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Who Rules America ?

A slightly skeptical view on the US political establishment and foreign policy

If Ronald Reagan was America's neo-Julius Caesar, his adopted son was the first George Bush (just as J.C. adopted Augustus). And look what THAT progeny wrought. I fully expect that over the next century, no fewer than seven Bushes will have run or become president (mimicking the Roman Caesarian line). Goodbye, American Republic.

From review of Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia by Gore Vidal

Skepticism -> Political Skeptic

News Neoliberalism Recommended books Recommended Links The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Neoliberal propaganda Libertarian Philosophy
Two Party System as Polyarchy Big Uncle is Watching You Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neo-conservatism National Security State Predator state New American Militarism
"Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17 Neoliberal war on reality American Exceptionalism Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization Globalization of Financial Flows The Iron Law of Oligarchy
Pathological Russophobia of the US elite Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization  Color revolutions Compradors vs. national bourgeoisie Neo-Theocracy as a drive to simpler society Corruption of Regulators Neoliberal Compradors and lumpenelite
Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia Elite Theory Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Bureaucracy Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition Groupthink
Social Justice Modern forms of slavery in the USA Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult  US Presidential Elections of 2016 Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Myth about intelligent voter  
Ethno-lingustic Nationalism MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss The Far Right Forces in Ukraine as Trojan Horse of Neoliberalism  Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers   Corporatism
Casino Capitalism   Financial Skeptic Slightly Skeptical Look at Oil Price Slump Russian Ukrainian Gas Wars Energy returned on energy invested (EROEI) Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks
Ron Paul George Carlin Famous quotes of John Kenneth Galbraith Kurt Vonnegut Quotes Talleyrand quotes Somerset Maugham Quotes Otto Von Bismarck Quotes
Fighting Russophobia Overcomplexity of society New American Militarism Parasitism on Human rights children of Lieutenant Schmidt Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

FDR. speech after the election (1936)

polyarchy: A system where the participation of masses of people is limited to voting among one or another representatives of the elite in periodic elections. Between elections the masses are now expected to keep quiet, to go back to life as usual while the elite make decisions and run the world until they can choose between one or another elite another four years later. So polyarchy is a system of elite rule, and a system of elite rule that is little bit more soft-core than the elite rule that we would see under a military dictatorship. But what we see is that under a polyarchy the basic socio-economic system does not change, it does not become democratized.

▬William I. Robinson, Behind the Veil, Minute 1:29:15

Right or wrong the USA is a great country. Probably the greatest country in the world in XX century which has chances to preserve its position in XXI centry. A new Rome. With its own share of greatness (The computer revolution  was essentially the USA creation) and cruelties.

The USA is a country with very interesting, unique in many respect political processes. And since 1980 it became the central power driving the spread of  neoliberalism all over the globe. The epicenter of worldwide neoliberal revolution.  This transformation of former Trotskyites into staunch defenders of capitalism (Neoconservatism) is also predominantly the USA development although it somewhat mirrors Mussolini period of Italy when  many communist also switched sides and joined right forces and far-right nationalist party. The USA also has many prominent political scientist which move this science forward probably faster then their counterparts in Old world. Although not always in right direction ;-). The conversion of Fundamentalist Christians sects into formidable political force is another interesting US development, which has few historical precidents. This "American Taliban" now became the cornerstone of the Republican Party which lost its Lincoln's roots almost completely. Enough to say that such presidents as Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon  on many important issues are to the left of Barack Obama or Bill Clinton (the second neoliberal president after Reagan, the man who sold Democratic Party to Wall Street).  Classic conservatives are now marginalized in US political spectrum and are represented by very few magazine such as The American Conservative

As many I became dismayed with the USA foreign policy since Clinton administration. And tried to understand why the USA elite slided into  a jingoistic foreign policy as well as intransigence of those who managed to keep the country hostage to such an extreme views. Was it hubris of the US elite after crusing the USA?  Was it degeneration of the US elite similar to degeneration of Bolsheviks elite which led to collapse of the USSR? Was in understanding of the limits of capitalism and the need to international expansion at all costs to maintain profit level of the USA multinationals? Was it dominance of "deep state" which since 1962 replaced old institutions as the dominanc political force. 

For a skeptic like me it was clear that the USA political landscape in 70th drastically chanced, and not to the better. In a way Clinton started the "era of neocons" in the USA foreign policy which was continued and enhanced by Bush II and Obama. While triumph of neoliberalism after dissolution of the USSR might be one part of the answer, the other part is unclear. It can be growth of dominance of "deep state" (and connected with it MIC) or financial oligarchy, or degradation/transformation of corporate elite, or some combination of those factors. It is also important to understand the reasons of disintegration of the "New Deal" consensus which allowed financialized/speculative neoliberal economy to emerge. Rather than claiming that deregulation and financialization were a plot of the elite of the Reagan era, that eventually led to the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999 and Enron debacle in the early 2000s, we need to understand the political pressures under which policymakers became hostages of financial élites and neocons.

The notion of political skeptics is difficult to define. I think one suitable and pretty wide definition is people who whom MSM reporting cause strong allergic reaction, and who legitimately suspect MSM to be overly preoccupied with brainwashing and propaganda efforts . Who instinctively do not trust the declared by political establishment intentions, want to read between lines and see the second opinion along the lines of general definition of Skepticism:

Skepticism is generally any questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts, or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere.

As Barry Fagin noted in his 1997 article in Skeptical Inquirer:

... a skeptic should be familiar with history, politics, and economics, despite their lack of strong predictive value as social sciences. ...

Politics is socially sanctioned force: political solutions to problems are all about forcing people into a course of action. This provides a way to distinguish moral statements from political ones. ...A perspective that recognizes this distinction between politics and morality...

...they should apply the same techniques of critical inquiry toward the institutions of politics that they apply to all other institutions. The institution of government and the use of coercion as a social tool, the two central characteristics of politics, should be examined critically.

Resisting brainwashing by neoliberal MSM

In an atmosphere of constant brainwashing by neoliberal MSM it is important to have a second source of information. Otherwise the whole idea of informed citizen disappear in a dense smoke screen of constant lies and distortions of MSM. This is especially true about foreign events, where the level of brainwashing now approaches or exceeds the level typical for Brezhnev's USSR. That's why BBC and Voice of America were radio stations so widely listened in Soviet Union. People listed to them despite authorities attempts to jam them. Sometimes it was possible to listen to them only late at night. And people stayed late just to get some information over the constant noise of the jammer. Their coverage allowed to compare official Communist propaganda with Western propaganda and thus more closely approximate what actually happened in the world. Not that anybody blindly trusted iether BBC or Voice of America. We should do the same to get a second opinion about foreign events even from sources we do not fully trust. Or which are targeted by MSM in order to close this extra channel of information as untrustworthy.

Most of the United States journalists are serving as apologists for the administration (aka presstitutes). According to Urban dictionary the latter is

A term coined by Gerald Celente and often used by independent journalists and writers in the alternative media in reference to journalists and talking heads in the mainstream media who give biased and predetermined views in favor of the government and corporations, thus neglecting their fundamental duty of reporting news impartially. It is a portmanteau of press and prostitute.

Let me tell you something Alex, as soon as the economy collapses the presstitutes will be clamoring for war to distract the American people from the domestic problems.

This term is especially applicable to foreign correspondents. And it can't be otherwise if we understand the structure of ownership of major media outlets in the USA. This is especially true for coverage of foreign affairs. In this area the dominance of Neoliberal propaganda is complete and absolute. Cases when undesirable news are allowed are so rare that can be compiled in Red book. Huge amount of money are allocated annually on pushing right staff through the throats of unsuspecting (and mostly disinterested) citizens. Which made few natural skeptics to feel like students in a Chinese re-education camp. You need to add the corruption of academy, including complete corruption of economic departments around the country that became propaganda outlets of neoliberalism with propagandists of financial oligarchy in key positions.

That means that the level of brainwashing is not only comparable to the level that was typical in the USSR. It means that the smoke of propaganda is even more dense. And it is more visible in foreign policy, as the latter has always been more elite-driven, and more insulated from public opinion, than domestic policy. But today’s not only the gap between the US neoliberal elite and regular Joe & Jane is the largest in decades but the ideology they process and which dictates their action is questionable. That means that they push the course the is harmful for the interests of the state if we think that it represents more then 1% of the population. And regardless of your political affiliation, everybody agree that this is a already grave problem for American republic (it was never a democracy) and might influence the chances for the existence of this nation in the next, less carbon intense , century.

MSM successfully try to suppress the voice of people who are promoting a more restrained version of foreign policy, such as Andrew Bacevich, Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, Paul Craig Roberts, and paleo conservatives (grouped around The American Conservative magazine) who warn about the danger of recklessly playing world globalization card and the cost of maintaining neoliberal empire. The sad truth is that their voice is not heard. Rupert Murdoch (who was invited to the USA by Reagan with the explicit purpose of controlling the narrative in MSM by neoliberal elite) media empire dominates press coverage like a giant Propaganda department of financial oligarchy and neocons. Compete control of MSM and contract army allow the elite completely escape civil control in foreign policy. Much like was the case with Soviet Politburo. In this sense the USA is an occupied country much like the USSR was. And methods tried for control of population in foreign countries are returning return home like chicken which come to roost (see Big Uncle is Watching You). As Ron Paul noted (A Tea Party Foreign Policy, Aug 27, 2010) :

“As many frustrated Americans who have joined the Tea Party realize, we cannot stand against big government at home while supporting it abroad. We cannot talk about fiscal responsibility while spending trillions on occupying and bullying the rest of the world. We cannot talk about the budget deficit and spiraling domestic spending without looking at the costs of maintaining an American empire of more than 700 military bases in more than 120 foreign countries. We cannot pat ourselves on the back for cutting a few thousand dollars from a nature preserve or an inner-city swimming pool at home while turning a blind eye to a Pentagon budget that nearly equals those of the rest of the world combined.”

In addition to affecting domestic priories (which actually were set beforehand, so the word reflecting and more correct that affecting ) it shows those priorities often earlier and more transparently. That means that attempts to understand the US foreign policy are essential for all concerned citizens of the country. People who are do not agree with the Western elites course are now excluded from the traditional political processes, and their country is changed without their participation and consent. The two party system is perfect for that. The only thing they can do is to try to understand the direction of this change which is often hidden under thick smoke of MSM propaganda. For example, the US foreign policy reveals one interesting trend that as soon as US elite start playing labor arbitrage it stopped to be the national elite. It jointed Neoliberal International which in a ways is similar to Communist International with just different class calling the shots and the annual Congress in Davos instead of Moscow. In this sense the bet on globalization that we observe is not accidental. It reflects the strategic decision to sacrifice well-being of domestic population for the preservation of profits of the globalized, transnational elite. Which is the essence of neoliberalism as a social system. Of course, it's better to be a part of domestic population of the USA or GB then the domestic population of Ukraine or Malaysia as the degree of sacrifice in well-being can be quite different. But the trend is universal. For this reason isolationalism promoted by paleo-conservatives such as Patrick J. Buchanan might be the only way to preserve remnants of democracy in the USA. Please remember where NSA got its initial training in total interception of metadata of phone calls.

To get a glimpse of real USA foreign policy you need to avoid domestic MSM. There are two sources that are more objective and can provide valuable the second opinion on the subject:

  1. MSM of the different country than the one in which you reside. For example even British MSM sometimes provide a better, more objective, picture of foreign events then the USA MSM, especially European. Comments in major British sites such as Guardian are usually more informed than comments, say, in NYT. Often this is because people are closer to the events in question. Despite looking like another neocon rag DW also sometimes contain valuable information that is suppressed in USA MSM. They often provide better insight on event is central Europe, Russia and Turkey. That same is eve more true for RT despite being financed by the Russian state and being a official tool of government propaganda much like BBC or Voice of America. Middle East media usually in also better in coverage of European and Middle East events. And that goes beyond Aljazira and Iranian TV. They can serve as valuable reference point which allow better detect the US and GB propaganda . Asian media such as Asian Times also produce slightly different perspective then major Western MSM and is another valuable reference point.
  2. Alternatives media. Alternative media such as Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, The American Conservative, Foreign Policy In Focus, The Real News Network, TYT Network, etc are also a valuable source. They do not have presence in foreign countries but they can attract experts who are avoided by MSM and who can provide a second opinion. The problem is that they are financially very weak. And actually support of alternative media might be one of the duties of any self-professed skeptic. For middle class readers, who consider themselves to be political skeptics, there is little or no justification for not giving your favorite alternative outlet a small annual donation.
  3. More specialized US publications. For example Foreign Policy despite being neocon rag sometimes published interesting and critical to MSM perspective on foreign event. The same is true about National Interest, and Atlantic.

Propaganda and symbolic interactionalism

When I was young I was greatly influenced by Tamotsu Shibutani’s ideas of symbolic interactionalism ( social world , attitude , social climate , delinquent behavior ) popularized in his groundbreaking book Social Psychology . I think that this still a valuable perspective that allow analyze MSM propaganda from a interesting angle -- as specialized organization serving the interest of the elite in their need for brainwashing the population in order to coerce them to do the what the elite wants. Herbert Blumer (1969), who coined the term symbolic interactionalism, set out three basic premises of the perspective all of which can be manipulated by propaganda.

  1. Human beings act toward things on the basis of the meanings they ascribe to those things. That means that those meanings can be greatly distorted by MSM, deeply influencing the way we act. Among other things that makes color revolutions possible -- if the MSM are captured by neoliberal camp people can be thrown on barricades against current government by exaggerating their current grievances and a new (typically much worse) neoliberal regime can be installed under democratization smoke screen.
  2. The meaning of such things is derived from, or arises out of, the social interaction that one has with others and the society. With replacement of actual social interaction with communication via Internet groupthink became a real problem. And adding insult to injury all your Internet activities are under the watchful eye of Big Uncle.
  3. These meanings are handled in, and modified through, an interpretative process used by the person in dealing with the people, events and things he/she encounters. If you do not have access to alternative MSM, your interpretive process can easily be manipulated in areas were you do not have first hand information about the events. And this artificial reality picture formed in such a way is sticky, it became part of your personality. That is integral part of the process of brainwashing. This phenomenon of belief coercion previously typical for high demand cults now entered mainstream. Even spectacular failure of predictions does not effect the flock attraction to such a cult as was the case with multiple predictions as for the Second Coming of Christ.

This is close to Elite Dominance Theory perspective which is most concise for was formulated by Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Human social life can be studies in terms of manipulation of social symbols by each participant along with the unique for each participant view of the social scene based on the reference group. And MSM talking heads are part of your reference group. Such symbolic manipulations are partially based on cultural patterns and use a complex symbolic language in which the participants align and realign their respective positions and contributions. While norms provide a framework of expectations, what happens in each social/historical context is unique. That gives human society a unique characteristic -- flexibility of adapting to historical situation. Now this unique ability for adaptation is in danger due to overwhelming power of MSM.

Individual actors on social scene adjust their actions based on both pressures and contributions of others and the way they view the social scene. The latter concept is closely connected with the important concept of reference group. As Tamotsu Shibutani stated:

Martyrs of one sort or other are apparently found in all societies, and they usually become objects of curiosity, if not of vituperation. Less unusual men also attract attention - the dedicated scientist who carelessly uses his pay check as a bookmark, the mountaineer who risks his life scaling dangerous peaks, or the boy in the tenement who practices his violin doggedly amid the taunts of his neighbors.

Such conduct has been explained in several different ways, but an especially plausible hypothesis is suggested by Thoreau's famous lines: If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Most individualists tend to be somewhat estranged from those immediately around them, but rarely do they live in complete isolation.

Such extreme cases of non-conformity provide a point of departure for the study of more frequently found forms of di­versity. Deliberately, intuitively, or unconsciously each person performs for some kind of audience; in the drama of life, as in the theater, conduct is oriented toward certain people whose judgment is deemed important. In a complex society like ours, in which there are so many audiences, it often becomes necessary to identify the one for which an individual is performing in order to make his behavior comprehensible. The current popularity of the concept of reference group rests in part upon its utility in explaining behavior that is oriented toward audiences that are not obviously represented on the scene. Sociologists have long been concerned with audiences, for they usually explain conduct in terms of social control.

Social control refers not so much to deliberate influence or to coercion but to the fact that each person generally takes into account the expectations that he imputes to other people. The kinds of observations that have been accounted for in terms of what has been called the normative function of reference groups, one of the two functions they are alleged to have (21, 28), can he explained through the application of a long-familiar theory of social control to the conditions prevailing in modern mass societies. What is implied in the writings of Cooley, Dewey, Mead, Park, and Sapir must be stated more explicitly, however, since most of these men did not address themselves specifically to the study of mass societies. This task can be facilitated by making a distinction between (a) the perspective that is imputed to an audience and '(b) the people who make up an audience.

Another powerful idea is institutionalism -- social theory that focuses on developing a sociological view of institutions -- the way they interact and the way they affect society. It provides a way of viewing institutions enlarging the traditional views of political economics and can explain why so many businesses end up having the same organizational structure (isomorphism) even though they evolved in different ways. In many ways institutions shape the behavior of individual members. That why, for example, we can speak about bankers as a special social class. And it helps to explain why bankers represent a formidable political force as representatives of one of the most influential, most powerful institutions of the modern society. In a way, the quip by senator Dick Durbin that banks own Congress is not a hyperbole, this is just a honest assessment of the situation. Here is how the term is defined in Understanding Society The new institutionalism

The new institutionalism in sociology is a particularly promising prism through which to understand a lot of social behavior and change. Victor Nee and Paul Ingram define the approach in these terms in Embeddedness and Beyond in The New Institutionalism in Sociology:

Specifying the mechanisms through which institutions shape the parameters of choice is important to an adequate sociological understanding of economic action. These social mechanisms, we argue, involve processes that are built into ongoing social relationships -- the domain of network analysis in sociology. Yet, how institutions and networks combine to determine economic and organizational performance is inadequately theorized in the sociological study of economic life.

An institution is a web of interrelated norms -- formal and informal -- governing social relationships. It is by structuring social interactions that institutions produce group performance, in such primary groups as families and work units as well as in social units as large as organizations and even entire economies. (Nee and Ingram, p. 19)

The new institutional economics is essentially a marriage of the familiar assumptions of rational choice theory with the observation that “institutions matter”—that is, that the behavior of purposive individuals depends critically on the institutional constraints within which they act, and the institutional constraints themselves are under-determined by material and economic circumstances. So institutions evolve in response to the strategic actions of a field of actors. The paragraphs quoted above make it clear that the approach stipulates a very tight relationship between institutions and norms regulating behavior. The approach pays close attention to the importance of transaction costs in economic activity (the costs of supervision of a work force, for example, or the cost of collecting information on compliance with a contract). And it postulates that institutions emerge and persist as a solution to specific problems of social coordination.

The Theory of Distributional Coalitions

As Serdar Kaya noted, the current National Security State (also called "deep state") that replaced traditional US "semi-democratic" model can be viewed through the prism of Mancur Olson’s theory of distributional coalitions (The Rise and Decline of the Turkish “Deep State”: The Ergenekon Case )

Mancur Olson’s theory of distributional coalitions holds that, as societies establish themselves, group interests become more identifiable, and subsets of the society organize in an effort to secure these interests.

Since these interests are best served by coordinated action, institutions emerge.

Yet, such institutions tend to be exclusive by nature, and pursue only the interests of their own members, who account to a very small minority.

This exclusivity factor is of special importance in the way these rent-seeking (or special-interest) groups operate, since, unlike highly-encompassing organizations, exclusive organizations do not have an incentive to increase the productivity of the society.

This is due to the disproportion between the sizes of the exclusive organization and the population.

To use Olson’s idiom, such organizations are in a position either to make larger the pie the society produces or to obtain larger slices for their members.

“Our intuition tells us,” Olson says, “that the first method will rarely be chosen.”2 Because, on the one hand, it is very costly to increase the productivity of society as a whole, and on the other, even if this is achieved, the The Rise and Decline of the Turkish “Deep State”: The Ergenekon Case 101 members of the minuscule organization will accordingly reap only a minuscule portion of the benefits.

Therefore, exclusive groups aim to present their own interests as being the interests of their constituencies, and to use all of their organizational power for collective action in that direction.

That is still the case even when the organization’s cost to the society is significantly more than the benefits it seeks for its members.

Such behavior is not at all unexpected of exclusive organizations, since it is the very policy of exclusion itself that enables the group to distribute more to its members.

In that respect, disproportional allocation of resources goes hand in hand with barriers to entry into the favored areas of the special-interest group.

Yet the existence of barriers to entry further damages the society by reducing the economic growth.

When coupled with the interferences of the special-interest groups with the possibilities of change in the existing state of affairs, the level of the reduction in economic growth can be large.

In order to achieve their goals, special-interest groups engage in lobbying activities and collusion – both of which, by creating special provisions and exceptions, further increase not only inefficiency but also (1) the complexity of regulation, (2) the scope of government, and (3) the complexity of understandings.

See also Mancur Olson's rather primitive views on monarchy/absolutism in "Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development". American Political Science Review 87 (3): 567–576. September 1993.

Neoliberalism as the modern form of corporatism

The most typical institution of the modern society is corporation. In an except from his book Life Inc published on Boing Boing site Douglas Rushkoff give an interesting take on the danger of corporation dominance in modern life (the social system which he calls corporatism):

... people of all social classes making choices that go against their better judgment because they believe it's really the only sensible way to act under the circumstances. It's as if the world itself were tilted, pushing us toward self- interested, short- term decisions, made more in the manner of corporate shareholders than members of a society. The more decisions we make in this way, the more we contribute to the very conditions leading to this awfully sloped landscape. In a dehumanizing and self-denying cycle, we make too many choices that -- all things being equal -- we'd prefer not to make.

But all things are not equal. These choices are not even occurring in the real world. They are the false choices of an artificial landscape -- one in which our decision-making is as coerced as that of a person getting mugged. Only we've forgotten that our choices are being made under painstakingly manufactured duress. We think this is just the way things are. The price of doing business. Since when is life determined by that axiom?

Unquestionably but seemingly inexplicably, we have come to operate in a world where the market and its logic have insinuated them- selves into every area of our lives. From erection to conception, school admission to finding a spouse, there are products and professionals to fill in where family and community have failed us. Commercials entreat us to think and care for ourselves, but to do so by choosing a corporation through which to exercise all this autonomy. Sometimes it feels as if there's just not enough air in the room -- as if there were a corporate agenda guiding all human activity. At a moment's notice, any dinner party can slide invisibly into a stock promotion, a networking event, or an impromptu consultation -- let me pick your brain. Is this why I was invited in the first place? Through sponsored word-of-mouth known as buzz marketing, our personal social interactions become the promotional opportunities through which brands strive to be cults and religions strive to become brands.

It goes deeper than that second Starbucks opening on the same town's Main Street or the radio ads for McDonald's playing through what used to be emergency speakers in our public school buses. It's not a matter of how early Christmas ads start each year, how many people get trampled at Black Friday sales, or even the news report blaming the fate of the entire economy on consumers' slow holiday spending. It's more a matter of not being able to tell the difference between the ads and the content at all. It's as if both were designed to be that way. The line between fiction and reality, friend and marketer, community and shopping center, has gotten blurred. Was that a news report, reality TV, or a sponsored segment?

This fundamental blurring of real life with its commercial counterpart is not a mere question of aesthetics, however much we may dislike mini- malls and superstores. It's more of a nagging sense that something has gone awry -- something even more fundamentally wrong than the credit crisis and its aftermath -- yet we're too immersed in its effects to do anything about it, or even to see it. We are deep in the thrall of a system that no one really likes, no one remembers asking for, yet no one can escape. It just is. And as it begins to collapse around us, we work to prop it up by any means necessary, so incapable are we of imagining an alternative. The minute it seems as if we can put our finger on what's happening to us or how it came to be this way, the insight disappears, drowned out by the more immediately pressing demands by everyone and everything on our attention.

What did they just say? What does that mean for my retirement account? Wait -- my phone is vibrating.

Can the hermetically sealed food court in which we now subsist even be beheld from within? Perhaps not in its totality -- but its development can be chronicled, and its effects can be parsed and understood. Just as we once evolved from subjects into citizens, we have now devolved from citizens into consumers. Our communities have been reduced to affinity groups, and any vestige of civic engagement or neighborly goodwill has been replaced by self- interested goals manufactured for us by our corporations and their PR firms. We've surrendered true participation for the myth of consumer choice or, even more pathetically, that of shareholder rights.

That's why it has become fashionable, cathartic, and to some extent useful for the defenders of civil society to rail against the corporations that seem to have conquered our civilization. As searing new books and documentaries about the crimes of corporations show us, the corporation is itself a sociopathic entity, created for the purpose of generating wealth and expanding its reach by any means necessary. A corporation has no use for ethics, except for their potential impact on public relations and brand image. In fact, as many on the side of the environment, labor, and the Left like to point out, corporate managers can be sued for taking any action, however ethical, if it compromises their ultimate fiduciary responsibility to share price.

As corporations gain ever more control over our economy, government, and culture, it is only natural for us to blame them for the helplessness we now feel over the direction of our personal and collective destinies. But it is both too easy and utterly futile to point the finger of blame at corporations or the robber barons at their helms -- not even those handcuffed CEOs gracing the cover of the business section. Not even mortgage brokers, credit- card executives, or the Fed. This state of affairs isn't being entirely orchestrated from the top of a glass building by an élite group of bankers and businessmen, however much everyone would like to think so -- themselves included. And while the growth of corporations and a preponderance of corporate activity have allowed them to permeate most every aspect of our awareness and activity, these entities are not solely responsible for the predicament in which we have found ourselves.

Rather, it is corporatism itself: a logic we have internalized into our very being, a lens through which we view the world around us, and an ethos with which we justify our behaviors. Making matters worse, we accept its dominance over us as preexisting -- as a given circumstance of the human condition. It just is.

But it isn't.

Corporatism didn't evolve naturally. The landscape on which we are living -- the operating system on which we are now running our social software -- was invented by people, sold to us as a better way of life, supported by myths, and ultimately allowed to develop into a self-sustaining reality. It is a map that has replaced the territory.

Its basic laws were set in motion as far back as the Renaissance; it was accelerated by the Industrial Age; and it was sold to us as a better way of life by a determined generation of corporate leaders who believed they had our best interests at heart and who ultimately succeeded in their dream of controlling the masses from above.

We have succumbed to an ideology that has the same intellectual underpinnings and assumptions about human nature as -- dare we say it -- mid-twentieth-century fascism. Given how the word has been misapplied to everyone from police officers to communists, we might best refrain from resorting to what has become a feature of cheap polemic. But in this case it's accurate, and that we're forced to dance around this F word today would certainly have pleased Goebbels greatly.

The current situation resembles the managed capitalism of Mussolini's Italy, in particular. It shares a common intellectual heritage (in disappointed progressives who wanted to order society on a scientific understanding of human nature), the same political alliance (the collaboration of the state and the corporate sector), and some of the same techniques for securing consent (through public relations and propaganda). Above all, it shares with fascism the same deep suspicion of free humans.

And, as with any absolutist narrative, calling attention to the inherent injustice and destructiveness of the system is understood as an attempt to undermine our collective welfare. The whistleblower is worse than just a spoilsport; he is an enemy of the people.

Unlike Europe's fascist dictatorships, this state of affairs came about rather bloodlessly -- at least on the domestic front. Indeed, the real lesson of the twentieth century is that the battle for total social control would be waged and won not through war and overt repression, but through culture and commerce. Instead of depending on a paternal dictator or nationalist ideology, today's system of control depends on a society fastidiously cultivated to see the corporation and its logic as central to its welfare, value, and very identity.

That's why it's no longer Big Brother who should frighten us -- however much corporate lobbies still seek to vilify anything to do with government beyond their own bailouts. Sure, democracy may be the quaint artifact of an earlier era, but what has taken its place? Suspension of habeas corpus, surveillance of citizens, and the occasional repression of voting notwithstanding, this mess is not the fault of a particular administration or political party, but of a culture, economy, and belief system that places market priorities above life itself. It's not the fault of a government or a corporation, the news media or the entertainment industry, but the merging of all these entities into a single, highly centralized authority with the ability to write laws, issue money, and promote its expansion into our world.

Then, in a last cynical surrender to the logic of corporatism, we assume the posture and behaviors of corporations in the hope of restoring our lost agency and security. But the vehicles to which we gain access in this way are always just retail facsimiles of the real ones. Instead of becoming true landowners we become mortgage holders. Instead of guiding corporate activity we become shareholders. Instead of directing the shape of public discourse we pay to blog. We can't compete against corporations on a playing field that was created for their benefit alone.

This is the landscape of corporatism: a world not merely dominated by corporations, but one inhabited by people who have internalized corporate values as our own.

And even now that corporations appear to be waning in their power, they are dragging us down with them; we seem utterly incapable of lifting ourselves out of their depression.

We need to understand how this happened -- how we came to live for and through a business scheme. We must recount the story of how life itself became corporatized, and figure out what -- if anything -- we are to do about it.

While we will find characters to blame for one thing or another, most of corporatism's architects have long since left the building -- and even they were usually acting with only their immediate, short-term profits in mind. Our object instead should be to understand the process by which we were disconnected from the real world and why we remain disconnected from it. This is our best hope of regaining some relationship with terra firma again. Like recovering cult victims, we have less to gain from blaming our seducers than from understanding our own participation in building and maintaining a corporatist society. Only then can we begin dismantling and replacing it with something more livable and sustainable.

Professor Bacevich argues that the US political landscape is governed by large corporations, which created an aggressive regime inclined to launch the wars to promote the US corporate interests in distant parts of the globe. He called this trigger happy phenomenon the new militarism . Which, while serving the interest of large corporation, is powered by crucial for neoliberal regime the convergence of interests of:

  1. Military industrial complex (which includes professional military, so-called defense intellectuals, defense contractors and, unsurprisingly, mass media), see Media-Military-Industrial Complex
  2. Neoconservative movement and first of all neocon intellectuals and publicists, the major propaganda force of new militarism
  3. Evangelical Christians, see Neo-theocratic Movements
  4. Resurgent Republican party activists (Mayberry Machiavellis).
  5. Financial oligarchy. See Casino Capitalism
Viewing US political landscape via the prism of USA as neoliberal empire helps to organize and integrate into more or less coherent framework several topics that are not well covered in mainstream publications, or university courses. Among them:

The USA two party system as a slightly more sophisticated clone
of one party system that existed in the USSR

If we assept that the USA is a neoliberal empire, then it's dangerous illusion to consider Democratic party and Republican Party as different parties. Both are representative of interests of financial oligarchy which became as occupies of the country, much like Bolsheviks behaved in the USSR. In this sense political dominance of a single party in the USSR and dual party system of the USA are twins, separated at birth. Both parties represent interests of a single political constituency -- the top 1% (or 0.01% to be exect). For example democrat Obama represents Republicans more then democrats in all major foreign policy issues and many domestic issues too. Somebody aptly said that the only common trait between Franklin Roosevelt and Barak Obama is that both are traitors of their class. Such a George W Obama .

Dems and Repugs are more like left and right wings of the same neoliberal party with Dems being more aggressive in foreign policy and repugs in domestic policy (aka in destroying New Deal). In a way, Obama’s greatest service to the American people might be undermining two-party system illusion. I think only countercultural conservatives defend currently the interests of the country. Such as Andrew J. Bacevich (see also his articles in TAC), Ron Paul, Patrick J. Buchanan, etc. And conservatism does not mean stagnation. Conservatism just means reliance on traditional values, attempt of preservation as many as possible valuable, proven social constructs/elements of the past and integration of them within the society development framework. As Andrew J. Bacevich observed:

Conservatism—the genuine article, not the phony brand represented by the likes of Mitt Romney, Karl Rove, or Grover Norquist—has now become the counterculture.

That actually exclude both Democratic Party and Republican party. The first became a neoliberal party, the party of financial oligarchy. The latter, while superficially attached to conservatism, also is a neoliberal party just positioned to the right of the center by switching to a neoconservative formula of protecting the well-to-do and promoting endless wars while paying lip-service to traditional values. Both parties are pandering to the Israel lobby. And even if the Republican party does make a comeback in 2016 on that basis, in no way it will advance the conservative cause. Reviving that cause requires a different formula and a different party altogether.

Still despite those recent developments, American two party system is a very interesting way to manipulate the public. It represents the same but much more sophisticated and smooth mechanism of manipulation of public opinion as in totalitarian societies including neo-theocratic flavors (for example the USSR, where the ruling party was simultaneously a dangerous high-demand religious cult, with Marxism-Leninism serving as a civil religion). It is clear that political philosophies can become civic religions. The telling signs of such conversion of an political philosophy (aka ideology) into secular religion might include formal services, ceremonial functions, the existence of clergy, structure and organization, efforts at propagation, observation of holidays and other similar manifestations associated with the traditional religions. In Malnak v. Yogi, 592 F.2d 197, 212 (C.A.N.J., 1979), a federal District Court in New Jersey raised this very question:

A more difficult question would be presented by government propagation of doctrinaire Marxism, either in the schools or elsewhere. Under certain circumstances Marxism might be classifiable as a religion and an establishment thereof could result.

Neoliberalism as a new civil religion that displaced Marxism and dominated the world since early 1980th

despite of its accent of greed ("greed is good") and serving interest of financial oligarchy instead of top layer of party and state bureaucracy (nomenklatura) neoliberalism very similar to Marxism-Leninism as existed in the USSR (jstor.org):

Conventional analyses of secularization typically deal with revealed religions and the increasing disenchantment of their adherents with revealed religious doctrines under conditions of rapid industrialization and urbanization. Very little research, however, has dealt with the rise and decline of religiosity or the impact of secularization in social systems organized around a civil religion. This investigation approaches the development of the Bolshevik party in the Soviet Union as an example of a civil religious movement to test Weber's notions of enchantment and disenchantment against the experience of devoted party activists in order to see how increasing industrialization has influenced the civil religion of Marxism-Leninism and the behavior of individual followers of Marxism-Leninism. Hence, this analysis seeks to discover whether or not a dynamic of secularization, perhaps akin to the growing disenchantment among devoted Protestants from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries as discussed by Weber, might be found in post-revolutionary communist societies, like the present-day USSR. If such a dynamic of secularization does exist, then the question of civil religious revivalism, or revitalization movements, will be addressed to consider how and where such revivalistic movements might develop within post-revolutionary, secularized communist systems.

The key element of this political invention is that it allows to divide the population into two camps by attracting people to one of the two opposite poles using peripheral (wedge) issues like abortion or gay marriage and forcing them to compromise on the more important and economically vital issues (both parties supported deregulation and actually the major part of New Deal was killed by Clinton's henchmen Rubin and Summers):

This fit well with so called Elite Theory. According to it a small minority, consisting of members of the economic elite and policy-planning networks, holds the most power and this power is independent of a democratic elections process that exists to confirm pre-selected candidates. In other words while public is involved on voting one of the candidates into the office it is by-and-large excluded by Party machines from the process of selection of those two candidates that participate in the final state of elections. Through positions in corporations or on corporate boards, and influence over the policy-planning networks through financial support of foundations or positions with think tanks or policy-discussion groups, members of the elite are able to control major policy decisions of both corporations and governments. Elite theory stands in opposition to pluralism in suggesting that democracy is a utopian ideal. It also stands in opposition to state autonomy theory. The classic version of this theory is based on two ideas:
  1. Power lies in position of authority in key economic and political institutions
  2. The psychological difference that sets elites apart is that they have personal resources, for instance intelligence and skills, and a vested interest in the government; while the rest are incompetent and do not have the capabilities of governing themselves, the elite are resourceful and will strive to make the government to work. For in reality, the elite have the most to lose in a failed government.

Pareto emphasized the psychological and intellectual superiority that the elites obtained, he believed that the elites were the highest accomplishers in any field and he discussed how there were two types of elites (governing and non-governing). He also extended on the idea that a whole elite can be replaced by a new one and how one can fall out from elite to non-elite.

Mosca emphasized the sociological and personal characteristics of elites. He said elites are an organized minority and that the masses are an unorganized majority. The ruling class is composed of the ruling elite and the sub-elites. He divides the world into two groups: ruling class and class that is ruled. Mosca asserts that elites have intellectual, moral, and material superiority that is highly esteemed and influential.

Sociologist Michels developed the Iron Law of Oligarchy where, he asserts, social and political organizations are run by few individuals, and social organization and labor division are key. He believed that all organizations were elitist and that elites have three basic principles that help in the bureaucratic structure of political organization:

  1. Need for leaders, specialized staff and facilities
  2. Utilization of facilities by leaders within their organization
  3. The importance of the psychological attributes of the leaders

Mills published his book The Power Elite in 1956, in which he identified a triumvirate of power groups - political, economic and military - which form a distinguishable, although not unified, power-wielding body in the United States. Mills proposed that this group had been generated through a process of rationalization at work in all advanced industrial societies whereby the mechanisms of power became concentrated, funneling overall control into the hands of a limited, somewhat corrupt group. This reflected a decline in politics as an arena for debate and relegation to a merely formal level of discourse. This macro-scale analysis sought to point out the degradation of democracy in advanced societies and the fact that power generally lies outside the boundaries of elected representatives. A main influence for the study was Franz Leopold Neumann's book, Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism, 1933-1944 , a study of how Nazism came to power in the German democratic state. It provided the tools to analyze the structure of a political system and served as a warning of what could happen in a modern capitalistic democracy.

The elite theory analysis of power was also applied on the micro scale in community power studies such as that by Floyd Hunter (1953). Hunter examined in detail the power relationships evident in his Regional City looking for the real holders of power rather than those in obvious official positions. He posited a structural-functional approach which mapped the hierarchies and webs of interconnection operating within the city – mapping relationships of power between businessmen, politicians, clergy etc. The study was promoted to debunk current concepts of any ‘democracy’ present within urban politics...

This type of analysis was also used in later, larger scale, studies such as that carried out by M. Schwartz examining the power structures within the sphere of the corporate elite in the USA.

In his important book Who Rules America?, G. William Domhoff researched local and national decision making process networks in order to illustrate the power structure in the United States. He asserts, much like Hunter, that an elite class that owns and manages large income-producing properties (like banks and corporations) dominate the American power structure politically and economically.

Burnham’s early work The Managerial Revolution sought to express the movement of all functional power into the hands of managers rather than politicians or businessmen – separating ownership and control. Many of these ideas were adapted by paleoconservatives - -> Samuel T. Francis and Paul Gottfried in their theories of the managerial state. Burnham's thoughts on Elite Theory were also touched in his book The Machiavellians which discusses the thoughts of Pareto, Mosca, and Michels

But Burnham failed to see the possibility of conversion of oligarchic republic into empire. The latter is an important transformation so we need to understand it.

The USA as Empire

An interesting insight into this notion was provided in article TGIF: We Were Warned about the Rise of Empire by Sheldon Richman

June 13, 2014 | fff.org

American critics of U.S. foreign policy (as well as some neoconservative supporters) often refer to the United States as an empire. This is not an emotional outburst but a substantive description of the national government’s role in the world. But what exactly is an empire? This question is all the more relevant today with Iraq is being consumed by sectarian violence and calls for renewed U.S. intervention here are increasingly louder.

In 1952 the journalist and novelist Garet Garrett (1878–1954) took up this question in contemplating post-World War II America. The resulting essay, “The Rise of Empire,” is included in his anthology, The People’s Pottage (PDF). It bears close study today.

Garrett was an important figure in what has come to be known as the “Old Right,” an eclectic group of writers and politicians (mostly Republican) who emerged in the 1930s to oppose militarism and the centralization of power under the New Deal. (For a history of the Old Right, see my “New Deal Nemesis: The ‘Old Right’ Jeffersonians” [PDF].)

Garrett began with this somber message:

We have crossed the boundary that lies between Republic and Empire. If you ask when, the answer is that you cannot make a single stroke between day and night; the precise moment does not matter. There was no painted sign to say: “You now are entering Imperium.” Yet it was a very old road and the voice of history was saying: “Whether you know it or not, the act of crossing may be irreversible.” And now, not far ahead, is a sign that reads: “No U-turns.”

If you say there were no frightening omens, that is true. The political foundations did not quake, the graves of the fathers did not fly open, the Constitution did not tear itself up. If you say people did not will it, that also is true. But if you say therefore it has not happened, then you have been so long bemused by words that your mind does not believe what the eye can see, even as in the jungle the terrified primitive, on meeting the lion, importunes magic by saying to himself, “He is not there.”

(For evidence that the American empire is older than Garrett thought, see my “Empire on Their Minds.”)

The country’s institutions may look the same, Garrett wrote, but a “revolution within the form” has occurred:

There is no comfort in history for those who put their faith in forms; who think there is safeguard in words inscribed on parchment, preserved in a glass case, reproduced in facsimile and hauled to and fro on a Freedom Train.

Garrett next proceeded to carefully isolate the characteristics of empire. After examining Rome’s transition from republic to empire, he wondered,

If you may have Empire with or without a constitution, even within the form of a republican constitution, and if also you may have Empire with or without an emperor, then how may the true marks of Empire be distinguished with certainty? What are they?

Republics, he said, can make war, conquer territory, and even acquire colonies, depending on how one defines the term, so “let us regard the things that belong only to empire, and set them down. Then we shall see.”

He came up with five traits:

(1) Rise of the executive principle of government to a position of dominant power,

(2) Accommodation of domestic policy to foreign policy,

(3) Ascendancy of the military mind,

(4) A system of satellite nations for a purpose called collective security, and,

(5) An emotional complex of vaunting and fear.

It’s easy to see how closely this fits the United States today. For a long time, the executive branch has been the dominant branch of government. For example, as Garrett noted, the war power has moved entirely into the hands of the president, despite the Constitution’s language and Congress’s half-hearted attempt to hold on to some power with the War Powers Resolution. Since the Korean War, it’s the president who decides when the country goes to war. (Even when Barack Obama tossed the question of bombing Syria to Congress last year, he and others maintained that he had the unilateral power to act if he wanted to.) During the eight years of the George W. Bush administration, lawyers inside and outside the government spun broad theories of autocratic executive authority over national security based entirely on the apparently thin Article II of the Constitution.

Garrett wrote that the “aggrandizement of the executive principle of government” occurred by congressional delegation, reinterpretation of the language of the Constitution, innovation, the appearance of administrative agencies, usurpation, and increasing involvement in foreign affairs. This last is especially relevant, because the executive can always assert that foreign policy cannot be made by 535 members of Congress.

The subordination of domestic policy to foreign policy is accomplished by claiming that without national security, nothing else matters. So domestic concerns must take a back seat to foreign affairs. The national-security establishment’s sheer demand for goods and services — which produces the military-industrial complex — diverts the economy from serving consumers to serving the state. As long as the president can keep the people in fear of foreign enemies, he can justify the transfer of resources from the private sector to the government sector. It is too easy for the executive to answer any challenge by playing the “I know things that you don’t know” card. As Garrett wrote,

It needs hardly to be argued that as we convert the nation into a garrison state to build the most terrible war machine that has ever been imagined on earth, every domestic policy is bound to be conditioned by our foreign policy.

One need only look around to see evidence of the “ascendancy of the military mind.” Not even a looming fiscal crisis prompts a serious reconsideration of America’s far-flung military presence or its putative “interests” everywhere. Reverence for the military intrudes on everyday life; one cannot watch a ballgame or even a televised cooking competition without being subjected to sappy expressions of gratitude for supposed “service to our country.” Americans did not always have a worshipful disposition toward the military.

As in Garrett’s time, satellite nations are today called “allies.” Americans are not only obliged to cough up billions of dollars each year in armaments and cash to support those alliances, they also must be prepared to go to war to defend countries throughout the world. In his recent speech at West Point, Obama included the defense of allies in his definition of America’s “core interests.” Thus the American people are on call should most of Europe up to the Russian border, Japan, South Korea, Israel, and other nations find themselves threatened — even if their own conduct provoked the alleged threat.

Garrett’s phrase “an emotional complex of vaunting and fear” couldn’t better apply to today’s America. Government officials beat their chests in describing how powerful, exceptional, and indispensable America is for the world. No one, they say, can challenge America’s dominance and leadership in the world. Yet at the same time they advise Americans to fear Islamic terrorism, China, Russia, Latin American drug lords, and sundry other threats. That’s vaunting and fear.

Finally, Garrett made a point that is entirely relevant today: “a time comes when Empire finds itself — a prisoner of history.” A republic, Garrett wrote, can determine its own history. “But the history of Empire is world history and belongs to many people.”

We’ve all heard presidents say that America’s responsibilities to the world have been thrust upon it and cannot be avoided. It is not a matter of choice. That’s the doctrine which Garrett had in mind:

What is it that now obliges the American people to act upon the world?

As you ask that question the fear theme plays itself down and the one that takes its place is magnifical. It is not only our security we are thinking of — our security in a frame of collective security. Beyond that lies a greater thought.

It is our turn.

Our turn to do what? you may ask. Garrett nails the political establishment’s reply, which is calculated to awe Americans into blind compliance:

Our turn to assume the responsibilities or moral leadership in the world.

Our turn to maintain a balance of power against the forces of evil everywhere — in Europe and Asia and Africa, in the Atlantic and in the Pacific, by air and by sea — evil in this case being the Russian barbarian. [This is especially pertinent now.]

Our turn to keep the peace of the world.

Our turn to save civilization.

Our turn to serve mankind.

But this is the language of Empire.

We’re told, however, that American empire is unique because it is dedicated to freedom and peace. This claim cannot withstand scrutiny: look at the regimes American administrations have supported and support today. But Garrett said that even if this claim were granted, the case for empire would be self-defeating because its price is bankruptcy.

So even if “this is Imperialism of the Good Intent,” he wrote, it would also have to be the “Empire of the Bottomless Purse.”

Putnam saw the development of technical and exclusive knowledge among administrators and other specialist groups as a mechanism by which power is stripped from the democratic process and slipped sideways to the advisors and specialists influencing the decision making process.

If the dominant figures of the past hundred years have been the entrepreneur, the businessman, and the industrial executive, the ‘new men’ are the scientists, the mathematicians, the economists, and the engineers of the new intellectual technology.

Imperial Adventures and US Foreign Policy Adventurism

Dye in his book Top Down Policymaking, argues that U.S. public policy does not result from the demands of the people, but rather from Elite consensus among Washington, D.C. based non-profit foundations, think tanks, special-interest groups, prominent lobbyists and law firms. Dye's thesis is further expanded upon in his works: The Irony of Democracy, Politics in America, Understanding Public Policy, and Who's Running America?

That means that foreign policy of the USA is determined solely by interests of elite and common people are just pawns in the Great Game . That explains aggressive character of the USA foreign policy( aka Mew Militarism as it was called by Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University and former Colonel of the US army Andrew J. Bacevich). In the XX century there were literally just a dozen years when the USA were not engages in some war or several of them. Among them (from How many wars has the United States been in):

Boxer Rebellion, 1899 - 1901
Banana Wars:
United States occupation of Nicaragua, 1907-1933
United States occupation of Honduras, 1907-1933
United States overthrow of Guatemalan Government, 1907-1933
Intervention during Panamanian Election, 1908
United States occupation of Cuba, 1912
United States occupation of Veracruz, 1914
United States occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934
United States occupation of the Dominican Republic, 1917-1924
Mexican Expedition, 1916 - 1917
Battle of Ambros Nogales, 1918
World War I, 1917 – 1918 (time span of U.S. involvement)
European Theatre, 1917 - 1918
First Battle of the Atlantic, 1917 - 1918
Russian Revolution, 1918-1920 (time span of U.S. involvement)
Polar Bear Expedition, 1918 - 1919
American Expeditionary Force Siberia, Soviet Union, 1918 - 1920
World War II, 1941 – 1945 (time span of U.S. involvement)
Second Battle of the Atlantic, 1941 - 1945
Pacific War, 1941 - 1945
African Theatre, 1942 - 1943
European Theatre, 1944 - 1945
Korean War, 1950 - 1953
Operation Blue Bat, Lebanon, 1958
Bay of Pigs Invasion, Cuba, 1961
Operation Powerpack, Dominican Republic, 1965 - 1966
Vietnam War, 1962 - 1973 (time span of United States involvement)
Laotian Civil War, 1962 - 1973
Cambodian Civil War, 1969 - 1970
Contra War, El Salvador, 1981-1990
Invasion of Grenada, Grenada, 1983-1984
United States invasion of Panama 1989 - 1990
Persian Gulf War, Iraq, 1991
Operation Desert Shield, 1991
Operation Desert Storm, 1991
Somali Civil War, 1992 - 1994
Operation Provide Relief, 1992
Operation Restore Hope, 1992 - 1994
Yugoslav wars, 1994 - 1999
Bosnian Conflict, 1994 - 1995
Kosovo Conflict, 1997 - 1999

Here are suggestions of Canadian diplomat Peter Dale Scott (The NATO Afghanistan War and US-Russian Relations Drugs, Oil, and War Afghanistan) for changes in the USA foreign policy:

So I am now publishing my talk with this preface for a North American and international audience. I believe that the most urgent task today to preserve the peace of the world is to curb America’s drive towards unchallenged dominance, and to re-energize the UN’s prohibition of unilateral and preemptive wars, for the sake of coexistence in a peaceful and multilateral world.

To this end, I hope that Americans will mobilize against American dominationism, and call for a policy declaration, either from the administration or from Congress, that would:

  1. explicitly renounce past Pentagon calls for “full spectrum dominance” [9] as a military objective for American foreign policy,
  2. reject as unacceptable the deeply-ingrained practice of preemptive wars,
  3. renounce categorically any US plans for the permanent use of military bases in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Kyrgyzstan, and
  4. recommit the United States to conducting future military operations in accordance with the procedures set out in the United Nations Charter.

I encourage others to join me in urging Congress to introduce a resolution to this effect. Such a resolution might not initially succeed. But it would help focus American political debate on what I consider to be a topic that is both urgent and too little examined: American expansiveness as a current threat to global peace.

American exeptionalism

he first deep analyses of American exceptionalism was done by Niebuhr from the religious positions in his famous book The Irony of American History. Niebuhr as a theologian considered it to be a sin that inevitably lead to the false allure of simple solutions and lack of appreciation of limits of power. In his opinion "Messianic consciousness" which constitute the core of American exeptionalism, was partially inherited form religious dogmas of early religious sects which came to colonize America. But in all major manifestation it is identical to good old nationalism.

As somebody said any unbiased analysis of the nationalist activities leads to a disappointing conclusion: nationalists can behave as compradors: as enthusiastic servants of a foreign occupier of their own territory. In this case international banking cartel. Ukraine is one example, Serbia and Georgia are other but very similar examples...

The policy which oppose exceptionalism is often called Noninterventionism

Noninterventionism is a rather clunky and unappealing label for a set of very appealing ideas: that the U.S. should mind its own business, act with restraint, respect other nations, refrain from unnecessary violence, and pursue peace. If future administrations took just a few of these as guiding principles for the conduct of foreign policy, America and the world would both be better off.

There were several important thinkers who contributed to understand of this complex phenomena:

See also neo-conservatism which is a related phenomenon. In this case the pre-eminence of the USA as the sole superpower needs to be maintained at all costs.

Niebuhr's contribution to understanding of American exeptionalism

In his foreword to Niebuhr's book Bacevich noted:

In Niebuhr's view, America's rise to power derived less from divine favor than from good fortune combines with a fierce determination to convert that good fortune in wealth and power. The good fortune cane in the form of vast landscape, rich in resources, ripe for exploitation, and apparently insulated from the bloody cockpit of [European] power politics. The determination found expression in a strategy of commercial and territorial expansionism that proved staggeringly successful, evidence not of superior virtue but of shrewdness punctuated with a considerable capacity for ruthlessness.

In describing America's rise to power Niebuhr does not shrink from using words like "hegemony" and "imperialism". His point is not to tag the United States with responsibility for all the world's evils. Rather, it is to suggest that it does not differ from other great powers as much as Americans may imagine.

...Niebuhr has little patience for those who portray the United States as acting on God's behalf. "All men are naturally inclined to obscure the morally ambiguous element in this political cause by investing it with religious sanctity," he once observed. " This is why religion is more frequently a source of confusion then of light in the political realm.". In the United States, he continued "The tendency to equate our political [goals] with our Christian convictions cause politics to generate idolatry."

Michael Ignatieff contribution

In the introduction to American Exceptionalism and Human Rights Michael Ignatieff identifies three main types of exceptionalism:

I would add to it

The contributors to American Exceptionalism and Human Rights use Ignatieff's essay as a starting point to discuss specific types of exceptionalism -- America's approach to capital punishment and to free speech, for example -- or to explore the social, cultural, and institutional roots of exceptionalism.

Anatol Lieven contribution

Another important contributor to the tme of American exeptionalism is Anatol Lieven

"America keeps a fine house," Anatol Lieven writes in his probably best book on the American Exceptionalism (America Right or Wrong An Anatomy of American Nationalism ) "but in its cellar there lives a demon, whose name is nationalism."

While neocons definitely played an important role in shaping the US policy immediately after 9/11, the origins of aggressive U.S. foreign policy since 9/11 also reflect controversial character of the US national identity, which according to Anatol Lieven embraces two contradictory features.

Both are much older then 9/11. The first aggressive, expansionist war by the US was the war of 1812. See American Loyalists, The Most Important War You Probably Know Nothing About - By James Traub Foreign Policy

The War of 1812 matters because it was America’s first war of choice. The United States did not have to declare war on Great Britain on June 18, 1812, to survive as a nation and indeed President James Madison did not want to. The newly founded United States was growing westward but the “war hawks” in Congress pressed for a conflict with America’s former colonial masters in the hopes of gaining even more territory to the north. The term “hawk” was coined in the run-up to the War of 1812 and the hawks of U.S. foreign policy have been with us ever since.

The War of 1812 was America’s first neocon war. With an audacity that would become familiar, the war hawks appealed to a combination of personal pride — the British navy was forcibly conscripting Americans — and the prospect of material gain — the absorption of British Canada — wrapped up in love of country. No one said the conquest of Canada would be a “cakewalk,” but the hawks were confident the Americans would be greeted as liberators.

These two mutually-excusive impulses caused wide oscillations of the US foreign policy, especially in the Middle East and influenced the nature of U.S. support for Israel. Due to those oscillations those two contradictory impulses are undermining the U.S. foreign policy credibility in the eyes of the worlds and complicates reaching important national objectives.

Some try to attribute the idea of “American Exceptionalism” to Alexis de Tocqueville — though he never penned the phrase. In reality this term is of German origin and was used by German Marxists who were trying to explain weakness of worker movement in the USA. The idiom was popularized by neo-conservative pundits (aka former Trotskyites) soon after WWII.


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Shota Rustavelli(1172–1216)

[Jul 28, 2016] http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2016/07/exclusive-interview-putin-dnc-emails-russia-love.html

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By Michael Collins
Satire

(Washington, DC 7/25) As I was idly wondering what Vladimir Putin would say about the DNC email scandals, I received a call from Vladimir Putin himself. He said he wanted to talk about the Wikileaks release of DNC emails. When I asked why he picked me to contact, he said "I probably strarted at the wrong end of the list" and laughed heartily.

MC: President Putin, did the Russian government hack the DNC email server and then publically release those emails through Wikileaks the day before the Democratic convention?

Putin: Yes.

MC: Yes! Are you serious?

Putin : I'm quite serious.

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

Putin: Your question should be what took Russia so long. The US oligarchs and their minions surround us with military bases and nuclear missiles, damage our trade to Europe, and seek to destabilize our domestic politics. These emails are nothing in the big picture. But they're sort of funny, don't you agree?

MC: I'm not sure that funny is the right word. What do you mean by that?

Putin: You've got Hillary Clinton running as a strong and independent woman. Of course, nobody would know who she is had she not married Bill Clinton. She's not independent. Quite the contrary. She had to marry a philandering redneck to get to where she is. When it comes to strength, I can say only this. How strong can you be if you have to cheat and create a rigged game to win the nomination?

MC: Anything else about your leak to cheer us up?

Putin: This situation is the epitome of ironic humor. After the emails were released, the focus was all on DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. That's fine for now but what happens when people start asking why Wasserman-Schultz had the DNC screw Sanders and boost Hillary? Did she just wake up one day and decide this on her own?. Not likely. She was and remains Hillary's agent. It will take people a while to arrive that answer. When enough people hear about Wasserman-Schultz's key role in the Clinton campaign, everything will be clear. It's adios Hillary. That inevitable conclusion, by the way, is the reason the DNC made such a big deal about Russia hacking the DNC. That was diversion one right out of the gate.

MC: Is Russia an equal opportunity hacker? What about the Trump campaign?

Putin: Why not? I hear there are some very rather graphic home movies and videos of Mr. Trump with some interesting playmates. But that can wait. Enjoy Hillary's hypocrisy to the fullest. When it comes to either candidate, my only advice is let the buyer beware .

That was it for my time with the man. I'd like to think it was Putin. Even if it wasn't, this is what I suspect Putin would say.

Satire
Creative Commons 4.0

[Jul 28, 2016] NSA Whistleblower Not So Fast On Claims Russia Behind DNC Email Hack naked capitalism

Why those unknown forces (probably a disgruntled insider) leaked this bombshell so late. At this point it does not affect Sanders chances to beat Hillary.
Notable quotes:
"... "The same people on the Clinton team who made enormous efforts to claim her private email server-which operated unencrypted over the Internet for three months, including during trips to China and Russia, and which contained top-secret national-security data-was not hacked by the Russians now are certain that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians" http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/unpacking-the-dnc-emails/ ..."
"... The British government has learned that Vladimir Putin recently sought significant quantities of malware from Africa. ..."
"... Well, golly, if you're going to create a bright, shiny object to distract people from the actual content of the e-mails, why not blame little green men from Mars? I mean, seriously, isn't what this is all about – deflecting away from what the DNC was up to, so as to keep as much of it as possible from further tarnishing the already-clouded view of both the process and the major candidate whom it benefited? ..."
"... And in addition to this little bit of obviousness, how can it possible have escaped anyone with a functioning brain that this escalating hysteria about the DNC hack was noticeably absent with respect to Clinton's own email operation? ..."
"... I also find it deeply and almost-hilariously ironic that we're all supposed to be livid at the idea of some foreign government trying to manipulate the US elections when not only is the Democratic Party's flagship organization flagrantly engaged in trying to manipulate the outcome, but the AMERICAN MEDIA wouldn't know what to do with itself if it wasn't constantly fking around with the entire process. ..."
"... Looks like another false flag propaganda ploy. The Obama Admin flares up with phony indignation and immediately swears there will be more sanctions. The FBI wants to prosecute ( or is it persecute) the messenger instead of investigating the real crimes. The e-mails and their contents are real. The noise is to cover up this fact! ..."
"... The CNN poll in yesterday's Links shows Trump beats Hillary by huge margins (12 points) on the economy and terrorism. She beats him on foreign policy (and nothing else). Dragging in Russian hackers and foreign intelligence services plays to her strength. ..."
"... In reality, politically motivated attacks like this are almost always domestic in origin. To go to Wikileaks specifically I expect an inside whistleblower is responsible. The same thing happened to Sony and the Swiss banks. Elites simply don't understand how many people they work with are disgusted by their policies. To them this is a perfectly believable thing. ..."
"... It reminds me very much of the French Fries to Freedom Fries movement. If you have a critical mass of people in on the fun, it can work, at least for a time. But what happens when most people don't care about being excommunicated from the DNC Serious People List? ..."
"... Obvious clues pointing back at a known adversary…strategically-timed leaks from anonymous intelligence sources…vague statements on the record from the President and other high-level officials…stories fed to sympathetic media outlets…yep, sounds a lot like the playbook used by the Bush White House for the run-up to the Iraq War. Except there's no way that the Democrats would ever ..."
"... No matter who is responsible for the hack, I'm just glad that the information about the DNC corruption is out in the open. I'm disappointed that this didn't happen before June 7, when California, New Jersey, and several other states had their primaries. Better late than never, I guess. ..."
"... why hadn't our press revealed this? ..."
"... It's now so routine to spin-doctor aggressively that the elites have lost any sense of whether what they are saying is credible or not. ..."
"... I thought Trump's comments today about wanting the Russians to find Hillary's emails were genius. He fans the flames of this whole Russia-Putin thing on day 3 of the Dem convention and what are the media outlets talking about? Plus, Hillary's campaign, in it's rebuttal to Trump, is indirectly reminding everyone that her homebrew server was putting national security at risk. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com

Washington's Blog asked the highest-level NSA whistleblower in history, William Binney – the NSA executive who created the agency's mass surveillance program for digital information, who served as the senior technical director within the agency, who managed six thousand NSA employees, the 36-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a "legend" within the agency and the NSA's best-ever analyst and code-breaker, who mapped out the Soviet command-and-control structure before anyone else knew how, and so predicted Soviet invasions before they happened ("in the 1970s, he decrypted the Soviet Union's command system, which provided the US and its allies with real-time surveillance of all Soviet troop movements and Russian atomic weapons") – what he thinks of such claims:

Edward Snowden says the NSA could easily determine who hacked Hillary Clinton's emails:

Evidence that could publicly attribute responsibility for the DNC hack certainly exists at #NSA , but DNI traditionally objects to sharing.

