Populism as a social protest against neoliberalism

Why is populism (aka anti-establishment "Popular Front" strategy) booming? 
Because neoliberalism is collapsing...

 

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Why is populism booming?  Because neoliberalism is collapsing...

Guardian comment 29 Nov 2018 12:13
 

Populism is a term advanced be neoliberal propagandists and neoliberal MSM in their attempt to smear the rejection of neoliberalism by the vast swats of the US population.  It is an important part of the neoliberal propaganda arsenal.  An effective dirty trick, similar to "conspiracy theorists" and the "truther".  It was invented by those weasels (which is actually affront to weasels ;-) as a substitute for “social protest” in order to discredit the whole idea of revolt against the neoliberal elite. The revolt that has been a part of human history for centuries, and which in 2016 led in the USA to the election of Trump.

Please note that now the open revolt is impossible due to "National Security State" with its militarized police and  Total survellance

As MSM are totally controlled by neoliberals, the only viable forms of protest are alternative press, trade unions strikes and the voting booth. And neoliberal MSM try to hush down and discredit this anti-neoliberal sentiment among voters (which resulted in the election of Trump and Brexit in GB) linking it to "far right", xenophobia and anti-immigration sentiment.  (while simultaneously they do love far right in Ukraine, don't they; and any other places were far right dance to the tune from Washington). For example, Bloomberg presstitutes try to define this process strictly in anti-immigration and secular stagnation terms. They avoid mentioning the words neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization (Nationalists and Populists Poised to Dominate European Balloting - Bloomberg)

In the coming 12 months, four of Europe’s five largest economies have votes that will almost certainly mean serious gains for right-wing populists and nationalists. Once seen as fringe groups, France’s National Front, Italy’s Five Star Movement, and the Freedom Party in the Netherlands have attracted legions of followers by tapping discontent over immigration, terrorism, and feeble economic performance. “The Netherlands should again become a country of and for the Dutch people,” says Evert Davelaar, a Freedom Party backer who says immigrants don’t share “Western and Christian values.”

When neoliberal propagandists start using the word populism often that means that propaganda stopped working and people start waking up to the damage neoliberalism has done to societies. Emerging from decades of neoliberal brainwashing, working people class has not yet to realize the enormous task of dismantling neoliberal empire. We see only  opening moments of this unfolding struggle.

Wikipedia is especially bad (this is the case when it can really be called "CIA front" ;-):

Populism is a political ideology that holds that virtuous citizens are mistreated by a small circle of elites, who can be overthrown if the people recognize the danger and work together. Populism depicts elites as trampling on the rights, values, and voice of the legitimate people.[1]

The problem with Wikipedia definition is the people are always mistreated by the elite. That’s the essence of the elite rule. Most of the time they suffer quietly. Only when quantity turns into quality we have a vocal social protest. At this point people wake up to the level of mistreatment and abuse from the elite. While the level of degeneration of the elite prevents emergence of leaders able to cope with the challenges.  Under US neoliberal regime. since 80th social inequality in the USA has reached staggering proportions. Indeed, according to some reports, income inequality in the United States is greater than that which exists in Egypt and Tunisia befor they were spet in color revolutions (aka Arab spring). Of course the repressive apparatus in the USA is much stronger so open protest will be crushed (as quickly happened with the Occupy movement), but to control how people vote at the voting booth during 2016 presidential election is more difficult task. It requires rigging the election, to which Trump alluded several times.  The USA election are rigged by definition, as they do not have checks and balances, like international observers and  representative of both parties during counting process.  Also electronic machines used do not have the paper trail which is tremendous no-no. In general only paper ballots provides some level of verification of the process of counting the votes and usage of voting machines can be viewed as a voter suppression mechanism. 

Labeling social protest against neoliberalism as “populism” is one of the most dirty neoliberal propaganda tricks.

Labeling social protest against neoliberalism as “populism” is one of the most dirty neoliberal propaganda tricks.

And cries about “populism” signify the point when the elite loses part of the  control over previous obedient  “peons”. Propaganda and brainwashing suddenly stop working. As happened with neoliberal propaganda and brainwashing now. That signifies troubles for neoliberalism, troubles that actually started in 2008 (ideology is already dead, but social forces behind it are still strong, so it continues to exist in zombie state) and neoliberal globalization in particular. With secular stagnation, deterioration standards of living for 90% of population, widening social inequality, police brutality, ecological catastrophes, crumbling infrastructure,  and the growing threat of a new world war there is an emerging mass consensus that the great neoliberal experiment stared by Reagan and Thatcher has failed.

Note how Times has written about "color revolution" In Moscow in 2011-2012. Now this is fully applicable to the USA:

In short, 2011 was unlike any year since 1989—but more extraordinary, more global, more democratic, since in ’89 the regime disintegrations were all the result of a single disintegration at headquarters, one big switch pulled in Moscow that cut off the power throughout the system. So 2011 was unlike any year since 1968—but more consequential because more protesters have more skin in the game.

Their protests weren’t part of a countercultural pageant, as in ’68, and rapidly morphed into full-fledged rebellions, bringing down regimes and immediately changing the course of history. It was, in other words, unlike anything in any of our lifetimes, probably unlike any year since 1848, when one street protest in Paris blossomed into a three-day revolution that turned a monarchy into a republican democracy and then—within weeks, thanks in part to the new technologies (telegraphy, railroads, rotary printing presses)—inspired an unstoppable cascade of protest and insurrection in Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Milan, Venice and dozens of other places across Europe.

This discontent is the byproduct of the economic collapse of 2008. During the bubble years there was enough money trickling down to keep peons more or less happy, but now the global financial crisis and economic stagnation make them feel like suckers.

In 2016 the US ruling elite suddenly became aware of the danger from their own social isolation. They did not understand that outside the top 10%, there is the vast swats of working people, whose standard of living undergone an immense and unrelenting deterioration. The end of the USSR in 1991 unleashed an eruption of neoliberal triumphalism, which proclaimed that neoliberalism represents the permanent refutation of Bolshevism (which was true) and "the end of history". They were wrong with the second part as 35 years later that facede of neoliberalism is crumbling and the neoliberal elite is running for cover.

That means Neoliberal political leaders lose the legitimacy in the eyes of substantial strata of people, including the middle class. In other words the situation, which Marxism defines as a “revolutionary situation” arises ( http://www.marxist.com/greece-on-the-brink-of-revolutionary-situation.htm )

In the writings of Lenin and Trotsky, we can find the definition of what is a revolutionary situation. In his book “The failure of the Second International” (1916) Lenin explained:

“What, generally speaking, are the symptoms of a revolutionary situation? We shall certainly not be mistaken if we indicate the following three major symptoms: (1) when it is impossible for the ruling classes to maintain their rule without any change; when there is a crisis, in one form or another, among the “upper classes”, a crisis in the policy of the ruling class, leading to a fissure through which the discontent and indignation of the oppressed classes burst forth. For a revolution to take place, it is usually insufficient for “the lower classes not to want” to live in the old way; it is also necessary that “the upper classes should be unable” to live in the old way; (2) when the suffering and want of the oppressed classes have grown more acute than usual; (3) when, as a consequence of the above causes, there is a considerable increase in the activity of the masses, who uncomplainingly allow themselves to be robbed in “peace time”, but, in turbulent times, are drawn both by all the circumstances of the crisis and by the “upper classes” themselves into independent historical action.

“…..The totality of all these objective changes is called a revolutionary situation. Such a situation existed in 1905 in Russia, and in all revolutionary periods in the West;…”

Trotsky in 1940, in the Emergency Manifesto explained the necessary conditions for the victory of the proletariat:

“The basic conditions for the victory of the proletarian revolution have been established by historical experience and clarified theoretically: (1) the bourgeois impasse and the resulting confusion of the ruling class; (2) the sharp dissatisfaction and the striving towards decisive changes in the ranks of the petty bourgeoisie, without whose support the big bourgeoisie cannot maintain itself; (3) the consciousness of the intolerable situation and readiness for revolutionary actions in the ranks of the proletariat; (4) a clear program and a firm leadership of the proletarian vanguard—these are the four conditions for the victory of the proletarian revolution.” (Manifesto of the Fourth International on Imperialist War and the Imperialist War).

Also, at this point, the neoliberal elite itself became discredited. Attitude to Hillary is a clear indication that this is happening in the USA. People mostly despise her.

From The Guardian comments ( https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/13/birth-of-populism-donald-trump?CMP=fb_us )

sniffmysmellysocks

‘Populism’ is a term used by the neoliberal elite to describe democracy as seen recently in the Brexit referendum.

Oldfranky

A very simple way to explain popularism:- A rise against the perceived norms in politics. In the case of the UK , a vote against the smug over confident career Oxbridge politician, who has not a clue of real life…

Earl_Grey

Call it what you want, but agree, the People are starting to wake up to the fact that they are being screwed. That can only mean one thing, time the Rich start a war that is big enough to distract the People and send a lot of them off to fight in it…

GodfreyRich

The metropolitan establishment have brought this on themselves by ignoring the interests of the British working class and by promoting multiculturalism over traditional British values.

MrHumbug

As I recall, F.D. Roosevelt was also widely branded as a “populist.” Populism is always a movement against the ruling elites on behalf of downtrodden and ignored majority. It is only incidental that modern populism has a “right wing” in aspect, for most of modern history it was decidedly left-leaning since the ruling paradigm of the elite was traditionally of the right variety.

And besides, I consider the whole left/right dichotomy completely out of date and useless in 21st century. We need new terms.


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[Sep 16, 2019] The attack seemed to have involved not only Houti drones (already build with help from Iran), but also Iranian backed forces in Iraq, AND pro Iranian forces in Saudi Arabia itself. And maybe even other actors.

Sep 16, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

dh-mtl , Sep 15 2019 15:58 utc | 3

b,

The Americans have gotten themselves in a real bind with their maximum pressure campaign on Iran. This latest attack on Saudi Arabia's oil production looks like an escalation of the previous attacks on shipping and the spy drone. It is not evident how the Americans can respond to this latest attack.

As I see it their options are:

1. To let KSA respond to the Houthi attack and continue with their campaign to shut down Iranian oil production, without any direct U.S. response to the attack. However this will achieve nothing, as next month Iran will up pressure again with another attack on Middle-East oil assets, and we'll be back to the same place.

2. To bomb Iran's oil industry, as Pompeo and Graham suggest. However this risks blowing up the whole Middle East, as well as the World's oil market and their own (Western) economies.

3. Forget about Iran and move the fight to maintain U.S. global hegemony to another front: back to Venezuela? Serbia? Hong Kong? Taiwan? However the end result of such a move would more than likely be another humuliating defeat for the U.S.

4. Do as Stephen Wertheim / New York Times suggest and sue for peace. This will end the dream of U.S. World dominance, Globalization and the current western based financial system. The U.S. will become no more than a heavily indebted regional power in a 'Multi-polar World Order' led by China and Russia.

As I see it, the U.S. is out of options to continue their war for global dominance. #4 is the only viable option. But, as one author argued in a recent paper (I don't have the reference), wars continue long after the victor is clear, because the loser can't admit defeat (at heavy additional costs to the loser). I think that this is the position that the U.S. finds itself in now.


DontBelieveEitherPr. , Sep 15 2019 16:21 utc | 4

What the attack on Saudi oil infrastructure shows us, is that now Iran has united her proxys into one united front.

While they were cautious to not leave evidence of their involvment with the Houtis before, they now are putting their support more and more into the open.

The attack seemed to have involved not only Houti drones (already build with help from Iran), but also Iranian backed forces in Iraq, AND pro Iranian forces in Saudi Arabia itself. And maybe even other actors.

This is a major new development. Not only for the war on Yemen, but also in the context of Iran providing a credile detterence against US+Saudi aggression.
They excalated with increasing levels, and one wonders, what could top this last attack off.

And i am pretty sure, we will find out sooner rather than later.

Don Bacon , Sep 15 2019 20:13 utc | 29
@ 27
WaPo: Abqaiq . .damaged on the west-northwest sides
That's it! It was Hezbollah for sure. (not)

Actually there were two targets, the Buqaiq (Abqaiq) oil processing plant and the Khurais oil field, both in the Eastern Province.

These attacks are not the first -- from longwarjournal:

Last month, the Houthis claimed another drone operation against Saudi's Shaybah oil field near the United Arab Emirates. At more than 1,000 miles away from it's Yemen territory, that strike marked one of the Houthis farthest claimed attacks.
The Houthis also claimed a drone strike on the Abu Dhabi airport last year, but that has been denied by Emirati officials.
Additionally, a drone strike on Saudi's East-West oil pipeline near Riyadh earlier this year, which the Houthis claimed responsibility, was allegedly conducted by Iranian-backed Iraqi militants. If accurate, that means the Houthi claim of responsibility acted as a type of diplomatic cover for the Iraqi militants.
Since beginning its drone program last year, the Houthis have launched at least 103 drone strikes in Yemen and Saudi Arabia according to data compiled by FDD's Long War Journal. . . here . . .and more here .
Hercules , Sep 15 2019 21:27 utc | 35
Really appreciated the write up on the Houthis attack.
Sounds like the attack left substantial damage. Another bigger issue underlying all of this, aside from Saudi inability to get what it wants now from it's IPO, is the fact that the US Patriots did not detect this attack.
The Saudis spent billions last year on this defense system. Sounds like the clown Prince better give Russians a call about their S-400.
But the US wouldn't appreciate that much, would they?

[Sep 15, 2019] TuckerCalson: Elizabeth Warren wrote one of the best books I've ever read on economics (The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke)

Notable quotes:
"... By that point, he'd already warned his audience about the perils of "monopoly power" and declared that income inequality, which the right had long been trained to believe is "just a pure invention of some diabolical French intellectual to destroy America," is actually "completely real" and "totally bad." ..."
"... The reimagining is playing out not just on Carlson's show or in conservative journals, but among a small batch of young, ambitious Republicans in Congress led by senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Marco Rubio of Florida. ..."
"... Their populist -- or "nationalist" or "post-liberal" -- prescriptions sometimes smack of opportunism. And it's still not clear how far they're willing to stray from their party. But it looks like there are places where the new nationalists could find common cause with an energized left. ..."
"... And one of the speakers, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax, seemed to do just that -- suggesting that "cultural compatibility" should play a role in deciding which migrants are allowed into the country. "In effect," she said, this "means taking the position that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites." But Wax's speech, however discomfiting, stood out because it was so discordant. Conference organizers took pains to prevent hate-mongers from attending -- ultimately rejecting six applicants. ... "Your ideas," he said, "are not welcome here." ... ..."
Sep 06, 2019 | www.bostonglobe.com

David Scharfenberg - September 6

...But he also spoke, in admiring tones and at substantial length, about "The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke," the book Warren wrote with her daughter in 2004.

"Elizabeth Warren wrote one of the best books I've ever read on economics," he said.

(The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke
https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/The-Two-Income-Trap%3A-Why-Middle-Class-Parents-Are-Tyagi-Warren/9e71e947ba3ba9f8a993eb39699b9d9baacff235 )

By that point, he'd already warned his audience about the perils of "monopoly power" and declared that income inequality, which the right had long been trained to believe is "just a pure invention of some diabolical French intellectual to destroy America," is actually "completely real" and "totally bad."

His Bolshevist pronouncements were probably not a surprise to anyone who'd watched Carlson's show closely in the months leading up to his speech. But Fox, despite its outsize influence, has a relatively small audience.

And it's not just Carlson's evolution that's escaped notice. It's hard to keep track of what most of the key players on the right are saying these days, with President Trump soaking up so much attention.

But while the commander-in-chief thrashes about, something important is taking shape in his shadow -- the outlines of a new conservatism inspired, or at least elevated, by his rise to power.

It's a conservatism that tries to wrestle with the post-Cold War, post-industrial angst that fired his election -- dropping a reflexive fealty to big business that dates back to the Reagan era and focusing more intently on the struggles of everyday Americans.

"There are many downsides, I will say, to Trump," Carlson said, in his speech this summer. "But one of the upsides is, the Trump election was so shocking, so unlikely ... that it did cause some significant percentage of people to say, 'wait a second, if that can happen, what else is true?' "

The reimagining is playing out not just on Carlson's show or in conservative journals, but among a small batch of young, ambitious Republicans in Congress led by senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Marco Rubio of Florida.

Their populist -- or "nationalist" or "post-liberal" -- prescriptions sometimes smack of opportunism. And it's still not clear how far they're willing to stray from their party. But it looks like there are places where the new nationalists could find common cause with an energized left.

Whether the two sides can actually forge a meaningful alliance in the glare of our hyperpartisan politics is an open question. But a compact -- even a provisional one -- may offer the country its best shot at building a meaningful, post-Trump politics.

. . .

CARLSON DELIVERED HIS speech at the National Conservatism Conference -- the first major gathering aimed at forging a new, right-of-center approach in the age of Trump.

"This is our independence day," said Yoram Hazony, an Israeli political theorist and chief organizer of the event, in his spirited opening remarks. "We declare independence from neoconservatism, from libertarianism, from what they call classical liberalism." "We are national conservatives," he said. Any effort to build a right-of-center nationalism circa 2019 inevitably runs into questions about whether it will traffic in bigotry.

And one of the speakers, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax, seemed to do just that -- suggesting that "cultural compatibility" should play a role in deciding which migrants are allowed into the country. "In effect," she said, this "means taking the position that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites." But Wax's speech, however discomfiting, stood out because it was so discordant. Conference organizers took pains to prevent hate-mongers from attending -- ultimately rejecting six applicants. ... "Your ideas," he said, "are not welcome here." ...

* At the National Conservatism Conference, an 'Intellectual Trumpist' Movement Begins to Take Shape

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/national-conservatism-conference-intellectual-trumpist-movement/

Reply Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 06:59 AM

[Sep 15, 2019] Donald Trump as the DNC s nominee by Michael Hudson

Highly recommended!
DNC is a criminal organization and the fact that Debbie Wasserman Schultz escaped justice is deeply regreatable.
Notable quotes:
"... The problem facing the Democratic National Committee today remains the same as in 2016: How to block even a moderately left-wing social democrat by picking a candidate guaranteed to lose to Trump, so as to continue the policies that serve banks, the financial markets and military spending for Cold War 2.0. ..."
"... Trump meanwhile has done most everything the Democratic Donor Class wants: He has cut taxes on the wealthy, cut social spending for the population at large, backed Quantitative Easing to inflate the stock and bond markets, and pursued Cold War 2.0. Best of all, his abrasive style has enabled Democrats to blame the Republicans for the giveaway to the rich, as if they would have followed a different policy. ..."
"... The effect has been to make America into a one-party state. Republicans act as the most blatant lobbyists for the Donor Class. But people can vote for a representative of the One Percent and the military-industrial complex in either the Republican or Democratic column. That is why most Americans owe allegiance to no party. ..."
"... I'm just curious about how much longer this log-jam situation can persist before real political realignment takes place. Bernie Sander is ultimately a relic not a representative of new political vigor running through the party, like Trump he would be largely be on his own without much congressional support from his own party. ..."
"... As the 2016 election and Brexit have illuminated, globalisation is a religion for the upper middle classes. ..."
"... They just refuse to understand that political solidarity, key to any such policies is permanently damaged by immigration. ..."
"... If you make people chose between their ethnicity being displaced and class conflict, they'll pick the preservation of their ethnicity and it's territory every time. I ..."
"... My prediction: The elites in the US won't give way, people will simply become demoralised and the Trump/Sanders moment will pass with significant damage done to the legitimacy of American democracy and media but with progressives unable to deal with immigration (Much like the right can't deal with global warming) they will fail to get much done. The general population has become too atomised and detached, beaten-down bystanders to their own politics and society to mount a popular political movement. Immigrants, recent descendants of immigrants and the upper middle classes will continue to instinctually understand globalisation is how they loot America and will not vote for 'extreme' candidates that threaten this. The upper middle class will continue to dominate the overton window and use it to inject utter economic lies to the public. ..."
Sep 15, 2019 | www.unz.com

Originally from: Breaking Up the Democratic Party, by Michael Hudson - The Unz Review

I hope that the candidate who is clearly the voters' choice, Bernie Sanders, may end up as the party's nominee. If he is, I'm sure he'll beat Donald Trump handily, as he would have done four years ago. But I fear that the DNC's Donor Class will push Joe Biden, Kamala Harris or even Pete Buttigieg down the throats of voters. Just as when they backed Hillary the last time around, they hope that their anointed neoliberal will be viewed as the lesser evil for a program little different from that of the Republicans.

So Thursday's reality TV run-off is about "who's the least evil?" An honest reality show's questions would focus on "What are you against ?" That would attract a real audience, because people are much clearer about what they're against: the vested interests, Wall Street, the drug companies and other monopolies, the banks, landlords, corporate raiders and private-equity asset strippers. But none of this is to be permitted on the magic island of authorized candidates (not including Tulsi Gabbard, who was purged from further debates for having dared to mention the unmentionable).

Donald Trump as the DNC's nominee

The problem facing the Democratic National Committee today remains the same as in 2016: How to block even a moderately left-wing social democrat by picking a candidate guaranteed to lose to Trump, so as to continue the policies that serve banks, the financial markets and military spending for Cold War 2.0.

DNC donors favor Joe Biden, long-time senator from the credit-card and corporate-shell state of Delaware, and opportunistic California prosecutor Kamala Harris, with a hopey-changey grab bag alternative in smooth-talking small-town Rorschach blot candidate Pete Buttigieg. These easy victims are presented as "electable" in full knowledge that they will fail against Trump.

Trump meanwhile has done most everything the Democratic Donor Class wants: He has cut taxes on the wealthy, cut social spending for the population at large, backed Quantitative Easing to inflate the stock and bond markets, and pursued Cold War 2.0. Best of all, his abrasive style has enabled Democrats to blame the Republicans for the giveaway to the rich, as if they would have followed a different policy.

The Democratic Party's role is to protect Republicans from attack from the left, steadily following the Republican march rightward. Claiming that this is at least in the direction of being "centrist," the Democrats present themselves as the lesser evil (which is still evil, of course), simply as pragmatic in not letting hopes for "the perfect" (meaning moderate social democracy) block the spirit of compromise with what is attainable, "getting things done" by cooperating across the aisle and winning Republican support. That is what Joe Biden promises.

The effect has been to make America into a one-party state. Republicans act as the most blatant lobbyists for the Donor Class. But people can vote for a representative of the One Percent and the military-industrial complex in either the Republican or Democratic column. That is why most Americans owe allegiance to no party.

The Democratic National Committee worries that voters may disturb this alliance by nominating a left-wing reform candidate. The DNC easily solved this problem in 2016: When Bernie Sanders intruded into its space, it the threw the election. It scheduled the party's early defining primaries in Republican states whose voters leaned right, and packed the nominating convention with Donor Class super-delegates.

After the dust settled, having given many party members political asthma, the DNC pretended that it was all an unfortunate political error. But of course it was not a mistake at all. The DNC preferred to lose with Hillary than win with Bernie, whom springtime polls showed would be the easy winner over Trump. Potential voters who didn't buy into the program either stayed home or voted green.


follyofwar , says: September 12, 2019 at 2:20 pm GMT

No votes will be cast for months, so I don't know how Mr. Hudson can say that Sanders is "clearly the voters choice." He would be 79 on election day, well above the age when most men die, which is something that voters should seriously consider. Whoever his VP is will probably be president before the end of Old Bernie's first term, so I hope he chooses his VP wisely.

In any case I laugh at how the media always reports that Biden, who has obviously lost more than a few brain cells, has such a commanding lead over this field of second-raters. The voters, having much better things to do, haven't even started to pay attention yet.

And, how could anyone seriously believe in these polls anyway? Only older people have land lines today. If calling people is the methodology pollsters are using, then the results would be heavily skewed towards former VP Biden, whose name everyone knows. I lost all faith in polls when the media was saying, with certainty, that Hillary was a lock to win against the insurgent Trump.

Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate beside Trump with charisma today. With her cool demeanor, she is certainly the least unlikeable. She would be Trump's most formidable opponent. But the democrats, like their counterparts, are owned by Wall Street and the Military Industrial Complex. Sadly, most democrats still believe that the party is working in their best interests, while the republicans are the party of the rich.

If you watch the debates tonight, which I will not be, you will notice that Tulsi Gabbard won't be on stage. That is by design. She is a leper. At least the republicans allowed Trump to be onstage in 2016, which makes them more democratic than the democrats. Plus they didn't have Super Delegates to prevent Trump from achieving the nomination he had rightfully won. Something to think about since the DNC, not the voters, annointed Hillary last time.

If the YouTube Oligarchs still allow it, I plan on watching the post-debate analysis with characters like Richard Spencer and Eric Striker. Those guys are most entertaining, and have insights that are not permitted to be uttered in the controlled, mind-numbing farce of the mainstream media.

anon [110] Disclaimer , says: September 12, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT
> When neoliberals shout, "But that's socialism," Americans finally are beginning to say, "Then give us socialism."

True, true! Also, when the neoliberals shout, "But that's nationalism," Americans finally are beginning to say, "Then give us nationalism."

One plus one is

Dutch Boy , says: September 12, 2019 at 3:42 pm GMT
Elizabeth Warren seems a more likely nominee than Sanders.
Biff , says: September 12, 2019 at 4:37 pm GMT
@Dutch Boy

Elizabeth Warren seems a more likely nominee than Sanders.

Elizabeth Warren is phony as phuck(PAP). Just like forked tongued Obama she's really just a tool for the neo-liberal establishment, which does make her more likely.

Svevlad , says: September 12, 2019 at 5:06 pm GMT
@anon Hehe. I propose that the anti-neoliberals join forces to beat this terrible beast...
Altai , says: September 12, 2019 at 6:19 pm GMT
Here is another question. Can the DNC or RNC really change institutionally fast enough?

I'm just curious about how much longer this log-jam situation can persist before real political realignment takes place. Bernie Sander is ultimately a relic not a representative of new political vigor running through the party, like Trump he would be largely be on his own without much congressional support from his own party.

As the 2016 election and Brexit have illuminated, globalisation is a religion for the upper middle classes. Many of them may be progressives but they refuse to understand the very non-progressive consequences of mass immigration (Or, one should say over-immigration) or globalisation more generally. The increasing defection of such individuals to the Liberal Democrats in Britain is a fascinating example. They just refuse to understand that political solidarity, key to any such policies is permanently damaged by immigration.

It is interesting to see the see-saw effect of UKip and now the Brexit party in the UK (Well, in England). With them first drawing working class voters from Labour without increasing Conservative performance, bringing about a massive conservative majority and now threatening to siphon voters from the Tories with the opposite effect.

But UKip and later the Brexit party almost exist through the indispensable leadership of Nigel Farage and a very specific motivating goal of leaving the EU. I can't see a third party rising to put pressure on the mainstream parties.

If you make people chose between their ethnicity being displaced and class conflict, they'll pick the preservation of their ethnicity and it's territory every time. I f the centre left refuses to understand this (Something that wouldn't have been hard for them to understand when they still drew candidates from the working classes) they will continue their slide into oblivion as they have done across the Western world. (Excluding 2 party systems and Denmark where they do understand this)

My prediction: The elites in the US won't give way, people will simply become demoralised and the Trump/Sanders moment will pass with significant damage done to the legitimacy of American democracy and media but with progressives unable to deal with immigration (Much like the right can't deal with global warming) they will fail to get much done. The general population has become too atomised and detached, beaten-down bystanders to their own politics and society to mount a popular political movement. Immigrants, recent descendants of immigrants and the upper middle classes will continue to instinctually understand globalisation is how they loot America and will not vote for 'extreme' candidates that threaten this. The upper middle class will continue to dominate the overton window and use it to inject utter economic lies to the public.

The novel internet mass media outlets that allowed such unpoliced political discussion to reach mass audiences will be pacified by whatever means and America will slide into an Italian style trans-generational malaise at a national level for some time.

A123 , says: September 12, 2019 at 6:48 pm GMT
@Altai

Here is another question. Can the DNC or RNC really change institutionally fast enough?

Trump is trying to change the RNC away from Globalist elites and towards Christian Populist beliefs and Main Street America. I am some what hopeful, as the U.S. is not alone in this trajectory. There is a global tail wind that should help the GOP change quickly enough.

The true test will be the 2024 GOP nomination. A bold choice will have to break through to keep the RNC from backsliding into the clutches of Globalist failure.

PEACE

davidgmillsatty , says: September 12, 2019 at 7:43 pm GMT
I think Sanders could have beat Trump in 2016. This time around it is not that clear because so many of his supporters in 2016 feel burnt.

Badly burnt. Or Bernt. He threw his support for Hillary, even if it was tepid, and then got a bad case of Russiagateitis which his base on the left really hated. His left base never bought Russiagate for a minute. We knew it was an internal leak, probably by Seth Rich, who provided all the information to Assange. He still seems to be a strong Israel supporter even if has stood up to Netanyahu.

And while it may seem odd, many of his base on the left have grown weary of the global climate change agenda.

He has not advocated nuclear power and there is a growing movement for that on the left, especially by those who think renewables will not generate the power we need.

But since Sanders does seem to attract the rural and suburban vote more than any other Democrat, Sanders has a chance to chip away at Trumps' base and win the Electoral College. Another horrible loss to rural and suburban America by the Democrats will cost them the EC again by a substantial margin, even if they manage to pull off another popular vote win.

A123 , says: September 13, 2019 at 12:20 am GMT
@bluedog

the republican party is as globalist as you can find,and I'm sure you will be the first one to inform us when the global elite including those in America throw in the towel,

Some elite Globalist NeverTrumpers, such as George Will and Bill Kristol, have thrown in the towel on the GOP. This allows their "neocon" followers to return to their roots in the war mongering Democrat Party. So it *IS* happening.

The real questions are:
-- Can it happen fast enough?
-- Can it be sustained after Donald Trump term limits out?

I'm not bold enough to say it is inevitable. All I will say is, "There are reasons to be at least mildly hopeful."

PEACE

RadicalCenter , says: September 13, 2019 at 3:45 am GMT
@follyofwar Based on gabbard's immigration statements, voting for her is also voting for our continuing displacement.
Carlton Meyer , says: Website September 13, 2019 at 4:22 am GMT
Has everyone forgot the last time the DNC openly cheated Sanders he said nothing publicly, but then endorsed Clinton? Sanders knows he is not allowed to become president, his role to prevent the formation of a third party, and to keep the Green Party small. Otherwise he would jump to the Green Party right now and may beat the DNC and Trump.

Sanders treats progressives like Charlie Brown. Once again, inviting them to run a kick the football, only to pull it away and watch them fall. He recently backed off his opposition to the open borders crazies, rarely mentions cuts to military spending to fund things, and has even joined the stupid fake russiagate bandwagon.

Note that he dismisses the third party idea as unworkable, when he already knows the DNC is unworkable. Why not give the Green party a chance? Cause he don't want to win knowing he'd be killed or impeached for some reason.

follyofwar , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:06 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer The Stalinist DNC openly cheated Tulsi Gabbard when they left her off the debate stage last night. When asked about it on 'The View' recently, Sanders said nothing in her defense, or that she deserved to be on the stage. Nice way to stab her in the back for leaving her DNC position to support you last time, Bernie. Socialist Sanders wants to be president, yet is afraid of the DNC. Nice!

Those polls were rigged against Tulsi, and everyone who is paying attention knows it. But, far from hurting her candidacy by not making the DNC's arbitrary cut, her exclusion may wind up helping her. Kim Iverson, Michael Tracey, and comedian Jimmy Dore, anti-war progressive YouTubers with large, loyal followings, have lambasted the out-of touch DNC for its actions. Tucker Carlson on the anti-war right has also done so.

One hopes that the DNC's stupidity in censoring her message may wind up being the best thing ever for Tulsi's insurgent candidacy. We shall see. OTOH, who can trust the polls to tell us the truth of where her popularity stands.

follyofwar , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:29 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter Do you forget about Trump's declaration that he wants the largest amount of immigration ever, as long as they come in legally? There are no good guys in our two sclerotic monopoly parties when it comes to immigration. Since both are terrible on that topic, at least Tulsi seems to have the anti-war principles that Trump does not.
Justvisiting , says: September 13, 2019 at 7:37 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer Great comment.

Bernie has had many opportunities in the past few years to show real courage and stand for something, anything. He has failed every time.

I am actually beginning to feel sorry for him–he knows he has a mission, but he just can't seem to figure out what it is anymore

Getting old is not fun.

[Sep 15, 2019] The words "Government of the People, by the People, for the People" is an ideological logo that never materialized on any large scale nor over any long time-span anywhere on earth.

Sep 15, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

laodan , September 14, 2019 at 5:40 am

Democracy is a loaded word. Reasoning about it in a public discussion is thus fraught with lots of difficulties. This comment is to highlight some crucial factors that are rarely mentioned.

1. democracy is the particular political outcome of centuries of struggles within the context of Early-Modernity in Western European societies (14th to 18th centuries). Three forces were in competition for the control of power: the clergy, the nobility, and the new rich merchants (those who in France were living in the "bourgs" and were thus called the bourgeoisie. They were also the one's who were owning the capital). The gradual expansion of the right to vote, to all adult citizens along the 19th and 20th centuries, was calibrated by big capital holders to act as a system serving their interests through the manipulation of the public's opinions. And man how successful the West is at this game

2. the history of the other people, outside of western territories, is rich with their own experiences. Even if they are largely unknown to Westerners these histories offer viable alternatives to the Western model of democracy. But Westerners are not interested to learn about these other models. They firmly believe that their own system is the best and they are always ready to impose it by force

3. Western political science is relatively young (1 or 2 centuries at best). This compares with Chinese political science that spans over 3 millennia as a written matter that finds its origin through oral transmission from earlier times.
_________

The words "Government of the People, by the People, for the People" is an ideological logo that never materialized on any large scale nor over any long time-span anywhere on earth.

The shift of the center of gravity of the economy-world' to East Asia and more particularly to China is a 'fait accompli' that still has to register in the West. The longer it takes the West to come to its senses the more painful the downfall will be and the more totalitarian the governance system will become

David , September 14, 2019 at 6:42 am

The issue isn't really democracy, and in any event not liberal democracy, which is close to an oxymoron, given that liberalism creates imbalances of power and wealth inimical to democracy. And the argument is a bit incoherent : voting rights in most countries were based on property ownership, not wealth as such, and much of the political conflict of the 19th century was between traditional landowners and the emerging middle classes, who had the wealth and wanted the power. Likewise, the move to neoliberalism had begun before the end of the 1970s' and slower economic growth was a consequence of it, not a cause.
The real issue is that people expect political leaders, whom they elect and pay, to do things. But modern political leaders have for the last generation or so developed the art of saying that nothing can be done, or at least nothing that will make life better. So a political figure who proposes to actually do something that people want is a dangerous and disruptive force. Irrespective of their precise views and policies, they are a danger to the current political class, which resolutely refuses to do anything useful.

Redlife2017 , September 14, 2019 at 7:02 am

+1000
The allergy to actually enacting policies that have been proven in the past to be beneficial to the citizenry of a country is impressive in its almost pathological implementation. No matter how bad the outcomes of neoliberal economics is, we can't possibly change those policies. This goes beyond TINA. I look at people like Joe Biden and Jo Swinson and marvel at their innate ability to defend the worst excesses of policies like bailing out the banks and austerity and yet still cry crocodile tears for the people.

Ignacio , September 14, 2019 at 1:39 pm

But if you cannot expect to elect a leader that migth do something this is another way of saying democracy is in trouble. The result is that democracy is constrained by a dominant ideology and this undermines democracy. Everything becomes technocratical and obscure, particularly –but not only– monetary policy. I wonder by how much this already short room of maneuver has to be reduced to allow claiming democracy is already dead. There are many candidates that go with the discourse that "I will do the only thing that can be done" so you know from the very beginning that business will go as usual an nothing will be done. For instance, Joe Incremental Biden. A very good example in US is Health Care. A good majority wants H.C. for all, but we migth find again that candidates that promise it are effectively blocked because "it cannot be done (too expensive etc.)". I really think democracy is in trouble if this occurs again.

Carla , September 14, 2019 at 6:13 pm

Democracy is an idea with potential. We should try it!

rob , September 14, 2019 at 10:50 am

Why should "science" have anything to do with democracy?

As someone from the united states, I live in a republic.
Our founding fathers rejected democracy as a form of government.Some of them, like alexander hamilton loathed democracy Which is one reason I think he was an ass but that is besides the point..

Democracy, as an ideal to be promoted in this republic with democratic assumptions . is just something that stands on its own in the sphere of "civics"
democracy is just a practice of engaging with others. it is a discipline.

science may exemplify practical thinking and action as expressed in the scientific method .. but democracy isn't just about what is the "most likely to be true" . it is just what "most people choose" Now education is what lies between what those people know, how they know it and then their choices as to what they really want . but science is a discipline that is really to be exalted in a free society . but has no real place in the democratic institution. IMO
People make democracy not science . and "people" is a tough nut to crack

Hitler was keen on science, to explain his motives his perversions of truth became state mandated axioms of truth . despite being pure BS..

notabanktoadie , September 14, 2019 at 9:44 am

Under neo-liberalism, the state does little more than maintain the rights of ownership and internal and external security through criminal justice and armed services – notwithstanding, the state may bail out financial services if they require public aid. Kevin Albertson [bold added]

It does more than just bail out financial services, the state PRIVILEGES them beforehand by failing to provide something so simple, so obvious as, for example, inherently risk-free debit/checking accounts for all citizens at the Central Bank (or National Treasury) itself.

The result is nations have a SINGLE* payment system that MUST work through the banks or not at all – making their economies hostage to what are, in essence, government-privileged usury cartels.

We can have nations that are for their citizens or ones which privilege banks and other depository institutions but not both.

*apart from mere physical fiat, paper bills and coins.

The Rev Kev , September 14, 2019 at 11:02 am

The problem may not be so much with democracy as with "representative" democracy. I believe that it was Harvard that did a study that found that the wishes of the bulk of the electorate were habitually ignored unless it aligned with the wishes of the wealthier portion of society. In other words, after the elections were over, voter's wishes were not a factor. Perhaps more imaginative ideas need to be adopted. We have secret balloting right now so how about secret ballots in the Senate and the House of reps – on pieces of paper counted in public under the watch of several parties. No digital crap allowed. No donor would be able to tell what his purchased politician actually voted in any session. Every vote would then become a conscience vote. When you think about it, there is nothing to say that how things are now should also be the way that things always are.

General Jinjur , September 14, 2019 at 1:29 pm

Did you mean the Gilens and Page Princeton Univ study?

The Rev Kev , September 14, 2019 at 7:14 pm

Thanks for that. That is the one. It was called "Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens."

shinola , September 14, 2019 at 11:41 am

" the promotion of the neo-liberal political economic paradigm need not result from a conspiracy."

Just because it "need not" doesn't mean it does not. There is a playbook for privatization:

1) Identify a government function that could provide a profit opportunity.
2) Deprive the dept. that provides that function of the funds needed to adequately do a proper job of it.*
3) Point out, loudly & publicly, what a crappy job the gov't is doing.
4) Announce that "We have a solution for that" – which, of course, involves privatization.*

*Note: steps 2 & 4 require co-operation of gov't representatives which is obtained through lobbying & briber.. er, campaign contributions.

kiwi , September 14, 2019 at 12:33 pm

Well, now governments just 'restructure' and pass out contracts to justify laying off employees. There is no need to starve a department of funds first.

My experience is that the contracted 'service' is oversold and mostly goes to pot, and the gov will still renew the contracts for the crappy service providers over and over.

Carey , September 14, 2019 at 1:54 pm

Thanks for this comment. A good succinct video on the topic:

https://hooktube.com/watch?v=5tu32CCA_Ig

Off The Street , September 14, 2019 at 9:16 pm

In simpler times, democracy was viewed at risk if citizens could vote themselves money. Now citizens are at risk when pirates can dispense with the voting to get money.
A cruel twist is where those pirates and their paid pols stick the citizens with the downside.

JCC , September 14, 2019 at 11:58 am

It seems to me, including all the above comments, underlying all of this is the pursuit of "economic growth", which ultimately means the pursuit of economic wealth by the most powerful of the ownership class at the expense of everyone else. And they are the group that buy and install the politicians to ensure that pursuit remains as unimpeded as possible.

Examples of this off-the-rails philosophical and social justification of "modern" capitalism are apparent to everyone (I hope); Shareholder Primacy, Intellectual "Property" Laws, Health Care as a Profit Center replacing health care of citizenry, abstract legal entities, Corporations, given the same rights (and few responsibilities) as individual people, the taking over of education systems by this same ownership class, again primarily for profit and propaganda, increasing for-profit, and control, surveillance, and more rule the day.

Historically, and unfortunately, the prime reset has often been violent revolution. Mike Duncan's Revolutions podcast teaches us many examples throughout history and should be required listening for today's ownership class and politicians everywhere and High School history classes.

Rod , September 14, 2019 at 12:00 pm

THE MORAL CONSEQUENCES OF ECONOMIC GROWTH by Benjamin Friedman in the HarvardScholar link was a thought provoking read about the linkages between affective economic growth and morality– and visa versa.
I believe he was arguing that a cultures adopted values directs the benefits of that cultures economic growth and applications(without direct outside meddling). And that can become a reinforcing feedback loop–for both the held values and values had about economic growth.
Economic Growth is often compiled in numbers in Lamberts Water Cooler at least weekly–however, like Inflation Stats, often a lot of critical things are not considered in the compilation(gas price in inflation and happiness in economic growth–as two simple i.e.)
imo, We need more progress in expanding the term Economic Growth beyond consumption and production to be pertinent in 2019.

Susan the other` , September 14, 2019 at 12:04 pm

I think this is a really good analysis in that it comes to the conclusion that we need more democracy; we are not democratically "liberal" at all. We were just hoodwinked for about the last 50 years. We need to be socially democratic. It will bring an end to the obscene inequalities we see and stabilize civilization. So the apotheosis of unregulated growth and the free-range consumer is over. Tsk tsk. That was imposed on society by the mandate for profits (which they never wanted to admit, but it depended entirely on demand). I guess the consumer is headed for the bone yard of Idols. We will, by necessity, have something entirely different. A form of social demand; a cooperative of some sort. Hanging on to old worn out ideas is all that is left – kind of like nostalgia. Like the Donald pandering to "business" by gutting the EPA now when manufacturing has been decimated and methods of mitigating pollution are a market in themselves. Trump is just campaigning like an old fool; but it's probably working.

Tomonthebeach , September 14, 2019 at 12:58 pm

Finally, an article on Neolib Capitalism that a 5th-grader can grasp – maybe granny too. I already shared it with a dozen friends (ironically – most with doctorates as the choir can never be too big).

Now let's all rise and sing a rousing chorus of Dude Where's My Democracy.

Cal2 , September 14, 2019 at 2:16 pm

After reading about the failure of the F.D.A. to regulate pharma and protect us, after witnessing our military going into losing war after losing stalemate, after seeing homelessness explode, drug use, the failure of schools supposedly controlled by the Department of Education, an eroding environment, etc.

At what point do citizens stop voluntarily paying taxes and complying with federal laws?

stan6565 , September 14, 2019 at 4:16 pm

After the collapse of NHS care, after the oversubsciption of our local schools by a factor of n, after there being no police in the streets to curb the harassment rowdiness and burglary, after a complete collapse of democracy following people's vote for liberty from shackles of giant EU squid, after the horrific waste of local councils monies on sucking up to the terror of minorities (racial, ethnic, sexual), after our own councils ramming the extreme numbers of noninvited imported alien population down the throats of hitherto taxpaying funders of the target occupation environment, and so on, can I have a separate TV station to tell you, the only thing left for the sitting target taxpayers paying for all this largesse, abuse, and outright extortion is indeed to abandon any of the previously normal concepts of tax, duty and bills payments, and let the local and state governments get into the costly business of corralling each and every hitherto low lying fruit taxpayer, and forcing monies out of them at a great expense to the target and the enforcer.

What a way to go forward in life.

RBHoughton , September 14, 2019 at 10:14 pm

Read all the way through and never encountered the names Reagan or Thatcher. As the principal enablers of the financial / economic disaster called the Washington Consensus, their names should be right up there. We need an annual festival with bonfires and fireworks when we can burn the rogues in effigy.

The author is right that prolonged peace allows power to concentrate. He does not indicate the end result that Rome and Constantinople experienced when deprived citizens declined to fight for the empire and the Goths / Crusaders were able to take over. We study Greek and Roman history in school but somehow its relevance to our declining state means nothing to us.

David in Santa Cruz , September 14, 2019 at 10:44 pm

I've always been a huge fan of the Haynes Guides . A finer series of "how-to" books has never been published.

Gratified to read the phrase "carrying capacity" in a political discussion. One of the central drivers of elite power and asset hoarding is the perception of scarcity and the compulsion to ration (i.e. cut-off supplies of "nice things" to the proles and dusky-hued people).

Looking forward to the Haynes Guide to Eating the Rich .

The Rev Kev , September 14, 2019 at 10:53 pm

Will it be entitled To Serve The Rich ?

[Sep 15, 2019] Dude! Where's My Democracy naked capitalism

Sep 15, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

https://eus.rubiconproject.com/usync.html

https://acdn.adnxs.com/ib/static/usersync/v3/async_usersync.html

https://c.deployads.com/sync?f=html&s=2343&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2019%2F09%2Fdude-wheres-my-democracy.html <img src="http://b.scorecardresearch.com/p?c1=2&c2=16807273&cv=2.0&cj=1" /> Legitimate Government

Recently, Foa & Mounk argued that many citizens in supposed advanced democracies have become rather disillusioned with the workings of the political system in their nation. There is good reason to suppose the current political economic paradigm is skewed against the people. So-called democratic deficits exist in the USA and elsewhere . In the UK, for example, the electorate disapprove and have disapproved of four decades of tax and welfare and privatisation policies – yet are apparently powerless to influence these policies.

As politicians and the donors who support them become less responsive to voters' wishes it is hardly surprising many, perhaps the majority, of the populace will view government as illegitimate . In consequence, voters seem increasingly inclined to elect (so-called) populist leaders, political outsiders who may change the rules in favour of the people .

The Left and the Right

Legitimate government, so Abraham Lincoln observes, is that which does for a community that which the community cannot do (or cannot do so well) for themselves. With this it is difficult to disagree. However, political theory differs on who might make up that community.

Broadly speaking, those on the (so-called) economic "right" argue government should enact policy for the benefit of those who own the nation, while those (so-called) economic "left" consider policy should prioritise the interests of citizens. By definition, therefore, capitalist governments will take up positions on the right – particularly in nations, such as the UK, which are increasingly owned by foreign interests . Conversely democratically accountable governments must take positions economically to the left, prioritising the preferences of citizens.

Universal Adult Suffrage

At the dawn of democracy, only the wealthy could vote. Thus, there was less conflict between the aspirations of the powerful and of voters. Following the extension to the adult population of the right to vote in the late 19th and early 20th century, politicians became answerable to a wider range of stakeholders.

In particular, from the middle of the 20th century until the late 1970s, legitimate democratic governments held markets to account in the interests of the demos. An increasingly affluent society facilitated profit making opportunities and thus economies grew; the interests of capital and citizens coincided.

However, since the late 1970s, global economic growth has broadly slowed . It is likely that economic stabilisation has occurred as a result of the slowing pace of innovation and the world reaching (or indeed overshooting) its carrying capacity . However, many were persuaded that the slowdown in growth occurred because governments interfered too much in markets.

In response, to preserve or increase their own income growth, elites are motivated to argue for the "freeing" of markets . Rather than markets being held accountable to citizens through democratic governance, it was suggested that holding governments (and through them the citizenry) to account through reliance on market forces would facilitate a return to economic growth.

The Washington Consensus

The economic paradigm which promotes the small state and reliance on market forces is generally known as neo-liberalism, or the Washington Consensus . Under neo-liberalism, the state does little more than maintain the rights of ownership and internal and external security through criminal justice and armed services – notwithstanding, the state may bail out financial services if they require public aid. In the UK and the USA politicians from both main parties adopted this point of view, often in sincere, if misguided, belief in its validity. Thus, neo-liberalism maintains the appearance of democracy, in that citizens may vote for political leaders, but limits the range of policies on offer to those which are acceptable to markets – or rather, those who command market forces.

It should be emphasised that the promotion of the neo-liberal political economic paradigm need not result from a conspiracy . History indicates that, in any prolonged period of peace, power and wealth tend to accumulate to fewer and fewer individuals . If markets were sufficient to facilitate improvement in the prospects of citizens in general, there would have been few calls for universal suffrage in the first place.

Neoliberalism: Government of the People, by the Market, for the Profit

Since the introduction of neo-liberal socio-economic policies, inequality has increased amongst the citizens of the world's advanced democratic nations . As it has not addressed the root cause of economic stabilisation, the adoption of the neo-liberal political paradigm has not improved the prospects of growth , or stabilised global ecosystems . The growth in incomes of the elites – those who wield market power – has come at the expense of the electorate in general .

Because liberal social attitudes are undermined in increasingly unequal societies , neo-liberal policies have destabilised the social equilibrium of those nations which have adopted them. Reliance on market forces has, paradoxically, even undermined the market; for example, through the Global Financial Crisis and the Eurozone crisis . Curiously, despite these failings, yet more reliance on markets is suggested as the cure .

Democracy: Government of the People, by the People, for the People

Those citizens whose prospects are undermined by the neo-liberal paradigm see it in their interests to support a "strong man" who may change the rules back in their favour. This is a risky strategy; such strong men may rather change the rules in their own favour , or in favour of their supporters. In consequence some have suggested we might consider further tempering democracy . However, we suggest it is the reduction in democratic accountability which has led to this so-called "populist" state of affairs. The solution is rather to increase democratic accountability , not just in central government , but in local government and in our places of employment .

[Sep 14, 2019] BTW, Tulsi's now gotten her 3rd qualifying poll. She'll surge back much stronger. And maybe even smarter, if she endorses this:

Sep 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

anon [113] Disclaimer , says: September 14, 2019 at 4:42 am GMT

@follyofwar Agreed . she was better off absent from that snore session. They all looked weak and pathetic. BTW, Tulsi's now gotten her 3rd qualifying poll. She'll surge back much stronger. And maybe even smarter, if she endorses this:

Ask Tulsi Gabbard to co-sponsor Betty McCollum's bill, H.R.2407 – Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act: https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/co-sponsor-hr2407?source=twitter-share-button&utm_source=twitter&share=7f93c0fd-5214-4398-93a8-03155a1dc1b1 via @Roots_Action

https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/co-sponsor-hr2407?source=twitter-share-button&utm_source=twitter&share=7f93c0fd-5214-4398-93a8-03155a1dc1b1

Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website September 14, 2019 at 7:18 am GMT

That means protection against the Republican-Democratic threats to cut back Social Security to balance the budget in the face of tax cuts for the richest One Percent and rising Cold War military spending. This means a government strong enough to take on the vested financial and corporate interests and prosecute Wall Street's financial crime and corporate monopoly power.

Analogies with late Imperial Rome are by now so cliché that even your average dullard is familiar with them. But I find that the most fascinating -- and frightening -- parallels are with another empire of more recent vintage: the Empire of Japan.

The above quote brought to my mind the political unrest in Tokyo during the 1930s. Far from being the work of a cabal of "militarists", as postwar legend would have it, Japan's various internecine (and often bloody) political feuds and expensive military ventures were driven by a public heavily invested in these affairs; hoping against hope for an outlet to vent their increasing rage over dwindling social programs and opportunities at the cost of propping up a concurrently fattening elite class.

