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May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger often is a sign of obesity, of lost control, of overcomplexity, of cancerous cells

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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Old News ;-)

[Mar 25, 2019] The Mass Psychology of Trumpism by Eli Zaretsky

Highly recommended!
But sophistication of intelligence agencies now reached very high level. Russiage was pretty dirty but pretty slick operation. British thre letter againces were even more devious, if we view Skripals poisoning as MI5/Mi6 "witness protection" operation due to possible Skripal role in creating Steele dossier. So let's keep wanting the evnet. The election 2020 might be event more interesting the Elections of 2016. Who would suggest in 2015 that he/she elects man candidate from Israel lobby instead of a woman candidate from the same lobby?
Notable quotes:
"... The consistent derogation of Trump in the New York Times or on MSNBC may be helpful in keeping the resistance fired up, but it is counterproductive when it comes to breaking down the Trump coalition. His followers take every attack on their leader as an attack on them. ..."
"... Adorno also observed that demagoguery of this sort is a profession, a livelihood with well-tested methods. Trump is a far more familiar figure than may at first appear. The demagogue's appeals, Adorno wrote, 'have been standardised, similarly to the advertising slogans which proved to be most valuable in the promotion of business'. Trump's background in salesmanship and reality TV prepared him perfectly for his present role. ..."
"... the leader can guess the psychological wants and needs of those susceptible to his propaganda because he resembles them psychologically, and is distinguished from them by a capacity to express without inhibitions what is latent in them, rather than by any intrinsic superiority. ..."
"... The leaders are generally oral character types, with a compulsion to speak incessantly and to befool the others. The famous spell they exercise over their followers seems largely to depend on their orality: language itself, devoid of its rational significance, functions in a magical way and furthers those archaic regressions which reduce individuals to members of crowds. ..."
"... Since uninhibited associative speech presupposes at least a temporary lack of ego control, it can indicate weakness as well as strength. The agitators' boasting is frequently accompanied by hints of weakness, often merged with claims of strength. This was particularly striking, Adorno wrote, when the agitator begged for monetary contributions. ..."
"... Since 8 November 2016, many people have concluded that what they understandably view as a catastrophe was the result of the neglect by neoliberal elites of the white working class, simply put. Inspired by Bernie Sanders, they believe that the Democratic Party has to reorient its politics from the idea that 'a few get rich first' to protection for the least advantaged. ..."
"... Of those providing his roughly 40 per cent approval ratings, half say they 'strongly approve' and are probably lost to the Democrats. ..."
Sep 18, 2018 | lrb.co.uk
One might object that Trump, a billionaire TV star, does not resemble his followers. But this misses the powerful intimacy that he establishes with them, at rallies, on TV and on Twitter. Part of his malicious genius lies in his ability to forge a bond with people who are otherwise excluded from the world to which he belongs. Even as he cast Hillary Clinton as the tool of international finance, he said:

I do deals – big deals – all the time. I know and work with all the toughest operators in the world of high-stakes global finance. These are hard-driving, vicious cut-throat financial killers, the kind of people who leave blood all over the boardroom table and fight to the bitter end to gain maximum advantage.

With these words he brought his followers into the boardroom with him and encouraged them to take part in a shared, cynical exposure of the soiled motives and practices that lie behind wealth. His role in the Birther movement, the prelude to his successful presidential campaign, was not only racist, but also showed that he was at home with the most ignorant, benighted, prejudiced people in America. Who else but a complete loser would engage in Birtherism, so far from the Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Harvard aura that elevated Obama, but also distanced him from the masses?

The consistent derogation of Trump in the New York Times or on MSNBC may be helpful in keeping the resistance fired up, but it is counterproductive when it comes to breaking down the Trump coalition. His followers take every attack on their leader as an attack on them. 'The fascist leader's startling symptoms of inferiority', Adorno wrote, 'his resemblance to ham actors and asocial psychopaths', facilitates the identification, which is the basis of the ideal. On the Access Hollywood tape, which was widely assumed would finish him, Trump was giving voice to a common enough daydream, but with 'greater force' and greater 'freedom of libido' than his followers allow themselves. And he was bolstering the narcissism of the women who support him, too, by describing himself as helpless in the grip of his desires for them.

Adorno also observed that demagoguery of this sort is a profession, a livelihood with well-tested methods. Trump is a far more familiar figure than may at first appear. The demagogue's appeals, Adorno wrote, 'have been standardised, similarly to the advertising slogans which proved to be most valuable in the promotion of business'. Trump's background in salesmanship and reality TV prepared him perfectly for his present role. According to Adorno,

the leader can guess the psychological wants and needs of those susceptible to his propaganda because he resembles them psychologically, and is distinguished from them by a capacity to express without inhibitions what is latent in them, rather than by any intrinsic superiority.

To meet the unconscious wishes of his audience, the leader

simply turns his own unconscious outward Experience has taught him consciously to exploit this faculty, to make rational use of his irrationality, similarly to the actor, or a certain type of journalist who knows how to sell their sensitivity.

All he has to do in order to make the sale, to get his TV audience to click, or to arouse a campaign rally, is exploit his own psychology.

Using old-fashioned but still illuminating language, Adorno continued:

The leaders are generally oral character types, with a compulsion to speak incessantly and to befool the others. The famous spell they exercise over their followers seems largely to depend on their orality: language itself, devoid of its rational significance, functions in a magical way and furthers those archaic regressions which reduce individuals to members of crowds.

Since uninhibited associative speech presupposes at least a temporary lack of ego control, it can indicate weakness as well as strength. The agitators' boasting is frequently accompanied by hints of weakness, often merged with claims of strength. This was particularly striking, Adorno wrote, when the agitator begged for monetary contributions. As with the Birther movement or Access Hollywood, Trump's self-debasement – pretending to sell steaks on the campaign trail – forges a bond that secures his idealised status.

Since 8 November 2016, many people have concluded that what they understandably view as a catastrophe was the result of the neglect by neoliberal elites of the white working class, simply put. Inspired by Bernie Sanders, they believe that the Democratic Party has to reorient its politics from the idea that 'a few get rich first' to protection for the least advantaged.

Yet no one who lived through the civil rights and feminist rebellions of recent decades can believe that an economic programme per se is a sufficient basis for a Democratic-led politics.

This holds as well when it comes to trying to reach out to Trump's supporters. Of those providing his roughly 40 per cent approval ratings, half say they 'strongly approve' and are probably lost to the Democrats. But if we understand the personal level at which pro-Trump strivings operate, we may better appeal to the other half, and in that way forestall the coming emergency.

[Mar 23, 2019] MoveOn on Twitter the list of 2020 presidential candidates who have made the decision to #SkipAIPAC continues to grow

Mar 23, 2019 | twitter.com

MoveOn ‏ 1:32 PM - 21 Mar 2019

& the list of 2020 presidential candidates who have made the decision to # SkipAIPAC continues to grow. Thank you for your leadership here @ PeteButtigieg , @ ewarren , @ BernieSanders , @ KamalaHarris , @ JulianCastro , @ BetoORourke , @ JayInslee ... who is next?

[Mar 20, 2019] Warren, Clinton and the sexist 'likability' narrative

Mar 20, 2019 | www.aol.com

In 2016, Cannon wrote that Warren would indeed bring more warmth than Clinton, pointing to an anecdote she shared on Facebook about how she would bake her mother a "heart shaped cake" as a child. He contrasted that with Clinton's sarcastic "I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies" comment from 1992 , which was a response to ongoing questions about why she chose to continue her law practice when her husband was governor of Arkansas.

For some Bernie Sanders supporters, meanwhile, praising Warren was a way to deflect accusations of sexism. In a 2016 Huffington Post opinion piece titled, "I Despise Hillary Clinton And It Has Nothing to Do With Her Gender," Isaac Saul wrote that he "and many Sanders supporters would vote for Elizabeth Warren if she were in the race over Hillary or Bernie." ( Saul apologized to Clinton for being a "smug young journalist" and "Bernie Bro" in a follow up article months later, writing that his views of her changed after he endeavored to learn more about her history).

So what's going on here? Has Warren become incredibly unlikable over the past two years? Or is this change more an indication of her growing power. High-achieving women, sociologist Marianne Cooper wrote in a 2013 Harvard Business Review article , are judged differently than men because "their very success -- and specifically the behaviors that created that success -- violates our expectations about how women are supposed to behave." When women act competitively or assertively rather than warm and nurturing, Cooper writes, they "elicit pushback from others for being insufficiently feminine and too masculine." As a society, she says, "we are deeply uncomfortable with powerful women. In fact, we don't often really like them."

[Mar 20, 2019] Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who comes from the Sanders wing of the party, just told CNN in response to Brazile's op-ed that the she believes the 2016 Democratic primary was rigged by Aaron Blake

Nov 02, 2017 | www.washingtonpost.com

The former interim head of the Democratic Party just accused Hillary Clinton's campaign of "unethical" conduct that "compromised the party's integrity." The Clinton campaign's alleged sin: A hostile takeover of the Democratic National Committee before her primary with Sen. Bernie Sanders had concluded.

Donna Brazile's op-ed in Politico is the equivalent of taking the smoldering embers of the 2016 primary and throwing some gasoline on them. Just about everything she says in the piece will inflame Sanders's passionate supporters who were already suspicious of the Democratic establishment and already had reason to believe -- based on leaked DNC emails -- that the committee wasn't as neutral in the primary as it was supposed to be.

But the op-ed doesn't break too much new provable, factual ground, relying more upon Brazile's own perception of the situation and hearsay. In the op-ed, Brazile says:

Brazile sums it up near the end: "If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party's integrity."

None of this is truly shocking. In fact, Brazile is largely writing about things we already knew about. The joint fundraising agreement between the Clinton campaign and the DNC was already known about and the subject of derision among Sanders's supporters. But it's worth noting that Sanders was given a similar opportunity and passed on using it, as Brazile notes.

There were also those emails from the DNC hack released by WikiLeaks that showed some at the DNC were hardly studiously neutral . One email chain discussed bringing Sanders's Jewish religion into the campaign, others spoke of him derisively, and in one a lawyer who worked for both Clinton and the DNC advised the committee on how to respond to questions about the Clinton joint fundraising committee. The emails even cast plenty of doubt on Brazile's neutrality, given she shared with the Clinton campaign details of questions to be asked at a pair of CNN forums for the Democratic candidates in March 2016, before she was interim chair but when she was still a DNC official. Brazile, who was a CNN pundit at the time, lost her CNN job over that.

The timeline here is also important. Many of those emails described above came after it was abundantly clear that Clinton would be the nominee, barring a massive and almost impossible shift in primary votes. It may have been in poor taste and contrary to protocol, but the outcome was largely decided long before Sanders ended his campaign. Brazile doesn't dwell too much on the timeline, so it's not clear exactly how in-the-bag Clinton had the nomination when the alleged takeover began. It's also not clear exactly what Clinton got for her alleged control.

This is also somewhat self-serving for Brazile, given the DNC continued to struggle during and after her tenure, especially financially . The op-ed is excerpted from her forthcoming book, "Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House." Losses like the one in 2016 will certainly lead to plenty of finger-pointing, and Brazile's book title and description allude to it containing plenty of that.

But taking on the Clintons is definitely something that most in the party wouldn't take lightly. And Brazile's allegation that Clinton was effectively controlling the DNC is the kind of thing that could lead to some further soul-searching and even bloodletting in the Democratic Party. It's largely been able to paper over its internal divisions since the primary season in 2016, given the great unifier for Democrats that is President Trump.

Sanders himself has somewhat toned down his criticism of the DNC during that span, but what he says -- especially given he seems to want to run again in 2020 -- will go a long way in determining how the party moves forward.

[Mar 20, 2019] Opinion Elizabeth Warren Actually Wants to Fix Capitalism by David Leonhardt

Looks like Warren is acceptable candidate for NYT and Clinton wing of the Democratic Party.
Mar 15, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

... ... ...

Warren is trying to treat not just the symptoms but the underlying disease. She has proposed a universal child-care and pre-K program that echoes the universal high school movement of the early 20th century. She favors not only a tougher approach to future mergers, as many Democrats do, but also a breakup of Facebook and other tech companies that have come to resemble monopolies. She wants to require corporations to include worker representatives on their boards -- to end the era of "shareholder-value maximization," in which companies care almost exclusively about the interests of their shareholders, often at the expense of their workers, their communities and their country.

Warren was also the first high-profile politician to call for an annual wealth tax , on fortunes greater than $50 million. This tax is the logical extension of research by the economist Thomas Piketty and others, which has shown how extreme wealth perpetuates itself. Historically, such concentration has often led to the decline of powerful societies. Warren, unlike some Democrats, comfortably explains that she is not socialist. She is a capitalist and, like Franklin D. Roosevelt, is trying to save American capitalism from its own excesses.

"Sometimes, bigger ideas are more possible to accomplish," Warren told me during a recent conversation about the economy at her Washington apartment. "Because you can inspire people."

... ... ...

Warren's agenda is a series of such bold ideas. She isn't pushing for a byzantine system of tax credits for child care. She wants a universal program of pre-K and child care, administered locally, with higher pay for teachers and affordable tuition for families.

And to anyone who asks, "But how will you pay for that?" Warren has an answer. Her wealth tax would raise more than $250 billion a year, about four times the estimated cost of universal child care. She is, in her populist way, the fiscal conservative in the campaign.

... ... ...

David Leonhardt is a former Washington bureau chief for the Times, and was the founding editor of The Upshot and head of The 2020 Project, on the future of the Times newsroom. He won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, for columns on the financial crisis. @DLeonhardt • Facebook [Sign up for David Leonhardt's daily newsletter with commentary on the news and reading suggestions from around the web.]

[Mar 20, 2019] Elizabeth Warren, Champion of Consumer Financial Protection by Drake Bennett

Notable quotes:
"... Elizabeth Warren has infuriated bankers and alienated half of Washington, all in the name of a new consumer protection agency she may not get to run ..."
"... At this point, Warren says, the banker made a confession. "We recognize that we have an unsustainable model, and it cannot work forever," she says he told her. "If we told people how much these things cost, they wouldn't use them." ..."
"... Warren's life is a blur of building and promoting the agency she dreamed up -- and that she may never get to lead. On leave from Harvard, she has spent hundreds of hours on Capitol Hill visiting with members of Congress, Democrat and Republican, and flown across the country meeting with the heads of the nation's major banks and many smaller ones. If most financial firms have yet to embrace the bureau, she's made some headway, at least, among the community banks. "Some of my colleagues have not gotten there yet because they are convinced she's close to the antichrist," says Roger Beverage, the head of the Oklahoma Bankers Assn. "I don't think she's doing anything but speaking from the heart on community banks." ..."
"... While Washington bickers, Warren has built the CFPB largely to her specs and almost entirely free of interference from Congress and the Administration, which devotes most of its attention to fixing the economy. Few Cabinet secretaries can claim to have left as indelible a mark on the departments they lead as Elizabeth Warren has already left on the one she doesn't. ..."
Jul 07, 2011 | bloomberg.com

Elizabeth Warren has infuriated bankers and alienated half of Washington, all in the name of a new consumer protection agency she may not get to run

Elizabeth Warren's admirers often refer to her as a grandmother from Oklahoma. This is technically true. It's also what you might call posturing. Warren, 62, is a Harvard professor and perhaps the country's top expert on bankruptcy law. Over the past four years she has managed to stoke a fervent debate over the government's role in protecting American consumers from what she sees as the predatory practices of financial institutions, and she has positioned herself as the person to oversee a new federal agency to rewrite the rules of lending. Warren is a grandma from Oklahoma in roughly the same way Ralph Nader is a pensioner with a thing about cars.

If the grandmother perception is plausible, it's largely because Warren has a gift for parables and for placing herself in the middle of them as the embodiment of moral force. Thus, her account of the precise moment she realized that changing the way banks lend was going to require a new federal bureaucracy -- and that it was up to her to create it.

Warren begins her tale in the spring of 2007, before the housing crash and the financial crisis. She was on a plane back to Boston after a series of discouraging meetings with credit-card company executives. She had tried to sell them on an idea called the "clean card" that grew out of her academic work and her side gig as a guest on such shows as Dr. Phil , where she dispensed empathy and advice to audience members who were one bad check away from losing everything. The concept was simple: Offer the equivalent of a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval to any credit-card company that disclosed all of its costs and fees up front, no fine print.

After a few meetings in which she was politely rebuffed, one executive walked Warren to the door and, with his arm around her, let her in on a trade secret: If he admitted that his card's actual rate was 17 percent, while his competitors were still claiming theirs was only 2.9 percent, his customers would desert him for the seemingly cheaper option, seal of approval or not. No credit-card company would ever go along with a clean card unless all of them did. And the only way to get all of them to do it was to require it by law.

At this point, Warren says, the banker made a confession. "We recognize that we have an unsustainable model, and it cannot work forever," she says he told her. "If we told people how much these things cost, they wouldn't use them."

Here she pauses for effect, and to take a sip of herbal tea. Warren is slight and kinetic, with wide, pale blue eyes behind rimless glasses. She punctuates her sentences with exclamations like "Holy guacamole!" It's difficult to tell whether these are spontaneous or deliberately deployed to soften her imposing professorial mien. Warren, who grew up poor and went to college on a debate scholarship, understands the power of expression. When she wants to underline a point, she leans in to conspire with her listener; then her voice goes quiet, as it does when she says she knew instantly the condescending executive was right. Her clean card was a flop.

And so, on the flight home, Warren turned to the problem of how to push those credit-card companies into doing the right thing. By landing time, she says, she had her answer: a powerful new federal agency whose sole mission would be to protect consumers, not only from confusing credit cards but from what she calls the "tricks and traps" of all dangerous financial products. The same way the Consumer Product Safety Commission guards against dangerous household products or the Food and Drug Administration watches out for contaminated produce and quack medications. The way Warren tells it, she pulled a piece of paper out of her backpack and got to work right there on the plane. "I started sketching out the problem and what the agency should look like."

It's a good story, even if the timeline is a little off. Warren's aides say she first pitched the idea of a consumer financial protection agency to then-Senator Barack Obama's office months before her fateful meeting with the executive. Whatever the idea's provenance, there's no doubting its influence. In a summer 2007 article in the journal Democracy , Warren outlined what her guardian agency would look like. "It is impossible to buy a toaster that has a one-in-five chance of bursting into flames and burning down your house," she wrote. "But it is possible to refinance an existing home with a mortgage that has the same one-in-five chance of putting the family out on the street -- and the mortgage won't even carry a disclosure of that fact to the homeowner." One was effectively regulated. The other was not.

The annals of academia are stuffed with provocative proposals. Most die in the library. A little over four years after she first dreamed it up, Warren's has become a reality. Last summer, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a package of financial reforms meant to prevent another economic meltdown. One of the bill's pillars is Warren's watchdog agency, now called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

On July 21, exactly a year after Dodd-Frank became law, the CFPB is scheduled to open for business with a broad mandate to root out "unfair, deceptive, or abusive" lending practices. Consolidating functions previously scattered across seven different agencies, the bureau will have the power to dictate the terms of every consumer lending product on the market, from mortgages and credit cards to student, overdraft, and car loans. It will supervise not only banks and credit unions but credit-card companies, mortgage servicers, credit bureaus, debt collectors, payday lenders, and check-cashing shops. Dozens of researchers will track trends in the lending market and keep an eye on new products. Teams of examiners will prowl the halls of financial institutions to ensure compliance. The bureau is already at work on its first major initiative: simplifying the bewildering bank forms you sign when you buy a house.

Warren's life is a blur of building and promoting the agency she dreamed up -- and that she may never get to lead. On leave from Harvard, she has spent hundreds of hours on Capitol Hill visiting with members of Congress, Democrat and Republican, and flown across the country meeting with the heads of the nation's major banks and many smaller ones. If most financial firms have yet to embrace the bureau, she's made some headway, at least, among the community banks. "Some of my colleagues have not gotten there yet because they are convinced she's close to the antichrist," says Roger Beverage, the head of the Oklahoma Bankers Assn. "I don't think she's doing anything but speaking from the heart on community banks."

One other person she has not yet won over: Barack Obama. The President has not nominated her to head the bureau. Instead, last fall he gave her the title of special assistant to the President and special adviser to the Treasury and tasked her with getting the place up and running. For now, she is the non-head of a non-agency. The White House refuses to say whether Obama will eventually put her up for the job, allowing only that he is considering several candidates. In the coded language of appointment politics, it is a signal that they are seriously considering passing Warren over for someone else. A White House official says the Administration would like to have a nominee in place before Congress leaves for its August recess.

There's a reason for their wariness. The White House is reluctant to antagonize congressional Republicans in the middle of contentious negotiations over the federal debt ceiling. Warren's position requires Senate approval, and Republicans, many of whom regard the CFPB as more clumsy government meddling in the free market, are vehemently opposed to allowing its creator to be installed at its helm. Republicans have used a parliamentary maneuver to keep the Senate from officially adjourning for its traditional summer break, thus depriving Obama of the opportunity to sidestep their objections and make Warren a recess appointment.

"She's probably a nice person, as far as I know," says Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the Banking Committee, which will hold hearings on the eventual nominee for the post. Shelby has said Warren is too ideological to lead the agency, a judgment shared by many of his Republican colleagues. "She's a professor and all this," he says in a tone that makes it clear he is not paying her a compliment. "To think up something, to create something of this magnitude, and then look to be the head of it, I wouldn't do that," Shelby says. "It looks like you created yourself a good job, a good power thing."

Warren is not waiting for permission to do the job she may never get. She and her small team have hired hundreds of people, at a recent clip of more than 80 per month. The agency has already outgrown its office space and is divided between two buildings in downtown Washington -- with branches to be opened across the country. A fledgling staff of researchers is cranking out the CFPB's first reports, and its first bank examiners are being trained. Meanwhile, the office softball team has compiled a 2-3 record.

Above all, an institutional culture is emerging, and it is largely loyal to Warren and her idea of what the agency should be. She has attracted several top hires from outside the federal government. The bureau's chief operating officer, Catherine West, was previously president of Capital One; its head of research, Sendhil Mullainathan, is a behavioral economist and star Harvard professor; the chief of enforcement, Richard Cordray, is the former attorney general of Ohio; Raj Date, her deputy and head of the bureau's Research, Markets and Regulation Div., is a former banker at Capital One and Deutsche Bank. Warren, whose reputation as a scholar rests on her pioneering use of bankruptcy data, has imbued the place with her faith in quantitative analysis. Researchers she recruited and hired have begun to build the bureau's database of financial information, with a broad mandate to keep track of lending markets and find ways to make financial information more easily digestible.

While Washington bickers, Warren has built the CFPB largely to her specs and almost entirely free of interference from Congress and the Administration, which devotes most of its attention to fixing the economy. Few Cabinet secretaries can claim to have left as indelible a mark on the departments they lead as Elizabeth Warren has already left on the one she doesn't.

The CFPB's main offices are on two floors of a russet-colored office building a few blocks northwest of the White House. The government-gray cubicles and hallways spill over with new hires -- many of them young -- working 12- and 14-hour days elbow to elbow, pale and exuding a dogged cheerfulness that suggests that, no, they do not miss the sun. By the elevator bank is a calendar counting down the days until July 21.

Ten years ago, before she became a liberal icon, Warren was a popular Harvard professor known for taking a maternal interest in the students she chose as research assistants. She was famous, but only in the small corner of academia that cared about bankruptcy. "In my opinion she is the best bankruptcy scholar in the country," says Samuel Bufford, a law professor at Penn State who got to know Warren decades ago as a bankruptcy judge in California's Central District.

Work Warren did with Jay Westbrook, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and Teresa Sullivan, a sociologist who is now president of the University of Virginia, reshaped the scholarly understanding of bankruptcy. Analyzing thousands of filings and interviewing many of the debtors themselves, they found that those who go bankrupt weren't, as commonly assumed, primarily poor or financially reckless. A great many of them were solidly middle class and had been driven to bankruptcy by circumstances they did not choose or could not control: the loss of a job, a medical disaster, or a divorce. The explosion in consumer credit in recent decades had only exacerbated the situation -- almost without realizing it, households could now slide faster and further into debt than ever before.

Warren, Westbrook, and Sullivan all saw their bankruptcy findings as a window into the broader travails of the financially fragile middle class. More than her co-authors, though, Warren sought a larger audience for the message. In 2003, along with her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi, she wrote The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers & Fathers Are Going Broke , a book that combined arguments about the political and economic forces eroding middle-class financial stability with practical advice about how households could fight them. The language was sharper than in her academic work: "Subprime lending, payday loans, and the host of predatory, high-interest loan products that target minority neighborhoods should be called by their true names: legally sanctioned corporate plans to steal from minorities," Warren and Tyagi wrote.

The book got attention and Warren became a frequent TV guest. She was invited to give speeches and sit on panels on bankruptcy and debt. She was a regular on comedian Al Franken's radio show on the now defunct Air America network. "She's quite brilliant. She was always just an excellent guest," recalls Franken, now a Democratic U.S. Senator from Minnesota. "She has a very good sense of humor."

In 2003, Warren attended a fundraiser in Cambridge for Barack Obama, then running for U.S. Senate. When she walked up to shake his hand, he greeted her with two words: "predatory lending." As a senator, Obama would occasionally call Warren for her thoughts, though the two never became close.

It was the financial crisis that made Warren a star. In November 2008, in a nod to her growing reputation as a consumer advocate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid chose Warren to chair the congressional panel overseeing the TARP financial rescue program. The reports she helped produce over the next two and a half years and the hearings she helped lead gave the panel a higher profile than even its creators had predicted, as she articulated concerns that many Americans had about the wisdom of a massive Wall Street bailout. In perhaps her most famous moment, Warren grilled Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on AIG's share of the aid money and how it was that so much of it had ended up simply reimbursing the investment banks the insurer owed money.

Warren used her role on the panel, and the newfound visibility it gave her, to push for her agency. She worked the idea into a special report the committee released in January 2009, among a list of recommendations to head off fut ure financial crises. She wrote op-ed pieces, was on TV constantly, and met with at least 80 members of Congress. She also brought the idea to the Administration. Over a long lunch at an Indian restaurant in Washington, she pitched the concept to White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers, whom she knew from his tenure as Harvard's president. Inside Treasury, the idea was taken up by Michael Barr, a key architect of Dodd-Frank and a lawyer Warren had known for years. At least within the White House, Barr recalls, it wasn't hard to build support. "I think there was a general consensus that built pretty quickly that this was a good option," he says. "I didn't get any significant pushback on the idea." Barr's inside advocacy, combined with Warren's PR blitz, paid off. In June 2009, Obama released a "white paper" laying out his own financial regulatory proposals, and Warren's agency was in it.

Among the CFPB staff there is a strongly held belief that they have the opportunity not only to reshape an industry but reinvent what a government agency can be, to rescue the idea of bureaucracy from its association with sclerosis and timidity. People there emphasize that they are creating a 21st century agency. Still, there's a throwback Great Society feel to the place, with its faith in the abilities of very smart unelected administrators, armed with data, to iron out the inefficiencies and injustices of the world. "Nobody looks at consumer finance regulation as it existed over the past decade and says, 'Yeah, that seemed to work all right, let's do more of that,' " says Raj Date, a square-jawed 40-year-old who speaks in the confident, numbers-heavy parlance of Wall Street.

Regardless of whether the CFPB has a director by its July 21 "transfer date," there are certain things it will immediately begin to do. One is to send teams of examiners into banks and credit unions to make sure they are complying with existing consumer finance regulations. When the bureau is fully staffed up -- initially, it will have some 500 employees and an annual budget of around $500 million -- a majority of the people who work there will be examiners. The bureau has only supervisory power over banks with assets of more than $10 billion, though the rules it writes will still apply to smaller banks. Banks on the low end of the scale will see a team of examiners for a few weeks every two years, unless there are specific complaints to investigate. Most of the biggest banks, those with assets of $100 billion and up, will have CFPB examiners in residence year-round. The examiners will go to work parsing the terms of mortgages and other loans, searching for evidence of consumer harm. They'll look at how the products are marketed and sold to make sure it's done transparently, that costs and fees are disclosed up front.

What the bureau will not be able to do without a director is send its examiners into nonbank financial institutions. Dodd-Frank gives the CFPB jurisdiction over payday lenders, check cashers, mortgage brokers, student loan companies, and the like. Because this is an expansion of regulatory powers, it will not take effect until a permanent director is in place.

The bureau is less willing to discuss the specifics of what will happen when it finds evidence of wrongdoing. The press office refused to make the head of enforcement, Richard Cordray, available for an interview. Like other enforcement agencies, the CFPB will have a variety of measures at its fingertips: It will be able to give firms a talking-to, or issue so-called "supervisory guidance" papers on problematic financial products. It will be able to send cease-and-desist orders. And if all else fails, the bureau will be able to take offenders to court.

The CFPB will also have broad rule-making powers over everything from credit-card marketing campaigns to car loan terms to the size of bank overdraft fees. For now, it has confined itself to initiatives less likely to arouse wide opposition among financial firms. The major one at the moment is developing a clear, simple, two-page mortgage form that merges the two confusing ones borrowers now confront. Bureau staff met with consumer advocates and mortgage brokers last fall, then put up two versions of a possible new form on the bureau's website, where consumers were invited to leave critiques. About 14,000 people weighed in. The forms are now being shown to focus groups around the country. A new version is due out in August.

This lengthy process is meant to demonstrate the bureau's commitment to a sort of radical openness to counter accusations that it's a body of unaccountable bureaucrats. In another gesture, Warren's calendar is posted on the website so that anyone can see who has a claim on her time. The undeniable sense among bureau staffers that they are political targets tempers that commitment to transparency a bit. The press office is jittery about allowing reporters to talk to staff on the record, and Warren agreed to two interviews on the condition that Bloomberg Businessweek allow her to approve quotes before publication.

If the supervision and enforcement division is the long arm of the bureau, its eyes and brain will be Research, Markets and Regulations, headed by Raj Date. Teams of analysts will follow various markets -- credit cards, mortgages, or student loans -- to spot trends and examine new products. Economists and other social scientists on staff will help write financial disclosure forms that make intuitive sense. The benefits of this sort of work, Date argues, will extend beyond just protecting consumers. It will help spot signs of more systemic risks. If the bureau and its market research teams had been in place five years ago, he says, they would have spotted evidence of the coming mortgage meltdown and could have coordinated with the bureau's enforcement division to head it off. "If it was someone's job to be in touch with the marketplace and monitor what was going on," Date says, "it would have been very difficult not to notice that three different kinds of mortgages had gone from nothing to a very surprising share of the overall marketplace in the span of, honestly, like three years."

Were it not for a head of prematurely gray hair, Patrick McHenry could still pass for the college Republican he once was. Elected to Congress from North Carolina seven years ago at age 29, he speaks through an assiduous smile and arches his eyebrows as he listens -- furrowing them quizzically at arguments he disagrees with. In late May, McHenry assumed the role of Warren's chief antagonist in Congress. At an oversight hearing he was chairing, McHenry accused Warren of misleading Congress about whether she had given advice to Treasury and Justice Dept. officials who were investigating companies for mortgage fraud. McHenry said she had concealed her conversations. Warren insisted she had disclosed them.

The hearing then took a bizarre turn. McHenry called for a recess so members of the committee could go to the House floor for a vote. Warren replied that she had agreed to testify for an hour and could not stay any longer. "Congressman, you are causing problems," she said. "We had an agreement." Offended, McHenry shot back: "You're making this up, Ms. Warren. This is not the case." Warren's response, an outraged gasp, was played on cable news.

In a conversation a month later in his Capitol Hill office, McHenry is eager to emphasize that his problem is not with Warren, but with the bureau itself. That's not to say he feels he has anything to apologize for. "I've asked questions of a litany of Administration officials from Democrat and Republican Administrations, and I've never seen an action by any witness like I saw that day," he says.

Like most congressional Republicans -- and a broad array of business groups, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Financial Services Roundtable, and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions -- McHenry opposed the creation of the CFPB and voted against Dodd-Frank. At the time, the bureau's opponents argued that its seemingly noble goals would not only hurt financial firms -- depriving them of the ability to compensate for risky borrowers by charging higher interest rates -- they would also hurt borrowers. The prospect of limits on the sort of rates and fees they could charge would cause banks and payday lenders alike to lend less and to not lend at all to marginal borrowers at a time when the economy needed as much credit as it could get.

Where it's not actively harmful, McHenry argues, the bureau will be redundant. If there's fraud or deceptive marketing in the consumer lending market, the federal government can prosecute it through the Federal Trade Commission. Clearer mortgage forms are all well and good, but Congress can take care of that, he says, noting that he introduced legislation for a simpler mortgage form three years ago. In response to arguments like these, Warren simply points to the record of those existing regulators: the Fed and the Housing & Urban Development Dept. have haggled over a simpler mortgage form for years. As for fears that the bureau will cap the interest rates companies can charge, she notes that Dodd-Frank explicitly prevents it from doing that.

Warren has been uncharacteristically tightlipped about her own ambitions. She refuses to say whether she even wants the job and has never publicly expressed a desire for it. In a way, the White House may do her a favor by not nominating her. If the President decides to go with a compromise candidate to appease Republicans, she will be spared the indignity of being tossed aside. She can't be said to have lost a job she was never offered.

Yet Warren gives the distinct impression that she will not suffer long if the President passes her over. Harvard has more than its share of celebrity professors who have gone to Washington and returned. The experience could also lead to a different kind of life in politics: Democrats in Massachusetts have been urging her to come home to run for Senate against Republican Scott Brown. There would be books to write, television appearances to make, and, who knows, maybe a show of her own. And whatever happens, she will get to tell the second half of the story of how she started a government agency. Whether the story ends with her confirmation or being driven from town, it's almost certain that the character of Elizabeth Warren will come out looking just fine.

( Corrects the year Elizabeth Warren moved to Washington to work at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau )

[Mar 19, 2019] Elizabeth Warren had a good speech at UC-Berkeley. She focused on the middle class family balance sheet and risk shifting

Mar 19, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

rc, March 18, 2019 at 4:01 pm

Elizabeth Warren had a good speech at UC-Berkeley. She focused on the middle class family balance sheet and risk shifting. Regulatory policies and a credit based monetary system have resulted in massive real price increases in inelastic areas of demand such as healthcare, education and housing eroding purchasing power.

Further, trade policies have put U.S. manufacturing at a massive disadvantage to the likes of China, which has subsidized state-owned enterprises, has essentially slave labor costs and low to no environmental regulations. Unrestrained immigration policies have resulted in a massive supply wave of semi- and unskilled labor suppressing wages.

Recommended initial steps to reform:

1. Change the monetary system-deleverage economy with the Chicago Plan (100% reserve banking) and fund massive infrastructure lowering total factor costs and increasing productivity. This would eliminate

2. Adopt a healthcare system that drives HC to 10% to 12% of GDP. France's maybe? Medicare model needs serious reform but is great at low admin costs.

3. Raise tariffs across the board or enact labor and environmental tariffs on the likes of China and other Asian export model countries.

4. Take savings from healthcare costs and interest and invest in human capital–educational attainment and apprenticeships programs.

5. Enforce border security restricting future immigration dramatically and let economy absorb labor supply over time.

Video of UC-B lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akVL7QY0S8A&feature=youtu.be

Jerry B, March 18, 2019 at 5:26 pm

As I have said in other comments, I like Liz Warren a lot within the limits of what she is good at doing (i.e. not President) such as Secretary of the Treasury etc. And I think she likes the media spotlight and to hear herself talk a little to much, but all quibbling aside, can we clone her??? The above comment and video just reinforce "Stick to what you are really good at Liz!".

I am not a Liz Warren fan boi to the extent Lambert is of AOC, but it seems that most of the time when I hear Warren, Sanders, or AOC say something my first reaction is "Yes, what she/he said!".

[Mar 19, 2019] Angry Bear " Elizabeth Warren, David Leonhardt, Redistribution, and Predistribution by Robert Waldmann

Mar 17, 2019 | angrybearblog.com
Politics Taxes/regulation I just had an unusual experience. I was convinced by an op-ed. One third of the way through "Elizabeth Warren Actually Wants to Fix Capitalism" by David Leonhardt, I was planning to contest one of Leonhard's assertions. Now I am convinced.

The column praises Elizabeth Warren. Leonhardt (like his colleague Paul Krugman) is careful to refrain from declaring his intention to vote for her in the primary. I am planning to vote for her. I mostly agreed with the column to begin with, but was not convinced by Leonard's praise of Warren's emphasis on aiming for more equal pre-fiscal distribution of income rather than just relying on taxes and transfers to redistribute.

In particular, I was not convinced by

This history suggests that the Democratic Party's economic agenda needs to become more ambitious. Modest changes in the top marginal tax rate or in middle-class tax credits aren't enough. The country needs an economic policy that measures up to the scale of our challenges.

Here two issues are combined. One is modest vs major changes. The other is that predistribution is needed in addition to redistribution, as discussed even more clearly here

"Clinton and Obama focused on boosting growth and redistribution," Gabriel Zucman, a University of California, Berkeley, economist who has advised Warren, says. "Warren is focusing on how pretax income can be made more equal."

The option of a large change in the top marginal tax rate and a large middle class tax credit isn't considered in the op-ed. I think this would be excellent policy which has overwhelming popular support as measured by polls (including the support of a large fraction of self declared Republicans). I note from time to time that, since 1976 both the Democrats who have been elected president campaigned on higher taxes on high incomes and lower taxes on the middle class (and IIRC none of the candidates who lost did).

This is also one of my rare disagreements with Paul Krugman , and, finally one of my rare disagreements with Dean Baker ( link to a book which I haven't read).

After the jump, I will make my usual case. But first, I note Leonardt's excellent argument for why "soak the rich and spread it out thin" isn't a sufficient complete market oriented egalitarian program. It is phrased as a question.

"How can the next president make changes that will endure, rather than be undone by a future president, as both Obama's and Clinton's top-end tax increases were?"

Ahh yes. High taxes on high income and high wealth would solve a lot of problems. But they will be reversed. New programs such as Obamacare or Warren's proposed universal pre-K and subsidized day care will not. Nor will regulatory reforms such as mandatory paid sick leave and mandatory paid family leave. I am convinced that relatively complicated proposals are more politically feasible, not because it is easier to implement them, but because it is very hard to eliminate programs used by large numbers of middle class voters.

I'd note that I had already conceded the advantage of a regulatory approach which relies on the illusion that the costs must be born by the regulated firms. Here I note that fleet fuel economy standards are much more popular than increased gasoline taxes. One is a market oriented approach. The other is one that hides behind the market as consumers don't know that part of the price of a gas guzzler pays the shadow price of reducing fleet average milage.

OK my usual argument after the jump

It is unusual for me to disagree with Baker, Leonhardt, and (especially) Krugman. I am quite sure that the Democratic candidate for president should campaign on higher taxes on the rich and lower taxes for the non-rich.

To be sure, I can see that that isn't the only possible policy improvement. Above, I note the advantages of hiding spending by mandating spending by firms and of creating entitlements which are very hard for the GOP to eliminate. I'd add that we have to do a lot to deal with global warming. Competition policy is needed for market efficiency. I think unions and restrictions on firing without cause have an effect on power relations which is good in addition to the effect on income distribution.

But I don't understand the (mildly) skeptical tone. I will set up and knock down some straw men

1) Total straw -- US voters are ideological conservatives and operational liberals. They reject soaking the rich, class war, and redistribution. To convince them to help the non rich, one has to disguise what one is doing.

This is especially silly, and no one in the discussion argues this (anymore -- people used to argue this). The polls and elections are clear. US voters want higher taxes on high incomes and on the wealthy. Also Congress has gone along -- the effective tax rate on the top 1% was about the same after Obama as before Reagan

2) Extremely high marginal tax rates are bad for the economy. Here this is often conceded, in particular by people arguing for modest increases in the top marginal tax rate. The claim is not supported by actual evidence. In particular the top rate was 70% during the 60s boom.

3) High tax rates cause tax avoidance. This reduces efficiency and also means that they don't generate the naively expected revenue. There is very little evidence that this is a huge issue . In particular there was a huge increase in tax sheltering after the 1981 Kemp-Roth tax cuts and reforms. It is possible to design a tax code which makes avoidance difficult (as shown by the 1986 Kemp-Bradley tax reform). It is very hard to implement such a code without campaigning on soaking the rich and promoting class uh struggle.

4) More generally, redistribution does not work -- the post tax income distribution is not equalized because the rich find a way. This is super straw again. All the international and time series evidence points the other way.

I don't see a political or policy argument against a large increase in taxes on high incomes (70% bracket starting at $400,000 a year) used to finance a large expansion of the EITC (so most households receive it).

I think a problem is that a simple solution does not please nerds. I think another is that a large fraction of the elite would pay the high taxes and it is easier to trick them into trying to make corporations pay the costs.

But I really don't understand.


Denis Drew , March 17, 2019 3:51 pm

First, whenever anybody (that I hear or read) talks about what to do with the revenue from higher taxes on the rich, they always suggest this or that government program (education, medical, housing). I always think of putting more money back in the pockets of my middle 59% incomes to make up for the higher consumer prices they will have to pay when the bottom 40% get unionized.

Of course the 59% can use that money to pay taxes for said government programs -- money is fungible. But, that re-inserts an important element or dimension or facet which seems perpetually forgotten (would not be in continental Europe or maybe French Canada).

Don't forget: predistribution goal = a reunionized labor market. Don't just look to Europe for redistribution goals -- look at their predistribution too.

Bert Schlitz , March 17, 2019 10:14 pm

Nobody in the 60's that was taxed at a marginal 70% rate paid 70%. The top effective rate was about 32-38%, which was far higher than today, but you get the point. The income tax code was as much control of where investment would take place as much as anything ..Ronald Reagan whined about this for years. Shove it grease ball. There was a reason why.

Redistribution won't work because the system is a debt based ponzi scheme. The US really hasn't grown much since 1980, instead you have had the growth in debt.

You need to get rid of the federal reserve system's banks control of the financial system, which they have had since the 1830's in terms of national control(from Hamilton's Philly, which was the financial epicenter before that) and de Rothschild free since the 1930's(when the bank of de Rothschild ala the Bank of England's reserve currency collapsed). Once we have a debt free currency that is usury free, then you can develop and handle intense changes like ecological problems ala Climate Change, which the modern plutocrats cannot and will not solve.

They have been ramming debt in peoples face since 1950 and since 1980 it has gotten vulgar. They know they are full of shit and can't win a fair game.

run75441 , March 18, 2019 6:09 am

Robert:

Would you agree a secure healthcare system without work requirements for those who can not afford healthcare is a form of pre-distribution of income? Today's ACA was only a step in the right direction and is being tampered with by ideologs to limit its reach. It can be improved upon and have a socio-economic impact on people. Over at Medpage where I comment on healthcare, the author makes this comment:

"Investing in improvements in patients' social determinants of health -- non-medical areas such as housing, transportation, and food insecurity -- is another potentially big area, he said. "It's a major opportunity for plans to position around this and make it real. The more plans can address social determinants of health, [the more] plans can become truly organizations dedicated to health as opposed to organizations dedicated to incurring medical costs, and that to me is a bright future and a bright way to position the industry."

Many of the "social determinants of health" are not consciously decided by the patient and are predetermined by income, social status or politics, and education. What is being said in this paragraph makes for nice rhetoric and is mostly unachievable due to the three factors I suggested. And yes, you can make some progress. People can make healthy choices once the pre-determinants to doing so are resolved.

Another factor which was left dangling when Liebermann decided to be an ass is Long Term Healthcare for the elderly and those who are no longer capable. Medicare is only temporary and Medicaid forces one to be destitute. There is a large number of people who are approaching the time when they will need such healthcare till death. We have no plans for this tsunami of people.

The tax break was passed using Reconciliation. In 7-8 years out, there is a planned shift in taxes to be levied on the middle income brackets to insure the continuamce of Trump's tax break for the 100 or so thousand households it was skewed towards. If not rescinding the tax break then it should be fixed so it sunsets as did Bush's tax break due to its budget creating deficit. Someone running for the Pres position should be discussing this and pointing out how Republicans have deliberately undermined the middle income brackets.

We should not limit solutions to just income when there are so many areas we are lacking in today.

Mu $.02.

Robert Waldmann , March 18, 2019 4:47 pm

I guess I consider food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security old age pensions and disability pensions to be redistribution. My distinction is whether it is tax financed. Providing goods or services as in Medicare and food stamps seems to me basically the same as providing cash as in TANF and old age pensions.

There is also a difference between means tested and age dependent eligiability, but I don't consider it fundamental.

I assert that Medicare (especially plan B) is a kind of welfare basically like TANF and food stamps.

(and look forward to a calm and tranquil discussion of that opinion).

run75441 , March 18, 2019 9:01 pm

Robert:

Medicare is 41% funded by general revenues. The rest comes from payroll taxes and beneficiary premiums. Advantage plans cost more than traditional Medicare for providing the same benefits and also extract a premium fee. I do not believe I have been mean to you. I usually question to learn more. I am happy to have your input.

I am writing for Consumer Safety Org on Woman's healthcare this time and also an article on the Swiss struggling to pay for cancer fighting drugs.

I am always looking for input.