- Edward Snowden (@Snowden) July 25, 2016

Even if the attackers try to obfuscate origin, #XKEYSCORE makes following exfiltrated data easy. I did this personally against Chinese ops.

- Edward Snowden (@Snowden) July 25, 2016

But mainstream media say it couldn't: http://www.businessinsider.com/dnc-hack-russian-government-2016-7

The mainstream media is also trumpeting the meme that Russia was behind the hack, because it wants to help Trump get elected. In other words, the media is trying to deflect how damaging the email leaks are to Clinton's character by trying to somehow associate Trump with Putin. See e.g. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/26/us/politics/kremlin-donald-trump-vladimir-putin.html

Who's right?

Binney responded:

Snowden is right and the MSM is clueless. Here's what I said to Ray McGovern and VIPS with a little humor at the end. [McGovern is a 27-year CIA veteran, who chaired National Intelligence Estimates and personally delivered intelligence briefings to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, their Vice Presidents, Secretaries of State, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many other senior government officials. McGovern is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity ("VIPS" for short).]

Ray, I am suspicious that they may have looked for known hacking code (used by Russians). And, I'm sure they were one probably of many to hack her stuff. But, does that mean that they checked to see if others also hacked in?

Further, do they have evidence that the Russians downloaded and later forwarded those emails to wikileaks? Seems to me that they need to answer those questions to be sure that their assertion is correct. Otherwise, HRC and her political activities are and I am sure have been prime targets for the Russians (as well as many others) but without intent of course.

I would add that we proposed to do a program that would monitor all activity on the world-wide NSA network back in 1991/92. We called it "Wellgrounded." NSA did not want anyone (especially congress) to know what was going on inside NSA and therefore rejected that proposal. I have not read what Ed has said, but, I do know that every line of code that goes across the network is logged in the network log. This is where a little software could scan, analyze and find the intruders initially and then compile all the code sent by them to determine the type of attack. This is what we wanted to do back in 1991/92.

The newest allegation tying the Clinton email hack to Russia seems to be all innuendo .

Binney explained to us:

My problem is that they have not listed intruders or attempted intrusions to the DNC site. I suspect that's because they did a quick and dirty look for known attacks.

Of course, this brings up another question; if it's a know attack, why did the DNC not have software to stop it? You can tell from the network log who is going into a site. I used that on networks that I had. I looked to see who came into my LAN, where they went, how long they stayed and what they did while in my network.

Further, if you needed to, you could trace back approaches through other servers etc. Trace Route and Trace Watch are good examples of monitoring software that help do these things. Others of course exist … probably the best are in NSA/GCHQ and the other Five Eyes countries. But, these countries have no monopoly on smart people that could do similar detection software.

Question is do they want to fix the problems with existing protection software. If the DNC and OPM are examples, then obviously, they don't care to fix weakness probably because the want to use these weaknesses to their own advantage.

Why is this newsworthy?

Well, the mainstream narrative alleges that the Clinton emails are not important … and that it's a conspiracy between Putin and Trump to make sure Trump – and not Clinton – is elected.

But there are other issues, as well …

For example, an allegation of hacking could literally lead to war .

So we should be skeptical of such serious and potentially far-reaching allegations – which may be true or may be false – unless and until they are proven .

JacobiteInTraining , July 27, 2016 at 4:46 am

Yup, as a former server admin it is patently absurd to attribute a hack to anyone in particular until a substantial amount of forensic work has been done. (read, poring over multiple internal log files…gathering yet more log files of yet more internal devices, poring over them, then – once the request hops out of your org – requesting logfiles from remote entities, poring over *those* log files, requesting further log files from yet more upstream entities, wash rinse repeat ad infinitum)

For example, at its simplest, I would expect a middling-competency hacker to find an open wifi hub across town to connect to, then VPN to server in, say, Tonga, then VPN from there to another box in Sweden, then connect to a PC previously compromised in Iowa, then VPN to yet another anonymous cloud server in Latvia, and (assuming the mountain dew is running low, gotta get cracking) then RDP to the target server and grab as many docs as possible. RAR those up and encrypt them, FTP them to a compromised media server in South Korea, email them from there to someones gmail account previously hacked, xfer them to a P2P file sharing app, and then finally access them later from a completely different set of servers.

In many cases where I did this sort of analysis I still ended up with a complete dead end: some sysadmins at remote companies or orgs would be sympathetic and give me actual related log files. Others would be sympathetic but would not give files, and instead do their own analysis to give me tips. Many never responded, and most IPs ended up at unknown (compromised) personal PCs, or devices where the owner could not be found anyway.

If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence you might get lucky – but that demographic mostly points back to script kiddies and/or criminal dweebs – i.e., rather then just surreptitiously exfiltrating the goods they instead left messages or altered things that seemed to indicate their own backgrounds or prejudices, or left a message that was more easily 'traced'. If, of course, you took that evidence at face value and it was not itself an attempt at obfuscation.

Short of a state actor such as an NSA who captures it ALL anyway, and/or can access any log files at any public or private network at its own whim – its completely silly to attribute a hack to anyone at this point.

So, I guess I am reduced to LOL OMG WTF its fer the LULZ!!!!!

4D , July 27, 2016 at 5:27 am

Thanks for that great explanation on covering tracks. Now can you please explain how they go about actually hacking into a supposedly secure server?

JacobiteInTraining , July 27, 2016 at 5:49 am

hah, well I had a nice long answer but cloudflare blocked me. heh…apparently it doesnt like certain words one uses when describing this stuff. Understandable!

I guess try looking up 'phishing' and 'privilege elevation' on wikipedia. Former is easiest, latter gives you street cred.

So easy a kid can do it.

JacobiteInTraining , July 27, 2016 at 6:25 am

Just to clarify on the "…If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence…" – this is basically what I have seen reported as 'evidence' pointing to Russia: the Cyrillic keyboard signature, the 'appeared to cease work on Russian holidays' stuff, and the association with 'known Russian hacking groups'.

Thats great and all, but in past work I am sure my own 'research' could easily have gotten me 'associated' with known hacking groups. Presumably various 'sophisticated' methods and tools get you closer to possible suspects…but that kind of stuff is cycled and recycled throughout the community worldwide – as soon as anything like that is known and published, any reasonably competent hacker (or org of hackers) is learning how to do the same thing and incorporating such things into their own methods. (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery)

I guess I have a lot more respect for the kinds of people I expect to be getting a paycheck from foreign Intelligence agencies then to believe that they would leave such obvious clues behind 'accidentally'. But if we are going to be starting wars over this stuff w/Russia, or China, I guess I would hope the adults in the room don't go all apesh*t and start chanting COMMIES, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!, etc. before the ink is dry on the 'crime'.

Even then, I fail to see why this person (foreign, domestic, professional, amateur, state-sponsored, or otherwise) hasn't done us a great service by exposing the DNC corruption in the first place. Hell, I would love to give them the Medal of Freedom for this and (hopefully) the next boot to drop! :)

Hacker , July 27, 2016 at 8:35 am

Spot on JacobitIn Training.

There is a problem with those who argue that these are sophisticated Nation State attackers and then point to the most basic circumstantial evidence to support their case. I'd bet that, among others, the Israelis have hacked some Russian servers to launch attacks from and have some of their workers on a Russian holiday schedule. Those things have been written about in attack analysis so much over the last 15-20 years that they'd be stupid not to.

Now, I'm not saying the Israelis did it. I'm saying that the evidence provided so far by those arguing it is Russia is so flaky as to prove that the Russia accusers are blinded or corrupted by their own political agenda.

Anon , July 27, 2016 at 5:02 pm

The whole point of the "It's the Russian's" meme is to deflect attention from the corrupt and undemocratic actions of the DNC.

fajensen , July 27, 2016 at 10:02 am

Oh, "they" just use the system management features baked right into the embedded computers either the ones inside the "secure server" itself or (much more convenient and easy to do), they attack the cheap-ish COTS lapdog that the support techie will be using to access the "secure server" with:

http://blog.cr4.sh/2016/06/exploring-and-exploiting-lenovo.html
http://www.legbacore.com/Research.html

*Everything PC-ish* is insecure, by sloth & design!

Steve Gunderson , July 27, 2016 at 6:00 pm

I thought I read the password was "Obama08" and that they never changed it.

vlade , July 27, 2016 at 6:44 am

Indeed. I'd go even further, and say two things:

– if there's a non-NSA evidence the attacks originated from Russia, then someone wanted the world to know it was from Russia (or was just a private snoop).

– even if there was a technical evidence that the attack originated from Russia, unless it could be tied very specifically to an institution (as opposed to a "PC in Russia"), it does not prove that it was Russia. All it proves that someone using a computer in Russia initiated it.

JacobiteInTraining , July 27, 2016 at 7:13 am

Well phooey. My theory now goes up in smoke: Here we can clearly see an attempt at disinformation from a Russian Operative, likely FSB – possibly from Putin's inner circle.

We know this through 2 things:

A.) The name, 'Vlad' – inequivocally a Russian given name, and not a common one at that.

B.) Note the slightly wrong grammar: "…a non-NSA evidence…" & "..was a technical evidence". Clearly not a native English speaker.

See how easy that was? Yves, no need for log files to track IP here…case closed. In Soviet Russia, crow eats me.

Anyone gots some nuke launch codes handy? 00000000 doesn't work for me anymore…

oho , July 27, 2016 at 9:40 am

"00000000 doesn't work for me anymore…"

To those who may not know--for many years 0000 0000 were indeed the nuke launch codes. (namely cuz it would be easy to remember)

Whine Country , July 27, 2016 at 9:59 am

Is this another of your nom de plumes?

http://legalinsurrection.com/2016/07/hillary-supporters-the-russians-are-coming-the-russians-are-coming/

Love your input BTW!

Whine Country , July 27, 2016 at 10:01 am

DNC training film

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El03KPUeQc4

jo6pac , July 27, 2016 at 10:07 am

Thanks for all the info.

The Trumpening , July 27, 2016 at 5:13 am

The recently murdered DNC Date Director Seth Rich being the leaker, or at least knowing who the leaker was, as was hinted at recently by Julian Assange himself, makes a far more interesting conspiracy theory.

From The Forward:

Ten days after the murder of promising Democratic staffer Seth Rich, the Washington D.C. slaying remains unsolved and police say they have no suspects in the crime.

Rich, a Jewish data analyst for the Democratic National Committee who worked on polling station expansion, was shot and killed as he walked home on Sunday, July 10.

Police told Rich's parents that they believed his death was the result of a botched robbery. Though Rich's killer did not take his wallet or phone, D.C. Police Commander William Fitzgerald said that "there is no other reason (other than robbery) for an altercation at 4:30 in the morning" at a community meeting on Monday.

The meeting was meant to address the recent uptick in robberies in the Bloomingdale neighborhood near Howard University. Police reports say robberies in the area are down 20%, but an investigation by the Washington Post found that armed robberies are actually up over 20% compared with July 2015.

Of course there is absolutely no proof of Seth Rich's involvement, but I suppose it is a reasonable surmise, as George Will recently said about the Russia allegations! In any case a possible crypto-BernieBro tech-guy mole from within the DNC, as the source of the DNCLeaks, would make a much better made-for-TV movie than the Russian theory. And if it was an internal mole, what better way to cover their tracks than to leave some "traces" of a Russian hack.

Lambert Strether , July 28, 2016 at 2:31 am

I always felt it was odd that RIch was involved in GOTV efforts. Not that our voting systems aren't totally on the up and up…

Skippy , July 27, 2016 at 6:25 am

Its one thing for Republicans to resort to the old chestnut of red scare mongering, but for the Democrats to use the same ammo they once had lobed at them is surreal….

WorldBLee , July 27, 2016 at 4:11 pm

The Demopublicans have become the Republicrats! War is peace!

But yeah, the Democrats under Clinton and Obama have essentially morphed into the Republican party while claiming to represent "progressive" values.

TomDority , July 27, 2016 at 6:32 am

I suppose Hilary's personal server was just as easy to breach…..maybe.

Sam , July 27, 2016 at 11:29 am

"The same people on the Clinton team who made enormous efforts to claim her private email server-which operated unencrypted over the Internet for three months, including during trips to China and Russia, and which contained top-secret national-security data-was not hacked by the Russians now are certain that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians" http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/unpacking-the-dnc-emails/

allan , July 27, 2016 at 7:21 am

Shorter anonymous administration officials:

The British government has learned that Vladimir Putin recently sought significant quantities of malware from Africa.

Lambert Strether , July 27, 2016 at 3:06 pm

Ha.

Anne , July 27, 2016 at 7:28 am

Well, golly, if you're going to create a bright, shiny object to distract people from the actual content of the e-mails, why not blame little green men from Mars? I mean, seriously, isn't what this is all about – deflecting away from what the DNC was up to, so as to keep as much of it as possible from further tarnishing the already-clouded view of both the process and the major candidate whom it benefited?

And in addition to this little bit of obviousness, how can it possible have escaped anyone with a functioning brain that this escalating hysteria about the DNC hack was noticeably absent with respect to Clinton's own email operation?

I also find it deeply and almost-hilariously ironic that we're all supposed to be livid at the idea of some foreign government trying to manipulate the US elections when not only is the Democratic Party's flagship organization flagrantly engaged in trying to manipulate the outcome, but the AMERICAN MEDIA wouldn't know what to do with itself if it wasn't constantly fking around with the entire process.

I'm not sure we're ever coming out of this rabbit-hole-to-hell.

ger , July 27, 2016 at 8:01 am

Looks like another false flag propaganda ploy. The Obama Admin flares up with phony indignation and immediately swears there will be more sanctions. The FBI wants to prosecute ( or is it persecute) the messenger instead of investigating the real crimes. The e-mails and their contents are real. The noise is to cover up this fact!

Whine Country , July 27, 2016 at 10:25 am

"Why play the Russian/Putin/Trump card with the DNC email hack?" – An excellent question for which you have provided a logical potential answer. Beyond that, this generally seems like an act of desperation. I am nowhere near an expert on the details of hacking like the two who have commented above, but what I see is a desperate attempt to capture the "stupid" vote. The whole Democrat dog and pony show being put on now only serves to make those who will vote for Hillary no matter what, feel self satisfied that they are right minded. What matters though is how they connect with those not inclined to vote for her. In their logic it follows that the HIllary crowd basically believes that anyone who would consider voting for Trump is very stupid, and this is a desperate attempt to convince the "stupid's" to vote for Hillary. I have no idea how Trump will act if he is elected President, but the critical factor for me is that there is now overwhelming evidence that the entire Democrat establishment is just like Hillary (as made clear by Mr. Comey): They are either grossly negligent and incompetent, or criminals who are not being prosecuted. Anyone but her and her merry band of thieves will leave us all better off after November.

Whine Country , July 27, 2016 at 10:29 am

I forgot to add: "The fish rots from the head"

different clue , July 27, 2016 at 7:47 pm

" And a rotten barrel spoils all the apples."

reslez , July 27, 2016 at 1:17 pm

The association the Dems want to create is "scary foreign people support Trump".

The CNN poll in yesterday's Links shows Trump beats Hillary by huge margins (12 points) on the economy and terrorism. She beats him on foreign policy (and nothing else). Dragging in Russian hackers and foreign intelligence services plays to her strength.

In reality, politically motivated attacks like this are almost always domestic in origin. To go to Wikileaks specifically I expect an inside whistleblower is responsible. The same thing happened to Sony and the Swiss banks. Elites simply don't understand how many people they work with are disgusted by their policies. To them this is a perfectly believable thing.

Lambert Strether , July 27, 2016 at 3:38 pm

I also wonder whether there are significant numbers of Poles and Eastern Europeans generally in the industrial precincts in some swing states; a vote against Russia in the form of a vote against Trump might appeal to them.

WorldBLee , July 27, 2016 at 4:16 pm

I doubt it's that strategic–looks more like classic red-baiting (minus any communism but saying "Russia" still evokes the same emotional response for people of a certain age) of the sort a former Goldwater girl like Hillary would understand all too well.

washunate , July 27, 2016 at 10:43 am

Linking the hack and delivery of DNC emails to WIkiLeaks by Putin as a way of helping Trump may strategically backfire.

Agreed. There are so many moving parts at this point the blowback looks to happen more rapidly than they can manage perception, especially with things online. They spent so much time segmenting and dismissing the various developments as disparate conspiracy theories, and now in one fell swoop they've both legitimized critiques and connected them together (they run the risk that even criticism that isn't true will still stick more than it otherwise would have). I'm not sure they fully realize what they've done yet. It's a simple equation to them: Wikileaks = Bad. Russia = Bad. Wikileaks + Russia = DoubleBad.

It reminds me very much of the French Fries to Freedom Fries movement. If you have a critical mass of people in on the fun, it can work, at least for a time. But what happens when most people don't care about being excommunicated from the DNC Serious People List?

two beers , July 27, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Playing the Trump is in bed with Putin meme creates an easily adaptable narrative as more comes out.

Peter Lee has a piece up on Counterpunch this morning laying out this theory.

geoff , July 27, 2016 at 3:56 pm

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/27/trumputin-and-the-dnc-leaks/

voteforno6 , July 27, 2016 at 8:26 am

Obvious clues pointing back at a known adversary…strategically-timed leaks from anonymous intelligence sources…vague statements on the record from the President and other high-level officials…stories fed to sympathetic media outlets…yep, sounds a lot like the playbook used by the Bush White House for the run-up to the Iraq War. Except there's no way that the Democrats would ever do something so shady.

Uahsenaa , July 27, 2016 at 9:38 am

It's perfectly circuitous and self-serving logic:

Admin feeds story to crony media –> media report story as if independently sourced –> admin then uses those reports to corroborate its own claims

It's not like they can reasonably deny anymore that they do this. The DNC leak provides hard evidence. So plant your stories now, before there's a run!

Carolinian , July 27, 2016 at 8:44 am

Hey why fix our cybersecurity problems when we can just bomb Russia instead? To a hammer with bombs everything looks like a nail.

Perhaps the biggest tell regarding our clueless, and mostly geriatric, establishment is their superstitious misunderstanding of modern technology. Every toddler these days probably knows that you don't put controversial material in emails or on cellphones unless you are willing to take the kind of precautions Snowden talks about. The notion of ginning up an international conflict over hacking is like Hollywood's idea of five years in jail for stealing one of Meryl Streep's movies. The punishment doesn't fit the crime.

Plus of course there's the immense irony of the US, home of the NSA, getting huffy about other countries doing the same thing. As always with out elites it's "do as we say, not as we do."

Vatch , July 27, 2016 at 9:45 am

No matter who is responsible for the hack, I'm just glad that the information about the DNC corruption is out in the open. I'm disappointed that this didn't happen before June 7, when California, New Jersey, and several other states had their primaries. Better late than never, I guess.

reslez , July 27, 2016 at 1:36 pm

1. Before the evidence comes out: "The DNC is secretly sabotaging Sanders? Laughable conspiracy theory!"
2. After the evidence comes out: "There's nothing new here, everyone knew this was happening, it made no difference anyway! Sore loser."

So predictable.

1 Kings , July 27, 2016 at 3:12 pm

Great comment.

Was flipping through 'convention' last night and happened upon Bernie's face as they try to thank/bury him. It was the look of resignation to corruption, like Mr. Smith's just before Claude Rains goes extra-Hollywood, tries to off himself, then says 'Arrest me', etc.

Bernie, you should have just run against both of them, damn the torpedoes.

Frank , July 27, 2016 at 10:13 am

It doesn't matter if Russia hacked it or someone else. The really important issue this brings up is why hadn't our press revealed this? Why do we need to here about this from outsiders? And why, now that it has been released, do they spend the bulk of their time speculating on the source and not the content? Me thinks it's because our corporate main stream media, that merely masquerades as a press entity, was complicit.

tgs , July 27, 2016 at 1:29 pm

why hadn't our press revealed this?

I think the leaked emails establish that the DNC was working closely with the 'press'. Anyone who watched CNN during the primary season would not be surprised at the revelation that the 'press' was complicit in the coronation of Hillary.

Anonymous , July 27, 2016 at 5:52 pm

The DNCLeaks showed that the DNC (aka the Clinton Machine) was heavily influencing,
if not totally controlling, much of the mass media, using it to smear HRC's rivals and to
whitewash her crimes.

This fascist totalitarian control of the mass media by the DNC/Clinton campaign
has been exposed but that doesn't mean it has stopped! It hasn't. Ergo, one
will see minimal to no coverage, or whitewashing or diversionary coverage.

Jon Paul , July 27, 2016 at 10:16 am

Why isn't it just as grave a concern that the primary contest of one of the 2 major political parties was rigged to favor one candidate? Heck, people worried more about deflategate.

craazyboy , July 27, 2016 at 3:01 pm

Yeah. I think that's a Federal crime and the FBI is supposed to investigate….

https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/news/pressrel/press-releases/ballotfraud_102710

flora , July 27, 2016 at 10:28 am

an aside: "A separate story pointed out that Trump's primary banking relationships are with mid-sized players, and that makes sense too. He's be a third-tier account at a too-big-to-fail banks (see here on how a much richer billionaire was abused by JP Morgan). Trump would get much better service at a smaller institution. "

From what I've read at NC I think everyone would get much better service at a smaller bank than at a TBTF.

readerOfTeaLeaves , July 27, 2016 at 11:14 am

Yves wrote:

"I joked early on that in the Obama administration that its solution to every problem was better propaganda. What is troubling is how so many other players have emulated that strategy. It's now so routine to spin-doctor aggressively that the elites have lost any sense of whether what they are saying is credible or not. And as a skeptical consumer of media, I find it uncomfortable to be living in an informational hall of mirrors."

It's no coincidence that trust in institutions is at an all-time low.
Eroded public trust translates to crappy, Banana Republic economies - and politics so venal that it requires constant deceit to (mal)function.

On the upside, the dwindling credibility of institutions is providing opportunities for outlets like The Young Turks (via YouTube), which take a lot of time unpacking propaganda and looking for alternative perspectives. Ditto 'The Real News Network' (RNN). And ditto NC.

WorldBLee , July 27, 2016 at 4:21 pm

Except that the Young Turks fall for the same anti-Russian BS as the MSM and have tried to tie Trump to Putin.

MaroonBulldog , July 27, 2016 at 11:37 am

The Russsians did it?

When I hear the "reporters" and "newscasters" on our American MSM speak, it reminds me of something Wolfgang Leonhard taught: "Pravda lies in such a a way that not even the opposite of what they say is true."

Praedor , July 27, 2016 at 11:58 am

Huh. It is clear and irrefutable that the NSA (ie, the USA) has hacked Germany, France, Britain, Japan, etc, etc, etc, etc. So…since hacking is an "act of war" we are now at war with our allies.

Yes?

Or does a war-worthy hack HAVE to originate in Russia (or China) to be an "act of war"? If the USA is doing it it's an act of peacylove?

craazyboy , July 27, 2016 at 2:49 pm

please tell me you understand the difference between true love and rape.

Buttinsky , July 27, 2016 at 12:10 pm

If the issue is the hack itself and its perpetrator(s), as opposed to the content of the hack, I remain curious about the inattention to this fact: One of the documents in the DNC cache released by Wikileaks was an excel spreadsheet of Trump donors. I haven't heard anyone question the origin of a document that would itself appear to be the product of a hack by the DNC (the only other possibility that comes to mind is a mole inside the Trump campaign). I certainly haven't seen a request by the Trump campaign or anybody else for an FBI investigation of what would seem to be prima facie evidence of a hack by the DNC of Trump computers in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030.

But, then, there's been relative silence, generally, by the DNC with regard to leaks of donor information. At least I haven't seen any PR-ly apology by the DNC, or Trump's organization for that matter, for the insecure storing of donor information and a promise that steps have been taken to make sure it doesn't happen again. Maybe I just missed that public apology. But I also wonder if there isn't a reluctance to draw any attention whatsoever to that now public information.

craazyboy , July 27, 2016 at 2:47 pm

I imagine, privately, donors just got awarded double reward points.

Philip Martin , July 27, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Trump's affection for Putin and all things Russian has been known for years. In Russia, however, Trump is considered to be clownish. Putin's affection for Trump might best be characterized as condescending. Trump is the preference of the Putin crowd. And why not? Russian oligarch money has been flowing into Trump's coffers for at least a decade. Why? Well, after four bankruptcies, where else is Trump going to borrow money? There is solid evidence of financial ties between Trump advisors and Putin's circle. Try the website Ballotpedia and look up "Carter Page," Trump's advisor on all things Russian. Other examples are out there.

That said, I would not absolutely eliminate Putin and his operatives of conspiring with hackers to obtain and then release documents that would denigrate the Democratic party and HRC.

I find it interesting that Trump telegraphed to the world a skeptical view of NATO allies, especially the Putin-coveted Baltics, and signaled that he might not come to their defense if attacked. Those views were expressed in an interview with the New York Times on Thursday, July 21. These comments, predictably, set off alarms all across Europe, and had Republicans scrambling to backpedal. And then the next day, come the DNC leaks.

And now rumors of Scalia's assassination are being floated again! Distraction after distraction!

MaroonBulldog , July 27, 2016 at 3:28 pm

When you see "Trump" spelled in Cyrillic letters, you might think it would be pronounced "Tramp".

Yves Smith Post author , July 27, 2016 at 7:50 pm

Stop prattling nonsense.

KKR, Blackstone, Apollo, etc al, have bankrupted HUNDREDS of companies each. Yet they not only do they have no trouble borrowing money, they are eagerly pursued by Wall Street.

Trump has never gone bankrupt personally. He had four companies go bankrupt. Trump has started and operated hundreds of corporate entities. That makes his ratio of bankruptcies way lower than average and thus means he's a good credit, and much better than private equity. I'm not about to waste time tracking it down, but the media has already reported on who Trump's regular lender is, and it's a domestic financial institution, but not one of the TBTF banks.

In addition, I had a major NYC real estate developer/syndicator, a billionaire, in the late 1980s. The early 1990s recession hit NYC real estate very hard and every developer was in serious trouble. My former client and Trump were the only big NYC developers not to have to give up major NY properties to the banks.

And as far as your NATO remarks are concerned, you've clearly not been paying attention. Trump has been critical of the US role in NATO for months, and has already gotten plenty of heat for that.

Finally, as even the New York Times was forced to concede, the timing of the hacks was all wrong to be intended to help Trump. It started long before he was a factor on the Republican side.

Direction , July 27, 2016 at 1:15 pm

The DNC hired Crowdstrike to get 2 major Russian hacks off the DNC network prior to this guccifer2.0 nonsense.

You write: "Binney explained to us:
My problem is that they have not listed intruders or attempted intrusions to the DNC site. I suspect that's because they did a quick and dirty look for known attacks."
But they have listed the initial intruders, see links below.

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/all-signs-point-to-russia-being-behind-the-dnc-hack?trk_source=recommended

https://www.crowdstrike.com/blog/bears-midst-intrusion-democratic-national-committee/

Binny keeps describing how he would check his LAN back in 1991. His experience is that of a dinosaur. This article is a mess, conflating the Hrc email scandal with the DNC scandal. What is at issue, as stated in the FAIR link, is whether the leak to gawker and wiki etc was perpetrated by a lone Romanian hacker or by the Russian government, not whether the DNC was spied upon by the Russian; it was.

I am not arguing the the Clinton campaign did not figure out how to use this to their advantage, guccifer 2.0 and crowd strike stuff both came out in June but was not the subject of much crowing until now…

reslez , July 27, 2016 at 1:45 pm

> not whether the DNC was spied upon by the Russian; it was.

Based on what evidence? So many blanket statements we're supposed to accept as fact. No.

Guccifer 1.0, who is Romanian, hacked Sidney Blumenthal's email. Generally speaking, Romanians like many Eastern Europeans hate Russia. Guccifer 1.0 was extradited to the US and made various statements to the press about Clinton's private email server. I'm not aware of anything he said about the DNC.

Guccifer 2.0 released DNC documents to the public and apparently to WikiLeaks. There is no evidence he is Russian or connected to the Russians.

Direction , July 28, 2016 at 10:54 am

Oops my reply posted below. I am not saying he's Russian. I'm not sure he's the original hacker either. You obviously did not read the links. Here is a third.
http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/07/clinton-campaign-email-accounts-were-targeted-by-russians-too/

Anonymous , July 27, 2016 at 1:55 pm

Isn't there a typo in the following:

"But mainstream media say it couldn't: http://www.businessinsider.com/dnc-hack-russian-government-2016-7

The mainstream media is also trumpeting the meme that Russia was behind the hack, because it wants to help Trump get elected. In other words, the media is trying to deflect how damaging the email leaks are to Clinton's character by trying to somehow associate Trump with Putin. See e.g. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/26/us/politics/kremlin-donald-trump-vladimir-putin.html "

don't you mean MSM wants to get Clinton elected, not Trump?

MaroonBulldog , July 27, 2016 at 3:23 pm

Reply to "Anonymous" at 1:55 pm

think the sentence was trying to express the idea that "Russia" "wants to help Trump get elected–the "it" referring to "Russia" and not to "mainstream media"–as that idea is the predicate of a meme that the mainstream media is trumpeting.

Always better to repeat the noun you are referring to, rather than use a pronoun, where use of a pronoun could create ambiguity, as "it" (or should I have said, " such use" ?) did here.

Direction , July 27, 2016 at 2:20 pm

I'm not saying he is Russian.

sunny129 , July 27, 2016 at 3:01 pm

Did any one see the recent docu ' Zero days' re STUXNET worm (invented by combined efforts of US _NSA,CIA + Israeli intelligent +?UK) introduced into the NET to take down the Nulc program in IRAN!

There is fascinating discussion and the threat of cyber terrorism from any one from any where to the infra structures – Energy grid, transportation ++

It has lot of bearing on this Hillary E-mail gate scandal

Brian g , July 27, 2016 at 9:18 pm

Why are you referencing ,Hillary Clinton emails when the issue is DNC emails?

Reports the Russins broke into the DNC mail servers have Ben floating around since June

https://www.wired.com/2016/06/hack-brief-russias-breach-dnc-trumps-dirt/

What their reasons are is unknown but it is pretty clear that thy broke into the DNC Mail servers

Yves Smith Post author , July 28, 2016 at 12:17 am

Did you bother reading the comments earlier in this thread by JacobiteInTraining and Hacker, who confirm that the claims don't stand up to scrutiny?

And you appear not to have been following this at all. Right after the story broke, a hacker who called himself Guccifer 2.0 posted two sets of DNC docs and said more were coming, which was presumed even then to be a Wikileaks releases (Assange had separately said lots of material on Clinton was coming).

ian , July 28, 2016 at 2:08 am

Because Hillary's campaign has insisted that national security was not compromised with her use of a homebrew email server. Which would be the higher value target to a foreign intelligence service – email she used as sec state, or the DNC server? Which would probably have better security – the homebrew server, or the DNC server? If you buy into the idea that the Russians hacked the DNC server, you have to admit there is a _strong_ probability they hacked her personal server as well. I find it kindof amusing that her campaign, in it's response to Trump today, is basically making the same point (even though it hasn't sunk in yet).
That's why it's relevant.

Brian g , July 28, 2016 at 8:50 am

I can't speak to what security Hillary had in place. But I can say with 100% certainty that it is I direly easier to secure a small network for one or two people over a large network that has 100s or 1000s.

I have been working in network security for 20 years. I guarantee that I could build a small network that would be close to impossible to break into regardless of the ability of the attacker.

So I reject the premise that we should presume that Hillary was hacked

Yves Smith Post author , July 28, 2016 at 9:11 am

I suggest you get up to speed on this story before making assumptions and assertions based on them. It has been widely reported that Hillary's tech had no experience in network security whatsoever, so the issue re the size of the network is irrelevant.

Bryan Pagliano's resume , which the State Department recently turned over to Judicial Watch, shows he had neither experience nor certification in protecting email systems against cyber security threats

http://dailycaller.com/2016/05/12/documents-show-hillarys-email-technician-was-underqualified-for-the-job/

His main qualification seems to be that he had been an IT director for the Clinton campaign in 2006. CNN points out he was hired at State as a "political appointee":

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/10/politics/bryan-pagliano-hillary-clinton-server-state-department/

Brian G , July 28, 2016 at 10:04 am

Again, irrelevant to my point. The fact that the DNC mail servers were hacked does NOT mean that Clinton's mail servers were hacked. Clinton's mail servers may have been hacked and Assange is claiming that he has documents that prove it was. But, to date, no evidence has been provided to show that her mail servers were hacked.

What we DO know is that the State Department mail servers were hacked, at least twice and at least once by the Russians.

Regardless, none of this has anything to do with whether the Russians hacked the DNC mail servers and whether they gave that information to Wikileaks.

Crowdstrike , Fiedlis Cybersecurity , and Mandiant all independently corroborated that it was the Russians. The German government corroborated that an SSL cert found on the DNC servers was the same cert that was used to infiltrate the German Parliament.

guccifer 2.0 is some guy that made a claim that made a claim the day AFTER Crowdstrike released their report. He/She offered no evidence to support their claim.

So perhaps 3 different professional IT security companies are incompetent, despite all evidence to the contrary, or Guccifer 2.0 is just some guy trying to take credit for something they didn't do or it is a Russian agent trying to actively distract people from the actual culprits.

It is possible that the Russians weren't the ones to give the docs to wikileaks. But they almost certainly were the ones who perpetrated an attack into the DNC mail servers. That in itself is a huge problem.

washunate , July 28, 2016 at 12:18 pm

I'm curious, is your background on the computer side or the policy side? You're making some leaps where I think I follow your meaning, but the actual logic/evidence/warrant isn't there, so I'm not sure exactly what you're claiming.

Aside from questions of whether elements of the Russian government attacked the DNC, for example, you imply that the Russians were the only people attacking the DNC. Do you have any technical reason to conclude that? Or is it just sloppy sentence construction, and you didn't mean to imply that? Because at a policy level, it seems a reasonably solid understanding of the world we inhabit that elements of many foreign governments attack US computer systems, both for active penetration of documents and for more passive denial of service by legitimate users. For goodness sakes, elements of the USFG itself attack US computer systems.

mrtmbrnmn , July 27, 2016 at 11:56 pm

Anyone who can stand up straight for 5 minutes without falling over backwards and has half a brain and an ounce of institutional memory knows it wasn't the Russkies who dropped the email dime on the DNC shenanigans…

It was "Curveball"…!!

ian , July 28, 2016 at 2:32 am

I thought Trump's comments today about wanting the Russians to find Hillary's emails were genius. He fans the flames of this whole Russia-Putin thing on day 3 of the Dem convention and what are the media outlets talking about? Plus, Hillary's campaign, in it's rebuttal to Trump, is indirectly reminding everyone that her homebrew server was putting national security at risk.

This whole Russia-Putin connection thing won't work – it really isn't that believable in the first place, the timing is suspect, and a lot of people in this country really don't care that deeply about Putin one way or the other.

[Jul 28, 2016] Elite needs a kill switch for their front men and women

marknesop.wordpress.com
Patient Observer , July 23, 2016 at 7:07 pm
An interesting article on John McCain. I disagree with the contention that McCain hid knowledge that many American POWs were left behind (undoubtedly some voluntarily choose to remain behind but not hundreds ). However, the article touched on some ideas that rang true:

Today when we consider the major countries of the world we see that in many cases the official leaders are also the leaders in actuality: Vladimir Putin calls the shots in Russia, Xi Jinping and his top Politburo colleagues do the same in China, and so forth. However, in America and in some other Western countries, this seems to be less and less the case, with top national figures merely being attractive front-men selected for their popular appeal and their political malleability, a development that may eventually have dire consequences for the nations they lead. As an extreme example, a drunken Boris Yeltsin freely allowed the looting of Russia's entire national wealth by the handful of oligarchs who pulled his strings, and the result was the total impoverishment of the Russian people and a demographic collapse almost unprecedented in modern peacetime history.

An obvious problem with installing puppet rulers is the risk that they will attempt to cut their strings, much like Putin soon outmaneuvered and exiled his oligarch patron Boris Berezovsky. One means of minimizing such risk is to select puppets who are so deeply compromised that they can never break free, knowing that the political self-destruct charges buried deep within their pasts could easily be triggered if they sought independence. I have sometimes joked with my friends that perhaps the best career move for an ambitious young politician would be to secretly commit some monstrous crime and then make sure that the hard evidence of his guilt ended up in the hands of certain powerful people, thereby assuring his rapid political rise.

The gist is that elite need a kill switch on their front men (and women).

http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-when-tokyo-rose-ran-for-president/

Cortes , July 24, 2016 at 11:16 am

Seems to be a series of pieces dealing with Vietnam POWs: the following linked item was interesting and provided a plausible explanation: that the US failed to pay up agreed on reparations…

http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-relying-upon-maoist-professors-of-cultural-studies/

marknesop , July 24, 2016 at 12:29 pm
Remarkable and shocking. Wheels within wheels – this is the first time I have ever seen McCain's father connected with the infamous Board of Inquiry which cleared Israel in that state's attack on USS LIBERTY during Israel's seizure of the Golan Heights.
Cortes , July 25, 2016 at 9:08 am
Another stunning article in which the author makes reference to his recent acquisition of what he considers to be a reliably authentic audio file of POW McCain's broadcasts from captivity. Dynamite stuff. The conclusion regarding aspiring untenured historians is quite downbeat:

http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-will-there-be-a-spotlight-sequel-to-the-killing-fields/

marknesop , July 25, 2016 at 10:40 am
Also remarkable; fantastic. It's hard to believe, and a testament to the boldness of Washington dog-and-pony shows, because this must have been well-known in insider circles in Washington – anything so damning which was not ruthlessly and professionally suppressed and simply never allowed to become part of a national discussion would surely have been stumbled upon before now. Land of the Cover-Up. yalensis , July 25, 2016 at 3:40 pm
So, McCain was Hanoi Jack broadcasting from the Hanoi Hilton?

[Jul 28, 2016] The origins and motivations for the formation of the European Union and the forces that have shaped the EU bureaucracy into an arm of the IMF/World Bank-led Wall Street hegemon

Notable quotes:
"... In order to understand Brexit in its full historical context, we must know about the origins and motivations for the formation of the European Union and the forces that have shaped the EU bureaucracy into an arm of the IMF/World Bank-led Wall Street hegemon. ..."
marknesop.wordpress.com
Warren , July 24, 2016 at 7:42 am

Published on 20 Jul 2016
SHOW NOTES AND MP3: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=19300

In order to understand Brexit in its full historical context, we must know about the origins and motivations for the formation of the European Union and the forces that have shaped the EU bureaucracy into an arm of the IMF/World Bank-led Wall Street hegemon. Today Professor Michel Chossudovsky joins us to expose the EU as the imperial project that it always was, and the growing movement against EU domination as an anti-imperial movement of world historical importance.

[Jul 28, 2016] I am missing a white sock from the laundry I did over the weekend. I know Putin did it

www.moonofalabama.org

Bob In Portland | Jul 25, 2016 12:18:47 PM | 88

I am missing a white sock from the laundry I did over the weekend. I know Putin did it, I'm just not sure how he broke into my basement to steal it. All the other sock-stealing suspects, Hussein, Khadafy, bin Laden, they've all been killed. So it has to be Putin.

[Jul 28, 2016] Putin is God -- it is well-known scientific fact

Notable quotes:
"... Seems Putin controls Trump and Clinton! The man is amazing. ..."
"... Hold on there, Clintonites - Both I and the World remember seeing Madame Clinton herself hand over to Putin that gigantic red Reset button. ..."
"... So now, of course - he's resetting EVERYTHING! And you, dear lady, you gave it to him! I rest my case. ..."
"... Putin is god--it is well-known scientific fact. He actually controls the weather and even Earth's rotation speed. Russians always knew it, now, with the advancement of information technologies (also controlled by Putin--ah yes, he, not Al Gore, invented the internet) decadent West can witness his powers and omnipresence. Remember Katrina? Putin! Remember the water main break in NYT--also Putin. I had a constipation last week--damn Putin. Got rid of constipation and back to normal BMs--Putin's hand was definitely in it. If you look attentively at HRC for 20+ minutes you will see Putin's image surfacing on her face. ..."
"... In an interview Andrew Bacevich spoke about what he saw at various institutes, academic, etc. conferences he attended as an academic which I believe has effected his later known books. He noted among other things, that there was an inability for empathic thinking. He did not mean sympathy, but rather the act of trying to understand the actions of other people. I think the phrase is to treat people as rational actors. As horrific as Hitler was, historians dug into his motivations for example, for his invasion of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... The propaganda demonization of Putin and the Russians is part of the same playbook republicans and the neocons used to fertilize the field of popular belief for the justification of war and invasion of Iraq to the American people (but now followed by democrats). Every one of those articles is a bit of propaganda manure which will eventually sprout the seeds of conflict and war. ..."
"... What I find alarming about all of this Putin bashing and Hillary using it in her campaign is that I am seeing many of my acquaintances who identify as liberal/progressive Democrats are becoming more and more anti-Russian. ..."
"... I like a good meme as much as the next guy, but there wasn't any putin-did-it in that Reuters article about the ferry accident in NY. ..."
"... 'But Russia is secretly plotting even more nefarious schemes. Putin is infiltrating Europe. And not only Europe.' US regime would never infiltrate europe...its already there! ..."
"... All I can say here is ... this is Sheer Comedy Gold. Hollywood couldn't make this stuff up. ..."
"... PS - anyone know what Putin does on the seventh day? ..."
"... @60 He really is versatile. No sooner had he finished rigging the Brexit vote than he was off to France in a truck. Then he was spotted in Kabul. This week he has been busy making trouble in Germany and he still finds time to fake HRC's emails. The man must be stopped! ..."
"... Indeed. Democrats have become hysterical and unhinged in all things regarding Clinton. I have been reading a few Democrat partisan sites. With the DNC blaming Putin/Russians for the release of the DNC emails, the partisans are demanding what amounts to McCarthy era witch hunts, and some strong immediate NATO action against the Russians for the evil act. One supporter had a posting showing how the Russians plan to invade the Baltics with graphics showing the invasion route -- good grief. It is curious to see that those not buying the propaganda are drawing comparisons to the witch hunts of the 1950s'. ..."
"... When I post or talk to partisan Dems I don't get accused of supporting Trump but called a Putin lackey/stooge. ..."
"... Thanks for quote-will use it . You did something readers of anti-Russian/Putin propaganda don't do. Actually listen to or read what Putin says. I am still puzzled even though I shouldn't be when I read descriptions of Putin in the Western media, and then read what he actually said or acted on: two people from two different planets. I was listening to Stephen Cohen, and he said the same thing. Nobody bothers to read what Putin says, forget his actions. ..."
www.moonofalabama.org
Zico | Jul 24, 2016 10:42:09 AM | 1
M of A - Clinton Asserts Putin Influence On Trump - After Taking Russian Bribes

Off topic but still within context of the West's "lets bash Russia/Putin at every chance we get"..

Seems the BBC and their assorted groupies just got eggs all over their collective faces after the IOC ruled that Russian athletes can compete in the olympics. The British press are crying foul - dunno if they're afraid of losing to Russian athlete or something.

This whole doping thing stunk from day one.. All the accusers pretends they never dope before. But then, anything to humiliate Russia and Putin will do. How many American athletes have been caught doping - yet nobody called for a blanket ban on the American Olympic team. The hypocrisy is just beyond stupid!!!

Watch this space, won't be long before we see a campaign to oust the current OIC chief..lol

dh | Jul 24, 2016 12:07:52 PM | 7
okie farmer posted this on the US election thread...

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/07/23/pers-j23.html

Seems Putin controls Trump and Clinton! The man is amazing.

Only Jedi Knights can stop him.

fast freddy | Jul 24, 2016 12:10:28 PM | 8
Clinton/Kaine certainly confident that the MSM will not report. For all the money given to the Clinton's it didn't prevent the Ukraine disasters. Of course, Ukraine may not have been a concern among the particular oligarchs who made these bribes.
juliania | Jul 24, 2016 1:49:12 PM | 15
Hold on there, Clintonites - Both I and the World remember seeing Madame Clinton herself hand over to Putin that gigantic red Reset button.

C'mon, World - you SAW that, right?

So now, of course - he's resetting EVERYTHING! And you, dear lady, you gave it to him! I rest my case.

SmoothieX12 | Jul 24, 2016 2:42:26 PM | 27
Putin is god--it is well-known scientific fact. He actually controls the weather and even Earth's rotation speed. Russians always knew it, now, with the advancement of information technologies (also controlled by Putin--ah yes, he, not Al Gore, invented the internet) decadent West can witness his powers and omnipresence. Remember Katrina? Putin! Remember the water main break in NYT--also Putin. I had a constipation last week--damn Putin. Got rid of constipation and back to normal BMs--Putin's hand was definitely in it. If you look attentively at HRC for 20+ minutes you will see Putin's image surfacing on her face.
Erelis | Jul 24, 2016 5:19:58 PM | 41
In an interview Andrew Bacevich spoke about what he saw at various institutes, academic, etc. conferences he attended as an academic which I believe has effected his later known books. He noted among other things, that there was an inability for empathic thinking. He did not mean sympathy, but rather the act of trying to understand the actions of other people. I think the phrase is to treat people as rational actors. As horrific as Hitler was, historians dug into his motivations for example, for his invasion of the Soviet Union.

So we get with Putin not a rational understanding of what he does and why, but rather cartoon psychological and religious explanations which cannot be argued against as they defy rationality. How can one argue against people calling Putin evil as that person has not invoked a rational argument.

The propaganda demonization of Putin and the Russians is part of the same playbook republicans and the neocons used to fertilize the field of popular belief for the justification of war and invasion of Iraq to the American people (but now followed by democrats). Every one of those articles is a bit of propaganda manure which will eventually sprout the seeds of conflict and war.

ToivoS | Jul 24, 2016 7:07:06 PM | 48
What I find alarming about all of this Putin bashing and Hillary using it in her campaign is that I am seeing many of my acquaintances who identify as liberal/progressive Democrats are becoming more and more anti-Russian. By the time she becomes president there will be a majority of Democrats clamoring for war against Russia. This is something to worry about. Recall that liberal Democrat Truman got us involved in the Korean war and it was liber LBJ that led us to war in Vietnam. I recall very clearly how the liberal press in the US was advocating for and supporting war in Vietnam between 1964 and 1968. The liberalists of all liberal Democrats Hubert Humphrey was leading that charge.

Democratic Party partisans are losing their common sense in this effort to back Clinton. A year ago I could carry on rational discussion with those I know about how unwise our Ukraine policy is -- today when I try to defend Russia I am accused of backing Trump.

Akira | Jul 24, 2016 7:09:57 PM | 49
Hello Comrades,

Since the stupid secret encryption rings don't work after the last update, I have prepared our usual weekly PUTIN CONSPIRACY SITREP on the web:

https://4threvolutionarywar.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/14066/

We are winning! Rub it in!

ruralito | Jul 24, 2016 7:53:33 PM | 54
I like a good meme as much as the next guy, but there wasn't any putin-did-it in that Reuters article about the ferry accident in NY.
brian | Jul 24, 2016 8:35:27 PM | 57
'But Russia is secretly plotting even more nefarious schemes. Putin is infiltrating Europe. And not only Europe.' US regime would never infiltrate europe...its already there!
Jen | Jul 24, 2016 9:02:42 PM | 59
All I can say here is ... this is Sheer Comedy Gold. Hollywood couldn't make this stuff up.

Thank you B.

PS - anyone know what Putin does on the seventh day?

likklemore | Jul 24, 2016 9:18:34 PM | 60
@ Jen 59

PS - anyone know what Putin does on the seventh day?

He refreshes, reboots his energy and surveys all that he has done; here, there and everywhere on planets known or yet to be discovered.

Yesterday we had severe thunderstorms. Mr. Putin made mischief.

dh | Jul 24, 2016 9:45:37 PM | 62
@60 He really is versatile. No sooner had he finished rigging the Brexit vote than he was off to France in a truck. Then he was spotted in Kabul. This week he has been busy making trouble in Germany and he still finds time to fake HRC's emails. The man must be stopped!
V. Arnold | Jul 24, 2016 9:53:00 PM | 63
SmoothieX12 | Jul 24, 2016 2:42:26 PM | 27

Yes, yes, it's all true; Vladimir Putin, master of the universe; the Whirlwind; omnipotent; everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.
I'm so glad people are waking up to reality. :-)

Erelis | Jul 24, 2016 10:23:02 PM | 64
@ ToivoS 48

Indeed. Democrats have become hysterical and unhinged in all things regarding Clinton. I have been reading a few Democrat partisan sites. With the DNC blaming Putin/Russians for the release of the DNC emails, the partisans are demanding what amounts to McCarthy era witch hunts, and some strong immediate NATO action against the Russians for the evil act. One supporter had a posting showing how the Russians plan to invade the Baltics with graphics showing the invasion route -- good grief. It is curious to see that those not buying the propaganda are drawing comparisons to the witch hunts of the 1950s'.

When I post or talk to partisan Dems I don't get accused of supporting Trump but called a Putin lackey/stooge.

@ Relis 44

Thanks for quote-will use it . You did something readers of anti-Russian/Putin propaganda don't do. Actually listen to or read what Putin says. I am still puzzled even though I shouldn't be when I read descriptions of Putin in the Western media, and then read what he actually said or acted on: two people from two different planets. I was listening to Stephen Cohen, and he said the same thing. Nobody bothers to read what Putin says, forget his actions.

Putin should hire an agent and get a role on the TV series SHIELD as the new head of HYDRA. And then attend comic-cons giving out autographs.

jfl | Jul 25, 2016 1:25:28 AM | 70

Fort-Russ has the video of ' Putin's full speech ' at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum - 2016 with subtitles, I transcribed the subtitles , if any one else is interested in reading what he actually said on the subject of the US auto-missile defense in Romania and Poland.

[Jul 28, 2016] Unless it is fully disclosed what Rodchenkov is doing in the United States, who is paying him …and that some of his evidence is made public….then the IOC should discard this entire WADA and Mclaren report

marknesop.wordpress.com
Eric : July 23, 2016 at 11:03 am
https://www.rt.com/op-edge/352656-sochi-doping-scandal-russia/

Probably one of the best pieces I have read on the doping scandal…..it does highlight what a nonsensical approach it is to punish summer Olympic athletes for Winter Olympic "offences" (which the author knocks down comprehensively).

This is now both Browder and Rodchenkov, …2 guys punished for offences in Russia, both flee to the USA, both have undetermined locations of residence, both have their bollocks supported in massive PR campaigns by the American state, both can make criminal allegations… but both are unindictable…….and both are allowed to cause harm to the Russian state.

Unless it is fully disclosed what Rodchenkov is doing in the United States, who is paying him …and that some of his "evidence" is made public….then the IOC should discard this entire WADA and Mclaren report

marknesop , July 23, 2016 at 10:04 pm
That is a good piece, and it very effectively makes an important point. He's right that this is an angle on it that nobody has covered. It will be interesting to see what comes of the Speigel report on new discoveries relating to doping at Beijing and in the UK. But of course they would never ban any entire country but Russia.

This is bringing the real haters out of their holes, the ones who reacted with jubilation to the Russian ban. I can't protest the decision by ignoring the Olympics, because I don't pay any attention to them anyway, only checking the medals standings once in awhile online. Now I won't be interested enough even to do that. But I think there is going to be a significant decline in interest in the Games this time around; that's unfortunate for Brazil, because Washington is agitating for the Games to be a failure to discredit Brazil, as well. But in the end I think the effect will be positive – Brazil will learn a valuable lesson, and hopefully the blame for spoiling the Olympics as a sports venue will be laid at America's door where it belongs. If America cannot own something totally and brag about how thoroughly it is under its control, it must piss all over it to ruin it for everyone else.

Drutten , July 24, 2016 at 9:47 am

http://theduran.com/people-behind-ioc-decision/

This guy nails it, regarding the alleged Russian doping. Like I said a week ago or so, all of this was a way for Rodchenkov and the Stepanovs to secure some sort of future career after having been disgraced in Russia. That's all there is too it. I wonder if the IOC noticed this in their decision NOT to ban Russia from Rio, or if something else was at play.

marknesop , July 24, 2016 at 12:54 pm
Yes, most of it is a reprint of the Oriental Review piece. I'm so confused now that I don't know what is what. Is Russia banned from the Summer Olympics, or just its Track Team, or anyone or everyone? There's so much conflicting testimony. I think that Russia should not attend, as a protest to the way it has been treated, but as I mentioned before, it will be the last chance for some of them to set a new world record. That's balanced against Washington's probable heckling from the gallery and the probability that American officials will conspire to rig samples. Washington simply cannot be trusted, and this latest example of its perfidy was a grievous overstep which is building international sympathy for Russia. That will be imperiled if Russia participates. But of course it is up to the athletes.
Moscow Exile , July 26, 2016 at 4:55 am
http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/109793/11206178.ae0/0_11adfa_aad3b3a7_orig
A veritable icon of US sporting prowess and down-to-earth, honest competitiveness!

BBC: "WADA утратила пробы американских спортсменов с 1990 по 2016 год"

"As a result of the negligent actions of an employee of the cleaning company, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has lost all samples of American athletes who played for team USA since 1990", reports the BBC.

Cortes , July 26, 2016 at 10:20 am

Meanwhile an innocent Russian falls victim to the hysteria:

https://tyronetribulations.com/2016/07/24/russian-man-stripped-of-1972-washingbay-sports-wheelbarrow-race-medal/

marknesop , July 26, 2016 at 10:40 am
Brilliant! marknesop , July 26, 2016 at 10:32 am
That must be humor, because I can't find any mention of it anywhere in English; that would blow the lid right off the whole thing.
yalensis , July 26, 2016 at 5:52 pm
"As a result of the negligent actions of an employee of the cleaning company,…"
I think that was my brother-in-law, he's a real screw-up.
Always blame the cleaning crew.

[Jul 28, 2016] The tireless weaponiser does it again -- he weaponized hillary compaigh

marknesop.wordpress.com
Cortes , July 24, 2016 at 2:49 pm
Comedy gold:

http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160724/1043565225/trump-putin-hillary-wikileaks-dnc.html

The tireless weaponiser does it again.

marknesop , July 24, 2016 at 2:58 pm
Yes, I wouldn't have believed it if I had not seen it with my own eyes : Putin again. The Russian state obviously does not give him enough to do. He seems to have plenty of time on his hands to meddle around the world and to tirelessly work to thwart that nice Mrs. Clinton's plans. There is a real danger that Putin will suffer some sort of embolism in a laughing fit. What can you do but laugh? The United States government is so ridiculous, how humiliating for Americans.

As usual, it escapes unnoticed that Russian hackers must have gained access to Mrs. Clinton's illegal email server, which she was repeatedly warned against having in the first place, yet pretended various authorities had signed off on it and she was allowed to have it. She denied anyone else had gained access to it but now Putin is rolling around in a pile of her emails; how is that possible? She therefore deliberately and willfully put American security at risk. How does the FBI not see this? Would it have happened if she had used the government's server as she was supposed to do? Well, how many hacks has Putin offered up from that system? Pavlo Svolochenko , July 24, 2016 at 6:28 pm

If she treats all her staff like she used to treat the secret service, then the source of the leaks is probably much closer to home.
Cortes , July 26, 2016 at 4:17 am
Sauron as Clark Kent (that's Clark Kent, Pulitzer prize winner to you mortals):

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/will-putin-get-pulitzer/ri15861

[Jul 28, 2016] Polish ministers are blaming Russia for Volyn massacres but situation is much worse -- looks like he uses time travel to different centuries freely

marknesop.wordpress.com
Warren , July 24, 2016 at 7:09 am

Published on 24 Jul 2016
Polish lawmakers have adopted a resolution calling the massacres committed between 1943 and 1945 by Ukrainian nationalists against Polish people, genocide.

The document makes July 11 a day of remembrance for the victims of the atrocity.

marknesop , July 24, 2016 at 12:40 pm
That won't please Banderaland.

kirill , July 24, 2016 at 6:56 pm

No problems, Polish ministers are blaming Russia:

http://en.news-4-u.ru/the-minister-of-defence-of-poland-accused-the-volyn-massacre-russia.html

marknesop , July 24, 2016 at 7:03 pm
I wonder how the lurking embryo of Putin could be tied to it. Jen , July 25, 2016 at 5:10 am
According to The Daily Mail, it would not have been beyond the realms of possibility for Putin to have had a hand in organising the Volyn massacre. In a past life, he sat for Leonardo da Vinci and his portrait now hangs in the Louvre.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3361468/Evidence-suggests-Vladimir-Putin-immortal-thanks-Russians-discovering-secret-time-travel.html

yalensis , July 25, 2016 at 5:17 am
One of the commenters pointed out that Putin also served as the model (in 1350) for "Satan" in this detail of "The Last Judgement" by medieval painter Jacopo da Bologna:

marknesop , July 25, 2016 at 9:43 am
Don't forget that he is also a skin-changer who can become a dog when he chooses . No wonder he inspires such obsessive behavior.
colliemum , July 25, 2016 at 11:30 am
Putin can change into a dog, at will?
Hah! Now I know why I've found him so simpatico , being a Dog h.c. myself … Cortes , July 26, 2016 at 12:07 am
The Lord Ismay referred to earlier by Warren as first SecGen of NATO was known to his pals (!) as "Pug"…
cartman , July 25, 2016 at 5:43 am
yalensis , July 25, 2016 at 3:57 pm
The man in the picture is Giovanni Arnolfini , but actually a time-travelling Putin in disguise. His purpose in going back in time to Italy was to impregnate the lady in green. This was the year 1434.
The ultimate goal was to give birth to Antonio Grimani , who went on to cause several colossal military defeats, in favor of Ottoman Turkey.
This was Putin's way of changing history and propping up the Ottoman Empire back in the day. Presumably as a counter-weight to Western Europe.
Playing a very deep and very long game, which is little understood.
Oh, and the little dog was in on it too. 'cause remember that Putin can talk with the animals.
colliemum , July 25, 2016 at 10:37 pm
Heh. In future I shall look out for dogs into which Putin has shape-shifted.
there's at least one in my neighbourhood of which I'm aware of …

(At least he's not having any ruck with collies …)

Jen , July 25, 2016 at 4:18 pm
Putin must have been an evil Time Lord in disguise – The Master perhaps? – and the dog his trusty alien companion who asks dumb questions (so that TV viewers understand the plot). 'Cos you know, Time Lords don't time-travel alone.
Jen , July 25, 2016 at 4:15 pm
In a former life Putin was a 19th-century Greek military hero called Thanassoulas Valtinos:

… which would conflict with Putin having been some other famous 19th-century figure since Valtinos' year of birth was 1802.

marknesop , July 25, 2016 at 10:24 pm
He's like the original 'Highlander'; immortal, pretending to die every couple of decades, and coming back as some new guy. But in that movie, if you put all the names together and ran them through a sophisticated computer program, it would reveal that they are all anagrams of one another, and are really all the same name with the letters rearranged. Too clever by half, Mr. Putin! Or should I call you Napassoulasvalintsocanoline?
colliemum , July 25, 2016 at 10:40 pm
And just like the great chess player he is, he also fought on both sides in yon war, see here:
yalensis , July 26, 2016 at 4:43 am
Jen is on to something about Putin being a Timelord. But I don't think he is the Master, because the Master is COMPLETELY nuts in the head, he is, like, LA-LA-LA-LALLALALALA!, and the Master's schemes are always of the most hare-brained variety.

The Master will concoct some uber-complex plot to rule the universe which, after the twists and turns, basically boils down to cloning more Daleks. And in the end is always hoisted upon his own petard. Putin does not show any of this kind of impulsiveness, except in the case of nuzzling children's bellies.

Instead, I believe there is evidence that Putin is Lord Rassilon himself.

This is why the Presdient of Russia wears the Belt of Rassilon, the Tie of Rassilon, and even the Watch of Rassilon.

[Jul 28, 2016] July 25, 2016 at 2:18 am

marknesop.wordpress.com
I've been finding a lot of these things being forwarded on Twitter etc:

I find it rather amazing, actually. Russian media is being accused of "fakes" and "lies" when the reality is that they're almost always quoting Western media in verbatim on all these things. In this particular case, Swedish media reported a "powerful explosion, possibly several", and "a man holding a gun-like object" and "police has been called to the scene" and so on. Yep, that they did. Since it was in the central parts of the capital and all these things gave the impression something big could be brewing, international media quickly went nuts with it as well:

The Russians followed suit, naturally. Now, soon thereafter it turned out to be a case of overblown hysteria and the story quickly died out following that, with all media issuing retractions, including Russian dito.

