the right to privacy, and increasingly impoverished and bereft of hope -- become restive, inverted totalitarianism will become as brutal and violent as past totalitarian states. "The war on terrorism, with its accompanying emphasis upon 'homeland security,' presumes that state power, now inflated by doctrines of preemptive war and released from treaty obligations and the potential constraints of international judicial bodies, can turn inwards," he writes, "confident that in its domestic pursuit of terrorists the powers it claimed, like the powers projected abroad, would be measured, not by ordinary constitutional standards, but by the shadowy and ubiquitous character of terrorism as officially defined."

The indiscriminate police violence in poor communities of color is an example of the ability of the corporate state to "legally" harass and kill citizens with impunity. The cruder forms of control -- from militarized police to wholesale surveillance, as well as police serving as judge, jury and executioner, now a reality for the underclass -- will become a reality for all of us should we begin to resist the continued funneling of power and wealth upward. We are tolerated as citizens, Wolin warns, only as long as we participate in the illusion of a participatory democracy. The moment we rebel and refuse to take part in the illusion, the face of inverted totalitarianism will look like the face of past systems of totalitarianism.

"The significance of the African-American prison population is political," he writes. "What is notable about the African-American population generally is that it is highly sophisticated politically and by far the one group that throughout the twentieth century kept alive a spirit of resistance and rebelliousness. In that context, criminal justice is as much a strategy of political neutralization as it is a channel of instinctive racism."

[Jun 10, 2020] The Democratic Party and Authentic Change

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It is true that there's a difference between Democrats and Republicans, in the same sense that there's a difference between the jab and the cross in boxing. The jab is often used to keep an opponent at bay and set up the more damaging cross, but they're both wielded by the same boxer, and they're both punching you in the face. ..."
Jun 10, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

It is true that there's a difference between Democrats and Republicans, in the same sense that there's a difference between the jab and the cross in boxing. The jab is often used to keep an opponent at bay and set up the more damaging cross, but they're both wielded by the same boxer, and they're both punching you in the face.

[Jun 03, 2020] RussiaGate for neoliberal Dems and MSM honchos is the way to avoid the necessity to look into the camera and say, I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump

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

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

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

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

The take away quote

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

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

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

[Apr 29, 2020] Trump, despite pretty slick deception during his election campaign, is an typical imperialist and rabid militarist. His administration continuredand in some areas exceeded the hostility of Obama couse against Russia

Highly recommended!
One of trademarks of Trump administration is his that he despises international law and relies on "might makes right" principle all the time. In a way he is a one trick pony, typical unhinged bully.
In a way Pompeo is the fact of Trump administration foreign policy, and it is not pretty
Apr 29, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Passer by , Apr 29 2020 17:32 utc | 7
It is mostly, though not only, Trump related or libertarian pseudo "alt media" behind "just the flu" theories or "China unleashed virus to attack US".

There is a small military/zionist cabal at the White House that is pushing for that information war in order to prop up the dying US empire as well as US oligarhic business interests, and to secure Trump reelection prospects.

It is enough to see how Zerohedge have been turned into full blown imperialist media with many "evil China" outbursts every day.

Beware of Trumptards infiltrating alt media to prop up the dying US Empire and its business interests.

Trump is the biggest US imperialist for the last 30 years. He made a good job at deceiving many anti-system voices.

His WTO attacks are too part of US efforts to take over the organisation. His has no problem with international institutions as long as they are US empire controlled (such as OPCW, WADA, etc.)

Trump-tards and related libertarians (Zerohedge etc.) made their choice on the side of global US imperialism (driven by their hidden racism, hence the evil "chinks" making a good enemy) and are now the enemy of the multipolar world.

Trump is scum. He turned on Russia and Assange after he got into the White House and did far more against Russia than even Obama. I say that as someone who initially made the mistake to support him.

[Mar 03, 2020] Super Tuesday Bernie vs The DNC Round Two

Highly recommended!
Mar 03, 2020 | off-guardian.org

No matter who comes away with the nomination, it has to be asked "was any of this process legitimate?". We know from a plethora of examples that US elections are not fair. They border on meaningless most of the time. The DNC's doubly so, having argued in court they have no duty to be fair.

Any result, then, you could safely assume was contrived, for one reason or another.

If the Buttigieg-Klobuchar-Biden gambit works, we end up with Trump vs. Biden. And, realistically, that means a second Trump term.

Biden is possibly senile and definitely creepy . Watching him shuffle and stutter through a Presidential campaign would be almost cruel.

Politically, he has all of Hillary's weaknesses, being a big-time establishment type with a pro-war record, without even the "I have a vagina" card to play.

He'll get massacred.

Is that the plan?

There's more than enough signs that Trump has abandoned all the policies that made him any kind of threat to the political establishment. Four years on: no wars ended, no walls built, no swamp drained. Just more of the same. He's an idiot who talked big and got co-opted. It happens.

The Senate and other institutions might talk about Trump being a criminal or an idiot or a "Nazi", but the reality is he's barely perceptibly different from any other POTUS this side of JFK.

#TheResistance was a puppet show. A weak game played for toy money. When it really counts, they're all in it together. Biden getting on the ticket would be a public admittance of that. It would mean the DNC is effectively throwing the fight. Trump is a son of a bitch, but he's their son of a bitch. And that's much better than even the idea of President Bernie.

... ... ...

falcemartello ,

Does it really matter?
Empire of kaos will never move one inch to change the status quo.
The quaisi fascist state that most western /antlantacist nations have become it will make no difference
Gianbattista Vico"Their will always be an elite class" Punto e basta.
Name me one politico that made any difference to we the sheeple in the modern era.
If someone were to mention FDR I will scream.
Aldo Moro got murdered by the deep state for only suggesting to make a pact with Berlinguer the head of Il Partito Communista Italiano.

[Mar 03, 2020] Let s Talk About Your Alleged #Resistance by Joe Giambrone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Clinton also lied to the country about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq and voted for that obviously illegal war. This after 8 years of her husband's genocidal sanctions killed a minimum of 500,000 innocent Iraqi children . ..."
"... What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous. Yet, he persisted and to this day attempts to help common Americans as much as he can. He does what he believes to be the right thing. His integrity and his record of fighting for working Americans are not the points of contention in this race. ..."
"... Today, however, Senator Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat who beats Trump in poll after poll . The only one. This is no small matter. Trump needs to be beaten in the tangled Electoral College, where a simple numerical victory isn't enough. ..."
"... Bernie is the best choice, but it is interesting that you brought up the genocidal sanctions on Iraq. Bernie supported those sanctions. He also supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 which reaffirmed US support for the sanctions even after 500,000 children had been killed. ..."
"... Well, the BBC is bigging up Joe Biden right now, yet another of its ridiculous pieces of propaganda utterly devoid of its duty to serve its license payors, who are the British people, not the neoconservative banking elite. ..."
"... How interesting, it's Obama who gave the "cue" for Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Beto, Rice, and the entire slippery gang to circle the wagons in support of the most reactionary warmongering candidate running. The same Obama who released drones every Tuesday morning killing brown and blacks throughout the Middle East and Africa– the majority of slaughtered were innocent women and children. ..."
"... The desperation of the national security state is reflected by The DNC's Shenanigans. The security state would rather promote a crooked, warmongering, lying, racist who barely can put together two logical thoughts then accept a candidate who represents a hopeful future for the next generation. ..."
"... The DNC's message is very clear– they're a "private party" and the working-class are NOT invited. ..."
"... But this by far is the most frightening thought, Biden, does not have all his marbles–it's obvious–we can only guess it's some type of dementia. So if Biden, slides through deploying a multitude of underhanded machinations and becomes the nominee, Trump, will make mincemeat of him during the debates. ..."
"... I'm not in the Orange Baboon's Fan Club, but I find it sad and a little bit pathetic the way people still invest their hopes and put their faith in figures like Bernie, Tulsi or Jezza. Bernie got shafted in 2016 and just saluted smartly and fell into line behind Crooked Hillary. When she lost, he started singing from the approved hymn sheet. The evil Putin stole the election for Kremlin Agent Trump. He has been parroting the same nonsense for the past 4 years. ..."
"... Jeez people get a clue. How many times do you need to fall for the "this candidate is so much better and will solve everything" ruse? Remember Obama? The exact same bullshit was going around back then. ..."
"... We have hope😁 . We have change😁 . We have hope and change you can believe in😁 . Well, yeah, we all know what happened during Obombers 8 years. The entire thing is nothing but Kabuki theatre. For all those still believing the United States is a democracy. ..."
"... 'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. Rather, they must be instilled in the public mind by more subtle means. A totalitarian state can be satisfied with lesser degrees of allegiance to required truths. It is sufficient that people obey; what they think is a secondary concern. But in a democratic political order, there is always the danger that independent thought might be translated into political action, so it is important to eliminate the threat at its root. ..."
"... Debate cannot be stilled, and indeed, in a properly functioning system of propaganda, it should not be, because it has a system-reinforcing character if constrained within proper bounds. What is essential is to set the bounds firmly. Controversy may rage as long as it adheres to the presuppositions that define the consensus of elites, and it should furthermore be encouraged within these bounds, thus helping to establish these doctrines as the very condition of thinkable thought while reinforcing the belief that freedom reigns ..."
"... Every opportunity to push back Neo liberalism should be taken. ..."
"... Once again, Mark Twain sums up my feeling: "If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it." ..."
"... Where's yours? That's impertinent. Our voting process was programmed, close to 100% by two guys, at one point not many years ago, with the same last name, the brothers Urosevich. The machine owners claim that, as it is their proprietary software, the public is excluded from the vote-counting. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Editor Joe Giambrone

In 2016, Hillary Clinton deserved to lose, and she did. Her deception, her cheating in the primary elections , was well-documented, despicable, dishonest, untrustworthy. Her money-laundering scheme at DNC should have been prosecuted under campaign finance laws.

Her record of warmongering and gleefully gloating over death and destruction was also well established. On national TV she bragged about the mutilation of Moammar Qaddafi: "We came, we saw, he died!"

Clinton also lied to the country about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq and voted for that obviously illegal war. This after 8 years of her husband's genocidal sanctions killed a minimum of 500,000 innocent Iraqi children .

This person was undeserving of anyone's support.

What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous. Yet, he persisted and to this day attempts to help common Americans as much as he can. He does what he believes to be the right thing. His integrity and his record of fighting for working Americans are not the points of contention in this race.

His opponents have instead opted for every nonsensical conspiracy theory and McCarthyite smear they can concoct, including the most ridiculous of all: the Putin theory , without a single shred of evidence to support it.

Today, however, Senator Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat who beats Trump in poll after poll . The only one. This is no small matter. Trump needs to be beaten in the tangled Electoral College, where a simple numerical victory isn't enough.

Bernie wins, and he has the best overall shot of changing the course of history, steering America away from plutocracy and fascism.

That crucial race is happening right now in the primaries . If Bernie Sanders doesn't secure 50% of all delegates, then DNC insiders have already signaled that they will steal the nomination and give it to someone else -- who will lose to Trump. The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday.

It's either Trump or Bernie. That's your choice. Your only choice.

Where is your so-called "#Resistance" now?


Ben Barbour ,

Bernie is the best choice, but it is interesting that you brought up the genocidal sanctions on Iraq. Bernie supported those sanctions. He also supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 which reaffirmed US support for the sanctions even after 500,000 children had been killed.

Bernie also voted for Clinton's 1999 bombing campaign on Kosovo.

All that said, yes, Bernie is the best option.

Rhys Jaggar ,

Well, the BBC is bigging up Joe Biden right now, yet another of its ridiculous pieces of propaganda utterly devoid of its duty to serve its license payors, who are the British people, not the neoconservative banking elite.

When they spout bullshit that 20% of UK workers could miss work 'due to coronavirus', when we have had precisely 36 deaths in a population of 65 million plus, you know that like climate change, they spout the 1% probability as the mainstream narrative .

It just shows what folks are up against when media is so cravenly serving those who do not pay them.

Charlotte Russe ,

"If Bernie Sanders doesn't secure 50% of all delegates, then DNC insiders have already signaled that they will steal the nomination and give it to someone else -- who will lose to Trump. The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday."

While Bernie spent more than three decades advocating for economic social justice Biden spent those same three decades promoting social repression."

"The 1990s saw Biden take aim at civil liberties, authoring anti-terror bills that, among other things, "gutted the federal writ of habeas corpus," as one legal scholar later reflected. It was this earlier legislation that led Biden to brag to anyone listening that he was effectively the author of the Bush-era PATRIOT ACT, which, in his view, didn't go far enough. He inserted a provision into the bill that allowed for the militarization of local law enforcement and again suggested deploying the military within US borders."

How interesting, it's Obama who gave the "cue" for Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Beto, Rice, and the entire slippery gang to circle the wagons in support of the most reactionary warmongering candidate running. The same Obama who released drones every Tuesday morning killing brown and blacks throughout the Middle East and Africa– the majority of slaughtered were innocent women and children.

The desperation of the national security state is reflected by The DNC's Shenanigans. The security state would rather promote a crooked, warmongering, lying, racist who barely can put together two logical thoughts then accept a candidate who represents a hopeful future for the next generation.

The DNC's message is very clear– they're a "private party" and the working-class are NOT invited. In fact, they're saying more than that–if uninvited workers and the marginalized dare to enter they'll be tossed out on their arse

In plain sight the mainstream media news is telling millions that NO one can stop the military/security/surveillance/corporate state from their stranglehold over the corrupt political duopoly.

I say fight and don't give-up! Be prepared–organize a million people march and head to Milwaukee– the future of the next generation is on the line.

But this by far is the most frightening thought, Biden, does not have all his marbles–it's obvious–we can only guess it's some type of dementia. So if Biden, slides through deploying a multitude of underhanded machinations and becomes the nominee, Trump, will make mincemeat of him during the debates.

But if Biden, makes it to the Oval Office he'll be "less" than a figurehead. Biden, will be as mentally acute as the early bird diner in a Florida assisted living facility after a recent stroke. The national security state will seize control– handing the "taxidermied Biden" a pen to idiotically sign off on their highly insidious agenda ..

Ken Kenn ,

Pretty straightforward for me ( I don't know about Bernie? ) but if the Super delegates and the DNC hierarchy decide to hand the nomination over to Biden then Bernie should stand as an independent. At least even in defeat a left marker would be placed on the US political table away from the Corporate owners and the shills that hack for them in the media and elsewhere. At least ordinary US people would know that someone is on their side.

Corbyn in the UK was described as a ' Marxist' by the Tories and the unquestioning media. Despite all that ' Marxist ' Labour got 33% of the vote. People will vote for a ' socialist '

Charlotte Ruse ,

Unfortunately, Bernie won't abandon the Democratic Party. However, there's a ton of Bernie supporters who will vote Third Party if Bernie doesn't get the nomination.

paul ,

I'm not in the Orange Baboon's Fan Club, but I find it sad and a little bit pathetic the way people still invest their hopes and put their faith in figures like Bernie, Tulsi or Jezza. Bernie got shafted in 2016 and just saluted smartly and fell into line behind Crooked Hillary. When she lost, he started singing from the approved hymn sheet. The evil Putin stole the election for Kremlin Agent Trump. He has been parroting the same nonsense for the past 4 years.

That's when he hasn't been shilling for regime change wars in Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and elsewhere against "communist dictators."

Bernie will get shafted again shortly and fall into line behind Epstein's and Weinstein's best mate Bloomberg or Creepy Joe, or Pocahontas, or whoever.

If by some miracle they can't quite rig it this time and Bernie gets the nomination, the DNC will just fail to support him, and allow Trump to win. They would rather see Trump than Bernie in the White House.

Just like Starmer, Thornberry, Phillips and all the Blairite Backstabber Friends of Israel were more terrified of seeing Jezza in Number Ten than any Tory.
Dr. Johnson said that getting remarried represented the triumph of hope over experience.

The same applies to people expecting any positive change from people like Bernie, Tulsi, or Jezza.

The system just doesn't allow it.

pete ,

Jeez people get a clue. How many times do you need to fall for the "this candidate is so much better and will solve everything" ruse? Remember Obama? The exact same bullshit was going around back then.

Gezzah Potts ,

We have hope😁 . We have change😁 . We have hope and change you can believe in😁 . Well, yeah, we all know what happened during Obombers 8 years. The entire thing is nothing but Kabuki theatre. For all those still believing the United States is a democracy.

clickkid ,

"The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday." Sorry Joe, but where have you been for the last 50 years" Elections are irrelevant. Events change the world – not elections. The only important aspect of an election is the turnout. If you vote in an election, then at some level you still believe in the system.

Willem ,

Sometimes Chomsky can be useful

'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. Rather, they must be instilled in the public mind by more subtle means. A totalitarian state can be satisfied with lesser degrees of allegiance to required truths. It is sufficient that people obey; what they think is a secondary concern. But in a democratic political order, there is always the danger that independent thought might be translated into political action, so it is important to eliminate the threat at its root.

Debate cannot be stilled, and indeed, in a properly functioning system of propaganda, it should not be, because it has a system-reinforcing character if constrained within proper bounds. What is essential is to set the bounds firmly. Controversy may rage as long as it adheres to the presuppositions that define the consensus of elites, and it should furthermore be encouraged within these bounds, thus helping to establish these doctrines as the very condition of thinkable thought while reinforcing the belief that freedom reigns.'

If true, the question is, what are we not allowed to say? Or is Chomsky wrong, and are we allowed to say anything we like since TPTB know that words cannot, ever, change political action as for that you need power and brutal force, which we do not have and which, btw Chomsky advocates to its readers not to try to use against the nation state?

So maybe Chomsky is not so useful after all, or only useful for the status quo.

Chomsky's latest book, sold in book stores and at airports, where, apparantly, opinions of dissident writers whose opinions go beyond the bounds of the consensus of elites, are sold in large amounts to marginalize those opinions out of society, is called 'Optimism over despair', a title stolen from Gramsci who said: 'pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.'

But every time I follow Chomsky's reasoning, I end in dead end roads of which it is quite hard to find your way out. So perhaps I should change that title into 'nihilism over despair'. If you follow Chomsky's reasoning

clickkid ,

Your Chomsky Quote: "'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. .. " Tell that to the Yellow Vests.

ajbsm ,

Despite the deep state stranglehold .on the whole world there seems to be a 'wind' blowing (ref Lenin) of more and more people turning backs on the secret service candidates – not just in America. Power, money and bullying will carry on succeeding eventually the edifice is blown away – this will probably happen, it will be ugly and what emerges might not even be better(!) But the current controllers seem to have a sell by date.

Ken Kenn ,

I'm not convinced of the theory that the more poor/whipped/ spat upon people become the more likely they are to revolt. A revolution can only come about when the Bourgeoisie can no longer continue to govern in the old way. In other words it becomes more than a want – more of a necessity of change to the ordinary person.

We have to remember that in general ( it's a bit of a guess but just to illustrate a point ) that a small majority of people in any western nation are reasonably content – to an extent. They are not going to rock the boat that Kennedy tried to make the tide rise for or that Thatcher and her mates copied with home owner ship and the right to get into serious debt. This depends on whether you had/have a boat in the first place. If not you've always been drowning in the slowly rising tide.

Sanders as I've said before is not Castro. He has many faults but in a highly parameterised p Neo liberal economic loving political and media world he is the best hope. Not great stuff on offer but a significant move away from the 1% and the 3% who work for them ( including Presidents and Prime Misister ) so even that slight shift is plus for the most powerful country on planet earth.

I have in the past worked alongside various religious groups as an atheist as long as they were on the right( or should that be left?) side on an issue.

Now is not the time for the American left to play the Prolier than though card.

Every opportunity to push back Neo liberalism should be taken.

wardropper ,

I'm not convinced of the theory that the more poor/whipped/ spat upon people become the more likely they are to revolt. But didn't the Storming of the Bastille happen for that very reason? I think people are waiting for just one spark to ignite their simmering fury – just one more straw to break the patient camel's back. Understandably, the "elite" (which used to mean exalted above the general level) are in some trepidation about this, but, like all bullies their addiction to the rush of power goes all the way to the bitter end – the bitter end being the point at which their target stands up and gives them a black eye. It's almost comical how the bully then becomes the wailing victim himself, and we have all seen often enough the successfully-resisted dictatorial figure of authority resorting to the claim that he is now being bullied himself. But this is a situation of his own making, and our sympathy for him is limited by our memory of that fact.

Ken Kenn ,

Where's the simmering fury in the West. U.S. turnout is pathetically low. Even in the UK the turnout in the most important election since the First World War was 67%. I see the result of the " simmering fury " giving rise to the right not the left. Just that one phrase or paragraph of provocative words will spark the revolution?

... ... ...

wardropper ,

My point, which I thought I made clearly enough, was that the fury is simmering , and waiting for a catalyst. I also think an important reason for turnout being low is simply that people don't respond well to being treated like idiots by an utterly corrupt establishment. They just don't want to participate in the farce.

Once again, Mark Twain sums up my feeling: "If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it."

I'm not trying to be argumentative, and, like you, I am quite happy to back Sanders as by far the best of a pretty rotten bunch. Perhaps China is indeed leading in many respects right now, but becoming Chinese doesn't seem like a real option for most of us at the moment . . . Incidentally I have been to China and I found the people there as interesting as people anywhere else, although I particularly enjoyed the many things which are completely different from our western cultural roots.

Rhisiart Gwilym ,

Speaking of the Clintons' death toll, didn't Sanders too back all USAmerica's mass-murdering, armed-robbery aggressions against helpless small countries in recent times? And anyway, why are we wasting time discussing the minutiae of the shadow-boxing in this ridiculous circus of a pretend-democratic 'election'? Watching a coffin warp would be a more useful occupation.

I go with Dmitry Orlov's reckoning of the matter: It doesn't matter who becomes president of the US, since the rule of the deep state continues unbroken, enacting its own policies, which ignore the wishes of the common citizens, and only follow the requirements of the mostly hyper-rich gics (gangsters-in-charge) in the controlling positions of this spavined, failing empire. (My paraphrase of Dmitry.)

USPresidents do what their deep-state handlers want; or they get impeached, or assassinated like the Kennedy brothers. And they all know this. Bill Hick's famous joke about men in a smoke-filled room showing the newly-'elected' POTUS that piece of film of Kennedy driving by the grassy knoll in Dealy Plaza, Dallas, is almost literally true. All POTUSes understand that perfectly well before they even take office.

Voting for the policies you prefer, in a genuinely democratic republic, and actually getting them realised, will only happen for USAmericans when they've risen up and taken genuine popular control of their state-machine; at last!

Meanwhile, of what interest is this ridiculous charade to us in Britain (on another continent entirely; we never see this degree of attention given to Russian politics, though it has a much greater bearing on our future)? Our business here is to get Britain out of it's current shameful status, as one of the most grovelling of all the Anglozionist empire's provinces. We have a traitorous-comprador class of our own to turn out of power. Waste no time on the continuous three-ring distraction-circus in the US – where we in Britain don't even have a vote.

wardropper ,

The upvotes here would seem to show what thinking people appreciate most. Seeing through the advertising bezazz, the cheerleaders and the ownership of the media is obviously a top priority, and I suspect a large percentage of people who don't even know about the OffG would agree.

John Ervin ,

Where's yours? That's impertinent. Our voting process was programmed, close to 100% by two guys, at one point not many years ago, with the same last name, the brothers Urosevich. The machine owners claim that, as it is their proprietary software, the public is excluded from the vote-counting. And that much still holds true. Game. Set. Match. Any questions?

Antonym ,

What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous.

US deep state ate him for breakfast in 2016: they would love him to become string puppet POTUS in 2020. Trump is more difficult to control so they hate him.

John Ervin ,

Just one more Conspiracy Realist, eh! When will we ever learn? "The deep state ate him for breakfast in 2016 ." That gives some sense of the ease with which they pull strings, nicely put. One variation on the theme of your metaphor: "They savored him as one might consume a cocktail olive at an exclusive or entitled soirée."

It is painfully clear by any real connection of dots that he is simply one of their stalking horses for other game. And that Homeland game (still) doesn't know whether a horse has four, or six, legs.

*****

"Puppet Masters, or master puppets?"

Antonym ,

It is painfully clear that US Deep state hates Trump simply by looking at the Russiagate they cooked him up.

Fair dinkum ,

The US voters have surrounded themselves with a sewer, now they have to swim in it.

[Feb 26, 2020] A serious US politician has to demonstrate a large capacity for betrayal.

Highly recommended!
Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

Levtraro , says: Show Comment February 25, 2020 at 6:52 pm GMT

I suspect his open-borders advocacy and Russia-bashing too are lies; these are lines of defence against internal forces. It makes sense for him to take those positions while he seeks the nomination. If he gets it, he can betray those positions. A serious politician has to demonstrate a large capacity for betrayal. At the end of the day, he is a hardened politician like the rest.

[Feb 26, 2020] Elections as a form of class war

Highly recommended!
Feb 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Cynthia , Feb 26 2020 22:23 utc | 55

karlof1 @49

You are right about it being a class war. It is this class war that the neoliberal establishment does not want us to see, hence creating other divisions such as racial, gender/trans, religious, etc. so we fight one another instead of uniting and fighting them.

When the many shades of surveillance are added in to your establishment existential threat, the Matrix feels really close at hand.

My guess is that your understanding stems from years of paying attention. Do you have any recommendations for sites that have helped?

I take it that your support of Bernie, with his imperfections, is due to you seeing him as a possible shift in the neoliberal order. My concern is that his imperfections are also baggage that is keeping people from supporting him - the woke agenda, panicky human-caused climate change agenda, supporting most of the MIC agenda. The first two are areas in which debate has been/is being shut down, which is a real red flag.

Thank you for any reply, or none. I always appreciate the big picture.

karlof1 , Feb 26 2020 23:04 utc | 60

Cynthia @55--

I'm a historian by training focusing on the Outlaw US Empire and everything related, which is a very wide field of inquiry. Yes, I started out paying attention as an adolescent during the 1960s with 1968 being a very important year for me. I'd read the Warren Commission Report a year earlier and thus began my real education. I passed out flyers for RFK in 1968 prior to the California Primary and watched again as the cities burned earlier that Spring. I pursued a career and tried to find love, but after 20 years I returned to college. Aside from college libraries, various alt-websites have served well over the years--Z-net, CommonDreams, The Oil Drum, MoA--along with a mixture of news sites that are nowadays all based in Russia or China. The one person I've learned more from online is Dr. Michael Hudson, whose Super Imperialism I bought and read after it was published during my senior high school year. And Noam Chomsky, not so much from his prose but from all the sources he consulted. Yes, I'm an end note and bibliography junkie. Solitude and time to study were also important assets. Knowing I was being lied to by Media and politicos was also helpful and thus made me seek out an objective historical narrative whereby I discovered I wasn't alone in my quest. Currently, Hudson's historical big picture is the one in which I believe the most merit lies--4,000+ years of Class War between creditors and debtors frames the West's existence, including its religions, which are its longest lasting institutions. And I highly value genuine discourse with associates.

[Feb 15, 2020] Clearly the establishment has long since caught on to the fact that "the masses" dislike it, hence why they concentrate on the appearance of being anti-establishment

Highly recommended!
That was the dirty trick that secured wins for both Obama and Trump.
Feb 15, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Cynica , Feb 15 2020 20:03 utc | 39
Much noise has been made about Trump being elected due to anti-establishment sentiment. While certainly true, Trump's election is just one in a long line of seemingly anti-establishment candidates elected, after which it's more or less "business as usual".

Clearly the establishment has long since caught on to the fact that "the masses" dislike it, hence why they concentrate on the appearance of being anti-establishment.

Sadly, "the masses" get fooled time and time again. One can only marvel at how it keeps happening.

Veritas X- , Feb 15 2020 18:58 utc | 8
A picture is worth a 1,000 words: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2016/01/25/opinion/RFDBloomberg/RFDBloomberg-sfSpan.jpg

It's all theater for the masses. And little Mikey is just another frontman for the redshields/epstein-barr gang:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/proxy/TpJyOTc7PeDS3-ZEI1kN5W4iobZmqut_rVn0D5UvEdUef_NkTa0AZjgyzJlDYy86gISq6Zztsc9cl9mFOAQjyCFAaJUTmqKj=s0-d

X-

[Jan 29, 2020] Campaign Promises and Ending Wars

Highly recommended!
Jan 29, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

lizabeth Warren wrote an article outlining in general terms how she would bring America's current foreign wars to an end. Perhaps the most significant part of the article is her commitment to respect Congress' constitutional role in matters of war:

We will hold ourselves to this by recommitting to a simple idea: the constitutional requirement that Congress play a primary role in deciding to engage militarily. The United States should not fight and cannot win wars without deep public support. Successive administrations and Congresses have taken the easy way out by choosing military action without proper authorizations or transparency with the American people. The failure to debate these military missions in public is one of the reasons they have been allowed to continue without real prospect of success [bold mine-DL].

On my watch, that will end. I am committed to seeking congressional authorization if the use of force is required. Seeking constrained authorizations with limited time frames will force the executive branch to be open with the American people and Congress about our objectives, how the operation is progressing, how much it is costing, and whether it should continue.

Warren's commitment on this point is welcome, and it is what Americans should expect and demand from their presidential candidates. It should be the bare minimum requirement for anyone seeking to be president, and any candidate who won't commit to respecting the Constitution should never be allowed to have the powers of that office. The president is not permitted to launch attacks and start wars alone, but Congress and the public have allowed several presidents to do just that without any consequences. It is time to put a stop to illegal presidential wars, and it is also time to put a stop to open-ended authorizations of military force. Warren's point about asking for "constrained authorizations with limited time frames" is important, and it is something that we should insist on in any future debate over the use of force. The 2001 and 2002 AUMFs are still on the books and have been abused and stretched beyond recognition to apply to groups that didn't exist when they were passed so that the U.S. can fight wars in countries that don't threaten our security. Those need to be repealed as soon as possible to eliminate the opening that they have provided the executive to make war at will.

Michael Brendan Dougherty is unimpressed with Warren's rhetoric:

But what has Warren offered to do differently, or better? She's made no notable break with the class of experts who run our failing foreign policy. Unlike Bernie Sanders, and like Trump or Obama, she hasn't hired a foreign-policy staff committed to a different vision. And so her promise to turn war powers back to Congress should be considered as empty as Obama's promise to do the same. Her promise to bring troops home would turn out to be as meaningless as a Trump tweet saying the same.

We shouldn't discount Warren's statements so easily. When a candidate makes specific commitments about ending U.S. wars during a campaign, that is different from making vague statements about having a "humble" foreign policy. Bush ran on a conventional hawkish foreign policy platform, and there were also no ongoing wars for him to campaign against, so we can't say that he ever ran as a "dove." Obama campaigned against the Iraq war and ran on ending the U.S. military presence there, and before his first term was finished almost all U.S. troops were out of Iraq. It is important to remember that he did not campaign against the war in Afghanistan, and instead argued in support of it. His subsequent decision to commit many more troops there was a mistake, but it was entirely consistent with what he campaigned on. In other words, he withdrew from the country he promised to withdraw from, and escalated in the country where he said the U.S. should be fighting. Trump didn't actually campaign on ending any wars, but he did talk about "bombing the hell" out of ISIS, and after he was elected he escalated the war on ISIS. His anti-Iranian obsession was out in the open from the start if anyone cared to pay attention to it. In short, what candidates commit to doing during a campaign does matter and it usually gives you a good idea of what a candidate will do once elected.

If Warren and some of the other Democratic candidates are committing to ending U.S. wars, we shouldn't assume that they won't follow through on those commitments because previous presidents proved to be the hawks that they admitted to being all along. Presidential candidates often tell us exactly what they mean to do, but we have to be paying attention to everything they say and not just one catchphrase that they said a few times. If voters want a more peaceful foreign policy, they should vote for candidates that actually campaign against ongoing wars instead of rewarding the ones that promise and then deliver escalation. But just voting for the candidates that promise an end to wars is not enough if Americans want Congress to start doing its job by reining in the executive. If we don't want presidents to run amok on war powers, there have to be political consequences for the ones that have done that and there needs to be steady pressure on Congress to take back their role in matters of war. Voters should select genuinely antiwar candidates, but then they also have to hold those candidates accountable once they're in office.

[Jan 23, 2020] An incredible level of naivety of people who still think that a single individual, or even two, can change the direction of murderous US policies that are widely supported throughout the bureaucracy?

Highly recommended!
The deep state clearly is running the show (with some people unexpected imput -- see Trump ;-)
Elections now serve mainly for the legitimizing of the deep state rule; election of a particular individual can change little, although there is some space of change due to the power of executive branch. If the individual stray too much form the elite "forign policy consensus" he ether will be JFKed or Russiagated (with the Special Prosecutor as the fist act and impeachment as the second act of the same Russiagate drama)
But a talented (or reckless) individual can speed up some process that are already under way. For example, Trump managed to speed up the process of destruction of the USA-centered neoliberal empire considerably. Especially by launching the trade war with China. He also managed to discredit the USA foreign policy as no other president before him. Even Bush II.
Jan 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Trailer Trash , Jan 23 2020 18:30 utc | 44
>This is the most critical U.S. election in our lifetime
> Posted by: Circe | Jan 23 2020 17:46 utc | 36

Hmmm, I've been hearing the same siren song every four years for the past fifty. How is it that people still think that a single individual, or even two, can change the direction of murderous US policies that are widely supported throughout the bureaucracy?

Bureaucracies are reactionary and conservative by nature, so any new and more repressive policy Trumpy wants is readily adapted, as shown by the continuing barbarity of ICE and the growth of prisons and refugee concentration camps. Policies that go against the grain are easily shrugged off and ignored using time-tested passive-aggressive tactics.

One of Trump's insurmountable problems is that he has no loyal organization behind him whose members he can appoint throughout the massive Federal bureaucracy. Any Dummycrat whose name is not "Biden" has the same problem. Without a real mass-movement political party to pressure reluctant bureaucrats, no politician of any name or stripe will ever substantially change the direction of US policy.

But the last thing Dummycrats want is a real mass movement, because they might not be able to control it. Instead Uncle Sam will keep heading towards the cliff, which may be coming into view...


Per/Norway , Jan 23 2020 19:31 utc | 62

The amount of TINA worshipers and status quo guerillas is starting to depress me.
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE to believe A politician will/can change anything and give your consent to war criminals and traitors?
NO person(s) WILL EVER get to the top in imperial/vassal state politics without being on the rentier class side, the cognitive dissonans in voting for known liars, war criminals and traitors would kill me or fry my brain. TINA is a lie and "she" is a real bitch that deserves to be thrown on the dump off history, YOUR vote is YOUR consent to murder, theft and treason.
DONT be a rentier class enabler STOP voting and start making your local communities better and independent instead.

Per
Norway

Piotr Berman , Jan 23 2020 20:19 utc | 82
The amount of TINA worshipers and status quo guerillas is starting to depress me. <- Norway

Of course, There Is Another Way, for example, kvetching. We can boldly show that we are upset, and pessimistic. One upset pessimists reach critical mass we will think about some actions.

But being upset and pessimistic does fully justify inactivity. In particular, given the nature of social interaction networks, with spokes and hubs, dominating the network requires the control of relatively few nodes. The nature of democracy always allows for leverage takeover, starting from dominating within small to the entire nation in few steps. As it was nicely explained by Prof. Overton, there is a window of positions that the vast majority regards as reasonable, non-radical etc. One reason that powers to be invest so much energy vilifying dissenters, Russian assets of late, is to keep them outside the Overton window.

Having a candidate elected that the curators of Overton window hate definitely shakes the situation with the potential of shifting the window. There were some positive symptoms after Trump was elected, but negatives prevail. "Why not we just kill him" idea entered the window, together with "we took their oil because we have guts and common sense".

From that point of view, visibility of Tulsi and election of Sanders will solve some problems but most of all, it will make big changes in Overton window.

[Jan 21, 2020] WaPo columnist endorses all twelve candidates

Highly recommended!
Are WaPo and NYT both encouraging their readerships to split the 'Anybody But Bernie' vote six ways from Super Tuesday? Fantastic!
Jan 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Cassiodorus on Mon, 01/20/2020 - 11:44am Alexandra Petri tells us:

In a break from tradition, I am endorsing all 12 Democratic candidates.

Of course, this is a parody of the NYT's endorsement of Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren , trying to encourage the "who cares about policy we want an identity-politics win" vote. Petri's funniest moment is:

One of two things is wrong with America: Either the entire system is broken or is on the verge of breaking, and we need someone to bring about radical, structural change, or -- we don't need that at all! Which is it? Who can say? Certainly not me, and that is why I am telling you now which candidate to vote for.

[Dec 20, 2019] The Tragedy of Donald Trump His Presidency Is Marred with Failure by Doug Bandow

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Trump's performance record as president is comprised of an unbroken string of broken promises, opportunities squandered, principles violated, and intentions abandoned. ..."
"... despite another supposedly positive personal relationship, the Trump administration has applied more sanctions on Moscow, provided more anti-Russian aid to Ukraine, further increased funds and troops to NATO Europe, and sent home more Russian diplomats than the Obama administration. ..."
"... Worse, Washington has made no serious effort to resolve the standoff over Ukraine. No one imagines Moscow returning Crimea to Ukraine or giving in on any other issue without meaningful concessions regarding Kiev. Instead of moderating and minimizing bilateral frictions, the administration has made Russia more likely today than before to cooperate with China against Washington and contest American objectives in the Middle East, Africa, and even Latin America. ..."
"... Although Trump promised to stop America's endless wars, as many - if not more - U.S. military personnel are abroad today as when he took office. He increased the number of troops in Afghanistan and is now seeking to negotiate an exit that would force Washington to remain to enforce the agreement. This war has been burning for more than eighteen years. ..."
"... The administration has maintained Washington's illegal deployment in Syria, shifting one contingent away from the Turkish-Kurdish battle while inserting new forces to confiscate Syrian oil fields-a move that lacks domestic authority and violates international law. A few hundred Americans cannot achieve their many other supposed objectives, such as eliminating Russian, Iranian, and other malign influences and forcing Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to resign or inaugurate democracy. However, their presence will ensure America's continued entanglement in a conflict of great complexity but minimal security interest. ..."
"... This is an extraordinarily bad record after almost three years in office. Something good still might happen between now and November 3, 2020. However, more issues are likely to get worse. Imagine North Korean missile and nuclear tests, renewed Russian attempts to influence Western elections, a bloody Chinese crackdown in Hong Kong, increased U.S.-European trade friction, more U.S. pressure on Iran matched by asymmetric responses, and more. At the moment, there is no reason to believe any of the resulting confrontations would turn out well. ..."
Dec 18, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

Trump's performance record as president is comprised of an unbroken string of broken promises, opportunities squandered, principles violated, and intentions abandoned.

North Korea may have been the one issue on which President Donald Trump apparently listened to his predecessor, Barack Obama, when he warned about the serious challenge facing the incoming occupant of the Oval Office. Nevertheless, Trump initially drove tensions between the two countries to a fever pitch, raising fears of war in the midst of proclamations of "fire and fury." Then he played statesman and turned toward diplomacy, meeting North Korea's supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, in Singapore.

Today that effort looks kaput. The North has declared denuclearization to be off the table. Actually, few people other than the president apparently believed that Kim was prepared to turn over his nuclear weapons to a government predisposed toward intervention and regime change.

