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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
The Iron Law of Oligarchy Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite The Deep State Demexit: Abandonment of Democratic party by working class and lower middle class Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Pluralism as a myth
Principal-agent problem Corporatist Corruption Predator state Media-Military-Industrial Complex Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Ethno-lingustic Nationalism Corporatism National Security State Neocons
Neoliberalism Media-Military-Industrial Complex  American Exceptionalism Myth about intelligent voter Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Mayberry Machiavellians Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

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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NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Jan 22, 2020] #MeToo provocation against Bernie Sanders organized by CNN and Elizabeth Warren

By David Walsh 20 January 2020 20 January 2020
Notable quotes:
"... New York Times ..."
"... own account ..."
"... Why did you say that? ..."
Jan 22, 2020 | www.wsws.org

CNN and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Democrat from Massachusetts, with powerful establishment support, combined to stage a provocation this week aimed at slowing down or derailing the campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Through CNN, the Massachusetts senator's camp first alleged that Sanders told her in December 2018 a woman could not win a presidential election, an allegation Sanders strenuously refuted. At the Democratic debate on Tuesday night, CNN's moderator acted as though the claim was an indisputable reality, leading to a post-debate encounter between Warren and Sanders, which the network just happened to record and circulate widely.

This is a political stink bomb, borrowed from the #MeToo playbook, typical of American politics in its putrefaction. Unsubstantiated allegations are turned into "facts," these "facts" become the basis for blackening reputations and damaging careers and shifting politics continuously to the right. Anyone who denies the allegations is a "sexist" who refuses "to believe women."

The Democratic establishment is fearful of Sanders, not so much for his nationalist-reformist program and populist demagogy, but for what his confused but growing support portends: the movement to the left by wide layers of the American population. The US ruling elite seems convinced, like some wretched, self-deluded potentate of old, that if it can simply stamp out the unpleasant "noise," the rising tide of disaffection will dissipate.

CNN's operation began Monday when it posted a "bombshell" article by M.J. Lee with the headline, "Bernie Sanders told Elizabeth Warren in private 2018 meeting that a woman can't win, sources say."

The article animatedly begins, "The stakes were high when Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren met at Warren's apartment in Washington, DC, one evening in December 2018." Among other things, the CNN piece reported, the pair "discussed how to best take on President Donald Trump, and Warren laid out two main reasons she believed she would be a strong candidate: She could make a robust argument about the economy and earn broad support from female voters. Sanders responded that he did not believe a woman could win."

Lee continues, "The description of that meeting is based on the accounts of four people: two people Warren spoke with directly soon after the encounter, and two people familiar with the meeting." In reality, the story is based on the account of one individual with a considerable interest in cutting into Sanders' support, i.e., Elizabeth Warren. As the New York Times primly noted, "Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders were the only people in the room."

The absurd CNN article goes on, "After publication of this story, Warren herself backed up this account of the meeting, saying in part in a statement Monday, 'I thought a woman could win; he disagreed.'" In other words, Warren "backed up" what could only have been her own account insofar as she was the only person there besides Sanders!

After a pro forma insertion of Sanders' categorical denial that he ever made such a statement, in which he reasonably observed, "Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016," Lee plowed right ahead as though his comments were not worth responding to. She carries on, "The conversation also illustrates the skepticism among not only American voters but also senior Democratic officials that the country is ready to elect a woman as president" and, further, "The revelation that Sanders expressed skepticism that Warren could win the presidency because she is a woman is particularly noteworthy now, given that Warren is the lone female candidate at the top of the Democratic field."

This is one of the ways in which the sexual misconduct witch-hunt has poisoned American politics, although by no means the only one. Warren's claims about a private encounter simply "must be believed."

During the Democratic candidates' debate itself Tuesday night, moderator Abby Phillips addressed Sanders in the following manner: "Let's now turn to an issue that's come up in the last 48 hours [because Warren and CNN generated it]. Sen. Sanders, CNN reported yesterday that -- and Sen. Sanders, Sen. Warren confirmed in a statement, that in 2018 you told her that you did not believe that a woman could win the election. Why did you say that? " (emphasis added). Sanders denied once again that he had said any such thing. Phillips persisted, "Sen. Sanders, I do want to be clear here, you're saying that you never told Sen. Warren that a woman could not win the election?" Sanders confirmed that. Insultingly, Phillips immediately turned to Warren and continued, "Sen. Warren, what did you think when Sen. Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?" This was all clearly prepared ahead of time, a deliberate effort to embarrass Sanders and portray him as a liar and a male chauvinist.

Following the debate, Warren had the audacity to confront the Vermont senator, refuse to shake his hand and assert, "I think you called me a liar on national TV." When Sanders seemed startled by her remark, she repeated it. CNN managed to capture the sound and preserve it for widespread distribution.

The WSWS gives no support to Sanders, a phony "socialist" whose efforts are aimed at channeling working-class anger at social inequality, poverty and war back into the big business Democratic Party. He is only the latest in a long line of figures in American political history devoted to maintaining the Democrats' stranglehold over popular opposition and blocking the development of a broad-based socialist movement.

Nonetheless, the CNN-Warren "dirty tricks" operation is an obvious hatchet job and an attack from the right. Accordingly, the New York Times and other major outlets have been gloating and attempting to make something out of it since Tuesday night. The obvious purpose is to "raise serious questions" about Sanders and dampen support for him, among women especially. It should be recalled that in 2016 Sanders led Hillary Clinton among young women by 30 percentage points.

Michelle Cottle, a member of the Times editorial board (in "Why Questions on Women Candidates Strike a Nerve," January 15), asserted that the issue raised by the Warren-Sanders clash was "not about Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren. Not really. And Ms. Warren was right to try to shift the focus to the bigger picture -- even if some critics will sneer that she's playing 'the gender card.'"

Cottle's "bigger picture," it turned out, primarily involved smearing Sanders. The present controversy, she went on, "has resurfaced some of Mr. Sanders's past women troubles. His 2016 campaign faced multiple accusations of sexual harassment, pay inequities and other gender-based mistreatment. Asked early last year if he knew about the complaints, Mr. Sanders's reaction was both defensive and dismissive: 'I was a little bit busy running around the country'."

After Cottle attempted to convince her readers, on the basis of dubious numbers, that Americans were perhaps too backward to elect a female president, she continued, again, taking as good coin Warren's allegations, "This less-than-inspiring data -- along with from-the-trail anecdotes about the gender-based voter anxiety that Ms. Warren and Ms. [Amy] Klobuchar have been facing -- help explain why Mr. Sanders's alleged remarks struck such a nerve. Women candidates and their supporters aren't simply outraged that he could be so wrong. They're worried that he might be right." The remarks he denies making have nonetheless "outraged" Cottle and others.

The Times more and more openly expresses fears about a possible Sanders' nomination. Op-ed columnist David Leonhardt headlined his January 14 piece, "President Bernie Sanders," and commented, "Sanders has a real shot of winning the Democratic nomination. Only a couple of months after he suffered a mild heart attack, that counts as a surprise." Leonhardt downplays Sanders' socialist credentials, observing that "while he [Sanders] would probably fail to accomplish his grandest goals (again, like Medicare for all), he would also move the country in a positive direction. He might even move it to closer to a center-left ideal than a more moderate candidate like Biden would."

On Thursday, right-wing Times columnist David Brooks argued pathetically against the existence of "class war" in "The Bernie Sanders Fallacy." He ridiculed what he described as "Bernie Sanders's class-war Theyism: The billionaires have rigged the economy to benefit themselves and impoverish everyone else." According to Brooks, Sanders is a Bolshevik who believes that "Capitalism is a system of exploitation in which capitalist power completely dominates worker power." Accusing Sanders of embracing such an ABC socialist proposition is all nonsense, but it reveals something about what keeps pundits like Brooks up at night.

The Times is determined, as the WSWS has noted more than once, to exclude anything from the 2020 election campaign that might arouse or encourage the outrage of workers and young people. The past year of global mass protest has only deepened and strengthened that determination.

The Times , CNN and other elements of the media and political establishment, and behind them powerful financial-corporate interests, don't want Sanders and they don't necessarily want Warren either, who engaged in certain loose talk about taxing the billionaires, before retreating in fright. They want a campaign dominated by race, gender and sexual orientation -- not class and not social inequality. The #MeToo-style attack on Sanders reflects both the "style" and the right-wing concerns of these social layers.

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren is a political novice, and while she has sharp elbows she's extremely naive and makes blunder after blunder

Notable quotes:
"... I have no confidence in Elizabeth Warren "doing the right thing"; she might be susceptible to the pressure and to the ignominy attached to doing the disastrously wrong thing. ..."
"... *Donald Trump, for his part, is reportedly " privately obsessed " with Sanders, not, it seems, with Biden. ..."
"... From a recent episode of the Jimmy Dore Show, it's the cringe-worthy Warren "Selfie" Gimmick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5JWIiVMj6g If this doesn't scream "political novice," I don't know what will. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Jeff W , January 21, 2020 at 1:41 am

" if she does anything less than help elect the last and only progressive with a chance, she damages them both to Biden's benefit "

If Elizabeth Warren's candidacy becomes unviable, the pressure on her to combine her delegates with those of Sanders -- from those supporting Bernie Sanders and those legitimately concerned with Joe Biden's chances against Trump* -- will be enormous . And, if , instead, Warren helps nominate Biden and Biden then goes on to lose to Donald Trump -- as I'm all but certain he will -- it will be all too clear just who played a pivotal role in helping to make that match-up even possible.

I have no confidence in Elizabeth Warren "doing the right thing"; she might be susceptible to the pressure and to the ignominy attached to doing the disastrously wrong thing.

*Donald Trump, for his part, is reportedly " privately obsessed " with Sanders, not, it seems, with Biden.

rusti , January 21, 2020 at 2:07 am

In Sanders' case, his surge in the polls coincided with his emergence as the chief apologist for the Iranian regime. We needed to point out that he would be dangerous as president since he made clear he would appease terrorists and terror-sponsoring nations.

If this is really representative of a line of attack that the Trump campaign plans to use on him, that would be great. I can't imagine anything that would resonate less with voters. But I was a bit surprised to see this in a Bernie fundraising mail:

The wise course would have been to stick with that nuclear agreement, enforce its provisions, and use that diplomatic channel with Iran to address our other concerns with Iran, including their support of terrorism.

What groups are they referring to when they say this? Hezbollah, which is part of Parliament in Lebanon? Iraqi PMF that are loosely integrated with the Iraqi army?

Bill Carson , January 21, 2020 at 2:15 am

Yep, Warren is a political novice, and she's extremely naive. That Massachusetts senate seat was practically handed to her on a silver platter. She has no idea that she was played in '16 and she's being played now.

Arizona Slim , January 21, 2020 at 8:22 am

From a recent episode of the Jimmy Dore Show, it's the cringe-worthy Warren "Selfie" Gimmick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5JWIiVMj6g If this doesn't scream "political novice," I don't know what will.

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren "Willingness to compromise" = willingness to give obeisance to most of exploitative corporate capitalism

She endorced Hillary in 2016. That tells a lot about her... Now she backstabbed Bernie. What's next?
Notable quotes:
"... Warren has a track record of lying: lied about her dad being a janitor, hers kids going to public school, getting fired for being pregnant, and obviously the Native American heritage. ..."
"... My gut is she is going to endorse Joe Biden and prob got a tease of VP or some other role and all she had to do was kamikaze into Bernie with this. It's backfiring but at this rate and given she's too deep into it now when she drops out she'll prob back Biden as she hasn't shown the integrity to back a guy like Berni. ..."
"... She's toxic now. No one will want her has VP. Sanders supporters despise her, she comes from a small, Democratic state and she's loaded with baggage. She brings nothing to a ticket. She torpedoed any hopes or plans she might have had in that regard. ..."
"... Bernie is labeled as a socialist. Actually he is a real Roosevelt democrat. ..."
"... The most impressive thing I have witnessed about Bernie is that he can extemporaneously recall and explain exactly why he voted as he did on every piece of legislation that he has cast a vote on. in. his. life. It is a remarkable talent. ..."
"... The outcome of the upcoming Iowa Caucus is too hard to predict. All the candidates are very close. Sanders needs to turnout young and working class voters to win. ..."
"... My impression is her supporters are mostly older, mostly female, and mostly centrist. Many want to elect a female pres before they die. Prior to the she said event her supporters second choice were split fairly evenly between Bernie and Biden but the latest fracas is driving her most progressive supporters to Bernie. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Massinissa , January 21, 2020 at 12:49 pm

"Willingness to compromise" = willingness to give obeisance to most of exploitative corporate capitalism.

Amit Chokshi , January 21, 2020 at 5:52 am

Warren has a track record of lying: lied about her dad being a janitor, hers kids going to public school, getting fired for being pregnant, and obviously the Native American heritage.

As pointed here on NC she's great at grandstanding when bank CEOs are in front of her and doing nothing following that.

My gut is she is going to endorse Joe Biden and prob got a tease of VP or some other role and all she had to do was kamikaze into Bernie with this. It's backfiring but at this rate and given she's too deep into it now when she drops out she'll prob back Biden as she hasn't shown the integrity to back a guy like Berni.

Yves Smith Post author , January 21, 2020 at 5:57 am

I don't see how she is anyone's VP. She is too old. You want someone under 60, better 50, particularly for an old presidential candidate. Treasury Secretary is a more powerful position. The big appeal of being VP is maybe it positions you later to be President but that last worked out for Bush the Senior.

Arizona Slim , January 21, 2020 at 8:24 am

And Bush the Senior lost his re-election bid.

pebird , January 21, 2020 at 9:41 am

Because he asked us to read his lips. And he didn't think we were lip readers.

Oh , January 21, 2020 at 10:57 am

She may be looking to be the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture. /s

Sue E Greenwald , January 21, 2020 at 8:19 am

She's toxic now. No one will want her has VP. Sanders supporters despise her, she comes from a small, Democratic state and she's loaded with baggage. She brings nothing to a ticket. She torpedoed any hopes or plans she might have had in that regard.

jackiebass , January 21, 2020 at 6:40 am

I've watched Bernie for years. Even long before he decided to run for president. He is the same today as he was then. Bernie isn't afraid to advocate for something , even though he will get a lot of backlash. I also believe he is sincere in his convictions. If he says something he believes in it.Something you can't say for the other candidates. Bernie is by far my first choice.

After that it would be Warren. Bernie is labeled as a socialist. Actually he is a real Roosevelt democrat. As a life long democrat, I can't support or vote for a Wall Street candidate. Unlike one of the other commenters, I will never vote for Trump but instead wold vote for a third party candidate. Unfortunate the DNC will do anything to prevent Bernie from being candidate. Progressive democrats need to get out and support a progressive or the nomination will again be stolen by a what I call a light republican.

Robert Hahl , January 21, 2020 at 7:26 am

What is great about Bernie is that he is so sure-footed. It was visible in the hot-mic trap Warren set for him where she got nothing, it actually hurt her.

Anonymous Coward , January 21, 2020 at 3:05 pm

The most impressive thing I have witnessed about Bernie is that he can extemporaneously recall and explain exactly why he voted as he did on every piece of legislation that he has cast a vote on. in. his. life. It is a remarkable talent.

Howard , January 21, 2020 at 6:48 am

The outcome of the upcoming Iowa Caucus is too hard to predict. All the candidates are very close. Sanders needs to turnout young and working class voters to win. By many reports, Warren has an excellent ground game in IA and The NY Times endorsement has given a path for her to pick up Klobuchar voters after round one of the caucus.

Biden is a mystery to me. How the heck is he even running. Obama pleaded with him not to. That being said, it wouldn't surprise me if he finishes in the top two. Buttigieg is the wild card. I think the "electability" argument will hurt him as he can't win after NH.

ALM , January 21, 2020 at 7:51 am

According to a recent poll, Elizabeth Warren is one of the most unpopular senators with voters in her own state as measured against approval rates of all other senators in their states. I find this very surprising for someone with a national profile. What do voters in Massachusetts not like about her?

As for me, I find it more and more difficult to trust Warren because she takes the bait and yields to pressure during a primary when the pressure to back down, moderate, and abandon once championed policy positions and principles is a great deal less than it is during the general election. Warren has gone from Medicare4All to a public option to, in the recent debate, tweaks to the ACA. Despite her roll-out of an ambitious $10 trillion Green New Deal plan, Warren is now to the right of Chuck "Wall Street" Schumer as evidenced by her support of NAFTA 2.0 which utterly fails to address climate change. WTF! Where will she be during a general election?

And her political instincts are awful as recently demonstrated by her woke, badly executed girl power attack against a candidate who has been a committed feminist for his entire political career.

Another Scott , January 21, 2020 at 9:18 am

She also has horrible constituent service. I had an issue with a federal student loan a few years ago (I believe it was the servicer depositing money but not crediting my account and charging me interest and late fees). After getting nowhere with the company, I tried calling her office, figuring that as this was one of her core issues, I would get some response, either help or at least someone who would want to record what happened to her actual constituent. I didn't hear back for about a month, by which time I had resolved the issue – no fees or additional interest through multiple phone calls and emails.

In other words, Elizabeth Warren's constituent service is worse than Sallie Mae's.

T , January 21, 2020 at 9:31 am

The stupid Ponds cold cream lie is the worst. Unless she teed up the "how do you look so young!" question , the corrected answer is to point out the nonsense of talking about a candidates looks and addressing actual sexism.

Instead she has a goofball answer about only using Ponds cold cream which lead to Derm pointing out her alleged method was not good advice and also pointing out that she appears to have used botex and fillers, which I don't think people were talking about before then, in public.

The most generous explanation is she was caught flat-footed and, once again, showed she has terrible instincts.

Just a dumb dumb move.

Stefan , January 21, 2020 at 8:43 am

If Bernie Sanders can get it through the thick noggin of the nation that he stands for and will implement the principles, policies, and values of the New Deal–the attitude that got us through the Great Depression and Wotld War II–he has every chance of being elected the next President of the United States.

Stefan , January 21, 2020 at 8:47 am

Btw, is Inauguration Day just a year away?

The Rev Kev , January 21, 2020 at 9:02 am

Google says Wednesday Jan 20, 2021: Swearing-In Ceremony. And here is a countdown page-

https://days.to/when-is/us-presidential-inauguration/2021

Trust me. By the time it comes around you won't care who gets sworn in as you will just be glad that all the vicious, wretched skullduggery of this year's elections will finally be over.

Pat , January 21, 2020 at 11:11 am

And hoping you get one day of rest before the vicious, wretched skullduggery of undermining the desires of the American people gets started. Obviously Sanders will make the Trump years look a cake walk. Anyone else (Democrat or Trump) we will see lots of 'working for' and 'resistance' type memes while largely doing nothing of the sort, but a whole lot of 'bipartisan' passage of terrible things.

Samuel Conner , January 21, 2020 at 10:25 am

It sounds like Sanders, in the famous 2018 conversation, may have been trying to politely encourage EW to not run in 2020. Her moment was 2016 and she declined to run then when a Progressive candidate was needed. Her run in 2020 to some extent divides the Progressive vote. EW interpreted, perhaps intentionally, Sanders' words to imply that he thinks "no woman can win in 2020", and then weaponized them against him.

The very fact that she is running at all suggests to me that she is not at heart a Progressive and in fact does not want a Progressive candidate to win. If she had run in 2016, Sanders would not have run in order to not divide the Progressive vote. EW knew that Sanders would run in 2020 and planned to run anyway. It is hard for me to not interpret this to be an intentional bid for some of the Progressive vote, in order to hold Sanders down.

Anon , January 21, 2020 at 11:59 am

I agree. She decides to do things based on her own self-interest, and uses progressives as pawns to work her way up in DC. My guess is that Warren chickened out in 2016 and didn't run because maybe she didn't think she had a chance against the Clintons. When Warren saw how well Sanders did against Clinton, how close he was at winning, I think only then she decided that 2020 was a good chance for a progressive, or someone running as a progressive candidate, to win the nomination.

She saw how Sanders had fired up loyal progressive support in the Democratic Party. She chickened out back then when she could have endorsed Bernie in '16, but chose not to, probably hoping not to burn bridges with Clinton in order to get a plum role in her administration. Her non-endorsement in '16 worries me because it shows once again that Warren makes decisions largely based on what is good for her career, not what she thinks is better for the country (if she really is the progressive she claims to be).

Knowing that there was now a strong progressive base ready to vote for a candidate left of Democratic candidates like Biden and Clinton, Warren saw her entry into having a good chance at winning the presidency. Rather than thinking about the implications for Bernie and the possibility of dividing left-wing voters, her desire to become president was more important. Remember, this is exactly what Bernie did not do in 2016 when he urged Warren to run, and was willing to step aside, if she had agreed to do so.

If I had been in Sanders position, I probably would have sat down and talked to Warren about the serious implications of the both of them running in 2020. How he had hoped to build on the momentum from his last campaign and the sexism that was used against Clinton in 2016. Hey, if I had been Sanders, I probably would have told Warren not to run. Not because she's a woman, but because it would have been obvious to Bernie that with Warren running alongside him, they would both end up splitting the progressive vote.

What is happening now between the two of them should have been no surprise to either Bernie or Warren. They are both popular among Democrats who identify as progressive or left-of-center. Democrats will always find a way to shoot themselves in the foot. And I agree that when it becomes evident that one of them cannot win, either Bernie or Warren must step aside for the good of the country and fully back the other. There is no other option if either of them truly wants the other to win the nomination rather than Biden. I'm hoping that Warren will do so since it is becoming more clear that Sanders is the stronger progressive and the stronger candidate who has a better chance at beating both Biden and Trump.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:37 pm

> "no woman can win in 2020"

The claim was "no woman can win." It was not qualified in any way.

landline , January 21, 2020 at 10:34 am

If sheepdog St. Bernard Sanders begins to look like the presumptive nominee, look for a new candidate to throw her hat into the ring. Her name: Michelle Obama.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:42 pm

> sheepdog St. Bernard Sanders

I'm so sick of that sheepdog meme (originated by, much as a respect BAR, by a GP activist bitter, I would say, over many years of GP ineffectuality). The elites seem to be pretty nervous about a sheepdog.

pretzelattack , January 21, 2020 at 3:52 pm

if he were a sheepdog, why would the shepherds have to intervene? they wouldn't.

Lee , January 21, 2020 at 10:51 am

And now we have Sanders apologizing for an op-ed in the Guardian by Zephyr Teachout accusing Biden of corruption.

The op-ed simply says what Sanders has said all along, the system is corrupted by big donors. Then she explicitly states the obvious, which Sanders won't at this point say but that Trump certainly will: Biden is a prime example of serving his donors' interests to the detriment of most of the rest of us. Sanders subsequently apologizes for Teachout's baldly true assertion, stating that he doesn't believe that Biden is corrupt.

I guess we're meant to draw a clear distinction between legalized and illegal corruption. I don't know. They both look like ducks to me.

Oh , January 21, 2020 at 11:05 am

Sometimes it's better for Bernie to keep his mouth shut.

Samuel Conner , January 21, 2020 at 11:07 am

I have read that Sanders is the #2 choice of many Iowans who favor JB; it makes a lot of sense for him to not "go negative" on JB in the run-up to the caucuses.

There will be time for plainer speaking. Sanders has been clear about his views on the corrupting influence of corporate money in politics. JB is exhibit #1 within the D primary field and there will be plenty of opportunity to note that.

I suspect that there is a great deal of "method" in what may look to us like "madness" in the Senator's civility.

Samuel Conner , January 21, 2020 at 11:18 am

To put it another way, I doubt very much that Sanders believes that JB's legislative agendas were not significantly influenced by the sources of his campaign funds. And I'm sure that attention will be drawn to this at the right time.

One can charitably affirm that one believes that JB is not a consciously corrupt , pay-for-play, kind of person, while also affirming that of course he has been influenced by the powerful interests that have funded his career, and that this has not served the interests of the American people. All in due course.

jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:37 pm

The thing is Warren would make the right argument here: that it's the system that is corrupted, and make it well. Too bad she has shown so completely that can't be trusted as a person, because she often looks good on paper

inode_buddha , January 21, 2020 at 1:37 pm

I think Warren misses the key point that the reason why the system is corrupted is because the players in it are corrupted. They can be bought and sold. That is why they have no shame.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:43 pm

> The thing is Warren would make the right argument here: that it's the system that is corrupted

That's not the right answer at all. The climate crisis, for example, is not caused by a lack of transparency in the oil industry. It is caused by capital allocation decisions by the billionaire class and their servicers in subaltern classes.

urblintz , January 21, 2020 at 11:12 am

"The real game changer around here, though, might be Iowa State University's decision, after years of pressure, to issue new student IDs, enabling 35,000 students to vote, even under Iowa's restrictive new voter-ID law. That's a progressive victory, and in a different media universe, it would be a story even juicier than a handshake." Iowa is not the Twittersphere – Laura Flanders

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/21/iowa-is-not-the-twitterverse/

ptb , January 21, 2020 at 11:23 am

Thanks for giving this the attention it needs, analysis of the primary has been too light on estimation of delegate numbers and strategy.

Prior to Warren's apparent turn to some new direction, the setup for a 3way DNC with a progressive "coalition" was not only conceivable, but actually expected from the polls.

We are on pace for Sanders+Warren's combined delegate total to exceed Biden by a healthy amount (say 4:3) with all others falling below 15% state by state and getting few or no delegates. Obviously subject to snowballing in either direction, but that's the polls now and for most of the past year.

Warren's attack on Sanders, and NYT endorsement, say the national party doesn't expect any such coalition. Therefore Warren has made her choice. That's that.

The path to winning the Dem primary is a little narrower for Sanders, and also for Biden, since he seems to lack the confidence of his the top strata. The DNC screws a lot up but they know how to read polls. I'm pretty sure that running Warren in the General is not their plan A.

Voters in Iowa and the early states (incl. TX and CA) look like they will be deciding it all this year. The tremendous enthusiasm of Sanders followers gives him, IMO, the best ground game of the three. Will be an interesting 6 weeks.

jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Running Warren in the general might be their plan A. They may not want to win. Of course they might rather have Klobuchar but

Hepativore , January 21, 2020 at 12:52 pm

I do not even trust Warren to hand any delegates she gets to Sanders at this point. Because her campaign staff is so full of Clintonites and neoliberals, she might give them to Biden instead.

She seems to have gone full establishment at this point.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:39 pm

> I do not even trust Warren to hand any delegates she gets to Sanders at this point. Because her campaign staff is so full of Clintonites and neoliberals, she might give them to Biden instead.

Correct.

ambrit , January 21, 2020 at 1:10 pm

The youngish rehab therapist, a woman, said this morning that of the women running, she likes Klobuchar. "If only her voice wasn't so screechy. And I'm saying this as a woman." She was seriously disturbed by Clinton's attack on Sanders.
Several neighbors are leaning towards Yang.

John k , January 21, 2020 at 1:14 pm

The value of her endorsement

My impression is her supporters are mostly older, mostly female, and mostly centrist. Many want to elect a female pres before they die. Prior to the she said event her supporters second choice were split fairly evenly between Bernie and Biden but the latest fracas is driving her most progressive supporters to Bernie.

This means most of those remaining will probably migrate to Biden if when she drops out even if she recommends Bernie. (If 1/3 of her supporters that had Bernie as their second choice switch to Bernie, then 60% of her remaining supporters have Biden as their second choice.)

2016 was different, Clinton already had the older females. But there was a period where just a little support might have tipped the scale in what was a very tight race.

Anyway, I see going forward she will be mostly holding supporters whose second choice is Biden even as she maybe doesn't reach the 15% barrier
and same with Amy. So I hope they both stay in at least until super tue.

And While I previously thought she was a reasonable choice for veep, I now realize she'd be an awful choice. Maybe treasury if she does endorse which she will do if Bernie looks a winner.

worldblee , January 21, 2020 at 1:35 pm

How can anyone be surprised at the lack of trustworthiness from a politician who chose to endorse Clinton in 2016 rather than Bernie? Warren has been playing the DNC game for a long time now, which ideologically is in line with her lifelong Republican stance before changing to the more demographically favorable party when she was 47. She's not progressive now, and never has been or will be.

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren is a "damaged goods" now: the corporate press has gone all-in on Warren. She simply MUST be a political whore, like Obama, or Hilary/Bill Clinton.

Notable quotes:
"... Bottom line: the corporate press has gone all-in on Warren. ..."
"... I deprecate the comparison, as insulting to wh0res. See at NC here. ..."
"... "She simply MUST be a mercenary, like Obama; might be more apt. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Both campaigns are backing away from greater public conflict. Whether that holds true in the long run is anyone's guess, but my guess is that it will. Still, the following is clear:

So far, in other words, most of the damage has been borne by Warren as a result of the incident. She may recover, but this could also end her candidacy by accelerating a decline that started with public reaction to her recent stand on Medicare For All. None of this is certain to continue, but these are the trends.

... ... ...

But if Warren's candidacy becomes unviable, as it seems it might -- and if the goal of both camps is truly to defeat Joe Biden -- it's incumbent on Warren to drop out and endorse her "friend and ally" Bernie Sanders as soon as it's clear she can no longer win . (The same is true if Sanders becomes unviable, though that seems much less likely.)

Ms. Warren can do whatever she wants, certainly. But if she does anything less than help elect the last and only progressive with a chance, she damages them both to Biden's benefit, and frankly, helps nominate Biden. She has the right to do that, but not to claim at the same time that she's working to further the progressive movement.


TG , January 21, 2020 at 12:19 am

Bottom line: the corporate press has gone all-in on Warren. She simply MUST be a whore, like Obama, or Hilary/Bill Clinton. If Warren were a real progressive, the big money would never go for her like this.

I will vote for Bernie Sanders. But I will vote for Trump over Warren. Better the moron and agent of chaos that you know, than the calculating vicious backstabber that you don't.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:26 am

> She simply MUST be a wh0re,

I deprecate the comparison, as insulting to wh0res. See at NC here.

Phillip Allen , January 21, 2020 at 6:48 am

"She simply MUST be a mercenary, like Obama; might be more apt.

Lee , January 21, 2020 at 8:26 am

I favor the term "corporate lickspittle".

russell1200 , January 21, 2020 at 8:47 am

She's got the Clinton's and now Obama folks behind her.

I doubt they are thrilled with her, but probably view as someone they can work with and the other options are worse or too low in the poll numbers. I assume Buttigieg is fine with them, but his numbers are stuck.

doug , January 21, 2020 at 11:28 am

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/21/politics/hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-documentary/index.html

You are so right. Hillary says she will not support him if the nominee. Gloves are off. I hope the Sanders campaign has some Karl Rove types .

Amfortas the hippie , January 21, 2020 at 1:54 pm

from the sidebar of that link: https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/21/politics/hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-2020/index.html

from cilizza, no less. that Hilary speaking thusly is actually good for sanders.

False Solace , January 21, 2020 at 11:17 am

Personally I cannot consider voting for a drone murderer like Trump, who cozies up to the Saudis and has tried to cut SS and Medicare. He's shown what he is, just as Warren has. We'll never get M4A from either one of them.

If it's not Bernie I'm voting Green. I live in a blue state that almost went for Trump last time – my vote potentially matters and will serve as a signal. Voting for the lesser murderous corporatist scum is what got us into this mess. I'm over it. I will not vote for evil.

HotFlash , January 21, 2020 at 3:49 pm

In 2016 I might just have voted for Trump, as a middle finger to the Dem establishment that crowned HRH HRC, since at that time he had not committed any war crimes. But now, no way. One of my unshakeable principles is that I will not vote for a war criminal. Green , write-in, or leave the Pres slot blank. But I hope and pray (and I'm an atheist!) that it doesn't come to this. We really don't have another 4 years to waste on this, the earth can't wait.

Anon , January 21, 2020 at 12:41 am

It's very unfortunate that it has come to this, but I've always been uneasy about Warren. This incident and her accusations against Bernie solidified my suspicions about her. Her being a Republican until her late 40s, her lies about sending her child to public school, her lies about her father being a janitor, her plagiarized cookbook recipes, and claiming to be Native American. It's all so bizarre to me and for a while I had believed her to have a personality disorder that caused compulsive lying. I wanted to feel good about my vote for Warren, but now? If she wins the nomination I'll hold my nose and vote for her, but I don't trust her to not sell out to the neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party. I also don't trust her to endorse Bernie if she drops out before the convention. She didn't endorse him in '16, so what makes progressives think she'll do so this time. It would not surprise me in the least if she endorsed Biden or agrees to be his running mate.

Lambert Strether , January 21, 2020 at 3:27 am

Warren is not agreement-capable. Much as it pains me to say this, the Obama administration was correct to hold her at arm's length.

Adding, that doesn't mean that Sanders can't negotiate with her, if that must be done (to defeat Trump). But any such negotiations cannot proceed on a basis of trust.

JohnnyGL , January 21, 2020 at 8:13 am

The most generous interpretation i can come up with is that i's possible she told the story to several of her clintonite staffers in confidence. Those staffers went to CNN and forced her to stand by her story, even if she didn't want to go public, because she was threatened with staffers calling her a liar.

She might have been mad at Bernie for not bailing her out.

This version, which i don't believe, but consider it possible (not plausible) would be arguably as bad because her staffers got the upper hand and pushed her around.

John Wright , January 21, 2020 at 10:17 am

Warren could have said something to the effect that

"Bernie and I had a private conversation and I believe he suggested that electing a woman president in the USA would be difficult."

"Unfortunately, I mentioned this private conversation to some staffers, who apparently mentioned this to the press."

"This does not mean that I believe Bernie to be sexist."

"I appreciate opinions and advice from someone as experienced as Bernie."

"I want others to know that, private advice supplied to me by anyone will be treated as private information, not to be divulged to the press."

"The staffer responsible for passing this information to the press has been released from the campaign."

"I apologize to Bernie for allowing this to happen."

Reply

jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:29 pm

The problem is the country has become so irrational and susceptible to soundbites and twitter shame and etc. that you can't even say "electing a women president would be difficult" which might be true, or it becomes like Hillary's deplorable remark, we all know it's true some Trump supporters fit the description, but it gets taken way out of context and exaggerated beyond all recognition.