But, quelle surprise – it's obviously yet another "Russia fake".

This is how these fucks build their cases, it's just like the massive disinformation about everything Ukraine. If you pick it apart and study each case of a "fake" or whatever, most (if not all) of it suddenly seems less insidious and more sensible, in the light of medias being medias, people being people, bad translations being bad translations and what not. Heck, a lot of the "fakes" are actually fakes by the alleged fake-spottters. Anyway, that's why the tsunami approach is being used, just a torrent of stuff that nobody will bother picking apart as you have no choice but to submit to the sheer volume of it.

It really pisses me off.

Drutten , July 25, 2016 at 2:25 am
Or take the Sochi Olympics. Total tsunami there as well, by the time false assertion #1 had been debunked by some brave soul there were 300 other assertions stacked on top. Or anything Russia in general, it doesn't matter, it's the same crap all over.

Hybrid war you say? Ну, ну…

Drutten , July 25, 2016 at 2:40 am
Also, regarding the above "Russia fake" – just to further prove what bullshit this is, this is what Sweden's most-read news site wrote at the time it had just occured:
http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article21715154.ab

" A powerful detonation was heard on Södermalm in Stockholm at lunch time.
Police arrived on site with several patrols and the street was cordoned off.
We don't know what has happened , says Albin Näverberg of the Stockholm police.

The blast, that witnesses describe as being powerful , was heard at 11:40 AM near Brännkyrkagatan on Södermalm. The street was cordoned off. A large police force was called to the site. Rescue services were there as well."

"Rescue services" meaning firefighters and/or paramedics. Clearly everybody thought some shit had gone down and there were multiple emergency vehicles, cordons and so on.

Drutten , July 25, 2016 at 2:56 am
Oh, and one last observation. The Russia disinformation tsunami approach reminds me of something very similar, namely tin foil hats peddling alien conspiracies and so on. They typically set out with their minds made up and then present "evidence" A, B, C. Once these have been debunked, they go "fine, but what about D, E, F" all the way to Z. Once that's been exhausted they jump all the way back to A, B, C as if nothing's happened at all, though this way around they typically attempt to overwhelm by referencing D-Z from the get go. Good god, it's depressing.

[Jul 28, 2016] Robert Parry slaps the NYT, Bellingcat and others around over analysis of photos in their struggle to attribute blame for MH17:

marknesop.wordpress.com
Robert Parry slaps the NYT, Bellingcat and others around over analysis of photos in their struggle to attribute blame for MH17:

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/will-nyt-retract-latest-anti-russian-fraud/ri15814

[Jul 27, 2016] Clinton is everything thats repugnant in Western politics.

Notable quotes:
"... Clinton and the Democrats have far more to worry about from Wikileaks than they do disaffected Sanders supporters. ..."
"... The game is rigged and the house always win. You should know that by now. ..."
"... the neoconservatives do not support or trust Trump or anyone who makes nice with Putin. Hillary is a dependable hawk. Victoria Nuland worked in her State Dept. The empire will continue with Hillary in the White House. ..."
"... The other reason she is vulnerable to Trump is because she is almost as loathed as he is but unlike Trump she doesn't generate the adulation to counter it. ..."
"... I think the election could be compared to the EU referendum because just like the EU it's very hard to feel much enthusiasm for Clinton, wheras just like the Brexit campaign, Trump generates strong support with a bunch of easy answers and cheap soundbites ..."
"... Even Bill Clinton chose someone other than Hillary ... shouldn't we? ..."
"... If Trump is elected. who knows what will happen, but we know what will happen if the Clintons are elected. I will vote for Trump and watch the events and hope that the DNC fragments and then watch as a revolution and a rebuilding of our political system begins. I do not anymore wars. With the Clintons, there will be a continuation and new wars, perhaps a conflict with Russia and mankind will vanish. ..."
"... Obama didn't equal huge positive change, so why do we think Trump can create huge negative change ??? ..."
"... There won't be a video, Goldman Sachs own her. And with either Clinton or Trump, we will still be living under the dictate of Wall Street. ..."
"... Once again this election is proof positive that you BUY elections. The masters of the DNC ordained that Clinton represent them and they were so insulated in their rich little world that they failed to recognize that she is unelectable; the republican turnout will be higher than it has ever been in history, so polarizing is she. People like me, poor people who crave change, will NOT vote for banks so, by default, Trump wins. ..."
www.theguardian.com
secretsquirrel72 , 2016-07-27 15:36:40
Clinton is everything that's repugnant in Western politics.
Adil Oyango -> Joel Marcuson , 2016-07-27 19:53:07
If Bernie won the nomination, and Clinton gave him 'belated and tepid support', he would still win the election by a large margin. Which is testament to Clinton's ineptitude as a politician
badcat , 2016-07-27 15:45:37
Yep, Clinton is campaigning in a way that increases Trump's chances, and she must know that. Why can't the Guardian have more columns like this one?
RooseveltDem , 2016-07-27 15:48:14
Clinton and the Democrats have far more to worry about from Wikileaks than they do disaffected Sanders supporters.
Drastich , 2016-07-27 15:48:46

I had hoped Obama would deliver genuine economic change – but that didn't happen. Before becoming a journalist, I even moved to Pennsylvania for a couple of months to volunteer for Barack Obama's campaign. I was enamored by his intelligence and the beautiful ways he wrote and spoke about race. But I was also thrilled (naively) that Obama seemed to get his money from small donors, and that he might break Wall Street's stranglehold on the Democrats.

The game is rigged and the house always win. You should know that by now.

JackGC -> MalleusSacerdotum , 2016-07-27 17:08:02
George won the vote in Florida because Cubans in Dade and Broward counties voted for him 4-1 over Gore. Why do you think she went to Miami last week and her V.P. is fluent in Spanish?

Latinos and women will vote in the tens of millions for Hillary. Plus, the neoconservatives do not support or trust Trump or anyone who makes nice with Putin. Hillary is a dependable hawk. Victoria Nuland worked in her State Dept. The empire will continue with Hillary in the White House.

Antagonym , 2016-07-27 15:54:15
Sanders would never have lost to Trump.
Hillary is incredibly vulnerable to Trump.

The Media and the DNC's obsession with making sure that Hillary won may go down as one of the greatest mistakes in American history.

Obviously she can win. But Sanders looks infinitely more capable of beating Trump in the states where it's going to be dog fight. Whereas Hillary represents everything Trump has specialised in opposing with such great success.

Ezajur Antagonym , 2016-07-27 20:35:53
Sanders would have brushed Trump off like a fly and peeled off large parts of his blue collar support. And Rep leaders would blush and giggle when discussing his integrity and honesty. But instead we get Hillary and her baggage train. Lousy.
extrapolator Antagonym , 2016-07-27 20:43:33

Whereas Hillary represents everything Trump has specialised in opposing with such great success.

Very good point.

The other reason she is vulnerable to Trump is because she is almost as loathed as he is but unlike Trump she doesn't generate the adulation to counter it.

I think the election could be compared to the EU referendum because just like the EU it's very hard to feel much enthusiasm for Clinton, wheras just like the Brexit campaign, Trump generates strong support with a bunch of easy answers and cheap soundbites.

If the Democrats are to bring about a different outcome they need to recognise just how bad their candidate is and really concentrate on running an anti-Trump campaign. As I see it it's the only they can win.

GRBnative -> Antagonym , 2016-07-27 22:24:22
Even Bill Clinton chose someone other than Hillary ... shouldn't we?
Axrivers , 2016-07-27 15:54:37
If Trump is elected. who knows what will happen, but we know what will happen if the Clintons are elected. I will vote for Trump and watch the events and hope that the DNC fragments and then watch as a revolution and a rebuilding of our political system begins. I do not anymore wars. With the Clintons, there will be a continuation and new wars, perhaps a conflict with Russia and mankind will vanish.
Kevin Skilling , 2016-07-27 15:56:15
Hopefully trump gets elected and puts Hilary on trial like he's promised...
bluepanther -> SaguaroRex , 2016-07-27 18:42:22
Poor whites in the U.S. are not voting for the "Left" because they have been dismissed, if not vilified, by the cosmopolitan luvvies of the Democratic Party who are in thrall to every trendy identity politics of the moment.
Drastich , 2016-07-27 15:58:21
The elections are the X-Factor theatre for us lot every 4/5 years.

The shadow government (Wall Street/global corporations/war machine) always remains the same throughout the decades, regardless of the rolling red/blue figurehead.

You can't get anywhere near the top job without being in the pocket of the kingmakers.

If only you could take the money out of politics. Maybe in a parallel universe we'll have grown up sufficiently to understand that it's absolutely this that kills any hope of democracy.

jgw791, 2016-07-27 16:01:13

Would a Trump presidency be a disaster? Yes. Would it cause all manner of economic, legal, political and moral crises? Definitely. Yup. Would a good chunk of Trump voters – even angry white Trump voters – grow to regret their votes? No doubt.

Would poor people and people of color – especially immigrants, those assumed to be immigrants and Muslims – pay the highest price?

Why would it be a disaster ?

Would it cause all manner of economic, legal, political and moral crises?

Would poor people and people of color – especially immigrants, those assumed to be immigrants and Muslims – pay the highest price?

I don't think you can categorically say it would be a disaster, any policy would still need to be voted through, and congress isn't suddenly going to change based on the President.

You thought Obama was going to change everything for the better, but he couldn't due to the restrictions of power on a president, so why do people think Trump is suddenly going to have unlimited power.

Obama didn't equal huge positive change, so why do we think Trump can create huge negative change ???

RavenGodiva , 2016-07-27 16:04:57
Bernie actually brought in the young crowd who frankly sees Clinton as an establishment dragging the sack candidate and would have never voted for her. Ron Paul did the same for Republicans.

He did actually start a conversation about what it means to be a socialist and have all the great ideas and no way to pay for them, except raise taxes.

Neither Bernie or Hillary have a response to get people employed. Their answer is to send people to school till they actually want to drop out of the perpetual education carousel and try and get a job.

I wouldn't consider the same old steal (tax) the working stiffs money from them under a different acronym (slush fund) a viable plan.

PotholeKid , 2016-07-27 16:06:46
At last some rational commentary coming from the Guardian. The democratic party nominated Hillary Clinton last night and elected Donald Trump.. Blame Clinton, Wasserman and the rest of the crooked DNC cabal for what may well be the disintegration for the Democratic Party...
Madranon , 2016-07-27 16:14:44
If Hillary Clinton hadn't been married to Bill Clinton she would have come nowhere, she wouldn't have been a senator, the same principal as the Bush legacy, where would GWBush have got in the selection process if his father hadn't have been pulling strings. The US needs a president on merit, not who they are related to or married to. It is like a monarchy, just what the American revolution was carried out to escape from.
Curt Chaffee , 2016-07-27 16:16:55
There really is only one party at the Federal level and that is the $ party. The rest is just a carnival con game with the banners and shouting. The truth is that all of us but the very rich, have been abandoned by what is supposed to be representative govt. Sanders supporters have learned a hard lesson, that you can't reform this level of corruption from inside the system.
Atlant , 2016-07-27 16:20:49
Another interesting aspect will be the Wall Street speeches that no one has mentioned for a while.

Clinton still refuses to disclose anything about those but now, she's up against the very people to whom those speeches were delivered. They not only have transcripts, they doubtless have VIDEO and that video will probably surface at the least-convenient time for Clinton.

circuit Atlant , 2016-07-27 16:32:02
There won't be a video, Goldman Sachs own her. And with either Clinton or Trump, we will still be living under the dictate of Wall Street.
stderr2 , 2016-07-27 16:27:57
> the Democrats seem bent on putting up people and policies that
> will redistribute money to Wall Street and ignore the 99% when their
> base been screaming at them to stop this.
> Americans might not regret casting a vote for Trump until it's too late.
>
One of the policies that Trump advocates is less of a seeming oneness with Wall Street. If Obama couldn't divorce himself of that sort of thing, why do you think that Hillary Big Banks Pay Me Big Bucks For Speeches Clinton would?
Dalivus , 2016-07-27 16:38:16
Once again this election is proof positive that you BUY elections. The masters of the DNC ordained that Clinton represent them and they were so insulated in their rich little world that they failed to recognize that she is unelectable; the republican turnout will be higher than it has ever been in history, so polarizing is she. People like me, poor people who crave change, will NOT vote for banks so, by default, Trump wins.

[Jul 27, 2016] http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/07/syria-and-the-dnc-hack-how-believes-turn-into-dangerous-policies.html#more

Notable quotes:
"... As life exceeds satire, one can imagine that within a week Wikileaks will produce those "missing e-mails". And later Hillary's Wall Street speeches, following the next appeal from Trump. ..."
"... PB @ 4, confirming some earlier analysis that trump is playing the media for suckers over HRC's hysteria. "Trump calls on Kremlin to commit acts of espionage against Hillary Clinton." omg. ..."
"... they cannot afford to have the truth about ISIS revealed. They need the next president to continue their lies. It is terrifying. ..."
"... Even if Russia did the hack and leaked that information (no evidence) -- so what? We have done and do the same all the time in other countries. Just doesn't feel as good when you are at the receiving end. ..."
"... It's like 9/11. What do you desperately want to believe? What are you desperately afraid to admit? ..."
"... No amount of 'debunking' of the DNC's assertions will affect the beliefs of those who want to believe, who are afraid to admit that they are going to vote for the corporate whore who mocks them with her pathetic ruses. The corporate media have suffered irreparable damage to their credibility over the past decade, at least. ..."
"... What is scary about this campaign is that the anti-Russian hysteria is being incorporated by Hillary supporters. By the time she is elected there will be many millions of Democrats crying for war against Russia. The last time a Democrat ran to the right of the Republican in a presidential election was the Kennedy-Nixon race. That resulted in Kennedy entering office and believing his own bs. He then very quickly carried out the Bay of Pigs fiasco but much worse the near start of WWIII during the Cuban missile crisis. ..."
"... Hillary is definitely stupid enough to listen to her neocon advisers and, fueled with self righteous Russian hatred, get us involved in some shooting war with them in Syria, Ukraine or the Baltic region. Very dangerous times ahead I fear. This why I am moving closer and closer to voting for Trump rather than a third party. ..."
"... Great observation. Cuts to the chase, to bedrock reality. We are the Evil Empire that Ronald Reagan ranted about. Have been since the Dulles Boys' coup. ..."
"... Trump is beginning to look like the lessor of two evils. And we Americans are proven suckers for that line of 'reasoning'. The champion poll forecaster now 'shows Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton with a shocking 15 percentage point-greater chance of winning if the general election were held today.'. ..."
www.moonofalabama.org
NoOneYouKnow | Jul 27, 2016 3:04:03 PM | 3
Usually, the only thing that stops mass- and self-delusion (and the attending propaganda) on this scale is the massive intervention of reality. I worry that many casualties will ensue.
Trump apparently said in his press conference that the US should cooperate to with Russia to destroy ISIS. The panic created in DC by this man must be incredible.
Piotr Berman | Jul 27, 2016 3:29:55 PM | 4
ELECTION 2016
Trump Calls for Russia's Help to Expose Emails Clinton Deleted
By ASHLEY PARKER 11:44 AM ET (NYT)
"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Donald J. Trump said, referring to messages deemed personal by Hillary Clinton and deleted from her private email server.

===

As life exceeds satire, one can imagine that within a week Wikileaks will produce those "missing e-mails". And later Hillary's Wall Street speeches, following the next appeal from Trump.

jason | Jul 27, 2016 3:37:41 PM | 5
PB @ 4, confirming some earlier analysis that trump is playing the media for suckers over HRC's hysteria. "Trump calls on Kremlin to commit acts of espionage against Hillary Clinton." omg.

Terry | Jul 27, 2016 3:45:33 PM | 6

There is just not enough of Orville Redenbacher's popcorn to last to the end of this crazy 2016 . I think if Putin came out personally and said that he did it the world would cheer . yet for some reason Russia needs to be vilified ...Thanks for the work you do b ...
jo6pac | Jul 27, 2016 3:46:23 PM | 7
Here are some real experts on this and check comments there is a former server coder writing this up.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/07/nsa-whistleblower-not-so-fast-on-claims-russia-behind-dnc-email-hack.html

jo6pac | Jul 27, 2016 3:50:17 PM | 8
Terry at 6 here is your request.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2016/07/exclusive-interview-putin-dnc-emails-russia-love.html

A little humor for the day ;)

ian | Jul 27, 2016 3:54:01 PM | 9
What cracks me up about the idea that the Russians were behind the DNC hack is that Putin has little to fear from the accusation. It would probably help him politically at home and seriously, what are we going to do about it? Go to war? More sanctions? Denounce Russia in the UN? He's probably having a good laugh over the whole thing.
Ondine | Jul 27, 2016 4:03:29 PM | 10
3, they cannot afford to have the truth about ISIS revealed. They need the next president to continue their lies. It is terrifying.
karlof1 | Jul 27, 2016 4:10:27 PM | 11

Pat Buchanan provides some interesting thoughts on the subject, "Will Putin Get a Pulitzer?" http://www.theamericanconservative.com/buchanan/will-putin-get-a-pulitzer/

psychohistorian | Jul 27, 2016 4:12:41 PM | 12
Here are a couple of links to techie stories about the issue. They each have links and educational comments. How deep down the rabbit hole do you want to go?
okie farmer | Jul 27, 2016 4:58:07 PM | 13
Assange Timed WikiLeaks Release of Democratic Emails to Harm Hillary Clinton

The New York Times

By CHARLIE SAVAGE

5 hrs ago

WASHINGTON - Six weeks before the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks published an archive of hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of the Democratic convention, the organization's founder, Julian Assange, foreshadowed the release - and made it clear that he hoped to harm Hillary Clinton's chances of winning the presidency.

Mr. Assange's remarks in a June 12 interview underscored that for all the drama of the...

b | Jul 27, 2016 5:38:59 PM | 15
Bush lawyer Jack Goldsmith: Yet More Thoughts on the DNC Hack: Attribution and Precedent

Essentially: "Even if Russia did the hack and leaked that information (no evidence) -- so what? We have done and do the same all the time in other countries. Just doesn't feel as good when you are at the receiving end."

Cortes | Jul 27, 2016 5:41:52 PM | 16
Thanks, b - a very acute analysis. It reminds me of the warning of false narrative the "Merlin" sponsors were peddling which Control warned George Smiley about in Le Carre's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy":

"They're buying their way in with false money, George."

jfl | Jul 27, 2016 5:44:47 PM | 17
It's like 9/11. What do you desperately want to believe? What are you desperately afraid to admit?

Trump made light of the charges with 'hope the Russians find the 30,000 missing emails' crack, but his vp immediately made a show of taking the claim seriously ... he looks to be the mole set up by the RNC to take down Trump.

No amount of 'debunking' of the DNC's assertions will affect the beliefs of those who want to believe, who are afraid to admit that they are going to vote for the corporate whore who mocks them with her pathetic ruses. The corporate media have suffered irreparable damage to their credibility over the past decade, at least.

The D-N-Cee,
the men-a-ger-ie,
they're not for you,
and they're not for me!
They're runnin' in circles,
around the tree.

When they turn to butter, let's make pancakes. I'm so hungry I could eat one hundred and sixty-nine! Breakfast for us indigenes.

ToivoS | Jul 27, 2016 6:15:43 PM | 18
What is scary about this campaign is that the anti-Russian hysteria is being incorporated by Hillary supporters. By the time she is elected there will be many millions of Democrats crying for war against Russia. The last time a Democrat ran to the right of the Republican in a presidential election was the Kennedy-Nixon race. That resulted in Kennedy entering office and believing his own bs. He then very quickly carried out the Bay of Pigs fiasco but much worse the near start of WWIII during the Cuban missile crisis.

Hillary is definitely stupid enough to listen to her neocon advisers and, fueled with self righteous Russian hatred, get us involved in some shooting war with them in Syria, Ukraine or the Baltic region. Very dangerous times ahead I fear. This why I am moving closer and closer to voting for Trump rather than a third party.

jayc | Jul 27, 2016 6:17:42 PM | 20
Credit to Julian Assange for having guts. If Clinton should win it's foreseeable that a major effort to regime-change Ecuador will ensue so they can get him booted from the London embassy straight into a CIA jet.
dahoit | Jul 27, 2016 6:37:29 PM | 21
Putin knows the zionists hate him, and Trump. I don't believe he would release this stuff. just because of the anti Russian BS the MSD would stir, which wo proof, they are anyway.

I read it was Guccifer?somewhere,a Russian? blogger.

This will all backfire,as the American people have been had too many times by the serial liars.

What if this came from GB,say?What would be the reaction then?

And why is Russia,who has never done a thing to US,in history,an enemy,when the Zionists spy,bribe and control our whole nation,nakedly,shamelessly,but there is the ol'crickets only, chirping in the weeds?

Yahoo to Putin; Hey, you are cutting in on our action.

jfl | Jul 27, 2016 6:38:00 PM | 22
@18 Toivo S

Trump as the lessor of two evils. Everyday in every way ... Who'd'a thunk it?

lysias | Jul 27, 2016 6:40:02 PM | 23
WaPo comment sections are full of people who seem to be true believers in the ideology of the new Cold War. Or maybe they only say that because they're being paid to do so. Hard to believe so many people could be so stupid.
hejiminy cricket | Jul 27, 2016 6:51:46 PM | 24
I was thinking the other day that Putin should send a squad of angry babushkas after the sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits running the DNC. Evidently this is already in the works.

#UKRAINE-UA police released warning that the "#HolyCross Procession includes violent grandmas who provoke Ukrainian youth to beat them up."

https://mobile.twitter.com/gbazov/status/758426948309651456

jfl | Jul 27, 2016 7:06:18 PM | 25
@15 b

Great observation. Cuts to the chase, to bedrock reality. We are the Evil Empire that Ronald Reagan ranted about. Have been since the Dulles Boys' coup.

Still I agree with yours and with Toivo S' point just above. Trump is beginning to look like the lessor of two evils. And we Americans are proven suckers for that line of 'reasoning'. The champion poll forecaster now 'shows Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton with a shocking 15 percentage point-greater chance of winning if the general election were held today.'.

psychohistorian | Jul 27, 2016 7:31:06 PM | 26
@ jfl

Before the Dulles Boy's coup there was the changing of the motto in the 1950's from E Pluribus Unum (Out of many, one) to In Gawd We Trust.

Before that in 1913 the Fed was created with the 12 regional banks owned privately.

Has the City of London and that empire ever died?

Has the City of Rome corner of the global financial system ever been made clear?

The basic tenets of the Western way are private ownership of property enhanced by rampant inheritance at the top and private finance owned and operated by historical families and others unknown. It is sad to me when commenter here and other places rail on about bankers and corporations and not the global cabal that own them all.

Why can't humanity evolve beyond private finance to totally sovereign finance and, at a minimum, neuter inheritance laws globally so that none can accumulate enough to control social policy? Private finance is a cancer humanity can no loner afford.

[Jul 26, 2016] He convinced none of us: Bernie Sanders diehards react to convention speech

Notable quotes:
"... See, I believe progressive people are sick of collecting the little scraps they're thrown after the real corporate agenda has been set in stone. If there was ever a time to not go along with this, stand firm and say ''No more'', this is it. ..."
"... This movement is bigger than Bernie Sanders. If Hillary loses to Trump, it won't be the fault of Sanders supporters, but the slimy lies and corruption of her and the DNC. It has been said that the Democratic party is the place where social movements die. Good to know that "Berners" still want to fight for the greater good, something establishment politics doesn't provide. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton = Jeb! + Gun Control ..."
"... Sanders supporters will get more for their vote with Trump than with Hillary. ..."
"... If Bernie truly believes that Hillary would "make an outstanding president" why did he stand against her in the first place? ..."
"... Hillary is an imperialist. If there's actually a "lesser evil" out of these two, I don't see it. ..."
"... A vote for Clinton is condemning Middle Eastern people to their deaths with the obvious invasions that she'll likely cook up. ..."
"... Trump wants to make jobs, better the education system and raise salaries. Voting for Trump will bring Sanders supporters more of what they want and less is they vote for Clinton. ..."
"... I cancelled my visit to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia when I realised it was going to be Hilary Clinton. She is a female version of Tony Blair, even, more dishonest and unscrupulous. Had the blacks and latinos voted for Sanders in numbers, this result could have been avoided. But we have to live with it. The hope is that Bernie has started a movement that will survive and perhaps one day we will have a social democratic president in the USA. ..."
"... Make Sanders VP and then Assange plus the FBI will take care of the details. Simple. ..."
"... I may have voted Hillary, but then "DWS". Tomorrow I become a independent. F@ck the DNC 30 years a Dem now a disappointed. ..."
"... It's Billary who intends to pursue a more 'muscular' foreign policy http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hillary-clinton-middle-east_us_56f06ab2e4b09bf44a9e3177 ..."
"... Crooked Clinton and her crooked backers are laughing their asses off at Bernie. The old fool is being used. ..."
"... She's dishonest, She has no clear principles, and She has a long history of questionable judgement/ethics. The first two issues are ones of degree: just about all of us are guilty of the occasional fib, and people often alter their views to what is fashionable. Politicians tend to be especially bad in both regards. But even by the low standards of politicians, Clinton stands out. Clinton's "flexible reality" is really something to behold. ..."
"... Or take the Trans Pacific Partnership, which Clinton stewarded during her tenure as Secretary of State. Caught in a close fight with far-left candidate Bernie Sanders, Clinton was quick to jettison the TPP and distance herself from it, even though her husband and she have decades of unequivocal support for free trade. The list could go on and on. There are plenty of politicians who equivocate on important issues, and whose views "evolve" to magically fit what voters want. But Clinton is special in her ability to (a) voice strong views on various issues and then (b) act as though those who remember her prior views are crazy. The problem that most people have with Clinton is that if free trade returned to being en vogue in 2018, or there was a successful movement to amend the Constitution to prohibit gay marriage, there's a pretty good chance that Clinton would be at the forefront, claiming that those were "always" her views, and that prior statements to the contrary were taken out of context/the work of the "vast, right-wing conspiracy." ..."
"... Oh, and another thing, which I'll never get tired of repeating: if the past few years proved anything, is that a President can only do so much against a hostile House. ..."
"... While it's obvious why the Clinton camp would want to convince people a Trump presidency would bring forth the Armageddon, the true battle is not for the president: it's for the two houses. It will be the two houses that determine who the next SCOTUS is, it will be the two houses that pass legislation, it will be the two houses that approve or reject the next President's war plans. A red house will make a Clinton presidency irrelevant, and a blue house will make a Trump presidency harmless. ..."
"... Clinton on the other hand, is a chicken hawk psychopath establishment lackey who believes the rule of Law simply doesn't apply to her and also has a husband who deregulated all the financial sector, removed welfare, deregulated healthcare to the benefit of big business, has links to Iran Contra, is sexually dysfunctional and if you believe multiple credible authors (including Christopher Hitchens) is probably a rapist. She too would be a terrible President. ..."
"... I can't believe you're seriously suggesting that voting for a member of the Clinton Crime family is so much better and the only option but then again, you believe in the 2 party system and talk about Democrats and Republicans in a ridiculously tribal and childish way. It's time for you to wake up and smell the coffee. Trump is almost certainly a narcissistic, uneducated, racist, self-obsessed sociopath whose sole obsession in life is the acquisition of material wealth. He would undoubtedly be a terrible President. Clinton on the other hand, is a chicken hawk psychopath establishment lackey who believes the rule of Law simply doesn't apply to her and also has a husband who deregulated all the financial sector with disastrous results, removed welfare, deregulated healthcare to the benefit of big business, has links to Iran Contra, is sexually dysfunctional and if you believe multiple credible authors (including Christopher Hitchens) is probably a rapist. Clinton too would be a terrible President. ..."
"... The Clinton team have been busy insulting progressives for the past year and they did not give us much in the massaged platform. The choice of VP was another slap in the face along with Debbie's new job. ..."
"... The Clintonites are nothing but bullies, gutless wonders willing to grovel before power. In supporting her they betray every good thing this nation ever stood for. They are willing to accept corruption, lies, and incompetence for reasons I don't comprehend, ignoring clear lawbreaking in order to install their false idol. ..."
"... Leave it and join the Greens, join the Libertarians, join anything but the party of the corrupt, the party of betrayal, the party of the oligarchs. ..."
"... The Guardian comment on the leaked emails: 'this seems to mark a new development in the constant struggle of propaganda and disinformation' ... could easily be said about its own approach. Oh the irony. ..."
"... If you haven't seen this amazing rant by a Bernie delegate, your life is missing something: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydIbIgg7djI ..."
"... This was never about Sanders. The Clinton folks spent so much time portraying us as blind followers that they started to believe their own hype. It was always about progressive policies and values and if Sanders endorses a candidate who doesn't share those valued, a candidate who will take to us war it's time to say: thanks you Sanders for all you've done but I can't join you on the path you are walking on now. ..."
"... Clinton and cronies will say or do anything to bring over the Bernie fans. When she no longer needs them she will throw them away along with their ideas. The important decisions were made long before anyone showed up in Phila. The fact DWS was given a job on HC's staff after getting fired says it all. Now Bernie sells out. Don't you feel just a little used? ..."
"... With the exception of one super delegate, the majority of the DNC super delegates had already endorsed Hilary before the first primary, and none changed his/her vote when Bernie got traction. Even his closest ally, in ideology, Liz Warren, did not endorse Bernie. That is how corrupt & controlling the DNC leadership has become: in this election they clearly are the king makers, while the GOP produced 18 well-known candidates that tore each other to pieces. That tells you how planned this whole thing was with the Democrats. Both parties are corrupt; but while the GOP suffers from internal Chaos & cannibalism, the DNC acted with a script that fits more the way Russians have been picking their presidents. ..."
"... Well, perhaps a Trump victory can finally help DNC internalize the message of America's Progressives. So, I have a better analogy for not voting & possibly seeing Trump win; sometimes you lose an arm in order to save the body. ..."
"... Chicken hawk psychopath with innumerable foreign policy disasters on her watch including Libya; ..."
"... Bought and paid for by the usual suspects - Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan etc; ..."
"... A security risk to the US i.e. used an unencrypted private server which was contrary to the rules, was routinely hacked by foreign powers, contained information about covert US black sites and was also obviously designed to hide Clinton Foundation business dealings/shenanigans. This had nothing to do with convenience; - Subverted the democratic process with regards to her nomination. ..."
"... Do I really need to go on? ..."
"... Reagan started deregulation, but Billy Boy and Robert Rubin continued with devastating abandon. Just one piece of legislation: Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 - largely the cause of the 2007/2008 subprime derivatives crisis. ..."
www.theguardian.com
newjerseyboi , 2016-07-26 12:50:36
HC stepping down in her acceptance speech 'for the good of the country'
One can dream..
Nash25 , 2016-07-26 12:41:16
Sanders is being just being a political realist. He knows that Hillary is a lying sociopath, but she will still be easier to deal with than Trump who is also stupid and erratic.

The best way to push Hillary to the left is to vote for her and then keep up the pressure through every political means available. Contribute to truly progressive organizations (not the DNC), volunteer, demonstrate, etc.

Lovecraftian , 2016-07-26 12:27:19
I think the problem here is that while it is only rational for Americans to vote Hillary to big up the anti-Trump vote and stop him getting in, there is a double bind in the sense that if Hillary takes power with her traditional Democrat big business/small time social reform politics, then it may make people complacent. I think this what the Bernie radical edge is concerned about; the last few decades have shown that people are really, really easy to pacify if they are able to just cruise on the mediocrity of self-interested neoliberal governments that throw a few crumbs from the table.

I don't necessarily think the argument is a good enough excuse if it means handing Trump the presidency. After all, he might not be able to do everything he says going to do with congress in the way, but he could still do an awful lot of damage whereever he can get support, and it's irresponsible to let him get away with it when you could have helped try to stop him.

The most important thing is that people do not forget that their job is to go above and beyond the supporting of any particular leader, and maintain pressure on whoever is in power to turn things around dramatically and irreversibly.

Nash25 , 2016-07-26 12:11:24
Sanders's supporters are correct not to trust Hillary. Throughout their careers in politics, both Clintons have repeatedly demonstrated that when they are caught up in personal scandals they react by making enormous concessions to conservatives, completely undermining the liberals who elected them.

This might not be a problem if the Clintons' scandals were rare, but Bill is a serial abuser of lower-status women and Hillary will do anything for money. They just can't control themselves. They are always involved in unsavory activities which is why they are so paranoid and secretive.

You would think that liberals would have realized that these two can't be trusted but many liberals are hopelessly naïve and they focus on rhetoric and not past behavior when choosing a candidate.

BunyipBluegum , 2016-07-26 12:10:28
Here are the 6 steps I recommend US progressives take in the coming months to get the best outcome from the November elections and beyond:
1) Support progressive Democratic candidates wherever they are running.
2) In the presidential race: in states that are solidly Democratic or Republican, vote for Jill Stein
3) In swing states, vote for Hillary Clinton to ensure Trump is defeated
4) Keep the pressure on Clinton to ensure she abides by the policy commitments she made to Bernie Sanders
5) Raise awareness among progressives, moderates and all minority groups about the need to change the voting system to proportional representation, and lobby Democratic politicians to support this change also
6) Keep building the political movement that Bernie has inspired, and be willing to transform ideals into action by becoming involved in politics and effective activism in a long-term way.
JWallac , 2016-07-26 12:06:17
The DNC is a corrupt organisation. There is no doubt.
So is the Republican party.

The choice people are faced with is unpalatable to say the least. It's one of the starkest examples of a lesser of two evils decision as I've ever seen.

Clinton is a right leaning democrat, heavily enmeshed in the Washington machine. She's 100% a part of the establishment. She's a hawk.
She's everything wrong with the political system in the US.
You would only vote for her if you were faced with something worse...

BunyipBluegum , 2016-07-26 12:02:02
The elephant in the room in the whole Hillary vs Bernie vs Trump debate is the US voting system. The current US electoral system is a variation of 'first past the post', which is the worst type of voting system it is possible to have in a democracy. Not only does it promote the dominance of one or two massive corporatised parties, but it punishes those who vote for smaller parties and independents by effectively denying their vote any value in determining the candidate who will be elected. The preferential system (used in Australia) is better, but still tends to result in a 2 party state.

If progressive activists want to create a more conducive environment for electing progressive leaders in the future, they need to start campaigning for a move to proportional representation, as favoured by the vast majority of democracies, including virtually all European states, New Zealand, Israel, South Africa and most developing nations. This system allows for greater representation for all voices in the political process, and does not disenfranchise those who vote for smaller parties.

This change is unlikely to happen in a hurry, but it does need to happen at some stage, unless progressives want to continually be forced into choosing between voting for an undesirable centre-right candidate such as Clinton, or voting for a stronger candidate, such as Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein, and potentially losing the value of their vote.

johnny5eyes , 2016-07-26 11:56:06
This does all beg the question as to why the Democrats couldn't find a better 'mainstream' candidate than Clinton if she's that unpopular. The answer I suspect is 'money'.
SeeNOevilHearNOevil , 2016-07-26 11:11:56

the Vermont senator was "bending reality in favour of what he feels is the most responsible course".

See, I believe progressive people are sick of collecting the little scraps they're thrown after the real corporate agenda has been set in stone. If there was ever a time to not go along with this, stand firm and say ''No more'', this is it.

It's about punishing the corrupt system that always gets away with murder and making it pay the price. Because the people WILL pay the price if either Trump or Hilary gets elected. And the blame for this won't lie with those that don't vote for a corrupt politician like Hilary, the blame will lie with those that rigged the system and those who did vote for her.

skyewhite , 2016-07-26 10:48:37
HC and Putin.

I am astonished that The Secretary of State would go on record and be filmed personally insulting Putin, when this is such a sensitive time, or at ANY time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wJXJWL8XgY

hartebeest , 2016-07-26 10:21:02
Most of this sounds pretty reasonable to me- vote Clinton if a swing state, otherwise Stein; put pressure on Clinton to deliver concrete policy proposals (eg on TPP); recognition that progressive politics doesn't begin and end with Sanders (important because it means this isn't just populism focused on a single leader).

But...does anyone ever raise the possibility of voting reform in the US? Because the way the landscape is now cannot be comfortably accommodated by two parties. It should be no surprise that many Sanders supporters can't abide Clinton, (nor that trad republicans despair at Trump). In most Western democracies Clinton and Sanders would naturally belong in different parties.

Jennischum , 2016-07-26 09:58:05
He sold out to Hillary, who's got a billion dollars from Wall Street. So much for his principles
helpmejebus , 2016-07-26 09:34:35
Q: HRC meetings with Goldman and others?
I dunno. But I did public speaking. Its fun

Q: What do you think she is giving away in those meetings?

She doesn't want the people knowing about her relationships on Wall Street She wants to achieve consistency and the best way to do that is to keep the people ignorant

https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/emailid/4788

1iJack , 2016-07-26 09:32:38

Hillary is a liar, Bernie's exhausted.
- Donald Trump July 25, 2016

Don't worry, Bernie, you did good. Trump will kick her ass.

NTEightySix , 2016-07-26 09:32:32
The naivete of some people who still fall for the politics of "lesser evils" is staggering. There is no good outcome of this election. On one hand you have a fascist with little clue of what he's doing and has made a campaign of empty soundbites. The other is an imperialist war hawk for whom bombing people in the Middle East is a hobby and said Iraq brought good business opportunities.

Fascism at home and imperialism abroad are two sides of the same coin and if you actually dispute that, I feel sorry for you.

This movement is bigger than Bernie Sanders. If Hillary loses to Trump, it won't be the fault of Sanders supporters, but the slimy lies and corruption of her and the DNC. It has been said that the Democratic party is the place where social movements die. Good to know that "Berners" still want to fight for the greater good, something establishment politics doesn't provide.

1iJack , 2016-07-26 09:24:13
Hillary Clinton = Jeb! + Gun Control

Sanders supporters will get more for their vote with Trump than with Hillary.

Hillary = No Change At All

Hillary = Nothing

1iJack spider2 , 2016-07-26 09:52:08
The Bush and Clinton crime families stand for the same thing.

They are the same thing.

Wish Jeb! had won the GOP nomination? Vote for Hillary, you'll get the same thing (except you'll also lose the 2nd Amendment - that's the only difference).

yermelai , 2016-07-26 09:21:58
If Bernie truly believes that Hillary would "make an outstanding president" why did he stand against her in the first place?
NTEightySix rs959903 , 2016-07-26 09:37:33
Spoken like a true partisan hack.
Trump is a fascist, Hillary is an imperialist. If there's actually a "lesser evil" out of these two, I don't see it.

A vote for Trump is throwing America into the deep end, emboldening of the far right and likely to end in economic disaster. A vote for Clinton is condemning Middle Eastern people to their deaths with the obvious invasions that she'll likely cook up.

Anyone who calls themselves socialist after Bernie's campaign should realise that socialism is about resisting hatred at home and abroad

Kv Masters2015 , 2016-07-26 08:59:44
Trump wants to make jobs, better the education system and raise salaries. Voting for Trump will bring Sanders supporters more of what they want and less is they vote for Clinton.
mathanai , 2016-07-26 08:41:37
I cancelled my visit to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia when I realised it was going to be Hilary Clinton. She is a female version of Tony Blair, even, more dishonest and unscrupulous. Had the blacks and latinos voted for Sanders in numbers, this result could have been avoided. But we have to live with it. The hope is that Bernie has started a movement that will survive and perhaps one day we will have a social democratic president in the USA.
andrewppp , 2016-07-26 08:40:29
Make Sanders VP and then Assange plus the FBI will take care of the details. Simple.
Amanita_l , 2016-07-26 08:32:46
I may have voted Hillary, but then "DWS". Tomorrow I become a independent. F@ck the DNC 30 years a Dem now a disappointed.

OH no The orange man will destroy the world, who cares about Fracking, NATO, Monsanto, Health care and Pharmaceuticals... Not HIllary and her bestie's Debbie Wassermann Schultz, Barbara Boxer, Roberta Lange etc... Let it burn I seriously don't give a sh#t Whats the Donalds gonna do... Push through religious agendas?

OH that already happened while Obama was POTUS. Export jobs? that happened with NAFTA ( Bill Clinton ), close down woman's health clinics, take away women's rights to choose and right to preferred birth control? that happened. Triple the cost of Health Insurance? Pharmaceuticals? Back Monsanto? TPP? I guess either way we are just screwed... HILLARY+DONALD = Equally Toxic! Piss on the Press... vote in a new congress, house, state and local.

bugiolacchi , 2016-07-26 08:22:29
This fascinates me. I draw very close similarities with J. Corbyn over here. In short, in the Anglo-Saxon world the 'left' has split into a centre (your Clinton, T. Blair in the past) and a 'purer' left. Now, for us (Latins for instance) away from strict binary systems, it makes more sense if at least four parties were to represent most population's views: a 'harder' left, a centre-left-right, and a 'harder' right. I am aware of the potential pitfalls, such as unstable governments etc. but two parties cannot cover, or even attempt to cover, the political ideas spectrum of whole nations. And it can causes odd outcomes, such as Trump (!?!) as a representative for a whole electorate who doesn't want to vote Clinton. Could you have three-four candidates system?
iansim johung , 2016-07-26 08:44:02
Get your head straight

It's Billary who intends to pursue a more 'muscular' foreign policy http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hillary-clinton-middle-east_us_56f06ab2e4b09bf44a9e3177

Trump at least is into more parochial concerns

Alex J Campbell , 2016-07-26 07:54:59
Crooked Clinton and her crooked backers are laughing their asses off at Bernie. The old fool is being used.

I have a problem with Clinton for three main reasons:

She's dishonest, She has no clear principles, and She has a long history of questionable judgement/ethics.
The first two issues are ones of degree: just about all of us are guilty of the occasional fib, and people often alter their views to what is fashionable. Politicians tend to be especially bad in both regards. But even by the low standards of politicians, Clinton stands out. Clinton's "flexible reality" is really something to behold.

Let's use a recent example of gay rights. Personally, I suspect that Hillary Clinton has always been a proponent of gay rights, and doesn't have a homophobic bone in her body. But in 2004, when gay marriage was a hot issue and many states were amending their constitutions to define marriage as being between a man and a woman, Clinton gave a speech on the Senate floor in defence of traditional marriage that could have been written by Jesse Helms. In other words, she didn't just bite her tongue or give lukewarm support to one side or the other; she went "all in" in her opposition to legalizing gay marriage, because that was a winning approach in 2004. Now that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states and the LGBT community is an important Democrat voting bloc, Clinton wants to pretend that she's always been at the vanguard on gay rights, as though her vocal opposition to gay marriage just a decade earlier somehow never happened. Indeed, Clinton has thrown out trial balloons suggesting that her opposition to gay marriage was somehow designed to defend gay rights from even more extreme elements in Congress!

Or take the Trans Pacific Partnership, which Clinton stewarded during her tenure as Secretary of State. Caught in a close fight with far-left candidate Bernie Sanders, Clinton was quick to jettison the TPP and distance herself from it, even though her husband and she have decades of unequivocal support for free trade. The list could go on and on. There are plenty of politicians who equivocate on important issues, and whose views "evolve" to magically fit what voters want. But Clinton is special in her ability to (a) voice strong views on various issues and then (b) act as though those who remember her prior views are crazy. The problem that most people have with Clinton is that if free trade returned to being en vogue in 2018, or there was a successful movement to amend the Constitution to prohibit gay marriage, there's a pretty good chance that Clinton would be at the forefront, claiming that those were "always" her views, and that prior statements to the contrary were taken out of context/the work of the "vast, right-wing conspiracy."

And as for crossing the line, there are too many examples to mention. The Clintons are not wrong to accuse Republicans of being out to get them, and too often, Republicans have played into the Clintons' hands by attempting to make mountains out of molehills. But the Clintons perpetually find themselves in hot water because they can't resist bending the rules and associating with questionable people. Does anyone really believe that Hillary Clinton legitimately made a small fortune trading cattle futures? Does anyone honestly believe that Clinton's use of a private email server while Secretary of State was due to a lack of technological sophistication and not a desire to subvert public record-keeping law? Does anyone accept that taking in millions of dollars in speaking fees/charitable donations from questionable sources has no impact on her ability to govern impartially? If you answered yes to any of those questions, I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you. The fact that Clinton hasn't gone to prison doesn't mean that she's conducted herself in a manner befitting the leader of the US.

notndmushroom , 2016-07-26 07:51:59
Oh, and another thing, which I'll never get tired of repeating: if the past few years proved anything, is that a President can only do so much against a hostile House.

While it's obvious why the Clinton camp would want to convince people a Trump presidency would bring forth the Armageddon, the true battle is not for the president: it's for the two houses. It will be the two houses that determine who the next SCOTUS is, it will be the two houses that pass legislation, it will be the two houses that approve or reject the next President's war plans. A red house will make a Clinton presidency irrelevant, and a blue house will make a Trump presidency harmless.

To recap, vote blue for the Congress, vote blue for the Senate (that applies for Republicans as well: if you're secretly scared of what Trump might do, keep him in check by electing a democrat house), but vote for whomever you want (Clinton, Trump, Johnson, Stein, Sanders, Claire Underwood or Tyrion Lannister. It really makes no difference) for President.

ID4777146 -> olderwiserheads , 2016-07-26 08:43:38
It's hard not to lose all respect for Americans when they suggest with a straight face that voting for a member of the Clinton Crime family is so much better and the only option.

Trump is almost certainly a narcissistic, uneducated, racist, self-obsessed sociopath whose sole obsession in life is the acquisition of material wealth. He would undoubtedly be a terrible President.

Clinton on the other hand, is a chicken hawk psychopath establishment lackey who believes the rule of Law simply doesn't apply to her and also has a husband who deregulated all the financial sector, removed welfare, deregulated healthcare to the benefit of big business, has links to Iran Contra, is sexually dysfunctional and if you believe multiple credible authors (including Christopher Hitchens) is probably a rapist. She too would be a terrible President.

You Americans, have the political system you deserve by continuously voting for a rigged, failed two party state that has been completely corrupted by Corporate lobbying. Someone once said "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results." Yet, the US still do this every election cycle.

Anyone who continues to vote for the lesser evil is still voting evil so they're just as ridiculous as those voting Trump.

Either way, the US are in for a bumpy ride in the next 4 years especially when there's another financial crash - which is just around the corner.

ID4777146 -> Pitthewelder , 2016-07-26 08:50:01
I can't believe you're seriously suggesting that voting for a member of the Clinton Crime family is so much better and the only option but then again, you believe in the 2 party system and talk about Democrats and Republicans in a ridiculously tribal and childish way. It's time for you to wake up and smell the coffee.

Trump is almost certainly a narcissistic, uneducated, racist, self-obsessed sociopath whose sole obsession in life is the acquisition of material wealth. He would undoubtedly be a terrible President.

Clinton on the other hand, is a chicken hawk psychopath establishment lackey who believes the rule of Law simply doesn't apply to her and also has a husband who deregulated all the financial sector with disastrous results, removed welfare, deregulated healthcare to the benefit of big business, has links to Iran Contra, is sexually dysfunctional and if you believe multiple credible authors (including Christopher Hitchens) is probably a rapist. Clinton too would be a terrible President.

You Americans, have the political system you deserve by continuously voting for a rigged, failed two party state that has been completely corrupted by Corporate lobbying. Someone once said "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results." Yet, you and many others in the US still do this every election cycle.

The Democrats and Republicans are 2 cheeks of the same arse both funded by and told what to do by the financial sector, the military industrial complex, oil and big business. You'll eventually realise this if you ever wake up.

Anyone who continues to vote for the lesser evil is still voting evil so they're just as ridiculous as those voting Trump.

Either way, the US are in for a bumpy ride in the next 4 years especially when there's another financial crash - which is just around the corner.

Mckim , 2016-07-26 06:56:22
The Clinton team have been busy insulting progressives for the past year and they did not give us much in the massaged platform. The choice of VP was another slap in the face along with Debbie's new job. I am so glad the Sanders supporters are protesting the very questionable elections. If the DNC Were behaving like rational adults, they would have given us more at the platform and chosen a more Left VP and stopped the insults. We have not been treated with respect that our election numbers merit.
apacheman aardivark , 2016-07-26 07:06:49
Time for Clintonites to show some moral strength and some semblance of ethical behavior, and stop supporting corruption, stop blaming those who DO have some sense of ethics and what's best for this nation for voting their conscience.

The Clintonites are nothing but bullies, gutless wonders willing to grovel before power. In supporting her they betray every good thing this nation ever stood for. They are willing to accept corruption, lies, and incompetence for reasons I don't comprehend, ignoring clear lawbreaking in order to install their false idol.

The contemptuousness with which they attack those who desire some modicum of honesty, empathy , and ethical behavior in a candidate is utterly shameful.

They, like all bullies, seem to think that insults, threats, and contempt will force the results they want.

Little do they realize that they are only making enemies of those who wanted to be friends,creating an anger that won't fade for years.

Never vote for Democrats again, that party has entirely lost what little credibility it had left.

Leave it and join the Greens, join the Libertarians, join anything but the party of the corrupt, the party of betrayal, the party of the oligarchs.

They've had more than enough chances to prove their worth, and have failed miserably.

citizencane , 2016-07-26 06:11:44
The Guardian comment on the leaked emails: 'this seems to mark a new development in the constant struggle of propaganda and disinformation' ... could easily be said about its own approach. Oh the irony.
DanInTheDesert , 2016-07-26 06:11:37
If you haven't seen this amazing rant by a Bernie delegate, your life is missing something: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydIbIgg7djI
Heathenlullaby DanInTheDesert , 2016-07-26 09:41:15
She's spot on & I entirely sympathize with her. Thanks for the link.
anInTheDesert , 2016-07-26 06:06:18
This was never about Sanders. The Clinton folks spent so much time portraying us as blind followers that they started to believe their own hype. It was always about progressive policies and values and if Sanders endorses a candidate who doesn't share those valued, a candidate who will take to us war it's time to say: thanks you Sanders for all you've done but I can't join you on the path you are walking on now.

#dropouthillary
#DNCleak
#BernieorJill

kcma79 , 2016-07-26 06:02:56
Clinton and cronies will say or do anything to bring over the Bernie fans. When she no longer needs them she will throw them away along with their ideas. The important decisions were made long before anyone showed up in Phila. The fact DWS was given a job on HC's staff after getting fired says it all. Now Bernie sells out. Don't you feel just a little used?
somebody_stopme , 2016-07-26 05:55:21
The mistake of establishment - Thinking people will obey Bernie's orders, nope they will get convinced only Hillary changes some policies. 15$ and free education was a good start and that showed good poll results for her but after this Dncleak she needs to do more than this.
Claudius somebody_stopme , 2016-07-26 07:03:46
The mistakes of the establishment, in this case the DNC, were numerous. The DNC thought they knew better than anyone else who should be the party's nominee. Form the time HRC lost to Obama, they planned for Hilary to run essentially unchallenged by any other Democrat in 2016. Her campaign manager was made the DNC chairwoman who as we now know did her best to diminish Bernie's chances; Hilary was offered the position of SOS to boost her credentials. She knew she could quit being SOS in 2012 to prepare to run in 2016; and she lied for the next three years about whether or not she would run for President because she could, as a private citizen, continue to cash in on her speeches to the business elite and set up a network of political and business elite who could then support her.

I have no explanation why Kerry or Biden did not run for President except that they knew better than to challenge what was already decided. The only person willing to go for it was the most discounted Senate member, an Independent, who for two decades had made no attempt to build a support system within the political establishment.

With the exception of one super delegate, the majority of the DNC super delegates had already endorsed Hilary before the first primary, and none changed his/her vote when Bernie got traction. Even his closest ally, in ideology, Liz Warren, did not endorse Bernie. That is how corrupt & controlling the DNC leadership has become: in this election they clearly are the king makers, while the GOP produced 18 well-known candidates that tore each other to pieces. That tells you how planned this whole thing was with the Democrats. Both parties are corrupt; but while the GOP suffers from internal Chaos & cannibalism, the DNC acted with a script that fits more the way Russians have been picking their presidents.

Despite the huge surprise success of Bernie's campaign, the passion he aroused, the young he managed to draw in, and the millions of $27 contributions he raised, the DNC continued to weigh more on HRC's side and, as we now know, tried to work against him behind the scenes.

The DNC's biggest mistake, however, is that they are out of touch with the young Progressives that are their future voters, despite the fact that they can see how a sense of betrayal and disappointment has caused the virtual demise of the GOP political elite. HRC shares the arrogance of the DNC in thinking she can collect millions of dollars from special interests in speaking fees and then tell us she is for Bernie's reforms. She thinks she can regurgitate much of what Bernie says, then choose the most centrist Democratic politician to be her running mate, and still count on the majority of Bernie's supporters to vote for her because … well, Trump is a monster. She is wrong; the DNC is also wrong; real progressive do not cast their vote because they are afraid of Trump; they vote for what they believe in. Voting for HRC from fear of Trump is a vote for status quo; it does not help me if I am against status quo. The DNC has no sense of what Bernie Sanders evoked in the young Progressive because like their GOP counterparts they too are political automatons out of touch with real humans.

I have been told that by not voting in November, I am cutting off my nose to spite my face, because Trump may win. Well, perhaps a Trump victory can finally help DNC internalize the message of America's Progressives. So, I have a better analogy for not voting & possibly seeing Trump win; sometimes you lose an arm in order to save the body.

ID4777146 -> artobest , 2016-07-26 10:17:46
I don't judge Hillary just on the actions of her husband. There's plenty to get my teeth into:

- Chicken hawk psychopath with innumerable foreign policy disasters on her watch including Libya;
- Bought and paid for by the usual suspects - Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan etc;
- A security risk to the US i.e. used an unencrypted private server which was contrary to the rules, was routinely hacked by foreign powers, contained information about covert US black sites and was also obviously designed to hide Clinton Foundation business dealings/shenanigans. This had nothing to do with convenience;
- Subverted the democratic process with regards to her nomination.

Do I really need to go on?

ID4777146 -> batfunk , 2016-07-26 10:20:28
Reagan started deregulation, but Billy Boy and Robert Rubin continued with devastating abandon. Just one piece of legislation: Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 - largely the cause of the 2007/2008 subprime derivatives crisis.
saladbowl -> somebody_stopme , 2016-07-26 11:30:54
The DNC and media said Hillary Must Be President. In the end, Sanders bent the knee as expected.

[Jul 25, 2016] Clinton Asserts Putin Influence On Trump - After Taking Russian Bribes

Seems the Clinton and her assorted groupies just need a scapegoat :-). Seems Putin controls Trump and Clinton! The man is amazing.
Notable quotes:
"... From Bloomberg - "If the Democrats can show the hidden hand of Russian intelligence agencies, they believe that voter outrage will probably outweigh any embarrassing revelations, a person familiar with the party's thinking said' ..."
"... Ha! Fat chance. I'm thinking the American voter is going to start sending Thank You notes to the Kremlin! As usual, their heads are stuck so far up the arse of their donkey they incapable of gauging Main Street sentiment. ..."
"... She is just a symptom of the DNC disease. And yes, she'll take the fall for the team, but make no mistake, the cancer remains and will continue to metastasize. ..."
M of A

Is Putin manipulating the Clinton campaign?

Russia is weaponizing everything : Word files, federalism, finance and Jedi mind tricks - everything is transformed into a weapon if Russia or its president Putin is imagined to come near it.

But Russia is secretly plotting even more nefarious schemes. Putin is infiltrating Europe . And not only Europe.

Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, is influencing, manipulating and controlling many "western" politicians, parties and movements - in Europe AND in the United States.

Here are, thanks to Mark Sleboda , a partial list of political entities and issue Putin secretly manipulates and controls:

Putin is indeed everywhere:

9:16 PM - 23 Jul 2016 - Billmon @billmon1

Putin strikes AGAIN! " Seventeen people hurt when Hudson River ferry hits pier in New Jersey "

And now for the crown of it all.

Putin is in cahoots with the Republican presidential candidate Trump - claims the Clinton campaign . Putin is behind, it asserts, the leak of the DNC emails which prove that the Democratic National Committee has been working against Sanders to promote Hillary Clinton. The leak of the DNC emails, says the Clinton campaign, is ..:

.. further evidence the Russian government is trying to influence the outcome of the election.

The "facts" proving Russian support for Trump are mostly lies , but Putin's nefarious intentions must still be speculated about.

The Clinton campaign has not looked thoroughly enough into Putin's schemes. Reveal we can that Putin has penetrated U.S. politics even deeper than thought - right down into the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton family itself:

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One's chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million.

That money, surely, had no influence on then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's decisions? And what about her husband?

Mr. Clinton received $500,000 ... from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin

These undisputed facts demonstrate that Putin is indeed waging influence by bribing U.S. politicians. But the Clinton campaign is be a bit more hesitant in pointing these out.

Posted by b at 10:29 AM | Comments (87)

fast freddy | Jul 24, 2016 12:10:28 PM | 8

Clinton/Kaine certainly confident that the MSM will not report.

For all the money given to the Clinton's it didn't prevent the Ukraine disasters. Of course, Ukraine may not have been a concern among the particular oligarchs who made these bribes.

HOw could this anti-russian hysteria/bashing go on, I mean the level of paranoia and disinformation against Russia and Putin is plain crazy.

Zedew | Jul 24, 2016 12:32:54 PM | 9

h | Jul 24, 2016 1:39:54 PM | 14

From Bloomberg - "If the Democrats can show the hidden hand of Russian intelligence agencies, they believe that voter outrage will probably outweigh any embarrassing revelations, a person familiar with the party's thinking said'

Ha! Fat chance. I'm thinking the American voter is going to start sending Thank You notes to the Kremlin! As usual, their heads are stuck so far up the arse of their donkey they incapable of gauging Main Street sentiment.

h | Jul 24, 2016 1:58:17 PM | 17
Sanders calls for Schultz to step down.

Funny though, Schultz takes her orders from Obama, as the Chairman of the Party, the DNC Board of Directors and team Hillary. Period. If any blame should go around it should splash onto all individuals NOT just Schultz.

She is just a symptom of the DNC disease. And yes, she'll take the fall for the team, but make no mistake, the cancer remains and will continue to metastasize.

[Jul 25, 2016] Turkey coup

Amazing: nobody seems to blame Putin
Warning: Bellingcat is a disinformation outpost probably created by some intelligence agency. It lied about MH17 extensively.
Notable quotes:
"... Beware Bellingcat; he's been busted more than once publishing fraudulent information; especially re: Putin and Ukraine ..."
"... This is an interesting article that explores possibilities (if only partially) of an extremely murky event: the recent coup in Turkey. One very keen observation is that this coup has one extraordinary aspect: nobody seems to blame Putin! The second observation is that it is not typical for a coup that it is not possible to trace who was running it, while indisputably, someone activated a bunch of conspirators to action. In the past, even failed coup had an identified leader. ..."
www.moonofalabama.org
chu teh | Jul 25, 2016 8:00:21 AM | 16

3 Turkish specialized NATO regiments (20,000+ troops?} led coup attempt. Using Bellingcat translated records of coup communications, Sybil Edmonds explains:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KAxjZWy-Lk

Bellingcat transcripts and photos:

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2016/07/24/the-turkey-coup-through-the-eyes-of-its-plotters/

V. Arnold | Jul 25, 2016 3:48:50 AM | 78

chu teh | Jul 25, 2016 3:39:31 AM | 76

Beware Bellingcat; he's been busted more than once publishing fraudulent information; especially re: Putin and Ukraine.

chu teh | Jul 25, 2016 2:17:00 AM | 72

re news onTurkey coup: Just in...

Sybil Edmonds now shows s that 3 top Turk regiments that led the coup are part of NATO Rapid Deployment Forces. Here it is on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KAxjZWy-Lk

Alternatively, this link:

http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2016/07/24/newsbud-breaking-news-turkeys-coup-plotters-are-members-of-natos-rapid-deployable-corps/

Seems to demonstrate direct NATO involvement and connection with Gulencia intentions.

chu teh | Jul 25, 2016 3:39:31 AM | 76

Detail of Turkey coup:

Here's reconstructed blow-by-blow account of coup from coup leaders' own WhatsApp communications,; source and English translations per Bellingcat:

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2016/07/24/the-turkey-coup-through-the-eyes-of-its-plotters/

Can note NATO insignia of regimental unit.

Piotr Berman | Jul 25, 2016 5:03:13 AM | 80

https://4threvolutionarywar.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/turkey-battle-of-the-conspiracy-theories-akira/

This is an interesting article that explores possibilities (if only partially) of an extremely murky event: the recent coup in Turkey. One very keen observation is that this coup has one extraordinary aspect: nobody seems to blame Putin! The second observation is that it is not typical for a coup that it is not possible to trace who was running it, while indisputably, someone activated a bunch of conspirators to action. In the past, even failed coup had an identified leader.