Now that this Trump policy is formally dead, and there is no Plan B in sight, Pyongyang has begun deploying choice terms from its fabled thesaurus of insults. Democrats are sure to denounce the administration for incompetent naivete. And the bipartisan war party soon will be beating the drums for more sanctions, more florid rhetoric, additional military deployments, new plans for war. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) already has dismissed the risks since any conflict would be "over there," on the distant Korean Peninsula. At which point Trump's heroic summitry, which offered a dramatic opportunity to break decades of deadly stalemate, will be judged a failure.

If the president had racked up several successes-wars ended, peace achieved, disputes settled, relations strengthened-then one disappointment wouldn't matter much. However, his record is an unbroken string of broken promises, opportunities squandered, principles violated, and intentions abandoned.

There is no relationship more important than that between the United States and the People's Republic of China. Despite Trump's supposed friendship with China's Xi Jinping, the trade war rages to the detriment of both countries. Americans have suffered from both the president's tariffs and China's retaliation, with no end in sight. Despite hopes for a resolution, Beijing is hanging tough and obviously doubts the president's toughness, given the rapidly approaching election.

Beyond economics, the relationship is deteriorating sharply. Disagreements and confrontations over everything from geopolitics to human rights have driven the two countries apart, with the administration lacking any effective strategy to positively influence China's behavior. The president's myopic focus on trade has left him without a coherent strategy elsewhere.

Perhaps the president's most pronounced and controversial promise of the 2016 campaign was to improve relations with Russia. However, despite another supposedly positive personal relationship, the Trump administration has applied more sanctions on Moscow, provided more anti-Russian aid to Ukraine, further increased funds and troops to NATO Europe, and sent home more Russian diplomats than the Obama administration.

Worse, Washington has made no serious effort to resolve the standoff over Ukraine. No one imagines Moscow returning Crimea to Ukraine or giving in on any other issue without meaningful concessions regarding Kiev. Instead of moderating and minimizing bilateral frictions, the administration has made Russia more likely today than before to cooperate with China against Washington and contest American objectives in the Middle East, Africa, and even Latin America.

Although Trump promised to stop America's endless wars, as many - if not more - U.S. military personnel are abroad today as when he took office. He increased the number of troops in Afghanistan and is now seeking to negotiate an exit that would force Washington to remain to enforce the agreement. This war has been burning for more than eighteen years.

The administration has maintained Washington's illegal deployment in Syria, shifting one contingent away from the Turkish-Kurdish battle while inserting new forces to confiscate Syrian oil fields-a move that lacks domestic authority and violates international law. A few hundred Americans cannot achieve their many other supposed objectives, such as eliminating Russian, Iranian, and other malign influences and forcing Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to resign or inaugurate democracy. However, their presence will ensure America's continued entanglement in a conflict of great complexity but minimal security interest.

The Saudi government remains corrupt, incompetent, repressive, reckless and dependent on the United States. Only Washington's refusal to retaliate against Iran for its presumed attack on Saudi oil facilities caused Riyadh to turn to diplomacy toward Tehran, yet the president then increased U.S. military deployments, turning American military personnel into bodyguards for the Saudi royals. The recent terrorist attack by the pilot-in-training-presumably to join his colleagues in slaughtering Yemeni civilians-added to the already high cost of the bilateral relationship.

The administration's policy of "maximum pressure" has proved to be a complete bust around the world. As noted earlier, North Korea proved unwilling to disarm despite the increased financial pressure caused by U.S. sanctions. North Koreans are hurting, but their government, like Washington, places security first.

Russia, too, is no more willing to yield Crimea, which was once part of Russia and is the Black Sea naval base of Sebastopol. Several European governments also disagree with the United States, having pressed to lighten or eliminate current sanctions. The West will have to offer more than the status quo to roll back Moscow's military advances.

Before Trump became president, Iran was well contained, despite its malign regional activities. The Islamic regime was hemmed in by Israel and the Gulf States, backed by nations as diverse as Egypt and America. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, sharply curtailed Iran's nuclear activities and placed the country under an intensive oversight regime. Now Tehran has reactivated its nuclear program, expanded its regional interventions, interfered with Gulf shipping, and demonstrated its ability to devastate Saudi oil production. To America's consternation, its Persian Gulf allies now are more willing to deal with Iran than before.

Additionally, the Trump administration has largely destroyed hope for reform in Cuba by reversing the Obama administration's progress toward normalizing relations and discouraging visits by-and trade with-Americans. The entrepreneurs I spoke to when I visited Cuba two years ago made large investments in anticipation of a steadily increasing number of U.S. visitors but were devastated when Washington shut off the flow. What had been a steadily expanding private sector was knocked back and the regime, with Raoul Castro still dominant behind the scenes, again can blame America for its own failings. There is no evidence that extending the original embargo and additional sanctions, which began in 1960, will free anyone.

For a time, Venezuela appeared to be an administration priority. As usual, Trump applied economic sanctions, this time on a people whose economy essentially had collapsed. Washington threatened more sanctions and military invasion but to no avail. Then the president and his top aides breathed fire and fury, insisting that both China and Russia stay out, again without success. Eventually, the president appeared to simply lose interest and drop any mention of the once urgent crisis. The corrupt, repressive Maduro regime remains in power.

So far, the president's criticisms of America's alliances have gone for naught. Until now, his appointees, all well-disposed toward maintaining generous subsidies for America's international fan club, have implemented his policies. More recently, the administration demanded substantial increases in "host nation" support, but in almost every negotiation so far the president has given way, accepting minor, symbolic gains. He is likely to end up like his predecessor, whining a lot but gaining very little from America's security dependents.

Beyond that, there is little positive to say. Trump and India's Narendra Modi are much alike, which is no compliment to either, but institutional relations have changed little. Turkey's incipient dictator, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, receives a free pass from the president for the former's abuses and crimes. But even so Congress is thoroughly arrayed against Ankara for sins both domestic and foreign.

The president's aversion to genuine free trade and the curious belief that buying inexpensive, quality products from abroad is a negative has created problems with many close allies, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and multiple European states. Perhaps only with Israel are Washington's relations substantially improved, and that reflects the president's abandonment of any serious attempt to promote a fair and realistic peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

This is an extraordinarily bad record after almost three years in office. Something good still might happen between now and November 3, 2020. However, more issues are likely to get worse. Imagine North Korean missile and nuclear tests, renewed Russian attempts to influence Western elections, a bloody Chinese crackdown in Hong Kong, increased U.S.-European trade friction, more U.S. pressure on Iran matched by asymmetric responses, and more. At the moment, there is no reason to believe any of the resulting confrontations would turn out well.

Most Americans vote on the economy, and the president is currently riding a wave of job creation. If that ends before the November vote, then international issues might matter more. If so, then the president may regret that he failed to follow through on his criticism of endless war and irresponsible allies. Despite his very different persona, his results don't look all that different from those achieved by Barack Obama and other leading Democrats.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He is a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and the author of several books, including Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire.

rshimizu12 • 15 hours ago
Personally I think Trumps foreign policy has had mix results. Part of the problem is that Trump has adopted a ad hoc foreign policy tactics. The US has had limited success with North Korea. While we have not seen any reductions of nuclear weapons. He probably has stopped flight testing of ICBM's. The daily back and forth threats of destroying each other countries have stopped. We should have been making more progress with N Korea, but Trump has not been firm enough. Russia on the other hand is a much tougher country to deal with. As for China we will have to keep up the pressure in trade negotiations.

[Nov 24, 2019] Despair is a very powerful factor in the resurgence of far right forces. Far right populism probably will be the decisive factor in 2020 elections.

Highly recommended!
Nov 24, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.25.19 at 2:56 am 46

Glen Tomkins 11.24.19 at 5:26 pm @43

And again, if we do win despite all the structural injustices in the system the Rs inherited and seek to expand, well, those injustices don't really absolutely need to be corrected, because we will still have gotten the right result from the system as is.

This is a pretty apt description of the mindset of Corporate Democrats. Thank you !

May I recommend you to listen to Chris Hedge 2011 talk On Death of the Liberal Class At least to the first part of it.

Corporate Dems definitely lack courage, and as such are probably doomed in 2020.

Of course, the impeachment process will weight on Trump, but the Senate hold all trump cards, and might reverse those effects very quickly and destroy, or at lease greatly diminish, any chances for Corporate Demorats even complete on equal footing in 2020 elections. IMHO Pelosi gambit is a really dangerous gambit, a desperate move, a kind of "Heil Mary" pass.

Despair is a very powerful factor in the resurgence of far right forces. And that's what happening right now and that's why I suspect that far right populism probably will be the decisive factor in 2020 elections.

IMHO Chris explains what the most probable result on 2020 elections with be with amazing clarity.

[Oct 28, 2019] National Neolibralism destroyed the World Trade Organisation by John Quiggin

Highly recommended!
Highly recommended !
Notable quotes:
"... Trying to head off redivision of the world into nationalist trade blocks by removing Trump via dubiously democratic upheavals (like color revolutions) with more or less fictional quasi-scandals as pro-Russian treason or anti-Ukrainian treason (which is "Huh?" on the face of it,) is futile. It stems from a desire to keep on "free" trading despite the secular stagnation that has set in, hoping that the sociopolitical nowhere (major at least) doesn't collapse until God or Nature or something restores the supposedly natural order of economic growth without end/crisis. ..."
"... I think efforts to keep the neoliberal international WTO/IMF/World Bank "free" trading system is futile because the lower orders are being ordered to be satisfied with a permanent, rigid class system ..."
"... If the pie is to shrink forever, all the vile masses (the deplorables) are going to hang together in their various ways, clinging to shared identity in race or religion or nationality, which will leave the international capitalists hanging, period. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive. Saying "Greed is good," then expecting selflessness from the lowers is not high-minded but self-serving. Redistribution of wealth upward has been terribly destructive to social cohesion, both domestically and in the sense of generosity towards foreigners. ..."
"... The pervasive feeling that "we" are going down and drastic action has to be taken is probably why there hasn't been much traction for impeachment til now. If Biden, shown to be shady in regards to Hunter, is nominated to lead the Democratic Party into four/eight years of Obama-esque promise to continue shrinking the status quo for the lowers, Trump will probably win. Warren might have a better chance to convince voters she means to change things (despite the example of Obama,) but she's not very appealing. And she is almost certainly likely to be manipulated like Trump. ..."
"... I *think* that's more or less what likbez, said, though obviously it's not the way likbez wanted to express it. I disagree strenuously on some details, like Warren's problem being a schoolmarm, rather than being a believer in capitalism who shares Trump's moral values against socialism, no matter what voters say. ..."
Oct 27, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

...what replaces it will be even worse. That's the (slightly premature) headline for my recent article in The Conversation .

The headline will become operative in December, if as expected, the Trump Administration maintains its refusal to nominate new judges to the WTO appellate panel . That will render the WTO unable to take on new cases, and bring about an effective return to the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) which preceded the WTO .

An interesting sidelight is that Brexit No-Dealers have been keen on the merits of trading "on WTO terms", but those terms will probably be unenforceable by the time No Deal happens (if it does).

likbez 10.27.19 at 11:22 pm

That's another manifestation of the ascendance of "national neoliberalism," which now is displacing "classic neoliberalism."

Attempts to remove Trump via color revolution mechanisms (Russiagate, Ukrainegate) are essentially connected with the desire of adherents of classic neoliberalism to return to the old paradigm and kick the can down the road until the cliff. I think it is impossible because the neoliberal elite lost popular support (aka support of deplorables) and now is hanging in the air. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive.

That's why probably previous attempts to remove Trump were unsuccessful. And if corrupt classic neoliberal Biden wins Neoliberal Dem Party nomination, the USA probably will get the second term of Trump. Warren might have a chance as "Better Trump then Trump" although she proved so far to be pretty inept politician, and like "original" Trump probably can be easily coerced by the establishment, if she wins.

All this weeping and gnashing of teeth by "neoliberal Intelligentsia" does not change the fact that neoliberalism entered the period of structural crisis demonstrated by "secular stagnation," and, as such, its survival is far from certain. We probably can argue only about how long it will take for the "national neoliberalism" to dismantle it and what shape or form the new social order will take.

That does not mean that replacing the classic neoliberalism the new social order will be better, or more just. Neoliberalism was actually two steps back in comparison with the New Deal Capitalism that it replaced. It clearly was a social regress.

John Quiggin 10.28.19 at 3:00 am ( 2 )
Exactly right!
Matt 10.28.19 at 6:28 am ( 3 )
John, I am legitimate curious what you find "exactly right" in the comment above. Other than the obvious bit in the last line about new deal vs neoliberalism, I would say it is completely wrong, band presenting an amazingly distorted view of both the last few years and recent history.
reason 10.28.19 at 8:58 am ( 5 )
I agree with Matt.

In fact, I see the problem as more nuanced.

Neo-liberalism is not a unified thing. Right wing parties are not following the original (the value of choice) paradigm of Milton Friedman that won the argument during the 1970s inflation panic, but have implemented a deceitful bait and switch strategy, followed by continually shifting the goalposts – claiming – it would of worked but we weren't pure enough.

But parts of what Milton Friedman said (for instance the danger of bad micro-economic design of welfare systems creating poverty traps, and the inherent problems of high tariff rates) had a kernel of truth. (Unfortunately, Friedman's macro-economics was almost all wrong and has done great damage.)

Tim Worstall 10.28.19 at 12:39 pm (no link) 6

"In that context it felt free to override national governments on any issue that might affect international trade, most notably environmental policies."

Not entirely sure about that. The one case where I was informed enough to really know detail was the China and rare earths WTO case. China claimed that restrictions on exports of separated but otherwise unprocessed rare earths were being made on environmental grounds. Rare earth mining is a messy business, especially the way they do it.

Well, OK. And if such exports were being limited on environmental grounds then that would be WTO compliant. Which is why the claim presumably.

It was gently or not pointed out that exports of things made from those same rare earths were not limited in any sense. Therefore that environmental justification might not be quite the real one. Possibly, it was an attempt to suck RE using industry into China by making rare earths outside in short supply, but the availability for local processing being unrestricted? Certainly, one customer of mine at the time seriously considered packing up the US factory and moving it.

China lost the WTO case. Not because environmental reasons aren't a justification for restrictions on trade but because no one believed that was the reason, rather than the justification.

I don't know about other cases – shrimp, tuna – but there is at least the possibility that it's the argument, not the environment, which wasn't sufficient justification?

Jim Harrison 10.28.19 at 5:20 pm ( 9 )
Neoliberalism gets used as a generalized term of abuse these days. Not every political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the free market.

In the EU, East Asia, and North America, some of what has taken place is the rationalization of bureaucratic practices and the weakening of archaic localisms. Some of these developments have been positive.

In this respect, neoliberalism in the blanket sense used by Likbez and many others is like what the the ancien regime was, a mix of regressive and progressive tendencies. In the aftermath of the on-going upheaval, it is likely that it will be reassessed and some of its features will be valued if they manage to persist.

I'm thinking of international trade agreements, transnational scientific organizations, and confederations like the European Union.

steven t johnson 10.29.19 at 12:29 am

If I may venture to translate @1?

Right-wing populism like Orban, Salvini, the Brexiteers are sweeping the globe and this is more of the same.

Trying to head off redivision of the world into nationalist trade blocks by removing Trump via dubiously democratic upheavals (like color revolutions) with more or less fictional quasi-scandals as pro-Russian treason or anti-Ukrainian treason (which is "Huh?" on the face of it,) is futile. It stems from a desire to keep on "free" trading despite the secular stagnation that has set in, hoping that the sociopolitical nowhere (major at least) doesn't collapse until God or Nature or something restores the supposedly natural order of economic growth without end/crisis.

I think efforts to keep the neoliberal international WTO/IMF/World Bank "free" trading system is futile because the lower orders are being ordered to be satisfied with a permanent, rigid class system .

If the pie is to shrink forever, all the vile masses (the deplorables) are going to hang together in their various ways, clinging to shared identity in race or religion or nationality, which will leave the international capitalists hanging, period. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive. Saying "Greed is good," then expecting selflessness from the lowers is not high-minded but self-serving. Redistribution of wealth upward has been terribly destructive to social cohesion, both domestically and in the sense of generosity towards foreigners.

The pervasive feeling that "we" are going down and drastic action has to be taken is probably why there hasn't been much traction for impeachment til now. If Biden, shown to be shady in regards to Hunter, is nominated to lead the Democratic Party into four/eight years of Obama-esque promise to continue shrinking the status quo for the lowers, Trump will probably win. Warren might have a better chance to convince voters she means to change things (despite the example of Obama,) but she's not very appealing. And she is almost certainly likely to be manipulated like Trump.

Again, despite the fury the old internationalism is collapsing under stagnation and weeping about it is irrelevant. Without any real ideas, we can only react to events as nationalist predatory capitals fight for their new world.

I'm not saying the new right wing populism is better. The New Deal/Great Society did more for America than its political successors since Nixon et al. The years since 1968 I think have been a regression and I see no reason–alas–that it can't get even worse.

I *think* that's more or less what likbez, said, though obviously it's not the way likbez wanted to express it. I disagree strenuously on some details, like Warren's problem being a schoolmarm, rather than being a believer in capitalism who shares Trump's moral values against socialism, no matter what voters say.

likbez 10.29.19 at 2:46 am 13

fausutsnotes 10.28.19 at 8:27 am @4

> What on earth is "national neoliberalism."

It is a particular mutation of the original concept similar to mutation of socialism into national socialism, when domestic policies are mostly preserved (including rampant deregulation) and supplemented by repressive measures (total surveillance) , but in foreign policy "might make right" and unilateralism with the stress on strictly bilateral regulations of trade (no WTO) somewhat modifies "Washington consensus". In other words, the foreign financial oligarchy has a demoted status under the "national neoliberalism" regime, while the national financial oligarchy and manufactures are elevated.

And the slogan of "financial oligarchy of all countries, unite" which is sine qua non of classic neoliberalism is effectively dead and is replaced by protection racket of the most political powerful players (look at Biden and Ukrainian oligarchs behavior here ;-)

> I think every sentence in that comment is either completely wrong or at least debatable. And is likbez actually John Hewson, because that comment reads like one of John Hewson's commentaries

I wish ;-). But it is true in the sense of sentiment expressed in his article A few bank scalps won't help unless they change their rotten culture That's a very similar approach to the problem.

politicalfootball 10.28.19 at 1:19 pm @8

> Most obviously, to define Warren and Trump as both being neoliberals drains the term of any meaning

You are way too fast even for a political football forward ;-).

Warren capitalizes on the same discontent and the feeling of the crisis of neoliberalism that allowed Trump to win. Yes, she is a much better candidate than Trump, and her policy proposals are better (unless she is coerced by the Deep State like Trump in the first three months of her Presidency).

Still, unlike Sanders in domestic policy and Tulsi in foreign policy, she is a neoliberal reformist at heart and a neoliberal warmonger in foreign policy. Most of her policy proposals are quite shallow, and are just a band-aid.

"Warren's "I have a plan" mantra sounds an awful lot like a dog whistle to Clinton voters" Elizabeth Warren's
Plan-itis Excessive Lobbying Case Study naked capitalism

Jim Harrison 10.28.19 at 5:20 pm @9

> Neoliberalism gets used as a generalized term of abuse these days. Not every political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the free market.

This is a typical stance of neoliberal MSM, a popular line of attack on critics of neoliberalism.

Yes, of course, not everything political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the "free market." But how can it be otherwise? Notions of human agency, a complex interaction of politics and economics in human affairs, technological progress since 1970th, etc., all play a role. But a historian needs to be able to somehow integrate the mass of evidence into a coherent and truthful story.

And IMHO this story for the last several decades is the ascendance and now decline of "classic neoliberalism" with its stress on the neoliberal globalization and opening of the foreign markets for transnational corporations (often via direct or indirect (financial) pressure, or subversive actions including color revolutions and military intervention) and replacement of it by "national neoliberalism" -- domestic neoliberalism without (or with a different type of) neoliberal globalization.

Defining features of national neoliberalism along with the rejection of neoliberal globalization and, in particular, multiparty treaties like WTO is massive, overwhelming propaganda including politicized witch hunts (via neoliberal MSM), total surveillance of citizens by the national security state institutions (three-letter agencies which now acquired a political role), as well as elements of classic nationalism built-in.

The dominant ideology of the last 30 years was definitely connected with "worshiping of free markets," a secular religion that displaced alternative views and, for several decades (say 1976 -2007), dominated the discourse. So worshiping (or pretense of worshiping) of "free market" (as if such market exists, and is not a theological construct -- a deity of some sort) is really defining feature here.

[Oct 10, 2019] Trump, Impeachment Forgetting What Brought Him to the White House by Andrew J. Bacevich

Highly recommended!
The term "centrist" is replaced by a more appropriate term "neoliberal oligarchy"
Notable quotes:
"... Furthermore, Donald Trump might well emerge from this national ordeal with his reelection chances enhanced. Such a prospect is belatedly insinuating itself into public discourse. For that reason, certain anti-Trump pundits are already showing signs of going wobbly, suggesting , for instance, that censure rather than outright impeachment might suffice as punishment for the president's various offenses. Yet censuring Trump while allowing him to stay in office would be the equivalent of letting Harvey Weinstein off with a good tongue-lashing so that he can get back to making movies. Censure is for wimps. ..."
"... So if Trump finds himself backed into a corner, Democrats aren't necessarily in a more favorable position. And that aren't the half of it. Let me suggest that, while Trump is being pursued, it's you, my fellow Americans, who are really being played. The unspoken purpose of impeachment is not removal, but restoration. The overarching aim is not to replace Trump with Mike Pence -- the equivalent of exchanging Groucho for Harpo. No, the object of the exercise is to return power to those who created the conditions that enabled Trump to win the White House in the first place. ..."
"... For many of the main participants in this melodrama, the actual but unstated purpose of impeachment is to correct this great wrong and thereby restore history to its anointed path. ..."
"... In a recent column in The Guardian, Professor Samuel Moyn makes the essential point: Removing from office a vulgar, dishonest and utterly incompetent president comes nowhere close to capturing what's going on here. To the elites most intent on ousting Trump, far more important than anything he may say or do is what he signifies. He is a walking, talking repudiation of everything they believe and, by extension, of a future they had come to see as foreordained. ..."
"... Moyn styles these anti-Trump elites as "neoliberal oligarchy", members of the post-Cold War political mainstream that allowed ample room for nominally conservative Bushes and nominally liberal Clintons, while leaving just enough space for Barack Obama's promise of hope-and-(not-too-much) change. ..."
"... These "neoliberal oligarchy" share a common worldview. They believe in the universality of freedom as defined and practiced within the United States. They believe in corporate capitalism operating on a planetary scale. They believe in American primacy, with the United States presiding over a global order as the sole superpower. They believe in "American global leadership," which they define as primarily a military enterprise. And perhaps most of all, while collecting degrees from Georgetown, Harvard, Oxford, Wellesley, the University of Chicago, and Yale, they came to believe in a so-called meritocracy as the preferred mechanism for allocating wealth, power and privilege. All of these together comprise the sacred scripture of contemporary American political elites. And if Donald Trump's antagonists have their way, his removal will restore that sacred scripture to its proper place as the basis of policy. ..."
"... "For all their appeals to enduring moral values," Moyn writes, "the "neoliberal oligarchy" are deploying a transparent strategy to return to power." Destruction of the Trump presidency is a necessary precondition for achieving that goal. ""neoliberal oligarchy" simply want to return to the status quo interrupted by Trump, their reputations laundered by their courageous opposition to his mercurial reign, and their policies restored to credibility." Precisely. ..."
"... how does such misconduct compare to the calamities engineered by the "neoliberal oligarchy" who preceded him? ..."
"... Trump's critics speak with one voice in demanding accountability. Yet virtually no one has been held accountable for the pain, suffering, and loss inflicted by the architects of the Iraq War and the Great Recession. Why is that? As another presidential election approaches, the question not only goes unanswered, but unasked. ..."
"... To win reelection, Trump, a corrupt con man (who jumped ship on his own bankrupt casinos, money in hand, leaving others holding the bag) will cheat and lie. Yet, in the politics of the last half-century, these do not qualify as novelties. (Indeed, apart from being the son of a sitting U.S. vice president, what made Hunter Biden worth $50Gs per month to a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch? I'm curious.) That the president and his associates are engaging in a cover-up is doubtless the case. Yet another cover-up proceeds in broad daylight on a vastly larger scale. "Trump's shambolic presidency somehow seems less unsavory," Moyn writes, when considering the fact that his critics refuse "to admit how massively his election signified the failure of their policies, from endless war to economic inequality." Just so. ..."
"... Exactly. Trump is the result of voter disgust with Bush III vs Clinton II, the presumed match up for a year or more leading up to 2016. Now Democrats want to do it again, thinking they can elect anybody against Trump. That's what Hillary thought too. ..."
"... Trump won for lack of alternatives. Our political class is determined to prevent any alternatives breaking through this time either. They don't want Trump, but even more they want to protect their gravy train of donor money, the huge overspending on medical care (four times the defense budget) and of course all those Forever Wars. ..."
"... Trump could win, for the same reasons as last time, even though the result would be no better than last time. ..."
"... I wish the slick I.D. politics obsessed corporate Dems nothing but the worst, absolute worst. They reap what they sow. If it means another four years of Trump, so be it. It's the price that's going to have to be paid. ..."
"... At a time when a majority of U.S. citizens cannot muster up $500 for an emergency dental bill or car repair without running down to the local "pay day loan" lender shark (now established as legitimate businesses) the corporate Dems, in their infinite wisdom, decide to concoct an impeachment circus to run simultaneously when all the dirt against the execrable Brennan and his intel minions starts to hit the press for their Russiagate hoax. Nice sleight of hand there corporate Dems. ..."
Oct 10, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

There is blood in the water and frenzied sharks are closing in for the kill. Or so they think.

From the time of Donald Trump's election, American elites have hungered for this moment. At long last, they have the 45th president of the United States cornered. In typically ham-handed fashion, Trump has given his adversaries the very means to destroy him politically. They will not waste the opportunity. Impeachment now -- finally, some will say -- qualifies as a virtual certainty.

No doubt many surprises lie ahead. Yet the Democrats controlling the House of Representatives have passed the point of no return. The time for prudential judgments -- the Republican-controlled Senate will never convict, so why bother? -- is gone for good. To back down now would expose the president's pursuers as spineless cowards. The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC would not soon forgive such craven behavior.

So, as President Woodrow Wilson, speaking in 1919 put it, "The stage is set, the destiny disclosed. It has come about by no plan of our conceiving, but by the hand of God." Of course, the issue back then was a notably weighty one: whether to ratify the Versailles Treaty. That it now concerns a " Mafia-like shakedown " orchestrated by one of Wilson's successors tells us something about the trajectory of American politics over the course of the last century and it has not been a story of ascent.

The effort to boot the president from office is certain to yield a memorable spectacle. The rancor and contempt that have clogged American politics like a backed-up sewer since the day of Trump's election will now find release. Watergate will pale by comparison. The uproar triggered by Bill Clinton's " sexual relations " will be nothing by comparison. A de facto collaboration between Trump, those who despise him, and those who despise his critics all but guarantees that this story will dominate the news, undoubtedly for months to come.

As this process unspools, what politicians like to call "the people's business" will go essentially unattended. So while Congress considers whether or not to remove Trump from office, gun-control legislation will languish, the deterioration of the nation's infrastructure will proceed apace, needed healthcare reforms will be tabled, the military-industrial complex will waste yet more billions, and the national debt, already at $22 trillion -- larger, that is, than the entire economy -- will continue to surge. The looming threat posed by climate change, much talked about of late, will proceed all but unchecked. For those of us preoccupied with America's role in the world, the obsolete assumptions and habits undergirding what's still called " national security " will continue to evade examination. Our endless wars will remain endless and pointless.

By way of compensation, we might wonder what benefits impeachment is likely to yield. Answering that question requires examining four scenarios that describe the range of possibilities awaiting the nation.

The first and most to be desired (but least likely) is that Trump will tire of being a public piñata and just quit. With the thrill of flying in Air Force One having worn off, being president can't be as much fun these days. Why put up with further grief? How much more entertaining for Trump to retire to the political sidelines where he can tweet up a storm and indulge his penchant for name-calling. And think of the "deals" an ex-president could make in countries like Israel, North Korea, Poland, and Saudi Arabia on which he's bestowed favors. Cha-ching! As of yet, however, the president shows no signs of taking the easy (and lucrative) way out.

The second possible outcome sounds almost as good but is no less implausible: a sufficient number of Republican senators rediscover their moral compass and "do the right thing," joining with Democrats to create the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump and send him packing. In the Washington of that classic 20th-century film director Frank Capra, with Jimmy Stewart holding forth on the Senate floor and a moist-eyed Jean Arthur cheering him on from the gallery, this might have happened. In the real Washington of "Moscow Mitch" McConnell , think again.

The third somewhat seamier outcome might seem a tad more likely. It postulates that McConnell and various GOP senators facing reelection in 2020 or 2022 will calculate that turning on Trump just might offer the best way of saving their own skins. The president's loyalty to just about anyone, wives included, has always been highly contingent, the people streaming out of his administration routinely making the point. So why should senatorial loyalty to the president be any different? At the moment, however, indications that Trump loyalists out in the hinterlands will reward such turncoats are just about nonexistent. Unless that base were to flip, don't expect Republican senators to do anything but flop.

That leaves outcome No. 4, easily the most probable: while the House will impeach, the Senate will decline to convict. Trump will therefore stay right where he is, with the matter of his fitness for office effectively deferred to the November 2020 elections. Except as a source of sadomasochistic diversion, the entire agonizing experience will, therefore, prove to be a colossal waste of time and blather.

Furthermore, Donald Trump might well emerge from this national ordeal with his reelection chances enhanced. Such a prospect is belatedly insinuating itself into public discourse. For that reason, certain anti-Trump pundits are already showing signs of going wobbly, suggesting , for instance, that censure rather than outright impeachment might suffice as punishment for the president's various offenses. Yet censuring Trump while allowing him to stay in office would be the equivalent of letting Harvey Weinstein off with a good tongue-lashing so that he can get back to making movies. Censure is for wimps.

Besides, as Trump campaigns for a second term, he would almost surely wear censure like a badge of honor. Keep in mind that Congress's approval ratings are considerably worse than his. To more than a few members of the public, a black mark awarded by Congress might look like a gold star.

Restoration Not Removal

So if Trump finds himself backed into a corner, Democrats aren't necessarily in a more favorable position. And that aren't the half of it. Let me suggest that, while Trump is being pursued, it's you, my fellow Americans, who are really being played. The unspoken purpose of impeachment is not removal, but restoration. The overarching aim is not to replace Trump with Mike Pence -- the equivalent of exchanging Groucho for Harpo. No, the object of the exercise is to return power to those who created the conditions that enabled Trump to win the White House in the first place.

Just recently, for instance, Hillary Clinton declared Trump to be an "illegitimate president." Implicit in her charge is the conviction -- no doubt sincere -- that people like Donald Trump are not supposed to be president. People like Hillary Clinton -- people possessing credentials like hers and sharing her values -- should be the chosen ones. Here we glimpse the true meaning of legitimacy in this context. Whatever the vote in the Electoral College, Trump doesn't deserve to be president and never did.

For many of the main participants in this melodrama, the actual but unstated purpose of impeachment is to correct this great wrong and thereby restore history to its anointed path.

In a recent column in The Guardian, Professor Samuel Moyn makes the essential point: Removing from office a vulgar, dishonest and utterly incompetent president comes nowhere close to capturing what's going on here. To the elites most intent on ousting Trump, far more important than anything he may say or do is what he signifies. He is a walking, talking repudiation of everything they believe and, by extension, of a future they had come to see as foreordained.

Moyn styles these anti-Trump elites as "neoliberal oligarchy", members of the post-Cold War political mainstream that allowed ample room for nominally conservative Bushes and nominally liberal Clintons, while leaving just enough space for Barack Obama's promise of hope-and-(not-too-much) change.

These "neoliberal oligarchy" share a common worldview. They believe in the universality of freedom as defined and practiced within the United States. They believe in corporate capitalism operating on a planetary scale. They believe in American primacy, with the United States presiding over a global order as the sole superpower. They believe in "American global leadership," which they define as primarily a military enterprise. And perhaps most of all, while collecting degrees from Georgetown, Harvard, Oxford, Wellesley, the University of Chicago, and Yale, they came to believe in a so-called meritocracy as the preferred mechanism for allocating wealth, power and privilege. All of these together comprise the sacred scripture of contemporary American political elites. And if Donald Trump's antagonists have their way, his removal will restore that sacred scripture to its proper place as the basis of policy.

"For all their appeals to enduring moral values," Moyn writes, "the "neoliberal oligarchy" are deploying a transparent strategy to return to power." Destruction of the Trump presidency is a necessary precondition for achieving that goal. ""neoliberal oligarchy" simply want to return to the status quo interrupted by Trump, their reputations laundered by their courageous opposition to his mercurial reign, and their policies restored to credibility." Precisely.

High Crimes and Misdemeanors

The U.S. military's "shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad at the start of the Iraq War, as broadcast on CNN.

For such a scheme to succeed, however, laundering reputations alone will not suffice. Equally important will be to bury any recollection of the catastrophes that paved the way for an über -qualified centrist to lose to an indisputably unqualified and unprincipled political novice in 2016.

Holding promised security assistance hostage unless a foreign leader agrees to do you political favors is obviously and indisputably wrong. Trump's antics regarding Ukraine may even meet some definition of criminal. Still, how does such misconduct compare to the calamities engineered by the "neoliberal oligarchy" who preceded him? Consider, in particular, the George W. Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq in 2003 (along with the spin-off wars that followed). Consider, too, the reckless economic policies that produced the Great Recession of 2007-2008. As measured by the harm inflicted on the American people (and others), the offenses for which Trump is being impeached qualify as mere misdemeanors.

Honest people may differ on whether to attribute the Iraq War to outright lies or monumental hubris. When it comes to tallying up the consequences, however, the intentions of those who sold the war don't particularly matter. The results include thousands of Americans killed; tens of thousands wounded, many grievously, or left to struggle with the effects of PTSD; hundreds of thousands of non-Americans killed or injured ; millions displaced ; trillions of dollars expended; radical groups like ISIS empowered (and in its case even formed inside a U.S. prison in Iraq); and the Persian Gulf region plunged into turmoil from which it has yet to recover. How do Trump's crimes stack up against these?

The Great Recession stemmed directly from economic policies implemented during the administration of President Bill Clinton and continued by his successor. Deregulating the banking sector was projected to produce a bonanza in which all would share. Yet, as a direct result of the ensuing chicanery, nearly 9 million Americans lost their jobs, while overall unemployment shot up to 10 percent. Roughly 4 million Americans lost their homes to foreclosure. The stock market cratered and millions saw their life savings evaporate. Again, the question must be asked: How do these results compare to Trump's dubious dealings with Ukraine?

Trump's critics speak with one voice in demanding accountability. Yet virtually no one has been held accountable for the pain, suffering, and loss inflicted by the architects of the Iraq War and the Great Recession. Why is that? As another presidential election approaches, the question not only goes unanswered, but unasked.

Sen. Carter Glass (D–Va.) and Rep. Henry B. Steagall (D–Ala.-3), the co-sponsors of the 1932 Glass–Steagall Act separating investment and commercial banking, which was repealed in 1999. (Wikimedia Commons)

To win reelection, Trump, a corrupt con man (who jumped ship on his own bankrupt casinos, money in hand, leaving others holding the bag) will cheat and lie. Yet, in the politics of the last half-century, these do not qualify as novelties. (Indeed, apart from being the son of a sitting U.S. vice president, what made Hunter Biden worth $50Gs per month to a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch? I'm curious.) That the president and his associates are engaging in a cover-up is doubtless the case. Yet another cover-up proceeds in broad daylight on a vastly larger scale. "Trump's shambolic presidency somehow seems less unsavory," Moyn writes, when considering the fact that his critics refuse "to admit how massively his election signified the failure of their policies, from endless war to economic inequality." Just so.

What are the real crimes? Who are the real criminals? No matter what happens in the coming months, don't expect the Trump impeachment proceedings to come within a country mile of addressing such questions.

Andrew Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular , is president and co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft . His new book, " The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory ," will be published in January.

This article is from TomDispatch.com .


Mark Thomason , October 9, 2019 at 17:03

Exactly. Trump is the result of voter disgust with Bush III vs Clinton II, the presumed match up for a year or more leading up to 2016. Now Democrats want to do it again, thinking they can elect anybody against Trump. That's what Hillary thought too.

Now the Republicans who lost their party to Trump think they can take it back with somebody even more lame than Jeb, if only they could find someone, anyone, to run on that non-plan.

Trump won for lack of alternatives. Our political class is determined to prevent any alternatives breaking through this time either. They don't want Trump, but even more they want to protect their gravy train of donor money, the huge overspending on medical care (four times the defense budget) and of course all those Forever Wars.

Trump could win, for the same reasons as last time, even though the result would be no better than last time.

LJ , October 9, 2019 at 17:01

Well, yeah but I recall that what won Trump the Republican Nomination was first and foremost his stance on Immigration. This issue is what separated him from the herd of candidates . None of them had the courage or the desire to go against Governmental Groupthink on Immigration. All he then had to do was get on top of low energy Jeb Bush and the road was clear. He got the base on his side on this issue and on his repeated statement that he wished to normalize relations with Russia . He won the nomination easily. The base is still on his side on these issues but Governmental Groupthink has prevailed in the House, the Senate, the Intelligence Services and the Federal Courts. Funny how nobody in the Beltway, especially not in media, is brave enough to admit that the entire Neoconservative scheme has been a disaster and that of course we should get out of Syria . Nor can anyone recall the corruption and warmongering that now seem that seems endemic to the Democratic Party. Of course Trump has to wear goat's horns. "Off with his head".

Drew Hunkins , October 9, 2019 at 16:00

I wish the slick I.D. politics obsessed corporate Dems nothing but the worst, absolute worst. They reap what they sow. If it means another four years of Trump, so be it. It's the price that's going to have to be paid.

At a time when a majority of U.S. citizens cannot muster up $500 for an emergency dental bill or car repair without running down to the local "pay day loan" lender shark (now established as legitimate businesses) the corporate Dems, in their infinite wisdom, decide to concoct an impeachment circus to run simultaneously when all the dirt against the execrable Brennan and his intel minions starts to hit the press for their Russiagate hoax. Nice sleight of hand there corporate Dems.

Of course, the corporate Dems would rather lose to Trump than win with a progressive-populist like Bernie. After all, a Bernie win would mean an end to a lot of careerism and cushy positions within the establishment political scene in Washington and throughout the country.

Now we even have the destroyer of Libya mulling another run for the presidency.

Forget about having a job the next day and forget about the 25% interest on your credit card or that half your income is going toward your rent or mortgage, or that you barely see your kids b/c of the 60 hour work week, just worry about women lawyers being able to make partner at the firm, and trans people being able to use whatever bathroom they wish and male athletes being able to compete against women based on genitalia (no, wait, I'm confused now).

Either class politics and class warfare comes front and center or we witness a burgeoning neo-fascist movement in our midst. It's that simple, something has got to give!

[Oct 09, 2019] Ukrainegate as the textbook example of how the neoliberal elite manipulates the MSM and the narrative for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objectives -- distracting the electorate from real issues

Highly recommended!
Oct 09, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

EMichael , October 09, 2019 at 02:07 PM

His entire life trump has been a deadbeat.