Analyzing events like the Ni-ni-roku jiken (2/26 Incident) can be highly instructional for Americans seeking some manner of explanation for their present failing political system. While it is true that this nearly successful insurrection was carried out by ultra-nationalists, their intention was not to deny the people a voice in the running of government with their aspiration for direct rule by the Shōwa Emperor (then as now, the Emperor served in a quasi-religious capacity with little ability to actually govern). Rather, they felt that parliamentary democracy was a sham that benefitted only the monied and privileged; and that only the Emperor, as the living incarnation of the Japanese state, could act and respond according to the sovereign will of its people. What appeared to be a desire for authoritarianism was, in fact, the radical, ideological inversion of the Marxist concept of a "dictatorship of the proletariat". The Shōwa Emperor, in other words, was the instrument of effecting the will of the nation; the "Emperor of the people" (天皇の國民 Tennō no kokumin ).

I view in a similar vein the fascination and dreams that Trump and other such figures excite in many: The radical hope that only a leader willing to smash the system, which to all intents and purposes appears to only serve the few, can paradoxically restore the ability of the many to express and act. Bogged down as we are by ballooning military debt (and blood), economic stagnation, and an ever-widening chasm between the "haves" and "have-nots", and it becomes difficult to ignore the parallels between the US today and Japan in 1936.

This was an interesting article, but I hold no illusions about the future. There will be no breakup of the two major parties, no viable alternatives. Things will only get worse.

I envy those in their 50s and up today -- they will likely miss out on the momentous history that people my generation and younger will be bearing reluctant witness to.

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: September 14, 2019 at 7:24 am GMT
Biden will be 77 years old in Novembrer

Bernie Sanders is 78 years old

Donald Trump is 73 years old

Gerontocracy ?

[Sep 14, 2019] What a politician says to win an election and what he actually does in office are two very different things; politicians regularly break their promises. This is not just a fluke but the outcome of the way the system is set up

Notable quotes:
"... As in every election we're now being bombarded with propaganda about how "your vote makes a difference" and associated nonsense. According to the official version ordinary citizens control the state by voting for candidates in elections. The President and other politicians are supposedly servants of "the people" and the government an instrument of the general populace. This version is a myth. ..."
"... It does not matter who is elected because the way the system is set up all elected representatives must do what big business and the state bureaucracy want, not what "the people" want. Elected representatives are figureheads. ..."
"... Politicians' rhetoric may change depending on who is elected, but they all have to implement the same policies given the same situation. Elections are a scam whose function is to create the illusion that "the people" control the government, not the elite, and to neutralize resistance movements. All voting does is strengthen the state & ruling class, it is not an effective means to change government policy. ..."
"... What a politician says to win an election and what he actually does in office are two very different things; politicians regularly break their promises. This is not just a fluke but the outcome of the way the system is set up. Bush the second said he wouldn't engage in "nation-building" (taking other countries over) during the 2000 election campaign but has done it several times. He also claimed to support a balanced budget, but obviously abandoned that. Clinton advocated universal health care during the 1992 election campaign but there were more people without health insurance when he left office than when he took office. Bush the first said, "read my lips – no new taxes!" while running for office but raised taxes anyway. Reagan promised to shrink government but he drastically expanded the military-industrial complex and ran up huge deficits. Rather than shrinking government, he reoriented it to make it more favorable to the rich. ..."
"... Carter promised to make human rights the "soul of our foreign policy" but funded genocide in East Timor and backed brutal dictators in Argentina, South Korea, Chile, Brazil, Indonesia and elsewhere. During the 1964 elections leftists were encouraged by Democrats to vote for Johnson because Goldwater, his Republican opponent, was a fanatical warmonger who would escalate US involvement in Vietnam. ..."
"... Johnson won, and immediately proceeded to escalate US involvement in Vietnam. FDR promised to maintain a balanced budget and restrain government spending but did the exact opposite. Wilson won reelection in 1916 on the slogan "he kept us out of war" but then lied us into World War One. Hoover pledged to abolish poverty in 1928 but instead saw it skyrocket. ..."
Sep 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

Johnny Walker Read says: September 14, 2019 at 12:21 pm GMT 2

I have no Idea when this article was printed, but it matters not. This holds true for every election ever held in America.

If voting mattered they wouldn't let us do it.


As in every election we're now being bombarded with propaganda about how "your vote makes a difference" and associated nonsense. According to the official version ordinary citizens control the state by voting for candidates in elections. The President and other politicians are supposedly servants of "the people" and the government an instrument of the general populace. This version is a myth.

It does not matter who is elected because the way the system is set up all elected representatives must do what big business and the state bureaucracy want, not what "the people" want. Elected representatives are figureheads.

Politicians' rhetoric may change depending on who is elected, but they all have to implement the same policies given the same situation. Elections are a scam whose function is to create the illusion that "the people" control the government, not the elite, and to neutralize resistance movements. All voting does is strengthen the state & ruling class, it is not an effective means to change government policy.

https://www.bigeye.com/elections.htm

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 14, 2019 at 12:41 pm GMT

From the same article, a list of campaign promises never kept (needs to be updated with Obama/Trump).

What a politician says to win an election and what he actually does in office are two very different things; politicians regularly break their promises. This is not just a fluke but the outcome of the way the system is set up. Bush the second said he wouldn't engage in "nation-building" (taking other countries over) during the 2000 election campaign but has done it several times. He also claimed to support a balanced budget, but obviously abandoned that. Clinton advocated universal health care during the 1992 election campaign but there were more people without health insurance when he left office than when he took office. Bush the first said, "read my lips – no new taxes!" while running for office but raised taxes anyway. Reagan promised to shrink government but he drastically expanded the military-industrial complex and ran up huge deficits. Rather than shrinking government, he reoriented it to make it more favorable to the rich.

Carter promised to make human rights the "soul of our foreign policy" but funded genocide in East Timor and backed brutal dictators in Argentina, South Korea, Chile, Brazil, Indonesia and elsewhere. During the 1964 elections leftists were encouraged by Democrats to vote for Johnson because Goldwater, his Republican opponent, was a fanatical warmonger who would escalate US involvement in Vietnam.

Johnson won, and immediately proceeded to escalate US involvement in Vietnam. FDR promised to maintain a balanced budget and restrain government spending but did the exact opposite. Wilson won reelection in 1916 on the slogan "he kept us out of war" but then lied us into World War One. Hoover pledged to abolish poverty in 1928 but instead saw it skyrocket.
https://www.bigeye.com/elections.htm

[Sep 13, 2019] Tucker Carlson Pushes for End of the Neo-cons Reuters and Haaretz

Notable quotes:
"... Yes, people tend to forget that Bolton and all the other neocons are worshipers at the altar of a secular religion imported to the US by members of the Frankfurt School of Trotskyite German professors in the 1930s. These people had attempted get the Nazis to consider them allies in a quest for an ordered world. Alas for them they found that the Nazi scum would not accept them and in fact began preparations to hunt them down. ..."
"... Thus the migration to America and in particular to the University of Chicago where they developed their credo of world revolution under that guidance of a few philosopher kings like Leo Strauss, the Wohlstetters and other academic "geniuses" They also began an enthusiastic campaign of recruitment of enthusiastic graduate students who carefully disguised themselves as whatever was most useful politically. ..."
Sep 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Carlson concluded by warning about the many other Boltons in the federal bureaucracy, saying that "war may be a disaster for America, but for John Bolton and his fellow neocons, it's always good business."

He went on to slam Trump's special representative for Iran and contender to replace Bolton, Brian Hook, as an "unapologetic neocon" who "has undisguised contempt for President Trump, and he particularly dislikes the president's nationalist foreign policy." Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif echoed Carlson hours later in a tweet, arguing that "Thirst for war – maximum pressure – should go with the warmonger-in-chief." Reuters and Haaretz

-------------

Yes, people tend to forget that Bolton and all the other neocons are worshipers at the altar of a secular religion imported to the US by members of the Frankfurt School of Trotskyite German professors in the 1930s. These people had attempted get the Nazis to consider them allies in a quest for an ordered world. Alas for them they found that the Nazi scum would not accept them and in fact began preparations to hunt them down.

Thus the migration to America and in particular to the University of Chicago where they developed their credo of world revolution under that guidance of a few philosopher kings like Leo Strauss, the Wohlstetters and other academic "geniuses" They also began an enthusiastic campaign of recruitment of enthusiastic graduate students who carefully disguised themselves as whatever was most useful politically.

They are not conservative at all, not one bit. Carlson was absolutely right about that.

They despise nationalism. They despise the idea of countries. In that regard they are like all groups who aspire to globalist dominion for their particular ideas.

They should all be driven from government. pl

https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-trump-bolton-neo-cons-iran-fox-news-tucker-carlson-1.7833399?=&ts=_1568393219979b

[Sep 13, 2019] Wallace against the USA neocolonialism

Leopard can't change its spots...
Notable quotes:
"... After he became vice president in 1940, as Roosevelt was increasingly ill, Wallace promoted a new vision for America's role in the world that suggested that rather than playing catch up with the imperial powers, the United States should work with partners to establish a new world order that eliminated militarism, colonialism and imperialism. ..."
"... In diplomacy, Wallace imagined a multi-polar world founded on the United Nations Charter with a focus on peaceful cooperation. In contrast, in 1941 Henry Luce, publisher of Time Magazine, had called for an 'American century,' suggesting that victory in war would allow the United States to "exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit." ..."
"... Foreign aid for Wallace was not a tool to foster economic dominance as it was to become, but rather "economic assistance without political conditions to further the independent economic development of the Latin American and Caribbean countries." He held high "the principle of self-determination for the peoples of Africa, Asia, the West Indies, and other colonial areas." He saw the key policy for the United States to be based on "the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations and acceptance of the right of peoples to choose their own form of government and economic system." ..."
"... The United States should be emulating China, its Belt and Road Initiative and Community of Common Destiny, as a means of revitalizing its political culture and kicking its addiction to a neo-colonial concept of economic development and growth. Rather than relying on militarization and its attendant wars to spark the economy, progressives should demand that the US work in conjunction with nations such as China and Russia in building a sustainable future rather than creating one failed state after another. ..."
Sep 13, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Stephen M , September 10, 2019 at 15:14

This is as good a time as any to point to an alternative vision of foreign policy. One based on the principle of non-interference, respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and, above all, international law. One based on peaceful coexistence and mutual cooperation. A vision of the world at peace and undivided by arbitrary distinctions. Such a world is possible and even though there are currently players around the world who are striving in that direction we need look no further than our own history for inspiration. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you one Henry A. Wallace, for your consideration.

(The following excerpts from an article by Dr. Dennis Etler. Link to the full article provided below.) --

The highest profile figure who articulated an alternative vision for American foreign policy was the politician Henry Wallace, who served as vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1940-1944 and ran for president in 1948 as the candidate of the Progressive Party.

After he became vice president in 1940, as Roosevelt was increasingly ill, Wallace promoted a new vision for America's role in the world that suggested that rather than playing catch up with the imperial powers, the United States should work with partners to establish a new world order that eliminated militarism, colonialism and imperialism.

Wallace gave a speech in 1942 that declared a "Century of the Common Man." He described a post-war world that offered "freedom from want," a new order in which ordinary citizens, rather than the rich and powerful, would play a decisive role in politics.

That speech made direct analogy between the Second World War and the Civil War, suggesting that the Second World War was being fought to end economic slavery and to create a more equal society. Wallace demanded that the imperialist powers like Britain and France give up their colonies at the end of the war.

In diplomacy, Wallace imagined a multi-polar world founded on the United Nations Charter with a focus on peaceful cooperation. In contrast, in 1941 Henry Luce, publisher of Time Magazine, had called for an 'American century,' suggesting that victory in war would allow the United States to "exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit."

Wallace responded to Luce with a demand to create a world in which "no nation will have the God-given right to exploit other nations. Older nations will have the privilege to help younger nations get started on the path to industrialization, but there must be neither military nor economic imperialism." Wallace took the New Deal global. His foreign policy was to be based on non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Sadly, since then, despite occasional efforts to head in a new direction, the core constituency for US foreign policy has been corporations, rather than the "common man" either in the United States, or the other nations of the world, and United States foreign relations have been dominated by interference in the political affairs of other nations. As a result the military was transformed from an "arsenal for democracy" during the Second World War into a defender of privilege at home and abroad afterwards.

-- -
Foreign aid for Wallace was not a tool to foster economic dominance as it was to become, but rather "economic assistance without political conditions to further the independent economic development of the Latin American and Caribbean countries." He held high "the principle of self-determination for the peoples of Africa, Asia, the West Indies, and other colonial areas." He saw the key policy for the United States to be based on "the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations and acceptance of the right of peoples to choose their own form of government and economic system."

--

Wallace's legacy suggests that it is possible to put forth a vision of an honest internationalism in US foreign policy that is in essence American. His approach was proactive not reactive. It would go far beyond anything Democrats propose today, who can only suggest that the United States should not start an unprovoked war with Iran or North Korea, but who embrace sanctions and propagandist reports that demonize those countries.

Rather than ridiculing Trump's overtures to North Korea, they should go further to reduce tensions between the North and the South by pushing for the eventual withdrawal of troops from South Korea and Japan (a position fully in line with Wallace and many other politicians of that age).
Rather than demonizing and isolating Russia (as a means to score political points against Trump), progressives should call for a real détente, that recognizes Russia's core interests, proposes that NATO withdraw troops from Russia's borders, ends sanctions and reintegrates Russia into the greater European economy. They could even call for an end to NATO and the perpetuation of the dangerous global rift between East and West that it perpetuates.
Rather than attempt to thwart China's rise, and attack Trump for not punishing it enough, progressives should seek to create new synergies between China and the US economically, politically and socioculturally.
-- -
In contrast to the US policy of perpetual war and "destroying nations in order to save them," China's BRI proposes an open plan for development that is not grounded in the models of French and British imperialism. It has proposed global infrastructure and science projects that include participants from nations in Africa, Asia, South and Central America previously ignored by American and European elites -- much as Wallace proposed an equal engagement with Latin America. When offering developmental aid and investment China does not demand that free market principles be adopted or that the public sector be privatized and opened up for global investment banks to ravish.
--
The United States should be emulating China, its Belt and Road Initiative and Community of Common Destiny, as a means of revitalizing its political culture and kicking its addiction to a neo-colonial concept of economic development and growth. Rather than relying on militarization and its attendant wars to spark the economy, progressives should demand that the US work in conjunction with nations such as China and Russia in building a sustainable future rather than creating one failed state after another.

Link to the full article provided below.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/henry-wallaces-internationalism-path-american-foreign-policy-could-have-taken-still-can/5683683

[Sep 12, 2019] You know who would be a good replacement for Bolton ? Tulsi Gabbard.

Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

cartman September 10, 2019 at 8:51 am

Trump Fires John Bolton After "Disagreeing Strongly With His Suggestions

One less warmongering neo-con in the swamp.

That still leaves Patriarch Pompous Dumpus of the UOC-KP-CIA in place.

Mark Chapman September 10, 2019 at 11:13 am
Good catch; you were first with that blockbuster. You know who would be a good replacement? Tulsi Gabbard. It would please those who moan the government is too partisan, it would remove the only real non-ideologue from the Democratic slate, and leave them with doddering Uncle Joe and a bunch of no-ideas bobbleheads. Few would dare question her lack of foreign-policy experience, given her actual experience of being at the sharp end of it with the military. The American people claim to be sick of war – although not sick enough of it to do any real protesting against it – and Gabbard is anti-war. She's easy on the eyes, but if Trump tried his grab-'er-by-the-pussy move, he would find himself only needing one glove this winter; her obvious toughness would appeal to feminists. I think she'd take it if asked, because although she despises Trump and his government, she would not be able to resist the opportunity to shape America's foreign policy. She would eat news outlets who tried to portray her as an apologist for terror or Putin or whatever for lunch.
Northern Star September 10, 2019 at 2:57 pm
Nope .Major Gabbard is needed as America's CIC aka POTUS.

Nothing short of that is called for.

To implement even partially achieve (implement) her agenda she needs the full weight and authority of the Oval office.

BTW Tulsi has the skills to totally fuck up bashers of women:

Mark Chapman September 10, 2019 at 10:38 pm
Well, she was not on the short list of names I saw for potential Bolton replacements. I don't see her making president, though, her support base is just not big enough. But if the Democrats put all their eggs in the Burnout Joe basket, he will in all probability lose to Trump. Trump's support has eroded, but not so far that very many people want to see Joe Biden running the country.

[Sep 12, 2019] Tulsi. Tulsi. Tulsi: Harris is making as many gaffes as that moron Biden .

Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 8, 2019 at 2:05 pm

Tulsi. Tulsi. Tulsi
Harris is making as many gaffes as that moron Biden .

https://www.youtube.com/embed/FxUxij7Fkj0?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Mark Chapman

[Sep 11, 2019] Tucker John Bolton refuses to acknowledge his mistakes - YouTube

Tucker is right: the problem is that Bolton can be replaced by another Bolton.
Sep 11, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Matt Curley , 16 hours ago

With Romney being "VERY VERY UNHAPPY" makes it all worthwhile..

Pete G , 18 hours ago

No more Wars Trump America first starts at Home Bring our Troops home 🇺🇸

Zentella6 , 18 hours ago

Bye bye, douchebag. Great news for America. I'm an 11 year vet, and I approve this message.

Marcus McCurley , 10 hours ago

I'm a vet who served in the 82nd Airborne and I say good riddance to this War Monger. This is an awful awful man!

stantheman1684 , 14 hours ago

iv> I see the GLOBALIST shills are in full force on this video, trying to artificially bring down the ratio from probably 99% Positive that such a bad man is gone. Doesn't matter, the Silent Majority & good people everywhere know that Bolton was a poor candidate for that job with a catastrophic failure record & everybody is better of with a more competent person in that position.

MAGA2020

Rebecca Martinez , 18 hours ago

Neo-con Bolton war monger turning on military industrial complex! No wars, no conflicts, no ME instability change! Good riddens!

Richard Willette , 13 hours ago

Trump only hires the best. Bolton will go to Fox and someone from Fox will be 4th National Security Advisor

Michael Ross , 14 hours ago

Thanks President Trump for getting rid of the globalist John Bolton

TED C , 17 hours ago

Foreign policy appears to be 17 year wars. Being a perpetual non winner.

caligirl , 16 hours ago

Good job Tucker, thank you for telling the truth about John Bolton and help to stop bombing Iran!

The Nair , 12 hours ago (edited)

John Bolton is owned by foreign powers like many in Washington. They get paid by their lobby to push the neocon agenda which translates into robbing the US of it's $ to fight wars that don't benefit the US.

yukonjeffimagery , 6 hours ago

War monger Bolton. How did that Libya thing work out for Europe ? Now after looking back, I am sure the African invasion into Europe was planned by Obama and his boss Soros.

Justin Noordyke , 8 hours ago

Romney is another swamp rat. All these politicians supporting Bolton have lost their sanity.

Marutgana Rudraksha , 6 hours ago

2,200 neo-cons don't like this video.

danielgarrison91 , 17 hours ago

Tucker while I agree with you on the mess in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya. But one thing you left out Tucker. Foxnews hired John Bolton as a Contributer for over a decade. How do you miss that part.

SAROJA Band , 3 hours ago (edited)

Bolton is pure evil. A "catastrophic success". Warmonger neo-con-artist. Abject failure. Delusional hubris exemplified. Brilliant reporting Tucker!!

Jamie Kloer , 8 hours ago

All the policies in the Middle East are complete and other failures. I'm so sick of neo cons. You can't get rid of them. You can not get rid of them. It doesn't matter who you vote for. Constant war. Like every regime couldn't be replaced around the world. Absolutely ridiculous.

BP , 9 hours ago

"In Washington, nobody cares what kind of job you did, only that you did the job. Nobody there learns from mistakes, because mistakes are never even acknowledged. Ever." Yes, Tucker DOES understand Washington!!!

Deborah Beaudoin Zaki , 6 hours ago div tabindex="0" class="comment-renderer-te

xt" role="article"> If Bolton becomes a Fox News contributor: I will change the channel immediately... I already do this when Jeff Epstein's, the child trafficker and rapist, good buddy Alan Dershowitz comes on as a guest... Do not know why Fox News selects guest contributors that have their morals/values in the wrong directions...

Angela J , 6 hours ago div tabindex="0" role="art

icle"> Bolton was signatory to PNAC- the project for a new american century, like other progressives and neo-cons of his generation. They do not view the chaos left by taking out Ghaddafi and Saddam as problems, rather the creation of failed states was their objective all along. Members of the GOP went along with these plans where they coincided with their own political and business objectives- the military industrial complex and the oilmen.

[Sep 11, 2019] Efforts of the conservative Catholic opposition in the US to launch a "coup d' tat" against Francis.

Sep 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Martin , Sep 11 2019 19:18 utc | 19

The Pope didn't seem too put out when faced with a long list of accusations against him from American Catholics as he was flying from Rome to Mozambique. He said he was honored to be attacked by them.

The book 'How America Wanted to Change the Pope' explores the supposed efforts of the conservative Catholic opposition in the US to launch a "coup d'état" against Francis. A copy was given to the pontiff by the author Nicolas Seneze, a journalist from France's Catholic newspaper La Croix, who was on board the papal plane Wednesday.

"For me it is an honor that Americans attack me," the pope quipped as he received the book, which he had apparently heard about and wanted to procure.He joked that the book about his critics "will be a bombshell."

But Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni attempted to deflate tensions, clarifying that the comments were made informally. He said Francis "always considers it an honor to be criticized," especially when it comes from "authoritative voices" or, as in this case, "an important nation."

[Sep 10, 2019] Bolton and company has turned my 2016 protest vote for Trump into a 2020 protest vote for Elizabeth Warren.

Sep 10, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Fed Up 21 hours ago

These idiots don't hire themselves. The problem is Trump. It doesn't matter whether Bolton (or Pompeo, or Hook, or Abrams) is in or out as long as Trump himself is in the White House.

That realization has turned my 2016 protest vote for Trump into a 2020 protest vote for Elizabeth Warren. The underlying principle is be the same, voting yet again for the lesser of two evils.

[Sep 08, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Stands Out at New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention

This is a kind of NYT endorsement of Warren...
Notable quotes:
"... Ms. Warren received the most enthusiastic reception of the day, with an opening standing ovation that stretched on for nearly two minutes. ..."
"... "There is a lot at stake and people are scared," she said. "But we can't choose a candidate we don't believe in because we're scared." ..."
Sep 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , September 07, 2019 at 03:12 PM

Elizabeth Warren Stands Out at New Hampshire Democratic
Party Convention https://nyti.ms/2POixCr
NYT - Katie Glueck - September 7

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s backers roared supportive slogans and banged on drums as they camped outside Southern New Hampshire University Arena. Backers of Senator Elizabeth Warren marched as part of a jazz-inflected brass band. A fan of Senator Amy Klobuchar admonished passers-by to consider electability, and banners associated with Senator Bernie Sanders that highlighted his own standing in the polls appeared aimed at drawing a contrast with Mr. Biden.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention drew 19 of the presidential candidates and some of the state's most committed party activists -- including more than 1,200 delegates -- to its gathering here Saturday, offering an early test of campaign organization and enthusiasm in a contest that is traditionally a must-win for candidates from neighboring states.

This cycle, that includes Mr. Sanders of Vermont, who won New Hampshire by a wide margin in 2016, and Ms. Warren of Massachusetts, whose ground game is often regarded as the most extensive in a contest that party officials describe as still fluid -- though Ms. Warren received the most enthusiastic reception of the day, with an opening standing ovation that stretched on for nearly two minutes.

Her supporters wielded inflatable noise makers and she received thunderous applause throughout her address.

"There is a lot at stake and people are scared," she said. "But we can't choose a candidate we don't believe in because we're scared."

It's a version of a line that Ms. Warren has deployed before, though it took on new significance when she deployed it Saturday, days before she faces off against Mr. Biden for the first time on the debate stage.

While many voters feel warmly toward Mr. Biden, some have also cited the perception that he is the most electable candidate in the race, rather than displaying outright enthusiasm for his campaign.

"There's that sense of, we know who Joe is and we trust him," said former State Senator Sylvia Larsen, the former New Hampshire Senate president. "There's still a little bit of people still looking around to say, 'Well, O.K., so what else is out there? Where are the voices? Who else might be a voice?'"

Mr. Biden, the former vice president, was the first of the presidential contenders to speak, and he received a polite though hardly raucous reception as attendees trickled into the arena, which was not yet full on Saturday morning.

Mr. Biden has led in most polls here since entering the race -- though the surveys have been relatively few. He is focused on blue-collar voters, moderates and other Democrats who believe his more centrist brand offers the most promising path to defeating Mr. Trump, in contrast to the more progressive coalitions Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders are working to build.

On the ground, Mr. Sanders's supporters challenged the notion that Mr. Biden is the only candidate well positioned to defeat Mr. Trump.

"Bernie beats Trump," read one banner hanging in the arena. Outside, another banner affixed to a pro-Sanders tent read, "In poll after poll after poll Bernie BEATS Trump."

Mr. Sanders received frequent applause throughout his speech and his supporters -- who appeared dispersed throughout the arena -- greeted many of his remarks with loud whoops.

"Together, we will make Donald Trump a one-term president," he said. "But frankly, frankly, it is not enough just to defeat Trump. We must do much, much more. We must finally create a government and an economy that works for all of us, not just the one percent."

In a sign of organizational strength, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., was also a prominent presence at the convention: He had a large cheering contingent that punctuated his address with rounds of applause. Flush with a field-leading fund-raising haul, his campaign has significantly expanded its presence in New Hampshire, and has announced the opening of 12 new offices in the state.

Senator Kamala Harris of California had a visible support section, too -- her fans wore bright yellow T-shirts -- and she also received applause and cheers.

Yet Ms. Harris's standing in the polls has slipped over the summer, and party leaders here say she does not have the same footprint in the state as some of the other contenders. Perhaps reflecting those dynamics -- and a lunchtime-hour speaking slot -- her ability to excite the room was at times uneven.

"Everybody else and the pundits can ride polls; I'm not on that roller coaster," she told reporters after her speech. "I am working hard, we are steady, I don't get high with the polls, I don't go low with the polls."

Senator Cory Booker, too, found himself brushing off the polls when speaking to reporters after giving an energetic speech that resonated in the room. His candidacy has mystified some veteran New Hampshire Democrats who note his relatively stagnant poll numbers despite extensive on-the-ground campaign organization, endorsements and an ability to deliver a fiery speech.

Certainly, the convention is an imperfect test of the state of the New Hampshire primary. It's a window into the mood of the most plugged-in activists, but isn't necessarily representative of the entire electorate that will turn out on Primary Day -- and it also drew attendees from out of state, from places including Massachusetts, New Jersey and even, in at least one case, California. ...

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , September 07, 2019 at 06:47 PM
Son and his wife were there....... with the Warren signs. I have a pix from fb.

We had other set of grandkids over, or I might have been in the Bernie line.

Good thing!

[Sep 06, 2019] America's Billionaires Congealing Around Warren and Buttigieg by Eric Zuesse

In comparison with Joe Biden or Kamala Harris, Warren is huge progress even with her warts and all.
Notable quotes:
"... the DNC is already gaming polls, cherry-picking which are "official" for their 2% threshhold. MSNBC and other networks and pundits also cherry-pick. Or even simply outright lie if the poll doesn't match what they want it to. ..."
"... Polling should either be eliminated or held to MUCH more consistent and much more scientific standards. (demographics, prediction analysis, neutral rather than leading questions, standardized formats, etc.) Until then they're simply more and more useless as predictors of the real poll, the primaries or general. ..."
"... The difference no is, that countries like Canada, the U.S., Australia, UK, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and with the AfD Germany are either as fascist, or more fascist than ever before. Once again, Russia is hyped up to be the eternal arch enemy of 'Western fascist values', 'freedom and democracy'. How much more difficult would it be today to round up resistance against a fascist axis that is hellbent to march again Russia? ..."
"... Sure, Trudeau is nothing but a bag of lukewarm air, but he employs hard core fascists in his cabinet – paid for by the Canadian people. ..."
"... History will look at the Sanders Warren debacle in the same way it must look now at the theft of the nomination of Henry A. Wallace in favor of the person that had no whatsoever second thoughts about dropping two nukes on an enemy that had already succumbed to the Soviet forces. Henry A. Wallace would heve never dropped these nukes. He was a staunch supporter of the 'common man'. All his policies reflected that. He was a presidential nominee for, of and by the people. ..."
"... To all the mindless party members of the Democratic fascist party: if you repeat history by allowing for the second time to install a puppet of the fascist powers in the U.S., you bear the full responsibilty for the dropping of the next nukes. ..."
"... The difference between Sanders and Wallace is a painful one. Wallace fought against the theft of his nomination with all he got. Subsequently, he realized that the 'Democratic' party would never allow for a person with integrity and the well being of the people at heart to win any nomination. He would have won the following presidency as a third party nominee – Trumann however knew how to prevent that. ..."
"... Much of what is sickening about the US as an imperial power today was present well before 1944 – indeed was present during the 19th century when the US made colonies of Hawaii and the Philippines in the 1890s, and occupied Haiti in 1915 (?), not leaving that country until the 1930s. ..."
"... Forgive me for saying so, but is a party of working folks really supposed to be grovelling for favours from billionaires? ..."
"... I think Gabbard is as authentic a new voice as i have ever seen in the DNC. She may well make it as an independent. Would Sanders? ..."
"... I'd say if a Gabbard/Paul grassroots campaign run by the Sanders 'momentum' network got their act together the USA may finally mature into a proper democracy not owned by their neolib con artistes. ..."
"... America where democracy has been extinguished and their increasingly paranoid voters are under the mistaken belief that yet another talking head can return them to a fair and impartial existence. ..."
"... Too late. Money is king and those that have most want more. The sideshow of elections produces the performing clowns such as Trump, Obama, Bush etc.all spouting the same vacuous promises on behalf of their wealthy benefactors. No real choice or change and an illusion of caring for the welfare of their citizenry. Listen carefully to the clowns, it's the sound of money talking. ..."
Sep 03, 2019 | off-guardian.org

So: the rise of Elizabeth Warren gives the billionaires a 'progressive' candidate who might either win the nomination or else at least split progressive voters during the primaries (between Sanders and Warren) and thus give the nomination to Buttigieg, who is their first choice (especially since both Biden and Harris have been faltering so badly of late).

This explains the gushings for Warren, at such neocon rags as The Atlantic, The New Republic , New Yorker , and Mother Jones .

It's being done in order to set up the final round, so as for its outcome to be acceptable to the billionaires who fund the Democratic Party. Her record in the U.S. Senate is consistently in support of U.S. invasions, coups, and sanctions against countries that have never invaded nor even threatened to invade the U.S., such as Venezuela, Palestine, Syria, and Iran ; she's 100% a neocon (just like G.W. Bush, Obama and Trump were/are); and, to billionaires, that is even more important than her policy-record regarding Wall Street is, because the Military Industrial Complex, which she represents, is even more important to enforcing and spreading the U.S. megacorporate empire than the investment-firms are.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity


Jumpbean Max

I feel like any analysis that even mentions polls is guesswork, because nowadays polls are almost entirely useless. In that they aren't accurately measuring people who are actually going to go to open/semi-open or even closed primaries, and caucuses. The cohort of likely voters is different from the cohort who bothers to pick up a phone call from an unknown (polling) number. Or make it through a whole poll. Or do any online polls. Or have a reachable phone # at all.

Plus the fact that the DNC is already gaming polls, cherry-picking which are "official" for their 2% threshhold. MSNBC and other networks and pundits also cherry-pick. Or even simply outright lie if the poll doesn't match what they want it to.

Polling should either be eliminated or held to MUCH more consistent and much more scientific standards. (demographics, prediction analysis, neutral rather than leading questions, standardized formats, etc.) Until then they're simply more and more useless as predictors of the real poll, the primaries or general.

I liked the article other than that though.

mark
"Vote for me, I'm gay!"
"Vote for me, I'm a Red Indian!"
Daniel Rich
Do these 'Democratic Party billionaires ' have names and further affiliations? Could it be that most of these 'Democratic Party billionaires ' favor the Apartheid State? Hmmmmm?
George Cornell
David Bradley's The Atlanticmagazine headlined on August 26th, "Elizabeth Warren Manages to Woo the Democratic Establishment". Wooing in American politics = betraying your principles, cutting deals, bending to the wishes of the powerful, and all round submissive boot-licking.
Roberto
That would be describing successful politics in any country at any time in history. An unsuccessful politician would do the inverse of what you list. For those with good memories, let's try to name some.
George Cornell
Not everyone would agree with that definition of success, but you are quite right.
wardropper
Voice in the "Emperor's New Clothes" story: "Why don't we just ban all financial support of presidential candidates? – I thought this was supposed to be about the person best qualified and best suited to run the country "

HEY! Somebody shut that child up right now, will you!

nevermind
US politics running the UK? Still western nations 'Haves' are playing with themselves and politics. What big fat Yawn.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/cOmdkN6MOwU

bevin
The significance of Sanders is this: if he wins the nomination he will have done so by leading an insurrectionary movement, not only within the Democratic Party but in US society itself. He simply cannot win otherwise. And if he wins the primaries it will have been in spite of the great mass of money and Establishment influence having been mobilised against him.

In other words he is right to call his supporters a "revolution."

It is of course equally true of the Corbyn movement- any victories are immense defeats for both the Establishment and its media. That, in itself is important.
And nowhere more than in Canada where the third and fourth parties- the NDP and the Greens- continue to tack further and further to the right, trying to catch up with the rightward swing of the Liberal Party -now close to full on neo-naziism- and the ultra right Tories.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/09/01/the-canadian-prime-minister-needs-a-history-lesson/

nottheonly1
Thank You for the link. While I am keenly aware of the untold history of WWII and the fact that Hitler would have never gotten where he was from 1933-1941 without the propping up by both U.S. and Zionist interests (mind the redundancy), eager to crush the perceived anti-capitalist behemoth Soviet Union, I am wondering about the present re-run of the same story unfolding.

The difference no is, that countries like Canada, the U.S., Australia, UK, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and with the AfD Germany are either as fascist, or more fascist than ever before. Once again, Russia is hyped up to be the eternal arch enemy of 'Western fascist values', 'freedom and democracy'. How much more difficult would it be today to round up resistance against a fascist axis that is hellbent to march again Russia?

Sure, Trudeau is nothing but a bag of lukewarm air, but he employs hard core fascists in his cabinet – paid for by the Canadian people. The rest of the what goes for the 'value West' is more of a disgrace than at any time before. These are the real dark ages, as I have stated before. Nothing good can come from these psychopathic puppets in control of countries that ought to deserve much better. Maybe, just maybe, the people of the countries in question should read Rudi Dutschke's works about 'Extra Parliamentary Opposition' – for Dummies?

Junaid
Until Turkey is able to produce S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems – it will buy weapons from Russia. Turkey intends to buy from Russia additional S-400 air defense systems

Turkey intends to buy from Russia additional S-400 air defense systems

nottheonly1
While Bernie Sanders is no Henry A. Wallace by a long shot, Elizabeth Warren is the new Harry Trumann. The Democrats are still the Democratic fascist Party of America and have their party base hypnotized into believing that it has the well being of its voters on its mind.

That is of course a lie and pure propaganda. And since the U.S. is the second most vulnerable nation to propaganda and fascism – with Germany being the number one, in both the past and the present – the people that refuse to leave the Democratic Fascist Party are remiscent of those people who kept following Hitler, even after it had become clear that his 'party' would drive Germany into the abyss.

For the brownshirt-like followers of proven war criminals that both lead, or finance the 'party', absolutely no crime is big enough that would warrant to turn their back on the fascist party.

History will look at the Sanders Warren debacle in the same way it must look now at the theft of the nomination of Henry A. Wallace in favor of the person that had no whatsoever second thoughts about dropping two nukes on an enemy that had already succumbed to the Soviet forces. Henry A. Wallace would heve never dropped these nukes. He was a staunch supporter of the 'common man'. All his policies reflected that. He was a presidential nominee for, of and by the people.

That did not sit too well with the fascists and they stole the nomination from him. Present day America has turned into this corrupt cesspool because of this stolen nomination. Everything that is sickening about the U.S. today, started in 1944. All the surveillance, the mindcontrol, the cold war and the transformation into a wannabe empire – they are all the result of this infamy by the hands of the Democratic fascists.

To all the mindless party members of the Democratic fascist party: if you repeat history by allowing for the second time to install a puppet of the fascist powers in the U.S., you bear the full responsibilty for the dropping of the next nukes. Suffering from such deep sitting cognitive dissonance, party members will find all kinds of excuses to prevent the truth from coming out. Just as there was no war crime by Clinton and Obama sufficient enough to not cheer them like the greatest baseball team ever. Leave the Democratic fascist party now, or have history piss on your graves.

Norcal
Very convincing argument and link, perfectly done. Thank you nottheonly1.
nottheonly1
Thank You, Norcal. It may be best to download these video clips, since they are all taken down one after another based on 'copyright issues'.

The difference between Sanders and Wallace is a painful one. Wallace fought against the theft of his nomination with all he got. Subsequently, he realized that the 'Democratic' party would never allow for a person with integrity and the well being of the people at heart to win any nomination. He would have won the following presidency as a third party nominee – Trumann however knew how to prevent that. As the clip states, the American people only have to be frightened and you can sell them their own demise on a golden platter. The ridicule and shaming of those who want a third party can also be traced back to this time.

It is equally very disturbing that the owner class managed to brain wash the people into accepting the use of 'oligarchs', 'billionaires', or 'donors' when in truth they are the real fascists Henry Wallace had warned about. This must be reversed by all means available. People must understand that the concerted use of these euphemisms will make it next to impossible to accept what these persons really are and what their goals are.

Jen
Much of what is sickening about the US as an imperial power today was present well before 1944 – indeed was present during the 19th century when the US made colonies of Hawaii and the Philippines in the 1890s, and occupied Haiti in 1915 (?), not leaving that country until the 1930s. Of course there was also the genocide of First Nations peoples through the theft of their lands, the wars waged to force them onto reservations, and the massive slaughter of bison as a way of destroying many indigenous cultures.
nottheonly1
Yes, but never before was the deliberate change of course towards fascism so blatant than with the ouster of Wallace. This was the watershed moment that turned the U.S. into the greatest threat for humanity. When You read about Wallace, You will find out that he generally wanted reconcile with the Native Indian Nation. He wanted cooperation with the Soviet Union/Russians for a lasting global peace and prosperity for everyone, not just a few American maggots. Present day U.S. started at that real day of infamy.
Lysias
Wallace was also a big supporter of establishing Israel.
Seamus Padraig

So, whereas they would be able to deal with Warren, they wouldn't be able to deal with Sanders, whose policy-record is remarkably progressive in all respects, and not only on domestic U.S. matters.

Frankly, Bernie could be better on foreign policy. While he did vote against the Iraq War–I give him all due credit for that–he hasn't really opposed any of Washington's other wars, coups and régime-change operations in recent memory. Oh: and Bernie, the self-described socialist, once referred to Hugo Chavez as a "dead dictator". That being said, he would still be preferable to the remaining flotsam in the today's Democrap Party.

Rhys Jaggar
Forgive me for saying so, but is a party of working folks really supposed to be grovelling for favours from billionaires? The Republicans are supposed to be the party for the rich, not the Democrats . And is not time for billionaires to be bumped off by politicians, not politicians bumped off by billionaires?
ANDREW CLEMENTS
Democrat Party are plantation owners at heart
Philip Roddis
A tad uncritical on Sanders, especially his foreign policies, but otherwise an excellent and closely argued takedown of the risible but sadly widespread delusion that America is a democracy. Thanks Eric.
Wilmers31
Democracy itself does not say anything about quality of life, it's just a system. US democracy runs on money. Most thing in life do – pretending it is otherwise, that's where the problem is.

Democracy is just the shell – if you fill it with sh1t it's bad; if you fill it with honey it's sweet.

Biden is remote-controllable, he'd do as told – so of course big money would prefer him.

Philip Roddis
I've just the other day written this piece on democracy . The immediate context is the fiasco re the UK Queen granting Boris Johnson's request to prorogue (temporarily dissolve) parliament, but the issues run deeper and wider.
Dungroanin

There is a long way to that election yet. (The US, ours is finally within reach, unless some wildebeast tramples in )

The DNC dirty tricks won't wash this time – perhaps its time to start reading and talking about the nitty gritty of these leaked mails – if for nothing else for the bravery and ultimate sacrifice of Seth Rich.

How about it Phillip Roddis?

Philip Roddis
Well I'm already stretched perilous thin, DG, but will give it thought.

Meantime, this piece from last week by Katia Novella Miller, first of a two parts with second part to follow on the same KBNB World News site, gives a precis of what Wikileaks showed the world.

George Cornell
Thanks for this -a must read.
Chris Rogers
The lack of mention of Gabbard is telling, as is the fact the Billionaire crowd (Rubinites) are pushing for a candidate I ain't even heard of.

The fact remains, a Sanders – Gabbard ticket against Trump is the preferable outcome for many observers on the Left.

Just as a reminder, neither Sanders & Gabbard are God like figures, in much the same way Corbyn ain't, however, they are the best available at this juncture in time if we really want some change, even if it is incremental.

Dungroanin
I think Gabbard is as authentic a new voice as i have ever seen in the DNC. She may well make it as an independent. Would Sanders?

I read somewhere that the US electorate were self identified as third Republican, Democrat and independent.

If they were given an independent ticket- not part of the two billionaire funded main parties then enough may join the independent third from these.

I'd say if a Gabbard/Paul grassroots campaign run by the Sanders 'momentum' network got their act together the USA may finally mature into a proper democracy not owned by their neolib con artistes.

Grafter
America where democracy has been extinguished and their increasingly paranoid voters are under the mistaken belief that yet another talking head can return them to a fair and impartial existence.

Too late. Money is king and those that have most want more. The sideshow of elections produces the performing clowns such as Trump, Obama, Bush etc.all spouting the same vacuous promises on behalf of their wealthy benefactors. No real choice or change and an illusion of caring for the welfare of their citizenry. Listen carefully to the clowns, it's the sound of money talking.

[Sep 06, 2019] Imagine if America had to answer for its war crimes caucus99percent

Notable quotes:
"... @gulfgal98 ..."
"... It is what all people of knowledge and conscience must prioritize accomplishing over any and all other concerns with the exception of the environment. ..."
"... literal medical necessity ..."
"... @humphrey ..."
"... My own take is that "America" is meaningless; world capital calls the shots. The US functions as a mercenary hiring hall for the owners, ever since Iraq I. You think the owners will let anybody mess with their mercs? ..."
Sep 06, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Imagine if America had to answer for its war crimes


gjohnsit on Thu, 09/05/2019 - 5:25pm Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demonstrated what the term "ugly American" meant the other day when he bragged about his defeat of the International Criminal Court.

"Americanism means taking care of our own," said Pompeo.
"We stopped international courts from prosecuting our service members," Pompeo continued, adding that the potential probe "was an outrage."
...
Pompeo confirmed earlier this year that the administration would revoke or deny visas for ICC personnel who try to investigate or prosecute U.S. officials or key allies for potential war crimes. A month later, in April, the administration followed through and revoked prosecutor Bensouda's visa for entry into the U.S.

Just because you defeated justice doesn't mean the crimes go away.
However, it does mean that there is no incentive to stop committing war crimes.
That brings us to today's news from Yemen .


The UK, US, France and Iran may be complicit in possible war crimes in Yemen over their support for parties to the conflict there, UN experts say.
A new report warns the countries they could be held responsible for aiding or assisting the commission of violations.
The Western powers provide weapons and logistical support to the Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen's government, while Iran backs the Houthi rebels.
...
The UN says the four-year conflict has claimed the lives of at least 7,290 civilians and left 80% of the population - 24 million people - in need of humanitarian assistance or protection, including 10 million who rely on food aid to survive.

Yemen has gotten a significant amount of much needed attention in recent years, but just across the Gulf of Aden another humanitarian disaster of gigantic size is happening in near total silence and obscurity.

"In the absence of humanitarian assistance, up to 2.1 million people across Somalia face severe hunger through December," the UN warned, citing the 2019 Post-Gu report's conclusion that this would bring the total number of Somalis expected to be food insecure, to 6.3 million by year's end.

1 million children are expected to be malnourished in Somalia by year's end.

Much like Yemen, the United States is busy committing war crimes in Somalia as well.

The United States may have committed war crimes as it bombed al-Shabab militants in Somalia, a new report Amnesty International alleges...
They found that the airstrikes killed farmers, women and an eight-year-old girl, whom the group assessed had no ties to al-Shabab.

"Due to the nature of the attacks, the U.S. government is violating international humanitarian law and these violations may amount to war crimes," Hassan said.
While the United States has been bombing Somalia for more than a decade, the Trump administration has accelerated the attacks.

The insurgency there is fueled by Somali rage over now decades-long American interference in their country.
Why Americans cannot bring themselves to care about Somalia is something I will never understand.

Meanwhile in Libya things have gone from bad to worse .

"Unless action is taken in the near term, it is highly likely that the current conflict will escalate into full civil war," Guterres said on Thursday in his latest report on the UN Support Mission in Libya.

AFRICOM says that a civil war would "give existing terrorist elements in Libya oxygen."
The leading instigator of the fighting is General Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar, after the defeat of the Libyan troops he was commanding in 1987, he offered his services to the CIA , which backed him for years as he awaited the opportunity to topple Muammar Gaddafi.
Is it really any surprise that Trump loves him ?


An airstrike by Khalifa Haftar's forces hit a migrant detention center east of Tripoli yesterday and killed at least 44 people and wounded up to 130. Haftar and his forces are mainly backed by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, and this airstrike is part of the assault on the Libyan capital that Trump reportedly endorsed when it began. The Trump administration is now shielding Haftar from condemnation by the Security Council by blocking the statement promoted by the U.K.

The ICC plans to investigate these war crimes, but since the Trump Administration won't even allow a condemnation, and considering how much Washington hates the ICC, i wouldn't count on this investigation going very far.

We need to

Our war crimes go way back and they continue to today.

Unfortunately, the US is the 800 lb gorilla on the world stage and no one is willing or courageous enough to challenge that gorilla.

The Liberal Moonbat on Thu, 09/05/2019 - 7:51pm
We, the American people, need to grab that gorilla by the balls

@gulfgal98 and CRUSH THEM.

The idea that POMPEO is "outraged" is...well, he's a Nazi. So is anybody who thinks that way (lookin' at you, Dubya & Friends).

THEY ARE DETERMINED TO OBLITERATE THE ENTIRE 20TH CENTURY, THE CENTURY THAT MADE AMERICA GREAT PRECISELY BECAUSE, FOR A BRIEF MOMENT IN TIME, IT CAST OFF AND STOOD AGAINST THAT VERY MENTALITY.

Men like him belong in their own torture-camps...or a short distance under them.

I've said it before, I'll say it again:

NUREMBERG II: JUDGMENT DAY.

It is what they most dread.
It is the least they deserve.
It is what the entire world - the American people most of all - NEEDS NOW.
It is what all people of knowledge and conscience must prioritize accomplishing over any and all other concerns with the exception of the environment.

FIAT JUSTICIA, RUUAT CAELUM: "Let there be Justice, though the Heavens may fall".

I believe that Justice (REAL Justice, not just the way it's been redefined by some as "goodies for my clique"), delivered in a timely, precise, and reliable manner, is nothing short of a literal medical necessity - and the truth is, Caelum IS Ruuating PRECISELY BECAUSE there has been no Justicia.

Our war crimes go way back and they continue to today.

Unfortunately, the US is the 800 lb gorilla on the world stage and no one is willing or courageous enough to challenge that gorilla.

humphrey on Thu, 09/05/2019 - 8:42pm
One thing.

There would be a construction boom at The Hague building new prisons to accommodate all the war criminals.

Le Frog on Thu, 09/05/2019 - 10:06pm
Somewhere, a private prison executive's

@humphrey heart beat a little faster in excitement and anticipation at the idea of securing the contracts for this.

There would be a construction boom at The Hague building new prisons to accommodate all the war criminals.

Daenerys on Thu, 09/05/2019 - 10:13pm
"Taking care of our own"

Our own what? Criminals I guess. *snort*

//www.youtube.com/embed/_n5E7feJHw0?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

wendy davis on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 11:23am
this is great, gjonsit;

thank you. i look forward to reading it more carefully later, especially your link on somalia. i remember bill clinton's hypocritical R2P only too well.. which precious Somalian mineral was the hegemon really after?

pindar's revenge on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 4:55pm
Forgive me, a nitpick

In the book The Ugly American, the ugly guy was actually the good guy who understood and respected local culture; he was just ugly and unsmooth. The "pretty" Americans were the villains. IIRC, it's been over 50 years. Might be worth re-reading.

Are we surprised? This is the Pax (or Bellus?) Americana. Since the USSR folded, the UN is toothless and GodGun$Gut$ dominates the world with endless war -- or thinks it does; after all, one in six humans is Chinese.

My own take is that "America" is meaningless; world capital calls the shots. The US functions as a mercenary hiring hall for the owners, ever since Iraq I. You think the owners will let anybody mess with their mercs?

[Sep 06, 2019] 9-11 and Jeffrey Epstein Media Malfeasance on Steroids by Kevin Barrett

It is not vey clear for whom Epstein used to work. Mossad connection is just one hypothesis. What sovereign state would allow compromising politician by a foreign intelligence service. This just does not compute.
But the whole tone of discussion below clearly point to the crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite. And Russiagate had shown that the elite cares about it and tried to patch the cracks.
Sep 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

As Eric Rasmusen writes: "Everybody, it seems, in New York society knew by 2000 that Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were corrupting teenage girls, but the press wouldn't cover it." Likewise, everybody in New York society has long known that Larry Silverstein, who bought the asbestos-riddled white elephant World Trade Center in July 2001 and immediately doubled the insurance, is a mobbed-up friend of Netanyahu and a confessed participant in the controlled demolition of Building 7 , from which he earned over 700 million insurance dollars on the pretext that al-Qaeda had somehow brought it down. But the press won't cover that either.

The New York Times , America's newspaper of record, has the investigative talent and resources to expose major corruption in New York. Why did the Times spend almost two decades ignoring the all-too-obvious antics of Epstein and Silverstein? Why is it letting the absurd tale of Epstein's alleged suicide stand? Why hasn't it used the work of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth -- including the brand-new University of Alaska study on the controlled demolition of WTC-7 -- to expose the biggest scandal of the 21 st century, if not all of American history?

The only conceivable answer is that The New York Times is somehow complicit in these monstrous crimes. It must be protecting its friends in high places. So who are those friends, and where are those high places?

One thing Epstein and Silverstein have in common, besides names ending in "-stein," is alleged involvement in the illicit sex industry. Epstein's antics, or at least some of them, are by now well-known. Not so for Silverstein, who apparently began his rags-to-9/11-riches story as a pimp supplying prostitutes and nude dancers to the shadier venues of NYC, alongside other illicit activities including "the heroin trade, money laundering and New York Police corruption." All of this was exposed in a mid-1990s lawsuit. But good luck finding any investigative reports in The New York Times .

Another Epstein-Silverstein connection is their relationships to major American Jewish organizations. Even while he was allegedly pimping girls and running heroin, Larry Silverstein served as president for United Jewish Appeal of New York. As for Epstein, he was the boy toy and protégé of Les Wexner, co-founder of the Mega Group of Jewish billionaires associated with the World Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, and other pro-Israel groups. Indeed, there is no evidence that "self-made billionaire" Epstein ever earned significant amounts of money; his only investment "client" was Les Wexner. Epstein, a professional sexual blackmailer, used his supposed billionaire status as a cover story. In fact, he was just an employee working for Wexner and associated criminal/intelligence networks.