[Tinfoil hat on] This points to a masterful hand behind the plot, perhaps a bit deficient in purely military details but very capable in conspiratorial techniques. [delete]Gulen[end delete] Putin! Putin theory could have a weak spot, namely that he is competent in purely military details, but it can be elegantly rescued by the fact that he had no interest in actually replacing Erdogan, but merely in rendering him ineffective against Russia. As Russians know only too well, the most effective way of disabling a military organization is to imbue the national leader with total paranoia. [Tinfoil hat off, malignant waves enter brain again]

Clearly, Erdogan is another person who benefits from the coup, and who has much simpler means to assure that the leadership of the coup remains unclear: his devoted stooges run the investigation after all! Moreover, Akira correctly observed that the past actions attributed to Gulen's movement lacked outright violence. In my opinion, this stems from religious principles of Gulen himself, his own interpretation of Islam (which clearly allows for intrigue and subterfuge). Gulen did not create his movement in vacuum, he became a leader of followers of Said Nursi who died in 1960. The way those movements (Nur of Nursi, Hizmet of Gulen) operated is compared to Sufi brotherhoods which may be loosely hierarchical and highly conspiratorial. Some Sufi movements may be violent, by calling to armed Jihad etc. However, Nursi was a pacifist. As I said, unlike some other Muslim movements in Turkey. Erdogan has a somewhat murky religious movement of his own, and he clearly accepts the concept of violent Jihad.

One can dwell more of it, but pretty safe conclusion is that we have two likely possibilities: Erdogan pulling the strings (in that case, using Hakan Fidan, his spy master) and going to some lengths to make the appearance that Guelen does it, or the reverse. Because of that, no single piece of evidence is conclusive, any single person can be a double/multiple agent etc. And because those possibilities are both so compelling, the true guiding master hand remains hidden (Putin!!!!).

jfl | Jul 25, 2016 8:08:14 AM | 84

@80 pb

Great stuff pb. I think that Erdo's 'genius' lies in his ability to react rather than act. He just waits to see his chances then takes 'em. Having plans opens one up to having one's plans divined by others and so defeated. His strength lies in his nihilism, the g-forces alone of his about faces would so distort the physique of any ordinary man that he could never survive. But Erdo is focused exclusively on his own ends - and possesses the magical ability of convincing his followers of his invincibility and hence, of theirs. His survival of his seemingly endless stream of volte faces proves this in the eyes of his followers and so confounds his more or less principled opposition that their very bones melt and they puddle.

So the CIA, who have kept Gulen bottled up in their Pennsylvania super-fortress all these years, perhaps their secret, kryptonite-like antidote to al-CIAduh, sprang him to avail Erdogan of yet another of his nine-times-nine-lives, in order to keep his ego-driven presence alive and disruptive on their geostrategic gameboard.

The terrifying thing from the CIA's/USA's point of view would be any kind of coherent coincidence of aims among Russia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, the Caucasus, and the stans of Central Asia. They feel that they can rely upon Erdo to keep the Caucasus and Central Asia high on its own version of the Ottoman dream, and in competition with the Sunni/IS, the Shia, and Kurdish Axes.

If the Turkmen and the Shia were to cohere rather than contend, or, worse, the Turkmen-Shia-Kurds were to do so, there would be far too much constructive activity in the Middle East for the empire of chaos to survive there let alone prevail. The opposite hand of Putin did it! is ... the CIA did it! I say the CIA did it. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

The real story will become apparent in the fullness of time.

[Jul 25, 2016] Why Trumps bump in the polls is more significant than ever

Notable quotes:
"... Well that isn't surprising. Hillary Clinton is a loser and a weak candidate ..."
"... I think Trump will win because the e-mail scandal has destroyed whatever credibility Hillary Clinton had. Sanders would beat Trump by a landslide, Elizabeth Warren would too. But Hillary is doomed. ..."
"... Polls are nonsense; particularly this far out in an unconventional election. The pollsters themselves are scratching their heads as to how to properly frame the poll questions and establish the correct survey demographics. It's all new territory for them ..."
"... Three of the four latest polls that showed Trump ahead of Clinton were conducted via telephone. So, maybe the latest polling boost for Trump isn't about increasing popularity but about emboldened supporters ..."
"... "also a few Scalias". There are worse things than Scalias. Like Hillarys. ..."
"... I think Hillary is far more dangerous. She wants war with Russia, Syria, etc ..."
"... Hilary is a poor candidate and Obama shifted the world in a significantly amoral direction. ..."
"... Nate predicts a trump win now, and for good reason. Clinton's numbers will only continue to drop with each new email leak, State Department report, Clinton Foundation pay to play allegation, and lie from her own mouth reinforcing to the majority of the electorate why they distrust and dislike her. ..."
"... Sorry liberal apologists, this is not an ordinary "post convention bump". The polls indicate that 3/4 of Americans do not believe that their country is headed in the right direction. Trump is a protest vote. ..."
"... As repugnant as some of you may find Trump's brash personality and idiotic rhetoric to be, many view him as refreshing. Most American are tired of the "establishment" and would prefer anybody to another corrupt / dishonest / smug Bush or Clinton in the White House. They have also grown tired of a neutered society and a political correctness that has quashed individuality and freedom of speech. ..."
"... Trump has built an empire and employed people. By contrast, Clinton policies have (i) caused the subprime housing crisis, (ii) exported jobs to Mexico via NAFTA, (iv) destroyed the US educational system with no child left behind, and (iv) have caused numerous foreign policy blunders. Ms. Clinton has systematically failed at everthing that she has done. More would have been accomplished by doing the opposite. ..."
"... Hillary is toast. ..."
"... Since Cruz dropped out of the primaries, the mainstream media has been engaged in a non-stop assault on Trump, fought with the kind of raw brutality last seen in the battle of Stalingrad. The Washington Post runs at least four anti-Trump opinion pieces every day. (Yes, almost 30 per week.) Yet, Trump's poll numbers continue to improve. Hillary has spent big money on advertising in the last month, and Trump has spent nothing. Yet, Trump's poll numbers continue to improve. The Republican poobahs refused to attend the convention. Yet, Trump's poll numbers continue to improve. Ted Cruz detonated a suicide bomb at the convention. Yet, Trump's poll numbers continue to improve. ..."
"... Also, as crazy as Trump is, he didn't alienate his base with his VP pick. Instead, he sought to appease the far right of his party with Mike Pence. Meanwhile, Hillary has sought to move the Green Party's polling numbers into the double digits by picking a running mate who is opposed to abortion, presided over executions, supported a coal-fired power plant, and supports the TPP. The arrogance displayed by Hillary in picking Kaine makes Trump look humble. ..."
"... DinoMight, Leftist here again. Kain is far right on what matters - Money. Pro TPP and wants to let banks be less regulated. Also, Trump is being pounded negatively by the MSM nearly as much as Sanders was denigrated or ignored. MSM, owned by Murdock and other large corporations want Clinton. She's the money man. Trump may pull this off due to low demo turn out and objection to Clinton big $$$$$. ..."
"... As was seen with Brexit....and the death of Bruce Lee ..the Guardian is about to learn a harsh lesson it will refuse to believe is real. ..."
"... Trump will win in November because of the simple reason of whom his opponent is. ..."
www.theguardian.com
Bifocal , 2016-07-26 01:18:55
I think elections reinforce discontent narratives against incumbents, and politicians wont contradict wide spread sentiments that they don't agree with, but they instead look for some way to neutralise them.

Hillary has two problems, as a democrat linked to Obama she is effectively the incumbent here. Obama ran on hope and change, but provided very little change in peoples lives. Without the change part, second time around its difficult to inspire hope.

This was the lesson of Brexit, the incumbents (Remain) were unable to offer any real change, but their opposition (Leave) where offering real change, and therefore Hope!

So you have Clinton effectively offering people who are crying out for change, no change, and therefore little control of their lives, and therefore little hope.

And you've got Trump offering much change, an opportunity to take back control, and therefore much hope!

The extent to which Trumps message will resonate with voters will determine who wins. How many people get left behind by Globalisation?...In the West look at Britain, look at Europe, look at America....I'd say most, mainly because one size doesn't fit all.

latheatre , 2016-07-26 00:43:42
These polls are completely skewed. CNN's poll included NO ONE UNDER 35 years old.

Last week's sample by Reuters was 78% white. The electorate in 2012 was 72% white and given demographic changes, the electorate will be even less white this time around, while Trump's share of non-white vote will be even smaller than Romney's was.

Kickthismobout , 2016-07-26 00:31:43
If this boofon topped buffoon gets in WW3 here we come.
Sam3456 Kickthismobout , 2016-07-26 00:43:05
Meh. Clinton is actually more of a hawk that Trump. He is actually an isolationist. Clinton has voted for more war and is for more aggressive use of the military than Trump would be.

I fear Trump would be a problem on other fronts but as far as involving us in more war and negotiating bad trade agreements Hillary is to be feared more than Trump.

MrMustard Magoo , 2016-07-26 00:28:42
Smug limousine liberals and money printing rent seekers with no clothes swanning about. La dee da aren't you so pretty. As John Stewart said we're not allowed to have a country. So it's yours? Whose is it? I think it's a question that needs answering.
Barclay Reynolds , 2016-07-25 23:43:47
Trumps going to win! Sanders people will not vote. Young will not vote.
Trump 52-48
Clinton is branded crooked and e mails , no matter what just shows many this.
Carlisle William , 2016-07-25 22:51:13
Well that isn't surprising. Hillary Clinton is a loser and a weak candidate
Terrence D. Zarnick Carlisle William , 2016-07-25 22:52:06
Of course..perfect and predicable response...everyone else are losers. Typical.
Carlisle William Terrence D. Zarnick , 2016-07-25 22:53:41
Predictable response? Hillary Clinton is objectively the weaker Democratic candidate this year who always lost against nearly all Republican nominees except for Trump who even then, she is starting to lose now.
Camelier , 2016-07-25 22:36:10
I think Trump will win because the e-mail scandal has destroyed whatever credibility Hillary Clinton had. Sanders would beat Trump by a landslide, Elizabeth Warren would too. But Hillary is doomed.

Hillary might win if the non-whites come out to vote in unprecedented numbers but that is unlikely. Trump's supporters are more motivated. The white working class will swing to Trump because Hillary predicatably played cowardly and refused her chance to nominate Sanders or Warren for the VP slot, choosing instead a boring fellow who is big on free trade.

The only consolation is that Trump is no Hitler and the US president will be arrested and jailed the moment he breaks the law. May even be executed. The Americans are very very very tough on issues like that.

woodyTX , 2016-07-25 22:25:39
Polls are nonsense; particularly this far out in an unconventional election. The pollsters themselves are scratching their heads as to how to properly frame the poll questions and establish the correct survey demographics. It's all new territory for them

The headline to this story is very certain reading "Why Trump's bump in the polls IS more significant than ever" (meant to catch your eye) but in the very next sentence the words start backpeddling to "his rise in the polls COULD be different".

So which is it Guardian ?

It is also stated in the article " Three of the four latest polls that showed Trump ahead of Clinton were conducted via telephone. So, maybe the latest polling boost for Trump isn't about increasing popularity but about emboldened supporters ".......could it be that these calls went to land lines, which are skewed very much towards older voters? Young folks are more cell phone / smart phone oriented. In that case it's capturing the older white Fox News crowd with a heavy implicit bias...doubling down on nonsense at this point.

Camelier woodyTX , 2016-07-25 22:39:18
"Polls are nonsense"

In the last presidential lection the polls by Nate Silver got the result exactly. This year in Canada Nanos Polls got the general lection result accurate to 0,5 percent.

In Uk elections, typically the polls prove accurate enough.

You are an illiterate dolt.

Terrence D. Zarnick Camelier , 2016-07-25 23:00:09
Nate also predicted Trump would NOT be the Republican nominee. Nate was wrong.
ponott Camelier , 2016-07-25 23:10:06
"In Uk elections, typically the polls prove accurate enough".

Actually in the last two polls, the general election and the referendum, the polls have been hopelessly wrong as wrong therefore as you calling woodyTX an "illiterate doit", whatever a doit is.

doublreed , 2016-07-25 22:22:20
Trump better have a person at every voting precinct watching those Deibold machines. Clinton got quite good at stealing, misdirecting, shredding and generally restricting votes in a handful of key states. When there was a paper trail, Sanders won 53% - 49%. When no paper trail, Clinton 65% to Sanders' 35%. These elections are quite rigged.
Alfredo Elgue , 2016-07-25 22:17:45
I believe that in usa is going to happen something similar with the Brexit. All the polls show a victory of Clinton, and at the end we finish with a triumph of Trump.
The pollsters are doing and are done a very bad work in the last polls.
I ask myself, who pay them...
Carl123 Alfredo Elgue , 2016-07-25 22:30:47
Late Brexit polls were very close, tipping back and forth between narrow victory for Remain and Leave - which was accurate.
Jurgen Gross , 2016-07-25 22:09:05
Congrats to the Guardian: you did your best
to prevent the rightful Sanders nomination.
Archeologist1956 , 2016-07-25 21:53:31
Its clear Trump will win.We can handle a reality TV star
We cannot handle the corrupt Clinton Machine, nor a corrupt Democratic party.
They overplayed their hand.
rebel7 , 2016-07-25 21:49:25
Within my circle of friends we pretty much agree:

1. Trump is an idiot and an embarrassment.
2. Hillary is a liar.
3. The "up-side" to a Trump presidency is 4 years of entertainment. He does after all have multiple years of the Apprentice on his resume.
4. There is no "up-side" to a Clinton presidency.
5. The "down-side" to a Trump presidency is chaos at the top levels of government.
6. The "down-side" to a Clinton presidency is another Arab-Israeli war and likely US troops committed and dying somewhere in order to make Clinton "look" tough and gritty.

So we'll take the entertainment. Will be four years of a Rodney Dangerfield show played out live with an unwitting lead actor.

Yoda00 rebel7 , 2016-07-25 21:54:29
Entertainment, sure. But, also a few Scalias in the supreme court.
rebel7 Yoda00 , 2016-07-25 21:57:01
"also a few Scalias". There are worse things than Scalias. Like Hillarys.
Archeologist1956 Timelooper , 2016-07-25 21:54:14
I think Hillary is far more dangerous. She wants war with Russia, Syria, etc
MagajinGiwa , 2016-07-25 21:33:08
I don't believe polls when there's a vested interest, like the Brexit ones. Yet I believe Trump will be the next president of the US.
Hilary is a poor candidate and Obama shifted the world in a significantly amoral direction.
Many will dismiss this, but a huge chunk of voters feel it is important. I'm one such.
Berkeley2013 , 2016-07-25 21:22:09
The media has pretty much discredited itself over the years by seldom doing the complex research necessary to report current events and hiring journalists with the education, intelligence, and ethics to communicate realities to the readers.

The result is that even with the internet version of the newspapers, few really take their reporting and recommendations seriously.

The public just decides for itself knowing that whether it is spin on felonious Clinton, Distracted Sanders ("We are sick of your e-mails"), Benito Trump, or Gift-Accepting Little Don Kaine the media will not represent anything fairly and inaccurately.

Even heaven doesn't know who is going to win the presidency this year, which is compelling in its own way.

dnjake , 2016-07-25 21:16:52
These polls are very bad news for those who want to believe that Hillary Clinton has already won the election. The size of the bump is far less important then the fact that there was one. Much of the media believes that the Republican's convention performance drastically diminished their chances in November. It is likely that everyone will have to wait until the votes are counted in November to know how this election plays out. But, these polls are very bad news for those who dream of establishing the idea that Donald Trump is outside the political mainstream and that there is something wrong with anyone who votes for him.
CardiffBlackLabel , 2016-07-25 21:03:29
Obamas presidency is ending in a disaster. Foreign policy failure and a divided and violent domestic society. All the while he seems to revel in playing the joker and appearing like the cool uncle at a wedding.

This all benefit Trump

BG Davis , 2016-07-25 20:30:19
"Three of the four latest polls that showed Trump ahead of Clinton were conducted via telephone."
Who the hell responds to a phone survey? People with a brain just hang up on them.
Instead of cherry-picked polls to justify this "story" how about the facts that matter?
http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/2016-general-election-trump-vs-clinton
Has Trump gained? Yes.
Is he leading "the polls?" No. Unless you leave out the polls that show Clinton leading.
pulltheotheronehard , 2016-07-25 19:59:12
Why did Hillary have the DNC sabotage Bernie? She didn't need to. She's her own worst enemy. Now many Bernie backers won't vote for her.

I'll never vote for Trump. Usually I vote for a candidate who promises to stop the war on drugs because such a stance entails other views I find congenial

BG Davis vaman , 2016-07-25 20:33:21
You are right about the US, but it's hard to share your optimism. Rich enclaves like La Jolla and Carmel and Santa Barbara are full of educated bigots, fearful people who take their instructions from the likes of Rush Limbaugh. (One rich idiot told me that Obama was going to raise property taxes.) And the DNC emails - plus the tone-deaf response - make it harder for Clinton than it was already.
rebel7 BG Davis , 2016-07-25 20:50:55
"make it harder for Clinton than it was already."

Most of Clinton's "troubles" appear mostly self-inflicted.

jacknbox , 2016-07-25 19:56:40
Trump or Brexit will never happen in an undemocratic country. A democracy controlled by a "progressive" and "compassionate" elite through PC triple speak is not a democracy. The fears and insecurities of people need to be addressed and not dismissed or scoffed at. Trump will win in Nov. because he is addressing them while Hillary is not. Hillary's issues are all very old like wealth redistribution, various rights, gun control, etc. etc. the same as those of Fidel Castro and as old too.
pjalexandr , 2016-07-25 19:53:46
Superdelegates have moments left to spare the world a trump presidency by nominating Sanders instead of Clinton.

Nate predicts a trump win now, and for good reason. Clinton's numbers will only continue to drop with each new email leak, State Department report, Clinton Foundation pay to play allegation, and lie from her own mouth reinforcing to the majority of the electorate why they distrust and dislike her.

Nominate Clinton and head over the cliff to a trump presidency.
Nominate Sanders and save the white house for the Democrats with the influx of Independent and disenfranchised Democratic voters who will never vote for Clinton.

Terrence D. Zarnick pjalexandr , 2016-07-25 21:21:09
Not necessarily true. Double edged sword. Trump and the GOP will attack Bernie "Socialist" Sanders relentlessly. Even disenfranchised Democrats and Independents will not sacrifice the country to the likes of Trump. There's too much as stake. The Dems have four months to turn this around and show the American people that Trump is full of sh*t...his tax plan would make himself even reach and save his estate billions by doing away with inheritance tax. He's not fit be be president per his own party even Governor Chris Christie said this. Trump and the GOP will do everything to distract the people away from the real issues...their policies and ideology is corrupt and bankrupt. Trump like the Leave Campaign in the UK has no game plan. Just hollow words and GOP tax policies that have time and time again been proven wrong. What George H.W. Bush called voodoo economics. The GOP have controlled both Houses of Congress for 4 years now...and DONE absolutely nothing to move the country forward.
NimbyDolittle , 2016-07-25 19:46:14
Sorry liberal apologists, this is not an ordinary "post convention bump". The polls indicate that 3/4 of Americans do not believe that their country is headed in the right direction. Trump is a protest vote.

As repugnant as some of you may find Trump's brash personality and idiotic rhetoric to be, many view him as refreshing. Most American are tired of the "establishment" and would prefer anybody to another corrupt / dishonest / smug Bush or Clinton in the White House. They have also grown tired of a neutered society and a political correctness that has quashed individuality and freedom of speech.

Trump has built an empire and employed people. By contrast, Clinton policies have (i) caused the subprime housing crisis, (ii) exported jobs to Mexico via NAFTA, (iv) destroyed the US educational system with no child left behind, and (iv) have caused numerous foreign policy blunders. Ms. Clinton has systematically failed at everthing that she has done. More would have been accomplished by doing the opposite.

simpledino , 2016-07-25 19:32:18
The "back-and-forthing" involved in these polls is grimly hilarious. I don't put a lot of stock in anything taken before Labor Day, but all the same, just try to imagine the picture of the average voter conjured up by time-lapsed poll results: "I think I'll vote for Hillary .... well, maybe I'll vote for Trump ... no, make that Hillary .... dang it all, I'm a-goin' for Trump! ... uh, maybe not ............" Do people just decide who to vote for based on whose face they last saw on their television screen? What the hell is up with that? Or is there a better way to construe the see-sawing results than my rather unflattering construction? If there is, I would be interested in hearing it because I don't like sounding so ungenerous towards my fellow Americans.

In any case, I'll continue to hope for the best -- i.e. that the majority of us reject the fake populism of Donald Trump.

JT1117 , 2016-07-25 19:23:42
Hillary is toast.

Since Cruz dropped out of the primaries, the mainstream media has been engaged in a non-stop assault on Trump, fought with the kind of raw brutality last seen in the battle of Stalingrad. The Washington Post runs at least four anti-Trump opinion pieces every day. (Yes, almost 30 per week.) Yet, Trump's poll numbers continue to improve. Hillary has spent big money on advertising in the last month, and Trump has spent nothing. Yet, Trump's poll numbers continue to improve. The Republican poobahs refused to attend the convention. Yet, Trump's poll numbers continue to improve. Ted Cruz detonated a suicide bomb at the convention. Yet, Trump's poll numbers continue to improve.

Also, as crazy as Trump is, he didn't alienate his base with his VP pick. Instead, he sought to appease the far right of his party with Mike Pence. Meanwhile, Hillary has sought to move the Green Party's polling numbers into the double digits by picking a running mate who is opposed to abortion, presided over executions, supported a coal-fired power plant, and supports the TPP. The arrogance displayed by Hillary in picking Kaine makes Trump look humble.

ButtChocolate simpledino , 2016-07-25 21:35:13
Trump's handling of the media is interesting. I consider it to be one of his greatest talents. It is undeniable that the majority of pundits (on both the left and the right) dislike Trump. He's getting attacked from all sides whether it is the traditional pro-democrat pundits to even a lot of the traditional republican ones (especially ones who support things like free trade and what not, traditional republican platforms)

However, Trump himself gets a ton of air time, deservedly so I might add. When he shows up on TV, ratings go up. People want to see him on TV, people want to see his interviews. He doesn't need to pay for ads when there are tons and tons of reporters who want to interview him! He is earning his own air time!

doublreed -> simpledino , 2016-07-25 22:37:39
DinoMight, Leftist here again. Kain is far right on what matters - Money. Pro TPP and wants to let banks be less regulated. Also, Trump is being pounded negatively by the MSM nearly as much as Sanders was denigrated or ignored. MSM, owned by Murdock and other large corporations want Clinton. She's the money man. Trump may pull this off due to low demo turn out and objection to Clinton big $$$$$.
HenneyAndPizza , 2016-07-25 19:17:34
As was seen with Brexit....and the death of Bruce Lee ..the Guardian is about to learn a harsh lesson it will refuse to believe is real.

Trump will win in November because of the simple reason of whom his opponent is.

If Trump is the new Nixon, then Clinton is the new Rosemary Wood

SteveofCaley -> HenneyAndPizza , 2016-07-25 19:21:12
Waterboard that metaphor!
eagueAilill , 2016-07-25 19:03:58
I've heard some people recently commenting that they are going to vote for Trump not because they particularly like Trump but rather because they actively dislike Hillary. As in the case of president Obama there are many who cannot get their heads around that someone other than a white man could be president. Sanders was a breath of fresh air but the political machine that is the Democratic party had already chosen Hillary. Sadly, it's a contest that will be about which candidate is the lessor of two weevils.
MrSaxon1 , 2016-07-25 18:42:50
Well, to base an article on a speculation that Trump's post-convention bump will be like no other is a bit silly. Best to wait until the end of the Democratic Party's convention before jumping to any conclusions.

[Jul 25, 2016] Lock her up: Sanders supporters adopt Trumps attack line on Clinton

Notable quotes:
"... Sanders was always just the shiny carrot used to attract the naive youth and rope them in to Clinton's campaign. It's all a charade as it's always been. ..."
"... Well Clinton is a neoliberal. They believe in destroying someone's whole life for making a mistake once. So perhaps she is getting a taste of her own medicine. ..."
"... bernie is a accomplice sell out….sanders sold out to the criminal psychopath clinton…what a disappointment he turned out to be... ..."
"... In different manner, Mr Trump has shaken the Republican Party to its foundations. He too has been subject to a devious counter-campaign. Thus, this is a unique moment for the USA: each of the two dominant political parties is reeling and given the right push shall either reform or fall. ..."
"... Victoria Nuland and Hunter Biden as instrumental supporters of a fascist coup in the Ukraine...fascist coup. Support for Nazis. "We came, we saw; he died", said Hilary Rodham Clinton following the bloody Benghazi incident. There you have two excellent examples of Fascism and Authoritarianism, M.C.. Words and acts. ..."
"... Sanders is trying to hold back the tide for change , and he will be found out. He is an utter hypocrite, who is reneging on everything that he said so recently. The Democrats are a party for the 1% ---whoever is the leader. A new, mass party of socialism is urgently needed. ..."
"... Trump is a Bully, Hillary is a War Criminal. If Bernie won't lead a REVOLT--then We, the People will. ..."
"... Loons. Hillary Clinton is just Dick Cheney without the long, ah, nose... ..."
"... Hillary is indisputably a Neoliberal and Necon (warmonger), she's a threat to humanity. ..."
"... Actually Hillary Clinton is perched quite a bit to the right of the Party. ..."
"... Let me correct the record: it is nuts to support a candidate that is trusted by only 28% of the population! Nate Silver came out with a new projection that shows Hillary will lose to Trump. In a poll with a three way race Hillary, Trump, and with Johnson opposing Trump, Hillary STILL loses to Trump even though Johnson got a nice little chunk of the right leaning voters... ..."
"... How is somebody not going to jail? And, why isn't there talk of holding a fair and Democratic primary? ..."
"... HRCand DWS brought it on themselves. I am a registered democrat. I wanted a relatively clean establishment democrat without looming scandals to run. That didn't happen because Hillary ran. ..."
"... She gives me the heebie jeebies. Julian Assange has apparently got something on her which will deliver the coup de grace. I am loving Wikileaks at the moment. ..."
"... I hope Clinton will become less and less popular in the run up to the election, what would be fantastic is if we see Bernie running as an independent, America needs to have real democracy for once. ..."
"... People say lock her up ..."
"... No, she's above the law. As ex-Guardian columnist states so eloquently, there are 2 sets of laws in America---1 for elites like the Clintons, and another for everybody else. ..."
www.theguardian.com
RJ6126 , 2016-07-25 23:19:02
Sanders was always just the shiny carrot used to attract the naive youth and rope them in to Clinton's campaign. It's all a charade as it's always been.
totallydude , 2016-07-25 22:17:31
Well Clinton is a neoliberal. They believe in destroying someone's whole life for making a mistake once. So perhaps she is getting a taste of her own medicine.
stephannoir , 2016-07-25 22:02:25
bernie is a accomplice sell out….sanders sold out to the criminal psychopath clinton…what a disappointment he turned out to be...
Pragmatism , 2016-07-25 21:42:11
Mr Sanders is wrong to continue support for Clinton.

Not only has Clinton admitted wilful breach of sensible electronic communication security arrangements but also her associates, likely with her tacit blessing, have done all in their power to undermine Mr Sanders. Allegations of vote rigging (e.g. excluding people entitled to vote, closing polling stations in locations where support for Clinton is thin, and strong presumptive statistical evidence that voting machines have been tampered with) give little credence to Clinton being fit for the presidency.

Even Mr Trump has condemned this behaviour and I don't believe that wholly to be through political opportunism.

There is an open offer for Mr Sanders to jump ship and front the Green Party. Else, he could stand as an independent democrat. What Mr Sanders must not do is lie down and accept having been shafted. He has pledged support to Clinton. He did this without full knowledge of the facts of Clinton's duplicity. Thus he is no longer honour bound to stick to his word. Indeed, by accepting the manipulated would-be status quo he becomes tainted by Clinton's malodorous persona.

Mr Sanders is of an age when it soon shall be increasingly difficult to meet the physical demands of running for high office. This is his one and only chance for the presidency. Regardless of whether he succeeds, his stab at the presidency will give heart to a huge number of disenchanted US voters and bring about major changes to the Democratic Party establishment, to its electoral procedures and to its longer term policy platform; an alternative being collapse of that party and replacement by an entity better suited to the 21st century.

In different manner, Mr Trump has shaken the Republican Party to its foundations. He too has been subject to a devious counter-campaign. Thus, this is a unique moment for the USA: each of the two dominant political parties is reeling and given the right push shall either reform or fall.

mijkmijld Martha Carter , 2016-07-25 21:42:07
Victoria Nuland and Hunter Biden as instrumental supporters of a fascist coup in the Ukraine...fascist coup. Support for Nazis. "We came, we saw; he died", said Hilary Rodham Clinton following the bloody Benghazi incident. There you have two excellent examples of Fascism and Authoritarianism, M.C.. Words and acts.
Thies Arndt , 2016-07-25 21:19:21
Remember how Team Clinton kept pushing the lie about Bernie supporters throwing chairs at the Nevada convention? I think I saw that mentioned in articles here more than once as well.

http://www.snopes.com/did-sanders-supporters-throw-chairs-at-nevada-democratic-convention /

FactsnReason -> Phil Forde , 2016-07-25 21:29:48
Who needs to look at facts would be you and the other willfully blind Hillary supporters.

Notably, the FBI DID NOT investigate this law...why didn't the Hillary loyalist, Loretta Lynch, include this one as part of their investigation? Hmmm. I wonder...

Hillary Clinton broke this law.
http://www.justice.gov/usam/criminal-resource-manual-1663-protection-government-property-protection-public-records-and
Subsection (b) of 18 U.S.C. § 2071 contains a similar prohibition specifically directed at custodians of public records. Any custodian of a public record who "willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys (any record) shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States." While the range of acts proscribed by this subsection is somewhat narrower than subsection (a), it does provide the additional penalty of forfeiture of position with the United States.

eveofchange , 2016-07-25 21:16:00
Sanders is trying to hold back the tide for change , and he will be found out. He is an utter hypocrite, who is reneging on everything that he said so recently. The Democrats are a party for the 1% ---whoever is the leader. A new, mass party of socialism is urgently needed.
smokinbluebear , 2016-07-25 21:15:40
Trump is a Bully, Hillary is a War Criminal. If Bernie won't lead a REVOLT--then We, the People will.

VOTE JILL STEIN

Dan Pocela , 2016-07-25 21:00:22
Loons. Jill Stein is just Ralph Nader without the long, ah, nose...
FactsnReason -> Dan Pocela , 2016-07-25 21:40:58
Loons. Hillary Clinton is just Dick Cheney without the long, ah, nose...
BenevolentPantheist , 2016-07-25 20:37:55
Hillary is indisputably a Neoliberal and Necon (warmonger), she's a threat to humanity.

Legit Sources: Video.1 | Hillary Fighting For Us . | Hillary is a War Hawk - NYTimes and Salon news: she is more dangerous than Republicans . | Hillary Ready To Put The U.S on Warpath With Russia. Washington Times. | NATO-Russia Marching Towards War. Telegraph news UK . | Northern Thunder: 350,000 Troops Ready For War (Middle East) Daily Star news UK . | Poland Considering Access to Nuclear Weapons. The Guardian news . | Hillary Clinton Thinks Women Should Be Included In The Draft. Huffington Post . | Senate Votes To Include Women In The Draft. Huffington Post

I'll stick to moral values and vote for Jill Stein :- )

JudgeSturdy -> ilaughtilicried , 2016-07-25 20:43:52
Actually Hillary Clinton is perched quite a bit to the right of the Party.
FactsnReason -> aguy777 , 2016-07-25 21:56:03
Let me correct the record: it is nuts to support a candidate that is trusted by only 28% of the population! Nate Silver came out with a new projection that shows Hillary will lose to Trump. In a poll with a three way race Hillary, Trump, and with Johnson opposing Trump, Hillary STILL loses to Trump even though Johnson got a nice little chunk of the right leaning voters...
Who is nuts, now, dude?
LinkMeyer , 2016-07-25 20:27:56
How is somebody not going to jail? And, why isn't there talk of holding a fair and Democratic primary?
AndreevReflection -> soneil , 2016-07-25 21:19:27
HRCand DWS brought it on themselves. I am a registered democrat. I wanted a relatively clean establishment democrat without looming scandals to run. That didn't happen because Hillary ran.

I wanted a clean looking election with few glaring conflicts of interests. That didn't happen because DWS didn't step down and high level party members couldn't keep their mouths shut over email.

Now, we're expected to smile, nod, look the other way, and vote for Hillary. I will do that this time, but, if Hillary loses, I will never support her again.

Whatrhymeswithorange , 2016-07-25 20:16:09
She gives me the heebie jeebies. Julian Assange has apparently got something on her which will deliver the coup de grace. I am loving Wikileaks at the moment.
Oliver Elkington , 2016-07-25 20:14:35
I hope Clinton will become less and less popular in the run up to the election, what would be fantastic is if we see Bernie running as an independent, America needs to have real democracy for once.
Anthony Simpson , 2016-07-25 20:06:45
People say lock her up but she hasn't been changed with any crimes. The FBI cleared her on the e-mail server thing.
Lee Mulcahy -> Anthony Simpson , 2016-07-25 20:28:50
No, she's above the law. As ex-Guardian columnist states so eloquently, there are 2 sets of laws in America---1 for elites like the Clintons, and another for everybody else.

[Jul 25, 2016] Bernie Sanders Gets Booed When He Asks Delegates to Elect Hillary Clinton

www.legitgov.org
July 26, 2016

Bernie Sanders Gets Booed When He Asks Delegates to Elect Hillary Clinton | 25 July 2016 |The crowd of delegates in the convention center ballroom didn't come for unity: They came for Bernie Sanders. Sanders, the Vermont senator whose bid to beat back Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination fell short, took the stage this afternoon to speak to his delegates before he'll take a bigger stage in a few hours-at the Democratic National Convention on its opening night, in a bid to promote unity in the party as it gears up to face Republican Donald Trump in the fall. The packed ballroom cheered and chanted as Sanders recounted the successes of his campaign...But when he finally got around to speaking about the woman who will actually be the Democratic nominee, the crowd soured on their hero.

[Jul 25, 2016] Sanders response to Wikileaks: betrayal of supporters or battered wife syndrome

Notable quotes:
"... So, there you have it. The guy who suspected his campaign was being intentionally marginalized by the party apparatus learns in fact he, his campaign and most importantly, his voters were indeed intentionally marginalized by the leadership of the Democratic Party. The chairman of the Party is Barack Obama. He appoints the Director who we all know is Wasserman Schultz. Thus, the entirety of the DNC leadership knowingly and with intent marginalized Sanders and his voters. Yet, Sanders remains loyal and naively believes his voters will stay with him if he sticks with the party and their chosen candidate that screwed him and them. ..."
"... His response reminds me of battered wife syndrome. He has absolutely bonded with his abusers. He is a sick man as in mentally impaired, maybe fatigued, and should seriously consider some rest. ..."
"... I cannot imagine learning after years of planning, hard work and personal sacrifices being made to fulfill my lifelong ambition to get within a whisker of achieving my goals, only to learn within weeks after capitulating, that my entire life's effort was undermined from the beginning by the very apparatus I aligned with, albeit as an Indy, for decades. An apparatus that must remain neutral. ..."
"... Think about all that man has put himself, his family, his workers, his voters through this last year. His efforts were ginormous. Yet, within less than 48 hours the man dismisses the gravity of how his life's work was deliberately, with intent, sabotaged by the DNC and goes onto say it's not important, the issues are. ..."
"... Sure the issues are important to his voters but their learning the DNC put their resources behind their chosen candidate vs remaining neutral as their Bylaws require, would seriously piss me off. Hell it does piss me off and I'm not even a Sanders supporter. ..."
"... And why on earth would any of Sanders voters ever believe that the same party that marginalized him and his efforts would ever give weight to the issues he's fighting for! ..."
"... AFAICT he got very little for his support (will he get a cabinet position for himself?). He didn't have to endorse Hillary. He doesn't have to speak at the Convention (but he will tonight). ..."
www.moonofalabama.org
For those who have a Twitter account, checkout #dncleak or #dncleaks on the latest over the Wikileaks release of the DNC emails.

Here's one -"Hillary Clinton is now blaming the Russians for leaking the emails. Like that makes it any better that you rigged the primary."

Sanders to Chuck Todd on the leaks -

Todd: "So just to sum up here, these leaks, these emails, it hasn't given you any pause about your support for Hillary Clinton?"

Sanders: "No, no, no. We are going to do everything that we can to protect working families in this country. And again, Chuc, I know media is not necessarily focused on these things. But what a campaign is about is not Hillary Clinton, it's not Donald Trump. It is the people of this country, blah blah blah..."

"[...] And I'm going to go around the country discussing them [issues] and making sure Hillary Clinton is elected president."

So, there you have it. The guy who suspected his campaign was being intentionally marginalized by the party apparatus learns in fact he, his campaign and most importantly, his voters were indeed intentionally marginalized by the leadership of the Democratic Party. The chairman of the Party is Barack Obama. He appoints the Director who we all know is Wasserman Schultz. Thus, the entirety of the DNC leadership knowingly and with intent marginalized Sanders and his voters. Yet, Sanders remains loyal and naively believes his voters will stay with him if he sticks with the party and their chosen candidate that screwed him and them.

UNFRIGGINBELIEVABLE!

His response reminds me of battered wife syndrome. He has absolutely bonded with his abusers. He is a sick man as in mentally impaired, maybe fatigued, and should seriously consider some rest.

I cannot imagine learning after years of planning, hard work and personal sacrifices being made to fulfill my lifelong ambition to get within a whisker of achieving my goals, only to learn within weeks after capitulating, that my entire life's effort was undermined from the beginning by the very apparatus I aligned with, albeit as an Indy, for decades. An apparatus that must remain neutral.

Think about his response to Todd. Think about all that man has put himself, his family, his workers, his voters through this last year. His efforts were ginormous. Yet, within less than 48 hours the man dismisses the gravity of how his life's work was deliberately, with intent, sabotaged by the DNC and goes onto say it's not important, the issues are.

If I were a Bernie supporter I'd be starting a campaign to convince that man to take some serious time off. Go fishing. Go for hikes whatever. Just get away from the bubble and clear your head and soul.

Sure the issues are important to his voters but their learning the DNC put their resources behind their chosen candidate vs remaining neutral as their Bylaws require, would seriously piss me off. Hell it does piss me off and I'm not even a Sanders supporter.

And why on earth would any of Sanders voters ever believe that the same party that marginalized him and his efforts would ever give weight to the issues he's fighting for!

Posted by: h | Jul 24, 2016 1:24:40 PM | 11

Jackrabbit | Jul 24, 2016 2:28:41 PM | 25

h @11:

His response reminds me of battered wife syndrome.
You are assuming that Sanders is a victim instead of a conspirator.

Why would anyone give any politician in our corrupt system the benefit of the doubt? Even one that seems to be against 'the system'?

Why didn't Bernie release more than one year of tax returns?

Especially since Hillary cited this as a reason not to release the transcripts of her speaches to Goldman Sachs.

Why didn't Bernie use the emails against Hillary after the State Department Inspector General released their report?

This official report clearly demonstrated that Hillary had consistently misled the nation about her emails.

Why didn't Bernie attack Obama's record on Black/Minority affairs?

Obama's support is part of the reason that Blacks/Minorities were voting for Hillary. Obama never went to Feruson or New York or Baltimore. Obama's weak economic stimulous and austerity policies have been very bad for blacks/minorities. Obama bailed out banks that targeted minorities for toxic loans. Etc.

Why does Bernie, at 74-years old, care more about Hillary (which he calls a friend of 25 years) and the Democratic Party than his principles?

AFAICT he got very little for his support (will he get a cabinet position for himself?). He didn't have to endorse Hillary. He doesn't have to speak at the Convention (but he will tonight).

[Jul 25, 2016] The New American Century was announced at the UN in November, 1991 by George Herbert Walker Bush

Notable quotes:
"... "it's been 15 years now since the dawn of the criminal 'New American Century'," You must be young. The New American Century was announced at the UN in November, 1991 by George Herbert Walker Bush. ..."
"... Bush lost the election twelve months later, but the criminal who won was even more effective in establishing this new world order than Bush could have ever been. ..."
www.moonofalabama.org

Macon Richardson | Jul 23, 2016 6:09:36 PM | 36

jfl @ 2, you note that "it's been 15 years now since the dawn of the criminal 'New American Century'," You must be young. The New American Century was announced at the UN in November, 1991 by George Herbert Walker Bush. I watched him on television that evening announcing a "new world order" and my blood ran cold. I knew that evening where all this was leading to. It was leading to where we are right now.

Bush lost the election twelve months later, but the criminal who won was even more effective in establishing this new world order than Bush could have ever been.

The New American Century was announced in November, 1991. Internationally, the policy began with Bush senior urging Sadaam to invade Kuwait, thereby creating a cassus belli for everything that has happened since.

Domestically, it began with the wanton siege of the Waco religious sect and the murder of Randy Weaver's wife and baby.

[Jul 25, 2016] Sanders responce to Wikileaks reminds me of battered wife syndrome

Notable quotes:
"... So, there you have it. The guy who suspected his campaign was being intentionally marginalized by the party apparatus learns in fact he, his campaign and most importantly, his voters were indeed intentionally marginalized by the leadership of the Democratic Party. The chairman of the Party is Barack Obama. He appoints the Director who we all know is Wasserman Schultz. Thus, the entirety of the DNC leadership knowingly and with intent marginalized Sanders and his voters. Yet, Sanders remains loyal and naively believes his voters will stay with him if he sticks with the party and their chosen candidate that screwed him and them. ..."
"... His response reminds me of battered wife syndrome. He has absolutely bonded with his abusers. He is a sick man as in mentally impaired, maybe fatigued, and should seriously consider some rest. ..."
"... Think about all that man has put himself, his family, his workers, his voters through this last year. His efforts were ginormous. Yet, within less than 48 hours the man dismisses the gravity of how his life's work was deliberately, with intent, sabotaged by the DNC and goes onto say it's not important, the issues are. ..."
"... Sure the issues are important to his voters but their learning the DNC put their resources behind their chosen candidate vs remaining neutral as their Bylaws require, would seriously piss me off. Hell it does piss me off and I'm not even a Sanders supporter. ..."
"... And why on earth would any of Sanders voters ever believe that the same party that marginalized him and his efforts would ever give weight to the issues he's fighting for! ..."
www.moonofalabama.org
For those who have a Twitter account, checkout #dncleak or #dncleaks on the latest over the Wikileaks release of the DNC emails.

Here's one -"Hillary Clinton is now blaming the Russians for leaking the emails. Like that makes it any better that you rigged the primary."

Sanders to Chuck Todd on the leaks -

Todd: "So just to sum up here, these leaks, these emails, it hasn't given you any pause about your support for Hillary Clinton?"

Sanders: "No, no, no. We are going to do everything that we can to protect working families in this country. And again, Chuc, I know media is not necessarily focused on these things. But what a campaign is about is not Hillary Clinton, it's not Donald Trump. It is the people of this country, blah blah blah..."

"[...] And I'm going to go around the country discussing them [issues] and making sure Hillary Clinton is elected president."

So, there you have it. The guy who suspected his campaign was being intentionally marginalized by the party apparatus learns in fact he, his campaign and most importantly, his voters were indeed intentionally marginalized by the leadership of the Democratic Party. The chairman of the Party is Barack Obama. He appoints the Director who we all know is Wasserman Schultz. Thus, the entirety of the DNC leadership knowingly and with intent marginalized Sanders and his voters. Yet, Sanders remains loyal and naively believes his voters will stay with him if he sticks with the party and their chosen candidate that screwed him and them.

UNFRIGGINBELIEVABLE!

His response reminds me of battered wife syndrome. He has absolutely bonded with his abusers. He is a sick man as in mentally impaired, maybe fatigued, and should seriously consider some rest.

I cannot imagine learning after years of planning, hard work and personal sacrifices being made to fulfill my lifelong ambition to get within a whisker of achieving my goals, only to learn within weeks after capitulating, that my entire life's effort was undermined from the beginning by the very apparatus I aligned with, albeit as an Indy, for decades. An apparatus that must remain neutral.

Think about his response to Todd. Think about all that man has put himself, his family, his workers, his voters through this last year. His efforts were ginormous. Yet, within less than 48 hours the man dismisses the gravity of how his life's work was deliberately, with intent, sabotaged by the DNC and goes onto say it's not important, the issues are.

If I were a Bernie supporter I'd be starting a campaign to convince that man to take some serious time off. Go fishing. Go for hikes whatever. Just get away from the bubble and clear your head and soul.

Sure the issues are important to his voters but their learning the DNC put their resources behind their chosen candidate vs remaining neutral as their Bylaws require, would seriously piss me off. Hell it does piss me off and I'm not even a Sanders supporter.

And why on earth would any of Sanders voters ever believe that the same party that marginalized him and his efforts would ever give weight to the issues he's fighting for!

Posted by: h | Jul 24, 2016 1:24:40 PM | 11

[Jul 24, 2016] Hillary Clinton Didnt Create ISIS, But America Can Still Blame Itself

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times ..."
"... Sleeping With the Devil ..."
blackbag.gawker.com

Wise Men of Foreign Affairs have jumped at the chance to debunk a wild rumor that Hillary Clinton bragged about creating ISIS in her new memoir-truly an easy layup in the annals of punditry. The rumor even got the name of Clinton's memoir wrong. But, that's OK: The remaining facts still allow America to feel guilty.

According to at least one Egyptian blogger, the conspiracy theory-complete with fake quotes from a fantasy version of Clinton's memoir entitled Plan 360-emerged from the hothouse of Egypt's Pro-Mubarak/Pro-Military Facebook pages: a social circle in which it is already de rigueur to suggest that the U.S. and the Muslim Brotherhood secretly conspired to orchestrate the Arab Spring. This screenshot of a Facebook page for the Egyptian military's counter-terrorism and special operations unit, Task Force 777, and its reconnaissance special operations unit, Task Force 999, depicts one of the earliest appearances of the fake Clinton quotes:

Leaving aside for the moment the question of why Clinton would brag about this covert operation, in progress, in her memoir, what foreign policy objectives could possibly be achieved by America manufacturing ISIS? Like: Why do that? To what ends?

One version involves Israel (obviously), and something about balkanizing Israel's Mid-East neighbors to both justify their nefarious Zionist expansion, or whatever, and remove opposition to it. Another version, as The Week pointed out Tuesday, claims that the U.S. would plan to recognize an ISIS caliphate and that this caliphate would turn out to be (somehow) very amenable to America's strategic and economic interests.

Despite the fact that the U.S. Embassy in Beirut felt compelled to publicly debunk all this on their Facebook page, it's unclear how many people in the region actually believed it.

The hashtag #HilaryClintonsMemoirs ( #مذكرات_هيلاري_كلينتون) quickly started trending across social media in the region, Huffington Post UK reported, "with satirical tweets mocking the theory with outlandish claims about what else the Secretary of State might have written-like a secret CIA plot to close all the restaurants in Cairo and replace them with McDonalds."

Good one, the Middle East. I'm lovin' it.

Not everyone appreciated the Middle East's jokes, however. Writing in his "Open Source" column for the New York Times, Robert Mackey would like you to know that many in the Arab-speaking world are doing some genuine soul-searching about their culture's own role in the emergence of ISIS and that these conspiracy theories have simply been a haven for the obstinate and the self-deluded; Muslims who are too afraid to look themselves and their societies in the mirror.

For instance, the Lebanese scholar Ziad Majed wrote on his blog that at least six factors from the recent history of the Middle East helped give birth to the militant movement, including "despotism in the most heinous form that has plagued the region," as well as "the American invasion of Iraq in 2003," and "a profound crisis, deeply rooted in the thinking of some Islamist groups seeking to escape from their terrible failure to confront the challenges of the present toward a delusional model ostensibly taken from the seventh century."

That sort of introspection is not for everyone, of course, so a popular conspiracy theory has spread online that offers an easier answer to the riddle of where ISIS came from: Washington.

Ha, ha. "Washington." What buffoons!

Let's learn a valuable lesson from the psychological projections of these weak-willed Third World plebes: desert Archie Bunkers and izaar-clad Tony Sopranos too parochial in their worldview and too much in denial of their own culpability to face this present danger.

America is better than that.

Let us examine with clear eyes all the ways in which our own democratically elected government-in Washington-is responsible for where ISIS came from.

U.S. Policy in Chechnya

In a report this week on the blistering efficiency and military prowess of ISIS, ABC News reporter James Gordon Meek got an incredibly great, short answer as to where the Islamic State gained its technical expertise:

"Probably the Chechens," a U.S. official said.

ISIS, or ISIL, or the Islamic State-whatever you want to call it-was nearly dead in 2007, after U.S. forces in Iraq and local Sunni tribes successfully joined forces against the group. It wasn't until the Syrian uprisings that it reemerged as a potent force, after a failed merger with the al-Qaida-affiliated Syrian rebel group al-Nusra, lead most of al-Nusra's foreign-born jihadis to defect to ISIS.

"Foreign-born jihadis" here meaning career Islamists like the Chechen groups, which have been conducting terror campaigns, kidnappings, and suicide bombings in Russia, with a reasonable degree of success, for over 15 years now. Some of the most prominent leaders now fighting with ISIS are Chechens: the ginger-bearded "rising star" Omar al-Shishani and the group's Che Guevara, Muslem al-Shishani (the unnervingly studly viking face pictured above). In addition to Saudi and Pakistani assistance, many of the Chechens were led and supported by the CIA-trained Afghan mujahideen, up-to-and-including Osama bin Laden: ace mentors, in other words, with proven experience in a professional terror setting.

When not actively defending the Chechen extremists with weirdly bipartisan neocon-neoliberal advocacy groups, policy makers and government officials in Washington have turned a proactively blind eye to Chechen Islamist activities in Russia and here in the United States with infamously fatal consequences. Both the 9/11 Commission Report and FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley have shown that senior-level officials refused to classify Islamic terrorists in Chechnya-like their then-leader Ibn al Khattab who had direct contact with bin Laden-as actual terrorists, thus preventing the FBI from properly investigating "20th hijacker" Zaccarias Moussaoui before 9/11. Another pre-9/11 FBI investigation, this time into a Florida summer camp run by the Saudi-funded World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), discovered that the group was showing children videos praising Chechen bombers, only to be pulled off the case according to an FBI memo, ID 1991-WF-213589, uncovered by Greg Palast for the BBC and Vice. Upon further digging by Palast:

Several insiders repeated the same story: U.S. agencies ended the investigation of the bin Laden-terrorist-Chechen-jihad connection out of fear of exposing uncomfortable facts. U.S. intelligence had turned a blind eye to the Abdullah bin Laden organisation [yes, WAMY was run by a bin Laden brother] because our own government was more than happy that our Saudi allies were sending jihadis to Afghanistan, then, via WAMY, helping Muslims to fight in Bosnia then, later, giving the Russians grief in Chechnya. The problem is that terrorists are like homing pigeons – they come home to roost.

As Joe Trento of the National Security News Service, who helped me on the investigation, said, "It would be unseemly if [someone] were arrested by the FBI and word got back that he'd once been on the payroll of the CIA… What we're talking about is blow-back. What we're talking about is embarrassing, career-destroying blow-back for intelligence officials."

The agency has gone to great lengths to paper over this. When former CIA agent Robert Baer-whose writing served as the factual basis for that weird George Clooney movie Syriana-wanted to cite Russian sources about the Saudi-Chechen connection in his book Sleeping With the Devil, the agency pressured him not to. This despite the fact that it was publicly available information he'd acquired after retiring from government service.

A big part of the reason for this sensitivity is that covertly letting the Saudis and their Islamic radicals chip away at the oil-rich rubble on the fringes of the collapsed Soviet empire has been America's favored strategy for collecting the spoils of the Cold War.

"The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army," a former CIA analyst told Swiss journalist Richard Labévière back in the late 1990s. "The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia."

Granted: The events of September 11th made this grand strategy a little tricky, domestically, but as you may have noticed over the past few years, particularly in Russian-allied Syria, it's mostly back on track.

[Jul 24, 2016] Obama Denies Advance Knowledge of Turkish Coup

Notable quotes:
"... Speaking at the White House today, President Obama denied unequivocally that the US had any prior knowledge of last week's failed military coup in Turkey, calling on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to make sure everyone in Turkey knows the US wasn't involved. ..."
"... The early US reaction to the coup has raised a lot of speculation, as Secretary of State John Kerry, during the coup, issued a tepid comment just urging "stability." The US only condemned the coup when it became clear, later that evening, that it was going to fail. ..."
July 22, 2016 | Antiwar.com

Obama Denies Advance Knowledge of Turkish Coup; Insists US Had No Involvement in Failed Coup

Speaking at the White House today, President Obama denied unequivocally that the US had any prior knowledge of last week's failed military coup in Turkey, calling on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to make sure everyone in Turkey knows the US wasn't involved.

The early US reaction to the coup has raised a lot of speculation, as Secretary of State John Kerry, during the coup, issued a tepid comment just urging "stability." The US only condemned the coup when it became clear, later that evening, that it was going to fail.

Turkey cut power to the Incirlik Air Base, where many US warplanes and dozens of US nuclear weapons are based, and jailed the commander as a co-conspirator to the coup. That, and Turkey's blaming of cleric Fethullah Gulen, exiled to the US, as being behind the plot, are likely the source of a lot of the speculation.

The US has been keen to keep its ties close to Turkey, whoever ends up running it, and the Obama Administration is understandably eager to distance itself from any suspicion. This is a key part of why the US has been so reluctant to seriously criticize Turkey's post-coup purge, and why Turkey feels comfortable pressuring them to extradite Gulen without any evidence.

[Jul 24, 2016] The Immorality and Brutal Violence of Extreme Greed--

Notable quotes:
"... By #SlayTheSmaugs, an elected Bernie delegate in Philly. ..."
"... #STS believes that the billionaire class are Smaugs (the greed incarnate dragon of The Hobbit), immorally hoarding wealth for no reason beyond ego gratification. To "Slay" the Smaugs, we need a confiscatory wealth tax, stronger democratic institutions to impose it, and a shared moral agreement that #GreedIsEvil to justify it. ..."
"... More; charitable foundations are not the same thing, in many cases, as true charity. Instead foundations often function as hoard preservers as well, and enrich their leadership too. ..."
"... After a certain level of accumulation money is simply ego gratifying points, it's not money any more. ..."
"... Wealth on this scale has nothing to do with financial security or luxurious living. For the trivial, it is (as per D. Trump) a game and money is how you keep score. For the serious, it has to do with power, with the ability to affect other people's lives without their consent. That is why the Smaugs' wealth is absolutely our business. It should be understood that we're talking about taking very large amounts of money and power away from very rich people, people for whom money and power are pretty much the only things they value. It will not be pretty. ..."
"... If we fail to prevent the imposition of this transnational regime there will only be three classes of humans left: kleptocrats, their favored minions, and slaves. ..."
"... A more modern similarity of the US is Rome. Vassals have been going full retard for several years now, traitors sell international competitors military secrets while the biggest merchants buy off the Senate. ..."
"... Isn't there an idiom about cutting off the head of the snake? Once you deal with the strongest opponents, it's easier to go after the others. Too big to fail is nothing short of feeding the beast. ..."
"... I disagree strongly with your premise that some sort of pure and natural meritocracy has ever existed, or could ever exist in human society. Corrupt and oppressive people will always define as "meritorious" those qualities that they themselves possess– whether wealth, "gentle birth," "technical skills," or whatever. We all possess the same merit of being human. ..."
July 22, 2016 | Naked Capitalism

... ... ...

By #SlayTheSmaugs, an elected Bernie delegate in Philly.

#STS believes that the billionaire class are Smaugs (the greed incarnate dragon of The Hobbit), immorally hoarding wealth for no reason beyond ego gratification. To "Slay" the Smaugs, we need a confiscatory wealth tax, stronger democratic institutions to impose it, and a shared moral agreement that #GreedIsEvil to justify it.

Worshiping Wealth

When Gordon Gekko proclaimed that 'Greed is Good' in 1987, it was an obvious rejection of several millennia of teachings by traditional prophets and priests. Yet when Gekko preached greed, he was merely reinforcing the current cultural norm; greed had already been rebranded a virtue. (Still, the speech was to remind us Gekko was a bad guy). Consider that Madonna had proclaimed herself a Material Girl three years earlier, and "Living Large" was cool. Conspicuous consumption is walking the talk that greed is good.

Why had greed become good? I blame the creation of a credit-fueled culture of constant consumption that necessarily praises coveting stuff, plus the dismantling of the regulatory state that had kept Wall Street and wannabe oligarchs in check.

Our healthy cultural adoration of the self-made man, of respect for success, warped into worship of the rich. They are not the same. Wealth can be inherited, stolen through fraud and other illegal activities, or harvested from bubbles; none of these or myriad other paths to riches is due respect, much less worship. Paired with another 80's definition-government is the problem-worshiping wealth facilitates all the dysfunction in our government.

Remembering Greed is Evil

Thirty years later, the old social norm-the one that protected the many from the few, the one that demonized greed as a deadly sin-is resurgent. We have a Pope who preaches against greed, and who walks his talk . We had a Presidential candidate of a major party-Bernie Sanders-who railed against those living embodiments of greed, the Billionaire Class, and walked his talk by rejecting their money. At the convention, he has invited delegates to four workshops, one of which is "One Nation Now: Winning the Fight Against Racism and Greed". We have a late night comedian-John Oliver- ridiculing the prosperity gospel and taking on the debt industry . We have mass consciousness rising, reflected in Occupy, the label "the 99%", BLM and more.

But we need more voices insisting #GreedIsEvil. We need to teach that basic message at home, in school, and in houses of worship. We need to send the right signals in our social interactions. We need to stop coveting stuff, and start buying with a purpose: Shopping locally, buying American, buying green and clean, and buying less. We need to waste less, share more and build community. We need to re-norm-alize greed as evil, make it shameful again. Then we will have redefined ourselves as citizens, not consumers.

But make no mistake: America cannot become a just nation simply by the 99% becoming more virtuous. The cultural shift is necessary but not sufficient, for norms alone do not deliver social and economic justice. Shame will not slay the Smaugs; we need structural change in the political economy.

Extreme greed, the greed of Smaugs, is categorically different than the petit greed underlying the irrational, constant consumption and the worship of wealth. Extreme greed manifests as a hoard of wealth so great that "purchasing power" is an irrelevant concept; a hoard so great it lacks any utility other than to be sat upon as a throne, gratifying the Smaug's ego and symbolizing his power. That greed must be understood as an intolerable evil, something so base and malevolent that the full power of the state must be used against it.

This essay is my contribution to the cause of returning extreme greed to its rightful place in the pantheon of ultimate evils. Here is the thesis: extreme greed must be 'slain' by the state because extreme greed is brutally violent.

The Stealth Violence of False Scarcity and "Cutting Corners"

Greed's violence is quiet and deadly: The violence of false scarcity and of "corner cutting". Scarcity is not having enough because there just isn't enough to go round, like the nearly 50 million people who don't reliably have food during the year, including 15 million kids. False scarcity is when actually, there's plenty to go around, but people generally don't have enough because of hoarders.

It's a concentrated version of what happened to pennies in 1999. People keeping pennies in piggy banks created a shortage felt throughout New York City . If only people had broken open their piggy banks, and used their pennies, there would have been plenty of pennies in circulation, and shopkeepers wouldn't lose money by rounding purchases down. In this piece, I'm focusing on false scarcity of dollars, not pennies, and the maiming and premature death that results from false dollar scarcity. But the idea is essentially the same; there's just far fewer relevant piggy banks.

By the quiet violence of 'corner cutting', I'm referring to unsafe, even deadly, workplaces that could be safe if the employers invested in safety.

Sporadically, greed also drives overt, and sometimes profoundly bloody violence to protect the hoard. Think of employer violence against unions and union organizers, a la Henry Ford , or John D. Rockefeller . Nonetheless in this country now, the violence of greed tends to be more covert. It is that quiet violence, in both forms, I want you to hear now.

As Sanders often reminds us, in this, the richest nation in the world, nearly 50 million people are living in poverty; roughly one in seven Americans. And as Sanders explained, in a speech in West Virginia , 130,000 people die each and every year as a result of poverty. I have not read the study Sanders referred to, so I don't know how much it overlaps with the rise of suicide that accelerated after 2006 and which appears to be correlated with financial stress. Nor do I know how it overlaps with the documented increase in white mortality that also appears to correlate with financial stress. Regardless of overlap, however, each of these studies reflects the quiet violence of false scarcity. Naked Capitalism has featured many posts documenting the damage of greed; this is a recent one .