[Mar 15, 2019] Will Democrats Go Full Hawk by Jack Hunter

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Warren could have easily gone either way, succumbing to the emotive demands of the Never Trump mob. She instead opted to stick to the traditional progressive position on undeclared war, even if it meant siding with the president. ..."
"... Bravo Congressman Khanna. And to those progs who share his sympathies with those of us who have consistently opposed US military adventurism. Howard Dean's comments that American troops should take a bullet in support of "women's rights" in Afghanistan (!) only underscores why he serves as comic relief and really should consider wearing tassels and bells. ..."
"... Trump – and Bernie – put their fingers on the electoral zeitgeist in 2016: the oligarchy is out of control, its servants in Washington have turned their backs on the middle class, and we need to stop getting into stupid, needless wars. ..."
"... "Principles", LOL? What principles? When have Democrats ever not campaigned on a "bring them home, no torture, etc" peace platform and then governed on a deep state neocon foreign policy, with entitlements to drone anyone on earth in Obama's case? At least horrible neocon Republicans are honest enough to say what they believe when they run. ..."
"... Hillary was full hawk. It was Trump who said he was less hawkish. Yeah, he hasn't lived up to that either. But Democrats can't go hawkish in response. They already were the hawks. ..."
Mar 14, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

When President Donald Trump announced in December that he wanted an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, there was more silence and opposition from the Left than approval. The 2016 election's highest-profile progressive, Senator Bernie Sanders, said virtually nothing at the time. The 2018 midterm election's Left celeb, former congressman Beto O'Rourke, kept mum too. The 2004 liberal hero, Howard Dean, came out against troop withdrawals, saying they would damage women's rights in Afghanistan.

The liberal news outlet on which Warren made her statement, MSNBC, which had already been sounding more like Fox News circa 2003, warned that withdrawal from Syria could hurt national security. The left-leaning news channel has even made common cause with Bill Kristol and other neoconservatives in its shared opposition to all things Trump.

Maddow herself has not only vocally opposed the president's decision, but has become arguably more popular than ever with liberal viewers by peddling wild-eyed anti-Trump conspiracy theories worthy of Alex Jones. Reacting to one of her cockamamie theories, progressive journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted , "She is Glenn Beck standing at the chalkboard. Liberals celebrate her (relatively) high ratings as proof that she's right, but Beck himself proved that nothing produces higher cable ratings than feeding deranged partisans unhinged conspiracy theories that flatter their beliefs."

The Trump derangement that has so enveloped the Left on everything, including foreign policy, is precisely what makes Democratic presidential candidate Warren's Syria withdrawal position so noteworthy. One can safely assume that Sanders, O'Rourke, Dean, MSNBC, Maddow, and many of their fellow progressive travelers' silence on or resistance to troop withdrawal is simply them gauging what their liberal audiences currently want or will accept.

Warren could have easily gone either way, succumbing to the emotive demands of the Never Trump mob. She instead opted to stick to the traditional progressive position on undeclared war, even if it meant siding with the president.

... ... ...

Jack Hunter is the former political editor of Rare.us and co-authored the 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington with Senator Rand Paul.


WorkingClass March 13, 2019 at 10:36 pm

Only a crushing defeat and massive casualties on the battlefield will cause ANY change in foreign policy by either party.
PAX , says: March 13, 2019 at 10:45 pm
The antiwar movement is not a "liberal" movement. Hundreds of mainly your people addressed the San Francisco board of supervisors asking them to condemn an Israeli full-fledged attack on Gaza. When they were finished, without objection from one single supervisor, the issued was tabled and let sink permanently in the Bay, never to be heard of again. Had the situation been reversed and Israel under attack there most probably would have been a resolution in nanoseconds. Maybe even half the board volunteering to join the IDF? People believed Trump would act more objectively. That is why he got a lot of peace votes. What AIPAC wants there is a high probability our liberal politicians will oblige quickly and willingly. Who really represents America remains a mystery?
Donald , says: March 13, 2019 at 11:40 pm
"That abiding hatred will continue to play an outsized and often illogical role in determining what most Democrats believe about foreign policy."

True, but the prowar tendency with mainstream liberals ( think Clintonites) is older than that. The antiwar movement among mainstream liberals died the instant Obama entered the White House. And even before that Clinton and Kerry and others supported the Iraq War. I think this goes all the way back to Gulf War I, and possibly further. Democrats were still mostly antiwar to some degree after Vietnam and they also opposed Reagan's proxy wars in Central America and Angola. Some opposed the Gulf War, but it seemed a big success at the time and so it became centrist and smart to kick the Vietnam War syndrome and be prowar. Bill Clinton has his little war in Serbia, which was seen as a success and so being prowar became the centrist Dem position. Obama was careful to say he wasn't antiwar, just against dumb wars. Gore opposed going into Iraq, but on technocratic grounds.

And in popular culture, in the West Wing the liberal fantasy President was bombing an imaginary Mideast terrorist country. Showed he was a tough guy, but measured, unlike some of the even more warlike fictitious Republicans in that show. I remember Toby Ziegler, one of the main characters, ranting to his pro diplomacy wife that we needed to go in and civilize those crazy Muslims.

So it isn't just an illogical overreaction to Trump, though that is part of it.

polistra , says: March 14, 2019 at 2:18 am
Won't happen. Gabbard is solid and sincere but she's not Hillary so she won't be the candidate. Hillary is the candidate forever. If Hillary is too drunk to stand up, or too obviously dead, Kamala will serve as Hillary's regent.
ked_x , says: March 14, 2019 at 2:48 am
The problem isn't THAT Trump is pulling the troops out of Syria. The problem is HOW Trump is pulling the troops out of Syria. The Left isn't fighting about 'keeping troops indefinitely in Syria' vs pulling troops out of Syria'. Its a fight over 'pulling troops out in a way that makes it so that we don't have to go back in like Obama and Iraq' vs 'backing the reckless pull out Trump is going to do'.
Kasoy , says: March 14, 2019 at 3:42 am
Will Democrats go full hawk?

For Democrats, everything depends on what the polls say, which issues seem important to get elected. They will say anything, no matter how irrational & outrageously insane if the polls say Democrat voters like them. If American involvement in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan are less important according to the polls, Democratic 2020 hopefuls will not bother to focus on it.

For True Christian conservatives, everything depends on how issues line up to God's laws. Polls do not change what is morally right, & what is morally evil.

Connecticut Farmer , says: March 14, 2019 at 8:47 am
"I am glad Donald Trump is withdrawing troops from Syria. Congress never authorized the intervention."

Bravo Congressman Khanna. And to those progs who share his sympathies with those of us who have consistently opposed US military adventurism. Howard Dean's comments that American troops should take a bullet in support of "women's rights" in Afghanistan (!) only underscores why he serves as comic relief and really should consider wearing tassels and bells.

M. Orban , says: March 14, 2019 at 9:35 am
Having grown up under communism, I learned that it is dangerous but inevitable that propagandists eventually come to believe their own fabrications.
Argon , says: March 14, 2019 at 11:23 am
Kasoy: "For True Christian conservatives, everything depends on how issues line up to God's laws. Polls do not change what is morally right, & what is morally evil."

I think that needs the trademark symbol, i.e True Christians™

What do True Scotsmen do?

Dave , says: March 14, 2019 at 12:53 pm
Recent suggests that more Christian Identity Politics will not keep us out of unwise wars.
Dave , says: March 14, 2019 at 1:19 pm
The Second Coming of Jack Hunter. Given his well-documented views on race, it's no surprise he's all in on Trump. That surely outweighs Trump's massive spending and corruption that most true libertarians oppose.
EarlyBird , says: March 14, 2019 at 3:04 pm
Trump – and Bernie – put their fingers on the electoral zeitgeist in 2016: the oligarchy is out of control, its servants in Washington have turned their backs on the middle class, and we need to stop getting into stupid, needless wars.

Of course, the left would come out against puppies and sunshine if Trump came out for those things.

But if they are smart, they'd recognize that on war, or his lack of interest in starting new wars, even the broken Trump clock has been right twice a day.

Erin , says: March 14, 2019 at 3:11 pm
The flip side of this phenomenon is that so many Republican voters supported Trump's withdrawal from Syria. Had it been Obama withdrawing the troops, I suspect 80-90% of Republicans would have opposed the withdrawal.

This does show that Republicans are listening to Trump more than Lindsey Graham or Marco Rubio on foreign policy. But once Trump leaves office, I fear the party will swing back towards the neocons.

Andrew , says: March 14, 2019 at 5:14 pm
"Principles", LOL? What principles? When have Democrats ever not campaigned on a "bring them home, no torture, etc" peace platform and then governed on a deep state neocon foreign policy, with entitlements to drone anyone on earth in Obama's case? At least horrible neocon Republicans are honest enough to say what they believe when they run.

Dopey Trump campaigned on something different and has now surrounded himself with GOP hawks, probably because he's lazy and doesn't know any better.

Bernie, much like Ron Paul was, 180 degrees away, is the only one who might do different if he got into office, and the rate the left is going he may very well be the nominee.

Mark Thomason , says: March 15, 2019 at 11:23 am
Hillary was full hawk. It was Trump who said he was less hawkish. Yeah, he hasn't lived up to that either. But Democrats can't go hawkish in response. They already were the hawks.

The least bad comment on Democrats is that everyone in DC is a hawk, not just them.

[Mar 12, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Ads Banned From Facebook

Mar 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"Three companies have vast power over our economy and our democracy. Facebook, Amazon, and Google," read the ads which began to run on Friday, According to Politico . "We all use them. But in their rise to power, they've bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field in their favor."

As these companies have grown larger and more powerful, they have used their resources and control over the way we use the Internet to squash small businesses and innovation , and substitute their own financial interests for the broader interests of the American people. To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it's time to break up our biggest tech companies. -Elizabeth Warren

Facebook confirmed with Politico that the ads had been taken down and said said the company is reviewing the matter. "The person said, according to an initial review, that the removal could be linked to the company's policies about using Facebook's brand in posts ."

Around a dozen other ads placed by Warren were not affected.

[Mar 09, 2019] Gone When They Get Your Vote

Notable quotes:
"... I'll be honest here and admit that Democrats irritate me more than Republicans for this one simple reason. ..."
"... I've come to expect Republicans to be malicious -- there is honesty in their advertisement. However, it's the Democrats who smile like foxes as they pretend to be our allies only to stab us in our backs the minute they get elected. ..."
Mar 09, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

...He brilliantly exposed the false-distinction between Democrats and Republicans as a choice between the lesser of the same evil.

Malcom X's last speech after Feb. 1965 firebombing of his home https://vimeo.com/192326332

"Foxes and wolves usually are of the same breed. They belong to the same family -- I think it's called canine. And the difference is that the wolf when he shows you his teeth, you know that he's your enemy; and the fox, when he shows you his teeth, he appears to be smiling. But no matter which of them you go with, you end up in the dog house."

It took a mean mugging by reality -- one that shook me out of cognitive dissonance -- for me to realize that Democrats are no different than Republicans. They differ in their methods, but in the end they feast on us regardless of their gang affiliation. Both parties are subsidiaries of corporations and oligarchs; our entire political system is based on two factions bamboozling their respective bases while manufacturing dissension on all sides.

... ... ...

Now that I've shed my political blinders, I see how this game is played. I'll be honest here and admit that Democrats irritate me more than Republicans for this one simple reason.

I've come to expect Republicans to be malicious -- there is honesty in their advertisement. However, it's the Democrats who smile like foxes as they pretend to be our allies only to stab us in our backs the minute they get elected.

They have maintained power for decades by successfully treading on the pains of marginalized groups as they concurrently enact legislation and regulations that inflame the very injustices they rail against.

If there is one group that has been leveraged the most by Democrats, it's the descendants of slaves and "black" diaspora as a whole. For generations, supposed liberals -- who now call themselves progressives -- have cunningly used the pains of "African-Americans" to further their own agendas. The Democrat's most loyal voting bloc have time and time again been taken advantage of only to be tossed to the side as soon as Democrats gain power. They talk a good game and pretend to be for us right up until election day, soon as the last ballot is counted, they are nowhere to be found.

[Mar 09, 2019] Warren Takes Her Amazon, Facebook Breakup Proposal to SXSW

Mar 09, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com
On Friday she called for legislation that would designate large technology companies as "platform utilities," and for the appointment of regulators who'd unwind technology mergers that undermine competition and harm innovation and small businesses.

"The idea behind this is for the people in this room," for tech entrepreneurs who want to try out "that new idea," Warren told a packed and enthusiastic crowd. "We want to keep that marketplace competitive and not let a giant who has an incredible competitive advantage snuff that out."

Warren said venture capital "in this area" has dropped by about 20 percent because of a perceived uneven playing field. She didn't provide more detail or say where she obtained her figures.

[Mar 09, 2019] Warren's Plan to Break Up Big Tech Should Focus on Amazon

Mar 09, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

Elizabeth Warren's proposal to break up "Big Tech" companies is sure to stoke debate and add to the tension between the Democratic Party and reliably Democratic Silicon Valley. While breaking up Big Tech isn't likely to happen anytime soon, one nuance in her proposal is worth thinking about, and that's whether tech companies that operate large marketplaces should also be able to participate in said marketplaces.

The most obvious impact this would have would be on Amazon. While in the universe of the American retail industry Amazon's market share remains in the single digits, in e-commerce it's got around 50 percent market share . When consumers shop on Amazon, they're presented with items sold by Amazon, and also items that Amazon doesn't own or warehouse but merely hosts the listings. It's also increasingly getting into the advertising business, so that when you're searching you'll be presented with a list of sponsored products in addition to whatever results a search may generate.

A third-party seller on Amazon has a difficult relationship with Amazon, which can act both as partner and competitor. Amazon can use its huge data sets to see how successful third-party sellers and products are, and if they meet a certain profitability threshold Amazon can decide to compete with that third-party seller directly.

Someone might say, isn't that what grocery stores or Costco do with private label goods or Costco's Kirkland brand? But the difference is that in physical retail, there are all sorts of stores where a producer can sell their products -- Walmart, Target, Costco, major grocery chains, and so on. In e-commerce, with half the market share, Amazon has a dominant position. While in the short run Amazon being able to compete with its third-party sellers may be good for consumers, who can end up with lower prices, in the long run it may mean fewer producers even bother to come up with new products, feeling that eventually Amazon will crowd them out of the marketplace.

Would restricting Amazon, which has grown so quickly and is popular with consumers, harm the economy? Government's antitrust fight with Microsoft a generation ago ended up paying dividends for innovation. In the 2000s a common critique of Microsoft was that it "missed" the internet, and smartphones, and social media, but to some extent that may have been because the company feared an expansion in emerging technologies would bring back more scrutiny from the government. As a result, new tech platforms and companies bloomed. The same could happen in the next decade if Amazon's ambitions were reined in a little.

"Break up Big Tech" is an easy emotional hook, but hopefully Warren's proposal will get all Americans to think more about the power of tech companies and their platforms, and whether regulatory changes would best serve both consumers and producers.

[Mar 09, 2019] According to the text of the application Dems candidates swear to be "faithful" to the "interests, welfare and success of the Democratic Party," but not to its principles. That's because there aren't any.

Mar 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Note that the candidate swears to be "faithful" to the "interests, welfare and success of the Democratic Party," but not to its principles. That's because there aren't any.

Readers may enjoy picking through the bafflegab, because I think you could drive a whole fleet of trucks through the loopholes. Here, for example, is Benjamin Studebaker's view : "A Second Term for Trump is Better Than Beto."

Nobody, after all, said that success had to be immediate ; perhaps a short term failure improves the ultimate welfare and prospects for success for the party.

In a way, this McCarthy-ite armraising is a kludge, another symptom of a fraying system: Exactly as we can no longer, apparently, trust voters to pick a President, and so must give veto power to the intelligence community, so we can no longer trust primary voters to pick a candidate, and the "National Chairperson" must step in if they somehow get the wrong answer. Pesky voters!

[Mar 07, 2019] "Fake Wrestling" theory

Mar 07, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pft , Mar 5, 2019 8:17:55 PM | link

tNot so puzzling if you buy into the "Fake Wrestling" theory. Since Bill Clinton each party gets 8 years on the throne then hands off to the other party. Dems just playing their part as they did in the 2016 election. Both parties controlled by the corporate and cognitive elites pursuing their globalist agenda thats occasionally masked by nationalism to appease the herd.

China has multiple parties within the CCP. The CCP is the visible face of authority. In the West the CCP equivalent is hidden, preferring to allow each party in turn to accept the blame for executing their agenda. Every 8 years the herd votes for Hope and Change or the lesser evil and watches in amazement as nothing changes and lesser evil becomes more, only to try again in the next cycle. Kind of like Groundhog Day.

When half the population has an IQ under 100, its easy for those with IQ's 4-6 SD above average to manipulate the herd given the tools they have today. People can be made to believe anything and much of what people believe is not true.

bevin , Mar 5, 2019 9:53:36 PM | link

Pft@54

"Every 8 years the herd votes for Hope and Change or the lesser evil and watches in amazement as nothing changes and lesser evil becomes more, only to try again in the next cycle. Kind of like Groundhog Day.....When half the population has an IQ under 100, its easy for those with IQ's 4-6 SD above average to manipulate the herd given the tools they have today. People can be made to believe anything and much of what people believe is not true."

My guess is that this contempt for "the herd" must be accompanied by a very generous estimation of your own independence of mind and superiority of intellect.

My question, is how can democracy work in the world which you describe? Or would it just consist of the idiotic "herd" listening to your ideas, applauding and carrying out orders?

[Mar 05, 2019] The Sad Story of Trump University by Michael Warren

Feb 26, 2016 | www.weeklystandard.com

In a recent issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, Matt Labash highlighted the sad story of Trump University, one of the Donald's biggest failures. Here's an excerpt:

But most egregious was Trump University, a purported real estate school that attracted the attention of New York's attorney general, who brought a $40 million suit on behalf of 5,000 people. The New York Times described Trump U as "a bait-and-switch scheme," with students lured "by free sessions, then offered packages ranging from $10,000 to $35,000 for sham courses that were supposed to teach them how to become successful real estate investors." Though Trump himself was largely absentee, one advertisement featured him proclaiming, "Just copy exactly what I've done and get rich." While some students were hoping to glean wisdom directly from the success oracle, there was no such luck. At one seminar, attendees were told they'd get to have their picture taken with Trump. Instead, they ended up getting snapped with his cardboard cutout. What must have been a crushing disappointment to aspiring real estate barons is a boon to Republican-primary metaphor hunters.

Read the whole article here , which documents Trump at his Trumpiest, from his penchant for cheating at golf to his sensitivity to being called a "short-fingered vulgarian."

Michael Warren is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard.

[Mar 05, 2019] Now the majority of the people do not believe anything coming from two major parties. The proper term is alienated. That's why Trump

Feb 12, 2017 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

libezkova -> Yikes... February 11, 2017 at 06:02 AM

No. the train left the station. Obama was a sellout who used to speak right things and did completely opposite to please his sponsors.

Now the majority of the people do not believe anything coming from two major parties. The proper term is alienated. That's why Trump.

libezkova -> sanjait... February 12, 2017 at 11:30 AM

The problem with your views is that there is no liberals in the USA per se. Most are in reality neoliberals and as such are the part of the right, if we define right as those who want to increase the power of capital vs. labor.

This flavor of democracy for top 1% the they promote (one dollar one vote) should be property called "oligarchy" or at best "polyarchy" (the power of the top 10%).

The rest (aka "Debt slaves") are second class citizens and are prevented from political self-organization, which by-and-large deprives them of any form of political participation. In best Roman tradition it is substituted with the participation in political shows ("Bread and circuses"). In a way US election is the ultimate form of "bait and switch" maneuvers of the ruling elite.

The two party system invented by the elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for neoliberal regimes, which practice what Sheldon Wolin called inverted totalitarism.

The latter is the regime in which all political power belongs to the financial oligarchy which rules via the deep state mechanisms, and where traditional political institutions including POTUS are downgraded to instruments of providing political legitimacy of the ruling elite. Population is discouraged from political activity. "Go shopping" as famously recommended Bush II to US citizens after 9/11.

[Mar 05, 2019] David Cay Johnston on the Crony Capitalism, and Part 2 on Plans for Funding For Your Old Age

Mar 05, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

David Cay Johnston on the Crony Capitalism, and Part 2 on Plans for Funding For Your Old Age

"A pension is not a 'gratuity.' A pension is wages you could have taken in cash, but prudently and conservatively set aside for your old age. It's your money. If your employer, for every pay period, does not set aside and designate it to go into a pension plan, your employer is stealing from you. The way to get this is to require pay stubs to itemize the amount of money that has been contributed to your pension plan."

David Cay Johnston

"Capitalism is at risk of failing today not because we are running out of innovations, or because markets are failing to inspire private actions, but because we've lost sight of the operational failings of unfettered gluttony. We are neglecting a torrent of market failures in infrastructure, finance, and the environment. We are turning our backs on a grotesque worsening of income inequality and willfully continuing to slash social benefits. We are destroying the Earth as if we are indeed the last generation."

Jeffrey Sachs

"We are coming apart as a society, and inequality is right at the core of that. When the 90 percent are getting worse off and they're trying to figure out what happened, they're not people like me who get to spend four or five hours a day studying these things and then writing about them -- they're people who have to make a living and get through life. And they're going to be swayed by demagogues and filled with fear about the other, rather than bringing us together.

President Theodore Roosevelt said we shall all rise together or we shall all fall together, and we need to have an appreciation of that.

I think it would be easy for someone to arrive in the near future and really create forces that would lead to trouble in this country. And you see people who, they're not the leaders to pull it off, but we have suggestions that the president should be killed, that he's not an American, that Texas can secede, that states can ignore federal law, and these are things that don't lack for antecedents in America history but they're clearly on the rise.

In addition to that, we have this large, very well-funded news organization that is premised on misconstruing facts and telling lies, Faux News that is creating, in a large segment of the population -- somewhere around one-fifth and one-fourth of it -- belief in all sorts of things that are detrimental to our well-being.

So, no, I don't see this happening tomorrow, but I have said for many years that if we don't get a handle on this then one of these days our descendants are going to sit down in high-school history class and open a textbook that begins with the words: The United States of America was and then it will dissect how our experiment in self-governance came apart."

David Cay Johnston, May 2014

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zaKYPn0zJKc

https://www.youtube.com/embed/sZbqr2AzoOo

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[Mar 05, 2019] Democratic senator to introduce tax on trading [Video]

Mar 05, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com

CNBC Videos

Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) is expected to introduce a new tax bill today. The senator says his bill would tax the sale of stocks, bonds and derivatives at a 0.1 rate. It would apply to any transaction in the United States. The senator says his proposal would clamp down on speculation and some high frequency trading that artificially creates more market volatility.

[Mar 05, 2019] The Shadow Governments Destruction Of Democracy

Highly recommended!
Trump actually proved to be very convenient President to CIA., Probably as convenient as Obama... Both completely outsourced foreign policy to neocons and CIA )in this sense the appointment of Pompeo is worst joke Trump could play with the remnants of US democracy_ .
Notable quotes:
"... "The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street." ..."
"... "It's agencies like the CIA, the NSA and the other intelligence agencies, that are essentially designed to disseminate disinformation and deceit and propaganda, and have a long history of doing not only that, but also have a long history of the world's worst war crimes, atrocities and death squads." ..."
"... Greenwald asserts the the CIA preferred Clinton because, like the clandestine agency, she supported regime change in Syria. In contrast, Trump dismissed America's practice of nation-building and declined to tow the line on ousting foreign leaders, instead advocating working with Russia to defeat ISIS and other extremist groups. ..."
"... "So, Trump's agenda that he ran on was completely antithetical to what the CIA wanted," Greenwald argued. "Clinton's was exactly what the CIA wanted, and so they were behind her. And so, they've been trying to undermine Trump for many months throughout the election. And now that he won, they are not just undermining him with leaks, but actively subverting him." ..."
"... But on the other hand, the CIA was elected by nobody. They're barely subject to democratic controls at all. And so, to urge that the CIA and the intelligence community empower itself to undermine the elected branches of government is insanity. ..."
"... He also points out the left's hypocrisy in condemning Flynn for lying when James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence during the Obama administration, perpetuated lies without ever being held accountable. ..."
Feb 19, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
And on the heels of Dennis Kucinich's warnings , The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald, who opposes Trump for a variety of reasons, warns that siding with the evidently powerful Deep State in the hopes of undermining Trump is dangerous. As TheAntiMedia's Carey Wedler notes , Greenwald asserted in an interview with Democracy Now, published on Thursday, that this boils down to a fight between the Deep State and the Trump administration.

https://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2017/2/16/greenwald_empowering_the_deep_state_to

Though Greenwald has argued the leaks were "wholly justified" in spite of the fact they violated criminal law, he also questioned the motives behind them.

"It's very possible - I'd say likely - that the motive here was vindictive rather than noble," he wrote. "Whatever else is true, this is a case where the intelligence community, through strategic (and illegal) leaks, destroyed one of its primary adversaries in the Trump White House."

According to an in-depth report by journalist Mike Lofgren:

"The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street."

As Greenwald explained during his interview:

"It's agencies like the CIA, the NSA and the other intelligence agencies, that are essentially designed to disseminate disinformation and deceit and propaganda, and have a long history of doing not only that, but also have a long history of the world's worst war crimes, atrocities and death squads."

Greenwald believes this division is a result of the Deep State's disapproval of Trump's foreign policy and the fact that the intelligence community overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton over Trump because of her hawkish views. Greenwald noted that Mike Morell, acting CIA chief under Obama, and Michael Hayden, who ran both the CIA and NSA under George W. Bush, openly spoke out against Trump during the presidential campaign.

Greenwald asserts the the CIA preferred Clinton because, like the clandestine agency, she supported regime change in Syria. In contrast, Trump dismissed America's practice of nation-building and declined to tow the line on ousting foreign leaders, instead advocating working with Russia to defeat ISIS and other extremist groups.

"So, Trump's agenda that he ran on was completely antithetical to what the CIA wanted," Greenwald argued. "Clinton's was exactly what the CIA wanted, and so they were behind her. And so, they've been trying to undermine Trump for many months throughout the election. And now that he won, they are not just undermining him with leaks, but actively subverting him."

"[In] the closing months of the Obama administration, they put together a deal with Russia to create peace in Syria. A few days later, a military strike in Syria killed a hundred Syrian soldiers and that ended the agreement. What happened is inside the intelligence and the Pentagon there was a deliberate effort to sabotage an agreement the White House made."

Greenwald, who opposes Trump for a variety of reasons, warns that siding with the evidently powerful Deep State in the hopes of undermining Trump is dangerous. "Trump was democratically elected and is subject to democratic controls, as these courts just demonstrated and as the media is showing, as citizens are proving," he said, likely alluding to a recent court ruling that nullified Trump's travel ban.

He continued:

"But on the other hand, the CIA was elected by nobody. They're barely subject to democratic controls at all. And so, to urge that the CIA and the intelligence community empower itself to undermine the elected branches of government is insanity."

He argues that mentality is "a prescription for destroying democracy overnight in the name of saving it," highlighting that members of both prevailing political parties are praising the Deep State's audacity in leaking details of Flynn's conversations.

As he wrote in his article, " it's hard to put into words how strange it is to watch the very same people - from both parties, across the ideological spectrum - who called for the heads of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Tom Drake, and so many other Obama-era leakers today heap praise on those who leaked the highly sensitive, classified SIGINT information that brought down Gen. Flynn."

He also points out the left's hypocrisy in condemning Flynn for lying when James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence during the Obama administration, perpetuated lies without ever being held accountable.

[Mar 04, 2019] Trump calls for 21st century Glass-Steagall banking law

Notable quotes:
"... As Sen. Elizabeth Warren has famously said with respect to cabinet and other political appointments, "Personnel Is Policy." You can see the outline of the Trump administration's real policies being shaped before our eyes via his proposed cabinet appointees, covered by Politico and other sites. ..."
"... Sanders, Warren and others should hold Trump's feet to the fire on the truly populist things he said and offer to work with him on that stuff. Like preserving Social Security and Medicare and getting out of wars. ..."
Nov 11, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
allan November 10, 2016 at 2:35 pm

Trump calls for '21st century' Glass-Steagall banking law [Reuters, Oct. 26]

Financial Services [Trump Transition Site, Nov. 10]

Oddly, no mention of Glass-Steagall, only dismantling Dodd-Frank. Who could have predicted?

File under Even Victims Can Be Fools.

Chauncey Gardiner November 10, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Not surprised at all. The election is over, the voters are now moot. As Sen. Elizabeth Warren has famously said with respect to cabinet and other political appointments, "Personnel Is Policy." You can see the outline of the Trump administration's real policies being shaped before our eyes via his proposed cabinet appointees, covered by Politico and other sites.

Dr. Roberts November 10, 2016 at 4:03 pm

Also no mention of NAFTA or renegotiating trade deals in the new transition agenda. Instead there's just a bunch of vague Chamber of Commercesque language about making America attractive to investors. I think our hopes for a disruptive Trump presidency are quickly being dashed.

Steve C November 10, 2016 at 4:18 pm

Sanders, Warren and others should hold Trump's feet to the fire on the truly populist things he said and offer to work with him on that stuff. Like preserving Social Security and Medicare and getting out of wars.

As to the last point, appointing Bolton or Corker Secretary of State would be a clear indication he was just talking. A clear violation of campaign promises that would make Obama look like a choirboy. Trump may be W on steroids.

pretzelattack November 10, 2016 at 5:17 pm

sure he may be almost as bad as Clinton on foreign policy. so far he hasn't been rattling a saber at Russia.

Steve C November 10, 2016 at 6:25 pm

Newland also is pernicious, but as with many things Trump, not as gaudy as Bolton.

anti-social socialist November 10, 2016 at 4:23 pm

Yathink?
https://www.ft.com/content/aed37de0-a767-11e6-8898-79a99e2a4de6

Katniss Everdeen November 10, 2016 at 5:38 pm

I can't imagine how he's neglected to update his transition plan regarding nafta. After all, he's already been president-elect for, what, 36 hours now? And he only talked about it umpteen times during the campaign. I'm sure he'll renege.

Hell, it took Clinton 8 hours to give her concession speech.

On the bright side, he managed to kill TPP just by getting elected. Was that quick enough for you?

[Mar 04, 2019] Obama corruption: Warren troubled by Obama speaking fees

Apr 27, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Shot: "Obama's $400,000 Wall Street Speech Is Completely In Character" [ HuffPo ].

Chaser: "Ask all the bankers he jailed for fraud."

JohnnyGL , April 27, 2017 at 2:25 pm

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/330912-warren-troubled-by-obamas-speaking-fee

This just in .Saint Obama is no longer infallible among Dems. Winds of change are blowing. Six months ago, you couldn't get away with saying this kind of thing.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , April 27, 2017 at 2:41 pm

Clinton is down.

Now Obama.

Pelosi? For how long?

Only one big Democrat left – Schumer. Very few target him for challenge, yet.

curlydan , April 27, 2017 at 3:21 pm

He probably said to himself, "What did I make in a year as president? Oh yeah, $400,000. Now that's what I want to make in an hour"

jrs , April 27, 2017 at 3:47 pm

you gotta pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues, and you know it don't come easy

David Carl Grimes , April 27, 2017 at 7:46 pm

Obama's not concerned about optics anymore.

fresno dan , April 27, 2017 at 3:35 pm

JohnnyGL
April 27, 2017 at 2:25 pm

"The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Obama will receive the sum - equal to his annual pay as president - for a speech at Cantor Fitzgerald LP's healthcare conference, though there has been no public announcement yet."

=======================================
Sheer coincidence that what Obama campaigned on and what Obama governed on appear to be influenced by rich people. Physics prevents single payer health care .dark energy, dark matter, dark, dark, money ..

Until a strong majority of dems are ready to say what is patently obvious to anyone even mildly willing to acknowledge reality, i.e., that policy is decided not by a majority of voters, but by a majority of dollars, than there is simply no hope for reform.

[Mar 04, 2019] Elizabeth Warren is right Corruption is rotting the U.S. from within by Helaine Olen

Aug 22, 2018 | www.washingtonpost.com

... just as the day was ending, news broke that Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-Calif.), an early Trump backer, was indicted for misusing campaign funds for personal expenses big and small, including dental bills and a trip to Italy.

And this sort of behavior isn't even what Warren is targeting.

Warren's bill takes on what is usually termed the legalized corruption, the dirty dealings of Washington. Among other things, the legislation would:

The goal? To make government once again responsive to voters, not the corporations and the wealthy donors responsible for the vast majority of the $3.37 billion spent lobbying Washington in 2017. That money buys results, but only for the people paying the bills. As Warren said:

Corruption has seeped into the fabric of our government, tilting thousands of decisions away from the public good and toward the desires of those at the top. And, over time, bit by bit, like a cancer eating away at our democracy, corruption has eroded Americans' faith in our government.

This is not hyperbole. A 2014 academic study found the U.S. government policy almost always reflected the desires of the donor class over the will of the majority of voters, while a 2016 report by the progressive think tank Demos determined political donors have distinctly different views from most Americans on issues ranging from financial regulation to abortion rights. A tax reform package that showers benefits on corporations and the wealthiest among us? Consider it done. But a crackdown on drug pricing, buttressing of Social Security without cutting benefits, expansion of Medicare and Medicaid, or progress combating global warming, all of which majorities say they want? Not so fast.

Sen. Warren (D-Mass.) said on June 5 that she will introduce "sweeping anti-corruption legislation to clean up corporate money sloshing around Washington." (Georgetown Law)

It's not just what laws get passed, but who is held accountable under those laws. No one in a high position went to jail for the financial crisis. Foreclosure fraud on the part of the banks was punished with a slap on the wrist – if that. All too many corporations treat their customers with complete impunity, as scandals ranging from the Equifax hack to Wells Fargo's many misdeeds demonstrate. It feels as if there is no one minding the store -- if you are rich and connected enough, that is.

This behavior leaves us enraged, feeling like outsiders peering in on our own elected government. A Gallup poll found 3 out of 4 voters surveyed described corruption as " widespread throughout the government " -- in 2010. There's a reason Trump's claim he would "drain the swamp" resonated. No one, after all, thought Trump was clean. His stated argument was, in fact, the opposite. He claimed his success a businessman navigating the corrupt U.S. system gave him just the right set of insight and tools to clean up Washington.

We all know now that was just another audacious Trump con. The tax reform package almost certainly benefited his own bottom line, though we don't know that for sure since he has not released his taxes. Andrew Wheeler , the acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is a former lobbyist for the coal industry. Alex Azar , the secretary of Health and Human Services, is a former top executive of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. At the Education Department, the revolving door is alive and well, with former George W. Bush administration officials who went on to work at for-profit institutions of higher education returning to government service to advise Betsy De Vos who is -- surprise! -- cutting the sector multiple breaks.

And all this, under our current laws, is allowed.

To be clear, this is not a matter of Republicans Good, Democrats Bad. As Warren put it on Tuesday, "This problem is far bigger than Trump." An Obama-era attempt to slow the revolving door was riddled with loopholes that allowed the appointment of Wall Street insiders to too many regulatory posts. Subsequently, more than a few Obama appointees have gone on to work for big business as lobbyists.

Corruption, legal or illegal, rots the system from the inside out. In an environment where it seems anything goes, it's not hard to think that, well, anything goes -- like Cohen and Manafort, who almost certainly would have gotten away with their behavior if not for the Mueller investigation, and Hunter, who ignored multiple warnings from his campaign treasurer and instead continued to do such things as pass off the purchase of a pair of shorts as sporting equipment intended for use by "wounded warriors."

There is, of course, no way Warren's bill would clean up this entire festering mess. But healthy democracies need government officials -- elected and unelected -- to behave both ethically and honestly. Warren is putting our governing and business classes on notice. Simply saying the law is on your side isn't good enough. The voters won't stand for that.

[Mar 04, 2019] Elizabeth Warren's anti corruption crusade evaporates when foreign policy is raised by Sam Husseini

Aug 22, 2018 | mondoweiss.net
     

On Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren addressed the National Press Club , outlining with great specificity a host of proposals on issues including eliminating financial conflicts, close the revolving door between business and government and, perhaps most notably, reforming corporate structures .

Warren gave a blistering attack on corporate power run amok, giving example after example, like Congressman Billy Tauzin doing the pharmaceutical lobby's bidding by preventing a bill for expanded Medicare coverage from allowing the program to negotiate lower drug prices. Noted Warren: "In December of 2003, the very same month the bill was signed into law, PhRMA -- the drug companies' biggest lobbying group -- dangled the possibility that Billy could be their next CEO.

"In February of 2004, Congressman Tauzin announced that he wouldn't seek re-election. Ten months later, he became CEO of PhRMA -- at an annual salary of $2 million. Big Pharma certainly knows how to say 'thank you for your service.'"

But I found that Warren's tenacity when ripping things like corporate lobbyists' "pre-bribes" suddenly evaporated when dealing with issues like the enormous military budget and Israeli assaults on Palestinian children.

... ... ...

Said Warren of her own financial reform proposals: "Inside Washington, some of these proposals will be very unpopular, even with some of my friends. Outside Washington, I expect that most people will see these ideas as no-brainers and be shocked they're not already the law.

Why doesn't the same principle apply to funding perpetual wars and massive human rights abuses against children?

Sam Husseini is an independent journalist, senior analyst at the Institute for Public Accuracy and founder of VotePact .org. Follow him on twitter: @samhusseini

ckg
August 22, 2018, 10:46 am OpenSecrets shows that Senator Warren has received funds from the pro-Israel PAC Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs for the 2018 election cycle. Among the largest funders of this PAC are billionaire venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker and his wife. At the start of Israel's 2014 massacre in Gaza, the PAC issued a statement in support of Israel.
just
August 22, 2018, 12:36 pm No surprise there, ckg. I cannot think of anyone in Congress nor in the US cabinet that is not 99-100% in Israel supporters' pockets. Nor can I think of anyone that is diplomatically focused. Nor can I think of anyone that is seriously objecting to the slaughter in Yemen, the ongoing attempt to topple Assad, and the endless war in Afghanistan, etc.

Then there's this: the US and too many others pay/subsidize Israel for the privilege of dictating foreign policy and for their own selfish, ridiculous claims of being 'surrounded by enemies'. A nuclear- armed state (though never inspected nor properly declared) keeps this trope/cliché alive???

How many billions should Americans and others pay to Israel for nothing in return?

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2018/03/understanding-military-aid-israel-180305092533077.html Log in to Reply

Maghlawatan
August 23, 2018, 7:10 am Standing up to the Israel lobby now is suicidal. Nobody will risk a career to support a dissident until the dam breaks as it always does.

Power doesn't work linearly. It goes in cycles. Zionism is tied up with money which is a function of the economic system. Warren is playing a long game. She knows the people at the Fed are clueless. She knows there is going to be an awful crash. She knows there will be a new economic system based on the people rather than the elites..

Zionism is living on fumes in DC

https://youtu.be/uDT0xSsrVIg

[Mar 04, 2019] Elizabeth Warren criticized Obama unsaturable greed

Notable quotes:
"... By Joshua Weitz, a research associate at the Academic-Industry Research Network and an incoming graduate student in the PhD program in political science at Brown University ..."
Jun 02, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Yves here. How many ways can you spell "payoff"?

By Joshua Weitz, a research associate at the Academic-Industry Research Network and an incoming graduate student in the PhD program in political science at Brown University

Since leaving office President Obama has drawn widespread criticism for accepting a $400,000 speaking fee from the Wall Street investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald, including from Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Only a few months out of office, the move has been viewed as emblematic of the cozy relationship between the financial sector and political elites.

But as the President's critics have voiced outrage over the decision many have been reluctant to criticize the record-setting $65 million book deal that Barack and Michelle Obama landed jointly this February with Penguin Random House (PRH). Writing in the Washington Post, for example, Ruth Marcus argues that while the Wall Street speech "feels like unfortunate icing on an already distasteful cake," the book deal is little more than the outcome of market forces fueled by consumer demand: "If the market bears $60 million to hear from the Obamas, great."

[Mar 04, 2019] Warren by name, saying he was wrong to claim at a commencement address at Rutgers last year that "the system isn't as rigged as you think." "No, President Obama, the system is as rigged as we think"

May 04, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Obama centrists don't have to worry just about Sanders' popularity. Elizabeth Warren, who is increasingly appearing as a plausible presidential candidate for 2020, has also risen as an economic populist critic of the former president.

She has been perfectly willing to challenge Obama by name, saying he was wrong to claim at a commencement address at Rutgers last year that "the system isn't as rigged as you think." "No, President Obama, the system is as rigged as we think," she writes in her new book This Fight Is Our Fight. "In fact, it's worse than most Americans realize." She even went so far as to say she was "troubled" by Obama's willingness to take his six-figure speaking fee from Wall Street. There is indeed a fight brewing, but it's not Obama v. Trump, but Obama v. Warren-Sanders.

And this is where the real difficulty lies for the Democrats. The trouble with the popular and eminently reasonable Sanders-Warren platform-reasonable for all those, Obama and Clinton included, who express dismay over our country's rampaging levels of Gilded Age-style inequality-is that it alienates the donor class that butters the DNC's bread. With Clinton's downfall, and with the popularity of economic populism rising in left circles, Obama has to step in and reassert his more centrist brand of Democratic politics. And what better way to do so than by conspicuously cashing a check from those who would fund said politics?

[Mar 04, 2019] Oh please, stop quoting Andy Slavitt, the United Healthcare Ingenix algo man. That guy is the biggest crook that made his money early on with RX discounts with his company that he and Senator Warren's daughter, Amelia sold to United Healthcare.

Mar 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

MedicalQuack , , November 15, 2017 at 10:31 am

Oh please, stop quoting Andy Slavitt, the United Healthcare Ingenix algo man. That guy is the biggest crook that made his money early on with RX discounts with his company that he and Senator Warren's daughter, Amelia sold to United Healthcare.

He's out there trying to do his own reputation restore routine. Go back to 2009 and read about the short paying of MDs by Ingenix, which is now Optum Insights, he was the CEO and remember it was just around 3 years ago or so he sat there quarterly with United CEO Hemsley at those quarterly meetings.

Look him up, wants 40k to speak and he puts the perception out there he does this for free, not so.

diptherio , , November 15, 2017 at 11:25 am

I think you're missing the context. Lambert is quoting him by way of showing that the sleazy establishment types are just fine with him. Thanks for the extra background on that particular swamp-dweller, though.

a different chris , , November 15, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Not just the context, it's a quote in a quote. Does make me think Slavitt must be a real piece of work to send MQ so far off his rails

petal , , November 15, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Alex Azar is a Dartmouth grad (Gov't & Economics '88) just like Jeff Immelt (Applied Math & Economics '78). So much damage to society from such a small department!

sgt_doom , , November 15, 2017 at 1:21 pm

Nice one, petal !!!

Really, all I need to know about the Trumpster Administration:

From Rothschild to . . . .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilbur_Ross

Since 2014, Ross has been the vice-chairman of the board of Bank of Cyprus PCL, the largest bank in Cyprus.

He served under U.S. President Bill Clinton on the board of the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund. Later, under New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Ross served as the Mayor's privatization advisor.

[Mar 03, 2019] Elizabeth Warren GRILLS Betsy DeVos At Confirmation Hearing

She raise important question about Trump university
Notable quotes:
"... That was brutally enlightening. I mean, I heard from the news that she didn't have a clue about education, but I didn't know it was this bad. America's education system desperately needs to be improved, but I don't see that coming with her... ..."
"... Senator Warren's zeal and interrogation skills are both admirable. ..."
Mar 03, 2019 | www.youtube.com

FrostScience , 2 years ago

Warren is my hero. Keep up the great work Elizabeth!

Shaoul Rick Chason , 2 years ago

Warren for President, 2020

AfternoonBaboon , 1 year ago

"Put the pen down, dear, we both know you're not writing anything" - Olenna Tyrell

PRESTIGIOUS691 , 2 years ago

DeVos is clueless, another idiotic pick for swamp cabinet!!

Kristina V. , 2 years ago

Warren sounds like a teacher telling her student why they're failing.

Rondell Threadgate , 1 year ago

I am an Australian observer, What I see of Elizabeth Warren, she should be the next American President, 1, she has a brain, 2, she has dignity, 3, she knows what she is dong, (she has a clue, unlike the current one ) no one scares this woman.

Melissa Warren , 2 years ago

She is so SAVAGE. I love Elizabeth Warren for this!

Cupid Betty , 1 year ago

This is so funny. As so soon as Warren said "oh good", DeVos was going down.

whm5609 , 2 years ago

Betsy deVos got raked over the coals by both Franken and Warren... deVos isn't qualified to be a teacher's aid for a kindergarten class much less run the D. of Ed. scary!

Paul Copland , 2 years ago

We need more Elizabeth Warrens in America. And we need new rules in our governance. Can you imagine if this was a real life corporate board interview. Would DeVos be hired by that board? Be honest....... DeVos was beyond stupid here.

Lucas Sg , 2 years ago

That was brutally enlightening. I mean, I heard from the news that she didn't have a clue about education, but I didn't know it was this bad. America's education system desperately needs to be improved, but I don't see that coming with her...

D Allen , 2 years ago

Education Secretary wanted, no experience necessary, top salary paid, full benefits.......man sign me up!

Clyde Mccray , 2 years ago

I am not a fan either way of DeVos, but this was nothing but a platform for Warren to fast talk over her, and a way to slam Trump, call him a crook and fraud, and be condescending non-stop.

Elizabeth Warren has some good ideas at times, but this was bullying and showboating on her part and she wasted her time lecturing instead of really giving her a real opportunity to answer a few strong questions to see where she stood on certain topics. Pity.

Has Warren been held accountable for the billions of waste and fraud committed by the congress in the past 8 years on failed policies, laws, etc.

And by the way, how many people in Washington, D C have had experience running a Trillion dollar bank? What a rather dumb question since the answer is NOBODY.