Reply

Oh , January 21, 2020 at 10:26 am

The "invisible hand" of the Clinton Staffers then forced her not to shake Bernie's hand, I take it.

Reply

jrs , January 21, 2020 at 12:25 pm

She didn't even have to deny it. Should could have just been "That was a private conversation, I will not go into what was said in private. Bernie is a good friend of mine, who has supported women candidates on many occasions".

Reply

none , January 21, 2020 at 12:46 am

Warren will never endorse Bernie. She is not a progressive and the Republican in her is back in operation. But, there is a new Jeep named after her:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EOuTYRlXsAg151I.jpg

Reply

Henry Moon Pie , January 21, 2020 at 1:41 am

But we already had the Tin Lizzie.

Reply

ambrit , January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am

I can't resist.
What we have here is an old fashioned "Lizzie-Faire Capitalist."

Reply

[Jan 21, 2020] Money Talks, Bullshit Walks on Cable News by Paul Street

Oct 30, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

Is it any wonder that the nation's "liberal" cable news stations CNN and MSNBC can barely contain their disdain for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign and even (to a lesser degree) for that of Elizabeth Warren while they promote the nauseating center-right candidacies of the bewildered racist and corporatist Joe Biden, the sinister neoliberal corporate-militarist Pete Butiggieg and even the marginal Wall Street "moderates" Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris? Next time you click on these stations, keep a pen and paper handy to write down the names of the corporations that pay for their broadcast content with big money commercial purchases.

I did that at various times of day on three separate occasions last week. Here are the companies I found buying ads at CNN and MSDNC:

American Advisors Group (AAG), the top lender the American reverse mortgage industry (with Tom Selleck telling seniors to trust him that reverse mortgages are not a rip off)

United Health Care, for-profit "managed health care company" with 300,000 employers and an annual revenue of $226 billion, ranked sixth on the 2019 Fortune 500.

Menards, the nation's third largest home improvement chain, with revenue over $10 billion in 2017.

CHANITX, a drug to get off cigarettes ("slow Turkey") sold by the pharmaceutical firm Pfizer, 65th on the Fortune 500.

Tom Steyer (billionaire for president)

Lincoln Financial, 187 th on the Fortune 500, an American holding company that controls multiple insurance and investment management businesses.

Liberty Mutual, an insurance company with more than 50,000 employees in more than 900 locations and ranked 68 th on the Fortune 500 two years ago.

Allstate Insurance: 79 th on the Fortune 500, with more than 45,000 employees.

INFINITI Suburban Utility Vehicle (new price ranging from 37K to 60K), produced by Nissan, the sixth largest auto-making corporation in the world.

RCN (annual revenue of $636 million) WiFi for business

Jaguar Elite luxury autos.

Porsche luxury autos, selling new models priced at $115,000, $145,000, and $163,00, and $294,000.

Mercedes Benz luxury auto, including an SRL-Class model that starts at $498,000

Capital Group, one of the world's oldest and biggest investment management firms, with $1.87 trillion in assets under its control.

Otezla, a plaque psoriasis drug, developed by the New Jersey drug company Celgene and owned by Amgene, a leading California-based biotechnology firm with total assets of $78 billion.

Trelegy, a CPD drug produced by the British company GSK, the world's seventh leading pharmaceutical corporation, with the fourth largest capitalization of any company on the London Stock Exchange.

HunterDouglass – elite windows made by a Dutch multinational corporation with more than 23,000 employees and locations in more than 70 countries.

Humira – drug for Crohn's disease and other ailments, manufactured by Abbvie, with 28,000 global employees and total assets of $59 billion.

Primateme Mist – for breathing, produced by Amphastar Pharmaceuticals.

Glucerna – drug for diabetes, produced by Abbot Laboratories, an American medical company with more than 100,00 employees and total assets of $67 billion.

Prevagen – a controversial drug for brain health produced by Quincy Bioscience

DISCOVER Credit Card, the third largest credit card brand in the U.S., with total assets of $92 billion.

Fidelity Investments, an American multinational financial services corporation with more than 50,000 employees and an operating income of $5.3 billion.

Cadillac XT-6 high-end SUV, starting at $53K, made by General Motors (no. 10 on the Fortune 500 for total revenue), which makes automobiles in 37 countries, employees 173,000 persons, and has total assets $227 billion.

Comfort Inn, owned by Choice Hotels, one of the largest hotel chains in the world, franchising 7,005 properties in 41 countries and territories.

Audible/Amazon – books on tape from the world's biggest mega-corporation Amazon, ranked fifth on the Fortune 500, with 647,000 employees and total assets of $163 billion.

Ring Home Security, owned by Amazon

Coventry Health Insurance, no. 168 on the Fortune 500

SANDALS Resorts International, with 16 elite resort properties in the Caribbean.

Cigna Medicare Advantage, owned by the national health insurer Cigna, no. 229 on the Fortune 500

SoFi Finance, an online personal finance company that provides student loan refinancing, mortgages and personal loans.

Ameriprise Finance, an investment services firm, no. 240 on F500.

It's not for nothing that bit Fortune 500 firms are represented in my anecdotal sponsor list above. Last summer, SQAD MediaCosts reported that a 30-second commercial during CNN's prime-time lineup (Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, and Don Lemon), cost between $7,000 and $12,000. The price has certainly gone up significantly now that Trumpeachment is bringing in new eyeballs.

The three most prominent and recurrent advertising streams appear (anecdotally) to come from Big Pharma (the leading drug companies), insurance (health insurance above all), and finance (investment services/wealth management). These giant concentrated corporate and industry sectors are naturally opposed to the financial regulation and anti-trust policy that Senator Warren says she wants to advance. Amazon can hardly be expected to back the big-tech break-up that Warren advocates.

Big corporate lenders certainly have no interest in making college tuition free, a Sanders promise that would slash a major profit source for finance capital.

The big health insurance firms are naturally opposed both to the Single Payer national health insurance plan that Sanders puts at the top of his platform and to the milder version of Medicare for All that Warren says she backs. Warren and especially Sanders pledge to remove the parasitic, highly expensive profit motive from health insurance and to make publicly funded quality and affordable health care a human right in the U.S. The corporate insurance mafia is existentially opposed to such human decency.

Both of the "progressive Democratic candidates" (a description that fits Sanders far better than it does Warren) loudly promise to slash drug costs, something Pfizer, Abbvie, Amgene, Amphastar, and Abbot Labs can hardly be expected to relish.

None of the big companies buying advertising time on CNN and MSNBC have any interest in the progressive taxation and restored union organizing and collective bargaining rights that Sanders advocates.

The big financial services firms paying for media content on "liberal" cable news stations primarily serve affluent clients, many if not most of whom are likely to oppose increased taxes on the well off.

The resort, tourism, luxury car, and business travel firms that buy commercials on these networks are hardly about to back policies leading to the real or potential reduction of discretionary income enjoyed by upper middle class and rich people.

So, gosh, who do these corporate and financial interests favor in the 2020 presidential election? Neoliberal Corporatists like Joe Biden, Pete Butiggieg, Kamala Harris, and Amy Klobuchar, of course. Dutifully obedient to the preferences and commands of the nation's unelected dictatorship of money, these insipid corporate Democrats loyally claim that Sanders and Warren want to viciously "tax the middle class" to pay for supposedly unaffordable excesses like Medicare for All and the existentially necessary Green New Deal.

In reality, Single Payer and giant green jobs programs and more that We the People need and want are eminently affordable if the United States follows Sanders' counsel by adequately and progressively taxing its absurdly wealthy over-class (the top tenth of the upper 1% than owns more than 90% of U.S. wealth) and its giant, surplus-saturated corporations and financial institutions. At the same time, as Warren keeps trying to explain, the cost savings for ordinary Americans will be enormous with the profits system taken out of health insurance.

Sanders reminds voters that there's no way to calculate the cost savings of keeping livable ecology alive for future generations. The climate catastrophe is a grave existential threat to the whole species.

These are basic arguments of elementary social, environmental, and democratic decency that the investors and managers behind and atop big corporations buying commercials on CNN and MSNBC don't want heard. As a result, CNN and MSDNC "debate" moderators and talking heads persist in purveying the, well, fake news, that Sanders doesn't know how to pay Single Payer, free public college, and a Green New Deal.

It's not for nothing that CNN and MSNBC have promoted the hapless Biden over and above Sanders and Warren – this notwithstanding the former Vice President's ever more obvious and embarrassing inadequacy as a candidate.

It's not for nothing that MSNBC and CNN have habitually warned against the supposed "socialist" menace posed by the highly popular Sanders (a New Deal progressive at leftmost) while refusing to properly describe Trump's White House and his dedicated base as pro-fascists. MSDNC has even get a weekly segment to the silver-spooned multi-millionaire advertising executive Donny Deutsch after he said the following on the network last winter:

"I find Donald Trump reprehensible as a human being, but a socialist candidate is more dangerous to this company, country, as far as the strength and well-being of the country, than Donald Trump. I would vote for Donald Trump, a despicable human being I will be so distraught to the point that that could even come out of my mouth, if we have a socialist [Democratic presidential candidate or president] because that will take our country so down, and we are not Denmark. I love Denmark, but that's not who we are. And if you love who we are and all the great things that still have to have binders put on the side. Please step away from the socialism."

It's not for nothing that the liberal cable networks go out of their way to deny Sanders remotely appropriate broadcast time. Or that they habitually and absurdly frame Single Payer health insurance not as the great civilizing social and human rights victory it would be (the long-overdue cost-slashing de-commodification of health care coverage combined with the provision of health care for all regardless of social status and class) but rather as a dangerous and authoritarian assault on Americans' existing (and unmentionably inadequate and over-expensive) health insurance.

Dare we mention that the lords of capital who pay for cable news salaries and content are heavily invested in the fossil fuels and in the relentless economic growth that are pushing the planet rapidly towards environmental tipping points that gravely endanger prospects for a decent and organized human existence in coming decades?

It's not for nothing that the progressive measures advanced by Sanders and supported by most Americans are regularly treated as "unrealistic," "irresponsible," "too radical," "too idealistic," "impractical," and "too expensive."

It's for nothing that Sanders is commonly left out of the liberal cable networks' campaign coverage and "horse race" discussions even as he enjoys the highest approval rating among all the candidates in the running.

With their preferred centrist candidate Joe Biden having performed in a predictably poor and buffoonish fashion (Biden was a terrible, gaffe-prone politician well before his brains started coming out of his ears) falling back into something like a three-way tie with the liberal Warren and the populist progressive Sanders, the liberal cable talking heads and debate moderators have naturally tried to boost "moderate" neoliberal-corporatist "second" and "third tier" Democratic presidential candidates like Butiggieg, Klobuchar and the surprisingly weak Kamala Harris. It's not for nothing that these and other marginal corporate candidates (e.g. Beto O'Rourke) get outsized attention on "liberal" cable stations regardless of their tiny support bases. Even if they can't win, these small-time contenders take constant neoliberal jabs at Sanders and even at the more clearly corporate-co-optable Warren (who proudly describes herself as "capitalist in my bones").

Thanks to Harris's curiously weak showing, Biden's dotard-like absurdity, and the likely non-viability of Butiggieg (the U.S. is not yet primed for two men and a baby in the White House), the not-so liberal cable channels are now joining the New Yok Times and Washington Post in gently floating the possibility of a dark-horse neoliberal Democratic Party newcomer (Michael Bloomberg, John Kerry, Michelle Obama, Sherrod Brown, and maybe even Hillary Clinton herself) to fill Joke Biden's Goldman-and Citigroup-approved shoes in the coming primary and Caucus battles with "radical socialist" Bernie and (not-so) "left" Warren.

So what if running an establishment Obama-Clinton-Citigroup-Council on Foreign Relations Democrat in 2020 will de-mobilize much of the nation's progressive electoral base, helping the malignant white nationalist monster Donald Trump get a second term?

As the old working-class slogan says, "money talks and bullshit walks."

"Follow the money" is the longstanding mantra in campaign finance research and criminal prosecution. It should also apply to our understanding of the dominant media's political news content. U.S. media managers are employed by giant corporations (MSNBC is a division of Comcast NBC Universal, no. 71 on the Fortune 500 and CNN is owned by Turner Broadcasting, no, 68 on the Fortune 500) that are naturally reluctant to publish or broadcast material that might offend the wealthy capitalist interests that pay for broadcasting by purchasing advertisements. As Noam Chomsky has noted, large corporations are not only the major producers of the United States' mass commercial media. They are also that media's top market, something that deepens the captivity of nation's supposedly democratic and independent media to big capital:

"The reliance of a journal on advertisers shapes and controls and substantially determines what is presented to the public the very idea of advertiser reliance radically distorts the concept of free media. If you think about what the commercial media are, no matter what, they are businesses. And a business produces something for a market. The producers in this case, almost without exception, are major corporations. The market is other businesses – advertisers. The product that is presented to the market is readers (or viewers), so these are basically major corporations providing audiences to other businesses, and that significantly shapes the nature of the institution."

At the same time, both U.S. corporate media managers and the advertisers who supply revenue for their salaries are hesitant to produce content that might alienate affluent folks – the people who hire pricey investment advisors, go to Caribbean resorts and buy Jaguars and Mercedes Benzes and count for an ever-rising share of U.S. consumer purchases. It is those with the most purchasing power who are naturally most targeted by advertisers.

Money talks, bullshit talks on "liberal" cable news, as in the legal and party and elections systems and indeed across all of society.

Watch the wannabe fascist strongman Trump walk to a second term with no small help from a "liberal" corporate media whose primary goal is serving corporate sponsors and its own bottom line, not serving social justice, environmental sanity, and democracy – or even helping Democrats win elections.

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren as Lizzie-Faire Capitalist.

Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

none , January 21, 2020 at 12:46 am

Warren will never endorse Bernie. She is not a progressive and the Republican in her is back in operation. But, there is a new Jeep named after her:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EOuTYRlXsAg151I.jpg

Henry Moon Pie , January 21, 2020 at 1:41 am

But we already had the Tin Lizzie.

ambrit , January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am

I can't resist. What we have here is an old fashioned "Lizzie-Faire Capitalist."

John Zelnicker , January 21, 2020 at 10:28 am

@ambrit
January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am
-- -- -

"Strike three! A sizzling fast ball over the middle of the plate, while the batter just looked dumbfounded"

[Jan 21, 2020] Now with Warren blunder Trump might be able to wipe the floor with her but not only called her "Pocahontas" but also "Bernie backstabber": betrayl of her "friend" Bernie is unforgivable

She made a blunder. That's for sure. but still Warren is a better candidate then Trump.
The shell game between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders has transmogrified. The brutal, post-debate exchange between the duo has the progressive left fearing repeat business from '04: it happened at just the wrong time, only weeks ahead of the first primaries.
Jan 21, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
sounds very much like it, in a kind of ham-fisted, virtue-signaling way -- "Sometimes I fear the American people are still too bigoted to vote for a woman," or something like that. Yet every Clinton staffer was muttering the same thing under her breath at 3 a.m. on November 9, 2016.

What's more, Mrs. Warren never denied that Mr. Sanders only ran in the last election cycle because she declined to do so. Nor can anyone forget how vigorously he campaigned for Mrs. Clinton, even after she and the DNC rigged the primary against him. If Mrs. Warren and her surrogates at CNN are claiming that Bernie meant that a person with two X chromosomes is biologically incapable of serving as president, they're lying through their teeth.

This is how Liz treats her "friend" Bernie -- and when he denies that absurd smear, she refuses to shake his hand and accuses him of calling her a liar on national television. Then, of course, the #MeToo brigades line up to castigate him for having the temerity to defend himself -- further evidence, of course, of his sexism. I mean, like, Bernie is, like, literally Weinstein.

Then there's the "Latinx" thing, which is the absolute summit of progressive elites' disconnect with ordinary Americans. In case you didn't know, Mrs. Warren has been roundly panned for referring to Hispanics by this weird neologism, which was invented by her comrades in the ivory tower as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina . The thing is, Spanish is a gendered language. What's more, a poll by the left-wing market research group Think Now found that just 2 percent of Hispanics call themselves "Latinx." (In fact, most prefer the conventional "Hispanic," which is now verboten on the Left because it hearkens back to Christopher Columbus's discovery of La Española .)

So here comes Professor Warren -- white as Wonder Bread, the mattress in her Cambridge townhouse stuffed with 12 million big ones -- trying to rewrite the Spanish language because she thinks it's sexist. How she's made it this far in the primary is absolutely mind-boggling. She doesn't care about Hispanics, much less their culture. Like every employee of the modern education system, she's only interested in processing American citizens into gluten-free offal tubes of political correctness.

Of course, if one of her primary opponents or a cable news "Democratic strategist" (whatever that is) dared to say as much, they'd be hung, drawn, and quartered. Partisan Democrats have trained themselves not to think in such terms. That might not matter much if Mrs. Warren was facing Mitt Romney or John McCain in the general. But she's not. If she wins the primary, she'll be up against Donald Trump. And if you don't think he'll say all of this -- and a whole lot more -- you should apply for a job at CNN.


Very Funny Mr. President a day ago

... running against Mrs. Warren would be a walk in the park

Your imaginary Trump anti-Warren schtick might have worked in 2016, but boy does it come off as unfunny and stale in 2020. He's done too much damage. Not funny anymore. I voted for Trump. After all his betrayals, Warren could rip him to pieces just by standing next to him without saying a word. Her WASP reserve and Okie roots might even seem refreshing after our four-year long cesspool shower with this New York City creep.

Up North Very Funny Mr. President 11 hours ago • edited
Didn't vote for Trump, or Clinton for that matter, cast a protest Libertarian vote. In my red state it hardly matters, but the electoral college is another story. But observed long ago that indeed Warren is just what the author says, a too politically correct north east liberal who would be demolished in the presidential election against Trump. Only Biden or Klobuchar has a chance to unseat the orange man, or maybe better yet a Biden - Klobuchar ticket.
Great CoB Up North 6 hours ago
I've sometimes voted red and sometimes blue, but a Trump Vs Biden contest might well make me bored and disappointed enough to join you going libertarian.
cka2nd Up North 4 hours ago
If the Dems want to lose, Biden and Klobuchar would be a quick ticket to doing so. Warren would get the job done not much slower, unless she pivoted away from social issues.

To quote Phyllis Schlafly's advice to conservatives and the GOP, what the Dems need is "A choice, not an echo." Sanders is the closest the Dems have of offering the voters a real choice, and is the best option to defeat Trump. The D establishment will still pull out all the stops to try to block him, of course, because even they and their big donors would prefer a second Trump term over a New Deal liberal with a socialist gloss, but they may not succeed this time.

Lloyd Conway cka2nd 3 hours ago
Bernie and Tulsi are the most honest and interesting of the Democratic field, even though their politics generally aren't mine. Nonetheless, I wish them well, because they appear to say what they actually think, as opposed to whatever their operatives have focus-group tested.
Mediaistheenemy Up North 4 hours ago
Biden's corruption will come out in the general. We could write up articles of impeachment now. After all, Biden, did actually bribe the Ukraine. He said so himself. On video.
Great CoB Very Funny Mr. President 6 hours ago
I think Trump's unfortunately stronger now than he was in 2016. Clinton's attacks on him were painting him as an apocalyptic candidate who would bring America crashing down. By serving as president for 4 years with a mostly booming economy, Trump's proven them wrong. The corporate media will continue their hysterical attacks on him though, and that will boost his support. I think Hillary Clinton was more dislikeable back then than Warren is now, but Warren is probably even more out of touch. The others might also lose, but she really as a terrible candidate.
Mediaistheenemy Very Funny Mr. President 4 hours ago
What damage has Trump done, as opposed to the damage the media/Dems/deepstate's RESPONSE to Trump has done?
Trump has reduced illegal immigration with the expected subsequent increases in employment and wages, saved taxpayer 1 TRILLION dollars by withdrawing from the Paris accord, killed 2 leading terrorists (finally showing Iran that we aren't their bakshi boys), cut taxes, stood up for gun rights, reduced harmful governmental regulation, and appointed judges that will follow the law instead of feelings and popular culture.
He is also exposing the deep underbelly of the corrupt government in Washington, especially the coup organized between Obama, Hillary, the DNC, Brennan, Comey, Clapper and the hyperpartisan acts of the FBI, CIA, DOJ, IRS and now the GAO (unless you believe that the "non-partisan" GAO released their report which claimed Trump violated the law by holding up Ukranian funds for a few months within the same fiscal year on the same day Nancy forwarded the articles of impeachment by some amazing coincidence).
The problem isn't Trump. The problem is the liars opposing the existential threat Trump poses to the elitists who despise America.
John D 21 hours ago
Three years of Trump has made "academic elitist" look pretty appealing.
Mediaistheenemy John D 4 hours ago
To whom?
New Pres Please 19 hours ago
"For all my reservations about Mr. Trump -- his lagging commitment to
protectionism, his shafting of Amy Coney Barrett, his deportation of
Iraqi Christians, his burgeoning hawkishness, his total lack of
decorum -- he's infinitely preferable to anyone the Democrats could
nominate."

You gloss over a few dozen other failures, most of them bigger than anything you mention here (immigration, infrastructure, more mass surveillance and privacy violations by govt and corporations than even Obama).

Mediaistheenemy New Pres Please 4 hours ago
You realize that the progress Trump has made on immigration is why unemployment is down and wages are up, right?
Most Americans think that's a good thing.
Democrats, not so much.
Ray Woodcock 17 hours ago
I think I disliked the last thing I saw by Davis. Whatever. This one is better. Not perfect -- some of it is out of touch -- but he makes a case. And, sad to say, I concur with his prediction for the election, with or without Warren.
Maybe 14 hours ago
I'm starting to like her. I thought she handled herself well at the last debate. "Presidential". It's been quite a while since we had a real president. Too long.
cka2nd Maybe 4 hours ago
Forgive me, but Democratic voters put way too much store in presidents being Presidential. And they spent way too much time talking about Bush's verbal gaffes and Trump's disgusting personality to get Gore, Kerry or H. Clinton elected.
Angelo Bonilla 11 hours ago • edited
I am Hispanic and don't know anybody that call himself by that silly term "Latinx".
Connecticut Farmer Angelo Bonilla 9 hours ago
As the author wrote, it was invented by academics. One problem with the Democrat Party is that it is teeming with Professor Kingsfield types who are as much connected with the rest of the population as I am with aborigines.
Kevin Burke 10 hours ago
Finally someone said what most people think. Love the imagined Trump comments to Warren..."Relax. Put on a nice sweater, have a cup of tea, grade some papers." As i read those I heard Trump's unique way of speech and was laughing out loud. BTW...Tulsi Gabbard is such an attractive candidate...heard her interviewed on Tucker Carlson and I think could present a real challenge to Trump if she ever rose up to face him in a debate. It's curious someone like Warren shoots to the top, while she remains in the back of the line.
Mediaistheenemy Kevin Burke 3 hours ago
The media deliberately shut her down, just like they are shutting down Bernie. The DNC also doesn't like her (possibly because she resigned as cochair and is critical of Hillary) and seems to have chosen their debate criteria -which surveys they accept-in order to shut her out. I liked her up until she objected to taking out Soleimani-a known terrorist in the middle of a war zone planning attacks on US assets.
Sorry, Trump was spot on in this attack. Tulsi was completely wrong. However, she is honest, experienced, knowledgeable and not psychotic, a refreshing change from the other Dem Presidential candidates. If you haven't figured out yet that CNN is basically the media arm of Warren's campaign, you haven't been paying attention. That is how Warren continues to poll reasonably well.
wakeupmorons 10 hours ago • edited
These arguments amaze me. "Since your candidate is too school marmy, or elitist, or (insert usual democrat insult here), you're giving the electorate no choice but to vote for the most corrupt, openly racist, sexist, psychologically lying, dangerously mentally deranged imbecile in the country".

Because rather than an educated person who maybe comes off as an elitist, we'd rather have a disgusting deplorable who no sane parent would allow in the same room with their daughter.

Lol, and yet writers like this don't even realize the insanity of what they're saying, which is basically "that bagel is 2 days old, so I have choice but to eat this steaming pile of dog crap instead".

Connecticut Farmer wakeupmorons 8 hours ago
"Because rather than an educated person who maybe comes off as an elitist, we'd rather have a disgusting deplorable who no sane parent would allow in the same room with their daughter."

No need for the ad hominem, you are overstating your case. Remember, Trump is "educated" too. And a card-carrying member of the elite. Leave us not kid ourselves, they're all "elites" of one stripe or another. It only matters which stripe we prefer, meaning of course whether they are saying what we want to hear. Of all of the candidates, the only one who does not come off as an "elite" is Tulsi Gabbard, an intelligent woman who is arguably the most interesting of all the candidates--in part because of her active military service. I'd even throw in Andrew Yang, a friendly, engaging person who didn't seem to have an ax to grind. It matters not. Yang is out of the picture and Gabbard has as much of a crack at the Democratic nomination in 2020 as Rand Paul had at the Republican nomination in 2016--essentially zero.

wakeupmorons Connecticut Farmer 8 hours ago
Lol trump is educated too? You've lose all credibility with such comical false equivalencies.

Trump is an absolute imbecile who has failed up his entire life thanks to daddy's endless fortune. If he we born Donald Smith he'd be pumping gas in Jersey, or in jail as a low life con man.

David Naas wakeupmorons 7 hours ago
While I find myself shocked to be found defending anything Trumpean, in all fairness, he is a college grad-u-ate (shades of Lily Tomlin). The value, depth, or scope of his degree may be in question, but he does possess a sheep-skin, and hence must be considered "educated". If one wants to demean his "education" because of his personality, one must also demean a rather broad segment of college grad-u-ates as well.
Connecticut Farmer wakeupmorons 7 hours ago
He graduated from Penn's Wharton School of Business, ergo he is educated. Because a person doesn't hold the same political beliefs as another doesn't mean they can't be "educated." Liz Warren may not hold the same political beliefs as I, but I cannot argue that she isn't educated.
wakeupmorons Connecticut Farmer 6 hours ago
Lol wow, well I'd say it's hilarious that anyone can be so naive to actually think a compete imbecile like trump, who so clearly has never read a book in his life, actually earned his way into college; let alone actually studied and earned a degree.....but then I remember this country is obviously filled with people this remarkable gullible and stupid, as this walking SNL sketch is actually President.
cka2nd wakeupmorons 4 hours ago
I actually think you are spot on in your assessment of what Trump would have become if he wasn't born to money, but you really are behaving like exactly that kind of Democratic voter who gets more exorcised by Trump's personal faults than by his policy ones, the kind of Democrats who couldn't get Al Gore, John Kerry and Hilary Clinton elected.
Mediaistheenemy cka2nd 3 hours ago
Really. You think someone that managed to become President of the United States with no political or military experience would have failed at life if he hadn't had a wealthy father. You really believe that. You don't think any of Trump's success and accomplishments are due to his ambition, drive, energy, determination, executive skills, ruthlessness or media savvy. It was all due to his having a rich father.
Fascinating.
wakeupmorons Mediaistheenemy 3 hours ago • edited
Trump has had no success. He's failed at everything he's ever done. You obviously just know nothing about his actual life, and believe the made up reality TV bullshit.

The only thing he's good at is playing a rich successful man on TV to really, really, stupid, unread, unworldly, naive people....well that and giving racists white nationalists, the billionaire owner class, sexists, bigots, and deplorables, a political home.

cka2nd Mediaistheenemy 2 hours ago
I think Trump is and would have been, sans his father's wealth, one hell of a con man. And I hope to God that he would have ended up in jail for it rather than running a private equity fund, but the latter would have been just as likely.

However, I should have made that distinction in my original comment. No, I do not think that Trump would have ended up a gas station attendant.

wakeupmorons cka2nd 2 hours ago • edited
It's very hard for me to understand how anyone could be so, shall we say sheltered, that they couldn't see him coming a mile away and laugh their ass off.

He's so bad, so transparent with his obvious lies and self aggrandizing, so clearly ignorant and unread and trying to fake it, he's literally like a cartoon's funny over the top version of an idiot con man. I'll never understand how anyone could ever be fooled by it.

In fact sometimes I think 90% of his base isn't fooled, they know he's a joke, but they just don't care. He gives them the white nationalist hate and rhetoric they want, makes "liberals cry", and that all they care about.

It's a lot easier for me to believe THAT then so many people can actually be so stupid and gullible.

wakeupmorons cka2nd 2 hours ago
Say what? What policies? The trillion dollar hand out to the richest corporations in the world, double the deficit? His mind blowing disastrous foreign policy decisions that have done nothing but empowered Russia, Iran and North Korea while destabilizing western alliances? The trade wars that have cost fairness and others billions (forcing taxpayers to bail them out with tens of millions of dollars)? The xenophobia, separating and caging children? Stoking violence and hate and anger among his white nationalist base? His attacks on women reproductive rights? His attacks on all of our democratic institutions, from our free press to our intelligence agencies and congressional oversights?

A pathologically lying racist sexist self serving criminal is enough to disqualify this miscreant from being dog catcher, let alone president. But his policies are even worse.

CrossTieWalker wakeupmorons 2 hours ago
You don't seem to know that the University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League school, or what the Wharton School of Business actually is. Imbeciles do not graduate from the Wharton School.
Mediaistheenemy wakeupmorons 3 hours ago
You think Trump won the US Presidency as his first elected office by being an imbecile?
Interesting "analysis".
wakeupmorons Mediaistheenemy 3 hours ago
Lol, trump is an imbecile, that's not even debatable. What amazes the rest of the entire civilized world outside of the batshit fringe 20% of Americans who make up the Republican voting base is how anyone could possible be conned by such a cartoonish idiot wanna be con man.

It's truly something sane people can't even begin to wrap their heads around.

Tony55398 9 hours ago
Pocahontas speak with forked tongue.
Lloyd Conway 9 hours ago
The Dowager Countess (Downton Abbey, for the un-initiated) nailed her type. In referring to her do-gooder cousin Mrs. Isobel Crawley, she said: "Some people run on greed, lust, even love. She runs on indignation." That sums up Warren perfectly.
I'll take it one step further. I bought one of her books, on the 'two-income trap' and how middle-class families go to the wall to get into good school districts for their children. She and her co-author make some valid points, but the book is replete with cliches about men abandoning their families and similar leftist tropes. If that's the best Harvard Law Warren has to offer, she's not as sharp as she thinks she is, and a bully like Trump will school her fast.
David Naas Lloyd Conway 7 hours ago
Perhaps he would use "Harvard Law Liz" as an epithet?
Lloyd Conway David Naas 3 hours ago • edited
Maybe. Perhaps she'll coin 'Wharton Hog' for the POTUS - or try correcting his English during one of the debates.
Stephen Gould 8 hours ago
Evidently Mr Davis dislikes Warren because of her personal style - but all of Trump's substantive (or even, substance...) issues are acceptable. How shallow of him.
Mediaistheenemy Stephen Gould 3 hours ago
I think he also dislikes her fundamental dishonesty and completely unworkable policies, but I may be projecting.
Stephen Gould Mediaistheenemy 2 hours ago
But those he did not mention in his article. And surely nobody thinks that Warren is more dishonest than Trump?
Tim 7 hours ago
I can't say the two of us exactly line up on everything. But, like Wow: "gluten-free offal tubes of political correctness." Now that's funny! Wish I'd thought of it.
Osse 7 hours ago • edited
I liked Warren until this attempt to stab Bernie in the back plus that childish refusal to shake his hand on national TV. I still don't dislike her, but that was embarrassing. She definitely has character flaws.

But this piece goes over the top. It's Trumpian. Warren certainly has flaws but if you are going to judge a politician by their character, in what universe would Trump come out on top?

Mediaistheenemy Osse 3 hours ago
Better than Warren.
The problem with affirmative action is when you abuse it, as Warren did, you actually rob a genuine minority from a genuine disadvantaged background of their chance.
Warren deliberately misrepresented herself as a Native American, solely for career advancement, and then abandoned her fake identity once she got tenure at Harvard. There was another woman who was an actual minority that had a teaching appointment at Harvard, but Warren beat her out, using her false claims of minority heritage to overcome her competition's actual minority status.
Trump competes on his own.
wakeupmorons Osse 2 hours ago
There what's funny about these arguments. They're basically saying, "your candidate has some flaws, she's very school marmy, and thinks she knows everything."

"Therefore, OBVIOUSLY people have no choice but to instead vote for the raging imbecile, the pathologically lying, corrupt to his core, racist, morally bankrupt, sexist imbecile with the literal temperament of of an emotionally troubled 10 year old."

Lol, and they're serious!

David Naas 7 hours ago
What unpleasant memories Mister Davis has elicited - - - i once had a schoolmarm like that. (Shudder)

It is, however, disturbing that Davis has almost captured the style of Trumptweets. The give-away is a shade more literacy and better grammar in Davis' offerings.

But what of the possibility, as suggested above, that Trump loses to Biden or (Generic Democratic candidate)?

As I tell my liberal friends, the country survived eight years of Priapic Bill, eight years of Dubya and Dubyaer, eight years of BHO, and after four years of Trump is yet standing, however drunkenly.

I think, contra many alarmists, the Republic is much stronger than the average pundit or combox warrior gives it credit.

And, who knows? Maybe the outrage pornography we get from Tweeting birdies will grow stale and passe, and people will yearn for more civil discourse? (Not likely, but one never knows.)

Night King 7 hours ago
I think she's already died and been reincarnated as Greta Thunberg.
Liam781 7 hours ago • edited
Someone hasn't lived that long in Massachusetts, it would seem. "Massachusettsian" is not the word the writer is looking for. It's "Bay Stater".

Likewise, for Connecticut residents, use "Nutmegger" rather than some (always wrong) derivative of the state name.

Michael Warren Davis Liam781 6 hours ago
I refuse to use "Bay Stater" for the same reason I dislike being called "Mike": nicknames are irritating, unless they're outlandish, like "Beanie" or "Boko" or "Buttigieg."

Massachusetts is a beautiful name -- slow and smooth, like the Merrimack. "Massachusettsian" adds a little skip at the end, as the river crashes into the Atlantic at Newburyport. It's the perfect demonym.