"The president is dropping by the city on Thursday for one of his periodic angry wank-fests at the Target Center, which is the venue in which this event will be inflicted upon the Twin Cities. (And, just as an aside, given the events of the past 10 days, this one should be a doozy.) Other Minneapolis folk are planning an extensive unwelcoming party outside the arena, which necessarily would require increased security, which is expensive. So, realizing that it was dealing with a notorious deadbeat -- in keeping with his customary business plan, El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago has stiffed 10 cities this year for bills relating to security costs that total almost a million bucks -- the company that provides the security for the Target Center wants the president*'s campaign to shell out more than $500,000.

This has sent the president* into a Twitter tantrum against Frey, who seems not to be that impressed by it. Right from when the visit was announced, Frey has been jabbing at the president*'s ego. From the Star-Tribune:

"Our entire city will stand not behind the President, but behind the communities and people who continue to make our city -- and this country -- great," Frey said. "While there is no legal mechanism to prevent the president from visiting, his message of hatred will never be welcome in Minneapolis."

It is a mayor's lot to deal with out-of-state troublemakers. Always has been."

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a29416840/trump-feud-minneapolis-mayor-security-rally/

ilsm , October 09, 2019 at 03:03 PM
When it comes to Trump not going full Cheney war monged in Syria Krugman is a Bircher!l
likbez , October 09, 2019 at 03:22 PM
This is not about Trump. This is not even about Ukraine and/or foreign powers influence on the US election (of which Israel, UK, and Saudi are three primary examples; in this particular order.)

Russiagate 2.0 (aka Ukrainegate) is the case, textbook example if you wish, of how the neoliberal elite manipulates the MSM and the narrative for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objectives -- distracting the electorate from real issues.

An excellent observation by JohnH (October 01, 2019 at 01:47 PM )

"It all depends on which side of the Infowars you find yourself. The facts themselves are too obscure and byzantine."

There are two competing narratives here:

1. NARRATIVE 1: CIA swamp scum tried to re-launch Russiagate as Russiagate 2.0. This is CIA coup d'état aided and abetted by CIA-democrats like Pelosi and Schiff. Treason, as Trump aptly said. This is narrative shared by "anti-Deep Staters" who sometimes are nicknamed "Trumptards". Please note that the latter derogatory nickname is factually incorrect: supporters of this narrative often do not support Trump. They just oppose machinations of the Deep State. And/or neoliberalism personified by Clinton camp, with its rampant corruption.

2. NARRATIVE 2: Trump tried to derail his opponent using his influence of foreign state President (via military aid) as leverage and should be impeached for this and previous crimes. ("Full of Schiff" commenters narrative, neoliberal democrats, or demorats.) Supporters of this category usually bought Russiagate 1.0 narrative line, hook and sinker. Some of them are brainwashed, but mostly simply ignorant neoliberal lemmings without even basic political education.

In any case, while Russiagate 2.0 is probably another World Wrestling Federation style fight, I think "anti-Deep-staters" are much closer to the truth.

What is missing here is the real problem: the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA (and elsewhere).

So this circus serves an important purpose (intentionally or unintentionally) -- to disrupt voters from the problems that are really burning, and are equal to a slow-progressing cancer in the US society.

And implicitly derail Warren (being a weak politician she does not understand that, and jumped into Ukrainegate bandwagon )

I am not that competent here, so I will just mention some obvious symptoms:

  1. Loss of legitimacy of the ruling neoliberal elite (which demonstrated itself in 2016 with election of Trump);
  2. Desperation of many working Americans with sliding standard of living; loss of meaningful jobs due to offshoring of manufacturing and automation (which demonstrated itself in opioids abuse epidemics; similar to epidemics of alcoholism in the USSR before its dissolution.
  3. Loss of previously available freedoms. Loss of "free press" replaced by the neoliberal echo chamber in major MSM. The uncontrolled and brutal rule of financial oligarchy and allied with the intelligence agencies as the third rail of US politics (plus the conversion of the state after 9/11 into national security state);
  4. Coming within this century end of the "Petroleum Age" and the global crisis that it can entail;
  5. Rampant militarism, tremendous waist of resources on the arms race, and overstretched efforts to maintain and expand global, controlled from Washington, neoliberal empire. Efforts that since 1991 were a primary focus of unhinged after 1991 neocon faction US elite who totally controls foreign policy establishment ("full-spectrum dominance). They are stealing money from working people to fund an imperial project, and as part of neoliberal redistribution of wealth up

Most of the commenters here live a comfortable life in the financially secured retirement, and, as such, are mostly satisfied with the status quo. And almost completely isolated from the level of financial insecurity of most common Americans (healthcare racket might be the only exception).

And re-posting of articles which confirm your own worldview (echo chamber posting) is nice entertainment, I think ;-)

Some of those posters actually sometimes manage to find really valuable info. For which I am thankful. In other cases, when we have a deluge of abhorrent neoliberal propaganda postings (the specialty of Fred C. Dobbs) which often generate really insightful comments from the members of the "anti-Deep State" camp.

Still it would be beneficial if the flow of neoliberal spam is slightly curtailed.

[Sep 02, 2019] Is it Cynical to Believe the System is Corrupt by Bill Black

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... A new opinion poll released by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal last Sunday shows that 70% of Americans are "angry" because our political system seems to only be working for the insiders with money and power. Both Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren have also reflected on this sentiment during their campaigns. Sanders has said that we live in a "corrupt political system designed to protect the wealthy and the powerful." Warren said it's a "rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else." ..."
Aug 31, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

A new opinion poll released by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal last Sunday shows that 70% of Americans are "angry" because our political system seems to only be working for the insiders with money and power. Both Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren have also reflected on this sentiment during their campaigns. Sanders has said that we live in a "corrupt political system designed to protect the wealthy and the powerful." Warren said it's a "rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else."

A New York Times opinion article written by the political scientist Greg Weiner felt compelled to push back on this message, writing a column with the title, The Shallow Cynicism of 'Everything Is Rigged'. In his column, Weiner basically makes the argument that believing everything is corrupt and rigged is a cynical attitude with which it is possible to dismiss political opponents for being a part of the corruption. In other words, the Sanders and Warren argument is a shortcut, according to Weiner, that avoids real political debate.

Joining me now to discuss whether it makes sense to think of a political system as rigged and corrupt, and whether the cynical attitude is justified, is someone who should know a thing or two about corruption: Bill Black. He is a white collar criminologist, former financial regulator, and associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He's also the author of the book, The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One. Thanks for joining us again, Bill.

BILL BLACK: Thank you.

GREG WILPERT: As I mentioned that the outset, it seems that Sanders and Warren are in effect taking an open door, at least when it comes to the American public. That is, almost everyone already believes that our political and economic system is rigged. Would you agree with that sentiment that the system is corrupt and rigged for the rich and against pretty much everyone else but especially the poor? What do you think?

BILL BLACK: One of the principal things I study is elite fraud, corruption and predation. The World Bank sent me to India for months as an anti-corruption alleged expert type. And as a financial regulator, this is what I dealt with. This is what I researched. This is a huge chunk of my life. So I wouldn't use the word, if I was being formal in an academic system, "the system." What I would talk about is specific systems that are rigged, and they most assuredly are rigged.

Let me give you an example. One of the most important things that has transformed the world and made it vastly more criminogenic, much more corrupt, is modern executive compensation. This is not an unusual position. This is actually the normal position now, even among very conservative scholars, including the person who was the intellectual godfather of modern executive compensation, Michael Jensen. He has admitted that he spawned unintentionally a monster because CEOs have rigged the compensation system. How do they do that? Well, it starts even before you get hired as a CEO. This is amazing stuff. The standard thing you do as a powerful CEO is you hire this guy, and he specializes in negotiating great deals for CEOs. His first demand, which is almost always given into, is that the corporation pay his fee, not the CEO. On the other side of the table is somebody that the CEO is going to be the boss of negotiating the other side. How hard is he going to negotiate against the guy that's going to be his boss? That's totally rigged.

Then the compensation committee hires compensation specialists who–again, even the most conservative economists agree it is a completely rigged system. Because the only way they get work is if they give this extraordinary compensation. Then, everybody in economics admits that there's a clear way you should run performance pay. It should be really long term. You get the big bucks only after like 10 years of success. In reality, they're always incredibly short term. Why? Because it's vastly easier for the CEO to rig the short-term reported earnings. What's the result of this? Accounting profession, criminology profession, economics profession, law profession. We've all done studies and all of them say this perverse system of compensation causes CEOs to (a) cheat and (b) to be extraordinarily short term in their perspective because it's easier to rig the short-term reported results. Even the most conservative economists agree that's terrible for the economy.

What I've just gone through is a whole bunch of academic literature from over 40-plus years from top scholars in four different fields. That's not cynicism. That's just plain facts if you understand the system. People like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, they didn't, as you say, kick open an open door. They made the open door. It's not like Elizabeth Warren started talking about this six months ago when she started being a potential candidate. She has been saying this and explaining in detail how individual systems are rigged in favor of the wealthy for at least 30 years of work. Bernie Sanders has been doing it for 45 years. This is what the right, including the author of this piece who is an ultra-far right guy, fear the most. It's precisely what they fear, that Bernie and Elizabeth are good at explaining how particular systems are rigged. They explain it in appropriate detail, but they're also good in making it human. They talk the way humans talk as opposed to academics.

That's what the right fear is more than anything, that people will basically get woke. In this, it's being woke to how individual systems have been rigged by the wealthy and powerful to create a sure thing to enrich them, usually at our direct expense.

GREG WILPERT: I think those are some very good examples. They're mostly from the realm of economics. I want to look at one from the realm of politics, which specifically Weiner makes. He cites Sanders, who says that the rich literally buy elections, and Weiner counters this by saying that, "It is difficult to identify instances in American history of an electoral majority wanting something specific that it has not eventually gotten." That's a pretty amazing statement actually, I think, for him to say when you look at the actual polls of what people want and what people get. He then also adds, "That's not possible to dupe the majority with advertising all of the time." What's your response to that argument?

BILL BLACK: Well, actually, that's where he's trying to play economist, and he's particularly bad at economics. He was even worse at economics than he is at political science, where his pitch, by the way is–I'm not overstating this–corruption is good. The real problem with Senator Sanders and Senator Warren is that they're against corruption.

Can you fool many people? Answer: Yes. We have good statistics from people who actually study this as opposed to write op-eds of this kind. In the great financial crisis, one of the most notorious of the predators that targeted blacks and Latinos–we actually have statistics from New Century. And here's a particular scam. The loan broker gets paid more money the worse the deal he gets you, the customer, and he gets paid by the bank. If he can get you to pay more than the market rate of interest, then he gets a kickback, a literal kickback. In almost exactly half of the cases, New Century was able to get substantially above market interest rates, again, targeted at blacks and Latinos.

We know that this kind of predatory approach can succeed, and it can succeed brilliantly. Look at cigarettes. Cigarettes, if you use them as intended, they make you sick and they kill you. It wasn't that very long ago until a huge effort by pushback that the tobacco companies, through a whole series of fake science and incredible amounts of ads that basically tried to associate if you were male, that if you smoked, you'd have a lot of sex type of thing. It was really that crude. It was enormously successful with people in getting them to do things that almost immediately made them sick and often actually killed them.

He's simply wrong empirically. You can see it in US death rates. You can see it in Hell, I'm overweight considerably. Americans are enormously overweight because of the way we eat, which has everything to do with how marketing works in the United States, and it's actually gotten so bad that it's reducing life expectancy in a number of groups in America. That's how incredibly effective predatory practices are in rigging the system. That's again, two Nobel Laureates in economics have recently written about this. George Akerlof and Shiller, both Nobel Laureates in economics, have written about this predation in a book for a general audience. It's called Phishing with a P-H.

GREG WILPERT: I want to turn to the last point that Weiner makes about cynicism. He says that calling the system rigged is actually a form of cynicism. And that cynicism, the belief that everything and everyone is bad or corrupt avoids real political arguments because it tires everyone you disagree with as being a part of that corruption. Would you say, is the belief that the system is rigged a form of cynicism? And if it is, wouldn't Weiner be right that cynicism avoids political debate?

BILL BLACK: He creates a straw man. No one has said that everything and everyone is corrupt. No one has said that if you disagree with me, you are automatically corrupt. What they have given in considerable detail, like I gave as the first example, was here is exactly how the system is rigged. Here are the empirical results of that rigging. This produces vast transfers of wealth to the powerful and wealthy, and it comes at the expense of nearly everybody else. That is factual and that needs to be said. It needs to be said that politicians that support this, and Weiner explicitly does that, says, we need to go back to a system that is more openly corrupt and that if we have that system, the world will be better. That has no empirical basis. It's exactly the opposite. Corruption kills. Corruption ruins economies.

The last thing in the world you want to do is what Weiner calls for, which he says, "We've got to stop applying morality to this form of crime." In essence, he is channeling the godfather. "Tell the Don it wasn't personal. It was just business." There's nothing really immoral in his view about bribing people. I'm sorry. I'm a Midwesterner. It wasn't cynicism. It was morality. He says you can't compromise with corruption. I hope not. Compromising with corruption is precisely why we're in this situation where growth rates have been cut in half, why wage growth has been cut by four-fifths, why blacks and Latinos during the great financial crisis lost 60% to 80% of their wealth in college-educated households. That's why 70% of the public is increasingly woke on this subject.

GREG WILPERT: Well, we're going to leave it there. I was speaking to Bill Black, associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Thanks again, Bill, for having joined us today.

BILL BLACK: Thank you.

GREG WILPERT: And thank you for joining The Real News Network.

fdr-fan , August 31, 2019 at 2:13 am

Well, Sanders certainly knows that elections are rigged. But he's not quite right when he says that money does the rigging. It would be more accurate to say that powerful people are powerful because they're criminals, and they're rich because they're criminals.

Money is a side effect, not the driver. Specific example: Hillary and Bernie are in the same category of net worth, but Bernie isn't powerful. The difference is that Bernie ISN'T willing to commit murder and blackmail to gain power.

Lambert Strether , August 31, 2019 at 3:31 am

> Hillary and Bernie are in the same category of net worth

Clinton's net worth (says Google) is $45 million; Sanders $2.5 million. So, an order of magnitude difference. I guess that puts Sanders in the 1% category, but Clinton is much closer to the 0.1% category than Sanders.

Steve H. , August 31, 2019 at 6:57 am

There's also a billion-dollar foundation in the mix.

We had our choice of two New York billionaires in the last presidential election. How is this not accounted for? It's like the bond market, the sheer weight carries its own momentum.

Very similar to CEO's. I may not own a private jet, but if the company does, and I control the company, I have the benefit of a private jet. I don't need to own the penthouse to live in it.

Bugs Bunny , August 31, 2019 at 4:18 am

I despise HRC as well but those kinds of accusations would need some real evidence to back them up. Not a helpful comment.

Sorry, but I had to call that out.

Ian Perkins , August 31, 2019 at 10:26 am

"We came, we saw, he died. Tee hee hee!"
"Did it have anything to do with your visit?"
"I'm sure it did."
From a non-legal perspective at least, that makes her an accessory to murder, doesn't it?

Oh , August 31, 2019 at 10:18 am

"Money talks and everything else walks". Don't kid yourself; money is the driver.

Susan the other` , August 31, 2019 at 11:38 am

there's a solution for that

Leroy , August 31, 2019 at 11:53 am

Perhaps you can elaborate on the "murder and blackmail" Mr. Trump !!

vlade , August 31, 2019 at 2:15 am

In the treaser, it says "prevents evidence", I don't think Bill would do that :)

Off The Street , August 31, 2019 at 10:45 am

Treaser -- > Treason
+1

Tyronius , August 31, 2019 at 2:57 am

Is it fair to say the entire system is rigged when enough interconnected parts of it are rigged that no matter where one turns, one finds evidence of corruption? Because like it or not, that's where we are as a country.

Spoofs desu , August 31, 2019 at 7:15 am

Indeed well said

Susan the other` , August 31, 2019 at 11:42 am

Yes. And it is also fair to say, and has been said by lots of cynics over the centuries, that both democracy and capitalism sow the seeds of their own destruction.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , August 31, 2019 at 3:44 am

Burns me to see yet another "water is not wet" argument being foisted by the NYT, hard to imagine another reason the editorial board pushed for this line *except* to protect the current corrupt one percenters who call their shots. Once Liz The Marionette gets appointed we might get some fluff but the rot will persist, eventually rot becomes putrefaction and the polity dies. Gore Vidal called America and Christianity "death cults".

Oh , August 31, 2019 at 10:21 am

Apt description of Liz.
"I'm a marionette, I'm a marionette, just pull the string" – ABBA

Bugs Bunny , August 31, 2019 at 4:23 am

Another instance where the top comments "Reader Picks" in a NYT op-ed are much more astute than the NYT picks

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/25/opinion/trump-warren-sanders-corruption.html#commentsContainer

People get it.

inode_buddha , August 31, 2019 at 8:28 am

"Due to technical difficulties, comments are unavailable"

Pisses me off that I gave the propaganda rag of note a click and didn't even get the joy of the comments section. I'm sure there's some cynical reason why

Ian Perkins , August 31, 2019 at 10:28 am

I got there first time. No doubt some cynical reason

Barbara , August 31, 2019 at 10:56 am

NYT PicksReader PicksAll

Ronald Weinstein commented August 26

Ronald Weinstein
New YorkAug. 26
Times Pick

Shallow cynicism vs profound naivete. I don't know what to chose.
57 Recommend

Jeff W , August 31, 2019 at 11:41 am

People do get it. That struck me, too.

The other thing is that the NYT runs this pretty indefensible piece by a guy who is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Just how often does NYT -- whose goal, according to its executive editor, "should be to understand different views" -- run a piece from anyone who is leftwing? What's the ratio of pro-establishment, pro-Washington consensus pieces to those that are not? Glenn Greenwald points out that the political spectrum at the NYT op-ed page "spans the small gap from establishment centrist Democrats to establishment centrist Republicans." That, in itself, is consistent with the premise that the system is, indeed, rigged.

Spoofs desu , August 31, 2019 at 7:09 am

I think we have to drill down another level and ask ourselves a more fundamental question "why is cynicism necessarily bad to begin with?" Black's response of parsing to individual systems as being corrupt is playing into the NYT authors trap, sort to speak.

This NYT article is another version of the seemingly obligatory attribute of the american character; we must ultimately be optimistic and have hope. Why is that useful? Or maybe more importantly, to whom is that useful? What is the point?

In my mind (and many a philosopher), cynicism is a very healthy, empowering response to a world whose institutional configuration is such that it will to fuck you over whenever it is expedient to do so.

Furthermore, the act of voting lends legitimacy to an institution that is clearly not legitimate. The institution is very obviously very corrupt. If you really want to change the "system" stop giving it legitimacy; i.e. be cynical, don't vote. The whole thing is a ruse. Boycott it .

Some may say, in a desperate attempt to avoid being cynical, "well, the national level is corrupt but we need to increase engagement at the community level via local elections ", or something like that. This is nothing more than rearranging the chairs on the deck of the titanic. And collecting signature isn't going to help anymore than handing out buckets on the titanic would.

So, to answer my own rhetorical question above, "to whom is it useful to not be cynical?" It is useful to those who want things to continue as they currently are.

So, be cynical. Don't vote. It is an empowering and healthy way to kinda say "fuck you" to the corrupt and not become corrupted yourself by legitimizing it. The best part about it is that you don't have to do anything.

Viva la paz (Hows that for a non cynical salutation?)

jrs , August 31, 2019 at 11:29 am

Uh this sounds like the ultimate allowing things to continue as they currently are, do you really imagine the powers that be are concerned about a low voting rate, and we have one, they don't care, they may even like it that way. Do you really imagine they care about some phantom like perceived legitimacy? Where is the evidence of that?

kiwi , August 31, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Politicians do care about staying in office and will respond on some issues that will cost them enough votes to get booted from office. But it has to be those particular issues in their own backyard; otherwise, they just kind of limp along with the lip service collecting their paychecks.

IMO, it is sheer idiocy to not vote. If you are a voter, politicians will pay some attention to you at least. If you don't vote, you don't even exist to them.

inode_buddha , August 31, 2019 at 7:37 am

"I don't think it should be legal at ALL to become a corporate lobbyist if you've served in Congress," said Ocasio-Cortez. "At minimum there should be a long wait period."
"If you are a member of Congress + leave, you shouldn't be allowed to turn right around&leverage your service for a lobbyist check.
I don't think it should be legal at ALL to become a corporate lobbyist if you've served in Congress."

–AOC, as reported by NakedCapitalism on May 31, 2019

Which is worse - bankers or terrorists , August 31, 2019 at 11:45 am

I bet she opens up her lobbying shop in December 2020.

inode_buddha , August 31, 2019 at 7:52 am

It isn't cynical if it is real. Truth is the absolute defense.

Bugs Bunny , August 31, 2019 at 7:58 am

A shrink friend once said "cynicism is the most logical reaction to despair".

Off The Street , August 31, 2019 at 10:52 am

I try to be despairing, but I can't keep up.
Attributed to a generation or two after Lily Tomlin's quote about cynicism.

Out of curiosity, would it be cynical to question that political scientist's grant funding or other sources of income? These days, I feel inclined to look at what I'll call the Sinclair Rule* , added to Betteridge's, Godwin's and all those other, ahem, modifications to what used to be an expectation that communication was more or less honest.

* Sinclair Rule, where you add a interpretive filter based on Upton's famous quote: It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

jrs , August 31, 2019 at 11:43 am

It's good to look at funding sources. But it's kind of a slander to those who must work for a living when assuming it's paychecks (which we need to live in this system) that corrupt people.

If it's applied to the average working person, maybe it's often true, maybe it has a tendency to push in that direction, but if you think there are no workers that realize the industry they are working in might be destructive, that they may be exploited by such systems but have little choice etc. etc., come now there are working people who are politically aware and do see a larger picture, they just don't have a lot of power to change it much of the time. Does the average working person's salary depend on his not understanding though? No, of course not, it merely depends on him obeying. And obeying enough to keep a job, not always understanding, is what a paycheck buys.

timbers , August 31, 2019 at 7:57 am

With all the evidence of everyday life (airplanes, drug prices, health insurance, Wall Street, CEO pay, the workforce changes in the past 20 years if you've been working those years etc) this Greg better be careful as he might be seen as a Witch to be hanged and burned in Salem, Ma a few hundred years ago.

It's cynical to say it's cynical to believe the system is corrupt.

Greg Weiner is cynic, and his is using his cynicism to dismiss the political arguments of people he disagrees with.

MyMoneysNotGreenAnymore , August 31, 2019 at 8:17 am

And just this week, I found out I couldn't even buy a car unless I'd be willing to sign a mandatory binding arbitration agreement. I was ready to pay and sign all the paperwork, and they lay a document in front of me that reserves for the dealer the right to seek any remedy against me if I harm the dealer (pay with bad check, become delinquent on loan, fail to provide clean title on my trade); but forces me to accept mandatory binding arbitration, with damages limited to the value of the car, for anything the dealer might do wrong.

It is not cynical at all when even car dealers now want a permission slip for any harm they might do to me.

Donald , August 31, 2019 at 8:24 am

Three words -- climate change denial.

Okay, a few more. We are literally facing the possibility of a mass extinction in large part because of dishonesty on the par of oil companies, politicians, and people paid to make bad arguments.

Donald , August 31, 2019 at 8:35 am

A few more words

"Saddam Hussein has WMD's."

"Assad (and by implication Assad's forces alone) killed 500,000 Syrians."

"Israel is just defending itself."

I can't squeeze the dishonesty about the war in Yemen into a short slogan, but I know from personal experience that getting liberals to care when it was Obama's war was virtually impossible. Even under Trump it was hard, until Khashoggi's murder. On the part of politicians and think tanks this was corruption by Saudi money. With ordinary people it was the usual partisan tribal hypocrisy.

dearieme , August 31, 2019 at 11:11 am

Two words: Goebbels Warming.

pretzelattack , August 31, 2019 at 12:36 pm

a lot of gibberish in those 2 words, dearie. are you going to grace us with your keen scientific insights on the issue?

jfleni , August 31, 2019 at 8:30 am

Conclusion: Even before they dress in the AM, they S C R E A M,
G I M M E!!

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell , August 31, 2019 at 8:45 am

The motivator is " Gap Psychology ," the human desire to distance oneself from those below (on any scale), and to come nearer to those above.

The rich are rich because the Gap below them is wide, and the wider the Gap, the richer they are .

And here is the important point: There are two ways the rich widen the Gap: Either gain more for themselves or make sure those below have less.

That is why the rich promulgate the Big Lie that the federal government (and its agencies, Social Security and Medicare) is running short of dollars. The rich want to make sure that those below them don't gain more, as that would narrow the Gap.

Off The Street , August 31, 2019 at 10:56 am

Negative sum game, where one wins but the other has to lose more so the party of the first part feels even better about winning. There is an element of sadism, sociopathy and a few other behaviors that the current systems allow to be gamed even more profitably. If you build it, or lobby to have it built, they will come multiple times.

The Rev Kev , August 31, 2019 at 9:07 am

A successful society should be responsive to both threats and opportunities. Any major problems to that society are assessed and changes are made, usually begrudgingly, to adapt to the new situation. And this is where corruption comes into it. It short circuits the signals that a society receives so that it ignores serious threats and elevates ones that are relatively minor but which benefit a small segment of that society. If you want an example of this at work, back in 2016 you had about 40,000 Americans dying to opioids each and every year which was considered only a background issue. But a major issue about that time was who gets to use what toilets. Seriously. If it gets bad enough, a society gets overwhelmed by the problems that were ignored or were deferred to a later time. And I regret to say that the UK is going to learn this lesson in spades.

Ian Perkins , August 31, 2019 at 10:37 am

'Sanders has said that we live in a "corrupt political system designed to protect the wealthy and the powerful." Warren said it's a "rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else."'
Yet the rest of the article focuses almost entirely on internal US shenanigans. When it comes to protecting wealth and power, George Kennan hit the nail on the head in 1948, with "we have about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3 of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships, which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity." This, which has underpinned US policy ever since, may not be corrupt in the sense of illegal, but it certainly seems corrupt in the sense of morally repugnant to me.

dearieme , August 31, 2019 at 11:16 am

Warren said it's a "rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else."

Is she referring to the system of race privilege that she exploited by making a false claim to be a Cherokee, or some other rigged system?

Still, compared to some of the gangsters who have been president I suppose she's been pretty small time in her nefarious activities. So far as I know.

Susan the other` , August 31, 2019 at 12:07 pm

About Kennan's comment. That's interesting because no one questioned the word "wealth". Even tho' we had only 6.3% of the world's population we had 50% of the wealth. The point of that comment had to be that we should "spread the wealth" and we did do just that. Until we polluted the entire planet. I'd like some MMT person to take a long look at that attitude because it is so simplistic. And not like George Kennan at all who was sophisticated to the bone. But that's just more proof of a bred-in-the-bone ignorance about what money really is. In this case Kennan was talking about money, not wealth. He never asked Nepal for advice on gross national happiness, etc. Nor did he calculate the enormous debt burden we would incur for our unregulated use and abuse of the environment. That debt most certainly offsets any "wealth" that happened.

shinola , August 31, 2019 at 11:09 am

Approaching from the opposite direction, if someone were to say "I sincerely believe that the USA has the most open & honest political system and the fairest economic system in human history" would you not think that person to be incredibly naive (or, cynically, a liar)?

There has been, for at least the last couple of decades. a determined effort to do away with corruption – by defining it away. "Citizens United" is perhaps the most glaring example but the effort is ongoing; that Weiner op-ed is a good current example.

jef , August 31, 2019 at 11:34 am

What is cynical is everyone's response when point out that the system is corrupt. They all say " always has been, always will be so just deal with it ".

Susan the other` , August 31, 2019 at 12:14 pm

Strawmannirg has got to be the most cynical behavior in the world. Weiner is the cynic. I think Liz's "the system is rigged " comment invites discussion. It is not a closed door at all. It is a plea for good capitalism. Which most people assume is possible. It's time to define just what kind of capitalism will work and what it needs to continue to be, or finally become, a useful economic ideology. High time.

Susan the other` , August 31, 2019 at 12:25 pm

Another thing. Look how irrational the world, which is now awash in money, has become over lack of liquidity. There's a big push now to achieve an optimum flow of money by speeding up transaction time. The Fed is in the midst of designing a new real-time digital payments system. A speedy accounting and record of everything. Which sounds like a very good idea.

But the predators are busy keeping pace – witness the frantic grab by Facebook with Libra. Libra is cynical. To say the least. The whole thing a few days ago on the design of Libra was frightening because Libra has not slowed down; it has filed it's private corporation papers in Switzerland and is working toward a goal of becoming a private currency – backed by sovereign money no less! Twisted. So there's a good discussion begging to be heard: The legitimate Federal Reserve v. Libra. The reason we are not having this discussion is because the elite are hard-core cynics.

[Aug 21, 2019] Solomon If Trump Declassifies These 10 Documents, Democrats Are Doomed

Highly recommended!
They are afraid to admin that a color revolution was launched to depose Trump after the elections of 2016. Essentially a coup d'état by intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of Democratic Party.
Notable quotes:
"... The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I'm told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA. ..."
"... The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources . ..."
"... Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes' five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. ..."
"... The 'Gang of Eight' briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. ..."
"... The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. ..."
"... The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ's inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton's opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump ..."
"... The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller 's probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I'm told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump's orbit. ..."
"... Records of allies' assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. ..."
"... Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments that "the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed." ..."
Aug 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As the Russiagate circus attempts to quietly disappear over the horizon, with Democrats preferring to shift the anti-Trump narrative back to "racist", "white supremacist", "xenophobe", and the mainstream media ready to squawk "recession"; the Trump administration may have a few more cards up its sleeve before anyone claims the higher ground in this farce we call an election campaign.

As The Hill's John Solomon details, in September 2018 that President Trump told my Hill.TV colleague Buck Sexton and me that he would order the release of all classified documents showing what the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other U.S. intelligence agencies may have done wrong in the Russia probe.

And while it's been almost a year since then, of feet-dragging and cajoling and deep-state-fighting, we wonder, given Solomon's revelations below, if the president is getting ready to play his 'Trump' card.

Here are the documents that Solomon believes have the greatest chance of rocking Washington, if declassified:

1.) Christopher Steele 's confidential human source reports at the FBI. These documents, known in bureau parlance as 1023 reports, show exactly what transpired each time Steele and his FBI handlers met in the summer and fall of 2016 to discuss his anti-Trump dossier. The big reveal, my sources say, could be the first evidence that the FBI shared sensitive information with Steele, such as the existence of the classified Crossfire Hurricane operation targeting the Trump campaign. It would be a huge discovery if the FBI fed Trump-Russia intel to Steele in the midst of an election, especially when his ultimate opposition-research client was Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The FBI has released only one or two of these reports under FOIA lawsuits and they were 100 percent redacted. The American public deserves better.

2.) The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I'm told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA.

3.) The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources . We know for sure that one or both had contact with targeted Trump aides like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos at the end of the election. My sources tell me there may be other documents showing Halper continued working his way to the top of Trump's transition and administration, eventually reaching senior advisers like Peter Navarro inside the White House in summer 2017. These documents would show what intelligence agencies worked with Halper, who directed his activity, how much he was paid and how long his contacts with Trump officials were directed by the U.S. government's Russia probe.

4.) The October 2016 FBI email chain. This is a key document identified by Rep. Nunes and his investigators. My sources say it will show exactly what concerns the FBI knew about and discussed with DOJ about using Steele's dossier and other evidence to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in October 2016. If those concerns weren't shared with FISA judges who approved the warrant, there could be major repercussions.

5.) Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes' five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. If he made that statement with the FBI monitoring, and it was not disclosed to the FISA court, it could be another case of FBI or DOJ misconduct.

6.) The 'Gang of Eight' briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. Of all the documents congressional leaders were shown, this is most frequently cited to me in private as having changed the minds of lawmakers who weren't initially convinced of FISA abuses or FBI irregularities.

7.) The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. Given Steele's own effort to leak intel in his dossier to the media before Election Day, the public deserves to see the FBI's final analysis of his credibility. A document I reviewed recently showed the FBI described Steele's information as only "minimally corroborated" and the bureau's confidence in him as "medium."

8.) The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ's inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton's opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump , had a political deadline to make his dirt public, was working for the DNC/Clinton campaign and was leaking to the news media. If he told that to the FBI and it wasn't disclosed to the FISA court, there could be serious repercussions.

9.) The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller 's probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I'm told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump's orbit.

10.) Records of allies' assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. Members of Congress have searched recently for some key contact documents with British intelligence . My sources say these documents might help explain Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments that "the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed."

These documents, when declassified, would show more completely how a routine counterintelligence probe was hijacked to turn the most awesome spy powers in America against a presidential nominee in what was essentially a political dirty trick orchestrated by Democrats.


rahrog , 2 minutes ago link

America's Ruling Class is laughing at all you fools still falling for the Rs v Ds scam.

Stupid people lose.

LibertyVibe , 3 minutes ago link

I disagree with Solomon. Nothing will "doom" the swamp unless the righteous few are willing to indict, prosecute and carry out sentencing for the guilty. Exposing the guilty accomplishes nothing, because anyone paying attention already knows of their crimes. Those who want to believe lies will still believe them after the truth comes out.
It's ALL A WASTE OF TIME unless we follow through.

#TheDailyNews #DrainTheSwamp

Lord Raglan , 5 minutes ago link

Where's all the other, earlier docs Trump was going to declassify? Just wondering..............

TheFQ , 16 minutes ago link

Does anyone see a pattern here after the 2009 Tea Party movement began?

2009 - Republicans: "If we win back the House, we can accomplish our agenda."

2011 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House)

2012 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS After winning back the House)

2013 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 1 YEAR after winning back the House and the Senate)

2014 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2015 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 3 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2016 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 4 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2017 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 6 YEARS AGO and the Senate 4 YEARS AGO)

2018 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 7 YEARS AGO and the Senate 5 YEARS AGO)

2019 - John Solomon - "If Trump Declassifies These 10 Documents, Democrats Are Doomed"

I hate to say it, but I DON'T BELIEVE YOU, JOHN.

ALL WE HAVE HEARD OVER THE COURSE OF THIS DECADE IS "IF THIS HAPPENS...THEN THEY ARE DOOMED / WE CAN ACCOMPLISH OUR AGENDA / YADDA YADDA YADDA.

WHEN THE FOLLOWING ARE FOUND GUILTY OF TREASON, THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL I BELIEVE YOU:

WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?

WTF?

FFS...

benb , 12 minutes ago link

WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?

Because the people doing the indicting are in on it.

enfield0916 , 36 minutes ago link

As if there's any major philosophical difference between the Librtads and Zionist Cocksuckvatives.

Both sides use the .gov agencies to subvert and ignore the Constitution whenever possible. Best example is WikiLeaks and how each party wished Assange would just go away when he revealed damaging information about both sides on multiple occasions.

[Aug 20, 2019] Trump Promised Massive Infrastructure Projects -- Instead We ve Gotten Nothing>

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... So far, that wager has netted Americans nothing. No money. No deal. No bridges, roads or leadless water pipes. And there's nothing on the horizon since Trump stormed out of the most recent meeting. That was a three-minute session in May with Democratic leaders at which Trump was supposed to discuss the $2 trillion he had proposed earlier to spend on infrastructure. In a press conference immediately afterward, Trump said if the Democrats continued to investigate him, he would refuse to keep his promises to the American people to repair the nation's infrastructure. ..."
"... Candidate Donald Trump knew it was no joke. On the campaign trail, he said U.S. infrastructure was "a mess" and no better than that of a "third-world country. " When an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia in 2015, killing eight and injuring about 200 , he tweeted , "Our roads, airports, tunnels, bridges, electric grid -- all falling apart." Later, he tweeted , "The only one to fix the infrastructure of our country is me." ..."
"... Donald Trump promised to make America great again. And that wouldn't be possible if America's rail system, locks, dams and pipelines -- that is, its vital organs -- were "a mess." Trump signed what he described as a contract with American voters to deliver an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his administration. ..."
"... He mocked his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton's proposal to spend $275 billion. "Her number is a fraction of what we're talking about. We need much more money to rebuild our infrastructure," he told Fox News in 2016 . "I would say at least double her numbers, and you're going to really need a lot more than that." ..."
"... In August of 2016, he promised , "We will build the next generation of roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, seaports and airports that our country deserves. American cars will travel the roads, American planes will connect our cities, and American ships will patrol the seas. American steel will send new skyscrapers soaring. We will put new American metal into the spine of this nation." ..."
"... That contract Trump signed with American voters to produce an infrastructure plan in the first 100 days: worthless. It never happened. He gave Americans an Infrastructure Week in June of 2017, though, and at just about the 100-day mark, predicted infrastructure spending would "take off like a rocket ship." Two more Infrastructure Weeks followed in the next two years, but no money. ..."
"... This year, by which time the words Infrastructure Week had become a synonym for promises not kept, Trump met on April 30 with top Democratic leaders and recommended a $2 trillion infrastructure investment. Democrats praised Trump afterward for taking the challenge seriously and for agreeing to find the money. ..."
"... Almost immediately, Trump began complaining that Democrats were trying to hoodwink him into raising taxes to pay for the $2 trillion he had offered to spend. ..."
"... Trump and the Republicans relinquished one way to pay for infrastructure when they passed a tax cut for the rich and corporations in December of 2017. As a result, the rich and corporations pocketed hundreds of billions -- $1 trillion over 10 years -- and Trump doesn't have that money to invest in infrastructure. Corporations spent their tax break money on stock buybacks, further enriching the already rich. They didn't invest in American manufacturing or worker training or wage increases. ..."
"... I have seen this movie before. A State builds a highway, it then leases that highway to a corporation for a bucket of cash which it uses to bribe the electorate to win the next election or two. The corporation shoves brand new toll booths on the highway charging sky high rates which puts a crimp in local economic activity. After the lease is up after twenty years, the State gets to take over the highway again to find that the corporation cut back on maintenance so that the whole highway has to be rebuilt again. Rinse and repeat. ..."
"... Promises by any narcissist mean nothing. You cannot hang your hat on any word that Trump speaks, because it's not about you or anyone else, but about him and only him. ..."
"... Here is a heads up. If any infrastructure is done it will be airports. The elite fly and couldn't give a crap about the suspension and wheel destroying potholes we have to slalom around every day. They also don't care that the great unwashed waste thousands of hours stuck in traffic when a bridge is closed or collapses. ..."
Jul 26, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. In a bit of synchronicity, when a reader was graciously driving me to the Department of Motor Vehicles (a schlepp in the wilds of Shelby County), she mentioned she'd heard local media reports that trucks had had their weight limits lowered due to concern that some overpasses might not be able to handle the loads. Of course, a big reason infrastructure spending has plunged in the US is that it's become an excuse for "public-private partnerships," aka looting, when those deals take longer to get done and produce bad results so often that locals can sometimes block them.

By Tom Conway, the international president of the United Steelworkers Union (USW) . Produced by the Independent Media Institute

Bad news about infrastructure is as ubiquitous as potholes. Failures in a 108-year-old railroad bridge and tunnel cost New York commuters thousands of hours in delays. Illinois doesn't regularly inspect , let alone fix, decaying bridges. Flooding in Nebraska caused nearly half a billion dollars in road and bridge damage -- just this year.