Which brings us to the third and most important Epstein-Silverstein similarity: They were both close to the government of Israel. Jeffrey Epstein's handler was Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of Mossad super-spy Robert Maxwell; among his friends was Ehud Barak, who is currently challenging Netanyahu for leadership of Israel. Larry Silverstein, too, has friends in high Israeli places. According to Haaretz , Silverstein has "close ties with Netanyahu" (speaking to him on the phone every weekend) as well as with Ehud Barak, "whom Silverstein in the past offered a job as his representative in Israel" and who called Silverstein immediately after 9/11.

We may reasonably surmise that both Jeffrey Epstein and Larry Silverstein have been carrying on very important work on behalf of the state of Israel. And we may also surmise that this is the reason The New York Times has been covering up the scandals associated with both Israeli agents for almost two decades. The Times , though it pretends to be America's newspaper of record, has always been Jewish-owned-and-operated. Its coverage has always been grotesquely distorted in favor of Israel . It has no interest in exposing the way Israel controls the United States by blackmailing its leaders (Epstein) and staging a fake "Arab-Muslim attack on America" (Silverstein). The awful truth is that The New York Times is part of the same Jewish-Zionist " we control America " network as Jeffrey Epstein and Larry Silverstein.

Epstein "Suicide" Illustrates Zionist Control of USA -- and the Decadence and Depravity of Western Secularism

Since The New York Times and other mainstream media won't go there, let's reflect on the facts and lessons of the Jeffrey Epstein suicide scandal -- a national disgrace that ought to shock Americans into rethinking their worldviews in general, and their views on the official myth of 9/11 in particular.

On Saturday, August 10, 2019, convicted child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was allegedly found dead in his cell at Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York City, one of America's most corrupt prisons. The authorities claim Epstein hanged himself. But nobody, not even the presstitutes of America's corporate propaganda media, convincingly pretends to believe the official story.

Jeffrey Epstein was a pedophile pimp to presidents and potentates. His job was recruiting young girls for sex, then offering them to powerful men -- in settings outfitted with hidden video cameras. When police raided his New York townhouse on July 6-7 2019 they found locked safes full of pornographic pictures of underage girls, along with piles of compact discs labeled "young (name of girl) + (name of VIP)." Epstein had been openly and brazenly carrying on such activities for more than two decades, as reported throughout most of that period by alternative media outlets including my own Truth Jihad Radio and False Flag Weekly News . (Even before the 2016 elections, my audience knew that both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump were blackmailed clients of Jeffrey Epstein, that Clinton was a frequent flyer on Epstein's "Lolita Express" private jet, and that Trump had been credibly accused in a lawsuit of joining Epstein in the brutal rape of a 13-year-old, to whom Trump then allegedly issued death threats.) It was only in the summer of 2019 that mainstream media and New York City prosecutors started talking about what used to be consigned to the world of "conspiracy theories."

So who was Epstein working for? His primary employer was undoubtedly the Israeli Mossad and its worldwide Zionist crime network. Epstein's handler was Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of Mossad super-spy Robert Maxwell. According to sworn depositions, Ghislaine Maxwell recruited underage girls for Epstein and oversaw his sex trafficking operations. As the New Yorker reported August 16: "In court papers that were unsealed on August 9th, it was alleged that Maxwell had been Epstein's central accomplice, first as his girlfriend, and, later, as his trusted friend and procuress, grooming a steady stream of girls, some as young as fourteen, coercing them to have sex with Epstein at his various residences around the world, and occasionally participating in the sexual abuse herself." Alongside Maxwell, Epstein's other Mossad handler was Les Wexner, co-founder of the notorious Mega Group of billionaire Israeli spies , who appears to have originally recruited the penniless Epstein and handed him a phony fortune so Epstein could pose as a billionaire playboy.

Even after Epstein's shady "suicide" mega-Mossadnik Maxwell continued to flaunt her impunity from American justice. She no doubt conspired to publicize the August 15 New York Post photograph of herself smiling and looking "chillingly serene" at In-And-Out-Burger in Los Angeles, reading The Book of Honor: The Secret Lives and Deaths of C.I.A. Operatives . That nauseating photo inspired the New Yorker to accuse her of having "gall" -- a euphemism for the Yiddish chutzpah , a quality that flourishes in the overlapping Zionist and Kosher Nostra communities.

Maxwell and The New York Post , both Kosher Nostra/Mossad assets, were obviously sending a message to the CIA: Don't mess with us or we will expose your complicity in these scandalous crimes. That is the Mossad's standard operating procedure: Infiltrate and compromise Western intelligence services in order to prevent them from interfering with the Zionists' over-the-top atrocities. According to French historian Laurent Guyénot's hypothesis, the CIA's false flag fake assassination attempt on President John F. Kennedy, designed to be blamed on Cuba, was transformed by Mossad into a real assassination -- and the CIA couldn't expose it due to its own complicity. (The motive: Stop JFK from ending Israel's nuclear program.) The same scenario, Guyénot argues, explains the anomalies of the Mohamed Merah affair , the Charlie Hebdo killings, and the 9/11 false flag operation. It would not be surprising if Zionist-infiltrated elements of the CIA were made complicit in Jeffrey Epstein's sexual blackmail activities, in order to protect Israel in the event Epstein had to be "burned" (which is apparently what has finally occurred).

So what really happened to Epstein? Perhaps the most likely scenario is that the Kosher Nostra, which owns New York in general and the mobbed-up MCC prison in particular, allowed the Mossad to exfiltrate Epstein to Occupied Palestine, where he will be given a facelift, a pension, a luxury suite overlooking the Mediterranean, and a steady stream of young sex slaves (Israel is the world's capital of human trafficking, an honor it claimed from the Kosher Nostra enclaves of Odessa after World War II). Once the media heat wave blows over, Epstein will undoubtedly enjoy visits from his former Mossad handler Ghislaine Maxwell, his good friend Ehud Barak, and various other Zionist VIPs. He may even offer fresh sex slaves to visiting American congressmen.

This is not just a paranoid fantasy scenario. According to Eric Rasmusen : "The Justice Dept. had better not have let Epstein's body be cremated. And they'd better give us convincing evidence that it's his body. If I had $100 million to get out of jail with, acquiring a corpse and bribing a few people to switch fingerprints and DNA wouldn't be hard. I find it worrying that the government has not released proof that Epstein is dead or a copy of the autopsy."

But didn't the alleged autopsy reportedly find broken neck bones that are more commonly associated with strangulation murders than suicides? That controversy may have been scripted to distract the public from an insider report on 4chan , first published before the news of Epstein's "suicide" broke, that Epstein had been "switched out" of MCC. If so, the body with the broken neck bones wasn't Epstein's.

The Epstein affair (like 9/11) illustrates two critically important truths about Western secularism: there is no truth, and there are no limits. A society that no longer believes in God no longer believes in truth, since God is al-haqq, THE truth, without Whom the whole notion of truth has no metaphysical basis. The postmodern philosophers understand this perfectly well. They taught a whole generation of Western humanities scholars that truth is merely a function of power: people accept something as "true" to the extent that they are forced by power to accept it. So when the most powerful people in the world insist that three enormous steel-frame skyscrapers were blown to smithereens by relatively modest office fires on 9/11, that absurd assertion becomes the official "truth" as constructed by such Western institutions as governments, courts, media, and academia. Likewise, the assertion that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide under circumstances that render that assertion absurd will probably become the official "truth" as recorded and promulgated by the West's ruling institutions, even though nobody will ever really believe it.

Epstein's career as a shameless, openly-operating Mossad sexual blackmailer -- like the in-your-face 9/11 coup -- also illustrates another core truth of Western secularism: If there is no God, there are no limits (in this case, to human depravity and what it can get away with). Or as Dostoevsky famously put it: "If God does not exist, everything is permitted." Since God alone can establish metaphysically-grounded limits between what is permitted and what is forbidden, a world without God will feature no such limits; in such a world Aleister Crowley's satanic motto "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" becomes the one and only commandment. In today's Godless West, why should men not "do what they wilt" and indulge their libidos by raping young girls if they can get away with it? After all, all the other sexual taboos are being broken, one by one. Fornication, adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism, gender-bending all of these have been transformed during my lifetime from crimes and vices to "human rights" enjoyed by the most liberal and fashionable right-thinking Western secularists. Even bestiality and necrophilia are poised to become normalized "sexual identities" whose practitioners will soon be proudly marching in "bestiality pride" and "necrophilia pride" parades. So why not normalize pedophilia and other forms of rape perpetrated by the strong against the weak? And why not add torture and murder in service to sexual gratification? After all, the secret bible of the sexual identity movement is the collected works of the Marquis de Sade, the satanic prophet of sexual liberation, with whom the liberal progressivist secular West is finally catching up. It will not be surprising if, just a few years after the Jeffrey Epstein "suicide" is consigned to the memory hole, we will be witnessing LGBTQBNPR parades, with the BNPR standing for bestiality, necrophilia, pedophilia, and rape. (It would have been LGBTQBNPRG, with the final G standing for Gropers like President Trump, except that the G was already taken by the gays.) The P's, pioneers of pedophile pride parades, will undoubtedly celebrate Jeffrey Epstein as an ahead-of-his-time misunderstood hero who was unjustly persecuted on the basis of his unusual sexual orientation.

It is getting harder and harder to satirize the decadence and depravity of the secular West, which insists on parodying itself with ever-increasing outlandishness. When the book on this once-mighty civilization is written, and the ink is dry, readers will be astounded by the limitless lies of the drunk-on-chutzpah psychopaths who ran it into the ground.


NoseytheDuke , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:30 am GMT

Correct me if I am wrong but I thought Lucky Larry only leased the WTC buildings rather than actually purchased them. I think I have read that his investment was in the region of 150 mill for which he has recouped a whopping 4 bill.
Wizard of Oz , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:42 am GMT
Would you please answer a preliminary question before I put finishing this on my busy agenda? You stake a fair bit of your credit on what you say about Larry Silverstein and insurance. My present understanding is that the insurance cover for WTC 1 and 2 was increased as a routine part of the financing deal he had made for a purchase which was only months old. Not true? Not the full story? Convince us.

As to WTC 7 my understanding is that he had owned the building for some years and had not recently increased the insurance. Not true? And when did any clause get into his WTC7 insurance contract which might have had some effect on inflating the payout?

Fozzy Bear , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:55 am GMT
“Trump had been credibly accused in a lawsuit of joining Epstein in the brutal rape of a 13-year-old, to whom Trump then allegedly issued death threats.)”
The “Katie Johnson” case collapsed in 2016 when it was revealed that “she” was in fact a middle-aged man, a stringer for the Jerry Springer show. Just another Gloria Allred fraud.
nsa , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:26 am GMT
“a society that no longer believes in god no longer believes in the truth, since god is the truth….blah blah blah”
This is thin gruel indeed…..just silly platitudes from a muzzie convert. There are at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe with each galaxy containing as many as 100 billion stars. And there is no telling how many universes there are. Does anyone really believe Barrett’s preferred deity takes a time out from running this vast empire to service Barrett’s yearning for “truth”? Just goes to prove that humans will believe almost any idea as long as it’s sufficiently idiotic.
utu , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:47 am GMT
The release of Prof. J. Leroy Hulsey report on the finite element analysis of the WTC7 collapse should be a big news.

http://ine.uaf.edu/wtc7

http://ine.uaf.edu/media/222439/uaf_wtc7_draft_report_09-03-2019.pdf

Conclusion form the EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

“The principal conclusion of our study is that fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST and private engineering firms that studied the collapse.”

“It is our conclusion based upon these findings that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of all columns in the building and not a progressive collapse involving the sequential failure of columns throughout the building.”

WorkingClass , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:47 am GMT
Trump is Israel’s best friend. Right? So why is the Jew York Times trying to destroy him? I don’t get it.
Mark James , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:52 am GMT
Speaking of the truth v. parody I’d really rather work on the cause of Epstein’s death –yes I think he’s dead– suicide or strangulation ?
There are some things the Justice Dept. could do if they wanted to. Why they apparently didn’t want to expose the corpse in greater detail, let media view the cell, have correspondent(s) interview the ex- cellmate of Epstein, et.al just leads to suspicions. This is something they should have to answer for . That includes AG Barr. Trump could make it happen–like every thing else– if Barr says no. The President won’t.

... ... ...

utu , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:58 am GMT
Dostoyevsky with his “If God does not exist, everything is permitted.” overlooked the Jewish God who permits much more when it comes to Jewish gentile relations. The Jewish God is not limited by the Kant’s First Moral Imperative. The Jewish God’s moral laws are not universal. They are context dependent according to the Leninist Who, whom rule.
utu , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:00 am GMT

Not so for Silverstein, who apparently began his rags-to-9/11-riches story as a pimp supplying prostitutes and nude dancers to the shadier venues of NYC, alongside other illicit activities including “the heroin trade, money laundering and New York Police corruption.”

I would like to see more about the beginnings of Silverstein’s career.

BlackDragon , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:19 am GMT
Good work Kevin, Irrelevant exactly what Silverstein did in way of insurance.The FACT is that WTC7 DID NOT FALL due to fires. Neither did WTC1 or 2. The 6 million dollar question is ‘WHO put the ‘bang’ in the building?’ to bring them down, by what ever means. Im in favour of nukes for 1 and 2.
Answer that! Why isnt Silverstein arrested? I think Kevin provided the answer in the article..
Antares , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:27 am GMT
I liked the article but skipped the part about some god. Nothing matches intellectual integrity.

“It is getting harder and harder to satirize the decadence and depravity of the secular West”

This is the same line of reasoning as Vltchek’s but then from a(nother) religious point of view.

The Duke of Dork , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:28 am GMT
I just stumbled onto your article from a link on reddit, r/epstein. You make some convincing arguments. I was thrilled that you brought 9/11 into this – because the Epstein “suicide” and how it is being covered reminds me so much of how I felt after 9/11 and the run-up to the war. -But you lost me at the end with the stuff about Godless secularism. I’ve read the bible and it is not the answer to what’s wrong with the world.
Sean , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:31 am GMT

Why did the Times spend almost two decades ignoring the all-too-obvious antics of Epstein and Silverstein? Why is it letting the absurd tale of Epstein’s alleged suicide stand?

One thing cannot be denied : Epstein was arrested, denied bail and jailed awaiting trail on a Federal indictment for much the same offence he had pleaded guilty to a decade ago, which did not involve even a single homicide yet made him universally reviled and in as much trouble with the legal system as a man could be (almost certain never to get out again). Epstein was in far more trouble that anyone of his financial resources has ever been, but then that was for paying for sex acts with young teen girls.

What an awesomely impressive testament to the impunity enjoyed by the Jewish elite Epstein is. It is no wonder that Larry Silverstein was insouciant about the risks of a Jewish lightning fraud controlled demolition killing thousands of people in a building he had just bought and increased the insurance coverage of. After all, it wasn’t anything serious like paying for getting hundreds of handjobs from underage girls. And it is not like someone like the Pizzagate nut that fired his AR15 into underground child molestation complex beneath the Dems restaurant/pedophile centre would take all those WTC deaths seriously enough to shoot at him just because of inevitable internet accusations of mass murder. Mr Barrett, why don’t you step up and do it, thereby proving you believe the things you say .

Macon Richardson , says: September 5, 2019 at 7:11 am GMT
@NoseytheDuke Yes, he leased the World Trade Center buildings one and two from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He built World Trade Center building seven, having acquired a ground lease from Port Authority.

I can’t imagine why you ask this question in a public venue. I found the answer in less than one minute on the internet.

I assume the insurance policies were for the present value of his net profits for the duration of the leases.

Lastoknow , says: September 5, 2019 at 7:26 am GMT
I recall reading about this guy prior to the event. I believe it was USATODAY . He and a silent partner had bought the complex with a down of 63million and had it insured for 7billion. I thought it odd that the port authority would let go of the property at the time.
As the building deficiencies became known afterwards,my thoughts were along the line of insurance fraud.
I came across a copy of the rand Corp “state of the world 2000” which accurately describes the scenario and resulting culture of terror as “one possible future “…. funny how it’s taken all these years to discover this website.
Sean , says: September 5, 2019 at 9:08 am GMT

Indeed, there is no evidence that “self-made billionaire” Epstein ever earned significant amounts of money.

Good thing that Wexner is Jewish so we can discount the possibility that he was telling the truth the other month when he said that Epstein stole vast amounts of Wexner money

his only investment “client” was Les Wexner

Clever of Wexner to give Epstein 80 million dollars to deliberately lose.
http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/07/jeffrey-epstein-lost-usd80-million-in-hedge-fund-bet-gone-bad.html

Alongside Maxwell, Epstein’s other Mossad handler was Les Wexner, co-founder of the notorious Mega Group of billionaire Israeli spies

Wexner and his fellow Mossad spy Maxwell leaving Virginia Roberts alive to repeatedly sue them, and use the world”s media to accuse them of sexually abusing, trafficking, pimping her out to VIPs, and fiming the trysts was a brilliant way to keep everything a secret.

Mossad handler Ghislaine Maxwell, his good friend Ehud Barak, and various other Zionist VIPs.

Yes, they are the greatest covert operatives ever.

Just another serf , says: September 5, 2019 at 9:45 am GMT
Epstein’s crimes are simple breaches of etiquette when compared to Silverstein. I believe the term “Silverstein valleys” has been used to describe the melted granite discovered beneath the former towers, Silverstein grins widely in interviews, while so many suffered horribly.

One might even consider the 9/11 deaths to be something of a “holocaust”. Certainly one of the most evil human beings to have walked the Earth.

Whitewolf , says: September 5, 2019 at 10:11 am GMT
@Wizard of Oz Silverstein said he gave the okay for wtc 7 to be “pulled”. The building was on fire at the time. Either someone wired it to be pulled while it was on fire and already damaged or it was wired for demolition beforehand. The second scenario seems a lot more likely. In that case all the insurance contract details are largely irrelevant to the bigger picture.
Twodees Partain , says: September 5, 2019 at 10:54 am GMT
The idea that the CIA is somehow independent of Mossad and that Mossad would have to warn the CIA off of the Epstein matter is implausible to me. Guyenot’s hypothesis tends to give cover to the CIA in the assassination of JFK by claiming that the CIA plot was set in motion as some sort of attempt to control JFK and that it was hijacked into an actual assassination by Mossad. That just isn’t credible.

It’s much more accurate to observe that the CIA was erected by the same zionists who oversaw the creation of Israel and later the forming of Mossad, and that the two agencies have been joined at the hip ever since.

anon [383] • Disclaimer , says: September 5, 2019 at 11:33 am GMT
@WorkingClass Bad cop good cop. NYT is trying to destroy him . Israel says to him :” send this , do this ,allow us to do this , increase this by this amount , and we will make sure that in final analysis you don’t get hurt ”
Trump possibly knows that the only people who could hurt him is the Jewish people of power .

Has NYT ever criticized Trump for relocating embassy , recognizing Golan, for allowing Israel use Anerican resources to hit Syria or Gaza , for allowing Israel drag US into more military involvement. for allowing Israel wage war against Gaza ,? Has NYT ever explored the dynamics behind abrogation of JCPOA and application of more sanctions?

NYT has focused on Russia gate knowing in advance that it has no merit and no public traction, Is it hurting Trump or itself ?

Kevin Barrett , says: • Website September 5, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke It was a 100 year lease, which is better described by the word purchase .
anon [383] • Disclaimer , says: September 5, 2019 at 12:28 pm GMT
People with normal IQ would believe that Epstein killed himself, if the following took place –

Media day and night asking questions about him from 360 degree of inquiries

1 why the surveillance video were not functioning despite the serious nature of the charges against a man who could rat out a lot in court against powerful people
2 why the coroner initially thought that Epstein was murdered
3 how many guards and how many fell asleep?
4 who and why allowed the spin story around Epstein brilliance and high IQ build up over the years ?
5 how does Epstein come to get linked to non -Jews people who have absolute loyalty to Israel
6 how did Epstein get involved with Jewish leaders ?
7 How did Epstein continue to enjoy seat on Harvard and enjoy social celebrity status after plea deal ?
8 Why did Wexner allow this man so much control over his asset ?
9 Media felt if terrorism were unique Muslim thing , why media is not alluding to the fact that pedophilia is a unique Jewish thing ?
10 why the angle of Israel being sex slavery capital and Epstein being sex slave pimp not being connected ?
11 how death in prison in foreign unfriendly countries often become causus celebre by US media , politicians , NGO and US treasury – why not this death ?

Kevin Barrett , says: • Website September 5, 2019 at 12:37 pm GMT
@Fozzy Bear Not true. A respectable civil rights attorney, Lisa Bloom, handled Katie Johnson’s case. Shortly before the scheduled press conference at which Johnson was to appear publicly, she received multiple death threats: “Bloom said that her firm’s website was hacked, that Anonymous had claimed responsibility, and that death threats and a bomb threat came in afterwards.” https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/3/13501364/trump-rape-13-year-old-lawsuit-katie-johnson-allegation Johnson folded because she was terrified (and perhaps paid off).
DaveE , says: September 5, 2019 at 12:51 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain In “Body of Secrets” by James Bamford, a newspaper article from the Truman era is referenced where the OSS, predecessor of the CIA, is described as “a converted vault in Washington used as an office space for 5 or 6 Jews working to protect our national secrets” (or similar wording).

Going from memory and gave away my copy of the book….. sorry for the vague reference, but you can look it up.

DanFromCT , says: September 5, 2019 at 1:24 pm GMT
@nsa An atheist like “nsa” must concede Dosteovsky’s point from his novel The Possessed that even for the atheist the concept of God represents the collective consciousness, highest principles, and ontological aspirations of believers. Given this sense, “nsa’s” real animus is more than likely an atavistic hatred of Christians and Muslims, probably for just being alive in his paranoid mind. What imbecility when this clown cites a multiverse of universes that has no proof and less plausibility for its existence than the tooth fairy. I’d also bet “nsa” speaks algebra, too, like the recently deceased mathematical genius, Jeffrey Epstein.

What’s Mr. Wexner’s, Mega’s, and Mossad/CIA’s involvement? That’s the real question trolls like “nsa” and the Dems and Republicans alike are crapping in their pants we’ll find out. When evidence starts to cascade out of their ability to spin or suppress it, things will get interesting. Meanwhile, Fox News is still doing its best from what I can tell to run cover for 911, now extended to the suspiciously related perps in the Epstein affair.

Patrikios Stetsonis , says: September 5, 2019 at 1:24 pm GMT
“The Epstein affair (like 9/11) illustrates two critically important truths about Western secularism: there is no truth, and there are no limits. A society that no longer believes in God no longer believes in truth…..”

You said it ALL Kevin.

... ... ...

Mulegino1 , says: September 5, 2019 at 1:37 pm GMT

“While the Zionists try to make the rest of the World believe that the national consciousness of the Jew finds its satisfaction in the creation of a Palestinian state, the Jews again slyly dupe the dumb Goyim. It doesn’t even enter their heads to build up a Jewish state in Palestine for the purpose of living there; all they want is a central organisation for their international world swindler, endowed with its own sovereign rights and removed from the intervention of other states: a haven for convicted scoundrels and a university for budding crooks.
It is a sign of their rising confidence and sense of security that at a time when one section is still playing the German, French-man, or Englishman, the other with open effrontery comes out as the Jewish race.”

More prophetic words were ever spoken or written by any of the statesmen of the Twentieth Century than these, even though they themselves were insufficient to describe the horrors that the Zionist state would bring upon the world if left unchecked- and its power and influence have been unchecked since the 1960’s. The last time that the world stood up to Zionist power in an appreciable way was during the Suez Crisis.

renfro , says: September 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

Not the full story? Convince us.

Connect the dots….

DOT.. Port loses claim for asbestos removal | Business Insurance
https://www.businessinsurance.com › article › ISSUE01 › port-loses-claim-…
May 13, 2001 – The suit sought claim of the Port Authority’s huge cost of removing asbestos from hundreds of properties ranging from the enormous World Trade Center complex

DOT…Silverstein knew when he leased WTC 7 that he would have to pay out of pocket for asbestos abatement removal in WTC 7, multiple millions, which is why the Port Authority leased it so cheaply.

DOT…In May, 2000, a year before, signing the lease, he already had the design drawn for a new WTC building. Silverstein had no plans to remove the asbestos as he already had plans to replace it.

DOT… Larry Silverstein signs the lease just six weeks before the WTC’s twin towers were brought to the ground by terrorists in the September 11, 2001, attacks.

DOT….After leasing the complex, Silverstein negotiated with 24 insurance companies for a maximum coverage of $3.55 billion per catastrophic occurrence. However, the agreements had not been finalized before 9/11.

DOT…..Silverstein tries to sue insurers for double the payout claiming 2 catastrophic occurrences because of 2 planes involved.

DOT….Silver loses that lawsuit but sues the air lines and settles for almost another billion, $ 750,000,000.

Just another Jew insurance fire folks. He planned on tearing down WTC 7 to begin with. The only missing DOT is who he hired to set the demolition explosives in WTC 7. Were they imported from our ME ally?

[Sep 06, 2019] US State Dept Program Offers $15 Million to Iran Revolutionary Guards

While people do not agree of detail the main theme is common: government stories explaining both 9/11 and Epstein death are not credible. And that government tried to create an "artificial reality" to hide real events and real culprits.
Absence of credible information create fertile ground for creation of myths and rumors, sometimes absurd. But that'a well known sociaological phenomenon studies by late Tamotsu Shibutani in the context of WWII rumors ( Improvised News: A Sociological Study of Rumor (1966)).
Now we can interpret famous quote of William Casey "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false as an admission of the fact that the government can create artificial reality" much like in film Matrix and due to thick smoke of propaganda people are simply unable to discern the truth.
Sep 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

renfro , says: September 5, 2019 at 2:31 pm GMT

A foreign policy of "maximum pressure" and swagger: tawdry bribes, heavy-handed threats, and complete failure ..now what group does this remind me of?

US State Dept Program Offers $15 Million to Iran Revolutionary Guards September 4, 2019

The US State Department has unveiled a new $15 million "reward program" for anyone who provides information on the financial inner workings of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, in an attempt to further disrupt them.
The program comes after the US declared the Revolutionary Guards "terrorists," but remains very unusual, in as much as it targets an agency of a national government instead of just some random militant group.

The Financial Times reports on the farce that is our government's Iran policy:

Four days before the US imposed sanctions on an Iranian tanker suspected of shipping oil to Syria, the vessel's Indian captain received an unusual email from the top Iran official at the Department of State.
"This is Brian Hook . . . I work for secretary of state Mike Pompeo and serve as the US Representative for Iran," Mr Hook wrote to Akhilesh Kumar on August 26, according to several emails seen by the Financial Times. "I am writing with good news."
The "good news" was that the Trump administration was offering Mr Kumar several million dollars to pilot the ship -- until recently known as the Grace 1 -- to a country that would impound the vessel on behalf of the US. To make sure Mr Kumar did not mistake the email for a scam, it included an official state department phone number.
The administration's Iran obsession has reached a point where they are now trying to bribe people to act as pirates on their behalf. When the U.S. was blocked by a court in Gibraltar from taking the ship, they sought to buy the loyalty of the captain in order to steal it. Failing that, they resorted to their favorite tool of sanctions to punish the captain and his crew for ignoring their illegitimate demand. The captain didn't respond to the first message, so Hook persisted with his embarrassing scheme:
"With this money you can have any life you wish and be well-off in old age," Mr Hook wrote in a second email to Mr Kumar that also included a warning. "If you choose not to take this easy path, life will be much harder for you."
Many people have already mocked Hook's message for its resemblance to a Nigerian prince e-mail scam, and I might add that he comes across here sounding like a B-movie gangster. Hook's contact was not an isolated incident, but part of a series of e-mails and texts that he has sent to various ships' captains in a vain effort to intimidate them into falling in line with the administration's economic war. This is what comes of a foreign policy of "maximum pressure" and swagger: tawdry bribes, heavy-handed threats, and complete failure.

independent109 , says: September 5, 2019 at 2:53 pm GMT
The Committee of 300 is an evolution of the British East Indies Company Council of 300. The list personally last seen included many Windsors (Prince Andrew), Rothchilds, other Royals. Some of the Americans included some now dead and other still living: George HW Bush, Bill Clinton Tom Steyer, Al Gore, John Kerry, Netanyahu, lots of bankers, Woolsey (ex CIA), journalists like Michael Bloomberg, Paul Krugman, activists and politians like Tony Blair, now dead Zbigniew Brzezinski, CEOs Charles and Edgar Bronfman. The list is long and out of date but these people control much of what goes on whether good or bad. Their hands are everywhere doing good and maybe some of this bad stuff.
Irish Savant , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 2:56 pm GMT
Given the facts a 10 year-old child could see that the official 911 explanation was totally flawed. Just three of these facts are sufficient, the 'dancing Israelis', Silverstein admitting to the 'pull (demolish) it' order and the collapse of steel-framed WTC 7 in freefall despite not being hit. It is not hyperbole to say that America is a failed state given that the known perpetrators were never even charged. ZOG indeed.
Junior , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:08 pm GMT
@Kevin Barrett

A respectable civil rights attorney, Lisa Bloom, handled Katie Johnson's case.

"Respectable"?
BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
You do realize that Lisa Bloom is the daughter of Glora Allred and defender of Harvey Weinstein do you not?

You people are so desperate to try to link Trump to Epstein it's pathetic.

I suggest you go back to your gatekeeping nonsense of trying to discredit the 9/11 Truth Movement by spreading misinformation about nukes in the towers.

Tony Hall , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:20 pm GMT
This article stakes out much important ground of information and interpretation Kevin Barrett. The essay resonates as a historic statement of some of our current predicaments. What about the comparisons that might be made concerning the mysteries attending the disappearing corpses of Osama bin Laden and Jeffrey Epstein. And according to Christopher Ketcham, the release of the High Fivin' Urban Movers back to Israel was partially negotiated by Alan Dershowitz who played a big role in defending Epstein over a long period.
Tony Hall , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:29 pm GMT
@anon The ultimate "nutjob quackery" of 9/11 is Phillip Zelikow's 9/11 Commission Report, a document that stands as a testimony and marker signifying the USA's descent into a mad hatter's imperium of lies. legend and illusion.
restless94110 , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:40 pm GMT
Has someone (hint: the author of this article) got a real bad case of TDS? Yes, someone has.

Does someone think the pedophilia means consensual relations with 17 year olds? Yes, someone does.

Ronald Thomas West , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 4:58 pm GMT

It is getting harder and harder to satirize the decadence and depravity of the secular West, which insists on parodying itself with ever-increasing outlandishness. When the book on this once-mighty civilization is written, and the ink is dry, readers will be astounded by the limitless lies of the drunk-on-chutzpah psychopaths who ran it into the ground

You might try:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2019/07/29/gina-haspel-wild-indians/

'Believers' aren't exactly innocent in the criminal history of the disintegrating Western culture

follyofwar , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:02 pm GMT
@Kevin Barrett Adding to Junior's comment, I quit reading after you wrote of "credible accusations" of Mr. Trump being involved "in the brutal rape of a 13 year old." And feminist shakedown artist Lisa Bloom, daughter of the even more infamous feminist shakedown artist G. Allred, is your "credible source?" Bloom has about as much credibility as the sicko democrat women who tried to derail Judge Kavanaugh.

Regardless of how much one might hate Trump (and I'm no Trump supporter) levelling such unfounded accusations is journalistic malfeasance. Did we elect the Devil Incarnate? Mr. Barrett, I'm done reading you.

9/11 Inside job , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:09 pm GMT
The special relationship between the CIA and the Mossad was driven partly by the efforts of CIA officer James Angleton . Philip Weiss in his article in Mondoweiss entitled "The goy and the golem: James Angleton and the rise of Israel." states that Angleton's " greatest service to Israel was his willingness no to say a word about the apparent diversion of highly enriched plutonium from a plant in Western Pennsylvania to Israel's nascent nuclear program " The same program which JFK tried to curtail which efforts may have led to his assassination .

... ... ...

Intelligent Dasein , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 5:22 pm GMT

a confessed participant in the controlled demolition of Building 7,

For the love of God, this is stupid. Larry Silverstein was talking about the Fire Commander , for fuck's sake. The Fire Commander made the decision to pull the firefighters out of the building because they could not put the fire out and were in unnecessary danger. That's all he meant. There is not one word in this that has anything to do with a controlled demolition whatsoever.

In order to believe what the 9/11 Douchers would have you believe about this comment, you would have to believe that 1) Building 7 was wired for demolition beforehand; 2) That the NYC Fire Commander somehow knew about this; 3) That the NYC Fire Commander was perfectly okay with allowing his men to spend hours inside a burning building in which he knew that explosive charges had already been rigged to blow; 4) That the NYC Fire Commander had the authority to decide when the charges should be blown and had access to the master switch that would blow them all; 5) That after 7 hours of attempting to fight the fire, the NYC Fire Commander (who by now can be nothing but a full-fledged member of the conspiracy) decides, after briefly consulting with Larry Silverstein, "Oh, the hell with this! Let's just blow up the building now!", to which Larry Silverstein agrees; 6) That after spending 7 hours in a burning building that had fires burning randomly throughout it and that had been struck by multiple pieces of debris, all of the explosive charges and their detonators were still in perfect working order; 7) That none of the firefighters extensively searching the building for survivors happened to notice any of the pre-placed explosive charges nor thought it necessary to report about such; 8) That the NYC Fire Commander then proceeds to "pull" the building after presumably giving some other order for the men to evacuate, which order was never recorded because the "pull" order must have meant "blow up the building"; 9) And that Larry Silverstein, after being part of a massive conspiracy involving insurance fraud, murder, and arson which, if exposed, would send him to a federal death sentence, just decides to casually mention all of this in a television interview for all and sundry to see, but it is only the 9/11 Douchers who pick up on the significance of it.

Does any of this sound remotely believable? Did anyone subscribing to this nonsense stop to think about the context in which this conversation took place? Do any of you 9/11 Douchers even care that you're being completely ridiculous and grasping at nonexistent straws in your vain attempt to establish some sort of case for controlled demolition? Do you even care that everybody can see that what you are saying makes no sense at all? It is perfectly obvious that Larry Silverstein is NOT talking about controlled demolition here. To believe otherwise would require you to literally be insane, to not understand the plain meaning of words and to have no awareness of conversational contexts; yet not only have you swallowed all of this, you have been beating the drum of this insanity for nearly 20 years.

There is no point in reasoning with an insane person. There is, however, the possibility that you don't really believe what you are saying and are just flogging a hobbyhorse, in which case it is you who are engaging in mendacious journalism and trafficking in lies. In either case, you need to be silenced. Neither lies nor insanity have any "right" to be uttered in the public square. You 9/11 Douchers are really the ones doing everything you accuse the mainstream media of doing, and worse. You have become a danger to the public weal and must be stopped. Your conspiratorial nonsense just isn't cute anymore.

Major1 , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:31 pm GMT
Let's recap:

The official stories about the Kennedy assassination, Epstein's death, and 9/11 are clearly suspect. No one with the capacity for critical thinking can seriously deny this. Which elements of these stories are true and which are false will never be resolved.

Because:
The mainstream media including Fox News have abdicated their mission as fact finders and truth tellers. They peddle entertainment and sell ad space. Rachel Maddow foaming at the mouth about Trump's pee tape and Hannity fulminating about FISA abuse are the same product, simply aimed at different demographics.

Nothing in the above two paragraphs is even remotely novel. It's all been said before twenty bazillion times.

... ... ...

Kevin Barrett , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 5:39 pm GMT
Being a feminist or Democrat (or nonfeminist or Republican) is irrelevant to a person's credibility. It's possible that Lisa Bloom was part of a conspiracy to invent a fictitious Katy Johnson story, in which case Bloom is guilty of criminal fraud as well as civil libel. That would be quite a risk for her to take, to say the least. It's also possible that she was somehow duped by others, in which case they would be running the civil and criminal liabilities, while she would just get disbarred for negligence.

The same is true of Johnson's attorney Thomas Meagher.

It is also possible that Johnson's story is at least roughly accurate. There is supporting testimony from another Epstein victim.

If you set aside your prejudices about Democrats-Republicans, feminists-antifeminists, Trump-Hillary, etc., and just look at what's been reported, you'll agree with me that the allegations are credible (but of course unproven). If you suffer emotional blocks against thinking such things about a President, as so many did when similar things were reported about Bill Clinton, I sympathize but also urge you to get psychiatric treatment so you can learn to face unpleasant facts and then get to work cleaning up this country.

CanSpeccy , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 5:42 pm GMT
@utu

The release of Prof. J. Leroy Hulsey report on the finite element analysis of the WTC7 collapse should be a big news.

But won't be.

Democracy works this way. The ruling elite, via the media, Hollywood, etc., tell the people what to think, the people then vote according to the way they think.

Ensuring such top-down control was a primary objective of the bankers, j0urnalists -- including doyen of American journalism, Walter Lippman, and politicians who established the Council on Foreign Relations , America's ruling political establishment.

So the truth of 9/11 will never be known to the majority unless we have a public statement from George W. Bush acknowledging that he personally lit the fuse that set off the explosions that brought WTC 7 down at free-fall speed .

This is fortunate for the intrepid Dr. Hulsey* who would, presumably, otherwise have had to be dispatched by a sudden heart attack, traffic accident, weight-lifting accident suicide with a bullet to the back of the head. As it is, hardly anyone will ever know what he will say or what it means.

* Fortunate also for those who so rashly advocate for truth here and elsewhere on the yet to be fully controlled Internets.

Durruti , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:45 pm GMT
Kevin Barrett

Nicely done. Article will not be featured on front page NYT & discussed on TV.

There are many highlights in your article. This is one.

Epstein's career as a shameless, openly-operating Mossad sexual blackmailer -- like the in-your-face 9/11 coup -- also illustrates another core truth of Western secularism: If there is no God, there are no limits (in this case, to human depravity and what it can get away with). Or as Dostoevsky famously put it: "If God does not exist, everything is permitted."

Morality is officially out of style.

Durruti

anonymous [307] Disclaimer , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:11 pm GMT
Please consult the following papers about the CIA/Mossad crimes against humanity and their pimps who pose as 'politicians' of the fake Western 'democracy' where Epstein was their agent serving their interest as a PIMP.

{from being the work of a single political party, intelligence agency or country, the power structure revealed by the network connected to Epstein is nothing less than a criminal enterprise that is willing to use and abuse children in the pursuit of ever more power, wealth and control.}

https://www.mintpressnews.com/genesis-jeffrey-epstein-bill-clinton-relationship/261455/

[Government by Blackmail: Jeffrey Epstein, Trump's Mentor and the Dark Secrets of the Reagan Era]

https://www.mintpressnews.com/blackmail-jeffrey-epstein-trump-mentor-reagan-era/260760/

Mega Group, Maxwells and Mossad: The Spy Story at the Heart of the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal

https://www.mintpressnews.com/mega-group-maxwells-mossad-spy-story-jeffrey-epstein-scandal/261172/

[Sep 04, 2019] Veterans Mattis Spent Career Tending the Status Quo The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... But what happens when those "standards of excellence" lead to 20 years of fighting unwinnable wars on the peripheries of the planet? When do habits and practices turn into mental stagnation? ..."
"... You know when it comes to generals, whether they're Marines, whether they're Army, whether they're Mattis who's supposedly this "warrior monk," these guys talk tactics and then claim it's strategy. What they consider to be strategic thinking really is just tactical thinking on a broad scale . I think the biggest problem with all the four-star generals are they're "how" thinkers not "if" thinkers. ..."
"... This inability of America's elites (including its generals) to grapple with strategic concepts is a result of the United States' post-Cold War unipolar moment. When there's only one superpower, geopolitics and the need for international balancing fall by the wayside. ..."
"... Mattis, like virtually all of his four-star peers, is a reactionary, fighting every day against the forces of change in modern warfare ..."
"... "[W]hen you shave it all down, his problem with being the epitome of establishment Washington is that he sees the alliance as the end, not as a means to an end," says Davis. "The means should be to the end of improving American security and supporting our interests." ..."
"... "By clinging to unsustainable military solutions from the distant past, he has condemned future generations of soldiers and marines to repeat disasters like Pickett's Charge," says Macgregor. ..."
Sep 04, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Last week, The Wall Street Journal published a lengthy op-ed written by former secretary of defense James Mattis, his first public statement since his resignation in December. The article is adopted from his forthcoming book, Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead , out this week.

The former Pentagon chief opens a window into his decision making process, explaining that accepting President Trump's nomination was part of his lifelong devotion to public service: "When the president asks you to do something, you don't play Hamlet on the wall, wringing your hands. So long as you are prepared, you say yes." Mattis's two years at DoD capped off 44 years in the Marine Corps, where he gained a popular following as a tough and scholarly leader.

Mattis received widespread praise from the foreign policy establishment when he resigned in protest over President Trump's directive for a full U.S. military withdrawal from Syria and a partial withdrawal from Afghanistan. "When my concrete solutions and strategic advice, especially keeping faith with our allies, no longer resonated, it was time to resign, despite the limitless joy I felt serving alongside our troops in defense of our Constitution," he writes.

But did Mattis really offer "concrete solutions and strategic advice" regarding America's two decades of endless war? spoke with four military experts, all veterans, who painted a very different picture of the man called "Mad Dog."

"I think over time, in General Mattis's case a little over 40 years, if you spend that many years in an institution, it is extremely hard not to get institutionalized," says Gil Barndollar, military fellow-in-residence at the Catholic University of America's Center for the Study of Statesmanship. Barndollar served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps and deployed twice to Afghanistan. "In my experiences, there are not too many iconoclasts or really outside-the-box people in the higher ranks of the U.S. military."

It's just that sort of institutionalized thinking that makes the political establishment love Mattis. "[A] person with an institutional mind-set has a deep reverence for the organization he has joined and how it was built by those who came before. He understands that institutions pass down certain habits, practices and standards of excellence," wrote David Brooks in a hagiographic New York Times column .

But what happens when those "standards of excellence" lead to 20 years of fighting unwinnable wars on the peripheries of the planet? When do habits and practices turn into mental stagnation?

"The problem is, from at least the one-star the whole way through, for the last two decades, you've seen them do nothing but just repeat the status quo over and over," observes Lieutenant Colonel Daniel L. Davis, a senior fellow at Defense Priorities, who served 21 years in the U.S. Army and deployed four times to Iraq and Afghanistan. "I mean every single general that was in charge of Afghanistan said almost the same boilerplate thing every time they came in (which was nearly one a year). You see the same results, nothing changed."

"And if those guys took someone from a major to a two-star general, we'd probably have a lot of better outcomes," he adds.

Major Danny Sjursen, who served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, agrees:

You know when it comes to generals, whether they're Marines, whether they're Army, whether they're Mattis who's supposedly this "warrior monk," these guys talk tactics and then claim it's strategy. What they consider to be strategic thinking really is just tactical thinking on a broad scale . I think the biggest problem with all the four-star generals are they're "how" thinkers not "if" thinkers.

Barndollar says: "The vast majority of military leaders, up to and including generals at the three-, four-star level, are not operating at the strategic level, in terms of what that word means in military doctrine. They're not operating at the level of massive nation-state resources and alliances and things like that. They're at the operational level or often even at the tactical level."

This inability of America's elites (including its generals) to grapple with strategic concepts is a result of the United States' post-Cold War unipolar moment. When there's only one superpower, geopolitics and the need for international balancing fall by the wayside.

The only component of national security policy Mattis discusses in his op-ed is America's system of alliances, which he believes is the key to our preeminence on the world stage. "Returning to a strategic stance that includes the interests of as many nations as we can make common cause with, we can better deal with this imperfect world we occupy together," he writes.

"Mattis, like virtually all of his four-star peers, is a reactionary, fighting every day against the forces of change in modern warfare," counters Colonel Douglas Macgregor, who served 28 years in the U.S. Army. "He lives in denial of the technological breakthroughs that make the World War II force structure (that he as SecDef insisted on funding) an expensive tribute to the past."

Mattis muses that the Department of Defense "budget [is] larger than the GDPs of all but two dozen countries." Yet having acknowledged that disparity, how can such underpowered foreign nations possibly contribute to American security?

"He has that line in there about bringing as many guns as possible to a gun fight. What are those guns?" asked Barndollar. For example, the British Royal Navy is the United States' most significant allied naval force. But the United Kingdom has only seven vessels stationed in the Persian Gulf and they're "stretched to the absolute limit to do that."

"Our problem has been double-edged," says Davis of America's reliance on others. "On the one hand, we try to bludgeon a lot of our allies to do what we want irrespective of their interests as an asset. And then simultaneously, especially in previous administrations, we've almost gone too far [in] the other direction: 'we'll subordinate our interests for yours.'"

"[W]hen you shave it all down, his problem with being the epitome of establishment Washington is that he sees the alliance as the end, not as a means to an end," says Davis. "The means should be to the end of improving American security and supporting our interests."

Sjursen says:

Mattis's view is the old Einstein adage: "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity." Well that's all he's proposed. He has no new or creative solutions. For him, it's stay the course, more of the same, stay in place, fight the terrorists, maintain the illegitimate and corrupt governments that we back. That's what he's been talking about for 18 years. It's all the same interventionist dogma that's failed us over and over again since September 12, 2001.

"In the two years he was in office, what did he do that changed anything? He was a caretaker of the status quo. That's the bottom line," says Davis, adding, "you need somebody in that job especially that is willing to take some chances and some risk and is willing to honestly look at 18 consecutive years of failure and say, 'We're not doing that anymore. We're going to do something different.' And that just never happened."

Barndollar is more generous in his estimation of Mattis: "He needs to be lauded for standing for his principles, ultimately walking away when he decided he could no longer execute U.S. national security policy. I give him all the credit for that, for doing it I think in a relatively good manner, and for trying to do his best to stay above the fray and refuse to be dragged in at a partisan level to this point."

Mattis ends his Wall Street Journal op-ed by recounting a vignette from the 2010 Battle of Marjah, where he spoke with two soldiers on the front lines and in good cheer. But his story didn't sit well with Sjursen, who says it encapsulates Mattis' inability to ask the bigger questions: "He never talks about how those charming soldiers with the can-do attitude maybe shouldn't have been there at all. Maybe the mission that they were asked to do was ill-informed, ill-advised, and potentially unwinnable."

All this suggests that a fair evaluation of Mattis is as a soldier who is intelligent but unoriginal. A homegrown patriot, but one who'd like to plant the Stars and Stripes in Central Asia forever. A public servant, but one who would rather resign than serve the cause of restraint.

"By clinging to unsustainable military solutions from the distant past, he has condemned future generations of soldiers and marines to repeat disasters like Pickett's Charge," says Macgregor.

Hunter DeRensis is a reporter for The National Interest . Follow him on Twitter @HunterDeRensis .

[Sep 04, 2019] A Debauched Culture Leads to a Debauched Foreign Policy

The author should use the word "neoliberal" instead of "debauched"
Notable quotes:
"... When talking about politics, we should be careful not to define "debauched" too narrowly. While debauchery is typically associated with over-indulgence of the sensual pleasures, a more fitting political definition is a general loss of self-control. ..."
"... In the political realm, debauchery is less characterized by the sensual vices than by an overzealous desire for power. ..."
"... The ghost of Jeffrey Epstein is all one needs to see that many elites are very debauched as regards social mores. Yet how might a debauched culture be reflected in the realms of domestic and foreign policy? ..."
"... Class warfare tends to resonate most broadly when the wealthy become self-indulgent and unworthy, and dissolute plutocracies are oft times defended by "conservatives." In the terminal phase of a democracy, this can portend domestic revolution. ..."
"... Belligerent intervention is not nationalism! It is Neocon Texas - Harvard Redneckism ..."
"... I'm not sure I agree with the author's thesis: that debauchery or gratuitous political leadership results in immoral foreign policy. Were the highly-disciplined and self-sacrificing Japanese militarists who bombed Pearl Harbor and aligned with the Axis (Hitler, Mussolini) guided by any more virtuous foreign policy than say, "debauched" Churchill and Roosevelt? I doubt it. ..."
"... The article lacks specifics on how America's leaders are debauched and how this debauchery influences foreign policy, other than to say they are "unrestrained". But is non-restraint debauchery? Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was running a gratuitous non-profit institute to shake down foreign rulers in return for promising political favors if elected. She was going to sell the country out. ..."
"... We stole Venezuela's assets in the U.S. and even denied their baseball players the ability to send money back to their families, we really love them. We have an oil embargo on Syria and we are the only reason the Saudis are able to starve Yemen. None of these countries have ever done anything to us but it feels good that we can do this and even get most of the world to support us. ..."
"... It drives me crazy that devout Protestants in govt who believe that human nature is corrupt act as if they are standing in the gap while being belligerent and never questioning their own judgment. ..."
"... The problem is that we are led by sociopaths. ..."
"... This current round of unprovoked aggression against small countries started when Clinton attacked Serbia even though he did not have authorization from the UN. He did it because he could -- Russia had collapsed by then so they were powerless to prevent NATO from attacking their ally. No one had the power to stop the hegemon so it was a short journey from the relative restraint of George W. Bush to going beserk all over the world (of course in the name of stopping genocide, ecocide, insecticide or whatever). Get absolute power, get corrupted. ..."
"... I think people like Epstein are state sponsored to use the warped values of the elites to gain political advantage for their masters. Destroying historic value sets is part of this package. ..."
Sep 04, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
TAC are no doubt familiar with the truism that "politics is downstream of culture." This maxim, which is undoubtedly true, should not, however, only be applied to social issues. In fact, culture shapes our public policy very broadly, far more than do dispassionate "policymakers" exercising careful reason and judgment. The nature of our governance tends to reflect the cultural and philosophical orientation of our elites, and this orientation is increasingly debauched.

When talking about politics, we should be careful not to define "debauched" too narrowly. While debauchery is typically associated with over-indulgence of the sensual pleasures, a more fitting political definition is a general loss of self-control.

All the great religious and philosophical traditions understood that there is a part of our nature that can get out of control and a divine part that can exert control. A culture thus becomes debauched when elites lose the sense that they need to rein themselves in, that "there is an immortal essence presiding like a king over" their appetites, as Walter Lippmann put it. In the political realm, debauchery is less characterized by the sensual vices than by an overzealous desire for power.

The ghost of Jeffrey Epstein is all one needs to see that many elites are very debauched as regards social mores. Yet how might a debauched culture be reflected in the realms of domestic and foreign policy?

Let's start with domestic policy. How would debauched elites govern a democracy at home? One might surmise, for example, that their lack of self-control might cause them to spend federal money as a means of keeping themselves in power. They might also attempt to bribe their constituents by promising a variety of domestic programs while also pledging that the programs will be funded out of the pockets of others. If they were really debauched, they might even borrow money from future generations to pay for these incumbency protection initiatives. They might run up staggering debt for the sake of their expedient political needs and promise that "the rich" can provide for it all. In short, the hallmark domestic policy of a debauched democracy is, and has always been, class warfare.

It should be pointed out that class warfare is not simply a creation of demagogues on the left. Class warfare tends to resonate most broadly when the wealthy become self-indulgent and unworthy, and dissolute plutocracies are oft times defended by "conservatives." In the terminal phase of a democracy, this can portend domestic revolution.