Chronic and acute financial stress from false scarcity maims, and kills. And Smaugs create false scarcity to feed money to their egos and maintain their oligarchic power.

As Lambert often says, they don't call it class warfare for nothing.

But wait, you might insist, how false is the scarcity, really? How much do a few billionaires matter? Ranting that greed is evil is all well and good, but really, can a relative handful of people be manufacturing scarcity where there is none, shortening and taking millions of lives in the process? Aren't you making your target too narrow in going after the Smaugs?

In order: Very false, a lot, yes and no.

The Falsity of Dollar Scarcity

In 2015 the Institute for Policy Studies determined that the richest 20 American billionaires had hoarded as much wealth as 152 million people had managed to scrape together combined. Think on that.

Twenty people had hoarded $732,000,000,000. America is a nation of about 300,000,000 people. That means 20 people could give a combined $2,370 to every American, and still hoard $1 billion each. I'm not suggesting that's how the redistribution should be done, but it's notable that in an era when some 200 million Americans haven't been able to save $1000 for an emergency, twenty people could give everyone over two grand while remaining fabulously wealthy.

Now, these 20 monstrous people, these full grown Smaugs, are not alone in their extreme greed. Adding in the assets of the next 380 richest Americans brings the total wealth hoarded to $2.34 trillion. That number is so large it's hard to process , so let's think this through.

First, imagine that we took all of that money with a confiscatory tax, except we again left each of the 400 people with $1 billion. They would still be obscenely rich, so don't pity them.* Our tax thus netted $1.94 trillion. Since that's still an unimaginable number, let's compare it to some recent government spending.

In December 2015, Congress funded five years' worth of infrastructure construction. Congress and President Obama were very self-congratulatory because our infrastructure is a mess, and building things involves good paying jobs. So, how much did five years of infrastructure building and job creation cost? $305 billion . That's less than the $400 billion we let the 400 Smaugs keep at the start of this thought experiment. With the $1.94 trillion we imagine confiscating, we could keep building at the 2015 pace for 32 years. Or we could spend it much faster, and create an economic boom the like of which this nation hasn't seen in generations.

Even Bernie Sanders, he of the supposedly overly ambitious, unable-to-be-paid for initiatives, only proposed spending $1 trillion on infrastructure over five years -a bit more than half what our tax would net. (Nor did this supposed radical call for a confiscatory wealth tax to fund his plan.) Sanders estimated his proposal would create 13 million good paying jobs. With nearly double the money, surely we get nearly double the jobs? Let's be conservative and say 22 million.

In sum, we could confiscate most of the wealth of 400 people-still leaving them obscenely rich with $1 billion each-and create 22 million good paying jobs over five years. But we don't; we let the Smaugs keep their hoards intact. Now consider this is only taxing 400 people; what if we taxed the richest 2,000 people more justly? What if we taxed corporations effectively? What if we stopped giving corporate welfare? A confiscatory wealth tax, however, simply isn't discussed in polite company, any more than a truly progressive income tax is, or even serious proposals to end corporate welfare. The best we can do is agree that really, someday soon, we should end the obscenity that is the carried interest loophole.

False scarcity isn't simply a failure of charity, a hoarding of wealth that should be alms for the poor. False scarcity is created through the billionaires' control of the state, of public policy. But the quiet violence of greed isn't visited on the 99% only through the failure to pay adequate taxes. Not even through the Smaugs' failure to have their corporations pay adequate wages, or benefits. Predatory lending, predatory servicing, fraudulent foreclosure, municipal bond rigging, and pension fund fleecing are just some of the many other ways immoral greed creates false scarcity.

While false scarcity has the broadest impact, it is not the only form of stealth violence used by the billionaires in their class war against the rest of us. The Ford and Rockefeller style violence of fists and guns may be rare in the U.S. these days, but a variant of it remains much too common: Unsafe workplaces, the quiet violence of "cutting corners". Whether it's the coal industry , the poultry industry , or the fracking and oil industries, or myriad other industries, unsafe workplaces kill, maim and sicken workers. Part of the political economy restructuring we must do includes transforming the workplace.

Feel the Greed

Let us remember why this stealth violence exists-why false scarcity and unsafe workplaces exist.

People who have more money than they hope to spend for the rest of their lives, no matter how many of their remaining days are "rainy"; people who have more money to pass on than their children need for a lifetime of financial security, college and retirement included; people who have more money to pass on than their grandchildren need for a similarly secure life–these people insist on extracting still more wealth from their workers, their clients, and taxpayers for no purpose beyond vaingloriously hoarding it.

Sure, some give away billions . But even so they retain billions. For what? More; charitable foundations are not the same thing, in many cases, as true charity. Instead foundations often function as hoard preservers as well, and enrich their leadership too.

In Conclusion

Greed is evil, but it comes in different intensities. Petit greed is a corrosive illness that decays societies, but can be effectively ameliorated through norms and social capital. Smaug greed is so toxic, so potent, that the state is the only entity powerful enough to put it in check. Greed, particularly Smaug greed, must be put in check because the false scarcity it manufactures, and the unsafe workplaces it creates, maim and kill people. The stealth violence of Smaug greed justifies a tax to confiscate the hoards.

#GreedIsEvil. It's time to #SlayTheSmaugs

*One of the arguments against redistribution is that is against the sacrosanct efficient market, which forbids making one person better off if the price is making someone else worse off. But money has diminishing returns as money after a certain point; the purchasing power between someone with one billion and ten billion dollars is negligible, though the difference between someone with ten thousand and a hundred thousand, or a hundred thousand and a million is huge. After a certain level of accumulation money is simply ego gratifying points, it's not money any more. Thus taking it and using it as money isn't making someone 'worse off' in an economic sense. Also, when considering whether someone is 'worse off', it's worth considering where their money comes from; how many people did they leave 'worse off' as they extracted the money? Brett , July 22, 2016 at 10:07 am

After a certain level of accumulation money is simply ego gratifying points, it's not money any more.

It quite literally isn't "money" as we regular folks know it beyond a certain point – it's tied up in share value and other assets. Which of course raises the question – when you decide to do your mass confiscation of wealth, who is going to be foolish enough to buy those assets so you actually have liquid currency to spend on infrastructure as opposed to illiquid assets? Or are you simply going to print money and spend it on them?

Thomas Hinds , July 22, 2016 at 10:33 am

Wealth on this scale has nothing to do with financial security or luxurious living. For the trivial, it is (as per D. Trump) a game and money is how you keep score. For the serious, it has to do with power, with the ability to affect other people's lives without their consent. That is why the Smaugs' wealth is absolutely our business. It should be understood that we're talking about taking very large amounts of money and power away from very rich people, people for whom money and power are pretty much the only things they value. It will not be pretty.

Ranger Rick , July 22, 2016 at 10:37 am

People become rich and stay that way because of a market failure that allows them to accumulate capital in the same way a constricted artery accumulates blood. What I'm wondering, continuing this metaphor, is what happens when all that money is released back into the market at once via a redistribution - toxic shock syndrome.

You can see what happens to markets in places where "virtual money" (capital) brushes up against the real economy: the dysfunctional housing situation in Vancouver, London, New York, and San Francisco.

It may be wiser to argue for wealth disintegration instead of redistribution.

a different chris , July 22, 2016 at 11:52 am

Yes I was thinking about that … money is just something the government prints to make the system work smoothly. But that, and pretty much any view of money, obscures the problem with the insanely "wealthy".

If these people, instead of having huge bank accounts actually had huge armies the government would move to disarm them. It wouldn't re-distribute the tanks and rifles. It would be obviously removing a threat to everybody.

Now there would be the temptation to wave your hands and say you were "melting it into plowshares" but that causes an accounting problem - that is, the problem being the use of accounting itself. Destroying extreme wealth and paying for say roads is just two different things and making them sound connected is where we keep getting bogged down. Not a full-on MMT'er yet but it really has illuminated that fact.

And no, as usual l have no solutions.

John Merryman , July 22, 2016 at 12:55 pm

The western assumption is that money is a commodity, from salt to gold, to bitcoin, we assume it can be manufactured, but the underlaying reality is that it is a social contract and every asset is presumably backed by debt.
Here is an interesting link which does make the point about the contractual basis of money in a succinct fashion;
http://rs79.vrx.palo-alto.ca.us/opinions/ideas/economics/jubilee/

Since the modern commodity of money is backed by debt and largely public debt, there is enormous pressure to create as much debt as possible.
For instance, the government doesn't really budget, it just writes up these enormous bills, attaches enough goodies to get the votes and the president can only pass or veto it and with all the backing and no other method, a veto is a weak protection.

To budget is to prioritize and spend according to ability. What they could do would be to break these bills into all their various "line items," have every legislator assign a percentage value to each one, put them back together in order of preference and then the president would draw the line.
It would balance the power and reduce the tendency to overspend, but it would blow up our financial system, which if anyone notices, is based on the sanctity of government debt.

If instead of borrowing the excess money out of the system, to spend on whatever, if the government threatened to tax it out, people would quickly find other ways to store value than as money in the financial system.

Since most of us save for the same general reasons, from raising children to retirement, we could invest in these as public commons, not try to save for our exact needs. This would serve to strengthen communities and their environments, as everyone would be more dependent on those around them, not just having a private bank account as their personal umbilical cord.

We treat money as both medium of exchange and store of value. As Rick points out above, a medium is like blood in the body and it needs to be carefully regulated. Conversely, the store of value in the body is fat and while many of us do carry an excess, storing it in the circulation system is not wise. Clogged arteries, poor circulation and high blood pressure are analogous to a bloated financial system, poor circulation and QE.
Money is not a commodity, but a contract.

Julian , July 22, 2016 at 11:00 am

Do you realize that this supposed billionaire wealth does not consist of actual US dollars and that, if one were to liquidate such wealth (in order to redistribute it in "fair" equal-dollars) that number might drastically change?

The main thing these people (and indeed your pension funds) are actually hoarding are financial assets, and those, it turns out, are actually "scarce". Or, well, I don't know what else you would call trillions of bonds netting a negative interest rate and an elevated P/E stock market in a low-growth environment.

It's a bit of a pickle from a macro environment. You can't just force them to liquidate their assets, or else the whole system would collapse. It also kind of escapes the point that someone has to hold each asset. I would be excited to see what happens when you ask Bill Gates to liquidate his financial assets (in order to distribute the cash). An interesting thought, for sure. And one that would probably bring the market closer to reasonable valuations.

It is simply a wrong conclusion to say "Wealth is x, and if we distribute it, everyone would get x divided by amount of recipients in dollar terms". Now if you wanted to redistribute Bill Gates' stake in Microsoft in some "fair" way, you could certainly try but that's not really what you proposed.

Either way you can't approach wealth policy from a macro perspective like this, because as soon as you start designing macro-level policy to adjust (i.e. redistribute) this wealth, the value of it will fluctuate very wildly in dollar terms and may well leave everyone less well off in some weird feedback loop.

JTMcPhee , July 22, 2016 at 11:05 am

"The full power of the state must be used against" #extremegreed: Except, of course, "L'etat c'est moi…"

Of course as a Bernie supporter, the writer knows that, knows that it is a long game to even start to move any of the hoard out of Smaug's cave, that there are dwarves with glittering eyes ready to take back and reduce to ownership and ornamentation the whole pile (maybe they might 'share" a little with the humans of Lake Town who suffered the Dragon's Fire but whose Hero drove a mystical iron arrow through the weak place in Smaug's armor, all while Sauron and Saruman are circling and plotting and growing hordes of genetically modified Orcs and Trolls and summoning the demons from below…

The Elves seem to be OK with a "genteel sufficiency," their wealth being useful durable stuff like mithril armor and those lovely houses and palaces up in the trees. Humans? Grabbers and takers, in Tolkien's mythology. I would second that view - sure seems to me that almost any of us, given a 1000-Bagger like Zuckerman or Jobs or that Gates creature fell into, or Russian or Israeli or African or European oligarchs for that matter (pretty universal, and expected given Davos and Bilderberg and Koch summits) the old insatiable lambic system that drives for pleasure-to-the-max and helps our baser tribal drives and penchant for violence to manifest and "thrive" will have its due. Like 600 foot motor yachts and private-jet escape pods and pinnacles islands with Dr. No-style security provided by guns and accountants and lawyers and faux-legitimate political rulers for hire…

Lots of analysis of "the problem." Not so much in the way of apparent remedies, other than maybe lots of bleeding, where the mopes will do most of it and if history is any guide, another Smaug will go on around taking all the gold and jewels and other concentrated wealth back to another pile, to sit on and not maybe even gloat over because the scales are just too large…

Still hoping for the emergence of an organizing principle that is more attractive that "take whatever you can and cripple or kill anyone who objects…"

Ulysses , July 22, 2016 at 11:38 am

"People who have more money than they hope to spend for the rest of their lives, no matter how many of their remaining days are "rainy"; people who have more money to pass on than their children need for a lifetime of financial security, college and retirement included; people who have more money to pass on than their grandchildren need for a similarly secure life–these people insist on extracting still more wealth from their workers, their clients, and taxpayers for no purpose beyond vaingloriously hoarding it."

These are people who are obscenely wealthy as opposed to merely wealthy. The fastest way to challenge their toxic power would be to help the latter group understand that their interests are not aligned with the former. Most millionaires (as opposed to billionaires) will eventually suffer when the last few drops of wealth remaining to the middle and working classes are extracted. Their future prosperity depends on the continued existence of a viable, mass consumer economy.

The billionaires imagine (in my view falsely) that they will thrive in a neo-feudal future– where they own everything and the vast majority of humanity exists only to serve their needs. This is the future they are attempting to build with the new TPP/TISA/TTIP regime. If we fail to prevent the imposition of this transnational regime there will only be three classes of humans left: kleptocrats, their favored minions, and slaves. Most neoliberal professionals, who imagine that they will be in that second group, are delusional. Did the pharaohs have any need for people like Paul Krugman or Maureen Dowd?

a different chris , July 22, 2016 at 11:59 am

Yeah unfortunately they did. It wasn't just the pharaoh and peasants, there was a whole priestly class just to keep the workers confused.

Now the individuals themselves weren't at all necessary, they have always been easily replaceable.

FluffytheObeseCat , July 22, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Pharaohs didn't need a middle/professional class as large as the ones in most western democracies today. But, we are going in the pharaonic direction.

The problem our polite, right wing professional classes face is that they are increasingly too numerous for society's needs. Hence the creeping gig-i-fication of professional employment. The wage stagnation in all but the most guild-ridden (medicine) professions.

It's so reminiscent of what happened to the industrial working class in the late 70s and 80s. I still remember the "well-reasoned", literate arguments in magazine op-eds proclaiming how line workers had become "excess" in the face of Asian competition and automation. How most just needed to retrain, move to where the jobs are, tighten their belts, etc. It's identical now for lawyers, radiologists, and many layers of the teaching professions. If I weren't part of that "professional" class I'd find the Schadenfreude almost too delicious.

HotFlash , July 22, 2016 at 1:54 pm
If we fail to prevent the imposition of this transnational regime there will only be three classes of humans left: kleptocrats, their favored minions, and slaves.

Sounds about right, but you are overlooking the fact that the largest class will be The Dead. They will not need nearly so many of Us, and we will be thinned, trimmed, pruned, marooned, or otherwise made to go away permanently (quietly, for preference, I assume, but any way will do).

Ergo, the violence of ineffectual health care, toxic environment, poisonous food, dangerous working conditions and violence (for instance, guns and toxic chemicals) in our homes, schools, streets, workplaces, cities and, well, everywhere are not only a feature, but a major part of the plan.

And I'm actually feeling rather optimistic today.

Tim , July 22, 2016 at 2:23 pm

It has been extensively documented that the merely wealthy are very upset at the obscenely wealthy.

If the author is truly focusing on a tax for obscene wealth I'd like to know a specific threshold. Is it 1 Billion and up? annual limit how many times the median income before it kicks in?

#SlayTheSmaugs Post author , July 22, 2016 at 3:30 pm

Well, I'm happy to have a discussion about at what threshold a confiscatory wealth tax should kick in; it's the kind of conversation we have with estate taxes.

I'm thinking a one off wealth tax, followed by a prevention of the resurrection of the problem with a sharply progressive income tax. Is $1 billion the right number for this initial reclamation? maybe. It is about the very top few, not the merely wealthy.

#SlayTheSmaugs

Vatch , July 22, 2016 at 5:32 pm

$1 billion is a reasonable amount of assets for determining whether to confiscate a portion of a person's wealth in taxes. Or perhaps we could base it on a percentage of GDP. The U.S. GDP in 2015 was approximately $17.9 trillion. Anyone with $1.79 billion or more in assets would have 1% of 1% of the U.S. GDP (0.01%). That's a lot of wealth, and surely justifies a heavy tax.

Quantum Future , July 22, 2016 at 4:15 pm

To your question Ulysses

'Professionals, who imagine that they will be in that second group, are delusional. Did the pharaohs have any need of Paul Krugman'

Sure they did. Those were called Priests who told the people what the gods were thinking. And since Pharoah's concluded themselves gods. The slaves revolt by working less. Anybody notice the dropping production levels the last couple of years? Whipping the slaves didn't turn out well for the Egyptians.

A more modern similarity of the US is Rome. Vassals have been going full retard for several years now, traitors sell international competitors military secrets while the biggest merchants buy off the Senate.

Ceasar becomes more a figurehead until one leads a coup which has not happened yet. Aquiring more slaves begins to cost more than what the return in general to the society brings but the Smaugs do not care about that until the barbarians begin to revolt (See Orlando for example, the shooter former employee of DHS. Probably pissed some of his comrades were deserted by US in some manner.

Ulysses , July 22, 2016 at 12:07 pm

My point was that the category of people in this priestly caste will likely be far, far smaller than the millions of credentialed neoliberal professionals currently living large in the top 10% of the developed world.

Interesting mental image– to see Paul Krugman chanting praises to the new Son of the Sun God the Donald!!

#SlayTheSmaugs , July 22, 2016 at 12:07 pm

Look, there's a simple way to #SlayTheSmaugs, and it's a confiscatory wealth tax coupled with a sharply progressive income tax, as part of an overall restructuring of the political economy.

Simple, is of course, not easy; indeed my proposal is currently impossible. But like Bernie I'm trying to change the terms of political debate, to normalize what would previously be dismissed as too radical to be countenanced.

I don't think the looting professional class needs to be slain, in the #SlayTheSmaugs sense. I think they can be brought to heel simply by enforcing laws and passing new ones that are already within acceptable political debate, such as one that defines corruption as using public office for private gain. I think norms matter to the looting professional class as well. Another re-norm-ilization that needs to happen is remembering what a "profession" used to be…

Sylvia Demarest , July 22, 2016 at 12:17 pm

Friends and neighbors!! Most of this "wealth" is ephemeral, it is based on the "value of assets" like stocks, bonds, real estate, et al. If all of this "wealth" gets liquidated at the same time, values would collapse. These people are fabulously wealthy because of the incredible inflation we have seen in the "assets" they hold.

Remember, during the Great Depression the "wealth" wasn't confiscated and redistributed, it was destroyed because asset values collapsed and over 2000 banks failed wiping out customer accounts. This also collapsed the money supply causing debt defaults, businesses failures, and worker laid offs. No one had any money because there was none.

The US was on the gold standard limiting the creation of liquidity. President Roosevelt went off the gold standard so that he could work to increase the money supply. It took a long time. The result of the depression was decades of low debt, cheap housing, and hard working people who remembered the hard times. The social mood gradually changed as their children, born in more prosperous times, challenged the values of their parents.

Yves Smith , July 22, 2016 at 10:02 pm

Even though the bulk of what the super rich hold is in paper assets, they still hold tons of real economy assets. They've succeeded in buying enough prime and even merely good real estate (like multiple townhouses in Upper West Side blocks and then creating one monster home behind the facade) to create pricing pressure on ordinary renters and homeowners in the same cities, bidding art through the roof, owning mega-yachts and private airplanes, and most important of all, using the money directly to reshape society along their preferred lines, witness charter schools.

GlassHammer , July 22, 2016 at 12:21 pm

If you are going to fight against the "Greed is Good" mentality, you are going to have to address the habits of the average middle class household. Just take a look at the over accumulation of amenities and creature comforts. The desire to signal ones status/wealth through "stuff" is totally out of control and completely divorced from means/income.

#SlayTheSmaugs , July 22, 2016 at 12:58 pm

Fair, and I do propose that:

"But we need more voices insisting #GreedIsEvil. We need to teach that basic message at home, in school, and in houses of worship. We need to send the right signals in our social interactions. We need to stop coveting stuff, and start buying with a purpose: Shopping locally, buying American, buying green and clean, and buying less. We need to waste less, share more and build community. We need to re-norm-alize greed as evil, make it shameful again. Then we will have redefined ourselves as citizens, not consumers."

dots , July 22, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Isn't there an idiom about cutting off the head of the snake? Once you deal with the strongest opponents, it's easier to go after the others. Too big to fail is nothing short of feeding the beast.

Punxsutawney , July 22, 2016 at 12:45 pm

There was a time not that long ago that I would have opposed a "confiscatory wealth tax". After looking at what most of those in the .1% are doing with their wealth, and their contempt for the average person, those days are long gone. Plus it's good economics.

The only question is what is "obscene wealth". Well like pornography, I think we know it when we see it.

Alfred , July 22, 2016 at 1:48 pm

I am wondering about the distribution of all this concentrated wealth; how much of it is spread around in the equities and bond markets?

And if that amount was redistributed to the general public how much of it would return to the equities and bond market?

I'm thinking not very much which would have catastrophic effects on both markets, a complete reordering. This would undoubtedly crush the borrowing ability of our Federal government, upset the apple cart in other words. With less money invested in the equities market it would undoubtedly return to a lower more realistic valuation; fortunes would be lost with no redistribution.

Oh the unintended consequences.

#SlayTheSmaugs Post author , July 22, 2016 at 3:34 pm

Fair to ask: How do we achieve a confiscatory wealth tax without catastrophic unintended consequences? But that's a very different question than: should we confiscate the Smaug's wealth?

One mechanism might be to have a government entity created to receive the stocks, bonds and financial instruments, and then liquidate them over time. E.g. Buffett has been giving stock to foundations for them to sell for awhile now; same kind of thing could be done. But sure, let's have the "How" conversation…

Quantum Future , July 22, 2016 at 4:34 pm

If lobbying were outlawed at the Federal level the billionaires and multi millionaires would need to invest in something else. That signal has a multiplier effect.so your right eboit enforcement of mostly what is on the books already. A 'wall' doesnt have to be built for illegal immigrants either. Fine a couple dozen up the wazoo and the signal gets passed the game is over.

But until a few people's daughters are kidnapped or killed like in other 3rd world countries, it wont change. That is sad but reality is most people do not do anything until it effects them. I started slightly ahead of the crowd in summer of 2007 but that is because a regional banker told me as we liked discussing history to look at debt levels of 1928 and what happened next. On top of that, we are the like the British empire circa 1933 so we get the downside of that as well.

Pain tends to be the catalyst of evolution that fully awakens prey to the predators.

juliania , July 22, 2016 at 1:53 pm

"As Sanders often reminds us. . ."

I am sorry, Sir Smaug slayer. The underlying theme of your lengthy disquisition is that Sanders is the legitimate voice of the 99%, and his future complicity within the Democratic Party is thereby ameliorated by his current proposals within it. This is the true meat of your discourse ranging so far and wide – even with the suggestion early on that we the 99% need tutoring on the evils of greed.

Not so. That ship has sailed. Our Brexit is not yet upon us, but that it is coming, I have no doubt. The only question is when. To paraphrase a Hannah Sell quote on such matters. . . for decades working class people have had no representation in the halls of Congress. All of the politicians . . . without exception, have stood in the interests of the 1% and the super-rich.

Bernie Sanders included. Hannah's remarks were more upbeat – she made an exception for Jeremy Corbyn. Unfortunately, I can't do that. Bernie has folded. We need to acknowledge that.

amousie , July 22, 2016 at 2:16 pm

One of the arguments against redistribution is that is against the sacrosanct efficient market, which forbids making one person better off if the price is making someone else worse off.

I think you mean downward redistribution here since upward redistribution seems to be rather sacrosanct and definitely makes one person better off at the price of making many someones worse off to make it happen.

Tim , July 22, 2016 at 2:18 pm

Confiscatory wealth tax is too blunt an instrument to rectify the root causes discussed in this article, and you do not want a blunt impact to the effect of disincentivizing pursuit of financial success.

Further Centralization the populous' money will incite more corruption which is what allows the have's to continue lording it over the have nots.

What are alternatives?
Instead Focus on minimizing corruption,
Then it will be possible to implement fair legislation that limits the options of the greed to make decisions that results in unfair impacts on the lower class.

Increase incentives to share the wealth, (tax deductible charitable giving is an example).

We do need to encourage meritocracy whenever possible, corruption and oppression is the antithesis to that.

We need to stop incentivizing utilization of debt, that puts the haves in control of the have nots.

JTMcPhee , July 22, 2016 at 6:25 pm

"Financial success. " As long as those words go together, and make an object of desire, the fundamental problem ain't going away.

Of course the underlying fundamental problem of human appetite for pleasure and power ain't going away either. Even if a lot of wealth was taken back (NOT "confiscated") from the current crop and hopeful horde of kleptocrats…

JTMcPhee , July 22, 2016 at 6:27 pm

How long before the adage "A fool and his money are soon parted" kicked in?

Ulysses , July 22, 2016 at 2:51 pm

"We do need to encourage meritocracy whenever possible, corruption and oppression is the antithesis to that."

I disagree strongly with your premise that some sort of pure and natural meritocracy has ever existed, or could ever exist in human society. Corrupt and oppressive people will always define as "meritorious" those qualities that they themselves possess– whether wealth, "gentle birth," "technical skills," or whatever. We all possess the same merit of being human.

An Egyptologist, with an Oxbridge degree and extensive publications has no merit– in any meaningful sense– inside a frozen foods warehouse. Likewise, the world's best frozen foods warehouse worker has little to offer, when addressing a conference focused on religious practices during the reign of Ramses II. Meritocracy is a neoliberal myth, intended to obscure the existence of oligarchy.

NeqNeq , July 22, 2016 at 4:03 pm

An Egyptologist, with an Oxbridge degree and extensive publications has no merit– in any meaningful sense– inside a frozen foods warehouse. Likewise, the world's best frozen foods warehouse worker has little to offer, when addressing a conference focused on religious practices during the reign of Ramses II. Meritocracy is a neoliberal myth, intended to obscure the existence of oligarchy.

I am confused.

You claim meritocracy is "a neoliberal myth, intended to obscure the existence of oligarchy", but (seemingly) appeal to meritocratic principles to claim a warehouse worker doesnt offer much to an academic conference. Can you clear up my misunderstanding?

I agree, btw, that Idealized meritocracy has never existed (nor can). Follow up question: There has never been an ideal ethical human, does that mean we should stop encouraging ethical behavior?

Ulysses , July 22, 2016 at 6:44 pm

Meritocracy is not the same as recognizing greater and lesser degrees of competence in various activities. It is absurd to deny that some are more skillful at some things than others. Assigning the relative "merit" to various competencies is what I find objectionable.

Encouraging ethical behavior has nothing to do with ranking the "merit" levels of different occupations. While some occupations are inherently unethical, like that of an assassin, most can be performed in such a way as to do no harm to others, and some are nearly always beneficial to society at large.

Someone who did nothing but drink whiskey all day, and tell funny stories in a bar, is far more beneficial to society at large than a busy, diligent economist dreaming up ways to justify the looting of the kleptocrats.

Pierre Robespierre , July 22, 2016 at 4:37 pm

Wealth Redistribution occurs when the peasants build a scaffold and frog march the aristocracy up to a blade; when massive war wipes out a generation of aristocracy in gas filled trenches or in the upcoming event.

Roland , July 22, 2016 at 10:23 pm

"Fair to ask: How do we achieve a confiscatory wealth tax without catastrophic unintended consequences?"

Answer: Do it and find out. Some things can only be determined empirically. First, do what needs doing. We can take care of the Utility afterwards.≥

Barry , July 22, 2016 at 11:00 pm

I would like to see a financial settlements tax like Scott Smith presidential candidate recommends. http://www.scottsmith2016.com/

[Jul 23, 2016] Did Russia save Erdogan

Defend Democracy Press
TEHRAN (FNA)- Arab media outlets quoted diplomats in Ankara as disclosing that Turkey's President Erdogan was alerted by Russia against an imminent army coup hours before it was initiated on Friday, while a western media outlet said Erdogan asked his supporters to remain in the streets after receiving advice from Tehran.

Several Arab media outlets, including Rai Alyoum, quoted diplomatic sources in Ankara as saying that Turkey's National Intelligence Organization, known locally as the MIT, received intel from its Russian counterpart that warned of an impending coup in the Muslim state.

The unnamed diplomats said the Russian army in the region had intercepted highly sensitive army exchanges and encoded radio messages showing that the Turkish army was readying to stage a coup against the administration in Ankara.

The exchanges included dispatch of several army choppers to President Erdogan's resort hotel to arrest or kill the president.

The diplomats were not sure of the Russian station that had intercepted the exchanges, but said the Russian army intelligence unit deployed in Khmeimim (also called Hmeimim) in Syria's Northern province of Lattakia is reportedly equipped with state-of-the-art electronic and eavesdropping systems to gather highly sensitive information for the Russian squadrons that are on an anti-terrorism mission in Syria.

Khmeimim in Northwestern Syria is the only Russian air force base in the war-ravaged country that provides cover for Syrian army and popular forces in multiple fronts across the country, in addition to bombing missions against terrorist targets. The Russian naval fleet, including its only aircraft carrier, are deployed along the coasts of Lattakia border province to provide logistical aid to the air base in a short time. Meantime, Russia has deployed its highly sophisticated S-400 air defense shield at Khmeimim and announced that it covers the entire Syrian skies with the same air defense system.

Last year, Turkey shot down a Russian Sukhoi bomber over Syrian skies and President Erdogan who was then a staunch enemy of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad rejected extending an apology to Moscow for about a year, although economic sanctions by Russia as well as growing victories by the Syrian army, popular forces, Hezbollah fighters, Iranian advisors and Russian air force that cornered the terrorists in Syria and similar victories against ISIL in Iraq convinced the Turkish president to not just apologize for the Sukhoi incident, but also show signs of a U-turn in foreign policy, saying that he is dropping his opposition to President Assad.

Four days after the coup, officials in Ankara announced that the two Turkish pilots who played a role in the downing of the Russian plane in November were in custody over the recent failed coup. "Two pilots who were part of the operation to down the Russian Su-24 in November 2015 are in custody," a Turkish official told journalists on Tuesday, adding that they were detained over links to the coup bid.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, describing the attempted coup as unacceptable and voicing hope for a speedy return to stability.

The diplomatic sources said the shift in Erdogan's foreign policy stated only a week before the coup has been "a major cause pushing several foreign states to provoke and promise support for the army to stage the coup, and the same shift also saved him" as it was not clear if the Russians would provide Ankara with their intel, otherwise.

Officials of neither country have made any comment on the report yet. In Ankara, official sources, including the Army itself, confirmed that the Turkish army's top generals had been informed of last week's coup by the MIT hours before the plot came into action.

A statement issued by the army on July 19 described the events that took place on July 15, saying a majority within the military managed to suppress the coup attempt due to information provided by the MIT some five hours before the coup plot became public, national newspaper Hurriyet reported.

"The information given by the National Intelligence Organization on July 15, 2016, at around 4:00 p.m. was evaluated at the General Staff headquarters with the attendance of Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar, Chief of the Army General Salih Zeki Colak and Deputy Chief of Staff General Yasar Guler."

In order to counter the coup, high ranking officials within the Turkish army gave orders for all air and ground forces around the country to immediately cease operations including military vehicles such as tanks, planes and helicopters.

A report by Al-Jazeera Arabic suggests the coup plotters initiated the operation six hours ahead of time as they had previously planned to launch the coup at 3:00 a.m. local time on July 16.

While the report does not indicate the reason for the coup being initiated ahead of time, the revelation by the military suggests the coup plotters understood their plans had been compromised and decided to act. 1

Reports also suggest the coup plotters had orders to kidnap or kill President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as helicopters headed toward the hotel he was staying in at the holiday resort of Marmaris. But Erdogan had left 44 minutes before they arrived, according to Al-Jazeera's report.

The official statements coming out from Ankara are in full compliance with the Arab media reports quoting the diplomatic sources on the Russian intel.

Only four days after the coup, Erdogan appeared on the media saying that he plans to declare a crucial turn in foreign policy that would "end differences with Turkey's neighboring states".

Less than a day later, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced that President Erdogan would visit Russia early in August to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Meantime, Iran rushed to condemn the Turkish army coup only two hours after it started. Several top security and foreign policy officials in Tehran were in constant contact with President Erdogan and his cabinet ministers all throughout Friday.

As July 15 was coming to an end in Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was on the phone with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, whose government was under the threat of being overthrown by a military coup. Meanwhile, Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), was on another line with security officials in Ankara. All the while, Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force, Iran's regional military arm, was busy pursuing and reviewing various scenarios that might emerge.

"It's not a secret anymore," an Iranian official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. "Zarif, Shamkhani and Soleimani were executing higher orders. The whole establishment was too concerned. Turkey is a neighboring state. President Erdogan and his government are strong partners of Iran. Our nations enjoy strong brotherly ties, so it's the least we can do to show solidarity and try to offer any help they might need in such critical times."

"Another Iranian official saw parallels between the successful coup against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 and this year's coup attempt in Turkey," Al-Monitor said.

The official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, "What we know is that this move was triggered by foreign hands. We went through the same in the past, and because Mr. Erdogan is today looking forward to playing a better role in the region, they want him down." The Iranian official said, "There was a message that was conveyed to Turkish security officials: Don't leave the streets. This coup might be made up of several waves; it happened in Iran in 1953. When the first coup failed, they had another one ready - and they succeeded."

In Ankara, the government claims the coup and the generals behind it are loyal followers of US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who was once Erdogan's key ally before a major fallout in 2012. Many believe that Gulen is the main cause of why Ankara officials have repeatedly accused the US of masterminding the plot.

Gulen is running a multi-billion dollar enterprise in Saudi Arabia and has grown into a serious bone of contention in Ankara-Riyadh ties. Saudi Arabia reserved condemnation of the coup in a suspicious move. Later, reports surfaced the media that the top brass in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi – two strong allies of the US with unbreakably intimate ties with each other in the Persian Gulf – were involved in the coup.

Saudi whistle-blower Mujtahid, who is believed to be a member of or have a well-connected source in the royal family, dislosed that senior government officials in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi had been informed of the coup in Turkey long before it took place.

Mujtahid wrote on his twitter page on Monday that the UAE leaders had played a role in the coup and the Turkish spy agencies have come to decode this involvement, adding that the UAE leaders had also alerted the Saudis about the impending coup.

"Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman had been informed of the military coup in Turkey," Mujtahid wrote on his twitter page on Monday.

"There are reasons to prove that given his intimate relations with Mohammad bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan (the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces), Mohammad bin Salman had been filled with information about this coup," he added.

According to Mujtahid, Turkish intelligence agencies had received information about some negative collaboration between bin Salman and bin Zayed, but the Saudis managed to convince the Justice and Development party to rest assured and be optimistic about Riyadh's actions.

He revealed that bin Salman has been trying to convince the Turks to conceal the UAE's role in the coup and has promised a large amount of cash in retribution.

The last week coup in Turkey is now growing into a major regional confrontation over Turkey's shift in its Syria policy now. If confirmed, the Russian and Iranian aid to Erdogan would mean the power balance and equations in the region ought to be redefined.

[Jul 23, 2016] Donald Trump's United States of #MAGA

theintercept.com

Maisie July 23 2016, 10:07 p.m.

Trump may not know or care to know that Barack Obama has spent eight years pounding on al Qaeda, not only in Iraq and Afghanistan but also through the use of drones and other covert campaigns in Syria, Somalia, and Yemen. In his two terms, George W. Bush ordered 49 drone strikes against al Qaeda and Taliban-associated targets in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Obama, during his first two years of office, ordered 174. These are facts, but to Trump and Giuliani, they may not matter. After all, what good does killing radical Islamic terrorists do if Obama refuses to call the enemy by its name?

1). You uncritically express the establishment line that "Obama is killing radical terrorists," when the most accurate description is "Obama is killing people suspected of something, and also killing those near them."

2). 90% of drone strike victims are not the intended target.

3). Obama's militarism is founded on Full Spectrum Dominance for corporate America and allied interests, not "fighting terrorism."

4). Chest-pounding to boast Obama is a violent bastard like the Republicans is – while true – obscene.

W0X0F July 23 2016, 9:57 p.m.
Giuliani is one of the bad guys. He has helped cover up the 9/11 deception. Bldg 7 contained his emergency HQ. We all know it was "pulled"!

Orville, July 23 2016, 9:05 p.m.

Alas, Guliani is still around. I remember how the media announced him as the winner of a presidential debate, solely for going against Ron Paul's factual statement that we are hated for our overseas meddling. (Never mind that various intelligence figures backed Paul- including Michael Scheuer, who endorsed Paul the next day, or that the voters themselves backed Paul in the polls and primaries.

George C, July 23 2016, 8:40 p.m.

"Man has an intense need for certainty; he wants to believe that there is no need to doubt that the method by which he makes his decisions is right. In fact, he would rather make the "wrong" decision and be sure about it than the "right" decision and be tormented with doubt about its validity. This is one of the psychological reasons for man's belief in idols and political leaders. They all take out doubt and risk from his decision making; this does not mean that there is not a risk for his life, freedom, etc., after the decision has been made, but that there is no risk that the method of his decision making was wrong. For many centuries certainty

Fromm, Erich. The Revolution of Hope: Toward a Humanized Technology

photosymbiosis -> rrheard, July 23 2016, 8:45 p.m.

I don't know, I appreciate the focus on Giuliani who is an utter slimeball in the same mold as Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and the Clintons.

However, a more careful analysis of Giuliani's background in the second section ('Altar Boys') would have had a more devastating impact. Giuliani is the perfect example of a corrupt prosecutor; his claim to fame was prosecuting a Italian mafia drug ring – and then he went to work for the Purdue Pharma oxycontin drug ring. He's also a close long-time associate of FBI Director Louis Freeh, who notably went to work for the Wall Street credit giant MBNA (#2 Bush donor after Enron) after his FBI term ended. MBNA was later bought by Bank of America, who wrote off $60 billion in shady MBNA credit loans from 2008-2010, probably got a taxpayer bailout for that too. Who are the crooks, again?

See David Vise's "The Bureau and the Mole" about FBI agent / Soviet mole (and Opus Dei member) Robert Hannsen, about the Giuliani-Freeh connection.
http://blogcritics.org/spy-vs-spy-the-bureau-and/

Really, all of Giuliani's talk about "law and order" is utter BS; the guy is a crook as his lobbying the DEA to get Purdue Pharma off criminal charges for illegal oxycontin distribution shows. This was all done through a shady firm he set up after leaving office called "Giuliani Partners" c.2002

Crooked Rudy Giuliani, Lyin' Rudy Giuliani – basically a con artist in the same mold as the Clintons, cashing in with the corporate crooks every chance they can get. (Giuliani pulled in $11 million in speaking fees in 2006 alone, outdoing Clinton I think).

Fellow Citizen, July 23 2016, 7:29 p.m.

How are Republicans going to make America great again when the problem is Democrats becoming Republicans by destroying the American middle class, and placeing our poor in what now has become a state of abject poverty?


[Jul 20, 2016] Sanders Delegation Plotting in Public and Secretly to Shake Up Democratic Convention

Notable quotes:
"... On Monday night, aides for the former secretary of state held a private conference call with members of the Democratic National Committee's Rules Committee and laid out how the campaign would like those members to vote at an upcoming rules meeting in Philadelphia. The purpose of the conference call was to answer any questions and ensure that the Rules Committee members, picked by DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and by Clinton, remained in lockstep with the presumptive Democratic nominee. ..."
"... The stars will ultimately align and the convention will go smoothly and without a hitch. Bernie and Liddy Warren will continue their unabashed endorsement of Her, the party will be united, and the good of the American people will be top priority on the go forward. Curtain. Exit stage left. Thank you for attending another Clinton Theater production. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com

naked capitalism

3.14e-9 , July 20, 2016 at 6:31 am

Looks like there's a slightly different dynamic in the Clinton camp:

On Monday night, aides for the former secretary of state held a private conference call with members of the Democratic National Committee's Rules Committee and laid out how the campaign would like those members to vote at an upcoming rules meeting in Philadelphia. The purpose of the conference call was to answer any questions and ensure that the Rules Committee members, picked by DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and by Clinton, remained in lockstep with the presumptive Democratic nominee.

The roughly 30-minute call was a glimpse into how Clinton officials have sought to shape the party platform and party rules with minimal public drama. Campaign officials have corresponded with members via text messages to direct them how to vote and counseled them to bring concerns directly to the campaign, rather than follow a process laid out by the DNC for submitting amendments and resolutions. …

The plea to keep any policy disputes in-house, and off-camera, underscores the campaign's determination to present a united front at the convention, and stave off any conflict between the Clinton-aligned committee members and Sanders members during the drafting process. A few months ago, Sanders was vowing to take his policy sticking points all the way to the convention floor.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/dnc-convention-2016-delegate-fight-225798?cmpid=sf

Patricia , July 20, 2016 at 8:45 am

Vid about the larger protesting groups going to D convention (6min):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8sh0tGvGgo

Pirmann , July 20, 2016 at 10:24 am

This is nothing more than a ploy to get Sanders supporters to watch the convention coverage, so we can become acquainted with the "new" Hillary Clinton, and thus vote for Her in November.

"Let's all tune in; maybe the Bernie delegates will turn the party upside down". Expect to be disappointed.

The stars will ultimately align and the convention will go smoothly and without a hitch. Bernie and Liddy Warren will continue their unabashed endorsement of Her, the party will be united, and the good of the American people will be top priority on the go forward. Curtain. Exit stage left. Thank you for attending another Clinton Theater production.

Oh, and none of the speeches will result in legislation that actually benefits the American people, but at least they won't be plagiarized!

[Jul 20, 2016] Global elites must heed the warning of populist rage

Notable quotes:
"... Real income stagnation over a far longer period than any since the second world war is a fundamental political fact. But it cannot be the only driver of discontent. For many of those in the middle of the income distribution, cultural changes also appear threatening. So, too, does immigration - globalisation made flesh. Citizenship of their nations is the most valuable asset owned by most people in wealthy countries. They will resent sharing this with outsiders. Britain's vote to leave the EU was a warning. ..."
"... First, understand that we depend on one another for our prosperity. It is essential to balance assertions of sovereignty with the requirements of global co-operation. ..."
"... Second, reform capitalism. The role of finance is excessive. The stability of the financial system has improved. But it remains riddled with perverse incentives. The interests of shareholders are given excessive weight over those of other stakeholders in corporations. ..."
"... Above all, recognise the challenge. Prolonged stagnation, cultural upheavals and policy failures are combining to shake the balance between democratic legitimacy and global order. The candidacy of Mr Trump is a result. ..."
July 19, 2016 | ft.com

Real income stagnation over a longer period than any since the war is a fundamental political fact

For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong." HL Mencken could have been thinking of today's politics. The western world undoubtedly confronts complex problems, notably, the dissatisfaction of so many citizens. Equally, aspirants to power, such as Donald Trump in the US and Marine Le Pen in France, offer clear, simple and wrong solutions - notably, nationalism, nativism and protectionism.

The remedies they offer are bogus. But the illnesses are real. If governing elites continue to fail to offer convincing cures, they might soon be swept away and, with them, the effort to marry democratic self-government with an open and co-operative world order.

What is the explanation for this backlash? A large part of the answer must be economic. Rising prosperity is a good in itself. But it also creates the possibility of positive-sum politics. This underpins democracy because it is then feasible for everybody to become better off at the same time. Rising prosperity reconciles people to economic and social disruption. Its absence foments rage.

The McKinsey Global Institute sheds powerful light on what has been happening in a report entitled, tellingly, Poorer than their Parents?, which demonstrates how many households have been suffering from stagnant or falling real incomes. On average between 65 and 70 per cent of households in 25 high-income economies experienced this between 2005 and 2014. In the period between 1993 and 2005, however, only 2 per cent of households suffered stagnant or declining real incomes. This applies to market income. Because of fiscal redistribution, the proportion suffering from stagnant real disposable incomes was between 20 and 25 per cent. (See charts.)

McKinsey has examined personal satisfaction through a survey of 6,000 French, British and Americans. The consultants found that satisfaction depended more on whether people were advancing relative to others like them in the past than whether they were improving relative to those better off than themselves today. Thus people preferred becoming better off, even if they were not catching up with contemporaries better off still. Stagnant incomes bother people more than rising inequality.

The main explanation for the prolonged stagnation in real incomes is the financial crises and subsequent weak recovery. These experiences have destroyed popular confidence in the competence and probity of business, administrative and political elites. But other shifts have also been adverse. Among these are ageing (particularly important in Italy) and declining shares of wages in national income (particularly important in the US, UK and Netherlands).

Real income stagnation over a far longer period than any since the second world war is a fundamental political fact. But it cannot be the only driver of discontent. For many of those in the middle of the income distribution, cultural changes also appear threatening. So, too, does immigration - globalisation made flesh. Citizenship of their nations is the most valuable asset owned by most people in wealthy countries. They will resent sharing this with outsiders. Britain's vote to leave the EU was a warning.

So what is to be done? If Mr Trump were to become president of the US, it might already be too late. But suppose that this does not happen or, if it does, that the result is not as dire as I fear. What then might be done?

  1. First, understand that we depend on one another for our prosperity. It is essential to balance assertions of sovereignty with the requirements of global co-operation. Global governance, while essential, must be oriented towards doing things countries cannot do for themselves. It must focus on providing the essential global public goods. Today this means climate change is a higher priority than further opening of world trade or capital flows.
  2. Second, reform capitalism. The role of finance is excessive. The stability of the financial system has improved. But it remains riddled with perverse incentives. The interests of shareholders are given excessive weight over those of other stakeholders in corporations.
  3. Third, focus international co-operation where it will help governments achieve significant domestic objectives. Perhaps the most important is taxation. Wealth owners, who depend on the security created by legitimate democracies, should not escape taxation.
  4. Fourth, accelerate economic growth and improve opportunities. Part of the answer is stronger support for aggregate demand, particularly in the eurozone. But it is also essential to promote investment and innovation. It may be impossible to transform economic prospects. But higher minimum wages and generous tax credits for working people are effective tools for raising incomes at the bottom of the distribution.
  5. Fifth, fight the quacks. It is impossible to resist pressure to control flows of un­skilled workers into advanced economies. But this will not transform wages. Equally, protection against imports is costly and will also fail to raise the share of manufacturing in employment significantly. True, that share is far higher in Germany than in the US or UK. But Germany runs a huge trade surplus and has a strong comparative advantage in manufacturing. This is not a generalisable state of affairs. (See chart.)

Above all, recognise the challenge. Prolonged stagnation, cultural upheavals and policy failures are combining to shake the balance between democratic legitimacy and global order. The candidacy of Mr Trump is a result. Those who reject the chauvinist response must come forward with imaginative and ambitious ideas aimed at re-establishing that balance. It is not going to be easy. But failure must not be accepted. Our civilisation itself is at stake.

martin.wolf@ft.com

More on this topic

[Jul 20, 2016] The Toughest Question about Global Trade

Notable quotes:
"... This research documents that the negative effects of globalization on employment and wages are larger than many people realized. In addition, it recognizes that most of the benefits have accrued to those at the top of the income distribution while the costs -- lost jobs, lower wages and fewer attractive employment opportunities -- have fallen mainly on the working class. ..."
economistsview.typepad.com
I have a new post at MoneyWatch:
The toughest question about global trade: This year's battle for the White House has put international trade in the spotlight. Donald Trump has led the charge against trade agreements, but Hillary Clinton's reversal of her support for President Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) also reflects the evolving view of the benefits of globalization.
The American public has long been suspicious of international trade, but economists have been much more supportive. However, new evidence in the economics literature has caused a rethinking of how to evaluate trade agreements.

This research documents that the negative effects of globalization on employment and wages are larger than many people realized. In addition, it recognizes that most of the benefits have accrued to those at the top of the income distribution while the costs -- lost jobs, lower wages and fewer attractive employment opportunities -- have fallen mainly on the working class.

One response from many advocates is to point out that international trade has lifted millions of people around the world out of poverty and that reducing the pace of globalization would slow the rate of global poverty reduction.

All of which brings up an important and rather difficult question: Just how should we value international trade? ...

Tom aka Rusty said...
Who decided that US workers would be required to sacrifice to create a middle class in China (and the Chinese military, oops)? Why didn't the elites join in the sacrifice? Why no transparency? Or was this pushed with great theories that didn't work? Just wondering.

[Jul 20, 2016] Ron Paul on the Turkey Coup – Is It Over

Antiwar.com

Three days after the mysterious Turkish coup that was put down almost instantly, Turkish president Erdogan has conducted massive purges of the judiciary and the military. He even referred to the coup as a "godsend" that would allow him to rid the government of those who are disloyal. The purges have focused attention in Washington and Brussels, where he is being warned that talks for EU membership - and even existing NATO membership - may be at risk if the government crackdown gets more serious. Is the US and EU bluffing? After all, Erdogan currently has nearly three million Syrian refugees on Turkish soil that he could send to Europe at any time. And closing the US base at Incirlik would create havoc for US "power projection" in the region. We examine these and more in today's Ron Paul Liberty Report:

[Jul 20, 2016] The Saudis Did 9-11

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

News reports about the recently released 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks are typically dismissive: this is nothing new, it's just circumstantial evidence, and there's no "smoking gun." Yet given what the report actually says – and these news accounts are remarkably sparse when it comes to verbatim quotes – it's hard to fathom what would constitute a smoking gun.

To begin with, let's start with what's not in these pages: there are numerous redactions. And they are rather odd. When one expects to read the words "CIA" or "FBI," instead we get a blacked-out word. Entire paragraphs are redacted – often at crucial points. So it's reasonable to assume that, if there is a smoking gun, it's contained in the portions we're not allowed to see. Presumably the members of Congress with access to the document prior to its release who have been telling us that it changes their entire conception of the 9/11 attacks – and our relationship with the Saudis – read the unredacted version. Which points to the conclusion that the omissions left out crucial information – perhaps including the vaunted smoking gun.

In any case, what we have access to makes more than just a substantial case: it shows that the Saudi government – including top officials, such as then Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and other members of the royal family – financed and actively aided the hijackers prior to September 11, 2001.

[Jul 19, 2016] US releases Saudi documents 9-11 coverup exposed

Notable quotes:
"... The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, maintained this secrecy for several reasons. First, it was concerned that the documents would jeopardize its relations with Saudi Arabia, which, after Israel, is Washington's closest ally in the Middle East, a partner in bloody operations from Afghanistan to Syria to Yemen, and the world's biggest buyer of American arms. ..."
"... Even more importantly, it was concerned that the 28 pages would further expose the abject criminality of the US government's role in facilitating the attacks of 9/11 and then lying about their source and exploiting them to justify savage wars of aggression, first against Afghanistan and then against Iraq. These wars have claimed over a million lives. The false narrative created around the September 11 attacks remains the ideological pillar of the US campaign of global militarism conducted in the name of a "war on terror." ..."
"... The report focuses in part on the role of one Omar al-Bayoumi, who was described to the FBI as a Saudi intelligence officer, and, according to FBI files, "provided substantial assistance to hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi after they arrived in San Diego in February 2000." ..."
"... According to the report, al-Bayoumi had previously worked for the Saudi Civil Aviation Association and, in the period leading up to 9/11, was "in frequent contact with the Emir at the Saudi Defense Ministry responsible for air traffic control." Phone records showed him calling Saudi government agencies 100 times between January and May of 2000. ..."
"... Bassnan's wife also received a monthly stipend from Princess Haifa, the Saudi ambassador's wife, to the tune of $2,000 a month. As well, the FBI found one $15,000 check written by Bandar himself in 1998 to Bassnan. The report states that FBI information indicated that Bassnan was "an extremist and supporter of Usama Bin Ladin," who spoke of the Al Qaeda leader "as if he were god." ..."
"... The obvious anomalies in the Pentagon incident and the Shanksville, Pennsylvania crash merely add to the mountain of evidence that exists pointing to some cabal that ran a MIHOP operation that day. This is not new information and has been made available by the many independent investigators who have been diligently digging into this signal event for nearly 15 years now. ..."
"... Much more likely suspects would be those Americans named by Kevin Ryan in his book "Another Nineteen", and/or the Israeli Mossad and military agents (5 of whom were arrested in New Jersey while making a video record of "the event" and who were noticed by an outraged citizen who called local police who arrested them and the spent 2 months in U.S. jails, finally released by dual Israeli / U.S. citizen Michael Chertoff, 3 of them appeared later on Israeli TV and bragged about the operation in plain Hebrew). ..."
"... My father was a structural design engineer who designed heavy steel structures like the WTC and also nuclear power plants and wind tunnels for NASA. He was an expert on types of steel, how it was made and what its properties were. The moment he saw the first tower collapse into it own footprint, he said 'That's a controlled demolition." He knew that fire alone would not have been enough to even dent the steel in the WTC, let alone pulverize it. Everything in the building could have burned and the steel would have remained standing, slightly scorched, but largely intact. To believe otherwise is not to believe in the laws of physics or the science of metallurgy. ..."
"... 9/11 was/is a criminally managed event involving some of America's highest officials. ..."
"... Ahhhh yes, and no less a group of people than members of the NYFD who charged up into those buildings were not concerned about them collapsing. In fact one team of firefighters who made it up to the impact zone in one of the towers reported the fire there as "no big deal" and "easily controlled". Other firefighters and various police did, however, report many explosions, most of them deep in the buildings far below the impact zones. ..."
"... Dutch controlled demolition expert Danny Jowenko, upon seeing a video of the collapse of Tower 7 immediately said (I think this comment was made in 2007) "This is controlled demolition"; of course he died in a suspicious one car accident, in which his car hit a tree head on on July 16th, 2011 (similar to how some of the JFK assassination witnesses were eliminated). A couple of videos of his comments can be seen in a "Veteran's Today" article found at < http://www.veteranstoday.com/2... >. ..."
"... One should ask why the Mossad and the extremely powerful Israel lobby have seen fit to participate in the cover-up for so long. They certainly would have ignored the U.S. government's desire for secrecy and gotten this information out (which they surely knew from their own sources) if they didn't have something to hide. But that cover-up continues. ..."
"... The true "smoking gun" of the 9/11 atrocities is the eight-second symmetrical free-fall collapse of WTC #7. The claim that this occurred because of office fires is ludicrous, entirely impossible. It was a conventional implosion, carried off in one of the most secure buildings in NYC, sheltering the CIA, FBI and the mayor's emergency bunker and would have taken weeks to prepare. ..."
"... I saw the video on TV and was surprised that it went unquestioned on why it collapsed. Even the clean symmetrical fall of the second tower to collapse, was neat and symmetric. ..."
"... In my educated opinion, supported by facts of the case conveniently omitted, the release of the small section of the Congressional report kept secret for 13 years is what they call in the CIA a "limited hangout", which is contains a mix of both truth and omissions or outright lies, and exposes the audience to a falsity more dangerous and misleading than an outright lie. ..."
"... The best evidence if this were ever taken to court, would be the stand down by the military that morning in the intercepting of these "hijackers" as they made their way to their targets. And Cheneys barking orders to a subordinate in the crisis control room beneath the white house that yes the orders still stand, as flight 175? made its way toward the Pentagon ..."
"... Excuse me, but the towers of the WTC WERE very heavy structurally. Particularly the central cores, which contained heavily redundant layers of steel, and special steel at that. ..."
July 16, 2016 | World Socialist Web Site
The Obama White House, the CIA, the Saudi monarchy and the corporate media have all tried to portray the documents-released on a Friday afternoon to assure minimal exposure-as somehow exonerating the Saudi regime of any culpability in the 9/11 attacks.

"This information does not change the assessment of the US government that there's no evidence that the Saudi government or senior Saudi individuals funded al-Qaeda," Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary said Friday, boasting that the main significance of their release was its proof of the Obama administration's commitment to "transparency."

In reality, the 28 pages have been kept under lock and key since 2002, with only members of Congress allowed to read them, in a Capitol Hill basement vault, while prohibited from taking notes, bringing members of their staff or breathing a word of their content.

The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, maintained this secrecy for several reasons. First, it was concerned that the documents would jeopardize its relations with Saudi Arabia, which, after Israel, is Washington's closest ally in the Middle East, a partner in bloody operations from Afghanistan to Syria to Yemen, and the world's biggest buyer of American arms.

Even more importantly, it was concerned that the 28 pages would further expose the abject criminality of the US government's role in facilitating the attacks of 9/11 and then lying about their source and exploiting them to justify savage wars of aggression, first against Afghanistan and then against Iraq. These wars have claimed over a million lives. The false narrative created around the September 11 attacks remains the ideological pillar of the US campaign of global militarism conducted in the name of a "war on terror."

Media reports on the 28 pages invariably refer to the absence of a "smoking gun," which presumably would be tantamount to an order signed by the Saudi king to attack New York and Washington. The evidence is described as "inconclusive." One can only imagine what would have been the response if, in place of the word "Saudi," the documents referred to Iraqi, Syrian or Iranian actions. The same evidence would have been proclaimed an airtight case for war.

Among those who were involved in preparing the report, John Lehman, the former secretary of the navy, directly contradicted the official response to the release of the previously censored section. "There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government," he said. "Our report should never have been read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia."

... ... ...

The report focuses in part on the role of one Omar al-Bayoumi, who was described to the FBI as a Saudi intelligence officer, and, according to FBI files, "provided substantial assistance to hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi after they arrived in San Diego in February 2000."

The inquiry report deals with al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar only from after they arrived in California, and says nothing about the circumstances under which they were allowed to enter the country in the first place. Both were under CIA surveillance while attending an Al Qaeda planning meeting in 2000 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and placed on a "watch list" for FBI monitoring if they came to the United States. Nonetheless, the two men were allowed to enter the United States on January 15, 2000, landing at Los Angeles International Airport, eventually going to San Diego. From then on, they were permitted to operate freely, attending flight training school in preparation for their role as pilots of hijacked planes on September 11, 2001.

Al-Bayoumi, the report establishes, "received support from a Saudi company affiliated with the Saudi Ministry of Defense," drawing a paycheck for a no-show job. The report states that the company also had ties to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

According to the report, al-Bayoumi had previously worked for the Saudi Civil Aviation Association and, in the period leading up to 9/11, was "in frequent contact with the Emir at the Saudi Defense Ministry responsible for air traffic control." Phone records showed him calling Saudi government agencies 100 times between January and May of 2000.

FBI documents also established that the $465 in "allowances" that al-Bayoumi received through the Saudi military contractor, jumped to over $3,700 shortly after the arrival of al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar. During this period, al-Bayoumi initially allowed the two future hijackers to stay in his apartment before finding them their own place-with an informant of the San Diego FBI-cosigning their lease and advancing them a deposit and the first month's rent.

The report states that FBI investigations following 9/11 indicated that al-Bayoumi had "some ties to terrorist elements." His wife, meanwhile, was receiving a $1,200 a month stipend from Princess Haifa Bint Sultan, the wife of Prince Bandar, then the Saudi ambassador to the US and later head of Saudi intelligence.

Also named in the document as a likely Saudi intelligence agent is one Osama Bassnan, who lived across the street from the two hijackers in San Diego and was in telephone contact with al-Bayoumi several times a day during this period. He apparently placed the two in contact with a Saudi commercial airline pilot for discussions on "learning to fly Boeing jet aircraft," according to an FBI report. Bassnan's wife also received a monthly stipend from Princess Haifa, the Saudi ambassador's wife, to the tune of $2,000 a month. As well, the FBI found one $15,000 check written by Bandar himself in 1998 to Bassnan. The report states that FBI information indicated that Bassnan was "an extremist and supporter of Usama Bin Ladin," who spoke of the Al Qaeda leader "as if he were god."

Appearing before the Congressional inquiry in October 2002, FBI Executive Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Pasquale D'Amuro reacted with undisguised cynicism and contempt when asked about the payments from the Saudi ambassador's wife to the wives of the two reputed intelligence agents involved with the 9/11 hijackers.