No problem, though. President Donald Trump promised to fix all this. The great dealmaker, the builder of eponymous buildings, the star of "The Apprentice," Donald Trump, during his campaign, urged Americans to bet on him because he'd double what his opponent would spend on infrastructure. Double, he pledged!

So far, that wager has netted Americans nothing. No money. No deal. No bridges, roads or leadless water pipes. And there's nothing on the horizon since Trump stormed out of the most recent meeting. That was a three-minute session in May with Democratic leaders at which Trump was supposed to discuss the $2 trillion he had proposed earlier to spend on infrastructure. In a press conference immediately afterward, Trump said if the Democrats continued to investigate him, he would refuse to keep his promises to the American people to repair the nation's infrastructure.

The comedian Stephen Colbert described the situation best, saying Trump told the Democrats: "It's my way or no highways."

The situation, however, is no joke. Just ask the New York rail commuters held up for more than 2,000 hours over the past four years by bridge and tunnel breakdowns. Just ask the American Society of Civil Engineers , which gave the nation a D+ grade for infrastructure and estimated that if more than $1 trillion is not added to currently anticipated spending on infrastructure, "the economy is expected to lose almost $4 trillion in GDP , resulting in a loss of 2.5 million jobs in 2025."

Candidate Donald Trump knew it was no joke. On the campaign trail, he said U.S. infrastructure was "a mess" and no better than that of a "third-world country. " When an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia in 2015, killing eight and injuring about 200 , he tweeted , "Our roads, airports, tunnels, bridges, electric grid -- all falling apart." Later, he tweeted , "The only one to fix the infrastructure of our country is me."

Donald Trump promised to make America great again. And that wouldn't be possible if America's rail system, locks, dams and pipelines -- that is, its vital organs -- were "a mess." Trump signed what he described as a contract with American voters to deliver an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his administration.

He mocked his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton's proposal to spend $275 billion. "Her number is a fraction of what we're talking about. We need much more money to rebuild our infrastructure," he told Fox News in 2016 . "I would say at least double her numbers, and you're going to really need a lot more than that."

In August of 2016, he promised , "We will build the next generation of roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, seaports and airports that our country deserves. American cars will travel the roads, American planes will connect our cities, and American ships will patrol the seas. American steel will send new skyscrapers soaring. We will put new American metal into the spine of this nation."

In his victory speech and both of his State of the Union addresses, he pledged again to be the master of infrastructure. "We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, school, hospitals. And we will put millions of our people to work," he said the night he won.

That sounds excellent. That's exactly what 75 percent of respondents to a Gallup poll said they wanted. That would create millions of family-supporting jobs making the steel, aluminum, concrete, pipes and construction vehicles necessary to accomplish infrastructure repair. That would stimulate the economy in ways that benefit the middle class and those who are struggling.

That contract Trump signed with American voters to produce an infrastructure plan in the first 100 days: worthless. It never happened. He gave Americans an Infrastructure Week in June of 2017, though, and at just about the 100-day mark, predicted infrastructure spending would "take off like a rocket ship." Two more Infrastructure Weeks followed in the next two years, but no money.

Trump finally announced a plan in February of 2018 , at a little over the 365-day mark, to spend $1.5 trillion on infrastructure. It went nowhere because it managed to annoy both Democrats and Republicans.

It was to be funded by only $200 billion in federal dollars -- less than what Hillary Clinton proposed. The rest was to come from state and local governments and from foreign money interests and the private sector. Basically, the idea was to hand over to hedge fund managers the roads and bridges and pipelines originally built, owned and maintained by Americans. The fat cats at the hedge funds would pay for repairs but then toll the assets in perpetuity. Nobody liked it.

That was last year. This year, by which time the words Infrastructure Week had become a synonym for promises not kept, Trump met on April 30 with top Democratic leaders and recommended a $2 trillion infrastructure investment. Democrats praised Trump afterward for taking the challenge seriously and for agreeing to find the money.

"It couldn't have gone any better," Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal , D-Mass., told the Washington Post, even though Neal was investigating Trump for possible tax fraud.

Almost immediately, Trump began complaining that Democrats were trying to hoodwink him into raising taxes to pay for the $2 trillion he had offered to spend.

Trump and the Republicans relinquished one way to pay for infrastructure when they passed a tax cut for the rich and corporations in December of 2017. As a result, the rich and corporations pocketed hundreds of billions -- $1 trillion over 10 years -- and Trump doesn't have that money to invest in infrastructure. Corporations spent their tax break money on stock buybacks, further enriching the already rich. They didn't invest in American manufacturing or worker training or wage increases.

Three weeks after the April 30 meeting, Trump snubbed Democrats who returned to the White House hoping the president had found a way to keep his promise to raise $2 trillion for infrastructure. Trump dismissed them like naughty schoolchildren. He told them he wouldn't countenance Democrats simultaneously investigating him and bargaining with him -- even though Democrats were investigating him at the time of the April meeting and one of the investigators -- Neal -- had attended.

Promise not kept again.

Trump's reelection motto, Keep America Great, doesn't work for infrastructure. It's still a mess. It's the third year of his presidency, and he has done nothing about it. Apparently, he's saving this pledge for his next term.

In May, he promised Louisianans a new bridge over Interstate 10 -- only if he is reelected. He said the administration would have it ready to go on "day one, right after the election." Just like he said he'd produce an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his first term.

He's doubling down on the infrastructure promises. His win would mean Americans get nothing again.

Arizona Slim , July 26, 2019 at 6:26 am

Paging Bernie Sanders: You need to be all over this Trump-fail. And sooner, rather than later.

The Rev Kev , July 26, 2019 at 6:40 am

The whole thing seems so stupid. The desperate need is there, the people are there to do the work, the money spent into the infrastructure would give a major boost to the real economy, the completed infrastructure would give the real economy a boost for years & decades to come – it is win-win right across the board. But the whole thing is stalled because the whole deal can't be rigged to give a bunch of hedge fund managers control of that infrastructure afterwards. If it did, the constant rents that Americans would have to pay to use this infrastructure would bleed the economy for decades to come.

I have seen this movie before. A State builds a highway, it then leases that highway to a corporation for a bucket of cash which it uses to bribe the electorate to win the next election or two. The corporation shoves brand new toll booths on the highway charging sky high rates which puts a crimp in local economic activity. After the lease is up after twenty years, the State gets to take over the highway again to find that the corporation cut back on maintenance so that the whole highway has to be rebuilt again. Rinse and repeat.

When President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act in 1956, can you imagine how history would have gone if they had been handed over to a bunch of corporations who would have built toll booths over the whole network? Would have done wonders for the American economy I bet.

Wukchumni , July 26, 2019 at 6:48 am

One of the things discussed at our town hall meeting the other night, was a much needed $481k public bathroom, and that was the low bid.

It has to be ADA compliant with ramps, etc.

$48,100 seems like it'd be plenty to get 'r done, as you can build a house with a couple of bathrooms, and a few bedrooms, a kitchen and living room for maybe $200k.

Ignacio , July 26, 2019 at 8:58 am

And if toll revenues don't come as high as expected, mother state will come to the rescue of those poor fund managers. I find it amazing that Trump uses the stupid Russia, Russia, Russia! fixation of democrats as an excuse to do nothing about infrastructure. Does this work with his electorate?

cnchal , July 26, 2019 at 7:09 am

Tom, grow up.

Promises by any narcissist mean nothing. You cannot hang your hat on any word that Trump speaks, because it's not about you or anyone else, but about him and only him.

Here is a heads up. If any infrastructure is done it will be airports. The elite fly and couldn't give a crap about the suspension and wheel destroying potholes we have to slalom around every day. They also don't care that the great unwashed waste thousands of hours stuck in traffic when a bridge is closed or collapses.

Carla , July 26, 2019 at 7:47 am

Well, fix the airports and you've still got Boeing, self-destructing as fast as it can. And Airbus can't fill all the orders no matter how hard it tries. Guess everybody will just have to . stay home.

WheresOurTeddy , July 26, 2019 at 7:16 am

Are all the coal jobs back? How about the manufacturing? NAFTA been repealed and replaced with something better yet? How's the wall coming and has Mexico sent the check yet? Soldiers back from Afghanistan/Iraq/Syria yet?

Got that tax cut for rich people and a ton of conservative judges through though, didn't he?

Katniss Everdeen , July 26, 2019 at 8:17 am

"It couldn't have gone any better," Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., told the Washington Post, even though Neal was investigating Trump for possible tax fraud.

What a surprise. It's simply "amazing" that the insane status quo jihad that has been waged against Trump since he announced his candidacy had real consequences for the country. Who would have thought that calling ANY president ignorant, ugly, fat, a liar, a traitor, a cheater, an agent of Putin, a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobe, a bigot, an isolationist and an illegitimate occupant of the White House 24/7 since he or she won the election would make actual accomplishment nearly impossible.

The mere mention of his name on college campuses has even been legitimized as a fear-inducing, "safety"-threatening "microagression."

It's just so rich that having determined to prevent Trump from doing absolutely anything he promised during the campaign by any and all means, regardless of what the promise was or how beneficial it may have been, his numerous, bilious "critics" now have the gonads to accuse him of not getting anything done.

With all due respect to the author of this piece, the result he laments was exactly the point of this relentless nightmare of Trump derangement to which the nation has been subjected for three years. I tend to think that the specific promise most targeted for destruction was his criticism of NATO and "infrastructure" was collateral damage, but that's neither here nor there.

The washington status quo has succeeded in its mission to cripple a president it could not defeat electorally, and now tries to blame him for their success. Cutting off your nose to spite your face has always been a counterproductive strategy.

[Aug 12, 2019] New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has called Epstein's death "way too convenient."

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "How many other millionaires and billionaires were part of the illegal activities that he was engaged in?" he asked. ..."
Aug 12, 2019 | www.rt.com

"How many other millionaires and billionaires were part of the illegal activities that he was engaged in?" he asked. Even the BBC website has as its heading of a news story today "Jeffrey Epstein: Questions raised over financier's death."

[Jul 30, 2019] The main task of Democratic Party is preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left and killing such social movements

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Besides preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left, the Democrats have been adept at killing social movements altogether. They have done – and continue to do – this in four key ways: ..."
"... i) inducing "progressive" movement activists (e.g. Medea Benjamin of Code Pink and the leaders of Moveon.org and United for Peace and Justice today) to focus scarce resources on electing and defending capitalist politicians who are certain to betray peaceful- and populist-sounding campaign promises upon the attainment of power; ..."
"... (ii) pressuring activists to "rein in their movements, thereby undercutting the potential for struggle from below;" ..."
"... (iii) using material and social (status) incentives to buy off social movement leaders; ..."
"... iv) feeding a pervasive sense of futility regarding activity against the dominant social and political order, with its business party duopoly. ..."
"... It is not broken. It is fixed. Against us. ..."
"... The militarization of US economy and society underscores your scenario. By being part of the war coalition, the Democratic party, as now constituted, doesn't have to win any presidential elections. The purpose of the Democratic party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion. This allows the war machine to grind on and the politicians are paid handsomely for their efforts. ..."
"... By joining the war coalition, the Democrats only have leverage over Republicans if the majority of citizens get "uppity" and start demanding social concessions. Democrats put down the revolt by subterfuge, which is less costly and allows the fiction of American Democracy and freedom to persist for a while longer. Republicans, while preferring more overt methods of repressing the working class, allow the fiction to continue because their support for authoritarian principles can stay hidden in the background. ..."
"... When this political theatre in the US finally reaches its end date, what lies behind the curtain will surely shock most of the population and I have little faith that the citizenry are prepared to deal with the consequences. A society of feckless consumers is little prepared to deal with hard core imperialists who's time has reached its end. ..."
"... This wrath of frustrated Imperialists will be turned upon the citizenry ..."
Jul 30, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

g3 , July 30, 2019 at 4:08 am

Mainstream Dems are performing their role very well. Most likely I am preaching to the choir. But anyways, here is a review of Lance Selfa's book "Democrats: a critical history" by Paul Street :

https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/hope-killers-by-paul-street/

Besides preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left, the Democrats have been adept at killing social movements altogether. They have done – and continue to do – this in four key ways:

i) inducing "progressive" movement activists (e.g. Medea Benjamin of Code Pink and the leaders of Moveon.org and United for Peace and Justice today) to focus scarce resources on electing and defending capitalist politicians who are certain to betray peaceful- and populist-sounding campaign promises upon the attainment of power;

(ii) pressuring activists to "rein in their movements, thereby undercutting the potential for struggle from below;"

(iii) using material and social (status) incentives to buy off social movement leaders;

iv) feeding a pervasive sense of futility regarding activity against the dominant social and political order, with its business party duopoly.

It is not broken. It is fixed. Against us.

Norb , July 30, 2019 at 7:18 am

The militarization of US economy and society underscores your scenario. By being part of the war coalition, the Democratic party, as now constituted, doesn't have to win any presidential elections. The purpose of the Democratic party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion. This allows the war machine to grind on and the politicians are paid handsomely for their efforts.

By joining the war coalition, the Democrats only have leverage over Republicans if the majority of citizens get "uppity" and start demanding social concessions. Democrats put down the revolt by subterfuge, which is less costly and allows the fiction of American Democracy and freedom to persist for a while longer. Republicans, while preferring more overt methods of repressing the working class, allow the fiction to continue because their support for authoritarian principles can stay hidden in the background.

I have little faith in my fellow citizens as the majority are too brainwashed to see the danger of this political theatre. Most ignore politics, while those that do show an interest exercise that effort mainly by supporting whatever faction they belong. Larger issues and connections between current events remain a mystery to them as a result.

Military defeat seems the only means to break this cycle. Democrats, being the fake peaceniks that they are, will be more than happy to defer to their more authoritarian Republican counterparts when dealing with issues concerning war and peace. Look no further than Tulsi Gabbard's treatment in the party. The question is really should the country continue down this Imperialist path.

In one sense, economic recession will be the least of our problems in the future. When this political theatre in the US finally reaches its end date, what lies behind the curtain will surely shock most of the population and I have little faith that the citizenry are prepared to deal with the consequences. A society of feckless consumers is little prepared to deal with hard core imperialists who's time has reached its end.

This wrath of frustrated Imperialists will be turned upon the citizenry.

[Jul 24, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Seeks to Cut Private Equity Down to Size

Highly recommended!
That bill alone makes Warren a viable candidate again, despite all her previous blunders. She is a courageous woman, that Warren. And she might wipe the floor with the completely subservant to Israel lobby Trump. Who betrayed his electorate in all major promises.
Notable quotes:
"... Not only would Warren's legislation prohibit some of the most destructive private equity activities, but it would end their ability to act as traditional asset managers, taking fees and incurring close to no risk if their investments go belly up. The bill takes the explicit and radical view that: ..."
"... Private funds should have a stake in the outcome of their investments, enjoying returns if those investments are successful but ab-1sorbing losses if those investments fail. ..."
"... Critics will say that Warren's bill has no chance of passing, which is currently true but misses the point. ..."
"... firms would share responsibility for the liabilities of companies under their control, including debt, legal judgments, and pension obligations to "better align the incentives of private equity firms and the companies they own." The bill, if enacted, would end the tax subsidy for excessive leverage and closes the carried interest loophole. ..."
"... The bill also seeks to ban dividends to investors for two years after a firm is acquired. Worker pay would be prioritized in the bankruptcy process, with guidelines intended to ensure affected employees are more likely to receive severance pay and pensions. It would also clarify gift cards are consumer deposits, ensuring their priority in bankruptcy proceedings. If enacted, private equity managers will be required to disclose fees, returns, and political expenditures. ..."
"... This is a bold set of proposals that targets abuses that hurt workers and investors. Most readers may not appreciate the significance of the two-year restriction on dividends. One return-goosing strategy that often leaves companies crippled or bankrupt in its wake is the "dividend recap" in which the acquired company takes on yet more debt for the purpose of paying a special dividend to its investors. Another strategy that Appelbaum and Batt have discussed at length is the "op co/prop co." Here the new owners take real estate owned by the company, sell it to a new entity with the former owner leasing it. The leases are typically set high so as to allow for the "prop co" to be sold at a richer price. This strategy is often a direct contributor to the death of businesses, since ones that own their real estate usually do so because they are in cyclical industries, and not having lease payments enables the to ride out bad times. The proceeds of sale of the real estate is usually dividended out to the investors, hence the dividend restriction would also pour cold water on this approach. ..."
"... However, there is precedent in private equity for recognizing joint and several liability of an investment fund for the obligations of its portfolio companies. In a case that winded its way through the federal courts until last year ( Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Indus. Pension Fund ), the federal court held that Sun Capital Partners III was liable under ERISA, the federal pension law, for the unfunded pension obligations of Scott Brass, a portfolio company of that fund. The court's key finding was that Sun Capital played an active management role in Scott Brass and that its claim of passive investor status therefore should not be respected. ..."
"... Needless to say, private equity firms have worked hard to minimize their exposure to the Sun Capital decision, for example by avoiding purchasing companies with defined benefit pension plans. The Warren bill, however, is so broad in the sweep of liability it imposes that PE firms would be unlikely to be able to structure around it. It is hard to imagine the investors in private equity funds accepting liability for what could be enormous sums of unfunded pension liabilities ultimately flowing onto them. Either they would have to set up shell companies to fund their PE investments that could absorb the potential liability, or they would have to give up on the asset class. Either way, it would mean big changes to the industry and potentially a major contraction of it. ..."
"... I am surprised that Warren sought to make private equity funds responsible for the portfolio company debts by "joint and several liability". You can get to economically pretty much the same end by requiring the general partner and potentially also key employees to guarantee the debt and by preventing them from assigning or buying insurance to protect the guarantor from being liable. There is ample precedent for that for entrepreneurs. Small business corporate credit cards and nearly all small business loans require a personal guarantee. ..."
"... Warren's bill also has strong pro-investor provisions. It takes on the biggest feature of the ongoing investor scamming, which is the failure of PE managers to disclose to the investors all of the fees they receive from portfolio companies. The solution proposed by the bill to this problem is exceedingly straightforward, basically proclaiming, "Oh yeah, now you will have to disclose that." The bill also abolishes the ability of private equity managers to claim long term capital gains treatment on the 20 percent of fund profits that they receive, which is unrelated to the return on any capital that the private equity managers may happen to invest in a fund. ..."
"... We need a reparations movement for all those workers harmed by private equity. Seriously. ..."
"... It's so nice to see someone taking steps to protect the rights and compensation of the people actually doing the work at the companies and putting their interests first in case of bankruptcy. That those who worked hardest to make the company succeed were somehow the ones who took it in the shorts the worst has always struck me as a glaring inequity bordering on cruelty. ..."
Jul 23, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Elizabeth Warren's Stop Wall Street Looting Act , which is co-sponsored by Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Mark Pocan and Pramila Jayapal, seeks to fundamentally alter the way private equity firms operate. While the likely impetus for Warren's bill was the spate of private-equity-induced retail bankruptcies, with Toys 'R' Us particularly prominent, the bill addresses all the areas targeted by critics of private equity: how it hurts workers and investors and short-changes the tax man, thus burdening taxpayers generally.

... ... ...

[Jul 15, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Has Made Her Story America's Story

Highly recommended!
Jul 15, 2019 | www.thenation.com

Looks like Warren weakness is her inability to distinguish between key issues and periferal issues.

While her program is good and is the only one that calls for "structural change" (which is really needed as neoliberalism outlived its usefulness) it mixes apple and oranges. One thing is to stop neoliberal transformation of the society and the other is restitution for black slaves. In the latter case why not to Indians ?

I'd argue that Warren's newly tight and coherent story, in which her life's arc tracks the country's, is contributing to her rise, in part because it protects her against other stories -- the nasty ones told by her opponents, first, and then echoed by the media doubters influenced by her opponents. Her big national-stage debut came when she tangled with Barack Obama's administration over bank bailouts, then set up the powerhouse Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). But she was dismissed as too polarizing, even by some Democrats, and was passed over to run it. In 2012, Massachusetts's Scott Brown mocked Warren as "the Professor," a know-it-all Harvard schoolmarm, before she beat him to take his Senate seat. After that, Donald Trump began trashing her as "Pocahontas" in the wake of a controversy on the campaign trail about her mother's rumored Native American roots. And Warren scored an own goal with a video that announced she had "confirmed" her Native heritage with a DNA test, a claim that ignored the brutal history of blood-quantum requirements and genetic pseudoscience in the construction of race.

When she announced her presidential run this year, some national political reporters raised questions about her likability , finding new ways to compare her to Hillary Clinton, another female candidate widely dismissed as unlikable. A month into Warren's campaign, it seemed the media was poised to Clintonize her off the primary stage. But it turned out she had a plan for that, too.

I n the tale that is captivating crowds on the campaign trail, Warren is not a professor or a political star but a hardscrabble Oklahoma "late-in-life baby" or, as her mother called her, "the surprise." Her elder brothers had joined the military; she was the last one at home, just a middle-schooler when her father had the massive heart attack that would cost him his job. "I remember the day we lost the station wagon," she tells crowds, lowering her voice. "I learned the words 'mortgage' and 'foreclosure' " listening to her parents talk when they thought she was asleep, she recalls. One day she walked in on her mother in her bedroom, crying and saying over and over, " 'We are not going to lose this house.' She was 50 years old," Warren adds, "had never worked outside the home, and she was terrified."

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This part of the story has been a Warren staple for years: Her mother put on her best dress and her high heels and walked down to a Sears, where she got a minimum-wage job. Warren got a private lesson from her mother's sacrifice -- "You do what you have to to take care of those you love" -- and a political one, too. "That minimum-wage job saved our house, and it saved our family." In the 1960s, she says, "a minimum-wage job could support a family of three. Now the minimum wage can't keep a momma and a baby out of poverty."

That's Act I of Warren's story and of the disappearing American middle class whose collective story her family's arc symbolizes. In Act II, she walks the crowd through her early career, including some personal choices that turned her path rockier: early marriage, dropping out of college. But her focus now is on what made it possible for her to rise from the working class. Warren tells us how she went back to school and got her teaching certificate at a public university, then went to law school at another public university. Both cost only a few hundred dollars in tuition a year. She always ends with a crowd-pleaser: "My daddy ended up as a janitor, but his baby daughter got the opportunity to become a public-school teacher, a law professor, a US senator, and run for president!"


Warren has honed this story since her 2012 Senate campaign. Remember her "Nobody in this country got rich on his own" speech ? It was an explanation of how the elite amassed wealth thanks to government investments in roads, schools, energy, and police protection, which drew more than 1 million views on YouTube. Over the years, she has become the best explainer of the way the US government, sometime around 1980, flipped from building the middle class to protecting the wealthy. Her 2014 book, A Fighting Chance , explains how Warren (once a Republican, like two of her brothers) saw her own family's struggle in the stories of those families whose bankruptcies she studied as a lawyer -- families she once thought might have been slackers. Starting in 1989, with a book she cowrote on bankruptcy and consumer credit, her writing has charted the way government policies turned against the middle class and toward corporations. That research got her tapped by then–Senate majority leader Harry Reid to oversee the Troubled Assets Relief Program after the 2008 financial crash and made her a favorite on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart . Starting in the mid-2000s, she publicly clashed with prominent Democrats, including Biden , a senator at the time, over bankruptcy reforms, and later with then–Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner over the bank bailouts.

Sanders, of course, has a story too, about a government that works for the "millionaires and billionaires." But he has a hard time connecting his family's stories of struggle to his policies. After his first few campaign events, he ditched the details about growing up poor in Brooklyn. In early June, he returned to his personal story in a New York Times op-ed .

W arren preaches the need for "big structural change" so often that a crowd chanted the phrase back at her during a speech in San Francisco the first weekend in June. Then she gets specific. In Act III of her stump speech, she lays out her dizzying array of plans. But by then they're not dizzying, because she has anchored them to her life and the lives of her listeners. The rapport she develops with her audience, sharing her tragedies and disappointments -- questionable choices and all -- makes her bold policy pitches feel believable. She starts with her proposed wealth tax: two cents on every dollar of your worth after $50 million, which she says would raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years. (She has also proposed a 7 percent surtax on corporate profits above $100 million.)

Warren sells the tax with a vivid, effective comparison. "How many of you own a home?" she asks. At most of her stops in Iowa, it was roughly half the crowd. "Well, you already pay a wealth tax on your major asset. You pay a property tax, right?" People start nodding. "I just want to make sure we're also taxing the diamonds, the Rembrandts, the yachts, and the stock portfolios." Nobody in those Iowa crowds seemed to have a problem with that.

Then she lays out the shocking fact that people in the top 1 percent pay roughly 3.2 percent of their wealth in taxes, while the bottom 99 percent pay 7.4 percent.

That "big structural change" would pay for the items on Warren's agenda -- the programs that would rebuild the opportunity ladder to the middle class -- that have become her signature: free technical school or two- or four-year public college; at least partial loan forgiveness for 95 percent of those with student debt; universal child care and prekindergarten, with costs capped at 7 percent of family income; and a pay hike for child-care workers.

"Big structural change" would also include strengthening unions and giving workers 40 percent of the seats on corporate boards. Warren promises to break up Big Tech and Big Finance. She calls for a constitutional amendment to protect the right to vote and vows to push to overturn Citizens United . To those who say it's too much, she ends every public event the same way: "What do you think they said to the abolitionists? 'Too hard!' To the suffragists fighting to get women the right to vote? 'Too hard!' To the foot soldiers of the civil-rights movement, to the activists who wanted equal marriage? 'Give up now!' " But none of them gave up, she adds, and she won't either. Closing that way, she got a standing ovation at every event I attended.

R ecently, Warren has incorporated into her pitch the stark differences between what mid-20th-century government offered to black and white Americans. This wasn't always the case. After a speech she delivered at the Roosevelt Institute in 2015, I heard black audience members complain about her whitewashed version of the era when government built the (white) middle class. Many black workers were ineligible for Social Security; the GI Bill didn't prohibit racial discrimination ; and federal loan guarantees systematically excluded black home buyers and black neighborhoods. "I love Elizabeth, but those stories about the '50s drive me crazy," one black progressive said.

The critiques must have made their way to Warren. Ta-Nehisi Coates recently told The New Yorker that after his influential Atlantic essay "The Case for Reparations" appeared five years ago, the Massachusetts senator asked to meet with him. "She had read it. She was deeply serious, and she had questions." Now, when Warren talks about the New Deal, she is quick to mention the ways African Americans were shut out. Her fortunes on the campaign trail brightened after April's She the People forum in Houston, where she joined eight other candidates in talking to what the group's founder, Aimee Allison, calls "the real Democratic base": women of color, many from the South. California's Kamala Harris, only the second African-American woman ever elected to the US Senate, might have had the edge coming in, but Warren surprised the crowd. "She walked in to polite applause and walked out to a standing ovation," Allison said, after the candidate impressed the crowd with policies to address black maternal-health disparities, the black-white wealth gap, pay inequity, and more.



G Jutson says:

July 4, 2019 at 1:00 pm

Well here we are in the circular firing squad Obama warned us about. Sander's fan boys vs. Warren women. Sanders has been our voice in DC on the issues for a generation. He has changed the debate. Thank you Bernie. Now a Capitalist that wants to really reform it can be a viable candidate. Warren is that person. We supported Sanders last time to help us get to this stage. Time to pass the baton to someone that can beat Trump. After the Sept. debates I expect The Nation to endorse Warren and to still hear grumbling from those that think moving on from candidate Bernie somehow means unfaithfulness to his/our message .

Kenneth Viste says: June 27, 2019 at 5:52 am

I would like to hear her talk about free college as an investment in people rather than an expense. Educated people earn more and therefore pay more taxes than uneducated so it pays to educate the populous to the highest level possible.

Jim Dickinson says: June 26, 2019 at 7:11 pm

Warren gets it and IMO is probably the best Democratic candidate of the bunch. Biden does not get it and I get depressed seeing him poll above Warren with his tired corporate ideas from the past.

I have a different take on her not being progressive enough. Her progressive politics are grounded in reality and not in the pie in the sky dreams of Sanders, et al. The US is a massively regressive nation and proposing doing everything at once, including a total revamp of our healthcare system is simply unrealistic.

That was my problem with Sanders, who's ideas I agree with. There is no way in hell to make the US into a progressive dream in one election - NONE.

I too dream of a progressive US that most likely goes well beyond what most people envision. But I also have watched those dreams collapse many, many times in the past when we reach too far. I hope that we can make important but obtainable changes which might make the great unwashed masses see who cares about them and who does not.

I hope that she does well because she has a plan for many of the ills of this nation. The US could certainly use some coherent plans after the chaos and insanity of the Trump years. Arguing about who was the best Democratic candidate in 2016 helped put this schmuck in office and I hope that we don't go down that path again.

Caleb Melamed says: June 26, 2019 at 2:13 pm

I had a misunderstanding about one key aspect of Warren's political history. I had always thought that she was neutral in 2016 between Sanders and Hillary Clinton. On CNN this morning, a news clip showed that Warren in fact endorsed Hillary Clinton publicly, shouting "I'm with her," BEFORE Sanders withdrew from the race. This action had the effect of weakening Sanders' bargaining position vis a vis Clinton once he actually withdrew. Clinton proceeded to treat Sanders and his movement like a dish rag. I am now less ready to support Warren in any way.

Robert Andrews says: June 26, 2019 at 12:17 pm

I have three main reasons I do not want Senator Warren nominate which are:

Not going all out for a single payer healthcare system. This is a massive problem with Warren. With her starting out by moving certain groups to Medicare is sketchy at best. Which groups would be graced first? I am sure whoever is left behind will be thrilled. Is Warren going to expand Medicare so that supplemental coverages will not be needed anymore? Crying about going too far too fast is a losing attitude. You go after the most powerful lobby in the country full bore if you want any kind of real and lasting changes.

With Warren's positions and actions with foreign policy this statement is striking, "Once Warren's foreign policy record is scrutinized, her status as a progressive champion starts to wither. While Warren is not on the far right of Democratic politics on war and peace, she also is not a progressive -- nor a leader -- and has failed to use her powerful position on the Senate Armed Services Committee to challenge the status quo" - Sarah Lazare. She is the web editor at In These Times. She comes from a background in independent journalism for publications including The Intercept, The Nation, and Tom Dispatch. She tweets at @sarahlazare.

Lastly, the stench with selling off her integrity with receiving corporate donations again if nominated is overpowering.

For reference, she was a registered Republican until the mid 1990's.

Joan Walsh, why don't you give congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard any presence with your articles? Her level of integrity out shines any other female candidate and Gabbard's positions and actions are progressive. I don't want to hear that she isn't a major player, because you have included Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Gabbard's media blackout has been dramatic, thank you for your contribution with it also.

Robert Andrews says: June 27, 2019 at 8:29 am

I was impressed with Warren on the debate, especially since she finally opened her arms to a single payer healthcare system.

Caleb Melamed says: June 26, 2019 at 2:35 pm

Gabbard is playing a very important role in this race, whatever her numbers (which are probably higher than those being reported and are sure to go up after tonight). In some ways, her position in 2020 resembles that of Sanders in 2016--the progressive outlier, specifically on issues relating to the U.S. policy of endless war. Gabbard makes Sanders look more mainstream by comparison on this issue (though their difference is more one of emphasis than substance), making it much harder for the DNC establishment to demonize and ostracize Sanders. (Third Way really, really wants to stop Sanders--they have called him an "existential threat.") Gabbard's important role in this respect is one reason the DNC and its factotums are expending such effort on sliming her.

By the way, Nation, you have now reprinted my first comment to this article five (5) times!

Clark Shanahan says: June 26, 2019 at 1:19 pm

Tulsi,
Our most eloquent anti-military-interventionism candidate, hands down.

Richard Phelps says: June 26, 2019 at 1:29 pm

Unfortunately EW doesn't beat Trump past the margin of error in all the polls I have seen. Bernie does in most. The other scary factor is how so many neoliberals are now talking nice about her. They want anyone but the true, consistent progressive, Bernie. And her backing away from putting us on a human path on health care, like so many other countries, is foreboding of a sellout to the health insurance companies, a group focused on profits over health care for our citizens. A group with no redeeming social value. 40,000+ people die each year due to lack of medical care, so the company executives can have their 8 figure salaries and golden parachutes when they retire. Also don't forget they are adamantly anti union. Where is Warren's fervor to ride our country of this leach on society? PS I donated $250 to her last Senate campaign. I like her. She is just not what we need to stop the final stages of oligarchic take over, where so much of our resources are wasted on the Pentagon and unnecessary wars and black opps. It is not Bernie or bust, it is Bernie or oligarchy!!!

Walter Pewen says: June 27, 2019 at 10:52 am

Frankly, having family from Oklahoma I'd say Warren IS a progressive. Start reading backwards and you will find out.

Clark Shanahan says: June 26, 2019 at 1:24 pm

You certainly shall never see her call out AIPAC.
She has since tried to shift her posture.. but, her original take was lamentable.

https://theintercept.com/2014/08/28/elizabeth-warren-speaks-israelgaza-sounds-like-netanyahu/

Clark Shanahan says: June 26, 2019 at 10:29 pm

You really need to give Hillary responsibility for her loss, Andy
Also, to Obama, who sold control of the DNC over to Clinton Inc in Sept, 2015.
I'll vote for Warren, of course.
Sadly, with our endless wars and our rogue state Israel, Ms Warren is way too deferential; seemingly hopeless.

Walter Pewen says: June 28, 2019 at 11:22 am

I don't want to vote for Biden. And if he gets the nomination I probably won't. And I've voted the ticket since 1976. I DO NOT like Joe Biden. Contrary to the media mind fuck we are getting in this era. And I'll wager a LOT of people don't like him. He is a dick.

Karin Eckvall says: June 26, 2019 at 10:50 am

Well-done article Ms. Walsh. Walter, I want to vote for her but can't because although she has plans to deal with the waste and corruption at the Pentagon, she has not renounced our endless militarism, our establishment-endorsed mission to police the world and to change regimes whenever we feel like it.

[Jul 05, 2019] Who Won the Debate? Tulsi Gabbard let the anti-war genie out of the bottle by Philip Giraldi

Highly recommended!
The problem here is that the US population is too brainwashing with jingoism and Exceptionalism to value Tulsi message. The US army is mercenary army and unlike situation with the draft people generally do not care much when mercenaries die. That makes any anti-war candidate vulnerable to "Russiagate" smear.
He/she need to have a strong domestic program to appeal to voters, So far Warren is in better position in this area then Tulsi.
Notable quotes:
"... The Drudge Report website had its poll running while the debate was going on and it registered overwhelmingly in favor of Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Likewise, the Washington Examiner , a right-wing paper, opined that Gabbard had won by a knockout based on its own polling. Google's search engine reportedly saw a surge in searches linked to Tulsi Gabbard both during and after the debate. ..."
"... On the following day traditional conservative Pat Buchanan produced an article entitled "Memo for Trump: Trade Bolton for Tulsi," similar to a comment made by Republican consultant Frank Luntz "She's a long-shot to win the presidency, but Tulsi Gabbard is sounding like a prime candidate for Secretary of Defense." ..."
"... In response to a comment by neoliberal Congressman Tim Ryan who said that the U.S. has to remain "engaged" in places like Afghanistan, she referred to two American soldiers who had been killed that very day, saying "Is that what you will tell the parents of those two soldiers who were just killed in Afghanistan? Well, we just have to be engaged? As a soldier, I will tell you that answer is unacceptable." ..."
"... Tulsi also declared war on the Washington Establishment, saying that "For too long our leaders have failed us, taking us into one regime change war after the next, leading us into a new Cold War and arms race, costing us trillions of our hard-earned tax payer dollars and countless lives. This insanity must end." ..."
"... Blunt words, but it was a statement that few Americans whose livelihoods are not linked to "defense" or to the shamelessly corrupt U.S. Congress and media could disagree with, as it is clear that Washington is at the bottom of a deep hole and persists in digging ..."
"... In the collective judgment of America's Establishment, Tulsi Gabbard and anyone like her must be destroyed. She would not be the first victim of the political process shutting out undesirable opinions. One can go all the way back to Eugene McCarthy and his opposition to the Vietnam War back in 1968. ..."
"... And the beat goes on. In 2016, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, head of the Democratic National Committee, fixed the nomination process so that Bernie Sanders, a peace candidate, would be marginalized and super hawk Hillary Clinton would be selected. Fortunately, the odor emanating from anything having to do with the Clintons kept her from being elected or we would already be at war with Russia and possibly also with China. ..."
"... Tulsi Gabbard has let the genie of "end the forever wars" out of the bottle and it will be difficult to force it back in. She just might shake up the Democratic Party's priorities, leading to more questions about just what has been wrong with U.S. foreign policy over the past twenty years. ..."
"... Yes, to some critics, Tulsi Gabbard is not a perfect candidate . On most domestic issues she appears to be a typical liberal Democrat and is also conventional in terms of her accommodation with Jewish power, but she also breaks with the Democratic Party establishment with her pledge to pardon Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. ..."
"... She also has more of a moral compass than Elizabeth Warren, who cleverly evades the whole issue of Middle East policy, or a Joe Biden who would kiss Benjamin Netanyahu's ass without any hesitation at all. Gabbard has openly criticized Netanyahu and she has also condemned Israel's killing of "unarmed civilians" in Gaza. As a Hindu, her view of Muslims is somewhat complicated based on the historical interaction of the two groups, but she has moderated her views recently. ..."
"... To be sure, Americans have heard much of the same before, much of it from out of the mouth of a gentleman named Donald Trump, but Tulsi Gabbard could well be the only genuine antiwar candidate that might truly be electable in the past fifty years. ..."
Jul 02, 2019 | www.unz.com

Last Wednesday’s debate among half of the announced Democratic Party candidates to become their party’s nominee for president in 2020 was notable for its lack of drama. Many of those called on to speak had little to say apart from the usual liberal bromides about health care, jobs, education and how the United States is a country of immigrants. On the following day the mainstream media anointed Elizabeth Warren as the winner based on the coherency of her message even though she said little that differed from what was being presented by most of the others on the stage. She just said it better, more articulately.

The New York Times’ coverage was typical, praising Warren for her grasp of the issues and her ability to present the same clearly and concisely, and citing a comment "They could teach classes in how Warren talks about a problem and weaves in answers into a story. She's not just wonk and stats." It then went on to lump most of the other candidates together, describing their performances as "ha[ving] one or two strong answers, but none of them had the electric, campaign-launching moment they were hoping for."

Inevitably, however, there was some disagreement on who had actually done best based on viewer reactions as well as the perceptions of some of the media that might not exactly be described as mainstream. The Drudge Report website had its poll running while the debate was going on and it registered overwhelmingly in favor of Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Likewise, the Washington Examiner , a right-wing paper, opined that Gabbard had won by a knockout based on its own polling. Google's search engine reportedly saw a surge in searches linked to Tulsi Gabbard both during and after the debate.

On the following day traditional conservative Pat Buchanan produced an article entitled "Memo for Trump: Trade Bolton for Tulsi," similar to a comment made by Republican consultant Frank Luntz "She's a long-shot to win the presidency, but Tulsi Gabbard is sounding like a prime candidate for Secretary of Defense."

Tulsi, campaigning on her anti-war credentials, was indeed not like the other candidates, confronting directly the issue of war and peace which the other potential candidates studiously avoided. In response to a comment by neoliberal Congressman Tim Ryan who said that the U.S. has to remain "engaged" in places like Afghanistan, she referred to two American soldiers who had been killed that very day, saying "Is that what you will tell the parents of those two soldiers who were just killed in Afghanistan? Well, we just have to be engaged? As a soldier, I will tell you that answer is unacceptable."