While most conservatives might agree about the dangers of class warfare, it is on the foreign policy front where they seem most debauched themselves. They remain stuck in a vortex of GOP clichés, with standard references to Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill, leaders who were closer in their time to the American Civil War than we are to them now. For many of these "conservatives," every contemporary authoritarian leader is the progeny of Hitler and any attempt to establish cordial relations is a rerun of Munich 1938.

As with domestic policy, the true sign of a debauched foreign policy is a loss of self-control and an excessive will to power reflected in attempts to exert dominion over others with no particular nexus to the national interest. A debauched foreign policy might just look like the decision to invade Iraq -- a war whose supporters offered numerous justifications, including alleged weapons of mass destruction, democracy promotion, and anti-terrorism. Yet in hindsight, its real cause seems to have been the simple desire by our leaders to impose their will. In a debauched democracy, class warfare is the paradigmatic domestic policy and profligate war making is the paradigmatic foreign policy.

Given that self-control and restraint are the hallmarks of a genuinely conservative foreign policy -- because they remain humble about what human nature can actually achieve -- one should receive the recent conference on national conservatism with some skepticism . The retinue of experts who spoke generally espoused a foreign policy that sought dominion over others -- in other words, a continuation of the belligerent interventionism that characterized the second Bush administration. This may be nationalism, but it seems not to be conservatism.

One hopes that the leaders of this new movement will re-consider their foreign policy orientation as they have increasingly formidable resources to draw upon. The creation of the Quincy Institute and the rise of an intellectually formidable network of foreign policy "restrainers" provide hope.

Given that culture is king, however, these intellectuals may want to keep top of mind that restraint is not simply a policy option but a character trait -- a virtue -- that needs to be developed in leaders who are then elevated. Prudent policies are no doubt essential but the most important challenge in politics is, and always will be, attracting and encouraging the best leaders to rule. Our system often does the opposite. This is at root a cultural problem.

William S. Smith is research fellow and managing director at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at the Catholic University of America, and author of the new book Democracy and Imperialism .


Chris in Appalachia 21 hours ago

Belligerent intervention is not nationalism! It is Neocon Texas - Harvard Redneckism. The two opposing teams loathe each other.

Other than that, a good analysis.

Wayne Lusvardi 19 hours ago
I'm not sure I agree with the author's thesis: that debauchery or gratuitous political leadership results in immoral foreign policy. Were the highly-disciplined and self-sacrificing Japanese militarists who bombed Pearl Harbor and aligned with the Axis (Hitler, Mussolini) guided by any more virtuous foreign policy than say, "debauched" Churchill and Roosevelt? I doubt it.

Moreover, has the author never heard of the concept "reasons of state"?: a purely political reason for action on the part of a ruler or government, especially where a departure from openness, justice, or honesty is involved (e.g. "the king returned that he had reasons of state for all he did"). In an existential emergency, would the leader of a nation be justified in using amoral means to save his nation; but in all other circumstances should rely on conventional Christian morality as the default position? This is what Pres. Truman apparently did when he dropped a-bombs on two Japanese cities. What Dietrich Bonhoeffer was apparently involved with in the assassination attempt on Hitler. What Moses was embroiled with when he slayed 3,000 of his "debauched" followers in the Exodus from Egypt.

The article lacks specifics on how America's leaders are debauched and how this debauchery influences foreign policy, other than to say they are "unrestrained". But is non-restraint debauchery? Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was running a gratuitous non-profit institute to shake down foreign rulers in return for promising political favors if elected. She was going to sell the country out.

The opponent who beat her in the election promised the opposite and pretty much has delivered on his promises. Just how is the current administration "unrestrained" other than he has not fulfilled pacifist's fantasies of pulling out of every foreign country and conflict? Such pull outs have to be weighed on a case by case basis to determine the cost to human life and world order. If the current administration has a policy it is that our allies have to fight and fund their own wars and conflicts rather than rely on the U.S. to fight their wars for them.

The article is full of inflationary clichés ('politics is downstream of culture', 'class warfare', etc. And just how does the author connect the dots between pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who was elected to nothing and held no power over anyone, and our "debauched' foreign policy? Correlation is not causation but there isn't even a correlation there.

tweets21 12 hours ago
The more one reads opinions of Intellectuals , and as anyone with half a brain knows, to never believe a Politician, I am always reminded, after considerable research why I personally choose Realism . Realism is certainly not new and has some varied forms. Realism re-surfaced leading up to and during WW 2.
chris chuba 11 hours ago
"...the true sign of a debauched foreign policy is a loss of self-control and an excessive will to power reflected in attempts to exert dominion over others"


I love this.

We stole Venezuela's assets in the U.S. and even denied their baseball players the ability to send money back to their families, we really love them. We have an oil embargo on Syria and we are the only reason the Saudis are able to starve Yemen. None of these countries have ever done anything to us but it feels good that we can do this and even get most of the world to support us.

This reminds me of a Nick Pemberton article when he wrote ...

"We still play the victim. And amazingly we believe it ... We believe we can take whatever we want. We believe that this world does not contain differences to be negotiated, but foes to be defeated."

I could never get this out of my head.

It drives me crazy that devout Protestants in govt who believe that human nature is corrupt act as if they are standing in the gap while being belligerent and never questioning their own judgment.

Trump the adulterer was the one who decided against bombing because he did not have a taste for blood while the pious were eager for it.

TruthsRonin 10 hours ago
"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the Earth."
-Matthew 5:5

"Meek" is the wrong word/translation. In the original Greek, the word is "preais" and it does not mean docile and submissive. Rather the word means gentleness blended with restrained strength/power.

The passage should read, "Blessed are those who have swords and know how to use them but keep them sheathed: for they shall inherit the Earth."

Sid Finster 10 hours ago
The problem is that we are led by sociopaths.
fedupindian 10 hours ago
There is a simpler explanation of what has happened to the US. When it comes to human beings, the only thing you need to remember is Lord Acton's dictum: power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

This current round of unprovoked aggression against small countries started when Clinton attacked Serbia even though he did not have authorization from the UN. He did it because he could -- Russia had collapsed by then so they were powerless to prevent NATO from attacking their ally. No one had the power to stop the hegemon so it was a short journey from the relative restraint of George W. Bush to going beserk all over the world (of course in the name of stopping genocide, ecocide, insecticide or whatever). Get absolute power, get corrupted.

The same thing is true domestically in the US. A small ethnic minority gave 50% and 25% of the money spent by the Democrats and Republicans in the last presidential election. That gives them huge influence over the foreign policy of the country. Best of all, no one else can question what is going on because classic tropes etc. Give a small group absolute power, get the swamp.

PAX 9 hours ago
I think people like Epstein are state sponsored to use the warped values of the elites to gain political advantage for their masters. Destroying historic value sets is part of this package.

The destruction of main core Christianity has not helped stem this tide (subtle Happy Holidays, CE, BCE, etc.) . Brave women and men must arise and sewerize (drain the swamp) this mob of miscreants defiling our belief system. .They have a right to exist but not dictate by subterfuge and fake news our values as they have been doing.

NotCatholic 11 hours ago
I find it interesting the author is at Catholic u. I wonder how he feels about the Crusades or the Inquisition as an example of debauchery of power.
Joe R. 8 hours ago
Remove the OP pic of the Marines NOW, and fix the rest of your whine later.

This is America, we have no "betters" and our "gov't" has never, and will never, be comprised of anything other than our idiot ay-whole neighbors who needed a job, whose sole job it is to govern the machinations of gov't and not us, as an un-self-governed Society is otherwise un-governable.

And [due to human nature and physics (of which neither has or will change in the entire history of humanity)] sometimes you have to go to war at the slightest of hints of provocation in order to achieve "illimitably sustainable conflict" of "Society" [J.M. Thomas R., TERMS, 2012] not have to haphazardly fight minute to minute of every day.

If when Political objects are unimportant, motives weak, the excitement of forces small, a cautious commander tries in all kinds of ways, without great crises and bloody solutions, to twist himself skillfully into peace through the characteristic weakness of his enemy in the field and in the cabinet, we have no right to find fault with him, if the premise on which he acts are well founded and justified by success;

still we must require him to remember that he only travels on forbidden tracks, where the God of War may surprise him; that he ought always to keep his eye on the enemy, in order that he may not have to defend himself with a dress rapier if the enemy takes up a sharp sword ”.

(Clausewitz, “On War” pg. 137)

Loosely paraphrased: " peaceable resolution to conflict is only effective, and should only be sought and relied upon, when it is certain that the other party will never resort to arms, with the implication that that is never " [J.M.Thomas R., TERMS, 2012 Pg. 80]

Weakness is provocative don't provoke your enemies. Quit whining.

LFC 8 hours ago
Let’s start with domestic policy. How would debauched elites govern a democracy at home?

Let's see. They'd likely repeatedly cut taxes on the wealthiest and on corporations and skyrocket deficits. They'd likely increase military spending to insane levels to the benefit of the military industrial complex. They'd likely perform wide scale deregulation on polluting industries. They'd ignore all inconvenient science, especially that which didn't support the fossil fuel industry. They'd likely avoid meaningful action on a healthcare system that is more broken and expensive than any other OECD nation. Then they'd look for targets, the "others", to bash and attack in attempt to hide the real world consequences of what they were doing.

Why would they do this? They do it for campaign contributions, "a means of keeping themselves in power."

Clyde Schechter 6 hours ago
"...in other words, a continuation of the belligerent interventionism that characterized the second Bush administration. "

And the Clinton administration before it, and the Obama and Trump administrations following it.

Stephen J. 5 hours ago
I believe we are in the hands of:
The Demons of “Democracy”

The demons of “democracy” speak of “peace”
While their selling of weapons does not cease
Hypocrites from hell who posture on the world stage
When they should be in a gigantic prison cage

Evil reprobates in positions of power
Anything that’s good they devour
Destroying countries and families too
This is the satanic work they do

Fancy titles are given to their names
Such is the state of a system insane
Madness and filth has become “normal”
Nobody speaks or asks: “Is it moral”?

Principals and ethics, they are of them, devoid
Speaking of decency and truth has them annoyed
Pimping for war is their diabolical expertise
Killing and bombing is the forte of this demonic sleaze

Training and supporting terrorists, they do this as well
Will nobody arrest this treacherous crew from hell?
These people are devils and full of hypocrisy
We need to be freed from these, demons of “democracy”...

[much more info on this at link below]

http://graysinfo.blogspot.c...

[Sep 04, 2019] Kiss of Krugman can be fatal for Warren

Notable quotes:
"... What do all those "safe" candidates have in common? Oh, that's right- they all lost . ..."
"... So the more overtly neoliberal candidates are stalling or bailing, with the more progressive candidates (actually or putatively) -- Sanders and Warren -- sailing along. Is that some kind of surprise? ..."
Sep 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Bugs Bunny , September 3, 2019 at 5:29 pm

Warren has the Acela corridor's backing and that has been expressed in some fawning coverage from the likes of the WaPo and NYT. Krugman has hinted that she's his candidate as well.

Unless something completely untoward happens, expect her to get great reviews in the next debate.

I don't see how a classic Massachusetts liberal like Warren (to me she's very close to Teddy K in her policy views ) motivates enough abstaining voters to beat Trump. Not enough there, there.

inode_buddha , September 3, 2019 at 6:08 pm

I don't see how a classic Massachusetts Liberal represents anyone under $100K/yr let alone understand their lives.

Pelham , September 3, 2019 at 4:15 pm

Re the polls: Matt Taibbi recently wrote that if Biden lost ground Sanders would be the likely gainer, since Bernie is the second choice for most Biden supporters. But it appears Warren is benefiting as Biden slides.

Too bad. Still, maybe it's just the minority of Biden supporters who pick Warren as their 2nd choice who are bailing on Biden so far. Sanders may still gain if the more hard-core Bidenites begin to leave.

As for Beto's plan to snatch our AK's and AR's, good for him for being so forthright. It's a terrible idea, but one can appreciate the flat-out honesty.

nippersmom , September 3, 2019 at 4:17 pm

" the enduring questions surrounding Biden's age and fitness for office may mean Democrats will lack the "safe" choice they have had in the past, whether the candidate has been former Vice President Al Gore in 2000, former U.S. Senator John Kerry in 2004 or Clinton, the former U.S. senator and secretary of state, in 2008 and 2016."

What do all those "safe" candidates have in common? Oh, that's right- they all lost .

Pat , September 3, 2019 at 4:47 pm

That and they didn't upset the apple carts of the political consultants and the major donors.

Funnily I think the author is missing several 'safe' candidates still in the running, all of whom might secure the nomination on the second ballot depending on who the superdelegate darling is. All of whom would probably be able to uphold that loss record of the safe candidate.

NotTimothyGeithner , September 3, 2019 at 5:27 pm

I didn't click through to read if it was a joke, but I suspect "safe" for Team Blue types means "a candidate who most assuredly won't be criticized by the Republicans."

Al Gore would blunt whining about the deficit. John Kerry was for a "stronger America."

Hillary was so qualified and had faced all arrows including machine gun fire in Serbia. Yep, those moderate Republicans are going to eliminate the need for Team Blue elites to ever have to worry about the poors again.

Jeff W , September 3, 2019 at 6:15 pm

Right -- and none of them had the press openly speculating about a lack of cognitive capacity, as is happening with the current "safe" candidate. That's what passes for "safe" these days, I guess.

Also: "Biden's appeal wanes," Gillibrand crashes and burns, Harris "hasn't caught fire," and Black Lives Matter of South Bend calls for Buttigieg to resign as mayor. (What language(s) will "Mayor Pete" give his resignation speech in, one wonders.)

So the more overtly neoliberal candidates are stalling or bailing, with the more progressive candidates (actually or putatively) -- Sanders and Warren -- sailing along. Is that some kind of surprise?

cuibono , September 3, 2019 at 9:03 pm

Warren is the Billionaires way to get Pete B:
https://off-guardian.org/2019/09/03/americas-billionaires-congealing-around-warren-and-buttigieg/

[Sep 04, 2019] US army now and then: Today's soldiers aren't too different than the slave legions of ancient Rome

Sep 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

VietnamVet , September 3, 2019 at 11:13 pm

This discussion avoids comparing society in the mid-19th century and today. It really isn't that long ago. I've lived through almost half of it. Except for officers most of the soldiers I served with were conscripted or enlisted because of the draft. In a war your choices are limited. If they were in the march, driving wagons, armed to the teeth, they were soldiers; no matter how they got there.

Today's volunteer Army most of the soldiers and contractors are there because they couldn't get a better job unless they are adrenaline junkies or psychopaths. The current neoliberal economy purposefully exploits people and the environment to make a profit. Today's soldiers aren't too different than the slave legions of ancient Rome. Perhaps, "warriors" isn't that much of a misnomer.

[Sep 04, 2019] Remember, it was the academics that got this started in the wrong direction, arguably

Sep 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Warren: "Monopolist's Worst Nightmare: The Elizabeth Warren Interview" [The American Prospect].

Warren: "Remember, it was the academics that got this started in the wrong direction, arguably."

[Sep 02, 2019] Wall Street banks hate Sanders and Warren

Sep 02, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

CJ New York Aug. 13

I work for a law firm that represents Wall Street banks and I can tell you who they don't like, and that is Sanders and Warren. They hate that Warren created the CFPB and blew the whistle on Wells Fargo and all the other games being played by Wall Street banks. Therefore, I will vote for either of them, Warren preferred.

[Sep 02, 2019] Tulsi Back from Guard Duty -- Will Continue

Sep 02, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

apenultimate on Fri, 08/30/2019 - 12:39am Even though she will not be included in the 3rd DNC debate, upon her return from Indonesia where she was training with her Hawaii National Guard unit, Tulsi has indicated that we should not be discouraged and she has given every indication she will continue to campaign at this point:

Don't Be Discouraged!

She was in Iowa today, campaigning!

[Sep 02, 2019] Falling From Grace The Decline Of The US Empire

The USA centered global neoliberal empire falls from grace at alarming speed.
Just the discussion of this possibility would be unthinkable in 90th -- the period of triumphal advance of neoliberalism all over the globe. So thinks did change although it is unclear what is that direction of the social change -- neo-fascism or some kind of return to the New Del Capitalism (if so who will replace previous, forged by Great Depression political alignment between trade unions and management against the financial oligarchy, which financial oligarchy managed to broke using neoliberalism as the Trojan horse and bribing CEOs)
Om a was original fascist movements were also a protest against the rule of financial oligarchy. Even anti-Semitism in Germany was a kind of perverted protest against financial oligarchy as well. They were quickly subverted and in Germany anti-Semitism degenerated into irrational hatred and genocide, , but the fact remains. Just looks at NSDAP program of 1920 . Now we have somewhat similar sentiments with Wexner and Meta group in the USA. To say that they do not invoke any sympathy is an understatement.
The problem with empires that they do not only rob the "other people". They rob their own people as well, and rob them hard. The USSR people were really robbed by Soviet military industrial complex and Soviet globalist -- to the far greater extent then the USA people now. People were really as poor as church rats. Epidemic of alcoholism in the USA resembles the epidemic of narcoaddtion in the USA --- both are signs of desire then there is no jobs and now chances.
Like the collapse of the USSR was the result of the collapse of bolshevism, the collapse of the USA can be the result of the collapse of neoliberalism. Whether it will take 10 or 50 years is unclear, but the general tendency is down.
The competitors has grown much strong now and they want their place under then sub. That means squeezing the USA. Trump did agrat job in alientaing the US and that was probably the most important step is dismantling the USA empire that was taken. Add to that trade war with China and we have the situation that is not favorable to the USA politically in two important parts of the globe.
Add to this Brexit and we have clear tendency of states to reassert their sovereignty, which start hurting the USA based multinationals.
The only things that work in favor of the USA is that currently there is no clear alternative to neoliberalism other then some kind of restoration of the New Deal capitalism or neo-fasist dictatorship.
Notable quotes:
"... Self-discipline, self sacrifice and self restraint are the prices which must be paid for a civilization to survive, much less flourish, and Americans are increasingly unwilling to pay up. The America of a generation or two down the road will have the social cohesion of El Salvador. ..."
"... Being that history is always written by the tyrant of the time (which in our case was definitely behind the two last empires and a big player in Rome as and Spain as well) people are also led to believe that empire is a desireable state of cicumstance. It never was. Its the ambitions and conquistador actions of the collective psychopath. They feed on the strength of civilizations and utilize it for megalomaniac ambitions over power of others and power over everything. ..."
"... Those of you hoping for the end of American Empire need to think about what would replace it. ..."
"... You are completely delusional. The world is not better off under American stewardship. We don't need and shouldn't want anything to replace it. We don't need and shouldn't want any empire ruling the world. We would be better off without any state at all, so we could finally be free people. ..."
"... And no it probably wouldn't be better off under the Chinese. Although if the world stopped respecting American IP law, that would be a huge positive step forward. ..."
Sep 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,

Years ago, Doug Casey mentioned in a correspondence to me, "Empires fall from grace with alarming speed."

Every now and then, you receive a comment that, although it may have been stated casually, has a lasting effect, as it offers uncommon insight. For me, this was one of those and it's one that I've kept handy at my desk since that time, as a reminder.

I'm from a British family, one that left the UK just as the British Empire was about to begin its decline. They expatriated to the "New World" to seek promise for the future.

As I've spent most of my life centred in a British colony – the Cayman Islands – I've had the opportunity to observe many British contract professionals who left the UK seeking advancement, which they almost invariably find in Cayman. Curiously, though, most returned to the UK after a contract or two, in the belief that the UK would bounce back from its decline, and they wanted to be on board when Britain "came back."

This, of course, never happened. The US replaced the UK as the world's foremost empire, and although the UK has had its ups and downs over the ensuing decades, it hasn't returned to its former glory.

And it never will.

If we observe the empires of the world that have existed over the millennia, we see a consistent history of collapse without renewal. Whether we're looking at the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Spanish Empire, or any other that's existed at one time, history is remarkably consistent: The decline and fall of any empire never reverses itself; nor does the empire return, once it's fallen.

But of what importance is this to us today?

Well, today, the US is the world's undisputed leading empire and most Americans would agree that, whilst it's going through a bad patch, it will bounce back and might even be better than ever.

Not so, I'm afraid. All empires follow the same cycle. They begin with a population that has a strong work ethic and is self-reliant. Those people organize to form a nation of great strength, based upon high productivity.

This leads to expansion, generally based upon world trade. At some point, this gives rise to leaders who seek, not to work in partnership with other nations, but to dominate them, and of course, this is when a great nation becomes an empire. The US began this stage under the flamboyant and aggressive Teddy Roosevelt.

The twentieth century was the American century and the US went from victory to victory, expanding its power.

But the decline began in the 1960s, when the US started to pursue unwinnable wars, began the destruction of its currency and began to expand its government into an all-powerful body.

Still, this process tends to be protracted and the overall decline often takes decades.

So, how does that square with the quote, "Empires fall from grace with alarming speed"?

Well, the preparation for the fall can often be seen for a generation or more, but the actual fall tends to occur quite rapidly.

What happens is very similar to what happens with a schoolyard bully.

The bully has a slow rise, based upon his strength and aggressive tendency. After a number of successful fights, he becomes first revered, then feared. He then takes on several toadies who lack his abilities but want some of the spoils, so they do his bidding, acting in a threatening manner to other schoolboys.

The bully then becomes hated. No one tells him so, but the other kids secretly dream of his defeat, hopefully in a shameful manner.

Then, at some point, some boy who has a measure of strength and the requisite determination has had enough and takes on the bully.

If he defeats him, a curious thing happens. The toadies suddenly realise that the jig is up and they head for the hills, knowing that their source of power is gone.

Also, once the defeated bully is down, all the anger, fear and hatred that his schoolmates felt for him come out, and they take great pleasure in his defeat.

And this, in a nutshell, is what happens with empires.

A nation that comes to the rescue in times of genuine need (such as the two World Wars) is revered. But once that nation morphs into a bully that uses any excuse to invade countries such as Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria, its allies may continue to bow to it but secretly fear it and wish that it could be taken down a peg.

When the empire then starts looking around for other nations to bully, such as Iran and Venezuela, its allies again say nothing but react with fear when they see the John Boltons and Mike Pompeos beating the war drums and making reckless comments.

At present, the US is focusing primarily on economic warfare, but if this fails to get the world to bend to its dominance, the US has repeatedly warned, regarding possible military aggression, that "no option is off the table."

The US has reached the classic stage when it has become a reckless bully, and its support structure of allies has begun to de-couple as a result.

At the same time that allies begin to pull back and make other plans for their future, those citizens within the empire who tend to be the creators of prosperity also begin to seek greener pastures.

History has seen this happen countless times. The "brain drain" occurs, in which the best and most productive begin to look elsewhere for their future. Just as the most productive Europeans crossed the Pond to colonise the US when it was a new, promising country, their present-day counterparts have begun moving offshore.

The US is presently in a state of suspended animation. It still appears to be a major force, but its buttresses are quietly disappearing. At some point in the near future, it's likely that the US government will overplay its hand and aggress against a foe that either is stronger or has alliances that, collectively, make it stronger.


Basil1931 , 30 minutes ago link

The greatest (so called) threats to America- the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, North Koreans, ISIS, ( fill in the blank for the latest overseas bogeyman-of-the-week ) pale into a wisp beside the ongoing disintegration of American traditional family life. Self-discipline, self sacrifice and self restraint are the prices which must be paid for a civilization to survive, much less flourish, and Americans are increasingly unwilling to pay up. The America of a generation or two down the road will have the social cohesion of El Salvador.

Ms No , 38 minutes ago link

You also cant warn people about the collapse of empire either. People notoriously go into denial about it and it shocks the **** out of everybody. Since empires bluff and bluster at the end its all to easy for people want to believe.

Being that history is always written by the tyrant of the time (which in our case was definitely behind the two last empires and a big player in Rome as and Spain as well) people are also led to believe that empire is a desireable state of cicumstance. It never was. Its the ambitions and conquistador actions of the collective psychopath. They feed on the strength of civilizations and utilize it for megalomaniac ambitions over power of others and power over everything.

ohm , 55 minutes ago link

Those of you hoping for the end of American Empire need to think about what would replace it. if you think that the world would enter the age of Aquarius and peace will rule the planet you are extremely naive and stupid. If you think that the Chinese would be more benign rulers you are mistaken. The only reason China doesn't use its military to dominate other countries is because it is kept in check by the US.

HillaryOdor , 46 minutes ago link

You are completely delusional. The world is not better off under American stewardship. We don't need and shouldn't want anything to replace it. We don't need and shouldn't want any empire ruling the world. We would be better off without any state at all, so we could finally be free people.

And no it probably wouldn't be better off under the Chinese. Although if the world stopped respecting American IP law, that would be a huge positive step forward.

In the real world, Chinese terrorists are just as bad as American terrorists. Despite the most popular hypnosis gripping the American psyche, you can't have liberty or justice as long as either one is in charge. Whether the Chinese would be worse is debatable. It's not like America has some great track record to compete against. Their reign has been a complete disaster for human rights.

ohm , 41 minutes ago link

We don't need any empire ruling the world.

Agreed. But wishing that something isn't going to happen doesn't stop it from happening.

HillaryOdor , 34 minutes ago link

Pretending you are better off under the current arrangement doesn't make it so.

Pretending you have any control over the future of world politics doesn't make it so.

simpson seers , 43 minutes ago link

'Those of you hoping for the end of American Empire need to think about what would replace it '

for starters, peace would replace it, fake phoney ******.......

ohm , 42 minutes ago link

Why? Do you have a historical example?

ohm , 42 minutes ago link

Why? Do you have a historical example?

SHsparx , 37 minutes ago link

Expecting the inevitable and hoping for something are two different things.

Ms No , 29 minutes ago link

If China became the new empire we wouldnt live under it. It would be at least 100 years out. This empire will screw everybody epically first, plus we have decline weather patterns with super solar grand minimum. Also those people's who may see that next empire will deal with whatever circumstances present themselves and they wont give one **** what we think about it.

Basically power has kept moving west. Nobody will forget the depravity of this one. If written about accurately this one will be remembered most for the medical tyranny and intentional damage it did to human beings through injections and modified good supply, as well as moral depravity and proxy sadistic terrorism. Remember empire backed terrorist groups trafficked children and harvested organs. You can miss it if you want, few will.

ultramaroon , 11 minutes ago link

I do not _hope_ for an end of the American Empire, and I dread what is going to replace it. Howsoever, no empire lasts forever, and our empire is near its end. The Chinese are relentlessly cruel, and that's in their genotype. I probably won't live to see them take over the scraps and bits and pieces of our former empire. Those who are alive and in the prime of their lives when that happens will suffer unimaginably while they live, and their blood will cry out from the grave after they die. It makes me so heart-sick I can't bear to think about it for long, but our progeny will be forced to live it without let or hindrance.

Ms No , 8 minutes ago link

Lets find out the whole details of what they have done to our biology and our children's first before we say how cruel China might be. For starters look at what US and British did in Africa compared to China and Russia's involvement there. They are doing deals and not killing anybody, same with Venezuela.

SmallerGovNow2 , 1 hour ago link

Where else you going to go? What nation ISN'T broke? Europe is going to hell. So is South America. Africa has always been hell. Asia? Look what's going down in Hong Kong. China's broke. Make no mistake, the USA is in decline. But so is the rest of the world...

SmallerGovNow2 , 1 hour ago link

I'd say it's a race to the bottom but it's really that everyone is falling off the cliff at the same time...

perikleous , 1 hour ago link

regardless of what is printed China is not falling, they have a plan and have only advanced it. The debt side will not hurt them because they have been poor before and they have a route to success. They do not have resources but the industrial side is needed everywhere in the world. We are talking about a nation that literally prospered off of our garbage and resells it back to us! Think about it we use something up and pay them to take it away, they recycle it and resell it to us again and moved a nation 4x our population forward!

You really think debt will hurt them, especially the way the US determines debt! A huge portion of it is in the infrastructucture in China and along the BRI which will have returns over time, just as if we in the states rebuilt all our infrastructure by living wage employment rather than MIC investment!

Argentumentum , 1 hour ago link

Yes, all are broke. Assisted suicides of countries all over the world. Emphasise on "assisted".

Nations have been demoralized (the US most certainly, check Yuri Bezmenov) we are in destabilization phase already, collapse has to be next, it is unavoidable now. This will not end well, ignore at your own risk!

I am not talking about countries, just some Life Hedge Regions left in the world. People with brains and resources, you don need a Life Hedge Property! Away from Northern Hemisphere, away from Ring of Fire, etc... Get in touch. lifehedge(at) protonmail.com

He–Mene Mox Mox , 1 hour ago link

What got America into trouble was when Americans who thought of themselves as being "exceptional" became exceptionally stupid. The best and the brightest have already left America. Any wonder why we now depend on Russia to send our astronauts up on their rockets into space, or depend on China, South Korea, and Japan for our electronic products, or why better health care is found in other places outside the U.S., why our educational system has become poorer than what it was 60 years ago, etc.,?

perikleous , 1 hour ago link

When we decided to financialize everything and make nothing but investments we crippled our advancement.

When we decided to take the brightest minds in the world and recruit them into the US and then rather than advance the world with true science, we offer them lucrative money to enter financial markets to use their knowledge in that field.

We take the ones with morals and principles that choose to actually remain in science and then corrupt them over time with money/fame to regurgetate whatever their contractor chooses or lose funding for their projects.

We have corrupted every aspect of advancement and now just use our fake printed money to force the desperate to bend to our will.

SmallerGovNow2 , 1 hour ago link

Where do you see this better health care?

And you're saying the best and brightest left the USA for Russia, China, South Korea, and Japan? I don't think so...

Dump , 1 hour ago link

Good read on the subject of empires Sir John Glubb - The fate of empires and Search for survival.

We are probably near the end of the American Empire. And a fascinating by product of the HK protests is that we may well be near the end of Chinese Communism.

The Herdsman , 1 hour ago link

Nothing moves forward in a straight line. They move up and down. Empires are no exception. The Romans had their ups and downs throughout the course of their empire. You never know when a down cycle is the end but people who want it to end will always write articles like this.

American dominance might be drawing to an end....or it might be gearing up to go another 200 years. Nobody knows so it's a waste of time to speculate.

[Sep 02, 2019] Questions Nobody Is Asking About Jeffrey Epstein by Eric Rasmusen

Highly recommended!
While details on Epstein death are not interesting (he ended like a regular pimp) the corruption of high level officials his case revealed in more troubling.
Notable quotes:
"... Epstein was released, and various lawsuits were filed against him and settled out of court, presumably in exchange for silence. The media was quiet or complimentary as Epstein worked his way back into high society. ..."
"... What would I do if I were Epstein? I'd try to get the President, the Attorney-General, or the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York to shut down the investigation before it went public. I'd have all my friends and all my money try to pressure them. If it failed and I were arrested, it would be time for the backup plan -- the Deal. I'd try to minimize my prison time, and, just as important, to be put in one of the nicer federal prisons where I could associate with financial wizards and drug lords instead of serial killers, black nationalists, and people with bad breath. ..."
"... What about the powerful people Epstein would turn in to get his deal? They aren't as smart as Epstein, but they would know the Deal was coming -- that Epstein would be quite happy to sacrifice them in exchange for a prison with a slightly better golf course. What could they do? There's only one good option -- to kill Epstein, and do it quickly, before he could start giving information samples to the U. S. Attorney. ..."
"... Trying to kill informers is absolutely routine in the mafia, or indeed, for gangs of any kind. ..."
"... Famous politicians, unlike gangsters, don't have full-time professional hit men on their staffs, but that's just common sense -- politicians rarely need hit men, so it makes more sense to hire them on a piecework basis than as full-time employees. How would they find hit men? You or I wouldn't know how to start, but it would be easy for them. Rich powerful people have bodyguards. Bodyguards are for defense, but the guys who do defense know guys who do offense. And Epstein's friends are professional networkers. One reporter said of Ghislaine Maxwell, "Her Rolodex would blow away almost anyone else's I can think of -- probably even Rupert Murdoch's." They know people who know people. Maybe I'm six degrees of separation from a mafia hit man, but not Ghislaine Maxwell. I bet she knows at least one mafioso personally who knows more than one hit man. ..."
"... Or, if you can hire a New York Times reporter for $30,000 ( as Epstein famously did a couple of years ago), you can spend $200,000 on a competent hit man to make double sure. Government incompetence does not lend support to the suicide theory; quite the opposite. ..."
"... Statutory rape is not a federal crime ..."
"... At any time from 2008 to the present, Florida and New York prosecutors could have gone after Epstein and easily convicted him. The federal nonprosecution agreement did not bind them. And, of course, it is not just Epstein who should have been prosecuted. Other culprits such as Prince Andrew are still at large. ..."
"... Why isn't anybody but Ann Coulter talking about Barry Krischer and Ric Bradshaw, the Florida state prosecutor and sheriff who went easy on Epstein, or the New York City police who let him violate the sex offender regulations? ..."
"... Krischer refused to use the evidence the Palm Beach police gave him except to file a no-jail-time prostitution charge (they eventually went to Acosta, the federal prosecutor, instead, who got a guilty plea with an 18-month sentence). Bradshaw let him spend his days at home instead of at jail. ..."
"... In New York State, the county prosecutor, Cyrus Vance, fought to prevent Epstein from being classified as a Level III sex offender. Once he was, the police didn't enforce the rule that required him to check in every 90 days. ..."
"... Trafficking is a federal offense, so it would have to involve commerce across state lines. It also must involve sale and profit, not just personal pleasure. ..."
"... Here, the publicity and investigative lead is what is most important, because these are reputable and rich offenders for whom publicity is a bigger threat than losing in court. They have very good lawyers, and probably aren't guilty of federal crimes anyway, just state crimes, in corrupt states where they can use clout more effectively. Thus, killing potential informants before they tell the public is more important than killing informants to prevent their testimony at trial, a much more leisurely task. ..."
"... Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is the only government official who is clearly trustworthy, because he could have stopped the 2019 Epstein indictment and he didn't. I don't think Attorney-General Barr could have blocked it, and I don't think President Trump could have except by firing Berman. ..."
"... "It was that heart-wrenching series that caught the attention of Congress. Ben Sasse, the Republican senator from Nebraska, joined with his Democratic colleagues and demanded to know how justice had been so miscarried. ..."
"... President Trump didn't have anything personally to fear from Epstein. He is too canny to have gotten involved with him, and the press has been eagerly at work to find the slightest connection between him and Epstein and have come up dry as far as anything but acquaintanceship. But we must worry about a cover-up anyway, because rich and important people would be willing to pay Trump a lot in money or, more likely, in political support, if he does a cover-up. ..."
"... he sealing was completely illegal, as the appeals court politely but devastatingly noted in 2019, and the documents were released a day or two before Epstein died. Someone should check into Judge Sweet's finance and death. He was an ultra-Establishment figure -- a Yale man, alas, like me, and Taft School -- so he might just have been protecting what he considered good people, but his decision to seal the court records was grossly improper. ..."
"... Did Epstein have any dealings in sex, favors, or investments with any Republican except Wexner? ..."
"... Dershowitz, Mitchell, Clinton, Richardson, Dubin, George Stephanopolous, Lawrence Krauss, Katie Couric, Mortimer Zuckerman, Chelsea Handler, Cyrus Vance, and Woody Allen, are all Democrats. Did Epstein ever make use of Republicans? Don't count Trump, who has not been implicated despite the media's best efforts and was probably not even a Republican back in the 90's. Don't count Ken Starr– he's just one of Epstein's lawyers. Don't count scientists who just took money gifts from him. (By the way, Epstein made very little in the way of political contributions , though that little went mostly to Democrats ( $139,000 vs. $18,000 . I bet he extracted more from politicians than he gave to them. ..."
"... What role did Israeli politician Ehud Barak play in all this? ..."
"... Remember Marc Rich? He was a billionaire who fled the country to avoid a possible 300 years prison term, and was pardoned by Bill Clinton in 2001. Ehud Barak, one of Epstein's friends, was one of the people who asked for Rich to be pardoned . Epstein, his killers, and other rich people know that as a last resort they can flee the country and wait for someone like Clinton to come to office and pardon them. ..."
"... "intelligence" is also the kind of excuse people make up so they don't have to say "political pressure." ..."
"... James Patterson and John Connolly published Filthy Rich: A Powerful Billionaire, the Sex Scandal that Undid Him , and All the Justice that Money Can Buy: The Shocking True Story of Jeffrey Epstein . Conchita Sarnoff published TrafficKing: The Jeffrey Epstein Case. I never heard of these before 2019. Did the media bury them? ..."
"... There seems to have been an orchestrated attempt to divert attention to the issue of suicides in prison. Subtle differences in phrasing might help reveal who's been paid off. National Review had an article, "The Conspiracy Theories about Jeffrey Epstein's Death Don't Make Much Sense." The article contains no evidence or argument to support the headline's assertion, just bluster about "madness" and "conspiracy theories". Who else publishes stuff like this? ..."
"... The New York Times was, to its credit, willing to embarrass other publications by 2019. But the Times itself had been part of the cover-up in previous years . Who else was? ..."
"... Not one question involving Maurene Comey, then? She was one of the SDNY prosecutors assigned to this case, and her name has been significantly played down (if at all visible) in the reportage before or after Epstein's death. That she just "happened" to be on this case at all is quite an eyebrow raiser especially with her father under the ongoing "Spygate" investigation ..."
"... As important as it is to go on asking questions about the life and death of Jeffrey Epstein, I have to admit that personally I'm just not interested. I've always found people of his social class to be vaguely repulsive even without the sordid sex allegations. Just their demanding personalities, just the thought of them hanging around in their terrycloth jogging suits, sneering at the world with their irrefrangible arrogance, is enough to make me shudder. I want nothing of their nightmare world; and when they die, I couldn't care less. ..."
"... We are supposed to have faith in this rubbish? The cameras malfunctioned. He didn't have a cellmate. The guards were tired and forced to work overtime. ..."
"... One tiny mention of Jewish magnate Les Wexner but no mention how he & the Bronfmans founded the 'Mega Group' of ultra-Zionist billionaires regularly meeting as to how they could prop up the Jewish state by any & all means, Wexner being the source of many Epstein millions, the original buyer of the NYC mansion he transferred to Epstein etc the excellent Epstein series by Whitney Webb on Mint Press covering all this https://www.mintpressnews.com/author/whitney-webb/ ..."
"... ex-OSS father Donald Barr had written a 'fantasy novel' on sex slavery with scenes of rape of underage teens, 'Space Relations', written whilst Don Barr was headmaster of the Dalton school, which gave Epstein his first job, teaching teens ..."
Sep 02, 2019 | www.unz.com

The Jeffrey Epstein case is notable for the ups and downs in media coverage it's gotten over the years. Everybody, it seems, in New York society knew by 2000 that Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were corrupting teenage girls, but the press wouldn't cover it. Articles by New York in 2002 and Vanity Fair in 2003 alluded to it gently, while probing Epstein's finances more closely. In 2005, the Palm Beach police investigated. The county prosecutor, Democrat Barry Krischer, wouldn't prosecute for more than prostitution, so they went to the federal prosecutor, Republican Alexander Acosta, and got the FBI involved. Acosta's office prepared an indictment, but before it was filed, he made a deal: Epstein agreed to plead guilty to a state law felony and receive a prison term of 18 months. In exchange, the federal interstate sex trafficking charges would not be prosecuted by Acosta's office. Epstein was officially at the county jail for 13 months, where the county officials under Democratic Sheriff Ric Bradshaw gave him scandalously easy treatment , letting him spend his days outside, and letting him serve a year of probation in place of the last 5 months of his sentence. Acosta's office complained, but it was a county jail, not a federal jail, so he was powerless.

Epstein was released, and various lawsuits were filed against him and settled out of court, presumably in exchange for silence. The media was quiet or complimentary as Epstein worked his way back into high society. Two books were written about the affair, and fell flat. The FBI became interested again around 2011 ( a little known fact ) and maybe things were happening behind the scenes, but the next big event was in 2018 when the Miami Herald published a series of investigative articles rehashing what had happened.

In 2019 federal prosecutors indicted Epstein, he was put in jail, and he mysteriously died. Now, after much complaining in the press about how awful jails are and how many people commit suicide, things are quiet again, at least until the Justice Department and the State of Florida finish their investigation a few years from now. (For details and more links, see " Investigation: Jeffrey Epstein "at Medium.com and " Jeffrey Epstein " at Wikipedia .)

I'm an expert in the field of "game theory", strategic thinking. What would I do if I were Epstein? I'd try to get the President, the Attorney-General, or the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York to shut down the investigation before it went public. I'd have all my friends and all my money try to pressure them. If it failed and I were arrested, it would be time for the backup plan -- the Deal. I'd try to minimize my prison time, and, just as important, to be put in one of the nicer federal prisons where I could associate with financial wizards and drug lords instead of serial killers, black nationalists, and people with bad breath.

That's what Epstein would do. What about the powerful people Epstein would turn in to get his deal? They aren't as smart as Epstein, but they would know the Deal was coming -- that Epstein would be quite happy to sacrifice them in exchange for a prison with a slightly better golf course. What could they do? There's only one good option -- to kill Epstein, and do it quickly, before he could start giving information samples to the U. S. Attorney.

Trying to kill informers is absolutely routine in the mafia, or indeed, for gangs of any kind. The reason people call such talk "conspiracy theories" when it comes to Epstein is that his friends are WASPs and Jews, not Italians and Mexicans. But WASPs and Jews are human too. They want to protect themselves. Famous politicians, unlike gangsters, don't have full-time professional hit men on their staffs, but that's just common sense -- politicians rarely need hit men, so it makes more sense to hire them on a piecework basis than as full-time employees. How would they find hit men? You or I wouldn't know how to start, but it would be easy for them. Rich powerful people have bodyguards. Bodyguards are for defense, but the guys who do defense know guys who do offense. And Epstein's friends are professional networkers. One reporter said of Ghislaine Maxwell, "Her Rolodex would blow away almost anyone else's I can think of -- probably even Rupert Murdoch's." They know people who know people. Maybe I'm six degrees of separation from a mafia hit man, but not Ghislaine Maxwell. I bet she knows at least one mafioso personally who knows more than one hit man.

In light of this, it would be very surprising if someone with a spare $50 million to spend to solve the Epstein problem didn't give it a try. A lot of people can be bribed for $50 million. Thus, we should have expected to see bribery attempts. If none were detected, it must have been because prison workers are not reporting they'd been approached.

Some people say that government incompetence is always a better explanation than government malfeasance. That's obviously wrong -- when an undeserving business gets a contract, it's not always because the government official in charge was just not paying attention. I can well believe that prisons often take prisoners off of suicide watch too soon, have guards who go to sleep and falsify records, remove cellmates from prisoners at risk of suicide or murder, let the TV cameras watching their most important prisoners go on the blink, and so forth. But that cuts both ways.

Remember, in the case of Epstein, we'd expect a murder attempt whether the warden of the most important federal jail in the country is competent or not. If the warden is incompetent, we should expect that murder attempt to succeed. Murder becomes all the more more plausible. Instead of spending $50 million to bribe 20 guards and the warden, you just pay some thug $30,000 to walk in past the snoring guards, open the cell door, and strangle the sleeping prisoner, no fancy James Bond necessary. Or, if you can hire a New York Times reporter for $30,000 ( as Epstein famously did a couple of years ago), you can spend $200,000 on a competent hit man to make double sure. Government incompetence does not lend support to the suicide theory; quite the opposite.

Now to my questions.

Why is nobody blaming the Florida and New York state prosecutors for not prosecuting Epstein and others for statutory rape?

Statutory rape is not a federal crime, so it is not something the Justice Dept. is supposed to investigate or prosecute. They are going after things like interstate sex trafficking. Interstate sex trafficking is generally much harder to prove than statutory rape, which is very easy if the victims will testify.

At any time from 2008 to the present, Florida and New York prosecutors could have gone after Epstein and easily convicted him. The federal nonprosecution agreement did not bind them. And, of course, it is not just Epstein who should have been prosecuted. Other culprits such as Prince Andrew are still at large.

Note that if even if the evidence is just the girl's word against Ghislaine Maxwell's or Prince Andrew's, it's still quite possible to get a jury to convict. After all, who would you believe, in a choice between Maxwell, Andrew, and Anyone Else in the World? For an example of what can be done if the government is eager to convict, instead of eager to protect important people, see the 2019 Cardinal Pell case in Australia. He was convicted by the secret testimony of a former choirboy, the only complainant, who claimed Pell had committed indecent acts during a chance encounter after Mass before Pell had even unrobed. Naturally, the only cardinal to be convicted of anything in the Catholic Church scandals is also the one who's done the most to fight corruption. Where there's a will, there's a way to prosecute. It's even easier to convict someone if he's actually guilty.

Why isn't anybody but Ann Coulter talking about Barry Krischer and Ric Bradshaw, the Florida state prosecutor and sheriff who went easy on Epstein, or the New York City police who let him violate the sex offender regulations?

Krischer refused to use the evidence the Palm Beach police gave him except to file a no-jail-time prostitution charge (they eventually went to Acosta, the federal prosecutor, instead, who got a guilty plea with an 18-month sentence). Bradshaw let him spend his days at home instead of at jail.

In New York State, the county prosecutor, Cyrus Vance, fought to prevent Epstein from being classified as a Level III sex offender. Once he was, the police didn't enforce the rule that required him to check in every 90 days.

How easy would it have been to prove in 2016 or 2019 that Epstein and his people were guilty of federal sex trafficking?

Not easy, I should think. It wouldn't be enough to prove that Epstein debauched teenagers. Trafficking is a federal offense, so it would have to involve commerce across state lines. It also must involve sale and profit, not just personal pleasure. The 2019 indictment is weak on this. The "interstate commerce" looks like it's limited to Epstein making phone calls between Florida and New York. This is why I am not completely skeptical when former U.S. Attorney Acosta says that the 2008 nonprosecution deal was reasonable. He had strong evidence the Epstein violated Florida state law -- but that wasn't relevant. He had to prove violations of federal law.

Why didn't Epstein ask the Court, or the Justice Dept., for permission to have an unarmed guard share his cell with him?

Epstein had no chance at bail without bribing the judge, but this request would have been reasonable. That he didn't request a guard is, I think, the strongest evidence that he wanted to die. If he didn't commit suicide himself, he was sure making it easy for someone else to kill him.

Could Epstein have used the safeguard of leaving a trove of photos with a friend or lawyer to be published if he died an unnatural death?

Well, think about it -- Epstein's lawyer was Alan Dershowitz. If he left photos with someone like Dershowitz, that someone could earn a lot more by using the photos for blackmail himself than by dutifully carrying out his perverted customer's instructions. The evidence is just too valuable, and Epstein was someone whose friends weren't the kind of people he could trust. Probably not even his brother.

Who is in danger of dying next?

Prison workers from guard to warden should be told that if they took bribes, their lives are now in danger. Prison guards may not be bright enough to realize this. Anybody who knows anything important about Epstein should be advised to publicize their information immediately. That is the best way to stay alive.

This is not like a typical case where witnesses get killed so they won't testify. It's not like with gangsters. Here, the publicity and investigative lead is what is most important, because these are reputable and rich offenders for whom publicity is a bigger threat than losing in court. They have very good lawyers, and probably aren't guilty of federal crimes anyway, just state crimes, in corrupt states where they can use clout more effectively. Thus, killing potential informants before they tell the public is more important than killing informants to prevent their testimony at trial, a much more leisurely task.

What happened to Epstein's body?

The Justice Dept. had better not have let Epstein's body be cremated. And they'd better give us convincing evidence that it's his body. If I had $100 million to get out of jail with, acquiring a corpse and bribing a few people to switch fingerprints and DNA wouldn't be hard. I find it worrying that the government has not released proof that Epstein is dead or a copy of the autopsy.

Was Epstein's jail really full of mice?

The New York Times says,

"Beyond its isolation, the wing is infested with rodents and cockroaches, and inmates often have to navigate standing water -- as well as urine and fecal matter -- that spills from faulty plumbing, accounts from former inmates and lawyers said. One lawyer said mice often eat his clients' papers."

" Often have to navigate standing water"? "Mice often eat his clients' papers?" Really? I'm skeptical. What do the vermin eat -- do inmates leave Snickers bars open in their cells? Has anyone checked on what the prison conditions really like?

Is it just a coincidence that Epstein made a new will two days before he died?

I can answer this one. Yes, it is coincidence, though it's not a coincidence that he rewrote the will shortly after being denied bail. The will leaves everything to a trust, and it is the trust document (which is confidential), not the will (which is public), that determines who gets the money. Probably the only thing that Epstein changed in his will was the listing of assets, and he probably changed that because he'd just updated his list of assets for the bail hearing anyway, so it was a convenient time to update the will.

Did Epstein's veiled threat against DOJ officials in his bail filing backfire?

Epstein's lawyers wrote in his bail request,

"If the government is correct that the NPA does not, and never did, preclude a prosecution in this district, then the government will likely have to explain why it purposefully delayed a prosecution of someone like Mr. Epstein, who registered as a sex offender 10 years ago and was certainly no stranger to law enforcement. There is no legitimate explanation for the delay."

I see this as a veiled threat. The threat is that Epstein would subpoena people and documents from the Justice Department relevant to the question of why there was a ten-year delay before prosecution, to expose the illegitimate explanation for the delay. Somebody is to blame for that delay, and court-ordered disclosure is a bigger threat than an internal federal investigation.

Who can we trust?

Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is the only government official who is clearly trustworthy, because he could have stopped the 2019 Epstein indictment and he didn't. I don't think Attorney-General Barr could have blocked it, and I don't think President Trump could have except by firing Berman. I do trust Attorney-General Barr, however, from what I've heard of him and because he instantly and publicly said he would have not just the FBI but the Justice Dept. Inspector-General investigate Epstein's death, and he quickly fired the federal prison head honcho. The FBI is untrustworthy, but Inspector-Generals are often honorable.

Someone else who may be a hero in this is Senator Ben Sasse. Vicki Ward writes in the Daily Beast :

"It was that heart-wrenching series that caught the attention of Congress. Ben Sasse, the Republican senator from Nebraska, joined with his Democratic colleagues and demanded to know how justice had been so miscarried.

Given the political sentiment, it's unsurprising that the FBI should feel newly emboldened to investigate Epstein -- basing some of their work on Brown's excellent reporting."

Will President Trump Cover Up Epstein's Death in Exchange for Political Leverage?

President Trump didn't have anything personally to fear from Epstein. He is too canny to have gotten involved with him, and the press has been eagerly at work to find the slightest connection between him and Epstein and have come up dry as far as anything but acquaintanceship. But we must worry about a cover-up anyway, because rich and important people would be willing to pay Trump a lot in money or, more likely, in political support, if he does a cover-up.

Why did Judge Sweet order Epstein documents sealed in 2017. Did he die naturally in 2019?

Judge Robert Sweet in 2017 ordered all documents in an Epstein-related case sealed. He died in May 2019 at age 96, at home in Idaho. The sealing was completely illegal, as the appeals court politely but devastatingly noted in 2019, and the documents were released a day or two before Epstein died. Someone should check into Judge Sweet's finance and death. He was an ultra-Establishment figure -- a Yale man, alas, like me, and Taft School -- so he might just have been protecting what he considered good people, but his decision to seal the court records was grossly improper.

Did Epstein have any dealings in sex, favors, or investments with any Republican except Wexner?