DeVos never stood a chance.

Guitar73 T , 2 years ago

"Destroys?" She basically ask her a bunch of questions she already knew the answer to just to point out she hasn't taken out a student loan or has experience overseeing a trillion dollar program. Then Liz proceeds to derive her own answer prior to Besty answering herself.

A cop may not have saved someones life before so by that logic the cop is not qualified to save lives? Sure, she may not have experience with student loans but that doesn't mean she doesn't understand compound interest, inflation and economics. Maybe these hearings would be a better use of tax payer's money if they weren't merely a forum to broadcast the fact that you don't like someone's political affiliations.

RcMx , 2 years ago

So having focused on being a community organizer is fine for running for president, but somehow NOT for running a federal agency under a president? Meanwhile, when it comes to following the spirit of regulations as opposed to regulations themselves, which (if any) were NOT violated when a certain senator used to be a professor at Harvard and proclaimed that she was of American Indian heritage, while such a classification "coincidentally" benefited whomever claimed it?

Having said that, Senator Warren's zeal and interrogation skills are both admirable. So is the way in which Betsy Devos diplomatically handles such an onslaught of pointed questions that some say are agenda-driven.

This is democracy at work and it's refreshing to see. Thanks Youtube and all who helped bring this about.

nfl doesn't matter , 2 years ago

Senator Warren. You are a US Senator. What is your plan for insuring the United States won't run up 10's of trillions of debt which will bankrupt our country? Senator Warren, have you ever balanced a budget? Do you know what a balanced budget is? Senator Warren, what is your plan for protecting US citizens from criminal illegal aliens? Do you know, Senator Warren, we already have laws in place to protect US citizens from criminal illegal aliens? They're called immigration laws.

[Mar 03, 2019] Warren is buddies with Suze Orman. I will never vote for her for this reason alone.

Mar 03, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Michael O , 1 hour ago

Warren is buddies with Suze Orman. I will never vote for her for this reason alone.

[Mar 03, 2019] Elizabeth Warren To Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan You Should Be Fired CNBC

Mar 03, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Tc Linn , 1 year ago (edited)

Tim Sloan has all the characteristics of a crook. He is remorseless, misleading, lacks responsibility, tries to cause confusion of the facts, and a manipulator. This guy was the CFO and claims he was removed from the scams. Yeah right!

Lily Reyes , 5 months ago (edited)

He should be fired for sure, fired straight to jail.

Realistic Man , 1 month ago

I know Tim Sloan did not do a good job and Senator Warren grilled him to the point where I feel bad for him. She is so good at finding out the truth and cornering the guilty like a rat.

Shauneille Morton , 1 month ago

Tim Sloan is a criminal psychopath and a habitual liar.

crayzmoe , 2 months ago

87% of CEO are crooks

J F , 3 weeks ago (edited)

Good job standing up against this loony who thinks she's a Native American.

Jeff Luallin , 3 weeks ago

I don't know all the ins-and-outs of Tim Sloan, probably some fair criticism, but he doesn't strike me as a crook. For Pocahontas to say he should be "fired", the same charge could be made at Pocahontas - that she should resign (fire herself from the Senate); the scam of her claiming Native American heritage to further her career was TOTALLY bogus.

[Mar 03, 2019] Fed Chair Jerome Powell answers Sen. Elizabeth Warren's questions on bank mergers - YouTube

Mar 03, 2019 | www.youtube.com

A E. , 4 days ago

This was a great line of questioning by Warren.

Boris Psenicnik , 3 days ago

Great job Ms. Warren!!!

James Powers , 4 days ago

If she would shut up about being an Indian and attacking Trump and focus on attacking the banks she would win I'm a Trump supporter and I would vote for her. She is great on the fed

Barry Calvert , 1 day ago

I hope she becomes the POTUS... They will kill her is=f she gets close. You think they dont like Trump ? They control him, they cant control her...

shiftnow , 3 days ago

Bravo Sen. Warren. Way smart, way informed and who gives a shit about DNA, Truth is, we're all a little bit Native American.

[Mar 03, 2019] Elizabeth Warren on controversy I shouldn't have done it

Trump is a dangerous and in his own way very capability media person, a propagandist who is capable fully exploit this story. She really needs to call Trump Pinocchio to neutralize this line of attack
Notable quotes:
"... She has too much excess baggage to run for president. She reminds me a little bit of Hillary mixed with Trump. She used to or still supports Susie Orman, the self proclaimed financial wizard. Orman is a lier and has cheated many people and has made a lot of money off people who fell for her get rich sceems. Orman is a lot like Trump. I don't mind having a woman president but just not this ine! ..."
"... Donald and Fred Trump both claimed that their family is from Switzerland when they are are actually 2nd and 3rd generation German immigrants and still have a whole town of living relatives in Germany. I'm sure we need to demand Donald Trump take a DNA test and also exhume and test Fred Trump's remains . I mean since these matters are clearly so important to everyone. Come on let's dig up the president's dead father to solve a petty political dispute! ..."
"... CNN literally can't do an interview without being obsessed with race. ..."
"... She mentions her native ancestry. It's a point of pride to her, she has no shame of it. Trumps bullying her lead her to get the DNA test. It made her look foolish, like she would do anything to shut the bully up. Whatever her action they have a reaction of insulting her. Because they are racist. ..."
"... OMG, What controversy with Warren?? No one outside of DC cares about the ancestry.. Trump is literally a Mob Boss... ..."
Mar 03, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Laura B , 2 hours ago

Is this the only dirt they can come up with. Lol 😊 Elizabeth Warren 2020

angelmushahf , 3 hours ago

Most White ppl in the U.S. think they are Cherokee, even though they aren't. In fact, I know White conservatives who claim Cherokee. Sure she went a step too far 30-40yrs ago, but at least she actually cares about Natives. Conservatives, on the other hand, claim to be Native Americans, support DAPL, could care less about them and mock Natives any chance they get

independent vote , 3 hours ago

This is FK'D. trump has committed EVERY political error in the book, breaks laws, THANK'D MATT GAETZ FOR THREATENING COHEN, cheats on wives..

BUT ELIZABETH WARREN IS IN TROUBLE ?

Queer Radical Social-Anarchist Punk-Rock Vegan , 3 hours ago

--Principal Chief Richard Sneed "It's media fodder. It's sensationalism. That's what it is,. All it takes is for one person to say they're offended, and then everybody does a dog pile. But to me, it's 'Wait a second. Let's get to some of the facts here.' Sen. Warren has always been a friend to tribes. And we need all the allies we can get."

Brian Young , 3 hours ago

I see the hate on the comments...it looks like the KKK types are here donning their MAGA hats. Are they tight? Lowering your, already low, IQs further? Yeah

James Burns , 3 hours ago

The whole DNA thing is such a silly, irrelevant distraction. It's so utterly unimportant. But we're now going to find that those sideshows become the focus of the race rather than any real discussion on policy. I'm becoming more and more convinced that people are increasingly too stupid or simply lazy and cynical to bother thinking about things that actually matter.

CC , 1 hour ago

Why? The poor learned the loopholes just like the rich. That's why she checked the native American box. And the hypocrisy of "President" Trump's past brought out from the time he stated he was running, this women was right next to Hillary knocking him down.

I don't buy the soft casual talk about not going to the past. She messes with the wrong man and then her skeletons came our of the closet. She deserved it

Slap Daddy , 3 hours ago

Nothing we First Nations people despise more than a white person so ashamed of themselves try and pretend they are one of us . We have more respect for white people who are strong and proud of their own people . She is not only very weak , she is a traitor to her people . We do not respect people ashamed of themselves .

Ezequiel H , 3 hours ago

Why so many stupid trump supporters in the comment section. This story is very relevant to many Americans my family included .

marzipanjoyjoy , 2 hours ago

I also hope all you upright citizens are out there demanding a boycott of Chuck Norris. I'm sure you're outraged by Walker Texas Ranger, correct? You know that tv show where one of the whitest guys in America claimed both in the show and outside of the show for marketing purposes that he is native American. I assume you all want Chuck Norris to take a DNA test and prove it right? Guys? Right?

Rob Wealer , 3 hours ago

They should simply agree on what is the proper genetic mix that is acceptable ideologically to determine which genetic mix is less or not acceptable so that the proper mistreatment of the lesser sort can be determined and enforced by popular consensus. This seems almost to be having the force and effect of law socially and politically. This is becoming a strange mix of nostalgic notions of virtue while at the same time embracing the basic premise of Nuremburg.

chip block , 2 hours ago (edited)

She has too much excess baggage to run for president. She reminds me a little bit of Hillary mixed with Trump. She used to or still supports Susie Orman, the self proclaimed financial wizard. Orman is a lier and has cheated many people and has made a lot of money off people who fell for her get rich sceems. Orman is a lot like Trump. I don't mind having a woman president but just not this ine!

Juantarde , 55 minutes ago

I'm happy as long as Elizabeth Warren is in ANY part of government where she can continue to kick major ass on the republican crooks.

marzipanjoyjoy , 2 hours ago

Donald and Fred Trump both claimed that their family is from Switzerland when they are are actually 2nd and 3rd generation German immigrants and still have a whole town of living relatives in Germany. I'm sure we need to demand Donald Trump take a DNA test and also exhume and test Fred Trump's remains . I mean since these matters are clearly so important to everyone. Come on let's dig up the president's dead father to solve a petty political dispute!

Jasion Sail , 2 hours ago

CNN literally can't do an interview without being obsessed with race. Warren would probably had a chance if they gave her a support like they do Harris. ...now here comes the twist I actually do not support her or anyone on the left but she didn't even get a solid chance she might as well drop out now and endorse someone.

Mister Sarajevo , 3 hours ago (edited)

Why do Bernie Bros hate her so much when she's basically doing the same thing but w/ less yelling, finger wagging & condescension?

2degucitas , 1 hour ago

She mentions her native ancestry. It's a point of pride to her, she has no shame of it. Trumps bullying her lead her to get the DNA test. It made her look foolish, like she would do anything to shut the bully up. Whatever her action they have a reaction of insulting her. Because they are racist.

Jason Milton , 2 hours ago

OMG, What controversy with Warren?? No one outside of DC cares about the ancestry.. Trump is literally a Mob Boss...

Lefty Jones , 2 hours ago

It's so annoying how anytime a decent person fucks up nowadays they're forced to spend like an entire year apologizing, and that's only if they don't automatically lose their entire career right after said fuck up. She admits she shouldn't have done it, great, now lets get back to policy.

TheRealMVP , 3 hours ago

I just don't understand how some people can't accept her apology for the Native American fiasco, yet they give trump all the slack in the world. This is a man who bragged about grabbing women by the pussy..... The double standard is just ridiculous.

[Mar 03, 2019] If Elizabeth Warren is nominated for president, and I hope she will be, I believe we will see the most virulent, vile and vituperative campaign imaginable against her by the right, the wealthy and the corporate interests.

Taxation itself does not solve the problem. You also need to cut MIC. Only in this case orginary americans will benefit. Andf that Mmieans that Eligeth Warren will face tremendous slander campaign neocons.
Mar 03, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

voreason Ann Arbor, MI Jan. 29

If Elizabeth Warren is nominated for president, and I hope she will be, I believe we will see the most virulent, vile and vituperative campaign imaginable against her by the right, the wealthy and the corporate interests. It will be a battle for the soul of this country. But if anyone can make the case to the middle class for real economic and tax reform in the face of the attacks that such a plan will face, Elizabeth Warren is the person to do it. She has a first class intellect, she has remarkable communication skills and, as she says, this is her life. She's not running in order to "be" president, she's running to enact policies that have the potential of turning the tide in this country in favor of the people and away from the plutocrats. And in this, she will face real opposition from many within her own party. It's going to be an interesting two years.

Robert Seattle Jan. 28

Paul, it would be great if you could compare the revenue effects of this Warren proposal with the actual tax policies that were in effect during the Eisenhower administration. It seems that the progressive taxation rates of that era, topping out at about 90% marginal rates, should and could be the "gold standard" for comparison with current plans.

The neolib/libertarian campaign, stretching back to those years and even earlier, has been wildly successful in brainwashing Americans with regard to both public finance and the link with tax structures. And the removal of controls on money in politics has us in a truly toxic environment that in my view has already tipped us into an oligo-klepto-plutocracy. The ravaging of all three branches of government has reached critical mass, and we're teetering on the brink in a way that may not be reversible.

Dawne Touchings Glen Ridge, NJ Jan. 29

Any candidate who is promising health care for all and a substantial response to climate change and crumbling infrastructure, has to be talking taxation of the wealthy either by income tax or wealth tax or both. Otherwise, they are just blowing smoke. Elizabeth has that combination in her platform.

Bill from Honor Jan. 29

@White Buffalo

It is a tragic commentary on the American political system that FDR felt he had to make a compromise with the Devil in order to gain the passage of progressive legislation.

The situation continues today with the institutions of the electoral college and especially the US Senate, where the population of several small easily manipulated states can hold equal power to representatives of states with many times more people. In our times the circumstances often result in gridlock when the Senators from progressive states refuse to compromise with these who represent minority viewpoints.

Tom Miller Oakland, California Jan. 29

Warren Buffett and other billionaires who are socially committed should endorse Senator Warren's proposal and her candidacy. Let Trump call her names; she knows what she's doing and is truly on our side.

Jay Arthur New York City Jan. 29

The national debt as a % of GDP was higher after WWII than it is now. Then we had three decades of prosperity along with a steady decline in the debt. How? High marginal tax rates. Since Reagan's election the debt has steadily increased, so that now it's almost as high as it was in 1945. We solved this problem before, we can solve it again. Warren and AOC are right on.

PATRICK G.O.P. is the Party of "Red" Jan. 29

There is a very simple logic to focus on; The corruption of Republicans from campaign donations to legislation as directed by wealthy's lobbyists enriching their wealthy benefactors, to gross wealth inequality as a result, is overwhelming justification to get that wealth back to the nation through progressive taxation. Tax the wealthy before they export America's wealth. It isn't trickling down as much as trickling Up and Out of the country.

mrpoizun hot springs Jan. 28

The idea that a couple of extra percentage points of taxes on fifty million dollars could be considered to be outrageous shows how radical the right-wing has become in this country.

Someone who has that much income- I was going to say "earned", but it's the lower-class working people who earn it for them- would not even miss that money. And how much money can you actually spend in a way that makes you happy, or happier, anyway?

Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

@Taz

In real life, Obama already increased taxes for the extreme rich, and Hillary's campaign agenda included additional tax increases. So this is merely a logical continuation of what Democrats have always stood for.

bill washington state Jan. 29

I've noticed two things that have happened in my lifetime. Many Billionaires and near billionaires have proliferated while at the same time social security has become more precarious and homelessness has exploded.

And of course our overall national debt has dramatically increased. Nobody needs a billion dollars or even ten percent of it for that matter. Not sure if Warren's plan is the best but it would generate a ton of money to improve the collective good and it still wouldn't dent the billionaires much.

SAF93 Boston, MA Jan. 29

I for one, would be happy to pay the extra taxes that Senator Warren proposes, should I ever amass over $50million in wealth!

JW New York Jan. 29

The downside to this proposal is that my newest Bugatti Veyron I was planning to gold-plate may have to be silver-plated instead. Worse, my tenth beach house estate I was planning on building on the island I purchased off Fiji may have to be scaled back to a bungalow occasionally rented out to cover the utilities. Oh, the pain. And forget about me trying a hostile takeover of a major media outlet I will not name.

CH Indianapolis IN Jan. 29

Prof. Krugman, why do you give credit to Elizabeth Warren's party rather than to Elizabeth Warren herself? Her party will deserve credit if they can get beyond the corporatists and nominate her. Otherwise, no. Last night on Lawrence O'Donnell, Sen. Warren explained how the wealthy have manipulated the system for years to accumulate more and more wealth.

Their lobbyists persistently ask Congress for small, subtle changes in the law that benefit them. Because the individual changes seem minor, Congress often goes along, but, over the years, they add up to major benefits allowing the wealthiest to accumulate more and more assets.

Billionaire Howard Schultz's ability to self-fund a presidential campaign and the Koch political network's efforts to make its own preferred policies exemplify another reason for taxing the wealthiest. They can and do use their vast resources to cause significant harm to the country.

Sherrie California Jan. 29

Watched Sen. Warren on MSNBC last night and she did well to explain her plan to us "regular folks," rare for a politician. Just ask Paul Ryan.

This plan can work if we don't let Republicans lie about its benefits. Nail the Fox crew to the wall in siding with their uber rich boss Murdoch, who loathes the plan (I wonder why). This plan can work if it still contains tax break goodies for the 90%---all levels. We all have to join together and we all have different economic concerns. That's a fact.

This plan can work if the public realizes it prevents tapping into Social Security or Medicare or cutting benefits. This plan can work if we can hear over and over again how the money will be spent on climate change, healthcare, college tuition, infrastructure, cyber security, and poverty, to name a few. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. This plan will work if they point to the Republican tax debacle giveaway of 2018 did NOTHING to help any of those problems but was a major giveaway to the rich who did not reinvest into the economy but cashed in instead.

Meredith New York Jan. 29

The ripple effects of more fair, adequate, progressive tax rates are huge throughout the society. Low tax rates and tax havens for the rich and corporations lets mega donors keep increasing their donations (investments) in our politicians and elections, thus their dominance over lawmaking.

This effectively subverts our professed ideals of equality and citizen influence. It subverts our constitution, bill of rights, and the safeguards of our 3 equal branches. Big money values infect our executive, legislative and judicial branches. The S. Court legalized unlimited donor money (investments) in our elections, pretending that any limits would subvert the 1st Amendment's Free Speech. We see the effects on tax laws and weak regulations giving huge advantage to the donor elites. In effect they are regulating our govt.

johnj san jose Jan. 28

@Mystery Lits

You are wrong in every argument you make. You don't live in isolation, you live in an organized society that makes your wealth possible. There would be no wealth in the US if we didn't have a functioning society, and there would be no functioning society without taxation and government functions. And "the rich" didn't go anywhere in the fifties and sixties when the taxation was much higher than today. Also these 0.1 to 0.01% that Warren is proposing to tax don't pay vast majority of the taxes, it's the upper 10% that pays the majority.

Gene S Hollis NH Jan. 28

I agree that the tax rates from the 1950's were economically, fiscally and socially sound. Were it not a violation of the constitutional ban on bills of attainder, I would propose a more rigorous tax be applied to the Kochs and the Adelsons. When it comes to spending more on Medicare (which I interpret to mean more than the current 17-18% of GDP), however, we should not. I recently had a health problem while traveling in Germany. I spent 4 days in a teaching hospital (University Clinic of Bonn--UKB). Not only did I receive excellent care, which my American doctor told me was as good as any care available here, but the bill came to around $4300 (€3700). That included three diagnostic procedures. The Medicare-approved payments for the same care would have been about $28,000. Throwing more money down the bottomless pit of U.S. medical practice is futile. The proceeds of such a capital levy as that proposed by Ms.Warren would be better spent on addressing hunger, on infrastructure and on retiring some of the national debt

Ralph Averill New Preston, Ct Jan. 28

A tax on significant accumulated wealth is past due. The same for inherited wealth. Apparently the hated "Death Tax" doesn't go far enough. Many self-made millionaires promote the benefits of pulling one's self up by one's boot straps. Why are they so adamant about denying the opportunity to their children?

When Warren Buffett turned over much of his wealth to charity through Bill Gates, he was asked if he wasn't giving away his children's inheritance. Buffett responded, (paraphrase,) "My children have enough to do whatever they want. They do not have enough to do nothing." In my perfect world, it would be difficult to be very rich or very poor, and no one would ever go without.

Meredith New York Jan. 29

Nice headline---Eliz Warren does Teddy Roosevelt--- who broke up the trusts in the progressive era. And Bernie Sanders aimed to do Franklin Roosevelt. Sanders had the quixotic idea to restore the New Deal. But he was soundly bashed and trashed by Krugman and most NYT columnists/reporters.

Even if he wasn't their ideal candidate, his proposals should have been given the respect of serious discussion, like we now are getting for Ocasio and Warren. Do a compare and contrast on policy---Warren and Sanders. Interesting to see what we can learn.

Jose C North Gotham Jan. 29

Speaking of billionaires, I just heard Howard Schultz on NPR trashing Warren's wealth tax plan. So what does this say? Even a so-called progress wealthy person really doesn't want to give up a scintilla of coin. I think the counter-argument, that increasing the income of the 0.1% with tax breaks, does not lead to significant increases in prosperity for everybody - the "lifts all boats" ruse. A recent article in the NY Times shows that this is the case. That is, yachts are being lifted, dinghies are getting shredded by their propellers.

Blunt NY Jan. 28

Ignoring the irrelevance of the Teddy Roosevelt comparison (hardly has anything to do with the rest of his article anyway), this is pretty good from a guy who did all he could to kill Bernie against Hillary. Bernie would have said pretty much the same as Warren then and probably would agree with the proposals now. So Dr K, good to have you back in the midst of the progressives and assume you had a lapse of reason for the past 3 or 4 years. Saez, Piketty and Zucman are fantastic. I am delighted the first two are helping Warren. Ps. All three deserve the Nobel Prize. At least as much as you did.

Jack Mahoney Brunswick, Maine Jan. 29

I was disappointed that she didn't run in 16. She knows that large swaths of our population are under-educated, superstitious, and under the impression that their little arsenals will make a dent should their conspiracy theories that heroically place them behind bushes at Lexington and Concord at odds with the US government somehow come to pass. As someone who has taught school, she appears to understand that trying to engage the back row not only fails to produce positive results but also annoys and appalls those who showed up in good faith. Similarly, she appears to know that the best way to enlighten is to lay out the facts as accessibly as possible and trust that those viewing the facts can come to logical conclusions. Note that if her theory is fatally flawed, so is the Republic. Adlai Stevenson, when told that every thinking American would vote for him, reportedly was chagrined and noted that to win he needed a majority. That was in the 1950's, when sensible tax policies had not been hijacked by dark messaging funded by those who had so much to gain if American safety nets such as Social Security and, in the 1960's, Medicare, could be misconstrued as the insidious tentacles of the Red Menace. The messengers of deceit, thanks to Citizens United, no longer have to whisper doom from the shadows. Rest assured that if EW moves toward the nomination we will be frightened by slick ads that equate gross wealth not with a cancerous concentration but with American lifeblood.

Barbara Iowa Jan. 29

@JW Not sure why anyone on the left sneers at Sanders. Did you know that Sanders has an approval rating of something like 80% in Vermont, a state that used to be full of Republicans and still has plenty of conservatives? People who pay serious attention to Sanders like and respect him. We'll actually be very lucky if we get someone with Sanders' magnetism. If you listen closely, his anger is at injustice, not at other people. He cares about everyone.

Frank Columbia, MO Jan. 29

Why do we have college football coaches making $6million per year ? Because slightly lesser coaches make $5million per year. They could all get by very nicely on a quarter million per year. It's the same with the 1% : they need their fortune only in comparative terms. In the meantime 80% of us live in an economy comprising about 20% of our country's wealth, a very poor country in itself indeed.

Berkshire Brigades Williamstown, MA Jan. 28

Liz has always been ahead of the curve. She knows well that it's time for Democrats to right the ship of state by reducing income and wealth inequality before it sinks our democracy. Go Liz! Go Dems! Go big .. before it's too late!

M Lindsay Illinois Jan. 29

"...public opinion surveys show overwhelming support for raising taxes on the rich." Yet, congress refuses to support such tax reform. I guess that tells us that most politicians are serving and protecting their wealthy political donors rather than our country.

SherlockM Honolulu Jan. 29

Here's a fine way to make America great again. Yes, let's go back to the marginal tax rates of the prosperous '50's. What have we got to lose?

JLM Central Florida Jan. 29

@Linda

One summer in Sigourney, Iowa, when I was a small boy, my grandfather took me into the library Carnegie built and talked about it with great pride. By the way, he served in both world wars and was a prominent Republican. Oh, how times have changed.

Joe White Plains Jan. 29

This is going to be a tough choice for average voters. Work till the day you die, live in squalor and penury in old age as the social safety net is cut, and condemn your family to ever decreasing living standards -- or in the alternative, tax the accumulated wealth of billionaires. Decisions, decisions, decisions...

John Wesley Baltimore MD Jan. 29

RICH- THE ANSWER IS NOT CLASS WARFARE VS THE RICH...I'm not rejecting this proposal out of hand but Warren/Picketty have been putting the cart before the horse-she needs to identify and focus on a fiscal need, THEN assemble tax policy to pay for it in an earmarked way...and it has to be gradual, ideally phased in over 10 plus years. Suggestions ? What do we need to establish Medicare for all ? Or address infrastructure problems over next 10-20 years ? Or make SS solvent ? Determine the revenue you need, not the "revenge" you might want vs the "rentiers" - and I think a very good place to start would be top tax advantages accounts very heavily at high rates.Its absurd Mitt Romney has like what $200 million in his IRA and hes only taking the RMD ?? Tax any income to an IRA with a balance over say $10 million....nobody needs a tax break at that level.

Jesse DENVER, CO Jan. 29

But billionaires are the job creators, the noble stewards of finance and cap... and I'm laughing. Tax the rats. If they complain, tax them more. Let them move to Singapore and share their crocodile tears with crocodiles (does Singapore have crocodiles?)

America's oligarchs have given the working class 40 years of wage slavery and we've given them a life in the clouds. Time to renegotiate.

A.G. Alias St Louis, MO Jan. 29

@John Homan

It's I thought was about taxing the rich more, not only on high incomes but on high net worth also. Rajiv said about how the rich donate to causes that reduce their taxes, by say, electing more tax-cutting Republicans. The Koch brothers are good examples. I didn't quite get your criticism of Rajiv.

george Iowa Jan. 29

This column " Elizabeth Warren does Teddy Roosevelt " says a lot about Professor Warren but very little about Teddy. I read a column yesterday by Charlie Pierce where he goes into detail about TR`s New Nationalism speech.

There are parts of this speech that are real eye openers such as - The true friend of property, the true conservative, is he who insists that property shall be the servant and not the master of the commonwealth; who insists that the creature of man's making shall be the servant and not the master of the man who made it. The citizens of the United States must effectively control the mighty commercial forces which they have called into being.

Or- We must have complete and effective publicity of corporate affairs, so that the people may know beyond peradventure whether the corporations obey the law and whether their management entitles them to the confidence of the public. It is necessary that laws should be passed to prohibit the use of corporate funds directly or indirectly for political purposes; it is still more necessary that such laws should be thoroughly enforced. Corporate expenditures for political purposes, and especially such expenditures by public-service corporations, have supplied one of the principal sources of corruption in our political affairs. This speech spends a lot of time praising the Saviors of our Country, The Civil War Veterans. And it also says a lot about the proper place for Capital and Corporations, servants not masters.

Marx and Lennon Virginia Jan. 29

@George

I might agree with you if this was a momentary phenomenon, but it's not. The imbalance that is finally plain to all began with subtle changes in the balance between capital and labor in the early 1970s. The truly rich understood what they were doing. They found a fulcrum that allowed them to pry money and power from the increasingly vulnerable middle and lower classes, so they did. To correct this by less drastic means will take at least that long again. I doubt we can wait another 45 years, so yes. We need to use the taxation authority as the fulcrum to pry back the people's fair share. There is no other option as far as I can see.

CallahanStudio Los Angeles Jan. 29

@Tom:

Your characterization of the argument as suggesting that "we should just take all the money from individuals because we can" is as complacent as your reference to Lenin and Mao. Did you miss the part where Krugman points out that we have already used progressive taxation in this country to advance the collective economic good? U.S. economic policy from the Great Depression to Reagan unleashed a rising tide that truly floated all boats in the U.S. economy.

It was the gratuitous tax giveaways to the wealthy advocated by Milton Friedman, among others, that gave our wealth distribution its present hourglass configuration.

Tim W Seattle Jan. 29

Let's add another thing: scrap the cap on the amount of wages subject to the 6.2% Social Security tax, currently set at $128,400. Why should someone making $20 million a year only pay the SS tax on the first $128,400? Scraping the cap would make SS solvent forever, and could even reduce the percentage we're taxed.

dwalker San Francisco Jan. 29

@Robert Elizabeth Warren is a good explainer, and when she starts banging on a point she's convincing. Importantly, she doesn't do it just once, she makes it a theme to be hammered.

A great lesson of the Vietnam War was that it is *repetition* that drives change -- in that case, TV news repeatedly showing flag-draped coffins coming home, covering marching protesters, exposing atrocities, etc.

Whether through timidity or laziness or slavishness to big money donors, Democrats have failed to create a momentum on the idea of wealth inequality that would persuade the public. This will change with Elizabeth Warren and, if he chooses to run, Bernie Sanders. In this regard, a prediction: At some point before November 2020, we will hear the phrase "I welcome their hatred."

Ellen San Diego Jan. 28

Far from radical, the ideas of Warren, Sanders, and AOC are sensible, logical, and fair. Bring on any politician who means business such as these proposals and can articulate them, isn't a billionaire already, and doesn't have a tawdry history of being entangled with Wall Street, and watch him/her win.

Andrew Zuckerman Port Washington, NY Jan. 29

@dmckj

Progressive taxation isn't all that progressive anymore. Capital gains and even earned income of incredible amounts of money as well as stock options are taxed at low rates. In case no one has noticed, the AMT is a bust. It doesn't work and when it does, it harms the upper middle class rather than the super-rich.

The "high-end earners" pay a lot (but not enough) because they are the only ones who have so much income that taxing them does not adversely affect the economy. We have rich folks who can afford giant yachts and not so rich folks who can't survive an unexpected $400 bill. That is not the way the economy should work. Eventually, income inequality will even weaken corporate profits and destroy the economy. Even large corporations need customers who can buy their products.

Rima Regas Southern California Jan. 28

FDR 2.0 must address the social class the Great Recession created. Those are the now 50-60 year olds and millennials who lost jobs, pensions, and are still underemployed and in the gig economy.

Starting in ten years, if nothing is done,very will have 95 million or so homeless. Leaving it to states to construct affordable housing won't do. We need Universal Basic Income. This is needed regardless of whether the GOP and Trump's scams cause a depression. Bernie and Elizabeth would easily demand Congress act on these ideas. Bloomberg and Schultz? Not on your life. A decent future is progressive. We need FDR 2.0. we need to be done with triangulation.

The GOP is an untrustworthy partner. --- Things Trump Did While You Weren't Looking [2019] https://wp.me/p2KJ3H-3h2

Constance Warner Silver Spring, MD Jan. 28

Let's hope Warren succeeds, whether she becomes President or not. I recall that under Eisenhower-era rates of taxation, the middle class and the working class had a lot better deal than we have today. Heck, we even had a better deal under Nixon-era rates of taxation. It's weird to be nostalgic for Nixon, but look at what's in the White House now.

JP MorroBay Jan. 29

Thanks for a great column again, and yes, Ms. Warren in on the right track. Now if we could only get the corporate media to stop trivializising her policies as "nerdy" we might get somewhere.

DocBrew Central WI Jan. 29

While Warren's proposal and ACO's marginal tax ideas both have merit, let's be honest- ideas such as these have no chance until campaign finance reform occurs. Given the current composition of the SOCTUS that seems impossible for several decades, as the obscenely rich simply buy the government they want.

Kwip Victoria, BC Jan. 29

@Brenda

I suggest that you rethink your position. I appreciate the frustration with the current system but the public school system is habitually underfunded. The $40k is not a direct benefit to each child. Look into that. And maybe look at Finland where schooling is considered one of the most important benefits to a country. As a result you see the best university graduates going into teaching because they make a very good salary and they are supported by an administration that supports their efforts, efforts that come with passion for helping kids.

Murray Illinois Jan. 29

A 2% tax on wealth is not much more than what many of us pay the financial industry to 'manage' our savings. The investment funds take their percentage, and the companies managing the portfolio take theirs. Small investors tend to pay a higher percentage in fees than larger investors. When all is taken into account, people living paycheck to paycheck pay the highest percentage, of what ends up being zero wealth. This 'wealth tax' would help rectify the imbalance.

Whole Grains USA Jan. 29

I'm very impressed with Elizabeth Warren,not just for her tax proposals, but because she is so intelligent - and genuine. Some say that she is too heady to win but she certainly has more charisma than Adlai Stevenson, who lost in the 1950s because he was too intellectual. And he didn't have a catchy slogan such as "I Like Ike." Unfortunately, it's all about how politicians are perceived. I would like to see Warren more poised and not afraid to express her sense of humor.

Karen Brooklyn Jan. 29

@Brenda

If talent and drive - particularly talent - were the deciding factor in wealth accumulation, the descendants of Fred Trump would be living on the street.

Julie Parmenter Jan. 29

@Linda

We have a Carnegie library in our small town of 2400 in rural Indiana. It is still in use as a community resource center and town history museum. It is a beautiful sturdy brick building and I assume it will be around for 100 more years. We just outgrew it and had to build a new one. Carnegie will be remembered for this, not his great wealth. Same with Gates and Buffett.

SteveHurl Boston Jan. 28

I've generally been impressed with Warren's economic analyses, going back a couple of years before she ran for Senate. A close version of this plan deserves support. If it seems "radical," it's probably because the USA drifted so far to the right. I blame disco and "Grand Theft Auto."

CDN NYC Jan. 28

Her tax proposal would be a nightmare to implement. How do you value thinly traded assets (real estate, art, antiques, etc.)? Hire a valuation expert? Have the IRS contesting it every year? Litigate? Please, tax all dividends as ordinary income, eliminate/change the duration for long term cap gains treatment, make inherited assets have a zero cost basis, etc. Simple to implement, enforce, ideas.

4Average Joe usa Jan. 29

In 1906, Representatives and Senators did not spend 4.5 days a week, every in a cubicle, begging for money, calling rich people all day. We have elected telemarketers. (no insult intended to telemarketers.)

Elizabeth Bennett Arizona Jan. 29

It's not surprising that "the usual suspects" are already trying to disarm Elizabeth Warren's well thought out tax plan. Many American billionaires are nouveau riche, and don't have the sense of responsibility that the very wealthy used to feel towards the less fortunate. And the Republican party is right there egging them on to resist fair taxation--like Elizabeth Warren's proposal.

Christy WA Jan. 29

I'm all for her. Warren is by far the smartest presidential candidate in the Democratic pack and I'm all for supertaxing the superrich -- as well as making mega-corporations pay the proper taxes they've been evading for so long.

Stephen Boston Canada Jan. 29

@George

The confiscation of excessive wealth is exactly the point and that point is a practical one -- to mitigate the tendency of unregulated large scale economies to form parasitic aristocracies that lead to resource deprivation in vast portions of the society's population. And this is not a scapegoating of the wealthy, it is refusing to worship them, it is to call them back to Earth and ask of them what is asked of each of us.

Mjxs Springfield, VA Jan. 29

"Malefactors of great wealth," Theodore Roosevelt called them. Prosperity that delivers unbelievable amounts of wealth to a very few while the other 99% struggle is not sustainable.

TR was no wild-eyed Socialist: he was a man of wealth and property and wished to remain so. He and FDR were both blue-blooded aristocrats. Both were saving capitalism by restraining its excesses.

Pinewood Nashville, TN Jan. 29

@Tom,

Whether you realize it or not, the good old USA takes away the wealth of individuals and hands it over to the government to allocate. The rest of your statement, about tyrants, is just wrong. You are equating communism with taxation, a silly thing to do. Educate yourself.

Alex Washington D.C. Jan. 29

@Peter Wolf

I agree with you 1000%. I'm tired of people arguing that certain persons would not be good candidates because they sound too smart. That's the dumbest argument I've heard so far. If someone sounds smart, then GOOD. I hope they ARE smart.

Right now we are a laughing stock of the world because our leaders are actually proud to sound stupid and boorish. Out with charisma and in with intellect and expertise, please. I wouldn't want Tom Hanks performing brain surgery on me, nor do I want him in the White House (much as I enjoy seeing him on the big screen

[Mar 03, 2019] There was a time when being rich carried a responsibility to contribute more to the world than those with less; a responsibility to serve society overall, and one's country and community in particular

Mar 03, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Yuri Asian Bay Area Jan. 29 Times Pick

This isn't about taxing wealth. It's about taxing power, privilege and greed. This isn't about punishing oligarchy. This is about saving democracy. The concentration of wealth parallels the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: it is economic climate change with consequences equally as dire as global warming on all lifeforms.

The challenge will be no less difficult, replete with a powerful lobby of deniers and greed-mongers ready for war against all threats to their power and position. Their battle cry is apres moi, le deluge -- as if taxing wealth and privilege is barbarians at the gate and the demise of civilization rather than curbing cannibals driven not by hunger but voracious greed. Everywhere climate change deniers are being drowned out by a rational majority who now see the signs of global warming in every weather report and understand what this means for their children if we continue to emulate ostriches.

Likewise, the same majority now sees the rising tide of inequality and social dysfunction and what that means for the future as a global caste system condemns nearly all of us -- but mainly our progeny -- to slavery in servitude to our one percent masters.

Elizabeth Warren is no nerd. She's our Joan of Arc. And it's up to us to make sure she isn't burned alive by the dark lords as she rallies us to win back our country and our future.

Paul Rogers Montreal Jan. 29

@Yuri Asian:

the two issues, inequality of wealth and global warming, are related. The vast wealth of the Koch Brothers enables them to drown out rational debate with propaganda. Propaganda must be abolished.

Yuri Asian Bay Area Jan. 29

@FunkyIrishman I think Trump intentionally or inadvertently has destroyed anything resembling the status quo. It's the political equivalent of Newton's Third Law of Motion: that for every action in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Trump is the ugly face of unbridled power and privilege, leavened only by vainglory ignorance.

He's the equivalent of melting icecaps and stranded polar bears when it comes to the concentration of wealth and economic climate change. His utter failure will be the rational majority's success in plowing a better and more equitable path forward. There's been nothing more radical than Trump. He's made radical solutions compelling and necessary. And inevitable.

hm1342 NC Jan. 29

@Yuri Asian: "This isn't about taxing wealth. It's about taxing power, privilege and greed." Their is plenty of power, privilege and "greed" in our nation's capital, and it is practiced daily by individuals who are elected and un-elected.

Yuri Asian Bay Area Jan. 29

@Jim Thanks for your reply and appreciation. I'm lucky to be an Editor's Pick as there are so many great comments by thoughtful and articulate NYT readers, particularly those who follow Krugman's columns. I agree with your sense of wealth as a social disease that's highly contagious. We need a vaccine and I hope Sen. Warren is it and she inoculates a strong majority by 2020.

November 2018 has Come; 2020 is Coming Vallejo Jan. 28

@Anne-Marie

Hislop

I agree, Anne - Marie. There was a time when being rich carried a responsibility to contribute more to the world than those with less; a responsibility to serve society overall, and one's country and community in particular. Also the rich were expected to have better manners and more discerning taste than those who worked because they had the free time to study and model grace and refinement.

In addition, the wealthy were expected to be patrons of the arts, the sciences, and religion by contributing money and time to support practioners, research, and experimentation in these areas.

Finally, the wealthy were expected to raise children who were role models, leaders, and volunteers who contributed emotionally and spiritually to their schools and communities.

Compare Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt to Paris Hilton or the tRump family.

Phyliss Dalmatian Wichita, Kansas Jan. 28

Amen and hallelujah, and I'm an atheist. For those asleep or oblivious, we're in the new gilded age. But faux gold, as evidenced by the occupant sitting in the Oval Office.

These " Job Creators " are creating Jobs only for shady attorneys and accountants specializing in creative mathematics, sham Corporations, Trusts and TAX avoidance. See: the Trump Family.

What's the average, law abiding citizen to do ??? Absent actually eating the Rich, WE must overhaul the entire system.

Warren is very nerdy, and very necessary. Unfortunately, the great majority of Men will not vote for any Woman, not yet. See: Trump. She would be a most excellent choice for VP, the back-up with a genius IQ and unstoppable work ethic. President ??? A modern day, working man's Teddy OR Franklin Roosevelt, and His name is Senator Sherrod Brown, Of the very great state of Ohio. MY native state. Think about it, it's the perfect pair.

Ray Zielinski Champaign, IL Jan. 28

@Peter Wolf

I particularly like Elizabeth Warren's ability to talk policy. But as a career academic I also realize that she sounds to most like a law professor giving a lecture. Unfortunately, I don't think this is a winning formula but I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

Nana2roaw Albany NY Jan. 28

Yesterday a billionaire threatened the Democratic Party with certain defeat in the 2020 Presidential election if the Party chose a candidate not to his liking. Increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few will ultimately spell the end of our democracy.

Gustav Durango Jan. 28

If there were ever a politician for our time, the second and more egregious gilded age, it should be Elizabeth Warren. She INVENTED the Consumer Financial Protection Burueau! She has studied the big banks and Wall Street for decades! She knows how they operate better than anyone on the planet. She is the Teddy Roosevelt of our time, but are we smart enough to elect her?

Ralph Philadelphia, PA Jan. 28

My wife and I find Warren to be the most impressive candidate we've seen in a long time. She has the mastery of detail that can actually move our country to where it should be. No lazy demagoguery, either -- and she communicates well.

George Minneapolis Jan. 29 Times Pick

The primary purpose of taxes should be to raise necessary revenues, not the confiscation of "excessive" wealth. Making the case for the moral and practical necessity to contribute more would be more effective than the tiresome scapegoating of the wealthy.

FunkyIrishman member of the resistance Jan. 28

@RR I happen to live in one of those Scandinavian paradises. I, nor my family, have ever had a problem with ''care''. We also have higher education paid for through a moderately higher tax structure. (perhaps 10% average higher than the U.S.) I sleep like a baby and all is taken care of. (as well as 5 weeks vacation per year) You are welcome to visit anytime.

andrewm L.I. NY Jan. 28

@Shiv, the wealthiest 20% of Americans also have about 90% of the wealth (as of 2013, probably higher now). According to the Wall Street Journal, the top 20% in income paid about 87% of individual federal income taxes in 2018. But income tax is just a portion of tax. Personal income taxes were about 48% of federal revenues in 2017, payroll tax was 35%.

Since payroll taxes are regressive, the top 20% of income tax payers pay a considerably lower percentage of total taxes than the percentage of the nation's wealth they control. Saying those paying more in taxes than they receive in direct benefits and services are 'paying all the taxes' is simplistic and deceptive. It isn't even accurate to say that they are completely funding the transfers and services to the bottom 50%, since the federal government operates at a deficit.

The deficit is covered in large part by debt owed to the social security fund, which is funded through payroll taxes. When you include state and local taxes, it looks like the percentage of total taxes paid by each income quintile is not far off from the percentage of total income that they bring in.

The tax system in the U.S. overall is 'barely progressive'. https://www.ctj.org/who-pays-taxes-in-america-in-2015 / https://whorulesamerica.ucsc.edu/power/wealth.html https://www.wsj.com/articles/top-20-of-americans-will-pay-87-of-income-tax-1523007001

Joe Ryan Bloomington IN Jan. 28

We probably all remember the scene where Chinatown's detective, J. J. Gittes, asks the bad guy, Noah Cross, "How much are you worth?" And Cross says, "I've no idea."

There are two take-aways from this. One is the low marginal utility of wealth at Mr. Cross's level. This is what makes the optimal progressivity of a wealth tax positive. But the second is the literal take-away: he really doesn't know. Nobody knows.

So, as Prof. Piketty points out (pp. 518ff of his book), the value of even a nominal wealth tax in terms of transparency -- forcing the system to determine what the distribution of wealth actually is -- is substantial, aside from revenue generation. If we're going to give wealth a vote, via Citizens United etc., then wealth should at least have to register.

Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

@Robert

As this op-ed shows, even a majority of Republicans ALREADY supports this idea. So the problem is not so much getting rid of the GOP's fake news, but having a voter turnout where the demographics of those who vote reflect the demographics of the entire population. In 2016, a whopping 50% of citizens eligible to vote, didn't vote. And the lack of political literacy among many progressives has certainly been a factor here. So what is needed is for ordinary citizens to start engaging in real, respectful debates with their family, friends, neighbors, colleagues etc. again, to make sure that everybody votes. Only then will we have more impact on what happens in DC than Big Money.

Umesh Patil Cupertino, CA Jan. 28

@DazedAndAmazed

This is a superb insight you are providing....the 'critique' of Late Capitalism from the perspective of 'Systems Stability'. I work in the field of Distributed Systems Management though Cloud for Living. The way with Distributed Decision Making is, in a number of situations it is a lot more resilient and powerful. There are advantages of Command & Control decision making (war for example). But in Late Capitalism that concentration of Decision Making in hand of few has gone too far.

To understand all this, to figure out the relevance of Distributed Decision Making, to articulate all this to masses and then to formulate sane policy proposals out of all that - that is not a simple task. So Sen. Warren, please continue the 'nerding'. I am Kamala Harris constituency, but the intellectual heft Warren is bringing to this campaign; I love that. She needs to bring her such big guns for a couple of marquee social issues as well as about America's Foreign Policy. Obviously, it cannot degenerate into 63 details policy papers like HRC.

The trick is to make the campaign about few core issues and then there to 'have the house cleaned' - completely worked out theory, understanding, explanation and policy proposals. Hope E. Warren does that, she is capable no doubt. (Predictable election cycles - such a good thing with American System....for a while just to think and discuss things apart from the Orange Head in White House - it is so refreshing...)

Thomas New York Jan. 28

J suspect that the notion that proposals to raise taxes sharply on the wealthy are too left-wing for American voters is wishful thinking or propaganda by the wealthy, on whom many pundits and analysts rely, one way or another, for their jobs. "It's difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." I don't know whether I agree with Warren on enough things to support her, but I hope this idea influences the Democratic platform and becomes reality.