Speaking of, I was born and spent the first 18 years of my life in Massachusetts -- about 10 minutes outside Newburyport, where my great-great-something grandparents lived when the Revolution broke out. I don't know how much further back the family tree goes in Mass., but probably further than yours.

Liam781 Michael Warren Davis 5 hours ago • edited
Good luck with that utter nonsense word, then. Bay Stater is not a nickname - it's the longstanding term (and, for some reason, the Massachusetts General Court also blessed it legislatively), from long before my folk lived in New England since the mid-19th century (Connecticut and Massachusetts - hence my reference to Nutmeggers, as my parents made quite clear to us that there were no such things as Connecticutters or Massachusetters or the like and not to go around sounding like fools using the like.)

https://malegislature.gov/L...

Of course, I'd like to recover the old usage of the Eastern States to refer to New England. Right now, its sole prominent residue is the Big E in Springfield....

[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.

[Jan 20, 2020] NYT Editors Hedge Their Bets, Endorse Warren Klobuchar

Fake news are consistent: Klobuchar and not Tulsi ?
Jan 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

...

in what the paper described as a "significant break with convention", the members of its editorial board have selected not one, but two candidates - both of them women.

Its chosen candidates are: Elizabeth Warren, the Republican-turned-progressive who for years posed as a Native American to game America's system of affirmative action - and Amy Klobuchar, the midwestern senator from the great state of Minneapolis with a reputation for being an unhinged dragon-lady boss.

That the NYT selected the two remaining women among the top tier of contenders is hardly a surprise: This is, after all, the same newspaper that kicked off #MeToo by dropping the first expose about Harvey Weinstein's history of abusing, harassing and assaulting women just days before the New Yorker followed up with the first piece from Ronan Farrow.

...After all, if the editors went ahead with their true No. 1 choice, Klobuchar, a candidate who has very little chance of actually capturing the nomination, they would look foolish.


DeePeePDX , 2 hours ago link

NYT is like that ex you dumped that won't stop trying to get your attention with increasingly desperate and pathetic acts.

Griffin , 2 hours ago link

Warren is a much better candidate than Biden is in my view.

Warren seems to get into trouble sometimes for all kinds of reasons like most people do, but the problems are usually trivial, more silly than dangerous. There is tendency in her to stick to her guns even when she does not know what she is doing.

When i run into something unexpected or something that seems to be something i don't understand, i usually backtrack and look at the problem from some distance to see what happened and why before trying to correct or fix the problem, rather than just doing something.

Its not a perfect plan, but it seems to work most of the time.

https://9gag.com/gag/ap5AO19

Someone Else , 2 hours ago link

The tennis shoe I threw away last week is a better candidate than Biden. So that's not saying much.

TheManj , 3 hours ago link

NYT remains a joke. Their endorsement is straight up virtue-signalling.

Here's some reality: Warren's latest antics have cemented her image as dishonest and high-strung. Knoblocker has no charisma and remains practically unknown.

John Hansen , 3 hours ago link

Why are foreign ownedNew York Times allowed to meddle in the election?

Where is the investigation?

pitz , 4 hours ago link

I've personally sat down and talked with Klobuchar. Not a lot of depth of intelligence in her, that's for sure, easily manipulated by lobbyists. Warren, at least, knows what the problem is, although she might have swallowed the proverbial Democratic party "kool aid".

spam filter , 4 hours ago link

Warren is the deep state establishment pick. If you must vote Dem, pick someone that isn't, or one the establishment seems to work against. Better yet, vote Trump, safe bet on gun rights, freedoms.

SheHunter , 5 hours ago link

Here's the link. It is a gd editorial.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/01/19/opinion/amy-klobuchar-elizabeth-warren-nytimes-endorsement.html

[Jan 19, 2020] If History Repeats Itself, Is Elizabeth Warren Doomed - Lessenberry Ink

Feud with Sanders complicated Warren position. Like previous blunder it shownthat she isfar from gifted politician.
Jan 19, 2020 | lessenberryink.com

She may, especially if Bernie Sanders falters, win the nomination in Milwaukee next July.

But here's something you might consider:

Once upon a time, there was a liberal Democratic Senator from Massachusetts who won the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary easily, and then swept to the nomination.

His opponent was a largely unpopular Republican president who had deeply divided the country. Democrats thought they could smell victory. On Election Day, their candidate did sweep the northeast and the Pacific west. But except for a few states around Chicago, he lost everything else -- and the presidential election.

His name was John Kerry, and that was 2004.

Once upon another time, there was a Democratic candidate from Massachusetts who made a better-than-expected showing in Iowa, swept New Hampshire, and breezed to the nomination.

By summer, he was 17 points ahead in the polls, and the race looked about over. But then the Republican spin doctors went to work on his record, and his campaign went into a tailspin. In the end, he lost 40 states. His name was Michael Dukakis, and that was 1988.

Advertisement

Now, it is a new century, and one of the front-running candidates for the Democratic nomination is Ms. Warren, another liberal senator from, yes, Massachusetts who is leading in some polls in early key states. Every election is different, of course.

The political landscape isn't the same as it was in 1988 or even 2004. But it would be hard to blame any Democrat who looks at this and asks themselves – haven't we seen this show before?

Doesn't it have an unhappy ending?

This analysis could be faulty. No two campaigns are the same, and most people are still not paying a lot of attention.

To be sure, nobody like Donald Trump has ever been in the White House, and given his negative approval ratings and other obvious weaknesses, an economic downturn could possibly doom his reelection no matter who the Democrats run.

David Brooks, the conservative New York Times columnist, is no fan of Warren's – but thinks she may win because by that time, the nation will realize they have to get rid of Trump, no matter what.

Incidentally, he also thinks it would be the duty of any thinking American to support her if she and Trump are the nominees.

But a New York Times /Siena College poll released Nov. 5 indicates that nominating Elizabeth Warren could be the biggest gift the Democrats could give President Trump. Their survey showed former Vice President Joe Biden beating Trump in virtually every swing state, except for North Carolina.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont led the President narrowly in the three states that decided the last election, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. But Warren trailed in every swing state except Arizona.

Polls are notoriously unreliable, especially this early in any election cycle, and a Washington Post-ABC News poll the same day showed Warren with a 55 to 40 percent lead over Trump.

But even that poll showed the more moderate Biden doing better. The New York Times survey found that many voters just plain did not like Warren, some because they did not like her "Medicare for all," health insurance plan; others because they disliked her personality or speaking style.

Some said they felt like she was lecturing them; others, like Elysha Savarese, a 26-year-old Floridian, said "I just don't feel like she's a genuine candidate. I find her body language to be very off-putting. She's very cold basically a Hillary Clinton clone."

That may be unfair, and it is clear from Warren rallies that many women and men adore her.

There are also a few older Democrats who note that John F. Kennedy was a Democratic senator from Massachusetts, and he was elected. That is true – but it was also six decades ago.

Kennedy, who was perceived as a middle-of-the-road moderate, could count on states like Louisiana and Arkansas and Georgia that no Democrat – certainly not one on the left – has much if any hope of winning today. Additionally, the playing field is different.

Voting strength and electoral votes have shifted dramatically from the Northeast, which was and is JFK and Warren's base, to the South and West. New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts had a combined 93 electoral votes in 1960. They have a mere 60 today.

Florida, which President Kennedy, (like Hillary Clinton) narrowly lost, had 10 electoral votes in 1960; it has 29 today. Geography has become less favorable to a Massachusetts Democrat. The day after Paul Tsongas won the 1992 Democratic primary, the legendary Texas Gov. Ann Richards, a often irreverent Democrat, dryly told a friend of mine, "So they want to give us another liberal from Massachusetts, and this one has a lisp."

Democrats did not, however, nominate Tsongas, but instead chose Bill Clinton, the governor of Arkansas who was perceived as a moderate. That fall, he won.

History does not always repeat itself. But it does, sometimes, provide signposts for the future.

(Editor's Note: A version of this column also appeared in the Toledo Blade.)

[Jan 19, 2020] Warren is the fallback should Sanders not be beaten by Biden. Warren is not a real progressive.

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

c1ue , Jan 18 2020 17:57 utc | 153

@psychedelicatessen #117
You are making a number of assumptions which I don't necessarily agree with.
1) That Sanders and Warren are on the same "side" and are viewed the same by the "establishment". They clearly are not. Warren is the fallback should Sanders not be beaten by Biden. Warren is not a real progressive.
2) Trump vs. Sanders - again, depends on which part of the deep state. It is an error to assume the deep state is any more monolithic than anything else. The most credible breakdown I've seen is that the "deep state" is really 3 parts: the corporates who are happy with Trump, the intel agencies who are not, and the military which was unhappy originally but is now ok since they've come out ahead of the intel agencies and still have representation at the highest levels.
Looking at these same 3 with Sanders: the corporates would/are not happy. The intel agencies are fine with Sanders and so is the military (F35, baby!). So it isn't clear at all the "deep state" overall cares about/hates one more than the other - the constituent groups simply have different goals.
3) Control over petro-dollar dominance. Frankly, I don't see how Trump or Sanders matters there. The tactical plays are very clear: keep the Saudis happy so they won't accede to China wanting to buy Saudi oil in RMB, because the Saudis don't have any other reason to stipulate dollar payments any more.
4) Economic collapse: I am curious as to how you think this will happen. Specifically what is the driver?
If it is de-dollarization - that is going to take decades, unless the US has a debt crisis before then. And frankly, I don't see it coming soon because there is simply too much international trade dollar cushion for the US debt accumulation to be a visible problem for quite some time.
If it is domestic collapse not due to de-dollarization - what is the driver? The economy is already no longer a major manufacturing, etc - with helicopter money going to the 1%. As much as the neoliberals hate it, the reality is that the pain Trump inflicts via the trade war ultimately is net positive for domestic production. It takes a while to make an impact, but the trade war and the anti-China machinations have already caused Chinese manufacturers to move production abroad - and to increase in-US production.
Plus there are ways to extend the runway: health care in particular. That's a big, deep and very popular pot of gold which could be attacked, should Trump desire to do so. As far as I can see, he doesn't have any particular fondness or historical partnerships with the health care/pharma industry.
In 2016, HRC received $32.6M from health care (#1 overall) vs. Trump's $4.9M (#5 overall).
source
Compare with defense: Trump and Clinton were about equal (tied for #1 but only $1M or so).
Trump has also pushed through some laws which definitely aren't liked by the health care folks, like the hospital bill transparency law.

[Jan 19, 2020] Hijacking the Struggles of Others, Elizabeth Warren Style by Kathleen Wallace

Notable quotes:
"... Warren is that person you can never rely on–the one that has no defining characteristic other than self-elevation. Over the years, if it benefited her, she backed a few seemingly decent causes, but it was never about doing the right thing. It was all political expediency and shape shifting. She was a Republican during so many tumultuous years -- even during the Reagan era that propelled us towards what we are going through now hell, she was a Republican until her late 40s. But now she has reinvented herself as a populist, but won't even talk out against Biden, the man from Creditcardlandia. She's a promiscuous virgin, a carnivorous vegan. ..."
"... The treachery of Warren towards Sanders is most likely from some back room deal with Biden. ..."
Jan 17, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org
To say Elizabeth Warren is a political opportunist is not giving her enough credit. She has taken the struggles, as well as the identities of others (women, school teachers, Native Americans, public school supporters, people who are able to tweet with humor, actual humans) and has weaponized these categories until the meaning of it all is lost.

Her tweet about leaving your ghosting boyfriend and getting a dog despite your roommate's objections should have placed her in the pandering hall of fame, and with that should have included a one way trip to some kind of holding cell for the criminally trite.

Her obvious lies (she's not even good at them, shaking and being sketchy with a tweaker-looking-body-vibe-thing when she tries to pull them off) -- well that bit regarding Bernie Sanders has electrified her twitter feed with images of snakes and has even managed to get #RefundWarren trending. At this rate, maybe she can pull in a negative donation for this quarter. What an achievement. The first female candidate to pull that off! Grrrrl Power! Her political instincts are as feeble as her lies -- to have her tell it, she was a selfless public servant most of her career (more like a teacher long enough to mention it, and a corporate lawyer as the subsequent defining profession). Her kids only went to public schools (umm no), she is of native heritage (shouldn't she have helped a bit at Standing Rock with that 1/16600600606006 ancestry that she is so proud of?) . Oh yes, her father was a janitor (again, what? No). She is but a champion for the veracity challenged. That's true at least.

Warren is that person you can never rely on–the one that has no defining characteristic other than self-elevation. Over the years, if it benefited her, she backed a few seemingly decent causes, but it was never about doing the right thing. It was all political expediency and shape shifting. She was a Republican during so many tumultuous years -- even during the Reagan era that propelled us towards what we are going through now hell, she was a Republican until her late 40s. But now she has reinvented herself as a populist, but won't even talk out against Biden, the man from Creditcardlandia. She's a promiscuous virgin, a carnivorous vegan.

This current trend to take on the struggles of others as your own has been powerful of late. Cops pretend to have coffee cups served to them with pig slurs and Warren puts forth that the very individual who actually urged her to run for president in 2016, changed course and told her women can't win (despite ample evidence that Sanders has a track record that is decidedly feminist). I think she said Bernie offered her a cup of coffee in their meeting that had written on it something like "Women can't win, you're a bitch, how's menopause treating you, and also your hair is dry and brittle." (It was a Starbucks Trenta cup so he could go full on misogynist because there was a lotta space to write on–thanks Starbucks, first a war on Christmas, now a war on Women).

So I'd say this is weaponizing a status and taking the struggles of others to pretend they are your own. Stolen valor, really.

For many of us Sanders is a compromise. The changes needed are massive, but he's the closest thing we've got at this point. The hulking size of our nation and the lack of immediacy to those in power over us lends a situation of creating an infantalized population. This is where we are at now. There should be direct accountability and of course we have nothing of the sort. I suspect far in the future, if humans are to survive in any manner, it will go back to some sort of mutual aid, and direct accountability from those making life and death decisions over others, in short, more of a tribal situation. But right now, in our lifetimes, we are tasked with attempting to keep the planet below 150 degrees, to not bake our children before next week.

We have utter nonsense pouring in from the Warren corporate shills and it is wasting our precious time. The recent CNN debate should render that channel irrelevant at best, a direct threat at the worst. Fox comes in with obvious bias, but the CNNs and MSNBCs slip in behaving as if they are reasonable and neutral, assaulting those of us unlucky enough to have to watch them as captives at dental offices. They most certainly help the Warrens and other corporate shills by providing red herring distractions and pleas for incrementalism. This is akin to only turning up your boiling water that you bath in a degree or two every 5 minutes rather than trying to stop the boil. They care about immediate profits and in truth are terribly stupid. Many of us have been raised to be polite and not utter this about others, especially those in power. We look for reasons and conditions for their behavior and choices, but the stark fact is that a lot of these people are ignorant as fuck and want to remain that way -- little or no intellectual curiosity and full of base greed. And this will kill us all.

The treachery of Warren towards Sanders is most likely from some back room deal with Biden. He probably told her that he needs help against Corn Pop and while sniffing her hair and unwashed face, (I'm not being snarky without reason, she shared her beauty routine with the media since that's so pressing in these days of turmoil) well Biden decided that she would be the one to stroke his leg hairs in the oval office as VP.

They are the golden hairs of a golden white man, he says. This is the way of Washington–lots of white men thinking their leg hair is the best, but her instincts were shit to have taken a deal like this. No way in hell is Biden going to win, even if the DNC does manage to prop him up as their candidate.

Trump will have a field day with him (Biden of the reasonable Republican fable) and if they do debate, the entire country might have a collective intracranial bleed from the batshittery that will be spoken.

Trump will be there, all eyes dilated, snorting and speaking gibberish; Biden will be there, all blood eyed and smarmy, talking about how poor kids can be smart too (the more you know). I cry in a corner even considering such a spectacle. I'd rather see Topsy electrocuted than watch that.

Anyway, it's not unlikely that Warren will get a challenger for her senate seat due to this Judas move. The Bernie supporters will be generous with political donations if that individual materializes, I'm sure. But I'm guessing she will try something again in terms of reinvention and she will refer to herself as the politician formally known as Elizabeth Warren and try to get a judge show on antennae tv. I won't watch it even if she hits the gavel and says to leave the ghosting boyfriend and get a dog in the event of a sassy landlord tenant dispute brought before her court.

I plan on ghosting Elizabeth Warren and her lying ass.

Kathleen Wallace writes out of the US Midwest.

[Jan 19, 2020] Warren is The Monkees of Democratic Socialism

Warren is no "progressive," as her beating a retreat from Medicare for All demonstrates. She now has shown herself to be a bald-faced liar as well as a political phony.
Jan 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Andrew a day ago

Warren is The Monkees of Democratic Socialism.
Me Andrew a day ago
Warren is the Jussie Smollet of politics. I wonder if she claims Bernie attacked her while wearing a red hat and screaming, "A woman can't win! This is MAGA country!"

It's hillarious that even after the shafting they got in 2016 by CNN there are still some Bernie supporters who are finally catching on to what Trump supporters have been saying the whole time, the MSM are a bunch of lying propagandists. I wonder who these people are who think Bernie is going to fight against the Establishment when he can't even stand up for himself against CNN, Warren, Hillary, the DNC,.... or anyone.

former-vet Me a day ago • edited
I'm with you, Me. I expected to see Bernie come out swinging after that exchange with Senator Warren if he was to have any chance against Trump. Sucking it up for "the team" is loser talk. Warren accused him of blatantly lying on national TV, and he's okay with that?

Kathleen Garvey a day ago

Storm in a tea cup.

This manufactured 'controversy' has absolutely no relevance to electoral chances of either, outside of the campus/media bubble - whose battle lines are already entrenched.

Connecticut Farmer Kathleen Garvey a day ago
Or, as the late historian Daniel Boorstin called it, a "pseudo-event."

[Jan 19, 2020] CNN is Trash

Jan 19, 2020 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

Then CNN turned to a story that it had reported on just prior to the debate, alleging that Sanders had told Senator Elizabeth Warren that he did not believe a woman could be elected U.S. president. The CNN moderator ignored Sanders' assertions that he had a public record going back decades of stating that a woman could be elected president, that he had stayed out of the race in 2015 until Warren decided not to run, and that in fact he had told Warren no such thing. Then came this exchange:
CNN: So Senator Sanders -- Senator Sanders, I do want to be clear here, you're saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election?

SANDERS: That is correct.

CNN: Senator Warren, what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?
You don't have to know that you'd be better off with free college and Medicare for All than with yet another war to recognize the bias here.

Many viewers recognized the slant. Many even began to notice the strange double standard in never mentioning the cost of any of the wars, but pounding away on the misleading assertions that healthcare and other human needs cost too much. Here's a question asked by CNN on Tuesday:
" Vice President Biden, does Senator Sanders owe voters a price tag on his health care plan? "

There was even time for this old stand-by bit of name-calling: " Senator Sanders, you call yourself a Democratic Socialist. But more than two-thirds of voters say they are not enthusiastic about voting for a socialist. Doesn't that put your chances of beating Donald Trump at risk? "

So say the people who did so much to elect Donald Trump.
Source, links:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/17/cnn-is-trash/

[Jan 19, 2020] With "help" like this from CNN, one struggles to imagine what sabotage might look like.

Is Warren Warren the Jussie Smollet of politics. I wonder if she claims Bernie attacked her while wearing a red hat and screaming, "A woman can't win! This is MAGA country!"
Jan 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Connecticut Farmer a day ago

SCENARIO I

Joe is conservative, libertarian or possibly both.
Joe opposes Bernie Sanders on ideological grounds.
Ergo, Joe and Bernie have a different worldview.

SCENARIO II

Joe is conservative, libertarian or possibly both.
Joe opposes Liz Warren on ideological grounds.
Ergo, Joe is an unprincipled sexist.

esquimaux 11 hours ago
Being one of Liz' constituents and familiar with her career and her base (consisting of people like me,) I think she faces so little consequence for her "embellishments" at least in part because "we" (her base) inhabit an environment in which, with ease, we adjust facts and perceptions to conform to whatever our self-serving narrative of the moment may be.

We know that Liz will say anything she imagines will be to her advantage and it's okay with "us" that she does. In a way, she's our ideal candidate and media darling because she reflects and affirms our plastic values.

[Jan 18, 2020] Warren always looked like a female careerist with sharp elbows

Jan 18, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Let's look at the video again shall we?

The audio from the moment where Elizabeth Warren refused to shake Bernie Sanders' hand has been released.

The #DemDebate scuffle came after Warren accused Bernie Sanders of saying, a woman can't win, a claim that contradicts his public comments over decades and one he denies. pic.twitter.com/yVTRkyCb2d

-- BERNforBernie2020RegisterToVote(@BernForBernie20) January 16, 2020

Yep that woman is full of it. You can decide what 'it' is.

Aaron Mate:

Joy Reid should invite this body language expert back, tell the story about the time when a computer hacker inserted homophobic statements into her old blog posts, and ask the expert to analyze whether she's lying.

More from Aaron.

Did this Orwell quote inspire you in the present to make the false claim that a computer hacker wrote your homophobic posts in the past? https://t.co/HsMUGrJj9S

-- Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) January 18, 2020

Brianna Joy


This campaign is owed an apology.
What are they going to do next, phrenology?
This is why no one trusts the media. These people are digging their own professional graves.

People aren't buying what Joy is selling.

joy reid brings on a phrenologist to prove that liz warren's cheekbones make her native and dna test was wrong

Interested timing for this letter to come out Bernie Sanders Called The Democratic Party 'Intellectually Bankrupt' In 1985 Letter

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) once told a fellow left-wing activist that the Democratic Party was too "intellectually bankrupt" to allow the progressive movement to flourish within it.

In a 1985 letter newly obtained by HuffPost in which Sanders debated running for governor, he wrote: "Whether I run for governor or not is really not important. What would be a tragedy, however, is for people with a radical vision to fall into the pathetic camp of the intellectually bankrupt Democratic Party."

----
Sanders' three-paragraph missive was addressed to Marty Jezer, an author and progressive activist in the state. Then-Mayor Sanders was writing in response to an August letter from Jezer in which he apologized that a memo he wrote to Sanders had leaked to the press. While the exact contents of the memo are unclear, Jezer's letter indicates that it encouraged Sanders to run for Congress instead of challenging Kunin.

"1986 is the wrong time for such a race," Jezer, who died in 2005, wrote. "I hope you will listen to the voices of the committed activists around the state. We sink or swim with this together."

Sanders ultimately reached a different conclusion: He ran against Kunin as an independent. But the decision was not without dissent. An editorial from the socialist magazine In These Times criticized Sanders for dividing the left.

"In choosing to create a three-way race, Sanders is dividing the left and making more likely the defeat of an incumbent liberal woman governor by a more conservative Republican," In These Times wrote. (At the time, Kunin was one of only two female governors in the country.)

The editorial prompted Sanders to reply: "I believe that the real changes that are needed in this country are not going to be brought about by working within the Democratic Party or the Republican Party."

----
The Vermont senator's critiques of the Democratic Party are well documented, as CNN reported last July. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he was adamant that a progressive movement could not be built within the party and was highly critical of the moderate "New Democrats" who argued that the party's progressivism in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s had alienated voters.

"I think that nationally, the party has on issue after issue sold out so many times that if you go before the people and say, 'Hey, I'm a Democrat,' you don't usually generate a lot of enthusiasm," Sanders said in 1991 about the idea of a progressive trying to work within the party.

Commenting on civil rights activist Jesse Jackson's Democratic presidential runs in the 1980s, Sanders said he did not agree with Jackson's decision to work "within the Democratic Party." (Sanders endorsed Jackson's candidacy.) His skepticism of the party continued in subsequent decades. In 2011, he said Democrats could be called "Republican-lite" for considering cuts to Social Security and Medicare in order to lessen the deficit. And his first presidential campaign in 2016 didn't shy away from blasting the party apparatus.

Sanders' willingness to criticize the Democratic Party speaks to the progressive bona fides highlighted by his supporters. His campaign often relies on decades-old videos of Sanders warning against the Iraq war, multinational trade deals and the climate crisis using the same rhetoric he still uses today.

But the senator's view of the party -- and the role of progressive politics within it -- has evolved. He's since refined his critiques to focus on the "corporate wing of the Democratic Party," which is composed of the same centrists, including organizations like Third Way, that pushed the party to the right during the 1980s and '90s.

----
That hasn't been enough for many of his critics, who accuse him of only half-heartedly campaigning for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016 after dragging out the primary, and question whether he would be willing to support down-ballot Democratic candidates who don't share his progressive ideology.

I recently watched Jimmy's show where he played a clip of Rachel praising Bernie for campaigning so hard for Her. Her wrote him a letter telling him thanks for working so hard to get her elected.

Bernie did 37 rallies for her in 14 days. Hillary only did 8 for Obama. Let's talk about this, Hillary! You worthless ^*#%^! - strife delivery

snoopydawg on Sat, 01/18/2020 - 7:21pm

Cenk might have just sunk his campaign

It turns out media sources might have leaked to one another about Warren-Sanders dispute & that didn't come from @ewarren campaign. Anyone still denying national media has hostility toward @BernieSanders campaign is being purposely obtuse. No one hates progressives more than MSM.

-- Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) January 18, 2020

Come on dude this ain't rocket science. It's true that the media has goosed this goose, but Warren doubled down on her accusations.

Man people are flying high on Twitter today. I'm seeing lots of great stuff that I'm not posting here.

[Jan 18, 2020] Warren has showed her true colors

Jan 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

c1ue , Jan 17 2020 23:59 utc | 68

Anyone who thinks impeachment will succeed needs to exit the Russiagate/DNC/CNN black hole.
And while I do believe Sanders could beat Trump, I have little faith the Clinton controlled DNC will allow that to happen.

Warren has showed her true colors

Biden is a less competent male HRC and the rest of the field ranges from billionaires to Intel agency drones.

Sure, Trump could lose "if". What matters is the candidate, though and none of the candidates besides Sanders can energize enough people to beat Trump.

Rob , Jan 18 2020 0:29 utc | 75

@Daniel (13). You hit the nail on the head, brother. Trump bears responsibility for all of the shit he has pulled, which includes hiring the worst possible people to advise him and run his administration. Throwing blame on the jackasses around him only proves that he is the biggest jackass of all.

And for the record, U.S. elections rarely turn on foreign policy issues. As Bill Clinton (another jackass, though much smarter) famously said: "It's the economy, stupid."

[Jan 18, 2020] 'Rigging election again' Trump says impeachment all a ploy to... shaft Bernie Sanders -- RT USA News

Notable quotes:
"... "They are bringing him out of so important Iowa in order that, as a Senator, he sit through the Impeachment Hoax Trial," ..."
"... "Crazy Nancy thereby gives the strong edge to Sleepy Joe Biden, and Bernie is shut out again. Very unfair, but that's the way the Democrats play the game. Anyway, it's a lot of fun to watch." ..."
"... Trump's theory isn't plucked entirely out of thin air. With the impeachment trial set to begin on Tuesday, Sanders will have to disrupt his campaign activity in Iowa and return to Washington DC to sit in the Senate, two weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses. Crucially for Sanders, the trial begins as he edges Biden out of the lead in the polls. ..."
"... Friday's tweet isn't the first time Trump has accused the Democrats of stacking the cards against Sanders. Last April, he suggested that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was "again working its magic in its quest to destroy Crazy Bernie Sanders for the more traditional, but not very bright, Sleepy Joe Biden." ..."
"... whether the impeachment trial is an intentional move to muscle Sanders out of contention or not, The Democratic Party looks in danger of repeating the mistakes that cost it the White House in 2016. ..."
Jan 17, 2020 | www.rt.com
The impeachment trial against Donald Trump is not just a "witch hunt," but a ploy to "rig" the Democratic nomination against Bernie Sanders and in favor of Joe Biden, the US president has claimed. "They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders, just like last time, only even more obviously," Trump tweeted on Friday.

They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders, just like last time, only even more obviously. They are bringing him out of so important Iowa in order that, as a Senator, he sit through the Impeachment Hoax Trial. Crazy Nancy thereby gives the strong edge to Sleepy...

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2020

"They are bringing him out of so important Iowa in order that, as a Senator, he sit through the Impeachment Hoax Trial," he continued. "Crazy Nancy thereby gives the strong edge to Sleepy Joe Biden, and Bernie is shut out again. Very unfair, but that's the way the Democrats play the game. Anyway, it's a lot of fun to watch."

Trump's theory isn't plucked entirely out of thin air. With the impeachment trial set to begin on Tuesday, Sanders will have to disrupt his campaign activity in Iowa and return to Washington DC to sit in the Senate, two weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses. Crucially for Sanders, the trial begins as he edges Biden out of the lead in the polls.

Also on rt.com Impeachment circus begins in earnest, and will change nothing

The caucuses are the first major contest in the presidential primary season, and eight out of the last 12 caucus winners went on to win the Democratic party's nomination.

Sanders' fellow 2020 frontrunner Elizabeth Warren will also return to DC to hear the case against Trump, while Biden, the former Vice President, will be free to stump for support with impunity.

Trump has savaged the case against him from multiple angles, alternately calling it "presidential harassment," a "partisan hoax," and a "witch hunt" led by the "Do Nothing Democrats." Lately, however, the president has taken to stoking division among his opponents, talking up "Crazy Bernie Sanders" surge in the polls and amplifying a brewing feud between Sanders and Warren – two candidates representing the leftist, progressive wing of the Democratic party.

Bernie Sander's volunteers are trashing Elizabeth "Pocahontus" Warren. Everybody knows her campaign is dead and want her potential voters. Mini Mike B is also trying, but getting tiny crowds which are all leaving fast. Elizabeth is very angry at Bernie. Do I see a feud brewing?

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2020

Friday's tweet isn't the first time Trump has accused the Democrats of stacking the cards against Sanders. Last April, he suggested that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was "again working its magic in its quest to destroy Crazy Bernie Sanders for the more traditional, but not very bright, Sleepy Joe Biden."

The Democratic establishment is widely believed to have "rigged" the 2016 primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton, with an email leak from within the DNC revealing the extent of the bias . Clinton was notified of debate questions in advance, her foundation was allowed to staff and fund the DNC, and Sanders' campaign strategy was secretly passed to the Clinton camp.

The rest is history, and whether the impeachment trial is an intentional move to muscle Sanders out of contention or not, The Democratic Party looks in danger of repeating the mistakes that cost it the White House in 2016.

[Jan 16, 2020] Corrupt Clinton Democrats like Biden as just republican in disguise -- wolfs in sheep clothing

In this sense only Sanders, Warren and Tulsi are authentic democrats... Major Pete is definitely a wolf in sheep clothing.
Notable quotes:
"... Today's Democrats want to destroy those social programs you cite. They have wanted to destroy those social programs ever since President Clinton wanted to conspire with "Prime Minister" Gingrich to privatize Social Security. Luckily Monica Lewinsky saved us from that fate. ..."
"... A nominee Sanders would run on keeping Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in existence. And he would mean it. A nominee Biden might pretend to say it. But he would conspire with the Republicans to destroy them all. ..."
Jan 16, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

drumlin woodchuckles , , January 14, 2020 at 7:13 pm

Today's Democrats want to destroy those social programs you cite. They have wanted to destroy those social programs ever since President Clinton wanted to conspire with "Prime Minister" Gingrich to privatize Social Security. Luckily Monica Lewinsky saved us from that fate.

A nominee Sanders would run on keeping Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in existence. And he would mean it. A nominee Biden might pretend to say it. But he would conspire with the Republicans to destroy them all.

The ClintoBama Pelosicrats have no standing on which to pretend to support some very popular social programs and hope to be believed any longer. Maybe that is why they feel there is no point in even pretending any more.

drumlin woodchuckles , , January 14, 2020 at 7:22 pm

Bearing in mind the fact that the DemParty would prefer a Trump re-election over a Sanders election, I don't think anyone will be giving Trump any heave ho. The only potential nominee to even have a chance to defeat Trump would be Sanders. And if Sanders doesn't win on ballot number one, Sanders will not be permitted the nomination by an evil Trumpogenic DemParty elite.

Even if Sanders wins the nomination, the evil Trumpogenic Demparty leadership and the millions of Jonestown Clintobamas in the field will conspire against Sanders every way they feel they can get away with. The Clintobamas would prefer Trump Term Two over Sanders Term One. They know it, and the rest of us need to admit it.

If Sanders is nominated, he will begin the election campaign with a permanent deficit of 10-30 million Clintobama voters who will Never! Ever! vote for Sanders. Sanders will have to attract enough New Voters to drown out and wash away the 10-30 million Never Bernie clintobamas.

[Jan 16, 2020] Warren attack on Sanders is backfiring

Jan 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kali , Jan 16 2020 18:40 utc | 12

Now that Warren has been exposed as the charlatan ( The Damned Debates ) many of us knew she was all along, the media is all freaked out that her plan to attack Bernie Sanders is backfiring and that she is losing support rather than gaining it.

It looks to many like she made a deal with the Wall St. crowd funding the DNC who support Biden to attack Bernie for them in exchange for a VP spot.

They are obviously very worried about Biden though because the Trump-GOP attack on Biden over Burisma is coming, and they know they have nothing to stop it. That is what the impeachment is all about ( Impeachment For Dummies: or How progressives were conned into supporting Joe Biden for President ), and what the recent claim of Russia hacking to harm Biden is all about. It is all about trying to protect Biden from the upcoming Trump-GOP Burisma related attack on Biden. So with Biden in trouble and Warren stumbling, expect Hillary to save the day? LOL.

They are worried, but unless Bernie is far ahead when it matters then the superdelegates will save them. But if they do that then they fear many people will go 3rd party next election cycle, meaning the DNC has no chance to beat the GOP in the future if that happens.

What will they do? Right now they are full on trying to threaten their way to keep their new world order as it crumbles around them ( Pax Americana: Between Iraq and A Hard Place ). Times they are a changin.