Dershowitz, Mitchell, Clinton, Richardson, Dubin, George Stephanopolous, Lawrence Krauss, Katie Couric, Mortimer Zuckerman, Chelsea Handler, Cyrus Vance, and Woody Allen, are all Democrats. Did Epstein ever make use of Republicans? Don't count Trump, who has not been implicated despite the media's best efforts and was probably not even a Republican back in the 90's. Don't count Ken Starr– he's just one of Epstein's lawyers. Don't count scientists who just took money gifts from him. (By the way, Epstein made very little in the way of political contributions , though that little went mostly to Democrats ( $139,000 vs. $18,000 . I bet he extracted more from politicians than he gave to them.

What role did Israeli politician Ehud Barak play in all this?

Remember Marc Rich? He was a billionaire who fled the country to avoid a possible 300 years prison term, and was pardoned by Bill Clinton in 2001. Ehud Barak, one of Epstein's friends, was one of the people who asked for Rich to be pardoned . Epstein, his killers, and other rich people know that as a last resort they can flee the country and wait for someone like Clinton to come to office and pardon them.

Acosta said that Washington Bush Administration people told him to go easy on Epstein because he was an intelligence source. That is plausible. Epstein had info and blackmailing ability with people like Ehud Barak, leader of Israel's Labor Party. But "intelligence" is also the kind of excuse people make up so they don't have to say "political pressure."

Why did nobody pay attention to the two 2016 books on Epstein?

James Patterson and John Connolly published Filthy Rich: A Powerful Billionaire, the Sex Scandal that Undid Him , and All the Justice that Money Can Buy: The Shocking True Story of Jeffrey Epstein . Conchita Sarnoff published TrafficKing: The Jeffrey Epstein Case. I never heard of these before 2019. Did the media bury them?

Which newspapers reported Epstein's death as "suicide" and which as "apparent suicide"?

More generally, which media outlets seem to be trying to brush Epstein's death under the rug? There seems to have been an orchestrated attempt to divert attention to the issue of suicides in prison. Subtle differences in phrasing might help reveal who's been paid off. National Review had an article, "The Conspiracy Theories about Jeffrey Epstein's Death Don't Make Much Sense." The article contains no evidence or argument to support the headline's assertion, just bluster about "madness" and "conspiracy theories". Who else publishes stuff like this?

How much did Epstein corrupt the media from 2008 to 2019?

Even outlets that generally publish good articles must be suspected of corruption. Epstein made an effort to get good publicity. The New York Times wrote,

"The effort led to the publication of articles describing him as a selfless and forward-thinking philanthropist with an interest in science on websites like Forbes, National Review and HuffPost .

All three articles have been removed from their sites in recent days, after inquiries from The New York Times .

The National Review piece, from the same year, called him "a smart businessman" with a "passion for cutting-edge science."

Ms. Galbraith was also a publicist for Mr. Epstein, according to several news releases promoting Mr. Epstein's foundations In the article that appeared on the National Review site, she described him as having "given thoughtfully to countless organizations that help educate underprivileged children."

"We took down the piece, and regret publishing it," Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review since 1997, said in an email. He added that the publication had "had a process in place for a while now to weed out such commercially self-interested pieces from lobbyists and PR flacks.""

The New York Times was, to its credit, willing to embarrass other publications by 2019. But the Times itself had been part of the cover-up in previous years . Who else was?

Eric Rasmusen is an economist who has held an endowed chair at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business and visiting positions at Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, the Harvard Economics Department, Chicago's Booth School of Business, Nuffield College/Oxford, and the University of Tokyo Economics Department. He is best known for his book Games and Information. He has published extensively in law and economics, including recent articles on the burakumin outcastes in Japan, the use of game theory in jurisprudence, and quasi-concave functions. The views expressed here are his personal views and are not intended to represent the views of the Kelley School of Business or Indiana University. His vitae is at http://www.rasmusen.org/vita.htm .


Paul.Martin , says: September 2, 2019 at 3:54 am GMT

Not one question involving Maurene Comey, then? She was one of the SDNY prosecutors assigned to this case, and her name has been significantly played down (if at all visible) in the reportage before or after Epstein's death. That she just "happened" to be on this case at all is quite an eyebrow raiser especially with her father under the ongoing "Spygate" investigation

Apparently, there will always be many players on the field, and many ways to do damage control.

utu , says: September 2, 2019 at 4:43 am GMT

How easy would it have been to prove in 2016 or 2019 that Epstein and his people were guilty of federal sex trafficking?

It would be very easy for a motivated prosecutor.

Mann Act: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mann_Act The Mann Act was successfully used to prosecute several Christian preachers in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

So the problem was finding a motivated prosecutor in case of Jewish predator with very likely links to intelligence services of several countries. The motivation was obviously lacking.

Your "expertise" in game theory would be greatly improved if you let yourself consider the Jewish factor.

Intelligent Dasein , says: Website September 2, 2019 at 4:44 am GMT
As important as it is to go on asking questions about the life and death of Jeffrey Epstein, I have to admit that personally I'm just not interested. I've always found people of his social class to be vaguely repulsive even without the sordid sex allegations. Just their demanding personalities, just the thought of them hanging around in their terrycloth jogging suits, sneering at the world with their irrefrangible arrogance, is enough to make me shudder. I want nothing of their nightmare world; and when they die, I couldn't care less.
utu , says: September 2, 2019 at 4:46 am GMT

More generally, which media outlets seem to be trying to brush Epstein's death under the rug?

Not the National Enquirer:

Jeffrey Epstein Murder Cover-up Exposed!
Death Scene Staged to Look Like Suicide
Billionaire's Screams Ignored by Guards!
Fatal Attack Caught on Jail Cameras!
Autopsy is Hiding the Truth!

National Enquirer, Sept 2. 2019
https://reader.magzter.com/preview/7l5c5vd5t28thcmigloxel3670370/367037

Mark James , says: September 2, 2019 at 6:33 am GMT
I don't hold AG Barr in the high regard this piece does. While I'm not suggesting he had anything to do with Epstein's death I do think he's corrupt. I doubt he will do anything that leads to the truth. As for him relieving the warden of his duties, I would hope that was to be expected, wasn't it? I mean he only had two attempts on Epstein's life with the second being a success. Apparently the first didn't jolt the warden into some kind of action as it appears he was guilty of a number of sins including 'Sloth.'

As for the publications that don't like conspiracy theories –like the National Review -- they are a hoot. We are supposed to have faith in this rubbish? The cameras malfunctioned. He didn't have a cellmate. The guards were tired and forced to work overtime. There was no camera specifically in the cell with Epstein.
In the end I think Epstein probably was allowed to kill himself but I'm not confident in that scenario at all. And yes the media should pressure Barr to hav e a look in the cell and see exactly how a suicide attempt might have succeeded or if it was a long-shot at best, given the materiel and conditions.

SafeNow , says: September 2, 2019 at 6:49 am GMT
19. Why is the non-prosecution agreement ambiguous ("globally" binding), when it was written by the best lawyers in the country for a very wealthy client? Was the ambiguity bargained-for? If so, what are the implications?

20. With "globally" still being unresolved (to the bail judge's first-paragraph astonishment), why commit suicide now?

21. The "it was malfeasance" components are specified. For mere malfeasance to have been the cause, all of the components would have to be true; it would be a multiplicative function of the several components. Is no one sufficiently quantitative to estimate the magnitude?

22. What is the best single takeaway phrase that emerges from all of this? My nomination is: "In your face." The brazen, shameless, unprecedented, turning-point, in-your-faceness of it.

sally , says: September 2, 2019 at 7:32 am GMT
ER the answer is easy to you list of questions .. there is no law in the world when violations are not prosecuted and fair open for all to see trials are not held and judges do not deliver the appropriate penalties upon convictions. .. in cases involving the CIA prosecution it is unheard of that a open for all to see trial takes place.

This is why we the governed masses need a parallel government..

such an oversight government would allow to pick out the negligent or wilful misconduct of persons in functional government and prosecute such persons in the independent people's court.. Without a second government to oversee the first government there is no democracy; democracy cannot stand and the governed masses will never see the light of a fair day .. unless the masses have oversight authority on what is to be made into law, and are given without prejudice to their standing in America the right to charge those associated to government with negligent or wilful misconduct.

mypoint

Anonymous [425] Disclaimer , says: Website September 2, 2019 at 7:33 am GMT

https://www.youtube.com/embed/fMG8SVrqstg?feature=oembed

Brabantian , says: September 2, 2019 at 8:31 am GMT
There are big questions this article is not asking either

The words 'Mossad' seems not to appear above, and just a brief mention of 'Israel' with Ehud Barak

One tiny mention of Jewish magnate Les Wexner but no mention how he & the Bronfmans founded the 'Mega Group' of ultra-Zionist billionaires regularly meeting as to how they could prop up the Jewish state by any & all means, Wexner being the source of many Epstein millions, the original buyer of the NYC mansion he transferred to Epstein etc the excellent Epstein series by Whitney Webb on Mint Press covering all this
https://www.mintpressnews.com/author/whitney-webb/

Was escape to freedom & Israe,l the ultimate payoff for Epstein's decades of work for Mossad, grooming and abusing young teens, filmed in flagrante delicto with prominent people for political blackmail?

Is it not likely this was a Mossad jailbreak covered by fake 'suicide', with Epstein alive now, with US gov now also in possession of the assumed Epstein sexual blackmail video tapes?

We have the Epstein 'death in jail' under the US Attorney General Bill Barr, a former CIA officer 1973-77, the CIA supporting him thru night law school, Bill Barr's later law firm Kirkland Ellis representing Epstein

Whose Jewish-born ex-OSS father Donald Barr had written a 'fantasy novel' on sex slavery with scenes of rape of underage teens, 'Space Relations', written whilst Don Barr was headmaster of the Dalton school, which gave Epstein his first job, teaching teens

So would a crypto-Jewish 'former' CIA officer who is now USA Attorney General, possibly help a Mossad political blackmailer escape to Israel after a fake 'jail suicide'?

An intriguing 4chan post a few hours after Epstein's 'body was discovered', says Epstein was put in a wheelchair and driven out of the jail in a van, accompanied by a man in a green military uniform – timestamp is USA Pacific on the screencap apparently, so about 10:44 NYC time Sat.10 Aug

FWIW, drone video of Epstein's Little St James island from Friday 30 August, shows a man who could be Epstein himself, on the left by one vehicle, talking to a black man sitting on a quad all-terrain unit

Close up of Epstein-like man between vehicles, from video note 'pale finger' match-up to archive photo Epstein

Anon [261] Disclaimer , says: September 2, 2019 at 8:34 am GMT
The thing that sticks out for me is that Epstein was caught, charged, and went to jail previously, but he didn't die . The second time, it appears he was murdered. I strongly suspect that the person who murdered Epstein was someone who only met Epstein after 2008, or was someone Epstein only procured for after 2008. Otherwise, this person would have killed Epstein back when Epstein was charged by the cops the first time.

Either that, or the killer is someone who is an opponent of Trump, and this person was genuinely terrified that Trump would pressure the Feds to avoid any deals and to squeeze all the important names out of Epstein and prosecute them, too.

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: September 2, 2019 at 8:37 am GMT
The author professes himself "expert in the field of "game theory", strategic thinking," but he doesn't say how his 18 questions were arrived at to the exclusion of hundreds of others. Instead, the column includes several casual assumptions and speculation. For example:

As to this last, isn't "quickly [firing] the federal prison head honcho" consistent with a failure-to-prevent-suicide deflection strategy? And has Mr. Rasmusen not "heard" of the hiring of Mr. Epstein by Mr. Barr's father? Or of the father's own Establishment background?

I hope to be wrong, but my own hunch is that these investigations, like the parallel investigations of the RussiaGate hoax, will leave the elite unscathed. I also hope that in the meantime we see more rigorous columns here than this one.

Miro23 , says: September 2, 2019 at 9:45 am GMT

...Also, subsequently, it should have been a top priority to arrest Ghislaine Maxwell but the government, justice and media lack interest . Apparently, they don't know where she is, and they're not making any special efforts to find out.

Sick of Orcs , says: September 2, 2019 at 9:45 am GMT
Epstein had no "dead man's switch" which would release what he knew to media? C'mon! This is basic Villainy 101.

[Sep 02, 2019] Is it Cynical to Believe the System is Corrupt by Bill Black

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... A new opinion poll released by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal last Sunday shows that 70% of Americans are "angry" because our political system seems to only be working for the insiders with money and power. Both Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren have also reflected on this sentiment during their campaigns. Sanders has said that we live in a "corrupt political system designed to protect the wealthy and the powerful." Warren said it's a "rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else." ..."
Aug 31, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

A new opinion poll released by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal last Sunday shows that 70% of Americans are "angry" because our political system seems to only be working for the insiders with money and power. Both Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren have also reflected on this sentiment during their campaigns. Sanders has said that we live in a "corrupt political system designed to protect the wealthy and the powerful." Warren said it's a "rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else."

A New York Times opinion article written by the political scientist Greg Weiner felt compelled to push back on this message, writing a column with the title, The Shallow Cynicism of 'Everything Is Rigged'. In his column, Weiner basically makes the argument that believing everything is corrupt and rigged is a cynical attitude with which it is possible to dismiss political opponents for being a part of the corruption. In other words, the Sanders and Warren argument is a shortcut, according to Weiner, that avoids real political debate.

Joining me now to discuss whether it makes sense to think of a political system as rigged and corrupt, and whether the cynical attitude is justified, is someone who should know a thing or two about corruption: Bill Black. He is a white collar criminologist, former financial regulator, and associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He's also the author of the book, The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One. Thanks for joining us again, Bill.

BILL BLACK: Thank you.

GREG WILPERT: As I mentioned that the outset, it seems that Sanders and Warren are in effect taking an open door, at least when it comes to the American public. That is, almost everyone already believes that our political and economic system is rigged. Would you agree with that sentiment that the system is corrupt and rigged for the rich and against pretty much everyone else but especially the poor? What do you think?

BILL BLACK: One of the principal things I study is elite fraud, corruption and predation. The World Bank sent me to India for months as an anti-corruption alleged expert type. And as a financial regulator, this is what I dealt with. This is what I researched. This is a huge chunk of my life. So I wouldn't use the word, if I was being formal in an academic system, "the system." What I would talk about is specific systems that are rigged, and they most assuredly are rigged.

Let me give you an example. One of the most important things that has transformed the world and made it vastly more criminogenic, much more corrupt, is modern executive compensation. This is not an unusual position. This is actually the normal position now, even among very conservative scholars, including the person who was the intellectual godfather of modern executive compensation, Michael Jensen. He has admitted that he spawned unintentionally a monster because CEOs have rigged the compensation system. How do they do that? Well, it starts even before you get hired as a CEO. This is amazing stuff. The standard thing you do as a powerful CEO is you hire this guy, and he specializes in negotiating great deals for CEOs. His first demand, which is almost always given into, is that the corporation pay his fee, not the CEO. On the other side of the table is somebody that the CEO is going to be the boss of negotiating the other side. How hard is he going to negotiate against the guy that's going to be his boss? That's totally rigged.

Then the compensation committee hires compensation specialists who–again, even the most conservative economists agree it is a completely rigged system. Because the only way they get work is if they give this extraordinary compensation. Then, everybody in economics admits that there's a clear way you should run performance pay. It should be really long term. You get the big bucks only after like 10 years of success. In reality, they're always incredibly short term. Why? Because it's vastly easier for the CEO to rig the short-term reported earnings. What's the result of this? Accounting profession, criminology profession, economics profession, law profession. We've all done studies and all of them say this perverse system of compensation causes CEOs to (a) cheat and (b) to be extraordinarily short term in their perspective because it's easier to rig the short-term reported results. Even the most conservative economists agree that's terrible for the economy.

What I've just gone through is a whole bunch of academic literature from over 40-plus years from top scholars in four different fields. That's not cynicism. That's just plain facts if you understand the system. People like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, they didn't, as you say, kick open an open door. They made the open door. It's not like Elizabeth Warren started talking about this six months ago when she started being a potential candidate. She has been saying this and explaining in detail how individual systems are rigged in favor of the wealthy for at least 30 years of work. Bernie Sanders has been doing it for 45 years. This is what the right, including the author of this piece who is an ultra-far right guy, fear the most. It's precisely what they fear, that Bernie and Elizabeth are good at explaining how particular systems are rigged. They explain it in appropriate detail, but they're also good in making it human. They talk the way humans talk as opposed to academics.

That's what the right fear is more than anything, that people will basically get woke. In this, it's being woke to how individual systems have been rigged by the wealthy and powerful to create a sure thing to enrich them, usually at our direct expense.

GREG WILPERT: I think those are some very good examples. They're mostly from the realm of economics. I want to look at one from the realm of politics, which specifically Weiner makes. He cites Sanders, who says that the rich literally buy elections, and Weiner counters this by saying that, "It is difficult to identify instances in American history of an electoral majority wanting something specific that it has not eventually gotten." That's a pretty amazing statement actually, I think, for him to say when you look at the actual polls of what people want and what people get. He then also adds, "That's not possible to dupe the majority with advertising all of the time." What's your response to that argument?

BILL BLACK: Well, actually, that's where he's trying to play economist, and he's particularly bad at economics. He was even worse at economics than he is at political science, where his pitch, by the way is–I'm not overstating this–corruption is good. The real problem with Senator Sanders and Senator Warren is that they're against corruption.

Can you fool many people? Answer: Yes. We have good statistics from people who actually study this as opposed to write op-eds of this kind. In the great financial crisis, one of the most notorious of the predators that targeted blacks and Latinos–we actually have statistics from New Century. And here's a particular scam. The loan broker gets paid more money the worse the deal he gets you, the customer, and he gets paid by the bank. If he can get you to pay more than the market rate of interest, then he gets a kickback, a literal kickback. In almost exactly half of the cases, New Century was able to get substantially above market interest rates, again, targeted at blacks and Latinos.

We know that this kind of predatory approach can succeed, and it can succeed brilliantly. Look at cigarettes. Cigarettes, if you use them as intended, they make you sick and they kill you. It wasn't that very long ago until a huge effort by pushback that the tobacco companies, through a whole series of fake science and incredible amounts of ads that basically tried to associate if you were male, that if you smoked, you'd have a lot of sex type of thing. It was really that crude. It was enormously successful with people in getting them to do things that almost immediately made them sick and often actually killed them.

He's simply wrong empirically. You can see it in US death rates. You can see it in Hell, I'm overweight considerably. Americans are enormously overweight because of the way we eat, which has everything to do with how marketing works in the United States, and it's actually gotten so bad that it's reducing life expectancy in a number of groups in America. That's how incredibly effective predatory practices are in rigging the system. That's again, two Nobel Laureates in economics have recently written about this. George Akerlof and Shiller, both Nobel Laureates in economics, have written about this predation in a book for a general audience. It's called Phishing with a P-H.

GREG WILPERT: I want to turn to the last point that Weiner makes about cynicism. He says that calling the system rigged is actually a form of cynicism. And that cynicism, the belief that everything and everyone is bad or corrupt avoids real political arguments because it tires everyone you disagree with as being a part of that corruption. Would you say, is the belief that the system is rigged a form of cynicism? And if it is, wouldn't Weiner be right that cynicism avoids political debate?

BILL BLACK: He creates a straw man. No one has said that everything and everyone is corrupt. No one has said that if you disagree with me, you are automatically corrupt. What they have given in considerable detail, like I gave as the first example, was here is exactly how the system is rigged. Here are the empirical results of that rigging. This produces vast transfers of wealth to the powerful and wealthy, and it comes at the expense of nearly everybody else. That is factual and that needs to be said. It needs to be said that politicians that support this, and Weiner explicitly does that, says, we need to go back to a system that is more openly corrupt and that if we have that system, the world will be better. That has no empirical basis. It's exactly the opposite. Corruption kills. Corruption ruins economies.

The last thing in the world you want to do is what Weiner calls for, which he says, "We've got to stop applying morality to this form of crime." In essence, he is channeling the godfather. "Tell the Don it wasn't personal. It was just business." There's nothing really immoral in his view about bribing people. I'm sorry. I'm a Midwesterner. It wasn't cynicism. It was morality. He says you can't compromise with corruption. I hope not. Compromising with corruption is precisely why we're in this situation where growth rates have been cut in half, why wage growth has been cut by four-fifths, why blacks and Latinos during the great financial crisis lost 60% to 80% of their wealth in college-educated households. That's why 70% of the public is increasingly woke on this subject.

GREG WILPERT: Well, we're going to leave it there. I was speaking to Bill Black, associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Thanks again, Bill, for having joined us today.

BILL BLACK: Thank you.

GREG WILPERT: And thank you for joining The Real News Network.

fdr-fan , August 31, 2019 at 2:13 am

Well, Sanders certainly knows that elections are rigged. But he's not quite right when he says that money does the rigging. It would be more accurate to say that powerful people are powerful because they're criminals, and they're rich because they're criminals.

Money is a side effect, not the driver. Specific example: Hillary and Bernie are in the same category of net worth, but Bernie isn't powerful. The difference is that Bernie ISN'T willing to commit murder and blackmail to gain power.

Lambert Strether , August 31, 2019 at 3:31 am

> Hillary and Bernie are in the same category of net worth

Clinton's net worth (says Google) is $45 million; Sanders $2.5 million. So, an order of magnitude difference. I guess that puts Sanders in the 1% category, but Clinton is much closer to the 0.1% category than Sanders.

Steve H. , August 31, 2019 at 6:57 am

There's also a billion-dollar foundation in the mix.

We had our choice of two New York billionaires in the last presidential election. How is this not accounted for? It's like the bond market, the sheer weight carries its own momentum.

Very similar to CEO's. I may not own a private jet, but if the company does, and I control the company, I have the benefit of a private jet. I don't need to own the penthouse to live in it.

Bugs Bunny , August 31, 2019 at 4:18 am

I despise HRC as well but those kinds of accusations would need some real evidence to back them up. Not a helpful comment.

Sorry, but I had to call that out.

Ian Perkins , August 31, 2019 at 10:26 am

"We came, we saw, he died. Tee hee hee!"
"Did it have anything to do with your visit?"
"I'm sure it did."
From a non-legal perspective at least, that makes her an accessory to murder, doesn't it?

Oh , August 31, 2019 at 10:18 am

"Money talks and everything else walks". Don't kid yourself; money is the driver.

Susan the other` , August 31, 2019 at 11:38 am

there's a solution for that

Leroy , August 31, 2019 at 11:53 am

Perhaps you can elaborate on the "murder and blackmail" Mr. Trump !!

vlade , August 31, 2019 at 2:15 am

In the treaser, it says "prevents evidence", I don't think Bill would do that :)

Off The Street , August 31, 2019 at 10:45 am

Treaser -- > Treason
+1

Tyronius , August 31, 2019 at 2:57 am

Is it fair to say the entire system is rigged when enough interconnected parts of it are rigged that no matter where one turns, one finds evidence of corruption? Because like it or not, that's where we are as a country.

Spoofs desu , August 31, 2019 at 7:15 am

Indeed well said

Susan the other` , August 31, 2019 at 11:42 am

Yes. And it is also fair to say, and has been said by lots of cynics over the centuries, that both democracy and capitalism sow the seeds of their own destruction.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , August 31, 2019 at 3:44 am

Burns me to see yet another "water is not wet" argument being foisted by the NYT, hard to imagine another reason the editorial board pushed for this line *except* to protect the current corrupt one percenters who call their shots. Once Liz The Marionette gets appointed we might get some fluff but the rot will persist, eventually rot becomes putrefaction and the polity dies. Gore Vidal called America and Christianity "death cults".

Oh , August 31, 2019 at 10:21 am

Apt description of Liz.
"I'm a marionette, I'm a marionette, just pull the string" – ABBA

Bugs Bunny , August 31, 2019 at 4:23 am

Another instance where the top comments "Reader Picks" in a NYT op-ed are much more astute than the NYT picks

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/25/opinion/trump-warren-sanders-corruption.html#commentsContainer

People get it.

inode_buddha , August 31, 2019 at 8:28 am

"Due to technical difficulties, comments are unavailable"

Pisses me off that I gave the propaganda rag of note a click and didn't even get the joy of the comments section. I'm sure there's some cynical reason why

Ian Perkins , August 31, 2019 at 10:28 am

I got there first time. No doubt some cynical reason

Barbara , August 31, 2019 at 10:56 am

NYT PicksReader PicksAll

Ronald Weinstein commented August 26

Ronald Weinstein
New YorkAug. 26
Times Pick

Shallow cynicism vs profound naivete. I don't know what to chose.
57 Recommend

Jeff W , August 31, 2019 at 11:41 am

People do get it. That struck me, too.

The other thing is that the NYT runs this pretty indefensible piece by a guy who is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Just how often does NYT -- whose goal, according to its executive editor, "should be to understand different views" -- run a piece from anyone who is leftwing? What's the ratio of pro-establishment, pro-Washington consensus pieces to those that are not? Glenn Greenwald points out that the political spectrum at the NYT op-ed page "spans the small gap from establishment centrist Democrats to establishment centrist Republicans." That, in itself, is consistent with the premise that the system is, indeed, rigged.

Spoofs desu , August 31, 2019 at 7:09 am

I think we have to drill down another level and ask ourselves a more fundamental question "why is cynicism necessarily bad to begin with?" Black's response of parsing to individual systems as being corrupt is playing into the NYT authors trap, sort to speak.

This NYT article is another version of the seemingly obligatory attribute of the american character; we must ultimately be optimistic and have hope. Why is that useful? Or maybe more importantly, to whom is that useful? What is the point?

In my mind (and many a philosopher), cynicism is a very healthy, empowering response to a world whose institutional configuration is such that it will to fuck you over whenever it is expedient to do so.

Furthermore, the act of voting lends legitimacy to an institution that is clearly not legitimate. The institution is very obviously very corrupt. If you really want to change the "system" stop giving it legitimacy; i.e. be cynical, don't vote. The whole thing is a ruse. Boycott it .

Some may say, in a desperate attempt to avoid being cynical, "well, the national level is corrupt but we need to increase engagement at the community level via local elections ", or something like that. This is nothing more than rearranging the chairs on the deck of the titanic. And collecting signature isn't going to help anymore than handing out buckets on the titanic would.

So, to answer my own rhetorical question above, "to whom is it useful to not be cynical?" It is useful to those who want things to continue as they currently are.

So, be cynical. Don't vote. It is an empowering and healthy way to kinda say "fuck you" to the corrupt and not become corrupted yourself by legitimizing it. The best part about it is that you don't have to do anything.

Viva la paz (Hows that for a non cynical salutation?)

jrs , August 31, 2019 at 11:29 am

Uh this sounds like the ultimate allowing things to continue as they currently are, do you really imagine the powers that be are concerned about a low voting rate, and we have one, they don't care, they may even like it that way. Do you really imagine they care about some phantom like perceived legitimacy? Where is the evidence of that?

kiwi , August 31, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Politicians do care about staying in office and will respond on some issues that will cost them enough votes to get booted from office. But it has to be those particular issues in their own backyard; otherwise, they just kind of limp along with the lip service collecting their paychecks.

IMO, it is sheer idiocy to not vote. If you are a voter, politicians will pay some attention to you at least. If you don't vote, you don't even exist to them.

inode_buddha , August 31, 2019 at 7:37 am

"I don't think it should be legal at ALL to become a corporate lobbyist if you've served in Congress," said Ocasio-Cortez. "At minimum there should be a long wait period."
"If you are a member of Congress + leave, you shouldn't be allowed to turn right around&leverage your service for a lobbyist check.
I don't think it should be legal at ALL to become a corporate lobbyist if you've served in Congress."

–AOC, as reported by NakedCapitalism on May 31, 2019

Which is worse - bankers or terrorists , August 31, 2019 at 11:45 am

I bet she opens up her lobbying shop in December 2020.

inode_buddha , August 31, 2019 at 7:52 am

It isn't cynical if it is real. Truth is the absolute defense.

Bugs Bunny , August 31, 2019 at 7:58 am

A shrink friend once said "cynicism is the most logical reaction to despair".

Off The Street , August 31, 2019 at 10:52 am

I try to be despairing, but I can't keep up.
Attributed to a generation or two after Lily Tomlin's quote about cynicism.

Out of curiosity, would it be cynical to question that political scientist's grant funding or other sources of income? These days, I feel inclined to look at what I'll call the Sinclair Rule* , added to Betteridge's, Godwin's and all those other, ahem, modifications to what used to be an expectation that communication was more or less honest.

* Sinclair Rule, where you add a interpretive filter based on Upton's famous quote: It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

jrs , August 31, 2019 at 11:43 am

It's good to look at funding sources. But it's kind of a slander to those who must work for a living when assuming it's paychecks (which we need to live in this system) that corrupt people.

If it's applied to the average working person, maybe it's often true, maybe it has a tendency to push in that direction, but if you think there are no workers that realize the industry they are working in might be destructive, that they may be exploited by such systems but have little choice etc. etc., come now there are working people who are politically aware and do see a larger picture, they just don't have a lot of power to change it much of the time. Does the average working person's salary depend on his not understanding though? No, of course not, it merely depends on him obeying. And obeying enough to keep a job, not always understanding, is what a paycheck buys.

timbers , August 31, 2019 at 7:57 am

With all the evidence of everyday life (airplanes, drug prices, health insurance, Wall Street, CEO pay, the workforce changes in the past 20 years if you've been working those years etc) this Greg better be careful as he might be seen as a Witch to be hanged and burned in Salem, Ma a few hundred years ago.

It's cynical to say it's cynical to believe the system is corrupt.

Greg Weiner is cynic, and his is using his cynicism to dismiss the political arguments of people he disagrees with.

MyMoneysNotGreenAnymore , August 31, 2019 at 8:17 am

And just this week, I found out I couldn't even buy a car unless I'd be willing to sign a mandatory binding arbitration agreement. I was ready to pay and sign all the paperwork, and they lay a document in front of me that reserves for the dealer the right to seek any remedy against me if I harm the dealer (pay with bad check, become delinquent on loan, fail to provide clean title on my trade); but forces me to accept mandatory binding arbitration, with damages limited to the value of the car, for anything the dealer might do wrong.

It is not cynical at all when even car dealers now want a permission slip for any harm they might do to me.

Donald , August 31, 2019 at 8:24 am

Three words -- climate change denial.

Okay, a few more. We are literally facing the possibility of a mass extinction in large part because of dishonesty on the par of oil companies, politicians, and people paid to make bad arguments.

Donald , August 31, 2019 at 8:35 am

A few more words

"Saddam Hussein has WMD's."

"Assad (and by implication Assad's forces alone) killed 500,000 Syrians."

"Israel is just defending itself."

I can't squeeze the dishonesty about the war in Yemen into a short slogan, but I know from personal experience that getting liberals to care when it was Obama's war was virtually impossible. Even under Trump it was hard, until Khashoggi's murder. On the part of politicians and think tanks this was corruption by Saudi money. With ordinary people it was the usual partisan tribal hypocrisy.

dearieme , August 31, 2019 at 11:11 am

Two words: Goebbels Warming.

pretzelattack , August 31, 2019 at 12:36 pm

a lot of gibberish in those 2 words, dearie. are you going to grace us with your keen scientific insights on the issue?

jfleni , August 31, 2019 at 8:30 am

Conclusion: Even before they dress in the AM, they S C R E A M,
G I M M E!!

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell , August 31, 2019 at 8:45 am

The motivator is " Gap Psychology ," the human desire to distance oneself from those below (on any scale), and to come nearer to those above.

The rich are rich because the Gap below them is wide, and the wider the Gap, the richer they are .

And here is the important point: There are two ways the rich widen the Gap: Either gain more for themselves or make sure those below have less.

That is why the rich promulgate the Big Lie that the federal government (and its agencies, Social Security and Medicare) is running short of dollars. The rich want to make sure that those below them don't gain more, as that would narrow the Gap.

Off The Street , August 31, 2019 at 10:56 am

Negative sum game, where one wins but the other has to lose more so the party of the first part feels even better about winning. There is an element of sadism, sociopathy and a few other behaviors that the current systems allow to be gamed even more profitably. If you build it, or lobby to have it built, they will come multiple times.

The Rev Kev , August 31, 2019 at 9:07 am

A successful society should be responsive to both threats and opportunities. Any major problems to that society are assessed and changes are made, usually begrudgingly, to adapt to the new situation. And this is where corruption comes into it. It short circuits the signals that a society receives so that it ignores serious threats and elevates ones that are relatively minor but which benefit a small segment of that society. If you want an example of this at work, back in 2016 you had about 40,000 Americans dying to opioids each and every year which was considered only a background issue. But a major issue about that time was who gets to use what toilets. Seriously. If it gets bad enough, a society gets overwhelmed by the problems that were ignored or were deferred to a later time. And I regret to say that the UK is going to learn this lesson in spades.

Ian Perkins , August 31, 2019 at 10:37 am

'Sanders has said that we live in a "corrupt political system designed to protect the wealthy and the powerful." Warren said it's a "rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else."'
Yet the rest of the article focuses almost entirely on internal US shenanigans. When it comes to protecting wealth and power, George Kennan hit the nail on the head in 1948, with "we have about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3 of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships, which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity." This, which has underpinned US policy ever since, may not be corrupt in the sense of illegal, but it certainly seems corrupt in the sense of morally repugnant to me.

dearieme , August 31, 2019 at 11:16 am

Warren said it's a "rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else."

Is she referring to the system of race privilege that she exploited by making a false claim to be a Cherokee, or some other rigged system?

Still, compared to some of the gangsters who have been president I suppose she's been pretty small time in her nefarious activities. So far as I know.

Susan the other` , August 31, 2019 at 12:07 pm

About Kennan's comment. That's interesting because no one questioned the word "wealth". Even tho' we had only 6.3% of the world's population we had 50% of the wealth. The point of that comment had to be that we should "spread the wealth" and we did do just that. Until we polluted the entire planet. I'd like some MMT person to take a long look at that attitude because it is so simplistic. And not like George Kennan at all who was sophisticated to the bone. But that's just more proof of a bred-in-the-bone ignorance about what money really is. In this case Kennan was talking about money, not wealth. He never asked Nepal for advice on gross national happiness, etc. Nor did he calculate the enormous debt burden we would incur for our unregulated use and abuse of the environment. That debt most certainly offsets any "wealth" that happened.

shinola , August 31, 2019 at 11:09 am

Approaching from the opposite direction, if someone were to say "I sincerely believe that the USA has the most open & honest political system and the fairest economic system in human history" would you not think that person to be incredibly naive (or, cynically, a liar)?

There has been, for at least the last couple of decades. a determined effort to do away with corruption – by defining it away. "Citizens United" is perhaps the most glaring example but the effort is ongoing; that Weiner op-ed is a good current example.

jef , August 31, 2019 at 11:34 am

What is cynical is everyone's response when point out that the system is corrupt. They all say " always has been, always will be so just deal with it ".

Susan the other` , August 31, 2019 at 12:14 pm

Strawmannirg has got to be the most cynical behavior in the world. Weiner is the cynic. I think Liz's "the system is rigged " comment invites discussion. It is not a closed door at all. It is a plea for good capitalism. Which most people assume is possible. It's time to define just what kind of capitalism will work and what it needs to continue to be, or finally become, a useful economic ideology. High time.

Susan the other` , August 31, 2019 at 12:25 pm

Another thing. Look how irrational the world, which is now awash in money, has become over lack of liquidity. There's a big push now to achieve an optimum flow of money by speeding up transaction time. The Fed is in the midst of designing a new real-time digital payments system. A speedy accounting and record of everything. Which sounds like a very good idea.

But the predators are busy keeping pace – witness the frantic grab by Facebook with Libra. Libra is cynical. To say the least. The whole thing a few days ago on the design of Libra was frightening because Libra has not slowed down; it has filed it's private corporation papers in Switzerland and is working toward a goal of becoming a private currency – backed by sovereign money no less! Twisted. So there's a good discussion begging to be heard: The legitimate Federal Reserve v. Libra. The reason we are not having this discussion is because the elite are hard-core cynics.

[Sep 01, 2019] Is Tulsi Gabbard Right About Syria She's Not Wrong by Peter Harris

Peter Harris continently forget that the USA is imperial power with expansionist, imperial goals in the Middle East (Iraq war was about oil) and unrelenting support of Israel. Which in turn is a destabilizing force in the Middle East. The only state with not no accepted borders which recently annexed Holland heights.
Sep 01, 2019 | nationalinterest.org
recent history of engineering the downfall of foreign regimes. Second, the U.S. military's top priority should be to eliminate terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda. From these two premises, a third foundation of Gabbard's foreign policy can be inferred: that the United States must sometimes tolerate the existence of brutal foreign governments, especially if they share a common interest in fighting the same terrorist groups as America.

None of these are radical assumptions about American foreign policy. Indeed, Gabbard's anti-interventionism is tightly aligned with the prevailing zeitgeist in U.S. politics. According to polling data, voters today are opposed to U.S. involvement in Yemen , supportive of a withdrawal from Afghanistan , and roughly evenly split on the question of whether the United States should cease operations in Syria. Military veterans are among those most critical of the so-called "forever wars" in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere.

Gabbard's insistence that the U.S. military should focus on counterterrorism rather than regime change is also well within the mainstream of political opinion. In this regard, Gabbard is not unlike the last Democratic occupant of the Oval Office. After all, it was Barack Obama who, as a candidate for the presidency, explicitly coupled his headline promises to end the Iraq War and shrink America's overall military footprint with a commitment to ramp up the fight against Al Qaeda and their Taliban enablers in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

... ... ..

Peter Harris is an assistant professor of political science at Colorado State University. You can follow him on Twitter: @ipeterharris .

[Sep 01, 2019] The candidacy of a doddering Clintonite doofus does not and should not merit serious consideration.

Notable quotes:
"... It also has Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, front-runners for the presidential nomination, who reject the neoliberal economic policies that the Democratic Party has been championing since the waning days of the Carter administration. ..."
"... In calling them front-runners, I haven't forgotten Joe Biden, still in the lead in most polls. It is just that I think that, after nearly three years of Trump, the candidacy of a doddering Clintonite doofus doesn't – and shouldn't -- merit serious consideration. I trust that this will become increasingly apparent even to the most dull-witted Democratic pundits, and of course to the vast majority of Democratic voters, as the election season unfolds. ..."
"... The better to defeat Trump and Trumpism next year, Sanders or Warren or whichever candidate finally gets the nod, along with the several rays of light in Congress – there are more of them than just the four that Trump would send back to "where they came from" -- will undoubtedly make common cause with corporate Democrats at a tactical level. ..."
Aug 25, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

With Trump acting out egregiously and mainstream Democrats in the House doing nothing more about it than talking up a storm, it would be hard to imagine the public mood not shifting in ways that would force a turn for the better.

Thus, despite the best efforts of Democratic National Committee flacks at MSNBC, CNN, and, of course, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and, worst of all, PBS and NPR, the Democratic Party now has a "squad" with which its Pelosiite-Hoyerite-Schumerian leadership must contend.

It also has Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, front-runners for the presidential nomination, who reject the neoliberal economic policies that the Democratic Party has been championing since the waning days of the Carter administration.

In calling them front-runners, I haven't forgotten Joe Biden, still in the lead in most polls. It is just that I think that, after nearly three years of Trump, the candidacy of a doddering Clintonite doofus doesn't – and shouldn't -- merit serious consideration. I trust that this will become increasingly apparent even to the most dull-witted Democratic pundits, and of course to the vast majority of Democratic voters, as the election season unfolds.

The better to defeat Trump and Trumpism next year, Sanders or Warren or whichever candidate finally gets the nod, along with the several rays of light in Congress – there are more of them than just the four that Trump would send back to "where they came from" -- will undoubtedly make common cause with corporate Democrats at a tactical level.

This is all to the good. Nevertheless, the time to start working to assure that it goes no deeper than that is already upon us.

When the dust clears, it will become evident that the squad-like new guys and the leading Democrats of the past are not on the same path; that the former want to reconstruct the Democratic Party in ways that will make it authentically progressive, while the latter, wittingly or not, want to restore and bolster the Party that made Trump and Trumpism possible and even inevitable.

... ... ...

Could the Israel lobby be next? As Israeli politics veers ever farther to the right, its lobby's stranglehold over the Democratic Party, though far from shot, is in plain decline -- as increasingly many American Jews, especially but not only millennials, lose interest in the ethnocratic settler state, or find themselves embarrassed by it.

... ... ...

ANDREW LEVINE is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[Aug 31, 2019] think Liz's "the system is rigged " comment invites discussion. It is not a closed door at all. It is a plea for good capitalism. Which most people assume is possible.

Aug 31, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Susan the other` , August 31, 2019 at 12:14 pm

Strawmannirg has got to be the most cynical behavior in the world. Weiner is the cynic. I think Liz's "the system is rigged " comment invites discussion. It is not a closed door at all. It is a plea for good capitalism. Which most people assume is possible. It's time to define just what kind of capitalism will work and what it needs to continue to be, or finally become, a useful economic ideology. High time.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , August 31, 2019 at 3:44 am

Burns me to see yet another "water is not wet" argument being foisted by the NYT, hard to imagine another reason the editorial board pushed for this line *except* to protect the current corrupt one percenters who call their shots. Once Liz The Marionette gets appointed we might get some fluff but the rot will persist, eventually rot becomes putrefaction and the polity dies. Gore Vidal called America and Christianity "death cults".

Oh , August 31, 2019 at 10:21 am

Apt description of Liz.
"I'm a marionette, I'm a marionette, just pull the string" – ABBA

[Aug 31, 2019] One of the most important things that has transformed the world and made it vastly more criminogenic, much more corrupt, under neoliberalism is modern executive compensation

Notable quotes:
"... This is not an unusual position. This is actually the normal position now, even among very conservative scholars, including the person who was the intellectual godfather of modern executive compensation, Michael Jensen. He has admitted that he spawned unintentionally a monster because CEOs have rigged the compensation system. How do they do that? Well, it starts even before you get hired as a CEO. This is amazing stuff. The standard thing you do as a powerful CEO is you hire this guy, and he specializes in negotiating great deals for CEOs. His first demand, which is almost always given into, is that the corporation pay his fee, not the CEO. On the other side of the table is somebody that the CEO is going to be the boss of negotiating the other side. How hard is he going to negotiate against the guy that's going to be his boss? That's totally rigged. ..."
"... Then the compensation committee hires compensation specialists who–again, even the most conservative economists agree it is a completely rigged system. Because the only way they get work is if they give this extraordinary compensation. Then, everybody in economics admits that there's a clear way you should run performance pay. It should be really long term. You get the big bucks only after like 10 years of success. In reality, they're always incredibly short term. Why? Because it's vastly easier for the CEO to rig the short-term reported earnings. What's the result of this? Accounting profession, criminology profession, economics profession, law profession. We've all done studies and all of them say this perverse system of compensation causes CEOs to (a) cheat and (b) to be extraordinarily short term in their perspective because it's easier to rig the short-term reported results. Even the most conservative economists agree that's terrible for the economy. ..."
"... That's what the right fear is more than anything, that people will basically get woke. In this, it's being woke to how individual systems have been rigged by the wealthy and powerful to create a sure thing to enrich them, usually at our direct expense. ..."
Aug 31, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

BILL BLACK: One of the principal things I study is elite fraud, corruption and predation. The World Bank sent me to India for months as an anti-corruption alleged expert type. And as a financial regulator, this is what I dealt with. This is what I researched. This is a huge chunk of my life. So I wouldn't use the word, if I was being formal in an academic system, "the system." What I would talk about is specific systems that are rigged, and they most assuredly are rigged.

Let me give you an example. One of the most important things that has transformed the world and made it vastly more criminogenic, much more corrupt, is modern executive compensation. This is not an unusual position. This is actually the normal position now, even among very conservative scholars, including the person who was the intellectual godfather of modern executive compensation, Michael Jensen. He has admitted that he spawned unintentionally a monster because CEOs have rigged the compensation system. How do they do that? Well, it starts even before you get hired as a CEO. This is amazing stuff. The standard thing you do as a powerful CEO is you hire this guy, and he specializes in negotiating great deals for CEOs. His first demand, which is almost always given into, is that the corporation pay his fee, not the CEO. On the other side of the table is somebody that the CEO is going to be the boss of negotiating the other side. How hard is he going to negotiate against the guy that's going to be his boss? That's totally rigged.

Then the compensation committee hires compensation specialists who–again, even the most conservative economists agree it is a completely rigged system. Because the only way they get work is if they give this extraordinary compensation. Then, everybody in economics admits that there's a clear way you should run performance pay. It should be really long term. You get the big bucks only after like 10 years of success. In reality, they're always incredibly short term. Why? Because it's vastly easier for the CEO to rig the short-term reported earnings. What's the result of this? Accounting profession, criminology profession, economics profession, law profession. We've all done studies and all of them say this perverse system of compensation causes CEOs to (a) cheat and (b) to be extraordinarily short term in their perspective because it's easier to rig the short-term reported results. Even the most conservative economists agree that's terrible for the economy.

What I've just gone through is a whole bunch of academic literature from over 40-plus years from top scholars in four different fields. That's not cynicism. That's just plain facts if you understand the system. People like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, they didn't, as you say, kick open an open door. They made the open door. It's not like Elizabeth Warren started talking about this six months ago when she started being a potential candidate. She has been saying this and explaining in detail how individual systems are rigged in favor of the wealthy for at least 30 years of work. Bernie Sanders has been doing it for 45 years. This is what the right, including the author of this piece who is an ultra-far right guy, fear the most. It's precisely what they fear, that Bernie and Elizabeth are good at explaining how particular systems are rigged. They explain it in appropriate detail, but they're also good in making it human. They talk the way humans talk as opposed to academics.

That's what the right fear is more than anything, that people will basically get woke. In this, it's being woke to how individual systems have been rigged by the wealthy and powerful to create a sure thing to enrich them, usually at our direct expense.

[Aug 31, 2019] Honor and integrity in the [neoliberal] presidency? Since when?

Probably since Bill Clinton with his sexapades, bombing of Yugoslavia and deregulation of financial institutions.
Such posts is yet another sign of the growing level of the de-legitimization of the ruling neoliberal elite in the USA
Notable quotes:
"... Honor and integrity in the presidency? Since when? ..."
Aug 31, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

steverino999 , 45 minutes ago link

On a more important note -

Donald Trump will be remembered as a humorous yet sad 4-year blip in the history of America, where the People regrettably admit that this "entertainment age" was responsible for their lack of judgement in 2016, and they learned that they shouldn't play games with something as important to our country's honor and integrity as the office of the Presidency. Fool me twice, shame on me.....

https://i.imgflip.com/1mey9n.jpg

ohm , 38 minutes ago link

something as important to our country's honor and integrity as the office of the Presidency

Honor and integrity in the presidency? Since when?

[Aug 30, 2019] Reminder DNC Lawyers to Court, We Do Not Owe Voters an 'Impartial' or 'Evenhanded' Primary Election naked capitalism

Aug 30, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

https://eus.rubiconproject.com/usync.html

https://acdn.adnxs.com/ib/static/usersync/v3/async_usersync.html

https://c.deployads.com/sync?f=html&s=2343&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2019%2F08%2Freminder-dnc-lawyers-to-court-we-do-not-owe-voters-an-impartial-or-evenhanded-primary-election.html <img src="http://b.scorecardresearch.com/p?c1=2&c2=16807273&cv=2.0&cj=1" /> Yves here. The DNC position on elections does much to explain the 2016 California primary, which featured numerous reports by poll workers of dirty practices. Oddly, I saw two separate videos with many detailed first person accounts of a range of abuses which now seem to be not findable on Google. Oh, and there were no exit polls. Convenient, that.

By Thomas Neuburger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny!

As Jimmy Breslin wrote in his blurb, this is the best book ever written about legendary Democratic Party boss Richard J. Daley, king of the smoke-filled back room deal. (Fun fact: John Belushi played a character closely based on Royko in an early Lawrence Kasden film, Continental Divide, that's well worth watching.)

This is your periodic reminder that the "Democratic Party" is not an organization that Democratic voters belong to or have any right to control. The Democratic Party is instead a private organization, much like a club, that non-members support by giving it their money, their time and their votes. (The same is true of the "Republican Party.) All other "rights" and promises offered by the Party to its supporters, including those obligations described in the DNC charter, are not obligations at all, but voluntary gifts that can be withdrawn at any time.

At least, that's how the DNC sees it.

Consider this report of a 2017 court filing , one that almost no one noticed, in which Sanders supporters sued the DNC for violating the section of its charter that requires DNC-run elections to be "impartial" and "evenhanded." The DNC's defense was, in essence, "So what?" (emphasis added below):

DNC Lawyers Argue DNC Has Right to Pick Candidates in Back Rooms

Attorneys claim the words 'impartial' and 'evenhanded' -- as used in the DNC Charter -- can't be interpreted by a court of law

On April 28 the transcript [pdf] was released from the most recent hearing at a federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on the lawsuit filed on behalf of Bernie Sanders supporters against the Democratic National Committee and former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz for rigging the Democratic primaries for Hillary Clinton. Throughout the hearing, lawyers representing the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz double[d] down on arguments confirming the disdain the Democratic establishment has toward Bernie Sanders supporters and any entity challenging the party's status quo.

Shortly into the hearing, DNC attorneys claim Article V, Section 4 of the DNC Charter -- stipulating that the DNC chair and their staff must ensure neutrality in the Democratic presidential primaries -- is "a discretionary rule that it didn't need to adopt to begin with." Based on this assumption, DNC attorneys assert that the court cannot interpret, claim, or rule on anything associated with whether the DNC remains neutral in their presidential primaries.

The attorneys representing the DNC have previously argued that Sanders supporters knew the primaries were rigged, therefore annulling any potential accountability the DNC may have . In the latest hearing, they doubled down on this argument: "The Court would have to find that people who fervently supported Bernie Sanders and who purportedly didn't know that this favoritism was going on would have not given to Mr. Sanders, to Senator Sanders , if they had known that there was this purported favoritism."

"People paid money in reliance on the understanding that the primary elections for the Democratic nominee -- nominating process in 2016 were fair and impartial," [Jared] Beck [the attorney representing Sanders supporters in the class action lawsuit] said. "And that's not just a bedrock assumption that we would assume just by virtue of the fact that we live in a democracy, and we assume that our elections are run in a fair and impartial manner. But that's what the Democratic National Committee's own charter says . It says it in black and white. And they can't deny that." He added, " Not only is it in the charter, but it was stated over and over again in the media by the Democratic National Committee's employees , including Congresswoman Wassermann Schultz , that they were, in fact, acting in compliance with the charter . And they said it again and again, and we've cited several instances of that in the case."

According to this report, attorneys for the DNC argued that the DNC was not liable to Sanders supporters if they threw the primary race to Clinton, or tilted it toward her, because:

(a) Sanders supporters already knew the primary was rigged (did DNC lawyers really say that?), and

(b) the DNC charter requirement that elections be "impartial" and "evenhanded" is discretionary and not a requirement.

Shorter DNC lawyers: "We don't have to run an evenhanded primary, even if we say we're going to."

About the second point , let's look at the court transcript itself. In this section, the court asks: If Sanders supporters give money to an election run by the DNC, and if the DNC violates its charter and runs an election that unfairly disadvantages Sanders, do Sanders supporters have standing to sue?

DNC's response is below. "Mr. Spiva" is Bruce Spiva, one of the DNC's defense lawyers (emphasis mine):

THE COURT: All right. Let me ask the defense -- we're going to go into the issue of standing now at this point.

Let me ask counsel. If a person is fraudulently induced to donate to a charitable organization, does he have standing to sue the person who induced the donation?

MR. SPIVA: I think, your Honor, if the circumstance were such that the [charitable] organization promised that it was going to abide by some general principle, and the donee -- or donor, rather, ultimately sued, because they said, Well, we don't think you're living up to that general principle, we don't think you're, you know, serving kids adequately, we think your program is -- the way you're running your program is not adequate, you know, you're not doing it well enough, that that -- that they would not have standing in that circumstance .