At another point she expanded on her thinking about America's wars, saying "Let's deal with the situation where we are, where this president and his chickenhawk cabinet have led us to the brink of war with Iran. I served in the war in Iraq at the height of the war in 2005, a war that took over 4,000 of my brothers and sisters in uniforms' lives. The American people need to understand that this war with Iran would be far more devastating, far more costly than anything that we ever saw in Iraq. It would take many more lives. It would exacerbate the refugee crisis. And it wouldn't be just contained within Iran. This would turn into a regional war. This is why it's so important that every one of us, every single American, stand up and say no war with Iran."

Tulsi also declared war on the Washington Establishment, saying that "For too long our leaders have failed us, taking us into one regime change war after the next, leading us into a new Cold War and arms race, costing us trillions of our hard-earned tax payer dollars and countless lives. This insanity must end."

Blunt words, but it was a statement that few Americans whose livelihoods are not linked to "defense" or to the shamelessly corrupt U.S. Congress and media could disagree with, as it is clear that Washington is at the bottom of a deep hole and persists in digging. So why was there such a difference between what ordinary Americans and the Establishment punditry were seeing on their television screens? The difference was not so much in perception as in the desire to see a certain outcome. Anti-war takes away a lot of people's rice bowls, be they directly employed on "defense" or part of the vast army of lobbyists and think tank parasites that keep the money flowing out of the taxpayers' pockets and into the pockets of Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing and Lockheed Martin like a perpetual motion machine.

In the collective judgment of America's Establishment, Tulsi Gabbard and anyone like her must be destroyed. She would not be the first victim of the political process shutting out undesirable opinions. One can go all the way back to Eugene McCarthy and his opposition to the Vietnam War back in 1968. McCarthy was right and Lyndon Johnson and the rest of the Democratic Party were wrong. More recently, Congressman Ron Paul tried twice to bring some sanity to the Republican Party. He too was marginalized deliberately by the GOP party apparatus working hand-in-hand with the media, to include the final insult of his being denied any opportunity to speak or have his delegates recognized at the 2012 nominating convention.

And the beat goes on. In 2016, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, head of the Democratic National Committee, fixed the nomination process so that Bernie Sanders, a peace candidate, would be marginalized and super hawk Hillary Clinton would be selected. Fortunately, the odor emanating from anything having to do with the Clintons kept her from being elected or we would already be at war with Russia and possibly also with China.

Tulsi Gabbard has let the genie of "end the forever wars" out of the bottle and it will be difficult to force it back in. She just might shake up the Democratic Party's priorities, leading to more questions about just what has been wrong with U.S. foreign policy over the past twenty years. To qualify for the second round of debates she has to gain a couple of points in her approval rating or bring in more donations, either of which is definitely possible based on her performance. It is to be hoped that that will occur and that there will be no Debbie Wasserman Schultz hiding somewhere in the process who will finagle the polling results.

Yes, to some critics, Tulsi Gabbard is not a perfect candidate . On most domestic issues she appears to be a typical liberal Democrat and is also conventional in terms of her accommodation with Jewish power, but she also breaks with the Democratic Party establishment with her pledge to pardon Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

She also has more of a moral compass than Elizabeth Warren, who cleverly evades the whole issue of Middle East policy, or a Joe Biden who would kiss Benjamin Netanyahu's ass without any hesitation at all. Gabbard has openly criticized Netanyahu and she has also condemned Israel's killing of "unarmed civilians" in Gaza. As a Hindu, her view of Muslims is somewhat complicated based on the historical interaction of the two groups, but she has moderated her views recently.

To be sure, Americans have heard much of the same before, much of it from out of the mouth of a gentleman named Donald Trump, but Tulsi Gabbard could well be the only genuine antiwar candidate that might truly be electable in the past fifty years. It is essential that we Americans who are concerned about the future of our country should listen to what she has to say very carefully and to respond accordingly.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

[Jun 11, 2019] A Word From Joe the Angry Hawaiian

Highly recommended!
Jun 11, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

Word From Joe the Angry Hawaiian

This just in from the Big Island. The natives seem restless.

"Imagine if you will, in a few short years, that information on current events will only be available from a narrow band of sources sanctioned by the government/corporate media. And this Orwellian future will be embraced by the majority of people because it provides security, both ideological and emotional.

Any dissension, criticism, whistle-blowing, anti-exceptionalism coming from critical voices will be labeled extremist. And this has been embraced by the two monopoly political parties.

I just received a questionnaire from the Democrats posing the question, "What's the most important issue in the upcoming election?"

The very first multiple choice answer to pick from was - "Russian aggression and increasing global influence" Russia, a country with a small population and an economy that is a fraction of the US or Europe is our dire threat? Let's just ignore the expansion of NATO onto Russia's borders, or that the US State Dept. spent 5 billion dollar to change the politics of Ukraine.

Second most important issue asked on the questionnaire, "Protecting America from foreign cyber attacks" Let's ignore the fact that the NSA is spying on all Internet traffic, that the CIA has misinformation programs like, "Operation Mockingbird" and many other covert activities to influence perceptions domestically.

The third Democratic Party priority question is "China's increasing economic and military strength" China's state controlled mercantile success lies directly on the twin shoulders of the US Government and it's multi-national corporations. The US granted China, Most Favored Nation status in 1979, which gave it exposure to US markets with low tariffs. Almost immediately, corporations went to China and invested in factories because of the cheap Chinese labor while abandoning the US worker. And in May 2000 Bill Clinton backed a bipartisan effort to grant China permanent normal trade relations, effectively backing its bid to join the WTO.

We live in a country whereby the US Government has made it possible for corporations to pay little or no taxes, to be deregulated from government laws designed to protect the public, and allow corporate crimes to go unpunished while maintaining vast influence over the political system through campaign contributions and corporate ownership of the mass media.

This US Government/corporate partnership smells a lot like Fascism. Instead of Mussolini we have Trumpolini. And so our time's brand of corporatism has descended over the eroding infrastructure of America."

Joe the Angry Hawaiian

[May 20, 2019] "Us" Versus "Them"

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There are differences between the parties, but they are mainly centered around social issues and disputes with little or no consequence to the long-term path of the country. The real ruling oligarchs essentially allow controlled opposition within each party to make it appear you have a legitimate choice at the ballot box. Nothing could be further from the truth. ..."
"... There has been an unwritten agreement between the parties for decades where the Democrats pretend to be against war and the Republicans pretend to be against welfare. Meanwhile, spending on war and welfare relentlessly grows into the trillions, with no effort whatsoever from either party to even slow the rate of growth, let alone cut spending. The proliferation of the military industrial complex like a poisonous weed has been inexorable, as the corporate arms dealers place their facilities of death in the congressional districts of Democrats and Republicans. In addition, these corporate manufacturers of murder dole out "legal" payoffs to corrupt politicians of both parties in the form of political contributions. The Deep State knows bribes and well-paying jobs ensure no spineless congressman will ever vote against a defense spending increase. ..."
"... Of course, the warfare/welfare state couldn't grow to its immense size without financing from the Wall Street cabal and their feckless academic puppets at the Federal Reserve. The Too Big to Trust Wall Street banks, whose willful control fraud nearly wrecked the global economy in 2008, were rewarded by their Deep State patrons by getting bigger and more powerful as people on Main Street and senior citizen savers were thrown under the bus. ..."
"... When these criminal bankers have their reckless bets blow up in their faces they are bailed out by the American taxpayers, but when the Fed rigs the system so they are guaranteed billions in risk free profits, they reward themselves with massive bonuses and lobby for a huge tax cut used to buy back their stock. With bank branches in every congressional district in every state, and bankers spreading protection money to greedy politicians across the land, no legislation damaging to the banking cartel is ever passed. ..."
"... I voted for Trump because he wasn't Hillary. ..."
"... If the Chinese refuse to yield for fear of losing face, and the tariff war accelerates, a global recession is a certainty. ..."
"... These sociopaths are not liberal or conservative. They are not Democrats or Republicans. They are not beholden to a country or community. They care not for their fellow man. They don't care about future generations. They care about their own power, wealth and control over others. They have no conscience. They have no empathy. Right and wrong are meaningless in their unquenchable thirst for more. They will lie, steal and kill to achieve their goal of controlling everything and everyone in this world. This precisely describes virtually every politician in Washington DC, Wall Street banker, mega-corporation CEO, government agency head, MSM talking head, church leader, billionaire activist, and blood sucking advisor to the president. ..."
"... The problem is we have gone too far. The "American Dream" has become a grotesque nightmare because people by the millions sit around and dream about being a Kardashian. Makes me want to puke. ..."
May 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

"I'll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. "I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs." "I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking." "Hey, wait a minute, there's one guy holding out both puppets!"" – Bill Hicks

Anyone who frequents Twitter, Facebook, political blogs, economic blogs, or fake-news mainstream media channels knows our world is driven by the "Us versus Them" narrative. It's almost as if "they" are forcing us to choose sides and believe the other side is evil. Bill Hicks died in 1994, but his above quote is truer today then it was then. As the American Empire continues its long-term decline, the proles are manipulated through Bernaysian propaganda techniques, honed over the course of decades by the ruling oligarchs, to root for their assigned puppets.

Most people can't discern they are being manipulated and duped by the Deep State controllers. The most terrifying outcome for these Deep State controllers would be for the masses to realize it is us versus them. But they don't believe there is a chance in hell of this happening. Their arrogance is palatable.

Their hubris has reached astronomical levels as they blew up the world economy in 2008 and successfully managed to have the innocent victims bail them out to the tune of $700 billion, pillaged the wealth of the nation through their capture of the Federal Reserve (QE, ZIRP), rigged the financial markets in their favor through collusion, used the hundreds of billions in corporate tax cuts to buy back their stock and further pump the stock market, all while their corporate media mouthpieces mislead and misinform the proles.

There are differences between the parties, but they are mainly centered around social issues and disputes with little or no consequence to the long-term path of the country. The real ruling oligarchs essentially allow controlled opposition within each party to make it appear you have a legitimate choice at the ballot box. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There has been an unwritten agreement between the parties for decades where the Democrats pretend to be against war and the Republicans pretend to be against welfare. Meanwhile, spending on war and welfare relentlessly grows into the trillions, with no effort whatsoever from either party to even slow the rate of growth, let alone cut spending. The proliferation of the military industrial complex like a poisonous weed has been inexorable, as the corporate arms dealers place their facilities of death in the congressional districts of Democrats and Republicans. In addition, these corporate manufacturers of murder dole out "legal" payoffs to corrupt politicians of both parties in the form of political contributions. The Deep State knows bribes and well-paying jobs ensure no spineless congressman will ever vote against a defense spending increase.

Of course, the warfare/welfare state couldn't grow to its immense size without financing from the Wall Street cabal and their feckless academic puppets at the Federal Reserve. The Too Big to Trust Wall Street banks, whose willful control fraud nearly wrecked the global economy in 2008, were rewarded by their Deep State patrons by getting bigger and more powerful as people on Main Street and senior citizen savers were thrown under the bus.

When these criminal bankers have their reckless bets blow up in their faces they are bailed out by the American taxpayers, but when the Fed rigs the system so they are guaranteed billions in risk free profits, they reward themselves with massive bonuses and lobby for a huge tax cut used to buy back their stock. With bank branches in every congressional district in every state, and bankers spreading protection money to greedy politicians across the land, no legislation damaging to the banking cartel is ever passed.

I've never been big on joining a group. I tend to believe Groucho Marx and his cynical line, "I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member". The "Us vs. Them" narrative doesn't connect with my view of the world. As a realistic libertarian I know libertarian ideals will never proliferate in a society of government dependency, willful ignorance of the masses, thousands of laws, and a weak-kneed populace afraid of freedom and liberty. The only true libertarian politician, Ron Paul, was only able to connect with about 5% of the voting public. There is no chance a candidate with a libertarian platform will ever win a national election. This country cannot be fixed through the ballot box. Bill Hicks somewhat foreshadowed the last election by referencing another famous cynic.

"I ascribe to Mark Twain's theory that the last person who should be President is the one who wants it the most. The one who should be picked is the one who should be dragged kicking and screaming into the White House." ― Bill Hicks

Hillary Clinton wanted to be president so badly, she colluded with Barack Obama, Jim Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper, Loretta Lynch and numerous other Deep State sycophants to ensure her victory, by attempting to entrap Donald Trump in a concocted Russian collusion plot and subsequent post-election coup to cover for their traitorous plot. I wouldn't say Donald Trump was dragged kicking and screaming into the White House, but when he ascended on the escalator at Trump Tower in June of 2015, I'm not convinced he believed he could win the presidency.

As the greatest self-promoter of our time, I think he believed a presidential run would be good for his brand, more revenue for his properties and more interest in his reality TV ventures. He was despised by the establishment within the Republican and Democrat parties. The vested interests controlling the media and levers of power in society scorned and ridiculed this brash uncouth outsider. In an upset for the ages, Trump tapped into a vein of rage and disgruntlement in flyover country and pockets within swing states, to win the presidency over Crooked Hillary and her Deep State backers.

I voted for Trump because he wasn't Hillary. I hadn't voted for a Republican since 2000, casting protest votes for Libertarian and Constitutional Party candidates along the way. I despise the establishment, so their hatred of Trump made me vote for him. His campaign stances against foreign wars and Federal Reserve reckless bubble blowing appealed to me. I don't worship at the altar of the cult of personality. I judge men by their actions and not their words.

Trump's first two years have been endlessly entertaining as he waged war against fake news CNN, establishment Republicans, the Deep State coup attempt, and Obama loving globalists. The Twitter in Chief has bypassed the fake news media and tweets relentlessly to his followers. He provokes outrage in his enemies and enthralls his worshipers. With millions in each camp it is difficult to find an unbiased assessment of narrative versus real accomplishments.

I'm happy he has been able to stop the relentless leftward progression of our Federal judiciary. Cutting regulations and rolling back environmental mandates has been a positive. Exiting the Paris Climate Agreement and TPP, forcing NATO members to pay their fair share, and renegotiating NAFTA were all needed. Ending the war on coal and approving pipelines will keep energy costs lower. His attempts to vet Muslims entering the country have been the right thing to do. Building a wall on our southern border is the right thing to do, but he should have gotten it done when he controlled both houses.

The use of tariffs to force China to renegotiate one sided trade deals as a negotiating tactic is a high-risk, high reward gamble. If his game of chicken is successful and he gets better terms from the Chicoms, while reversing the tariffs, it would be a huge win. If the Chinese refuse to yield for fear of losing face, and the tariff war accelerates, a global recession is a certainty. Who has the upper hand? Xi is essentially a dictator for life and doesn't have to worry about elections or popularity polls. Dissent is crushed. A global recession and stock market crash would make Trump's re-election in 2020 problematic.

I'm a big supporter of lower taxes. The Trump tax cuts were sold as beneficial to the middle class. That is a false narrative. The vast majority of the tax cut benefits went to mega-corporations and rich people. Middle class home owning families with children received little or no tax relief, as exemptions were eliminated and tax deductions capped. In many cases, taxes rose for working class Americans.

With corporate profits at all time highs, massive tax cuts put billions more into their coffers. They didn't repatriate their overseas profits to a great extent. They didn't go on a massive hiring spree. They didn't invest in new facilities. They did buy back their own stock to help drive the stock market to stratospheric heights. So corporate executives gave themselves billions in bonuses, which were taxed at a much lower rate. This is considered winning in present day America.

The "Us vs. Them" issue rears its ugly head whenever Trump is held accountable for promises unkept, blatant failures, and his own version of fake news. Holding Trump to the same standards as Obama is considered traitorous by those who only root for their home team. Their standard response is that you are a Hillary sycophant or a turncoat to the home team. If you agree with a particular viewpoint or position of a liberal then you are a bad person and accused of being a lefty by Trump fanboys. Facts don't matter to cheerleaders. Competing narratives rule the day. Truthfulness not required.

The refusal to distinguish between positive actions and negative actions when assessing the performance of what passes for our political leadership by the masses is why cynicism has become my standard response to everything I see, hear or he read. The incessant level of lies permeating our society and its acceptance as the norm has led to moral decay and rampant criminality from the White House, to the halls of Congress, to corporate boardrooms, to corporate newsrooms, to government run classrooms, to the Vatican, and to households across the land. It's interesting that one of our founding fathers reflected upon this detestable human trait over two hundred years ago.

"It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime." – Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine's description of how moral mischief can ruin a society was written when less than 3 million people inhabited America. Consider his accurate assessment of humanity when over 300 million occupy these lands. The staggering number of corrupt prostituted sociopaths occupying positions of power within the government, corporations, media, military, churches, and academia has created a morally bankrupt empire of debt.

These sociopaths are not liberal or conservative. They are not Democrats or Republicans. They are not beholden to a country or community. They care not for their fellow man. They don't care about future generations. They care about their own power, wealth and control over others. They have no conscience. They have no empathy. Right and wrong are meaningless in their unquenchable thirst for more. They will lie, steal and kill to achieve their goal of controlling everything and everyone in this world. This precisely describes virtually every politician in Washington DC, Wall Street banker, mega-corporation CEO, government agency head, MSM talking head, church leader, billionaire activist, and blood sucking advisor to the president.

The question pondered every day on blogs, social media, news channels, and in households around the country is whether Trump is one of Us or one of Them. The answer to that question will strongly impact the direction and intensity of the climactic years of this Fourth Turning. What I've noticed is the shunning of those who don't take an all or nothing position regarding Trump. If you disagree with a decision, policy, or hiring decision by the man, you are accused by the pro-Trump team of being one of them (aka liberals, lefties, Hillary lovers).

If you don't agree with everything Trump does or says, you are dead to the Trumpeteers. I don't want to be Us or Them. I just want to be me. I will judge everyone by their actions and their results. I can agree with Trump on many issues, while also agreeing with Tulsi Gabbard, Rand Paul, Glenn Greenwald or Matt Taibbi on other issues. I don't prescribe to the cult of personality school of thought. I didn't believe the false narratives during the Bush or Obama years, and I won't worship at the altar of the Trump narrative now.

In Part II of this article I'll assess Trump's progress thus far and try to determine whether he can defeat the Deep State.


TerryThomas , 32 minutes ago link

"The scientific and industrial revolution of modern times represents the next giant step in the mastery over nature; and here, too, an enormous increase in man's power over nature is followed by an apocalyptic drive to subjugate man and reduce human nature to the status of nature. Even where enslavement is employed in a mighty effort to tame nature, one has the feeling that the effort is but a tactic to legitimize total subjugation. Thus, despite its spectacular achievements in science and technology, the twentieth century will probably be seen in retrospect as a century mainly preoccupied with the mastery and manipulation of men. Nationalism, socialism, communism, fascism, and militarism, cartelization and unionization, propaganda and advertising are all aspects of a general relentless drive to manipulate men and neutralize the unpredictability of human nature. Here, too, the atmosphere is heavy-laden with coercion and magic." --Eric Hoffer

666D Chess , 11 minutes ago link

Divide and conquer, not a very novel idea... but very effective.

Kafir Goyim , 32 minutes ago link

If you don't agree with everything Trump does or says, you are dead to the Trumpeteers

That's not true. When Trump kisses Israeli ***, most "Trumpeteers" are outraged. That does not mean they're going to vote for Joe "I'm a Zionist" Biden, or Honest Hillary because of it, but they're still pissed.

Rich Monk , 33 minutes ago link

These predators (((them))) need to fear the Victims, us! That is what the 2ND Amendment is for. It's coming, slowly for now, but eventually it speeds up.

yellowsub , 42 minutes ago link

Ya'll a dumb fool if you think gov't as your best interests first.

legalize , 46 minutes ago link

Citation needed.

Any piece like this better be littered with footnotes and cited sources before I'm swallowing it.

I'll say it again: this is the internet, people. There's no "shortage of column space" to include links back to primary sources for your assertions. Otherwise, how am I supposed to distinguish you from another "psy op" or "paid opposition hit piece"?

bshirley1968 , 51 minutes ago link

"The question pondered every day on blogs, social media, news channels, and in households around the country is whether Trump is one of Us or one of Them."

If you still ponder this question, then you are pretty frickin' thick. It is obvious at this point, that he betrayed everything he campaigned on. You don't do that and call yourself one of "us".......damn sure aren't one of "me".

If I couldn't keep my word and wouldn't do what it takes to do what is right.....then I would resign. But I would not go on playing politics in a world that needs some real leadership and not another political hack.

The real battle is between Truth and Lie. No matter the name of your "team" or the "side" you support. Truth is truth and lies are lies. We don't stand for political parties, we stand for truth. We don't stand for national pride, we take pride in a nation that is truthful and trustworthy. The minute a "side" or "team" starts lying.....and justifying it.....that is the minute they become them and not one of us.

Any thinking person in this country today knows we are being lied to by the entire complex. Until someone starts telling the truth.....we are on our own. But I be damned before I am going to support any of these lying sons of bitches......and that includes Trump.

Fish Gone Bad , 37 minutes ago link

Dark comedy. All the elections have been **** choices until the last one. Take a look at Arkancide.com and start counting the bodies.

Anyone remember the news telling us how North Korea promised to turn the US into a sea of fire?? Trump absolutely went to bat for every single American to de-escalate that situation.

bshirley1968 , 31 minutes ago link

Don't tell me about Arkancide or the Clintons. I grew up in Arkansas with that sack of **** as my governor for 12 years.

NK was never a real threat to anyone. Trump didn't do ****. NK is back to building and shooting off missiles and will be teaming up with the Russians and Chinese. You are a duped bafoon.

Kafir Goyim , 28 minutes ago link

I don't think anybody thought NK was an existential threat to the US. It has still been nice making progress on bringing them back into the world and making them less of a threat to Japan and S. Korea. Trump did that.

Giant Meteor , 9 minutes ago link

Dennis Rodman did that, or that is to say, Trump an extension thereof ..

Great theater..

Look, i thought it was great that Trump went Kim Unning. I mean after all, i had talked with a few elderly folks that get their news directly from the mainstream of mainstream, vanilla news reportage. Propaganda central casting. I remember them being extremely concerned, outright petrified about that evil menace, kim gonna launch nukes any minute now. If the news would have been announced a major troop mobilization, bombing campaigns, to begin immediately they would have been completely onboard, waving the flag.

Frankly, it is only a matter of time, and folks can speculate on the country of interest, but it is coming soon to a theater near you. So many being in the crosshairs. Iran i suspect .. that's the big prize, that makes these sociopaths cream in their panties.

Probably. In the second term .. and so far, if ones honestly evaluates the "brain trust" / current crop of dimwit opposition, and in light of their past 2 plus years of moronic posturing with their hair on fire, trump will get his second term ..

666D Chess , 15 minutes ago link

Until the last one? You are retarded, the last election was a masterpiece of Rothschilds Productions. The Illuminati was watching you at their private cinema when you were voting for Trump and they were laughing their asses off.

HoodRatKing , 55 minutes ago link

The author does not realize that everyone in America, except Native American Indians, were immigrants drawn towards the false promise of hope that is the American Dream, turned nightmare..

Owning your own home, car, & raising a family in this country is so damn expensive & risky, that you'd have be on drugs or an idiot to even fall for the lies.

I don't see an us vs them, I see the #FakeMoney printers monetized every facet of life, own everything, & it truly is RENT-A-LIFE USSA, complete with bills galore, taxes galore, laws galore, jails & prisons galore, & the worst fkn country anyone would want to live in poverty & homelessness in.

At least in many 3rd world nations there is land to live off of & joblessness does not = a financial death sentence.

bshirley1968 , 39 minutes ago link

Sure. Lets all go back to living in huts.....off the land....no cars.....no electricity.....no running water......no roads....

There is a price to pay for things and it is not always in the form of money. We have given up some of our freedom for the ease and conveniences we want.

The problem is we have gone too far. The "American Dream" has become a grotesque nightmare because people by the millions sit around and dream about being a Kardashian. Makes me want to puke.

There is a balance. Don't take the other extreme or we never find balance.

911bodysnatchers322 , 56 minutes ago link

This article is moronic. One can easily prove that Trump is not like all the others in the poster. Has this author been living under a rock for the last 2.5 yrs? The past 5 presidents represent a group that has been literally trying to assassinate Trump, ruin his family, his reputation, his buisness and his future, for the audacity to be an ousider to the power network and steal (win) the presidency from under their noses. He's kept us OUT of war. He's dissolved the treachery that was keeping us in the middle east through gaslighitng and a proxy fake war that is ISIS, the globalists' / nato / fiveys / uk's fake mercenary army

Giant Meteor , 25 minutes ago link

And yet, I'll never forget all the smiling faces at the gala wedding affair.

Happier times ..

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/30/us/politics/ex-ally-donald-trump-now-heaps-scorn-on-bill-clinton.html

And yes, thanks in advance for noting the link is from New York slime, but i believe the picture in this case anyway, was not photo shopped.

She is, (hillary) after all, good people, a real fighter ..

**** .. mission accomplished ..

ExPat2018 , 1 hour ago link

The greatest threat to the USA is its own dumbed down drugged up citizens who cannot compete with anyone. America is a big military powerhouse but that doens't make successful countries

You must have intelligent people

America doesn't have that anymore.

JuliaS , 1 hour ago link

Notice how modern narrative is getting manipulated. What is being reported and referenced is completely different from how things are. And knowing that we can assume that the entire history is a fabricated lie, written by the ruling class to support its status in the minds of obedient citizens.

911bodysnatchers322 , 54 minutes ago link

This article is garbage propaganda that proves that they think we aren't keeping score or paying attention. The gaslighting won't work when it relies on so much counterthink, willful ignorance, counterfacts and weaponized omissions

istt , 1 hour ago link

The reality is the de-escalation of wars, the stability of our currency and our economy, and the moral re-grounding of our culture does not occur until we do what over 100 countries have done over the centuries, beginning in Carthage in 250AD.

fersur , 1 hour ago link

There's an old saying; "Congress does 2 things well Nothing and Protest" said by Pence Live-Streamed 4 hours ago at USMCA America First speech !

Good, Bad and Ugly

The Good is President Trump works extreme daily hours trying his best !

The Bad is Haters miss every bit of whatever their President Trump does that is good !

The Ugly is Hater Reporters ignoring World events, scared of possibly shining President Trump fairly !

SHsparx , 1 hour ago link

You really are making it a bit too obvious, bro.

911bodysnatchers322 , 52 minutes ago link

The congress are statusquotarians. If they solved the problems they say they would,they'd be out of a job. and that job is sitting there acting like a naddler or toxic post turtle leprechaun with a charisma and skill level of zero. Their staff do all the work, half of them barely read, though they probably can

SHsparx , 1 hour ago link

I still think 1st and 2nd ammedment is predicated on which party rules the house. If a Dem gets into the WH, we're fucked. Kiss those Iast two dying amendments goodbye for good.

Zeusky Babarusky , 1 hour ago link

If we rely on any party to preserve the 1st or 2nd Amendments, we are already fucked. What should preserve the 1st and 2nd Amendments is the absolute fear of anyone in government even mentioning suppressing or removing them. When the very thought of doing anything to lessen the rights advocated in these two amendments, causes a politician to piss in their pants, liberty will be preserved. As it is now citizens fear the government, and as a result tyranny continues to grow and fester as a cancer.

Zoomorph , 1 hour ago link

In other words, those amendments are already lost... we're just waiting for the final dictate to come down.

Zeusky Babarusky , 1 hour ago link

You may very well be right. I still hold out hope, but upon seeing what our society is quickly morphing into, that hope seems to fade more each and every day.

SHsparx , 49 minutes ago link

@ Zeusky Babarusky

I couldn't agree with you more.

Unfortunately, it is what it is, which is why I used the word "dying."

Those two amendments are on their deathbed, and if a Dem gets in the house, that'll be the nail in the coffin.

bshirley1968 , 1 hour ago link

If you think the 1st and 2nd amendments are reliant on who is in office, then you are already done. Why don't you try growing a pair and being an American for once in your life.

I will always have a 1st and 2nd "amendment" for as long as I live. Life is meaningless without them.....as far as I am concerned. Good thing the founders didn't wait for king George to give them what they "felt" was theirs.....by the laws of Nature and Nature's God.

I hope the democrats get the power......and I hope they come for the guns......maybe then pussies like you will finally have to **** or get off the pot......for once in your life. There are worse things than dying.

Nephilim , 1 hour ago link

THEHAZELFLOCKOFCRANES

BRINDLED FOOT,

AUSTRALIAN.

caveofgoldcaveofold

Zoomorph , 1 hour ago link

"Why do we have wars?"

"Because life is war: fighting for survival, resources, and what is best in the world."

"Why do people say war is bad?"

"Because they are useful idiots who have been tricked by religion and/or weak degenerates who are too weary to participate."

delta0ne , 1 hour ago link

This country cannot be fixed through the ballot box. Unless we get rid of *** influencing from abroad and domestically. Getting rid of English King few hundred years ago was a joke! this would be a challenge because dual-citizens masquerading as locals.

blind_understanding , 1 hour ago link

Last revolution (1776) we targeted the WRONG ENEMY.

We targeted King George III instead of the private bankers who owned of the Bank of England and the issued of the British-pound currency.

George III was himself up to his ears in debt to them by 1776, when the bankers installed George Washington to replace George III as their middleman in the American colonies, by way of the phony revolution.

Phony because ownership of the central bank and currency (Federal-Reserve Banks, Federal-Reserve notes) we use, remains in the same banking families' hands to this day. The same parasite remains within our government.

djrichard , 1 hour ago link

https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2013/05/16/the-gervais-principle-vi-children-of-an-absent-god/

It is this strangely incomplete calculus that creates the shifting Loser world of rifts and alliances. By operating with a more complete calculus, Sociopaths are able to manipulate this world through the divide-and-conquer mechanisms. The result is that the Losers end up blaming each other for their losses, seek collective emotional resolution, and fail to adequately address the balance sheet of material rewards and losses.

To succeed, this strategy requires that Losers not look too closely at the non-emotional books. This is why, as we saw last time, divide-and-conquer is the most effective means for dealing with them, since it naturally creates emotional drama that keeps them busy while they are being manipulated.

[Apr 21, 2019] Even if we got a candidate against the War Party the Party of Davos, would it matter? Trump betayal his voters, surrounded himself with neocons, continues to do Bibi's bidding, and ratcheting up tensions in Latin America, Middle East and with Russia. What's changed even with a candidate that the Swamp disliked and attempted to take down?

Highly recommended!
Here we need to look at the candidate political history, their actions before the election. "Trump scam" like "Obama scam" was based on the fact that they do not have political history, they were what Romans called "Tabula rasa". A "clean state" politician into which voters can project their wishes about domestic and foreign policy. That was a dirty. but very effective trick.
But the most important factor in Trump win was the he was competing against despicable warmonger Hillary Clinton, the establishment candidate who wanted to kick the neoliberal globalization can down the road. So the "lesser evilism" card was also in play consciously or unconscionably as well. So with Hillary as the opposition candidate it was a kind of implementation of the USSR style elections on a new level. but with the same with zero choice. Effectively the US electorate was disenfranchised when FBI has thrown Sander under the bus by exonerating Hillary. In a way FBI was the kingmaker in 2016 elections.
And please note that the Deep State launched a color revolution against Trump to keep him in check. Only later it became evident that he from the very beginning was a pro-Israel neoconservative, probably fully controlled by pro-Israel forces. That Trump electorate bought MIGA instead of MAGA from the day one.
Notable quotes:
"... The question is even if we got a candidate against the War Party & the Party of Davos, would it matter? Trump, the candidate who campaigned on the wasteful expenditures in our endless wars has surrounded himself with neocons and continues to do Bibi's bidding ratcheting up tensions in Latin America, Middle East and with Russia. What's changed even with a candidate that the Swamp disliked and attempted to take down? ..."
Apr 21, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

blue peacock -> turcopolier ... , 21 April 2019 at 12:36 PM

Col. Lang,

In a recent call from Trump requesting his opinion on China, Jimmy Carter noted that China has not spent a dime on war since 1979, whereas we've spent trillions & continue to spend even more.

China invested trillions in their infrastructure while ours crumbles. They've invested in building the world's manufacturing capacity while we dismantled ours. We spend twice per capita on healthcare compared to any other western country, yet chronic diseases like diabetes keeps growing. We spend more on our military than the next 10 countries combined yet how superior is our weaponry compared to the Russians who spend one-tenth of what we spend? We've financialized our economy and socialized speculative losses of Wall St mavens but when some politicians talk about spending on the commons then socialism is labeled bad.

https://www.epsilontheory.com/this-is-water/

The question is even if we got a candidate against the War Party & the Party of Davos, would it matter? Trump, the candidate who campaigned on the wasteful expenditures in our endless wars has surrounded himself with neocons and continues to do Bibi's bidding ratcheting up tensions in Latin America, Middle East and with Russia. What's changed even with a candidate that the Swamp disliked and attempted to take down?

[Apr 20, 2019] Trump has certainly made the world safer

Highly recommended!
Apr 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

False Solace , April 19, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Yet another delusional remark at odds with reality. Haven't these people learned anything from the implosion of their pathetic Russiagate hysteria? The Russophobes won't be happy until we're at war with a nuclear power and the nukes are about to land.

Here are things Trump has actually done, as opposed to red-limned fantasies drawn from the fever-dreams of Putin haters:

  1. Unilaterally abandoned 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty
  2. Expelled 60 diplomats and closed 3 Russian diplomatic annexes
  3. Bombed Syria, a Russian ally, with Russian troops in country
  4. Sold arms to Ukraine, which is actively at war with Russia
  5. Threatened Germany to cancel a new Russian pipeline through the Baltic (effort failed)
  6. Even more sanctions against Russia and Russian nationals
  7. Stationed missile defense systems on the Russian border in violation of arms treaties
  8. Massive military exercises in Europe on the Russian border
  9. Stationed troops in Poland
  10. Negotiating with Poland to build a permanent US military base in Poland

All this has certainly made the world safer. /s

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

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

Al Pinto , April 18, 2019 at 13:25

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

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

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

Quote from her replies

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

And just to drive home this point, quote:

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

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

Mark Dierking , April 18, 2019 at 15:53

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@Hank

We were “Trumped”. Hard to believe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The take away quote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sample:

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

[Mar 29, 2019] Trumps billionaire coup détat: Donald Trump is about to break the record of withdrawing his promises faster than any other US president in history

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump is about to break the record of withdrawing his promises faster than any other US president in history. It's not only the fact that his administration has been literally taken over by Goldman Sachs, the top vampire-bank of the Wall Street mafia. ..."
"... The 'anti-establishment Trump' joke has already collapsed and the US middle class is about be eliminated by the syndicate of the united billionaires under Trump administration. ..."
"... Paul Singer whose nickname is "the vulture", he didn't get that nickname because he is a sweet an honest businessman. This is the guy who closed the Delphi auto plants in Ohio and sent them to China and also to Monterrey-Mexico. Donald Trump as a candidate, excoriated the billionaires who sent Delphi auto parts company down to Mexico ..."
"... Paul Singer has two concerns: one of them is that we eliminate the banking regulations known as Dodd–Frank. He is called 'the vulture' cause he eats companies that died. He has invested heavily in banks that died. He makes his billions from government bail-outs, he has never made a product in his life, it's all money and billions made from your money, out of the US treasury ..."
"... The Mercers are the real big money behind Donald Trump. When Trump was in trouble in the general election he was out of money and he was out of ideas and he was losing. It was the Mercers, Robert, who is the principal at the Renaissance Technologies, basically investment banking sharks, that's all they are. They are market gamblers and banking sharks, and that's how he made his billions, he hasn't created a single job as Donald Trump himself like to mention. ..."
"... Both the vulture and the Mercers, they don't pay the same taxes as the rest. They don't pay regular income taxes. They have a special billionaires loophole called 'carried interest'. ..."
"... They were two candidates who said that they would close that loophole: one was Bernie Sanders and the other, believe it or not, was Donald Trump, it was part of his populist movie, he said ' These Wall Street sharks, they don't build anything, they don't create a single job, when they lose we pay, when they win, they get a tax-break called carried interest. I will close that loophole. ' Has he said a word about that loophole? It passed away. ..."
Mar 22, 2017 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

Donald Trump is about to break the record of withdrawing his promises faster than any other US president in history. It's not only the fact that his administration has been literally taken over by Goldman Sachs, the top vampire-bank of the Wall Street mafia.

Recently, Trump announced another big alliance with the vulture billionaire, Paul Singer, who, initially, was supposedly against him. It looks like the Trump big show continues.

The 'anti-establishment Trump' joke has already collapsed and the US middle class is about be eliminated by the syndicate of the united billionaires under Trump administration.

As Greg Palast told to Thom Hartmann:

Paul Singer whose nickname is "the vulture", he didn't get that nickname because he is a sweet an honest businessman. This is the guy who closed the Delphi auto plants in Ohio and sent them to China and also to Monterrey-Mexico. Donald Trump as a candidate, excoriated the billionaires who sent Delphi auto parts company down to Mexico.

Paul Singer has two concerns: one of them is that we eliminate the banking regulations known as Dodd–Frank. He is called 'the vulture' cause he eats companies that died. He has invested heavily in banks that died. He makes his billions from government bail-outs, he has never made a product in his life, it's all money and billions made from your money, out of the US treasury.

He is against what Obama created, which is a system under Dodd–Frank, called 'living wills', where if a bank starts going bankrupt, they don't call the US treasury for bail-out. These banks go out of business and they are broken up so we don't have to pay for the bail-out. Singer wants to restore the system of bailouts because that's where he makes his money.

The Mercers are the real big money behind Donald Trump. When Trump was in trouble in the general election he was out of money and he was out of ideas and he was losing. It was the Mercers, Robert, who is the principal at the Renaissance Technologies, basically investment banking sharks, that's all they are. They are market gamblers and banking sharks, and that's how he made his billions, he hasn't created a single job as Donald Trump himself like to mention.

Both the vulture and the Mercers, they don't pay the same taxes as the rest. They don't pay regular income taxes. They have a special billionaires loophole called 'carried interest'.

They were two candidates who said that they would close that loophole: one was Bernie Sanders and the other, believe it or not, was Donald Trump, it was part of his populist movie, he said ' These Wall Street sharks, they don't build anything, they don't create a single job, when they lose we pay, when they win, they get a tax-break called carried interest. I will close that loophole. ' Has he said a word about that loophole? It passed away.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/z-q5R4k_3rE

Take a taste of Paul Singer from Wikipedia :

His political activities include funding the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and he has written against raising taxes for the 1% and aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act. Singer is active in Republican Party politics and collectively, Singer and others affiliated with Elliott Management are "the top source of contributions" to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

A number of sources have branded him a "vulture capitalist", largely on account of his role at EMC, which has been called a vulture fund. Elliott was termed by The Independent as "a pioneer in the business of buying up sovereign bonds on the cheap, and then going after countries for unpaid debts", and in 1996, Singer began using the strategy of purchasing sovereign debt from nations in or near default-such as Argentina, ]- through his NML Capital Limited and Congo-Brazzaville through Kensington International Inc. Singer's business model of purchasing distressed debt from companies and sovereign states and pursuing full payment through the courts has led to criticism, while Singer and EMC defend their model as "a fight against charlatans who refuse to play by the market's rules."