[Jan 16, 2020] Warren's take on Soleimani's killing

But what was actually good in Soleimani killing? He was an Iranian official and only the fact that the USA is 300 pound gorilla save us from the war for this extra-judicial killing. Because it was essentially a declaration of the war.
Is some weaker state tried the same the result would be complete devastation of both this state and Iran in a protracted war. Israel hides in such cases over Uncle Sam (in other version uncle Schmuel ;-) back so it essentially is allowed the same privileges in extrajudicial killings as the USA, but that will last only as long as the USA dominance in world affairs. After that bill with came due for Isreal and it will not be pretty.
Jan 16, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Ignacio , , January 15, 2020 at 5:58 am

Talking about centrists following strictly Trump's playbook, another good example is Warren's take on Soleimani's killing.

If she believes that she has any chance of defeating Trump as a strong defender of the US against terrorism, she must be drinking some new kind of kool-aid.

Fortunately, in this sense, Sanders is being much more clever than Warren. I see Sanders as the only and last opportunity to avoid the worst.

[Jan 15, 2020] Democracy in action: voters choice in 2016 was limited to the choice between brain cancer and leprosy

Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trailer Trash , Jan 8 2020 16:32 utc | 105

Trump is such a douchebag. He claims there were no lives lost due to their "early warning system" -- no mention that the "early warning system" was a phone call!

Now he's once again justifying assassination, etc.

pretzelattack , Jan 8 2020 16:39 utc | 110

there was no "better choice" between trump and clinton. i still think clinton represented a greater danger than trump of getting into a war with russia, but they are both warmongers first class. for our next election, we may have a choice between ebola and flesh eating bacteria, or brain cancer and leprosy. if the game is rigged there's no winning it playing by the game's "rules".

[Jan 11, 2020] People vs money

Notable quotes:
"... It all depends on what the penalties are. Confiscation of hidden assets would chill that behavior, strike one. Loss of the privilege to conduct business with federal and state entities would also chill such behavior, strike two. Finally, for persistent violations of the cap, loss of citizenship and expulsion form the country, three strikes and you are literally out, would be the ultimate penalty. ..."
"... The United States is actually both a federation (hardly unique by the way) and a representative democracy. Whether you call them members of Parliament or members of Congress, their representatives are elected by the people. ..."
Jan 11, 2020 | www.theguardian.com

apacheman -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 23:32

Excuse me?

Huge numbers of people who disagree with me and don't share my particular beliefs are not sociopaths, nothing would stop them from running or holding office, and I've no problem with that.

Are you arguing that sociopaths have an inalienable right to hold office, even though they will inevitably use that office to aggrandize themselves at the expense of everyone else, and could spark a general war just for their own enjoyment and to gather yet more power to themselves?

THAT I'm not ok with, are you?

DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> apacheman , 7 Jul 2018 21:12
How do people who don't share your beliefs get represented if you rig the system to exclude them? People unlike you are sociopaths? It isn't even tempting. Your cost benefit study benefits you. The world is destabilized if your guys don't get in? No surprise.
HauptmannGurski -> Aseoria , 7 Jul 2018 20:26
I know, and Bush I was head of the CIA. Strange that one matters and the other does not.
Sisyphus2 -> Byron Delaney , 7 Jul 2018 20:05
Love this line: "the gig economy combined with record debt and astronomically high rent prices cancel out any potential economic stability for millions of people."

The under-employment rate is also very informative. People working less hours or in lower positions than their investment in education should have returned to them. They are working, but not enough to be able to independently sustain themselves, which makes them insecure in variety of ways.

Aseoria -> ildfluer , 7 Jul 2018 19:52
Do you think the interpreters might turn out to be agents, or perhaps even assassins, from other governments? Or maybe everybody will be knocked out with fentanyl gas at dinner. In the dining room.
Aseoria -> consumerx , 7 Jul 2018 19:47
Typical Good-Cop Bad-Cop from here in the vaunted "Two-Party" system of the USA gov
Janaka77 -> petersview , 7 Jul 2018 19:05
I like the way the Republic of Ireland puts strict restrictions on political spending for their elections - including their presidential elections.
apacheman -> memo10 , 7 Jul 2018 19:02
1. It all depends on what the penalties are. Confiscation of hidden assets would chill that behavior, strike one. Loss of the privilege to conduct business with federal and state entities would also chill such behavior, strike two. Finally, for persistent violations of the cap, loss of citizenship and expulsion form the country, three strikes and you are literally out, would be the ultimate penalty.

The alternative, continuing to allow unlimited wealth accumulation will ultimately destroy democracy and end in a dictatorship nearly impossible to remove without massive casualties. Is that preferable to trying to control the behavior of wealth addicts? Make no mistake: billionaires are addicts, their uncontrollable addiction to more is an extreme form of hoarding dysfunction, one that, like all uncontrolled addictions, has had disastrous consequences for everyone but them.

3. Fewer Representatives means you are concentrating power rather than dispersing it. More means smaller districts, which in turn means more accountability, not less. As it stands now, Congresscritters can safely ignore the wishes of the public, because when someone "represents" nearly a million citizens, it means they actually represent only themselves. If taken in conjunction with item #2, more citizens would be invested in the political process and far more likely to pay attention.

4. The Hare test is a standard written exam that is difficult to cheat. Getting caught at cheating or attempting to cheat would mark one automatically as a sociopath. The latest studies of brain structures show that sociopaths have physically different brains, and those physical differences are detectable. Brain activity as shown by fMRI also clearly marks a sociopath from a normal, since while they can fake emotional responses very well, their brain activity shows their true lack of response to emotionally charged images, words, etc. Using a three-layer test, written>fMRI>genetic should be robust enough to correctly identify most. The stakes are too huge to risk a set of sociopaths and their lackeys control of the machinery of government. The genetic test is the most likely to give problematic results, but if the written is failed, the fMRI would then be done to confirm or reject the written results, while the genetics would be a supplementary confirmation. Widespread genetic testing of politicians and would-bes would undoubtedly advance research and understanding dramatically.

When you do even a casual cost-benefit study, the answer is clear: test them. Ask yourself: is the thwarting of an individual's potential career in politics really that great a cost compared to preventing unknowingly electing a sociopath who could destabilize the entire world?

Janaka77 -> scotti dodson , 7 Jul 2018 18:55

Another big difference of course is a little thing called the law.

Are you under the impression the British don't have rule of law? Their elected representatives make their laws, not their ceremonial royal family. Their royal family's job is to abide by the same laws as every other UK citizen, stay out of politics and promote British tourism and gossip magazines.

Janaka77 -> Ben Groetsch , 7 Jul 2018 18:15

The United States is actually a federal republic, not a democracy.

The United States is actually both a federation (hardly unique by the way) and a representative democracy. Whether you call them members of Parliament or members of Congress, their representatives are elected by the people.

WillisFitnurbut -> Byron Delaney , 7 Jul 2018 17:57

If we move the cheap manufacturing to the US, and wages are lower due to a depression, people will take the jobs, and the job numbers will improve. And China will be toast.


We will never beat China at manufacturing cheap and efficient products using human labor. Robotic labor maybe, but that might not happen for a decade or more at least--if they or another country doesn't beat us to retooling our factories.
Labor and manufacturing will never return in the US--unless we have another world war we win, in which all global production is again concentrated in the US because the rest of the worlds factories are bombed to rubble. Besides, they have the most central location for manufacturing in the world and a cheap source of endless labor.

What they don't have is innovation, tech and freedom to try products out on a free market. We are squandering those advantages in the US when we cut education and limit college education to the masses.

memo10 -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 17:48

The system is not crooked,

Are Americans the most immoral people on earth? I don't think so. Do we have the strictest code of laws on earth? I don't think so either. Yet we have the highest incarceration rate on earth. Higher than authoritarian countries like China & Russia.

This alone should tell you something is wrong with our system. Never mind the stats about differing average sentences depending on race & wealth.

WillisFitnurbut -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 17:42
Doubt implies a reason behind the wrong, where uncertainty implies an unknowing trait--a mystery behind the wrong.

The right, what with all its fake news scams, deep state BS and witch hunt propaganda, is uncertainty at best, a mystery of sorts--it provides us with a conspiracy that can neither be proved or unproven--an enigma.

Doubt, about if Russia meddled in the US election in collusion with the president or at the least his advisors, surely implies something is wrong, especially in the face of criminal charges, doubt is inherent and well intentioned, but not always true and can be proven false in the face of doubt.

Byron Delaney -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 17:00
At one time the US was agrarian and one could subsist via bartering. Consider reliance on for-profit healthcare, transportation systems, debt, credit cards, landlords, grocery stores, and the lack of any ability to subsist without statewide and nationwide infrastructure. Right now, people in the US already die prematurely if they can't afford healthcare. Many are homeless. And this is when things are better than ever? What will happen here is what happened in Europe during WWII. People will suffer, and they will be forced to adopt socialist practices (like the EU does today). People in Europe really did starve to death, and people in India, Africa, and other countries are starving and dying today. China doles out food rations because they practice communism. That's why they have cheap, efficient labor that serves to manufacture products for US consumers. Communism and socialism help American corporations big time.
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> kmacafee , 7 Jul 2018 16:51
Citizens United is a First Amendment decision. Which part of the First Amendment do you want moot? What gives any government the right to decide which assemblies of citizens have no free speech rights?
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> WillisFitnurbut , 7 Jul 2018 16:47
Doubt is everybody's political currency.
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> Byron Delaney , 7 Jul 2018 16:46
You are aware, I imagine, that the US can adjust its money supply to adapt to circumstances? We can feed ourselves. We have our own power sources. We can improvise, adapt, and overcome. Prices go up and down. No big deal. Scaring people for political gain doesn't have the clout it onvce did.
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> tjt77 , 7 Jul 2018 16:40
Are you opposed to people deciding who moves across their nation's borders?
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> Elephantmoth , 7 Jul 2018 16:38
Open Secrets Top Donors, Organizations.
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> memo10 , 7 Jul 2018 16:35
Too many virtue signalers seem to think that only the innocent are ever convicted.
The system is not crooked, but if you can set up a better one that doesn't bankrupt every community, have at it.
DeltaFoxWhiskyMike -> WillisFitnurbut , 7 Jul 2018 16:29
You really, really, really like screaming racist, don't you? And slide in a Godwin. Wow. The concept that black pastors would be negatively impacted by financial attacks on their churches never ever occurred to you, did it? You get off on pretending to care about people that you have no direct, routine connection to. How virtuous of you. Wouldn't deliberately harming black churches make you the racist storm trooper?
Byron Delaney -> WillisFitnurbut , 7 Jul 2018 16:08
Violence will break out when credit cards stop working. Can't even imagine what will happen if people are starving. No problem in a socialistic country like Finland, but a big problem here. My guess is that Trump knows the economy is hanging by a thread, so needs to create an alternate reason (trade wars). Or he figures he might as well have a trade war if it's all going to pieces anyway. Of course China manufactures just about everything for the US. If we move the cheap manufacturing to the US, and wages are lower due to a depression, people will take the jobs, and the job numbers will improve. And China will be toast.
WillisFitnurbut -> Byron Delaney , 7 Jul 2018 15:49
Don't forget as the Trump trade war heats up and China decides to sell off US bonds en-masse (they own 1.17 trillion in US debt). That's gonna put a hurt on the already low US dollar and could send inflation soaring. China could also devalue its currency and increase the trade deficit. Combine those with all the things you've pointed out and you've got financial troubles the likes of which no large government has ever dealt with in human history.
Starving people--China can handle in droves; not so much the US. We're talking nasty violence if that kinda stuff happens here.
Melty Clock -> happylittledebunkera , 7 Jul 2018 15:43
True, but the POTUS is a head of state and the PM is not, so there's a limit to how far we should take comparisons.
WillisFitnurbut , 7 Jul 2018 15:05
Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.
Byron Delaney , 7 Jul 2018 15:02
Occupy Wall Street began due to income inequality when the worst effects of the Great Recession were being felt by the population. Wealth inequality has only increased since then.


Right now, the population is held at bay because the media and politicians claim that the economy is so incredibly hot it's overheating. But we know that's a lie. For one, the gig economy combined with record debt and astronomically high rent prices cancel out any potential economic stability for millions of people. This year, 401(k) plans have returned almost nothing (or are going negative). This was also the case in 2016. Savings accounts have returned almost nothing for the last decade (they should be providing approximately 5% interest).

The worker participation rate today is 3.2% below what it was in 2008 (during the Great Recession). The US population, meanwhile, has increased by approximately 24,321,000. That's a 7.68% increase. The labor force has increased by 5% during this time (unemployment rate was relatively similar, 5.6% vs 4%). From June 2008 to June 2018, the labor force increased by approximately 8 million. However, if the worker participation rate was the same now as it was then, there would be approximately 8 million more people in the labor force. If you add 8 million people to the current number of people who are counted as unemployed by the BLS, the unemployment rate is approximately 9%. This is about as high as the unemployment rate got during the depths of the Great Recession, right when Occupy Wall Street was born.

Now, OK, sure, the economy has REPLACED lost jobs, but it has not ADDED jobs for the last decade. The unemployment rate is false. It should be at least 8%. There's many millions of Americans who do not have steady, gainful employment - or any employment - and they are not counted.
The billionaires and their bought politicians are responsible for fixing this. They can fix it and should fix it. Otherwise, the economy and their profits are going to fall off a giant cliff any day now. The next recession has basically already begun, but it can still be alleviated. If things continue as they are, unemployment could be 16% by 2020, with the U6 measure approaching or exceeding 25%. If stocks drop enough, people may starve to death.

kmacafee , 7 Jul 2018 14:11
Who supported Citizen's United? All cons and republicans

Who supports campaign finance reform and legislation that would make Cititzen's United moot? Democrats and progressives

Really tired of the false equivalencies. Republicans are now the polar opposite of Democrats in policy and principles. Vote Blue this November and get rid of the republicans; every single one of them. It can be done if people get out and vote.

memo10 -> apacheman , 7 Jul 2018 14:10
1. Anything is possible but I don't think this is practical. The rich can just cheat on the definition of ownership, pass it around between family members, offshore it, sink it into their businesses in token ways, etc. When you try to take wealth (power) away from the most powerful people in the country they will start devoting SERIOUS resources to getting around it.

3. I'm not saying we need fewer people doing congress's job in total. But we should be electing fewer of them, and letting those fewer people do more hiring/delegating. The way things are now, most of the public only knows much about the president. Everyone else is mostly just a vote for a party. But if the country only voted for 50 Congressmen in total - or even fewer - then we would all have a more careful eye on them. We would know them better and see them more individually. They would have less pressure to toe the party line all the time.

4. As long as there's a written test then it will get cheated. Right now the testing is rarely given and the specific consequences don't determine powerful people's careers. Make it a widespread & important thing and people will learn to cheat it.
The genetic + fMRI research is interesting but the whole thing opens up serious cans of worms. We're talking about DQ'ing somebody from an important career based partially on the results of a genetic screening for a character trait. That's a dangerous business for our whole society to get into. Although I do realize the payoff for this specific instance would be very big.

apacheman -> memo10 , 7 Jul 2018 13:34
1. Why do you think that? Using teams of forensic accountants and outlawing secret accounts would go a long way towards increasing enforceability. But you are viewing it as a legal problem rather than a cultural problem. If an effective propaganda campaign aimed on one level at the public and another level at the billionaires, it could work. Many billionaires are already committed to returning their fortunes to the economy (mostly after they are dead, true). Convince a few and the rest will follow. Give them the lure of claiming the title of the richest who ever were and some would be eager for that place in history.

Anything can be done if the will is there.

2. Income taxes are just a portion of the federal revenues, ~47%. Corporate taxes, parkland fees, excise taxes, ~18% taken together and Social Security make up the rest. Revenues would increase as taxpayers topped off step amounts to keep control. The beauty of it is that Congress would see very clearly where the nation's priorities were. Any politician trying to raise fines so that they had more money under their control would soon find themselves out of office. Unpopular programs would have to be financed out of the 18%, and that would likely make them increase corporate taxes. But most importantly, it would cut the power of politicians and decrease the effectiveness of lobbyists.

3. Actually, we have too few, not too many. The work of governance suffers because there is too much to be done and too few to do it. Spreading the workload and assigning responsibility areas would increase efficiency. Most importantly though, it would break up the oligarchic duopoly that keeps a stranglehold on the nation's politics, and bring more third party candidates into office giving Congress a more diverse culture by adding viewpoints based on other things than business interests.

4. Actually, advances in fMRI equipment and procedures, along with genetics and written testing can prove beyond a reasonable doubt whether or not someone is a sociopath, do some research and you'l see it is true. False positives in any testing regime are always an issue, but tens of millions of workers submit to drug tests to qualify for their jobs, and their jobs don't usually run the risk of plunging the world into war, economic or environmental disasters. False positives are common in the workplace and cost many thousands their jobs.

And there's an easy way to prove you aren't really a sociopath: be honest, don't lie, and genuinely care about people...things sociopaths cannot do over time.

Seriously, it is a societal safety issue that demands to be done, protecting the few against false positives means opening the floodgates for the many sociopaths who seek power over others.

WillisFitnurbut -> ConBrio , 7 Jul 2018 13:25
Not just eliminate--alter and add to it, but since it takes 2/3 majority of the house and senate to amend the constitution--it's not an easy feat--that's why there has only been 17 amendments altogether and two of them are there to cancel each other out!
You see, the beauty behind the National Popular Vote Bill is that it's done on a state by state basis and will only work when the required 270 electoral votes are gained with the bill--this means all voters would have their votes tallied in a presidential election and it eliminates swing states with a winner takes all approach. The electoral college and state control of elections are preserved and every one is happy.
I feel like you've not read up on any of this even though I provide a link. 12 of these bills have been enacted into state law already, comprising of 172 electoral votes and 3,112 legislative sponsors. That's more than halfway there.
To continue to say that changing the way we vote by altering the EC is a fantasy is in itself a fantasy because obviously it is gaining traction across the country.
tjt77 -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 12:51
Which 'side' do you imagine I'm on Mike ? FYI.. Im not a member of any tribe especially regarding the republican or democrat parties... you may have noticed that as part of the progress towards a globalized economy, 'Money' now has open borders...but the restrictions of movement for people are growing as nationalism rises and wealth and the power it yields, becomes ever more concentrated in fewer hands...this is a dangerous precedent and history repeats if lessons of the past are not learned.
I can well recall when humanity and the ability of the individual to attain freedom and liberty based upon the merit of the individual was once celebrated.
What really irks me and causes me to voice my opinion on this forum, ( thank you Guardian for your continued efforts at informing us all and especially for promoting participation) is how easily people are duped .. when 'others' can easily see that they are being lied to. My parents fought for freedom and liberty against vicious tyranny in Europe and paid a HUGE price..by the time the scales had tipped the balance towards fascism, it was far too late for anything other than all out war... the fact that they survived the required sacrifice to pitch in to protect democracy, and the freedom and liberty which comes with it, still seems miraculous..
Gary Daily , 7 Jul 2018 12:20
Billionaires on the left should put some of that money into paying for and distributing subscriptions to newspapers and magazines which live up to the standards of professional journalism. These papers should be made available, free, at high schools, colleges, libraries, and commercial centers of loitering and "neighborly" discussions. May I suggest the NYT, WP, The Guardian, and The Economist.
ConBrio -> WillisFitnurbut , 7 Jul 2018 12:16
The "fact" that there have been 700 attempts to eliminate it should tell you that in all likelihood the The Electoral College will continue.

Whether or not a group of states can effectively circumvent the Constitution is an open question.

aquacalc -> ghstwrtrx7 , 7 Jul 2018 12:01
"What the country sorely needs is a new constitution."

No thanks! The Founders were quite a bit more intelligent than the current national 'brain trust' -- on the both sides of the Aisle -- that would be charged with writing a new Constitution.

memo10 -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 11:48

A defense attorney once told me that his job was one of the toughest out there because an astonishing percentage of defendants are guilty as charged.

That's true. But it doesn't excuse the crooked system whatsoever. It doesn't make the innocent poor people any less innocent.

Dorthy Boatman -> scotti dodson , 7 Jul 2018 11:36
Since when have politicians and rich people ever followed the law? And what recourse would that be exactly?
WillisFitnurbut -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 11:17
I like how you immediately expose your racism, right out of the gate. Haven't you got a storm trooper meeting to head out to soon?
Elephantmoth -> DeltaFoxWhiskyMike , 7 Jul 2018 11:14
Sorry I forgot the link: http://www.http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/business-a-lobbying/318177-lobbyings-top-50-whos-spending-big
Sisyphus2 -> NYbill13 , 7 Jul 2018 10:41
Back to the days of Dickens, workhouses, indentured slaves, etc.

[Jan 11, 2020] American elections are a battle of billionaires. We are merely spectators by David Callahan

Notable quotes:
"... With ever deeper pockets, the rich can more easily afford to pull multiple levers of influence and many are doing exactly that ..."
"... First, the rich have gotten much richer in the last 10 or 15 years. In 2005, the Koch brothers had a combined net worth of around $9bn; now they're worth over $100bn. Mike Bloomberg has added $46bn to his fortune during this same period, while Jeff Bezos – who has been flexing his civic muscle as owner of the Washington Post and is said to be planning a big move into philanthropy – is worth 30 times more today than he was in 2005, a stunning $144bn. ..."
"... Robert Mercer is one example of an ambidextrous funder. The family foundation that he runs with his daughter Rebekah makes millions of dollars in grants to conservative policy groups every year, but Mercer was also among the top GOP campaign donors in 2016 and is also a top investor in Breitbart, the pro-Trump media site. The Mercers have been among the most powerful figures in politics in the past few years – influence that's only been possible because of Robert Mercer's success in the wildly lucrative hedge fund world. Being a star school teacher or nurse doesn't yield the same resources or clout. ..."
"... Bloomberg is another example of multi-faceted donor, on a much larger scale. In addition to investing hundreds of millions of dollars in his own political career, securing three terms as New York's mayor, he's used both charitable and political giving to push his agenda on such issues as climate change, guns and education. Now he's poised to become the biggest donor ever during a midterm election cycle. This enormous influence spending has amounted to just a tiny fraction of his net worth. ..."
"... Bloomberg's support for Democrats and causes like climate change underscores a third change in big money battles over America's future: the surge of new money from left-of-center donors. ..."
| www.theguardian.com

American elections are a battle of billionaires. We are merely spectators David Callahan Depending on your politics, you may either cheer or fear the influence of top donors. In truth, we should be troubled by it

Thu 5 Jul 2018 02.00 EDT Last modified on Thu 5 Jul 2018 02.01 EDT Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email 'Economic inequality seems to be translating into civic disparities .' Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Pull up a seat, this year's election is getting interesting.

In one corner, backing the Republican, are billionaire heavyweights like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers. In the other, wearing the blue trunks, are mega-donors such as Tom Steyer and George Soros, as well as one of the richest Americans of all, Michael Bloomberg , who recently confirmed that he'll spend at least $80m to flip the House of Representatives to the Democrats – in a midterm election that will likely be the most expensive in history.

The rest of us, ordinary citizens without big bank accounts, will certainly play a role in the outcome this November. We cast the votes, after all. But more and more, US politics – along with civic life broadly – often feels like a spectator sport, as a growing array of billionaire super citizens battle it out in the public square.

The outsized clout of the rich is hardly a new story, of course. But this influence game is changing as the dollar signs get bigger and as the wealthy exert influence in more arenas using a more sophisticated array of strategies. The day before news broke about Bloomberg's vast election giving, for example, the Times reported on the successful efforts of a Koch-backed 501(c)(4) group to kill public transportation initiatives across the country.

That same week, the Walton Family Foundation – which has already helped bankroll a quarter of all US charter schools – announced another $100m in education grants. Around the same time, the billionaire activist Tom Steyer launched a new ad attacking Donald Trump that featured audio of children crying in immigrant detention centers. The ad is part of Steyer's unprecedented campaign pushing for Trump's impeachment; he's spent millions of dollars on the effort, on top of some $200m he's made in political contributions since 2014.

Depending on your politics, you may either cheer or fear the influence spending of specific top donors. In truth, we should be troubled about all such spending. Thanks to several factors, economic inequality seems to be translating into civic disparities at a faster pace and in ways that touch more parts of US society.

With ever deeper pockets, the rich can more easily afford to pull multiple levers of influence and many are doing exactly that

First, the rich have gotten much richer in the last 10 or 15 years. In 2005, the Koch brothers had a combined net worth of around $9bn; now they're worth over $100bn. Mike Bloomberg has added $46bn to his fortune during this same period, while Jeff Bezos – who has been flexing his civic muscle as owner of the Washington Post and is said to be planning a big move into philanthropy – is worth 30 times more today than he was in 2005, a stunning $144bn.

With ever deeper pockets, the rich can more easily afford to pull multiple levers of influence and many are doing exactly that, which is a second thing that's changed about the elite power game. Increasingly, top donors are simultaneously putting money into elections, private foundations that press an ideological agenda, 501(c)(4) groups and media.

Robert Mercer is one example of an ambidextrous funder. The family foundation that he runs with his daughter Rebekah makes millions of dollars in grants to conservative policy groups every year, but Mercer was also among the top GOP campaign donors in 2016 and is also a top investor in Breitbart, the pro-Trump media site. The Mercers have been among the most powerful figures in politics in the past few years – influence that's only been possible because of Robert Mercer's success in the wildly lucrative hedge fund world. Being a star school teacher or nurse doesn't yield the same resources or clout.

Bloomberg is another example of multi-faceted donor, on a much larger scale. In addition to investing hundreds of millions of dollars in his own political career, securing three terms as New York's mayor, he's used both charitable and political giving to push his agenda on such issues as climate change, guns and education. Now he's poised to become the biggest donor ever during a midterm election cycle. This enormous influence spending has amounted to just a tiny fraction of his net worth.

Bloomberg's support for Democrats and causes like climate change underscores a third change in big money battles over America's future: the surge of new money from left-of-center donors.

This shift dates back to George W Bush's presidency, when alarmed wealthy Democrats set out to reverse conservative gains. Mixing philanthropic gifts with political donations and 501(c)(4) spending, they bankrolled the creation of Democracy Alliance, the Center for American Progress, and other institutions. Since then, other billionaires have swung behind progressive causes, including tech winners like Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz – who gave $27m to help defeat Trump in the 2016 election – and Steyer, who became an active mega-giver after he retired from his hedge fund six years ago.

The new money flowing from wealthy left-of-center donors, especially in response to Trump's rise, may look like a sign that American pluralism is alive and well in this second Gilded Age. Yes, public life in increasingly drenched in cash, but aren't many viewpoints getting heard as a more ideologically diverse upper class supports various causes and candidates?

Sometimes this is the case. On climate change, for example, progressive donors have helped counter the longstading might of the fossil fuel industry. Economic issues have been another story, though. Polls show that the wealthy are more conservative on such issues, which explains why very little money even from left-of-center donors goes to support work that strongly challenges inequality. Bloomberg's big give for Democrats this year is a case in point: he's made it clear that he wants to support moderate candidates, not populists from the Bernie Sanders wing of the party.

The Democratic party and progressive infrastructure is heavily dependent on patrons who've thrived under America's current form of capitalism and aren't interested in major reforms to that system, however much it fails ordinary workers. In 2016, Trump filled this vacuum with his own brand of economic populism.

There's also been a lack of pluralism among wealthy donors in other areas. The Kochs are having such a big impact on transportation policy because there are few counter-weights to their money in that niche. Top donors can be especially influential in certain states and localities, where there's not a diverse pool of givers. For example, the billionaire Eli Broad has long wielded outsized influence in Los Angeles, especially on education.

There's no easy way to counter the rising power of these super citizens. Campaign finance reform would help, but influence spending now extends far beyond elections, as philanthropy has been weaponized for policy combat.

Ultimately, the best solution to the new civic inequality lies in stronger social movements that convert Americans from spectators to activists. And one of the most reassuring trends of recent years is we've seen a lot of such people power, including the Tea Party, Occupy, Black Lives Matter and #MeToo.

Now we need more of the same, extending to more issues and more places – especially the core challenge of economic inequality. Otherwise, it's hard to see how the United States can escape from a new era of plutocracy.

David Callahan is the author of The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age. He is the founder and editor of Inside Philanthropy

[Jan 10, 2020] It is highly doubtful that people reassert their power against National Security state and elect Sanders (as flowed as he is) in 2020?

When people thought in 2016 that they are winning against the National Security state, they were deceived by the candidate who sounded rational during election campaign, but then became Hillary II in three months after inauguration and brought Bush II neocons into his Administration.
So voters were deceived with Clinton, deceived with Bush II, deceived with Obama, deceived with Trump. You now see the tendency...
Jan 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
HarryOrd , Jan 9 2020 19:06 utc | 37
Hi first time commenter on here.

With all that is happening in the U.S right now I can't help but think that it's past time for the people to reassert their power over the National security state, as unrealistic as that might sound.

The Anti war movement is ideologically divided between progressives and libertarian/paleoconservatives, so a political party would not likely be the answer.

Instead perhaps we should consider a grassroots movement to amend the constitution to guarantee U.S neutrality in world affairs (banning both the arming or financing of foreign belligerents) and to ban the Federal government from having a standing military force except in times of actual war. I don't know what chance either would have of actually being passed, but it might at least force a debate on these issues in a way that might resonate better with the average American. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Peace and Solidarity

[Jan 08, 2020] Meghan McCain Has To Ask Warren Three Times To Admit Soleimani Was A Terrorist

Jan 08, 2020 | t.co

Meghan McCain had to ask Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren three times to admit that Qasem Soleimani was a terrorist. Profile image of author Daily Caller Jan 07, 2020 Search results

  1. Sarah Abdallah ‏ @ sahouraxo 16h 16 hours ago More
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    Just a few years ago, CNN was praising Qassem # Soleimani for being the driving force behind the defeat of ISIS. Today they call him a "terrorist" and expect you to believe them.

[Jan 06, 2020] Warren Questions if Soleimani Strike Linked to Impeachment -- Look at the Timing Breitbart

Notable quotes:
"... Follow Pam Key On Twitter @pamkeyNEN ..."
Jan 06, 2020 | www.breitbart.com

On Sunday's broadcast of CNN's "State of the Union," 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questioned if President Donald Trump's reasons for the Qasem Soleimani assassination was to distract from impeachment.

Warren said, "I think that the question that we ought to focus on is why now? Why not a month ago, and why not a month from now? And the answer from the administration seems to be that they can't keep their story straight on this. They pointed in all different directions. And you know, the last time that we watched them do this was the summer over Ukraine. As soon as people started asking about the conversations between Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine and why aid had been held up to Ukraine, the administration did the same thing. They pointed in all directions of what was going on. And of course, what emerged then is that this is Donald Trump just trying to advance Donald Trump's own political agenda. Not the agenda of the United States of America. So what happens right now? Next week, the president of the United States could be facing an impeachment trial in the Senate. We know that he is deeply upset about that. I think that people are reasonably asking why this moment? Why does he pick now to take this highly inflammatory, highly dangerous action that moves us closer to war? We have been at war for 20 years in the Middle East, and we need to stop the war this the Middle East and not expand it."

Tapper asked, "Are you suggesting that President Trump pulled the trigger and had Qasem Soleimani killed as a distraction from impeachment?"

Warren said, "Look, I think that people are reasonably asking about the timing and why it is that the administration seems to have all kinds of different answers. In the first 48 hours after this attack, what did we hear? Well, we heard it was for an imminent attack, and then we heard, no, no, it is to prevent any future attack, and then we heard that it is from the vice president himself and no, it is related to 9/11, and then we heard from president reports of people in the intelligence community saying that the whole, that the threat was overblown. You know, when the administration doesn't seem to have a coherent answer for taking a step like this. They have taken a step that moves us closer to war, a step that puts everyone at risk, and step that puts the military at risk and puts the diplomats in the region at risk. And we have already paid a huge price for this war. Thousands of American lives lost, and a cost that we have paid domestically and around the world. At the same time, look at what it has done in the Middle East, millions of people who have been killed, who have been injured, who have been displaced. So this is not a moment when the president should be escalating tensions and moving us to war. The job of the president is to keep us safe, and that means move back from the edge."

Tapper pressed, "Do you believe that President Trump pulled the trigger on this operation as a way to distract from impeachment? Is that what you think?"

Warren said, "I think it is a reasonable question to ask, particularly when the administration immediately after having taken this decision offers a bunch of contradictory explanations for what is going on."

She continued, "I think it is the right question to ask. We will get more information as we go forward but look at the timing on this. Look at what Donald Trump has said afterward and his administration. They have pointed in multiple directions. There is a reason that he chose this moment, not a month ago and not a month from now, not a less aggressive and less dangerous response. He had a whole range of responses that were presented to him. He didn't pick one of the other ones. He picked the most aggressive and the one that moves us closer to war. So what does everybody talk about today? Are we going to war? Are we going to have another five years, tens, ten years of war in the Middle East, and dragged in once again. Are we bringing another generation of young people into war? That is every bit of the conversation right now. Donald Trump has taken an extraordinarily reckless step, and we have seen it before, he is using foreign policy and uses whatever he can to advance the interests of Donald Trump."

Follow Pam Key On Twitter @pamkeyNEN

[Jan 06, 2020] Elizabeth Warren on Qasem Soleimani killing- People are reasonably asking, why this moment

Warren kept her ground wonderfully in this exchange. Warren suggests that people are reasonable asking about timing. Also warmongering of Trump.
Jan 06, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Richie Beck , 6 hours ago (edited)

"When everyone else is losing their heads, it is important to keep yours." - Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France and Irony.

Bob Bart , 7 hours ago (edited)

" What is human warfare but just this; an effort to make the laws of God and nature take sides with one party. " ~ Henry David Thoreau

personal cooking , 4 hours ago

China is laughing.US pay attention in middel east now.