[On the other hand] I think if somebody -- a charitable organization were to solicit funds and say, Hey, we're gonna spend this money on after-school programs for kids, and the executive director actually put the money in their pocket and went down the street and bought a Mercedes-Benz, I think in that circumstance, they would have standing.

I think this circumstance is even one step further towards the no standing side of that, because here we're talking about a political party and political principles and debate. And that's an area where there's a wealth of doctrine and case law about how that -- just simply giving money does not give one standing to direct how the party conducts its affairs, or to complain about the outcomes, or whether or not the party is abiding by its own internal rules .

And I should say, your Honor, I just want to be clear, because I know it may sometimes sound like I am somehow suggesting that I think the party did not -- you know, the party's position is that it has not violated in the least this provision of its charter.

THE COURT: I understand.

MR. SPIVA: So I just want to get that out there. But to even determine -- to make that determination would require the Court to wade into this political thicket. And -- you know, which would invade its First Amendment interests, and also, I think, would raise issues -- standing issues along all three prongs of the standing test.

After a legal discussion of the "three prongs," the court asks this:

THE COURT: And then one other question on the issue of standing for the defense. Is there a difference between a campaign promise made by a political candidate and a promise that pertains to the integrity of the primary process itself? In other words, President George H.W. Bush's --

MR. SPIVA: "Read my lips."

THE COURT: -- promise -- "read my lips, no new taxes," and then he raised taxes. Well, he could not be sued for raising taxes. But with respect to the DNC charter , Article V, Section 4, is there a difference between the two?

MR. SPIVA: Not one -- there's obviously a difference in degree. I think your Honor -- I'm not gonna -- I don't want to overreach and say that there's no difference. But I don't think there's a difference that's material in terms of how the Court should decide the question before it in terms of standing, in that this, again, goes to how the party runs itself, how it decides who it's going to associate with, how it decides how it's going to choose its standard bearer ultimately. In case after case, from O'Brien , to Wymbs , to Wisconsin v. LaFollette , Cousins v. Wigoda , the Supreme Court and other courts have affirmed the party's right to make that determination. Those are internal issues that the party gets to decide basically without interference from the courts .

[ ]

You know, again, if you had a charity where somebody said, Hey, I'm gonna take this money and use it for a specific purpose, X, and they pocketed it and stole the money, of course that's different.

But here, where you have a party that's saying, We're gonna, you know, choose our standard bearer, and we're gonna follow these general rules of the road, which we are voluntarily deciding, we could have -- and we could have voluntarily decided that, Look, we're gonna go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way. That's not the way it was done. But they could have. And that would have also been their right , and it would drag the Court well into party politics, internal party politics to answer those questions.

To this day the DNC believes that if it wanted to "go into back rooms" and "pick the [presidential] candidate," this would "have been their right," and no one outside the organization would have any right to enforce the DNC charter or interfere in any other way.

Good to know as we watch the 2020 machinations (for example, this one ) unfold before us.

[Aug 30, 2019] Will the DNC Snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Victory Yet Again? by Thomas Knapp

They actually do not care much about the victory. Being stooges of MIC and thesecond war party means that they will be well fed anyway. Even without goverment positions.
Notable quotes:
"... Why doesn't the DNC want Gabbard in the debates? Two reasons come to mind. ..."
"... Firstly, her marquee issue is foreign policy. She thinks the US should be less militarily adventurous abroad, and as an army veteran of the post-9/11 round of American military interventions in the Middle East and Central Asia, she's got the credentials to make her points stick. ..."
"... Foreign policy is a weak spot for the increasingly hawkish Democratic establishment in general and the front-runner and current establishment pick, former vice-president Joe Biden, in particular. As a Senator, Biden voted to approve the ill-fated US invasion of Iraq. As vice-president, he supported President Barack Obama's extension of the war in Afghanistan and Obama's ham-handed interventions in Libya, Syria, and other countries where the US had no business meddling. The party's leaders would rather not talk about foreign policy at all and if they have to talk about it they don't want candidates coloring outside simplistic "Russia and China bad" lines. ..."
"... Gabbard damaged -- probably fatally -- the establishment's pre-Biden pick, US Senator Kamala Harris, by pointing out Harris's disgusting authoritarian record as California's attorney general. Gabbard knows how to land a punch, and the DNC doesn't want any more surprises. They're looking for a coronation, not a contest. ..."
Aug 27, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org
President Donald Trump faces an exceedingly narrow path to re-election in 2020. In order to beat him, the Democratic nominee only needs to pick up 38 electoral votes. With more than 100 electoral votes in play in states that Trump won narrowly in 2016 -- especially Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida -- all the Democrats have to do is pick a nominee ever so slightly more popular than Hillary Clinton.

That's a low bar that the Democratic National Committee seems determined, once again, to not get over. As in 2016, the DNC is putting its finger on the scale in favor of "establishment" candidates, the sentiments of the rank and file be damned.

Last time, the main victim was Bernie Sanders. This time, it's Tulsi Gabbard.

Michael Tracey delivers the gory details in a column at RealClearPolitics. Here's the short version:

By selectively disqualifying polls in which Gabbard (a US Representative from Hawaii) performs above the 2% threshold for inclusion in the next round of primary debates, the DNC is trying to exclude her while including candidates with much lower polling and fundraising numbers.

Why doesn't the DNC want Gabbard in the debates? Two reasons come to mind.

Firstly, her marquee issue is foreign policy. She thinks the US should be less militarily adventurous abroad, and as an army veteran of the post-9/11 round of American military interventions in the Middle East and Central Asia, she's got the credentials to make her points stick.

Foreign policy is a weak spot for the increasingly hawkish Democratic establishment in general and the front-runner and current establishment pick, former vice-president Joe Biden, in particular. As a Senator, Biden voted to approve the ill-fated US invasion of Iraq. As vice-president, he supported President Barack Obama's extension of the war in Afghanistan and Obama's ham-handed interventions in Libya, Syria, and other countries where the US had no business meddling. The party's leaders would rather not talk about foreign policy at all and if they have to talk about it they don't want candidates coloring outside simplistic "Russia and China bad" lines.

Secondly, Gabbard damaged -- probably fatally -- the establishment's pre-Biden pick, US Senator Kamala Harris, by pointing out Harris's disgusting authoritarian record as California's attorney general. Gabbard knows how to land a punch, and the DNC doesn't want any more surprises. They're looking for a coronation, not a contest.

If the DNC has its way, next year's primaries will simply ratify the establishment pick, probably a Joe Biden / Elizabeth Warren ticket, without a bunch of fuss and argument.

And if that happens, the Democratic Party will face the same problem it faced in 2016: The rank and file may not be very motivated to turn off their televisions and go vote.

Whatever their failings, rank and file Democrats seem to like well, democracy. They want to pick their party's nominees, not have those nominees picked for them in advance. Can't say I blame them.

Nor will I blame them for not voting -- or voting Libertarian -- if the DNC ignores them and limits their choices yet again. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Thomas Knapp Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism ( thegarrisoncenter.org ). He lives and works in north central Florida.

[Aug 29, 2019] Article Is the Democratic Establishment Backing Trump While Rigging the Nomination Against Bernie and Tulsi by Henry Samson

Images removed... See the original with full set of pictures
Notable quotes:
"... Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who gave up her DNC career to back Bernie Sanders in 2016 is the candidate the establishment most fears. Tulsi has more than met the debate criteria in the number of unique donations and in poll numbers in 26 of the most respected national polls, but the DNC, fearing she will take down another Establishment candidate, is refusing to let Tulsi into the third debate against candidates who have lower polling numbers in most polls and significantly fewer unique contributions than Tulsi has. The problem (or maybe plan) is that the smaller "DNC approved" polls have mostly been avoiding polling over the last month as a block to allowing Tulsi into the third debate. ..."
"... People fed up with the Democratic Party have encouraged both Tulsi and Bernie to run together as independent candidates. Tulsi especially has cross-party appeal for independents. Bernie is popular across the board as well and many view them as an unbeatable ticket, no matter what their political affiliation. Most Americans are independents or third party members by almost a two to one margin over the registrants of either of the major parties. However, because their Congressional seats are considered critical to fighting the military industrial complex and Wall Street, it is doubtful either Tulsi or Bernie will run as an independent. ..."
Aug 29, 2019 | www.opednews.com
Is the Democratic Establishment Backing Trump While Rigging the Nomination Against Bernie and Tulsi? By Henry Samson (Page 1 of 1 pages) (# of views) 29 comments
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Tom Perez, Nancy Pelosi and Rusty Hicks
( Image by Henry Samson)
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This is the question that was asked by a great many DNC/CDP members last weekend as they tried to understand the scheduling debacle that pitted the Democratic National Committee Meeting in San Francisco against the California Democratic Party meeting in San Jose (one to three hours away, depending on traffic). On the two main days for both events, August 23rd and 24 th , attendees had to choose which to attend and which to miss. It turned out that the CDP did better on overall attendance than the DNC. When Tom Perez spoke, there were about a hundred delegates in the DNC ballroom. The crowd significantly increased when Bernie spoke. At the CDP meeting, the crowd in the general sessions ranged between about 300 and 500.


Empty Seats at DNC during Perez's Speech
( Image by Henry Samson)
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As Bernie was about to speak at the DNC Friday afternoon meeting, Kamala Harris's supporters loudly walked out of the hall and continued to make noise outside in a seeming attempt to drown out Bernie. One might think this would create disfavor with the DNC. However, most party leaders said they were supporting a Harris/Warren ticket, leading some progressives to wonder if this was an officially- -sanctioned affront against Bernie. The DNC was in charge of the microphone volume and there no lack of security to handle the problem.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who gave up her DNC career to back Bernie Sanders in 2016 is the candidate the establishment most fears. Tulsi has more than met the debate criteria in the number of unique donations and in poll numbers in 26 of the most respected national polls, but the DNC, fearing she will take down another Establishment candidate, is refusing to let Tulsi into the third debate against candidates who have lower polling numbers in most polls and significantly fewer unique contributions than Tulsi has. The problem (or maybe plan) is that the smaller "DNC approved" polls have mostly been avoiding polling over the last month as a block to allowing Tulsi into the third debate.


Bernie Sanders
( Image by HenrySamson)
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Bernie activists who have reportedly learned that the DNC plans to go after him, once Tulsi was out of the way, chose not to take things lying down. Tulsi is the only candidate with a history of having Bernie's back. Several activists went to party leaders and asked point blank whether blocking popular candidates like Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders from being nominated would be worth a second term for Donald Trump. To the surprise of the activists, leaders spoken to were clear that holding Bernie and Tulsi to the contract they were forced to sign before the first debate was more important than fairness and beating Donald Trump. Some leaders talked about which candidates they planned run in 2024 if Trump was re-elected. An assistant to one of the party bosses, who asked not to be identified for fear of losing his job, pointed out that the DNC actually makes more money as a result of anger about Donald Trump's Presidency than they would if a popular progressive, such as Bernie Sanders or Tulsi Gabbard, became President. One person pointed out that a ticket with Warren and Harris would be labeled progressive and the expected loss would be used to McGovern or kill the progressive movement within the party.


Tulsi Gabbard on Video at DNC Meeting
( Image by Henry Samson)
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Tulsi Gabbard had been re-deployed prior to the DNC meeting and was only able to attend by pre-recorded video. Interestingly, at the DNC meeting, her table was placed in a corner away from everyone. The supporters at her table were told to sit there like good little children. One Tulsi supporter broke the mold and handed out copies of Senator Mike Gravel's endorsement letter of Tulsi Gabbard inside the DNC meeting. The letter on Gravel's stationary called Tulsi "the most qualified and prepared candidate." At the CDP event, the Gabbard supporters weren't sitting in a corner. Everyone who attended the larger CDP meeting received a copy of Gravel's endorsement letter and other literature in support of Gabbard. It was reported that over one thousand pieces of Tulsi literature were distributed to Democrats attending the CDP Executive Board meetings and caucuses. The attendees there were greeted by a giant volunteer-printed banner at the ballroom door at both general sessions. Top-behind-the-scenes DNC leader Bob Mulhulland was seen studying Tulsi's military picture on the banner.


Tulsi Banner Outside CDP General Assembly Room
( Image by Henry Samson)
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The treatment of the press at the DNC event was rather interesting. The ballroom there was divided into two sections with the press at the back. DNC members could just walk in and out of their section of the room but the press section had metal detectors with guards searching bags and repeatedly running wands over reporters as if they were terrorists. The CDP meetings were significantly more relaxed. No metal detectors, wands or searches.


DNC Checking Reporters
( Image by Henry Samson)
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Taking considerable floor time at the final CDP floor session was the issue of whether it was OK for Israelis to detain and torture Palestinian children. The fact that there was an argument between two sides to this issue on the floor shows how far the Democratic Party has fallen. At one time, the Democratic Party was seen as the party of peace. Now it is generally viewed as the party of war, pitting peaceniks Tulsi and Bernie at odds with the Democratic Establishment

At the CDP meeting, there was a great deal of dissatisfaction. According to past and current officials, the standing committee membership is less diverse than ever before. To fake diversity, a single individual fitting multiple categories was treated as multiple people. Most disabled people were cut from the standing committees. Supporters of one of Chairman Rusty Hick's opponents were summarily thrown off any committees that could make a difference in the party's positions on in the election. Five of the supporters of Berniecrat Daraka Larimore-Hall, who had been long-standing members of the Voter Services Committee, reported being suddenly removed without explanation. These were the most active Voting Services Committee members in terms of trying to improve voter integrity and protect the rights of voters. When questioned about the removals, Committee Chairman Jess Durfee said it was Rusty who had thrown these Berniecrats off the committee and that there was nothing he could do about it.

The priorities of the Voters Services Committee have changed as well. Removed from the goals were diversity and integrity of the vote (as in making sure all registered voters could vote regular ballots). Removed as a lead subcommittee chairman was a party delegate who had pushed through a call for expanding voting rights to felon prisoners and ensuring that registered voters were not disenfranchised due to election oddities. Instead, that subcommittee chairman was relegated to being a secondary assistant below the subcommittee assistant chairman on the subcommittee to which he was assigned this year.

There was some talk of a lawsuit over the committee assignment questionnaire. There were two sex-related questions, one of which demanded to know the sexual orientation of the applicants. All those who refused to answer on the grounds that it violated their privacy were denied committee positions. Also denied standing committee positions were all civil rights attorneys and all criminal defense attorneys.

People fed up with the Democratic Party have encouraged both Tulsi and Bernie to run together as independent candidates. Tulsi especially has cross-party appeal for independents. Bernie is popular across the board as well and many view them as an unbeatable ticket, no matter what their political affiliation. Most Americans are independents or third party members by almost a two to one margin over the registrants of either of the major parties. However, because their Congressional seats are considered critical to fighting the military industrial complex and Wall Street, it is doubtful either Tulsi or Bernie will run as an independent.


Henry Samson has been a professor of political science and legal ethics and an advisor to many successful candidates for public office. He is currently working on a book about the inequality crisis in America

[Aug 29, 2019] DNC Tyranny Strikes Again Rapes Tulsi Gabbard caucus99percent

Notable quotes:
"... The true third rail of US politics is empire. Any candidate that is publicly against the empire is the enemy of not only the state, it's quislings in the media, the corporations who profit from it and the party machines of both the GOP and the DNC. ..."
"... That is Gabbard's crime. And it's the only crime that matters. ..."
"... When the Empire is on the line, left and right in the US close ranks and unite against the threat. The good news is that all they have is their pathetic Russia bashing and appeals to their authority on foreign policy. ..."
"... One person, a DNC official to be precise, pointed out that: a ticket with Warren and Harris would be labeled progressive and the expected loss would be used to McGovern or kill the progressive movement within the party. ..."
"... So, there we have it. The war mongering neo cons and neo liberals are welcome in the Democratic (sic) Party, but us peace loving, non-imperialist progressives are not. Which explains, among a lot of more important things, why a pushy Dem. operative thinks she can come to my house without notice or invitation and insult me because I don't like her gal Hillary. ..."
Aug 29, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

FreeSociety on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 6:57am .

I'm sure most people here are no strangers to the realization that the DNC is an abusive, anti-democratic, tyrannical, Establishment organization that has its head up its own orifice (that is, when it isn't busy burying its nose way up that of the crooked Clintons ).

Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has met and exceeded the stated qualifying criteria necessary to participate in the 3rd and 4th Democratic Party debates by any objective measurement -- by having over 165,000 independent donors, and by polling over 2% in 26 separate polls -- including those in early Primary States such as New Hampshire and South Carolina.

But according to the DNC there are " qualifying polls " and non-qualifying polls -- to which they, and they alone, are the sole determinant and arbitrator of.

Thus by the authority of the DNC (and not the actual voters themselves) she only has just two " qualifying polls " (less than the 4 threshold number) -- all those 24 other independent polls do not count - and no explanation is given (or needed apparently) as to why.

So they will declare her unfit, and deem her to be excluded from the Debate Stage, as they seek to drive the only Anti-War, Pro-American, Anti-Globalist, progressive candidate out of the race (who also attracts support from both the left and the right, and has the distinction of being the most Google-Searched Democratic candidate following both of the earlier Democratic Debates).

This outrage tells you everything about how the process of running for President in this Country is totally controlled like .. i dunno an Iron Curtain . Anti-War, Anti-Establishment candidates must be made invisible by any means necessary (no matter how much of the entire process is exposed as a total farce to accomplish that end).

Jimmy Dore helps to illustrate just how totally arbitrary and absurdly unfair this is -- not just to Tulsi Gabbard, but unfair for the American public trying to evaluate their potential voting options and take control of their future .

So the question then is, what should Tulsi Gabbard do now?

I'm not sure what the most effective strategy is. This is an open discussion. But this whole process needs to be publicly discredited and shown for the tyranny and political repression that it is. The DNC is the enemy of the people.

What is Tulsi's next move?
Ideas?

Tulsi Gabbard's Full Campaign Statement

Link: Tulsi Gabbard's Full Campaign Statement

Wally on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 7:28am
Tulsi will do the Right Thing

I've long liked Tulsi's courage, contributed a few bucks to get her on the debate stage, and have faith she will do what's right when the time comes.

Edit/add: Unless she endorses anybody aside from Bernie.

FreeSociety on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 6:44pm
@Wally

@Wally

I don't have that much faith in Bernie anymore. His full-throated support for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and rejection of Jill Stein -- along with him giving multiple Clinton corruptions and scandals a complete pass (nothing to see folks), and covering up the DNC's efforts to defeat his own campaign -- turned him into a hypocrite, and a false messenger. You can't talk about the need for "Revolution", and then run straight into the arms of the Establishment -- kissing their feet and protecting them.

Meanwhile Sanders has bought several lavish Lake Houses in Vermont (as his payoff?) while he complains about the lifestyles of the rich, and has become preoccupied with useless " Identity Politics " divisiveness, boring, mindless Racism/White-Supremacist/Homophobe narratives, and the dishonest Russia-gate fear mongering (created by the Deep State). It is hard to take Sanders seriously anymore.

Tulsi Gabbard was different . She wasn't playing into any of the false divisions , and the false narratives. She never wasted a moment on "Impeachment", or chasing phony Deep-State setups. She knows what is real, and what is not real.

But as Jimmy Dore pointed out in the Video, Bernie Sanders now won't even come to the defense of Tulsi Gabbard, even though she put her neck on the line for him (back in 2016). Instead Sanders covers up for the likes of the crooked Clintons . That tells you something about Sanders real character. I'm no longer impressed with him.

Tulsi Gabbard or bust for me.

I've long liked Tulsi's courage, contributed a few bucks to get her on the debate stage, and have faith she will do what's right when the time comes.

Edit/add: Unless she endorses anybody aside from Bernie.

Wally on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 6:43pm
Bernie's press secretary Briahna Joy Gray

@FreeSociety

. . . has written some really great articles opposed to identity politics. You might consider googling them. I don't think Bernie is at all a proponent of the primacy of identity politics. He is constantly being criticized by IdPol proponents for placing an overriding emphasis on class.

While his takes on Russia are a bit off kilter, misguided and unwise in my estimation, I would not call them "fear mongering."

I wound up voting Green in 2016. Bernie lived to run another day by doing what he did. Most of his supporters have forgiven him or haven't given it a second thought. But if his endorsing her bothers you that much, it's certainly your right to object to it. For me, his campaigning alone has made socialism an issue. That's something in and of itself and pretty, pretty dang good in my estimation.

And whatever will you do if Tulsi endorses Bernie? Consign her to the depths of hell for evermore? And what if she endorses WARren or Biden et al or gawdforbid Hillary? Aside from Bernie, I don't think any of the other candidates would want her campaigning for them. If Bernie gets nominated, I hope she's ensured of a prominent spot in his administration.

FreeSociety on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 7:01pm
I'm not counting Tulsi out just yet

@Wally

I'm not counting Tulsi out just yet.

She might be able to turn a negative (DNC) into a positive and exploit the situation. She could do some Internet events, and Tucker Carlson would put her on TV again, and she might be able to create some public outrage, build some momentum .. and force, by public sentiment, to allow her back in some later Debates.

And if she supports Bernie, Bernie might just ignore or dismiss it. I don't think he has any real loyalty to her.

Wally on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 7:11pm
Don't give up the ship

@FreeSociety

Tulsi is a uniquely courageous person and a wonderful presidential candidate. If there was ranked voting, she'd definitely be my #2. Aside from Bernie, she's the only presidential candidate for whom I'd even consider voting.

I'm not going to suggest she drop out but if she does, I hope she endorses Bernie.

If Bernie is the nominee, I'm sure she will endorse him, just as I'm pretty darn sure she will endorse any other nominee given that she signed off on exactly that to become a candidate herself.

I'd say I hope you don't give up on her come those circumstances, but if it gets to that point, I'm giving up on politics period.

Centaurea on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 8:01pm
Oh, good grief

@FreeSociety

Not this again.

Meanwhile Sanders has bought several lavish Lake Houses in Vermont (as his payoff?)

Please provide evidence for this claim.

Bernie and Jane bought one (repeat one ) vacation property situated on the shore of Lake Champlain. They bought it before 2016, using money Jane inherited from her parents. The purchase price was around $600K, if I recall, which is pretty darn cheap for a vacation home. I've seen pictures of it. It's far from "lavish". Looks more like a middle-class vacation cabin.

You know, there are arguments you could make about Bernie that would be worth discussion. His dropping out of the race before Philly, for instance. This crap about "Bernie's rich, he owns a lot of fancy houses and flaunts his ill-gotten wealth" isn't one of them.

Centaurea on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 8:41am
From everything I've seen,

Tulsi's in it for the long haul. I don't think she expects to become POTUS this time around. At present, she seems to be positioning herself, making herself known to the public, building a base of support, and no doubt exploring alliances. I'm looking forward to seeing what she does. Warrior Tulsi.

gulfgal98 on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 11:47am
This comment is on the mark

@Centaurea in my humble opinion. There are a couple of things to note here. The main thing that spurs Tulsi to run is not for being the first anything or for self glorification. Her campaign is based upon her own strong beliefs against regime change wars, using those monies here in the US to help the people, and her belief in environmental stewardship.

Whether or not people like or support Tulsi Gabbard, no one can question her courage to go against the MIC and other powers that be. She is not ready to quit yet. I have felt from the beginning that Tulsi is running now for the future. My personal belief is that she will be a great President due to her courage, intelligence and leadership skills. I am hoping that if Bernie becomes President, he will appoint Tulsi as Secretary of State where her skills will be very valuable.

Yeah, I can dream, but if you are going to dream, dream big.

Tulsi's in it for the long haul. I don't think she expects to become POTUS this time around. At present, she seems to be positioning herself, making herself known to the public, building a base of support, and no doubt exploring alliances. I'm looking forward to seeing what she does. Warrior Tulsi.

irishking on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 9:19am
I just sent her $10.

Says she is not quitting. Would be nice if Sanders spoke up for her. She left DNC to endorse him in 2016.

Nastarana on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 9:19am
Here is an essay from Tom Luongo at

Strategic Culture:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/08/02/empire-coming-for-tuls...

An anti-imperialist policy threatens the Good People's livelihoods.

leveymg on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 11:03am
This quote from Luongo is a keeper:

@Nastarana

The true third rail of US politics is empire. Any candidate that is publicly against the empire is the enemy of not only the state, it's quislings in the media, the corporations who profit from it and the party machines of both the GOP and the DNC.

That is Gabbard's crime. And it's the only crime that matters.

When the Empire is on the line, left and right in the US close ranks and unite against the threat. The good news is that all they have is their pathetic Russia bashing and appeals to their authority on foreign policy.

Foreign policy, by the way, that most people in America, frankly, despise.

Every word of that is so true it makes me want to weep. I don't cry easily.

Thanks for posting that link! It will be shared, several times.

Strategic Culture:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/08/02/empire-coming-for-tuls...

An anti-imperialist policy threatens the Good People's livelihoods.

Nastarana on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 10:47am
And here is confirmation of what most of us have suspected,

that the DNC would rather lose with a "centrist" than win with Bernie or Tulsi:

Bernie activists who have reportedly learned that the DNC plans to go after him, once Tulsi was out of the way, chose not to take things lying down. Tulsi is the only candidate with a history of having Bernie's back. Several activists went to party leaders and asked point blank whether blocking popular candidates like Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders from being nominated would be worth a second term for Donald Trump. To the surprise of the activists, leaders spoken to were clear that holding Bernie and Tulsi to the contract they were forced to sign before the first debate was more important than fairness and beating Donald Trump. Some leaders talked about which candidates they planned run in 2024 if Trump was re-elected. An assistant to one of the party bosses, who asked not to be identified for fear of losing his job, pointed out that the DNC actually makes more money as a result of anger about Donald Trump's Presidency than they would if a popular progressive, such as Bernie Sanders or Tulsi Gabbard, became President. One person pointed out that a ticket with Warren and Harris would be labeled progressive and the expected loss would be used to McGovern or kill the progressive movement within the party.

The report is at open democracy.com and is worth reading in its' entirety. It seems that the Democrats scheduled a meeting of the DNC in SF and meetings of the California Democratic Party in San Jose (abt. 2-3hrs. away, best is to ride the BART) the same day. Party hack Tom Perez drew about 100 to his speech at the DNC.

Shahryar on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 10:59am
of course

@Nastarana

a ticket with Warren and Harris would be labeled progressive and the expected loss would be used to McGovern or kill the progressive movement within the party

Yet a loss by Hillary isn't blamed on centrists but is, instead, somehow, used to McGovern or kill....

that the DNC would rather lose with a "centrist" than win with Bernie or Tulsi:

Bernie activists who have reportedly learned that the DNC plans to go after him, once Tulsi was out of the way, chose not to take things lying down. Tulsi is the only candidate with a history of having Bernie's back. Several activists went to party leaders and asked point blank whether blocking popular candidates like Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders from being nominated would be worth a second term for Donald Trump. To the surprise of the activists, leaders spoken to were clear that holding Bernie and Tulsi to the contract they were forced to sign before the first debate was more important than fairness and beating Donald Trump. Some leaders talked about which candidates they planned run in 2024 if Trump was re-elected. An assistant to one of the party bosses, who asked not to be identified for fear of losing his job, pointed out that the DNC actually makes more money as a result of anger about Donald Trump's Presidency than they would if a popular progressive, such as Bernie Sanders or Tulsi Gabbard, became President. One person pointed out that a ticket with Warren and Harris would be labeled progressive and the expected loss would be used to McGovern or kill the progressive movement within the party.

The report is at open democracy.com and is worth reading in its' entirety. It seems that the Democrats scheduled a meeting of the DNC in SF and meetings of the California Democratic Party in San Jose (abt. 2-3hrs. away, best is to ride the BART) the same day. Party hack Tom Perez drew about 100 to his speech at the DNC.

FutureNow on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 12:35pm
Do you have a link for this?

@Nastarana
I went to opendemocracy.net and couldn't find this content.

that the DNC would rather lose with a "centrist" than win with Bernie or Tulsi:

Bernie activists who have reportedly learned that the DNC plans to go after him, once Tulsi was out of the way, chose not to take things lying down. Tulsi is the only candidate with a history of having Bernie's back. Several activists went to party leaders and asked point blank whether blocking popular candidates like Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders from being nominated would be worth a second term for Donald Trump. To the surprise of the activists, leaders spoken to were clear that holding Bernie and Tulsi to the contract they were forced to sign before the first debate was more important than fairness and beating Donald Trump. Some leaders talked about which candidates they planned run in 2024 if Trump was re-elected. An assistant to one of the party bosses, who asked not to be identified for fear of losing his job, pointed out that the DNC actually makes more money as a result of anger about Donald Trump's Presidency than they would if a popular progressive, such as Bernie Sanders or Tulsi Gabbard, became President. One person pointed out that a ticket with Warren and Harris would be labeled progressive and the expected loss would be used to McGovern or kill the progressive movement within the party.

The report is at open democracy.com and is worth reading in its' entirety. It seems that the Democrats scheduled a meeting of the DNC in SF and meetings of the California Democratic Party in San Jose (abt. 2-3hrs. away, best is to ride the BART) the same day. Party hack Tom Perez drew about 100 to his speech at the DNC.

snoopydawg on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 4:01pm
I think this is the same article as the snippet posted here

@FutureNow

https://www.opednews.com/articles/Is-the-Democratic-Establis-by-Henry-Sa...

Nastarana on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 10:58am
Let me just repeat that:

One person, a DNC official to be precise, pointed out that:

a ticket with Warren and Harris would be labeled progressive and the expected loss would be used to McGovern or kill the progressive movement within the party.

So, there we have it. The war mongering neo cons and neo liberals are welcome in the Democratic (sic) Party, but us peace loving, non-imperialist progressives are not. Which explains, among a lot of more important things, why a pushy Dem. operative thinks she can come to my house without notice or invitation and insult me because I don't like her gal Hillary.

wokkamile on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 12:08pm
Last I checked,

@Nastarana Harris has been plunging in the polls. I think Tulsi finished her off.

Why would any nominee want to have an unpopular pol on the ticket? Not much of a chance of that, so no need to worry about any Harris presence on the ticket or threat in any way.

As for the DNC possibly preferring Trump b/c it leads to better fundraising, the RNC is currently outraising the DNC by 2-to-1. Apparently Ds just aren't that angry. Or are channeling their anger in other ways.

One person, a DNC official to be precise, pointed out that:

a ticket with Warren and Harris would be labeled progressive and the expected loss would be used to McGovern or kill the progressive movement within the party.

So, there we have it. The war mongering neo cons and neo liberals are welcome in the Democratic (sic) Party, but us peace loving, non-imperialist progressives are not. Which explains, among a lot of more important things, why a pushy Dem. operative thinks she can come to my house without notice or invitation and insult me because I don't like her gal Hillary.

FreeSociety on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 6:36pm
@wokkamile

@wokkamile

Tulsi did finish her off, but the DNC is trying to prop her back up again by removing Tulsi from the picture.

I don't think Bernie is principled enough, or bold enough (based on his handling of 2016 and the Clintons/DNC) to ever select Tulsi Gabbard as his V.P.

But I do see him selecting someone (corrupt) like K. Harris just to check-off the "woman box". So Harris may have life after all due to the DNC rigging of things.

#7 Harris has been plunging in the polls. I think Tulsi finished her off.

Why would any nominee want to have an unpopular pol on the ticket? Not much of a chance of that, so no need to worry about any Harris presence on the ticket or threat in any way.

As for the DNC possibly preferring Trump b/c it leads to better fundraising, the RNC is currently outraising the DNC by 2-to-1. Apparently Ds just aren't that angry. Or are channeling their anger in other ways.

Wally on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 2:29pm
This really needs to be accurately sourced

@Nastarana

with a link at the very least. So if you have one, please share it.

Some guy said that he heard this and he told someone who told me . . . .

One person, a DNC official to be precise, pointed out that: a ticket with Warren and Harris would be labeled progressive and the expected loss would be used to McGovern or kill the progressive movement within the party.

So, there we have it. The war mongering neo cons and neo liberals are welcome in the Democratic (sic) Party, but us peace loving, non-imperialist progressives are not. Which explains, among a lot of more important things, why a pushy Dem. operative thinks she can come to my house without notice or invitation and insult me because I don't like her gal Hillary.

wouldsman on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 11:49am
I thought this account which is sourced to the Williamson camp,

adds to this story as it applies to Tulsi:
https://jackpineradicals.com/boards/topic/only-10-of-the-17-dnc-approved...

Alligator Ed on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 12:27pm
Since the U.S. District Court of Southern Florida

tossed out the suit against the DNC filed by Jared Beck, Elizabeth Beck, and Niko House, the DNC doesn't have single worry about how they conduct their political business. The declined prosecution against the DNC established the DNC's legal rights to make whatever decisions they want in smoke-filled rooms. There should be no doubt the DNC gets what Killary wants. This is why H. Rodent Clinton enters the race, erupting with all the subtlety of lava flowing down the slopes of Mauna Loa (or Karatoa, etc.)

Battle of Blair... on Wed, 08/28/2019 - 8:53pm
The DNC promised 17 qualifying polls. They delivered on 10.

7 polls that were supposed to be qualifying have not and are not going to be taken. Seems to me, the DNC needs to include 7 of the polls that were taken, which would put Tulsi in. but they won't. There's a reason they only took 10 of the 17 polls. It's rigged again.

[Aug 27, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard and Iisreal lobby: You can't take on MIC and at the same time take on Isreal. That's like fighting on two fronts. Unfortunatly. Policits is a dirty business after all. You just can't stay clean

Please remember that many people voted for Trump just because they can't vote for warmonger Hillary and/or to show middle finger to the Washington neoliberal establishment.
Everybody understand that he is just another billionaire with very shady past and questionable connection in NYC, but some people hoped that like FDR he can be the traitor of his own class. They were severely disappointed.
Voting is severely screwed in the USA as you are allowed to select out of two usually pre-selected by the elite candidates (Pepsi-Cola choice) but that all we have.
With all her warts, Tulsi foreign policy agenda is the most realistic and anti-war among all Democratic Candidates. And that's something to vote for.
Aug 27, 2019 | www.unz.com

anon [113] Disclaimer , says: August 27, 2019 at 5:11 pm GMT

Phil,

Just rewatched your appearance on "CrossTalk on Tulsi Gabbard: Peace Candidate." I've been somewhat manic about championing her, generally sharing her anti-war message, but periodically suffering some sucker-punch. Her supporters point to the smear campaign launched at her by neocons and neolibs as evidence of her threat to the MIC and establishment. There's a disconnect in that assertion. I wonder if either side realizes how conventional her positions are in general. Is there any real evidence that her understanding (lack of same) on Israel or Iran has change since she made this dreadful speech in 2015 to the CUFI conference? Frightening.

Tulsi Gabbard Speaks to Right-Wing Christians United for Israel Conference 2015

https://www.youtube.com/embed/PxXcUNct18Q?feature=oembed

Bardon Kaldian , says: August 27, 2019 at 5:17 pm GMT
@Curmudgeon There was no Abraham. This all is a story. It's about as meaningful as why Mr. Pickwick would do this or that.
Philip Giraldi , says: August 27, 2019 at 5:24 pm GMT
@anon True, her views on Iran and Syria (even after she visited and met with Bashar al-Assad) are dreadful and she is careful to say the right things about Israel. But she is at the same time the only candidate seriously talking about ending all the wars so she deserves support at least for that message, if only because it might force some others to confront the issue. Let's face it, our search for a truly acceptable candidate will not find one in either major party.

[Aug 27, 2019] It is hard for Clintonized Dems to form a winning majority of voters when they offer nothing, have no message, and treated thier voter base with utter level of neglect for decades

Aug 27, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , August 24, 2019 at 12:21 PM

Hard for the status quo to form a consensus when it offers nothing, has no message, and treated its base with benign neglect for decades.
Plp -> JohnH... , August 24, 2019 at 12:57 PM
White wage class got neglect

Black wage class got
Prison

JohnH -> Plp... , August 24, 2019 at 03:22 PM
150 years of successfully keeping the working class divided and at each other's throat
Plp -> JohnH... , August 24, 2019 at 07:01 PM
Yes
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to JohnH... , August 25, 2019 at 10:03 AM
All true from both yourself and Paine/Plp except "Hard for the status quo to form a consensus" which is inherently false based purely on semantics. The status quo must always be a consensus of sorts or it would not be the status quo regardless of how sordid a sort of consensus it represents. At the very least our status quo represents the effective majority consensus of the political elite over matters of governing and simultaneously the effective consensus of the governed to not overwhelmingly reject the majority consensus of the political elite. This is not to say that the governed are happy about what they get, but if they overwhelmingly rejected the political establishment then it would no longer be the status quo political establishment. Elites learned since the Great Depression that if they limited their abuse of the common man sufficiently then the combination of general public apathy regarding politics and the bureaucracy along with the inherent fear of ordinary people taking action to bring about uncertain change would forever preserve complete elite control of government apparatus.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , August 25, 2019 at 10:09 AM
OTOH, Donald Trump's abusiveness seems to know no limits. So, maybe the times - they ARE a changin'.

[Aug 26, 2019] As Biden goes down the drain the only other viable candidate against Bernie is Warren , which it appears the elite are falling in love with.

Notable quotes:
"... I have been for Tulsi because of her foreign policy and wanted her to be able to give voice to her position during the primary so as to move Bernie to improve his foreign policy positions and also the public. Tulsi was the one who quit the DNC during the 2016 primary over how Bernie was cheated, so is not afraid to stand up to power - and why they hate her ..."
"... I believe that the Democratic leadership does not want Tulsi in the debates because they do not want her to take out another candidate like she did in the second debate to Harris at -12% at around 5% now - not a top tier candidate now. ..."
"... They have given numerous hit job articles to Bernie, while all of Warrens - including today - are glowing. That should be a clue about Warren. Also in 2016 she sided with Hillary, not Bernie. ..."
Aug 26, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stever , Aug 26 2019 0:59 utc | 51

karlof1 @43

Michael Tracey is the one that wrote the RCP article and also has a video on the topic. He also does a great job calling out the Russiagate BS.
"Tulsi getting screwed by the DNC"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZMMlQNidlQ&t=440s

There is only one more qualifying poll Monmouth ( tomorrow) before the debates and she needs two more. Even though the she has qualified in numerous polls such as the Boston Globe that are not allowed by the DNC. Yes they screwed her.
"It's Official--Tulsi to be Screwed Out of 3rd Debate!!"
https://caucus99percent.com/content/its-official-tulsi-be-screwed-out-3rd-debate

I have been for Tulsi because of her foreign policy and wanted her to be able to give voice to her position during the primary so as to move Bernie to improve his foreign policy positions and also the public. Tulsi was the one who quit the DNC during the 2016 primary over how Bernie was cheated, so is not afraid to stand up to power - and why they hate her .

I believe that the Democratic leadership does not want Tulsi in the debates because they do not want her to take out another candidate like she did in the second debate to Harris at -12% at around 5% now - not a top tier candidate now.

I am loving now how Bernie is taking on the corporate media and their BS to their faces.

"Bernie Sanders took a well-deserved shot at The Washington Post this week, saying that the Jeff Bezos-owned paper doesn't like him because he routinely goes after Amazon for the horrible treatment of their workers. NBC wasn't too happy about this, and claimed that Bernie was assaulting "the free press," and said his attacks were just like Trump's"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1aTj2UfhWc

The powers that be really wanted Joe Biden, but it will become obvious in the coming months that he has serious cognitive issues - ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2Q0E2dzTJw ).

The only other viable candidate against Bernie is Warren , which it appears the elite are falling in love with. Warren didn't become a Democrat until 2011 or when she was 62. In the 90's Warren was on the side of Dow Chemical in the breast implant cases, helping to reduce payouts to the victims. She will be like Obama - Hope and Change during the election and Neoliberal when president. I read the NYTimes to see what the Oligarchs are up too.

They have given numerous hit job articles to Bernie, while all of Warrens - including today - are glowing. That should be a clue about Warren. Also in 2016 she sided with Hillary, not Bernie.

[Aug 26, 2019] Attempt of DNC to exclude Tulsi Gabbard from debate by manipulating the debate criteria

Aug 26, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Aug 25 2019 22:36 utc | 43

On the Gabbard Story-- Real Clear Politics did an excellent job of explaining the point-at-issue: the unknown criteria for the polls DNC hasn't told anyone which they are using or why. RT, in a more condensed article cited "Andrew Yang, who has since qualified, slammed the DNC in July for excluding one of two NBC polls he said had reached the 2 percent threshold in, [saying] ' It is frustrating to see the rules be changed mid-game .' The article also cites "Colorado Senator Michael Bennet [who] criticized the process in front of DNC Chair Tom Perez on Friday, saying it was 'stifling debate at a time when we need it most.'

These two important critiques when added to the information provided by the RCP article clearly show DNC manipulating the debate criteria in order to manage who participates.

I tried to find updated relevant polling data over the past week knowing the deadline was approaching and its importance to all the candidates, not just Gabbard, but is was very difficult to find just one poll let alone at least 4.

IMO, if she's excluded from the next round of debates because the DNC favored polls with tiny sample sizes versus far more relevant polls, then we will again know the Fix is In--Again--but for whom this time.

psychohistorian , Aug 25 2019 17:09 utc | 21

Below is a link to an article about Tulsi Gabbard being marginalized by the D part of the one party system in the US

Gabbard Victimized by DNC's Dubious Debate Criteria

I posted this in the last Open Thread but am copying it here because of its relevance, IMO

[Aug 25, 2019] Elisabeth Warren's crowd sizes are getting very large. At the same time Elizabeth Warren is terrible on foreign policy

Aug 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

dltravers , Aug 24 2019 20:45 utc | 11

Trump does not want a new trade deal with China. He wants to decouple the U.S. economy from the future enemy.

That may well be what is going on here. Something between total insanity and managed insanity. The next president will unravel all of this in a year or so of effort. That is what is so damaging. No business can plan on what is next. No policy is long term.

This is pure Trumpian logic unhinged. Hit them twice as hard as they hit you. I would not dare to guess who is winding him up and pointing him in this direction. Trump has had one of his busiest weeks yet.

I see Elisabeth Warren's crowd sizes are getting very large. I will feel better when no one shows up to a Trump rally. China has time to wait this out and the ability to raise some chaos on their own to help undermine Trump.

Daniel , Aug 24 2019 23:52 utc | 56

@11 dltravers

I see Elisabeth Warren's crowd sizes are getting very large. I will feel better when no one shows up to a Trump rally.

I sympathize, but Elizabeth Warren is terrible on foreign policy. When the IDF was slaughtering civilians in Gaza in 2014 she pushed to release a few hundred million dollars to "help" Israel "defend" itself. The MSM loves Warren. She is a neoliberal capitalist, liberal interventionist and splits Sanders' vote.

[Aug 24, 2019] So, sounds like the FIRE sector is looking to get nice and comfortable while nominally paying tribute to the plebeians by getting Warren nominated this election cycle

Aug 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

deplorado , August 23, 2019 at 4:43 pm

In the recent Camp Kotok MMT discussion (recording for the public posted here https://soundcloud.com/user-529956811/mmt-discussion-raw ), two things stood out for me (believe both were stated by Samuel Rines @SamuelRines on twitter):
– MMT is "inevitable" (although it is arguable whether his definition and understanding is correct)
– Warren is the assumed democratic nominee (Bernie or anyone else was not mentioned at all in ~30 min of this recording)

Camp Kotok is basically a US casual vacation style under the radar mini-Davos: https://www.cumber.com/camp-kotok/

So, sounds like the FIRE sector is looking to get nice and comfortable while nominally paying tribute to the plebeians (lest they revolt, that was intimated by above mentioned Sam)

[Aug 24, 2019] Tremendous pair of documentaries on the history of non-violent non-cooperation

Aug 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

dcblogger , August 23, 2019 at 3:03 pm

tremendous pair of documentaries on the history of non-violent non-cooperation
A force more powerful part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpBoHb59iVY&t=312s
Part 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mD5xKALhnxg&t=153s

[Aug 22, 2019] The Two-Faced Elizabeth Warren by Matt Purple

Yes, is way Warren is a connuation of "Trump tradition" in the USA politics: reling of hate toward the neoliberalism establishment to get the most votes.
Aug 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

...in a piece Warren wrote for Medium in which she (rightly) warned of "a precarious economy that is built on debt -- both household debt and corporate debt." Notably missing was the national debt, which amounts to around $182,900 per taxpayer and which Warren's policies would only steepen. How exactly is a government flailing in red ink supposed to make the country solvent? And what of the fact that some of the economy's woes -- student loan debt, for example -- were themselves at least in part caused by federal interventions?

Those objections aside, it would be wrong to dismiss Warren as just another statist liberal. She's deeper than that, first of all, having written extensively about economics, including her book The Two-Income Trap . But more importantly, she's put her finger on something very important in the American electorate. It's the same force that helped propel Donald Trump to victory in 2016: a seething anger against goliath institutions that seem to prize profit and power over the greater welfare. This is firmly in the tradition of most American populisms, which have worried less about the size of government and more about gilded influence rendering it inert.

Warren thus has a real claim to the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party, which is deeply skeptical of corporate power. She could even try to out-populist Donald Trump. She's already released more detailed policy proposals than any of her Democratic rivals, everything from sledgehammering the rich with new taxes to canceling student debt to wielding antitrust against big tech companies to subsidizing childcare. All this is chum to at least some of the Democratic base (old-school sorts rather than the SJWs obsessed with race and gender), and as a result, she's surged to either second or third place in the primary, depending on what poll you check. She's even elicited praise from some conservative intellectuals, who view her as an economic nationalist friendly to the family against the blackhearted forces of big.

America has been in a populist mood since the crash of 2008, yet in every presidential election since then, there's been at least one distinctly plutocratic candidate in the race. In 2008, it was perennial Washingtonian John McCain. In 2012, it was former Bain Capital magnate Mitt Romney. (The stupidest explanation for why Romney lost was always that tea party activists dragged him down. Romney lost because he sounded like an imposter and looked like the guy who fired your brother from that firm back in 1982.) And in 2016, it was, of course, Hillary Clinton, whose candidacy is what happens when you feed a stock portfolio and a government security clearance into a concentrate machine.

If Elizabeth Warren wins the Democratic nomination next year, it will be the first time since Bear Stearns exploded that both parties' candidates seem to reflect back the national temperament. It will also pose a test for Warren herself. On one hand, her economic policies, bad though they might be, stand a real chance of attracting voters, given their digestibility and focus on relieving high costs of living. On the other hand -- this is where Fauxcahontas comes back in -- a white woman claiming Indian status in order to teach at Harvard Law is pretty much everything Americans hate about politically correct identity politics.

The question, then, is which image of Warren will stick: one is a balm to the country's economic anxiety; the other is unacceptable to its cultural grievances. Right now we can only speculate, though it seems certain that Trump will try to define her as the latter while much of the media will intervene in the other direction.


john a day ago

Her entire political theory seems to have been that giant corporations should not be allowed to utterly screw the common man. That is about it, and for this she is called a commie radical. I like her, little afraid of foreign policy
=marco01= 18 hours ago • edited
Warren was born into a middle class family, Trump wasn't. Trump is playing the populist, he has no idea what average Americans deal with.

Warren was raised on the family lore of having native ancestry and she does. Not much but she does and that's all it takes to start family lore. Her Native American ancestor was from around the time of the American Revolution and it's easy to see how that legend could be passed down. There is no proof she ever benefited from this, she was just proud to have Native American ancestry.

Funny how the RW is so outraged by this one thing. Maybe it would be better for her to con people, lie and make stuff up nonstop like Trump. It seems a never ending blizzard of lies and falsehoods renders one immune.

polistra24 18 hours ago
Let's remember that our only effective populist, in fact our only effective president, was a rich patrician. FDR's roots went back to the Mayflower, yet he was able to break the influence of the banks and give us 50 years of bubble-free prosperity. The only thing that counts is GETTING THE WORK DONE.
Nelson 12 hours ago
Her economics aren't bad. She herself claims to be a capitalist, she just wants our massive economy to also benefit regular folks instead of just the elites. And whatever economic program she proposes is most likely further left than she thinks necessary because that's a better negotiating position to start from. Remember every proposal has to go through both branches of Congress to become law, and they will absolutely try to make everything more pro-corporate because that is their donor base.
cka2nd 11 hours ago
"And what of the fact that some of the economy's woes -- student loan debt, for example -- were themselves at least in part caused by federal
interventions?"

Mr. Purple might want to remind himself that 75% of federal student financial aid in the 1970's was in the form of grants, not loans, and that it was only after the intervention of conservative Republican congressman Gerald "Jerry" Solomon and the Reagan Administration that the mix of federal student financial aid was changed to be 75% loans and only 25% grants. I believe the Congressman used to rail against free riding college students, which is all well and good until one finds that the "free hand of the market" becomes warped by so many people being in so much debt, and all of them being too small to save.

Democrats might want to ask Joe Biden about this, considering his support for legislation that made it harder to discharge student debt in bankruptcy proceedings. They might also ask Senator Warren about this subject.

Absolute Fictions 11 hours ago
Warren believed her family story. Trump, on the other hand, knew that his family was not Swedish, but knowingly continued the lie for decades, including in "The Art of Deal " - claimin his grandfather came "from Sweden as a child" (rather than dodging the draft in Bavaria who made his fortune in red light districts of the Yukon territory before trying to return to the Reich).

Warren made no money from her heritage claims, but the $413 million (in today's dollars) given to Trump by his daddy was made by lying to Holocaust survivors in Brooklyn and Queens who, understandably, did not want to rent property from a German.

Vanity Fair asked him in 1990 if he were not in fact of German origin. "Actually, it was very difficult," Donald replied. "My father was not German; my father's parents were German Swedish, and really sort of all over Europe and I was even thinking in the second edition of putting more emphasis on other places because I was getting so many letters from Sweden: Would I come over and speak to Parliament? Would I come meet with the president?"

JeffK from PA 10 hours ago
This column was pretty much as I expected. It started out by rehashing all of the Fox News talking points about Warren, without debunking those that were without merit.

After that it touched on Morning Joe's take on her, just to make it 'fair and balanced'.

Then it acknowledged, briefly, that she has been correct in many areas. No comment on how the CFPB recovered hundreds of millions of $$ from corporations that abused their power or broke the law.

Then it mis-characterized the impact of her policies "sledgehammering the rich", "economic policies, bad though they might be".

Dismiss Warren all you want. She could very well be the nominee, or the VP. She would eviscerate Trump in a debate. Her knowledge of issues, facts and policies would show Trump to be what he is. A narcissistic, idiotic, in-over-his-head clueless and dangerous buffoon. I anticipate Trump would fall back on his favorite tropes. Pocahontas, socialist, communist, and MAGA.

My opinion is that the average American is getting really tired of Trump's shtick. The country is looking for somebody with real solutions to real problems. This reality tv star act is getting pretty old....

Kent 10 hours ago
Good article. Especially enjoyed this turn of phrase:

"And in 2016, it was, of course, Hillary Clinton, whose candidacy is what happens when you feed a stock portfolio and a government security clearance into a concentrate machine."

Really enjoyable.

I don't think anyone is going to care about the pocahontas thing. This election will be squarely about Trump. I think Warren is by far the best candidate the dems can bring out if they want to beat him. A Warren/Buttigieg or a Warren/Tulsi ticket would likely be a winner.