In 1996, Elliott bought defaulted Peruvian debt for $11.4 million. Elliott won a $58 million judgment when the ruling was overturned in 2000, and Peru had to repay the sum in full under the pari passu rule. When former president of Peru Alberto Fujimori was attempting to flee the country due to facing legal proceedings over human rights abuses and corruption, Singer ordered the confiscation of his jet and offered to let him leave the country in exchange for the $58 million payment from the treasury, an offer which Fujimori accepted. A subsequent 2002 investigation by the Government of Peru into the incident and subsequent congressional report, uncovered instances of corruption since Elliott was not legally authorized to purchase the Peruvian debt from Swiss Bank Corporation without the prior approval of the Peruvian government, and thus the purchase had occurred in breach of contract. At the same time, Elliott's representative, Jaime Pinto, had been formerly employed by the Peruvian Ministry of Economy and Finance and had contact with senior officials. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Peruvian government paid Elliott $56 million to settle the case.

After Argentina defaulted on its debt in 2002, the Elliott-owned company NML Capital Limited refused to accept the Argentine offer to pay less than 30 cents per dollar of debt. With a face value of $630 million, the bonds were reportedly bought by NML for $48 million, with Elliott assessing the bonds as worth $2.3 billion with accrued interest. Elliott sued Argentina for the debt's value, and the lower UK courts found that Argentina had state immunity. Elliott successfully appealed the case to the UK Supreme Court, which ruled that Elliott had the right to attempt to seize Argentine property in the United Kingdom. Alternatively, before 2011, US courts ruled against allowing creditors to seize Argentine state assets in the United States. On October 2, 2012 Singer arranged for a Ghanaian Court order to detain the Argentine naval training vessel ARA Libertad in a Ghanaian port, with the vessel to be used as collateral in an effort to force Argentina to pay the debt. Refusing to pay, Argentina shortly thereafter regained control of the ship after its seizure was deemed illegal by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Alleging the incident lost Tema Harbour $7.6 million in lost revenue and unpaid docking fees, Ghana in 2012 was reportedly considering legal action against NML for the amount.

His firm... is so influential that fear of its tactics helped shape the current 2012 Greek debt restructuring." Elliott was termed by The Independent as "a pioneer in the business of buying up sovereign bonds on the cheap, and then going after countries for unpaid debts", and in 1996, Singer began using the strategy of purchasing sovereign debt from nations in or near default-such as Argentina, Peru-through his NML Capital Limited and Congo-Brazzaville through Kensington International Inc. In 2004, then first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund Anne Osborn Krueger denounced the strategy, alleging that it has "undermined the entire structure of sovereign finance."

we wrote that " Trump's rhetoric is concentrated around a racist delirium. He avoids to take direct position on social matters, issues about inequality, etc. Of course he does, he is a billionaire! Trump will follow the pro-establishment agenda of protecting Wall Street and big businesses. And here is the fundamental difference with Bernie Sanders. Bernie says no more war and he means it. He says more taxes for the super-rich and he means it. Free healthcare and education for all the Americans, and he means it. In case that Bernie manage to beat Hillary, the establishment will definitely turn to Trump who will be supported by all means until the US presidency. "

Yet, we would never expect that Trump would verify us, that fast.

[Mar 25, 2019] The Mass Psychology of Trumpism by Eli Zaretsky

Highly recommended!
But sophistication of intelligence agencies now reached very high level. Russiage was pretty dirty but pretty slick operation. British thre letter againces were even more devious, if we view Skripals poisoning as MI5/Mi6 "witness protection" operation due to possible Skripal role in creating Steele dossier. So let's keep wanting the evnet. The election 2020 might be event more interesting the Elections of 2016. Who would suggest in 2015 that he/she elects man candidate from Israel lobby instead of a woman candidate from the same lobby?
Notable quotes:
"... The consistent derogation of Trump in the New York Times or on MSNBC may be helpful in keeping the resistance fired up, but it is counterproductive when it comes to breaking down the Trump coalition. His followers take every attack on their leader as an attack on them. ..."
"... Adorno also observed that demagoguery of this sort is a profession, a livelihood with well-tested methods. Trump is a far more familiar figure than may at first appear. The demagogue's appeals, Adorno wrote, 'have been standardised, similarly to the advertising slogans which proved to be most valuable in the promotion of business'. Trump's background in salesmanship and reality TV prepared him perfectly for his present role. ..."
"... the leader can guess the psychological wants and needs of those susceptible to his propaganda because he resembles them psychologically, and is distinguished from them by a capacity to express without inhibitions what is latent in them, rather than by any intrinsic superiority. ..."
"... The leaders are generally oral character types, with a compulsion to speak incessantly and to befool the others. The famous spell they exercise over their followers seems largely to depend on their orality: language itself, devoid of its rational significance, functions in a magical way and furthers those archaic regressions which reduce individuals to members of crowds. ..."
"... Since uninhibited associative speech presupposes at least a temporary lack of ego control, it can indicate weakness as well as strength. The agitators' boasting is frequently accompanied by hints of weakness, often merged with claims of strength. This was particularly striking, Adorno wrote, when the agitator begged for monetary contributions. ..."
"... Since 8 November 2016, many people have concluded that what they understandably view as a catastrophe was the result of the neglect by neoliberal elites of the white working class, simply put. Inspired by Bernie Sanders, they believe that the Democratic Party has to reorient its politics from the idea that 'a few get rich first' to protection for the least advantaged. ..."
"... Of those providing his roughly 40 per cent approval ratings, half say they 'strongly approve' and are probably lost to the Democrats. ..."
Sep 18, 2018 | lrb.co.uk
One might object that Trump, a billionaire TV star, does not resemble his followers. But this misses the powerful intimacy that he establishes with them, at rallies, on TV and on Twitter. Part of his malicious genius lies in his ability to forge a bond with people who are otherwise excluded from the world to which he belongs. Even as he cast Hillary Clinton as the tool of international finance, he said:

I do deals – big deals – all the time. I know and work with all the toughest operators in the world of high-stakes global finance. These are hard-driving, vicious cut-throat financial killers, the kind of people who leave blood all over the boardroom table and fight to the bitter end to gain maximum advantage.

With these words he brought his followers into the boardroom with him and encouraged them to take part in a shared, cynical exposure of the soiled motives and practices that lie behind wealth. His role in the Birther movement, the prelude to his successful presidential campaign, was not only racist, but also showed that he was at home with the most ignorant, benighted, prejudiced people in America. Who else but a complete loser would engage in Birtherism, so far from the Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Harvard aura that elevated Obama, but also distanced him from the masses?

The consistent derogation of Trump in the New York Times or on MSNBC may be helpful in keeping the resistance fired up, but it is counterproductive when it comes to breaking down the Trump coalition. His followers take every attack on their leader as an attack on them. 'The fascist leader's startling symptoms of inferiority', Adorno wrote, 'his resemblance to ham actors and asocial psychopaths', facilitates the identification, which is the basis of the ideal. On the Access Hollywood tape, which was widely assumed would finish him, Trump was giving voice to a common enough daydream, but with 'greater force' and greater 'freedom of libido' than his followers allow themselves. And he was bolstering the narcissism of the women who support him, too, by describing himself as helpless in the grip of his desires for them.

Adorno also observed that demagoguery of this sort is a profession, a livelihood with well-tested methods. Trump is a far more familiar figure than may at first appear. The demagogue's appeals, Adorno wrote, 'have been standardised, similarly to the advertising slogans which proved to be most valuable in the promotion of business'. Trump's background in salesmanship and reality TV prepared him perfectly for his present role. According to Adorno,

the leader can guess the psychological wants and needs of those susceptible to his propaganda because he resembles them psychologically, and is distinguished from them by a capacity to express without inhibitions what is latent in them, rather than by any intrinsic superiority.

To meet the unconscious wishes of his audience, the leader

simply turns his own unconscious outward Experience has taught him consciously to exploit this faculty, to make rational use of his irrationality, similarly to the actor, or a certain type of journalist who knows how to sell their sensitivity.

All he has to do in order to make the sale, to get his TV audience to click, or to arouse a campaign rally, is exploit his own psychology.

Using old-fashioned but still illuminating language, Adorno continued:

The leaders are generally oral character types, with a compulsion to speak incessantly and to befool the others. The famous spell they exercise over their followers seems largely to depend on their orality: language itself, devoid of its rational significance, functions in a magical way and furthers those archaic regressions which reduce individuals to members of crowds.

Since uninhibited associative speech presupposes at least a temporary lack of ego control, it can indicate weakness as well as strength. The agitators' boasting is frequently accompanied by hints of weakness, often merged with claims of strength. This was particularly striking, Adorno wrote, when the agitator begged for monetary contributions. As with the Birther movement or Access Hollywood, Trump's self-debasement – pretending to sell steaks on the campaign trail – forges a bond that secures his idealised status.

Since 8 November 2016, many people have concluded that what they understandably view as a catastrophe was the result of the neglect by neoliberal elites of the white working class, simply put. Inspired by Bernie Sanders, they believe that the Democratic Party has to reorient its politics from the idea that 'a few get rich first' to protection for the least advantaged.

Yet no one who lived through the civil rights and feminist rebellions of recent decades can believe that an economic programme per se is a sufficient basis for a Democratic-led politics.

This holds as well when it comes to trying to reach out to Trump's supporters. Of those providing his roughly 40 per cent approval ratings, half say they 'strongly approve' and are probably lost to the Democrats. But if we understand the personal level at which pro-Trump strivings operate, we may better appeal to the other half, and in that way forestall the coming emergency.

[Mar 15, 2019] Will Democrats Go Full Hawk by Jack Hunter

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Warren could have easily gone either way, succumbing to the emotive demands of the Never Trump mob. She instead opted to stick to the traditional progressive position on undeclared war, even if it meant siding with the president. ..."
"... Bravo Congressman Khanna. And to those progs who share his sympathies with those of us who have consistently opposed US military adventurism. Howard Dean's comments that American troops should take a bullet in support of "women's rights" in Afghanistan (!) only underscores why he serves as comic relief and really should consider wearing tassels and bells. ..."
"... Trump – and Bernie – put their fingers on the electoral zeitgeist in 2016: the oligarchy is out of control, its servants in Washington have turned their backs on the middle class, and we need to stop getting into stupid, needless wars. ..."
"... "Principles", LOL? What principles? When have Democrats ever not campaigned on a "bring them home, no torture, etc" peace platform and then governed on a deep state neocon foreign policy, with entitlements to drone anyone on earth in Obama's case? At least horrible neocon Republicans are honest enough to say what they believe when they run. ..."
"... Hillary was full hawk. It was Trump who said he was less hawkish. Yeah, he hasn't lived up to that either. But Democrats can't go hawkish in response. They already were the hawks. ..."
Mar 14, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

When President Donald Trump announced in December that he wanted an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, there was more silence and opposition from the Left than approval. The 2016 election's highest-profile progressive, Senator Bernie Sanders, said virtually nothing at the time. The 2018 midterm election's Left celeb, former congressman Beto O'Rourke, kept mum too. The 2004 liberal hero, Howard Dean, came out against troop withdrawals, saying they would damage women's rights in Afghanistan.

The liberal news outlet on which Warren made her statement, MSNBC, which had already been sounding more like Fox News circa 2003, warned that withdrawal from Syria could hurt national security. The left-leaning news channel has even made common cause with Bill Kristol and other neoconservatives in its shared opposition to all things Trump.

Maddow herself has not only vocally opposed the president's decision, but has become arguably more popular than ever with liberal viewers by peddling wild-eyed anti-Trump conspiracy theories worthy of Alex Jones. Reacting to one of her cockamamie theories, progressive journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted , "She is Glenn Beck standing at the chalkboard. Liberals celebrate her (relatively) high ratings as proof that she's right, but Beck himself proved that nothing produces higher cable ratings than feeding deranged partisans unhinged conspiracy theories that flatter their beliefs."

The Trump derangement that has so enveloped the Left on everything, including foreign policy, is precisely what makes Democratic presidential candidate Warren's Syria withdrawal position so noteworthy. One can safely assume that Sanders, O'Rourke, Dean, MSNBC, Maddow, and many of their fellow progressive travelers' silence on or resistance to troop withdrawal is simply them gauging what their liberal audiences currently want or will accept.

Warren could have easily gone either way, succumbing to the emotive demands of the Never Trump mob. She instead opted to stick to the traditional progressive position on undeclared war, even if it meant siding with the president.

... ... ...

Jack Hunter is the former political editor of Rare.us and co-authored the 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington with Senator Rand Paul.


WorkingClass March 13, 2019 at 10:36 pm

Only a crushing defeat and massive casualties on the battlefield will cause ANY change in foreign policy by either party.
PAX , says: March 13, 2019 at 10:45 pm
The antiwar movement is not a "liberal" movement. Hundreds of mainly your people addressed the San Francisco board of supervisors asking them to condemn an Israeli full-fledged attack on Gaza. When they were finished, without objection from one single supervisor, the issued was tabled and let sink permanently in the Bay, never to be heard of again. Had the situation been reversed and Israel under attack there most probably would have been a resolution in nanoseconds. Maybe even half the board volunteering to join the IDF? People believed Trump would act more objectively. That is why he got a lot of peace votes. What AIPAC wants there is a high probability our liberal politicians will oblige quickly and willingly. Who really represents America remains a mystery?
Donald , says: March 13, 2019 at 11:40 pm
"That abiding hatred will continue to play an outsized and often illogical role in determining what most Democrats believe about foreign policy."

True, but the prowar tendency with mainstream liberals ( think Clintonites) is older than that. The antiwar movement among mainstream liberals died the instant Obama entered the White House. And even before that Clinton and Kerry and others supported the Iraq War. I think this goes all the way back to Gulf War I, and possibly further. Democrats were still mostly antiwar to some degree after Vietnam and they also opposed Reagan's proxy wars in Central America and Angola. Some opposed the Gulf War, but it seemed a big success at the time and so it became centrist and smart to kick the Vietnam War syndrome and be prowar. Bill Clinton has his little war in Serbia, which was seen as a success and so being prowar became the centrist Dem position. Obama was careful to say he wasn't antiwar, just against dumb wars. Gore opposed going into Iraq, but on technocratic grounds.

And in popular culture, in the West Wing the liberal fantasy President was bombing an imaginary Mideast terrorist country. Showed he was a tough guy, but measured, unlike some of the even more warlike fictitious Republicans in that show. I remember Toby Ziegler, one of the main characters, ranting to his pro diplomacy wife that we needed to go in and civilize those crazy Muslims.

So it isn't just an illogical overreaction to Trump, though that is part of it.

polistra , says: March 14, 2019 at 2:18 am
Won't happen. Gabbard is solid and sincere but she's not Hillary so she won't be the candidate. Hillary is the candidate forever. If Hillary is too drunk to stand up, or too obviously dead, Kamala will serve as Hillary's regent.
ked_x , says: March 14, 2019 at 2:48 am
The problem isn't THAT Trump is pulling the troops out of Syria. The problem is HOW Trump is pulling the troops out of Syria. The Left isn't fighting about 'keeping troops indefinitely in Syria' vs pulling troops out of Syria'. Its a fight over 'pulling troops out in a way that makes it so that we don't have to go back in like Obama and Iraq' vs 'backing the reckless pull out Trump is going to do'.
Kasoy , says: March 14, 2019 at 3:42 am
Will Democrats go full hawk?

For Democrats, everything depends on what the polls say, which issues seem important to get elected. They will say anything, no matter how irrational & outrageously insane if the polls say Democrat voters like them. If American involvement in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan are less important according to the polls, Democratic 2020 hopefuls will not bother to focus on it.

For True Christian conservatives, everything depends on how issues line up to God's laws. Polls do not change what is morally right, & what is morally evil.

Connecticut Farmer , says: March 14, 2019 at 8:47 am
"I am glad Donald Trump is withdrawing troops from Syria. Congress never authorized the intervention."

Bravo Congressman Khanna. And to those progs who share his sympathies with those of us who have consistently opposed US military adventurism. Howard Dean's comments that American troops should take a bullet in support of "women's rights" in Afghanistan (!) only underscores why he serves as comic relief and really should consider wearing tassels and bells.

M. Orban , says: March 14, 2019 at 9:35 am
Having grown up under communism, I learned that it is dangerous but inevitable that propagandists eventually come to believe their own fabrications.
Argon , says: March 14, 2019 at 11:23 am
Kasoy: "For True Christian conservatives, everything depends on how issues line up to God's laws. Polls do not change what is morally right, & what is morally evil."

I think that needs the trademark symbol, i.e True Christians™

What do True Scotsmen do?

Dave , says: March 14, 2019 at 12:53 pm
Recent suggests that more Christian Identity Politics will not keep us out of unwise wars.
Dave , says: March 14, 2019 at 1:19 pm
The Second Coming of Jack Hunter. Given his well-documented views on race, it's no surprise he's all in on Trump. That surely outweighs Trump's massive spending and corruption that most true libertarians oppose.
EarlyBird , says: March 14, 2019 at 3:04 pm
Trump – and Bernie – put their fingers on the electoral zeitgeist in 2016: the oligarchy is out of control, its servants in Washington have turned their backs on the middle class, and we need to stop getting into stupid, needless wars.

Of course, the left would come out against puppies and sunshine if Trump came out for those things.

But if they are smart, they'd recognize that on war, or his lack of interest in starting new wars, even the broken Trump clock has been right twice a day.

Erin , says: March 14, 2019 at 3:11 pm
The flip side of this phenomenon is that so many Republican voters supported Trump's withdrawal from Syria. Had it been Obama withdrawing the troops, I suspect 80-90% of Republicans would have opposed the withdrawal.

This does show that Republicans are listening to Trump more than Lindsey Graham or Marco Rubio on foreign policy. But once Trump leaves office, I fear the party will swing back towards the neocons.

Andrew , says: March 14, 2019 at 5:14 pm
"Principles", LOL? What principles? When have Democrats ever not campaigned on a "bring them home, no torture, etc" peace platform and then governed on a deep state neocon foreign policy, with entitlements to drone anyone on earth in Obama's case? At least horrible neocon Republicans are honest enough to say what they believe when they run.

Dopey Trump campaigned on something different and has now surrounded himself with GOP hawks, probably because he's lazy and doesn't know any better.

Bernie, much like Ron Paul was, 180 degrees away, is the only one who might do different if he got into office, and the rate the left is going he may very well be the nominee.

Mark Thomason , says: March 15, 2019 at 11:23 am
Hillary was full hawk. It was Trump who said he was less hawkish. Yeah, he hasn't lived up to that either. But Democrats can't go hawkish in response. They already were the hawks.

The least bad comment on Democrats is that everyone in DC is a hawk, not just them.

[Mar 05, 2019] The Shadow Governments Destruction Of Democracy

Highly recommended!
Trump actually proved to be very convenient President to CIA., Probably as convenient as Obama... Both completely outsourced foreign policy to neocons and CIA )in this sense the appointment of Pompeo is worst joke Trump could play with the remnants of US democracy_ .
Notable quotes:
"... "The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street." ..."
"... "It's agencies like the CIA, the NSA and the other intelligence agencies, that are essentially designed to disseminate disinformation and deceit and propaganda, and have a long history of doing not only that, but also have a long history of the world's worst war crimes, atrocities and death squads." ..."
"... Greenwald asserts the the CIA preferred Clinton because, like the clandestine agency, she supported regime change in Syria. In contrast, Trump dismissed America's practice of nation-building and declined to tow the line on ousting foreign leaders, instead advocating working with Russia to defeat ISIS and other extremist groups. ..."
"... "So, Trump's agenda that he ran on was completely antithetical to what the CIA wanted," Greenwald argued. "Clinton's was exactly what the CIA wanted, and so they were behind her. And so, they've been trying to undermine Trump for many months throughout the election. And now that he won, they are not just undermining him with leaks, but actively subverting him." ..."
"... But on the other hand, the CIA was elected by nobody. They're barely subject to democratic controls at all. And so, to urge that the CIA and the intelligence community empower itself to undermine the elected branches of government is insanity. ..."
"... He also points out the left's hypocrisy in condemning Flynn for lying when James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence during the Obama administration, perpetuated lies without ever being held accountable. ..."
Feb 19, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
And on the heels of Dennis Kucinich's warnings , The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald, who opposes Trump for a variety of reasons, warns that siding with the evidently powerful Deep State in the hopes of undermining Trump is dangerous. As TheAntiMedia's Carey Wedler notes , Greenwald asserted in an interview with Democracy Now, published on Thursday, that this boils down to a fight between the Deep State and the Trump administration.

https://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2017/2/16/greenwald_empowering_the_deep_state_to

Though Greenwald has argued the leaks were "wholly justified" in spite of the fact they violated criminal law, he also questioned the motives behind them.

"It's very possible - I'd say likely - that the motive here was vindictive rather than noble," he wrote. "Whatever else is true, this is a case where the intelligence community, through strategic (and illegal) leaks, destroyed one of its primary adversaries in the Trump White House."

According to an in-depth report by journalist Mike Lofgren:

"The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street."

As Greenwald explained during his interview:

"It's agencies like the CIA, the NSA and the other intelligence agencies, that are essentially designed to disseminate disinformation and deceit and propaganda, and have a long history of doing not only that, but also have a long history of the world's worst war crimes, atrocities and death squads."

Greenwald believes this division is a result of the Deep State's disapproval of Trump's foreign policy and the fact that the intelligence community overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton over Trump because of her hawkish views. Greenwald noted that Mike Morell, acting CIA chief under Obama, and Michael Hayden, who ran both the CIA and NSA under George W. Bush, openly spoke out against Trump during the presidential campaign.

Greenwald asserts the the CIA preferred Clinton because, like the clandestine agency, she supported regime change in Syria. In contrast, Trump dismissed America's practice of nation-building and declined to tow the line on ousting foreign leaders, instead advocating working with Russia to defeat ISIS and other extremist groups.

"So, Trump's agenda that he ran on was completely antithetical to what the CIA wanted," Greenwald argued. "Clinton's was exactly what the CIA wanted, and so they were behind her. And so, they've been trying to undermine Trump for many months throughout the election. And now that he won, they are not just undermining him with leaks, but actively subverting him."

"[In] the closing months of the Obama administration, they put together a deal with Russia to create peace in Syria. A few days later, a military strike in Syria killed a hundred Syrian soldiers and that ended the agreement. What happened is inside the intelligence and the Pentagon there was a deliberate effort to sabotage an agreement the White House made."

Greenwald, who opposes Trump for a variety of reasons, warns that siding with the evidently powerful Deep State in the hopes of undermining Trump is dangerous. "Trump was democratically elected and is subject to democratic controls, as these courts just demonstrated and as the media is showing, as citizens are proving," he said, likely alluding to a recent court ruling that nullified Trump's travel ban.

He continued:

"But on the other hand, the CIA was elected by nobody. They're barely subject to democratic controls at all. And so, to urge that the CIA and the intelligence community empower itself to undermine the elected branches of government is insanity."

He argues that mentality is "a prescription for destroying democracy overnight in the name of saving it," highlighting that members of both prevailing political parties are praising the Deep State's audacity in leaking details of Flynn's conversations.

As he wrote in his article, " it's hard to put into words how strange it is to watch the very same people - from both parties, across the ideological spectrum - who called for the heads of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Tom Drake, and so many other Obama-era leakers today heap praise on those who leaked the highly sensitive, classified SIGINT information that brought down Gen. Flynn."

He also points out the left's hypocrisy in condemning Flynn for lying when James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence during the Obama administration, perpetuated lies without ever being held accountable.

[Feb 27, 2019] Their votes mean absolutely nothing, and that the entire American electoral system is just a simulation of democracy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "That might have left people with the false impression that their votes mean absolutely nothing, and that the entire American electoral system is just a simulation of democracy, and in reality they are living in a neo-feudalist, de facto global capitalist empire administrated by omnicidal money-worshipping human parasites that won't be satisfied until they've remade the whole of creation in their nihilistic image." ..."
Feb 27, 2019 | www.unz.com

Jake , says: February 26, 2019 at 12:04 pm GMT

"That might have left people with the false impression that their votes mean absolutely nothing, and that the entire American electoral system is just a simulation of democracy, and in reality they are living in a neo-feudalist, de facto global capitalist empire administrated by omnicidal money-worshipping human parasites that won't be satisfied until they've remade the whole of creation in their nihilistic image."

Now that's writing worth reading. If the Nobel committee did not serve the Global Empire, it would give the Literature Prize to Hopkins.

The late 19th and 20th century Russians had the horror of dealing with Nihilists running amuck in their country. Now the Nihilists rule the world as multi-billionaire Globalists.

[Feb 24, 2019] David Stockman on Peak Trump : Undrainable swamp (which is on Pentagon side of Potomac river) and fantasy of MAGA (which become MIGA -- make Israel great again)

Highly recommended!
Interview is about forthcoming book "Peak Trump" In "Peak Trump", Stockman goes after all the sacred cows: Military spending, entitlement spending, MAGA, Trump's tax cut, the intelligence budget, and the Wall. Trump is a symptom of the problem. He wanted to drain the swamp but failed to do so. He never really had a good chance of doing that, but he failed to make the most of the chance he had. We are where we are because of decades of Congressional and monetary mismanagement
All in the name of empire... the Deep state in non-particular and Trump proved to be a "naked king"
At 15:49 min Ron Paul asks the question about Tulsi... She positioned herself as noninterventionists and has similar foreign policy as Ron Paul used to have. Stockman answer was very interesting and informative.. MSM journalists are essentially federal contractor, lobbyists of MIC.
He also mentioned that Trump falls from the bait. And the appointment of Elliot Abrams was real betrayal of his voters.
Notable quotes:
"... He was smart enough to understand that the commonplace observation codified as the Laffer Curve, while true, didn't mean that DC could just go on an endless spending spree and expect increased tax revenues to exceed the avarice of politicians, though. ..."
"... No, I don't think Stockman's rhetoric was a lie. He did end up getting shoved out of the Reagan regime, after all, precisely because he resisted giving every cabinet secretary all the money they wanted and, as you say, insisted that the tax cuts needed to be accompanied by spending cuts. ..."
"... But supply-side economics is, perversely, a departure from sound economic policy in the direction of central planning . Its premise is that instead of production being driven by diffuse demand, money should be concentrated in the hands of a few who "know better" what should be produced. ..."
"... And in practice, the "entrepreneurs" intended to benefit were the businesses who already had the clout to make themselves part of the political class, not the guy in his garage designing a better mousetrap. ..."
"... The Laffer Curve is an interesting but much over-used (and badly used) observation: There is a tax revenue curve with a top to it. That is, as you raise taxes, revenues go up ... until the taxation gets onerous enough that additional earnings beyond bare subsistence strike people as not worth the input, beyond which point tax INcreases produce revenue DEcreases. ..."
Feb 04, 2019 | www.antiwar.com

supremeborg 19 days ago ,

David Stockman was one of my conservative heroes during the Reagan years. He was the one person in the Administration who seemed to have an honest understanding of economics. It's nice to see that his experiences with the reality of the DC swamp have made him go all the way to describing himself as a libertarian, rather than a conservative.

He could have sold out, given up any modicum of principle, and simply become a multi-millionaire Republican Party establishment hack.

I would venture to say he and I have some policy differences, but it's always nice to see when someone embraces their best, rather than their worst, instincts.

Thomas L. Knapp Mod supremeborg 19 days ago ,

My recollection of Stockman's economics from those years (based on e.g. The Triumph of Politics) was that he was all-in on "supply side" economics, which is twaddle. He was smart enough to understand that the commonplace observation codified as the Laffer Curve, while true, didn't mean that DC could just go on an endless spending spree and expect increased tax revenues to exceed the avarice of politicians, though.

supremeborg Thomas L. Knapp 19 days ago ,

Yes, supply side is bogus, but my observations were that Stockman was quite critical of the spending increases that the Administration put forth. He approved of the so called tax-cuts, but he did so with the understanding that there would be spending cuts along with them.

My own recollections (I was alive back then, but not as politically conscious as I am now) were that Stockman was not endorsing the supply side theory so much as his own idea that cuts in government spending were necessary, and that tax cuts would put pressure on Congress and the administration to cut spending. The irony is that, for whatever reason, tax revenues overall increased by 60% in Reagan's two terms, yet spending increased almost 100%. This certainly disproves the idea that there was ever a revenue problem, and that it has always been a spending problem.

In any event, Stockman was just about the only person with an official capacity in DC, who actually worked toward spending cuts. Unless you are saying that his rhetoric was a lie, and he was just like all the others. If that is the case then, of course, you could always be right.

Thomas L. Knapp Mod supremeborg 18 days ago ,

No, I don't think Stockman's rhetoric was a lie. He did end up getting shoved out of the Reagan regime, after all, precisely because he resisted giving every cabinet secretary all the money they wanted and, as you say, insisted that the tax cuts needed to be accompanied by spending cuts.

But supply-side economics is, perversely, a departure from sound economic policy in the direction of central planning . Its premise is that instead of production being driven by diffuse demand, money should be concentrated in the hands of a few who "know better" what should be produced.

True, the central planning class in question was, broadly and not very honestly defined, "entrepreneurs" rather than government bureaucrats, but the principle was the same. And in practice, the "entrepreneurs" intended to benefit were the businesses who already had the clout to make themselves part of the political class, not the guy in his garage designing a better mousetrap.

supremeborg Thomas L. Knapp 18 days ago ,

"But supply-side economics is, perversely, a departure from sound economic policy"

Perhaps the most damning thing about it was that the stated goal was to increase the federal government's revenue. What person in their right mind would wish to give even more money and power to the federal government?

Thomas L. Knapp Mod supremeborg 18 days ago ,

I think you're mixing up two different things.

The Laffer Curve is an interesting but much over-used (and badly used) observation: There is a tax revenue curve with a top to it. That is, as you raise taxes, revenues go up ... until the taxation gets onerous enough that additional earnings beyond bare subsistence strike people as not worth the input, beyond which point tax INcreases produce revenue DEcreases.

[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 04, 2019] Trump s Revised and Rereleased Foreign Policy: The World Policeman is Back

Highly recommended!
This article from 2017 looks like it was written yesterday. Trump betrayal of his elctorate on multiple levels, essentially on all key poin of his election program mkes him "Republican Obama".
What is interesting about Trump foreign policy is his version of neoliberal "gangster capitalism" on foreign arena: might is right principle applied like universal opener. Previous administrations tried to put a lipstick on the pig. Trump does not even bother.
In terms of foreign policy, and even during the transition before Trump's inauguration, there were other, more disturbing signs of where Trump would be heading soon. When Fidel Castro died on November 25, 2016, Trump seemed jubilant as if he had somehow been vindicated, and took the opportunity to slander Castro as a "brutal dictator" who "oppressed his own people" and turned Cuba into a "totalitarian island".
Notable quotes:
"... However, when he delivered his inaugural address on January 20, 2017, Trump appeared to reaffirm his campaign themes of anti-interventionism. In particular he seemed to turn the government's back on a long-standing policy of cultural imperialism , stating: "We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone". In addition he said his government would "seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world," and he understood the importance of national sovereignty when he added, "it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first". ..."
"... Yet when it came to Russia, Trump could have instantly removed sanctions that were imposed by Obama in his last weeks in office -- an irresponsible and dangerous act by Obama, where foreign policy was used as a partisan tool in the service of shoring up a crummy conspiracy theory about "Russian hacking" in order to deny the Democrats any culpability in their much deserved defeat. ..."
"... The entire conflict with Russia that has developed in recent years, on the US side, was totally unnecessary, illogical, and quite preventable. ..."
"... Just two weeks after violating his promise to end the US role as the world's policeman and his vow to extricate the US from wars for regime change, Trump sold out again. "I love WikiLeaks -- " -- this is what Trump exclaimed in a speech on October 10, 2016. Trump's about-face on WikiLeaks is thus truly astounding. ..."
"... AP: If I could fit a couple of more topics. Jeff Sessions, your attorney general, is taking a tougher line suddenly on Julian Assange, saying that arresting him is a priority. You were supportive of what WikiLeaks was doing during the campaign with the release of the Clinton emails. Do you think that arresting Assange is a priority for the United States? ..."
"... AP: But that didn't mean that you supported what Assange is doing? ..."
"... AP: Can I just ask you, though -- do you believe it is a priority for the United States, or it should be a priority, to arrest Julian Assange? ..."
"... While there is no denying the extensive data about the severe impacts of NAFTA on select states and industries in the US, witnessed by the closure of tens of thousands of factories and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, there is little support for the claim that Canada and Mexico, as wholes, have instead fared well and that the US as a whole has been the loser thanks to them. ..."
"... Since NAFTA was implemented, migration from Mexico to the US skyrocketed dramatically. US agricultural industries sent millions of Mexican farmers into food poverty, and ultimately drove them away from agriculture ..."
"... As for per capita GDP, so treasured by economists, NAFTA had no positive impact on Mexico -- in fact, per capita GDP is nearly a flat line for the entire period since 1994. Finally, Trump does not mention that in terms of the number of actual protectionist measures that have been implemented, the US leads the world . ..."
"... To put Trump's position on NAFTA in bold relief, it is not that he is decidedly against free trade. In fact, he often claims he supports free trade, as long as it is "fair". However, his notion of fairness is very lopsided -- a trade agreement is fair only when the US reaps the greater share of benefits. ..."
"... As argued in the previous section, if Trump is to be the newfound champion of this imperialism -- empire's prodigal son -- then what an abysmally poor choice he is ..."
"... On the one hand, he helped to unleash US anti-interventionism (usually called "isolationism" not to call it anti-imperialism, which would then admit to imperialism which is still denied by most of the dominant elites). On the other hand, in trying to now contain such popular sentiment, he loses credibility -- after having lost credibility with the groups his campaign displaced. ..."
"... As for Trump's domestic opposition, what should be most pertinent are issues of conflict of interest and nepotism . Here members of Trump's base are more on target yet again, when they reject the presence of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner in the White House ("we didn't elect Ivanka or Jared"), than are those distracted by identity politics. ..."
"... As Trump leverages the presidency to upgrade the Trump family to the transnational capitalist class, and reinforces the power of US imperialism which that class has purchased, conflict of interest and nepotism will be the main political signposts of the transformation of the Trump presidency, but they could also be the targets for a refined strategy of opposition. ..."
Aug 09, 2017 | zeroanthropology.net

Trump could have kept quiet, and lost nothing. Instead what he was attacking -- and the irony was missed on his fervently right wing supporters -- was someone who was a leader in the anti-globalist movement, from long before it was ever called that. Fidel Castro was a radical pioneer of independence, self-reliance, and self-determination.

Castro turned Cuba from an American-owned sugar plantation and brothel, a lurid backwater in the Caribbean, into a serious international actor opposed to globalizing capitalism. There was no sign of any acknowledgment of this by Trump, who instead chose to parrot the same people who would vilify him using similar terms (evil, authoritarian, etc.). Of course, Trump respects only corporate executives and billionaires, not what he would see as some rag-tag Third World revolutionary. Here Trump's supporters generally failed, using Castro's death as an opportunity for tribal partisanship, another opportunity to attack "weak liberals" like Obama who made minor overtures to Cuba (too little, too late).

Their distrust of "the establishment" was nowhere to be found this time: their ignorance of Cuba and their resort to stock clichés and slogans had all been furnished to them by the same establishment they otherwise claimed to oppose.

Just to be clear, the above is not meant to indicate any reversal on Trump's part regarding Cuba. He has been consistently anti-communist, and fairly consistent in his denunciations of Fidel Castro. What is significant is that -- far from overcoming the left-right divide -- Trump shores up the barriers, even at the cost of denouncing others who have a proven track record of fighting against neoliberal globalization and US interventionism. In these regards, Trump has no track record. Even among his rivals in the Republican primaries, senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul had more of an anti-interventionist track record.

However, when he delivered his inaugural address on January 20, 2017, Trump appeared to reaffirm his campaign themes of anti-interventionism. In particular he seemed to turn the government's back on a long-standing policy of cultural imperialism , stating: "We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone". In addition he said his government would "seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world," and he understood the importance of national sovereignty when he added, "it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first".

Russia

Yet when it came to Russia, Trump could have instantly removed sanctions that were imposed by Obama in his last weeks in office -- an irresponsible and dangerous act by Obama, where foreign policy was used as a partisan tool in the service of shoring up a crummy conspiracy theory about "Russian hacking" in order to deny the Democrats any culpability in their much deserved defeat.

Instead, Trump continued the sanctions, as if out of meek deference to Obama's policy, one founded on lies and antagonism toward Trump himself. Rather than repair the foul attempt to sabotage the US-Russian relationship in preparation for his presidency, Trump simply abided and thus became an accomplice. To be clear, Trump has done precisely nothing to dampen the near mass hysteria that has been manufactured in the US about alleged -- indeed imaginary -- "Russian intervention".

His comments, both during the electoral campaign and even early into his presidency, about wanting good relations with Russia, have been replaced by Trump's admissions that US relations with Russia are at a low point (Putin agreed: "I would say the level of trust [between Russia and the US] is at a workable level, especially in the military dimension, but it hasn't improved. On the contrary, it has degraded " and his spokesman called the relations " deplorable ".)

Rather than use the power of his office to calm fears, to build better ties with Russia, and to make meeting with Vladimir Putin a top priority, Trump has again done nothing , except escalating tensions. The entire conflict with Russia that has developed in recent years, on the US side, was totally unnecessary, illogical, and quite preventable. Russia had actively facilitated the US' war in Afghanistan for over a decade, and was a consistent collaborator on numerous levels. It is up to thinking American officials to honestly explain what motivated them to tilt relations with Russia, because it is certainly not Russia's doing. The only explanation that makes any sense is that the US leadership grew concerned that Russia was no longer teetering on the edge of total socio-economic breakdown, as it was under the neoliberal Boris Yeltsin, but has instead resurfaced as a major actor in international affairs, and one that champions anti-neoliberal objectives of enhanced state sovereignty and self-determination.

WikiLeaks

Just two weeks after violating his promise to end the US role as the world's policeman and his vow to extricate the US from wars for regime change, Trump sold out again. "I love WikiLeaks -- " -- this is what Trump exclaimed in a speech on October 10, 2016. Trump's about-face on WikiLeaks is thus truly astounding.

After finding so much use for WikiLeaks' publication of the Podesta emails, which became incorporated into his campaign speeches, and which fuelled the writing and speaking of journalists and bloggers sympathetic to Trump -- he was now effectively declaring WikiLeaks to be both an enemy and a likely target of US government action, in even more blunt terms than we heard during the past eight years under Obama. This is not mere continuity with the past, but a dramatic escalation. Rather than praise Julian Assange for his work, call for an end to the illegal impediments to his seeking asylum, swear off any US calls for extraditing and prosecuting Assange, and perhaps meeting with him in person, Trump has done all of the opposite. Instead we learn that Trump's administration may file arrest charges against Assange . Mike Pompeo , chosen by Trump to head the CIA, who had himself cited WikiLeaks as a reliable source of proof about how the Democratic National Committee had rigged its campaign, now declared WikiLeaks to be a " non-state hostile intelligence service ," along with vicious personal slander against Assange.

Trump's about-face on WikiLeaks was one that he defended in terms that were not just a deceptive rewriting of history, but one that was also fearful -- "I don't support or unsupport" WikiLeaks, was what Trump was now saying in his dash for the nearest exit. The backtracking is so obvious in this interview Trump gave to the AP , that his shoes must have left skid marks on the floor:

AP: If I could fit a couple of more topics. Jeff Sessions, your attorney general, is taking a tougher line suddenly on Julian Assange, saying that arresting him is a priority. You were supportive of what WikiLeaks was doing during the campaign with the release of the Clinton emails. Do you think that arresting Assange is a priority for the United States?