[Jan 01, 2020] Dictatorship is needed for financial oligarchy and it is the most plausible path of development due to another factor -- the collapse of neoliberal ideology and complete discrediting of neoliberal elite

Jan 01, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.31.19 at 2:25 pm 15

Tim 12.31.19 at 3:46 am @3

"If this succeeds, we'll be well on the path to dictatorship." This seems predicated on the idea that 'whites' will only be able to hold onto power by Dictatorship. Population trends suggest whites will still be the largest group [just under half] in 2055. A considerable group given their, to borrow the phrase, 'privilege'. Add conservative Asian and even Catholic Latino voters, is it that difficult to envisage a scenario where Republicans sometimes achieve power without Dictatorship? They are already benefiting from the radical left helping drive traditional working class white voters to the right [helped by Republican/Fox etc hyperbole].

Radical left is either idiots, or stooges of intelligence agencies and always has been.

IMHO the idea that " whites" are or will be the force behind the move to the dictatorship is completely naïve. Dictatorship is needed for financial oligarchy and it is the most plausible path of development due to another factor -- the collapse of neoliberal ideology and complete discrediting of neoliberal elite. At least in the USA.

Russiagate should be viewed as an attempt to stage a color revolution and remove the President by the USA intelligence agencies (in close cooperation with the "Five eyes") -- a prolog to the establishing of the dictatorship by financial oligarchy

I would view Russiagate is a kind of Beer Hall Putsch with intelligence agencies instead of national-socialist party. A couple of conspirators might be jailed after Durham investigation is finished (Hitler was jailed after the putsch), but the danger that CIA will seize the political power remains. After all KGB was in this role in the USSR for along time. Is the USA that different? I don't think so. There is no countervailing force: the number of people with security clearance in the USA exceed five million. Those five million and not "whites" like some completely naïve people propose is the critical mass needed for the dictatorship.
https://news.yahoo.com/durham-surprises-even-allies-statement-202907008.html

The potential explosiveness of Durham's mission was further underscored by the disclosure that he was examining the role of John O. Brennan, the former CIA director, in how the intelligence community assessed Russia's 2016 election interference.

BTW "whites" are not a homogeneous group. There is especially abhorrent and dangerous neoliberal strata of "whites" including members of financial oligarchy, the "professional class" and "academia" (economics department are completely infected.) as well as MIC prostitutes in MSM.

[Dec 30, 2019] Sanders probably understands the situation but still is pandering to MIC, while Warren sounds like a regular neocon, another Kagan

Notable quotes:
"... "Today I say to Mr. Putin: We will not allow you to undermine American democracy or democracies around the world," Sanders said. "In fact, our goal is to not only strengthen American democracy, but to work in solidarity with supporters of democracy around the globe, including in Russia. In the struggle of democracy versus authoritarianism, we intend to win." ..."
"... And yet, Warren too seems in thrall to the idea that the world order is shaping up to be one in which the white hats (Western democracies) must face off against the black hats (Eurasian authoritarians). Warren says that the "combination of authoritarianism and corrupt capitalism" of Putin's Russia and Xi's China "is a fundamental threat to democracy, both here in the United States and around the world." ..."
"... The Cold War echoes here are as unmistakable as they are worrying. As Princeton and NYU professor emeritus Stephen F. Cohen has written, during the first Cold War, a "totalitarian school" of Soviet studies grew up around the idea "that a totalitarian 'quest for absolute power' at home always led to the 'dynamism' in Soviet behavior abroad was a fundamental axiom of cold-war Soviet studies and of American foreign policy." ..."
"... Cold warriors in both parties frequently mistook communism as a monolithic global movement. Neoprogressives are making this mistake today when they gloss over national context, history, and culture in favor of an all-encompassing theory that puts the "authoritarian" nature of the governments they are criticizing at the center of their diagnosis. ..."
"... By citing the threat to Western democracies posed by a global authoritarian axis, the neoprogressives are repeating the same mistake made by liberal interventionists and neoconservatives. They buy into the democratic peace theory, which holds without much evidence that a world order populated by democracies is likely to be a peaceful one because democracies allegedly don't fight wars against one another. ..."
"... George McGovern once observed that U.S. foreign policy "has been based on an obsession with an international Communist conspiracy that existed more in our minds than in reality." So too the current obsession with the global authoritarians. Communism wasn't a global monolith and neither is this. By portraying it as such, neoprogressives are midwifing bad policy. ..."
"... Some of these elected figures, like Trump and Farage, are symptoms of the failure of the neoliberal economic order. Others, like Orban and Kaczyński, are responses to anti-European Union sentiment and the migrant crises that resulted from the Western interventions in Libya and Syria. Many have more to do with conditions and histories specific to their own countries. Targeting them by painting them with the same broad brush is a mistake. ..."
"... "Of all the geopolitical transformations confronting the liberal democratic world these days," writes neoconservative-turned-Hillary Clinton surrogate Robert Kagan, "the one for which we are least prepared is the ideological and strategic resurgence of authoritarianism." Max Boot also finds cause for concern. Boot, a modern-day reincarnation (minus the pedigree and war record) of the hawkish Cold War-era columnist Joe Alsop, believes that "the rise of populist authoritarianism is perhaps the greatest threat we face as a world right now." ..."
Dec 30, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

You can hear echoes of progressive realism in the statements of leading progressive lawmakers such as Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Ro Khanna. They have put ending America's support for the Saudi war on Yemen near the top of the progressive foreign policy agenda. On the stump, Sanders now singles out the military-industrial complex and the runaway defense budget for criticism. He promises, among other things, that "we will not continue to spend $700 billion a year on the military." These are welcome developments. Yet since November of 2016, something else has emerged alongside the antiwar component of progressive foreign policy that is not so welcome. Let's call it neoprogressive internationalism, or neoprogressivism for short.

Trump's administration brought with it the Russia scandal. To attack the president and his administration, critics revived Cold War attitudes. This is now part of the neoprogressive foreign policy critique. It places an "authoritarian axis" at its center. Now countries ruled by authoritarians, nationalists, and kleptocrats can and must be checked by an American-led crusade to make the world safe for progressive values. The problem with this neoprogressive narrative of a world divided between an authoritarian axis and the liberal West is what it will lead to: ever spiraling defense budgets, more foreign adventures, more Cold Wars -- and hot ones too.

Unfortunately, Senators Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have adopted elements of the neoprogressive program. At a much remarked upon address at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, the site of Churchill's 1946 address, Sanders put forth a vision of a Manichean world. Instead of a world divided by the "Iron Curtain" of Soviet Communism, Sanders sees a world divided between right-wing authoritarians and the forces of progress embodied by American and Western European progressive values.

"Today I say to Mr. Putin: We will not allow you to undermine American democracy or democracies around the world," Sanders said. "In fact, our goal is to not only strengthen American democracy, but to work in solidarity with supporters of democracy around the globe, including in Russia. In the struggle of democracy versus authoritarianism, we intend to win."

A year later, Sanders warned that the battle between the West and an "authoritarian axis" which is "committed to tearing down a post-Second World War global order that they see as limiting their access to power and wealth." Sanders calls this "a global struggle of enormous consequence. Nothing less than the future of the -- economically, socially and environmentally -- is at stake."

Sanders's focus on this authoritarian axis is one that is shared with his intraparty rivals at the Center for American Progress (a think-tank long funded by some of the least progressive regimes on the planet), which he has pointedly criticized for smearing progressive Democrats like himself. CAP issued a report last September about "the threat presented by opportunist authoritarian regimes" which "urgently requires a rapid response."

The preoccupation with the authoritarian menace is one Sanders and CAP share with prominent progressive activists who warn about the creeping influence of what some have cynically hyped as an "authoritarian Internationale."

Cold War Calling

Senator Warren spelled out her foreign policy vision in a speech at American University in November 2018. Admirably, she criticized Saudi Arabia's savage war on Yemen, the defense industry, and neoliberal free trade agreements that have beggared the American working and middle classes.

"Foreign policy," Warren has said, "should not be run exclusively by the Pentagon." In the second round of the Democratic primary debates, Warren also called for a nuclear "no first use" policy.

And yet, Warren too seems in thrall to the idea that the world order is shaping up to be one in which the white hats (Western democracies) must face off against the black hats (Eurasian authoritarians). Warren says that the "combination of authoritarianism and corrupt capitalism" of Putin's Russia and Xi's China "is a fundamental threat to democracy, both here in the United States and around the world."

Warren also sees a rising tide of corrupt authoritarians "from Hungary to Turkey, from the Philippines to Brazil," where "wealthy elites work together to grow the state's power while the state works to grow the wealth of those who remain loyal to the leader."

The concern with the emerging authoritarian tide has become a central concern of progressive writers and thinkers. "Today, around the world," write progressive foreign policy activists Kate Kinzer and Stephen Miles, "growing authoritarianism and hate are fueled by oligarchies preying on economic, gender, and racial inequality."

Daniel Nexon, a progressive scholar of international relations, believes that "progressives must recognize that we are in a moment of fundamental crisis, featuring coordination among right-wing movements throughout the West and with the Russian government as a sponsor and supporter."

Likewise, The Nation 's Jeet Heer lays the blame for the rise of global authoritarianism at the feet of Vladimir Putin, who "seems to be pushing for an international alt-right, an informal alliance of right-wing parties held together by a shared xenophobia."

Blithely waving away concerns over sparking a new and more dangerous Cold War between the world's two nuclear superpowers, Heer advises that "the dovish left shouldn't let Cold War nightmares prevent them [from] speaking out about it." He concludes: "Leftists have to be ready to battle [Putinism] in all its forms, at home and abroad."

The Cold War echoes here are as unmistakable as they are worrying. As Princeton and NYU professor emeritus Stephen F. Cohen has written, during the first Cold War, a "totalitarian school" of Soviet studies grew up around the idea "that a totalitarian 'quest for absolute power' at home always led to the 'dynamism' in Soviet behavior abroad was a fundamental axiom of cold-war Soviet studies and of American foreign policy."

Likewise, we are seeing the emergence of an "authoritarian school" which posits that the internal political dynamics of regimes such as Putin's cause them, ineffably, to follow revanchist, expansionist foreign policies.

Cold warriors in both parties frequently mistook communism as a monolithic global movement. Neoprogressives are making this mistake today when they gloss over national context, history, and culture in favor of an all-encompassing theory that puts the "authoritarian" nature of the governments they are criticizing at the center of their diagnosis.

By citing the threat to Western democracies posed by a global authoritarian axis, the neoprogressives are repeating the same mistake made by liberal interventionists and neoconservatives. They buy into the democratic peace theory, which holds without much evidence that a world order populated by democracies is likely to be a peaceful one because democracies allegedly don't fight wars against one another.

Yet as Richard Sakwa, a British scholar of Russia and Eastern Europe, writes, "it is often assumed that Russia is critical of the West because of its authoritarian character, but it cannot be taken for granted that a change of regime would automatically make the country align with the West."

George McGovern once observed that U.S. foreign policy "has been based on an obsession with an international Communist conspiracy that existed more in our minds than in reality." So too the current obsession with the global authoritarians. Communism wasn't a global monolith and neither is this. By portraying it as such, neoprogressives are midwifing bad policy.

True, some of the economic trends voters in Europe and South America are reacting to are global, but a diagnosis that links together the rise of Putin and Xi, the elections of Trump in the U.S., Bolsonaro in Brazil, Orban in Hungary, and Kaczyński in Poland with the right-wing insurgency movements of the Le Pens in France and Farage in the UK makes little sense.

Some of these elected figures, like Trump and Farage, are symptoms of the failure of the neoliberal economic order. Others, like Orban and Kaczyński, are responses to anti-European Union sentiment and the migrant crises that resulted from the Western interventions in Libya and Syria. Many have more to do with conditions and histories specific to their own countries. Targeting them by painting them with the same broad brush is a mistake.

Echoes of Neoconservatism

The progressive foreign policy organization Win Without War includes among its 10 foreign policy goals "ending economic, racial and gender inequality around the world." The U.S., according to WWW, "must safeguard universal human rights to dignity, equality, migration and refuge."

Is it a noble sentiment? Sure. But it's every bit as unrealistic as the crusade envisioned by George W. Bush in his second inaugural address, in which he declared, "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."

We know full well where appeals to "universal values" have taken us in the past. Such appeals are not reliable guides for progressives if they seek to reverse the tide of unchecked American intervention abroad. But maybe we should consider whether it's a policy of realism and restraint that they actually seek. Some progressive thinkers are at least honest enough to admit as much that it is not. Nexon admits that "abandoning the infrastructure of American international influence because of its many minuses and abuses will hamstring progressives for decades to come." In other words, America's hegemonic ambitions aren't in and of themselves objectionable or self-defeating, as long as we achieve our kind of hegemony. Progressive values crusades bear more than a passing resemblance to the neoconservative crusades to remake the world in the American self-image.

"Of all the geopolitical transformations confronting the liberal democratic world these days," writes neoconservative-turned-Hillary Clinton surrogate Robert Kagan, "the one for which we are least prepared is the ideological and strategic resurgence of authoritarianism." Max Boot also finds cause for concern. Boot, a modern-day reincarnation (minus the pedigree and war record) of the hawkish Cold War-era columnist Joe Alsop, believes that "the rise of populist authoritarianism is perhaps the greatest threat we face as a world right now."

Neoprogressivism, like neoconservatism, risks catering to the U.S. establishment's worst impulses by playing on a belief in American exceptionalism to embark upon yet another global crusade. This raises some questions, including whether a neoprogressive approach to the crises in Ukraine, Syria, or Libya would be substantively different from the liberal interventionist approach of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton. Does a neoprogressive foreign policy organized around the concept of an "authoritarian axis" adequately address the concerns of voters in the American heartland who disproportionately suffer from the consequences of our wars and neoliberal economic policies? It was these voters, after all, who won the election for Trump.

Donald Trump's failure to keep his campaign promise to bring the forever wars to a close while fashioning a new foreign policy oriented around core U.S. national security interests provides Democrats with an opportunity. By repeatedly intervening in Syria, keeping troops in Afghanistan, kowtowing to the Israelis and Saudis, ratcheting up tensions with Venezuela, Iran, Russia, and China, Trump has ceded the anti-interventionist ground he occupied when he ran for office. He can no longer claim the mantle of restraint, a position that found support among six-in-ten Americans in 2016.

Yet with the exception of Tulsi Gabbard, for the most part the Democratic field is offering voters a foreign policy that amounts to "Trump minus belligerence." A truly progressive foreign policy must put questions of war and peace front and center. Addressing America's post 9/11 failures, military overextension, grotesquely bloated defense budget, and the ingrained militarism of our political-media establishment are the proper concerns of a progressive U.S. foreign policy.

But it is one that would place the welfare of our own citizens above all. As such, what is urgently required is the long-delayed realization of a peace dividend. The post-Cold War peace dividend that was envisioned in the early 1990s never materialized. Clinton's secretary of defense Les Aspin strangled the peace dividend in its crib by keeping the U.S. military on a footing that would allow it to fight and win two regional wars simultaneously. Unipolar fantasies of "full spectrum dominance" would come later in the decade.

One might have reasonably expected an effort by the Obama administration to realize a post-bin Laden peace dividend, but the forever wars dragged on and on. In a New Yorker profile from earlier this year, Sanders asked the right question: "Do we really need to spend more than the next ten nations combined on the military, when our infrastructure is collapsing and kids can't afford to go to college?"

The answer is obvious. And yet, how likely is it that progressives will be able realize their vision of a more just, more equal American society if we have to mobilize to face a global authoritarian axis led by Russia and China?

FDR's Good Neighbor Policy

The unipolar world of the first post-Cold War decade is well behind us now. As the world becomes more and more multipolar, powers like China, Russia, Iran, India, and the U.S. will find increasing occasion to clash. A peaceful multipolar world requires stability. And stability requires balance.

In the absence of stability, none of the goods progressives see as desirable can take root. This world order would put a premium on stability and security rather than any specific set of values. An ethical, progressive foreign policy is one which understands that great powers have security interests of their own. "Spheres of influence" are not 19th century anachronisms, but essential to regional security: in Europe, the Western Hemisphere and elsewhere.

It is a policy that would reject crusades to spread American values the world over. "The greatest thing America can do for the rest of the world," George Kennan once observed, "is to make a success of what it is doing here on this continent and to bring itself to a point where its own internal life is one of harmony, stability and self-assurance."

Progressive realism doesn't call for global crusades that seek to conquer the hearts and minds of others. It is not bound up in the hoary self-mythology of American Exceptionalism. It is boring. It puts a premium on the value of human life. It foreswears doing harm so that good may come. It is not a clarion call in the manner of John F. Kennedy who pledged to "to pay any price, bear any burden." It does not lend itself to the cheap moralizing of celebrity presidential speechwriters. In ordinary language, a summation of such a policy would go something like: "we will bear a reasonable price as long as identifiable U.S. security interests are at stake."

A policy that seeks to wind down the global war on terror, slash the defense budget, and shrink our global footprint won't inspire. It will, however, save lives. Such a policy has its roots in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first inaugural address. "In the field of World policy," said Roosevelt, "I would dedicate this nation to the policy of the good neighbor, the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others, the neighbor who respects his obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a World of neighbors."

What came to be known as the "Good Neighbor" policy was further explicated by FDR's Secretary of State Cordell Hull at the Montevideo Conference in 1933, when he stated that "No country has the right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another." Historian David C. Hendrickson sees this as an example of FDR's principles of "liberal pluralism," which included "respect for the integrity and importance of other states" and "non-intervention in the domestic affairs of neighboring states."

These ought to serve as the foundations on which to build a truly progressive foreign policy. They represent a return to the best traditions of the Democratic Party and would likely resonate with those very same blocs of voters that made up the New Deal coalition that the neoliberal iteration of the Democratic Party has largely shunned but will sorely need in order to unseat Trump. And yet, proponents of a neoprogressive foreign policy seem intent on running away from a popular policy of realism and restraint on which Trump has failed to deliver.

James W. Carden is contributing writer for foreign affairs at The Nation and a member of the Board of the Simone Weil Center for Political Philosophy.

[Dec 29, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard Quo Vadis: If the Dem Party is going to be kaput

Dec 29, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Tulsi Gabbard: Quo Vadis?


Alligator Ed on Wed, 12/25/2019 - 11:02pm After bravely contesting a nomination she knows she cannot win, Tulsi Gabbard has and continues to exhibit a tenacious adherence to achievement of purpose. What is that purpose? I believe it is evident if you only let your eyes see and your ears hear. Listen to what she says. Looks at what she does.

//www.youtube.com/embed/F1bVz4nNNnA?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

Humble surroundings. Real people. Good food.

What this does is obvious. However, please forgive me if I proceed to explain the meaning. People see what apparently is her home milieu. I've been to Filipino homes for dinner as many of my nurse friends were Filipino. Tulsi is so human. Despite Hindu belief, she is respectful to the presence and perhaps the essence of Jesus, and does not sound pandering or hypocritical.

Getting to know Tulsi at the beginning of her hoped-for (by me) political ascendancy. Get in on almost the ground floor of what will become an extremely powerful force in future American life.

Why? What's the hurry?

The more support and the earlier Tulsi receives it propel the campaign. That's what momentum means: a self-generating growing strength.

One doesn't have to be a Tulsi supporter to hopefully receive some ideas which may not have occurred to you. This essay does not concern any specific Gabbard policy. What I write here is what I perceive of her character and thus her selected path. Mind-reading, perhaps. Arm-chair speculation, possibly.

Tulsi has completed phase 2A in her career. The little that I know of her early life, especially politically (such as how she voted in HI state legislature) limits a deep understanding which such knowledge would provide. As the tree is bent, etc.

We are in Phase 2B. Tulsi, as I wrote in another essay, is letting the tainted shroud of Democrat corruption fall off her shoulders without any effort of her own. The Democrat party is eating itself alive. It is all things to all people at once. That is a philosophy incapable of satisfaction.

Omni Democraticorundum in tres partes est (pardon the reference to the opening of Caesar's Gallic Wars, with liberal substitution by me).

The Dems trifurcate and the division will be neither pleasant nor reconcilable. Tribalism will be reborn after Trump crushes whomever in 2020.

Tribe one: urban/techno/überkinden.

Tribe two: leftward bound to a place where no politician has ever ventured. Not socialism. Not Communism. We could call it Fantasy Land, although I fear Disney owns that name.

Tribe three: progressive realists. By using such positive wording, you will correctly suspect my bias as to which Tribe I belong to.

Once again, policy will not be discussed. Only strategy and reality. Can't have good strategy without a good grasp of reality. This is why Establidems are bereft of thematic variability. For the past 3.3 years, they have been singing from a hymn book containing but one song. You know the title. Orange Man Bad. Yeah, that's it. If they don't like that title, we establidems have another song for ya. It's called Orange Man Bad. Like that one, huh? Wazzat, ya didn't like the song the first time. Hey, we thought the song would grown on you.

Them Dems, noses up, can't see the sidewalk. Oops. Stepped in something there, huh? Oh, yeah like the Impeachment.

But I digress: The latter part of Phase 2B is not clear. Tulsi will continue to accept small donor contributions, even after not obtaining the nomination next year. Public appearances will be important but should be low key with little press attention. Press attention is something however that won't be available when most desirable. What else Tulsi will do may be to form a nucleus of like-minded activists, thinkers, and other supporters to promote an agenda for a more liberal, tolerant society.

If the Dem Party is going to be kaput . . .

@Alligator Ed

. . . ah, never mind.

Don't be surprised if even Warren will fail to gather the 15% of votes needed in each early primary state to get awarded any delegates.

It's gonna Biden vs Bernie.

Bernie or Dust. Or she who shall not be named in which case even worse (and I don't mean Tulsi).

edit/add: Well, lookee here, hot off the presses as it were:
https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/26/can-bernie-sanders-win-2020-ele...

Alligator Ed on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 2:05pm
from your citation: If Sanders' candidacy ....

@Wally @Wally

If Sanders' candidacy continues to be taken seriously, he will eventually be subjected to the scrutiny that Warren and Biden have faced for prolonged stretches. That includes an examination of his electability. "That conversation has never worked well for anyone," Pfeiffer said.

What a bunch of hypocritical horseshit. Bernie not getting scrutiny? In 2016, when not being derided for this, that or the other, Bernie was always scrutinized. There are only two things voters have learned since the DNC 2016 convention:

1. Bernie had a heart attack
2. Bernie supported H. Rodent Clinton in the general election.

Wally on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 3:08pm
The reference was to 2020

@Alligator Ed

. . . and to the much noted "Bernie blackout" up until now this time around.

It's gotten to the point given the polls and the first primary in being held in about a month where TPTB in conjunction with the MSM can no longer afford to turn a blind eye towards Bernie. It's gonna get really nasty.

The most recent tropes on the twitters, probably in response to Brock talking point memos, have been pushing Bernie as an anti-Semite and him purportedly triggering rape survivors. Of course it's horsehit but it's the propagandistic method of the Big Lie.

I'm genuinely curious. How will you react if Tulsi endorses the Dem nominee and it ain't Bernie? Bernie's endorsement of she-who-shall-not-be-named in 2016 seems to have pretty much completely soured him to you. Endorsing Biden better? Or at least acceptable? Not for me. Bernie doing so in 2016 I could understand and forgive. But this is my last go round absent a Bernie miracle.

#2.1.1 #2.1.1

If Sanders' candidacy continues to be taken seriously, he will eventually be subjected to the scrutiny that Warren and Biden have faced for prolonged stretches. That includes an examination of his electability. "That conversation has never worked well for anyone," Pfeiffer said.

What a bunch of hypocritical horseshit. Bernie not getting scrutiny? In 2016, when not being derided for this, that or the other, Bernie was always scrutinized. There are only two things voters have learned since the DNC 2016 convention:

1. Bernie had a heart attack
2. Bernie supported H. Rodent Clinton in the general election.

Alligator Ed on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 3:55pm
Tulsi's support if Bernie's not nominated

@Wally She might back Yang--who won't get nominated. But I hope she doesn't do anything more than a neutral statement, somewhat to the effect that "We must defeat Donald Trump", then not campaign otherwise.

#2.1.1.1

. . . and to the much noted "Bernie blackout" up until now this time around.

It's gotten to the point given the polls and the first primary in being held in about a month where TPTB in conjunction with the MSM can no longer afford to turn a blind eye towards Bernie. It's gonna get really nasty.

The most recent tropes on the twitters, probably in response to Brock talking point memos, have been pushing Bernie as an anti-Semite and him purportedly triggering rape survivors. Of course it's horsehit but it's the propagandistic method of the Big Lie.

I'm genuinely curious. How will you react if Tulsi endorses the Dem nominee and it ain't Bernie? Bernie's endorsement of she-who-shall-not-be-named in 2016 seems to have pretty much completely soured him to you. Endorsing Biden better? Or at least acceptable? Not for me. Bernie doing so in 2016 I could understand and forgive. But this is my last go round absent a Bernie miracle.

Wally on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 5:17pm
I don't think anyone other than Bernie or Yang would want Tulsi

@Alligator Ed

. . . to campaign in support of their candidacies.

Maybe Biden will accept her support. I've still never been able to figure why she never and probably still won't take any shots at his warmongering and otherwise cruddy record regarding domestic affairs.

#2.1.1.1.1 She might back Yang--who won't get nominated. But I hope she doesn't do anything more than a neutral statement, somewhat to the effect that "We must defeat Donald Trump", then not campaign otherwise.

by Alligator Ed on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 6:28pm
She was working her way up the food chain

@Wally That's what intelligent predators do.

#2.1.1.1.1.1

. . . to campaign in support of their candidacies.

Maybe Biden will accept her support. I've still never been able to figure why she never and probably still won't take any shots at his warmongering and otherwise cruddy record regarding domestic affairs.

wokkamile on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 5:29pm
Well, she wouldn't

@Alligator Ed @Alligator Ed be unfamiliar with the neutral position. Though I wonder if she would feel comfortable dipping into that well again given how much grief she got the last time.

Of course, if she again puts it in Neutral, and doesn't support the D nominee (anyone but Bloomberg), she will be finished as a Dem pol. She might as well go off and start a Neutral Party.

#2.1.1.1.1 She might back Yang--who won't get nominated. But I hope she doesn't do anything more than a neutral statement, somewhat to the effect that "We must defeat Donald Trump", then not campaign otherwise.

by Alligator Ed on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 6:30pm
She IS finished as a Dem

@wokkamile Her dismissal papers will be submitted to her after she is barred entry into the DNC convention, regardless of how many delegates she may have won.

#2.1.1.1.1.1 #2.1.1.1.1.1 be unfamiliar with the neutral position. Though I wonder if she would feel comfortable dipping into that well again given how much grief she got the last time.

Of course, if she again puts it in Neutral, and doesn't support the D nominee (anyone but Bloomberg), she will be finished as a Dem pol. She might as well go off and start a Neutral Party.

Wally on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 8:38pm
Will Tulsi win any delegates?

@Alligator Ed

Don't forget that 15% state threshold for eligibility to be awarded delegates.

#2.1.1.1.1.1.2 Her dismissal papers will be submitted to her after she is barred entry into the DNC convention, regardless of how many delegates she may have won.

Alligator Ed on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 9:40pm
My crystal ball has developed cataracts

@Wally Thus my powers of predicting the future have dimmed accordingly. But two things haven't dimmed:

1. It is readily apparent that the DNC won't let Bernie win. They'll rob him of votes in CA (100% probability) and NY (95% probability), etc.

2. The Demonrats will get destroyed in 2020 up and down ballot except in the fiefdoms of Californicate and Ny-no-nah-nah.

What, pray good Sir, do you predict or is that an impossibility at this time?

#2.1.1.1.1.1.2.1

Don't forget that 15% state threshold for eligibility to be awarded delegates.

Wally on Fri, 12/27/2019 - 6:54am
I certainly won't be surprised if Bernie gets cheated or worse

@Alligator Ed

I will be surprised if Tulsi gets so much as one delegate.

More than a few knowledgeable people think he has a very good shot of winning California. I am less optimistic about NYS but I think he will do well enough to get a good number of delegates especially if he does well in the earlier primaries (NYS comes April 28).

I don't feel solidly about making any kind of predictions at this point but given the nature of the Democratic Party, I don't see it as falling into oblivion anytime soon or in our lifetimes.

As far as Bernie goes, I am not optimistic but I still have some hope. I still fervantly believe that his candidacy is the best chance we will have in our lifetimes of bringing about any substantial change -- and if he and his critical mass of supporters can't pull it off this time around, we're all phluckled big time, even alligators, in terms of combating climate change and putting a kabosh on endless wars. I wish you good future luck with Tulsi though. I just don't see it. But I've been wrong on more than one occasion in my life.

[Dec 29, 2019] The CIA Democrats by Patrick Martin

Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has designated Slotkin as one of its top candidates, part of the so-called "Red to Blue" program targeting the most vulnerable Republican-held seats -- in this case, the Eighth Congressional District of Michigan, which includes Lansing and Brighton. The House seat for the district is now held by two-term Republican Representative Mike Bishop. ..."
"... The 23rd Congressional District in Texas, which includes a vast swathe of the US-Mexico border along the Rio Grande, features a contest for the Democratic nomination between Gina Ortiz Jones, an Air Force intelligence officer in Iraq, who subsequently served as an adviser for US interventions in South Sudan and Libya, and Jay Hulings. The latter's website describes him as a former national security aide on Capitol Hill and federal prosecutor, whose father and mother were both career undercover CIA agents. The incumbent Republican congressman, Will Hurd, is himself a former CIA agent, so any voter in that district will have his or her choice of intelligence agency loyalists in both the Democratic primary and the general election. ..."
Apr 30, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Part one

An extraordinary number of former intelligence and military operatives from the CIA, Pentagon, National Security Council and State Department are seeking nomination as Democratic candidates for Congress in the 2018 midterm elections. The potential influx of military-intelligence personnel into the legislature has no precedent in US political history.

If the Democrats capture a majority in the House of Representatives on November 6, as widely predicted, candidates drawn from the military-intelligence apparatus will comprise as many as half of the new Democratic members of Congress. They will hold the balance of power in the lower chamber of Congress.

Both push and pull are at work here. Democratic Party leaders are actively recruiting candidates with a military or intelligence background for competitive seats where there is the best chance of ousting an incumbent Republican or filling a vacancy, frequently clearing the field for a favored "star" recruit. A case in point is Elissa Slotkin, a former CIA operative with three tours in Iraq, who worked as Iraq director for the National Security Council in the Obama White House and as a top aide to John Negroponte, the first director of national intelligence. After her deep involvement in US war crimes in Iraq, Slotkin moved to the Pentagon, where, as a principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, her areas of responsibility included drone warfare, "homeland defense" and cyber warfare. Elissa Slotkin

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has designated Slotkin as one of its top candidates, part of the so-called "Red to Blue" program targeting the most vulnerable Republican-held seats -- in this case, the Eighth Congressional District of Michigan, which includes Lansing and Brighton. The House seat for the district is now held by two-term Republican Representative Mike Bishop.

The Democratic leaders are promoting CIA agents and Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. At the same time, such people are choosing the Democratic Party as their preferred political vehicle. There are far more former spies and soldiers seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party than of the Republican Party. There are so many that there is a subset of Democratic primary campaigns that, with a nod to Mad magazine, one might call "spy vs. spy."

The 23rd Congressional District in Texas, which includes a vast swathe of the US-Mexico border along the Rio Grande, features a contest for the Democratic nomination between Gina Ortiz Jones, an Air Force intelligence officer in Iraq, who subsequently served as an adviser for US interventions in South Sudan and Libya, and Jay Hulings. The latter's website describes him as a former national security aide on Capitol Hill and federal prosecutor, whose father and mother were both career undercover CIA agents. The incumbent Republican congressman, Will Hurd, is himself a former CIA agent, so any voter in that district will have his or her choice of intelligence agency loyalists in both the Democratic primary and the general election.

CNN's "State of the Union" program on March 4 included a profile of Jones as one of many female candidates seeking nomination as a Democrat in Tuesday's primary in Texas. The network described her discreetly as a "career civil servant." However, the Jones for Congress website positively shouts about her role as a spy, noting that after graduating from college, "Gina entered the US Air Force as an intelligence officer, where she deployed to Iraq and served under the US military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy" (the last phrase signaling to those interested in such matters that Jones is gay).

According to her campaign biography, Ortiz Jones was subsequently detailed to a position as "senior advisor for trade enforcement," a post President Obama created by executive order in 2012. She would later be invited to serve as a director for investment at the Office of the US Trade Representative, where she led the portfolio that reviewed foreign investments to ensure they did not pose national security risks. With that background, if she fails to win election, she can surely enlist in the trade war efforts of the Trump administration.

[Dec 29, 2019] People you are voting for actually serve as representatives of MIC, not you: House Dems Unanimously Vote to Condemn Withdrawal From Syria

Dec 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

yaridanjo , 21 minutes ago link

Congress' constitutional duty is putting Israel first!

Reality_checkers , 18 minutes ago link

MIGA!

yaridanjo , 11 minutes ago link

You can find here who the warmongers in congress are:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/116-2019/h560

the warmongers voted 'yea' to get their bribes from the Rothschild Banking Cartel!

[Dec 28, 2019] 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.
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 represent 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.

[Dec 26, 2019] I don't think Warren is a stalking horse for neoliberalism or whatever, but her inability to fight back against bad press (combined with her occasional baffling decisions to give herself bad press) is a big mark against her candidacy.

Dec 26, 2019 | twitter.com

Robespierre Garçon ‏ 5:43 PM - 25 Dec 2019

I don't think Warren is a stalking horse for neoliberalism or whatever, but her inability to fight back against bad press (combined with her occasional baffling decisions to give herself bad press) is a big mark against her candidacy. There will be bad press for either of them.

[Dec 25, 2019] Trump Impeachment as Dems dirty election campaign move

Trump can be impeached as a war criminal just for his false flag Douma attack (along with members of his administration). But Neoliberal Dems and frst of all Pelosi are war criminals too, with Pelosi aiding and abetting war criminal Bush.
So this is a variation of the theme of Lavrentiy Beria most famous quote: "Show me a man and I will find you a crime"
I think tose neolib Dems who supported impeachment disqualified themselves from the running. That includes Warren, who proved to be a very weak, easily swayed politician. It is quote probably that they increased (may be considerably) chances of Trump reelection, but pushing independents who were ready to abandon him, back into Trump camp. Now Trump is able to present himself as a victim of neoliberal Dems/neocons witch hunt.
Notable quotes:
"... Faithless Execution ..."
Dec 25, 2019 | www.nationalreview.com

The only real check left is impeachment. It is rarely invoked and (until very recently) has atrophied as a credible threat. But that doesn't make it any less indispensable.