John B St Petersburg FL Jan. 28

@Tom The current Republican Party is toxic – to democracy, truth, ethics, human health, human survival, equality, education, nature, love... most anything a decent person values. We can get rid of it and still have a two-party system of reasonable people who disagree on the best way to solve problems.

Ellen San Diego Jan. 28

@DazedAndAmazed

I read somewhere that the Davos crowd was intent on speeding up the development of robots to do those jobs so they wouldn't have to deal with pesky humans who want an occasional break.

Rajiv California Jan. 29

As a person who has done fairly well, there is no end to your "needs" once your start getting wealthy. Let's take flying. First, you are happy to get a deal every now and then on a flight to Hawaii. After a while, you earn status, so now you want to be first in line, have baggage privileges and get into premium economy with an extra 5 inches of leg space. Then, it's enough status to "earn" business class upgrades. Next you have to have business class on every flight, so you pay up. There's first class, but now you can afford NetJets where you get fractional ownership of a jet to fly almost anytime you like. If you get even wealthier, you get your own jet with an on demand staff. It's "worth it" as your time is valuable. It goes on and on. Every time you get more, you can't live without it. You feel like you deserve it because you've worked so hard for that money. Knowing some of those super rich, they will complain about those fascist attacking their success. They "donate" a lot to candidates whose job it is to protect their wealth. While Warren's ideas via Piketty are really interesting, maybe we need to work on our culture and values so people understand what they are doing when they expect that jet with a staff that waits in them like royalty. Then let's invest in the IRS to stop the cheating that deprives our citizens of at least $200 billion/year. After that, let's look at closing loopholes and increasing taxes.

Bonnie Luternow Clarkston MI Jan. 29 Times Pick

Until we get the money out of elections, the moneyed will control those elected. I'm not sure what our elected officials are more afraid of - meeting with their electorate and facing our anger, or voting against Grover Norquist et al.

Peter Czipott San Diego Jan. 28

During the primaries and the subsequent campaign, Democratic candidates should run explicitly and continually as new Teddy Roosevelts, using his words and images of him -- presenting the Democratic Party as the Roosevelt Republican alternative when it comes to taxation policy. It would reduce right-wing attempts to cast them as Maduros-in-waiting to pure late-night comic fodder: which is what they properly are. In fact, they should identify past Republican champions of as many of their policy proposals as possible and run as "Democrats: the Real Republicans."

Bruce Shigeura Berkeley, CA Jan. 28

Warren, Ocasio-Cortez, and Bernie have blown open up a discussion that had been locked down since Reagan -- tax the rich. Krugman is too timid.

Time to radically redistribute wealth from the capitalist class to the people in the form of jobs and social benefits.

Tax the banks and corporation to 40+% and end all tax incentives -- corporate welfare. Apple used its tax break to buy back stock to enrich investors. Facebook bought up competitors like Instagram and suppresses start-ups. A hedge fund bought Toys R Us, loaded it with debt, then bankrupted it.

The right-wing turn of rural white Americans is largely due to economic anxiety resulting from the industrialization of agriculture and global commodification of grain -- all the profits leave farm communities for mega-corporations based in cities and Wall Street, as well as global capitalist de-industrialization.

Americans on both the right and left believe the system is rigged, because it is. Warren's tax on personal assets is the first baby step. To win 2020, Democrats have to secure the vote of minorities, women, and Millennials, and peel off some white working-class voters. They have to fight for working people against the capitalists.

Thinker Upstate Jan. 28

@dajoebabe

And we have to keep educating people, in large part at taxpayers expense, so they can continue to speak up as you have. The idea that everything, education, healthcare, prescriptions, housing, food, etc has to be on a max-out-profit basis is not sustainable for a decent society. If you look into the history of successful billionaire families who might profess that government should not be used to create equal financial opportunity, you may find that they have benefited from U.S. government policies themselves to get to where they are. So why prevent others from having the opportunity to join them ?

sdavidc9 Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut Jan. 29

@Bill A small transaction tax on sales of stocks would not raise that much money. What it would do is much more useful -- put program trading and the arbitraging of tiny, tiny price differences on huge, huge trades out of business. The sort of liquidity they provide is not needed by the market and is not worth the price we pay for it.

Glenn Ribotsky Queens Jan. 28

Absolutely agree with R. Law--the carried interest loophole has got to go. That's probably contributed more to the aggrandizement of oligarchical fortunes than just about anything else. But I'd also add two more modest suggestions: --Eliminate the cap on individual Social Security contributions. There's no reason it should fade to black at $132,900 gross annual income. It should be applicable to ALL earned (and unearned) income. --Institute a small stock trade/financial transactions tax; even a 0.1% rate here would raise significant revenue, and it also might curb a lot of wild equities speculation. But, of course, none of this is likely until we can get big money out of politics; it's impossible to get representatives to represent their actual constituents, rather than their oligarchic campaign funders, if the latter are the prime source of campaign money. So, as the risk of repeating myself: --Publicly funded elections, with low three digit limits on individual campaign contributions and NO corporate, organizational, church, or (yes, even) union contributions. No PAC's, 501's, or any other letter/number combinations. --Reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine. --Legislative repeal of the Citizens United decision.

White Buffalo SE PA Jan. 29

@Tom "Wealthy people reinvest their money in economic ventures that grow their wealth, which generates greater productivity while creating jobs and wealth for the society." Like, for example, the investments that caused the 2008 Republican Great Recession for example? That plan hasn't worked since Reagan. And taxing 2%-3% of enormous wealth is hardly taking away "all the wealth of individuals!" We also need to roll back estate tax to pre-Reagan policies.

Roger California Jan. 29

@George

The moral and practical necessity is that oligarchy is antithetical to democracy. I would think that was obvious.

sdavidc9 Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut Jan. 29

@Tom

So businessmen and financiers need checks and balances, and these checks and balances include high taxation and occasionally breaking a business into pieces because it is too big and powerful. We broke up Rockefeller's company. We should be thinking about Amazon, Google, Facebook, and even Microsoft. We are using Word and Excel because Microsoft owned the operating system they run under, not because they were better products. Now we are stuck with their strengths, weaknesses, and odd habits.

calhouri cost rica Jan. 28

Boy do I wish I could share Dr, Krugman's hopefulness. But after the Supreme Court decision equating money with speech and one of the two major political parties literally a "wholly owned subsidiary" of those very 0.01%, as the ancestral Scot in laments, "I hae me doots."

Schrodinger Northern California Jan. 28

@Blair A Miller....Rewarded for hard work and talent? Well that is the myth. There is a case to be made that capitalism rewards greedy and unethical people who have a talent for working the system. There is also no question that it rewards monopolists and the fortunate.

Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

@Kurt Heck It doesn't. That's precisely why we have to stop the GOP strategy to pass tax cut after tax cut for the wealthiest all while making life even more difficult for the other, very hard-working 99%. And if you believe that in order to be a billionaire today you must work hard, it's time to update your info. Most of them inherited a fortune already, together with the knowledge needed to engage in financial speculation, which in the 21st century is totally disconnected from the real economy - or rather, they PAY experts to engage in financial speculation, and that's it.

It's time for the most industrious to at least be able to pay the bills, get the education and healthcare they want, and become represented in Congress again. THAT is why we need a tax increase for the extreme rich, all while increasing the minimum wage, and expanding Medicaid and Medicare. THAT is how we'll finally become an entirely civilized country too. Not by adding trillions and trillions to the debt just to make the extreme wealthy even wealthier, as the GOP just did again.

K D P Sewickley, PA Jan. 29

The NYTimes reported in October, "Over the past decade, Jared Kushner's net worth has quintupled to almost $324 million. And yet, for several years running, Mr. Kushner paid almost no federal income taxes." Let's not get lost in the details of how we do it: taxing wealth, making income taxes more progressive, restoring the estate tax, or something else. Let's remember that Jared Kushner is the poster boy for our current (extremely unfair) tax system.

Souvient St. Louis, MO Jan. 29

I care about taxes and wealth inequality, so I like that Warren is talking about them. I'm also a bit of a policy wonk, so I like the fact that Warren focuses on policy issues. As a classically trained economist, though, I know how quickly others' eyes glaze over when I get too excited about anything related to finance or economics. The vast majority of people lack the patience for it. Too many think they understand far more than they really do because they read a handful of articles and watched CNBC a couple times. And when people believe they already know something, they're unlikely to greet new ideas with an open mind. A wealth tax makes sense to me on a lot of levels. I just hope Senator Warren keeps the explanation as simple as possible. For every wonk she wins over, she risks pushing two rubes away if she makes it any more complicated. It's unfortunate that we live in the Twitter era of gadfly attention spans, but we do. Dems need to do a better job of distilling their platform to bumper stickers. If they do that, the polity might actually remember some of their talking points.

Matthew Carnicelli Brooklyn, NY Jan. 28

Win or lose, Elizabeth Warren will bring the lion's share of ideas to this presidential season. It's one to say that you support a trendy concept, but it's quite another to have thought through the implications of your proposals - and be prepared to first defend, and then implement them. Warren is, and will be - from Day 1. We shouldn't settle for "hope and change" this time; we need a President in 2021 capable of thinking her way through a maze of societal problems, and unafraid to passionately, untiringly champion her preferred option.

Paul, as an aside, do you think that we would have lost the House of Representatives in 2010 if someone had opted for that much larger stimulus package that you, Joe Stiglitz and Robert Reich were recommending (thus causing the economy to more quickly and fully rebound in time for the midterms)?

Barry of Nambucca Australia Jan. 29

@Tom A 2% tax on wealth from $50 million to $1000 million, will have minimal impact on the mega rich, with hopefully maximum benefit going to those who need government assistance.

HL Arizona Jan. 29

@George

The primary purpose of Citizens United was to allow the wealthy a back door into stealing our public institutions and public contracts along with reducing the taxes on passive income for their own personal expansion of wealth. While I agree this is a form of class warfare, the rich have won the war. Instead of thinking of this as confiscation, consider it insurance for keeping your head up.

ruth goodsnyder sandy hook, ct. Jan. 29

@Charlie

Love "Pinocchio". It is perfect. He needs to be made fun of. I think that would drive him crazy.

Ashleigh Adams Colorado Jan. 29

As Yascha Mounk has been saying for years, democracy isn't about a firm belief in the power of the people, or a belief in personal liberty - above all, its support is determined by one thing: whether it is delivering results for the majority of the population. If it doesn't, it loses support; and unfortunately, for decades now, it hasn't been delivering results. Even Obama, the great liberal hope, stacked his cabinet and advisors with the likes of Geithner, Bernanke, and Sommers, appointing people to the FTC who were too soft to trust-bust or aggressively tackle mergers. I am of the belief that Trump was a warning. We got him because ordinary people have been losing faith that the government is working for them. If we want to regain that faith, we need a government (meaning both an Executive and a Legislature) that is prepared to go full FDR in 2021. Trust bust corporations that have decreased power of workers by consolidating labor market, and the power of consumers by monopolizing goods and services. Expand social security. Cut the red tape to build millions of desperately-needed housing units. Take away the excess wealth of the plutocrats, and their political power. Expand voting rights. Make unionization easier, and healthcare more affordable by socializing it. Without this, we run the risk of losing our democracy. 2020 is do or die. Warren has a record of fighting for this. She has my vote.

hen3ry Westchester, NY Jan. 28

If the people who make their fortunes in America because of Americans don't want to support the country that helped them perhaps they should consider this: our sweat, our hard work, and our tears were a vital part of their success. It doesn't matter how brilliant the idea is or smart the inventor is or how cleverly the product is marketed. If the public isn't ready for it, it won't sell and money won't be made. There is a lot of luck involved in making a fortune. Part of that luck depends upon us and our willingness to buy into what is being sold. Yes, the inventor or the creator has to have the drive to succeed. S/he has to accept failure, work very hard, and have faith that s/he will succeed.

It's nonsense to claim that Bill Gates would not have created Windows if he knew he'd be taxed at very high rates. He didn't know if it would succeed as well as it did. The purpose of taxes is to support the country. It's to have a government that can fund basic research to help us, create nationwide rules to ensure that milk in New York is milk in North Dakota, and to regulate those little things like roads, bridges, water safety, and keep the country safe. Any exceedingly rich corporation or person who doesn't want to support that is not patriotic in the least. They are greedy.

Mark Cheboygan Jan. 28

Make America Great Again. Repeal the Bush and Trump tax cuts.

Tom New Jersey Jan. 28

@JSH

The American Revolution was a revolt of American born property holders, not of the peasants or the slaves. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are both very strong on property rights. The rights of an individual to own property free from seizure by the government is at the heart of Liberalism. We live in a two party state. If we truly eliminated the Republican party we'd be no different than China. America only gets better if the Republican party gets better. The Democratic party could use some improvement too. I support Warren's tax plan. It's a reasonable and sensible move, not just a bunch of poorly thought out hot air.

Peter J. New Zealand Jan. 28

This is but one in a long line of cogent reasonable suggestions to tax mega rich a little more. Unfortunately while the economics makes sense, these schemes fail politically because enough of the vast majority of much poorer people in the middle class can be convinced that there is something unfair by singling out the successful.

The Steve Jobs story, whereby a poor boy with a great idea should be able to make tons of money. The only way a change will come is if the middle class' eyes can be opened to the fact that for every Steve Jobs there are thousands of Jay Gatsbys who inherited their wealth and privilege and who now spend much of their time and money ensuring that the laws are written so that they can keep their wealth.

The inequity of the present laws, via tax loopholes and corporate subsidies to favour the very rich should be highlighted, showing the middle class how they are constantly being ripped off in order to fund the rich.

Ellis6 Sequim, WA Jan. 29

There are polls and then there is reality. In Alabama in 2003, a newly-elected conservative Republican governor proposed a constitutional amendment to raise taxes on the wealthiest Alabamans. The measure was defeated 67.5%-32.5% with low-income voters opposing it by a significant margin. In Washington in 2010, voters defeated a referendum to impose a modest income tax on the state's wealthiest residents. (There is no income tax in Washington.)

It seems unlikely that in the state with the country's most regressive tax system that 65% of the voters are wealthy. Despite language in the referendum that guaranteed it could never be applied to lower incomes without a vote of the people and a provision to lower property taxes by 20%, paranoia, not reason, ruled the day. It lost 65%-35%.

Polling is easy. But when concrete proposals go to the voters, the wealthy interests overwhelm voters with fear and lies, and the voters, complacent and ill-informed, can be easily manipulated. Conservative Alabama and liberal Washington State both defeated measures that would have helped their state finances significantly.

The money raised was to be spent on education, health care for the elderly and other radical things some of which would have helped the poor, but lower income voters cast their votes as though, despite their current conditions, they'd be subject to the taxes tomorrow or next month or next year.

Tom New Jersey Jan. 28

@Acajohn "Why isn't there one billionaire or multi billion dollar company that actually takes pride in paying their fair share?" Like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, the two richest men in America, who have pledged to follow Carnegie's example, and taken actions to do so?

WK Green Brooklyn Jan. 29

@DBman

The notion that Sanders has no deep understanding of the policies that he champions is a stroke of common wisdom that is not very wise, as anyone who ever bothered going to he web site would find. In 2016, at least, it was chalk full of issues and positions with a long section on how it could be paid for.

Krugman seemed to shun him for reasons that were never clear to me, but Sanders' proposals had the ear of quite a few economists.

Even Krugman's crush, Thomas Piketty was intrigued. I'm thrilled that both Warren and Sanders are in this, and if the primary were today I could probably toss a coin. But I find this constant picking at Bernie Sanders and his "flailing arms" to be grating and uninformed. It's akin to asking him to just smile more.

Bejay Williamsburg VA Jan. 29

Not just Roosevelt. "The consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property... Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise." - Thomas Jefferson, October 28, 1785.

"An enormous proportion of property vested in a few individuals is dangerous to the rights, and destructive of the common happiness, of mankind; and therefore every free state hath a right by its laws to discourage the possession of such property." - Benjamin Franklin, July 29, 1776.

"All property ... seems to me to be the creature of public convention. Hence the public has the right of regulating descents and all other conveyances of property, and even of limiting the quantity and the uses of it." - Benjamin Franklin, December 25, 1783.

Jerry in NH Hopkinton, NH Jan. 28

Bring back the inheritance tax on large estates and we have a winner!

aem Oregon Jan. 28

Senator Warren should consider a few adjustments to her plan. First, tax capital gains income at the same rate as earned income. Eliminate the carried interest deduction and close some other egregious loopholes (including the new "pass through" income loophole). Finally, give the wealth tax a nine year period after which it would have to be renewed. Call it a "Patriotism Tax". Pledge to use it for infrastructure improvements and debt reduction. I think that could be very popular.

Tom New Jersey Jan. 28

@FunkyIrishman

That is a radical plan, one tried many times before. It fails because humans are not perfect, and not perfectible. They try to accumulate wealth and power, are jealous of each other's possessions and mates, and try to create circumstances that favor their offspring over others of the next generation.

The fields of human evolutionary biology and psychology tell us that your plan can not and will not work. Not only that, countless Utopians have tried this in the past. Most fail within months, even with a small group of people who all supposedly love one another. All societies founded on the belief that humans are perfectible have failed. Societies founded on the belief that humans will be venal, corrupt, and power-hungry tend to have the safeguards that allow them to survive. That's why the constitution is full of "checks and balances". Don't think you can replace them with a society of peace and love where we will all live in quiet harmony. You can only replace them with better checks and balances if you hope to succeed. John Lennon's "Imagine" is a lovely song. But it's just a wish list, not a manifesto.

Acajohn Chicago Jan. 28

@Linda

Yes, what kind of person, especially one with obscene wealth, prefers to keep every penny rather than pay taxes that make our country function? Why isn't there one billionaire or multi billion dollar company that actually takes pride in paying their fair share?

Alan J. Shaw Bayside, New York Jan. 28

@Yabasta

Sanders said little about taxation. In his debates with Clinton, he advocated scrapping the ACA and starting de novo, whereas Clinton suggested legislation to improve it. Thanks in part to Sanders' attacks on Clinton, both personally and on policy, Trump got elected and the Republicans have tried in every possible way to destroy it. On this issue, will Pelosi and Warren follow the so-called progressivism of Sanders?

Laurie USA Jan. 29

@John Homan

I don't get your criticism of Rajiv either. Rajiv know what he is talking about. The rich can never have enough; more is not enough. We see it all the time. We need to eliminate the dynasties and equalize the democracy.

Mark Thomason Clawson, MI Jan. 28

Existing wealth and annual income are two very different things. Both are now problems. Existing wealth disparity is the accumulation of all the last 40 years of income disparity, plus the "work the money did" to pile itself up higher. Our laws magnified the wealth disparity. That was deliberate and calculated. Our laws allow it to pile up without the former taxation at death to trim it back. We charge only half the tax rate on the "work" of the money itself, the special "capital gains" rate. It is specially privileged from taxes, which is entirely new over these last few Presidential Administrations. It was said that would encourage job growth. It never did. Nobody who knew anything about the subject ever really believed it would. What is now proposed by Warren is to fix what they so deliberately broke. This would not come up if they had not done that first. And if we hadn't done this, we'd have had the job growth this stifled, from the consumer purchasing power it took to pile up as wealth, much of it speculative and overseas.

Stevenz Auckland Jan. 28

Conservative voters are against taxes because *if* they get rich they don't want to pay them. As a liberal I, on the other hand, would be *delighted* to have to pay this tax!

Charlton Price Jan. 28

@George

Tax policy also should strive to assess from each taxpayer according to the means of that tax payer. Note the source of that statement of principle.

Thomas Washington DC Jan. 29

By all means let's tax the rich. But what I find most alarming is Kamala Harris's call for yet ANOTHER tax cut for the middle class. Every since the days of Saint Ronnie, Americans have been misled into believing they deserve tax cut after tax cut. And the result for the commons (those goods and services that we share) has been disastrous. Americans already pay lower taxes than most of the developed world. Yet the candidates are also calling for more benefits: Medicare for All and free college. The defense establishment continues to clamor for more resources. What we need is to increase taxes on the rich along with a robust tax enforcement system, so that Americans see that EVERYONE is pulling their weight, according to their means.

Eitan Israel Jan. 29

Redistribution of wealth through progressive taxation is as American as apple pie. In addition to taxing wealth, there should be a significant estate tax on the top 1%. Getting rich is for many the American Dream, but that does not entitle the rich to endless wealth forever. Others should have an opportunity to take their shot.

PB USA Jan. 28

A couple of points: at the turn of the 20th Century (about the time that Teddy Roosevelt was railing against the rich), John D Rockefeller had more lawyers on staff than the United States Government. Rockefeller's net worth at that point (they had not yet broken up Standard Oil at that point), was $1 billion, at a time when the total receipts of the US Government were $700 billion.

Krugman also mentions Piketty and his book. A central theme in Piketty's book, not mentioned here, was that there is no countervailing force that naturally takes us back to a more equitable distribution of wealth.

That only occurred because the world suffered through two world wars, and a depression, out of which came a determination by FDR to use government as a countervailing force. And so it is not an accident that the Republican Party is trying to kill government because that is the only large, countervailing force known to be effective. Do we really want a world where a Jeff Bezos has more lawyers on staff than the US Government? Don't laugh; something similar has happened in the past.

Quinn New Providence, NJ Jan. 29

@dajoebabe For the last 40 years, we have had the GOP tell us that government is the problem and lower tax rates will supercharge economic growth. Now we have a nation with a superpower's army, third rate infrastructure, a porous social safety net and a mediocre education system. Granted that government cannot solve all problems (nor should it try!), but the evidence is clear that the effects of our disinvestment in ourselves is now coming to the fore. If we are truly at the point where raising the marginal tax rate on a very small number of households will cause economic collapse, then our capitalist system has failed and should be replaced.

Rick Morris Montreal Jan. 29 Times Pick

Interesting ideas, but to get Americans (read Republicans) to swallow this whole is doubtful. Perhaps some marketing is in order. Let's not call this a tax. Let's call it a gift. High value households would give to the government agency of their choice (Social Security, Veteran's Affairs, EPA etc..), garner a modest tax credit as in charity donations, and as a plus receive a full accounting of how their money was spent by an independent auditor. Their gifts could be publicized on social media, thus generating the kind of attention that could generate higher and higher donations. Just a thought.

Daniel Salazar Naples FL Jan. 29

We could also use Teddy Roosevelt's anti-corruption and environmental values as well. I think he is one Republican completely disowned by the current Republican Party. While I do not believe Elizabeth Warren has any chance to be President, her candidacy will certainly force intelligent debate on the Democratic Platform for 2020. She will make a tremendous Treasury Secretary and break the Goldman Sachs stranglehold on that position.

John Kell Victoria Jan. 28

Let's not stop with progressive taxes on the income and wealth of corporations and individuals. We need to ban monopolies outright, and limit the market share of oligopolies to something like 20%. And we should even limit the fraction of a corporations' shares (e.g. 10%) that can be owned by any one entity (corporal or corporate), and make privately-held corporations go public once they reach a certain size.

There's a lesson we can learn from Mother Nature: "Too big to fail" really means "Too big to exist"!

Michael Skadden Houston, Texas Jan. 28

Maybe Piketty instead of Teddy Roosevelt -- but the rates for the wealthy should be higher, especially for passive income, to force the rich if for no other to avoid taxation to invest their money in the economy.

Osama Jan. 29

@George.

"Poverty exists not because we can't feed the poor, but because we can't satisfy the rich."

Elin Minkoff Florida Jan. 28

@Linda: Your comment is just wonderful, and gets to the crux of what is right, fair, decent, moral. Some super wealthy people will always be superficial and greedy, and others will always be generous, and have profound character and depth.

People who are remembered with the greatest respect, fondness, reverence, and joy, are not those who have amassed fortunes, but those who have done what they could with their fortunes, for those who would never have fortunes. Or people who sacrificed for others, if not with their fortunes, then by other means. It is not desirable to be remembered for being selfish, greedy, and financially predatory like trump and his ilk.

David Henan Jan. 29

Aside from the fact that a a massive concentration of wealth is inimical to a functioning democracy because it inevitably leads to a concentration of power, if the tax code is meant to give incentives to productive behavior, what is less of an incentive to being productive than inheriting hundreds of millions of dollars?

I personally knew an heiress from one of the most famous wealthy families of the 20th century; the name would be familiar. She was a good person, but a drug addict. So was her brother. No one needs to start life with a hundred million dollars. It's not healthy.

Jan Schreuder New York Jan. 29

@John Coctosin

tax and spend is what a government is for. Spending it on infrastructure as opposed to increasing the already bloated pentagon budget and not on a wall, would be preferable. And reallocation, so that for instance teaching becomes a viable career choice again, would be a very useful government task. I don't know whether mr. Coctosin ever worked in the private industry but if he did he must have seen a lot of waste. Though willful blindness is of course "so expected from" the right.

Balance FL Jan. 29

@George

"Conficatory taxes on excessive wealth" is a sin tax-a tax on greed. There is only so much money on person can use in a lifetime if it is to be more than a competitive status and power symbol and is not given back as an investment to build society and the future.

The numbers-$50 million are HUGE. Anyone, with that kind of money who could resent paying 1% toward the future and toward society is simply, selfishly and sinfully, GREEDY! It's about time the excessively wealthy, who do not allow their wealth to trickle down as wages, or even trickle through the economy as investments for the benefit of society, are taxed because it has become apparent that only taxes will force them to let go of their wealth.

John B St Petersburg FL Jan. 29

@thewriterstuff

Trump making his tax returns public has nothing to do with IRS staffing. And yes, a better staffed IRS does a better job of catching tax cheats. (No idea why they never nailed Trump's father, though.)

Ana Luisa Belgium Jan. 28

@Gwen Vilen

We will only have a government for the people if it's a government BY the people. That means politicians who REALLY are just like you and me, not always very charismatic, not always your ideal best friend, or a "savior", or common sense spiritual leader such as Michelle Obama, but instead people who flaws, all while being decent citizens, with a very clear moral compass, AND the skills and intellectual capacity to know how to design new, science-based law projects and how to obtain political agreements in DC without even THINKING of starting to stop implementing already existing law (= shutting down the Executive branch of government).

14 Recommend
Duane McPherson Groveland, NY Jan. 29

@Peter Wolf,

Warren would be an excellent Cabinet member. But people vote for President on an emotional level, and I don't think Warren has that emotional charisma. It's excellent that she is running and running early, because that way she can set some of the parameters of discussion, which is what she's doing now.

Ken Tillson, New York Jan. 29

Just how much money does somebody really need? The Bezos divorce is going to result in two people having "only" 70 billion dollars each. 1 billion, 10 billion, 70 billion; at some point, how can you tell? At some point, doesn't it just become a number?

Jim MA/New England Jan. 29

@Yuri Asian Best comment I have read on this subject, Thank you. It should be understood that the wealthy just don't care and are very un- American. Wealth in our society will equal slavery for everyone else and it has already begun. See the republican tax plan if you have any doubts.

White Buffalo SE PA Jan. 29

@Tom

Two points: If you add the compound interest forgone on the amount paid in SS taxes I wonder if the calculation changes. The wealth of the over 65 group is very differentially distributed, just like wealth in general. Think what the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, the Walmart heirs and Warren Buffet do to that distribution.

Just because Ellen is 70 does not mean she is participating in the relative wealth growth of the over 65 cohort you note. I imagine with few exceptions most very wealthy people are over 65, but that does not mean the reverse is true, that most over 65 are wealthy or even comfortable. For a large number SS is their main source of support, and rampant ageism makes it very difficult for even healthy over 65 years to find a job to supplement it.

Taxing SS is a form of double taxation. People with high incomes could still be taxed on their income after excluding SS. Or, since you are so concerned about the people collecting more in SS than they paid in, taxation could start on all benefits exceeding that figure. (And you seem totally unconcerned with all the people who collect nothing or much less than they paid in. If you are worried about one group not being in balance you should be equally worried about the other group not being in balance.

I am ok with both because I consider SS to be an insurance program. I don't pay income taxes on my insurance proceeds paid for by premiums on which I did pay taxes.

Doug Keller Virginia Jan. 29

The shutdown taught a clear lesson: people squarely located in the middle class (in this case, federal workers) cannot afford to miss a single paycheck.

Add that awareness to the cluelessness of the wealthy who, with the attention brought to them by their position in the trump administration, put that cluelessness on full display -- and add the awareness that the trump tax break benefitted the wealthy only while saddling the nation with debt -- put those together, and we will find positive support for what amounts to a relative pinprick of sacrifice from the ultra wealthy, as proposed by Warren and likeminded Congresswomen.

Jane S Philadelphia Jan. 29

@George

American public policy is designed to concentrate wealth at the top and impoverish the bottom. Progressive taxation is but one measure to correct the economic structure that results in death and destitution, even among fully employed workers. Health care for all and living wages are additional measures.

Extreme poverty in America is a result of public policy which further enriches the wealthy. Course correction is a moral imperative.

Quinn New Providence, NJ Jan. 29

@Tom

It's a giant leap to say that a 2% tax or a higher marginal rate is the confiscation of wealth. It's also a giant leap imply that only the very wealthy reinvest their money. Where do you think the dividends and gains in your 401K account go? They are reinvested! The key point is that many of the very wealthy have used their wealth and influence to change the tax code and other laws to their benefit. There is zero evidence that a lower marginal tax rate on the wealthy has any correlation to job creation, but there is a very strong correlation between lower tax rates and income disparity.

PATRICK G.O.P. is the Party of "Red" Jan. 29

Taxes are the necessary fact of a thriving civilization. When confronted by the trained mindset of anti-tax rhetoric issuing from a clone of selfish leadership, I simply say; if it were not for taxes, we'd all be driving on rutted dirt roads and dying young. Tax the rich so they survive the slings and arrows of discontent they created. They will thank us for it later.

Duffy Currently Baltimore Jan. 29

@George

I'actually tired of the rich scapegoating the poor. Like Romney calling them takers. The wealthy will be fine, don't worry.

Duane McPherson Groveland, NY Jan. 28

@GP,

You already pay a wealth tax, if you own a home. It's called "property tax". Why should the very wealthy not pay a property tax, too? But in the present condition, they do not, and can easily hide their wealth from view, and pass it to their heirs without paying any tax. Which just adds and adds to the concentration of wealth among the few.

Clyde Pittsburgh Jan. 29

Of course it makes perfect sense. Which is why those uber-rich people will not allow this to happen. They'll do everything they can to shut down Ms. Warren. It's what they do

JMM Worcester, MA Jan. 28

If I were doing tax policy from scratch, I'd include both the Warren wealth tax, a progressive income tax culminating with the AOC 70% marginal rate, treat capital gains as regular income, eliminate the carried interest loophole, and investigate the taxing of all "non-profits" including religious and political organizations. I would replace the standard deduction and personal exemption with a universal basic income. I would reduce the military budget and provide at least a buy-in to medicare.

Anything less that than, I don't consider "radical."

Wendy Maland Chicago, IL Jan. 28

If the Democratic party continues to do nothing to address the problem of the top .1 percemt owning 90 percent of American wealth, we are destined to sit idly by as the heartbreaking inequities and divisions of this country deepen.... and this means, too, that we will be doing very little to address the deeper causes of a certain kind of American desperation and violence.

It's time to address the radically warped system with sensible countermeasures. This is, in my view, a moderate position that moderate, sensible politicians will promote. Doing nothing to address this enormous problem is the most radical position of all.

Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ Jan. 29

@hm1342

I work and pay taxes and have done so for 40 years. I'm happy to pay taxes, not because I'm dependent on them, but because I realize a few things that make you uncomfortable:

1. No one does it by themselves; we all rely on others at work, at home and in life; we're part of society; we are not solo warriors on some mystical heroic island

2. Not everyone is as fortunate as I; I'm glad the poor, the disabled, the unlucky, the elderly, the uneducated and the unskilled can get a modicum of government assistance when their chips are own

3. Canadians and Europeans and the Japanese do not suffer from 'dependency' syndrome; they're hardworking people with healthy market economies who have decent government that regulate healthcare extortion and corporate extortion to a minimum; it's a pretty humane arrangement

4. Corporations and CEO's have been redistributing upward for about fifty years; 20:1 CEO:worker pay was the 1960's norm....now a 350:1 ration is common.

5. Tax rates for the rich and corporations have collapsed from the 1950's to 2019; the right-wing pretends they're high, but they're not. 6. America has the greatest health-care rip-off in the world at 17% of GDP; it's an international 'free-market' disgrace that no foreign country would touch a 300-foot pole because it would bankrupt them, just as it bankrupts Americans.

Keep living in a 1787 time tunnel and see where it gets you. Or buy a calendar...and evolve.

Judy M Los Angeles Jan. 28

[Drive toward] Equality is the basis of society; it has always been close to my heart. Thank you, Paul Krugman, for standing clearly for economic equality.

Gini Green Bay, Wi Jan. 29

@George

The purpose of taxes is not only to fund public necessities, but also to encourage society to behave in a manner which is good for all of society.

Thus, in World War 2 income tax was set quite high, to discourage consumption of scarce resources.

It is not scapegoating the wealthy to have them pay a proportional share of their wealth to fund the public good, and to, in a small way, discourage inherited wealth. It is through our society that they are able to accumulate their wealth, it follows that they should have incentive to preserve and further that society.

Duane McPherson Groveland, NY Jan. 28

I agree completely with a progressive tax on net wealth. Piketty proposed this in "Capital in the Twenty-first Century" back in 2014. I'm happy to hear that Elizabeth Warren has picked up the idea.

The elegance of it is that it does not prevent the wealth-motivated from seeking high incomes and accumulating a lot of wealth in their lifetime. But it reduces the incentive to earn an ever-higher income, and it prevents the wealthy from creating wealth dynasties.

And consider this: even a 90% tax on inherited wealth would mean, for someone who accumulated a $10 billion estate, that their heirs would receive a $1 billion inheritance as a grubstake. Not a bad start in life, if I say so myself.

Marvin Raps New York Jan. 29

Almost any tax measure to re-distribute wealth is appropriate in a nation that values economic justice. However, answering the question of just how people accumulate billions, while so many others struggle so hard to remain in place. First, it is necessary to dispense with the fiction that the wealthy earned it so let them keep it.

No one person or one family EARNS billions. The hard work necessary to create wealth belongs to many hard working and creative people and to numerous public institutions that make its creation possible.

Both are entitled to a fair share of the wealth they help to create. It is the laws and even traditions that allow one individual to CAPTURE and keep so much wealth. And those laws and traditions need to be changed.

Start with a Living Wage plus full benefits for all workers and salary scales that are reasonable, not the 1:300 that some CEO's currently enjoy. End golden parachutes for retiring or even fired executives and tax unearned income at the same rate as earned income. Equal opportunity cannot stand without economic justice.

John Griswold Salt Lake City Utah Jan. 29

@George

No, part of the purpose of taxes should be to counteract the normal power of capital that causes the formation of massive personal fortunes which distort the economy relied on by all. It's not scapegoating to try to put our economy back in balance, to curtail its division into the Main St. economy, currently starved by that wealth division so heavily favoring the fabulously wealthy, and the shadow economy of Wall St. gambling, commodity market manipulation, and asset ownership.

[Mar 03, 2019] I like the idea of Warren tax, but it may be very difficult to value certain kinds of assets and how they may have appreciated

Mar 03, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

JimB NY Jan. 29

I like the idea, although it may be very difficult to value certain kinds of assets and how they may have appreciated. For example, if the Republican Congressman you bought as a freshman goes on to win a Senate seat, how much would his value have increased?

[Mar 03, 2019] Warren Trump 'may not even be a free person' by 2020 by QUINT FORGEY

Feb 10, 2019 | www.politico.com

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Sunday said that President Donald Trump "may not even be a free person" by 2020, suggesting the president might become ensnared by the special counsel's investigation before she has a chance to face him in a general election.

"Every day there is a racist tweet, a hateful tweet -- something really dark and ugly," Warren said during a campaign event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "What are we as candidates, as activists, as the press going to do about it? We're going to chase after those every day?"

She added: "Here's what bothers me. By the time we get to 2020, Donald Trump may not even be president. In fact, he may not even be a free person."

The jab marks Warren's first foray into campaign-trail skirmishing with Trump since entering the Democratic presidential fray with a Saturday announcement event in Lawrence, Mass.

During her kickoff speech, Warren, a consumer protection advocate and former Harvard Law School professor, attacked Trump as being part of a "rigged system that props up the rich and the powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else."

Earlier Saturday, Trump mocked Warren's rollout and took aim at the controversies surrounding her past claims of Native American heritage, which intensified Wednesday after The Washington Post revealed that she had identified herself as American Indian on her Texas State Bar registration card.

"Today Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to by me as Pocahontas, joined the race for President," Trump tweeted. "Will she run as our first Native American presidential candidate, or has she decided that after 32 years, this is not playing so well anymore?"

"See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!" the president added, in what many Democrats judged to be a reference to the forced relocation of several Native American tribes in the Southeast U.S. in the 1830s known as the Trail of Tears.

[Mar 03, 2019] Warren shuts down donor dinners, insider access by By NATASHA KORECKI

Feb 25, 2019 | www.politico.com

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) announced Monday her campaign will shun fundraising through some of the old-fashioned means: dinners, donor calls and cocktail parties.

In an email to supporters Monday, Warren also said she won't sell access to big-name donors as candidates often do to raise money for a presidential bid.

Warren has demonstrated as much in organizing events where she poses for photos with anyone who stands in line and requests it. Typically, candidates put a premium on such access, sometimes charging thousands of dollars for a personal photograph.

"My presidential primary campaign will be run on the principle of equal access for anybody who joins it," Warren said in a message to supporters.

"That means no fancy receptions or big money fundraisers only with people who can write the big checks. And when I thank the people giving to my campaign, it will not be based on the size of their donation. It means that wealthy donors won't be able to purchase better seats or one-on-one time with me at our events. And it means I won't be doing 'call time,' which is when candidates take hours to call wealthy donors to ask for their support."

The self-imposed restrictions allow Warren to distinguish herself from the field at a time when candidates are in a mad race for donations from small donors.

The Democrat, who launched a full-fledged campaign earlier this month, has already vowed not to take money from lobbyists or super PACs.

She has rejected all PAC money and challenged others in the sprawling field of candidates to reject PAC money. A group of competitors have said they wouldn't take corporate PAC money -- including Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a prospective candidate, shattered records in the 2018 midterms after rejecting PACs and relying on small-dollar donors.

Warren's move, though, takes that promise a step further, saying she won't spend time making donor calls or that she will host private fundraising dinners or receptions.

While Warren did hold fundraisers in her years as a senator, she hasn't held any since she first launched her exploratory bid Dec. 31, according to her campaign.

Warren has a proven network of small dollar donors, but she's also seemed to lag others in the primary field in early fundraising, including Harris and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), whose one-day $6 million haul swamped all his competitors in the field.

[Mar 02, 2019] Trump is the Republican Obam

Mar 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Feb 28, 2019 10:29:45 AM | link

Trump apologists spinning the failed summit

Once again, I remind everyone that we saw THE EXACT SAME THING with Obama. Failures were NEVER attributed to Obama despite the fact that Obama kept "failing" over and over again.

What is "failure" to us is success for the establishment.

That's how the faux populist leader psyop works. I've been writing about Trump as a faux populist like Obama for about 18 months. But those who hope that Trump is their hero refuse to see what they don't want to see . And then there are those that deliberately want to push the pretense that hero Trump is repeatedly confounded by his advisors.

steven t johnson @6 has it right: Believing Trump is or ever was open to breaking with US imperialism is Trumpery.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Anyone trying to excuse Trump is a fool or worse. Trump is not hero, he's a member of the team. He is is part and parcel of the anti-democratic scam. He is the Empire's spokesperson, and a tool of the Deep State.

Is he a puppet? No. He is a member of the team.

fastfreddy , Feb 28, 2019 2:49:48 PM | link

Trump's 11 dimensional chess is a lot like Obama's 11 dimensional chess. Neither could figure out a way to keep warmongers and hateful pricks out of their cabinets, or curtail the war machine in any way, or to stop handing out tax giveaways to people who don't need them.

[Feb 27, 2019] Their votes mean absolutely nothing, and that the entire American electoral system is just a simulation of democracy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "That might have left people with the false impression that their votes mean absolutely nothing, and that the entire American electoral system is just a simulation of democracy, and in reality they are living in a neo-feudalist, de facto global capitalist empire administrated by omnicidal money-worshipping human parasites that won't be satisfied until they've remade the whole of creation in their nihilistic image." ..."
Feb 27, 2019 | www.unz.com

Jake , says: February 26, 2019 at 12:04 pm GMT

"That might have left people with the false impression that their votes mean absolutely nothing, and that the entire American electoral system is just a simulation of democracy, and in reality they are living in a neo-feudalist, de facto global capitalist empire administrated by omnicidal money-worshipping human parasites that won't be satisfied until they've remade the whole of creation in their nihilistic image."

Now that's writing worth reading. If the Nobel committee did not serve the Global Empire, it would give the Literature Prize to Hopkins.

The late 19th and 20th century Russians had the horror of dealing with Nihilists running amuck in their country. Now the Nihilists rule the world as multi-billionaire Globalists.

[Feb 26, 2019] That might have left people with the false impression that their votes mean absolutely nothing, and that the entire American electoral system is just a simulation of democracy, and in reality they are living in a neo-feudalist, de facto global capitalist empire administrated by omnicidal money-worshipping human parasites that won't be satisfied until they've remade the whole of creation in their nihilistic image

Feb 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

Jake , says: February 26, 2019 at 12:04 pm GMT

"That might have left people with the false impression that their votes mean absolutely nothing, and that the entire American electoral system is just a simulation of democracy, and in reality they are living in a neo-feudalist, de facto global capitalist empire administrated by omnicidal money-worshipping human parasites that won't be satisfied until they've remade the whole of creation in their nihilistic image."

Now that's writing worth reading. If the Nobel committee did not serve the Global Empire, it would give the Literature Prize to Hopkins.

The late 19th and 20th century Russians had the horror of dealing with Nihilists running amuck in their country. Now the Nihilists rule the world as multi-billionaire Globalists.

[Feb 26, 2019] Warren Joins Bernie In Rejecting Private Fundraisers.. For Now - YouTube

Feb 26, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Jonathan Powling , 7 hours ago

Send a buck to Tulsi. 65,000 donors baby

Mister Methuselah , 6 hours ago

What's wrong with Tulsi's fundraisers? They are not PAC money and $125/plate is not that expensive. Tulsi has a huge disadvantage, because she isn't getting any coverage. Tulsi's dinners are not sponsored by Corporate money.

Rosannasfriend , 6 hours ago (edited)

Warren said to Cenk Uygur(in a NEW interview!) that her refusal of corporate donations only extends to the primaries. She said [we] need corporate donations- or as she calls them- "everything in our arsenal to beat Trump". Still want to lump her in with Bernie?

Max Waller , 7 hours ago (edited)

Never Completely Trust anyone, so thoroughly research everyone before supporting anyone on anything to be fully aware of who benefits and how, since you may or may not benefit at all 11:16 hours Pacific Standard Time on Tuesday, 26 February 2019

un mog , 6 hours ago

Im not too mad about Tulsi, especially when a "large" donation is 200 or more. I think large should be considered more than 500

[Feb 19, 2019] Rhetoric and platitudes aren't enough

Feb 19, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Matt Chew , , 1 week ago

Liz Warren is talking about what Bernie talked about in '16. I'm concerned that she has progressive rhetoric but centrist instincts. Her voting record isn't as progressive as I believe is necessary. She needs to be able to withstand scrutiny if she hopes to attract progressive voters. Rhetoric and platitudes aren't enough... #LeadersNeedToLeadByExample

Steven H , 1 week ago

I don't think I'm alone in finding a big difference that was not mentioned in the video. While I greatly appreciate Elizabeth Warren, and those clips you showed from earlier today were very encouraging, there is just a quality Bernie and Tulsi share that is very rare among politicians. Something about the way they speak, their past actions, and ways they don't speak, just hit home really hard a believability that they are extremely genuine and from the heart. I see some of this from EW, but, Bernie and Tulsi are just incredibly impressive in regard to this quality... it doesn't feel like supporting a politician, it feels like supporting a kind of way of being and appreciation for what we all are so many of us try to make our way of life. fwiw, I think it's also a big part of AOC's appeal.

[Feb 19, 2019] What's the difference between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren is a cautious, cowardish (her behaviour during 2016 was disgusting), but pretty energetic careerist. Her views will quickly change under pressure, so good talking points will never translated into real policies. The fact the wealthy control the USA is not news. This is the fact of life and always be. the question is how to reach optimal middle point when interest of the bottom 80% standard of living do not deteriorate.
Probably close to Barack Obama who also utters all right things during election complain and then blatantly betrayed his voters.
She clearly is the top anti-corruption candidate and will expose the level of corruption in Washington. So she is preferable to Kamala Harris and other establishment candidates.
The fight between organized and rich few and unorganized and poor many became hotter right now. But what is the power base of anti-neoliberal movement. That can be only trade unions, which were decimated. So the first step might be to restore the power of unions.
Notable quotes:
"... Elizabeth Warren is a progressive with no backbone who supports the military industrial complex ..."
"... Warren missed her moment when she failed us in 2016. She'd be VP today, and thinking about running in 2024. She shied away and instead, we have Trump ..."
Feb 19, 2019 | www.youtube.com

christina hayes , 1 week ago

Elizabeth Warren is weak. She did not have the courage to stand up to the Clinton machine in 2016 when she could have made a difference by standing up against corruption. Now she is waffling on what it means when she says she supports Medicare for All, as now she is open to tweaking the Republican "Affordable" Care Act. She won't fight for us. We need real fighters. We need Bernie and Tulsi.