Bernie's a little too far to the left for Joe Lunchbucket, Joe Biden is a crooked Hillary wannabe, Kamala Harris is unlikeable, and the rest won't rise out of the dust.

Heaventree 9 hours ago • edited
The whole business about her supposed Native American ancestry and whatever claims she made will make no difference to anybody other than folks like Matt Purple who wouldn't support her under any circumstances anyway.
Consider that the best-known advocate of the "Pocahontas" epithet is of course Donald Trump, whose entire reputation is built on a foundation of bulls--t and flim-flam.
Lynnwig 9 hours ago
"Thus in retrospect was it the "Obama" in "Obamacare" that was the primary driver of opposition from conservatives, only for their concerns over federal intrusion to mostly disappear once Trump was at the controls."

No. What disappeared was the Individual Mandate. THAT was what rankled me...the government can do whatever stupid thing they want as long as they don't try to force me into it.

[Aug 22, 2019] Hitler and-or Chomsky on Capitalist Democracy by Guillaume Durocher

Backlash to neoliberalism fuels interest in national socialism ideology... and netional socialist critique of financial oligarchy controlled "democratic states" was often poignant and up to a point. Which doesn't means that the ideology itself was right.
Aug 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

However, as the people cannot spontaneously make and express their opinion on a mass scale, the media comes to play a critical role in shaping public opinion: "The decisive question is: Who enlightens the people? Who educates the people?" The answer is, of course, the media. In this, Hitler's assessment is an exaggerated version of what Alexis de Tocqueville had observed a century earlier in his classic work, Democracy in America :

When a large number of press organs manage to march along the same path, their influence in the long run becomes almost irresistible, and public opinion, always struck upon the same side, ends up giving way under their blows.

In the United States, each newspaper has little power individually; but the periodical press is still, after the people, the first of powers. [1] Alexis de Tocqueville, De la Démocratie en Amérique (Paris: Gallimard, 1986), volume 1, p. 283-84. Hitler and Tocqueville shared a surprising number of views concerning mordern democracy, see: https://www.counter-currents.com/2016/08/tocqueville...itler/

In Western democracies, Hitler claims: "Capital actually rules in these countries, that is, nothing more than a clique of a few hundred men who possess untold wealth." Furthermore "freedom" refers primarily to "economic freedom," which means the oligarchs' "freedom from national control." In a classic self-reinforcing cycle, the rich and powerful get richer and more powerful through influence over the political process. Today, this has culminated in the existence of the notorious "1%" so demonized by Occupy Wall Street.

The oligarchs, according to Hitler, establish and control the media:

These capitalists create their own press and then speak of "freedom of the press." In reality, every newspaper has a master and in every case this master is the capitalist, the owner. This master, not the editor, is the one who directs the policy of the paper. If the editor tries to write something other than what suits the master, he is outed the next day. This press, which is the absolutely submissive and character slave of its owners, molds public opinions.

Hitler also emphasizes the incestuous relations and purely cosmetic differences between mainstream democratic political parties:

The difference between these parties is small, as it formerly was in Germany. You know them of course, the old parties. They were always one and the same. In Britain matters are usually so arranged so that families are divided up, one member being conservative, another liberal, and a third belonging to the Labour Party. Actually all three sit together as members of the family and decide upon their common attitude.

This cliquishness means that "on all essential matters . . . the parties are always in agreement" and the difference between "Government" and "Opposition" is largely election-time theatrics. This critique will resonate with those who fault the "Republicrats," the "Westminster village," or indeed the various pro-EU parties for being largely indistinguishable. This is often especially the case on foreign policy, Chomsky's area of predilection.

Hitler goes on, with brutally effective sarcasm, to describe how it was in these democracies where the people supposedly rule that there was the most inequality: "You might think that in these countries of freedom and wealth, the people must have an unlimited degree of prosperity. But no!" Britain not only controlled "one-sixth of the world" and the impoverished millions of India, but itself had notoriously deep class divisions and suffering working classes. There was a similar situation in France and the United States: "There is poverty – incredible poverty – on one side and equally incredible wealth on the other." These democracies had furthermore been unable to combat unemployment during the Great Depression, in contrast to Germany's innovative economic policies.

Hitler then goes on to mock the Labour Party, which was participating in the government for the duration of the war, for promising social welfare and holidays for the poor after the war: "It is is remarkable that they should at last hit upon the idea that traveling should not be something for millionaires alone, but for the people too." Hitlerite Germany, along with Fascist Italy, had long pioneered the organization of mass tourism to the benefit of working people. (Something which traditionalists like the Italian aristocrat Julius Evola bitterly criticized them for.)

Ultimately, in the Western democracies "as is shown by their whole economic structure, the selfishness of a relatively small stratum rules under the mask of democracy; the egoism of a very small social class." Hitler concludes: "It is self-evident that where this democracy rules, the people as such are not taken into consideration at all. The only thing that matters is the existence a few hundred gigantic capitalists who own all the factories and their stock and, through them, control the people."

... ... ...

In practice, Western liberal regimes' democratic pretensions are exaggerated. Various studies have found that when elite and majority opinion clash, the American elite is over time able to impose its policies onto the majority (examples of this include U.S. intervention in both World Wars and mass Third World immigration since the 1960s, opposed by the people and promoted by the elite)

... ... ...

In fact, all regimes have different elite factions and bureaucracies competing for power. All regimes have a limited ideological spectrum of authorized opinion, a limited spectrum of what can and cannot be discussed, criticized, or politically represented. This isn't to say that liberal-democratic and openly authoritarian regimes are identical, but the distinction has been exaggerated. I have known plenty of Westerners who, frothing at the mouth at any mention of the "authoritarian" Donald Trump or Marine Le Pen, were quite happy to visit, do business, or work in China, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, or Israel (the latter being a perfect Jewish democracy but highly authoritarian towards the Palestinians). Westerners really are sick in the head.

The liberals' claim to uphold freedom of thought and democracy will ring hollow to many: to the Trump supporters and academics (such as Charles Murray) who were physically assaulted for attending public events and to those fired or punished for their scientific beliefs (James Watson, James Damore, Noah Carl).

What the ideal regime is surely depends on time and place. Jean-Baptiste Duchasseint, a politician of the French Third Republic, had a point when he said: "I prefer a parliamentary chamber than the antechamber of a dictator." Liberal-democracies allow for regular changeovers of power, transparent feedback between society and government, and the cultivation of a habit of give-and-take between citizens. But it would be equally dishonest to deny liberal-democracy's leveling tendency, its unconscious (and thereby, dangerous) elitism and authoritarianism (dangerous because unconscious), its difficulty in enforcing values, its promotion of division among the citizenry, or, frequently, its failure to act in times of emergency. The democrats claim they are entitled to undermine and destroy, whether by peaceful or violent methods, every government on this Earth which they consider "undemocratic." This strikes me as, at best, unwise and dangerous.

The question is not whether a society "really has" free speech or democracy. In the absolute, these are impossible. The question is whether the particular spectrum of free discussion and the particular values promoted by the society are, in fact, salutary for that society. In China, unlike the West, you are not allowed to attack the government. Yet, I understand that in China one is freer to discuss issues concerning Jews, race, and eugenics than in the West. These issues, in fact, may be far more important to promoting a healthy future for the human race than the superficial and divisive mudslinging of the West's reality-TV democracies.W


Durruti , says: August 20, 2019 at 1:09 am GMT

Nice well written & researched thought provoking article by Guillaume Durocher.

Hitler most likely served the Zionist Bankers, as his "Night of the Longknives" – 1934, rid the Nazi movement of its anti-capitalist element.

Hitler did not effectively criticize Zionism or the ruinous financial system. He blamed the Versailles Treaty for most of Germany's ills.

Noam Chomsky has had more serious political and economic analysis to offer over the decades, than most any other American. He has authored more than 100 books.

Hitler and his movement led the German people into the trap (perhaps a Zionist trap), of ruinous (to Europe), Imperialist Conflict, and in that, and in his racialist approach, resembles Churchill, and the British Royal Family more than he could ever admit.

German_reader , says: August 20, 2019 at 1:12 am GMT

Strikingly, Hitler does not mention Jewish media ownership or influence at all,

At 3:21 in the archive.org video he refers to "das auserwählte Volk" (the chosen people) which supposedly controls and directs all parties for its own interests.
Anyway, do you really think it's a good idea for modern nationalists to link themselves to Hitler and the 3rd Reich (because many of your articles could be interpreted that way, as if Hitler was some profound thinker who has to be read by every nationalist today)?

Yes, the man wasn't as stupid as is often claimed today, and some elements of Nazism are certainly attractive if seen in isolation but the fact remains that Hitler, without any really compelling necessity, initiated one of the most destructive wars in history and then had his followers commit some of the worst mass murders ever.

The "revisionists" posting on UR may be able to ignore that, but most people won't.

Counterinsurgency , says: August 20, 2019 at 6:57 am GMT

In practice, Western liberal regimes' democratic pretensions are exaggerated. Various studies have found that when elite and majority opinion clash, the American elite is over time able to impose its policies onto the majority (examples of this include U.S. intervention in both World Wars and mass Third World immigration since the 1960s, opposed by the people and promoted by the elite).

That's it? "Western liberal regimes' democratic pretensions are exaggerated"?

There are differences in _every_ society between different groups, which include different income levels. In the Western liberal regimes of the 1950s and 1960s, daily life was more or less left alone, and it was quite possible to over-rule the rich. There was a 90% tax on income over a fairly modest amount of income! As for the "American elite is over time able to impose its policies onto the majority" it wasn't the rich who do that back then, nor is it the rich who do it now. It's the Left, acquiesced to by the rich. The difference is that the rich now rich with political sufferance, or perhaps because of politics, which was much less the case back then.

In other words, the article as a deception from start to end. Minerva's owl flies at dusk (you understand things when they're ending), and the deception becomes more obvious as our current system fails.

Counterinsurgency

Parfois1 , says: August 20, 2019 at 8:27 am GMT
Another one whitewashing Fascism to make it an acceptable ideology to save the white race. The first edition killed 12 million Germans, twice as many Russians and many more millions of other Europeans. What for? To make America great, perhaps

The author is unfurling his full colours; maybe grateful for Hitler's mercy on France?

Hans Vogel , says: August 20, 2019 at 10:25 am GMT
Agree that the article is a very good one. Clever idea to compare Hitler with Chomsky, "bien étonnés de se trouver ensemble." However, Hitler was certainly not alone in his lucid criticism of "western democracy," nor is Chomsky the only lucid post-Hitlerian critic of what is called democracy. Who does not recall Michael Parenti's wonderful Democracy for the Few, from 1974?

As for Hitler being genuine, or intellectually honest in his criticism, better not even ask. Like all major politicians, including FDR, the repulsive Churchill, Stalin e tutti quanti, Hitler was a psychopath and a murderer. Anyone still nurturing romantic thoughts on Hitler better read Guido Giacomo Preparata, Conjuring Hitler. How Britain and America Made the Third Reich (2005). Best proof that Preparata was absolutely right with his richly documented book is the fact that his academic career was abruptly ended: no tenure for dissidents, especially when they write books containing uncomfortable truths.

The only people allowed to tell "uncomfortable truths" are used-car salesmen and swindlers such as Al Gore.

Saggy , says: Website August 20, 2019 at 1:31 pm GMT
From an even more pointed speech,

Adolf Hitler Speech: Löwenbräukeller Munich November 8 1940

When I came to power, I took over from a nation that was a democracy. Indeed, it is now sometimes shown to the world as if one would be automatically ready to give everything to the German nation if it were only a democracy. Yes, the German people was at that time a democracy before us, and it has been plundered and squeezed dry. No. what does democracy or authoritarian state mean for these international hyenas! That they are not at all interested in. They are only interested in one thing: Is anyone willing to let themselves be plundered? Yes or no? Is anyone stupid enough to keep quiet in the process? Yes or no? And when a democracy is stupid enough to keep quiet, then it is good. And when an authoritarian government declares: "You do not plunder our people any longer, neither from inside nor from outside," then that is bad. If we, as a so-called authoritarian state, which differs from the democracies by having the masses of the people behind it; if we as an authoritarian state had also complied with all the sacrifices that the international plutocrats encumbered us with; if I had said in 1933, "Esteemed Sirs in Geneva" or "Esteemed Sirs," as far as I am concerned, somewhere else, "what would you have do? Aha, we will immediately write it on the slate: 6 billion for 1933, 1934, 1935, all right we will deliver. Is there anything else you would like? Yes, Sir we will also deliver that" Then they would have said: "At last a sensible regime in Germany."

Arnieus , says: August 20, 2019 at 1:46 pm GMT
Western media is not "cooperative", they are owned.
JP Morgan famously bought up controlling interest in major newspapers in 1917 to prevent significant media opposition to the US entering WWI. The Counsel on Foreign Relations was created in the early 1920s to maintain control over the national dialog and they have ever since. The CIA Project Mockingbird tightened control. Every presidential cabinet since is saturated with CFR members. As a result most Americans are disastrously misinformed about just about everything. 1984 happened decades before 1984.
Sollipsist , says: August 20, 2019 at 1:59 pm GMT
@Hans Vogel Parenti's book is one of the few assigned college textbooks I still have on my shelf. A classic that I rarely hear spoken of; I guess my liberal arts education wasn't entirely wasted.
Irish Savant , says: Website August 20, 2019 at 2:48 pm GMT
Extolling Hitler and/or the Nazis is, apart from anything else, totally counter-productive. We can argue about the rewriting of history but the simple fact is that any association with him/them is poisonous to the public mind.
BCB232 , says: August 20, 2019 at 3:03 pm GMT
What I took from the piece was that Hitler, despite being an evil bastard, was right about some things. This shouldn't be surprising and isn't a defense of Nazism (which as a Christian I have to regard as evil.) The fact that Hitler and Chomsky agree shows this isn't a defense of Nazism.
Bardon Kaldian , says: August 20, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT
@German_reader So called revisionists are bunch of morons. Hitler was, without lapsing into moralizing, a very specific product of a very specific time, a charismatic leader of a great humiliated nation during a deep crisis in all Western civilization (this includes Russia, too).

Now, Europe & Europe-derived peoples face a completely different crisis (or various crises), so that what Hitler was or wasn't is utterly irrelevant to our contemporary condition & its challenges.

Emslander , says: August 20, 2019 at 3:43 pm GMT
It does no good to try to defend Hitler, regardless of the many correct observations he made over the years of his public life. He was as important a commentator as, say, Paul Krugman, but his opinions will never overcome his actions. Comparing him to Krugman or Chomsky makes an interesting debating point, but ultimately fails for lack of context.

If you are trying to argue that capitalist democracy, Anglo-American style, has grievous flaws, you're going to have to show what they are and why they will lead to calamity. I'd say we need a real discussion on federal budgeting insanity, for one, which threatens the economic downfall of the West and, probably, of the universe, except maybe for Russia, which has already suffered through its great downfall. How that connects to Anglo-American democracy is simple: the British borrowed and made war around the world to its virtual collapse and then had the great insight to be able, via FDR, to tie the prosperity of the United States to its failures, until the great engine of prosperity that we once were comes clanking to pieces.

The fascists weren't wrong on policy during peacetime, but were too optimistic about being able to take over the world by war.

annamaria , says: August 20, 2019 at 4:45 pm GMT
@Biff https://thesaker.is/the-russiagate-hoax-is-now-fully-exposed/
Eric Zuesse:

Both the liberal (Democratic) and conservative (Republican) wings of the U.S. aristocracy hate and want to conquer Russia's Government. The real question now is whether that fact will cause the book on this matter to be closed as being unprofitable for both sides of the U.S. aristocracy; or, alternatively, which of those two sides will succeed in skewering the other over this matter.

At the present stage, the Republican billionaires seem likelier to win if this internal battle between the two teams of billionaires' political agents continues on. If they do, and Trump wins re-election by having exposed the scandal of the Obama Administration's having manufactured the fake Russiagate-Trump scandal, then Obama himself could end up being convicted. However, if Trump loses -- as is widely expected -- then Obama is safe, and Trump will likely be prosecuted on unassociated criminal charges.

To be President of the United States is now exceedingly dangerous. Of course, assassination is the bigger danger; but, now, there will also be the danger of imprisonment. A politician's selling out to billionaires in order to reach the top can become especially risky when billionaires are at war against each other -- and not merely against some foreign ('enemy') aristocracy. At this stage of American 'democracy', the public are irrelevant. But the political battle might be even hotter than ever, without the gloves, than when the public were the gloves.

Republic , says: August 20, 2019 at 5:40 pm GMT

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum -- even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate."

Yes that quotation by Chomsky is exactly correct, and Chomsky is an expert in that area.
He is a loyal servant of the oligarchs, the MIT intellectual who has devoted his life
to keeping the lid on acceptable debate but is silent on the most important event of the 21st Century in order to serve his Zionist masters.

Any person who goes beyond that accepted level of debate is either ostracized, imprisoned or assassinated.

G , says: August 20, 2019 at 5:45 pm GMT

Liberal-democracies allow for regular changeovers of power, transparent feedback between society and government, and the cultivation of a habit of give-and-take between citizens.

Except that is not true at all. All major Western countries today, UK, France, USA and Germany, are ruled by an effective one-party state, stabilized and its agenda multiplied by its media companies, often state owned, the agenda enforced by apparatschiks, secured by the police force and internationalized physically with the military and with great propaganda by the media-entertainment complex – today even effectively monopolized by US companies like Google/YouTube and Facebook.

Whether you look at BREXIT, votes on an EU constitution, or the Donald Trump presidency: what the majority of the people want is not important to the permanent ruling and owning class.

The politicians and sanctioned talking-heads are there to deceive us. Obama und Trump are two sides of the same coin: carefully crafted advertisement campaigns to secure the interests and goals of the elite in the long run.

Progressiv interests first with Obama and now reactionary interests have been encorporated as messages and propaganda to neuter both. Now the left talks about gender neutral toilets, trans kids and pronouns, instead of stagnant wages for decades and a predatory elite. Just like the right talks about Trump's tweets, Q and is lost in the media skinner-box and his personality cult, while Trump himself broke every single point he campaigned on (Except those that serve the 1% and Israel.) and is owned by the same lobby which produces the artificial reality Trump cultists bought into.

Political-media theater was and is orchestrated, so the true core of power stays untouched and stable: the very small capitalist class who owns 90% of the net wealth in the USA (it's getting increasingly similar in Europe as it is being Americanized in the process of globalization); the superordinate megacompanies; the military-industrial complex; Wall Street and (Central) Banking; special interests and lobbies of which the Israeli-Jewish Lobby is the strongest.

And the cultural totalitarianism of today and its artifical reality is superior to that of the old physical dictatorships, because in mass-media democracy not only does the subject believe himself to be free, because the tools of his own enslavement are not visible; only in it the subject gives his own concession to his own subjugation by his vote. While all paths to real change, revolution or revolt are as cut off from him as under Stalin or Mao.

niceland , says: August 20, 2019 at 5:58 pm GMT
Well, if the idea is to spread the message, any mention or reference to Hitler will be totally devastating in the public arena. It's like participating in a marathon run and start off by cutting off your legs.

Just recently I saw some posts on facebook from someone local to me preaching about Nordic brotherhood. He posted few pictures and all of them had Hitlers face somewhere in the background. FB shut it down within hours

What's interesting is the same message could have been presented differently without much effort. Sliding past FB filters for days or even weeks and possibly influenced some people in the meantime. So I wonder who was actually behind it – my guess is either a complete idiot or someone eager to vilify nationalism and people concerned with racial issues.

The Nine Tailed Fox , says: August 20, 2019 at 6:01 pm GMT
@G As always, the best slaves are those who don't know they're wearing chains.
JackOH , says: August 20, 2019 at 9:48 pm GMT
@Exile " . . . [I]f sources as divergent as Hitler and Chomsky agree on the flaws of capitalism/neo=liberal democracy, it lends credibility to those criticisms . . .".

Exile, that's exactly how I read it.

Our political problems aren't that difficult to understand:

Democrats – Sell-out to crony capitalism and global capitalism. Offers an Identity Politics Plantation for rent-seekers and legitimacy-seekers as political camouflage.

Republicans – Sell-out to crony capitalism and global capitalism. Offers a Freedom and Opportunity Plantation as political camouflage.

As far as I can tell, we really don't have an American or Americanist politics that tells me I ought to give a meaninful damn about my fellow citizens in the 'hood, the gated 'burbs, and everywhere else because, fuckin' 'ey, they're my fellow Americans.

Counterinsurgency , says: August 20, 2019 at 10:18 pm GMT
@Exile

Durocher's not romanticizing or white-washing here, he's making a serious point: if sources as divergent as Hitler and Chomsky agree on the flaws of capitalism/neo=liberal democracy, it lends credibility to those criticisms and makes it harder to refute them by ad hominem or accusations of bias on the part of the critics.

Lordy. _That_ is your argument? The big loser in WW II and an academic agree that US society should be reorganized? Add in Pol Pot, Stalin, Marx, Trotsky, Putin, Mussolini, and BLM, not to mention the Wobblies, if you like. The argument remains unconvincing. Peterson's "first, demonstrate your competence by cleaning and organizing your room and then your home and your affairs, _then_ try to re-make the world. None of the above, except perhaps Putin, could have passed that test.
Q: Is Marxism a science or a philosophy?
A: Philosophy. If it were a science they'd have tried it out on dogs first.

Counterinsurgency

Miggle , says: August 21, 2019 at 1:05 am GMT
@Miggle And how can there be "checks" when everything is "classified", and when Julian Assange has to be murdered in a US prison but it will be made to look like suicide?
Professional Stranger , says: August 21, 2019 at 2:52 am GMT

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum -- even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate. – Noam Chomsky"

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/516842-the-smart-way-to-keep-people-passive-and-obedient-is

COMMENT: Chomsky is talking about the Overton window: the range of ideas that "The Powers That Be" (TPTB) will allow in public discussion.

EXAMPLES:
(1) Tucker Carson recently went outside the Overton window, when he said "white supremacy is a hoax", then TPTB immediately "vacationed" him for political reeducation, and now he is safely back within the window, rattling his cage on issues harmless to TPTB.

(2) The Controlled Protest Press (CPP) will often blame economic problems on the Federal-Reserve making wrong moves, and suggest the right moves the Fed should make instead, as the correct solution. But the CPP will never suggest that the correct solution is to end the Fed and the private currency they issue, and to return the currency-issuing power to the government, as required by the constitution (Article I Section 8). Because that's outside the Overton window.

(3) The CPP will often complain about the government ignoring warning signs before the 9/11 attack, and botching their response after it happened. But the CPP will never suggest the whole thing was an inside job to garner public support for bankers oil wars in the middle east. Because that's outside the Overton window.

Buzz Mohawk , says: August 21, 2019 at 3:34 am GMT

when elite and majority opinion clash, the American elite is over time able to impose its policies onto the majority (examples of this include U.S. intervention in both World Wars and mass Third World immigration since the 1960s, opposed by the people and promoted by the elite).

True. True. True.

Professional Stranger , says: August 21, 2019 at 3:40 am GMT
@Professional Stranger CHOMSKY himself always stays within the Overton window, and makes a show of it:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZrEDo9ChSdQ?feature=oembed
Chomsky goes beyond maintaining a strategic silence on 9/11, to inciting smear-campaigns against skeptics of the official narrative of 9/11. He demeans "truthers": "Their lives are no good Their lives are collapsing They are people at a loss Nothing makes any sense They don't understand what an explanation is They think they are experts in physics and civil engineering on the basis of one hour on the Internet."

Pater , says: August 21, 2019 at 3:46 am GMT
I think you should ask the Slavic untermenschen; Poles, Czechs, Serbs, Byelorussians & Ukranians what their experience of occupation by the Wehrmacht was like. Poland alone lost 5 million civilians with Ukraine losing a similar number.
Biff , says: August 21, 2019 at 10:18 am GMT
@annamaria

To be President of the United States is now exceedingly dangerous. Of course, assassination is the bigger danger; but, now, there will also be the danger of imprisonment. A politician's selling out to billionaires in order to reach the top can become especially risky when billionaires are at war against each other -- and not merely against some foreign ('enemy') aristocracy.

Interesting concept. When the elites go after each other; that is when you know empire is in rapid decline.
Other powers may just simply wait it out.

Parfois1 , says: August 21, 2019 at 10:25 am GMT
@JackOH You summed up very well the nature of the duopoly ruling the US for donkey's years. Representative democracy is a licence for political power by a small clique over the people. Obviously, both Fascism (Hitler) and Socialism (Marx) agree on that, but for different reasons. And so does anyone with some basic understanding of how the political process works.

But the article goes further than stating the obvious: the intention – in my mind – is to show that, because Hitler and Chomsky are in agreement about the deception of "democracy", then Fascism is a reputable ideology, so much so that Chomsky, by association, gives his imprimatur to that perception. Durocher (a self-declared racist) is just another purveyor of the Nazis' lies attempting to dress that ideology with respectable robes.

Nothing new there. Afterall Hitler also called his political party "Socialism", the term stolen from the party he infiltrated for its popular appeal. As soon as he grabbed dictatorial power he imprisoned the socialists.

lysias , says: August 21, 2019 at 5:14 pm GMT
@Biff Roman elites started to attack each other in 133 B.C., and the civil wars lasted a century. The Roman Empire survived several centuries after that.
Skeptikal , says: August 21, 2019 at 6:25 pm GMT
@Mikemikev Why not stick to discussing the ideas in the essay?
It is pathetic to fall back on the ad hominem "Hitler!" excuse for not engaging with the ideas.
Perhaps Durocher is wrong in the ideas he attributes to Hitler.
For myself I have always found it interesting that the basic concept of "national" "socialism" (let's just look at those words separately) seems to bear thinking over: A socialism that is not a international system but is based on a nation. Obviously how you define a nation is pretty important.

Interestingly, now the Jews/Zionists have defined themselves as a nation (whether or not the citizens of this nation actually live in Israel). And the point of this nation certainly appears to be to confer all of the benefits of citizenship in the nation only on that nation's citizens and on no others. Many of the benefits of citizenship seem to be of a socialist nature: quite a few freebies such as education, health care, vacations at the seashore in special hotels, free housing (on land stolen from the natives), etc. etc. So, this Jewish nation certainly seems to espouse a version of socialism that is nation-based. I.e., national socialism.

BCB232 , says: August 21, 2019 at 7:58 pm GMT
@The_seventh_shape We'll see. Stalin asked "how many divisions does the Pope have?" The Chair is still there, the Soviet Union is gone – God works in mysterious ways.
Professional Stranger , says: August 21, 2019 at 10:04 pm GMT

TURTLE in COMMENT 169: There is. or at least was, a professor in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at MIT, where Chomsky is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, who spoke out publicly regarding certain anomalies found in the debris of the twin towers (not Building 7). Prof. Chomsky could have simply walked across campus and, no doubt, gotten an audience with his fellow faculty member, had he chosen to do so.

Ridiculing the public statements of someone with actual expertise in a relevant field by implying that none who have spoken out are qualified to do so is intellectually dishonest in the extreme.

Chomsky is a fraud.

STRANGER: Agreed! There are also the 1500 architects and engineers at "Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth" https://www.ae911truth.org/ who have spoken out, and who are well qualified to do so. Same goes for Pilots for 9/11 Truth http://pilotsfor911truth.org/ .

Molly , says: August 22, 2019 at 1:58 am GMT
Fascinating! I'm reminded of Noam Chomsky's Manufactured Consent quite a bit lately due to the reckless deplatforming. As a "recovering anarchist," I sometimes wonder have I moved right? Or has the left moved left? Thank you for writing!
Lancelot Link , says: August 22, 2019 at 2:28 am GMT
Chomsky has valid critiques of US power and its use. He points out the evil done in the name of the people re: capitalism (which benefits those who live off their capital. These people travel the world in search of people to screw over and drop like bad habits. See – wood and coal industries in West Virginia, USA.

That Israel is a ethno state is no coincidence, it is exactly the belonging to the group which makes for a strong nation. All of "us" against all of "them". That Israel doesn't have the mass influx of aliens as white European nations must suffer should be instructive. They learned this from the NDSP as evidenced by the tactics of ghettoization on the Palestinians. They even have the strange belief that walls work.

Civic nationalism makes a lotta sense, but one must feel connection to the land, the people and the overarching nation of which they are a part. What multicultural gubbamint has lasted without friction between its peoples and for how long? Most western nations are the only ones with the multiculti death wish. Why do people migrate to hideous racist white nations? Do they can gripe about whatever they want while living high on the hog, of course!

Why don't people migrate to Israel, Japan, Cape Verde or Burundi? Because they either don't let many "others" in by defacto law or nobody wants to go because of dejure common sense.

[Aug 21, 2019] Solomon If Trump Declassifies These 10 Documents, Democrats Are Doomed

Highly recommended!
They are afraid to admin that a color revolution was launched to depose Trump after the elections of 2016. Essentially a coup d'état by intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of Democratic Party.
Notable quotes:
"... The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I'm told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA. ..."
"... The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources . ..."
"... Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes' five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. ..."
"... The 'Gang of Eight' briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. ..."
"... The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. ..."
"... The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ's inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton's opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump ..."
"... The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller 's probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I'm told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump's orbit. ..."
"... Records of allies' assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. ..."
"... Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments that "the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed." ..."
Aug 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As the Russiagate circus attempts to quietly disappear over the horizon, with Democrats preferring to shift the anti-Trump narrative back to "racist", "white supremacist", "xenophobe", and the mainstream media ready to squawk "recession"; the Trump administration may have a few more cards up its sleeve before anyone claims the higher ground in this farce we call an election campaign.

As The Hill's John Solomon details, in September 2018 that President Trump told my Hill.TV colleague Buck Sexton and me that he would order the release of all classified documents showing what the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other U.S. intelligence agencies may have done wrong in the Russia probe.

And while it's been almost a year since then, of feet-dragging and cajoling and deep-state-fighting, we wonder, given Solomon's revelations below, if the president is getting ready to play his 'Trump' card.

Here are the documents that Solomon believes have the greatest chance of rocking Washington, if declassified:

1.) Christopher Steele 's confidential human source reports at the FBI. These documents, known in bureau parlance as 1023 reports, show exactly what transpired each time Steele and his FBI handlers met in the summer and fall of 2016 to discuss his anti-Trump dossier. The big reveal, my sources say, could be the first evidence that the FBI shared sensitive information with Steele, such as the existence of the classified Crossfire Hurricane operation targeting the Trump campaign. It would be a huge discovery if the FBI fed Trump-Russia intel to Steele in the midst of an election, especially when his ultimate opposition-research client was Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The FBI has released only one or two of these reports under FOIA lawsuits and they were 100 percent redacted. The American public deserves better.

2.) The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I'm told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA.

3.) The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources . We know for sure that one or both had contact with targeted Trump aides like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos at the end of the election. My sources tell me there may be other documents showing Halper continued working his way to the top of Trump's transition and administration, eventually reaching senior advisers like Peter Navarro inside the White House in summer 2017. These documents would show what intelligence agencies worked with Halper, who directed his activity, how much he was paid and how long his contacts with Trump officials were directed by the U.S. government's Russia probe.

4.) The October 2016 FBI email chain. This is a key document identified by Rep. Nunes and his investigators. My sources say it will show exactly what concerns the FBI knew about and discussed with DOJ about using Steele's dossier and other evidence to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in October 2016. If those concerns weren't shared with FISA judges who approved the warrant, there could be major repercussions.

5.) Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes' five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. If he made that statement with the FBI monitoring, and it was not disclosed to the FISA court, it could be another case of FBI or DOJ misconduct.

6.) The 'Gang of Eight' briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. Of all the documents congressional leaders were shown, this is most frequently cited to me in private as having changed the minds of lawmakers who weren't initially convinced of FISA abuses or FBI irregularities.

7.) The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. Given Steele's own effort to leak intel in his dossier to the media before Election Day, the public deserves to see the FBI's final analysis of his credibility. A document I reviewed recently showed the FBI described Steele's information as only "minimally corroborated" and the bureau's confidence in him as "medium."

8.) The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ's inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton's opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump , had a political deadline to make his dirt public, was working for the DNC/Clinton campaign and was leaking to the news media. If he told that to the FBI and it wasn't disclosed to the FISA court, there could be serious repercussions.

9.) The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller 's probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I'm told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump's orbit.

10.) Records of allies' assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. Members of Congress have searched recently for some key contact documents with British intelligence . My sources say these documents might help explain Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments that "the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed."

These documents, when declassified, would show more completely how a routine counterintelligence probe was hijacked to turn the most awesome spy powers in America against a presidential nominee in what was essentially a political dirty trick orchestrated by Democrats.


rahrog , 2 minutes ago link

America's Ruling Class is laughing at all you fools still falling for the Rs v Ds scam.

Stupid people lose.

LibertyVibe , 3 minutes ago link

I disagree with Solomon. Nothing will "doom" the swamp unless the righteous few are willing to indict, prosecute and carry out sentencing for the guilty. Exposing the guilty accomplishes nothing, because anyone paying attention already knows of their crimes. Those who want to believe lies will still believe them after the truth comes out.
It's ALL A WASTE OF TIME unless we follow through.

#TheDailyNews #DrainTheSwamp

Lord Raglan , 5 minutes ago link

Where's all the other, earlier docs Trump was going to declassify? Just wondering..............

TheFQ , 16 minutes ago link

Does anyone see a pattern here after the 2009 Tea Party movement began?

2009 - Republicans: "If we win back the House, we can accomplish our agenda."

2011 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House)

2012 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS After winning back the House)

2013 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 1 YEAR after winning back the House and the Senate)

2014 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2015 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 3 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2016 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 4 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2017 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 6 YEARS AGO and the Senate 4 YEARS AGO)

2018 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 7 YEARS AGO and the Senate 5 YEARS AGO)

2019 - John Solomon - "If Trump Declassifies These 10 Documents, Democrats Are Doomed"

I hate to say it, but I DON'T BELIEVE YOU, JOHN.

ALL WE HAVE HEARD OVER THE COURSE OF THIS DECADE IS "IF THIS HAPPENS...THEN THEY ARE DOOMED / WE CAN ACCOMPLISH OUR AGENDA / YADDA YADDA YADDA.

WHEN THE FOLLOWING ARE FOUND GUILTY OF TREASON, THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL I BELIEVE YOU:

WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?

WTF?

FFS...

benb , 12 minutes ago link

WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?

Because the people doing the indicting are in on it.

enfield0916 , 36 minutes ago link

As if there's any major philosophical difference between the Librtads and Zionist Cocksuckvatives.

Both sides use the .gov agencies to subvert and ignore the Constitution whenever possible. Best example is WikiLeaks and how each party wished Assange would just go away when he revealed damaging information about both sides on multiple occasions.

[Aug 20, 2019] Trump Promised Massive Infrastructure Projects -- Instead We ve Gotten Nothing>

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... So far, that wager has netted Americans nothing. No money. No deal. No bridges, roads or leadless water pipes. And there's nothing on the horizon since Trump stormed out of the most recent meeting. That was a three-minute session in May with Democratic leaders at which Trump was supposed to discuss the $2 trillion he had proposed earlier to spend on infrastructure. In a press conference immediately afterward, Trump said if the Democrats continued to investigate him, he would refuse to keep his promises to the American people to repair the nation's infrastructure. ..."
"... Candidate Donald Trump knew it was no joke. On the campaign trail, he said U.S. infrastructure was "a mess" and no better than that of a "third-world country. " When an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia in 2015, killing eight and injuring about 200 , he tweeted , "Our roads, airports, tunnels, bridges, electric grid -- all falling apart." Later, he tweeted , "The only one to fix the infrastructure of our country is me." ..."
"... Donald Trump promised to make America great again. And that wouldn't be possible if America's rail system, locks, dams and pipelines -- that is, its vital organs -- were "a mess." Trump signed what he described as a contract with American voters to deliver an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his administration. ..."
"... He mocked his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton's proposal to spend $275 billion. "Her number is a fraction of what we're talking about. We need much more money to rebuild our infrastructure," he told Fox News in 2016 . "I would say at least double her numbers, and you're going to really need a lot more than that." ..."
"... In August of 2016, he promised , "We will build the next generation of roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, seaports and airports that our country deserves. American cars will travel the roads, American planes will connect our cities, and American ships will patrol the seas. American steel will send new skyscrapers soaring. We will put new American metal into the spine of this nation." ..."
"... That contract Trump signed with American voters to produce an infrastructure plan in the first 100 days: worthless. It never happened. He gave Americans an Infrastructure Week in June of 2017, though, and at just about the 100-day mark, predicted infrastructure spending would "take off like a rocket ship." Two more Infrastructure Weeks followed in the next two years, but no money. ..."
"... This year, by which time the words Infrastructure Week had become a synonym for promises not kept, Trump met on April 30 with top Democratic leaders and recommended a $2 trillion infrastructure investment. Democrats praised Trump afterward for taking the challenge seriously and for agreeing to find the money. ..."
"... Almost immediately, Trump began complaining that Democrats were trying to hoodwink him into raising taxes to pay for the $2 trillion he had offered to spend. ..."
"... Trump and the Republicans relinquished one way to pay for infrastructure when they passed a tax cut for the rich and corporations in December of 2017. As a result, the rich and corporations pocketed hundreds of billions -- $1 trillion over 10 years -- and Trump doesn't have that money to invest in infrastructure. Corporations spent their tax break money on stock buybacks, further enriching the already rich. They didn't invest in American manufacturing or worker training or wage increases. ..."
"... I have seen this movie before. A State builds a highway, it then leases that highway to a corporation for a bucket of cash which it uses to bribe the electorate to win the next election or two. The corporation shoves brand new toll booths on the highway charging sky high rates which puts a crimp in local economic activity. After the lease is up after twenty years, the State gets to take over the highway again to find that the corporation cut back on maintenance so that the whole highway has to be rebuilt again. Rinse and repeat. ..."
"... Promises by any narcissist mean nothing. You cannot hang your hat on any word that Trump speaks, because it's not about you or anyone else, but about him and only him. ..."
"... Here is a heads up. If any infrastructure is done it will be airports. The elite fly and couldn't give a crap about the suspension and wheel destroying potholes we have to slalom around every day. They also don't care that the great unwashed waste thousands of hours stuck in traffic when a bridge is closed or collapses. ..."
Jul 26, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. In a bit of synchronicity, when a reader was graciously driving me to the Department of Motor Vehicles (a schlepp in the wilds of Shelby County), she mentioned she'd heard local media reports that trucks had had their weight limits lowered due to concern that some overpasses might not be able to handle the loads. Of course, a big reason infrastructure spending has plunged in the US is that it's become an excuse for "public-private partnerships," aka looting, when those deals take longer to get done and produce bad results so often that locals can sometimes block them.

By Tom Conway, the international president of the United Steelworkers Union (USW) . Produced by the Independent Media Institute

Bad news about infrastructure is as ubiquitous as potholes. Failures in a 108-year-old railroad bridge and tunnel cost New York commuters thousands of hours in delays. Illinois doesn't regularly inspect , let alone fix, decaying bridges. Flooding in Nebraska caused nearly half a billion dollars in road and bridge damage -- just this year.

No problem, though. President Donald Trump promised to fix all this. The great dealmaker, the builder of eponymous buildings, the star of "The Apprentice," Donald Trump, during his campaign, urged Americans to bet on him because he'd double what his opponent would spend on infrastructure. Double, he pledged!

So far, that wager has netted Americans nothing. No money. No deal. No bridges, roads or leadless water pipes. And there's nothing on the horizon since Trump stormed out of the most recent meeting. That was a three-minute session in May with Democratic leaders at which Trump was supposed to discuss the $2 trillion he had proposed earlier to spend on infrastructure. In a press conference immediately afterward, Trump said if the Democrats continued to investigate him, he would refuse to keep his promises to the American people to repair the nation's infrastructure.

The comedian Stephen Colbert described the situation best, saying Trump told the Democrats: "It's my way or no highways."

The situation, however, is no joke. Just ask the New York rail commuters held up for more than 2,000 hours over the past four years by bridge and tunnel breakdowns. Just ask the American Society of Civil Engineers , which gave the nation a D+ grade for infrastructure and estimated that if more than $1 trillion is not added to currently anticipated spending on infrastructure, "the economy is expected to lose almost $4 trillion in GDP , resulting in a loss of 2.5 million jobs in 2025."

Candidate Donald Trump knew it was no joke. On the campaign trail, he said U.S. infrastructure was "a mess" and no better than that of a "third-world country. " When an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia in 2015, killing eight and injuring about 200 , he tweeted , "Our roads, airports, tunnels, bridges, electric grid -- all falling apart." Later, he tweeted , "The only one to fix the infrastructure of our country is me."

Donald Trump promised to make America great again. And that wouldn't be possible if America's rail system, locks, dams and pipelines -- that is, its vital organs -- were "a mess." Trump signed what he described as a contract with American voters to deliver an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his administration.

He mocked his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton's proposal to spend $275 billion. "Her number is a fraction of what we're talking about. We need much more money to rebuild our infrastructure," he told Fox News in 2016 . "I would say at least double her numbers, and you're going to really need a lot more than that."

In August of 2016, he promised , "We will build the next generation of roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, seaports and airports that our country deserves. American cars will travel the roads, American planes will connect our cities, and American ships will patrol the seas. American steel will send new skyscrapers soaring. We will put new American metal into the spine of this nation."

In his victory speech and both of his State of the Union addresses, he pledged again to be the master of infrastructure. "We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, school, hospitals. And we will put millions of our people to work," he said the night he won.

That sounds excellent. That's exactly what 75 percent of respondents to a Gallup poll said they wanted. That would create millions of family-supporting jobs making the steel, aluminum, concrete, pipes and construction vehicles necessary to accomplish infrastructure repair. That would stimulate the economy in ways that benefit the middle class and those who are struggling.

That contract Trump signed with American voters to produce an infrastructure plan in the first 100 days: worthless. It never happened. He gave Americans an Infrastructure Week in June of 2017, though, and at just about the 100-day mark, predicted infrastructure spending would "take off like a rocket ship." Two more Infrastructure Weeks followed in the next two years, but no money.

Trump finally announced a plan in February of 2018 , at a little over the 365-day mark, to spend $1.5 trillion on infrastructure. It went nowhere because it managed to annoy both Democrats and Republicans.

It was to be funded by only $200 billion in federal dollars -- less than what Hillary Clinton proposed. The rest was to come from state and local governments and from foreign money interests and the private sector. Basically, the idea was to hand over to hedge fund managers the roads and bridges and pipelines originally built, owned and maintained by Americans. The fat cats at the hedge funds would pay for repairs but then toll the assets in perpetuity. Nobody liked it.

That was last year. This year, by which time the words Infrastructure Week had become a synonym for promises not kept, Trump met on April 30 with top Democratic leaders and recommended a $2 trillion infrastructure investment. Democrats praised Trump afterward for taking the challenge seriously and for agreeing to find the money.

"It couldn't have gone any better," Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal , D-Mass., told the Washington Post, even though Neal was investigating Trump for possible tax fraud.

Almost immediately, Trump began complaining that Democrats were trying to hoodwink him into raising taxes to pay for the $2 trillion he had offered to spend.

Trump and the Republicans relinquished one way to pay for infrastructure when they passed a tax cut for the rich and corporations in December of 2017. As a result, the rich and corporations pocketed hundreds of billions -- $1 trillion over 10 years -- and Trump doesn't have that money to invest in infrastructure. Corporations spent their tax break money on stock buybacks, further enriching the already rich. They didn't invest in American manufacturing or worker training or wage increases.

Three weeks after the April 30 meeting, Trump snubbed Democrats who returned to the White House hoping the president had found a way to keep his promise to raise $2 trillion for infrastructure. Trump dismissed them like naughty schoolchildren. He told them he wouldn't countenance Democrats simultaneously investigating him and bargaining with him -- even though Democrats were investigating him at the time of the April meeting and one of the investigators -- Neal -- had attended.

Promise not kept again.

Trump's reelection motto, Keep America Great, doesn't work for infrastructure. It's still a mess. It's the third year of his presidency, and he has done nothing about it. Apparently, he's saving this pledge for his next term.

In May, he promised Louisianans a new bridge over Interstate 10 -- only if he is reelected. He said the administration would have it ready to go on "day one, right after the election." Just like he said he'd produce an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his first term.

He's doubling down on the infrastructure promises. His win would mean Americans get nothing again.

Arizona Slim , July 26, 2019 at 6:26 am

Paging Bernie Sanders: You need to be all over this Trump-fail. And sooner, rather than later.

The Rev Kev , July 26, 2019 at 6:40 am

The whole thing seems so stupid. The desperate need is there, the people are there to do the work, the money spent into the infrastructure would give a major boost to the real economy, the completed infrastructure would give the real economy a boost for years & decades to come – it is win-win right across the board. But the whole thing is stalled because the whole deal can't be rigged to give a bunch of hedge fund managers control of that infrastructure afterwards. If it did, the constant rents that Americans would have to pay to use this infrastructure would bleed the economy for decades to come.

I have seen this movie before. A State builds a highway, it then leases that highway to a corporation for a bucket of cash which it uses to bribe the electorate to win the next election or two. The corporation shoves brand new toll booths on the highway charging sky high rates which puts a crimp in local economic activity. After the lease is up after twenty years, the State gets to take over the highway again to find that the corporation cut back on maintenance so that the whole highway has to be rebuilt again. Rinse and repeat.

When President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act in 1956, can you imagine how history would have gone if they had been handed over to a bunch of corporations who would have built toll booths over the whole network? Would have done wonders for the American economy I bet.

Wukchumni , July 26, 2019 at 6:48 am

One of the things discussed at our town hall meeting the other night, was a much needed $481k public bathroom, and that was the low bid.

It has to be ADA compliant with ramps, etc.

$48,100 seems like it'd be plenty to get 'r done, as you can build a house with a couple of bathrooms, and a few bedrooms, a kitchen and living room for maybe $200k.

Ignacio , July 26, 2019 at 8:58 am

And if toll revenues don't come as high as expected, mother state will come to the rescue of those poor fund managers. I find it amazing that Trump uses the stupid Russia, Russia, Russia! fixation of democrats as an excuse to do nothing about infrastructure. Does this work with his electorate?

cnchal , July 26, 2019 at 7:09 am

Tom, grow up.

Promises by any narcissist mean nothing. You cannot hang your hat on any word that Trump speaks, because it's not about you or anyone else, but about him and only him.

Here is a heads up. If any infrastructure is done it will be airports. The elite fly and couldn't give a crap about the suspension and wheel destroying potholes we have to slalom around every day. They also don't care that the great unwashed waste thousands of hours stuck in traffic when a bridge is closed or collapses.

Carla , July 26, 2019 at 7:47 am

Well, fix the airports and you've still got Boeing, self-destructing as fast as it can. And Airbus can't fill all the orders no matter how hard it tries. Guess everybody will just have to . stay home.

WheresOurTeddy , July 26, 2019 at 7:16 am

Are all the coal jobs back? How about the manufacturing? NAFTA been repealed and replaced with something better yet? How's the wall coming and has Mexico sent the check yet? Soldiers back from Afghanistan/Iraq/Syria yet?

Got that tax cut for rich people and a ton of conservative judges through though, didn't he?

Katniss Everdeen , July 26, 2019 at 8:17 am

"It couldn't have gone any better," Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., told the Washington Post, even though Neal was investigating Trump for possible tax fraud.

What a surprise. It's simply "amazing" that the insane status quo jihad that has been waged against Trump since he announced his candidacy had real consequences for the country. Who would have thought that calling ANY president ignorant, ugly, fat, a liar, a traitor, a cheater, an agent of Putin, a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobe, a bigot, an isolationist and an illegitimate occupant of the White House 24/7 since he or she won the election would make actual accomplishment nearly impossible.

The mere mention of his name on college campuses has even been legitimized as a fear-inducing, "safety"-threatening "microagression."

It's just so rich that having determined to prevent Trump from doing absolutely anything he promised during the campaign by any and all means, regardless of what the promise was or how beneficial it may have been, his numerous, bilious "critics" now have the gonads to accuse him of not getting anything done.

With all due respect to the author of this piece, the result he laments was exactly the point of this relentless nightmare of Trump derangement to which the nation has been subjected for three years. I tend to think that the specific promise most targeted for destruction was his criticism of NATO and "infrastructure" was collateral damage, but that's neither here nor there.

The washington status quo has succeeded in its mission to cripple a president it could not defeat electorally, and now tries to blame him for their success. Cutting off your nose to spite your face has always been a counterproductive strategy.

[Aug 20, 2019] Tulsi A Living Reminder of Iraq s Liars and Apologists by David Masciotra

Notable quotes:
"... Gabbard calls out the betrayers; Dems try to forget their heroes Mueller and Biden are among them. ..."
"... The gains of war in Iraq remain elusive, especially considering that the justifications for invasion -- weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein's connection to al-Qaeda, the ambition to create a Western-style democracy at gunpoint -- remain "murky at best." That's a quote from the 9/11 Commission's conclusion on the so-called evidence linking Iraq to Osama bin Laden's group, which actually did carry out the worst terrorist attack in American history. ..."
"... As far as stupid and barbarous decisions are concerned, it is difficult to top the war in Iraq. It is also difficult to match its price tag, which, according to a recent Brown University study, amounts to $1.1 trillion. ..."
"... Gore Vidal once christened his country the "United States of Amnesia," explaining that Americans live in a perpetual state of a hangover: "Every morning we wake up having forgotten what happened the night before." ..."
"... The war in Iraq ended only nine years ago, but it might as well have never taken place, given the curious lack of acknowledgement in our press and political debates. As families mourn their children, babies are born with irreversible deformities, and veterans dread trying to sleep through the night, America's political class, many of whom sold the war to the public, have moved on. When they address Iraq at all, they act as though they have committed a minor error, as though large-scale death and destruction are the equivalent of a poor shot in golf when the course rules allow for mulligans. ..."
"... As the Robert Mueller fiasco smolders out, it is damning that the Democratic Party, in its zest and zeal to welcome any critical assessment of Trump's unethical behavior, has barely mentioned that Mueller, in his previous role as director of the FBI, played a small but significant role in convincing the country to go to war in Iraq. ..."
"... Mueller testified to Congress that "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program poses a clear threat to our national security." He also warned that Saddam could "supply terrorists with radiological material" for the purposes of devising a nuclear bomb. Leaving aside any speculation about Mueller's intentions and assuming he had only the best of motives, it is quite bizarre, even dangerous, to treat as oracular someone who was wrong on such a life-or-death question. ..."
"... The former vice president now claims that his "only mistake was trusting the Bush administration," implying he was tricked into supporting the war. This line is not as persuasive as he imagines. First, it raises the question -- can't we nominate someone who wasn't tricked? Second, its logic crumbles in the face of Biden's recent decision to hire Nicholas Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, as his campaign's foreign policy advisor. Burns was also a vociferous supporter of the war. An enterprising reporter should ask Biden whether Burns was also tricked. Is the Biden campaign an assembly of rubes? ..."
"... Instead, the press is likelier to interrogate Biden over his holding hands and giving hugs to women at public events. Criticism of Biden's "inappropriate touching" has become so strident that the candidate had to record a video to explain his behavior. The moral standards of America's political culture seem to rate kissing a woman on the back of the head as a graver offense than catastrophic war. ..."
Aug 02, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Gabbard calls out the betrayers; Dems try to forget their heroes Mueller and Biden are among them.