The problem was exacerbated by the Clinton impeachment fiasco, which history has proved foolhardy. (I supported it at the time, but I was a government lawyer then, not a public commentator.) Republicans were sufficiently spooked by the experience that they seemed to regard impeachment as obsolete. Faithless Execution countered that this was the wrong lesson to take from the affair. Clinton's impeachment was a mistake because (a) his conduct, though disgraceful and indicative of unfitness, did not implicate the core responsibilities of the presidency; and more significantly, (b) the public, though appalled by the behavior, strongly opposed Clinton's removal. The right lesson was that impeachment must be reserved for grave misconduct that involves the president's essential Article II duties; and that because impeachment is so deeply divisive, it should never be launched in the absence of a public consensus that transcends partisan lines.

This is why, unlike many opponents of President Trump's impeachment, I have never questioned the legitimacy of the Democratic-controlled House's investigations of misconduct allegations against the president. I believe the House must act as a body (investigations should not be partisan attacks under the guise of House inquiries), and it must respect the lawful and essential privileges of the executive branch; but within those parameters, Congress has the authority and responsibility to expose executive misconduct.

Moreover, while egregious misconduct will usually be easy to spot and grasp, that will not always be the case. When members of Congress claim to see it, they should have a fair opportunity to expose and explain it. To my mind, President Obama was the kind of chief executive that the Framers feared, but this was not obvious because he was not committing felonies. Instead, he was consciously undermining our constitutional order. He usurped the right to dictate law rather than execute it. His extravagant theory of executive discretion to "waive" the enforcement of laws he opposed flouted his basic constitutional duty to execute the laws faithfully. He and his underlings willfully and serially deceived Congress and the public on such major matters as Obamacare and the Benghazi massacre. They misled Congress on, and obstructed its investigation of, the outrageous Fast and Furious "gun-walking" operation, in connection with which a border patrol agent was murdered. With his Iran deal, the president flouted the Constitution's treaty process and colluded with a hostile foreign power to withhold information from Congress, in an arrangement that empowered (and paid cash ransom to) the world's leading sponsor of anti-American terrorism.

My critics fairly noted that I opposed Obama politically, and therefore contended that I was masquerading as a constitutional objection what was really a series of policy disputes. I don't think that is right, though, for two reasons.

First, my impeachment argument was not that Obama was pursuing policies I deeply opposed. I was very clear that elections have consequences, and the president had every right to press his agenda. My objection was that he was imposing his agenda lawlessly, breaking the limitations within which the Framers cabined executive power, precisely to prevent presidents from becoming tyrants. If allowed to stand, Obama precedents would permanently alter our governing framework. Impeachment is there to protect our governing framework.

Second, I argued that, my objections notwithstanding, Obama should not be impeached in the absence of a public consensus for his removal. Yes, Republicans should try to build that case, try to edify the public about why the president's actions threatened the Constitution and its separation of powers. But they should not seek to file articles of impeachment simply because they could -- i.e., because control of the House theoretically gave them the numbers to do it. The House is not obliged to file impeachment articles just because there may be impeachable conduct. Because impeachment is so divisive, the Framers feared that it could be triggered on partisan rather than serious grounds. The two-thirds supermajority requirement for Senate conviction guards against that: The House should not impeach unless there is a reasonable possibility that the Senate would remove -- which, in Obama's case, there was not.

I also tried to focus on incentives. If impeachment were a credible threat, and Congress began investigating and publicly exposing abuses, a sensible president would desist in the misconduct, making it unnecessary to proceed with impeachment. On the other hand, a failed impeachment effort would likely embolden a rogue president to continue abusing power. If your real concern is executive lawlessness, then impeaching heedlessly and against public opinion would be counterproductive.

I've taken the same tack with President Trump.

The objections to Trump are very different from those to Obama. He is breaking not laws but norms of presidential behavior and decorum. For the most part, I object to this. There are lots of things about our government that need disruption, but even disruptive presidents should be mindful that they hold the office of Washington and Lincoln and aspire to their dignity, even if their greatness is out of reach.

That said, impeachment is about serious abuse of the presidency's core powers, not behavior that is intemperate or gauche. Critics must be mindful that the People, not the pundits, are sovereign, and they elected Donald Trump well aware of his flaws. That he turns out to be as president exactly what he appeared to be as a candidate is not a rationale for impeaching him.

The president's misconduct on Ukraine is small potatoes. Democrats were right to expose it, and we would be dealing with a more serious situation if the defense aid appropriated by Congress had actually been denied, rather than inconsequentially delayed. If Democrats had wanted to make a point about discouraging foreign interference in American politics (notwithstanding their long record of encouraging it), that would have been fine. They could have called for the president's censure, which would have put Republicans on the defensive. Ukraine could have been incorporated as part of their 2020 campaign that Trump should be defeated, despite a surging economy and relative peace.

Conducting an impeachment inquiry is one thing, but for the House to take the drastic step of impeaching the president is abusive on this record. Yes, it was foolish of Trump to mention the Bidens to President Zelensky and to seek Ukraine's help in investigating the Bidens. There may well be corruption worth probing, but the president ought to leave that to researchers in his campaign. If there is something that a government should be looking into, leave that to the Justice Department, which can (and routinely does) seek foreign assistance when necessary. The president, however, should have stayed out of it. Still, it is absurd to posit, as Democrats do, that, by not staying out of it, the president threatened election integrity and U.S. national security. Such outlandish arguments may make Ukraine more of a black eye for Democrats than for the president.

But whoever ultimately bears the brunt of the impeachment push, I have to ask myself a hard question: Is this the world I was asking for when I wrote a book contending that, for our system to work as designed, impeachment has to be a credible threat? I don't think so . . . but I do worry about it.

Back to the Clinton impeachment. I tried to make the point that that impeachment effort -- against public opinion, and based on misconduct that, while dreadful, was not central to the presidency -- has contributed significantly to the poisonous politics we have today. Democrats have been looking for payback ever since, and now they have it -- in a way that is very likely to make impeachment more routine in the future.

I don't see how our constitutional system can work without a viable impeachment remedy. But I may have been wrong to believe that we could be trusted to invoke the remedy responsibly. I used to poke fun at pols who would rather hide under their desks than utter the dreaded I-word. Turns out they knew something I didn't.

[Dec 24, 2019] The fact that Obama is willing to put in a good word for Warren on behalf of the wealthy elite should give you a clue as to which side Warren is really on.

"Change we can believe in" the second series ? That's a real warning sign ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... A few weeks ago I read in this spot that while Clinton people hate Sanders and like Warren, Obama was pushing Buttigieg because Warren was such a pain in his ass. Seems he's finally given his signal. Hopefully it's the kiss of death for both Warren and Buttigieg. ..."
"... as the neoliberal corporate Democrats which she is aligning herself with are a sinking ship .. ..."
Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Hepativore , December 23, 2019 at 2:37 pm

So, the fact that Obama is willing to put in a good word for Warren on behalf of the wealthy elite should give you a clue as to which side Warren is really on. While many non-political "normies" look upon the Obama years with rose-tinted glasses, I wonder if the disillusionment that many people had in retrospect with Obama has sunk in to mainstream political consciousness yet. If that is the case, an Obama endorsement might actually backfire among progressives, seeing as how it has become evident that Obama was basically a silver-tongued neoliberal in the same mold as Clinton and Pelosi.

I know that Warren is a political careerist at heart, but I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt when she first launched her 2020 presidential campaign. However, it has become increasingly clear that she has hitched her wagon to the wrong horse as the neoliberal corporate Democrats which she is aligning herself with are a sinking ship. I honestly do not think that she would even be fit to be Sander's vice presidential pick at this point considering how wide the political gulf between Warren and Sanders actually is. A better choice would be Nina Turner as Sander's running mate, with Tulsi Gabbard as his Secretary of State if he gets that far.

shinola , December 23, 2019 at 2:54 pm

" an Obama endorsement might actually backfire among progressives "

It hit me pretty much the same way – that's a strike against her.

Pelham , December 23, 2019 at 4:25 pm

My guess is that this is why he's working behind the scenes, minimizing the chances of a backfire on the left. Of course, how behind-the-scenes is it if it's reported by Politico? Still.

I'm actually undecided on Warren. There was that story last week about her supposedly pushing Hillary in 2016 to name decent people to her cabinet if elected. But then you have to ask why that particular story surfaced at the particular time when Warren was sinking in the polls.

If true, though, and if what the new Politico story says about her clashes with Obama are true, maybe Warren isn't quite as objectionable as we tend to think. Then again, she came right out last week (I believe) and said Medicare for All would be a matter of choice under her plan, emphasizing that "choice" factor.

So I'm confused. But maybe that's what she, her campaign and various surrogates want at this stage.

kimyo , December 23, 2019 at 5:16 pm

I'm actually undecided on Warren.

maybe this will help you decide?
Our military can help lead the fight in combating climate change

It starts with an ambitious goal: consistent with the objectives of the Green New Deal, the Pentagon should achieve net zero carbon emissions for all its non-combat bases and infrastructure by 2030.

having the pentagon 'lead the fight' against climate change is akin to appointing prince andrew as head of the global task force against pedophilia and child trafficking.

anon in so cal , December 23, 2019 at 6:06 pm

Yes, that plus Warren's comments during the Council on Foreign Relations interview, which were frightening (to me, at least).

Jeff W , December 23, 2019 at 7:32 pm

"maybe this will help you decide?"

Or one or both of these two What's Left podcasts:

"The Left Case Against Elizabeth Warren" here

"Warren's Medicare For All 'Plan'" here

Big River Bandido , December 23, 2019 at 3:29 pm

A few weeks ago I read in this spot that while Clinton people hate Sanders and like Warren, Obama was pushing Buttigieg because Warren was such a pain in his ass. Seems he's finally given his signal. Hopefully it's the kiss of death for both Warren and Buttigieg.

Big River Bandido , December 23, 2019 at 3:29 pm

A few weeks ago I read in this spot that while Clinton people hate Sanders and like Warren, Obama was pushing Buttigieg because Warren was such a pain in his ass. Seems he's finally given his signal. Hopefully it's the kiss of death for both Warren and Buttigieg.

Reply

Darius , December 23, 2019 at 5:14 pm

Buttigieg takes no votes from Sanders. While Warren does on the margins. I think Obama's calculation is simple as that. She also has special appeal to the virtue signaling liberals that are Obama's base.

notabanker , December 23, 2019 at 7:53 pm

as the neoliberal corporate Democrats which she is aligning herself with are a sinking ship ..

Bingo. Trump's letter goes right to the heart of it. These clowns are completely exposed and Obama hawking Warren to donors while the blob talks up a gay McKinsey/CIA Indiana Mayor shows just how far they have fallen.

[Dec 24, 2019] The Fake Impeachment Pelosi's Botched Ploy Helps Trump Towards Victory by Joaquin Flores

It would be impossible for Trump to re-energize his base in any other way. Pelosi acts as covert agent for Trump re-election? Peloci calculation that she can repar "Mueller effect" of 2018 with this impeachment proved to be gross miscalculation.
Warren who stupidly and enthusiastically jumped into this bandwagon will be hurt. She is such a weak politician that now it looks like she does not belong to the club. Still in comparison with Trump she might well be an improvement as she has Trump-like economic program, which Trump betrayed and neutered. And her foreign policy can't be worse then Trump foreign policy. It is just impossible.
I am convinced that the Dems are not actually interested or focused on defeating Trump, or they would adopt an effective strategy. The question I keep wrestling with is, what is the point to the strategy that is so ineffective?
Notable quotes:
"... The fact that the impeachment is dead in the water, by Pelosi's own admission , is evident in Trump's being adamant that indeed it must be sent to the Senate – where he knows he'll be exonerated. But even if it doesn't go to the Senate, what we're left with still appears as a loss for Democrats. Both places are his briar patch. This makes all of this a win-win for team Trump. ..."
"... fake impeachment procedure ..."
"... For in a constitutional republic like the United States, what makes an impeachment possible is when the representatives and the voters are in communion over the matter. This would normally be reflected in a mid-term election, like say for example the mid-term Senatorial race in 2018 where Democrats failed to take control. Control of the Senate would reflect a change of sentiment in the republic, which in turn and not coincidentally, would be what makes for a successful impeachment. ..."
"... Nancy Pelosi is evidently extraordinarily cynical. Her politics appears to be 'they deserve whatever they believe'. ..."
"... little else can explain the reasoning behind her claim that she will 'send the impeachment to the Senate' as soon as she 'has assurances and knows how the Senate will conduct the impeachment', except that it came from the same person who told the public regarding Obamacare that we have to 'We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.". ..."
"... "We have been attacked. We are at war. Imagine this movie script: A former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge – taking advantage of the chaos, he works his way up through the ranks of a post-soviet Russia and becomes president. ..."
"... He establishes an authoritarian regime, then he sets his sights on his sworn enemy – the United States. And like the KGB spy that he is, he secretly uses cyber warfare to attack democracies around the world. Using social media to spread propaganda and false information, he convinces people in democratic societies to distrust their media, their political processes, even their neighbors. And he wins." ..."
"... We'll say we impeached him, because we did, and we'll say he was impeached. We'll declare victory, and go home. This will make him unelectable because of the stigma of impeachment. ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org
And so it came to pass, that in the deep state's frenzy of electoral desperation, the 'impeachment' card was played. The hammer has fallen. Nearly the entirety of the legacy media news cycle has been dedicated to the details, and not really pertinent details, but the sorts of details which presume the validity of the charges against Trump in the first place. Yes, they all beg the question. What's forgotten here is that the use of this process along clearly partisan lines, and more – towards clearly partisan aims – is a very serious symptom of the larger undoing of any semblance of stability in the US government.

The fact that the impeachment is dead in the water, by Pelosi's own admission , is evident in Trump's being adamant that indeed it must be sent to the Senate – where he knows he'll be exonerated. But even if it doesn't go to the Senate, what we're left with still appears as a loss for Democrats. Both places are his briar patch. This makes all of this a win-win for team Trump.

Only in a country that produces so much fake news at the official level, could there be a fake impeachment procedure made purely for media consumption, with no real or tangible possible victory in sight.

For in a constitutional republic like the United States, what makes an impeachment possible is when the representatives and the voters are in communion over the matter. This would normally be reflected in a mid-term election, like say for example the mid-term Senatorial race in 2018 where Democrats failed to take control. Control of the Senate would reflect a change of sentiment in the republic, which in turn and not coincidentally, would be what makes for a successful impeachment.

Don't forget, this impeachment is fake

Nancy Pelosi is evidently extraordinarily cynical. Her politics appears to be 'they deserve whatever they believe'. And her aim appears to be the one who makes them believe things so that they deserve what she gives them. For little else can explain the reasoning behind her claim that she will 'send the impeachment to the Senate' as soon as she 'has assurances and knows how the Senate will conduct the impeachment', except that it came from the same person who told the public regarding Obamacare that we have to 'We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.".

In both cases, reality is turned on its head – for rather we will know how the Senate intends to conduct its procedure as soon as it has the details, which substantively includes the impeachment documents themselves, in front of them, and likewise, legislators ought to know what's in a major piece of legislation before they vote either way on it. Pelosi's assault on reason, however, isn't without an ever growing tide of resentment from within the progressive base of the party itself.

We have quickly entered into a new era which increasingly resembles the broken political processes which have struck many a country, but none in living memory a country like the US. Now elected officials push judges to prosecute their political opponents, constitutional crises are manufactured to pursue personal or political vendettas, death threats and rumors of coups coming from media and celebrities being fed talking points by big and important players from powerful institutions.

This 'impeachment' show really takes the cake, does it not? We will recall shortly after Trump was elected, narrator for hire Morgan Freeman made a shocking public service announcement. It was for all intents and purposes, a PSA notifying the public that a military coup to remove Trump would be legitimate and in order. Speaking about this PSA, and recounting what was said, would in any event read as an exaggeration, or some allegorical paraphrasing made to prove a point. Jogging our memories then, Freeman spoke to tens of millions of viewers on television and YouTube saying :

"We have been attacked. We are at war. Imagine this movie script: A former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge – taking advantage of the chaos, he works his way up through the ranks of a post-soviet Russia and becomes president.

He establishes an authoritarian regime, then he sets his sights on his sworn enemy – the United States. And like the KGB spy that he is, he secretly uses cyber warfare to attack democracies around the world. Using social media to spread propaganda and false information, he convinces people in democratic societies to distrust their media, their political processes, even their neighbors. And he wins."

This really set the tone for the coming years, which have culminated in this manufactured 'impeachment' crisis, really befitting a banana republic.

It would be the height of dishonesty to approach this abuse of the impeachment procedure as if until this moment, the US's own political culture and processes were in good shape. Now isn't the time for the laundry list of eroded constitutional provisions, which go in a thousand and one unique directions. The US political system is surely broken, but as is the case with such large institutions several hundreds of years old, its meltdown appears to happen in slow motion to us mere mortals. And so what we are seeing today is the next phase of this break-down, and really ought to be understood as monumental in this sense. Once again revealed is the poor judgment of the Democratic Party and their agents, tools, warlords, and strategists, the same gang who sunk Hillary Clinton's campaign on the rocks of hubris.

Nancy Pelosi also has poor judgment, and these short-sighted and self-interested moves on her part stand a strong chance of backfiring. Her role in this charade is duly noted. This isn't said because of any disagreement over her aims, but rather that in purely objective terms it just so happens that her aims and her actions are out of synch – that is unless she wants to see Trump re-elected. Her aims are her aims, our intention is to connect these to their probable results, without moral judgments.

The real problem for the Democrats, the DNC, and any hopes for the White House in 2020, is that this all has the odor of a massive backfire, and something that Trump has been counting on happening. When one's opponent knows what is probable, and when they have a track record for preparing very well for such, it is only a question of what Trump's strategy is and how this falls into it, not whether there is one.

Imagine being a fly on the wall of the meeting with Pelosi where it was decided to go forward with impeachment in the House of Representatives, despite not having either sufficient traction in the Senate or any way to control the process that the Senate uses.

It probably went like this: ' We'll say we impeached him, because we did, and we'll say he was impeached. We'll declare victory, and go home. This will make him unelectable because of the stigma of impeachment. '

Informed citizens are aware that whatever their views towards Trump, nothing he has done reaches beyond the established precedent set by past presidents. Confused citizens on the other hand, are believing the manufactured talking points thrown their way, and the idea that a US president loosely reference a quid pro quo in trying to sort a corruption scandal in dealings with the president of a foreign country, is some crazy, new, never-before-done and highly-illegal thing. It is none of those things though.

Unfortunately, not needless to say, the entirety of the direct, physical evidence against Trump solely consists of the now infamous transcript of the phone call which he had with Ukrainian president Zelensky. The rest is hearsay, a conspiracy narrative, and entirely circumstantial. As this author has noted in numerous pieces, Biden's entire candidacy rests precisely upon his need to be a candidate so that any normal investigation into the wrongdoings of himself or his son in Ukraine, suddenly become the targeted persecution of a political opponent of Trump.

Other than this, it is evident that Biden stands little chance – the same polling institutions which give him a double-digit lead were those which foretold a Clinton electoral victory. Neither their methods nor those paying and publishing them, have substantively changed. Biden's candidacy, like the impeachment, is essentially fake. The real contenders for the party's base are Sanders and Gabbard.

The Democratic Party Activist Base Despises Pelosi as much as Clinton

The Democratic Party has two bases, one controlled by the DNC and the Clintons, and one which consists of its energized rank-and-file activists who are clearer in their populism, anti-establishment and ant-corporate agenda. Candidates like Gabbard and Sanders are closest to them politically, though far from perfect fits. Their renegade status is confirmed by the difficulties they have with visibility – they are the new silent majority of the party. The DNC base, on the other hand, relies on Rachel Maddow, Wolf Blitzer, and the likes for their default talking points, where they have free and pervasive access to legacy media. In the context of increased censorship online, this is not insignificant.

Among the important reasons this 'impeachment' strategy will lose is that it will not energize the second and larger base. Even though this more progressive and populist base is also more motivated, they have faced – as has the so-called alt-light – an extraordinarily high degree of censorship on social media. Despite all the censorship, the Democrats' silent majority are rather well-informed people, highly motivated, and tend to be vocal in their communities and places of work. Their ideas move organically and virally among the populace.

This silent majority has a very good memory, and they know very well who Nancy Pelosi is, and who she isn't.

The silent majority remembers that after years of the public backlash against Bush's war crimes, crimes against humanity, destruction of remaining civil liberties with the Patriot Act, torture, warrantless search – and the list goes on and on – Democrats managed to retake the lower house in 2006. If there was a legitimate reason for an impeachment, it would have been championed by Pelosi against Bush for going to war using false, falsified, manufactured evidence about WMD in Iraq. At the time, Pelosi squashed the hopes of her own electorate, reasoning that such moves would be divisive, that they would distract from the Democrats' momentum to take the White House in '08, that Bush had recently (?) won his last election, and so on. Of course these were real crimes, and the reasons not to prosecute may have as much to do with Pelosi's own role in the war industry. Pelosi couldn't really push against Bush over torture, etc. because she had been on an elite congressional committee – the House Intelligence Committee – during the Bush years in office which starting in 2003 was dedicated to making sure that torture could and would become normalized and entirely legal.

It seems Pelosi can't even go anywhere with this impeachment on Trump today, and therefore doesn't even really plan to submit it to the Senate for the next stage . The political stunt was pulled, a fireworks show consisting of one lonely rocket that sort of fizzled off out of sight.

Trump emerges unscathed, and more to the point, we are closer to the election and his base is even more energized. Pelosi spent the better part of three years inoculating the public against any significance being attached to any impeachment procedure. Pelosi cried wolf so many times, and Trump has made good on the opportunities handed to him to get his talking points in order and to condition his base to receive and process the scandals in such and such way. This wouldn't have been possible without Pelosi's help. Thanks in part to Pelosi and the DNC, Trump appears primed for re-election.

Trump energizes his base, and the DNC suppresses and disappoints theirs. That's where the election will be won or lost.

[Dec 22, 2019] Warren, AOL, Pelosi and the Kabuki theater of Trump impeachment

Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Joe Well , December 21, 2019 at 11:03 am

Where is AOC in all this? She was the prime mover on impeachment, specifically impeachment over a phone call rather than concentration camps and genocide.

And now with impeachment she gave Pelosi cover to sell the country out again.

I was wondering why many libreral centrists were expreasing admiration for her, a socialist. Maybe they recognized something?

Yves Smith Post author , December 21, 2019 at 4:02 pm

"Prime mover"? What planet are you from? They were Schiff, Nadler, and Pelosi. Did you miss that Russiagate was in motion while AOC was still tending bar? AOC isn't even on any of the key committees (Judiciary and Intel).

Joe Well , December 21, 2019 at 4:47 pm

I shouldn't have said THE prime mover, but ONE OF the prime movers in the House in actually pushing it over the line against Pelosi's opposition. It seems like the House Dem consensus ever since Russiagate was just to tease their base with it and milk the suspense for all it was worth, until AOC, among others, rallied the base.

AOC is one of the highest-profile members of Congress and she blasted Pelosi for resisting impeachment since May. In September, she tweeted, " At this point, the bigger national scandal isn't the president's lawbreaking behavior – it is the Democratic Party's refusal to impeach him for it​. " "Lawbreaking behavior" is nice and vague, but in this case it seems like she is talking about the Ukraine phone call.

There were other reps who pushed for impeachment, but AOC has one of the biggest platforms and crucially, expanded popular support for impeachment outside the MSNBC crowd. So yes, a key figure in the political/PR effort to move from conspiracy theories to actual impeachment.

Geo , December 21, 2019 at 6:09 pm

"AOC is one of the highest-profile members of Congress and she blasted Pelosi for resisting impeachment since May."

Liz Warren is the one who made it a part of her campaign before anyone else. Rashida Tlaib was the one who made t-shirt with her "impeach the mf'er" quote on it. A lot of them were "blasting" Pelosi for dithering. AOC also "blasted" her for giving ICE more money and a lot of their things .

Your central focus on AOC for the impeachment fiasco while ignoring her active role in spotlighting so many other issues of importance which no one else speaks about is interesting. Did you catch any of her speaking at the Sanders rally in LA today? Any other "high profile" Dems pushing such important issues and campaigns?

Carey , December 21, 2019 at 7:13 pm

Thanks for this comment. I don't trust *any of them* except Sanders, but AOC has been making more good noises than bad, and to claim that it was she who's been driving Pelosi to impeachment is quite a stretch. Poor, helpless/hapless Rep. Pelosi sure.

Yves Smith Post author , December 21, 2019 at 9:15 pm

Pelosi has repeatedly stared down the progressives in the House. The overwhelming majority of the freshmen reps are what used to be called Blue Dogs, as in corporate Dems. AOC making noise on this issue would not move Pelosi any more than it has on other issues.

IMHO Pelosi didn't try to tamp down Russiagate, and that created expectations that Something Big would happen. Plus she lives in the California/blue cities bubble.

What Dem donors think matters to her way more than what AOC tweets about. If anything, Pelosi (secondarily, I sincerely doubt this would be a big issue in her calculus) would view impeachment as a way to reduce the attention recently given to progressive issues like single payer and student debt forgiveness.

[Dec 22, 2019] Right now, it's Schrodinger's impeachment

Notable quotes:
"... My paranoid fear is that Pelosi or McConnell might try to time the proceedings so as to take Bernie and Warren off the campaign trail at a crucial moment, helping Biden. ..."
"... Amfortas the hippie , December 21, 2019 at 5:40 pm ..."
"... that, and sucking the air out of the room for the primaries. When's super tuesday, again? surely they can engineer it so that their "high drama" coincides. ..."
"... "let's talk about universal material benefits" " ok, Vlad trying to distract us from whats really important " ..."
"... Hepativore , December 21, 2019 at 6:49 pm ..."
"... Happy winter Solstice, everyone! ..."
"... Anyway, the funny thing is, that Biden himself has said that he only wants to be a one-term president. It makes me wonder if he knows that he has neither the energy or presence of mind to hold the office, and that he is merely doing so because of establishment pressure to stop Sanders at all costs. ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves Smith Post author , December 21, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Please bone up on US procedure. It's not good to have you confuse readers.

The Senate can't do anything until the House passes a motion referring the impeachment to the Senate. The House ALSO needs to designate managers as part of that process.

Darthbobber , December 21, 2019 at 4:35 pm

Right now, it's Schrodinger's impeachment.

Joe Well , December 21, 2019 at 5:04 pm

Michael Tracey argued that it's only Senate rules that require that the House formally transmit the impeachment verdict. The Constitution says that the Senate has to try an impeached president, and the Constitution trumps the Senate's rules. Logically, then, the Senate could just modify its rules to try the president.

But the whole delay is weird and impeachment has only been done twice before, so not a lot of precedent.

My paranoid fear is that Pelosi or McConnell might try to time the proceedings so as to take Bernie and Warren off the campaign trail at a crucial moment, helping Biden.

Amfortas the hippie , December 21, 2019 at 5:40 pm

that, and sucking the air out of the room for the primaries. When's super tuesday, again? surely they can engineer it so that their "high drama" coincides.

"let's talk about universal material benefits" " ok, Vlad trying to distract us from whats really important "

Hepativore , December 21, 2019 at 6:49 pm

Happy winter Solstice, everyone!

Anyway, the funny thing is, that Biden himself has said that he only wants to be a one-term president. It makes me wonder if he knows that he has neither the energy or presence of mind to hold the office, and that he is merely doing so because of establishment pressure to stop Sanders at all costs. Plus, if the Democrats get the brokered convention they are after, he can bow out, satisfied that he helped the DNC protect the donor class from the Sanders threat.

https://invidio.us/watch?v=dpBEaFtkziY

[Dec 21, 2019] 'Christianity Today' anti-Trump editorial is a sign of things to come - CNN

Dec 21, 2019 | www.cnn.com

... ... ...

Mark Galli, its current editor (who is leaving the publication in two weeks) takes on Trump directly -- a courageous move on his part, as his magazine has largely been apolitical. "The facts in this instance are unambiguous: the president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president's political opponents," Galli writes. He draws the obvious conclusion for Christians: "That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral." Galli goes further, digging into the behavior of the man in the Oval Office, noting that Trump "has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration." He gets specific: "He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals." As if that wasn't enough, Galli adds, "He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone -- with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders -- is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused." Galli's warning to Christians is clear. "To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: remember who you are and whom you serve," Galli writes. "Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump's immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. If we don't reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come?" Galli also acknowledged Friday in an interview on CNN's "New Day" that his stand is unlikely to shake loose Trump's strong hold on this voter segment, a crucial portion of his political base. Galli's move is even more admirable when you consider that he published his editorial even knowing that, as he said in his interview, he's not optimistic that his editorial will alter Trump's support among white evangelicals. It's not a stretch to say that white evangelicals put Trump into office in 2016. About 80% of them voted for him. They did so because of the abortion issue, mostly. They wanted pro-life judges throughout the justice system. But this was a devil's bargain, at best. Faith could bring us together. But too often it divides us <img alt="Faith could bring us together. But too often it divides us" src="//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191121180252-20191121-fractured-states-religious-leaders-large-169.jpg"> Faith could bring us together. But too often it divides us Younger evangelicals, those under 45, have been slowly but steadily moving away from Trump during the past two years or so, unhappy about his example. A key topic that has driven them away is immigration. Loving your neighbor as yourself has always been a bedrock Christian value. And Trump's stance on immigrants (especially those of color) has upset the younger generation of evangelicals, with two-thirds of them saying in surveys that immigrants strengthen our country, bringing their work ethic and talents with them from Mexico or Central America or Syria. Climate change is another issue that has caught the imagination of younger evangelicals. "I can't love my neighbor if I'm not protecting the earth that sustains them and defending their rights to clean water, clean air, and a stable climate," Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, a national organizer for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, told Grist . Needless to say, Trump's contempt on this subject grates badly on these young Christians. Perhaps naively, Americans have always looked to the presidency for exemplary moral behavior, and when there are obvious personal or moral failures, as with Nixon and Clinton, there is disappointment, even anger. But if you're a Christian -- and I lay claim to this for myself -- you understand that it's human to fail at perfect behavior. There is always forgiveness. And, as T.S. Eliot wrote, "Humility is endless."

Humility lies at the heart of Christian behavior. As does honesty. In these, Trump has set a terrible example, and he's now been taken down for this by an important Christian voice. If only another 10 percent of evangelicals take this seriously, and I suspect they will, Donald J. Trump's presidency is destined for the ash heap of history.

[Dec 21, 2019] The debate reminds us that the only way to remove Trump from office is at the ballot box - The Washington Post

Dec 21, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

Delaying the Senate trial erodes the Democrats' argument that impeachment was so urgent that they could not wait for the courts to act on Trump's aggressive claims of privilege.

Seven Democratic presidential candidates who gathered on a debate stage in Los Angeles on Thursday represent another argument for moving beyond impeachment.

... ... ...

Washington is fixated on the daily turns of the impeachment saga, but polls indicate that most Americans are not. Business executive Andrew Yang pointed out that, even when the current president is gone, the struggles of many people will remain, particularly in parts of the country that helped elect Trump in 2016.

"We blasted away 4 million manufacturing jobs that were primarily based in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri. I just left Iowa -- we blasted 40,000 manufacturing jobs there," Yang said. "The more we act like Donald Trump is the cause of all our problems, the more Americans lose trust that we can actually see what's going on in our communities and solve those problems."

That is what voters are waiting to hear, and the sooner the better for Democrats.

[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.

[Dec 19, 2019] The Trump Card was and is a masterstroke of scripting live, non-stop, divisive, politically paralytic distraction while the US oligarchy goes all-tard-in for private power.

Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Artful Dodger , Dec 19 2019 8:00 utc | 86

The Trump Card was and is a masterstroke of scripting live, non-stop, divisive, politically paralytic distraction while the US oligarchy goes all-tard-in for private power.

Russ , Dec 19 2019 7:30 utc | 85

Since the whole impeachment farce already has been a political loser for the idiot Democrats, they'd have to be doubly stupid to double down on political stupidity by obstructing the transmission to the Senate, when most Americans just want this crap to be over with.

Meanwhile the Senate Republicans, once they get the charges, would be stupid to do anything but vote them down immediately. Otherwise they'll become complicit in the odious circus and rightly incur their share of the political blame.

[Dec 19, 2019] I'm starting to think the whole trump presidency is a con by making him look like a target for the deep state and anti establishment, he continues the empire while people who want real change get sunk

It still amazes me that people actually think impeachment accomplishes anything other than diverting attention from the Dems giving Trump everything he wants. Kayfabe.
Dec 19, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

snoopydawg on Wed, 12/18/2019 - 10:12pm @snoopydawg

From the comments:

I'm starting to think the whole trump presidency is a con by making him look like a target for the deep state and anti establishment, he continues the empire while people who want real change get sunk.

I have had this thought more than once since Trump was selected to play president. He makes too many unforced errors that are timely for democrats to jump on. He could have nipped Russia Gate in its tracks by having the NSA show how Russia did not hack into the DNC computers. I'm sure that there were other things he could have done, but never did. But if the Huber investigation has legs and someone actually gets held accountable for taking the country on this 3 year insanity I'll rethink my opinion.