Bacon Strips , 1 week ago

Kamala Harris Record is horrendous. It is absolutely disgusting. She is literally jumping on the bandwagon just to get elected.

Rik Longenecker , 1 week ago

She's a great ally, but not a leader. She's waffling on Medicare for all. Bernie or Tulsi will lead.

Unapologetic , 1 week ago

I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Elizabeth Warren but in the last few years she's shown that she's not as reliable as i thought she was. She's way to soft when it comes to calling out the corruption in the dem party. She's also shown she's more willing to bend to the will of the Dem establishment and that is not the kind of President we need right now.

I'll be posting a video on her campaign soon & unfortunately I'll have to tear into her a lot more than you did in this video

tmcfootball96 , 1 week ago

Elizabeth Warren is a progressive with no backbone who supports the military industrial complex. She will lose to Trump if she gets the nominee. Tulsi is a real progressive with balls. #Tulsi2020

INF Flux , 1 week ago

Warren missed her moment when she failed us in 2016. She'd be VP today, and thinking about running in 2024. She shied away and instead, we have Trump.

I don't think she has the ability to motivate she could have had back then. I don't think she has the savvy to beat Trump. We need Tulsi or Bernie, the rest would lose in the general.

tomjulio2002, 1 week ago

Sorry but there is no comparison between Warren and Sanders.

Warren is either at best a coward (see primary 2016) or at worst a con (at lot of words but no action when it matters). So not much will change with her, except that Trump would be gone. Then we will get a worse than Trump next time around when people get even more disappointed and desperate.

For Sanders, you know for sure that he means what he says and that he intends to try.

The question is whether he will have the courage to go for it when the going gets tough. Or will he buckle like he did at the 2016 convention thinking best to get half a loaf than risking to get nothing.

With Sanders, there is at least a chance (albeit a slim one in my opinion) of big changes happening on the issues like Medicare for all, Green New Deal, Free public college...

For me, Warren is a no go.

Also Gabbard is clearly a fighter but I am still hazy on some of her positions. But I will take her before I even take another look at Warren (if somehow Warren becomes the nominee).

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

Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

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

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

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

CARLSON: Yes.

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

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

CARLSON: Yes.

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

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

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

VANCE: Yes.

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

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

CARLSON: Yes.

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

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

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

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

@nietzsche1510

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

... ... ...

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


Concerned Citizen Feb. 5 Times Pick

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

Trajan The Real Heartland Feb. 5 Times Pick

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

Allright New york Feb. 5 Times Pick

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

Patrick Wisconsin Feb. 5 Times Pick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

vladiki

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

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

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

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

james diamond squid

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

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

Feb 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

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

AJM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then explains what she's up to:

Let's play a lightning round game.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simple Language, Complex Points

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

"Totally."

"Okay great."

"Fabulous."

"Okay, so, awesome."

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

Repetition of One Point: This is All Legal

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

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


Brindle , February 10, 2019 at 12:24 pm

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

notabanker , February 10, 2019 at 1:47 pm

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

Oso , February 10, 2019 at 4:11 pm

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

notabanker , February 10, 2019 at 4:19 pm

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

Catman , February 10, 2019 at 4:15 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashburn , February 10, 2019 at 12:40 pm

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

Hepativore , February 10, 2019 at 1:41 pm

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

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

flora , February 10, 2019 at 5:02 pm

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

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

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

JohnnyGL , February 10, 2019 at 12:46 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

ambrit , February 10, 2019 at 1:54 pm

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

Hepativore , February 10, 2019 at 2:55 pm

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

philnc , February 10, 2019 at 7:24 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

dk , February 10, 2019 at 3:31 pm

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

Meet the Most Corporate PAC-Reliant Reps in Congress

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

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

Wyoming , February 10, 2019 at 3:33 pm

My interpretation of the relationship between Pelosi and AOC.

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

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

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

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

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

notabanker , February 10, 2019 at 8:45 pm

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

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

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

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

Will be interesting.

VietnamVet , February 10, 2019 at 5:24 pm

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

Octopii , February 10, 2019 at 6:02 pm

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

Wukchumni , February 10, 2019 at 7:07 pm

This was my favorite Grayson grilling, watch Bernanke squirm.

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

Clark , February 10, 2019 at 8:56 pm

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

voteforno6 , February 10, 2019 at 6:39 pm

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

Kael , February 10, 2019 at 7:31 pm

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

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

polecat , February 10, 2019 at 8:21 pm

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

Richard , February 10, 2019 at 9:11 pm

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

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

Apologies to Barry Manilow, but --

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published on Feb 8, 2019

'We have a system that is fundamentally broken.' -- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is explaining just how f*cked campaign finance laws really are.
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In the latest liberal news and political news, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made headlines at a recent congressional hearing on money in politics by explaining and inquiring about political corruption. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, aka AOC, went into the issues of lobbyists and Super PACs and how the political establishment, including Donald Trump, uses big money to their advantage, to hide and obfuscate, and push crooked agendas. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is a rising star in the Democratic Party and House of Representatives.

#AlexandriaOcasioCortez #AOC #DarkMoney #politics

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Patrick NEZ , 2 days ago

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

Avembe , 2 days ago

OMG this lady is just a nuclear weapon by herself.

ATX World , 2 days ago

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

TrueDaxian , 2 days ago

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

Lani Tuitupou , 2 days ago

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

Michael Zinns , 2 days ago

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

Aracelis Morales Garcia de Ramos , 2 days ago

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

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

Feb 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

Linh Dinh, June 12, 2016

[Feb 07, 2019] Government shutdown, Venezuela Donald Trump evolves into the best propagator of neoliberal fascism that tends to become a norm

Notable quotes:
"... The imperialists want to grab the rich oil fields for the US big oil cartel ..."
"... Venezuela must not become an example for other countries in the region on social-programs policy ..."
"... Venezuela must not turn to cooperation with rival powers like China and Russia. Such a prospect may give the country the ability to minimize the effects of the economic war ..."
"... So, when Trump declared the unelected Juan Guaido as the 'legitimate president' of Venezuela, all the main neoliberal powers of the West rushed to follow the decision. ..."
"... Donald Trump is the personification of an authoritarian system that increasingly unveils its true nature. The US empire makes the Venezuelan economy 'scream hard', as it did in Chile in 1973. The country then turned into the first laboratory of neoliberalism with the help of the Chicago Boys and a brutal dictatorship. So, as the big fraud is clear now, neoliberalism is losing ground and ideological influence over countries and societies, after decades of complete dominance. ..."
Feb 07, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

Even before the 2016 US presidential election, this blog supported that Donald Trump is a pure sample of neoliberal barbarism . Many almost laughed at this perception because Trump was being already promoted, more or less, as the 'terminator' of the neoliberal establishment. And many people, especially in the US, tired from the economic disasters, the growing inequality and the endless wars, were anxious to believe that this was indeed his special mission.

Right after the elections, we supported that the US establishment gave a brilliant performance by putting its reserve, Donald Trump, in power, against the only candidate that the same establishment identified as a real threat: Bernie Sanders.

Then, Trump sent the first shock wave to his supporters by literally hiring the Goldman Sachs banksters to run the economy. And right after that, he signed for more deregulation in favor of the Wall Street mafia that ruined the economy in 2008.

In 2017 , Trump bombed Syria for the first time, resembling the lies that led us to the Iraq war disaster. Despite the fact that the US Tomahawk missile attack had zero value in operational level (the United States allegedly warned Russia and Syria, while the targeted airport was operating normally just hours after the attack), Trump sent a clear message to the US deep state that he is prepared to meet all its demands - and especially the escalation of the confrontation with Russia.

Indeed, a year later, Trump built a pro-war team that includes the most bloodthirsty, hawkish neocons. And then, he ordered a second airstrike against Syria, together with his neocolonial friends.

In the middle of all this 'orgy' of pro-establishment moves, Trump offered a controversial withdrawal of US forces from Syria and Afghanistan to save whatever was possible from his 'anti-interventionist' profile. And it was indeed a highly controversial action with very little value, considering all these US military bases that are still fully operational in the broader Middle East and beyond. Not to mention the various ways through which the US intervenes in the area (training proxies, equip them with heavy weapons, supporting the Saudis and contribute to war crimes in Yemen, etc.)

And then , after this very short break, Trump returned to 'business as usual' to satisfy the neoliberal establishment with a 'glorious' record. He achieved a 35-day government shutdown, which is the "longest shutdown in US history" .

Trump conducted the longest experiment on neoliberals' ultimate goal: abolishing the annoying presence of the state. And this was just a taste of what Trump is willing to do in order to satisfy all neoliberals' wet dreams.

And now, we have the Venezuela issue. Since Hugo Chavez nationalized PDVSA, the central oil and natural gas company, the US empire launched a fierce economic war against the country. Yet, while all previous US administrations were trying to replace legitimate governments with their puppets as much silently as possible through slow-motion coup operations, Trump has no problem to do it in plain sight.

And perhaps the best proof for that is a statement by one of the most warmongering figures of the neocon/neoliberal cabal, hired by Trump . As John Bolton cynically and openly admitted recently, " It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela. "

Therefore, one should be very naive of course to believe that the Western imperialist gang seriously cares about the Venezuelan people and especially the poor. Here are three basic reasons behind the open US intervention in Venezuela:

  1. The imperialists want to grab the rich oil fields for the US big oil cartel, as well as the great untapped natural resources , particularly gold (mostly for the Canadian companies).
  2. Venezuela must not become an example for other countries in the region on social-programs policy, which is mainly funded by the oil production. The imperialists know that they must interrupt the path of Venezuela to real Socialism by force if necessary. Neoliberalism must prevail by all means for the benefit of the big banks and corporations.
  3. Venezuela must not turn to cooperation with rival powers like China and Russia. Such a prospect may give the country the ability to minimize the effects of the economic war. The country may find an alternative to escape the Western sanctions in order to fund its social programs for the benefit of the people. And, of course, the West will never accept the exploitation of the Venezuelan resources by the Sino-Russian bloc.

So, when Trump declared the unelected Juan Guaido as the 'legitimate president' of Venezuela, all the main neoliberal powers of the West rushed to follow the decision.

This is something we have never seen before. The 'liberal democracies' of the West - only by name - immediately, uncritically and without hesitation jumped on the same boat with Trump towards this outrageously undemocratic action. They recognized Washington's puppet as the legitimate president of a third country. A man that was never elected by the Venezuelan people and has very low popularity in the country. Even worse, the EU parliament approved this action , killing any last remnants of democracy in the Union.

Yet, it seems that the US is finding increasingly difficult to force many countries to align with its agenda. Even some European countries took some distance from the attempted constitutional coup, with Italy even trying to veto EU's decision to recognize Guaido.

Donald Trump is the personification of an authoritarian system that increasingly unveils its true nature. The US empire makes the Venezuelan economy 'scream hard', as it did in Chile in 1973. The country then turned into the first laboratory of neoliberalism with the help of the Chicago Boys and a brutal dictatorship. So, as the big fraud is clear now, neoliberalism is losing ground and ideological influence over countries and societies, after decades of complete dominance.

This unprecedented action by the Western neoliberal powers to recognize Guaido is a serious sign that neoliberalism returns to its roots and slips towards fascism. It appears now that this is the only way to maintain some level of power.

[Feb 07, 2019] I am 70 and am thinking that when I was growing up the US Democrats represented the concepts of socialism and the Republicans that of capitalism. Today I see the Democrats as representing capitalism and Republicans representing fascism.

Feb 07, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Feb 7, 2019 9:29:56 PM | link

I just had this insight and wanted to share it here.

I am 70 and am thinking that when I was growing up the US Democrats represented the concepts of socialism and the Republicans that of capitalism. Today I see the Democrats as representing capitalism and Republicans representing fascism.

A commenter on another thread asked me about my China socialism focus and referred to the US Interstate highway system initiated in the Eisenhower era when the marginal tax rate was in the low 90 percent range. America has and continues to embrace aspects of socialism they refuse to believe exists in America.......the effects of MSM brainwashing and propaganda. China is attempting a mixed economy favoring socialism AFAICT

[Feb 06, 2019] The modern Republican Party is all about cutting taxes on the rich and benefits for the poor and the middle class. And Trump, despite his campaign posturing, has turned out to be no different.

Feb 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

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

Hence the failure of our political system to serve socially conservative/racist voters who also want to tax the rich and preserve Social Security. Democrats won't ratify their racism; Republicans, who have no such compunctions, will -- remember, the party establishment solidly backed Roy Moore's Senate bid -- but won't protect the programs they depend on.


Charles Pewitt , says: February 6, 2019 at 7:51 pm GMT

Paul Krugman is a baby boomer, pissant globalizer bastard, but he has made reasonable comments about immigration in the past.

Paul Krugman is a high IQ moron who has occasional bouts of clarity on the anti-worker aspects of mass legal immigration and illegal immigration. Krugman had it right in 2006 when he said that mass immigration lowers wages for workers in the USA.

Krugman in NY Times 2006:

First, the benefits of immigration to the population already here are small. The reason is that immigrant workers are, at least roughly speaking, paid their "marginal product": an immigrant worker is paid roughly the value of the additional goods and services he or she enables the U.S. economy to produce. That means that there isn't anything left over to increase the income of the people already here.

My second negative point is that immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants. That's just supply and demand: we're talking about large increases in the number of low-skill workers relative to other inputs into production, so it's inevitable that this means a fall in wages. Mr. Borjas and Mr. Katz have to go through a lot of number-crunching to turn that general proposition into specific estimates of the wage impact, but the general point seems impossible to deny.

Hypnotoad666 , says: February 6, 2019 at 11:05 pm GMT
@Charles Pewitt I agree Paul Krugman is a high IQ moron.

However, Krugman is also a relentless partisan hack. So his expert analysis always ends up supporting the current Democrat talking points -- whatever they may be.

Here, Krugman is disparaging any move to the center as the DNC wants to keep the Dems unified on the left and keep Schultz (or anyone like him) out of the race. Of course, the real reason Schultz has massively negative polling is because the Democrat establishment has been savaging him for precisely this reason.

Likewise, to Krugman a "Racist" politician is anyone who holds the same immigration position as Krugman did in 2006, which is now anathema to the Dem's new Open Borders electoral strategy.

It's only a matter of time until Krugman starts talking up Kamala Harris as the best thing that could happen for the economy.

TG , says: February 7, 2019 at 12:16 am GMT
Bottom line: Krugman – like any economist who was gifted with a fake Nobel Prize in Economics by his wealthy patrons (the Nobel Prize in Economics does not exist – check out wikipedia!) – is a whore whose only function is to protect the left flank of our corrupt and rapacious elite.

He's not a moron, and he's certainly not a liberal. His job – which pays very well mind you – is to pretend to be a sorta-kinda Keynesian New Dealer, but in reality, anything that the rich wants, he will end up defending. And even if he sorta kinda claims to be opposing something that the rich want which will impoverish the rest of us, when it comes to the bottom line, he will ruthlessly attack any opposition to these policies.

[Feb 04, 2019] It case of Venzuella coup it looks like we are dealing with a "Skripal tactic": do something so ridiculously stupid and offensive that it places all your vassals before a stark choice: either submit and pretend like you did not notice or, alternatively, dare to say something and face with wrath of Uncle Shmuel (the Neocon's version of Uncle Sam) by The Saker

Notable quotes:
"... This reminds me of the gerontocrats of the Soviet Politburo in the worst stagnation years who had to appoint the likes of Chernenko to top positions. ..."
"... The one thing the Mr MAGA's administration has in common with the late Brezhevian Politburo is its total inability to get anything done. My wife refers to the folks in the White House (since Dubya came to power) as the " gang that couldn't shoot straight " and she is right (she always is!): they just can't really get anything done anymore – all their half-assed pseudo-successes are inevitably followed by embarrassing failures. ..."
Feb 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

Remember the almost universal reaction of horror when Bolton was appointed as National Security Advisor? Well, apparently, either the Neocons completely missed that, which I doubt, or they did what they always do and decided to double-down by retrieving Elliott Abrams from storage and appointing him US Special Envoy to Venezuela. I mean, yes, of course, the Neocons are stupid and sociopathic enough not to ever care about others, but in this case I think that we are dealing with a "Skripal tactic": do something so ridiculously stupid and offensive that it places all your vassals before a stark choice: either submit and pretend like you did not notice or, alternatively, dare to say something and face with wrath of Uncle Shmuel (the Neocon's version of Uncle Sam).

And it worked, in the name of "solidarity" or whatever else, the most faithful lackeys of the Empire immediate fell in line behind the latest US aggression against a sovereign nation in spite of the self-evident fact that this aggression violates every letter of the most sacred principles of international law. This is exactly the same tactic as when they make you clean toilets with a toothbrush or do push-ups in the mud during basic training: not only to condition you to total obedience, but to make you publicly give up any semblance of dignity.

...Finally, these appointments also show that the senior-Neocons are frightened and paranoid as there are still plenty of very sharp junior-Neocon folks to chose from in the US, yet they felt the need to get Abrams from conservation and place him in a key position in spite of the strong smell of naphthalene emanating from him. This reminds me of the gerontocrats of the Soviet Politburo in the worst stagnation years who had to appoint the likes of Chernenko to top positions.

The one thing the Mr MAGA's administration has in common with the late Brezhevian Politburo is its total inability to get anything done. My wife refers to the folks in the White House (since Dubya came to power) as the " gang that couldn't shoot straight " and she is right (she always is!): they just can't really get anything done anymore – all their half-assed pseudo-successes are inevitably followed by embarrassing failures.

[Feb 04, 2019] Why does everyone make Trump out to be a victim, poor ol Trump, he's being screwed by all those people he himself appointed, poor ol persecuted Trump. Sounds like our Jewish friends with all the victimization BS.

Notable quotes:
"... Why does everyone make Trump out to be a victim, poor ol Trump, he's being screwed by all those people he himself appointed, poor ol persecuted Trump. Sounds like our Jewish friends with all the victimization BS. ..."
"... I think Israel is just a capitalist creation, nothing to do with Jews, just a foothold in he middle east for Wall St to have a base to control the oil and gas there, they didn't create Israel until they discovered how much oil was there, and realized how much control over the world it would give them to control it. ..."
"... It is the love of money, the same thing the Bible warned us about. Imperialism/globalism is the latest stage of capitalism, that is what all of this is about, follow the money. ..."
Feb 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

redmudhooch , says: January 31, 2019 at 1:30 am GMT

I heartily dislike and find despicable the socialist government of Maduro, just as I did Hugo Chavez when he was in power. I have some good friends there, one of whom was a student of mine when I taught in Argentina many years ago, and he and his family resolutely oppose Maduro. Those socialist leaders in Caracas are tin-pot dictator wannabees who have wrecked the economy of that once wealthy country; and they have ridden roughshod over the constitutional rights of the citizens. My hope has been that the people of Venezuela, perhaps supported by elements in the army, would take action to rid the country of those tyrants.

Hard to take this guy seriously when he spouts Fox News level propaganda.

Why does everyone make Trump out to be a victim, poor ol Trump, he's being screwed by all those people he himself appointed, poor ol persecuted Trump. Sounds like our Jewish friends with all the victimization BS.

Its clear that voting no longer works folks, this is an undemocratic and illegitimate "government" we have here. We let them get away with killing JFK, RFK, MLK, Vietnam, we let them get away with 9/11, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria. They've made a mess in Africa. All the refugees into Europe, all the refugees from Latin America that have already come from CIA crimes, more will come.
We wouldn't need a wall if Wall St would stop with their BS down there!

You can't just blame Jews, yes there are lots of Jews in Corporate America, bu t not all of them are, and there are lots of Jews who speak out against this. We were doing this long before Israel came into existence. You can't just blame everything one one group, I think Israel/Zionist are responsible for a lot of BS, but you can't exclude CIA, Wall St, Corporations, Banks, The MIC either. Its not just one group, its all of them. They're all evil, they're imperialists and they're all capitalists.

I think Israel is just a capitalist creation, nothing to do with Jews, just a foothold in he middle east for Wall St to have a base to control the oil and gas there, they didn't create Israel until they discovered how much oil was there, and realized how much control over the world it would give them to control it.

Those people moving to Israel are being played, just like the "Christian Zionists" here are, its a cult. Most "Jews" are atheists anyhow, and it seems any ol greedy white guy can claim to be a Jew. So how do you solve a "Jewish Problem" if anybody can claim to be a Jew? I think solving the capitalist problem would be a little easier to enforce.

All of the shills can scream about communists, socialists and marxists all they want. Capitalism is the problem always has been always will be. Its a murderous, immoral, unsustainable system that encourages greed, it is a system who's driving force is maximizing profits, and as such the State controlled or aligned with Corporations is the most advanced form of capitalism because it is the most profitable. They're raping the shit out of us, taking our money to fund their wars, so they can make more money while paying little to no taxes at all. Everything, everyone here complains about is caused by CAPITALISM, but nobody dares say it, they've been programmed since birth to think that way.

We should nationalize our oil and gas, instead of letting foreigners come in and steal it, again paying little or no taxes on it, then selling the oil they took from our country back to us. Russia and Venezuela do it, Libya did it, Iraq did it, and they used the money for the people of the country, they didn't let the capitalists plunder their wealth like the traitors running our country. We're AT LEAST $21 trillion in the hole now from this wonderful system of ours, don't you think we should try something else? Duh!

It is the love of money, the same thing the Bible warned us about. Imperialism/globalism is the latest stage of capitalism, that is what all of this is about, follow the money. Just muh opinion

Regime Change and Capitalism: https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/07/regime-change-and-capitalism/

[Feb 04, 2019] Trump logic of betrayal of his voters

Feb 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

peterAUS , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:12 pm GMT

@RVBlake

A guy on ZH explained it well, I guess:

The opposition hates me. I can do no right. The Trumptards blindly support me. I can do no wrong. There are not enough independent thinkers to make a difference as the two main sides bitterly fight each other over every minute, meaningless issue. I can pretty much do as I please without consequence ..like pay off all my buddies and pander to the jews/globalist/elites.
I'd add: and by doing the last, I could cut a deal with the real TPTBs as to for what happens after I leave White House.

[Feb 04, 2019] Trump s Revised and Rereleased Foreign Policy: The World Policeman is Back

Highly recommended!
This article from 2017 looks like it was written yesterday. Trump betrayal of his elctorate on multiple levels, essentially on all key poin of his election program mkes him "Republican Obama".
What is interesting about Trump foreign policy is his version of neoliberal "gangster capitalism" on foreign arena: might is right principle applied like universal opener. Previous administrations tried to put a lipstick on the pig. Trump does not even bother.
In terms of foreign policy, and even during the transition before Trump's inauguration, there were other, more disturbing signs of where Trump would be heading soon. When Fidel Castro died on November 25, 2016, Trump seemed jubilant as if he had somehow been vindicated, and took the opportunity to slander Castro as a "brutal dictator" who "oppressed his own people" and turned Cuba into a "totalitarian island".
Notable quotes:
"... However, when he delivered his inaugural address on January 20, 2017, Trump appeared to reaffirm his campaign themes of anti-interventionism. In particular he seemed to turn the government's back on a long-standing policy of cultural imperialism , stating: "We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone". In addition he said his government would "seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world," and he understood the importance of national sovereignty when he added, "it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first". ..."
"... Yet when it came to Russia, Trump could have instantly removed sanctions that were imposed by Obama in his last weeks in office -- an irresponsible and dangerous act by Obama, where foreign policy was used as a partisan tool in the service of shoring up a crummy conspiracy theory about "Russian hacking" in order to deny the Democrats any culpability in their much deserved defeat. ..."
"... The entire conflict with Russia that has developed in recent years, on the US side, was totally unnecessary, illogical, and quite preventable. ..."
"... Just two weeks after violating his promise to end the US role as the world's policeman and his vow to extricate the US from wars for regime change, Trump sold out again. "I love WikiLeaks -- " -- this is what Trump exclaimed in a speech on October 10, 2016. Trump's about-face on WikiLeaks is thus truly astounding. ..."
"... AP: If I could fit a couple of more topics. Jeff Sessions, your attorney general, is taking a tougher line suddenly on Julian Assange, saying that arresting him is a priority. You were supportive of what WikiLeaks was doing during the campaign with the release of the Clinton emails. Do you think that arresting Assange is a priority for the United States? ..."
"... AP: But that didn't mean that you supported what Assange is doing? ..."
"... AP: Can I just ask you, though -- do you believe it is a priority for the United States, or it should be a priority, to arrest Julian Assange? ..."
"... While there is no denying the extensive data about the severe impacts of NAFTA on select states and industries in the US, witnessed by the closure of tens of thousands of factories and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, there is little support for the claim that Canada and Mexico, as wholes, have instead fared well and that the US as a whole has been the loser thanks to them. ..."
"... Since NAFTA was implemented, migration from Mexico to the US skyrocketed dramatically. US agricultural industries sent millions of Mexican farmers into food poverty, and ultimately drove them away from agriculture ..."
"... As for per capita GDP, so treasured by economists, NAFTA had no positive impact on Mexico -- in fact, per capita GDP is nearly a flat line for the entire period since 1994. Finally, Trump does not mention that in terms of the number of actual protectionist measures that have been implemented, the US leads the world . ..."
"... To put Trump's position on NAFTA in bold relief, it is not that he is decidedly against free trade. In fact, he often claims he supports free trade, as long as it is "fair". However, his notion of fairness is very lopsided -- a trade agreement is fair only when the US reaps the greater share of benefits. ..."
"... As argued in the previous section, if Trump is to be the newfound champion of this imperialism -- empire's prodigal son -- then what an abysmally poor choice he is ..."
"... On the one hand, he helped to unleash US anti-interventionism (usually called "isolationism" not to call it anti-imperialism, which would then admit to imperialism which is still denied by most of the dominant elites). On the other hand, in trying to now contain such popular sentiment, he loses credibility -- after having lost credibility with the groups his campaign displaced. ..."
"... As for Trump's domestic opposition, what should be most pertinent are issues of conflict of interest and nepotism . Here members of Trump's base are more on target yet again, when they reject the presence of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner in the White House ("we didn't elect Ivanka or Jared"), than are those distracted by identity politics. ..."
"... As Trump leverages the presidency to upgrade the Trump family to the transnational capitalist class, and reinforces the power of US imperialism which that class has purchased, conflict of interest and nepotism will be the main political signposts of the transformation of the Trump presidency, but they could also be the targets for a refined strategy of opposition. ..."
Aug 09, 2017 | zeroanthropology.net

Trump could have kept quiet, and lost nothing. Instead what he was attacking -- and the irony was missed on his fervently right wing supporters -- was someone who was a leader in the anti-globalist movement, from long before it was ever called that. Fidel Castro was a radical pioneer of independence, self-reliance, and self-determination.

Castro turned Cuba from an American-owned sugar plantation and brothel, a lurid backwater in the Caribbean, into a serious international actor opposed to globalizing capitalism. There was no sign of any acknowledgment of this by Trump, who instead chose to parrot the same people who would vilify him using similar terms (evil, authoritarian, etc.). Of course, Trump respects only corporate executives and billionaires, not what he would see as some rag-tag Third World revolutionary. Here Trump's supporters generally failed, using Castro's death as an opportunity for tribal partisanship, another opportunity to attack "weak liberals" like Obama who made minor overtures to Cuba (too little, too late).

Their distrust of "the establishment" was nowhere to be found this time: their ignorance of Cuba and their resort to stock clichés and slogans had all been furnished to them by the same establishment they otherwise claimed to oppose.

Just to be clear, the above is not meant to indicate any reversal on Trump's part regarding Cuba. He has been consistently anti-communist, and fairly consistent in his denunciations of Fidel Castro. What is significant is that -- far from overcoming the left-right divide -- Trump shores up the barriers, even at the cost of denouncing others who have a proven track record of fighting against neoliberal globalization and US interventionism. In these regards, Trump has no track record. Even among his rivals in the Republican primaries, senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul had more of an anti-interventionist track record.

However, when he delivered his inaugural address on January 20, 2017, Trump appeared to reaffirm his campaign themes of anti-interventionism. In particular he seemed to turn the government's back on a long-standing policy of cultural imperialism , stating: "We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone". In addition he said his government would "seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world," and he understood the importance of national sovereignty when he added, "it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first".

Russia

Yet when it came to Russia, Trump could have instantly removed sanctions that were imposed by Obama in his last weeks in office -- an irresponsible and dangerous act by Obama, where foreign policy was used as a partisan tool in the service of shoring up a crummy conspiracy theory about "Russian hacking" in order to deny the Democrats any culpability in their much deserved defeat.

Instead, Trump continued the sanctions, as if out of meek deference to Obama's policy, one founded on lies and antagonism toward Trump himself. Rather than repair the foul attempt to sabotage the US-Russian relationship in preparation for his presidency, Trump simply abided and thus became an accomplice. To be clear, Trump has done precisely nothing to dampen the near mass hysteria that has been manufactured in the US about alleged -- indeed imaginary -- "Russian intervention".

His comments, both during the electoral campaign and even early into his presidency, about wanting good relations with Russia, have been replaced by Trump's admissions that US relations with Russia are at a low point (Putin agreed: "I would say the level of trust [between Russia and the US] is at a workable level, especially in the military dimension, but it hasn't improved. On the contrary, it has degraded " and his spokesman called the relations " deplorable ".)

Rather than use the power of his office to calm fears, to build better ties with Russia, and to make meeting with Vladimir Putin a top priority, Trump has again done nothing , except escalating tensions. The entire conflict with Russia that has developed in recent years, on the US side, was totally unnecessary, illogical, and quite preventable. Russia had actively facilitated the US' war in Afghanistan for over a decade, and was a consistent collaborator on numerous levels. It is up to thinking American officials to honestly explain what motivated them to tilt relations with Russia, because it is certainly not Russia's doing. The only explanation that makes any sense is that the US leadership grew concerned that Russia was no longer teetering on the edge of total socio-economic breakdown, as it was under the neoliberal Boris Yeltsin, but has instead resurfaced as a major actor in international affairs, and one that champions anti-neoliberal objectives of enhanced state sovereignty and self-determination.

WikiLeaks

Just two weeks after violating his promise to end the US role as the world's policeman and his vow to extricate the US from wars for regime change, Trump sold out again. "I love WikiLeaks -- " -- this is what Trump exclaimed in a speech on October 10, 2016. Trump's about-face on WikiLeaks is thus truly astounding.

After finding so much use for WikiLeaks' publication of the Podesta emails, which became incorporated into his campaign speeches, and which fuelled the writing and speaking of journalists and bloggers sympathetic to Trump -- he was now effectively declaring WikiLeaks to be both an enemy and a likely target of US government action, in even more blunt terms than we heard during the past eight years under Obama. This is not mere continuity with the past, but a dramatic escalation. Rather than praise Julian Assange for his work, call for an end to the illegal impediments to his seeking asylum, swear off any US calls for extraditing and prosecuting Assange, and perhaps meeting with him in person, Trump has done all of the opposite. Instead we learn that Trump's administration may file arrest charges against Assange . Mike Pompeo , chosen by Trump to head the CIA, who had himself cited WikiLeaks as a reliable source of proof about how the Democratic National Committee had rigged its campaign, now declared WikiLeaks to be a " non-state hostile intelligence service ," along with vicious personal slander against Assange.

Trump's about-face on WikiLeaks was one that he defended in terms that were not just a deceptive rewriting of history, but one that was also fearful -- "I don't support or unsupport" WikiLeaks, was what Trump was now saying in his dash for the nearest exit. The backtracking is so obvious in this interview Trump gave to the AP , that his shoes must have left skid marks on the floor:

AP: If I could fit a couple of more topics. Jeff Sessions, your attorney general, is taking a tougher line suddenly on Julian Assange, saying that arresting him is a priority. You were supportive of what WikiLeaks was doing during the campaign with the release of the Clinton emails. Do you think that arresting Assange is a priority for the United States?

TRUMP: When Wikileaks came out never heard of Wikileaks, never heard of it. When Wikileaks came out, all I was just saying is, "Well, look at all this information here, this is pretty good stuff." You know, they tried to hack the Republican, the RNC, but we had good defenses. They didn't have defenses, which is pretty bad management. But we had good defenses, they tried to hack both of them. They weren't able to get through to Republicans. No, I found it very interesting when I read this stuff and I said, "Wow." It was just a figure of speech. I said, "Well, look at this. It's good reading."

AP: But that didn't mean that you supported what Assange is doing?

TRUMP: No, I don't support or unsupport. It was just information .

AP: Can I just ask you, though -- do you believe it is a priority for the United States, or it should be a priority, to arrest Julian Assange?

TRUMP: I am not involved in that decision, but if Jeff Sessions wants to do it, it's OK with me. I didn't know about that decision, but if they want to do it, it's OK with me.

First, Trump invents the fictitious claim that WikiLeaks was responsible for hacking the DNC, and that WikiLeaks also tried to hack the Republicans. Second, he pretends to be an innocent bystander, a spectator, in his own administration -- whatever others decide, is "OK" with him, not that he knows about their decisions, but it's all up to others. He has no power, all of a sudden.

Again, what Trump is displaying in this episode is his ultimate attachment to his class, with all of its anxieties and its contempt for rebellious, marginal upstarts. Trump shuns any sort of "loyalty" to WikiLeaks (not that they ever had a working relationship) or any form of gratitude, because then that would imply a debt and therefore a transfer of value -- whereas Trump's core ethics are those of expedience and greed (he admits that much). This move has come with a cost , with members of Trump's support base openly denouncing the betrayal. 6

NAFTA

On NAFTA , Trump claims he has not changed his position -- yet, from openly denouncing the free trade agreement and promising to terminate it, he now vows only to seek modifications and amendments, which means supporting NAFTA. He appeared to be awfully quick to obey the diplomatic pressure of Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and Mexico's President, Enrique Peña Nieto. Trump's entire position on NAFTA now comes into question.

While there is no denying the extensive data about the severe impacts of NAFTA on select states and industries in the US, witnessed by the closure of tens of thousands of factories and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, there is little support for the claim that Canada and Mexico, as wholes, have instead fared well and that the US as a whole has been the loser thanks to them.

This really deserves to be treated at length, separately from this article. However, for now, let's keep in mind that when Trump complains about Canadian softwood lumber and dairy exports to the US, his argument about NAFTA is without merit. Neither commodity is part of the NAFTA agreement.

Moreover, where dairy is concerned, the problem is US overproduction. Wisconsin alone has more dairy cows than all of Canada . There is a net surplus , in the US' favour, with respect to US dairy exports to Canada. Overall, the US has a net surplus in the trade in goods and services with Canada. Regarding Mexico, the irony of Trump's denunciations of imaginary Mexican victories is that he weakens his own criticisms of immigration.

Since NAFTA was implemented, migration from Mexico to the US skyrocketed dramatically. US agricultural industries sent millions of Mexican farmers into food poverty, and ultimately drove them away from agriculture.

As for per capita GDP, so treasured by economists, NAFTA had no positive impact on Mexico -- in fact, per capita GDP is nearly a flat line for the entire period since 1994. Finally, Trump does not mention that in terms of the number of actual protectionist measures that have been implemented, the US leads the world .

To put Trump's position on NAFTA in bold relief, it is not that he is decidedly against free trade. In fact, he often claims he supports free trade, as long as it is "fair". However, his notion of fairness is very lopsided -- a trade agreement is fair only when the US reaps the greater share of benefits.

His arguments with respect to Canada are akin to those of a looter or raider. He wants to block lumber imports from Canada, at the same time as he wants to break the Canadian dairy market wide open to absorb US excess production. That approach is at the core of what defined the US as a "new empire" in the 1800s. In addition, while Trump was quick to tear up the TPP, he has said nothing about TISA and TTIP.

Mexico

Trump's argument with Mexico is also disturbing for what it implies. It would seem that any evidence of production in Mexico causes Trump concern. Mexico should not only keep its people -- however many are displaced by US imports -- but it should also be as dependent as possible on the US for everything except oil. Since Trump has consistently declared his antagonism to OPEC, ideally Mexico's oil would be sold for a few dollars per barrel.

China

Trump's turn on China almost provoked laughter from his many domestic critics. Absurdly, what figures prominently in most renditions of the story of Trump's change on China (including his own), is a big piece of chocolate cake. The missile strike on Syria was, according to Wilbur Ross, the " after-dinner entertainment ". Here, Trump's loud condemnations of China on trade issues were suddenly quelled -- and it is not because chocolate has magical properties. Instead it seems Trump has been willing to settle on selling out citizens' interests , and particularly those who voted for him, in return for China's assistance on North Korea. Let's be clear: countering and dominating North Korea is an established favourite among neoconservatives. Trump's priority here is fully "neocon," and the submergence of trade issues in favour of militaristic preferences is the one case where neoconservatives might be distinguished from the otherwise identical neoliberals.

North Korea

Where North Korea is concerned, Trump chose to manufacture a " crisis ". North Korea has actually done nothing to warrant a sudden outbreak of panic over it being supposedly aggressive and threatening. North Korea is no more aggressive than any person defending their survival can be called belligerent. The constant series of US military exercises in South Korea, or near North Korean waters, is instead a deliberate provocation to a state whose existence the US nearly extinguished. Even last year the US Air Force publicly boasted of having "nearly destroyed" North Korea -- language one would have expected from the Luftwaffe in WWII. The US continues to maintain roughly 60,000 troops on the border between North and South Korea, and continues to refuse to formally declare an end to the Korean War and sign a peace treaty . Trump then announced he was sending an "armada" to the Korean peninsula, and boasted of how "very powerful" it was. This was in addition to the US deploying the THAAD missile system in South Korea. Several of his messages in Twitter were written using highly provocative and threatening language. When asked if he would start a war, Trump glibly replied: " I don't know. I mean, we'll see ". On another occasion Trump stated, "There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely". When the world's leading military superpower declares its intention to destroy you, then there is nothing you can do in your defense which anyone could justly label as "over the top". Otherwise, once again Trump posed as a parental figure, the world's chief babysitter -- picture Trump, surrounded by children taking part in the "Easter egg roll" at the White House, being asked about North Korea and responding "they gotta behave". Trump would presume to teach manners to North Korea, using the only tools of instruction that seem to be the first and last resort of US foreign policy (and the "defense" industry): bombs.

Syria

Attacking Syria , on purportedly humanitarian grounds, is for many (including vocal supporters) one of the most glaring contradictions of Trump's campaign statements about not embroiling the US in failed wars of regime change and world policing. During the campaign, he was in favour of Russia's collaboration with Syria in the fight against ISIS. For years he had condemned Obama for involving the US in Syria, and consistently opposed military intervention there. All that was consigned to the archive of positions Trump declared to now be worthless. That there had been a change in Trump's position is not a matter of dispute -- Trump made the point himself :

"I like to think of myself as a very flexible person. I don't have to have one specific way, and if the world changes, I go the same way, I don't change. Well, I do change and I am flexible, and I'm proud of that flexibility. And I will tell you, that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me -- big impact. That was a horrible, horrible thing. And I've been watching it and seeing it, and it doesn't get any worse than that. And I have that flexibility, and it's very, very possible -- and I will tell you, it's already happened that my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much. And if you look back over the last few weeks, there were other attacks using gas. You're now talking about a whole different level".

Bending to the will of the prevailing Cold War and neo-McCarthyist atmosphere in the US, rife with anti-Russian conspiracy theories, Trump found an easy opportunity to score points with the hostile media, ever so mindful as he is about approval ratings, polls, and media coverage. Some explain Trump's reversals as arising from his pursuit of public adulation -- and while the media play the key role in purveying celebrity status, they are also a stiff bastion of imperialist culture. Given his many years as a the host of a popular TV show, and as the owner of the Miss Universe Pageant, there is some logical merit to the argument. But I think even more is at work, as explained in paragraphs above. According to Eric Trump it was at the urging of Ivanka that Donald Trump decided to strike a humanitarian-militarist pose. He would play the part of the Victorian parent, only he would use missiles to teach unruly children lessons about violence. Using language typically used against him by the mainstream media, Trump now felt entitled to pontificate that Assad is "evil," an " animal ," who would have to go . When did he supposedly come to this realization? Did Assad become evil at the same time Trump was inaugurated? Why would Trump have kept so silent about "evil" on the campaign trail? Trump of course is wrong: it's not that the world changed and he changed with it; rather, he invented a new fiction to suit his masked intentions. Trump's supposed opponents and critics, like the Soros-funded organizer of the women's march Linda Sarsour, showed her approval of even more drastic action by endorsing messages by what sounded like a stern school mistress who thought that 59 cruise missiles were just a mere "slap on the wrist". Virtually every neocon who is publicly active applauded Trump, as did most senior Democrats. The loudest opposition , however, came from Trump's own base , with a number of articles featuring criticism from Trump's supporters , and one conservative publication calling him outright a " weakling and a political ingrate ".

Members of the Trump administration have played various word games with the public on intervention in Syria. From unnamed officials saying the missile strike was a "one off," to named officials promising more if there were any other suspected chemical attacks (or use of barrel bombs -- and this while the US dropped the biggest non-nuclear bomb in existence on Afghanistan); some said that regime change was not the goal, and then others made it clear that was the ultimate goal ; and then Trump saying, "Our policy is the same, it hasn't changed. We're not going into Syria " -- even though Trump himself greatly increased the number of US troops he deployed to Syria , illegally, in an escalation of the least protested invasion in recent history. Now we should know enough not to count this as mere ambiguity, but as deliberate obfuscation that offers momentary (thinly veiled) cover for a renewal of neocon policy .

We can draw an outline of Trump's liberal imperialism when it comes to Syria, which is likely to be applied elsewhere. First, Trump's interventionist policy regarding Syria is one that continues to treat that country as if it were terra nullius , a mere playground for superpower politics. Second, Trump is clearly continuing with the neoconservative agenda and its hit list of states to be terminated by US military action, as famously confirmed by Gen. Wesley Clark. Even Trump's strategy for justifying the attack on Syria echoed the two prior Bush presidential administrations -- selling war with the infamous "incubator babies" myth and the myth of "weapons of mass destruction" (WMDs). In many ways, Trump's presidency is thus shaping up to be either the seventh term of the George H.W. Bush regime, or the fifth straight term of the George W. Bush regime. Third, Trump is taking ownership of an extremely dangerous conflict, with costs that could surpass anything witnessed by the war on Iraq (which also continues). Fourth, by highlighting the importance of photographs in allegedly changing his mind, Trump has placed a high market value on propaganda featuring dead babies. His actions in Syria will now create an effective demand for the pornographic trade in pictures of atrocities. These are matters of great importance to the transnational capitalist class, which demands full global penetrability, diminished state power (unless in the service of this class' goals), a uniformity of expectations and conformity in behaviour, and an emphasis on individual civil liberties which are the basis for defending private property and consumerism.

Venezuela

It is very disturbing to see how Venezuela is being framed as ripe for US intervention, in ways that distinctly echo the lead up to the US war on Libya. Just as disturbing is that Trump's Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has a clear conflict of interest regarding Venezuela, from his recent role as CEO of Exxon and its conflict with the government of Venezuela over its nationalization of oil. Tillerson is, by any definition, a clear-cut member of the transnational capitalist class. The Twitter account of the State Department has a battery of messages sternly lecturing Venezuela about the treatment of protesters, while also pontificating on the Venezuelan Constitution as if the US State Department had become a global supreme court. What is impressive is the seamless continuity in the nature of the messages on Venezuela from that account, as if no change of government happened between Obama's time and Trump's. Nikki Haley, Trump's neocon ambassador to the UN, issued a statement that read like it had been written by her predecessors, Samantha Power and Susan Rice, a statement which in itself is an unacceptable intervention in Venezuelan internal affairs. For Trump's part, from just days before the election, to a couple of weeks after his inauguration, he has sent explicit messages of support for anti-government forces in Venezuela. In February, Trump imposed sanctions on Venezuela's Vice President. After Syria and North Korea, Venezuela is seeming the likely focus of US interventionism under Trump.

NATO

Rounding out the picture, at least for now (this was just the first hundred days of Trump's presidency), was Trump's outstanding reversal on NATO -- in fact, once again he stated the reversal himself, and without explanation either: " I said it was obsolete. It's no longer obsolete ". This came just days after the US missile strike against Syria, and just as Ivanka Trump was about to represent his government at a meeting of globalist women, the W20 . NATO has served as the transnational military alliance at the service of the transnational capitalist class, and particularly the military and political members of the TCC. 7

Saving Neoliberalism?

Has Trump saved neoliberal capitalism from its ongoing demise? Has he sustained popular faith in liberal political ideals? Are we still in the dying days of liberalism ? If there had been a centrally coordinated plan to plant an operative among the ranks of populist conservatives and independents, to channel their support for nationalism into support for the persona of the plant, and to then have that plant steer a course straight back to shoring up neoliberal globalism -- then we might have had a wonderful story of a masterful conspiracy, the biggest heist in the history of elections anywhere. A truly "rigged system" could be expected to behave that way. Was Trump designated to take the fall in a rigged game, only his huge ego got in the way when he realized he could realistically win the election and he decided to really tilt hard against his partner, Hillary Clinton? It could be the basis for a novel, or a Hollywood political comedy. I have no way of knowing if it could be true.