Estimates of the number of civilians who died during the war in Iraq range from 151,000 to 655,000. An additional 4,491 American military personnel perished in the war. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, toxicologist at the University of Michigan, has organized several research expeditions to Iraq to measure the contamination and pollution still poisoning the air and water supply from the tons of munitions dropped during the war. It does not require any expertise to assume what the studies confirm: disease is still widespread and birth defects are gruesomely common. Back home, it is difficult to measure just how many struggle with critical injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The gains of war in Iraq remain elusive, especially considering that the justifications for invasion -- weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein's connection to al-Qaeda, the ambition to create a Western-style democracy at gunpoint -- remain "murky at best." That's a quote from the 9/11 Commission's conclusion on the so-called evidence linking Iraq to Osama bin Laden's group, which actually did carry out the worst terrorist attack in American history.

As far as stupid and barbarous decisions are concerned, it is difficult to top the war in Iraq. It is also difficult to match its price tag, which, according to a recent Brown University study, amounts to $1.1 trillion.

Gore Vidal once christened his country the "United States of Amnesia," explaining that Americans live in a perpetual state of a hangover: "Every morning we wake up having forgotten what happened the night before."

The war in Iraq ended only nine years ago, but it might as well have never taken place, given the curious lack of acknowledgement in our press and political debates. As families mourn their children, babies are born with irreversible deformities, and veterans dread trying to sleep through the night, America's political class, many of whom sold the war to the public, have moved on. When they address Iraq at all, they act as though they have committed a minor error, as though large-scale death and destruction are the equivalent of a poor shot in golf when the course rules allow for mulligans.

As the Robert Mueller fiasco smolders out, it is damning that the Democratic Party, in its zest and zeal to welcome any critical assessment of Trump's unethical behavior, has barely mentioned that Mueller, in his previous role as director of the FBI, played a small but significant role in convincing the country to go to war in Iraq.

Mueller testified to Congress that "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program poses a clear threat to our national security." He also warned that Saddam could "supply terrorists with radiological material" for the purposes of devising a nuclear bomb. Leaving aside any speculation about Mueller's intentions and assuming he had only the best of motives, it is quite bizarre, even dangerous, to treat as oracular someone who was wrong on such a life-or-death question.

Far worse than the worship of Mueller is the refusal to scrutinize the abysmal foreign policy record of Joe Biden, currently the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Of the Democrats in the Senate at that time, Biden was the most enthusiastic of the cheerleaders for war, waving his pompoms and cartwheeling in rhythm to Dick Cheney's music. Biden said repeatedly that America had "no choice but to eliminate the threat" posed by Saddam Hussein. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, his blustering was uniquely influential.

The former vice president now claims that his "only mistake was trusting the Bush administration," implying he was tricked into supporting the war. This line is not as persuasive as he imagines. First, it raises the question -- can't we nominate someone who wasn't tricked? Second, its logic crumbles in the face of Biden's recent decision to hire Nicholas Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, as his campaign's foreign policy advisor. Burns was also a vociferous supporter of the war. An enterprising reporter should ask Biden whether Burns was also tricked. Is the Biden campaign an assembly of rubes?

Instead, the press is likelier to interrogate Biden over his holding hands and giving hugs to women at public events. Criticism of Biden's "inappropriate touching" has become so strident that the candidate had to record a video to explain his behavior. The moral standards of America's political culture seem to rate kissing a woman on the back of the head as a graver offense than catastrophic war.

Polling well below Biden in the race is the congresswoman from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard. She alone on the Democratic stage has made criticism of American militarism central to her candidacy. A veteran of the Iraq war and a highly decorated major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, Gabbard offers an intelligent and humane perspective on foreign affairs. She's called the regime change philosophy "disastrous," advocated for negotiation with hostile foreign powers, and backed a reduction in drone strikes. She pledges if she becomes president to end American involvement in Afghanistan.

When Chris Matthews asked Gabbard about Biden's support for the Iraq war, she said, "It was the wrong vote. People like myself, who enlisted after 9/11 because of the terrorist attacks, were lied to. We were betrayed."

Her moral clarity is rare in the political fog of the presidential circus. She cautions against accepting the "guise of humanitarian justification for war," and notes that rarely does the American government bomb and invade a country to actually advance freedom or protect human rights.

Gabbard's positions are vastly superior to that of the other young veteran in the race, Pete Buttigieg. The mayor of South Bend recently told New York that one of his favorite novels is The Quiet American , saying that its author, Graham Greene, "points out the dangers of well-intentioned interventions."

Buttigieg's chances of winning the nomination seem low, and his prospects of becoming a literary critic appear even lower. The Quiet American does much more than raise questions about interventions: it is a merciless condemnation of American exceptionalism and its attendant indifference to Vietnamese suffering.

Americans hoping for peace won't find much comfort in the current White House either. President Trump has made the world more dangerous by trashing the Iran nuclear deal, and his appointment of John Bolton, a man who makes Donald Rumsfeld look like Mahatma Gandhi, as national security advisor is certainly alarming.

America's willful ignorance when it comes to the use of its own military exposes the moral bankruptcy at the heart of its political culture. Even worse, it makes future wars all but inevitable.

If no one can remember a war that ended merely nine years ago, and there's little room for Tulsi Gabbard in the Democratic primary, how will the country react the next time a president, and the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, declare that they have no choice but to remove a threat?

Norman Solomon, journalist and founder of the Institute for Public Accuracy, knows the answer to that question. He provides it in the title of his book on how the media treats American foreign policy decisions: War Made Easy .

David Masciotra is the author of four books, including Mellencamp: American Troubadour (University Press of Kentucky) and Barack Obama: Invisible Man (Eyewear Publishing).

MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

Walter a day ago

Where ae the people who told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? Should they be tried for lying to the American public? 4500 troops killed and over $1.1 TRILLION wasted with no good results .With hundreds of thousands of Iraq's killed. .
Clyde Schechter Walter a day ago
Where are they, indeed? They are still running US foreign policy; that's where they are. They are pundits in all the major media; that's where they are.

I cannot even imagine what historians will say about the uncanny persistence of these charlatans' influence in this era after a consistent record of disastrous, abysmal misadventures.

JeffK from PA Walter 17 hours ago
You don't have to look too hard to find them. Bolton, Pompeo, and other neocons are hiding in plain sight. The Military Industrial Complex is embedded in our foreign policy like a tick on a dog.
Sid Finster JeffK from PA 13 hours ago
Why not start with Bush and Blair?
IanDakar Sid Finster 10 hours ago
Because you'd be knocking out a storm trooper instead of the emperor, at least as far as Bush goes. Same for why the focus is on Bolton rather than simply Trump.

I CAN see an argument that Trump/Bush knew what they were doing when they brought those people in though. f you feel that way and see it more of an owner of a hostile attack dog then yeah, you'd want to include those two too.

JeffK from PA Sid Finster 10 hours ago
Cheney. Pure evil.
Sid Finster Walter 13 hours ago
Nuremberg provides an instructive precedent. Start at the top with Bush and Blair keep going on down.
Disqus10021 Sid Finster 11 hours ago
Recommended viewing: the 1961 movie "Judgment at Nuremberg".
L Walter 12 hours ago
One might wonder where that intelligence was gathered, and then maybe we could find out why these wars have been happening.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) a day ago
Here stands Tulsi. A woman, who, unlike their conventional troupe, can win this election. They reject her because... what? Moar war? She's not the member of the Cult? Or it's simply some sort of collective political death wish?
Anonne Alex (the one that likes Ike) 12 hours ago
They reject her because she had the temerity to speak truth to power and supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 race. She stepped down from her position as Vice Chair of the DNC to endorse Sanders. She has real courage, and earned their wrath. She's not perfect but she's braver and stronger than almost the entire field. Only Bernie is on par.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) Anonne 9 hours ago
And Bernie is the one they also hate, maybe a little bit less openly. Thus they reject those who can win the election. It's either a self-destructiveness or they think that it's better to keep on losing than to rebuild the party into what it needs to be.
Nelson Alex (the one that likes Ike) 8 hours ago
What do you mean "they"? Anyone is free to support her campaign.
former-vet a day ago • edited
Democrats and the Republican establishment, both, love war. It wasn't a coincidence that Hillary Clinton chose Madeleine Albright to be a keynote speaker at "her" party convention ("we think the deaths of a half million children are worth it"). Liberals know that there isn't really any "free" free, and that taxing the rich won't match their dreams -- it is the blood and bones of innocent foreigners that must pay for their lust. Establishment Republicans are more straightforward: they simply profit off the death and destruction.

This is why Trump is being destroyed, and why Tulsi is attacked. If only "she" (the one who gloated over Khameni's murder) had been elected, we'd be in a proxy war with Russia now! A real war with Iran! This is what the American people want, and what they'll likely get when they vote another chicken-hawk in come 2020.

Sid Finster former-vet 13 hours ago
Agree, except that Trump is not governing as a non-interventionist.

About the only thing one can say is that his is a slightly less reckless militarist than what the political class in this country wants.

Nelson former-vet 8 hours ago
Khameni is still alive. You're thinking of Gaddafi.
Fayez Abedaziz a day ago
Tulsi, like Sanders is a 'danger' to everything Israel wants.
So, all...all the main 'news' networks and online sites don't like them and give more coverage to the same old Dem bull peddlers like ignorant Booker and the lousy opportunist low IQ Kamala Harris and Gillibrand.
TomG 17 hours ago • edited
Manafort and his ilk can be tried and convicted for their lies. I guess if the lie is big enough we grant a pass on any need for prosecution. Justice for all? I don't think so.

Max Blumenthal posted a powerful piece at Consortium News (7/31/2019) about Biden's central and south American mis-adventures. Biden still extols his own policies however disastrous. The hubris of the man is worse than nauseating.

Great article, Mr. Masciotra.

OrvilleBerry 14 hours ago
Whether one thinks Gabbard has a shot at the nomination or not, it's important to keep her on the stage in the next round of debates. Go to Tulsi2020.com and give her just one dollar (or more if you can)
so she has enough unique contributors to make the next round. And if you get polled,early on give her your vote.
Strawman 12 hours ago
The moral standards of America's political culture seem to rate kissing a woman on the back of the head as a graver offense than catastrophic war.

Perfectly encapsulates the collective puerility of the American electorate. Thomas Jefferson must be spinning in his grave.

Disqus10021 12 hours ago • edited
The total US costs related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are expected to be considerably larger than $1.1 trillion, according to this study:
https://www.hks.harvard.edu...
Try $4-$6 trillion, according to the author of the study.

Long after I, Andrew Bacevitch and Hillary Clinton have gone to our reward, there will still be thousands of wounded warriors from these US Middle East adventures dependent on VA benefits for their survival and competing with civilian seniors for government handouts. A war with Iran would make the US fiscal situation that much worse.

The religious folks who were so anxious to protect family values only a few years ago seem to have their heads in the sand when it comes to the financial future of today's young Americans.

A few weeks ago, I made a token contribution to Tulsi Gabbard's campaign to help her qualify for the July Democratic debates. She will need more new contributors to qualify for the next round of debates.

david 12 hours ago
"The war in Iraq ended only nine years ago,..."

Ahh..., really? So why do we still have over 5000 soldiers in Iraq?

christopher kelly police ret. 11 hours ago
Tulsi was marvelous in knocking out Harris.
Zsuzsi Kruska 10 hours ago
Tulsi hasn't a chance of the nomination, but she's exposing things and maybe more people will get a clue about what's really going on with American lives and taxes being squandered for the profit of the few who benefit from these atrocities and wars abroad, done in the name of all Americans.
Eric 10 hours ago
Donated my $3 to Tulsi yesterday. She's the only Democrat I would vote for and she needs to stay in this race as long as possible.
Steve Naidamast 10 hours ago
Being a supporter of Tulsi Gabbard for the very reasons that the author writes, has me agreeing with everything he has promoted in his piece.

However, to answer his own question as to why Americans are lured into commenting on such innocuous and foolish things in such an important election such as Biden's touching of women, is answered by the author's own prose.

He states that Americans are only provided such nonsense from the press that is monitoring the election process. What else can people talk about? And even if many Americans are clearheaded enough to understand the charade of the current Democratic debates, what or who will actually provide legitimate coverage with the exception of online sites as the American Conservative, among others?

If most Americans were actually thinking individuals, Tulsi Gabbard would be a shoo-in for the presidency in 2020. However, given the two factors of a highly corrupted mainstream press and too many Americans not studying enough civics to understand what is going on around them, it is highly unlikely that Tulsi Gabbard will even get close to the possibility of being nominated...

JeffK from PA 10 hours ago
Cheney, mentioned in the article, was pure evil. I voted for GB2 for two reasons. 1) He was a very good Texas governor. He actually got anti-tax Texas to raise taxes dedicated to support education, in return for stricter standards for teachers. A good trade since Texas public schools were awful. 2) Dick Cheney. I thought he was the adult in the room that would provide steady and reliable guidance for Bush.

Boy was I wrong about Cheney. "Deficits don't matter". Just watch the movie Vice. Christian Bale does an incredible job portraying the pure evil of Cheney and the Military Industrial Complex. The movie is chilling to watch. And it is basically true. Politifact does a good job of scoring the accuracy of Cheney's role in the Bush administration as portrayed in the movie.

https://www.politifact.com/...

Mccormick47 10 hours ago
The trouble is, Conservatives promoting Gabbard and Williamson as their preferred candidates poisons their chances of staying in the race.
Mark Thomason 9 hours ago
I remember a friend of mine, a proud Marine, saying before the Iraq War, "Well, they better find some WMD for all this."

They didn't. That should matter.

[Aug 20, 2019] Propagandists Freak Out Over Gabbard s Destruction of Harris by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
all neocon scum instantly had risen to the surface to defend the neoliberal empire and its wars...
Notable quotes:
"... In the race to determine who will serve as commander in chief of the most powerful military force in the history of civilization, night two of the CNN Democratic presidential debates saw less than six minutes dedicated to discussing U.S. military policy during the 180-minute event. ..."
"... That's six, as in the number before seven. Not 60. Not 16. Six. From the moment Jake Tapper said "I want to turn to foreign policy" to the moment Don Lemon interrupted Rep. Tulsi Gabbard just as she was preparing to correctly explain how President Donald Trump is supporting Al-Qaeda in Idlib , approximately five minutes and 50 seconds had elapsed. The questions then turned toward the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections and impeachment proceedings. ..."
"... But the near-absence of foreign policy discussion didn't stop the Hawaii lawmaker from getting in some unauthorized truth-telling anyway. Attacking the authoritarian prosecutorial record of Sen. Kamala Harris to thunderous applause from the audience, Gabbard criticized the way her opponent "put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana;" "blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the court's forced her to do so;" "kept people in prisons beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California;" and "fought to keep the cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way." ..."
"... That was all it took. Harris's press secretary Ian Sams unleashed a string of tweets about Gabbard being an "Assad apologist," which were followed by a deluge of establishment narrative managers who sent the word "Assad" trending on Twitter, at times when Gabbard's name somehow failed to trend despite being the top-searched candidate on Google after the debate. ..."
"... "Somehow I have a hard time believing that 'Assad' is the top trending item in the United States but 'Tulsi' is nowhere to be found," tweeted journalist Michael Tracey. ..."
"... It really is interesting how aggressively the narrative managers thrust this line into mainstream consciousness all at the same time. ..."
"... The Washington Post 's Josh Rogin went on a frantic, lie-filled Twitter storm as soon as he saw an opportunity, claiming with no evidence whatsoever that Gabbard lied when she said she met with Assad for purposes of diplomacy and that she "helped Assad whitewash a mass atrocity," and falsely claiming that " she praised Russian bombing of Syrian civilians ." ..."
"... War is the glue that holds the empire together . A politician can get away with opposing some aspects of the status quo when it comes to healthcare or education, but war as a strategy for maintaining global dominance is strictly off limits. This is how you tell the difference between someone who actually wants to change things and someone who's just going through the motions for show; the real rebels forcefully oppose the actual pillars of empire by calling for an end to military bloodshed, while the performers just stick to the safe subjects. ..."
"... The shrill, hysterical pushback that Gabbard received last night was very encouraging, because it means she's forcing them to fight back. In a media environment where the war propaganda machine normally coasts along almost entirely unhindered in mainstream attention, the fact that someone has positioned themselves to move the needle like this says good things for our future. If our society is to have any chance of ever throwing off the omnicidal, ecocidal power establishment which keeps us in a state of endless war and soul-crushing oppression, the first step is punching a hole in the narrative matrix which keeps us hypnotized into believing that this is all normal and acceptable. ..."
"... Her immediate response to the first question directed to her, regardless of topic, should be prefaced with something like "I would appreciate the media and the opposition please refrain from deliberately misrepresenting my policies and remarks, most notably trying to tar me with more of the fallacious war propaganda they both dispense so freely and without any foundation. ..."
"... Gabbard has any chance to be elected only if she starts vigorously throwing over the tables of the money-lenders in the temple, so to speak. ..."
"... Hide the empire in plain sight, that way no one will notice it. Then someone like Tulsi Gabbard goes and talks about it on national TV. Can't have that, can we? People might begin to see it if we do that ..."
"... Pro war democrats are now using the Russian ruse to go after anti war candidates like Gabbard. It's despicable to even insinuate Gabbard is working for Putin or had any other rationale for going to Syria than seeking peace. This alone proved Harris unfit for the presidency. Her awful record speaks for itself. ..."
"... And she has courage. She quit the DNC to support Bernie and went to Syria to seek the truth and peace. ..."
"... She is unique. The media is trying Ron-Paul-Type-Blackout on her, lest the public catches on to the fact that she is exactly what the country needs. ..."
"... Warmonger candidates had better reconsider their positions if they believe that voters will back their stance. Just ask Hillary Clinton how that worked out for her and her warrior mentality in 2016. ..."
"... she has cross over appeal with republicans who want out of the wars. People like Tucker Carson and Paul Craig Roberts support her. Thats why the DNC hate her.. ..."
"... There's an obvious effort to Jane Fodarize Tulsi before she threatens the favorites. She seems to keep a cool head, so much of it is likely to backfire and bring the narrative back where it belongs. ..."
"... In contrast to Gabbard, a service member with extensive middle east combat experience, Cooper is a chickenhawk and a naif to murder and torture; ..."
"... "Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever disrupts that narrative control is doing the real work." ..."
"... I read "narrative control" as brainwashing. ..."
Aug 02, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Establishment narrative managers distracted attention from a notable antiwar contender, seizing instead the chance to marshal an old smear against her, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

In the race to determine who will serve as commander in chief of the most powerful military force in the history of civilization, night two of the CNN Democratic presidential debates saw less than six minutes dedicated to discussing U.S. military policy during the 180-minute event.

That's six, as in the number before seven. Not 60. Not 16. Six. From the moment Jake Tapper said "I want to turn to foreign policy" to the moment Don Lemon interrupted Rep. Tulsi Gabbard just as she was preparing to correctly explain how President Donald Trump is supporting Al-Qaeda in Idlib , approximately five minutes and 50 seconds had elapsed. The questions then turned toward the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections and impeachment proceedings.

Night one of the CNN debates saw almost twice as much time, with a whole 11 minutes by my count dedicated to questions of war and peace for the leadership of the most warlike nation on the planet. This discrepancy could very well be due to the fact that night two was the slot allotted to Gabbard, whose campaign largely revolves around the platform of ending U.S. warmongering.

CNN is a virulent establishment propaganda firm with an extensive history of promoting lies and brazen psyops in facilitation of U.S. imperialism, so it would make sense that they would try to avoid a subject which would inevitably lead to unauthorized truth-telling on the matter.

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

But the near-absence of foreign policy discussion didn't stop the Hawaii lawmaker from getting in some unauthorized truth-telling anyway. Attacking the authoritarian prosecutorial record of Sen. Kamala Harris to thunderous applause from the audience, Gabbard criticized the way her opponent "put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana;" "blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the court's forced her to do so;" "kept people in prisons beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California;" and "fought to keep the cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way."

Harris Folded Under Pressure

Harris, who it turns out fights very well when advancing but folds under pressure, had no answer for Gabbard's attack, preferring to focus on attacking former Vice President Joe Biden instead.

Later, when she was a nice safe distance out of Gabbard's earshot, she uncorked a long-debunked but still effective smear that establishment narrative managers have been dying for an excuse to run wild with.

"This, coming from someone who has been an apologist for an individual, Assad, who has murdered the people of his country like cockroaches," Harris told Anderson Cooper after the debate, referring to the president of Syria. "She who has embraced and been an apologist for him in a way that she refuses to call him a war criminal. I can only take what she says and her opinion so seriously and so I'm prepared to move on."

That was all it took. Harris's press secretary Ian Sams unleashed a string of tweets about Gabbard being an "Assad apologist," which were followed by a deluge of establishment narrative managers who sent the word "Assad" trending on Twitter, at times when Gabbard's name somehow failed to trend despite being the top-searched candidate on Google after the debate.

As of this writing, "Assad" is showing on the No. 5 trending list on the side bar of Twitter's new layout, while Gabbard's name is nowhere to be seen. This discrepancy has drawn criticism from numerous Gabbard defenders on the platform .

"Somehow I have a hard time believing that 'Assad' is the top trending item in the United States but 'Tulsi' is nowhere to be found," tweeted journalist Michael Tracey.

It really is interesting how aggressively the narrative managers thrust this line into mainstream consciousness all at the same time.

The Washington Post 's Josh Rogin went on a frantic, lie-filled Twitter storm as soon as he saw an opportunity, claiming with no evidence whatsoever that Gabbard lied when she said she met with Assad for purposes of diplomacy and that she "helped Assad whitewash a mass atrocity," and falsely claiming that " she praised Russian bombing of Syrian civilians ."

... ... ...

War is the glue that holds the empire together . A politician can get away with opposing some aspects of the status quo when it comes to healthcare or education, but war as a strategy for maintaining global dominance is strictly off limits. This is how you tell the difference between someone who actually wants to change things and someone who's just going through the motions for show; the real rebels forcefully oppose the actual pillars of empire by calling for an end to military bloodshed, while the performers just stick to the safe subjects.

The shrill, hysterical pushback that Gabbard received last night was very encouraging, because it means she's forcing them to fight back. In a media environment where the war propaganda machine normally coasts along almost entirely unhindered in mainstream attention, the fact that someone has positioned themselves to move the needle like this says good things for our future. If our society is to have any chance of ever throwing off the omnicidal, ecocidal power establishment which keeps us in a state of endless war and soul-crushing oppression, the first step is punching a hole in the narrative matrix which keeps us hypnotized into believing that this is all normal and acceptable.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever disrupts that narrative control is doing the real work.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Follow her work on Facebook , Twitter , or her website . She has a podcast and a new book " Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ."


Realist , August 2, 2019 at 20:06

I'm going to venture a guess and say that the media fixers for the Deep State's political song and dance show are not going to allow Tulsi back on that stage for the next installation of "Killer Klowns on Parade." Just as she had the right to skewer Harris for her sweeping dishonesty and hypocrisy in public office, she has just as much right to proactively respond to the smears and slanders directed against her by both the party establishment and its media colluders.

Her immediate response to the first question directed to her, regardless of topic, should be prefaced with something like "I would appreciate the media and the opposition please refrain from deliberately misrepresenting my policies and remarks, most notably trying to tar me with more of the fallacious war propaganda they both dispense so freely and without any foundation. It is beneath all dignity to attempt to win elections with lies and deceptions, just as it is to use them as pretexts for wars of choice that bring no benefit to either America or the countries being attacked. As I've repeatedly made clear, I only want to stop the wasteful destruction and carnage, but you deceitfully try to imply that I'm aligned with one of the several foreign governments that our leaders have needlessly and foolishly chosen to make war upon. You've done so on this stage and you've continued this misrepresentation throughout the American media. Please stop it. Play fair. Confine your remarks only to the truth."

That would raise a kerfuffle, but one that is distinctly called for. Going gently towards exit stage right consequent to their unanswered lies will accomplish nothing. If the Dems choose to excommunicate her for such effrontery, she should run as a Green, or an independent. This is a danger the Dem power structure dare not allow to happen. They don't even want the particulars of the actual history of these wars discussed in public. Thus, they will not even give her the chance to offer a rejoinder such as I outlined above. They will simply rule that she does not qualify for any further debates based on her polling numbers (which can be faked) and/or her financial support numbers. That is nominally how they've already decided to winnow down the field to the few who are acceptable to the Deep State–preferably Harris, Biden or Booker. Someone high profile but owned entirely by the insider elites. Yes, this rules out Bernie and maybe even Warren unless she secretly signed a blood pact with Wall Street to walk away from her platform if elected.

Gabbard has any chance to be elected only if she starts vigorously throwing over the tables of the money-lenders in the temple, so to speak.

Tom Kath , August 2, 2019 at 20:05

There is a big difference between "PRINCIPLES" and "POLICY". Principles should never change, but policy must. This is where I believe Tulsi can not only make a big difference, but ultimately even win. – Not this time around perhaps, she is young and this difference will take time to reveal itself.

O Society , August 2, 2019 at 16:39

Hide the empire in plain sight, that way no one will notice it. Then someone like Tulsi Gabbard goes and talks about it on national TV. Can't have that, can we? People might begin to see it if we do that

http://osociety.org/2019/08/02/how-to-hide-an-empire-a-history-of-the-greater-united-states/

ranney , August 2, 2019 at 16:24

What is happening to Tulsi (the extraordinary spate of lies about her relationship with Assad coming from all directions) provides a good explanation why Bernie and Elizabeth have been smart not to make many comments about foreign policy.

The few Bernie has made indicate to me that he is sympathetic to the Palestinian problem, but smart enough to keep quiet on the subject until, God willing, he is in a position to actually do something about it. It will be interesting to see if debate questions force them to be more forthcoming about their opinions.

Emma Peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:05

Pro war democrats are now using the Russian ruse to go after anti war candidates like Gabbard. It's despicable to even insinuate Gabbard is working for Putin or had any other rationale for going to Syria than seeking peace. This alone proved Harris unfit for the presidency. Her awful record speaks for itself.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , August 2, 2019 at 15:58

Tulsi is the most original and interesting candidate to come along in many years. She's authentic, something not true of most of that pack.

And not true of most of the House and Senate with their oh-so-predictable statements on most matters and all those crinkly-faced servants of plutocracy. She has courage too, a rare quality in Washington where, indeed, cowards often do well. Witness Trump, Biden, Clinton, Bush, Johnson, et al.

If there's ever going to be any change in a that huge country which has become a force for darkness and fear in much of the world, it's going to come from the likes of Tulsi. But I'm not holding my breath. It's clear from many signals, the establishment very much dislikes her. So, the odds are, they'll make sure she doesn't win.

Still, I admire a valiant try. Just as I admire honesty, something almost unheard of in Washington, but she has it, in spades.

emma peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:48

And she has courage. She quit the DNC to support Bernie and went to Syria to seek the truth and peace.

Mike from Jersey , August 2, 2019 at 16:55

She is unique. The media is trying Ron-Paul-Type-Blackout on her, lest the public catches on to the fact that she is exactly what the country needs.

Sally Snyder , August 2, 2019 at 15:17

Here is an article that looks at the level of support from American voters for yet another war in the Middle East:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/07/main-street-america-and-another-war-in.html

Warmonger candidates had better reconsider their positions if they believe that voters will back their stance. Just ask Hillary Clinton how that worked out for her and her warrior mentality in 2016.

Robert , August 2, 2019 at 14:49

Tulsi is the most promising candidate to successfully run against Trump for 2 reasons. 1. She has a sane, knowledgeable foreign/military policy promoting peace and non-intervention. 2) She understands the disastrous consequences of the WTO and "free" trade deals on the US economy. No other Democratic candidate has these 2 policies. Unfortunately, these policies are so dangerous to the real rulers of the world, her message is already being shut down and distorted.

emma peele , August 2, 2019 at 16:53

And she has cross over appeal with republicans who want out of the wars. People like Tucker Carson and Paul Craig Roberts support her. Thats why the DNC hate her..

Skip Scott , August 2, 2019 at 14:05

I read this article over on Medium this morning. Thanks for re-printing it here. I made the following comment there as well.

I was a somewhat enthusiastic supporter of Tulsi until just recently when she voted for the anti-BDS resolution. I guess "speaking truth to power" has its limits. What I fear is that the war machine will manipulate her if she ever gets elected. Once you accept any of the Empire's propaganda narrative, it is a slippery slope to being fully co-opted. Tulsi has said she is a "hawk" when it comes to fighting terrorists. All the MIC would have to do is another false flag operation, blame it on the "terrorists", and tell Tulsi it's time to get tough. Just as they manipulated the neo-liberals with the R2P line of bullshit, and Trump with the "evil Assad gasses his own people" bullshit, Tulsi could be brought to heel as well.

I will probably continue to send small donations to Tulsi just to keep her on the debate stage. But I've taken off the rose colored glasses.

Bob Herrschaft , August 2, 2019 at 13:57

Well said, Caitlin! There's an obvious effort to Jane Fodarize Tulsi before she threatens the favorites. She seems to keep a cool head, so much of it is likely to backfire and bring the narrative back where it belongs.

P. Michael Garber , August 2, 2019 at 13:42

Great article! Anderson Cooper in his post-debate interview with Gabbard appeared to be demanding a loyalty oath from her: "Will you say the words 'Bashar Assad is a murderer and torturer'?" In contrast to Gabbard, a service member with extensive middle east combat experience, Cooper is a chickenhawk and a naif to murder and torture; in that context his attack was inappropriate and disrespectful, and as he kept pressing it I thought he appeared unhinged. Gabbard could have done more to call out Cooper's craven attack (personally I think she could have decked him and been well within her rights), but she handled it with her customary grace and poise.

hetro , August 2, 2019 at 13:09

Seems to me Caitlin is right on, and her final statement is worth emphasizing: "Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Whoever disrupts that narrative control is doing the real work."

I read "narrative control" as brainwashing.

Note also that Caitlin is careful to qualify she does not fully agree with Gabbard, in context with year after year of demonizing Assad amidst the murk of US supported type militants, emphasis on barrel bombs, etc etc, all in the "controlling the narrative/propaganda" sphere.

Another interesting piece to consider on the smearing of Gabbard:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-02/empire-coming-tulsi-gabbard

Brian Murphy , August 2, 2019 at 16:25

"A soldier knows when you are taking flak you are over your target." nice.

[Aug 20, 2019] In this sordid world, people without power have absolutely no value.

Notable quotes:
"... When Trump was first elected, I tried to calm down friends with advanced TDS, who expected Kristallnacht to be directed at their favorite brunch spots, by saying that "This is what empires in decline look like." ..."
"... In this sordid world, girls/women have absolutely no value ..."
"... Don't forget the young boys who get traded around like fudge recipes. Something quick on the Hollywood angle on bent dicks. It applies almost everywhere in America now: https://news.avclub.com/corey-feldman-made-a-documentary-about-sexual-abuse-he-1834310252 ..."
"... My reinterpretation of your comment would be; In this sordid world, people without power have absolutely no value. ..."
"... Epstein's World was tied in with Hollywood and Wall Street. Both are homoerotic paedophile havens. The world of the Vatican is tied in to Wall Street; it has it's own bank, the Instituto per le Opere de Religioni. ..."
"... As is true with the continued withholding of key documents in the JFK assassination, I believe that if the lousy reporting and official screwups in the Epstein case persist, it will be perfectly fine for the public to conclude and believe the absolute worst and act accordingly. ..."
"... Given the spotiness and inadequacy of reporting on the Epstein affair I wonder if an avenue for exploration might be that of a more direct involvement of media moguls and highly placed media staff in being serviced by Epstein i.e., the decision-makers regarding what gets covered and published are themselves subject to exposure, embarrassment, and other things that befall men caught in such matters. ..."
Aug 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Michael Fiorillo , , August 14, 2019 at 11:38 am

I can't add much to Yve's excellent post and the follow-up comments, except to say that the events of recent days and weeks have made Pizzagate (as deranged as it was) into some kind of weird Jungian premonition which is to say, the s&#* is out of control.

When Trump was first elected, I tried to calm down friends with advanced TDS, who expected Kristallnacht to be directed at their favorite brunch spots, by saying that "This is what empires in decline look like."

In regard to this sordid tale, I'm reminded of Robert Graves' (and the superb BBC TV version of) "I, Claudius."

"Don't eat the figs."

adrena , , August 14, 2019 at 11:48 am

In this sordid world, girls/women have absolutely no value.

ambrit , , August 14, 2019 at 12:16 pm

Don't forget the young boys who get traded around like fudge recipes. Something quick on the Hollywood angle on bent dicks. It applies almost everywhere in America now: https://news.avclub.com/corey-feldman-made-a-documentary-about-sexual-abuse-he-1834310252

My reinterpretation of your comment would be; In this sordid world, people without power have absolutely no value. Otherwise, I'm with you all the way. Abuse is abuse. No other definition is logical.

ambrit , , August 14, 2019 at 4:18 pm

Epstein's World was tied in with Hollywood and Wall Street. Both are homoerotic paedophile havens. The world of the Vatican is tied in to Wall Street; it has it's own bank, the Instituto per le Opere de Religioni.

Who knows? Perhaps there will be some Prelates unearthed from the Lolita Express passenger log.

Pelham , , August 14, 2019 at 1:54 pm

As is true with the continued withholding of key documents in the JFK assassination, I believe that if the lousy reporting and official screwups in the Epstein case persist, it will be perfectly fine for the public to conclude and believe the absolute worst and act accordingly.

Actually, we SHOULD believe the worst.

Robin Kash , , August 14, 2019 at 2:16 pm

Given the spotiness and inadequacy of reporting on the Epstein affair I wonder if an avenue for exploration might be that of a more direct involvement of media moguls and highly placed media staff in being serviced by Epstein i.e., the decision-makers regarding what gets covered and published are themselves subject to exposure, embarrassment, and other things that befall men caught in such matters.

Who covers the press and roots out its secret malefactions? Rogue reporters? And who publishes them? Indeed!

[Aug 18, 2019] Trump's Nationalist Report Card A Solid C

Aug 18, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Donald Trump will win reelection, or not, based primarily on his performance in office. The voters will ask, in their collective judgment, such questions as: has he scored at least one major accomplishment in domestic policy? Has he maintained strong economic growth? Has he avoided major foreign policy failures? Has he presided over a major foreign policy victory? Is he scarred by scandal? Are Americans better off than they were before his inauguration? Is the country better positioned in the world?

Looking at the Trump presidency through the prism of such questions, it is possible to produce a kind of preliminary report card. Recognizing that the voters won't render their own grades for more than a year, we can still compile a general overview of the president's likely standing when the votes are counted. This overview suggests that he resides upon a knife's edge of political fate. Events between now and November of next year could easily push him into defeat, though he could also squeak through to victory. But defeat is more likely.

Before we get to the report card, two general points need to be made. First, irrespective of Trump's fate next year, he is and will remain a significant figure in American political history. He transformed the national debate by exposing the chasm in political sensibilities between the elites of the coasts and angry Americans in the heartland. In spite of his crude and often distasteful ways (and sometimes because of them), he created a tight knot of political sentiment that stands antagonistic toward the elite vision of globalism, diversity, open borders, overseas dominance, and free trade -- most of it enforced with the cudgel of political correctness.

The heartland ethos, by contrast, includes an end to illegal immigration, a more restrictionist legal immigration system to foster the absorption of those already here, a trade system attuned to industrial America, realism and restraint in foreign policy, respect for the country's cultural heritage, and a hostility to the insidious impact of identity politics.

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This is a huge chasm, yet when the 2016 campaign began, hardly a politician on the scene perceived it or understood its ramifications. Trump did, and that got him (barely) elected. The result now is that we all now know about the chasm, and it will be America's defining political pivot for years to come.

But if this political sagacity got Trump elected, it won't help him much in 2020. Challengers can win on talk if it resonates sufficiently with the electorate; incumbents can only win on performance.

The second point is that, while the president enjoys the solid support of a highly loyal and unwavering contingent of Americans, he has proven incapable of building a governing coalition. Throughout his presidency, his approval rating, based on the aggregate numbers pulled together by the political web site FiveThirtyEight, has hovered between 39 percent and 43 percent. This doesn't mean he can't get up to the 50 percent or so needed for reelection. Ronald Reagan's rating was just 45 percent at this point in his presidency, and he went on to a landslide reelection win. But Trump's level of approval has been so consistent that it is difficult to see how he might rise above it during his final months in office.

Further, state-by-state poll numbers indicate that the president has lost considerable ground in key states needed for reelection. According to surveys conducted by the online polling firm Civiqs, his approval rating is in negative numbers in 10 states he carried in 2016, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Texas. None of the states carried by Hillary Clinton seem poised to flip to the president.

This reflects Trump's general standing with the American people, and it means that he doesn't have sufficient political juice to dominate the national debate on major issues and get Congress to take action. Trump supporters no doubt will blame the Democrats, as presidential loyalists always do when their man can't get the job done. But in our presidential system, chief executives don't get a pass by pointing fingers at the opposition.

Richard Nixon, a 43 percent victor in 1968, had to contend with a hostile Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, and still amassed a record that buoyed him to a massive reelection victory in 1972. Reagan had a hostile House Democratic majority and yet managed to galvanize the American people to such an extent that the House leadership lost control of its own chamber, as frightened Democrats crossed over to Reagan's positions on major issues, particularly fiscal ones.

How do presidents manage to overcome a hostile opposition? By shrewdly selecting issues to be pursued; by presenting brilliant and coherent narrations on what those issues mean; and by deftly negotiating at the end to bring along just enough of the opposition to carry the day. After his Democratic Party lost both houses of Congress in 1994, Bill Clinton embarked on his brilliant "triangulation" strategy. Trump hasn't demonstrated any such capacity.

Which brings us to the report card:

Health care: Trump failed all three of the tests for political success on this issue. He chose it before it was ripe for serious legislative action (GOP lawmakers wanted to repeal and replace Obamacare but didn't have anything approaching a viable replacement); he didn't explain it well because it wasn't well joined and because he didn't seem to understand it; and he didn't seek any compromise with opposition members. Grade: D.

Immigration: A massive Trump failure. He was the first president in decades who had enough credibility with restrictionists to fashion a grand bargain that might have included legal status for the so-called Dreamers (and perhaps their immediate families; not cousins and uncles). He might have also taken serious action on other illegals in the country, on stemming the inward flow through every means possible, and on overhauling current immigration policies, including ending family-based migration and the lottery, instituting a merit-based system, and curbing the inflow enough to get the percentage of foreign-born people in America returned to more historical levels.

Was this even remotely possible? Perhaps not. But Trump campaigned as a man who would address the country's festering immigration problem. That required that the issue be presented with sensitivity and clarity as to the harm that decades of neglect have done to America. Nobody wants the United States to be a heartless country, but polls also indicate that Democrats have come too close to open borders for the comfort of most. Therein was the opportunity.

But Trump didn't even talk to the American people about the issue; he communicated only to his base, thus ensuring that the immigration chasm would continue with no end in sight. Grade: D.

Economic growth: We can't issue a final grade here until the end of the semester, but prospects are good for solid marks, even if an A doesn't appear likely. If growth continues through the third quarter of next year, Trump will merit a solid B; if it slows, perhaps a B-; if it picks up, a B+. But an A would require the kind of growth seen in Reagan's last six years in office (including annual percentages of 7.9, 5.6, 4.2, 4.5, and 3.8) or Clinton's second term (4.4, 4.5, 4.9, 4.8). That isn't likely. Further, if the economy slips into recession, all bets are off. This is a wait-and-see category. Grade: B, based on midterms, though the final exam will determine the outcome.

Trade: Trump has taken a riverboat gamble on his trade dispute with China, which has been a commerce thug for years -- stealing intellectual property, forcing U.S. companies in China to transfer technology, dumping goods into U.S. markets, subsidizing state-owned companies, and manipulating its currency. White House aide Peter Navarro says these "deadly sins" have destroyed some 70,000 factories in America and five million manufacturing jobs. China has been bilking the United States in part to cadge vast sums of money to finance its geopolitical ambitions in Asia. There's a strong argument that something had to be done, and only Trump among recent presidents had the fortitude to join the issue.

In doing so, Trump has emphasized a central reality of American geopolitics, which his critics refuse to accept -- namely that China, and not Russia, represents America's greatest long-term threat. But will the American people and Congress accept the sacrifices that will likely be necessary to force China to change its ways? That may be difficult for the president to pull off, given his less-than-robust standing with the American people. He's doing the right thing in demanding reciprocal trade behavior from the Chinese, but his inability to forge a national consensus may retard his prospects for success. Grade: Incomplete.

Foreign Policy: Trump has not presided over any serious foreign policy failures, such as George W. Bush's Iraq fiasco or Barack Obama's Libyan misadventure. Indeed, he has not led the country into any serious foreign wars at all, which may be a significant accomplishment in comparison to his three predecessors. At the same time, he has kept U.S. troops in Syria and Afghanistan beyond any worthwhile rationale. And he has not scored any significant foreign policy successes -- nothing approaching Nixon's outreach to China or Jimmy Carter's Camp David Accords or Reagan's Cold War breakthrough. The problem has been that he doesn't seem to possess any kind of coherent view of the world in our time. He seems to have an instinctive understanding that the old global order is crumbling. But he doesn't have any idea of what could or should replace this fading status quo or how America should operate in a changing world.

And Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement and seek to bring Iran to its knees economically through "maximum pressure" could destabilize the entire Middle East even beyond George W. Bush's mindless Iraq invasion. If so, the combustion likely won't occur until after Trump's current term, under whomever is president at the time. But the burden of responsibility for any untoward developments emanating from that questionable policy will rest firmly upon Trump. Grade: C-.

Scandal: Any serious scandal that attaches to the upper reaches of an administration becomes a net negative in the next election. It's difficult to assess the full political impact of the Russian scandal that has roiled the nation since even before Trump was sworn in. On the one hand, the allegation of electoral "collusion" has been exposed as a fraud. On the other, opponents have continued assaulting Trump for supposedly seeking to obstruct the investigation. Their arguments are largely specious, but politics unfolds on the margin, and the marginal impact of all this is likely to redound to Trump's detriment at reelection time. Besides, Trump doesn't seem to care much about how he is perceived or about the old-style niceties of political discourse. That provides an opening for opposition arguments about his loose ethics. Grade: C+.

General national welfare: On those questions regarding whether Americans are better off today than they were four years ago and whether America stands taller in the world, it's a bit of a mixed bag. The economic statistics (growth, unemployment, job market participation, productivity, inflation, the stock market) are solid, stemming largely from Trump's tax and regulatory policies. If they continue, the president will get general kudos from the electorate on this crucial area of performance.

The voters' view of America's global standing is more difficult to assess. No doubt Trump's base is comfortable with his performance on the world stage, but has he conducted himself in a way that will capture those swing voters who will be crucial to his reelection prospects? It doesn't seem likely.

And that's reflective of the overall Trump presidency. This utterly unconventional politician who got elected in utterly unconventional ways had an opportunity to fashion an unconventional brand of conservative politics -- wary of big business and the nexus between government and big finance; hostile to coastal elites; protective of working class Americans who have been abandoned and slandered by the Democratic Party; concerned about economic inequality; suspicious of vehement libertarianism; opposed to promiscuous foreign policy adventurism; anti-globalist; nationalist; and enthusiastic about the looming epic task of forging a new political order at home and a new geopolitical order in the world.

Trump has demonstrated a vague sense of this opportunity, but he never seemed to grasp its complexities and nuances or show any ability to forge a coherent strategy to make it a reality. The result: an overall grade of C. It would be a gentleman's C if Trump were a gentleman. The question is whether the voters will grade on a curve.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century . We were unable to load Disqus. If you are a moderator please see our troubleshooting guide .


JeffK from PA 3 days ago
"Trump has demonstrated a vague sense of this opportunity, but he never
seemed to grasp its complexities and nuances or show any ability to
forge a coherent strategy to make it a reality."

That pretty much sums it up.

Sid Finster JeffK from PA 2 days ago
I don't think any national politician today, not Trump, not Bernie, not anyone, really grasps just how seething with rage the public is right now.

Wanna know why we have mass shootings? Think of those people that snap as a sort of warning sign of the public mood. Expect to see a lot more of them, no matter who is in office.

For that matter, the election of Trump is a similar indicator. Think of Trump as the " Roll the dice, we've got nothing to lose! " candidate, compared to the establishment darling HRC.

Of course, long after Trump is gone from office, the forces that gave rise to Trump will still be there. That said, the establishment will tar every populist for years to come with Trump's weakness, stupidity, recklessness and incompetence. " Remember what happened the last time you didn't vote as instructed? "

Already, Trump has proven the best campaign ad the European establishment could ask for. He prevented the election of Le Pen in France, and prevented the German establishment parties from complete meltdown. The campaign slogan goes something like this: " Vote for us, unless you want a buffoon like *him* in office! "

JeffK from PA Sid Finster 7 hours ago
I agree. For the first time in my life I am seriously concerned about the future of this country. We are one serious financial or foreign policy calamity away from serious social breakdown.
EdMan Sid Finster 6 hours ago
That's a point Ross Douthat made recently - Trump losing re-election means Trumpism will eventually return.
Bankotsu 3 days ago • edited
Wow, even Robert Merry is playing the sinophobic China card now.

Patrick Buchanan is a long time China hater, so I can understand his sinophobia, but now even Robert Merry!

Times are really changing in U.S. politics.

A new yellow peril is upon America! lol.

Hispanophobia, sinophobia, islamophobia, russophobia, all of them are coming out with full force to America.

Sid Finster Bankotsu 2 days ago
Signs of an empire in serious decline.
jijjkl Bankotsu 2 days ago
More like Anglophobia.
Bankotsu jijjkl 2 days ago • edited
Can't be, I support Trump. Loads of chinese support Trump.
nah-uh-uh Bankotsu a day ago
Eventually, people like Pamela Geller and/or Steven Bannon will become the principal UN figures
Yay!
Thomas Sharpe 3 days ago
Play Hide
Rick Steven D. 2 days ago
Robert: Thank you this very sober, very reasonable assessment. I hate Trump's stinking rotten guts with the white hot fury of a thousand suns, and I disagree strongly with some of the points you are making here, but this is a terrific piece.
EdMan Rick Steven D. 6 hours ago
Well thank goodness for gentlemen like Robert Merry, then!
jijjkl 2 days ago
He gets a "C" in foreign policy, but everything domestic is so bad that he may as well not even call himself right wing at all. The illegal and legal immigration problems have exacerbated under Trump (look up the numbers). Of course he has deported very few and now advocates for increased legal immigration.That is not what anyone voted for. He incessantly proclaims how much he has done for demographics that will never vote for him, while even openly making fun of the struggles that working class white men (his base) face in society. He has now come out in support of red flag laws as well because of one event presumably. He even gave us a "criminal justice reform bill" to let out criminals to be even more of a plague on society. Why?

"fashion a grand bargain that might have included legal status for the so-called Dreamers (and perhaps their immediate families; not cousins and uncles)." --> This is not acceptable. This is not reform, but merely a concession of the inability of our country to have laws or moral legitimacy.

Sid Finster 2 days ago
A solid F. Trump's weakness has failed to lead to any major policy successes, even when he had majorities in both houses of Congress. Trump's incompetence has given the establishment loads of ammunition and recruits that they didn't have a few years ago.

Hell, Trump has made even doofus Uncle Joe Biden look like a viable alternative. Sad!

CharlesL 2 days ago
One major problem with the author's analysis of the Trump Administration's scandals is that it is limited entirely to the Russia scandal. Ignored are a host of acts of corruption that have marked the Administration of the man who constantly bragged that he would appoint "only the best people." So let's examine just a few of them. His National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was convicted of felonies and sent to prison. His Secretary of HHS Tom Price resigned in the wake of insider trading investigations. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke left the Trump administration amid mounting federal investigations into his travel, political activity and potential conflicts of interest. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was facing more than a dozen investigations into his taxpayer-funded travel, questionable spending decisions, use of aides to conduct personal errands and other matters when he resigned. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned over his scandalous granting of a sweetheart plea deal to Jeffrey Epstein. I could go on to the other members of Trump's inner circle who are in prison or who have been forced to resign under a cloud of scandal. I could point to New York State shutting down the Trump Foundation as a fraudulent charity that scammed people out of their denotations. I could note the Trump University scam whose victims received a $25 Million dollar payment from Trump after he was elected. The author gives Trump a grade of C+ on scandals? An F would be more accurate.
JeffK from PA CharlesL 7 hours ago
Even grading on the curve, a C+ is a gift.
IanDakar 2 days ago
Healthcare: I actually don't blame Trump on this one. All he really did was trust his party when they said they had plans and just needed the power to do them. It would've been great if HE had a plan himself but in the end that's Congress' job more than anything. So he gave them that power, said "DO IT!" and they failed him. He should've struck at immigration first but as far as healthcare itself.

So I give him a B for effort. Republicans get an F.

Immigration: "A massive Trump failure. He was the first president in decades who had enough credibility with restrictionists to fashion a grand bargain that might have included legal status for the so-called Dreamers (and perhaps their immediate families; not cousins and uncles). He might have also taken serious action on other illegals in the country, on stemming the inward flow through every means possible, and on overhauling current immigration policies, including ending family-based migration and the lottery, instituting a merit-based system, and curbing the inflow enough to get the percentage of foreign-born people in America returned to more historical levels."

Remotely not possible? Legal Status for Dreamers, push for more efficient deportations, merit based systems, and curbing the visa system?

That is VERY much possible to get all of most of that. The first is what the opposition is wanting and most of his side wouldn't scream against. He didn't even provide it as a bargaining chip (at best a "we'll revisit it later" delay).

Higher deportations would bring it to Obama levels. It just becomes hard to do when you open the debate with blasting all latinos as criminals sparking off the PC bee hive. Though that's moot since he could've, instead of a symbolic wall he could've asked for more funding for more centers and more judges to speed up the deportation trials (since isn't the point to actually DEPORT them, not lock them up for months under the pay of taxpayers). he used up his capital to maintain a marketing gimmick. By the time we got serious, he had moderates so pissed they tune the whole thing out and the left so angry they'll contemplate decriminalizing the whole thing just to snub him.

A merit based system WOULD'VE been a decent sell before all that mess or simply done when republicans had Congress. It also requires snubbing the "merit=europe" peanut gallery. Now no one is even listening.

The visa issue would've been an easy sell to both sides. It brings in a mass of non-citizens specifically to fill up job slots and then leaves them to be abused by their employers under threat of deportation if they don't comply. I can throw that exact line up in almost any forum and get a mob of support from the radical left to the far right.

There's insanely difficult topics about immigration. Most of your wish list was low hanging fruit in 2015. Trump turned it into the third rail. He didn't spark debate or open anything up. He got everyone so angry they aren't even discussing it properly anymore.

Lastly, if he wanted a wall that badly, he should've tried it in the first two years of his election. Trying it RIGHT AFTER it became impossible reeks of wanting to LOOK like he wanted it, sort of like if I waited until someone filled a box with cement then tried to lift it and said "I'll try HARD to make this happen."

Pure F.

I agree with you on Economics. On Trade I'm not as "China BAD" as you but overall I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one, though I'm not a farmer.

Foreign Policy, There's no really any further places to GO to spark a war other than Iran itself. And as you said he's not doing well there. That said it's probably close to what you said, though I'd put him a D+ as we're not in war with Iran just yet (sadly that is an accomplishment) but I can't see any way to really fix what we ruined at this point. At BEST they'll go the way of North Korea.

Scandal: If this is on how he's handled scandal I'd give him a B-. He know how to handle angry people and keep them barking with no bite. It would've been a B+ but I think the current racial ones was a big overreach especially since it's causing his party to throw their feet into their mouths 2008 style and further souring immigration issues.

Ove