[Dec 19, 2019] Pelosi Digs In Against McConnell Over Impeachment Trial Standoff

Pelosi risk to turn the case into personal vendetta and DemoRats will be burned as the result. McConnell just need to wait a couple on months as time works for him.
This pressure from Pelosi actually helps Trump opening interesting lines of the attack: "McConnell said on the Senate floor that Pelosi and House Democrats "may be too afraid to even transmit their shoddy work product to the Senate." Trump tweeted as Pelosi spoke Thursday morning, saying that "Pelosi feels her phony impeachment HOAX is so pathetic she is afraid to present it to the Senate".
The Deep State Sunk The Democratic Party
Notable quotes:
"... she would delay naming impeachment managers -- who would argue the House case in the Senate -- until the Senate lays out its procedures for the trial. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

41 Million people in the US suffer from hunger and lack of food security"--US Dept. of Agriculture. That number of people constituted a crisis for FDR when he delivered his One-Third of a Nation speech for his 2nd Inaugural. About four years later, FDR expanded on that issue in his Four Freedoms speech: 1.Freedom of speech; 2.Freedom of worship; 3.Freedom from want; 4.Freedom from fear.

Faced with a similar situation, Trump advances plans to cut more people from the food stamp program thus increasing immiseration. One might say Trump's out of step with traditional American values; but were Obama, Bush, or Clinton any better?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday extended her standoff with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over starting President Donald Trump 's impeachment trial, insisting she's waiting to see whether Republicans will agree to a "fair" process.

Pelosi surprised many House Democrats Wednesday night after the House impeached Trump when she said she would delay naming impeachment managers -- who would argue the House case in the Senate -- until the Senate lays out its procedures for the trial.

"When we see what they have, we'll know who and how many we will send over," she said at a news conference Thursday. Pelosi cast it as a procedural matter and cited the Senate's ability to come up with a bipartisan trial plan after President Bill Clinton was impeached.

... ... ...

McConnell and other GOP senators have been indicating they want a quick trial, with arguments presented by the House managers and Trump's counsel without witnesses. McConnell was giving no ground.

"It's beyond me how the speaker and Democratic leader in the Senate think withholding the articles of impeachment and not sending them over gives them leverage," he told reporters at the Capitol. "Frankly, I'm not anxious to have the trial."

... ... ...

McConnell called the House impeachment process rushed and shoddy.

"If the speaker ever gets her house in order, that mess will be dumped in the Senate's lap," he said on the Senate floor. "If the nation accepts this, presidential impeachments may cease being a once-in-a-generation event."

[Dec 15, 2019] Trump has been the most anti-russian president since the 80s. Be objective. Do not look at what they say, look at what they do, the maxim says. Defacto, Trump has been far more aggressive and hostile to Russia than Obama. And he made everything possible to increase military budgets.

Dec 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Passer by , Dec 16 2019 1:39 utc | 24

Posted by: 18481917 | Dec 16 2019 1:01 utc | 21

>> On top of this Putin himself has made some critical mistakes due to his Naive personality, especially his falling for Trumps phoney reset (Trumps policies towards Russia have been harsher then any president since Pappi Bush) and in the aftermath of that flop, running into the arms of "Red" China's fake belt and Road which will be used to get Russia completely dependent on the biggest U$ satellite

I don't agree that China is pro-US, with tome China will grow and the US will diminish, BRI will leads towards that, but I do agree that Trump has been the most anti-russian president since the 80s. Be objective. Do not look at what they say, look at what they do, the maxim says. Defacto, Trump has been far more aggressive and hostile to Russia than Obama. And he made everything possible to increase military budgets.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/11/18/25-times-trump-has-been-dangerously-hawkish-on-russia/

She also failed to mention that Trump activated Second Fleet in the Atlantic (that Obama actually disabled) for Russia containment.

Trump is just a military puppet seeking to prolong the US Empire on the cheap. That is - no more nation building, and let others pay for propping up the US empire.

psychohistorian , Dec 16 2019 2:03 utc | 26

@ Posted by: lysias | Dec 16 2019 1:46 utc | 25 and Posted by: Passer by | Dec 16 2019 1:39 utc | 24 writing about who was instrumental in being negative towards Russia.

It was during Obama's term that Russia changed the trajectory of the war in Syria.

But lets get real, there is only one "Party" in America, the private finance/money party and both Obama and Trump are/were puppets for it. And those folks have know for some time about the integration of China/Russia geopolitical views so the policy has been "consistent" for probably a decade or more.

[Dec 14, 2019] Warren's awkward attempts to portray herself as a woman of color, even if a etsy weeny tiny bit, always seemed strange to me, ignoring the resume nonsense. It makes sense with the realization that Women of Color, have become a new politically privileged class, in spite of some of them being not very oppressed.

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Danny , December 13, 2019 at 3:31 pm

Warren's awkward attempts to portray herself as a woman of color, even if a etsy weeny tiny bit, always seemed strange to me, ignoring the resume nonsense. It makes sense with the realization that Women of Color, have become a new politically privileged class, in spite of some of them being not very oppressed.

Indian (subcontinent) women come from a tradition of a caste based society of wealth and privilege. The most succesful ones intuitively home in on and game American race-based identity politics in spite of their advantages, such as being one of the wealthiest religious groups in the nation,
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/11/how-income-varies-among-u-s-religious-groups/

No Bernie style economic class based socialism for them, no way. It's maintain privilege, Silicon Valley corporate caste based salaries, Republican reductionism, Hillary hopium and yet, they proudly proclaim their affiliation with real women of color, on whose backs they surf, like last generation's black cleaning women, the grandparents of which might have actually been slaves.
3 examples: Nimrata Nikki Randhawa, Neera Tanden and Kamala Harris.

drumlin woodchuckles , December 14, 2019 at 12:49 am

Women-of-color in general are not a privileged class. The not-very-poor women of color are perhaps a newly privileged class.

The Goldman Sachs women-of-color have become a new privileged class, in line with the tenets of Goldman Sachs Feminism. " The arc of history is long, and it bends towards rainbow gender-fluid oligarchy."

[Dec 14, 2019] As Dean Baker pointed out in his book Rigged, the neoliberal capitalism of America is rigged to benefit the top one percent

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Tomonthebeach , December 13, 2019 at 5:10 pm

As Dean Baker pointed out in his book Rigged, the neoliberal capitalism of America is rigged to benefit the top 1%. After all, they were the architects. Most Americans appreciate that. Nevertheless, the vast majority willingly wade into its rigged quicksand. All economies are rigged in the sense that there is a structure to it all. Moreover, the architects of that system will ensure there is something in it for themselves – rigged. Our school system does not instruct Americans on how their own economic system works (is rigged), so most of us become its victims rather than its beneficiaries.

Books by Liz Warren and her daughter offer remedial guidance on how to make the current US economic system work for the average household. So, in a sense, Liz comes across as an adherent to the system she is trying to help others master .

This seems to be a losing proposition for candidate Warren because most Americans want a new system with new rigging; not a repaired system that has been screwing them for generations.

[Dec 13, 2019] A few days ago, veterans' group VoteVets endorsed Pete Buttigieg. It has previously supported Tulsi Gabbard.

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

SolentBound , 10 Dec 2019 15:05

A few days ago, veterans' group VoteVets endorsed Pete Buttigieg. It has previously supported Tulsi Gabbard. Details:

New York Times, "Liberal Veterans' Group Endorses Pete Buttigieg in 2020 Race": https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/04/us/politics/pete-buttigieg-votevets-endorsement.html

[Dec 13, 2019] Elizabeth Warren's politics seem like a tangle of contradictions. She wants free markets, but also wants to tax billionaires' capital by Henry Farrell

Notable quotes:
"... Public choice economics has big influence and a bad name. It is a school of economic thought that has at different times been associated with scholars at the University of Rochester, Virginia Tech, and George Mason University. ..."
"... Samuelson, in his famous and influential textbooks, saw a clear role for government in regulating markets. Public choice scholars vehemently disagreed . For political and theoretical reasons, they instead saw government as a fountain of corruption. Public choice economists argued that government regulations were the product of special interest groups that had "captured" the power of the state, to cripple rivals and squeeze money from citizens and consumers. Regulations were not made in the public interest, but instead were designed to bilk ordinary citizens. ..."
"... The conventional story is that as Warren moved from the right to the left, she abandoned the public choice way of thinking about the world, in favor of a more traditional left-wing radicalism. A more accurate take might be that she didn't abandon public choice, but instead remained committed to its free-market ideals, while reversing some of its valences. ..."
"... A recent popular history book, which qualified as a finalist for the National Book Award, depicts public choice as a kind of stealth intellectual weapons program , developed by economist James Buchanan to provide Chilean President Augusto Pinochet with the justification for his dictatorial constitution, and the Koch brothers with the tools to dismantle American democracy. ..."
"... Warren's ideas have a close family resemblance to those of Olson, a celebrated public choice theorist. (Perhaps she has read him; perhaps she has just reached similar conclusions from similar starting points.) Olson, like other public choice scholars, worried about the power of interest groups. He famously developed a theory of collective action that shows how narrowly focused interest groups can dominate politics, because they can organize more cheaply and reap great benefits by setting rules and creating monopolies at the expense of the ordinary public. This means that government programs often actively harm the poor rather than helping them. ..."
"... Olson also castigated libertarian economists for their "monodiabolism" and "almost utopian lack of concern about other problems" so long as the government was chained down. He argued that the government was not the only source of economic power: Business special interests would corrupt markets even if the government did not help them. ..."
"... Warren shares far more intellectual DNA with Mancur Olson and his colleagues than with traditional socialism. However, there are important differences. Olson wrote his key work in the 1980s, before the globalization boom. His arguments for free trade depend on the assumption that open borders will disempower special interests. ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | foreignpolicy.com

Elizabeth Warren's politics seem like a tangle of contradictions. She wants free markets, but also wants to tax billionaires' capital. Her enemies on the right claim that she is a socialist , but Warren describes herself as "capitalist to my bones."

Warren's politics are so confusing because we have forgotten that a pro-capitalist left is even possible. For a long time, political debate in the United States has been a fight between conservatives and libertarians on the right, who favored the market, and socialists and liberals on the left, who favored the government.

It has been clear since 2016 that the traditional coalition of the right was breaking up. Conservatives such as U.S. President Donald Trump are no fans of open trade and free markets, and even favor social protections so long as they benefit their white supporters. Now, the left is changing too.

Warren is reviving a pro-market left that has been neglected for decades, by drawing on a surprising resource: public choice economics. This economic theory is reviled by many on the left, who have claimed that it is a Koch-funded intellectual conspiracy designed to destroy democracy. Yet there is a left version of public choice economics too, associated with thinkers such as the late Mancur Olson. Like Olson, Warren is not a socialist but a left-wing capitalist, who wants to use public choice ideas to cleanse both markets and the state of their corruption.

Public choice economics has big influence and a bad name. It is a school of economic thought that has at different times been associated with scholars at the University of Rochester, Virginia Tech, and George Mason University. Public choice came into being in fervent opposition to the mainstream of economics, which was dominated by scholars such as Paul Samuelson.

Samuelson, in his famous and influential textbooks, saw a clear role for government in regulating markets. Public choice scholars vehemently disagreed . For political and theoretical reasons, they instead saw government as a fountain of corruption. Public choice economists argued that government regulations were the product of special interest groups that had "captured" the power of the state, to cripple rivals and squeeze money from citizens and consumers. Regulations were not made in the public interest, but instead were designed to bilk ordinary citizens.

Perhaps the most influential version of public choice was known as law and economics. For decades, conservative foundations supported seminars that taught judges and legal academics the principles of public choice economics. Attendees were taught that harsh sentences would deter future crime, that government regulation should be treated with profound skepticism, and that antitrust enforcement had worse consequences than the monopolies it was supposed to correct. As statistical research by Elliott Ash, Daniel L. Chen, and Suresh Naidu has shown , these seminars played a crucial role in shifting American courts to the right.

Warren was one of the young legal academics who attended these seminars , and was largely convinced by the arguments. Her early work on bankruptcy law started from public choice principles, and displayed a deep skepticism of intervention.

The conventional story is that as Warren moved from the right to the left, she abandoned the public choice way of thinking about the world, in favor of a more traditional left-wing radicalism. A more accurate take might be that she didn't abandon public choice, but instead remained committed to its free-market ideals, while reversing some of its valences. Her work as an academic was aimed at combating special interests, showing how the financial industry had shaped bankruptcy reforms so that they boosted lenders' profits at borrowers' expense. Notably, she applied public choice theory to explain some aspects of public choice, showing how financial interests had funded scholarly centers which provided a patina of genteel respectability to industry's preferred positions.

Now, Warren wants to to wash away the filth that has built up over decades to clog the workings of American capitalism. Financial rules that have been designed by lobbyists need to be torn up. Vast inequalities of wealth, which provide the rich with disproportionate political and economic power, need to be reversed. Intellectual property rules, which make it so that farmers no longer really own the seeds they sow or the machinery they use to plant them, need to be abolished. For Warren, the problem with modern American capitalism is that it is not nearly capitalist enough. It has been captured by special interests, which are strangling competition.

It is hard to see how deeply Warren's program is rooted in public choice ideas, because public choice has come to be the target of left-wing conspiracy theories. A recent popular history book, which qualified as a finalist for the National Book Award, depicts public choice as a kind of stealth intellectual weapons program , developed by economist James Buchanan to provide Chilean President Augusto Pinochet with the justification for his dictatorial constitution, and the Koch brothers with the tools to dismantle American democracy.

For sure, the mainstream of public choice is strongly libertarian, and the development of the approach was funded by conservative individuals and foundations. What left-wing paranoia overlooks is that there has always been a significant left-wing current of public choice, and even a potent left-wing radicalism buried deep within public choice waiting to be uncovered. The free-market ideal is a situation in which no actor has economic power over any other. As many of Warren's proposals demonstrate, trying to achieve this ideal can animate a radical program for reform.

Warren's ideas have a close family resemblance to those of Olson, a celebrated public choice theorist. (Perhaps she has read him; perhaps she has just reached similar conclusions from similar starting points.) Olson, like other public choice scholars, worried about the power of interest groups. He famously developed a theory of collective action that shows how narrowly focused interest groups can dominate politics, because they can organize more cheaply and reap great benefits by setting rules and creating monopolies at the expense of the ordinary public. This means that government programs often actively harm the poor rather than helping them.

However, Olson also castigated libertarian economists for their "monodiabolism" and "almost utopian lack of concern about other problems" so long as the government was chained down. He argued that the government was not the only source of economic power: Business special interests would corrupt markets even if the government did not help them.

The result, according to Olson, was that societies, economies, and political systems became increasingly encrusted with special-interest politics as the decades passed. Countries benefited economically from great upheavals such as wars and social revolutions, which tore interest groups from their privileged perches and sent them tumbling into the abyss.

Olson wanted to open up both politics and the economy to greater competition, equalizing power relations as much as possible between the many and the few. He argued that under some circumstances, powerful trade unions could benefit the economy. When unions and business groups were sufficiently big that they represented a substantial percentage of workers or business as a whole, they would be less likely to seek special benefits at the expense of the many, and more likely to prioritize the good of the whole. Olson also believed strongly in the benefits of open trade, not just because it led to standard economic efficiencies, but because it made it harder for interest groups to capture government and markets. Northern European economies such as Denmark, which combine powerful trade unions with a strong commitment to free markets, represent Olsonian politics in action.


Warren shares far more intellectual DNA with Mancur Olson and his colleagues than with traditional socialism. However, there are important differences. Olson wrote his key work in the 1980s, before the globalization boom. His arguments for free trade depend on the assumption that open borders will disempower special interests.

As economists such as Dani Rodrik and political scientists such as Susan Sell have shown, this hasn't quite worked out as Olson expected. Free trade agreements have become a magnet for special interest groups, who want to cement their preferences in international agreements that are incredibly hard to reverse. The U.S. "fast track" approach to trade negotiations makes it harder for Congress to demand change, but allows industry lobbyists to shape the administration's negotiating stance. Investor-state dispute resolution mechanisms provide business with a friendly forum where they can target government rules that hurt their economic interests. All of this helps explain why Warren is skeptical of arguments for the general benefits of free-trade agreements: they aren't nearly so general as economists claim.

Close attention to Warren's public choice influences reveals both her radicalism and its limits. Like Olson, she is committed to the notion that making capitalism work for citizens will require changes that border on the revolutionary. The sweeping proposals she makes for changes to America's gross economic inequality, its economic relations with the rest of the world, its approach to antitrust legislation, and its tolerance of sleazy relationships among politicians, regulators, and industry are all aimed at creating a major upheaval. Where she proposes major state action, as in her "Medicare for All" plans, it is to supplant market institutions that aren't working, and are so embedded in interest group power dynamics that they are incapable of reform.

Yet this is a distinctly capitalist variety of radicalism. Socialists will inevitably be disappointed in the limits to her arguments. Warren's ideal is markets that work as they should, in contrast to the socialist belief that some forms of power are inherent within markets themselves. Not only Marxists, but economists such as Thomas Piketty, have suggested that the market system is rigged in ways that will inevitably favor capital over the long run. The fixes that Warren proposes will at most dampen down these tendencies rather than remove them.

If Warren wins, she will not only disappoint socialists. Her proposals may end up being too radical for Congress, but not nearly radical enough to tackle challenges such as climate change, which will require a rapid and dramatic transformation of the global economy if catastrophe is to be averted. Libertarians and mainstream public choice scholars will attack her from a different vantage point, arguing that she is both too skeptical about existing market structures and too trusting of the machineries of the state that she hopes to use to remedy them. State efforts to reform markets can easily turn into protectionism.

What Warren offers, then, is neither a socialist or deep green alternative to capitalism, nor a public choice justification for why regulators ought to leave it alone. The bet she is making is that capitalism can solve the major problems that the United States faces, so long as the government tackles inequality and defangs the special interests that have parasitized the political and economic systems. Like all such bets, it is a risky one, but one that might transform the U.S. model of capitalism if it succeeds.

Henry Farrell is a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University.

[Dec 13, 2019] People who strive for "democracy" have two choice and that most common is "managed democracy" on behalf of neoliberal finacial oligarchy, which strip mining your "resources"

Dec 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

G. Poulin , says: December 11, 2019 at 9:37 pm GMT

So if propaganda is so easy and effective, remind me again why democracy is such a great idea?
El Dato , says: December 12, 2019 at 6:00 am GMT
@G. Poulin You have two choices:

1) Democracy with a population that is at least minimally engaged and angrily stays that way (including removing powerful special interests from premises with pitchforks)
2) Being "managed" on behalf of various power centers. This can be liveable or can turn into strip mining of your "resources".

Sadly, there is no algorithm that allows you to detect whether your are engaged or are being engaged on behalf of others. That would be easy. But one should start with a minimal state, hard money and the sons of the upper crust on the front lines and forbidden from taking office in government.

That being said, this article is a bit meandering. Came for Bellingcat but was confused.

Who presented the Emmy Award to the film makers, but none other than the rebel journalist Chris Hedges.

Maximum Clown World.

Johan , says: December 12, 2019 at 11:49 pm GMT
@El Dato "1) Democracy with a population that is at least minimally engaged and angrily stays that way (including removing powerful special interests from premises with pitchforks)"

There are no revolutions by means of pitchforks in a democracy, everything is weakened by compromise, false promises, infiltration, manipulation, etc. You cannot stay angry all the time too, it is very bad for your health, it needs to be short and intense to be effective, which is exactly what democracy prevents.
Democracy turns you into a petted animal.

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

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

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

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

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

December 6, 2019

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

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

WJ , December 5, 2019 at 3:06 pm

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

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

Hepativore , December 5, 2019 at 2:19 pm

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

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

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

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

Warren tried to straddle, and lost both.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trent , December 5, 2019 at 3:34 pm

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

flora , December 5, 2019 at 3:04 pm

Warren tried to straddle, and lost both.

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

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

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

Darius , December 5, 2019 at 3:37 pm

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

NotTimothyGeithner , December 5, 2019 at 4:44 pm

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

hunkerdown , December 5, 2019 at 4:56 pm

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

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

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nbcnews.com

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

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

[Dec 04, 2019] Trump claims that he escaped GOP mainstream republicans (read hard core neoliebrals) shackles (for now)

Lesson for 2020 -- Trump is a shape and color shifting chameleon. His statement that he "escaped GOP "mainstream republicans" (read hard core neoliberals) shackles" was a blatant lie. He never escaped and did not even have intent to escape... He did their bidding, which was most clearly demonstrated in Trump tax cut
Notable quotes:
"... Trump later tweeted "the shackles have been taken off me". ..."
"... It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to. ..."
"... With the exception of cheating Bernie out of the nom the Dems have always proven to be far more loyal to each other than the Republicans! ..."
"... Disloyal R's are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary. They come at you from all sides. They don't know how to win - I will teach them! ..."
Oct 12, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs : October 11, 2016 at 08:03 AM

'The shackles have been taken off': Trump amps up GOP civil war
http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2016/10/11/donald-trump-blames-paul-ryan-disloyalty-for-hurting-campaign/V5gRA9Xs6MvdU93iUa64cK/story.html?event=event25
via @BostonGlobe - AP - October 11, 2016

Donald Trump is attacking House Speaker Paul Ryan. He's calling him ''very weak and ineffective'' a day after the House speaker said he would not campaign for the Republican nominee.

Ryan told Republican lawmakers on a conference call Monday that he would focus instead on helping the party keep control of the House.

Trump referred to that call in his tweet Tuesday morning. He said Ryan ''had a bad conference call where his members went wild at his disloyalty.''

Trump later tweeted "the shackles have been taken off me".

The real estate mogul also claimed Democrats were more loyal to their party than Republicans.

House Speaker Paul Ryan all but abandoned Donald Trump, obliterating whatever bounce he may have received from Sunday's debate.

It was his second tweet of the morning targeting Ryan. The other said Ryan's ''zero support'' was making it hard for Trump to do well.

Ryan did face some pushback from members upset he was abandoning Trump. The House Speaker continues to endorse the nominee.

Donald J. Trump ✔ ‎@realDonaldTrump

Despite winning the second debate in a landslide (every poll), it is hard to do well when Paul Ryan and others give zero support!

8:16 AM - 11 Oct 2016

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump

Our very weak and ineffective leader, Paul Ryan, had a bad conference call where his members went wild at his disloyalty.

9:05 AM - 11 Oct 2016

Donald J. Trump ✔ ‎@realDonaldTrump

It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.

10:00 AM - 11 Oct 2016

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump

With the exception of cheating Bernie out of the nom the Dems have always proven to be far more loyal to each other than the Republicans!

10:15 AM - 11 Oct 2016 · Queens, NY, United States

Donald J. Trump ✔ ‎@realDonaldTrump

Disloyal R's are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary. They come at you from all sides. They don't know how to win - I will teach them!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Dec 03, 2019] In foreign policy Trump is not that different from Obama: both are militarists and profess "Full Spectrum Dominance" , both betrayed their election promises and got away with it

While Obama organized 2014 coup data that smashed contitutional oder in Ukraine and installed far-right nationalists in power (Nulandgate) Obamam did not suppled arms toUkrains; Trump did
In his foreign policy Trump looks like a Republican Obama, save Nobel Peace Price. If Obama was/is a CIA-democrat, this guy is a Deep State controlled republican. Why is the Deep State is attacking him is completely unclear. May be they just do not like unpredictable, impulsive politicians
Despite his surrender "Neocon crazies from the basement" still attack his exactly the same way as they attacked him for pretty mundane meeting with Putin and other fake "misdeeds" like Ukrainegate
And that means that he lost a considerable part of his electorate: the anti-war republicans and former Sanders supporters, who voted for him in 2016 to block Hillary election.
And in no way he is an economic nationalist. He is "national neoliberal" which rejects parts of neoliberal globalization based on treaties and prefer to bully nations to compliance that favor the US interests instead of treaties. And his "fight" with the Deep state resemble so closely to complete and unconditional surrender, that you might have difficulties to distinguish between the two. Most of his appointees are rabid neocons. Just look at Pompeo, Bolton, Fiona Hill. That that extends far beyond those obvious crazies.
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Washington Post stating that he "has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details" of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin - telling Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a phone interview that he would be willing to release the details of a private conversation in Helsinki last summer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Dec 01, 2019] A Question for Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden or Any Democrat Running for President What s Your Foreign Policy The National In

Notable quotes:
"... "The next president will, for example, have to deal with the enormous loss of U.S. credibility during the past three years, which has stemmedin large part from Trump's reneging on or withdrawing from agreements such as the Paris accord on climate change, arms control accords withRussia, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which restricted Iran's nuclear program." ..."
"... What is the PURPOSE of US Foreign Policy? To protect the US homeland and US interests abroad (freedom of navigation, freedom of commerce and trade, and the protection of US citizens travelling abroad to name a few). ..."
"... Unfortunately, US Policy really refers to US interventionism across the globe. Covert activities are presumably necessary to protect US interests so as to thwart the covert activities of our enemies. In practice, what the US really does is protect the interests of friendly countries and US-based multi-national corporations...and the whole thing is smoke and mirrors (hidden from the American people). Thus, we really have NO IDEA what US Foreign Policy is, or what we are doing behind the scenes. That's on both Democrats and Republicans. ..."
Dec 01, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

This is still a race for a party nomination, and it is well known how political battles at this stage typically focus narrowly on what are perceived to be the parochial concerns of the party's base and take on a different character in the general election. But positions taken now can impose constraints later on. Moreover, Democratic primary voters ought to be learning about what difference the various contenders would make in executing the powers of the presidency, not just in who has the most attractive ideas about policies that cannot be imposed by fiat.

Foreign policy is where more attention and debate are most required, and not just because foreign policy nearly always gets inadequate attention in political campaigns. It also is where a president has the most power to make a difference even without getting Congress to go along with the president's program. This fact is reflected in how many presidents late in their presidencies, especially in second terms, have turned more of their attention to foreign relations as an area where they can make a difference after experiencing frustration in trying to get their domestic programs through Congress.

Many issues in foreign policy could profitably be discussed more than they are now, but priority should be given to those subjects on which Trump has caused the most damage. Candidates should explain how they intend to repair that damage, not just what their policies would be if they somehow could be written on a clean slate. The slate on which the next administration's foreign policy will be written starts out very dirty. Coming after Trump will be a major, task-defining fact about the next administration's foreign policy challenges.

The heavy damage to U.S. relations with the European allies represents another especially dirty part of the slate that the next administration will have to tend to. Brexit will be an added complication in addressing this problem and in a sense is another part of Trump's legacy given the way he has cheered on the Brexiteers, contrary to U.S. interests.

Issues examined by the current impeachment proceeding represent more damage-repair needs. Ukraine is a large and important country and constructing a U.S. policy that adequately reflects Ukraine's delicate situation between East and West would be a challenge in any event. Now it has been made more difficult by Trump and Rudy Giuliani's setting back of Ukraine's efforts to stamp out corruption and subordinating an aid relationship to dirt-digging for domestic political reasons. What are the Democratic candidates' specific ideas for repairing this damage, and for fitting the repairs into a sensible policy toward not just Ukraine but also Russia?

To emphasize these foreign policy challenges is not to diminish the amount of Trump-inflicted damage that extends to domestic matters as well, and the need for the next administration to repair that damage as well. Perhaps the greatest over-arching damage, spanning both the domestic and foreign sides, is that the nation seems to have become inured to wrongdoing because of the sheer volume of it, with attention to each offense quickly fading as it is succeeded by a new offense or attention-hogging presidential outburst. What will the next president do to restore a sense of national outrage over wrongdoing whenever it occurs, be it blatant self-dealing, corruption of U.S. foreign relations, or something else?

Such problems may not have as much resonance in Iowa caucuses as the cost of health care, but they have a lot more to do with who will make the best president.

Paul R. Pillar is Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University and Nonresident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution. He is a contributing editor to The National Interest, where he writes a blog .


MaskOfZero 5 days ago • edited ,

"The next president will, for example, have to deal with the enormous loss of U.S. credibility during the past three years, which has stemmedin large part from Trump's reneging on or withdrawing from agreements such as the Paris accord on climate change, arms control accords withRussia, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which restricted Iran's nuclear program."

What a load of hooey this article is. U.S. credibility with whom? Failed Merkel? Failed Macron?...

Emidio Borg 11 days ago • edited ,

It is our weapons manufacturers who bankroll our political establishment, consequently our foreign policy is whatever they say it is.

The Mugged Liberal 13 days ago ,

Failure of the past three years but no mention of the failures of Obama? Sending an aging hippie James Taylor to console islamic terrorist victims in Paris apparently counts as a major foreign policy success and that mean Trump refuses to perpetuate. And then there's the cross the red line in Syria and we'll do nothing.

Or maybe ship weapons secretly to Islamic terrorists calling them freedom fighters and surprise surprise, the weapons from Obama are used to murder American diplomats in Benghazi. Then cover that up by blaming it on a video from a guy in Los Angeles and sending out a team to blatantly lie about the event.

Now there's real foreign policy you can depend on - from the Democrats.

And of course from Paul Pillar.

Carl Braun 18 days ago ,

What's Your Foreign Policy?
A. Orange man bad.
Need more taxes for my apology diplomacy.
More pallets of cash for the mullahs

Airbrush2020 Me 18 days ago • edited ,

What is the PURPOSE of US Foreign Policy? To protect the US homeland and US interests abroad (freedom of navigation, freedom of commerce and trade, and the protection of US citizens travelling abroad to name a few).

Unfortunately, US Policy really refers to US interventionism across the globe. Covert activities are presumably necessary to protect US interests so as to thwart the covert activities of our enemies. In practice, what the US really does is protect the interests of friendly countries and US-based multi-national corporations...and the whole thing is smoke and mirrors (hidden from the American people). Thus, we really have NO IDEA what US Foreign Policy is, or what we are doing behind the scenes. That's on both Democrats and Republicans.

[Dec 01, 2019] Senator Warren's plans on drugs are a really huge deal

Dec 01, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , November 28, 2019 at 12:34 PM

https://truthout.org/articles/warrens-new-proposal-for-prescription-drugs-is-flying-under-the-radar/

November 25, 2019

Warren's New Proposal for Prescription Drugs Is Flying Under the Radar
By Dean Baker

Earlier this month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren put out a set of steps that she would put forward as president as part of a transition to Medicare for All. The items that got the most attention were including everyone over age 50 and under age 18 in Medicare, and providing people of all ages with the option to buy into the program. This buy-in would include large subsidies, and people with incomes of less than 200 percent of the poverty level would be able to enter the Medicare program at no cost.

These measures would be enormous steps toward Medicare for All, bringing tens of millions of people into the program, including most of those (people over age 50) with serious medical issues. It would certainly be more than halfway to a universal Medicare program.

While these measures captured most of the attention given to Warren's transition plan, another part of the plan is probably at least as important. Warren proposed to use the government's authority to compel the licensing of drug patents so that multiple companies can produce a patented drug.

The government can do this both because it has general authority to compel licensing of patents (with reasonable compensation) and because it has explicit authority under the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act to require licensing of any drug developed in part with government-funded research. The overwhelming majority of drugs required some amount of government-supported research in their development.

These measures are noteworthy because they can be done on the president's own authority. While the pharmaceutical industry will surely contest a president's use of the government's authority to weaken their patent rights, those actions would not require congressional approval.

The other reason that these steps would be so important is that there is a huge amount of money involved. The United States is projected to spend over $6.6 trillion on prescription drugs over the next decade, more than 2.5 percent of GDP.

The government has explicit authority under the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act to require licensing of any drug developed in part with government-funded research.

This is an enormous amount of money. We spend more than twice as much per person on drugs as people in other wealthy countries.

This is not an accident. The grant of a patent monopoly allows drug companies to charge as much as they want for drugs that are necessary for people's health or even their life.

While other countries also grant patent monopolies, they limit the ability of drug companies to exploit these monopolies with negotiations or price controls. This is why prices in these countries are so much lower than in the United States.

But even these negotiated prices are far above what drug prices would be in a free market. The price of drugs in a free market, without patent monopolies or related protections, will typically be less than 10 percent of the U.S. price and in some cases, less than 1 percent.

This is because drugs are almost invariably cheap to manufacture and distribute. They are expensive because government-granted patent monopolies make them expensive.

The rationale for patent monopolies is to give companies an incentive to research and develop drugs. This process is expensive, and if newly developed drugs were sold in a free market, companies would not be able to recover these expenses.

To make up for the loss of research funding supported by patent monopolies, Warren proposes an increase in public funding for research.

To make up for the loss of research funding supported by patent monopolies, Warren proposes an increase in public funding for research. This would be an important move toward an increased reliance on publicly funded biomedical research.

There are enormous advantages to publicly funded research over patent monopoly-supported research. First, the government is funding the research. It can require that all results be fully public as soon as possible so that all researchers can quickly benefit from them.

By contrast, under the patent system, drug companies have an incentive to keep results secret. They have no desire to share results that could benefit competitors.

Public funding would also radically reduce the incentive to develop copycat drugs. Under the current system, drug companies will often devote substantial sums to developing drugs that are intended to duplicate the function of drugs already on the market. While there is generally an advantage to having more options to treat a specific condition, most often, research dollars would be better spent trying to develop drugs for conditions where no effective treatment currently exists.

Ending patent monopoly pricing would also take away the incentive for drug companies to conceal evidence that their drugs may not be as safe or effective as claimed. Patent monopolies give drug companies an incentive to push their drugs as widely as possible.

The opioid crisis provides a dramatic example of the dangers of this system. Opioid manufacturers would not have had the same incentive to push their drugs, concealing evidence of their addictive properties, if they were not making huge profits on them.

In short, Senator Warren's plans on drugs are a really huge deal. How far and how quickly she will be able to get to Medicare for All will depend on what she can get through Congress. But her proposal for prescription drugs is something she would be able to do if elected president, and it would make an enormous difference in both the cost and the quality of our health care.

[Nov 30, 2019] Obama Takes the Field and Hillary May Be Around the Corner by Stephen J. Sniegoski

Notable quotes:
"... However, Morris contends that Clinton believes that she has to "wait until Biden drops out because he's obviously next in line for it, and if he goes away, there's an opening for her." According to Morris' scenario, Clinton would become the moderate candidate opposed to the leading progressive, Elizabeth Warren. ..."
Nov 30, 2019 | www.unz.com

In November, Barack Obama, who had avoided commenting on the Democratic presidential primary, came out forcefully in opposition to the extreme positions taken by some leading progressive contenders, positions that could cause the Democrats to be beaten by Trump in the 2020 election. Obama was a very popular president among Democrats, and what he has to say carries considerable weight with them. While this may not be his intent, Obama's position could open the field for Hillary Clinton to enter the fray and quite possibly become the Democrats' nominee, given the lackluster performance of leading "moderate" Joe Biden, whose weaknesses have been brought out by the mainstream media, despite their animosity toward Trump.