Framed within the terms of what we do know, there was relief by the ousted group of political elites and the liberal globalist media at the sight of Trump's reversals, and a sense that their vision had been vindicated. However, if they are hoping that the likes of Trump will serve as a reliable flag bearer, then theirs is a misguided wishful thinking. If someone so demonized and ridiculed, tarnished as an evil thug and racist fascist, the subject of mass demonstrations in the US and abroad, is the latest champion of (neo)liberalism, then we are certainly witnessing its dying days.

Is Trump Beneficial for Anti-Imperialism?

Once one is informed enough and thus prepared to understand that anti-imperialism is not the exclusive preserve of the left (a left which anyway has mostly shunned it over the last two decades), that it did not originate with the left , and that it has a long and distinguished history in the US itself , then we can move toward some interesting realizations. The facts, borne out by surveys and my own online immersion among pro-Trump social media users, is that one of the significant reasons why Trump won is due to the growth in popularity of basic anti-imperialist principles (even if not recognized under that name): for example, no more world policing, no transnational militarization, no more interventions abroad, no more regime change, no war, and no globalism. Nationalists in Europe, as in Russia, have also pushed forward a basic anti-imperialist vision. Whereas in Latin America anti-imperialism is largely still leftist, in Europe and North America the left-right divide has become blurred, but the crucial thing is that at least now we can speak of anti-imperialism gaining strength in these three major continents. Resistance against globalization has been the primary objective, along with strengthening national sovereignty, protecting local cultural identity, and opposing free trade and transnational capital. Unfortunately, some anti-imperialist writers (on the left in fact) have tended to restrict their field of vision to military matters primarily, while almost completely neglecting the economic and cultural, and especially domestic dimensions of imperialism. (I am grossly generalizing of course, but I think it is largely accurate.) Where structures such as NAFTA are concerned, many of these same leftist anti-imperialists, few as they are, have had virtually nothing to say. It could be that they have yet to fully recognize that the transnational capitalist class has, gradually over the last seven decades, essentially purchased the power of US imperialism. Therefore the TCC's imperialism includes NAFTA, just as it includes open borders, neoliberal identity politics, and drone strikes. They are all different parts of the same whole.

As argued in the previous section, if Trump is to be the newfound champion of this imperialism -- empire's prodigal son -- then what an abysmally poor choice he is. 8

On the one hand, he helped to unleash US anti-interventionism (usually called "isolationism" not to call it anti-imperialism, which would then admit to imperialism which is still denied by most of the dominant elites). On the other hand, in trying to now contain such popular sentiment, he loses credibility -- after having lost credibility with the groups his campaign displaced. In addition to that, given that his candidacy aggravated internal divisions in the US, which have not subsided with his assumption of office, these domestic social and cultural conflicts cause a serious deficit of legitimacy, a loss of political capital. A declining economy will also deprive him of capital in the strict sense. Moreover, given the kind of persona the media have crafted, the daily caricaturing of Trump will significantly spur anti-Americanism around the world. If suddenly even Canadian academics are talking about boycotting the US, then the worm has truly turned. Trump can only rely on "hard power" (military violence), because "soft power" is almost out of the question now that Trump has been constructed as a barbarian. Incompetent and/or undermined governance will also render Trump a deficient upholder of the status quo. The fact that nationalist movements around the world are not centrally coordinated, and their fortunes are not pinned to those of Trump, establishes a well-defined limit to his influence. Trump's antagonism toward various countries -- as wholes -- has already helped to stir up a deep sediment of anti-Americanism. If Americanism is at the heart of Trump's nationalist globalism, then it is doing all the things that are needed to induce a major heart attack.

As for Trump's domestic opposition, what should be most pertinent are issues of conflict of interest and nepotism . Here members of Trump's base are more on target yet again, when they reject the presence of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner in the White House ("we didn't elect Ivanka or Jared"), than are those distracted by identity politics.

As Trump leverages the presidency to upgrade the Trump family to the transnational capitalist class, and reinforces the power of US imperialism which that class has purchased, conflict of interest and nepotism will be the main political signposts of the transformation of the Trump presidency, but they could also be the targets for a refined strategy of opposition.

[Feb 02, 2019] In Tit-For-Tat, Russia Suspends INF Treaty; Putin Slams US Demolishing Global Security

Notable quotes:
"... This included "unprecedented steps going far beyond our obligations," Lavrov said, and noted that part of Washington's "systematic" attempts to undermine the treaty included "testing drones that matched the characteristics" of ground-based cruise missiles banned in the treaty, as well as installing "MK 41 launching systems for the defense shield in Europe that can be used to fire mid-range Tomahawk cruise missiles without any modification." ..."
"... Putin noted further in the midst of Lavrov's remarks, "This is a direct a violation of the INF." And Lavrov also added, "Such launchers have already been completed in Romania, more are scheduled to be put into service in Poland and Japan." ..."
"... Alarmingly, Putin concluded his remarks by saying Washington could be imperiling in the long term the landmark New START treaty, set to expire in 2021. ..."
Feb 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) has effectively collapsed following the US announcing Friday that it's suspending all obligations under the treaty. Predictably Moscow's response has been swift, with President Vladimir Putin saying in a meeting with his foreign and defense ministers that Russia will now pursue missile development previously banned under its terms .

Putin said "ours will be a mirror response" in a tit-for-tat move that the Russian president ultimately blames on Washington's years-long "systematic" undermining of the agreement. "Our US partners say that they are ceasing their participation in the treaty, and we are doing the same," the Russian president said . "They say that they are doing research and testing [on new weapons] and we will do the same thing."

Crucially, however, he noted that there were no plans to deploy short and mid-range missiles to Europe unless the US does it first -- a worst nightmare scenario that has rattled European leaders ever since talk began from Trump that the 1987 treaty could be scrapped.

Putin still seemed to allow some degree space for last minute concessions as "still on the table" possibly in line with the Trump administration's desire to modernize and update a new treaty taking into account new technological and geopolitical realities, such as China's ballistic missile capabilities.

"Let's wait until our partners mature sufficiently to hold a level, meaningful conversation on this topic, which is extremely important for us, them, and the entire world," Putin said. But also lashing out during the press conference that followed the meeting with top officials Putin described :

Over many years, we have repeatedly suggested staging new disarmament talks, on all types of weapons. Over the last few years, we have seen our initiatives not supported. On the contrary, pretexts are constantly sought to demolish the existing system of international security .

Specifically he and FM Sergei Lavrov referenced not only Trump's threats to quit the agreement, which heightened in December, but accusations leveled from Washington that the Kremlin was in violation. The White House has now affirmed the bilateral historic agreement signed by Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan will be suspended for 180 days. Lavrov insisted that Moscow "attempted to do everything we could to rescue the treaty."

This included "unprecedented steps going far beyond our obligations," Lavrov said, and noted that part of Washington's "systematic" attempts to undermine the treaty included "testing drones that matched the characteristics" of ground-based cruise missiles banned in the treaty, as well as installing "MK 41 launching systems for the defense shield in Europe that can be used to fire mid-range Tomahawk cruise missiles without any modification."

Putin noted further in the midst of Lavrov's remarks, "This is a direct a violation of the INF." And Lavrov also added, "Such launchers have already been completed in Romania, more are scheduled to be put into service in Poland and Japan."

Alarmingly, Putin concluded his remarks by saying Washington could be imperiling in the long term the landmark New START treaty, set to expire in 2021.


brane pilot , 17 minutes ago link

Putin is an island of calm in a sea of political insanity.

He knows Trump is being gamed into absurd positions by mad dog Democrat politicians seeking a geopolitical scapegoat.

I would call him a Statesman.

SpanishGoop , 40 minutes ago link

" as well as installing "MK 41 launching systems for the defense shield in Europe that can be used to fire mid-range Tomahawk cruise missiles without any modification."

US trying to get from Russia top position first-response list and get Europe on that position.

Putin is much to smart to fall for that.

needtoshit , 44 minutes ago link

Neocons should be remembered as oldcons because their bag of tricks is so well known that they don't fool anyone. Think about this Reagan era fossil who tries to arrange his little coup in Venezuela and will fall flat on his face. Think also about these Pompeo and Bolton who are so desperate that they didn't even spend the necessary time to learn the checkers rules before trying to take on Putin in his favorite chess play. No really, the level of mediocrity and the lack of strategy or even sheer preparedness of these dudes is so low that they may even be hung by their own subordinates who can't even stand that stench of fool play. Trump should be ashamed he hired these clowns to ride their one trick ponies while the titanic goes down. History will not be kind with him.

Totally_Disillusioned , 49 minutes ago link

Putin reads our CIA better than we do!

Totally_Disillusioned , 49 minutes ago link

Putin reads our CIA better than we do!

Son of Captain Nemo , 1 hour ago link

Everything you wanted to know about scuttling an INF Treaty but were afraid to ask ( https://www.rt.com/business/450123-nord-stream-2-ready/ )

Cause when it gets completed without sabotage along the way... Those LNG delivery projects will see lots and lots of $USD heading home "FOR GOOD"!...

Which means "other arrangements" will be necessary in order to make certain that another "hostage" crisis ( https://southfront.org/u-s-opted-to-leave-inf-few-years-ago-spent-this-time-developing-forbidden-missiles/ ) "doesn't go to waste"!!!

Savvy , 1 hour ago link

Yup.

Shemp 4 Victory , 29 minutes ago link

Additionally, just last week the Russian Ministry of Defense invited foreign military attachés and journalists to inspect the new Iskander 9M729 cruise missile. This is the one that the US claims is in violation of the INF treaty. Representatives of the US and NATO were invited and expected to be there, but they never showed up.

Interestingly, the 9M729 has a heavier warhead, and thus shorter range, than the older 9M728, which the US has not claimed violates the INF treaty. See it for yourself:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyH-I3rukPU (3 min. 12 sec. - English subtitles)

Savvy , 14 minutes ago link

This is the one that the US claims is in violation of the INF treaty. Representatives of the US and NATO were invited and expected to be there, but they never showed up .

About standard to ignore what doesn't fit the agenda.

Son of Captain Nemo , 1 hour ago link

Everything you wanted to know about scuttling an INF Treaty but were afraid to ask ( https://www.rt.com/business/450123-nord-stream-2-ready/ )

Cause when it gets completed without sabotage along the way... Those LNG delivery projects will see lots and lots of $USD heading home "FOR GOOD"!...

Which means "other arrangements" will be necessary in order to make certain that another "hostage" crisis ( https://southfront.org/u-s-opted-to-leave-inf-few-years-ago-spent-this-time-developing-forbidden-missiles/ ) "doesn't go to waste"!!!

Savvy , 1 hour ago link

Yup.

Shemp 4 Victory , 29 minutes ago link

Additionally, just last week the Russian Ministry of Defense invited foreign military attachés and journalists to inspect the new Iskander 9M729 cruise missile. This is the one that the US claims is in violation of the INF treaty. Representatives of the US and NATO were invited and expected to be there, but they never showed up.

Interestingly, the 9M729 has a heavier warhead, and thus shorter range, than the older 9M728, which the US has not claimed violates the INF treaty. See it for yourself:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyH-I3rukPU (3 min. 12 sec. - English subtitles)

Savvy , 14 minutes ago link

This is the one that the US claims is in violation of the INF treaty. Representatives of the US and NATO were invited and expected to be there, but they never showed up .

About standard to ignore what doesn't fit the agenda.

yerfej , 1 hour ago link

Instead of useless diatribe explain why you're all bent today about the INF?

Gen. Ripper , 28 minutes ago link

The INF Treaty allowed the inferior Soviet weapons to remain par to the USA, like how we've been giving the chinks $1T a year.

Now no treaty allows the USA to naturally dominate CCCP and their chinky ching Chong CCP.

[Feb 02, 2019] European Companies Won t Dare Use SWIFT Alternative To Send Money To Iran

Notable quotes:
"... My 95 year old aunt here in NL lived thru the NAZI occupation. She said its sad that the nice decent Americans of 1945 have now become like the people we fought. ..."
Feb 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

European Companies "Won't Dare" Use SWIFT Alternative To Send Money To Iran

by Tyler Durden Sat, 02/02/2019 - 09:55 32 SHARES

The launch of INSTEX -- "Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges" -- by France, Germany, and the UK this week to allow "legitimate trade" with Iran, or rather effectively sidestep US sanctions and bypass SWIFT after Washington was able to pressure the Belgium-based financial messaging service to cut off the access of Iranian banks last year, may be too little too late to salvage the Iran nuclear deal .

Tehran will only immediately press that more than just the current "limited humanitarian" and medical goods can be purchased on the system, in accordance with fulfilling the EU's end of the 2015 JCPOA -- something which EU officials have promised while saying INSTEX will be "expansive" -- while European companies will likely continue to stay away for fear of retribution from Washington, which has stated it's "closely following" reports of the payment vehicle while reiterating attempts to sidestep sanctions will "risk severe consequences" .

As a couple of prominent Iranian academics told Al Jazeera this week: "If [the mechanism] will permanently be restricted to solely humanitarian trade, it will be apparent that Europe will have failed to live up to its end of the bargain for Iran ," said political analyst Mohammad Ali Shabani. And another, Foad Izadi, professor at the University of Tehran, echoed what is a common sentiment among Iran's leaders: "I don't think the EU is either willing or able to stand up to Trump's threat," and continued, "The EU is not taking the nuclear deal seriously and it's not taking any action to prove to Iran otherwise... People are running out of patience."

But Iranian leadership welcomed the new mechanism as merely a small first step: "It is a first step taken by the European side... We hope it will cover all goods and items," Iranian Deputy FM Abbas Araqchi told state TV, referencing EU promises to stick to its end of the nuclear deal.

The European side also acknowledged it as a precondition to keeping the nuclear deal alive, which EU leaders sea as vital to their security and strategic interests : "We're making clear that we didn't just talk about keeping the nuclear deal with Iran alive, but now we're creating a possibility to conduct business transactions," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters on Thursday . "This is a precondition for us to meet the obligations we entered into in order to demand from Iran that it doesn't begin military uranium enrichment," Maas said.

What is INSTEX?

Technically US sanctions allow some limited humanitarian trade and limited goods; however the White House's "maximum pressure" campaign on Iran has still scared away European giants like Seimens, Maersk, Total, Daimler, Peugeot, Renault, and others.

This brings up the central question of whether skittish European countries will actually return to doing business with Iran, the entire purpose on which the new mechanism rests. The dilemma was summarized at the start of this week by outspoken Iran hawk Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who told the AP "The choice is whether to do business with Iran or the United States." He warned, "I hope our European allies choose wisely."

Thus far a number of analysts and observers have remained far less optimistic than the European sponsors of INSTEX. One particular interview with geopolitical analyst and journalist Luc Rivet, cited in Russian media, outlines the likelihood for failure of the new payment vehicle : "I don't know what companies will make use of that mechanism to sell to Iran," Rivet said, noting that countries still consider it "dangerous" to be caught working with Iran.

Addressing the current restriction of INSTEX facilitating medical and pharmaceutical goods transactions, he continued:

Who produces this equipment? You think that Siemens will sell to Iran? Never, because they sell to America many other things as well And Siemens is afraid of losing the American market.

No matter if a handful of companies resume or continue business with Iran he explained that an "incredible number of companies" won't. He added: "It's much easier for Chinese and Russian companies to make deals with Iran. The Europeans are scared in an incredible way. The companies are afraid by ricochet of being in the eye of the storm with the Americans."

He concluded, "That's very dangerous for European companies," and repeated, "I don't know anybody who will dare to go with this Instex system."

And the New York Times in asking the same question -- But Will Anyone Use It? -- concludes similarly that "given that most large companies have significant business in the United States, very few -- if any -- are likely to use the trading mechanism for fear of incurring Washington's wrath."

However, the test will be whether or not a steady trickle of small companies gives way to bigger companies. The NYT report continues :

But the financial mechanism could make it easier for smaller companies with no exposure in the United States to trade with Iran and could promote trade in medicine and food, which are not subject to sanctions. European diplomats say that, in the beginning, the concentration will be on goods that are permitted by Washington, to avoid an early confrontation .

But much could also depend on just how fierce the White House reaction will be. If the past months' Trump administration rhetoric is any indicator, it will keep large companies scared and on the sidelines.


CarmenSandiego , 8 minutes ago link

This is the first step? then a independent military? Without asking money bosses in the USA?

alter , 34 minutes ago link

Europe has had double the tariffs on American cars than we had for theirs. It's time for us to quadruple the tariff on European cars, to make up for the tariff imbalance that Europe has taken advantage of for decades.

schroedingersrat , 1 hour ago link

Multinationals surely wont use it. But its great for small businesses.

Wantoknow , 1 hour ago link

Before World War II the question was, "Who will stand up to the demands of Germany?" Now the question is, "Who will stand up to the demands of the United States?" It is clear that as far as means and methods are concerned Washington flies the swastika. History has come full circle.

The following quote from J. R. R. Tolkien makes the point, "Always after a defeat and a respite," says Gandalf, "the shadow takes another shape and grows again." The irony of our times is that the shadow has moved from Germany to the US.

Consternation and craven refusal to confront the reality of our times is again in vogue. We are walking towards madness crying, "Let the other fellow fix this!"

Good Luck

ExpatNL , 1 hour ago link

My 95 year old aunt here in NL lived thru the NAZI occupation. She said its sad that the nice decent Americans of 1945 have now become like the people we fought.

Einstein101 , 1 hour ago link

"The EU is not taking the nuclear deal seriously and it's not taking any action to prove to Iran otherwise... People are running out of patience."

So Iran is "running out of patience"? So what, what Iran will do? ...

[Jan 31, 2019] Venezuela color revolution plot thickens

Notable quotes:
"... UN should be probing Washington and allies for regime-change crimes Identical condemnations from the US and allies and the synchronicity show that Venezuela is being targeted for regime change in a concerted plot led by Washington. ..."
"... It is so disappointing that Americans yet to come to realization that this criminal Jewish Mafia does not standing at the end of the old republic. He is DEEPLY involved, but his STYLE is different. He kills and terrorize the same as Regan, Carter, Clinton, Bush, Obama who have killed millions of people. His sanction is the KILLING MACHINE to topple governments TO STEAL THEIR RESOURCES FOR THE DUMMIES. I have NO respect for the liars who are trying to paint a criminal as someone 'standing against' the deep state. TRUMP IS PART OF THE DEEP STATE, ONLY DUMMIES DO NOT GET IT. ..."
"... No matter the situation in Venezuela, whatever the US government and media are saying is just hostile propaganda as they couldn't give a rat's ass about the people living there. The Libyan people were doing well out of their oil, as were the Iraqis, living in reasonable wealth and security, and look at them now after the US decided to meddle in their affairs. Now after all that, even if something the US government says may be true, why believe it? How many times do you need to be fooled to stop being a fool? ..."
"... The nuttiest member of the Trump administration is UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Her latest neo-nazi stunt was to join protestors last week calling for the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Venezuela. She grabbed a megaphone at a tiny New York rally and told the few "protesters" (organized by our CIA) to say the USA is working to overthrow their President. This was so bizarre that our corporate media refused to report it. ..."
"... Why does everyone make Trump out to be a victim, poor ol Trump, he's being screwed by all those people he himself appointed, poor ol persecuted Trump. Sounds like our Jewish friends with all the victimization BS. ..."
"... By now Trump must be near bat shit crazy. Imagine hundreds of vampires descending on every exposed artery and vein. Does he have a chance in 2020? Not with the people who are around him today ..."
"... Regardless of what the MSM reports, the population is fed-up with all the malarkey, and the same old faces. ..."
"... If he can he should issue an executive order allowing important items like immigration to go directly to public referendum, by passing congress. We're tired of idiots with personal grudges holding our President hostage. Stern times calls for sterner measures. ..."
"... Juan Guaidó is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington's elite regime change trainers. While posing as a champion of democracy, he has spent years at the forefront of a violent campaign of destabilization. ..."
Jan 28, 2019 | www.unz.com

Agent76 says: January 30, 2019 at 7:21 pm GMT 100 Words Jan 24, 2019 Catastrophic Consequences What's Really Happening in Venezuela

In this video, we give you the latest breaking news on the current situation in Venezuela with Maduro, the election, and Trump's response.

UN should be probing Washington and allies for regime-change crimes Identical condemnations from the US and allies and the synchronicity show that Venezuela is being targeted for regime change in a concerted plot led by Washington.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50989.htm


AnonFromTN , says: January 30, 2019 at 7:58 pm GMT

@Sergey Krieger Negotiations are not necessarily a sign of weakness. However, Maduro should negotiate with the puppet masters, not with the puppet. I don't think that killing that pathetic Guaido is a good strategy: you don't want to make a martyr out of nonentity.
WorkingClass , says: January 30, 2019 at 8:02 pm GMT
And, in effect, I wish for the success of Juan Guaido in his struggle with Maduro, and I support American diplomatic and economic pressure on Maduro to step down. After all, Venezuela is in our back yard with huge oil reserves.

FUCK YOU! Venezuela is not "our" back yard. And the oil does not belong to "us".

anonymous [204] Disclaimer , says: January 30, 2019 at 8:31 pm GMT
[Donald Trump, for all that and for his various faults and miscues, is in reality the only thing standing in the way of the end of the old republic. ]

It is so disappointing that Americans yet to come to realization that this criminal Jewish Mafia does not standing at the end of the old republic. He is DEEPLY involved, but his STYLE is different. He kills and terrorize the same as Regan, Carter, Clinton, Bush, Obama who have killed millions of people. His sanction is the KILLING MACHINE to topple governments TO STEAL THEIR RESOURCES FOR THE DUMMIES. I have NO respect for the liars who are trying to paint a criminal as someone 'standing against' the deep state. TRUMP IS PART OF THE DEEP STATE, ONLY DUMMIES DO NOT GET IT.

The ignorant Jewish mafia 'president' IS MORE DANGEROUS because he like his 'advisors' is totally ILLITERATE. It is a family business dummies.

Are dummies going to hold petty people like Bolton who lie to get money from MEK to buy a new suit and new shoes, is responsible for the policy of the Trump regime where he wages WARS, economic sanction, to starve children to surrender? Then NO ONE Trusts you. MEK people are not more than 20, but are funded by the US colony, Saudi Arabia where MBS transfers money to the Jewish mafia family funding US wars.

Maduro has EVERY SINGLE RIGHT to arrest Juan Guiado, a gigolo who is taking orders from a US and an illiterate 'president', where its dark history known to every living creature on earth. US has massacred millions of people in all continents including Latin America.

Maduro has every single right to arrest him and put on trail and execute him as a traitor and an enemy of the state. How many years the people in Venezuela should suffer for the US 'regime change' and its crimes against humanity in Venezuela to STEAL ITS RESOURCES.

onebornfree , says: Website January 30, 2019 at 9:15 pm GMT
"So let me get this straight: The Russians brought America to its knees with a few facebook ads, but Uncle Sam's concerted and ongoing efforts to overthrow governments around the world and interfere with elections is perfectly fine? Because democracy? Riiiiiiight." :

https://www.corbettreport.com/election-interference-is-ok-when-uncle-sam-does-it-propagandawatch/

Regards, onebornfree

anonymous [204] Disclaimer , says: January 30, 2019 at 9:34 pm GMT
[The last Venezuelan Presidential election was a joke. ]

YOU ARE A JOKE ZIONIST IDIOT.

The Making of Juan Guaidó: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela's Coup Leader

[Juan Guaidó is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington's elite regime change trainers. While posing as a champion of democracy, he has spent years at the forefront of a violent campaign of destabilization.]

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-making-of-juan-guaido-how-the-us-regime-change-laboratory-created-venezuelas-coup-leader/5666971

Illiterate Jewish Mafia 'president' must be kicked out of the office. Hands of Israel is all over the SELECTION.

The ignorant 'president' is MORE DANGEROUS THANT OTHER CRIMINAL US REGIMES because on top of being a criminal, he is ILLITERATE as well.

[In 2009, the Generation 2007 youth activists staged their most provocative demonstration yet, dropping their pants on public roads and aping the outrageous guerrilla theater tactics outlined by Gene Sharp in his regime change manuals.This far-right group "gathered funds from a variety of US government sources, which allowed it to gain notoriety quickly as the hardline wing of opposition street movements," according to academic George Ciccariello-Maher's book, "Building the Commune."

That year, Guaidó exposed himself to the public in another way, founding a political party to capture the anti-Chavez energy his Generation 2007 had cultivated.]

Guaido's behind towards washington criminal elite

map , says: January 30, 2019 at 9:36 pm GMT
@By-tor See, this is the typical lie. Socialism fails, so the socialist blames the outside wrecker for causing the problem. If Moscow freezes, then it is because of the wreckers. If Moscow starves, then it is because of the wreckers.

If Venezuela collapses, then it is because of "sanctions," not the failure of the new socialist economy.

America has the right to lock anyone out of its economy that it wants, for whatever reasons. This should not matter because that nation can still trade with the rest of the world, like China. Venezuela could get everything it wants by simply selling oil to China in exchange for goods. The problem is, there is not enough oil production to do so and other nations are reluctant to replace American investment for fear of losing their assets as well.

Think about how wrong-headed the Chavez policy has been. If the Venezuelans have problems with their local ruling class and want to get rid of them fine do so. But, why go after the American oil company? The Americans don't care who rules Venezuela as long as their contracts are honored. Chavez could have then been a true socialist an allocate a greater dividend to Venezuelans that was previously being hoarded by the ruling class an arrangement similar to what Alaskans have with American oil companies.

But no there was an immediate seizure of assets because the only purpose of socialism is to make the socialist leaders rich. And Chavez and Maduro became very rich indeed.

Hibernian , says: January 30, 2019 at 9:48 pm GMT
@WorkingClass No other nation is in our back yard. They are near neighbors.
Sergey Krieger , says: January 30, 2019 at 10:02 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN I would happily martyr gorbachov , Yeltsin and all their gang. I think everybody would have been far better of then. Same is applied to the puppet. Nikolai II was martyred and things got a lot better. What is important is winning and final outcome, while making some martyrs in the process.
RVBlake , says: January 30, 2019 at 10:11 pm GMT
@Harold Smith Trump's personnel picks are mind-boggling. I cannot see how he disapproves Eliot Abrams for deputy SoS with one breath, then blandly allows Pompeo to appoint him an envoy to a trouble-spot. Bolton, Pompeo, Goldberg et al.
El Dato , says: January 30, 2019 at 10:11 pm GMT
@Sean

NEOCON America does not want Russian bombers in South America.

Real America doesn't give a f*ck. Bombers are so last century, might as well put up machine-gun equipped Union Pacific Big Boys to make it marginally more steampunk and become a real danger for the USA.

EliteCommInc. , says: January 30, 2019 at 10:33 pm GMT
@Tyrion 2 There is not a single complaint here that did not exist before the election or before Pres Chavez.

There are poor management leaders all over the globe. That';s their business. Hey we have some right here in the US I take it your solution is a military coup or better yet a coup fostered by the EU or the OAS, or maybe ASEAN or SDG . . .

jack daniels , says: January 30, 2019 at 10:40 pm GMT
It would be nice if someone simply asked Trump why it is he originally wanted to get along with Russia and pull out of the middle east and generally opposed the "neoconservative" approach and now seems to be hiring neocons and doing what they want. Is he trying to placate Sheldon Adelson and Adelson's lackeys, or what? I don't know of his being asked about this directly.
APilgrim , says: January 30, 2019 at 10:49 pm GMT
Is President Nicolas Maduro stealing the strategic gold reserves of Venezuela?

'Venezuela Has 20 Tons of Gold Ready to Ship. Address Unknown', Patricia Laya and Andrew Rosati, Bloomberg, January 30, 2019, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/venezuela-20-tons-gold-ready-004013962.html

Venezuelan lawmaker Jose Guerra dropped a bombshell on Twitter Tuesday: The Russian Boeing 777 that had landed in Caracas the day before was there to spirit away 20 tons of gold from the vaults of the country's central bank. Guerra is a former central bank economist who remains in touch with old colleagues there. A person with direct knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News Tuesday that 20 tons of gold have been set aside in the central bank for loading. Worth some $840 million, the gold represents about 20 percent of its holdings of the metal in Venezuela.

Commentator Mike , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:01 pm GMT
@map

No matter the situation in Venezuela, whatever the US government and media are saying is just hostile propaganda as they couldn't give a rat's ass about the people living there. The Libyan people were doing well out of their oil, as were the Iraqis, living in reasonable wealth and security, and look at them now after the US decided to meddle in their affairs. Now after all that, even if something the US government says may be true, why believe it? How many times do you need to be fooled to stop being a fool?

Tyrion 2 , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:02 pm GMT
@EliteCommInc.

No, Chavez had popular legitimacy. Maduro has nothing but force to keep himself in power now. Yes, there's easy definition for the above but Chavismo is decrepit.

Pressure for a reasonable Presidential election is based on that.

peterAUS , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:12 pm GMT
@RVBlake

A guy on ZH explained it well, I guess:

  1. The opposition hates me. I can do no right.
  2. The Trumptards blindly support me. I can do no wrong.
  3. There are not enough independent thinkers to make a difference as the two main sides bitterly fight each other over every minute, meaningless issue.
  4. I can pretty much do as I please without consequence ..like pay off all my buddies and pander to the jews/globalist/elites.
    I'd add: and by doing the last, I could cut a deal with the real TPTBs as to for what happens after I leave White House.
Hibernian , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:21 pm GMT
@Tyrion 2

Chavez had popular support . He felt the need to intimidate opponents from the beginning. Like Bill Bellicheck and Tom Brady feeling the need to cheat.

Pft , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:32 pm GMT
@APilgrim

Makes sense. They owe a big chunk of money to Russia and a payment of 100 million is coming due. Russia gets security for future payments while it holds their gold in a safe place. They may ship the rest to China if they are smart

renfro , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:41 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer

The nuttiest member of the Trump administration is UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Her latest neo-nazi stunt was to join protestors last week calling for the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Venezuela. She grabbed a megaphone at a tiny New York rally and told the few "protesters" (organized by our CIA) to say the USA is working to overthrow their President. This was so bizarre that our corporate media refused to report it.

She's being paid no doubt by the usual suspects. She is personally 1 million in debt and has signed with a Speakers agency to give speeches for 200,000 a pop.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV)

"Haley is currently quoting $200,000 and the use of a private jet for domestic speaking engagements, according to CNBC
In October 2018, when Haley resigned, she said, she would be taking a "step up" into the private sector after leaving the U.N. According to a public financial disclosure report based on 2017 data, at the rate quoted for her engagements, just a handful would pay down more than $1 million in outstanding debt that was accrued during her 14 years

renfro , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:43 pm GMT
@peterAUS

3. There are not enough independent thinkers to make a difference as the two main sides bitterly fight each other over every minute, meaningless issue.

Well that is true.

renfro , says: January 30, 2019 at 11:59 pm GMT
Well people you need to explore this move to take over Venezuela in the context of what having that oil control will mean for the US and Israel in the increasingly likely event we blow up Iran and up end the ME for Israel.

Despite Trump selling off half of our US oil reserves last year .. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-oil-reserve/u-s-sells-11-million-barrels-of-oil-from-reserve-to-exxon-five-other-firms-idUSKCN1LG2WT ..the US doesn't currently, at present anyway, need to control Venezuela's oil .

So what could happen that might make control of oil rich Venezuela necessary? Why has Venezuela become a Bolton and Abrams project? Why is Netanyahu putting himself into the Venezuela crisis ?

We, otoh, would need all the oil we could get if we blew up the ME, specifically Iran, figuratively or literally. The US signed a MOU with Israel in 1973 obligating us to supply Israel with oil ( and ship it to them) if they couldn't secure any for themselves.

Z-man , says: January 31, 2019 at 12:11 am GMT
@Hibernian I hate those two guys so much, and the owner Kraft also. I'm hoping for a helmet to helmet collision for Brady early in the second quarter with his bell ringing for the rest of the game. (Evil grin)
Z-man , says: January 31, 2019 at 12:14 am GMT
@renfro I have nothing but ill will for that mutt Haley.
By-tor , says: January 31, 2019 at 12:41 am GMT
@Tyrion 2 Yes, the int'l monitors said the elections were fair as Maduro received over 60% of the vote. You think the 'deplorables' of venezuela elected the known US-Wall Street neo-liberal puppet Guaido? No, the US Tape Worm groomed this twerp, all-the-while his backers and paymasters in the American neo-Liberal ruling class claim Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections. The shamelessness and hypocrisy is astounding.
EliteCommInc. , says: January 31, 2019 at 12:47 am GMT
@Tyrion 2 Pres Hugo Chavez's admin was very controversial. And the conditions you speak of have plagued Venezuela even before Pres Chavez came to government.

This really is none of our affair. We don't have a mandate to go about the planet tossing out whoever we think is crazy. He is not a threat to the US. There's no indication that he intends to harm US businesses.

Their polity means their polity. You'll have to do better than he's crazy, mean, a despot, etc. That's for them to resolve.

Johnny Walker Read , says: January 31, 2019 at 12:50 am GMT
@Commentator Mike Seems some will never learn the definition of insanity, especially the NeoCons who have been running America for far too long. I recommend John Perkins "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" for the less informed among us here today. Maybe at some point they will get a clue.
redmudhooch , says: January 31, 2019 at 1:30 am GMT

I heartily dislike and find despicable the socialist government of Maduro, just as I did Hugo Chavez when he was in power. I have some good friends there, one of whom was a student of mine when I taught in Argentina many years ago, and he and his family resolutely oppose Maduro. Those socialist leaders in Caracas are tin-pot dictator wannabees who have wrecked the economy of that once wealthy country; and they have ridden roughshod over the constitutional rights of the citizens. My hope has been that the people of Venezuela, perhaps supported by elements in the army, would take action to rid the country of those tyrants.

Hard to take this guy seriously when he spouts Fox News level propaganda.

Why does everyone make Trump out to be a victim, poor ol Trump, he's being screwed by all those people he himself appointed, poor ol persecuted Trump. Sounds like our Jewish friends with all the victimization BS.

Its clear that voting no longer works folks, this is an undemocratic and illegitimate "government" we have here. We let them get away with killing JFK, RFK, MLK, Vietnam, we let them get away with 9/11, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria. They've made a mess in Africa. All the refugees into Europe, all the refugees from Latin America that have already come from CIA crimes, more will come.
We wouldn't need a wall if Wall St would stop with their BS down there!

You can't just blame Jews, yes there are lots of Jews in Corporate America, bu t not all of them are, and there are lots of Jews who speak out against this. We were doing this long before Israel came into existence. You can't just blame everything one one group, I think Israel/Zionist are responsible for a lot of BS, but you can't exclude CIA, Wall St, Corporations, Banks, The MIC either. Its not just one group, its all of them. They're all evil, they're imperialists and they're all capitalists. I think Israel is just a capitalist creation, nothing to do with Jews, just a foothold in he middle east for Wall St to have a base to control the oil and gas there, they didn't create Israel until they dicovered how much oil was there, and realized how much control over the world it would give them to control it. Those people moving to Israel are being played, just like the "Christian Zionists" here are, its a cult. Most "Jews" are atheists anyhow, and it seems any ol greedy white guy can claim to be a Jew. So how do you solve a "Jewish Problem" if anybody can claim to be a Jew? I think solving the capitalist problem would be a little easier to enforce.

All of the shills can scream about communists, socialists and marxists all they want. Capitalism is the problem always has been always will be. Its a murderous, immoral, unsustainable system that encourages greed, it is a system who's driving force is maximizing profits, and as such the State controlled or aligned with Corporations is the most advanced form of capitalism because it is the most profitable. They're raping the shit out of us, taking our money to fund their wars, so they can make more money while paying little to no taxes at all. Everything, everyone here complains about is caused by CAPITALISM, but nobody dares say it, they've been programmed since birth to think that way.

We should nationalize our oil and gas, instead of letting foreigners come in and steal it, again paying little or no taxes on it, then selling the oil they took from our country back to us. Russia and Venezuela do it, Libya did it, Iraq did it, and they used the money for the people of the country, they didn't let the capitalists plunder their wealth like the traitors running our country. We're AT LEAST $21 trillion in the hole now from this wonderful system of ours, don't you think we should try something else? Duh!

It is the love of money, the same thing the Bible warned us about. Imperialism/globalism is the latest stage of capitalism, that is what all of this is about, follow the money. Just muh opinion

Regime Change and Capitalism
https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/07/regime-change-and-capitalism/

bluedog , says: January 31, 2019 at 1:36 am GMT
@Tyrion 2 From the people fool not by the C.I.A. declaring that well we like the other fellow best for president,after all using the logic you fail to have Hillary could have said call me madam president and leave the orange clown out in the dark,stupid,stupid people
RobinG , says: January 31, 2019 at 2:10 am GMT
@anonymous

"And, in effect, I wish for the success of Juan Guaido in his struggle with Maduro, and I support American diplomatic and economic pressure on Maduro to step down. After all, Venezuela is in our back yard with huge oil reserves."

OMG, Cathey really said that. Is he always such a shit? He certainly has Venezuela completely wrong.

The Making of Juan Guaidó: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela's Coup Leader https://grayzoneproject.com/2019/01/29/the-making-of-juan-guaido-how-the-us-regime-change-laboratory-created-venezuelas-coup-leader/

Larry Wilkerson on the special meeting of the Security Council

Many Countries at UN Oppose Trump Interference in Venezuela

Sergey Krieger , says: January 31, 2019 at 2:15 am GMT
@AnonFromTN This phylosophical questions should not led to no actions. Modern Russia is actually in much better position now than it was in 1913. True. There is never final. Sorry for wrong words choice. Dialectics.
RobinG , says: January 31, 2019 at 2:20 am GMT
@AnonFromTN Tyrion and Sean are both sicko Zio-trolls.
Asagirian , says: January 31, 2019 at 2:25 am GMT
Why not just install the Deep State as president for life? It'd be more honest.
EliteCommInc. , says: January 31, 2019 at 2:38 am GMT
@Wizard of Oz The scenario you describe is an accurate. And requires me to make judgments about a dynamic I am unfamiliar with -- no bite. Several sides to this tale and I have heard and seen it before.

I may however make a call.

In 2017 2/3 of the states in the region chose not to interfere. They have not changed their minds on intervention.

ohh by the way I did ask and here's the familial response:

https://brewminate.com/venezuelans-want-maduro-out-but-oppose-military-intervention-to-remove-him/

EliteCommInc. , says: January 31, 2019 at 2:47 am GMT
@Wizard of Oz https://www.thequint.com/news/world/venezuelans-want-prez-maduro-out-but-oppose-foreign-intervention

https://grayzoneproject.com/2019/01/29/venezuelans-oppose-intervention-us-sanctions-poll/

https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-news/2019/01/29/new-poll-shows-venezuelans-overwhelmingly-oppose-military-intervention-and-us-sanctions/

Just to be fair:

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/venezuelans-multinational-intervention-president-nicolas-maduro-economic-situation/2018/09/17/id/882143/

But reading the data sets makes it clear that what they want is some humanitarian relief. B y and large I have the family telling me to mind my own business, but they would like a meal, some medicine and some water.

Asking helps figuring out what to do.

the grand wazoo , says: January 31, 2019 at 2:59 am GMT
By now Trump must be near bat shit crazy. Imagine hundreds of vampires descending on every exposed artery and vein. Does he have a chance in 2020? Not with the people who are around him today.

Regardless of what the MSM reports, the population is fed-up with all the malarkey, and the same old faces.

In Trump's remaining 2 years he must throw off the parasites, bring in real men, and go to work on infrastructure, health care, and real jobs. He has to out the naysayers, the creeps and the war mongers. Throw Bolton from the train, and divorce Netanyahu and Israel. Appeal directly to the public.

If he can he should issue an executive order allowing important items like immigration to go directly to public referendum, by passing congress. We're tired of idiots with personal grudges holding our President hostage. Stern times calls for sterner measures.

AnonFromTN , says: January 31, 2019 at 3:08 am GMT
@RobinG That would be an easy, almost optimistic explanation: some people are venal enough to say or write anything for money. Pessimistic explanation is that some people who can read and write are nonetheless dumb or brainwashed enough to sincerely believe the BS they are writing.
Anonymous [362] Disclaimer , says: January 31, 2019 at 4:19 am GMT
@therevolutionwas

Can you define what capitalism is ? Once that idea is refined, finessed, and compared to multiple color changes of capitalism, it becomes easier who to fit in the plastic infinitely expandable box of ideas of capitalism starting with the chartered company to patient laws to companies making military hardwares paid by tax payers to tax cut by government to seizure of foreign asset by US-UK to protection of the US business by military forces to selling military gadgets to the countries owned by families like Saudi royals Gulf monarchs and to the African ( American installed ) dictators to printing money .

tac , says: January 31, 2019 at 4:58 am GMT
A great article I posted in another thread few days ago dives deep into who Juan Guaido is and his past grooming for the past 10+ years:

Juan Guaidó is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington's elite regime change trainers. While posing as a champion of democracy, he has spent years at the forefront of a violent campaign of destabilization.

https://grayzoneproject.com/2019/01/29/the-making-of-juan-guaido-how-the-us-regime-change-laboratory-created-venezuelas-coup-leader/

Here is another:

A great documentary on the 2002 coup d'etat of Chavez: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Chavez, The 2002 Coup

[Jan 30, 2019] The US is needing a war to rally its people around the flag and to attempt to keep its hand on the Rudder of the world.

Is Trump a possible "War president?"
Jan 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Pestercorn , Jan 29, 2019 10:21:08 PM | link

It's not hard to see the parallels of how the US is treating China today compared with Japan in 1939. The US sanctioned Japan and stopped them from importing Iron and Oil and today China is being technologically sanctioned throughout the West with Huawei.

The US is bludgeoning every Govt throughout the world to get its own way both allied and contested. This attitude can only lead to War eventually. Venezuela today, Iran tomorrow which will continue to box in China and Russia.

The US is needing a war to rally its people around the flag and to attempt to keep its hand on the Rudder of the world.

China will be forced to sink an American ship or shoot down an American Jet to save face re Taiwan and their Islands in the China Sea.
The West is begging for war and the parallels now and before WW11 is scary.

[Jan 30, 2019] It has only recently become clear (to most) that Trump is a faux populist frontman ... the Republican Obama.

Jan 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Jan 29, 2019 9:01:10 PM | link

bevin @46

Why Venezuela? ... It seems to me that the major blocs might be pulling back, and settling for easy gains.

An unjustified equivalence that attempts to justify what is outrageous.

Why now? ... the neo-conservative axis has only recently re-established full spectrum domination over the White House.

No. it has only recently become clear (to most) that Trump is a faux populist frontman ... the Republican Obama.

[Jan 30, 2019] Just one more to a long list of Trump appointments. I believe Trump is some kind of pervert, like the ones that like to get whipped, only Trump likes to get stabbed in the back

PT Barnum was right. A sucker is born everyday.
Jan 30, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Just one more to a long list of Trump appointments. I believe Trump is some kind of pervert, like the ones that like to get whipped, only Trump likes to get stabbed in the back.

Betrayed

He does what Sheldon and Bibi tell him.

You think you're so ******* smart, but this some how eludes you?

napper , 3 hours ago (Edited)

Donald Trump's House of Cons, Clowns, Crappolas, Criminals, and Conspirators:

  1. Mike Pence
  2. Mike Pompeo
  3. Steven Mnuchin
  4. John Bolton
  5. Elliot Abrams
  6. Nikki Haley
  7. Gina Haspel
  8. Peter Navarro
  9. Wilbur Ross
  10. Kirstjen Nielsen
  11. Robert Lighthizer
  12. Dan Coats

and Donkey Drumpf managed to convince a big bunch of brainless sheeple that he's going to make America great again with the help of those career swamp dwellers???

Gotta give it to the Donkey. He's good at acting at least.

TGF Texas, 3 hours ago

Shitty appointment, you bet! Regime Change, back on, after a 2 yr vacation, time will tell, but it sure looks that way! Remembering, Seth Rich, and the Guy who shot himself in the head, twice with a revolver, and the Clintons had the cops rule it a suicide, or the fact that she actually asked people if we could drone Assage...

And I am back to sanity!

[Jan 30, 2019] In two party system any vote for a third party is a protest vote

Yes you can vote for the third party. The question is, does it affect anything?
Notable quotes:
"... And voting for direct democracy sends the message that the people are angry at the system, not just the players that run it. ..."
"... Not voting is also a valid protest. But using one's vote to send a message, instead of just withholding legitimacy, seems more powerful as other disaffected people are more likely to join in a Movement for direct democracy. ..."
Jan 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jackrabbit , Jan 29, 2019 11:50:04 PM | 81 ">link

mourning dove @69

Yes. Any vote for a third party is a protest vote.

I think that only a Party that promotes direct democracy has any chance of drawing sufficient votes to embarrass the establishment.

And voting for direct democracy sends the message that the people are angry at the system, not just the players that run it.

Similarly to the Yellow Vests (part of their demands is an increase in direct democracy via referendums) .

Not voting is also a valid protest. But using one's vote to send a message, instead of just withholding legitimacy, seems more powerful as other disaffected people are more likely to join in a Movement for direct democracy.

Well, that's the way I see it now. There's still a lot of time before the election.

[Jan 30, 2019] I gave-up voting after the 2008 election, when Cynthia McKinney was my choice for president. I realized that voting only feeds the beast and if we could get less than 50% turn-out people might wake-up to what farce elections in the usa are.

Jan 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

David Shinn , Jan 29, 2019 10:25:09 PM | link

Mourning Dove,

I agree with what you said regarding elections... The usa has something around 55-60% turnout for elections and it continues to slide.

I gave-up voting after the 2008 election, when Cynthia McKinney was my choice for president. I realized that voting only feeds the beast and if we could get less than 50% turn-out people might wake-up to what farce elections in the usa are.