"She gives money to a lot of different groups and people from around the world," he said. "We've been able to uncover a number of these… but maybe if we can discover that she gives to 20 different radical groups, well, gee, maybe there's a pattern here." Spoken like a man who believes he is above the law in defense of a figure that he clearly sees as untouchable.

dmorista 2 days ago

Mr Van Auken presents a Let It Happen on Purpose (LIHOP) position in this article. Clearly it is better to have arrived at that level of awareness than to just swallow the absurd "official story" that is, unfortunately, the position of much of the so-called Left in the U.S., e.g. Noam Chomsky and his ilk. The LIHOP position suffers from a fatal flaw, the 3 towers that collapsed in Lower Manhattan that could not conceivably have done so due to just the plane impacts (on Towers 1 & 2, which were specifically designed to withstand impacts by one or more Boeing 707s full of fuel, a plane similar in size to the 767s that did hit the towers) and/or the fairly insignificant office fires the occurred in all three towers (this includes Tower 7 that collapsed after some minor office fires and was never hit by a plane). Tower 7 was an absolutely classic example of a controlled demolition / implosion, while Towers 1 & 2 are modified controlled demolitions meant to make it look like the planes had caused the collapses. The implications of controlled demolitions are that only a Make it Happen on Purpose (MIHOP) process can actually explain what happened in New York on that day.

The obvious anomalies in the Pentagon incident and the Shanksville, Pennsylvania crash merely add to the mountain of evidence that exists pointing to some cabal that ran a MIHOP operation that day. This is not new information and has been made available by the many independent investigators who have been diligently digging into this signal event for nearly 15 years now.

Certainly Bin Laden (dying from kidney failure and reportedly in his cave in Afghanistan) and his team of largely dim-witted plotters (some of whom spent a lot of time at titty bars snorting cocaine and drinking whisky) did not have the wherewithal to 1). place the explosives in the 3 towers and the Pentagon, 2). run the 45 or more related drills, over 15 of which were in operation on that very day, including such actions as sending the bulk of the fighter aircraft to northern Canada or the Caribbean, placing fake radar images on military and FAA radar sets, 3). order the flight in Pennsylvania to be shot down and leave an 8 mile long debris field with absolutely no debris where it supposedly crashed, 4). supposedly make the impossible approach to the Pentagon, hitting the area where various accountants and Naval investigators were working on some issues, including the trillions of dollars missing from Pentagon accounts, rather than make the easy crash into the roof in the area where the high command offices were located, 5). ensure that the FBI immediately confiscated all 85+ video recordings that had some view of the Pentagon crash site, and so on and so on.

Much more likely suspects would be those Americans named by Kevin Ryan in his book "Another Nineteen", and/or the Israeli Mossad and military agents (5 of whom were arrested in New Jersey while making a video record of "the event" and who were noticed by an outraged citizen who called local police who arrested them and the spent 2 months in U.S. jails, finally released by dual Israeli / U.S. citizen Michael Chertoff, 3 of them appeared later on Israeli TV and bragged about the operation in plain Hebrew).

The Left Forum, held at John Jay College, had several worthwhile sessions about the Deep State and 9-11, the sessions are archived at NoLiesRadio < http://noliesradio.org/archive... > and are well worth a watch. The evidence for MIHOP orchestrated by the U.S. Deep State and its Zionist faction/allies is overwhelming, no doubt the Saudis played a role in all this, but a secondary one.

Carolyn Zaremba -> dmorista 2 days ago
My father was a structural design engineer who designed heavy steel structures like the WTC and also nuclear power plants and wind tunnels for NASA. He was an expert on types of steel, how it was made and what its properties were. The moment he saw the first tower collapse into it own footprint, he said 'That's a controlled demolition." He knew that fire alone would not have been enough to even dent the steel in the WTC, let alone pulverize it. Everything in the building could have burned and the steel would have remained standing, slightly scorched, but largely intact. To believe otherwise is not to believe in the laws of physics or the science of metallurgy.
Robert B. Livingston Carolyn Zaremba a day ago
To brutally manipulate public opinion, 9/11 was/is a criminally managed event involving some of America's highest officials.

Too many characters in the 9/11 truth movement, and their observations have often engrossed me -- until I got weary of discovering the inevitable snake oils always up for sale.

That said, some people might find this contribution of my own interesting/amusing/puerile:

https://archive.org/details/oz...

In general, I've found that the WSWS has taken the proper perspective with regard to 9/11: to take a broad perspective as events unfold.

dmorista -> Carolyn Zaremba a day ago
Ahhhh yes, and no less a group of people than members of the NYFD who charged up into those buildings were not concerned about them collapsing. In fact one team of firefighters who made it up to the impact zone in one of the towers reported the fire there as "no big deal" and "easily controlled". Other firefighters and various police did, however, report many explosions, most of them deep in the buildings far below the impact zones.

Dutch controlled demolition expert Danny Jowenko, upon seeing a video of the collapse of Tower 7 immediately said (I think this comment was made in 2007) "This is controlled demolition"; of course he died in a suspicious one car accident, in which his car hit a tree head on on July 16th, 2011 (similar to how some of the JFK assassination witnesses were eliminated). A couple of videos of his comments can be seen in a "Veteran's Today" article found at < http://www.veteranstoday.com/2... >.

This does not change my extremely high opinion of WSWS and Bill Van Auken in particular, it was just a bit disappointing to see them still hewing to a fairly standard line on this critical issue. The whole bottom falls out of the Global War on Terror argument if the average person realizes who really attacked the U.S. on that day.

Aaron Aarons 3 days ago
One should ask why the Mossad and the extremely powerful Israel lobby have seen fit to participate in the cover-up for so long. They certainly would have ignored the U.S. government's desire for secrecy and gotten this information out (which they surely knew from their own sources) if they didn't have something to hide. But that cover-up continues.
TonyVodvarka -> Aaron Aarons 2 days ago
We might ask the several Israeli Mossad agents (they were later interviewed on Israeli TV as such) who were filming the atrocity from across the river in New Jersey, dancing about and high-fiving in celebration as the towers came down. They were arrested, held for a few weeks and released without comment.
TonyVodvarka 3 days ago
The true "smoking gun" of the 9/11 atrocities is the eight-second symmetrical free-fall collapse of WTC #7. The claim that this occurred because of office fires is ludicrous, entirely impossible. It was a conventional implosion, carried off in one of the most secure buildings in NYC, sheltering the CIA, FBI and the mayor's emergency bunker and would have taken weeks to prepare.
Carolyn Zaremba -> TonyVodvarka 2 days ago
See my comment above regarding my father, an engineer and an expert on steel. He recognized instantly that the building was "blown" -- i.e., controlled demolition.
Vijay Kumar -> TonyVodvarka 2 days ago
I saw the video on TV and was surprised that it went unquestioned on why it collapsed. Even the clean symmetrical fall of the second tower to collapse, was neat and symmetric.
Gordon 3 days ago
In my educated opinion, supported by facts of the case conveniently omitted, the release of the small section of the Congressional report kept secret for 13 years is what they call in the CIA a "limited hangout", which is contains a mix of both truth and omissions or outright lies, and exposes the audience to a falsity more dangerous and misleading than an outright lie.

Of course the Saudis were involved, but if you research exactly what they did, it was simply to escort a handful of patsies around the country on behalf of the CIA and give them money to spend, creating a story to be later used as a diversion. The fact is, half the supposed hijackers within a week of the buildings exploding made their presence known to authorities, saying yoo-hoo, here we are, what's all this news regarding our deaths aboard airplanes?

Second point is that airplanes loaded with fuel don't cause buildings like the Trade Towers to collapse from heat, this is an engineering impossibility and has been proven dozens of times. In addition, a plane constructed of a thin aluminum skin stretched on an aluminum frame with a hollow nose can't penetrate a steel curtain wall like the ones the towers were built with. But the YouTube videos show the planes being absorbed into the buildings as though the craft were made of liquid.

To assume that the release of this is significant, is to be fooled by the tricks of the intelligence agencies who were responsible for the massacres in the first place.

Jim Gordon 2 days ago
My friend, you are mistaken, 120 ton airliners at a speed of 500 miles an hour can and have penetrated building facades before (Empire State Bldg). This theory by some that these planes were holograms or some sort of visual trickery is absurd and of course a distraction.

The world trade centers towers 1 and 2 were a combination of steel curtain and precast spandrels at spans between several floors of approx. 30'. They are not that strong. The edges of the concrete floors consist of angle iron between the floor joists which span from 4' to 6' on centers. If buildings were constructed strong enough to stop or substantially slow a commercial airliner, they would 1. be too heavy structurally and 2. thus be prohibitively costly.

The best evidence if this were ever taken to court, would be the stand down by the military that morning in the intercepting of these "hijackers" as they made their way to their targets. And Cheneys barking orders to a subordinate in the crisis control room beneath the white house that yes the orders still stand, as flight 175? made its way toward the Pentagon

Carolyn Zaremba -> Jim 2 days ago
Excuse me, but the towers of the WTC WERE very heavy structurally. Particularly the central cores, which contained heavily redundant layers of steel, and special steel at that.

[Jul 19, 2016] Bern Out: Beyond Cowardly Lion Leftism

www.counterpunch.org
I doubt many public figures were happier than Bernie Sanders to see the seemingly endless presidential election carnival overtaken by other news last week. Beneath the headlines on race and criminal justice, the nominal socialist "revolution" advocate Sanders got to make his official endorsement of the right-wing corporatist and war hawk Hillary Clinton with the public's eyes focused on different and more immediately hideous matters.

Anyone on the left who was surprised or disappointed by Bernie's long-promised Cowardly Lion endorsement of Mrs. Clinton one week ago hadn't paid serious attention to his campaign and career. Sanders' "democratic socialism" has always been a leaky cloak for a mildly social-democratic liberalism that is fiscally and morally negated by his commitment to the nation's giant Pentagon System. More

[Jul 19, 2016] What Republican Foreign Policy Reform Requires

Notable quotes:
"... Admitting that the Iraq war was a grievous, horrible error is necessary but not sufficient to reform Republican foreign policy. ..."
"... The trouble with the rest of the 2016 field wasn't just that many of the candidates were Iraq war dead-enders, but that they were so obsessed with the idea of American "leadership" that almost all of them thought that the U.S. needed to be involved in multiple conflicts in different parts of the world in one way or another. ..."
"... Almost none of the declared 2016 candidates opposed the Libyan war at the time, and very few concluded that the problem with intervening in Libya was the intervention itself. The standard hawkish line on Libya for years has been that the U.S. should have committed itself to another open-ended exercise in stabilizing a country we helped to destabilize. ..."
"... Until Republican politicians and their advisers start to understand that reflexive support for "action" (and some kind of military action at that) is normally the wrong response, we can't expect much to change. Most Republican foreign policy professionals seem to hold the same shoddy assumptions that led them to endorse all of the interventions of the last 15 years without exception, and nothing that has happened during that time has caused most of them to reexamine those assumptions. ..."
"... Until they stop fetishizing American "leadership" and invoking "American exceptionalism" as an excuse to meddle in every new crisis, Republicans will end up in the same cul-de-sac of self-defeating belligerence. ..."
"... Opposition to the deal reflects so many of the flaws in current Republican foreign policy views: automatic opposition to any diplomatic compromise that might actually work, grossly exaggerating the potential threat from another state, conflating U.S. interests with those of unreliable client states, continually moving goalposts to judge a negotiated deal by unreasonable standards, insisting on maximalist concessions from the other side while refusing to agree to minimal concessions from ours, and making spurious and unfounded allegations of "appeasement" at every turn to score points against political adversaries at home. ..."
July 19, 2016 | The American Conservative

It would be a good start if all future presidential candidates could acknowledge the disastrous and costly folly of the Iraq war, but it would only be a start. Admitting that the Iraq war was a grievous, horrible error is necessary but not sufficient to reform Republican foreign policy.

The trouble with the rest of the 2016 field wasn't just that many of the candidates were Iraq war dead-enders, but that they were so obsessed with the idea of American "leadership" that almost all of them thought that the U.S. needed to be involved in multiple conflicts in different parts of the world in one way or another.

Almost none of the declared 2016 candidates opposed the Libyan war at the time, and very few concluded that the problem with intervening in Libya was the intervention itself. The standard hawkish line on Libya for years has been that the U.S. should have committed itself to another open-ended exercise in stabilizing a country we helped to destabilize. Most Republican politicians are so wedded to a belief in the efficacy of using hard power that they refuse to admit that there are many problems that the U.S. can't and shouldn't try to solve with it.

Until Republican politicians and their advisers start to understand that reflexive support for "action" (and some kind of military action at that) is normally the wrong response, we can't expect much to change. Most Republican foreign policy professionals seem to hold the same shoddy assumptions that led them to endorse all of the interventions of the last 15 years without exception, and nothing that has happened during that time has caused most of them to reexamine those assumptions.

Until they stop fetishizing American "leadership" and invoking "American exceptionalism" as an excuse to meddle in every new crisis, Republicans will end up in the same cul-de-sac of self-defeating belligerence. Unless Republicans adopt a much less expansive definition of "vital interests," they will routinely end up on the wrong side of most major foreign policy debates.

Finally, unless most Republican politicians and their advisers overcome their aversion to diplomatic engagement they will end up supporting costlier, less effective, and more destructive policies for lack of practical alternatives. The virtually unanimous opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran is a good example of the sort of thing that a reformed Republican Party wouldn't do.

Opposition to the deal reflects so many of the flaws in current Republican foreign policy views: automatic opposition to any diplomatic compromise that might actually work, grossly exaggerating the potential threat from another state, conflating U.S. interests with those of unreliable client states, continually moving goalposts to judge a negotiated deal by unreasonable standards, insisting on maximalist concessions from the other side while refusing to agree to minimal concessions from ours, and making spurious and unfounded allegations of "appeasement" at every turn to score points against political adversaries at home.

Obviously these are habits cultivated over decades and are not going to be fixed quickly or easily, but if the next Republican administration (whenever that may be) doesn't want to conduct foreign policy as disastrously as the last one did they are habits that need to be broken.

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and is a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Dallas. Follow him on Twitter.

[Jul 19, 2016] The Hawks Are Still in Charge

Notable quotes:
"... Nonetheless, the Platform Committee's debates last week were interesting to watch and a good barometer of where the Republican Party stands on certain issues. The interactions on foreign policy and national security were especially revealing, and they all led to the same conclusion: neoconservatives are still very much the leaders of the GOP's foreign-policy machinery. ..."
"... If they were driven by public opinion, then, the delegates would have brought the platform's national-security proposals in a less hawkish and more realist direction. But every single amendment from libertarian-esque and anti-interventionist delegate Eric Brakey was defeated by voice vote without much debate. ..."
The American Conservative

In the grand scheme of things, a political party's platform is an insignificant document. The Republican Party's platform this year doesn't change this; despite the media's fascination with the fact that Donald Trump's border wall made its way into the platform, the document is still a non-binding, ideological missive, more of a goodie bag for conservative activists than an operational plan.

Nonetheless, the Platform Committee's debates last week were interesting to watch and a good barometer of where the Republican Party stands on certain issues. The interactions on foreign policy and national security were especially revealing, and they all led to the same conclusion: neoconservatives are still very much the leaders of the GOP's foreign-policy machinery.

According to a May 2016 Pew Research Center survey, a majority of Americans would rather let other countries deal with their own affairs (57 percent) than plunge manpower and money overseas to help other countries confront their challenges (37 percent). 62 percent of Republicans surveyed want the United States to start taking its own domestic problems more seriously, and Pew reports that "roughly 55 percent of Republicans view global economic engagement negatively." In addition, the single most consequential foreign-policy decision that neoconservatives have made-the invasion and occupation of Iraq-has been labeled a failure by a majority of Americans.

If they were driven by public opinion, then, the delegates would have brought the platform's national-security proposals in a less hawkish and more realist direction. But every single amendment from libertarian-esque and anti-interventionist delegate Eric Brakey was defeated by voice vote without much debate. International diplomacy, the life-blood of U.S. foreign policy and the option of first resort, was largely overshadowed by provisions that resemble the doomsday scenarios you would find in an apocalyptic Hollywood thriller.

... ... ...

Daniel R. DePetris is an analyst at Wikistrat, Inc., a geostrategic consulting firm, and a freelance researcher. He has also written for CNN.com, Small Wars Journal, and the Diplomat.

[Jul 19, 2016] Turkish variant of Brexit?

peakoilbarrel.com
Ves , 07/16/2016 at 1:15 pm
Caelan,

It is pre-emptive coup :-) (fake coupe in order to clear the military deck)

It looks to me that this time Turkish political elite pulled pre-emptive coup on Turkish military so it can purge her from the elements that are influenced by remote control from outside the country.
In one word this is Turkish version of Brexit. Basically financial, political, and military international structures that were established after II world war are crumbling because the interests of individual countries are so diametrical.

Fred Magyar , 07/16/2016 at 2:08 pm
In one word this is Turkish version of Brexit. Basically financial, political, and military international structures that were established after II world war are crumbling because the interests of individual countries are so diametrical.

Oh Shit! Get ready for a new, old style caliphate and the ushering in of another couple hundred years of dark ages… The Ottomans are coming!

Ves , 07/16/2016 at 3:01 pm
Fred, Ottomans are not coming.. Chinese are coming with trade deals on Orient express train from Beijing…via Istanbul…you guys are so misinformed about what's going in the world that you will be in state of shock when IMF, EU, NATO close the shop all in one day.

[Jul 18, 2016] Democrats struggle for unity as protesters swarm Netroots convention US news

The Guardian

Stephen Mitchell

1. Sanders: Clinton has backed "virtually every trade agreement that has cost the workers of this country millions of jobs"
2. Sanders: Clinton is in the pocket of Wall Street
3. Sanders: Hillary Clinton = D.C. Establishment
4. Sanders: Democrat Establishment immigration policies would drive down Americans' wages, create open borders
5. Sanders: Clinton supports nation-building in Middle East through war and invasion

Sanders: "And now, I support her 100%."

DurbanPoisonWillBurn

Anyone who believes Hillary is progressive deserves the horrible outcome a Hillary presidency will bring. How ANYONE can still support Hillary is beyond me. The woman has accomplished NOTHING except chaos & failure. Wake up folks. Hillary does NOT care about you. She cares about power, money, and making deals that benefit HER. Vote Jill Stein

[Jul 17, 2016] MH17 crash: Malaysia Airlines 'strikes deal on damages', says lawyer

www.bbc.com

Dutch media say there are no further details because both parties have agreed to secrecy.

A memorial service was held for the victims on Sunday near Schiphol.

Under the Montreal Convention, which regulates air travel, airlines must pay damages of up to about $145,000 (£109,000) to victims' families, regardless of the circumstances of a crash.

[Jul 16, 2016] the fight is between Islamists and secular elements of the state.

Notable quotes:
"... It appears the Army has the MIT Headquarters under siege right now with scattered reports that Army helicopters are firing on it. Too soon to tell but we might be looking at a Turkish civil war. ..."
"... The Turkish military is quite good at fulfilling it's role as the protector of the country and arbiter of the Constitution. Which usually means overthrowing Islamist governments that brazenly cross over legal lines. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com
Kurt Sperry , July 15, 2016 at 5:05 pm

From a friend in Ankara minutes ago, "Oh shit, this has all the hallmarks of a fight between two fractions within the state. It's said that Fethullah Gulen and his supporters in the military tried this because of the imminent purge. There was a armed clash in Ankara between the military forces (Gulen movement) and tgr police/intelligence agency (Tayyip). It's been going for a while, this feud. Now it seems like it's grown a full blown war. Airports are also closed. "

Andrew Watts , July 15, 2016 at 7:21 pm

Good observation by your friend. Broadly speaking I'd say the fight is between Islamists and secular elements of the state. The Islamists have purged the police and MIT (intelligence) of any secular influence under Erdogan. With the secular crowd maintaining it's traditional hold over the military.

It appears the Army has the MIT Headquarters under siege right now with scattered reports that Army helicopters are firing on it. Too soon to tell but we might be looking at a Turkish civil war.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , July 15, 2016 at 9:01 pm

I'll just be the first with the conspiracy theory about the usual suspects: US, regime change, Obama, and the Clinton Foundation:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%BClen_movement
They would like a much more compliant government in place than Erdogan.
Also interesting that Germany refused Erdogan asylum after his plane was turned away in Istanbul.
Very bad move for Erdogan to head out of town at a time like this as lots of Roman emperors could attest.

Andrew Watts , July 15, 2016 at 10:17 pm

I'm skeptical that the Gulen movement is behind this. The Turkish military is quite good at fulfilling it's role as the protector of the country and arbiter of the Constitution. Which usually means overthrowing Islamist governments that brazenly cross over legal lines. Furthermore Colonel Muharrem Kose ( wiki ) might've been purged for being associated with Gulen but it doesn't make the allegations true.

As a matter of principle I'm not in favor of military coups but for Erdogan I can make an exception.

Buttinsky , July 15, 2016 at 5:13 pm

Turkish Prime Minister Yildirim broadcast a statement that the situation is being dealt with by "security forces" from an apparently privately owned TV channel, while soldiers have been reported at the state broadcaster TRT in Ankara.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2016/jul/15/turkey-coup-attempt-military-gunfire-ankara

allan , July 15, 2016 at 5:47 pm

Irony died tonight:

Erdogan: I urge the Turkish people to convene at public squares and airports. There is no power higher than the power of the people.

#TheocratLivesMatter

Steve C , July 15, 2016 at 7:01 pm

Let's see if Obama's reaction is the same as it was with the Thai and Honduran coups. Talk of looking forward not backward. Calling for new elections.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , July 15, 2016 at 7:29 pm

I'm wondering if the Turkish military wants more or less war than Erdogan, could be like the generals at the Pentagon, telling the White House they didn't think a Libya war was a wise idea while Hilary was shrieking for more blood.

(We came…we saw…he died).

Or maybe the military wants more secularism than Erdogan?

different clue , July 15, 2016 at 7:45 pm

If the military still has enough left-over Kemalists inside it to be bitter at the Erdogist degradation of secular republican Turkey into an Islamic Emirate in-the-making; those Kemalists may indeed be making one last try to purge and erase Erdogism from all positions of power and re-Kemalize the State.

NotTimothyGeithner , July 15, 2016 at 8:34 pm

The politics are different. This isn't the Cold War. Any coup government done without street support (outside Istanbul, this might be tough and even then…a military coup isn't good precedence) is going to have problems.

The issue isn't the Kemalists, but the Kemalists are too far removed from Attaturk. An Attaturk aide will simply have more legitimacy than some, random preening general. Well, the aides are dead by now. The successors of the aides have no legitimacy without an election.

I don't think the coup will fly without serious repercussions.

craazyboy , July 15, 2016 at 7:55 pm

"Vote for The Sultan – it's important!"

Lambert Strether Post author , July 15, 2016 at 9:25 pm

+100.

(Not making a comment on Turkish politics, about which I know nothing, nothing, but it's a splendid snowclone.)

NotTimothyGeithner , July 15, 2016 at 9:45 pm

The Kemalists traditionally tend to lavish attention on Istanbul and the coastal elites while dealing with the Kurds and their role in NATO.

The heartland (Anatolia. What's that about Constantinople?) has traditionally been ignored by the Kemalists. The Kemalists would say they took important small steps and not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. In the mean time, the religious nuts took power and used private charity to do poorly what the government wasn't doing and found sympathy with the majority. I know it sounds familiar.

External pressure especially from the EU forced electoral reforms which gave power to the majority of the country in the heartland instead of being controlled by coastal elites.

Erdogan's policies have provoked anger, but his actions against the old guard have never seemed to irritate even the coastal population, partially because the old guard wasn't that great. They just received good press. Better dead than Red.

My sense is young coastal Turks are more or less like their counterparts in other European cities, so I imagine the army making decisions won't go over too well.

Erdogan is popular in the heartland, largely because he delivered on promises to improve infrastructure, jobs, and so forth even though he skims. For rural Turkey, everything of nothing is still nothing, so who cares if Erdogan skims?

abynormal , July 15, 2016 at 6:30 pm

scrolled right past ya allan…any idea what set it all off?

NotTimothyGeithner , July 15, 2016 at 6:25 pm

Erdogan. ..more like Erdo well he's not going to be there anymore.

Let's see:

-Merkels refugee plan
-NATO dealing with a coup after the fall of the USSR
-Syria
-ISIS
-Kurds
-collapse of Turkish tourism
-Erdogan was popular in the Anatolian heartland

Ottawan , July 15, 2016 at 6:36 pm

Whatever anyone thinks of Erdogan, its hard to imagine how to keep a lid on the pot in Turkey these days.

NotTimothyGeithner , July 15, 2016 at 6:47 pm

Erdogan's Sultan project wasn't an effort to keep a lid on Turkey's problems. Many of the problems are of his direct action.

That Which Sees , July 15, 2016 at 6:58 pm


TURKEY: The at least 4 sided coup attempt

Words of caution to everyone. There are at least four [4] armed sides participating in tonight's chaos:

1) Military (obviously)
2) Armed National Police (pro-Erdogan)
3) Criminals (who are exploiting the situation as cover to settle scores) - Cannot prove this, but it is consistent with prior civil unrest history in other nations.
4) Terrorists - IS / Daesh. Probably not organized, but shooting unarmed civilians on camera would exacerbate the situation as both major sides blame each other.
______________

The RUSSIAN Reaction?

Not advocating a conspiracy theory, but ex-KGB Putin has a jet downed by Erdogan's government. There may be Russian involvement.

Even if the Russians were surprised, the Russian Black Sea Fleet needs to be able to transit the Bosphorus to support Syrian operations. Expect Putin to quickly make favorable offers to the new military leadership if Erdogan falls.

Andrew Watts , July 15, 2016 at 7:43 pm

You forgot Kurds as a potential player. I have no clue what PKK or TAK will do under these circumstances but I imagine it wouldn't necessarily involve doing nothing.

Eureka Springs , July 15, 2016 at 7:54 pm

In the game of U.S. neolibralcons, If Erdo or Gulen prevail… don't 'we' win either way?

I mean Gulen sure sucks up a lot of U.S. education dollars.

http://turkishinvitations.weebly.com/list-of-us-schools.html

Andrew Watts , July 15, 2016 at 8:46 pm

I don't think Gulen is primarily behind the coup. I mean I know that's what Erdogan said but when the military released it's first letter to the public it had Kemalist written all over it.

don't 'we' win either way?

Uhh, it's complicated. Secretary of State Kerry is in Moscow today negotiating an anti-jihadi pact/alliance in Syria. While a few days ago Kerry publicly labeled the Saudi-back Jaish al-Islam as no different from Al Qaeda and the neocon crowd had a hissyfit over it. The gap between how the US and Russian governments perceive the rebel-jihadi alliance is closer than it's ever been.

Meanwhile it just so happens that the 28 pages from the 9/11 report implicating Saudi involvement and a military coup in Turkey is overthrowing the Islamist government of Erdogan. Both governments have supported the rebel-jihad alliance in Syria so this could just be a huge coincidence… except I don't believe in coincidences that strain my gullibility.

Any speculation beyond that point is tin foil hat territory.

Alex morfesis , July 15, 2016 at 10:25 pm

German fingerprints on turkish coup…not foily…ribbi gulan is in a very historic german german bund part of Pennsylvania…not by my laptop to scrape reports but there have been continued reports of sultan erdo asking for and receiving asylum from Germany…

of all the places to go hang out…

schaeubleland is not one of them…

my other thought was the sah-oodz since that little 28 page thingee was distributed on a friday, just a few hours before the parade in istanbul…

I call it a parade as the new coup position information is there was a grand total of less than 150 gulanis involved…

which made sense since the same photos of hardly 50 soldiers kept getting played over and over…

the saud argument is technically more foily…

but my money would be on field marshall schaeuble…

would put money down that he "resigns/retires" for health reasons in 90 dayz if sultan erdo "holds" as he now appears to have landed his plane at the airport in istanbul…

On a technical side, two weeks from now there is the annual kiss the sultans ring moment in the military and it has been suggested erdo was going to ax in a very publicly some gulanis…

and some colonel that has been named as a top coup boy had recently been bounced due to his ties to the gulanis….

So much for the boris jokes…

What a week…

[Jul 16, 2016] Sanders much-vaunted e-mailing list has a pesky shrinkage problem

Bernie on Monday to his supporters : Thanks for comin', see ya!
Notable quotes:
"... Donations to Jill Stine skyrocket after Sander's endorsement. https://www.rt.com/usa/351129-jill-stein-bernie-donations/ ..."
"... And, let me guess: Sanders' much-vaunted e-mailing list has a pesky shrinkage problem. Which started on Tuesday. ..."
"... Bernie denouement is the best thing that could have happened to Stein and the Greens. ..."
"... The Stein campaign seems unprepared. They simply don't have any staff to deal with volunteers. There is a well trained group out there now, so they need gear, packets, flyers, talking points. ..."
"... Sanders will attempt to maintain his supporters by focusing their time, skills and money on his new institute. Should serve to keep a good number from paying attention to Stein. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com
Code Name D , July 15, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Donations to Jill Stine skyrocket after Sander's endorsement. https://www.rt.com/usa/351129-jill-stein-bernie-donations/

Arizona Slim , July 15, 2016 at 4:06 pm

And, let me guess: Sanders' much-vaunted e-mailing list has a pesky shrinkage problem. Which started on Tuesday.

Steve C , July 15, 2016 at 6:17 pm

Bernie denouement is the best thing that could have happened to Stein and the Greens. If Bernie and West had started with the Greens, they would have gotten zero traction. Another noble cause no one's ever heard of. Instead, Bernie started something that came close to blowing up the Democrats the way Trump blew up the Republicans.

Now a lot of the Bernie sisses and bros are looking for somewhere to go. Stein is well placed to pick up the pieces if she knows what to do with them.

Waldenpond , July 15, 2016 at 9:52 pm

The Stein campaign seems unprepared. They simply don't have any staff to deal with volunteers. There is a well trained group out there now, so they need gear, packets, flyers, talking points.

Sanders will attempt to maintain his supporters by focusing their time, skills and money on his new institute. Should serve to keep a good number from paying attention to Stein.

The Stein campaign has a narrow window.

[Jul 16, 2016] Trump Bernie Just Lost The FBI Primary; Today Proves He Was Right About The Rigged System Video RealClearPolitics

www.realclearpolitics.com

Donald Trump comments on the end of what he called the "FBI Primary," saying that Bernie Sanders has so far refused to drop out of the race for the Democratic nomination in hopes that Clinton might be indicted. He says that the FBI's recommendation not to indict proves Sanders was right when he said the Democratic primary was "rigged."

Today is the best evidence ever that we have seen that our system is totally, absolutely rigged," Trump said at a rally in North Carolina.

"It's rigged," Trump said. "And I used that term nationally when I was running in the Republican primaries, and I was the first to use it, and then all of a sudden it became a hot term and everyone was using the word rigged, rigged, rigged. But if you remember, I won Louisiana. And I didn't get enough delegate, what happened? Places like Colorado, which was so good to me, but all of a sudden we find out that they don't have the vote... I'll be honest, if I didn't win in landslides, I wouldn't be standing here. You would be watching some politician who will lose to Hillary.

"I learned about the rigged system really fast. All of a sudden, Bernie started using it and now everyone talks about the system being rigged," he said.

"I'm going to keep using it because I was the one that brought it up."

"I asked a couple of political pros," he said. "Think of Bernie Sanders. I think the one with the most to be angry about. The one with the most to lose is Bernie Sanders, because honestly, he was waiting for the FBI primary, and guess what? He just lost today the FBI primary!"

"He lost the FBI primary! Bernie, my poor Bernie, oh, Bernie! I feel so badly for Bernie, but you know what? A lot of Bernie Sanders supporters are going to be voting for Trump, because Bernie Sanders was right! Bernie Sanders was right about a couple of things. He's right about the system being rigged, but he's also right about trade. Our trade deals are a disaster. They're killing our jobs. They're killing our families. They're killing our incomes."

[Jul 16, 2016] Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Sheepdogging for Hillary and the Democrats in 2016 Black Agenda Report

blackagendareport.com

Bernie Sanders is this election's Democratic sheepdog. The sheepdog is a card the Democratic party plays every presidential primary season when there's no White House Democrat running for re-election. The sheepdog is a presidential candidate running ostensibly to the left of the establishment Democrat to whom the billionaires will award the nomination. Sheepdogs are herders, and the sheepdog candidate is charged with herding activists and voters back into the Democratic fold who might otherwise drift leftward and outside of the Democratic party, either staying home or trying to build something outside the two party box.

[Jul 16, 2016] A Plea for Some Sympathy for Repentant Left Neoliberals...

www.bradford-delong.com

...As the very sharp Patrick Iber tweeted somewhere, the usual response to economic distress in democracies with broad franchises is: "Throw the bastards out!" Consider the Great Depression: Labour collapses in Britain in 1931. The Republicans collapse in the U.S. in 1932. And in Germany… shudder .

Then, I think, Dani firmly grasps the correct thread:

A greater weakness of the left [is] the absence of a clear program to refashion capitalism and globalization for the twenty-first century…. The left has failed to come up with ideas that are economically sound and politically popular, beyond ameliorative policies such as income transfers. Economists and technocrats on the left bear a large part of the blame. Instead of contributing to such a program, they abdicated too easily to market fundamentalism and bought in to its central tenets.

In retrospect, who can disagree? We misjudged the proper balance between state and market, between command-and-control and market-incentive roads to social democratic ends.

But then I must, again, dissent in part. Dani:

Worse still, [Economists and technocrats on the left] led the hyper-globalization movement at crucial junctures. The enthroning of free capital mobility-especially of the short-term kind-as a policy norm by the European Union, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the IMF was arguably the most fateful decision for the global economy in recent decades. As Harvard Business School professor Rawi Abdelal has shown, this effort was spearheaded in the late 1980s and early 1990s not by free-market ideologues, but by French technocrats such as Jacques Delors (at the European Commission) and Henri Chavranski (at the OECD), who were closely associated with the Socialist Party in France. Similarly, in the US, it was technocrats associated with the more Keynesian Democratic Party, such as Lawrence Summers, who led the charge for financial deregulation. France's Socialist technocrats appear to have concluded from the failed Mitterrand experiment with Keynesianism in the early 1980s that domestic economic management was no longer possible, and that there was no real alternative to financial globalization. The best that could be done was to enact Europe-wide and global rules, instead of allowing powerful countries like Germany or the US to impose their own.

Tom aka Rusty said... Going back to 1997, Rodrik is one of the few economists who earned his pay.

Much of economics has not been worth reading and not been worth believing.

[Jul 15, 2016] How U.S. And UK Liberals Disfranchise Their Party Members

Notable quotes:
"... Bernie supporters are crowing about his great success at influencing the Democratic Party platform. How exciting is that? Is there anything less useful than the platform of a political party? Screen doors in a submarine come to mind. A political party platform has all of the significance and impact of a good healthy a fart in the midst of a hurricane. ..."
"... bernie sanders, when it comes right down to it, is either a liar, or is willing to support hillary in spite of who and what she stands for.. trumps comments on this are indeed bang on. ..."
"... The Sanders move is straight out of the Democratic Party playbook of the last 100 years, as so many predicted. The Democrats have co-opted every grass-roots movement that has arisen in the US, co-opted and quashed it. ..."
"... The party primaries in the USA are not intended to be representative, democratic elections: they simply serve as a sort of consumer survey to see which of their candidates would be most popular in the general election. ..."
"... Bernie Sanders claims some concessions were achieved in the platform committee document. But one issue of greatest importance, on trade issues,--specifically the rejection of TPP, is a lost cause. Bernie threw in the towel. The phony sideshow of reconstituted New Deal hoopla is merely the same tired fantasy narrative that the Democrats predictably trot out for every presidential election. ..."
"... The dear old man who started this campaign with this gem of rhetoric: "What we need is a revolution in the streets", is ending his monkeyshines with a ringing endosement of one of the most politically corrupt figures in our history. ..."
"... Jill Stein, who ran for president on the Green Party platform, says that Bernie's endorsement of Hillary is the "last nail in the coffin" which turns Sanders' revolution over to a counter-revolutionary party. ..."
"... Trump would do well to attract Bernie Voters now, by exploiting areas of agreement. The TPP is one example. ..."
"... He led people to believe that he had principles - that he really was against Wall St. and SuperPACs and all that Hillary stands for. He also (late in the race) began talking about 'revolution' to play to the discontented and young idealists. ..."
"... Its all just bullshit when he ultimately supports Hillary. But those who support Hillary (like rufus does) try hard to finesse Sanders failing because they value the "service" that Sanders performed for the Obama-Hillary "Third Way" Democratic Party. ..."
"... What chance do we have with Hillary?--a back-stabbing, forked-tongue, daughter of Goldman Sachs, whose speeches to the industrialists and bankers are practically a state secret? Yes, Hillary!--who is coated from head to toe with a patina of blood, and smells of corpses? ..."
"... US corporations aren't stupid. They know bad, expensive education, decaying infrastructure and violence in the street are bad for business. They might even realize that corruption is bad for them. And that worker representation makes life easier all around. ..."
"... In fact, Sanders pulled several key punches in the race ..."
"... he failed to call Hillary out on her emails after the State Inspector General report was release and it was CLEAR that she had lied about her emails; ..."
"... he is close/friendly with all of the top Democrats: Obama campaigned for him to win his Senate seat; Schumer endorses him; he calls Hillary a 'friend' of 25 years. ..."
"... Except in style, Hillary is no different than Obama, Bush II, or her husband. Whereas earlier presidents felt the need to put on a show of decency -- well, okay, Bush II let it drop now and then -- H. Clinton will be a bitch Cheney, going out of her way to rub everyone's face in it and bragging there's nothing they can do about it. ..."
"... There's a bright side however. She's dumb and knows no bounds. Think Louis XVI. That, along with her arrogance, may finally bring a tipping point of sorts. With things coming apart everywhere, a smooth-talking fraud like Reagan or Obama might be able to somehow hold it together a little longer. Hillary's nastiness could actually bring real change. God in his infinite irony. ..."
"... To say there is a deep state controlling Clinton may be an over simplification. More likely their are lots of competing and conflicting forces working in the dark, none with any clear idea or plan (or inkling of what other powers are doing) each pushing for immediate gains without a thought for the future. ..."
"... In the struggle for power everyone. including H. Clinton, is a useful fool and a potential patsy. Those hidden powers have a history of eating their own. ..."
"... Sanders has been a great disappointment. In order to prevent Trump from getting the votes, he is embracing and selling his soul and his supporters to a demon! In fact Sanders has more in common with Trump that he has with Hillary. ..."
"... "Bernie Sanders endorsing Crooked Hillary Clinton is like Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs" ..."
"... His followers were fools. I think some of them know that now. ..."
"... I for one, hoped for more than "sheepdog" from Sanders, but, alas, those who said so, were totally correct ..."
"... in American politics, none of these people are for dismantling the biggest budgetary fraud & boondoggle in human history: the pentagon. anybody saying they are for "small gov't" who doesn't immediately propose to slash the military/para-military budget (not the VA, not now) by 50% every year for the next 500 years is lying. ..."
"... Hillary represents a continuation of the last 8 years, or even perhaps the last 16 or 24+ years. There is absolutely no doubt about that. ..."
"... People taken in by Sanders learned no lessons from gushing over Obama. They hurt themselves again and are sociopathically indifferent to the far greater harm they have done to those who were not gullible. ..."
"... Even if she had given any "significant concession", it would have been meaningless noise with not an iota of intention to implement such concessions. She is a POS who will say anything at all to get elected. The only thing we really know is she relishes confrontation on the foreign policy scene. Otherwise nobody can rely on her to act in their interests in the domestic realm, except big corporate entities. ..."
"... It is stupid for B to keep linking to Trumps quotes exclusively. Why does b not link to Jill Stein criticism. Sure Trumps criticism of evil Hillarys corruption will gather important support, but exclusively giving torture loving warmongering Trump ammunition, strangles other better candidates in their political birth in the alternative to status quo attention. In the same way that the Sanders, Chomsky, and other shortsighted cowards react by strangle politically strangling a desperate new movement. ..."
"... Congrats to those who labeled the 'Sheepdog' so early. Such an apt description. Good call. ..."
"... Sanders released only one year of tax returns (2015). His campaign manager claimed his taxes held no surprises. Well they didn't for 2015. But why didn't Sanders release earlier years? Any serious Presidential candidate would expect to release at least 3 years of tax returns. ..."
"... Given the 'service' that he performed, it might be especially interesting to have seen his taxes for 2014, the year before he entered the race. The lack of transparency and Sanders' 'sheepdogging' raises questions of whether he received any inducements to enter the race. ..."
"... The Plan was always from the start for Bernie to hold down the Left, so Hillary could capture Center-Right, and Donald could lead the Far Right into Smackdown. Then Bernie would deliver the Left to Hillary. And so it has come to pass. ..."
"... Strange bedfellows? Not at all. The Israelis and the GCC countries, the USG and EU, are all soul brothers : tiny 'elite' minorities attempting to rule their respective roosts by technological means encompassing everything from drones to the media to their ubiquitous taps. ..."
"... in loco parentis ..."
"... In 1963 there was a coup in America. Since then the military-industrial complex has run the country. It has been most apparent in its foreign policy, which has been the conquest of natural resources (especially oil and gas) worldwide. America's resentment with the USSR/Russia has to do with their living on top of resources. ..."
"... But in order to continue the illusion of democracy in the US, it was necessary to maintain some differences between the two parties so that Americans would think that they have a choice. Meanwhile, the party that is supposed to represent the working class has been sliding into the arms of the corporatists. Essentially, in order to give Americans a "choice" Trump has been pushed as the demonic clown versus H. Clinton. Unfortunately, for good reasons as well as because of endless propaganda from the right, most Americans distrust Clinton, as well they should. Her casual announcement about enforcing a "no-fly zone" over Syria is essentially a declaration of war against Russia. ..."
"... Going back to the coup in 1963, in order to maintain control of the population it was necessary for the ruling class to continue to generate candidates each election cycle to pretend to care about the working class. I have long suspected that early on in their careers both Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton were recruited by US intelligence. During his time in Britain Bill's classmates assumed that he was CIA. ..."
"... I suspect it was the beginning of her career in US power politics. Shortly after she wrote a pro-Vietnam speech for Melvin Laird in 1968, she was involved with the various Black Panther trials around the US. ..."
"... It's hard to believe that the Hillary who stands before us now was ever a political ally of the Panthers. Rather, I suspect she was observing for an intelligence agency, the FBI or CIA. She sat through a Panther trial in New Haven, Connecticut, and then spent a summer in Oakland working for the law firm that was representing the Panthers in the Bay Area. Essentially, she was in the right place at the right time to glean information for COINTELPRO, the massive spying program directed against anti-war and black movements. A few years later she worked on the Democrats' legal team for Watergate, another good place for a government informant to be. Bill, during his time at Oxford, would have functioned like the thousands of informants who sat in on peace group meetings across American campuses. ..."
"... Later, when the CIA was dumping cocaine at Mena, Arkansas, Bill Clinton was in position to make sure state police left the operation alone. It's not surprising that George W. Bush's first head of the DEA was Asa Hutchinson, who'd been the incurious federal prosecutor over that part of Arkansas when the drugs came in. ..."
"... The Clintons were prominent in the Democratic Leadership Council, which was an organization within the Democratic Party pushing it to the right. In 1992 Bill pushed trade agreements that would destroy the American middle class. Since then the party has been hopelessly corrupted by Wall Street money. ..."
"... I cannot think of another president in memory who is more wed to military adventurism than Hillary. ..."
"... But if she polls badly enough, Democratic establishment may see the light and go for Sanders. ..."
Jun 13, 2016 |

Bernie Sanders folded. This without gaining any significant concession from Hillary Clinton on programmatic or personal grounds. (At least as far as we know.) He endorsed Clinton as presidential candidate even as she gave no ground for his voters' opinions. This disenfranchises the people who supported him.

... ... ...

I expect the "Not Hillary" protest vote to be very strong in the November election. There is still more significant dirt to be dug up about her and her family foundation. Trumps current lows in the polls will recover when the media return to the "close race" mantra that makes them money. He still has a decent chance to win.

V. Arnold | Jul 13, 2016 1:04:11 AM | 1
It is long, long past the time to see the world we really live in; the realities of our western faux democracies. Until and unless we recognise the facts, as they are, nothing can be changed. The problem/s must be identified for it/them to be solved.

It doesn't take a critical mass of people; but it takes more than a few; far more than evidenced this election cycle...

Bill H | Jul 13, 2016 1:07:34 AM | 2
Bernie supporters are crowing about his great success at influencing the Democratic Party platform. How exciting is that? Is there anything less useful than the platform of a political party? Screen doors in a submarine come to mind. A political party platform has all of the significance and impact of a good healthy a fart in the midst of a hurricane.
james | Jul 13, 2016 1:27:48 AM | 3
thanks b, for highlighting these sad realities. bernie sanders, when it comes right down to it, is either a liar, or is willing to support hillary in spite of who and what she stands for.. trumps comments on this are indeed bang on.

the labour. party is run by a gang of thugs.. i hope the people who want corbyn are able to overcome the mostroisity the labour party has become.

i echo @1 v. arnolds comments..

@2 bill..bernie spporters better not show how stupid they are by also voting for hillary..

Grieved | Jul 13, 2016 2:46:33 AM | 4
The Sanders move is straight out of the Democratic Party playbook of the last 100 years, as so many predicted. The Democrats have co-opted every grass-roots movement that has arisen in the US, co-opted and quashed it.

Even as deliberately unplugged as I've been from this race, it's been easy to see at a glance that Sanders magnetized the next wave of concerned citizens - of course the young people rallied to his banner - and will now leave them broken and in disarray, or delivered to the Democrats.

He was an independent. He so simply could have turned the Green Party into a ten-percent force in the US, making it hugely important, and advancing in one leap the cause of multi-party governance.

He didn't.

Brunswick | Jul 13, 2016 2:48:56 AM | 5

http://www.vox.com/2016/7/1/12083494/bernie-sanders-democratic-party-concessions

okie farmer | Jul 13, 2016 5:04:31 AM | 10

Thomas Frank: It's Bill Clinton Who Wrecked the Democratic Party.
https://youtu.be/pmCibWptzZQ

ralphieboy | Jul 13, 2016 6:25:21 AM | 11
The party primaries in the USA are not intended to be representative, democratic elections: they simply serve as a sort of consumer survey to see which of their candidates would be most popular in the general election.

Registering for a party does not mean that you are a member of a particular party or even support it, you are simply choosing to vote in their primary elections (if you live in a state with closed primaries). That is something a lot of Bernie supporters found out much too late. But that is not a "rigged system", those rules were in place long before Sanders decided to run as a Democrat.

And rules differ from state to state: some places allot delegates proportionally, in others it is winner-take-all. Some states hold a general election, other hold a caucus:you have to travel to a certain place at a certain time to cast your vote, which means you have to have the time and money in order to participate.

I have never seen a similar system in place anywhere else. Usually it is only card-carrying, dues-paying party members who are allowed to select their candidates.

nmb | Jul 13, 2016 7:13:16 AM | 13
From Tsipras to Corbyn and Sanders: This is not the Left we want
rufus magister | Jul 13, 2016 7:29:34 AM | 15
Further to 14 -- Big Legacies of Bernie Sanders' Historic Campaign.
Seventh is the real possibility Bernie has inspired of a third party – if the Democratic Party doesn't respond to the necessity of getting big money out of politics and reversing widening inequality, if it doesn't begin to advocate for a single-payer healthcare system, or push hard for higher taxes on the wealthy - including a wealth tax - to pay for better education and better opportunities for everyone else, if it doesn't expand Social Security and lift the cap on income subject to the Social Security payroll tax, if it doesn't bust up the biggest banks and strengthen antitrust laws, and expand voting rights.

If it doesn't act on these critical issues. the Democratic Party will become irrelevant to the future of America, and a third party will emerge to address them.

From the first I hoped that the revolutionary left would be able to capitalize on the issues raised by Sanders' insurgency. You will win support by winning concrete gains for real people. Not by shrill denunciations of the masses ignorance or gullibility.

Copeland | Jul 13, 2016 7:56:07 AM | 18
Very good observations from b. Bernie Sanders claims some concessions were achieved in the platform committee document. But one issue of greatest importance, on trade issues,--specifically the rejection of TPP, is a lost cause. Bernie threw in the towel. The phony sideshow of reconstituted New Deal hoopla is merely the same tired fantasy narrative that the Democrats predictably trot out for every presidential election.

The dear old man who started this campaign with this gem of rhetoric: "What we need is a revolution in the streets", is ending his monkeyshines with a ringing endosement of one of the most politically corrupt figures in our history. And once again, every 1930s, New Deal trope and hurrah, is to be trotted out, even though the former Clinton administration drove a stake into the heart of most of FDR's work.

Get in line sheep. Mutton will be served.

Jill Stein, who ran for president on the Green Party platform, says that Bernie's endorsement of Hillary is the "last nail in the coffin" which turns Sanders' revolution over to a counter-revolutionary party.

fast freddy | Jul 13, 2016 8:11:02 AM | 19
Trump would do well to attract Bernie Voters now, by exploiting areas of agreement. The TPP is one example.

Owned by Goldman Bilderberg and the CFR, the Den of Lying Thieves and Whores - aka the Democratic Party - now has sneakily moved forward to tee up the TPP for passage by Crooked Hillary if not Oilbomber.

Note: The Republican Party is also a Den of Lying Thieves and Whores.

Jackrabbit | Jul 13, 2016 8:26:49 AM | 21
rufus: Sanders did what he said he would from the start ...

He led people to believe that he had principles - that he really was against Wall St. and SuperPACs and all that Hillary stands for. He also (late in the race) began talking about 'revolution' to play to the discontented and young idealists.

Its all just bullshit when he ultimately supports Hillary. But those who support Hillary (like rufus does) try hard to finesse Sanders failing because they value the "service" that Sanders performed for the Obama-Hillary "Third Way" Democratic Party.

Those who said that Sanders was a sheepdog from the start were right: the Democratic Party led by "Third Way" sellouts is hopeless. Long past time to move on.

Vote Green Party.

Bluemot5 | Jul 13, 2016 8:33:17 AM | 23
Jill Stein response to Bernie endorsement of Hilary:
http://www.jill2016.com/sanders_endorsement_clinton
dahoit | Jul 13, 2016 8:35:54 AM | 24
16;Heru;You gotta throw that ideology crap in the can.

Wtf do think Trumps support is, but democrats and republicans tired of Israeli shills?

Trump will win, as the only way the pos crud could is by Trumps assassination.

Did you hear what he said about Ginsburg? Her mind is shot! An Israeli on the SC.3 in fact. sheesh.

Copeland | Jul 13, 2016 8:54:37 AM | 26
Now now Jackrabbit, go easy on rufus. You have to remember that cognitive dissonance is infinitely extensible across a mind that is captured by delusion.

Yes Virginia, they are all hucksters ! Surely the microscopic communist party, or its pale American likeness, of which rufus is a mustache twirling member, is less of a political fantasy, than the Green Party!

What chance do we have with Hillary?--a back-stabbing, forked-tongue, daughter of Goldman Sachs, whose speeches to the industrialists and bankers are practically a state secret? Yes, Hillary!--who is coated from head to toe with a patina of blood, and smells of corpses?

somebody | Jul 13, 2016 9:46:28 AM | 30
@harrylaw | Jul 13, 2016 9:18:24 AM | 27

So it is basically the British Trade Unions making sure their members dominate in the leadership election?

The US democratic party is a huge income generating corporation with some worker representation. Sanders is correct to stay inside if he wants to change politics. If Sandernistas continue the fight (they will, it is generational, same as the Clintons were generational) seat for seat they will change the party. They will get changed themselves in the process for sure.

It seems the Libertarian party succeeds in splitting Republicans. For Sanders to split Democrats would be voting for Trump. He would have to live with this fame outside of the Democratic Party with no one to team up in the Senate.

US corporations aren't stupid. They know bad, expensive education, decaying infrastructure and violence in the street are bad for business. They might even realize that corruption is bad for them. And that worker representation makes life easier all around.

Jackrabbit | Jul 13, 2016 9:48:55 AM | 31
Bluemot5 @23

Jill goes easy on Sanders in her statement because she wants to attract his supporters.

In fact, Sanders pulled several key punches in the race:

> he was late in calling out Hillary-DNC collusion - campaign financing got the headlines but what about the DNC's silence about: a) media bias toward Hillary and b) voter irregularities: AP called the race for Hillary the day before California voted based on secret polling of Super-delegates! ;

> he failed to attack Obama's record on black/minority affairs - despite Sanders having conducted a fake filibuster over the Fiscal Cliff/Sequester - Hillary walked away with the black vote;

> he failed to call Hillary out on her emails after the State Inspector General report was release and it was CLEAR that she had lied about her emails;

And Sanders is not an "independent" as any ordinary person would interpret that term:

> he has caucused with the Democrats for a very long time (nearly 20 years?);

> he runs in the Vermont Democratic Primary when running for House/Senate with the understanding that he will not run in general election as a Democrat (this effectively blocks opposition from a Democratic candidate);

> he is close/friendly with all of the top Democrats: Obama campaigned for him to win his Senate seat; Schumer endorses him; he calls Hillary a 'friend' of 25 years.

Felicity | Jul 13, 2016 10:35:54 AM | 33
I "stole" this great piece for Global Research, with so many thanks again:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/how-u-s-and-uk-liberals-disfranchise-their-party-members/5535699

RIP democracy in the US and UK, finally out of it's misery, been gasping it's last for a very long time.

Jackrabbit | Jul 13, 2016 10:45:08 AM | 34
Kshama Sawant: Bernie Sanders Abandons the Revolution
The strategy of lesser evilism has been an utter disaster for the 99%. Effectively unchallenged by the left, the Democratic Party helped the Republican Party to push the agenda steadily to the right over the past decades. As Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has aptly put it, "the politics of fear has delivered everything we were afraid of."

... Bernie's endorsement will be used in an attempt to prop up that same rotten establishment ... [that makes] Sanders endorsement of Clinton is [sic] a fundamental failure of leadership.
...
We can't afford to follow Bernie's error. It is time for us to move on. ... That is why I'm endorsing Green Party candidate Jill Stein. ... There can be no doubt that Jill's campaign is the clear continuation of our political revolution, and deserves the broadest possible support from Sandernistas.

Ken Nari | Jul 13, 2016 10:55:38 AM | 35
Mark Stoval @ 16 -- We've had a fascist economic system (since the 30s)...

Even before. At least since 1913 with the establishment of the Federal Reserve, which transferred the holdings of the U.S. treasury to international bankers.

b, me too. For the first time I think Clinton may actually be president. Sanders never had a chance for the simple reason -- never stated -- that he is too old. When he took office he would have been only a few years short of the age Reagan was when he left.

(For some reason age has never come up with this elderly bunch. Both Bill Clinton (as co-president) and Trump will be older than Reagan was on election day, and Hillary will be only a few months younger. You'd think we'd be seeing clips of Hillary chopping logs and Trump free climbing the face of cliffs -- the sort of stuff they put poor old Ron through.)

A scary thought is that age has never come up because the powers that pick presidents don't intend for them to be in office long.

Except in style, Hillary is no different than Obama, Bush II, or her husband. Whereas earlier presidents felt the need to put on a show of decency -- well, okay, Bush II let it drop now and then -- H. Clinton will be a bitch Cheney, going out of her way to rub everyone's face in it and bragging there's nothing they can do about it.

Her style's different, but the same game will go on.

There's a bright side however. She's dumb and knows no bounds. Think Louis XVI. That, along with her arrogance, may finally bring a tipping point of sorts. With things coming apart everywhere, a smooth-talking fraud like Reagan or Obama might be able to somehow hold it together a little longer. Hillary's nastiness could actually bring real change. God in his infinite irony.

To riff off a comment by Banger a few posts back. To say there is a deep state controlling Clinton may be an over simplification. More likely their are lots of competing and conflicting forces working in the dark, none with any clear idea or plan (or inkling of what other powers are doing) each pushing for immediate gains without a thought for the future.

It's often said here that the plan is chaos. Maybe, or it could be that there is such confusion and turmoil and chaos is so prevalent, that it looks like it must be a plan. Or taking a longer view, it could be what we're seeing everywhere is the inevitable collapse of a vast culture that has grown too complex.

In the struggle for power everyone. including H. Clinton, is a useful fool and a potential patsy. Those hidden powers have a history of eating their own.

virgile | Jul 13, 2016 11:04:50 AM | 36
Sanders has been a great disappointment. In order to prevent Trump from getting the votes, he is embracing and selling his soul and his supporters to a demon! In fact Sanders has more in common with Trump that he has with Hillary.

One hopes that disenchanted Sanders supporters will either abstain or vote for Trump.
Having the choice only of two candidates is an absurdity.

Stan | Jul 13, 2016 11:26:42 AM | 41
"Bernie Sanders endorsing Crooked Hillary Clinton is like Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs" is not a valid statement.

Sanders is a long time member of The Party and Congress. One cannot be a member of those clubs for so long -- particularly during the years spanning the turn of the last century -- and not be rotten to the core.

His followers were fools. I think some of them know that now.

Jack Smith | Jul 13, 2016 12:14:52 PM | 44
@Grieved | Jul 13, 2016 2:46:33 AM | 4

Excuse me, not meant to be offensive. :-)

Like million and millions of Americans you have been fooled not once but repeatedly and still believe in democracy and Democratic party. Get real, Sanders probably a better lair than most liars but not as good as Obomo and Hillary. Understands million and millions still believe these two liars (dun believes me look at the most recent poll).

Do the smart things vote the opposite what the masses or MSM tells you. Better still vote Trump and end the drip, drip and drips. Buy yourself a good cheap pitchfork, snows shovel or whatever in yr local Craigslist or yard sales. Get ready for the final solution.

Good luck. :-)

ben | Jul 13, 2016 12:23:08 PM | 47
Good take b, thanks.

I for one, hoped for more than "sheepdog" from Sanders, but, alas, those who said so, were totally correct. Trump and HRC are 2 sides of the same coin. It matters not who wins. With either one, workers of the world are fucked. The corporate global takeover rolls on.

I will "vote" for Jill Stein.

On the efficacy of E-voting in the U$A.

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=14545

jason | Jul 13, 2016 12:29:05 PM | 48
jules @ 46: in American politics, none of these people are for dismantling the biggest budgetary fraud & boondoggle in human history: the pentagon. anybody saying they are for "small gov't" who doesn't immediately propose to slash the military/para-military budget (not the VA, not now) by 50% every year for the next 500 years is lying.
Jules | Jul 13, 2016 12:34:42 PM | 51
@rufus magister | Jul 13, 2016 8:29:00 AM | 22

I would have thought anyone with half a brain could see why there is an attraction for Trump.

Hillary represents a continuation of the last 8 years, or even perhaps the last 16 or 24+ years. There is absolutely no doubt about that.

Trump represents someone who's just so mad he might well blow up the entire global trading system starting trade wars left right and centre.

How do you think a US trade war with China will go down?

It will destroy the G20, WTO, perhaps even the US trading relations with Europe in the backdraft!

For anyone who is against the NWO, this can surely be only a good thing.

Also, Trump's stated foreign policies are basically bomb and kill all the terrorists and leave the various thug governments alone.

Sounds better to me than NeoCon Wars all over the place "of choice".

Ala, Iraq, Libya, Syria etc.

ben | Jul 13, 2016 12:37:14 PM | 52
PS-I guess, to distill the question, one might say.. Should corporations serve the people, or should people serve the corporations? As of now, "the powers that are", believe in the latter.
Stan | Jul 13, 2016 2:31:27 PM | 68
@juliania | Jul 13, 2016 2:00:54 PM

People taken in by Sanders learned no lessons from gushing over Obama. They hurt themselves again and are sociopathically indifferent to the far greater harm they have done to those who were not gullible.

Casowary Gentry | Jul 13, 2016 2:57:06 PM | 70
"Bernie Sanders folded. This without gaining any significant concession from Hillary Clinton on programmatic or personal grounds. (At least as far as we know.) He endorsed Clinton as presidential candidate even as she gave no ground for his voters' opinions. This disenfranchises the people who supported him."

Even if she had given any "significant concession", it would have been meaningless noise with not an iota of intention to implement such concessions.
She is a POS who will say anything at all to get elected. The only thing we really know is she relishes confrontation on the foreign policy scene. Otherwise nobody can rely on her to act in their interests in the domestic realm, except big corporate entities.

tom | Jul 13, 2016 5:13:00 PM | 82
Syriza...oops, Sanders, was always more loyal to the Democratic party then his ideology. ALWAYS.
I don't know why his supporters are surprised. Did they actually think he was lying when he said he would support Hillary Clinton.
And not only that, he out right lied saying that the Democrats have the most progressive platform in Democrat history !!! A fucking ludicrous lie to protect evil Hillary. Disgraceful.