TRUMP: When Wikileaks came out never heard of Wikileaks, never heard of it. When Wikileaks came out, all I was just saying is, "Well, look at all this information here, this is pretty good stuff." You know, they tried to hack the Republican, the RNC, but we had good defenses. They didn't have defenses, which is pretty bad management. But we had good defenses, they tried to hack both of them. They weren't able to get through to Republicans. No, I found it very interesting when I read this stuff and I said, "Wow." It was just a figure of speech. I said, "Well, look at this. It's good reading."

AP: But that didn't mean that you supported what Assange is doing?

TRUMP: No, I don't support or unsupport. It was just information .

AP: Can I just ask you, though -- do you believe it is a priority for the United States, or it should be a priority, to arrest Julian Assange?

TRUMP: I am not involved in that decision, but if Jeff Sessions wants to do it, it's OK with me. I didn't know about that decision, but if they want to do it, it's OK with me.

First, Trump invents the fictitious claim that WikiLeaks was responsible for hacking the DNC, and that WikiLeaks also tried to hack the Republicans. Second, he pretends to be an innocent bystander, a spectator, in his own administration -- whatever others decide, is "OK" with him, not that he knows about their decisions, but it's all up to others. He has no power, all of a sudden.

Again, what Trump is displaying in this episode is his ultimate attachment to his class, with all of its anxieties and its contempt for rebellious, marginal upstarts. Trump shuns any sort of "loyalty" to WikiLeaks (not that they ever had a working relationship) or any form of gratitude, because then that would imply a debt and therefore a transfer of value -- whereas Trump's core ethics are those of expedience and greed (he admits that much). This move has come with a cost , with members of Trump's support base openly denouncing the betrayal. 6

NAFTA

On NAFTA , Trump claims he has not changed his position -- yet, from openly denouncing the free trade agreement and promising to terminate it, he now vows only to seek modifications and amendments, which means supporting NAFTA. He appeared to be awfully quick to obey the diplomatic pressure of Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and Mexico's President, Enrique Peña Nieto. Trump's entire position on NAFTA now comes into question.

While there is no denying the extensive data about the severe impacts of NAFTA on select states and industries in the US, witnessed by the closure of tens of thousands of factories and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, there is little support for the claim that Canada and Mexico, as wholes, have instead fared well and that the US as a whole has been the loser thanks to them.

This really deserves to be treated at length, separately from this article. However, for now, let's keep in mind that when Trump complains about Canadian softwood lumber and dairy exports to the US, his argument about NAFTA is without merit. Neither commodity is part of the NAFTA agreement.

Moreover, where dairy is concerned, the problem is US overproduction. Wisconsin alone has more dairy cows than all of Canada . There is a net surplus , in the US' favour, with respect to US dairy exports to Canada. Overall, the US has a net surplus in the trade in goods and services with Canada. Regarding Mexico, the irony of Trump's denunciations of imaginary Mexican victories is that he weakens his own criticisms of immigration.

Since NAFTA was implemented, migration from Mexico to the US skyrocketed dramatically. US agricultural industries sent millions of Mexican farmers into food poverty, and ultimately drove them away from agriculture.

As for per capita GDP, so treasured by economists, NAFTA had no positive impact on Mexico -- in fact, per capita GDP is nearly a flat line for the entire period since 1994. Finally, Trump does not mention that in terms of the number of actual protectionist measures that have been implemented, the US leads the world .

To put Trump's position on NAFTA in bold relief, it is not that he is decidedly against free trade. In fact, he often claims he supports free trade, as long as it is "fair". However, his notion of fairness is very lopsided -- a trade agreement is fair only when the US reaps the greater share of benefits.

His arguments with respect to Canada are akin to those of a looter or raider. He wants to block lumber imports from Canada, at the same time as he wants to break the Canadian dairy market wide open to absorb US excess production. That approach is at the core of what defined the US as a "new empire" in the 1800s. In addition, while Trump was quick to tear up the TPP, he has said nothing about TISA and TTIP.

Mexico

Trump's argument with Mexico is also disturbing for what it implies. It would seem that any evidence of production in Mexico causes Trump concern. Mexico should not only keep its people -- however many are displaced by US imports -- but it should also be as dependent as possible on the US for everything except oil. Since Trump has consistently declared his antagonism to OPEC, ideally Mexico's oil would be sold for a few dollars per barrel.

China

Trump's turn on China almost provoked laughter from his many domestic critics. Absurdly, what figures prominently in most renditions of the story of Trump's change on China (including his own), is a big piece of chocolate cake. The missile strike on Syria was, according to Wilbur Ross, the " after-dinner entertainment ". Here, Trump's loud condemnations of China on trade issues were suddenly quelled -- and it is not because chocolate has magical properties. Instead it seems Trump has been willing to settle on selling out citizens' interests , and particularly those who voted for him, in return for China's assistance on North Korea. Let's be clear: countering and dominating North Korea is an established favourite among neoconservatives. Trump's priority here is fully "neocon," and the submergence of trade issues in favour of militaristic preferences is the one case where neoconservatives might be distinguished from the otherwise identical neoliberals.

North Korea

Where North Korea is concerned, Trump chose to manufacture a " crisis ". North Korea has actually done nothing to warrant a sudden outbreak of panic over it being supposedly aggressive and threatening. North Korea is no more aggressive than any person defending their survival can be called belligerent. The constant series of US military exercises in South Korea, or near North Korean waters, is instead a deliberate provocation to a state whose existence the US nearly extinguished. Even last year the US Air Force publicly boasted of having "nearly destroyed" North Korea -- language one would have expected from the Luftwaffe in WWII. The US continues to maintain roughly 60,000 troops on the border between North and South Korea, and continues to refuse to formally declare an end to the Korean War and sign a peace treaty . Trump then announced he was sending an "armada" to the Korean peninsula, and boasted of how "very powerful" it was. This was in addition to the US deploying the THAAD missile system in South Korea. Several of his messages in Twitter were written using highly provocative and threatening language. When asked if he would start a war, Trump glibly replied: " I don't know. I mean, we'll see ". On another occasion Trump stated, "There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely". When the world's leading military superpower declares its intention to destroy you, then there is nothing you can do in your defense which anyone could justly label as "over the top". Otherwise, once again Trump posed as a parental figure, the world's chief babysitter -- picture Trump, surrounded by children taking part in the "Easter egg roll" at the White House, being asked about North Korea and responding "they gotta behave". Trump would presume to teach manners to North Korea, using the only tools of instruction that seem to be the first and last resort of US foreign policy (and the "defense" industry): bombs.

Syria

Attacking Syria , on purportedly humanitarian grounds, is for many (including vocal supporters) one of the most glaring contradictions of Trump's campaign statements about not embroiling the US in failed wars of regime change and world policing. During the campaign, he was in favour of Russia's collaboration with Syria in the fight against ISIS. For years he had condemned Obama for involving the US in Syria, and consistently opposed military intervention there. All that was consigned to the archive of positions Trump declared to now be worthless. That there had been a change in Trump's position is not a matter of dispute -- Trump made the point himself :

"I like to think of myself as a very flexible person. I don't have to have one specific way, and if the world changes, I go the same way, I don't change. Well, I do change and I am flexible, and I'm proud of that flexibility. And I will tell you, that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me -- big impact. That was a horrible, horrible thing. And I've been watching it and seeing it, and it doesn't get any worse than that. And I have that flexibility, and it's very, very possible -- and I will tell you, it's already happened that my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much. And if you look back over the last few weeks, there were other attacks using gas. You're now talking about a whole different level".

Bending to the will of the prevailing Cold War and neo-McCarthyist atmosphere in the US, rife with anti-Russian conspiracy theories, Trump found an easy opportunity to score points with the hostile media, ever so mindful as he is about approval ratings, polls, and media coverage. Some explain Trump's reversals as arising from his pursuit of public adulation -- and while the media play the key role in purveying celebrity status, they are also a stiff bastion of imperialist culture. Given his many years as a the host of a popular TV show, and as the owner of the Miss Universe Pageant, there is some logical merit to the argument. But I think even more is at work, as explained in paragraphs above. According to Eric Trump it was at the urging of Ivanka that Donald Trump decided to strike a humanitarian-militarist pose. He would play the part of the Victorian parent, only he would use missiles to teach unruly children lessons about violence. Using language typically used against him by the mainstream media, Trump now felt entitled to pontificate that Assad is "evil," an " animal ," who would have to go . When did he supposedly come to this realization? Did Assad become evil at the same time Trump was inaugurated? Why would Trump have kept so silent about "evil" on the campaign trail? Trump of course is wrong: it's not that the world changed and he changed with it; rather, he invented a new fiction to suit his masked intentions. Trump's supposed opponents and critics, like the Soros-funded organizer of the women's march Linda Sarsour, showed her approval of even more drastic action by endorsing messages by what sounded like a stern school mistress who thought that 59 cruise missiles were just a mere "slap on the wrist". Virtually every neocon who is publicly active applauded Trump, as did most senior Democrats. The loudest opposition , however, came from Trump's own base , with a number of articles featuring criticism from Trump's supporters , and one conservative publication calling him outright a " weakling and a political ingrate ".

Members of the Trump administration have played various word games with the public on intervention in Syria. From unnamed officials saying the missile strike was a "one off," to named officials promising more if there were any other suspected chemical attacks (or use of barrel bombs -- and this while the US dropped the biggest non-nuclear bomb in existence on Afghanistan); some said that regime change was not the goal, and then others made it clear that was the ultimate goal ; and then Trump saying, "Our policy is the same, it hasn't changed. We're not going into Syria " -- even though Trump himself greatly increased the number of US troops he deployed to Syria , illegally, in an escalation of the least protested invasion in recent history. Now we should know enough not to count this as mere ambiguity, but as deliberate obfuscation that offers momentary (thinly veiled) cover for a renewal of neocon policy .

We can draw an outline of Trump's liberal imperialism when it comes to Syria, which is likely to be applied elsewhere. First, Trump's interventionist policy regarding Syria is one that continues to treat that country as if it were terra nullius , a mere playground for superpower politics. Second, Trump is clearly continuing with the neoconservative agenda and its hit list of states to be terminated by US military action, as famously confirmed by Gen. Wesley Clark. Even Trump's strategy for justifying the attack on Syria echoed the two prior Bush presidential administrations -- selling war with the infamous "incubator babies" myth and the myth of "weapons of mass destruction" (WMDs). In many ways, Trump's presidency is thus shaping up to be either the seventh term of the George H.W. Bush regime, or the fifth straight term of the George W. Bush regime. Third, Trump is taking ownership of an extremely dangerous conflict, with costs that could surpass anything witnessed by the war on Iraq (which also continues). Fourth, by highlighting the importance of photographs in allegedly changing his mind, Trump has placed a high market value on propaganda featuring dead babies. His actions in Syria will now create an effective demand for the pornographic trade in pictures of atrocities. These are matters of great importance to the transnational capitalist class, which demands full global penetrability, diminished state power (unless in the service of this class' goals), a uniformity of expectations and conformity in behaviour, and an emphasis on individual civil liberties which are the basis for defending private property and consumerism.

Venezuela

It is very disturbing to see how Venezuela is being framed as ripe for US intervention, in ways that distinctly echo the lead up to the US war on Libya. Just as disturbing is that Trump's Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has a clear conflict of interest regarding Venezuela, from his recent role as CEO of Exxon and its conflict with the government of Venezuela over its nationalization of oil. Tillerson is, by any definition, a clear-cut member of the transnational capitalist class. The Twitter account of the State Department has a battery of messages sternly lecturing Venezuela about the treatment of protesters, while also pontificating on the Venezuelan Constitution as if the US State Department had become a global supreme court. What is impressive is the seamless continuity in the nature of the messages on Venezuela from that account, as if no change of government happened between Obama's time and Trump's. Nikki Haley, Trump's neocon ambassador to the UN, issued a statement that read like it had been written by her predecessors, Samantha Power and Susan Rice, a statement which in itself is an unacceptable intervention in Venezuelan internal affairs. For Trump's part, from just days before the election, to a couple of weeks after his inauguration, he has sent explicit messages of support for anti-government forces in Venezuela. In February, Trump imposed sanctions on Venezuela's Vice President. After Syria and North Korea, Venezuela is seeming the likely focus of US interventionism under Trump.

NATO

Rounding out the picture, at least for now (this was just the first hundred days of Trump's presidency), was Trump's outstanding reversal on NATO -- in fact, once again he stated the reversal himself, and without explanation either: " I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete ". This came just days after the US missile strike against Syria, and just as Ivanka Trump was about to represent his government at a meeting of globalist women, the W20 . NATO has served as the transnational military alliance at the service of the transnational capitalist class, and particularly the military and political members of the TCC. 7

Saving Neoliberalism?

Has Trump saved neoliberal capitalism from its ongoing demise? Has he sustained popular faith in liberal political ideals? Are we still in the dying days of liberalism ? If there had been a centrally coordinated plan to plant an operative among the ranks of populist conservatives and independents, to channel their support for nationalism into support for the persona of the plant, and to then have that plant steer a course straight back to shoring up neoliberal globalism -- then we might have had a wonderful story of a masterful conspiracy, the biggest heist in the history of elections anywhere. A truly "rigged system" could be expected to behave that way. Was Trump designated to take the fall in a rigged game, only his huge ego got in the way when he realized he could realistically win the election and he decided to really tilt hard against his partner, Hillary Clinton? It could be the basis for a novel, or a Hollywood political comedy. I have no way of knowing if it could be true.

Framed within the terms of what we do know, there was relief by the ousted group of political elites and the liberal globalist media at the sight of Trump's reversals, and a sense that their vision had been vindicated. However, if they are hoping that the likes of Trump will serve as a reliable flag bearer, then theirs is a misguided wishful thinking. If someone so demonized and ridiculed, tarnished as an evil thug and racist fascist, the subject of mass demonstrations in the US and abroad, is the latest champion of (neo)liberalism, then we are certainly witnessing its dying days.

Is Trump Beneficial for Anti-Imperialism?

Once one is informed enough and thus prepared to understand that anti-imperialism is not the exclusive preserve of the left (a left which anyway has mostly shunned it over the last two decades), that it did not originate with the left , and that it has a long and distinguished history in the US itself , then we can move toward some interesting realizations. The facts, borne out by surveys and my own online immersion among pro-Trump social media users, is that one of the significant reasons why Trump won is due to the growth in popularity of basic anti-imperialist principles (even if not recognized under that name): for example, no more world policing, no transnational militarization, no more interventions abroad, no more regime change, no war, and no globalism. Nationalists in Europe, as in Russia, have also pushed forward a basic anti-imperialist vision. Whereas in Latin America anti-imperialism is largely still leftist, in Europe and North America the left-right divide has become blurred, but the crucial thing is that at least now we can speak of anti-imperialism gaining strength in these three major continents. Resistance against globalization has been the primary objective, along with strengthening national sovereignty, protecting local cultural identity, and opposing free trade and transnational capital. Unfortunately, some anti-imperialist writers (on the left in fact) have tended to restrict their field of vision to military matters primarily, while almost completely neglecting the economic and cultural, and especially domestic dimensions of imperialism. (I am grossly generalizing of course, but I think it is largely accurate.) Where structures such as NAFTA are concerned, many of these same leftist anti-imperialists, few as they are, have had virtually nothing to say. It could be that they have yet to fully recognize that the transnational capitalist class has, gradually over the last seven decades, essentially purchased the power of US imperialism. Therefore the TCC's imperialism includes NAFTA, just as it includes open borders, neoliberal identity politics, and drone strikes. They are all different parts of the same whole.

As argued in the previous section, if Trump is to be the newfound champion of this imperialism -- empire's prodigal son -- then what an abysmally poor choice he is. 8

On the one hand, he helped to unleash US anti-interventionism (usually called "isolationism" not to call it anti-imperialism, which would then admit to imperialism which is still denied by most of the dominant elites). On the other hand, in trying to now contain such popular sentiment, he loses credibility -- after having lost credibility with the groups his campaign displaced. In addition to that, given that his candidacy aggravated internal divisions in the US, which have not subsided with his assumption of office, these domestic social and cultural conflicts cause a serious deficit of legitimacy, a loss of political capital. A declining economy will also deprive him of capital in the strict sense. Moreover, given the kind of persona the media have crafted, the daily caricaturing of Trump will significantly spur anti-Americanism around the world. If suddenly even Canadian academics are talking about boycotting the US, then the worm has truly turned. Trump can only rely on "hard power" (military violence), because "soft power" is almost out of the question now that Trump has been constructed as a barbarian. Incompetent and/or undermined governance will also render Trump a deficient upholder of the status quo. The fact that nationalist movements around the world are not centrally coordinated, and their fortunes are not pinned to those of Trump, establishes a well-defined limit to his influence. Trump's antagonism toward various countries -- as wholes -- has already helped to stir up a deep sediment of anti-Americanism. If Americanism is at the heart of Trump's nationalist globalism, then it is doing all the things that are needed to induce a major heart attack.

As for Trump's domestic opposition, what should be most pertinent are issues of conflict of interest and nepotism . Here members of Trump's base are more on target yet again, when they reject the presence of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner in the White House ("we didn't elect Ivanka or Jared"), than are those distracted by identity politics.

As Trump leverages the presidency to upgrade the Trump family to the transnational capitalist class, and reinforces the power of US imperialism which that class has purchased, conflict of interest and nepotism will be the main political signposts of the transformation of the Trump presidency, but they could also be the targets for a refined strategy of opposition.

[Jan 29, 2019] After hiring Abrams the next logical step for Trump would be hiring Hillary or Wolfowitz

Highly recommended!
As George Carlin observed, it's a big club and you aren't in it. Hiring Elliott Abrams makes Trump a variation on theme of Bush II: the more things change that more they stay the same. BTW Bush also campaigned on withdrew troops and no national building .
Notable quotes:
"... When did he hire Hillary? ..."
"... There is not much difference between Hillary and Pompeo. Pompeo is basically Hillary with a **** and a religious twist ..."
"... Who knew that in electing Trump we were electing the ultimate politician? His "art of the deal" is nothing but politics 101: Blame both sides, apologize for your side, and immediately surrender your stronger points while praising the weak points of your opponent. And when you have a chance, give up; sacrifice your friends and appoint their enemies, and, last but not least, look everybody in the eye and say, "I didn't steal the money, "mistakes were made." ..."
Jan 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
schroedingersrat, 5 hours ago

Trump is a psychopath and he loves to hire even bigger psychopaths. Your whole admin is a swamp of sociopaths, psychopaths and other sick deranged people.

TGF Texas, 5 hours ago link

When did he hire Hillary?

schroedingersrat, 38 minutes ago link

There is not much difference between Hillary and Pompeo. Pompeo is basically Hillary with a **** and a religious twist

bshirley1968, 2 hours ago

Thinking? Well that's a stretch of the imagination, but let me suggest this......

  1. The opposition hates me. I can do no right.
  2. The Trumptards blindly support me. I can do no wrong.
  3. There are not enough independent thinkers to make a difference as the two main sides bitterly fight eachother over every minute, meaningless issue.
  4. I can pretty much do as I please without consequence.....like pay off all my buddies and pander to the jews/globalist/elites.

That could be what he is thinking. But I can bet you anything that there isn't a Trumptard out there that can comment here and give us a rational reason for this appointment. Oh, they can down vote because they don't like being called Trumptards. .....but they don't mind being one.

NAV, 2 hours ago

Who knew that in electing Trump we were electing the ultimate politician? His "art of the deal" is nothing but politics 101: Blame both sides, apologize for your side, and immediately surrender your stronger points while praising the weak points of your opponent. And when you have a chance, give up; sacrifice your friends and appoint their enemies, and, last but not least, look everybody in the eye and say, "I didn't steal the money, "mistakes were made."

williambanzai7, 4 hours ago

Wondering who is getting fucked?

NAV

We are.

[Jan 22, 2019] The French Anti-Neoliberal Revolution. On the conditions for its success by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The French bourgeoisie is the politically most experienced ruling class in Europe. It has no illusions about the challenge it faces. Le Point put its file on the revolt of the vests under the self-telling title "What is waiting us". ..."
"... But it's not only the king who is naked. The whole system is naked. In the many pages devoted by the magazine to demonstrate that what the Vests want is unfeasible, not even a single serious word is written about what needs to be done to deal with the deep causes which led the French to revolt. Today's capitalism of Macron, Merkel and Trump does not produce a Roosevelt and New Deal or Popular Fronts – and we have to wait to see if it will produce a Hitler as some are trying to achieve. For the time being, it only produces Yellow Vests! ..."
"... In Oscar Wilde's masterpiece "The Picture of Dorian Gray", the main character looks every night at his horrible real self in the mirror. But he looks at it alone. ..."
"... This is where Macron made his most fatal mistake, being arrogant and markedly cut off from reality – with the confidence given to him by the mighty elite forces, which elected him and by his contempt of the common people which characterizes him. ..."
"... Observing Macron, the people understood what lied ahead for them. They felt their backs against the wall – they felt that they had only themselves to rely on, that they had to take themselves action to save themselves and their country. ..."
"... This was the decisive moment, the moment the historical mission of Macron was achieved . By establishing the most absolute control of Finance over Politics, he himself invited Revolution. His triumph and his tragedy came together. ..."
"... Many established "leftists" or "radical" intellectuals, who used to feverishly haul capitalism over the coals – although the last thing they really wanted was to experience a real revolution during their lifetime – they too, stand now frightened, looking at an angry Bucephalus running ahead of them. They prefer a stable capitalism, of which they can constitute its "consciousness", writing books, appearing on shows and giving lectures, analyzing its crises and explaining its tribulations. They idea that the People could at some point take seriously what they themselves said, never crossed their minds either! ..."
"... Today, four out of five French people disapprove of Macron's policies and one in two demands that he resigns immediately. We assume that this percentage is greater than the percentage of Russians who wanted the ousting of Tsar Nicholas II in February 1917. ..."
"... France is currently almost in a state of Power Vacuum . The president and the government cannot in essence govern and the people cannot tolerate them. It is not a situation of dual power, but a situation of dual legitimacy , in Mélenchon 's accurate description. ..."
"... This is a typical definition of a revolutionary situation . As history teaches us, the emergence of such a situation is necessary but not sufficient condition for a victorious Revolution. What is required in or order to turn a rebellion into a potentially victorious Revolution, is a capable and decided leadership and an adequate strategy, program and vision. These elements do not seem to exist, at last not for now, in today's France, as they did not exist in May 1968 or during the Russian Revolution of February 1917. Therefore, the present situation remains open to all possible eventualities; there must be no doubt however, that this is the beginning of a period of intense political and class conflicts in Europe, and that the Europe, as we know it, is already history. ..."
"... Or at least, for the people to be given the opportunity to develop an effective way of controlling state power. ..."
"... By reversing Marx's famous formula in German Ideology , the ideas of the dominant class do not dominate society. This is why the situation can be described as revolutionary. ..."
"... Although it is difficult to form an opinion from afar about how the situation may unfold, the formation of a such a United Front from grassroots could perhaps offer a way out with regards to the need for a political leadership for the movement, or even of the need to work out a transitional economic program for France, which must also serve as a transitional program for Europe . ..."
"... Contrary to how things were a century ago, certain factors such as the educational level of the lower social classes, the existence of a number of critical, radical thinkers with the necessary intellectual skills and the Internet, render such a possibility a much more realistic scenario today, than in the past. ..."
Jan 14, 2019 | www.defenddemocracy.press

The magazine Le Point is one of the main media outlets of the French conservative "centre-right". One of its December issues carries the cover title France Faces its History. 1648, 1789, 1830, 1848, 1871 four centuries of revolutions.

The cover features also a painting by Pierre-Jérôme Lordon, showing people clashing with the army at Rue de Babylone , in Paris, during the Revolution of 1830. Perhaps this is where Luc Ferry, Chirac's former minister, got his idea from, when, two days ago, he asked the Army to intervene and the police to start shooting and killing Yellow Vests.

Do not be surprised if you haven't heard this from your TV or if you don't know that the level of police repression and violence in France, measured in people dead, injured and arrested, has exceeded everything the country has experienced since 1968. Nor should you wonder why you don't know anything about some Yellow Vest's new campaign calling for a massive run on French banks. Or why you have been lead you to believe that the whole thing is to do with fuel taxes or increasing minimum wage.

The vast majority of European media didn't even bother to communicate to their readers or viewers the main political demands of the Yellow Vests ; and certainly, there hasn't been any meaningful attempt to offer an insightful interpretation of what's happening in France and there is just very little serious on-the-ground reporting, in the villages and motorways of France.

Totalitarianism

Following Napoleon's defeat in Waterloo, European Powers formed the Holy Alliance banning Revolutions.

Nowadays, Revolutions have just been declared inconceivable (Soros – though not just him – has been giving a relentless fight to take them out of history textbooks or, as a minimum, to erase their significance and meaning). Since they are unthinkable they cannot happen. Since they cannot happen they do not happen.

In the same vein, European media sent their journalists out to the streets in Paris on Christmas and New Year's days, counted the protesters and found that they weren't too many after all. Of course they didn't count the 150,000 police and soldiers lined up by Macron on New Year's Eve. Then they made sure that they remain "impartial" and by just comparing numbers of protesters, led viewers to think that we are almost done with it – it was just a storm, it will pass.

The other day I read a whole page article about Europe in one of the most "serious" Greek newspapers, on 30.12. The author devoted just one single meaningless phrase about the Vests. Instead, the paper still found the way to include in the article the utterly stupid statement of a European Right-Wing politician who attributed the European crisis to the existence of Russia Today and Sputnik! And when I finally found a somewhat more serious article online about the developments in France, I realized that its only purpose was to convince us that what is happening in France surely has nothing to do with 1789 or 1968!

It is only a pity that the people concerned, the French themselves, cannot read in Greek. If they could, they would have realized that it does not make any sense to have "Revolution" written on their vests or to sing the 1789 song in their demonstrations or to organize symbolic ceremonies of the public "decapitation" of Macron, like Louis XV. And the French bourgeois press would not waste time everyday comparing what happens in the country now with what happened in 1968 and 1789.

Totalitarianism is not just a threat. It's already here. Simply it has omitted to announce its arrival. We have to deduce its precence from its results.

A terrified ruling class

The French bourgeoisie is the politically most experienced ruling class in Europe. It has no illusions about the challenge it faces. Le Point put its file on the revolt of the vests under the self-telling title "What is waiting us".

A few months ago, all we had about Macron in the papers was praise, inside and outside of France – he was the "rising star" of European politics, the man who managed to pass the "reforms" one after the other, no resistance could stop him, he would be the one to save and rebuild Europe. Varoufakis admired and supported him, as early as of the first round of the 2017 elections.

Now, the "chosen one" became a burden for those who put him in office. Some of them probably want to get rid of him as fast as they can, to replace him with someone else, but it's not easy – and even more so, it is not easy given the monarchical powers conferred by the French constitution to the President. The constitution is tailored to the needs of a President who wants to safeguard power from the people. Those who drafted it could not probably imagine it would make difficult for the Oligarchy also to fire him!

Read also: Scandaleux : le fondateur du parti fasciste ukrainien Svoboda reçu à l'Assemblée et au Sénat !

And who would dare to hold a parliamentary or presidential election in such a situation, as in France today? No one knows what could come out of it. Moreover, Macron does not have a party in the sense of political power. He has a federation of friends who benefit as long as he stays in power and they are damaged when he collapses.

The King is naked

"The King is naked", points out Le Point's editorial, before, with almost sadistic callousness, posing the question: "What can a government do when a remarkable section of the people vomits it?"

But it's not only the king who is naked. The whole system is naked. In the many pages devoted by the magazine to demonstrate that what the Vests want is unfeasible, not even a single serious word is written about what needs to be done to deal with the deep causes which led the French to revolt. Today's capitalism of Macron, Merkel and Trump does not produce a Roosevelt and New Deal or Popular Fronts – and we have to wait to see if it will produce a Hitler as some are trying to achieve. For the time being, it only produces Yellow Vests!

They predicted it, they saw it coming, but they didn't believe it!

Yet they could have predicted all that. It would have sufficed, had they only taken seriously and studied a book published in France in late 2016, six months before the presidential election, highlighting the explosive nature of the social situation and warning of the danger of revolution and civil war.

The title of the book was "Revolution". Its author was none other than Emmanuel Macron himself. Six months later, he would become the President of France, to eventually verify, and indeed rather spectacularly, his predictions. But the truth is probably, that not even he himself gave much credit to what he wrote just to win the election.

By constantly lying, politicians, journalists and intellectuals reasonably came to believe that even their own words are of no importance. That they can say and do anything they want, without any consequence.

In Oscar Wilde's masterpiece "The Picture of Dorian Gray", the main character looks every night at his horrible real self in the mirror. But he looks at it alone.

This is where Macron made his most fatal mistake, being arrogant and markedly cut off from reality – with the confidence given to him by the mighty elite forces, which elected him and by his contempt of the common people which characterizes him.

Unwise and Arrogant, he made no effort to hide – this is how sure he felt of himself, this is how convinced his environment was that he could infinitely go on doing anything he wanted without any consequences (same as our Tsipras). Thus, acting foolishly and arrogantly, he left a few million eyes to see his real face. This was the last straw that made the French people realize in a definite way what they had already started figuring out during Sarkozy's and Hollande's, administration, or even earlier. Observing Macron, the people understood what lied ahead for them. They felt their backs against the wall – they felt that they had only themselves to rely on, that they had to take themselves action to save themselves and their country.

There was nobody else to make it in their place.

Macron as a Provocateur. Terror in Pompeii

This was the decisive moment, the moment the historical mission of Macron was achieved . By establishing the most absolute control of Finance over Politics, he himself invited Revolution. His triumph and his tragedy came together.

It was just then, that Bucephalus (*) sprang from the depths of historical Memory, galloping without a rider, ready to sweep away everything in his path.

Now those in power look at him with fear, but fearful too are both the "radical right" and the "radical left". Le Pen has already called on protesters to return to their homes and give her names to include in her list for the European election!

Mélenchon supports the Vests – 70% of their demands coincide with the program of his party, La France Insoumise – but so far he hasn't dared to join the people in demanding Macron's resignation, by adopting the immense, but orphan, cry of the people heard all over France: "Macron resign". Perhaps he feels that he hasn't got the steely strength and willpower required for attempting to lead such a movement.

The unions' leadership is doing everything it can to keep the working class away from the Vests, but this stand started causing increasing unrest at its base.

Read also: Macron Prepares a Social War

Many established "leftists" or "radical" intellectuals, who used to feverishly haul capitalism over the coals – although the last thing they really wanted was to experience a real revolution during their lifetime – they too, stand now frightened, looking at an angry Bucephalus running ahead of them. They prefer a stable capitalism, of which they can constitute its "consciousness", writing books, appearing on shows and giving lectures, analyzing its crises and explaining its tribulations. They idea that the People could at some point take seriously what they themselves said, never crossed their minds either!

In fact, this is also a further confirmation of the depth of the movement. Lenin , who, in any event knew something about revolutions, wrote in 1917: "In a revolutionary situation, the Party is a hundred times farther to the left than the Central Committee and the workers a hundred times farther to the left than the Party."

"Revolutionary Situation" and Power Vacuum

Today, four out of five French people disapprove of Macron's policies and one in two demands that he resigns immediately. We assume that this percentage is greater than the percentage of Russians who wanted the ousting of Tsar Nicholas II in February 1917.

France is currently almost in a state of Power Vacuum . The president and the government cannot in essence govern and the people cannot tolerate them. It is not a situation of dual power, but a situation of dual legitimacy , in Mélenchon 's accurate description.

This is a typical definition of a revolutionary situation . As history teaches us, the emergence of such a situation is necessary but not sufficient condition for a victorious Revolution. What is required in or order to turn a rebellion into a potentially victorious Revolution, is a capable and decided leadership and an adequate strategy, program and vision. These elements do not seem to exist, at last not for now, in today's France, as they did not exist in May 1968 or during the Russian Revolution of February 1917. Therefore, the present situation remains open to all possible eventualities; there must be no doubt however, that this is the beginning of a period of intense political and class conflicts in Europe, and that the Europe, as we know it, is already history.

People's Sovereignty at the center of demands

Starting from fuel tax the revolting French have now put at the centre of their demands, in addition to Macron's resignation, the following:

In other words, they demand a profound and radical " transformation " of the Western bourgeois-democratic regime, as we know it, towards a form of direct democracy in order to take back the state, which has gradually and in a totalitarian manner – but while keeping up democratic appearances – passed under direct and full control of the Financial Capital and its employees. Or at least, for the people to be given the opportunity to develop an effective way of controlling state power.

These are not the demands of a fun-club of Protagoras or of some left-wing or right-wing groupuscule propagating Self-Management or of some club of intellectuals. Nor are they the demands of only the lowest social strata of the French nation.

They are supported, according to the polls and put forward by at least three quarters of French citizens, including a sizeable portion of the less poor. In such circumstances, these demands constitute in effect the Will of the People, the Will of the Nation.

The Vests are nothing more than its fighting pioneers. And precisely because it is the absolute majority of people who align with these demands, even if numbers have somewhat gone down since the beginning of December, the Vests are still wanted out on the streets.

By reversing Marx's famous formula in German Ideology , the ideas of the dominant class do not dominate society. This is why the situation can be described as revolutionary.

And also because it is not only the President and the Government, who have been debunked or at least de-legitimized, but it's also the whole range of state and political institutions, the parties, the unions, the "information" media and the "ideologists" of the regime.

The questioning of the establishment is so profound that any arguments about violence and the protesters do not weaken society's support for them. Many, but not all, condemn violence, but there are not many who don't go on immediately to add a reminder of the regime's social violence against the people. When a famous ex-boxer lost his temper and reacted by punching a number of violent police officers, protesters set up a fundraising website for his legal fees. In just two hours they managed to raise around 120.000 euro, before removing the page over officials' complaints and threats about keeping a file on anyone who contributes money to support such causes.

Read also: Greece: Creditors out to crush any trace of Syriza disobedience

Until now, an overwhelming majority of the French people supports the demands while an absolute majority shows supports for the demonstrations; but of course, it is difficult to keep such a deadlock and power-void situation going for long. They will sooner or later demand a solution, and in situations such as these it is often the case that public opinion shifts rapidly from the one end of the political spectrum to the other and vice versa, depending on which force appears to be more decisive and capable of driving society out of the crisis.

The organization of the Movement

Because the protesters have no confidence in the parties, the trade unions, or anyone else for that matter, they are driven out of necessity into self-organization, as they already do with the Citizens' Assemblies that are now emerging in villages, cities and motorway camps. Indeed, by the end of the month, if everything goes well, they will hold the first " Assembly of Assemblies ".

Similar developments have also been observed in many revolutionary movements of this kind in various countries. A classic example is the spontaneous formation of the councils ( Soviets ) during the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917.

Although it is difficult to form an opinion from afar about how the situation may unfold, the formation of a such a United Front from grassroots could perhaps offer a way out with regards to the need for a political leadership for the movement, or even of the need to work out a transitional economic program for France, which must also serve as a transitional program for Europe .

Contrary to how things were a century ago, certain factors such as the educational level of the lower social classes, the existence of a number of critical, radical thinkers with the necessary intellectual skills and the Internet, render such a possibility a much more realistic scenario today, than in the past.

Because the movement's Achilles' Heel is that, while it is already in the process of forming a political proposition, it still, at least for now, does not offer any economic alternative or a politically structured, democratically controlled leadership.

Effective Democracy is an absolute requirement in such a front, because it is the only way to synthesize the inevitably different levels of consciousness within the People and to avoid a split of the movement between "left" and "right", between those who are ready to resort to violence to achieve their ends and those who have a preference for more peaceful, gradual processes.

Such a " front " could perhaps also serve as a platform for solidifying a program and vision, to which the various parties and political organizations could contribute.

In her Critique of the Russian Revolution Rosa Luxemburg , the leader of the German Social Democracy was overly critical of the Bolsheviks , even if, I think, a bit too severe in some points. But she closes her critique with the phrase: " They at least dared "

Driven by absolute Need, guided by the specific way its historical experience has formed its consciousness, possessing a Surplus of Consciousness, that is able to feel the unavoidable conclusions coming out of the synthesis of the information we all possess, about both the "quality" of the forces governing our world and the enormous dangers threatening our countries and mankind, the French People, the French Nation has already crossed the Rubicon.

By moving practically to achieve their goals at a massive scale, and regardless of what is to come next, the French people has already made a giant leap up and forward and, once more in its history, it became the world's forerunner in tackling the terrible economic, ecological, nuclear and technological threats against human civilization and its survival.

Without the conscious entry of large masses into the historical scene, with all the dangers and uncertainties that such a thing surely implies, one can hardly imagine how humanity will survive.

Note

(*) Bucephalus was the horse of Alexander the Great, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucephalus

[Jan 11, 2019] How President Trump Normalized Neoconservatism by Ilana Mercer

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... As it happens, neocons are in luck. Most Americans know little of the ideas that animated their country's founding. They're more likely to hold ideas in opposition to the classical-liberal philosophy of the Founders, and, hence, wish to see the aggrandizement of the coercive, colossal, Warfare State. That's just the way things are. ..."
"... If past is prologue, Ron Paul is probably right when he says the CIA is likely meddling in Iranian politics. ..."
"... Then US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, a woman as dumb and dangerous as Nikki Haley, was cool with the carnage. (One almost misses Henry Kissinger's realpolitik . At least the man was highly educated and deeply knowledgeable about history and world affairs. Second only to Jared Kushner, of course.) ..."
"... No one would deny the largely neoconservative nature of Trump's National Security Strategy . Tucked in there somewhere is the Trumpian theme of "sovereignty," but in watered-down words. The promised Wall has given way to "multilayered technology"; to the "deployment of additional personnel," and to the tried-and-tested (not!) "vetting of prospective immigrants, refugees, and other foreign visitors." ..."
"... These are mouthfuls Barack Obama and Genghis Bush would hardly oppose. ..."
"... "It's often said that the Trump administration is 'isolationist,'" wrote historian Andrew J. Bacevich, in the UK Spectator. Untrue. "In fact, we are now witnessing a dramatic escalation in the militarization of US foreign policy in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan. This has not been announced, but it is happening, and much of it without any debate in Congress or the media." ..."
"... To some, the normalizing of neoconservatism by a president who ran against it is a stroke of genius; of a piece with Bill Clinton's triangulation tactics. To others, it's a cynical sleight of hand. ..."
"... So Trump did morph into Hillary. Actually, it was something I was afraid of once I got the good news of Hillary losing, but expected, considering that I view presidents as empty suits, and the National Security State calling the shots. ..."
"... The Trump holdouts that maintain his turncoat buffoonery is actually 5d chess are the 2018 equivalent of the 2009 hopey changey Obots and can't accept their big daddy is a liar and a spineless turncoat. The system is broken and cannot be fixed from within. ..."
"... The signs were already there before the election, too many people were hoping that this time it will be different (it never is) and ignored them. He has jewish children and did say how he was anti Iran, he was always a neo cohen servative. ..."
"... I'm a little more sanguine about a Zionist President who approaches problems from a business and deal-making position than from one who comes a neocon political position (e.g., Hillary, every other GOP candidate except Rand Paul). The former are pragmatic and will avoid conflict, especially stupid conflict, at all costs. While the latter believe they are virtuous in going to war and/or attacking countries. Did you hear Hillary threaten to shoot down Russian planes in Syria during the campaign (WTF??!). ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

It's fact: Neoconservatives are pleased with President Trump's foreign policy.