Now many in the Democratic Party leadership, as well as wealthy Democratic donors, have been concerned for some time about the radical nature of some of the economic policies advocated by the leading progressive Democratic contenders. They fear that instead of the 2020 election revolving around Trump with his low approval ratings, and very likely his impeachment, which would seem to be a slam-dunk victory for Democrats, it would focus on those radical economic proposals. Many voters are skeptical about how free college for all, free health care for all, high-paying jobs in "green energy" -- after greatly reducing the use of fossil fuels, free childcare for all, just to name some of the "free" things that have been promised, would really work. Instead of raising taxes on the middle class, most of these free things would purportedly be paid for by the super-wealthy, which would exclude mere millionaires such as Bernie Sanders (estimated wealth $2 million) and Elizabeth Warren (estimated wealth $12 million) who are the leading progressive contenders.

Obama began stressing his concern about the danger of radicalism in an October speech at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago. And he did this not by dealing with presidential candidates but with youth who think they can immediately change society. "This idea of purity and you're never compromised, and you're always politically woke and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly," Obama lectured. "The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws."

It was at a gathering of Democratic donors in Washington, D.C., in November that Obama cautioned Democratic candidates not to go too far to the left since that would antagonize many voters who would otherwise support the Democratic candidate. "Even as we push the envelope and we are bold in our vision we also have to be rooted in reality ," Obama asserted. "The average American doesn't think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it." Although Obama did not specify particular Democratic candidates, his warning was widely interpreted as being directed at Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Currently, the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination, according to national polls, is Joe Biden, who is considered a moderate. But Biden has a number of problems. He continues to make gaffes while speaking, and during his long career in the Senate took positions that are antithetical to the Democratic Party of today. Moreover, he lacks the charisma to attract large crowds to his events. Thus, it is questionable that he has the capability to attract large numbers of Democratic voters to the polls in November 2020.

According to Politico Magazine , Obama was recently discussing election tactics with an unnamed current candidate and "pointed out that during his own 2008 campaign, he had an intimate bond with the electorate" and he is quoted as adding, "And you know who really doesn't have it ? Joe Biden."

Biden's appeal already seems to be waning. For example, in November, a Marquette Law School poll, which is considered the gold-standard survey in swing state Wisconsin, which the Democrats need to win the 2020 election, shows Trump leading Biden 47 percent to 44 percent. In October, Trump had trailed Biden by 6 points (44 percent to 50 percent), and in August, Trump trailed Biden by 9 points (42 percent to 51 percent). In short, Biden is losing support. Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by a slender margin of 0.77 percent, with 47.22 percent of the total votes over the 46.45 percent for Hillary Clinton.

Another problem Biden faces is the corrupt activities of his son Hunter and brother James, who have taken advantage of their connection with him. The mainstream media has so far largely kept this mostly under wraps, but this tactic won't be successful as the election approaches. In fact, the progressive Democrats such as Bernie Sanders are likely to bring this up in a desperate effort to be nominated. And already these issues are being mentioned by the alternative media. For instance, there is an article in the non-partisan, anti-government Intercept titled, "Joe Biden's Family Has Been Cashing in on His Career for Decades. Democrats Need to Acknowledge That," and comparable articles in the conservative Washington Examiner such as, "Hunter Biden-linked company r eceived $130M in special federal loans while Joe Biden was vice president," and "Hunter Biden has 99 problems , and Burisma is only one."

David Axelrod, Democratic strategist and longtime aide to Barack Obama, said concerns about Biden's electability clearly influenced multi-billionaire (estimated $53 billion) and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's entrance into the contest for the Democratic nominee for president. "There's no question that Bloomberg's calculus was that Biden was occupying a space, and the fact that he's getting in is a clear indication that he's not convinced Biden has the wherewithal to carry that torch," Axelrod said. "So yeah, I don't think this is a positive development for Joe Biden."

Similarly, Democratic strategist Brad Bannon contended that "centrist Democrats and wealthy donors have lost confidence in Biden's ability to stop Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders from winning the nomination." Bannon added that with Bloomberg entering the Democratic presidential race, "Biden's fundraising will get even shakier than it already is. There's only room for one moderate in this race and Bloomberg threatens Biden's status as the centrist standard-bearer."

Bloomberg's "stop and frisk" policy as mayor , which largely targeted blacks and Hispanics, should make it virtually impossible that he could be the Democratic nominee, despite his recent apology. Unless he has become senile in his late 70s, Bloomberg should well understand this since he did not make his billions by being stupid. It could be that he intends to serve as a stalking horse to draw Hillary Clinton into the contest by showing the weakness of Biden. Then like Superwoman, Hillary can enter the fray, appearing not to act for her own sake but to save the country from a likely second term for President Trump.

Similarly, Mark Penn, who was chief strategist for Clinton's unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign, said Bloomberg's entrance could cause Clinton to consider to run and decide there's "still a political logic there for her."

As Biden's support slips away, Clinton's should rise. Clinton has been recently promoting a book she co-wrote with her daughter, Chelsea, in Britain. In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live , Clinton said "many, many, many people" are pressuring her to jump into the 2020 presidential race and that she thinks about this "all the time." Clinton told the host that she is under "enormous pressure" but said it is not in her plans, though she cryptically added that she would "never say never."

Dick Morris, who was once a close confidant of the Clintons during Bill Clinton's time as Arkansas governor and U.S. president recently said in a radio interview that Hillary Clinton likely wants to run for the presidency in 2020. "My feeling is that she wants to ," Morris said. "She feels entitled to do it. She feels compelled to do it. She feels that God put her on the Earth to do it. But she's hesitant because she realizes the timing is bad."

However, Morris contends that Clinton believes that she has to "wait until Biden drops out because he's obviously next in line for it, and if he goes away, there's an opening for her." According to Morris' scenario, Clinton would become the moderate candidate opposed to the leading progressive, Elizabeth Warren.

Morris has not been in touch with the Clintons for many years, and has become strongly critical of them, so his claim might be questionable. Nonetheless, his portrayal of Hillary's current thinking seems quite reasonable.

A Fox News poll included Clinton along with the active Democratic candidates in a hypothetical election with Trump, and Hillary came out ahead of him by two percentage points. While some actual candidates did somewhat better than Hillary, she did quite well for someone who is not currently running for office.

Furthermore, a Harris Harvard poll in late October asked the question, "Suppose Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, and John Kerry decides [sic] to enter the race, who would you support as a candidate for President?" Joe Biden received the support of 19 percent of Democrat respondents while Clinton was a close second with 18 percent. Elizabeth Warren came in third at 13 percent, John Kerry was at 8 percent, and Bloomberg was at 6. Again, Clinton does quite well for someone who is not actually running for president.

One might think that if references to family members' corruption damaged Biden, then Clinton would be subject to worse damage in that area, since she and her husband Bill were connected with far more corrupt activities -- Whitewater, Travelgate, the Lewinsky affair, the Paula Jones affair, t the death of Vince Foster, the Clinton Foundation, her private server, and so on. But these issues are already known and are presumably already taken into account by the voters, whereas the Biden family's corrupt activities are so far largely unknown.

It should be pointed out that Clinton has a number of positives as a presidential candidate. Although losing in the Electoral College in 2016, Clinton had garnered 3 million more votes more than Trump. The election was decided by a total of 80,000 votes in three states. It is highly unlikely that such a fluke could be duplicated.

Clinton's staff had been overconfident assuming victory, which was based on their polling of various states, and as a result began to focus on competing in states well beyond those Clinton needed for victory.

Moreover, one key event outside the control of Clinton's staff was FBI Director James Comey's investigation of Clinton's use of a personal email server during her tenure as secretary of state. Most crucial were his July 2016 public statement terminating the investigation, with a lengthy comment about what Clinton did wrong, and his October 28 reopening the inquiry into newly discovered emails and then closing it two days before the election, stating that the emails had not provided any new information. The October 28 letter, however, probably played a key role in the outcome of the election. As statistician Nate Silver maintains: "Hillary Clinton would probably be president if FBI Director James Comey had not sent a letter to Congress on Oct. 28. The letter, which said the FBI had 'learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation into the private email server that Clinton used as secretary of state, upended the news cycle and soon halved Clinton's lead in the polls, imperiling her position in the Electoral College.'"

[Silver's organization FiveThirtyEight had projected a much higher chance (29 percent) of Donald Trump winning the presidency than most other pollsters]

Clinton has also helped to convince many Democrats and members of the mainstream media that the 2016 election was stolen from her by Russian agents If this were really true – which is very doubtful – then Hillary should be the Democrats' candidate for 2020 since Russian intervention should not be as successful as it allegedly was in 2016.

In endorsing Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, Obama stated. "I don't think that there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office." He has yet to make such an endorsement for Biden and privately, as mentioned earlier, said he is a poor choice for a nominee. He might ultimately endorse Biden, but he certainly would not renege on what he said four years ago about Clinton if she became the Democrats' standard-bearer.

Should Clinton opt to run, she would have no trouble raising money since she set a record in 2016 of $1.4 billion and wealthy donors want a moderate to be the Democratic nominee. It would seem likely that she would enter the contest if Biden has serious trouble. She would miss some state primaries since it would be too late to register in them but given the crowded field of candidates, there is a likelihood that there will be a brokered convention, that is, the convention will go past the first ballot. Since the superdelegates would be allowed to vote in all rounds after the first, they could determine the winner, which would probably mean the selection of a candidate who would be seen to have the greatest chance of winning, and that would likely be Hillary Clinton, if she has entered the fray.

I discussed the merits of Pete Buttigieg in a previous article in Unz Review, and what I write here might seem to conflict with that. However, while Buttigieg is doing quite well in the polls, he still does not get much support from blacks and Latinos, which is essential to become the Democrats nominee for president. Buttigieg could, however, be nominated for vice president or, more likely, given an important cabinet position since the vice-presidential slot would probably be reserved for a black or Latino if a white person were picked as the presidential nominee, which currently seems likely.

But because of Buttigieg's relatively hardline foreign policy , which largely meshes with that of Clinton's, and his wide knowledge and language ability, Buttigieg would fit well in the all-important position of secretary of state in a Clinton administration. Moreover, Buttigieg, whose tenure as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, will end in January 2020, would almost certainly be willing to take such a position, which could serve as a jumping-off point for the presidency in the future.

[Nov 27, 2019] Did Pelosi went along with impeachment to block nomination of Bernie Sanders?

Notable quotes:
"... and now Obama weighs in to warn against the real danger to the democrats, Bernie Sanders. that's who they have to beat, and Gabbard. They don't give much of a damn about beating Trump. ..."
"... This pretty much confirms my and many others here hypothesis that the Dems are fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump nationalist capitalism and the other against the "democratic socialists" who have been flocking to their party machine since 2014. ..."
"... Clearly, the goal is to prevent the US Polity from clawing back power from the 10% and enacting policies to their benefit. Meanwhile, a new form of Transnational Nationalism continues to take shape that will soon present a serious threat to the Financialized Globalizers and their Cult of Debt. Too many seem to laugh off the entire situation by dismissing it as Kabuki Theatre, which I see as self-serving and shortsighted since there're several very real crises we're in up to our collective armpits. ..."
"... A full blown impeachment trial that exposes the entire Russia-gate/Ukraine-gate/Whatever-gate sham is what this country needs. ..."
"... Bet the MSM sells Ukrainegate this way: Trump is guilty in Ukrainegate and should be impeached, but Democrats are moving on to focus on the election. And besides, Dems will tell us, the dastardly Republicans in the Senate will corruptly block Trump's impeachment. ..."
"... That is what they call a "trial balloon." If there isn't too much of a freakout among the true-believer base, and I don't think there is, it'll be an option they will at least take seriously. Not that I'm encouraging anyone to bet on rational thinking at this point. Anyway I agree it's the best move for congressional Democrats. ..."
"... I am liking all the commenters here that understand that there is only one empire party with two mythical faces. I think this kabuki is necessary if you don't have a major WAR to keep the masses focused on or otherwise distracted from the underlying R2P which I translate to Rape2Protect. ..."
"... If this show should teach people in the US anything (again), it is how both US parties descend like vultures onto countries where they manage to take over the government. Five billion poured into Ukraine with the requisite murder and mayhem, and who knows how many billions come pouring back out. It's a real jackpot for those in the right positions to scoop it into their pockets. ..."
"... The average people in the US don't even have a genuine safety net. Important for all those productive resources to go to pedophile islands and sinecures for coke head sons of politicians, obviously. ..."
"... The GOP is the party of the rich. The Democrats are the party the rich pay to keep the left at bay when the Republicans lose. ..."
"... the deck is stacked even more against independents than it is against actual mildly leftist candidates who run as democrats. there are a substantial number of people who think the only way to change the country is to take over the democratic party. frankly, that isn't going to happen, and nobody is going to win as an independent candidate with all the procedural rules making it so hard to even get on the ballot, while the state government, which is invariably controlled by one of the two parties, throws every roadblock, legal and illegal, in the way. my gut feeling is things are going to have to get quite a bit worse before the citizenry starts to explode, and there's no telling how that process will work out, and no way to control it once it reaches critical mass. ..."
"... the Democrats won't want to censure Trump for matters in which they themselves are equally complicit, as has been discussed here. ..."
"... "The party's true function is thus largely theatrical. It doesn't exist to fight for change, but only to pose as a force which one fine distant day might possibly bestir itself to fight for change. Thus the whole magic of the Dem Party -- the essential service it renders to the US power structure -- lies not in what it does, but in its mere existence: by simply existing, and doing nothing, it pretends to be something it's not; and this is enough to relieve despair & to let the system portray itself as a "democracy." ..."
"... Trump is up against an entrenched powerful bureaucracy and people who buy ink by the 55 gallon barrel. The democrats need to take a hard turn towards Mayor Pete and Tulsi. The rank and file Democrats are tired of the elite political class ..."
"... The real Trump move would be to hit the twitter right before the house impeachment vote and announce that he has instructed the House Republicans to vote for impeachment. ..."
"... He could lay out his story about how the American People never got to hear the full story because of house dems, and how the Senate would fully investigate the 2016 election, Russiagate, Ukraine, and whatever else they want. Maybe even make Hillary testify. Heads would explode and his base would love it. ..."
"... To the people here clamoring for Bernie Sanders to go independent: The American electoral system is very unique. The two parties -- GOP and Dems -- are much more than mere political parties: they are the American electoral machine itself. It is impossible to win the presidency without being the candidate of one of the two, that's why Trump also didn't go as an independent either. ..."
Nov 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stever , Nov 26 2019 21:01 utc | 9

"An impeachment trial in the Senate would be a disaster for the Democrats.
I can not see why the Democrats would want to fall into such a trap. House leader Nancy Pelosi is experienced enough to not let that happen."

The real reason in my opinion that Pelosi went along with impeachment was that she saw Bernies message getting through, and even though the DNC pushed all the conserva-dem candidates they could into the race, Bernie is still doing well and gaining. An impeachment trial would require Bernie to attend the hearings rather that campaigning. Also Wall Streets best friend Obama has just stated that Bernie is not a Democrat and that would require Obama to get on the speaking circuit to campaign against him - you know for the sake of the corporations - and those 500k speaking thank you gigs. They would rather elect Trump than Bernie - that is why I think Pelosi would go along with an impeachment trial in the Senate - Bernie is the greater threat.


Likklemore , Nov 26 2019 21:01 utc | 10

The idea to censure Trump and move on has been aired since mid 2017. The latest was Forbes.com billwhalen 26 September 2019 Link

I ordered a truckload of pop corn to snack on during the trial in the Senate. Just imagine Joe Biden under cross examination as he flips 'n flops! "Was that me in the Video, I can't recall."

Guess I will have to unpack some popcorn. At this phase in the process an impeachable offence remains undefined!??
House Judiciary Committee Sets Date For Impeachment Hearing, Invites Trump To Testify

With interest (even among Democrats) in the impeachment process sliding, the House Judiciary Committee is set to take over the impeachment probe of President Trump next week, scheduling a Dec. 4 hearing.

As The Hill reports, behind Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the committee will hear from legal scholars as Democrats weigh whether the evidence turned up in their weeks-long impeachment inquiry warrants the drafting of articles aimed at removing the president from office.

The hearing, scheduled for next Wednesday, will focus on the definition of an impeachable offense and the formal application of the impeachment process. The panel will invite White House lawyers to attend and participate.

Ahead of the hearing, Nadler wrote to Trump requesting his participation - or that of White House counsel - as part of ensuring "a fair and informative process."[.]

Trump will take a page from the other president who campaigned on the "do nothing congress"

pretzelattack , Nov 26 2019 21:16 utc | 11
and now Obama weighs in to warn against the real danger to the democrats, Bernie Sanders. that's who they have to beat, and Gabbard. They don't give much of a damn about beating Trump.
Wind Hippo , Nov 26 2019 21:21 utc | 12
b, there seems to be a critical flaw in your analysis--you seem to base it on a premise that the goal of the Democratic establishment is to win elections/gain power/govern. It's not, it's to ensure the continuing enrichment of themselves and their oligarch peers, financial industry, military, pharma, etc.

The question people like Pelosi (worth $100 million or so btw along with her husband whose business she enriches via her position) are pondering isn't "Will doing x, y, z help Trump win?" It's "Will doing x, y, z ensure Bernie Sanders doesn't win?"

vk , Nov 26 2019 21:23 utc | 13
Maybe this is useful to understand the DNC's situation:

Obama 'Privately' Vowed to 'Speak Up to Stop' Bernie Sanders if He Secured Presidential Nomination - Report

This pretty much confirms my and many others here hypothesis that the Dems are fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump nationalist capitalism and the other against the "democratic socialists" who have been flocking to their party machine since 2014.

jared , Nov 26 2019 21:25 utc | 14
No group of adults is that stupid. They are doing and will do as they are required to do by their owners.
Jen , Nov 26 2019 21:31 utc | 15
Of all the things that the Democrats could impeach President Trump over, the one thing they seized upon was the issue that had the most potential to blow back on them and destroy Joe Biden's chances of reaching the White House. Whoever had that brilliant idea and put it as the long straw in a cylindrical prawn-chip can along with all the other straws for pulling out, sure didn't think of all the consequences that could have arisen. That speaks for the depth (or lack thereof) of the thinking among senior Democrats and their worker bee analysts, along with a narrow-minded outlook, sheer hatred of a political outsider and a fanatical zeal to match that hatred and outlook.

The folks who hatched that particular impeachment plan and pitched it to Nancy Pelosi must have been the same idiots in the DNC who dreamt up the Russiagate scandal and also pursued Paul Manafort to get him off DJT's election campaign team. Dmitri Alperovich / Crowdstrike, Alexandra Chalupa: we're looking at you.

William Gruff , Nov 26 2019 21:37 utc | 16
Impeachment takes Sanders out of the campaign and that opens things up for the CIA/establishment's "Identity Politics Candidate #3" , Mayor Butt-gig.

That said, since "Everyone who doesn't vote for our candidate is a deplorable misogynist!" didn't work as expected, I wonder what makes them think "Everyone who doesn't vote for our candidate is a deplorable homophobe!" will work any better?

karlof1 , Nov 26 2019 21:52 utc | 17
Lots of agreement here with the overall situation becoming clearer with Bloomberg's entrance and the outing of Obama's plans. I just finished writing my response to Putin's speech before the annual United Russia Party Congress on the Open Thread and suggest barflies take 10 minutes to read it and compare what he espouses a political party's deeds & goals ought to be versus those of the West and its vassals.

Clearly, the goal is to prevent the US Polity from clawing back power from the 10% and enacting policies to their benefit. Meanwhile, a new form of Transnational Nationalism continues to take shape that will soon present a serious threat to the Financialized Globalizers and their Cult of Debt. Too many seem to laugh off the entire situation by dismissing it as Kabuki Theatre, which I see as self-serving and shortsighted since there're several very real crises we're in up to our collective armpits.

James Speaks , Nov 26 2019 22:58 utc | 21
A full blown impeachment trial that exposes the entire Russia-gate/Ukraine-gate/Whatever-gate sham is what this country needs.

Obviously, a sufficient number of secure Republican representatives are needed to vote in favor of impeachment to allow this circus to continue to its bizarrely entertaining, Democratic Party destroying end.

librul , Nov 26 2019 22:59 utc | 22
The MSM will declare Trump guilty - that is, he has earned impeachment for Ukrainegate.

There are Democrats still under the illusion that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election. Dems tell us that Trump *obstructed* the Mueller investigation thus Trump could not be nailed, nonetheless Trump is guilty of collusion until proven innocent.

Back to Ukrainegate. Bet the MSM sells Ukrainegate this way: Trump is guilty in Ukrainegate and should be impeached, but Democrats are moving on to focus on the election. And besides, Dems will tell us, the dastardly Republicans in the Senate will corruptly block Trump's impeachment.

karlof1 , Nov 26 2019 23:28 utc | 25
Tulsi Gabbard Tweet not specifically about impeachment but begs numerous questions:

"My personal commitment is to always treat you and all Americans with respect. Working side-by-side, we can defeat the divisiveness of Donald Trump, and usher in a 21st century of peace, human dignity, & true equality. Working side by side, we can make Dr. King's dream our reality ." [My Emphasis]

Questions: Is Trump divisive, or is it the D-Party and Current Oligarchy that make him so; and which is more important to defeat? Which party "usher[ed] in the 21st century" with several wars and abetted the next two? How did Obama, Slick Willie or his wife advance "human dignity & true equality"? How does her last sentence differ from "Hope you can believe in"? Hasn't her D-Party worked tirelessly for decades to circumvent the goals she espouses? Wouldn't Gabbard have a better chance running as an Enlightened Republican than as a Renegade Democrat if her goal's to defeat Trump?

snake , Nov 26 2019 23:30 utc | 26
American Democracy is political professional wrestling, Kabuki Theater, and mediocre Reality TV all rolled into. by: AK74 @ 4 <= binary divide <=conducted by the USA, is not about America, Americans or making America great again, its about the welfare of [the few<= which most Americans would not call fellow Americans].

Sasha.@ 23 I don't understand where you are coming from.. thank Korlof1 @18 for posting that Putin talk alert. excerpts from the talk.. => The priority [of United Russia has been] the protection of the people's interests, the interests of [the] Motherland, and ..responsible [approach] to ..country, its security, stability and people's lives in the long-term perspective.

The party.. offered a unifying agenda based on freedom and well being, patriotism, ..traditional values, a strong civil society and a strong state. The key issue in the party's work .being together with the people, Karlof1@18 <=this talk suggest change in Russian leadership that are not congruent with your [Sasha] comment @23. I hope you will make more clear what you spent sometime writing ( and for that effort I thank you) but it is not yet clear what you mean.. .

ptb , Nov 26 2019 23:42 utc | 27
Re: Brenda Lawrence talking about censure rather than impeachment:

That is what they call a "trial balloon." If there isn't too much of a freakout among the true-believer base, and I don't think there is, it'll be an option they will at least take seriously. Not that I'm encouraging anyone to bet on rational thinking at this point. Anyway I agree it's the best move for congressional Democrats.

Yet another other option is to continue the investigation indefinitely. I'm going to say it is their default move actually. In that case, the House Judiciary Committee would spend a few weeks putting on their own show, then say they would like more evidence to be really sure, returning matters to the House Intelligence Committee, and we repeat the cycle.

psychohistorian , Nov 27 2019 0:14 utc | 31
I am liking all the commenters here that understand that there is only one empire party with two mythical faces. I think this kabuki is necessary if you don't have a major WAR to keep the masses focused on or otherwise distracted from the underlying R2P which I translate to Rape2Protect.

It is sad to see us all talking about which of the lesser of horrible evils will continue the leadership of American faced empire.....I hope it crashes soon and takes the global elite down with it.....how many barflies are ready to stand up and say NO to the owners of the Super-Priority derivatives that will say they own the world because of their casino (no skin in the game) bets that are currently "legal" in America when the crash comes?

AK74 , Nov 27 2019 0:51 utc | 34
@ snake

American "Democracy" is a mask for the American Empire and its capitalist system--including especially the American Military and its Intelligence apparatus (aka The Deep State). If the American people don't identify with these institutions, you would see much greater hostility to -- if not outright rebellion against--the American military and spooks.

Instead, you see the very opposite: the American people saluting, glorifying, "thanking for their service," and politically fellating the US military and spy agencies every chance they get. That should tell you all you need to know about Americans.

Guest , Nov 27 2019 1:27 utc | 36
If this show should teach people in the US anything (again), it is how both US parties descend like vultures onto countries where they manage to take over the government. Five billion poured into Ukraine with the requisite murder and mayhem, and who knows how many billions come pouring back out. It's a real jackpot for those in the right positions to scoop it into their pockets.

The average people in the US don't even have a genuine safety net. Important for all those productive resources to go to pedophile islands and sinecures for coke head sons of politicians, obviously.

Dave , Nov 27 2019 1:38 utc | 37
Re: #3 Allen – well said. The GOP is the party of the rich. The Democrats are the party the rich pay to keep the left at bay when the Republicans lose.
Yeah, Right , Nov 27 2019 1:38 utc | 38
The problem with this prediction is that the MSM has been breathlessly pronouncing that THIS IS EXPLOSIVE EVIDENCE!!!! pretty much every day and after every witness testimony.

So if you are a member of the public who gets their "information" from the MSM (and, be honest, that is most of the people in the USA) then you have been force-fed is that Trumps defense against these allegations has already been shredded, and that his guilt has already been established beyond any reasonable doubt.

How can those opinion-makers then turn around and say "Nah, it'll be fine" and settle for a mere censure?

Wouldn't the Sheeple respond with a fully-justified "Hey, hang on! What gives?"

The Democrats has leapt on a Tiger. Nobody made them do it, but now they are there I don't think they are going to be able to leap off.

Some of the first-term nobodies, maybe, but not the Schiffs and the Pelopis and the Nadlers.

Hang on for dear life and hope for a miracle is probably their only option now.

And, who knows, that trio may be so incompetent that they actually think they are going to win.

Josh , Nov 27 2019 1:49 utc | 39
Via, perhaps, One who has established Truth, Standing, and Right, Declaring so.... Lawfully.
pretzelattack , Nov 27 2019 1:56 utc | 40
james, the deck is stacked even more against independents than it is against actual mildly leftist candidates who run as democrats. there are a substantial number of people who think the only way to change the country is to take over the democratic party. frankly, that isn't going to happen, and nobody is going to win as an independent candidate with all the procedural rules making it so hard to even get on the ballot, while the state government, which is invariably controlled by one of the two parties, throws every roadblock, legal and illegal, in the way. my gut feeling is things are going to have to get quite a bit worse before the citizenry starts to explode, and there's no telling how that process will work out, and no way to control it once it reaches critical mass.
Duncan Idaho , Nov 27 2019 2:13 utc | 43
The US is a one party State-- Pepsi _Pepsi Lite. Both parties are capitalist. It is rather humorous the attention paid to a Dim vs Repug argument. Small thinking for small minds---
Rob , Nov 27 2019 2:13 utc | 44
As I posted at the beginning of the impeachment process, the Dems would be foolish to hang it all on the arcane shenanigans in Ukraine but rather should impeach Trump on the numerous more serious breaches and crimes that he has committed. I also worried that the Democratic Party leaders would blow the opportunity to demonstrate that Trump and the Republican Party are rotten to the core and harmful to the country. And so they have blown it. What an inept pack of asses.
juliania , Nov 27 2019 2:26 utc | 46
I would think that even censure is still going to be a hot potato for the Democrats. Looking at the procedure as far as wikipedia describes it, it hasn't done anything of significance when it comes to being used against a president, especially as the Democrats won't want to censure Trump for matters in which they themselves are equally complicit, as has been discussed here.

That means they would be censuring on the same shaky grounds that they would have impeached him, which only prolongs attention upon the dubious claims of the indictment. It seems to me Trump will, rather than be shamed by the process, only be saying 'Make my day', and hopefully have his Attorney General come forward with exonerating revelations on that issue in the judicial proceeding that it was my contention the impeachment effort had been a last ditch one to forestall such.

Wishful thinking on that, I know - but at least that probe has merit.

karlof1 , Nov 27 2019 2:29 utc | 47
Grieved @42--

Thanks for your reply! And thanks for linking the Keen video! Made a comment on that thread.

As I wrote when the possibility of Trump's impeachment arose almost as soon as he was inaugurated, the entire charade reminds me of Slick Willie's impeachment, trial and exoneration--the Articles of Impeachment utilized were such that he'd avoid conviction just as they will be for Trump.

ben , Nov 27 2019 2:52 utc | 48
Allen @ 3 said; "The party's true function is thus largely theatrical. It doesn't exist to fight for change, but only to pose as a force which one fine distant day might possibly bestir itself to fight for change. Thus the whole magic of the Dem Party -- the essential service it renders to the US power structure -- lies not in what it does, but in its mere existence: by simply existing, and doing nothing, it pretends to be something it's not; and this is enough to relieve despair & to let the system portray itself as a "democracy."

With very few exceptions, you nailed it..Your description of the Dem. party is sad, but true.....

Trisha , Nov 27 2019 3:07 utc | 49
Oh dear, sadly this was so easy to predict.

Maybe the Dims will creep past the yawning Trump trap and get around to minor policy issues, like crafting and passing a real Green New Deal bill.

Again, sadly, so easy to predict nothing of the sort happening.

dltravers , Nov 27 2019 3:45 utc | 50
Not having much time to watch the show trial it appears to me the Democrats still have a set of very weak candidates. Anyone who knows Biden knows he in not now and never will be able to handle a campaign against Trump.

Trump is up against an entrenched powerful bureaucracy and people who buy ink by the 55 gallon barrel. The democrats need to take a hard turn towards Mayor Pete and Tulsi. The rank and file Democrats are tired of the elite political class in the same fashion that the rank and file Republicans were tired of the political establishment which caused then to turn to Trump.

Is the Democrat political establishment smart enough to take a few steps back and push forward some outsiders? I doubt that but they would not lose much if they did. Any new leaders would have the same stable of bureaucrats to pick from which will still be there long after they are gone.

MT_bill , Nov 27 2019 4:18 utc | 53
The real Trump move would be to hit the twitter right before the house impeachment vote and announce that he has instructed the House Republicans to vote for impeachment.

He could lay out his story about how the American People never got to hear the full story because of house dems, and how the Senate would fully investigate the 2016 election, Russiagate, Ukraine, and whatever else they want. Maybe even make Hillary testify. Heads would explode and his base would love it.

AntiSpin , Nov 27 2019 4:42 utc | 55
j @ dltravers | Nov 27 2019 3:45 utc | 50

"The democrats need to take a hard turn towards Mayor Pete and Tulsi."

Mayor Pete -- are you serious? I urge you to take a look at these two articles before making any other public endorsements.

All About Pete
by Nathan J. Robinson
https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/03/all-about-pete

Is Pete Buttigieg A Shill For The Donor Class?
by Miles Mogulescu | November 23, 2019
https://ourfuture.org/20191122/is-pete-buttigieg-a-shill-for-the-donor-class

librul , Nov 27 2019 5:56 utc | 56
The...***The***...core takeaway, the battle at the heart of Russiagate/Ukrainegate, is that it does not matter who the People elect as President and what platform he was elected on the Deep State will decide foreign policy.
A User , Nov 27 2019 9:12 utc | 61
RE: Posted by: Sabine | Nov 27 2019 7:39 utc | 61

democrats republicans makes no difference both teams are managed by self serving scum who refuse to allow "what the people want" to distract them from the big one. "what can I steal?".

People meed to appreciate two things about both the dems and the rethugs. The first is they supply a much-needed insight into: "How low can I go as a worthless hang off the wagon by me fingernails, careerist. The second? That every hack must understand that eventually every talking head is seen for the ugly sellout which they are.

There is no 'honourable way through this mess', one either quietly resigns pulling the pin on the worst of us all, or one accepts the previously unacceptable, that we are most likely both musically n functionally illiterate but it never matters what-u-say, what really counts is what you do.

TJ , Nov 27 2019 10:48 utc | 63
Whoever it was the Democrats should shun that person before it creates more damage to their party.

I would disagree here. If the Democrats continue they will destroy themselves hopefully leading to Mutually Assured Destruction as they would need to do something very drastic to destroy the Republicans in return e.g. expose 9/11, Iraq etc, let the swamp / Deep State go M.A.D. and from the political ashes parties and politicians can rise who are actually working for the betterment of the USA and its people.

vk , Nov 27 2019 11:54 utc | 64

To the people here clamoring for Bernie Sanders to go independent: The American electoral system is very unique. The two parties -- GOP and Dems -- are much more than mere political parties: they are the American electoral machine itself. It is impossible to win the presidency without being the candidate of one of the two, that's why Trump also didn't go as an independent either.

Bernie Sanders is different from all other independent presidential candidates in American History because he was the first to really want to win. That's why he penetrated the Democratic machine, even though he became senator many times as an independent. He read the conjuncture correctly and, you have to agree, he's been more influential over American political-ideological landscape than all the other independents put together (not considering Eugene Debs as an independent).

snake , Nov 27 2019 13:05 utc | 65
@ snake

American "Democracy" is a mask for the American Empire and its capitalist system--including especially the American Military and its Intelligence apparatus (aka The Deep State). If the American people don't identify with these institutions, you would see much greater hostility to--if not outright rebellion against--the American military and spooks.

Instead, you see the very opposite: the American people saluting, glorifying, "thanking for their service," and politically fellating the US military and spy agencies every chance they get.

That should tell you all you need to know about Americans. by: AK74 @ 34

<= No not yet do I agree with you.. The American young people are forced into the military in order to afford to be educated, and in order to have access to health care and good-level workforce entry jobs especially the military is default for children of struggling parents that cannot fund a college education or for the kids who are not yet ready to