Most of The left are so pathetic it's embarrassing, it's a great invitation to be dominated by the right wing.
I believe every threat that the despicable right wing will bring, I do not believe the ideology commitment the vast majority of the left wing in power. Miserable lying cowards.

It is stupid for B to keep linking to Trumps quotes exclusively. Why does b not link to Jill Stein criticism. Sure Trumps criticism of evil Hillarys corruption will gather important support, but exclusively giving torture loving warmongering Trump ammunition, strangles other better candidates in their political birth in the alternative to status quo attention. In the same way that the Sanders, Chomsky, and other shortsighted cowards react by strangle politically strangling a desperate new movement.

MadMax2 | Jul 13, 2016 5:41:33 PM | 83
Congrats to those who labeled the 'Sheepdog' so early. Such an apt description. Good call.
Yesterday I had two emails from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, giddy with joy over Sanders endorsement of Clinton. Today I had another, which made me giddy with joy:
After Bernie's call for unity yesterday, we just figured Democrats would...well...unify.

But instead, everything is falling apart.

FIRST: We heard barely a peep from grassroots Democrats.
THEN: A Quinnipiac poll showed Trump and Clinton tied in Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
NOW: We're questioning whether the Democratic Party can unify at all.

Great to hear that they're falling on their faces. The DCCC recruits ex-Republicans, Republicans-Lite, and conservative Democrats to run for Congress, and actively oppose liberal candidates. Long may they fail. Support worthy individual candidates.
karlof1 | Jul 13, 2016 7:56:55 PM | 86
Don't know if anyone's mentioned this book: "The Clinton's war on Women." There's a good long review posted here, http://thesaker.is/the-clintons-war-on-women/ Lots of potential mud for Trump to sling that will stick.
Jackrabbit | Jul 13, 2016 8:36:09 PM | 90
Sanders released only one year of tax returns (2015). His campaign manager claimed his taxes held no surprises. Well they didn't for 2015. But why didn't Sanders release earlier years? Any serious Presidential candidate would expect to release at least 3 years of tax returns.

Given the 'service' that he performed, it might be especially interesting to have seen his taxes for 2014, the year before he entered the race. The lack of transparency and Sanders' 'sheepdogging' raises questions of whether he received any inducements to enter the race.

Donald Trump is even worse. He hasn't released any tax info. He claims that the IRS is auditing him (and that they have for many years) . But why not release estimates and/or earlier tax returns?

ALberto | Jul 13, 2016 9:26:55 PM | 91
We have gone through the looking glass. This evening on Public Broadcasting Service television news hour Dr. Assad was interviewed by Judy Woodruff, a talking head teleprompter reading hand puppet. Dr. Assad was asked if Donald Trump was elected President would his lack of foreign relations diplomacy chops hinder his administrations abilities to achieve their goals. The question was of no import. Nor was the answer. THE FACT THAT DR. ASSAD WAS TREATED AS AN EQUAL and not "Assad must go" is a very significant event. VERY SIGNIFICANT!

Just me opinion...

rufus magister | Jul 13, 2016 9:29:33 PM | 92
in re 82 --

He's a democratic socialist, so such affiliations and tactics are not unusual. The Democratic Socialists of America, for example, a Socialist International section, is wholly within the Democratic Party.

Cho Nyawinh | Jul 13, 2016 10:17:28 PM | 94
The Plan was always from the start for Bernie to hold down the Left, so Hillary could capture Center-Right, and Donald could lead the Far Right into Smackdown. Then Bernie would deliver the Left to Hillary. And so it has come to pass.

I thought everyone knew Bernie, Hillary and Donald are all bought and sold by Goldman? Hillary and Donald sold their progeny to The Tribe, and Bernie is a woo-woo already. The traitor Chosen sold US into slavery with Gramm-Leich-Bliley, and fawning sycophant Al-Clintonim signed that bill into 'law' (sic), in return for her US Senate seat from NY.

Badda-boom, badda-bing!

These are the Vampire Squid, the Takers, Mafia Elites 'who settled the Western Frontier' and now are the 'Disruptors' of the Public Space into a privatized Fivrr-Uber hell. They own you. You are owned by the Private Central Bankim. Even a small child will tell you that your only real 'free choice' is to write-in "HELL NO!" in November, then flee to the 3W.

"We did not know" Lol, sure you didn't.

Jackrabbit | Jul 13, 2016 10:36:03 PM | 99
followup @89

Sanders didn't release his other tax returns even when it became an issue in the campaign .

Hillary said that she wouldn't release the transcripts of her Goldman speeches until Sanders had released more tax returns. Her reasoning: she had complied with what was expected of a Presidential candidate while the other had not yet done so.

Why wouldn't he immediately release those returns - which his campaign had claimed contained no surprises - so as to force Hillary to release the transcripts?

Very suspicious.

rufus magister | Jul 14, 2016 8:21:04 AM | 112
Here's an indicator of what sort of transparency in government one might expect from the Trump "Administration."

Trump Sues Ex-Staffer For $10 Million For Breaking Nondisclosure Agreement.

Not only are staffers subjected to this, volunteers are as well. "The tight control of volunteers stands in stark contrast to not only American political-campaign norms but also Trump's reputation for speaking his mind."

Combine that with his statement that he'd like to change libel laws to make it easier for himself to sue news organizations that down fawn all over him. Does he seem like the sort to encourage whistle-blowers like Manning or Snowden? Will he be logging all his email traffic for future FOIA requests? Or maybe he'll kill that off, too.

PavewayIV | Jul 14, 2016 2:57:23 PM | 122
News Flash: Israel wins U.S. election; Iran to be nuked during inauguration

Trump just picked Mike Pence as running mate. And from ((( Forward ))):

"...Pence has said his support of Israel is deeply rooted in his Christian faith, as well as in his strong relationship with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Pence was introduced to AIPAC members in 2009 by then-board member Marshall Cooper at an AIPAC policy conference.

"Let me say emphatically, like the overwhelming majority of my constituents, my Christian faith compels me to cherish the state of Israel," then-Rep. Pence said.

Cooper described Pence to the audience as "Israel's good friend."..."

So whether Hillary or Trump gets the job (or Obama declares a national emergency an remains) Israel will be the de-facto new commander-in-chief of the U.S., henceforth to be know as Palestine West.

jfl | Jul 14, 2016 7:28:16 PM | 126
Israeli Mass Surveillance System Launched in UAE

The new Falcon Eye surveillance system-sold to the UAE by an Israeli defense contractor-"links thousands of cameras spread across the city, as well as thousands of other cameras installed at facilities and buildings in the emirate," the Abu Dhabi Monitoring and Control Center said in an official statement. The Falcon Eye will "help control roads by monitoring traffic violations while also monitoring significant behaviors in (Abu Dhabi) such as public hygiene and human assemblies in non-dedicated areas."

Strange bedfellows? Not at all. The Israelis and the GCC countries, the USG and EU, are all soul brothers : tiny 'elite' minorities attempting to rule their respective roosts by technological means encompassing everything from drones to the media to their ubiquitous taps.

Totalitarianism is alive and well in the Middle East ... and in North America, the UK, Europe ... the last thing to be tolerated, the first things to be crushed, are 'human assemblies in non-dedicated areas' over which their corporate selves would rule.

The Powers That Are are thicker than thieves. Among mere thieves competition remains. The PTA are acting in loco parentis ... taking 'care' of us all for their own good.

Mike Gravel used to describe our present political situation as 'adolescent': mature enough to understand the fix we're in, too immature to do anything but complain to 'those in charge'.

We're in charge. We've just been asleep at the wheel. Time to wake up, finally? Before our whole world become Nice?

Bob In Portland | Jul 14, 2016 8:02:35 PM | 127
I agree that if Sanders had gone on to the Green Party he could have gotten significant support, enough to guarantee Clinton's loss. But that's not what he wanted to do, whatever his reasons for running. Folks overseas who think that Trump is anything more than a loudmouth, racist who would be controlled by the same forces as Clinton is controlled by are fooling themselves. If Sanders ran as a "pied piper" it wasn't successful. If anything, he presented a contrast to what the Democratic Party has become.

In 1963 there was a coup in America. Since then the military-industrial complex has run the country. It has been most apparent in its foreign policy, which has been the conquest of natural resources (especially oil and gas) worldwide. America's resentment with the USSR/Russia has to do with their living on top of resources.

But in order to continue the illusion of democracy in the US, it was necessary to maintain some differences between the two parties so that Americans would think that they have a choice. Meanwhile, the party that is supposed to represent the working class has been sliding into the arms of the corporatists. Essentially, in order to give Americans a "choice" Trump has been pushed as the demonic clown versus H. Clinton. Unfortunately, for good reasons as well as because of endless propaganda from the right, most Americans distrust Clinton, as well they should. Her casual announcement about enforcing a "no-fly zone" over Syria is essentially a declaration of war against Russia.

Going back to the coup in 1963, in order to maintain control of the population it was necessary for the ruling class to continue to generate candidates each election cycle to pretend to care about the working class. I have long suspected that early on in their careers both Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton were recruited by US intelligence. During his time in Britain Bill's classmates assumed that he was CIA. At about this time Hillary, who'd been raised a rabid Republican, went to both the Republican and Democratic national conventions in 1968. Not only was it a rather expensive thing to do for a college student, but most people who are interested in one party aren't interested in the other. I suspect it was the beginning of her career in US power politics. Shortly after she wrote a pro-Vietnam speech for Melvin Laird in 1968, she was involved with the various Black Panther trials around the US.

It's hard to believe that the Hillary who stands before us now was ever a political ally of the Panthers. Rather, I suspect she was observing for an intelligence agency, the FBI or CIA. She sat through a Panther trial in New Haven, Connecticut, and then spent a summer in Oakland working for the law firm that was representing the Panthers in the Bay Area. Essentially, she was in the right place at the right time to glean information for COINTELPRO, the massive spying program directed against anti-war and black movements. A few years later she worked on the Democrats' legal team for Watergate, another good place for a government informant to be. Bill, during his time at Oxford, would have functioned like the thousands of informants who sat in on peace group meetings across American campuses.

Later, when the CIA was dumping cocaine at Mena, Arkansas, Bill Clinton was in position to make sure state police left the operation alone. It's not surprising that George W. Bush's first head of the DEA was Asa Hutchinson, who'd been the incurious federal prosecutor over that part of Arkansas when the drugs came in.

The Clintons were prominent in the Democratic Leadership Council, which was an organization within the Democratic Party pushing it to the right. In 1992 Bill pushed trade agreements that would destroy the American middle class. Since then the party has been hopelessly corrupted by Wall Street money.

It's now Hillary's turn. If you've always wanted to take a vacation somewhere or wanted to do something before you die, I suggest you make time for it this year. I cannot think of another president in memory who is more wed to military adventurism than Hillary.

Piotr Berman | Jul 14, 2016 9:19:55 PM | 129
Proportional representation etc. is not a panaceum. I think that party solidarity, even if the party is only partially satisfactory is a good tool. What is happening is that Sanders who represents "turn left" for Democrats is now more electable than Clinton. This has a potential for a big change, much bigger than ephemeral "relative success" of the Greens, who are fated to collect less votes than Libertarians (they may have their best year in a long, long time).

Of course, the "right wing of the left" discards party solidarity with ease. They more or less rejected McGovern and Carter. Hillary's health care reform had the same fate. But they have very hard time copying with change. Hillary basically promised good old times, and this is not good enough. I suspect that her game plan is to unload full blast of "Trump's corruption" ads closer to elections and keep the "positive tone" for now, and that may even work.

But if she polls badly enough, Democratic establishment may see the light and go for Sanders.

[Jul 15, 2016] US media trouncing Trump 24-7 proves democracy a charade

Notable quotes:
"... The mainstream US news media have never liked the brash billionaire Trump. He makes good circulation figures for sure, but the large coverage the Republican contender has received from the outset is preponderantly negative. ..."
"... Trump's campaign has instead been buoyed by the popular vote, not by endorsement from the elite establishment, including the Republican Party leadership and the corporate media. Now that the race for the presidency is turning into a two-horse contest between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Trump, the media's antipathy towards Trump is moving to an all-out barrage of attacks. Attacks, it has to be said, that are bordering on hysteria and which only a corporate machine could convey. ..."
"... Trump vehemently rebuffed the claims. He said it was simply a star, like the ones that US Marshals use. When his campaign team reacted to the initial media furor by replacing the red star with a circle it only served to fuel accusations against Trump because he was seen to be acting defensively. However, he later defiantly rebuked his campaign team and said they should have stuck with the star image and let him defend that choice of image as simply an innocuous star shape. For what it's worth, Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is Jewish, subsequently rallied to the tycoon's defense and said he was not racist nor anti-Semitic and that the controversy was a media-contrived storm in a teacup. ..."
"... Trump makes a valid point that Clinton's abuse of state secrecy – whether intentional or negligent – has in fact posed a national security threat. Yet the media focus is decidedly not on his Democrat rival. It is rather centered on overblown concerns about the wealthy real estate developer. ..."
"... Trump is right. The political system in the US is rigged . Not just in terms of double standards of the justice system, but in the bigger context of how candidates are screened and vetted – in this case through undue vilification. ..."
"... Trump's reactionary views on immigration, race relations and international politics are certainly questionable. His credibility as the next president of the US may be dubious. But is his credibility any less than that of Hillary Clinton? Her melding of official capacity with private gain from Wall Street banks and foreign governments acting as donors to her family's fund-raising Clinton Foundation has the pungent whiff of selling federal policy for profit. Her penchant for criminal regime change operations in Honduras, Libya, Syria and Ukraine speak of a political mafia don. ..."
"... American politics has long been derided as a "dog and pony show" ..."
"... But what we are witnessing is a brazen display of how the powers-that-be (Wall Street, media, Pentagon, Washington, etc) are audaciously intervening in this electoral cycle to disenfranchise the voting population. ..."
www.rt.com

RT Op-Edge

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump is right: the 'system is 'rigged'. The media barrage against the billionaire demonstrates irrefutably how the power establishment, not the people, decides who sits in the White House.

Trump is increasingly assailed in the US media with alleged character flaws. The latest blast paints Trump as a total loose cannon who would launch World War III. In short, a "nuke nut".

In the Pentagon-aligned Defense One journal, the property magnate is described as someone who cannot be trusted with his finger on the nuclear button. Trump would order nuclear strikes equivalent to 20,000 Hiroshima bombings as "easy as ordering a pizza", claimed the opinion piece.

If that's not an example of "project fear" then what is?

The mainstream US news media have never liked the brash billionaire Trump. He makes good circulation figures for sure, but the large coverage the Republican contender has received from the outset is preponderantly negative.

Trump's campaign has instead been buoyed by the popular vote, not by endorsement from the elite establishment, including the Republican Party leadership and the corporate media. Now that the race for the presidency is turning into a two-horse contest between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Trump, the media's antipathy towards Trump is moving to an all-out barrage of attacks. Attacks, it has to be said, that are bordering on hysteria and which only a corporate machine could convey.

Like a giant screening process, the Trump candidacy and his supporters are being systematically disenfranchised. At this rate of attrition, by the time the election takes place in November the result will already have been all but formally decided – by the powers-that-be, not the popular will.

The past week provides a snapshot of the intensifying media barrage facing Trump. Major US media outlets have run prominent claims that Trump is a fan of the former brutal Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Those claims were based on a loose interpretation of what Trump said at a rally when he referred to Saddam's strong-arm suppression of terrorism. He didn't say he liked Saddam. In fact, called him a "bad guy". But Trump said that the Iraqi dictator efficiently eliminated terrorists.

A second media meme to emerge was "Trump the anti-Semite". This referred to an image his campaign team tweeted of Hillary Clinton as "the most corrupt candidate ever". The words were emblazoned on a red, six-pointed star. Again, the mainstream media gave copious coverage to claims that the image was anti-Semitic because, allegedly, it was a Jewish 'Star of David'.

Trump vehemently rebuffed the claims. He said it was simply a star, like the ones that US Marshals use. When his campaign team reacted to the initial media furor by replacing the red star with a circle it only served to fuel accusations against Trump because he was seen to be acting defensively. However, he later defiantly rebuked his campaign team and said they should have stuck with the star image and let him defend that choice of image as simply an innocuous star shape.

For what it's worth, Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is Jewish, subsequently rallied to the tycoon's defense and said he was not racist nor anti-Semitic and that the controversy was a media-contrived storm in a teacup.

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump. © Jim YoungLawsuit that may break The Donald's back: Virginia GOP delegate challenges Trump
In the same week that the alleged dictator-loving, anti-Semitic Trump hit newsstands, we then read about nuclear trigger-happy Donald.

Not only that but the Trump-risks-Armageddon article also refers to him being in the same company as Russian leader Vladimir Putin and North Korea's Kim Jung Un who, we are told, "also have their finger on the nuclear button".

Under the headline, 'How to slow Donald Trump from pushing the nuclear button', a photograph shows the presidential contender with a raised thump in a downward motion. The answer being begged is: Don't vote for this guy – unless you want to incinerate the planet!

This is scare-tactics to the extreme thrown in for good measure along with slander and demonization. And all pumped up to maximum volume by the US corporate media, all owned by just six conglomerates.

Trump is having to now spend more of his time explaining what he is alleged to have said or did not say, instead of being allowed to level criticisms at his Democrat rival or to advance whatever political program he intends to deliver as president.

The accusation that Trump is a threat to US national security is all the more ironic given that this week Hillary Clinton was labelled as "extremely careless" by the head of the FBI over her dissemination of state secrets through her insecure private email account.

Many legal experts and former US government officials maintain that Clinton's breach of classified information is deserving of criminal prosecution – an outcome that would debar her from contesting the presidential election.

Why the FBI should have determined that there is no case for prosecution even though more than 100 classified documents were circulated by Clinton when she was Secretary of State (2009-2013) has raised public heckles of "double standards".

The controversy has been compounded by the US Attorney General Loretta Lynch also declaring that no charges will be pressed and the case is closed – a week after she met with Hillary's husband, Bill, on board her plane for a hush-hush chat.

Trump makes a valid point that Clinton's abuse of state secrecy – whether intentional or negligent – has in fact posed a national security threat. Yet the media focus is decidedly not on his Democrat rival. It is rather centered on overblown concerns about the wealthy real estate developer.

Trump is right. The political system in the US is rigged. Not just in terms of double standards of the justice system, but in the bigger context of how candidates are screened and vetted – in this case through undue vilification.

Trump's reactionary views on immigration, race relations and international politics are certainly questionable. His credibility as the next president of the US may be dubious. But is his credibility any less than that of Hillary Clinton? Her melding of official capacity with private gain from Wall Street banks and foreign governments acting as donors to her family's fund-raising Clinton Foundation has the pungent whiff of selling federal policy for profit. Her penchant for criminal regime change operations in Honduras, Libya, Syria and Ukraine speak of a political mafia don.

American politics has long been derided as a "dog and pony show", whereby powerful lobbies buy the pageant outcome. Trump's own participation in the election is only possible because he is a multi-billionaire who is able to fund a political campaign. That said, however, the New York businessman has garnered a sizable popular following from his maverick attacks on the rotten Washington establishment.

But what we are witnessing is a brazen display of how the powers-that-be (Wall Street, media, Pentagon, Washington, etc) are audaciously intervening in this electoral cycle to disenfranchise the voting population.

Clinton has emerged as the candidate-of-choice for the establishment, and the race to the White House is being nobbled – like never before.

US democracy a race? More like a knacker's yard.

[Jul 15, 2016] Sanders Prepares to Bow Down to Hillary, But Many of His Supporters Won't

www.blackagendareport.com

Black Agenda Report

It is difficult to imagine how the Trump rank and file and the party's corporate "establishment" will paper over their irreconcilable differences, rooted in the party's failure to preserve skin privilege and good jobs in a White Man's Country.

Just as brazenly, Trump, the rabble rousing billionaire, has violated the most sacred ruling class taboos by rejecting the national security rationale for the hyper-aggressive, ever-expanding, global U.S. military presence. If Trump fails to convincingly recant such heresies, the rulers will deal with him with extreme prejudice.

[Jul 15, 2016] The 28 pages regarding the Saudi involvement in 9/11 were finally released today:

www.nakedcapitalism.com

naked capitalism

    1. Vatch

      Thanks. A quick visual inspection suggests that they "only" blacked out about 10% of the document. Some pages almost everything is visible, and on a few, almost half of the text is obscured.

      A couple of days ago there was a discussion of infantilization by politicians via the use of emojis. I think that preventing people from reading the full report is a far more serious form of infantilization. Only the elite philosopher kings are allowed access to information. The rest of us children might be traumatized if we could read the full report.

      Reply
    2. WJ

      The information about the dry-run of 1999 on America West flight from Phx to DC Saudi Embassy party was especially interesting to me. I suspect that Saudi Arabia played both sides (al-quaeda and the US) in order to bring about the Sunni alliance we are currently being worked out in Libya and Syria. Iraq was on this analysis definitely an expected casualty of the events of 9/11, which suggests that the Saudis had good reason to believe that US officials were already waiting for any excuse to take over that country.

      Reply
    3. sd

      Sober reading.

      There's this sort of hole prior to 9-11-2001 where it sounds like no one knows anything but actually, the Joint Forces intelligence group knew quite a bit. The Joint Inquiry never interviewed anyone from DO-5.

      Reply
      1. Alex morfesis

        While saudis offer big bux to turkish military to stage a coup to distract the audience…???

        a coup..???

        in turkey in the 21st century ??

        How silly is that ?…

        Reply
        1. Barmitt O'Bamney

          So strange! Why it seems just yesterday Chancellor Merkel and other wise EU leaders were trying to get Turkey admitted to the European Union, enabling Turks to move freely about the Continent, and they were pressing that nice Mr. Erdogan to accept billions of Euros to handle Muslim refugees for them. How could a stable European society like Turkey still be experiencing things like military coups? There must be a more polite explanation for what's really going on over there.

[Jul 15, 2016] How Dissent Has Shaped the US An Interview With Author Ralph Young

Notable quotes:
"... I think that dissent will continue as long as the United States continues. We don't know exactly what forms it will take, or what causes dissenters will take up. But we do have a pretty good idea from history that dissenters will always push for more freedom, more liberty, more economic equality, and that there will be counter-dissenters who will seek to deprive them of these goals. There always seems to be that for every two steps forward, there's one step back. ..."
www.truth-out.org

What do you foresee as far as the future of dissent is concerned in the United States?

I think that dissent will continue as long as the United States continues. We don't know exactly what forms it will take, or what causes dissenters will take up. But we do have a pretty good idea from history that dissenters will always push for more freedom, more liberty, more economic equality, and that there will be counter-dissenters who will seek to deprive them of these goals. There always seems to be that for every two steps forward, there's one step back.

What is gained for leftist movements today by anchoring themselves a positive account of the nation's founding (accounts that suggest that this nation has leftist impulses at its core)?

I think that leftist movements today have a deep, abiding faith in "democracy." And in that way, they are the true heirs of the American Revolution. Even if most of the "founding fathers" like [George] Washington and [Alexander] Hamilton and [Thomas] Jefferson were elites who distrusted the masses, they did give lip service to liberty and equality, and they did formulate fundamental arguments promoting the idea of a government of the people. Today, their ideas are more broadly conceived than they themselves conceived them. Because leftists today believe in the value of democracy, what they are in essence doing is holding America's feet to the fire. They are demanding that the United States live up to those ideals ensconced in our founding documents. "Be true to what you said on paper," as Martin Luther King Jr. expressed it in his last speech on April 3, 1968, in Memphis.

What is inevitably lost or papered over when one embraces a positive founding narrative about a nation-state?

What is papered over is that the majority of the "founding fathers" were slave owners. And the institution of slavery gave them the leisure time to devote to thinking and writing about such high-fallutin' and precious concepts as democracy, liberty and republican forms of government. Historian Edmund S. Morgan, in his book American Slavery, American Freedom, makes a compelling argument that the notions we have of freedom, that the basis for American freedom is slavery. If it weren't for slavery, we would never have developed as we have. So it is rather presumptuous of us, even for the left, to feel that we've embraced freedom and believe in equality for all. Still, despite that, it doesn't mean we should throw the baby out with the bath water. What it does mean is that we should aspire to those ideals, even if the "founding fathers" didn't fully believe in them themselves, even if they were disingenuous hypocrites who framed a constitution solely to benefit and protect the property rights and aristocratic status of their class.

Today, we need to take those ideals seriously and work toward making the reality of American society more closely resemble the ideals they espoused in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

[Jul 14, 2016] 'Final nail in the coffin' Green Party's Jill Stein to RT on Sanders endorsement of Clinton

Notable quotes:
"... "We have been offering Bernie Sanders, basically to sit down and talk and to explore how we might be collaborate, because I can't give away the nomination," ..."
"... "could certainly work with him for all sorts of possibilities, including leading the ticket." ..."
"... "truly saw the light," ..."
"... "the green light, that we do need independent politics." ..."
"... "the revolution is now being stuffed back into a counter-revolutionary party," ..."
"... "leading the charge for Wall Street, for wars and for the Walmart economy." ..."
"... "Bernie said let's forget the past, but I don't think people can forget this movement that they've worked so hard to build," ..."
"... "there were a lot of people who were watching this endorsement in complete and utter disbelief." ..."
"... "I think there are a lot of broken hearts out there among the Bernie campaign. A lot of people who are feeling burned by the Democratic Party, who are not going to simply resign themselves to an election that offers them either a billionaire, one hand, or a cheerleader for the billionaires," she added. ..."
Jul 12, 2016 | RT America
Following Sanders officially dropping out of the race, Stein reminded RT viewers of her proposal to step aside in order to offer him the nomination in her Green Party.

"We have been offering Bernie Sanders, basically to sit down and talk and to explore how we might be collaborate, because I can't give away the nomination," Stein told RT, stressing that even though she cannot take the delegates' role of assigning nominations, she "could certainly work with him for all sorts of possibilities, including leading the ticket."

This could be possible, she said, if Sanders "truly saw the light," meaning "the green light, that we do need independent politics."

In Stein's view, "the revolution is now being stuffed back into a counter-revolutionary party," whose standard bearer, Clinton, she scorns for "leading the charge for Wall Street, for wars and for the Walmart economy."

"Bernie said let's forget the past, but I don't think people can forget this movement that they've worked so hard to build," Stein said, adding that on Tuesday "there were a lot of people who were watching this endorsement in complete and utter disbelief."

.... ... ...

Sanders supporters have taken to social media in a stern backlash against the former Democratic presidential candidate.

"They also can't forget Hillary Clinton's record, which is very much the opposite of what they have been working for the past year," Stein says.

Dr. Jill Stein
✔ ‎@DrJillStein

The truth is that we cannot have a revolutionary campaign inside a counter-revolutionary party. jill2016.com/steins_respons e_to_sanders_endorsement_of_clinton …

2:45 PM - 12 Jul 2016

"I think there are a lot of broken hearts out there among the Bernie campaign. A lot of people who are feeling burned by the Democratic Party, who are not going to simply resign themselves to an election that offers them either a billionaire, one hand, or a cheerleader for the billionaires," she added.

She says that after primaries in California where "it became clear that the Democratic Party was really shutting [Sanders] out," her Green Party began to see people's interest surge.

"We are seeing that now, in the last 24 to 36 hours as well, as people realize that the game is over," Stein said.

@MajorCallowayLeader

Well, now it's Stein or Trump - time will tell.
Sanders is the worst kind of turncoat.
How can he possibly support the Laughing Butcher of Libya? He must have been a lost soul to begin with, or sold it long ago.

[Jul 14, 2016] Sanders Warmongering Corporate Sell-out - Arthur Schaper

Notable quotes:
"... In late April I was among the 25 Vermonters who occupied Congressman Bernie Sanders' Burlington office to protest his support of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and the ongoing war against Iraq. Calling ourselves the "Instant Antiwar Action Group," we decided to bring our outrage at Bernie's escalating hypocrisy directly to his office, an action that resulted in 15 of us being arrested for trespass. ..."
"... Dissident Voices ..."
"... Despite his own claims, Sanders has not been an antiwar leader. . . . His hawkish [stance] drove one of his key advisers, Jeremy Brecher, to resign from his staff. Brecher wrote in his resignation letter, "Is there a moral limit to the military violence you are willing to participate in or support?" ..."
"... Dissident Voices ..."
"... Under the Bush regime, Sanders' militarism has only grown worse. While he called for alternative approaches to the war on Afghanistan, he failed to join the sole Democrat, Barbara Lee, to vote against Congress' resolution that gave George Bush a blank check to launch war on any country he deemed connected to the September 11 attacks. ..."
"... Counterpunch ..."
"... After thousands of people are killed in the World Trade Center and Pentagon, President George Bush and Congress declared war on Afghanistan. Sanders joined the bandwagon and voted to adopt the joint resolution that authorized the President to use the United States Armed Forces against anyone involved with the attacks of September 11th, 2001 and any nation that harbors these individuals. ..."
"... While Sanders voted against the original authorization to use military force against Iraq, he followed that vote with several subsequent votes authorizing funding of that war and the debacle in Afghanistan. ..."
townhall.com

What also stands out in the above criticism is that Sanders, seeking the Democratic nomination as a Tea Party of the Left outlier, has a long-standing history of supporting presidential military forays: anathema to aggressive progressives.

In 1999, Congressman Sanders signed onto President Bill Clinton's military interventions into Kosovo. Peace activists crashed his Burlington, VT Congressional Office. One of the protesters commented on the Liberty Union Party website :

In late April I was among the 25 Vermonters who occupied Congressman Bernie Sanders' Burlington office to protest his support of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and the ongoing war against Iraq. Calling ourselves the "Instant Antiwar Action Group," we decided to bring our outrage at Bernie's escalating hypocrisy directly to his office, an action that resulted in 15 of us being arrested for trespass.

Dissident Voices blasted Sanders not just for cozying up with the Democratic Party, but war authorizations throughout his tenure in the House of Representatives.

Despite his own claims, Sanders has not been an antiwar leader. . . . His hawkish [stance] drove one of his key advisers, Jeremy Brecher, to resign from his staff. Brecher wrote in his resignation letter, "Is there a moral limit to the military violence you are willing to participate in or support?"

Click on this link for Brecher's letter of resignation.

Dissident Voices continues:

Under the Bush regime, Sanders' militarism has only grown worse. While he called for alternative approaches to the war on Afghanistan, he failed to join the sole Democrat, Barbara Lee, to vote against Congress' resolution that gave George Bush a blank check to launch war on any country he deemed connected to the September 11 attacks.

Indeed, Barbara Lee (D-CA) was the lone vote against granting this extended power to President Bush. Sanders joined with both parties on this issue. Of course. While Presidential candidate Sanders has relaunched his speech on the House floor opposing the War on Iraq in 2002, Counterpunch has already exposed Sanders' connections with Bush 43's military ventures:

After thousands of people are killed in the World Trade Center and Pentagon, President George Bush and Congress declared war on Afghanistan. Sanders joined the bandwagon and voted to adopt the joint resolution that authorized the President to use the United States Armed Forces against anyone involved with the attacks of September 11th, 2001 and any nation that harbors these individuals.

And then:

While Sanders voted against the original authorization to use military force against Iraq, he followed that vote with several subsequent votes authorizing funding of that war and the debacle in Afghanistan.

Sanders has followed a pattern of voting against initial efforts to expand government resources into the War on Terror, then voted for funding them afterwards.

The Democratic Party's 2016 Presidential bench is a clown-car of political dysphoria. From Hillary Clinton's early yearning for Republican Barry Goldwater, to Lincoln Chafee's former GOP US Senator status, and Jim Webb's service in the Reagan Administration, now left-wing partisans can argue that "Weekend at Bernie" Sanders is right-wing warmonger .

[Jul 14, 2016] Sanders endorses Clinton, reversing everything he's said about 'Wall Street candidate' (QUOTES)

RT America
Sanders has spent a lot of time and energy convincing voters that Clinton had no place in the Oval Office.

The following are just a few examples.

1"Are you qualified to be President of the United States when you're raising millions of dollars from Wall Street whose greed, recklessness and illegal behavior helped to destroy our economy?" – Philadelphia rally, April 2016.

However, Sanders may be singing a different tune when he is back in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention. His change of heart Tuesday included telling the audience: "I have come here to make it as clear as possible as to why I am endorsing Hillary Clinton and why she must become our next president."

2 "I proudly stood with the workers. Secretary Clinton stood with the big money interests" – Youngstown, Ohio March 14

Sanders has frequently attacked Clinton's use of Super PACs and potential interest from elite banks. While the former secretary of state has been endorsed by many unions, such as the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Sanders' speech swapped that rhetoric for something a little more flattering.

In his endorsement speech, he said: "Hillary Clinton understands that we must fix an economy in America that is rigged and that sends almost all new wealth and income to the top one percent."

3 "Do I have a problem, when a sitting Secretary of State and a Foundation ran by her husband collects many millions of dollars from foreign governments, governments which are dictatorship… um yeah, do I have a problem with that? Yeah I do."

Sanders passionately attacked the Clinton Foundation in June, calling its reception of money from foreign governments such as Saudi Arabia a "conflict of interest." However, on Tuesday he told the audience that Clinton "knows that it is absurd that middle-class Americans are paying an effective tax rate higher than hedge fund millionaires, and that there are corporations in this country making billions in profit while they pay no federal income taxes in a given year because of loopholes their lobbyists created."

4 "She was very reluctant to come out in opposition. She is running for president. She concluded it was a good idea to oppose the TPP, and she did."

Clinton's slow opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) raised the ire of both Sanders and his supporters. Perhaps through intense negotiations to make Clinton's campaign more progressive, he is now willing to focus more on Clinton's interior economy, saying, "She wants to create millions of new jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure – our roads, bridges, water systems and wastewater plants."

5 "Well, I don't think Hillary Clinton can lead a political revolution"

Commenting on Clinton's potential to carry the torch for the political revolution he claimed he was spearheading, Sanders lacked faith in her ability to make the changes he deemed necessary back in June, when he was on CBS's "Face the Nation."

However, perhaps through negotiating the terms of his endorsement, Clinton's platform sounds more and more like Sanders' when he talks about it. Describing new platforms such as lowering student debt and making free education attainable without accruing massive amounts of debt, along with expanding the use of generic medicine and expanding community health centers all sound like shades of Sanders.

6 "When you support and continue to support fracking, despite the crisis that we have in terms of clean water… the American people do not believe that that is the kind of president that we need to make the changes in America to protect the working families of this country."

Back in an April debate, many voters were frustrated when Clinton gave a lengthy, difficult explanation about her stance on fracking. Sanders, a longtime opponent of hydraulic fracturing.

However, since the CNN Democratic Debate, Sanders and Clinton may have both shifted their positions on the matter that was once clear cut for the senator from Vermont.

According to Sanders, "Hillary Clinton is listening to the scientists who tell us that if we do not act boldly in the very near future there will be more drought, more floods, more acidification of the oceans, more rising sea levels."

7 "When this campaign began, I said that we got to end the starvation minimum wage of $7.25, raise it to $15. Secretary Clinton said let's raise it to $12 ... To suddenly announce now that you're for $15, I don't think is quite accurate."

At the same CNN debate in Brooklyn, Sanders hammered on Clinton's inconsistent stance on raising the minimum wage. While her opinion has shifted from debate to debate, it seems that Sanders' has as well.

"She believes that we should raise the minimum wage to a living wage," Sanders said, without specifying what the minimum wage would be increased to under her more progressive campaign.

8 "Almost all of the polls that… have come out suggest that I am a much stronger candidate against the Republicans than is Hillary Clinton."

Sanders might be eating crow for this one. His entire endorsement speech often focused on the party's need to defeat presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. Throughout the speech, Sanders contrasted the new and improved Clinton strategy that includes more of Sanders' talking points with those from Trump.

Sanders went as far as to place the importance of the election on keeping Trump away from the Supreme Court, saying, "If you don't believe this election is important, take a moment to think about the Supreme Court justices that Donald Trump will nominate, and what that means to civil liberties, equal rights and the future of our country."

9 "[Super predators] was a racist term and everybody knew it was a racist term."

Clinton's involvement with the criminal justice reform of the 1990s that contributed to the mass incarceration has frequently been a contentious point in this election. In 1996, she went on to warn the public about the existence of "super predators," or children with "no conscience, no empathy, we can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel."

However, both Clinton and Sanders have a track record of working with the civil rights movements, and now Sanders may not be so quick to put Clinton and racist in the same sentence.

"Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths," he said Tuesday.

READ MORE:

[Jul 13, 2016] 'You Broke My Heart' Supporters of Bernie Sanders React to Endorsement

Note the NYT was afraid to open comment section for this article :-)
Notable quotes:
"... "Intelligent Bernie supporters will NEVER support her because she stands for everything were fighting against," he said. "Just because Bernie has left our movement does not mean it is over." ..."
"... Despite Hillary's penchant for flip-flopping rhetoric, she's spent decades serving the causes of the Wall Street, war, & Walmart economy. ..."
Jul 12, 2016 | The New York Timeul

Daniel Whitfield, of Discovery Bay, Calif., insisted that the political revolution Mr. Sanders had championed did not have to end just because the senator had given up. However, he said that voting for Mrs. Clinton was not an option.

"Intelligent Bernie supporters will NEVER support her because she stands for everything were fighting against," he said. "Just because Bernie has left our movement does not mean it is over."

... ... ...

Some of the lesser-known candidates running for president sought to capitalize on the moment.

Jill Stein, the Green Party's presidential nominee, sent out a barrage of Twitter posts as Mr. Sanders made his endorsement arguing that Mrs. Clinton's policies were antithetical to a liberal progressive agenda.

Dr. Jill Stein
✔ ‎@DrJillStein

Despite Hillary's penchant for flip-flopping rhetoric, she's spent decades serving the causes of the Wall Street, war, & Walmart economy.


Gov. Gary Johnson
✔ ‎@GovGaryJohnson

If joining Sen. Sanders in the Clinton Establishment isn't a good fit, there IS another option... #afterthebern

For those who believed that Mr. Sanders still had a chance to snatch the nomination at the convention in Philadelphia, it was too soon after his endorsement to consider alternatives. It would take time for the mix of anger and disbelief to subside.

"You chose her over us," Jessica Watrous Boyer, of Westerly, R.I., wrote on Mr. Sanders's Facebook page, lamenting that he had broken his promise to take the fight to the convention. "Truly shocked and saddened by this."

[Jul 13, 2016] Sanders supporters lash out following Clinton endorsement

www.foxnews.com

Fox News

Some of Bernie Sanders' most loyal backers have turned into his biggest bashers on the heels of his Hillary Clinton endorsement.

The Vermont senator, who slammed Clinton repeatedly during the presidential primary campaign, offered his unwavering support to the presumptive Democratic nominee at a rally in New Hampshire Tuesday.

"Hillary Clinton will make a great president and I am proud to stand with her today," he said.

What followed was an avalanche of angry tweets, blogs and other social media posts from those who had been feeling the 'Bern' -- and now just feel burned.

In New York, Monroe County Sanders activist Kevin Sweeney told the Democrat & Chronicle he's shifting his donations to Green Party candidate Jill Stein. "A lot of Bernie supporters are making $27 donations to Jill Stein's campaign today," he said.

Others were more direct, as the hashtag #SelloutSanders and others took off on Twitter....

... ... ...

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, jumped in on the action.

He tweeted, "Bernie Sanders endorsing Crooked Hillary Clinton is like Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs. "

brendajc

Bernie supporters.......trump welcomes you

1. We are and have been socialist since FDR....welfare...unemployment ...medicare....social security. ...,studebt loans....these a3 socialist programs.

nobody wants these socialist programs gone

We just don't want communism

And we want fiscal responsibility.

Come join us.

are122

I sometimes think Bernie was nothing more then a setup or a patsy encouraged to run by the DNC. With all the "superdelegates" supporting HC, the Bern had to know he virtually had no chance to win but put on a show anyway. He's suddenly very nice to all those that basically shafted him in advance.

hotdogsdownhallways

Cannot wait until we find out how much the Clinton Foundation gave him.


[Jul 13, 2016] Bernie Sanders Wrong Beliefs, but Laudably Principled

From Twitter: Bernie Sanders, We didn't donate $230M to vote for a warmonger with 4 superPACs, scam charity and $150M speeches who sabotaged your campaign
Notable quotes:
"... Today, you decided to officially express your support for Hillary Clinton in the race for president of the United States. Unlike many, I will not label you a "sellout." Though I'm disappointed in your decision, I would also like to thank you for your contribution to American politics. ..."
"... But I reject the political hive-mind's notion that you had to endorse Hillary. You did not. You've been an independent for decades, refusing to officially associate yourself with a party that you didn't fully believe in. ..."
National Review

Dear Bernie,

Today, you decided to officially express your support for Hillary Clinton in the race for president of the United States. Unlike many, I will not label you a "sellout." Though I'm disappointed in your decision, I would also like to thank you for your contribution to American politics.

... ... ...

Like me and many other conservatives, your supporters now stand without a candidate to believe in. And, like me, they are disappointed in your decision to bow to the pressure exerted by the political muscle that the Clintons have been flexing for decades. I understand that your arm has been twisted by every establishment Democrat from the top down...

But I reject the political hive-mind's notion that you had to endorse Hillary. You did not. You've been an independent for decades, refusing to officially associate yourself with a party that you didn't fully believe in. Throughout the campaign, you highlighted all of the problems with your opponent, and even went so far as to declare her "unfit" for the office of the presidency. You told America that you were starting a political revolution. By its very nature, though, a revolution refuses to be cowed by the protectors of the status quo. It can concede temporary defeat in certain battles, sure, but it can't survive if betrayed by its leaders. It is disingenuous for you to pretend that you will continue your revolution despite your endorsement - or even worse, imply that Hillary will. I thought you were better than that.

...During your endorsement speech, once more you called out the Wall Street billionaires for whom you've so often expressed unqualified loathing over the last 14 months. But this time, something was wrong: There stood, bobbing her head next to you, someone who has made a career out of selling favors to those very same billionaires. I thought you were someone who put principles before politics, and that you would never hesitate to stick to your guns, regardless of the pressure. I guess not. Despite feeling disappointed and deflated, I want to thank you for helping to rekindle my faith and interest in politics.

... ... ...

Sincerely, Andrew - Andrew Badinelli is an intern at National Review.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/437758/bernie-sanders-wrong-beliefs-ideologically-principled

[Jul 12, 2016] Credentialism and Corruption: The Opioid Epidemic and the Looting Professional Class

Notable quotes:
"... "The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas" ..."
"... The German Ideology ..."
"... By Lambert Strether of Corrente . ..."
"... Yves dropped the phrase "the looting professional class," and I said "I've got to post on that!" ..."
"... The question we posed then as now: "How do these people live with themselves?" (For a discussion of the medical aspects of opioids in general and the regulatory state of play, see here and here .) ..."
"... Based purely on timing, it seems likely that developments in the medical and pharmaceutical industries played a significant role in setting off the epidemic of drug poisonings, which increased more than sixfold in the white-middle-aged demographic between 1999 and 2013, and which played an important role in raising its over-all mortality rate. By many accounts, the widespread misuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioid painkillers, such as OxyContin, began in the late nineties and rapidly became a chronic problem. ..."
"... There is, however, something that does make white men and women in the U.S. unique compared with other demographics around the world: their consumption of prescription opioids. Although the U.S. constitutes only 4.6 percent of the world's population, Americans use 80 percent of the world's opioids. As Skinner and Meara point out in their study, a disproportionate amount of these opioid users are white, and past studies have shown that doctors are much more willing to treat pain in white patients than in blacks. ..."
"... The body count is comparable to the AIDS epidemic ..."
"... We calculated that about 500,000 middle-age Americans died who would still be alive. AIDS has killed more than that but the numbers are in the same ballpark. The comparison is useful because people have a hard time thinking about changes in mortality rates-so many per 100,000. And everyone knows about HIV/AIDS: People wear ribbons and it is seen as a national tragedy. But there are no ribbons, no awareness for this, and there should be. ..."
"... OxyContin was successfully marketed by Purdue Pharma ("successfully" rather in the way that HIV is successful, only with different transmission vectors). ..."
"... The American Journal of Public Health ..."
"... Los Angeles Times ..."
"... I was shocked by the LA Times reporting on Purdue. They clearly knew that they were part of the supply chain with Distributors, Pharmacies, Doctors and old fashioned drug dealers who were facilitating thousands of deaths though Oxycontin addiction and overdoses. They set up safety monitoring committees which did practically nothing by design. Selling death for profit. Shame on them. ..."
"... Purdue had one final shot at avoiding trial: A motion for summary judgment. … To make this critical argument, the company tapped Eric Holder Jr ., who had been the nation's first African American deputy attorney general. On Oct. 13, 2004, the man who would become President Obama's attorney general argued that West Virginia prosecutors didn't have sufficient evidence to warrant a trial. ..."
"... I'm sure a Psychologist could say this more factually than I, but if you job depends on it or at least benefits from it, 2 degrees of separation from cause and effect is enough to declare moral innocence in ones mind. ..."
"... Professionals are intelligent enough to fool themselves into believing this with hi consistency. In that respect they are no different from the looting bankers. ..."
"... The general idea is that the more distant an object is from the individual, the more abstract it will be thought of, while the closer the object is, the more concretely it will be thought of. ..."
"... Ethical Amnesia . ..."
"... Although you are making a strong argument against our particular credentialed class, my sense is that this behavior will arise in any social hierarchy with more than four or five levels. ..."
"... Distance makes it abstract. The dangerous part is when abstraction makes it distant…like when a human is reduced to 'what do you do for a living?' – the polite version of 'How much do you make?' "I am a professor." ..."
"... Does the professor know how many molecules have to be moved to make a buck? Not too many, with oxycontin. A particularly efficient enterprise whose externality is the exact opposite of a ride on the last ship out. ..."
"... Remember the famous Millgram experiment? Two degrees of separation- Physical because the subject was behind a mirror in a "laboratory" observation room, and psychological because the "scientist" in a lab coat supported and encouraged extreme levels of torture which the subjects complied with. ..."
"... Rather similar to the level of detachment exhibited by Obama when he participates in selecting targets for assassination by remote control drone. Or Hellary Clinton chortling as she recalls viewing video of Gaddafi being sodomized with a bayonet. ..."
"... Self-delusion is the opium of the people. ..."
"... I'm not sure it's simply a matter of obliviousness. In the case of the database designer, the institution feeding him/her the data needs him/her to not get too curious, in other words to willfully remain oblivious. This is quite often achieved by means of an implicit threat: in tech, it's usually the threat of being replaced by someone much younger or by a H1B visa holder. In sales, individuals and teams are often pitted against each other in strict competition, a practice that has ruined several companies, most notably Sears. Marketing is an extremely cutthroat field, and firms will do practically anything to one up each other, including the unethical and illegal. The implicit war of all against all creates a Zeitgeist of insecurity that incentivizes looking the other way or adopting a cultivated obliviousness. ..."
"... Yes those professions didn't strike me as too hot either. I.T. fields are flooded with H1Bs, being a salesrep can at times be an easy job to get but often isn't (and so salesreps often put up with a lot of crazy) etc.. ..."
"... We all pick our poison and how much we can live with. And yet most people believe in the ideology of making people scramble for money. They think it makes people "work hard" or "compete" or "add value" but just as absolutely it will make people cut corners. Because they have to because they need that money to live. And yet we still think completion is good. ..."
"... There are still people trying to run up the down escalator. But people who own the escalator keep cranking up the speed. ..."
"... As a life-long member of this credentialed professional class (specifically, media, even though the credentials are informal at best), I can say from experience at several of the large media corporations that many, if not most, employees in the editorial ranks are well aware of the damage the industry does to this country (it's more abstract, perhaps, than the pharma example, but it's real). Many speak up, but no one can speak up every time they are asked to execute an unethical or mindless order whose sole goal is to increase ratings and, by extension, "shareholder value." ..."
"... well most heroin in the usa comes from mexico and the Jalisco Boys cartel, helped by nafta. afghani heroin supplies europe and asia. just an fyi. ..."
"... Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic ..."
"... The story of oxycodone is one of rampant criminality: the clinical trials, the approval process, and the marketing are all riddled with probable fabrications and manifest misrepresentations. ..."
"... The behavior described in this article is clearly terrible, but it doesn't seem fair to blame 20% of the population for this type of thing. You often advise us that generations don't have agency, and the same can be said for economic classes. Most of the people in the richest 20% could be classified as "professionals", as in doctors, lawyers, stock brokers, engineers, managers, etc., but I suspect there are some master plumbers and electricians in that category as well. ..."
"... I think (a) the lessons of the Milgram experiment (trust your boss; go with the program) and (b) the U. Sinclair notion of can't believe X if you're paycheck depends on not-X … these 2 factors have a lot to do with the separation of the 20% from the 80%. They don't explain the origin, but I think they speak to the persistence. ..."
"... See also pharmaceuticals promotion of effective pain management schemes and punishment of those not adhering to the narrative. ..."
"... Profiting from supplying opioids is one thing, but what happens when billionaire real estate developers and hedge fund cash start getting into the recovery and mental health business? ..."
"... In my opinion, Americans are getting slowly poisoned and they are not getting any help either because the US food industry is allowed to sabotage the access to unadulterated foodstuff. This is one of many reasons that people "here" hate the TTIP & Co: We don't want to be American! We don't want US business practices. ..."
"... Looting is definitely the right term here. I suspect there are many actors who became fabulously wealthy from the prescription opioid (and amphetamine – ADD medications like Adderal are analogues to street Methamphetamine) scam. ..."
"... The kind of destructive social conduct was noted by cultural anthropologists studying cultures affected by Euopean colonization. As the meaning of the culture was drained by colonial predation, the societies degraded, people lost direction, language changed rapidly and the previous social networks unraveled. Essentially, the colonized no longer saw or felt that there was a place for them. ..."
"... Everything about constant sitting is bad for the body, and when the sedentary body starts moving, things get worse, because terrible movement patterns are ingrained. There'd have to be nationwide physical therapy to solve it. I recommend reading and following 'deskbound' by Kelly Starrett, if you're a sedentary person. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com

"The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas" –Karl Marx, The German Ideology

By Lambert Strether of Corrente .

Readers liked our initial post on life under neoliberalism and the salaried (or professional (or " 20%") ) classes, and the follow-up, on life under neoliberalism in the newsroom .

So Yves and I were chatting the other day, the Yves dropped the phrase "the looting professional class," and I said "I've got to post on that!" This is that post, and I'm going to use that concept as a lens to examine the opioid epidemic in the white working class, since the professional classes - and not all individuals so classed! - enabled so much of it. The question we posed then as now: "How do these people live with themselves?" (For a discussion of the medical aspects of opioids in general and the regulatory state of play, see here and here .)

Deaths from Opiods are like the AIDS Epidemic

Let's start by looking at the briefly famous Case-Deaton study, and its study of mortality in the white working class, taking education levels as a proxy for class[1]. (For NC's late 2015 discussion of the Case-Deaton study, with an embedded copy of the study itself, see here , and for a follow-up from Barbara Ehrenreich, see here .) From WaPo , on the study and its interpretation:

The research showed that the mortality rate for whites between the ages of 45 and 54 with a high school education or less rose dramatically between 1999 and 2013, after falling even more sharply for two decades before that.

That reversal, almost unknown for any large demographic group in an advanced nation, has not been seen in blacks or Hispanics or among Europeans, government data show. The report points to a surge in overdoses from opioid medication and heroin, liver disease and other problems that stem from alcohol abuse, and suicides.

[Deaton's] analysis: "There's this widening between people at the top and the people who have a ho-hum education and they're not tooled up to compete in a technological economy. … Not only are these people struggling economically, but they're experiencing this health catastrophe too, so they're being hammered twice."

Another economist who reviewed the study for PNAS used almost the same words.

"An increasingly pessimistic view of their financial future combined with the increased availability of opioid drugs has created this kind of perfect storm of adverse outcomes," said Jonathan Skinner, a professor of economics at Dartmouth College.

(The Case-Deaton study had a moment in early 2016, as pundits connected it to Trump voters ( "America's Self-Destructive Whites" ), and then dropped off the radar. And it wasn't all that easy to get Case-Deaton on the radar in the first place; it was instantly rejected by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), before being published in the less prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.)

Let's look more closely at the potential role of opiods, and in particular OxyContin, in Case-Deaton results. Kevin Drum writes:

On a related note, the famous Case/Deaton paper showing a rise in white mortality since 2000 breaks out three categories of death: suicides, liver disease (a proxy for alcohol abuse), and drug poisoning. All three have gone up, but poisoning has gone up far, far more than the others. The first two have increased about 50 percent since 2000. Poisoning has increased about 1,500 percent. This coincides with the period when Oxy became popular, and probably accounts for a big part of the difference between increased white mortality in America vs. other countries. Oxy is a famously white drug, and may also account for the fact that mortality has increased among whites but not blacks or Hispanics.

The New Yorker is more circumspect :

Based purely on timing, it seems likely that developments in the medical and pharmaceutical industries played a significant role in setting off the epidemic of drug poisonings, which increased more than sixfold in the white-middle-aged demographic between 1999 and 2013, and which played an important role in raising its over-all mortality rate. By many accounts, the widespread misuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioid painkillers, such as OxyContin, began in the late nineties and rapidly became a chronic problem.

And the Times does some genuine reporting . While not mentioning OxyContin specifically:

The Times analyzed nearly 60 million death certificates collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1990 to 2014…

The analysis shows that the rise in white mortality extends well beyond the 45- to 54-year-old age group documented by a pair of Princeton economists in a research paper that startled policy makers and politicians two months ago…

While the death rate among young whites rose for every age group over the five years before 2014, it rose faster by any measure for the less educated, by 23 percent for those without a high school education, compared with only 4 percent for those with a college degree or more.

The drug overdose numbers were stark. In 2014, the overdose death rate for whites ages 25 to 34 was five times its level in 1999, and the rate for 35- to 44-year-old whites tripled during that period. The numbers cover both illegal and prescription drugs.

Rising rates of overdose deaths and suicide appear to have erased the benefits from advances in medical treatment for most age groups of whites. Death rates for drug overdoses and suicides "are running counter to those of chronic diseases," like heart disease, said Ian Rockett, an epidemiologist at West Virginia University.

In fact, graphs of the drug overdose deaths look like those of deaths from a new infectious disease, said Jonathan Skinner, a Dartmouth economist. "It is like an infection model, diffusing out and catching more and more people," he said.

And why the white working class? OxyContin and opiod prescription patterns by doctors :

There is, however, something that does make white men and women in the U.S. unique compared with other demographics around the world: their consumption of prescription opioids. Although the U.S. constitutes only 4.6 percent of the world's population, Americans use 80 percent of the world's opioids. As Skinner and Meara point out in their study, a disproportionate amount of these opioid users are white, and past studies have shown that doctors are much more willing to treat pain in white patients than in blacks.

Putting a new spin on the word "privilege," eh?

The body count is comparable to the AIDS epidemic. Slate interviewed Dr. Angus Deaton :

You told the New York Times that HIV/AIDS is the only good analogue as far as these death rates go. Can you expand on that comparison?

We calculated that about 500,000 middle-age Americans died who would still be alive. AIDS has killed more than that but the numbers are in the same ballpark. The comparison is useful because people have a hard time thinking about changes in mortality rates-so many per 100,000. And everyone knows about HIV/AIDS: People wear ribbons and it is seen as a national tragedy. But there are no ribbons, no awareness for this, and there should be.

"No ribbons." Odd, that. Or not[3].

Summing up: We're looking at a deadly epidemic, in the white working class, previously unnoticed, fueled in part by OxyContin[2], and only briefly "on the radar." So where does the "looting professional class" come in? To understand that, let's turn to how Oxycontin is marketed and delivered through the pharmaceutical supply chain.

The "Looting Professional Class" as a Transmission Vector

OxyContin was successfully marketed by Purdue Pharma ("successfully" rather in the way that HIV is successful, only with different transmission vectors). Pacific Standard has a fine summary :

Starting in 1996, Purdue Pharma expanded its sales department to coincide with the debut of its new drug. According to an article published in The American Journal of Public Health , " The Promotion and Marketing of OxyContin: Commercial Triumph, Public Health Tragedy ," Purdue increased its number of sales representatives from 318 in 1996 to 671 in 2000. By 2001, when OxyContin was hitting its stride, these sales reps received annual bonuses averaging over $70,000, with some bonuses nearing a quarter of a million dollars. In that year Purdue Pharma spent $200 million marketing its golden goose. Pouring money into marketing is not uncommon for Big Pharma , but proportionate to the size of the company, Purdue's OxyContin push was substantial.

Boots on the ground was not the only stratagem employed by Purdue to increase sales for OxyContin. Long before the rise of big data, Purdue was compiling profiles of doctors and their prescribing habits into databases. These databases then organized the information based on location to indicate the spectrum of prescribing patterns in a given state or county. The idea was to pinpoint the doctors prescribing the most pain medication and target them for the company's marketing onslaught.

That the databases couldn't distinguish between doctors who were prescribing more pain meds because they were seeing more patients with chronic pain or were simply looser with their signatures didn't matter to Purdue. The Los Angeles Times reported that by 2002 Purdue Pharma had identified hundreds of doctors who were prescribing OxyContin recklessly, yet they did little about it. The same article notes that it wasn't until June of 2013, at a drug dependency conference in San Diego, that the database was ever even discussed in public.

Combining the physician database with its expanded marketing, it would become one of Purdue's preeminent missions to make primary care doctors less judicious when it came to handing out OxyContin prescriptions.

Beginning around 1980, one of the more significant trends in pain pharmacology was the increased use of opioids for chronic non-cancer pain. Like other pharmaceutical companies, Purdue likely sought to capitalize on the abundant financial opportunities of this trend. The logic was simple: While the number of cancer patients was not likely to increase drastically from one year to the next, if a company could expand the indications for use of a particular drug, then it could boost sales exponentially without any real change in the country's health demography.

This was indeed one of OxyContin's greatest tactical successes. According to "The Promotion and Marketing of OxyContin," from 1997 to 2002 prescriptions of OxyContin for non-cancer pain increased almost tenfold.

(These people are super-smart, and you've got to admire the brilliance. It's shiny!) Pulling out the professionals from that narrative, we have:

But Purdue Pharma's marketing effort is not the only transmission vector. Let's look at the entire supply chain. From a report (PDF) by Kaiser titled "Follow the Pill" (and which might more useful be titled "From Vat to Vein"):

The pharmaceutical supply chain is the means through which prescription medicines are delivered to patients. Pharmaceuticals originate in manufacturing sites; are transferred to wholesale distributors; stocked at retail, mail-order, and other types of pharmacies; subject to price negotiations and processed through quality and utilization management screens by pharmacy benefit management companies (PBMs); dispensed by pharmacies; and ultimately delivered to and taken by patients. There are many variations on this basic structure, as the players in the supply chain are constantly evolving, and commercial relationships vary considerably by geography, type of medication, and other factors. ….

The pharmaceutical supply system is complex, and involves multiple organizations that play differing but sometimes overlapping roles in drug distribution and contracting. This complexity results in considerable price variability across different types of consumers, and the supply chain is not well understood by patients or policymakers. Increased understanding of these issues on the part of policymakers should assist in making rational policy decisions for the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

It certainly should, given that the entire supply chain is a vector for an AIDS-like epidemic, eh? So, again, we have:

Except now not merely for Purdue's marketing effort, but for OxyContin manufacturers, wholesale distributors, pharmacy benefit management companies, and pharmacies. That's a biggish tranche of the 10%, no?

Conclusion

CEOs, marketing executives, database developers, marketing collateral designers, the sales force, middle managers of all kinds, and doctor: All these professions are highly credentialed. And all have, or should have, different levels of responsibility for the mortality rates from the opoid epidemic; executives have fiduciary responsibility; doctors take the Hippocratic Oath; those highly commissioned sales people knew or should have known what they were selling. Farther down the line, to a database designer, OXYCONTIN_DEATH_RATE might be just another field. Or not! And due to information asymmetries in corporate structures, the different professions once had different levels of knowledge. For some it can be said they did not know. But now they know; the story is out there. As reader Clive wrote:

Increasingly, if you want to get and hang on to a middle class job, that job will involve dishonesty or exploitation of others in some way.

And you've got to admit that serving as a transmission vector for an epidemic falls into the category of "exploitation of others."

But where does the actual looting come in? The easiest answer is through our regimen of intellectual property rights. Pacific Standard once again :

In its first year, OxyContin accounted for $45 million in sales for its manufacturer, Stamford, Connecticut-based pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma. By 2000 that number would balloon to $1.1 billion, an increase of well over 2,000 percent in a span of just four years. Ten years later, the profits would inflate still further, to $3.1 billion. By then the potent opioid accounted for about 30 percent of the painkiller market. What's more, Purdue Pharma's patent for the original OxyContin formula didn't expire until 2013. This meant that a single private, family-owned pharmaceutical company with non-descript headquarters in the Northeast controlled nearly a third of the entire United States market for pain pills.