What difference does it really make voting for two slightly different forms of cancer? I'd rather be thought as stupid or moronic for not voting than to choose the lesser of two evils, which is the only really choice we have when we vote.

All those die hard political types don't realize that not voting is a vote too.

And a big thanks to the MoA community for continually posting the most interesting discussions on the Web.

[Jan 29, 2019] After hiring Abrams the next logical step would be hiring Hillary or Wolfowitz. WTF Is Trump Thinking

Highly recommended!
As George Carlin observed, it's a big club and you aren't in it. Hiring Elliott Abrams makes Trump a variation on theme of Bush II: the more things change that more they stay the same. BTW Bush also campaigned on withdrew troops and no national building .
Notable quotes:
"... When did he hire Hillary? ..."
"... There is not much difference between Hillary and Pompeo. Pompeo is basically Hillary with a **** and a religious twist ..."
"... Who knew that in electing Trump we were electing the ultimate politician? His "art of the deal" is nothing but politics 101: Blame both sides, apologize for your side, and immediately surrender your stronger points while praising the weak points of your opponent. And when you have a chance, give up; sacrifice your friends and appoint their enemies, and, last but not least, look everybody in the eye and say, "I didn't steal the money, "mistakes were made." ..."
Jan 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
schroedingersrat, 5 hours ago

Trump is a psychopath and he loves to hire even bigger psychopaths. Your whole admin is a swamp of sociopaths, psychopaths and other sick deranged people.

TGF Texas, 5 hours ago link

When did he hire Hillary?

schroedingersrat, 38 minutes ago link

There is not much difference between Hillary and Pompeo. Pompeo is basically Hillary with a **** and a religious twist

bshirley1968, 2 hours ago

Thinking? Well that's a stretch of the imagination, but let me suggest this......

  1. The opposition hates me. I can do no right.
  2. The Trumptards blindly support me. I can do no wrong.
  3. There are not enough independent thinkers to make a difference as the two main sides bitterly fight eachother over every minute, meaningless issue.
  4. I can pretty much do as I please without consequence.....like pay off all my buddies and pander to the jews/globalist/elites.

That could be what he is thinking. But I can bet you anything that there isn't a Trumptard out there that can comment here and give us a rational reason for this appointment. Oh, they can down vote because they don't like being called Trumptards. .....but they don't mind being one.

NAV, 2 hours ago

Who knew that in electing Trump we were electing the ultimate politician? His "art of the deal" is nothing but politics 101: Blame both sides, apologize for your side, and immediately surrender your stronger points while praising the weak points of your opponent. And when you have a chance, give up; sacrifice your friends and appoint their enemies, and, last but not least, look everybody in the eye and say, "I didn't steal the money, "mistakes were made."

williambanzai7, 4 hours ago

Wondering who is getting fucked?

NAV

We are.

[Jan 22, 2019] The French Anti-Neoliberal Revolution. On the conditions for its success by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The French bourgeoisie is the politically most experienced ruling class in Europe. It has no illusions about the challenge it faces. Le Point put its file on the revolt of the vests under the self-telling title "What is waiting us". ..."
"... But it's not only the king who is naked. The whole system is naked. In the many pages devoted by the magazine to demonstrate that what the Vests want is unfeasible, not even a single serious word is written about what needs to be done to deal with the deep causes which led the French to revolt. Today's capitalism of Macron, Merkel and Trump does not produce a Roosevelt and New Deal or Popular Fronts – and we have to wait to see if it will produce a Hitler as some are trying to achieve. For the time being, it only produces Yellow Vests! ..."
"... In Oscar Wilde's masterpiece "The Picture of Dorian Gray", the main character looks every night at his horrible real self in the mirror. But he looks at it alone. ..."
"... This is where Macron made his most fatal mistake, being arrogant and markedly cut off from reality – with the confidence given to him by the mighty elite forces, which elected him and by his contempt of the common people which characterizes him. ..."
"... Observing Macron, the people understood what lied ahead for them. They felt their backs against the wall – they felt that they had only themselves to rely on, that they had to take themselves action to save themselves and their country. ..."
"... This was the decisive moment, the moment the historical mission of Macron was achieved . By establishing the most absolute control of Finance over Politics, he himself invited Revolution. His triumph and his tragedy came together. ..."
"... Many established "leftists" or "radical" intellectuals, who used to feverishly haul capitalism over the coals – although the last thing they really wanted was to experience a real revolution during their lifetime – they too, stand now frightened, looking at an angry Bucephalus running ahead of them. They prefer a stable capitalism, of which they can constitute its "consciousness", writing books, appearing on shows and giving lectures, analyzing its crises and explaining its tribulations. They idea that the People could at some point take seriously what they themselves said, never crossed their minds either! ..."
"... Today, four out of five French people disapprove of Macron's policies and one in two demands that he resigns immediately. We assume that this percentage is greater than the percentage of Russians who wanted the ousting of Tsar Nicholas II in February 1917. ..."
"... France is currently almost in a state of Power Vacuum . The president and the government cannot in essence govern and the people cannot tolerate them. It is not a situation of dual power, but a situation of dual legitimacy , in Mélenchon 's accurate description. ..."
"... This is a typical definition of a revolutionary situation . As history teaches us, the emergence of such a situation is necessary but not sufficient condition for a victorious Revolution. What is required in or order to turn a rebellion into a potentially victorious Revolution, is a capable and decided leadership and an adequate strategy, program and vision. These elements do not seem to exist, at last not for now, in today's France, as they did not exist in May 1968 or during the Russian Revolution of February 1917. Therefore, the present situation remains open to all possible eventualities; there must be no doubt however, that this is the beginning of a period of intense political and class conflicts in Europe, and that the Europe, as we know it, is already history. ..."
"... Or at least, for the people to be given the opportunity to develop an effective way of controlling state power. ..."
"... By reversing Marx's famous formula in German Ideology , the ideas of the dominant class do not dominate society. This is why the situation can be described as revolutionary. ..."
"... Although it is difficult to form an opinion from afar about how the situation may unfold, the formation of a such a United Front from grassroots could perhaps offer a way out with regards to the need for a political leadership for the movement, or even of the need to work out a transitional economic program for France, which must also serve as a transitional program for Europe . ..."
"... Contrary to how things were a century ago, certain factors such as the educational level of the lower social classes, the existence of a number of critical, radical thinkers with the necessary intellectual skills and the Internet, render such a possibility a much more realistic scenario today, than in the past. ..."
Jan 14, 2019 | www.defenddemocracy.press

The magazine Le Point is one of the main media outlets of the French conservative "centre-right". One of its December issues carries the cover title France Faces its History. 1648, 1789, 1830, 1848, 1871 four centuries of revolutions.

The cover features also a painting by Pierre-Jérôme Lordon, showing people clashing with the army at Rue de Babylone , in Paris, during the Revolution of 1830. Perhaps this is where Luc Ferry, Chirac's former minister, got his idea from, when, two days ago, he asked the Army to intervene and the police to start shooting and killing Yellow Vests.

Do not be surprised if you haven't heard this from your TV or if you don't know that the level of police repression and violence in France, measured in people dead, injured and arrested, has exceeded everything the country has experienced since 1968. Nor should you wonder why you don't know anything about some Yellow Vest's new campaign calling for a massive run on French banks. Or why you have been lead you to believe that the whole thing is to do with fuel taxes or increasing minimum wage.

The vast majority of European media didn't even bother to communicate to their readers or viewers the main political demands of the Yellow Vests ; and certainly, there hasn't been any meaningful attempt to offer an insightful interpretation of what's happening in France and there is just very little serious on-the-ground reporting, in the villages and motorways of France.

Totalitarianism

Following Napoleon's defeat in Waterloo, European Powers formed the Holy Alliance banning Revolutions.

Nowadays, Revolutions have just been declared inconceivable (Soros – though not just him – has been giving a relentless fight to take them out of history textbooks or, as a minimum, to erase their significance and meaning). Since they are unthinkable they cannot happen. Since they cannot happen they do not happen.

In the same vein, European media sent their journalists out to the streets in Paris on Christmas and New Year's days, counted the protesters and found that they weren't too many after all. Of course they didn't count the 150,000 police and soldiers lined up by Macron on New Year's Eve. Then they made sure that they remain "impartial" and by just comparing numbers of protesters, led viewers to think that we are almost done with it – it was just a storm, it will pass.

The other day I read a whole page article about Europe in one of the most "serious" Greek newspapers, on 30.12. The author devoted just one single meaningless phrase about the Vests. Instead, the paper still found the way to include in the article the utterly stupid statement of a European Right-Wing politician who attributed the European crisis to the existence of Russia Today and Sputnik! And when I finally found a somewhat more serious article online about the developments in France, I realized that its only purpose was to convince us that what is happening in France surely has nothing to do with 1789 or 1968!

It is only a pity that the people concerned, the French themselves, cannot read in Greek. If they could, they would have realized that it does not make any sense to have "Revolution" written on their vests or to sing the 1789 song in their demonstrations or to organize symbolic ceremonies of the public "decapitation" of Macron, like Louis XV. And the French bourgeois press would not waste time everyday comparing what happens in the country now with what happened in 1968 and 1789.

Totalitarianism is not just a threat. It's already here. Simply it has omitted to announce its arrival. We have to deduce its precence from its results.

A terrified ruling class

The French bourgeoisie is the politically most experienced ruling class in Europe. It has no illusions about the challenge it faces. Le Point put its file on the revolt of the vests under the self-telling title "What is waiting us".

A few months ago, all we had about Macron in the papers was praise, inside and outside of France – he was the "rising star" of European politics, the man who managed to pass the "reforms" one after the other, no resistance could stop him, he would be the one to save and rebuild Europe. Varoufakis admired and supported him, as early as of the first round of the 2017 elections.

Now, the "chosen one" became a burden for those who put him in office. Some of them probably want to get rid of him as fast as they can, to replace him with someone else, but it's not easy – and even more so, it is not easy given the monarchical powers conferred by the French constitution to the President. The constitution is tailored to the needs of a President who wants to safeguard power from the people. Those who drafted it could not probably imagine it would make difficult for the Oligarchy also to fire him!

Read also: Scandaleux : le fondateur du parti fasciste ukrainien Svoboda reçu à l'Assemblée et au Sénat !

And who would dare to hold a parliamentary or presidential election in such a situation, as in France today? No one knows what could come out of it. Moreover, Macron does not have a party in the sense of political power. He has a federation of friends who benefit as long as he stays in power and they are damaged when he collapses.

The King is naked

"The King is naked", points out Le Point's editorial, before, with almost sadistic callousness, posing the question: "What can a government do when a remarkable section of the people vomits it?"

But it's not only the king who is naked. The whole system is naked. In the many pages devoted by the magazine to demonstrate that what the Vests want is unfeasible, not even a single serious word is written about what needs to be done to deal with the deep causes which led the French to revolt. Today's capitalism of Macron, Merkel and Trump does not produce a Roosevelt and New Deal or Popular Fronts – and we have to wait to see if it will produce a Hitler as some are trying to achieve. For the time being, it only produces Yellow Vests!

They predicted it, they saw it coming, but they didn't believe it!

Yet they could have predicted all that. It would have sufficed, had they only taken seriously and studied a book published in France in late 2016, six months before the presidential election, highlighting the explosive nature of the social situation and warning of the danger of revolution and civil war.

The title of the book was "Revolution". Its author was none other than Emmanuel Macron himself. Six months later, he would become the President of France, to eventually verify, and indeed rather spectacularly, his predictions. But the truth is probably, that not even he himself gave much credit to what he wrote just to win the election.

By constantly lying, politicians, journalists and intellectuals reasonably came to believe that even their own words are of no importance. That they can say and do anything they want, without any consequence.

In Oscar Wilde's masterpiece "The Picture of Dorian Gray", the main character looks every night at his horrible real self in the mirror. But he looks at it alone.

This is where Macron made his most fatal mistake, being arrogant and markedly cut off from reality – with the confidence given to him by the mighty elite forces, which elected him and by his contempt of the common people which characterizes him.

Unwise and Arrogant, he made no effort to hide – this is how sure he felt of himself, this is how convinced his environment was that he could infinitely go on doing anything he wanted without any consequences (same as our Tsipras). Thus, acting foolishly and arrogantly, he left a few million eyes to see his real face. This was the last straw that made the French people realize in a definite way what they had already started figuring out during Sarkozy's and Hollande's, administration, or even earlier. Observing Macron, the people understood what lied ahead for them. They felt their backs against the wall – they felt that they had only themselves to rely on, that they had to take themselves action to save themselves and their country.

There was nobody else to make it in their place.

Macron as a Provocateur. Terror in Pompeii

This was the decisive moment, the moment the historical mission of Macron was achieved . By establishing the most absolute control of Finance over Politics, he himself invited Revolution. His triumph and his tragedy came together.

It was just then, that Bucephalus (*) sprang from the depths of historical Memory, galloping without a rider, ready to sweep away everything in his path.

Now those in power look at him with fear, but fearful too are both the "radical right" and the "radical left". Le Pen has already called on protesters to return to their homes and give her names to include in her list for the European election!

Mélenchon supports the Vests – 70% of their demands coincide with the program of his party, La France Insoumise – but so far he hasn't dared to join the people in demanding Macron's resignation, by adopting the immense, but orphan, cry of the people heard all over France: "Macron resign". Perhaps he feels that he hasn't got the steely strength and willpower required for attempting to lead such a movement.

The unions' leadership is doing everything it can to keep the working class away from the Vests, but this stand started causing increasing unrest at its base.

Read also: Macron Prepares a Social War

Many established "leftists" or "radical" intellectuals, who used to feverishly haul capitalism over the coals – although the last thing they really wanted was to experience a real revolution during their lifetime – they too, stand now frightened, looking at an angry Bucephalus running ahead of them. They prefer a stable capitalism, of which they can constitute its "consciousness", writing books, appearing on shows and giving lectures, analyzing its crises and explaining its tribulations. They idea that the People could at some point take seriously what they themselves said, never crossed their minds either!

In fact, this is also a further confirmation of the depth of the movement. Lenin , who, in any event knew something about revolutions, wrote in 1917: "In a revolutionary situation, the Party is a hundred times farther to the left than the Central Committee and the workers a hundred times farther to the left than the Party."

"Revolutionary Situation" and Power Vacuum

Today, four out of five French people disapprove of Macron's policies and one in two demands that he resigns immediately. We assume that this percentage is greater than the percentage of Russians who wanted the ousting of Tsar Nicholas II in February 1917.

France is currently almost in a state of Power Vacuum . The president and the government cannot in essence govern and the people cannot tolerate them. It is not a situation of dual power, but a situation of dual legitimacy , in Mélenchon 's accurate description.

This is a typical definition of a revolutionary situation . As history teaches us, the emergence of such a situation is necessary but not sufficient condition for a victorious Revolution. What is required in or order to turn a rebellion into a potentially victorious Revolution, is a capable and decided leadership and an adequate strategy, program and vision. These elements do not seem to exist, at last not for now, in today's France, as they did not exist in May 1968 or during the Russian Revolution of February 1917. Therefore, the present situation remains open to all possible eventualities; there must be no doubt however, that this is the beginning of a period of intense political and class conflicts in Europe, and that the Europe, as we know it, is already history.

People's Sovereignty at the center of demands

Starting from fuel tax the revolting French have now put at the centre of their demands, in addition to Macron's resignation, the following:

In other words, they demand a profound and radical " transformation " of the Western bourgeois-democratic regime, as we know it, towards a form of direct democracy in order to take back the state, which has gradually and in a totalitarian manner – but while keeping up democratic appearances – passed under direct and full control of the Financial Capital and its employees. Or at least, for the people to be given the opportunity to develop an effective way of controlling state power.

These are not the demands of a fun-club of Protagoras or of some left-wing or right-wing groupuscule propagating Self-Management or of some club of intellectuals. Nor are they the demands of only the lowest social strata of the French nation.

They are supported, according to the polls and put forward by at least three quarters of French citizens, including a sizeable portion of the less poor. In such circumstances, these demands constitute in effect the Will of the People, the Will of the Nation.

The Vests are nothing more than its fighting pioneers. And precisely because it is the absolute majority of people who align with these demands, even if numbers have somewhat gone down since the beginning of December, the Vests are still wanted out on the streets.

By reversing Marx's famous formula in German Ideology , the ideas of the dominant class do not dominate society. This is why the situation can be described as revolutionary.

And also because it is not only the President and the Government, who have been debunked or at least de-legitimized, but it's also the whole range of state and political institutions, the parties, the unions, the "information" media and the "ideologists" of the regime.

The questioning of the establishment is so profound that any arguments about violence and the protesters do not weaken society's support for them. Many, but not all, condemn violence, but there are not many who don't go on immediately to add a reminder of the regime's social violence against the people. When a famous ex-boxer lost his temper and reacted by punching a number of violent police officers, protesters set up a fundraising website for his legal fees. In just two hours they managed to raise around 120.000 euro, before removing the page over officials' complaints and threats about keeping a file on anyone who contributes money to support such causes.

Read also: Greece: Creditors out to crush any trace of Syriza disobedience

Until now, an overwhelming majority of the French people supports the demands while an absolute majority shows supports for the demonstrations; but of course, it is difficult to keep such a deadlock and power-void situation going for long. They will sooner or later demand a solution, and in situations such as these it is often the case that public opinion shifts rapidly from the one end of the political spectrum to the other and vice versa, depending on which force appears to be more decisive and capable of driving society out of the crisis.

The organization of the Movement

Because the protesters have no confidence in the parties, the trade unions, or anyone else for that matter, they are driven out of necessity into self-organization, as they already do with the Citizens' Assemblies that are now emerging in villages, cities and motorway camps. Indeed, by the end of the month, if everything goes well, they will hold the first " Assembly of Assemblies ".

Similar developments have also been observed in many revolutionary movements of this kind in various countries. A classic example is the spontaneous formation of the councils ( Soviets ) during the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917.

Although it is difficult to form an opinion from afar about how the situation may unfold, the formation of a such a United Front from grassroots could perhaps offer a way out with regards to the need for a political leadership for the movement, or even of the need to work out a transitional economic program for France, which must also serve as a transitional program for Europe .

Contrary to how things were a century ago, certain factors such as the educational level of the lower social classes, the existence of a number of critical, radical thinkers with the necessary intellectual skills and the Internet, render such a possibility a much more realistic scenario today, than in the past.

Because the movement's Achilles' Heel is that, while it is already in the process of forming a political proposition, it still, at least for now, does not offer any economic alternative or a politically structured, democratically controlled leadership.

Effective Democracy is an absolute requirement in such a front, because it is the only way to synthesize the inevitably different levels of consciousness within the People and to avoid a split of the movement between "left" and "right", between those who are ready to resort to violence to achieve their ends and those who have a preference for more peaceful, gradual processes.

Such a " front " could perhaps also serve as a platform for solidifying a program and vision, to which the various parties and political organizations could contribute.

In her Critique of the Russian Revolution Rosa Luxemburg , the leader of the German Social Democracy was overly critical of the Bolsheviks , even if, I think, a bit too severe in some points. But she closes her critique with the phrase: " They at least dared "

Driven by absolute Need, guided by the specific way its historical experience has formed its consciousness, possessing a Surplus of Consciousness, that is able to feel the unavoidable conclusions coming out of the synthesis of the information we all possess, about both the "quality" of the forces governing our world and the enormous dangers threatening our countries and mankind, the French People, the French Nation has already crossed the Rubicon.

By moving practically to achieve their goals at a massive scale, and regardless of what is to come next, the French people has already made a giant leap up and forward and, once more in its history, it became the world's forerunner in tackling the terrible economic, ecological, nuclear and technological threats against human civilization and its survival.

Without the conscious entry of large masses into the historical scene, with all the dangers and uncertainties that such a thing surely implies, one can hardly imagine how humanity will survive.

Note

(*) Bucephalus was the horse of Alexander the Great, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucephalus

[Jan 19, 2019] We are being played Judging from his appointment Trump is really a Republican Obama

Notable quotes:
"... We saw the exact same dynamic when Obama was the populist hero. As Obama betrayed his base and acted against what people had expected from him, Obamabots insisted that Obama was playing 11-dimensional chess and that their hero's intentions were pure. It was all bullshit. ..."
"... Trump brought on Nikki Haley, Bolton, and Pompeo. Trump nominated Gina Haspel, acolyte of his supposed nemesis Brennan, for CIA director. Trump approved termination of JCPOA. ..."
"... And Trump's duplicity extends beyond Russia and Syria. He pretended to make a peace deal with North Korea but refuses to complete it. He railed against TPP but included TPP provisions in the new North America free-trade agreement. He said he would prosecute Hillary but backed within days of being elected saying: "the Clintons have been through enough" (what have they been through?!?), he said he would "drain the swamp" but has added to it, he put Jared Kushner - a supporter of illegal settlement building - in charge of Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, etc. ..."
"... It was obvious from jumpstreet what Obama was all about! I never for once believed anything ..."
"... It is very unusual for a populist to win office in USA. I would say that today it is virtually impossible due to the money-based US electoral system. Once this fact is understood, it becomes clear that BOTH Trump and Obama are each faux populists ..."
"... The faux populist leader model is actually well suited for an inverted totalitarian government like USA. And I've previously described a number of elements that make up this model such as the need for partisans (Obamabots/Trumptards) that vehemently defend the popular hero as he betrays his base while bogus accusations from political opponents spark a knee-jerk reaction in the hero's base and prepare the ground for the next faux populist leader. ..."
"... In 2008, the Deep State needed to "turn the page" from Bushes militarism and Obama embodied that "change". In 2016, the Deep State needed a nationalist that could revive patriotism in order to meet the challenge from Russia and China. I don't think this was accidental. ..."
Jan 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

, Jan 15, 2019 5:24:49 PM | link

We are being played

Pat Buchanan gets it (ht Zerohedge): Is Bolton Steering Trump into War with Iran? Bolton Steering Trump into War with Iran?

There are other signs a confrontation is coming soon. The U.S. has objected to Iran's pending launch of two space satellites, saying these look like tests of missiles designed to deliver nuclear warheads....

In short, forces are moving in this country and in Israel to bring about a U.S. confrontation with Iran -- before our troops leave Syria [NYT says troop withdrawal is estimated to take 4-6 months] .

But the real questions here are not about Bolton or Pompeo.

They are about Trump .

We saw the exact same dynamic when Obama was the populist hero. As Obama betrayed his base and acted against what people had expected from him, Obamabots insisted that Obama was playing 11-dimensional chess and that their hero's intentions were pure. It was all bullshit.

Trump brought on Nikki Haley, Bolton, and Pompeo. Trump nominated Gina Haspel, acolyte of his supposed nemesis Brennan, for CIA director. Trump approved termination of JCPOA.

And Trump's administration claims to have defeated ISIS. They say that USA actions were responsible for 99% of the anti-ISIS effort. Why make such a claim after Trump said in his campaign: "Let Russia take care of ISIS"? My best guess: They want to portray themselves as the 'good guy' to Western audiences and when they act against Syria in the future, they will attempt to convince the Syrian people that the 'Assad must go' Coalition was responsible for eliminating ISIS.

And Trump's duplicity extends beyond Russia and Syria. He pretended to make a peace deal with North Korea but refuses to complete it. He railed against TPP but included TPP provisions in the new North America free-trade agreement. He said he would prosecute Hillary but backed within days of being elected saying: "the Clintons have been through enough" (what have they been through?!?), he said he would "drain the swamp" but has added to it, he put Jared Kushner - a supporter of illegal settlement building - in charge of Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, etc.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

William Bowles , Jan 15, 2019 5:46:38 PM | link
Jackrabbit | Jan 15, 2019 5:24:49 PM | 20
We saw the exact same dynamic when Obama was the populist hero. As Obama betrayed his base and acted against what people had expected from him, Obamabots insisted that Obama was playing 11-dimensional chess and that their hero's intentions were pure. It was all bullshit.

It was obvious from jumpstreet what Obama was all about! I never for once believed anything he said but I looked at what he did. A gangster from Chicago. In some respects he was a black Carter, designed to act as an interregnum. It was Carter who kickstarted the occupation of Afghanistan. It was Carter who bumped up the nuclear weapons programme.

Trump is just a naked version of every prior US prez.

Jackrabbit , Jan 15, 2019 6:20:14 PM | link
William Bowles @22:
Trump is just a naked version of every prior US prez.
It is very unusual for a populist to win office in USA. I would say that today it is virtually impossible due to the money-based US electoral system. Once this fact is understood, it becomes clear that BOTH Trump and Obama are each faux populists .

The faux populist leader model is actually well suited for an inverted totalitarian government like USA. And I've previously described a number of elements that make up this model such as the need for partisans (Obamabots/Trumptards) that vehemently defend the popular hero as he betrays his base while bogus accusations from political opponents spark a knee-jerk reaction in the hero's base and prepare the ground for the next faux populist leader.

I've made a substantial case for Trump's having been chosen to follow Obama . I look forward to any comments you may have regarding that the argument that I've set forth.

Fec , Jan 15, 2019 5:54:25 PM | link
Ted Koppel: "I don't need you guys anymore," Trump told me.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dont-expect-trump-to-go-quietly/2019/01/14/d8104e3a-1458-11e9-b6ad-9cfd62dbb0a8_story.html

"Untethered from any political responsibility whatsoever, he can be expected to capitalize fully on his new status as political martyr and leader of a new "resistance" that will make today's look supine."

Fec , Jan 15, 2019 6:33:16 PM | link
@ 24

Kudos for alluding to Wolin, shunned by his Princeton colleagues after publishing Democracy, Inc.

Trump is a black swan summoned by Hillary Clinton.

Unfortunately, the Left has not handled the loss well.

See Ted Koppel above.

Don Bacon , Jan 15, 2019 7:27:41 PM | link
@ Jackrabbit | Jan 15, 2019 6:20:14 PM | 24

Trump campaigned as a populist, the principal time the term applies, and also as president. Witness the current impasse over a border wall which is an appeal to the ordinary people who elected Trump, and he often wears that silly MAGA cap which appeals to his electorate.

populist: a person, especially a politician, who strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups.

Trump on the campaign trail was a populist as you admit at your link: "Trump was the ONLY populist on the Republican side (out of 19 contenders!)." That's how he got nominated and then elected in a huge upset, appealing to ordinary people which the other candidates couldn't do. Trump wasn't chosen by anybody, but he was (and is) ridiculed by many.

Jackrabbit , Jan 15, 2019 8:22:18 PM | link
Don Bacon @26:

How Trump and Obama got elected is clear. But just because they ran as populists doesn't mean that they have a populist agenda. I think I've been pretty clear that they have each made decisions and taken actions that furthered the establishment over the people.

And running as a populist doesn't mean an automatic 'win'. For example, voters are going to be skeptical about the motives of a billionaire running for office, question the ability of a novice politician, and be distrustful of a man who has had 3 wives and 4 bankruptcies.

In 2008, the Deep State needed to "turn the page" from Bushes militarism and Obama embodied that "change". In 2016, the Deep State needed a nationalist that could revive patriotism in order to meet the challenge from Russia and China. I don't think this was accidental.

Don Bacon , Jan 15, 2019 8:53:38 PM | link
@ karlof1 | Jan 15, 2019 8:29:05 PM | 30
Which are more salient--domestically: The attacks on Russia or those against Trump?
Of course the attacks against Trump by the establishment are more important, designed to bring him down. The American people have been conditioned by the press in American Exceptionalism, so they expect that those people in the world who were not wise enough to be born Americans ought to suffer for it especially if they are -- yuk -- Russian. So anything the US government does against Russia is accepted as a given, no big deal, run-of-the-mill.
hihi , Jan 15, 2019 9:56:56 PM | link
When is Trump's "delivering" for Israel (i.e. not Russia) going to be examined?

Ah, sorry, that's not allowed - right?

At least, so the ADL racketeers always tell us.......

Don Bacon , Jan 15, 2019 10:04:06 PM | link
@ hihi | Jan 15, 2019 9:56:56 PM | 37

When is Trump's "delivering" for Israel (i.e. not Russia) going to be examined?

Let's examine it -- Trump is delivering a crushing defeat to Israel by backing out of Syria, and thereby conceding the "Shia Crescent" to Iran, backed by Russia and Turkey.

uncle tungsten , Jan 15, 2019 10:36:05 PM | link
Thanks b that sets out the nature of the great distraction and the transparent BS that it represents. So now that USAians can see the nonsense could they please get on with the substance of making change and making USA great again by taking to the streets. Its about time for a large wage increase and dropping taxes that impact on low to medium wage people.

Given the special role played by France in the USA struggle for independence, its about time the the Gillet Jaune manifested in the USA. The low and middle income people already Occupy the nation so now they should demand reform. Those few old and new progressive leftish congresscritters should don the yellow vest and meet their allies on the street corners for discussions and talk of equity and wage and tax justice. Its Rules for Radicals time or its going nowhere time. Will they choose? May I suggest the first Rule for Radicals could be the wearing of a yellow vest by the Congressional and Senate supporters of wage and tax justice at the next and all subsequent pressers and attendances.

If not I gather they have all guzzled the cool aid and are content with the noise emitted from the great distractor.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jan 15, 2019 10:48:23 PM | link
...

I've made a substantial case for Trump's having been chosen to follow Obama. I look forward to any comments you may have regarding that the argument that I've set forth.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 15, 2019 6:20:14 PM | 24

That was a joke, right?

Anyone so hampered by dotage that he forgets, several times a day, that he's already repeated the substance of his 'newest' meme several times in the same thread, and a majority of others, should probably consider getting a good night's sleep as an anti-dote.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jan 15, 2019 10:58:52 PM | link
Trump, unlike his detractors, is an Old Dog with an unlimited supply of New Tricks.
Jackrabbit , Jan 15, 2019 11:00:07 PM | link
Hoarsewhisperer @40

As people discuss different versions of the dog and pony show, I tailor my point(s) accordingly.

:)

uncle tungsten , Jan 15, 2019 11:00:14 PM | link
Don Bacon | Jan 15, 2019 10:04:06 PM | 38

"crushing defeat"? what utter provocative BS Don! Trump withdrawal leaves all the local belligerents and malign Syria haters to do the job any way they wish. This fantasy that Trump has abandoned Israel's regional domination is totally unsupported by fact and sounds to me like a typical AIPAC alarmist trope.

Trump has being saying for some years now that others need to shoulder the burden.

Lets look at what the burden in Syria is shall we. Not only does USA give billions to Israel to guarantee the colony but it also fights its wars for it in Syria. Then there are all those charities raising money in the USA for the IDF. Then there is all the armaments transfers by numerous clandestine channels to head choppers trying to destroy the Syrian people's government and society. Many of those armaments transfers are paid with by USA black dollars possibly to be accounted for in that $21 trillion fund that the USA Defense Department has been wallowing in.

It is bleedingly obvious to me that Israel in not being crushingly defeated by anyone. Syria nearly was!!!!!

When a self professed progressive country such as Israel is incapable of getting on with the most religiously diverse border nation as Syria or Lebanon then there is a hoax somewhere in the dialogue. The manifestation of a Shia crescent (a BS straw man)is because the belligerent nations self defeated their allies: the Sunni murderers.

Mind you Don, I don't see any Shia crescent, I see a few nations bombed and shot to hell desperately trying to establish normalcy of some sort BECAUSE of the manipulations of Saudi and Israel governments and their pawns.

[Jan 17, 2019] The Coke or Pepsi and parties is a perfect corporatist arrangement, which guarantee filtering out any opposition to the oligarchy in 99 percent of elections

Only a severe political crisi can shake this "controlled duopoly" of the US coporatism.
Jan 16, 2019 | theguardian.com

William Williamson, 15 Jan 2019 10:38

Well put. All the USA has is Coke or Pepsi. With a lot of masquerading in between. A couple people who aren't on THE payroll, or wanting to be.
MyGenericUsername , 15 Jan 2019 07:38
Half of Americans don't bother voting for president. Why is the American media full only of people who insist that the country is divided in half between Democrat and Republican supporters? Where are the people of influence who think it's a problem and reflects poorly on the country that half of eligible voters don't see a reason to participate, and that it's worth changing things in order to get more people to change their minds about that?

Both parties are content with being unpopular, but with political mechanisms ensuring they stay in power anyway. The Democrats aren't concerned with being popular. They're content with being a token opposition party that every once in a while gets a few token years with power they don't put to any good anyway. It pays more, I guess.

CanSoc , 15 Jan 2019 07:34
It still looks like if Americans want to live in a progressive country, they'll have to move to one. But as it is clear that the neoliberalism of establishment Democrats has little or nothing to offer the poor and working class, or to non-wealthy millennials, the times they are a-changing.

[Jan 16, 2019] The travesty of the US elections

These corporate-Dem candidates are not being forced to sell out to win elections. Quite the opposite in fact. They are risking losing their elections for the sake of selling out.
Jan 16, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 07:54

Surely, many will comment that Democrats have no choice but to take the money in order to be competitive. I have one truism for such folks to ponder: Why would you trust your allegiance to those who don't care if you win?

Basic logic: rich people win the general election either way, so long as the primary-winning Democrat is in their pocket (the GOP is always on their side). So this monetary affection is certainly more about fixing an no-lose general than it is about ousting Trump, or any Republican.

[Jan 13, 2019] What is wrong with Trump

Trump was elected using Adelson money. That;s probably is what is wrong with Trump.
Is Trump a Republican Obama? As in "Brain dead Dems kept saying Obama would do the right thing by the nation, that he was playing 4D chess, up till the moment he was no longer president, and in the end he was a narcisstic, self-aggrandizing politician who transferred trillions to the 0.1% and made America worse by any standard."
Notable quotes:
"... The struggle between the neocons and Trump over control of foreign policy has become ridiculous. One must remember that he can dismiss them all with the stroke of a pen, just he can dismiss his non civil service tormentors in the justice department and the FBI. ..."
"... Bolton has tried to countermand Trump's decision in Syria. His attempt and that of Jeffrey were rebuked in Ankara and DoD then announced an immediate commencement of the withdrawal. ..."
"... And yet the unholy trio of Pompeo (first in the hearts of his USMA class), Jeffrey, a career neocon hack at State, and Bolton (the mustachioed menace) are still in their jobs? Say what? ..."
"... And then there is the Great Southern Border Crisis. The Democrats have repeatedly voted for a great deal of money for barrier systems on the border. Chancy (Chuck and Nancy) were in the lead in such votes over the years. Now Nancy (who may not remember her votes) is denying Trump "a single dollar" for border barriers. ..."
"... To say that barriers are ineffective is dishonest. By now Trump knows that he can declare a national emergency and fund the barriers after however much litigation the Dems can arrange. There is ample money available for the purpose. So, why does he not do it? ..."
"... I voted for Trump. He lost me when he filled his cabinet with swamp creatures and then further when he replaced the generals with neo-cons like Bolton. You cant change the government if you don't understand how the government works - its not a real estate business that you can declare bankruptcy to make a buck. ..."
"... Brain dead Dems kept saying Obama would do the right thing by the nation, that he was playing 4D chess, up till the moment he was no longer president, and in the end he was a narcisstic, self-aggrandizing politician who transferred trillions to the 0.1% and made America worse by any standard. ..."
"... If he cared about illegal immigration, how about enforcing laws against employing illegal immigrants ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

According to Hido, Washington's Special Representative for Syria, James Jeffrey, delivered several messages to the leadership of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) demanding them to slow down the negotiations with Damascus and promising to discuss the idea of establishing a no-fly zone over northeastern Syria.

The Kurdish political described Jeffery's messages as "disturbing" and called on the Kurdish leadership to deal with them in careful manner.

Furthermore, Hido stressed that the SDF should take a decision on the talks with the Damascus government as soon as possible and regretted that some Kurdish officials are still pinning their hopes on a possible change in the U.S. decision to withdraw from Syria .

"Talks with the Syrian government are still ongoing in a positive atmosphere," RT quoted Hido as saying.

Jeffrey made a visit to Turkey recently, where he tried to strike a deal with Ankara over northeastern Syria. However, Turkey's plans to attack US-backed Kurdish forces and invade the region hindered his efforts.

It appears to be that the SDF's only real option is the deal with Damascus as any U.S. solution would likely involve Turkey, which has demonstrated its agressive attitude towards Syrian Kurdish groups during its operation in Afrin in 2018." SF

------------

The struggle between the neocons and Trump over control of foreign policy has become ridiculous. One must remember that he can dismiss them all with the stroke of a pen, just he can dismiss his non civil service tormentors in the justice department and the FBI.

Bolton has tried to countermand Trump's decision in Syria. His attempt and that of Jeffrey were rebuked in Ankara and DoD then announced an immediate commencement of the withdrawal.

What could that have been other than a renewed presidential order to the Defense Department? And yet the unholy trio of Pompeo (first in the hearts of his USMA class), Jeffrey, a career neocon hack at State, and Bolton (the mustachioed menace) are still in their jobs? Say what?

And then there is the Great Southern Border Crisis. The Democrats have repeatedly voted for a great deal of money for barrier systems on the border. Chancy (Chuck and Nancy) were in the lead in such votes over the years. Now Nancy (who may not remember her votes) is denying Trump "a single dollar" for border barriers.

BTW, any soldier will tell you that the purpose of barriers IS NOT to stop all movement. No, it is to slow up movement and canalize it so that Quick Reaction Forces (QRF) can get there first with the most. To say that barriers are ineffective is dishonest. By now Trump knows that he can declare a national emergency and fund the barriers after however much litigation the Dems can arrange. There is ample money available for the purpose. So, why does he not do it?

On Smerconish's show today, Bob Baer, spy extraordinaire, (read his books) asserted that the various bits and pieces of circumstantial "evidence" about Trump's contacts with and attitude toward Russia, as well as those of his flunkies and relatives amount to a "good enough" case for Trump being a Russian agent of influence. That is how a HUMINT spook judges such things. It is a matter of probabilities, not hard evidence. Assets of an alien government are not always witting (understanding) of their status from the POV of the foreign government, but that does not necessarily make other than agents. Sometimes they think they are merely cooperating in a good and normal way when, in fact, the relationship is much deeper. Jane Fonda in North Vietnam would be an example.

OTOH the president is responsible for the conduct of US foreign policy and is not under an obligation to accept the perhaps hackneyed views of his subordinates. Perhaps his world view is quite different and he is not mesmerized by the group think of the Borg. If that is so ...

But, how does one explain his lack of action on the border? Does someone or some thing in Russia, Israel, the UK, his former business associates, have something really juicy on Trump, something that he fears to unleash through decisive action? pl

https://southfront.org/kurdish-politician-washington-trying-to-sabotage-talks-between-sdf-and-damascus/

Eric Newhill , a day ago

Sir, I think he's just being cautious and exhausting all other options because half of the country has been made to believe he's a dictator. He's being sensitive to that. He will act. Give it time.
ISL -> Eric Newhill , 17 hours ago
Sensitive? Cautious? Caring about Americans not in his base (whatever his base means)? Doesnt sounds like president Donald Trump the last two years. He acts more like he is confused about what the president's powers are while the wormtongues he appointed and replaces with more of the same continue to whisper in his ear.
Eric Newhill -> ISL , 10 hours ago
Contrary to all the TDS out there, maybe he prefers to do things the right way and have Congress make laws and budgets that work for all of us whether or not we all understand how.
ISL -> Eric Newhill , 3 hours ago
If that was the case, why so many signing statements (particularly since republicans control congress ). He is on target to pass Obama. who also preferred not to do things by laws. http://www.coherentbabble.c... Its just that the trend towards an imperial, unitary presidency keeps getting worse with full acquiescence of congress who suckles on the corporate money teat, under both Dems and Repubs.

I voted for Trump. He lost me when he filled his cabinet with swamp creatures and then further when he replaced the generals with neo-cons like Bolton. You cant change the government if you don't understand how the government works - its not a real estate business that you can declare bankruptcy to make a buck.

Brain dead Dems kept saying Obama would do the right thing by the nation, that he was playing 4D chess, up till the moment he was no longer president, and in the end he was a narcisstic, self-aggrandizing politician who transferred trillions to the 0.1% and made America worse by any standard.

-----
Here's a nice plot - US apprehensions comparable to 1970 when the US had a much smaller population.

ISL -> ISL , 3 hours ago
Now if Trump shut the govt down until congress did something about big pharma and the opioid crisis because Congress is in their pocket he would have my support. But then the republicans and dems would jointly impeach him to keep the money spigot flowing.

Decreasing life expectancy is what happens in the sh-tholes to use his term. If he cared about illegal immigration, how about enforcing laws against employing illegal immigrants. Don't republicans who theoretically support capitalism (as opposed to crony capitalism) understood supply and demand? (If there is a demand, then supply will meet it)

Oh, because illegal immigrants are good for the bottom line of people, like, well, Trump:

https://www.washingtonpost....

[Jan 13, 2019] Until we have more action on this than just some furious tweets, it doesn't matter

Notable quotes:
"... Yes, plus they could have at least tied in the Rosenstein attempt to wear a wire to trap Trump via the 25th amendment as hatched by McCabe too. Lousy article. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

navy62802 , 1 hour ago link

Until we have more action on this than just some furious tweets, it doesn't matter.

notfeelinthebern , 1 hour ago link

OLD news. This was established long ago by looking at the time line of events.

SDShack , 1 hour ago link

Yes, plus they could have at least tied in the Rosenstein attempt to wear a wire to trap Trump via the 25th amendment as hatched by McCabe too. Lousy article.

[Jan 13, 2019] Deep State neutered Trump: I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President

He essentially became a Republican Obama, save Nobel Peace Price. If Obama was/is a CIA-democrat, this guy is a Deep State controlled republican
And that means that he lost a considerable part of his electorate: the anti-war republicans and former Sanders supporters. He might do good not to try to run in 2020 as he might already be a toast. He definitely is not up to the job 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 Depp state recemble so closly to complete and unconditional surrender, that you might have difficuties to distinuish between the two.
Most of his appointees are radib neolon. That that extends beyoong obsious cazies like Haley, Bolton and Pompeo.
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

me title=

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!"

[Jan 11, 2019] How President Trump Normalized Neoconservatism by Ilana Mercer

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... As it happens, neocons are in luck. Most Americans know little of the ideas that animated their country's founding. They're more likely to hold ideas in opposition to the classical-liberal philosophy of the Founders, and, hence, wish to see the aggrandizement of the coercive, colossal, Warfare State. That's just the way things are. ..."
"... If past is prologue, Ron Paul is probably right when he says the CIA is likely meddling in Iranian politics. ..."
"... Then US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, a woman as dumb and dangerous as Nikki Haley, was cool with the carnage. (One almost misses Henry Kissinger's realpolitik . At least the man was highly educated and deeply knowledgeable about history and world affairs. Second only to Jared Kushner, of course.) ..."
"... No one would deny the largely neoconservative nature of Trump's National Security Strategy . Tucked in there somewhere is the Trumpian theme of "sovereignty," but in watered-down words. The promised Wall has given way to "multilayered technology"; to the "deployment of additional personnel," and to the tried-and-tested (not!) "vetting of prospective immigrants, refugees, and other foreign visitors." ..."
"... These are mouthfuls Barack Obama and Genghis Bush would hardly oppose. ..."
"... "It's often said that the Trump administration is 'isolationist,'" wrote historian Andrew J. Bacevich, in the UK Spectator. Untrue. "In fact, we are now witnessing a dramatic escalation in the militarization of US foreign policy in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan. This has not been announced, but it is happening, and much of it without any debate in Congress or the media." ..."
"... To some, the normalizing of neoconservatism by a president who ran against it is a stroke of genius; of a piece with Bill Clinton's triangulation tactics. To others, it's a cynical sleight of hand. ..."
"... So Trump did morph into Hillary. Actually, it was something I was afraid of once I got the good news of Hillary losing, but expected, considering that I view presidents as empty suits, and the National Security State calling the shots. ..."
"... The Trump holdouts that maintain his turncoat buffoonery is actually 5d chess are the 2018 equivalent of the 2009 hopey changey Obots and can't accept their big daddy is a liar and a spineless turncoat. The system is broken and cannot be fixed from within. ..."
"... The signs were already there before the election, too many people were hoping that this time it will be different (it never is) and ignored them. He has jewish children and did say how he was anti Iran, he was always a neo cohen servative. ..."
"... I'm a little more sanguine about a Zionist President who approaches problems from a business and deal-making position than from one who comes a neocon political position (e.g., Hillary, every other GOP candidate except Rand Paul). The former are pragmatic and will avoid conflict, especially stupid conflict, at all costs. While the latter believe they are virtuous in going to war and/or attacking countries. Did you hear Hillary threaten to shoot down Russian planes in Syria during the campaign (WTF??!). ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

It's fact: Neoconservatives are pleased with President Trump's foreign policy.

A couple of months back, Bloomberg's Eli Lake let it know he was in neoconservative nirvana:

" for Venezuela, [Donald Trump] came very close to calling for regime change. 'The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable,' Trump said. 'We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.'"

"For a moment," swooned Lake , "I closed my eyes and thought I was listening to a Weekly Standard editorial meeting."

Onward to Venezuela! Mr. Lake, a neoconservative, was loving every moment. In error, he and his kind confuse an expansionist foreign policy with "American exceptionalism." It's not.

As it happens, neocons are in luck. Most Americans know little of the ideas that animated their country's founding. They're more likely to hold ideas in opposition to the classical-liberal philosophy of the Founders, and, hence, wish to see the aggrandizement of the coercive, colossal, Warfare State. That's just the way things are.

So, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have enlisted the West in "a proxy Sunni-Shia religious war," Riyadh's ultimate aim. Donald Trump has been perfectly willing to partake. After a campaign of "America First," the president sided with Sunni Islam while demonizing Iran. Iranians have killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks in the US between 1975-2015; Saudi Arabians murdered 2369 !

Iranians recently reelected a reformer. Pray tell who elected the Gulf petrostate sheiks?

Moderates danced in the streets of Tehran when President Hassan Rouhani was reelected. Curiously, they're currently rioting.

If past is prologue, Ron Paul is probably right when he says the CIA is likely meddling in Iranian politics. For the Left and the pseudo-Right, this is a look-away issue. As the left-liberal establishment lectures daily, to question the Central Intelligence Agency -- its spooks are also agitating against all vestiges of President Trump's original "America First" plank -- is to "undermine American democracy."

Besides, "good" Americans know that only the Russians "meddle."

In Saudi Arabia, a new, more-dangerous regime is consolidating regional power. Almost overnight has the kingdom shifted from rule by family dynasty (like that of the Clintons and the Bushes), to a more authoritarian style of one-man rule .

When it comes to the Saudi-Israeli-American-Axis-of-Angels, the Kushner-Trump Administration -- is that another bloodline in-the-making? -- has not broken with America's ruling dynastic families (the Clintons and the Bushes, aforementioned).

It's comforting to know Saudi Arabia plays a crucial role in the UN's human rights affairs. In January of last year, the Kingdom executed 47 people in one day, including a rather benign Shiite cleric. Fear not, they went quickly, beheaded with a sword .

Then US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, a woman as dumb and dangerous as Nikki Haley, was cool with the carnage. (One almost misses Henry Kissinger's realpolitik . At least the man was highly educated and deeply knowledgeable about history and world affairs. Second only to Jared Kushner, of course.)

Our bosom buddies, the Saudi's, are currently barricading Yemeni ports. No aid gets through her hermetically sealed ports. Yemenis are dying. Some Twitter followers twittered with joy at the sight of starving Yemeni babies, like this one . Oh well, Yemeni babies can be sinister.

No one would deny the largely neoconservative nature of Trump's National Security Strategy . Tucked in there somewhere is the Trumpian theme of "sovereignty," but in watered-down words. The promised Wall has given way to "multilayered technology"; to the "deployment of additional personnel," and to the tried-and-tested (not!) "vetting of prospective immigrants, refugees, and other foreign visitors."

These are mouthfuls Barack Obama and Genghis Bush would hardly oppose.

"It's often said that the Trump administration is 'isolationist,'" wrote historian Andrew J. Bacevich, in the UK Spectator. Untrue. "In fact, we are now witnessing a dramatic escalation in the militarization of US foreign policy in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan. This has not been announced, but it is happening, and much of it without any debate in Congress or the media."

Indeed, while outlining his "new" Afghanistan plan, POTUS had conceded that "the American people are weary of war without victory." (Make that war, full-stop.) Depressingly, the president went on to promise an increase in American presence in Afghanistan. By sending 4000 additional soldiers there, President Trump alleged he was fighting terrorism, yet not undertaking nation building.

This is tantamount to talking out of both sides of one's mouth.

Teasing apart these two elements is near-impossible. Send "4,000 additional soldiers to add to the 8,400 now deployed in Afghanistan," and you've done what Obama and Bush before you did in that blighted and benighted region: muddle along; kill some civilians mixed in with some bad guys; break bread with tribal leaders (who hate your guts); mediate and bribe.

Above all, spend billions not your own to perfect the credo of a global fighting force that doesn't know Shiite from Shinola .

The upshot? It's quite acceptable, on the Left and the pseudo-Right, to casually quip about troops in Niger and Norway . "We have soldiers in Niger and Norway? Of course we do. We need them."

With neoconservatism normalized, there is no debate, disagreement or daylight between our dangerously united political factions.

This is the gift President Trump has given mainstream neoconservatives -- who now comfortably include neoliberals and all Conservatism Inc., with the exceptions of Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter and Tucker Carlson.

How exactly did the president normalize neoconservatism: In 2016, liberals accused candidate Trump of isolationism. Neoconservatives -- aka Conservatism Inc. -- did the same.

Having consistently complained of his isolationism , the Left and the phony Right cannot but sanction President Trump's interventionism . The other option is to admit that we of the callused Old Right, who rejoiced at the prospects and promise of non-interventionism, were always right.

Not going to happen.

To some, the normalizing of neoconservatism by a president who ran against it is a stroke of genius; of a piece with Bill Clinton's triangulation tactics. To others, it's a cynical sleight of hand.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a paleolibertarian column since 1999, and is the author of " The Trump Revolution: The Donald's Creative Destruction Deconstructed " (June, 2016) & " Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa " (2011). Follow her on Twitter , Facebook , Gab & YouTube . How President Trump Normalized Neoconservatism, by Ilana Mercer - The Unz Review


utu , says: January 5, 2018 at 5:57 am GMT

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

But you can fool the whole country all the time in American bi-partisan system. Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump each were brought to power by fooling their electorate.

Biff , says: January 5, 2018 at 9:02 am GMT
So Trump did morph into Hillary. Actually, it was something I was afraid of once I got the good news of Hillary losing, but expected, considering that I view presidents as empty suits, and the National Security State calling the shots.

I'm waiting for another one of those "Trump's Truth in Action" moments when describes the real political atmosphere in Washington. Trump was asked about something he said in a previous interview: "When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do." "You'd better believe it," Trump said. "If I ask them, if I need them, you know, most of the people on this stage I've given to, just so you understand, a lot of money."

EliteCommInc. , says: January 5, 2018 at 9:11 am GMT
I think its time to dump the label "neoconservative". The appropriate term is "interventionists without a cause" (IWAC or IWC) or some other descriptor.

The real problem that Pres Trump has and I remain a Pres Trump supporter is two fold:

1. He seems to have forgotten he won the election.

2. He seems to have forgotten what he was elected to do.

And nearly everyone of these issues on foreign policy the answer rests in respecting sovereignty – that of others and our own.

I didn't need to read,"Adios, America" to comprehend the deep state damage our careless immigration policy has on the country. I don't need to reread, "Adios, America" to grasp that our policies of intervening in the affairs of other states undermines our own ability to make the same case at home.

If I weren't already trying to plow my way through several other books, documentaries and relapsing to old school programming such as The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, and now the Dick Van Dyke show, i would reread,

"Adios , America."

In Col. Bacevich's book,

Washington Rules, he posits a distressing scenario that the foreign policy web is so tangled and entrenched, the executive branch is simply out his league. The expectation was that Pres trump had the will to turn the matter. I hold out hope, but maybe not. There's time.

I agree, at least build the darn wall.

Lincoln Blockface Squarebeard III , says: January 5, 2018 at 10:01 am GMT
@J.Ross The Trump holdouts that maintain his turncoat buffoonery is actually 5d chess are the 2018 equivalent of the 2009 hopey changey Obots and can't accept their big daddy is a liar and a spineless turncoat. The system is broken and cannot be fixed from within.
anonymous Disclaimer , says: January 5, 2018 at 11:03 am GMT
Told you so. Cf., "The Winning Trump Ticket & Cabinet (Part I)," published here February 6, 2016. (Ms. Mercer never got to Part II.)

Elections at the USG level allow the ruled to harmlessly let off steam.

The Alarmist , says: January 5, 2018 at 11:39 am GMT
It's life imitating art: Trump reprises the role of Professor/Führer John Gill in Star Trek episode 50, Patterns of Force.
neutral , says: January 5, 2018 at 11:56 am GMT
The signs were already there before the election, too many people were hoping that this time it will be different (it never is) and ignored them. He has jewish children and did say how he was anti Iran, he was always a neo cohen servative.

I have a question for all the Trump supporters still in denial, what will it take to break your delusions? He is not going to build a wall, mass immigration is up, the left wing are mass censoring and essentially running everything now, his foreign policy is now endorsed by the all the never Trumpers – so what is your limit, is there anything he must do to lose your support?

Anonymous Disclaimer , says: January 5, 2018 at 1:17 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Jews and the Jewish Media normalized Jewish NeoCons by guaranteeing that they always have a voice and airtime in American culture and media. Never called out by the WashingtonPost and NY Times for their previous blunders, they continue to shape American foreign policy. And, of course, the end game here is Israel and the Israeli agenda at all costs, you Jews are one issue folk. And You definitely do your part, with the subtle subterfuge at work in the articles that you write.

No one should be surprised by Trump promoting Israeli interests über alles. For decades he was so involved in Israel events in New York I debated whether he was actually Jewish or not. Bannon said the embassy move to Jerusalem was at the behest of Adelson, Trump's old casino buddy. In the campaign Trump got a lot of support from NY Jewish billionaires (Icahn, Feinberg, Paulson, et al.). They know him and how he operates.

But being pro-Israel doesn't necessarily equate to neocon. The neocons are the dumb Jews with serious inadequacy issues who could never make it in business and instead went into politics and journalism. The latter are still staunchly opposed to Trump even after a lot of pro-Israel moves. They might warm up to Trump's bellicosity towards a lot of Israel's enemies (a long list with degrees of separation), but so far they've simply moved left.

I'm a little more sanguine about a Zionist President who approaches problems from a business and deal-making position than from one who comes a neocon political position (e.g., Hillary, every other GOP candidate except Rand Paul). The former are pragmatic and will avoid conflict, especially stupid conflict, at all costs. While the latter believe they are virtuous in going to war and/or attacking countries. Did you hear Hillary threaten to shoot down Russian planes in Syria during the campaign (WTF??!).

Lastly, I like to think Trump surrounded himself with neocons (McMaster, Haley, et al.) to placate the GOP establishment because he knows he has to play the game.

anonymous Disclaimer , says: January 5, 2018 at 1:42 pm GMT
@Lincoln Blockface Squarebeard III Very well put.

People are inclined to believe that any activity -- in this instance, voting for the red/blue puppets in Washington -- in which their participation is patronized must be legitimate and effectual. Many duped in November 2016, even those who now feel betrayed by that farce, were still around here a few weeks ago acting like a Senator Moore in Alabama would be pivotal to reform, his defeat devastating.

That's how Ms. Mercer and her pundit ilk (Buchanan, Napolitano, etc.) thrive -- supporting the Empire by never questioning its legitimacy, just taking sides within the Establishment. And they'll be buying into the 2018 congressional contests, ad nauseum.

Of course, what is done to us, and to others in our name and with our money, never changes to any meaningful degree. Americans might realize this if they thought critically about it, so they don't. Instead, they lap up the BS and vote for who tells them the lie they like to hear. When there are identity politics involved, the delusion seems even deeper. There are self-styled "progressives" who used to advocate single-payer, nationalized health care who are elated over the retention of so-called "Obamacare," the legislation for which was written by and for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

Me? I cope by boycotting national elections and mass media, participating in forums like this, and hoping that when the tottering tower of debt and gore tips over, as few innocents and as many guilty as practicable are among those crushed.

DESERT FOX , says: January 5, 2018 at 1:49 pm GMT
The Zionist neocons and Israel did 911 and got away with it and everyone in the U.S. gov knows it and they tried to sink the USS LIBERTY and got away with it and so normal is an Orwellian society where Zionists can kill Americans and destroy the Mideast and nobody does jack shit about it.

The neocons are Satanists warmongers and will destroy America.

WorkingClass , says: Website January 5, 2018 at 1:51 pm GMT
Neocons are Zionists. Trump, Bannon and Kushner are Zionists. Israel continues to wag the dog.
Jake , says: January 5, 2018 at 2:48 pm GMT
Neocons are about as evil as proudly proclaimed Leftists, and they are obviously more duplicitous.

Either Neocons will be refuted and publicly rebuked and rejected, or Neocons will eventually destroy the country. Their long term fruits are destruction of that which they have used to destroy so many others.

Jake , says: January 5, 2018 at 2:56 pm GMT
@anonymous Far from all Neocons are Jews. However, virtually all Neocons are militantly pro-Israel to the point of making Israel's foreign policy desires central to their assessment of what America needs in foreign policy.

And the source is Anglo-Saxon Puritanism, which was a Judaizing heresy. Judaizing heresy necessarily produces pro-Jewish culture. WASP culture is inherently pro-Jewish, as much as it is anti-Catholic and anti-French and and anti-Spanish and anti-Irish, etc.

And all that means that WASP is opposed to the nest interests of the vast majority of white Christians while being pro-Jewish.

Jews did not cause any of that. Anglo-Saxon Puritan heretics did.

ElitecommInc. , says: January 5, 2018 at 4:22 pm GMT
@neutral Pres Trump is a situational leader. It's a rare style, for good reason. However, he is openly situational. That was clear during the campaign season. however,

I thought his positions were sincere. I don't think that this was any kind of slight of hand, "watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat". His positions on Israel, same sex behavior, marijuana, healthcare remain what they were going in. His foreign policy and immigration positions have been buffered and he seems incapable of standing where he came in.

It was no secret he intended an assertive military. However, he seems easily convinced that strong means aggressive, and that needlessly aggressive policy is a substitute for a strong US -- that is a mistake. Syria cruise strike was the first sign that he was giving in to the men whom he chose as advisers. As it it turns out winning the election has been easier than governing. I assumed he had a much stronger backbone, than he has been willing to exhibit in office.

Alden , says: January 5, 2018 at 7:09 pm GMT
@Jake The Israeli/AIPAC bribery of American bible thumper preachers, especially in the fundamentalist southern American states has more to do with it than the reformation.

The preachers get huge donations to pay for their churches and TV shows. They get free trips to Israel for themselves and their families all the time.

On their Israel trips they pay more attention to the OT Jewish and holocaust sites than the Christian ones

It's true that the reformation was a return to Judaism and a rejection of Christianity, but that was 500 years ago.

What's important now is the vast amounts of money the Israeli government and the lobby funnels into those fundamentalist churches.

If the southern fundamentalists only knew what Jews think of them. I really got an earful of Jewish scorn and hate for southerners and fundamentalists during the recent Roy Moore election.

Read Jewish publications if you want to learn what they think of southern fundamentalists

renfro , says: January 6, 2018 at 2:13 am GMT
@Twodees Partain Trump appointed Haley because Sheldon Adelson told him to.
And contrary to the myth of trump funding his own campaign he did not the only money he put in his campaign was a 1o million loan to it. Adelson was his biggest contributor just like Saban was Hillary's.

Nikki Haley: Neocon Heartthrob

Not coincidentally, however, neocon hopes may lie as well with the generous political funding provided to Haley by Sheldon Adelson, the GOP's and Trump's single biggest donor.

Between May and June, 2016, Sheldon Adelson contributed $250,000 to Haley's 527 political organization, A Great Day, funds that she used to target four Republican state senate rivals in primaries. (Only one was successfully defeated.) Adelson was the largest contributor to her group,
which raised a total of $915,000.

This powerful Adelson-funded Israel lobby could soon rival AIPAC's
https://www.haaretz.com › U.S. News
Oct 31, 2017 – Sheldon Adelson(L), The 3rd annual IAC National Conference, in September, 2016, and Nikki Haley. . will feature, for the first time ever, a prominent speaker from the ranks of the U.S. government: U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who is a favorite among the right-leaning "pro-Israel" crowd.

The Jews have bought this government and trump and Haley are nothing but junk yard dogs.
Not that there are good alternatives but anyone who stills supports trump is as crazy as he is.

renfro , says: January 6, 2018 at 2:18 am GMT
@Alden

What's important now is the vast amounts of money the Israeli government and the lobby funnels into those fundamentalist churches.

You have it completely backwards .the evangelicals, particularly Roberson donate money for Israeli settlements.

Grandpa Charlie , says: January 6, 2018 at 3:58 am GMT
@Alden

The title is ridiculous. Neo conservatives have been normal for decades.

The neocon movement was normalized in 2001 by the PATRIOT Act. The domestic side of the neocon worldview -- or world-system -- was joined with the international or interventionist side, just as anti-Palestinian actions by Israel were joined by way of repression of free speech with the Charlottesville protest by conservatives of the desecration of monuments.

Alden , says: January 6, 2018 at 4:45 am GMT
@renfro I'm sure the evangelical preachers con their followers into donating money to Israel. I've seen those late night ads begging for donations to feed ancient old holocaust survivors in Israel.

But the Israelis pay for all those luxury trips to Israel And a lot of the money to start those TV shows and for the big salaries come from Israel and AIPAC so does the money to set up those big churches that just appear from nowhere

polskijoe , says: January 6, 2018 at 3:15 pm GMT
@Grandpa Charlie I have always wondered why its okay to say WASP but not Jew in public.
One is more pc, the other is not allowed.
I have seen some articles about Jews replacing wasp, even from Jewish authors.

As for Neoconservatives. It depends how we define it.
I see it as a case of American imperialism fused with pro Israel sentiment. Large overlap, but not always.
From what I know modern Neoconservativism started somewhere around the 70s,80s? Became dominant around the Bush years. (during Reagan years they got rid of many Paleocons).

TT , says: January 6, 2018 at 7:08 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain Not only Nikki is a prank, she is also a godsend. Now the world get to see USG naked without usual pretension.

Trumps is probably the most honest Potus with highest integrity & bravery in American history(stupid aside). He means what he said without mind boggling hypocrite lies, he tried fulfilling all his election promises, fighting bravely with his only little weapon tweeter besiege by entire states organs, CIA/FBI, both parties, MSM, world allies,

He put US Embassy in Jerusalem that all other Potus promised but never keep, he tried to revise immigration policy that people blocked, building prototype wall now, try befriend Russia become a treason act, reneged nuclear agreement with Iran, make US military great(of course need hyper tension like nuclear NK), scraped Obacare, TTP, Climate deal, try to grab Killary, bring back jobs with tax heaven .

Mann, this is really a man of his word. Didn't these are what you people voted him for, to drain the swamp? He gotta shock the entire MSM brainwashed nation up to see the deeply corrupted USG, collapse it quickly for a new one to move in(by whoever after his prank). As Trumps had asked:"what you got to lose to vote me?"

TT , says: January 6, 2018 at 10:26 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain Yes..ues i admit, don't shoot. Im just been sarcastic, USG is in such a laughing stock to the world now, many americans probably are exasperated if not yet numb. I am not judging he is good, DT is just less evil typical business man..imo

But frankly, i do see why people are voting DT now. He is at least more entertaining and blunt to screw up WH deep states show. Per msm (fake news), he is honouring all his campaign promises rt? So that make him above hypocrite liar Obama who speak on peace(Nobel prize), but drenched in Libyan and Syrians blood.

US msm brainwashed people need lot of shock & awe to wake up to reality, then they might have hope to drain the swamp in unity or just await to implode and suck down whole world.

Erebus , says: January 7, 2018 at 9:51 am GMT

No one would deny the largely neoconservative nature of Trump's National Security Strategy.

Well, some better minds than mine do deny that very thing. Three of them follow below.

Gilbert Doctorow at: http://usforeignpolicy.blogs.lalibre.be/archive/2017/12/20/kissinger-s-fingerprints-on-the-trump-security-doctrine-2017-1161961.html

What we see in the NSS is prioritization and true strategic vision as opposed to ideological cant and ad hoc responses to global developments

Patrick Armstrong at: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/01/02/trump-cuts-gordian-knot-foreign-entanglements.html

Trump has little interest in the obsessions of the neocon and humanitarian intervention crowd.

Finally, Andrew Korybko puts it all together at: https://orientalreview.org/2017/12/27/trump-agent-chaos-k-kraken/

Believing that the current world system no longer sufficiently advances American interests ever since Washington lost control of its institutional tools, and that the eventual outcome of this increasingly multipolar state of affairs is that the US will in turn lose its global empire, Trump has decided to become the Agent of Chaos in bringing about its destruction.

Steve Gittelson , says: January 8, 2018 at 6:32 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

I know with certainty that Hillary is a beast from depth of hell.

Meh, hyperbole.

Hillary is no different from most politicians. She's in it for the wealth and power. She got herself a real smart, duplicitous, pussy-chasing beast of a husband, and made the most of the opportunity.

People -- the American people -- should be able to see this rather-evident characteristic of politicians. They should be adequately educated, at least to the extent of being able to detect the base chicanery and corruption that radiates from political personalities.

But, they don't. They don't see the evil. The media deftly conceals it, because the beasts of the media, like jackals, feed on the morsels of wealth that fall to the ground as the politicians devour the carcass of well, hell, freedom and democracy is as useful a metaphor as any.

ILANA MERCER , says: Website January 9, 2018 at 6:15 am GMT
@anonymous Thank you for the opportunity to share, once again, a magnificent column, published on the Unz Review and elsewhere.

"The Curious Case Of WND's Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian" ( http://www.unz.com/imercer/the-curious-case-of-wnds-vanishing-veteran-paleolibertarian/ ) addressed, for once and for all, a small, shrinking community's stunning and consistent displays of intellectual dishonesty, over the years.

In this context, I am reminded of British comedian Alexei Sayle. When asked what he does when he watches a really talented satirist performing, Sayle replied: "I go back stage and tell him he'll never make it."

Indeed, the attitude to my work over 20 years has been the best proof of its quality.

If the Comments threads about "ilana mercer," on the Unz Review, prove anything (other than that anti-Semitism lives), it is that mediocre "men" (for the most) hate a woman who can out-think them. As a defender of men, this saddens me, but it is, nevertheless, true.

So here is the link to "The Curious Case Of WND's Vanishing, Veteran Paleolibertarian," which the venomous mediocrity commenting here so rudely derided, but refrained from linking, for obvious reasons: http://www.unz.com/imercer/the-curious-case-of-wnds-vanishing-veteran-paleolibertarian/

Ron Unz, our wonderful editor, chose the image appended to the column. (The brilliant Mr. Unz is one of the few intellectually honest individuals I know in this biz. He, columnist Jack Kerwick, and a handful of others.)

In reply to kunckle-dragger's sniveling: I'll continue to refrain from interacting with his ilk ("fanboys") on my column's thread. But this particular dreadful cur (with apologies to dogs, which I love) further embarrasses himself when he offers up the non sequitur that engaging him is the litmus test for being a "good writer."

dfordoom , says: Website January 10, 2018 at 12:07 am GMT
@polskijoe

I see it as a case of American imperialism fused with pro Israel sentiment. Large overlap, but not always.

Agreed. American imperialism has a long long history (going back to at least the mid-19th century). That's why the neocons were able to gain so much influence. They were appealing to a pre-existing imperialist sentiment.

dfordoom , says: Website January 10, 2018 at 12:11 am GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

There is a large group of US politician non Jews
who also are pushing this policies. So these two groups together would be called Neocons.
There is a large group in US population, that find this idea very appealing.

That's why Make America Great Again was such a popular slogan. It appeals to mindless American jingoism and imperialism.

dfordoom , says: Website January 10, 2018 at 12:14 am GMT
@Twodees Partain

There are people who claim to have high IQs who are totally stupid in practical matters.

I'd almost go so far as to suggest that there's a direct correlation between high IQ and stupidity in practical matters.

Talha , says: January 10, 2018 at 4:18 am GMT
@dfordoom Edward Dutton stated that it was a trade-off between intelligence on one side and instinct on another – both are necessary for survival. For me, intelligence does not seem to correlate directly to wisdom.

Peace.

renfro , says: January 10, 2018 at 6:13 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain

If so, that reinforces my view that Trump doesn't know anybody in the Swamp

You are exactly right.

Trump really knew no one to hire or appoint to anything except his NY cronies , mainly his Jewish lawyers and Kushner contacts.
So he appointed anyone they and his biggest donors recommended to him.
His ego and insecurity demanded he surround himself with his NY cohorts and close family.

dfordoom , says: Website January 11, 2018 at 1:59 am GMT
@Authenticjazzman

" It appeals to mindless American jingoism and imperialism" = "Make America great again"

So you would prefer : "Make America powerless and insignificant again"

How about "Make America a normal nation that respects other nations' sovereignty, that doesn't plant military bases on foreign soil, that doesn't bomb other people's countries, doesn't try to impose its views and its culture on the rest of the world, doesn't undermine the governments of other countries and doesn't threaten any country that dares to disagree with it." Would that be too much to ask?

I would have thought that someone "Mensa" qualified since 1973 could understand that greatness should not be equated with behaving like a thug or a schoolyard bully. America's aggression does tend to look like the manifestation of a massive inferiority complex.

HogHappenin , says: January 11, 2018 at 4:32 am GMT
I commend Ms. Mercer for publishing this which will no doubt bring to light an ugly truth about many of her own tribesmen since there many of her other views which I wholly or partially disagree with

And as was said sometime before, the thought process of earlier elites (the banking, Hollywood and the neo-con, neo-lib crowd which was almost exclusively Zio-Jewish and is disproportionately still is) has creeped into the very being of what constitutes to be an "elite" in the west these days. Unlimited warfare and welfare using fraudulent money, disturbing the social and sexual fabric of a society! Satan would be quite proud of this scum bunch

So the zionist cabal still calls the shots and the slavish goyim second tier elites now willingly go along and in fact share the same mentality

[Jan 10, 2019] How the Hawks Prevailed on Syria by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... Behind the candidate's rhetoric there never was enough strategic sense, necessary knowledge, or even caring about foreign affairs to ward off the maneuvers of a determined hawk like Bolton once he was in position to do damage. ..."
Jan 09, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Pillar comments on Bolton's maneuvers to keep us at war in Syria:

The episode involving withdrawal and non-withdrawal of U.S. troops in Syria should be a lesson for those who mistakenly placed hopes in Trump for a more restrained and less militaristic U.S. foreign policy. Applause lines on the campaign trail have been mistaken for deeper thought. Behind the candidate's rhetoric there never was enough strategic sense, necessary knowledge, or even caring about foreign affairs to ward off the maneuvers of a determined hawk like Bolton once he was in position to do damage.

If the first two years of Trump's presidency didn't already make it clear, the last few weeks should have laid to rest any suspicions that the Trump administration is going to put an end to unnecessary foreign wars. It isn't happening. For one thing, everyone around Trump doesn't want those wars to end and will go to considerable lengths to ensure that they continue. That is a result of Trump's own poor personnel choices and bad judgment. It isn't possible to have a "more restrained and less militaristic U.S. foreign policy" when the president's national security team is dominated by reflexive hawks that have never seen a military intervention they didn't want to support. Trump put Bolton in the position he now occupies, and unless he wants to start in on his fourth National Security Advisor within two years we are going to be stuck with the unfortunate consequences of that bad decision for a while longer.

Pillar writes:

The de facto reversal of Trump's withdrawal decision is a victory only for those who -- like Bolton, who still avers that the Iraq War was a good idea -- never met a U.S. military intervention in the Middle East they didn't like and never stop seeing regimes they would like to change with force.

One big problem with the Trump administration is that it is filled with the people who never met an intervention they didn't like. People like that have been the ones shaping administration policies in the region for the last two years, and on Syria they have prevailed once again. It could scarcely be otherwise when there is essentially no one willing or able to make the arguments for the other side of these issues. It is extremely difficult for hawks to lose an internal administration debate when there is no one in the administration that opposes hawkish policies.

SteveJ January 9, 2019 at 10:41 pm

I'm going to give Trump until the end of the year to get us out of these places.

If he doesn't have the backbone for it, like the previous 2 Presidents, then screw him.

[Jan 05, 2019] Obama as the agent of the Deep State consciously deciving his voters with faux populism promises which he never intended to follow

Obama strategy in Syria was replica of Clinton strategy in Yugoslavia during the Balkan Wars. Divide everybody up by ethnicity or religion (Croats are Catholics, Serbians are Orthodox not to mention the various Muslims and Albanians lurking about), arm them, create false flags to set them at each other's throats. Enjoy the results.
Obama like Clinton before him was a real wolve in sheep's clothing
Notable quotes:
"... Jackrabbit, I agree with Bevin. Obama was really useful to the deep state because, as the "First Black President" he was widely popular, not just inside the US but outside it as well. Before the 2016 election, there was a widespread hope inside the US elite that Hillary Clinton, as the "First Woman President" would be able to serve a similar function in giving US imperialism a pleasing face. ..."
"... Trump, by contrast, hurts the US deep state because his true nature as a greedy, incompetent egotist is just too blatantly obvious to too many people. And he won't follow a script, the way GW Bush usually did. That's why we see major sections of the US deep state going out of their way to be publically hostile towards Trump. ..."
Jan 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Jan 5, 2019 6:10:33 PM | 17

bevin @10:

But the notion that it is part of a complex and tightly scripted conspiracy in which he plays his public part and the deep state play theirs, pretending to be at odds with each other, is bizarre.
I would've agreed with you before Obama. I followed the criticisms of Obama from true progressives closely. It was clear within 2 or 3 years that Obama was betraying his 'base'.

His lofty rhetoric didn't match his actions. His Nobel Peace Prize can only be viewed today as a ruse. He talked of peace and fairness but worked behind the scenes to further the establishment.

Fast forward to the 2016 election where Sanders was a sheepdog and Hillary ran a terrible campaign. It's difficult to look back and not be at least somewhat suspicious of the 2016 election. A populist nationalist was what the Deep State NEEDED to face the threat from Russia and China to their NWO project. And that is what they got. After recognizing the threat in 2013-14 (when Russia countered the Empire in Syria and Ukraine).

Similar excuses are made for both Obama and Trump. We are told that they were FORCED to succumb to Deep State scheming and political power. But a much more logical view is that these "populists" know exactly what they are doing: they know what their 'job' is to serve the establishment and act as the leader of the Deep State's political arm. In return they get financial gain, social standing, and life long protection. Sweet.

Obama 'turned the page' on the Bush Administration's warmongering. He promised a more peaceful USA. But he conducted covert wars and bragged of his drone targeting.

Trump 'turned the page' on Obama's deceitfulness. He promised to put 'America First' but within months attacked Syria with missiles "for the babies". Evidence that his first attack was prompted by a false flag didn't deter him from attacking AGAIN - also based on a false flag. Trump is still helping the Saudis in Yemen. And he's not doing what's necessary to get peace in Korea.

Obama promised 'transparency' ("Sunlight is the best disinfectant") but 'no drama' Obama protected CIA torturers, NSA spies, and bankers. Trump promised to "drain the swamp" but has welcomed oligarchs and neocons into his Administration.

How much sly BS do we have to see before people connect the dots? A real populist will NEVER be elected in USA unless there is a revolution; USA political elites are fully committed to a neoliberal economics that make society neofeudal, and a neoconservative-driven foreign policy that demands full spectrum dominance that brooks no opposition to its NWO goals.

Anyone who believes otherwise has drunk the Kool-Aid, an addictive, saccharine concoction, provided without charge and in abundance.

Glenn Brown | Jan 5, 2019 10:27:14 PM |

39@ 10 17

Jackrabbit, I agree with Bevin. Obama was really useful to the deep state because, as the "First Black President" he was widely popular, not just inside the US but outside it as well. Before the 2016 election, there was a widespread hope inside the US elite that Hillary Clinton, as the "First Woman President" would be able to serve a similar function in giving US imperialism a pleasing face.

Trump, by contrast, hurts the US deep state because his true nature as a greedy, incompetent egotist is just too blatantly obvious to too many people. And he won't follow a script, the way GW Bush usually did. That's why we see major sections of the US deep state going out of their way to be publically hostile towards Trump.

Yes, their public rejection of Trump is partly motivated by the need to be able to claim that Trump is an aberration from all previous US Presidents, as opposed to Trump and his policies being just a particularly explicit continuation of the same underlying trends.

But I see no reason to doubt that the US elites really wish they had someone as President who was better at supplying the right propaganda and less obviously an incompetent fool. So I don't understand why you think the US oligarchy and deep state would have thought they needed someone like Trump, or would have greatly preferred him to Hillary Clinton.

[Jan 05, 2019] Are Trump's senior people going rogue?

Numerous MSM articles appear about Trump's standing up to the Generals: Mattis, Kelly, Dunford, etc. Yet Bolton feels free to conspire against the President's agenda? The narrative that Trump is fighting for his campaign promises, but allows Bolton and Pompeo to scheme against him does not make any sense.
A more realistic take is that rump is a faux populist. He is the Republican Obama - pretending to be a populist peacemaker while working for the establishment. The "populist hero" is a gimmick that reinforces people's belief in USA democracy and the righteousness of USA actions. The Trump/Deep-State conflict is a propaganda psy-op.
The major inconsistency here is why the Deep State is hell bent of deposing him. Is The Trump/Deep-State conflict is a propaganda psy-op? I do no not think so.
Trump is certainly a 'faux populist' as all right wing populists are: promises to the people while promoting the interests of the 1%. But there is a genuine struggle going on within the ruling class due to the crisis of neoliberal governance. The world is a complex place and Washington's influence is declining. No surprise that parts of the US elite that got used to "full spectrum dominance" are panicking. And it is all real.
Notable quotes:
"... "The president's statement offered the latest illustration of the dramatic gyrations that have characterized his foreign policy and fueled questions about whether his senior advisers are implementing his policies or pursuing their own agendas." ..."
"... Here we have the question asked, in effect: Are Trump's senior people going rogue? Does the master of spin Washington Post, by putting the question in a manner sympathetic to Trump and unsympathetic to Bolton and Pompeo, and by extension the hordes denouncing Trump's decision to reduce US involvement in Syria suggest a new orientation in the Mockingbird media? ..."
Jan 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Robert Snefjella , Jan 5, 2019 10:21:56 PM | link

The Washington Post article that b links to ("never signed off") has the headline " 'They can do what they want' Trump's Iran comments defy his top aids"

The "They" in the quote in the headline is a reference to Iran in Syria. "President Trump stuck a dagger in a major initiative advanced by his foreign policy team:
Iran's leaders, the president said, "can do what they want" in Syria.

With a stray remark, Trump snuffed out a plan from his national security adviser, John Bolton, who this fall vowed that the United States would not leave Syria
"as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders." Pompeo has of course also obsessed over Iran.

Now the next paragraph in the WP piece is I think quite remarkable: "The president's statement offered the latest illustration of the dramatic gyrations that have characterized his foreign policy and fueled questions about whether his senior advisers are implementing his policies or pursuing their own agendas."

Here we have the question asked, in effect: Are Trump's senior people going rogue? Does the master of spin Washington Post, by putting the question in a manner sympathetic to Trump and unsympathetic to Bolton and Pompeo, and by extension the hordes denouncing Trump's decision to reduce US involvement in Syria suggest a new orientation in the Mockingbird media?

Also note that acting Defense Sec Patrick Shanahan, who was injected immediately into his position when Trump gave Mattis the boot, is becoming part of the strategic scene.

From the NYT: "He is the brightest and smartest guy I worked with at Boeing," said Carolyn Corvi, a former executive at the company. "He has the ability to see over the horizon and {implement needed change]."

"Ana Mari Cauce, the president of University of Washington, worked with Mr. Shanahan .... She said his outsider perspective was helpful in questioning old practices, forcing people to look at problems in different ways."

[Dec 30, 2018] RussiaGate In Review with Aaron Mate - Unreasoned Fear is Neoliberalism's Response to the Credibility Gap

Highly recommended!
Dec 30, 2018 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

At the inception of this entire RussiaGate spectacle I suggested that it was a political distraction to take the attention away from the rejection by the people of neoliberalism which has been embraced by the establishments of both political parties.

And that the result of the investigation would be indictments for perjury in the covering up of illicit business deals and money laundering. But that 'collusion to sway the election' was without substance, if not a joke.

Everything that has been revealed to date tends to support that.

One thing that Aaron overlooks is the evidence compiled by William Binney and associates that strongly suggests the DNC hack was no hack at all, but a leak by an insider who was appalled by the lies and double dealing at the DNC.

In general, RussiaGate is a farcical distraction from other issues as they say in the video. And this highlights the utterly Machiavellian streak in the corporate Democrats and the Liberal establishment under the Clintons and their ilk who care more about money and power than the basic principles that historically sustained their party. I have lost all respect for them.

But unfortunately this does open the door for those who use this to approve of the Republican establishment, which is 'at least honest' about being substantially corrupt servants to Big Money who care nothing about democracy, the Constitution, or the public. The best of them are leaving or have already left, and their party is ruined beyond repair.

This all underscores the paucity of the Red v. Blue, monopoly of two parties, 'lesser of two evils' model of political thought which has come to dominate the discussion in the US.

We are heavily propagandized by the owners of the corporate media and influencers of the narrative, and a professional class that has sold its soul for economic advantage and access to money and power.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/2HBA3Zm3dGM

And here is a bit more from Nate Silver --

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SETw5GLF8mU

[Dec 22, 2018] A closer look at American "democracy" by Barry Grey

December 20, 2018
Notable quotes:
"... According to the narrative fabricated by the intelligence agencies and promoted by the Democratic Party and the corporate media over the past year and a half, Putin and his minions hacked the Democrats and stirred up social divisions and popular grievances to secure the election for Donald Trump, and they have been working ever since to destroy "our institutions." ..."
"... The State and Revolution ..."
Dec 22, 2018 | www.wsws.org

A central theme of the hysteria over alleged "Russian meddling" in US politics is the sinister effort supposedly being mounted by Vladimir Putin "to undermine and manipulate our democracy" (in the words of Democratic Senator Mark Warner).

According to the narrative fabricated by the intelligence agencies and promoted by the Democratic Party and the corporate media over the past year and a half, Putin and his minions hacked the Democrats and stirred up social divisions and popular grievances to secure the election for Donald Trump, and they have been working ever since to destroy "our institutions."

Their chosen field of battle is the internet, with Russian trolls and bots infecting the body politic by taking advantage of lax policing of social media by the giant tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter.

To defend democracy, the argument goes, these companies, working with the state, must silence oppositional viewpoints -- above all left-wing, anti-war and socialist viewpoints -- which are labeled "fake news," and banish them from the internet. Nothing is said of the fact that this supposed defense of democracy is a violation of the basic canons of genuine democracy, guaranteed in the First Amendment to the US Constitution: freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

But what is this much vaunted "American democracy?" Let's take a closer look.

The two-party monopoly

In a vast and complex country with a population of 328 million people, consisting of many different nationalities, native tongues, religions and other demographics, spanning six time zones and thousands of miles, two political parties totally dominate the political system.

The ruling corporate-financial oligarchy controls both parties and maintains its rule by alternating control of the political institutions -- the White House, Congress, state houses, etc. -- between them. The general population, consisting overwhelmingly of working people, is given the opportunity every two or four years to go to the polls and vote for one or the other of these capitalist parties. This is what is called "democracy."

The monopoly of the two big business parties is further entrenched by the absence of proportional representation, which it makes it impossible for third parties or independent candidates to obtain significant representation in Congress.

The role of corporate money

The entire political process -- the selection of candidates, elections, the formulation of domestic and foreign policies -- is dominated by corporate money. No one can seriously bid for high office unless he or she has the backing of sponsors from the ranks of the richest 1 percent -- or 0.01 percent -- of the population. The buying of elections and politicians is brazen and shameless.

Last month's midterm elections set a record for campaign spending in a non-presidential year -- $5.2 billion -- a 35 percent increase over 2014 and triple the amount spent 20 years ago, in 1998. The bulk of this flood of cash came from corporations and multi-millionaire donors.

In the vast majority of contests, the winner was determined by the size of his or her campaign war chest. Eighty-nine percent of House races and 84 percent of Senate races were won by the biggest spender.

Democratic candidates had a huge spending advantage over their Republican opponents, exposing the fraud of their attempt to posture as a party of the people. The securities and investment industry -- Wall Street -- favored Democrats over Republicans by a margin of 52 percent to 46 percent.

Elections are anything but a forum to openly and honestly discuss and debate the great issues facing the voters. The real issues -- the preparation for new wars, deeper austerity and further attacks on democratic rights -- are concealed behind a miasma of attack ads and mudslinging. The research firm PQ Media estimates that total political ad spending will reach $6.75 billion this year. In last month's elections, the number of congressional and gubernatorial ads rose 59 percent over the previous, 2014, midterm.

The setting of policy and passage of legislation is helped along by corporate bribes, euphemistically termed lobbying. In 2017 alone, corporations spent $3 billion to lobby the government.

Ballot access restrictions

A welter of arcane, arbitrary and anti-democratic requirements for gaining ballot status, which vary from state to state, block third parties from challenging the domination of the Democrats and Republicans. These include filing fees and nominating petition signature requirements in the tens of thousands in many states. Democratic officials routinely challenge the petitions of socialist and left-wing candidates who are likely to find support among young people and workers.

Media blackout of third party candidates

The corporate media systematically blacks out the campaigns of third party and independent candidates, especially left-wing and socialist candidates. The exception is candidates who are either themselves rich or who have the backing of wealthy patrons.

Third party candidates are generally excluded from nationally televised candidates' debates.

In last month's election, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for Congress in Michigan's 12th Congressional District, Niles Niemuth, won broad support among workers, young people and students for his socialist program, but received virtually no press coverage.

Voting restrictions

Since the stolen election of 2000, when the Supreme Court shut down the counting of votes in Florida in order to hand the White House to the loser of the popular vote, George W. Bush, with virtually no opposition from the Democrats or the media, attacks on the right of workers and poor people to vote have mounted.

Thirty-three states have implemented voter identification laws, which, studies show, bar up to 6 percent of the population from voting. States have cut back early voting and absentee voting and shut down voting precincts in working class neighborhoods. A number of states impose a lifetime ban on voting by felons, even after they have done their time. In 2013, the Supreme Court gutted the enforcement mechanism of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, with no real opposition from the Democrats. The United States is one of the few countries that hold elections on a work day, making it more difficult for workers to cast a ballot.

Government of, by and for the rich

The two corporate parties have overseen a social counterrevolution, resulting in a staggering growth of social inequality. In tandem with this process, the oligarchic structure of society has increasingly found open expression in the political forms of rule. Alongside the erection of the infrastructure of a police state -- mass surveillance, indefinite detention, the militarization of the police, Gestapo raids on workplaces and attacks on immigrants, the ascendancy of the military in political affairs, internet censorship -- the personnel of government have increasingly been recruited from the rich and the super-rich.

More than half of the members of Congress are millionaires, as compared to just 1 percent of the American population. All the presidents for the past three decades -- George H. W, Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama -- have either been multi-millionaires going in or have cashed in on their presidencies to become multi-millionaires afterward. In the person of the multi-billionaire real estate speculator and con man Donald Trump, the financial oligarchy has directly taken occupancy of the White House.

In The State and Revolution , Vladimir Lenin wrote: "Bourgeois democracy, although a great historical advance in comparison with medievalism, always remains, and under capitalism is bound to remain, restricted, truncated, false and hypocritical, a paradise for the rich and a snare and deception for the exploited, for the poor."

... ... ...

Barry Grey

[Dec 09, 2018] Proportional representation is definitely the way to go. I am sick to death of the born-to-rule mentality of the major parties, and how they change the rules to benefit themselves and to exclude others

Notable quotes:
"... Yes, its far better than the "first past the post" systems of the UK and the US where the number of votes split between two almost identical candidates can lead to a far different candidate winning with only a little over a third of the total vote. ..."
Dec 09, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

MikeSw , 30 Oct 2018 22:36

Proportional representation is definitely the way to go. I am sick to death of the born-to-rule mentality of the major parties, and how they change the rules to benefit themselves and to exclude others.

Minority government? There is no such thing - there is only 'government', and it is supposed to involve all members of parliament in the decision-making process. 'Majority' governments are an anathema to good governance. Every time I hear the likes of Tony Abbott claim they have a mandate to implement ALL their policies, even though they only receive around 35% of the primary vote, I want to throw something at the TV.

Bugger them! Make them work for a living - and make them consider ALL views, not just the ones from their own party.

Bradtheunveiler -> BrianLC , 30 Oct 2018 22:36
Win the ALP will next election. By a huge majority too. Looking forward to neg gearing and CGT discount reform in particular.
Onesimus_Tim -> StuartJJ , 30 Oct 2018 22:35

Preferences are an extremely good feature of our voting system

Yes, its far better than the "first past the post" systems of the UK and the US where the number of votes split between two almost identical candidates can lead to a far different candidate winning with only a little over a third of the total vote.

Preferential voting also makes it more possible for the major party duopoly being overturned, allowing people to vote for a good independent without taking the risk of helping a despised major party candidate from winning by default.

[Dec 09, 2018] The problem with representative democracy is that it represents the special interest groups far more than it represents the citizenry

Dec 09, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Territorian -> Hoskins50 , 30 Oct 2018 23:49

"The problem with representative democracy is that it represents the special interest groups far more than it represents the citizenry." You are spot on.

Nigel Scullion: Minister for Handing out buckets of money to NT Country Liberal Party supporters. Scullion just happened to be a professional fisher before entering parliament.
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/oct/31/indigenous-advancement-funding-redirected-to-cattlemen-and-fishing-groups

Barnaby Joyce: Minister for Agriculture while his Department was too scared to report disgusting conditions in the live sheep export trade.
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/oct/31/agriculture-minister-promises-to-fix-live-export-regulation-after-damning-report

DukeofWoyWoy , 30 Oct 2018 23:48
What a logical and stirring argument you put forward Richard Denniss, and a large majority of the electorate would have to agree.
However there is also a large number of people in the electorate that cannot appear to rise from their nightly slumber without wearing their Blue, Red, Green or Orange tinted glasses before facing the new day.
And because of this, and preferential voting, sneaking in the background is a plethora of the wild mindless sub creatures called politicians who demand their rights to sit in the big white building on Canberra;s Capital Hill, just waiting to spoil not only the electorate's party but also known to prostitute the country's governance to their own advantage.
Richard, we desperately need a follow up stirring article on how to overcome this black menace to our country, for the sake of our country.
Hoskins50 , 30 Oct 2018