A couple of months back, Bloomberg's Eli Lake let it know he was in neoconservative nirvana:

" for Venezuela, [Donald Trump] came very close to calling for regime change. 'The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable,' Trump said. 'We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.'"

"For a moment," swooned Lake , "I closed my eyes and thought I was listening to a Weekly Standard editorial meeting."

Onward to Venezuela! Mr. Lake, a neoconservative, was loving every moment. In error, he and his kind confuse an expansionist foreign policy with "American exceptionalism." It's not.

As it happens, neocons are in luck. Most Americans know little of the ideas that animated their country's founding. They're more likely to hold ideas in opposition to the classical-liberal philosophy of the Founders, and, hence, wish to see the aggrandizement of the coercive, colossal, Warfare State. That's just the way things are.

So, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have enlisted the West in "a proxy Sunni-Shia religious war," Riyadh's ultimate aim. Donald Trump has been perfectly willing to partake. After a campaign of "America First," the president sided with Sunni Islam while demonizing Iran. Iranians have killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks in the US between 1975-2015; Saudi Arabians murdered 2369 !

Iranians recently reelected a reformer. Pray tell who elected the Gulf petrostate sheiks?

Moderates danced in the streets of Tehran when President Hassan Rouhani was reelected. Curiously, they're currently rioting.

If past is prologue, Ron Paul is probably right when he says the CIA is likely meddling in Iranian politics. For the Left and the pseudo-Right, this is a look-away issue. As the left-liberal establishment lectures daily, to question the Central Intelligence Agency -- its spooks are also agitating against all vestiges of President Trump's original "America First" plank -- is to "undermine American democracy."

Besides, "good" Americans know that only the Russians "meddle."

In Saudi Arabia, a new, more-dangerous regime is consolidating regional power. Almost overnight has the kingdom shifted from rule by family dynasty (like that of the Clintons and the Bushes), to a more authoritarian style of one-man rule .

When it comes to the Saudi-Israeli-American-Axis-of-Angels, the Kushner-Trump Administration -- is that another bloodline in-the-making? -- has not broken with America's ruling dynastic families (the Clintons and the Bushes, aforementioned).

It's comforting to know Saudi Arabia plays a crucial role in the UN's human rights affairs. In January of last year, the Kingdom executed 47 people in one day, including a rather benign Shiite cleric. Fear not, they went quickly, beheaded with a sword .

Then US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, a woman as dumb and dangerous as Nikki Haley, was cool with the carnage. (One almost misses Henry Kissinger's realpolitik . At least the man was highly educated and deeply knowledgeable about history and world affairs. Second only to Jared Kushner, of course.)

Our bosom buddies, the Saudi's, are currently barricading Yemeni ports. No aid gets through her hermetically sealed ports. Yemenis are dying. Some Twitter followers twittered with joy at the sight of starving Yemeni babies, like this one . Oh well, Yemeni babies can be sinister.

No one would deny the largely neoconservative nature of Trump's National Security Strategy . Tucked in there somewhere is the Trumpian theme of "sovereignty," but in watered-down words. The promised Wall has given way to "multilayered technology"; to the "deployment of additional personnel," and to the tried-and-tested (not!) "vetting of prospective immigrants, refugees, and other foreign visitors."

These are mouthfuls Barack Obama and Genghis Bush would hardly oppose.

"It's often said that the Trump administration is 'isolationist,'" wrote historian Andrew J. Bacevich, in the UK Spectator. Untrue. "In fact, we are now witnessing a dramatic escalation in the militarization of US foreign policy in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan. This has not been announced, but it is happening, and much of it without any debate in Congress or the media."

Indeed, while outlining his "new" Afghanistan plan, POTUS had conceded that "the American people are weary of war without victory." (Make that war, full-stop.) Depressingly, the president went on to promise an increase in American presence in Afghanistan. By sending 4000 additional soldiers there, President Trump alleged he was fighting terrorism, yet not undertaking nation building.

This is tantamount to talking out of both sides of one's mouth.

Teasing apart these two elements is near-impossible. Send "4,000 additional soldiers to add to the 8,400 now deployed in Afghanistan," and you've done what Obama and Bush before you did in that blighted and benighted region: muddle along; kill some civilians mixed in with some bad guys; break bread with tribal leaders (who hate your guts); mediate and bribe.

Above all, spend billions not your own to perfect the credo of a global fighting force that doesn't know Shiite from Shinola .

The upshot? It's quite acceptable, on the Left and the pseudo-Right, to casually quip about troops in Niger and Norway . "We have soldiers in Niger and Norway? Of course we do. We need them."

With neoconservatism normalized, there is no debate, disagreement or daylight between our dangerously united political factions.

This is the gift President Trump has given mainstream neoconservatives -- who now comfortably include neoliberals and all Conservatism Inc., with the exceptions of Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter and Tucker Carlson.

How exactly did the president normalize neoconservatism: In 2016, liberals accused candidate Trump of isolationism. Neoconservatives -- aka Conservatism Inc. -- did the same.

Having consistently complained of his isolationism , the Left and the phony Right cannot but sanction President Trump's interventionism . The other option is to admit that we of the callused Old Right, who rejoiced at the prospects and promise of non-interventionism, were always right.

Not going to happen.

To some, the normalizing of neoconservatism by a president who ran against it is a stroke of genius; of a piece with Bill Clinton's triangulation tactics. To others, it's a cynical sleight of hand.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a paleolibertarian column since 1999, and is the author of " The Trump Revolution: The Donald's Creative Destruction Deconstructed " (June, 2016) & " Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa " (2011). Follow her on Twitter , Facebook , Gab & YouTube . How President Trump Normalized Neoconservatism, by Ilana Mercer - The Unz Review


utu , says: January 5, 2018 at 5:57 am GMT

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

But you can fool the whole country all the time in American bi-partisan system. Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump each were brought to power by fooling their electorate.

Biff , says: January 5, 2018 at 9:02 am GMT
So Trump did morph into Hillary. Actually, it was something I was afraid of once I got the good news of Hillary losing, but expected, considering that I view presidents as empty suits, and the National Security State calling the shots.

I'm waiting for another one of those "Trump's Truth in Action" moments when describes the real political atmosphere in Washington. Trump was asked about something he said in a previous interview: "When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do." "You'd better believe it," Trump said. "If I ask them, if I need them, you know, most of the people on this stage I've given to, just so you understand, a lot of money."

EliteCommInc. , says: January 5, 2018 at 9:11 am GMT
I think its time to dump the label "neoconservative". The appropriate term is "interventionists without a cause" (IWAC or IWC) or some other descriptor.

The real problem that Pres Trump has and I remain a Pres Trump supporter is two fold:

1. He seems to have forgotten he won the election.

2. He seems to have forgotten what he was elected to do.

And nearly everyone of these issues on foreign policy the answer rests in respecting sovereignty – that of others and our own.

I didn't need to read,"Adios, America" to comprehend the deep state damage our careless immigration policy has on the country. I don't need to reread, "Adios, America" to grasp that our policies of intervening in the affairs of other states undermines our own ability to make the same case at home.

If I weren't already trying to plow my way through several other books, documentaries and relapsing to old school programming such as The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, and now the Dick Van Dyke show, i would reread,

"Adios , America."

In Col. Bacevich's book,

Washington Rules, he posits a distressing scenario that the foreign policy web is so tangled and entrenched, the executive branch is simply out his league. The expectation was that Pres trump had the will to turn the matter. I hold out hope, but maybe not. There's time.

I agree, at least build the darn wall.

Lincoln Blockface Squarebeard III , says: January 5, 2018 at 10:01 am GMT
@J.Ross The Trump holdouts that maintain his turncoat buffoonery is actually 5d chess are the 2018 equivalent of the 2009 hopey changey Obots and can't accept their big daddy is a liar and a spineless turncoat. The system is broken and cannot be fixed from within.
anonymous Disclaimer , says: January 5, 2018 at 11:03 am GMT
Told you so. Cf., "The Winning Trump Ticket & Cabinet (Part I)," published here February 6, 2016. (Ms. Mercer never got to Part II.)

Elections at the USG level allow the ruled to harmlessly let off steam.

The Alarmist , says: January 5, 2018 at 11:39 am GMT
It's life imitating art: Trump reprises the role of Professor/Führer John Gill in Star Trek episode 50, Patterns of Force.
neutral , says: January 5, 2018 at 11:56 am GMT
The signs were already there before the election, too many people were hoping that this time it will be different (it never is) and ignored them. He has jewish children and did say how he was anti Iran, he was always a neo cohen servative.

I have a question for all the Trump supporters still in denial, what will it take to break your delusions? He is not going to build a wall, mass immigration is up, the left wing are mass censoring and essentially running everything now, his foreign policy is now endorsed by the all the never Trumpers – so what is your limit, is there anything he must do to lose your support?

Anonymous Disclaimer , says: January 5, 2018 at 1:17 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Jews and the Jewish Media normalized Jewish NeoCons by guaranteeing that they always have a voice and airtime in American culture and media. Never called out by the WashingtonPost and NY Times for their previous blunders, they continue to shape American foreign policy. And, of course, the end game here is Israel and the Israeli agenda at all costs, you Jews are one issue folk. And You definitely do your part, with the subtle subterfuge at work in the articles that you write.

No one should be surprised by Trump promoting Israeli interests über alles. For decades he was so involved in Israel events in New York I debated whether he was actually Jewish or not. Bannon said the embassy move to Jerusalem was at the behest of Adelson, Trump's old casino buddy. In the campaign Trump got a lot of support from NY Jewish billionaires (Icahn, Feinberg, Paulson, et al.). They know him and how he operates.

But being pro-Israel doesn't necessarily equate to neocon. The neocons are the dumb Jews with serious inadequacy issues who could never make it in business and instead went into politics and journalism. The latter are still staunchly opposed to Trump even after a lot of pro-Israel moves. They might warm up to Trump's bellicosity towards a lot of Israel's enemies (a long list with degrees of separation), but so far they've simply moved left.

I'm a little more sanguine about a Zionist President who approaches problems from a business and deal-making position than from one who comes a neocon political position (e.g., Hillary, every other GOP candidate except Rand Paul). The former are pragmatic and will avoid conflict, especially stupid conflict, at all costs. While the latter believe they are virtuous in going to war and/or attacking countries. Did you hear Hillary threaten to shoot down Russian planes in Syria during the campaign (WTF??!).

Lastly, I like to think Trump surrounded himself with neocons (McMaster, Haley, et al.) to placate the GOP establishment because he knows he has to play the game.

anonymous Disclaimer , says: January 5, 2018 at 1:42 pm GMT
@Lincoln Blockface Squarebeard III Very well put.

People are inclined to believe that any activity -- in this instance, voting for the red/blue puppets in Washington -- in which their participation is patronized must be legitimate and effectual. Many duped in November 2016, even those who now feel betrayed by that farce, were still around here a few weeks ago acting like a Senator Moore in Alabama would be pivotal to reform, his defeat devastating.

That's how Ms. Mercer and her pundit ilk (Buchanan, Napolitano, etc.) thrive -- supporting the Empire by never questioning its legitimacy, just taking sides within the Establishment. And they'll be buying into the 2018 congressional contests, ad nauseum.

Of course, what is done to us, and to others in our name and with our money, never changes to any meaningful degree. Americans might realize this if they thought critically about it, so they don't. Instead, they lap up the BS and vote for who tells them the lie they like to hear. When there are identity politics involved, the delusion seems even deeper. There are self-styled "progressives" who used to advocate single-payer, nationalized health care who are elated over the retention of so-called "Obamacare," the legislation for which was written by and for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

Me? I cope by boycotting national elections and mass media, participating in forums like this, and hoping that when the tottering tower of debt and gore tips over, as few innocents and as many guilty as practicable are among those crushed.

DESERT FOX , says: January 5, 2018 at 1:49 pm GMT
The Zionist neocons and Israel did 911 and got away with it and everyone in the U.S. gov knows it and they tried to sink the USS LIBERTY and got away with it and so normal is an Orwellian society where Zionists can kill Americans and destroy the Mideast and nobody does jack shit about it.

The neocons are Satanists warmongers and will destroy America.

WorkingClass , says: Website January 5, 2018 at 1:51 pm GMT
Neocons are Zionists. Trump, Bannon and Kushner are Zionists. Israel continues to wag the dog.
Jake , says: January 5, 2018 at 2:48 pm GMT
Neocons are about as evil as proudly proclaimed Leftists, and they are obviously more duplicitous.

Either Neocons will be refuted and publicly rebuked and rejected, or Neocons will eventually destroy the country. Their long term fruits are destruction of that which they have used to destroy so many others.

Jake , says: January 5, 2018 at 2:56 pm GMT
@anonymous Far from all Neocons are Jews. However, virtually all Neocons are militantly pro-Israel to the point of making Israel's foreign policy desires central to their assessment of what America needs in foreign policy.

And the source is Anglo-Saxon Puritanism, which was a Judaizing heresy. Judaizing heresy necessarily produces pro-Jewish culture. WASP culture is inherently pro-Jewish, as much as it is anti-Catholic and anti-French and and anti-Spanish and anti-Irish, etc.

And all that means that WASP is opposed to the nest interests of the vast majority of white Christians while being pro-Jewish.

Jews did not cause any of that. Anglo-Saxon Puritan heretics did.

ElitecommInc. , says: January 5, 2018 at 4:22 pm GMT
@neutral Pres Trump is a situational leader. It's a rare style, for good reason. However, he is openly situational. That was clear during the campaign season. however,

I thought his positions were sincere. I don't think that this was any kind of slight of hand, "watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat". His positions on Israel, same sex behavior, marijuana, healthcare remain what they were going in. His foreign policy and immigration positions have been buffered and he seems incapable of standing where he came in.

It was no secret he intended an assertive military. However, he seems easily convinced that strong means aggressive, and that needlessly aggressive policy is a substitute for a strong US -- that is a mistake. Syria cruise strike was the first sign that he was giving in to the men whom he chose as advisers. As it it turns out winning the election has been easier than governing. I assumed he had a much stronger backbone, than he has been willing to exhibit in office.

Alden , says: January 5, 2018 at 7:09 pm GMT
@Jake The Israeli/AIPAC bribery of American bible thumper preachers, especially in the fundamentalist southern American states has more to do with it than the reformation.

The preachers get huge donations to pay for their churches and TV shows. They get free trips to Israel for themselves and their families all the time.

On their Israel trips they pay more attention to the OT Jewish and holocaust sites than the Christian ones

It's true that the reformation was a return to Judaism and a rejection of Christianity, but that was 500 years ago.

What's important now is the vast amounts of money the Israeli government and the lobby funnels into those fundamentalist churches.

If the southern fundamentalists only knew what Jews think of them. I really got an earful of Jewish scorn and hate for southerners and fundamentalists during the recent Roy Moore election.

Read Jewish publications if you want to learn what they think of southern fundamentalists

renfro , says: January 6, 2018 at 2:13 am GMT
@Twodees Partain Trump appointed Haley because Sheldon Adelson told him to.
And contrary to the myth of trump funding his own campaign he did not the only money he put in his campaign was a 1o million loan to it. Adelson was his biggest contributor just like Saban was Hillary's.

Nikki Haley: Neocon Heartthrob

Not coincidentally, however, neocon hopes may lie as well with the generous political funding provided to Haley by Sheldon Adelson, the GOP's and Trump's single biggest donor.

Between May and June, 2016, Sheldon Adelson contributed $250,000 to Haley's 527 political organization, A Great Day, funds that she used to target four Republican state senate rivals in primaries. (Only one was successfully defeated.) Adelson was the largest contributor to her group,
which raised a total of $915,000.

This powerful Adelson-funded Israel lobby could soon rival AIPAC's
https://www.haaretz.com › U.S. News
Oct 31, 2017 – Sheldon Adelson(L), The 3rd annual IAC National Conference, in September, 2016, and Nikki Haley. . will feature, for the first time ever, a prominent speaker from the ranks of the U.S. government: U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who is a favorite among the right-leaning "pro-Israel" crowd.

The Jews have bought this government and trump and Haley are nothing but junk yard dogs.
Not that there are good alternatives but anyone who stills supports trump is as crazy as he is.

renfro , says: January 6, 2018 at 2:18 am GMT
@Alden

What's important now is the vast amounts of money the Israeli government and the lobby funnels into those fundamentalist churches.

You have it completely backwards .the evangelicals, particularly Roberson donate money for Israeli settlements.

Grandpa Charlie , says: January 6, 2018 at 3:58 am GMT
@Alden

The title is ridiculous. Neo conservatives have been normal for decades.

The neocon movement was normalized in 2001 by the PATRIOT Act. The domestic side of the neocon worldview -- or world-system -- was joined with the international or interventionist side, just as anti-Palestinian actions by Israel were joined by way of repression of free speech with the Charlottesville protest by conservatives of the desecration of monuments.

Alden , says: January 6, 2018 at 4:45 am GMT
@renfro I'm sure the evangelical preachers con their followers into donating money to Israel. I've seen those late night ads begging for donations to feed ancient old holocaust survivors in Israel.

But the Israelis pay for all those luxury trips to Israel And a lot of the money to start those TV shows and for the big salaries come from Israel and AIPAC so does the money to set up those big churches that just appear from nowhere

polskijoe , says: January 6, 2018 at 3:15 pm GMT
@Grandpa Charlie I have always wondered why its okay to say WASP but not Jew in public.
One is more pc, the other is not allowed.
I have seen some articles about Jews replacing wasp, even from Jewish authors.

As for Neoconservatives. It depends how we define it.
I see it as a case of American imperialism fused with pro Israel sentiment. Large overlap, but not always.
From what I know modern Neoconservativism started somewhere around the 70s,80s? Became dominant around the Bush years. (during Reagan years they got rid of many Paleocons).

TT , says: January 6, 2018 at 7:08 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain Not only Nikki is a prank, she is also a godsend. Now the world get to see USG naked without usual pretension.

Trumps is probably the most honest Potus with highest integrity & bravery in American history(stupid aside). He means what he said without mind boggling hypocrite lies, he tried fulfilling all his election promises, fighting bravely with his only little weapon tweeter besiege by entire states organs, CIA/FBI, both parties, MSM, world allies,

He put US Embassy in Jerusalem that all other Potus promised but never keep, he tried to revise immigration policy that people blocked, building prototype wall now, try befriend Russia become a treason act, reneged nuclear agreement with Iran, make US military great(of course need hyper tension like nuclear NK), scraped Obacare, TTP, Climate deal, try to grab Killary, bring back jobs with tax heaven .

Mann, this is really a man of his word. Didn't these are what you people voted him for, to drain the swamp? He gotta shock the entire MSM brainwashed nation up to see the deeply corrupted USG, collapse it quickly for a new one to move in(by whoever after his prank). As Trumps had asked:"what you got to lose to vote me?"

TT , says: January 6, 2018 at 10:26 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain Yes..ues i admit, don't shoot. Im just been sarcastic, USG is in such a laughing stock to the world now, many americans probably are exasperated if not yet numb. I am not judging he is good, DT is just less evil typical business man..imo

But frankly, i do see why people are voting DT now. He is at least more entertaining and blunt to screw up WH deep states show. Per msm (fake news), he is honouring all his campaign promises rt? So that make him above hypocrite liar Obama who speak on peace(Nobel prize), but drenched in Libyan and Syrians blood.

US msm brainwashed people need lot of shock & awe to wake up to reality, then they might have hope to drain the swamp in unity or just await to implode and suck down whole world.

Erebus , says: January 7, 2018 at 9:51 am GMT

No one would deny the largely neoconservative nature of Trump's National Security Strategy.

Well, some better minds than mine do deny that very thing. Three of them follow below.

Gilbert Doctorow at: http://usforeignpolicy.blogs.lalibre.be/archive/2017/12/20/kissinger-s-fingerprints-on-the-trump-security-doctrine-2017-1161961.html

What we see in the NSS is prioritization and true strategic vision as opposed to ideological cant and ad hoc responses to global developments

Patrick Armstrong at: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/01/02/trump-cuts-gordian-knot-foreign-entanglements.html

Trump has little interest in the obsessions of the neocon and humanitarian intervention crowd.

Finally, Andrew Korybko puts it all together at: https://orientalreview.org/2017/12/27/trump-agent-chaos-k-kraken/

Believing that the current world system no longer sufficiently advances American interests ever since Washington lost control of its institutional tools, and that the eventual outcome of this increasingly multipolar state of affairs is that the US will in turn lose its global empire, Trump has decided to become the Agent of Chaos in bringing about its destruction.

Steve Gittelson , says: January 8, 2018 at 6:32 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

I know with certainty that Hillary is a beast from depth of hell.

Meh, hyperbole.

Hillary is no different from most politicians. She's in it for the wealth and power. She got herself a real smart, duplicitous, pussy-chasing beast of a husband, and made the most of the opportunity.

People -- the American people -- should be able to see this rather-evident characteristic of politicians. They should be adequately educated, at least to the extent of being able to detect the base chicanery and corruption that radiates from political personalities.

But, they don't. They don't see the evil. The media deftly conceals it, because the beasts of the media, like jackals, feed on the morsels of wealth that fall to the ground as the politicians devour the carcass of well, hell, freedom and democracy is as useful a metaphor as any.

ILANA MERCER , says: Website January 9, 2018 at 6:15 am GMT
@anonymous Thank you for the opportunity to share, once again, a magnificent column, published on the Unz Review and elsewhere.

"The Curious Case Of WND's Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian" ( http://www.unz.com/imercer/the-curious-case-of-wnds-vanishing-veteran-paleolibertarian/ ) addressed, for once and for all, a small, shrinking community's stunning and consistent displays of intellectual dishonesty, over the years.

In this context, I am reminded of British comedian Alexei Sayle. When asked what he does when he watches a really talented satirist performing, Sayle replied: "I go back stage and tell him he'll never make it."

Indeed, the attitude to my work over 20 years has been the best proof of its quality.

If the Comments threads about "ilana mercer," on the Unz Review, prove anything (other than that anti-Semitism lives), it is that mediocre "men" (for the most) hate a woman who can out-think them. As a defender of men, this saddens me, but it is, nevertheless, true.

So here is the link to "The Curious Case Of WND's Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian," which the venomous mediocrity commenting here so rudely derided, but refrained from linking, for obvious reasons: http://www.unz.com/imercer/the-curious-case-of-wnds-vanishing-veteran-paleolibertarian/

Ron Unz, our wonderful editor, chose the image appended to the column. (The brilliant Mr. Unz is one of the few intellectually honest individuals I know in this biz. He, columnist Jack Kerwick, and a handful of others.)

In reply to kunckle-dragger's sniveling: I'll continue to refrain from interacting with his ilk ("fanboys") on my column's thread. But this particular dreadful cur (with apologies to dogs, which I love) further embarrasses himself when he offers up the non sequitur that engaging him is the litmus test for being a "good writer."

dfordoom , says: Website January 10, 2018 at 12:07 am GMT
@polskijoe

I see it as a case of American imperialism fused with pro Israel sentiment. Large overlap, but not always.

Agreed. American imperialism has a long long history (going back to at least the mid-19th century). That's why the neocons were able to gain so much influence. They were appealing to a pre-existing imperialist sentiment.

dfordoom , says: Website January 10, 2018 at 12:11 am GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

There is a large group of US politician non Jews
who also are pushing this policies. So these two groups together would be called Neocons.
There is a large group in US population, that find this idea very appealing.

That's why Make America Great Again was such a popular slogan. It appeals to mindless American jingoism and imperialism.

dfordoom , says: Website January 10, 2018 at 12:14 am GMT
@Twodees Partain

There are people who claim to have high IQs who are totally stupid in practical matters.

I'd almost go so far as to suggest that there's a direct correlation between high IQ and stupidity in practical matters.

Talha , says: January 10, 2018 at 4:18 am GMT
@dfordoom Edward Dutton stated that it was a trade-off between intelligence on one side and instinct on another – both are necessary for survival. For me, intelligence does not seem to correlate directly to wisdom.

Peace.

renfro , says: January 10, 2018 at 6:13 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain

If so, that reinforces my view that Trump doesn't know anybody in the Swamp

You are exactly right.

Trump really knew no one to hire or appoint to anything except his NY cronies , mainly his Jewish lawyers and Kushner contacts.
So he appointed anyone they and his biggest donors recommended to him.
His ego and insecurity demanded he surround himself with his NY cohorts and close family.

dfordoom , says: Website January 11, 2018 at 1:59 am GMT
@Authenticjazzman

" It appeals to mindless American jingoism and imperialism" = "Make America great again"

So you would prefer : "Make America powerless and insignificant again"

How about "Make America a normal nation that respects other nations' sovereignty, that doesn't plant military bases on foreign soil, that doesn't bomb other people's countries, doesn't try to impose its views and its culture on the rest of the world, doesn't undermine the governments of other countries and doesn't threaten any country that dares to disagree with it." Would that be too much to ask?

I would have thought that someone "Mensa" qualified since 1973 could understand that greatness should not be equated with behaving like a thug or a schoolyard bully. America's aggression does tend to look like the manifestation of a massive inferiority complex.

HogHappenin , says: January 11, 2018 at 4:32 am GMT
I commend Ms. Mercer for publishing this which will no doubt bring to light an ugly truth about many of her own tribesmen since there many of her other views which I wholly or partially disagree with

And as was said sometime before, the thought process of earlier elites (the banking, Hollywood and the neo-con, neo-lib crowd which was almost exclusively Zio-Jewish and is disproportionately still is) has creeped into the very being of what constitutes to be an "elite" in the west these days. Unlimited warfare and welfare using fraudulent money, disturbing the social and sexual fabric of a society! Satan would be quite proud of this scum bunch

So the zionist cabal still calls the shots and the slavish goyim second tier elites now willingly go along and in fact share the same mentality

[Dec 30, 2018] RussiaGate In Review with Aaron Mate - Unreasoned Fear is Neoliberalism's Response to the Credibility Gap

Highly recommended!
Dec 30, 2018 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

At the inception of this entire RussiaGate spectacle I suggested that it was a political distraction to take the attention away from the rejection by the people of neoliberalism which has been embraced by the establishments of both political parties.

And that the result of the investigation would be indictments for perjury in the covering up of illicit business deals and money laundering. But that 'collusion to sway the election' was without substance, if not a joke.

Everything that has been revealed to date tends to support that.

One thing that Aaron overlooks is the evidence compiled by William Binney and associates that strongly suggests the DNC hack was no hack at all, but a leak by an insider who was appalled by the lies and double dealing at the DNC.

In general, RussiaGate is a farcical distraction from other issues as they say in the video. And this highlights the utterly Machiavellian streak in the corporate Democrats and the Liberal establishment under the Clintons and their ilk who care more about money and power than the basic principles that historically sustained their party. I have lost all respect for them.

But unfortunately this does open the door for those who use this to approve of the Republican establishment, which is 'at least honest' about being substantially corrupt servants to Big Money who care nothing about democracy, the Constitution, or the public. The best of them are leaving or have already left, and their party is ruined beyond repair.

This all underscores the paucity of the Red v. Blue, monopoly of two parties, 'lesser of two evils' model of political thought which has come to dominate the discussion in the US.

We are heavily propagandized by the owners of the corporate media and influencers of the narrative, and a professional class that has sold its soul for economic advantage and access to money and power.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/2HBA3Zm3dGM

And here is a bit more from Nate Silver --

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SETw5GLF8mU

[Dec 07, 2018] Brexit Theresa May Goes Greek! by Brett Redmayne

Highly recommended!
" The Fleeting Illusion of Election Night Victory." that phrase sums up the situation very succinctly
Notable quotes:
"... " A Brexit Lesson In Greek: Hopes and Votes Dashed on Parliamentary Floors," ..."
"... "Brexit means Brexit!" ..."
Dec 07, 2018 | www.unz.com

It has become all too easy for democracy to be turned on its head and popular nationalist mandates, referenda and elections negated via instant political hypocrisy by leaders who show their true colours only after the public vote. So it has been within the two-and-a-half year unraveling of the UK Brexit referendum of 2016 that saw the subsequent negotiations now provide the Brexit voter with only three possibilities. All are a loss for Britain.

One possibility, Brexit, is the result of Prime Minister, Theresa May's negotiations- the "deal"- and currently exists in name only. Like the PM herself, the original concept of Brexit may soon lie in the dust of an upcoming UK Parliament floor vote in exactly the same manner as the failed attempt by the Greeks barely three years ago. One must remember that Greece on June 27, 2015 once voted to leave the EU as well and to renegotiate its EU existence as well in their own "Grexit" referendum. Thanks to their own set of underhanded and treasonous politicians, this did not go well for Greece. Looking at the Greek result, and understanding divisive UK Conservative Party control that exists in the hearts of PMs on both sides of the House of Commons, this new parliamentary vote is not looking good for Britain. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek! "deal" -- would thus reveal the life-long scars of their true national allegiance gnawed into their backs by the lust of their masters in Brussels. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

Ironically, like a cluster bomb of white phosphorous over a Syrian village, Cameron's Brexit vote blew up spectacularly in his face. Two decades of ongoing political submission to the EU by the Cons and "new" labour had them arrogantly misreading the minds of the UK voter.

So on that incredible night, it happened. Prime Minister David Cameron the Cons New Labour The Lib- Dems and even the UK Labour Party itself, were shocked to their core when the unthinkable nightmare that could never happen, did happen . Brexit had passed by popular vote!

David Cameron has been in hiding ever since.

After Brexit passed the same set of naïve UK voters assumed, strangely, that Brexit would be finalized in their national interest as advertised. This belief had failed to read Article 50 - the provisos for leaving the EU- since, as much as it was mentioned, it was very rarely linked or referenced by a quotation in any of the media punditry. However, an article published four days after the night Brexit passed, " A Brexit Lesson In Greek: Hopes and Votes Dashed on Parliamentary Floors," provided anyone thus reading Article 50, which is only eight pages long and double-spaced, the info to see clearly that this never before used EU by-law would be the only route to a UK exit. Further, Article 50 showed that Brussels would control the outcome of exit negotiations along with the other twenty-seven member nations and that effectively Ms May and her Tories would be playing this game using the EU's ball and rules, while going one-on-twenty-seven during the negotiations.

In the aftermath of Brexit, the real game began in earnest. The stakes: bigger than ever.

Forgotten are the hypocritical defections of political expediency that saw Boris Johnson and then Home Secretary Theresa May who were, until that very moment, both vociferously and very publicly against the intent of Brexit. Suddenly they claimed to be pro- Brexit in their quest to sleep in Cameron's now vacant bed at No. 10 Downing Street. Boris strategically dropped out to hopefully see, Ms May, fall on her sword- a bit sooner. Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

So, the plucky PM was left to convince the UK public, daily, as the negotiations moved on, that "Brexit means Brexit!" A UK media that is as pro-EU as their PM chimed in to help her sell distortions of proffered success at the negotiating table, while the rise of "old" Labour, directed by Jeremy Corbyn, exposed her "soft" Brexit negotiations for the litany of failures that ultimately equaled the "deal" that was strangely still called "Brexit."

Too few, however, examined this reality once these political Chameleons changed their colours just as soon as the very first results shockingly came in from Manchester in the wee hours of the morning on that seemingly hopeful night so long ago: June 23, 2016. For thus would begin a quiet, years-long defection of many more MPs than merely these two opportunists.

What the British people also failed to realize was that they and their Brexit victory would also be faced with additional adversaries beyond the EU members: those from within their own government. From newly appointed PM May to Boris Johnson, from the Conservative Party to the New Labour sellouts within the Labour Party and the Friends of Israel , the quiet internal political movement against Brexit began. As the House of Lords picked up their phones, too, for very quiet private chats within House of Commons, their minions in the British press began their work as well.

Brexit: Theresa May Goes Greek!, by Brett Redmayne-Titley - The Unz Review

jim jones , says: December 5, 2018 at 4:55 am GMT

Government found guilty of Contempt of Parliament:

https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2018/12/04/uk-govt-forced-to-publish-full-brexit-legal-documents-after-losing-key-vote/

Brabantian , says: December 5, 2018 at 7:17 am GMT
This article by Brett Redmayne is certainly right re the horrific sell-out by the Greek government of Tsipras the other year, that has left the Greek citizenry in enduring political despair the betrayal of Greek voters indeed a model for UK betrayal of Brexit voters

But Redmayne is likely very mistaken in the adulation of Jeremy Corbyn as the 'genuine real deal' for British people

Ample evidence points to Corbyn as Trojan horse sell-out, as covered by UK researcher Aangirfan on her blogs, the most recent of which was just vapourised by Google in their censorship insanity

Jeremy Corbyn was a childhood neighbour of the Rothschilds in Wiltshire; with Jeremy's father David Corbyn working for ultra-powerful Victor Rothschild on secret UK gov scientific projects during World War 2

Jeremy Corbyn is tied to child violation scandals & child-crime convicted individuals including Corbyn's Constituency Agent; Corbyn tragically ignoring multiple earnest complaints from child abuse victims & whistleblowers over years, whilst "child abuse rings were operating within all 12 of the borough's children's homes" in Corbyn's district not very decent of him

And of course Corbyn significantly cucked to the Israel lobby in their demands for purge of the Labour party alleged 'anti-semites'

The Trojan Horse 'fake opposition', or fake 'advocate for the people', is a very classic game of the Powers That Be, and sadly Corbyn is likely yet one more fake 'hero'

niceland , says: December 6, 2018 at 9:13 am GMT
My theory is, give "capitalism" and financial interests enough time, they will consume any democracy. Meaning: the wealth flows upwards, giving the top class opportunity to influence politics and the media, further improving their situation v.s. the rest, resulting in ever stronger position – until they hold all the power. Controlling the media and therefore the narrative, capable to destroy any and all opposition. Ministers and members of parliaments, most bought and paid for one way or the other. Thankfully, the 1% or rather the 0.1% don't always agree so the picture can be a bit blurred.

You can guess what country inspired this "theory" of mine. The second on the list is actually the U.K. If a real socialist becomes the prime minister of the U.K. I will be very surprised. But Brexit is a black swan like they say in the financial sector, and they tend to disrupt even the best of theories. Perhaps Corbin is genuine and will become prime minister! I am not holding my breath.

However, if he is a real socialist like the article claims. And he becomes prime minister of the U.K the situation will get really interesting. Not only from the EU side but more importantly from U.K. best friend – the U.S. Uncle Sam will not be happy about this development and doesn't hesitate to crush "bad ideas" he doesn't like.

Case in point – Ireland's financial crisis in 2009;

After massive expansion and spectacular housing bubble the Irish banks were in deep trouble early into the crisis. The EU, ECB and the IMF (troika?) met with the Irish government to discuss solutions. From memory – the question was how to save the Irish banks? They were close to agreement that bondholders and even lenders to the Irish banks should take a "haircut" and the debt load should be cut down to manageable levels so the banks could survive (perhaps Michael Hudson style if you will). One short phone call from the U.S Secretary of the treasury then – Timothy Geithner – to the troika-Irish meeting ended these plans. He said: there will be no haircut! That was the end of it. Ireland survived but it's reasonable to assume this "guideline" paved the road for the Greece debacle.

I believe Mr. Geithner spoke on behalf of the financial power controlling – more or less-our hemisphere. So if the good old socialist Corbin comes to power in the U.K. and intends to really change something and thereby set examples for other nations – he is taking this power head on. I think in case of "no deal" the U.K. will have it's back against the wall and it's bargaining position against the EU will depend a LOT on U.S. response. With socialist in power there will be no meaningful support from the U.S. the powers that be will to their best to destroy Corbin as soon as possible.

I hope I am wrong.

niceland , says: December 6, 2018 at 10:07 am GMT
My right wing friends can't understand the biggest issue of our times is class war. This article mentions the "Panama papers" where great many corporations and wealthy individuals (even politicians) in my country were exposed. They run their profits through offshore tax havens while using public infrastructure (paid for by taxpayers) to make their money. It's estimated that wealth amounting to 1,5 times our GDP is stored in these accounts!

There is absolutely no way to get it through my right wing friends thick skull that off-shore accounts are tax frauds. Resulting in they paying higher taxes off their wages because the big corporations and the rich don't pay anything. Nope. They simply hate taxes (even if they get plenty back in services) and therefore all taxes are bad. Ergo tax evasions by the 1% are fine – socialism or immigrants must be the root of our problems. MIGA!

Come to think of it – few of them would survive the "law of the jungle" they so much desire. And none of them would survive the "law of the jungle" if the rules are stacked against them. Still, all their political energy is aimed against the ideas and people that struggle against such reality.

I give up – I will never understand the right. No more than the pure bread communist. Hopeless ideas!

jilles dykstra , says: December 6, 2018 at 11:27 am GMT
" This is because the deal has a provision that would still keep the UK in the EU Customs Union (the system setting common trade rules for all EU members) indefinitely. This is an outrageous inclusion and betrayal of a real Brexit by Ms May since this one topic was the most contentious in the debate during the ongoing negotiations because the Customs Union is the tie to the EU that the original Brexit vote specifically sought to terminate. "

Here I stopped reading, maybe later more.
Nonsense.

What USA MSM told in the USA about what ordinary British people said, those who wanted to leave the EU, I do not know, one of the most often heard reasons was immigration, especially from E European countries, the EU 'free movement of people'.
"Real' Britons refusing to live in Poland.
EP member Verhofstadt so desperate that he asked on CNN help by Trump to keep this 'one of the four EU freedoms'.
This free movement of course was meant to destroy the nation states

What Boris Johnson said, many things he said were true, stupid EU interference for example with products made in Britain, for the home market, (he mentioned forty labels in one piece of clothing), no opportunity to seek trade without EU interference.
There was irritation about EU interference 'they even make rules about vacuum cleaners', and, already long ago, closure, EU rules, of village petrol pumps that had been there since the first cars appeared in Britain, too dangerous.
In France nonsensical EU rules are simply ignored, such as countryside private sewer installations.

But the idea that GB could leave, even without Brussels obstruction, the customs union, just politicians, and other nitwits in economy, could have such ideas.
Figures are just in my head, too lazy to check.
But British export to what remains of the EU, some € 60 billion, French export to GB, same order of magnitude, German export to GB, far over 100 billion.
Did anyone imagine that Merkel could afford closing down a not negligible part of Bayern car industry, at he same time Bayern being the Land most opposed to Merkel, immigration ?

This Brexit in my view is just the beginning of the end of the illusion EU falling apart.
In politics anything is connected with anything.
Britons, again in my opinion, voted to leave because of immigration, inside EU immigration.
What GB will do with Marrakech, I do not know.

Marrakech reminds me of many measures that were ready to be implemented when the reason to make these measures no longer existed.
Such as Dutch job guarantees when enterprises merged, these became law when when the merger idiocy was over.
The negative aspects of immigration now are clear to many in the countries with the imagined flesh pots, one way or another authorities will be obliged to stop immigration, but at that very moment migration rules, not legally binding, are presented.

As a Belgian political commentator said on Belgian tv 'no communication is possible between French politicians and French yellow coat demonstrators, they live in completely different worlds'.
These different worlds began, to pinpoint a year, in 2005, when the negative referenda about the EU were ignored. As Farrage reminded after the Brexit referendum, in EP, you said 'they do not know what they're doing'
But now Macron and his cronies do not know what to do, now that police sympathises with yellow coat demonstrators.

For me THE interesting question remains 'how was it possible that the Renaissance cultures manoevred