Would Purdue's CEOs (and sales force) have been so incentivized to loot profit from the suffering flesh of working class people without that looming patent expiration? Probably not. The epidemic, then, might not have been so virulent. But I think the issue of looting is both deeper and more pervasive. Returning to the story of Tony , the stressed-out pharmacist who wanted to do right by his patients, instead of following the profit-driven scripts of his managers:

Recall again that corruption, as Zephyr Teachout explains, is not a quid pro quo, but the use of public office for private ends. I think the point of credentials is to create the expectation that the credentialed is in some sense acting in a quasi-official capacity, even if not an agent of the state. Tony, a good pharmacist, was and is trying to maintain a public good, on behalf of the public: Not merely the right pill for the patient, but the public good of trust between professional and citizen, which Boots is trying to destroy, on behalf of the ruling idea of "shareholder value." Ka-ching.

And :

If economists ask themselves "What good is a degree?" the answer is "to signal a requirement for a higher salary!" (because it's not easy to rank the professions by the quality of what they deliver). We as citizens might answer that professionals are in some ways amphibians: They serve both private ends and preserve public goods, and the education for which they are granted their credentials forms them for this service. For example, a doctor who prescribes medications for his patients because Big Pharma takes him golfing is no doctor but corrupt; he's mixed up public and private. He didn't follow his oath.

Consider trust as a public good. We might, then, look at that public good as "good will" on the balance sheet of the professional class. The looting comes as professionals draw down the good will for (as executives) stock options, for (as managers) bonuses, for (as sales people) commissions, and for the small fry salaries, wages, and the wonderful gift of continued employment status. And all the professionals who willingly served as transmission vectors for the AIDS-like opioid epidemic will be seen to have looted their professional balance sheet as the workings of the system of which they were a part become matters of public knowledge.

How do they live with themselves?[4]

NOTES

[1] The New Yorker does this beautifully exactly because it's so unconscious of its moves: "The big puzzle is why the recent experience of middle-aged white Americans with modest educations has been so different." Always credentials, eh?

[2] I don't want to get into a chicken-or-egg discussion of whether working class suffering fueled the drugs, or working class drugs the suffering. Linear thinking isn't useful when an epidemic has complex causes, so I say both, mutually reinforcing each other. For a humane look at the epidemic in context, see the writing , the tweeting , and the photography of Chris Arnade, former bond trader.

[3] The facts that researchers were "startled" by the Case-Deaton results, and that both NEJM and JAMA immediately rejected their paper - on an epidemic of an AIDS-like scale, too - really does cry out for explanation. Since it would be irresponsible not to speculate, I'd urge that consideration be given to the idea that (vulgar) identity politics , which is one of the "ruling ideas" in the professional classes, makes virtue signalling by professionals on working class topics difficult, and virtue signalling on white working class issues nearly impossible. Professors Case and Deaton are exceptions to this rule, of course, but perhaps they were not virtue signalling at all, but acting as disinterested, honorable scholars. There is always that possibility, even today!

[4] Let me issue my ritual disclaimer: I don't want to come off as priggish. If I had hostages to fortune, and especailly if I had to support a family, especially in today's new normal, I might put my head down and save ethics for the home. "Person must not do what person cannot do." - Marge Piercy, Woman on the Edge of Time.

sd , July 11, 2016 at 12:37 pm

I posted this in Links this morning. Articles recently in the LA Times.

How black-market OxyContin spurred a town's descent into crime, addiction and heartbreak
http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-oxycontin-everett/

More than 1 million OxyContin pills ended up in the hands of criminals and addicts.
What the drugmaker knew
http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-oxycontin-part2/

How is Purdue Pharma still in business?

Nealser , July 11, 2016 at 2:48 pm

I was shocked by the LA Times reporting on Purdue. They clearly knew that they were part of the supply chain with Distributors, Pharmacies, Doctors and old fashioned drug dealers who were facilitating thousands of deaths though Oxycontin addiction and overdoses. They set up safety monitoring committees which did practically nothing by design. Selling death for profit. Shame on them.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , July 11, 2016 at 3:35 pm

Is this pharmaceutical, and many others, like the gun-makers in this case? Should they not be excluded, but should be held accountable, as Hillary claims regarding gunmakers?

SteveB , July 11, 2016 at 5:07 pm

I think that would depend on how much they donated to the Clinton foundation…..

Left in Wisconsin , July 12, 2016 at 12:44 pm

Having read to the end of comments below and not seeing this info, I think it is worthwhile noting a couple of the identities of specific class agents who have had a hand in this. From Part 1 of the LA Times series:

1.To obtain FDA approval, Purdue had to demonstrate that OxyContin was safe and as effective as other pain drugs on the market. Under agency guidelines for establishing duration, the company had to show that OxyContin lasted 12 hours for at least half of patients. Purdue submitted the Puerto Rico study, which showed that.

The FDA approved the application in 1995.

Dr. Curtis Wright, who led the agency's medical review of the drug , declined to comment for this article. Shortly after OxyContin's approval, he left the FDA and, within two years, was working for Purdue in new product development , according to his sworn testimony in a lawsuit a decade ago.

2. In the fall of 2004, in a remote courthouse in Appalachia, the 12-hour dosing issue came close to a public airing. The West Virginia attorney general was pressing a lawsuit against Purdue demanding reimbursement of "excessive prescription costs" paid by the state through programs for the poor and elderly. The state accused the company of deceptive marketing, including the 12­-hour claim.

Purdue's legal team made numerous attempts to get the suit dismissed or moved from state to federal court, where the company had succeeded in getting many cases tossed out. All these efforts failed.

Purdue had one final shot at avoiding trial: A motion for summary judgment. … To make this critical argument, the company tapped Eric Holder Jr ., who had been the nation's first African American deputy attorney general. On Oct. 13, 2004, the man who would become President Obama's attorney general argued that West Virginia prosecutors didn't have sufficient evidence to warrant a trial.

I'm not saying the computer programmer doesn't have a moral obligation to do the right thing. But some class agents are clearly more powerful than others.

Tim , July 11, 2016 at 1:15 pm

I'm sure a Psychologist could say this more factually than I, but if you job depends on it or at least benefits from it, 2 degrees of separation from cause and effect is enough to declare moral innocence in ones mind.

Professionals are intelligent enough to fool themselves into believing this with hi consistency. In that respect they are no different from the looting bankers.

Lambert Strether Post author , July 11, 2016 at 2:37 pm

> 2 degrees of separation from cause and effect

Excellent formulation, but can anybody back it up with analysis? (The nice thing about formulating this as a supply chain is that the degrees of separation become quite evident.)

grizziz , July 11, 2016 at 3:59 pm

You might consider Construal Level Theory which considers psychological distance. The general idea is that the more distant an object is from the individual, the more abstract it will be thought of, while the closer the object is, the more concretely it will be thought of.
And of course as part of our increasingly mapped human nature there is Ethical Amnesia .

Although you are making a strong argument against our particular credentialed class, my sense is that this behavior will arise in any social hierarchy with more than four or five levels.

Lambert Strether Post author , July 11, 2016 at 4:24 pm

Thanks very much.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , July 11, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Distance makes it abstract. The dangerous part is when abstraction makes it distant…like when a human is reduced to 'what do you do for a living?' – the polite version of 'How much do you make?' "I am a professor."

"Hey, I think that enhances your chance, as the spouse or partner, of getting on that last ship out of a dying Earth."

(Instead of abstraction, an example is offered here).

cnchal , July 11, 2016 at 8:58 pm

"I am a professor."

Does the professor know how many molecules have to be moved to make a buck? Not too many, with oxycontin. A particularly efficient enterprise whose externality is the exact opposite of a ride on the last ship out.

Crazy Horse , July 12, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Remember the famous Millgram experiment? Two degrees of separation- Physical because the subject was behind a mirror in a "laboratory" observation room, and psychological because the "scientist" in a lab coat supported and encouraged extreme levels of torture which the subjects complied with.

Rather similar to the level of detachment exhibited by Obama when he participates in selecting targets for assassination by remote control drone. Or Hellary Clinton chortling as she recalls viewing video of Gaddafi being sodomized with a bayonet.

Self-delusion is the opium of the people.

Uahsenaa , July 11, 2016 at 2:51 pm

I'm not sure it's simply a matter of obliviousness. In the case of the database designer, the institution feeding him/her the data needs him/her to not get too curious, in other words to willfully remain oblivious. This is quite often achieved by means of an implicit threat: in tech, it's usually the threat of being replaced by someone much younger or by a H1B visa holder. In sales, individuals and teams are often pitted against each other in strict competition, a practice that has ruined several companies, most notably Sears. Marketing is an extremely cutthroat field, and firms will do practically anything to one up each other, including the unethical and illegal. The implicit war of all against all creates a Zeitgeist of insecurity that incentivizes looking the other way or adopting a cultivated obliviousness.

Even in the hallowed halls of academe, you see this play out. When the graduate student union was negotiating its most recent contract with the U of Iowa, the dean of the graduate college said straight out that the contract they wanted would "price them out of the market." Lo and behold, since then, the University has met all of the increased demand on teaching (higher enrollment=more classes) by hiring ad hoc contingent faculty. The number of permanent positions created to meet this demand is functionally zero.

Alex morfesis , July 11, 2016 at 3:37 pm

Purdue pharma saleswoman Kimberly workman…involved in first case of pill mill dox charged with murder, dr denis deonanine (acquitted)…in sun sentinal article, june 11,2002, she is quoted as having testified when confronted by pharmacist kenneth zie***** that deonanine was overboard and going to be a problem…

her response was…

"well that's really a shame"…

but during trial pharmacist kenneth also testified kimberly called complaining when he stopped selling the 160 dosage…

It appears that "in theory" she was not working for purdue as the trial progressed…

But…she $hows up on a web search as having submitted and funded a research study for purdue in 2013.

as its original patent expired purdue arranged with the fda to "ban" any generics as being:

"too dangerous"…

but the new and improved(vit dem helpz oft demz german koompanee tex-know-low-geez) oxykraken which now prevents the capacity to melt it on a spoon and shoot it up, is available with the new expandapatent program from the fda (federal dollar addition) program…

jrs , July 11, 2016 at 4:28 pm

Yes those professions didn't strike me as too hot either. I.T. fields are flooded with H1Bs, being a salesrep can at times be an easy job to get but often isn't (and so salesreps often put up with a lot of crazy) etc..

We all pick our poison and how much we can live with. And yet most people believe in the ideology of making people scramble for money. They think it makes people "work hard" or "compete" or "add value" but just as absolutely it will make people cut corners. Because they have to because they need that money to live. And yet we still think completion is good.

Lambert Strether Post author , July 11, 2016 at 4:37 pm

There are still people trying to run up the down escalator. But people who own the escalator keep cranking up the speed.

ekstase , July 11, 2016 at 6:02 pm

That metaphor used to be connected to teaching. Now it seems to apply to everyone still trying to behave decently, bless their little hearts.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_the_Down_Staircase

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , July 11, 2016 at 6:32 pm

Competition will get tough, when in the future, everyone needs to get a college degree, and lacking money for tuition is no longer a setback, except the 'IQ not sufficiently high' barrier (for those not taking the less traveled path).

Then, you will need a master's or a Ph.D. to beat back your fellow serf-competitors for that money to live.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , July 11, 2016 at 3:38 pm

Professionals, credentialism – what kind of free college education have they gotten, that will be free in the future?

jrs , July 11, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Maybe they are no different from the minimum wage worker who takes a job at McDonalds. We know McDonalds food isn't healthy, it likely increases heart attacks, strokes, cancer, diabetes etc. So is the minimum wage worker who is helping this by taking a job at Mikey D's also intelligent enough to fool themselves into believing this with consistency and no different than the looting bankers?

Oh the minimum wage worker might be more desperate for work, but frankly while they may pay more, half the professions listed above don't have a good job market either if we are actually going to be honest about things.

NoOne InParticular , July 11, 2016 at 5:49 pm

As a life-long member of this credentialed professional class (specifically, media, even though the credentials are informal at best), I can say from experience at several of the large media corporations that many, if not most, employees in the editorial ranks are well aware of the damage the industry does to this country (it's more abstract, perhaps, than the pharma example, but it's real). Many speak up, but no one can speak up every time they are asked to execute an unethical or mindless order whose sole goal is to increase ratings and, by extension, "shareholder value."

The chronic complainer will be considered a narcissistic idealist and eventually be fired (typically in a downsizing purge) or, at best, be marginalized. The only hope for those honest people in the ranks is to find an ally slightly higher in the food chain who is willing to fight some of these battles. And that person, in turn, is also in the same boat anyway. The people with families are in the tightest bind and I've never envied them (I have no family to take care of). For years now I went home at night ashamed of what I do. The only satisfying days were those in which I did speak up and someone above welcomed my opinion or even agreed. The worst days were when someone above just laughed dismissively at my concerns.

Ike , July 11, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Not to mention the Military-Industrial Complex where I think this type of analysis is directly applicable, only the degree of separation is 3 or 4. I see this type of behavior in the building industry. But with this Industry, Errors & Omissions Insurance tends to keep malfeasance and ignorance at bay. Since my work has to be documented and the results are relatively immediate and prominent in the Environment, the degree of separation is kept to one or zero. And maybe that is the solution? Keeping the degree of separation at a negligible number?

Northeaster , July 11, 2016 at 1:20 pm

The campaign contributions to both my state and CONgress Members by the opiate industry is extensive. Which of course makes sense, as Massachusetts has a large footprint in this industry, as well as opiate overdoses/deaths.

A recent article featuring a local police chief here shows that Narcan must now be used 2-3 times to revive folks. However, quantifying what an "epidemic" is has been difficult. If a friend or family member has died from opiate over dosage, then it would probably appear to be an epidemic.

Then again, now that drug cartels from all corners of the globe can now manufacture opiates, supply & demand rules, along with unfettered access to a market where appetites to get high need to be satiated.

Judith , July 11, 2016 at 1:22 pm

Another part of the story: production quotes are established by the DEA:

http://deachronicles.quarles.com/2013/04/dea_uneasy_with-oxycodone/

Anon , July 11, 2016 at 1:31 pm

The lack of ethical behavior from the credentialed class has many origins. The best attitude when dealing with the credentialed class is caveat emptor . Especially in a society where accumulation of money (and celebrity) is the pinnacle of "success".

I'm part of the credentialed class, but after sour experience with other doctors, lawyers, architects, priests, and politicians the only prudent path is to watch what they do, not what they say.

Brian , July 11, 2016 at 1:38 pm

See:

cocomaan , July 11, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Call me a freaky conspiracy theorist, but the availability first of oxy and then later of heroin in North America coincides with the US occupation of Afghanistan. That's not an accident. Thebaine isn't something we can synthesize yet, so it has to come from somewhere.

bob k , July 11, 2016 at 2:24 pm

well most heroin in the usa comes from mexico and the Jalisco Boys cartel, helped by nafta. afghani heroin supplies europe and asia. just an fyi.

cocomaan , July 11, 2016 at 3:33 pm

The cartels get it from Afghanistan, though, because Afghanistan supplies the lion's share of opium.

nowhere , July 11, 2016 at 4:35 pm

It's weird that it doesn't seem to be accounted though:

pg 160 Table VII
pg 164 Table VIII

Where does all of that poppy production go?

JS , July 11, 2016 at 7:39 pm

Actually, no, the black tar that most poor people in the heartland turn to after they can no longer afford Oxy is grown in Mexico, not Afghanistan.

In an added irony, Mexican farmers turned to it after NAFTA destroyed their ability to make a living growing their traditional crops.

Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones does a good job of describing how Oxy and then Mexican black tar took over the U.S: https://www.amazon.com/Dreamland-True-Americas-Opiate-Epidemic/dp/1620402521/

bob k , July 12, 2016 at 2:03 pm

thank you for clarifying. now the mexican cartels are producing fentanyl which is even stronger than heroin and adding it to heroin. police are reporting more overdoses because of this deadly combo.

I remember a movie the panic in needle park where the junkies were always worried about then the shipment would arrive. you might remember the french connection. that was the 70s when poppies were grown in places like turkey.

Now there are never panics. there's always mexican black tar.

fajensen , July 12, 2016 at 3:34 am

Sure "we" can, see here:

"A microbial biomanufacturing platform for natural and semisynthetic opioids"
http://www.nature.com/nchembio/journal/v10/n10/full/nchembio.1613.html

I checked it out a bit too, out of professional interest. To get started, one would need two courses: "Introductory laboratory techniques" and "Experimental synthetic biology" both available at the "Danish Technical University" (DTU) for a modest fee (About 800 USD). If there is enough people signing up, they will run these courses over the summer holidays (usually, there is, the summer courses are supplementary lessons for students who flunked their semester exams).

Part of the reason for the collapse and trouble we are in, is that scarcity is more or less over, so, it has to be manufactured to protect all the investments in obsolete thinking and no-longer-needed imperial acquisitions.

bob k , July 11, 2016 at 1:58 pm

as to "how do they live with themselves'" let's turn to the immortal John Lennon:

Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see
It's getting hard to be someone but it all works out
It doesn't matter much to me

Dwight , July 11, 2016 at 2:02 pm

This analysis applies to the epidemic of doctor-prescribed amphetamines by adolescents and increasingly younger children. Dr. Peter Breggin is a source for informed outrage on this issue.

xformbykr , July 11, 2016 at 2:11 pm

"before being published in the less prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.)"
this raised an eyebrow, since the PNAS was about the most prestigious place to publish among biochemists (when I was in that world, back in the 70s);

Lambert Strether Post author , July 11, 2016 at 2:33 pm

I couldn't think of a way to say "medically prestigious" by deadline! I check PNAS regularly…

Uahsenaa , July 11, 2016 at 3:01 pm

Prestige seems not to be the appropriate angle here, since the journals in question are all in the same echelon. What's more interesting is a point Deaton himself makes about the second rejection, namely that simply identifying an alarming phenomenon was insufficient in itself, that they had to additionally provide some kind of causal justification for this phenomenon. This is beyond strange and seems to indicate what you imply elsewhere in that paragraph, that there seems to be a willful desire not to know this analogous to the way "education reformers" constantly overlook the fact that poverty is the only reliable indicator of failing or sub par schools.

I presume education and neoliberalism is on the docket at some point? It's probably to most well-documented example of crapification.

xformbykr , July 11, 2016 at 2:18 pm

PS above comment was only a 'nit', issued before finishing reading the story; the 'nit' does not subtract from the impact of the story!

Shilo , July 11, 2016 at 2:20 pm

The Times analyzed nearly 60 MILLION? death certificates? Sounds like there are jobs for data serfs at the New York Times!

p.s. Lambert: My relative in the coding field reports that hospitals are beginning to outsource that job overseas.

Lambert Strether Post author , July 11, 2016 at 2:34 pm

So that will make it easier to abolish the whole business and go to single payer!

dk , July 11, 2016 at 3:31 pm

I appreciate this article in several ways, but you lose me with "Consider trust as a public good".

This goes in contrast to the quote from Clive:

Increasingly, if you want to get and hang on to a middle class job, that job will involve dishonesty or exploitation of others in some way.

We're over-populated and competing with each other, how could it be otherwise? Trust, without some amount of research, coupled with a period of observation, is a completely naive idea. It always entails risk. The conflation of "trust" with some kind of faith that has an actual consequent effect is mystical thinking.

Trust can be observed in small isolated communities where everyone knows each other; in that kind of context, dishonesty and exploitation are quickly recognized. That's the context from which it entered our cultures and "moralities". But increase population drastically, and also increase the range of movement between regions, and and the research and observation become complex, more difficult to perform and even more difficult to persist. Socio-economic complexities make it easier and easier to avoid the encumberments of past error, or dishonesty. (I hope I don't have to explain how the internet fails to solve this problem, and also can't).

And even further, a form of trust is actually operating within exploitative groups like the aggregates of CEOs/Marketing executives/Database developers/Marketing collateral designers/The sales force/Middle managers of all kinds. The trusted principle is, play along and we'll all make some money, and woe to the one that upsets our apple cart. To the extent that trust exists and operates, it's not necessarily a good thing.

I would love to live in a world where trust, as a discrete positive value, was more viable, but at the moment, this isn't it. So let's please get past that, and look at how we can conduct ourselves as a community in which the members must continue to prove themselves in every instance. Because that is what is required in any case.

Okay I lied. I actually like this world. The pretenses of trust are being shown for what they are (which is, false and lazy). I think it's a good time to be alive and seek dignity; the fact that it's becoming more difficult just makes it more important and worthwhile to do so. And global warming, too? Bring it!

Lambert Strether Post author , July 11, 2016 at 4:54 pm

Hmm. I'm not sure that's true. I was thinking of what Graeber IIRC calls everyday communism; the idea that stranger A asking B for directions to the post office gets directions to the post office. Well, granted, not in some cultures that are really people pleasing, but at least you won't get directions that take you over a hidden pit of knives, or under a tripwire that will explode a bomb. That's a basic level of trust, society-wide, and I think these professionals are violating it.

Now, if there's some economist-techie-geeky reason why that's not a public good I need to think again, but it certainly seems like a public good to me.

dk , July 11, 2016 at 7:36 pm

No argument that the individuals in question (pros or otherwise) are violating trust, at least collectively, and in some cases individually.But this doesn't mean that credentials are a good medium for establishing trust. My argument is that short of verification by reference and observation, there is no sure and durable source for trust (other than faith, which can even be maintained after the trust has been violated). Verification and observation, those are the "public goods"; "trust" is their abstract product.

My travelling experiences suggest that asking a stranger for post office directions is considerably more risky if one is clearly an outsider to the community (language, dress, complexion, etc). No pits or bombs, but knives and similar weapons were involved more than once. But then, I do not limit myself to the touristy destinations (in tourist context, the visitor is considered to be something of a community member).

I think the ideal that a stranger will, or even should, get equal treatment with established community members is suspect. It's one of the fallacies in the imperialist capitalist dream of access to everywhere (and look, they have a McDonalds!), king for a day every day, no matter where I go, because my money is good. Bourgeois socialists have funny blind spots in the vicinity of conceits they retain from their native cultural contexts, I think this is one of them.

Strangers are either guests (which requires some kind of sponsorship, with conventions applying to both courtesy and restraint), or potentially hostile until proven otherwise. This is the rule of the road, and not just for humans. And the reasons for this go back to research (reference, or the absence of it) and observation over time being the basis for valid trust. An ignorant visitor and ignorant local are both at risk until sufficient information has been exchanged and accepted. The risk may have nothing to do with malign intent; disease, ignorance of local safety concerns, protection of natural resources…

The locals that waylaid me were (trying to) retain some of the wealth passing through their turf for their local economy; the profits of tourist hotels and shops largely bypassed their communities. I had absolutely no problem in principle with them doing it, and on some occasions made friends from these initial encounters (in other cases merely escaping).

To tail it back to the original topic, then value of credentials (as a trust medium) weakens in relation to the sizes of the population and the region. Hucksters busted in one town move on to the next; the larger their range of options and marks, the easier it is for them. Credentials can be forged, their references can be corrupted, their media can be hacked. As tokens of trust, they're problematic at best. Credentials may not be intrinsically useless, but unless we understand the operation of trust (by any media) in practice, and how it can fail, we shouldn't invoke them as either a solution or a problem.

I think that the idea that fraud and corruption can be safely curtailed by philosophy or legislation (something of a static trust mechanism) alone is also suspect; we're inquisitive problem solvers and keen observers, any weaknesses of flaws in a system will eventually be discovered, and unless understood and addressed, exploited. All living things do this (although not always as individuals, or even at the phenotype level).

So what's the solution to corruption and fraud? Pay freakin attention and check the math. On everything. Expect problems, and solve them as you go…. people make honest mistakes, too. But don't get fooled twice.

elime divad , July 11, 2016 at 3:31 pm

The story of oxycodone is one of rampant criminality: the clinical trials, the approval process, and the marketing are all riddled with probable fabrications and manifest misrepresentations.
Thanks for this useful summary!
Maybe someday our country will have a criminal justice system to punish acts like mass murder.

PQS , July 11, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Very good analysis and piece, LS.

"Shareholder value" = 5th Horseman of the Apocalypse, IMO.

Lambert Strether Post author , July 11, 2016 at 4:50 pm

Thank you.

DSP , July 12, 2016 at 9:05 am

I thought the Fifth Horseman was "sound economic advice."

readerOfTeaLeaves , July 11, 2016 at 3:41 pm

If you are a doctor seeing 4 patients per hour, 8+ hours per working day, and also covering weekend rotations, you are time constrained. Given the brief time you are able to spend with patients (plus the fact that the drug rep dropped in earlier), it is simpler for most doctors to write one more prescription; they do it all day.

Having been looted for tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical costs over the past five years, this post hits home. Like other patients fed up with being on meds, I started looking for alternatives. They exist.

Prediction: one of the next shifts in health care will be called Functional Medicine.
And it is one response, one 'push back' to the incentivized looting and drug dependency of current medical care.

Here is a one-minute clip from a BBC series of a doctor taking a Functional Medicine approach:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3JNtgbT234
Note the absence of exam room settings; the doctor is going out into the community, including people's homes.
And at no point does he simply hand out prescriptions; he dumps the crap out of their kitchen cupboards, advises them on how to shop for groceries, introduces patients to new foods, works out with at least one of them, and provides feedback about their progress.

His patients are far, far less likely to be looted than your conventional patient.
And he is able to develop the insight, time, and trust to be able to help patients make choices that improve their health – in some cases, tremendously.

My link is to a BBC video, because I'm unaware of a US equivalent for this content.
I am, however, very aware of doctors in the US who are implementing versions of this, or trying new ways to make more time to meet with patients, and create lifestyle-oriented interventions (as opposed to writing prescriptions).

This is the future of health care, partly because the greed of looting is killing the Golden Goose of the (insured) American middle class.

Good and decent people do not spend years of their lives in medical school in order to become part of an entrenched system of looting: the people that I know, who are passionate about health care, do not want to play by The Looting Rules. Those crappified rules lead to poor patient outcomes.

Smart, competent doctors do not want to squander their talent by enabling looters.
There are brilliant, insightful people who are thinking hard, and risking plenty, to develop new means of health care delivery. They are gutsy as hell, and determined.

I think that this post could be multiple by 1,000,000 if you think of all the people who are actively attempting to revitalize health care and make it more patient-focused. This post has a tiger by the tail.
Kudos to Yves and Lambert for this gem.

jrs , July 11, 2016 at 4:40 pm

For providing symptom relief to actual physical pain obviously marijuana is an alternative to opiates, maybe not strong enough for late stage cancer and the like so opiates still have their limited and legitimate uses, but an alternative for many other things being treated with opiates. We're only allowed to legalize it now that the Oxy patent has worn off.

Minor semi-opiates like Kratum can also sometimes be used an alternative although they have more addictive potential than marijuana.

Lambert Strether Post author , July 11, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Thanks for the tip on functional medicine (as opposed to, I assume, dysfunctional medicine).

Vatch , July 11, 2016 at 4:11 pm

"the looting professional class" the salaried (or professional (or "20%")) classes

The behavior described in this article is clearly terrible, but it doesn't seem fair to blame 20% of the population for this type of thing. You often advise us that generations don't have agency, and the same can be said for economic classes. Most of the people in the richest 20% could be classified as "professionals", as in doctors, lawyers, stock brokers, engineers, managers, etc., but I suspect there are some master plumbers and electricians in that category as well.

Lambert Strether Post author , July 11, 2016 at 4:44 pm

We don't have clear language for this (for some reason). I'm trying to tease it out by contextualizing the professions in the supply chain, and by underlining that there are honorable professionals in every field. I'm aware that the language is deeply imperfect - people have trouble speaking in Venn diagrams, it seems to be a feature that English doesn't support - but I'm working to improve it. As the granularity improves, the sense of agency improves. (Of course, I can think of professions that shouldn't exist at all, like "Concentration Camp Guard" or "Trofim Lysenko Chair of Genetics" but those are edge cases.)

Adding, income is a poor proxy for social relations, sadly. It's what we have!

CraaaaaaaaaaazyChris , July 12, 2016 at 5:22 am

This exchange and the one above with 'dk' pulled me in. I fear I don't have clear language either, but I want to add this about 'trust' and the professional class:

I think (a) the lessons of the Milgram experiment (trust your boss; go with the program) and (b) the U. Sinclair notion of can't believe X if you're paycheck depends on not-X … these 2 factors have a lot to do with the separation of the 20% from the 80%. They don't explain the origin, but I think they speak to the persistence.

Vatch , July 12, 2016 at 12:25 pm

Milgram and Sinclair - that's a couple of powerful motivations! Good insight!

Marc , July 11, 2016 at 4:16 pm

See also pharmaceuticals promotion of effective pain management schemes and punishment of those not adhering to the narrative.

https://addictionunscripted.com/kingpinsoxycontin-heroin-and-the-sackler-sinaloa-connection/

Marc , July 11, 2016 at 5:27 pm

I would also refer to recent medical study on pain medications' effect on continuation of pain sensation after pain relief occurring in placebo groups.

Oystercatcher , July 11, 2016 at 4:21 pm

Profiting from supplying opioids is one thing, but what happens when billionaire real estate developers and hedge fund cash start getting into the recovery and mental health business?

http://www.addictionpro.com/article/exclusive-200-million-investment-will-launch-major-science-based-treatment-chain

gardenbreads , July 11, 2016 at 4:21 pm

It is not surprising that JAMA and NEJM immediately rejected the paper. From the health care community point of view Case-Deaton
(1) just tabulated the same CDC data that thousands of other people also do routinely in the same way as soon as it is published each year – epidemiologists, actuaries, public health planners etc. who also routinely do population adjustments and look at trends for the total population and sub-populations. This isn't publishable. It's the equivalent of publishing baseball standings. These trends were no secret.
(2) Everyone in actual health care besides the data tabulators already knew this – everyone except the health care pundit class. All the emergency department staff and morgue staff and pathologists and managers and people handling death certificates knew these as routine deaths – especially in small town and rustbelt hospitals. Hospital mortality and underlying etiology – both for patients and DOAs – is a big deal in every hospital and is reviewed by many people.

Thus their paper produced a "so tell me what I don't know" reaction in people in actual healthcare.

gardenbreads , July 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm

I totally agree with describing this as looting. It disgusts nearly everyone who have had to deal with the results.

CDC has been publishing reports on the incredibly rising incidence in non-Hispanic whites for years.

NCHS Data Brief ■ No. 22 ■ September 2009
Increase in Fatal Poisonings Involving Opioid Analgesics in the United States, 1999–2006
Margaret Warner, Lli Hui Chen and Diane m. Makuc

Vital Signs: Overdoses of Prescription Opioid Pain Relievers - United States, 1999–2008
Weekly. Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report, November 4, 2011 / 60(43);1487-1492

Russ Gibson , July 11, 2016 at 4:28 pm

The inclusion of database developers as a responsible party is absolutely absurd, and it betrays an ignorance of what database (and software) developers do. We build the informational "machinery" that stores and retrieves data, according to the specs handed to us by business types. We do not typically monitor/summarize/report on the data itself as it rolls in, unless we happen to be specifically tasked with such a thing.

Lambert Strether Post author , July 11, 2016 at 4:36 pm

Thank you for proving my point.

jrs , July 11, 2016 at 4:58 pm

It only proves the point if the McDonalds burger flipper is also guilty for also working for a firm of questionable morality. Now of course one could argue that it's a lot different to work at a firm producing Oxy than in fast food (even though the later does kill) and I don't think that's unreasonable.

I just think that has absolutely NOTHING to do with being a professional or being a working class prole. That factor is irrelevant.

What about if you work on the database for Coca Cola, are you guilty of increasing diabetes? What about if you work upselling it (ie management says you must ask customers if they would like to supersize their soda or something) at McDonalds?

Oxy may be worse that such things. We all pick our poison. Some people's picks go far further than our conscience would ever allow us to go. Sometimes professionals have more wiggle room financially but the stats on how few people have a few hundred or thousand bucks in savings makes that questionable.

I honestly suspect most jobs are a bit corrupt. Even if one works for a non-profit,even many non-profits are stealing massive amounts of the donations for administration. Etc.

Berial , July 11, 2016 at 6:04 pm

So you get asked to create a database that tracks sales rep's visits to specific doctors and a doctor's number of prescriptions of all drugs and some specific drugs, (undoubtedly from a long list) and from doing that, the developers are supposed to know that they just helped push opiod addiction?

I'm REALLY not seeing your point.

The people that PLANNED this system MIGHT have known the purpose, and the system architect, maybe, but the guys pushing out the code and making sure the database does what is asked probably have NO IDEA about things like that. It's just not something they would even notice.

jrs , July 11, 2016 at 6:16 pm

It seems to become a non-obvious question. We need MORE DATA :). No really we just need more information.

Is the only med Purdue Pharma makes opiates? Then one could say one is working for an opiate provider. Were the employees even full time employees of Purdue Pharma? Sure they might be H1Bs, but also for a time limited database development job they are often 3-6 month contractors, it's VERY common. You could argue the 1099s have some guilt even so though. There is even a possiblity the database development was contracted out to an external firm.

Is it obvious the harm opiates cause? Well it is NOW. I guess it's why I tend to latch on to the question of if the firm one works for is ethical because I don't believe the wrongdoing is always obvious from say the data. But a firm itself could be said to be unethical and thus it could be argued it is unethical to work for an unethical firm.

Lambert Strether Post author , July 11, 2016 at 11:57 pm

Now we know, as I said.

dk , July 11, 2016 at 5:22 pm

But if you don't understand what the functions the specs are describing, how can you build a good database? And summarizing and reporting are often in the purview of the developer.

There is a point to be made here. Managed structures can insulate task fulfillers from the full context(s) of their work. The implementors may not be immediately aware of or fully understand the consequences and implications of their work.

But there are many scenarios where the database developer has, or should have, full knowledge of the operational aspects of their work relating to compliance, safety, and contractual/fiduciary responsibilities.

Take for example HIPAA, with several defined rules required for compliant implementation of data management. The database developer should be at least aware of the specifics of the requirements, since they directly address significant aspects of storage and retrieval functions. HIPAA compliance is required by law for handling of any patient, treatment, provider, or payment information (protected health information (PHI)).

Another example: political fundraising. It is explicitly illegal to sell or use names and addresses of individuals from FEC records as a primary source for solicitations ( http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/saleuse.shtml ). However it is very easy to do so, and the data manager that does it is breaking the law, as much as a person (or document) instructing them (who actually gets prosecuted is another matter entirely).

jrs , July 11, 2016 at 5:29 pm

Yea HIPPA requires compliance and knowledge on the part of a lot of involved employees, that is part of the law itself. But that workers have knowledge of all aspects of a business is NOT part of the law. So on the other hand management may be scamming the shareholders say and a database developer might not know depending, just because knowledge is shielded in many ways.

AnEducatedFool , July 12, 2016 at 5:12 pm

In essence you are arguing that it is acceptable that your profession is fine and that you can all be little Eichmanns now. Your profession has plausible deniablity built into its structure.

JohnnyGL , July 11, 2016 at 4:39 pm

I keep seeing this talk of HIV/AIDS as a comparison. Referencing how it spreads through disease-like-vectors

You guys are missing the ACTUAL spread of HIV/AIDS in some places where the addiction is raging. Sharing needles….

Very good story, Lambert, keep piecing the puzzle together.

Katharine , July 11, 2016 at 6:08 pm

Speaking of credentialism, it was "prestigious" JAMA (and I would suggest applying the term to an academic journal automatically casts doubt on its intellectual respectability) that once rushed to publish a badly designed "study" ostensibly by a child who apparently was actually coached by her mother's MD boyfriend, all to discredit an alternative medicine therapy because the AMA hates alternative medicine. The method has continued to be studied, with intriguing articles being published occasionally in less political, more research-oriented journals such as the Journal of Orthopaedic Research and Annals of Internal Medicine.

For those interested in the subject, Therapeutic Touch International Association, therapeutic-touch.org, provides some literature citations and an 89-page (pdf) copyrighted bibliography.

Moral: Avoid prestige (and Google ratings) when seeking information.

vegasmike , July 11, 2016 at 7:58 pm

I know there's a problem with opioids. But for some of us its very beneficial, provided you have a certain amount of self-discipline. Two years ago I was diagnosed with severe spinal stenosis. It was so bad that I could hold a fork, button my shirt , or zipper my fly. If I didn't have surgery. I would have been paralyzed and incontinent. The surgery worked. I lead a normal life. But without Percocet, the pain would be unbearable. I've tried marijuana. It's not that effective. I do Tai-Chi and physical therapy exercises. I even walk and swim. I worry that the pain puritans will take power and insist that I must suffer.

VietnamVet , July 11, 2016 at 8:02 pm

The major changes that I have seen since 1961 include widespread pornography, casino gambling, drug addiction, homelessness, forever wars, economic crashes and student debt. In each case someone is making money and the costs to society are discounted. Privatizing gains. Socializing costs. This post on the opioid epidemic is an excellent specific example of this. The gutting of the Western Middle Class and the economy and morality that support it is extremely destabilizing. Either there is a restoration of the rule of law and punishment for crimes against society or "Peace and Prosperity" will be a quaint phrase from half a century ago. That is if mankind survives climate change and/or the Cold War 2.0 with Russia.

henry_hill , July 11, 2016 at 9:58 pm

"Although the U.S. constitutes only 4.6 percent of the world's population, Americans use 80 percent of the world's opioids."

Eighty percent? I'd love to see the data mining in that study. That's a ridiculous number. Opioids are used in almost every culture, just not the drive-thru pharmacy variety.

fajensen , July 12, 2016 at 4:04 am

My American colleagues, at the same age as me, are all, with a few exceptions, consuming a ridiculous amount of prescription medicine for all manner of things.

My prejudiced opinion (because I don't really know) is that many of them started off with some minor but chronic disease, then they got side-effects from the treatment, then they get treated for the side effects, etcetera. The whole thing escalates and they are now bound to eating 15+ different "meds".

My father was trapped in this bullshit for maybe 20 years, before the government created "palliative teams" – a team of doctors who will go through the medication and illness history of chronic patients. They re-evaluate and re-design their treatment. Usually with life-saving effects, as in: Unexpected years of improved quality of life.

The cause of the "minor, but chronic disease" is (again in my biased opinion) probably due to unhealthy food; The medicated men can't cook, their wives cannot cook anything "from scratch". They rely on food items in bags, boxes or frozen "because the nutritional values are printed on them, so we know what we are getting(!)".

The exceptions … they can cook proper food.

In my opinion, Americans are getting slowly poisoned and they are not getting any help either because the US food industry is allowed to sabotage the access to unadulterated foodstuff. This is one of many reasons that people "here" hate the TTIP & Co: We don't want to be American! We don't want US business practices.

AnEducatedFool , July 12, 2016 at 5:15 pm

+1

JimTan , July 11, 2016 at 10:43 pm

Looting is definitely the right term here. I suspect there are many actors who became fabulously wealthy from the prescription opioid (and amphetamine – ADD medications like Adderal are analogues to street Methamphetamine) scam.

Just to put the scale of looting into perspective it should be noted, for readers that live in New York City, that the Sackler family which founded Purdue Pharma funded the Sackler Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art which houses the Egyptian Temple of Dendur and study centers for Chinese and Japanese Art History. They are truly magnificent for those who have never visited. Below is a link to additional organizations the Sackler family has endowed:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Sackler#Philanthropy

From the Wikipedia link they include:

• The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation Fellowship at Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHÉS), France, to fund invited researchers from Israel at IHÉS, 1990
• The Raymond and Beverly Sackler American Fellowship at IHÉS, France, to fund invited researchers from the USA at IHÉS, 2002
• Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute of Biophysics, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, 2004
• The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Lectureship at IHÉS, France, 2004
• The Raymond & Beverly Sackler Institute for Biological, Physical, and Engineering Sciences, Yale University, 2008
• Raymond & Beverly Sackler Laboratories of Biomedical and Biophysical Studies, Rockefeller University, 2008
• Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical and Physical Sciences, Weill Cornell Medical College, including a program in cardiac stem cell research dedicated to friend and colleague Professor Isadore Rosenfeld, 2008
• Raymond and Beverly Sackler Fund for Biomedical and Physical Sciences (in honor of Phillip A. Sharp), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2010
• Raymond and Beverly Sackler Laboratory of Biomedical and Physical Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 2010
• Raymond and Beverly Sackler Laboratories in the Physics of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2010
• Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical, Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut, 2011
• Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical, Physical and Engineering Sciences in honor of Emilio Segre, University of California, Berkeley, 2011
• Raymond and Beverly Sackler Laboratories for Biomedical, Physical and Engineering Sciences in honor of Saul J. Farber, New York University, School of Medicine, 2011
• Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Convergence of Biomedical, Physical and Engineering Sciences in honor of David Baltimore, California Institute of Technology, 2012
• Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Convergence of Biomedical, Physical and Engineering Sciences in honor of Herbert Pardes, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center, 2012
• The Raymond & Beverly Sackler Convergence Laboratory, Tufts University School of Medicine, 2013

Not a bad payday for facilitating worldwide opioid addiction.

JimTan , July 12, 2016 at 12:44 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_M._Sackler

"He endowed galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Princeton University, the Arthur M. Sackler Museum at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology at Peking University in Beijing, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C., and the Jillian & Arthur M. Sackler Wing at the Royal Academy, London. "

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

• Sackler Library at the University of Oxford
• Sackler Laboratories at the University of Reading
• Sackler Musculoskeletal Research Centre, University College London
• Sackler Institute of Pulmonary Pharmacology at King's College London[2]
• Sackler Crossing – a walkway over the lake at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
• Sackler Biodiversity Imaging Laboratory at the Natural History Museum, London

Russell , July 12, 2016 at 2:51 am

If the drug in the story was any good people would not take so many they died.

Rick Cass , July 12, 2016 at 10:10 am

The kind of destructive social conduct was noted by cultural anthropologists studying cultures affected by Euopean colonization. As the meaning of the culture was drained by colonial predation, the societies degraded, people lost direction, language changed rapidly and the previous social networks unraveled. Essentially, the colonized no longer saw or felt that there was a place for them.

In the present case, the working class that formed out of and as a consequence of two world wars no longer has a place in this country. Thus, similar responses to this displacement. In the present case, the colonizers are the credentialed class of mandarins who see themselves as separate from their fellow citizens.

Pespi , July 12, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Something I think is lost in the opioid deaths discussion is the fact that these people had real pain. Terrible pain. Treating that pain is good. But a doctor can't change a sedentary culture that creates much of that pain. Everything about constant sitting is bad for the body, and when the sedentary body starts moving, things get worse, because terrible movement patterns are ingrained. There'd have to be nationwide physical therapy to solve it. I recommend reading and following 'deskbound' by Kelly Starrett, if you're a sedentary person.

JimTan , July 12, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Many Doctors and Pharmacists are well aware they are selling pain medication to drug addicts:

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/couple-made-millions-running-nyc-pill-mills-prosecutors-article-1.2415980

Quote from a 2012 Bloomberg article about South Florida pain 'Pill Mills':

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-06-06/american-pain-the-largest-u-dot-s-dot-pill-mills-rise-and-fall

"To move large amounts of prescription painkillers in America, you need somebody to write the prescriptions. You need doctors. Hiring doctors to sell drugs is easy, says George. He found his doctors by posting ads on Craigslist. At their peak, when they were running the largest pill mill operation in the U.S., the George twins had roughly a dozen doctors working for them.

George says not a single doctor he interviewed ever turned down a job offer. Although he was always younger than the doctors he was interviewing-he was in his late twenties at the time-George says he made a professional impression. "I had such a big office; it was an easy sell," says George. "They didn't walk into some hole-in-the-wall place. The hours were good. The pay was good."

What the jobs lacked in prestige, they made up for in wages. According to George's indictment, doctors at his clinics were paid a flat fee for each opioid prescription they wrote-typically, $75 to $100 a pop. To help maximize their efficiency, doctors were given prescription stamps they could use quickly, over and over. It was common for physicians at American Pain to see 100 patients a day, he says. At that rate a doctor would earn roughly $37,500 a week-or $1.95 million a year.

It was a doctor who first advised him to go into the industry. At the time, he and his brother were running a hormone-replacement therapy business and selling steroids online. Along the way they got to know a doctor who told them that painkillers were a much bigger market and advised them on how to get started. The doctor later died in a car crash overseas, but he left the George brothers with a lucrative business model. According to prosecutors, the twins' pain clinics, over their two-year run, sold 20 million oxycodone pills and brought in $40 million."

barrisj , July 12, 2016 at 6:59 pm

One minor cavil in your article, Lambert, and that concerns labelling PNAS a "less prestigious journal", as opposed to JAMA or NEJM. Back in the day when I was an active research scientist, publication of original work in PNAS was considered a very worthy accomplishment indeed, as were papers published in Nature, Science, etc. It is a multidiscipline journal, taking in a broad cross-section of the physical and social sciences, as well as medical research, wherein submission of articles for publication must be done by a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a very "prestigious" group, to say the least…peer-review and all that, of course. Now, whatever the reasons for manuscript rejection by the two strictly medical journals, only their respective editors would know; but I suspect it may have to do with…yes, "credentials", as neither of the two authors have any sort of specialised medical background or even one in epidemiology, but are economists, not the usual senior authors JAMA prefers. And, "failure" – a rather loaded word – to gain acceptance in a specialty journal in no way reflects the essential merits of the work, which clearly has been reflected in the immense reception and subsequent citations received in the lay press and media. I look at this as JAMA/NEJM's loss, and PNAS's gain, quite simply.

[Jul 12, 2016] Democracy And The Future Of The United States

www.informationclearinghouse.info
By Peter Koenig and Alessandro Bianchi

July 12, 2016 " Information Clearing House " - Alessandro Bianchi from the Anti- Diplomatico in Italy interviewed distinguished author and economist Peter Koenig on Democracy and the Future of the United States . The Interview was published in Italian.

Alessandro Bianchi: I would start from a brutal question: what kind of country has become one that offers Donald Trump as the best candidate?

Peter Koenig: The United States is a country, almost hermetically closed to the rest of the real world, brainwashed to the core with lies and propaganda – and every day being told how great America is. This propaganda is not new, though. It has been going on for as long as the US exists, but has rapidly intensified after WWII and especially during the Cold War – and then again after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

And thus, Americans, meaning North Americans – not mixing them up with Latin America which is also part of the Americas – the vast majority of the US citizens cannot see what is really going on. They are blinded by propaganda – and immobilized by their comfort. They love comfortable lives, many of them – and although they do realize that something is not as it should be, it would give them an uneasy feeling searching for the truth. The truth they suspect is too hard to swallow.

In such an ambiance someone like Donald Trump can flourish. He is different and he has a personality the populace in general lack. The populace is unhappy with what's going on in their country, though they are 'comfortable' how they live and how they lived all their lives. Change is uncomfortable. Trump personalizes their change, without having to do anything. And Trump reconfirms their values – of a great country – supremacy above all. – Trump is an 'old Nazi', while Hillary, better called 'Killary' is a new Nazi, or a neo-Nazi.

You see – fascism is difficult to escape in the US of A.

But what's the alternative to Trump? – Killary? –

With her you know whom she is working for – the Zionists, of whom she is actually part; neoliberals, of whom she is part; corporate and financial elites by whom she is paid; Israel, as the Israeli influence through AIPAC in the US and the US Congress is unparalleled and unbeatable to the point of the going saying that "the tail (Israel, the Zionists) wags the Dog (US)". They, the Zionists support her, she supports them. The circle is perfect. And both go to war. They want the total chaos in the Middle East, to be dominated by the Israel of Netanyahu and Washington. Killary is the war candidate – perfect for the Pentagon and the Military Industrial Complex.

So – I believe, the 'system' – the 'elite system' behind the mysterious Lucifer eye on top of the pyramid on the dollar bill, this system will make Killary their next president. She is perfect for them. She and trump are but two sides of the same coin. Therefore, no chance that anything will change towards peace in the US of A in the coming years. Change may come only if people at home wake up and take politics in their own hands – seeking peace, seeking true unification – not dominion – with the rest of the world.

Peoples of the world do not need a sledgehammer, a dictator – one that enslaves them, robs them, rapes and exploits them, kills them if they don't behave as the Masters in Washington deem necessary. People in the US suffer the same from a Trump or Killary as would the rest of the world. Poverty and injustice, the advancement of the police- and military dictatorship in the US is alarming, depriving citizens of their rights, their livelihood, their freedom. But they must wake up to stop this process.

AB: In a recent survey over 53% of Americans were against both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. How long will we continue to consider the United States a democracy? And why, in your opinion, abstention is the only form of "rebellion" of a completely excluded from the decision-making stage population?

PK: I don't know anyone, other than the mainstream media (MSM), that considers the US a democracy. Indeed, the last form of 'rebellion' – of active protest that no military can stop, is abstention from voting, not going to the polls – staying home. In a system where the people are given the candidates that the evil eye pre-selects for them – and where none of theirs would stand a chance – in such a system NOT voting may be the only solution, the only way to send a strong message of disagreement. It would, however, take an organization of campaigning much harder than folding into the mood of every four years, listening to the same lies and propaganda over and over again – and what's worse, taking the candidates seriously. Debating Killary and Trump is already taking them too seriously, giving them credit they don't deserve. They are both criminals – with Killary being a murderer.

AB: Bernie Sanders was really the change that many in Europe have described?

PK: Not at all. Bernie is a fake. He was and I guess, still is a test case for the system. Lucifer wants to see how far he can go – and what is it that the people want to hear. Accordingly, will be adjusted the discourse of the two candidates. Sanders has a (Senate) voting record which does not portray what he pledges to stand for. He is someone who when it suits him to be politically correct, calls Chavez a dead dictator, distancing himself from this great mentor of a free world.

What kind of a worthy candidate would do that?
Sanders, early on has said that if he should not succeed, he would support Killary. Hello! what message does that convey? – That he would support a warmonger par excellence? – Europeans like many Americans have been fooled by Bernie's charm and rebellious appearance. All fake!

AB: What would happen to the world with a Hillary Clinton's presidency?

PK: The short answer – WWIII – if it hadn't already started as one of Obama's last agenda item to be achieved before leaving office. Killary and Israel – they would certainly not stop from annihilating the Middle East on the way to achieve The PNAC's (Plan for a New American Century) sole objective – Full Spectrum Dominance – controlling the world. To do so, wars with Russia and China are unavoidable. I still hope – Hope dies last! – that Presidents Putin and Xi, the real visionaries and excellent chess players in this geopolitical game, will be able to gently pull out all the plugs from the monster octopus, deflating the beast economically – so as to spill as little blood as possible -and, so as the rest of the world can continue living with a peaceful economic and monetary system, the one being designed by Russia, China, India (the BRICS, now without the 'B'), the central and eastern Asian countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and those also belonging to the EEU (Eurasian Economic Union) covering some 50% of the world population and controlling about a third of the world's economic output.

AB: What did you feel when you saw Obama speaking recently at Hiroshima not apologizing for what was done by his country and declaring almost sarcastically – as the head of the world's first atomic power – to hope for a world without nuclear weapons?

PK: Utter disgust – a hypocrite on top of his class.

AB: Will the growing US expansionism come to a breaking point and collision with China?

PK: As I said before, let's hope China and Russia will be able to deflate the monster's steady aggressions through encroachment of Russia by NATO and China by the US Navy fleet in the South China Sea. They are a constant provocation. But so far Russia and China haven't fallen into the trap.
What is more worrisome – the European vassals, especially Germany, France and the UK, they are totally enslaved- or bought? – by Washington. They let the expansion of NATO going on, even pay for it!!! – while not realizing – are they really so blind? – that the next war, WWIII, would play out again in Europe? – Europe the third time in 100 years the theatre of war, destruction and annihilation. This time to the end of life – very likely.

AB: Although it is NATO that is bringing his installations more and more to the east, in Europe our information feeds a danger of an aggressive Russia. Who benefits feed this feeling of Russophobia?

PK: The information in Europe and elsewhere in the western world is controlled to literally 90% by 6 giant Anglo-Zionist media corporations. Every piece of propaganda news – LIES – is repeated at nauseatum by all the MSM outlets. It's an old doctrine, Hitler and many before him knew, when you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. That's happening to an agonizing degree in Europe – a sheer continent of vassals. – They harm themselves most – and, of course, support Lucifer behind his clandestine eye on top of the pyramid.

AB: Since the advent of the so-called Arab Spring, which began with the famous Obama's speech at the University of Cairo in 2009, the Eastern Mediterranean has become a powder keg. Was it an external plan planned destruction of states hostile rulers in Washington, Libya and Syria in particular, or real quest for democracy and freedom?

PK: Well, my friend, you know that it had and has nothing to do with democracy. The 'Arab Spring' was as planned by the CIA, Mossad and other secret services of the evil powers as were the so-called Color Revolutions in the former Soviet Republics – and of course, the last one we have witnessed to the extreme, Ukraine, where Washington didn't relent before a pure Nazi Government was installed; a Nazi Government – for which such (in)famous newspapers like the Swiss NZZ (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) seek support by asking the west to go to war against Russia. Can you imagine!

None of the destroyed states were 'hostile' to Washington. It is, as always, the other way around, hostility is instigated by Washington, to provoke wars and 'regime change' that's precisely what has happened in the Middle East – and continues to happen until all those countries that have to fall – as it is planned in the PNAC – will eventually fall. The only ones that can stop that merciless killing machine are Russia and China.

AB: Is right to define today Aleppo as the "Stalingrad of Syria" and "the cemetery of the dreams of fascist Erdogan" as stated by the Syrian President Assad?

PK: Yes, President Assad may be right. This is an interesting allegation and association. But then again – Aleppo still stands today and Mr. Putin will not let it fall.

AB: What do you think will be the final scenario for Syria. It risks a crystallization like Cold War-style situation between the two blocks – Damascus, Russia and regional allies, on the one hand, and Kurds with the United States on the other – with Raqqa which will become a new Berlin?

PK: It's very difficult to predict the outcome of the Syria conflict – a US instigated conflict, let me make that very clear. In any case, as it stands now, the axis Syria-Iran is still alive and well. China, the single largest client of Iran's hydrocarbons, will not let Iran fall. Mr. Putin, likewise, will, in my opinion, not let Mr. Assad be overthrown by Lucifer and his minions. And let's hope that they prevail. To prevail, however, Washington would have to take some major blows, some weakening blows. This is currently the case. The empire is on its last legs, as many say – breathing heavily, like an angry beast in agony – it lashes around itself and kills indiscriminately whatever it can, so nobody may survive its demise. This could well happen. The US triggering WWIII – a nuclear annihilation. But let's hope it will NOT happen.

AB: What role, in your opinion, the human rights NGOs play in the current international context?

PK: What Human rights NGOs? – There is none left that deserves the term. They are all bought. Have you ever seen, for example, Amnesty international accusing the empire of whatever human rights abuses they have carried out – the most flagrant human rights abuser in the universe is never mentioned by AI? – What a joke! – Same with Human Rights Watch and others. They are all subdued, even Green Peace – probably all financed by the dollars of which the FED has taken on its own the power to create unlimited quantities from thin air.

AB: 14 years ago, the coup in Venezuela against the democratically elected President Hugo Chavez failed and began the US exit from Latin America. Shortly after, the US invaded Iraq. Today that the hegemony in the eastern Mediterranean wobbles, Washington uses all its weapons known to return in Latin America. Was in your opinion the President Rafael Correa right when he says that we are facing a new Plan Condor in the region?

PK: Of course, President Correa is right, when he refers to a new Plan Condor. It is happening very fast. Thinking of it makes one sick. We – those who foster hope to the end – have been hoping that at least one important part of the world, Latin America, or especially South America, will withstand the pressure of Washington. But no. These governments, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, they seem to be too honest – maybe not astute enough – to use the same weapons the neoliberals do. For example, it goes beyond me that Dilma Rousseff did not stop the propaganda media, kick them out, declare Martial Law to reinstate the rule of Law, of the democratically elected Government. Macri, as you know, closed immediately TeleSUR, the only media that brings the truth to South America. He got away with it. He is the neo-Nazi leader of Argentina.

The same with Mr. Maduro. Why does he not order the military to distribute food to the stores and assure that the electricity grid functions? We know that food is available, but the distribution is interrupted by the local rightwing forces supported and trained by Washington. The same that the CIA did in Chile to organize a coup against President Allende – they interrupted the food chain, and people took to the streets. It's all orchestrated from Washington. Old methods in new clothes. Especially if it worked the first time, why wouldn't it work a second and third time? – People have very short memories.

AB: And if so, considering also what happened in Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia, which techniques are used today?

PK: The techniques of infiltration. Vulnerable, buyable locals from the opposition are bought, trained in the US or even sometime on location, by the CIA and other foreign and western forces – some in the form of foreign do-gooder 'NGOs', to create and instigate peoples' unhappiness – through strikes, blockages, as mentioned before, interruptions of food chains. The media propaganda. In all these countries the foreign media is by far domineering. And the local media are in the hands of oligarchs, the elite, and of course want any left-leaning government to disappear as fast and lasting as possible. And they get the steady support from Washington. The 'election coup' in Argentina was orchestrated largely by the media. Although there was some fraud going on during and after the elections. But most of it was done by the western rightwing media.

The 'parliamentary coup' in Brazil, and before in Paraguay in 2012, were remote-guided from Washington. That is not surprising. But what is surprising to me is that people just let it happen, that Dilma Rousseff just looked on as her government was being destroyed – by corrupt scoundrels who themselves should be and will eventually be in prison. Michel Temer, Brazil's interim President, is constitutionally not allowed to stand for public office for the next at least 8 years, as he is convicted for corruption in the 'Car Wash' scandal. Yet, he heads Brazil's interim government. What a farce. It's like kids' play – they – Lucifer's vassals – go as far as they can, until somebody stops them. Nobody, inside or outside Brazil has had the guts to say 'stop' and take the necessary actions.
Never forget, money is plentiful. May it cost whatever ridiculously astronomic amount is needed to influence and buy people, money is just being produced by the empire which still has the dollar monopoly – that the rest of the world – except Russia and China – adheres to. So, that's how everything is financed – weapons, including a destructive media bulldozer. Other, 'normal' countries do not have access to unlimited amounts of money. Therefore, they will not win a media war. Unless, they do what they are allowed to do: stop a slander and lie-driven media campaign, by force. This has nothing to do with free-press or freedom of expression. The Government has a democratic and constitutional right to stop lies and slander. Dilma did not use her power to stop the media lies and slander.

AB: The future of the world offers at the moment two possible tracks: a US unilateralism, particularly in the event of Clinton's presidency, made up of areas of "free" trade treaty around the world on the NAFTA model (such as the TTIP in Europe), with millions the desperate poor products, profits only for multinationals and the planned destruction of all countries who rebel against this vision in Libya and Syria style; or, second hypothesis, a period of multilateralism, respect for sovereignty, self-determination and peace if to prevail is the alternative project to the Washington Consensus of the Brics and the regional integration in Latin America designed and built by Chavez, Lula and Kirchner. Are we a lot far from reality? And which of the two views will prevail in your opinion?

PK: US unilateralism, or a free world of sovereign countries, peacefully trading with each other… well, you know which one should prevail, and I must say that a positive outlook has a lot to do with what eventually will happen. The 'power of the mind' effect of human thinking and will-power is amazing. But, indeed, it may take a long time until we will be living in a world of peace, justice and equality. Foremost, it will take awakening of the "We, the People" to a different consciousness. Even if darkness will prevail for a while longer – light will overwhelmingly outshine darkness, eventually.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, Chinese 4th Media, TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance .

[Jul 12, 2016] Bernie betrays all his supporters

www.armstrongeconomics.com

Armstrong Economics

Of course Bernie Sanders appears to have sold out emerging from a White House meeting with President Barack Obama vowing to work together with Hillary Clinton to defeat Donald Trump in November. Bernie would rather endorse a traitor who has sold her influence as Secretary of State just to save the Democratic Party. Obama assured Bernie, no doubt, that he would not allow Hillary to be indicted. And to further rig the game, the State Department refuses to release her emails until AFTER the election. But the actual date they gave was November 31st, 2016, which does not exist since November has only 30 days. Once she is president, no doubt they will vanish altogether.

It appears that Bernie is betraying all those who supported him. Hillary will raise $1 billion to buy the White House. That kind of money does not come from bankers without strings. Wall Street supports Hillary – not Trump. That says it all. How Bernie can just give up is amazing. What happened to his "revolution" will never be discussed.